52 Lists :: the People you Most want to be Like

The action for this list shares: the world is filled with noteworthy people to look up to. Which person do you most want to emulate in your own life... I ask - but what if the individuals I most want to be like are no longer with us, but rather written in the Word of God...

I know, it sounds like I should say these things... but honestly, I have enough worldly influence within me, so those people that I want to most be like are:

~ the Hebrew Midwives - they feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt commanded
~ the Lady with the issue of blood - came trembling to declared in the presence of all
~ Elizabeth - walking in all the commandments of the Lord
~ Mary - sat at the feet of Yeshua
~ Yael - strength with softness
~ Hannah - may I give back, set apart - what Yah has given me
~ Lydia - an open heart to pay attention to His Word
~ the wise woman - the book of proverbs is filled with womanly wisdom
~ the Woman with the alabaster flask - may I always remember the price paid for me

Just to name a few...

the Photo: 

 magnolia trees outside our window

~ Blessings!

My frugal Pantry addition for the Apartment & News

I will save the news for last, sharing quickly my recent addition to the kitchen. We really needed a pantry, and it wasn't going to work to put it in the hall closet. With one metal shelving unit and a heavy duty curtain from the thrift store, a little raiding of the sewing box... and here we have it.

The frugal pantry addition:

When the pantry is not in use, the curtains are closed - concealing the items behind. As you can see the pantry is yet not full, however it will be when the time is right. I would like to add some baskets and pretty organizers to each shelf... again - when the time is right.

The curtains tie on for the reason of easy removal, and the sides of the shelving unit are also covered. This was done using matching pillow cases, which fit just right... to shade the incoming sun rays.

Now for the news:

First ~ By the Eastern Gate will be getting a new and updated look {coming soon} as well as some blog clean up. In a soon to be determined time, this will give way to my new Esty shop... and some upcoming herbal projects.

Second ~ we have finally reach the place in our journey where we have prior authorization for the purchase of a home. Repeat... we have the green light to purchase a home-stead! I don't even know what say at this point except "Thank you ~ Abba!"

Have a great day!

Finding my Blogging feet :: or the Purpose of this

When I first started blogging - I posted about our families homeschooling adventures... documenting a lifestyle of learning. Then it came time for me to shut the blog down, and I was {am} so thankful that I had the fore thought to print the pages before hand.

We still look at them from time to time, reminiscing.

Actually, this is my fourth blog, and from this view... it will be my last. This is home, at least my online home. But finding my blogging feet with a title of By the Eastern Gate has been a challenge, because this blog doesn't really fit a particular mold. And it is okay...

There isn't a handful of topics or a particular audience I am writing for... because By the Eastern Gate is more a place of being... than a place of doing. In the sense of the over all theme being stated. It is a mindful place, a healing place... a place my heart resides.

However, in the book of Proverbs, it states where there is no vision the people perish. We know that having a direction, a goal or a purpose is a good thing, so of late I have been pondering those concepts for this blog.

My main goal for By the Eastern Gate, is to document life. This life God gave us... to create a record for my family and give a testimony of the workings of Yeshua {Jesus} in our every day life. I hope to one day print my postings for a family keep sake...

My second goal is to encourage others - to simply, cultivate their life...

Things can be complicated, and I think - we can make them even more complicated. We add pressure upon ourselves, on each other, and on our children. We carry around false ideas about who we are, where we should be going and what we should be doing. We complicate health, living, education, even our physical appearance... Ha! - we even complicate the Word of God. I know I have...

But here, I hope you will find a seat on the porch and embrace a moment. Take time to watch the chickens peck... and pick dandelions. Take time to taste, smell and breathe life...  to cultivate your home, play in the rain, learn a new skill... to create, or to seek solace and of course - to plant. 

Yes, here you will find posts about agrarian living, faith and the collecting of hope. You will find snap shots of small things and writings about natural living, gardening and keeping a home. There are even a few posts about coffee... so you see, simply - cultivating life.

Blogging purpose defined and it is as clear as... mud.

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: the Things that Motivate you

When I think of Motivation, I now think of my daughter's Aussie... the very essence of motivation. But he will not be making the list - this go around.

  • Words of Affirmation 
  • Acts of Service
  • Truth - that which is written in the Bible, God's Word
  • Praise Music - hebraic, and blue grass are some of my favorites
  • Creation - being outside
  • Hope - Not deferred 
  • Thunder storms and rainy days
  • Chilly Fall mornings, spark my creativity 
  • Organic, whole foods and coffee
  • A clean bedroom, with air dried linens
  • Farmer's Markets
  • A good, spirit feeding, biblical discipleship book
  • Hearing please and thank you
  • Evenings... or days without screens 
  • Goals reached

Each week, in the 52 Lists book, there is an action... this weeks action was to practice turning one of your motivators into a daily habit that will push you to take action and make your accomplishments happen.

the Photo: the girl is motivated - I am so happy we found a very passionate, Christian instructor... who knows how and what to teach within Karate. All in light of the Bible, including many principles written in the Torah.

 ~ Blessings!

