Posting a quick note for any customers wondering if we’ll be open for Martin Luther King Jr. Day: We will not! But I’ll throw in a picture of the team, from our New Deli Christmas Party this past year.
In other news… so weird- can you be “ghosted” on Google?! It looked like something very strange had happened- like that no one was stopping by the website. Suddenly. After over ten years of three thousand plus visitors to the site monthly, it flatlined to zero visits from November on. Well, we can’t always go by appearances. We have to walk by faith, right? As it turned out, I mentioned it to a friend, who said, “Well, that’s a lie. I was just on your website the other day, checking out a bunch of pages. For a long time.” (Another friend confirmed as well.) Moral of the story: we might sometimes get discouraged, if we choose to look at the surface. But we can be encouraged, if we remember: “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
I was looking at appearances for a bit though. My Twitter account had already been suspended. I guess because you couldn’t voice an opinion that might lead to violent acts of outrage? I had asked some questions about masking on Facebook, which automatically got forwarded to my Twitter account… I would delete the post on Facebook, since it did seem to be too controversial. But I never deleted it from Twitter. So maybe that took me down? Wild times… Grandma got banned on Twitter… (Elon’s reinstated me, but with none of my previous followers now, and none of my old posts. So, whoopeee…)
I have to say, I took the Google website stats seriously too. For a minute. I decided to not post on the site anymore, since apparently no one was going to it anyway. (And I hadn’t posted much during the Covid pandemic anyway.) But. I’m back! And I’ll try to post a little more often. It’s time to move on!
First off, for you New Deli peeps, yes, we’ll be closed President’s Day, as per usual. Thought I’d post that, because, #1- It’s probably convenient for deli customers to know our latest holiday schedule. AND, #2- a whole lot’s happened since I last posted, mentioning The New Deli’s Christmas Vacation.
It’s easier to share the story now that Tom and I know it’s a pretty happy ending. We’re so grateful to God for seeing us through a challenging season. So many prayers- thank you all!
Anyway, long story somewhat abridged, at some point after Thanksgiving, Tom started feeling a bit awful. Something was way off. A doctor prescribed a 30-day round of antibiotics, and I waited apprehensively for signs of recovery. No signs. But at least Tom got through Christmas. We even traveled, celebrating our son Tyler’s wedding to Maria, and Tom was able to keep up with us as we traipsed about Spain. A very blessed time.
But by early January, during an exam, we were told there seemed to be a mass or tissue developing. The doctor believed there was a small chance it was not cancer. We braced for worst-case scenarios. I’d never seriously considered the possible demise of my life partner happening any time soon. Like, “Free Crab Tomorrow”, it’s never tomorrow, so… no problem.
A wake up call for sure. This new reminder (that, yes, we’re mortal), led to other thoughts. Thoughts of guilt (I could’ve taken better care of Tom and skipped that last garden project?). Thoughts of loss (pity party). Thoughts of incompetence (I couldn’t do the taxes, nor make sense of Tom’s chicken-scratch paperwork.) Thoughts of God…first, having to tell Him, “Not my will but Yours be done”. Also wondering how, in this case, could it possibly be that “all things turn out for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”? I imagined that, well, it would be one way to get family together. Eulogy, “Yeah, I know Tom would’ve liked to have been here.” And, “But we’re so grateful all of you could come anyway…” And then I’d cry. (I didn’t want to be a widow at 65. Who does?)
But. We had to try. We began a heavy-duty health/cancer protocol. I ordered books, watched videos… We quit coffee and alcohol. And wine (though I thought wine was a supplement form of resveratrol? No!). Tom started a “12-Step” program… Well, really, more like fifteen or twenty steps- things to have in the morning and throughout the day, while supposedly reducing his stress levels (well, THAT’s stressful!), getting more sleep…
I stocked up on massive amounts of groceries. Going organic and plant-based was not going to be cheap. Or compact. (Maybe a second fridge would help?) Just for fun, I wanted to share the list of all Tom was having at breakfast or throughout the day. We’ve let up on some of this routine, but are both still adhering to much of this now:
Liposomal C (I’d been making it for several years already, to combat basic “bugs and viruses”)
Fresh-juiced organic grapefruit, orange and lemon (according to Gerson Therapy)
Citrus Flavonoid Tonic (some were calling it a “Hydroxychloroquine” mix, but that stuff’s synthetic, and this stuff’s natural/DIY style)
“Ginger Bug” (a probiotic made with ginger root)
Natto (Japanese-style fermented soybeans I started making, touted for boosting heart health and immunity)
High-polyphenol Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh-ground black cumin seed (tastes like motor oil, but cancer cells hate it too)
Vitamin D, Zinc, Saw Palmetto
Cod Liver Oil
Fresh Veggie Juice (carrot, celery, Granny Smith apple, cabbage)
Smoothie with berries and Kombucha
Oatmeal and other starches as necessary (for weight gain!)
