Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Wainy Wednesday...

It has been so rainy today.  Another tropical storm, Beryl, is making his/her presence known.  As usual, my garden is enjoying it ....

I was planning on working outside this morning, but Beryl was an unexpected guest.  I really should watch the news a bit more, especially this time of year.

I ended up cleaning house and doing laundry.  Along with the schooling and other chores.  It was a semi-nice day.  It is nice to have clean floors and a nice clean bathroom though.  :)

I spent most of my day making one of my favorite Korean side dishes....Kimchi.  Kimchi is fermented vegetables that is usually on every table and at every meal in Korea.  There are as many recipes for kimchi as there are Koreans.  I, myself, have taken two kimchi sauce recipes...combined them and added carrots and Korean radishes and called it mine.  If I have American-ized this dish up too much...I am sorry, but I do love it!  It is really good on a hamburger....yum!!!

I will post a tutorial on how to make it when it is ready for the refrigerator.  I don't want to miss any of  the steps that I use.  I think it is neat that many Koreans actually have a Kimchi Refrigerator for their kimchi.  It is rather smelly and can smell up the cleanest refrigerator.  

It goes from this...

To this...

The total time from the first picture to the second picture take about five hours.  It is soooo worth me.  (4 hours is spent just soaking the veggies in a brine solution. It is not constant work the whole time...) 

Lacto-fermentation is the process that makes kimchi...kimchi or sauerkraut...sauerkraut.  The women of old had crocks of full of pickles, beets, onions and garlic in their storerooms or cellars using this process.  The Koreans had cabbages, radishes and other veggies in their stored away crocks. These dishes are full of healthy bacteria called lactobacilli.  This bacteria is not only great for your bowel by encouraging healthy flora growth, but is an excellent source of enzymes, vitamins and anti carcinogenic substances.   It has a healthy AND delicious result I must say.

Change of subject....

There are days when my emotions are pretty much in check and then something will happen and my emotions become no longer in check.  This happened to me today.  It is very hard to let go of the past hurts when the present is just a repeat of the past. Oh, the names are different, but the hurt is the same.  When my episode occurred-all the past pain came flooding in like a cresting river intermingling with a tributary of today's pain causing a flood of tears for a short while.  Sigh...

I do pray for the gift of forgiveness for those that caused the pain of my past, but it never fails to return when that wounded area of my heart is hit.  I can explain this by comparing it to the wound that Frodo received from the Witch-king on Weathertop.  No matter how much I pray...this wound never completely heals. 

Someday, I know that the Lord will prepare me a table in the presence of mine enemies and I will feast--they (meaning the demons that keep pricking this sensitive portion of my heart) will not.  There must be a way to totally release all this past pain.  Forgiveness...prayer...loving kindness... Hmmm..

I used to be pretty good at hiding my feelings, but here lately that "gift" has left me, or maybe my guys know me better than I think they do.  My son was especially concerned...and my husband brought me "some color" in the form of flowers. the moment.

Well, enough processing my hurts--- it is time to start my supper.  Today's menu---broiled marinated pork loin chops, roasted rosemary potatoes and garlic sauteed greenbeans.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend...

This weekend has been nothing like I envisioned.  Sigh...

It did have its high points though.  I went to my friend's son's graduation.  He looked very dignified up on that platform in his black graduation cap and gown.  He was homeschooled all his life and this was not only his graduation, but my friend's, too.  It was a lovely ceremony. 

We had nice cookout with another dear friend and her family.  It was delicious!  Good friends, good foods and good conversations...a lovely afternoon.

I did not get the chance to work on my laundry room this weekend.  I am supposed to be dejunking, but I feel as though I am just junking up my home.  I am still trying to talk my husband into making me some shelves in there....I saw him measuring so I believe he is going to make them (just not in my timing).