Tell Me of Basil :: Notebook Pages/Resources for a Unit Study

I have to tell you, homeschooling my daughter was something I absolutely loved... confession: I really miss it. Being a former Recreation Director by profession, hands on learning was a no-thinker for me. If it involved doing something, I was all about it and note-booking added a lovely element to our learning. These note book pages, some of which I still have today, helped document precious life moments...

The ever changing - learning at home and my warm fuzzy for the note booking method, inspired me to create these computer generated and hand drawn note book pages. This is the first set in our Tell Me of : Herbal Narratives - A Primer for Children Series, a project I have been thinking about for some time.

Because everyone learns and teaches differently, these pages are simple and completely created by human hands. Human hands {mine} using minimal computer assistance and human hands {again mine} attempting to illustrate botanicals for children to color or trace. Please be kind. I am not an artist by profession, that would be my mama, and this is a learning experience for me too... but if you can use them, feel free.

The pages above are before I finished them in google.doc.s - but you get the idea. :)

My daughter was but "knee high to a grass hopper" when she could identify and say the botanical names of many herbs in our garden. I share this because I believe that children will learn what they are immersed in and it is never too early to start with proper herbal identification. Around here, we have a rule regarding foraging and herbs... if you can not properly identify it, you can not use it on your own.

Enough of me... below you will find the link to the pages I created and some resources for learning all about basil. This list is not long, as it's only meant to spark interest... please enjoy.
Note-booking Pages: - HERE - this was the first time I have done something like this, and I hope to grow with this endeavor. My hand draw's will need improvement... to everything a season.

Recipes to Try:

~ Basil Salt from The Rising Spoon - I really want to make this!
~ Basil Pesto - serve over pasta or fresh homemade bread
~ Basil Herb Oil - Preserving Your Harvest

Resources to Use:

~ Basil Mini Profile - Vintage Remedies
~ How to Grow Fresh Basil - Herbal Academy
~ Medicinal Herbs - A Beginner's Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
~ Basil; Or, Honesty and Industry - A Lamplighter Book
~ All About Basil - Botanical Interests
~ Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide by Thomas DeBaggio

* Please use the Scriptures as your guide regarding resources & have a great day!

Shared With: The Art of Home-Making Mondays # 156

In this Day - I rejoice

Today I'm: enjoying Shabbat, even though I was awaken by a phone call at five a.m. Nothing too serious, except that I am one of those people that once I am forced awake... going back to sleep is very challenging. Almost impossible...

looking out my window… the rain is due, again today. Though there was a slight break from the day before. Twenty four hours of straight rain, coming down light... but steady. Some flooding has been normal around here...

with gratitude and thanksgiving... thankful for the blessing of a second vehicle, it is not Cletus, but it is a truck with a lot in common. A truck named - Leroy... a black 4x4 Ford 150. This will help our family transport two of our three people, to work in opposite directions. Yes, I am truly grateful.

we are celebrating and enjoying... right now we are celebrating the journey from Pesach to Shavuot, by counting the days. Each night my husband shares a chapter of Sayings of the Fathers - A Messianic Perspective on Pirkei Avot by William Mark Huey and we count the day, by placing the number on the wall. On day 50 – we will 'remember' Shavuot as YHVH tells us to.

from the pages I am reading... I have a reading list a mile long, books for edification, books for my homemaking and homesteading passions and books for my new {Yah willing} educational endeavor. Yes, after careful consideration and conversation, we have decided that I should work towards becoming a labor doula.

Just the few feet into the list...

of sowing and reaping... the balcony garden is on hold, well - actually - its waiting for me... between the weeks of rain, and the squirrel battles... lets just say the balcony garden is slow going. I didn't think squirrels would dig up pea plants to eat the seed. Honestly, I have never had that happen to me in all my years of gardening. Along with my – I just can't seem to get it together... so yes, the balcony is a seedling mess.

thus creating, a cultivation of soul... I began knitting a hat for myself, one with cables... this pattern has been on my “I want to knit” list for about three years, and I am so happy to have started this project. My goal is to knit a complete set before winter kicks in – a hat, sweater and new cowl.

from the hearth... raw milk and sourdough. The raw milk is from our cow share... and the sourdough is being raised for our bucket bread. Seventy two hour fermented... easy peasy bread. Perfect for a snack food for my husband, who a few years ago started on a journey towards better health. He now has loose size thirty fours and burns through food like crazy...

adding to the apothecary... not much new really, just solar infusion for my herb oils and the workings of some notebook pages I am developing. I promise to share them with you as soon as I get them finished...

building community and sustainability... building community is so important, and for a myriad of reasons. I need to remember that it takes time to build relationships and resources... it takes involvement and putting myself out there, just a little. It takes effort and lots of give, with a little take. God did not create man to be an island unto himself... this I know. {smile}

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: the Difficult moments that Shaped you for the Better

List the difficult moments in your past that have shaped you for the better...

