12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Crafts, Ranch Life
Oh I can’t believe it! For 25 years I have had my little craft room in the laundry room with no windows. Now we are empty nesters and my man and I got to work creating a new craft room with lots of natural light!  A new craft room with color and light will make creating so much more exciting! 

I am calling it my Whimsy room! Because of the whimsy decor…so cute!


Here is what the room looked like before we began. Our son  Mitchell.

Craft Room
Now for the fun part…gutting and getting walls ready for new brightness!

We were given old base boards as a donation so I decided to use these as a  crown molding around the room. I painted them white…and added a splash of distressing…

New Craft Room

Dan mounted them…they look so cool against the painted wall!
New Craft Room

We also decided to empty the closet taking out the old racks and will turn this area into the main area for stamping.
New Craft Room

 

This next part I love! I want a WHIMSY type of room so looking at ideas for window decor I came up with this. What do you think? Whimsy or what? It was also a project I could do NOW since I had to wait for the flooring to come in. 
New Craft RoomNew Craft Room




New Craft Room
I just took material and cut them into strips tying them onto a white cord made of cotton. I measured the cord out by hanging it on the window so I knew how long I wanted the swag. Lookin’ whimsy for sure!

OK…he finished the floor…
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Food, Healthy Eating
Who doesn’t like cranberries this time of year? I am SO cranberry crazy right now…mostly because I love the taste and color, but also they are REALLY good for you!

Below is a wonderful simple homemade cranberry sauce (NOT the canned jelly kind I assure you) that you can make ahead of time. I love that idea! Keep refrigerated until your ready to serve. 

 


Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Orange Juice
1/2-3/4 cup of honey…it looses sweetness in the refrigerator so I go to the higher amount
12 oz of whole cranberries
Orange zest I used a whole orange

Directions:

Simmer orange juice, honey and zest bringing to a boil for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries continuing to cook for 15 minutes. They will burst and the mixture will get thick. Spoon into your serving dish and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. I do this the night before. Add some orange zest on top before you bring to your holiday table. Presentation will be delightful!


Next fav…yep not nutritious at all! BUT REALLY YUMMY! Famous marshmallow cranberry salad! Cranberry Crazy #2…

Cranberry Crazy
Ingredients:
3 cups frozen organic cranberries thawed and chopped (organic makes me feel better we have local farmers too which makes it awesome)
1  1/2 cup pineapple frozen or fresh
1 drop Organic Orange essential oil (adds amazing taste)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 apple chopped
1 lemon squeezed 
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups of heavy whipping cream ( I like as fresh as possible so I stay away from cool whip)
1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped
lemon zest

Directions:
In large bowl mix first 4 ingredients. Add your lemon juice. Add sugar, salt. Give a good stir and cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, whip up your cream and fold into your mixture. Add nuts and stir. Top with zest before serving. 

Lastly is a sweet beverage which is healthy and festive! I love my orange flavors with cranberries and I add it into my recipes when I can. 
Cranberry Crazy #3

Cranberry Crazy

I love using martini glasses even though we don’t use them for that purpose. It is fun drinking from the glass so making this recipe is simple but is individually made.

Using a shaker full of ice add:
1/4 cup of Elderberry syrup
1/2 cup Cranberry juice 
1 drop of orange essential oil
Fill remaining space with Ginger Ale
Shake well and pour into your favorite glass. 
(you can sugar the rim of the glass with cranberry sugar by taking a bit of the cranberry juice to 1/4 cup of sugar, mix and place on a plate. Dip your favorite glass into a water than into the plate of sugar)

Well there you have it! Your festive cranberry crazy day has a head start. 

Enjoy making the most of your Thanksgiving by remembering all you are thankful for and raising your glasses in praise for the ONE who gave HIS all!

God bless you and may this season bring you peace and love in Jesus Christ!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee







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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Making your own tea and blending herbs can be confusing as well as intimidating. Personally, it took me a few months to feel confident but over time…it all really doesn’t matter -just so it tastes good to you.

Yep that’s right…just don’t worry about it! Tea blending is all  in what you love, taste, and feel. That’s it!

DIY tea Blending

Begin by having some kind of journal so you can write down the tea blends you tried.  You can make a note or use faces…I love  using those emoji faces!

 

Kinds of Teas, Herbs, Spices, and Essential Oils (just a few of the most popular and flavorful)

Base Tea: Black, White, Roboos,  Green,  Oolong, Fruit,  Macha

 

Add a dash: Ginger, Orange Peel,  Lemon Peel,  Mints, Cinnamon, Clove, Cyanine

 

Aroma delight: One drop of essential oil like orange, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, lemon

 

Flower Herbs: elder flower, hibiscus, rose petal, rose hips, lavender

 

Medicinal Herbs: (Top herbs to have on hand especially cold and flu season)  Ginger, Elderberry, garlic, marshmallow, elder flower, echinachia,  goldenseal, yarrow, dandelion leaf

DIY Tea Blending

 

Here are a few tips that I hope you will find helpful in your journey of tea blending. Once you find the group of herbs you like, make a label naming your new tea and put the ingredients of herbs on the label. Naming the most used herb first.

 

Tip 1:

Fighting an illness:Taste-of-Herbs-Flavor-Wheel-Packet

  1. Look at the link above even print it out to help you.
  2. Find how your feeling or what you’re trying to fight.
  3. Pick 3 herbs based on the chart. Blend only a cup of the herbs. Use 1 tsp for the herb that is needed to be the strongest. The other 2 use 1/2 tsp, and if one is a mint use only a sprinkle.

Once you have a blend you like, make up a bigger mason jar of the blend, adding your ingreients and name it, like cold/flu, cough, tummy, headache….

Tip 2.

 Base tea leaves:
  Using one of these is making a caffeinated  tea. Yet, it may be a wonderful blend to play with.

When you go to order the tea leaves, Starwest is wonderful at giving you the info behind each one as well as the flavor.  A tip in itself! Especially with these based teas.

Once you have had a cup of the base tea add an herb you like- for example:  green tea with rose petals, rose hips, ginger and orange. Again only make a small batch, giving you one to three cups so if you don’t like it you won’t waste your herbs.
(If I make a cup I that is too pungent I will put it in my dinner some how…like when I am simmering meat I add the tea to water…I feel better when I don’t waste!)

Tip 3.

  1. Blend 2 herbs. Pick a flower or medicinal herb. Pick one dash and an aroma delight.
  2. Only make one cup of tea using a 2 tsp of your choice herb and ½ tsp of your dash, brew and you’re ready to drink your cup add your drop of essential oil.

