Hello dear friends! We are experiencing a real Michigan Spring this year; cold and damp with just enough sunny and warm days to make the daffodils and forsythias bloom.
With that, I'm sorry to say that this will be my last post. Perhaps you regular readers could tell, but lately I've just not been enthusiastic about writing Hope and Thrift, truth be told, I dread writing it. Because of the abuse I experienced as a child, I'm very sensitive to criticism, and every time I hit the "publish" button, a great foreboding would come over me that someone would find something to take umbrage with. Even knowing that there's hundreds of kind comments to every snarky one, doesn't help. I always focus on the nasty one. I get hurt when someone questions my integrity, especially if it's a reader that I've patiently answered their questions about gardening and canning. You see, I think of you as more than mere readers or followers (hate that term) of my blog, but as friends, so when someone criticizes me, I take it personally. So (I know this sounds silly) I asked God to show me a sign if I were to continue this blog and guess what? I got only one comment this week and it was one of those snarky ones. That, plus several other signs, and I believe that He is telling me to move along. Conversely, in the past, I've asked for a sign and people left a comment that very day, saying they are new to my blog and love it or found it helpful or encouraging. Some of you might be rolling your eyes about now, but if God cares about a fallen sparrow, I'm sure that he cares about my blog and the happiness or hurt it causes me.
So, I've been thinking a lot lately about what I will do with the extra time I'll have not blogging. Blogging took up several hours of my day with writing it, answering comments, commenting on other's blogs, answering e-mails, taking and downloading pictures, researching topics, and just trying to think of something interesting to write about. . I remember a time when my children were young and every waking hour was spent in activities, whether it was housework (my house was spotless back then), preparing meals, creating things, or just the time I took on my physical appearance, at the end of the day, I could hardly drag myself up the stairs to bed, but it was good to fill every hours doing something. I was happier back then, my family was too. So that is what I want to return to, my own version of a purpose-filled life; I want to again spend my days creating, or baking beautiful pies,
learning a new skill,
Friday, April 14, 2017
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Hello dear friends! Just an update on how my seeds that I started earlier this month are doing. Here's a picture:
On another note, as you may have noticed, I haven't been about as much as I used to be. I'm trying to cut back on the time I spend on the computer. I hope you will understand if I do not comment as often on your blogs as I did before. Doesn't mean I don't still appreciate your writing! I intend to write only once a month from here on out. Hopefully, the posts will be more interesting and filled with information on thrift for you that way. So I hope to see you here on May 1st, Lord willing and the creek don't rise! May you all have a joy-filled and blessed Resurrection Day!
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Hello dear friends! Hope this post finds you all safe and sound. First, I 'd like to thank Leslie and Ran for filling in for me last week, March has been a difficult month for me and truth be told, I'm not sad to show it the door. My thyroid has been bothering me for the last several months. Although the tests come back normal (with medication) I was feeling like a zombie. My get-up-and-go got up and went! Plus I was starting to gain weight in spite of only eating 900 calories a day and walking between 3-6 miles daily. To say I was not a happy camper would be an understatement. Well, no help from the doctors, they just look at the numbers and assume you are not telling them the truth, so Ran and I had to do our own research on the matter. It pays to have a scientist for a husband, because my brain was so foggy I couldn't comprehend what I was reading, but since Ran has been doing research for his entire life, it was a piece of cake for him. After doing research, he set me up on a regime of various vitamins and minerals and almost immediately I began to feel better and I started losing weight (five pounds this week). But the best thing is that I now feel alive again! There's so much joy in just waking up and feeling rested. Once I felt more with-it, I did further research and discovered that many of the vegetables that I love and eat daily, such as broccoli, cabbage and kale are all big no-nos for people with thyroid conditions; they inhibit the thyroid. Who would have thought such healthy things would be so bad for you?
Anyhow, in the meantime, we've been working on making our home function better. Once again, I rearranged the living room to make it work for us. You see, this room must serve many purposes; sitting room, guitar studio, sewing room, dressing room and on occasions a guest room. That's a lot to ask a little 12 X 14 room! We figured out a way to have a sitting area and a place for the guitars, plus enough open space for one of those air beds for guests.
So I had the idea to bake up a lot of tea goodies and freeze them in tins, then when someone stops by it would just be a matter of popping a few things out and defrosting them in the toaster oven (we don't have a microwave).Spanish bar cake (without the frosting), fruit squares, and a lovely almond tea cake. The plan was put to an immediate test, as I just took the last loaf from the oven, Mary stopped in, and we all tested out the new seating arrangement and goodies. It was so nice to have something to offer, as I try not to keep too many sweets in the house (and when I do, they don't last long). Keeping tins of teatime treats in the freezer is something I will definitely continue to do.
Almond Tea Cake
1 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg, separated
half of one of those 8 oz. packages almond paste (found by the pie filling in the baking aisle)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. butter extract
2 C. flour
handful of slivered almonds
Cream the butter, almond paste and sugar together, (you'll need a mixer for this). Add the egg yolk and extracts. Add the flour and mix until just blended.
Spread the mixture (it will be very thick) into a lightly greased 8" round cake pan.
Beat the remaining egg white until frothy. Spread over the cake batter and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into wedges.
This is a very heavy substantial cake, but oh boy! does it ever taste like almonds. Would be good served with some fresh fruit. Maybe for Easter brunch?
Our little tea and coffee repasts are so important to us, that we even have a little coffee station set up in our kitchen to make it easy to prepare a cup of coffee or a pot of tea.
Well, we have our first sign of Spring, the rhubarb is starting to come up!
I spotted this cute craft on YouTube. I wish I knew where, to give them credit, but you know how it is when you're clicking on one thing and soon you wonder how you arrived at the channel you are on. Macrame is popular again. Who would think that fad would ever make a comeback? But apparently young hipsters haven't lived through the 70s so they don't have the hindsight to know that the 70s were really an ugly era, they think it's groovy (we actually never used the term "groovy" in the 70s, we said beaucoup). Anyhow, I thought it was a pretty way to display yet another doily.
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Ran fixed my medical problems by doing research on the internet. A few dollars in vitamins and some red meat, and I'm feeling a million times better!
Ran sold two of his guitars that he never played on Craigs list.
Made a decoration from a doily I had and a stick from the yard.
Continued to eat from our pantry and freezer, except for fresh vegetables and the red meat, we haven't shopped for groceries in months.
Knitted some more on my temperature blanket using up more of my yarn stash.
Cleaned out my closets and gave four bags of clothes to charity.
Tonight we'll put some things up for sale on Ebay.
Used our points to get a free sub from Subway.
Entertained ourselves by visiting with neighbors (the snowbirds are coming back)
Basically, just stayed home, ate what we had and made do or went without. There is joy in ordinary days.
Well, that's it for another week here at the old Zempel boarding house. I hope that all your days are sunny and filled with joy!