~ Being the oldest, I remember when we were homeless, and my mama took us 'camping' for a very long time... I still remember my little brother sleeping between my other brother and I to stay warm. I also remember the snow that was on the ground, and in all honesty... how mama made that 'hard' time feel like fun. For the better: who knew that would effect my views of living outside, of facing a challenge head on, without falling apart... I often reserved that part for later, after the fact or stuffed it. (by the way - stuffing it... is not healthy - I am learning that now too)

~ Transitioning from a full time career woman to home maker, and home educator... looking back I wish we would have made that transition sooner, but I have full confidence in God's perfect timing. Of all the jobs I have ever had, this area of my life requires more patience and skills than anything I have ever learned in college or on the job. For the better: I am learning {and have learned} many skills I would not have learned otherwise, I have learned to let some things go, and how to pray like a warrior... but - the list could be endless.

~ Four major moves, in three years... if I am transparent, I think we are still trying to recover... recover to what I am not sure. However, as a family we would like to stop and breathe, but we also know this is not our 'forever' place. For the better: we don't own a lot of things, we can be ready to go in a flash and I have become skilled in knowing what to hang on to, and what you can easily replace. In truth, many things can be held lightly... except God/Yeshua and family.

~ When my husband went six months without work... for the better: we learned to trust in the Body of Messiah, in the Provision of the Almighty, to rest - knowing He sees and hears. To humble ourselves, and we learned how our family, even with our personal struggles, can buckle down and "cow girl up" when duty calls.

~ Living in a camper, using composting toilets and utilizing an outdoor kitchen through the Tennessee seasons... I still think the tornado's were scheduled around the dinner making hour. For the better: remember how I said hold things lightly, dinner can sometimes be one of those things. If I had to do it again, and I would... I know what would be a must and what would be a luxury or a preference. :)

~ My daughters three hip surgeries, in two years... the effects of the medication, later - I found out many things that were attributed to the side effects of heavy narcotic and pain med use post surgical. The side effect issues of these drugs on children, is serious and little is done to prepare the family.

For the better: I now pray for mercy, grace and forgiveness for all the things I didn't know, for the things people said and did, for those things that were done in ignorance. Or intentional. To let go of false accusations, responsibility, and how to ask better questions. To allow grace for my mistakes, wrong actions and responses... we are all human, in great need of Redemption.

There are many other difficult moments I could list, those life valley's that have shaped the person I am now, but really those valley's point to My Redemption Story. The amazing reality of the Almighty Creator... and the love He poured out for me, on the cross. He has worked all things for my good... He knows my beginning and my end, and I pray my redemptive life brings Him glory.

the Photo: a bucket of balcony pea's... and a little spinach. There is a rosemary in there too... hmm, who planted all that in one little bucket. {?}

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: List your Essentials

The 1828 definition of essential is ~ 'something' that is ~  Necessary to the constitution or existence of a thing...
~ My Bible - NKJV and ESV
~ A Camera - of some sort
~ Coffee with Cream or Collagen
~ My Planner and Pen
~ Nature, Herb or Garden journal
~ Essential oils... :)
~ Supplements
~ Gardening... yes, it is necessary to the constitution of a thing, me
~ Knitting
~ Piles of Blankets and Books
~ Having a Central Command station - this helps me to function more effectively
~ Long, denim skirts
~ A light over sweater or flannel shirt
~ Mason jars and hair clips

the Photo: an evening drive in the country, to help clear the mind and focus the path before us...

~ Blessings & Shabbat Shalom!

My Favorite Brushing Oil {for teeth} & Why

Recently our family stepped off the multilevel marketing essential oil train, for a variety of reasons... 

We all know that essential oil use is big right now, and for good reason. They are powerful gifts from our Creator, and they are very effective at what they do. And it is {no secret} that huge multilevel marketing companies are making 'big money' on the use of their essential oils and products. But don't worry, this post is not about whether you should or should not spend your hard earned money on MLM essential oils... that is not my {heart's} battle ground.

However, after a few years of studying Aromatherapy, Essential Oils - their sources, testing and uses, along with learning a little about how to study a clinical study. After 'sharing' about essential oils and earning plenty of free products and a little income, and after realizing there are only so many distilleries and suppliers on the planet and after... well, a light bulb went off.

Now we purchase our essential oil from a handful of sources, and one such source is Hopewell Essential Oils. I appreciate their website immensely, the quality of the products they offer is stellar and the customer service - a huge blessing.

Yes, I highly recommend them... and I am not making any profit by telling you so. I am sharing out of professional use and love... Hopewell is a great source for high quality essential oils.

One of the blends they offer, Oral Hygiene, has been something we have been using for years. We love the taste and I just realized how low we were {yikes!} after making this batch of brushing oil. Which is what I really wanted to share with you. The recipe is very simple and adjustable for taste...

My Favorite Brushing Oil:

1 - empty & sanitized 5ml Bottle, dark glass please
Sweet Almond Oil, organic
15 to 20 drops of Oral Hygiene from Hopewell Essential Oils

What to Do: pour the sweet almond oil into the dark glass bottle, leaving enough room to add your Oral Hygiene and cap. Shake well. Label. To Use: add two drops of oil blend to your toothbrush, and brush normally. Rinse and spit, do not swallow. Repeat if needed...

