Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Please consider helping

My dear friend Jen lost her son Daius to a drowning accident when there was still ice on the pond. This is a family I've known for years. We both homeschooled (my kids are grown now) and I have loved their family very much. Please consider helping them out in this time of need. It's heartbreaking to me to think of losing a child at all but then there's all these bills from he accident coming in as well. Prayer is best, as we know YHWH hears. Helping financially can help with at least part of their burden. Here is the link to their GoFundMe.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Basic muffins for Sabbath

I thought it might be a good idea to share a few Sabbath things with my readers. Every week we prepare our food in advance of sundown Friday evening so we can have a full Sabbath! Here is the muffin recipe I am currently using to make things easier. 

Basic Muffins*
2 ¼ cups freshly milled flour (hard red)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
½ cup oil
½ cup honey (today I will be using molasses because it's what is most convenient for me)

Measure dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Add liquids and mix until well mixed. Drop by spoofuls into greased 12 cup muffin or 24 cup mini muffin pan. An ice cream scoop works great for standard 12 cup muffin pan and a cookie scoop works great for mini muffins. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

(*This recipe is from The Bread Beckers Recipe Collection and has served me very well for many years! I would recommend getting this recipe book! It's full of all kinds of information. Also, they have a CD called "Do not eat the bread of idleness" which has excellent teaching on food and health!! )

To this I usually add cinnamon and raisins, and since my Honey can't use milk I do coconut milk. This makes an excellent breakfast for our family of 4 on Sabbath!! Sometimes we make a few boiled eggs in case someone doesn't want something sweet, though these are not very sweet at all. 

Shabbat Shalom!!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sabbath vacation thoughts

Today is the end of Passover this year and the first week of the Omer.

My husband has had the whole week off. As usual, the first day or two of his vacation there is work to be done and it takes a little time for him to settle into being home, but by the end all we can think is we will miss each other like crazy! He doesn't go back to work until Monday but I find myself just staring at him like I won't see him until next vacation in the fall.

 Relationships are funny that way. So many little things change the way we interact and respond to one another. Usually by this time on Sabbath I feel the need to talk to him- we don't talk about unimportant things when we get time to talk- we talk about all the business ends of life which include the grandchildren, our daughters and their husbands, house remodel, our garden plans, chickens, etc... but rarely do we sit and just look at each other. Or sit in the same room quietly - well I am not usually quiet and content to just be in the same room and not talk. But this far into his vacation I feel I can just be where he is and be content not to talk about anything in particular. It's nice. It's what people go on vacation to exotic places for- to unwind and just start feeling content with what is happening right now, which can be something or nothing. We haven't taken any kind of exotic vacation. We used to come here to my in-laws house if my husband had time off. It was only about 45 minutes away from home, everyone loved visiting, and we didn't have to stay gone from home long. We have not gone to the beach or on a ski trip for the week. We haven't seen museums that were far from home. We never took the kids to theme parks that meant driving more than an hour or so, until last fall when we went to the NC Zoo. It's about 4 hours away but still in our home state. We went with family. We do everything with family. While we have lost four close family members in the past decade we have gained two sons-in-law and two grandchildren and a new nephew.

 Life is like that- we are always being replaced by someone else.

Friends become family and there are more people added to the family all the time. 

There are some friends who I haven't seen in a long time but they are still friends, but have not become family. Then there are friends who we haven't seen in a shorter time that are like family, and I know we will pick up where we left off when we see each other again. When my girls were little, meeting friends and going places were much more important. Now, I am content to just be at home, sitting here typing on my computer in the same room with my Honey, not talking, and thinking about how nice the quiet is. Maybe it's getting older. Maybe it's the time together. Maybe its the fact that it's not only weekly Sabbath but the end of the week of Unleavened Bread and I can think clearer without the leaven teeming throughout my body and brain. No matter what the case, I am feeling rather content with life as it is at this moment, doing nothing in particular and loving the people YHWH has made family.

