Identity in Photos

20171021_110206.jpg

This past week I was challenged on Facebook to do a Black and White Photo Challenge. The hard part of that challenge was to use only photos to show who I was…my identity.  I wasn’t allowed to use any words….any explanations….any photos of people… to tell the story of my life. It really was a challenge!

I thought I didn’t do too badly….except I could not find a way to include my family. The challenge made me realize that as people, we really have many facets to our lives. Our lives are intricate linkings of so many things….people, places, things, ideas, beliefs etc.

I am going to share with you some of the photos that I posted. If you are a regular reader, a couple of the photos might be familiar to you. They might look slightly different because I changed them from color, to black and white.

The photo up top is pretty self-explanatory….blogging and tea are a part of my life that I thoroughly enjoy. I have never made a dime from it and more than likely never will, but I have met so many wonderful people through blogging. There are so many of you that I would love to sit on the porch and share a cup of tea/coffee with.

20171023_164455~2.jpg

The Girls and Their Home

I thought I should definitely include a photo of my chicken coop, complete with a couple of the girls. (This is one of the photos that may be familiar!) If I am the Chicken Grandma I guess it stands to reason; chickens are a part of my life. I have learned many lessons from the chickens I have known and cared for. I have a feeling they have many more lessons to teach me.

IMG_20171025_223223_576.jpg

Another facet of my life would be my participation in using essential oils and other products from Young Living. I have found them to be useful to me in so many ways. I love to help others learn about them and love using products that contain natural ingredients rather than a lot of man made chemicals. I have been fortunate to meet many great people this way also.

20171023_201531~2.jpg

Solid Ground For Me

My faith is a big part of my life and this year I am participating in a Bible study of the Fruit of the Spirit through Coffee Break Bible Studies. This is my first year with this group and I am finding it to be a great experience.  Once again….so many good people!

The next two pictures were, for me, ways that show life with my husband. My husband loves the thought of being self-sufficient. He loves large gardens, living off the land and burning wood in our wood stove. I love this picture for that very reason.

I also love the texture and the roundness of those logs. Knowing they will make my house nice and warm this coming winter is a great thing too!

20171013_114236~2.jpg

This man that I married 37 years ago was born a farm boy and remains very much a farm guy. The first 6 months of our married life we lived in a very small town. He could not wait to move out to the farm where he didn’t see anyone when he stepped out the front door.

IMG_20171026_193923_025.jpg

The M Farmall is the second tractor we ever owned. Every so often my husband wonders if he should sell it, but then decides it isn’t worth that much money, so he may as well hang on to it. I am always glad he decides to keep it as I am a little sentimental about that old tractor.

When I look at those pictures I realize they portray only a small part of my life. There are so many things I did not get included. Not being able to include photos of family, friends and loved ones leaves a huge hole in the fabric of life.

I realized that objects cannot replace relationships and never will. I also know that one can not really share their entire life in the space that a few photos take…..it takes a lifetime to share a life.  It takes a lifetime to know someone and to be known.

Have a blessed weekend. Take the time to build those relationships…the ones that last and stand the test of time. Those relationships are a wonderful gift and blessing.

 

“Through others we become ourselves.” 
― Lev S. Vygotsky

 

The whole point is to live life and be –
to use all the colors in the crayon box.
RuPaul

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rupaul818076.html?src=t_live_life

 

 

 

Advertisements

More Than Fishing

IMG_3977 Fishing the Little Rock

Little Rock River

The weather was really nice a couple days ago so my husband and I decided we should try fishing on our bit of the river that night.  There is a sandbar that is a great place to sit and fish…..or contemplate life.

To get to the sandbar; we had to slither our way down the bank through head high weeds, saplings, and fallen tree branches. It was kind of a trick getting down there while holding a fishing pole, bucket (to sit on), and having my camera slung around my shoulders.

We did make it, and it was great once we were down there. It was quiet, except for the birds singing, a beaver crawling around behind a tree on the opposite bank and the sound of water rippling over rocks….a perfect evening to sit with a line in the water.

