rise & shine, glory glory

Years ago, I remember hearing my sister-in-law talk about getting up at 3:15 am to make breakfast for my brother-in-law.  Yes, tough Army guys need a good breakfast to be ready  & raring to take charge of their troops.

When you hear that “the Army does more before 9:00 am than most folks do all day”….they aren’t kidding.  That also means some of their wives were up prior to that getting them going on the right path.

I asked Mr. Right, do you want me to get up and make you breakfast?  He said in the nicest, kindest way….sweetheart, no one wants to eat what you cook at 3:15 am.

That pretty much sums up my abilities in the early hours of the day.  I am not very creative or cheerful or thinking straight …I’ll just say what everyone is thinking, I am not a morning person.

20190517_165425Recently, on my latest youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnjZZpUledU I asked folks to tell me how they started their day. I asked what kind of rituals they do to set themselves up on the right path.

It has been lovely to read everyone’s routines.  Many different, so many the same.  From scratching their dogs’ belly to listening to uplifting music, prayer, breakfast, and devotionals,  the glorious coffee/tea seemed to be a repeated necessity.

Since so many shared, I thought I had best jump on here and share how my day begins.

I have found that routine helps me navigate the early morning hours.

The moment, I wake, I say thank you.  I am grateful for another day.  I start the day with light ankle/leg stretches.  I put on my walking clothes and somehow manage to corral my beautiful, huge, “joyful” hair into/under a baseball cap. Brushing my teeth and putting on lip gloss is next as is drinking one glass of water.

Five days a week, (4 weeks a month, 12 months a year) I read my letter.  Yes, Mr. Right leaves me a note.  Stickers, stick figure drawings, always an excellent, kind comment about last nights’ dinner, bread or dessert.  Sometimes he writes a poem, a joke, leaves a pun, a count down to something fun we are planning.

Yes, every workday morning, I read and keep my love notes. 20190525_073806

I make my bed.  Yes.  Every single day.  When my sisters and I were little, our mother 20171018_141746-1_resizedwould say we were not allowed to go to school unless our beds were made.  Oh my, to think we couldn’t go to school!  Geesh. The habit has remained with me.

I take our Sweet Liberty outside.  Now, that she is elderly, she no longer joins me for my walk.  She relaxes at home and gets an extra wink or two of beauty sleep.

I make her breakfast, give her fresh water, brush her every morning. (Yes, a girl needs to have a daily comb out.)

If I don’t walk, I ride my indoor bike.Rise and Shine

During biking, I read The Upper Room and  The Christian Science Reading Daily Lift scripture and thoughts.  My morning devotionals last for 3 miles, about 22 minutes.

I use my Rebound-air for 9 minutes.  (Here is the goodness:  2 minutes on my Rebound-Air equals 6 minutes of running or 10 minutes of swimming or 22 minutes of walking.)

Boy Howdy, it’s fun, helps my lymphatic system & makes me happy.  I can listen to music or a video or let my brain swirl.  When jumping, so I don’t slip,  I use socks with little rubber nibs on the bottom.  They even have a powerful message for me each morning!

20180214_204856My morning juice is already made (the night before by Mr. Right) and chilling in the refrigerator, six days a week.  It is 4 carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 orange, and 1/2 lemon. (fyi, our jars are from the Love Bomb company in Oregon.  It’s a great company & we love our jars!)  https://www.thelovebombcompany.com/

Some mornings I sail through my routine, other days, with my eye on the prize, I stumble each step of the way.

The prize you ask?  Oh, I think you already know.

A beautiful cup of coffee.

Dark Italian Roast freshly ground beans.  I add some coconut sugar and a splash of 20180830_074754coconut/almond creamer.  Depending on my need, I choose a beautiful cup or a comfortable Polish pottery mug.  Once in a while, when the day calls for a big, bold choice, an overly large mug, with a big handle and the perfect curve of the lip, fits the bill.

Whether you jump start your day like a military person on a mission or you ease into the morning slightly slower….

I hope you set yourself on a path of gratitude.  Grace and glory will surely follow.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon.

