Whoosh!

     Whoooooosh!  That was the sound of my day flying by!  My goodness, it passed by very, very quickly!  Consequently, we ran quite late into the evening…..late for us, at any rate.  We had dinner at 7:00, and I still had laundry running after the boys went to bed.  That’s certainly not the normal for our Saturdays, but it happens from time to time.  The important thing is that we ended the day ready for the Lord’s Day tomorrow. 

     Dani and I were in town for eight hours yesterday on the mega shop.  We had many stops to make, but the Lord blessed our efforts.  We shop with cash only and the Lord certainly helped us stretch the dollars in the various envelopes (food, house stuff, clothing, garden) as we made our way from stop to stop.  I am so thankful! 

     I mentioned the other day that I had been saving some money knowing that bare root season would be here in January.  I had hoped to have saved more than I did, and yet the Lord helped us even there.  My husband and I were gifted with some cash for Christmas.  It is our practice to divide any such gifts in half and each of us spend “our half” as we wish.  I took my half, along with the garden money I’ve been saving, and headed out.

     After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life  last fall, I was encouraged, and my resolve strengthened, to do more here on our small homestead to produce more of our own food.  We are all aware that these are tough economic times.  I know for a fact that the Lord does provide for His own, but I also know that He provides for each of our families in different ways.  Part of His provision for my family is giving us a wee bit of land, the ability to grow and produce some of our own food, and to be blessed with the work that that generates.  (I still plan a review of this book, and will try to post it early next week.)

     Our first stop was our area’s best nursery.  I was hoping to purchase five dozen asparagus crowns.  Asparagus.  My family loves asparagus!  Growing asparagus is a long term commitment.  In fact, we will need to refrain from harvesting those lovely, beautiful shoots the first year, and limit our harvest the second year.  Oh, but the reward will be a vigorous, established asparagus crop in the third year that will, Lord willing, produce for us for many, many years to come.  Unfortunately, the nursery had not yet received the bare root crowns, but expect them this week.  I was able to obtain the price, $8.95/dozen, so I folded $45 in half and put it back into the “garden” envelope.  The nursery woman took my name and number and promised to call this week when the crowns arrive. 

    Dani and I browsed through the bare root section of the nursery while we were there.  Oh, their bare root trees are gorgeous!  They are, quite obviously, a year or two older than the trees available at the huge home supply store, but they are also double the money.  Dani and I left the nursery and travelled over to the big box home supply store.  I had my list in hand of trees that have died that I want to replace this year.  I was also hoping to buy several red raspberry canes so that we could add a row of raspberries to our berry patch. 

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     We selected two apricot trees, one peach, one cherry, one plum and a Gala apple.  We already have plenty of trees to cross pollinate these.  I’d also hoped to buy almond and walnut trees, but there were none.  I would not have had enough for two more trees and for raspberry canes.  With no nut trees available,  I had just enough for six red raspberry canes.  I’d hoped for a dozen, but six are better than nothing.

     When we checked out, the total was about $5.00 more than I’d anticipated.  When I checked my receipt, I saw that I’d been charged sales tax.  Here in California no sales tax is charged on food products or on trees or plants that produce food.  The computer had made a mistake.  When I brought it to the attention of the cashier, I set off a chain reaction that lasted a good twenty minutes or longer.  Phone calls were made to the office.  Phone calls were made to supervisors.  Phone calls were made to the supervisor’s supervisor.  It seems no one was quite sure how to refund sales tax.  By the time the process was figured out, the time for making such an adjustment at the register had expired on their computer’s main system, and a more complex solution was called for. 

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     The outcome, however, was wonderful, and I’m still grateful to the Lord for His provision!  When it was all said and done, and the original purchase was refunded and the new purchase made, the supervisor told the cashier to give me a 10% discount.  With that extra money back, I was able to pocket the $5 I was overcharged by way of sales tax, and still have enough (from the discount) to purchase two more raspberry canes!!!  Our total purchase was six bareroot fruit trees, eight red raspberry canes, and the money for the asparagus crowns still in the envelope.  I’m so thankful!

     My boys have had a rather tough day today.  I don’t like to be too specific, but I also do not want to ever give the impression that my boys are perfect.  They are not.  They are sinners, saved by grace, same as their mom.  We have good days and we have bad days.  Today was a mixed bag.  You’ll notice in the picture of the trees above that the seats from my van are holding the trees up.  The seats should have been put back into the van last night after we unloaded from our shopping trip.  Small thing, yes, but added to several other small things, this was not a stellar day!