(not pictured: Wanda Wheeler, Lacy Wheeler, Joey Charles, Nellie and Hannah Schools, and Eric Charles, but I still love them. :) )

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Rambling about connections

This morning I happened upon an Instagram account that I felt an instant connection with. As I was looking at her pictures, I thought of my mother and my childhood. The colors and style of the people in the pictures, the stories that go along with it, and the subject matter remind me of my childhood- before I was even 10 probably. There is a picture of my mother, squatted down in front of a bush with me in her arms. She has long lovely hair and I am probably between 2-3. The picture is faded which tells the time period it was taken in- the 1970's. The Instagram pictures I saw makes me think of my parents- of how when I was little I was more or less free. My parents showed me the world through their eyes. I remember Dad chopping wood for the fireplace and Mom rescuing baby birds and bugs with me. They made yogurt and cheese and wine. I remember the flavors and smells. It was a simple time. We always had animals- dogs, rabbits, a cat, some chickens, all at different times but it has defined my life. It also makes me wonder, how much of me is actually me? Where did my sense of style come from? My sense of things that are repulsive or that I find it taught or caught from my parents? How much of what I do hearkens back to my ancestors? How much of it belonged to my grandparents, or even great-grandparents- whom I have met and knew some of? How ,any ideas are from aunts and uncles? The way I feel about things today- did I learn them from my parents? The things I like- are they mine? My obsessive learning about certain things while completely ignoring others- is that from my own way of thinking or is it because I have charismatic and dynamic parents? I come from a long line of people who are absolutely fantastic and are either loved or hated, but there is no in between. My family, on both sides, is pretty great and ingenious. I know I sound biased but truly, people who know my family members have strong opinions about them. Even within the family- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings- everyone has opinions about each other and I'm sure have played a part in the development of one another. Is it the close proximity of the people? Is it in our DNA? Can these things be taught? My husband and I are thinking of doing 23 and me to see where our people come from. Well, I come from my parents and so does he but beyond that. It's just when you meet a person, IRL or online, and you click with them- like you have grown up with them and they are your cousin from next door, or are the sister you never had, or remind you so strongly of something you didn't know you remembered until you saw it....what is that? Is it blood relation? Is it a regional consciousness? What part of our parents are the things we like and dislike today? What part of our ancestors is worth bringing into the present and passing on into the future? This is probably something I haven't thought of before I hit my 40's. I raised my kids with a strong sense of themselves- we homeschooled them and let them be themselves- we unschooled them so they could pursue their passions instead of jumping through hoops for someone else. I wonder if they know who they are- if they are themselves or a culmination of the people who they have come from? Can anyone answer that truly? Even considering such a thing might be part of some thought process I was gifted from my people. I guess I shall ponder this more and one day if I do the DNA test, I might find out more of who "my people" actually are. People are becoming clan-ish these days. This summer we went to the Highland Games on Grandfather mountain and discovered there are clans who are from the same area of Scotland and are considered family with us. My maiden name is Scottish and they usually have a clan tent but not this year. In fact, it was a small clan that joined forces with other small clans in the area for protection and became the Donald clan or MacDonald clan. That's interesting. The people there were so nice and called us cousins! It's funny but that is a place I have wanted to go for years and have learned lots about the area even before I thought my people might be from there. It's hard to tell things about your past when you're black in America. Some of my people were slaves so I have no idea where they come from. I wonder if some of my thoughts about race have to do with the long years of ancestry or if it's directly from my black and white parents. Do you wonder about your own thoughts? About where your likes and dislikes come from? I live in an area that is heavily pagan- and earth worship is pretty huge around here. The Christians are largely Baptists and are very opinionated about food and drink. Throwing in the college age people I grew up surrounded by, I'm sure some ideas came from the two extremes- hyper liberal and hyper conservative....if that's where my ideas came from. It's much to think on. So, self discovery is really about history then.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wanted: brush strokes

I am painting the trim, doors, and windows at my house. I love painting houses. It doesn't take long, isn't expensive, and the change is very dramatic for very low cost. I painted houses for a living for a short while before I was married and have done a little painting on the side since. My parents worked a while as house painters too.

