Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The wind whistled to me

So I came outside

It's irresistible

The pull

A Kansas girl

I grew up with wind

My cousins and I perched on hay bales

Watching tumbleweed skip across the highway

Listening to the rustling wheat

The wind making waves in it

Gentle wind

blowing bubbles

blowing dandelion seeds

skipping rocks  rippled water

Fierce winds

tornadoes: extreme makeover landscapes

all glass broken on north side of our house

paper like a knife lodged in a telephone pole

hurricanes: fallen trees, downed power lines

re-landscaped ocean fronts

So I am a Florida girl now

Winds rustle through palms, sea grasses

Tall pines sway like a gospel choir

Toothless trees dance and give a two leaf clap

Funny how it sounds the same

if I just close my eyes...

It's's Florida...

Jesus could walk on waves of wheat

Or ocean waves...and He does

He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
Psalm 104:2-4

Should we be surprised when He calms the wind and waves?

The disciples were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:26-28

The wind can drive you where you don't want to go, too

Faith. Belief. Trust. The wind can't touch you.

James 1:6
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

I'm almost home.

A sprinkler attempts to shoot water one direction

It is blown everywhere else

A sparkling tree of clear lights shakes

John 3:8
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

I want to be that skittering leaf blown in the wind

The Wind calls my name

It's Him

I want to go where He's going

Whether it's Kansas, or Florida, or India

He's here

He walks on water

He rebukes the storm winds

The sea is calm

We chase butterflies

We blow bubbles

We skip along the swamp on an air boat

Like a dragonfly

Friday, December 21, 2012


There are little signs:

Pursed lips

Words cut short

Standing aloof

Age old pity party

My perception of a scarred relationship

Is really a sickness

Carving out my loved ones personality

My heart is turning crisp

Like dry leaves

I'm looking for hope

A sign

Does he still love me?

I'm sitting in front of the computer screen

My back to him

Across the room

The unexpected starts


Lingering light in the distance

I want to stiffen

But I feel icicles

Dropping from my heart

The guitar is lightly plucking

It's my song

The song I wish someone

Would ask me to sing

at Church for Christmas

He asks me to sing

I walk over to him

Each step an unshackling

I swallow the lump in my throat

Hold back tears

I sing

It's pitched high

I am like a schoolboy choir

I have only sung the 1st and last

stanzas before.

"O Holy Night..."

"Surely He taught us..."

The 2nd stanza

New to me

Suprisingly sweet

What I need to hear,

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

I lay my weapons down

I humbly say "thanks"

to the God of Relationship

With HOPE in my heart

I accept this.

I accept Him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Diwali - Festival of Lights

Shoes off

Enter holy

Glamour and sparkle of dress



Jokes in Telugu
I smile

Gents one room

Ladies another
Children in the middle
We keep it that way

I honor Amma

Spoken language doesn't translate
I kiss her cheek
She understands


Glorious food!
Intricate combinations of spices
Indian cooking

Tangy tamarind rice

Spicy finger cucumbers with coconut
Crunchy onion bhajis
Sour curds


This one is special
My tongue probes the mystery
Is is dry mango?


I seek she who created
She laughs
It’s simple really

She unravels the mystery

My tongue still questions

Indian sweets

The ordinary dressed up in
Ghee, cream, sugar, rose water,
Cardamom and bits of nuts



An Indian bride

Silk, henna and jewels...
Confectionery of pure beauty

Pride of Indian cooking

We discuss recipes
Swap ideas

We want to recreate culinary memories

That dish from that restaurant
Mama’s specialty
Scenes from childhood

Stew of ideas and memories

Stir into each dish
And me, the “foreigner”,
Became “one of us”
because “nothing is too spicy”

Kids emerge

Promise made of spewed lights
We rush into the cold night

A light spectacle

Tantalize young and old.
Gingerly I hold a sparkler
Always afraid of fire

Big Loud explosions!

Bright showers of color.
Spinning furious chameleon tops.
Flaming fireballs shoot.

The Grand Finale spirals

Rocket and Boom!
An umbrella of colored stars
Explode leaves me breathless

Smoke clears

We enter the house
Bushes are covered in jeweled lights
Our saris brush by all sparkle

We carry the light too

Lights in constellations
Bursting momentary lights
Electric lights
Candle light - serenest of all

We are lights

We reflect that Greater Light
The Creator of all lights
He whispers to us:

“Let your light shine

before others....” Matt. 5:16

He says, “I am the Light

of the world. Whoever follows
me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

I stop

Now it is dark
He is The Light

“So we thank Thee that

darkness reminds us of light.
O Light Invisible, we give Thee Thanks
for Thy great glory.”
T. S. Eliot The Choruses from the Rock

Friday, April 27, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

Who doesn't dream of that cold, silky yogurt off the spoon? You can create your own yogurt easily and affordably too! I promise you won't regret it! Here's what you need to get started:

1 half-gallon of milk (whole works best, but 2% works) of your choice
medium heavy-bottomed saucepan
1 cup yogurt starter (MUST contain live cultures: acidopolous) my favorite is dannon for tang, or any organic brand for smooth taste
wire whisk
medium size bowl

Thats it!

