Scattered Thoughts & Chicken Soup

It’s a pretty day here at the cabin. It got really cold last night. Honey said there was frost on the pickup when he was getting ready to leave for work this morning. I talked with my son who lives in the Houston area yesterday and they had just gotten home from swimming. He was saying this while I was still wearing my jacket and trying to keep from getting blown away by the wind. Again this year the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate with my hopes of a warm, productive summer. Maybe when I get to heaven, God will let me work in the vegetable patch and be warm.

Back to my original thought. Late yesterday evening, as soon as I hung up the phone, the power went out again. This is a very common occurrence here in the Meadow. We could probably just have waited out the outage with a few candles; but I have sleep apnea and require a breathing machine when I sleep. We don’t like being tied to that old gas-guzzling generator, so we’re making steps in finding an alternative source of power for my machine. (When folks ask what a contraption like that looks like, I tell them it's kind of like a dog muzzle and a shoebox connected with a vacuum cleaner hose. Good thing we're an old married couple, or that could be really embarrassing.)

I’m always looking for ways to trim the budget and whenever we loose power the first thing I think about is what electrical devices can we afford to loose? Our stove is gas. That’s a huge plus. We bought it last year and it has saved us a fortune in electricity; not to mention the fact that during a power outage, we can at least use the stove top. I rarely use the electric dryer. Even in the winter, I hang most of the clothes on a clothesline in the laundry room. My focus now is on the deep freezer downstairs. It’s an old model, thus drinks electricity like a man dying of thirst. And if we ever had a power outage that lasted more than a day or two, we’d be in trouble. We don’t store a lot of gas for the generator and every time I hear it roaring, I visualize dollar bills floating away like helium balloons. My goal is to get us off the frozen foods. Instead I want to fill the pantry shelves. So far I’ve experimented with chili & chicken. Before I went too deep into the process, I opened a jar of the chicken and made BBQ chicken sandwiches for Honey’s lunches. It tasted pretty good. He thinks I may have overcooked the chicken just a bit before I canned it. So tweaking may be in order. The other day I opened a jar of chili. Again the meat was a tad overcooked, so I’m refining my process. Today I’m canning some chicken soup for next winter. You can’t beat hot soup on a cold day.

There’s a wonderful feeling that swells in your chest when you walk by the pantry shelves and see them full of different foods that you’ve prepared yourself. I’m not talking about pride in yourself for being so wonderful or anything. I’m talking about the sense of accomplishment that comes with careful planning and some challenging work. I’m getting past my fear of the pressure cooker and am starting to enjoy finding creative ways to pre-make our meals.

I guess this post has taken quite a few twists & turns, but now you get a pretty good idea what kind of prayers God has been hearing. I'm so glad He's patient; and I'm thankful you are too. My timer’s about to go off, so I’d better get back to the kitchen. Have and wonderful day & may the Lord bless you.

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