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Showing posts from August, 2010

Welcome Victoria !

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Victoria was born this evening weighing in at 7lbs 6 oz and is 21 1/4 inches long. She is beautiful from head to toe and both mother and baby are doing so well. I showed restraint and only took about 60 pictures tonight. We got to see her right after she was born and what a proud Daddy greeted us with that perfect grand-daughter in his arms. How blessed we are. Praising God for another perfect grand baby. We are now blessed with 4 grandchilden. Yen is slightly outnumbered by girls on this side of the family....3 to 1

Cost of Living, our budget

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Every once in a while I share with my readers what our budget is since I get a few emails each week asking about it. I have no problem with sharing what we spend a month.
In summer we run two window unit air conditioners so our electric bill is high in summer but other than that, things stay pretty consistent for us.
Monthly budget
property taxes all properties $200 gas $15 electric $175 in summer $60 in winter phones, tv and computer $220 car insurance $120 gas for autos $120 clothing $25 medical $100 food $500 entertainment $100 water $90 wood for heat $60 this has doubled since last year when our old supplier retired. upkeep for cars $50 total of $1775.00
as you can see we could cut out the cell phone and cable tv and save a lot but we have no need to cut our budget any at this time. So we could easily live on Emery social security when the time comes and do just fine.

Life Goals

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Living on less is easier when you keep focused on a goal. We did that and still do. We have spent many of our married life being what is considered "poor" by the typical American standard of living. Yet, we never felt deprived.
We have always felt blessed. Simple as that. Now we look at our lives and see that what we have worked so hard at achieving, is a reality. We have wonderful children that cause us no problems and better than that, we really like them ! We have amazing grandchildren that we love dearly and live close by. Emery has a wonderful job. Emery and I fall more in love with one another every single day and we are each others best friend. Our home has been paid for for a long time. We have no debt. We have excellent health. These are all things we worked hard to achieve. To start off with, we both prayed for the right person to come into our lives and had high standards that had to be met. We both felt strongly that who we married had to be the same faith as we w…

"Winter Memory"

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Winter Memory
The muffled echo of the roosters crow just before the sun rose o'er the hill, A snapping beam, a sudden thud of snow, And morning crept across the needled chill Of wintry night; from valley chimneys rose White plumes of smoke, inside bright fires glowed Through open draughts, while from the kettles nose A billowing singing steam cloud flowed. The iron griddle soon browned bubbling cakes The red checkered cloth upon the table spread Sill in my heart an old-time song awakes, And pictures from a time long since fled. The old black stove and its rosy embers, Sweet woodsmoke, a plant upon the sill, The cozy warmth and peace my heart remembers, The old clock's steady tick, the lovely thrill A rainbow lights through icicles reflected, And warm new milk within an earthen mug. . . No farther than these walls my thoughts deflected, Contented as the curled cat on the rug.
~Ruth B. Field~

By the end of summer here in the heat of North Texas, I start dreaming about winter. Of the smell of wood sto…

A Thought for The Day

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"We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really design it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above? "
~John Owen~
I was thinking this morning after reading this quote from John Owen that we so often spend more of our day thinking about the "stuff" that doesn't really matter in life, and if people read our thoughts, what would they know about us ? Would they see peace in our thoughts, would they see kindness and love or would they see worries about things that don't really matter. Our thoughts turn into our actions in some form or another, that's just how life is. What do the majority of our thoughts say about us ? What are our true priorities in life ? Are they spiritual in nature ? Are we seeking peace and contentment ? In Weight Watchers they have you keep a food diary, for two reasons, one…

Just Had to Share

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Two of the grandchildren came for a visit today. Yen was all smiles and Mei-Ling was busy playing tea party.

Pie Crust Recipe

For those of you that emailed me asking for my pie crust recipe....here it is.
Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
I can honestly say, that this recipe has never failed me, its always flakey, just like its supposed to be.

