Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!
On the lowcarb front:
I have fallen behind in my blogging. We are getting ready to leave for vacation, and I have been frantically trying to get some stockings made ahead so my elves have something to work on while I'm gone. As far as lowcarbing goes, my Glycemic Load plan is looking more like Atkins Ongoing Weight Loss, but that's okay - it gives me a bit of a safety net - especially since meal planning will be a bit out of my control for the next week or so. My plan is to do the best I can since this has to be a way of life and not a temporary fix.

Once we are back from vacation, I intend to kick this lowcarb thing into full throttle. The new Biggest Loser season starts in September and I am hoping to have company on the journey during that season.

On the home/business front:
As I mentioned above, I am trying to get some stockings done for the upcoming ad that we have coming out. I changed the home page on our website and I'm sure people will think we have absolutely lost it, but it would be nice if our stocking season were spread out a bit more. I felt bad at having to turn people away last year. I am so used to thinking a season ahead what with music planning for the church and craft shows, that I forget that most people are living in the current season - and 90 degree weather just doesn't scream "order your Christmas Stockings."

Once vacation is behind us, the summer will rush full speed ahead into fall. I can't wait to try out our new tent for our first craft show of the fall season. With retirement from the school ahead of me, I will have more time to concentrate on the craft show stock etc.

Word of the day:
Feast day of St. Declan

St. Declan First bishop of Ardmore in Ireland July 24 Was baptized by St. Colman, and preached the faith in that country a little before the arrival of St. Patrick, who confirmed the episcopal see of Ardmore, in a synod at Cashel in 448. Many miracles are ascribed to St. Declan, and he has ever been much honored in the viscounty of Dessee, anciently Nandesi.
Matthew 13:10-12
Jesus said to his disciples: To those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Let those who have ears, hear.

God bless the troops!
On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: treadmill
Route: workout room while watching Biggest Loser
Time: 32 minutes
Average heart rate: 112
Maximum heart rate: 129
Calories burned: 208
I’m up 2 pounds from last Monday
What a difference a day makes. Today I feel great and rarin' to go. I was reading my DANDR on the treadmill today and the chapter on temptation and what to do about it is one that I am going to run off and put in my notebook. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have a notebook. I keep my stats and routines etc in it. I was also watching last season's Biggest Loser. I can't wait until September and a new one begins.

On the home/business front:
I made Candy Apple soap yesterday. I use a process which allows me to test a bar the day after I make it. I let it cure and harden for several weeks, but I just have to try a piece of each batch I make. I have recently altered my main recipe with the addition of goat's milk. Omigosh!

People who don't use handmade soap just do not know what they are missing. I use a lot of oils in my soap so about once a month I measure all of my oils out into plastic Christmas pails that I bought on clearance. Measuring the oils is the least favorite part of soapmaking and it would be easier if I didn't use so many oils, but my recipe is my reputation and I am not about to change it.

I use coconut, avocado, cottonseed, soybean, sweet almond, cocoa butter, olive, castor, and palm oils. Measuring them out is messy so I measure out as many batches as I can at one time - usually about 10 or so before I run out of one oil or another. Each oil in our soap is there for a specific reason.

Then I measure out my lye crystals into jars. I line my two slab molds and then I'm ready for soapmaking days. When I first started making soap, it would take me several hours to do a batch. Since then I have streamlined my method and if everything is ready to go, it takes me less than an hour from mixing to pouring in the mold to cleanup For those of you who are interested, here is my soaping routine.

Monthly - measure out oils and lye
Grab soap bucket and lye jar
Measure out distilled water into glass pitcher
Take upstairs to kitchen.
Put on gloves and goggles
Mix lye and water on stovetop with fan running to keep fumes away.
Cover lye pitcher with soap bucket lid and move to safe place
Melt oils on stovetop
Leave oils and lye water to cool for 2 hours - in the mean time:
Line both slab molds and keep one in reserve for Wednesday
Measure out fragrance oils and colorant into containers and have ready
After 2 hours:
Put on gloves and goggles. Place lined mold on stovetop (I have a smooth top range)
Pour melted oils into soap pot and add goat's milk - blend with stick blender
Add lye water
Blend with stick blender until mixture looks like thin pudding
Pull out about 3/4 cup of raw soap mixture and add to color pitcher. Stir until blended.
Go back to soap pot and stick blend until very light trace. Then I add the fragrance oil to the main batch and stick blend until well mixed.
Drizzle colored soap into soap pot and stir ONCE.
Pour into slab mold and cover.
I then put my soap into a 170 degree oven for 2 hours. This forces it to gel and lets me test a bar right away. If I am soaping late in the evening, I just set the oven to shut off in 2 hours and leave it until morning. Usually, though I take it out after 2 hours and cut into bars the next morning.

I clean everything up while my gloves are still on because raw soap is caustic and I don't want anyone getting hurt. Everything is washed and in the dishwasher before I call it a day.

Then comes the fun. After the slab is cut into bars, one bar is designated for testing and I cut that into several pieces and distribute to others for testing. After several weeks I package the soap and put into boxes to await a craft show or a website sale.

