Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ornament Christmas Devotional

Whilst doing a little catching up on emails I came across this wonderful article:
Ornament Christmas Devotional . When you have a chance take a gander at it.

Hope that your Christmas prep is not making you CRAZY. Let us remember that it is the season for joy, peace and love. We have got a little catching up on our Jesse Tree for this year...our schedule and Dad's schedule have not gee-hawed so far this week. That's OK, just gives us a little longer in our family devo time...not so bad.

Blessings to you and yours during these Holy Days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saving money, time and energy!!!

OK, I finally did it and made my own laundry detergent. It was Soooooo easy!!! If you can melt butter and boil water you can make your own detergent!!! I finally used up all of the commercial detergent my hubby bought and what better time to try something new??? My goal was to make my detergent thin enough to go through the spout of the old container. Much to my surprise the recipe needed NO alteration!!! It was just perfect, well, perhaps not perfect. You do need to shake the jug every so once in a while and you do need to make sure that the screw cap is fairly loose so that the detergent can come down. If that is the hardest part....I AM SOLD ON IT. I do not recall which blog it was that I read this, to whom ever posted the original recipe...Thanks a bundle!! I take no credit for the recipe!!!
Here is the recipe I tried (yes, it only makes a "small" batch about a gallon --the original recipe was double this) I wanted to be sure I would like it first:
1/3 bar of Octagon Soap grated (some folks recommended Fels Naptha)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda (No, baking soda will not work)
16 cups water--divided-read rest of instructions CAREFULLY
8 drops of Lemon Oil (optional)
3 drops of Lavender Oil (optional)

Items you will need
sauce pan
box grater (you can use your food processor if doing a bigger batch)
spoon or whisk
container to put the detergent in
measuring cups

Into a heavy bottomed sauce pan place the grated soap. Add 3 cups of water and over medium heat, melt ALL of the soap flakes. Add the Borax and Washing Soda to the melted soap and stir until it dissolves then take pan off heat. Put 2 cups HOT water into detergent container then pour the melted & dissolved mixture into container and stir (or shake). Next pour in remaining 11 cups of water and shake well. Let this sit overnight to gel to a nice "snot" like consistency. I added the essential oils to the detergent after it had cooled, but not fully "gelled". For each load of laundry I use 1/2 cup of detergent.

I have not done a cost comparison, but think that I must be saving some money AND I no longer have to put up with having to recycle the plastic containers the store bought detergent comes in. On some blogs folks were saying that the soap did not come out of their clothes...we have great well water here in the country and I have not had a problem, having only made 2 batches of detergent (I know, I kn0w...I need to make bigger batches) I have not noticed any problems. Some bloggers recommended using white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Now, full disclosure time...My hubby likes for me to use Downy. This I already dilute with 1/3 Downy, 1/3 water, 1/3 white vinegar.
This detergent is "low sudsing" and great for High Efficiency front loader washers. I have also used it as an all purpose cleaner by diluting 2 Tbs of detergent into 2 cups of water.

In addition to making our own detergent, we have also stopped using paper products like paper napkins and paper towels. It was a little hard for the hubby to make the transition...he kept looking for a paper towel to clean up a mess. The best thing I have found for paper towel withdrawl is making sure that you have a good alternative already made up!!! A black pique dress was given to me by a friend and I did not really wear it much so, I thought it would make great "clean up" rags and it has worked. Because it is black it does not look grungy even when it is dirty, I ruined one of my crocheted dish rags by cleaning up a nasty coffee spill (no, I did not chuck just doesn't make it out when company comes ;o}) .

So, there you go. Just a few things we are doing around here to save some money and be wise stewards of what we have been blessed with. See, it's not so crazy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Recipes and Crafts

Thanksgiving Recipes and Crafts

Have you seen the great ideas the friendly folks at Vision Forum are providing for Thanksgiving??? Check it out, try a few things, learn a little something and have fun with your family...Now, that's not Crazy!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

CRAZY commercials

Two commercials have just struck me in two very different ways.

