Showing posts from October, 2016

Time for Change: Making Our Money Work Harder For Us

I might well have taken off time from working hard this past week and not spent a lot of time doing any hard thinking on much but there is one area where I've decided it's time to change what we've been doing in the past.  It began with a plan that fell through...

I was really disappointed this week to find I could not pay off the house insurance in full as I'd thought I'd try to do.  Mind you, we've been making monthly payments on that insurance for the 21 years we've been here, so there's no shame in making monthly payments again, but it just seemed to me that paying off the house and car insurances in one swoop would free up a bit of our funds. 

Well...It was a nice try on my part. I did save a good bit but not enough to pay it off. I wrangled figures and I simply cannot swing it. At best, I can manage just about half.  So I'll make that first payment.  It has, however, made me determined to do all I can to front load all those annual fee accou…

The Proverbial Woman: Verse 19 Casting Her Cares

Psalm 31:19  She puts her hand to the distaff and her hands hold the spindle.

The tenth letter of the alphabet is Yod (rhymes with "mode").  The pictograph for this letter looks much like an arm with a hand attached.  It is the smallest and most frequently occuring of all the letters.  One description said that it is the 'atom' of the consonants (which all of these letters we're studying are by the way) of the Hebrew alphabet.  It is referred to as the atom because all letters either begin or end with Yod.  It is also called the atom because it is considered the divine point of energy, representing the omnipresence of God because every letter contains this form within it.  Yod is considered the evidence of the presence of God in everything.
It is believed that this letter contains the portion referred to as the 'tittle'.  If even one portion is missing, it makes the entire Torah  invalid according to Jewish scribal law.   Jesus mentions the tittle in Matt…

In My Home This Week: Slowing Down

In my home this week...

...I have been thinking about what's really important to me.  I've put off buying flowers for autumn because it's so hot and dry but it occurred to me last night that I might well employ deeper water saving tricks such as I'd used in the past to see us through this dry autumn...and incidentally water plants.  So I think I'll invest in a few flowers this week.   I really love flowers and enjoy having pretty things and spaces indoors and out.
This thought started as I watched a blue jay splashing happily in the bird bath outside the window.  How I have enjoyed watching those jays at that bird bath!  I smile every single time and it took just a few inches of water to bring me that easy smile.
Besides planning for flowers and finishing up two projects that are in progress but very nearly done, I've decided that since November begins with a family visit and ends with the first of the holidays that I'm going to cease making huge goal lists…

Iced Tea Chat: Water Bugging

Her mums look autumnal, don't they?  But yes, you can see we're back at the 'Iced Tea' stage of things. Ugh.  It's not that the heat is so awful, though it's bad enough if you're trying to work outdoors, but the gnats, the blasted gnats that simply must get right in your ear with an obnoxious high pitched 'bzzzzzzzzz' or fly into your eyes, mouth or nose if they possibly can.  So we'll do as this cool looking lady has done and take our tea indoors.  How's that sound?
My title says it all: Water bugging.  Water bugs do nothing much but skim along the surface of the water.  They never swim or get down into the deep of things.  They are strictly all about what's on the surface of things and to be honest, that's  exactly how I feel I've been of late.  True, there are those Proverbial Woman posts which are proving to be even more difficult to work out than I'd thought they would and I'd figured on them being plenty tough as i…

Frugal Friday: Hurrying to Save for October

Reusing old things (this frame has been on the front porch for the past five years) is one way I stretch and stretch my decorating budget...
Saturday:  The cold wind of autumn finally blew in yesterday.  It was cold enough to snuggle last night and we did turn on the heat for a moment this morning, just long enough to bump the indoor temperatures up to 67F.
I'd planned to have leftovers today but with a bagel and coffee for breakfast, something more substantial and warming seemed in order.  Pot roast with a pineapple upside down cake sounded good to me and came together in minutes.
The Pineapple upside down cake used up the half can of pineapple rings I had left.  I used the juice in the cake in place of the milk the recipe called for.
I used the electric frying pan to make the pot roast since I decided a little late to start it.  I don't use that fryin pan very often...And honestly after today I'm thinking there's little reason to keep it.  It cooked awfully fast compa…