If you like this blend, write it down in your tea blend booklet.
DIY Blending Tea

 Tip 4: (click on the Starwest link to get the herbs and spices you need even tea bags)
Top herbs to have on hand all the time would be ones I love yes but also to help fight an
on coming cold or flu.

  1. Elderberry both berry and the flower (I make a syrup to keep in the refridge all year round!)
  2. Golden Seal, Yarrow, and Echinacea, (not the best tasting but sure powerful in helping aid in fevers, coughs, and upper respiratory)
  3. Ginger and orange peel, and rose hips (gotta have flavor…these are not only medicinal but packed with flavor)
  4. The above spices can be substituted for essential oils only one drop per cup. peppermint, ginger, clove bud, lemon, or orange

Lastly, when brewing your tea make sure to brew for at least 10-15 minutes. I know it may seem like a long wait, but it is important to let the herb steam through. Also cover your mixed herb while it is brewing. Most tea strainers (Starwest has a wonderful one) do not have a cover so I use a lid of a mason jar.


Enjoy blending and experimenting with your teas and spices. The joy of blending is feeling free enough to stretch your imagination and enjoy the smell and taste of your OWN blend.


If you want to give your new tea as a gift…I love putting them in a mason jar and I made cute quilted bag but you can gift wrap yours with a tea strainer attached. Another opportunity to be creative!
DIY Tea BlendingDIY Tea Blending


Happy blending,
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Ranch Life
Oh boy do I remember the old time ornament and napkin ring idea!

Ornament Essential oils
A simple recipe, fun and safe for kids, and of course a wonderful way to teach children the art of giving.

ornament essential oils

Coming into a season of giving I wanted to create ideas for gift giving, table decor, and an activity to do with youth. Since we are past the little ones in the home and yet to have grandchildren, I thought of this old recipe to have the youth make for their loved ones. Plus, these little gems can be used all season and adding a heart or snowflake to the mix of cookie cutters…well… this could be an ongoing gift through the long winter months. 

Enjoy making these and being creative of how you can add them to packages, place them throughout your home for wonderful scents, or simple ornament to decorate your tree. 

ornament essential oils

Recipe:

1 cup of flour
1 cup of salt
1/2 cup warm water
Mix flour and salt together, add water slowly while mixing with your hands. Form a ball, make sure they are not too sticky.
Roll out dough onto floured surface and make your cut outs.
After you place cut outs onto your cookie tray, make a hole by using a straw. You can also stamp on the cut out to give a little Scandinavian look. 
Bake at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours or leave out on a tray for 2 or so days. 
After they dry, add a drop or 2 of essential oils to each one. We love using cinnamon, peppermint, clove, and orange. Either individually or combining a couple.
You can also paint them with acrylics to add a flash of color.


Be creative!


Ornament essential oils
I am sure you will come up with great ideas! Send me pictures in the comments below…Love to see what you came up with! 

 


God’s blessings as you celebrate all the Lord has giving you and your family!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, 
Lee
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Bible Journaling, Crafts

Have you ever thought about if you ever would need a heart transplant whose heart you would get? Would it be a person who is famous? Maybe someone who had committed a murder! Or maybe someone who has given their whole life to serving others. The whole fact that one would need a transplant is scary as the risks are so high and recovery can be long.

But God gave us a chance without any of those risks or worrying about its past!

But have you thought about today? Do you need a new heart today? I do!


Do you find yourself stuck on your own views whether political, religious, or even, you will NEVER eat Asparagus. Are you stubborn, set in your own ways?

In the book of Ezekiel, starting in 36: 22, we read, “Therefore (read the passage before will help), give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it.

Ok…we need to stop a minute. First, this passage is a message from the Sovereign Lord. Sovereign meaning all powerful, all in control…GOD Himself! If we are at all a person who desires to please others, we first need to please God. Listening to Him is a great start. Think about this for a minute. The God who created the universe is speaking to you. He is speaking and saying, “I am bringing you back”.

 

Back from what? Well, really our sinful self, our stubborn ways, and thoughts that we are always right. Look at the next part. He is even bringing us back and we don’t even deserve it. AMAZING! Yet, so many of us don’t understand this. We really don’t deserve what we have now or for believers, heaven. But our Jesus longs for us to spend eternity with Him so He paid the price of death, which as a sinless man he didn’t deserve. We do.

When we read on the Lord did this for His people to show how holy He is and that HE is Lord. He made a promise to bring them home. In verse 25 He sprinkles CLEAN water on each person. Washing the sin away. OH WHAT A SIGHT!

Again…if we don’t realize we are unclean we cannot accept this sprinkle of cleanliness. We cannot understand the need for a beautiful shower from our Lord. But when we do…

Verse 26…I WILL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART! There it is! Our transplant!

 

The transplant was successful! New, clean, pumping, and beating! The Lord has taken out our stony, stubborn old heart and given us a tender, responsive heart. DO YOU SEE THIS? Don’t you WANT to be tender? Don’t you WANT to be responsive to others? Think about your views again going back to the beginning. Your views on world issues. Did you react in a way that was tender to someone else’s position? Were you responding in love, tenderness, understanding? I can tell you…this is where this passage hit me…right in the HEART!

 

YEP, I need a transplant, everyday! I am quick to my viewpoints or beliefs and am not being a good witness to a God Who is patient and kind.

 

As I read on in this passage, I simply came before the Lord praying for a transplant. A transplant I may need to ask many times over, as I am a sinner. However, as a sinner I have a Savior. I know with every new heart I need to ask for forgiveness and He will forgive AND FORGET EVERY time. Unlike us humans, Jesus forgives and moves on.

 

A heart transplant on an operating table is far more risky as well as many months of healing, but a heart transplant from our Jesus is easy, not painful, and best of all will lead you to an abundant life with Him!

 

May you be open to receive a daily transplant and in turn be sprinkled with His blessings.


Love deeper, talk sweeter, ask for a new heart (and be amazed at HIS answer)
Lee
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Ranch Life, The Boys

Dan and I celebrated 30 years on October 8th in a very special place in Northern Wisconsin. It is indeed a little piece of heaven with the Finnish touch and a perfect get away!

 



Palmquist Farm

Palmquist Farm is located in a small town in Brantwood, WI. The farm is full of history from the old barns to all the décor covering the walls of each building and a cute couple who are your hosts.  Jim greets you with his Finnish accent and welcoming smile escorting you to your cabin or in our case the barn to get our horses settled. He knew we came from a distance and the importance of animals first was for front on his mind. He showed us all the spots we could place our boys and once we got them comfy cozy Jim walked us to our cabin.