Commercial #1: (Imagine birds chirping, sun shining, soft breeze blowing) Loving couple having a picnic in the park. She offers him a red popsicle and says, "Take a bite". He responds, "I thought you loved me?" Her reply,"Then take 2 bites". He questions her again,"But it has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)in it(he doesn't mention the Red Dye #40), you know what that does." She reassures him,"Oh, HFCS is made from corn--that's a vegetable.(duh!) It is just as sweet as sugar and is good for you ." *******************Whoa....Wait a minute.
Did she just say that HFCS was GOOD for the man she loves???

OK, maybe I am just over reacting because our Sunday School lesson for this week is about Adam and Eve and how Eve succumbed to the tempting of Satan and then she "lovingly" shared with Adam. Am I so "off" as to see the similarity between these two examples of what women do wrong?? When will we see the commercial of this woman blaming her guy for the fact that she is overweight, diabetic and her body is riddled with fungus???????????????~~~~~~~~~~Hummmmmmmmmm~~~~~~~~~~This is me breathing out and breathing in~~~~~~Hummmmmmmmmmmm~~~~~~~
Commercial #2: (Imagine sinister music playing, dark, shadowy city streets, car horns honking, evil lurking in every corner, comic book style images) A young man in a hooded sweatshirt approaches an intersection where stands an elderly woman. It appears that he is going to snatch her purse.....BUT(remember, Behold the Underlying Truth) a stream of blood red hearts comes flowing across the screen and envelopes the youth, he takes the woman's heavy grocery bag and assists her across the street. Another scene unfolds, two drivers vie for the same parking space, tempers flare, horns blow, angry faces made to each other. Again, the blood red hearts flow across the screen and envelopes one of the drivers and he allows the other to take the parking place. Then the driver who had received the kindness of the other driver finally returns home ragged and disheveled, weary and tired. Opens the door of his abode and finds his kids fighting and the poor mother (at her wits end, can I get a witness????) trying to defuse the situation. Just when you think the dad is going to explode, here come those red hearts across the screen. Peace is restored and they (you assume) have a great evening together as a family.
Now, each time the "blood red hearts" flow across the screen a song is sung about how we need more of God's love.*******************
What, more of God's love???? I am thinking it is a Latter Day St's commercial--but no. It is an Interstate Battery commercial. Go and check this one out. It is so cool. chairman presents the gospel and then has another link guiding folks to accept Christ. Wow, what a blessing.
Notice how each commercial starts. The one singing the praises of HFCS starts off with the happy, loving couple---all is right with the world, yet it's message is to assure you that it's OK to eat HFCS and lots of it. Sneaky, sly and just plain wrong. The other commercial starts off dark and sinister, yet produces a message full of hope and love.
God bless those at Interstate Battery, for spreading the Good News in a time of internal strife and mass hatetred. God bless them for sticking their necks out for the cause of Christ.

Lord, increase my boldness. Thank you for assisting me in the desire to spread your word. Thank you for putting it in my heart to spend more time in your word and to develop an stronger and deeper understanding of your word.

Just a quick side note: As I was publishing this post, my hubby called me to tell me of a strange thing happening in our closest town. Apparently, because of hurricane Ike, it has been reported that gas prices will jump to $5.50 per gallon for regular unleaded. Folks are lined up at all of the gas stations in town, blocking Main Street and then he saw a fight brake out between two guys in line. We really do need more of God's love pouring out on others. Please, take this time to pray for those emergency workers and government staffers whose duty it is to stay behind and make sure that peace is held and to assist those who did not heed the warnings to leave. Pray for those whose nerves are frazzled and are anxious.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Still Cheap & Green

Just a quick update on my post about dish washing. Recently, we purchased some "glasses" made by Rubbermaid - they are not supposed to break, so far - so good. After coming out of the dishwasher a couple of times they looked a bit scratched up. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I recalled seeing someone post that they used Borax and Baking Soda, not Washing Soda for use in their dishwasher. First, I was pleased that I remembered the info. Second, I tried it and it worked!!!

Now, my unbreakable "glasses" look great and I can still be CHEAP & GREEN!!!!!

Remember, 1/2 Borax and 1/2 Baking Soda and use 1-2 Tbs.

