Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Monday, December 29, 2008

Whoops!!!

I can't believe what I just did! I went to make a change on an experimental blog that I'm working on and accidentally made the change to this one blog instead. I wiped out a bunch of stuff with that fatal click, so you won't find most of the widgets that used to be on the sidebar. What a blunder!

Normally the program refuses to make such a change (on a blog with so many "widgets" - but I thought I was working on the experimental blog where there are no widgets). However, the unfortunate transition went as smooth as butter. Amazing! A classic example of Murphey's Law, if ever I saw one.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was planning to open a new blog called Franziska's Pantry after the new year. It looks like I'll open it earlier than I thought, (right now as a matter of fact) seeing that I messed up my recipe index on this blog (along with who knows what else). I was planning to phase out the recipes on The Good Woman when I opened Franziska's. So now I'll just have to boogie on it.

So, you may want to look for my recipes on the new blog. They are all there. Just go to the very top of the page and look for "Recipe Index". Click on that link and you will have access to all the recipes that have been here. Click here to get to Franziska's Pantry.

From now on there will be a link on the sidebar for Franziska's.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas or Happy Holy Day!

There is so much in the news now about Christ being removed from the holiday we call Christmas. We see it everywhere, "Happy Holidays" in stead of the age old greeting "Merry Christmas". But it seems to me that the two are the same. The word holiday is a compound word derived from the words holy and day. Christmas is a holy day. So when folks say to me, "Happy Holiday", I say in return, "Yes, Christmas is indeed a holy day - the day God became a man for the salvation of men."

So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Here are several videos of the a capella group called Straight No Chaser singing The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Carol of the Bells and Silent Night. Notice all the references to Christmas in these songs. So even if there is an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, He can't be taken out of the songs that express the fact that He is what this holiday is all about. And He certainly cannot be taken out of the new song that lives in the hearts of those who know Him.



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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Real Food Recipes - Blog Nog

Here's a good and simple recipe for eggnog. It does use raw eggs - the healthiest way to eat them. If you are hesitant to use raw eggs because of food borne illness, you should know that the only pathogens (illness-causing bacteria) that can be found with eggs is always on the shell of the egg (never inside).

If you clean the outside of the egg with an efficient pathogen-killing cleaner, then there is no way you can contract salmonella or any other food borne illness. I keep one spray bottle filled with full-strength hydrogen peroxide and another with full-strength white vinegar. To clean the outside of an egg, spray first with either the vinegar or peroxide and then spray again with the other solution. Wipe with a clean paper towel and use as directed in the recipe below:

Blog Nog
4 cups milk (cream-top or raw milk, not homogenized or ultra-pasteurized)
2 cups half and half
6 eggs
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup or palm sugar
4 teaspoons stevia
dash salt
8 ice cubles

Directions: Place ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely combined. Serve with extra nutmeg sprinkled on top. Makes 6 twelve-ounce servings.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

You Do Not Always Have Me

The study of the book of James has been quite an eye opener for me. In chapters one and two, James brings up the topic of the poor several times. The rich and poor are mentioned in verses 9-10 of chapter one and as Christians, they are instructed in what their real treasure is - faith in Christ. In verses 26-27, James reminds us of what true ministry is - to visit orphans and widows in the distress of their grief and extreme poverty.

In chapter two James exhorts his Hebrew flock not to show partiality by catering to the rich man and neglecting the poor man. He reminds them that God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the needs of the poor. Robert and I have had opportunity to help with a ministry in Uganda - a school for street children (the poorest of the poor) started by a dear friend of ours. And then there is always the reminder at this time of year of our own physical comfort as we hit the malls in search of that perfect gift. This contrasts so sharply with the needs of the poor all over the world. I just learned last night that worldwide, one child dies of starvation every three seconds. There are so many desperately needy people!

Of course, we are compelled by Scripture to minister to the needy. When we become aware of the reality of the poverty that exists, it often happens that our hearts are so touched that we get real busy - organize this and that, cover this need, don't forget that need. But the poor are everywhere. Where do we start? How do we meet the needs of so many? How do we even begin to really raise one such person out of the degrading dust of their poverty?

We begin with the One who became poor for our sakes. We begin at Jesus' feet. In Matthew 26:6-13 we read about a woman who came to Jesus with a vial of very costly perfume, equal perhaps to a year's wages. She broke it open and poured it on Christ's head in worship of her Lord. The fragrance filled the room. But when, "...the disciples saw this, they were indignant. 'Why this waste?' they asked. 'This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.' "

These disciples were so concerned for the poor (supposedly) that they actually berated the woman for worshipping Jesus. But Jesus commends the woman for her good deed toward Him and then says to the disciples, "For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial."

Worship of our Savior must come before our work for the poor. If it doesn't, we do not have Jesus with us in that work! We will always have the poor, the Lord tells us. The opportunities are countless and demanding. But these very demands can crowd Christ out. Busyness will always grab our attention, but will we set aside those demands to worship the Savior first and foremost? Will we recognize that He is with us and fall at His feet in adoration?

Jesus kindly calls to our hearts, "...you do not always have Me." All too often we do not have Him in our day. Like the innkeepers in Behlehem, because of our busyness (perhaps in even serving the needy) there is no room in the inner sanctum of our hearts for Him. Then it doesn't really matter what we tackle - how many poor we feed - for we do not have Him with us. Our busy work is of naught - wood, hay, stubble.

