Thursday, July 31, 2008

Apple Sorbet and Pink Salt

Good morning, dear readers,

Can it really be the last day of July? We haven't even had one zucchini yet!

I'd like to share a little recipe with you of a good way to use frozen apples (ours were cored and quartered) up (Someday we'll get a chest freezer and that won't be a problem.). You could use a blender or food processor to stir things up, but we used our beloved Green Star Juicer (It has a solid screen for ice cream, nut butters, etc.).

Here is a picture of a Green Star Juicer:

And here is our sorbet (Food stying by AnnaMarie-note the apple blossom plate):

Here is a list of ingredients:

One gallon-sized bag of sour apples
One store-bought bag of frozen raspberries
Two tablespoons barley grass powder (any green powder would cut the tartness)
One tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener, adjust the amount)
One teaspoon lemon extract

Here's what we did: we ran the first two ingredients through the juicer, then added the last three. We then mixed them together, and served! Easy and you can eat as much as you want and not feel sick afterwards!

And, for all you pink lovers-have you heard about Himalayan Pink Salt? It's the most pure, most mineralized salt available, and it's beautiful! The San Francisco Bath Salt Company is having a half-off sale on it (It ends today, but even the regular price is the best on the Web). I thought I'd pass along a good deal, while it's on.

May the Lord bless and keep you today,


Monday, July 28, 2008

More on The "Raw Food Diet"

My Dear Readers,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. It has been hot and dry in our neck of the woods, but we're used to that here in Idaho!

The children and I have just spent a pleasant morning picking apples off my aunt's Transparent tree (No, you can't see through it, that's just the name of the apples!). We are going to freeze most of the them to make "apple ice cream", which brings me to the title of my post.

Yellow Transparent Apple

I was introduced to a live-food regime through Dr. Christopher's School of Natural Healing, back in 1998, but then Dr. Christopher called it the Mucusless Diet, whose title is a bit on the unappetizing side! How do you tell someone you can't eat pizza, because you're on the "Mucusless Diet"? The health benefits sounded wonderful, but getting my husband and daughter to eat soaked wheat berries and honey for breakfast, with a low-heated lentil casserole for lunch just WASN'T going to work! At least for dinner one was allowed a baked squash or potato (skin included), with a big salad.

Dr. Christopher and Grand Children

I did my best to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet as possible,and cut out white sugar, white flour, dairy, and processed foods, but as I mentioned in my last post, being from Idaho, getting those Russet potatoes out of the bloodstream is tough going! Fried potatoes, hashed browns, mashed potatoes, potato soup, baked potatoes, oven fries, potatoes au gratin, etc. etc. Talk about a staple food! It probably didn't help that they were of the genetically-modified, chemical-laden variety, either. Only when AnnaMarie was diagnosed with Diabetes, did I learn after researching on the internet that Russet potatoes are as damaging to the pancreas as white sugar.

Russet Potato, in all its glory

My good friend, after hearing of AnnaMarie's condition, gave me a book called "Raw Family", by the Boutenko family. It was very eye-opening and refreshing to read, especially with the testimony of their son being healed of Type I Diabetes after being on an all-raw diet for a few months.

The book had a section of recipes in the back, which were exciting and actually looked like something my family would eat! Wow! Raw cakes, pies, "burgers", and so on. Real food! I couldn't wait to try it. Well, the desserts were a hit right off, but some of the meat substitutes were dubbed "too strong" by certain members of the family, while the littlest ones ate them without complaint. So, we do what we can, and are incorporating more and more of these foods (trying to not make them so strong)into our diet, and are definitely noticing results.

Last summer I was totally raw (diet, that is!), and for the first time since I was twelve, I didn't have one pimple on my face. Now THAT's cause for celebration! I had so much more energy (Which I needed, starting a huge garden by myself.), and could stay up till eleven, wake up with Frankie at night, and then be out working half the day outside.

But, then the fall came, and with it COLD weather. And then I started to realize a few short-comings of this wonderful diet. I believe in eating things seasonally as much as possible, and as locally-grown as possible. Most of the raw food books have recipes with exotic foods that cost an arm and a leg, such as young coconuts (definitely not Idaho-grown). Also, most of the filling foods are full of nuts, which are fattening, also not Idaho-grown, and also cost an arm and a leg for a big family.

So, I began to go back to doing the best I could, but when things like squash and beans are winter keepers, it's hard to not include them in one's diet when it's freezing outside! At least carrots can be stored, and they can be eaten raw. I guess you could eat squash and beans raw, too, but it'd be awful hard to fill up on them that way. I noticed my energy waning (and pimples returning), but didn't really know what else to do.

