Livin’ in the lean times

The squeeze is on here. There are full times and then there are lean times.  We are getting creative on the home front trying to make the most of what we have.  So far the library has been a wonderful source for books and audio tapes for amusement.  It’s funny, because just I was deliberating about our current situation I opened my Bible to this:

Matthew 6:30

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Yeah, that wasn’t just a coincidence. Hmm… maybe I should build up that faith a bit. 🙂




So, in the spirit of keepin’ it real I have to bring a little something to the table.  What to do when you flat just got smacked down by life.  Whatever the cause or event the end result leaves you face down wallowing in a mud puddle of misery.  Anybody ever been there? I sure have.

I have found that in these times you not only find out who your friends are but you find what you are made of.  When you’re in the nitty gritty and all your peeps are happily sailing along without you (or so it seems) we could all take a little tip from Annie.  But the that fuzzy little red head is no where to be found…. sigh*

Well, when the hurt is real find you a quiet place and breathe.  Deep breathing is highly calming

Cry- cry your heart out! You will feel better (just remember to wash  your face when you are done)

Nobody wants to listen to all your bellyaches but you can take it to God.  Prayer is free and available to all.  Lift it up and lighten the load.

Write it down.  Get that pen and paper and give it a piece of your mind! (you can always rip it up later…or burn it 🙂 ..this is also stress relieving)

Get a mentor who has seen a few things in life.  Not a buddy, not a yes-girl, not a shop-a-holic (or any other kind of holic) but someone who can see the bigger picture that knows your potential.  Don’t settle on this one, search until you find someone to fit the role.

Dust off that Bible.  It’s chock full of people between a rock and a hard place.  Anybody know a guy named David?  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.  He was mighty, brave and used of God.  He was also very human.  It’s relieving to know that even great people have valleys in life.

Finally- there is a great message available on Apostolic Classics by Vaughn Morton called “Let it Unfold”.  Whenever I feel like life is riding me I listen to this and get myself back to riding life 🙂

Holidays, Life


Sooo… people may think I’m a bit of a grinch but that is absolutely not true.  Here’s the deal : I have a very different take on what Christmas means.  I love the lights and fun, the treats the songs and making merry does my heart good. I am just not a buyer.  Partly because my budget won’t allow it and partly because it makes me irritated and ornery to have the calendar dictate when I give gifts.

Let me clarify on the gifting –  I love to give gifts, just not if they are super costly and have little meaning to the receiver.  I enjoy sending handwritten notes throughout the year for no special reason.  I love sending care packages with homemade items when the mood strikes.  I send a text when I think of someone throughout the day.  That’s my kind of giving.

My kids are used to my eccentric ways and do not really question it.  I let them know before the season if it’s a lean year or a “full” year.  Oddly, they have absolutely no qualms either way.

This year they have purchased gifts for each other and I have one gift a piece squirreled away for them. No single present was more than $10.  Instead of gifting as much I do an “activity advent”.  This has been a fun way to count down the days and truly enjoy each other and the season.  For  each day of December they get to pull a slip of paper (with a pre-written activity on it) out of the envelope and we do what is listed.  Most of these I have made easy to do in a busy day like sing a carol by phone to Grandma.  That way it’s very little prep to squeeze an extra event into our already maxed schedule.  Some are a bit more involved like baking cookies for neighbors.  I gathered ideas from several sites online (don’t remember them all but there are TONS)  This is a fun and low cost way to just BE during the holidays and the gift of beautiful memories will live on forever.



Making Lip Balm! Perfect winter DIY

IMG_0045Yesterday was a lip balm kinda day.  I gathered ingredients as well as a couple of friends and we cranked out a super easy (and huge) batch of lip balms.

Want to try it?

Of course you do! Well, maybe not everybody loves a good DIY but I sure do and I’m sharing for those of you who might enjoy this project.



  •  you can just be a lazy one like me and use old jelly jars and a pot with water (the recycled jelly jars can be tossed afterward)
  • or you can be all fancy like that and use a double boiler
  • containers for your lip balm – the recipe makes a full cup so stock up!
  • 1/3 measuring cup
  • chopsticks (to stir with)
  • beeswax pellets
  • coconut oil –  make sure it’s the solid one not the liquid
  • another oil of your choice (sweet almond, olive, grapeseed will work)
  • essential oils of your choice – geranium is supposed to be amazing for skin.  I have used lavender, peppermint and orange (not all in the same batch!)
  • stovetop and oven mitts!
  • a freezer
  • not required but super nice additions…she butter and vitamin E oil capsules

To start with understand that the ratio will always be 1 part beeswax to 2 parts other oils.  That being said, one of your oils should always be a solid coconut oil.  The other can be subbed with what you have on hand. ( avoid peanut, sesame or sunflower oils… they can get funny smells in your product)

Ok! Here we go!

Prep your containers by removing lids and placing on a easy to transport tray that will fit in your fridge or freezer. Measure 1/3 cup beeswax and add to your double boiler or glass jar.  put about 1″ inch of water in your pot or double boiler.  Heat until beeswax is liquid using your chopstick to stir out any solid pieces.  You can add a small tsp scoop of shea butter at this time if you have it.  Continue by adding the remaining oils and stirring over a low heat to fully mix, melt and incorporate.  Lastly, add your chosen essential oils and a vitamin E capsule opened up and squirted in if you like.  🙂

Almost there…

CAREFULLY…VERY carefully…pour your melted oils/wax into your readied containers. Use oven mitts with jars!!! Place in fridge or freezer to set.  It will take about 15 min in freezer maybe a bit longer in fridge.  Remove and put lids on.

Label with the ingredient list if you plan to give these as gifts!

Super fun to make and a lovely gift to give – Happy Turkey Day everyone