 

 

soup+bread=comfort

I woke up to pouring rain and 46*.  It was dark and dreary.  There was a chill in the air.  I was walking barefoot across my yard.  (grounding, it works)  I slipped on my boots to go tend to my chickens.  As I fed them and gave them treats and fresh water, I told them how it seemed like a soup and bread kind of day.  They all chatted back in agreement.  It sure doesn’t feel like the middle of May.

 

I knew I was going to bake bread.  I try and do one tricky thing and one or two super simple dinner ideas. Each packed full of nutrients and flavor, always lots and lots of flavors.

The soup was an easy peasy choice and you can start to finish have this soup on the table in about 30 minutes.  Not much effort for brilliant results.  I used Brandi of The Vegan 8 fame recipe.  https://thevegan8.com/2018/01/25/tomato-vegetable-soup/

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While flipping through a couple of my bread books, I happily stumbled upon Onion Rosemary bread.  This is a good one.  The recipe calls for one LARGE loaf.  I prefer to make two smaller loaves.  A couple of reasons.  1.   I can keep one and give one to a neighbor.  2.   there are only two of us.  We get tired of the same bread over and over and over.  Now and then, I prefer to divide the recipe in half.  We are able to devour a small loaf of bread in 2 or 3 days.

Here is what you knead (get it, a joke…knead…need, Come on, that was a good one!):  1/4 cup butter (you know I use Earth Balance, vegan butter) 2 cups of onions, chopped finely, 1 envelope of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use coconut or date sugar), 1 cup warm water, 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan salt and please for the love of good flavor, measure the salt), 1 HEAPING Tablespoon of finely chopped Fresh Rosemary (fresh makes a ginormous difference).

rosemary*side note suggestion:  At our previous home, I could not for the life of me get my Rosemary to grow well.  I have a friend who was hacking her Rosemary bush back constantly.  So one day, I said, I will trade you fresh Rosemary for a loaf of bread.  She gave me a GROCERY BAG full!  haha.  I did bake a couple of loaves for her and gave her two other recipes to use.  It was a beautiful barter.  I am SURE you have something you can barter with a neighbor in exchange for a handful of their fresh Rosemary?  

Melt the butter on medium/low and toss in those beautiful fragrant onions.  Cook for about 20 minutes until they are golden.  You know they are done when you want to sneak one for a taste.

While those are cooking, in your mixing bowl, combine half the flour, sugar, water and yeast. Let sit until bubbly, takes about 20 minutes.

Next add your remaining flour, salt (measured) and Rosemary.  Mix well with a wooden spoon (if you have or want big arm muscles) or just turn on the Kitchen-Aid.  Gradually add the onion/butter mixture.  This will form a slightly sticky dough.

Use your dough hook and let it do it’s magic for 10 minutes.  Or if you are upset about something or fretting, toss that dough on the counter with a little flour and work it out.  Knead the dough for 10 minutes.  It is a rather satisfying feeling.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange the dough in a slightly flattened circle.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  (here is where I set the whole cookie sheet on a medium warm heating pad) Let rise for 45-50 minutes.

Bake 400* for 30 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.  I save a pinch of rosemary and add that to the butter.  The aroma of freshly baked onion bread and rosemary is divine. 20190515_152011

The table is set with big soup bowls, oversized linen napkins, the bread is on a board, sliced & ready to choose your perfect slice…..you sit down………………say Grace and pick up your soup spoon, gingerly take that first small sip.  Oh, my.  Another larger spoonful….and the conversation begins………….

that my friend is comfort, pure and simple.

 

In this together,

Chat soon.

PS.  Printed on the soffit above my kitchen, I have a quote,

“they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” Acts 2:46

nailed it

I create with my hands, a lot.   Here are just a few of my finished cross stitch projects from 2018.

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Similar to most folks, every single hobby I enjoy involves using my hands.  Gardening, baking, sewing, quilting, crocheting and cross stitching.   (Okay, technically, while reading I hold the book or kindle, however, not much wear on my hands.)

Currently, I have been crocheting hats for the grands.  As you can imagine, all those fibers catch on rough cuticles and my dry hands.

 

Don’t even get me started on counted cross stitch.  I am just now venturing into the world of silk thread.  Even the slightest rough cuticle or dryness and it has me putting down the project.

