23 February, 2018

It's the End of the Month!

I have been so wrapped up in getting through the end of this month that I decided to add a blog post about it.  I overspent on my shopping trips (which included lots of things I have needed for a long time...) and my last food trip to WinCo... Now I have to make it through until next month.  I have food, just not quick and easy foods, and things that are easy to use.  I am trying to make what I have into meals I want to eat, and that won't get thrown away.

Today I tried to save some home-baked tortilla chips I made earlier... I went to eat them and they were sooooooo bad.  I thought it might help to bake them crisp again, but I totally forgot I had them in my toaster oven until the dinger went off... they just were not meant to be eaten, that's my guess!   :-)

Cucumbers are suppose to be great for helping lose weight, so I bought three of them... not good.  I usually eat them with cream cheese or on a sandwich... no cream cheese right now, so what do I do with all these cucumbers???  I'm working through that process right now.  I made a diced cucumber veggie salad this morning... enough for at least two or three or four meals.  This weekend is going to be fun.  :-( 

I guess this is really about changing your food lifestyle... and it is hard!

It's like the baked potato comment I made... what do you eat instead?!

If I had food money to spend, I would go get more lettuce for salads, more tomatoes for salads and other uses, etc.  It would help, but it isn't the solution.  Being one person means you don't eat as much, don't need to make as much, and have to find a way through.

The end of the month starts when you don't have any more resources to use up... no money, no food stamps, no bus tickets, no gas, no whatever it is you need to make it through.  It use to start on the 3rd of the month when my kids were little.  I must have more to budget now because I haven't had this problem in quite awhile. 

I suppose I do have money I could use... but not money in the budget for this month.  I'm trying to live by a decent budget these days, so that makes a difference.  I already spent my back-up plan.

Well, I still have my Farmer's Market money.  I can get some fresh veggies and other stuff they might have... next Tuesday.  That will get me through until March.

Saving is really a great thing to do... in any way you can do it.  I made up this saying at one point in my financial challenges ::

"The more you save, the more you can spend." 

It was how I realized the benefits of using coupons, trying to build up with sale merchandise (If it's something you can use or give to someone who needs it.)  I was thinking about the familiar saying we all must know :: A penny saved is a penny earned.  Saving is really hard work.  Once you get into the process, you begin to understand that women who stay at home and strive for their families are really working very hard...  they just don't get a paycheck for their work... it can't always be quantified.

My own financial issues have taught me a lot about our country.  There are consequences for the abuse that those in power have heaped on us... and many will suffer for their choices.  GOD expects us to care for the poor and needy, but He doesn't expect us to help those who have the resources to help themselves... like agribusiness subsidies, contracts to those who support political campaigns, etc.  Our national consequences are being blamed on the poor, when they are really the fault of our legislative bodies.  The poor are simply an easy target.

I don't expect the government to fix my bad spending problem this month.  If I really needed some kind of help to get through, I would expect to find it within the Christian community... somewhere, somehow, even if I wasn't a church member.  Next month I will do better, I hope.  When I had kids, there was no getting better the next month... it was an ongoing problem.  We went to food kitchens, got food boxes, walked where we needed to go, etc.  Poverty is not a free ride.

So, here I am, still attached to food stamps with my Social Security payments... 1975 to 2018... it has been a rough journey... a terrible fight to find answers... and the pain is more than the joy. 

Poverty was my classroom for Working Together...

This weekend I will be starting my budget for March, be crafting products I hope to sell online, try to read a book, will probably listen to an online Bible, will write a letter or two (maybe), might make some food items I want to sell, and will be making a bag to take to one of the missions in Portland next week, when I go to the Farmer's Market.

Until next time...
In Christ,

Deborah Martin
work2gather.us

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May GOD help us all to have the right priorities.
May we see that our blessings have a purpose.
May our lives find the dreams that come from GOD.
Amen.

22 February, 2018

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The snow is melting, but it is still very cold.
Rain will be here soon, so all this white stuff will disappear.
I don't know how warm it will be, but it won't be this cold!

I use to visit the midwest as a child... and I have lived in Illinois as an adult... through a winter... at least one.  It has been so long since that time it is hard to remember.  I mostly remember having to drive my van, which was only a metal shell with no flooring or insulation of any kind, many long miles in the dead of winter snow... it was like driving in a freezer.  I often wonder how I made it.

I was raised in California, mostly.  Winters were rain... and flooded streets.

I am heading into module number four with the mini-course.  It is on "time blocking."  I have heard of this, but not sure I have done it.  Not as a planning strategy for achieving your goals, anyway.

Today was module number three of the five in the course.  It was on meal planning -- to take the stress and waste of time it can be to figure out food for a family.  It was an interesting video, and I like the worksheets she provides.  I want to try them out.  They are created with general use in mind, but it is a similar process for many food-oriented sheets to plan meals.  (I can't find the main website to request the free BEST YEAR EVER (2017 for 2018) mini-course, but the planner she offers is called LIVING WELL PLANNER, and the book she wrote is LIVING WELL, SPENDING LESS, and the mini-course is at pages with her name :: Ruth Soukup.  The best bet may be :: livingwellspendingless.com )

I am trying to switch to more fruits and veggies these days, because of my viewing of FORKS OVER KNIVES.  Finding replacement meals for a veggie lifestyle is really a challenge, even when you didn't eat much meat... or eggs.  Cheese is my downfall.  I haven't figured out what to do about my oils and butters and sugars...  fresh produce is great!  I love it!  But what do you do with a baked potato when you are used to eating it with butter and sour cream, or sometimes cheese?

