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,