What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Food for Thought



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With the cost of food increasing at an overwhelming pace and our budget not being able to accommodate it without major changes, disasters happening to food suppliers and distributors, inflation eating up the value of the dollars we do have and the talk of food shortages even in the mainstream media at this point, my thoughts have constantly been thinking about how to prepare our family for a very unsettling future.  

The Lord provides for His people.  

I have been contemplating the marriage of His words to us in Matthew 6  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" and the fact that, in the Lord's mercy, He gave to Pharaoh dreams and a man who could interpret them and act upon them for the preservation of His people.  The Lord wanted the storehouses filled and told Joseph to do it.  

As much as we are able, I am trying to be like Joseph- filling the proverbial barns and storehouses in times of plenty, for the times of want.  The Lord has given us information to act upon.  And yet, I do so knowing that at any moment, my vain attempts to produce protections against the future are still entirely dependent upon the Lord's mercies.  Barns burn down.  Moth destroys.  People steal.  

But the Lord provides for His people.

 The garden season is a hard and busy one for me with the gardens that I have- and I do not grow/preserve NEARLY as much as we need throughout the year.  It is laughable.  I just admitted a few days ago that I planted enough onions to last maybe a week.   I would have to add so much more growing space to accommodate our family's needs more realistically and I can tell you, I do not feel equal to that task.

But the Lord provides for His people.

As Americans, even "homesteady" types like myself, it is laughable to think that you can provide and preserve for all the lavishness that we have had up until now.   I look down the table at our meals and am astounded to see all the food groups at once- in one place.  Luxuries that people never had throughout history, at our fingertips.  It is absolutely remarkable if you really consider it.  And I have been considering it a lot.  

I am sure it doesn't help that my reading so far this year has been mainly about the travesties of Stalin and Hitler, the Red Famine and Holodomor.  The crises of food and famine, the devastation of political ideologies, the upheaval and mistreatment of humanity.  How innately we feel the need to survive and how little we truly need to keep surviving.

And yet, on a daily basis we get...

Eggs AND sugar.  Milk AND cheese.  Bread AND vegetables.  Rice AND stir fry to put on top.  Bread AND the awesome toppings that transform it to pizza.  Herbs and spices. Vegetables and fruit, even in the dead of winter, whenever you are able or inclined to plunk down some money at a grocery store.  We are so RICH.  We live in such luxury.  

It may be that we do not have such luxury in the future.

We have not been adequately grateful for this. 

These are not promises to us forever, nor do we "deserve" them.  

The Lord provides for His people.  

He provides the opportunities to fill barns; He provides the barns and the things that will fill it.  He provides the wisdom to see and act upon the information that He also provides.  He provides the strength to harvest and He provides the protection of the harvest.   He provides the example to us of who we should emulate, even in the tiniest of ants.  He provides for us even when our attempts fail or fall very short. 

But likewise, we should remember that sometimes providing means singular but abundant (and even  miraculous) Manna from heaven.  

And when that happens, we shouldn't complain about the lack of leeks.  
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* The grown-up chicken alfredo over zucchini vs. the kid-chicken alfredo over delicious pasta.  How we roll around here.

** That amazing looking salad with cashews and avocado is the result of my sister-in-law treating us all (!!!) to a lunch at Cheesecake Factory so we could experience the place and her ordering the Sheila's salad.  And then me tasting a bite.  And then me immediately deciding I NEEDS MUST create that very salad at home.  Cashews, avocado and cilantro salad in a nutty honey citrusy dressing topped with tortilla crisps.  It was sublime. Here is the recipe I used if you want to try it too.  Even better, I easily converted it to a THM S (if you know, you know) with just a few tiny changes by using low carb "honey" sweetener and low carb tortillas to fry up for the tortilla crisps).  It was a major win for all the ladies in the house- all the boys were not nearly as impressed.  (Weirdos.)

