Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Celebrating life when the world is falling apart

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.   John Wayne

I have that quote on a wooden plaque hanging in my kitchen.  I see it often while spending time preparing meals or washing dishes.  I think if anyone else had said those words, they would not be hanging in my kitchen but hey, it is John Wayne!  

I cannot remember a time that I did not adore John Wayne and the characters he portrayed.  He was to me the strong all-American man.  Never politically correct but always calm and in control. At least in most of his films. He made me feel... safe.  Even when he was being chased by wild animals in Hatari or surrounded by burning oil fields in Hellfighters, he appeared calm.

The quote is like a father figure reminding me that it is okay to be scared to death but it is not okay to give up.  No, keep on keeping on.  Fight the good fight of faith.  Keep your eyes on the goal, which is to hear those words, "Well done good and faithful servant".

We all know that we are living in unprecedented times. While there have been similar situations such as war, famine, drought, etc., they are now happening all over the world and closer together in time than ever before. I have been seeing the term "convergence" quite often in headlines of stories talking about current events.

Add to that the fact that advanced technology has brought together one world, is always at our fingertips, and that it has given some people more control of our lives than was ever possible before... there is a reason we hear that there is now a real mental health problem of people being overwhelmed with bad news all the time.

I have long had an interest in such stories but I have had to take days away from the headlines.  Usually it is when I hear of something happening in the world that I return to web searches to do my best to weed the Truth from the lies.  No wonder when Jesus talked about the End of the Age, He starts with, "Let no man deceive  you".

I found it very unsettling when 22,000 households that had installed "smart" thermostats in Colorado lost control of their settings during an electric emergency recently.  They were no longer set to the temperature the people had set them but they had been overtaken by the electric company and set at a much higher temperature to save energy.

As one who is very sensitive to heat due to diabetes, I was appalled to think someone else would reset my thermostat as high as in the 80s during a heat wave.  That was more unnerving than all the talk about Russia and the Ukraine.  Probably because it felt more threatening.

While reading about the story, I came across some facts that indeed, changing to a smart thermostat was at this time voluntary.  Most who made the change did so when they were offered financial rewards and I'm fairly certain they never expected this to happen. Were their eyes truly open to possible consequences or were they deceived?

I came across articles that explained why the power company had to control the thermostats and they made people who thought that was terrible look like unscientific lunatics that preach against global warning and are completely unaware of the necessity for experts to control the thermostats.  Uh, huh...

Honestly, sometimes all the events that are happening could very well scare me to death if I didn't trust the Lord.  How often I have read about an event in the world or even more unsettling... in my own community... and wondered what the world will look like next year or even tomorrow?

I have written before the very good advice received many years ago.  That is... whatever you think the enemy of our souls is trying to get you to do... then do the exact opposite.  It has been quite amazing to find the wisdom in that advice.

For instance, if I am really annoyed with someone... so annoyed that it doesn't make sense... then I know it is the enemy trying to stir up trouble.  I can't tell you how many times it has helped to be kind to that person or to reach out in love and compassion.  

Rarely has there been anything to be annoyed about, it was mostly lies being sent my way trying to bring about disputes.  I wish I had learned that wisdom when I was younger.  It works in most areas of life where we have the choice between faith and fear.

Now I know that if I feel the enemy of our souls, as he and his minions so often do, is trying to get me to fear, to feel anger, to distrust God's mercy or grace, or simply to stop feeling joy... I need to purposely do what is needed to bring about God's plan and not the enemy's deception. Which usually involves deciding to do the opposite of what the enemy is pushing.

That comes around to the title of today's Sunday Afternoon Tea post today.  I have been making an effort to keep my mind on good stuff instead of the events of the world.  I felt this year a need to enjoy Fall more than I ever have before.  It wasn't only the long hot and humid summer but that feeling of a heavy spirit that engulfed the world.

Just like the Christmas song shares the feeling that "We need a little Christmas this year", well... I needed Fall!  I needed to feel the cool breezes, taste the flavors of Fall, enjoy wrapping up in my flannel housecoat each morning, and to decorate the porch and my house with favorite Fall stuff.  I needed to bring Fall flavors into the kitchen to enjoy. 

