Ruby for Women “a voice for every Christian woman”
Make this lovely teacup pincushion and Mother’s Day card from Vintage Image Craft
Recipes for a festive Mother’s Day brunch
Devotional and Inspirational Articles
Mother’s Day Edition, 2011
Handcrafted Mother’s Day gift ideas
Make the Gardener’s Delight Quilt Block from Cottage Quilt Designs
Image courtesy of Dorothy Kurchak Homer, “Gardening with Aunt Dots”
“Her worth is far above rubies . . .” Proverbs 31:10
Staff Writers Ruby for Women Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Katherine Corrigan, Graphic Designer and Creative Assistant Lynn Mosher, Devotions
In This Issue . . . Page 3
Musings from the Heart of a Mother Nina Newton, Sr. Editor
Are You Listening? Amanda Johnson
Can the Smell of a Fragrance Play a Role in the Life of a Woman? Sheila Watson Kraklow
A Garden of Love Dedication Thomas B. Clarke
Vintage Teacup Pincushion and Mother’s Day Card Vintage Image Craft
Quick and Easy Biscotti Recipe Sheila Watson Kraklow
All the Empty Chairs Lynn Mosher
Book Review: “A Garden of Love” Dorothy Kurchak Homer
Cold Porcelain Craft Kausar Iqbal
Colorful Bouquet Word Scramble Puzzle Beth Brubaker
A Touch of Humor Amy Lignor
Friendship Heide Louise Wright
Sneaky Cheek Pals Lee E. Shilo
Mother’s Day Crochet Gift Ideas Jennifer Cirka, Jaybird Designs
Footprints in the Mud Beth Brubaker
Ready, Set, Go! Springtime is Here! Dorothy Kurchak Homer
Keith Wallis, Poetry Beth Brubaker, Family Fun Editor Dorothy Kurchak Homer, Gardening Rochelle Martin, Quilting Jennifer Cirka, Crochet & Cooking
Spring Cleaning Time! Let your blog and shop reflect your personality! It's easy and customized just for you at www.Made It For You You.com .com
Guest Authors and Contributors Deborah McCarragher
Berry-Berry Lemon Cake Recipe Vintage Mama
A Garden of Love Thomas B. Clarke
Gardener’s Delight Quilt Block Rochelle Martin
Women’s Wisdom for Your Health and Wellness Bernadette Collins
Orange Pecan French Toast Recipe Vintage Mama
What Will I Remember? Keith Wallis
Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Craft Connie Arnold, Poetry
Sheila Watson Kraklow Heide Louise Wright Bernadette Collins Thomas B. Clarke Eldridge “Lady E” Cole Kausar Iqbal 38
Caedmon’s Muse Keith Wallis
Kid’s Parties – Keeping it Simple Beth Brubaker
Make Your Own Spring Flower Note Cards Katherine Corrigan
Don’t Forget the Corners Amanda Johnson
Specializing in handmade bags for women and children www.sewendless.etsy.com
Ask a Silly Question Beth Brubaker
And Do You Stare? Keith Wallis
A First Time Keith Wallis
Changing Water into Wine (Without Any Grapes) Eldridge “Lady E” Cole
Love from the Prayer Garden Thomas B. Clarke 53
Flower Template for Spring Note Cards Katherine Corrigan
Colorful Bouquet Word Scramble Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker
Meet the Ruby Writers
Musings from the Heart of a Mother by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Having been a mother for many years now, I’ve definitely had my share of opportunities to make lots of mistakes! Contemplating the celebration of Mother’s Day, which is just around the corner, always reminds me of days gone by when my older children were small. It seems that every mother I’ve ever talked to carries a sense of nostalgia for those days when life felt endless; that we would have forever to “get it right.” And suddenly they are grown-up and on their own. Children have a way of doing that – they grow up while we are busy doing all the things that mamas have to do. Sometimes it is hard to remember that all of those “mama tasks” are done out of our love for our babies, even when they take our time and attention away from those little ones. Teaching our children about the realities of life, including the very real truth that mamas and dads need to work to provide for them, will help them grow up to be independent and strong. Finding that balance between giving our children all the love and attention we possibly can, with helping them understand that sometimes we have other responsibilities as well, can be a tricky business! Many years ago I remember hearing a song that my children were singing in Sunday School. It was a catchy little tune with a message about how special and treasured these adorable little angels are. It went something like this:
“I’m something special, I’m the only one of my kind. God gave me a body, and a bright, healthy mind. He had a special purpose that He wanted me to find, So, He made me something special, I’m the only one of my kind!” Now that was a very long time ago, but I remember thinking at the time, “That’s great that we are teaching our children how precious they are to us and to God.” But then I also realized that we need to teach our children the “rest of the story.” And the “rest of the story” is that, not only are they special, but so is everyone else in the world! Unfortunately, many people have grown up not realizing that this is only part of the message of God’s love and grace. And as parents, we need to give our children the gift of love, and they need to know that they are treasured gifts from God to our family. But we must balance that with the recognition that if we forget that everyone else is also a treasured gift from God to the world, and therefore they deserve to be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect, we risk raising children who think the universe revolves around them. And they will be sadly disappointed when they grow up and realize that it just isn’t true! Those are just a few reflections from the heart of this Vintage Mama on Mother’s Day. ~~ Nina
Are You Listening? Assistant Editor Ruby for Women
Do you hear it? Do you hear the sound of creation singing to the Father? Do you hear the heavenly hosts singing? Do you hear the chorus of praise? Listen carefully. Listen closely. Stop what you're doing. Sit quietly. Silence the thoughts in your head. Stand still and listen. Do you hear? The silence is singing. The busy city streets are praising Him. The wind is rushing to His throne. The children are sending up cries of laughter. The earth is moving in rhythm of glorious exaltation to the King of Kings. It's hard to hear sometimes. During a time of focus and meditation I simply told God all I could hear was noise all around me. He urged me to listen harder. I soon realized the sounds of the people and the congestion of traffic filled roadways translated through heavenly realms into praise to His Holy Name. Even those who do not choose to worship can do nothing to prevent the praise and exaltation from going straight to the ears of God. Whether we deny Him or embrace Him we are His children and He loves us and is constantly speaking to us. Believers automatically translate the sound and understand His calling.
Christ has opened our hearts, eyes, and ears to the sounds of Heaven. Unbelievers can't hear it. They don't stop long enough to allow their heart to listen. They're in a tunnel of darkness and it's up to us to shine the light of Christ and help bring them out of the mist and into His presence. But we can't do that if we aren't taking time to listen ourselves. We can get thrown back into the cloud of darkness just like unbelievers when we fill ourselves with the ways of this world. Don't get distracted. We "are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light" (I Peter 2:9). Sing loud and clear! Praise Him in all circumstances. Shine the light of Christ into the darkness of this world. Listen for the praises and join in! I love listening to the words of the praise songs in church. They’re such a blessing to my weary soul. It’s not always easy to hear from God in our crazy world, but I pray that each of you will hear His voice as He speaks to you through the words of this month’s Ruby for Women. Blessings! ~~ Amanda
Send Out Cards with Danie K. Bell
When was the last time you sent an unexpected card at an unexpected time to someone you care about? Do you think it would make a difference? Do you remember people's birthdays and other special occasions? With this incredible tool, not only can you remember people and share appreciation, you can motivate, uplift, encourage and truly make a difference! Visit Danie for more ideas and learn how you can Send Out Cards! www.sendthecards.com 4
Can the Smell of a Fragrance Play a Role in the Life of a Woman? by Sheila Watson Kraklow Fragrances bring back memories from deep in my heart. When I gave thought to this title, I was immediately taken back to my first grade teacher. You see, I was terrified to go to school, I was six years old but the thought of school sent fear creeping up my spine. I could even taste the fear; what a bitter taste. Going to school for me meant a long bus ride to a town 12 miles away from home. I loved the little town because my Grandparents lived there and I knew the town well. I used to play in the streets with my two sisters. It was a lovely town, but to go to school in that town, huh-uh; not me. But go I did. I got on that big bus, sat in a seat with my sister and all-too-soon I walked into the building! There I was at school with that bitter taste in my mouth and a massive lump in my throat! I could cry right now just remembering that day. I found myself sitting at a desk and hating every minute I was there, but then I caught a whiff of something so wonderful. My eyes moved to the door of the school room as a rather large woman walked through the doorway. In came my teacher; the woman who would steer my frightened heart toward the gift of learning. Her name was Mrs. Hyde and she was a rotund, mild-mannered, gentle-voiced lady. She wore a gray trench coat, topped off with a silk scarf around her neck and rubber boots that fastened on the side with a button and loop system. She placidly removed the trench coat, then the scarf; pulling it up one sleeve of the coat, then she hung them both on the coat rack by the door. She took a well-worn, mauve-colored wool sweater off of that same coat rack and slung it around her shoulders, not putting it on fully but using it like a cape. She did not, however, remove the opaque rubber boots she was wearing over her shoes. I watched her do all this, actually feeling a bit better seeing her full bosom and round face. Her appearance in the doorway at last put a face on the word “Teacher.” While she did these few things upon entering the room, I was filled with wonder at the way she smelled. What heavenly scent filled my lungs? Her amazing aroma had arrived slightly before she appeared. I took deep breaths of that smell. Gulping and almost gasping I pulled those sweet chunks of air into my lungs. I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me then, but I knew I’d be alright. Somehow that fragrance put my childish spirit at ease. My grandmother’s perfume did that for me too. I remember how she smelled and how even now I long for that precious aroma to fill my lungs again. She had a fragrance about her that no one else will ever have. It was a combination of her perfume, “To a Wild Rose” and the “Dove Soap” she used. That scent combination is ever seared into my soul. What I would give to be sitting on her lap again, to lean in ever so slightly so that I could – yes, there it is -- smell her. Of course my sweet mother smelled wonderful too. She used “Evening in Paris” perfume, not a lot, but just a touch behind each ear and on the pulse points of her neck and wrists. She also wore “Tangee Lipstick.” If you don’t know that aroma then, my friend, you have not lived! (The company that makes it uses Orange-Blossom oil in it and to me it smells divine) When I was a child, if I smelled that particular lipstick and perfume, I knew we were going out; the combination of the two fragrances was the elixir of life itself to me. 5
I would like to go back-in-time and sit again at the feet of Mrs. Hyde in that school-room and fill my lungs with her good, kind spirit. Often I long to again curl-up into the arms of my mother and lay my head on her shoulder and drink deeply of her fragrance. And oh how I long to sit again with my grandmother. Please God, just one more time to surround myself with her sweet aroma. Fragrance does indeed play a significant role in the life of a woman. Moreover, it does touch deeply the lives of those around her. The effects of fragrance on a woman can calm a fearful heart thus opening a channel for peaceful learning. Fragrances can fill one’s soul, bring love and understanding. A women’s fragrance can create memories in ways she may never have imagined. When a woman wears a fragrance, she is not just applying it to her skin, she is applying it to her life! She is sending a message to the world around her evoking sentiments, stimulating love, and creating deep emotion. It has been said that music hath charms to soothe a savage beast. I believe that it is fragrance that hath charms to touch and to soothe a yearning heart!