We have a show with an apple theme coming up so I am concentrating on my apple scents. After that I will move on to pumpkin and the Christmas Holiday scents. All of this has to be done a little earlier this year because we have no idea what to expect from our Christmas stocking ad in Country Sampler.

I love what I do, can you tell?

Word of the day:
Matthew 12:46-50
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

God bless the troops!

Monday, July 21, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
A good indicator that someone is flailing in their journey is when they don't post on their blog or on support boards. I am no different. In a few minutes I will post my weekly results for yesterday. My daughter and daughter-in-law both called me on my failure to update. If this blog is going to be of any use, the ups and the downs both need to be posted. I am giving the Glycemic Load plan another shot. My mood is terrible because I know that whatever plan I follow - it ain't gonna work if I ain't on board. It's that simple. And last week I just wasn't on board. I could give all kinds of excuses, but that's all it would be - excuses. There really isn't any excuse. I would, however, like to find the reason. I just don't know why I can go along and do great and then just drop it all.
Anyway, the Glycemic Load plan is pretty close to the Atkins Maintenance plan. So I'm going to try that for a bit. My immediate goal at the moment is to recover all of my lost ground. I am hoping that with the addition of fruit and yogurt, I may find it easier to stay on track. We shall see.

I haven't worked out yet today because when I got up this morning, my right knee was hurting - a sharp pain. I am guessing that it is rebelling at the amount of weight I am asking it to carry.
(My timer is going off so I will update later)

God bless the troops!

Saturday - July 10, 2008

Hi all,
Sorry to be awol yesterday. I woke up feeling, in the words of the almighty Kimmer, SNATT. I can't imagine anyone would want to feel that way on purpose.

I am coming off of a very bad week. I am taking today to re-group, re-assess, and generally give myself a kick in the butt. I'm considering switching back over to the Glycemic Load program. I have said before that I think this program is where Dr. Atkins would have eventually ended up. It is very similar to Atkins, but for some reason Atkins triggers and "all or nothing" response in my head. I firmly believe that Atkins done the way Dr. Atkins designed it is the best program going. Unfortunately, so many of us tweak it and then blame Dr. Atkins. I have to find my book - it's here somewhere, and read it again. But for now, I am hanging in there. That's one thing about me - I never, ever, give up.

I got up late today and am running behind - way behind so today's entry will be short.

Word of the Day
Matthew 12:14-21
The Pharisees went out and conspired against Jesus, how to destroy him. When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
It is going to be a hot one again today. I knew that as soon as I woke up drenched in sweat. Immediately the voice of self-sabotage began. I need to give this voice a name. Let's see, how about Mary Ann. Mary Ann is what I was called as a child. That's what this voice is - it's the immature part of me that wants to have its own way all the time. It wants to skip the hard work and go straight to the reward. Mary Ann is not bad or evil - she is just immature and needy. So here is how the conversation went this morning.

Mary Ann: It's too hot to workout today. Let's wait until tomorrow.
Me: Nope, I didn't workout yesterday and I don't want that pattern to get started.
Mary Ann: But I don't feel like working out.
Me: It's not about what I feel like doing - it's about what I need to be doing. It isn't even the working out that I don't like - it's the getting started. Today I am going to do a video workout - Walk Away the Pounds with Leslie Sansone. It's not the toughest workout, but it really is too warm and humid to go out.

Here is where I quit arguing with Mary Ann. Here is where I have to be the big girl. I am off to the living room.
My stats for today:
Type: WATP video
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 112
Maximum heart rate: 127
Calories burned: 181
I’m up 1 from last Thursday
Wow, it's been a while since I did one of these videos. I used to zip through them like nothing. I felt like I was working a lot harder than my numbers would indicate. This might be a good strength training workout for now - I could really feel my muscles.

The other day I noticed that I was getting a lot of traffic from Jimmy Moore's blog. I headed over there to see what was what. He mentioned my blog on his list. I was thrilled and flattered. He is one of my lowcarb heroes. Thanks, Jimmy!!!

Update: Speaking of Jimmy, I just visited his blog. Please continue to keep his family in prayer regarding his brother Kevin. Now Jimmy's dad is scheduled for quintuple bypass surgery. Prayers comin' your way, Jimmy and Christine!

On the home/business front:
Kelli just emailed me this pic of Claire that was taken at their house on Sam's birthday. She is wearing the tissue paper from one of Sam's birthday gifts. (Altogether now - Awwwwwwwwww!!!!)

I just finished 2 stockings. I am running out of green yarn and have to re-stock. I am way behind for the day. Now I have to head off to the school to do a couple hours of inventory. I can't wait until that's done. I would go nuts if it wasn't for being able to listen to online radio while I work. I was tempted to blow it off for today, but I do have to get it finished before the students come back. It's not hard work - it's just dusty and it irritates my nose. I have a wedding rehearsal tonight and our weekly cantor rehearsal. We had to reschedule it because of high winds and hail last night. Then I head over to Anna's to pick up some labels and then home to make 2 more stockings and a batch of jar candles.

