Saturday, January 22, 2022

In Sickness and in Health


Some flowers for you.  : )

I'm just popping in.  This post won't be very long, but wanted to fill you in on what our little world has been like in the past couple of weeks.

For those of us who have had covid we know what it is like and how lousy we felt and 2 weeks ago my husband tested positive and it's been quite the last couple of weeks.  There is a reason why we need to remember the wedding vows and the "in sickness and in health" came to my mind.   As a matter of fact, there were MANY things that came to my mind while tending to my husband.

He, like all of us, have had severe colds and flus in the past but covid definitely is different and it hit him pretty hard.  I can, with joy, say that he is on the mend - still much fatigue but at least he is sitting up, not sleeping during the day, and finally eating.  A lingering cough but so grateful that the whole breathing and going to lungs thing was not an issue.

The first week and a half was difficult in that he slept all the time and since we have a finished basement he chose to recuperate down there.  But our house is small and the floors are squeaky so I felt very limited in how much I should be moving around up here so that he could get the needed sleep.  It was then that I was so thankful that I have many interests and hobbies and crafts to keep me busy by just sitting and still getting something done.  I brought out my card-making things, embroidery, cross stitch, quilt blocks, and crocheting.  I brought out my recipe books and "read" them (even though I wasn't cooking because my husband was not eating).  I brought out my gardening books and notebook and dreamed of warmer days with some green in them!  : )

I'm so grateful for YouTube in that I have been listening to books on-line (Nancy Drew) and watching Gooseberry Patch cooking shows (remember Gooseberry Patch? I used to collect all the recipe books but have given many away).  I read my Christmas gift books (Alice in Wonderland - can you believe I've never read that book?) and a Nancy Drew book that I asked for since I'm collecting them.

So, I can't say it enough and I know that I've mentioned in past posts how important it is for all of us to have things that we can do and reach for in those times of waiting or extra time on our hands.  Taking care of someone who is ill can be very exhausting and lonely (especially with covid since no one can really come over to keep you company).  Which brings me to the next thing that I have been thinking about.

My heart goes out to:

*The single, the widows/widowers/elderly

What I've been doing in the last 2 weeks is what others do on a daily basis, 24/7.   I just pray that there might be, in some way, to help in those areas.  At the very least, pray that God will provide their every need.

I have also been reminded of the things we take for granted.  Good health is first - it's not until we get sick where we REALLY realize how much we forget to be thankful for those times of good health.  The next thing we (I) take for granted are friends - we were brought to the realization of those who really care about us by enquiring through e-mails, cards, phone calls - knowing that people were praying all the time.  And I think we take our families for granted some times.  As women, since our husbands are just around all the time and take care of things for us, his presence can sometimes be taken for granted.  I realized all those little things that he just takes care of.  And then extended family - having them to share things with and talk to for encouragement and how hard it is when they aren't there. Our son and his wife came over to help shovel snow one evening and then, because they knew I was lonely, they ordered a few snacky groceries to be delivered to me and then, that evening, we met on Zoom and played a couple of games.  That was SO thoughtful of them and I felt much better.  And then thankful for our pantry and the food we stocked up on to sustain us when unable to go out.  And then, lastly, I'm very grateful for home.  In times of need, a home is so very important - a safe place to be, a place of comfort for the recuperating and for those who are taking care of them.

There were a couple of "blue" days - just a yearning for happy times again, times of laughter again, times of getting outdoors again (because we are so frigid right now) - just looking forward to better days because for some, this illness can take a while to totally get over.

One wonderful thing that has come out of the past two weeks is my extended times with the Lord.  I have been studying His Word, writing notes, extending my prayer times, reading different devotionals.....and it has been sweet and I've been realizing so many things because of it, and drawing near to God and depending on Him with it all.  He has convicted me of quite a few things that have been a bit difficult for me to admit to - but I've learned to take His discipline because it's because He loves me and doesn't want me to stay in that place anymore.  He is truly my Father and I am His child and I need His care. 

So..........that is what's been going on over here.  I hope that this is finding you doing well.  Hopefully my next post will be more homey and maybe a recipe or two (can't wait until food tastes good for my husband again).  Until then, God bless all of you and thank you so much for your time!!!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

First Post in January


I found this in our photos - it's 4 degrees below zero right now so I thought this would help me remember what the color green and flowers looked like!

