Saturday, July 23, 2011

Focusing on Things Above

bring into focus..

just a little time before I go back to work. I want to say something about focus. we can either focus on the world around us, focus on something that makes us feel uneasy...or we can turn our focus to God.

something I wrote back in 2009.   

This is so true.   We can focus all our energy and time on what's happening with Gas Prices; Droughts; Our Bank Accounts; whatever your mind takes you throughout the day.   

OR   We can adjust our focus on things above.   Whatever  is True,  Beautiful, .... putting our Trust in the Father of Heaven.   Trusting that God will see us through no matter what.   No matter what our bank account says;  No matter what depressing news we hear  whether it be on television or radio.

Let us place our Focus on Jesus.   After all He already knows what we need.   

Blessings on your day~  Mary 

Friday Blog Hop

A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

I would like to welcome my new followers!   I sure appreciate your kind comments, and for the invitation to join in the Friday Blog Hop.   As you can see I did.  A little late mind you, but I'm still here. ;)    Thank you!!

Our day was turned in a different direction... we came to the aid of my aunt & uncle during a family emergency.   He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.   Thank God, it wasn't anything serious to keep him in the hospital over night.   He was able to come home.   Anyway, I'm glad we were home when this all took place.  

Is the weather horribly hot where you live?   We haven't had any rain in so long a time that the ground is breaking up.    There was a short shower over on the other side of town, but a lot of good it did for us...  we didn't see or feel one drop!   I'm glad someone saw and enjoyed the shower.   The heat nearly knocks us over, the temps are hovering around in the high 90's and possibly triple digits.    

The other evening, I was standing in the kitchen doing something at the sink when I felt a wet spot on the rug.   I thought it probably came from the dogs mouth as she sometimes drips water after lapping up a big drink from her bowl.   But then I bent down to feel the rug....yup, it was wet alright.  Only the entire end of the rug was drenched!!   I started to freak out, thought the water pipe had burst or the drain had leaked....I didn't know what had gone wrong.   Called hubby at work, to say the pipe probably leaked out....then he said...if it were that the bottom cabinet would be soaked too-- I felt around, okay so it was dry....but where was the water coming from?!?   Upon opening the other cabinet door that's where I found a huge puddle!   A while back, my husband thought it would be good to store water in clean milk jugs for whenever we needed water.   Well!  One of the jugs was almost empty!!    I grabbed out most of the jugs and dumped the water unto my parched plants.   I was mad of course, but thankful for the fact it wasn't the pipes.   The mess was cleaned up...however it kinda ruined some of the floor.   Yuk.   It really can't be seen.. so that's good.  

It's getting rather late so I'll be going.   For those of us having to endure this HEAT....take it easy!  Don't forget to check on your animals.   :o)   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a word about body splashes

This has nothing to do with buying body splashes, this about formulating your own from scratch.   

a word on body splashes
work in a ventilated area when using essential oils or fragrance oils of any kind.  One can be overcome with fumes from these oils.   I have experienced this myself.  On top of it all - I have asthma too, so before I knew it... I was coughing and gagging... then quickly moving to the great out of doors for a breath of fresh air!!    

Also wearing a mask (paper or cloth) can be beneficial.  

When working with oils of any kind (especially essential oils) always wear disposable gloves, as this protects your hands from any burns or reactions to the oils you might have, its best to be cautious.   

When picking fragrances.   Consider what you like to wear most.   Are you floral or fruity?    Woodsy or oriental?     

In the summertime I prefer wearing a body splash as it not only cools my skin, but it's refreshing too.    The ones I have bought in the stores, may list their ingredients as natural, but many of the ingredients are hard to pronounce let alone read.   In my opinion everything we wear to what we eat should always be natural... why eat or wear something that may make us sick?   Should we only buy something because everyone else has this same product...and if it works for them it should do the same for me?     

I don't think so.  Especially since I found out that I have sensitivity with my skin and my face.   The products I see advertised on television may promise radiant skin.   But for me it produced blotchy cr*p.    Soap (commercial based) has become an enemy for my skin, too.   This is why I have turned to wearing natural based products.   Whether I make them for myself or I purchase them.   They had better be natural.  

Here's something I would have never imagined using.  Vodka!   I'm not a drinker - casual or otherwise... so why would I have it in the house or consider buying it??    ;)

Simply because it's an ingredient to use with distilled water to make a homemade version of body splash.   Amazing huh?!?   I thought so too.   Vodka (high-quality, 100 proof) is best for recipes that call for  alcohol (rubbing alcohol).   I hope this makes sense! :O)    Rubbing alcohol has an offensive odor and it evaporates a bit too quickly.    