Should'da done this post yesterday and had it be what WFM - Oh, well - next time.
I'm always a day late and a $ short.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Six Random Things

    Amy from Sonshine Cottage has tagged me with a meme. Rules are as follows: 1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on your blog. 3. Write six random things about yourself. 4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. 5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. 6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
    Well, I must be off -----
  1. I once smoked a cigarette and considered getting a tattoo. Have not done or considered either since.

  2. I am quickly becoming intrigued by fondue.

  3. Focus is not my strong point.

  4. For 3 days last week I did not eat solid food and lost 10#'s. Did I mention I had the stomach flu??12 more days and I will loose those extra 40#'s.

  5. I am a pack rat.
  6. I do not know 6 people to tag - so, what do I do???
  7. I had to look up what a "meme" was. (I know, it said 6 things - but, I could not resist going against the grain.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

OK. So, I'll be 40 this year.
No big deal.
I have no preconceived notions about aging.
Does the rose complain because it withers on the vine?
No, it is only making room for others to bloom after it is gone.
I have a healthy outlook on aging and I do not believe that I am all that old. No matter what my kids may say !!! Mind over matter and all that jazz. But, for the last 7 weeks I have been having these heart flutters or hiccups. I gave it my customary 2 week waiting period, actually, 3 weeks and hubby INSISTED that I go see a Dr.
Well, I go. Get blood work done - that, I found out all was normal - at least something with me is normal. The Dr. sent me to the Cardiologist for an "Event Monitor". So I had these two snaps stuck to my chest and every time I have an "Event" I must push a button. After 5 events, I have to call and download the machine. You see, once it is full (5 episodes) it can not record any more. Well, day 5, I called around 11:00am to download, and no one called me back. So, once 5:15 rolled around, I called the after hours/weekend/Holiday number, they quickly respond to me and I download and go on with my day. Day 6, I had had an "Event-full" day. Yes, I have been fluttering all over the place and have been waiting 2 hours to download my last set of episodes. I have left 2 messages. I am trying to remain calm, cool and collected. The young lady with whom I am to talk to is a very sweet girl. She is a working mother trying to keep it all pulled together, BUT this is her job and I am getting frustrated because she is not doing her job.

With all that said, I get the call from the Dr.s office - 20 days after the a fore mentioned days. They say only a few of the "Events" that I recorded were of any significance or seemed dangerous and that I should go on with my life.

Skreeetch--------Whadda mean???
Only a few of them "seemed dangerous". I told her that I was still having the same symptoms, not as frequently as I was, but they are still there. I was told that if I had any further concerns to follow up. With whom??? The same Dr.??? I don't think so. Hubby thinks that I should see a specialist. He hasn't said I HAVE to go (yet). Yes, you know my issues with submission.

Stop. Pause. Breath in through your nose, out through your mouth.

Now, I am going to remember to put God first in this.
I am praying for direction -
I have already started to TRY to loose some weight (Thanks Amy, for the inspiration dress), eat better (no sweets after my coffee in the AM), exercise more (well, at least I am in the garden more - that counts, doesn't it???). I am drinking 1/2 caff. coffee - 2 or 3 cups (Thanks MOM - She gifted me 1 1/2#'s of Gevalia 1/2 caff) drinking more water, juicing more, eating more yogurt (plain) and using less sugar.

I know that God has a purpose in my having these flutters or hiccups in my heart. I am waiting for Him to reveal what that purpose is.

Oops, there goes a flutter now.

Well, I must be off. I've got my MIL coming tomorrow and a party to prepare for - will post on the partay prep. on
We're Livin' the Happy Life, when I get the chance. And I will try to take some pic's and post them too.

Spinning on the Crazy Cycle

Why is it, that the more I learn (on some things) the less in control I feel?
Is ignorance really bliss??? Please, say yes. (I know it's not ....BUT)

A group of friends and I have been discussing Coconut Oil. Now, I am a long time grain grinder, bread maker and wanna be health nut. BUT (Behold the Underlying Truth) I feel as though I am blowing in the wind. Lost in a whirl wind of info. In researching Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), Unrefined CO, Refined CO, Hydrogenated CO, I found an article on soaking your grains. Something about phytic acid??? Well, I went to another reliable source for info on all things grain/bread related and she said it is no big deal. Well then, what about sprouting your grain, dehydrating it then grinding it and making your bread. AND - if water and heat are the two biggest enemies of nutrients in wheat/grain, then why do we even grind it and mix it with water and yeast and then bake it at 350 degrees???
When is enough, enough?? I try to do what is good and right for my family's (or is it families?)health, as much as I can or as much as they will allow.

