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Sunday, October 2, 2016

RECESSION PROOF YOUR LIFE

Hello dear friends!  Happy October!   This is my second attempt at writing this post, I was fairly far along  in writing it, when my finger slipped and hit a button and the entire thing disappeared!  Did anyone else's blog list disappear this week?  Oh  my computer woes!  Anywhoo, we're having a beautiful Autumn day today.  It's what I call a Benediction day, you can feel God's face shining down on you and giving you peace. 

And peace is what I need, as I read about what is going on in the world economic-wise.  As of October 1st, the Chinese Yuan is now a reserve currency.  (If you are unaware of the significance of this, you can read my post about the meaning of the petro or reserve currency  which explains it pretty easily.)  Deutsche Bank is teetering.   Just before the elections in November, the Federal Reserve will vote on and probably raise the interest rate and many of you recall that the stock market dropped like a stone the last time they tried to raise it forcing them to rescind the action.  And oh yes, we've been riding the biggest bubble of all, the stock market bubble, for far too long, which will make the tech and housing bubbles look like child's play in comparison.  All of which makes for a rather gloomy forecast for the near future. Just saying, that it doesn't hurt to have some bags of beans and rice stocked in the pantry and some cash hid under the mattress.  You'll have to decide for yourself what to do, but I do know that no one was ever hurt from having some extra food stashed away.  You can always eat if nothing happens.

Recently a comment left by Sharon, reminded me that I have lived through a major recession before.  It's funny how time has dimmed the memories of those worries and fears. In the late 70s and early 80s when Ran and I were just starting out, unemployment was high, inflation was even higher and if  we were going through an oil embargo, that significantly raised the cost of living.  If you were fortunate to have a job, it was likely that your wages were frozen and even if you did get a 3% raise it didn't keep up with inflation.  So basically each year you were getting poorer, unless you had lots of money in the bank, then you could earn 13% interest on your savings account, unfortunately we and many people didn't have any savings.  I remember friends that were lucky enough to have both spouses working, spent their money like it was water, because next year the same money would  buy 20% less. It was a fearful and hedonistic time back then, depending upon which side of the ledger your fortunes fell.

Yet through all the gloom, it was one of the happiest times of my life.  So much of what I learned about thrift stems from that period.  I have to laugh now at some of the measures I took to put food on the table back then.  I remember making a soup with one pork chop.  I boiled the meat to make the broth, added the vegetables, then took the meat out and reused it to make another batch.  Now that is extreme tightwaddery!  And I won't mention the many, many meals of potato pancakes. When times are really hard, there are only three main concerns for your money; food, shelter and transportation to work.  And I dare say, many times food was given up in favor of gasoline and rent.

So what's to be done about hard times?   First give up everything but the essentials.  You know, you really don't need a fancy schmancy phone.  I still manage to communicate with others with my cheap little pay-as-you-go phone and MagicJack.  You can still create happy memories for the children without spending money on vacations and elaborate  parties.  You don't need cable TV.  I live without it, and still manage to know what's going on in the world. When you get down to just the basics, figure out how to cut down on them.  Right now, I'd be scouring the thrift stores and estate sales looking for good woolen blankets, so I could cut my heating bill this winter.  I'd stock up on beans, rice, potatoes and flour.  I'd be searching the internet for recipes for meals made from inexpensive ingredients.  Oh!   And by the way, when you find those recipes, copy them.  Who knows if you'll be able to afford the internet in the future.  Back in the day, I made a simple notebook of recipes from the pantry, culled from sources such as the Grit and Cappers (back when they were good magazines), old church cookbooks, and family  and friends.  I still turn to that booklet when the budget is tight.  Many of the recipes that I write in my Recipes From the Pantry posts are pulled from those pages. Use the internet while you have it, to learn how to do things for yourself, such as; haircutting,  sewing, food storage, foraging etc.  YouTube is a gold mine, there are so many tutorials on it.

