Sunday, July 14, 2019

Middle of July check-in, more Pictures and How you see God

Oh happy day Y'all!!!!   I sure hope and pray that y'all are doing good this fine day!!!    We had a good storm roll thru my neck of the woods last evening and it looks a little rainy this morning.    We have had some rainy times this summer.    I was at the back door yesterday evening when the storm started rolling in.   The wind was blowing pretty hard and it was blowing leaves from the trees at the back of our property and it was so beautiful!!!!    It looked like it was snowing leaves.   It was just so beautiful!!!!    I just stood there watching the leaves float to the ground effortlessly, just enjoying the view until the Lord told me it was time to shut the door with a huge bolt of lightening and the loud crash of thunder.    Some things I don't have to be told twice.    hahaha     Then the rain came and rained hard for quite a long time.    It perked up my little deck garden.    I have 5 pots of tomatoes, 2 pots of peppers, a hot pepper and a sweet pepper and a pot of onions.   Haven't gotten any onions because the birds feast on them daily.    I really don't like feeding the birds with my little garden! They ate a lot of my tomatoes, but they seemed to have stopped that, for now anyway.    I'm really not much of a gardener.   I would love to be, but the outdoors don't like me much, but I have figured out how I can have a few fresh tomatoes and cayenne peppers.    Hopefully, I can branch out and have more next year.   I just love having fresh tomatoes grown with my own 2 little hands!!!!   I will save my pots and soil from this year for next year and add to the soil and maybe even add some more pots.    What would really help would be to have some partial shade for my little garden, but if I get an umbrella for the deck, it just becomes a haven for wasps and I sure don't like those!!!!   I would like to get one of little 10 foot x 10 foot canopies that you see people sitting up at farmers markets and the like.     I could set one of those on my deck and tie it down, but I have 2 different levels of entrance to the house from my deck.   One entrance is level with the deck and main back door entrance is one step up and think that step would make it too low for us enter the utility room.  Something else I just thought of right now is that it would block 2 of our security cameras and I don't want to do that.   Maybe I can figure something out for some shade.     I hope so anyway.
How you see God will determine how you pray to God.    Prayer is a general term.     How do you pray?    Learn to pray specific prayers for the specific needs.     They don't have to be long prayers, just specific prayers.    The authority in which you pray, will determine the power of your prayer.    If you see Father God as a big teddy bear or a grandfather in the sky, your prayers may be shallow.     If you see Father God as everything He says He is, then you will have a whole toolbox or arsenal of authority and power at the end of your breath.    

This is a short list of some of the names and attributes of God:

Adonai – Lord, Master (Genesis 15:2)
El Elyon – The Most High God (Genesis 14:18-20)
El Olam – The Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28-31)
El Roi – The Strong One Who Sees (Genesis 16:13)
El Shaddai – Lord God Almighty (Genesis 17:1)
Elohim – God of Power and Might (Genesis 1:1)
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide (Genesis 22:13:14)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem – The Lord Who Sanctifies You (Exodus 31:13)
Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner/Victory (Exodus 17:15)
Jehovah Raah – The Lord My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Jehovah Rapha – The Lord That Heals (Exodus 15:26)
Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 1:24)
Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace (Judges 6:24)
Jehovah Shammah – The Lord Is There/Present (Ezekiel 48:35)
Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
Yahweh – Lord, Jehovah (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Qanna – Jealous God (Exodus 20:5)

This is some of the names and the meanings of those names and the place to find it in the Bible.  I think in studying this list, you will find that the God we serve is far greater than a big teddy bear in the sky or even a grandfather type.    God is a Holy God and expects to be treated as such.    We can go boldly to the Throne of God, only thru the Blood of Jesus Christ.    I think we have lost reverence for Father God and we need to get back to revering Him and worshiping Him in a reverent manner instead of the flippant way that we all have been guilty of in the past.    Look at those names and meditate on them and search for more descriptive words for God in the Bible, you will see that they all represent an all powerful God!!! 

God has proven Himself to be my El Roi!!!   And I love that attribute of my Father God.    He has seen me all the days of my life.    Recognizing that God has seen me thru the worst days of my life and provided many wonderful days in my life as well, has changed my attitude toward Him.    I know that God is always there.    I know that no matter how bad something is, He sees me.    I know that even thru the worst days of my life God has held my hands, and He still does that for me.    God proven Himself to be my Elohim, God of power and might!!!     He is the One, the only One who can shut door and open doors.   He is the only One who can battle the enemy.    If anyone truly loves God and has the desire to worship and serve Him on His terms, then God will show Himself to you in a very real way!!!!   God has proven Himself to be all these and more in my life.    There are more names that represent Him and His characteristics.   Search them out and see how He has made Himself known to you in your life.    

Remember too, that it doesn't require big and lofty prayers to reach God.    A simple one or two sentence prayer is enough.    When you are praying for others, just simple prayers are more than adequate to reach the heart of God.    Some people may be uncomfortable with a long drawn out prayer, so keep is short and to the point and move on.   God knows your heart and He knows what you are asking before you ask it.    So, if you are with someone who is a little uncomfortable with prayer in the first place, then do a "hit and run", one or two sentence prayer and let God do the rest and then move on.    That person will know you cared enough to pray, but also that you cared enough to not make them uncomfortable and you have also opened a door for you to minister to them again, or for someone else to minister to them.    A short prayer can be a great ice breaker.   It's also putting action to our words.    A lot of times we will say "I'll be praying for you", and that's ok, but maybe saying a short prayer like "Father, please meet the health needs of my friend.  Thank You for what we know You will do. Amen", will prove to them what you are willing to do and then you can continue to pray them in your private prayers.   