I'm starting some crafting projects today.  Eventually, I want to photograph the processes I go through and post them at my crafts blog :: CRAFTS EXPLORED.  I'm working on getting the right equipment to do this.  Right now, I need to focus on developing my products and getting some listings put up.  My ONE digital item at etsy.com/shop/work2gather is about to expire.  I want to change this from a digital product to an actual copy, matted or fully framed.  You have until the 24th to purchase my digital copy.  It is one of my favorite creations, a writing called SERVANTS.

Well... time to get going.
Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin
work2gather.us

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May the GOD of our hearts and lives bless our prayers and bring us good things to share with others.
May we be thankful for the blessings we have, and not see all the things we don't have.
May our country find peace and prosperity and a heart for GOD.
May this year be our "BEST YEAR EVER!"  :-)
Amen.

21 February, 2018

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

I just finished crying over the happy ending of a Hallmark movie... small town and lost love and new beginnings... sounds like a Hallmark theme!  :-)  I thought about the references to art in our lives... being creators of it.  I started my life wanting to be involved in art, it was my "major" in high school (they had those back then... I don't know what they have now)... I created things throughout my life, but never thought of art as an income source, a job.  Now, with the ability to sell online, to create and publish, I am trying to find the direction I want to go with my artistic interests.

I keep having problems getting started... finding the space, the topics, the time... the money. 

Now, it is my retirement project.  :-)

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The snow is still cold outside.
It is also so beautiful when you don't live in it for the whole winter season.  :-)

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I decided to share my poverty housing idea with the local housing authority... I sent it in an email to the main offices, but then decided to follow up with a copy of my email to the main people involved in making the decisions about government housing.  I hope someone listens to me.  They are planning to destroy the lives of so many people already in one of their housing developments by selling the property... an old property, so it must need to be rebuilt... that means money.

The cry in the media is always about ending poverty, ending homelessness, ending this or ending that... but these are human issues and they NEVER go away, we just have new people entering the process and some people leaving -- or going to another part of the government, like prisons or hospitals or graveyards.  We need real solutions, things that will keep working no matter who is in the middle of this struggle.

What is my housing idea?
It's the one about changing the tax subsidies into a home ownership program, using the same "percent of income" approach that is already in place.  Creating a permanent program where the government owns the land and the poor buy the housing, build their housing, rehab their housing, etc.  This means the government can't throw them out, fine them for putting nails in the walls, forbid them from having people stay with them, limit their incomes, etc.

It means low-income people can start where they are and build a better life, without the limitations of current oversight regulations.  It means homeless people can buy a permanent place to live, with their Social Security income.  It means real stability, asset building to grow out of this housing program and find a traditional home to buy later, when they are ready, if they decide to.  It is an opportunity to learn about home ownership issues under a safe umbrella... with flexibility in costs (taxes, payments, insurance, etc.) and administration (home owner associations).

It takes the income restrictions off the checklist after you qualify and obtain the place you decide to purchase... and it gives you some say in the decision of where to live, the ability to say NO to one place and keep looking until you find the one you want. 

I guess you can see what I dream for poverty families... and how the problems of poverty create the programs I dream of... how my experiences and knowledge filter into the things I want to see happen.  There is a huge difference in the views of the government and the ones who organize and legislate poverty programs and those of the recipients.

This view of poverty home ownership changes a tax subsidy program into an income-producing program.
It is something the government needs to do.
For housing and for business and for other places tax dollars are spent.

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It has been a day of huge thoughts.
I have been working on goals, on discovering, on sharing.

I guess that is what I do.
I try to solve the problems of MY world!  :-)

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin
work2gather.us

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May we stop blaming the poor for all our fiscal issues and begin to see the future of America as a budget in need of help.
We are a nation, a national family, a huge group of citizens who all love our country and want it to do what is right.
There are principles that apply to every budget, every house, every family... we need to apply them.
May GOD give courage and wisdom and integrity to our leaders, our businesses, our citizens... so we can stay strong as a country.
May we all create a better future together... without greed and corruption and the misuse of power.
Amen.

Billy Graham has died

I have been wondering when this day would come.  We all will die, but some of us impact more people than others.  GOD chose to use him in a long and winding way through more than one generation.

I have felt it would be a turning point for the church when Billy Graham finally left us.  We have preachers, but no one has come up that is like him.  Since we are in the final days of our existence as the Christian community, it is significant.  I have wondered if GOD created Working Together as the next step in our walk toward Heaven.  I don't know, but our times are very different than any time in the past.  We are heading toward the Mark of the Beast... that will mean survival on a day-to-day basis and increased persecution will reign in our world.  Evangelism will look different... the needs of the church will be different... we will be different.

I have been deeply impacted by Billy Graham in my life, too.  When you search for answers about GOD and the Bible, you can't avoid getting to know Billy Graham.  He kind of stands in-between all the denominations we have created.  Maybe that is why GOD chose him.  When you are not raised in the church, your faith is different than what you find in them.

It scares me to think of what lies ahead for us as Christians.  Billy Graham leaving us is like the turning point I see in 9/11... America and GOD are becoming more distant... GOD is no longer responsible to protect us as a nation.

Pray that we, as a nation, are able to discover GOD's next steps for us, and for our world... to protect the ones we love and want to find in heaven one day.