Sometimes I use this in addition to our toothpaste, and other times I simply use the brushing oil. But Please Note: Oral Hygiene is not suitable for children, pregnant or lactating women due to the essential oil of Birch. I encourage you to head over and read more about it, and make your own brushing oil... your mouth will thank you!

~ Blessings!

Recommended Reading:

~ Your Essential Oil Guide - Joybilee Farm

52 Lists :: Your dream Trips & a Sharing

List your dream trips... listed in no particular order:

~ Riding the train in Canada, during Fall
~ Visit the Castles in Ireland
~ Visit Vermont in the Fall
~ Visit Northern Idaho, Western Montana and Eastern Oregon
~ Visit the Coast, in Oregon
~ Take a week long stay in a high mountain cabin
~ Visit a large Lavender field in full bloom
~ Watch a whale migration on the West Coast
~ Stand where Yeshua stood, see the Eastern Gate with my own eyes
~ Visit organic farms or botanical gardens for herbs and cut flowers
~ Jamestown, Gettysburg, Plymouth Rock and the Grand Canyon

the Photo: a peek into Pesach, our family held a private memorial for Pesach this past Tuesday and then we attended a group Pesach the following evening.

In closing, I wanted to share something of a blessing to my heart, over the last couple months I have been texting my Mama the list prompts shared here. This has been helping her focus on positive things while she is struggling with multiple health issues and testing... two weeks ago she shared that she has been sharing them with her friends that have been struggling with life and now they are all waiting to hear the next list prompt.

I didn't realize the impact it would have on Mama, let alone her friends... Glory to Yah!

~ Blessings!

Tell Me of Basil :: faithful and true // Basil infused ACV Recipe

No matter where I am, I can never keep my hands out of the dirt... growing something medicinal or otherwise, and Basil has always been faithful and true. Although we have not always been so close, this Basil and I.

Yes ~ I have grown it longer than my children, however for a season I would become light headed and sick to my stomach every time I harvested it. I could consume it raw or cooked without a problem, and it created no skin reactions... to this day I do not know the root cause.

Medicinal: Basil has a lot to offer, antibacterial in nature, and known for her digestive assistance... cramps, spasms, and gas to name a few. Prefect in a tea and very stimulating.

 In the Garden: Basil loves sunshine, but appreciates some shade in the height of Summer. Usually grown as an annual, in rich and well drained soil. She is not a fan of cold weather, and enjoys the companions of tomatoes and peppers. Basil does well in containers of various sorts... as you can see, even a simple mason jar will house her roots for the last cool nights of Spring.

Pinching back her tops will promote bushy growth and harvest the leaves in plant head or by themselves. To be used fresh or dried.

Culinary: Basil is ever so popular, especially in Italian dishes... pasta, pesto, and tomato sauces. She can be frozen for later use as well...

Have you every heard of a 'Cheese Torta with Basil, Olives and Sundried Tomatoes'? I just found a recipe I would love to try... {here}

Speaking of recipes, I also whipped up a small batch of Basil infused ACV for our homemade salad dressings. I took a small sanitized jar, recycled of course, and filled it half way with semi bruised, fresh Basil leaves. Then I topped off the jar with Organic, Apple Cider Vinegar.

I placed the jar in the window sill for solar infusion and in about a week or so I will strain out the leaves and use the ACV in our oil and vinegar dressings. {Inspiration How To Here}

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: the Things that Always cheer You up

I am sharing a day early due to my schedule... list the things that always cheer you up:

My Husband & his silly songs
Smiles from my Daughter
Praise Music
A ride in the country
Shabbat Service & Gatherings
Hot Coffee with Creme
MoMo's Wiggle Butt
A job well done
Milking - cows & goats
The wind through the trees of Summer
When mama calls me Tweezle
Letters from my pen pal... we have been writing for years, and one day... I know I will meet her and her whole family - face to face
Watching birds at my feeder
Planting & Harvesting
Yanking weeds out by the root
Building or creating something
Stomping in mud puddles
Playing in the rain
Yarn... bowls of woolly goodness
To be remembered

the Photo: not this week...

~ Blessings!

Five ways to Rejuvenate your Space

This is the perfect time of year for space rejuvenation... a couple of lists back {see the 52 Lists Project} I wrote down somethings that I could do to rejuvenate my space. After sharing a few of those ideas with you, I went to work  putting my list into action... and guess what - it is rejuvenating our space!

~ Plant Something, Add some Plants or Re-pot the ones You have: personally, I think every space looks better with plants and the more the merrier. Around here, I have been doing all three... planting some early veggies for our balcony garden. Added a large potted fern, {I really like ferns} and some of our winter window sill plants needed some attention, so they were re-potted and kicked to the balcony too!

~ Hang a Bird Feeder: have you every been to Wild Birds Unlimited? I had not, until last week... and oh my goodness, the cashier was so nice and very helpful. In fact, her service and assistance endeared my return. I look forward to hanging a few more feeders, and hopefully the property management will not throw a fuss. Because this girl needs some nature!

~ Line Your Sill with Solar Infused Herbal Oil: I added two jars of oil... infused with Calendula. With hopes of adding a few more. This will inspire my herbal creativity and I think a window sill lined with herbs is absolutely gorgeous. Don't you?