A simple, quiet prayer can be said anywhere, at work, at school, at the grocery store, at the dr office, wherever there is a need.    You don't want to put your job in jeopardy, be smart about it, but where there is a need, God is there and will hear that prayer.   Those simple prayers may lead others to start praying too.    We need to set the examples wherever we go and be willing to say a short prayer for whatever the situation.   We don't want to be obnoxious, we want to be sincere, short and to the point.  We have a toolbox full of the names of God that provide more than enough power to meet the needs of the hurting world around us.   Let us make the effort to use the tools that God has given us.  I hope you will join me in this effort to help the needs right where they are.
Just wanted to share pics for your viewing pleasure.   Hope you enjoy some of the sights and scenery around my neck of the woods.
 Just a lovely dandelion in full bloom.
An earth worm crawling across the mud covered trail on our greenway.  Most of the time they dry up in the sun before they make it across.
This is some thistle in full bloom.   I think it is beautiful.
This is a morning glory with a bee inside it.
This is our feet.  Mine and my husbands.   We make a pretty great pair.
 I am all about texture when I take pictures and this has lots of texture in it.
The root system of this tree has lots of texture too, just beautiful.
 And this, well, this is a picture of my heart.   hahaha    A perfect leaf heart!!!  Love it!!!
 This is a beautiful wild flower.    I just love these and there are a lot of these at the right time.
This was just a simple leaf on another simple leaf, but it spoke to me and I had to shoot it.
This is some more lovely texture.   I just love old gnarly roots and rotted holes and this one fits the bill.   hahaha    Hope you enjoyed this little sampling of pictures that I take when we are out and about.
That's about all I have today.   I just wanted to check in for a minute.     If you read something here that was a blessing to you, please share it with someone else.    I hope you have a blessed rest of the day and remember that God loves you enough to provide a way to be in right relationship with Him thru the shed blood of Jesus Christ.   Remember too, that Christ is the only way to the Father.    Others will tell you differently, but Jesus Himself said that He is the only way!!!    Do not be led astray, Jesus is the only way to the Father.    Thanks for stopping by today, be blessed!!!   love and hugs, patty

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Summer, It's Hot, and I'm Not a Happy Camper....hahahaha

Good morning wonderful people, from my "HOT" neck of the woods.    The title just about explains is all.   hahahaha     Truth be known, I'm not much on camping anyway, so I'll be just fine.    hahahaha     I do hope that where ever y'all are on this big beautiful globe, that y'all happy, healthy, and cool.    When it turns summer, it does it with a vengeance around here.    We have had some pretty bad weather in my parts, but by the grace of God, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.    Minimal structure damage to homes and out buildings, but lots of downed trees in residential areas.    That's the main concern, trees coming down on homes.    But there wasn't a lot of that.   Of course, if you happen to be one of the few who did have structural damage, then it is really bad, and it is.    I keep saying that as bad as it has been, it could really have been so much worse.   We all have much to be thankful for.
This was the temperature on my deck yesterday at 1:47 pm and it felt hotter than that!!!     Yup, 102*!!!!     That's hot in these parts.      The way this summer is rolling, we may see  more of these extremely hot days.     Really can't say that I look forward to it.     Just thankful that we have air conditioning, seriously.      Like we say in the winter, if you have elderly or disabled neighbors, check on them during these hot spells, you could save someones life.
We just got thru with our Cultural Arts and Fashion Review in my County this week, thru the Extension Office.    All the 1st and 2nd place winners will go to the Regional Cultural Arts later on in the year.   It was a fun event.     It think there was 34 in attendance and it was good turn out and lots of beautiful entries in the Cultural Arts.   I actually had 10 items entered and 7 placed.   5 items got 1st place, 1 item got 2nd place and 1 item got 3rd place.    Much better than I had expected, so that is always good.    Click on the pictures and bring up the larger picture to see them better.     I think most everything gas been shared on my blog before, but not with wins attached.   hehehe    Wish they gave ribbons like they used to, but they don't.   We'll get a certificate with out wins on it.      It's ok, but not like the ribbons.    How vain is that?      Ok, the certificate is perfect.   One thing, easy to keep up with and I can place pictures of my wins on  the back.     Ok, that is a good plan.   I can move forward now.     hahaha    Vanity outsmarted once again.    woop woop, yay!!!!!
This is all my jewelry in one pic.   Everything but the four bracelets in the upper left corner got 1st place.   Those 4 got 3rd place. 
My machine embroidered baby quilt got 1st place.   It's not technically a quilt because it is hand tied with grosgrain ribbon and buttons.  
This is a mixed pic too, my USA banner did not place, but my Dandelion color pic took 2nd place and my Treebark and fungi black and white took 1st place.   I was stunned, but so thrilled they won.  I took these pics on the greenway here in our town.    Just out on a walk and I got winners on one trip. I was so happy!!!
This is a close-up of my Cruise charm bracelet .  The beads are from an itinerary from the last cruise that my Mom and I went on with some friends that are also family back in Sept of 2018.   Most of the charms are charms that we got in our ports of calls.    I was thrilled it won 1st place.
This in my four piece cuff bracelet made from a UPS ad that came thru the mail.   The first set I made, I donated to a non-profit.   This is a second set that I made later.    It earned 3rd place in re-purposed category.     Happy about this win too.   The ad was sand and browns on one end and blues on the other end.    I cut it in two where the colors were distinct and cut my strips then and made my beads.    Then I put czech beads between each rolled bead. 
This is my sculpted jewelry made from denim.    It earned 1st place.     It is also strung with czech beads between my sculpted beads.
This is my 2 inch canvas pin and it won second place in the Jewelry category.    I made this and taught a class on this last year and one of the other ladies won 2nd place.     These are so fun to make.  There are no rules when crafting.

