Monday, January 30, 2012

If I could change the world, I would.

If I could take away the hurt, I would.

If I could take away the questions, I would.

If I could take away the sorrow, I would.

If I could make everyone smile , I would.

If I could give everyone food, I would.

If I could show everyone love , I would.

If I could give everyone hope , I would.,

If I could take away the pain, the hurt, the sorrow, for one, would I?

If I could give hope, a smile, food, love, to one, would I?

Why don't I??

It starts with one reaching out to one.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

Simply Saturday

Most of these today from the men in my life :)
A gift from my 12yrld(now16) son . A Howard Miller he found at a thrift sotre and got it running again---

 A Christmas gift from my eldest son this year for my snow man collection
 Brought back for me, by my second son , when he was 17, from a missions trip with the Tarahumara Indians in Copper Canyon Mexico. Real hammered copper
 The vase a  Christmas gift from my youngest son  then 6 (now 9). The table scarf brought back from Cambodia 3yrs ago by oldest son
 Handmade for me for a Birthday gift by my then 11yrld son (now 16)

 A favorite spot under the stairs
 Oil on velvet from the Navajo Indians on our honeymoon 26 yrs ago.

 The vase a  Christmas gift from my oldest son

Simple ordinary...........special

Mom's menu: Supper made by the 13 yrld daughter, Meatloaf, Italian seasoned Fried Potatos, Tossed Salad

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

Have you ever been to a bent-n-dent store? That is the name often given a salvage/discount grocery store.
As our family has been in the business for several years, either operating a store or distributorship, I would like to give my readers a brief overview of really what they are all about .
        The concept is a win/win situation in a world of careless waste and rising prices.
Everyday thousands of grocery shoppers sigh upon entering their favorite store and finding the price of their favorite brand has risen once again. And everyday in the back warehouse of those same stores hundreds of dollars worth of product is being thrown away or sent out to reclamation centers. (A very small amount is sometimes donated to a local food bank)
     That is where the slavage food industry steps in. The food going to the reclamation centers is a small portion of what it could actually be but at least it is a start.
From those centers it is boxed and sent out to small salvage stores across the states. Salvage grocery stores have only recently began to catch on in the West though they have been going strong in the eastern states for many years.
    The product carried at these stores can be anything you would find in a regular grocery. It can be product that has been somehow damaged, e.g. dented cans, torn or smashed boxes, or that is close-dated or out-dated. Often though it has simply nothing wrong with it! It is shelf pulls : out of season, change of product brand, brand price change for a pre-priced item, or if the big store simply decided it was not making them enough money anymore. There is also product that is totally fine but if a case of jam , for instance, has one broken jar the big name groceries stores do not want to take the time to deal with the mess and sent it out!
    You and I are paying for the flagrant waste everytime we grocery shop because waste results in higher prices to offset costs!!
    In a reputable salvage store (more on that later) the product is carefully examined for integrity of contents. Is the can dented enought to compromise the seal? Has the inner package been torn? Is the product truly past the "safe content" date?  Most dates are simply an approximate "best by" date and have very little to do with whether or not the food is actually safe to eat. Exceptions would be fresh or refrigerated meats and dairy . And most of those if frozen by the "eat or freeze' date can be safely eaten for a long time .
     A careful shopper can save big at these stores!! An average price for a can of cream of mushroom soup is 69-79 cents, a box of name brand cereal 1.99, a pound of Starbucks coffee for 4-5 dollars, a bottle of mayonaise for a 1.69-1.89, candy bars 4 for a dollar, most spices 79-99 cents, Rice-a Roni for 69 cents, health and beauty products usually 50-70% normal price the list could go on and on!
     I do want to point out for the health minded shopper or the "from scratch" cook these stores often do not carry staples such as flour and sugar. Those packages are often too torn to safely resell the product. And they also do not always have on hand the "health food alternatives" because the supply for that is not nearly so plentiful. The key is check there FIRST because if and when they do you will save a LOT on specialty products!
   Most of these stores are small family operations so if you shop often enough to can establish a good relationship with the owners and often find out when they expect to get in another shipment of the kind of  product you want . Be there that day before it's gone! The best goes quickly to shoppers smart enought to figure that out. Just a caution , sometimes it is impossible for the store owner to know when a shipment will be in or what is on it. Do not be a brat about  demanding "just what you want".
   You will find a lot of the stores, especially those operated by the Mennonite and Amish, also carry a side line of bulk foods and specialty meats and cheeses. These may not always be cheaper (though usually the meats and cheeses are compared to big name stores) but usually they are  a superior, premium quality product.
     A word about the "reputable" stores I mentioned earlier-- there are people in this industry to try to milk it as in anything. They do not care about their product or you and are just trying to make as much money as possible by not having to throw out any product they receive. To better understand why , let me explain that this reclamation grocery comes "as-is " . It takes a LOT of work and time to sort it, clean it, check for safety,  or retape a box . So get to know the owners so you will feel assured that the food is clean and safe. You can usually tell when you walk through the door . If the store looks and smells clean and neat , the product is usually also carefully taken care of.
    Interestingly, a lot of the stores are owned and operated by christian families who have seen a need to offest waste and provide an income for their families where the family can work together.
  Just a few shots of our store behind the scenes when we were operating one.
             A LOT of work sorting and stocking......