How do you like my compost bin potatoes?  They are volunteers, of course, but they grew well!  My neighbor kind of tickled my funny bone when he asked me if we were going to eat them.  "Yes, they are actually healthier than anything you buy in the stores."  He had his face all in a wrinkled expression showing his "not quite understanding how organic gardening works" stance.  His response, "Whatever...."

The dirt all around the potatoes was pure worm castings with a little decomposing grass mixed in.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I am going to compost my garden with it this week.  My garden is growing and I will have some squash and zucchini in a few days...

Well, that is all about my weekend.  Do please take a few minutes today and thank our Heavenly Father for our country and those who have died protecting it.


Friday, May 25, 2012

This Friday has been a bit different...

My neighbor and I are having some trees cut down in our yards.  They are having 6 or 7 trees cut down whilst we are having only dropping...Blue Heron attracking pine tree. 

When this company said they were going to start at 8:00 a.m. They meant it.

One, lonely, ugly, sap dropping and Blue Heron attracking pine tree gone.  We are going to have one very hot summer here without our neighbors trees.  The good thing I can plant my fruit trees and have bees in the backyard.  There will be enough sun! 

Schooling was kind of half done today.  Watching the modern lumberjacks take down huge trees was much more interesting than Developmental Math and Explode the Code.  That is what HOMEschooling is all about...taking advantage of our world around us.  Master Beale enjoyed his day.

My garden will benefit from the tree cutting, too.  My cucumbers are beginning their assent up the "covered wagon" trellis.

I cannot wait to see the trellis all full of green vines with yummy cucumbers hangingdown.  Pickling time is almost here.

I have never grown flax.  This is just an experiment for me, but they do have a lovely bloom, do they not?  This was not here yesterday...another gift for me!  Thank you Abba!

I am still working in my laundry room.  I cannot believe how much stuff I had jammed in this room.  I am thinking about having a few shelves built in and removing the gray plastic cabinet that is presently being used for cleaners and such.  I think shelves would allow more storage room for some of my electric appliances and canning goods.  I will talk with my husband about it this evening.  :)  Sounds like a wonderful homeschooling project for he and my son.  Let's see....math, woodworking, tool safety and productivity away from the computer and the Wii.  Oh...this is working for me....

Well, I am going back to the laundry room.....


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My lovely Thursday...

I think the sun is kind of shy today.  It will peak it's warming yellow face out when the lingering clouds of Tropical Storm Alberto allows.  We had rain last night, so everything is damp to wet.  I know the states with the forest fires would like some of our wet stuff.  I am praying they get some.

I have been working on my laundry room this afternoon.  I am taking a break so I can actually breathe!  I cannot believe how I have let housecleaning get away from me.  Actually, it didn't go anywhere....I am the one who ran away from it!  Or slept away from it...oh well, everything is on the right track now.  (I am thinking of going out and buying me a rose for continued inspiration.)  ;)

You know it is time to can again when all you have are these on your canning shelves.....

That is it!  One jar of Italian sauce, one jar of whole tomatoes, two jars of basil tomatoes and two cans of sweet pickle relish.  Not much to last the winter, I'd say.  I have 20 pints of freshly canned strawberry jam that I did a couple of weeks ago, but they don't count yet!  I think I am going to go and get a few more strawberries next week and freeze for smoothies and such. 

Schooling with my son went fairly well today.  He is having trouble with word problems.  Thinking words through does not come easily to my young man, but we will keep plugging along.  His reading is doing a bit better.  I do believe it is because I have severely limited his computer gaming time.  He is out of doors more getting good exercise and vitamin D.  We are going to continue to school throughout the summer.  He needs it and I like being able to take a guilt free day off if I or he gets a notion to do so.  :)

This evening we are going to our church's community garden.  We have put in a Back to Eden garden.


This picture is from the can actually watch the whole film on  Anyway, this evening we will be harvesting and planting.  There is virtually no watering and no weeds! 