Word of the day:
Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Whenever I read or hear this passage, it brings to mind the lovely aria from Messiah - He Shall Feed His Flock. So many times in the Gospels Jesus invites us to rest in him. In fact, the whole of the new testament and Jesus' mission on earth could be summed up in the above passage. So why do we struggle? It all comes back to a need for faith and a willingness to "let go and let God."

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: none
Route: none
I’m up .6 from last Wednesday
I woke up today dead tired and with a splitting headache. My mood is terrible. My joints ache. I am going to take a lazy day. I need to catch up on stockings but I am going to do it at my own pace. I was thinking about yesterday's post. My momentum is flagging. Today I am turning off my critical mind. I am going to stay the course and when negative thoughts creep in, I am going to nip them in the bud. I am just going to have to learn to run on autopilot on days when the motivation is low. Those are the days when I begin to have doubts. "You haven't succeeded yet, what makes you think you will now?" Someone actually said that to me, but I have said it enough times to myself. I remember when I used to go to Weight Watchers. I would see the same people there week after week, year after year, and very few ever made so much as a dent in their weight. And those were usually people who were motivated by some major life event.

Most people were there, I think, because they wanted the companionship. They were lonely. Yes, they wanted to lose weight, but only as a fringe benefit. I think people who compulsively overeat do so because they are lacking something in their lives and it's much easier to stuff a donut in their mouths than to actually find out what it is that is missing. I know that's the case for me.

I still think that this funk I am in is cyclical or hormonal, but I won't know until I track it for a while. Most of the time I can put a smile on my face and go about my business and unless you are a family member, you won't know there is anything going on. It takes an incredible amount of energy to put up that kind of a facade.

I don't know, I'm in a weird mood today.
After I posted the above, I was checking out some blogs: "Kimorexia" and "Weighing the Facts." (see my blog list to the right) They had a YouTube video called "Fighting Disordered Thoughts - Anorexia". I clicked on the video - not because I am anorexic- far from it - but because I think anorexia and binge/compulsive eating are two sides of the same eating disorder coin. I recognized the exact same disordered thinking that I experience - it was absolutely uncanny. I will be bookmarking this video:

On the home/business front:

Found a canopy online to use for craft shows. It was pretty pricey, but hopefully it will pay for itself with a couple of shows.

I made caramel apple tarts and a pillar yesterday. I sent another batch of stockings home with Melisa for her to sew up. We now have 55 stocking bottoms made. We need to do 200 at the very least and 400 would be better. I sent in the final proof for the Country Sampler ad. We have less than 6 weeks before it hits the stands and then we shall see what we shall see.

Word of the day:
Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

Thoughts from the Cornfield:
Kids have an uncanny way of cutting right through the bull and getting straight to the point. I often wonder if it because they haven't accumulated all of the "junk" that we tend to collect throughout life. They have no preconceived notions. They live in the present. They trust that those around them tell the truth. They trust that their needs will be taken care of. They have no worries about where their next meal is coming from. A missionary who visited our church once remarked that children have these special qualities because they are so recently from God. It is ironic that the "simple" people understood Jesus, while the learned elites spent their time trying to trick and trap him. It is the rare individual who can retain his childlike qualities while living in an adult world.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back/tree in Brown's field/back
Time: 31 minutes
Average heart rate: 124
Maximum heart rate: 144
Calories burned: 243
I’m down .8 from last Tuesday
I got out on the road at about 8:45 this morning. I am pleased at how consistent I have been on getting that in. What I am not happy about is my constant straying from my food plan. I will go along, doing well, feeling great and then these niggling voices creep in. The smart thing to do would be to ignore them, but I don't. I start bargaining, thinking I can have it both ways with food and before I know it I am back in the dirt. I don't know what I would do without the lowcarb bloggers and other online support because they at least inspire me to get back up and try yet again. There are days I wish I could just get up and not have to fight this constant battle. But then I think about peo
ple who health issues over which they have no control and I feel like a whiney baby. So I am going to stop whining and do what needs to be done. (I am typing all of this for the second time because the page crashed and none of it had been saved.)

On the home/business front:
Got absolutely nothing done today. I have to do another batch of tarts, but I have to wait for the pour pot to come out of the dishwasher.

The soap I made las
t night was vanilla. Vanilla fragrance oil, depending on how much is in a blend, turns soap brown. Straight vanilla turns soap a dark chocolate brown. It's interesting because the raw soap goes into the mold a lovely beige and over time turns darker. When I cut a cured bar, it is light on the inside but as the air gets to it it turns dark again. It's funny to watch people pick it up expecting it to smell like chocolate. My newest batch isn't quite as dark as the one in the picture, but it will be soon.

I had a funeral to play for this morning. Then I watched grandkids which really meant I played with grandkids because that's much more fun that doing anything else. Then our financial guy came over so now here it is after 7 pm and I have no stockings done or tarts made so I am going to get my tush downstairs and get those tarts made.

Word of the day:
Matthew 11:20-24
Then Jesus began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
To whom much is given, much is expected. Let those who have ears, hear.

God bless the troops!

Monday, July 14, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog - more walk than jog today
Route: Deadend/loop/back
Time: 35 minutes
Average heart rate: 123
Maximum heart rate: 1146
Calories burned: 2276
I’m down 2 lbs. from last Monday
I got out on the road a little after nine this morning. It's a mild day and the workout was great. My knees are a little sore so I took it easier this morning. The hay bales are gone from my route. The corn is a green wall in which the deer are hiding. I can hear them in there - I really can.

