I have been getting some requests to share some particulars of my routine, my quiet time/Bible study plan, and thoughts on organization…
The Accuracy in Blogging Act of 2008 requires me to start by saying that I am most certainly not an organized person. In fact any appearance in that regard is an illusion… and in fact is merely just poor lil me, trying to stay a step or two ahead of my own disorganization.
But as they say, even a broken clock is correct twice a day, right? And it’s hard to go wrong with beginning one’s day with some quiet time… a cup of coffee, a journal and the Bible. I used to rely heavily on devotional reading, but over the past few years, I have come to prefer just scripture.
The book of Proverbs coincidentally has 31 chapters- one for each day of the month, and so I begin with that. I choose one or two verses from the day’s chapter and copy them into my journal. Following that, I read a passage from another portion of scripture; currently I am reading the letters of Paul. I summarize the passage briefly in my own words, copy out any key verses, and end up by writing my personal impressions or how I feel I should apply the scripture to my life. I end my days by reading a Psalm just before sleeping, and perhaps copying portions into my journal. To make things easier for the evening, I write the reference for that day’s Psalm on the top of the next page before I end my morning quiet time.
Now during my study and prayer time I would find I was frequently distracted by thoughts of my day, or things I needed to tend to. To help me stay focused I began keeping a list. As something occurs to me, I jot it down and am then able to return my thoughts to my study without worrying that I am forgetting something essential. That list has gradually evolved into this index card system… my priorities for the day are on one side and a key verse from my morning reading is copied onto the other side. Eventually I’d like to memorize these daily verses, but for now they just serve as a reminder and an encouragement as I go through my day, checking off my tasks,
feeling oh-so-productive and
keeping myself one baby step ahead of muddle and mayhem.
An elderly lady from the church who knows I like “old time-y things” gave me a tin full of sewing notions salvaged off of old garments… that’s where I got the buttons. Their color reminds me of the rootbeer barrel candies I used to get for a penny when I was a child, and it perfectly matches the background of the floral fabric.
Now my only problem is… I don’t own this pattern. I don’t have a clue where I could obtain it. If I could find it I probably couldn’t afford it, and it was most likely never made in my size anyway.
I suppose that’s actually four problems, but, hey who’s counting?
…prayers for little Anne.
She’s feeling a bit poorly and nothing either we can do or the vet suggests is really helping all that much. The good news is that she has gradually ceased her hissing, and has come to see us as her friends and protectors. This morning while snuggled up in bed with me as I enjoyed my coffee and quiet time, she purred for the first time.
The bad news is that I think we may be losing her. She’s refused to eat all but the tiniest amount, and that only with much coaxing.
So if you have the time this sunny Sunday morning, could you pray that her little system would be healed and able to handle whatever onslaught it appears now unable to handle. Or that she would have a swift and painless passing. We can handle that, what’s difficult is watching her suffer.
Monday morning update…
When I went to bed last night, I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect this morning to bring. Anne had gotten progressively weaker and we had resorted to feeding her through a syringe, as it was the only way to get any fluids into the poor little waif. She spent the night on Amelia’s bed in her basket (complete with a ticking clock and layers of soft fleece-y fabric.)
Well, when I looked in at her this morning she looked right up at me and surprised me with an almost silent meow. She took several syringes of formula mixed with a smidge of canned pumpkin- to help with the digestive difficulties or so says the vet. Each syringe is 1 ml, or is it 1 cc… I can never remember which of those is which, so if any of you metric-gals can help me out, I’d be ever so grateful.
And gratitude is what I am feeling right now, as I watch Anne sitting upright with a round full little tummy. She’s actually trying to clean herself… now that’s a kitten after my own heart.
A group of us ladies have decided to meet together every week this summer as we redo our household schedules. We’ll be going through the Managers of Their Homes system, sharing helpful tips and strategies that have worked for our families. We’ll also be sharing our families’ particular challenges, supporting and praying for each other as we aim to ever increase the order and peace of our homes.
Yesterday was our first class, and although we had planned on meeting at Miss Ginger-pie’s house, she called me first thing to say (in a very croaky voice) that she was ill and unable to play hostess. Thankfully, the intrepid Jody volunteered to take her place as the Lady Bountiful du jour. And so at 10:30 four ladies and nineteen children descended upon her small home and blessedly large yard. We brought sandwich makings, stuffed animals, household notebooks and each had her own personal copy of MOTH.
The lovely D’Ann came equipped with everything from blue-tack to contact paper.. what a handy-dandy girl she is!
While we worked our way through the first two chapters of the manual, and determined our homework assignments, a great war was being waged just outside the window. Due to the impressive weaponry and skills of the warriors, there were many dire and mortal injuries. In quite a startling turn of events however, two small nurses suddenly appeared; each well supplied with a unique miracle drug: pretzel sticks. I know you’ll be amazed as I, when informed that the little Clara Bartons didn’t lose a man..
