Wonder (FMF)

Today I’m writing with a bunch of blogging friends at Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday. We all write about one word for five minutes–no editing!



I wonder what I will leave behind.  I work with my hands and with all of the quilts, knitted mittens, hats, scarves, ALL the stuff that I have made where will it go?

I wonder if anyone will use my cookbook?

I wonder if anyone will read my words and know that I want everyone to feel loved, encouraged, inspired, needed.  I love to write to start the conversation . . . so that we can be open to the love and encouragement.

I wonder if my kids will know how deeply I love them.  (on some days it hurts–I just want to hold them and never let them go . . . )

I wonder if my husband really knows how much I appreciate him?  I tell him–all the time . . . but does he feel it?

ok. . . . I need to stop wondering and get going–I have a cookbook to write, kids to hug, a husband to kiss . . .


Be Blessed.

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Coming Clean on Being Green

I want to be Green.  I want to feel good about using my resources wisely.  Sometimes I want to whole world to clap just because I composted my apple core!

Sometimes I get so caught up in dealing with apple cores I forget to see what is really important.  Yes, it is good to feel good about our choices but PERSPECTIVE needs to send me a text!

These past 3o days (well about 20 for me) I have been writing with a few other bloggers about saving, being green, being frugal . . . I am really blessed to find such an interesting group of women who do things that I NEVER would have thought to do!  It has been fun and informative.

Even though I think I’m pretty frugal I wanted to make a list in order of how I started being green and confess how I am anything but green (in case you want to skip down to the end for that ;-)

  1. I recycled paper and aluminum cans for money–is it still recycling if you get to keep the $?
  2. I bought items that I could recycle–like a can of cat food vs. the pouch.
  3. I used cloth diapers on my kids (most of the time).  My last baby I used the G diapers that were compostable–he made a mountain that kid!
  4. I use my own grocery bags!  That was huge for me!  I immediately had so much less clutter!  I saw this show on Oprah and that changed how I felt about plastic.
  5. The Oprah show also had a water bottle blurb–I went out and picked up water bottles–at that time I rarely used a to-go water bottle–now it is a chore (an actual chore on the chart) to get the water bottles filled.
  6. Now that my kids are bigger–I have very few cute plastic bowls, cups and plates–they use the real thing–and glass drys in the dishwasher vs. plastic that is always wet . . .
  7. I dry my clothes outside in the summer . . . then fluff in the dryer.
  8. I bought a Brita water filter.
  9. I started using more natural cleaning supplies and now I use very few chemicals to clean with.
  10. I found a natural make up–to avoid all of the chemicals that are in make up–and now I don’t even wear make up.  It has been about 10 months since I wore make up!  (it just falls off anyway)  I do use a toner, eye cream and moisturizer that are chemical free–I do miss the smell of Lancome–not gonna lie!
  11. I don’t wear perfume but I do make my own spritz out of essential oils.
  12. As my kids grew and went to school–I bought “green” lunch boxes.  Now that I homeschool most of them–we still strive for waste free lunches.
  13. I do not buy individual sized anything–I buy bulk and separate as needed.
  14. I buy as many things “used” as I can–my dining room table is from a friends thrift shop–its big, beautiful and is perfect–a few nicks and dings but with a bunch of kids it would only look new until the first meal.
  15. I give my stuff to Good Will or Salvation Army rather than throw it out.  Let’s get real–garbage is garbage and I try not to fool myself.
  16. I try not to buy things I don’t need–to eliminate trips to Good Will.
  17. I make my own laundry soap.
  18. I use my husband’s kindle.
  19. I make decorations that can be recycled.
  20. I made gifts that are upcycled.

I could probable list many other ways that I try to be green–if everyone tries just a little the impact will be huge!  I’ve let myself try different “green strategies” to see what works–I refuse to put olive oil on my face–I have may limitations.

Speaking of limitations–these are things that I can’t get green on!

