Friday, May 31, 2013

Kefir Grains.....Tibetian Milk Mushroom...... Manna really or just wishful thinking?

I have had a relationship with Kefir for about 4 years now, I was introduced to Kefir by my friend Belle.  I bought my first goat from her and learned my first steps as a "Crazy Goat Lady" from her.  Belle as since gotten out of the goat husbandry scene but I am well and truly hooked, sometime much to Poppies dismay.  I do believe he is a closet "Crazy Goat Lady", hey if it is good enough for Mike Henry, of the Henry Milker fame, it is good enough for Poppie, but I digress.  Anyway, we love our goats. 

Having goats means using what they produce, meat, milk, cheese, whey, soap and Kefir.  Kefir you say what is it?  Belle gave me my first Kefir grains.  I read about them on Dom, of Kefir fame site, he is from Australia, and the internet expert on them. You know me before I jump knee deep into anything, and I always jump in at least up to my knees sometimes my neck don't you know, I read a subject to death.  Kefir was no exception.  I made up my first batch and sort of liked it, had I been an avid buttermilk drinker I would have loved it.  Did I tell you that anything, or most anything connected to goat's milk can be, or most of the time, is more pungent than cows milk.  I do know, from a trick from Belle the faster you get the milk from teat to cold in your frigerator the more mellow the milk is, or in layman's term, the more like whole cows milk it will taste.  Belle even uses ice to achieve her cold.  I just put the whole jar in my automatic ice maker in my freezer for a few minutes.  The goal is cold in less than 20 minutes, and you do get a really nice milk.  Oh, and be clean about your milking a hair in the milk or feces really does make for a bitter taste, again I digress.  My Kefir was a little funky,  I made smoothies and my Ladies liked them but they were not in love, I froze some and it makes a funky tasting frozen smooth ice cream, so to speak, they like that to but alas I couldn't sell it very long.  My little grizzlies, that is what Belle calls her Kefir grains soon starved to death, I did freeze some and was able to rehydrate them later.  I used them after rehydration to make some Kefir cheese, recipe from Dom's site.  I like it but like all products from goats it is more pungent than store products and my family didn't really like it.  I did continue to make regularly pungent goat cheeses and had fair success with them.  I did end up with a lot of parmesan, due to no cave, but I do make great feta and mozzarella. Alas my grizzlies died.  A year ago I bought more but in the end I left them to starve as well. I just didn't have the right motivation to keep them alive.  I know I could have used any milk in them, and had a milder Kefir, but I really really hate to use store milk with all the yuck in it, just one of the links that shed light on store milk  I don't know any local farm cow milk producers, for raw cows milk, and Montana law is the most restrictive in the country on buying raw milk.  The legislature was working on it but I am still not sure of the final verdict on that.  Okay, back to subject.  No surviving Kefir here.

Several weeks ago Lady Hero gave me some new grains.  I was bound and determined to treat them right this time.  My goats, Glenda and Jewels, had just come fresh and I have faithfully endeavored to do right by my Kefir, one gallon to the piglets daily, and 1/2 gallon every other day to the Kefir and every other day to the fresh drinking milk pitcher.  I have said before that my Booboo has endure pain in her stomach for a couple of years.  It had gotten really bad of late. She was using Tums and Pepto-Bismol daily, more than once.   I had decided to take her in to have her checked for Celiac sort of issues and IBD.  We have a family history of chrons and ulcerated colitis so I am really afraid for her.  I just happened to be reading up on Kefir, so I could do it right and learn more about it, when I came across and article on Tibetan Milk Mushrooms. Okay, so I am an idiot, for years people had asked me what Kefir was when I would talk about it and I would say it was millennium old grains that make milk drinkable about for people who are lactose intolerant.  It looks sort of like cauliflower and it grows in milk.  It is a lot like buttermilk or thin yogurt. It has lots of probiotics etc.....  I was to stupid to know that it is Tibetan Milk Mushrooms, and I wanting to cultivate mushrooms, was clueless.  Some say given to us from Mohammed and other claim it was Manna from God.  Okay, I know from my Bible that God did bless the Israelites with manna daily in the mornings but no where have I read that he delivered in the milk pitchers, you can eat the mushroom itself but....  I am thinking it is from God, a special healing mushroom and may be a relative of Manna but alas no milk mentioned, to make Kefir, stated in the Bible.  I do know God sends us special healing herbs, mushrooms and all manner of things and Kefir is one.  Okay, digressing again but..... for such a blessed reason. 

I read all the good stuff on the Tibetan Milk Mushrooms link is!  You will love this site so informative.  I now know the real facts about Kefir. ( Oh, and there's water Kefir!! sort of knew that but hadn't really paid attention to it, sent away for grains soon be growing here, it makes a pop like drink that is not more garbage for your body, like the store milk and soda pop, okay off the soapbox. ) I decided to ask Booboo if she would try a smoothie made from the Kefir, it is supposed to help, IBD, GRD and a whole host of other ailments.  She was in so much pain, she had missed school that day, and we were going to make an appointment, before school ended to try and find out what was wrong with her.  We had originally thought after school ended would be better, but that day she was in too much pain.  She said "okay, mom I will try it, I hurt"  I made her up a smoothie from kefir, ice and strawberry jelly didn't have any fresh fruit.  It was funky, especially the first sip, she bravely took a second sip, she said it was better the more she drank.  She had given it a try and I applaud her for her bravery, so many things set her tummy off.  One hour later she was up and  bouncing around the house, happily wanting to go outside to play with the littles.  I said "are you feeling better?"  She said "yes. all the pain is gone"  I asked her how long the pain had been going on on daily basis, she said "a long time and it was always worse after lunch at school." go figure yucky milk and white bread just to name a few culprits.  I feed her lunch and no pain.  Next morning I got up and Booboo said, "mom can you make us a smoothie, I don't want to hurt anymore"  She is ready every day now with a smile for her face awaiting her smoothie to be made; an aside it is helping my GRD too.  It has been a week now and not once has she been in pain.  I had prayed for a miracle for our Booboo and at this time it seems that Kefir is our miracle, maybe not manna but from God none the less....... tomorrow.  

Why does chaos abound, or maybe it just that I am easily side tracked...... who knew?

Grandpa, Yogie has now dubbed him G-Pa so maybe that is what I will call him henceforth, stopped by a couple of nights ago to drop of 36 eggs he wants us to incubate for him.  He said that the Ladies could keep half of what they hatch, like we needed Banty chicks, not sure what we will do with them, I like big eggs not little ones, oh well.  He also brought a bunch of bib lettuce and head lettuce sets, some rainbow romaine and some spinach sets so we planted them last night.  Poppie actually had to till that last little area of the garden again so we could get them into nice soft ground.  It was a blessing that he had not actually tilled that area to thoroughly, we retrieved some strawberry sets and there was volunteer potatoes coming up so we moved the strawberries and worked around the potatoes, actually we added some more potatoes to make a second bed of them in the garden.  It was a nice way to finish off the day. It was a little chilly with a little wind but it is always nice when the Grand  Littles have gone home and it is just our little family. 

I canned up my Shrub yesterday.  Shrub is a rhubarb drink made from brown sugar, vinegar and rhubarb.  I varied from the recipe I had used by soaking the rhubarb initially and then draining it out and actually blending it up so it became pulp in the rhubarbaide.  I liked it fine raw and it could have been left in the frig for months as a concentrate for making the shrub but I canned it.  It was a lovely pink in its raw state but once canned it was more a pinkish green.  I did like the pulp better once it was canned but I think the recipe I used had too much percentage vinegar, I think I will reduce the vinegar next time, a touch.  I do know I will make more of it, maybe add some strawberries to it for a little different taste.  The original recipe was equal part rhubarb, vinegar and sugar (brown or your choice).  You combine the finely chopped rhubarb and sugar and let set for 24 hours.  The next day you add the vinegar (white but apple or wine vinegar would be fun) and let set 24 to 72 hours, the longer it sets the less acidity in the mix.  I canned it after 120 hours.  I is really nice if you like lemonade style drinks or rhubarb.

