Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

The last 2 scarlet Fiestaware pieces that I ordered 
(with 30.00 off + 2 more discounts) 
finally came last night! 
2 small casserole dishes, 2 medium serving bowls, 2 salsa bowls and 2 fruit bowls. 
I have used many of these for my epic Christmas baking 
and the casserole dishes, one was used last night, perfect size for smaller things!
 I love these so much! And that they are USA made! 

The sunlight this morning....

My super cute rose bag, a Christmas gift, was with me on my 
first outing on light rail for the year!
It's really a perfect little bag and I am just loving it!

I went to the local grocery store and, in wandering the cheese/bread aisle, realized
it would be so wonderful to make pizza for dinner!
Took me forever to find the pepperoni! 
I know just where it is in our old town grocers that we moved
away 3 years ago but had not looked for it here...
esp. as we often have groceries delivered...

So the pizza was really quite delicious!!! 
The pepperoni I bought (applegate) was really good,
and I usually don't like pepperoni! 
So, I did an 'oops' .... while I had a fleeting thought
about heat and glass, I put the pizza on 
my pretty very thick cut glass platter....
and the heat broke it clean in half!
I was so BUMMED.
But... (coming out of my spending $ for the year...)
I found a well-priced replacement platter,
the exact same one, on Etsy! 

So the one I broke we actually found (in perfect condition!)
at a 'free' stand at the side of the road a few
years ago near our far-away church...
so obviously the replacement was not free like that find was!
But I loved that plate
and it was perfect for serving various things...
clearly NOT for hot things like pizza out of the oven!
Lesson learned, again... 
Well, my day was good, in that I got a lot done
and went out and had a walk and did shopping by light rail.
That was great.
I am having a very small Christmas Lunch this Saturday.
I am preparing for that.
This day though I found a bit hard...
I was oddly anxious this morning...eventually I was able to
redirect myself enough to get past that, with God's help of course...
and this afternoon different times I felt well...
a lot of impatience I guess and tiredness.
I was feeling out of breath strangely and congested on Monday and now I felt it 
a bit again today; if I feel that again tomorrow,
I will talk to a nurse about it. 
I had felt fine yesterday...
Well, my Husband brought home cute flowers,
we watched a Little House on the Prairie Christmas
and ate salad, pizza and popcorn while doing this.
That was really fun and while I broke my nice 
platter, the pizza really was quite good!
So tomorrow is a cleaning day and doing some
Saturday lunch prep + other things.
Thankfully the laundry, other than bed sheets, is caught up!
I know I need a 'rest day' soon but for now feel
that I have to be more in 'go mode' so that I am sure
all gets done for Saturday.
But I will take pockets of rest too, 
I made that mistake early in my marriage, to not rest
and slow down, and then I got mono for months.
So I am more careful now....which is one of the reasons
I am having only a small Christmas lunch this year...
I am really excited to have this little lunch!

~cranberry and cheese hor'dorves
~roast pork in slow cooker from this recipe
~special mashed potatoes (with garlic and shallots!)
~green salad 
~green beans or other cooked green
~cranberry sauce (?)
~bread and butter 