  1. Bleach–I love bleach–bleach kills maggots and sometimes that happens . . . I hate maggots!
  2. Lipstick–since I do not wear make up–I wear lipstick, lip balm  . . . whatever name you want to give it–I can’t give it up–I try to buy natural products but the color isn’t that same as my MAC lipstick.  I don’t wear it everyday but I wanted to come clean!
  3. I still have too much stuff–working through having only what we need.
  4. Ant killer–I tried every green product–nothing worked!  I had to bring out the big guns–that didn’t work either but knocked to population down quite a bit.  I ended up using cinnamon to repel them.
  5. I drive WAY too much!
  6. I find that I buy more food than what I can cook and eat for my family–this really bugs me–because I’m a planner.  I organize.  I should be able to do better.
  7. I tried to do some canning but it was a fail.  Still trying to figure out if it is worth it.
  8. I don’t really watch TV.  If it were my choice I would get rid of them–we don’t have a Wii or xbox or anything like that . . . but I wonder how long all the TV will be on the earth?  Forever?  and all the electronics–now I love my computer but I’m just thinking out loud–no research involved–I haven’t even finished a cup of coffee . . . where does all of this stuff go?

. . . time to go take a quick shower, put on my clothes cleaned in homemade soap, saving time by not putting on make up,  letting my hair dry naturally, feeding my kids homemade muffins, and car pooling on the way to school.  Then begin homeschooling on a shoe string budget, lessons on our “borrowed” piano . . . you get the idea–the small things I do hopefully out way my love of bleach.

Your turn!  If you have a way that you ARE or ARE NOT green–leave it in the comments!  and if you have a post that you would like to link up feel free to do that below:

Save Some Green

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also linking up with your green resource.

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Aunt Traute’s Rum Balls

the first batch of 2012! I’ll make 2 or 3 more!

Aunt Traute (Edeltraud Hildegard Baude Cameron).  She is not really my aunt but I have claimed as my own!  A treasure.  My husband is the lucky one–who grew up eating her curry chicken and lasagna with birch beer.  Aunt Traute left her mark on his palette during those formative years, and I thank her each day for training his taste buds to demand culinary excitement.


I think of Aunt Traute as a pioneer for women.  She graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1951 with a B.S. in Chemistry.  When most women did not even attend, she did AND in Chemistry!  My father-in-law made the comment that “Traute has never wasted a thing in her life” and those words were so inspiring.  I still remember that day–it changed how I looked at things.  Aunt Traute is also an amazing artist–her colors are bold and true to the subject.  I’m lucky to know her!

I have a few recipes from Aunt Traute and I make them often.  This recipe is special–it takes a few Christmas seasons to get it right and in the last few years I have finally been able to make them almost as good as Aunt Traute.

The rumball recipe!

1 6 oz (1 cup) chocolate chips

3 tablespoon corn syrup

1/2 cup of dark rum (but I’ve used any kind)

2 1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup powdered sugar –sifted (but I have never ever sifted mine)

1 cup finely chopped walnuts (you can use pecan but those are not my favorite)

granulated sugar to roll the balls in

1)  In a large bowl add wafer crumbs and powdered sugar with the nuts and stir

2) in a double boiler (I use a bowl over a pan of water) melt chocolate, add rum and corn syrup

3) add the melted chocolate mixture with the dry ingredients and mix well

4) let sit 30 minutes

5) I use a little scoop to make the balls a uniform size, then I roll them with my hands

6) roll in sugar

7) store in a dry place (I put them in a tin on the top of the fridge)  wait a couple of weeks and they will be perfect!

I have played with this recipe A LOT!   Some combinations I have tried are:

  • different kinds of rum–dark, light, spiced, lime bite, and 151 proof
  • different kinds of liquors:  orange-Grand Marnier, raspberry-Chambord, hazelnut-Frangelico
  • different chocolates–I just prefer regular old Hershey’s
  • different binders–oreo’s (a fail), graham crackers were ok but not great
  • the original recipe calls for bourbon
  • I’ve tried lots of different sugars, vanilla infused sugar, orange peel infused sugar . . . and I like organic sugar–not because it is organic but because it is an off white and looks awesome with the brown of the rum balls.

I am blessed that I have such an inspiring Aunt Traute in my life.


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