Poppie had been pulled in so many direction these last few months, he has also had to deal with the fact that he is no longer on pain meds.  He has a high tolerance to pain so it is a blessing that he has been able to adjust as well as he is.  He is tired a lot of late, and seems to be physically drained easily.  He has wanted to finish up my pantry and the improvements we are making but where the mind is willing the body just can't make the payments.  He is so overextended I have been trying to be patient and do the things I can to help finish but some things have to be done for me to finish.  I am hoping to tile soon, and I really can't reach the top of my walls to finish the painting.  We do what we can and live in the chaos that we have created......

Here are some photos to show some of the progress...

My kitchen divider.... (see the chaos, hard to live in and build at the same time)

My antique, newly upcycled island... a place for those odd to put up pressure canners..

Our antique columns with Poppie's beloved blue pine mantle.. 

barn wood shelves add a touch of age to all the new.....

sorry about being sideways couldn't get it to flip or the next few.... Dr Seuss colors abound

Pantry to kitchen view of the arch, to be finished

Poppie putting in pantry shelves...

Kitchen to pantry view of the arch.... Lots of work to go but we are on our way...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tomatoes, Sister's toes, pack rats and nails, tomato soup from canned tomatoes.

My Sister and Red both had beautiful red hair, I say had because at our current ages the grey has taken away some of the beauty of their locks.  They got their red hair from both of our Grandmothers, Thelma had the dark rich red that they both were blessed with but I am sure that with our Grandma Gladys genes in there they just might not have gotten suck glorious locks.  Red was born with black hair but by the time he was four months old it was the beautiful red that he always had, my grandmother Thelma had just cut hers and they (mom and her) had used the left overs to make Red beautiful red ponytails.  The family history at the time had been that you would only get two "white" boys, our last name was white, and since mom had given birth to twins 11 months before Red was born, though one died, no one thought he would be a boy.  He came into this world with an entire wardrobe of pink clothes.  So much for family wives tales.  My mom and Grandma Thelma were playing with one of the little dresses and had dressed him up in one and added the ponytails.  This tells me how much fun my grandma Thelma must have been.  They were not allowed to take any pictures, my dad did not want any blackmail pictures (none taken) to be the bane of Red's life. I am not all that sure he was happy with them when he caught them playing dress up with his new son. 

Sister did not get her beautiful red hair to begin with, I am sure my Grandma Thelma never suspected she would come to have her beautiful hair when she died.  Sister's hair was a funny mousey color until she turned about 2 and a half.  It was almost an over night thing the way it just turned red that summer.  She was a little thing, my sister Sister, no bigger than a mite, she was allergic to milk and that was before formula's so she threw up a lot.  She would carry her dolly everywhere rolling fuzz balls.  One day we were in the garden, us older kids trying to help with the weeding.  Sister was just meandering around, once in awhile she would sneak a bite out of a tomato and drop it to the ground.  My mom would tell her not to but she never really got in trouble for it.  Mom would just picked them up to use later when she canned them.  She was playing along and no one was really paying any attention to her until all of a sudden she started to screaming in pain.  She had picked up the pitch fork my mom had been using to dig potatoes and had stabbed two of the tines through her two little feet.  (Silver to this day has a memory of throwing the pitch fork out of a tree and hitting her feet, well there was no tree over shadowing the garden and his memory deceives him) Mom pulled it out immediately and I remember the bleeding.  Momma had to take her to the Dr so she could have a tetanus shot.  This day was to be a harbinger of things to come for our Sister. 

Years later we lived in a house with a cellar.  Mom had stored the tomatoes from the garden in the cellar for the winter, the ones she hadn't canned.  My mom was very upset because she thought one of us kids were getting into the cellar to take bites out of the tomatoes.  I think mom thought Sister was doing it, because the bites were small, but she didn't want to actually think her Sister would do that.  The real culprit turned out not to be Sister at all.  Mom was in the cellar retrieving food stuffs for dinner when something ran by, something big, so big it scared momma to death and she came screaming out of the cellar.  She had seen something,  it had a long scaly tail.   It was huge, it couldn't be a mouse.  My dad put in a trap to catch the monster.  He kind of did it with a tongue in cheek laugh, he was sure that she had exaggerated.  The next day all the traps were set off but no mouse was caught.  He finally had to get a bigger trap, still no luck, and still all the tomatoes had big bites in them.  He final used one of his muskrat traps and success.  He caught a huge big old pack rat.  It really was a monstrous rat.  Sister got her reprieve and mom was vindicated for her fear of the "mouse"  my dad was a little sheepish at his kidding of mom.

A number of years later we were visiting friends, they had eight kids just like we did, made for a big dinner table when we got together.  We were about 50 miles from home, in Grangville we had lived closer but now we lived in Plains and they lived in the Noxon area.  We kids were all playing in the old barn out back of their house.  Sister was running ahead of us and she stepped on a huge rusty nail, she put it clean through her shoe sole, out threw the top of her foot and top of the shoe.  She began to scream in agony.  We, kids, all ran and got dad and mom.  Dad got to her first and had a real time takimg her shoe off and getting the nail, well spike, out of her foot.  I think in the end he cut the shoe apart to get to her foot and get the rail out.  It was nasty rusty, you know the kind that flakes off.  Her foot almost immediately began to turn red, a distinct red line started up her foot.  It was odd that you could almost watch the red move up her leg.  We immediately got in the car to go home to Plains, to the hospital, the closest one around.  Dad drove over the speed limit to get there.  The Dr said when we got there it was a really really bad case of blood poison and it was lucky that we had come so fast.  Alas that did put an end to Sister's dances with tomatoes and sharp pointy things going through her feet.....

Tomato Soup....

1 quart of mom's home canned tomatoes grown in dad's garden. (See Recipe below)
1 quart of milk
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mom would take a quart of tomatoes bring to a boil in a sauce pan, that would hold a half gallon.  When the tomatoes came to a boil she would add the salt and pepper, and the baking soda, the baking soda would foam up in the pan.  I asked once why she put baking soda in it and she said so the milk didn't curdle.  Once the mixture foamed up she would add the milk and warm up to the desired temperature.  She served us each a bowl with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Canned tomatoes.

fresh tomatoes from the garden, washed.  Dip them in boiling water for a minute of so, the skin will crack open, immediately plunge them into large boil filled with ice water and the skin will easily pull right off.  Once all the tomatoes are blanched, if the are small put them into the quart jar whole if not quarter them, fill the jar to with in 1 inch, making sure to squish them so that the natural juices come out and fill the jar up. Add one teaspoon of salt (optional) to the jar (and now you should add a tablespoon of vinegar, but back then we didn't have to, the tomatoes had enough acidity on their own)  When all your jars, usually 7 per load, are full process in a water bath canner.   We did started with a warm, about 180 canner of water, we put the jars in the water in the basket if we didn't have a basket we put jar lids on the bottom so the jars were not right on the bottom of the canner.  Process 20 minutes, I think now we are supposed to process a half an hour to 40 minutes due to the non acidity tomatoes, funny how foods change so much.  Remove the jars from the water with a jar remover or just lift the canning basket.  If you are using metal rings and lids you will hear the song of the sealing as they pop to say they are sealed.  If using Tattler or 4everrecaps, you will have the check their seal once they are cooled. 

A simple dinner but then simple is best isn't it...... Sister always loved tomato soup, she was a dipper, I remember her laying on the couch with her little foot propped up on a pillow, all wrapped up, sipping her soup loudly on a spoon.  Her face with fading red marks on it, a big toothy smile because she was the patient and got to sip her soup on the couch..... Almost the princess for the day, all it had cost was the pain that was now a fading memory......

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lilacs the sentry of past memories, success and failures......... someone's gooder days.

My friend Belle was telling me several years ago that the forests back where she came from were different than the ones we have here in Montana.  Her husband, Groom, is a USFS law enforcement officer, I meant him when I was a dispatcher, I meant Belle years later buying a goat, but I digress.  She told me that when the Government decided to make the national forest the Appalachians and Great Smokies were mostly all settled, there wasn't a great expanse of untamed forests like here in the Rockies.  She said in many cases the US government had to buy the property and remove the buildings, they didn't bother with the plants that had sustained the settlers or pioneers that had lived there for life times.  Now in those National forest you come across raspberry plants in the oddest places, in the middle of a piney forest, beside a bayou, or in a marsh land area.  I thought that was so bazaar when she had said it. 

