Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just one more!


I've had people ask how I can live in such a small (745 sq. ft.) home. I've replied that I'm just as content as can be since we previously lived in 300 sq. ft. for 2 1/2 years while waiting for my husband to get on disability. So 745 sq. ft. seems BIG in comparison. But, I always end that statement with...'I am so content on a daily basis EXCEPT for the fact that we don't have room for the entire family to come for the holidays.'

My hydrangeas are so big this year. I think planting tin cans around the roots helped. 

Recently, it dawned on me that if I were content then were would be no exceptions. Contentment means you have enough and need nothing else. You know that feeling after eating at a smorgasbord?  You've had enough and it's sufficient! You can't eat another bite, not even dessert. You are satisfied. That is the meaning of the word content in Scripture.

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content
1Ti 6:8  ESV

Content: (G714) ἀρκέω: be content, be enough, suffice, be sufficient.

I realized at that moment that I have not been practicing contentment. I was ashamed to think that after the Lord had blessed us with our own home that I still lacked a thankful heart. I wanted just ONE MORE THING!

Not much has changed since the Garden of Eden, has it? Eve wasn't content with what the Lord had provided and wanted something more and here I am years later doing the same thing. 

But by God's grace my eyes are open now and by His grace I purpose to be content with all the aspects of living in my little adobe!

The little bit that a godly man owns is better than the wealth of many evil men. Psalm 37:16    Net Bible

***

Here are a few things I've been doing lately: 

1. I've been making homemade laundry detergent for many, many years. It's one of my biggest money savers. I made a new batch which fills a 5 pound bucket. I use 1/2 to 1 cup of detergent for each laundry load. I use the Dugger's recipe.

Dugger's Laundry Soap
4 c. hot water
1 Fels Naptha bar
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

1. Grate bar. Add to water.
2. Melt soap over low heat. 
3. Fill 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot water. 
4. Add above mixture. Stir till dissolved. 
5.  Fill bucket to top with hot water.


Our 'girl' checking out the tomato bed. 

2. I was also out of my homemade stain removal. This recipe has worked very well for me. 

2/3 cup Dawn (or other dishsoap, but I always use Dawn)
2/3 cup ammonia ( I used AWESOME cleaner from the Dollar Tree because I was out of ammonia)
6 TBSP. baking soda
2 c. warm water

Mix together. Shake before use. I keep this in a glass jar and use a toothbrush which I dip into the stain remover and rub on to the stain.

3. I bought a Comfrey plant off of Ebay last year. I read to let it grow the first year and to wait until the second year to harvest it. A few weeks ago I cut enough leaves to fill half of a 5 pound bucket. I used a brick to weigh the leaves down while I poured water over the top. I put a lid on top because I've read that the smell is pretty strong as it matures. It's 'fermenting' at the back of our yard for the next 6 weeks and then we'll use the 'tea' to fertilize the tomatoes and throw the leaves in the compost bin.

4. I figured out partly why I was having problems with my budget. I accidentally left out a $100 item. DUMB! I'm hoping next month's budget will be balanced now that I found the problem. I find it so important to keep a close eye on my budget. One mistake can send my finances into a tailspin.

This is Miss Alice's cactus which is now living with me. I pray for her when
I pass by her cactus. I love it's blooms.  

5. I prayed hard this past week before I went shopping and asked the Lord to help me stretch my grocery money for the week. This was a 5 week pay period and my new inflammation-free diet has put a strain on my budget along with rising prices. I saw a red sticker on a flat of eggs marked down 1/2 off. The next dollar store I went to had their eggs marked down to .25 cents for 6 eggs. I asked a clerk if they had any more at that price and they did. Laine taught me to pray as I enter a store... "Lord give me eyes to see"... and He does.

6. I've learned where the mark down items are in the grocery stores where I shop. I've asked clerks to point out mark downs, too. Last week I found a bag of artichokes marked down to .99. They were a bit brown but cooked up just fine. I also found a bag of over ripe bananas for .99. I only use about an inch in our smoothies so I froze them.

7. I'm making more of an effort to save my change and keep it out of my purse. Once I break a dollar I try to save the change. I'll find a specific use for it.

8. Did you know Costco accepts manufacture coupons on Nature Made vitamins? There is a reward code on their vitamins. If you sign up on their webpage and put the reward code in each time you buy a new bottle you can earn a $5 coupon. There given an option for a Costco coupon. I buy their Triple Flex when it's on sale for $6 off and try to time it to use the $5 coupon at the same time.



9. I made several batches of sugar free blackberry jam from our bushes. This is their second year and we're getting a good crop. The raspberries are doing well, too. I'm freezing the blackberries in 4 cup measurements to use for pies this summer when company visits. The raspberries and strawberries are being frozen for low carb protein shakes. I never would have imagine that our small city lot could produce such wonderful fruit and vegetables.

10. What I didn't throw away:
     ~ Egg shells (compost for tomatoes)
     ~ Low Carb tortilla bag (reused)
     ~ Back of paper for scrap paper
     ~ Dish rinse water (used it to soak next load of dishes)
     ~ Cardboard egg carton (store garlic bulbs from garden)
     ~ Tea bag strings (tied 3 together and use in the garden to tie up plants)
     ~ Tea bags (compost)

So that's just a few highlights of my week. What have you ladies been doing in your home lately? Are you learning to be content with what you've been given?

Blessed to be home,

Georgene

20 comments:

  1. You are such a wonderful example of "godliness with contentment" in that 1 Tim. 6 passage. .

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    1. I wish I could do 'it' perfectly but I fall very short. Praise God for His grace and the righteousness of Christ paid into my account. :-) Love you Carol!

