Chocolate

Brush Your Teeth With Chocolate!

Okay, I know this is not dentist-approved, but let’s think about it a while. Has anyone out there ever tested it?

Thought not.

Well, I have. If I’ve just eaten, or if my mouth is less than satisfactory to me in any way, I love using chocolate for an emergency remedy. My teeth will feel cleaner, my breath will be far better than garlic, and I won’t get such a slump after eating.

Also, it is more pure, FAR less doctored with chemicals than most chewing gum.

Now, I don’t mean all the cruddy little desserts that claim to have a bit of chocolate in them. Most confections are pure sugar, another thing altogether from pure chocolate! I’ve been brought up in the United States, where it is possible actually to grow weary of sugar.

Chocolate is not sweet. You can find chocolate that has very few grams of sugar in it, like those pictured above. Mostly it is out of kid reach in the stores — it is adult chocolate, after all. To apply it, just break off or open one square, usually about 10 grams.  Chew it. Enjoy it to its fullest.

Most serious chocolate has lecithin and cocoa butter, which make the teeth slick. Germs do not cling for quite a while. Also, chocolate, itself, contains the following wonderful benefits: caffeine (which helps you be lively), theobromine (which lowers blood pressure, lessens edema, lowers rate of birth defects, and is patented for research in cancer prevention), and quite a few antioxidants. The germs don’t stand a chance.

The trick is in stopping at just one piece.

It’s worth a try, I say.

But use regular toothpaste, etc., just before bed, if at all possible.

Can I Teach You to Love Ironing?

learn to love ironing

Maybe I can; I surely hope I can . . . .

A lot depends upon where your heart is.

Ironing is an art.

I mean, we take the raw material and turn it into a sort of sculpture, don’t we? And it is most beautiful when the shirt is made right, in the first place, so the ironing chore is a joy for the one who irons: The plaids fall naturally into the pleats, the seams fold in the right direction, and the button placket is flat and cooperative.

In that way, ironing is like two artists who’ve worked together to send someone out into the world looking finely sculpted.

I’ll tell you, there is something about a man with a fresh haircut, who has groomed his face, and possesses the wealth of freshly ironed shirts to choose from in his closet, that makes him stand out, not only to his employer, but also to me.

I love giving that to my man. And that is the basis of my love for ironing.

The entire foundation for this love lies in the finished product.

  • I love looking at the shirts all lined up in the closet, ready to indulge in.
  • I love slipping into a smooth and lovely fresh-ironed shirt.
  • I love the way I look in the clothing that must be ironed.
  • I love feeling rich, as I do wearing an ironed shirt.
  • I love that my husband goes to work looking totally sharp every day.
  • I love knowing how to iron, and knowing not everyone does know how.

Ironing is probably very much an elitist, self-gratifying thing with me.

After all, I also love when building a tall lasagna that tastes magnificent because we grew the tomatoes, the onions, and even the eggs for making the pasta.

It’s a sort of self-satisfaction with the doing of it, I suppose. However, it also is totally a self-indulgence, quite a bit like rushing to be the first one to dig into the whipped cream carton…

Does that help?

How did I become so nutty?

It all began with my mother. I can remember watching her iron for hours on end, to make some spare cash for our family. It was something she could do and still be available for her children.

I remember she ironed for a woman who explained in an embarrassed way that she could not do ironing herself, due to arthritis in her hands, which were all gnarly with the devastation. This woman’s husband played an instrument in a dance band in the early 60’s. His white shirts had to be starched and ironed to a specific degree of perfection.

Watching that project taught me a lot about the right and wrong ways to perform with iron in hand.

I remember she also ironed for a woman who worked outside the home as a nurse. Think white uniform dresses, again totally starched and totally in need of perfection in ironing skills.

My mom was exceptionally skilled at the job, and loved knowing how, teaching me how, and devising new ways to improve.

(She tried re-inventing distilled water for her steam iron, by melting down frost from the refrigerator. Didn’t turn out too well, since the clothing then smelled like fish and bell peppers.)

Oh, it helps to know how.

One factor that adds to the pleasure is adding a bit of cooked starch to the last rinse water, and then hanging the shirts to dry.