I needed to choose life and those things that are life giving.  No matter how silly or apparently time wasting they are.  I have learned that sitting on the porch in the morning and listening to birds is not a waste of time.  I have learned that slowly sipping that first cup of coffee is something to enjoy and not to rush through.

Jesus walked slowly upon the earth and I choose to follow His pattern. Even knowing what was ahead, He didn't fear but kept to His Father-given goal. He enjoyed everyday people, good food, children, and I am fairly certain that he stopped to give an animal a scratch behind the ears once in awhile.

I enjoyed a podcast about homemaking so much last week that I "wasted time" by listening to it a second and then a third time.  The message was manna to my soul and that my friends is not a waste of time.  Getting lost in a good book or watching a delightful movie is not a waste of time.  Especially if a hot beverage and baked goods (or popcorn) are involved. 

The darker the world looks, the more we need to look toward the Light.  Jesus will reflect good over evil if we keep our attention set to the Word and believe it.  He is life-giving.  He still gives us all good things to enjoy.  All good gifts are from above we are told and that is true even in these dark days.

I admit that there are times when I gaze at the world and all the "what-ifs" that I feel scared.  Any sane person would feel scared from time to time.  But since I am still here... you are still here... we are still walking this planet, you know God is not done with us, yet.  He wants us to trust Him and saddle up.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

The Believe to See Podcast (on YouTube) about The Art of Homemaking... here.

Image: Sharing Grandma's Cookies

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - A change of seasons has arrived

It seems like we went from full out Summer one day to Fall the next day.  While I am very happy to have cooler temperatures after a sizzling summer, the changes are a little difficult to absorb so soon.  

We did turn on our furnace today for awhile.  I was hoping we could wait until after our annual furnace tune up happened next week. I have dust allergies and yes... we did open all the windows and... I sneezed and felt terrible for awhile.  But my annual dread of starting the furnace up is over for another year. 

I am sorry that comments did not get moderated again until yesterday.  It was also a week when the Sunday Afternoon Tea post would not "take" on Facebook.  The lateness of the moderating had to do with my busy schedule and who knows what is going on with Blogger?

Early in the week, I had to send an Amazon return at the UPS Store, which is about thirty minutes from where I live.  So, while in town I ran some errands to get them out of the way and not waste gas. The price of gas is beginning to creep up again, not that it went all that low.

The remainder of this past week has been working on a huge project that had a simple beginning.  I think I shared here that I found the exact kind of dorm refrigerator I wanted on clearance for $37.00 plus change at Kroger.  They are very good about moving seasonal items out by putting them on clearance.  I'm sure they were selling dorm refrigerators only while the students were returning.

You may remember that a dear friend bought me an amazing gift, a small solar generator and solar panels to use during times of power outages.  We do get short term outages where I live in the country but there is also a lot more talk about possible power outages on a regional and national level.

She was concerned about the safety of my insulin, which needs to be refrigerated. Purchasing a dorm size refrigerator had been on my "list of things to do" for awhile.  It is perfect to use with a small generator.  So, I was very happy to find it on clearance.  I was at Meijer later that week and the same brand was still full price there.

Well, the box with the dorm refrigerator sat in my living room for a few weeks while I decided where it could find a permanent home.  That took a lot of pondering and praying for wisdom until one day I thought of a solution.  It required changing books from one bookshelf to another, moving items from those shelves to another, and then moving a small bookshelf to the garage.

The changes all look good and even though it required getting rid of some books that I knew the kids would not be interested in eventually, I like the way it turned out.  Since I was already decluttering and changing things around, I decided to get rid of a tall, narrow shelf in the dining area that has held various Boston Ferns almost since we moved here.

Honestly, I got to a point last Spring that I didn't want to sweep up the dead ferns, anymore.  Boston Ferns do not like our house in Winter and they complain by shedding all over the wood floor.  I will still hang a Boston fern on the porch each year as long as they do not go up in price too much.