But most importantly, strengthen your faith.  To quote Abraham Lincoln, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day."  The best lesson I learned from that time period was, as a Christian, I was to live in this world and not be of it.  I'm sure the other major faiths have a similar outlook.   That is why I can be content and joyful, in adversity.  Things such as a big house, fashion, the latest gadget, a new car, etc. are only ephemeral things,  my treasure is not in this life.  This is going to sound very strange, but from a very young age, I felt that when it comes to thriftiness, God has whispered in my ear and told me to pay attention.  That is why, since my first memories, I have been studying how people lived through hard times.  When older family members spoke of the Great Depression, I listened.  I read novels such as The Grapes of Wrath and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn like textbooks, studying how the characters survived.  I've read and still prefer to read biographies and autobiographies of people that suffered through wars and famines.  And pioneer tales also.  Anything to squeeze one more bit of knowledge out of the pages.  And I can tell you the two main concerns were always food and shelter.  So if the economy takes a tumble that would be my main focus.  Just always remember others have lived through times of trouble and you are just as strong as they are, you'll get through them also.

SO

Even in the hardest of times, there is joy.  Hard times can either bring people closer or pull them apart.  One of the ways to draw family closer is by creating your own traditions. We have a few Autumn traditions here, one is that we get out our Fall decorated mugs.  They are just cheap mugs that we bought at the dollar store, but every year we look forward to the first cool day, to bring out the Fall mugs.   The other tradition is that we hold our own Oktoberfest on the first Sunday in October.  I always serve Alsatian pork roast made form our homemade sauerkraut and dress the table in our finest.  Pork is always cheap this time of year.  I bought a lovely sirloin roast from Aldi's for $1.99 a pound.  Never having bought meat from them before, I was impressed.  It was one of the most tender roasts I've ever had.
The carrots, onions, herbs and potatoes  all come from our garden, so it is also a true harvest  and thrifty meal.

GARDENING

As a side dish we had one of our Australian Butter squashes.  This is a new variety to us this year and we'll definitely be growing them next year.  They are a squash-haters squash,  very mildly flavored.  Except for leeks and some flowers, our vegetable garden is now put to bed for the winter.  While out cleaning and tilling, Ran discovered  a cluster of grapes that I had missed when I was harvesting them for juice.  It was just enough to make three little grape tarts, which we had for dessert.  I wrote the recipe in a reply to Vickie, but thought you might like to have it also:

Concord Grape Pie

Unbaked pie shell
4 1/2 C. Concord grapes
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
streusal (recipe follows)

Wash grapes and remove skins by pinching at end opposite stem. Reserve skins

Place pulp in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes until pulp is soft. Push pulp through a strainer to remove the seeds.

Combine the pulp and skins. Stir in the flour, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Pour into the crust. Top with streusel and bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the fruit begins to bubble.

Streusel:

combine 1/2 C. oatmeal,, 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/4 C. flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 1/4 C. butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the pie.


THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK

Made vegetarian chili from the last of the tomatoes and peppers before we pulled them.  This made a huge pot, enough for three days of meals.  And it cost us nothing as everything came from the garden.

Ran cut Jamie's hair.

Our friend Mary brought us a bunch of fruit.  Has anyone heard of cotton candy grapes?  They were wonderfully sweet.

A thrift store in the area had a sale on all their clothing for 99 cents.  I found several skirts and a few tops to put away for next Summer, which I really needed.  My Summer clothes are deplorable.

Bought a 10 pound head of cabbage for $1.49.  The price was the same no matter what size of head you picked, so I picked the biggest.  Will make sauerkraut from it this week.

Made up some spaghetti sauce from the last culled tomatoes.  Froze it as there wasn't enough to bother canning.

Saved the seeds from the Australian Butter Squash.

Started knitting a hat from my never ending yarn stash.  I'm hoping it will be enough, otherwise I'm going to have to get creative!

Made grape tarts from the last of  the Concords.

Ran made some spoons from the free black walnut wood our neighbor gave us.

So that's it for another week at the old Zempel boarding house!   I hope that you all have a wonderful golden Fall week!

Hugs
Jane
 












36 comments:

  1. Happy October!
    Such good advice! Going to stock up on some rice, beans, potatoes and flour this week.
    Love that you have traditions for fall. Will try your pork roast recipe. I think my family would really like it.
    I love squash, but my husband doesn't, so I will have to remember the Australian butter squash next year.
    I enjoy reading stories of people overcoming hardships. I think The Long Winter is one of my favorites.
    Hope you have a wonderful week.

