Wednesday, January 01, 2014


It has been months since I have actually posted here, and for that I am sad.

Real life seems to have gotten in the way of much that I try to do these days.

And, quite frankly, there has not been a whole lot of newsy-news that y'all would find interesting!

One thing I have been doing is continuing my weight loss journey with Trim, Healthy Mama.

 December 2012

I started my journey July 22, 2013

December 2013

I still have about 10# or so to get to my goal weight, but it will come off much more slowly now.
Lest you think that is too much to lose, remember…
I am only 5' tall!

And my real reason for posting today, the first day of 2014, is to share my "word".

I have never been one to get a "word for the year" from the Lord…
until 2011 when everything had fallen apart in my own little world.
That year I knew that I knew that my "word" was 
I needed to learn to be content in whatever circumstances I found myself in.
I think I am still working on that!

Then last year, my "word" was
Or, as I like to say…
"fear less"
Cause I was so full of fear that I pretty much figured the Lord meant to leave a space between the two words and not expect me to totally become "fearless"!

And now fast forward to last week.
I was not really seeking a word, per se.
The word just kind of found me…


This word has many shades of meaning for me.

First, and foremost, I have been given the gift of eternal life.
He is reminding me that I need to re-gift His gift.
Sharing the full gospel of repentance and faith towards God needs to become a priority.
I have been given MUCH, and I need to share that so others can also receive His gift.
As an "older" woman, I need to be able to teach the younger.
A huge responsibility, for now there are many friends and co-workers who are far younger than me!

Another aspect of my word would be sharing the knowledge I have gained the past few months through my weight loss.
I have several friends and family members who have joined me and are beginning to see results, but need some additional help and encouragement as they move towards a healthier way of eating.

The authors of the Trim, Healthy Mama book have asked me to mentor a new facebook page for older women who have started this plan, and that is already in the works to launch in the next few weeks.
I especially love working with older women as so many have given up on ever becoming trim and healthy and then they see someone who is getting results, even at 60 years of age, and it is SO encouraging to them!

We are the light of the world…
And I want to let my light shine as never before in 2014.


For God so loved the world that He gave….

Loving Jesus, 
Loving people,


PS….Just because I have been scarce here on my own little corner of the blogging world, does not mean I have not been peeking in on some of my best friends! I love seeing your blog updates, and will continue to pop in here and there as time allows.
May your new year be filled with the love of the Saviour.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer...I hardly knew ya

 Trena Constance

Really, there is no excuse for my lack here in the blogging world.
Except....I suppose....
The fact that I turned 60 last week and somewhere in the past year I realized that time really does fly.
Right past ya.

This summer has been so full of goodness, I can hardly stand it.


Our daughter and family drove the many miles from Montana to Michigan to spend a week with us here.

These grands of mine have stolen my heart.
Sobbed like a baby when they had to leave....
But ever so thankful for skyping and free long distance, and FB messaging!
We keep in touch almost daily, and skype at least twice a week.

 Trena is 4 now, and what a girlie girl she is!!!

 Giselle holding Matthew, Gina, and her friend DJ.
Pete put in a little pool for the kids and truth be told, we were using it too!
We had some wicked hot weather in July and the pool was refreshing.

 Avery (our youngest) holding grumpy Matthew!
Nap time, I believe!

 Matthew is 18 months old, but Giselle wanted to wait till they got to Michigan so his very first haircut could be given by Gina! 
He was very brave, but had no idea what was going on with his hair!

 My beautiful niece Dani was also here this summer with her daughter Grace.
Grace loves animals and could not wait to get her hands on big Ollie!
Dani's husband is an Navy man, set to retire from there in the next 203 years.
So proud of Dani and her precious family!

 Gina's "Fairy garden"

Gina had us all over for one last family gathering before the kids left for Montana.
My nephew and his wife were also there with their two kids, plus Gina's friends 2 daughters.
It was so dang cute to watch these girlie girls taking little dollies and stuffed animals and tuck them under the big leaves and flowers of Gina's gardens!

