Friday, April 5, 2019

Priority #6 - My Ministry - Restoring my Blog in a Different Format

Image result for sunflower nest

I have been giving some thought to of putting Donalacasa's Daybook on the shelf indefinitely.  The format no longer works for me.  I am no longer a SAHM or a WAHM. 

I miss my old life, homeschooling, transcribing (except for working for Nuance.  I will never miss working for Nuance), and driving my kids around.  When leaving the YMCA the other day, I saw a mother and a karate-uniform clad 9 or 10-year-old son heading in.  I knew she was probably trying to get a workout in while her son was occupied.  My children's karate school was a 5-minute drive up the road from the Y.  I remember doing the same thing.  But I have to face the reality of the transition my life has taken as well as the changes in some of my relationship dynamics. 

Changing the format of my blog is a part of that.  My priorities have shifted as far as time goes, but they are still the same.  My prayer is that I will speak a word that SOMEONE needs to hear.  Someone who needs to be reminded to cherish every day because it goes by so quickly; someone who is also having to reinvent themselves from mom into a new role in life.    

The other great thing about blogging in this format is that I can schedule posts far in advance so that the feelings that I am dealing with in a post have happened and are far past. That will give me some emotional privacy from people who know me best inquiring about situations before I have fully processed them.  That has been a hindrance in getting my Daybook out.  So many emotions as I have physically entered midlife.  But at the same time, I can still share my heart and whatever the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) wants me to share.  I actually started this blog post on April 5th!  

In the keeping of biblical Feast season, we are in the Counting of the Omer.  If you follow the link, you will find me teaching on the Counting of the Omer being our season of gratitude.  I have had so many challenges to gratitude this season.  Even coming up the stairs and seeing a huge rat snake looking through my window.  It's hard to think thankful thoughts when you learn for the first time in your 50+ years of life that snakes can climb brick walls.  Maybe the challenges come every Omer season.  

This season I developed a health challenge that was more painful than labor.  I learned that it is easy to become despondent and unable to think straight when you're in pain, especially when you don't know the length of time you're going to be in pain.  All kinds of things go through your mind.  By the way, who ever thought putting diagnoses and prognoses on Google and YouTube was a good idea?  They'll have you on paralyzed on disability for the rest of your life.        

It is hard to remember to be thankful when you're in pain.  One thing the emergency room staff reminded me of before I left them was that I have the most amazing support system.  Friend Hubby dropped me off at the ER on hi sway to get Crown Prince Sanban who was having car trouble.  The Grand Duchess met us there to keep an eye on me.  She was my "person."   They already had her down as my secondary emergency contact.  Princess Butterfly left work early and came to sit with The Grand Duchess.  She was her "person."  One complication that arose was that the doctor whom we needed to speak with was not able to be reached by phone.  The emergency room staff could do nothing for me but control the pain so over the following week my family cared for me when I was on bedrest for days and days.  The Grand Duchess took off from work the first day.  Crown Prince Sanban stayed with me when everyone else had to leave.  Even the staff in the state representative's office was calling Princess Butterfly to find out how I was doing.  Friend Hubby had to cancel our anniversary trip as well as the homeschool conference I was scheduled to attend.  It was weird, having always been the family's caretaker, not being able to care for myself and having our roles reversed.  In the past few weeks, we have seen my mother-in-law thriving in my sister-in-law's care instead of wasting away in a nursing home.  The tender loving care of family is far superior to any pharmaceutical on the market.    

While we were in the emergency room, I was so thankful for a weird gift I have.  It is one inherited from my mother.  If I ever needed to have a side hustle, I would make a great private detective.  I find people.  Sometimes it takes some a convoluted route to do, but I eventually find them.  I have passed down that gift to The Grand Duchess as well.  Once the pain medicine began to work, she and I looked up employees of the doctor's office on LinkedIn, then looked them up on Facebook.  We finally found a phone number with a voicemail that forwarded to another number.  That number forwarded to another number with a voicemail.  Eventually, the final voicemail led to an email.  The Grand Duchess used her very official email address to get the woman to call her back post haste.  She was able to contact the doctor, which put me on the road to recovery, but believe you me I gave that young physician a dressing down for not being reachable.  He must have thought I was overreacting initially until he tried his own answering service at the close of business the next day.  He identified himself on his own office answering machine and requested the answering service call him back.  They did not.  