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    1. Hello Kathy! I pray that you are doing well. The roast is one of our favorites, incorporating our heritage, my husband's German and mine, Swiss. We do love our sauerkraut! Although in this roast it isn't as powerful as true sauerkraut lover may like.

      Oh yes! I forgot about The Long Winter. Now that was a scary time for those dear people. It's amazing how the settlers endured isn't it? Well, the Ingalls made it through and I'm sure we can be just as strong if needs be.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  2. A Happy Autumn to you, Jane! The cool winds are blowing here so I'm loving it.
    I well remember the recession of the late 70s. It was a dismal time, and it was a bit rough for us, but the Lord kept us. It's good to plan and do what you can then leave it in the Lord's hands.
    I just made sauerkraut a little over a week ago and can't wait til it's ready. I use the no-fail method using a large Fido jar. Love it.
    Hope you have a great week!
    Toni

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    1. So true Toni! It seems things always have a way of working out. But it doesn't hurt to plan ahead a bit. Ha!

      I make my sauerkraut the old fashioned way in a crock. Just like doing things the way my grandparents did it. If it doesn't work out I'm out $1.49. It usually works, unless a certain husband makes it and forgets to tell a certain wife.

      Hope you have a great week also!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  3. Jane I haven't had sauerkraut since I was about 15, and stayed with a friend whose Dad was from Latvia. Maybe her Mum as well. From memory they made it in a huge glass jar.This was in about 1955, no fridge, the ice man came once a week, Op shop , my fav place for curtains, bedspreads to make into bath mats ( Candlewick ones, don't know if you have them up North), bowls to put indoor plants in, and so much more, and always free books and magazines. And then I can reciprocate, taking in what we don't need or use, and surplus fruit, if we have enough in the freezer.

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    1. Hi Jean! Yep you don't need refrigeration to make sauerkraut. As a matter of fact, you can just keep it in the crock (or jar) and use it as you need it. Because we don't use that much I can mine.

      Is your Op shop similar to a thrift store? Or is it a trading place? Sounds interesting.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  4. Dear Jane,
    That information about the Chinese Yuan becoming a reserve currency is both fascinating and terrifying. What is the US going to do when other countries want to trade using the YUAN? We can't wage war on the whole world. I appreciate knowing this as I was completely ignorant about it. Wow. I never knew why we waged war on Saddam. I heard lots of people saying it was about oil but I never understood it was technically over our petro-dollar. That changes everything. We are in for some very bad times ahead. I agree with you completely: time to stock up and be prepared to not have the internet at one's fingertips.
    Well, let's see what I did that was frugal last week:
    Took advantage of sales and got my bi-weekly grocery bill (for a family of 3) down to $103.
    Spent yesterday doing prep/bulk cooking for the week ahead.
    Made your apple-oat muffins for my girls (they love muffins for snacks.)
    Hand washed my dry clean only clothes to save on dry cleaning.
    Started knitting another washcloth from yarn that was given to me.
    Used my library instead of buying books.
    That's all I can think of right now! As always, thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiring us all to take better care of ourselves!
    Have a great week,
    Dana

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    1. Sometimes it seems that we are trying to go to war with the entire world, Dana. I can't even recall all the nations we are fighting with. The one that sends shivers up my spine is all the talk about Russia "spying" on us. Sounds like an excuse to start a war with them. Don't like it at all! I will prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Prepping gets a bad rep, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a few bags of beans and rice on the shelf just in case.

      $103 for two weeks of groceries for three people is very good! Congratulations! Especially thrifty, considering you don't have a garden. So much of my savings comes from not having to buy produce.

      I always hand-washed my dry cleanables too. That's a major savings.

      I'm sure you did plenty of other thrifty things also. I never can remember what I did during the week, by the time I sit down Sunday night to write this blog. If I was more organized, I'd keep a running list. But so much of the savings is passive, I didn't buy this, I didn't go there, etc.

      Hope you have a wonderful, thrifty week!

      Hugs
      Jane

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    2. That's true - probably 80% of my savings is myself telling me, "No!" every time I get an impulse to go somewhere and buy something.