I have been thinking a lot about what I do in the way of crafts.   I don't do anything in a spectacular fashion, NOTHING!!!!   That is for sure and I know it.    But when I craft, I do the best I can to step out of the box!!!     I don't want to be boxed in.    I don't want anyone else to be boxed in either.    I try to craft like there are no rules.     I've had people tell me, "You can't do that."     I do my best to show them that I can do that.     I do my best to turn the word "can't" in to craft.    Put a "r" after "c", take the "n" out and replace it with an "f" and take the " ' " out and you have turned "can't" in to "craft".    That's how easy it is to think outside the box.     I believe that every craft has value, skill and takes talent.    I think I shared about a project taking place in our state once a year about teaching and training us how to be judges for fairs and festivals and arts.    I have been taking those classes.   I've done it for the last 2 years and I look forward to the years to come.     Learning is a key to crafting.    Learning is a key to do the best you can do.  

If you get the opportunity to step outside the box in your crafting, jump for it and don't look back.    You will not be sorry.     Don't take can't for an answer.    Prove that you can.    Think differently.    Look for ways to better yourself.    Look for ways to better your skills.    Whatever you, make it your own with your flare added to it.    My main goal with encouraging you is to get you to understand that there REALLY are no rules, some people want you to think there is, but there isn't.   Just do YOU and have fun!!!!    Our County Fair will be coming up towards the end of August and then in October will be our 4th annual Quilt Show.     Lots of stirring taking place.
I have also been enjoying some of the tomatoes from my deck garden.    I have tomatoes, peppers and onions.    The tomatoes are plentiful.     The peppers and onions haven't started producing yet.    They may not do much, because it is so hot.   we'll just have to wait and see.    But the tomatoes are delish!!!!!!

I have been doing quick and easy meals again in my electric pressure cooker (epc).      I keep Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing (WISD) on hand as a marinade.      I get chicken tenders or boneless pork chops or even beef roast and put the meat in a freezer ziploc bag and pour the "WISD" over the meat in the bag and toss in freezer.   When I'm ready to fix a meal, I put a 16 oz bag of frozen beans or peas of some kind it the bottom of my epc, then put a frozen bag of my meat on top of the beans.     Next, I put my rack in on top of the meat and put my peeled and quartered potatoes on top of the rack, then put peeled and quartered carrots on top of potatoes and if I have any whole squash, I cut both ends off squash and put that on top of the carrots, and then toss in a couple of ears of corn.  Make sure there is at least a cup of liquid, preferably more, possibly 2 cups, since the beans will soak up some of the liquid while cooking.    Season everything the way you want to season it, but don't over season it to begin with, you can add more when it's done, and put the lid on and cook for the duration your epc says to cook the meat and everything else will cook in that amt of time.    When it's done, quick release, remove the lid and let it all sit for about 10 minutes and then remove the layers to different bowls or a platter.    The beans and meat will be absolutely delicious!!!!    Plus the potatoes will have taken on some of the "WISD" flavors and will also be yummy!!!      This is one easy and quick meal that we love so much and look forward to having.

Hope you enjoyed this quick little cooking segment.     I am always on the lookout for easy meal prep and I came up with this one several years ago and it still proves to be a favorite with us.
I hope you enjoyed your time with me today.     I hope you seen something here that will inspire you to think outside the box.     I just hope you go away with the encouragement to try something new or different in a new or different way.     I hope you can say that the box does not contain you any more.   That box isn't large enough to hold creativity.    I hope you will encourage those around you with the same idea.    Boxes are for toting  and carrying items in, not for containing our creativity.   Think outside the box!!!  This is my quote that I just came up with and I like it!!!!     Hope you do too.
Tell someone today that Jesus loved them enough to die for their sins.     He doesn't want us to continue living in those same sins.    Make no mistake, even after salvation, we continue to sin, because we have flesh bodies and we make mistakes.    But, when we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we have the Holy Spirit in us then to help us and to give a desire to do better.    The Holy Spirit is our ultimate teacher.    After all, on several occasions, Jesus told people to "go, and sin no more."     That tells me we are to do better and lay aside the life of sin that He saved us from.    So, when we tell people that Jesus loves them, that is true.    But He doesn't love our sin.   Our sin is why He chose substitutionary death, so wouldn't be permanently separated from the presence of God.    There are several things that the Bible says that God abhors and some of those are people who do evil things.    We must know that.   If we know nothing else at all, we must know that God abhors sin and those who constantly and belligerently sin, with no regards to Him or those they sin against.    While the death of Jesus on the cross was enough to cover every persons sin, no matter how bad or how much, not everyone will make the choice to run to Jesus.    That is their choice.   So, while Jesus loved them enough to die on the cross for them, it is their choice to accept Him as Lord and Savior or go to hell.     We each make that choice of our own free will.   I can't make the choice for anyone other than myself.   If I could, I certainly would!!!   It's up to us though.   We either live for Christ of live for the enemy.    We can't sit on the fence because the enemy owns the fence.     Jesus said we are either hot or cold.   Fence sitters are luke warm and He will spit them from His mouth.   Choose life in Christ.    Don't wait, make that choice today.    He is waiting to help you move forward in faith to believe that He is who He says He is!!!

Be blessed y'all and stay cool during the heat of summer.     Remember, God is waiting to have a relationship with you, but that only comes thru Jesus Christ.    hugs and love!!!    patty

Friday, June 14, 2019

Frugal, Beads and more

Oh happy day from my neck of the woods!!      I do hope and pray that everyone is doing awesome.  We had a little bit of a wet spell but I am sure that the farmers are most appreciative.    At least the ones who got some of this rain.    When out and about, it has been common place to see corn knee high that is hurting for rain, so I am hopeful that this little dab or rain will help things out a bit.

