Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waiting, and Waiting, and Still Waiting

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.
Author Unknown

A couple of weeks ago, I got tired of waiting. I am usually a very patient person, but waiting for someone to respond was wasting time and money. So, I started to be a nice pest until I got results. I didn't care if it was a positive or negative result. I just needed to know so I could pursue different avenues. So, I guess I stopped passively waiting.

In today's age, with everyone always on the go, we often let things go. We forget to return a call, to give a jingle just say hello, to send a birthday card, or to drop off that dish. We are just too busy. Yet, others are waiting for us, and sometimes, they are waiting, and waiting, and still waiting. At first, they may become irritated. After a while, they either forget about you, become indifferent to you, or learn patience, and keep themselves busy until you finally arrive.

What kind of friend are you? Remember, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

When someone thinks they need patience, I always say "Pray for endurance, not patience. If you pray for patience, God will give you more to be patient for so you learn how to be patient."

Easy Recipe

Our family celebrates many birthdays in the heat of the summer. One cool (no baking) and easy cake to make is:

Twinkie Toffee Treat

1 box Hostess Twinkies
2 prepared packages of pudding (I usually use vanilla, but like chocolate as well!)
1 large tub of whipped topping
6 Heath candy bars

Crush Heath candy bars in a sturdy plastic bag. Cut Twinkies lengthwise and line bottom of glass pan with Twinkies, creme side up. Add a layer of pudding. Layer with remaining Twinkies, creme side down. Top with the whipped topping. Sprinkle with the crushed candies. Serve immediately and enjoy!/p>

Money Making Tip

My new blog, Aunt Janet's Attic, is up and running! Right now, I have discounted scrapbooking items. I will keep adding to it, and not only scrapbooking items. I have books, antiques, jewelry (not from my business), crafts, clothing, DVD's, and almost anything you will find at a tag sale. Please take a minute to browse now and again. If nothing catches your fancy today, you may find something you can't live without tomorrow. hehe

If you would like to know how I created this blog, please email me, and I will let you know. It was easy once I found a site that would let me keep inventory. You could start your own store!

Off to tag,
Aunt Janet

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Did It!

It almost feels like make-believe. My first thought was, 'I did it! I finally did it!' I knew I could, but I finally did it.
Phil Mickelson

Today I feel a sense of accomplishment. I figured out something that I've been toying with for a couple of months. It's not perfect, but it's a start, and I did it!

I personally prefer to feel the rush of accomplishment when I reach that goal, solve that problem, or get past that obstacle. Some prefer the pat on the back, the standing ovation, and the acknowledgment from colleagues. It's a personal preference, but it feels so good when you finally get something.

Just remember, if no one is around, do a jig, give a holler, and pat yourself on the back. Be proud - you did it!

Money Making Tip

Okay, here is what I did. I am so excited. I created my own on-line store! It's called Aunt Janet's Attic. It's my on-line Tag Sale. Right now, I've posted never used scrapbooking items. You purchase the items right from the sight, and you can decide whether you want to pick it up or have it delivered. It will even calculate the shipping. You pay for the items through Paypal. Please take a minute to check out my items. Quantities are very limited (it's a tag sale), but it will let you know if it is out of stock. Just click on the Aunt Janet's Attic Sign above, and it will take you right to the site. I will put a link under My Ways to Make Money for future Blogs.

I'm going to test this site for 6 months. If I make money on it, it will continue. I have hope! If you like it, or see items that you think a friend would like, please tell them about my new site. Thanks!

Just keep trying,
Aunt Janet

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't Give Up

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,
don't adjust the goals,
adjust the action steps.
Confucius


Are you having a difficult time achieving your goals? Are things just not working? Are you ready to give up?

Life is difficult. Sometime, it just plain sucks! Everything we have worked so hard for seems out of our reach, unattainable, and even unrealistic. It's so close, you can touch it, but so far away, you can't see it.

Most dreams help, improve, or excel some aspect in life. They require hard work and perseverance. You gave that - you strived and you sacrificed for that goal. You did that!

I believe that if God let you come this far, there's a reason. He's not going to let you go when you are just a foot from the finish line, and say that's it, it's over. He brought you this far, and believe me, He's going to push you over that line. Somehow, He will give you the idea, the strength, and maybe the motivation, to cross and declare victory!

Money Making Tips

Sell things on your blog. I have some brand new scrapbooking items that I would like to sell. This weekend, I am going to create a page to sell these items at a great discount! Check back soon!

Keep pushin' on,
Aunt Janet

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Path


The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn, and shine with increasing clearness on your path.
Jim Rohn


The path into my garden is becoming overgrown with horseradish, oregano, and mint. As I trudged through the plants, I was attacked by those pesky blood sucking mosquitoes. In my mind, I began to think of how to preserve the horseradish, oregano, and mint. What could I do with it? Dry the oregano for cooking, make mint jelly, grate the horseradish for corned beef sandwiches. I will research the possibilities, and come up with a plan of action.

