Monday, September 25, 2017

Prayers for a Friend, Please, for Tomorrow?

A dear old friend is headed for a CT scan tomorrow. She has had rapid weight loss and this is yet another test to try to find the reason. 

Praying that some wise medical man or woman along the way will find the reason, and that it isn’t drastic, and they find it soon...this is just one medical issue in a lot of them for both her and her husband.

I also ask for prayers for another couple dealing with multiple medical issues. They, too, are devoted to one another and it is hard for them to see each other suffer.

Sweet Lord Jesus, the healer, please look upon these two couples and bless them with incredibly quick and easy healing or solutions. We know that all it takes is just a glance or a thought sent their way because you told us that even just touching the hem of your robe could heal. Heal, now, we ask of you. We trust in you.

Why I Love the Ten Commandments

There are many times when I silently thank God for blessing us with the Ten Commandments. We mortals, we humans, have our dark side. For some it can be a very very dark side. But for most of us it usually involves a lot of gray areas.

I love having a really short, easy to remember, list of specific rules to live by.

Now, this doesn’t mean I obey them all. But it does help me to make decent decisions more often than notmany times more than not.

Last year, I wrote about my reasons and when I just read it again, I really really like that post - I can't put it any better now than I did then...

Father in heaven, brief as this post may be, I need to thank you outright for blessing us with the rules to live by. Please fill me with the grace and strength and wisdom I need to follow those rules more often than not. Doing that simplifies all the complexities and problems in life. And thank you for forgiving me for all the times I have not been wise enough to follow them.

Half is Better Than None I Suppose

My plans for today had included gathering, documenting and bagging/tagging our charity crafting projects for Baby’s Bounty and making a big batch of French toast for the freezer to use up some eggs and bread.

I opted for beginning the cooking part while it was still cool in the morning. Making as much French toast as I planned would definitely heat up the kitchen for a long while. I spent two hours on my feet but I got it done. I used up a loaf of wider sliced buttermilk bread, a fairly small square loaf of rather dry whole grain bread, and a slightly smooshed bag of smallish hamburger buns.

I ended up with 7 tubs with 4 each, 1 tub with 8 in it, and 2 tubs with 8 burger bun halves. I will not need French toast for a long while. I only eat perhaps a slice a week, sometimes two but that’s rare. I even had some egg/milk mixture left which I poured into a peanut butter jar. It looks like enough for two days’ worth of veggie omelets.

I do see a problem and I’ll work that out. The smallish square loaf of whole grain is very dry and dreary. I no longer use bottled syrups because most of them are all corn syrup. Even Log Cabin has a lot of corn syrup. And for as seldom as I grab a slice, it’s senseless for me to buy expensive real maple syrup. So I’m having fun coming up with better choices to moisten my French toast when I use it.

I do sometimes spread a slice with peanut butter or cream cheese, but I want something wetter for those really boring slices. I’m thinking some of the home made apricot preserves a friend brought me from their garden. Moist, sweet - I’ll keep that jar just for that - I’ve just decided. That was easy.

Tomorrow’s another day and I’ll have a go at those baby items...

Plans for the Day - Charity Crafts & Food

Nice and cool out there today. I love it. While I’m waiting for the newsletter proofing changes, and maybe additions from management, I’ll do a few other things.

Plan to do some of my Eggs/Bread projects (French toast, Pickled Eggs, Bread Pudding). I’ll do my “148 French Toast” - that’s what I call my personal preference in proportions and I named it so I could easily remember how much of each - was that smart of me or what? Maybe some of that rumored “old age wisdom” is finally trickling in. Anyhow, I use 1 cup milk, 4 eggs, and 8 slices bread, more or less, and it works fine for my taste. I also sometimes toss in some cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and/or vanilla. Today, plain is good enough because I am freezing these in batches of 4 per container or baggie.

The other big project for today, now that the back bedroom is cooler, is to gather, document, and pack all the bags of our charity crafting projects that will to our local Baby’s Bounty. They take baby items for newborn to a year old. Mostly, we make caps, jackets/sweaters, and blankies. Occasionally, we toss in bibs, booties, other things that our fingers just cannot help making.

Maybe I can take those bags to Baby’s Bounty tomorrow or Thursday...I’ll toss them in the trunk today and open up some space in the back bedroom. I should also, along the way, sort and pack any other charity stuff and put it into that huge closet until distribution time for the homeless.

If I do both of these things today, I will feel I’ve done well.    