On the home front/business:
We didn't find a canopy/tent yesterday in Mt. Pleasant so the search continues. I have several stockings to mail out today and 5 more to make. I have an order of tarts to fill also. And - since today is Monday, I will be making soap. I have a lot of packaging to do. Anna was gone for a week and just finished some labels that I needed. She and Kelli are testing some jar candles for me.

The guys have the poles up for our new building. I have mixed feelings about this. It's exciting to be building, but I miss the old barn. You can't see it in the picture, but back when Harold
inherited the family farm, he had Anna make a sign with his name on it. (ooops, I just noticed that if you click on the picture, you can see Anna's sign.)It's a bit of a rite of passage for a farmer to put his name on his barn. The kids raised their fair pigs in that barn. Cousins told me they used play hide and seek in that barn. Back before we were married, the barn held dairy cows - then later, beef cattle. On windy days I remember listening to the big old barn door slap against building. I remember putting straw up in the mow on hot summer days.

The new building will go up, and the guys will have a place to keep their equipment, and probably a new "Harold Moeggenborg" sign will be put in place, but it won't be the same. Things never stay the same. It's the nature of life, I guess.

Old barn

new building

Word of the day:
Feast day Saint Camillus of Lellis

Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus said, 'Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household.Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
'Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.'
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I was thinking about today's readings and wondering why Jesus would want to set family members against each other. My thinking is that in this passage, Jesus is giving us a bit of a slap upside the head. Of course warring families is not his desire. The point he is making is that seeking the kingdom should be our very first priority, because without that, everything else is meaningless. Sometimes our words of evangelization are going to cause disharmony - even in families. Denominations fight against demonination - each one thinking that its way is the only way. Here is my humble opinion, for what it's worth. There is only one path to God for Christians, and that is, of course, through Jesus Christ. But . . . there are many paths to Jesus.

One of the misconceptions about people in the Roman Catholic church is that we "pray to saints." Actually, this is not what is happening. We ask the saints to pray for us - as part of the communion of saints - the way we pray for each other. We look to the saints, not as examples of perfection, but as examples of how God works in our lives, imperfect though they are. The Catholic Church has a process called canonization in which she formally recognizes the spirtual conversions of pilgrims on the path. That would be our "disciples hall of fame" as it were. The misunderstanding of how we view saints comes through some overzealousness on the part of some believers in which they attribute intervention rather than petition to some in the communion of saints. Icons, pictures, statues - these are only reminders; not unlike family photographs that we put out in our homes. They should be just that, though, reminders. They are not vested with any special powers other than to help us to remember who we are. Through our baptism we are all called to holiness.

I did a search on St. Camillus of Lellis and found this online:

"A SAINT for the WEEK
July 14th. St. Camillus of Lellis.
He was born in 1550 in the remote Abruzzi region, high in the central Italian Apennines. Strong, violent, and addicted to gambling, he served as a soldier in the army of Venice, until brought low by disease and by the loss of all his fortune at the gambling table. In 1575 he underwent a spiritual conversion; he wanted to join the Franciscans, but his health prevented it, and he was to become Bursar of the San Giacomo Hospital in Rome. Encouraged by St. Philip Neri, he was to be ordained, and in 1585 dedicated himself with a group of others to the service of the sick, of prisoners, and especially of plague victims. This nucleus of workers formed the basis of his Order of Ministers of the Sick. Some members of this Order went with the armies to Hungary and to Croatia as the first recorded field ambulance service; others founded hospitals, in Rome, Naples and elsewhere. Many died of the plague caught from those they tended. St. Camillus died in Genoa in 1614 and was canonised in 1746. "

Here is an example of one who saved his life by spending it. Love increases only when it is spent. That is the nature of love, is it not?

God bless the troops!

Sunday, July 13, 2008 - Official Weekly weigh-in

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back/tree in Brown's field/back
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 126
Maximum heart rate: 141
Calories burned: 238
Yesterday's Carb count: 214 - I'm an idiot.
I’m down 4 from last Sunday but still playing catch up
I got out on the road at about 8:40. Nice breeze, but I had a splitting headache due to yesterday's carb count. I still havent' figured out why I do that to myself. Back on track today.

Went to the casino last night. Set my limit at $10.00. Overspent that by $3.00. Anna came home with 4 more dollars than she went in with. Kelli came home with a dollar more. Guess I was the biggest loser last night.

Today Anna and I are going to look for tent/awning thingies for craft shows. We have a couple of outdoor shows already and want to do a couple more.

God bless the troops!

Friday, July 11, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back/far edge of the woods/back
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 126
Maximum heart rate: 153
Calories burned: 239
Yesterday's Carb count: 41
I’m down 1.2 from last Friday
I got out on the road at about 8:10 or so. I can tell it's going to be a warm one. Saw a couple of rabbits and lots of deer hoof prints, but no deer.