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  5. Jane, My blog list completely disappeared too! I had to redo it on Saturday. Now Google only notifies me sometimes if I have a comment. It will all straighten out soon I hope.

    We too lived through that recession it was such a relieve when my husband was called back to work and finally stayed! He had many layoffs on and off for quite awhile. I chose not to worry and fret because we will make it no matter what happens with God's help. Your tips are great to relieve some minds! Have a great day.

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  6. Seems like every time they make "improvements" things get worse, Vickie. I'm glad I had a second blog that just list all the blogs I like to visit. It's pretty immense and I'm sure I wouldn't remember them all.

    It was scary going through the hard times, but it certainly makes a person confident that they can handle it again. I think our children haven't a clue how different things were back then. Faith will see us through!

    Hugs
    Jane

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  7. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books. I think I've reread it at least a dozen times, if not more! And The Long Winter--how resourceful they had to be to survive. Ma's button lamp impressed me so much!

    I would love to see the spoons Ran made from the black walnut wood! Did he turn them on a lathe, or carve them entirely by hand? Just curious...

    Sue

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    1. Me too, Sue! I love all the Betty Smith books, too bad she only wrote four. Have you read the others?

      I'll have to take some pictures of the spoons and include them in the next post. He carves them all by hand. Here's a link to a post where there's a picture of some others that he made: http://hopeandthrift.blogspot.com/2016/01/simplify-simplify.html

      Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Fall!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  8. Happy first week of October, Jane! As you, I fear what is to come, but we have planned and done what we can to protect ourselves as much as we can. The rest is up to the One in Charge. He's got it all worked out... Still. Canning. Tomatoes. Yes, I am... Cider, pumpkins, and greens to go... Planted broccoli, brussel spounts, cauliflower for the fall garden and they are flourishing. I hope to get a crop before the snow flies. We are holding out turning on our heat. And, I have ordered firewood since Mister didn't get it cut this summer (what a wasteful expense, but I can't do it all). Knitting dishcloths as I seem to have no brain for anything else this week! LOL Which hat are you knitting??

    Have a marvelous week... as ever.. m

    ps.. how does magic jack work??

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    1. The way the weather is around here, Matty, you should get your Fall crop with no problem. I probably should have planted some more also, but the truth be told, I am sick of gardening and canning.

      No need for heat here. Today it's supposed to be in the 70s! Where's my crisp Fall days?

      I'm knitting a hat from a pattern in The Gentle Art of Knitting. This is the second one I've knitted with the pattern and they are really cute.

      Magic Jacks just plug into your computer modem and then you plug a phone into that. Only $33 a year to operate, unlimited calls. That's the phone I use when I call you. I can hear better on it.

      What a surprise! A always thought that you could do it all! At least it seems that way to me!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  9. I hadn't thought of that old book " a tree grows in brooklyn" in a long time! I did so love it years ago!Maybe I will go to the library and get it and read it again. I love sauerkraut --and just recently found out its so very good for our digestion and full of probiotics. I read eating just a half cup a day has great benefits...that is so easy to do especially if you love it. I just add it every night to my supper plate--easy. I eat way more than a half cup too!! ha ha LOL

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    1. Hi Debbi! We grew up in a German culture where people kept a barrel of kraut down in their cellar and ate it regularly. And you know what? Lots of those people lived into very old age, so maybe there's something to it. They say all diseases originate in the gut.

      Betty Smith was a wonderful writer. and I loved the old black and white movie of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Have you seen it?

      Happy wanderings!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  10. I so agree with what you say about getting prepared for recession. I was blessed to have an abundance of peppers this year and so far I have diced and frozen 4 gallon bags of them. That will keep us for a long winter :) They add so much flavor to so many dishes. I went Goodwill shopping with my 2 besties yesterday and got many great bargains that I had on my list. One I am most happy for is an immersion blender to use in soap making. We are getting a nice rain today for which I never complain. Gets that subsoil moisture in the ground for next years garden. I have most of my garden put to bed. Still picking tomatoes as they ripen and use the good ones for us and the others for chicken food. Loving our cooler temps these days. Enjoy fall. Nannie

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  11. Sounds like it was a good year everywhere for peppers, Nannie. Have you ever tried making pepper jelly? It doesn't use very many but it's tasty. I like to use it in place of butter or mayo on sandwiches. Spread on crackers with some cream cheese is pretty great too.