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Long-Delayed Thanks for Things in General

It occurred to me tonight that I haven’t thanked the Lord recently for a lot of things in general.

There are so many things that I noticed throughout the day. Sometimes I squeeze in a quick “Thank you” to him, mentally.

You know the kind of things I mean.

For instance, we’ve had a lot wind here lately. A lot of wind. Up to 40 mph gusts. That happens here. We expect it. But we do also worry about property damage. I am very thankful for His protection during the recent winds. When I see the awful natural disasters that have devastated lives and property in recent weeks, in our country and nearby, I am even more grateful. Tonight I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, a working computer, a working (for now) car, and more.

Yes, there are more than enough things to thank him for, each and every day. His protection, his love, his comfort. It feels so good knowing he understands, having lived here on earth himself, in a human body. He had friends and relatives. His mother traveled a great distance just before his birth, and the little family had to uproot themselves and travel to a foreign land immediately afterwards to protect themselves from assassins. Oh, yes, I am so grateful that my Lord totally understands humanity, its good aspects and bad alike.

Sweet Jesus, thank the Father for me for all that I have. And thank you for all the love and protection you shower upon me day after day, in spite of my unworthiness. I trust in you.

Strange Mixture of Tasks Accomplished Today

What a strange day. I did get a few things done, though.
This was the day I draft the next monthly newsletter for our senior mobile home park. I worked on it off and on and tonight I printed the copies I will drop off for proofing in the morning.

Managed to also make 8 cups of brown rice. I stashed 1/2 in one container for the freezer, and 1/2 into another for the fridge. It keeps very well in the fridge and I add it off and on to various meals. I rarely use pasta these days, so this is a great option to have at the moment I need it, already cooked.

While I was on the PC, I decided to begin playing all the CDs I should eventually sell/get rid of. I won’t do that without running each one to be sure they still work. I was surprised to learn I actually liked U2 and a Doors disc I began with. They belonged to someone else in the house at one time.

Somehow, in the middle of these things, I noticed the old digital camera staring at me. I remembered a bag where I had stashed a few Prayer Shawls I made a while back. I intended to put those in my Etsy shop. I closed that shop at the end of May. Something nagged at me to take the pics I had long neglected to take.

That done, I transferred them from the camera to my PC. I then cropped, compressed, and in general, worked on them. I decided to add them to my Facebook crafts page. One of these days, I must add a shopping cart widget to my blog - I think I can also add it to that Facebook page. For now, that part will have to wait.

I still need to make all that French toast. Hopefully, I’ll get that done tomorrow, as well as the pickled eggs.

This week is the newsletter week - after the proofing, there’s the printing, then the stapling, then the delivery to 150 homes on the weekend (our team does the rest of the park).

After that, I must immediately get onto the hunting/gathering aspect of the upcoming park wide yard sale the 2nd weekend of October.

Yep, I’ll be happily busy for a while. I’m so glad I have some things in the freezer to pull out, defrost, and eat. There won’t be time, or perhaps more accurately, energy, for cooking meals.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Does Anyone Else Love That Amazon Prime Lion/Dog Commercial...

I really really love that commercial where the little baby is afraid of the family’s Golden Retriever until Daddy orders a lion mane wig from Amazon Prime so that the doggie now looks like baby’s toy lion. I just love that one...hope I don’t get trouble posting the image from my online search (lol)...

Bread and Eggs and Stuff, Oh My!

Somehow, this past 2 weeks, I’ve ended up with 4 dozen eggs and 4 loaves of bread. I almost freaked out Thursday when it hit home.

How did it happen? Easily.

Bread - I rarely buy bread these days. Then a food pantry blessed me with 2 nice loaves, one whole wheat, one buttermilk. Then I noticed that I would be getting some from a special deal from Smiths - I’ll be picking those up tomorrow morning. Essentially, they are free.

Eggs - I had a few left early last week, and I ended up picking up 18 more for only 99-cents. That gave me almost 2 dozen. Then a food pantry blessed me with 2 more dozen.

Yikes...

Okay, I’m nothing if not practical. Here’s what I’ll do (getting creative here).

I’ll boil a dozen and pack them into a jar in the fridge and make pickled eggs, red beets and onions. Those last a long time in the fridge - loved them ever since I was a kid.

I’ll use up a lot of the bread and eggs tomorrow by whipping up two loaves into French Toast. I’ll freeze them in 4-piece packets. I love taking out just one (sometimes 2) at a time and using them lots of ways. If I have hot dogs in the freezer, I’ll yank one out and wrap a piece of French Toast around it, nuke it for a moment or two, and have at it. I also love spreading either peanut butter or cream cheese on a slice.