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  2. Georgina, why did you use to cans around the hydrangeas?

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    1. When the cans (or nails) rust they are supposed to leak iron into the soil which hydrangeas and Azaleas love.

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  3. It is such a blessing to check my favorites list and see that you have posted! I find joy in your posts, and conviction also. ;) Thank you! Lona

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  4. you should NOT stop this Georgene. It is a service. Most people who read things online do not comment--but the cool part is it stays online for years --so just think who might need this info. :)

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    1. Hi Mary,
      I was not feeling well and very fatigued when I took my break. I was having a hard time keeping up with everything. I also realized that I was not enjoying writing because I made a deadline for myself to post every week. I went back to posting as time allows and it's working better. Thanks Mary!

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  5. Hi Georgene, I also really enjoy and am happy when I see a new post from you.
    I am glad you found $100 unaccounted for expense. That would throw off my budget too.
    My home is bigger than yours and it is quite crowded when we have a big group. I think there were 20 here for Easter and it took me 2 days of planning to get dining space figure out. :)

    My frugal tip is if you buy things and then they don't work or you decide you don't need them, return them to the store and get your money back. You must keep receipts to get refunds.
    I have a sack right now with returns to 3 stores- unneeded plumbing parts, wrong size jeans and too small diapers.

    Have a good week!

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    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Great tip and it's one that I do also. I keep my receipts for 3 months. I just had a sprinkler go on the blink and was able to get store credit to buy another one. Thanks Rhonda! Great to hear from you.

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  6. Georgene, I have to admit that I have been dissatisfied with our home as well because of the small living room. It is difficult for holidays and birthday parties. But like you, I have been convicted of not being thankful and content. And our habit is Easter at my father's house, Thanksgivng at mine, and Christmas at my sisters. So is that really to difficult once a year and the occasional birthday party?
    Love your photos. The berries look so good! I Keep struggling to be frugal. Saving for a trip to see our new grandchild when born in December. Have a good week!

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  7. Hi Georgene, you are always an inspiration when it comes to living frugally. I like reading your pages even if I don't implement all the same things. It just keeps me motivated to keep on tracking with savings wherever I can find them.

    Thank you too for the web links and your offer to help me with the blood glucose issues. I think my main problems are having enough simple ideas for breakfast and lunch. I especially like the blood sugar 101 site so now I believe I will stop eating rolled oats. If you have any quick, simple and inexpensive ideas for breakfast and lunch that would be great. I seem to do better with dinner. I'm not much for using Splenda and things like that if they cost too much. I'd rather reduce sugars or find a different substitute.

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  8. I'll look for your email on your site. If it's not listed then can you send me your email? I'd be glad to help you anyway I can.

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  9. I hadn't checked back for a while was when I did you had not written anything new...so glad I looked! I have since read any new posts. Thanks you! With my hubby home too I kind of know how your days go. Here I never know from minute to minute if we will be home that day or done. Yet when he is home he rests so it is hard to get any loud or big projects done. I am trying to adjust more and more. I know he needs to be home and it is me that needs to adjust to help him have a good life. I find that with less cutter it is easier to keep the place up even worth less time! LOL It is a process though...like an onion...one layer at a time. :) Thanks for true comfy update too. Sarah

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  10. Hi Georgene,

    It is so nice to see a new post on your blog. Your berries look SOOO delicious. This spring we put in a fruit "orchard" that in addition to a few fruit trees includes an area for blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. I've never grown blackberries or raspberries and would love any tips you may be able to pass on.

    Prior to moving into our Montana farmhouse, we were a family of seven living in an 1,100 sq. ft. home. Yes, larger than your 700 sq. ft. but 3x's the people. I was generally very content with our little house with the one exception of visits from extended family. At the time we lived in a semi-rural area almost 17 miles from the nearest & very dumpy motel lodging, which was uncomfortable and inconvenient for extended family. As the years passed, we finally saved up enough to purchase a small used travel trailer that we enjoyed during camping, fishing & hunting trips. At the time of purchase I never even thought about the GREAT guest quarters it would become when extended family visited. Once we had the little RV, we were blessed to enjoy many more visits from extended family.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. Hi Mrs. B.,
      A travel trailer is a great idea. My son has a nice big travel trailer and has offered it for family when they visit. It's a huge blessing.

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  11. I enjoyed reading this, Georgene, how you are trying to be content with what you have and not want more as well as the things you are doing to save money. I need to take lessons from you; I'm probably one of the most ungrateful people there is,though I am working on trying to thank God more and being more content.

    betty

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  12. My home is 800 sq. feet...and we've been talking about upgrading, but I'm rethinking it. My brother-in-law pointed something out--why pay more each month for a large house for family to visit a few times a year (at most)? Here's what you do...keep your house, set that extra money aside, and go on VRBO.com and find a great large house in your area. When family visits (holidays, etc.), rent that house. Home away from home. I've been seriously considering that!

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    1. We live in a small house too. 768 square feet plus a porch that we use about 8 months of the year. We've looked at bigger houses but they require so much maintenance and upkeep that it never seems worth the trade off. We need some more space now after 10 years and a growing family but not too much. Living in a small house has kept our family close our bills low and our consumption moderate. We live in a great area close to many amenities. It's been a good decision.

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  13. I found your website by accident. Another kindred spirit to learn from. We have a small house too. If the weather is good we eat outside. I have been praying about a used heater, like the ones restaurant use outside. I love Laine' s letters also. She was speaking at a church in Escondido one time. I had little ones and couldn't make it :( God Richly bless you in all you do. He IS faithful.

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