I think I have reached an age when I need easy more than ever.  Including plants that are easy to take care of rather than the flighty difficult prima donna ferns.  That may be why I have so many spider plants in the house.  They are the cats of the plant world.  Give them attention when they want it and then leave them to their own company.

As for the pantry this week, I didn't do much food shopping but Kroger had a big sale on their 4-pack cans of vegetables.  I bought three 4-packs of green beans while they were almost half price. I use the cut green beans in vegetable soup and stews.  

Last year, I thought I had put back plenty cans of green beans for the winter but I was surprised to have used them all when I needed a can for soup.  This year, I am determined to have enough. Especially when purchased on sale.

Many grocery stores used to have annual sales on their canned vegetables around September each year.  They were getting rid of last year's crop to make room for this year's crop on the shelves but you really can't tell the difference in only one year. I expect that was why Kroger was having these sales, too.

I had to purchase a bag of potatoes for the first time in awhile.  I only needed a three pound bag of Yukon gold potatoes and I should have known they were going to be expensive when I couldn't find a price displayed.  It wasn't until I arrived home and was looking at the receipt that I saw they were well over $6.00.  For three pounds.  I don't ever remember potatoes being so expensive.

With cooler weather back, I made chicken stock using a whole chicken one day.  I removed all the breast meat from the chicken before it cooked too long and then added more water and simmered it about another couple of hours.  Along with onion and celery, it made a good rich stock.

Besides using the white meat in the chicken vegetable soup, I made chicken pot pie and chicken tacos from the remaining chicken breast.  Sometimes I just freeze the extra cooked chicken if I have other meals planned that week.  However, this week it stretched into three (more since we had soup for a couple dinners) meals.

Sometimes I also make the soup and then place it in one or two quart size freezer containers and label it for the deep freeze.  I also do this when I make chili. It doesn't make sense to make soup, chili, etc. for just two people but filling the deep freeze with soups and stews (and chili) makes a lot of sense.

I am finishing today's blog post late on Saturday.  So, should there be typos and grammar errors, please be forgiving.  Colder weather also makes me very tired and sleepy at first.  I have great admiration for animals like bears who are sensible and sleep through winter.  Of course, then who would make the soup and bread?

I also didn't get an opportunity to do much research this week but things are kind of quiet on YouTube, anyway.  Especially since I now only follow those vloggers who provide good information and instruction while staying away from scare tactics.  

Should there be any good information, I will pass it on here. 

Image: Friendly Village china, Pumpkin bars

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Influencing with a quiet grace

I have been enjoying watching clips from Queen Elizabeth's life and one thing I noticed quite often is how she was always determined but in a calm and gentle way.  It reminded me of the verse in I Peter 3:4 which states, "... rather (one's clothing inferred) it should be that of your inner self, the unfolding beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight". 

She was not perfect, of course.  For instance, I think perhaps the situation with Diana could have been handled differently.  I do not condone Diana's stooping to the same infidelity that brought such pain to her but I can understand why she did it.  Entire books have been written on that subject.  It does appear that as the years went by, the Queen herself realized she should have handled it with more compassion for her daughter-in-law.

However, most of Queen Elizabeth's legacy will be as one who brought Britain through many crisis with a calm and gentle spirit... at least on the outside.  She realized it was important to the people of Britain that their monarch remained calm, much like as parents we know it is wise to appear calm in the midst of a storm warning when we actually want to  hide under the bed.

Even secular media have been talking about the Queen's faith and how they believed that was important in her life.  She was of a generation when a deep faith was still considered something to desire, even if one lived as part of the royal family.

While there was much I admired about this queen, she was not my favorite Royal.  I was an ardent fan of the Queen Mum.  I adored her in many ways but one doesn't have to look far to see where Elizabeth received her strength from.  Her mother was widowed at an age that I am certain she never expected and would live the remainder of her life being a strength to her daughters.

