The most rewarding money and stress reliever is gardening, empowering your food security. I gave my son-in-law, who lives in an apartment, a tomato plant for Father’s Day. He was so thrilled when he got his first tomato! Even if you only grew one plant on your porch you’ve empowered yourself. Even if you only grew one zucchini you’ll end up with a lot of food. One 8” zucchini, shredded, will fill a one-quart freezer container. A quart of shredded zucchini mixed with cooked rice or quinoa makes lovely fritters for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or zucchini chocolate cake.
Of course if you have a larger garden you may need to lock your car door at church to avoid anyone dropping a baseball-bat-sized zucchini into your car! They can be sliced lengthwise for lasagna or crosswise for sautéing, never waste food. Almost one half of all food in America is tossed as garbage! No wonder starving nations think we’re wasteful. Give food to your neighbors, start a compost heap, get chickens to eat your vegetable “waste.” Continue reading
Years ago, I had two major hobbies: dogs and antiques. I read, showed, and loved my dogs; and collected the antiques, primarily glass and porcelain. All my friends were involved in one or the other. I wrote about the dogs and bought and sold the antiques. Busy life – happy wife! I had a friend who enjoyed the dogs and she was a great help to me. I was training two puppies – brother and sister – by taking them out to places where they could meet and adjust to people.
My friend would have one and I would have the other on leashes. People would “ooh” and “ahh” and pet; and the puppies would look cute and wiggle all over! Our favorite place to go was a pet supply store. The particular day I am writing about was also a day when I was to begin packing fifty pieces of rare porcelain to send back east to the buyer. So, the day began with the puppies. We stood in the store by a pyramid of water filled glass bowls. Each one contained a fighting fish. All of a sudden, one of the fish flipped up and out of its bowl and it landed in front of my male puppy Ming who promptly grabbed it.
I managed to pull the fish out of his mouth and dropped it back in the bowl where it floated ominously on its side. The nightmare had begun. I walked off with Ming and my friend went the other way with his sister. A few minutes later she found me and told me I had to look at the baby ferrets. So off I went. The baby ferrets were so Continue reading
And, so life goes on – well, sort of! I find that my biggest hurdle is loneliness. In the beginning I was trying to adjust to being a widow. Now it seems as if I must adjust to getting out of bed each morning! I find that working out on my treadmill is my favorite thing, besides Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and Safeway’s deviled egg potato salad. To this I have added my daughter’s homemade chicken salad and son Chris’ sense of humor! Life revolves around avoiding the news (it is never good), observing the huge bruise on my left hand, and missing the old routines that brought love and laughter into my days.
The bruise happened in the process of pulling an aggressive porcelain berry bush out of an equally aggressive Japanese honeysuckle. It doesn’t help that I am on blood thinner! The bruise is now over a week old and has turned a fetching navy blue. It is actually much less painful than it looks. I call my friends to check in and we fondly speak of how delicious the chocolate cake is at our favorite place to lunch in Portland. We also discuss how much we hate the words “Covid” and “pandemic”! For some reason, I have gotten it in my head that “pan” means “with” – hence “with demic” a condition I wish on no one! I am not a linguist! Continue reading
Here’s hoping all of you planted something last May as by now those gardens and plantings should be giving you a fair amount of fresh fruits and vegetables; with plenty to put away some for the winter. It’s a different world now and hopefully you’ve found a way to fill your time while still staying in touch with family and friends.
Dealing with stress is a big part of daily life. Computers and smartphones make huge amounts of information available to you…but do you need all that news? The more local the news the more important it will be to you. It’s pretty hard to do much about national news. If national news makes you anxious, don’t seek it out. Stick with what’s local.
Time spent learning to knit, garden, cook, or change your oil will help you become more self-sufficient and gain skills that make you feel more in control. It’s okay to turn off your phone for a period of time if the interruptions are causing you stress. Use your phone to get in touch with, or keep in touch with, family and friends. Continue reading
Prepare to be saddened, and alarmed.
Every day, right here in the Portland Metro area, trafficked children are being horrendously abused. Together with the committed people in his organization, Northwest Giving Hope Ministries Executive Director Corey Stark is bound and determined to do something about it.
“The reality is, anyone can buy a child within an hour if they have the right connections,” says Stark. “It’s just a matter of pulling out a cell phone.”
The Multnomah County Sex Trafficking Collaborative Website provides a good overview of the problem that defines NWGH’s mission: “Sex Trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring, transporting, obtaining, or providing a person for the purpose of a sexual act by use of force, fraud, or coercion in exchange for something of value. In cases where the individual is under the age of 18, the use of force, fraud or coercion is not necessary to prove exploitation.”
