Praying For...Sweet Sammy...if ever a girl should be elected princess of the planet, Sammy should be the one. In all the right ways, she is royalty: thoughtful, kind, gentle, prayerful, loyal, and happy...I pray that she will retain this gentle, sweetness of her childhood and never taste the bitterness of rebellion...let her always look to God and her parents for love and wisdom...let her escape the evils of the world focused on destroying maidenhood and virtue...let leaders of nations stop hurting children with their wars and contentions in the name of greed and power.
Jesus' Word...with so many tragic occurrences, some question how a loving God could allow such things. Several years ago while reading the scriptures, the following answered that question for me. It was a terrible scene, as all believers including children were cast into the fire. "...the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and He doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which He shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day," Alma 14:11.
Bibliophilia...I read a wonderful book, Mission to Cathay by Polland and finished the new Albert Marrin book. Historical fiction and history are my favorite genres...sent Sammy Life of Fred: Apples, Mystery Ranch, cursive practice and reading comprehension workbooks. She loves school work as if it were play. Since I encourage the grands to keep up skills in the summer, I send all sorts of things to foster it. Although most things are pretty challenging, some of the stuff is easy for playing school with younger friends and siblings.
Mission Musings...We hosted a service group this week and had so much fun. I've never seen young people that loved working with an incredible passion. They were given the task to spring clean both inside and outside the dorm area. Weeding, pruning, sweeping, raking, weed wacking, scrubbing picnic tables, barking, window washing, and deep cleaning inside, they didn't stop after their required 3 hours. They worked a steady, constant 5 hours. We were more than impressed, when they scrubbed every pot, pan, dish, shelf, cabinet, and fridge in the kitchen. I wish they would come every week!
Nature Notes...When I walk in the woods with the little granddog, I think of Gladys Tabor gamboling with her spaniels. It’s ever so nice to watch how much fun the granddog has and imagine Gladys' dogs running and exploring. Every time I drive past the water, I look for Sammy and Lucille Seal. Last year I saw them a lot, but this year they seem to be busy elsewhere. The riot of wildflowers along the roadside on this island continues: white, blue, pink, and rose mixed with all manner of green. I've never seen its equal.
Cucina Fresca...a while back I got Jeff Novick's new cooking video, Fast Food 4. I learn a lot cooking with Jeff, although I almost always change any recipe I use to match my tastes. With his newer ideas, I made a delicious lima bean stew. Some might say lima bean and delicious don't belong together, but I have proven them wrong. As with most of my recipes, I slowly dry-sautéed half an onion and a dash of salt in a covered Dutch oven for 30-45 minutes. After I got the onions going, I added 2 c. sliced crimini mushrooms. They never need added liquid or burn when reduced over the lowest heat. Plus, the flavor this method produces is outrageously good. A minute before I added a tablespoon of my powdered dehydrated veg mix, 2 c water, 1 t thyme, pound of frozen baby limas, and a pound of finely chopped carrots and celery, I added a mashed clove of garlic. After 15-20 minutes, I added 1 c slaw cut cabbage and 2 c cooked brown rice. Once this was heated through, I served it up with a few twists of black pepper on each serving. Jeff uses a lot of frozen veg for convenience, but I prefer to use more fresh and slow things down a bit. This sort of cooking is called nutrient dense vs. calorie dense.
I love Ethiopian food, but it is way too calorie dense with all the oil. True, the flavor is a bit different without the oil--not bad, just different. Nevertheless, I'll sacrifice oil for a healthy vascular system and slender waist. When making Tikil Gomen, I start with 1 onion and dash of salt, cooked in my usual slowly dry-sautéed, lid on way. Stir in 1/4 c of water, 2 (optional) large Yukon gold cubed potatoes, and 3-4 carrots (narrow sticks), cooking over medium low heat until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add more water if needed during this process. Stir in 1/2 a head of sliced green cabbage, 1 t each fresh, micro-planed turmeric and ginger, 3 chopped green onions, 1 mashed clove of garlic, and 1 (optional) serrano pepper julienned. Heat until cabbage is tender crisp. This is a wonderful accompaniment to Alicha Kik over brown rice. For fossolia replace the cabbage with green beans and a chopped tomato. For plain gomen, omit carrot, ginger, pepper, and turmeric and use collards and a chopped tomato.
Dr. Ginger, Medicine Woman...I'm not sure why I've been given this particular trial. Before learning a more extensive family history, I was perplexed why this auto immune problem plagues me so. One way this auto-immune problem of mine manifests is pernicious anemia. In the past, I had B12 IVs every so often. However, for a couple years now I have used B12 patches that work wonders. I learned of a supposedly new, improved, more potent patch and ordered them right away. Because B12 leaves the body slowly, I didn't notice the symptoms creep back until I turned yellow again. The new B12 patches were bogus. By then I was so low, I was back to sleeping most of the day, with hazy thoughts, numb and tingling arms and feet, etc. So...as much as I hate doctors, I went in for B12 IV. It helped a lot, but I'll likely need one every couple weeks for awhile. In addition, I got a supply of the old B12 patches, which work really well. Back to my family hist...I recently learned that a maternal grandmother had Addison's Disease (adrenal failure). I already knew a grandfather had lupus and several others had digestive issues, diabetes, hay fever, heart valve prolapse, food allergies, migraines, and RA. All these in one way or another can be forms of auto immune disfunction. Add them together and get a Ginger with a very touchy system. One close relative hints loudly that my problems are hypochondria. It's interesting that people like this loudly demand sympathy for their little ills but accuse others of faking it for sympathy. Maybe they do this, because they, themselves amplify their problems for attention--everyone else must do so as well. I don't know. I do know my life was more fun, when I could work hard and play hard instead of sleeping and resting so much. I would gladly go back to my old, pre-illness days.
Weird World...After reading this story, I just had to laugh. I recently read a historical fiction novel that had a blurb about the cost of perfume during the Revolutionary War. The character said a good bath does a better job than perfume anyway. I agree. Since I seem to be allergic to nearly everything, I learned to improvise. But this isn't the first time. Back when I had babies I never used expensive commercial products like disposable diapers, wipes, and baby powder. For the same health reasons I now use baking soda, corn starch, vinegar, and peroxide for nearly every current hygiene use, I used (and reused) normal warm washcloths to clean at diapering and cornstarch for powder. I also used cotton washable diapers. Shortages don't need to cause stench or grunge. Baking soda and water wash hair, teeth, and skin quite nicely. A little apricot kernel, coconut, or olive oil make a great moisturizers for hair and skin. Apple cider vinegar and water is a great hair rinse. Peroxide mixed with water is nice as a whitening mouth wash. Corn starch with baking soda is a good deodorant for those that don't have the added odor problem associated with eating animal flesh or excretions. Baking soda, a bit of soap (as needed for heavy dirt), and vinegar are great for laundry, floors, and dishes. Clean doesn't have to be perfume-y. These natural supplies also work well for cleaning the house. Enhancing these preparations with herbs and essential oils is desirable but not essential.