God has proven faithful. Even in the midst of this, and not knowing the prognosis, and needing to go to our son’s wedding, we were able to have joy. Thank you Lord for that! Now we’re back to some gardening and maintenance (mostly me), deli work (mostly Tom), and enjoying visits with family and friends. We know that God knows the number of our days, but we’re so very grateful Tom’s number wasn’t up yet!
Finally, weeks after that, the biopsy report came in, day after our anniversary. Apparently this WAS a very rare case of it just being an infection. Hallejujah! Even before that report, the urologist had begun suspecting as much, had done more extensive labs, and prescribed the right antibiotic for that particular bacteria. AND, it had begun to work. Which made our 48th Anniversary celebrating especially joyful.
Hope everyone’s enjoyed the Christmas season. We’re stretching it out a bit, since our son’s getting married this week. We’ll be closed through Sunday, January 7th, but we’ll be back after that.
Posts seem to be far and few between these days- you might’ve noticed that the last post was about our summer vacation! In any case, I guess you could say we’ve been busy. Summer’s past, along with most remains of Jen’s summer garden (last post pictured her squash plants overtaking the hoop house). By summer’s end, Jen realized- “I’ll have to rethink this squash thing”, since a few hills of squash choked out most of the tomatoes, peppers, okra and cucumber. (Hoping for better yields next year!)
Tom’s stayed busy manning the deli sales counter, ordering, and doing all that paper-work, although he’s got more guys in training for the upcoming year. We’re still happy to be able to serve the community- you can still see our super-friendly, highly-capable staff most Mondays through Fridays (OK, I’m biased, but I think they’re GREAT!).
Hope you all have a very exciting start to your new year, and enough leftovers around to make it to our return come January 8th. If you do have to subsist on some speedier (i.e. fast) food in the interim, we know you’ll just appreciate us all the more once we’re back. We love you too!
Sorry if we missed you- we were closed July 13 & 14 (a nice, long weekend), to get some quality time camping with the grandchildren and family. We’re back now though!
We do have an amazing deli team, which has meant extra summer gardening and homesteading for Jen. This year’s feats so far: Remodeling a leaking, poorly designed pond, installing a hoop house for veggies (challenged in our blustery garden by the bay), and raising a fourth generation of chickens.
The chickens led to Jen’s deep dive into insect farming (great food for those chickens). Bug food might be trending lately, but no worries- The New Deli won’t be carrying chips made from grasshopper flour! For us, it’s just about the chickens…
Enjoy your summer! You can’t always tell by our weather that summer’s here, but I’m hoping everyone gets to enjoy some garden somewhere this year- we are all blessed by the beauty surrounding us!
Verse of the Day: Acts 1:12 tells us- “… there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Amen to that! Jesus saves! Meanwhile, Tom found a couple verses interesting: Ezekiel 9:3 & 4. We can have hope for better things, even when it gets ugly outside!
The New Deli will be closed for the long weekend, but we’ll be back Tuesday! Looking forward to a Monday off, gathering with friends and loved ones; celebrating the sacrifices made for freedom…
I’ve only known of one person who’d given his life for freedom. My dad was relatively safe as an engineer at Chrysler’s Missile Division, back during the Cold War. And my father-in-law survived serving in Egypt during World War 2, also as an engineer.
Meanwhile, most of our family has known freedom at relatively little personal cost. No one’s asked us to give that much, even though John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Jesus is the only one I know that’s gone that far. I love the verse that Martin Luther King referenced, from John 8:36- “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I can really rejoice, that Jesus died for my sins, rose again (conquering death), and gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.
