Tuesday, July 8, 2014


My basil plants are producing beautifully this year! Every time I have grown this herb it has done well but this year has just been beautiful, green leaf after beautiful green leaf since right after they were planted.

I have sold them at a farmer’s market table, mixed them up in soups, tossed them in salads and plan to layer them with fresh mozarella and tomatoes. I have been reading all kinds of interesting ways to store basil and I have also been craving pesto so I gathered a grocery sack full. After giving them a good bath and spin in the salad spinner, I used some in this thrown together recipe for pesto:

Walnuts (I know pine nuts are the standard for this but they are outrageously expensive and these work just as well)

Olive oil (I tried to use a lot less than I’ve seen in recipes)

Parmesan cheese (I don’t recall adding this before but saw it in a recent recipe and happened to have some out for my son’s dinner so I threw some in!)

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Sea salt and pepper

I just pulsed this in the food processor a few times. It was delicious. I am taking advice from a fellow farmer’s market table vendor and covering it with a light layer of olive oil and refrigerating it over night. In the morning, I will remove some of the oil and freeze it! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Good Tea, Baby

My husband and I have had a bothersome cold of sorts ... we had stopped up heads and just wanted to be in bed for part of it. It finally started getting better but we still have this cough that seems to get more annoying at night than during the day.

I have been using ginger for a long time now (so many uses - look for a post about GINGER soon ;)
to help with coughs, colds and to warm up from the inside out. I've also used honey and lemon in hot water and along the way started putting the three together.
My husband loved what I made tonight and expressed it by asking me to remember how I made it. I lost some of the things he loved that I made previously so I am back to blogging things so at least we have them in this format.
When I started typing this and was trying to hurry with a title - my husband sipped some more from his mug and said again, "This is good tea, baby." Thus, the just right name for the tea he wants me to record.

Here it is:

A generous chunk of fresh ginger (about 3-4 inches) peeled and sliced. Powdered ginger will work if you don't have fresh.
A large lemon, sliced
Raw honey
Boiling or very hot water (I used a ceramic water warmer thing I got from Sam's and use as much as my faucet now!)

I halved the ginger between two mugs and placed lemon slices (freed of seeds) in each cup and poured hot water to fill the cups about 3/4ths full. I stirred in about a teaspoon or more of honey (again, each cup) and we are sipping some relief!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Letter Writing Part 2

Letter Writing Part 2

My pinterest board on letter writing:

More letter writing pinterest boards: Please note that I have only looked at the letter writing boards of these pinners. I don't know anything of their personal pages!

Letter Writing Blogs:

The letters in my mailbox  - So very pretty!

Missive Maven -  This one is fantastic! I checked out a lot of links from her blog. There are letter writing pen pal type sites (one is The Letter Writer's Alliance that you can join for $3.00 and I did awhile back!) and letter writing supply sites as well as a lovely list of letter writing blogs. Love this resource. She also has an etsy shop that she sells stationery and more.

Are you a letter writer? If so, please share your experience!



Letter Writing

A Return to Letter Writing

Have you ever been a letter writer? Some of you will remember what I am talking about in a life before keyboards and faster than finishing a sentence contact.
I remember. Corresponding through regular mail with paper and pens, envelopes and occasional stickers and other “slip ins” used to be a very active part of my life. I spent time every Monday through Saturday (with few exceptions) immersed in some activity related to note or letter writing. I had a make shift desk of some sort every place we moved and having places for stamps and other mailing and writing supplies was the main set up priority. I would write notes, poems, letters and “jots” down all through the day and night, knowing I would tuck them into delivery parcels for dear friends and loved ones.

I wrote or typed on a regular type writer … letters filled with what I was doing, feeling or seeing around me. I wrote notes to encourage, Scriptures to edify, jokes to lift up and personal moments to help the receiver of whatever I was sending to experience a blessing. I spent hours in shops selling cards and stationery and made sure those in my address book (from next door to across the world) had something for special events and occasions, care cards when in need of something and much, much more.
The mail boxes were one of the first things I sought out when moving into new places and I memorized the mailman’s routines more quickly than the garbage routes! I loved tucking a stack of outgoing mail into the mailbox (after checking the addressing info and stamp placement) and my heart smiled when I saw them picked up and knew they were on their way. I remember trying to picture each person as they opened what I sent.

What about my own mail box? I watched that with more eagerness than some get when shopping and was more excited than some on Christmas when something came for me to open, read and see.
Writing became something of a ministry and I would have not even considered ever stopping.
When I first heard of emailing ... it was around 1991 - give or take a year... and I couldn't grasp it. My SIL thanked me for a hand written letter she got from me and apologized for being too busy to write back. She went on to say that if we both got email - we could write notes and letters and send immediately with no cost for postage. It would be 1994 or 1995 before I had my first aol email. Have you ever seen the movie, "You've Got Mail"? If so, I can tell you that you got a glimpse of me on the scenes where Meg Ryan flies to her computer (except I've never had a laptop ;) and can't wait to read, reply and write emails. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. At first, I was finding everything I could to print for my regular mail corresponding. I designed and printed off my own stationery, learned to copy and paste things I could print, share, and so on. I figured out how to get clip art for just about everything, how to find images to match so many topics and then - how to take photos and use them in all sorts of mailing delights! I spent hours - far too many, I am thinking now - using the computer for my mail. I could type faster than I wrote by hand and I just couldn't get over how streamlined it could make my letter writing.
Eventually, I found myself getting busier and busier and doing more and more to save time. I'm not sure when it happened exactly ... but I stopped all regular mail and the only time I used my mailbox was to get bills and junk mail out.

