Friday, January 01, 2016

Don't Toss Your Christmas Cards!

Each card you received at Christmas or New Year's this year represents one person whose life you have impacted or with whom you have a relationship.  It may be a strained or distant relationship, but it's a relationship anyway.  Maybe it's family. Maybe you're a friend.  Maybe you're a teacher or a student.  Maybe you're a co-worker.  I even have received cards from my dentist and my massage therapist.  Whatever your relationship, you were important enough for them to take the time to send you a card.  Rather than tossing the cards out as you're putting away your Christmas decorations, keep them.  Keep them with your Bible and choose one a day or one a week or one a month and pray for the sender of that card.  Pray for their health, their financial situation, their life choices, their situations.  Maybe you don't know what to pray.  Pray that God would bless them and show His love to them that day.  If you feel like it, after you've prayed for them, you could call them, send them a little note or a text letting them know that they were on your mind and that you hope all is well with them.  You never know the effect your prayers might have on their lives.  You never know the effect your prayers for them will have on you either.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Come and See..."

John 1:35-50

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” John 1:39

"Come and see" was the invitation Jesus extended to John the Baptist and his followers that day.  It was also the invitation extended to Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. Indeed, it is it the same invitation extended to us all.  Just like Jesus and Philip, we are to invite people to "come and see".  Come and see the glory of the Lord.  Come and see God's goodness.  Come and see God at work.  Come and see Truth.  Come and see life.  Come and see contentment in difficult circumstances.  Come and see God providing for needs through his people.  Come and see mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical healing.  Come and see joy.  Come and see peace.  Come and see love.  Come and see lives being changed.

Come and see...

...the Lamb of God
...the Son of God
...the King of Kings
...the Alpha and Omega

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What's Blooming

The rains of May have given way to the hot, humid temperatures of June.  Seems like we went from cool and cloudy to hot and sunny overnight with no time to prepare.  We also went from the feast of excessive rain to absolutely no rain.  It's not rained one single drop in my little corner of the world for the past 2 weeks.  My plants, garden, and flower beds could use some rain lovin right about now.  Nevertheless, my flowers are still going and blooming.  Guess they liked the 13" of rain we got in May!

Echinacea, Purple & White Coneflowers were so vibrant thanks to all the rain, cooler weather, and clouds.

This yellow yarrow came to me through a gardening friend.  I think about her every time I look at this plant.

This daylily was the prettiest its been in my garden.  Again, thanks to the rain, cooler temps, and cloudy days.

My all-time favorite daylily, San Antonio Firecracker, pays homage to my hometown.

Mexican Milkweed, a nectar & larval plant for the Monarch butterfly.  I just like the color of the blooms.

Many years ago, I intentionally planted one of these red salvias in my planter.  I've been getting volunteers every year.

This white Salvia greggii is evergreen and has a long bloom time.  It's a native Texas plant and does well in our hot, harsh growing conditions.

Lanceleaf Loosestrife grows on tall wispy stems.  The flowers are very tiny and dainty.  It's always a delight when it blooms.

I received some Roughleaf Sunflowers from a gardening friend last spring.  The plants didn't get very tall, but the did bloom. I sprinkled seeds around my garden and they germinated and have bloomed.  These are easily 4 feet tall, but I love the pretty flowers.

These pretty yellow daylilies were in a box of daylilies I picked up at Sam's about 10 years ago.  I knew nothing of growing daylilies, but that didn't matter to these guys.  They have been blooming along my garage driveway faithfully every spring.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Welcome to My Garden

Won't you please come and join me on a stroll through my garden? It's a bit wet due to all the recent rains we've received, so please be sure you're wearing your water shoes. :)

 We've got lots of tomatoes, garlic, tomatillos, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, peas, okra, and green beans planted.

The peas this year are easily 5-6 feet tall.  I love the dainty flowers.  It's fun to watch the pods swell with the tasty little peas inside.  This year, we're growing Alaska peas, an early variety.  In the fall, I'll plant Wando peas.

If you pick the blackberries, be careful.  They're very thorny, but oh, so tasty!  These are Kiowa blackberries and they do very well here in North Central Texas.