20 February, 2018

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The snow has been gently falling ALL day!!!  I am amazed!  The news I just heard is that it will pile up overnight, so the ground will be white again.  I love watching the big flakes fall down in the light of street lamps... but, any light will do.  :-) 

Dinner is cooking, I figured I might as well get to this now.  I'm trying to return to my scheduled life of blogging now that I found it is the best option for the long term.  I haven't worked on my big schedule yet, but it is on my desk.

I did watch the first video in my mini-course today...twice.  There wasn't a way to stop and back up the video to see a part more than once.  I decided to time the presentation on the second time through.  I may watch it again, or save myself for the next one... on money management.

After seeing the kajabi.com presentation, I am wondering what kind of courses I might think of doing.  I have to figure out video first... but it has been on my mind since I discovered NiceNet.org so many years ago.  I still have an account there (as far as I know) and have been trying to reach the point of presenting links to class efforts there.  It's a free site, long before Khan Academy, but it wasn't very enhanced back then.  I don't know what it is now.  I will have to rediscover it when I get there.

I have been wanting to do a lot of things I see on the internet... and hope to soon.  I am using this opportunity to revisit my goals in a new way (via the Best Year Ever course and workbook) to try to make a better priority list.  I love her version of the SMART Goals formula.  She calls it CRUSHING IT.  You need to check this out.  By the end of this, I may share the formula with you and have a link to something that explains it better.

With a goal as big as Working Together, finding the first thing to focus on has always been a challenge.  If I had more resources, I know I would have done better.  I will just keep going forward the best I can.

I see the influence of other people in her materials... like Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace program and SMART Goals.  I'm not sure what else I would recognize yet.

This is what we do... we seek out answers from all kinds of sources, try them out, and make them our own. I constantly recreate my goal pages.  There really isn't one easy way to achieve anything... it is all hard work that takes years of our lives.  I, personally, think I must be more like Edison (and maybe Lincoln), because I know all the ways that don't work... and keep looking for the one that will.  :-) 

It is the process that eliminates those who really don't want to find their goals.

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I happened to rest upstairs when a Hallmark movie on "conflict resolution" was on.  I really don't recall the name.  I liked watching their solutions to changing the way we do things... How these changes are going to affect our lives.  It is only a movie, I know, but the details can be seen in real lives.

It is like that Brian Tracy CD I have :: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.  It is so true.  It often takes a lifetime to figure these things out... which is very sad.  When my sons began to get in trouble with the law, I wished the prisons would use their time to teach the things I wasn't able to because they left, because they wouldn't listen to me, because they were out of control.  I know they try to do state-approved materials, but there is so much more that would benefit the process.  Instead, it becomes a waste of life... all that time is wasted... they often come out worse.

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Well, that's enough for tonight.  Dinner is done and I need to go eat it.  :-)
Until next time...
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

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May GOD touch our lives with His great Love and Mercy and Blessings.
May we appreciate what we have.
May we find a way to share.
May our choices only be good for our world.
May life find a way to keep going... and heal the damage we have done.
May the country we love be worthy of our affections.
May we find food, shelter, love, and dreams that come true.
Amen.

19 February, 2018

Monday, President's Day, 19 February 2018

My goodness... we had snow where I live... I guess we may have more of it later in the week!

I have been exploring some bloggind advice sites and will be continuing my quest to find the best directions for my time and energy and financial resources.  I'm not fond of WordPress, so there are issues with a lot of the information I find.  I will have to see how I can make it work for my goals.

I did find a site called LivingWellSpendingLess.com that offers free workbooks and mini-courses.  The main products are goal oriented and organizational ... which help.  I do like the workbook but it was 23 pages, and most PDFs don't print well in black-and-white.  I will be doing the free mini-course (Best Year Ever) to see if it's any good.  She has a thing called CRUSH IT that she made into a formula for goals or something.  Love the association.  :-)  She is Ruth Soukup... founder, designer, entrepreneur.  I guess marital issues led to the search for better options, which led to the blog, which led to the books and planner, which led to the income that saved their marriage (I think). 

I also watched an hour-long video by kajabi.com on their sales and marketing platform.  After finally going through the webpage I had been saving for a week... trying to get it read.  It was 31 ways to ??? in your blogging.  I'm in the process of deciding what I think of them.  The platform sounds good, and the offers are always nice (and inflated), but the deal is in the $2000 range, and the yearly cost was stated as over $3000, maybe over $3500, a year... in the valuations for the bargain deal.  I would have to know a lot more before committing to that kind of money.  No one knows if their product/s will sell...so you have to have back-up money until you figure it out.

One great piece of the process I did like to be reminded of is that you need to create a digital product to sell before you can do the rest of the process, anywhere.  So, that is my first step... with or without Kajabi.com.

I can't begin to tell you the viewing I did this weekend while my son was gone... very important documentaries... and I struggled through a few other movies and things.  I cried over Deepwater Horizon and Fanny's Journey and Hoovey. I had problems viewing the HBO free movie called Tuskeegee Airmen, which was something I wanted to see for a long time... and was worth watching.  I finally watched Moana, too.  And, I was able to see the one on Churchill called Into the Storm.

Documentaries.... well, I have heart issues so I watch what I can on those topics.  I decided to see what The Widowmaker was all about.  Has some very important information... for me, for anyone with heart issues in their family.  I started some of this TV time with documentaries about the US economy and other financial issues.  We're Not Broke was good, so was The Divide... you have to be very critical as a viewer to figure out the truth behind every documentary because they present the info that holds with their particular view.  If you watch presentations for both sides (or all sides) you will be able to make better decisions for yourself. 