IMG_3972 Beaver Hideout

We were kind of worried that we would get eaten alive by mosquitoes, so we each took our choice of spray. I whipped up an essential oils spray that I wanted to try. I will share the recipe because I really like it and it worked for me.

Spray
10 drops Geranium EO
15 drops Lavender EO
5 drops Patchouli EO
10 drops Lemongrass EO
10 drops Citronella EO
2 oz. Witch Hazel
2 oz. water
Put Witch Hazel in 4 ounce spray bottle
Add EO’s (Essential Oils)
Add water 

I found it worked wonderfully for me. I have yet to convince my husband it would work so he continues to use his chemical-laden spray. Someday I will convince him!

Anyway…..back to fishing…….

IMG_3974 My Zebco 33

We stayed out there for a couple hours. I regret to report that all I caught was a corn stalk, two sticks and a bush on the bank. I am so glad I don’t have to survive off my catch!  My husband did have a few nibbles but nothing that really grabbed the bait and latched on.

I have a feeling it might be due to the really low water levels in the river. The water is so shallow you could see to the bottom most places. We were hoping that would enable us to see the fish swimming along….no go on that one.

I did find some pretty weeds flowers along the bank. They were such a beautiful shade of purple that I could not resist taking a picture of them. I must admit, I find it hard not to take pictures of most flowers.

IMG_3975 Pretty

I have no idea what kind of plant that is but the blooms were really delicate and so pretty.

There is something so peaceful about sitting by the river’s edge. It might be the way the wind blows through the tree tops and sets the leaves to rustling. It might be the birds twittering in the trees and settling in for the night. Maybe it is the fact you can watch a young beaver swim silently along the bank, leaving a wake in the water behind him. It might be the sound of the water rippling over the rocks and sparkling in the last of the evening light.

I do know that it is a great place to be. It is a great place to reflect and slow down the pace of life. As we came up the bank and out of the trees we were greeted with a beautiful sunset. It was the most perfect way to cap off the day.

IMG_3979 End of Day

This weekend may you find a place, hidden away from the world, that you can stop, reflect and slow down just a bit and feel the blessing.

“Many men go fishing all their lives
without knowing 
it’s not the fish they are after.”
Henry David Thoreau

DIY Christmas Gift

Peppermint Lotion Bar.JPG

In this very busy season I decided I would just make myself a little busier. I decided to try make lotion bars. I had attempted this project quite a few months back and ended with an epic Pinterest fail. Those lotion bars only stayed hard when they were in the fridge. Once out they just turned into blobs.

I decided I should try to attempt them again and found a different recipe and then tweaked the amounts just a bit so they would hopefully be harder without the refrigeration.

The recipe I ended up with:

Peppermint Lotion Bars
3 ounces Coconut Oil (purchased local grocery store)
3 ounces Shea Butter (
purchased here)
3 ounces Beeswax shredded (
purchased here)
20 drops Peppermint Oil (
purchased here)
glitter (optional)
Put the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax in a stainless or glass bowl.
Set bowl in pan of water and heat on stove till melted.
When melted, remove from heat and add essential oils.  I chose peppermint.
Pour into silicone molds
Makes approximately 4-6 bars depending on size of molds.
The mold I chose was this one.
I sprinkled a little glitter in the bottom for sparkle.
When lotion bars are solid remove from mold and package.

I had my son and his wife order me some molds from Amazon. (They have prime and that is so handy!) I decided on a snowflake one as it is winter and this had a Christmassy holiday feel. I also chose to put a little glitter in them. I just like the sparkle it gives.

This time the bars turned out. I was so glad. I am hoping to use them as stocking stuffers for the women in my family. (If they are reading this they will just have to act surprised when they get theirs!)  The next project will be how to package them.

If you are looking for a quick easy stocking stuffer for the gals in your group, these are perfect to whip up…..and they contain no chemicals! If you give it a try, let me know how they turn out for you.