I knew the Queen Mum had quite a sense of humor and when I found out we shared a love for my favorite BBC comedy, The Last of the Summer Wine, I liked her even more. She was such a fan that there is an episode available on one of the season's DVDs where she came to the set and the cast was presented to her after the taping.

I see a lot of her in her daughter.  Of course, her father was very honorable but I don't think he ever truly wanted to be king.  Perhaps that is why both of Elizabeth's parents raised her in such a way that she would be ready to take on her role as queen when it happened, unfortunately at the early age of twenty-five.

I haven't watched a lot of the programming this week, although I may set my alarm clock early to watch the funeral. Great Britain may be mostly secular now but they have such beautiful funerals and weddings, full of Godly music and readings.  

From what I have watched, though, one Truth that came through all the talking was how she influenced her country and the world with her quiet and gentle spirit.  There is a reason most people loved her.  As one young person said when interviewed, "She was everyone's granny.  She made us feel safe.".

The older I get, the more I see the value of a gentle and quiet spirit.  I have no influence over a nation... other than my responsibility to vote... but I do have some influence with my family and my close friends.  Even then, I rarely ever raised my voice to my family.  Well, except my husband but with the bipolar symptoms, sometimes one had to do what was necessary to break through to him.

I have a card that was painted by Joni Erickson Tada when she was very young taped to the inside of my Bible.  It has been on the inside cover of every Bible I used since my early 20's, except the most recent large print Bible.  Which, I only go to once in awhile.  Mostly I read on a Bible app to increase the font.

On that card is the above verse of I Peter 3:4.  I was quite opinionated as a young person and somewhat of a female Don Quixote.  Which is probably the way I had to be when working in a corporation and in political situations for conservative Christian causes.  

Eventually there came a time when I decided it was time to step aside and let others battle windmills.  My calling had changed but I guess I still was a bit of a nonconformist to the culture as a homeschooling mom when it was still quite out of the norm.

One can go against the tides of the culture and retain a quiet and gentle spirit.  If that goes along with one's calling at the time as I am certain it did mine.  I look at my children and my grandchildren now and how they have picked up the baton in the marathon of life.  

I see Romans 8:28 at work every day in our family.  How God has woven together the various strands of our life... the good and the bad. The good seeds planted all those years are flourishing.  He is taking the mistakes I made that I would just as soon not remember... and is making them something quite lovely.  

If your story isn't looking lovely, yet... keep praying and give it time and speak with kindness and a gentle spirit.  God is not through writing your story.  He is not finished writing mine, either.  He has us here for a reason.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Has the dog doo-doo already hit the fan?

 The pantry post will be a little different today.  Instead of more practical advice, I want to share thoughts from my research.  One realization that kept coming back to my mind was that we all need to listen to God for what He would have us do in the coming months and years.

This last week was somewhat busy so to unwind (I know, it is a strange way to unwind), I read some articles and watched YouTube videos talking about the various scenarios going on around the world and how some people were preparing.  Each household was different but they all felt the seriousness of the times in which we live.

It made me realize just how much God has to be holding back true calamity in most areas... some are already seeing it... to have the world be so close to collapse in various places that it hasn't happened, yet.

I do believe God has been holding back world wide calamities on a massive scale for sometime now.  As a young child, I remember thinking the Russians were going to march down the streets of my small town any day.  This was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I doubt anyone at the time would have put a bet on over fifty years going by with no nuclear battles happening.

There are now numerous nations with the capability of releasing nuclear missiles but God has continued to hold them back.  I tend to agree with Billy Graham, who always said he believed we will not see nuclear war until the time of the Tribulation because of the destruction it would create.

I didn't think much about the U. S. being in danger at home until 9/11, which many preachers and Bible teachers who teach about prophecy now see as the first real birth pain most of us felt.  Many do think the world wars were preliminary birth pains, too.

I never thought much about famine coming to America or anywhere but third world countries.  There were various shortages from time to time, usually due to wars or weather, but no one I knew was concerned about famine in a nation that is a leading expert of food to the world.  The grocery stores were full of anything and everything as long as one had the money to purchase it.