We're Not Broke was about tax havens for corporations.  The problem with these viewpoints is they assume people and businesses that make a profit are responsible for all the problems our government creates and must pay for those mistakes because everyone else doesn't want to.  What we need is a FAIR tax program that is equally shared by all citizens...  You must know that I have decided what I support as that answer... it's too involved to present here.

The Divide was about ... I think it was about rich vs. poor.... I just did a search to remember and it came up as www.thedividedocumentary.com ... with the explanation :: The Divide tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in modern day US and UK - where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Again, it is the theme of the rich being responsible for the problems of the poor... because of tax issues.

I do agree we need some changes in the way things are done, but the government is not the change we need... and taxes need to be fair for all.  It is a hard issue.  Morality affects everything we want... what we think should exist... and no one wants to have GOD in their lives because it shows how bad things are inside us.  Good people do what is right in the eyes of GOD.  Unfortunately, we blame GOD instead of individual people when they choose what GOD does not condone.  Free Will is the issue... GOD has given us the right to make bad choices, and we all suffer for those.

In my exploring how to improve my blogging I decided I might devote Mondays to reviewing a documentary I watch over the weekends... or a movie... or something like these things.  I love to watch them, think about them, comment on them... It will make me take better notes and create a real evaluation of the details that I discover.  I would like to do that for many of the documentaries I have already noted in my blogs.

I'm thinking about it.

Somehow I need to increase my income.  So, I have to figure out something that will sell online... Something I can do within my limitations.  I'm working on that main goal.  All these other options come into my life as I search for the way to make more income for my retirement years.

Well, I will have to continue this some other time.
Until I return,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

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May GOD find His way back into our lives, bless those who love Him, provide resources to those who need them, and lead as many souls to Himself as He can.  Amen.

16 February, 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018

It's morning again!  I see a trend forming here.  :-)

I have been avoiding the blog because of my heavy thoughts... I go on tirades because I get so upset at the news coverage.  I watch a movie that deeply affects me and I want to go on and on about all the different perspectives that are related to it.  In Facebook and Twitter (etc.) you have more things to rant about.  I haven't decided how much to get into this info battle....

I only watched a few minutes of the TV news today, but caught some of Megan Kelly's (?) program yesterday.  Both times the issue that is manipulated is really trying to force gun control...at any cost.  I was appalled at the "sound bite" on the station I was watching where they filmed a grieving mother... screaming at President Trump to control the guns.  On News Hour (PBS) there was a "panel" of guests to talk about what needs to be done (as long as it involves gun control).  We don't think about the information we hear, and we never think about what is "missing" -- on purpose.

The same way my food choices change over time, because I attack it every day, our "perspectives" get changed by the media.  It isn't news anymore, it has become the vehicle for changing our minds... the minds of our children.

If it was an invading army taking our children outright and putting them into their "rehabilitation" camps, we would be angry and rebelling and protesting and fighting back.  This is the frog getting killed in the pan of water that is slowly brought to a boil.  It happens without protest, without any thought, without any effort to escape it or change.

I have heard that America is not found in Revelations... I don't know that I agree with that, and technology (I have found) is now able to be manipulated extensively so we never really know about our information sources... I have always seen America as the eagle, as the refuge for the Jews, and a mighty army.  After I decided that Christians are really adopted Jews, I could see why America was blessed by GOD... add up the Christians and the Jews, and that's a lot of GOD.

I hope GOD will finally provide the resources that Working Together needs to prepare as much for the future as possible... for all Christians, Jews, and others.  I keep trying to prepare for that day, so I can move faster to get things figured out and set up, but there is no guarantee.  GOD is not us.  He keeps His Word, but my plans are not always what GOD is doing.  I always have to remind myself that GOD used Satan to provide salvation for us... it reminds me that Men think they know what GOD is, but they don't.  It caused me to wonder if the Apostles believed to the very end that Jesus was going to rise up and become the ruler they were expecting, if that is why they scattered, etc.  I don't know, but they were just people -- like us.

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I am searching for my supplies this weekend... my art papers got "lost" somewhere in all my "organizing" --  :-)  haha.  I will get through this to the place where I can create my planned projects!  I will !!!  

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I have to share that I found a metal box at the thrift store on Wednesday... and it was someone's recipe box!  I grabbed it up!  I usually get one cookbook when I go, so this was my cookbook for that trip.  :-)  It may become MY recipe box now. Maybe.  I have started looking through it the past couple nights and whoever owned it liked brownies and bread and cakes (pudding cakes!)  I haven't gotten to the other categories yet.  I found one recipe on an old postcard that says postage was only ONE CENT !!  I wonder if it really is that old... amazing. 

I have several recipes to try out now.  Not many of these recipes are healthy by our current standards, but they are interesting.  Many are from products (the label recipes).  I know some of the product names, but not them all.  I have seen 1977 on at least one of the packages, a yeast packet.  :-)    I also found a Peanut Brittle recipe to try out... so much sugar!  aaugh!  I haven't decided if I will modify them right away or try them as they are first... to see what the original tasted like.  I need to find someone to give these things to!!!  I DON'T want to eat it all myself !!!

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I tried fennel for the first time yesterday.  I bought some on my shopping trip.  I had to look online for how to store it and ways to try it out.  I've seen it used on the cooking shows so I've been wanting to try it for a long time.  I also bought some Jicama to try out.  Another long-time goal.  :-)   I think I may try out a Portabella Mushroom next month.  They are suppose to be good as a burger substitute.  I love mushrooms fried until they are practically burned, but Portabellas are SO BIG!  I will have to find out the best way to cook them.