Trim Healthy Mama!

I was moaning about my weight to my dearest friend Anna when she told me this might be just the ticket for me.
And it has been!
I have lost 11# in less than 5 weeks, and am feeling better than I have in a long time.
Written by two Christian sisters, it has been a lifesaver for many, many women.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ promises on when I will be back here.
This has been a very hectic summer for me.
I have had to work longer hours as several moms have taken the summer off to be with their children, and someone has to fill in their times.
And...that would be me!

But the downside has been I am typically upstairs and at least in bed by 8pm.
Usually sleeping by 9.
And not a lot getting done around here except the bare necessities.
I am thinking things will return to a more normal state by the middle of September, when I hope to be settled into a routine once again.

By His grace 
For His glory


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Monday, July 01, 2013

Summer in the City

 Sourdough for pizza!

It has been a busy spring/summer for me.
Working, even part time, really takes up the better part of my week.
But getting back into the kitchen this past weekend has been so wonderful!

The pizza dough was for company we were having on Saturday evening.
We do not entertain much these days, so having friends over is a real treat!

My version of lemonade

Organic lemons, filtered water, and a squirt of liquid stevia.
Put it in the sweetest juice container I've ever seen!
And refrigerate.
I drink thru a straw, because the lemons can do some damage to your enamel over time.
I refresh the jar thru the day with fresh water, but rarely add more stevia.
Start fresh the next day.
I think this would be great with limes and maybe a chunk of an orange.

 Fulton Street Farmers Market

I am at the farmers market every single Saturday.
My raw milk farmer is there with our share of milk, plus I get to wander the market, picking and choosing from among the best produce/flowers/breads/plants around.
This week my take home bag contained homemade granola from a newer vendor, free ranged eggs, organic cabbage, rhubarb, hothouse tomatoes, and my milk.

 Galvanized edging for my herb/flower garden

A work in progress.
The "grass" in the front of the garden is really just a mess of weeds we just keep mowing.

 Mums planted in the front over the weekend.

Got the 3 mum plants from our daughter Gina, who wanted them out of her garden.
I'll take 'em!

 Rhubarb, sugar, and rosemary

I bought rhubarb at the market, plus a sprig of rosemary from my own garden, to make a rhubarb/rosemary simple syrup.
Just a tablespoon added to club soda or even my sugar free lemonade and BAM!
Takes it up a notch!

Rhubarb/Rosemary simple syrup

Is this color not just beautiful?

 Essential oils for my homemade Squito Spray

I had the oils, just did not really know how to combine them.
With some help from an herbalist friend, we came up with what I hope will be an effective squito deterrent. 

 Homemade deodorant

Since I do not want aluminum in my deodorant, I simply make my own.
This is a recipe I tested out with some friends and acquaintances a couple months ago, and it has proven effective as a deodorant.
This is NOT an antiperspirant....our bodies were meant to perspire.
But it does keep the stinks away!

Grated organic cabbage, apple, and salt.

Orange Sauerkraut in the making.

Orange Kraut

Isn't this beautiful?
It needs to ferment for 4 weeks...and then....
I am hoping for orangey kraut goodness.

So there ya go.
My weekend in pictures.

Life has been good.

And I am still learning to

Love Jesus more,
Love people more,


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Monday, June 10, 2013

The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts...Butcher Salt

 Butcher Salt

While visiting Joy and Don a few weeks ago, I spotted this fabulous box with the most wonderful contents!

Simple ingredients for sure...
Sea salt, rosemary, marjoram, sage, and thyme all blended together....
All wonderful on their own, but together...ooh, la la.
I took pictures, already planning on re-creating the blend.

 Cast of Characters

Once home I planned it all out...

French Grey Sea Salt
Fresh rosemary from the gardens of Parisienne Farmgirl, Angela
Dried sage from my own gardens

All nicely ground up in my coffee grinder

This was easy peasy....
I just did the math as per the original Butcher Salt
99% sea salt
.3% rosemary
.2% thyme
.2% sage
.1% marjoram

And of course, tweaked it to my liking.
Which means a tad more rosemary and sage.
Cause that's how I roll.

