Praying For...Gayle, the birthday girl...that she will continue to have a safe and magical childhood, that she will grow in her love of Jesus, that she will choose to be happy and charitable, that the world will stay out of her life. I pray for children around the world that they will be someone's starfish. I pray for world leaders that they will be influenced by the Prince of Peace instead of the Father of All Lies. I pray for the people of the world that they will choose to be more kind, gentle, generous, courteous, and charitable.
Bibliophilia...I found the cutest book series, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. I loved the movie, Miss Potter, as well as all her art. To me this series is fun and funny. I hope all the books we send are turning our grands into bibliophiles. For her birthday, we bought Gayle Sarah Whitcher's Story, which we hope she enjoys. Additionally, we sent an old fashioned metal potholder loom with cotton loops like the one I bought my girls and the one Great Aunt Evvie used. Evvie had Down's Syndrom, and making potholders was her occupation. Very seriously, this beloved aunt worked at it all the time then gave the pot holders to family members for birthday and Christmas gifts. I still have one. One of my daughters was serious about making potholders as well; she sold them door to door. I found out you can make loops from old t-shirts. Now it will be a recycling project, too.
Cucina Fresca...The thing I miss most with my allergies is bread. I thought it would be cheese, but that was easy to give up. Every gluten-free bread product I try is hideous or has an ingredient that makes me sick. Sure I can make corn tortillas, but they don't feel bread-y. These tortillas taste like a cross between white flour tortillas and flat bread. The trick is to make the dough wet enough to keep them tender and pliable but dry enough to hold together. If I do it just right they can be rolled for bean burros enchilada style, which I have missed eating for 4 years. They are equally as good as a wrap for falafel and, well, anything good in a wrap. I always have lots of organic oats around, since I buy them in #25 bags. And it way cheaper than organic masa. Oat Flour Tortillas 2/3 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oatmeal (grind to flour in blender), dash salt, 1/8 t baking powder, and 1/3-1/2 c warm water. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the water, mixing to moisten the dough evenly and gather into a ball. If the dough is too dry, just add a little extra water (it should be a bit sticky as it will firm up as the oats absorb the water). Knead well. Separate dough into 2 pieces. Shape each of the sections into patties. Place each patty between a piece of folded waxed paper and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Press or roll each of the waxed paper covered rounds into thin tortillas. Place tortillas on a hot ungreased griddle (I use a cast iron one.) over medium-high heat. Cook for 30 seconds, turn then cook the other side for 30 seconds. Remove each tortillas to a napkin lined plate to keep warm. Eat while still hot.
Garden Gate...I've been highly interested in the deep mulch system of gardening. We intended to deep mulch the orchard here, but I guess too many people know about deep mulching now. None of the tree trimming companies had ANY wood chips to give or sell. So I'm realizing that wood chips won't be my answer when I finally get to my garden. Every morning I juice several pounds of vegetables. All throughout the day, we peel bananas, core apples, and make salads. These leave lots of scraps. At first we threw them out, but we have to haul our own garbage here. Looking for a way to reduce our garbage output, I realized I could compost all the shavings and scraps in paper grocery bags. Scraps provide nitrogen (green); bags provide carbon (brown). Each day I have one bag that covers about 2 square feet 2-4 inches deep. Epiphany!!! When I begin my garden (if I ever get home) I can lay down a thick layer of newspaper and cardboard as a choking brown layer, sprinkle on red wiggler egg capsules, rock dust, and azomite, put down a couple inches of alfalfa or horse manure for a green layer, add a bag of kitchen scraps, and finish with something that looks nice such as pine straw. It'll be about 8 inches deep, and I'll call it square foot compost mulching. Eventually, I'll run out of garden space for my compost bags, so I plan to install 4"X12" wire tubes for each 16 square feet as worm feeding stations.
Movement...I just can't get over how foam rolling changed my life. After discovering and eliminating all allergens, my joint pain went away. However, I was still plagued by stiff sore muscles from years of tensing up. Rolling along with stretching yoga-ballet style, has virtually eradicated my pain--stretching wasn't enough but together they are the fountain of youth. I'm amazed that the aches and pains I've had since I was in a car accident 21 years ago is gone. I thought it was just old age, but I am not old after all. Hurray! I want to send rollers to my mom and dad but know they wouldn't use them.
Nature...Friday night we played games with friends until 10 pm. To me that's the middle of the night. As we turned down our lane, we startled an owl eating his dinner on the road. The owl flew up onto the street sign. We sat there studying it for 5 minutes or so. It was gorgeous and is called a short-eared owl. I especially liked the stripes on its breast. We think it might be the one that hoots good morning to us most mornings around 4 am. We don't mind. In fact it's the best alarm clock we've ever had. Plus, we are usually awake by then anyway.