A Garden of Love Dedication by Tom Clarke Tom Clarke, in his book A Garden of Love, wrote the following words in the dedication to his Lord Jesus and to his wife Nancy: To my wife Nancy – On May 26, 1997, we took a trip to the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario along with another couple. The tulips were still out that day – like trays full of tea cups that were laid out for a Queen, we saw more color than the eye could behold. There were beds of red and white tulips, and then some orange and red ones. Some were white with frilly tops, others were tall and slender yellow-flowered. There were the fancy orange and green parakeet tulips and even some purple ones. Each flower bed was more abundant than the last – masses and masses of breath-taking color. I took your hand that day even though you had no understanding that I had my eyes on you. What you thought was an act of kindness was really setting a direction that would be for the rest of our lives. I found in you a kindred spirit, a lover of flowers, and a worshipper of Jesus Christ; we were married four months later. As with the Song of Solomon, we have entered the garden together. May we continue to increase in the love of Christ. I love and cherish you dearly. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together (Psalm 34:3).
Craft this vintage teacup pincushion with odds-andends for a perfect Mother's Day present – and try the matching card! Springtime craft from Vintage Image Craft
www.vintageimagecraft.com I don't know how we got the idea to make a matched set of an elegant teacup pincushion and Mother's Day card. But they were both so simple, and as long as you have the glue gun warmed up. We found our porcelain teacup at the Goodwill Store for $.25 - pure white with a graceful raised pattern around the bottom. The fabric was a faded floral flannel left over from a quilt project. Together they have a vintage charm. The vintage image of a mother holding her baby comes from the cover of a piece of 1921 sheet music, "Mother's Lullaby," by Milton Weil, available from Vintage Image Craft (see below). This craft is so easy; we ended up with only one instructional photograph. Once we started, our teacup pincushion was done before we could reach for the camera. On a page 10, we have instructions for making the matching Mother's Day card. The teacup pincushion and card make a wonderful set to give to your mother this Mother's Day!
Materials needed for making the Vintage Image Craft Teacup Pincushion and Mother’s Day Card: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Vintage Images (FREE image, see below), printed on clear adhesive label paper. Clear 8.5" X 11" adhesive label paper for inkjet printers (we used Avery 18665). Decorative braid, 50", burgundy (see Tips). Porcelain or ceramic teacup, plain white. Decorative embroidery scissors (these are part of the gift!) Coordinating fabric, 12" square. We used a blue-on-blue floral flannel. Needle and heavyweight thread, any color. Polyester fiber (pillow stuffing). Hot glue gun. Tacky craft glue (like Aleene's). Fabric scissors or pinking shears. Small scissors like embroidery or manicure scissors. 7
1. Cut a circle of fabric to a diameter 6" larger than the diameter of the teacup rim. Our teacup was 3" across, so we cut our fabric circle to 9" in diameter with pinking shears. 2. Sew a running stitch all around the edge of the fabric, 1/2" in from the edge, loosely gathering the fabric as you stitch. 3. Stuff the cushion with the polyester fiber until it is very firm. Pull the gathers tight and tie off the thread with a French knot. You should have a round cushion. Place it in the cup to be sure it fits securely. 4. Apply a bead of hot glue all around the inside of the cup, about 1/2" below the rim. Insert the cushion and press until the glue dries. 5. With the glue gun (or tacky craft glue), adhere the braid around the base of the cup and the top edge of the cup against the cushion (see Tips). 6. Print the vintage image on to the clear adhesive label sheet and cut it out with small scissors. Peel off the paper backing and apply the image to the front of the cup, or apply an image to each side. Press it on firmly with your fingers through a a tissue to avoid damaging the image. 7. Tie a 20" length of the braid into a loop with a double knot. Insert one end of the loop though the cup handle and pull the other end through the loop to knot it. Repeat this on the other end of the loop through one handle of the embroidery scissors. 8. Could that have been simpler? Stick some decorate pearl-headed or jewel-headed pins in the top and you have a lovely, decorative teacup pincushion for mom!
TIPS: * Decorative braid comes in various sizes and colors. At your fabric store, compare the braids for sewing (usually with the trims) and the upholstery braids (usually with the tassels and upholstery fabrics). Choose the size braid that fits with your teacup. Also, keep in mind that you will be tying the embroidery scissors to the cup, and some braid may be too heavy to work with. You may want to buy a thinner coordinating braid for tying on the scissors. * Braid can be frustrating stuff, because as soon as you cut it, it begins to unravel. You can spare yourself this grief by untwisting the braid slightly where you want to cut, placing a couple of drops of fabric glue between the braids with a toothpick, and twisting it tight again until it dries. Then cut through the dried glue - no unraveling! Now, why not make a matching Mother's Day card to go with your teacup pincushion? You already have most of the material lying in front of you and your inkjet printer is warmed up. Our exclusive Mother's Day card design uses the same fabric and a larger version of the same vintage image. We particularly like the aged look you can achieve with a light application of distressing ink to the edges of the cut paper. Distressing ink is a translucent dye-type ink on a raised ink pad. You can apply the ink directly by rubbing the pad on the edges of the paper, or you can use an applicator. We used our favorite applicator - foam cosmetic wedges. 8
The design for this Mother's Day card grew out of our teacup pincushion craft. We thought a matched set of a pincushion and card would be extra special for Mom. Also, we were inspired by the vintage image we found of a mother with her baby. This 1921 illustration comes from the cover of an antique piece of sheet music, "Mother's Lullaby," by Milton Weil. Finally, we wanted to try out a new pad of distressing ink. This is a semi-translucent dye-type ink that comes on a raised stamp pad. When rubbed or applied on paper, it adds a faded, aged look. On a separate page, we have instructions for making the matching Teacup Pincushion. They make a wonderful gift set to give to your mother this Mother's Day!
Materials for making the Vintage Image Craft Mother’s Day card: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Vintage Images (FREE see above), printed two times: on white matte photo paper, and on peach construction paper. White matte photo paper. Construction paper or light card stock, 8.5" X 11", peach (see Tips). Cover stock or card stock, white or ivory, 7" X 15". Coordinating envelope, 5.25" X 7.25" (see Tips). Scrap note card or card stock, 5" X 7". Coordinating fabric, 4.5" X 6" (see Tips). Distressing ink (we used Distress Ink in the antique linen color, by Tim Holtz for Ranger Ink) (see Tips). Foam cosmetic wedge for applying the distressing ink. Glue stick or tacky craft glue (like Aleene's). Fabric scissors or pinking shears. Decorative edge scissors. Small scissors like embroidery or manicure scissors. Craft knife. Bone folder
Instructions * Print the vintage images on the matte photo paper. There are two identical 3"-wide images on the PDF file: Choose one to be a template and the other to apply to the card. Cut out both images with small scissors. * Fold the template image in half vertically. Fold a 5" X 7" scrap note card in half vertically. Nest the folded note card in the folded heart-shaped template. Draw a line around the image template, about 1/2" larger than the template. Cut this heart shape from the note card and lay it flat. This 4"-wide heart is the template for cutting a window in the face of the card.
* Trim the card stock to 7" X 15". From one end of the 15" side, measure in 5" and score a vertical line with the bone folder. Measure in 10" from the same edge and score a second vertical line. This divides the card stock into three 5" X 7" panels. Fold the outside panels, left panel first, over the center panel to be sure the top and bottom edges align perfectly. If the left panel does not fold flat inside the card, trim the left edge a smidgen. * Place the card face-down and flatten the panels. With a ruler and pencil, draw two intersecting lines connecting the four corners of the center panel. Using these lines as guides, center the heart template horizontally, about 1.75" from the bottom edge. Trace around the heart template with a pencil and cut out the window with a craft knife. * Rub the edges of the cut-out window AND the vintage image with distressing ink, using the foam cosmetic wedge. * Trim the fabric to 4.5" X 6" with pinking shears or fabric scissors. Adhere it to the back of the left panel with glue stick or tacky craft glue. Be sure none of the fabric edges show through the window when the panel is folded in. * Apply glue stick or craft glue to the entire back of the center panel, around the window, to the edges. Fold in the left panel onto the glue and press it under heavy books until the glue is dry. * Print the "Happy Mother's Day" text from the PDF download onto the peach paper. Trim it to 1" X 4.25" with decorative scissors. Rub the edges with distressing ink. * With glue stick, glue the vintage image heart in the center of the fabric heart on the face of the card. Glue the "Happy Mother's Day" tag below the heart. * Write your Mother's Day message inside and give it to mom with a hug and a kiss.
Tips: â€˘ â€˘
The peach-colored paper can be any kind of paper that will go through your inkjet printer. We used construction paper, but any lightly textured paper will do. Distressing ink is a semi-translucent dye-type ink that comes on a stamp pad. The pad is raised from the base so you can use it to apply the ink directly to paper. We preferred to apply the ink sparingly with a foam cosmetic wedge, rubbing it along the edges of the card window and the "Happy Mother's Day" tag on the front. We chose Ranger Ink's Tim Holtz Distress Ink in a yellowish color called "antique linen," but blue or pink would have been suitable for this card, too. For the fabric, we used the blue-on-blue floral flannel left over from our teacup pincushion craft. You can use any coordinating fabric, but a small print design is best so it is recognizable around the image. 11
You can use a ready-made envelope for your card, or make your own. The quickest way we know to make a custom envelope is to use a commercial envelope as a rough pattern: o Select your envelope paper - plain or patterned - and trim it to dimensions roughly three times the height and width of your new envelope. o With a pencil and ruler, draw a rectangle with the dimensions of your new envelope face in the center of the back of the paper (make the face dimensions 1/2" larger than the dimensions of your card). o Disassemble and flatten a commercial envelope (roughly the size and shape of the envelope you are making) to use as a template. Line up one corner of the template face with the same corner of your drawn rectangle face. With a pencil, trace the two adjoining flaps from the corner to the tips. Repeat for each of the four corners and remove the template. o Freehand, draw in curved tips for your new flaps. If your new envelope is larger than the template, you will have to connect the flap lines. If the envelope is smaller than the template, round off the point where the flap lines cross. o Cut along the outside lines. With a bone folder and straight edge, score the four fold lines around the face of the envelope. With the template as a guide, fold the flaps and burnish with a bone folder, and glue the bottom, left and right flaps together with glue stick.