I will try the rest of the fennel in a salad or two... green salad and cous cous salad... and then use some with an effort to make my own veggie stock for other things.  Cheap and good... that is what I am looking for.

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Well, enough for now.
Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin
work2gather.us

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May the GOD of all watch over America and all those who believe in Him everywhere in the world.
May we prepare for the future, and keep our trust in GOD.
May we find better ways to share the important information we need to survive.
May our food supplies be kept pure and healthy.
May our debts be paid (including the national debt) so we can live without fear and have a safety net.
May our hearts be filled with love for each other.
May GOD help us to keep our trust in Him.
Amen.

13 February, 2018

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Another day...
I have just been catching up with a lot of things...
and making a list for my next shopping adventure.  :-)

I will probably have to recover over the weekend.  haha

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I am starting to develop several different project for eventual sales online.
Waiting for some supplies I ordered.
Thinking about what to do with them... what to do first... if anything will sell...  

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I listened to a Christy Wright live webinar, by recording :-), yesterday...
about having confidence and how it affects your ability to sell your product.
I think I listened to most of it at least three times... kind of in the background for a couple of those.
I had "technical problems" to deal with.

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There is always something new to learn, or to think about.  I am growing more aware of the style of delivery for sharing these kinds of things.  I've been trying to work some video efforts into my lists.  So, that means thinking about what to say, watching other videos with a different set of eyes, and figuring out the equipment I need.

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I happened on a link to a non-GMO site, with a shop, so I checked it out.
I decided I could push my budget to buy the two shopping bags for $8, plus shipping.
Now I need to find the best PRO-LIFE shopping bag/s.  :-)

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I'm anxious for my big crafting supply order to reach me.
It was like a major decision for the month...
I hope the items are what I am thinking they are.

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My food changes are doing well, so far...
I have to finish off the speghetti squash, so tacos will be going away for awhile!  :-)
Lots of veggies and fruits are finding new ways to get together for my tummy.
It is becoming a great game to figure out what might taste good.

I still have a bunch of produce left from my other shopping trip/s.
Onions, lots of onions, eight of them.  I see more baked onions in my future.
I still am having problems with my lemons and limes.
Right now I have limes.  Four and a half limes.
I was finally able to eat one of my kiwis. One more to go.
My mango is still ripening.
I plan to have a banana shake today, using the last of my plantains with some ice cream.
Apples last a long time, so I always get them... three more to go.  I am getting more use to eating them as a snack, or with a meal.
I am going to make some sweet potato fries with my last sweet potato... today or soon.
I haven't used any of my small beets yet.  Those will make 3 or 4 servings.
I'm out of salad greens... they have to be purchased when I shop.
I'm starting to use fresh tomatoes again, so more of them will be needed.  I use them on sandwiches, in salads, and sometimes as a side dish for something else.

I am thinking I will only need about ten to fourteen servings of fruit and another ten to fourteen of veggies per week. That isn't much when you are in the produce section.  I keep ending up with two to three WEEKS of fruit and veggies... I really need to make a better plan for shopping.  I am going to try to buy more organic foods, and also to buy things I normally can't afford... maybe experiment with the strange produce I see in the stores.  :-)

If I already have two apples and a mango and all those blackberries to eat, I can limit myself to oranges, grapefruits, maybe a melon, more bananas or plantains, maybe a pear, maybe some grapes, maybe some strawberries... depending on where they are from and what kind of condition they are in -- and the price!

Throwing a small or medium potato into the microwave is becoming an easy meal.  How many to buy at one time is my challenge.  I used up 7 since my last shopping trip...about a week ago, I think.  I need to figure out the calories for the different kinds of potatoes, then only buy as much as I want to have in the house for those "quick meal choices."

I definitely will be trying to find at least one, probably two, avocados every week.  They are like a treat because of the fat and calories, but they taste sooooooo good.  I am beginning to smash them into a substitute for butter and/or mayonaise.  Limiting them makes them stay a treat.  I want to try making some kind of avocado dressing for salads and other dishes.

More squash is needed... I ate the ones I had, and they last a long time, like potatoes and onions.

I still have one more piece of my chicken breast, a sliced and cooked piece for a sandwich.  I ate some Lipton Chicken Soup, too... so that is my chicken for the month.  I also have a can of salmon... my extra meat for the month.  I can still get my grated cheese (8oz) for this month.  I alread had my cream cheese allotment.  This is going to be a hard challenge.  I am practically dreaming of the foods I love and can't eat (or am trying not to eat). 

I have been eating way too many pistachios and cashews!  I decided to call this my "transition" phase with those.  I am beginning to crave them less as I find other foods to eat.  They are very expensive, even in the bulk section of WinCo.  It seems that cashews are a staple of many recipes in the plant-based diet.  I have been checking recipes this week.  I expect to develop my own food choices once I figure out the options for myself.  I will be selling food on Etsy, so this is all research!  :-)

I guess that is enough food sharing for one day.
Shopping for healthy foods is not as easy as it sounds.  :-)

Until next time,
In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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May GOD lead us all toward health and the freedom to choose our foods.
May our government begin to truly protect us from the lies of major food companies that bias the research.
May we grow as much as we can for our own families, and our friends and neighbors.
May we find a better way.
Amen.