~ Add some low cost Accents: we are gearing up for the Spring Biblical Feasts, and thanks to Land of Honey, I added a couple of easy print-ables to our atmosphere. One for Pesach & Unleavened Bread and one for Shabbat.

I also hung a couple of garden hangers, for our oil lamps. Yes, I hung oil lamps in our big city apartment. From a preparedness angle, this entire complex is electricity reliant, and that does not set well with my apron strings... so I am doing a little something about it. 

Besides, I like the look that oil lamps bring to our home...

~ Make Cold Brew Coffee or Sun Tea: who doesn't like the look of jars lined up {I think I have a thing for lined jars} and filled with sun tea or cold brew coffee. Alright, maybe this would not classify as a way to rejuvenate your space... but for me it does. Both spruce up my outlook and my mental space... if you will. :)

So - Go Ahead, roll up your sleeves and reshuffle, spring clean or create something for your space. 

~ & Enjoy!

52 Lists :: List your Best qualities

Yikes, why is always so difficult? Okay, my best qualities - according to... me:

~ I am not one to give up easily, diligent
~ Strong self discipline, dependable, loyal
~ Enjoys being outdoors
~ I have a strong desire to do the right thing
~ Enjoys laughter, singing and people
~ Flexible in some ways, and... {not so much in others}
~ I enjoy planning, throwing an event, decorating - prefer to be behind the scenes
~ Prefers organization, but has no problem with the spontaneous
~ I don't mind hard work, getting dirty or using my hands
~ I put my heart into {almost} everything
~ Love's life! Even the hard parts...

the Photo: I stopped by the local box store just to look around, and oh my gardening fingers  I caught sight of this lovely clemantis. So I snapped a picture and... left without it.

 ~ Blessings & Happy Prep Day

Born Again :: a letter to My Redeemer

 O Beloved of my soul - My Redeemer,

It has been eleven years, since I have said yes to you... I remember that day, even now. So vivid and raw in my memory, in reality. Hearing your Words with every fiber of my being, and sitting there wondering 'How am I to trust this?”. I have wandered so far, and for so long... Can you really take this beaten down and busted, hard and hurting woman and create in her something resembling beautiful.

Something new.

Three times I heard you, and the third I accepted. Yes, I remember that day, even now. March – twenty sixth – two thousand and six. Six years married, twice before, sick in body and in soul... lost, rejected and in full adultery of mind and heart. Three times I heard you, and the third I said yes. You said to me “Come to Me, {all} you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” {Matthew 11:28}

You gave me promises, hope and a new heart, a purpose and an identity, you reminded me that “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wings over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into covenant with you and you became Mine.” {Ezekiel 16:8}

In that moment, when I said 'I do', I became Yours.

Bought by the star breather... Yeshua {Jesus the Christ}

Before You washed my filthy garments, before You restored this chaotic inside life with Your law... before You taught me how to walk, stepping intentional. Before you trained my mouth, renewed my mind, and educated me in idol destruction. Yes - in that moment, a circumcised heart, blood redeemed.

Over the years, You have shown me time and time again, that You can be trusted. Yes, Faithful and Everlasting...when we moved fifteen hundred miles from the land of my fathers... and knew no one. When it was time for me to return to the home, to learn how to be a mother. How to teach my child... yes, You were right there.

When our daughter broke her hip. Through each surgery... three in all. When the car broke down, and we could not afford a transmission, not one more bill. We were strapped and buried. You were there...

When the Valley of Darkness threatened our family, and You restored it. When the vision of serving in Israel, was planted... You provided. When we faced {and lived through} six months of unemployment, three seasons of relocation and family displacement. You were there... in the granting of my husbands job - returned, providing a hovel nest. You have been there, Present.

In the big and in the small.

You have been there for every tear stained pillow night, for every hour that I have agreed with the weighted blows of doubt. Every time I have entertained the lies of whispering in my ear, or failed to exercise self control. For every fear based action of my heart, every mental argument of justification for a flesh reason. Every season of regret, guilt of the years wasted or mistakes made, for every battle against the strongholds. Those that were won and those that were lost... this time around.

You have been there... willing to wash me clean, again.

You are Sovereign. You are Truth. I will continue to cling to the promise, that You, who started this work in me... will finish it. I will choose to love you, to serve you, and to walk in your ways... for you are a God of the living.

For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before {my} God in the land of the living. ~ Psalm 56:13 ~

~ Love, Born Again!

52 Lists :: rejuvenate Your space

List the ways you can rejuvenate your space – it is a short list this week, because I am actually in the process of the majority of this list. :)

Organize your closet (in progress)
Finish decorating the master bedroom, adding warming elements
Create a prayer corner for my morning time with Yah
Remove clutter, continue to work through our remaining packed items
Mend, repair or replace any needed items, make notes
Review my current home keeping systems, keep & update what is working, and eliminate what is not
Dust, sweep, wash surfaces
Add more plants...

the Photo: I found the perfect addition for our Master Bedroom...

~ Blessings & happy prep day!