The Proverbial Woman: Vs, 18 A Light Seen From Afar

Proverbs 31:18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  Her lamp does not go out at night.
Tet ('tate' rhyming with mate) is the ninth letter of the alphabet.  Tet is first used in Genesis 1 where '...God saw the light that it was good '.  The pictorgraph of this letter is of a snake in a basket and is said to represent the choice between good and evil and a possible perversion of goodness. 
The Hebrew word which begins with tet  is  Ta'amah. It means 'she perceives'.  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.  In some translations she 'discerns'... Either word here truly works well. Perceive means to 'become aware or conscious of, to understand'.  Discern means 'to recognize; to distinquish between'.  The word used here for merchandise is 'chacar'  the same as the word used in verse 14.  It means to 'go about, to travel'.  I believe that in this instance she is continually examining her motives and…

Proverbs 31 Woman: Strong At Heart

31: 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

Chet (Cate as in mate) is our eighth letter and is represented in pictorals by a fence.  Some Jewish mystics say that Chet is the light that comes through from the doorway of heaven.  It represents life and wisdom and because it is the eighth letter it also said that it represents grace.
The letter Chet is formed from both Vav and Zayin connected by a thin line.  This is believed to be because it is love which makes us as one with God.  The letter is often used to represent life and because of it's shape, it is said that it is the same form in which the blood of the lamb was painted upon the doorposts of the homes of the Israelites in Egypt on that first Passover.  Often this letter is associated with new beginnings.
The word in the verse is chagrah and it translates "to gird oneself, as with a belt or armor".
I happened to hear a commentary on this verse just the other day.  In it, the teacher said that …

The Proverbial Woman: A Lasting Harvest

31:16  She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

Zayin in pictograph looks like a sword and the meaning of the word is sword or weapon, but the root word means sustenance or provision.  The word is paradoxical. It implies that sustenance must somehow be wrested by an act of destruction of some sort. 

The word which begins with zayin in this verse is 'zammah'.  It means 'to consider', not in an offhand manner but to think long and deeply, with purpose and planning.

On the surface of it,  this verse points out that women in that time period were able to own property in their own right.  She considers a field...and she buys it. She assessed the possibilities of the land, she knew the value of it. Perhaps this was the decision that she struggled with.  Perhaps the wresting has more to do with the planting: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 

A woman who plants a vineyard. It doesn't say she bought a vineyard,…

This Week In My Home: Finishing Up October

In my home this week I...

...realized that next week is the start of November...And that means it's time to finish off October.  I took time to look over my goals for the month and see where I've ticked the boxes or forgotten things entirely.  It stayed so hot and dry, I never did get out in the yard except to clear the pots and baskets.  It's looking pretty grim outdoors just now and I hate it.  But I can't plant cool weather plants if the weather insists on being in the 90's, now can I? Basically if it's in the yard, it's been pretty much ignored.

Indoors things have been unsettled enough.  I tamed the guest room to a dull roar on Thursday and aside from clearing off the sewing table and moving the boxes of stuff to the shed, I'm calling it done for now.  Every time I moved a stack of something, I found things that had been buried.  Books, junk mail, clothes, etc.  It. was. not. fun.  It was pure shame that pushed me to finish it off as much as I did.…

Weekend Reading

Rebecca at Renaissance shared this post a couple of weeks ago.  It included this link.  Beautiful!

I'm always fascinated by what can be found in the world that accurately depicts the past.  Even dinosaur bones...besides some of you might like to share with your grandchildren...

Not necessarily fun information but there are to be changes to social security next year.  This slideshow has information on these changes.

I'm always fascinated by unusual structures.  These underground ones area amazing.  Personally I like slide number 2.  The color contrasts alone are gorgeous.

Short and sweet this week...It was all I had time to save in between my work sessions. 

The Proverbial Woman: Woman of Prayer

31:15  She rises while it is yet still night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

The letter Vav (vahv) represents this verse.  The pictograph for this letter looks like a tent peg or the hooks used to  fasten the curtains of the tabernacle.  It  means to 'be fixed', in the sense of not being moved, of holding something together.

