Monday, August 21, 2017

heavens declaring

While enthusiastically describing the eclipse today, Bill Nye, the Science Guy said that we should be very grateful to all the astrophysicists who could calculate to the second the appearance of the eclipse.

I would agree that the requires a very mathy mind.

Way beyond my ability.

But even the brightest scientist could not calculate the appearance of an eclipse if there were not an orderly universe. An orderly universe created by an omniscient Being.

I call Him my heavenly Father.  He set the stars in space, started the solar system in motion, and put life upon this amazing planet of ours (that He created).

So yes, Bill, the math calculations are impressive....amazing.

But they don't hold a candle (or a solar eclipse) to the One Who Created It All.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Crabapples are nearly ready to harvest!

Some bloggers I respect are sounding the alarm.  Not an alarming alarm, but a cautionary alarm.  Personal, national and world events feel unsettled.

Here are a few of the articles:

Violence in Charlottesville, VA
Terrorist attacks in Spain
Traffic issues and empty shelves in anticipation of the solar eclipse
Job loss
Weather events
Health concerns

All of the above are good reasons to 'be prepared'.  What do I mean by that?  

First of all, fear not.  Keep calm and carry on, as they say.

For us, the most likely issues we will face is health problems (like my shattered elbow) or weather events (like 12 inches of snow in one day).

So, I prepare for those.  When things that we eat go on sale, I buy a case or a bunch depending on what it is.  When toiletries and other things go on sale, I stock up.  I buy quantities of things at the lowest prices I see.

It is pretty simple.  If we are snowed in, we have plenty to eat.  If we have an extended power outage, we have alternate ways of cooking and lighting our home.

If we are sick, we don't have to venture out.  There is comfort food on hand.

Buying things on sale and stocking up is smart.  It is good insurance.  And it is like money in the bank.  

I'm not a prepper or a survivalist.  But I do like to be prepared.  And I think it is Biblical.  Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 47.

Keep calm, carry on and stock up!

What do you do to be prepared?

Friday, August 18, 2017

what is that in your hand

There are snippets of Bible phrases that run through my head and inform my days - how I live my life.

One such phrase has been running through my head lately - "What do you have in your hand?"

I knew how I was applying it to my life, but wanted to refresh my memory as to how it was used in Scripture

In Exodus, Moses is afraid that the Egyptians (specifically Pharaoh) won't listen to him.  God asks him what is in his hand (a staff) and tells him how to use it to get their attention.
( Check out Exodus 4)

God is not asking me to release a nation from slavery, but I do hear that still, small voice asking me what I have in my hand.

Today, it was herbs in my garden.  I occasionally use them in cooking but I have not done a good job of preserving them. It is not hard.

Cut them.

Rinse them.

Tie them in bunches and hang them in a cool dry place.

When they are fully dry, remove them from the stems and chop them up.

Then you will have something that might look like this:

.I now have a few jars of dried herbs in my pantry.  From garden to pantry.  Summer flavors will be enjoyed this winter.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

here a little, there a little

When Patsy at A Working Pantry  announced her sewing challenge, I knew I had to participate.

It is a simple challenge.  Sew 15 minutes a day for 100 days.  She was kind enough to say that they did not have to be consecutive days.

I have, not a large stash of fabric, but a large pile of Things With Which Something Could Be Done.  I make tee shirt bags for a non-profit I at which I volunteer.  There is a bag of wool garments that no one wanted to wear, but the craft ideas for them are endless.

There was a box I scored for free at a garage sale.  I haven't even looked beyond the first layer or two of that.

This challenge would be great motivation to get a move on.

I devised a super simple 'analog' way of keeping track of my days:

See what you can do with just paper and pencil, kids?  No batteries or cords or updates necessary.

To date I have:
  • changed a full length sleeve blouse to a 3/4 length sleeve. 
  • mended a pair of the resident fisherman's shorts
  • made a pillow sham for my grandson
  • repaired a quilt for my other grandson
I made this quilt for my oldest son when I was pregnant with his brother.  In anticipation of needing to move him to a 'big boy bed', I wanted him to have something special to be excited about.

