Frugal Cooking

Months ago I found a site on the computer–Living On A Dime by Tawra Kellam. ( I highly recommend this site for anyone looking to make their dollar go further. (and who isn’t?) So anyway, after reading her newsletter I decided to order her Dining on a Dime Cookbook. It is awesome! It not only has some great, yet simple recipes, but the basics of frugal cooking, planning your meals, menu ideas,and how to eat better and spend less.
Check out her newsletter and enjoy!

“Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We are eating well.
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn’t want to fuss.
By the stack of evidence,
God’s been very good to us.”

Living The Simple Life

As most of my long time readers know, my family is in the process of building our new house in rural Ohio. We haven’t moved in yet…still more to do on the house before that happens! Hopefully, within the next couple of months we’ll be able to call Ohio our home. While working on the house Scott and I have had the opportunity to befriend several Amish families. A large portion of society looks at these “plain people” and they don’t understand them or their ways. They are seen as peculiar at best and just plain odd at the least. But you know what? I have so enjoyed their friendships. I know what it is “to visit” in the winter evenings, seeing only by the light from lanterns. I know what it is to be warm and toasty from the heat of the wood stove. We’ve been given the gifts of home made bread, and cherry turnovers. We’ve gotten eggs from a local Amish family….where if they are not there when you arrive for your eggs, a sign says, “Take what you need and just leave what you owe.” How often do you see that these days? It feels like community. It feels like trust.
No. I don’t think I could live like the Amish. I am way too spoiled by convenience. Indoor plumbing and electricity are necessary for me…and yes, I love my computer. BUT—there is a lot to be said for a more simple life. Family and friends are close by. There is a caring network of people always there to lend a hand. Unlike the general populations who hardly know who their next door neighbors are unless it is to just give a quick wave when they back out of their driveway.
A more quiet life, with less distractions. Without all the extra distractions one has more time to concentrate on the important things. They are not overwhelmed by “the urgent”.
Yes, it is a lot of work without modern conveniences to aide you and riding in open buggies in the winter has got to be freezing cold, but when I am visiting with my new friends I can see the positives of living a simple life.
They don’t have to worry about soaring gas prices, huge electric bills, and who to choose for their internet provider. They don’t have to give a thought to the latest fashions or makeup. I kind of think that living the Amish lifestyle would resemble what the pioneer families of the late 1800s experienced. (Well, maybe easier because the Amish do have modern medical care available to them)
I can only speak for myself, but as one who loves history AND loves to listen to stories AND happens to be an avid people watcher I love that I have some new friends. I look forward to both learning and sharing with my new friends about all our differences, but also all the things that deep down make us the same.

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Sometimes He Calms His Child

Sometimes things happen in our lives. Things that rock us to our very core. A death of a loved one, an unsettling diagnosis, a lost job, a broken relationship. One steps back and asks, “Why me?” But then God quietly whispers, “Why not you?” It is easy to praise God when all is going well in life. It is harder when life is leaving you bruised and broken. That is the time when one must decide if the God that he/she serves is bigger then any problem that can come their way. Being a Christian does not mean life will always be perfect. We all live in an imperfect world where pain and loss are often an uninvited guest… because I am a Christian and have a real relationship with Jesus Christ…I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will never leave me nor will He forsake me. The closer I stay to Him, the safer I will be… No matter what storm comes my way.

One of my all time favorite songs is entitled, Sometimes He Calms The Storm by singer Scott Krippayne. I have added a verse of his song to today’s blog. This song is a wonderful reminder of how the Lord will take care of me, and for all of us that call on His name.


Lyrics to Sometimes He Calms The Storm by Scott Krippayne

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child
He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we’re shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

Our 16th President

I received one of my home school magazines yesterday in the mail. There is an article about Abraham Lincoln in this issue. It was an article about his early life with many good books to reference to learn even more about him. He really had an interesting life. Not easy…but interesting. He really only attended formal school for about a year in rural Indiana. When I say formal I just mean a log cabin school house that he attended. His childhood education “stint” in the school house consisted of rote memorization of the alphabet,multiplication tables, rules of grammar, and Scripture passages. Mostly, Lincoln was a self learner. He had a desire to read and learn.He found books where ever he could. I can relate with the desire to read and then write down the passages that were important….to memorize the lines of certain books or stories. I learned that Abraham Lincoln also not only read, but liked to read aloud. When asked about this he replied, “when I read aloud my two senses catch the idea. First, I see what I am reading, and secondly, I hear it read, and I can thus remember what I read the better.” (Seems to me, as a school teacher myself, that he was on to something far before it became the norm to use a multi-sensory approach to learning.)
The few books he could get his hands on were not trivial. He read The Bible, Shakespeare’s plays, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Aesop’s Fables, the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Weem’s Life of Washington. Elton Trueblood, in his work on the spiritual life of Lincoln wrote, “Thereby, the lack of formal education was partly balanced by …the habitual vision of greatness.”
Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man, and as we all know has graced history as one of our country’s most beloved presidents. This February, on President’s Day, take a few minutes to think about Mr. Lincoln. Or better yet, read a good book in honor of him.

U.S.A headed towards Socialism?

This is an excellent article.

U.S. economy predicted to collapse under socialism
Pete Chagnon – OneNewsNow – 1/26/2009 7:00:00 AMBookmark and Share

downward trend U.K. official says his predictions of economic collapse are coming to pass.

The Telegraph is reporting that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, agrees. He says the Labor Party’s continual borrowing for social programs is to blame.

“Every Labor government there has ever been from 1926 to the present day has always ended in exactly the same way because they essentially try to run a communist financial system,” he contends, “and it doesn’t work any better here than it worked in the Soviet Union.”