What a joy, however, when we do welcome Him adoringly. The fragrance of His life permeates our own life and spreads to others. He so motivates us and empowers us that nothing is impossible. When Christ is our most precious treasure and priority, we wll be sent to His poor that they may become rich in faith, rich in Christ for eternity. No time, no resources, no energy will be wasted for we will be directed of the Lord, clothed with His compassion and love for the needy, and supplied with His strength and wealth. And how will this all end? As it began - in worship for our Savior for He will receive all the glory and honor.

As you enjoy this Christmas season of the year of our Lord, 2008, please remember the poor. But first of all make sure that you have Jesus with you. May this be to what you are committed. Then indeed you will have a joyous Noel!
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Polyester Batting for Snow


Let it Snow!
If you've had trouble making a snow scene with polyester batting, try this trick:

When I set up this snowman scene, I had one large piece of batting that I laid down on top of white Christmas lights. I just couldn't get the effect I wanted. It looked hokey (is that a word?). And it was impossible to make "snow drifts".

So I put on my "thinking cap" the way Captain Kangaroo (now I'm dating myself) used to tell me to and it worked. I had the idea of cutting the batting into strips about 2 inches wide. I could then manipulate the strips anyway I wanted to make snow drifts. You can see the results. It was easy and looked just the way I had imagined. You can see the strips in the second photo.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Deck the Halls and Walls and Doors and More!

This is the first Christmas for The Good Woman (now you know she's not me - I've seen 59 Christmases). Anyway, after decorating the blog, I'm getting into the mood to decorate my house. In the past few years I opted not to do that because the decorations were in a tiny crawl space in the attic.

With that having been the situation, as Robert and I get older, we find it more and more difficult to get motivated to climb ladders, squeeze into small spaces, lift heavy boxes and carry them down the ladder, unload paraphernalia, untangle Christmas lights, move furniture, put decorative pieces into boxes, take out other decorative pieces and put them in the place of the ones we just packed away, etc. and then turn around four or five weeks later and do all the same again, only in reverse. Whew!!!

Well, if that's how you feel too, here are some quick and easy ways to decorate without all the fuss. And, by the way, we did get all the decorations out of the attic last year and move them to a storage space under the house. We just pulled it all out and I have a festive decorating fervor that I've not had in three or four years!

Here are the quick tips for decorating your house:

1. Tie narrow red or green ribbon to Christmas cookie cutters and use as ornaments which can be attached to garlands, or placed on house plants, or door knobs.

2. Top wall hangings or mirrors with a swag of greenery, sprig of holly and a big red bow.

3. Fill mason jars with wrapped Christmas chocolates (dark chocolate of course). Wrap lids in calico to match and tie with ribbon. Use as decorations or give away to guests.

4. Make a table cover with five or more red and green bandannas stitched together.

5. Hang small ornaments on house plants to create a festive look.

6. Make pretty bows from red or green ribbon and use for tie backs on your curtains.

7. Stack a collection of Christmas books on a side table, with the top book wrapped with a ribbon and pretty bow.

8. For a lighted greeting, cover a lamp shade with several layers of white tissue paper, taping down edges to inside of shade (keep paper away from light bulb). Cut fat, freehand letters out of red or green tissue paper to spell a holiday greeting - "Joyous Noel" or "Merry Christmas", etc. Attach the letters with pieces of double-stick tape.

9. Replace an aquarium background with a piece of holiday gift wrap or Christmas art by your child.

10.Wrap an assortment of empty boxes, small, medium and large, with gift wrap from last year. Add bows and ribbons. Stack these in a corner, starting with the largest on the bottom to the smallest on top, from floor to ceiling.

11. Gift wrap interior doors in holiday paper and attach a ribbon and large fabric bow.

12. Tie throw pillows with ribbons and bows to resemble Christmas packages.

Get the kids or grandkids involved and may your days be merry and bright!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Handy Uses for Duct Tape

If you are wondering why there have been so few posts this past week, it is due to the fact that I have been ill. For the first time since last Monday I have my voice back. I didn't really loose it, but over the past week I have been a bass, a high soprano and a croaky frog. Today my voice is back although the volume is somewhat diminished, which I am sure Robert is loving.

Anyway, here are some nifty uses for duct tape for today's tidy tip post:

Some Out-of-the-Ordinary Uses for Duct Tape

Remove lint on clothing
To remove lint from clothing wrap your hand with a length of duct tape, sticky side out. Then roll the sticky tape against your clothing in a rocking motion until lint has been picked up.

Reseal bags of chips
To keep a half-finished bag fresh, fold up the top over and seal it tight with a piece of duct tape, turning one corner under to make a grip to remove tape to open again. After opening the bag again, reseal with the tape.

Keep a secret spare car key

To prevent getting locked out of your car, affix an extra key to the undercarriage with duct tape.

Hang Christmas lights
Use duct tape to hang your lights and the removal job will be much easier. Tear duct tape into thin strips. At intervals, wrap strips around the wire and then tape the strand to the gutter or wherever you hang your lights.

Replace a shower curtain grommet
To repair a torn grommet, first make sure that the curtain is dry. Then cut a rectangular piece and fold it from front to back over the torn hole. Carefully slit the tape with a scissor, and push the shower curtain ring back in place.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © The Good Woman. Website: the-good-woman.blogspot.com

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