Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's Be Real

Hello there.
How have you been?
It has been a long time since I last blogged, and I might say in my defence, for good reasons.
But they are my own, so you'll just to trust me on this one.
One reason, I will share with you, truthfully.
Sometimes I just feel it doesn't matter.
My words, my feelings, my blogging.
What does it amount to?
Hours of my life spent in front of a computer screen wearing my eyes out....
and for what reason?
We all of us, sooner or later, have to examine the reasons behind our actions.
And sometimes those reasons lead to further questions, which may lead
to some unsettling answers and ultimately, point out something buried deep
that we may not have know lurked in our heart.
I'm gonna peal back the mask for a moment, not because I want you to feel sorry for me,
or even understand me,
but because we need more real people in this world.
I know I do.
So here goes.
I stopped blogging (in part) because I was discouraged.
Because is seemed none of it mattered, it wasn't making a difference.
What made you think that?
I have two followers and only a handful of readers.
Which means...?
 I'm wasting my time, I'm must not be a very good writer if people won't read it.
Why does it matter if people read it?
Because I want them to.
And why is that?
So I feel like I'm a good writer, like I'm appreciated.
In other words, you write for attention?
NO. No, I'm not like that! You know me, I grew up the shy wallflower, I don't clamor for attention!
I want others to accept me. To like me.
You have real, present people in your life that accept you, love you.
That's not enough.
Because- because what if they are wrong? What if they are just being nice?
What makes you think that, why do you doubt others love and acceptance of you?
And this is where the truth hit me, it came flying at me like a rock hurled to the head.
But instead of knocking me blind, it cleared my sight so I could see the real issue.
Because...because I don't like myself. I have never accepted myself, I don't like who I am.
And there you have it.
The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
Yes. Please. Help me God.
We may know the truth of who God says we are, and we may know that others love and accept us.
But we can never accept others until we accept ourselves.
We can't truly love others until we love ourselves.
Flaws and all.
We can't give what we don't have.
That is kind of where I'm at.
I'm a bit of perfectionist, I'm always trying to improve myself, and yes, others.
I'm extremely critical of myself, and secretly of others, though to a far lesser degree.
And it irks me.
God used the book The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke to bring this self realization crashing into my heart.
All the way through the book the main character, Berta, drove me crazy.
I got upset with her, and thought she was being stupid and irrational about many things,
making bad decisions out of pain that ultimately resulted in more pain.
In spite of this, I could really identify with some of her feelings and coping mechanisms...
her hurts and how she molded her life and herself based on those wounds.
It was just what I needed to hear.
Amazing how He knows that, isn't it?
Truly, I love writing.
Writing is a release and a way of expressing what I can't say with my tongue.
So I'll keep blogging because I want to write. 
Even if no one ever reads it.
I'm restraining myself from re-reading over this post, rewriting it, nitpicking here,
deleting there, because frankly, perfectionism is exhausting.
And besides, this is more of a raw post.
It isn't perfect, I didn't labor hours over the wording and grammar.
As I work, with God's help, to accept myself, just as I am, I think I will learn to accept that too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

LATE Monday Melodies: Me Without You

I kinda missed Monday.
To be honest, I was a little out of it,
but, like the Olympic athletes I've been watching on TV,
I got a good 'pep talk', someone told me I could make it through,
I refocused, rallied, and here I am, back.

I heard this song on the radio this weekend,
but (as is always the case when you hear a great song for the first time)
the DJ started another song and I didn't get to hear the title and artist!
Don't you hate it when that happens?!

But, through a little bit of God-incidence,
I stumbled upon it completely by 'accident' today
after listening to a song a friend of mine recommended.

And here it is for your listening enjoyment.
And I hope you will do just that....


PS- This is a pretty awesome lyric video by the way!

Me Without You by TobyMac

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Stitches: Cross Stitch Continued

I think I'm going cross-eyed!

Sorry, bad joke.

But seriously, I've had to make myself take extended breaks
during my many recent cross stitch projects,
for both my eyes and my wrists.

Want to see what I've stitched up?

A printed replica of one of Thomas Kinkade's masterpieces,
this lighthouse scene is mostly a printed color picture meant to be embellished
with french knots, and small detail and outline stitching.
By the way, this is the project that forced me to learn and perfect my french knots.
A milestone then, wouldn't you say?