Ruby Extras Here are a few important days to remember throughout the month of May! • • • • • • • •
May 1 – May Day May 2 – Brothers and Sisters Day May 3 – Teacher Appreciation Day May 5 – National Day of Prayer, Cinco de Maya May 6 – Space Day May 8 – Mother’s Day May 21 – Armed Forced Day May 30 – Memorial Day For a complete listing of holidays and celebration weeks visit: visit http://www.celebrate-american-holidays.com/Holidays-in-May.html
Quick and Easy Biscotti by Sheila Watson Kraklow What could be better for Mother’s Day than this Quick and Easy Biscotti? Quick, easy, and delicious with that just-right crunch factor we all love in Biscotti; this recipe has all that and more. Quick and easy since it utilizes a cake mix, delicious because of a few tempting additions, and then the crunch factor is accomplished as the Biscotti bakes. Biscotti meaning “sweet biscuit” in both Spanish and Italian, is a coffeehouse pastry that is hardened so that it can be an accompaniment to a cup of coffee. As you sip your coffee, you can enthusiastically dunk this cookie-type-pastry into your coffee without fear of it breaking and clumping into your posh coffee infusion. Biscotti can be made the traditional Italian way with almonds and almond flavoring or one may add-in a multitude of nutmeats, flavorings and spices. Chocolate biscotto is also very popular. Most types of Biscotti come with creamy icings, glazes, and sweet toppings. Quick & Easy Chocolate Almond Biscotti Recipe makes 14-16 servings Ingredients 1-18.5 oz. any brand chocolate cake mix 2 eggs 1/2 cup melted butter or oil 1-2 tbsp. water 1/3 cup sliced almonds 2 tsp. vanilla Glaze: 1/2cup chocolate chips 1/4cup vanilla baking chips (white chocolate) 2 tbsp. cream Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour cake mix into a large mixing bowl, add eggs, butter, and water, stir until soft dough is formed, similar to cookie dough. If dough is too dry, add 1 tbsp. water and stir, dough should be stiff. Add almonds and stir in gently. Place dough onto a very lightly floured work surface and work it into a wide thick loaf; around 2 inches thick and 2 ½ - 3 inches high, and 9-10 inches long, mound slightly in the center. Place loaf on prepared baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300oF. 13
Using two spatulas remove whole loaf from baking sheet and slice with a bread knife (serrated edge) into 14-16 slices 34” slices. Place slices cut side down on the lined baking sheet once more; bake an additional 8 minutes, turn biscotti slices over; bake 8 minutes more. Watch carefully, they can burn, adjust temperature according to your own oven. Some ovens bake hotter than others do. Biscotti should be very hard at this point. Remove from oven, and place biscotti’s onto a cooling rack. When cold ice, glaze or apply your chosen topping. For glaze: Add 1 tbsp. cream to a glass measuring cup add chocolate chips, microwave on medium heat until chips are melted. Stir and set aside. Add 1 tbsp. cream to another glass, measuring cup, add vanilla baking chips, microwave on medium heat until chips are melted, and stir. Drizzle melted vanilla glaze over each section of biscotti, repeat using the melted chocolate glaze. Use a light back and forth drizzling effect to make thin strips of each glaze. Allow drizzle to cool and harden for 10-12 minutes and serve. Variations for toppings: •
Use white chocolate, melt in microwave and dip one end only into this, and then into crushed nuts.
For a minty drizzle, use Andes Mints, melt with cream in a microwave and drizzle or dip biscotti into this.
The add-in options for biscotti dough are limited only by your epicurean imagination, but here are a few ideas: Macadamia Nut and Apricot: Use dried minced apricots and chopped macadamia nuts, in a spice cake mix. Use lemon cake mix, with lemon icing glaze. Using premade icing, melt 1/2 cup in microwave, and drizzle as above. Use Pumpkin, Gingerbread or Cranberry Quick Bread mix and the above ingredients to make festive Holiday Biscotti, glaze with cream cheese icing and ground walnuts. Using your vivid imagination and handy “store-bought” ingredients, you will be making Biscotti for all your friends. Once you do, they’ll pester you for more! Get that coffee brewing and invite them to “Come and get it!”
Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God
Giving the Glory Is there someone in your life who helps others? Do they help you in ways big or small? We are looking for people you know who go out of their way to do good deeds for others! Please share their stories with us - and if you have a picture or two, we'd love to see that as well! Please direct e-mails to Beth Brubaker at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words 'Giving the Glory' in the subject line.
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MAY REQUESTS: * We are planning a trip in Scranton, PA for a week, and would like to know about any fun and out-of-the-way places to go. Can anyone help me? Thank you! ~ R.B. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
No matter the miles between you, mom is still there. You were my fairy tale princess, so much larger than life. You were my angel and my witness through all the pain and strife. At times you made me angry; great words I would proclaim how someday you’d be sorry; you were the one to blame.
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You Can Make This!
But when I needed comforting, you always found the time. Your words were more soothing than days of childhood sublime. Now the distance holds us apart, the boundaries have no end. I’ll hold the memories in my heart; you’re my mother, my best friend. ~~ Anonymous
All the Empty Chairs by Lynn Mosher
Memorial Day…originally known as Decoration Day as it was a day to honor the Civil War dead by decorating their graves. First observed on May 30, 1868 by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, which was an organization of former sailors and soldiers. Part of his proclamation says… “What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. “All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic… “Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,--the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” Congress instituted Memorial Day by passing a law on May 11, 1950, intending it to be a national day of prayer for peace. Part of the White House Memorial Day Proclamation says: Section 169g. Memorial Day as day of prayer for permanent peace “The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each May 30, Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period during such day in which all the people of the United States may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling upon all the people of the United States to unite in prayer at such time; and calling upon the newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information to join in observing such day and period of prayer.” Young people today probably do not know that Memorial Day used to be a solemn day, honoring those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Businesses closed for the day. Parades were held. Speeches and prayers were offered up at cemeteries. People took flowers and flags to the gravesites of those heroes who died in service for their country. In a few places, these things still take place out of respect and honor.
A hero is one who puts himself or herself in harm’s way to protect someone he/she doesn’t even know, who puts his/her life on the line that you and I can live in safety. And usually with little thanks. The next time you see one of our nation’s heroes in uniform stand and applaud him or her. Give him or her a big hug, a pat on the back, or a handshake. Give that one your heartfelt thanks for protecting your homeland. I hope you will take time to view this video. I know you will be blessed… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_klwtm67ogg Please pray for all the families of our fallen service men and women who leave behind empty chairs for their families. And pray for all those troops now deployed in harm’s way that they will return safely to their homes and loved ones. Pray that there will be no more empty chairs.
~~Blessings, Lynn~~ http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com http://twitter.com/lynnmosher http://www.facebook.com/LynnMosher http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lynn-mosher/11/146/206
Spring SCENTSY Fundraiser, Sponsored by Maritza Bonilla Independent Scentsy Distributor
Helping Ruby for Women is really easy, just order online or call Maritza @ 702-738-6901 Ordering Online . . . just 4 easy steps: 1. Go to my web site at www.bonilla.scentsy.us 2. On the left side of my Home page is a box titled "My Open Parties" 3. Just scroll down until you find "Ruby for Women Fundraiser" 4. Click on "Buy from Party" Please contact Maritza Bonilla with questions: Mtbonilla8@aol.com 17
Book Review: A Garden of Love
A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke
by Gardening with Aunt Dots’ Dorothy Kurchak-Homer
A Garden of Love is an experience that takes us deep into the heart of God's love. Using flowers to paint images of Christian love, I would like to take you on a spiritual journey that touched my heart and will hopefully touch yours, revealing the depth of God's love. Thirty flowers are featured in this book, calling us to respond in intimate relationship with the Lord and the fullness of Christian love. Sense how the flowers usher in softness, gentleness, and peace as each precious plant reveals another aspect of grace or kindness, joy or forgiveness, patience or faithfulness. A Garden of Love can be purchased on Tom’s website at www.biblediscernments.com Check out RubyforWomen.com for a chance to win a copy of A Garden of Love!
In reviewing the book A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke I found the author’s connection of love, the Spirit of God and flowers to be one I had not thought of or experienced. Mr. Clarke has felt the teaching of love by the Holy Spirit as he tended the garden and the various flowers. Some examples are the softness of the astilbe as the peace we have with the Lord, the lovely hearts of the bleeding heart teaching us to be sympathetic and the strong roots of the cosmos holding us during the storms of life. The movement of the gaura by the wind showed him the presence of the Spirit and the seasons of the delphineum depicted life, death and resurrection. Throughout the book the author also presents life lessons with Scripture. As a flower grower and lover I appreciated Mr. Clarke’s love of flowers and the way the Spirit within him witnessed to him through the characteristics of the flowers. As I tend my gardens this summer I will invite the Spirit to also speak to me through the beauty of the flowers our Lord has created for us. Thank you, Thomas for a fresh insight into the work of the Spirit. A Garden of Love is now available online at Amazon.com
A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com Poems written as “small stones,” polished moments of paying proper attention to life. 18
Mother’s Day Craft Idea Using Cold Porcelain by Kausar Uqbal What is Creative Cold Porcelain? Cold Porcelain modeling is a relatively new craft which is growing in popularity. This air-dried paste can be made with simple kitchen ingredients, or it can be purchased ready-made at a local art supply store. To make the cold porcelain at home, follow this recipe: Cold Porcelain Recipe Ingredients 2 cups of corn flour plus two spoonfuls 2 cups of wood glue or white glue. 1/2 spoonful rice starch 1 spoonfuls of baby oil or cold cream 1 spoonful of liquid glycerin 1/4 cup of luke-warm warm water 1 lemon juice (small) or 1 tsp vinegar Method Mix the following ingredients one after the other in an enamel pan (not your best pan because it may be hard to clean). Mix baby oil, lemon juice, glycerin, water and cold glue stirring with a wooden spoon. Next, add the corn flour and mix well. Dissolve any lumps. Keep this mixture for 15 minutes then cover so the air bubble escape. Cook at very low heat. After placing on low heat, continue stirring until it becomes thick and uniform (10-15 minutes). Remove the pan from the fire as soon as the dough starts coming away from the sides of the pan. As soon as the paste is cooked, spread 1 tbsp of cold cream on a plastic bag on a flat countertop surface and place the paste on top. While the paste is very hot (be sure to wear gloves!), start kneading the paste by applying cold cream – this will give you better results. Knead the dough to a smooth clay consistency (about 5 – 7 minutes). The trick is the more you knead it, the better it will be to work with. Continue kneading the material until the paste is no longer sticky. Remember, if necessary, thicken with corn flower or soften with hot water. Keep the dough in an airtight sealed plastic bag. Refrigeration is not necessary. This paste is very simple and must be air-dried in the shade. No baking required. And that is why it’s called cold porcelain. It looks like porcelain, but it is not baked and is much easier to work with. Since this paste is white in color, it’s very important that you wash your hands before starting to work to avoid the paste becoming discolored. Take a small amount of paste 19
and knead it properly before every use. If the paste appears too soft leave to open air for a minute and knead. This will help it firm up as the moisture evaporates. Remember: Cold porcelain shrinks about 15-20% on drying. Donâ€™t roll the paste too thin as it will crack from the edges. With creative cold porcelain modeling it is easier to work with using wet fingers especially when working on intricate details. Cold porcelain can be painted on with oil or acrylic-based paints. Food coloring can also be added into the paste. Remember that the color when darken as the paste dries so use small quantities. Kneading is the key in creating good, workable, flexible dough. You are now ready to make flowers and other figurines. Once done, let them dry overnight (larger creations may need longer). Reshaping may be done the next day by holding the flower or figurine over steam and gently bending or reshaping. You can find more of Kausar Iqbalâ€™s creative designs at Creative Designers (http://creativedesignerscrafts.blogspot.com/2011/03/ dough-craft-creativecold-porcelain.html)
Bottle Decor with Cold Porcelain Flowers 1.) Take an empty bottle and fill it with the cold porcelain flowers. 2.) Wrap a ribbon around the bottle and add a bow. 3.) Use a hot glue gun to add additional decorations to the bottle or to secure the bow. 4.) Fill the bottle with freshly made essential oils, a clear salad dressing or simply place a note inside. What a beautiful gift to present to Mom for Mother's Day!
