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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

providing for my needs

I have said before I work for a large church, in an affluent area. I do not live in the area where I work, I live about 25 minutes away, and the median income is smaller where I live, as well as more blue collar.  Where I work the median income is probably 300,000 dollars, perhaps much more.  Some of our proffesional sports teams live in this area.  It is booming here.
I see excess every day in the area I work. I see people complaining of not having things. I was talking about cars to a person who is struggling with debt payments.  He did not want to drive a five year old car! There were various reasons why I just can't even respond. The first being I drive a 1995 Baretta, we put a new motor in it, it came from MO where they do not use road salt and was in excellent condition.  We have never had a car payment. It has always been just a means to get from point a to point b. I have to roll my windows down by hand! GASP!  We actually drive cars until they are dead and gone. We always get our money's worth out of them to say the least.
I am two years away from payoff on our house. We only have one outstanding credit card debt (we have medical debt as well) we purchased a much needed furnace for our house and we are trying desperatly to pay it off in a year or as fast as humanly possible.
We save for everything we want.  If we want a vacation, we save.  If we want a car, we save. If we want clothes we save. We never use credit ever for anything other than emergencies, then pay it off FAST. 
People think we are crazy. We decided we want a vaction next year. So we are already thinking of ways to make the money to go.  I am going to raise tons of heirloom tomatoes and pepper plants and sell them this coming spring at a farmers market and out of my yard which has tons of  traffic.  I am buying yard sale finds and repainting them and making them "chabby chic"  basically old looking and am taking them to consignment. We plan on doing a whole bunch of it over the winter and trying to get a booth at a flea market and sell it all in a weekend. Any leftover will go to consignment. This is the way we are going to take a vacation. We could put it on a credit card, but we choose to save for it instead.  Also when we go, we do not stay in extravigant places or eat in the most expensive places.  We are frugal by nature. People do not understand that.
Our home is small.  It is two stories and a basement. ONE BATHROOM! People cannot believe we can funtion with one bathroom. Why don't we  sell and get a bigger home?  Well let me answer that question.  We bought a house on the premise that we would be able to always make the payment, even if we lost our "good" jobs, we could each work two part time Walmart type jobs and make ends meet.  We live pretty much paycheck to paycheck, but we have never over extended ourselves. If we could not afford to pay cash, we did not NEED IT.
People think we are crazy. I like to say I live the way God intended for me to live.  He told us in the bible that He will supply all of our NEEDS, and He has!
I have needs and I have WANTS. Wants we need to work for, to earn. God gives us this ability.
So this is how I try to live.  In an affluent area, people look at me like I have two heads when they realize how "poor" we live.
But I know I am not poor at all! I am rich~ I have a roof over my head that I love, it has enough room for all my family, but it may not have an extra family room.  We have an acre of land, and if I had to, I could grow what I need on that acre to sustain us. My one bathroom works well, my bedroom gives me privacy and peace. I raised a family there, and have grandbabies who cannot wait to come to Grandmas house!
Could I get greedy and want more? Sure, some days I have to pull my brain away from the "I wish we had xyz"  Who would not want the newest most awsome washing machine? Or a new car? Or the best shoes and clothes?
It is human nature to want, but it is biblical to live knowing that God will take care of my needs. Not easy, but Christ never said it would be easy, He said we had to pick up our cross and follow him. I know that means that life will weigh you down, it will be hard, but I will be with you all along the way, and I will take care of your needs.
Thank God for that assurance~
Peace and Blessings!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

sorry it has been so long!

I am sure most of you understand the end of summer and what that means when you are a gardener!  Canning season starts.  I was so sad, I had to buy my tomatoes this year because the dag nabbed deer ate all my tomato plants. But I got a good deal on a bushel of beautiful roma's and made fire roasted sauce and some salsa as well. I canned green beans and peach preserves as well. The peach preserves are a lower sugar recipe and they came out divine! I cannot wait to open it in the winter, maybe on some french vanilla ice cream!

We had a lovely ride for our anniversary, the weather was perfect, not to hot to enjoy the antique stores but nice enough to not have to wear a jacket riding the bike.  We got to see many Amish farms, and I have to say, I have never been to a better kept area of the country.  We traveled all over 2 counties on the bike, and there was not one abandoned house or crumbling garage or shed falling down. All the yards were pin neat, with great flowers and beautiful gardens. My handsome and I wondered why that is, because where we live you see old crumbling buildings everywhere.  Their farms are so beautiful! When we were riding some of the back roads we commented on the corn, we have never ever seen corn that tall, even in the midwest. It was at least ten feet tall, maybe even taller than that!  The air everywhere smelled of cows, not a bad smell at all, but clean air and farms air.  I think of all the farmers that put all those chemicals on their crops to fertilize them when the Amish use what God provides, poop! and they have the BEST corn I have ever seen!
We went to Stausburg PA and road a steam train, and went to an amazing train museum, if you love trains, that is the town to go to!
And all the fun antique stores that were around every corner it seemed. Because we were on the bike we could not buy too much ( which for our pocket book was good!) but we made some cute little finds. I found a great old bottle that says durahm drugs and elixers on it, it is blueish tinged. My handsome got a 48 star flag, he has wanted one for ever, It was only $12 and it was in good shape, a ton of "patina" but it will look good in the shadow box he is going to build.