At this point my lotion bars look a whole lot better than my kitchen does. My counters are full of stuff used for making the bars and my table is full of other stuff as I am helping with an oils workshop next week.  At some point I will catch up.

I was trying to remember what we had actually been doing this week. I was trying to figure out why I feel like I am so far behind. The fact that the week has faded into a blur shows me that there has probably been too much going on!

Some things could probably have been pushed back till later but others just needed to be done. Projects like removing cupboards from a house that will be torn down. (These will go into my laundry/craft room.) Things like getting organized for the oils workshop. Things like taking time to go to a visitation for my cousin who passed away.( I may have to tell you more about Marcia on another post. She deserves an entire post all to herself.)

This post is slightly disjointed (okay a lot disjointed!) but that has been the last few weeks around this house. At some point life will once again settle down. At some point I will feel caught up and at some point I can be organized……it just won’t be this week!  I guess I can live with that.

“I wanted to figure out why I was so busy,
but I couldn’t find the time to do it.”

Todd Stocker

 

 

 

 

Peppermint Foot Cream

Peppermint Foot Cream.JPG

I have been trying to get ready for a women’s retreat that is taking place this weekend.  I always like to gift a few items to some of the women that I know will be there working with me. This time I thought I would try make some Peppermint Foot Cream.

I found this recipe a few years back on someone’s site…..I have no idea anymore whose site it was.  So I apologize for not putting a link in here to your site if this is your recipe. Back when I hand wrote this recipe into my essential oil recipe notebook I was not blogging and did not see the need to write my source down as I was going to make them just for personal use.

When you are going to attempt this cream it is a good thing to assemble what you will need. I have found I feel a lot more organized when I do this.

Ingredients & bowls.JPG

The recipe is as follows:

Peppermint Foot Cream
1/4 cup Shea Butter (I bought it here)
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (purchased at local grocery store)
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil (local grocery store)
15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (buy yours here)
Melt Shea & Coconut Oil
Add:
Olive Oil and stir
Let cool and add Peppermint EO
Beat till smooth and creamy



I have found that if I microwave water in a bowl ,
I can put my Shea butter and Coconut oil in a small stainless steel bowl,
set it in the bowl of boiling water, and it will melt easily.  (See photo above)
Once the oils have been mixed I place the stainless bowl
in my freezer for approximately 5-7 minutes.
Once it has cooled and the edges have started to solidify
I remove, add the essential oil and use my Kitchenaid hand mixer to whip.

This recipe makes 4 oz. of cream. I like to put it into 4 containers (1 oz.) for gift giving.

This foot cream smells amazing!  It also feels wonderful. The peppermint seems to warm your feet and the Shea butter and coconut oil do wonders for moisturizing the dry areas on your heels and ankles.

I made this for my sister-in-law last year. She made the mistake of using it on her feet right before she went to her yoga class. She said her feet felt wonderful, they smelled wonderful, but…….they would not grip the yoga mat and she kept sliding off.  (I really wish she had gotten a video of that!)

It is kind of fun to make your own spa-type products. Some of them turn out better than others…..and that is half the fun. If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turned out for you.

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.
But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved
and by those who are perishing.”

2 Corinthians 2:15
New Living Translation

Mammographies

Strength Courage Hope.jpg

For some reason October has been chosen as Breast Cancer Awareness month. I have no idea if there is a significant reason for choosing October over any other month of the year.  I do know it is good to have a reminder to get your mammogram.

One of the favorite stories on my mom’s side of the family has to do with my grandma and mammograms. Grandma was a women who took staying healthy kind of seriously. She had surgeries to correct things like carpel tunnel, bad hips and gallbladders gone bad. She also made sure she had her annual physical.

When Grandma was into her upper 80s or 90s (I am not sure which) she made her annual trip to the Dr. to get all the necessary checking and testing done. She came home ticked off……really ticked off. She called my mom and voiced her complaint. They had not even given her that “mammography” test! Mom tried to calm her down by telling her that they wouldn’t do them at her age because if they found something what would they do? Would she be physically capable of going through surgery if something was found?  Mom got off the phone (Grandma still mumbling) and relayed the conversation to the rest of us. It has become one of my favorite mammogram stories about a family member.