Trim takes time. There's so much little work to be done. I use a long handled small paint brush- the kind artists use. Although I roll out walls and use a large brush designed for house painting for the doors and windows I really enjoy the tiny detail work around he glass and top and bottom of the trim. I like the look of the brush strokes so I intentionally leave them in when working with anything with gloss. They look so real and unashamed of being there although most people would not notice they are there. It's part of that window sash- part of that frame. I don't even tape off the glass! I let the drips run a little. I like that about painting windows- mistakes onto the glass are very forgiving. I know I can take a razor blade and get rid of any places the brush touched it. The glass is completely transparent and doesn't hide the accidental paint smudges nor the dirt and cobwebs even after having been painted. I don't think people are like that.

As I have been painting - maybe it's the fumes- maybe it was the heat- maybe it's the time alone- I have been thinking and almost at the point of tears lost in thought about these windows and how people are. I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of being "fun" and my children definitely don't know me as "the fun parent." I have never been that although I wanted to be. When they were little we spent time together by working together. There was always things that needed doing and they needed to know the value of hard work and they also needed to know working wouldn't kill them and they could stand back afterwards and feel that they accomplished something great, even if it was only dishes. I wanted them to know that houses do not run themselves and that human beings need comfort and there's always someone who has lugged the vacuum and mop and bucket around making sure their people have that comfort. When there is no one to do the background work, the up front things are not accomplished or if they are they might feel overwhelming when the up front people have to also do the background things. Trim is a background thing. Most people don't even think about it but it frames your view out of your windows and doors. So that is one way I have tried to show love over the years to my family- by making our home a place they could be themselves. Now, I see all of these memes that say happy children live in messy houses. Maybe. Perhaps they just are allowed to make a mess because someone will clean up after them. Someone has to wipe the fingerprints off the walls. Chaos is not a happy home in my opinion. I'm not talking about after the birthday party or when there's been an illness or a move or....I'm talking about every single day stuff- you can't cook if there are no clean dishes to cook with or eat off of. So, here I am, business as usual, and it hits me: I was not the fun parent. I am still not seen as "fun." Probably I was not the fun sister, not the fun child, not the fun friend, etc... All of my hobbies have been production hobbies of some sort. I make things.

Right now it's popular to be a DIYer but when that is over I will still be making things. I have done things that would benefit the most people- knitting socks, gloves, hats, baby blankets, etc.. Making quilts that warm people.... baking and cooking because my people have to eat so I learned to do things. I even learned new ways to get laundry clean! I turned those jobs into a game for my children and talked about these things like they were on par with reading a book of fluff, watching a movie for fun only, eating cake, and general goofing off. I played video games to spend time with my family but that was always really why. I have always been willing to do whatever people need to have done. Here are some of my brush strokes and there is some smudges of paint. I think deep down, I have done all of this for the good of other people but also because I have wanted to be needed. I know, most people want to feel necessary, but I think more than that I wanted to be wanted. Not just feel loved, but actually wanted. At the end of the day, when I am needed, I am tired. I wasn't also wanted. Just needed. Most of my relationships are all business. Family members know they can count on me to get things done so I don't get calls asking how I am doing without there being someone needing something. If asked what do I like to do I could honestly not answer that question right now because I do all the things but for all my people. What do I like? I have no idea. I think that's why I appreciate house painting. I don't have to be creative. I don't have to think. It is a pleasure only to my eyes to see the changes and the brushstrokes make it personal. Maybe I paint myself into the house. Who knows? I don't know, that's for sure. I do know that sometimes I just want to be wanted for me. Not for what I do or provide, but for me. Isn't that what everyone wants?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Golden paste

So I decided to try golden paste several times a day. I started it last week. I had relief from inflammation I didn't even really know I had on the very first day! The recipes sometimes are just for golden milk but I wanted to be able to make it once in a while but benefit from it daily. So, here's what has happened:

I wake up and can immediately walk without limping and pain in my knees, hips, and feet. 

While it's not about weight I have slimmed down a bit. My clothes for a bit differently than before. I can wear my rings again without them feeling too tight. 

I generally feel pretty good. The tiredness by midday that just plagued me seems to be about gone. 

I sleep well.