We are going to try starting a small at home cottage industry (term used very very loosly!), We have a bunch of old advertising from old life magazines ect. Not photo advertising but hand drawn, my grandfather used to do that as a living, and I love looking at old ads, knowing that they were all painted by someone by hand, there is some beautiful ads out there. Anyway, we are framing these ads, then I am buying old frames and mats and distressing them and painting them in the "shabby chic" style, or using reclaimed wood we are making the frames.  I also am buying cheap mirrors and some small furniture and or accesories that can be remade into shabby chic or primitive looking items. I have my first batch done and am going to take them to a consignment store and see what happens. I will post pictures when I finish this batch. I have a beautiful Mazola oil ad in a distressed frame, I have a three stick candle holder, I have a mirror and then a wall rack thingy. Better to take a picture of it. We are hoping to make enough over the winter to take a nice vacation next year.  I also am planning on planting a whole ton of heirloom tomatoes from seed and sell them out of my yard over memorial day, that is when everyone goes crazy here on their yard and garden.  I also have a ton of perenial flowers that I am going to divide up and sell.  I know a woman that made over $600 a year just selling her perenials that she divided up from her yard. I am really enjoying making the furniture and stuff. I love anything creative, I love to paint and I think my stuff is turning out pretty neat looking. I am going to try to insert a picture of the wall rack thing.

I did it!
They are not the best pictures but it gives you an idea. I have two more old type seed packs for the bottom two small frames.  I think it was intended for pictures of family,,.but I like it like this it would make a neat key holder for a kitchen or dining area.
What do you think? I have very little money invested in this piece. Other than time I paid $5 for it so I can sell it for a reasonable price.
I hope that everyone is doing well and getting all their summer work finished up!
Peace and Blessings!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Getting ready to ride

We are running away on the bike and heading east! We never go east, so it will all be new!  We are doing a Harley Davidson steel boot tour, and hitting some Amish areas, ride the curvy covered bridge roads, and just adventure.
We are doing this to celebrate thirty years of marriage today.
Four years ago, I would not believe it. God is good!
Peace and blessings

Monday, August 10, 2015

Well I finally got a diagnosis

I went to the back specialist last two weeks and I have a diagnosis for my back, and it is not one I want, but I am relieved in a way and I will explain why.

ankylosing spondylitis

If you want you can google it.  In a nutshell it is a type of condition comparable to rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. It will not ever go away, but comes and goes in what they term "flares".  That explains why it seems nothing ever triggers my pain, and then it goes away. 
The condition scares me, but like I said, it gives me a certain peace knowing that there is indeed something wrong with my back. In this day and age, it just seems like you tell a doctor that you have back pain and they look at you like you just want drugs, well usually when people go to the doctor, they ARE in pain and DO need meds to help. Sadly that makes anyone seeking pain relief a doper to some doctors. My general practitioner in particular. I have had this problem so long, and anytime it got out of control I would ask for pain meds and rehab. He would give me 15 pain pills. That was nothing, and I could take them in four or five days.  Now a flare is not always for months, but it can be.
You see, finding out I had something was better than it being some random pain that I was being a baby about. When I finally went to the specialist, I explained that I fear that I will be prematurely aged by this.  What I mean was I am active. I like to garden and hike and play with my twin grandkids, and motorcycle for days, I am active.  As the pain became too much, I was loosing my ability to ignore the pain and be active, because that is what I have had to do for so long.  I have lived in pain for so many years now, that I just fight my way thru it to be able to LIVE.  I told the Dr that I cannot give up my activities, I see so many younger people who use canes ect because of back pain.  What I have is actually in  my sacroiliac joint not my back proper, as well as affecting my knee, (although I did not know they were connected till after my diagnosis) and when I lean forward it doesnt hurt so much, like people with canes.  I will not let that happen, and thank God, this doctor said he wont either! I told him I push thru the pain , I keep active, but that some days it is sooo hard to do. But he said that is was no problem to give me the pain meds to take on a  schedule. They are very very mild and do help.  This will probably progress though and as it does I will have to go see a different doctor and may have to be put on methotrexate or one of the strong meds they give for it. I hope that it never progresses to that point.
This diagnosis also explains a bunch of other things that happened in the past five years, I had a terrible hip problem about three or four years ago. I could hardly walk, they could not find anything wrong ( again, I was feeling like a hypochondriac) I ended up getting two injections in it and it hurt for almost a year, then bam, one day it is better. I went from being almost unable to walk to fine. It was another time I felt like what the heck, I did nothing to hurt myself, and doctors just don't like hearing that.  About three months ago my knee started hurting so bad I could hardly step on it. I figured shoot, I did something to that now.  Well I noticed that when my back was bad, so was my knee. Well the doctor said yes that is what a flare is. He helped me by validating that there was something physically wrong with me. I am not a drug seeker and I AM in pain, and there is a very real reason for the pain. Trust me when I say I would rather not have this at all, and I would much rather not be living in pain, but now I feel validated. Now I know it is not in my head. Or that I am a weakling and cannot deal with pain. I have been for so so long. I am taking one pill three times daily now, and am in so much more comfort. It is better than the 4 ibuprofen I was taking 4 times a day, that was eating my stomach and not working anymore. Now I can get out of bed in the morning and know I will be able to move after my shower. I can go to bed at night and actually roll over instead of pulling the sides of the bed to help me roll over.
I don't want this condition, but at least it is not in my head.
Peace and Blessings!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I am so happy!

