Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Sweetheart!

To my hard-workin', Elvis-singin', fence-buildin', Cowboys-rootin', best friend and Eternal love,

May you be blessed and strengthened throughout this year and your whole life.

Thank you for making my dreams come true!

Love you so much

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Time to Reap. . .Herbs

Happy "Windsday" morning, my dear readers!

The chickadees and flickers have come back from the hills, signalling the end of summer (so have the yearly plague of houseflies, but that's another story!). I'm glad we have lots of sunflowers for the little chickadees to feast on, and a nice dead spruce tree for the flickers (flickers are large woodpeckers)!

This is the time of year to harvest herbs for teas to use throughout the winter, as our great-grandmothers did before us. If you're lucky enough to have raspberry bushes, be sure to harvest their leaves (but not all off of each plant!) to dry and use during flu season (although at our house, flu season seems to have been year-round this year!).

Raspberry leaves are high in iron, calcium, chromium, fiber, magnesium, niacin, pectin, selenium, thiamin, and zinc, to name a few. That's quite a vitamin pill! We like to mix the leaves with peppermint when making tea, to make it go down easier. Dr. Christopher recommends that girls who are entering puberty (or before) drink three cups of raspberry tea each day, since raspberry is a specific for the female organs. It's also a wonderful pregnancy tonic.

Be sure to harvest any strawberry leaves you might have, while you're at it, since they are very high in vitamin c, and are an old folk remedy for loose gums. In fact, any berry leaves (except nightshade, of course!) are good to dry and use for tea.

Yarrow flowers and leaves are a real blessing for breaking up a fever, and if you have comfrey, be sure to dry some of it, too (Use gloves when handling the dried leaves, as they are prickly.), for use for burns, bronchial problems, etc. Also, most culinary herbs have medicinal uses, as well.

Here are some yarrow plants in our yard (yellow flowers).

The best way to dry herbs is either on a screen in a warm place out of direct sunlight, or hang them from a rafter somewhere out of the way. When they are dry and crumbly, put them in a glass jar, out of direct sunlight. Use them as you would any other tea, about a spoonful of herb to a cup of water (or just dump a handful in a teapot, according to your taste).

This would be a good time of year to begin a study of medicinal herbs, when summer's busy-ness is over. I would recommend a few classic books like Jethro Kloss' "Back to Eden", and "The Herb Book", by John Lust. The internet also has a host of informational websites to peruse.

May we all experience the best of health this coming winter, for it is indeed our greatest wealth.



"The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."-Ezekiel 47:12

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Victoria Magazine and Tasha Tudor

Good morrow, my friends!

The latest edition of Victoria Magazine arrived yesterday at our home, and I was touched by the tribute they made to Tasha Tudor, who has been featured several times in the magazine over the years. Both Tasha and Victoria came into my life at about the same time, although through different sources. They both greatly influenced my life, and have made me want to live a more beautiful life.

Clarice at Storybook Woods is hosting a Tasha Tudor Day, to honor Tasha on her birthday, which is August 28th, if you'd like to join in the fun.

I'd like to share a little quote from a special book in my collection called "The Perfect Woman", by Dr. Mary Melendy. I wish I'd had these ideas impressed upon me before I became a wife and mother!

"The Husband's and Wife's Part in the Home"

If it be the man's part to lay the foundations and erect the building, it is woman's to beautify and enshrine music and the kindly arts within them. It is his to build and hers to beautify. It is woman who informs the home with light and life. Her hand it is that decorates and adorns, that culls and twines the flowers and leaves, and lets in 'sweetness and light' into the rooms. her touch is that of a purifying, transforming and beautifying angel in the home, or be indeed a help-meet in every sense of the word.