"Good Neighbors"

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Good Neighbors
~Georgia B Adams~
Just yesterday my neighbor baked Some juicy cherry pies; On the window ledge they set to cool. . . A little later on I heard A knock on my screen door. She stood there with a pie in hand ! I guessed whom it was for. She is a friendly neighbor and We chat across the fence; The price of corn, a brewing storm, We share a homey friendship and She knows she's welcome here. Good neighbors are a boon to man, They bring wealth and cheer. I read this poem yesterday and it made me a little sad...I remember so well my mother chatting with our neighbors at the fence. Both had clotheslines near the fence so they could chat and be busy at the same time. Monday was always laundry day for both. They would share new recipes, visit for a cup of coffee from time to time. What made me sad was thinking that I don't have neighbors that would chat across the fence or stop in for coffee. They are too busy, too stressed out.
I miss the days gone by when neighbors shared what they bak…

The Prayers of Many

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Such good news, Mei-Lings vesicostomy was back to normal the day after asking for prayer for her, which meant she didn't have to see the doctor. Swelling was down and all was well. Must have been irritated when they were doing a procedure when she was in the Emergency Room a couple days before. Any Doctor visit that can be avoided for her is a HUGE blessing. Thank you all who prayed, as our prayers were answered.
This little one has such compassion for others, I suspect in part to all that she has had to endure. The other night she was over for a bit and since Emery was very tired he went to bed while she was still here. After he was in bed for a bit, he coughed and Mei-Ling went to the bedroom doorway and said, "bless you Papa", he was asleep and didn't answer and in a concerned little voice she asked, "Papa, papa, are you alright ? " Such empathy from a 3 year old ! This morning my cold is much better, thank you all for your well wishes. It seems to be jus…

Summer Cold

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I can't remember the last time I have had a cold in summer, but I sure have one now. It seems as though I have been fighting this for several days and finally "it" won. Stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and that feeling that makes you want to just curl up on the couch and watch mindless television. Reading seems too complicated and hand work, the same.
I did manage to go out on the back porch this morning while the water was heating up for some Throat Coat Tea and snap a photo of the sun coming up, it was so pretty. Mei-Ling has to see the Dr today, a problem with her vesicostomy. She has had a rough time of it lately. Taken by ambulance last weekend to the hospital with a high fever, but they think it was just a virus since all her lab work came back o.k. and her scans were all fine. If you think of it, please say a prayer for her. And for my long time readers....Melanie and Casi are celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary today. How time flies Back to spot on the cou…

The Wonder of Open Windows And Quilt Plans

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Having the windows open may not seem like a big deal, but they are to me right now. The cold front came through yesterday, leaving us with a high of only 90 today and a morning that is a very nice 70 degrees. The first thing I did this morning was open every window in our house, just to let in fresh air after having the house closed up all summer long. The first thing I noticed having the windows open was the deeper silence of the day, no air conditioners running ! And then the birds began to sing, and the breeze blowing through the juniper and pine trees creating this marvelous brushing sound, which reminded me of when jazz players play the cymbal with drum brushes. That easy sort of sound that just makes you want to sigh a good kind of sigh. I suspect this wanting to just take a deep breathe and sigh comes from being assured by the change in weather patterns, that Autumn will really arrive and that summer is not endless after all. Yesterday as the clouds and cooler air rolled in …

At Emery's Office Today

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Monday Morning Ramble

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Before noon, the sun was scorching. Today is supposed to be the hottest day of the year for us. They are forecasting 106 F (41C) today with a heat index nearing 115. The heat is wearing on folks around here. Shorter tempers, a constant feeling of being too tired to do much and conversations that all start the same way...."I am so sick of summer !" I noticed lately that even the little birds look worn and tired. The cardinals at my feeder have poor plumage and remind me of the drawings of beggars in story books from long ago. Most of them have their beaks open a bit and their wings held out from their sides, trying to stay cooler. I don't normally feed the birds in summer, but this year, food seems to be slim pickings for them so I want to help out a bit. However, yesterday there arrived a huge flock of grackles, not a favorite bird to have around. They are noisy, messy and just a nuisance all around. My solution for shoo-ing them away.....get out my handy crow caller and…

Making Our Own Stress

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There are jokes about putting the cart before the horse and "living simply" is one of those situations where many folk rush to put the cart before the horse and find themselves not so happy. Living simply, with real honest simplicity comes from the heart long before it comes from owning chickens, some goats and making your own soap, and honestly, those things are just extras that are not all that simple. But, we so often equate simple living with a homestead sort of life, an old fashioned approach to daily living, which is not always true.
Simple living is a condition of the heart. It is born from a deep desire to have more peace in our lives, less stress, less stuff, less rushing around and more meaning to life. It has a lot to do with being able to go to bed at night without having to lay awake with some major emotional drama being played over and over in our heads. I think for me, it has something to do with faith too. Having a deep abiding faith that you I am not walking…