Colorful Bouquet Word Scramble Puzzle by Beth Brubaker
Answers on page 54
A Touch Of Humor with Amy Lignor of The Write Companion “You Shall Love No Other God But Me…” Love, Mom In some houses the phrase, “Wait until your father gets home!” was a familiar mantra. Not in mine. When the eyes of God were upon you in my house…it was Mom. She was the owner of the look. You know? THE LOOK! When ‘The Look’ came over her face, even the cat (who belonged to her) hightailed it out of the room so fast, it was like Superman had been called to a natural disaster. Even Mom’s favorite dog, Jo-Jo, had the common sense to leave the room and send me or my sister a glance back over his shoulder that said, “Sorry, hon. But at least it’s not my fault.” Mom was, and is, a great mother. She never believed in laying a hand on a child. Of course, she didn’t need to, ‘The Look’ was worse than anything I’ve seen; even the ‘Texas Chainsaw Killer’ didn’t look that scary. This week, I’m going to tell you about Mom. I swear, they’ve made some very good movies and television shows about this woman. Mom, The Barbarian: I was overweight and my sister was…meek. These were the two difficulties we had to struggle with growing up. I never met a bread product that I didn’t like (so other kids made sure to tease me at every turn); and, my sister brought gum to school every day so the mean girls would leave her alone and/or be her friend. Mom didn’t take kindly to seeing us cry. Therefore, whenever someone was mean to us, she slipped on that armor and made sure that other kids “rued” the day they ever spoke a bad word about her daughters.
Mom, The Vampire Slayer: At a young age I had a gallbladder attack (apparently the bread products were a bad thing). Upside? Not a lot of teasing occurred from then on out. Downside? Those boys began appearing. Only one broke my heart, but when he went for the jugular Mom took him out! She didn’t need a stake - ‘The Look’ worked just fine. Even those morons had the brains to know they were about to see Heaven first hand. With my sister? ‘The Look’ worked the same way. Boys fell into that cemetery …and they never re-appeared again. The Good Wife: Mom and Dad had a special relationship. They almost never got mad at each other - except when he drained the milk and left the carton in the fridge; or he piled the garbage pail up so high that when she walked through the pantry it fell like a Las Vegas casino that’d seen its final days. Dad always giggled when she mumbled angrily from the kitchen…but that was about it. (She got him back by rearranging the furniture so that he would come in and trip over the couch). They always sat in the living room at night, and looked over at each other every once in a while. They said that they were “checking on each other.” I know he still does that…every time he looks down from Heaven.
Mary-’an’ The Librarian: Mom worked at the local library for most of her life. She loves books and has more knowledge in her little finger than a Yale graduate could ever hope to have in his whole head. She turned my sister and I on to the power of books and, because of her passion for the written word, I was able to go after my dream. Friends: There was a time in my life when I couldn’t speak to anyone about certain things. It was one of those ‘dark’ adolescent times in life where you knew everything and the rest of the world knew nothing. Every night when I came home, there would be a folded letter on my pillow. The letters were always words of encouragement, words of love, and a reminder that Mom was there if I ever needed or wanted to talk about anything.
The letters were signed ‘Me’ with the smiley face :) underneath. Those letters got me through more than she will ever know. My Mother’s Daughter: Time has gone by; my sister and I have brought our own children into the world, and the perfect Mom became the perfect Grandma. She has taught my daughter a great many things, just like she did me. And, thankfully, I was smart enough to remember all she taught so I could pass the gifts of knowledge, love, acceptance, and encouragement on to my own child. Now, my daughter calls me the perfect Mom, and the ring on her cell phone lights up with the word ‘God’ whenever I call her. Of course, I’m not God. I‘m just Mom’s daughter. A very, very grateful daughter. Me :) Read more from Amy Lignor at TheWriteCompanion.com
Ruby for Women is a True Inspiration to The Write Companion Any writer who comes to TWC by way of Ruby for Women automatically receives a
25% discount on all of our services. From proofreading and editing to ghostwriting, research and reviews, Ruby for Women clients will get the very best prices. Not only that, but TWC will read the first three chapters of any manuscript and offer a full consultation for free! Simply write to email@example.com to get the process started. You can also find Amy on her website, The Write Companion, at http://www.thewritecompanion.com
FRIENDSHIP by Heide Louise Wright
Sneaky Cheek Pals by Lee E. Shilo
Friendship is a gift, a special one indeed. Just knowing you can lean on someone, in any time of need. The freedom to be who you are, the love to help us grow; the strength to move us forward, being able to share all that we know. It sees us through the hard times, it laughs when days are good. Knowing you can rely on others being there; you know they would. It gives you hope for a brighter future; you can share your every dream. To be accepted no matter how youâ€™re feeling, even when your sad or a little mean. Two are better than one. They have a better return for their labour. There's something extra sweet, in relying on and loving your neighbour. When you fall, he can help you up, When you cry she can dry your tears, "I the Lord have spoken, A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." c Heide Louise (Wright) www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-MeRoses/110094029042743
Moonlight, Sneaky, Jumpy Cheek, with Mary Jump, she is so sweet, and Lumpy Cheek, are pals. They all play in moonlight time. They all wait for moonlight sign. And when the darkness, of night falls, they run and jump and play with balls. They sneaky here and sneaky there, they sneaky cheeky everywhere. They sneaky up and sneaky down, they sneaky sneak along the ground. Moonlight Sneak, he is the best, but Sneaky is the sneakiest. They are all, sneaky pals. ÂŠ Lee E. Shilo-All Rights Reserved-2011
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas by Jennifer J. Cirka/Jaybird Designs Mother’s Day is just around the corner. And what mom does not like something sweet and handmade?? I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite FREE crocheted gifts to make for Mom. Why not whip her up something now? Floral Cloche (http://www.crochettoday.com/crochet-patterns/floralcloche) Julie Cuff Bracelet (http://www.crochettoday.com/crochet-patterns/juliecuff) Ring Around the Rosey (http://www.crochettoday.com/crochetpatterns/ring-around-rosy) Sweet Heart Sachet (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/sweet-heart-sachet) Box of Chocolates (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/crochet-box-chocolates) Belle Fleur Scarf (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/belle-fleur-scarf) Key Ring Pouch (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/key-ring-pouch) Rose Garden Tote (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/rose-garden-tote) Graceful Shell Shawl (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/graceful-shell-shawl) Spa Necessities (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/spa-necessities) And, of course, anything from Jaybird Designs! (http://jaybirddesigns.blogspot.com/p/free-crochetpatterns.html)
Jaybird Designs specializes in unique crocheted photo hats and props for newborns, babies, and children along with women's hats and accessories, and original crochet patterns. www.jaybirddesigns.etsy.com 25
Make a Mother’s Day Gift Basket You know that all moms love to get little treasures, especially if those little treasures come from someone who truly loves them. Why not put together a decorated basket for your mom this year for Mother’s Day and fill it with lots of little gifts she would love? Here are some ideas: • • •
Decorate a basket with ribbons, beads, fabric flowers, lace, or pretty buttons. Line it with pretty fabric, a fancy hand towel, or a vintage hankie. Fill it with tiny treasures such as handmade soap, bath oil, powder, lotion, cologne, a pair of earrings or a bracelet, a new necklace, garden gloves, or a personalized coffee mug. A selection of scented candles would be nice; or how about chocolate truffles and a small bag of gourmet coffee
What does YOUR mom love (well, besides YOU, of course!)? Fill up her decorated basket and she will truly know that she is loved this Mother’s Day!
Sew Endless with Kelly Masson An Etsy shop that specializes in handmade bags for women and children
Visit iBloom today for inspiration, encouragement, and advice that will help you bloom! http://ibloom.co/ 26
Footprints in the Mud Technology Is Ruining Us! by Beth Brubaker
I remember when I was a teenager, and my parents were complete idiots. They had no clue as to how I was feeling, or about the 'real' world out there. After all, they were a lot older than I was, and people tend to lose their memories after age thirty. Being a teen meant I had the reins of the world, and I could take it anywhere I wanted. Hah! As I grew older, I became much wiser. I had to in order to survive. It was a tough world even before gadgets came into people's lives, and it's even more messed up now because of these gadgets. Why? Because now teenagers can prove we don't know a darn thing about life. At least concerning us. They have the Internet; not something I had when I was a teen. In fact, we had just gotten computers in the classroom when I was a junior in high school, so by the time I graduated, I really didn't have much experience in technology. There is no longer a need for shelves of encyclopedias; even libraries had to update themselves or be shut down from lack of use. Now everyone in America has at least one technological device at hand, and with improvements each year, what used to take up a building can now fit in the palm of our hand. Today's teens can look up anything on the 'net' and find out just how knowledgeable we really are. And they can also prove us wrong, affirming themselves of our idiocy, whereas in the past, they were just slightly suspicious. I can no longer remember the capitol of Africa, so sue me. Go finish your homework, smarty-pants.
Why do they ask us stuff like that anyway? Most of us wouldn't know that unless we worked at a travel agency or shipyard ... sheesh! And why ask when the child took 2.3 seconds to look it up? To prove me wrong? Most likely. I'm also noticing the tone being used on parents when the teen needs to help them with a technical issue. It's downright smug, and they talk to you like you're three years old. And the worst part is that you accept their attitude, because you just lost everything at the touch of a button, and they are the only ones to get it back for you. It's a catch-22, and it really stinks, especially when they give you that know-itall grin when they've successfully brought your documents back from the abyss. I tend to remind them that they really did need my help on occasion during the 'Diaper Years'. Then my children give me this disgusted look and go back to whatever it is they do on the computer. Consoles are forbidden in my house; no handheld devices, no cell phones (except for me and my husband), and nothing else that would turn my babies into technozombies that only speak to me in grunts and moans. We might watch a movie on pizza night, but that's pretty much the extent of our combining socialization with modern technology. Back before cell phones, we used to steer clear of anyone who seemingly talked to themselves as they walked down the street. Now any mentally unbalanced person would fit right in, because everyone has one of those ear thingies 27
that's a radio or phone, and they’re talking or singing up a storm! I've even seen two friends walking together (oh, how nice!), yet they were both on their phones talking to other people. I just don't get that! At first I didn't even want a cell phone. I mean, who wants to carry that thing around all day anyway? What about privacy, or just having a little peace and quiet? Now the thing is attached to me wherever I go, and I have all of my close relatives and friends on my plan. Why? Safety and Serenity. If I forget something I need at the store, I can call my husband and he can get it en route when coming home. If I get stuck, I can call a tow truck. And if my husband is working late, I can still contact him even after the company shuts their phones off. I worry a lot, and having this bit of technology gives me a calmness in knowing that I can call him just to see if he's not dead. Makes me feel all fuzzy inside when he answers. But the rest of it? It just seems too extreme. And my kids are constantly being asked if they have this or that device. Their friends look stricken when they tell them “no.”