When the time comes for an enlargement of your affection and your family ties, show him you are equal to it. Show him that you can be even sweeter in the role of motherhood than you have been as wife. When, as a mother, you look with love and joy upon the face of your infant, who, as yet, can neither speak nor choose his future lot, remember, as you love your own soul, that upon you, and not on circumstances, depends mainly the awful issue of what it shall be and what shall become of it. It is you, not what you call a hard, unfeeling world, that will make or mar your child. It is for you to determine whether its tongue shall speak vanity, and its hand be a right hand of falsehood. It depends upon you whether your sons shall be as 'plants grown up in their youth' and your daughters become as 'corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.' The white unwritten page of your child's life and character is open for you to write upon. The impressions made upon it by you and the father are indelible. The first sights and sounds that are reflected upon a child's remembrance are ineffaceable.

Peace to you,


Monday, August 25, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo, and Other Stuff, Too

Hello, My Dear Readers,

We've been harvesting quite a few beautiful all-blue (more like metallic purple) potatoes from our garden lately, which has been a real blessing. It helps make up for the tomatoes that are STILL green and it's almost September! We've had a few zucchini and patty pan squash, too (I'd show you some pictures, but our poor camera had a close encounter with the tile floor!).
A Hollyhock Doll

I hope that you who have grown gardens are reaping the blessings now. Surely there is nothing more rewarding, save growing children, than growing one's own food!

The results of transplanting carrot seedlings!

Here are some pictures (from before our camera's accident) you might enjoy of our recent outing to the local zoo:

"All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small.

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all."

All the monkeys aren't in the zoo!

After seeing the animals, the girls had fun at the playground.

My blessed oldest girls, always willing to carry Frankie when Mother needs a rest.

I pray that my children will each retain a love of nature and healthful outdoor activities throughout their lives.

Blessings to you and yours today,


"And God saw everything that he had made, and it was very good." ~Gen. 1:31

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our Emotions and Our Health

Good day, Dear Readers,

In my readings lately I have come across a reprint of a book from 1940 entitled "The Secret Door of Success", by Florence Scovel Shinn. Upon reading her insights on health and emotions, I was struck by the simplicity and depth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only is it a recipe for spiritual health, but also for physical!

Drawing of Florence Scovel Shinn

Here's a portion of her writings:

"Spiritual development means the ability to stand still, or stand aside, and let Infinite Intelligence lift your burdens and fight your battles. When the burden of resentment is lifted, you experience a sense of relief! You have a kindly feeling for everyone, and all the organs of your body begin to function properly.

A quote from Albert Edward Day, D.D., reads, 'That loving our enemies is good for our spiritual health is widely known and accepted. But that negation and poisonous emotions destroy physical health is a relatively new discovery. The problem of health is often an emotional one. Wrong emotions entertained and repeated are potent causes of illness. When the preacher talks about loving your enemies, the person on the street is apt to dismiss the idea as unendurable and pious. But the fact is, the preacher is telling you something that is one of the first laws of hygiene, as well as ethics. No one, even for the body's sake, can afford to indulge in hatred. It is like repeated doses of poison. When you are urged to get rid of fear, you are not listening to a moonstruck idealist; rather, you are hearing counsel that is as significant for health as advice about diet.'

We hear so much about a balanced diet, but without a balanced mind, you cannot digest what you eat, calories or no calories."
It is truly amazing that even now, seventy years after this was written, we still have a hard time grasping this concept, but it is so true. Re-programming our way of thinking, can be as hard as changing our diet!
May you be blessed in your duties today,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Busy Summer Days

Dear Readers,

We've had a flurry of activity here, with my husband doing two Elvis shows (He's a great impersonator, if ever you need one!) over the last two weekends (The older girls helped with the sound and did a little back-up dancing at the second one.), a turkey rescue (Turns out it belonged to the neighbors down the road), and a week of babysitting my sister's adopted "China Doll", Skye. Plus, the "school year" officially started in town, so we have tried to (TRIED being the operative word) to get back into our own routine for homeschool.

Here are a few photos of the fun!

Here's Poor Miss Bourbon Red! She was stuck across the street in the neighbors' pasture for two days before we realized she wasn't wild, and chased her down (Must've been quite a picture, lady with a big belly in a dress and a bunch of girls). Note how color-coordinated she and I are!