And actually, this was another project I had started before our move and never finished!
But, I'm proud to say it was the last one hiding in my craft closet!
At least as far as cross stitching is concerned.
Whew, it feels good to have all of those finished!

Next, this little beauty was a cute completely new, untouched project.
I love the "Jesus" letters,
they look just like little board pieces strung together with wire.

I'll share a little secret with you.
I'm kinda weird in the fact that I like to put symbolism in things I do,
and this project provided a great opportunity.

As with all cross stitch projects, you have to start with the center of your design.
The center of this one happened to be the letters in 'Jesus'.
How fitting, after all He wants to be the center of our lives, right?
And, well, I completed the entire project but left one letter
in the name 'Jesus' until the very last
as a way of saying
it all begins and ends with Jesus.

I liked this pattern a lot, with all the curly designs,
varied colors and simple message.
It was a kit, so I have a very clear pattern to go by,
I think in the future I would like to recreate it using different color combinations.
It would make a great gift.
Can't you just see it in bright pinks, purples, and oranges?
And maybe a black and white version?
Hmmm...so many possibilities!



Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Melodies: Granuaile's Dance

Happy Monday all!

Can you believe this is the last Monday of July?
Wow, how time flies!

Today I'm going to share with you not only a be-a-u-tiful song,
but also the must see live performance by Mairead Nesbitt of Celtic Women.

I just love to watch her flit and float across the stage,
so caught up in her performance and love of the music!
She gives movement to the music, and soul to the notes.

This is the way real music is meant to be played!
I hope you enjoy it.
and feel free to dance!


Granuaile's Dance

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Smile Friend and Do A Little Jive

did you know this week was Make a Friend Smile week?!
How fun!
I found out just in time to share a smile with you!

Here is a video I found a long time ago, and just restumbled upon today.
It was so good I wanted to share it with you!

I mean come on, dancing (one of my favorite things!) and cute babies (another favorite thing!)?!
Don't think it gets much better.

So here is lookin' at you kid!
I hope it makes you smile!


Two Year Old Dancin' the Jive

Blimey Cow Film Contest Top 10, We made it!


We are excited around here.

For a few years now, my brothers have been interested in filming,
and have produced several short videos and entered contests as well.

Their most recent endeavour was an entry into

and yesterday we, were so pleased to find out that their video
placed 7th among their Top 10 video, out of a total of 230 entries!!

Whoo hoo!!

If you have never heard of Blimey Cow or Messy Mondays,
you MUST visit their Youtube channel.
They put out weekly videos, that will make you laugh and think at the same time.

Here is the announcement video of the Top Ten,
which includes links to the videos mentioned.

My brothers' video is Final Burn, have a look!

Have a great day y'all!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Melodies: You're Not Alone

Before you read any further,
start the song.

Did you start it?


As I write this,
I'm listening to this song.
(And you are too, right?)

I have goose bumps.

And you know, 
isn't it funny how those little things
seem to open up your heart?
'Cause that is what's going on in mine.
All the crust of my day,
dust gathered as I walk
through a hard world,
is being blown away.
The refreshing Breath of Heaven
falls on my heart
and the words of this song
ring true there.

How about you?

Let some of the dust from your travels blow away.
He will wash your feet,
He will cleans your heart
and breath in fresh life...
we are not alone.


You're Not Alone Meredith Andrews

I searched for love, when the night came,
And it closed in, I was alone,
But you found me, where I was hiding,
And now I'll never ever be the same,
It was the sweetest voice,
That called my name saying

You're not alone, For I am here,
Let me wipe away your every fear,
My love, I've never left your side,
I have seen you through the darkest night,
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life,
All of your life

You cry your self to sleep, cause the hurt is real,
And the pain cuts deep, all hope seems lost,
With heartache your closest friend,
And everyone else long gone,
You've had to face the music on your own,
But there is a sweeter song that calls you home saying

You're not alone, For I am here,
Let me wipe away your every tear,
My love I've never left your side,
I have seen you through the darkest night,
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life,
All your life

Faithful and true, Forever,
Oh my love will carry you

You're not alone, For I, I am here,
Let me wipe away your every fear
Oh yeah, My love I've never left your side,
I have seen you through the darkest night,
Your darkest night,
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life,
All of your life

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinterest for Real: Pizza Grilled Cheese


The greatest thing since Google, agreed?

