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12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Easy Starter

I have been wanting to try my own sourdough all winter and last weekend I finally said, NOW! Why I put it off? Well, one being I came across two ways to make it. One with yeast and one without. Obviously, the one with yeast would be easier as you don’t have to “feed” it everyday plus you can use it the next day. But, it has to be refrigerated when not using it and you have to remember to take it out of the refrigerator 24 hours before you use it. It seemed easier, but I found the simple old fashion’ Amish way recipe was more convenient and just as easy. I don’t even need to make sure my water is a certain temperature as with the yeast recipe you do. Hence, not to kill the yeast. Yes, you have to “feed” simple one daily but I can use a cup of it right away for recipes. I love the convenience and no water temp worry.

SO here is your starter recipe…SO SIMPLE!

  • 1 cup organic white flour or wheat
  • 1 cup of non-chlorinated water/filter
  • PLACE in a glass mason jar, stir, cover with towel or paper towel and a rubber band or a mason jar ring placed lightly around a towel

Every day look for bubbles. FEED it with equal parts of flour and water. Stir with a wooden spoon, then recap loosely and get on with your day. When the jar is getting about 3/4 to the top is when I use a cup of it for a recipe. Even halfway I have had the starter get so bubbly it almost overflowed. If you want, change the jars. I keep feeding it until I can smell the sour part. As soon as that happens it will make your recipes taste amazing.

The first day we used the starter it didn’t smell sour but we needed to use some starter or it would overflow. The pancakes we made below we JUST LOVED! Truly a wonderful flavor sour or not.

Sourdough Pancake Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 1/4 cup of flour

1 cup 2% or whole milk

2 eggs beaten

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cream of tarter

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp homemade vanilla extract (vanilla bean soaked in Brandy for 4-6 weeks…too die for)

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice or 1 drop lemon essential oil (really makes the flavor)

Top with fresh fruit, homemade syrups like ginger or lilac, cinnamon, nutmeg…anything goes.

Mix all the above well and make your pancakes. ENJOY!!!

Sorry about lame picture…forgot to add my lemons! HA!

Sourdough Beer Bread

Ingredients:

12 oz cheap beer (room temp)

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup organic sugar

5 (or so) cups of bread flour (it’s all about the feel)

Olive oil for greasing

Fun part…kneading…it helps to have an apron on…you’ll feel old fashioned! I always picture myself in the show WHEN CALLS THE HEART

  1. In a large glass bowl, add the beer and starter.
  2. Stir in sugar until well dissolved.
  3. Mix in enough flour to form a dough, it will be sticky to help clean the bowl
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes adding 1/4 cup of flour until it is no longer sticky.
  5. The first rise, place the dough back in a glass bowl with a 1 tbsp. of olive oil making sure the whole dough has the oil on it. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  7. Divide your dough in half and form each half into a loaf and place in 2 greased loaf pans. (If you want the dough round, place the whole dough in a greased Dutch oven)
  8. Cover your loaf pans or Dutch oven with a tea towel for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  9. Ready for the amazing aroma? Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on top. (my mom’s technique)
  10. You can freeze the loaves in a BPA free bag or simply eat it all! ENJOY!
Kinda like the Dutch Oven look…it does make for LONG slices

Sourdough Crackers

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 cup of sourdough starter

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.

2 tbsp. dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil)

oil for brushing

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions: Preheat oven 350 degrees

1. Mix first 5 ingredients forming a nice non-sticky dough

2. Divide dough in half

3. Form dough into a rectangle shape, place on a piece of parchment paper

4. Cover with another parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so until firm

5. Flour lightly a piece of parchment paper, rolling pin, and top of your dough.

6. Roll out dough to 1/16″ thick. It’s ok if the dough is ragged and uneven

7. Transfer the dough with the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Brush the olive oil on top and sprinkle sea salt on top.

8. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1 1/4″ squares. Prick each square with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes.

9. Turn baking sheet top to bottom, front to back to keep them even in baking. You want a nice brown look

10. Let cool on cooling rack and store in an airtight container. Freeze too!

Wonderful Bread Mini Loaf

Yep, this makes for a wonderful addition to soup! Also, mini grilled cheese sandwiches are pretty amazing too.

Ingredients:

1 cup starter

1/3 cup water

1 to 1 1/2cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Little loafs ready to go!

Directions:

Mix well until not sticky. Add a bit more flour if it is sticky. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. Place in a glass bowl until double the size. I put a little olive oil on the dough too and bottom of the bowl. Rising will take at least an hour. Our home is kept pretty cool so it depends on your room temperature. After it has risen place dough on the surface and cut in half. Put into a greased loaf pan, we use the mini one. This recipe makes 2 mini loaves.

Bake at 350 degrees until brown, about 35 minutes. Don’t look….maybe even 45 minutes.

Beautiful brown

Comments

Let me know how your recipes turned out! I love to hear as we learn the art cooking well together!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Basic Salad Dressing with Variations

Use high power blender for best results

  • 1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unrefined flaxseed oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine, apples cider, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp alfalfa sprouts

Variations:

Add 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped parsley, thyme or oregano, green onion, my fav…fresh basil…Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Strawberry-Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 cup pureed strawberries (or raspberries)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh basil
  • Blend all ingredients except poppy seeds briefly in a high -powered blender. Add poppy seeds and pulse a couple of times.

This dressing is perfect with the Spinach-strawberry salad. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Asian Ginger Dressing

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger root, minced
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can use Sesame oil, less nutritious but has a wonderful taste)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Nama Shoyu
  • 3 tbsp. raw honey

Blend all together in a high-powered blender until the honey is liquified and the ginger root and garlic are well blended. Makes about a 1 1/2 cup. Great with cabbage salad

Avocado Dressing

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-4 tbsp. water to achieve the desired consistency

Blend all together, toss into salad immediately before serving. Makes 2 -2 1/2 cups

Healthy Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup organic buttermilk
  • 1 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Blend briefly in a high-powered blender until just mixed, pour into a jar, and put in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors. Makes about 2 cups.

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Thyme Out

Don’t you just love to have a salad that is not only quick and easy to throw together but amazing to your taste buds? Well, these are my top 5 favs. I think you will like them as well and the dressings will add an extra punch to each one!

