August Diary: A Grande Finale for Summer

late Thursday:  Remind me, next time I am complaining that things are a bit tight financially to go back and read over posts for September 2015.  If ever there were a testimony for God's provision in a life, this most certainly was the month to read as a testimonial!

Over and over again we found new ways to improve upon what we had, save a little, pay off a plethora of medical bills that came due, and even partially pay back a small loan we'd taken out to pay off a bigger bill, plus meet our every need and help out a desperate child with a big financial burden (which was promptly repaid in October, by the way).  Wow oh wow!  Did my heart a whole lotta good to read about how we lived through that summer.  And prompted me to be ever more vigilant with my Gratitude lists for how we're seeing provision in this summer as well.  Praise God!

August Diary: Lemon Meringue Pie Days

Saturday:  So many times this past week I just wanted to toss up my hands and run away and hide.  Too many decisions to make, hard ones.  Too much negativity to deal with, as well.  It seemed I was being tossed a pile of lemons at every step.  But you know what to do with lemons don't you?  All sorts of good stuff!  Lemon curd, lemon marmalade, Lemonade, Lemon meringue pies!  Make those sour things sweet and enjoy the tart bite that sugar can't quite cover.  Take in all that good Vitamin C.  Discard the pith but save that good zest to add flavor to apple pies (have you tried lemon zest in an apple pie filling?  Do!) or a cake, or even a chicken dish.  Slice the lemons up into wedges and freeze for future needs (thank you, Lana for that awesome suggestion).  Whatever you do, when life is getting difficult, do your best to find what good you can harvest from it.

My Favorite Budget Beef Cuts

                                                                 image from Pinterest

Last week I mentioned I'd cooked a roast and used leftovers as sandwich meat and roast beef hash.   Susanmarie asked what cuts of beef I bought and which I considered 'budget' cuts.  Years ago, I was able to keep our price per pound costs to below $2 but these days, one is lucky to keep them at about $5 a pound even for ground beef!

First let's look at this chart for beef cuts.  It's important to know where each is located because it's also a key in how the meat should be cooked.  Keeping beef costs low is as much a matter of knowing how to cook various cuts as it is of what you can expect to buy in different seasons.

August Diary: Promises I'm Making Myself

Saturday:  It's late in Shabat, just two hours more to have the full extent of the day of rest.  Today began early.  I stepped out on the porch to feed the pets and looked at the sun rising and sang "Shema".   That I remember the Hebrew after all these years away from synagogue, that these words come easily still at the sight of daybreak, astounds me:

Shema, Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad.
Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One...

It was a hurry up sort of morning, but the wonder of God was  there on the front porch this morning.  I felt reverent as I went about the rest of my morning preparations.

A Quick Visit

Hello all...I'll not offer up coffee nor tea at this hour, because I suspect we'd all like a good night's sleep,  but I will offer up a quick visit.  I've had my head just crammed full of thinking and I know I won't have time to chat at all over the weekend about to happen, so a neighborly visit now seems just the thing.

Diary of the Week: Mr. President

Late Friday:  Don't hiss or boo...I'm not going political on you.  I was just chuckling to myself recalling an incident with  Josh today.   He loves to sit in my desk chair which will spin about and can be rolled to and fro.   He  was spinning about today and  told Bess, "I'm going to be President when I grow up."  "Well son, that's an admirable and lofty ambition, but really think about this...  It's a very hard job and  lots of people who will tell you what to do.  You won't get to order as many folks about as you might think."  Josh frowned for a moment and then he smiled, "I fink I'll do it...and this is the President's chair!"   We all smiled.  After all it's a wonderful world we live in and it's every child's idea at one time or another that they might be leader one day.  A little later Bess walked into the kitchen and said "Josh would you..."  "Uhm Mom?  You can call me, 'Mr. President'..."   I've no idea what Bess was going to ask him to do.  She just turned and walked back into the living room with a funny look on her face.

Iced Tea Chat: Summertime Blues

Come in, come in.  Lemon and lime and there's mint, too for adding to  a tall tinkling glass of iced tea.   You'll appreciate this cold drink today! It's hot on the porch and the gnats are fighting mad at everyone so we'll just sit here in the kitchen and enjoy the air conditioning, ok?

Weekly Diary: Family All the Time

Sunday:  Yesterday was not the day any of us planned it to be.  Sam, who has been working on home renovations several weekends now,  had decided that this weekend he'd take a break...John and I were looking forward to a very quiet and restful Shabat.  At 8:30 a.m. that changed for each of us.  A dark spot on the floor of the pantry in Sam's house proved to be a pretty decent sized water pipe leak...'Just come sit with the boys while I'm under the house, please?" he asked.  I'd not even had time to finish my first cup of coffee.  I'd gotten up and tossed our dinner in the crock pot and had just settled with said cup of coffee.  So I put on clothes, left my bed unmade and gulped down the coffee.  A few minutes later he came back indoors..."I have to go to Lowe's..."     "I'll just take the boys home with me then," I said.

In My Home This Week: All Routine