First, bring your milk ALMOST to a boil (watch it like a hawk!), take it off the heat when you see small bubbles appear
Then, let milk cool for about 15-20 minutes, then try my 20 second rule (put your finger in and if you can keep it there 20 seconds without removing its ready!)
Pour a little of the hot milk in the medium bowl along with the 1 cup of yogurt. Whisk it until the yogurt melds with the milk, NOW, if your heated pan has scalded on the bottom, pour your hot milk along with the yogurt mixture into this new pan, secure the lid, and put into your COLD oven, oven light ON for 10 to 12 hours. DO NOT DISTURB IT!!!!! after the alloted time, place it in the refrigerator for an hour or so to firm. And, wallah!! Yummy yogurt!!! NOTE: the best time I find to do this recipe is in the evening, after dinner giving you fresh yogurt in the morning. Also, do not reuse your yogurt for making your next batch, it becomes weaker and watery. Always use fresh yogurt starter.

Recipe ideas for your plain yogurt:

Breakfast: put on granola, pancakes, oatmeal or with fruit with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

Lunch: use in place of sour cream in your recipes, or mayonnaise

Dinner: great in stroganoff, in soups, dip along with garlic for fries, or with herbs for raw veggies

Dessert: top your scones with jam and yogurt mixed with honey, dash of vanilla, top fruit crisps and cobblers with same. Mix with orange juice concentrate and vanilla and freeze pops for kid-friendly snack, experiment and have fun!!!!

Say goodbye to oodles of yogurt containers in your recycling trash every week and enjoy making you own. Some of you may have yogurt makers.. I don't, and this method works for me. My mom fills quart jars with her yogurt, places them in a warm water bath in a large covered container in her COLD oven. Just try it!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Yummy breakfast for kids

What's your kids favorite breakfast?  Could it be pancakes?  Is that yours too?  Here's a healthy and fun recipe they will love.. and you too!


In your blender put:

1 ripe banana

1 egg

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. flour

1/2 t. vanilla (optional)

1 t. agave syrup, honey or maple syrup


Put 1 ts. ghee (clarified butter) on HOT griddle or skillet for each pancake.

NOTE:  ghee does not smoke! (And neither should you:->), pancakes will be more like crepes!!!

HEALTHY ADDITIONS: this is the fun part as a mom as you want your kids favorite foods packed full of nutrition.  Here goes!

instead of regular milk, substitute your favorite alternative - rice, nut milks, kefir, yogurt, buttermilk...whatever you think they'll eat!  I have a friend who uses cottage cheese too!

instead of plain flour, substitute whole grain, whole wheat (partial!), gluten-free flours, etc.  I sometimes add a little wheat germ, ground flax seed, or a scoop of protein powder

in addition to the banana, add 1/4 c. pureed sweet potatoes/carrot mixture (I freeze it in small batches for these little additions!), or you can always substitute with apple sauce or whatever fruit your child enjoys.  If you add too much, just add another egg and small scoop of flour and it will cook fine.


Hope you all enjoy it!  Kids love this recipe and even I will spread a little peanut butter on it and roll it up for a quick lunch!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Ultimate (natural) Manicure and Pedicure

So, it's still technically "winter" and you are looking down at your red raw knuckles and rough heels.  You consider the $50 required for a full "mani" "pedi" and say, "isn't there another way?"  Or, if you are like me, you remember the rash your feet developed after that warm whirlpool at the salon and say, "isn't there another way?"  You admire the lady next to you with perfect nails but you are unwilling to put toxic chemicals on yours.  Practically speaking, you know your polish will just chip off in a couple of days, so why bother?  "Isn't there another way?!"  Well, my friend, there is and you will be happily pampered without any guilt!

I will be citing three of my favorite authors: Janice Cox, Sophie Uliano and Laurel Vukovic, for our adventure.  Stay tuned!


1. Remove any traces of nail polish.

2. Soak hands in warm water for 10 minutes. To this water you may add 5 drops lavender oil and 1 ts. olive or almond oil.