After that, spritzing with water to iron makes the fabric stay glossy and in place, and makes the work last until you are ready to waste it on yourself.

As I said it is a self-indulgence thing.

And here is the boiled starch recipe: 1/2 cup corn starch stirred into 2 cups of water, then that mixture stirred into 2 quarts of boiling water. It thickens, some, as you stir, and becomes semi-transparent. Add this hot little mess to a half-washer-load of rinse water and then add all the clothing you want to starch, up to about six shirts or so. Agitate and spin on the gentle spin cycle, which leaves a bit more of the liquid in the fabric.

Hang this clothing indoors to dry.

That is the secret, and it is worth it, to me. This method keeps spray starch off the walls, floor, ironing board, iron, and everything else. It’s how we who really iron get that really good-looking shirt.

More about hanging clothing to dry, here.

Starching also adds to the longevity of any article of clothing, adding durability and protecting from body oils. It is truly worth every moment of the time it takes.

One small note before you reject every bit of this post: Try starching and ironing your favorite piece made of rayon.

You will be forever hooked.

Mmm.

The First Thing?

I’ve not made a major announcement of my grandchildren on social media, before.

Today is different.

Our tenth grandchild and sixth granddaughter arrived today at 5:30 a.m.

She was only a tad late, and had attempted to get here all week long. Had all the pro’s fooled.

So finally, we relax, our worried prayers turning to exclamations of joy.

Finally we enjoy the sweet fruits of our lovely children’s labors, all nine months and eight days, plus 12 hours of it.

It’s a wonderful day to be born!

Well, the Coons Got Us Again.

As a counselor and a retired professional mom, I must say:

Coon!Raccoons are incorrigible wasters, ruiners of all things good, heartless beasts that care neither about boundaries nor animal rights. Their ability and seeming desire to inflict gross horror is limitless.

As people who tend six hens, our job was keeping them safe at night in their own warm place during the past winter, and one we did not mind at all. In fact, I found myself enjoying the challenge and making sure my hennies had fun treats to ease their trials during the cold. I carried all sorts of tidbits down the hill to them, through all sorts of weather, and thawed their water tank I-don’t-know-how-many times, even adding sugar to it, to assure meeting their energy needs. I literally had one of them eating from my hand.

And that one is among the five survivors, I’m glad to say.

We lost one, in a most horrific way, which I will not detail here.

Chicken coop, Sabine Farms, Marshall, Texas

Chicken coop, Sabine Farms, Marshall, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I had nearly to rebuild our chicken coop and to visit them often, really often. Hourly. And they were terrified, of course, and were slow to re-learn their trust of me.

Today, though, when they hear my footsteps approaching their little home, although they still grow very still, as if trying to be unnoticeable, if I call out to them, they answer me with seeming great excitement.

And another one is learning to eat from my hand.

That feels good.

 

Overheard: He’s Gonna Getcha.

I hear a lot of great stuff where I go to church, and the idea of sharing it thrills me.

Then I get nervous.

Maybe you wouldn’t like it as I do. Maybe you would resent it. Maybe you would click off. Maybe you would unsubscribe.

But then I back away and realize some of it really is excellent and who knows but that you might just love it as I do.

So here goes: something I heard a year ago, posted once, but just wanted to share again. Enjoy.

The Arkansas Gospel

Let me make this clear.

You don’t go to Heaven because God loves you, nor because you love Him.

You don’t go to Heaven because you amend your sinful ways or clean up your act.

Turning over a new leaf is rehabilitation, but it is not salvation.

Education is not the answer.

Reformation is not the answer.

Legislation is not the answer.

Jesus is the answer.

We go to Heaven because Jesus saves us through His work on the Cross.

Don’t be separated from God any longer.

Give your sinful life to Jesus at the Cross, bury it in baptism, and be born again of the Spirit of God.

That is how you enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

That reminded me of a story I heard once:
“He IS Out to Get You!”

Hernando DeSoto Bridge takes Interstate 40 acr...

Leaving West Memphis . . .

A woman was driving alone, one night, on a long trip. Having just left a convenience store and taken the on ramp back to the Interstate, she felt not so lonely because some guy had held the door for her as he’d left the store. She noticed he also on-ramped when she did—a friendly face for the journey.