*** I find it amusing that on the post in which I lament food prices and the necessity for gratitude even in the simplest of meals (rice, beans, bread, that which we can survive on) I post pictures of the Super Fancy, Super Extravagant foods we recently have eaten and rarely ever have.  (Except pizza, of course.)  

The irony is not lost on me.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Boy's Best Friend

Our dog Ruby has just in the past spring become blind and old and can't seem to keep the weight on her anymore.  She's feeling her age.

But she's loved just the same.  

I looked out the kitchen door to see Moses saddle on up to her and started whispering in her ear.  And that was so cute.

And then, he covered her up in his blanket and I about died.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Then and Now (Garden)

THEN: 


Long forgotten about potatoes are planted in their own patch.  It's an experiment to see if it is REALLY necessary to buy healthy and fresh seed potatoes.  


When I was haying around plants, I was startled when a bubbling cackling sound started eminating from the inside of the bale.  I discovered a chicken had made for herself a nest in the haybale. 
Chickens are not my favorite creatures right now (chicken poo on the porch?!  Damaging plants over and over again?  NOT COOL.) but I have to admit, that was awfully cute.



There is always someone I catch reading the newspapers they are supposed to be mulching with.

In which Moses discovers Mr. Toad.




NOW:




I call this one "The Overseer"




Lest you be impressed by those gorgeous and prolific pepper plants... I offer you this travesty:

Half of my bell pepper plants, left only with a dead and pitiful stalk.  I don't know what happened to them.


The corn was planted twice and still is full of empty spaces where plants refused to grow.  

I tried to plant basil from seed three times with no success and eventually gave in and bought plants.  I don't know why it refused to grow. (I blame the chickens.) 

Something has blighted my mint- which is devastating!  Everyone who knows me, knows that mint iced tea is my go-to drink.  There will be NO WAY I can harvest enough for all of winter.  

I started TONS of pumpkins and they all looked like beautiful little plants- but I ran out of space to put them in the garden.  I very cleverly (so I thought) decided that I would plant them in the pig pen across the road.  Good fertilizer, out of the way and as we do not have pigs right now- a safe spot.  That is, until I discovered Matt dumped tractor loads of dirt and stone on top of them!  

I missed my window for spring peas (again!) but saved a spot in the garden to plant them in a few weeks for a fall harvest.

I reserved a whole hay bed for potatoes this year- some with seed potatoes and some with VERY pathetic looking basement potatoes.  I am experimenting with never needing to buy seed potatoes again.  (I always reserve potatoes that I already have for seed- but they usually look much better than these.  These potatoes were almost not even potatoes anymore- and if they produce lots of potatoes that will be amazing.)

I planted barely enough onions to last a week. Really.

The tomatoes look wonderful.  A half dozen or so plants were given to me (the ones pictured with the dog in front) by my sister-in-laws' father who planted, nurtured and coaxed them into life this spring as he always has.  He died recently and so, even though they are just plants, my tomatoes are more special and even a bit nostalgic to me this year.

We harvest three cucumbers and three zucchini just this morning which is AMAZING because those were both crops we got almost NOTHING of last year.

Moses keeps coming to me, excitedly bringing beautiful tomatoes and peaches that are not ripened- hard and green.  GAH!

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Funny Bunny

 

Why yes, that IS a Pull-up helmet on his head.

Well, you guys just don't know how much you made my day today as I read through all your comments on my last post!  I had no idea that so many people still popped over here.  None at all!  Thank you all for taking the time to say hello.

You kind of blew my mind.  And you really made me grin.  

In return, perhaps I can give you a grin or two.  Or at least, Moses will.  

Moses has a large vocabulary but he hasn't quite figured out how to use it well.  What results is a whole lot of word salads that make me laugh and laugh.  Many of them make no sense at all, as if he just wants to string a bunch of words together to see how it sounds.   And of course, he still replaces an 'r' sound with a 'w' which makes it all the more adorable.

It could be that all my children have done this but since my memory is so bad, it feels like the first time.  Many times his little diatribes make no sense at all and make me laugh.  

Sometimes, they make just enough sense to make me laugh harder.