There have been experts for a long time warning that the Western states of the U.S. could not sustain the amount of water needed already as more cities were being built that needed access to that same water. Throw in a few years of extreme drought and the worst case scenarios have arrived in our West Coast farmlands.

Even the thought of having the government tell us what kind of car we could drive or where our thermostats were to be set was not even on my radar.  Now, we were told during 1970s energy crisis to make every attempt to use less energy but those were recommendations and never requirements.

As I was reading and watching last week, I realized that there were far more than one SHTF scenarios going on and even in my own country, they were overlapping each other.  While 9/11 may have been sudden and the pandemic was sudden, since then we have had a slow burn in the forest of such scenarios.  

They been hidden under the brush so to speak until we saw flare ups here and there in the past few years.  Two years ago when my husband burned a lot of brush and tree limbs where our garden used to be, it looked like the fire was out until the sun went down and the ground in that area was an orange glow where the fire was still smoldering.

I think that is what has been occurring worldwide, not just in this country.  The troubles have been laying supposedly dormant but instead were a smoldering fire... popping up here and there but actually were continuing all around us.  Worldwide smoldering SHTF scenarios.

Mostly this is not good news.  However, I think there are two areas where all the world wide bad news may actually be good for us.  First, for the Christian who believes in Christ's return, the events line up with the Bible... especially Romans 1 and Matthew 24... of what the world will look like upon His return.

The second reason that I see good in these scenarios is that people are beginning to wake up to the need to be prepared.  I have family members roll their eyes when I tell them they need to have at least "a little extra" put back.  It is always better to do something even though you cannot do everything to be prepared.

I try to gently share that it is wise to have at least two or three weeks worth of food in your pantry.  Even the most basic food and necessities will keep the family from having to get out of the house for the grocery store.  Of course, now in this age of shortages and empty shelves, it should be even more important.

I know many, many families who keep about a week's worth of groceries and no extra water in their house.  These are not poor people, either.  Why?  I think most people fall under a couple categories for not preparing for SHTF scenarios.  

Many don't believe these scenarios will ever happen to them or the area where they live.  Although, with everything happening in the world these days, many are waking up to the reality that hard times can come... and quickly.

I think for some of them... and us... we haven't experienced that kind of world before and we overlook the nudging of God to put back extra or to make a purchase "right now" if we have the funds available.

As much as I try to follow those nudges from God, I still miss it at times.  For instance, before the baby formula fiasco, I felt like I should find out what baby formula the newest family member used and put a couple containers back.  

I told myself that they had plenty of income if they wanted to put back formula and I didn't do it.  The little guy had terrible diaper rash and tummy problems because they had to use what formula they could find.  Lesson learned... follow God's lead even if it doesn't make sense.

Putting a little back at a time to be able to give in an emergency situation was His latest nudge and I have obeyed that.  Last week when at the grocery store, I picked up a couple bags of rice to be able to share.  I plan to continue as the budget allows.  Basic food has gone up a lot but much is still inexpensive.

I'm quite surprised by some items that are in short supply already like sugar and salt.  Of course, not every store is out of sugar or salt, they are limited... but what will next year bring?  I read this week that Italy is experiencing terrible weather conditions in their rice growing regions and that their olive oil (olives) and passata (tomatoes) crops are in trouble 

The shortage of wheat due to war and weather has increased the price of flour and wheat products such as pasta already. It is not uncommon to see empty shelves where pasta should be off and on.  I have read there are shortages of some vegetable oils already.  Tomato products are expected to become in short supply in the States due to weather.

So, what shortages have I noticed here?  The usual shortages continue such as peanut butter and jelly but right now it is hit and miss.  Sometimes I see full shelves and the next week those same shelves will be empty.  

One indication I have found the past two years if there are shortages is on the canned meat shelves.  I have noticed that Keystone beef has not only gone up in price significantly but Wal-Mart didn't have any on their shelves last week and Meijer had one can when I checked.