So, that's my conundrum now, which I'm still trying to figure out. Spring and summer are to me the ultimate time for eating raw foods (Who wants to cook when it's hot anyway, right?). But, unless one lives in California (Not a possibility), Florida, or the Phillipines, it's pretty darn hard to eat that way all year!

Wow, this post is pretty long. I hope I haven't bored anyone. I did want to include a few resources, if you wanted to do some more research. I love Hallelujah Acres, since they are a Christian ministry. Most of the raw food gurus out there are some of Heavenly Father's more "interesting" children! Above Rubies
has a helpful dvd and raw food book called Rejuvenate Your Life, which is also from a christian perspective. The girls love watching it, especially the parts about opening young coconuts and making raw pizza.

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." ~3 John 2

May we all learn to enjoy the simple and nourishing foods that the Lord has provided us!



Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Gift of Raw Food

Happy Tuesday, my dear readers!

I found a special video that I'd like to share with all those who know someone suffering with diabetes (and who doesn't?). It was very inspiring to us, because we are seeking to heal AnnaMarie of "incurable" Type I.

We have tried to be high raw (about 80%) for about two years now (she was diagnosed in 2006), with variable success. It's been a little difficult for poor AnnaMarie to transition from potatoes every day (Hey, we live in Idaho, right?), and pasta when she wasn't having potatoes, to lots of vegetables (She wouldn't even eat salad at the beginning, which she's learning to love now). I've seen firsthand a fulfillment of the "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" proverb! Here is the video, see what you think!

I'll talk more about raw foods in another post (the garage is calling me)-

The Lord bless you today,


New Banner and Paring Down

Good Sabbath, Dear Readers,

Do you like the new banner my husband made me? It looks rather like a store-front, doesn't it? Can't you just imagine walking inside and seeing piles of linens (made from organic and natural fibers, of course) with lots of lace and roses, antique wicker furniture, and lots of rosy china?

And of course, the shop would be situated on our farm in Missouri. . . . Maybe there would be a write-up on it in the next Victoria Magazine. . . .

But, in the meantime, we'll to have be back to cleaning out our personal landfill/garage (here in Idaho) before the baby comes! It appears as though we have been keeping a colony of mice happily situated over the winter, happily "multiplying and replenishing the earth" (no Margaret Sanger for these rodents!).

Look what they did to Homer the Hillbilly!

Cleaning it out has been a daunting task, to say the least. Working in the garden was the excuse for not doing so through the spring and early summer, but now that things are more established, I've had to face the music. And the destruction. Wow! It's pretty scary out there. What's even scarier is, after throwing out at least twenty garbage bags full of stuff that the mice had ruined, and giving at least twelve bags of stuff to the thrift store that wasn't ruined, I still can't tell that anything's gone! I seem have discovered an eternal truth, which is that, A: When you clean and get rid of things, you are creating a vacuum, and that B: Nature abhors a vacuum (Which means that out of nowhere, someone from church will dump off a few bags of clothes they thought your children might need, etc.). Not that we're ungrateful for the charity behind it!

We must have given away AT LEAST 100 bags of toys, clothes, blankets, etc., since our first baby was born, but it keeps coming right back at us! Plus all of the stuff I've inherited from my mother that she didn't know what to do with (like the "lovely" orange, green, and rust paisley polyester she never got around to making a dress out of, etc.). In the past, I've dutifully (foolishly?) packed it away, knowing full well that I hated it, and was never going to use it.

After getting over my disgust at what the mice did, and learning to look at it as a natural disaster (Mice are natural, and it WAS a disaster!), I believe the mice have done me a favor in making me see how silly it is to keep these things. I do come from a family of pack rats, but it LOOKS like pack rats have been living in everything, so out it goes. Also coming from an environmentally-conscious family (Not to mention the inherited "You never know when you'll need this mentality"), I have felt guilty throwing things out to the overcrowded landfill, but have come to realize that the environment is no better served if these things are left to rot in MY environment.

I have been lothe to get rid of the children's baby blankets and layettes, but after having received multiple blankets and layettes from family, friends, church members, and drowning in the residue thereof, I think it's time to share them with someone else. I wish we had a big tube like a laundry chute that we could stick all of our excess stuff in and send it to the third world country of our choice, since every thrift store in this area has literal mountains of donations, but we have to get it out, once and for all (or at least till someone brings some more by!).

Maybe this time we're creating a vacuum that will be filled with what I'd like to make, but don't have time, like bloomers, petticoats, and sweet pinafores for the girls, and sweet little sailor suits for Frankie!