Spinach-Strawberry Salad

  • 2 10 oz bags of washed spinach, torn into pieces
  • 4 Cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
  • A handful of feta or mozzarella cheese
  • optional: 3/4 red onion, finely chopped, and/or 1 can of black beans rinsed well

Toss together and add the Strawberry-Poppy Seed Dressing, serves 8-12

Southwest Salad

  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup organic corn kernels
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed well
  • 1 Fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese or cheddar
  • Optional: Cooked, chopped chicken breast

Put corn in a strainer and dip the strainer in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Cool Toss all ingredients together, and serve immediately with Avacodo Dressing, and lime juice serves 8-12

A little note: We have since cut way back on eating peppers, tomatoes, and corn due to many health issues that these veggies can cause over time and how they digest in the system. But for special occasions and limited in our diet, we do have them now and again. It is hard to believe something so good can be harmful.

Make sure to have a fresh lime!

Simple Salad

  • 1 large head of favorite lettuce mix, we love the spring greens
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 3 radishes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp. dried dandelion leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried goldenseal
  • 1/2 cup sprouts, seeds like pumpkin, or pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • Optional: 1 can chickpeas or kidney beans
  • Optional: Dried kale, (put a bunch of kale on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper and back for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes a wonderful topping)

Toss together and drizzle your favorite olive oil and vinaigrette with fresh lemon juice. Don’t forget to top with the fresh-baked Kale.

Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup grapes, halved
  • 2 cans drained mandarin oranges
  • 1 Cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds sliced or chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup Chinese crunchy noodles, 1/2 cup craisins

Toss together along with any vinaigrette. I recommend the Asian Ginger Dressing.

Craisin Salad

  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 2 heads butter lettuce (love this stuff)
  • 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup organic mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp organic butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Saute almonds over medium heat in butter and maple syrup, stirring constantly until light brown. Set aside. Toss all remaining ingredients together. Add nuts and favorite dressing. Serves 6-8

If you don’t have fresh herbs, I highly recommend going to Starwest…the links I have on the herbs. You never have to worry about quality or sitting on a store shelf. All the natural goodness in one place!

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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Crafting this adorable trend of making these sparkling tumblers has been both a joy and a challenge but worth every minute your time!

The goodies you will need

I originally got this idea by scanning the youtube for ideas with my new Cricut Explore 2. This gal Jennifer is adorable and as soon as she says, “Hello everybody” I get excited to dig into another fun activity. I watched her video, went out and bought the tumblers, and put my materials together to begin my first one. I think I watched it 100 times (exaggerated of course but seemed like I couldn’t get the process). I just had to go start with the plaid. That was the wrong choice! Here’s why.

First attempt Buffalo Plaid

I made many mistakes on my first one so I want to share what NOT to do.

1.) Don’t start with a plaid go with the first video with some fun blending colors. Simple and very pretty looking!

2) Make sure you use electrical tape for the top and bottom of the tumbler and remove it before putting on your first coat of resin. I kept it on and it caused an unclean finish on the top and bottom. After the first coat I used THICK rubber bands to keep the clean look.

3) Sand tumbler before putting images/phrases/stickers.

4) Make sure your edges are clean cut meaning top and bottom are cut well before applying the first coat of resin. Use an Exacto knife or sharp blade.

5) Make sure your tumbler isn’t too big which will cause a heaviness to the electric spit and make sure it is TIGHT fitting. My hubby had to makeshift as the football idea did not work. The tumbler fell off and caused us to sand again.

See how the edges are not crisp on top and bottom? Also somehow the red spray got on the bottom…not sure I will spray paint first either. We will have to try one without.
Much simpler one to start out with so you get the steps. I loved how this one turned out!

We are making these tumblers for our trading post at the ranch so our need for them to be a little crisper and clean looking was important. If you’re not that particular than play away. The spinner idea of using the spit was great! I would get a system down with one on the spit and after 6 hours have another one ready to go. After the one is fully dry, sand and place my vinyl ( I love this company and the videos are awesome!) on and get ready for the second coat. Sanding really is important!

The plaid attempt I couldn’t resist! I really love the look, so I tried using some of my favorite color combos. The one thing I can’t seem to get the hang of is getting the squares even looking, one not longer or wider than the others. I am still trying to get the taping down to help me get this part more clean looking.

Working on cleaner squares.
Say NO to chunky glitter! It makes you have to sand a lot! Plus it isn’t as clean as you may think in the end result.

This project I think would be so fun for a teen birthday party or even a bridal shower craft. So much better than games! Once they make their design you can provide the steps for resin and drying.

They also make wonderful gifts!

Ready to make your own? Here is a list as well as your shopping links which all help our ranch ministry. PLUS you get a box full of goodies to begin your project. The glitter is wonderful and many colors to choose from…so get shopping and have fun creating your own tumbler!

Items for your tumblers:

SHHHHH…SPECIAL 15% OFF UNTIL MARCH 15th ON VINYL! ONLY FOR YOU!!!

Epoxy/Resin

glitter

mod podge

spray adhesive

vinyl (words or decor) the blended colored ones are so fun

rubber gloves

electrical tape

masking/painters tape

rubber band, THICK

barbeque spit or spinner

clamps to hold spit in place

tumbler or two

double stick tape plaid look you will want a variety of widths

Free shipping on orders over $49…love their website… full of ideas!

CODE…MARCH15

CLICK HERE

Love how this one turned out…used a 2 layer vinyl with glitter vinyl for U
The second attempt on the plaid…vinyl is patterned fun colors!

Well, it has been a little stressful doing these, but with each one, I learn something and they get better and better with each one. I need to not be so anxious and take them off the spit when still drying even if tacky they really need a full 8 hours to get firm enough to take off the spit and another 12 to be fully dry.

I hope you try them…if you do let me know how it went and TAKE A PICTURE!

God bless.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Bible Journaling, Empower, Living Naturally, Ministry, Ranch Life

Trusting the door

Last November our daughter and son both faced some big trials. “Trial Doors” as we call them. Door number one for our son Mitch as he had to go through 4 months of dealing with a bile duct blockage and have a tube inserted. After the 4th month, he got the tube removed but with news, his liver is in trouble and may need another transplant. Hard news and many sad days of facing “what next?” and what doors the Lord will provide.

