A Thanksgiving Review

Why a review?  Typically I make notes and I'd kept them in a housekeeping notebook, but since giving up the notebook and switching to a smaller one, I thought I'd keep track of my holiday reviews here on the blog.   Just maybe I'll have a tip that will help you next year, or perhaps you'll have one for me that will smooth out a problem for me.

Coffee Chat: Achoo!

Hello dears.  Do come in.  There's fruitcake today to have with our coffee.  And if you'd like we can take it out to the porch and sit.  It's quite pleasant outdoors now the sun has had a chance to warm but gracious it was cold and frosty this morning.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was super busy and super nice.  I had 3 of my 4 children at home and 6 of my 10 grandchildren.   Our dinner guests were 18 in number for dinner and 14 for supper.   Thankfully there were plenty of leftovers to serve for supper. And enough leftover  still to put dressing and sweet potato casserole into the freezer.   Taylor barely ate which is odd for her.   But Isaac...That little boy put down bite for bite every bit as much as all the other children together from start right through to dessert for a finish.  And my but he was happy over it!   It wasn't long before Gramma had him down for a nap after that big meal.  He's going to do well with Thanksgiving traditions, taking his nap after eating turkey, isn't he?

In My Home This Week: Turkey Turkey, Whose Got the Turkey?

In my home this week...


...It is early yet.  This time of year, Shabbat begins early, 5:16 this week, and therefore it ends early as well.  This is both good and bad.   It's good because I often look forward to Shabat on Fridays and the early arrival means the week is over sooner and the Sabbath is here.   As well, it ends early on Saturday, so there's time on Saturday evenings to do a little bit of work.  It's also nice because if my grandson happens to be here he can participate in candle lighting this time of year.   In summer, it's past his bedtime.  And in summer, the late start means a late ending, so Saturday pretty much is over before Shabat is over.   That means no opportunity to do any 'work' and that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

Gift Ideas I've Found This Week.

I don't think I've ever written out a list of gift ideas for a holiday and I didn't suppose you'd find me starting it now, but as I was trolling about on Target.com the other day I came across a holiday line called Luxe Lodge.  It happened I visited Target later in the week and I saw several of these items on display. In case you haven't seen them, I thought you might like to look them over, too.  Personally,  I think these are pretty items  that would make wonderful gifts for a wedding shower or a housewarming , as well as Christmas gifts.  They are under $30 for the most part, with a few under $20 and I thought I'd featurethem here just in case any of you have gift giving occasions coming up.  

Metallics are very popular just now.  Brass is enjoying a resurgence in décor favor and copper is as well.  Gold and silver tend to remain popular.  All the pieces I've featured here are gold in color and that's partly why they caught my eye, because I knew they were current.  I think the designs are nice and classic and will therefore fit with most décor styles.

Thanksgiving Count Down: Thriving Through the Chaos

It's the week of Thanksgiving as I'm sure too many of you are well aware.  I've seen Tammy's array of pies on facebook and there's not only a turkey thawing in my fridge but about 20 baked sweet potatoes waiting to be peeled and mashed for soufflé.  There's cornbread and bread cubes, diced onions and celery in the freezer and four quarts of broth thawing in the fridge.   Yes we're well under way for the holiday week...

I don't know about you but stress and tension starts to mount this time of year.  Not only must we deal with family members who may be a stressor as much as they are loved, we are trying to do too much and accomplish everything at once.  I woke in the middle of the night and began to go over our plans in my mind and at some point this sense of calm came over me.  "I got this..." I said to myself.  And went right back to sleep.  That was pretty awesome.  Awakening with a sense of purpose, I hopped to the next morning and next thing I knew I was hit out of the blue by a feeling of illness.  I was sidelined for the most part the rest of the day.  Not fun.  Not at all a happy day of cleaning and shopping and planning.  I lay about and wondered how on earth can I say "I've got this?" when I'm sidelined at the start?

In My Home This Week: Turkey Talk

In my home this week...