Of course you do.

there is a downside to Pinterest, as I'm sure you will also agree.
That being: way. too. much. time. spent. pinning!

Not to mention we tend to devour the pins more than the actual food on the pins.

So, to alleviate my guilty conscience (and rumbly tumbly),
I started a Pin board called 'Pinterest For Real'
that I plan to fill with things I have actually made and done!

I consider it my passport of 'stamps' on my journey
from a see-er to a do-er.

Join me?

Here is some inspiration.
This is one of my favorite recent  recipes.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

2 slices of bread
mozzarella cheese, sliced
Italian seasoning (or basil)
Parmesan cheese

pizza sauce for dipping

Warm a medium/large skillet over medium heat.
Butter each piece of bread on one side.
Place a piece of bread butter side down on the skillet,
add one slice of cheese,
small shake of Italian seasoning (or basil)
and a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Top with a desired amount of pepperonis (I used about 9 slices per sandwich).
Add another slice of mozzarella, sprinkle more seasoning and Parmesan if desired
(and I desired it!)
Top with slice bread butter side up.
(At this point I covered the pan, this helped the cheese melt better)
When bottom slice is golden brown then flip over carefully.
Once both sides are brown remove from pan cut and serve with pizza sauce if desired.

1. I made this on Wal-mart's "Everything" (sesame seeds, garlic, poppy seeds, Parmesan etc)
french bread and it was wonderful!

2. I made this same recipe but substituted chicken breast lunch meat and it was great.
I even using the pizza dipping sauce!

3. Make a 'cheese pizza' variation with out the pepperoni (good for the little kids.)

4. We made this with Turkey Perrperoni (some family members are allergic to pork).

 These are super simple and taste great!
I was sceptical at first that the flavor wouldn't be very good
on normal, run of the mill bread.
But it turned out oh so tasty!
We've been making these quite regular for the past few weeks.

So get grillin' and enjoy!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back in the Stitch of Things

Cross stitch.

Sometimes there is nothing quite so relaxing.

*Plunk, plunk* hums the needle as it performs its tiny acrobatic jumps,
in and out of fabric holes.

Yes, cross stitching is a pleasant occupation for one's fingers,
and lately mine have been going like the wind!

I have been cross stitching for years, but for some reason, I had gotten away from it.
I confess, until recently, I haven't picked up the needle since we moved to Texas.

It was long overdue.

If you asked, I couldn't tell you what sparked my fingers to take it up again,
but I'm oh so glad I did.

Mother's Day is how it all started, or I should say, re-started.

One day while searching ebay listings,
I came across an adorable kit I just had to make for my grandmother!
Her birthday had long since passed, but low and behold I was but a month away from Mother's Day!
I ordered it and finished it all within a matter of days.

This particular project was worked on sail cloth, a material I had not worked with before.
It involved a bit more patience since there are no predetermined holes in the material
as with Aida cloth.
But it was printed pattern, so I need only follow the x's and it turn out fine.

I would show you a picture of it framed and matted, but I'm having technical
difficulties getting that photo to show up without rotating.
(I'm still new to this blogging thing!)

After 'sailing' through that project with flying colors,
I was inspired and anxious to move to another project.
There was still time enough before Mother's Day (barely!)
for me to complete a piece to give to my own mother.

It took diligent, nearly around the clock work,
but in one weeks time (and just in the nick of time)
I had it finished!

Here is how it turned out, frame and all.

This was a great counted pattern worked on large 11 count Aida cloth.
I love how real the eye turned out on this Holstein and the warmth in its gaze.

With those two finished works behind me,
I was reminded of a long unfinished cross stitch piece, lurking, buried, in my craft toat.

Now, this particular undertaking is one of my very first stitching endeavours.
It was a a thrift store cast off, barely started, rescued and given to me by
my other grandmother many years ago.

Far too big an enterprise for a young, budding stitcher,
it was set aside...then picked up, then set aside several times over!

This really is the piece de resistance of my cross stitch portfolio!
More than 10 years in the making, it is as close to finished as it can be at this time.
See, I ran out of thread for one hat, and since this was a kit,
I will need to take the piece to the store in order
to get an accurate color match.

ASIDE FROM THAT, it is finished!
And here it is!

This measures 21 inches across and 11 inches from top to bottom!
This was a large piece!
For a little bit of perspective, the peach hat in the top right hand corner
is about the size of the palm of my hand, slightly larger actually.