The Peace of Simplicity

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For some time now I have been wondering how it is that as a believer, I sought out so many other avenues of how to find peace and freedom from want, than in Christianity. The reason is quite simple actually....there are hardly any, if any at all, men of God out there preaching simplicity. I didn't find a shepherd to lead me. Yes, I know the Bible well, but I needed a fresh approach to the subject of simplicity, and some guidance. Recently, I purposely listened to 10 major modern preachers on television and radio to hear just what is being preached to the masses, especially now in a time of such economic upheaval. Sad to say a good percentage of the "sermons" were on how God will make us prosperous according to the worlds standards. I did a search on the preachers I listened to and found that most of them lived in mansions, some had private jets and all had on amazingly expensive suits. Not a one led a simple, humble life. Messed up children, divorces, questionable financ…

Thankful Hearts

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Last night Emery and I sat out on the porch watching a storm in the east. Although the storm never arrived at our place we did get a good light show from the lightening and we were blessed by a cool breeze which gave way to thoughts about the first family to live in this house, imagining them on such a night. We imagined that they would have gone to bed with a prayer of thankfulness on their lips for a breeze. We have lost something in this modern time, true dependence on God for all our needs. Oh yes, we still need Him, but mostly to give us strength to endure the stress of modern life or perhaps to fix the fragmented relationships that we have become part of. Most of us have no reason to ask God to provide us with food, or rain for our crops, or for a cool breeze so we can get some sleep. When Emery and I were first married, we were poor as church mice and there were times we did have to pray for the basics, and our faith was strong and there was never any doubt that God existed, we…

Directions On How To Live A Simple Life

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"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11 To this I can only add that it means not only to behave this way with the general public, but with your husbands and your children for all their lives. and if your husband and/or children are not believers, then let these verses guide you.... "if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine…

Dreaming of Winter and Simplicity of the Heart

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When I lived in New England, come February, all we could think about was the coming of springtime and warmer weather and for the then dirty crusted snow lining the roads to be gone. To see flowers and buds on the trees once again, but here in this relentless heat of August in North Texas, I find myself dreaming of snowy days, where I find delight in wrapping my shawl tight around my shoulders as I dart outside to get another arm load of wood for the stove. I have been dreaming of wool socks and the need for long underwear under my skirts. Anxious once again to feel joy in heating up the kitchen with baking, rather than standing by the stove with sweat dripping from my brow.
Today will no doubt be our 18th day in a row of temps at or above 100 degrees. The grass is so dry its crispy sounding under my feet as I go about doing my chores outside and the birds are at the feeders seeking food every morning and afternoon. One poor Cardinal was so confused in the heat that he flew at the windo…

A Quiet Monday

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It's the day for washing clothes and washing floors...waxing them too. An easy sort of day, no rush. Its still very hot here in North Texas, I believe its something like 17 days in a row of 100 degrees or above and that wears on a body. By the time I finished hanging up the last piece of laundry, the first ones hung up in that very same load, was dry. Its a bit like a furnace out there in the sun. I was thinking about the first family that lived in this house and how they just dealt with the heat. No air conditioning and no fans. Cooking still had to be done..hopefully they had a summer kitchen. I suspect they had to work in the garden, hauling water to the plants. Doing laundry in a big old tub, probably boiled the water over a fire for that. Hot work in those long full skirts. Sleeping at night must have been difficult too, no breeze to speak of. When we first moved into this house we naively thought we would not need air conditioning. How hot could it be ? We found out. I was c…

Marvelous Birthday

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All I can say is that I had a marvelous, fantastic birthday party, thanks to my wonderful son, daughter in law, daughter and husband.
For the past few weeks, as mothers some times do, I was feeling a little under-appreciated, well the kiddos sure changed that for me yesterday. They pulled out all the stops and showered me with all the things I love best and best of all, they showed me how much they do appreciate me.
Late yesterday afternoon Emery took me shopping and when we got home, the house had been transformed into a Parisian theme. On my dinning room table stood a huge Eiffel tower. The colors of the party were pink, white and black and it looked as though they had hired a famous decorator to do the decorating, it was gorgeous. The food was incredible. The cake was a multilayer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and frosted with a heavenly ganache There were chocolate tulip cups filled with mousse, and hand made gelato that was to die for. Champagne on the table along wi…