Our conversation had reminded me of my mom, we moved a lot when I was a child, so I have said, and no, we were not military or anything like that.  My dad was a saw filer and we went where the work lead him, all the way through living in 6 different states, all of them had the Rockie Mountians in them, from the northern border with Canada to the southern border with Mexico. We would travel along and as we would pass a broken down shanty, cabin, adobe or old once stately mansion, my momma would say, "there is someone's gooder years".  I learned over the years, as I aged, what she meant.  She saw the abandoned weather worn place with all the love it once had in it.  I soon began to see them all as places of lost love, God's haven of days gone past.  I still do to this day.  I never see them as someone's failure, but from a realistic point of view if they fell into ruin and became the remnants we see, lost and alone, maybe the people that lived in them left them in despair.  I think that only the old building themselves really truly still know the truth of it, them and God.  I, being a half full sort of person, still see their love of days gone by and hear the happiness of a little pig tailed girl running from a freckled barefooted boy chasing her with a snake or frog.  Memories of love stir my heart to see them.....

I recently have begun to notice the Lilacs of the Rockie Mountains.  Have you ever seen one standing alone in a pine woods forest?  Did you ever see one standing along side an apple tree along the river confluence?  Did you see the one by the mountain lake atop a mountain?  God didn't put them there among the tamarack and the spruce, no, some woman brought them cross country on a wagon train, or in an old model T, hoping to add a ray of sunshine to her new home so far away from her people hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles away, back east, from whence she had come.  She brought that climbing rose that now embraces a blackened lone standing beam that stands as a sentry alone among the pines in the woods.  No one around, no buildings, no towns just the impression of a once trailing road where she last saw her beloved rose burned down, she never knew it grew anew in the spring to honor her passing through this valley so long ago. I know you can see them here in the rockies if you but look.  My friend was wrong, sort of, the lilacs, the roses, the raspberries, apples and pear tears are here, just like back east in those forest, the only difference was that the pioneers continued on and never really tamed the land they had here, but their foot prints are on the ground they once trod if you but look.  God sent them on, let them succeed or fail only the tattered and torn long greyed wooden sentinels, where they once called home, could tell you the tale, if they could but talk...... I hope God has given you "gooder years" a place where some day some one will wonder about the abode you leave behind.... and think of you fondly as someone from the gooder years.

Matthew 6:25-29

King James Version (KJV)
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

I don't think Solomon was arrayed as beautifully as a Lilac either just look are there beauty today in the Rockies of Montana along the beautiful place that some one once lived......

The lilac almost has no bloom left in front of this "good years"

Alas all is almost gone but the memories of the wood and God.

The road the goes nowhere now, but took them somewhere then. 

The lone sentry.

The sentinels the Lilacs and the Apple.

I once held all the food of a winter, but alas no more.

A new road goes by me now not know that I once shaded the porch of a cabin in the woods, and my scented petals were once given lovingly to a momma from her child on a lovely spring day.  My gift made her remember the places she had left behind, now I am the left behind.....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day spent gardening, traveling and in remembrances.......

Poppie got up early and took Bug to Kalispell to meet his connecting ride back to ND.  Poppie got stuck in a parade so stopped in to see his mom and then got behind a RV wreck so was gone longer than he had initially expected to be.  He had a good trip all considered.  It was a little hard on him as he has been being weaned off of his only term chronic pain meds due to new rules and regulation from the government.  He being one never to await the inevitable took himself fully off of them a week or so back.  It has been hard on him but he is managing to learn to live with more pain and that is becoming his normal.  Traveling is always hard on him and a 294 mile trip was no exception.  We, the Ladies and I, planted more of the garden while he was gone.  He had helped us the night before and here are the photos for both....
Poppie and Yogie seed with a seeder.

Poppie, Yogie and Booboo discuss seed options.

Yogie seeds and Booboo plants.

Booboo makes sure the rows are straight. 

Yogie seeds more......
Poppie returned home and we all went up to the cemetery.  We had never done that before.  The Ladies were in awe of it really.  We kept are voices low and respectful.  We read every stone.  The flagged ones were in honor of the Veteran who served our country.  In our cemetery there are stones from the Civil War, the Spanish American war, WWI, WWII, the Korean war and the Vietnam war.  We don't have any, as yet, from the Iraq wars or the Afghanistan war. I am sure in years to come they will be added to our cemetery.  We got to see the Memorial to Veterans of Foreign wars.  It was a peaceful outing.  The deer walked along by us about 30 feet away showing no fear it was almost like they too understood the reverence of the day and place.  We spent about two hours walking row to row, reading the stones,  the fallen heroes, the babies who's time was so fleeting, the one that lived a hundred years and the many that have been laid there over a hundred years.  We had a very nice close to our long weekend.  We saw many a stone that could have used a scrub and maybe next year we will go back and scrub them because we all felt that our visiting the cemetery  was one of our new favorite ways to spend the day, in memorial honoring remembering  those in on this
 Memorial day.......Lord be praised, Amen........ tomorrow.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Weekend, what we do and what we should do.......

We had a great walk through at the flea market on Saturday.  I did manage to find a new to me blender, a Cuisinart and a plastic top to replace the glass one I broke for my blender.  I saw a pressure canner that would have been a steal at 25 dollars for a 20 quart one but for the fact that it was a gasket one.  I am still to afraid of them to actually use one.  Mokie tried to talk me into getting it be alas I couldn't bring myself to.  Poppie said I had enough for now anyway.  I did see some wonderful old mixer bowls and old Pyrex  bowls but even at 3 dollars I couldn't justify the money right now.  We went to Subway after and then to Grandpa's for bedding plants.  I got 24 tomatoes, 24 peppers (mostly hot), 24 cabbage and 250 onion set, cobra and Walla Walla.  I tried to keep them separate but missed up. Son says the Walla Walla's will get bigger so I will be able to tell when they are grown, I did keep part of them separate and sort of in two different rows.  We spent the most part of Saturday getting the garden all planted, we still have to put in the lettuce, and the cucumbers but the corn, green beans (we may get more seed but our town is out so will have to get them in Zootown), spinach, collards, beets, radishes, pumpkins, watermelon, yellow squash, zucchini, and Brussels sprouts.  Poppie still has to plant his giant pumpkin plant.  The girls planted their spinach plants that they had planted with Grandpa earlier in the spring.  Booboo was a little grumpy when we started but by the end of the planting she was as much into it as our Yogie is.  They actually were teaming up together very well. 

We had a nice day at Church.  The Preacher is ex-military so always includes a lot of military in his services.  He honored the vets of our congregation, as he does each year.  We had three this year.  His services were both about heroes.  We have many in our lives, our Lord, our parents, and different ones in our communities and lives.  We have the one that gave his life for all, our Lord, and we have the ones the give their lives for the many, our military men and woman.  He encouraged all to go to a cemetery today and honor the fallen who gave their lives for us.  Our heroes of our nation.

I have said before that I was not raised to put much time or thought into the graves of my loved ones.  Poppies mom has always been a little upset at me that I am not more reverent to graves.  She is big on decorating grave stones.  I have never done it.  I have never been to my grand mother Thema's grave other than when the stone was put there.  I was not at her funeral.  I have been to my Grandma Gladys at the funeral and once, later with my Grandfather Jim, but not for nearly thirty five years, it has never even crossed my mind.  The preacher did suggest that we go to a cemetery today he didn't expound upon why just that we should.  I got to thinking about it and what the graves might mean to me as an American this day.  I saw kids from a local church in the Bitterroot that went to Fort Missoula and scrubbed the graves of the military men/woman laid there.  I think that I will take the Ladies later to our local cemetery and go to honor the fallen heroes.  I am not going to go to my grandmothers or grandfathers graves, because I still don't think, no I know, that they aren't there.  I am going to go to see the markers of the military because that is an important way to honor their sacrifice, their gravestones tell the tale of the life's they gave for the all of this country.  Their stones stand as a lasting tribute to their lives.  I can honor them as a memorial that has nothing to do with where they are now.  I honor my grandmothers and grandfathers in my heart knowing that they are in Heaven with the Lord, they need no memorial.  The fallen and those who have served this country deserve the honor and respect that we can give them, they deserve our tribute, service and memorial. 