Here is one of my favorite hats! I loved the colors
and the adorable hat pins.

The rose on this sun hat turned out just lovely!

Another gorgeous specimen of the millinery.

I will share a couple more completed projects
and my continuing works in progress.

Until then...



*All pictures taken by Anthony P. and property of this blog

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Melodies: Reach

Happy Monday, friend.

Right now, as I'm writing this post and selecting the song I want to share with you,
it is exactly three days before this post will be published, before you read it.
I'm scheduling it in advance, in preparation.

And it made me think.

I'm preparing an insignificant post for you to read.

God is preparing the week before you.

I've given you a song that spoke to my heart and brought me joy.

God sings a song over you that you are His joy.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

Let that lighten your load and brighten your heart.

As you listen to this song and read the words,
I challenge you to listen deeper....

Listen for Someone singing harmony, echoing the truth of His own Words to your spirit.


Reach by Peter Furler

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Melodies: Hold Me Together

Annnnnddd it's Monday!

Happy Monday to you.

Good things await you this week.

God has a plan.

He's got the strength you'll need
to face all the challenges
that will come your way.

Sometimes when things get tough,
we all need to remember to give a little shout out,
and ask for that extra grace,
that Hand to hold.

You can trust His heart for you,
and you can be sure
He'll be there to hold you together
when you need it.

Let Him reach down into your world
and hold your heart today as you have a listen
to what Royal Tailor has to say about it.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dependent Independence Day

Happy Independence Day from America everyone!

I missed my Monday Melodies post this week (sorry!)
so here is a little song to make up for it.

This is the goal of 'independence',
so that one may be free to love God
and follow His ways.
To be wholly dependent upon Him
for all we do and who we are.


*Note- I have no idea why they chose this picture,
this song is 'Declaration of Dependence' by Steven Curtis Chapman
NOT the David Crowder Band.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dresser Makeover Project!

A new project!

So I've been wanting to change out the desk/dresser I have in my room for quite a while now.
But the right piece (and price) had never happened along.
Until recently.

You know all that thrifting I've been doing lately?
Well, when last I was out I spotted an old sewing desk that shouted out possibility,
 hidden beneath the grime and bumps.

Don't you love the doors?
They are what drew me to it in the first place.

It is a bit rough and needs a little TLC and a makeover,
but I think it will be great when I'm finished with it!

So. A blank canvas of a desk.
You know what this means?!

Pinterest, here I come!!
(The best place to get inspiration and ideas for anything creative!)

Here are some of the ideas and looks I like best.

This is my favorite look! I love the crisp elegance of the black paint
mixed with the natural look of wood. Then the beautiful colored graphic
adds just the right pop and flair.
Love it!

Now look at this beauty!
This is more a piece of art than a piece of furniture!
Again, the look of natural wood and paint
just strikes me as a gorgeous combination.
I love the details on the top and drawer fronts.

Another prime example of the lovely union between wood and paint
is this gorgeous hand painted piece from a shop on Etsy.

I don't quite have the painting talent to pull of anything like the
dresser above, but this dresser is a beautiful example
of what you can do with stencils!

I think I might do something like this around my knobs as well....??

Speaking of knobs, aren't these floral ones just darling?!

And there you have it!

My Pinterest inspiration!

Now, I just need the supplies and the time
and I'll turn my little mess of a dresser into a gorgeous new addition
to my bedroom furnishings!

I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out
when I get it done!
(But don't hold your breath quite yet,
it will be a while yet til my schedule allows me time!)

Until later then.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thrifty Treasures: Happy Feet!

I LOVE thrift stores!
Most of my cutest clothes have come from a resale shop of some sort.
A couple weekends ago I went 'shopping' and came across some great finds!

Look what I found at Goodwill for only $3!

A cute, practically brand new pair of vintage look leather oxfords!

The cute, slightly ruffled-cut edge details gives them a little femanine
flair to offset their comfortable, low healed and practical style.

I was looking for a pair of more sensible dancing shoes
for all of the swing dancing I've been doing lately,
and think these are just the thing!

See, they still had the stickers on the bottom of the souls!
I have never heard of this brand of shoes, have any of you?

And then my other happy feet shoe find was a steel!

One of our local thrift stores had a bag sale (don't you love those?!)
so mom and I went to see what we could find.

