Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping on...

Thank you again for your overwhelming response of kindness. I may have had one miserable Saturday (and since Christopher was gone all day, he didn't notice) but you have certainly blessed my Sunday and Monday. I will never write again without thinking of each one of you.

I still shake my head at what gets into people that they leave comments when they obviously have not read my blog for long. The pictures of my pantry I gave you in late summer and very early autumn are completely different now, having had to use almost everything. I have even stated that my pantry now looks like the legendary Mother Hubbard's.

I get strange and snarky comments every once in awhile, which are easy to overlook. These two were harsh, accusing, and malicious. I hope what they learn is to not judge others. Their original comments and my response have been deleted now but not before I did a cut and paste to Word of all the comments left by you lovely people.

Now I can concentrate on the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. A comment was left about the expense of making the Christmas Jam. Well, five pounds of sugar is really cheap right now and the other ingredients are not that expensive. Probably the most expense would be in purchasing half pint jars. I plan to use pint jars because I have a box of them already. Considering how many jars of jam they make, it still would be a very reasonable Christmas gift for friends and family.

I know I've told you this before but one of my favorite Christmas memories from childhood was how excited my parents and I would get when we received Nina's gift each year. Nina was Bonnie's mother-in-law (many, many years gone to her reward). She was a great cook and her Christmas gift for friends was a tin of her various homemade candies and cookies.

So few people bake or make candy these days that I get the same response from my homemade gifts. Each year I try something new but there are also those favorites that must be included. The onset of Juvenile diabetes kept me from becoming a pastry chef but not from using my spiritual gift of "butter, sugar, flour, and eggs... and chocolate". To me, these kinds of gifts show a lot of love.

I have two or three easy candy recipes on my recipe blog and, of course, cookie recipes. (Not to mention my favorite easy Thanksgiving dressing recipe!)

I look forward to many occasions of Heavenly tea parties when we get to that Place which He has already prepared for us. :)


Linds said...

It is great to hear "our" Brenda - back at her best and planning more activities for this special week! By the way, I am also trying your jam this week - will let you know how I get on! And I am so glad Christopher had a good birthday!

Angela said...

I was blessed this summer at a yard sale to find 12 jars for 2 dollars..yahooo. Last year I found another batch and made pancake mix, wrapping the lids with material I got for FREE from another yard sale, made tags and gave them as presents.

This year, actually as I was walking with the daycare children today, I thought about buying candy, (from the Dollar Store) and putting them in the jars and wrapping the lids with pretty material (again from yard sale). I'm thinking of red and white candy. I can't afford to put cookie mix this year but the candy part I can get.
I do ALOT of baking. Each year I try to give out as many plates as I possibly can. My daugther LOVES going door to door in the neighborhood handing out these precious gifts made with love. I even give some to the garbage man!
((hugs)) blessings to you and your's today.

ru4real? said...

I'm SO glad you're up and planning and teaching and doing the things you do so beautifully. It was a good decision you made to just delete those two offensive comments ... and even your response to it. I was hurt by the cruel words from the trollers, but I was amazingly blessed by all the expressions of love toward you. I praise the Lord for His goodness ... and for His goodness in His people! May our loving Father bless you and your family with a nicely stocked pantry yet again.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I can't wait to try your Christmas jam recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! You NEVER have to apologize for stocking your pantry--it is pure wisdom. And you have truly inspired me to visit the thrift shops and Goodwill- I can't believe the treasures I've found there! I think it is a gift from God--so don't let anyone steal your joy there either! The Lord will bless your faithfulness--whenever you get discouraged, and we all do, just remember that you have helped many people by encouraging them to live wisely and plan for tomorrow. Of course we do not always know what the Lord will allow tomorrow. My recently divorced daughter with three small children, broke both wrists in a fall down the stairs last night, so I would appreciate any prayers you could send our way. Much love, Vicki

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Have popped over to say that I was thrilled to find many kinds of vegetables and Campbells soups for 50 cents a can today at my local Wal*Mart. I wasn't planning to deepen the pantry today, but thought better of it immediately. I even thought of you! :D

Glad that things are working out. If nothing else, this "situation" proved that you have many readers who are blessed by Coffee Tea Books and Me. I tend to talk a lot, but perhaps this will encourage commenters to say something positive more often rather than to remain silent.