3. Use a nail brush to clean under your nails. Then, use a cuticle stick to push back your cuticles.

4. Cut your nails, if necessary, to desired length and file your nails in one direction.

5. Apply a hand mask for 15-20 minutes.  Try 1 ts. olive or almond oil, (or 1 ts. yogurt in place of the oil) 1 ts. honey and 2 drops lavender oil

6. Rinse off first with warm water, then with cool water.

7. Apply a rich hand cream, or if before bed try shea or cocoa butter.

Hope you enjoy, or rather your hands, this manicure. Remember to always apply moisturizer before bed and anytime during the day. Pay attention to your cuticles, as the practice of massaging them will keep nails healthy.  You can also apply straight olive or coconut oil which is wonderful!  For buffing your nails, you can apply a paste of cornstarch and water and simply buff with a cloth. I do an occasional nail ans cuticle soak with olive oil, warmed, to which a little lemon juice and few drops of lemon oil is added. Soak nails for 15 minutes and buff afterwards.


1. Soak feet in basin of warm water, 1/4 c. epsom salts, 1 ts. olive or almond oil, and 10 drops of tea tree oil (tea tree is anti-bacterial AND anti-fungal, effective in curing athlete's feet and under the nails) for 15-20 minutes.  Throw your pumice stone in the water also to soften up.

2. Clean under nails, cut them straight across, file them in one direction, push back cuticles with a cuticle stick or your finger nails and scrub off callouses with your pumice stone. If you don't have a pumice stone, you can apply an abrasive foot scrub.  Try 1/4 c. cornmeal, 1 Tb. sea salt (or epsom), 1 ts. olive or almond oil and 3 drops peppermint oil (optional, but nice!).

3. Apply oil or shea/cocoa butter to your nails, massage  it into your cuticles.  Apply the same cream/oil/butters/lotion to your feet and put on cotton socks afterwards.  If you are doing this before bed, sleep in those socks!

Hope you enjoy your pedicure!  Try this weekly and try not to apply polish till summer and sandals!  Your feet deserve a break!  Our bee man gives us a foot cream which is only beeswax and olive oil melted together.  It is wonderful and smells delish!

I hope you are inspired and not discouraged with these ideas.  Let me know how it goes for you!  Cheers!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cleaning naturally...

Do you ever walk down the household cleaning aisle at your local supermarket and find yourself blurry eyed and gasping for air? That's me.  I seem to be highly sensitive to cleaning products.  So, I've searched the world over until I found true love.. The results?  Cleaner than ever, beautifully aromatic and a pleasant experience (scrubbing CAN be fun.)!  Most of the ingredients you may already have or can purchase at most  grocery stores, minus essential oils.  Essential oils are the KEY for so many products you'll make that it's worth purchasing a few.  NOWfoods online and other sources sell it as does Wholefoods and some health food stores.  These are all natural, plant derived and if you research them, you'll find why for centuries people have benefitted from God's own pharmacy. A few you should have are: Lavender, Tea Tree (these can be directly added to your skin without a carrier oil), orange/lemon/grapefruit or lime (citrus cleans!!) eucalyptus (add this to hot water for a steam when having any cold/cough ailments) peppermint (great for mouthwash, toothpaste, foot scrubs, and nice smell) and rosemary (great for hair recipes, lip salve).  There are much much more out there, but these are the staples.  Here are my three tried and true cleaning recipes for you.  Enjoy!

All-purpose cleaner

2 cups hot water

1 ts. borax

1/8 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. lemon juice

6 drops lemon oil

4 drops orange oil

2 drops grapefruit oil (optional)


Dissolve the borax in the hot water.  Add remaining ingredients. Shake squirt bottle (Dollar Tree has great ones) vigorously for one minute for the oils to evenly distribute. Then add 1 ts. liquid castile soap.  Lightly shake.  Enjoy! A special use for this cleaner is saturating some paper towels in a baggy and packing it for picnics!

Surface and Glass Cleaner

1 c. white vinegar

1 c. distilled or de-chlorinated water

1/4 c. rubbing alcohol

10 drops lemon oil

10 drops rosemary oil

5 drops peppermint oil  Put ingredients in squirt bottle. Shake vigorously. Enjoy!Blue Shuttered Windows and Red Flowers, Concarneau, Finistere, Brittany, France, Europe Photographic Print

(you may have seen water/vinegar recipes before, the added rubbing alcohol causes evaporation so everything is streak free!  You'll love it!)

Lastly, the laundry!  You'll save mucho bucks per month.  If you need extra cleaning or sanitizing power, add chlorine-free bleach or white vinegar 5 minutes after the wash cycle starts.