We have been busy around the home place, or I should say that my husband has been anyway, getting some long neglected work done.    So, he hasn't wanted to see the rain because it has slowed down his progress.     He has really worked hard trying to get everything looking good again.    When he was still working everyday, a lot of stuff was put on the back burner, but now, he is really working hard to recover our place and property from overgrowth.    I'm so proud of him and the work he has done.    

It has been a year since his former place of employment shut their doors, June 13th, and by the grace of God, we are doing pretty good and that is why he is able to do all the work around the place that he has done and hopes to continue to do.    We just have to look for and find the blessings in every area of life, even in those times that have a potential to be "hard times", there can be blessings in those, it just all depends our mindset.

For me, I look for more ways to be saving and frugal.     I didn't say cheap, I said being saving and being frugal. There is a difference.    I look for more ways to use one item, instead of just the intended purpose.    In my crafts, if I can make something instead of buy it, I will.    Like structure paste or modeling paste or even gesso.    Google the recipes for the homemade versions and there you go, an easy make, with mostly stuff you already have on hand.

With my cooking, I try to figure out how to add more ingredients that don't cost a lot.    Toss in a hand full of whole grain rice or some other whole grain to a soup.    Toss meat bones in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker and extract as much flavor and collagen from the bones to have a stock or broth to season dry beans or a soup.     We use coupons when we eat out.     Yes, we need to do some of those things just as a treat and when we do, a coupon assures me that we can have a good, low cost meal now and save enough with the coupon to go towards the next "eat out" meal.    

I have got to where I buy ground beef when it's on sale and hamburger buns and sliced cheese.     I will pat my burgers and put them in flip top sandwich bags.   Separate out my buns and put them in flip top sandwich bags.    Separate out the cheese slices.    Next, I'll take a vacuum seal bag and put 2 burgers, 2 buns and 2 slices of cheese and vacuum seal that together and toss in the freezer.    That's a meal for 2 in one bag and all I have to do is let it thaw a little and fry the burgers and we have a wonderful meal at the ready.     In the past, I would buy ground beef and forget to buy the buns.   hahaha     Now, I am doing more "shopping with a purpose".     I do hot dogs the same way.     And just regular sandwiches.   Having stuff at the ready is like having access to "fast food" but it's something that I have invested a little time and energy in up front and we get to enjoy it a little later.

I also buy ground beef for meatloaf and get that made up and in the freezer and when we want meat loaf, bam, it's ready.     It's also fun to make the meat loaves in a muffin tin and go ahead and bake them.   I will freeze them in 2 or 4 portions and then that will be the meat for 1 or 2 meals.   Then I can fix a couple of sides and the meat will be ready.   Yay!!!   When roast is on sale, I will get at least 2 of the largest ones I can find and then cut up into smaller portions when I get home and we have anywhere between 6 and 8 portions frozen from 2 roasts.    Each portion will give me between 1 and 2 meals for the 2 of us, depending on the sides I make.      I am working on more ways that I can come up with to have meals that will be ready, in the freezer, with everything that is needed for the meals.    When I do cook something, I will fix enough to freeze enough for a meal for 2 in the future.   That really helps a lot.   My next goal for the near future, is to get a mini stash of chicken for some quick chicken dishes.    Hopefully this week, that plan will fall into place.    Just make plans and then be ready to fulfill the plan or be flexible enough to change those plans.    Because even the best of plans don't always succeed.    Just be ready to re-route and move forward.    Your family is depending on you even if they don't realize it.

Something else I do is when I have a good coupon for a freezer meal for one, say a Lean Cuisine, I'll get it and then have another side in the fridge, cooked and ready to go.    I can pop the freezer meal in the microwave and when it's done, I can split the meal between 2 plates and add the extra side and we just had a delicious meal.    Bam!!!!    Just like a pro!!!   hahaha

I cook lots of dried beans and freeze them and they go good in a lot of stuff.    Just as a meal to themselves.     They work as a wonderful taco meat stretcher, toss in a cup of cooked beans with a cup of cooked and seasoned hamburger meat and "boom', taco meat for a couple of meals.     Toss in a cup full of cooked beans in a veggie stir fry, delicious!!!!    Dried beans are good for you and they are filling and they are GREAT meal extenders.     So, if you cook dried beans, cook more and freeze some in 1 or 2 cup servings.     If you don't know how to cook dried beans, please learn, it is an awesome way to provide good food for 1, 2 or 8, no matter how small or large the family, you can always find ways to add beans to a dish.     If you use canned beans, do rinse the beans till the water runs clear and doesn't foam any more.    That water on the beans is salt heavy unless you get the sodium free beans.     You always want to be able to control the sodium level in your foods and using the liquid in the canned beans is sodium overload!!!!     When looking for beans, fresh, frozen, dried, in that order, is best and if those are not options, then canned, but always do rinse well.

I watch for bacon on sale and stock up on that.    It's good to fry up a package and dice it up and freeze it on a cookie sheet.   When it's frozen, break it up and put in freezer bags and pop in the freezer and when you need some bacon bits, you already have them.     When eggs are on sale, I will get 2 or 3 dozen and have them in the fridge.     When onions are on sale, buy a bag or two.   Peel and dice and spread them out on a cookie sheet and pop in freezer.  When frozen, break up the onions and put them in freezer bags and you have your "already diced, ready to use" frozen onion, just like the frozen ones in the grocery store.    

I also have some pots of tomatoes, peppers and onions on my deck.    I have already gotten several ripe tomatoes from my plants.   I'm really excited to have these.    Just having the pots for next year, if I'm alive and well, will be a huge blessing for us.    There are a lot of ways to be resourceful and help save the family budget.    Being frugal doesn't mean being cheap.     Just figure out how you can serve the tastiest, most flavor filled and healthy food that you possibly can with what you already have on hand and then look for sales on fresh meat and veggies.   Some of the veggies can be frozen easily.