On the business/home front:
I occasionally check out the competition's soap to see what's new on the market. I came across an ebay listing where a gal is claiming all kinds of things. Now I have no beef with claiming certain properties for skin, but when someone starts attributing soap properties to relief of muscle aches, arthritis, and high blood pressure, then I get a little annoyed. It gives the rest of us soapers a bad name. For instance, this lady is using chamomile in her soap and she says that chamomile is good for aches and pains, moodiness, cramping etc. That may be true if chamomile is taken internally - as in tea. The same with some of the other claims she is making about herbs. I don't think this person is intentionally being dishonest, but it is this kind of irresponsibility that hurts the rest of us. She does put a disclaimer on it saying that she is not a doctor, but that is laughable because in the next sentence she says that what we use on our bodies ends up in our bodies. So she is implying that her soap will do things that it won't do - unless, of course, you eat it. There are enough legitimate benefits to handmade soap without pulling some out of thin air. Okay, rant over.

I made my candles last night and changed the wicks. I think I have found my wick combo now. I'm not sure I'm happy with the scent throw so I will have Kelli and Anna test for me. I am around these scents so much that sometimes I am immune to them.

Today I am going to concentrate on cleaning and stockings. Hopefully I will be able to catch up in both areas. Tonight there will be a "Moeggenborg Girls' night Out" at my sister-in-law's house. We try to do these monthly and they are a lot of fun. They are quilting all day today and if I had planned better, I could have joined them. I have a wedding rehearsal tonight so I will be getting there a little late.

Word of the day:
Matthew 10:16-20
Jesus said to his disciples, "See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

Reflections from the cornfield:
If ever there was a "let go and let God" moment, this is it. Or maybe "trust, but verify." How often do we turn things over to God only to slowly take back our issues thinking we can do it better. It's easy for us, in hindsight, to think that the disciples should have just trusted, but they were still growing in their understanding of Jesus. Indeed, Jesus himself, was evolving his mission from the lost sheep of the house of Israel to the lost sheep of the world.

God bless the troops!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back/far edge of the woods/back
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 126
Maximum heart rate: 139
Calories burned: 239
Yesterday's Carb count: 30
I’m down 1 pound from last Thursday
Got out on the road at about 8:05. It is still very hard work. I have done well on the food front - sometimes it is so easy. Other times, not. I am trying for an average heart rate of 126. That's a decent workout. So far I am having to walk more than jog, but as I get in better shape, I will have to do more running to keep my heart rate up.

On the home/business front:
I made Raspberry Jasmine Spice soap last night. I am pouring at a thinner trace and it is making for a smoother topped soap. The house is filled with the fragrance right now. Soon it will be moved downstairs to the curing rack. We got our confirmation letter for the Zonta Club show. I bought some canning jars today and I will be making my Apple Pie candles tonight.
I had a funeral to play for this morning. The family was very quiet. It's hard to read people when they are so quiet. Most of the mourners have not attended church in a long while. It's sad to see the traditions of the parents go by the wayside.

Word of the day:
Matthew 10:7-15
Jesus said, 'As you go, proclaim the good news, "The kingdom of heaven has come near." Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

Reflections from the cornfield:
This scripture passage deals with the commissioning of the twelve to spread the the good news. What they do, they are to do without thought of payment or reward. They are to rely on the faithful for their physical sustenance. This is quite a challenge. Especially in this day and age. We are hesitant to trust God to take care of our needs, much less other people. However, I firmly believe that what you seek, you find. If you seek ill will and malice in others, you will find it. But if you seek the good, you will find that too. Material goods can often get in the way of what we are supposed to be doing as Christians. When the maintenance and pursuit of our stuff takes up more time than we spend giving thanks and sharing our bounty, we are sorely out of balance.

There was a study done recently that I heard about on the radio. It said that giving can release the same endorphins as receiving. But that is probably only true if the giving is done for the right reasons. I would bet that a gift given out of obligation would be less likely to bless the donor than one given out of love. When love is the motive, there is no sacrifice so to speak. The older I get, the more I find this to be true.

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back/far edge of the woods/back
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 121
Maximum heart rate: 138
Calories burned: 218
Yesterday's Carb count: 55
I’m down .4 pounds from last Wednesday

I got out on the road at 7:45 this morning because I had a dentist appointment. I haven't been out that early in a long time. I feel like I am getting back into the groove.
My muscles have that good kind of ache that tells you that you have worked them. Last week I would have blown off the workout because of the dentist appt. but I didn't and I feel really good. My little running gal at the top of the post is really motivating. Funny how little things like that keep you on track. I had issues with my connection earlier so I don't have a Word of the Day for today.

On the home/business front:
Today is Wednesday so I have lye water mixed up and oils melted. As soon as DH leaves I will be making some soap. Today's flavor is going to be Raspberry Jasmine Spice since I am very low on that.

I finished up some stocking orders and sent one out today. The other will go out tomorrow. I am going to have to ramp up my stocking production to 5 per day instead of 3 in order to make the Country Sampler ad pay off.

I have a funeral tomorrow so I've been doing to paperwork for that. Paperwork is a challenge for me. We have another funeral on Tuesday. They do seem to come in streaks.

Good news in the bat department. Our parish manager found a hole where they have been getting in. Apparently a cat also got in the hole. Nice.

