NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHThere’s nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer day.  Most of us won’t indulge because of the high fat and sugar content, although thankfully there are some low-carb options available with lower sugar.  I’ve not seen one that is blueberry ice cream, but I found a sugar-free recipe that is fairly easy to make, and guess what?  It’s made with…  you guessed it – blueberries!BLUEBERRY ICE CREAMINGREDIENTS:

3 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

6 eggs

1/4 tsp. Stevia extract, pure

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. xylitol, powdered

2 c. heavy cream

1 c whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

If you have granulated xylitol, run it through a food processor to make it into a powder.  If you’re using frozen blueberries, put them in a colander and run warm water over them so they will be mostly thawed.  Beat the eggs, xylitol and Stevia together until well combined.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix for a few seconds, just until the blueberries are a little broken up.  Pour cream mixture into an ice cream maker and run according to manufacturer’s suggestions.

Eat immediately and enjoy!

 

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IT’S FINALLY SUMMER

TL 6-20 FINALLY SUMMER

What does summer mean to you?  There are obvious changes – like we can turn the thermostat from heat to cool, all of our comfy comforters come off the recliners and go back into the cedar chest, the sun shines so much later than it did before, and hopefully here in Kansas we are finished with rain every day!

It’s beautiful weather for traveling, so everyone is saving their pennies for vacation.  I enjoy cruising around town in my little cobalt because it has a sunroof – and when that’s open and the windows are down, it’s an amazing feeling to just let the warm wind blow as I drive!

Some people live at the swimming pool or the lake, or maybe the beach.  I’ve still not been to a beach – but it’s definitely on the bucket list – I haven’t scratched it off – and won’t.

Yesterday we went to a fun craft show held in Wilson Park in Ark City, KS.  We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a pretty day, and after the rain it wasn’t too hot, although it was a bit humid.  There are some interesting craft ideas these days.  I really stopped buying craft stuff in the 1980’s when country crafts were popular.GOD ON A HARLEY

Will you ride your Harley this summer?  If you do, wear a helmet – stay safe.

Whatever you have planned for the summer months, above all else, stay cool and hydrated.  It’s important to not get overheated or dehydrated.  There are two common types of heat-related illnesses – heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion happens after sun exposure or not being properly hydrated while outdoors.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.  If not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is more serious because body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Please take care of yourself – and be aware of others.  If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive.  Without medical attention, permanent disability or possibly death can occur.

Have a fun (and safe) summer!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)A

As the weather warms up, the food we choose gets colder.  There’s nothing quite like a slice of melon at the end of a warm spring day.  It’s still a little early for the best melons, but I’m starting to see a few more varieties at my local market.  When I was a kid, my daddy grew many types of melon in his garden.  The best tasting melon in the world is one that you raised yourself.

Pepino
Pepino

Pepino is a great source of vitamin B.  If you can imagine a taste between a cucumber and a honeydew melon, that is what a pepino tastes like.  It compliments a fruit salad nicely.

Crenshaw
Crenshaw

Crenshaw melons are known by their yellow skin and oblong shape.  They make a great sorbet:  Puree flesh until smooth and pour into a metal baking dish.  Freeze, scraping and fluffing with a fork every 30 minutes, for 2-3 hours.

Canteloupe
Cantaloupe

This is a Kansas spring and summer staple food!  Some people make smoothies and other things, but in our family, we cut cantaloupe in half, scrape the seeds out and grab a spoon.  It’s chock full of vitamin A – more than a day’s worth!

Honeydew
Honeydew

Honeydew is not my favorite melon, but it is a good source of vitamin C.  According to Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet, you can make a dessert soup by mixing honeydew puree’ with unsweetened almond milk, honey and lime juice.

Canary
Canary

The canary melon, also known as Spanish melon or Juan Canary, pairs well with citrus or ginger flavors and makes a refreshing cold soup or drink. Like other melons, the canary melon is a healthy addition to your diet, offering a number of benefits. Not only does this melon help you keep a lid on calories, but it’s also a good source of nutrients that help you fight off disease.

Watermelon
Watermelon

Watermelon has lycopene, which may protect against cancer and heart disease.  There are seedless varieties, which I prefer, but the melons with seeds provide hours of entertainment for those of us who engage in seed-spitting contests.  Wink!  😉

 

WELSH RAREBIT DAY

TL 9-3 WELSH RAREBIT DAY

9-3 SUMMER SONSHINE FROM THE STEEPLE

It’s so tempting to miss church and enjoy a Sunday at the lake, isn’t it? After all, we rationalize, God made this wonderful creation and it would be a shame not to be outside enjoying it! Believe me, I do understand the rationale all too well.

