Saturday, October 16, 2010

God's provision & His timing

How often I have wondered why, when, how, and if. Why did this or that happen? When is it going to be done? How will I ever pay for it? If it is intended at all.

Several months ago my car started acting up. It made this horrible sound when it first started up. So I took it in to a mechanic. He looked under the hood and listened to it run. Then he said he didn't think it was in the engine, sounded more like the muffler. I could make an appointment to have it looked at more carefully. OK, if it seemed to be the muffler, I would take it to a muffler shop. The guy there also looked and listened, saying it was a faulty baffle in the muffler. It was OK to to drive, provided I didn't take it too far out of town. He gave me an estimate of $265 to fix the problem. Basically a new muffler.

Right about that same time we received a backlog (6 mths worth) of medical bills from the VA. They hadn't billed us earlier because we had over-paid in a previous year and the only way they could bill us was to rectify their books. Basically they needed to cut us a check for about $30 before their computer would generate a bill. So they did, and we have been playing catchup since.

On September 30 I turned 70 1/2. By law, I have now to draw 1/20th of my IRA savings. So last week the first annual payment arrived in the mail. So I paid off the last of the VA bill and took my car into AAMCO (by now the transmission was acting sluggish) to have the transmission fluid checked. I had had the oil changed and the other fluids changed about a month ago, but they didn't check this fluid. AAMCO offered to run a computer diagnostic free of charge, so I took the car in yesterday. The diagnostic indicated that the transmission is fine. The culprit seems to be the catalytic converter. It is partially clogged and putting pressure on those baffles. I will take the car back in on Tuesday afternoon for servicing. They will run another diagnostic before I bring it home.

In the Lord's time, all things work together. Money, diagnosis/service, and medical bills all came together. It has to be His provision, His timing. Thank you Lord.

Monday, October 11, 2010

up & at ehm

Up again early, 5:00 am. Nice to have a few silent moments to sit in the dark and nurse a cup of hot coffee. Time to reflect on the day's schedule and to talk to the Lord without any distractions.

Today Richard has a 10:00 physical therapy session. It is nice to get this sort of appointment out of the way early. We will stop on the way home to pick up a few items from the grocery store, milk and the like. Then I will pick the remainder of the concord grapes, wash and juice them when we get home. Not having to stop before processing to keep an appointment will make the day flow a little smoother.

I finished all the tomatoes and am working on pears now. Most of the pears will end up in the dehydrator for snack food. I discovered a large number of canned pears last week that had been hiding on a top shelf in my storage area. I think I am going to designate those top shelves for empty jars and other true storage only. They are too tall and deep for me to see what's there without standing on a step stool.

I hear my honey getting up, so need to get off here. We are out of milk so will fix something with eggs for breakfast. Maybe some French toast using gluten free bread and coconut milk? Could be interesting.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jet lag

OK, it isn't really jet lag, but it sure feels like it. I have endured that strange phenomenon enough times it know it's symptoms. I can't seem to catch up with sleep, need to nap at all hours of the day, can't really concentrate for any length of time, head ache, etc. I know what the problem(s) is/are. First of all the weather is in transition and the barometric pressure is changing. Along with that it is cooler and days are shorter, resulting in an urge to hibernate. Secondly, I stayed up several hours beyond my normal bedtime the other day in order to finish processing salsa. It really threw my body clock out of whack. Hence, mock jet lag. I have a couple dozen more jars of pears and tomato something to work up before I can put away the canner, but this not too frequent task will soon be complete. Then I can get back to cleaning, sorting, etc.

I have been asked more than once why I can. I have resources for food. But I have canned since I was a child. I remember canning with my mom during WWII. We lived in the NW where food is everywhere then too. We canned everything from fruit to salmon. We raised pigs and had a large vegetable garden. My dad hunted and brought home wild rabbit and deer. Most of the meet was either canned or placed in a smoke house to cure. Preserving God's summer and fall bounty for use during less productive seasons was a way of life.

Richard grew up on a produce farm in Arizona. Fresh fruit and vegetables were available year round. Still I found myself canning. Not so much canning and perhaps not the same things, but still it was something I did. There it was more using extra ripe fruit to make preserves or drying it for portable snacks. When we moved back up to the NW, earlier training picked in again. We were feeding 7 people on money that just did not seem to go around. So I kept 1,000 jars filled each year. Four teenage kids go through a lot of food.

There have been years more recently when my canning has been limited to a few jars of tomatoes and maybe some green beans. Last year, because of my health, I didn't can at all. Well, I did manage to preserve a couple jars of sun dried tomatoes from plants set in the garden before my accident. But this year I found I had absolutely no tomatoes on my storage shelves and most of my jars sat empty. On top of that I had access to so much fresh food through a variety of resources. I just could not stand any of it going to waste.

Why do I can? I can because I can. I can because I can not stand good food going to waste. I can because I am in the habit of canning, it is a family tradition. I can because I enjoy the process of canning. I can because I love seeing all those full jars on the shelf, it is a confirmation of God's blessing on my life and His provision in both times of plenty and times of little.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This fall has been much busier and exhausting than I had planned. I am making progress on the storage areas in the basement. These areas include several very large closeted sheves used to store canned goods, canning equipment, and misc. other items used on an occasional basis. During the years when all the kids were at home those shelves housed over 1,000 jars of produce. These were routinely used during those months when fresh produce was either out of season or too high to purchase. I haven't canned more than a couple dozen jars of produce a year for the past several years. But this year I have both the jars, the time, and the produce. Some produce we have from our garden. Some comes from friends and family, and still more from another resource. So I am canning again. Not a tremendous amount, but enough to wear me out.

The selves are filling up as I clean them. I am making salsa this afternoon (after bible study) from tomatoes gathered at a relative of a relative's garden yesterday morning. I picked pears at friend's home on Friday of last week and will can and dry them as they ripen. I was given coconut milk and re-processed it with the help of my daughter Shelley yesterday afternoon. I have already canned over 50 jars of tomatoes, 20 of green beans, 15 summer squash/tomatoes/onion mix and several other smaller amounts of beets, apple sauce, etc. Is that the end of it? I have no idea. We are happy to have the resources for food that have come our way, especially now that there are high medical and other critical bills. The Lord is good. He always provides.