Hubby was going to yank out the grapes this year because they haven't been very productive in years past.  We have grapes coming out our ears this year and the vines are taking over the back portion of the yard.  Can you say, "You should've trellised them earlier??"

The green beans (pole beans) are filling in and the runners have reached the top of the cattle panel.  We should start seeing blooms soon with bean pods to follow.  These are Blue Lake Pole beans. 

Tomatoes...These are Super Sioux tomatoes.  First year in our garden and they have been very prolific.  I like how they grow in a cluster of 5-7 and aren't huge.  I foresee many salads in my future.
These are Marmande tomatoes.  They are a rare heirloom variety from Italy.  They produce a flattened small to medium sized tomato which is perfect for just one person, or two, if you want to share.
The garden wouldn't be complete without these little Large Red Cherry tomatoes.  They are the perfect size for munching and in salads.  They make a pretty cluster, too.

These cucumbers were grown from seeds I saved last year.  It was my first attempt at saving cucumber seeds, but it was so easy.  I'll do it again this year.  This variety is called "Muncher" and they are so sweet and pretty much burpless.  They make pretty good pickles, too.
I thinned out these Pike cantaloupe seedlings yesterday to allow circulation and better growth.  You can see they are kind of yellowing.  That's due to all the rain, clouds, and cooler than normal temps we've had the past month.  Cantaloupes (as well as watermelon and okra) like it warm and a bit on the dry side.

Thank you for joining me today.  I hope your shoes didn't get too wet.  Next time, we'll tour my flower beds and see what's blooming.  For now, here's a little sneak peek.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Meow Monday





Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Homemade Coconut Lime Lip Balm

I've been struggling with dry, chapped lips more than normal lately.  Hypothyroidism causes dry, hair, lips, eyes.  You name it, it will be affected by thyroid problems  *Sigh* 

I have been using Aveda Lip Saver for many, many years, but it's gone up to $8.50 a tube, which is just about too rich for my pocketbook, so I started cruising the internet for a homemade lip balm that uses few ingredients, doesn't make a bizzillion tubes all at once, and is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.  Believe you me, I found TONS and many are pinned to my Pinterest page.  However, I found this recipe by Fresh Picked Beauty that made one single tube and was easy to make!  I had all the ingredients on hand, so I gave it a go. 

I loved it!! 

I loved it so much that I put it in my pocket and took it to work to make sure that it stood up to 10+ hours in my pocket without melting or becoming too soft.  It did great! 

Since I normally keep one tube of lip balm at work, one tube in my purse, and one tube at home, I decided to up the single tube recipe to make enough to cover those 3 bases plus extras to have on hand or to share with friends.  I decided to shoot for 10 tubes, so I simply multiplied the base recipe by 10.  This recipe makes about a dozen 0.15 oz. tubes.

Coconut Lime Lip Balm (Makes approximately 12 tubes)
2 T + 1.5 t coconut oil (2.5T coconut oil)
2.5 t grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil (Original recipe called for calendula infused grapeseed oil)
5 t beeswax pastilles (or shredded beeswax)
40 drops Lime essential oil
30 drops Lemon essential oil

Place coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and beeswax pastilles in a glass measuring cup.  Place measuring cup in 1" - 2" of water.  Bring water to a slow boil.  Stir to mix and stir occasionally until beeswax is melted.  Once oils and wax have melted, remove glass measuring cup from water bath.  Add essential oils and stir.  Pour into tubes and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.  Place caps on top of tubes and then allow to cool completely. 

**You can use a small funnel or pipette to fill tubes.  I used these containers and they worked okay.  If I could find some smaller ones, I think they would work even better. 

You can use an egg carton to hold your tubes for filling.  Just turn the egg carton upside down and cut slits in the bottom and insert tubes.  It's not perfect, but it's cheaper than buying a tube holder and it works well.

If you don't have access to essential oils, I use oils from Spark Naturals and Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can easily find essential oils at most health food stores or on Amazon.  I also purchased my lip balm tubes from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with either business, just a satisfied customer.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Meow Monday