If there is something you absolutely need and you have the funds, I would not put it off.  I am so glad we decided two years ago to have dental work caught up, a little at a time.  It wasn't easy making room in the budget when we started but my husband is caught up with dental work and I will be in November.

We had a $400+ car repair last week that couldn't wait but it was better to get the car repaired and keep it going as long as possible than pay the price for used cars right now.  We know this car has been well taken care of and we would not know if another used car, even if it was a newer model, had been properly maintained.

I am now at the point where every day, I ask God for His wisdom regarding tomorrow's needs as well as today's... and to lead me to ways to be prepared.   Mostly, I need to continue trusting in His provision for those things I will need but there is not the room or the budget to do anything else.

Besides trusting Him, what we must do is to pay serious attention to what the world events are showing us.  God tells us in the Book of James that He will give wisdom to those who ask for it and I have seen that prayer come to pass over and over again through the years.

We don't have to fear anything but we do need to pay attention to God's leading.  He knows our past, present, and our future and will lead us always to do what is best for us and for our loved ones.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Becoming aware of the times without fearing

I am not a fan of most talk radio programs.  They don't fit with my dislike of confrontation.  However, there is one program I listen to once in awhile.  Especially if I am driving anywhere late morning.  I tune to the AFR channel (American Family Radio) and listen Today's Issues With Tim Wildmon.

Every time I have listened, they have been talking about something interesting (from a conservative and Christian worldview).  I listened to it on my way to Sam's Club last week and they were discussing the murder of the young mother in Memphis, her body had just been found.  

American Family Radio is based in Tupelo, Missippi.  The birthplace of Elvis Presley among other things. Logistically, Memphis is not too far north of Tupelo so the murder of the young mother, a kindergarten teacher, was felt deeply in that town.  Besides being an attractive young woman, there has been speculation that she was targeted because she was also from a wealthy family.

What caught my attention and caused me to listen from my driveway to the Sam's Club parking lot was their discussion about what she could have done wrong that perhaps made it easier for her stalker/attacker.  They kept mentioning that they in no way blamed her for being a victim, they wanted to use this possibility as a warning to other people... especially women.  

The "title" of this episode was The Rise of Crime in America and if you are aware, even living in other countries, crime has skyrocketed in this country the last few years.  Especially in the larger cities.  But even in my county where we rarely had shootings or murders, they have been making headlines.

There were two areas they talked about, the first is well known and had been discussed by Memphis law enforcement.  The woman jogged every morning at the same time... in the dark at 4:30-ish in the morning.  As law enforcement warned, no one should be out alone at that time of the morning, especially women who are more vulnerable to attack.  She had been training for a marathon.

It reminded me of an episode of NCIS::Los Angeles where Deeks is stalked and shot.  He is the LA Police Department liaison to NCIS.  The NCIS agents are appalled to find out that he follows the same route to work and stops at the same places each day.  They said that is not wise for someone in their line of work.  I would think it is not wise for anyone who is out alone at dark.   But I digress...

The area where there was speculation in this discussion has to do with why she didn't realize she was being followed by a van.  Traffic cameras were able to follow the van stocking her for quite some time.  Getting close enough that she should have been aware.

My husband will tell you that I deeply dislike speculation.  Which, he can't understand given my preference for murder mysteries and some CSI shows.  I have tried, unsuccessfully, to tell him it is because I have seen speculation lead people down a rabbit hole that was completely wrong too many times.  I also remind him that the CSI shows are fiction.

I think the speculation in this case was a very good "educated guess" that she was probably wearing earbuds and listening to music (or perhaps an audible book).  Almost everyone I know wears them when walking or running.  It would be easy to see how that could be true.

Their discussion went further into the continuing rise in crime and the collapse of moral values occurring simultaneously.  Don't get me wrong, there has always been crime but it was far less frequent and while we locked our doors when we left the house, we didn't get concerned about crime.  These days, our Sheriff reminds people to lock their house and their automobiles even when at home.