I find it ironic, I will not say funny as the word is not appropriate in connection with our dead heroes, that today in touted at the first day of summer, almost a national barbeque day but seldom do the many actually know what it is about.  My mother in law uses it as a day to honor her passed on relatives in general but that is no more right than the excuse to just have bbq on this day, really.  Today is not the day to honor the veteran's generically, not really, we should honor their sacrifice daily and especially on veteran's day but today is really about honoring the ones that gave it all for our freedoms.  They laid down their lives that we might live in a better world, that we might have the rights that we do, even the right to march in objection to them.  Think of the love that takes.  It takes a man or a woman who knowingly fights for the good of all of his fellow Americans or country men and is willing to die to preserve our way of life.  Today we honor the men and woman who knowingly gave their lives for us and our way of life.  Only one other person ever gave more and he did it for all of man kind, for any all.  They gave their lives for our betterment, our security, our rights, our constitution, and our way of life.  Christ gave it all for our souls, our salvation and our eternal life.  Today is a day of memorial to honor the fallen heroes, the heroes who have passed on to their salvation.   If you can go out and honor a fallen hero at you local cemetery today.  If you can today honor our Lord and accept his gift...... tomorrow.    

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Off to the flea market..... have a nice day.

We are off to the flea market.  We haven't gotten to explore it for several years. We only get on once a year not a regular thing like some of you have.  The Ladies get to take their money with them in case they find something they can't live without.  I am hoping to see something fun.  Poppie is just hoping he can walk through it all with out wearing out and getting to sore.  We will stop by grandpa's green house after to pick up plants.  Then home again probably a little after noon or early in the afternoon.

We want to finish the planting and just spend the day peacefully.  Mokie is starting a new shift so starting Monday she will work 7 in a row so I will be busy with the littles all week.  I am trying to rest up for when school ends.  I don't have issues with the girls but some days Boy is just a plain hand full and he and Yogie sometimes just flat out don't play well together.  They are a lot like Mokie and Nephew used to be the best of friend or adversaries in an all out war.  Poppie thinks he might be able to do that last little bit of painting I couldn't reach in the living room so just an easy no place to be day.

I hope the Lord blesses your day and your life... tomorrow.  (short and sweet, we all have some place to be, don't you know, have fun getting there.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Break in the rain gives us some gardening time.......

We were supposed to have lots of rain and even some snow in the mountains yesterday.  I think the weather skirted  us so we got to spend time planting more of the garden.  Poppie finally got all of our strawberries into raised beds that Cubbie and I had been working on.  We made a tiered bed out of an old galvanized water trough and a galvanized bucket, both no longer useable for their original purposed due to holes in their bottoms.  I used a plastic planter and an old plastic tub from a wheeliebareeo; wheel barrow in regular people terms, Yogie couldn't say it right as a little child and it stuck.  Cubbie and I wheeled more bark for under fill and then Cubbie, Bubbles and I wheeled manure straw mixture for on top.  We arranged the tubs, planter and trough into a pleasing look then filled around with the bark, a layer of upcycled construction plastic or wrap, then our manure mixture.  We didn't plant anything in the outer fill we had arranged it so that the straw berry runners would grow down into the fill area.  I never really thought of the extra weight of the two girls on top of the wheel barrow full of manure being so heavy.  I did manage to push them up the hill into the garden, together they probably weigh 70 pounds so extra weight in each load.  I didn't think anything of it at the time but last night my hip, that I tweaked hunting mushrooms, throbbed and I didn't sleep well.  I think for future reference they will have to take turns riding the manure "wagon" so to speak.  Nannie is just getting to old to accommodate the extra weight of to many littles on top of the full wheeliebareeo.  Alas we must all bow to times erosion.....

We are blessed with more sunshine, with possible occasional rain showers today.  We are hoping to get the rest of the garden in before a real deluge comes, which could be anytime.  Poppie got two long rows of beans in and I have to pick up more bean seeds and maybe more corn seeds.  Going to go down to grandpas tomorrow and get some tomato, cabbage and pepper plants, a giant pumpkin plant and check out what else he might have the sounds fun.  Poppie saved seeds from his 107 pound pumpkin from last year but he can't remember where he "saved' them at.  I would like to get a hubbard and a few other squash plants as well.  We will stop at the flea market too, it is billed as one of the largest in the state.  I am not participating in it this year so we can just go enjoy it as a family for a first time in a number of years.  I usually just get to slip away for a few minutes then have to come right back to my booth.  Yay, for the freedom to explore and enjoy a family event.  I hope my hip is better by then, no hauling manure and kidlets today for sure.

I got the plans for the finishing of my pantry all sketched out.  I was excited to be able to draw out the upper shelves now that we have all the base cupboards in place.  I think it is really going to be great when done.  I have taken several photos of the process, much to Poppies dismay and grumbling about having to be in a picture.  I will post them in a blog of the finishing of the pantry and see how that goes, more grumbles from Poppie I am sure,  he didn't like that I took a few shots of him and the Ladies planting either.  I still have to download and then post.

I pray for your salvation, and the salvation of all who would come to the Lord.  The Lord calls us to follow the teachings, and examples of the Lord, he wanted for all that hear to believe and I can want no less as his follower.  I hope you hear and follow the Lords invitation today..... tomorrow.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Not all the saved are Christians and not all Christians are saved.... is that an oxymoron?

I have stated before that being saved is a gift of God.  A gift by it's definition is free to the one receiving it, but a gift does come at a price to the one giving it, doesn't it?  The price is not always monetary sometime it is much much more expensive.  Did you ever think of the gift of God's salvation in terms of it cost?
 John 3:16 . 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

Did you ever think of this verse in regards to it's price?  I would think that in general not all that many who first hear it or even study it for years think of its price;  as with any gift a price was paid.  Jesus was the price paid for our salvation, Jesus paid the costs of redemption.  God gave his only son that he would pay the price for the wages of our sins, the world's sin.  I have read and even seen motion picture renditions of the brutal beatings and crucifixion  of Christ, it is heart wrenching but I am sure it pales in the reality of what truly transpired.  A innocent lamb to the slaughter, who willingly laid down his life as the price of salvation for any and all who would belief.  Oh, what glory, oh what a gift that none of us is worth of or deserve but God so loved.....  a Love that not one of us can even truly fathom.

I heard a statement in a sermon this week, the speaker said, "All the saved are not all Christians and all the Christians are not saved".   It was a provocative statement and I am sure it was meant to be.  It really caused me to think on it for a long time.  Salvation is a gift as stated so the reality is that you do not have to work for it but only to belief in God having sent his son to die for you on the cross. That is what John 3:16 says and God is always as good as his word.  So therefore a person can stop in a moment and belief and receive God's gift and never actually think on it again and be saved.  I think that is a hard thought to wrap your mind around but it is the truth.  So many people, or maybe it is Christians, get hung up on the works, and works have a place but they are not what salvation is about.  Works are for growing in Christ, works are for rewards in heaven, works are many things but not our way to salvation.  Living a Christ like life is the same, a person can be as carnal as he was in his old man as he is with his new man in him.  That is not the way God or Christ would have it but it is a possible way to live your life.  The old man is always with us our whole lives. He is the flesh of our first birth, salvation does not take him a way only death can take him away, salvation (our new birth) just adds the new man that for the most part duels with our old man. The life we live is the result of which man is wining, at any given time,the battle of carnality and spirituality, for the most part.  Christian are and can be very carnal.   Christian are and can be more Christ like, most live their lives in between ever battling the two men, our flesh and our spirit.  Some Christian evolve over time and become more and more like Christ seemingly having conquered the flesh of their old man, but when they think they have conquered their flesh they are in the most danger so we should always strive for Christ in our lives and never let down our guard.  God is always there to help, prayer and asking for his assistance does make us more like Jesus.  Jesus prayed daily, he sought God always so should we do less? 

I think the second half of the statement is the saddest part of the statement for me.  We have established that a carnal man can be saved and have been gifted salvation.  He doesn't have to spend his life as a Christian, he can be saved and literally walk away; but what of the person who claims christianity that does not believe?  What of those who are "spiritual", they live a good live, they do good to and for others.  They go to church ever Sunday, Wednesday and any other day set aside for worship but they don't believe.  You know they believe in something bigger but not necessarily Christ.  They believe in a higher power, a god or gods but they don't ever quite believe in Jesus, they are almost persuaded but not.  People look at them as say aren't they the nicest Christian you know, but they are not Christians.  They can't not be a real Christian if they do not believe in Christ, would I be a American if I only occupied the land but was really born in a different country and did not become an American.  I never thought of it that way before but wouldn't that make them and illegal-christian, much like an illegal-alien? I think maybe for me they are who my heart cries out for.  They live the life of the saved but never know true salvation.  They live a life of only the flesh and the old man, they have never received salvation so have never been given the new man of salvation. 