I saw a pattern in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine in the early '80's and ordered it.  I was too young and foolish to realize I was in over my head (or skill level).  There was embroidery, quilting and applique.  I had done precious little of any of these. But I kept at it.   That is how you make progress. A little bit at a time.  Rome wasn't built in a day and all that.

  That is what attracted me about the 100 day challenge.  Slow and steady is my speed.

The quilt had some wear and tear, what with raising three boys (pretty much the whole house had some damage - as adults the boys now compare what they broke, bent, busted or tore apart when they get together - I learn something every time).



I did it!  I got it mended and will give it to my firstborn's firstborn.  A sweet little red-headed guy ready to go into his 'big boy bed'.

Ta da!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

So, Grandma....

"You are always making things for the girls," said 9 year old grandson Josh.

"Would you like me to make something for you?" I responded.

"Yes, a light saber pillow.  Like this:"

Our Josh is a good little artist.  He sketched out the above in nothing flat.

Grandma is not so quick (I had to shop for fabric AND do mathy things),  but I'm pretty happy with the results.  Hopefully Josh is too.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


They met on (sort of) a blind date.  

They had four children, lived in several different places.  

By the time the four kids were all grown and out of the house, they began a grand adventure.  They lived and worked in a variety of different countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania and traveled to many more.  I think they visited every continent but Antarctica.

Upon retirement they continued to travel.  Each summer they hooked up the travel trailer or hopped in the motor home and toured our country.

Dad said, "Let's go!" and Mom said,"I'll get ready!"

They always said they would travel as long as their health permitted.  Dad had his share of health problems and Mom made it her mission to keep him as healthy.

In 2006 Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Their traveling days came to and end.  Now Dad was the caregiver.

Mom has been in Memory Care for several years now.  Dad usually visited her twice a day until this past February when he moved into Assisted Living.  Now he and Mom are roommates.  We are so thankful they can live together again.

Dad's parents were married 64 years as were two of his aunts and uncles.  We are so blessed to have this example of longevity in marriage.  It is quite a legacy.

Mom is no longer ambulatory having broken her hip 18 months ago.  When she is having problems, mostly anxiety because she can no longer communicate, Dad crawls into her hospital bed with her and soothes her.

Theirs is quite a love story.  Selfless commitment to each other.

Happy 64th anniversary, Mom and Dad. Praying you have an especially sweet day together.

(Pictures are from 2013 - when Mom could still walk.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

frugaling part 5

BE GOOD (or behave)
verses from the book of Proverbs on handling money

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;
Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine.  3:9

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you have said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this my son, to free yourself since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands.  Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor.  Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.  Free yourself, like a gazelle, from the hand of the Hunter,Mike a bird from the snare of a fowler.  6:1-5

The wicked man earns deceptive wages but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.  11:18

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  11:24

A generous man will prosper;he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.  11:25

People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.  11:26

Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.  13:11

He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame but whoever heeds correction is honored.  13:18

Misfortune pursues the sinner but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.  13:21

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.  13:22

The righteous eat to their heart’s content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.  13:25

The poor are shunned even by their neighbor's, but the rich have many friends.  14:20

Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.  16:8

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.  17:1

A man of perverse heart does not prosper;  he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.  17:20

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.  19:17

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man; but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.  20:17

A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.  21:6

If a man shuts he ears to the cry of the poor, he too, will cry out and not be answered.  21:13

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  22:1

A generous man will himself be blessed for he shares his food with the poor.  22:9

He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich – both come to poverty.  22:16

Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.  22:22

If your enemy is hungry give him food to eat;  if he is thirsty give him water to drink.  I doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the LORD will reward you.  25:21

Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.  28:6

He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another who will be kind to the poor.  28:8

A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.  28:16

A faithful man will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.  28:20

A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.  28:22

He who robs his father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong” – he is partner to him who destroys.  28:24

A greedy man stirs up dissension but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

He who gives to the poor lacks nothing, but he who closes his eye to them receives many curses.  28:27

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.  29:7

Two things I ask of you O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “ Who is the LORD?”  Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my GOD.  30:7-9