I don't have a Word of the Day for today due to internet issues earlier.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:

Route: Deadend/back/far edge of the woods/back
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 126
Maximum heart rate: 139
Calories burned: 239

Yesterday's Carb count: 44
I’m up .6 pounds from last Tuesday

Got out on the road at 9:45. As I was passing one field, I smelled something I couldn’t quite place. Then I realized it was the same as the Hunter’s Green soap that I made for the guys for hunting season. A little further up the road, I got the oppressive odors of Courter’s feed lot. I could smell that rotten silage in the house all night last night. I don’t know how those people can stand to live right next to it. Anyway, the walk/jog was a good one. I can’t believe that I used to run that whole way. I have really let things slide. I get really out of breath.

On the home/business front:
Yesterday was pretty productive. I got most of the things done that were on my list. Filled an order for stockings which I will get ready to ship today. I have a little laundry to finish up. I made Country Roads soap. This time I swirled the 2 colors in the pot at thin trace. The soap turned out really pretty. Today I will be making candles, stockings, and working on an Anniversary gift, filling an online order, working in my zone, and doing general straightening . I have sent in most of the booth fees for our craft shows and as soon as I get confirmation I will list them on the site.
Tonight Anna and Melisa are coming to learn how to sew up our Christmas stockings. I am going to need help if we get as many orders as I am hoping. Nina wants to help sew up stockings too, so I will show her the next time she comes up. Maybe she and Anna can find a mutual place to meet and swap them out. We'll need a family meeting on that one. Or I can send an extra large batch with Nina and she can just bring them when she visits.

Word of the day:
Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest."

Reflections from the cornfield:
When Jesus spoke to the people, he used images from their lives to illustrate his teachings. Being part of the farming community, this passage has special meaning to me. Every year at spring planting, or fall harvest, or winter maple syrup time, the guys are looking for help. They are the farmers - the ones with the agricultural knowledge. The rest of us just do what we're told. We may not know the reason we are doing what we do, but we trust that the guys know what they are doing.

One of the things in life that I don't understand is snobbery. I do not know how anyone can look at nature and think that one job is more important than another. Take a look at how we panic when even the tiniest element of nature is threatened. And yet there are people who think that working with their brains is superior to working with their hands. Yes, we need our thinkers, but we also need our doers and we can't do without either one. We need our doctors, but we also need our trash collectors. We need the combines and the tractors, but we also need the family members who help pull velvet leaf weeds out of the soybean field.

My point in all of this is that there is work for everyone in the vineyard. No job is too small. And no one should think that he is better or lesser than anyone else because of his station in life - because the only thing you take with you when you leave this world is the love you shared along the way - and we can all do that.

God bless the troops!

Monday, July 7, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
Route: Deadend/back/loop
Time: 30 minutes

Type: Walk/jog
Average heart rate: 126
Maximum heart rate: 140
Calories burned: 236
I’m up 3 pounds from last Monday
Got out on the road at 10:06 this morning. I headed down to the deadend. To the right were round hay bales. To the left was a soybean field. It was slightly overcast this morning, a little muggy. On my way back I saw something I never, ever see out on the road. Another walker. As I came over the small rise heading west, there was a lady ahead of me. I was jogging, she was walking - and she was making better time than me. LOL! But I’m out there doing it. For me, the hardest part of working out is the transition. It's the getting started. So, part of my morning routine now is to make the bed the minute my feet hit the floor (thanks, Flylady) and then immediately get into my exercise gear. Once I have that done, the workout is pretty much guaranteed.

On the home front:
We had a cookout at Melisa and Justin’s last night.
Today is Melisa’s 30th birthday. I can't believe how the years have flown.
I have set out a schedule for myself for today. On the agenda are bills, laundry, soap, stockings, inventory at the school, and a few other things I need to get done. I have to set a schedule for myself or I lose focus.

Word of the day:
Matthew 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.

Reflections from the cornfield:

The story of the hemorrhagic woman has always fascinated me. In the same account in Luke and Mark, Jesus remarks that he feels power going out of him. It is an intriguing thought that faith can summon power. We know from numerous accounts that all of Jesus' healing required faith from someone. It is mind-boggling to think about how faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. What could we accomplish with an increase in faith? Take a look at those who achieve monumental things in life. Somewhere along the line, faith had a part.

I often get a chuckle out of the people who ridicule Jesus. One wonders if their eyes are ever opened, and if they are - what are they thinking? How many times are we deterred in our efforts because of the laughter or ridicule of others? And what does the laughter and ridicule reveal about others? And what does our reaction to it reveal about us? The older I get, the less I am affected by that kind of thing. If anything, laughter and ridicule just makes me that much more determined to succeed.

Both of these healings were witnessed by others. Word spread. It's still spreading. Spread the Word.

God bless the troops!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
As I predicted yesterday, today's weigh-in is a disaster. I am up 5.2 pounds from last Sunday. Now I know that some of that is water weight, but I can't blame it all on that. I don't know what it is with me that I can do so well for a while and then completely land in the mud. I was tempted to not even post the results for today, but I think every struggle and stumble needs to be recorded so that I can see what the patterns are in this journey.

