Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our favorite tool to use daily

With the kind of daily work I do, there are so many things that require a little handy tool. So my husband bought me a Leatherman Skeletool CX for my birthday. Since then I have used it often because it is good, has 7 frequently used tools as below:
  1. Needlenose/ Regular Pliers
  2. Hard-wire Cutters
  3. Large Bit Driver
  4. Wire Cutters
  5. 154CM Knife
  6. Bottle Opener/Carabiner

To be honest, I have never thought a multi-tool would be so useful, but I was proven wrong since. While I am happy with the small tool, my hubby stays happy with his bigger and more pro Charge TTi, a titanium model also from Leatherman with many more tools. He said that his multi-tool has the best blade even when being compared to a real knife. And by saying real knives, he meant those heavy duty and extremely sharp survival knives. That is quite amazing for such a little tool it is. The kind of things a man does daily, he definitely needs a tool of this quality. He also uses it to complete some work around the house, too.

Just for your interest, here is what the Charge has:
  1. Needlenose Pliers
  2. Regular Pliers
  3. Hard-wire Cutters
  4. Wire Cutters
  5. Crimper
  6. Wire Stripper
  7. S30V Knife
  8. 420HC Serrated Knife
  9. Saw
  10. Spring-action Scissors
  11. Cutting Hook
  12. Ruler (8 in | 19 cm)
  13. Can Opener
  14. Bottle Opener
  15. Wood/Metal File
  16. Diamond-coated File
  17. Large Bit Driver
  18. Small Bit Driver
  19. Medium Screwdriver

Though having lots of tools built into one single unit, the company still manage to keep the size and weight down to minimum as many pieces of tools act as more than one or two tools themselves.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back to my blog

It's been some times since I abandoned this blog. I in fact deleted it. But last night, when I discovered all the archives of past blog posts on the computer, I was excited to post again. So I reclaimed this blog and post them back on.

Feeling inspired


Friday, October 5, 2012

Packaging Dehydrated Onions

One of the things that I love to store, for the winter, is dehydrated onions. I have tried to store fresh onions but they just don't last much more than a month or two, it seems. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but they always start sprouting! Which is not a bad thing - it shows my onions have LIFE in them! But, we love onions and so the best way to store them is through dehydration.

I ordered a 5 lb. box of onions from The Flour Barrel, a Mennonite bulk food store. They called me yesterday to say they were in, so I went and picked them up. This morning, I took time to seal them up with my Foodsaver to insure the flavor of them. I put them into 8 oz. packages. I have started to wear off the Foodsaver name on it from using it so much. It is a great way to seal up herbs, coffee, tea, dehydrated foods, etc. This is my second one. I wore the first one completely out!

A few days ago, I got my order, from Mountain Rose Herbs, for my favorite bulk teas and herbal coffee. I put some of them in jars, which I will use now but I put the rest into Foodsaver-sealed bags to retain the freshness for later. Just a few more things put away in my pantry. What a blessing to know I don't have to go out in the ice and snow if I don't want to! Winters can be pretty tough in my part of the country.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gratitude Post

I have so much to be thankful for. I find that everywhere I look I see the fingerprints of God. I am choosing to be more aware of things to be grateful for and be quick to thank Him for those things. Here is just a bit of my life.....

 My daughter and I continue to process food for the winter. This is a picture of just of some of the  jars of applesauce that we put up. We used Golden Delicious apples for making our sauce because we don't have to add any sugar at all.

There are still a few tomatoes and green peppers hanging on but the gardens are pretty well done for the season. I need to get outside and get the gardens prepped for the long, cold, snowy winter.

I am very grateful for the work of my hands in supplying food for my family.

 This is the last little bit of my breakfast. I was so thankful looking at my plate of food that the Lord provided for me, I started tearing up a bit. Honest I did. What a bounty was provided for me!

It consisted of two eggs from our own "girls" that spend all afternoon and evening running around the yard chasing after bugs. Because they are free to roam and get table scraps (veggies, leftover kefir, raw milk and other tasty treats) they lay very dark yellow yolked eggs. I had organic Japanese Mustard Greens, Chipotle cheese, and fresh tomatoes mixed in two eggs. I added a slice of homemade grain free chocolate bread. Yummy!

My grandson called me to come quickly outside to see a rainbow around the sun! I thought he was kidding me. I had never seen such a thing but I went with my camera in hand.

You can see the sun just below the bottom of the picture and part of the rainbow that went all around the sun. It was a lot brighter than the picture shows. I don't have a very fancy camera so I wasn't even sure it would show up.

I might have missed that blessing if I had not been notified of it. Someone said they are called Sun Dogs.

I have been preparing for winter in other ways too. This huge pile of organic kale was offered to me by my brother in law. I ate a bit of dinner that evening but dehydrated the rest for making soup in the winter. All this kale fit into a small bag once it was dried and crushed into flakes. What a blessing this kale is to me! You have no idea how much I love kale!

I layered about half of my herbs in the dehydrator now. I will try to winter through the live plants as long as I can but will have the dried ones as back-up with the fresh herbs are gone.