On a happier note, the latest issue of Above Rubies came a few days ago, and I have been refreshed by the articles and stories written by others who are seeking to give a Godly heritage to their posterity. The first article is on raising our own vegetables, for which is such a need today. If you do not receive this wonderful publication already, may I suggest you visit their website and sign up for it? It is available by donation, so you just give what you think you can afford.

To close, I'd like to share the hymn that I strive to live each day (though it can be challenging in these Made in China days):

"Simple Gifts"
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,'
Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

The Lord's blessings be upon you,


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Sketchy Sketches

My Dear Readers,

I hope you are staying cool this afternoon!

Frankie, Evangeline and I thought we'd draw some of the pretty roses in our yard while they were blooming. Here is the result: (You'll have to look sideways)

But I did this one all by myself.

Someday, maybe I'll be able to paint roses like this!

(I can dream, can't I?)

Here's a poem that I wrote several years ago, when I only had two little helpers:

I hope you like it (I still haven't thought of a title for it.).

Sometimes an artist works in oils, sometimes he works in soils.

Some may work in ink and pen, others only work the land.

There are those who study in Paris and Rome,

But I think I'll study my gardens at home.

I'll put my wandering foot to work spading the ground,

And wait there to see if my life's work can't be found.

On a side note, may I just say that I am so honored to be part of the art of the counter-culture which is found on the many homemaking blogs that I love? Where there is ugliness, you are planting beauty. Where there is crudeness, you are planting refinement. May we all support each other, helping to bring back to society something that has been lost for too long.

Love to all,


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Tasha's Birthday, etc.

Today is my Fairy Fay's birthday. She's a big seven this year (Wasn't it yesterday that they were small?) Here are some pictures of her in her birthday dress with a few presents. (And of course, to be fair, we have to throw in some pictures of everyone ELSE's birthdays too, don't we?)

"Little Miss Muffet" the Balloon Killer (she popped two this morning)

Supplies for the budding artiste.

AnnaMarie gave her some Molly (American Girl) paper dolls.

Frankie turned one in March (No toys needed; just balloons, thank you!).

AnnaMarie's birthday was in May (with all her pretty little horses).

And Audrey's birthday was in June. Here she is posing with her raw "cake", which was made from a base of nut/date crust with frozen banana/berry/coconut topping.

I can't seem to find any of Evangeline's birthday, so we'll save those for another time, eh?

I'm very grateful that I have been allowed to have each child for another year. I am truly blessed.



How to be a Good Wife, Part III

13. Study your husband's character. He has his peculiarities. He has no right to many of them, but he has them, and you need to know them; thus you can avoid many hours of friction. The good pilot steers around the sunken rocks that lie in the channel. The engineer may remove them, not the pilot. You are more pilot than engineer. Consult his tastes. It is more important to your home that you should please him than any body else. Patience, time, and tact will enable you to clear out the channel, or make new channels through the very substance of his character. A given amount of study expended on him will yield a larger amount of happiness for your family than it can invested anywhere else.

14. Cultivate his better nature. Avoid appearing to be shocked at his rude or crude notions, but set him to thinking about things that will elevate the plane of his convictions, tastes, and feelings. Books, extracts, incidents that contain truths which you wish him to imbibe, can be put in his way or read to him in his leisure. As his standard is more elevated his actions will improve. The winter's blast causes us to hug our wraps, but an hour's spring sunshine causes us to throw them open and off.

15. Study to meet your duties as a wife. Criticise your own defects without mercy. No one else will treat them mercifully. Correct the points that are wrong. If you are indifferent, cultivate interest. If you are negligent concerning your domestic duties, take on care. Whatever a good wife does or ought to do, do that. You can master the science of being a wife as well as you can master any other science.

16. Seek to secure your husband's happiness. Blessing, you shall be blessed. You cannot anchor your end of the ship in a haven of peace while the other end is carried down the cataract.

17. Study his interest. Many women wreck their fortune, and darken their future by indifference to the business interests of their husbands. They fix their hearts upon some display which they cannot afford. The husband must choose between bankruptcy and a family quarrel. Hoping against hope, he purchases peace at too high a price, and ruin comes in at the door which the wife opened to admit her pride or comfort. If need be, live in one room. Eat from the end of a trunk, but do not go beyond your means. Nothing is more respectable than independence.

18. Practise economy. Many families are cast out of peace into grumbling and discord by being compelled to fight against poverty. When there are no great distresses to be endured or accounted for, complaint and fault-finding are not so often evoked. Keep your husband free from annoyances of disappointed creditors, and he will be more apt to keep free from annoying you. To toil hard for bread, to fight the wolf from the door, to resist impatient creditors, to struggle against complaining pride at home, is too much to ask of one man. A crust that is your own is a feast, while a feast that is purloined from unwilling creditors is a famine.

