Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Heaven Gained an Angel Today . . .

Take time to be inappropriately happy everyday.

Nancy Asbell, Artist
and today, Angel.

This is the most important Grace Notes that I have ever written
After falling out of my wheel chair on Monday left with even more wounds and a damaged and wounded left eye I was given the facts of my diagnosis for the rest of my life due to my chronic wounds. I can not go to large populated events ever. My main heart breaker is church. In my powered wheel chair I can go to a large store, like Publix as long as I do not get close to many other people at the time. No body can visit me at my home if they are sick or have a family member that is sick.  I will be losing my house and, my car has been repossessed.  But this is when the weird thing comes in.  I am still "inappropriately happy" and still look forward to the next fun day.  I still have my art , music, and marketing "job" and totally "work" from home.and I still have people (yes even you)  and Jesus will never ever leave my side.  The most "horrible" things that I go through the more I can help others because I have gone through them myself.
I no longer celebrate the day I celebrate each minute.
So let's go out there and let's rock our world!
I love you all.

Artist: Nancy Asbell

Heaven gained another angel today.
Nancy gained a pain free, glorious body today.
What a tremendous inspiration she was 
to me and many, many others who experience
daily chronic pain.  She handled it with such grace.
I only hope to emulate her my God's got this outlook.

Nancy did this painting for me
after I saw a similar one she posted.
It will always remind me of  her sweetness.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Got Chips?

Got Chips??

Kale Chips!

 Picked from the garden and ready to
 munch on in less than half an hour!

 Wash, spin dry and tear from larger 
spines into bite size pieces.

 Spray lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with 
Parmesan/Romano and Sea Salt.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes 
(8-9 if using convection oven).

Salty!  Crispy!  Healthy!
Too thin for dipping, but doesn't need a dip!

Lemon Pepper
BBQ Seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
Nutritional Yeast (Cheesy)

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Blackberry Season!

A Facebook friend passed one of her cobbler recipes to me this past week!
I must say it trumps the "cup, a cup, a cup" recipe I've always used!!
The jello kicks it up to a whole new level!!!  A must try!! 


1-1/2 c. sugar
1 three oz. box Blackberry Fusion Jello
1/3 c. butter
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 c. blackberries
1 c. milk
2-1/2 c boiling water

Cream 1 cup of the sugar with butter.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk;  mix well.

Pour into 12x8x2 baking pan.  Pour blackberries over batter.

Sprinkle remaining sugar and jello over berries. 

Pour boiling water over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve plain or with ice-cream! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plantain! Nature's Bandaid!

Guess What?
It wasn't the twine I cut!
It was my knuckle.
A nice v-shaped slice.

I washed it, wrapped it and walked across the road.
I picked a fistful of plantain leaves,  
chewed them up and placed the wad 
on my bleeding finger and wrapped it back up.
I repeated it twice.
24 hours later you can barely see the cut!

Below are photos of plantain.

Plantago Minor - From the field next door.

Plantago Major - Photo credit: Illinois Wildflowers

How did I know what to do?
I've been following Canning Granny's blog about 
natural healing and had just read this post the day before!  Fortunately, from earlier readings I had already wandered 
into the field and identified plantain!


More links to check out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Homesteader Blog Carnival!

Today is a four letter word day ..... Busy!  Oy vey!

Linking up with the Homestead Blog Carnival with
a previous post because time is NOT on my side today!

Click here to visit the latest completed garden project!

Link up with The Morris Tribe!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Making the effort ...

Photo Credit: Nancy Gaudet

Be completely humble and gentle; 
be patient, bearing one another in love.  
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit 
through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:2-3

I've decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that really annoy you. Friends are a package deal. And sadly, not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season. But other times, we have to be willing to deal with the messy stuff to fight for our friendships. From time to time, we experience riffs, misunderstandings, hurt feelings or frustrations. Parts of us want to distance ourselves because it's hard to sift through the hurt.  We must pray through it and remind ourselves this person is a package deal and that we also have flaws and imperfections and do things that annoy others. We all have issues.  We must be willing to work on our not-so-fun stuff and be fully aware we're going to hit some muddy little potholes along our friendship path.

Otherwise, one day we're gonna end up lonely because we're so picky.
Pray for your friends as you pray for your family ... blessings, security, joy.


Note: the above (italics) is taken from an email 
I received which was passed on from one to another.
I'd give credit if I knew where it originated.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tip of the Week

Hi, my name is Terri ... and,

I confess.  I use dryer sheets.  I've not attempted to make my own.  Currently, 
I use Bounce.  I purchase the large size at Sam's.  I cut the entire stack (as needed)
into thirds.  Yes!  1/3 sheet is more than enough for a full dryer load!  I never use 
them with towels because towels lose their absorbency.  As soon as my drying rack
arrives, towels will line dry on the back porch, along with my husband's jeans, which 
currently hang on the bar chairs in the kitchen and then get tossed into the dryer long
enough to soften and get the wrinkles out ... five minutes tops, instead of nearly an 
hour... and not during the hottest part of the day when it costs a guaddamuck of $$
to run the dryer!  No, I'm not ironing these days!  Too many other irons in the fire!

