Monday, July 18, 2016

Financial Matters

Connie's Kitchen

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. October 2009.}

Ya know when Jim first got healed we were 2 accidents going some place. . Every day I wondered will he rob me of all of our money and take off again?   The Lord told me he was healed but man I wavered back and forth.  I had been left over 30 times with nothing. . and had lived through nightmares. . Now I am to believe we are okay?

Well yeah miracles happen like that.   Still I was afraid.  Well we kept our check book in a desk drawer. The minute Jim left for work in the mornings I would go look in the desk drawer to see if the check book was still there. . .and it was. . . But I got so sick of the devil trying to make me fearful.   I hated it, and yet every morning I checked my desk drawer. . . Again and again each morning. . .checking.  I felt like a slave to fear.

One morning as Jim sat with me drinking coffee before he went to work,  I went to the drawer and got out the check book and handed it to Jim. . . I said "Hey Honey, why don't you take the check book to work with ya, just in case you need something.". . He said, "Why should I?  I don't need to buy anything.".. I said, "Well take it anyway.". . . I was calling the devil out on it.  Later I said, "Well okay then, don't take it.". . I laid the check book out in plain sight on the table.  And to my surprise, just before Jim went to work, he said,"I think I will take it," and he put it in his back pocket.

Well I began to sweat bullets ..and did all day..But Jim came home after work with the check book still in his back pocket.  After that I gave Jim full control over the bills.  . He made mistakes with the money, he hadn't been in charge of the money before so he had to learn how much to spend it on what, And he learned to be wise . . and for 26 years he took care of the bills wisely.   A few years before he died, he paid off a loan on the house.  He always kept current with the bills.  He even left a lil savings for me.  He turned out to be a good man.  . . An honest man.

Yesterday was his Birthday.  He would have been 69 years old, Or I mean 69 years young. . He was always young to me. . . always my boyfriend...He was full of adventure.  I had to run to keep up with him.  My marriage was a hell of a ride.  But I  wouldn't have missed it for the World.

And Papa used to say to anyone who would listen, "if it wasn't for that lil girl over there praying for me, I would have died under a bridge. . she saved my life through her prayers.". . And I thank God I was able to be used of God like that.  God did reward me many times over. . .

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Living From Scratch

 {From the Archives of Connie's Letters. January 2010.}

Part One

Well I wanted to write in the subject line,"Cooking From Scratch."  But really I want to write about living from scratch. 

I went to a prayer meeting yesterday.  I had a lot of fun with Terry and her husband ..They took me out for lunch after the meeting.  I just loved it.  Terry's new husband Joseph is very spiritual and interesting.  This couple is loving and humble and know what true treasures are.  Anyway they want to buy an acreage and live off the land.  At lunch we talked about how to make cheese etc. .

Back in the old days when we decided to homeschool, it was against the Iowa state law.  So we quit getting any help from the state like food stamps etc..  For me it was like getting hit over the head with a sack of potatoes ..  With food stamps, I had 500 a month to spend on groceries.  Jim could only afford to give me 200 a month out of his paycheck for groceries.  But that was okay with me.  I knew he was being honest about it.  He had to pay the house payment and the other bills.  We had to keep a roof over our heads.

We had 6 children to care for.  Well 5 at home at the time.  Jimmy [the oldest] was in the Navy.  But he came home often ..We all missed him a lot.  I had an idea of how to cook from scratch only, but hadn't done it as a way of life for so many people at one time.  It takes a lot of planning.  You can learn to cook from scratch ..You can learn about herbs and gardening, saving your own heirloom seeds each year to plant in the spring.

 Ya know we women should stay home more.

You can quit going to the Beauty Salon to get your hair died, permed, and frizzed.  You can wear a scarf on your head and forget it.  Scarves on your head make you look mysterious, like you are up to something. Or better yet wear a cowboy hat with your apron.  Just stay home and learn womanly ways.  The old time Mothers got up with the chickens and started biscuits or bread of some kind for the day.  She spent time in the kitchen.  I always got up early too, usually to write.  But when I got up I would always be thinking of feeding my army.

So while I wrote, I was frying a pound of hamburger with onions for an afternoon Hamburger, Vegetable Soup.  I made the soup here and there as I passed the kitchen. . . Writing, thinking, cleaning vegetables as I went about my morning.  It was a way of life. . . I kept the morning quiet ya know.  I didn't vacuum. . just did what I had to do as it was my time to write and pray.

But then about 6:00 in the morning I got the kids up for homeschool.  They showered and helped with chores, and I fed them breakfast.  But then I didn't have much time then to fix a lunch.  I was so busy with the kids and school work all morning.  But that meal made in the wee hours of the morning saved me for the day.

Also I would start my bread early too if I needed to.  If we had to go some place in the morning, we had that meal to come home to.  Otherwise we would have been tempted to buy fast food that we couldn't afford.  And I would be exhausted when we got home after getting up so early in the morning.  So to come home to a big pot of vegetable soup was such a comfort.

And after lunch I always rested.  This was when my children did their reading for book reports.  I rested for a few hours.  Then back to the kitchen to do more cooking.

Part 2

 I loved to see Wildman buy a 50 pound bag of potatoes and haul them over his shoulder at the grocery store.  Or 25 pounds of flour over his shoulder.  Oh what a cowboy I married.  He brought home the bacon and his wife fried it. I worked like a dog keeping up with Wildman and his seeds.

His 4 sons were creative like him, and still are.  Our home was dominated by boys growing into men.  The boys sat at the table and watched Jim heap his creamed peas or corn over his mashed potatoes and gravy, and they ate the same way.  Well not Jimmy as he was too educated to do such a thing.  David always says "Are you sure Jimmy is one of us?"  Jimmy was raised as an only child by primarily a hippy Jesus freak ..that would be me.  My life was a fright and I was afraid to have another child.  But then when Jimmy was 7, I got the Holy Ghost and thought I could do anything.  So I preceded to have 5 more children. . What the heck. .

I had to do a lot of creative thinking to keep my family afloat.  I did a lot of praying, on and off.   As my washers and dryers would break down, I used a wringer washer, and my back yard clothes line.  I used an old garden rake to hold up the middle of the clothes line rope as it sagged.  I didn't have a drain to drain the washer so I drained it into buckets.  Then I had the kids take the buckets out to the garden and water the vegetables.

I loved my 2 wringer washers.  I wasn't wasting water.  I did 3 loads of wash at a time.  Well I could use the same water for a 4th load to do rag rugs.  Anyway you can still buy wringer washers.. I know the Lehman's catalog has them.  Wringer washers save on so much water.  And it's easy to use your used up soapy water for the garden.  The soap in the water keeps the bugs out, especially in a cabbage patch.  And in a drought, the water comes in handy.

Anyway I used my wringer washer to wash all of our clothes.  Also I made my own laundry soap. But I used lye and I guess ya cant get it now at the stores.  Maybe from Lehman's catalog or on the internet.

It was a lot of work to live like we did.  But to me it was a mission or calling.  I believed God had given me my children to train for Him.  I knew I wasn't to go out to work.  So I knew God had a plan for me.  I knew He could teach me how to make it on only 50 bucks a week for everything.  I didn't know how . . .But God showed me in the wee hours of the morning when I would get up to pray.  I was confident that He knew what He was doing. . . I knew I didn't. . . but He showed me.

love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 


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