There is currently playing a Time Life infomercial selling DVDs of the old Ozzie and Harriet show.  Honestly, I have watched that video a few times (although I have not purchased the DVDs) and each time it brings tears to my eyes.  I know that the old shows did not portray exactly what life was like back then but you know what?  They were very close in their portrayal of society.

I have mentioned that my husband is seven years older than me and we notice a significant difference in society between his childhood and teen years compared to the 1970s when I graduated from high school.  It seems like we had gradual changes the past decades.  Although, some have said it was like the proverbial frog in water that doesn't notice the slowly rising temperature until it is too late.

Today is the anniversary of 9/11, when I believe the world changed for good.  Have you ever watched a movie made in the 1990s and thought of how much more innocent it was?  Especially when dealing with travel and the freedoms that existed prior to September 11, 2001.

I have heard many Bible prophecy teachers teach that 9/11 was a significant birth pang (pain) in the coming return of Christ.  Prior to that, few people in the United States thought this country would physically come under attack.  Yes, Hawaii was attacked but it was more vulnerable being out in the Pacific.  We were all wrong.

Now we are seeing one birth pain after another.  I never thought I would think of 2019 as "the good old days" but giving what the world is like now and the madness coming from some unnamed people in power, it makes me often wonder what the future holds for those I care about.

Having said that, when I get in one of those moods, I go back to the Word of God and I remind myself of a couple important Truths.  First of all, it was God's idea for my husband and me and all of our loved ones to be born in this time.  There has to be a reason we are all here "for such a time as this".

Second, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!  The enemy of our soul can smell our fear and pounce on it to form all kinds of unsettling images of the future.  Fear always turns the future into something terrible, even if that is not what our future actually looks like in real life.

When we fear, we feel terror as if we were experiencing the event... when there is a significant chance that we will not experience what we are afraid of or it won't be nearly as bad as we let the scenarios play out in our mind.  

My husband used to travel a lot for his career when he was younger and I would tell him when he was late (this was before cell phones) that I had him buried and the life insurance spent already by the time he arrived home and I could breathe again.  That is what fear will do to you.

One of the Bible prophecy teachers I admire was quoted as saying last week, "What did you expect the End Times to look like?".  Very true.  I just kinda' sorta' really hoped I wouldn't be here when it looked like this.  But God knew and I am certain that everything I have gone through... you have gone through in your life... prepared us for living during these times.

Today, let us remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 as well as the many men and women in the military around the world in the wars that followed.  Let us also be aware that, while we are not to fear, we are to aware of our surroundings and that we live in a very fallen world.


Mentioned in this Blog Post

American Family Radio - The link is to a list of their radio programs (times listed are all Central Time Zone).  They have a lot of good teaching and preaching programs offered... here.  Although I listen to them on my radio, they also have an app called... not surprisingly... AFR. I do have it on my tablet.

Time Life website - This link will take you to their Ozzie and Harriet DVD offer (I am not affiliated in any way with Time Life)... here.

Image:  My husband was in the air between Detroit and Chicago when the planes hit the towers.  We didn't know where he was until that evening since he was supposed to get on another plane heading to their New England plant.  

It turned out that all the planes were cancelled by the time they landed in Chicago and he spent hours trying to get a rental car to drive back to Detroit where we were living.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Thinking about what may become hard to buy and sharing

I have been thinking more this week about purchasing a little at a time to share with friends and loved ones if needed someday.  I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't thought of it very much before reading a book that talked about WWII shortages again and then hearing about sugar being unavailable in some areas of the country already.

I have heard that we will see even more shortages on items like sugar and coffee (say it isn't so) but many "experts" in the area of food processing think it will be more likely be the cost of food that will hurt the average person the most.

My own pantry isn't all that deep and it is getting harder for all of us to even keep up with what we need each week with the skyrocketing food inflation. However, many of these basic items do not cost all that much when purchased in small amounts.  I bought one small bag of sugar to start with last week.