It boggles the mind.

If you can share any info or can lead me in the right direction for proper info - PLEASE do so. I'm spinning here on the "Crazy Cycle".

One thing that I am not spinning on is, what an AWESOME God we serve. It is such an incredible blessing for Him to reveal Himself to us AND He does it in small increments. This posting started several weeks ago (I know - I edit myself too much) and I had included a part about how great God is, in that He gives to us Himself, in just the right amount. Now, that sounded way to deep for me and I deleted that part. Well, I attend the Ladies Sunday School class ( only every other month) and right there, God confirmed that what I thought was right. Our wonderful teacher shared just that same thing. But, who am I , that God would confirm to me, or that God would reveal Himself to me? I am so very unworthy, yet He does confirm, He does reveal, He does love - without measure!!!
This past week, He has shown Himself to me in ways I can not fathom. He is worthy of so much more than I can offer. Yet, all He requires is that I put Him first. First, before myself, family, gardening, educating, blogging, eating, reading, cooking, first thing in the morning (that He created), first thing before I speak (OK, I have a hard time with that one - pray for me), first before EVERYTHING.

Lord, thank you for showing Yourself to me. Thank you for loving me so much, that You gave of Yourself to me. Thank you, for knowing exactly what I need and just when I need it and in just the right amount. Thank you for not overwhelming me with ALL of YOU, but that You gently, carefully, lovingly help me along. Father, help me to emulate that with my family, that I treat them as carefully, lovingly and as gently as You have been to me. As I start each new day, assist me in not leaving Your side. You have NEVER strayed away from me, it is I who distances myself away from You. Draw me closer and closer each day to You.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am just being too Negative.......

OK, we have decided that I have a problem - well, all right, more than just one, but that is beside the point. I somehow contain some kind of negatively charged ion field around me. Things just break down when I am either around or using them. Now, truth be told, my hubby (jokingly - I think) says that it is "Operator Error" and I will give him that on many occasions - BUT NOT EVERY TIME!!!! I was trying to find some pint canning jars on "Craigs List" and the laptop crashes, I was ripping a piece of wood on the table saw --- and ran the hand guard into the blade about 1/2 inch -- the room got hazy and I panicked and turned off the saw, I was milling wheat and the mill slowly grinds to a halt, I was making bread in the Kitchen Aid and it died ---- Perhaps I should not do so much. If I sit around eating bonbons, painting my toe nails (which really need doing) and reading cook books none of these things would happen. Neither would the little projects that I do.

Enter Sonshine Cottage Man (SCM). The Master Mister Fixer!!! Now, don't get me wrong, I do have a Mister Fixer of my own, BUT hubby has been working a lot of overtime and volunteers with the local fire department and well, my pile has been growing.

OK - I left the computer for just a moment and I lost half of my post - what happened??? See what I mean --- these things just happen to me - I even clicked on the "save now" button - OY - And, I did not turn off the computer - just closed the laptop to get a box for a berry customer. I had come up with some really witty stuff and of course since I typed it out it was no longer necessary for me to file it in my brain (OK - my half a brain) so it is all gone. :o{

Oh, I remember some of it -- The fact that for 8 out of 11 years during our stint in owning a bakery, I manufactured around 300#'s of freshly milled whole wheat bread dough, loads of whole wheat cookies, muffins, scones, croissant and brownies (you get the picture) each week, I am entitled for things to wear out. Perhaps, considering the volume we did, I am indeed fortunate to only wear out 2 mills and 1 Kitchen Aid.

Anyway, Thank you to the whole Sonshine Cottage family, Momma, Poppa, "little" SCM and little Sister. You all have blessed this family in ways you will never know. Come over anytime for lunch - but, SCM - remember to always bring your tools, you never know what else I have wrecked.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Caring for Your Grain Mill

Guest post by Amy of Sonshine Cottage:
Making bread in your grain mill!