No, you can’t just fix the problem right then.  Oh, sure, putting on hand lotion, seems at the time that it will smooth out the rough spots and you can be on your way.  A quick fix for a short-term solution at best.

Before practicing the piano, I would soak my hands in very warm water for a few minutes.  Yes, it would help loosen them up and calm the rough spots during 30 minutes of practice time.

These will help albeit for a few minutes.  However, it is not a long-term solution.

Here are a couple of things that have really helped my hands and nail cuticles.

I can’t use any chemicals to remove dried cuticles so……………..

For a few minutes, a couple of times a week, I soak my hands in warmed milk.   Since we don’t drink milk here, I purchase one of those individual size containers of whole milk.

The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead cells and soften the cuticles; the natural fats help replenish dry skin.  After soaking I push the cuticles back.

Try, oh for the love of Pete…….try not to cut your cuticles.  I only typed that to REMIND myself of this.  That is a tricky one.

Once a day, sometimes in the winter, twice a day, I rub a healing oil on my nails and cuticles.  (I don’t think I have to tell you not to touch ANY of your projects until the oils have soaked in and you have washed your hands with mild soap.)

 

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Before I share the recipe, I put all of the ingredients into a roller ball glass container.  It makes it easy and mess free to use.  BIG, helpful tip…………BUY the opener.  Just do it.  Spend the $5.00 and buy the opener.  Stores that sell essential oils usually have them right at the check out stand.  Seems like a waste of money.  Until you actually have to open a roller ball glass or essential oil container. (which will be slippery because you are …duh….using oils)roller ball opener

Into a glass roller ball container, here is what I mix up:

1 1/4 teaspoon Jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon vitamin e

5 drops lavender

5 drops lemon

5 drops frankincense

5 drops myrrh

You can also add other helpful oils like eucalyptus, grapefruit & rosemary if you like.

One more crazy tip?  I can’t use this after 2pm or I don’t sleep well that night.

The harsh winter months really emphasize how dried out our hands can become.  I hope these couple of tips will help you continue to create and work with your hands, and keep them not only beautiful but healthy.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

good food = happy

20170725_165021-1_resizedLast year I thought we had way too many green beans.  I got the giggles 20180620_084922_resizedeverytime I ventured into the garden.  Our supply seemed never-ending.  We ate baskets and baskets of green beans.  We gave away bags full.  I cooked every recipe I could think of.  I froze some.

This Spring, I had learned my lesson and only planted four bean plants.  One didn’t make it.   Actually, three might be just enough.

It started out pretty easy.   I picked a 20180815_095417-1basket full and we had an amazing Sunday dinner.  Then a few days later I made Greek Green beans.  Oh, yes, Fried Rice with our green beans.

September has dawned and yes, I am still discussing and picking green beans.

I have given away a bag or two.  I tucked some in the bag with eggs I gave away.

I have a  friend who has the most incredible mind.  I want to call her a Renaissance woman. Self-sufficient and brilliant when it comes to making things.   She has this amazing ability to create so many different things. She is an expert knitter. Her quilting skills are admired by anyone privileged to see her work.  She designs things with beads that are so unique, they grab your attention right from the start.  However, it’s her cooking, baking, gardening skills that will make you lean in and listen.  She has much to offer to those of us willing to be still and watch/listen/learn.

“I like good food & food waste drives me nuts.  Fresh produce is a gift never to be squandered.”  FL

 

Notice every time I gathered goodness from the garden, yes, yes, indeed, more beans.  With the abundance of beans in my life, I got a bit whiney.

My renaissance friend encouraged me to dry some as snacks.   BRILLIANT!

 

Oops, I may have forgotten to take an after picture.  Suffice it to say, the bowl was empty but for a flake of nutritional yeast here or there.

“I like good food, I want those around me to eat good food.  Good Food makes everyone happy.”  FL

Last evening, I filled a pretty bowl.

Yes, you guessed it.

Green Beans.

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In this together, friends.

May you all be lucky enough to have a friend to learn from.  She makes life better.

Chat soon.