12 February, 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

Good Morning!
Can you even believe I am writing a post at this time of the morning!  :-)

I finished all my letters (10) to mail out today... and painted some of my craft projects (the first coat)... and am at my desk trying to decide what to do next.

With my effort to eat more fresh veggies and fruits, I had speghetti squash tacos this morning, for breakfast.  I had a little of my romaine type lettuce left, so it became a salad for later and lettuce for my tacos.  We are S.T.R.E.T.C.H.I.N.G this food to the max!  I am beginning to get an idea of how much fresh stuff to buy each week, each month, etc.  I didn't have any salsa to put on them, but I decided to use my last Taco Bell FIRE sauce packet on both of them.  I also fried the shells this time... this particular brand of tortillas doesn't microwave like the other package I had.  Now I have to figure out which brand I like!  No oil on the shell means less calories.  Every bit helps.  If it tastes good just microwaved, who needs oil!

Food is such a big thing!  :-)
Now I try to save my calorie bursts for the things I REALLY want to have!  :-)

This is a good day so far, hope it stays that way.

Well, I'm planning to write whenever I get the inspiration (or time), so I will go for now.  I am wanting to share the deeper thoughts I have with some of the things I do... like the documentaries I watch.  I want to share what really impacts me.  I tend to forget by the time I get to my keyboard.

We are heading into times we can't even imagine right now...
I just want to share my view of the trip.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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May the one true GOD of creation and life and the world as we know it,
lead us into the best places for our protection as the End Times progress.  Amen.

11 February, 2018

Sunday, 11 February 2018

My goodness... it has been a longer time than usual...

I can't begin to catch you up on everything that has been happening.  I tend to see the world through my heart, but the things I am feeling and thinking about.  I get weird in the middle of figuring something out... and it sometimes depends on what I am trying to figure out.

I haven't seen much news for awhile...  I hope the world is still out there, somewhere.  :-)

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I am praying very heavily these days, for some very difficult issues in my life and dreams.  I never know how GOD is going to answer my prayers... sometimes it scares me.  When we stray from where we should be, GOD sometimes has to get our attention in such hard ways.  It is never easy, never fun, never simple... 

I am planning to get my driver's license again... somehow... without buying a car at first.  This is going to be a fun goal.  :-|  When I was homeless (in 2003), I drove my van without insurance... and I may have had expired tags, too, I can't remember.  This means I have to deal with more financial issues than just getting the license.  It's always been a financial problem.  I decided I have to be able to drive to do the things I need to do.  So, that is my goal.  Eventually, I will go for the car, some kind of decent car that will make lots of freeway trips (for now).  To drive a U-haul when I move, I need a license.  These are details that matter in my current life.

I guess this is a big event in my life.  It has taken about five years to reach this point of commitment.  I like public transit, like taking trains, but my wallet and my body can't function that way right now.

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I really have to confess that I watched more documentaries.  I was impacted by the information about tar sand oil in the environmental documentary with Leonardo Di Caprio  (spelling?) called BEFORE THE FLOOD (I am pretty sure that is the title.) ... it really irritates me that they are going all the way across the nation when they just have to stay right there, across the border from Canada.  If it is the most expensive method of getting oil, why do we even need to be involved in it?  And, why must it be piped to Texas!!!!  I hate politics at moments like this.

I would like to share one called CAPITAL C, which was on crowdfunding.  Loved it.  Didn't know anything like it existed.  Or the one called SOMETHING VENTURED, about venture capital funding.  Another one, similar to theses, was GENERATION STARTUP... about, you guessed it, young people in the middle of the start-up learning curve... some with mentorships, some as new businesses trying to grow.  I believe they were all in Detroit (Michigan).

I have topics I look for.  Food issues, Poverty, Business, Education, Faith, Housing, and more.  I like animals, so they get my attention at times.  I watched one about the ASPCA rehab facility for animals (dogs) that would be killed if they weren't able to change... so damaged by their lives they couldn't deal with life anymore...not in a good, adoptable way.  It was called Second Chance... pets or dogs or animals... I can't remember.

There was a post on Facebook tonight about a place with 900 dogs on a property that were saved from the struggles in their country.  When I watch the shelter stories, I wish I could adopt a lot of them.  I don't know if I agree with the 900-dog free-roaming option,  but they seem to be making it work. 

If GOD is kind, and I finally get my personal property to finish my life on, I would like to get one or two small dogs and some cats, and............. maybe a big fish tank, or a bird, or a ferret (which are like cats), or something else.  Of course, I will need to win the lottery, the BIG prize, to afford them all.  :-)   So, maybe a cat or two, and a small dog.

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My crafting is getting closer to becoming a reality.  My workspaces are beginning to get organized.  Spring and summer are near, for opening the windows.  I keep saying I have to figure out my shipping process before I can sell anything... that is still being figured out.

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Well... it's late, I am tired, and who knows what tomorrow will bring.  I watched two new VHS exercise tapes I got at the thrift store and I may try a few of the routines I watched...  maybe it will kill me... God forbid!   Exercising is a slow process for me these days.  I don't want to kill myself trying to get healthy.  :-)   It is my goal this year to find an exercise plan I can do, regularly... so this is part of that process.  I didn't really think of doing exercise routines, other than an occasional jumping jack!  This is new to me.  Interesting.  I am trying to find a way to make it work for me.

This is a good week for my goals... I hope to figure these problem areas out.