Yet these same kids are delighted after they come for a visit! Oh, not in the beginning, of course, because they hear we don't have any game consoles or violent video games to play, but during their visit they play board games, play with a myriad of nongadgetized toys, and actually use their imaginations as they play with building sets or mix up several board games to invent new ones. And their techno gadgets are left behind, untouched in their coat pockets. I love it when that happens! I know technology will be taking over more of our lives, but at least I can try to stall it by not having as much in my home. In the meantime, my kids will be on the net, telling me the capitol of Africa (there isn't one…it's made up of smaller lands with their own capitols; apparently this was a trick question), and looking smug as they find my lost files…again. Read more from Beth at Footprints in the Mud www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com
Make a vintage or retro-inspired apron for
Mother’s Day with these quick and easy, FREE apron patterns!
Visit http://tipnut.com/free-apron-patterns-tutorials/ 28
Ready, Set, Go! Springtime Is Here! Gardening with Aunt Dots by Dorothy Kurchak Homer May is the month of May flowers and I look forward to seeing the spring flowers. One of the first flowers in my garden was the crocus but over the years my crocuses have died out. But, this darling little scilla has multiplied itself very well to take their place. They come from a bulb but multiply by seed. Last fall I moved some of them to other places to brighten up more areas of the gardens. I also made a new garden between a couple back yard buildings where it was difficult to mow, so I’ll move some of the scilla there also this fall. I’m planning to make a little fence to define this new garden. Some visitors at times have driven through this area, so I need to put up the fence to prevent that. This is also the time for the lilacs, one of my favorite shrubs. These lilacs are over 80 years old. My late husband, Mike, remembers them as a child and he would be 83 now. They need some pruning to keep them out of the yard and to remove any dead limbs. Last summer they developed witches broom, which is a fungal disease. I had two of them cut down to the ground and others had to be pruned severely. I’ll be watching the new growth for the disease this spring and summer. If you’re in the area and like lilacs, Mackinac Island in northern Lake Huron has a lilac festival in June. The lilacs there are over 100 years old. It would be a festival worth attending as Mackinac Island is rather quaint in that no motor vehicles are allowed there, only horse drawn carriages and bicycles. The boat trip over to the island is fun also. On the north side of the house the bleeding heart is in bloom. When I look at the little hearts, I’m astonished at the Lord’s creation! This plant has white or pink hearts. Later in the summer it dies down to rest for next spring, so plant something close to it to fill in, like a fern or annual grass. They do best in the shade with some moisture, but will tolerate morning sun. I just have to show you the columbines (aquilegia)! I can’t have enough of them. You can buy the plants from the nursery or plant seeds. I’m in a hurry so I buy the plants. I haven’t had to buy plants for a few years because the plants get pollinated by the bees and then drop seeds which produce a new color! How about that! Columbine prefer semi-shade to sun and avoid the hot afternoon sun. After blooming, cut off the flower stalks at the base and give them some liquid fertilizer and they will put out new growth. The main drawback is the leaf minor, which burrows between the layers of the leaf and leaves transparent lines in the leaves. Then the leaves turn yellow. It’s not very attractive. In the early spring you can work in a systemic pesticide to make the plants poisonous to the leaf minor but harmless to bees and hummingbirds. Or, you can pick the affected leaves off. 29
There’s Mr. Squirrel. He’s waiting for me to fill the feeder with sunflower seeds. He eats a lot and sometimes opens the feeder to get more, clever little fellow. I don’t mind having him raid the feeder. I welcome his company and chatter. I also welcome spring with its load of work and sore muscles. Willis and I will be busy this summer tending to both our homes and yards. Time will tell if we have the energy to do so. Our two little farms are 85 miles apart so there will be some travel. The Lord advised us to take one day at a time, which we will do. We’ll try to enjoy life and not be over burdened with work. May you do so, also. See you later,
Celebrate Mom with this Yummy Berry-Berry Lemon Cake! from the kitchen of Vintage Mama This is a super-simple recipe that makes a delightful cake that is just perfect for celebrating mom’s special day!
Berry - Berry Lemon Cake • • • • • • •
1 8 1/4 oz Lemon cake mix 1 tsp baking powder 1 c. blueberries 8 oz fat-free sour cream, at room temperature 4 Egg whites - whipped 1 tbsp Oil 1 tsp lemon peel - grated
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and flour; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix and baking powder; set aside. In another mixing bowl, combine blueberries, sour cream, egg whites, oil, and lemon peel. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm or cool with powdered sugar or whipped cream.
Gardener’s Delight Quilt by Rochelle Martin This month's issue will give you the instructions, cutting chart and templates for the bottom border of the quilt. The next issue will finish the instructions and cover the top fence border and surrounding quilt borders using the paisley, stone and tan prints. The complete pattern of Gardener's Delight will be available through Cottage Quilt Designs after Ruby's June issue.
Yardage The complete yardage is in the May/June 2010 issue of Ruby. Here is what you will need to make the bottom fence, flowers and birds: From the 7/8 yard of Grass From the 1 yard of White Wood grain From the fat quarters of Red, Yellow, Purple and Pink tonal Scraps of Coral tonal (rose centers), Blue and Dark Blue (bird), and Light Green From the optional 1 yard of fusible web, black embroidery floss To make one entrance block you will need:
Materials for Bottom Fence Row Cut the grass fabric rectangles having the grass blades point vertically. The grass blades should match the other blocks in your quilt. Cut the wood grain fabric having the grain run the length of the fence pickets and horizontal bars. Cut from the Grass print: 4 - 3 ½" wide x 10 ½" rectangles 2 - 2 ½" wide x 10 ½" rectangles Cut from the Wood grain fabric: 4 - 1 ½" wide x 10 ½" strips 6 - 2" wide x 9" rectangles (pickets) Cut from Coral scrap: 6 - V prepared rose centers Cut from Red tonal: 6 - W prepared circles 12 - X prepared rose petals (reverse 6 petals) 31
Cut from Light Green scrap: 6 - prepared Y rose stems 3 - prepared Zz flower stems 8 - prepared yz leaves Cut from Yellow tonal: 3 - prepared W small circles Cut from Purple tonal: 8 - prepared Z petals Cut from Pink tonal: 4 - prepared Z petals Cut from Blue scrap: 1 - prepared 1A bird body Cut from Dark Blue scrap: 1 - prepared 2A bird wing Instructions 1. Prepare the appliqué shapes using the method you prefer-fusible web or hand appliqué. Making the Fence Blocks 1. Sew into a block, one 3 ½" wide x 10 ½" grass rectangle, one wood grain 1 ½" wide x 10 ½" strip, one grass rectangle, one wood grain strip and one 2 ½" wide x 10 ½" grass rectangle (figure 1). Press the seams towards the grass fabrics. Repeat to make a second block. 2. Fold a 2" wide x 9" wood grain rectangle lengthwise in half, right sides facing. Sew a ¼" seam across one short end (figure 2). 3. Turn the picket inside out pushing out the point. Press under ¼" along each long picket side to make a finished 1 ½" wide x 8 5/8" picket. Repeat to make six pickets. 4. Sew the fence blocks and the previously made entrance block into a row having the entrance block in the middle (figure 3). 5. Lay out three pickets on each block. The outer left picket on the rose block should be pinned 3/8" inside the block edge to allow room for the stone border to be added later without catching the pickets in the seam. The outer right picket on the flower block should be pinned 3/8” to the inside of the border edge. The inside pickets of the left and right blocks should straddle the entrance block seam. Appliqué the pickets to the fence blocks by hand or machine. Adding the Appliqués 1. Arrange the roses, stems and bottom two leaves as desired on the left fence block. The sample arranged one rose over the entrance block (figure 4). Sew the shapes to the block. Sew the blue bird and darker wing to the left block. Use black embroider floss to make an eye. Press the block face down on a towel to remove stitching distortion. 2. Arrange the purple and pink flowers, stems and leaves to the right fence block. The sample shows one purple flower extended into the entrance block. Sew the shapes to the block. Press the block.
Diagrams Figure 1
Figure 3 Fence Row
Templates for Rose and Flower Bottom Fence Blocks Gardener's Delight ÂŠ2011 Cottage Quilt Designs All rights reserved. www.cottagequiltdesigns.info
Be sure to visit Rochelle at Cottage Quilt Designs www.cottagequiltdesigns.info 34
Womenâ€™s Wisdom for your Health and Wellness by Bernadette Collins, RN, The Living Well Nurse
Have You Considered the Benefits of Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils. These oils are highly concentrated form of herbs and other plants and can be used for the purpose of healing. These oils can also be used to help with physical ailments, as well as for boosting mood and psychological well-being. Essential oils can enter the body through the nose and the skin. They enter the body through the olfactory system (nose) in several ways: 1) Through the use of essential-oil diffusers, or putting the oils in a bowl of warm water or a humidifier. 2) Massage therapists administer essential oils using massage techniques - (which we'll discuss later) this particular technique absorbs the oils though the skin and circulatory system, as well as through the nose. Benefits of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils 1. Essential oils are so small in molecular size they can penetrate the tissues of the skin. 2. Essential oils are lipid soluble and are capable of penetrating cell walls, even those hardened because of oxygen deficiency. Essential oils can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are metabolized like other nutrients. 3. Essential oils contain oxygen molecules which help transport nutrients to cells. Because nutritional deficiency is an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when cells lack oxygen for proper nutrient assimilation. By providing oxygen, essential oils work to stimulate the immune system. 4. Essential oils are powerful antioxidants that create an unfriendly environment for free radicals. They work as free-radical scavengers, prevent cell mutation, prevent fungus, and prevent cellular oxidation. 5. Essential oils have been shown to destroy bacteria and viruses while simultaneously restoring physiological balance to the body. 6. Essential oils may detoxify cells and blood in the body. 7. Essential oils containing sesquiterpenes have the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier. 35
8. Essential oils are aromatic and when diffused may provide air purification by: -Removing metallic particles and toxins from the air. -Increasing atmospheric oxygen. -Increasing ozone and negative ions in the air, which inhibit bacterial growth. -Eliminating odors from mold, cigarettes, and animals. -Filling the air with a fresh aromatic scent. 9. Essential oils promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. 10. Essential oils have a bioelectrical frequency that is several times greater than the frequency of herbs, food and even the human body. Clinical research has shown that essential oils can quickly raise the frequency of the human body, restoring it to its normal healthy level. 11. Essential oils have an electrical frequency ranging from 52 MHz to 320 MHZ. 12. All essential oils containing sesquiterpenes are known to give oxygen to cells in the body. Thanks for reading!