As she traveled, though, she thought she noticed his car following her too close. When she increased her speed a bit to make some distance, his car also increased its speed.

Tensing, and persuading herself it was coincidence, she began weaving through traffic, checking her rear view mirror.

That car followed her every move.

She upped her speed to 80, which she usually never did, and the car was still right behind her.

She could think of nothing to do but exit again, where there was civilization, and force that driver to change plans.

It was a long five miles to the exit.

Carefully, she scooted through traffic into the right lane at the last minute, without signaling, almost missed the exit, and looked up to realize that car loomed closer than ever.

There was no choice, now, but to tear into a gas station parking area, laying on the horn, screech to a stop, throw open the door, and, in desperation, flee into the building, sobbing.

Simultaneously, the driver of the other car also slammed on his brakes, and threw open his door with an angry grimace, running directly to her car, tore open the back door, and grabbed a ski-masked man from the floorboard, beating him until he collapsed.

And you don’t know it, but you’ve got trouble in your back seat.

And God is following you.

And He will never give up, so you might as well.

Big Numbers from Little Ones

An estimated 11,000,000 people died in the Nazi holocaust. About 6,000,000 of those were Jews, about 1,100,000 were children.

Those are big numbers.

The Haitian government estimated 220,000 died in the 2010 earthquake.

Over 5,000 died in the Philippine typhoon last November.

Around 230,000 died in the Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Big numbers.

When even one person dies, it is a big number to those who loved him.

Where are they?

Where are they?

Here’s another big number: 56,600,000.

Fifty times the number of babies Hitler killed.

That’s how many babies America has killed since Roe v. Wade.

God had a plan for each one of them. He loved each one.

Abortion terminates the lives of human beings with souls, with beating hearts, with digesting stomachs–babies recoiling in pain, desperately trying to escape their killers. Yet their killers claim they are not really taking a life. How can they honestly say that?

If a coroner checks for absence of a heartbeat to determine death, shouldn’t the presence of a heartbeat prove there is life?

We must continue to pray and to repent .We must not become weary in this battle for life. We must continue to speak out, raise our voices, and vote to protect the innocent; but above all, to pray. We are not fighting flesh and blood–this is a spiritual battle and our prayers are more powerful than politicians and judges.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31: 8-9

The pro-abortion crowd screams about freedom of choice, saying, “IT’S MY BODY!”

What about the baby’s body?
Who will cry out for the baby?

While you go about your business, today, 4,400 more innocent people will be submitted to capital punishment, although they have committed no crime and have had no trial, no attorney, no basic rights we’d give even to a prisoner of war.

Not only will they be denied the basic anesthesia even a veterinarian would use, but also, they will be ripped to pieces and injected with toxins.

Four thousand, four hundred times, today.

That’s a big number.

Been Muddin’

Another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

I just returned from a ladies’ conference on top of a beautiful mountain in Arkansas with outstanding scenery.

It was raining.

But that’s not all.

The road up the side of this mountain is normally composed of the natural rock we naturally find under the scant soil of mountainsides.  This usually is quite rugged, as roads go.

Bumpy. Bouncy.

But reliable and great traction for steep climbing.

The county road department, however, decided it might be a bit too rugged. They spent hours, I am sure, in grading it to fill potholes, and for the final touch, added about an eight-inch layer of gravel.

Gravel, in the Deep South, often is a euphemism for dirt. And dirt, down here, is often a euphemism for clay.

Eventually clay will pack down almost as hard as brick, in our heat, given the right amount of moisture at the right time.

We recently got about 5″ of rain.

Or more.

So, forty ladies drove nearly as many vehicles straight up a mountainside through about eight inches of extremely saturated good ol’ Southern Clay.

Oh.

I meant to say “gravel”.

We jokingly called it the “slime climb”.

We left zillions of lines and patterns in this new roadbed–left them to dry hard as brick in our sun–but I wasn’t ABOUT to get out of my truck to take a shot of that.

I mean, friends, it was ankle-deep and slick as . . .

So, instead, you get to look at my truck.

Lines.

Patterns.

Muddin’:

Lines and patterns

Lines and patterns