What a place! From the moment you walk in the yellow lighting upon the log wood made you feel warm and welcomed. Each room had memories of the past including furniture dated back to the 1940’s. Of course Jim shared a story or two about the old radio and listening to President Roosevelt with the break of the war and the linens hand stitched by grandma.

Get Away

My man and I arrived in early afternoon so we had time to look around after unpacking. OH am I glad I got a new camera! I was in heaven snapping all kinds of shots!

Get AwayGet Away Get awayGet Away
Get Away

 Each building is full of wonderful décor and in the sauna they even have newspaper articles from the Titanic to the San Francisco earthquake. The old furniture set the stage in time and one feels your really living in the early 1900’s.

Get away

Palmquist is a perfect place for couples, hunters, horse riders, newlyweds, or an excuse for a perfect get-away. The trails are full of beauty with ponds around every corner, trees full of life, and paths easy to walk or trail ride.  In the winter, the folks with skinny skis will enjoy the trails as well as the ones with the motors.
Get AwayGet Away

The accommodations with a cozy fireplace made coming back from a cold trail ride inviting. Sippin’ my tea and a book made for relaxing afternoons.  For my man it came down to the food. It was over the top!  Served both breakfast and dinner in a beautiful room full of more stories and history, we enjoyed every meal full of flavor of an ol’ fashion farm taste. From fresh veggies and fruit from their gardens to meat fully packed with flavor.  The pastries were my downfall! I ate WAY too much! Once I found out Helen had a cookbook I was delighted to bring a piece of Palmquist cooking home. Helen truly did an amazing job at EVERY meal. OOOO I can still taste the wonderful cranberry/raspberry sauce! Delightful!

Here is a sample of one of Helen’s sweet desserts. I couldn’t resist making this right away for our church bible study time. I changed one thing in her recipe by making my own yellow cake mix. I prefer to do things homemade vs. out of a box when I can. I also don’t have to feed tons of folks like Helen so I can make the time for the extra step.



Here ya go:

Pumpkin Pecan Crumble by Palmquist Farm

Ingredients:

1 15 oz organic can of pumpkin

1 12 oz can evaporated milk

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (my recipe below)

1 box of yellow cake mix (my recipe below)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 cup of melted butter

cool whip or real whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, and pie spice until well blended.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×13 greased pan.
  4. Sprinkle about ¾ of your cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. (save extra for next time)
  5. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cake mix.
  6. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the nuts.
  7. Bake cake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate until cool about an hour. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle a bit more pumpkin spice on top!

 

Lee’s Homemade cake mix: (you can refrigerate this mixture for up to a week or freeze for a month)

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of unbleached purposed four

1 ½ cups of sugar

1 tbsp baking powder +1 tsp (I make my own 1 tsp of baking soda, 2 tsp of cream of tarter)

1 tsp. salt

6 tbsp of softened butter

Mix together in a glass bowl crumbling butter with a knife or your clean hands. Store in safe container.

To make a cake, add 1 1/4 cups of water and 2 eggs.

 

Lee’s Pumpkin Spice recipe:

3 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp. fresh nutmeg, grated

2 tsp. cloves

Mix and best part…put in a cute jar!


 

 

What makes a B&B? The accommodations…yes. The food….yes. The people you get to know at every meal?….YES. A young couple with their new bundle 4 month old singing to you for your anniversary? YES! What makes a great B&B is the people! Their loving conversations, stories and smiles make your stay a warm family stay.

We did get a kick out of Jim  sharing real stories of the farm from gangsters visiting, buffalo stories, to shoot outs the ol’ fashion way. He made our meals full of adventure and laughter. Of course a good tease about Finnish and Norwegians provided more fun!

Palmquist isn’t just a place to stay it is an experience! A Finish touch was everywhere you look. I am sure my dad would have loved this spot. Palmquist Farm is known to many cross-country skiiers in the area and the signs around the trails proved horses aren’t the only ones who use them.



Get Away

We hope to back to this little place in Northern Wisconsin. A Finnish touch indeed…hope you too will find your way there for any kind of weekend get away!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

 

In the book of Daniel  chapter 6 we read a famous story told of how Daniel escaped from a lions’ den. At the first sign of trouble, Daniel did the very thing he would be killed for….an unflinched faith….he prayed asking God for help.

 

Think just for a moment of a time when you received bad news. REALLY bad news! A death. An illness diagnoses. Loss of job. Did you go to a private room, open a window, kneel down and pray asking for help? HUM…I know I haven’t. My faith was shaken to the core. I cried. I called others to tell the news. I simply fell apart turning to others instead of turning to my God.

Unflinching Faith

Daniel’s faith was unflinching! He knew without a shadow of a doubt God would come through….SOMEHOW. He didn’t know to what extent, even if it all did take his life, God would be with him.

 

In verse 19 we read King Darius woke up early and hurried to the lions’ den. He called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Doubt in the kings voice and heart. Yep…I think I would have been too. BUT, Daniel answered, “Long live the king. My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in HIS sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”

 

Amazing?

Not when we have unflinching faith! 

Unflinched Faith

In my early years of receiving my Lord Jesus as my Savior, I was full of flinching faith. I just had not had enough of HIS promises in my heart. I didn’t know HIS word well enough to see stories like this one come true in my own life. In time, reading HIS word daily, meditating on what I have read and applying it in my own life, I became stronger. YEP, I slip up. I do get shaken, but time with the Lord will bring peacefulness in my heart to pull me through the trial.

Seeing it happen in others in the same situations also proved of HIS faithfulness and HIS promises

 

During the months preparing for the harvest hoedown I needed to take much time in prayer believing the Lord would pull things all together. Two weeks before the event our son just bought a home and his closing landed the day before. Our daughter would be traveling from Richmond, VA a 1200 mile trip with her dog, our bunnies were experiencing illness’,  Bokoda had pulled his shoulder which meant he couldn’t be used for demonstrations, and to top it all off, rain was predicted all week and especially on the day of the big event.

 

Shaken faith? Unflinching? I called in the troops to pray. I called out to God. I prayed “Lord this is YOUR day, not ours. Have it as YOUR will be done. Help me to enjoy serving YOU and continue to be obedient with a smile and faith YOU will take care of the details.”

 

HE DID! AND SOOOO MUCH MORE! Mitch’s house closing got moved up a day and we took the day as rest away from the event and enjoyed moving him into his new journey. Our daughter arrived safely and without troubles. All animals healed, except the one but she got better a few days later, and the Lord made a beautiful day even the SONshine came through!

 

Another story in my life goes into the books of rely on God, and our faith can be UNFLINCHED!