Until next time...
In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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May we all find the blessings of GOD, salvation, faith, and hope.
May our world be filled with good people.
May time bring us the solutions we need to protect our nation from those who want to overcome it.
May goals be achieved.
May finances be provided.
May our lives be filled with all the good things we search for.
May America find its foundations again, the faith that brought GOD's blessings.
May our enemies be overcome, defeated, destroyed... and our friends be found.
Amen.

06 February, 2018

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

It is already noon, and I am finally sitting down to update my blog!  Time... it just flies away!

I will admit I went upstairs to rest and check what was on the TV... I decided to watch "A Matter of Faith" -- which is about the ongoing battles between secular Evolution and biblical Creation... and how our Christian youth enter a world they don't always understand at a secular university.  I didn't like the trailer for the movie so I wasn't planning to watch it.  I decided I better check it out, at least watch the start of it, and then decided to watch the whole thing.

Yesterday I rested and watched GIFTED on Netflix.  That was a different kind of movie, but it was something to think about.  It's always hard for poor people to understand why rich people even have problems... so, this movie kind of shared what happens in rich families.  It made me cry.  One part I really noted is how the State can take your life away, your kids away, your world away, any time they want to, and there's little you can do about it.  It was a movie about a family's tragic loss of family ties.

After I returned to my room later last night, I wanted to finish some of the other films on my list, so I put on ROKU's PBS option and chose "(A/The) Fish on my Plate" - which was really a strange documentary, but had some great details in it.  I forget what year it was made, but the "wild caught" preference was in it.  I keep remembering my view on ocean foods from a place that is filled with nuclear radiation, medical waste, sewage from so many sources, plastics killing innocent creatures, and whatever else I can't remember right now... like chemicals and pollution.  It made me want to build a farm even more.

My life with documentaries seems to be going into the emotional dungeon.
It is depressing to discover the truth, it is more than a challenge to try to find a way to live through it, find a better path, and make a better path to the future.

I think I will end for now... and come back when my mood is better.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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May GOD win the battles with those who prefer their sins to the goodness GOD teaches.
May I be back here soon, with a rested body and a better attitude.
May the world survive.
Amen.

04 February, 2018

SuperBowl Sunday, 4 February 2018

Thought I would get ahead of my thoughts... maybe.  I think about a LOT of things...  every day.

I'm not watching the big game... sports are low on my list, except for the big games... civil wars, community things, etc.  I'm rooting for the team that has never won the Super Bowl, but I am not sure which one that is... I think it's the Eagles... but, I'm not sure.  I just remember someone reporting that one team had a LOT of wins in recent years, and the other team didn't.

I wrote some of my monthly letters today, did housework, did some baking for today and extra for the week, been working on my piles of papers to get through, working on my goals, trying to plan the coming week, and working on my budget for February.  I checked online... emails, social media, etc.  I'm pretty video'd out from yesterday's binging... but, I may try to watch something later.  There's always something to do.

I discovered a FB post about a woman sharing a story and decided to listen to it... without the sound.  :-)  It was a story about how she was a kid and made her dad late to a meeting at one of the Twin Towers on that terrible day.  It made me cry... I always seem to cry at stories and pictures of 9/11.  It was a major turning point for America.

I recently discovered that a major local paper in Eugene (OR) was sold.  I was shocked.  It was a family-owned paper... and big in local community events, etc.  I had no idea it was in jeopardy.  It built a new building some time back.  But it didn't want to do outside orders.  I wondered why.  I haven't been in the community since 2013, so I have no idea what has been happening there.  I wish I could have purchased the business... it would have been good for my publication dreams.  I guess GOD had other ideas.  I am still shocked.  I wonder what happened... what the employees will do.  A news chain purchased them, but that doesn't mean things will stay the same.

The internet is changing our world... our jobs, our communications, our educations, our lives... and the effects are not yet fully known.  Some predictions go into 10 to 20 years ahead of us.  I said once that the time frame for major job shifts is less than the loan to buy a house.  So what does that mean for people who are buying houses now, based on their best version of the future? 

I listened to Dave Ramsey's DVD called Dumping Debt again... as well as an old Heritage Foundation DVD called A Legacy of Debt.  You can see where my thoughts are.  Personal and national debt are a danger to all of us.  When I heard some news reports about the improvements in our economy being 2.something percent, I remembered that basic inflation is considered 3%.  The value of the dollar was less than 90 cents the last time I saw NBR.  I keep wondering how they put together the jobs reports... are they valid? what kind of jobs are they talking about? seasonal? temporary? low-wage?  What are the details we don't get told?  No one wants to share news that will cause a "panic" -- possibly because a lot of our "wealth" is really on paper, in stocks and bonds, and everything in our measurments of wealth will change if the economy fails.  Bankruptcy makes stock have zero value.  It's all connected.  The whole global economy is connected.  We need to find a way to get our economy truly healthy again... and figure out what the future will bring before it gets here.

I'm not trying to sound scary, but I am scared.  My ONLY income is from Social Security and Food Stamps/SNAP.

I think a lot of other people are scared, too, but they don't say it this way... they blame immigrants, or the poor, or tax reform, or the other person/party... and we never really solve the problems... humanely.  It's always a pay-back for your supporters or your enemies kind of solution.  Manipulating the press, manipulating the votes, manipulating the details, etc.

We can't make the debt go away because we want it to.  It seems that the government is sure that more "credit" will solve every problem until we find a way to pay it off.  If ordinary people tried to do that, they would end up in bankruptcy, at the end of their credit.  It seems to me that the government is like a big "house" or "family" and it will also reach that day when it will fail.  If some people spend their credit cards knowing they will declare bankruptcy eventually, will our government do the same?

