"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Apportioned Limitations

The God who determined the measurements of the foundations of the earth sets limitations to the scope of our work. It is always tempting to measure ourselves by one another, but this easily leads to boasting or despair. It is our business to find the sphere of service allotted to us, and do all that He has appointed us to do within that sphere, not "commending ourselves."

Paul said, "We will keep to the limits God has apportioned us" (2 Cor. 10:13 RSV). Jesus did that - willing to become a helpless, newborn baby, to be a growing child, an adolescent, a man, each stage bounded by is peculiar strictures, yet each offering adequate scope in which to glorify his Father.

Lord, glorify yourself through me and in the place You've set me. Let me not covet another's place or work or glory.

~Elisabeth Elliot~

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nature Study - Herbs - Arnica


Yesterday we discovered in our nature studies that arnica is useful for a lot of things:
~soothes muscle aches
~reduces inflammation
~heals wounds
~can be applied to skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture
~commonly used for injuries such as sprains and bruises
~can cause serious side effect if taken orally, unless done in very diluted from such as homeopathy
~not to be taken internally during pregnancy
~is a perennial that grown to height of 1-2 feet with yellow-orange flowers; native to mountains of Europe and Siberia

Another thing we finally got to do nature-wise is play in snow.

This winter has been very odd for our part of the country. We usually have much more snow than we've had up to now, so the snow play has been rather disappointing. So two lovely girls were rather happy as they went on an "Expotition to Find the South Pole" which their older sister put out there earlier.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthy, Filling Breakfast Smoothie

In my effort to eat real, whole foods and get more fit, I was happy to find a recipe in a Reader's Digest for a "Fast Release Shake" from the "Digest Diet." I don't know anything more about the diet except for the soup recipe that was also in that magazine, but I sure have come to like this smoothie/shake, so I'll share it here.

In blender, mix till frothy:
3/4 c. (6 oz.) nonfat yogurt
1/4 c. light coconut milk
3 T nonfat milk powder (I confess I skip this and put in a slop of real milk.)
8 strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 T. flaxseed meal (I keep flax seeds in the freezer and periodically grind some in my coffee grinder.)
1 T. natural peanut butter
2 tsp. honey (When I ran out of honey, I substituted agave nectar.)
1/2 t. vanilla

You can also add one or both of the following:
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 - 1/3 c. blueberries

This keeps me quite full and energized throughout the morning.

Give it a try; you might like it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nature Study - Herbs - Alfalfa

The "Father of all Foods" is the herb of the week - Alfalfa. So good for so much!

Alfalfa is the king of plants because it is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. It is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, other minerals and eight amino acids. It has the highest chlorophyll content of any plant and can prevent and repair tooth decay.

Thus armed, we are back into sprouting and started both alfalfa and mung beans today.

I'm investigating getting more sprouting jar lids from Sprout People so I can keep a steady supply of sprouts available.

I plan to use the alfalfa in wraps, sandwiches, salads, and as soup garnishes. I want to try them in smoothies, too, but only if I can make sure no "stringies" remain. That could feel like trying to swallow a hair. Not good. 

I have used dried alfalfa to make a tea for respiratory problems, especially allergies. It has also been used to help anemia, digestion, gout, morning sickness, and quite a few other ailments. Given its many vitamins and minerals, it's no wonder that it is so widely effective.

I hope you give herbs a try.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Nature Studies - Herbs - Aloe Vera

For our nature studies this year, I've settled on studying one herb per week so we can get to know or review some natural healthcare. One of my desires this year is to work at taking better care of our bodies so that we can better present ourselves as living sacrifices for the Lord's use. So, not only does that include eating more whole, natural foods, but it also includes using the plants that God gave us as remedies for a variety of ailments.

Last Monday we studied aloe vera.

Some of us did our art by drawing the plant which sits in our kitchen window and some of us imitated the art on the herb calendar available from Learning Herbs.

Next on the list is alfalfa. (It wasn't till we'd already started on aloe vera that I decided we should include the "Father of all Foods" - alfalfa. Fortunately, we had left some blank pages in our nature notebooks, so we can still do things alphabetically.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hello Again

Well I think we've recovered from Christmas, travels, New Year's Eve, and the flu enough to think about blogging again, though Bob the Cat and his mom, Tux, still need frequent naps.

I've been looking through some of the quilt-alongs available on line and have picked two that I hope will help me get some things done and clean out some of my scraps. I'm kinda late joining in on them, but better late than never.

The first is at Patchwork Times with her Get It Done challenge. In that one, we're to post four quilting goals for the month and then at the end of the month, we report on how we've done and set four more goals for the next month. So here are my four goals for January. (Fortunately, I've already met some of them, so I'm not so far behind though I'm posting later in the month.)

  1. Enlarge applique pattern pieces for wedding quilt. (Done)
  2. Applique wedding quilt center medallion. (Very close to done.)
  3. Choose & buy remaining wedding quilt fabrics for borders.
  4. Finish wedding quilt top.   
I know they're all related to the wedding quilt, but breaking it down in bite sizes ought to enable me to get it done this month and stay focused. And I don't have very much quilting time in a day.

I show you some pictures of the progress, but since I want it to be a surprise, you'll have to wait till after March 9th.

I have also signed up for the Wiggly Whimsy quilt-along at Terry's Treasures. It looks cute and should also help cull some of the scraps. I'm not sure when I'll get to start this one because the wedding quilt comes first.

I'm not sure what else I'll hope to do this year, but I get to make another wedding quilt for April, and I have a baby quilt ready for February. So I'm a little ahead of the game in one instance.
Baby quilt

Well, there are my immediate quilting goals. I'll post soon about other goals and priorities for this year.

May your year be much blessed by our loving Lord,