I have been given three daughters.  They are my three  exquisite gems that I was allowed to care for and polish.  This weekend my youngest daughter turns 21.  I will be spending time in her home in the guest bedroom she is busy preparing for me.  She is excited that I am coming to visit.  And I am so glad for that!   Not all mothers and daughters get happy at the prospect of seeing each other.    As  I raised my daughters, I read of women complaining about their mothers; all the ways the mothers had crippled them, or hurt them, or messed them up.   They were trying to overcome their mother’s damage so they could raise their daughters differently.  I never felt any of that, as my mother was laid to rest when I was only twelve.  So, my parenting may have suffered a bit for lack of having parents, but my daughters seem oblivious to this.  They love me.  And that fact is wonderful and amazing.  They think of me when they try a new recipe, or pick out a motif for the guest bedroom.  They are adventurous, and outgoing.  They share with me the moments of humility when they discover that I was right about something.  They miss me when they do their hair,  as I miss them, for we used to all share the bathroom and get ready together if we had somewhere to go.  

 I used to wish we were Amish.  I wanted my girls to meet a local boy, and move into a house down the street from me, and have lots of babies.  I hoped we would walk to each other’s houses and bake together, or can vegetables that we grew together.   Maybe that still can  happen, (well, not the Amish part), but for now we are all spread around, and I am just brimming over with gratitude that at least two of them will be with me for the weekend!  We’ll be missing you Natalee!!  Enjoy the sun and surf for the rest of us!

Homemade Laundry Soap

                 With very simple ingredients:  

                1 bar Fels Naptha soap, shredded

                 1 cup 20 mule team Borax

                 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

You can whip up your own laundry soap for a fraction of the cost of  others.  And once again, the sweet satisfaction  of making it yourself shines through.  I’m overdue in making lye soaps, but when I do another batch , I will set some aside especially for shredding into laundry soap.  Or better yet, all the  scrap soaps normally saved  for rebatching can be shredded up for the laundry! 

With this mixture, you only need a tablespoon per load!  I tend to panic and use two.  Check out  DIY Natural for more information including instructions for liquid soap if you prefer. 


I just ran out of the last of my Tide.  I didn’t make the leap to home made laundry soap without having some Tide on hand.  But I ran out of my first batch of homey soap, and then ran out of Tide.  I can officially give my report on the quality and I must say, I am impressed!  I haven’t noticed a bit of difference using the home made and using my old standby, Tide with Bleach.  So now I  finished a big double batch of the fun new Fels Naptha stuff.  I had intended to shred my own home made soaps, but they are still curing down south!  I did a little calculating, and this new soap costs about $15 for 336 loads.  For me,  it’s not so much about saving a buck.  It’s that I like having jars of homemade stuff all around me.  I do wish I knew this little trick back when I was doing laundry for SIX!  So there you have it; an update on the dirty laundry.  I best get to it! 

the greatest of these

 The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing……Blaise Pascal

Heed grace and loveliness.  And then celebrate it.  I have been thinking about the power this practice has to transform your life and thoughts and relationships.  There are a couple of scriptures that come to mind that echo the same sentiment.  Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts (1Cor 14:1), and think on whatever is lovely and praiseworthy (paraphrased from Philippians 4:8).

Valentines Day is becoming my favorite holiday, right behind Easter.  For me, nothing can top celebrating the Resurrection, but celebrating love comes pretty close!  With candy, and flowers, and cards and cupid, it just seems fitting that gestures be made; tokens, words, cards, meals, gifts, and kindnesses, to demonstrate the love we feel for those given to us.  Remembering and celebrating the special times shared, and the warmth and love you’ve received.  Even without a lover, there are so many loves that no one has to feel left out.  It doesn’t pertain only to pairings, but to family, to children, to friends, to loved ones everywhere!  Take a moment to recall all the good fortune you have received from those who have loved you, and those who love you now!  Let it fill your heart to overflowing!  And remember them today with a gesture of appreciation!  Maybe balloon hearts and roses are not your style.  Then give words of thanks.  But don’t let the day pass without extending love and thanks to those who are special to you!  Happy Valentines Day to all who have loved me!  I thank you, I appreciate you, and I love you too!