He adds that hope does not trump experience. “We have politicians who simply haven’t had enough experience in the real world before going into politics to know how things run, to know how many beans make five,” Monckton notes.

Monckton says U.K. markets are starting to realize that tax revenue is collapsing, which in turn makes investment in debt undesirable.

“So you’ve got government revenues collapsing and government expenditures rocketing because not only do they have to pay the cost of unemployment and other very lavish benefits for people who are no longer employed,” he points out, “they’re also having to pay eye-wateringly large sums to bail out the banks whom overspending and over-regulation drove under.”

He believes the U.S. is poised for the same collapse should they hold fast to a doctrine of socialism.

“She is a large, and for the time being, a relatively prosperous nation, and I think that the likelihood I’m afraid is that Obama is going to change that for the worse. He has all the kindliness intentions I have no doubt; the left usually do,” he adds. “They would love to have motherhood and apple pie, as would we all. But they are so busy working out how to distribute the apple pie, that they never think about the people who are going to have to roll up their sleeves and bake it. And that’s the difficulty with socialism. It is all about redistribution and not about generation of wealth.”

Christopher Monckton says both the U.K. and the U.S. need to return to Margaret Thatcher’s “handbag economics,” or living within a person’s means.

“What it meant was that you always knew you had enough to buy your baked beans because you were careful with your money,” he concludes. “And if the government is careful with the people’s money, then the people can prosper.”

Going After Rush

What’s with the prez going after Rush? Those of us that are fans of Rush know that he wants him off the air because he speaks the truth…which is more then I can say for “the one”. For all Obama’s pre-election promises and warm fuzzies it is becoming all too obvious that Mr. Obama is going far left. Those of us that are true conservatives can only look on in horror at what will happen of our beloved country. This, my friends, is going to be a long, bumpy ride down a road marked by huge pot holes of extreme leftist mumbo jumbo.
The radical pro-abortion agenda of Barack Obama is in high gear.

For example, Obama and the Democrats have included “hundreds of
millions” for birth control and family planning in the economic
stimulus package.

How is birth control an economic stimulus? According to Nancy Pelosi,
babies are costly! Here’s the quote:

“Family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost.
The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of
what we do for children’s health, education and some of
those elements are to help the states meet their financial
needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned,
the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the
federal government.”

Also, on Friday Obama revoked the Reagan-era policy that prevented our
tax dollars from funding abortions overseas.

That means, in less than a week, Obama has moved to force taxpayers to
fund overseas abortions AND stuff his “stimulus” package with a
massive expansion of the Left’s anti-life agenda!

Mileage Tax???

What in the world? I guess the government thought that the gas tax wasn’t enough….did they think they were missing out on some money somewhere? So now several states are trying out this mileage tax. Some sort of gizmo on the car to show how many miles a person has traveled…then tax them for their travel. I guess everyone will just be staying home.

Best Small Towns

I just received my latest edition of Southern Living magazine. There is an article about the best small towns in the south. You know I have a sweet spot for the south since I’ve spent the past 22 years of my life here in Tennessee. Yes, when I first was “transplanted” I was considered “a yankee”. I could live with that…and after awhile I became one of them. Living in the Tennessee Valley, in the eastern part of the state, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains….it’s beautiful here that is for sure. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN. are considered a primo family destination. All that fun right in my own backyard!
One of the best small towns in the south is right over the mountains from here…Blowing Rock, N.C. I’ve always wanted to go there and visit. I’ve heard great things from my friends. Rumour has it that it is also the the town that Jan Karon’s Mitford Series is set in. (One of my all time favorite series and one that I highly recommend!) Now, I’ve been to Savannah, Georgia and I’ve been to Mrytle Beach, South Carolina but I really want to go to Charleston. Southern Living says that Charleston is one of the top five cities for a weekend getaway. I love history so I think that would be an extremely fun trip.
Those of you that keep up with my blog know that several days back I did a series on my “Bucket List”. One of the things I want to do before I (some day) kick the bucket is to visit all 50 states. I know I have readers from all over the country and all over the world. I would love for you…my readers, to tell me where you live and what makes your home town special. Should I visit your town in my travels? Is your town exciting and never sleeps? Is your town quiet with the best home made ice cream around? Are the buildings in your town historical and tell a story? Or do you live somewhere new and cutting edge? Seriously people….let me know! Magazines are great and travel books are inviting, but I’d love to hear what you think about your own home town. Please leave me a comment.

Needing A Belly Laugh?

A friend sent these to me in an email. By the time I was done reading them, I was laughing so hard my eyes were tearing up. If you need a good laugh out loud then check these real life stories out…

We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, ‘Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.’ I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, ‘NO, it’s not.’ Four is larger than two..’

We haven’t used Sears repair since.
My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’ I said, ‘Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back.’ She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said ‘We’re sorry but they could not do that kind of thing.’ The clerk then proceeded to give me back$1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD’s.

I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: ‘Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.’
>From Kingman , KS .

My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for ‘minimal lettuce.’ He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
From Kansas City

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, ‘Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?’ To which I replied, ‘If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?’ He smiled knowingly and nodded, ‘That’s why we ask.’
Happened in Birmingham , Ala.

The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it’s safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people doing driving?!’
She was a probation officer in Wichita , KS

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker. She was leaving the company due to ‘downsizing.’ Our manager commented cheerfully, ‘This is fun. We should do this more often.’ Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn’t understand why her system would not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office, no less.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the drivers side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘it’s open!’ His reply, ‘I know. I already got that side.’
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton , Mississippi

They walk among us… and the scary part is that they VOTE and they REPRODUCE !!