Delightful and Delicious Orange Pecan French Toast Here’s a little different twist on the traditional breakfast casserole which features scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, and bread, which is then baked in the oven. This Orange Pecan French Toast casserole features the sweet, nutty goodness of pecans with a light, tangy-sweet touch of orange. Perfect for Mother’s Day brunch! Ingredients: 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup butter, melted 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup Cooking spray 1/3 cup chopped pecans 1 teaspoon grated orange rind 1 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup fat-free milk 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large egg whites 2 large eggs 12 (1-inch-thick) slices French bread
Preparation: Combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup; pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over sugar mixture. Combine rind and next 7 ingredients (rind through eggs); stir with a whisk. Arrange bread slices over pecans in dish; pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to overnight. Preheat oven to 350°. Carefully turn bread slices over to absorb excess egg mixture. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes; bake at 350° for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. 36
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A Real Change International with Sandi Krakowski Sandi Krakowski, renowned social media coach and founder of A Real Change International, has spent years developing programs that turn small businesses into multi-million dollar companies. Her personal success in the business world has made her coaching sessions, eBooks and online marketing classes extremely popular. If you are looking to make A Real Change in YOUR life, visit Sandi at her website, A Real Change International at www.arealchange.com/blog/ 37
What Will I Remember?
What will I remember when yesterday becomes a stranger and fifty years ago a friend ? What recent acts of kindness will disappear into mist, as if undone, uncared for and dismissed as time warps and loops in the trickery of memory.
'Caedmon sing some song to me' *1
If she has gone, her scent will haunt the pillow, bringing a smile on interminable nights. Photographs will help; their instants salvaged, their colours strangely twisted by age. The soundtrack of significant moments may herald flashes of history rewritten by hindsight: ‘River deep, mountain high’ at a fairground in a distant October, brash and flashing through the memory of an early kiss,
The voice speaks on, though song and verse are new, resounding echoes of the call etching through centuries. The ‘Father of Glory’ calls, always, for recognition as if mere man could realise such beauty. We build for His glory, our stones decay and turn to dust, our voices pale and fade, our words fall into fathomless pits. Yet, within this dust; this fading chorus, these empty chasms, a song is sung, wonders retold. Caedmon’s spirit walks the earth. Note *1: He became the first poet to write in English. Caedmon was a 7th Century secular servant at the monastery in Whitby when he heard a voice speak these words.
‘You’ve got a friend’ reading postcards from her school trip alone in a high rise cooking for one. What grace will touch me with easing forgetfulness as I forge a history to live within.
Caedmon’s hymn of creation: NOW MVST WE PRAISE THE GVARDIAN OF HEAVEN'S REALM THE CREATOR'S MIGHT AND HIS MIND'S THOVGHT THE GLORIOVS WORKS OF THE FATHER HOW OF EVERY WONDER HE THE LORD ETERNAL LAID THE FOVNDATION. HE SHAPED ERST FOR THE SONS OF MEN HEAVEN AS THEIR ROOF HOLY CREATOR THE MIDDLE WORLD HE MANKINDS GVARDIAN ETERNAL LORD AFTERWARDS PREPARED THE EARTH FOR MEN LORD ALMIGHTY. ~~Keith Wallis 38
Kidâ€™s Parties â€“ Keeping It Simple! by Beth Brubaker It isn't easy to keep things from getting out of hand when it comes to celebrating our kids' birthdays. They have a ton of friends they want to invite, and you wind up trying to book a skating rink or other big-money place to have this birthday extravaganza while trying to find ways to pay for it without selling the house. Most kids are so used to all the bells and whistles of life, parents feel they need to get bigger and better each year to make this particular year 'special'. All I can say to that is this: Special is in the feelings and memories they get from an event, not the expense. Think about your own childhood. What did you remember most? Was it those times your parents did that big expensive party where you had no time to talk to friends because you had to follow the scheduled events? Or was it when money was short and you wound up having a few friends over for some games and homemade cake? That is what you go by, not the wallet. So how do you do that? Allow me to suggest a few ways. 1. Make the theme your child's favorite thing or thing to do. Gear games and activities towards the theme. For instance, if they like camping have a camping party in the backyard, complete with a campfire (if allowed in your state) or other way to make their own s'mores or other camping treat. 2. Invite early. Send out the invitations (with the theme included) at least two weeks to a month before the party so parents can schedule it in or decline (this will give you time to invite someone else). The older the child, the earlier you send the invitation. No more than a month ahead because most people will forget! 3. Have creative activities. I had the girls at my daughter's fairy party make their own wings. I cut them out of poster board and laced them with ribbons so they could tie them on when finished. Crafts take some time and don't cost much, and the kids can also spend some quality time together and help each other. 4. Invite only a few, cherished friends. Some say one child per year, but as they get into the double digits, this can become a problem. Eight or less is a good amount, not only to keep the size down, but also so you will only need to purchase one package of invitations! 5. Keep them at home, or in a small park. At home is best, but if you don't have the room inside (or a yard), there's nothing wrong with taking them to a park close by as long as you have one adult per 3-4 children. The park would be more for the older kids over six who are a lot more active and might cause problems when in a confined space for too long. You don't need a huge space, just one big enough that they can run around a bit and let off some of that energy. 39
6. Bake a cake. Kids really do appreciate home baked birthday cakes! I took a basic white cake and divided it up onto small bowls, then added food coloring to each one before pouring it into a molded cake pan. The result was a rainbow swirled cake that looked really great when cut! You could also turn birthday goodies into a creative event for the party. Teach them to bake cookies, then let them take some home as a party favor. 7. Don't over-schedule. Plan one or two games, one creative event, and then let them play. Have one or two backup games in case kids begin to get bored, but don't plan to have them as part of the party. Don't forget, there's also the opening of gifts, and blowing out the candles as well! Doing too much planning might make things a bit more stressful for both you and your child. Let them have a little free time, and when things start to get too rammy (or boring as one child put it!), you can break things up with a new activity. 8. Keep it short. Most parties tend to peter out after three or four hours, so plan to have it for about that long (shorter for younger children due to nap times and smaller attention spans); unless it's a sleepover party when the guests stay for the night. 9. Relax! Parties are meant to be fun, not draining! Sit back and enjoy your child and his friendsâ€™ antics, and take some candid pictures as they play together. Smile, get some cake and punch, and know that you just made some really fantastic memories! Do you have a question for Beth? Please submit it though her email at firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask Beth in the subject line. She would love to hear from you!
Make Your Own Spring Flower Note Cards by Katherine Corrigan of Go Ask Katie To make note cards, use spray mount to affix two different patterned papers of the same size back-to-back; allow to set, then crease paper in half. Photocopy the flower template (page 53), enlarging or shrinking it to your desired size; cut out the shape. Unfold your handmade or store-bought card and place the template over the middle of the crease. Trace half the flower in pencil on one half of the card, abutting the fold. On a cutting mat, use a utility knife to cut out the half-flower. For the flower seals, shrink the template and then cut out the shape. Trace the flower onto paper and cut out; use a glue stick to adhere to envelopes. You can find many more craft projects and tutorials on Katieâ€™s blog at www.goaskkatie.com
Donâ€™t Forget the Corners by Amanda Johnson Corners; every yard, home, and heart has them. They're the places that we often overlook and the places where the most dust, garbage, debris, and sin can gather. We tend to send different things to the corner in hopes of hiding them or at least getting them out of the way for a later day. The problem is that the "later" day never comes, and things put in the corner tend to stay there for a very long time. This afternoon I was putting away dishes and wiping off my kitchen counters when I suddenly got a good look at the tops of the cabinets and drawers. These particular cabinets and drawers have an indented top and a groove in the wood that serves as a handle or leverage to open and close them. I have no idea why I've never looked before or even how it caught my eye this afternoon, but what I saw was one of the biggest collections of dust and "catch all" areas I've ever seen. If I placed food on the counter then it most likely dropped crumbs into the grooves of the drawers and cabinets. If I spilled a liquid of some type then it eventually made its way into the grooves forming a sticky residue. It was really gross! I got a scrub type cloth and pressed it into the grooves of the cabinet and started cleaning. Funny thing, it only took a few minutes to clean these unnoticed areas.
The corners of our heart can look the same way as the grooves in my cabinet tops. I don't know why, but we often let the corners be a "catch all" of junk, garbage, and sin we just don't want to deal with. We convince ourselves that it's not that bad and we can fix or clean it later. In reality, however, the dirt starts piling up and before long starts to grow into different types of bacteria. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us that "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." When sin builds up it multiplies and spreads bacteria of hate, bitterness, jealousy, and anger into all areas of our life. Thankfully, we don't have to let it get that bad and if we do there's still a way to clean it up. Jesus died so that we might have life and freedom from the dark corners of sin in our heart and life. His bloodshed on the cross has wiped away all sin whether it's in the corners of our heart or right out in the open for everyone to see. Cleaning up the dark corners of our heart is simple. All we have to do is admit and confess that it's there and ask for forgiveness for allowing it to be there. Then in Christ's strength, not our own, the sin will be removed and the corners will be sparkling once again! "Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7b).
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Can you give us a hand? Please send your questions to Beth Brubaker at email@example.com with one of the two titles in the subject line of your email. Your response is very much appreciated! 42
Ask a Silly Question by Beth Brubaker Question: Why is it when 'we skate on thin ice', we can 'get in hot waterâ€™?
~~ Puzzled Dear Puzzled, Once upon a time there was a kid who didn't listen to his mom, and decided to go out ice skating without a buddy. He put on the clothes he wore the day before and foolishly went out to the pond, donned his skates and proceeded to take off onto the ice. He was unaware that some guy named Bubba had tried to ice-fish there just the other day and left a hole in the ice after catching three boots and one muddy sock. Bubba wasn't the brightest crayon in the box because the pond had no fish to speak of since it was man-made, but that's another story. The little boy, being the rebel he was, skated around the pond, making his way towards the hole, now covered in a thin layer of ice. The moment his skate slid over the dubious spot, he went down with a cry and a splash. He didn't go fully under, but he couldn't get out either. His mother's 'Mom-senses' went off the moment he went in, and it took her a few minutes to run to the pond to see her child struggling in the ice. Because Moms know everything, she knew Bubba had been at the pond, and that the ice would hold her because it was only thin on that one spot. She tied dish towels to her feet so she wouldn't slide, and got onto the ice, pulling his soaking wet self to safety. Mom never said a word to her errant offspring as he shivered himself nearly out of his clothing while she tugged him home. She filled a tub with hot water, stripped him to the skin, and dumped him into the tub with a splash. When he had stopped shivering, she handed him a mug of hot chocolate, kissed him on the head with relief that he was still alive. Then she started reading him the riot act. She yelled about the ice. She yelled about the hole and not letting someone check the ice first. She yelled about having to drag him back home, and that he might have caught a cold out there. And when she picked up his clothing, she yelled at him about not putting on clean underwear! The poor little boy had no place to hide from her wrath because she was holding his clothing. The floors were too cold to run on with wet feet! So you see, because of this little boy's story, skating on thin ice can be a bad thing (especially if you have a 'Bubba' in your town), but it gets even worse when you're put in hot water by your mom! Do you have a silly question? Please send it to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Ask a Silly Question' in the subject line. She would love to hear from you!