A couple of days later he called to see how I was feeling.  I listened while he was likely talking to himself as he explained how tragic it might have been if I had not known to get myself to the ER.  I told him about when I was a new mother and I found out that a new trainee to the base clinic was DANGEROUSLY untrained and almost harmed Dancing Angel.  When I reported him to the supervisor on duty, she said that she was thankful that I had been the one to catch it.  I was well known in the clinic because I had volunteered there before my pregnancy.  She said he could have harmed the infant of a mother who had several children in the clinic with her and was not as attentive.  I told him I felt that perhaps that's why I was the patient to catch it.  He called again a few days later but I missed the call.  When I tried to call him back, there was a whole new voicemail message and when it was over, a live person picked up the phone and forwarded the message to him.     

You can go and volunteer to serve in ministry to others or sometimes there is ministry that you don't get to volunteer for.  You just have the privilege of being used in a situation where your grief, or misery, or misfortune causes others to be helped, even if you don't know when or why it's happening.  Thankfully, this was not a permanent situation (although it certainly felt like it at the time, and you know, YouTube...).  My suffering may have helped someone else in the future.    

2 Corinthians 1:4-7 (TS2009) - "Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, the Father of compassion and Elohim of all comfort, who is comforting us in all our pressure, enabling us to comfort those who are in every pressure, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by Elohim.  Because, as the sufferings of Messiah overflow in us, so our comfort also overflows through Messiah.  And if we suffer pressure, it is for your comfort and deliverance, being worked out in enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer.  If we are comforted, it is for your comfort and deliverance.  And our expectation for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are sharing in the sufferings – so also in the comfort."               

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rosh Chodesh 6th Month

For several months now, I have been desiring to get back to this monthly blog, in addition to my weekly blog, Donalacasa's Daybook.  I think that my vision for the two blogs is that the Daybook would serve to report on what has been in the past week.  Because I am an idealist and I spend a lot of time "in my head," The Lady of the House Blog will be a way to flesh out what I'm thinking and what I hope for.  

A couple of Shabbat's ago, I opened up the service talking about the Scripture that says:  
"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 132:23-24 (NKJV)
Later that same week, I was tested on that very thing.  Some information given to me caused some anxiety to spring up.  I couldn't eat.  My sleep was affected.  I didn't talk too much about it during the day.  When my husband came home, I shared those anxious thoughts with him ("Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16 CJB).  On the same day, the tragedy in Virginia was also unfolding so I feel like there was a lot of anxiety in the atmosphere, even though I only allow myself to catch the highlights of the news.  Worry is a sin.  Like any sin, it wants to live in secret in the dark.  Sin has to be brought out into the open and exposed for it to die, which is why I shared it with my husband even though my fear was that he would chide me for how I was feeling (he didn't because he knows what anxiety is like).  When people have issues with anxiety, sometimes our answer is to fuss at them.  We have to recognize that even the strongest people spiritually have anxiety issues some times (Elijah always comes to mind in 1 Kings 19).  Sometimes in spite of how strong your spirit is, your body does its own thing in response to stress and anxiety.  

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." - Psalm 94:19 (CJB)

"I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.  Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us." - Habakkuk 3:16 (CJB) 

Something else that is important to remember when anxiety comes upon you is to be careful about what you allow to come out of your mouth.  When I am anxious about something, I usually try to become very quiet because I know the enemy is just waiting to pounce on something that I could say out of fear instead of faith.

"In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." - Job 1:22 (CJB)

"and grumbled in your tents, and said, ‘Because יהוה was hating us, He has brought us out of the land of Mitsrayim to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us." - Deuteronomy 1:27 (TS2009)

So, I went to bed that night and in spite of my best efforts (magnesium, melatonin, 5HTP, stretching), my sleep was still restless and incomplete.