This is the Sonshine Cottage man, who has undertaken to fix some of Jessica's appliances. Did you know that mills suck air for cooling and if that air is full of flour, it can build up a substatial amount of flour in the housing around the motor? See above picture.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Very Informative

Had an opportunity to go thrifting the other day and found a book "The Complete Homesteading Book". This is no ordinary homesteading book - it gives you the good, the bad and the ugly side of homesteading. Very informative. One of the reasons for purchasing the book is that there is a picture that could be my grandmother and mother or my mother and me or me and my daughter.

Here is a really neat site I found.
I have not done an extensive survey of the entire site, so proceed with caution. Have not found anything objectionable, as of yet, I've only looked up a few of the home making items.

Well, I must be off.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What an Opportunity

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Don't wait.

Go and check out what Kelly is doing at http://www.heartsforfamily.blogspot.comShe is giving away something spectacular!!!

Do not delay - Friday June 27 th is the last day to sign up.

This offer will not cost you anything. All you have to do is answer one simple question and you will be in the running. What an opportunity. And if you do not win - put this collection on your wish list for Christmas, Anniversary or Birthday!!! It's gonna be great!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's So Cool

Well, today is the day. Our new fridge arrives. We ended up getting the side by side, my wish to get one made in the USA did not happen - we got a Samsung. There are so many choices out there one could get bogged down in the search. Let me begin by praising my dear sweet hubby, in that he spent the WHOLE day with me looking at refrigerators. We had such a good time. No, REALLY!!!! What a blessing it was, my mom & dad kept the kids and we just had the whole day to shop and be together. He took me out to lunch to a place that has been in operation in my hometown since 1958. It was a place I had never been before - he could not believe it, especially since he did not grow up in my hometown - just his college dayz :o}. Maybe , that is why I had never been there - my folks were VERY protective - thanks Mom & Dad!!!! But anyway, it is a neat place - I would not go there after 3:00 PM - it is a bit of a pool hall --- BUT, it had the best cheeseburgers & the most incredible french fries. You could tell the FF were home made because, they were wedge cut and not in a regular, cookie cutter style and deep fried to their crispy perfection. I felt like we were dating again :o} You know me, I am all about the food.

We ended up going to 5 different stores and yes, we went back to the first store and bought the fridge. I will say there were some really cool fridges out there. Sears had one that had the temperature gauges on the outside of the door - which looked really cool and I thought would be handy. It kinda looked like you were in an airplane or on a submarine, but that is not the one we got. The Maytag French Door style looked good BUT (Behold the Underlying Truth) the metal slider supports for the pullout freezer drawer had little rusty spots on it, in every store - I would stay clear of those. While we are on the subject of French Door styles, let me just say, I do not think that they are all that they are cracked up to be. Don't get me wrong, they look way cool, but I think that the freezer drawer will end up like your sock drawer - what is really at the bottom of it??? And, they do not have adequate lighting. I was impressed with the Electrolux side by side - it was like waiting for a show to begin - the lights come on dim at first and then get brighter - maybe takes 3-4 seconds, these also had pull out bins in the freezer for easy access - a feature that the one we purchased has - but is was not worth the extra $500.00 for the bins to be on slide out arms (like some kitchen cabinet drawers) for the Electrolux. All in all, most are the same (probably made by the same manufacturer under different names). We stayed clear of GE since they are getting out of the appliance business and replacement parts would be difficult to procure.

Some say that Samsung is a new company to the appliance world and have not proven themselves, but hubby said that they have received the JD Power & Assoc. award for excellence and he thought that it was a good model (I liked the pull out bins). The best thing of all is that it is a shinny black fridge and it is like looking into a mirror when standing in front of it - and it makes you look 10 sizes smaller!!!!! Yes, I looked like I was a size 6 instead of a 16 - Woo Hoo!!! Can I still justify getting the ice cream, since I look so much slimmer? Nah!!

Now, I am cleaning out the old one and prepping the spot where the new one will go - who knew that you are suppose to clean out behind the fridge every 6 months or so - behind our fridge had not seen the light of day in 4 years --- EEEWWWW!!!!! Hey, there are lots of GEO-MAGS back here - my son will be thrilled!!!!!