 

Verse 26

“For HE is the living God and HE will endure forever. HIS kingdom will never be destroyed and HIS rule will never end. He rescues and saves HIS people; HE performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.”

 

He does! These verses should inspire us all believers to walk this life of trials with an unflinching faith!

 

He’s got us…in the palm of HIS Holy Hands! Take that you lions!

 

Love deeper & talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healthy Eating, Ranch Life
YES…it’s true! Tons of folks are now on the elderberry bandwagon and to get your elderberries will be more of a challenge. The elderberry shortage is happening so start ordering TODAY! Starwest still has some but not many if you click here. (affiliate link) Also if they are out of order you can have them email you when they come in. 


Many recipes are on the internet for the famous elderberry syrup, which also makes for the elderberry craze! Truly I love this stuff! It really works! What a great gift to give a loved one!


Just 1/4 cup alone or in my tea a couple of times a day I can fight off a cold or flu bug. It is awesome on ice cream and pancakes too. I also put it in my Kombucha for an added boost in the morning. 

Kick Out Soda
Here is my recipe along with other ideas to use your elderberries. 

Don’t delay…order today! And make up a big batch of the syrup so you have it on hand!

Are you looking for a way to use essential oils more often instead of the “go to” drugs? Along with herbs, essential oils can help your body fight off infections and get your body back to wellness.
Here is a link of a series of videos to help in your health and wellness with essential oils. I love Dr. Z. He is very open as well as helpful! 

Love deeper, talk sweeter and make your own elderberry syrup today!
Lee
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Health, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life
UTI’s…I know, I know, such a private thing to talk about…but hey…if you get one..RATS it is painful and inconvenient most of the time! I hate getting UTI’s and it has been a LONG time since I had one. 
Oh Boy UTI
WHY?

Why does it come on? Well the answer can be as good as any guess. I personally take the Plexus probiotic and that alone has helped many issues. I also drink Kombucha every day which has also been a BIG change for helping stay healthy. 

What I believe happened this round for me was a lack of water intake. We have had many hot and humid days and if I don’t drink enough water, bacteria can creep into the system. Also just good habits I  wasn’t good about. I have below a great website which give more info on the why’s.
Lavender Lemondade

WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE CALLING THE DOCTOR

Whatever the issue of WHY you got it, now it’s time to try and get rid of it without antibiotics. Let me warn you 2 things. ONE…it isn’t a quick fix like the icky antibiotics. In fact, mine took almost 2 full weeks before it was clear. I felt results within 3 days but it took that long to totally feel better.  Going the natural way takes time and takes doing the teas and oils many times throughout your day. For many folks, they really can’t deal with that. But for ones who choose to heal their body naturally, will pay off in the years to come. Check this link to see facts from Dr. Axe.

Remember, antibiotics take over 3 years to get out of your body. In turn, will slow down your immune system to heal or battle other things that come up in your life. NO thanks!

Two.. is this disclaimer:
Oh boy UTI

Now are you ready to try some things? I love this site for explanation of herbs used.

First onsite of pain:
1. Drink at least 3 full glasses of water. Pee as often as you can. Even if it hurts. Don’t hold it… really important.
2. Put a teaspoon of baking soda in one of the glasses of water and drink it within 5 minutes. It doesn’t taste great but do it… this helps stop or ease the pain while peeing.
3. Get some non sweetened Cranberry juice and drink throughout the day.
4. Be drinking fresh water all day as much as you can and more!
5. Take the supplement D-Mannose. Take as directed. I use the one with cranberry. 


Second Step:
Make up a jar of tea blend, label it, and make yourself a pot of tea. Drink throughout the day. Hot or cold.
Recipe for blend: Ingredients found by clicking Starwest Botanicals (affiliate link)
 1/2 cup Uva Ursi (making a tincture with this herb would be better in your tea as the taste is not great)
1/2 cup Dandelion Leaf (great for UTI’s)
 1/4 cup Golden Seal
 1/2 cup Marshmallow Root
 1/8 cup Corn silk (yep the stuff you usually throw away…dry and save in mason jar…great herb)
 1/8 cup Cinnamon Chips
6 cloves
Mix and blend well in a glass bowl and put into a mason jar labeled. Make 1-2 tsp per cup. 
UTI
I also drank at least 8 oz of Kombucha. This is one drink if you don’t know much about…this book is awesome! (affiliate link) Really helps keep your immune system boosted and when your fighting something like UTI your body will appreciate it! Trust me! Again…this book will answer so many questions and help you make awesome Kombucha. Cheap too!
UTI Kombucha
Last step:
Take a detox bath. Everyday if you can! UTI’s can be so uncomfortable and taking a detox bath with these ingredients will not only help you relax, but help heal the bacteria. 
Fill tub with hot water as  hot as you can stand and add:
*Dead Sea salt 1 cup
*Tea tree Essential oil 3-6 drops
*Frankincense essential oil 2-4 drops
* Camomile Essential oil 2-3 drops or real flowers to float 
*Rosemary herbs to float in bath (great aroma)
*apple cider vinegar with the mother at least 1 cup
Swirl around and soak for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy and relax!UTI

After the bath I put Frankincense with Calendula oil all over my tummy and lower back. AHHHH! 

Again if you don’t have improved results within 2-3 days, go see your doctor. UTI’s are not fun. But really try not to take an antibiotic. UTI’s are common so don’t worry.

On with life now…slowly back to normal until the next aliment happens!
Live naturally your body will thank you!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
OOOOO…this tea and syrup is such a delightful blend. I just love the tea warm or cold and the syrup makes your morning pancakes or waffles extra special. The romantic feel in your tummy and aroma is really wonderful. I think you will love this blend!
romantic tea
Romantic Tea Blend:

1 cup of Rose Bud Petals
1/2 cup of Damiana Leaf
 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Cocoa Nibs, roasted (depends on your taste buds…start with less and add more if you like)
1/4 Cinnamon Chips
1/4 Orange Peel
1 Vanilla bean scrapped (this is super expensive right now, so add a little pure extract like an 1/8 

Blend in a glass bowl all ingredients and place in a mason jar. Keep in pantry away from sunlight. 
When your ready to make your tea, put 1-2 tsp into a tea strainer and pour your hot water over herbs. Let steep for 15 or so minutes and enjoy. For cold add ice once steeped.

For the Romantic Syrup:

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup organic sugar 
6 tbsp of your Romantic tea blend

Directions:
1. Boil water in a medium saucepan an the stovetop.
2. Once water has come to a boil, take saucepan off heat and steep tea in water for 5 minutes or until desired flavor. The flavor should be much more concentrated than a typical cup of tea.
3. Remove tea leaves and compost.
4. Bring your tea/water infusion back to a boil on the stovetop.
5. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. 
6. Set saucepan aside and let cool for an hour or so before pouring into a mason jar.
Store in refrigerator keeps for one month.