Psalm 77:1-12 (CJB)
I cried out to God for help;  I cried out to God to hear me.  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted.I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.  I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night.  My heart meditated and my spirit asked:  “Will the Lord reject forever?  Will he never show his favor again?  Has his unfailing love vanished forever?  Has his promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful?  Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:  the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.  I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Of course, this meant that I was tired the next day.  When are we most susceptible to sin?  When we are too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired.  

The next day, I again stayed rather quiet did some exercising and again made sure I would sleep well the next night.  When I awoke the following morning, I felt that Yehovah was speaking to me about idols.  There was a great debate going on on social media (that I did not participate in) about pulling down Confederate and slave owner statues.  After my morning walk, I read this Scripture in Psalms:

"But our Elohim is in the heavens; Whatever pleased Him, He has done. Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; They have eyes, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; They have noses, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; They have feet, but they do not walk; They make no sound through their throat. The ones who make them, shall become like them – All who trust in them. O Yisra’ĕl, trust in יהוה; He is their help and their shield." - Psalms 115:3‭-‬9 (TS2009)

While I am adamantly against revisionist history, I can't help thinking that those who cling to any statue of any person as being like those in these verses.  "The ones who make them, shall become like them -- all who trust in them."  A person who is dedicated to a confederate statue is inevitably dedicated to the morals and ideals of the confederacy.  The same can be said of any statue and any ideology.  But I think the deeper problem is that of idolatry itself.  It reminded me of the Torah portion Re'eh.  Deuteronomy 12:1-3 says, “These are the laws and right-rulings which you guard to do in the land which יהוה Elohim of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the soil.  Completely destroy all the places where the nations which you are dispossessing served their mighty ones, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.  And you shall break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and burn their Ashĕrim with fire.  And you shall cut down the carved images of their mighty ones and shall destroy their name out of that place."  While this verse could certainly be applied to the current events of our country, I really believe that Yah, at this moment was speaking to me about the idolatry in me that had caused my anxiety attack.  We all have a seat of idolatry.  Some of it is tangible, some intangible.  Idolatry could be your career, your home, your children, your house, your beliefs, your political party, your color, your culture, ad nauseum.  Your idol is whatever gets a rise out of you when it is threatened to be taken away or altered.  He was trying to deal with what causes ME to swell up ("...Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me...).  He had done JUST THAT.  He showed me what I thought I could not see myself living without and He measured my response to it.  

Donnie McClurkin sings a song called "I'll Trust You".  In the beginning of the recording, before he begins to sing, he says:

"What if you call Me and don't feel Me near you?  Will you still trust Me?  What if I tell you to let go of the very thing that you think you have to hold.  Will you trust Me?  
(Yes!  I'll trust You, [Yah]).  
What if it costs my life?  
(Yes, I'll trust You, [Yah].)  
What if I lose the very thing I love so dearly?  
(Yes, I'll trust You, [Yah].)  

The enemy wants us to dwell on the single thought, "But what if it doesn't?"  We have to flip the script on him, "But what if it does?"  He wants to drain you so that you are in that vulnerable position (too hungry, too angry, too lonely, too tired) because then he can be free to take a swipe at you because of your own attitude.  He berates you with a barrage of questions of doubt:  

What if Yah doesn't come through? 
 (What if He does, as He has so many times before?)  
What if your dreams don't come true?  
(What if He has something better in store - exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think, as He has done so many times before?)  
What if man says no?  
(What if Yah says yes, as He has done so many times before?)  
What if He doesn't love me enough to give me what I want?  
(What if He gives me the desires of my heart and exactly what I need, as He has done so many times before?)      

“Because he cleaves to Me in love, Therefore I deliver him; I set him on high, Because he has known My Name. “When he calls on Me, I answer him; I am with him in distress; I deliver him and esteem him."
Tehillim (Psalms) 91:14‭-‬15 TS2009


Find me on Facebook.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Planning: An Ideal Menu

This past week, I have been having conversations with my family about what a more biblically based diet would look like.  I'm not talking about ancient grains and things of that nature (I'm not even looking into that page yet.  LOL)  I'm talking about carbohydrate versus protein based meals.