These are things I didn't notice because they have been constant and came on gradually. And it's been going for many years like this! Some days I would wear rings only to have to remove them by afternoon! I would wake up sore and swollen and be that way all day long. I had a few good days where I didn't feel like that. Almost all my joints had inflammation. So here it is, the recipe:

1/2 cup turmeric powder 
2 tsp black pepper
1Tbsp coconut oil 
1/4 c water

I put it all in a pot and heated it and stirred then put it in a jar and keep

It in the fridge. I use about one teaspoon in my coffee in the morning and the same amount in some rooibos chai I make in the evening. That's it. I don't put sweetener in my coffee but I use honey in my tea. These are drinks I have had regularly anyway. So try it! See how it makes you feel. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cleaning up the uncleanness

Living in the country means sometimes we get mice in the house. Well, we set a trap where we saw evidence and then it was gone. Not the trap, but any more evidence of a mouse. Until we got a smell under our sink. I found the mouse. It had drown in a vase that had been used to catch a leak and couldn't get out. Grossest thing I have ever seen or smelled in my life!

I have been cleaning the house for Passover- got down the curtains and they are in the wash, vacuumed down cobwebs, and my house is much brighter and smells better. Funny how such a small thing can make such a huge impact! The small mouse and the cobwebs are so different but they have the same result: uncleanness.

Throughout scripture there are examples of uncleanness and YHWH tells us not to be unclean and if we become unclean how to handle it. Here are a few examples:

Leviticus 5:2-3
'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.
Leviticus 15:27'Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.
Isaiah 52:11

Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD.
Leviticus 7:19

'Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh.
Leviticus 7:21

'When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.'"
Leviticus 11:8

'You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
Leviticus 11:24

'By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Leviticus 11:27

'Also whatever walks on its paws, among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Deuteronomy 14:8

"The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.
Leviticus 11:26

'Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you: whoever touches them becomes unclean.
Leviticus 11:36
'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean, though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Leviticus 11:39

'Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening.
Numbers 19:11

'The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.
Numbers 19:13

'Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
Numbers 19:16

'Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

As you can see, there are many ways to become unclean. This is a small sampling but there are more ways than this. Some folks don't care about cleanliness according to scripture and think it's just "for the Jews" or it's outdated or it's done away with. But how many people would touch a dead person and not wash up after and change their clothes? 

This leads me to another thought: how many of us sin and hide it or just don't deal with it as it comes? That mouse died in a hidden place. It took the rot of it's body to alert me that there was even a problem. And mice are tiny!! What about putting off dealing with it? I took down my curtains to wash them and of course it let in tons more light. So I started vacuuming cobwebs and it also had obscured the incoming light in such a way that I would never have noticed how dark my house had become without cleaning up the mess. I didn't even know when the spiders had made these little messes that enveloped by whole house! And to make matters worse, spiderwebs hold on to everything! Dead bug bodies, dust, dead skin and hair from anyone or anything that breezes by, and lots of leaven that I don't even notice. Sin is really like this. We do a thing and think "I will deal with this later" all the while that small sin is spreading it's invisible webs all over the place, in every corner or not becoming noticeable until it really starts to stink and everyone who walks by knows there's something wrong in our lives. 

So what are we to do? Can I clean every area of my house year around? Am I expected to? It's mostly rhetorical for myself because I think I probably *can* maintain more cleanliness than I have been over the past few years. Can everyone do this? Probably not. I think it depends on the place you are at in your life. When my kids were little I *didn't* live in the country and didn't get mice, but there was other uncleanliness I was surrounded by. It was easier in a way because I was the only one who was maintaining our home when they were little. I thought constantly about raising my daughters intentionally as opposed to accidentally letting things happen and come into their lives. I had no control over other family but I could control their friends, and that includes what they watched and read as well. I knew I didn't want them to have cobwebs in their lives. As they got older they had to become the ones who watched for mice and spiders for themselves with help from me and their Dad. Now they are grown women with their own husbands and children and it's their jobs to clean out the cobwebs, get rid of dead mice, and clean the things out of their lives *and* their families lives that secretly sneak in and set up shop making them unclean. What about you? Do you watch for opportunities to clean out the uncleanness and sin in your life? Do you wait until it's taken over? Do you wait until the smell is obvious to even look? 

I'm tackling the refrigerator next. I have left it undone for far too long! I hope you get the leaven out of your life and have a blessed Passover!!