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     Things were not all gloom and doom, though.  All three of my children and I played a few hands of Corsari this evening before dinner.  Dani bought this card game for the boys for Christmas.  They’ve played it a few times since, but today was my first time to play.  (I said, “yes”, when I was asked to play!).  The card game, recommended for children 8 and over, is easy to play and a lot of fun.  It requires a bit of strategy, but moves along at a fairly good pace.  The scoring system is a bit tricky to get the knack of, but isn’t too difficult.  I like that the game can be played to a pre-determined score, or played for a given number of hands.  We played about three hands in just under an hour.  Dani won! 

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     One of our chief tasks on Saturday is to be sure that our family is prepared for the Lord’s Day on Sunday.  We have a much more peaceful, restful and pleasant Sunday when we do everything that can possibly be done ahead of time on Saturday.  The breakfast table is set on Saturday evening, and the cinnamon rolls for breakfast are on the table as well.  The boys’ play clothes, for after church, are packed and the bags ready to take to the car on Sunday morning.  Our church bag, with all of our Bibles, pens & pencils, things we need to return to other folks, etc., is likewise packed and ready to take to the car in the morning.  I was asked once why we didn’t pack the car on Saturday evening.  We could, of course; but that makes me nervous.  It’s silly, I know; but I like to see everything in one place, to know that it’s all there, before things are taken to the car.  That way I’m sure that we haven’t left anything behind.  We drive over an hour to church, so running back home for a forgotten item is not an option.

     The food for our church fellowship meal (which is a potluck) is also made ready on Saturday.  After dinner tonight, I put together a triple batch of my Chicken and Dressing Casserole.  (Tip for chicken based casseroles:  The dish will have a much better flavor, and the meat will have a nicer texture, if you bake or broil the chicken instead of boiling it for recipes calling for cooked chicken.  It takes just a tiny bit more time, but the results are well worth it!)  Tomorrow morning, as soon as I rise, I will put the casserole into the oven to cook.  We’ll wrap it in heavy towels for the trip to church, ready to put into the warming ovens once we are there.  I almost always take our main dish in a disposable foil pan so that we do not have to scrub up a casserole dish after our long drive home on Sunday evenings.  My crockpot is also out on the kitchen counter so that I remember to fill it with vegetables in the morning to take for a side dish.  Dani’s angel food cake is baked, plated, covered and ready to go as well.  The whipped cream topping will be added at church tomorrow just before lunch.  Our serving utensils have all been marked with our last name and are ready to go, too.   (We write our name on our stainless utensils with a Sharpie marker.  The writing does not come off in the handling of the utensils, but comes off after a time or two through the dishwasher.)

     All of our clothes for tomorrow morning are ironed and hung up ready to be put on after breakfast in the morning.  The boys’ ties, if they’re wearing them, are hung over their shirts.  There’s no stirring about on Sunday mornings looking for the right tie, or clammoring for the iron to press a piece of clothing.  There is still more hustle and bustle on Sunday mornings than there needs to be, but it is so helpful to have all of the work associated with getting to church and for spending the day done before heading to bed the night before. 

     The day, after whoooshing by, is finally winding down.  We are, Dani, Copper and I, seated in the living room, relaxing, and settling in to enjoy a movie together.  A sweet wind down to a frantic day.  Aaaaahhhhh, that’s more like it.  Have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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14 comments to Whoosh!

  • I so enjoyed hearing about your day! My Saturday whooshed by…they always do when you are away from home!

    Enjoy the Lord’s day…I too will be at church, though there is no potluck dinner every week, we will enjoy some fellowship for a time afterward.

  • I love hearing about your daily life ~ it brings much encouragement to me. 

  • Me three!!  lol I just love hearing about your days!!  God Bless ~Gretchen~

  • Such practical suggestions to put into practice, Cheryl. I’m thankful for your wisdom and how you share your days with us ladies. Speaking for myself, reading your journal helps me put things in perspective, proper order and helps me consider my actions. Bless you. :o)

    That Chicken&Stuffing recipe is sooooo good! I have some leftover chicken in the freezer. I do believe it’ll be perfect for today’s dinner with enough leftovers for tomorrow! Mmmm.