Exodus 16:12 (ISR98) - “I have heard the grumblings of the children of Yisra’ĕl. Speak to them, saying, ‘Between the evenings you are to eat meat, and in the morning you are to be satisfied with bread. And you shall know that I am יהוה your Elohim.’ ”

I'm also considering Genesis 1:29 (ISR98) - "And Elohim said, “See, I have given you every plant that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed, to you it is for food."

Eliminating the meats that are unclean from Leviticus 11, I'm just trying to get a greater picture of what that daily diet would look like.  As I have said on many occasions, I don't view biblical eating in any way restrictive.  It is only restrictive when you are addicted to eating what you shouldn't.  If you set your mind on eating what is right then your eyes are opened to all that is available.  Sin entered the the world through eating what was forbidden.  It was sin then, it's sin now.

Anyhoo.  Have you ever heard the saying, "Eat like a king in the morning, like a prince at lunch, and like a pauper in the evening"?  I'm thinking a high carbohydrate breakfast with a light protein and fruit.

We get a lot of use out of our waffle iron.  All Recipes has a list of Waffle Recipes.  Maybe I could top it with yogurt and fresh fruit.  I don't eat eggs at all either (yuk!) so that's not something I would look into.  

I like beans, but they don't always like me!  Lunch time would be a good time to have some beans, burritos, hummus, etc.  I also love soups so a soup heavy on vegetables and some raw vegetables as well.  Here are a few Pinterest lunch ideas.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Slow Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

I like my afternoon tea time.  Some traditional cucumber sandwiches would be good.  Also, I am not a big nut eater, but  I would eat nut butters with crackers.  I  also like sunflower seeds.  This might be a good time for a granola bar as well.
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
50 Tea Sandwiches (Some of these I would never eat.  LOL)

I don't eat fish at all (yuk!).  So I would like to eat poultry in various forms (chicken, turkey, etc.)   I have at least 450 different poultry recipes on my Donalacasa's Chicken and Poultry Pinterest page.  My family eats fish, so if they want to pick a fish night, I will have something quick like a stir fry meal.  I am going to try to avoid having a carbohydrate for dinner, but that means I'm going to have to have some creative vegetable dishes prepared.  I have tried this in the past and before I got into a deep sleep, my stomach was rumbling.  It would probably help too if I went to bed at a decent hour.  I don't think our bodies were designed to be up for to long past sunset.  My Vegetable Pinterest page has 500 recipes.  Does anyone else pin and pin and then never make anything you pin?    

In the Bible, it seems that red meat was reserved for special occasions and house guests.  Because of that, I am going to reserve our red meat meals (beef, lamb, elk, etc) for the Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh (the head of the Hebrew month).  That is basically 5 times per month.  I think that's plenty!

This is just a brainstorming blog.  I won't be able to actually implement any of this until after the 1st of the month.  I'd love to hear some of your weekly meal plan ideas.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Priority Planning

As women of faith, we should desire to live out intentional lives. 

"Teach us to number our days, And let us bring the heart to wisdom."
Psalms 90:12 ISR98

TEACH:  ( common, ידע/ y.d.ah) Translation: KNOW (V)Definition: To have an intimate and personal understanding;

NUMBER:  ( common, מנה/ m.n.h) Translation: RECKON (V)Definition: To appoint, assign, count or number a set of things or people.

DAYS:  ( masc., יום/ yom) Translation: DAYDefinition: The time of light between one dusk and the next one. Usually in the context of daylight hours but may also refer to the entire day or even a season.

BRING/APPLY:   This comes from a root word in Hebrew that means (בוא) Definition: To come or go into a space is to fill it. A void within oneself that desires to be filled.  In relation to its context in this verse, it means to fill a void by entering it.

HEART:  This organ is also seen as the seat of thought and emotion, the mind.

WISDOM:  ( fem., חכמה / hhakh-mah ) Translation: SKILL Definition: The ability to decide or discern between good and bad, right and wrong; A deep understanding of a craft.

Something that is counted is of more value than an innumerable mass where there is no thought given to how much is lost or gained.  Today is the first day of the week by Hebrew reckoning and since the day begins at dusk,  it's already half over.   Wastefulness is not a habit that wise women have because once time has passed, it cannot be recovered.  