...I usually start these after Shabat on the weekend.  As I start this week, I am tired.  I had visitors today.   Namely two little boys.  I was so glad to see them both.  I didn't know until a chance conversation came up that they were coming to visit me today.  Mom and Dad had business to attend to and asked if they might go out to dinner after.     I haven't seen any of the grandchildren since my family day in September and I was anxious to see them.  I've been aching to see Katie and Taylor but it hasn't worked out for various reasons.  So when asked if we'd keep the boys for a couple of hours it was no hardship as far as we were concerned.   John was just in from work this morning.  I'm happy to say that all three of the 'boys' got a nap this afternoon.  And I got a couple of hours free time to read.

Coffee Chat: Are We There Yet?

Do come in and sit down.  There's coffee and hot tea if you'd rather have that.  Funny to think that as of January this year I'd never had a cup of hot tea and now I find I crave it. Come mid afternoon when I make John coffee, often as not, I put on the tea pot and heat water for tea for myself.   It puts the chills on the run on these cool days.  It's nice and autumnal out there.  At last.

Are you crazy busy yet with the Thanksgiving prep?  At this point, I just bought  a turkey and it is in the fridge preparing to thaw.  I have a list made out of things to do but the grocery part of the list isn't long.  I've delegated a few things to others.  I'm still trying to figure out how to handle all the sides and the turkey in the oven.  I bought a 20 pound bird.  And that means it will need to cook about 6 and a half hours.  With dinner at 12 or so I'm going to be getting up mighty early to put that stuffing in that bird and get the turkey in the oven.

A Few of My Favorite Things

  I didn't mean to let this posting slide in September or October but hit a busy spell of time and poof! there it went.  However, I do have a few things I'd like to share that are new to me or which are old things but favorites.

For one thing, I splurged a bit in late August and bought these from Amazon because they were pretty and I really wanted them.  There are two sizes in the set.  I absolutely love this color.  You'll find it in nearly every room in my home and often find it in my wardrobe as well!

I didn't need mixing bowls but I had need of salad bowls and since these are a little shallow in my opinion for a mixing bowl I thought they'd be nice to use at table.  I haven't regretted the expense even once.  They do very nicely for a lovely serving bowl for fruit or salad either one.

In September, when the electricity went out after Hurricane Irma's visit, I used my old thrift store purchased aluminum percolator to make coffee on the top of the stove.  One of my guests is a coffee drinker like myself and a little bit of a coffee snob.  When we took our first sips of coffee that first morning we both looked at one another and said "Ooh!  This is good!" at the same moment.   I was so impressed by the end of my four days of perking coffee that  John and I decided it would be nice to have percolated coffee on all but work mornings.  It takes a little time to come to a boil and then 9 minutes of perking before it's ready, but it's worth every minute it takes.   We find the perked coffee smooth and less acidic for whatever reason, even though we didn't change brands just at first.

This Week In My Home: Glory Days of Autumn

This week in my home....

...I  wasn't sure just how this week would go.  John said Friday afternoon, after our wonderful ride up northwest of us, that his throat felt a bit scratchy.  Allergies or cold, he was not well despite his continual upbeat attitude and words of healing accomplished.  Saturday afternoon I had a tooth start to ache and it kept it up all through the day, through the night and then suddenly went away as quickly as it had appeared  and ached all day Monday.  I had a swollen cheek to show for it.  However, between the two of us, we decided to stay home from church on Sunday and we pretty much lolled about on Monday.  It wasn't a fun way to spend the little time off he had.  Nevertheless, we had last Friday and it was a good day, a grand day.

If a week is what you make it, then I was determined to make something of this one despite not feeling well for the first few days.  In the end, I accomplished some tasks, though not all the heavy duty stuff I'd anticipated doing.  I had some leisure time.  I  made meals.  It was a week.