I remember one very memorable “mammography” where I was the victim patient. I followed all the instructions…..changed into that very fashionable attractive gown, sat and waited in a little room with a big machine and waited a little longer.

Not too much later, the technician came in and had me take my place by the machine. We went through all the steps and she took her place behind the shield to start the process. (I always kind of wonder how much radiation I am getting and shouldn’t I have one of those shields too? I have a friend, Carolyn, who wonders what would happen, at this point if an earthquake hit?) It didn’t take long and she told me I could take a step back from the machine. I stood there for just a bit and pondered how I was going to do that…..I was still firmly held in the grip of the machine!

I calmly informed the tech of that fact; and how if I could step back that would be a pretty neat trick. I have never seen someone move so fast to punch the appropriate buttons to release me. I have also not heard anyone apologize so profusely!  I had to laugh (which amazed her). I was told there were women who would NOT take a circumstance like this with humor. I did think that was too bad as most of the good stories come from crazy stuff like this and the ability to see the funny side of it.

My thought was that if this was the worst life dealt me I had better get on my knees and thank the Lord. If you do have concerns about having a mammogram; I love this advice from Barbara Johnson – Breast Gymnastics. If you are still concerned and need something to calm you down make sure you open a bottle and take a big whiff of Stress Away…..maybe even apply some to your wrists and just keep sniffing.

However you feel about mammograms just make sure you get one done as it could possibly save your life. I have friends who have had breast cancer and it is a hard road to walk. Have your mammogram and catch it early.

Happy Preparing and Happy Mammogram!!

.

“Whoever thought of the word mammogram?
Every time I hear it I think I am supposed
to put my breast in an envelope
and send it to someone.”
-Maxine

 

 

 

 

 

Bars That Don’t Last

 

 

The Last of the Caramel Rice Krispy Bars.JPG

I spent last week baking sheet cakes for my nephews’ wedding, delivering cakes to the Events Center, attending the wedding,  cutting cake at the wedding, and the weekend recuperating from cake making, baking, taking and cutting.

I say recuperating because in my haste to get the cakes into the event center on Thursday, I tried to make a new doorway. Yup, I was not paying attention and tried walking through a solid pane of glass. (In my defense…..it was right next to the actual doorway.) My nose did not fare too well. If you have ever heard the term “bled like a stuck hog” that would adequately describe it.

I was fortunate that my sister and niece showed up right as I did this. Yes, it did hurt my pride that they saw me doing a stupid thing, but it was really a God thing that they showed up when they did as I was not feeling too good after that. It is amazing how a person (me) can hurt like that and beat themselves up more yet because of pride and hating to look stupid.  I think I will be memorizing the verse at the bottom as a reminder.

I spent some time laying on a bench in the restroom; waiting for the cut on my nose (from my glasses) to quit bleeding and then waiting for the lightheadedness to pass. Normally I can take a lot but this one really knocked me silly for a time.

The rest of the day (and the next day) was spent applying ice and essential oils to my nose in the hope it would not swell outrageously; and around my eyes in the hope of avoiding a “raccoon-like” appearance.

By the time the wedding started ,on Friday, it did not look too bad; other than the cut on the bridge of my nose. My kids, who are detail oriented, did notice immediately and needed to know what happened. I told them I had tangled with a pane of glass and lost.  After being properly sympathetic they did a lot of smirking. I can’t blame them I probably would have also!

When leaving the reception, after the dance, my nephew graciously pointed out which were the doors and which was the glass pane that I should avoid. (I love you too Spencer!)  And yes, I do love my kids and those nieces and nephews. They are wonderful people and have the funniest sense of humor….slightly twisted…..but funny.  Life would be pretty dull without them.

My kids – those who could make it here for the wedding – came on Saturday to spend some time.  And it was a great time! I wanted to make something simple for an afternoon snack so I chose an all time favorite……Caramel Rice Krispy Bars.