Matthew 7:21-23

King James Version (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I despair for these people,  I pray that they will yet see the Glory of God and accept the gift that Jesus paid such a dear price for.  God so loved...... tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Missionaries from Japan come by on their furlough...

Poppie and I got more done on the pantry.  We are making progress on the layout and how the pieces we have make the best flow and most storage.  I think that though the progress has been uberslow the time to contemplate usage has been priceless.  I am going to be truly excited with it when it is all done, and most of all ecstatic with the storage and functionality of it. 

I got to go to CAKLs, my little Birdie was waiting to make progress on her project.  We tried the knitting steps and she was very diligent but in the end we have decided that maybe I should bring in a afghan hook and she will try crocheting her project.  I am going to meet her on Thursday and teach her when there isn't so many people and commotion going on all at once.  She is going to succeed with this project if want and will are an example of her dedication to the project.  Helped my young knitter on her way to further success.  She has actually gone on youtube and been able to advance on her own so she is well and truly on her own path to success.  She does want me to teach her to crochet as well so we will do that soon or maybe even next week.  Lady and I caught up on BBFC and exchanged our thoughts on the next one.  Which will occur on the same day as the local Car Show so have to do some logistically arranging to make the out come smooth.  We are doing so well with the change of weeks we don't want to miss that up.  We will get it figured out to run smoothly.

The Ladies and I went to Church last night and got to meet the Missionaries to Japan that we help support.  They have been in Japan since 2000.  The have 6 children, 4 of which were born in Japan.  They are on a furlough in the states until March of next year.  They are visiting all the Churches that support them and I believe looking for more support.  They have technically got a work visa but they are not allowed to actually work at anything for money just the spreading of the Word and Christianity in Japan.  They have over their years there purchased a building that they are transforming into a Church building and for a home for the saving of souls for the Lord.  We got to see a short slide show of their home and works in Japan.  They get 25 feet of snow every year where they live.  They live if a sheep herding area of Japan and their Church is the Shepard Baptist Church.  They have had the opportunity to start a radio ministery and are making many contacts for the Lord. 

We got to hear a little about the culture of Japan.  I never realized how closed a society they were before last night.  I knew on a historical level that that was so but I had never really thought of it in a spiritual aspect before.  I think as an American I take it for granted that everyone has heard of Jesus, his life on earth and Christianity, like him, believe in him or not.  I know that most people I would talk to know a little about Jesus.  The Japanese are very different.  The missionaries are taking the Word of God for the first time to many of these people.  Their culture, religions and gods are very old, they have never heard of Jesus and to become a Christian is a total turning from their way of life.  I had never known that that could be in this age of the internet and global knowledge.  I just assumed that we were nearing a day and age where there could be no one that had not at least heard of Christ.  It was a very interesting and enlightening visit and we were blessed to learn about the Japanese people even if in such a minute way. 

I pray for the missionaries and the work they are doing in Japan.  I pray for the Word of God to be heard in their lives and God's Grace can be accepted into their lives and yours..... tomorrow.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wheat alergy, Celiac or Non-Celiacs diesease, Belle and garden planing progress.....

I still have a lots of rhubarb to get done.  I ended up going to Belle's house with Poppie so he could fix a pressure switch. Poppie got it done and we were still busy chatting so he left Bubbles and I for a long visit.  We got to have a good visit which we have not gotten to do for awhile.  Belle has been to see her mother in Alabama and lots of exciting things this spring and we got a lot of visiting done.

  I did have a chance to talk to her about Celiac's disease.  Her daughter had been diagnosed with it about 9 months ago.  I had been looking into it recently as a possible answer for Booboo issues.  Booboo is more and more fatigues, foggy headed, she is having head aches and more IBD symptoms. Sister has just recently been checked for wheat allergies, that came out negative, but it had got me looking into the three conditions, wheat allergies, Celiac or non-celiac's diseases.   I really have come to the conclusion that these three need to be ruled out for Booboo.  I did come across a couple of articles that had to do with sourdough bread and gluten sensitivities.  The two different studies had had some indication that using old fashion sourdough methods of making bread, sponging and making the true sour sourdough had some effect on making the gluten break down and more paletable without damaging the intestines for people who are sensitive.  Sort of like Kefir does with milk for the lactose intorerant.  More research needs to be done,  I think maybe that is why we have never thought of gluten as a possible answer for Booboo before, we almost exclusively use old fashion sourdough and have for years.  I have read that there seems to be a genetic factor in the gluten sensitivities, and its connections with chrons or ulcerated colitis.   My nephew and two older daughters and Sister have all of these.  I also read that there seems to be a yeast allergy connection as well, IE, sourdough is not processed yeast.  I do remember that my Grandmother Greathouse, my dad's grandmother,  who was a tiny little woman never weighed more than 83 pounds in her life ended up being allergic to yeast, maybe she was tiny from having one of these conditions and was undiagnosed.  Ironically she swore her whole life that yeast was what gave her energy and she took a teaspoon faithfully daily, but when she got sick as a older person the Doctor diagnosed her with yeast allergy.  Funny that MSP effects so many people and there is a big debate whether it is a real or made up sensitivity, but if you are looking for it under any of its 140 label names, on products, one of them is yeast extract.  So maybe the gluten sensitive really do have issues with it that people over look. 

We finished our evening planting part of our garden, we got such a late start that we didn't get it all done but the potatoes, I know late, part of the corn, pumpkins, and yellow squash are in.  We hope to finish the rest today, probably Poppie and I this afternoon and Poppie this evening.  The girls and I are going to Church later, we are having guests.  Missionaries that we help sponsor from Japan are coming through for a visit.  It will be nice to visit with them and hear of their adventures.  Belle and family are going to be there as well.  So alas, I still have a mountain of rhubarb awaiting me.  I am still taking half of it to Lady, didn't get that done either. 

I pray for the victims and the survivors of the Oklahoma tornados.  I pray the Lord keep them in his arms, and welcome the ones that have gone home.  I pray that you know that when you die you will be going home to live with the Lord, if not today is the day you can know that you will be with the Lord in eternity..... tomorrow.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rhubarb coming out of my ears, Tattler water bath success, Poppie drives 6 hours.......

We had a nice day at Church.  We are to have missionaries come for a visit on Tuesday so looking forward to that.  All and all a comforting day with our family in the Lord and the Lord.  We praised him with love and joy. 

I came home and had canning to do,  I had broccoli to freeze and Mokie went up and picked all of Drama's rhubarb.  She gave me half of what she picked and it is well over 30 pounds.  Poppie also had to pick mine, early.  My naughty goats ate the tops off of them so they had to be harvested, stupid goats aren't supposed to eat rhubarb as it is a hazardous plant to them funny nothing is actually poisonous to them just hazardous.  I ended up with 20 one pound bags of broccoli blanched and in the freezer. Booboo and I filled up 14 jars to can.  I was going to get to do water bath using my Tattler jar lids, for the first time.  I was so happy when they came out, I tightened them up and waited for them to cool down.  I was able to take the rings off just before bed time and voila all 14 sealed perfectly.  100% success first time.  Yay.  I am really enjoying the changing over to the Tattlers.  I have seen the 4everrecap lids advertised.  I read a blog or two about them and am excited to try them as well.  The seem to be almost identical to the Tattler but they are cheaper and they have silicone seals instead of the rubber.  I was hoping to try using the silicone seal on my Tattlers (from accounts of other users they fit both lid brands), found the place to order them and put them in a cart to buy them but had to do something.  I went back to my cart and they had disappeared now I can only buy them with the lids.  Sadly, I really did want to try them and was happy to buy fifty seals to do that but now I can't even get them to try them with out buying the lids too.  I think I would like the silicone seal better maybe but since I have already got almost all of the 500 I need to make the transfer I am not going to buy more lids to test the silicone.  I will keep checking to see if they get them back again.