Have you ever purchase a body splash or cologne... that smells of rubbing alcohol?   After spraying it on your wrist ...its really hard to tell the scent cause all you smell is the alcohol.

Of course you wouldn't want to ingest the vodka once its all mixed together to produce your body splash.  Or would you.   *giggle*  

And when using a recipe, follow it the final product is nice to use.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Refreshing Peppermint Foot Spray

I will tell you after such a terrible hot day... it nice to treat those hard working feet to a refresh of peppermint!  Here's the recipe to make it yourself. ;)

1/2 Cup of witch hazel
12 drops of peppermint essential oil

Combine the ingredients and put the mixture in a decorative spray bottle, or even a misting spray bottle.   Make sure to label it with instructions to shake before use.

Shelf life is 6-8 months.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Boost my Blog Friday


                                                                                          Pumping up the boosting power of Boost My Blog Friday!

Psalm 37:4

Here's Dollie!

Getting crazy over a bunny!


How to Make Basic Soap

My quest for soap making has come to a "wait and see" period of time.     Although I probably have some ingredients on hand, I would still need to get a few more things.    Which would run up a chunk of change.   We are on a budget.   I think what will satisfy my desire to produce something homemade is stuff I already have on hand.   If you already make soap, or you are a beginner... but have no idea where to get your hands on some recipes.... I may have what you are looking for!  

Basic No-Weighing Soap:
this does not require using a scale at all.   This recipe looks good to me and I think you'll like it.    You'll need:  Vegetable Shortening - 6 lbs. (common sizes are 3 and 6 lb cans)
                           Coconut Oil  -  14 Fl. oz  (get this from a health food store, use the entire jar);   3/4 Cups of Olive Oil;  Lye - 12 oz. can dissolved in 2-3/4 cup distilled water;
          Lilly of the Valley FO - 2 Tablespoons (opt)   
**If I were making this soap, I would prefer to use Georgia Peach FO, but you can add whatever Fragrance Oil you would like. ** 

♥ Soap making info ♥
Q. Is there a way to make soap without having to use Lye?
A. The strong acid in Lye is what enables it to react with the fats and oils to make soap.

Q. What should I use to protect myself when using Lye?
A. Get a good pair of gloves, apron, shoes, and knowledge.   Use good fitting rubber gloves so that they don't interfere with your fingers.  Goggles or glasses that cover your entire eye area.  One teeny drop of Lye can burn off a part of an eyebrow or worse damage your eye.  Protection is always best!    

♥ Although this isn't a complete list of know-how, I wanted to at least point you in the right direction....its good to know these things.   Purchasing a book on soap making would probably be the best source of information.♥

♥ Don't forget there is a strong odor that comes from using Lye... make sure to have a good face mask, and work where there's an open window, so you're not overcome with fumes.♥


Paula Deen Style Giveaway!

Be sure to visit The Old White Barn  
for your chance to win a set of Tin Woodsman Pewter Measuring Spoons!!    The contest begins 7/14/2011 through 7/21/2011...
        Everyone loves Paula Deen!   

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Song of the Busy Bee - 1917

From the book Work and Play with Language

Buzz!  Buzz!  Buzz!                                                                 

This is the song of the bee.

His legs are of yellow;

A jolly good fellow,

And yet a great worker is he.

In days that are sunny

He's getting his honey;

In days that are cloudy

He's making his wax;

On pinks and on lilies,

And gay daffodillies,

And columbine blossoms,

He levies a tax.

Buzz!  Buzz!  Buzz!

The sweet smelling clover,

He, humming, hangs over;

The scent of the roses

Makes fragrant his wings;

He never gets lazy;

From thistle and daisy,

And weeds in the meadow,

Some treasure he brings.

Buzz!  Buzz!  Buzz!

From morning's first light

Till the coming of night,

He's singing and toiling

The summer day through.

Oh! we may get weary;

And think work is dreary;

'Tis  harder by far

To have nothing to do.        written by Marion Douglas 

Do a Kindness - circa 1902

from circa 1902    Sunday School Recitations

Do a kindness, do it well;
Angels will the story tell.

Do a kindness; tell it not;
Angel hands will mark the spot.

Do a kindness; count no gain;
Angels sing it in refrain.

Do a kindness; though no story;
It may grace, 'twill ring in glory.

Do a kindness; though tis small.
Angels' voices sing it all.

Do a kindness; never mind!
What you lose the angels find.

Do a kindness; small or great,
'Twill come back in double weight.