Yes, I'm looking forward to a teaparty or two myself. Enjoy your week!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Brenda, I am so happy you have continued with your blog. I look forward to your posts. I enjoy reading the things that you are doing and plan on doing. I may even try my hand at the jelly. It sounds like it would be so pretty and makes so much sense. I'll let you know how it goes. I have never canned anything, but I guess I need to try. My granddaughter would enjoy it too. Take care.

Jennifer said...

I just happend to stumble on to your blog today. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that others have cruelly hurt you. I will never understand what makes other be so hateful. You and your family will be in my prayers! :) I definitly want to try your jam recipe it sounds so yummy! Have a fabulous day and by the way your blog is lovely

Beth said...

Brenda, I so appreciate your blog and wanted to let you know that.

I've seen the anonymous trolls (not necessarily the same ones of course) on other blogs where women write about living frugally. There's something about being so open about your choices and vulnerability that makes these vultures want to swoop in.

BUT, I thank you for that openness because I am learning things from you that I need to learn. We are pretty secure, worldly-speaking. We live on one income that is modest for our area, we have a small house and one car. Compared to so many others in the world we are filthy rich! But the high prices have hit us and hit others around us, so we are being more careful all the time. I am learning to stock my pantries carefully, with things that will be necessary if and when times are harder.

From you these last few posts, though, I learned something that changed one little part of my shopping. It had not occurred to me that food pantries needed more protein foods. It makes sense, but I had not thought of it. Your experience gave me the push I needed to grab some extra cans and jars of tuna, salmon, and peanut butter to put in with my other donations.

Beth said...

That comment got so long, I decided to split it up. :)

I wanted to mention something the Lord has been teaching me...something that maybe the anonymous "trolls" might want to think about. That is: we do not see the full picture of another family's finances and life, even if we are very close to them and think we do.

When I read a blog like yours where you are being so open, and when I talk to dear friends from church who share so much, I have to remember there are things they may not have freedom to share. Those MAY be the areas where I am tempted to judge them in their uses of money.

The lady who buys Product X instead of the generic version I buy..why does she do it? Maybe there are allergy issues, maybe she is doing it to please her hard-working husband, it is NOT MY BUSINESS! The couple who look healthy who are on disability may have a hidden disability that hinders what they can do. The mom who bought the expensive curriculum for her children may be wearing bras that are falling apart and cooking beans three nights a week to pay for it because it meets a great need in her family.

There is so much we just don't know, and it is NOT our business! God has not called us all to the same path. Right now God has called me to be in a position to give to food pantries, and you to be in a position to receive. In a blink of an eye our positions could be reversed, all in His good will and for His good pleasure.

I know you pay a price for your openness on your blog...not just the mean comments but the need you have to explain where every bit of money comes from because they are out there waiting to pounce on a perceived inconsistency. I wish it did not have to be that way. May God use it for your sanctification and His glory and may you rely on His strength to have patience to do what He has called you to do.

Farmgirl said...

Thank you for all you share on your blog. I often read what you have written and am encouraged. I am sorry some people are negative. As far as stocking up, we have been doing the same. When we receive money gifts, etc. We buy bulk food items that will last us awhile so when we have no money at least we will eat. My husband cannot work when the work comes if he is not fed a healthy meal. :) We must stay healthy. Besides, Proverbs tells us "the wise man sees problems ahead and prepares to meet them..." Love the sounds of that jam. I have been making extras of jelly, jam, tomorrow I am making chutney....makes a very inexpensive Christmas present and I plan to sell some at my Christmas Tea. Again, thank you for pressing on, I enjoy your thoughts. God Bless your family!! Janice