The first word in the Hebrew verse is 'vatakom' but it was not in the lexicon.  The word used in the lexicon was quwn  which means to rise, stand up, to establish, continue.  I had to research how vatakom  was used in other verses to gather a full understanding of what it means. 

Genesis 24:61: Rebecca arose and her maids and they rode upon camels and followed the man.
In this instance, Rebeccas is arising with a certain purpose.  She has made the choice to leave her family home, to leave immediately, rather than delay her marriage to Isaac.  She is leaving her family and her home forever.  She is leaving all she ha…

Frugal Friday: Fresh Change

Moving the wingback chair to the mantel wall allowed us to shift John's chair over a little...and pushing back the other two chairsa little closer to the bookcases made the living room look way more spacious.  It's amazing how a little change can create square footage.  Of course, it was always there, but now we're getting more use of it.

Saturday:  I did not have time last week to prepare food ahead for today.  I kept it fairly simple and made chili and rice with a pineapple salad for our dinner.  I used a full pound of ground beef but we'll easily two meals from this with a little leftover for a couple of plates of nachos. 
I made up John's work lunch while I was prepping food.
Josh loves jello.  I boiled water and made jello, then refilled the pan with more water to make mac and cheese, rinsed the pan well and put in water and rice to cook to go with the chili. 
I find rice with chili offsets the spiciness and increases the satisfaction of the meal.  Not to men…

Coffee Chat: Golden Autumn Daze

Come in...Forgive the mess.  The house, sigh, is the way the house is mostly these days.  John says it's 'in flux'.  I feel like I'm running from one fire to another and not putting a single one out fully.  But it's lovely, truly, to have this time to play house .  My goal is to make spaces calmer and clearer. 

There are Spekulaus cookies to go with the coffee.  Not so terribly sweet but lovely spicy, crisp cookies.  They are seasonal at Aldi and I was so happy to see them in stock.  I'll buy them routinely from now until they are no longer available just about the end of the holiday season.  They are just perfect for dipping.  I sat down last week with a cup of coffee after I finished putting away groceries and dipped one in my coffee.  It made me think of Granny.  She often had windmill cookies at her house and she always dipped them in her coffee.  I sighed a little and said "Oh Granny!  How you would have enjoyed these cookies!"    For half a mo…

The Proverbial Woman: A Laden Vessel

Proverbs 31:14  She is like merchant ships.  She brings her food from afar.

The Hebrew letter associated with this verse is the letter 'Hey' (prounounced hay).  It means 'look! behold!' and the pictorial representation is the figure of a man with his arms raised skyward. It represents the divine breath, revelation and light.  It is said by the Jewish sages that the sound of breath leaving God's mouth refers to the sound hey.  Holy Spirit is called Ruach Hakodesh and the word Hakodesh means Holy Breath, so Ruach Hakodesh is the breath of the spirit of God.   It is in many ways the source of  inspiration.
In our verse, the word associated with hey is haitehand it means 'she is'.  You might have already noticed, but most of the words we'll be studying are verbs.  It certainly shows how actively involved the Proverbial woman is...and I do say 'is' in the present tense because all of the verbs used to describe her are present tense.  Surely a sign th…

Sneak Peek

After weeks of slowly moving things out of the rooms, we were down to the big pieces of furniture.  John and I had a very busy day on Sunday and I worked him in between our obligations to move the last of all we could move that day.  The house fairly echoed with the lack of furnishings.

We were up early last Monday morning and I barely had time to get breakfast cleared off the table before the workers arrived.  I kid you not, within an hour the four guys had the big pieces of furniture moved and the floors looked like this:

And by lunchtime the floor in the entry was laid.  Oh it was pretty!
Formerly this area was just a little 2 foot x 2 foot space. There was carpet against the wall there.  I think it looks so much nicer and so much more intentional.  The space didn't allow the planks to be laid in a way that looked like a wood floor without a lot of waste.  I liked the way they worked this space.

