Jamaica is one of our favorite places to visit. I love the land, the sea, and most of all the people. The DeCameron, a lovely hotel in Montego Bay, is one of our favorite places to stay. They are expanding in size, and we enjoyed watching the work going on around us. We were very impressed by this man’s ingenuity in shielding himself from the hot sun with a large piece of cardboard. The cardboard is light in weight, but its broadness cast a large shadow, protecting him from the heat. I would never have thought of such a good idea, but I will definitely file it away in my thoughts as a perfect solution for blazing sunshine.
Every Spring/Summer the garden beds are full of the previous year’s fallen tomatoes. These forgotten tomatoes self-seed and send up new sprouts by the dozens. Why then are tomato seeds so notoriously hard to save?
Tomato seeds are surrounded by a gelatinous sac that allows them to adhere to the garden soil for sprouting. This same gelatin works against growing the same seeds in pots. The gelatinous moisture is a perfect environment for disease to thrive in.
This year I decided to mimic nature and save the seeds without spending time, or dealing with the mess of fermentation.
The steps I followed are explained in this short video.
For more information on different ways to save tomato seeds visit this link:
Saving Tomato Seeds
Every household needs to have a book on how to live off the land, either by choice, or in an emergency situation. Country Wisdom & Know-How is just such a guidebook. There are many other fine publications that also give terrific tips, numerous how-to blogs, and other resources easily available through a search on any search engine.
Country Wisdom & Know-How is an oversized, no-frills guide on ANIMALS of all kinds through HEALTH AND WELL-BEING and the HOME. In between these headings are: Cooking, Crafts and Gardening, with dozens of sub-topics in each one.
On page ten, under the topic of “Seasonal Feeding of Birds,” a tip is given on how to build up calcium in songbirds for better reproduction capability in the Spring. Starting right about now add some crushed eggshells to your birdseed to provide additional calcium. This little boost for your “pheathered” friends is very easy to do. Save your broken eggshells, wash in hot water, let dry, grind up in a food processor or shatter in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Mix these small pieces of eggshell into your birdseed and feed regularly through the Springtime months.
I love the songbirds that fill my yard with music throughout the year. Not only do they sing me a symphony, they also keep the bug situation in check. Going to a bit of trouble to provide them a little extra calcium is my pleasure. Happy Bird-watching!
I have always loved the image in the photograph above. The painting, attributed to artist Lindberg Heilige Schutzengel, shows a Guardian Angel protecting two children crossing a dangerous bridge. A similar painting hung in my grandparent’s home. As a child, the painting fascinated me. I can remember standing beneath it, and feeling protected by its silent promise.
Lately, so much of what seemed secure is crumbling. Even the earth below our feet is becoming much like the dangerous bridge, ready to fall apart beneath us. I have been watching recent events and disasters and there certainly does seem to be many Biblical prophecies being fulfilled by collapsing world governments, disappearing rights and freedoms, cataclysms on earth and in the heavens above. Many technologies are in place that could bring to fulfillment Bible prophecies that once seemed hard to understand.
I have begun to read Revelation yet again, this time in a Bible that also has some insight and commentary by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
The text of Revelation can be found here: Text of Revelation
You can read a bit about Spurgeon here:
I recommend that you read Revelation, even better, read some of the verses aloud. Ask God for discernment, and to imprint its words and message upon your heart and soul.
“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3
Listen to Spurgeon’s words concerning reading and studying Revelation:
“To induce us to give the most serious attention to the subject, a blessing is pronounced on those who ‘read, and hear, and keep,’ the words of this prophecy, especially as the time of its fulfillment was at hand. There does not appear to be any other part of Scripture that is prefaced with such an inducement to read, and understand, and practically regard it.”
One word of caution, there are hundreds upon hundreds of theories on the Internet about the meanings of these verses. Be forewarned, there are a few words of wisdom, but there is much argument and complete foolishness too. Again, it’s best to read the words yourself and as you read and study, pray for discernment in not just this, but in everything concerning these precarious times we are living in. God Bless Us All.
A good site with many verses concerning prophecy:
48 Bible Prophecy Verses
When my husband and I camp in the late autumn or winter it is usually near or at freezing at some point through the night. Dressing right for sleeping is important if we want to get a good night’s rest.
Our area recently went through Hurricane Sandy. Many areas were without electricity for weeks, the nighttime temperatures were very cold. I remember hearing a woman on a newscast state she could not get warm enough to sleep at night.