Do a kindness; never fret!
No good deed has been lost yet.

Do a kindness!  Do it now!
Angels know it all, somehow.

Do a kindness any time;
Angels weave it into rhyme.

Kindly deeds, and thoughts, and words,  

Bless the world like songs of birds.

written by Helen K. Chace 



Do you have days when .... you get up but don't get dressed.
                       Wash your face.... and not comb your hair.

                                        Stay in your jammies until noon.   
                                            Surf the internet...    chat on the phone....

                                          hunt around in the kitchen cupboards for something sweet to eat.

Open the fridge, hoping to find the stash of chocolate chip cookie dough.... or last piece of chocolate cake.    

                                    .....After stuffing yourself.... you secretly wished you hadn't eaten it.

What about leaving the dishes in the sink.   Stacking the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.... then just wandering off ... then forgetting what you were about to do.   

..... Then the door bell rings....  UH-OH, what do you do.
                                          If I know its my mother popping over for a surprise visit..... I Run like heck!, quickly scooping up the left over laundry that's been in the chair for a day or so.... just to throw it upon the unmade bed.    Run really fast into the a brush over my hair...and rinse my mouth with toothpaste!      Then hurry-hurry throw some clothes on....
Calmly walk to the door....and smile.     All the while hoping and praying she doesn't have to use the bathroom....  'cause you forgot to clean it.    
......Hoping she doesn't look past the doorway into the kitchen, cause the dishes are still in the sink.   
                                      ......  and really hoping she doesn't look into the laundry hamper....'cause there's jeans and socks sticking out from under the closed lid.

......  another day comes.... and I am dressed.  Hair combed teeth brushed.  Things are put away.   Laundry is nearly finished up....  and guess what... no one comes to visit.   When I look icky, .... playing it lazy...  that's when I get visitors.    What about you?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Decisions, Decisions....

As I mentioned in a previous post..... I've been on the hunt for homemade products...   that I can produce here in my kitchen  or  workshop.   I've not ever made old-fashioned soap... melt n' pour is easy.. but not as creative as I would like to be.   

                                                                             Working with lye has me worried a bit.    Lye of course is dangerous.    Soap wouldn't be soap without it.    Store bought soap is detergent based.   I haven't purchased regular soap from a store in many years.   

Ha Ha....  yes, I still bathe.    But I use my melt n' pour soaps or I will buy homemade soap. ;)

                                                                                                       I've got to decide if it would be worth my money and effort to make this.     Have many of you ever made your own soap?   How long have you've been creating your own soap?     I would appreciate your comments!    

Balm those Lovely Lips!

Extremely hot or cold weather can chap our lips.    There are some really good lip balms out there in the market place... I use one that is similar to BB's, just not as expensive.     Lately, I've been on the hunt for something that can be homemade, with items and ingredients I have on hand.  

Here's one I think will be just as nice to make and use.  ♥ Vanilla Lip Balm ♥ 

Ingredients:  1 tablespoon petroleum jelly
                    1/2 teaspoon beeswax, grated

                    5 drops vanilla oil      (do not use vanilla flavoring!)  
(you'll need to use a vanilla oil that is Body Safe* do not use oils that are for making candles...this would not be safe for your face). 

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the petroleum jelly and beeswax for 30 seconds on high until melted.   Remove from oven.   Stir in the vanilla oil.   Pour mixture into a small jar with lid or metal tin. 
Nature's Hairspray

1/2 Cup distilled water                    

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

15 drops of fragrance oil

In a small nonreactive saucepan, bring water to a boil, then stir in the corn syrup until dissolved.    Remove from heat and stir in the fragrance oil.  Let cool and store in a spray bottle.

**I've not tried this recipe so I don't know how it will actually work.    I was thinking the corn syrup might attract bugs.**    Just my 2 cents worth.


"Clearing the Air"

I love cute, bottled air freshener sprays.   Glade being one of my favorites......  however, you don't really know for sure what your spraying into the air.   Who knows?   

Now you can know what's going out into the air.... by creating your own!  

You'll need to select an Essential Oil, that smells really fresh and clean.  
Then....   you'll need distilled water.   

Use 12 or 13 drops of oil to 8 or 9 tablespoons water, pour the ingredients into a spray bottle.   Shake to mix well.     You'll need to shake before each use.    
**Be careful**  do not spray onto your skin.**    Please use caution when using any kind of Essential Oils.**     

Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard 

Ingredients:  4 skinless, boneless chicken breast  (4 ounces each)

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 Cup milk

1 Cup vegetable oil for frying

Honey Mustard:

1/2 Cup honey

1/4 Cup Mustard

Serves 6.

* Cut the chicken into 1/2 x 2 inch strips.   For honey mustard sauce, blend honey and mustard in a small bowl.  Set aside.

* Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.    Dip chicken in milk.   Roll in flour mixture to coat well.   Place chicken on waxed paper.

* Pour 1/4 inch oil in a large heavy skillet.   Heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees or until a cube of white bread dropped in oil browns evenly in 1 minute.

* Divide chicken into batches.  Place chicken in an even layer in hot oil.    Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp.    Drain on paper towels.  Serve with sauce.

* Variation*   Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to the flour and use 1 cup apple jelly mixed with 1/2  teaspoon mustard for a new dipping sauce.  

Lavender oil

The Many Uses and Nature of Lavender Essential Oil

By JC Shannon

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL , and other LAVENDER PRODUCTS, has a long running popularity as a folk remedy and the scent is familiar to almost everyone. It is thought of as one of the most versatile of essential oils.

In 1928, while working in his family's perfume factory, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé burned his hand. To cool the burn, he plunged his hand into a vat of LAVENDER OIL sitting nearby. He was amazed to find not only did the essential oil speed the healing but it also prevented scarring.
While LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL is used as a cosmetic water and to scent linen, it has a myriad of other uses and is inarguable the best essential oil to have in your homes. It is good for cleansing cuts and scratches. It works well in skin care. It has been recognized for it’s healing properties for burns and wounds.

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL appears to have a cell regenerating action. It is soothing and has a topical analgesic action that helps with itching. When used with pain medication, it increases the effects of the medication. It is also antibacterial and moderately anti-fungal

Traditionally LAVENDER OIL and other LAVENDER PRODUCTS have been used in aromatherapy to promote sleep, relaxation and to relieve anxiety. Studies show that when LAVENDER OIL was applied to the hands and feet there was a noticeable decrease in elevated pulse and respiration. Relaxation was seen and family members stated that they noticed a decrease in agitation in their ill loved ones. Lavender is thought to produce a sedative effect similar to some sleep aides, without the nasty side effects.
Throughout history, people have used LAVENDER PRODUCTS to make pillows for beds. The scent of the Lavender gives more restful sleep. The branches of the Lavender plant are often used in decoration, potpourris and sachets. They are also kept in linen closets to scent sheets and towels.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL , while not being a cure-all, is the best essential oil to have in your home for its many uses. We here at Rocky Mountain Oils sell a high quality, 100% therapeutic grade LAVENDER OIL that is well suited for all your needs.

(This information is provided for informational purposes only. It is not approved by the FDA nor is it provided in order to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body. Rocky Mountain Oils assumes no responsibility for such use. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with a physician or health care provider.)
Copyright © Rocky Mountain Oils LLC
This work may be transmitted via the Internet, or used on other web site, only if there this copyright info and link to are included.

Shoo, Fly SHOO!

Or in this case Mosquitoes.
                                                                Learn to make your own repellent.

Recipe:   10 drops of eucalyptus oil
                           20 drops of citronella oil
                           15 drops of cedarwood oil
                           1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
                           10 drops of pennyroyal

Combine:  all ingredients in a spray bottle.  (nothing fancy just a garden spray bottle will do!)     
        Spray a thin layer on the skin that is exposed to bugs.

**Make sure you test a spot on your skin or clothing to make sure there are no reactions.**

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lake on Ft. Bragg

This looks almost as pretty as the day I snapped the pic.    Always thought it would look good featured in a calendar.  

Taco Ring....anyone?

Putting the finishing touches on the Taco Ring.    Oh My, that sounds good about now... YUMMY.   I was demonstrating the many uses of the 15"- round baking stone.   This was a party I did for my in-laws and their family.   The year was 1999-2000.   If my memory serves me correctly.  For dessert they requested the Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake.    I've gained about 5 pounds just thinking about the cake alone!     I enjoyed doing this as a part time job.   

Some individuals thought I was part of the Merry Maids.   I could hardly believe the messes they would leave for me to clean up.  And that was before I started to cook and share my presentation.   The nerve!    

OK..... Sweet Dreams.      ~Mary~

There are times

You know there are times you may want to do this.  I'm just kiddin' around.   We were just kiddin' around with the camera.    With the lights out, we did some silly poses as the camera flashed.    This was 1985, we'd only been married for a year.    Who knows maybe I did feel like doing this!