You first lay down newspaper, four sheets thick, where ever you want your garden...make sure it gets a lot of sun.  Then put down some good aged organic compost...about 6 inches thick.  The third and final step is to put down some wood chips that has been chipped with their green foliage still present.  This layer should be about 4 inches thick.  There you have it. 

All you have to do is pull the wood chips back--plant your seeds or seedlings--water initially.  If you planted seeds...don't cover until seedlings are up, otherwise, cover and let God do His Work.  I believe the key is good organic aged compost and the wood chips.  The chips absorb water when it rains...prevents over watering.  Then when the garden is releases the water into the compost.  It is like gardening in the woods with all the leaves, fallen limbs and such .... decomposing and feeding everything around.

BLT's tonight after tending the community garden.

Those are the plans.  :)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A wonderful Wednesday morning...

Yesterday, after a wonderfully sunny morning...this is what rolled in.  Accompanying those water heavy storm clouds was what I am going to call Heaven's Bass Drums.  The rolling thunder sounded so ominously majestic that I had to stop, listen and then take a picture or two.  I was so thankful that I watered my garden very lightly just in case the weather forecasters were correct.  :)

So, how did I fill up my wetted afternoon?

I made some lavender scented castille soap!  This was my first successful batch so I was quite excited!  I do believe my mistakes have been with the temperatures.  When the recipe says 110 means exactly 11o degrees!  Anywho, I was so very pleased that I called my friend, Marianne, my mom and my brother!  So silly, but I have had soap to come out looking more like cow patties than the nice creamy yellow tray that you see before you.  I can't wait to make some more...This is a skill that I would like to perfect and have some fun with.   :)  :)

Now, I said that I would explain my dejunking, deep cleaning and painting strategy today.  I must preface my explanation with yet another explanation.  As I have said previously....I have been in a depression.  I won't go into the details--God is still working in and through the reasons for my downward spiral and I am choosing to let Him do what He wants and I am do what He has ordained me to do.  With that I am coming out of this dark painful season I realized how little work I had actually been doing.  I was always tired, so I think I thought I was busy all the time.  Schooling got done, along with laundry, grocery shopping and cooking, but that was about it.  

I remember reading a little story to my daughter years ago about a little girl who took a single rose to an old lady who lived nearby.  Her house was shabby, dirty and dark.  She said she just wanted to be a friend to the old woman and to start the friendship the little girl brought her a rose. 

Now, the old woman needed a nice clean vase to put the rose she washed a vase and put it on her table.  But she noticed that the table cloth was dirty and stained, so she washed, dried and ironed the cloth, placed it on the table under her clean vase with her new friend's gift standing proudly.

Then the old woman noticed that no one could see her new friend's gift because the window was dirty and grimy..of course, you know what happens.  The old woman cleans this window and then the other windows...then the house and the yard.  All because of a little girl's gift.

This is kind of what I am going through, but I have no rose to get me started.  Everywhere I look I see all the reasons for cleaning this room or that room first.  I honestly can not make up my mind where to start....sad, I know, but I did say I was coming out of my depression, so my mind is still in a befuddled state.

When I was talking to God about this dilemma my husband came in with some breakfast biscuits and that is when suddenly this idea came to me.  (I know God had something to with this...)  Anyway, I listed all the rooms in my home and put them in the Bojangles' bag.  I would pray and pull out a room name and start there.  After a short loving husband thought the bag was trash and threw it away...then he replaced it, so I could function again.  :)

There ya have it!!  My cleaning program in a bag!  So, what room will I start with?


Can you see it?  I need to rewrite the other rooms a bit darker, but I am to start in the Laundry Room!  Easy Peasy!  I will update each room upon completion.  I am actually excited to get started and get everything as it should be!

God had some sweet little surpises for me this morning in my gardens.

I can already taste the zucchini bread,  fried squash and pickles! 

God also allowed me to notice something I have never seen before...

A Lightening Bug during the day!  Apparently this little guy likes Yarrow! 