And don't forget local Farmers Markets and just farmers in general.   There will be lots of trucks in town, in random parking lots, selling corn and tomatoes, and squash and peppers and lots of  their produce.   Check them out and compare the prices with what you can get them for in the store.    When you can get good prices, consider freezing some of the food for later.    I hope to get my small chest freezer full of peaches and cream corn this year.     We both love corn and that is the best corn!!!!   

At any rate, look for ways that you can provide good, healthy, nutritious food for your family.   Even if they don't take notice, you will know that you have provided the best you possibly could for your family and that always makes a difference, even if it is just for 2 people in my case.    We both love the fact that I can be frugal and provide good, tasty meals for us.

I have always been thankful for the way God has provided for us.    In times when we have had more funds, we have made as much as we could, we have saved as much as we could, and we have given as much as we could.   We still do all three of those things with the income that we have.    God has helped us every step of the way, even teaching us how to be less extravagant when we could be extravagant.     That has and is paying off now.     Always try to save something from each paycheck!!!     Put it in the bank and forget about it, other than making sure that it's earning as much  interest as it possibly can.    It is not to be touched for anything under any circumstances!!!   Just add to it every week!!     That is a practice that's hard to do, but if you can ever do it, you won't regret it.   Ask God for His help in every aspect of your life.    He is more than ready, willing and able to help make a difference in your life.   Ask Him to help you make good, healthy, delicious meals for your family.    Ask Him to make sure there is sales on the items you need to purchase.     Ask Him to help you stretch your income as far you possibly can and to even save some.     Pray before you go shopping with your grocery money in hand asking Him to stretch far beyond your wildest imaginations.   He will!!!    Plan your route when you go grocery shopping.    Use the fliers that you get in the mail and look for the items you need.    There are lots of apps out there for our cell phones to help us save money and  to help us earn money.   Use them to your benefit.  

A few of those apps are Flipp, Coin Out, Ibotta, Receipt Hog, Receipt Pal, Fetch Rewards, Checkout 51 and many more.    Flipp is a good app that has all the sales fliers in your area in one place.   Even if you don't get them in your mailbox, they will be on your app.   You just have to set it up where it will have all your local stores in it.   It really is a neat app.    Coin Out gives you pennies for every receipt you scan, not a lot, but when every penny counts, it helps.    Ibotta is the biggie and it's the best so far.    If you don't use Ibotta, one question, WHY?   hahaha    This is the app I use that helps me earn money for my crafting and I love it.    Receipt Hog and Receipt Pal earn points for every receipt scanned then you cash the points in for virtual gift cards from different places.    Checkout 51 offers money back on certain items.    When I first started using it, they offered great money back on fresh veggies and lots of useful items, but the longer you use it, the less useful it becomes.   When I get enough on  that app to cash out, I will be deleting it.    I don't drink alcohol and that's what most of the good rebates are for, so I don't need it.    There are other apps that a lot of people are using, I just shared the ones that I know about first hand because I either do use it or have used it.    Just yesterday, I used Ibotta on my halo top ice cream.    It was on sale at the store for 3 for $10.   That was already a savings of almost 4 dollars.   In the app, there was $1 back on up to 5 on the same receipt.   I just got 3 so that was $3 in my app.   In the long run, the halo top was like $2.33 a carton.   Not too bad.  Like anything else,  you have to learn to use the apps, they won't just all of a sudden start saving you money.   Invest a little time up front on learning how to use them and it will become second nature and when you shop, you automatically learn to look at the apps before hand and check anything you may want or consider buying.     Just do your homework and learn how to use them and they can be a big blessing to your family.

Also, if you have the Kroger app on your phone and your gonna do some Ibotta shopping, use both apps to your advantage.  Find out what on sale at Kroger that is in your Ibotta app and maximize your savings and rebates.   Also make your list on paper.  What you're gonna purchase, how much it is, and how much your Ibotta rebate will be, plus the aisle in which to find it.  This really helps me to get in and out in no time flat.   A little bit of homework makes for an easy shopping experience.   Also scan every item you pick up to make sure it is a match in Ibotta, before you even put it in your shopping cart.   I learned that very early on.    You don't want to make a purchase and not be an Ibotta rebate unless you know it before hand.   If you are expecting a rebate and you don't scan it in the store, you are just out the expense unless you needed it anyway.   And, I don't make purchases unless I need it.   I will get things in the app that I might not have gotten otherwise, but most of the time if I get something that was in the app, I was gonna get the equivalent that wasn't in the app, if that makes any sense.   Don't just buy something for the rebate, unless you know you can and will use it.   That defeats the purpose of trying to be saving, frugal and making a little money while shopping.  

I think I have just about frugal-ed myself out.   Hahahaha     Set yourself up for success on the front end and you can reap the benefits of your hard work later on down the road.    Just learn to do some of things you may not know how to do now and it will be a big payoff.    I'll be sharing more frugal tips along.    If you can think of something that you need help with, leave me a comment below and I'll get back with you on it and do a blog post about it. 
Most of you know by now that I love to make paper bead jewelry!!!    That is my passion and purpose right now.     I was making beads long before I started sharing them on my blog.     I was in the learning stages and developing my techniques for my beads.    I have developed my own technique for my beads that I do not share with anyone, because I don't want anyone to think I stole their technique and accuse me of such.    As a result of that I don't share my technique, just my finished products.    I worked for about 2 and a half years figuring out how to make durable, long lasting beads, and I think I succeeded.   While lots of people make beads, I feel rest assured that no one makes them quite like I do.   I'm sure everyone believes theirs is the best, but in all honesty, I know mine are the best.    With that said, I'll share some pictures of the latest cuff bracelet sets that I made.   They are absolutely stunning.    I donated all of these to a local not for profit foundation fundraiser.     I pray they were a big hit.   
These are what I called  "Sand and Sea".    They were beautiful!!!   4 separate bracelets make the cuff bracelet.
These were made a flyer that came in the mail.    One end was tan colored and the other end was blue.    I think they are beautiful.   These have glass czech beads between the paper beads.