This stuff has been used on beef, chicken, veggies, and even a salad or two.

I only wish I had something as sweet as the original container to store it in.
Nothing like galvanized and wood for a beautiful presentation.

PS...this company also makes a Gardener's Salt and a Fisherman's Salt..
Now on my to do list!

Anything new and exciting going on in your kitchen?

And for those who might be interested in how life is going here...
I would have to say pretty dang good.
I am still working part time.
Planting an itty bitty garden with a new rose bush and a couple flats of snapdragons, as well as some herbs and tomatoes.

Wanna see a pic?
Or two?

Knock Out rose and snapdragons

I have loved snapdragons in my gardens for many bright and cheery!

 Herbs going in right smack in front of the snaps

Chives and chamomile

Tweaking the front porch....lots of hostas going in this week

Loving Jesus,
Loving people,


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bits & Bobs

 Me and Ivy June

We had our first weekend away in 5 years last week!
Off to the burbs of Chicago to visit our dear friends, Joy and Don.
Ivy is one of Joy's precious granddaughters that I could not hardly wait to get my hands on!

 Ivy, Derek, and Chelsea

I have known Chelsea since she was an itty bitty 4 year old.
What a joy to see her again with her precious family!

 Parisienne Farmgirl Angela and me

Ang is Joy's oldest daughter and has recently moved to a farm just on the inside edge of Illinois bordering Wisconsin.
Though we are in touch via FB and blogging and the occasional e-mail, it had been too, too long since we had seen her and her wonderful family!

Angela's farmhouse kitchen

 Homey and sweet

For real, I could have just taken pictures all weekend.

Amelie and legos

Just get a look at those toes
And the petticoat sticking out of her dress!

 Joy & Don's beautiful yard.

I could sit and look at this all day.

 panoramic view

Crunchy pea gravel beneath our feet
Cozy fires outside in the evenings
Sipping wine, laughing, loving...

Ivy June and Joy

On Saturday, after hanging out at Half Way Farm with Angela and her family, we came back to Joy and Don's for some front porch sittin'.
Chelsea stopped by to give us one last hug and grams Joy got to snuggle with Ivy.

 City porch

While on our getaway weekend, Joy and I hit the teeny flea/farm market just a few blocks from her home.
It is a tradition for us.
Coffee, throw on some clothes, and head out the door.
Brisk, cool morning, especially at 6am!
Yes, we get there early...while the vendors are still setting up!

I had been looking for some rockers for our city porch but had not found anything yet.
The flea market had a couple possibilities, but they were pricey, dark brown, and had new cushions.
Pretty much, no.
I would take my chances back home at the area garage sales.

However....that would not be necessary.
When we pulled up on Sunday afternoon, there sitting on our front porch were two large vintage wicker rockers.
After  bit of inquiry, my dear friend Homemaker Ang fessed up.
I had sold these very same rockers to Ang a few months before actually losing our home nearly 2 years ago.
I had totally forgotten even doing that.
Even though I had seen them on HER front porch for the last 1 1/2 years, it never crossed my mind that they used to be mine.
She had covered the cushions in different fabric, and I never even recognized them.
Personally, I think that was the mercy of God.
Such hard memories to look back on, and perhaps this was a blessing in disguise.
And then God began speaking to Ang....
And she obeyed.

 Picket fencing around our city porch

And now the rockers belong to me once again...

And they sit on our city porch, surrounded by a sweet picket fence Pete built for me and installed just in time for Mother's Day!

 Vintage galvanized milk box

One of my finds from the little flea market....
hand stenciled with our address by Joy just a few hours before we left the burbs.

I asked our postman if it could be used as our mailbox, and he said yes!

How cute is this???