Poppie had to go to Kalispell last night to pick up Bug.  He had a friend coming through that could drop him at Kalispell, Troy or Thompson Lakes.  I didn't want Poppie on dirt mountain roads in the night alone so he went to Kalispell. It was an uneventful trip there and back, the Lord be praised.  I am still paranoid after 33 years of Poppie having to go anywhere with out me.  It rarely happens and I still worry the whole time he is gone. I know ocd.. but I can't change the way I feel or worry.

I still have rhubarb to process, thinking of making some pickles and maybe I will blanch some for the freezer.  Booboo and Mokie each made rhubarb pizza's so that was nice to have last night.  The girls had it for breakfast as well.  I am going to gift Lady with a bunch as well.  I am going to drop it off at the Library later, and have a catch up with her on the BBFC distribution this week, it went smooth and was a success, we have the best volunteers, really we do.

I just give the praises to the Lord for all that he does for me in my life.  I count the blessing of my family, my friends, the safe travels of my loved ones.  He is so good to me and mine.  I praise him for the trials and the blessings in my life.  You never know when a trial is a blessing that hasn't blossomed into a blessing just yet.  The Lord sends his blessing to us in his time frame and we never can doubt the wisdom of his unanswered prayers.  I hope you are blessed with God's blessings and love, his unanswered prayers and his trials, but most of all I hope you remember to praise him for his blessings in your life.  If he isn't in your life today is the day to asked him in.... tomorrow.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hamburgers aren't meant to be rare even a half century later.... recipe Six

We left our Grandma Thelma's and I think it was a relief to my momma.  I know she could not bear to be haunted by the memories daily.  She was in such a sorrowful state if she didn't have us I am not sure she would have made it through.  She cling especially to Sister, as she was a baby at the time.  We moved to a 50 acre sheep farm.  We moved into the old farm house.  We didn't take a lot of the thing that belonged to my grandparents my mom couldn't seem to be comfortable with them.  Most were given away and years later my mom came to regret the loss of most of the things, quite a few of the things went to Auntie but mom never got them back.  I can recall just a few items she kept, a trunk of letters we kids ruined, a round mid century clock, the rock table (am not even sure of the table but mostly the rocks), a fountain pen, a few pieces of jewelry but nothing else comes to mind.  We lived in the old farm house a short while then moved into a basement that my dad had had poured where we was going to build a house on.  My "Auntie" moved into the farm house.  Before we had moved out of the old farm house my Great Grand Mother Glassey had come to visit, she was not happy with my momma again.  I know of only seeing my grandmother 3 or 4 times in my life and she was always mean.  I did not see her during one of the visits and all the others kids said she was nice and loving, I do wish I had gotten to see her that visit as I only have sad memories of her visits.  This visit us kids bugged her, my momma was in trouble if she disciplined us and in trouble if she didn't, she only stayed a week thank the Lord.  We loved the basement, it was exciting and Auntie's boys, she had three, were our daily playmates, our cousins lived a couple of acres over and they were with us daily as well, there were 5 of them.  Daddy built on the basement when ever he was home from work,  he was making it into a three story house, it seemed like a mansion to us.  We only lived there a couple of years but it was ever evolving, we had to move in 1966 when the boss of the mill across the field died of cancer, the loss of another loved one was to hard on my folks we moved to Grangeville Idaho from there.  They sold their house and 50 acres in 1966 for 15 thousand cash, the Bitteroot valley changed so much in just a few years that in 1980 the acreage had been sold off and the completed house on one acre sold for one million dollars.  The valley boomed to an extent that if you didn't own it you probably couldn't afford it, if you were a local.  I digress back to our new basement.

We moved in in late summer but summer none the less, there were adventures to have and mischief to make.  Adventures we had many.  Our Auntie moved in next to us as I have said, she or we had a cow maybe both I am not totally sure but she was going to teach my mom to milk a cow.  She grabbed the teats and udder and put them into the pail, she didn't even bother to wipe them off and they had cow Poop on them,  ewwww.  I recalled that she said it didn't matter all that much you had to strain the milk when you were done anyway.  It didn't make for an appetizing thought to drinking milk from the cow for the first time to any of us.  Auntie did have a way about her, she once said that she swept her house once a week whether it needed it or not.  It usually did.  She also had lots and lots of sets of dishes, if you went to visit like we did, mom always had to wash all of them before we could eat.  She was a farm girl to her core and we loved her for it. 

We hadn't lived in the basement very long when the freezer up and died.  Mom took all the meat out of it and put in into our little read wagon, she said it was wasted, it didn't look that bad to us but she said it was garbage.  Silver, Red and I pulled the little wagon in to the sheep pasture just over a little rise where momma could not see us from the basement.  We played kitchen and cooking.  We cooked up patties and mud pies.  We also ate the patties that we made.  We were so sick later that night, we threw up well into the night.  To this day I can not abide hamburger that is anything less than well done, but give me a steak and as long as it is warm to the center it can be mooing for all I care.  The rarer the better, but not rare burger ever.  It makes my stomach roll and want to crawl up and out.  We were still a handful for momma we just had a bigger back yard to play in.  I remember Sister sitting in the house with momma.  She looked like a living dolly,  she would sit right next to momma with her little dolly,  the dolly had a hooded jammie that was pink.  Sister would pull little fuzz balls off of her dolly and roll them for endless hours between her fingers. She always sort of hummed as she rolled.

I remember breakfast the most in the basement for some reason.  We had the cow, and we had finally gotten over the poop on her teats, plus momma actually washed the udder before she milked.  We had lovely cream from the milk, and the milk was nice too.  We had a lot of mushes, I don't recall ever having much cereal in my childhood.  It was something we never got into the habit of, maybe it was new fangled or expensive, either way we never had much of it and when we lived in the basement I would venture to say we had never even heard of it.  We had a lot of oatmeal though but some times, only sometimes momma would make Oatmeal and whipped Cream.

Oatmeal and Whipped Cream

4 cups of water to the boil
1 cup of Old fashioned Quaker Oatmeal, we had never heard of quick oats
1/2 cup raisins.
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of cold raw cows cream, the thickest part off of the top of the jar
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of salt

4 cups of water with a pinch of salt in it.  Water boils faster with salt, so momma said.  When it boils add the oatmeal to the water and stir good.  Cook for 5 minutes at a simmer, add the raisins and cinnamon and stir in well.  Let set a few minutes after you turn off the burner to set good.  In the mean time, or while it is setting.  Put the cream in a bowl and mix with the mixer until it forms soft peaks,  cold cream is better for whipping.  Once it is whipped fold in the sugar and the vanilla.  Dish into bowl and put a big dollop on top of each bowl.  Serve hot. 

I remember the treat of that big dollop of cream on our oatmeal, the nutty taste of the grain, the sweet popping raisins and the cold of the cream if you ate if quick before it melted.  It tasted like foam if you let it melt.  It would foam up and make the oatmeal all fluffy if you stirred it in.  It didn't take long for the fluff to deflate but if you ate it quick each bite would be fluffy.  I don't think I have ever enjoyed oatmeal like the kind you have when it has raw whipped cows cream all fluffed up........

Love is a wondrous thing but love has nothing to do with liking, in family, friends or neighbors.....

I can't imagine of a child or person that has never heard of the Lord being taught any verse in the Bible before they are taught...

 John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Imagine a love so broad scoping that you would send your one and only son to perish for all of man kind.  I truly can not wrap my mind around that kind of love.  I, like most Christians, spend my life time trying to truly understand the love of God.  God is love and maybe that is the answer, that any true act of love is God manifested.  Love can not live in any form with out that it is from God.  Love in it's purity is the embodiment of God in us.  That being said it is something we will truly never understand in this life time.

Love is not liking.  God loves all of mankind,  he proves it over and over again.  He sent all of mankind his son, he is long suffering in his love for mankind and awaits their acceptance of  his gift of his son, he has wait generation of peoples life times allowing us to come to him.  We know he loves us.  We also know that though he loves us he doesn't always like the doings of his creations.  Sometimes one of his creation becomes so evil and such an abomination to him that he slays his own loved creation.  Numerous scripture show where he slays a human that was an abomination.  I will not list all the scriptures of God doing this but one that comes to mind is  Genesis 38 3-10.  We later learn that when God considers something an abomination he is brought to hating his creation and that is when he finally knows they are a lost cause finally destroying the abomination he has created so it does not infect, so to speak, his other creations, kind of like a bad apple in a barrel.