I do a lot of alternative things. But, I have yet to switch from dryer sheets to 
a more natural source for softening/de-wrinkling clothes.  My husband helps 
out with the laundry quite often and .... well, do you think he's gonna squeeze 
out a sponge soaked in vinegar to toss in the dryer?  Or, remember to pour 
vinegar in during the rinse cycle?  No way!  So for now, it's dryer sheets.  
But, hey!  I'm tripling their use, then they go into the compost bin along 
with the dryer lint.  Wouldn't that be considered some shade of green living?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups pureed bananas (approx 4 medium)
2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter, gradually add sugar beating well.  
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  
Add pureed bananas, mixing until smooth.

In another bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt; add to 
creamed mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are 
moistened.  Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour batter into your choice of one large greased bread pan or
two small greased bread pans.  Bake at 375 degrees for the first 
15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 more minutes, or until a wooden pick or knife inserted in center comes 
out clean.  Cool in pan(s) for 10 minutes; then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks (if you can wait that long!)
Of course, I dusted it with confectioner's sugar
after it was completely cooled!  Magic Dust!

Note:  I doubled the above recipe to make the bundt size cake!  

Found this recipe on Country Consultant's Facebook Page!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Garden Projects

The Latest Project!

Nephew-in-love disassembling useless deck!
Note:  This has been an idea in the back of my head for some time,
but it surfaced from my husband's mouth first!!  Yes!!

Recycled "useless deck" boards to build a raised bed garden! 
Huge tree roots revealed resulted in altered U-Shape.  It'll work!
Drainage cloth added to line and lessen erosion (area slants toward bulkhead).
Gravel needed to level out space so we aren't tripping on trunks (also under soil).
Note:  the soil was given to us by a friend who had way to much after landscaping!
It's already provided soil for three other beds both here and given to family
and friends!  Shared the love!  All we had to buy were the amendments, 
which included vermiculite, peat moss and compost!
If I remember correctly even the cloth and gravel were a trade-out!
I ♥ bartering!

Covered soil with straw to lessen erosion and seeds washing away from 
coming rains next three days.  Also helps retain moisture.
Lettuce boxes moved from back porch to partial shade!

Upside down tomato cages will make great tee pees for the sugar snaps!
Transplanted kale, beets, chard and basil from other locations.
Background tee pees are blueberries covered with an old shrimp net (birds!).

Now to take a few days off (only because of rains) to tackle less back-breaking chores!

Happy Gardening!

Link up @ The Morris Tribe

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Secret Place ...

Abiding in the Shadow of the Almighty

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence. 
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your right side, 
ten thousand at your right hand, 
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, "The LORD is my refuge,"
and you make the Most High your dwelling, 
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
for he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; 
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because He loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him.
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.

Psalm 91

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Juggling Act!

Hey Y'all!

I've missed my blogging!

Spring has sprung!
Busy-ness in the garden!
Disassembling useless structures for new raised beds!

Canning never seems to stop!
Scored a bunch of veggies at the farm stand yesterday for $5!
Canned pickled veggies this morning!
Monday, I canned crawfish stock!
Lastweek, I canned soup!
Later today, I'm canning ham!
(after Easter sale!)

I've been foraging in the field across the street!!
Plantain, Dandelion and Blackberries!
Also learning how to identify edible and medicinal plants!

The dehydrator is running almost 24/7!  
Dandelion Blossoms for tea (or jelly)!
Blossoms and Kale on it this morning!

Reading!  A lot!
Learning new things!

Preparing for an art event!
Only participating in one of these this year (by choice)!
April 21st on Dauphin Island!

And still taking time for some fun with the granbaby!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recycling Party Leftovers


I saw the question posted on FB this morning: 

What do you do with leftovers from a party?  

Recycle, of course!

Leftover raw veggie tray - freezer bags for stew. 

Leftover fruit - freezer bags for smoothies.
Leftover meat - freezer bags for sandwiches or soups or casseroles.  

Leftover cheese - freeze for casseroles, burritos, etc. 

Leftover dips - use as a spread on wraps or sandwiches - 
some are even great tossed with pasta or cooked with rice!  
Some dips can be frozen!  Leftover salsa can be added to 
almost anything, including meatloaf!

Leftover cake - make a trifle or freeze and 
thaw later to make cake balls/pops!

Leftover punch -  freeze it!

Leftover crawfish - peel em!!  Make stock with 
the heads for future cajun dishes!

Leftover shrimp - Shrimp salad, jambalaya, gumbo or freeze!

Leftover sushi - there is never any leftover sushi!

Leftover stale chips - bag them and crush them later 
for coating fish, pork chops or topping casseroles.  

Leftover stale crackers - see above!

Leftover coffee - iced coffee tomorrow!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts ...

Greetings Peeps!

Sorry I've been awol for a few days.
It's been a tread softly kind of week.
Two words.  Chronic Pain.
It slows me down sometimes.