    We bought one of those immersion blenders at a garage sale for soap making. Makes the creamiest soap. Rain water makes nice soft soap too.

    Seems like the thrift stores were having some kind of price war. Between the three of them I bought an entire laundry basket of clothes for less than $10. It's always nice to have a variety. I'm really happy with the Summer clothes. I'm so hard on them, by the end of the season they are always stained up and look like heck!

    Cooler weather here, but still not cool enough for my liking! Hope you are enjoying your Fall!

    Hugs
    Jane

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  12. Hi Jane! I definitely liked your post. Even for those who might not believe we are in some uncertain times some good preparation can be a blessing to tide you over in those times when a gigantic dental bill (or any other unsuspecting expense) arrives. In my case, in humor, I will have plenty of canned tomatoes and other canned tomato items to tide me over. (I'm STILL picking them!!)

    At last though fall does seem to be arriving where I am (along with the usual rain here) and with it I seem to be craving comfort food. I heard someone talking about gingerbread (the cake, not the cookies) and since I keep thinking about it so I guess I'll have to make some. I guess for me it's a grandmother memory. Have a great week! Sharon

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    1. Hello Sharon! Thank you for the inspiration for the post!

      Well tomatoes are good! They're high in vitamin C and we might not be able to afford citrus fruit. Ha! I'm trying to learn to love those dreaded black currants.

      Must be something in the air. I made a Spanish bar (spice) cake this week. It was so good to bake something that the garden didn't dictate. I was so tired of baking fruit cobblers and pies. I frosted it with buttercream icing. Not a good way to start a diet! Hope you enjoy your gingerbread!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  13. Hello Jane, Thank-you for your post. I too seem to be interested in how people managed their life before "consumerism" was a word. Maybe it's because my parents lived through the depression, maybe because I feel that we are on the wrong path, or maybe I'm just on a different path. In the past, families pulled together, children knew to be thankful, and waiting was just part of life. I've got a series of cookbooks, called "Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930's" by Rita VanAmber. I like to read about the reminiscences of those who went through it. As a Ontarian, I have seen a jump in Hydro, water, food, insurance costs, car licence costs, you name it in just this year. I feel for those on fixed incomes. Weather is beautiful though, and the geese are flying south, the apples are in, and I'm dehydrating some to make apple chips. Happy days!

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    1. Hello Gail! Thank you for the book suggestion. Sounds like it is right up my alley. I guess the one good thing about this year is that Fall it is fairly warm so we can delay heating costs for a while.

      Would you believe I only got about a 1/2 bushel of apples this year? Last year we had so many, even the deer were turning up their noses at them.

      I think the big shift in consumerism came when the advent of credit cards. Before then, you had no choice but to wait until you could afford something or do without. Remember how exciting Christmas and birthdays were because it was the only time you would get the toy you were longing for? Now it's just part of the entertainment for children to go to the store on the weekends and pick something out. I think children are losing their imagination because of it. Kind of sad.

      Hope you are enjoying your beautiful area this Fall, bet it's pretty!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  14. Hello Jane,
    I used to read both Grit and Capper. We moved to Oklahoma in 1991 and lived about an hour from my grandmothers. I would drive over to visit them about once a month and my fraternal grandmother always had a grocery sack full of the Grits, Cappers, and Women's Worlds she has read. They did have great recipes. I think my Dutch Baby recipe is from one of them as well as a Taco Rice Salad recipe that is so thrifty and a family favorite.
    The economy and election both bother me. Seems both main candidates and their hardcore followers are more interested in sticking it to the other side than they are in actually bettering the USA.

    Little aggravations- I'm sorry you lost your first draft of this post but I'm glad you still put one up anyway. ❤️

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    1. Hi Rhonda! Our neighbor delivered the Grit and I always wanted to do that because I really wanted one of their newsbags. Really got our money's worth of entertainment out of those old magazines. In addition to the great recipes, the puzzle page was so much fun. I'd cut them out and save them for times when I was stuck inside all day.