At last we reach the end! Were you as convicted as I was? After twelve years of marriage, I feel like I'm still just barely learning how to be the wife I want to be.

I really loved how simple, yet straight-forward this article is. It all comes down to living the Golden Rule, doesn't it?

May you be blessed in fulfilling your duties,


Monday, July 14, 2008

How to be a Good Wife, Part II

9. Cultivate personal attractiveness. When you were encouraging the attentions of him whom you now call husband, you did not neglect any item of dress or appearance that could help you. Your hair was always in perfect training. You never greeted him with a ragged or untidy dress or soiled hands. It is true that your "market is made," but you cannot afford to have it "broken." Cleanliness and good taste will attract now as they did formerly. Keep yourself at your best. Make the most ofyour physical endowments. Neatness and order break the power of poverty.

10. Do not forget thepower of incidental attentions. The arrow that pierces between the joints of the mail is the one that does the execution. A little time spent by your husband's side, without actually being busied with either work or plans or complaints, is not wasted. A hand on the shoulder, a look, the creeping of your hand into his, any of the thousand little things which your instinct will teach you how to do, may drive away a cloud, and perpetuate the sunshine.

11. Make your home attractive. This means more than furniture. It means the thousand little touches of taste that drive the darkness out of the corners, and the stiffness out of the parlor, and the gloom out of the house. Make your home so easy that you will feel easy in it yourself. Feel at home in it yourself, then the others will also feel easy there. Keep your house clean, and in good order. It takes less time to so keep things than to neglect them and hunt them. Even poverty is no excuse for dirt. Many a man is driven by the home dirt to the bar-room, and through that to death. Have your table clean. Your food may be coarse and cheap, but if it is clean, and put on in an inviting shape, the meal will be relished. We have relished meals in a cabin where there was but one dish on the table and that the kettle in which it was cooked. The appetizer was on the floor, which shone from the scrubbing-brush till one could safely eat from it. Your home is your kingdom. Its order and attractiveness will have much to do with your position as a wife.

12. Preserve sunshine. People shun clouds. Light is life. It does not matter that some things have gone wrong. Things have ways of going crooked. It is not best for you to keep pouring your petty trials into your husband's ears. There are times when he must hear them, but study these times. Do not keep up such a din of complaint that he identifies the idea of home with the idea of distress. In a sense he isyour supreme guest. Make the best of what you have. Keep the order at the front, and organize order backward as rapidly as possible. You do not wish to always appear in the role of a beggar who sits by the highway showing his wounds and deformities as reasons for receiving pennies. Some people always retail their distresses and ailments, till one shuns them like a pest hospital. When your husband comes in, let him let him receive a flood of sunlight. It will do no harm if he comes to think of you as sunlight. True, he is under equal obligation to bring sunlight with him, but you can help him by example. One certain result you will secure, namely, you will avoid all the imaginary storms, be better prepared to meet the real ones, and have a vast deal of sunshine in your own life as a constant companion.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to be a Good Wife, Part I

Good morning, my dear Readers,

I found some nuggets of treasure in an old book I've been reading, entitled "Home and Health and Home Economics", published in 1880. They are tips to wives (there's a section for husbands, too) on how to better please their husbands. Some of the ideas are so foreign to our modern sensibilities, that they might be offensive, but I found them to be sound and something that I wish to strive for. The section on maintaining personal attractiveness especially stuck out to me.

1. Reverence your husband.
He sustains by God's order a position of dignity as head of the family, head of the woman. Any breaking down of this order indicates a mistake in the union or a digression from duty.

2. Love him. A wife loves as naturally as the sun shines. Love is your best weapon. You conquered him with that in the first place. You can re-conquer him by the same means.

3. Forsake all for him. Looking back may be as fatal to you as it was to Lot's wife. You have voluntarily taken him for "better or for worse." Henceforth your destinies are intertwined.

4. Confide in him. Distrust is a bottomless abyss.

5. Keep his love. It may require much care and thought, but the boon is vital to your happiness.

6. Cultivate the modesty and delicacy of your youth. The relations and familiarity of wedded life may seem to tone down the sensitive and retiring instincts of girlhood, but nothing can compensate for the loss of these. However much men may admire the public performance of gifted women, they do not desire that boldness and dash in a wife. The holy blush of a maiden's modesty is more powerful in hallowing and governing a home than the heaviest armament that ever warrior bore.