Well, I am off to the laundry room!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This Is a day to rejoice and be glad in...

This is the day the LORD hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

With my cold cup of coffee in one hand and an opened bag of yellow onion bulbs in the other, I ventured outside for a little garden time.  Now, I live in a city, in a fairly quiet little community, in a suburb.  There is a hospital, a firehouse, a school and a river with all its trades nearby.  Because of these establishments there comes a great deal of man made  sounds: sirens, alarms followed by sirens, school children's laughter and playful screaming while waiting for the bus and then there are the foghorns and traffic from the bridges that cross this river.  I am quite used to these sounds and even find comfort in some of them.  (I love the sound of the tugs' foghorns and laughing children..)

Anyway, this morning has been quite a gift from God.  On my backyard venture I was met with....quiet.  A few birds chirping, a couple of squirrels scurrying down from the old trees for their morning meal of birdseed and a mallard flying in for the same cuisine, but still...quiet.  

My world, even for only a short time today, is filled with the most soothing morning fog imaginable.  The cool morning air is so filled with sweetness that I can almost taste it.  The cardinals, titmouse, chickadees, gray squirrels and the lone mallard male seem to be enjoying this lightly jacketed morning as much as I am.  This is a day to rejoice and be glad in....truly it is.

It is so nice to be able to go out into my backyard.  I would love to have a covered area where I can sit, read, craft and sip whatever it is that I feel like sipping.  I do not have the finances to build what I see in my mind's eye, but I do have a weathered old picnic table with an umbrella.  My husband knows of my wish so he cut a hole in the middle of the ol' gray thing and now I have a nice shaded place to sit, read, craft and sip whatever it is that I feel like sipping.

It is nothing fancy but we are making the most of what God has given us.  (Not only it is a place to sit, is a wonderful gardening table.  There have been many a repotting and plant starting done on my old weathered friend.) 

I love going out in the morning and doing my gardening work.  Weeding is much easier because the soil is usually moist from the dew and of course, the weeds just pull right up.  And having mornings like this morning everything done in my garden is pleasurable.  I did plant some more onion bulbs.  I like to stagger my plantings so I can enjoy fresh onions throughout the summer and even into the fall.

My little raised beds are doing fairly well.  The blooms are coming God is at work as usual.

The cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers all have yellow or white plumage beginning.  I am hoping to put up sweet pickles, dill pickles, sweet pickle relish and dilly beans this summer.  Of course, I am also hoping for lots of jams and fruits to put up soon, but for the present they have to come from the surrounding farms and orchards. I do love to can my own foods! 

This week, actually starting today, the Beale Bungalow dejunking will begin.  I have done all I can do in my gardens, so now it is time to get busy inside.  I have a plan...I call it my "Bojangles' Plan"; I will explain that tomorrow. 

Well, it is time to run a load of laundry, get the house straightened and have my second cup of coffee (hot this time)...then the dejunking begins.

Rejoicing in His day,


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Feelings...woe woe woe...feelings...


I am really feeling unappreciated today.  I seem to BE the only one who knows how to load the dishwasher and then actually run it.  (It takes a great deal of know how to push the right button.)  Then there is the actual cleaning of the sink.   Gee, a little soap, a little water, a dish towel, some elbow grease and then a good rinse.  It must be rocket science and since I was a nurse...which falls under the sciences in college...I am the only one qualified for such a task.  Sigh... 

There are other tasks that seem to be mine and only mine... Picking up everything and putting them away.  What about the folded towels that have been in the laundry basket for a week?  I'm I the only one possessing the skill of putting them in the linen closet?  I know this is not rocket science....I think.

I am aware that God sees all that I do, but my attitude in doing these monumental tasks have not been done in love, this night.  Thank the heavens that my men have been in bed and away from my unappreciation pity party that I seem to be having.  It is just that I do feel unappreciated and taken for granted which, in turn, makes me feel unloved.  (My love language is "Serving" so when it goes unappreciated it feels as if my love is being rejected....hmmm...I need to work on this.) 