I am able to get new insurance!!! I am so excited I cannot stand it!  I can get my shots in my back! I can get my carpal tunnel fixed!  I can get an MRI of the knee that I think I tore the meniscis (sp)
We can get the blood work that we need in our 50's
I am so relieved I cannot put it into words.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sad garden update

Well, I am almost to the point of pulling all my tomatoes.  I have blight now from all the rain. It is so so hard to loose so many tomatoes when you raised them from seed, worked hard on giving them great growing conditions, and then the rain does not stop for over a month and the sun is hiding most days :(
I usually have no problems with things eating my garden either because of the three dogs, but something is eating my green beans! I seriously wanted to cry when I went out to my garden yesterday.  I am going to re evaluate the garden in a few days and may pull all of the really bad plants, then just replant with fall stuff. I will purchase a bushel of tomatoes and beans to can this year.  My trail of tears climbing beans are doing great.  My cukes are doing well too.  I dug potatoes yesterday for dinner and to see if they were rotting because of all the rain, thank goodness they are ok. I haven't had this bad of a year in over ten years and it really is disheartening to go thru all the work, and anticipation to have it fail. I think next year I am going to just build a new bed for the tomatoes and give all the current beds a break on them for at least a year.  I do rotate, but maybe I need longer between rotations.
Do any of you have suggestions as to what would be good to plant if I pull the tomatoes?  Something that will battle the problems I am having? What is a good feeder?  Any suggestions are welcome.

How are your gardens doing?  Have you ever had a failure year? It is disgusting isn't it lol.

Peace and Blessings

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why is there no publicity around yesterdays cyber "problems"

I have only recently gotten involved in preparedness. I could read the signs and found people online who I thought I could learn from, and who could help me to read the signs if I did not see something coming. I am learning so much, unfortunately I am nowhere near where I need to be if we have an incident, I would survive a short term emergency, but not a long term one. I am feeling the need to get better prepared.  I feel like God is nudging me in this direction, and I felt it before yesterday, but felt the need to share and get others opinions today.

What do you think happened yesterday with Wall Street and United Airlines?  Do you think it is all a coincidence?? I do not.  As Handsome and number 2 son and I were discussing this last night we all agree that there is no way this is a coincidence.  I am convinced that "the government" got involved and said no way are we saying this was and attack.  People would rush their banks and investments. I know I would.  Let me ask you, would you have flown yesterday or today even if you thought for one minute that the airlines could so easily be hacked, even though most informed people these days realize how vulnerable we really are. If this was a cyber attack or the "practice" run for one, and the media reported on that, our country would panic. The smart ones would see it as a very large warning sign, those that have been studying this and getting prepared for it are saying, we told you so.
I am trying not to worry, as I need to rely on the fact that God will indeed take care of me.
 My theory on all the cyber crap is this will institute the beginning of a individual microchip, meant to "protect" you from the cyber problems. The young people will think nothing of it at all, they are used to technology developing by leaps and bounds. Some young Christian people will know right away what it is. I am expecting it, and when that happens, we will need to be prepared, and I mean really prepared, as we will not be able to function without their device. We will have to have enough to care for our family until we are raptured or Jesus comes back.  It is an overwhelming thought isn't it?

I need to be way better prepared.  I need so many things, and my lists keep getting longer.  I am trying not to be discouraged because every step forward is going to help my family. I just feel the clock ticking, it is coming, what ever form "it" takes.

I really wish some media outlet would not let the government explanation go un investigated.  We cannot just sweep this incident under the carpet.  That along with the tweet from anonymous , the problems in Greece, and the real issues that China has going on, that we do not hear a word about in the media it seems.  Everything is ooookayy, according to "them"  dont worry, be happy.......

I may not worry, but I am not stupid, I can see the signs, and I am listening to the voice that is telling me be prepared be prepared.

Peace and Blessings