That was many years ago and I have felt God guiding me back to sending things out by mail as a true ministry. I have gone back and forth trying to tell myself that it isn't God calling me but just a need for that familiar love. What I believe now is... whether it is God or my own voice (and I pray for Him to show me) ... the longing for it hasn't gone away but has instead grown stronger. God's glory can pour out through something like this and I am letting go and going with it.

I shared this with my sister several times when she was living in Florida and she was excited because she missed letter writing (she sent more out than I ever did!) and had decided herself, to return to the art. I started writing but haven't broken through my habit of never mailing anything but she and one of her daughters DID start back. They actually moved back here to Georgia and they have been sending out letters and receiving them. It spurred me on to break through and get back to it.

That is my letter writing story and I don't want to make this too long to read BUT I want to encourage any of you interested in getting back to letter writing or beginning for the first time.
I will share something I found just today and will close after that. I will write Part 2 of this soon and include some Pinterest boards, letter writing sites and so on. What I just found out today is that April isthe national letter writing month!

Safer oven cleaning

I haven't read all of this yet but I have a lot of requests for ideas and information concerning natural cleaning so I thought this would be a good share!

Learn more about a safer way to clean your oven at the Keeper of the Home site!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Home Comfort Series: Home Comfort Quotes

Here are some notes I previously underlined in the first part of Home
Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson. 

"Modern housekeeping, despite its bad press, is among the most thoroughly pleasant, significant, and least alienated forms of work that many of us will encounter even if we are blessed with work outside the home that we like."

"Today, laundry, cleaning, and other household chores are by and large physically light or moderate work that doctors often recommend to people for their health, as evidence shows that housework is good for weight control and healthy hearts."

"Yet housekeeping actually offers more opportunities for savoring achievement than almost any other work I can think of. Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed. These routines echo the rhythm of life, and the housekeeping rhythm is the rhythm of the body. You get satisfaction not only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy these benefits."

"You need a memory good enough to remember how things are done, where things are, what the daily routine requires, what everyone in the home is up to as it affects housekeeping, the state of supplies, budgets, and bills. You have to be able to decipher insurance policies, contracts, and warranties, manage a budget, and master the technical language of instruction manuals for appliances and computers. The ability to split your attention in several ways and stay calm is essential."

Last one for this post:

"The act of taking care of our homes brings comfort and consolation both in the enjoyment of the fruits of our labor and in the increasingly rre freedom to engage in worthwhile, unalienated, honorable work."

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Heart & Home

Heart & Home

"...that the way you experience life in your home is determined by how you do your housekeeping."
"...little domestic habits are what give everybody's home the special qualities that make it their own and let them feel at home there."

I just love these quotes from the beginning part of the Home Comforts book (by Cheryl Mendelson) - It is so, so important to me for our home to be a place that not only others feel appreciated, embraced, and welcomed but those of us living here feel ever and always at home.

"It includes familiarity, warmth, affection, and a conviction of security.
Being at home feels safe; you have a sense of relief whenever you come home and close the door behind you, reduced fear of social and emotional dangers as well as of physical ones."

As Christians, we can be secure at an even deeper level.

Psalm 122:7 (NASB)
7 "May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."

Deuteronomy 33:12 - [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

On top of feeling secure and like a sigh of relief in our homes is a need to keep our homes, as in be a keeper of them.
Even those who don't invest much into their homekeeping - it is an undercurrent, an ever flowing need.
Yet another snippet to share that I really liked and underlined it when I first got the book:

"What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home.
Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can anywhere else."

How much more are these things true when CHRIST is the light and love flowing from our hearts and into our homes?

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Is He welcome where we live?
Luke 10:38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.

What about when the Lord isn't our top priority? What about hurting hearts, torn emotions and confused paths that tangle everything all up?

Psalm 42:5
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

Maybe you, them, her, him... maybe any in this state just need to know there is hope beyond what the world has pushed into their paths.

As far as hope in homekeeping... it must be revived if it is weak.

"It is not in goods that the contemporary household is poor, but in comfort and care."

That sounds sad but we have all either been there before, seen others in it or are there now.

Proverbs 7:11
She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home;

Isaiah 27:10
For the fortified city is isolated, A homestead forlorn and forsaken like the desert; There the calf will graze, And there it will lie down and feed on its branches.

The author of Home Comforts really hits the subject at the heart of it when she shares a few paragraphs on page 8 about the results happening from neglecting housekeeping. The effects are negative ones in so many ways.

She ends this section with these words:

"The result is far too many people who long for home even though they seem to have one."

I believe the longing for home originates from a longing for God. Either longing to know Him or longing to experience Him again.

Psalms 63:1
Verse Concepts
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalms 143:6
Verse Concepts
I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land.

When that longing is met, I believe it breathes life like never before into the home.

Thoughtful questions:

*What does your home feel like when you walk in the door?
*What atmosphere do you sense over all?
*Do you sense a power greater than yourself keeping you present in the motions of your daily tasks?
*Is the light in your eyes gone and do you feel a lack of hope in your home care? If not, do you know someone who seems to be in this place?

*Is your home flowing with milk and honey or more like a parched land today?