Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Immigration as I see it

We read in James 2 that we should not favor some people over others.

That by discriminating we are judging based on evil motives.

We are told to love our neighbor.

Everyone is our neighbor.

We are told to be merciful unto others.

We read in Matthew 5:43-48 that we are to love our enemies.

We are to pray for those who persecute us.


The immigration dilemma is an immense issue.

Today I will only share my opinion on the immigration of refugees from the seven countries listed as terrorist hotbeds.

By the way, these seven countries just happen to be muslim majority countries.

These seven countries have not only openly expressed hostility towards the United States, but they have acted out on these hostile feelings.

I support President Trump's suspension of entry into the United States of people from these countries.
I believe that his plan gives our country a bit more time to figure out how to get the most needy (families) here, and to have a plan in place for assimilation into our country.

As Christians we have a duty to help.

But as Christians we also have a responsibility to ensure that we make the wisest decisions possible.

God cares about nationalism.  He scattered the people at Babel by confusing their language.  He knew that it wasn't a good thing to have one big global nation state.

God created borders.  God created the nation of Israel.

Acts 17:26

God is in control.

We are told that in order for us to have a secure, protected, and economically sound nation we must

We are told to welcome strangers, but we are also instructed not to be influenced by them, not to serve their gods, not to sin against OUR God.

If they are to come here we must be very careful.  Therefore the extreme vetting and assimilation are very necessary.

fact:  muslims worship allah--a false god

         Christians worship the one true God.  The God of the Bible.  The creator of Heaven and Earth.

America has always been that shining city on a hill that people have come to from all over the world.

They came here to be AMERICAN.

What it means to "be American" seems to be changing over the past few years.

Moving forward and improving, learning & correcting our path has taken a rather frightening turn for the worse.

But the basic American values and pride are still here.  We can't let it slip away and be watered down and changed by unfettered immigration.

If you want to come to America, then come legally and EMBRACE being an American.

Number one rule:     Obey our laws--come here legally

Number two rule:     Respect our religious freedom

Number three rule:   Learn to speak English

Monday, February 13, 2017

Stop the World! I Want to get OFF!!!

Ok. I may say some things that you won't agree with.  Don't worry.

You will get over it.  I promise!

I'm Christian......I'm conservative.......I'm pro-home school.......I'm pro-life..........I support traditional marriage only........I am not a feminist.

Have I ticked you off yet?   I'm not done.

I'm white.......some say that makes me "privileged"

I grew up in a lower middle class family.  We weren't poor because my parents worked hard to provide.

I married and we raised our family in a lower middle class environment. I was a stay at home mom and my husband had the "privilege" of busting his butt as a UPS driver to provide for his family.

Now we are grandparents and our main concern in life is how to shelter, protect, and teach this next generation how to survive in a world where UP is DOWN.

I've got to tell you....the 'world' scares the @&$# out of me.  I'm finding it hard to focus on the important stuff because of all the voices and opinions I am bombarded with on a daily basis.

I want to go through my days with no outside interference. Cleaned up my facebook. Unfollowed everything. There is nothing in my feed. Facebook thinks I've gone mad. I can be 'friends' but not have to read everything unless I want to.  I wear earplugs A LOT! That darned news can be on, but I don't have to let it invade my peace.

Do I want to bury my head in the sand?

Why yes, yes I do!

I only want to focus on the good stuff and pray about the rest

Yep....putting the blinders on and the world can carry on without me!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Word Keeping

I think I've written before about my notebook addiction.
However, it's more than an addiction.

It is a randomly efficient and simple way for me to keep track of all of those words out there floating in and out of my life.

These words are important to many different areas and aspects of my life.

I corral and organize them (somewhat) into notebooks!

I use simple, cheap composition notebooks found at Walmart for 99c (or less) 

These notebooks hold my thoughts, ideas, scripture, wisdom, RANTS, recipes, just about everything.  obviously I have very little usable space in my head.

I take those plain notebooks and make them fancy (fancy by my standards)
I cut card stock to fit on the front cover, glue it down, edge with clear package tape or fancy duct tape if I have it, and slap on a label.  

These are my current notebooks:

journal:  weather, random daily notes, rants, complaints, praises, happy, notes to my grand babies.

bible study & prayer journal:  I write out scripture-it helps me to focus on what I'm reading.

food diary:  what I eat and what I might want to eat!

gardening:  journaling, planning, assessing

homesteading:  chicken notes and other outdoor plans

projects & ideas:  planning notes for birthdays, events, indoor projects, crafting, sewing.  I keep this one nearby when I'm on pinterest.

blog:  ideas, outlines, rough drafts

things to do locally idea book--I also write down things we've done or gone and notes about them.

gifts:  as in 1,000.  When I can remember to write stuff down, this is where it goes.  I started it a couple years ago when I read the book.  I'm up to 223!

trips:  I used this journal when we went on a cruise a few years ago.  If I ever go on another real vacation (I live in vacationland)  then I will take it along!

these two on top are covered in calendar pages I saved!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pantry master list part 3

.....or.......what I generally keep in my pantry.