In My Home This Week: A Fresh Start

In my home this week:

...We will continue to work away.  The rearrangement of furniture is almost done.  I have to clean the guest room in order to shift the work table and then fit the chiffarobe into the space where I want it.  It's been an exhausting month and I mean it.  And it ain't over yet.  There's no ornaments of any sort anywhere yet, no pictures hung (except in the dining room).  Our closet is still packed, and the pantry closet is, too.  It took the better part of 8 hours to sort and place books on the shelves.  I culled five boxes.  It was not the most painful thing I've ever done.  The truth is, I think I could cull a few more.  I seem to just be ready to let go of a lot of things at present.  Good thing... there are more books in the pantry closet.

 John is caught up in his own thing.  He started painting cabinets and doors.  The master bath is very nearly done, the guest bath is about half done and the kitchen just started.

Somehow the house is urging …

Frugal Friday: Fresh

Saturday:  Overtired this morning.  I was up later than I'd meant to be.  Just as I readied for bed last night, Sam called.  He was a little worried over the wind and rain in his area of the state, was home alone and then the power went out.  Naturally he called the one  other person he knew to be alone.  I checked weather station and the full brunt of the hurricane over Jacksonville was hitting, with bands that reached well above Sam's area. We talked over three hours.  Sleep eluded me after that and I read in bed.  When John called this morning, he was disgustingly cheerful.  I made sure to get both a shower and a cup of coffee before he got in.

I made buckwheat pancakes and sausage for breakast.  Kept lunch a simple sandwich meal today and we had more sandwiches for supper.  Bulk of our day was spent snoozing, out and out napping and lolling about.

The Proverbial Woman: Diligent in Prayer

Proverbs 31:13  She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight.

This verse is represented by the Hebrew letter dalet (dah-let), which is portrayed by the symbol of a closed tent door.  As a door, it suggests a choice to open ourselves spiritually to hope or to be closed off.
The words in this verse which begin with the letter dalet is darash, "she looks". Darash means to seek, to look for, to request, to resort to,  to frequent a place, to inquire, to ask, to consult God in prayer and worship, to practice and study, to seek with diligence.
The talit or prayer shawl is considered a prayer 'tent' or closet and because this letter dalet is pictorially a 'closed tent door',  I would hazard that this Proverbial Woman goes before God in prayer and worship and meditation. She would have done so with a prayer shawl draped over her head and shoulders, pulled closed in front of her face so that she would be enveloped in a private 'tent' of her …

The Proverbial Woman: Lovingkindness

Proverbs 31:12  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

This verse is represented by the letter gimel (geeh-mel).  The gimel is represented in pictorial form by the camel.  The camel represents a moving from one place to another and being transported rather than walking under one's own power.  The letter itself is said to represent the freedom of choice to run after the Torah and practice the art of lovingkindness.
Gimel is the first letter of  the first word "Gamal", a verb, found in this verse and translated in English as "she does".  Gamal's meaning is 'to deal bountifully with, to wean, to ripen , recompense".
The verse says "she does him good and not evil all the days of her life..."  The definitions of the word gamal say a great deal to me about what she does.   In her desire to minister to her husband's needs she does so 'bountifully', meaning that she holds nothing back.  Her pursuit of goodness is such…

In My Home This Week: Fresh Winds

In my home this week:

We will be getting new flooring Monday.  I mopped the kitchen Friday and ran the vacuum over the carpet one more time, then again.  Why?  Not sentimentality but just wanting to continue to be a good steward of what has been a blessing.  Yes it is worn a bit and dinged up, too but there are no places worn through to the sub flooring as I had in one home.  There are no hard beaten paths that look like they were glued in place as there were in another house.  And come Monday and Tuesday, my house will take on a fresh new appearance. 
Currently the house literally echoes about us. It certainly feels like a fresh slate.  I should have emptied out rooms long before now and started over, one piece at a time!  Bess and I talked over the living room on Thursday evening and I made three decisions lickity split.  The little ottoman that rocks is out of here.  Josh spent the whole evening pushing it over and then back up again.  I realled that Daniel was forever flipping th…

Weekend Reading

You might think of late the only reading I get around to is what's on my Microsoft Edge home page from MSN and you'd be just about right.  I'm ready for the weekend though and thought I'd share what little I've saved this week between writing jags and packing up moving jags.  Next week I have a few posts pre-scheduled and I expect to be back at work the week after.  No holiday.  Just flooring, groceries and moving things back and forth and suffering aching muscles!