      This computer is very odd. Yesterday I accidently brushed against a key and the entire page turned 180 degrees. Had to reboot the thing to get it all upright again. That's my answer for any computer problems, restart! Hope all is well!

      HUgs
      Jane

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  15. Lovely to read all your wise words and good advice Jane. It's so frustrating when all your hard work disappears like that...but glad that you took the time to re-write. That pie sounds delicious. We just home made pie for lunch with a root of potatoes from the garden...Home grown tastes so much better. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Have a fruitful week. debx

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Isn't it amazing how different home-grown tastes? It's good to see you blogging again!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  16. HI Jane, I remember that recession well and the long lines to get gas. I lived in Hawaii at the time and there were only certain days that you could get gas depending on if your license plate ended in an odd or even number. Even then you had to be one of the first people in line because the few gas stations would run out of gas. I remember long long lines and waiting for up to an hour to get gas. Food prices soared along with everything else. Since almost everything was shipped in on huge boats, prices almost doubled on everything. I know you mentioned eating lots of potato pancakes which would have been a luxury for us because potatoes all had to be shipped in and were only on our tables for holidays. Real mashed potatoes were something that I looked forward to as a treat! ;)

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    1. It seems like ancient history doesn't it Debbie? I think our children take for granted that everything will be fine, and they need to know that the economy can turn on a dime and to be prepared.

      I can't imagine potatoes being a luxury! But I bet you had lots of locally grown fruits that we all on the mainland considered a luxury. Must have been wonderful to have lived in Hawaii, recession or not!

      Hugs
      Jane

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  17. Thanks for the reminder to strengthen our faith! Beautiful advice ♥

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    1. Thank you Summer! I hope you don't mind, but I put your blog on my blog list.

      Hugs
      Jane

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  18. Debbie in the U.P.October 8, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Hell-o, Jane
    Lovely post, as usual. I've gone back and read all the posts you've written. (I think i got them all!) I wrote down a few recipes and herbal wisdom for when i have more free time.
    This post was right on target with what my son told me the other day. He says our economy is unsustainable and he thinks the USA will have to default. (His accountant background speaking) Not a good thought! I can only do what i can do.. I, too, remember the 80's and high interest rates. Our first house was 18% interest. After a few years, when the rates started going down, we re-financed and saved hundreds a month! What a stressful time!
    Have a fabulous week!
    Debbie in the U.P.

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    1. Hello Debbie! Economics is one of the things I love to study along with history and eschatology. When you combine those three things, it's alarming how things are all coalescing. My son was named one of the top 30 financial advisors in the US under the age of 30 by a national financial magazine and he tutors me a lot about economics. He even advises governors and senators, so I respect his opinion, which unfortunately is rather dismal at the moment.

      When we bought our first house the interest rates were 16 1/2% but slipped to 13 3/4% so we locked in our interest rate. Everyone was congratulating us on the fantastic rate we got. Ha! Well living in the UP, you can always live off of venison and there's plenty of woods for heat if things do take a tumble. The joke around here is if things get really bad, we'll just take our old beater truck and hit a deer from time to time to have a source of fresh meat. It's inevitable that you're going to hit one anyhow. One of the nicest things about living in Michigan is that we have a source of fresh water. We'll get by!

      What's the weather up North? Cold enough for the light winter coat today.

      HUgs
      Jane

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  19. Debbie in the U.P.October 8, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Hi, Jane!
    Wow! Good for your son; he must know all the financial dirt! You're right, it's not too pretty.
    We're having a fairly mild Fall, so far. Today was chilly but it's supposed to warm back up. I'm loving it! I could never live in Fl. (Our daughter lives there, though. She dodged the hurricane bullet…) Also, our leaves aren't yet 50% peak. We still have tourists wondering where the color is.
    Love the idea of hitting the deer!
    Stay warm.
    Debbie

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    1. Yeah today was beautiful! I have our little electric fireplace going and candles lit. Been waiting weeks for an evening like this. Cozy! Glad your daughter is safe!

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  20. Thanks so much for the recipe Jane I'm going to print it out-our neighbor has concord grapes but never does anything with them. So me and another neighbor trim the vines and pick the grapes. She will love the recipe too! Have a great day!

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