It took me quite a long time to come up with a plan for what food items I wanted to keep in my pantry.  Every family and every situation is different.  My master list has changed over the years to reflect changes in our diet and the likes of just the two of us now that we are alone.

Remember:  these items are for emergency situations and for when our situation dictates the need to be flexible in our shopping.  The majority of items are the parts and pieces to make a complete meal.

Beans--I keep canned beans.  I found that I didn't like to cook with the dry beans.  Dry beans are a good option if your family eats a lot of bean based meals, we don't.  So canned it is!
I keep pinto, black, kidney, white, refried, porknbeans, and chick peas.

Vegetables--creamed corn, corn, peas, green beans.  On a daily basis we eat fresh, raw veggies, but the canned ones are a secondary option.

Soups--stocks & broths for soup making, cream soups such as mushroom, celery, chicken & cheese are used in casseroles and skillet meals.
chicken noodle, tomato, and a few other condensed soups are kept on hand also.

Sweet potatoes
Pasta sauce
diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
canned pasta meals
Pasta--spaghetti, rotini, elbows, egg noodles
mac & cheese
stuffing mix
rice-long grain white, brown (small amount), yellow, prepared rice sides
instant mash potato
corn muffin mix
cornmeal (small amount)
powder creamer, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, powdered milk
canned fruit
sugar, white, brown, powdered
flour, yeast
oats, barley, popcorn, dry peas
condiments: mayo, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, relish, salad dressing
peanut butter
cake mixes and frostings

Remember:  these are not the things we eat on a regular basis.  These are the parts and pieces for emergency/flexible eating.
We incorporate these items into our eating plan so that we may replenish and nothing goes to waste.

Food storage odds and ends

I collect those big plastic containers that chips, pretzels, animal cookies come in and that is what I keep my sugar, flour, oats, elbows, noodles in.  I am not hung up on glass containers so I am reusing  what I can get my hands on.
I have a chest freezer.  I keep water jugs in the bottom to take up space and in case of a power outage to provide solid chunks of ice in there.
I also use reusable shopping bags to organize all of the food.
I grow my own herbs and dry them.  I store them in zip lock bags in a closed closet.  They are supposed to be kept in the dark.

When I was planning my pantry years ago it seemed that all the information I found was either for doomsday preppers or tree hugging granolas.  I am neither.  It was frustrating.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I just want to feel a certain level of food security.  I don't want to feel like we are one disaster away from the cupboard being bare.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

locating my pantry part 2

I have had a few different pantry locations over the years.

We lived in a house with a teeny, tiny kitchen, but the house had a basement (in new england its called a cellar)  which was dry.  bonus!

It was a perfect place to create my pantry.  I purchased metal shelving at the home improvement store and installed it along about twenty feet of the cellar wall. The metal shelving was the cheapest option at the time, however we had to be careful about weight distribution.  All of our dry storage, canned goods, and paper products were stored here. 

 At that time I estimated that we had about 4-6 months food stored for our family of five.  It was a very good feeling.  Our stores were always being used and replenished, especially when the grocery ran sales on items we used. 

Then we moved into a house with no cellar!  Our kitchen has a lot of cabinet (in new england they are called cupboards) space and a closet.  I decided to add shelves to the closet and hung a wire shelf unit on the inside of the door.  This closet can hold a lot of stuff, but it was still too small for serious food storage.  

 I purchased a large plastic shelf unit from the home improvement store.  I think it was 4 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and had 5 shelves.  I located it in a corner of the family room and bought fabric to make a cover for it so that it would blend into the room.  That  pantry could hold a surprisingly large amount of stuff!  Not nearly as much as in the cellar pantry, but enough so I had some security in the event of an ice storm or other disruption.

When we became empty nesters, the pantry moved into a closet in a spare bedroom.  This about doubled the size of our pantry.  We are able to keep our food stored in there, paper products, and emergency water jugs.  It is not as convenient as it could be, but what's a few extra steps each day?

Since it's just the two of us we still do try to keep the pantry well stocked.  I would estimate that we could store a few months worth of food in that pantry.  

