Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Winds Are Blowing


The holiday winds have started to rise and with them comes a great whirlwind of activity that will reach tornadic levels by the time Christmas gets here.

Most of us love the holidays and we like a little chaos as well but it can easily get out of hand and leave us wondering where the days went, feeling let down a little and feeling like we missed something.

When I was a kid my Dad valued his quiet time. He had some outdated (or were they?) rules about certain times and days for quiet activity. We knew when we could talk, be loud and crazy and we knew when to settle down to do something quiet or reflective. During those quiet times, I read, I learned to draw and paint, and I wrote in a journal.

Sometimes Dad took us out to look at the night sky and although we talked and asked questions at those times, we mostly just stared in wonder at the vastness of the sky and all the stars in it.

What does that have to do with the holidays you may ask? Well plenty actually, because it is a good time to teach our children (and ourselves) to stop and take time to reflect; reflect on the birth of Christ and reflect on what character traits to encourage in our children and grandchildren in the days ahead.

Also, it's good to remember to give yourself time to just breathe and be thankful for what you have and not stress about what you do not have or what you think the kids need to have or what entertaining you think you need to do.

Be thankful at Thanksgiving and be joyful at Christmas; most of all teach yourself and your children to slow down and have some quiet times. Life is not supposed to be an endless series of tornadoes. Take time to enjoy the calm weather too.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Leaf Magic

Even though my kids are grown and gone, I still have children's books around the house. I have classics that I read as a kid, books I read to my kids and now I read to my grandchildren when they visit.

I thinks this book is a real treasure. It's called Leaf Magic, by Margaret Mahy and was written in the 1970s.

This book is about a boy who wants a dog but finds instead that he is being followed home by a big orange leaf. The rest is magic. :-)

Leaf Magic by Margaret Mahy

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Morning Mishaps

Well this day certainly didn't start out as well as I would have liked. Chase's usual morning pee mess ran between the grooves of the tile and under the couch and into a hard-to-get-to corner.  I had to completely pull out the couch and move stuff in order to get his mess cleaned up. If he were not 17 years old and had bladder cancer for two years, I would make him sleep outside. That is not even an option though, because it would just not be right for a dog as old as he is to be outside all night, when I know he can't help it. If he died out there during the night I would never forgive myself. Still, it doesnt make my life any easier. I am seriously considering getting him dog diapers, they would be ideal, but I am going to bet he will pull them off.

The rest of the morning consisted of feeding dogs, and giving them their pills, taking my pills, making breakfast, packing my lunch, doing a little picking up around the house, and getting out meat for supper and for making more dog food. I did manage to read one chapter in the bible and by that time, it was time to get ready for work.

I got my store list made this morning and thought about the need for a home management file to keep on my phone with all the things that need to get done. I am thinking a workbook in Evernote and adding notes to it. The only thing I am not crazy about with Evernote is it moves most recently opened notes to the top of the list and I would rather have them in alphabetical order. Maybe there is an option I have missed?

Oh, I almost had a stroke because my computer wouldn't turn on this morning. I checked the obvious, that it had come unplugged but that was good so finally, I hauled the laptop back into the office from the living room and plugged it in to a different cord there and it came right up so apparently the other cord is bad. I was relieved because I had not yet backed up a bunch of  recent entries on my journal software. You can bet I will be doing it tonight!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Crab Cakes and Naps

I spent the weekend doing very little. I napped. I worked on some updates I am doing to a journal I am writing for family history purposes, did a teensy bit of housework, and went to church on Sunday.

I stay tired due to sleep issues and being a light sleeper to begin with; it makes for long and frustrating days.  I decided that tonight I am going to give one of those Sleepy-time teas with valerian a whirl and see if it doesn't relax me more.

Last night we had crab cakes for supper. I bought them mostly as a treat for hubby. They are not cheap but I figured "Hey, he works hard so he is worth it". So for my $15 I got 8 -  two inch size crab cakes. I was not really impressed. I mean it was enough, hubby had 4, mom-in-law and I had 2 each and with the side it was plenty, but I was just perturbed at the cost for so little product. I have never made my own crab cakes but I think it would have to be cheaper to buy the plain crab meat and do my own next time.

I spent the rest of the evening going through several cookbooks. "Extending the Table", "Simply in Season", and "More With Less". These cookbooks have practical, frugal recipes from the U.S. and other countries. I made a list of about 10 new recipes to try and I will write about the recipes after we see how we like them.

Have a blessed day!
Nan


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Foraging Class Coming Up!

If you are within driving distance of Washington-on-the-Brazos Historical site in TX and would like to learn about foraging edible plants, here is your opportunity!

I am really looking forward to this class! Mark Vorderbruggen is an expert on the subject and author of "Idiots Guide to Foraging".

Wild Edibles/Foraging class at Washington-on-the-Brazos Historical Site on Nov. 5th, 10am to 2pm. Class is free.

Taught by Mark "Merriwether" Vorderbruggen www.foragingtexas.com
By the way, if this location or date is not good for you, there are other classes he is teaching and you will find info at the link above!

Information and email to register for the class is here: http://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/washington-on-the-brazos/foraging-for-food

Herbal Adventures

I got into Herbs and essential oils over a year ago. I started out being interested in essential oils and I do still like them but got kind of disgusted with all the snobbery over which brands work best and that depended on who was selling a certain brand.

I decided to take a more basic approach and learn about the herbs themselves. Get down to the basic plant. I bought a course to take but have only done a little reading and I really need to get with it. I definitely am interested but by the time I get home, studying is not at the top of my list of things I want to do. Still, that is the only way I will become really good at herbal medicine.

Last night I went to Walmart and searched out some of the Traditional Medicinals brand teas. The company was founded by Rosemary Gladstar and it is her herbal course that I am taking. I got the Immune Support tea and one for congestion relief. This morning I tried the immune support tea and it is really good!  It is made with echinacea, lemongrass and spearmint. Since I already have echinacea on hand, I ordered the lemon grass and the spearmint to try and make my own immune support tea from bulk so it will be cheaper.  While I was ordering, I also got some peppermint leaf and also stevia powder to use as sweetener.

I am fired up! I whole-heartedly believe in the nutrition of plants. I want to wildcraft my own remedies not only from home grown herbs but I want to harvest and use medicinal Texas plants as well.