Ken had to interrupt his fence-building to drive us around, looking for Turkeylegs' owner.

Dress-up fun with Skye

By Day 3 of our babysitting stint, AnnaMarie was unofficially the surrogate mother, and was trying bravely to carry Skye around all day, in spite of aching arms!

How Skye was dressed when she first arrived (shirt and shorts)

How Skye was dressed a few days later (for some reason she wanted to wear dresses!)

And here are Papa and Big Boy putting wallpaper up in our bedroom (After 20+ years, you'd think someone would have covered the brown paneling!).

Although we've been incredibly busy, and have not had much time to rest up before Baby comes, I will miss little Skye, as well as all of summer's full activities. I do hope you are enjoying your last month of summer, and are enjoying each day that life brings you.

"Judicious mothers will always keep in mind that they are the first book read, and the last put aside, in every child's library." -C. Lenox Remond



Monday, August 11, 2008

Work, Sweet Work

Hello, Dear Readers,

Being that it's Monday, and the beginning of a new work week, I'd like to share one of my favorite poems from Louisa May Alcott, entitled "A Song From the Suds".

I liked it so much that I wrote out three of the verses on my laundry room doors (I guess I haven't gotten over the habit of scribbling on the walls!).

"A Song From the Suds"

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing, While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring, And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing, Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life Will heart's-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope, And I cheerfully learn to say—
"Head, you may think; heart, you may feel; But hand, you shall work always!"

May we always remember that work is indeed a blessing, and that life would be very boring (and miserable) without it!



p.s. I have lots of these sunflowers that have reseeded from last year's plants. If anyone is interested in some seeds, just let me know and I'll send some out to you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Corinthians For Mothers

Good Sabbath, Dear Readers!
I found this while looking for quotes about the Savior's Love~
I hope you find it worthwhile.

"I Corinthians For Mothers"

If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love in my family -- I am just another housewife.

If I'm always producing lovely things - sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family -- I am nothing.

If I'm busy in community affairs, teach Sunday School, and drive in the carpool, but fail to give adequate love to my family -- I gain nothing.

Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes - over and over again. Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.

Love doesn't envy another woman -- one whose children are "spaced" better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.

Love doesn't try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as as a mother.

Love doesn't scream at the kids.

Love doesn't feel cheated because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do today -- sew, read, soak in a hot tub.

Love doesn't lose her temper easily.

Love doesn't assume that my children are being naughty just because their noise level is irritating.

Love doesn't rejoice when other people's children misbehave and make mine look good.

Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children.

Author Unknown

Blessed day,


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy August!

Hello, Dear Readers!

I found this Modern Priscilla on eBay, and the young man on the cover looked strangely familiar.
Wherever have I seen someone who resembles this lad?

Oh yes, now I remember! Add a little hair, and a puppy, et viola! It's Frankie's twin! Now how could I resist placing a bid on that one? ;)

Have a happy day!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sabbath Greetings

Hello, Dear Readers,
I was looking through some poetry I wrote a few years back, and found one appropriate for the Sabbath. It's a little rough around the edges, but I hope you like it.

One True Friend

A stranger in a strange land,
Sometimes I feel that’s what I am.
But then I hear a voice inside
That says, “ I, too, have walked alone.”
And even though loved ones surround me
I cannot always open up,
For they have worries of their own.
At times like these it’s nice to know
That into my room I may go
To speak to One with whom I can
My hopes, fears, dreams, complaints, and sadness share.
One who wants to hear it all,
And never seems too occupied to care.
So, oft times, we must walk alone
And hold our feelings deep inside,
For they are not always welcome in this hurried world.
But souls may speak to Souls, you know,
Who’ve walked the lonely path.
And those Souls fill the heart with love,
That through tears we feel to laugh.
Until, at last, when time has gone, and life’s worries reach their end,
And we find ourselves encircled by the arms of Our True Friend.
-23 July, 2000

I pray that you always will find peace in this life and in the next through the Savior's constant love.