Our daughter desperately needed to move home over a year ago but the Lord didn’t provide ANY doors for that to happen It was a hard year for her as well until November when the news of Mitch illness arose. She felt with her whole heart it was time to look into taking the steps to get licensed in MN, (she is a cop in Virginia). My husband and I felt the same way it was indeed time for her to take the test and get the ball rolling! The Lord provided the doors…one wasn’t a good one with hard health news but I believe it was the door for Kinzey to walk through a door she hadn’t pursued during the course of a whole year. So we all trusted…

Being aware of the door

Kinzey failed the first attempt of the test in November which was clear she needed more studying and help. I found out about a class specific to recruits to help pass the test. Remember, she is VA and the class is here in MN. But, she said, “if that is what will help me pass then I will do what it takes!” The Lord once again provided (door 1) the ONLY class in December and even just before Christmas (door 2) so we could have a family celebration at the same time. (We hadn’t celebrated Christmas together for 5 years) She found the class very informative and learned tools (door 3) to help her study better. Come January the Lord provided another… door 4, the date for the test in her state became available. The only date for several months! She passed! (door 5) As soon as she took the test she applied for her dream job back in MN where she interned. They had 2 openings which just became available! (door 6) Can you believe this so far? Seriously as I type this it amazes me!

Dedicated for over 5 years!

Door 7 she gets the email she has been accepted for the several phases including interviews, more tests, and background. One door shut along the way. She applied for another job which opened up in December but when she mailed it, certified even, the department got it late. So, she never did hear from them probably due to it arriving past the due date.

When you recognize the Lord has provided a door for you to walk through it is only by faith we do so. It may not turn out the way we planned but the Lord would not have provided if He didn’t feel you needed to. It is also important to praise the Lord for each step even if a door closes. Each door provides the character He is building in you.

Move By Faith

Yep, that is indeed what the Lord desires from His children. To step out and trust in HIM! With our daughter she will not hear from the department for several weeks due to all the phases they have to hire but we prayed together and trusted if the Lord orchestrated all these details then we shall move on them. We headed out east, packed her up and left her with an empty, echoey house as she waits for the phases to complete and see what is next. It was the first time in 7 years I didn’t cry because I wouldn’t see her for many months, but I did cry as we thanked the Lord for paving the way and the reality she will be home again soon.

Look at the tongue weight!

Jesus IS the Door

One of the many adventures Kinzey and I took was stopping at the Ark Encounter. Truly a trip y’all need to take! AMAZING! Anyway, the most powerful part of being on the exact replica of the ark was… the DOOR!

What do you see?

I wept. I simply stood in front of that door and wept! To think about how God would use this simple wood structure as a metaphor to HIS son awestruck me. The many scriptures signifying Jesus Christ as the Door and how the door had to be tall and wide enough for each animal and other needs to fit through.

“I am the Door. Whoever enters through it will be saved.”

John 10:9

This verse and the analogies we use like”walking through a door”, “when the Lord provides a door”, or “when He shuts a door” are all too significant to the truths our God provided from way back in Genesis. BUT we must as believers be very careful to line up what is in front of us as a door and go before Him in prayer. With every step, it will build our character! It may be a hard door to go through, but if He opens it, there is a reason. It may be a door we are not sure if the Lord is in it. Character building again.

No matter what…every door is a faith walk. We do not know what is on the other side. But the ones who try you can be assured our Jesus is holding your hand!

Unity Stamp Company…such a great stamp!

May the doors are wide open and clear and if not, PRAY and seek HIS wisdom! Enjoy the ride as every door is an adventure!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Peace, Ranch Life

We had a great day celebrating his liver birthday on the 24th and going back to camp to volunteer. It was wonderful to see him working but he told me he is dealing with some pain. He has an appointment to do a round of blood work and a CT scan to see if indeed something is going on.

Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge HIM and He will keep your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We continue to pray for healing and trusting in the HEALER’s timing! Keeping you posted as we know the next steps.

Thank you for joining us in this trial!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Health, Living Naturally, Peace, Ranch Life

What muscle to target

Using essential oils to customize your own special blend is not only the most healthy way to treat a sore muscle but also the key to working a particular issue. Working from head to toe focusing on the tight areas for a longer period of time. Once the area is loose move along to the next area again working downward. What I love about massage is it benefits the giver as well as the receiver! As you work the muscle area you absorb the essential oils in your own skin as well as infused. Getting those sore muscles worked and boosting the senses is what makes massage with essential oils so unique.

Blending For A Warm Massage

To create a warming and invigorating massage experience combine essential oils such as Black Pepper, Copaiba Balsam Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ginger, Turmeric, and Nutmeg. The oils create an uplifting atmosphere and warm the muscles as well as cleans the skin. The carrier oils to blend with Fractionated Coconut oil or Jojoba. Fill half of a dark squeeze bottle with your choice of carrier oil along with your top 3-4 essential oils. The dropper amber bottles makes it easy to apply without waste.

Soothing Massage

To create a soothing massage experience use essential oils like Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Geranium, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang, and Blend of Sandalwood (amazing oil). These oils along with any of the carrier oils will create a relaxing, calming atmosphere as well as sooth those stiff muscles. NOTE: Some essential oils are expensive and excluding them from your blend will be just fine.

Quick Tip Recipes

A gentle, clarifying massage: 5-8 drops Patchouli, 8 drops Lavender, 4 drops Clary Sage, 3 drops Rosemary, 2 drops Bergamot along with 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

A grounding, calming massage: 5 drops Cedarwood, 8 drops Bergamot, 10 drops of Juniper Berry, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil.

Foot massage: 8 drops Tea Tree, 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Cypress, 2 fl oz Avocado carrier oil

Hand and foot massage: 6 drops Ginger, 8 drops of Orange, 4 drops Clove Bud, and 2 fl oz Almond carrier oil.

HERE is another recipe and step by step

Workout massage: 10 drops Juniper Berry, 10 drops Lavandin, 5 drops Peppermint, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Bark, 3 fl oz Almond and 1 fl oz Jojoba carrier oil ( I use one of the carrier oil bottles for this massage oil)

  • With each of these massage oils use the dark amber bottles to keep the oils from going rancid and in a dark cabinet.

TIP:

Before you do any massage for yourself or a loved one add a spray midst to the linens. Just setting the stage for a wonderful experience!

Pucker up pillow mist recipe here

Comment and share

I would love to hear what massage oil blends worked best as well as what you personally came up with! It is so fun to create your own blends especially if you are dealing with a particular issue. Explore and enjoy it!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, live naturally,

Lee

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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Ranch Life

Why even have a word?