52 Lists :: your Current and Future goals & dreams

List your current and future goals & dreams - sharing a few: 

  • continue to pay off our remaining debt
  • take my herbal education to the next level
  • buy a home with some land
  • own chickens, milk goats, and raise a garden
  • support my husband when he begins his education in Naturopathy 
  • one day hold grand babies
  • knit - I have a list
  • help my daughter reach her education goals
  • build relationships
  • learn to play my guitar
  • live to be a hundred and travel

the Photo:

 ~ happy Prep day!

Matcha Affogato :: two ways

Oh green, beautiful green, how tasty you can be. Matcha that is...

Last week I had the privilege of making my family a little treat called an 'affogato'. My husband and daughter both delight in Matcha, or anything Green Tea tasting.  Oh green, beautiful green, how tasty can you be with vanilla ice cream...

"The word affogato means 'drowned' or 'smothered' in Italian, which neatly sums up the appearance of this dessert-come-drink, as the ice cream slowly sinks beneath a blanket of espresso and its own melted mass..." ~ Tristan Stephenson, The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee 

Matcha Affogato - # 1

Simply warm sugar free vanilla almond milk, and add the matcha powder, stir. Then pour your warm green over the vanilla ice cream and enjoy...

Matcha Affogato - #2

2 teaspoons matcha powder * I used three and afterwards thought maybe I should have used less.
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons gentle sweet
1/4 teaspoon glucomannan {optional}
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Warm the milk and cream, add remaining ingredients and whiz with a stick blender. This will thicken slightly, if you add glucomannan. Then pour over vanilla halo top ice cream... now, I just created this off the top of my head, so please tweak it as needed. Hind sight, I would leave out the cream and just use the remaining ingredients.

The family liked it, which is the important part... right?

~ Blessings!

P.S. dear Tristan, we now have a coffee bean grinder... green tea and espresso smoothies for lunch!

52 Lists :: the Things you Treasure

List the things you treasure most: a treasure is something very much valued, something of worth or of great quantity...

treasures are like blessings, when you start listing them... it can be hard to stop:

~ The perfect lamb -Yeshua and the power of Redemption
~ my family, though small in number – they are priceless
~ the way my husband opens the car door for me
~ flannel sheets and linen duvet covers
~ Truth, honesty and being real – even in the hard parts
~ the smell of a baby's hair
~ the pleasantry sounds of chickens as they peck
~ the low moo of a mama cow
~ hot coffee on cold mornings
~ rocking chairs on porches
~ sleeping skirts made of flannel and of course Shabbat
~ mud puddles and thunderstorms
~ gospel songs with 'heart' and 'soul'
~ messages that mean something of eternal value
~ sunflowers in full bloom
~ the smell of a fresh cut grass, sunrises and sunsets
~ piles of yarn, just waiting for creativity... and knitted things there of
~ fresh bread from the oven, topped with raw butter
~ long aprons, flip flops and cabins
~ maples in fall, traditions, audio books for long car trips and quite knitting nights
~ L.I.F.E – Life is a treasure, a gift given...

the Photo:

He is the greatest momo on the planet! :) Handsome too... just thought I would share his cuteness with you all. Hard to believe he is two already.

~ Blessings! 

O Israel ~ Remember :: a tzitzit's rest

I am not sure what to call it really? A tzittzit keeper, hanger, holder... or visual rememberizer. Nah. But when my husband asked what are you making? I didn't have an answer, a name for it even then. I simply replied, you will see and gave him a smile. That same little smile I gave him right before I took out an excess wall with a sledge hammer. 

Okay. Maybe not that smile... but a smile none the less.

“Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner."
 ~ Numbers 15:38 ~

“You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself."
~ Deuteronomy 22:12 ~

"And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment..." ~ Matthew 9:20 ~

Since I do not have a name for it, I just had to share with you the pictures. The last photo also includes artwork from a dear friend's husband. His work is amazing, Praise Be to Yah!  

~ Have a great day!

Gleanings: The Law of the Fringes and You - Natan Lawrence & Lesson 20 - Torah Class

P.S. Originally I was going to make my own little beg style hanger, but after all the math was done it was cheaper to use my JoAnn Fabric's coupon and buy this one. Then I did my best to font it up a bit!

A Minimalist Kitchen - In Progress :: Baking & Spice Cabinet

I really like opening up a freshly organized baking & spice cabinet and resting my eyes upon the jar contents. All those pretty labels make my heart smile and often sparks some domestic creativity. An organized and well labeled pantry also allows me to know what we have on hand, what we need and how much space is still available for use.

My current stand by labeling system has been the simple print and peel type, or the ever quick sharpie. However, I am in the process of creating and designing new labels that better suit our family needs, and of course adding a personal feminine flare.

Beings we just moved into our apartment a little under three months ago, we are still in the building a pantry stage. Which is perfect for keeping our cupboards in order and for allowing us to be deliberate about what we put in them. Starting over can be quite therapeutic some times...

A personal note on minimalism: honestly I am not a fan of ism's, unless the said ism lines up with the whole Bible. With that being said, minimalism can be defined as living intentionally, without excess clutter of space and mind, being an attitude, a way of living, a reaction against noise, disorder and that which is vulgar. Removing distractions, doing less, having less, spending less, and for the most part I am all for those things... under the context of Scripture of course.