This tea makes a wonderful gift idea too. For our Hoedown we made gift baskets with the tea. Just too cute! Adding some chocolates will make a wonderful blend.

Enjoy this blend…it is wonderful! LOVELY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Health, Ranch Life
Ok…let’s get this straight. I do not like to do laundry. BUT, I am NUTS about a new alternative soap I have been using all summer. It is AMAZING! Smells like fresh air AND best of all…it is indeed from nature! Soap Nuts. Yep…that is what they are called! So…you see why I am nuts? 

MANY BRANDS OF LAUNDRY SOAP OUT THERE

There are many brands of soap you can purchase and as you know we are all about natural. We don’t want to put anything bad into our bodies or on our skin, let alone into the pipes of our homes. It is important to educate yourself on ingredients not only in food but in products you use everyday. Just think about it for a minute. You wear, sleep, bath, use on dishes your laundry soap! SO…shouldn’t you know more of what is in it?

.Soap Nuts

If you don’t have time, here is the NUT craze in a nutshell. (sorry couldn’t resist)

The Soap Nuts  (I love these and the organic cloth bags Starwest Botanicals carries I use to put the nuts in and I also use these bags for my teas) affiliate links

Pros:
*totally natural and non-toxic
*can be re-used 7 times
* you can travel with them
* unscented if you like that (recipe for liquid is at end of the blog)
Cons:
*inconvenient-soap nuts need to be put in a sachet when used in the wash. Hey need to dry out or else they will go moldy.
*if laundry is really dirty you will need to wash twice
*unscented so if you like scent I just add essential oil to the soap nuts or directly into the water..works great.

If you prefer a liquid Laundry Recipe:

1 1/2 quart of water
30 Soap Nuts
Essential oil of your choice my favorites (geranium, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, sage, orange, ylang ylang 

Pour hot water over the soap nuts and steep for 30 minuet to an hour. You can also steep overnight. After steeping , cover soap nuts and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain into a bowl and reserve the water. You will have a nice quart or more of liquid. You can reuse the soap nuts for another batch. You can skip the soaking and go straight to adding one and half quarts of water. Simmer and strain. Once it has cooled add your essential oils. 
Use 4-6 tbsp of liquid. I also add Borax powder because of our hard water. 
Your clothes will smell like they have been blowing in a summer breeze! REALLY!



MY GREENFILLS
affiliate link 

They contain NO UNSAFE chemicals 
They send you a refill which means you can help cut down on plastic waste.
Pros:
*plant-derived, non-toxic ingredients
*washes well
*uses real essential oils (no phthalates)
*has an unscented option
*creates no plastic waste or bottles
*gets delivered to your door
*does not contain brightness, articical dyes, phosphates or petroleum based surfactants
Cons:
You need to mix the solution yourself (but really…how hard is that?)

 My GreenFills  will  offer you something special and they agreed to send you 50 LOADS FREE.
You just have to pay shipping of $7.99 in the U.S. and international rates over seas.

Check this out for comparing to the “natural” Tide brand and Seventh Generation:


NO matter which one you choose…you will notice a difference in your skin and over all health. Getting your home toxic free is just one of the many ways to building a cleaner environment for your whole family!

God’s blessings and smelling clean and fresh!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or even just get anxious when something important is coming up on your calendar? I have bouts of this…nothing serious but when I need a dose of calming, I will take a soak in a lavender bath with chamomile tea or if it’s during the day I will make a tall pitcher lavender lemonade. 

This is just downright refreshing and incredibly delightful! Plus…it helps you calm right down.

Lavender Lemonade
Try a batch and see if it works for you. If it does, make sure to comment below. I love hearing how the recipes work in the lives of the readers.


Ingredients:

1 cup of raw honey
5 cups of pure water
1/4 cup dried culinary lavender
6  organic lemons, squeezed
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Elderberry syrup for color

Directions:

1. Pour half of the water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
2.  Add honey and dried lavender and let steep for 20 minutes.
3.  Strain mixture and pour into a large container.
4.  Add the lemon juice and remaining water and stir. Add a little Elderberry syrup to make it purple plus add a powerful immune boost!
 5. Refrigerate 

Lavender Lemondade
For an anxiety soak bath: (highlights are affiliate links which help our ministry)

 Mix 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil  into your bath of hot water. Add your sea salt  (affiliate link) and swirl into your bath. Add apple cider vinegar (affiliate link) for a detox bath. 
UTI
For during the day:
Diffuse 10-12 drops of Lavender essential oil into the air during your work day for a natural stress reliever.

Lavender is my go to essential oil for insect bites and burns as well.



Enjoy every sip, soak, and aroma with this wonderful herb!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

I use to love drinking pop or soda and some may call it, but haven’t had a soda for over 8 years. Why? Well, because I heard and read how awful it was, how much sugar was in them, and simply how they made me feel. So, I kicked out all the soda in our home and kicked in some goodness!
Kick out soda
Almost 3 years ago I started taking the Plexus pink drink which really if you have a fedish for soda this is a great start as it literally helps you not crave the bad stuff. It also is a beginning of cleaning out your gut along with the probiotic or Vitalbiome. Great products and very trustworthy! 

Along with the supplements, I added Kombucha to my daily menu. I love this stuff and with the recipes below if you use the Kombucha (especially using a Jasmine Tea) instead of the club soda or sparking water, you get the extra boost your body needs! Simply wonderful is all I can say! PLUS, you feel better and are getting the good bacteria in your body to help you build a strong immune system. Read this article for more info on probiotics and foods to add in your daily diet by Dr. Axe.

Ok…so here ya go…some ideas on fruit and herbs to boost your bodies immune system and provide a wonderful refreshing beverage. These are awesome to serve at your social gatherings as well! 
Have fun and experiment yourself…
Try a few and let me know what you think!


 Gorgeous Grapefruit Soda (serves 6)Kick out soda

5 cups of sparkling soda

3 cups of grapefruit juice

1 lemon squeezed

Serve in a glass picture with a circle lemon wedge and lots of ice!

 Sparkling Strawberry Lime Soda serves 6

1/12 cup two quartered fresh strawberries

1 cup fresh lime juice, about 10kick out soda

1/3 cup fresh basil

5 cups cold sparkling water

½ cup sugar (add more if you like sweeter)
(I also added a sprig of mint as I have a TON of it growing around the ranch!)