We both found some nice things, all together we got 17 items
(stuffed into one brown paper bag) for $3!
Among the items I got was this pair of shoes, again, they looked hardly worn in!

These are such a versatile color I can wear them almost anything!
Although...I did see a blogger recently who took a pair of shoes
like this and dyed them!
Here is the link to her blog and the adorable shoes.

Hmmm....I've been wanting a pair of red shoes....???

BUT, I have to confess, I have a slight issue with these adorable shoes.
Even though they are the right fit (even slightly on the tight side)
my feet keep popping out the backs!
I already tried putting the little gel-thingies on the heels and
even in the front where the pad of my foot rests, but to no avail.

Any suggestions?

Do you think I should dye these, or leave them?

I'd love to hear from you!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Reading List!


Even though I've been out of school for years, and my day to day is the same summer or fall, there is still something about the allure and adventure of summer.

It breathes a slower pace, a brighter day, a virbrant life. Summer.

In that spirit I have been inspired to compile a Summer Reading List (which, according to the number of books I have on it, might more aptly be called my 2012 reading list). This list consists of books aimed at getting me closer to who I want to be, what I want to know and maybe a couple far away places I can "travel" to this summer.

My goals to accomplish through my reading list were these:

1) I wanted to find a role model, a 'hero' so to speak. So many people have historical or famous people they look up to, modeling their lives and actions after those of their idol. I realized that I don't have a person like that! I know, right?! But really, I don't have a certain person that has really inspired me. So- I'm going to find one this summer.

2) Gain knowledge of other countries, cultures, religions etc.  I already shared with y'all my love of India, but sadly, I don't know much about the culture, people or country. Since I can't really afford to make a trip there this summer, I can maybe travel there through some Indian literature and geography books. A different kind of Indian Summer. :)

3) Recover my heart: stronger sense of strength and purpose in the Lord  I want to always grow forward and be moving in the direction God has for me and I recently realized I had gotten a bit burnt out and lost a lot of my 'heart'. I want to recover it and grow closer to His.

In moving closer to these goals I have been in search of good books!

Last week I went thrift shopping (I hope to soon be sharing some of my fun finds!) and among my purchases was an exileratingly exciting stack of books! Some of them are for future reading and aren't priority for this summer, but several of them are.

Here is my list (so far).

Summer Reading List 2012

* In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado (just barely started this)

* The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton (AHH!! I grew up obsessed with ice skating and this man was the greatest! This book is about his faith, battle through cancer and living in the spot light and staying happy and positive through it all. I am really looking forward to reading this one!)

*The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis ( one of my favorite authors)

* Revolution In World Missions by K.P. Yohannan (a look into missions and life in India)

* Katha: Short Stories By Indian Women (a look into the life of Indian women, their culture, their literature style and some of their legends.)

*Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs (about the needs of men and women in a healthy marriage relationship. It is always good to learn as much as one can in preparation.)

as well as....

* Appointment in Jerusalem by Lydie and Derek Prince
*Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick
*Praying Hyde by Basil Miller (a story of a Indian MIssionary)
* Dare to Desire and/or Journey to Desire by John Eldredge
*Crazy Love by Francis Chan
*The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman
*How to Argue Like Jesus by Joe Carter and John Coleman

Some of these titles I have yet to purchase (we have a tiny library!).

So, there is my list! Goodness! I had better get cracking!

Do you have any suggestions?

What are some books that have really impacted your life?

I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Melodies: Marie's Wedding

Get yer swingin' dress on and grab yer las er laddy
'cause this is a great jig to do a tourn aboot the room to. :)
I've danced to this song a couple times now
and it is great fun. You can't help wantin' to stomp yer boots.

Go ahead. Hit repeat.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Melodies: What Are Words


What to say.

This song nearly makes me cry ever time.

It isn't just the words....it is how they are sung...

not just from the heart, cause that is emotions,

but rather, from the soul.

This artist was an American Idol contestant, so some of you may
have heard of his story from that.

 (Click Here  for a YouTube video, it isn't the best quality,
it is his audition video, but it gives his story.)

It is a tender, traggic story, and it is from
the deapth of that experience that he is able to sing this song, this way.

This is the deep, devoted love of a man for a woman.

It brings to mind another love,
a deeper, deathly devoted love...
the love of our Saviour Jesus.