  • Hi Cheryl,

    I just started reading your blog about a week ago.  I’m a mom of two young boys (1 and 3).  I told my husband I found a treasure online and I look forward to reading your posts (past and present).  Thank you and your family (I know they sacrifice their time with you in some way) for passing your wisdom on to others.  I especially appreciate the detailed information you provide about the care you give your family through meals, cleaning,  traditions, etc. The recipes are wonderful and I can’t wait to try some of them.  I asked my sweet husband if he had indeed sold the bread machine at the last tag sale.  No!  It was in the basement, but I have not used it in years.  I hated the huge whole at the bottom of my loaves.  What a simple tip you gave, but with huge results!  Thank you for “laying out” for us the steps for your Sunday preparations.  I hate the chaos that can go through our home Sunday morning, if I have not prepared.  It just helps me by seeing what someone else was doing.  Is the recipe for the cinnamon rolls Dani’s recipe?  Love the book list!  Lastly, thank you for sharing the not so pretty side of life.  I read your post about when your home was broken into.  I think about it almost every day.  It helps me put my own marriage and home into a much different perspective-for the good, of course.  Thanks for sharing what is not perfect.  It helps me feel like I can do it, too.  Blessings to you, Michele 

  • Hi Cheryl,

    I just started reading your blog about a week ago.  I’m a mom of two young boys (1 and 3).  I told my husband I found a treasure online and I look forward to reading your posts (past and present).  Thank you and your family (I know they sacrifice their time with you in some way) for passing your wisdom on to others.  I especially appreciate the detailed information you provide about the care you give your family through meals, cleaning,  traditions, etc. The recipes are wonderful and I can’t wait to try some of them.  I asked my sweet husband if he had indeed sold the bread machine at the last tag sale.  No!  It was in the basement, but I have not used it in years.  I hated the huge whole at the bottom of my loaves.  What a simple tip you gave, but with huge results!  Thank you for “laying out” for us the steps for your Sunday preparations.  I hate the chaos that can go through our home Sunday morning, if I have not prepared.  It just helps me by seeing what someone else was doing.  Is the recipe for the cinnamon rolls Dani’s recipe?  Love the book list!  Lastly, thank you for sharing the not so pretty side of life.  I read your post about when your home was broken into.  I think about it almost every day.  It helps me put my own marriage and home into a much different perspective-for the good, of course.  Thanks for sharing what is not perfect.  It helps me feel like I can do it, too.  Blessings to you, Michele 

  • Hi Cheryl, I only got to read the first half of your post and wanted to pass this on real quick (my timer for dinner just went off :). If you join the arbor day foundation you get to choose ten free trees that they will mail to you. There was quite a bit of a selection last time I looked and I believe the fee was very very low too. Here is the link http://www.arborday.org/shopping/memberships/memberships.cfm?trackingid=528. I think the trees are very young, but hey, they were very cheap so it might help extend your budget even further.

    Many Blessings 🙂

    Ace

  • @Ace – Thanks, Ace.  I clicked over to check it out.  I am, however, working on building our orchard (fruit) right now.  Oh, how I’d love to buy landscape trees and bushes, but I am keen on food production here right now.  Thanks for the link.  I’ll keep it mind for the future. 

  • @marbles2 – Nice to meet you, Michele!

  • Cheryl,

    What a blessing to receive the discount and be able to purchase some more raspberry canes! The Lord is indeed good!!

    Love, Heather

  • I love reading about your day and the recipe for the Chicken and Dressing Casserole looks wonderful!  I’m going to give that one a try in the near future.  Blessings, Laurie

  • I too love to read all the daily details of your day. Your upcoming fruit garden sounds very appealing. Thanks for the game review.
    Blessings.

  • I am can I tell you that this couldn’t have come at a better time?!  Yesterday was Sunday and it was one of those days that you wish you could do over.  It started horribly and continued to spiral downward as the day continued.  As the children went to bed, everyone was frustrated and irritable.  And all of this was because we failed to plan ahead for Sunday morning…I always say that I am going to get everything ready on Saturday night, but come Saturday night, I am exhausted and just figure we will be fine the following morning.  AND IT NEVER HAPPENS!!  We wake up late, we struggle to throw something into our stomachs and we rush around finding something to wear for Sunday service.  We rush, rush, rush and we are LATE…which makes mama and daddy crabby…and well crabby isn’t the best mind set for worship.

    Then we rush home from church and scramble to find SOMETHING to eat because we ate poorly hours earlier.  It’s a game of rush around and by the end of the day, we are frazzled and emotional.  Sounds like fun, huh?  NOT! 

    So I will take the time this week to see what I can do on Saturday to prepare for Sunday.  I need to re-evaluate our schedule and how things are flowing (or not flowing, in this case).  Thanks for the GENTLE:) reminder!

  • I am always amazed by your mega shop day. Some day this may be how I do things also, someday…. Currently with a 20 month in tow and another on the way, it is more than we can handle. I do enjoy hearing about your many time/money savers.