Hello ladies and Happy New Year once again.  I hope this is finding all of you doing okay and that your get-togethers for Christmas went well.  I know for many, it was still another year of feeling a bit.......odd.  I think there is a part of us that wonders if we'll ever get back what we knew as being normal.  I listened to a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans and his message in regarding the times we're in was spot on.  He was talking about the account of Jesus and his disciples being in the boat in the middle of the lake when a storm came up.  We're in the boat.  The storm has come.  And Jesus asks of us as he did his disciples to have the faith in Him that we need to make it through.  He will get us to the other side.  God is trying to get our attention in everything that is going on so what are we doing with that?  Are we allowing the fear and worry to take our eyes off Jesus?  Remember.....He's in the boat WITH us.  Are we trusting Him to get us through?  It was a wonderful message and one that I bring to my mind all the time when I feel like there is no hope or encouragement in anything.  So I hope that you will remember this message as well.  : )

I have been writing little things down during the last couple of weeks so I just wanted to drop by and share them with you in regards to what is going on in my  home, what I'm thinking as far as my home-making for the year and even a recipe!  (although I forgot, once again, to take a photo...and it was such a photogenic dish!)  Anyway.....that will be later.  For now, I was thinking about how I have stopped making resolutions for the year.  It seemed as if January was barely gone and those resolutions went out the window.  So, now I call them goals.  Here are the dictionary definitions:

*Resolution - firm determination; resolving to do something
*Goals - the purpose toward which an endeavor is directed; an objective

I guess making resolutions are okay if you don't tell anyone else what they are.  That way no one has any idea of what you were intending to do!  But I think goals are more realistic.  They don't seem as firm.  There are many things that I want to do this year but I'm not in a state of feeling like I HAVE to do them.  There isn't one thing that I'm especially good at doing but I can endeavor to be better at something whether that be sewing, baking, cooking, gardening, etc., and I can enjoy working towards those goals.  I tend to carry these goals on into every year because there is always more to learn in anything!  Here are a few of mine:

*I would love to learn more about bread baking.  I do make homemade bread once in awhile but it either doesn't turn out the way I think it should or I get lazy and just go with the packaged.  I think there is such beauty in bread (I know, we're suppose to be cautious of carbs but we don't pig out on bread - though I could - LOL).  And the smell - oh, the smell of bread baking - mmmmmm.............

*I have an indoor "greenhouse" to grow greens or flowers and I haven't quite learned the knack of using it yet so I REALLY want to know more about that.  Right now I have 3 miniature tomato plants that have lots of flowers on them so we'll see!

*Which brings me to the next goal and that is to learn about gardening more.  You would think that at my age I would know more about this but I really don't.  This past summer was all about the flowers - the more the better!  This year I want to grow more food (with a few flowers).  : )

*I have always wanted to braid and/or crochet a rug so that is a goal.  Go to the thrift store and look for sheets in colors here at home and see what I can come up with!

*I would like to make more gifts and/or holiday decorations.  It's hard to make a gift for a man so this is pretty much making gifts for friends and family.  I was thinking of ideas this past Christmas and didn't have the time to follow through on them, so I would like to work on them through the year and have a few ready.

*I would like to learn more about natural skin care.  As I age, my skin is changing so much but I know there are ways to at least help it along!  : )

*I would love to learn more about herbs for apothecary and make my own blend of teas.

These are just a few and, of course, I need to tell myself that I won't get to everything.  But even learning one thing in each category would be wonderful.  Or I can take one thing at a time until I feel like I've got it then move on to the next and that could take the whole year to just do that!  But I know myself.  I know that if I try to do too much it will get overwhelming and then I tend to give up.  So, I'll take it slow and enjoy the process.  I still say that doing something is better than doing nothing.  As home keepers we should always be in the state of learning.  It makes life interesting and it makes us interesting as well.

All of our Christmas things are down, put away, and replaced by the home decor for winter.  I really miss the lights of the tree but it was time and everything looks so spacious now and clean and organized.  One of the first things I did was take out my Homekeeping Notebook and found that I need to clean it out.  There are just things that I do differently now and some I don't do at all anymore.  I want to update it to how I keep the house at this time in my life.  I also went through all the magazines that I've kept over the years.  Magazines are so expensive so when I buy one I make sure it's a keeper.  I truly use magazines like I would a textbook.  I divide them up into Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall and pull them out as the seasons change.  And then I put tabs on the sections that I want to refer back to in certain areas that I want to re-read and try:

I'm also re-reading home keeping books for long ago and even vintage recipe books as it can be a very motivating thing to read how women of long ago kept their homes and bringing that in to my home as well.  Even if I get one idea or one tip it's worth the time.