For many people having a special word to fit a moment or year in time is meaningless. Yep, I would have to agree if you really don’t care about achieving a goal of a purpose beyond yourself. When I first heard about this, I loved the idea. It created a spark in me! My first word or words, Choosing Joy. Two words I know, but at that time it is what I seek more of in my life and to have this word going into a new year helped me focus and be more intentional about seeking joy. Even in hard times. To find joy in situations, people, planning. Having a special word kept me grounded when joy was not present.

What to do with your word

I began taking my word and using it as my morning prayer and looking up passages in the bible around the word. I would then journal and or meditate about what I had just studied. One year I chose PATHWAYS. Another year, REST. It was such a joy to search through scripture and hear and see how the Lord was moving in me to make changes. Repent. Pray. Pray for others. Simply, just embracing and practicing what the Lord is sharing. I am a creative person. I love getting my inks, glitter, stickers, you name it and of course applying the word in some kind of art form. Sometimes these words would show up in my card making.

Given to friend in need
Gift giving (using the Cricut)
Bath Bombs with a message of REST one of my favorite words

This is what inspired this post

I just LOVED this idea!

I belong to a bible illustrated group on Facebook and one gal, Danielle Lariscy, shared what she does with her word of the year. I fell in LOVE with this idea on so many levels! For one, you can remember all the words the Lord inspired you. Year after year reflecting and reading the prayers and praises. Second, you can make it big enough to write a special message of the “WHY” behind your word of the year or whatever you want to write on it. Again, years later being able to relook at what the Lord taught you. I think this will be a fun project for me to do on my days of REST to go back to my words and make these for my bible. I have at least 5 to do…So better get wording!

Get creative!

No, you don’t have to follow the idea. And NO I don’t believe it is a trend. I believe this will be in my life for as long as the Lord has something to remind me about, work in me, or inspire me in ways only HE can! If anything, it does help one stay focused if you struggle in areas of finding joy, rest, peace, prayer, or need to know you are loved. A word…speaks and is powerful! So, what’s your word this year?

First attempt…need some practice…BUT found the Cricut is much cleaner look below!
There is HOPE!!!!
I purchased my Cricut Maker here…Plus it helps our ranch ministry! BEST investment in my crafting and it’s on sale! SCORE!
I love this word as well as the paper! So fun!
A great word to have POP up in your bible…good reminder!

God’s blessing to you! Walking in HIS word, one can always find HIS peace.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ranch Life

From Rags…

Back in February 2019, almost a year, we started remodeling which began with ripping out our carpet and adding hardwood floors, to gutting the whole kitchen and redoing everything in it. At first, I didn’t want to do the cabinets but the cabinet maker, also a friend, said if you’re going to do the lower ones and add an island, you kinda need to match it all up. So here we go!

Old living room/kitchen
living room looking into the kitchen

To Riches…

Complete…well…you know…
Love the barn wood! So beautiful!

Dan just got the Barnwood counter placed last week. It is gorgeous and we feel we live in a million-dollar home! At first when we sat in the living room looking at the kitchen it was hard to love. It took so much time to get it to where it is and of course many frustrated moments. Isn’t this the case in most remodels? Dan and I were truly hoping not when we decided to dive into the project, but the trials came anyway. Oh well…it’s done and we are thankful!

We can’t set anything on the counter for a couple of weeks as it is still curing but I can wait. I’ve waited almost a year, might as well make it an official year from start to finish! We still have lighting to do and Dan is in the process of building log stools with backs and arms so it should be a cozy setting. We love it! It fits who we are…country and simple!

You can see more details in another blog post here.

As always home is a never-ending project but we love doing it especially in this season of our lives.

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and hard-working Dan

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Healing, Hope, Peace, Ranch Life

March 10, 2020

Mitch is starting to show more signs of the liver in trouble. He is weak and having major itching which is causing sores all over his body. Of course, it makes him extremely agitated as well. His skin tone is yellowing too but in conversation with the transplant team, they will remain to ask for labs and adding some meds to help with his itching. We pray the change in meds will help. Mitch leaves for Oregon next week for a fun getaway with kitchen staff from camp. Please pray for him to enjoy a wonderful time and just to getaway. When he comes home it will be his 25th birthday! WOW! We will celebrate our little man well! Thank you for praying!

February 21, 2020, we got a call from the transplant center that Mitch’s MRI looks GOOD…in fact GREAT! She stated the bile duct looks better than when they first saw it back in the fall and everything seems to be going well. PRAISE THE LORD!!! Oh, we rejoiced in the news! BUT, that doesn’t mean he is out of the woods. He still has an appointment in early April with his doctors. One is the GI doc the other is the surgeon but we WALK BY FAITH God’s got this! Keep prayin’! We hope NO transplant is needed!

No tube…more freedom

For some of you who are specifically on a mailing, we update as soon as we have news on our son Mitch. He recently had his tube taken out and today he is doing amazing! Of course, we have to keep praying as in early April, day after Easter, he sees his doctors. One for GI and one a surgeon. Life is a journey and how unique this life of Mitch has been, struggles and joys all for a purpose we can not see. That my friend is faith.

Praying for the Miricle

On the appointment day, we find out if he is still in need of a liver transplant OR if his liver is working normally and not failing. We continue to daily lift this young man up hoping the Lord will totally heal this liver which has been functioning for…get this…23 years this January 24th!!!!

Happy Liver Birthday

I hope to be sharing some pictures as we surprise him this week celebrating and praying for him. YES, he does not know what we are up to, but we are excited to let him know this is a day of encouragement as we see all the Lord has done in 23 years and praising and giving thanks for all HE WILL DO for the next! It is within the trials our faith can go either way. Grow. Or sink. We continue to rejoice and in the praising, our faith is strengthened. I will add pictures to this post when the big day happens. Only a few days away. want to be an encouragement?

Being An Encourager

I find this piece so huge to ones facing trials. We just don’t know what the Lord is up to and if we could see the other side of it we wouldn’t grow. Jesus preaches for us to be encouragers of one another. Lifting one another up in prayer and thanksgiving. We appreciate all of you who tune in and are be obedient by praying us through! Jesus is ALWAYS faithful!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and family

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Crafts, Ministry, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life, Sewing

I love this New Toy!

Last summer Dan (my man), got into his head how fun it would be to make things to sell in our Tack Shack and Hoedown at the ranch. He is wonderful with his hands in crafting with wood and adding images, and color just popped more ideas into his head. SO, we invested in this and have been having a blast ever since!

Latest creation for the porch sign decor.

Ideas Are Endless

We are in the process of building a Trading Post and Workshop at the ranch and creating more projects to give the ambiance of an old country store. I love taking old things and seeing what we can create. Like this bucket. It was so fun to make. Using the Cricut and outdoor vinyl made it come together wonderfully.

Our main source for vinyl is Expressions Vinyl.
WHY? Mostly because their product is amazing and they have wonderful videos that really help you through a project or give you more ideas. I love their Easyweed Siser  Heat Transfer Vinyl.
When it comes to weeding those fine details the Easyweed vinyl peels away really well plus you can remove the iron on vinyl hot or cold after the press. You also don’t have to have an expensive heat press to do the project. An iron will work well too which isn’t the case in most other products out there. Most of them require a press that can reach over 300 degrees. NOTE: Easyweed Stretch needs one of those BIG presses to adhere to the material. They do not recommend an iron let alone a Cricut EasyPress. It needs a firm heavy and consistant pressure so stick with the Easyweed HTV. 
 It looks wonderful. See below…

Expression socks!

They also are a one stop shop! I can get the ink jet printables so we can do images on our computer especially our logo for the ministry and the transfer tape is much less expensive here then other stores. If you do a lot of crafting with a Cricut, you go through a lot of this stuff! Lastly is their line of patterned vinyl for iron on as well as sticky vinyl. The quality is amazing, really! I love supporting them and their dreams too.
Of course the goodies of accessorizing is another added joy. They have that too!

Look at this…they also give you charts for helping you not waste and for projects to come out just right! Can you tell I had baby gifts to get done?

Eco-Friendly Idea For Scrap Material

I have been making lots of pillows for the Trading Post and with that comes of course scraps of material. Long ones. I kept looking at them trying to figure what and how I can do something as they are white and so fresh looking. So I came up with ribbon! And like everything I do, I go crazy once an idea pops into my head!  Using Expressions Heat Set Vinyl. 

I truly find their product slick! No mess in the weeding and finishes so nice on the fabric. (following hint above) You know what else is cool about the ribbon idea? Practice! Yep, when I wasn’t sure how the pattern would look, I used the material ribbon. I tried the regular vinyl as most likely people wouldn’t wash the ribbon and it’s less expensive, but of course the heat ones worked better on fabric but really they looked no different. Just the vinyl will peel off eventually.  Doesn’t hurt to try both ways and see what works for you.

Gabby Ribbon using regular vinyl

I did like the iron-on better…but…it is more expensive especially the glitter or patterns. What do you think?

Iron on Easyweed Heat Vinyl

Definitely fun no matter what you choose! Gabby Ribbon my new crazy!

Love to craft no matter what the outcome! More to show soon as we journey on this winter creating items for the Trading Post!

God’s blessings keep warm!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Itchy Throat and Congestion

Most of December and part of January I have been battling a cough. It turned into a pretty nasty cold but once I made this special tea blend it eased the cough and the congestion. There are other ingredients I listed you can also add for fever/chills and of course runny nose. Taking my elderberry syrup daily helps but once the flu kicks in high gear the body needs the days and weeks to get through it all. Not once in the 4 weeks did I take any over the counter meds or pain relievers. Just teas, supplements, and essential oils. Always keep in mind building the immunity in the body is so very important. Once you implement meds you have lowered your immune system.

Linden Flower Key Ingredient

Linden Flower has so many wonderful properties to your health and wellness plus its aroma is amazing! Key properties:

  • Anxiolytic-ease anxiety
  • Relaxing nervine-helps to calm tension and irritability in the nervous system
  • Antispasmodic-eases muscle cramping
  • Hypotensive-assists in lowering blood pressure
  • Diaphoretic-helps promote perspiration
  • Anti-inflammatory-eases inflammation

Tea Recipe For Cough/Fever

Ingredients:

6 tsp. Linden Flower and Leaf
4 tsp. Spearment leaf
4 tsp. Lemon Balm
4 tsp. Hibisus Flower
2 tsp. Rose Petals
Can add for fever and congestion, Boneset and Marshmellow Leaf
Above herbs are native and easy to grow here in Minnesota…try growing your own this summer and harvesting so you have them on hand.

Instructions:
Mix the above in a glass bowl. Place in a strainer which can fit over a gallon mason jar. I use this one. Fill jar with boiling water and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Pour a cup of tea with a drop of lemon essential oil and honey and sip away the ickyness.

Detox Bath

Fill tub with hot water adding:
1 cup Mineral Sea Salt
1/2 cup Apple cider
3 drops of Chamomile Essential oil
3 drops of Eucalptus Essntial Oil
handful dried Lavender buds

Enjoy this wonderful blend of tea and of course mix it up adding your own favorite herbal loose leaf specialties. Every sip is helping your body heal…the natural way! Don’t forget animals will love your left over tea leaves. We give our horses theirs daily! And even make them up a batch of tea!

God’s blessings and keep well!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

A 2020 Vision for Ranch

We are in the planning stages of building a new place for creating projects with the kids and then selling them in the trading post. Dan has had a vision for this for some time and I, of course, love the idea. Anytime we can create another avenue to get kids to learn, grow, and experience the love of Christ, I’m IN! The new building will tie in with the western look with a little barn feel too. We want to keep the western town experience which could be a little tricky, but we’re still working on it.

Finding Folks to Help

Finding help is always a challenge mainly because people are so busy. We did find an amazing man who loves the Lord who committed to building the project and we also had a friend draw up a sketch to give him a starting point. She did a great job! I sat and watched her draw and play with her fun pencils enjoying a nice cup of tea at our favorite diner in town. Funny how a picture can just get your vision more alive. Didn’t she do a great job?

Lookin’ so real!

Recently we had another friend who loves to build and doodle…DOODLE in drafting! We told him about the new project and he offered to draft up enough so we could get a better idea of material needs and cost. The Lord brings people along…one step at a time and in the RIGHT time! So cool!

The overhang is on the wrong side…my mistake telling him using north, south, east, west…should not of said anything really…leave it to the master Dan instead!

Now we meet with the builder…

So imagine with us. The front of the building will be the Trading Post and the wall going into the workshop will be a sliding or solid barn door. The whole back end of the building will have saws, tables, benches, and of course lots of project kits ready for the kids to build. The kids will learn top to bottom how to make something. Cut a tree down, debark, cut into slabs, dry it, and then prepare for the project. Plus each child can embrace all the ranch has to offer not only being in the woods but also learning to have the heart to give by selling their item in the trading post. In turn, this will help keep it all afloat by helping to keep the ministry going. For the first year, we will target boys without dads or dads who are in treatment or in prison. Of course, TNR never turns anyone down, so if a child comes along who wants to participate we will invite with open arms and hearts!

WE CAN’T WAIT…so for the next few months…we plan and pray. OOO our Jesus has BIG things happening here at True North Ranch! Please join us in praying for all the details and God’s will to be done, giving HIM all the glory in every step!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Cooked vs. Raw

It has been many years since I tried making this wonderful beverage homemade and the last time I did it was raw. I used fresh farm chicken eggs from a friend’s farm, regular 1% milk and heavy cream. It turned out awesome and no one got sick! Of course raw is best as you know natural as best as I can is what I desire, but not always easy to get. If you can know your source for the eggs, the risk is lowered significantly.

“The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw. One study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.”

Because of an illness in our home

Recently our son who had a. liver transplant when he was 20 months old, (he is now 24), from his dad, is undergoing some issues. We are hopeful the liver will function healthily as ever but the doctors are predicting he will need another transplant in 2020. With this going on during the holiday time, I decided to use the cooked recipe which is awesome and of course very safe. I don’t have to worry about any further sickness. I also could add less salt as he is on a low sodium diet. (it doesn’t have much in it but less is best)

Stir milk mixture well.

It really is amazing and super creamy!

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3 cups Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (I make my own look below)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh nutmeg for garnish

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt.
2. Add eggs one at a time whisking well until homogeneous.
3. Pour 3 cups of milk into Dutch oven and heat on medium.
4. Pour egg mixture into the milk and continue whisking.
5. Continuously whisk while it heats up. Using a food grade thermometer heat to 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the mixture until you start to see a little steam, then give it another minute. It will become thicker and smoother as you are whisking.
6. Remove from heat as soon as you reach the right temperature. Add 1 cup of cream and vanilla. Stir well.
7. Pour into a gallon mason jar, cover and refriderate for 8 hours or overnight. 
8. When ready to serve, pour into cups, mason jars, or like we have eggnog mugs! Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Love adding fresh spices!

Fresh homemade vanilla: Fill a pint-size mason jar with brandy any brand. Take 2 vanilla beans (Mexico source is best), scrap the inside into a mason jar along with the beans. Cap it tight, place in a cool, dark place remembering to shake daily for 4-6 weeks. Take beans out and you have yourself the best vanilla extract ever!

Delicious! Every time!

Comment below…love to hear what you think!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Healing, Hope, Ranch Life

Bye Bye 2019

Yes, 2019 was defiantly a year I am ready to say goodbye to, yet the Lord Jesus did So much in the midst of the bad it really outweighed the horrible days. So how can I really be so excited to see it go? Mainly because I am sitting in a hospital room right now for our son Mitch and we just received some very difficult news. Today we relive what 1996 was like ironically the same month just before Christmas. Our son is facing a tough 2020.

Looking at tough times with 2020 vision

Mitch and our whole family have had some difficult trails but we faced them together with the love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first time we dealt with Mitch he was only 19 months old when we were told he was in liver failure. Now he is 24. He has done so well with his new liver given by his dad but today it isn’t doing so well. This liver is struggling to operate to its fullest potential and needs some renewal. For now, this is what we see. This is what we have before us. But I know my Jesus SEES Mitch in a much more different way. He sees AND has a plan we can not see and are not meant to see. Oh how I wish we could, but then…we wouldn’t need a GOD who shows us HIS mighty hand and HIS ultimate plan.

Mitch waiting to go into Unit 2 at the UOM with his gnome given by a dear friend. His little support of JOY! 11/25/19

What does Jesus need to see?

I believe the Lord needs me to step it up. He allowed this trial for ALL of us. Me, my husband, Mitch, and his sister Mackinzey. WHY? We again can’t see His plan but just need to keep HIM in the center of everything we say and do as well as shape us ever so much closer to HIM. To bring our relationship with Him deeper. Pressing so intimately to HIM that we never have before. He allowed this trial because we need to make a change. In the midst of this new year, we will face the need for wisdom, decerning daily decisions, meeting new people, listening to things we may or may not want to hear. But most importantly giving credit to the ONE who deserves ALLLL of the glory within each of those decisions, and new relationships. As I sit in this room, there are people facing saying good-bye to their loved one. For new parents holding newborns who desperately desire memories and a future with. And so many others dealing with tougher health issues. But I have a Promise keeper. A Hopedealer. A Peacemaker. A Miricleworker. A Healer. In turn…makes facing this a WHOLE lot more peaceful!

“I WILL praise you, Lord with all myheart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with JOY because of You. I will seing praises to Your name, O Mos High.” Psalms 9 :1-2

To Whom will I Trust?

Today I will choose to trust in my Savior, Jesus Christ! It wasn’t easy news. In fact, it was horrible, heartbreaking! I was hoping for a wonderful fresh 2020 with NO problems. But Jesus gave me and all of us a new plan. Every day we can choose to face trials on our own. Some face trials not knowing there is ONE who loves them deeper knows exactly what they are facing and CAN AND WILL give them peace! Instead of peace and joy within the trial, their pain brings hopelessness and despair. How do I know this…because 22 years ago…I was one of them. Yep, no Savior…yep I knew of God, even would tell you I believed…but I didn’t. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. It was traditional. It was simply a religion. TODAY I face the same trial but with a better outlook because I have HOPE!

Fix our eyes on Jesus…keep our focus on HIS trail, not our own. A lesson this day. Who knew how real this would become? 5/10/19

Because of a choice…

Jesus met me in a hospital room on January 12, 1997. I felt Him. I opened my Bible blowing the dust off of it and came upon a passage that spoke directly to me at that moment our 20-month-old son was dying.

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but You. Psalm 5:1-2

You see the Lord had a vision. A purpose for “such a time is this” Ester 4:13 He saved BOTH Dan and me during this trial. Without Mitch facing this then, we wouldn’t have had the past 22 years of amazing growing faith! We wouldn’t have had the convictions of raising our children to behave the same saving faith and to live life with a purpose for others vs. themselves. As young adults who chose to live sacrificially to serve others. To have a vision for a ministry to serve kids at risk using horses which I always wanted to have and be GIVEN the privilege to have True North Ranch come true. And the list really is endless because of submission Jesus and dying to self. It truly has been an amazing ride!

A trip to MOA after a day at the UOM. (red dots not sure what they were up too) 8/1999

So what is happening today?

We decided as a family to use this blog which is connected to our ministry website as a platform to share what is happening with Mitch’s new adventure. We SEE the Lord working every day in this trial and we thank HIM daily for it! The vision is clear folks…Jesus HAS MITCH and all of us in the Palm of HIS HOLY HANDS! We wait and SEE that what HE does is always GOOD! Mitch is dealing with fluid in his tummy, legs, and feet and is having to go through weekly appointments to have them drain it. He also is facing some bad acne and is going through treatment for that as well as continuing to have an external tube that has been in him since October 14, 2019. These issues have caused more stress on his liver and scaring has become more as well. He is with us for a few days until he regains strength and will go back to his home when he is feeling stronger. Christmas will be early this year for our family as our daughter Mackinzey is returning home for a few days but has to get back before Dec. 23rd. We will be capturing as much family time as we can!

Our tree is decorated with only the names of Jesus…Each day I ask Mitch to choose one he feels is fitting for the day…FREE was his choice today. 12/12/19

How can you pray?

  • for comfort and relief of pressure from the fluid in his body
  • for travel for Mac and Dan as they drive from VA. to MN next Monday
  • for the test, labs, and all treatments to continue to show improvement and for Mitch’s liver to function on its own with NO transplant needed!!!
  • for the Lord to provide all of Mitch’s extra expenses coming from co-pays on meds, appointments, and hospital treatments
  • for the family to enjoy some peaceful times together with Mitch in little to no pain to embrace this time together in celebrating our Jesus’ birth!

THANK YOU for PRAYING…

Feel free to share as you need as this platform of the blog is to glorify and edify our Lord Jesus Christ who WAS, IS, and always WILL BE the King of Kings!

Updates will come weekly as best as we can. We are believing Jesus for a miracle of his liver fully returning to normal on its own and trusting if HE chooses otherwise our palms will be raised…whatever Your Will Father!

We love you!

Peace in Christ alone,

Lee and Dan

Praise song for the week: I will praise Him in the Storm by Casting Crowns

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Food, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

OOO sooo good

Being a part of a church family means lots of church potlucks which means for me, collecting fantastic recipes. This one is just one of those you can’t stop eating and REALLY SHOULD! The only thing I don’t like it the corn syrup in the recipe. Just really bad sugar for you. So I substituted honey for the corn syrup…see what you think.

Crust baking until slightly browned…smells so good!

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter, softened (1 cup)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups of flour

8 oz. package of Heath Bits Brickle Almond Toffee

3/4 cup of corn syrup (not a fan of this stuff, but some recipes there is no good substitute)

1 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup coconut flaked, divided

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease 9×13 pan
  3. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add flour, beat until well blended.
  4. Press dough in the bottom of the greased pan evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden.
  5. Meanwhile, combine toffee bits and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently until toffee is melted. Stir in 1/2 cup of almonds and 1/2 cup of coconut. Spread toffee mixture on top of crust spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining coconut and almonds and bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly. Cool completely then cut into bars.

My husband just loves these! I am lucky if they make it to the destination or gathering! Hope you try them!! Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee


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Food, Ranch Life

I know…it is a bit unhealthy

We had a wonderful restaurant a few years back called Sibley Station. It was tucked in the heart of a small town by us, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. The one thing they were known for was their Hungarian mushroom soup.

Simply divine! It is the best word I can sum up! The creamy rich flavor of this soup will leave your pallet dancing! The restaurant put the soup in a sourdough bowl which I really could never finish, but for sure you want to have with your soup on the side. At least a slice or two.

It has 2 cups of cream which makes for the richness and yes not the best for you. BUT…worth every bite! When I serve this I will only serve about a 1/2 cup because of the richness. Along with the bread, it does make a hardy meal. I think you will love it too!

Creamy…goodness…constant stirring at this stage is super important!

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of beef or chicken stock
  • 8 tbsp. butter, divided in half
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1/8 tsp salt (can add more to taste but begin here)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream (you can use half and half too)
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos (natural soy sauce non-GMO product)
simmering away

Instructions:

  1. I use a beef base or chicken base and a quart of water. Add the base. I use 4 tsp. I also added 2 tsp of Worchestershire sauce. Stir until dissolved and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, a Dutch oven is awesome, saute onion, garlic, and salt in four tablespoons of butter until onion is tender and shiny.
  3. Stir in mushrooms, dillweed, and paprika, and white pepper.
  4. Add half of the beef stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the remaining four tablespoons of butter over low heat. Whisk in flour slowly adding little at a time. Cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Don’t let it get clumpy. If so, start adding cream little at a time. Keep stirring and add remaining cream stir for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add cream mixture to your soup slowly and stirring continually. Add your remaining stock.
  7. Stir in sour cream, lemon juice, and Liquid Aminos. Heat through about 15 minutes on simmer. Makes 8 cups
  8. ENJOY with your favorite bread…sourdough is awesome!

Comment below!

Love deeper, talk sweeter and enjoy with a loved one!

Lee

PIN ME!

 

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Thanksgiving this year took on a WHOOOOLLLLEEE new meaning!
Yep! For us when you almost lose a loved one to mental illness, struggles with ministry needs, son facing health issues with his liver again, and a daughter so far from home my heartaches.  I am just overwhelmed with thanksgiving!
It has indeed been a difficult 2019…but we face 2020 with a new vision.
(GET IT? New Vision? 2020?)

A Special way to engage in THANKS

I saw these special ribbons from Ever Thine Home. I wanted to make them myself but for $20 I couldn’t do it. There are 12 ribbons each having a different way of sharing thanks. Anywhere from describing a time in your past to sharing specific people whom you are grateful for. I loved it! And I think all of this year at the table did too!

Family and friends! Thanksgiving 2019 a year we will never forget and are grateful!

With this special way to begin our meal, our friend Lori made a delicious hot drink for us to enjoy as we cozy upped and had some wonderful conversations. This amazing drink is really easy and of course a wonderful presentation to show off to loved ones. She sure loved on us!

Yummy Apple Carmel Drizzle
goofballs…

Ms. Lori’s (she’s a teacher/mentor/volunteer/board member…) RECIPE!

Carmel Apple Drizzle Delight

  • Ingredients: Fresh is best…When you purchase from this herb market you are getting quality that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf. PLUS you help our ministry! 2 in1 deal!
  • One large Honey Crisp Apple

Whole Cloves

5 Cinnamon Sticks

1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder

  • 1-gallon Organic Apple Cider
  • 2 cups of heavy cream, whipped
  • Carmel sauce (melt your own, or buy the squeezed bottle kind)

Directions:

  • 1. Polk cloves an inch apart around the apple.
  • 2. Put Apple cider into Dutch oven on low heat.
  • 3. Place cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, and apple into Dutch oven.
  • 4. Simmer for 4-6 hours, covered.
  • 5. When ready to serve, put a tablespoon of caramel into each mug.
  • 6. Fill a mug with cider, top with fresh whipped cream, and drizzle caramel on top.

Enjoy…it really hits the spot on a cold winters night!!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Crafts, Ranch Life

Gift Giving

Do you find shopping or making gifts a delightful time? Is it more of a “chore”? Let me challenge you as you shop or decide to make a gift for your special loved one this year to remember what truly is most important.
When God sent HIS only son as a GIFT He didn’t do it as a chore but for LOVE.  This precious Child sent to us from heaven was never meant for us to unwrap. Jesus was given to us as a gift to build a relationship with. Is your gift about relationship building? Is it offering a gift of love? Peace? Joy?   

Pay Attention to Make it Special

When I make a list of whom I need to shop for, I think of the person’s individual needs. I also am careful in my gift-giving to be practical, something they need, and sometimes what they want. I am just really aware when visiting with them in their home what they could use. Listening keenly in conversations in something they want or wished they had and quickly mark it in my phone so I remember. The more you know the person, of course, the easier it will be but always you need to pay attention to make it special.

Special gifts that apply to personality, your relationship, adding a note to relax or a date night.  Encourage family night with a game basket or this one idea I love…

I love making my homemade syrups to put in teas or water…
If you are into crafts, the ideas are endless but not always practical. Quilts are amazing, but not everyone will appreciate the hard work or take care of it so this gift idea has to be very special and unique to the receiver. 
We love our wood crafting but again, not always workable for some of the people in our lives. 

Wrap In Love

Jesus is the perfect gift. His message of Hope and Peace is often what I think of when I give a gift because to me that is a perfect gift. One that brings the person hope, love, and peace. Even if it has to be a gift they may need like underwear it is demonstrating love and you can show that not only in the gift but in how you wrap it. 
You could hide underwear in these cute packages!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea…just my kinda ranch-style gift giving! LINK
 

Unwrappable Gift

No matter how you choose, how you shop, or what you pour your time into by making your gifts make sure LOVE is the theme! Giving a gift of your time can be just what that person needs.  Inviting them to a special meal in your home or taking the person out on a coffee date is the unwrappable gift that will last a lifetime. TIME is not often given any more. We have become a “get it done” kind of world. So in your list-making pray it through. Jesus knows all our needs and the loved one you are shopping for. 
Get creative with unwrappable ideas of time together, building the relationship and sharing life together.  

Enjoy wrapping your loved ones with love by seeking to be unique!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Ranch Life, Ranch Life

The Beginning thoughts…

Way back over a year ago I was visualizing a new kitchen. Mostly because the counter was falling apart and I struggled to find space for some everyday items. So I pitched the idea to my hubby and it just so happens he is good friends with a cabinet maker, which led us to change more than just the counter. Of course…once you change the counter, cabinets have to be replaced as well. Oh boy…

So the Project Grew Bigger!

Once we talked to our friend who is experienced in many factors he convinced us we needed to do a total remodel. Once you change the counter, the sink, cabinets, and sometimes appliances need to be changed as well. We already were beginning to redo the flooring which Dan began in February of 2019. Now the counters were needing to come apart because the flooring was inching its way to the kitchen area.

The kitchen just gutting the old floor and getting ready for finishing the new floor.

Keeping my Cool

As this was the time heading into March Dan’s job was exceeding in pressure which led to his breakdown. For now, all projects had to stop due to his illness. He could not finish anything let alone make decisions. Thankfully the project wasn’t in too much of a shamble that we couldn’t function. OH, how I am thankful for that as our life was so messy as it was helping Dan through his trial. It indeed was difficult as many people were coming in and out of our home and being such a mess made me uneasy, but it is all we had to get through. So the project sat for 3 months.

 

Putting the cabinets in. Oh, glory!

What A Sink!

I had gotten the sink back in February which was sitting in the cabinet makers building all these months, but since we had it and Dan was back to his old self we decided to put it in while we had to wait an additional month for the granite to be put in. I tell ya…piece by piece and as slow as a sloth!

We decided on this sink at Signature Hardware. I wouldn’t recommend them. We had an issue with the rock which I fixed but shouldn’t have had to due to how much this sink was. Really, you pay over $1000 for something you would think the company would make it right…but not. Again, this kitchen has been a pain in you know what!

 

In the end, the sink is beautiful!

 

They do look amazing!

They’re IN!

Now the beauty of it is coming together! We just loved the soft yellow look as a cabin/ranch feel which is just what we wanted! Once the guys put the cabinets into place, I noticed they didn’t butt up against the window. It was in the plan they wouldn’t be but of course, I didn’t catch that in the drawing and was bummed we had the gap. But we have a plan! They will add a shelf alongside the cabinets and for now, I will paint the wall hoping to get the same color done 20 years ago! We’ll see. We also had a microwave breakdown but thankfully it’s under warranty…whew!

Granite Day!

This counter is breathtaking to me! Why? Because when Dan and I went into this place 3 months prior we both saw this and fell in love. BOTH OF US! It fit our lifestyle and the overall ranch country look. What do you think?

 

What a finish! I just love our new space!

 

The country sink and new faucet look amazing! I have never had such beauty! We are blessed!

Final Touches until…

Now we add the new handles to the cabinets which again Dan and I loved shopping for and found at Hobby Lobby. One of our favorite stores! The granite backsplash goes on next in just a week and then Dan can begin to work on the island. This part he and his friend aka cabinet maker, are building the top using barn wood. Once it is built they will coat with varnish. I pray it blends as well as the rest of the kitchen! Here is a sample of what that will look like as the guys built a template out of cardboard to give us a good visual.

 

Island to come…Dan is building the counter out of wood. A wagon wheel will hang over the top.

More to come…

As soon as my man finishes the counter I will put the pictures up! He is making the stools too which will finish the whole country kitchen look. Comment below on what you think so far. Love to hear from you! I really can’t believe it…I am one happy camper! (look below…updated January 20)


Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

YEAH!!! IT’S HERE!!!!
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