Yesterday I did well. We went to a wedding reception - I stuck with veggies and chicken. Drank 1 diet coke and then water the rest of the evening. So that is a non-scale victory - I focused just on yesterday. Today I will do the same. Hopefully, the news next week will be better. I am trying not to be discouraged, but I keep sabatoging myself and I can't seem to get a handle on this food thing.

But I'm going to keep plugging along anyway.

Here are my stats for today:
Workout: Treadmill
Time: 30 minutes
Ave. Hrt rate: 119
Max. Hrt rate: 150
Calories burned: 210
comparison from last Sunday: up 5.2

Word of the day:
Matthew 11:25-30
Jesus said, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'

Reflections from the cornfield:
We are called to enter the Kingdom of God as little children. Children trust - they don't analyze, they take things at face value. A visiting missionary once put it this way. "Little children trust because they have more recently been in the company of God." It's true, you know. As we journey on this earth, we accumulate things - not just material things, but spiritual baggage. A child does not know how to discriminate. He will notice differences, but not in a judgemental way. Bigotry is a learned trait - not something we are born with.

A child trusts that his needs will be taken care of. He doesn't sit around worrying about where his next meal is coming from. He just trusts that when he cries out, he will be given food, or warmth, or clothing, or shelter. But as we grow older, we see things differently. We see that there are people who don't have enough shelter, or enough to eat, or clothes to wear. We grow cynical. Often, we blame God for allowing such things to happen. But who is the body of Christ? We are given that charge to take care of our brothers and sisters. This is not a heavy burden - this yoke is easy - if we act out of love. I never hear this passage from Matthew without thinking of the air from "Messiah" entitled "He Shall Feed His Flock." And he does - at Eucharist through his body and blood and in the world through us. At the end of the Mass the words in latin used to be "Ita Missa Est. " "It is the mission." In English the words now are "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and each other." First comes the love - that is what makes the yoke easy and the burden light. No?

God bless the troops!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
I have a feeling that tomorrow's weigh-in is not going to be pretty. It's been a bad week eating wise. I seem to have lost focus. I am a person who really has to work hard at focusing. The bigger picture is always overwhelming to me. This is the reason that freeways scare me. My brain just can't process that much information at once. So this morning I have re-grouped. I have my menu planned for the week. I am going to focus on sticking solely to that menu with no deviations - no grabbing a handful of this or that and not accounting for it. No eating other that planned meals or snacks. Just for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Word of the day:
Matthew 9:14-17
The disciples of John came to Jesus, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved."

Reflections from the cornfield:
The Bible is divided into 2 parts - the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament(or Christian Scriptures). The first points to the coming of Christ and the second is the fulfillment of the first.

I used to teach religion class to 7th graders. I loved this age because this is where they begin to question. I had one boy in the class named Joey. He was the brave one who always asked the questions that the others were afraid to ask. One question stands out in my mind. Why do we need the Old Testament? I couldn't give him an answer just then so I told him I would think about it. What came to mind was the parellel Jesus often made between marriage and our relationship with God. The Old Testament could be seen as the courtship and the New Testament, the marriage. When a couple marries, they bring their courtship experience to the marriage and yet they are beginning life anew. They move from the homes in which they grew up and move to a new home. They bring their new relationship as husband and wife (new wine) to a new dwelling place (new wineskins).

Sometimes, when I am at a wedding, as the bide and groom take their vows, I can hear another voice speaking gentle words.

The Bridegroom
I, (Source of all Love) take you,
(whom I have called by name)
to be my own.
I promise to be true to you:
In good times
(even when you forget me)
and in bad
(even when you curse me)
In sickness,
(even when you blame me)
and in health,
(even when you think you don't need me)
for richer
(even when you lose sight of me)
and for poorer
(especially then)
I will love you
(though you crucify me)
and honor you
(who are made in my image)
All the days of my life.
(from The Tarantella Dancers copyright, Mary A. Moeggenborg, 2000)
God bless the troops!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July all! Sorry about there being no blog entry yesterday. We are still in the process of switching our ISP. I think we have it solved now.

On the lowcarb front:
I am having some serious struggles with staying on plan. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is. There isn't really anything off plan that I really want to eat, but for some reason I am struggling. I don't know if this is a cyclical issue or not. There are times that you just have to keep on keepin' on, and dismantle the critical mind which is trying to sabatog the plan.

On the home front:
No big plans today. Just kickin' back - no routines. I've been puttering. We have a wedding to go to on Saturday and DH asked for a special basket for the couple. So I've been finishing up some personalized Christmas stockings for Dan and Tina, made a farm grubby, and added some odds and ends of special items. I love putting together our primitive gift baskets and the recipients are always thrilled with the unique gifts.

Word of the day:
Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."

Reflections from the cornfield:
One has to wonder exactly who the "sick" are in this passage. The tax collectors and the sinners recognize their need for Jesus, while the Pharisees do not. It seems to me that all of the judgementalism is coming from people whose eyes are blinded by logs, if you get my drift. If ever there were people in need of being told to "get a life" it would be the Pharisees. I find it interesting that the "righteous" Pharisees address the disciples rather than going straight to the source. But, let's be sure, before we criticize that Pharisees, that our own behavior is in order. I would think that little task would keep us fairly busy - too busy to be judging other people.