Directions:

Blend strawberries, lime juice and basil in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the strawberry, basil and lime mixture into a large pitcher. Add sugar and stir. When ready to serve, carefully add the sparkling water to your serving pitcher. Check flavor and make adjustments. For fun, keep some of the strawberry tops, cut up limes, mint, basil, and make ice cubes to add a wonderful look to your pitcher!

Kick out soda kick in goodness

White Peach and Lavender Soda (serves 4-6)

1 cup water 

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoon fresh lavender flowers 1 tablespoon if dried

1 pound of very ripe peaches

1  lemon, juiced

Brewed Jasmine Tea Kombucha

(Omit the lavender if you don’t like the taste. It can be strong for some folks)

Directions:

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Remove from heat and add the sugar and flowers. Stir to dissove sugar let stand for 20 minutes to infuse the sugar water with flowers. Wash and roughy chop the peaches. No need to peel. Strain the flowers and pour the infused sugar water over the fruit. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes

Work in batches, puree the peaches with the sugar water in a blender. Strain the pulp into a bowl squeezing as much out as possible. You should end up with about 1 -2 cups of juice. 

You can keep this syrup but refrigerate.

Now add your syrup to a glass of your Jasmine Kombucha or sparking water. Serve with lemon wedge.

 

Orange and Mint Spritzer

1 cup of fresh orange juice

1/3 cup of sugar

½ cup of fresh chopped mint

Directions: Bring above ingredients in a sauce pan to boil. Remove from heat and cool, strain, and place in mason jar. Top with minieral water or club soda and serve with a fresh full mint leaf and orange wedge.

 

Pomegranate Spritzer

1 cup of fresh pomegranate juice, 2-3 pomegranates

juice from 1 lime or lemon

1/3 cup sugar

fresh ginger

lime or lemon wedge

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a sucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer on low for 5-8 minutes. Smash the ginger roots to side of sauce pan to allow more flavor. Take off heat and cool and strain the liquid into a small mason jar and top with sparkling water or club soda. Serve with fresh lime or lemon wedge.


Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

½ cup water

½ cup of organic sugar

6 oz fresh or frozen raspberries

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon jice about 7-8

3 ½ cups of cold sparkling water or club soda

Directins: Making the syrup, place in saucepan, add water and sugar. Heat and stir until a boil. Once sugar completely dissolves, remove from heat and cool.

Add raspberries into a blender and puree. Place into a strainer and push through with wooden spoon. In your serving pitcher, add the raspberry puree and lemon juice. Pour your syrup on top and just before serving add your sparkling soda and give a good stir.
You can keep the syrup refridgetaed for up to 2 weeks.

 

Mint Mojo with Celery

2 tbsp. organic sugar

leaves from mint, about 6 sprigs plus more for garnish

¼ cup lemon juice, (from 2 lemons)

1 lb of celery food processed well

2-3 cups of sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

Muddle your sugar, mint and lemon juice. Chop your celery and place in food processor with a bit of your muddle juice to keep from browning, or oxidizing. In a glass bowl, strain celery through a sieve pushing down with a wooden spoon. Pour into a pitcher adding your muddled mixture and sparkling water. Stir well before serving topping with a mint leaf.


Blood Orange Fizzkick ot soda

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsl water

4 sprigs of rosemary, divided

3 large blood oranges (about a 1 cup)

sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

Heat honey and water and rosemary over low heat until fully blended about a minute. Let cool and take out rosemary

Juice your oranges into a pitcher add your honey mixture and sparkling water. Serve with sprig of rosemary.

Sweet Cherry Fizz

½ cup water

½ cup organic sugar

6 oz fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half

1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime

Sparkling water or club soda

Directions:

In a saucepan mix your first 2 ingredents and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. Blend your cherries into a puree. Strain and push with wooden spoon into your pitcher. Add lemon juice, syrup mixture and sparkling water to fill pitcher. Stir


 How to Make Your Own Kombucha (if you want an awesome book that has so many recipes as well as a TON of info on and about Kombucha click here)


If you have a favorite tea use that, but I love the Jasmine tea. SOOO wonderful! You can purchase the already to go tea bags or the pearls. I have used both. Using the pearls you will need to get the organic tea bags to put them in. I LOVE these bags for gift giving and to put my soap nuts for laundry. 

Fill a large dutch oven with water about 8 cups.

You will need:
5 tea bags (white tea or your favorite like Jasmine)
1 cup of organic sugar
1 cup of starter (tea from another batch)
1 scoby (from another batch or get starter from your local natural food store)

For a how to I would suggest going to this link to watch her. She also has starters and other goodies.
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Ministry, Ranch Life

Throughout the summer here on the ranch we usually and prayerfully pick a THEME to carry out our session time. This year is Pathway or Trail. Focus key words help us draw out what the person’s trail is that day or is happening in their life. In one teen we had, her trail was faking the God life. As we continued through her session, she found you just couldn’t fake the God trail. He knows it all!

You can't fake God

I asked this teen, we will call her Marie, to lead the horse out of the pasture walking a trail as her life is going. Marie haltered Bokoda and swiftly walked straight on to the gait. No turns. No going around trees. Just straight on. I responded with a “well…tell me what that trail is?” Marie said, “it’s straight. I can see what is ahead of me and I feel great!”

 

I nodded with a smile, “awesome let’s go play with Bokoda and have a great time!” Throughout the session there was some stumbling of not remembering certain things. For example, when Bokoda would walk faster and bump into her she allowed him to almost push her, she forgot the game on how to back him up or get him out of her space. So we had a quick review.

 

Her confidence was strong thinking she knew how to handle Bokoda, but when he challenged her, she couldn’t remember how to ask him to remember her boundaries.

 

Another time when she was bumped, I asked if she is reading her bible. She shook her head no and said, “ I don’t have time. But I helped at VBS. “How is your prayer life?”, I asked. “I pray at meal time…only when I remember.” She laughed. I quickly grabbed onto that response. “Well, tell me what happens when you remember to ask Bokoda to respect your space?” She said he listens. I asked, “and what happens when you don’t remember?” Looking down and getting where I was headed, “Bokoda almost pushes me down.”

 

We went on talking about when our trail seems straight and all is going well we can allow some poison ivy to grow along the trail. Not even see it. We can even walk through mud and not realize our shoes are wet and muddy. We can fake our faith. God knows our hearts. He knows our every move before we take it and He never forgets our sins. He forgets our sins once we repent, but if we are not walking with Him on the trail in and sinning along the way, HE remembers.