Now, in my plans, that still leaves 2 whole loaves of bread and lots of eggs. A friend reminded me yesterday morning that one of our friends who moved half a country away used to make heavenly bread pudding. One text later, that friend’s recipe was in the mail. Can’t wait until it gets here.

So, finally, I think I have it all under control. And I have some reasonably healthy choices available but spaced out in healthy portions. (Unless the bread pudding turns out so good that it never makes it anywhere except my tummy when it’s done)...

Foodie Work Part of Today

When you are financially-challenged, you learn about local food pantries and store bargains. I stick to those that are either age-restricted or zip-code-restricted. Less paperwork. Easy to qualify. The two I do visit each month manage to supply me with lots of food for my needs.

Health-wise, some of what I bring in is not healthy but I am a foodie and I love my snacks and treats. Because I still have a functioning (for now, at least) upright freezer, I tend to take that “bad” stuff and break it down into small-to-moderate snack-size portions.

This morning, I took 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese I inherited from Smith’s deals and freebies, and cooked them and added a can of cut string beans and a can of diced tomatoes. I divided that into 6 cookie-go-cups I recycle and froze those.

I had about 8 white potatoes in the fridge bin (left from a friend's blessing of lots of potatoes and lots of apples last month), so I boiled those and put them back in the fridge as the bottom layer (sliced thinly) for my daily veggie omelets.

Much of what I get also requires me to prepare it in various ways. This means that even though my legs and feet take the biggest hit on these efforts from all the prepping and all the clean up.

Take juice - one pantry, every month, supplies 2 1/2-gallon bottles of juice. Most times, they are the “juice cocktail” types which I give to friends because they are largely corn syrup. THIS month, I was delighted to find orange juice (from concentrate) and cran-apple juice (from concentrate). Knowing I would never drink those all in a short time, I opened them and poured them into smaller containers and froze all but one smaller bottle. I can work on those for quite a while.

Produce - one pantry always blesses us with fresh produce. I cannot use it all up before it spoils. So, Irinse it all off and do “things” with it. I just took all the onions from this week and put them into the fridge drawer. I peeled one and cut it into quarters and I’ll use a quarter at a time in my daily veggie omelets. I rinsed the 2 oranges and will peel and cut those in a few minutes, then into a small bowl, and mix them with other fruits for a few days as little fresh fruit cocktails.

In there, as well, was close to 6 lbs of apples. I will rinse and dice those tomorrow and put them in the slow cooker with cinnamon and brown sugar, for about 4 hours. Then I’ll put that into peanut butter jars and freeze them to take out to add to my hot oatmeal or my cold oat-based cereals. There was a small seedless watermelon, which I cut into inch-size pieces yesterday, and ended up with 3 two-pound deli containers and those will go into fresh fruit cups (but lots will just get grabbed whenever I open the fridge door).

Baked goods - here’s where I have issues but delightful ones. One pantry always offers lots of day-old baked goods. This time, I ended up with a dozen donuts, a half-pound raisin-pound cake, 6 big almond poppy muffins, a bag of mini powdered sugar donuts, and a few more things. Again, I divided them into containers and I will be having little delicious snacks for a while from the freezer.

As you can see, many, many of my hours are spent making sure food (which I’ve been blessed with or bought at a bargain) does not spoil.

Rather than drag this on, I’ll do another post about my wildly frantic fun with eggs and bread...stay tuned...it’s like a Keystone Cops comedy...it’s coming...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Just Realized Something About Myself Tonight

The newscasts have been reminding folks a lot lately about getting flu shots for the season. They always mention that it is especially important if a person is sick, very young, or elderly. I just realized that by “elderly,” they might just be referring to yours truly.

Me? Elderly? How did that happen?

See, I know I am now 78, but that doesn’t seem to register or help me relate to the word “elderly.” I can easily call myself a “senior citizen” because that makes me sound far wiser than I am. But “elderly” sounds so, well, old.” I don’t mind being referred to as an “elder” citizen. That, too, makes me sound far wiser than I am.

The only time I feel old is when I feel frightened about something that never frightened me when I was younger. Those of us who have always been the strong one for others can easily relate. If you’ve always been the one folks counted on, it bothers you to realize you now might need to count on others.

But, all in all, “elderly”?  Really, now...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cooler Weather, Activity Cycles, Plans for Fall

I haven’t been posting much of late. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing much. It just means I haven’t managed to find the time at the end of the day to post. I must begin to think about my posting and its timing. Maybe my body (and mind) cycles are changing and I need to change my timing to agree with them.