How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude! – Emily Dickinson, letter to Mrs. J.S. Cooper, 1880

Nature is kind and considerate. It does not say or do anything that may upset us and does not care what we do. There are moments when being in a beautiful place on God’s earth is the perfect balm for what ails us.  Being outdoors should certainly be part of our everyday activities. When I taught the Kindergarten Sunday School class a few years ago, I made it a regular part of our lesson plan to go on “nature walks” where the children would find the most unusual things! When a child brings you a gift, you have to act like it is the greatest thing ever. That was easier at some times than others.

If we can remember to invite nature’s sun into our lives to provide relaxation and rest, and God’s Son into our lives to provide instruction, discipline, as well as peace and rest, we have a good formula for life!

Don’t deny yourself of fellowship with other believers.  Some of the most interesting moments of my life happened in the church.  I got to try Welsh Rarebit at a women’s church breakfast one time.  Today just happens to be WELSH RAREBIT DAY!!!  It’s akin to cheese on toast, but is made with cheese and sauce with Worcestershire and different spices.   It was served as a sort of fondue with a poached egg on top.  The name is believed to be a jest at the expense of the 18th Century poor of Wales.

As we enjoy the last few weeks of Summer, let’s take a good look at our SUN / SON ratio. ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

JULY IN THE KANSAS SKY
Back on the first day of Summer, I saw a post on facebook that said, “The first one to criticize the hot temperatures is going to get smacked after the awful winter we just survived!” I had to laugh because let’s face it… it’s just plain HOT outside! So, yeah – go ahead – SMACK me!

Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. – Kin Hubbard

That’s not a bad little song to get stuck in your head, is it? For once the phrase GREAT GAIN means something positive! I usually use that phrase to mean I’ve over-indulged on food again. In that case, the GREAT means a large amount, which is not something good – **sigh**.

The apostle Paul had a few words of instruction on the subject of contentment:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. – Philippians 4:11-12

While I suppose we could certainly apply that instruction to something as basic as weather conditions, it’s probably meant to be applied to more personal matters. He speaks of situations rather than conditions. This is one lesson that I must admit I’m still learning and I may be learning for the rest of my life. I don’t like to want for anything. As I get older, however; it becomes clear to me that much of what I think I want is not what I need. Usually in time I realize that the things that I think are necessities are not things I need.

So today I would challenge all of us to re-examine our list of necessities. How many of those things can be moved to the want list? You may be surprised how many things you really can live without and still be quite content. Oh, and as for the weather… yes, I will be content – and run in to enjoy the wonderful air-conditioned house just as often as I can!   😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Oh the joys of home ownership! It seems like yesterday we were enjoying our custom-built home. Suddenly, nine years passed, and we are in the “home improvement” stage.

Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other. – Henry David Thoreau

I admit, I enjoy home improvement. I like seeing things look and work better than they did before. The part that is not so great is the cost of home improvement.

I thought the worst news I could hear was that the cost of coffee was going up. I was wrong. We got an estimate on house repairs about this time last year and had one set of figures in mind, but this year the cost was much higher. I suppose some of that increase is due to the rising cost of gas and other materials needed to do the job.

In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular. – Kathy Norris

Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we plan to have the exterior of our house replaced and sealed properly against the rain. Our original exterior was not properly sealed which resulted in some wood rot. I could use a little “Home Improvement” right now.  Of course, I mean the TV show.  You can watch episodes on You Tube.  I can’t post them here.

Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule. – Frederick W. Robertson

God’s got this! It’ll be ok. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

An interesting question came up today in my facebook group, A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH. I posted a photo for Throwback Thursday – of me in my little Bluebird uniform, standing in front of my piano teacher’s house in the late 1960’s (I think – not sure of the exact year). The question was, “Did you get to go to Bluebird camp?”

The question brought a flood of memories to my mind – some good, some bad. I was raised in a Southern Baptist home and was not always allowed to do everything my friends got to do. I was not resentful or rebellious about it when I was that young. As I got older things got more interesting, but no, I did not get to go to the Bluebird camp, but my parents let me join Bluebirds. I was not allowed to join Girl Scouts – my folks had reservations about it and I didn’t ask what they were. I was obedient and grateful to get to do a school activity.

My summers were filled with Vacation Bible School at my church. As a child, I attended and by the time I was ten years old I was helping my mom take care of the worker’s babies in the nursery. When I was twelve I was asked to play the piano for VBS. I did that for many years. Shortly after my first year playing for VBS I was asked to play for the children’s choir. Then I played for the teen group. I played for weddings, funerals and they adult choir before long. Finally I was the pianist for Sunday morning and evening services as well as pianist for children’s choir, teen group and adult choir. In other words, my plate got full very quickly at a very young age.

Let’s just keep sharing the love of Jesus! Keep giving it away!!! ❤