 Ollie, Fuzzy, and Sophia

With spring really here, we needed to invest in some screen doors.
The cats can't get enough of sitting there, gazing at a strip of sidewalk and the side of the garage!

So...there ya go!
Bits & bobs of my life the past few weeks.

Life is still good.

And I am still learning to...

Love people,
Love Jesus,

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Truth seeker...and continuing the journey

 Farmgirl and KrisAnne Hall

I had a chance to hear KrisAnne Hall speak at a local bookstore a couple of weeks ago...
WHAT a life changing experience.

"KrisAnne  is an attorney and former prosecutor, fired after teaching the Constitution to TEA Party groups - she would not sacrifice liberty for a paycheck. She is a disabled veteran of the US Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor's wife and a patriot.  She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents.
KrisAnne Hall does not just teach the Constitution, she lays the foundations that show how reliable and relevant our founding documents are today.   
She presents the “genealogy” of the Constitution – the 700 year history and five foundational documents that are the very roots of American Liberty. 
One cannot properly understand or interpret the Constitution without a firm grasp of its very foundation."
I am excited about what I learned that evening...things I had NO idea about.
Stuff I should have known years and years ago.
Stuff we all should know...
As for me...I continue to be a truth seeker.

 Duck eggs!

We are finally getting some raw milk here!
Bought a milk share and along with it have the opportunity get get fresh duck eggs.
Uh, yeah!
These yolks are so huge, you really only need one egg for breakfast.
Huge...and rich.
The yolks are far thicker than even a free ranged chicken egg.


So...we bought two different sizes of cat harnesses....
the small one for Sophia and Fuzzy and the medium for Ollie.
We will be taking the medium one back, and grounding Ollie and Fuzzy from the yard.
They were not in those things more than 10 seconds when they pulled the rope taunt and slipped right out
Sophia remains free to go out (well, as free as the harness will allow)
unless she pulls the same Houdini act as the other two.
Ain't nobody got time for dat.


Yes, it is finally spring here....for a little while anyways.
We are expecting frost this weekend..just in time for Mothers Day.
It's all good tho, as I only put in cold hardy herbs, and not very many of those.


Life is good.
Still working part time.
City living is better than I could have ever hoped for.
Fun gatherings every 2-3 weeks with our kids here at our little city house.
Visiting with our dear friends Joy and Don in the Chicago burbs next weekend.
Greatly anticipating a week long visit from our oldest and her family the first of July. is good.

Once again I am...
Continuing the journey....with fresh paths.

Loving Jesus, 
Loving people,

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Monday, April 15, 2013

spring is only a date on the calendar here...

rosemary/nettle shampoo bars in the works 

My dear friend Nicole and I have been soaping!
Well, Nicole has a soaping business, and I have been hangin' with her and getting inspired.
Two weeks ago we worked on a double batch of rosemary/nettle shampoo bars, and i must say...
the house smells heavenly!

Also in the works is a new deodorant recipe we have been tweaking.
I think we almost have it right where we want it...

 Nicole's apothacary

Nicci likes to work with herbs and natures own ingredients....
clays, teas, and essential oils.
Coincidentally, so do I!

 Motherwort much for spring here in west Michigan.
Rain, cold, snow, sleet, hail, more rain, more cold..and a itty bitty peek at the sun.
And that was just yesterday.
OK....exaggerating just a teensy bit.
There was actually no hail yesterday.
The rest is all truth.
In spite of that, I went outside yesterday with my camera to see what was what.
Pretty sure this is motherwort.
What I'm not totally sure of is what to do with it.
I mean, I know what it can be used for...
just not sure I'm goin' there.

your guess is as good as mine!

My mystery clump(s)
Scattered through a portion of the back yard are these clumps of somethin' or other.
Definitely not quackgrass or crabgrass.
Perhaps some type of hyacinth?
I guess time will tell, cause I sure as shootin' don't know right now.
Hopefully we will get a glimpse of spring before summer arrives!

Meanwhile, I'll just keep on...

Loving Jesus,
Loving people,


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