God bless America!
God bless the troops!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
No workout today. I am such a slacker.
I'm also up a pound from last Wednesday. I've gotten rather sloppy. I need to tighten up the ship here.

On the home front:
I'm late getting the blog up today because we are waiting for our phone/modem to arrive and I didn't have one to connect with this morning. I made some candles yesterday with the new apple pie fragrance oil. One of the duties each time I make candles and change the fragrance or the jars, is that I have to test. I tried making a pint sized candle and switched up some wicks with the smaller jars. I need to change the size of the wick, but the scent throw is amazing. I'm always a season ahead with this stuff so my house smells like fall right now.

Word of the Day:
Matthew 8:28-34
When Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, 'What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?' Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. The demons begged him, 'If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.' And he said to them, 'Go!' So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and perished in the water. The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.

Reflections from the cornfield:
I'm not sure what I think about this passage. I am assuming that it takes place in Gentile territory because of the presence of the pigs. What is interesting, though, is that while the disciples are still trying to figure out who Jesus is, the demons know exactly who he is and that there is a time in which Jesus will deal with them. After the demons enter the pigs and the pigs rushed down the bank and into the sea, the swineherds run of to town and spread the news on the way. The town comes out to meet, but apparently not greet, Jesus. Instead of thanking him, they beg him to leave. What a welcome. If only the people had seen in Jesus what the demons saw, perhaps they would have begged him to stay, but out of fear they reject him. We know who Jesus is. What's our excuse?

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From the lowcarb front:
No workout today. I am going to try and get a walk in later tonight.
I am the same as last Tuesday. I will update this section later.

On the home front:
Yesterday I went to Sam's club to stock up on the necessities of life - Mrs. Freshley's Creme Filled Chocolate Cupcakes for Harold's lunch. (The fact that the word is creme and not cream ought to be a clue as to how wholesome these things are.) With gas prices being what they are, I try to organzize all of my errands and make that trip every other week. Sam's Club was my last stop. After loading the car and heading out, I got out on the freeway. (Anyone who knows me knows that this is huge because I do not like to drive on the freeway.) I made myself do it because facing a fear is the only way to get past it. Anyway, as I turned onto our road, I reached for my purse to check my cell phone. No purse! I pulled onto the dirt lot at the start of our road and checked the back seat and the trunk. No purse. There was nothing to do but turn around and go back.

All the way there I thought about what was in that purse - credit cards, cell phone, cash, keys to the school, keys to the church, etc. I tried to tell myself that people are, for the most part, honest. But there are some who aren't. I prayed a little prayer all the way back to Sam's Club. I got to the spot where I had left my cart. No purse. As I entered the store, there was a lady and a young man who nodded before I even had the words out. The young man, an employee of the store, had noticed the purse and brought it in. Since my cart was where I had left it, he wasn't out rounding up carts. He just happened to see the purse and did the right thing. From now on I keep my car keys in my purse and not in my pocket. Sheesh, getting old is tough! And I think next time I go to Sam's Club I will take along some of our fudge for that wonderful young man.

Made lemongrass soap last night. I love that fragrance, but I spilled a little of the fragrance oil and today lemongrass is a bit overpowering.

Word of the Day:
Matthew 8:23-27
And when Jesus got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"

Reflections from the Cornfield:
I have often wrestled with this passage because it has always seemed to me that fear would be a normal human reaction to a situation such as the one in which the disciples find themselves. I think perhaps it is the way the disciples approached Jesus in this instance; not with confidence and faith, but with fear. Fear is the biggest challenge we face as Christians. Throughout the scriptures there is the admonition "Do not be afraid" "fear not". In most instances, when there is a divine revelation the messenger begins by telling the recipient to fear not. Fear is what we need to overcome. It is what keeps us from being all that we are meant to be.

In the Mass we recite the "Lord's Prayer." After the words "but deliver us from evil" there is an embolism spoken by the priest. "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety." In our diocese, this embolism was suspended for a number of years, the reasoning being that it was considered redundant. I don't know about that, I am a lay person so I wouldn't presume to question people who have much more scriptural education than I. However, a visiting priest told me that it was important because there is something that is explicit in the embolism which is implicit in the prayer. And that is anxiety. And what is anxiety except the by-product of fear?

Jesus knew that fear would be the greatest stumbling block the disciples would face. It was fear that caused Peter to take his eyes off Jesus when Jesus called him to walk out on the sea. It was fear that drove the disciples from the garden the night Jesus was arrested. It was fear that caused Peter to deny him. It is fear that fuels the fires of racism, and the winds of war.

In an earlier passage, Jesus tells us, "do not fear those who can kill the body, but not the soul. Rather, fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna." I suspect that in the original there are two different words used for "fear." There is the fear that is incapacitating, causing us to run and then there is fear of God which I take to mean a respect and awe for God's all encompassing power. Faith suffers when fear gains a foothold.

"Be not afraid." Easier said than done. My prayer for the day? "Oh, Lord, increase my faith."

God bless the troops!