Saturday, June 4, 2011

Life is Good!

Life is Good... Well, Hello again. I have been gone for a while...but I am sure that each one of you understands. Life just takes over sometimes. Family and jobs come first. So I hope that each of you have been doing well. That you have had a wonderful and prosperous Spring. And that you survived the floods, storms, rains, and tornado's. We had some flooding in our basement, but nothing like some folks. Our hearts and prayers go out to ALL that were affected.

Summer is here unofficially, if you are going by the calendar. Yesterday, the heat index was above 100 degrees and  it is only the 3rd of June. I can't imagine what August is going to be like if we are that hot now. I may have to come up with an outside kitchen quickly, so I don't overheat the house when we start canning alter this summer.So, here are some of the things that have been happening in my world the last few months: 

Our daughter, Michele, graduated from high school. The two weeks before her graduation was filled with year end dinners, awards ceremony's, presentations, etc. She has received 10 awards/achievements and scholarships (woohoo!). We are so proud of her. She is planning on going to our local college this fall. majoring in Early Childhood Intervention. She loves children, especially child with disabilities.

Our son, Kendall got his drivers license and a part-time job as Chester Cheeto, but we won't let him drive to work just yet by himself. So, we are still in the mode of taking and picking up each day, especially now that school is out and his sister is working and can't be the errand girl anymore. 

I changed jobs. I took a position as the Director of Development for a non-profit organization called LifeSource International. We serve the community in many ways; Food Pantry, Clothing Pantry, Kid's Life After-school and Summer Camp programs, Senior Citizen assistance, professional Counseling, Adult Education, Monthly meal outreach & Food baskets, and medical referrals. Thus, I have been trying to settle into a new job and rearranging all my normal routines (since I go into an office each day and not work from home).
In between all the busyness I planted a garden, flower bulbs and plants. Now I am just waiting until they all burst forth in all their loveliness.

So there you have it...all my excuses for not being around much the last month.

Life is good and we are blessed. Even though, I haven't gotten to get out much and find any good deals at flea markets or yard sales. Nor have I gotten to home-can anything, just too busy and tired when I get home. Nor have I gotten to read any good books, other than some grant writing books for work. But, I cannot complain..we are all safe, we have a roof over our heads, we have jobs, and food to eat.  Life is Good!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Garage Sale Find...What is it?

Okay, so the other day it was so beautiful out. Spring has sprung and my Knight was stir crazy from being in the house for 3 weeks (burn injury). He so wanted to get and do something. So, we decided to take a drive and see if we could find a few yard sales. We did. In fact, we found some pretty good deals.

A few antique/retro green water goblets that matched my grandmother Hilda's set which I inherited ($1 for 2). Found Shell-Belle a pair of brand new white GAP pants (marked $42, for $4). An old fashioned kitchen scale that can weigh up to 25 lbs. of "whatever" for a $1. A couple of shirts for $.25 each (Sonoma brand). And a few other odds and ends.

Then we found this ----> (see pic)

Know what it is???

When I first saw it on the table I thought it was an oddly shaped syrup pitcher. That is until I picked it up to see if the slide-lid worked. Too my surprise there was no slide. When you pressed the lever on the handle something else happened.

Have you figured it out yet???

It is a HONEY pitcher.

When you press the lever on the handle it raises a plug at the bottom of the pitcher, so that it will dispense honey at a slowy and gently rate without any mess. Then when you release the lever it closes and you set it back into the holder. Which also catches any drips.

I did a little research on the internet about it. It is not an antique. But it still a very useful item, especially since we use honey a lot at Red Bud Cottage. I found the pricing to be anywhere from $9 to $19.95 for this item, not including S/H or tax.

So for $3, I got a unusual item for the kitchen that will come in very handy, useful, and make for a good conversation piece.

Have you found any good deals as of late?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Senior Prom

Prom time is here! My baby girl is off at her Senior Prom. It seems like only yesterday that I was giving brith, changing diapers, helping with homework, and driving her everywhere.

My how the time flys! In a month she will be graduating from high school and focusing on college courses. The funny thing is; is that she has already been to a few college courses...I was prego with her during my last year of college. And she attended my graduation ceremony at the age of 5 months.

She was 2 weeks old when I started back to classes for my last semester. Her Aunt, who lived close to the campus, watched her for us. I made my scheule so that I could go to a class, then go to her Aunt's house to feed & check on her, then go back to class each day.

Enough of the memories....


You have become a beautiful young woman! 
You have made all of us very proud (Bill & I and your Dad & Lynne).
We wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter of your life.
Keep your focus on the goals you have set for yourself and you will suceed.
But, most importantly always keep CHRIST first and foremost in your heart and life.

