How do you know its time to replace your car, your blender or your underwear? Some simple rules apply.
- You are prepared and don’t care about the item breaking down just when you need it. (Ask how that turned out with my stove on a Thanksgiving Day with a turkey to cook!)
- You can’t sell it for enough to make it worthwhile. (What is worthwhile?)
- Everything seems to be working OK. (i.e.- the elastic is holding!)
- It’s paid for.
- You have taken good care of the item and kept it up to date, honored the warranty.
The doctor asked me not to drive until after some tests were completed. The tests were expected to take anywhere from two weeks to two months. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault, really. It is a government guideline, but that didn’t help my head much. I gave myself the Peter disease.
UGH!! Not drive? What was she thinking? How would I get to where I needed to go? How would I get to the grocery store or a doctor appointment? I’d have to beg the kids for a ride. I’d have to sell my home and go live in my kids’ basement. What about my car? What would I do with it?
In minutes, I’d worked myself into hysteria. Then I called friends and family and shared the disease. Some of them refused to take it on. They offered calm; they offered rides; they offered compassion… BUT I DIDN’T WANT ANY OF IT! I WANTED TO DRIVE MY OWN SELF IN MY OWN CAR!!!
But I had no choice, or so I thought.
I forgot to remember Peter, who forgot to remember Jesus
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. (Matthew 11:28a, AMP)
Prayer – Father, forgive us for forgetting, rePETERly, again and again, what you tell us. Amen
Years ago, I learned to balk at a Christmas with more than one big meal. That’s because we spent our first Christmas day together, running from pillar to post, trying to make everyone happy. So Ron, infant Judith and I trailed a mile down the road to my parents for seven am breakfast, drove through a blizzard to Gran’s for lunch an hour away and finally scurried home to serve dinner at our house for all of Ron’s family…..WHEW!!!
And who was cause of all this commotion? Me. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I felt guilty for saying no to anyone, so instead I hurt my own feelings…. and my family’s.
Little by little over the years, with Ron’s encouragement,we cut down to only one or two events per holiday. Today though, I find myself going to the Keenagers catered lunch and the Writer’s Nest home cooked Christmas dinner. WHEW!!!
Why? Because I can. And because all of these dear people are my friends and I love being with them. And because I decided I wanted to, with no guilt involved. It bears remembering that guilt is not from God.
Yesterday the first copy of my first children’s book, The Big Red Chair (CD included) arrived at my door. I’ll be reading it at both events. It is a happy, funny, sad love story about life and death…..
I wrote it because our smaller grandchildren didn’t understand what happened to their Afi. I expect lots of other little ones feel the same. We often unknowingly and unfairly lock them out of our grief.
And yes it is for sale….
Think outside the traditional Christmas gift box. How about gift certificates from a local hair salon or barber?
Or a gym membership for all who are thinking about some health improvement? (Try not to feel insulted if someone gets you one of these! MY first thought would be- do they think I ‘m fat!))
Who wouldn’t appreciate car wash gift certificates? Or hand made coupons for lawn care or snow shoveling or a golf pass? (Don’t give me the golf thing. I think golf just spoils a good walk.)
Do you like to eat? So does everyone else. Swiss Chalet, Wendy’s or even the Keg if you are super rich,all offer gift certificates.
And what about the promise of breakfast, lunch or dinner with the recipient at at the local mom and pop eatery? After all, eating alone is not that much fun.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle? Do you have a teen on your list who is saving toward their driving license?
And Moms? Moms would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
If your computer needs a tune-up, you can find some young guy struggling to get his repair business up
and running.( Think Dan Barratt!)
Maybe you can make something nice or buy something unusual at our many local craft fairs.
And, how about taking someone to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?
The gift of your time will be the most appreciated thing you can offer.
Special thanks to Sharon Greer for the idea of this article…
“Death is a big relief to them.” This comment shocked me at first but as I pondered it, I sensed its truth. Of course Ron didn’t want to leave us but his heart was turning toward heaven long before he went there.
Little by little the foods Ron really loved became less imoprtant to him. He, the hamburger king (who would eat it three times a day if possible, ) lost his taste for Wendy’s and even homemade meatloaf. I kept buying treats to tempt his appetite but one nibble and the rest would sit abandoned.
He chided me for running around and cleaning, doing dishes and so on. “Just sit down and be quiet with me.” he’d say. “You can do that stuff later.” So I did.