I thought this story about a 1934 Plymouth Coupe was pretty cool.  I love old cars! There was something very majestic and elegant about some of them and something dead solid about all of them.

This slide show about unconventional guard animals is a fun one.  Don't think I'd feel inclined to visit the zoo featured though.

Frugal Friday: Upside Right

Saturday:  Made a roasted chicken for dinner.  I kept the seasoning on it simple and cooked it in a slow oven.  The warmth very appreciated this morning as it was quite cool.

We took morning coffee on the front porch.  The air was crisp, the breeze slightly chilly.  I wore a sweatshirt and jeans.  Maddie seemed right at home in her fur coat.  The sun shone brightly and the sky was clear and blue.  It was absolutely lovely.

I mixed leftover baked sweet potatoes with the leftover roasted butternut squash and made a Sunday Sweet Potato/Squash casserole to have with our roast chicken dinner.  It was delicious!

We had enough leftovers for a second meal from the casserole and chicken.

Ran a very full load of dishes.  Shorter wash and air dried.

Sunday:  I made French Toast this morning.  I just thawed and reheated.  With an egg and sausage each it was an ample breakfast.

Took water and a granola bar with me for after church since we planned to go by Lowes.  It's always Lowes or Home Depo…

Iced Tea Chat: Life in the Fruit Basket

Come in and join me with a glass of tea on the porch.  It's very nice out with that nice breeze.  Not cool but it does temper it a bit.  I've had quilts and curtains and our spread hanging on the line today.  Our bedroom smells so fresh and lovely since the sheets and towels went out yesterday.  I removed the living and dining curtains and washed those and hung out the quilts we use as lap robes in winter to air.  I cleared our bathroom of curtains and bench cover and valances and removed the curtain in the  laundry and kitchen/kitchen sitting,  as well.  All  are washed and packed neatly away until the new flooring is in. It's fall cleaning and removal of unnecessary things at one time.   So it looks a bit like we're in the process of moving really with all the pictures down and the curtains removed and pieces of furniture moved out as well...

I contemplated earlier the fact that with the books packed up the bulk of my home was packed away.  16 boxes...I had no idea …

The Proverbial Woman: Home is Where the Heart Is

31:11Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value

This verse is represented by the Hebrew letter Bet (pronounced "bate") and the pictorial symbol represents a house.
There are two words in this verse which both begin with bet.  The first is the word 'ba'al' and in translation it is 'husband' 'master'.  Here is a point where many feminists begin to twist and turn in their seats...The idea of husband as 'master' of woman is abhorrent.
I have to share this bit of Jewish history with you.  While it's very popular in this day and age for women to become rather riled at the idea of 'submitting' to a husband, and the word master might well be found offensive, in Jewish culture a woman was not just so much chattel to her husband.  She was a partner and an asset, a helpmeet, as we learned last lesson.  While it is true that a woman came into a marriage via a bridal price, it was not for mere monetary reasons.  The …

The Proverbial Woman - From the Beginning

For quite a stretch of time, John prayed the Proverbs 31 verses over me every Friday night.  As he prayed, I began to pay close attention to the words and to want to be this woman.  In the past, I'd read this particular proverb and wondered at this woman who is described in various interpretations as a woman of valor, virtue, character, worth, excellence.  I  read from many reputable sources (not the Bible!) what an impossible task it was to become the Proverbs woman, that it was meant only as a guideline, was not relevant to the modern day woman, or the modern day family dynamics where men often cook, clean, become househusbands... but you know I've come to see that women CAN become the Proverbs 31 woman.   She is not 'just a homemaker', which I think is a high calling in any woman's life, nor is she 'just a wife'. She is a woman.