Listen a second time and imagine He is singing this song over you.
Take His words to heart.
He took them to the cross.


What Are Words by Chris Medina

Anywhere you are, I am near
Anywhere you go, I'll be there
Anytime you whisper my name
You'll see

How every single promise I'll keep
'Cause what kind of guy would I be
If I was to leave
When you need me most?

What are words
If you really don't mean them when you say them?
What are words
If they're only for good times, then they don't?

When it's love
Yeah, you say them out loud
Those words, they never go away
They live on, even when we're gone

And I know an angel was sent
Just for me and I know I'm meant
To be where I am
And I'm gonna be

Standing right beside her tonight
And I'm gonna be by your side
I would never leave
When she needs me most

What are words
If you really don't mean them when you say them?
What are words
If they're only for good times, then they don't?

When it's love
Yeah, you say them out loud
Those words, they never go away
They live on, even when we're gone

Anywhere you are, I am near
Anywhere you go, I'll be there
And I'm gonna be here
Forever more

Every single promise I keep
'Cause what kind of guy would I be
If I was to leave
When you need me most?

I'm forever keeping my angel close

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Melodies: Suitcases

School is over.

Summer is here!

Some folks are probably headed out road tripping and vacationing.

People are packing suitcases.

You may not be carrying a literal suitcase, but in this life
we all pick up burdens and carry things we aren't supposed to bear alone.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to go where
those suitcases are headed.

Like the song says, "there's a better way".

Drop those suitcases of burden, worry and fear and
RUN into the arms of your Father God.


Suitcases by Dara Maclean

How can you move when they're weighing you down
What can you do when you're tied to the ground, yeah
You carry your burdens, heavy like gravity
Just let them go now, there's freedom in release

You can't run when you're holding suitcases
It's a new day throw away your mistakes
And open up your heart, lay down your guard,
You don't have to be afraid

Just breathe, your load can be lifted
There's a better way when you know you're forgiven
Open up your heart, lay down your guard
You don't have to be afraid

Can you imagine what it's like to be free, ooh
Well, send those bags packing, they're not what you need, ooh
Abandon your troubles by the side of the street
Just let them go now, believe me

You can't run when you're holding suitcases
It's a new day throw away your mistakes
And open up your heart, lay down your guard,
You don't have to be afraid

Just breathe, your load can be lifted
There's a better way when you know you're forgiven
Open up your heart, lay down your guard
You don't have to be afraid

There's nothing holding you back now, just run

You can't run when you're holding suitcases
It's a new day throw away your mistakes
And open up your heart, lay down your guard,
You don't have to be afraid

Just breathe, your load can be lifted
There's a better way when you know you're forgiven
Open up your heart, lay down your guard
You don't have to be,
You don't have to be afraid

You don't have to be afraid

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Liter of Light

Oh my goodness!

I just came across this video today while doing some Pinterest surfing
(not sure how I stumbled upon this one exactly...it was one of those bunny trails.)

I have not heard of seen of this being done before, but what a greatly brilliant discovery!
A cheap way to generate light from recycled bottles and liquids we all have
around the house!
Granted this wouldn't be quite so easy to incorporate here in the US
considering our house structures and the huge roofs we have,
this is still a very useful thing to know in the event of economic changes
an outreach a church group could do while on a missions trip!


My mind was illuminated with this video,


Friday, June 8, 2012

Waka Waka Dance

This song couldn't wait until next Monday, I wanted to share it with you now!
My good friend (the one I did the Henna with) shared this song with me
last week and I have been listening to it lots since.
It has a great beat and it is fun to watch
some of the African style dancing.

I took it a 'step' further than that and found some dance videos
so I can could do my own dancing!
I found lots of dance routines and tutorials to this song,
but I am sharing the ones I thought had the best moves and video quality.

Zumba dance moves!

This one was a little bit harder to follow the moves,
but I love the beginning steps and motion and
the waka waka part is more like the official
music video.

This one has some interesting moves too.

I think this may be my new exercise routine!
So get warmed up and

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dogs and Gardening: The Larger Four Legged Pests

I nearly cry....

nearly scream.

A strange sensation comes over me, a sinking feeling with an odd mixture of righteous anger.

After hours of searching for the perfect plants, enduring numerous frustrating online checkout sessions, digging, laying, digging, layering, and finally placing not just seeds and flowers, but dreams and visions into fertile dirt, it comes to THIS!!