Take some time to jot down some plans for the week using our priorities as a guide.

1.  Our relationship with Yehovah:  Do you schedule in your time of prayer? (Psalm 55:17)   Do you have a Bible reading plan?  (Proverbs 28:9)

2.  Our relationships with our husbands:  How are you PLANNING to do him good and not evil all the days of this week?   (Proverbs 31:12)  Do you know your husband’s love language?  Plan something that he will especially perceive as an act of love.  (Titus 2:4)

3.  Our relationships with our children:  Do you know each of your children's love languages?   Plan something that each of them will especially perceive as an act of love.  (Titus 2:4)

4.  Our home:   Do you have a plan for bringing order to an area or room in your home that naturally lends itself to chaos?  Cleaning is one way to demonstrate our thankfulness for what our Father has provided.   There are about 18 meals that will be eaten between now and the Sabbath.  Do you have a plan for each of those meals? 

5.  Yourself:  What are your workout goals for this week?   (Proverbs 31:17)  Do you have some unfinished crafts?  (Proverbs 31:13)  If you work outside the home, are your clothes ready?   (Proverbs 31:25)

6.  Ministry:  What can you do for someone else this week?  (Proverbs 31:20) 

We often use the excuse, "I don't have time."  The truth is that we don’t always use our time wisely.   Let's rectify that today. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Priority #5 - Myself: Get a Hold of Yourself, Woman!

The cloudy days of late autumn and winter have always had an adverse effect on me.  On cloudy days, I am always tired, rarely productive, and tend to default to scrolling through social media for hours on end.  I had one of those days this past week.  It is so frustrating because I begin the week with all these plans for productivity!

Of course, it might not be the weather.  It could be hormonal.  It could be the waning of the moon.  Part of my job managing my Facebook page, Donalacasa:  The Lady of the House is to find articles to coincide with my daily theme.  Many of those are homemaking ideas.  Do you ever get the feeling that you have all these ideas but not the resources to actually carry them out?  

I'm trying to learn to work with this season and not against it.  

I belong to a group on Facebook that opted to become pen pals in real life.  It's great because you can share things OFF of social media.  It is also something retro to do, which is always fun.  Most of the pen pals I chose from the list of self-descriptions were ladies of "a certain age."  I have no problem sharing with older or younger ladies, but when there are things happening to your body in a certain season of life, it's easier to discuss with someone who has been there, done that.  I even had to laugh at myself when watching an episode of Dr. Who last night.  One of the characters asked Clara if she thought that with so much happening, if she thought it was a sign of the end of the world.  Clara, without skipping a beat, said, "You think that because you're middle aged.  No offense, but people who are middle aged always think the world is about to end."    I think there may be some truth to that.  I remember my grandparents being middle aged and their conversations were always about everything bad that was going on.  The sounded as if they didn't think I'd ever make it to adulthood and yet, here I am -- middle-aged.  

Anywho, I was sharing with one of my pen pals about my energy level.  I was always a night owl, but now I value all the Psalms and Proverbs that speak of getting an early start on the day.

(Psalm 88:13 ISR98)  "But I, unto You I have cried, O YHVH, And in the morning my prayer comes before You."

(Psalm 92:1-2 ISR98)  "It is good to give thanks to YHVH, And to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your kindness in the morning, And Your trustworthiness each night,"

(Psalm 110:3 ISR98)  "Your people volunteer in the day of Your might, In the splendours of set-apartness! From the womb, from the morning, You have the dew of Your youth!" [KJV says "from the womb OF the morning."  I like that.]

(Psalm 130:6 ISR98)  "My being looks to YHVH.  More than those watching for morning, watching for morning."

(Psalm 143:8 ISR98)  "Let me hear Your kindness in the morning, For in You I have put my trust; Let me know the way in which I should walk, For I have lifted up my being to You."  

(Proverbs 31:15 ISR98)  "She also rises while it is still night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her girls."