This was a napkin adhered to 2 different colors of cardstock, hence the 2 different colors.    It has gold glass beads between my hand made beads.   4 separate bracelets make the cuff bracelets.
These are quite lovely.
This is a pumpkin napkin on orange cardstock with different color czech beads between my paper beads.
There is 3 bracelets that make up this cuff bracelet.
This is an Orville Redenbacher's popcorn box.   It sure is!!!   I LOVE how these turned out!!
Again, czech beads and my beads and 3 bracelets make the cuff bracelet.
This was an advertisement for a children's home and I wanted to make something beautiful with that ad and I think I succeeded.
The stone between my beads is snow quartz.    This was absolutely gorgeous and felt so nice in hand.
This was another pumpkin napkin on orange cardstock, cut with a wavy blade.
The natural stone is a yellow quartz.   I think it looks really nice.  This was 3 bracelets to make the cuff bracelet.
This was a magazine with a lot of gray in it and I made beads and then had some gray labradorite stone chips.
This was 3 bracelets to make the cuff bracelet.
I just had to model the Sand and Sea bracelets.   I love them.   I think of all my "babies", these may have been my favorite.   I know, shame on me for picking a favorite!!!!    Every good Momma loves all her "babies" the same.   hahahaha

I am constantly working on more and more all the time.    I am just fascinated by them.    I've got to where I can look at some media, and see it made into beads.    That's what happened with the ones that I am modeling.   When that ad came in the mail, in the blink of an eye, I seen the beads already made up, so I had to make them.

The best advice I could give anyone who wants to make beads is just start cutting strips and rolling them.   It won't be long till you'll find your groove.    You may even find out that it's not something you love and that is 100% ok if that happens.    Trust me, there are lots of crafts that I don't love and the only way I found that out was by experimenting.    Find what you love and do it.   That's what I suggest to anyone.

Well, that's just about it for today.   Hope you enjoyed this update.   I hope you seen something here that will help you do something better.    Whether it's being frugal in your cooking for your family or frugal in shopping for your family.   Or frugal in your crafting.     Do the absolute best you can, and you will have succeeded!!!    No matter how small the savings, it adds up.    Find the craft that you love and pour a part of yourself into doing it and enjoy the process.     Ask God to help you on a daily basis to do the best you can do with you have, and ask Him to bless what you have to do more and better with it!    I promise you, He will help you!!!        Thank Him for what He already does for you.       Share with others how God is blessing you and showing you favor.    Share with others what you have learned about being frugal and saving.     Share with others how a coupon can help you save money today so you can use the savings on something else tomorrow.    Share what you know.   Learn more.   Share more.    Your circle of influence needs to know what you know.    Be a blessing to those around you.    Sharing knowledge is a way of building stronger communities.    Have a great day and embrace your frugal side.   Have fun with it.   Remember that God provided the only way for us to be in right relationship with Him and that is thru the shed blood of Jesus Christ!!!    God loves you, and so do I.    hugs, patty

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Problem or Solution, Bee Traps and Strawberries

Good Sunday Y'all!!!!     I hope and pray that wherever y'all are today, that you are loving the creation around you and thanking God for it.    It is a little gloomy here today with expected rain today.      The spring rains make everything grow and look so lovely.      There have been some beautiful flowers, with the promise of even more to come.     Don't you just love the beauty of all the flowers and blossoms around us.     Even some of the weeds are just beautiful when in full bloom.      I guess it really does come down to "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".     

For the last few weeks, we've had a little tree frog sitting in a tree right under one of the windows in our living room.     This little thing makes itself known very early every morning.     I think it may be talking to it's sweetheart, kinda like my husband and I talk to one another.     I wonder if the little frog hears us talking to each other and I wonder what we sound like to this little frog.     hahahaha      Who but me wonder something like that.     We have also had a couple of different pairs of owls hanging out in the pine trees and I love to hear them talking to each other.     The two pairs are different types of owls and their calls to one another are very different.      We also hear a lot of Bob White quails.   They have a very distinct call, as do all the birds, but I do love to hear them calling.     Every once in a while we will hear the lonesome call of Whippoorwill.     I don't know why that is such a lonesome call, but it is.      Sometimes we will hear squirrels talking.     They make a really funny sound.      If you have ever been outside and think you hear a front porch swing screaching as it swings and there is not front porch swing, then that's a squirrel talking.    hahaha      Now you know.      I didn't know that for the longest time.      And I forgot when and where I learned that, but, like y'all, now I know and it's an interesting sound.       There are lots of wonderful sights and sounds in nature and it's fun to try to identify what we see and hear.      I've mentioned it before and it bears repeating again, my allergies don't let me hang out in nature as much as I would love, but I do enjoy what I can when I can.      I hope y'all do too.       Being outside is natures way of giving you a big healthy dose Vitamin D which helps your body metabolize a lot of the vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need.     So try to spend 10 minutes a day outside in the sun and enjoy the sights and sounds.    If you're like me, then you have to go in, take a shower  and get a fresh change of clothes or you will itch and scratch yourself to the point of misery.      Yeah, not fun, but that's what I have to do.     hahahaha
One of the problems we have had around our neck of the woods this year is carpenter bees.     Yes, you read that right, carpenter bees!!!!!      Many of them!!!!!!       We could not even open the door to the house without being dive bombed by them!!!      The males don't sting, but the females do.     And it's mostly the males that you see swarming around you.      If it has a white/yellow face, it's a male.  They swarm around and try to protect the female while she is boring in some wood and trying to lay her eggs.     We have a 2 section privacy panel that comes off the edge of our house at an angle, and the bees have just about bored that thing up!!!!!    So, we got to looking, and sure enough that is where most of the activity was coming from.     There is 3 4x4's holding up the privacy panels and my husband replaced them a few years ago because one or 2 of them broke in a storm and now they are riddled with holes from the carpenter bees.