You can't fake God

You see as adults we do this all the time. We tell people we will pray for them and we forget. Just pray right then and there when someone asks. We can even go to church weekly and fake our Christian walk. Even having in our conversations, “God will provide” or If it’s God’s will”.  Another words, we can have the Christian lingo down, but not be living it.

 

 Being on God’s trail means time with Him. Being in HIS word. When things happen in our life, we need to quickly and I mean quickly, go to HIS word and seek out direction. I had something pretty difficult situations happen this summer and I had to Google some words from my bible to seek out what Jesus would do. How He would handled such people or situations. You know…it works every time!

 

Daily we need to spend time with Jesus, share our hearts. Praise Him for what He is doing good and bad on our trail of life. We can’t fake our trail rides with God. Just like you can’t fake any relationship. You can’t fake your marriage is good when it really isn’t. God knows. You can’t fake your life is perfect. God knows it’s not and never will be. You can’t fake God…period!

You can't fake God

A person who chooses to walk the trail with God is peaceful in ALL circumstances. YES, even the bad times. You might be down, but your hopeful. You know the Lord is working in the situation. A person, who is faking it, is falling. They are being stomped on. Deceived.  Their trail is full of poison ivy and mud puddles they just don’t want to let anyone ride the trail with them. Fakeness will catch up to all of us who pretend we have a relationship when we truly do not.

 

The Lord wants all of us not to fake our trail rides. He desires for us to be honest with Him and with others as we face our daily trials. If your not walking the trail with Jesus, stop right now. Repent. Ask Him to remove your fakeness and pull out the poison ivy of dishonesty. Come to Him with true transparency simply saying daily, “I need you Jesus. I surrender my life to you.”

 

And you know what? You trail of life will be real! Being fakey leads a trail of emptiness. Being real is being on a trail full hope!

 

God’s peace and blessings as you ride the trail of adventure with Him!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

 

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life
We are gearing up for our Harvest Hoedown at True North Ranch!

We can’t wait to share all the Lord has done this year and since we have been in operation  for 10 years it will be especially rewarding to have folks come and see the ranch first hand!
 
In the weeks ahead we will be preparing for little stations throughout the ranch. Here are some of the things we are prepping  and creating.

Kids can make a craft called a Prayer Jar! I just love this idea!
Here are the supplies needed: (affiliate links that when you click on also help our ministry at the ranch)

Harvest Hoedown
Fun Foam Faith Shapes
Fun Foam Faith Sayings
Plastic Mason Jars

For some adhesives I recommend:
Glue Dots
Tacky Glue

And Sharpies for markers:
Big pack

And of course the BLING!
LOVE these!!
Really no need for directions as it is simply sticking on items and using markers to decorate. Let the creative juices flow for the love of the Lord!
Hoedown
On we go to decorating the ranch grounds.  Scarecrows!  I hope they don’t freak out the horses but they will look so darn cute! 


My kids and I will be hunting down some cornstalks and colorful flowers to place on fence posts and of course we will have to scrounge up some pumpkins to place in a variety of places. Color is my big thing since September isn’t a real colorful time yet. I will have to get creative in this area. 

Harvest Hoedown
A wonderful volunteer helped paint up some signs and prepped our photo op area. SO cute! Hay bales, and ropes to make a memory for all who come!


We also used bandana’s to mark for parking by ripping them into strips and tying them to a hay string. This showed folks where they could park as well as added some fun decor outside the ranch area. The full bandanas we used to decorate the tree lines. This will help add the color too!
harvest hoedown

The silent auction area will have tables decorated with the faux wood as well as the bandana skirt. This will be darling!

Our chuck wagon will be loaded with grub with a fall menu serving of course our favorite pumpkin tea and spiced apple cider. To decorate this area I found this really awesome faux wood roll. Fits perfect as my hubby couldn’t finish the table part in time.

Our prizes for the sack races, cake walk, and pony barrel races will be goodies wrapped in a bandana.
We chose Golden Nuggets of course to fit our Nugget! Horses, and candy.
Harvest Hoedown

The ranch will have some fun games like horse shoe, corn hole, and ropin’ the calf.  All fun for all ages!

We also hired a wonderful husband and wife team to sing us along and have good ol’ line dancing’! I can’t wait for this part! HEE HAW!

To end our day we have a couple of kids who will demo what they have gained from having sessions at TNR. This part I hope will be a special part for our folks to see and hear the message of hope along with our speaker and worship time. 
Hoedown
Everyone will get a little tea bag as a memory and thank you full of our favorite TNR harvest pumpkin tea blend. I used these organic muslin bags with a tag THANK YOU stamped on each one. 

OH how I love to throw a Hoedown, especially giving God all the glory!


I will post pictures along the way.
So until then,
Happy Harvest!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
0

Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life

What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take?  Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just  plain ol’ stuck?

Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect.

About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name!   Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up, led wrong, or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway.

In our sessions this year, pathways is our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before.

I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences. 

 

Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be freedom from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one!

At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and in that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull, or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work!

 In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead.  I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, believe, and ultimately obey.

 

By obedience I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas not mine. Simply, surrendering my will.  

One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5-   HE does…every time I am obedient.

My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105  By READING the bible every day not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus.

Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draws you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him. 

Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ! 

So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you?

Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway!

Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey,
Lee

0

Health, Living Naturally, Ranch Life
Oh boy…I love to garden but really garden beds are the cats meow! I can’t believe I didn’t do this LONG ago! We have one garden we made out of bricks using the holes for herbs and the center for tomatoes.
But the new garden bed is out of galvanized steel. I LOVE this idea! Our neighbor down the road was getting rid of a bunch of this steel and we just could not let it go to waste. So..we loaded up the truck and trailer and began creating. 

Garden Beds
Garden Bed
Isn’t this just wonderful?

Dan will make 3 of these forming a horse shoe. (of course)
He also is making more for our “Thyme Out” pasture for the horses. Each box is filled with herbs the horses can munch on as their bodies needs. We love this as it helps the folks that come to the ranch learn about medicinal plants and how they can help us heal. 
Garden Bed
This man has been working hard to make these and I am VERY thankful we have compost ready to fill these puppies up! It does take a ton of dirt to fill, but once done…they are set to go!
Garden Bed
He simply cut each piece to the size we wanted and place a wood corner on each side. No bottom of course just placed right where we wanted them, leveled, and filled with compost and fresh dirt. 
My back loves me!

Here we have them planted and Dan is now working on the other two to complete the horse shoe look. They will not be filled with veggies this year as it just got too late. Other priorities needed to take place, so for now this is what we have.