By 12:30 class was over and lunch prepared. Observe the extra large jug of Tabitha’s iced coffee. It was quite the favorite beverage. As she asked the blessing, I couldn’t help but notice how precious it is to see eighteen little bowed heads,
but of peace and order.
I Corinthians 14:33a Amplified
We stopped out at the farm today to find more kitty-damsels in kitty-distress.
Betty-Jo told us she’d found two little calicoes last night and gave them milk from a saucer. Even though they were able to drink it, and she found them a warm little nook to sleep in, one of them was dead by morning. We once again approached Mrs. Tibbs, but found she was in no way near as magnanimous a mood as before… in fact she hissed at the little girl.
…sigh… I suppose we all have our limits.
Well, ladies I’m not exactly sure whether you’d call my experiment a success or not. As I said, I attempted to complete the recipes exactly as they were written in the 1950 cookbook. For added fun, I also tried not to use any labor saving appliances that a homemaker back them would not have had available. That meant grating three cups of carrots with my old box grater, chopping veggies by hand, and parboiling the peppers in a pan on top of the stove instead of steaming them in the microwave. It also meant over two hours of preparation time, and that was with my daughter’s help.
When I planned the meal, I took one dish from each category of the chart given in the cookbook, my assumption being that the writers felt these were necessary for the typical evening meal. I’m not sure if folks really ate like this, but ladies this ended up being an enormous meal! My oldest daughter, Louisa, joined us and she commented that we could have made two meals out of what I had prepared…. the bread and baked apples would have made a delightful breakfast or even lunch. The cheese casserole, stuffed peppers and veggie tray were certainly sufficient for dinner. We all left a lot of food on our plates, and I know that was not typical 1950′s manners!
The recipes themselves were very good, and I think we’ll enjoy them even more with a bit of tweaking. For example the casserole called for American cheese, next time I’ll make it with a sharp cheddar. I think the stuffed peppers would be improved with something like couscous in place of bread crumbs and perhaps the addition of some savory seasonings. I’ll replace the figs in the wheat-nut bread with apricots or maybe dried cranberries. Another surprise was that these dishes were not as heavy and starchy as I had imagined. The main ingredient in the cheese casserole was actually grated carrots, and yet it tasted very rich and satisfying. I’ll definitely be making this again soon.
I really found that the one hour of worry-free time was an immense blessing. When my children were very young this would have been such a help. For most of us with children that hour just previous to dinner can be hectic at best. Little ones are tired and hungry and a mama busy with dinner prep just doesn’t have the time and attention to spare for them as she might otherwise. Today we were able to sit together in the living room, while the house filled with wonderful smells. Table-setting was unhurried, and when it was time to eat we were all in a very good humor. I think I’ll be adding some of my own tried and true recipes to the chart so I can really make this technique my own.
So all in all… a successful days work!
In the days before microwaves and crockpots, homemakers came up with some pretty nifty ideas, I must say.
While engaging in a little recreational reading of my 1950 Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, I came upon this section titled “Oven Meals.” Included are strategies for “making the most of oven heat” and time by planning meals in which all of the components are cooked in the oven at approximately the same temperature and for the same amount of time. The busy housewife only has to prepare all of the dishes and pop them into the oven, say an hour before mealtime… then she can sit back and do something relaxing like tend to her mending while her meal “cooks quietly out of sight.” Mmmhmm….
Admittedly, for the typical new millennium gal, that’s a whole lotta work to be termed “convenient.” But for us atypical gals, who like to make as much as possible from scratch, it does look like a way to make busy-day dinners more easily workable. For example, tomorrow afternoon, Noah needs to be delivered to Daddy’s house at 2:30, Amelia will be starting a Japanese language intensive with pick-up time at 3:30 and the toddler I babysit for is arriving at about 4:30. In other words, serving a healthy homecooked meal at 5:30 is going to be a bit of a challenge.
So, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment… tomorrow our dinner menu will be:
Whole Wheat Nut Bread
Raw veggie platter
and for dessert, Baked Apples with Vanilla Yogurt
Now, according to this handy-dandy chart (click on the image to see a larger readable version), I can pop these all into the oven just before my little charge arrives at 4:30, and dinner will be ready to serve when Amelia and Noah arrive home at 5:30. With the exception of the raw veggie platter and the vanilla yogurt- bows to our 2008 palate- I’m going to follow the instructions just the way they were written in 1950.
And fifty-eight years later, let’s see how dinner turns out!
My post title today is actually a quote from an early Christian philosopher, Philo of Alexandria The first time I read his thoughts they changed me. Ever since, I have tried to live my life centered on that philosophy of gentle compassion.
A few days ago the wonderful mam posted a video that put me so in mind of the spirit of those quietly challenging words, I just had to share it with all of you…
show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.
In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’