A hole.

A big whopping, dog sized hole right in the middle of my hard work. Not to mention disturbing the area where my disappointingly minuscule and precious few Wishbone and Perennial Primrose seeds were planted.


I had doubts they would grow as soon as I pulled out the tiny, Barbie doll sized envelope containing 25 (yes, they specified 25! How they counted I have no idea) seeds the size of a grain of salt...smaller, actually. And NOW, I might as well give up watching for them.


All is not lost!

After a good 4-Wheel ride, a walk in my cowboy boots (an empowering feeling I must say, why don't I wear them more often?!) the ingenuitive fighter arose in me once again!

Knowing I wasn't the only one to have struggled with this, I turned to the ultimate source of information....the Internet.

My findings were very interesting and gave me hope that I could solve this problem without giving up on my flowers OR banishing the dogs.

10 Tips for Keeping Dogs Out of Flower Beds

One of our three dogs, Joyce, enjoying some shaded seeting.
1. Mothballs-  Dogs apparently hate the smell of mothballs, but then again, doesn't everyone!

2. Their own poo-  I found lots of sources that said this worked great for them. The reason being is dogs will not do their duty in the same place they sleep and lie down, so if they are laying in your flower beds, this is a good way to keep them out. I'm not entirely fond of the idea of doggy poo in my flower bed tho 0_o

3. Orange Peelings-  another scent repellent dogs don't like, however this one is much easier on our own noses, and probably pretty good for our growing flowers. Just throw your orange peelings around the flower bed and reportedly dogs should stay clear.

4. MOUSE TRAPS!- I'll admit, this one sure caught my fancy at the time, granted I was still a little perturbed. People say they have used this trick for teaching dogs to stay off their furniture as well, although in those cases they hide the mouse trap under a couch pillow so when it goes off it won't hurt the dog. I'm not sure how one would accomplish that in an outdoor garden setting ( I have yet to see someone use pillows in their flower bed decor.) One person suggested tying string to the straps and somehow rigging it so the dogs would trip the string before actually sitting/stepping on the trap, merely providing the scare and startle of the trap without the pain.

5. Chili powder, Cayenne or Black Pepper- Dogs always sniff out an are before laying down. Sprinkle a bit of one of these three hot choices in your flower bed and the dog will go away pretty quickly. (Mom thought this was mean, I though, hey, dogs are smart, once may be all it takes, and if it works, then good.)

6. Rocks- This is actually the method that my brother (the official garden guru around here) uses in his flower beds. He fills them with old farming equipment and rocks. These uncomfortable

7. Sticks-  To make your flower beds less inviting and comfortable to your pooch, grab some twigs or skewers (as used for making kabobs) and poke them into the flower bed, spaced close enough together so there isn't a comfy dirt patch exposed. You don't need sharp sticks, just a protruding object so the 'bed' isn't comfy (think the Princess and the Pea).

8. Vinegar-  Again, dogs don't like the strong smell of this all around wonderfully useful liquid. Simply spray undiluted vinegar around the perimeter of the flower bed. I went ahead and sprayed it lightly on the soil inside on the 'problem area', the special spot they like to return to. I don't know if the vinegar would harm the plants or not, so I didn't spray it all over inside.

9. Half full water bottles-  This one sounds pretty strange, but I came across person after person that swears this works! No idea why, but over and over it warded off unwanted puppy dog in their beds and on their lawns. All they did was take old water bottle (pop bottles) filled them half full with water, then laid them on their sides scattered around the flower bed or around the perimeter of their yard to keep out strays who liked to leave little gifts.

and finally....

10. Give them their OWN place- The reason our canine friends are sleeping in our flower beds is because they are looking for a cool, shaded place to nap. Create that same environment somewhere they CAN lie down: wet down the grass under the shade of a tree, create a separate plant bed for them that you don't mind getting a little tousled, or make up a sand box in a shaded place and keep it moist.

So there you have it!

I have already implemented orange peels and a vinegar spray around my afore mentioned flower bed. It has been a whole day and so far the perpetrator hasn't returned! It was only 80 degrees F today (a cool spell!) and cloudy so it doesn't mean much just yet. The real test will be a hot, sunny day when the temperatures reach a squelching 100+ F!

I'll let you know how goes the battle in the near future! In the mean time, good luck and happy gardening!


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