As usual, a good part of my day involves either shopping (deals, bargains, etc.) for food and/or prepping it. To keep all my labs at their currently good level, I need to keep eating as healthy as possible while not becoming obsessed with it. It does take up some time each day, though.

And, as usual, parts of my days often find me working on some charity crafting projects.

The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to plan my next few weeks. They will be a bit busy because it’s almost time to do the next monthly newsletter (write/edit, print, staple, roll, and deliver my share as well) and also sort and prep for the October park-wide yard sale (10/13-15).

Today was almost useless. We have finally dropped out of the triple digit heat. Nights are in the 70s and days in the 90s and a few 80s. Silkie and I almost went into early hibernation mode today. It really felt SO good.

I have vague plans to refresh, update my blog’s page. I need to delete some old links, add new ones, and make other changes. 

Maybe now that it’s not so hot I can really do some serious de-cluttering. That will probably go hand-in-hand with going through things to decide what can go out for the sale.

Fun and games ...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prayers Answered, of Different Types

Because I have not heard of any injuries, I believe our prayers were answered for some folks I worried about in Florida and I am so grateful. There were lots of troubles, inconveniences, but no severe or fatal bodily damage.

I’m not sure yet about that friend’s aunt in Texas - still concerned about her.

Also, I had been praying, privately, about a concern of my own but it was nothing compared with Irma and Harvey, so I didn’t publicly mention this. I had a podiatry appointment today. I almost canceled several times. I have a few toenails that are curling side to side, trapping flesh in the tunnel they create. I was terrified that the nail would need to be yanked. Here I am, a grown up - I felt so silly being afraid of this. But, gee whiz, folks, toes can hurt. Ever stub even just your pinky toe? You know what I mean, then.

I booked the visit because at 78, I had to admit it was extremely risky and difficult for me to cut my own toenails these days. It was time to get a pro to do that.

So when I was on the table/chair, and the podiatry assistant asked me if I was on blood thinners while she held an implement in her hands, I asked, very quietly, “Why, are you going to make me bleed?” She laughed and said, “No, but I’m required to ask that.”

It went so well I felt such relief. I am so happy that I did not cancel. I can do 4 visits a year, insurance covered, no co-pays involved.

Now, does anyone know how to retard nail growth so that the timing works out?

Lord Jesus, thank you for protecting those we know and love during weather emergencies, and for protecting your wimpy little child and calming her wimpy little fears. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Prayers Needed, This Time Specifically for Irma

Yesterday I shared a concern for a friend’s aunt who was flooded out in Texas and who is elderly (wow, she’s my age - did I really say that?).

Today, I received a request for prayers for a few other folks who are in Irma’s path.

A dear friend has family in FL who will not leave. He is a minister/healer and she is a nurse practitioner. My friend has other family, also, there, who will stay.

Many folks do choose to, for many reasons.

Basically, these folks need enough supplies to ride it out. They need to know their shelter is as safe as possible. And they need the Lord’s loving and compassionate protection and help.

Sweet Lord Jesus, so many are crying to you this active hurricane season. We know that each person is worthy of your help. But being human, we will worry even more about those we know and love. Please shower these people with your protection and love. They are doing your work and need your help to continue during this frightening chain of events. We trust in you.

HDL vs LDL - My Mental Trick

Maybe I’m the only one who has to stop and think each time I hear or see HDL and LDL when referring to cholesterol tests. Still, I needed to figure out some sort of quick way to remember them. 

Today I had an “aha!” moment.

I used the first letter of their acronyms as a memory trick:

Happy for HDL - the “good” cholesterol
Lousy for LDL - the “bad” cholesterol

Hey, at least I will never ever mistake one for the other again!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prayers, Please, for Harvey Flood Victim?

I fully realize there are thousands and thousands of Harvey flood victims but we all know it seems worse when we know one of them. Well, I’m asking for prayers for a friend’s aunt whose home was flooded there.

She’s my age (78) which makes it so much harder to deal with the issues of recovery from the disaster. She had no flood insurance. She, thankfully, is not injured and safely evacuated.

But she is facing so much trying to get back to some semblance of “normal.”

Sweet Lord Jesus, you who walked on water and calmed the seas, please just even glance in this woman’s direction. Fill her, and those involved, with all the wisdom, patience, and stamina they need to deal with this disaster. And, please, bless her with peace in her heart during her current struggles. We trust in you.