And Do You Stare? And do you stare, your stony gape upon good and bad in equal fee ? Or do you keep that soulless gaze for meagre sinners such as me ? And year on year, through rain and shine mantled night and uncloaked day, do you see reality shrouded, disguised, unspoken, passing by this way ? For if saint you are or saint you were or saint you might have been, I am certain I could never be best nor worst that you have seen. And tomorrow, like today, in well-trod path and sorrow’s gain, like cloud dropped tear or bird’s relief I’ll add yet one more link, to my Marley’s chain. Things I’ve done, or wouldn’t do, spoken words that hurt and shame, will bring me, saint, beneath your gaze again, again, again.
A First Time
Inquisitive as a child, free minded from safe vantage, the shadows hold no dread for there are no serpents here. Chance a glance, safe without, peer within. There are only calves within this barn their youthful curiosity a mirror image of your enquiring eyes. O to share that novelty of your glimpses the slow revealing from each peek each footstep in the province of unknowing. O to see with widening child-eyes the special in the mundane and the peculiar freshness of a first time.
~~ Keith Wallis Keith Wallis began submitting work for publication in the 1980s. The small press magazines and anthologies of that era used his poetry and graphic work. Four small booklets followed: Wordsculptures Marketplace of Masks Real Tears and Crocodile Smiles Concrete Womb Joining christianwriters.com in 2005 (and subsequently becoming a moderator) reenergised his writing. Recently work has been published by: RootsWorship, EveryDayPoets, PoetryMonthly International, Word Catalyst Magazine, The Cypress Times, Christian Poet's Pen, Perpetual Magazine, and Bewildering Stories and he is His blog is at: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/
~~ Keith Wallis 44
Changing Water to Wine (without any grapes) by Eldridge “Lady E” Cole
At the wedding in Canaan, Jesus was told that the wine was all gone. His response was that “His time had not yet come.” But Mary didn’t question Him about what He meant, she simply told the servants to “Do whatever He tells you.”
I read the stories in the Bible and I believe they are there as an example for any situation known to man throughout the ages. Whether or not they are true or not, or whether they really happened is not my issue right now.
He never, according to the story presses her any further about what He said. He instructed the servants to fill the water pots that would normally be used for cleansing and hand washing and without further adieu, He turned the water into wine; producing the finest grade of wine. The host was pleased and the guest thought him a savvy host to save the best for last. My question is: How do I turn water into wine in my own life, without any grapes? How can I make something out of nothing?
What IS my concern is that I need Jesus to be REAL to me right now. Be real to me today. When the Centurion Soldier asked Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter, Jesus said she was already healed. His faith had made her well. I need that kind of faith in my life. I need to touch the hem of His garment so that my issues will dry up.
The Bible tells me that Jesus said that I could do greater works than He. So, if that being true, and God said He is not a man that He should lie, then I can do what Jesus did because turning water to wine is something He DID and if I can do greater, then I should be able to do that and more. So . . . I want to know how I can turn water into wine without any grapes? You see, the water is my situation, my circumstances. And the wine is the sweet refreshment of having my needs met. God said He would supply all of my needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. Then, I want Him to be real to me today and turn my situation around – meet and supply abundantly my needs. I want the Jesus that is more-than-enough to be real to me today. I don’t want to wait a day, a week or a year or more. I need it now! I say that because at the wedding the party was in progress and the wine had run out. Jesus did not make the guest wait until His time had come.
I need the resurrected Jesus to be real to me! Not just another message, not another shout and dance and then I leave the church the same way I came in. No! I need a life changing, situation altering, come-on-andmake-it-alright-for-me experience, Jesus! Heal my body; raise my loved ones out of their sick beds of sin. Free my family from prisons of unbelief. I want the angels of God to come on my behalf – sent down to free me so that I can go and tell others what He’s done for me. And, if he can do it for me, He’ll do the same for you! He is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t care who you are. If He said He would do it, then I need that Jesus. I need the promise of the risen Savior to be real to me every day. The love that He says He has for me. I need it without question. I don’t want to guess if He loves me. I want to know it for myself. I want the love that rolled the stone away from the grave to roll my tears away. I want that love to show up in my life. 45
When I accepted Jesus, I was young and wasn’t sure what all of that meant. I wasn’t sure of what would be ahead of me. What obstacles and challenges I would face. I had no idea what would be required of me. But, I know this, I expected a change – I wanted a change. I wanted the old man and the old things passed away and I wanted to behold all things are new! I wanted a real change. I wanted my water turned into wine, without any grapes. I wanted the close encounter of the God-kind to touch my life. “A change, a change has come over me, He changed my life and now I am free” – Am I? Has my common been touched by His uncommon? Has my natural been changed by His supernatural? As I lay praying the other night, I just asked God to show me, me. Show me who I am. Show me who you created me to be. Because somewhere along the way, I’ve lost sight of who I am. I need you to show me what you see. I expect an answer. I expect an encounter like Moses had – I expect a ram in the bush like Abraham. I expect the God that is the same yesterday, today and forever, to be the same God that spoke to Moses. I’m expecting an answer from the “I AM, that I AM, I change not” – I believe that. I believe it and so I’m expecting my water to be turned into wine, I need that God to come to this temple. Come to my house and change some things. The Bible tells me that the Kingdom of God is within us. And, that He has given me the keys to the kingdom. But what doors do they fit? What doors are they to open? What lock does it open? It seems I am stuck. I’m neither going forward or backward. I need to know what the keys will do. I’ve considered the Lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they sow; in other words they don’t work. They just are. Here today and gone tomorrow. My Heavenly Father clothes them.
Solomon, in all of his splendor, is not clothed such as these. And if God considers the lilies of the fields, how much more will He do for you? (Me) I’m here Lord God, I’m your child. Not the grass, trees or flowers but a woman, created in your image able to do greater works, praise you and bring glory and honor to you – but here I sit in my house needing you to cover me. I need you to consider me. I’m dancing in the fire and the furnace has been turned up! I need you to be the other man in the fire with me. It’s hot in here! My back is against the wall and I have nothing more I can give or do. I’ve stood fast and now I need the doors of the furnace to open up and set me free. I need the sustaining power of the God of my salvation to keep the fire of my daily life from consuming me lest I die. But a dead man has no testimony, and his days can no longer bring you glory. I need you to be more than a Bible story for me Jesus. I need my house fixed up where I live. I need my bills and debts paid that I should owe no man anything but love. I need the fish with the gold in his mouth to come to my house. I need to let down my faith like the fishermen let down their nets and pull up more than enough to meet my needs. That’s what I need from you today. The party is going on at my house and I need the water turned to wine without grapes. The guests are waiting and so am I. You didn’t make the wedding guests wait for the wine. They didn’t have to wait! They would have accepted the bottom of the barrel kind of wine. But instead you gave them your best! I am asking for nothing less than your best. I can’t take my Bible to Ameren UE (electric co.) and exchange it for my lights. Laclede Gas won’t understand the Bible in my hand asking them to accept it as payment for my gas. Speaking of gas, I need to take water and turn it into gas for my car, too! 46
I need water turned into wine now. I have no grapes. You didn’t use any, so you’ll have to take my nothing and make it something. Take what I have given, as you instructed, and make it the best wine. Take the load, the pressure and stress off of my husband. Tell him, like you did Zacheus, to “Come down out of the tree! I want to have dinner with you tonight.” I’m not talking about the crumbs from the master’s table; but a feast at the table prepared for me in the presence of my enemies. Fill my cup to running over. Fill my empty cabinets with food. I want to taste and see that the Lord is good in the land of the living. I want you to bring the fishes and the loaves into my house so we can break bread and feed the multitudes. I need that kind of miracle in my house, and in my life. I need you to tell me how to turn water into wine without any grapes. How do I make something out of nothing? I need you to be the Holy Ghost that showed up on the day of Pentecost in the form of cloven tongues of fire to those waiting in the upper room. Set my mouth on fire that I may tell others what a mighty God we serve. Well, He came to my house and tuned over the tables of the moneychangers and showed Himself REAL to me. I don’t need a storybook Jesus. I need a real Jesus; the creator of Heaven and Earth. The One Who made all things and without Him nothing was made. It’s time I saw a Real Jesus who can do all things. What seems impossible to man is POSSIBLE to God. Because if He created Heaven and Earth and the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, then surely, what I am asking is nothing to you, Lord. Let me ask you: Is there anything too hard for God? NO! If that is so, and I believe that, then I need the water turned into wine. The water is my situation, my circumstances.
The wine is the outcome and the grapes, well; you didn’t use any in the story. But I suspect they are the substance of things hoped for, the evidence not seen. You turned water into wine, but you didn’t mention any grapes. I guess that’s what faith is. It makes something out of nothing. That’s the evidence not seen. But the fruits bear witness. You made the best wine for the wedding guests. Make it for me, Jesus. Before the party is over, make the best wine for me. I’m standing in the throne room and I’ve come boldly before the throne of grace to ask for mercy in the time of need. I need the REAL Jesus. I need the miracle working Jesus today. Take the sores off of my body. Take the ache out of my back. Grow some hair on my head. I am the righteousness of God (God’s way of doing things). Then, the righteous are not forsaken nor his seed begging bread. Then I need that promise to be “Yeah, and Amen.” Yes! And let it be so in my life every day. You told me there are new mercies for me every day. I’ve come to get my portion for today. You fed manna to the children of Israel. Manna means “whatever” nothing in particular. But I want more than manna. I need more than a trickle here and there. I need the rain to fall down on me. I wasn’t there for the former, but I’m here now and I need the latter rain. I need you to calm the storm in my life. I’m in the boat and I’m out on the sea of life. They tell me you’re a lighthouse to keep the ships from wrecking. Well, I’m in the boat. And what was once calm seas have now turned to turbulence. I believe in the God that neither sleeps nor slumbers, so when I ask you, “Do you care not that I’m going down? I’m perishing. Don’t let me have to wake you. GET UP, Jesus!”
And calm the storm that’s threatening my very existence. Command the wind and the waves of adversity to “be still.” I can’t wait! I can’t wait till my boat has capsized and I’ve fallen overboard. My bills won’t wait, my creditors are calling. My money has gone as far as I can stretch. You can’t be asleep now, Jesus. I need PEACE. I need the storm to cease.
In water you can do things that are IMPOSSIBLE to do on land. We clean ourselves in it, it calms and comforts us we love to watch MOVING waters such as waterfalls rivers etc. Water is gentle yet strong enough to generate power. In its wrath it’s deadly powerful and can destroy EVERYTHING in a moment. Think about it!
An original work by Eldridge Cole/2007 Then I learned that water represents God! We can NOT live without it. There’s 75% water that makes up the earth and our bodies are 75% water.