I returned to juicing for a week.
Last time it tremendously reduced inflammation
which exacerbates chronic pain.
I'm thinking the culprit to be wheat and/or sugar.
We'll see!

Today I am pacing myself .... housework.
Longing to be in the garden.
Lots of ideas growing in my head!
After all the rain the last few days
the tomatoes have grown to the point they
really need to be tied to their stakes now.

I have a huge pot of chicken on the stove
(making chicken broth and chicken and rice soup to can).
The weekend is shaping up to be nice and sunny.

During this down time I've been re-evaluating the to-do list.
It doesn't all have to be done today ... or this week.
Prioritizing sometimes includes turning down invitations
for social events.  I love the fellowship with my friends and family.
But I'm having to keep my strength, energy and pain level in mind.
Otherwise, I fall short of accomplishing those things I need to do.

This isn't a pity party.  It's realizing my limits during the rough spots.
As a friend and I were discussing this morning, 'when we have good days,
we push ourselves to do way too much.  And then we have bad days.
Those days when we accomplish little because we pushed ourselves
too  hard'.

Learning to pace myself ...
to be selective ...
to respect ME ...
to enjoy the solitude when necessary ...
 to love life (it is what it is) ...
to know I am blessed in the valley, as well.  ♥

Be Blessed!

Prickly Pear Cactus, watercolor

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Back on da juice!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Do you shop the market or your pantry?

Do you Meal Plan?  Roll with the Flow?
Or do you Fly by the Seat of Your Pants?  

Early in our marriage we planned weekly meals.  Often one of us had to work late, we had the same thing for lunch, or we just weren't in the mood for spaghetti. These issues doubled as our family grew.  Eventually the pantry became stocked on it's own and the meals developed from its contents.

Unless there is a special request that requires a trip to the grocer we prepare meals from what's available at home.  If we aren't recycling leftover roasted chicken into chicken salad, enchiladas, a casserole, soup or something else, we're raiding the pantry and freezer for ideas.  It's a rare occasion that my entire family is together for a meal these days with work and class and social schedules. When we do "plan" it's usually for a special occasion.  Otherwise I throw a meal together with what's on hand. Often it's just me and the hubs, exhausted from a day's work, joining in the Man Cave for cheese and crackers, maybe some sausage on the grill.  And if we want a salad I'll go pick one from the garden, rinse it at the water hose and sit down and eat it with our cheese!  Simple is good!

Larger meals are thrown together from the pantry, freezer or garden.  Each are well stocked seasonally.  It's good to have gardening, hunting and fishing skills!  Trekking through the madness at the grocery store every few days or even once a week is nothing I enjoy.  We purchase in bulk when possible and take advantage of seasonal sales.  We preserve (canning, freezing, dehydrating, vacuum sealing) because we hate to see food spoil.  We make 80% of our bread so we purchase bread flour and all purpose flour in bulk 25# at a time and  use food grade buckets with a screw on lid for easy access.  You see ... when a recipe calls for ten cups of flour, the kitchen canister would empty every time bread is made!  We also use a lot of tomatoes in recipes so (since I'm not gonna run out to the grocery store as often) we buy canned tomatoes by the case.  They don't stay around long!  Of course, when fresh garden tomatoes are available they trump the canned!  What else do we buy in bulk?  Rice, paper products, pet food toiletries.  Lots of things!  These items are used daily.  Prob the only thing I go to the market for are fresh fruits and veggies when I'm juicing (unless it's in the garden!).

For awhile I would run out for milk, eggs or other dairy.  Since we changed our diet and include more organic dairy products we buy more than one because they keep longer.  Horizons Organic Milk keeps fresh for 4-5 weeks!  Eggs will keep on the counter (or fridge) for weeks.  Extra butter and cheese go into the freezer if it nears the "use by" date before we use it.  But that doesn't happen often!  We don't worry about stocking up for our annual hurricane season.  We're already stocked.  Ready to prepare a meal for my family, a sick friend, a pot-luck or a picnic!

Frugally Sustainable has a great blog post about meal planning and keeping a stocked pantry.  Check it out!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hoping to catch some zzzzzzz's

Sleep Tight!

Bulk Herb Store's Sleep Tight Tea
Awhile back I ordered some Sleep Tight Tea from Bulk Herbs.  
I've tried everything to combat insomnia.  
So far the only thing that works is Ambien.
I'm now desperately trying to wean myself off of it.
I'm not having any side effects from the Ambien.
I simply don't think it's a good idea for the long term.

The Sleep Tight Tea isn't working either.
However, after reading more about it on the Bulk Herb site
and watching one of Shoshanna's videos,
I'm willing to try a more concentrated form.

The do have a Snooze Tincture
but since I already have the Sleep Tight Tea mixture,
and it has most of the same ingredients,
I'm gonna try making a tincture with what I have on hand.

So, today I prepared a tincture with the Sleep Tight Herbs.
You can read about how to do it on the Bulk Herb website.
After three weeks I'll strain the tincture and try it!  We'll see!

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