                       .....often led to silliness and a need for a break :)

                           You never know what you might find in a box

                      The cardboard crew after loading the truck
 A look inside our current distribution... since moving to this house the living  and dining rooms become a staging place for boxes...not always fun ... but it works for now

    We buy  reclamation direct from regular grocery suppliers and distribute to salvage stores. It is a lot of loading and unloading, sorting ,  and counting. Most of what we deal in is snack foods.

When you shop a salvage store you save BIG for your family, you save our landfills and you do just a small part at least to combat America's wastefulness! Find a store in your area and check it out!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday Menu

Sunday dinner is fairly traditional around here. Some variation of Roast Beef, Pork , Ham or Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, w/ gravy, hot veggie, salad, dinner rolls and whatever dessert strikes me on Sat. prep time!

This past Sunday my 13 yrld daughter and I were playing around with taking pics of dinner. So just thought I'd share a few,.

Call it "Any Sunday at the Household of Orchids and Laundry" :)

This Sunday's menu was
This Sunday's menu was Roast Pork w/ Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes w/Pork gravy, German Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Apple Pecan Crumble w/ Vanilla Ice cream

                              German Green Beans
(or sometimes called Amish Green Beans, our favorite preparation for canned beans)

Two cans or 1 qt Green Beans (drained)
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. diced onion
3 T. vinegar
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash of salt

Saute onions briefly with butter in skillet. Add green beans. Drizzle with vinegar, Stir through quickly. Sprinkle with br sugar , pepper and salt. Stir. Simmer until all liquid is gone, stirring occasionally.
Feel free to adjust to your tastes! :) I never measure ....:)

Enjoyed "sharing" dinner with you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Just pondering today...not sure it is a really cohesive thought....

Is  expressing our most intimate experiences with God in public format , good or bad?

When we blurt about for any or all to hear and/or read of our most private moments with Him, I think it somehow mars the special relationship as much as it would if I would blat everything precious and private in my relationship with my husband.

Somehow it seems like the world's philosophy of "free love" and "open relationship" has begun to creep into our union with God. Nothing is sacred anymore.

Along with that and perhaps more at the heart of my ponderings is the "new-fangled" way of expressing that.

Somehow all this trying to make God so "human" ,so "just my favorite bud", so "warm fuzzy" disturbs me....

Am I the old-fashioned one? Am I too stuck in "King James" as they say?

I am all for a very real , intimate, breathing, living, relationship with God that goes way beyond the sterility of most just "church" experience, but ......somehow some of what this has become bothers me.

He is after all a Holy God. One whom Moses needed to take off his shoes to approach. One who's face we are not even able to see because of it's glory.

The fact that HE, My Creator, My God desires me as His child is awesomely wonderful . That He says we can call Him, Abba, Father, is absolutely precious. That His son has told us we are no longer servants but friends is a beautiful sustaining truth and reality.

But does that all mean that I need to be trying to always think of him as a "man" as just like me? Jesus became as flesh, as human, while here on earth. That was a dramatic change for Him. That was not who He was before nor who He is now.

When I see people trying to make things from scripture or their relationship with Him fit into the same type of relationship I would have with my  "coffee pal" that bothers me.

Am I the weird one?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


When I peruse other blogs I find all manner of delightful , cutesy ,widgets, gadgets, pictures, and links. I find blogs on any subject under the sun; homemaking, homeschooling, politics, religion, homesteading, gardening, sewing, scrapbooking, child training, ministry, witchcraft, household hints,baking, cooking, canning ,travel, home business, cake decorating, floral arranging and on and on it goes.

