"Proof of Heaven"... and the Power of Prayer

 " A  Single  Prayer  Moves  Heaven . "

~ Japanese Proverb




"Proof of Heaven" is a very thought provoking book.  I read it a few weeks ago and each chapter is fascinating.  Yet, I can't stop thinking about the segment where the author tells us he fell into the depths of despair after being informed he was to leave the Heavenly place.  Deeply saddened at his impending loss he absentmindedly observed what looked to be a sea of butterflies fluttering beneath him.  A closer inspection revealed that it was NOT a sea of butterflies at all but an ocean of prayers.  The frequency/vibration of the love, good thoughts and faith were delivering them from Earth to Heaven.  They served to immediately lift him out of despair and back into the happiness he had felt only when he was 'within the gates that housed the One.'

Reading this book impacted me profoundly... the butterfly scene especially brought an entirely new dimension to my own prayers.

  What a gift... to be given a glimpse of what our prayers look like on the receiving end!  

It is such a wondrous reminder of the power we each hold... recourse to prayer !  Yet... sadly... some individuals barely recognize they possess this power.   

During this hallowed and gracious season I felt a strong need to share this information with you kind souls who visit.

  As the kids and I used to pray when they were little (on the way to school each morning): "Thank you Lord for making the bad people turn into good ones... and the good people of this earth to have perfect wisdom, truth and understanding... and to take action with that truth, wisdom and understanding in a perfect way for all concerned."  

I give thanks to Dr. Alexander (a highly respected neurosurgeon) for having the courage and taking the trouble to share his amazing... after-life affirming... experiences with us via his book and media appearances.

Sending love and good thoughts to all for a blessed and happy Christmas and Holiday season.

Tracey and Family



How to Find the Time...Getting Things Done During the Busy Holiday Season...Without Losing the Joy!

Here are a few strategies for finding the time to make gifts and get things done during the busy holiday season...while keeping the joy alive.  Note: This article is an excerpt from a 1998 issue of our newsletter, Frugal LuxuriesAt the bottom of the page you'll find a scan of the original page!

  • Every evening, after dinner, I would choose an old movie to watch on video or television (I enjoy watching those with a holiday spark my enthusiasm).  I settled myself in a comfortable seat in the family room to prepare the apples [for the apple pies I planned to give as gifts]. Flanked by two large mixing bowls, I peeled and cored apples over bowl #1.  Next I cut the peeled apples into slices directly over bowl #2 (I also added a bit of lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl beforehand, to prevent the apples from browning).  This process continued until all of the apples were processed, taking about two hours.  I then seasoned the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and cloves and set them, covered, in the refrigerator.  The following evening, while playing my favorite Christmas music, I prepared a quantity of pie crusts, and proceeded to bake the apple pies. [See HERE  for more on easy food prep.]

  • My "movie watching strategy" is also quite effective for many craft projects as well.  You may settle yourself in a comfortable chair and hand sew or craft over a deep (2 inch) lap-size tray (you may substitute cardboard boxes, or jelly roll pans if you have no trays available).  Doing this keeps your mess within a confined space (the tray) and makes clean up simple and easy.  If your project requires several days, you may set aside your tray (perhaps on a closet shelf) until you have a chance to finish.

  • Create a master craft and cooking/baking list helps you to budget your time.  Because you are able to see at a glance the many projects you wish to accomplish during the holidays you may easily prioritize and edit your plans if necessary.

  • Another self-induced incentive to action is to invite friends over for a few hours, and host a cooking, baking, or craft night.  The old saying that "many hands make light work" is drenched in truth.  I have done this and find that at least twice as much gets done when you have help.  As well, the simple fact that time has been set aside for you to specifically accomplish such tasks makes it more difficult for you to procrastinate or become sidetracked, before they are completed.

  •  Perhaps the most important thing to remember when performing any task is to make them as enjoyable as possible.  If you look at something as a chore you will naturally find ways to put off doing it.  Listening to your favorite music, watching a favorite holiday video, listening to [audio] books....or visiting with friends (remember the efficiency of the old~fashioned quilting bee?) will most definitely enhance any project.

 (Zucchini spice bread, using the farm stand zucchini I saved by freezing...I wrote about it HERE.)

I made these while implementing my classic "Movie Watching Technique"... all accomplished within a few episodes of "Downton Abbey" season 2! 

This page scanned from the 1998 Holiday Issue of our original newsletter, Frugal Luxuries.  To enlarge right-click and choose "view image"...then click the image to view a larger size.


Homemade Holiday: The Gift of Dinner

"I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered."
~~Robert Louis Stevenson

To print a larger view of this recipe right click "View Image" and then enlarge the image before printing.

I've been putting together a few Frugal Feasts for the Gift Pantry to give as token gifts to neighbors, friends and hosts/hostesses.  It's pretty simple, as you can see from the photos!  I take a collection of different types of beans and lentils, mix them nicely in a big bowl and then package them in pretty vintage or recycled jars.  Sometimes I make homemade chile'/taco seasoning and put three tablespoons of it, along with a dry bay leaf, in a small cellophane bag.  I've also used the taco seasoning mix I buy in bulk at Costco for this gift, in a pinch.  I'll carefully fold this packet, seal it with a small sticker, and place it atop the beans before I close the jar.  Other times, I'll simply include a store bought packet of chile seasoning: Slipped inside an appropriately sized envelope and hung like a tag along with the recipe (you will find the printable above) it creates a pretty presentation.  There are numerous variations of this gift, of course, depending upon my time and resources.  Sometimes the Calico Chile' is included as part of a larger gift basket that also offers side~dishes such as cornbread (a mix or freshly~baked), a small jar of honey butter and a bottle of sparkling cider.  Sometimes I'll include vintage silver spoons and/or servers (as in the picture above) and line the basket or box with a pretty table cloth or set of hand towels... or ... !  Quite often it's imagination and resources that make the decision.  It's all about using what's inexpensively and easily available to you at the time!  

Sending love and good thoughts to all, as always!

Tracey and Family

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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