God created us in his own image,

Genesis 1:27   So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them

I think that we are more than his imagine in appearance, I think we made us in his image in many ways.  I think that he gave us the ability to love our fellow mankind in a way that has nothing to do with liking them.  I don't think that love is ever really about liking.  Love is the expression of love in our lives.  If God is love, love is the manifestation of God in us.  God loves all of mankind and God in us is our love of mankind.   Have you ever seen a small child with people.  They look at people and see only love.  They smile at people with innocence and love shining from their eyes.  The nearest thing to God is a child, is such a true statement, just watch one.  We are told that we need to be as a child

Matthew 29:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven

Clearly we are to be as a child and that the kingdom of God is.  We are also reborn as children of God, aren't children the images of their parent?  A child is a copy, or near image of their father, we are the image of God.

We as people love as God in our soul.  We also see the evil and abominations in our lives, we are not to like that and should hate that.  Liking is something we do as people it is different from the love that God has given us.  We love mankind, we love our families, we love our enemies and we love our neighbors.  We are never asked to like any of them.  God allows us our lives to life, we can and do like where we want.  It never once says in the Bible God liked that person.  God does not lower himself to the act of liking.  He is so much more than the act of liking, he is much more a being of loving. He leaves the earthly emotion of liking to us and only embraces the heavenly, eternal act of loving.......

God so love you, yes, you the person reading this simple blog, that he gave you his son's life, if you believe that you can and will have eternal life with him in heaven.....tomorrow.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Busy day at BBFC......

We had a busy day at BBFC when we first got there, we, Booboo and I, there were only ones there but for two ladies who were there to volunteer, neither could lift.  I had Booboo call Poppie to come down.  The Pseudo's Grands Mom came along and helped, and Mokie came over from her job at lunch.  A little later Cake Maker and Hubs came by and last but not least ENurse came.  We had a nice turn out of volunteers all worked hard and we got along well.  Nice easy pace and easy going group, we only had 58 plus an organic so a medium size distribution.  We did have some trouble with apricots and I ended up having to do my first credit, but it was some one that was very understand so that was great.  All in all we did okay for the first time with out both Lady and I.  I got home and got my paperwork all done, including the credit so all is done until next time, yay.  The pigs loved the excess even the bad apricots. 

Pianist came buy to get her basket from me, I had picked it up for her so she stayed and talked for a couple hours.  I watched Bubbles so Son could have a break.  Only is here visiting, she wants to spend the night with her cousin Cubbie.  They are having a grand time.  Cubbie has just recently learned to ride her bike and I caught her our trying to teach Only to do it as well.  Only gave up before Cubbie got her "teached".  Poppie is a little sore from all the carrying he is glad he doesn't have to do it every time.  He is backhoeing for Son but will be done soon and he will get some much needed rest.  Well after he feeds rabbit and goes over to fix  Grooms pressure switch.  All in all a good day.  We have an extra for the night, Copper is over to spend the night with Yogie.  Another day of the unexpected here, is it really unexpected if it is the norm...hmmm.

May the Lord bless the rest of your day and weekend.  He loves to love you and seeks your presence in him.... tomorrow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Manwich Goulash (Pasta), crepes, beans and beef... recipe 41

I am going to write this one out of chronological order but I am not going to but it in my index out of order.  I am writing it because I wrote about the success I finally had with crepes and this memory is so fresh it just wanted to be laid to paper.  Thanks for bearing with me and my meanderings.

We moved to Arizona in December of 1970.  My sister Little Sister was 4 months old.  We had lots of adventures in the 10 months we lived there but I will regale you with them in order.  We meant the most interesting of people there and one such family was an implanted family from New York City, the Bronx's to be precise.  They had move there at about the same time as we had.  We meant them at Church.  They had moved to Arizona because their littlest daughter had asthma and her doctors had said she would have better health in the dry climate of Arizona.  They had packed up part and parcel and moved for their daughters sake.  The Church had known they struggled with the move so they had helped them out with provisions.  Mom and Janette had struck up a friendship, both being implants and new to the Church became fast friends.

We got to be good friend with the Fecco's ( I have no idea if that is spelled right and since we have not seen them in 42 years I don't think their privacy will be disturbed from my little blog).  They had 3 or 4 children and a grandmother, as I recall, but I may not be just right in the numbers in the family.  Janette one day confided in my mother that she had been given 50 lbs of beans and 1/4 of a beef but was having difficulty knowing what to do with it.  My mother would have had no such problem using a partial side of beef and dried pintos.  She volunteered to go over and help Janette with her dilemma.  Jeanette was so thankful she invited us for brunch, we had never had brunch before.  We were to have casserole and crepes.  Crepes were a wondrously wonderful dessert.  We were so excited to get to go. 

We arrived early in the morning and we kids all got to playing in the back yard.  Janette and my mom had a heart to heart.  Janette was very upset.  She was very grateful for all the Church had done for them but no idea what to do with either the meat or the beans.  She said she sort of knew what to do with the hamburger as it was something they did use occasionally in their Italian food but for the rest of the meat was at a loss for what to do with it.  My mom asked her if she had ever had steak or roast she said only out at restaurants.  My mom by this time was a great cook.  My mom walked her through the basics of making roasts and steaks.  She was unsure but willing to try.  They went on to the beans.  She said she had had green beans but dry bean never.  She said she had fried them but they never got soft enough to eat and they did not like them.  My mom assured her that they would like them and explained how to boil them up and use some of the hamburger to make a good chili,  Janette felt they would manage now that she had some info on how to cook them all.  My mom was amazed that the culture was so different from where she had come from that she had no idea how to use the meat or the beans. 

Janette made up a pasta dish for brunch.  She boiled pasta noodles, we just called them egg noodles, she fried up some cabbage and then she put manwich sauce in it and that was the main course. We had never had a pasta dish made with cabbage and manwich no meat involved so we learned something new that day as well, win win.  It was like Manwich goulash to us, we had never known it was pasta.  She decide to make their favorite dessert and that was crepes.  She cooked them up, to us they looked like really thick pancakes as she cooked them.  She rolled jelly in them and added whipped cream.  We were all excited to dive in.  We were soon not so excited, they were horribly gummy and gooy and thickly dry if that is possible.  Our mom's sourdough pancakes were much better, we were also taught to eat what was put in front of us, so it was a long slow process to finishing up those crepes.  She was so disappointed that not one of us kids wanted seconds, her kids ate several.  I do know that I never wanted a crepe again in my life. 

It has taken me 42 years to over come the horrible crepe experience.  I made them yesterday after studying them for the last few years, yesterday I got up my nerve and made them.  Mine turned out wonderful and my Ladies will not have long term trauma from the having of them.  I made savory and dessert crepes, all were eaten right up no leftovers.  Yay.  I had to make them in my electric skillet and I used my pie server to thin them out but all in all a success and I didn't ruin one, which really surprised me.  Need less to say I do not have a crepe pain or a non stick pan and with the success I no longer am contemplating the purchasing of either.

Crepes- Basic (my recipe tweaked from reading several dozen recipes and adapting to my needs and ideas)

2cups of sifted flour, I spooned it gentle into the cup so it didn't get crushed down
1/2 tsp. of salt

Mix together and set aside

2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of water
2 tbsp. butter melted
4 eggs

I whipped the liquids in a big bowl, but you could use a blender, I gently added the flour mixture, once combined I put it in the frig one hour to rest and meld together.

I got my big electric skillet out and heated it on 400 degrees, I put a tablespoon of butter in the pan and melted it all around.  I scooped up a scant 1/4 cup of batter and poured in in the pan in a circular manner then I took my pie server and pushed all of the batter around until it was a thin circle without any holes.  I took 30 seconds or so for the batter to turn a creamy color. I check on the cooked side and sure enough nice golden brown like the ones I had seen on the cooking shows.  I flipped it over and cook it another 15 second or so.  I transferred it to a plate, folded it into triangles and was ready to make the next one.  I made 14 of them and each was a nice as the first.  I put them in the frig and then filled them and heated them later for dinner,  I used the last 4 to make a filled sweet dessert. I will try them in manicotti next time.  I am also going to add coco powder and sugar to make chocolate ones, or maybe some cinnamon, sugar and vanilla when I make sweet ones but the plain basic were fine for a less sweet dessert, and not as caloric a version.