Will post later on how well we like it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Motocycle Meets the Crazy Cycle

Let me share a bit of background, when I first met "That Man" I knew that his parents had gotten him a dirt bike when he was 12 and he had ridden something that was motorized and only two wheeled ever since. Even after a 16 yr old pulled out in front of him and he slid under that station wagon and was dragged 100 yards and spent 10 days in ICU, he got one of his buddies to take him to buy a new bike ---
BUT (remember : "Behold the Underlying Truth")
After we were engaged, he sold his bike. (Imagine soft serene music playing) Naturally, I took this as a sign of maturity, love and devotion to family -------but what did I know. Now 20 years later he has gotten another one.

Hoo, boy! What can I say??? I was shocked? Surprised? Stunned?

One week from today I will have been married to "That Man" for 18 years. I am not surprised at anything he does, but this one got me. Not so much as that he actually got a motorcycle, but that I did not HIT THE ROOF!!!!! Normally, I am quite --uummm, opinionated and this time I just quietly sat back, did not say much and accepted the fact that my first husband has just bought a motorcycle. (Renae & Missy, you are setting the bar REALLY high for us to follow along behind you :o}) Now, I must admit he got a GREAT deal on it and it is a sweet ride. And, I must admit we really had a great time ridding together when he had one while we were dating (My dad now tells me that ignorance was bliss - in that he did not know I rode with "That Man" because ------- Daddy told me not to).

Submission has never been my strong suit. (Reference the last sentence in the previous paragraph!!!) When we went to pre-marriage counselling (a 12 week course - 13 for us), our pastor had to go over the chapter in submission TWICE, because I said I was not going to be some limp dish rag and let "That Man" make all of my decisions for me. Yes, can't you tell, I came of age in the '80s. That generation where we were told that we could have it all. We could bring home the bacon & fry it up in a pan --- remember the song & commercial???? We did not need a "federal head", we did not need to answer to anyone, we could be who we wanted to be, and YES I had bought into it - Hook, Line & Stinker. But, now I am twice the age I was then, I have had some lumps served to me on a less than silver platters and I have learned a thing or two from that. Who am I to question my hubby's decisions? Well, I guess I CAN question them - but, now I accept them. God gifted "That Man" to me and I can rest in that God wants me to honor Him by letting my hubby make those decisions. It has taken me 18 years to learn it - I must admit I am a slow learner.

Please, take the time to go see the Families against Feminism blog. Once there click on her BRILLIANT "Ruby Rebel" button and read that article. I tried to link to it ---- but, like I said, I am a slow learner. She says it so much more eloquently than I can.

God, thank you so much for my hubby. He has been such a blessing to me. Please, keep him safe as he rides the open road. Lord, thank you for showing me how important it is to submit to my husband's authority. How that boosts his spirit and encourages him to be a leader in our home. I heartily apologize for every time I have failed him in not honoring his decisions or questioning his authority. I never thought about it as not honoring or questioning Your authority - but that is precisely what I have done. Create in me a submissive and loving heart, one that will follow You.

Words of Encouragement

"Trust on thou brave, noble heart! Faint not, though
the cross burden thee to the earth. God notes thy
patience and "labor of love". The mansion and the
crown await thee. Look up, and press on!"
"Mary Bunyan, the Dreamer's Blind Daughter
A Tale of Religious Persecution"
By: Sallie Rochester Ford

Friday, June 6, 2008

Feeling Out of Touch

How long has it been? I feel like I've been out of touch for a year, but in reality it has only been 3 weeks. How refreshing it has been to be away from the ever present internet. I will say that there are loads of things that I have wanted to look up, blogs I've wanted to read and emails to peruse, but the time off has been good.

Amy, if you wish to "out" me it's OK.

There were questions left unanswered from my last post and I will take this opportunity to clear the air (get it??? :o}) on the whole deodorant/hydro-baking soda thang. I have learned a lot from simple trial and error and will enlighten you now.
  1. Be sure to wash under your arms EVERY DAY!!
  2. You only need to use a little bit of Hydrogen peroxide and just a wee bit of baking soda.
  3. You may "swab" with whatever you like. I just pour 1 tsp. of hydro-p in my finger tips, rub my hands together and apply, then while fingertips are still damp I will touch 1/4 of a fingertip (from each hand) into baking soda and apply a very small amount under each arm. Yes, that works - just that little bit!!!
DD & I have both experienced some breaking out under our arms. This is largely due to using too much baking soda, but problem solved by just applying liberal amounts of Pure Shea Butter before bed time and in a couple of days it was gone. Learn from our mistakes. Less is more.