Whether you are camping or in an emergency situation, it is good to know the proper steps to take to sleep warm. Be prepared.
Through Scoutmaster.com I found some good tips:
1. Go to Bed Warm
2. Fuel Up
3. Drink Water
4. Wear the Proper Clothing
5. Use Hot Water Bottles
6. Wear a Hat
7. Keep your nose and mouth outside blankets or sleeping bag
8. Keep off the ground
9. Wear socks
10. Shake up your sleeping bag to redistribute insulation.
To read more fully developed directions on each of the ten points above go to: How to Sleep Warm
I printed out the tips to put into my preparedness notebook.
I have pressed flowers for years. I usually begin pressing in late winter or very early spring. One of the first pieces of foliage I press is a feathery little weed, which for years I have called, “My favorite weed.” Imagine my surprise and delight when it suddenly began to grow in the terrarium I created months ago. Recently my happiness was doubled when I found “my favorite weed” on a preparedness site and learned its proper name, Wild Cress. It turns out this little gem of a plant is not only perfect for pressing, but also is a wild edible, full of vitamins and nutrients.
Here are a few examples of my pressed flower cards using “My favorite weed,” Wild Cress
Wild Cress was eaten by early settlers to ward off scurvy in the winter. It has a peppery taste and makes a great salad green.
Wild Cress is a natural home remedy for many ailments. You can read more about it’s medicinal properties here: Wild Cress in Home Remedies
Wild Cress gone to seed will pop into your eye. I’ve pulled it out of my flower beds and closed my eyes while I’ve done so many a time. Read about this fact along with how to feed wild cress to rabbits here: Wild Cress/Popping Seeds
Wild Cress is easy to identify and is one of the most edible weeds. I doubt I would ever mistake anything else for Wild Cress after handling it for over twenty years. Great caution must be taken when eating anything growing wild. Some wild plants are deadly poison. Don’t eat anything wild unless you are absolutely sure it is edible. Here are a few other edible weeds: Edible Weeds
I’m using a cropped section of the sky before Hurricane Sandy struck to remind everyone to take stock of what you have and what you would do in the event of a crisis. On my Pinterest site I have gathered together quite a few good information sites. Click on the link below to be taken to this section of my Pinterest boards. To use the site, click on an block of interest. This will take you to another block, click on this block too. You should be taken to a blog or Internet site with the information you are seeking.
A pantry full of extra food and sundries is always a good idea. Stocking up on items when they are on sale makes sense in these harder economic times.
A good way to store dried beans is remove them from their plastic bag and store in plastic bottles.
Another good tip I’ve recently run across is to make sure you label the bottoms of all your cans with permanent marker. Many people store their pantry items in the basement, and if water levels become high the paper labels might wash away. If you have the cans labeled with permanent marker you will still know what’s inside.
I have been pressing hundreds of Maple seeds each day. The trees are at peak production at this time of year, although some varieties produce seed in the Autumn. The proper name for Maple seeds is Samara. They are also known as whirlybirds, helicopters and keys. I press Maple keys by cutting away the seed, and gently heating them in a book with porous pages.
Maple keys come in a large variety of sizes and colors. I pull some of the keys from the trees to capture their bright green, pink or apricot colors. The seeds quickly fade in color after their whirling flight from the mother tree, but these muted colors also have great uses in pressed flower compositions. Pictured below are a few ideas for using Maple Keys.
Two halves make a pretty heart shape.
Combined with other flowers and leaves, the keys create interesting effects as butterflies and dragonflies.
Maple keys make great fairy wings.
Maples are amazing trees. They provide us with many products. Maple is used for fine furniture, the sap makes amazing syrup, and new to me was the fact that you can actually eat the fruit of the tree. Remove the husks from the seeds and they can be boiled, roasted and even pounded into a flour. Amazing! God has given us so many beneficial trees in our world, and I am very grateful for the beauty and resource of the common Maple tree.
Preparedness Tip: How to use Maple seeds as a food source.
The earth is in upheaval: strange weather, earthquakes of large magnitude, tornadoes, hurricanes, massive hail storms, volcanic eruptions, flooding, drought. All these things have been experienced throughout history, yet it seems the frequency and the damaging effects of natural disasters is escalating. It’s easy to feel like this tree that grows alongside the Elk Neck River in Maryland’s Elk Neck State Forest.
When I go through the storms of life. I want to be like this tree and hold fast to the rock of my foundation, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Psalm 46 sums up so perfectly how I feel.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[d] with fire. 10He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress