Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BLOG TOUR: The ME Project by Kathi Lipp

The Me Project - 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN-10: 0736929665, ISBN-13: 978-0736929660
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Paperback: 224 pages, Retail: $12.99

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: http://www.kathilipp.com/
Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams
– in the next 15 minutes

by Kathi Lipp

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?

You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1. Go Public with It

It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.

When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2. Join an Online Group

This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Pray

I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.
I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.

Grand Prize Giveaway:

Deluxe Starbucks Coffee Gift Basket

• Three 2.5-oz. bags of Starbucks coffee
(Sumatra, House Blend, and French Roast)
• Tazo black tea
• Starbucks marshmallow cocoa
• Almond roca
• Almond roca buttercrunch toffee cookies
• White chocolate and raspberry cookies
• 2 Starbucks mugs
• Keepsake black bamboo basket
$62 value
For a chance to be entered in the drawing, simply comment below.  I'll choose a random name to send to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications on March 4th.  KCWC will draw a random winner on March 7th.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up Feb 19th

I just finished reading a story that has disappointed me.  The Dervaes Family was awarded a trademark for the term Urban Homestead (and others).  Click the link to see more about it.  I'm headed to their site now to cancel my subscription.

Goober Gus caught whatever Tony had last week, but I'm happy to report that he fought it off much better.  He slept most of yesterday (oh wow, was that ever nice!) and is chipper and chatty today.  We started on the elderberry lozenges as soon as Tony started feeling bad, and I think that's what helped Gus to fight it off so quickly.  When we ran out of the lozenges, we made our own syrup from Herbal Nurturing

It's raining in AZ!  We've had about an inch of rain fall since the wee hours of the morning, which will hopefully give the grass a head start on growing, which means less money spent on hay!  It's been an indoor day except for the short time it stopped raining and we milked the goats.  Cream is ready to be milked, and she's got a great temperament for a milk goat, but she's holding back her milk.  We brought Spice up to the milkstand with her today but she still didn't let down.  I'll just keep trying!

For dessert tonight we made shakes from:
  • 3/4 to 1 cup raw milk
  • 6 scoops of Blue Bunny All Natural Vanilla ice cream
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T raw, organic cacao powder
  • 1 T ground maca root
Oh my were they ever good!  That will have to be a weekly treat!

Wednesday evening I was preparing to take hay to Elsie & crew and noticed one of the barred rock hens standing peculiarly.  I watched for a moment and out pops an egg!  It was a softshell-like she laid it 12 hours early or something.  I saved it to show at our homeschool play date on Thursday.  It felt like a water balloon.  I haven't seen any others, and hope it was just a fluke.  We crush and feed their shells back to them, so I'm guessing they get enough calcium.  Oyster shells if I find more?

Melody at Laughing Duck Farm had goat babies born on her farm recently too, if you need another dose of goat baby cuteness!  Ours are almost a month old and I need to take more pictures.

For Valentine's Day we went to a community event/round table discussion about the needs of local farmers and local food venues and how to bring it all together.  I'm glad we went and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of notes from the night via email, so that I can share with you what transpired, without having to type it all out!  Basically we shared (the panel and audience) the problems facing growers and then potential solutions.  The problems were many but came down to two basics:  community education and less government regulation.  The solutions sounded good, but I wonder just how well many can be carried out. 

We booked a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway for March 18th.  We bid on tickets last April at a benefit auction and are now taking the trip (because the tickets expire on the 18th!)  Goober Gus will love it!

For those so inclined, last Sunday's church service is available here.  Facing truth in life.  Good stuff!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Intense Training

Recently, in a forum I enjoy participating in, the question was asked, "What is something you're proud of accomplishing?"  There are many ways to answer this, but the theme of the question dealt with overcoming something physical.  My response, participating in three 60 mile walks; hiking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim in a day, 3 times; and running a half marathon.  Those comments have been lingering in my mind ever since.  Not only did I participate, but I had to train in preparation.  Not just training and participating, but doing it all in a span of 40 months.  The events themselves total roughly 200 miles. 

Training for the 3 Day 60 Mile walks consisted of low mileage, frequent walks at the beginning, slowly building to higher mileage, less frequent walks as time passed.  I didn't keep actual training logs, but based on estimates I would have walked 1260 miles over a 36 week training period.  That's an average of 5 miles a day for 9 months. 

The Grand Canyon hikes took place in Fall of 2003, Spring of 2004 and Spring 2005.  We did  group training hikes that consisted of 15-20 mile hikes multiple times.  Toss in another 200 miles of training (including my own solitude hikes).  Also keep in mind that to hike the Grand Canyon means carrying all of the food and water needed, except for a water refill at Phantom ranch, plus temperature extremes of 60+ degrees from the 40* low at the beginning to the 100*+ at Phantom Ranch. 

Then I ran the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon in January of 2005, 3 months after my 2nd completion of The 3 Day.  Well, I ran the 1/2 marathon, have no interest in the full one!  I'm guessing another 250 miles in the 3 months from one event to the other.

While writing this I recalled yet another distance event-a duathalon in Feb 2004.  I ran a 10K and cycled 20 miles.  In this duathalon, the 10K is split up before and after the cycling.  I didn't train a whole lot for that, just made sure I could ride my bike for that many miles and then get off and run without falling down from rubber legs!  So maybe another 100 miles training for that.

Then there's the gym 3+ times per week, the occasional 5K, and hikes just for fun.

What's the grand total?  Over 1800 miles in 40 months, or 45 miles a month.  Broken down that way doesn't sound that extreme, but there were periods of no training-a whole year at one point, so it's more like 1800 miles in 28 months, or 65 miles a month!  That's still only 2 miles a day on average, but remember that it was more a matter of longer distances fewer times than a low, consistent average.  I think that was the precursor to pushing my body over the edge into extreme adrenal fatigue.  I think, based on symptoms that I've always had some level of it, and each training event made it worse.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Friday Favorites February 18th

One of my favorite things at this moment is seeing my son sleeping on the couch near the humidifier.  He was pretty upset just before falling asleep and knowing that he's sleeping soundly right now is reassuring.  He bonked his head at the park; jumped from a foot or so out of a tree and poked a hole in his knee (Spiderman bandages can do wonders!); the pear he was eating when that happened fell and got dirty (though we washed it and he finished eating it); and I think he's fighting off the cold his dad has.  That's a lot for a small body to deal with in one day.  I told him that sleep was the best thing for pain.  He wouldn't be able to feel what hurt, and his body would be able to repair damaged parts.  We also prayed for God to ease his suffering, and he was asleep in 5 minutes or less!

This was also a favorite:
Sugar had been jumping on and off my lap repeatedly and was panting.  I just happened to catch what looks like a pose, but she was still running all over the place!  Can you believe they'll be 4 weeks old Monday?

Little Leaps of Love has been fun too.

Little Leaps of Love
Pure, raw, organic cacao powder.
Big Tree Farms Raw Cacao Powder is one of nature’s single best sources of magnesium and contains more antioxidants per gram than red wine, green tea, acai or pomegranates. Our Cacao Powder is formed after expelling the butter from our hand-ground cacao bean paste. The remaining "cake" that is left over once the butter is removed is a precious and concentrated superfood retaining about 25% of its original fat content. The "cake" is cold-milled to a powder and then is either sieved fine for use as a drinking chocolate, or graded and packed as a coarser chocolate powder more suitable for breads, pies, cookies and cakes.

Oh yeah, that's the good stuff!  I put some in my smoothie yesterday and was in a far better mood than I have been for a long time.  Didn't do it today and well...not so joyous as yesterday!

What are some of you favorites from the week?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wellness Wednesday, February 16th

Or maybe not so well!  I feel great today, but have been emotionally stressed for several days, then last night looked up symptoms for arsenic poisoning and it's possible I've been poisoned!Symptoms of arsenic poisoning begin with headaches, confusion and drowsiness.  We tested our well water about 2.5 years ago having heard the area is known to have high levels of arsenic.  The test verified that info and we began buying all our drinking and cooking water.  I thought at that time I looked up symptoms to know what to look for, but after reading them last night I don't recall any of these.

My next task is to research how well it is absorbed by the skin, to see if bathing/showering in high arsenic water is enough to bring on poisoning.  It doesn't seem likely that washing clothes and dishes in it would leave enough residue to be an issue, but I don't know that for sure.  I'm also going to be tested and see if I really am poisoned.

It never really occurred to me that the water we get from the machine in front of the grocery store could also be contaminated, if the whole area is known to be at risk.  So maybe we've been paying  to be poisoned!  We might test that water too.

I did read that foods with sulphur (eggs, onion, garlic) will help carry the arsenic out of the body, and the symptoms listed started in me within the last 6 weeks.  About 6 weeks before that is when we had to cut back out egg consumption because the hens were only providing about 3-5 per day.  That's gone back up to 9-11 now, so I started putting them into our morning smoothie again.

Anyone got info about arsenic poisoning?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wellness Wednesday, February 9th

Good day!  Glad you stopped by!  Today I'm going to tell you how kids are good for your health.  Once we discovered that Goober Gus is sensitive to artificial colors, we also decided to remove all chemicals from the food we buy.  It's better for all of us, even if we don't show the symptoms of sensitivity.  That means no store bough mint chocolate chip ice cream for me.  At least when he's home.  Which he isn't tonight.  So guess what I did?  Yep-bought mint chocolate chip ice cream and had it for dinner!  He'll be gone until late Wednesday night too.  I probably won't have it for dinner again, but maybe for lunch?  :-)  I have a jalapeno bacon, smoked Gouda cheese stuffed chicken breast waiting for me.  Can't wait!  Thanks for stopping by~

Love & War; Devotional for Couples

I had a hard time getting through this book, but not because of the content.  It's just hard for Tony and me to do anything consistently for 8 weeks.  I finally realized I needed to just read it so I can review it.  I like the format-a few paragraphs per day with an opening quote and closing Scripture.  Each week (5 days) ends with an exercise.  I'd prefer to have a daily exercise, personally.

The content is unique in presenting marriage from a perspective most of us probably haven't thought about.  While most of us as wives have dreamed of the fairy tale romance, we've only expected the good parts of the fairy tale.  What about the part where it looks like evil is going to win and nothing can go right?  That's how the "war" part of marriage is presented in this book and it's actually refreshing!  It's a good reminder to not expect wonderful times of bliss from the time we awaken until we fall into bed each night.  It's encouraging to know that there's a spiritual battle being waged and the enemy is pulling out all the stops to prevent the ultimate marriage of Christ to His body.  We know Jesus is triumphant, but do we apply that to our daily lives?  Do we look at marriage difficulties as part of the eternal struggle and rejoice that we are partakers in this battle?  I don't.  I should!

A quote from the book that really struck me occurs early in the book, Day 4 of the first week.
The Bible begins with a marriage and ends with a marriage.  From start to finish, the part of this great story we have been given to play begins and ends with a marriage.

That was really profound to me.  The Bible begins and ends with marriage.  No wonder it's so important and no wonder the serpent acted so quickly to try and dissolve it.  That should be my constant reminder as I face difficulties in my marriage.  It's all part of God's plan and ultimately HE has the victory!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  The review is my honest opinion.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I love it.  Almost can't seem to get enough of it.  Catch myself reading piles of paper upside down when I'm at someone else's house (sorry friends).  Read road signs when I'm driving.  I therefore have a long list of blogs I enjoy reading, email newsletters I receive, forum posts to keep up with, and the traditional books and magazines waiting to be read. 

The problem comes when there just isn't enough time to read it all, or a change in daily routine keeps me from handling the daily onslaught that comes electronically and I get behind.  What to do then?  Delete unread email?  Skip the blogs?  Not participate in forums?  I thought I had solved that little dilema by designating certain evenings to catching up.  Tony plays music a couple of times per week at night, so I decided to use that time to read the newsletters and blogs, while my son gets to watch an extra movie.  Even that hasn't been helping-I'm way behind. 

I like to keep my Inbox under 100 messages total.  Right now I have 44 undread out of a total of 181.  The 44 unread are just the ones that haven't been clicked on, it's not the actual number I haven't read.  Then there's my specialty folders where I have certain messages directed upon arrival.  Mom Stuff has 59 unread messages!  Homeschool 30. 

The basket that I corral magazines in is stacked to the height of its handle.  My night stand brims with books in various stages of completion, as does the end table.  Oh, and there's the daily snail mail.  Don't even get me started on that!

Why am I taking the time to write about the problem rather than catch up?  I don't know, I suppose I wanted to share my situation with you and see if I'm the only one facing this.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up Feb 5th

It's been a full week!  Today we stopped at two yard sales and spent $10 at each for a number of treasures.  I got a Sunbeam food processor for $4.  I found a drawer to hold VHS movies so I can organize our collection a little better.  I also got a book called The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods for $1. 

After that we spent time at the pasture fixing a broken water pipe and cleaning the water trough.  Boots is no longer in rut and doesn't stink, and he wanted to constantly be scratched behind his ears.  I'd stop and walk away and he'd follow me and position himself so that I had to scratch him.  Jasper is getting more used to us-he licked my fingers and tried to pull them into his mouth by curling his tongue around them.  I didn't know cow's tongues were so rough!

Last Sunday we disbudded the baby goats.  It was our first time to do it, and while I knew it really needed to be done, I was concerned they'd never come near me again when it was over.  I was the one to hold each one down while Tony applied the hot iron.  They cried a tiny bit and squirmed a little, but it wasn't nearly as awful as I expected.  Both of them hung out on my lap when it was over and both still love to play with me, so my concern was unfounded.  Poor Sugar looks a little strange though.

They sure learn quickly-Tony put a stump in for them to climb on and they couldn't do it that day, but the next day they were hopping all over it like old timers!  She's on it right now if you look closely.

I got a couple of days off last week.  Tony took Goober to work with him.  I needed some uninterrupted time to complete 2 tax amendments.  Happy to report those  are done!

We were spared the precipitation of the storms that hit most of the country this week, but we did have overnight lows of 4* two nights in a row!  That's about 20 * cooler than normal for here.  Our crazy water pipes-the pipe from the water heater to the kitchen runs thru the attic.  It froze the first night we had those lows.  The next two nights we left the sink dripping to keep the pipes open.  Exciting stuff, huh?

Friday night we took our new pastor and his wife out to dinner.  She was interested to hear about our goats and chickens-she wants to get some.  We had a nice night.  I had jalapeno bacon smoked Gouda stuffed chicken breast.  Can I just say WOW!

Tonight we're making homemade pizza, the dough for the crust is almost ready and I can't wait to put all kinds of fun toppings on it.  After dinner we'll watch The Wizard of Oz.  Goober Gus hasn't seen it yet and I found it at the library.

The view out the kitchen window!

Please tell me your week was more exciting!

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Favorites February 4th

I forgot to make this post today!  Earlier this week I had a few ideas of things to mention, but do you think I can remember them now?  Nope, not a single thought.  So rather than try to make something up, I'm going to remind myself to make a draft for this post as those thoughts come to me, and leave it at that.
Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wellness Wednesday, February 2nd

I have good news on the no 'poo situation-I found something that seems to be working!  We ran out of the goat's milk soap that I had purchased last fall at a farmer's market, so went in search of at the area health food stores.  When I found it, the goat milk soap had all kinds of difficult to pronounce ingredients, so I started reading labels on the other soaps there.  I found one that had all natural oils and some essential oils for fragrance that I thought smelled good, so I bought it.  I tried it on my hair, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse.  After the first time, my hair felt softer than it's been feeling with baking soda, but still had the fullness and natural curl that it got with the baking soda.  I was able to run my comb thru it without any difficulty.  I waited 3 days before trying it again and my hair is even softer after the 2nd use!  Success!  The days in between washings, I simply wet it and it still dries with some wavy curls and I doubt anyone could tell that it hadn't been washed that day.

I also think the homemade tooth cleaning recipe works better than just mouthwash, which is what we used to do.  Our dentist agreed that daily toothpaste use is too abrasive for teeth, so toothpaste was an occassional use item.  I realized though that for all my efforts to remove dyes from my son's diet, that we were filling his mouth with green dye everynight, DUH!  No, he doesn't swallow it, but I'm certain that it can be absorbed thru the skin.  He doesn't care for the baking soda in it, and it may be just as abrasive as whatever's in toothpaste, so I'm on the hunt now for a recipe that doesn't use baking soda.  Feel free to share any links if you have them!

The next venture I want to try is the oil cleansing method for my face.  I bought the castor oil, and have olive oil, I just need to try it out.  I think part of the problem is that this method is used at night (at least in the how to's I've read) and I don't usually wash my face at night.  I guess I could try it in the morning, right?

I'm back on bee pollen to strengthen my immune system against seasonal allergies.  We had a lot of wind Tuesday and it made my left eye itch like crazy and I would have sneezing fits of 10-15 sneezes at a time.  It finally subsided, but boy do I wish it wouldn't even happen!  Although, if it's true that your heart skips a beat when sneezing, and we're allotted a certain number of beats over the course of our lifetime, does that mean all my sneezing is prolonging my life?  ;-)

I'm noticing that several of the blogs I follow are posting info about adrenal fatigue.  I think I'm going to create an in depth post of my own on the topic, but it might turn out to just be an historical list of what may have contributed to my situation.  If that's the case, I won't be sharing it, as it would likely be quite boring.  It would be a good record for me to have though, so I think I'm going to work on it a little bit each day and see what I end up with.

My son had quite a bad headache and a bit of fever Friday.  He didn't complain too much, and was actually quite polite in his requests for feel good stuff.  I gave him arnica twice that day and that seemed to work.  I can tell when he has a fever because his cheeks get rosy.  He spent time in bed with me reading to him and later in the day fell asleep while watching a movie.  He had to be sick if he fell asleep during a movie!  He's a little congested still, but is otherwise healthy.

One last note-I made a menu plan for the entire month of February, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!  Just having a healthy month of meals planned ought to be helpful, dontcha think?