My husband came in and started looking online for a solution and he found it!!!!!!     He made some bee traps.   They work really well.     It does take a while for the bees to find them, but when they do find it, they will slowly start filling up.   And, once they do, you don't want to empty the bottles.    It's pheromones that the bees give off that attracts others to the traps.     It's a slick trick.      

This is my public service announcement for those of you who are inclined to protest EVERYTHING and be OFFENDED!!!!!      Turn you offended little head and frown to someone that cares, because at this  point in time, it's our backyard, and where there's 1 carpenter bee that you do see, there's 1000's that you don't see.      And we are sick and tired of being bombarded by them every time we go out!!!!      So, if you are inclined to leave some hate, leave it somewhere where they care about your opinion, because as long as this is a free country, I don't care about your opposition or your offense.     Go hug a tree and maybe they will swarm you.     hahahaha

Ok now, back to the main story line.      hahahahaha          So my husband set out to build a trap and this is what he done.       Hope you like the pictures and that you can get some ideas for your own trap.     You can buy them, but why?       If you are handy with a few tools, you can whip out a few in no time at all.
As you can see, it's pretty simple.
But it works.
 This was within a day or two.
 You can see the white/yellow face on the bee in that bottle.   That one is a male.
He built 3 and put them all on that fence.
 They are working quite well.
No more dive bombing of the carpenter bees.

All 3 bottles have between 15 and 30 in each bottle.     There is too many to count in them now.      If you do build some of your own and start catching them, don't replace the bottles with fresh bottles unless you put a few from the old bottles in the new bottles.   You want to make sure there is bee pheromones that will attract the other bees that will come around.      So, between the bee traps and just plain old ingenuity, we've probably gotten rid of about 100 of them.   Now we wait for the next generation to hatch!!!!      So while the skirmish looks like it's under control, there is still a battle to be fought.   hahaha
This Spring, in the midst of everything else, our back yard has been covered with wild strawberries.
I do love them as a groundcover.       I love seeing the hidden little pops of red when out walking thru the yard.       It seems like they multiply more and more each year.    Well, this year, I decided to have  a little fun.   And I invite you along to join me in my tea party.    hahahaha
Now, you tell me, does this look a party invite that you would love to go to?   It does to me.    hahaha
Notice the penny and the size of the strawberry sitting on it.    hahahahaha     Love it!!!!

This is a close up of the penny with a strawberry on it.     Cracks me up.     You know what, I actually washed one and popped it in my mouth and it was completely tasteless!!!!      Like what I always imagined sawdust to taste like.      No, not really, because I believe sawdust would taste like the tree it came from.    These were absolutely tasteless.     I was kinda surprised.      But is was a cute staging if I do say so myself.
In the title of today's post is says "Problem or Solution".      In most situations in life, there are generally 2 sides.   We think in terms of right and wrong.      Let's looks at another set of terms.    And that's where "Problem or Solution" comes in.      We are either part of the problem or part of the solution.      No middle ground on this one.      If we are sitting back, bumping our gums to hear our teeth rattle and not doing anything about what we are mouthing about, we instantly become part of the problem!!!!     That is a fact that CAN NOT be denied.     Are we problem minded or are we solution minded?       I finally said in a meeting one time several years ago, that if we are not fully prepared to engage in a solution, we need to stop mouthing about the problem.     Don't throw me solutions if you are not fully planning on being a part of the solution.    If you can't or won't help implement a solution you may have, no matter how great it is, don't' throw it at someone else's feet and expect them to do it.     If you have the suggestion and want to verbalize it, then tell me how you are willing to help me make it happen.     If not, keep your suggestions to yourself.

The reason I say this is because one of my brothers is Mayor is the town he lives in.    I'm pretty proud of him myself.     He got the votes to get elected, so I fully expect the ones who elected him to support him, right?      Well, people give a lot of lip service in the form of advice and then expect him to jump on everything and do it all by himself.    Well, he can't do everything by himself.     When he was wanting to get federal funding for projects that NEED to be done, no one wanted to help him!!!    So, as a result, the city still doesn't have money to do anything with.    Everyone blames him!!!

The town had started looking pretty slummy, long before he became Mayor.     He actually sent letters out to some of the people that needs to clean their places up and that was received pretty well by some and not so well by others.      You can't make people have pride in something, they either do or they don't.

Anyway, he mentioned on his fb page what was happening in a certain situation and oh boy that brought out the problem solvers in FULL FORCE!!!!!!    A lot of people was snarky and hateful.  When I first seen the post, I responded with encouragement to him.    He did have a lot of support, but there is always a handful that think they are God's gift to problem solving and higher thinking.    So the same old bs started.    I had responded one time, maybe the first one to respond a few days ago encouraging him.    It showed up again in my feed and I read the responses and they were just plain snarkey and hateful.     Everyone has solutions at the expense of the city, which has no money to spend on anything!!!!!      Last night I just responded that it's easy to give lip service to what needs to be done and there is nothing free, it always costs somebody else for what we think is free.  My last statement was that the only thing that is free is lip service!!!!

So, if you want to give advice to someone about something without some sweat equity or backbone, I would suggest keeping your suggestion to yourself.     I remember many years ago, at a former church, one of the church members would always call me on Monday morning as regular as clock work and have a list of things that she thought I should do.    Me, being young, naive and dumb, I tried to do it ALL!!!!!  Well, after getting burned out on trying to do everything this one person thought I should be doing, the pastor's wife told me I was way too NICE!!!!     She said you are the only one that can stop it.     Next time she called on Monday morning, I listened intently to what she had to say and then I just told her that it sounds like a perfectly good idea and that when she starts it, let me know and when my schedule clears, I'll help her.      She called the following Monday with some more projects, and again, I listened intently and politely told her that it was an awesome suggestion and when she starts working on it, if my schedule allows, I will help.     Funny how when you turn the tables, the suggestions stop.