I thought about what was needed most in war time and they always talked about sugar, salt, and oil or other fats. Not to mention tea in Great Britain and coffee here (it took awhile for Americans to get over the Boston Tea Party and drink tea again).  ;)

Sugar is not necessarily good for the body (although both honey and maple syrup have nutrients) but having gone through two long periods of unemployment, I know how being able to bake a cake for a birthday or a pie for a Sunday treat made the lean times better.

Fat, however, (contrary to diet books on the shelves) is required for our health.  Many vitamins need fat to be absorbed into the body.  A lot of accounts from WWI and WWII I have read talked about the lack of fat in their food supply becoming a real problem for their health.

Most vegetable oils are not expensive where I live, yet. They cost more than last year but not the increase in price like some foods, so far. Some fats have a longer shelf life, such as solid coconut oil and ghee (butter with solid fats removed).  I have one jar of ghee put back for a recipe but I should put back one more. 

Crisco is not healthy but in a crisis, it would come in handy and it does have a longer shelf life.  Although, unlike what we used to be told, it is not indefinite.  Crisco can go rancid.  I always have a few sticks of regular Crisco for a few cookie recipes that call for it.

Olive oil should be purchased in dark glass containers.  Extra virgin olive oil can be expensive but pure olive oil, that which is left after the first pressing, isn't as pricey.  We use some canola oil for frying, extra virgin olive oil for salads, drizzling on vegetables, and medicinal purposes (my husband uses a tablespoon a day when taking Vitamin D), and avocado oil from time to time.

I will continuing purchasing a small bag of sugar and small amounts of other items as I can afford them.  I don't have much space but I thought about putting them in a Rubbermaid container to protect from rodents in the garage.  It will soon be cool enough to store some food there.  

I would rather have smaller amounts and help a few people should these foods become unavailable than large bags and only share with one or two (although sugar can be easily transferred to smaller containers if one already buys in bulk).

I volunteered to do our Sam's Club shopping this month since I already had another errand in town.  My husband usually does the shopping every other month or we will make a quick trip to purchase a couple items on our way to buy water softener salt.  It was actually nice to be there alone with time to look around.

I bought two of their rotisserie chickens that are still only $4.95 for very large chickens.  I used some of the white meat with dinner that night and then took all the meat off of the chickens and froze most of it in smaller bags the next day.  The chicken carcasses were simmered to make a delicious broth.

My husband had asked me to see if they had the two-pack of ibuprofen available and they did so, I bought one of those.  Other than the almonds and cashews I had stopped for, I did add to my Holiday pantry by purchasing a Sam's size bag of Ghirardelli White Vanilla Flavored melting wafers.  They are much cheaper  per ounce in bulk than in the smaller bags at grocery stores.

We don't buy a lot at Sam's like larger families do but definitely enough to make it worth the annual membership fee.  When needed, we buy things like toilet paper and batteries there, too. You can also buy gas at a better price with a Sam's Club membership but we earn gas credits with our Kroger card and it is located much closer to where we live.

I agree with the Comment from last week, definitely think about getting your turkeys now for the Holidays.  I know thousands more birds had to be killed recently because they tested positive for the bird flu. 

I read the Aldi sales e-mail this week and it mentioned that they have turkey breasts back in stock.  I have one in the deep freeze and I wanted to buy a second but they were already sold out after Easter.

Last year, the stores had turkeys but they didn't put them on sale until just before Thanksgiving.  If that happens again, I will get a turkey for the deep freeze on clearance but when it is just the two of us, we prefer turkey breasts.  My son is planning on smoking turkey legs as part of the Thanksgiving celebration this year and I will roast a turkey breast.

I almost have everything I need for Holiday baking and cooking that can be purchased ahead.  I need to purchase some cans of Libby pumpkin puree.  I have a couple cans of pumpkin left from when I stocked up two years ago but I plan to use it in pumpkin bars and pumpkin cookies (recipes linked to last Saturday).

Here it is September so Thanksgiving will be just around the corner for Canada and then the United States.  As one gets older, it seems we blink and a week has gone by already... or a year! 

I didn't have time to look up any recipes but I will try to look up a couple favorites this week.  I'm going through them to see what is needed for the pantry, anyway.