In the opening of this proverb we read that King Lemeul's mother taught him these proverbs when he was young and standing …

Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Ushering in a New Month:  I mentioned orphaned containers and lids.  Like Louise I keep my lids if I have containers they still fit.  It's far more common to have a busted lid than a busted container. 

Lana, All was well with Bess and Sam.  They lost power and a live power line went down in her driveway which frightened her badly enough to call me...after she'd called 911.  Eventually they blocked off her drive which upset her further since Sam was out in the storm trying to get emergency quarters set up for a disaster crew if needed.  They didn't need the adjustors thankfully as it proved to be mostly rain.  I checked in on Lori in Kingsland and all was well there.  We barely had a sprinkle.  Katie is two hours north of us and got none at all. 

Lana, Sarah, Susie, Jennifer in Oregon:  I received a note from the Target store manager and she was going to headquarters in Minneapolis and said she'd bring up the issue at the corporate meeting.  I need to go back to Target …

Eat Health: Pt III Protein Power

In feeding the human body we must have protein.  A protein deficient diet can cause weakening of the heart, loss of muscle mass, and decreased immunity.  In children, it can lead to a failure to grow. 
Proteins are made up of amino acids.  These are absorbed into the small intestine,then transported to the liver.  The liver and other body cells use the amino acids to build new proteins such as enzymes, hormones, muscle protein, and connective tissues.   Amino acids are not stored in the body, meaning that a new supply of protein is necessary in order for the body to continue to produce them daily.   Only dairy, meat, fish, soy and eggs contain all 9 of the essential amino acids needed to keep a body producing healthily.   Grains, nuts, vegetables, and legumes only provide some of the amino acids necessary.
Protein provides B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, and magnesium.  Dairy products provide those and calcium and Vitamin D.  Plant sources provide fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats…

In My Home This Week: The Last Quarter

In my home this week...

It is the first week of October, the start of the last quarter of this year and the last sane month before holiday pops and fizzles and fires start up.  This month is really a sort of planning month for me.  It will also be a DO-ing month as well as any other, as you know if you've read my goals list for this month.  But it's also true that it's a month to plan for the holidays ahead, to begin to gather figures and ideas to tentatively set aside for the first of the coming year.  Because like it or not, when October rolls around we must begin to look ahead to the next year if we're to be at all prepared.  Or so say I.

In years past October was a month of vacation for us.  John would take off two weeks of work and with the two weeks he'd normally be off, we'd spend the bulk of the month in play.  I miss those days.  We didn't always get a chance to travel far afield, but we went to the fair, sometimes we might make it to St. Augustine…

Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia de Havilland

Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia de Havilland is a reprint that I recently read.  I was put off by the tone of the writing in the first chapter.  I had the feeling that Ms. de Havilland, while a wonderful actress, found herself so amusing that she must surely have giggled all the way through that first chapter.  I stuck with the book despite this.  It was worthwhile!

As I settled into the book, and I presume as she settled into her writing, the book actually came out rather well.  While it's a small book, it is packed full of short chapters that could easily stand alone as essays on a variety of subjects from the French preoccupation with the state of their liver, to how they viewed the female bosom, child birth, apartments, and more.  It is a lovely representation of Paris in the early 1960's. 

Ms. de Havilland does take up her silly writing again here and there but for the most part she is more than a decent writer. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in conside…

The Prayer Warrior

Penny Ann Poundwise Throwback post

September 2006
Final Thoughts

I met Joanne a couple of months ago when she first visited our church. She had a pleasant face and a ready smile. A few weeks ago, I began a project at church and she volunteered to partner with
me. Little did I know what a powerful witness she would be to me.

As we worked on the project and prayed over it, I became aware that she had a strong prayer life, far stronger than my own. I could feel the very deep relationship she had developed with God thru
prayer and I was grateful she had chosen to partner with me on the project.

Two weeks ago, it was announced that Joanne had a severe health problem and had been hospitalized. Yet even ill, her faith stood strong and in record time she was out of the hospital and back at church.