I am working on my post for the "Happy Pads". More info on that will be forth coming.

Another way we are saving money these days is using our homemade liquid hand soap. This is made by simply using a box grater from the kitchen and grating up some all natural soap and boiling it in some water. This also took a bit of trial and error - that is the best way I learn, to do things wrong first. The first time I did this I used twice as much water as soap, I ended up adding more and more water, the soap was too thick to go through the soap dispenser. Perhaps I ended up used 4 cups of water to 1 cup of grated soap. The grated soap WAS NOT packed down. I use this for more than just hands, I use it for shampoo. Using only 2 pumps, scrubbing it into my hair, then add a little bit of Borax, yes-Borax. At first the liquid soap does not lather up, but when the Borax is added you get lather, big time!!!!! I was pleasantly surprised. Now, you must know that I was not happy with the results of just the shampooing this way. My hair was greasy feeling, yet full, you must know that there is another step. You need to make your own conditioner. This is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little fore thought. Some people use just a combo of 2 cups water and 3 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)- I read an article on herbs and how certain ones are beneficial to different hair types and colors, so I thought why not steep some herbs in the water first, then add the ACV. The herbs I used were best for dark hair: rosemary, sage, mint and lemon balm. If you have light hair you may use herbs like chamomile, sage, and/or thyme. Now, instead of my hair smelling of salad dressing it smells like mint jelly :o} The conditioner last me for about a week maybe 10 days, if I wash my hair often. My hair is short so I do not have to use much. I think that it may cost me about half a cent (if even that) now to wash AND condition my hair.

Now, I need some help. We are going to have to replace our refrigerator and am asking advice from others on their purchases. Which is best, side by side, bottom freezer, french door with water & ice dispenser on door??? There are so many choices. I have read too many bad reviews on purchases from Sears and we have had a really bad experience with HomeDepot so those two are out. Any advice or info would be helpful. Also, we are looking into purchasing an outdoor wood heater, even possibly sharing it with my parents - is there anyone who has used them or knows someone who uses it, or knows of a reliable dealer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Going Green

As I learn about more and more shortages and ever raising gas prices, I decided to try a few things to stretch our income and become a bit more Earth Conscious while I was at it.

The first change that I made was with my washing of clothes. I bought some Borax and some Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) to stretch my laundry detergent, using 1/4 cup of of the Borax and Washing Soda (yes, I have them mixed together) and 1/2 (or less) of the recommended amount of detergent. Then I learned that I could stretch my Downy as well, (I would not use it except, I want to keep my 1st husband happy) by diluting it - 1/3 Downy, 1/3 White Vinegar, 1/3 Water. You might say why not use less with each load - well, I am not the only one who does laundry, DH and DD do laundry too and they probably would not use less - the machine has a Max fill line and that is what they will use.

While I am on the subject of cleaning, I have just read that you can make your own liquid hand soap by grating a bar of hand soap - all natural, please, into 2 cups of water and bringing it to the boil on the stove, let cool and thicken either all day or over night and voila, you have liquid hand soap. I hope to do this today or tomorrow, as we have a bunch of people coming over on May 6 for a picnic and want to have some on hand - get it :o} (on hand).

For cleaning jobs around the house, I use Borax & Washing Soda, dissolved in water and that cleans whatever needs cleaning. For my windows and mirrors, I use a combo of 1/2 Water and 1/2 White Vinegar and just a splash of Mint Rubbing Alcohol (I read that this helps the solution to evaporate). I guess you could use regular Rubbing Alcohol, but I do not like the smell. I use any lint free cloth I have on hand, an old flannel night gown or tee-shirt (my hubby has a HUGE collection of these, tee-shirts not flannel gowns).

