August 3, 2015

{me} it came and went

My birthday. It came and went... just about as fast as the month came and went for my last post. Ha! What can I say... life is happening! And I am grateful to be living it. Honestly, there was a time – not too long ago – that I was not living my life. But rather just breathing to hold on to the hope that lies within me. But no more... the TRUTH shall set you free!

I have spent the better part of this last year healing from roughly five years of stress. Accumulated Stress. And yes, there is such a thing. And yes, it does {and will} effect your health, your heart and your relationships with others. 

But it is what it is. 

It came and it went. 

And in this I choose to praise HIM.

And all Praises to my El! My Redeemer and Savior. The One who was. Who is. And who will BE. The I AM – who shows His power in my life daily.

He came... which means I went.

So back to this birthday thing. Last year I shared a list of goals... goals are a good thing. They give you something to work towards. Something to gauge yourself by. Yep – goals are. a. good. thing. Some of the goals I posted a little over a year ago have been started and continue to work towards the completion point and some of them have been been placed on the long term goal list.

Goal Update & Review:

  • Living off Grid – this goal has semi been in the real. We currently live in a box trailer, with an outside kitchen and a small camper that serves as our daughter's bedroom. We are not entirely off grid, but our electrical use and hook up is quite limited. We have a composting toilet and wash all our laundry by hand. I had planned and hoped to share more about our living experience with some how to's - but life and time have been more valuable than the screen in this season. Maybe that will change in the next year?
  • Photographing Chickens – No chicken photo's to speak of because we currently do not have chickens, however I will keep this goal on my list for long term and future planning.
  • Master HerbalistWHOOO HOOO! I am in the ten weeks to finish window! This class is wonderful and very hands on... the more I learn the more I want to get my hands in IT.
  • Make my own clothes – I haven't been as faithful in this area, although since we have been here I have made a jumper, three skirts and two aprons. Currently I am in the beginnings of knitting my husband a wool sweater... and dreamin of naturally dying fibers.
  • Go to Israel – I still would like to go and one day I know I will! But I am so thankful that my husband was able to go via that hand of the Almighty. And since we are 'echad' – it was almost like I went too.
  • Learn to Play my Guitar – sadly I haven't touched it since the move. But it still remains a hope in my heart... however there have been plenty of Shabbat's filled with beautiful worship and music to fill my cup – so I have not been lacking in the music area.
  • Grow Food and Sell it – this goal has been placed on hold until after our family completes the honoring of the Shemitah year. A year of Sabbath for the land and our family's spiritual reset.
  • Finish my Tattoo Removal – done. Completed. And - Oh I can not tell you the wonderful feeling I have in my being when I look down and see them gone. My arms are washed clean from them and I am grateful.

Some of my goals were prayers really and while they are still goals or rather hopes of my heart, I know that am not in control of them. Specifically the one of seeing my children get married to GOD fearing spouses. Ultimately it is their choice, but I will do my part to encourage and instruct them in this area. Sharing with them what God's word says and promoting the full understanding of letting Him write their love story. And I trust my Redeemer... 

As I close, sharing some simple birthday reflections from this year. Stay the course. Love God. Be Joyful. Yeshua is Truth. Live for Him and sing His praise for all His provision. He will work ALL things for good to those who love Him. Live this life FULL. 

So what did happen for my birthday this year? 

In Short:
  • Momma blessed me with the Living Language Hebrew Complete Edition course.
  • Hubby blessed me with a trip to Cumberland Gap and a drive through the tunnel.
  • Daughter gave me a perfect coffee mug with biscotti treats and a knitted flower washcloth made by her own hands.
  • Friends poured out written blessings into me – which was really humbling and edifying at the same time. I was really moved by this expression of love.
  • And we took a date to the Cheese Cake Factory and Farmer's Market. That was really fun!

~ till next time. Blessings!

June 29, 2015

Off Grid: wool fulling by hand

Felted wool ~ technically this process is fulling and not felting – or rather - its creating a felt fabric out of your knitted creation - but I am not being technical ~ is one of those personal loves of my heart because I enjoy that it is more of an art and not always a science. And every time I felt a project this eagerness wells up inside of me and I can not wait to see how it will really turn out... I love that this technique is so artzy in its nature.

Basically the only control I have is in the created item and the felting process - via the method in/the fiber in which you use... 

In the past I have fulled items in the washer, a semi quick process that yields great results. But now a days... my process is to be man powered and without electricity. It's about twenty five minutes to the nearest laundry mat and the cost of gas and washer use are not conducive to our budget or current living method. So fulling by hand is my option. 

Hot water and agitation are really all I needed along with some time. And behold... I had all three!

My Simple but Effective Fulling Method for Off Grid Felted Creations

 aka ~ Creative Weight Loss Activities

Step One: In a large pot, heat your water... your water needs to be one the quiet warm side, however not so hot that you can not handle your creations.

Here I have some luxury – we are set up to use an inline water heater to heat our water for dishes and cooking, we also have one for showers too! Yes – some things just make other things better all the way around. Which means I have hot water at the flip of a switch... at a nice toasty temp, so I didn't have to heat water on a stove.

Step Two: Toss in your item and agitate – here I used my laundry plunger to agitate the wool item. But before I began this process I did make sure my water pot and plunger worked well together. Thus creating a compact power washer...

The entire process took me about 40 to 45 minutes of actual plunging... stopping every so often to check the water temp. Adding more hot water as needed to keep the water at a nice warm temperature. Also I added a small squirt of organic dish liquid in the beginning to help soften the fiber, but I did not add it each time I reheated the water.

Step Three: After I achieved my desired felted look, I shaped my item and set them out to dry. 

And that was about it. However, I would suggest that you find a place to plunge that is comfortable for your height... if you do not, your back will scream at you later.

~ blessings!

Shared With: Strangers and Pilgrims Art of Homemaking Mondays # 59

May 25, 2015

Chocolate Orange Matzah Florentines

There are three things that I really, really enjoy. Okay - there are more than three, however the three things I am talking about here today are chocolate, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and doTERRA essential oils... but not necessarily in that exact order.

Chocolate: my new favorite version is what is known as skinny chocolate... that is if your THM-ing it.The Feast of Unleavened Bread: you can study about it the Scriptures and/or take a peek here. And doTERRA Essential Oils: well what can I say except that - Yes! I enjoy them. Yes! I am a wellness advocate and Yes! at least some one in our home uses them daily... if not every one of us.

And this is what happens when they collide...

{Chocolate Orange Matzah Florentines}

1 Cup Coconut Oil
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1 T Vanilla
5 drops of doTERRA's Orange e.o. to start

What to do: Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, lay out whole pieces of matzah to fill the cookie sheet. Then melt together your oil, cocoa and sweetener. Add the vanilla and your orange essential oil. Stir. Keep warmish while working the matzah. Next: Spread the chocolate mixture over the matzah and add variables if desired. Please in the freezer for five minutes. Flip and Repeat until the needed amount is reach. Break into bite sized pieces and store in freezer until ready to serve.

Essential Oil Note: you may add a couple more drops of orange to achieve the desired taste, but please remember that essential oils very strong and a little goes a looooong way.

The variables:
  • Sprinkle shredded coconut on top...
  • or crushed almonds!

So the next time you need a matzah dessert – give these a try!

~ blessings!

*This recipe was originally inspired by a friend of mine in which she uses orange extract, and since I use some of my doTERRA e.o's for cooking/baking as well I opted to travel this road. The results were Yummy and Flavorful! This post contains a link to my updated store front that has many DIY's and home recipes. Check it out!
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