This brings back memories…

good times my family had in Walt Disney World.   We drove down in December of 1974 and spent New Years there as well.
The temperature was zero degrees here in Indiana, but by the time we rolled into Florida it was a toasty 99 degrees.   

I have more post cards, however these are my favorites… The Haunted Mansion… Hovering over a riverbank, in “deathly splendor”, is the mysterious Haunted Mansion … an active retirement home for 999 happy ghosts, ghouls, an goblins “dying” to meet visitors.  

The Strolling Topiary Lane and Monorail:  Dumbo meets a “topiary cousin”, one of many shrubs grown into the shapes of Disney characters.   Nearby,  sleek monorail trains glide by on the “highway in the sky”, taking guests on a scenic journey to the Magic Kingdom.  

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea…. Mysterious sunken worlds and strange deep sea creatures lie ahead for guests joining Captain Nemo aboard the submarine Nautilus, for a voyage.

“The Vacation Kingdom of the World”   Guests play and often stay in Walt Disney World.   Exciting theme resorts are located along the shores of beautiful Bay Lake and the picturesque Seven Seas Lagoon…gateway to the Magic Kingdom.

My fondest memory has to be the Haunted Mansion and the ride on the Monorail.   Back then, there wasn’t as many attractions as there is today.   In fact,  Space Mountain wasn’t even built yet…. it was just in its beginning stages.    As my dad and I were waiting in line…. he looked at me and said “I wonder what that will be?”  pointing to the mess of construction.    I couldn’t imagine.    

I used to have a book on the beginnings of Walt Disney World.   It was kept buried in a desk drawer at home.    I’m sure its been thrown out.   I can’t imagine something like that still being around at my parents house.    Parents: Don’t give a kid of 11 the responsibility of saving a keepsake.  It could’ve been worth something…. possibly.    
The Book may be gone forever…..but the BAG lives on!   Here’s an original just for old times sake.     Complete with an old smell of “dusty books”.      But its there.   Tucked away among the photographs of yesteryear. 
I hope you have enjoyed this memorable occasion.     As I turn off the light and crawl into bed…visions of Disney World will be in my head.    Good Night. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


We were living in Japan for awhile where we had the fun of living in these 9 story apartments.     We lived on the 3rd floor.   The view out of our windows was perfect...   the majesty of Mt. Fuji set the scene.   Although it was 50 miles away, on a good day we could see the snow blowing across the top, with the aid of binoculars.  It was beautiful.     After a month of hot, sticky, hazy weather... we would finally see some relief in the form of a typhoon.   We couldn't wait as temperatures had climbed to 102!    We bought the necessary groceries to see us through the long night and into the following days ahead. And enough batteries in case the lights went off.       For the most part, our 2-bedroom apartment had plenty of room inside as well as outside.   The biggest balcony just off the side of our living room area could hold about 10 to 15 people (standing) or less if adding chairs.    This was mostly used to work on bicycles, as it was a hobby of my husband.     That evening, the horrific wind and rain of the typhoon came through.   We slept well into the night, occasionally waking to see if there were any trees blown over.    The next morning we opened the sliding doors to feel the cool fresh breeze on our faces.   We noticed we could now see all of the mountains clearly.   And we noticed something else too,... it looked as if someone had lost their shaving cream can as it bounced off the railings it left a trail of white puffy foam!  After further investigation we saw the empty dented can lying in the grass below.    But wait, there was something else  on the railing... as we walked closer we could see it resembled potato salad?!?  Or.... was it.... no it couldn't be.... we just thought...  don't touch it maybe the wind will blow it off.   About dinner time, there was a loud knock at the door.   Upon opening the door, a middle-aged woman stood with a disgusted look..."Oh, I'm here to tell you that I live on the 7th floor... and the people on the 8th floor decided to have a Typhoon Party last night, did you hear them?!?!"  "Well I DID!!!  Someone BARFED all over my balcony!!!, and I'm so disgusted!!!"   She left our place in a HUFF!    It was clear to us what that mess was all over the railing.... how utterly GROSS.   Just the thought of someone being so rude made me want to toss my cookies too.   Well, we weren't going to touch it, that stuff would either have to blow off or whatever!!     Just a few minutes after the lady left, another knock at the door.   This time there was a bald-headed man standing with a nasty bucket of water in his hand with a scrub brush in the other.  " I'm here to clean the mess off of your balcony."   "Oh really!!" my husband responded.   "Don't worry about it, I'll get it." my husband said.    What was that man thinking??!!  There was no way he was going to use that nasty water to clean off our balcony railing!! 

The moral of the story~ always be considerate of the neighbors.


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