Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Technical Dificulties

Tuesday afternoon it finally happened ... the very old laptop computer I use CRASHED - totally crashed.  Thus, we are having some up-grade work done on our older desktop so I will have a computer for all my computing needs - like blogging and such. While it's in the shop, I will be away.  During my absence, I pray God abundantly blesses you and your family.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bow-Wow, Baaa & HooRay!

There has been quite a bit happening around the B homestead.  EJ has been pestering me to post some photos of Piper, his black & tan hound.  She is growing so much and so fast - I didn't realize she would grow as big as it appears she will.

Piper playing w/ EJ's inner tube

 Can you say Baaa?  EJ and OG purchased their 4-H lambs 11 days ago.  They are CRAZY about them.  I am already wondering how they will ever let the sheep go to market - but to market they must go.  Anyone who knows me personally will be SHOCKED to find out that the lamb crib is in our basement.  Yes, that's right, I am housing livestock inside my home!  That means I have officially been transformed into a farm girl.  Of course it's only temporary.  As soon as the lambs are a little older and can stand the cold night time temps our region gets this time of year, they will be relocated to the unheated, non-electric barn.
EJ & Lucy

Lucy & Looney Tunes w/ little Oscar nudging in for a bottle too.
Most importantly, we have a new U.S. Airman in the family.  Mrs.A's oldest daughter just graduated from Air Force Basic Training.  Our entire family is so very proud.  We both have children who have/are serving as U.S. Sailors and U.S. Airmen.  I can't help but wonder if any of our remaining younger children will also serve in our nation's military.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Frugal Feasting Friday

Last night's supper cost only $.39 per person.  Yes, that says thirty-nine cents!  I'm sure you are protesting, "There's no way!  You have to be exaggerating!"

Here's how I did it ...

EJ cooks supper on Wednesdays.  This week I taught him how to make vegetable beef soup in the crock pot which he served with fruited jello salad and slices of homemade whole wheat bread.  After everyone was satisfied and full, we had 2 c. of vegetable beef soup left over.

Yesterday evening, I warmed up the leftover beef soup, added thickening, made a double pie crust & turned that little bit of soup into beef pot pie.  It was served with a lettuce & tomato salad.  This meal fed 5 people with 1 serving of beef pot pie leftover for Mr.B's lunch pail.

Here's the cost breakdown:
vegetable beef soup - a leftover
pie crust & thickening - $.83
lettuce & tomato salad - $1.26
Total:  $2.09 OR $.39 per person (6 servings pot pie / 5 servings salad)

Stewardship of ones resources is not just about purchasing sale items or even second hand items.  It involves  adopting a lifestyle free of waste and making the most of what one has.  I could have served the 2 cups of leftover soup to Mr.B or the littles for dinner accompanied by some fruit or a salad.  However, by preparing a pie crust and adding thickening, I was able to stretch what many would see as 1 or 2 servings of food into 6 servings.

I hope you will be inspired to make the most of your resources.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"The Most Terrifying Words ...

... in the English language are:  I'm from government and I'm here to help." -Ronald Reagan

Early this morning, whilst I was the only one creeping about in our home, I made the mistake of turning on the news.  I wasn't shocked by what I heard, but I wonder how many Americans will be.  The story left me more discouraged for our nation, more discouraged by not understanding why so many people in our nation seem to lack the ability or desire to sincerely think about consequences.

The specific story that enhanced my discouragement was about the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.  Back in 2007 & 2008, I ran around beating my "anti Obama drum".  It was most often met with "eye rolling".  After the Affordable Care Act was passed through a back door appropriations bill as "not a tax", then upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as a "legal tax", I again beat my anti Obama drum, this time warning of astronomical healthcare cost increases resulting in serious, or catastrophic  lifestyle changes for many middle class Americans, & I was, again, often met with "eye rolling".

When the healthcare debate began I patiently listened to person after person say, "Well, I don't mind paying a little more to help those who can't afford it."  I would respond with, "Then you should give your extra money directly to struggling person or family.  If the federal government is allocating it, I guarantee it will be a whole lot more than a little bit."

This morning's news story stated that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has revealed that the healthcare insurance cost "caps" contained in the Affordable Care Act applies only to individual coverage.  These caps DO NOT apply to spouses and/or children as in family coverage.  The CBO estimates any family that does not qualify for government healthcare subsidies will pay as much as $15,700.00 per year for family health insurance coverage.  They also said that young healthy individuals will see their health care insurance increase by as much as 190% ($2,500 annually would increase to $7,250).  The news story did not reveal the income levels / requirement to qualify for government subsidies.  From my point of view, government subsidy is the same as well fare assistance.

Some folks may say they don't worry about that expense or having to qualify for "well fare" because they are employed by a large corporation that provides health insurance benefits for them and their family.  However, the CBO also estimates that in 2014, more than 7 million employees will loose employer provided health insurance benefits due eliminated employer benefits.  IF you happen to work for a company that continues to provide employee health insurance, Do the math - $15,700 to insure your family (if you aren't paying it, then someone else or your company is)  means that most will not see a pay raise for many years / many will see salary reductions; you and some of your co-workers could / will be laid off due to "downsizing"; if you are fortunate enough to keep your job, your hours and work load will significantly increase; AND the Affordable Care Act also requires, beginning 2014, you to pay income tax on that $15,700 benefit (currently employees do not pay income tax on employer provided benefits.).

Obama said, "If you choose, you can keep your current health care, you can keep your doctor".  Obama told us the Affordable Care Act would make health insurance affordable for EVERY family and individual in America.  The government was extending a helping hand to all.

I have said and continue to say, "Yeah, you can keep anything you want as long as you have the money to pay for it".

Will you get to keep your current healthcare?  Will you get to keep your current doctor?  Will you be able to maintain your current lifestyle?

Ronald Reagan - "The most terrifying words in the English language are:  I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Some Pondering

What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?