I probably could take all of these "tokens" of my life if I had a night out or a vacation (at least once in thirty years of marriage) or a decent Mother's Day.  It seems that I am always an afterthought of the family I am forever serving.  This makes me very very sad.  It is so hard not to grumble when I think I deserve something...gee..this is another thing I need to work on.  At least I am honest..ehh...

Of course, I am going to go to my Heavenly Father....ask for forgiveness...repeat the verses that seem to be my montra for 2012...The Lord will replace what the locust have eaten;  I lift mine eyes to the hills..where does my help come from...My help comes from the Lord...Maker of heaven and earth.  I will take some time to place my focus back on Him, drink another bottle of water, brush my teeth, change into my nightgown, crawl into bed, hum a hymn in my head until I fall asleep.  I know I will feel better tomorrow morning.  At least that is my prayer. 

Gosh, I am feeling extremely human and tired tonight....


Friday, May 18, 2012

How does my garden grow?

It is cooler in at the Beale Bungalow.  My little garden is growing though.  I am really trying to work it this year. 

I have seven raised beds and they seem to be doing fine.  This morning I was able to do some weeding and putting some soft ties from four of my cucumber to the "covered wagon".  That is what I call the domed trellis in the second bed.  When it is full of vines it favors a Conestoga wagon covering.  I grew trombocini zucchini on it last year.

Today is going to be a lovely Friday.  I am thawing a chicken for supper tonight.  Laundry will be finished for the weekend.  Schooling lessons will be done, of course.  The house will get a cleaning and I will probably relax for a bit with some Trader Joe's Peppermint Tea sometime this afternoon.  It is a day to rejoice and be glad in!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My thoughts and plans on a rainy day...

On the 51st day, my daughter called!  The very best Mother's Day gift ever!  We talked hurts and misunderstandings out...apologies were said.  Forgiveness asked for and I have my daughter back.  Thank you, Abba! 

I didn't realized how many people were praying that she would call.  I am so thankful for each person that took the time and had the compassion to pray for this hurting momma's heart.  I am truly grateful and relieved, I couldn't be more content at this moment.  What a blessing.  I am humbled, Abba.

The rain is falling and my garden is drinking in Heaven's refreshment.  It is so very green outside.  It kind of reminds me of a yard that one might see in a book about Ireland.  I think the rain is forcasted to last most of the day.  I really don't mind and I know that my veggies are ecstatic.  Fresh water!  Not the treated kind that comes from the hose.

The rainy day plays well into my plan for the day.  Laundry, cleaning, baking and working on my rug.  Not to mention schooling lessons with my son.  We are on our summer schedule already, so today is Bible reading, Developmental Math, Explode the Code, SSRW book 11 and The Dangerous Book for Boys (we are learning how to tie 5 different knots today, a perfect rainy day indoor activity!) 

I am trying to finish all my gardens so I can start dejunking and painting my house. 

For the past few years I have been in a depression.  Call it midlife crisis, menopause, stress, whatever you want, but a depression none the less.  When I started coming out of my depression...I noticed how much I wasn't doing on a daily, weekly, monthly even yearly basis.  YIKES!!  My house was a dirty junky mess!  I didn't mean to let it get so bad, but the second law of thermodynamics is so true.  When left alone...decay sets in.  (My paraphrase)  The house needs a deep cleaning and I am chomping at the bit to get going.  I just feel that food production must get started first...then cleaning.  So, my gardens are almost done and the Beale Bungalow is getting a little makeover.