I am trying to learn to treat each day as if it were a mini-Shabbat.  I have apps on my smart devices that tell me about 2 particular times of day.  The first time that I concern myself with is dawn verses sunrise.  I set my first alarm to go off at dawn.  Because of post-surgical changes to my eyelids, I sleep with an eye mask to prevent dry eye overnight.  When this alarm goes off, I take the mask off so that my eyes can get adjusted to the light as the sun rises.  I turn on my Daily Audio Bible app to hear the chapter of Proverbs of the day and then I do some exercises to warm up these creaky joints before my feet hit the floor.  This much I've pretty much got down as a habit. 

I am still working on the END  of the day.  Because the days are shorter, I've got to try to get so much packed into that time, but I'm sure that Yah designed it that way so I try to work WITH it and not AGAINST it.  I suppose the goal would be to make sure that I am finished with work by dusk and be prepared to eat by sunset.  If I didn't have electric lights, I would have to, wouldn't I?  My ancestors were spinners and weavers, (Slave Narrative of Eliza Whitmire -- my great-great-great aunt).  By day, I work from home spinning an weaving medical reports.  

Recently, I have been noticing my body wanting to shut down immediately at sunset, but I still end up being up late because I haven't done enough work (especially after sitting all day) to make myself sleepy.  Last night, I tried to make myself continue to move until 9 o'clock.  I got the space between the wall and the washer cleared out and part of the shelf above it.  I have another app (that also has a website) that tells me what time I should fall asleep in order to optimize my sleeping.  After I stopped my cleaning at 9 o'clock, I headed upstairs to knit by flashlight while I watched that episode of Dr. Who I mentioned earlier.  Based on what time sunrise is, I TRY to turn electronics off 30 minutes before I'm supposed to fall asleep and read a book for 15-20 minutes before lights out.  I say TRY because just like I made the morning routine a habit, I need to start making the night routine a habit as well.  

Today, Rosh Chodesh (head of the month) is expected.  I am learning to try to time my energy level to that as well.  Bigger projects happen with the waxing moon (from the sighting of the first sliver over Jerusalem to the full moon).  The waning moon is preparation for my low energy days.  I'm thinking of even planning my meals around that and save my slow cooker meals for when I know I'm not going to feel much like cooking and need more comfort foods like soups and stews.  Miraculously, for the last 3 months my womanly time has lined up with Rosh Chodesh.  If I were trying to conceive, it would happen when the moon is full.  (okay, I'm cracking up)

Enough chatter for today, I'm losing daylight!     


Find me on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Priority #4 - My Home - The Leftover Challenge

Over the past couple of years, we have gradually increased the amount of food we buy organically.  While on a microcellular level it may be improving our health, it is not improving our budget.  The downside of buying food without preservatives is that they have no preservatives.  They spoil quickly and that is just money in the trash can.  I have tried to come up with some ideas for kitchen loss prevention.

Retail loss prevention is a set of practices employed by retail companies to preserve profit. Profit preservation is any business activity specifically designed to reduce preventable losses. A preventable loss is any business cost caused by deliberate or inadvertent human actions, colloquially known as "shrinkage".  

As an effective home manager, I need reduce these preventable losses by any means.  Here are some of my ideas.

COOK LESS:  With The Grand Duchess in her own apartment, there are only four of us at home now.  I look for recipes that serve 4-6 people.  Although cooking less at one meal may mean that I have to cook more times in a week, it also reduces food boredom so leftovers don't just sit in the refrigerator because we're tired of eating them.  If I make a recipe that serves 6, whatever is leftover goes into Friend Hubby's Pyrex lunch dish for the next day.  If 4 servings doesn't seem like it will be enough food, then I try to stretch the meal with more vegetables, cornbread, or a salad.  

SHOP MORE FREQUENTLY FOR FRESH FOOD:  When I lived in Europe, none of my neighbors had a refrigerator as large as my military issue American fridge.  Theirs were the size of the mini-fridges we send our kids to college with.  Every day I saw them get off the buses, walk to the corner market, and head home with just one or two small bags of food.  A trip to Costco will show you the differences in our culture.  Many of us have not just one refrigerator, but either a second one or a freezer as well.  It's great in the winter not to have to leave the house for much of anything, but unfortunately, forgetting what's in the freezer can result in freezer burned food that no one wants to eat.  Here are a couple of ideas to help you with inventory.
Put a chalkboard on the freezer.  