All in all these will be something we regularly eat, no more shivers when I think of having to eat crepes.  I mean to tell you 42 years of hating a simple crepe is way to long......

Crepes, a 42 year voyage with a successful ending.....

I had never heard of crepes until I was 10 years old.  I lived in Winslow Arizona and we had just meant the most interesting people, but one particularly interesting family from New York state.  They were fun and a story unto themselves which I will tell in an upcoming recipe story but for today I want to talk about crepes so will pass over and go on.  We were to get to go have crepes for lunch, or maybe be brunch, at our friends house.  We got there and mom was excited to see how they were made, we had heard they were wondrous things to eat.  We found, when all was said and done, hers were nasty thick heavy pancakes that none of us ever wanted to eat again in our whole lives.  We were polite but no one asked for seconds or for the recipe, for sure.  I sadly no longer wanted to know anything about crepes and wondered how people would even want to make those again, for goodness sake good ole sourdough pancakes were far superior and they were easy to make.  Crepes faded away in my memory, well any thought of their being good ones anyway.

The encompassing years would bring crepes up in my mind once in awhile but then a shiver would run down my back, I would shake my head and pay not attention to crepe conversations.  I often wondered why movies or TV shows made so much about them.  I, in the last five years, had occasion to see an episode of Ina, Anne or Bobby on the food network making crepes and started to notice they didn't appear to be fat doughy things.  They looked elegant paper thin and the people really liked them and me being a foodie I was hooked into watching shows that highlighted or spotlighted them.  I was really more and more interested in making them but the shivers soon would come and scared me away.  I also began to hear that they were a bit fragile to make and that you almost never made them right the first time.  I have seen Paula make chocolate ones and Alton make savory ones, from reviews on line, Alton's are great and Paula's are greasy with too much butter, imagine that.  It was a long time coming but I decided I wanted to make crepes.  I have read recipes, reviews, and studied them to death on line and so I was finally ready to wade in, still a little skiver shook me somewhere in the back of my mind.  Yesterday was the day!

I decided on a recipe, one I found on line I didn't use Martha's I had it right there in a book but thought her recipes are usually great but sometime they are a little ladee dah for me.  I decided to make ones with out sugar and no vanilla so I could make a savory and a sweet application for the family to try.  Funny, Yogie is 10 like I was but I wanted her first impression of them to be better than mine.  I made up the batter let it set the hour, Cubbie and I went out and checked animals while it aged in the frig.  One hour later I was back to make them.  I had figured out over the last few months how to get around the fact that I have neither a non-stick pan or a crepe pan.  I had seen an episode of Guy where the diner, or dive, made crepes on a cook top, no pan required. I thought well I have a huge electric frying pan that would substitute for the cook top.  Batter in hand, in a 1/4 measure cup a little less than full, with a hot electric pan I was ready to make the first one and fail.  Anne had said even the best fail on the first ones, account for it and get over it.  I poured the batter in in a circular patterns and used my pie server as a smoother to shape and thin the batter in the pan.  Viola, it looked perfect, it was thin, not thick unpalatable looking dough globs.  The edges started to dry, I check under and it was golden brown, it flip perfectly and a slight cook on the other side and it was done, and it was perfect, it looked just like it was supposed to.  I put it aside and tried another, another and soon all the batter was gone.  They all turned at as perfect as the first.  I folded them in to quarters, you're supposed to do that I have found, and cooled them in the frig to fill for dinner.  I later heated and filled them with two different savory filling and made sinful cold dessert ones.  We all set down to dinner and one and all liked them.  Booboo says I can added it to my handwritten recipe book, that always means its a keeper in her book.  Poppie loved them and that is not always the case with my long term studies in fancy foods.  I will be adding this recipe to the recipe stories I am currently working on, either in the story of the bad crepes or in the section that will be as a Mrs. recipes.  I am so glad they turned out well, we will use them regularly I am sure and I think I already want to make up some to make manicotti.  I know Booboo and I are making chocolate ones this weekend.....  the end of a 42 year long journey and it was a good ending.

I hope the day brings you joy, I hope that joy is in the Lord, he does joy in you his creation, he has loved you from before time, from the foundations of time and is awaiting your acceptance of his gift, is today the day you receive his gift?  I do hope and pray so.... tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chaos is wearing thin, Pectin info, Frozen fruit Co-op, and .......... Homesteadbloggers.

I have come to the determination that the building of a pantry in the middle of my chaotic life has it's limits.  I am really good at chaos, as I have said, but there comes a limit even to my patience in this.  The progress is so slow compounded by the fact that, due to new FDA rules, Poppie is being weaned off of his long term pain meds, which is causing him a lot of pain and he simply tires out sooner than normal, the pantry is moving along at a snails pace.  It has given us time to tweak it as we go because every advancement has time to be accepted before we get a new advancement.  We do get to decide if we like something and if not have the time to change it as it goes along.  I do have a limit to how long I can take living in a room full of boxes when I haven't even moved anywhere, well I have if you get to count from on room to the next over and over.  I am done whining now, I do love the changes, I just want to be able to paint and tile which will be the beginning of the end of that room, more to go though.

I got a chance to use my orange citrus pectin yesterday.  I had about 6 lbs of sour cherries in the freezer from last year.  Cubbie, Boy and I took all the stems off of them and put them in the big pot.  I was tired last summer and just picked them and froze them so they were as they had been when they came off of the tree.  We added water, squished them and made them into juice by boiling them for 10 minutes.  I got about 6 cups of juice, mixed equal parts of the orange pectin and sugar.  We boiled it and it did take about 45 minutes but it finally thickened up to a good gel.  I am not sure how thick it will actually set up.  I sealed them in to jars.   I must say that the orange citrus pectin has a taste, it does taste like bitter oranges so if you use it with something compatible with the orange taste it is a very good option for free, or reclaimed pectin, but if it is a jelly you are making that isn't complimentary to orange probably not a good choice.  I can't wait to make the apple pectin so I will have a second option, and since it is more bland I will probably use it more than the orange citrus.  I am not sure cherry was a fair use of the orange citrus pectin for a first go, cherries like peppers is fairly hard to jell as it has no natural pectin.  The kids liked it though when asked the Ladies, who had been at school when I made it, what kind it was they thought it was cranberry relish jelly.  I think the cherries were sour enough and the orange flavor reminded them of my cranberry relish which I do often put orange and jalapeno in to cut the sour. They did like it but I think in the end I will probably use it as a sauce to make orange chicken or other Chinese style foods.  All in a all a successful pectin.

I have a friend the did a co-op for bringing in frozen fruits, purees and jams in to our local area last year.  She is not able to do it this year, so I am going to do it this year.  I am taking orders and have to get them all together and sent by June 30th.  I hope to have all the orders in by June 20th so I make sure to meet the deadline.  The fruit is of excellent quality, I saw some of it as Lady bought some last year.  The fruit is out of Bithell Farms of Oregon.  I hope I manage to get everything done, on the timeline I am hoping for, so all the people can get what they want and share in the bounty of the fruit.  I had never really thought much of co-op's before but it seems to have become something more normal in my life.  BBFC is the first co-op I was really ever a part of, well maybe the first that was actually called a co-op.  I have since been a part of another co-op that one of the BBFC VAC has offered.  This will be the first co-op where I have to do the work to bring it here (except for the info from the lady who did it last year), and not just the under work where someone else actually does the lions share of the work to bring it to our community.  If it works out I can see myself doing more co-op for other items we might need in this area.  I did just get accepted in to another co-op of sorts.  It is called the Homesteadbloggers, it is a group on Facebook that promotes each other blogs and homesteading endeavors.  I am excited to see how it goes with them.  They seem to be all like minded peoples to my concepts in life, oh, I am sure we all will have differences but it is a new experience and I am excited to see how it goes. 

Off to do my chores before the grands arrive.  Maybe I will get to paint of tile later.... well one can hope can't we?  I hope your day is filled with the Lords love and warmth, you know when I pray and praise him I can actually feel his warmth in my soul and it is so comforting, I hope that for you.... tomorrow.