I held a week old baby boy a couple of evening ago. He smelled so good. So tiny. So precious. Where have my babies gone? Why has time gone by so fast? When did I become a grandma EIGHT times? Each baby is a precious gift. I am thankful for getting to hold baby Cole. The experience brought back wonderful memories.

The leaves are really starting to turn colors now. I picked up a couple of bright red and orange leaves on my way back from the mailbox. I stuck them on my refrigerator to enjoy for a few days until the dry out and get too brittle. I have started to dig my wool socks and sweaters out of the back of my drawers. It won't be long and I will be wearing them for sure!

I still hope to hang sheets out on the line a few more times before the weather changes too cold. A friend told me that she always puts a couple sets of line-dried sheets in big plastic bags to keep that fresh smell inside. It would really be a blessing to put them on the beds in the middle of bitter cold weather and sniff that fresh air fragrance when we lay our heads on the pillows at night.

It's time to pull out the Leek & Potato Soup, Lentil Soup and Turnip Soup recipes that we enjoy so much in the winter time. I love making soup on the top of our wood stove. Add some homemade bread and oo la la! What a delight that is!

I think it is time to make myself a cup of tea and then it will be time to start preparing dinner. I think we will be having homemade pizza tonight. I am anxious to try a new recipe. This grain-free way of eating is going really well for me. And it's working.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Solitude and Silence

I wanted to post about my trip the moment I got home. But truthfully, I wanted to first unpack my suitcase, talk with Husband a bit, and just sort of take it easy. I knew that tomorrow would be back to my usual life so I just wanted to soak in the last little bit of the day in my memories.

And of course, because of the homesteading lifestyle we chose to live, I had a cow to milk, milk to process, eggs to wash, muddy floors to mop, a bed to make and the challenge of trying to find the kitchen counters. Apparently the "maid" didn't show up even once while I was gone. LOL

I started my day with devotions, of course. I first journaled this: "I am home now. The house is a wreck. I see work every place I look. Dirty dishes, laundry, unmade bed, so many, many things out of place. It's a panic-type feeling looking around the house. Especially after my weekend of prayer, peace, ah...... I need to read some Scripture and pray so that I can start my morning routine out in the barn first. Then I can shower, dress and start my day here in the house. I need to wash windows inside and out before the cold weather starts. So much to do - so much to do!"

And then, quiet as a whisper, in my heart, God said to me "Instead of finding fault with your life and always asking 'why' you should be willing to ACCEPT EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE OF LIFE IN AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE! If you truly believe, Laurie, that your affairs are in My hands, every event, no matter how joyous, mundane or tragic, it should be taken as part of My perfect plan for your life."

OK, Lord. Thanks for the attitude adjustment. You are right - I know... die to self, die to self! *smile*

So here is my story... better late than never, right?

This is the beautiful little cabin that the Lord provided for me for my Solitude and Silence Retreat. It was in a very serene and secluded place. I felt like I was the only one in the entire world - Just Jesus and me. What a delightful, peaceful, incredible experience!
It had everything that my heart desired. I love little log cabins. I love screen porches! Just look at this beautiful porch. I spent many hours in either the wicker rocking chairs or the little picnic table, reading praying, searching for what God wanted to tell me. He surprised me time and after time with little gifts of love. For example, I love drinking coffee in my tall coffee cup. Guess what was in the cupboard? Yep, a tall coffee cup. I love cooking with stainless steel pans instead of Teflon. Guess what? Yep, one little stainless sauce pan and one stainless steel frying pan. I consider myself a "foodie" and avoid things like grains, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, etc. as many of you know. I had taken a few almond flour pancakes with me. The syrup in the cupboard was listed corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup as the first two ingredients. No syrup for me.... There was a jar of peach jelly in the refrigerator (no preservatives, only peaches and sugar) were the ingredients on the label. I spread a tiny bit on my pancakes and smiled. He went to great lengths to get me there to shower me with His grace and mercy and lovingkindess!

This is the incredible view out the back of the screened in porch. The little cabin sits up on a hill and looks down over a creek, in the little valley below. It reminds me of the view out my own little screen house. The weather was perfect - not too hot and not too cold to enjoy sitting out there a lot. I was reminded of His goodness in the lush, green woods. Even the birds declare His goodness!

 Even the cabin's supporting beams declare His glory!!!!

I had no idea why the Lord brought me to this place. I had been feeling that He wanted to tell me something but my life was too busy to hear Him. (He knows me so well.) I sat in silence for the first day and night. I woke in silence the next morning and remained silent all the second day. No worship music, no creating art, nor hand-quilting, nothing that would drown out His voice or distract me from Him. I read my devotional book, and wept as I prayed for my precious family, for dear friends, the lost and unloved, and my country. I journaled, searched the Scriptures, rested, repeated the process. Over and over again I kept asking, "OK, I am here. I am trying my best to listen. What do You want to tell me?" I only felt His great love for me.

 As I silently ate my dinner the second evening, five deer came out of the woods and grazed outside the kitchen window. Immediately the verse "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God." Psalm 42:1 came to my mind. I watched them for a long time. They would look up at me and go back to grazing. What a blessing! What a gift of love!