I'm also trying to get back to being more frugal.  Sometimes I do very well in this area and then I slip back into convenience versus homemade.  Which, for me, is silly because I'm home and can do the homemade!  So I'm:

*starting to make cards again - I have ALL this beautiful card making stuff and it's a creative venue that I can really lose myself in.  I admit that I DO buy a few cards at the $ store to have on hand for last-minute giving.

*I'm beginning to hang more laundry again - I have what I need beside the washing machine to hang things up so I want to conserve energy with energy costs going up so much.

*we are turning off more lights - I know that the bill this month will be high because of all the indoor/outdoor Christmas lights but that's okay - I've budgeted for that.  But from now on we need to be more careful.

*trying to eat/cook with less meat and using it as a flavoring more than a main course - as with everything else, meat is crazy expensive now.

*I'm keeping the Christmas envelope system going and starting it now!  Putting aside money every month will ensure that we'll have enough for next Christmas.  

*I'm holding on to all the Christmas cards we got this year (and I'm SO happy that we received a LOT!- I love those cards) to recycle for craft projects and bookmarks and some are SO gorgeous that I want to frame them and use them in decorating next Christmas.

I would love to know what you are planning for the upcoming year as far as projects or goals.  Are you planning to learn something new or get better in something you like to do?  

Well, now on to the recipe I was talking about (the one with no photo).  LOL  I made this on New Year's Eve and it was very good.  I think it's a recipe for special occasions.  It's called:


2 lbs. uncooked large shrimp, rinsed and unpeeled
16-oz. bottle of Italian salad dressing
1/2 to 1 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 lemons, halved
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

Place the first 4 ingredients in a 9" x 13" baking pan and toss to coat.  Squeeze the lemon juice of the 2 lemons over all and stir.  Add the lemon halves to the pan.  Dot with the butter and bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then stir.  Bake for another 10 minutes until done.  You don't need a special serving dish for this because it looks so pretty - so serve right from the pan!

Now, this is for the peel n' eat shrimp so this IS a kind of messy meal as far as your fingers go.  Provide extra napkins (even a bowl of warm water at each place setting would come in handy).   I served this with lettuce wedges and homemade salad dressing, and buttered noodles (the sauce from the shrimp is wonderful over the buttered noodles!).  It was a hit and I will make this again.  The only expensive thing was the shrimp but I plan my menus so I budget accordingly for special meals.  I hope you can give it a try and let me know what YOU think!!!!

I think that's all I have for you.  I'll continue to write things down as I think about them and pop in if there is anything of great importance - LOL.  Thanks again for stopping by!!!!  I appreciate you and I hope that January will be a month of getting back to doing things that are familiar and bring you joy and then I hope you will be motivated to try your hand at something new.  If you don't like it, it's okay but at least you can say that you tried!!!  Hope to be back soon.

God bless.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year


Here we are.  A brand new year ahead.  After the last two years, who knows what we're in for in 2022!!!  BUT.........I hope we can keep our heads up and keep our eyes towards heaven.  I hope we keep using our lips for praising the Lord and our hands clasped in prayer.  I hope we keep bending our knees to the risen Savior - it's His birthday we just celebrated!  Let us try - as Ebenezer Scrooge said - "to keep Christmas in our hearts throughout the year"................

*To remember why Jesus came at Christmas - God's plan of salvation and then share that with others.
*To pray daily - lifting ourselves and others and situations up to the ONLY One who can do anything about anything.
*To open our Bibles on a daily basis - read it, study it, make notes, pray over what you just read, memorize verses.
*To have daily devotions - whether it's just you, or with your husband, or with your family.
*To keep our homes up, keep them clean, keep them organized - "do everything as unto the Lord."
*To give and give generously - see a need and meet it - giving shouldn't just be at Christmas. The need is great and it's ongoing.  Not very many of us can fulfill the needs of others on our own, but we can take part in it.
*To keep things pretty - we love the lights at Christmas, we don't have to give all of them up!  Keep using the best dishes and decorate with beauty in mind.
*To do the best we can - ask the Lord to bless the work of your hands - whether that be in cooking, baking, cleaning, organizing........ask for His help!!

Again, "Happy New Year" and I've written a lot of notes on what my next post will be so, hopefully, I can get that out towards the end of next week!

God bless you and yours and have a good rest of the weekend.  We are 10 below zero right now, so for will be spent in the house!!!!   : )