My children are getting ready to start making cloth napkins for me, because we have got to break the paper towel and paper napkin cycle. But this journey is going to take one day at a time and my hubby is not as green as I am and he takes a little time to adjust to the changes. So, I go slowly and change as much as I can for myself and the kids and bring him slowly into the fold. Just a side note - He thinks I am a NUT, well, he is right, I come from a long line of nuts and will leave a long line of and nuts in my wake.

Changes for myself - well, I have stopped using deodorant - EWWWWWW!!! - No, really I have, BUT (behold the underlying truth) I just swab a bit of Hydro-Peroxide under each arm and dust with a little Baking Soda - I've been doing this for 3 weeks now and I have not been wreaking up to high heaven. I suggested it to my DD and she was like "NO WAY Mom!!!!!!!" Yet, two days ago I noticed that she got herself a container of Hydro-Peroxide and some Baking Soda and took it up to her room. YEA!!! She is so much like her Dad. For shampoo - I have been using Castille Soap. At first, I was not happy at all with the results. I have VERY thick and just a little curl to my hair and I just looked frizzy and my hair felt greasy - yet full- did some more research and found out that I must rinse with something - 1/2 & 1/2 solution of Apple Cider Vinegar and Water. This worked GREAT. I am hooked and no I do not smell like a salad - but that would not be a bad thing. With just the right dressing - my hubby might just take a nibble just behind the ears ;o} Another change I have made is that I make my own "Happy Pads". What???? You might ask is a "Happy Pad", well, it is a homemade feminine hygiene pad. Yes, you can make them and they work just as well as the store boughten ones and you do not get yeast infections or other irritations from using them (like I did with the disposables), I will never go back to store boughten again. Now, I will post on the ins and outs of this later - Just be forewarned, there are a lot of what I would classify as really weird sites out there about menstrual cycles, so I will caution you, when you research it be aware of what is out there. Now, I know everyone is different and different is not always wrong, BUT, it was really strange to me. I am glad I did this research on my own and not with my DD - That is all I will say of that.

For the garden - we are going green - well, my mother and I are - why are these men we are married to so hard to convince?????? We are using our coffee grounds, egg shells and Epsoms Salt in our gardens. We are beginning to compost - AGAIN. We were very faithful to composting before we got the chickens then all of our kitchen scraps went to them - now my DH has got a new grass catcher for the push mower and my Dad has as well and now we are back in the composting business.

We just take each day as we are blessed with them. Do our best in all that we do. When we mess up or make mistakes, we clean up and try to do better the next time. What would life be if we stopped learning - It is not that we will ever arrive to that state of perfection , but the journey we take on the way is what is important. Continually, we must glorify the God who made us and who gave His only Son to die on the cross so that we, those who believe in Him will be able to be with Him for eternity. Oh, happy day!!!!!

Well, I must be off - Jessa

Monday, April 28, 2008


What is the Crazy Cycle?? Well, it is what we live everyday, at least what I live everyday. Trying to keep up and usually doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results each time - that is the definition of insanity, isn't it?.

Daily, I thank my Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the opportunity to be a stay at home mother of 2 kids. DD 12 and DS 7. Married to my first husband for 17 years (18 in June), this one is working out, so far - I do not think I will need a second husband :o}

Each day I try to teach my children at home - it does not always happen. Well, they learn something but not always from a text book and I am OK with that. We live on a farm that we share with my parents and yes, that is working out well. We have chickens and raise blueberries, blackberries for pick your own and a garden for us. My parents have just gotten started with an Apiary (beekeeping) DD and DS are so interested, I never would have thunk it. We would like to get a few sheep for milking (as my DS has dairy issues) but not this year.

We try to live a fairly green life. I am learning new things all the time that I have been doing badly for myself, family and for the great Earth that God had created for us to enjoy. I was taught that when someone gives you a gift you should take care of it - well, the Earth and all that God created IS a gift and we should be taking better care of it. Later on I will post on the steps we have taken to do things differently. For now this is just a little note to say, "Hello" and to get out there in the bloggosphere (sp?).

I must thank my friend Amy at Sonshine Cottage for spurring me on to do a guest post on her blog - So I thought I would start my own. There are loads of things I must learn when blogging, like how to link to something and include neat little things here and there. But for now - this is my Hello.

Please be kind with any comments as this is a G rated blog. Our goal is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, so let's keep our comments in that light.