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” 
~ 1 Timothy 6:7 ~

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys 
and where thieves do not break in and steal."
~ Matt. 6:20 ~

So what is in there? The baking & spice cabinet includes your basic spices, Trim Healthy Mama ingredients such as; on plan sweetener, oat fiber, gelatin, whey and cocoa powder. Homemade vanilla extract and nutritional yeast. We also have - oats, farina, quinoa, brown rice, red and green lentils. Pinto, black and red beans... yes, a pantry in progress for sure!

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: list your Favorite quotes

Here is my list sharing for this week, a few of my favorite quotes...

  • ~ If you look at the world you will be distressed, if you look within you will be depressed, if you look to God you will be at rest. - Corrie ten Boom
  • ~ Worship isn't an event to attend and watch. It's a lifestyle to be lived. - unknown
  • ~ Something is wrong if our lives make sense to unbelievers – Francis Chan
  • ~ Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between what is right and almost right. - C.H. Spurgeon
  • ~ I'm not interested whether you have stood with the great. I'm interested in whether you have sat with the broken. - unknown
  • ~ The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. - George Orwell

When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading financial statements? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now? - Max Lucado

  • ~ Yarn: an item which the word 'enough' does not apply... - unknown

the Photo: it is actually a photo of a photo...

Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen with my own eyes. I could live right there in that valley for all my days. This picture does not do the beauty of this place justice. 

To ponder upon, my husband and I would like to retire there or move back out west one day. The West will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you Yah, for painting such a lovely place. 

- happy Prep Day and Shalom!

A Minimalist Kitchen - In Progress :: The Coffee Corner

I {really} wanted a coffee station for our little home, but I just could not seem to make the space for a sizable station, so instead I made a coffee corner... which fits nicely into my goals of remaining somewhat of a minimalist.

Around here we use the pour over method most of the time. It is quick and effective at delivering a nice cup of coffee... and that my friends can be paramount to a sunshiny day.

“The way in which coffee grounds are wetted and agitated is of particular importance to filter brewing.” - Tristan Stephenson

Our Coffee Corner is located near the stove, where I heat our Berkey water to just before boil. We use a small 'set a part' cabinet for all of our teas and paper filters. Our cloth filters are stored flat in a drawer near by, with a hook for drying after use, above the sink. 

“Just as a carrot or a cucumber deteriorates from the moment it is picked, the quality of a coffee bean diminishes from the time it was roasted. Knowing when your coffee was roasted is fundamental to understanding how fresh it is, so avoid buying bags.” - Tristan Stephenson

Currently, we need to purchase a coffee grinder, sorry Tristan... I must - at this time purchase bags. My ground coffee is stored in a mason jar, in the fridge. Again, very close by... {think apartment sized kitchen}.

Anyway, there are a few little touches I would like add to the corner, but for the most part it is finished and highly function-able.

~ Blessings!

Shared With: The Art of Home-Making Monday's - #146

52 Lists :: the things you Should be proud of

This was hard for me, because when I read 'be proud of' my mind struggles with the definition. 

But I will do my best to write my list...

- holding a dying person's hand
- giving birth
- loving someone who hurts me
- forgiving a father who was not there (who after thirty + years is semi back in my life)
- being able to stand {by the grace of Yah} in the midst of a storm
- supplying every, daily care need to someone who cannot remember my name
- being able to pray for those who have rejected me

Those are the things I have am most proud of... then there are:

- fifteen years of caring as a C.N.A
- working at & obtaining my certification as a Recreation Director
- becoming the Volunteer Coordinator of a rural hospital
- working full time as a single mom
- completion of the Advanced Botanical Medicine course from Vintage Remedies
- writing for The Biblical Herbal
- home educating my daughter from sixth grade through high school
- being a Wife
- being a Mother
- keeping a Home

the Photo:

My book arrived, which means I will start using the book for my lists. Instead of the lists I found online. Although either will be good for me to complete...

What about you? What are the things you are proud of?

~ Blessings!

A Circumcision

We had the privilege of opening up our home for what is often referred to as a {brit milah}. Their son being circumcised on the eighth day as commanded by God. The family met the {mohel} here in our home, with the actual circumcision taking place in the bedroom. I have never attended a brit milah before, beings that both of my sons were circumcised in a hospital setting.

The mohel took the parents into the bedroom alone. There he talked with them about the procedure, the after care and asked various questions. Then he asked all the men into the room. The child's father; his brother, the child's grandfather and my husband... then proceeded with the circumcision. 

Apparently it is custom to not have women in the room during the actual 'doing of'...

The little guy did great, and didn't cry half as much as I remember my sons crying. My husband agreed the words “circumcision of the heart” will never have the same meaning again. He now has a detailed visual and an experience he will always remember...

~ Blessings!

52 Lists :: the Words that Touch your Soul

In service to my blog goals and personal growth I am going to be working [posting] through 52 Lists, but with a twist. Being a list person as well and having a heart for documenting life... even the hard parts. I felt like this would be something good to do, so I will add to my sharing a photo too.