Love you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Miracles, Blessings & Homemade Burn Salve

   Just as I thought everything was getting back to "normal" a few weeks ago, in regards to blog posting, canning routine, and just normal life; a huge "curve ball" was thrown into the mix. On March 17th my Knight was burning leaves and an unexpected "surprise" was in the fire. A spray paint can had unknowingly found its way into the hot flames.  As the can got hotter and hotter it exploded and released its pressure and last bit of paint. Acting like a blow torch, it sent large flames in the direction of my Knight, who was shirtless. Causing 2nd degree burns from one side of his abdomen to the other and from his belt-line to just below his breast. His left fore-arm also sustained 2nd degree burns. The intense heat singed his beard, mustache, eyebrows, and hair on forehead. Plus, other minor burns on his hands, nose, and chest. (no pics...too gross)

   After a trip to the ER, a concoction of pain meds, tons of anti-biotic ointment and gauze, lots of bed rest, and lets not forget the many many PRAYERS that were sent heavenward by countless friends and family, we are beginning to see healing of the wounds. His arm is the first to show signs of good healing. Today he was able to go without the bandages all day, while keeping it moist with salve (see recipe below). The salve is so that it doesn't dry out, crack, and then cause more pain. It should also help to reduce scarring.

   Though we rejoice in seeing this healing, the pain to the nerve endings are still there. This is what causes him the most discomfort. Second degree burns are the most painful of all burns, because the nerve endings are exposed, yet not damaged as they would be in a 3rd or 4th degree burn. And since the largest wound is across his stomach area; it becomes almost impossible to get into a comfortable position, since we use are stomach muscles to sit, turn, bend, lay down, etc.

   As we look at this "curve ball", we find MIRACLES throughout it all. First miracle, he had on jeans and shoes. Not shorts and sandals. Thus, keeping his feet and legs from getting burned. Second miracle, he was shirtless. If he'd had a tee shirt on it could have caught fire spreading the flames on up to his chest or around to his back. Third miracle, he had his hand up in front of his face lighting a cigarette (this is the one and only time I will be grateful he smokes) breaking the wind from the lighter when the explosion occurred. This act saved his face, eyes and ears from sustaining burns. Fourth miracle, his hands didn't sustain any major burns, just a few first degree on the back of the hands. His passion is playing his guitars. Fifth miracle, the bottom of the can flew past him at an extremely high velocity of speed embedding itself into the deck beam that were behind him. Had that hit him it would have been as a large bullet, causing sever damage or possible death. 

   There you have it, 5 Miracles in a matter of a few seconds that could have changed this whole unfortunate situation into something much more worse than it is. Now please don't think I am down grading the severity of his injuries. I am not. They are extremely bad, grotesquely ugly and very painful. But, we can see that our Lord and Savior was protecting him. For that, we are very thankful.

   Blessings have abounded. Family and Friends have rallied around us and provided us with wound care supplies, ointment, bandages, meals, and financial help. We are so BLESSED to have such caring and giving people in our circle of relationships. How can we say "Thank You" enough for all that each of you have done to help our family get through this? Words do not seem enough to express what is in our hearts.

   Now that his arm is past the point of infection, we can now use a salve to keep the wound area moist instead of the expensive triple antibiotic ointment we were using. So since, I am one who likes to use Natural products I have a recipe for a Beeswax Burn Salve that I will make. This salve is similar to the formula used for the better known: Burt's Bees Salve. Which can be rather expensive when using it in the amounts that we will be using it. Thus, we will be making our own. Saving our ever fading checking account from further drainage. (severe injury + no insurance + no work = ever fading checking account)

Homemade Burn Salve

Homemade Burn/Wound Salve
This salve can bring soothing and healing to; burns, minor cuts, cold sores and rashes.

1 quart of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ounce fresh calendula herb flowers
3 ounces beeswax, grated
cooking thermometer
5 drops Tea-Tree Essential Oil - for calming the skin and fighting infection
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil - for soothing wound area and promote healing

Mix the olive oil and the flowers in a crock-pot and heat to a 175 degrees F overnight (You can do this in a double boiler/saucepan on the stove on low heat, but the longer the flowers are infused in the oil the stronger the infusion and final product is). Strain the oil from the flowers, then discard flowers.

Place the oil in a saucepan over medium heat (kept in over a double boiler). Add the beeswax and stir. Allow the wax to melt. When the mixture is fully melted, add essential oils if using.

Then pour into a jar. (I like to use a large mouth "squatty" jar for easier access to salve.) Let cool completely and secure with lid. Use: apply with fingers to burned, cut, rash or wounded area. Can leave moist over area or rub into skin leaving it soft and moisturized.

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