On a recent walk:

~ We saw tracks in the mud leftover by a deer... I said "Hmmmm... I wonder what animal left these tracks, Moses?"  (It was a deer track.)

He replied "Dat not a animal...that was Mr. Owens foot."

Later....

Moses:  "I have hundweds of dollaws." 

 Mama: "You do?!?" 

Moses: "Yep.  I am going ta give it ta Darby so she can eat salad." (Darby is the neighbor's dog.)

Mama: "But why would you want Darby to eat salad?  Dogs don't usually like to eat salad".

Moses: "She can eat salad so she won't eat us."

Later still....

~ "A bunny cwossed the woad and went dat way..." (At this point I lose focus on what he is saying because he has been constantly chattering the whole time and I get lost in my own thoughts- but then I regain focus on his words just at the point when he says "and dare was lots of blood and batteries came out."

He ended the walk talking about how juicy the day was.  (?!?!?!)

Terrible twos?  I think not.  I think it is more like Terrific.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Two is a good number




Two people this week have reached out to me, wondering at the silence on my blog and whether or not I am doing alright.

Do you know what that means?

First, it means I ought to blog. 

and SECOND

it means that I still have TWO blog readers!  Which I truly did not expect. I have felt pretty confident that everyone had long since ditched this tired old blog for the other new and sparkly things to do in Internetland.  So thank you, Els and Rebecca! 

It was just the gentle nudge I needed.

Where have the last two months gone?  

To putting in gardens.
To wedding photography.
To hosting an open house in honor of my parents.
To (lots of) cookie making.
To contra dancing.
To Massachusetts.
To meeting Corynn's beau.
To hosting old friends.
To meeting new friends.
To the Great Spring clothing Switchover.
To rabies shots and ER visits.
To creek walking and lake swimming and hill wogs.  (That would be my measly walk/jog)
To saying no to lots of good foods.
To worry and prayer, for others and myself.
To turning 40!
To teenage schedules and toddler whims.
To reading by camp light.
To potty training a boy that doesn't want to be potty trained.
To school objectives and portfolios and affidavits.

Three major deadlines have been looming large over my head but were met this week and I feel like I can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Maybe I can think of something else again...
like blogging!

In the meantime, for those few who still come to visit me here~ 

a few lilac photos for you, with a promise of more posts to come soon.

Thank you for caring.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

A Sure Sign


What's this boy up to, I wonder?



 Even more than red-winged blackbirds or fat-chested robins, 

even more than daffodils and frogsong... 

chive breath seems to be the surest sign of spring there is.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Power's Out

Just when the warmer weather, forest walks and daffodils were starting to make me believe that spring really had sprung, a foot of heavy snow dumped on us last week causing hundreds of thousands of people around these parts to be without power, stretching for days on end.  It's all well and good (an adventure really) except when your woodstove doesn't work without electricity.  Then it can get pretty cold.

Although, I learned from experience- when you are grumpy and refusing to do anything but sit on the couch, sulk, and shiver, a 54 degree house feels a lot colder than the 54 degree house day where you are perky and productive and actually moving.  Then, 54 degrees really isn't THAT bad.

Overall, with a gas stove and a nearby pond/stream, we are in pretty good shape other than the heating situation.  I am a candle person so I always have plenty of those, we all read by flashlight every night so we have those for each person and we keep battery powered twinkle lights to light up stairways and bathrooms.  AND- it was cold enough outside to keep food out on the porch safely.

A few days before, a neighbor said I could split up some overgrown daffodil clumps.  I got so many beautiful bulbs that I was able to surround the three fruit trees in the front of our house!  It felt like my birthday.  And then I heard the weather for the next day.  I cut as many daffodils as I could in case the snow killed them all.  I was thankful to have bright and cheerful bouquets throughout the house rather than the snow falling outside.  

Don't blame me for the snow pictures... but hopefully they will be last?!  (PLEASE Lord.)








 



















The snow was gone two days later- before the power even had come back on- and it is all just a fond memory now.