These bars are amazing and really take the regular Rice Krispy Bars up way more than one notch. Another plus is the fact they are so very easy to make. (after my marathon cake baking and face smashing experience I was all for simple and easy.)

Caramel Rice Krispy Bars
1/4 cup margarine
6 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
(Note: you will need to make this twice.)
14 oz. pkg. caramels
1/4 cup margarine
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Melt 1/4 cup margarine and marshmallows. (I do this in the microwave)
Add cereal and pat into buttered 9×13 inch pan.
Melt caramels, 1/4 cup margarine and condensed milk. (also in microwave)
Pour over layer of Rice Krispies in pan
Refrigerate for 30 – 40 minutes
Prepare another batch of the cereal mixture and put on top of caramel layer.
Keep refrigerated

I would have taken a picture of a bigger bar and put it on a plate for a nicer presentation; but the photo I used is definitely what your pan will look like very quickly when you serve these.  They do not stick around very long and any caramel left in the bottom usually gets scraped up and eaten.

No cakes were harmed in the
incident with the
pane of glass.
Faye K.

For am I now seeking the approval of man,
or of God?
Galatians 1:10a

Corn Flake Cookies and Grandkids

Cornflake Cookies

I have a feeling I am going to be doing some baking and snack making in the coming days.  My grandkids are coming and being a grandma I plan to supply some sweet goodies!

One of the family favorite cookie recipes is Cornflake Cookies.  These are no-bake nuggets of goodness.  When I mentioned them to my husband he requested I make a batch tonight.  I responded that if I did make them tonight they would be gone before the grandkids got here.  He did not see a problem with that.

Seriously, if you are in a pinch to put a treat together in a hurry, these really are a breeze to make.  And they do involve cereal and peanut butter so you get grains and protein….. almost like eating breakfast.  Almost.

I am thinking this might be fun to do with the grandkids. If nothing else it will be interesting as the kiddoes are 2 and almost 5.  I have a feeling there will be as many cookies ending up in their mouths as on the tray.

Corn Flake Cookies
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
2 cups crunchy peanut butter
6 cups corn flakes
Cook sugar and syrup together until hot – do not boil
Add peanut butter, stir till melted
Add corn flakes
Drop on wax paper with spoon and let cool
Enjoy!

This cookie recipe is from a cookbook that was first published in the 60’s as a fundraiser. It was so popular in this area they did five printings!  I have my copy that I received as a bridal shower gift many years ago.  It is stained, worn and ragged but the recipes are timeless.

Western Chapter Cookbook

A few years ago I also received my Grandma’s copy.  I love using hers as it is filled with her writing and notes on her favorites.  It is also full of recipes clipped from newspapers.  It brings back lots of memories of Grandma.

I also want to try making some homemade playdough that have essential oils in them.  I am thinking some with lavender for calming……not sure if I will need the calming or the kids.  Maybe even grandpa will need to play with some. I found a recipe for playdough on the Prairie Homestead.  It looks fairly easy.

Here is the recipe:

Basic Homemade Playdough Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 tablespoons liquid cooking oil (I used olive oil, since that’s all I had, but anything will work!)
  • Food coloring
  • 6-8 drops of essential oils of your choice
    stir flour, salt and cream of tarter in sauce pan.
    add in water, cooking oil and food coloring till smooth
    on medium low heat stir till it forms  ball
    when it reaches play dough consistency remove from heat and let cool 3-4 minutes
    add essential oils of choice
    store in fridge in air tight container
  • Essential Oil Options

    • Lime: for uplifting and energizing
    • Lemon: for focus and clarity
    • Lavender: for calming and promoting restful sleep
    • Wild Orange: for uplifting and energizing
    • Grapefruit: uplifting and relieves tension
    • Peppermint: invigorating and provides mental clarity

 

I will update you on how these ventures turn out. We will see how the cookie making goes and hopefully the grandkids will make some great memories with this Chicken Grandma as the days go by.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely
so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
Teach them to your children
and to their children after them.
(Deut. 4:9)