Coffee Chat: November Is Autumn

Hello all.  Do come in.  We've coffee and some of those wonderful German spice cookies sold at Aldi this time of year.  I hit the jackpot that shopping day.  I found the Speckulatias and Salted Caramel creamer without carrageenan and the sole container of salted caramel cream cheese spread.  It was a bonus day.  But do have a seat, have coffee, have cookies and let's talk.

It's not cool outdoors at present.  But it seems silly to have iced tea when you can see how like autumn it appears with all those lovely leaves that have changed color and which are slowly drifting to the ground.  As always November proves itself the true month of autumn in our state and I really should just adjust my mind to that fact and stop thinking it will be cool or pretty until November.  I wish the cool would come along once more!  Still it is quite pretty out there and it's kind of nice to see the green grass contrasting with the trees isn't it?

Book Review: Nourished by Lia Huber

I've made it my habit this year to opt for books that stretched me hard.  I haven't done very many reviews this year because it was sometimes a lot more stretching than I'd anticipated.  The books were difficult and sometimes took a lot of work to get through.

I expected to skim my way through Nourished by Lia Huber.  I expected to find it an easy, fast read.  Instead I found myself drawn deep into her story.   There was a familiarity about it, as she sought meaning and fulfillment in her life.   There was a sense of being part of a personal journey that kept me interested, deeply interested.  An easy book?  Yes and no.   There was a feeling of being challenged as I recognized in myself some of the compartmentalization I manage even yet in my spiritual life, carefully dividing the 'real' world from my spirit life.

Huber shares her early life of travel and of learning to appreciate beautiful, locally grown foods.  She shares her Christian walk.  She shares her physical travels.  She shares her She shares memorable meals she's made over the years.  She even shares a few recipes, though just a few at the end of the chapter, one or sometimes two, not many but enough.  The recipes are not the sole focus of the book.  They weren't meant to be.  It's about a journey, both physical and spiritual and food just plays a natural role in that journey.

I highly recommend the book if you happen to be a foodie, a Christian or someone on a spiritual journey, or if you love travel or coming of age stories.  That this book just happens to include recipes too is a bonus to all the rest.

This book was provided to me courtesy Bloggingforbooks.com

Giving When Funds Are Tight

I think one of the most beneficial things we can do is to give to others.  Why is it beneficial?  Because it switches our focus from what we don't have to what we do have.  Often we get caught up in the feeling that we lack abundance.  Giving switches that focus of 'not enough' to 'more than enough'.    That said, I know that there have been times in our life when giving financially was asking way too much of our over stretched funds.  We never let that stop our giving.

So how did we do it?

In My Home This Week: Roller Coaster Weather

In my home this week...

...I decided the blog was due a fresh perspective.  I thought it would be a good change to bring together "This Week In My Home" with "Living Well".

One of the reasons for the change is that often I don't make the meals I share early in the week.  I thought it would be better to share what we actually eat.  Then too, there was the work.  It was great incentive to share a list of jobs I wanted to do with you all, but there were additional jobs I didn't share that were pretty big jobs.  I'd much rather tell you what I did do, especially on those weeks when I might not have accomplished my listed work.  I'd at least like for you to know why I didn't get things done!

Hard Places

I've been reading through Genesis this week.  I read about Sarai and Abram (God had not yet changed their names at this point). God had spoken to Abram and told him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, which is pretty awesome when you consider that even at this point he and Sarai were old and had yet to have a child.

Sarai offered Abram a servant girl.  "Here take my slave girl.  Perhaps I can get a family from her."  Hagar was an Egyptian slave.

 In their culture it was common for a barren woman to offer up a slave girl to her husband but here Sarai has gone all these years and not offered one to Abram.  They've long since left Egypt and been in Canaan about ten years.   No Sarai has not offered him a servant girl  and  more importantly, Abram has not complained!   In fact, when Sarai does offer to give him Hagar, her words are selfish: "Perhaps I can get a family in this way."  She has no thought for Abram having an heir but she wants a family for her own standing as well as perhaps her personal desire.  Hagar soon became pregnant. And her behavior towards Sarah creates a problem.

In My Home This Week: All Routine