Week 1: list the words that touch your soul:

~ Crucifixion
~ Redemption
~ Forgiveness
~ Echad
~ Holiness
~ Righteousness
~ Marriage
~ Womb
~ Infant
~ Salvation
~ Obedience
~ I Love you - will you marry me. He asked me three times - before I said yes
~ Steadfast
~ Faith
~ Purity
~ Chivalry
~ Honor
~ Family
~ Integrity
~ Weeping
~ Mountains
~ Home
~ Brotherhood
~ Sin
~ Mercy
~ Try
~ Begin
~ Again

 Photo: I'm currently reading, applying and praying my way through this book...

It's been good to read and to walk through, bringing about some ground in my life that still needs to sifted. God is good, and I am thankful He brings what we need - when we need it.

Five easy Ways to Preserve the Taste of Lime

We were blessed with a case of organic limes for mere dollars, truly a gift. Wanting to be a diligent steward with the blessing, my job was to find ways to preserve these little green gems. Leaving very little to waste... and here is what I came up with. Remember to always start with clean, quality fruit.

Lime Zest – easily obtained by removing the {organic} 'green' from the lime. I have stored this two ways, first by placing the zest into ice cube trays and adding a titch of water to freeze in the freezer. Second, we dried the zest in the oven, on low heat. Once the zest is completely dried, place it in a glass jar with a tight lid. This is then stored in the fridge until needed. Although I am sure you can store it in the cupboard right next to the other herbs and spices without much of a problem.

Salted Limes, Fermented – slice off the ends, just the tips mind you. Then quarter and dip each 'raw' side in kosher salt and pack into your fermenting jar. Pack them tight. Fill your jar to the rim, and then add fermenting weights to hold the limes under the brine. Place in a cupboard and test them, by taste, after eight weeks...

I have been peeking at mine every now and then just to see how they are doing. After eight weeks, or longer if needed for proper fermenting, move your salt limes to the refrigerator. This is my first time making these, so we will see how they turn out.

Canned Lime Juice – simply juice your limes, heat the juice over low heat to nice and hot, not a boil. Then run your normal canning procedures and hot water bath process your full jars for fifteen minutes.

Dried Lime Peel – dry your lime peels in the oven or food dehydrator, they are dry when easily broken with a snap sound. Store them in a glass jar with a tight sealing lid, in a cupboard. These peels can then be used in home-made teas, bath products or even ground fine to be used in baking. 

The last one, isn't really a way to preserve the taste of lime in the actual tasting sense. It's more in the preserving lime in the beauty of a lime sense. This is done by making lime infused vinegar for house hold cleaning... I will be adding thyme essential to mine. Calling it Lime Thyme cleaner!

So - what would you do with a case of limes?

~ Blessings

Shared With: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth: The Art of Home-making Mondays # 145

Frankincense & Myrrh Foot Rub Recipe

I have been playing in the kitchen again.

With my camera and my creativity, thus making a personalized batch Frankincense & Myrrh foot rub.

The Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup of shea butter
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T olive oil {or almond}
  • 1 T {about an ounce} beeswax, grated
  • 15 drops of Frankincense essential oil
  • 10 drops of Myrrh essential oil

Directions: melt the beeswax and shea butter over low heat, add the coconut & olive oil. Blend well. When completely melted, remove from heat source and add the essential oils. Blend again. Pour into a small jar or metal tin. Let cool & enjoy!

~ Blessings!

The Freshening of Mama's Wool Blankets

Mama has been keeping her eyes open for wool blankets for years, and her diligence has paid off. My collecting of wool blankets started after I spent my first winter in Wyoming. When the reality of what twenty three degrees felt like couldn't be ignored. That winter I sent a plea to mama - please be on the look out for wool blankets! They will come in handy and I think I am going to need them...

Over the years my collection has grown to six. Six wool blankets, in various size and colors... all found from my mama's searching. Without a fee, except the time she spent looking. 

Each with a story, just like mama...

These blankets hold special value in my heart and will always have a home in my living space no matter how big or how small. Like my comforter, made by mama's hands, out of her denim shirts and up cycled fabrics.

“The term wool can mean the fibrous covering of a sheep in general, but it also refers to a specific type of fiber found in a sheep's fleece.” pg. 9 – the Fleece and Fiber Source Book, Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius

Learning to be a good steward of the blessings that God has given to us requires diligence. So I am gleaning how to care for these special treasures, in hopes to one day pass them on to my children.

For the freshening of my wool blankets: I simply air them in the shade, draped over multiple supports to protect against them loosing their shape. Airing your blankets can also help reduce odors and minimize possible laundering needs. 

I will lightly brush away or softly beat off any particles or pet hair that may be clinging to them, and spot clean if needed. With cold water and very little - to no friction. Honestly, I have not needed to do anything beyond my normal routine since I have had them in my possession.

When they are not in use, I store them out of direct sunlight, secured against moths or other wool invaders. Sunlight can also cause yellowing in wool, another reason I am careful. However, we do use them every fall and winter, and a couple of my wool blankets make the cut for Sukkot camping.

~ Blessings!

Shared With: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth/The Art of Home-Making Mondays # 143