Laundry soap

2 1/2 gallons very hot water (in this dissolve the soap)

1 bar laundry soap (Fels-Naptha, Zote or Kirk's hard water castile soap) grated

3/4 c. Arm & Hammer washing soda

3/4 c. borax (all supermarkets)

2 T. vegetable glycerine (optional: its a softener)  20 drops lavender oil (optional)

Here's how I mix it. I use an old 5 gallon laundry detergent pail. I keep it in the laundry room so as not to lug the heavy thing around. I boil some of the water and use hot water from the tap for the rest. Grate your soap in a well-ventilated room, add that and stir till dissolved. I use a big wooden stick. Then add your remaining ingredients except the essential oil (you can use any scent you prefer, but lavender is AWESOME for sensitive skin!) When well mixed, add the oil last. Stir.  Its good to make this so to set up over night. When using it will be like jelly and you can use 1/2 c. to 1 cup per load.  Enjoy!

The beauty of ALL these products is that they are safe on your skin!  No more rubber gloves!  They smell refreshing, do an amazing cleaning job and you don't have to fret about spills or kids and pets being harmed.  Finally, you will save loads money making your own

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

...Let down your hair

It's February and your hair has been through a lot. Winter has taken its toll and this morning you look in the mirror, yes, you may be fair, but your hair is static straw.  What to do when those products don't work? The ponytail or hat routine?  There's hope! Everything you need for beautiful hair is waiting for you in your kitchen! Yes, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, avocados, honey, molasses, lemons, vinegar, tea, mayonnaise, yogurt and aloe vera gel!  Your hair needs to be PH balanced (lemons,vinegar, tea and aloe vera), cleansed (your shampoo, try one without sulfates) and moisturized (the other ingredients).

Lets get started: let's get all that old product out of your hair.  First, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to your dollop of shampoo, massage and rinse. Then, mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to 3/4 cup water. Pour this slowly over your head and work it into your scalp. Rinse with water. Dry. Blonds, take note: enhance your color with a strong brew of chamomile tea that has the juice of one lemon!

Once a week, do a hot oil or moisturizing pack for your hair.  You can put coconut oil in dry hair and sleep on it, then wash in the morning. Or, first wet your hair, add olive oil and a plastic shower cap, wrap your head in a towel, wait 30 minutes, then shampoo and dry.  A fun recipe is 1/2 avocado (if short hair, 1 whole for long), one egg yolk and 1 Tb. lemon juice. Leave in wet hair, wrapped for 30 minutes, wash and dry.

For promoting hair growth, massage some aloe vera gel with a few drops of rosemary oil into your scalp before going to bed. Also, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fatty fish as well as drinking lots of water improves your hair, nails and scalp.  If you need to supplement, has two full pages dedicated to the topic. They recommend taken Omega 3 tablets and B12.

If you have naturally curly hair and want to enhance it, after washing and towel drying, apply equal amounts of leave-in conditioner and hair gel. I make conditioner from 1 part jojoba oil to 3 parts aloe vera gel with a few drops of rosemary oil. For hair gel, an inexpensive and cheap one is L.A. Looks. Allow your hair to air dry, scrunching it with your hands till all your curls bounce, or if you must, use a hair dryer with a difuser or lowest possible setting.

Hope this helps and your lifeless hair bounces back. Tell me your success stories and ask me for more recipes!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Favorite breakfast #1

I don't know what your favorite meal is, but mine is breakfast. I try to make Saturday morning my special breakfast morning, especially since Derick is home from office. Today was no exception. It was pann kuchen, dutch babies, or puffed oven pancake. It is super easy and oh, so tasty!
Here it is:

2 Tb. butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1/4 ts. salt

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. put pie plate with butter inside oven to melt

3. mix rest of ingredients and pour into hot pie plate

4. cook for 20-25 minutes

5. serve either with your favorite toppings: syrup, honey or try this: prick holes with a fork, squeeze fresh lemon over it and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

6. complete your menu with sauteed apples in cinnamon sugar, and link sausages and coffee! Voila!

7. A variation I like is to sprinkle 2 Tb. brown sugar, 1/2 ts. cinnamon and one finely sliced apple over the melted butter in the pie plate. Cook 30-35 minutes.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Made With Love

I just finished this delightful book, Made With Love.
As some of you know, I love making "everything" homemade; be it food, cards, flowers, soaps and toiletries, jewelry, etc... This book was perfect! The author tells true life stories of people sharing their handcrafts with others, applies it spiritually, then ends each chapter with a cool craft - especially ones you can do with kids. I love the fact that God is the master artist. It always marvels me that that no two sunsets are alike, that our fingerprints are as unique as we are, that He calls the stars by name, and He counts the number of hairs on our head! Amazing Creator! If you enjoy making handmade things and love stories - then this book is for you. There, I sound like a book column writer...:>) I looked up the author online and she's written books of poetry, is a musician and an artist too. I found this book on mom's bookshelf when I was visiting two weeks ago. Happy crafting!