Going green is a big deal these days. I guess I should be proud to say we’ve been going green for a long time… recycling and composting deli scrap buckets since 1985, growing our own organic produce- that kind of thing. But such actions still won’t ever actually redeem us.
Now what does that have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Well- March 17th was my grandpa’s birthday. The family always had great fun celebrating this wonderful, humble, godly man. When I was ten years old, modeling my new two-piece bathing suit (back in the sixties), he shook his head. I heard him say, “Jennifer should not be wearing that.” It was probably the beginning of much upcoming teenage eye-rolling on my part. But I still loved my grandpa.
He was right though! Even when “everyone else is doing it”, it doesn’t make it right. Mine was a rebellious generation (as many can be when going through puberty?). But the negative effects might’ve been diminished if more parents had said no to so many things. Even now, colors, appearance and styles may change, but of the underlying root causes, some things never change. Man has a “want” to sin…
Just to wrap up this post about my grandpa and St. Patrick’s Day… The last memory I have of my grandpa was actually after his death to cancer in the late seventies. I would often have a dream of him standing at the bottom of some steps, with something like the glory of heavenly light surrounding him. He would be crying and holding out his arms to me. Before getting saved in 1996, I would discount the dreams by assuming it was about him, and that he was sad he’d died, and he wanted to come back. Never thought it was about me. But the dreams would continue, sometimes a year or two apart. But always poignant, always leaving my heart a little sore.
In the mid-nineties, I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. A few years passed after that…And then it hit me: I hadn’t had any more of those recurring dreams of grandpa! I came to realize, the dream was about my grandpa calling out for me to be saved. I’m not claiming that “spirts” can talk to us from the dead, in some Ouija-board type of fortune-telling. But I thought of the verse from Luke 16:22-23: “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.” My grandpa never wanted me to be like that rich man. It just took awhile for me to figure that out!
I’m so happy I will see my grandpa some day in heaven. Thank you Lord, for those you’ve put in our lives, who pray for us even before we know we need the prayers.
Oh, for starters, The New Deli will be closed for President’s Day, Monday, February 20. But we’ll be back Tuesday, business as usual!
Now, on to more interesting thoughts, provoked by that Daniel and the Lions’ Den story. You know the story- some of the higher-ups didn’t like Daniel, and were able to incriminate him by having the king outlaw prayers to anyone but King Darius. Of course Daniel got busted, cuz he had to pray to his God.
That was in the old days, right? Yet, here in 2023, I was surprised to read the YouTube guidelines…”Don’t post content on YouTube if it includes any of the following: Treatment misinformation: content that encourages the use of home remedies, prayer, or rituals in place of medical treatment such as consulting a doctor or going to the hospital.”
Wow! You know me- I’ve always encouraged the use of home remedies. And prayer. I have not actually said, “do this and avoid the medical community”… BUT… is that why Google shadow-banned me?!
These past three years, I’ve been apprehensive about posting “home remedies” that worked for me. Tom and I did have a short bout with Covid over the holidays in 2021, when I had a bad headache over the weekend, but that was about it. I wanted to post the recipe I used for getting optimal amounts of Vitamin C and other nutrients (through a liposomal recipe I tweaked), but I didn’t want to get shut down. So I just mentioned it among friends. I made quite a few extra batches of the stuff during that season. I took the liposomal mix (plus another “tonic” using organic grapefruit peel and such) whenever I felt run down. Thank the Lord He’s kept us so healthy through it all.
So, as for the lion’s den, even if things look bleak, those lions won’t be opening their mouths for God’s people. He does protect us, even when we keep praying. I suspect it might seem like “misinformation” these days, to suggest that Liposomal C and other “home remedies” may yield positive results. And my own personal experience is only anecdotal, but for now, I think I can still share that much!
I’ll admit- I had my last jar of cocoa nibs on the shelf for over a year. OK, maybe a year after the expiration date. Hey, we got busy, right? Covid happened… The deli managed to stay open (by the grace of God), but we had other things to deal with besides me making Cocoa Nib Fudge in my spare time.
And then the other shoe dropped. Supply chain shortages! I could no longer get my Montezuma Pure Cocoa-Nib Chocolate Bar at Trader Joe’s (and I’m not paying $10 per bar for it on Amazon). My secret stash had run out. But no worries, right? I’d relent and start eating Tom’s Extra Dark Pound Plus Chocolate Bar (only $1/ounce on Amazon, a third the price of Montezuma’s, but still). Tom’s only had a little sugar, right? BUT THEN THEY RAN OUT OF THAT! First world problems! What would I do?