Eventually he didn’t even want his beloved country music playing in the background.
The closer he got to God, the less he craved earth’s pleasures. . He wasn’t able to do the things he used to do so he enjoyed the things he could, like prayer.
Less time for earth’s pleasures gave him more time for fellowship with God, and the more time he spent with God, the more he looked forward to being with Him.
What if we started craving fellowship with God long before He called us home? More time with God? That would mean less time to binge eat or drink or dope up, less time in the mall buying stuff we don’t need, less time in unforgivness. Less time__________________? And more time with God, getting ready for the time we will be with Him in a brand new way.
Are we ever really ready? It’s a good job there is a cut-off date – December 25th- or we would be buying, baking and decorating for ever. After years of learning better habits, I still tend to occasionally fall into the same mess.
Right now I am making serviettes for our dining table. Red with white machine embroidery on each. They will be pretty as is but if the cut-off date doesn’t come too soon, I might also embroider each person’s name on one.. See what I mean?
I wasn’t going to bake much but hubby wanted cookies for his friends..so I made one batch of Do-Dos. But one batch alone on a plate looks a little sad and the cut-off date isn’t here yet…— See what I mean?
I am making a new cut-off date. It is today! Want to join me?
Thank God that He doesn’t make a cut-off date for us. He generously extends and re-extends time for us to ask Him into our lives.
He came into this world as a baby…..God became man…so that He could die on the cross for our sin, our wrong-doing, and make a way for us to be in fellowship with Him.
But He is a Gentleman. We have to ask Him into our life.
Because what if He suddenly decided on a cut-off date? And we missed Christmas in every way?
Brenda J. Wood
Stop avoiding the issue. Stop looking for miracle recipes. Pie pastry is not beyond you. Just like life, it is mostly a matter of how you handle it…
So let’s get started.
As soon as I got my first food processor( I’m on my fourth!) I figured out how to make pie pastry in it. You can do it by hand. It just takes longer.
Basic Recipe-Food Processor Pastry
This recipe makes enough for a double crust pie or two or three singles.
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup lard (yes I know!- the pig doesn’t like it either!)
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup ice water
Place flour, salt and shortening in food processor. Process only until mix forms course crumbs. Add the water. Mix only until a ball of dough forms around the blade.
Remove and press by hand into two balls.
Lightly flour your roll-out-pie pastry area. Roll first dough ball into desired size. Place in pan and trim edge.
DO NOT add these leftover bits to the other ball of pastry. Roll the second ball of dough out on its own.
When all you have left are little bits? THEN you may mix them together and roll them out for a smaller pie, or tarts.
1. It is the mixing of leftovers with new pastry that makes tough chewing.
2. Lightly grease the bottom of the pie pan. This helps cook the bottom crust.
3. Eat with a clear conscience. It’s not like you are making pie every day!
Brenda J. Wood
No Work Crock Pot Stew
Layer ingredients in large crock pot in order listed
1 pound uncooked (and not browned!) beef stewing meat, patted dry
1-2 sliced onions
carrots (cut in 2 inch pieces or use bag of small carrots)
potatoes, peeled, cut in 2 inch pieces
mushrooms, celery if desired
salsa, 2-3 tablespoons
cream of mushroom (or celery) soup (1 can or 2 if you really like gravy)
DO NOT add anything else. Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours and serve.
The leftovers freeze well. The joy is you can make it any size with any amounts. Just be sure the crock-pot is at least 3/4 full.
Chicken pieces with cream of tomato soup
Pork pieces instead of beef
Enjoy! Brenda Wood
Thanks to all of you who participated in the ‘raise my numbers’ parade! They went up over 300 percent. Yea You! Thanks to all of you for giving up your precious time for me. If you feel like doing it again…!
Special thanks to Barrie and Australia! You know who you are! These brave souls joined to listen to this diatribe every day! Whew. Little do they know….
My cousins, Ben and Marjorie are all about time. If it wends the hour, Ben owns it. Cuckoo clocks, chiming bird, cartoon or tractor clocks, Marilyn Monroe’s flirty skirt, Elvis flinging hips all used to chime or clang.
It became a full-time job to keep them all going and Ben settled for his favourites. The silent ones still take up space, letting time slip by.
Are we waiting for someone to wind us up? Motivate us? Putting in a half-job at a half-life when we could be making time count? What a waste.