My plans are to dejunk and bless someone else.  Deep clean each room.  Paint every wall, ceiling, woodwork and door with a fresh...colorful coat of paint.  Make new simple curtains for every window.  Rearrange wall groupings.  Bring in some life in the form of plants, crafts and whatever else God chooses to let me have and do.  It will take all summer, but that is okay.  I don't have a car right now, so home projects will be done.  :)

I am also planning on doing a great deal of canning.  Food is getting somewhat expensive and not the best quality either.  So, I am trying to be as organic as I can in my little raised beds.  I have already canned 20 pints of strawberry jam.  I have found a lovely recipe for pickled pineapple that I am going to try next.  By the end of canning season (which where I live will be November) I am hoping and praying for complete stock that will allow me to buy organic grass fed beef, organic free range chickens and such. This is a goal and my prayer. 

Oh God, please let my hands to the work that You have ordainded for me to do.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


Saturday, May 12, 2012


Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  In my flesh, I am dreading it. 

You see, on March 24th I called my daughter.  Her husband has been just diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome along with a Traumatic Brain Injury (PTSD and TBI).  They have always had a very rocky relationship.  He was to have some test results on the 23rd, but when I called on that Friday...she did not pick up her phone.  I called the next day..Saturday.

My daughter did pick up but all I heard was screaming and pleading from her.  I panicked and ended up calling the police. I am in one state she is in another....this took a little time.  She finally got on the phone and I told her not to worry...we were calling the police.  She went ballistic!!!  Somehow, everything became my fault and how dare I get involved.  She said she didn't need me and once again, everything was my fault.  I was in shock!!  After very calmly telling her to to go to her husband she hung up and we have not spoken since.

My daughter was raised to respect her parents.  My daughter was raised to be a godly woman and mother, but she has made some poor choices in her adulthood and now it seems to be all my fault.  The Blame Game....

50 days and no phone call.  Tomorrow is going to be rough.

God, please help me through it.  I never knew how much it hurts to be so numb inside.  I do believe You are in control.  I do believe You work everything for our good and Your Glory.  I do believe You will replace what the locust have eaten. 

I am asking for a genuine smile tomorrow.

                                  In Jesus Name--Amen

Friday, May 11, 2012

Catch up time

Gee,  I get a blog and then my computer dies.  What a bummer!  But God knew what He was doing.  The computer is a tool not a way of life and that is exactly what it had become, so now I get on, do my business and then get off.   Lesson learned and habit broken.  Praise God.

So, what has been going on for the past two months.  My husband totalled my car, the computer died, our heat exchanger went out on our heating system, even my hairdryer died!  On the 24th of March my daughter and I had a phone call that has changed our relationship.  That is all the negative...

.....Here is the positive--because of no transportation I have had to reorganized my time and I am learning to be satisfied at home.  This took some getting used to, but all is going very well.  I am more content to be at home and doing what I believe God has for me to do.  

Not having a computer has been very interesting.  My son and I have had to go through cyberspace withdrawal symptoms.  It was harder than I thought...but now I have so much time.  Time to make rugs, bake, clean, garden etc.  The computer is a HUGE time waster.  It is a tool---not a way of life.

Another benefit on not having a computer is we are a family again.  My son plays OUTSIDE!  He is back doing is Lego creations, making movies on my camera, playing with the neighborhood children, reading better and actually enjoying schooling lessons.  We, as a family, spend evenings together...not separated glued to a screen in the computer room.  It has been wonderful to talk, laugh and joke again.  I really didn't mind it after a while.

The heat exchanger had a chilly reception at the Beale Bungalow.  This happened March 5th.  It was cold in this house for about a month, but with space heaters and a gas stove in the kitchen...we managed.  Once again...this brought the three of us closer together.  One stays warmer when one is sharing the cold with others.

New hairdryer...easy fix!

Daughter dilemma....not so easy to fix.  I have been on my knees more over this situation than the combination of all the other trials put together.  I know where my help comes from.  I know that He will replace what the locusts have eaten.  I also know that all things will work together for my good (and my daughter's) and His glory.  Today  I am a peace.  Doesn't mean I don't pray, but I am at

Well, that's it....a catch up and fill in day.  Tomorrow .... my Garden.