Next up:  what is in my pantry?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keeping a food storage pantry part 1

My food storage pantry would fall into the category of a Working Pantry.
The primary functions of my pantry are:

*To give me a level of comfort in my ability to provide meals going forward for a period of time.
 In the event of a natural or national emergency we will have enough food on hand.  We will not need to panic!

When that winter rain turns into days of freezing rain, when an early or late snowstorm dumps heavy, wet snow on the trees and power lines, I don't have to run to the store for "bread and milk"

While I pray that we never have a national emergency, it is still a real possibility.

Sickness or job loss/change in finances are a few other life episodes that could have you relying on your pantry for a while.

*To give me flexibility and convenience in our meals.

By having dry goods and canned goods on hand I can create a meal quickly or just open a can and eat.  A lot of these foods are prepared convenience foods.  They have been chosen because they can be opened and prepped with little effort. Remember:  these are MY choices.

Think:  a winter power outage, open a can of chili, vegetable, and mix up some corn muffin mix--pop them onto the wood stove and you EAT!

Think:  unexpected company and you don't have anything planned for a meal.  Cook up some rice, beans, tomatoes, veggie, or a pasta salad, or spaghetti!

Think:  You've had an exhaustively long day or you just aren't feeling well.  Husband is hungry.  He knows how to operate a can opener!  Dinner is served!

*To give me a place to stock up on sale items/special deals.

If the grocery store has pasta on sale for 50 cents a lb, buy lots!!!
The same goes for toilet paper, veggies, coffee.........if you have a designated spot to store dry goods then you can more easily spend less money on food every year.

Next up.......where to locate a food storage pantry

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Home/Garden/Personal Goals for 2017

I joined a group on facebook that focuses on learning new skills each month.  Assignment number one is to make a Goals list of 3 or 5 or 10 goals for the year 2017.  I already had a few goals lists written down here and there, so I pulled them all together into one place.  Turns out I have 20!

here they are in no particular order:

1.  Buy a book on sugaring (already on my amazon wish list) and begin to create a plan and assemble what is needed to start tapping some trees and getting me some maple syrup!

2.  Expand my garden into an area we have cut the trees down a couple of times.  I'm going to try sheet composting right on the rooty rocky ground.

3.  Build a hugelkulture (sp?) bed on the upper front lawn.  This seems like a wonderful possibility for our rocky, thin soil.

4.  Start some annual flowers from seed this year.  I need to plant tons in order to encourage more bee activity here in the deep woods.

5.  Grow more herbs--learn more aboutusing herbs and tinctures.

6.  Plan a greenhouse to be built over two of the raised beds in my garden.

7.  Learning to draw!  continue to work on this.  I have written a bunch of kids stories and i really want to get them illustrated and printed out.  then I can learn to bind my own books! 

8.  Buy a dehydrator.  I had one 20 years ago and sold it at a yard sale when I lost interest.  Stupid move.  I could really use one now.

9.  Complete more sewing projects.  nothing specific.

10.  Organize all of our photos into  photo boxes (already purchased & already set up in the dining room)  --i've begun this project.

11.  Lose weight.  This has been on my goal list for 30 years.  Well, no, longer than that.  I am 56 and have always said I was happy being fat and fit.  But the fit part is getting harder the older I get.  I'm happy with the fact that I learned to not get fatter!  I recently bought the Trim Healthy Mama book and reactivated MyfitnessPal.  I have a fitbit on my amazon wishlist.

12.  Hike more!  The last few years my sciatica has been awful (it's lots better! it seems driving makes it worse and since I stopped working in Sept. I don't hardly drive!)  I also injured my achilles tendon last spring so we didn't do one hike in 2016.  That also is better now.

13.  Build up my pantry again!  I need to get a better list going and spend more time weekly searching out the best prices on items for my pantry.  In conjunction with this I also want to work on a meal list again.

14.  Seek out more local foods.  Do more shopping at the various farmers markets.

15.  Spend less money!  I really don't want to go back to work, so I must get back to my frugal roots.  I need to work on a list of things that can be done to cut back, post them and keep at it.

16.  Build an arbor and plant grapes.

17.  Be very hands-on with the homeschooling of grandsons.

18.  work on plans for a new workshop/storage out back.

19.  Make decisions and have a firm plan in place for next winter to partially renovate the kitchen.  New bottom cabinets on one wall, new sink, all new countertops, paint, new flooring, and potentially build a movable island I can use for baking.  

20.  Paint the master bedroom and lay a wood laminate floor.  (the paint has been purchased and we are going to check out the laminate tomorrow)

ok, I lied, I have....

21.  Put a new roof on the house.

I know this looks like a lot, but I think it's all very doable since many of them are just "plan" things.