My reason for thinking about all these issues is Working Together Inc and it's plan to help the Christian populations through these expected problems.  Prophecy tells us they are coming... just not exactly when.  BITCOIN may be one effort to create a separate economy from the one we have in place.  Working Together is an effort to create an alternative survival option for Christians and other members.  I keep wondering why GOD hasn't provided for it.  Every day the dangers to Christians increase all over the world.

I guess I will go watch the other videos on my list of things to get done... and keep looking for solutions to these national and global issues... and hope to implement them.  One of these days, I hope we are all working on these solutions together, with GOD as our connecting point.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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May GOD help us to focus on the truly important things that endanger our lives as families and nations.
May our hearts find the way to faith, may we trust GOD and obey His call forward.
May we gather together and begin to form strong connections of protection for those in the Body of Christ around us.
May our lives be simple and full and thankful.
May we all begin to plan for the worst and hope for the best and be content with the basics to survive.
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May GOD help me to find His path for WT.
Amen.

01 February, 2018

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Budget time is here!

Good thing I checked my balances to figure out my February funds...  I had subtracted from the wrong amount in one category.  I have more money than I thought I had!  That is always nice to discover.  :-)

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I did my laundry today, so I can last without buying some new-to-me clothes for a little longer.  :-) 

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I had two sandwiches for my "lunch" today... the first one was just chard and pickles... I was still hungry.  I made my mushrooms (in butter... what can I say) and used half of my avocado and half of my tomato to make a second sandwich.  That filled me up!  ... for a long time! 

It is strange how some foods keep you feeling full for a long time.  I wish I understood all this food stuff when I was younger and searching desperately for ways to get through the month (with children).  After I discovered these differences, in my continued quest about food choices, I wanted to find ways to share my new-found awareness.  I'm not sure what I will do with it now, but it is still churning inside me... I did make a blog on food issues, so it may end up there.

Poverty is such a hard life.
Most of the world's poor are also illiterate.
How do they solve these kinds of problems for their families?
I don't know.

I watched a Taco Bell commercial this week... probably because of the Super Bowl coming up... and the product was fries and nacho cheese.  The fries looked great!  I want some!  ... but I hate nacho cheese.  What really impacted me is the knowledge from a food documentary that someone with an interest (financial interest) in cheese contracted with several of the fast food companies to increase their cheese sales... forcing some companies to add cheese to EVERY item they sold... kinda... well, the comment about that company was that they no longer offer any sandwiches without cheese.  Hint: that sounds like pressure to me.  Then I saw the commercial.  My opinion of Taco Bell and the other fast food companies I go to has changed.

I never would have thought that their food offerings were created by a cheese contract... I always thought the corporate offices worked diligently to create new food options to increase their customer base.  I guess this is like a subsidy program... maybe... kinda...  what would you call it?

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I haven't been able to read in the Treasure Principle since my first effort.  I will try again this weekend... but it is hard to find enthusiasm for a book that violates basic principles on the first page.  I am still trying to understand why it was considered such a great book.  I have decided I need to read it to find out.  No book is perfectly agreeable.  I have to remember that.

Money issues are big with me... I guess.

We all can talk ourselves into bad decisions under the pressure of the dollar.

It is so hard... to keep our faith in GOD as our provider... to obey the commands of the Bible (from GOD).  I heard somewhere, probably a radio program, that most people in the church only tithe a small amount of the required 10%.  I don't know where they get that figure, but it may be true.  Every church seems to feel that their members don't give the full tithe to them.

Personally, I think our tithe is supporting any valid effort to provide for the work of GOD in our world... seeking GOD for where your money should be given, and only counting works that are created and operated because of their commitment to the Word.  Giving to the Red Cross is not a tithe... giving to Samaritan's Purse would be. 

My tithe and more has gone to Working Together since 1987, possibly longer.  I also give to other Christian works as I am able.  I try to keep records of my giving to make sure I am giving at least ten percent, but that is the only reason.  At my income level, tithing can sometimes feel like a sacrifice, but most of the time it is just what I do... because GOD commands it and because I depend on GOD for my day-to-day survival.

I have incorporated tithing for Working Together into some of its programs... benevolence, missions, caretaking, and lots of other things.  I can't imagine any other way to live.  Tithing in poverty is really like the woman giving her two mites, her only income....

I have always tried to think of ways to incorporate GOD into as many activities as possible.  In the church, I thought it would be better to have the costs of any field trip/mission trip/vacation camp fully paid and then let GOD choose who gets to go... kind of like a "lot" or something random.  I felt this would be best for everyone in the church... both rich and poor.  I think the rich need to experience the "No" of GOD as much as the poor need to experience His provisions. 

I use to think a lot about money issues as I was trying to plan the details of Working Together.  Money issues are a barometer of our faith.  They also witness to our internal values.

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I finally found my staples for "construction" needs...  :-)  And I have started my first experimental silk screen thing... tomorrow I will try to figure out how to make a design with the materials I have.

My work tables are getting cleared off and I am beginning to find my tools again.  This makes me happy.  I may find a way through this long dark tunnel soon.

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Well, that's enough for today.
Until next time...

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

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Thank you, Lord, for the education I was able to get.
Help me to find a way to help others gain an education for their lives and futures, too.
Lead me to the best place for me, Lord.
Help me to find my own property and never have to move again...
Help me to provide for my son's future needs.
You know my prayers, Lord... help me to keep my faith in You, in your love for me and my sons, and in our future.
Amen.