After awhile I begin to feel very ordinary.

I feel uninspired.

Instead of getting tips and how-tos, I shake my head and wonder how you ever find time to do all that and blog about it too.

I feel like a very ordinary housekeeper, mom and wife.

I feel average. Average cook, average baker, average seamstress, average homeschool teacher, average wife etc etc....nothing extra-ordinary.

And I wonder how does one go from doing to talking about doing and showing others how to do. And I wonder how one feels like they have the answers enough to make how-to videos for others.

So I wonder, perhaps, the problem lies in my view of myself. Should I feel bold enough to blog a lot of "how-tos".....

If you want to talk kids.. I have 9.
If you want to talk homeschooling...I have for 10 yrs.
If you want to talk cooking...I was raised in a family of 11 and have a family of 11 so I of necessity have homecooked since I have no idea how old....I was also raised in a family who owned a catering business so I've cooked for thousands.
If you want to talk folks were of the mind "get all you can, can all you get..." and we put up 1500-2000 qts of everything imaginable every year and I now can for my own family.
If you want to talk baking....the family I was raised in also operated a bakery so I have baked since before I can remember and now bake all my own bread and any goodies or what not.
If you want to talk sewing ...I sewed my first dress by myself at 12.
If you want to talk home family owned and operated home businesses all mym life and my hubby and I have owned several since we've been married.

The list could go on and on....but what would be the point...?

I still wonder how I would be able to feel that is note-worthy enough to make a how-to blog about. I wonder how many of these blogs are more about bragging than simply sharing hints and helps.

But then I wonder if there is another side.....

 I wonder why I feel so average. Certainly, some of it is because when you come from a big family and have a big family you become very self-sufficient and "can-do" and "make-do" and a lot of these things are just ordinary life.

But......I think again and I think perhaps I shouldn't feel so ordinary, so average. Maybe I should feel more talented, more skilled, more capable....maybe I shouldn't take myself and my life experiences so much for granted .

Maybe...just maybe....I should thank God for all that life experiences have taught me and maybe.... just maybe I should feel more confident of myself ...
And maybe...just maybe there is someone that I, "little ole , ordinary me"...could help....

Mom's menu- Beef Rice Pilaf, Corn, Applesauce

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Looking Back

In looking through some old posts ,I found this one from my xanga page 5 yrs ago today! :)

"So...I'm a Liberal...."
As my hubby said near the end of this conversation "You never know what may spark a heated discussion in this household".
The breakfast discussion began with a description by hubby of what "water intoxication" really is. It seems he was adding to an earlier discussion between himself and the boys. Well, it seemed rather off the wall to me, so I asked for the reason behind this subject. It turns out that some 28 yr old mother is dead because some radio station instigated a contest to win a playstation. The rules were "who can drink the most water without using the restroom". Well this lady drank, drank, too much got a headache, went home , was later found dead of "water intoxication". Sad story. But here's where the debate around here began...
I said " I'll bet that radio station gets sued, how stupid!" (Let me insert here I most definitely do not advocate suing) immediately my dear eldest two sons wanted to know why I thought that radio station should be in any way responsible. I tried to explain that while I didn't necessarily feel they were responsible, that was a very irresponsible contest, and therefore I'm sure some lawyer somewhere would agee with me and a suit is likely to be the outcome. Well... they proclaimed me a "ravin liberal". As they say " that's the problem with everybody now a days . No one takes responsibility for their own mistakes. She didn't have to drink so much. Ok, I agree but I still say the radio station should feel somewhat responsible.
The conversation continued with a lot of different scenarios that someone could dream up for contests and whether or not they should be called irresponsible for doing so. Mom again made an unpopular observation that anyone using the airwaves should feel responsible for what they fed into peoples brains. There's a lot of ignorant, undisciplined people out there that don't think for themselves. Well.... I was further proclaimed a liberal and they even started quoting Rush " hey, they can reach up and turn the dial".
We finally reached some agreement on the fact that before God anyone definitely has a moral responsibility for any thing he feeds into someones ear.
We also agree that definitely the lady is the one ultimately rsponsible for her own folly. As I said before I do not agree with all this suing. This world be a much beter place if everyone wasn't so quick to blame others for their problems. But..... I still contend this particular radio station should be held somewhat responsible for such a stupid contest.... Ok, so I'm a "ravin' liberal".....

Moms Menu- Fried Eggs, "Cinnamon Roll" Broiled English Muffins, Milk