Well, I busted into my more recent cocoa nibs, and threw together a new version of Cocoa Nib Chocolate. (I’ve got, like, four other versions of this recipe, here, here, here, and here…)
Below is the latest recipe. I put the recipe in weight (easier that way). But customize as needed or preferred (omit cocoa butter if you don’t have that, etc.) But all I said in previous posts about the Champion juicer still holds true.
#1- The Champion’s the best way to “grind” cocoa nibs into a puree (barring the use of a professional stone chocolate-grinding wheel)
#2 You probably have to resort to eBay to find the Champion juicer (not on Amazon)
#3- You can’t grind cocoa nibs in your other fancy juicer that you bought on Amazon
I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have my Bible… Chocolate shortages are really small potatoes in so very many ways- more to come, I’m sure. But meanwhile, we will make the most of the time we have, yes? May all your chocolate cravings be filled, even if you don’t want to bother with the recipe below!
I found some pictures we took when mom Nancy helped us out back in 2011. It was par for the course- for decades, she came out several times a year every year, to visit from Michigan. She helped with the work load at the deli, which left us more time afterward to go on exciting field trips with the kids. She spent much of her own spare time developing a great relationship with her grandkids, and with Tom and me.
She wasn’t a typical guest- she got in the trenches with us at the deli, waiting on and serving customers, and cleaning. Always cleaning! (She endeared herself to the staff, for sure.)
Precious, curls- with granddaughter Elizabeth
We didn’t realize that mom’s 2011 visit would be her last. But we made the most of it, creating more memories with the whole family. She had a special spot in many hearts- even for customers who got to know her over the years. Time was not wasted. But as mom gradually succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, memories disappeared, not to be held by her again this side of eternity. But we still have the memories, treasured so dearly.
This June, we celebrate her life, and that of my dad, who passed two years ago (a post on him here). Like many, we couldn’t have a memorial service for him for some time, due to Covid restrictions. It made sense to celebrate them both, with a great group of family and friends who were so impacted by them both through the years. We have been more than blessed by these two beautiful souls.
Thought I’d post some pictures from the past nine months, of one of my Covid projects: chickens! I told Tom in April: If this thing lasts ’till summer, I want chickens. At least we’ll eventually get some eggs out of the deal, and maybe some home entertainment on the side.
We are still pretty busy with the deli, so it took a bit of research into how this could be easy. I needed to convince my hesitant husband. I discovered I could use the “deep litter method” in the coop, to make bedding cleanup an annual task (instead of more often). I put an 8″ layer of leaves and such into the coop; it has kept the area virtually stink-free. The slowly-composting floor heats the coop a bit too- perfect with our cool Bay Area weather. AND, after six months or so, I end up with an excellent compost to add to our garden. (I’ll let it finish composting completely after I remove it, but it’s practically finished.)
I also found automatic watering and feed containers, AND an automatic door for the coop, which would open and close with the sunrise and sunset.
Tom approved of my plans, in theory, so I moved forward, setting up random items in a coop mockup. My friend at church let me repurpose some chalkboards previously used for the drama team. Between that, and a neighbor letting me take an old, ten-foot beam off his hands, we had a vision for an actual structure. And Tom made it happen! (A true act of love.)
In the process, our grandson helped Tom build the chickens a dust bath. (They love to groom themselves in it, and they actually need some sand in their diet to help them digest their other foods.)
After dropping said grandson off at home, I almost got caught up in one of this summer’s fires. The traffic had stopped and the fire leaped the freeway in front of me. But the prayer in my car was thicker than the smoke, and Jesus got me out of that!
So, our baby chicks are growing up. I “spoil” them with ground, fermented organic grains and such, plus some sprouted grains and seeds. Grubs (black soldier fly larvae, AKA BSFL) are their special treat. (Yes, Tom even built me a Grub Hub, to keep the grubs happy through the winter.)
Now we have a new lockdown hobby (besides playing Ticket to Ride with a few friends, and seeing close family when we can): Watching the chickens. It’s been a blast.