Monday, March 12, 2012


A few months back I heard about a company that purchases large quantities of food, trucks that food to pre-determined areas, and sells it.  I also heard that they were coming to my neck of the woods. 

So, I plunked down (via the internet) my $67 for forty pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  This is "natural" chicken-- no additives, hormones, or artificial ingredients.

On pick up day my sister and I drove to the designated location with our receipts in hand.  We pulled up to the semi that was waiting, told him what we had purchased.  He checked our names off his list, and loaded up two big boxes (80 pounds!) of chicken into our trunk for us.  We drove away, and that was that.

My sister dropped me off at home, and the challenge began.  What to do with 40 pounds of chicken!  )(Hands down, these were the largest chicken breasts I've ever seen.  Very little fat.  Nice, plump, and juicy.)

I froze some of it for skinney-dippin' chicken.

I made some of it into chicken strips.

I cooked some of it and froze it in casserole form.

We ate some of it.  (Yummy!)

But I ended up dicing most of it and canning it in pint jars.

Someone's sick and needs some of Mom's chicken noodle soup... open a jar.

Want to add some chicken to that casserole... open a jar.

Want to make a quick stir-fry... open a jar.

Want to make chicken salad sandwiches... open a jar.

You get the idea.  It's been absolutely wonderful to have jars of good, already-cooked chicken breast on hand.  That's why, when I heard that Zaycon Foods was coming back to our area, I purchased another 40 pound box of chicken.  Yes, it takes awhile to cut it up and get it in the canner, but it's "oh-so-worth-it!"  In addition to the chicken we ate, I ended up with over forty pints of diced, cooked chicken!  Yummy!

If you've never heard of Zaycon Foods, check them out.  They also sell ground beef, bacon, turkey, pork, fish, and fruit.  (It all depends on what they can get inexpensively to pass along to their customers.)

And no, I'm not getting any kick-back for writing a review of this company.  It's just that I've been so pleased with my purchases from them that I wanted to share them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Ahhh...  Sewing class has started again!  I have missed the challenge of trying to sew a straight line.  And, oh, how one would think that curved lines would be a breeze.  Not sew!  ~grin~

Since Alicia was still suffering from pink eye yesterday, Justin joined me for sewing class.  That was okay because the project for the day was a bit more suited to him.  We made snowballs!  (This was especially fitting since we have had very little snow this year.)

Our instructor had cut out circles of cheesecloth-- two layers thick.  They were about 6-7 inches in diameter.  We learned a new basting stitch that we did around the edge.  This new stitch made it a breeze to gather the edges all together. 

At that point, Justin had a ball filling each "bag" with flour.  Once it was full, we wound the remaining string around the opening until it was all wrapped up. 

Wa-laa...  springtime snowballs!

Imagine Wayne's surprise when he got home from work and got pelted with "snowballs!" 

Fun project.  Fun day.  And a new stitch learned.  What could be finer?!?

What I'm Reading - Cry, the Beloved Country

I'm not sure how I missed out on this book until now. Perhaps it was because this book would have likely been a bit too "religious" in the public school that I attended. Whatever the reason, I'm glad a copy of it made its way to my bookshelf!

Set in South Africa during the 1940s, Alan Paton's novel is the story of a man's search for Absalom, his lost son who had left home to go to Johannesburg. For a rural priest to make the trek to the big city was quite an undertaking. The experiences Kumalo faced in the big city were frightening for him, and yet he continued his quest for his son. Every time he would get a good lead on his son, he found that Absalom had already moved on. He knew he was getting closer to finding him when he heard news that a young black man had shot and killed a white man. Kumalo worried that it was his son.

While in Johannesburg, Kumalo also found his brother, who had also "disappeared" into the big city. His brother had become a man of power. However, in becoming a man of power, he had lost his moral compass.

Kumalo also found his younger sister and her young son. He took them under his wing as he continued to search for his son. In his quest he found a young woman who was carrying Absalom's child-- Kumalo's grandson. This young woman was hardly older than a girl, and Kumalo, being a righteous man, took her under his wing as well.

Kumalo finds his son in prison-- for the murder of the prominent white man.

After a trial, where Absalom was found guilty and sentenced to death, Kumalo takes those in his care back to his rural village.

Two scenes stand out in my mind.  One is a contrast of brother to brother.  Kumalo is such a trusting, giving man that his brother's deceitfulness causes him great sorrow.

The other scene that I enjoy replaying in my mind is the scene with Kumalo and the young son of the man Absalom had killed.  What joy and what healing this encounter brings to the old man!

This is a story of love and forgiveness.,, of injustice and selfishness... of racism and inequality. It is a story of finding hope in the midst of despair.

If you are looking for a good book that will increase your understanding of the events that occurred in South Africa, take a look at Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

A week ago friends of ours lost a grandson.  At times like this I am often speechless.  I wonder how to encourage... how to uplift...  how to grieve with them.

And then I picked up a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time... a book I had never read.  As I flipped through some of the pages, debating on whether or not I wanted to read it, a poem jumped out at me.  It's by William Cowper, and it's entitled, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way."

I had never heard this poem/song before.  So, I did a quick search, and I found a copy I enjoyed on You Tube.  It's by Lori Sealy.  (I have no idea who she is.)  She's added a new tune to the song, and added a little bit to the lyrics, but I think you'll still enjoy it.

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace.
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

God moves in a mysterious way that's often not my own
His wisdom guides each path I take, His mercy leads me home.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain.
God is His own interpreter and He will make it plain.

God moves in a mysterious way that's often not my own.
His wisdom guides each path I take, His mercy leads me home.
Help me to trust when I don't understand
Grant me the peace of resting in your plan.

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace.
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.