Staying busy at home

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Our neighborhood association asked us to put teddy bears in our windows so that children going for walks would have something to look for and to count. I think Mr. Bear looks slightly melancholy, stuck inside as he is.

I've been busy in the kitchen this week, planning and thinking about "make do, use it up, or do without." We're trying to avoid the stores now if possible. I did order some things from Amazon a couple weeks ago for baking.

I haven't baked since July when I gave up sugar. But my husband likes sandwiches, and all the bread has been sold out.

I had given my daughter my baking powder and yeast. It was hard going finding it on Amazon, and of course, took much longer to arrive. But as soon as the yeast came yesterday I made a loaf of gluten-free, sugar-free bread.

No kneading required. Just mixed with my hand mixer with the dough hooks. It took longer to rise without any sugar, about twice as long.

 It made a dense, kind of wonky-looking loaf. 

But we both agreed it was very tasty.

 I found some beef broth I had made in the freezer and made up some vegetable soup. It was delicious with the bread. This bread is also good toasted.

I had frozen some blueberries a week or so ago.

I tried a gluten-free, sugar-free coffee cake. This is the first time I've used xanthan gum. I couldn't get any of my favorite Rumford baking powder anywhere. These packets of baking powder were all I could find.

The muffins in the jar are gluten-free, sugar-free banana nut. These were sweeter and better tasting than the blueberry coffee cake.

Why am I being so rigid about sugar? I think it's extremely addictive. And so many negative side effects of consuming too much of it. And I don't do moderation very well.

I've lost 45 pounds since going off sugar and white flours. I've reached my goal, and sure don't want to gain any back!

I found the Christmas ham bone in the freezer. I made up split pea soup. I don't care for it, but my husband loves it, so I froze up a bunch of individual servings for his lunches.

And made some ham spread with some of the extra ham on the bone. I have used sweet pickles in the past, but here I used dill pickles. I've found an avocado mayo from Primal Kitchen with no sugar that is very good.

Rice and beans with scallions, tomatoes, cheese, and seasoning. Served with salsa and sour cream and more scallions.

We're having leftovers of this tonight.

I soak my pecans in salted water and then slow roast in the oven. According to Nourishing Traditions cookbook, this makes them more digestible. They taste way better too. I use them mostly on oatmeal.

Besides cooking, I hauled out my sewing machine, which was literally covered in dust! I made up five hand towels from some old linen cloth and some leftover lace.  This project had been sitting around for several years!

And brought out my knitting. Some dishcloths for Christmas.

Here's my answer to the current toilet paper shortage! A handheld bidet.

I love this!

I am seriously thinking of having one installed on our toilet when all this is over.

Also in the self-care department, how great are these reusable eye makeup removers? I got them in black so any mascara or eyeliner stains won't show. No more buying cotton rounds. They are super comfortable on your skin, too. Although I haven't been wearing much makeup lately ;).

Our small group Bible study is meeting tonight over Zoom. So thankful for this technology that allows us all to connect.

What have you all been doing at home these days?

xo Deborah

Hello again

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hello again, my dear blog friends. 

It's been a long time. I have missed you.

I had been thinking seriously over the past several months of shutting my blog down. But couldn't quite write that final post. I didn't really want to say goodbye.

So I am back, and hoping I still have things to say here. I still believe "the beautiful matters," maybe even more so now.

Isn't it wonderful to see some of the beautiful things happening right now even in the midst of this life-altering pandemic?

People singing together from their balconies or front porches. Families going for walks together. People at home sewing masks for health care workers. I saw last night a neighborhood where families put stuffed bears in their windows so the children could count them as they went for a walk with their parents. People sitting outside nursing home windows cheering their loved ones.

Miss Read is always comforting in times of stress.
 Drive up food distributions, online prayer meetings, funny memes to keep us smiling.

This past fall I became a mentor mom for our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program. They were looking for someone to also lead a smaller group of moms struggling with anxiety and depression. This group has been meeting at my house every two weeks since last October.

We have set up a Marco Polo group to stay in touch with each other during this time of social distancing. It has been a wonderful way to check in with each other, encourage each other, and share the frustrations and challenges and joys of being home all day with little ones. When you also struggle with anxiety or depression.

Sharpened and organized and ready for some serious coloring. 
 This is an anxious time for everyone. I'm so thankful for social media right now. My book club is meeting via Zoom tonight. Our pastor has scheduled a short prayer time online every evening at 9 p.m. There are so many ways to stay connected. I've actually set up a schedule for all my Zoom and FaceTime calls!

**** breaking news ****

Just got a text our governor here in Michigan is issuing a stay-at-home order today. Things are changing daily.

Okay . . . three hours later . . . after a whole bunch of texts and calls among friends and family about what that means for us here.  Concern for those who are self-employed. No work means no money. And concern for those who need to keep working and who risk exposure.

I am going to close now and spend some quiet time in prayer. I'll be back soon. 

xo Deborah
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