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DoveQuill Publishing is a grass-roots company created out of our need to have a voice in the mainstream publishing world. DoveQuill Publishing is ever-busy creating family-oriented books, pamphlets, and associated products so we might offer the Christian family high-quality literature and information. Please visit us for all your publishing needs at www.dove-quill-publishing.com
Empowering Christian Women ~~Online Christian Resource Center ~~ with Karla Meachum Connecting you with Christ-centered resources and ministries that will EMPOWER you in your daily walk with Christ! www.empoweringchristianwomen.com 48
Love from the Prayer Garden Deep and Intimate Love by Thomas B. Clarke I selected the forget-me-not for the garden because it speaks to me about loving relationships. These simple light-blue petals paint the mid-spring garden, each with five miniature brush strokes clustered around a center. In the forget-me-not, I see elegance and intimacy wrapped together in love – here it expresses our intimate relationship with Jesus. The forget-me-not is one of the few perennials in northern climates that have true light-blue flowers with complimentary light green leaves. Standing only as tall as one’s ankles with tiny flowers that are as delicate as fine lace, it somehow brings thoughts of a properly set table with exquisite tea, chocolate-raspberry truffles for two, and pleasing conversations. Oh how great is our Lord! The delicate forget-me-not radiates a certain happiness and contentment – “Please stay here just a little longer, I so appreciate our time together,” it seems to say with all sincerity. “Can you tell me about … ”, and so the conversation goes on for a while longer. Intimacy may be one of the hardest concepts to describe, possibly because it is so profound. Intimate conversations can ensue, yet no audible sounds would necessarily be spoken. In it are the heartaches, the joys, the successes and failures of our children, our hopes, trials, pains, and yes of course our love. Intimacy may be with a spouse, a parent, some other relative, or a best friend. The most intimate of relationships is intended to be with our Lord. Even the disciples that spent so much time with Jesus did not want him to die because they feared that their relationship would be lost. How truly fortunate, how truly blessed, we are that he went away for only a very short while. Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1). Later in the same chapter, Jesus explained how that depth of intimacy was possible. “When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you … And because they love me, my Father will love them” (John 14:20,21). The intimacy with Christ, that very close and personal relationship with the only Son of the Father, is made possible because we truly and deeply love the Lord, allowing Christ to be in us and ourselves in Christ. The scientist says “How is this possible?” while those that have significantly progressed in their faith have understood and experienced this, not on a physical level, but spiritually. Our Lord listens to us and he speaks to us, knowing fully the depths of our situations, because “Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38). 49
In this sense, the dainty forget-me-not is suggestive of the deeply profound love that is found by taking the time, allowing ourselves to relax, yield, and become supple – that we can profoundly receive this intimacy with our loving Lord, Jesus Christ, who so thoroughly wants every part of us. Copyright © 2009 Bible Discernments. Excerpt from A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke, a gift book about love for anyone that enjoys flowers. Tom is the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY – open to the public. A Garden of Love is available on Amazon as well as at www.agardenoflove.com.
Meet Thomas Clarke of The Gethsemane Prayer Garden I am the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, and an author/publisher of Christian books. Both gardening and writing are part-time jobs for me, but they are my heartfelt passion: to help others experience Jesus Christ in a more personal way and to grow in love. A Garden of Love is distinctly different from my first two books which analyzed the books of Joshua and Proverbs. With this book, I felt the Lord moving me from analysis and into my heart, focusing on love. The result is the first of what I believe will be a series of books that attempts to show the essence of Christian love by looking at the loveliness in flowers. My sense is that if I can help others feel and know this profound love and the beauty that God created in flowers, they can then apply that to their own lives in the evidence of love. Therefore, this has become my life verse: "What is important is faith expressing itself in love." (Galatians 5:6) In the love of Jesus Christ, Tom Clarke
Linda Jones, the the artist and creator of Visual Smiles Gallery www.LindaGJ.Etsy.com
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Visit Alabaster Box Publishing, Inc. where you will find â€œMission Possibleâ€?
Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold www.conniearnold.blogspot.com
The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings!" Treasures can be found everywhere you look, and here at "Tatters to Treasures" we will bring you the best of vintage for your wardrobe and home. www.tatterstotreasures.etsy.com 51
Looking for a new blog banner, website button or header, or Etsy shop logo? Katie can create a professional, attractive design make just for you! Visit Katie at Made It For You today and get started redecorating projects all your online projects.
The Write Companion was created by authors who truly believe that the writer is the precious gem in the publishing business. Each and every writer should have the option to let their creativity and imagination shine and end up with a manuscript that will grace both bookshelves and bestseller lists. From TWC you’ll receive quality proofreading, editing, research, ghostwriting services, and a real friend to help you meet your goals so that your ideas have a chance to be seen and enjoyed by book lovers across the globe. Contact Amy Lignor at email@example.com or fill out the contact form about your project at www.thewritecompanion.com. As an author who has struggled with industry highs and lows, as well as the vast expenses that companies charge the writer, I very much want to help authors polish their manuscripts so their careers can take off! I look forward to working with you.
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Celebrate the first day of summer with a 3 day Blog Bash! The first annual Blog Bash 2011 is coming soon this summer Do you want more followers? Do you want to meet new bloggers and discover new blogs? You can be a part of Blog Bash 2011! -you must host a giveaway on your blog with the total prize value equal to or more than $100 -giveaways will start on June 22 12:00 AM and end on June 24 11:59 PM (this is a 3 day event)
Readers will hop from blog to blog and enter each giveaway for the 3 day period. IT IS FREE to be a participating blogger! Blog Bash will be heavily promoted, so a big turnout of give-away entrants is expected. Want to participate? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be emailed with more information
Make Your Own Spring Flower Note Cards by Katherine Corrigan of Go Ask Katie
Flower Template Craft project instructions can be found on page 40. Visit Katie online at www.goaskkatie.com 53
Colorful Bouquet Word Scramble Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker
Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment. I planted seeds in a small 4 X 6 plot in front. Then we moved to a house trailer next to my mother where I had annuals.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction. She has also made hand-made paper and greeting cards with pressed flowers. In her “spare” time, Aunt Dots volunteers two afternoons a week at a nursing home, as well as serving on the mission board at her church and teaching an adult Sunday school class.
Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-of-the-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life's highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at www.vintageimagecrafts.com
Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at email@example.com
Rochelle Martin, Gardener’s Delight Quilt Block Project Rochelle is the owner of her quilt pattern company, Cottage Quilt Designs, which she started in December of 2004. Her quilt designs are featured in quilting magazines, books by House of White Birches, fabric companies, and various fabric shops and online shops. Rochelle contributes a quilt block pattern in every issue of Ruby for Women ezine that can be used to create a complete quilt design, Gardener’s Delight. You can find more of Rochelle’s designs at the following sites: www.cottagequiltdesigns.com www.cottagequiltdesigns.info/blog 55
Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with Godâ€™s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, at www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com
Carolyn Arnold, Kidsâ€™ Craft Editor Carolyn Arnold is a stay-at-home mom. She has been married for fifteen years to Craig and they have five children. Carolyn has written many poems and has recently expanded her writing to novels. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Elementary Education and holds a current teaching license. Carolyn enjoys doing memory crafts with her children, teaching aerobics at the YMCA, tending her family's ducks and chickens, swimming, and reading.
Eldridge "Lady E" Cole, Guest Writer Eldridge "Lady E" Cole is a high spirited, fun loving creatively talented leader with a passion for helping others. She enjoys teaching people how to live beyond mediocrity and she leads by example. Ms Cole is a dynamic, charismatic (sometimes animated) inspirational speaker. Ms Cole speaks from the heart drawing from some of her courageous life experiences as her platform of wisdom. Eldridge pours her passion for creativity and out-of the-box thinking into everything she does.
Bernadette Collins, The Living Well Nurse Bernadette Collins, The Living Well Nurse, offers advice and encouragement to women seeking guidance on improving their health and wellbeing. She partners with a medical doctor to provide health prevention coaching and information. Bernadette has authored articles on nutrition, diabetes, menopause, heart health and exercise for the Ruby for Women community. We are looking forward to learning much from Bernadette in the coming weeks and months.
Kausar Iqbal, Crafts and Recipes Kausar shares traditional Pakistani crafts and recipes with the Ruby for Women community.
Heide Louise Wright, Poetry God has been such a rock for me throughout my life. I suffered with anorexia for 10 years and only He and He alone can take credit for my recovery. He walked me through it step by step and now I know without a doubt He wants me to share my story with the world and help others overcome as well. 56
Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I'm honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.madeitforyou.com www.giftsbykatherine.com www.goaskkatie.com
Jennifer Cirka, Crochet Patterns and Recipes Jennifer Cirka, the designer behind Jaybird Designs, is never without a hook and some yarn in her hands! This Crochet Guild of America recognized Professional Crochet Designer has a book of her girls’ sweater designs with Leisure Arts and has been featured in major crochet magazines such as Crochet Today, Interweave Crochet, and Crochet World, with more publications coming out each year! www.jaybirddesigns.com www.jaybirddesigns.blogspot.com www.etsy.com/shop/JaybirdDesigns
Connie Arnold, Poetry Married with 2 children, 3 grandsons, author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace, recently published by RPJ & Company. Visit my website to read more poetry. My first children's book, Animal Sound Mix-up, is now available from Guardian Angel Publishing. www.conniearnold.blogspot.com
Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com
Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book.
Lee E. Shilo, Resident Storyteller Amy Lignor, The Write Companion Amy Lignor is the founder of Write Companion. Her blog touches on various subjects important to the industry like the power of social networking for authors, the world of self-publishing and how it’s starting to make the normal way of doing business obsolete, as well as subjects dealing with the art of writing, film, books, the classics, daily life, etc. that will hopefully inspire authors while adding a laugh or two to their day. 57
Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet with decades of experience from the era of the “small press” to the era of “the web.” He’s been on this planet since 1949 when, by a strange manipulation of the universe, he arrived early and half-cooked. He is a husband, a father, and grandfather. His first chapbook of poems, “Wordsculptures,” owes its title to him being called a “Wordsculptor” by a colleague thirty years ago, and the name just stuck. His occupation is in engineering design, but he sees poetry as a “gifting” and works hard to keep it in shape. Relaxation comes via dabbling in artwork and photo manipulation. He is currently a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His particular interest is the use of the language of poetry within a worship environment – church (where he is on the leadership team) is getting used to being “experimented” on when he leads services! www.wordsculptures.com www.christianwriters.com www.wordbrief.blogspotcom
Thomas B. Clarke, “A Garden of Love” I am the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, and an author/publisher of Christian books. Both gardening and writing are part-time jobs for me, but they are my heartfelt passion: to help others experience Jesus Christ in a more personal way and to grow in love.
Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past six months, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teen-ager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.
Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. Gracie is 10 years old and Annie is 8. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past six years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com. I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.typepad.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King. 58
Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ firstname.lastname@example.org Or Amanda @ email@example.com Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women firstname.lastname@example.org or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor email@example.com Graphic design by Jorim http://jorimslist.com/portfolio Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com Special thanks to Maritza Bonilla for sponsoring the Scentsy Fundraiser. Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community! The new Ruby for Women banner was created by Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You at www.madeforyou.com