Stark: “Children are being trafficked and raped every day, right here in our communities. Interstate trafficking rings involve millions of dollars and hundreds of players. Children are just a percentage of those enslaved and trafficked.”
Statistics from the Multnomah County site bear out Stark’s troubling scenario: Continue reading
We are not out of the woods yet. New Zealand sought to eliminate COVID-19 rather than merely “contain” the virus and had very few deaths, per capita, as a result. The more “industrial” countries (US, UK, Italy, France) did less testing and had increased per capita deaths. Americas appreciate their freedoms but where do we draw the line.
Many people believe the way to control the spread of disease lies more in what kind of field the germ (be it bacteria or virus) lands on. That field is your God-given body. It means that keeping yourself as healthy as possible will go a long way towards avoiding disease. Stay as healthy as possible! Let’s not focus so much on the disease as the person.
Vital force is that magic that makes us “alive.” This is a good time to maximize essentials of good health-good appetite, digestion, elimination, and sleep. Remove conditions such as pain and stressors as much as feasible. Start with the basics-water (6-8 glasses a day), good food (fresh, organic, not packages), adequate sleep (7 -10 hours), sunshine, (15 minutes every day the sun shines). If these seem too simple to you, ask yourself how many of us are doing them. It’s harder than you think- put water and vegetables on your daily list and track your progress.
Simple things like sleep can mean it’s easier for your body to stave off infections. Fifteen minutes a day of sunshine to your upper chest (where the thymus gland lives) goes a long way towards giving you a faster response to any infections. Real sunshine works better than pills-get out to that garden! Continue reading
On July 10, 1944, equipped with only a mirror and hand-made semaphore, U.S. Navy Radioman First Class George Ray Tweed signaled: “I have information” to the U.S. fleet as they approached Guam for the Second Battle of Guam.
From his vantage point, Tweed conveyed information about Japanese defenses that he had gathered during his seclusion overlooking the west coast of the island. He was quickly rescued by a whaleboat from the USS McCall.
At the age of 20, Tweed enlisted in the United States Navy in 1922 and attended the basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes. He also attended the Radioman School and served in the various Navy radio units until 1940, when he was transferred to the Naval Base Guam.
Radioman First Class, Tweed was serving in the Navy Communication Office when the Japanese invaded the island on December 8, 1941, in the First Battle of Guam. Tweed had arrived on Guam in August 1939.
He and five other navy men from the USS Penguin slipped into the Guam jungle rather than become prisoners of war.
The group believed that American forces would rescue Guam from the Japanese within a matter of six weeks at the most, and figured they could hold out in hiding for that long. Little did they know that it would be more than two and a half years before American forces returned. Continue reading
Mothers have a tremendous influence in the lives of their children. What kind of adults their children become is not entirely dependent upon their mom, but she plays a huge role in how they turn out. Motherhood is no picnic. It is probably the greatest challenge women face, being a 24/7 commitment. Even when the kids are grown and out of the nest, a mother continues to think about them.
I applaud single mothers who work hard all day, only to come home to the never-ending tasks of meal preparation, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and helping with homework. I don’t think anyone other than a single mom can relate to how exhausting it is.
In addition to single moms, my heart goes out to the women who want to be mothers, but either they aren’t married or they can’t get pregnant. They want to celebrate with their friends who are having children, but, at the same time, it is a disappointing reminder that they won’t be holding their own baby in the near future. For them, Mother’s Day can be a hard day. In fact, some will avoid church that particular Sunday to avoid the reminder that they aren’t mothers. Continue reading
One of King David’s songs to God that has been handed down to us in our Bibles is Psalm 139. Eugene Peterson has paraphrased some of it this way, “God, I’m an open book to You; even from a distance, You know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of Your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and You’re there, then up ahead and You’re there, too— Your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!”
David had difficulty finding words that were sufficient to express his amazement that God cared so much about him. Later, in the same song, David wrote about God forming him in his mother’s womb. Not only did God know him intimately, but God supervised all aspects of his development before birth. Continue reading
With coronavirus shutting government schools, millions of parents have a historic opportunity to try homeschooling and non-government alternatives, declared leaders with the new movement “Public School Exit.”
According to the non-profit, founded in 2019 by Christian leaders passionate about K-12 education, government schools are seriously harming children through sexualization, indoctrination, and dumbing down.
But with schools closed across America due to COVID19, interest in home education and online options are surging.
PSE co-founder Dran Reese, president of The Salt & Light Council, called on ministry leaders to be involved. “Pastors and church leaders have a huge role to play in equipping congregations with a biblical understanding of citizenship, and that includes education of children,” she said. “This pandemic is a perfect time for pastors on the sidelines to get involved.” Continue reading