 

 

August toss

A wise person I met in a wellness group, offered up a quick read.  The title is, “There is actually a link between Depression and Clutter”.

Next, I stumbled upon a quote by Joshua Becker, a blogger.  https://www.becomingminimalist.com/about-us/

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

See where I am going with this? keep toss

Join me, won’t you?

Yes, Marie Kondo’s book is really wonderful and encouraging.  It is just a big bite to take.

Let’s go simple.?  Let’s really accomplish this.

Every single day in August, I am going to toss one thing from my life.

20180630_084740-1_resized_1Similar to my walking calendar for the month of June… I am going to reward myself with a butterfly sticker each day that I toss something.  By the end of the month, I will have 31 stickers on my calendar and at least 31 fewer things cluttering my life.

You can certainly toss or give away more than one thing a day, however, the goal is at least one thing EACH day.  Having a big ol fashioned yard sale and selling 31 items will only “count” for one day.  Yes, it will feel great, however, this is also about learning a process.  A small success EACH day.

After walking every single day in June, it has become a habit.  I continue to lace up my sneakers and get out there. Maybe, by tossing (or donating) one item each day for the month, it will become a habit I seek out?

Today, as I flipped open a cookbook, I found 4 loose papers stuck in between two random pages.   I gave a quick look and decided to toss.  Who among us doesn’t have one catalog or magazine on our coffee table that is 4 months old?  Why do I have two vegetable peelers?  Why am I keeping a pair of new shoelaces that don’t fit any shoes we own?

See this is going to be a snap!

For the month of August, I am going to seek out things I no longer need, use or want.  Heck, I could go 4 or 5 days tossing something daily from my make up bag alone!  Don’t get me started on the junk drawer ( we all have one, we all need to clean it out so the drawer will close with ease).  Our garden shed has plenty of cracked plastic plant containers, that alone will keep me on track for a week.

So, come along, please join me.  Just think, by the end of 31 days, we will be lighter in spirit and there will be less clutter around us.

First thing I am tossing?  My grater.  It has a couple of rust spots and I keep meaning to replace that thing.  This is the month!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to a healthier and happier spirit!

declutter your life

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s with me?????

Chat soon.

 

streaking in June, part 2

Where were we?

Oh, yes.

June.

#streakingwiththecoolkids  

walking

Okay, you all remember we were about to begin our June streak?  To refresh your memory, just click here:

https://sundayschildfullofgrace.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/june-streak/

Hello, Halfway point!  Nice to see you.

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I’ve been doing the walking.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

I thought I would share some of the beautiful flowers I have found along my walks.

How is your streak going?  Did you make a HAPPY calendar?  Are you starting to look forward to your walk?  Have you come across any beautiful flowers?  Have you walked in the rain and the sunshine?

In this together friends….. here’s to our good health, Cheers!

Chat soon.

let’s streak in June

Hello June.

There is a group I joined called “Streaking like the Cool Kids“. (Facebook group and website)

http://runningslowfaster.com/streaking-cool-kids/

Starting today, the idea is for the entire month of June, to walk 1 mile a day.  30 days 30 miles.

Oh sure, you can obviously walk more, however, you cannot skip a day and make it up later.  You can check in daily, raffle prizes etc. or you can just garner or share inspiration and motivation with others.  Just stop by their group for all the juicy details.

Or just walk.

Walk every single day for the month of June.  Easy enough.

I asked 4 different friends to join me via the social media.  I asked one friend locally.  …………each had an excuse why this wouldn’t work for them. 😦

___________

Enter Mr. Right.  I was telling him about it and he said, effortlessly and without hesitation, sure, I’ll do it with you.

So, he printed off a calendar page, I bought some cool stickers and we are ready to go.  No, I am not a 9-year-old girl, YES, I still think cool stickers are fun to earn!

Since Sweet Liberty has gotten on in age, we no longer walk her on 2-3 mile daily walks.  As a result,  I have gotten in the habit of biking and rebounding daily at home and biking outdoors on Sunday.

I am looking forward to getting out there again, consistently, each day. running shoes

Put on your dancin’ shoes  cute walking shoes and join us.

Here’s to our good health!

In this together friends,

Chat soon.