Put a wipe-off board near the freezer.

There is one store in particular where I like to buy the majority of my produce.  Since I am as of yet a very poor gardener, I refer to this store as my backyard garden.  Rather than buying a lot of produce when I get paid, I just go to the store when I need it so I can get the freshest produce and know that I am going to use what I buy right away.  I don't buy ALL my produce organic.  I have an app on my phone to remind me which fruits and vegetables are on the "Dirty Dozen" list and which are on the "Clean 15" list by Environmental Working Group.

If you are afraid that you're going to run out of money before you're able to buy produce again, then factor a store gift card into your produce budget, that way you've put that money aside and it's not going to get spent on something else.

Here is a chart to help you know how long you can safely keep food.

An chart of the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. 

FIFO is an acronym which most commonly stands for first in first out. 

Friend Hubby is a stickler for this.  No boxes of cereal get opened before the first box gets eaten.  The pantry shelves are stocked so that the oldest jar of spaghetti sauce or can of baked beans gets used first.  In addition, fresh vegetables get cooked before frozen vegetables do.

MUST-GOs:  Fridays are for MUST-GOs.  What are MUST-GOs?  Everything in the refrigerator MUST GO.  From one Friday to the next, we keep track of what has been put into the refrigerator.  Most of it is still within the 3-4 day safe period so those get eaten before Shabbat meal is cooked.  This is a good habit and helps to prevent science experiments from reproducing in your refrigerator.

CRYSTAL CLEAR:   I missed out on these bowls at Costco last year. I have been disappointed about it all year. They are back today and I pounced on them. I am tired of having to put the whole crock pot in the refrigerator because I don't have anything else big enough to store leftovers in. I also feel that having translucent dishes will help us not to throw away food because no one knows what's in there and how long it's been there. We've got a big meal coming up and we're not going to want our leftovers to taste like the aluminum pans. Plus, $15 for 8-piece Pyrex is a deal.

I hope you save tons of money with these ideas!  


Find me on Facebook.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Priority #3 - My Children - Teaching What is Valuable

While praying through The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children for The Grand Duchess, I ran across this portion of a prayer:  "Help (her) to learn from the correction of wise teachers and people of maturity, wisdom, and experience, so that (she) will avoid poverty and embarrassment and gain honor and prosperity. (Proverbs 13:18).    

Proverbs 13:18 ISR98 - "Poverty and shame are for him Who ignores discipline, But he who heeds reproof is esteemed."

As a parent, you will never be the only person who speaks into your child's life.  There will be a plethora of people who think themselves wise who always have a word for your children, particularly if you are raising PKs (preacher's kids).  They live life in a glass bubble as it and there are any number of people who take it upon themselves to judge your parenting when they have no mature fruit show for themselves.  While they are so busy judging your children, the seeds of rebellion are being deeply ingrained in theirs, and they are so busy trying to remove the speck in your children while a beam remains in theirs.

However, blessed be the name of the Most High who brings "wise teachers and people of maturity, wisdom, and experience"!  I'm so thankful for the friendships that Yah has blessed us with that have been a part of our lives for over two decades.  They have become "uncles and aunts" to our children.  Because they have "been there, done that" when they speak into our children's lives it is from the perspective of someone who has been through the realities of life and not the idealism of what they wish life to be.  Their own lives are a testimony to the biblical practice of sowing and reaping.  Their youth was busy sowing seeds of preparation that they can now draw upon later in life.  In every area where they have applied the Word through discipline, education, and an orderly life, they are neither impoverished nor embarrassed because they have lived well.  Nothing in life for them has gone according to their plan and they have all had difficult challenges to overcome, but they are willing to share, "This is how Abba brought me from there to here."  They are overcomers who walk humbly, knowing that joy of Yah is their strength and they will rejoice in the time to come!  

Proverbs 13:20 ISR98 - "He who walks with the wise, shall be wise, But the companion of fools suffers evil."

Find me on Facebook.