I finished my dinner, did up the dishes and sat back to read The Word and journal some more. Again, only silence from Abba Father. But still the love remained strong. At times, I felt I could hardly breathe deep because His presence was so strong. Lovely, lovely time.

I woke the next morning (day 3) and wrote in my journal, "I am sitting here thinking how slow time is in this place. It is a restful pace that gives one plenty of time to read, pray, sleep and ponder. I am so grateful for this time....

I am so thankful that I came to this beautiful place. My heart is content here and my spiritual love-tank is being filled to overflowing so that I can go home and serve again. This time it will not be in my own strength but from the fresh filling God has given me. I can't wait for Bible study!!!

Well, enough rambling for now. I need to grab a cup of that delightful smelling coffee, open my Bible, devotional book and see where You take me this morning. (Wishing Husband was here to have coffee with me. I miss him.)"

During devotions He finally spoke to my heart!!!! Here is my journal post....

"Wow, Lord! You really showed up this morning! So much so that I had a good cry of happy tears of joy. I finally figured out why You wanted to take me away to this place. You wanted to tell me fresh and anew HOW EVERY MUCH YOU LOVE ME!!!! That's it! Nothing new and profound - just the simple basic truth of how much I mean to You.

I stepped outside for just a minute or two (it's cold out this morning and I am still in my pajamas) and as I was scanning the beautiful view, God whispered to me,


Every blade of grass, every tree, this cabin, the deer... all this is for you! I knew you would be here today, Laurie, so I created it all for your pleasure."

The pressure is off my shoulders now - my wondering what He wanted to tell me or show me. Oh my! Was He wanting me to serve in Africa???? This truth of how much He loves me will sustain me through any trial the world has to bring. He love me! He loves me! Oh how He loves me!!!!!

Then I heard "Laurie, do you know what a joy it is to live in your heart? Do you realize that I have looked on you and loved you for all eternity? Before the world was created, before you came into being, I knew you and had a plan for your life. In my book your days were all written. The days that were ordained for you, Laurie, when as yet there was not one of them. I knit you together in your mother's womb, carefully choosing what you would look like. How precious are My thoughts to you, Laurie! You are My beloved. You are My delight and My delight is in you! All this for you. All this for you."

*insert tears here - lots of tears* 

I went inside, turned on the worship music and danced before the Lord. Just Abba and I. Round and round we went. It was a precious time I will never forget. And I felt that now I was free to just rest, have fun and soak in the gift.

 I gathered my things and set my art quilt up. I am so glad I brought it, though I was willing to lay it aside for Him. I set it up outside on the screened porch. Tiny beads and tiny stitches in remembrance of Him.

I memorized the 23 Psalm here. I always "sort of knew it" but now I can quote it word for word. I am sure God will use that memorized Scripture many times in my life.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He restores my soul. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows! Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of Lord forever"... and ever and ever and ever! AMEN!

A tiny beaded cross in the center of each square. Every time I look at it I will think "All this for you!"

I sat here one last time, before I packed my bags to go home. I must have said THANK YOU a trillion times. And you know..... I think I heard Him say, "You are most welcome. It was My pleasure!"

And you know what? He means it.

He loves YOU that much too - and desires a deep, abiding personal relationship with the Savior. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

What I received on my retreat is available for anyone who loves the Lord, has asked Him to be Lord and Savior, and is filled with the Holy Spirit. ALL THIS IS FOR YOU TOO!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Retreat of Solitude

I am planning a Solitude Retreat soon. When I get back, I will post all about it. I am so excited to go and be alone with God for a few days. Please pray for me that my ears of my heart will be open.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breathe Deeply

Time stands still for me, for just a brief moment....

Outside the window of my tiny grandson's home, the cars continue to whiz by. I hear the sounds of children hurrying to get home after a day at school. There is a sound of an emergency vehicle in the distance and all the world seems to going by at a very fast pace.

But at this precious moment of quiet, and an acute awareness of perhaps grasping at the hem of my Savior's robe,  I breathe deeply, allowing my senses of touch and smell to fill my heart with joy!

He smells so good in my arms, this precious baby sleeping against my face. He lies quietly, belly full of his Mama's milk, clean diaper and heavy eyelids, this grandson of mine. At times like this I simply enjoy smelling the sweet baby-smell of this child who came from his mother's womb, who came from mine. Seems like it was yesterday that cradled HER in my arms. Where has the time gone?

It's in the quietness that I am learning to experience "the holy". This moment was truly a holy one and I fully worshiped as I held him in my arms. I worshiped The One who created him in his mother's womb, this little one, fearfully and wonderfully made.

I also pondered in my heart how trusting he was to rest so peacefully in my arms. He wasn't concerned about where his next meal would come from, or if someone would remember to meet the needs of a dry diaper and a clean sleeper. He was filled and he was satisfied. 

My Heavenly Father desires the same kind of relationship with me - trusting, resting, and filled with His grace. 

For a sweet moment in time, as I breathed deeply, I experienced "the holy". I have been blessed.