Peppers, tomatoes 2 kinds, carrots, spinach, and sweet beans. The outer part of the cement block garden is all herbs. Basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and pearl onions. (left over from last year)
Garden BedGarden Bed

Around the ranch we love to continue to put in each garden some kind of herb. So each of the flower pots have at least one herb in it. I am also trying to grow blueberries in a garden pot. We have many wild ones around the ranch, but we NEVER get any! HUM…I think the 4 legged friends get them before we can!

Enjoy your summer garden and if you try the garden beds, they really make planting and upkeep wonderful!
God bless you!
Love deeper, talk sweeter all for Jesus,
Lee
0

Crafts, Paper/Cards

Summer is here! Finally! And with it comes graduations and wedding parties. So to work I went on an idea in creating a mason jar wedding gift.

What sparked the idea? Well, the bride had mason jars on her wedding list. Wedding Gift

For me, I couldn’t just give EMPTY jars…NO…and boom…came this idea.

Each jar represents one month, beginning with their married month which is June.

The bride is someone special as she was in my first high school group of girls I mentored. From her 9th grade year through her graduation, I saw this young smiley girl turn into a beautiful young woman fired up to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. She came in seeking, and indeed found the Lord on her journey. 
This celebration of marriage, relationship, and commitment I am looking forward to sharing with her and her new love. 

We also are giving a jar full of heart cookies, engraved M+R on them and the “We Still Do” sign giving a reminder of each year together. 








Below I put a list of what I put into each jar. I also added a bible verse which went along with what I put in the jar, or to the month it was.

I added a message with the verse giving advice in God’s word on marriage and relationships. 

It was so fun! I hope they find it as special as it was to make. Each month was using Pic Monkey for labels and editing pictures. 

Here ya go:

June: Long Grain Rice
Wedding Gift
July: Red, White, Blue chocolate kisses and Dove candy
Wedding Gift
August: Brides birthday…candles, and matches
Wedding Gift
September: Bride’s a teacher, ginger tea with an apple theme
Wedding Gift
October: Ginger Snap Tea or Pumpkin Tea
Wedding Gift
November: Deer (she loves to hunt)
Wedding gift
December: 2 elf hats to go and serve and give of their time
Wedding Gift
January: COOL gum mints (talked about not letting relationship get cold)
Wedding Gift

February: Rose pedals and lollipop rings
Wedding Gift
March: Toothpicks (when a conversation gets prickly…)
Wedding Gift
April: 2 plastic eggs in grass (don’t put all your eggs in one basket filled with messaging essential oils and diffusing oil)
Wedding Gift
May: Jolly Ranchers (because we ranch and they love them)
Wedding Gift

Remember any links you click and purchase goes to help us serve kids in need on our ranch. We love to do what we do. Just like this young woman who marries a godly man mentored and pointed her to Christ welcomes a life full of HIS promises. 

Thank you! May the Lord bless you today and enjoy making gifts homemade with love for others!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

0

Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally
Oh my! Who doesn’t love the wonderful smell of lilacs? For anyone who has them in their yard, I envy you. We have to go searching for ours and when I find them, I harvest a TON! Making delightful drinks like lemonade, tea, and sparkling waters is just a few that I love to serve.

First you will need to gather your lovely lilacs. Harvesting is delightful all in itself as the smell will overcome your home! By gently pulling the flower head off the little stem only leaving you the flower, place into a strainer and rinse well in fresh clean water. Once this part is done, you can make your syrup which is your base.


Lovely Lilac Syrup:

1 cup of water
1 cup sugar
1 cup of lilacs
Some fresh or frozen blueberries. 5-8 will make a light color, more will make a deeper color.

Boil your sugar and water. Once boiled, bring to a simmer and add your lilacs and blueberries. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Take your liquid and pour into a strainer over a steel bowl. Squish your blueberries into the lilacs getting as much of the flower and blueberries as you can. Let cool and place your syrup in a mason jar and in the refrigerator. This liquid will thicken as it cools. Awesome for your pancakes in the morning!
Lovely Lilac Drinks
Lovely Lilac Lemonade:

In a gallon mason jar
2 Fresh Lemons, juiced
4 cups of water
1/2 cup lilac syrup (taste and see if you want to add more)
Stir and add ice. We add a lemon rind for looks too if you like.

Lemon Ginger Lilac Tea:
If you want to make it a cold tea, let steep and cool than add your ice.

1/2 tsp  Organic Lemon Peel 
1/2 tsp  Organic Ginger root
2-4 tbsp Lilac syrup
2 cups of boiling water

Using your tea strainer, place your lemon peel and ginger root into your strainer. Steep in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Add your syrup while it is steeping. 
As an ice tea let cool and add your ice. YUMMMY!

For a nice fresh water drink add lilacs to a jug of water and let sit in the sun for about an hour.
Add some ice…and WOW…so refreshing!

Lovely Lilac Spritzer:

Lovely Lilac DrinksAdd 2-3 tbsp syrup to full glass of club soda or sparking water. Add
ice and some lovely lilac flowers for another refreshing summertime drink!

I hope you enjoy all summer can bring while you sip some wonderful lovely lilac beverages!

God bless!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Food, Healthy Eating
Some days you just need a little pick me up. A little smile. Something to give you a boost!

The winter has indeed been VERY long. It is April 16 here in Minnesota and we just got another 6 inches of snow on top of 10″ last week.

I’ve had it! So I decided to make up some smiles of goodness.

These little treats are fast and easy to make plus they are made with wonderful ingredients that won’t leave you feeling guilty.

Silicone molds  come in a pack of fun shapes will bring on even more smiles plus they’re inexpensive!

Adding the smile treat to the tops of desserts, ice cream, or a little touch of delight to a tea dish for sure will add that smile!

I know the snow will melt…ONE DAY…but until then…onto making some goodies!
Chocolate smile

Ingredients:

1 cup Coconut oil
1/2 cup of Organic Honey
1/4 cup Organic Cocoa Powder

Directions:
1. Place oil and honey in a sauce pan on simmer.
2. Add cacao stirring constantly.  
3. Add your favorite essential oil 1-2 drops. I like orange or lavender. I split the mixture so I had 2 favors.
4. Pour into molds and freeze for 45 minutes.

Chocolate smiles
Pictures edited with Pic Monkey. Great program, easy to use!

Chocolate Smile

These little treats are fun to make for any occasion. I put mine in a mason jar and keep in the refrigerator and pull them out whenever I need a pick me up or to share with guests. 

We will be having 20 guests coming to the ranch for a visit in the snowy conditions tomorrow so these treats will be fun to share. Hopefully they will put a smile on their faces! I am making hot cocoa too. I can’t believe it…APRIL and I feel like it’s December. Oh well…

Enjoy and have a happy smiley day!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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