So, that is what my brother needs to do.     If it's good enough to make a suggestion for him to do, then it's good enough for the one suggesting it to implement it themselves, then it won't cost the city anything and maybe some of the others that are offering lip service will jump on the bandwagon.     hahahaha   Yeah, like that will happen!!!!!    These are people who only want to hear their gums bump together!!!!    No action, just lip service!!!!!     So, that's where my title comes from, "Problem or Solution".      If we are not a part of the solution then we are a part of the problem.     What we are is up to us, there is no middle ground. 
Well, that's about it today.   I hope you seen or read something here today that makes you smile, laugh or just think.    I hope before the day is over that you will thank God for all blessing that He has given you.    Praise His holy name.      In the situations that come along in life, try to be a solution and not a problem.     A lot of people have good ideas and suggestions, but if we're not willing to help, then maybe we need to remain silent.     Just my thought anyway.     Have a blessed rest of the day.  Always remember that the God of all creation loves us as His creation, and He provided THE only way for us to be in right relationship with Him, that way is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.     I hope and pray that Jesus is your Lord and Savior too.     If He is, remember this, we may never meet face to face in this life, but we will meet face to face in eternity with our Lord and Savior.    I can't wait to meet you on the other side!!!!!    love and hugs in Christ, patty

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Resurrection Sunday, Christ Arose

    I wanted to share some Good News with y'all today!!!    I pray that today is a turning point in your life, if you haven't already had an encounter with the "life changer", Jesus Christ, I'm here to tell you that today, right here, and right now is the time to have that encounter!!

    The song below will be sung in many church services this morning around the world in Christian churches.    It is a song of old that still gives new hope in the One that can make a difference in our lives.    Read the words below.    Let those words sink in to your soul and ask God to give a clear meaning of what this song is all about.    Read what this song is about in the New Testament Gospels this morning.    Jesus triumphed over your sin and my sin.   We no longer have to pay the price for our sin, which is eternal death, separation from God and a permanent residence in hell!!   He paid it for us!!!   So, if you have placed your faith and trust in Christ this morning, you are also a victor from the dark domain.    That's enough to stir some shouting up in the house this morning y'all!!! 

    Christ Arose              written by: Robert Lowery in 1874

Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus, my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus, my Lord!

Death cannot keep his Prey,
Jesus, my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus, my Lord!

It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that the tomb is empty!!!! It is with great pleasure that I tell you, He is Risen!!! Death could not hold Him in the grave!! My Savior lives!!!    It is with great pleasure that I announce to you, Christ Arose!!!!     

Life has a way of knocking us down and beating us up sometimes.    Maybe, we feel like we have no hope.   Maybe we feel it's tough to keep going on.   But I tell you, Jesus Christ can make a difference in your life!!!    I probably can't make a difference in your life.   The only thing I can do is point you to the One that can, and that is Jesus!!!     Jesus is who our hope is in!!! 

Solid Rock   written by Edward Mote in 1834

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

This is another great song of old that offers us hope and shares that hope better than I can explain it.   If you read the Bible, you will see that all of the expressions are found in it.   They are not just vain janglings.   There is power and meaning in all the words, in both of these songs.   Notice the very first sentence in this song.   It speaks of hope.   This whole song speaks of our hope!!!    Jesus is our hope!!!

There is power in the songs of old that tell about our Lord and Savior.   They are scripture based and tell a true story.    The writers of these songs loved the Lord and they wanted to share that love.  There is depth and a story behind most of the songs.   The story usually comes from a time when the Lord was very near and close to the one who wrote the lyrics.    The songs always come from a place of worship that the writer had experienced. 

For myself, when I write what I write and share with y'all, it always comes from a place of worship and love, of and for my Savior.    While I don't write songs, what I do write always comes from those experiences.    Sometimes, it's God showing me something after I have written it.    Other times, my writings come from a certain experience.    But they are always to show me something and then I share with y'all.

I hope as you read these songs that they will quickly and easily become favorites of y'alls too.     The old hymns of the faith is where you will find true worship with biblical foundations behind each song.    I am not a fan of a lot of the newer stuff that's repetition for repetitions sake and not saying anything that has a real depth of meaning or adds no value to a true worship experience.   I have no desire to get brain dead on repeating 2 or 3 words over and over for 20 or 30 minutes.    To me, that is not worship.    I truly believe that God wants us to be mindful and very present when we worship Him.    We need to be very careful with what we classify as worship.   A lot that I have seen is anything but worship.

When we know the biblical story behind Resurrection Sunday and if we have accepted the RISEN Savior as our Lord, then we will want our worship to be worthy of what He has done for us.   Anything less than that is blasphemy.    Vain repetitions, in my opinion is blasphemy.    

If you want to see me get wrapped up in something, give me a good scripture based song or two and a good scripture based sermon!!!!    That, to me is worship!!!     Just be careful at what we classify as worship.    Let's make sure it is worship and not brainwashing.

If you do nothing else today, thank Jesus for loving you enough to take your sin upon Himself.  Thank Him for giving you hope today.

I pray that today is a most marvelous Resurrection Sunday!!!   Tell someone you know that Christ Arose!!!      The enemy couldn't silence Him!!!!     Death couldn't keep Him!!!   The grave couldn't hold Him!!!!      And He is coming again!!!!   Hallelujah!!!!   Praise the Lord!!!!!

God bless you today and every day!!   hugs and love, patty