7. Cultivate personal attractiveness. This means the storing of your mind with a knowledge of passing events, and with a good idea of the world's general advance. If you read nothing, and make no effort to make yourself attractive, you will soon sink down into a dull hack of stupidity. If your husband never hears from you any words of wisdom, or of common information, he will soon hear nothing from you. Dress and gossip soon wear out. If your memory is weak, so that it hardly seems worthwhile to read, that is additional reason for reading. The disease is advancing to a threatening stage. Keep by you some selected book. Read little by little, as you can. Think of what you read. Talk to your husband of it when he comes. If your memory fails you in the critical moment, try it again. Persist, and victory is inevitable. Ask him questions about it. Enlist his interest. Any new thing placed before him will awaken his admiration. A careful reading of the daily and religious papers will enable you to keep him posted by incidental references and statements while at the table, or while walking or riding or in the sitting-room. Soon he will come to rely upon you for his information on my matters. Then your throne cannot be shaken. This need not occupy many moments each day. But your time will not be worth having without it.

As the list is a little long, I will post more as I have time.

May you be blessed this day, wherever you are.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Meet the Other Girls, or Chicken Mug Shots

Here, my friends, is our second family-enjoy!




Sally (kinda looks like a turkey, doesn't she?)

Dot (another turkey-esque face)




Priscilla (Turkey face #3)



Alice (Pretty Face)

We really have more than what we want right now, but how do you get rid of them once you've named them?

Till next time,


"Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure-houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in." ~John Ruskin

Cayenne Pepper-More Than Just Hot Sauce

Good morning, Dear Readers,

It's a beautiful sunny day here, and we're about to head out to the garden again (in fact, we've already harvested some peas and turnips for breakfast), but I thought I'd share a little information I've learned first hand.

While studying to become a Master Herbalist, through the School of Natural Healing, I learned the wonders of Cayenne pepper for circulation and checking bleeding. I must say it is wonderful (although a bit uncomfortable) sprinkled on a deep cut; the bleeding stops almost instantly. Supposedly, one tablespoon of Cayenne administered in warm water will keep a heart attack from being fatal, as well, but we've not had experience with that one (thank the Lord).

But recently, I've been suffering from varicose veins which were almost debilitating. I would hobble around in the morning, and by the afternoon my legs felt like they were made out of lead.

I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but I remembered the cayenne, and started taking 1/3 teaspoon, two times a day this past week, and it has made a BIG difference! Enormous is probably a better word. The veins are still swollen, but the congested blood is moving through, and I can do almost anything I could normally.

We are so blessed with a kind Heavenly Father who has given us these simple, wonderful herbs for food and medicine! I feel very blessed to have been exposed to this knowledge, and hope that you will give it a try in your family as well.

Love to you all,


p.s. I forgot to mention to that homemade salsa with lots of garlic and cayenne is a great way to break up a cold!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Whatever Happened to Fresh Air?

Hello, Dear Readers,

As you may have guessed, I spend more time in the 19th and early 20th centuries (via books and magazines) than I do in this one. In almost every article or chapter on general health, the first thing mentioned is how our bodies give off "emanations" each night while we sleep, as well as carbonic acid (now we'd say carbon dioxide) from our lungs. Then the importance of airing our bedclothes with the windows wide open (unless it's raining or foggy) for a few hours first thing would be mentioned. Of course, everyone was also admonished to sleep with the windows open, even during winter, and ingenious methods were devised to keep the drafts off of sleepers.

For heating in winter, a fireplace was recommended (in addition to a regular stove or furnace) to keep the air circulating, and draw off the old, used air. And of course, in summer, everyone was expected to spend as much time as possible outside, breathing in the fresh air and bathing in the healthful sunshine. One article on beauty even recommended that women spend time in apple orchards, to absorb some of the odors of the blossoms.

Instead of indoor clothes dryers, laundry was hung out (weather permitting) to dry, and the wonderful scent that clung to the fibers would serve as a natural air freshener.

They didn't have air conditioning; they had porches, both for relaxing on in the day time and sleeping on at night.

Whatever happened to this philosophy? Somewhere in our quest for energy-efficient homes, and with the invention of central heating and air conditioning, we've lost our healthful, outside air. Many of the sicknesses we experience now could possibly be the result of living with our own bodies' poisons! Add to that all the chemicals in cosmetics, shampoos, fabric softeners, etc., and imagine what our poor bodies have to filter through the lungs!

Living in the modern home that we do, our family does not have a porch or a fireplace (alas!), but must get our fresh air how we can. I certainly know that I feel a lot better, physically and emotionally, when spring finally arrives and I can be outdoors more.

On that note, off we go to get some fresh air weeding the garden! May you get yours today, too!

Love to all,


Psalm 118:24
" This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."