And I hope a chocolate raspberry torte!
And French Vanilla Ice Cream 
It will be so delicious and special!!!
Meanwhile, well... I've been struggling with the culture I live in 
and the same culture I see inside of myself... I love beautiful dishes 
and lovely things... but I have this love/hate relationship with buying things
and with the fact that I have such material blessings - so many beautiful dishes,
so much in terms of treats and food and tea, that I find myself either feeling
guilty or worse about it.... it's really not a simple thing in terms of what it means
to be a Christian and to be doing what Christ wants...
buying things can be a form of greed or even lust (for things, for more)
and I struggle a lot with this, have for many years.
I love beauty. I love dishes, come from a dish-loving dish-collecting family.
But well, it's just not simple.  
Ironic that I quickly replaced the broken platter when I am thinking on 
such topics; I just hope that I can keep sharing what I have
and be hospitable and make meals and special occasions a blessing for others.
I am grateful for my new fiestaware dishes; the red bowls
we are finding perfect for popcorn, the little bowls are used for cooking
(just perfect for putting measuring spoons in or using for cracked egg shells)
so it's not that I am buying what I am not using, that is the issue.
I guess I just know keenly how martially rich I am in my kitchen
and in all of my beautiful dishes.
my red kitchenaid mixers - I have loved these since I was an 
undergrad and spent time at my English Prof's house.
His wife had a one of these in red and I loved it and her home
and how she cooked and baked so well (and was a doctorate as well!) and
knew that one day I hoped for one of these mixers 
and now I have it and I just know that it is a real privilege to have one.
I do love mine and use it often, it's a real blessing.
So I guess part of my struggle is that
one one hand I *must* see all I have as a blessing and be thankful
but on the other hand still have to try to grow in the virtues of 
not-wanting-more... it's hard to know how to best see this.
And I am reading that book on Soviet cooking and the huge
lack of food that they had and well, it may sound crazy,
but I have a real fear of lack.  
I really think it is from my Oma (not her fault but rather that I read
a small blurb about how we can inherit struggles from our grandparents 
in our emotional-make up) and my Oma went through WWII in Holland 
and for sure went hungry to try to ensure her 7 children had enough
(she had 8 children, the youngest being my Mom, who was born after WWII).
My Grandma lived through the great depression as a child, and had 
to live with her Grandparents and maiden Aunt but she remembers this
as a happy time, though one when people had to do without;
she wishes she had her Mother's recipe for an Orange Cake with boiled frosting,.... 
I have looked for it before... when I do and find one with cream,
she is quick to say her Mom would not have had the money to buy cream...
Also I feel that the US is plunging towards more poverty and that
the division between rich/poor is growing rapidly.
No longer are factories providing a salary that one could have a 
modest home, a car and even a modest vacation.
And I see this in so many ways.
I grew up always having enough but it was rare to have new clothes,
until about high school age. 
And I remember my dreams when I was doing my library school degree.
I was not fully focused on 'things' but also had dreams of
a job and being able to go to a store and be able to buy things.
Of course I had no idea how hard those working years would be...
I remember moments of deep happiness in my small but tall celiinged
studio in London Ontario.
I had no oven, just 2 burners and a small toaster oven
I got at a garage sale and dishes that I got for 5.00.
My rent was just under 400.00 a month, believe it or not!
My fridge was just a bar fridge, I bought a mini-freezer...
which I think my parents had later but I am not sure who has it now!
It's hard to believe that my school days were just over in the summer of 2006,
just 12 years ago! I don't think when I was in my 20s that I knew that 12 years could be a real
life-time ago in feel... and in experience... in 2012 I got married, now in 2018 I have
been married over 5 years, we own a home (condo), I have a beautiful
place to live and don't have the stress to provide rent money for myself.
I never knew that would happen to me and it remains a mystery and miracle of God.
Well, I sure know one thing: I am so thankful for what I have
and know that with God's mercy, we 
can face tomorrow, no matter what unfolds...
I often feel that now I am in a time of 'plenty' but that a time of 'famine' may
happen like it did to the Israelites and with God's help,
we can face whatever comes.
Meanwhile, I hope to continue to grow in hospitality and 
having others over to enjoy tea, lunch, dinner or even breakfast...
I have been listening to this again today and yesterday, 
and most of it I find very calming.


Mat Anna said...

First, that pizza looks delicious! Yum!

I love your pretty dishes. I do know what you mean about that tug of war - the delight you take in loveliness but the guilt when you are conscious that so many do not have this. In a way this line of thinking can be a deadly spiral. I have often wondered if in this respect the evil one takes something good (being mindful of our blessings and not neglectful of the less fortunate) and tries to twist it into a kind of despair that both steals our happiness and renders us less able to help others. I have found that (at least for me) when my thoughts start to go down this road I have to Stop Everything and tell myself that I am grateful for the many blessings I have been given and ask God to help me help others as much as I can. (In a practical sense this sometimes takes the form of donating things that I could have sold, reasoning that I have been given so much that other people have freely given.)

I have seen over the years that you enjoy sharing your lovely things. You delight in making your home a beautiful place for your husband and to welcome friends. This is not a hoarding-type situation. You are increasing your talents! If you are familiar with “Keeping Up Appearances” and Hyacinth’s Royal Doulton China with the hand-painted periwinkles, I think you can see the difference.

(P.S. I think I have that exact same glass tray!)

elizabeth said...

Thanks Mat Anna, this comment really helped!!!!

Tracy said...

Dear Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing so much from you heart on a topic that I think most of us struggle with, even in small ways. Some of us are blessed with a comfortable like. I am one of them. And I have sometimes experienced similar feelings and struggles like yours. Knowing and seeing those who have less--it hurts and humbles the heart. I try not to be things fixated, and to live a more minimal life in terms of things and relationship to them. Food is my/our thing. We eat well, and I am aware of that and so thankful for that. I grew up with stat-at-home mom and my dad worked hard a factory all his working life. There were some very lean times, but food we had. So come from a food family. And I've taken that up, I suppose. Sharing food = love. :) Cultivating more hospitality is something I want to try more of too--especially extending that to maybe folks I don't know well--or well yet. To share what we have, and especially share our extra, I think it helps balances our feeling, and helps us life in closer right livelihood with God and walk more closely in Jesus' footsteps. To continually asking God to show us in what extra ways we can share what we have. I think you do very well. You have a great gift for sharing already, I think. Your home is cozy and inviting, and we feel welcome just with what you share here, so I can well imagine when folks visit you how blessed they must be to really be there. :) Your heart is in the right place, and that is always the best place to start. ((HUGS)) With LOVE, In Christ--Tracy