When reaching for a dream, difficulties come, then they are resolved, and we go on. If we persist, we will see the light, we will get through the tough times, and our dream will be fulfilled. Push on!

Gardening


First Harvest of Radishes








Last Harvest of Strawberries


Who likes to weed? I think I'm one of the few, but it's because weeds are kept at the minimum because we put grass clippings in between the rows. When plants get bigger, we will put the clippings around the plants as well.

I've researched whether it is a good thing to use of grass clippings as mulch, and some people agree with me, others don't. The reasons some disagree are:
From High Country Gardens,
  1. Green grass clippings can compress into a slimy layer and create a water and air impermeable mat over the top of the soil. This can smother the soil and result in a lack of oxygen and water for the roots below.
  2. Grass clippings are very “hot” and require a lot of heat and nitrogen to break them down. This is not a process you want happening around your growing plants.
  3. And lastly, If you use herbicides (including “weed and feed” fertilizers) and fungicides on your lawn I feel there is a danger involved when recycling these clippings. These clippings may have residual chemicals and it’s not a good idea to put this back around your garden plants. This would be especially ill-advised when used to mulch your herb or vegetable plants!

The Seasoned Gardener also adds that the odor is not pleasant, and that the appearance might be displeasing.

As for me, I find it very beneficial. First, before I go into the hows and whys, one very important thing - never, ever, use clippings after you have fertilized the lawn with weed and feed products, herbicides, or fungicides, or as long as the chemical ingredients remain active. Some can remain active for as long as a year after usage.

Why do I use it?
  • It helps keep the weeds at bay. Some weeds will sneak through, but they are easier to manage.
  • I think it makes the garden look pretty, and organized. See my picture below, and see if you agree.
  • It's free!
  • It's ready and available (unless we are having a super dry summer).
  • It's environmental friendly, and it's not filling up the land fills.
  • It adds nutrients back to the garden.
  • It helps keeps the moisture in the soil.

How?

  • My husband collects the grass clippings with a bag attached to the lawnmower.
  • He spreads the clippings in a thick layer in the paths in the garden, about 2 inches thick.
  • He will do this until all the paths have grass paths. In the picture, you will notice that some paths do not have grass yet.
  • Since the grass will decompose, during the remainder of the summer, he will continue to add grass where needed. When we have a pretty good mulching, he takes the bag off, and leaves the grass mulching on the lawn to help the lawn.
  • He does it because I would sneeze if I did. I'm really allergic to freshly cut grass.

So, it's up to you. There are other types of mulching, but they cost money. Do your research and decide for yourself.

Recipe

This jelly is so good when served with lamb. I usually give it as gifts.

Mint Jelly

4 cups Apple Juice
1 cup Mint Leaves
1 pkg. (2 oz.) powdered Fruit Pectin
3-1/2 Tbs. bottled Lemon Juice
3-1/2 cups Sugar
3 or 4 drops Green Food Coloring, if desired

Bring apple juice to boil. Chop int leaves finely, and add to apple juice. Boil for one minute. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Return to heat and bring to a boil again. Boil 30 seconds more. Pour apple juice and mint into a jelly bag and strain the juice. Do not squeeze the jelly bag. Return the apple juice to the pan and stir in the lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once, stirring until well dissolved. Bring back to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add food coloring. Skim off any foam and ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Clean rims, seal, and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 5 half pint jars.

If you don't know how to can, go to the Ball Jars website to learn.

Continuing on my path,
Aunt Janet

Friday, June 19, 2009

Laughter




Laughter is an instant vacation.
--Milton Berle

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.
--Arnold Glasow


Laughter is so contagious. It's a joyful sound pouring out from the soul. When someone laughs, everyone around will smile, or even giggle. Observe and you will see. Listen to my laughing nephew, and you will laugh, or at least smile.

And then you will feel better.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Believe in Miracles

Out of difficulties grow miracles.
Jean De La Bruyere

Think about it. Difficulties are what make you grow. When solutions come, it's relief, a load off your shoulders - a miracle. It's when what you think is impossible happens.

Searching for answers, I started looking at the miracles in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. The website Hebrew for Christians talked about the similarities of miracles in the Old Testament and New Testament. One that struck me is:

"... an impoverished widow had no means to pay a debt owed by her late husband, and a creditor was threatening to take her two sons as slaves in lieu of her payment
of the debt. She appealed to the prophet Elisha, who told her to borrow empty vessels from all her neighbors, to close the doors of her home, and to pour oil into them from the one remaining cruse of oil that she had. She had faith in the prophet, and the oil miraculously flowed from the original cruse until all the borrowed vessels were full. Elisha instructed her to sell enough of the oil to pay the debt, and to live off the supply of remaining oil...

(God's prophet is one) who brings abundance to those who have faith in Him (God) ... The miracle of the oil is similar to the miracle of the loaves of bread, (in the New Testament)..."

God gives us miracles. He is the God of Blessings. He provides beyond what we can imagine. Sometimes, we just need to look around, and give thanks for the small miracles, and have faith. The big ones are right around the corner. I am waiting for my miracle for I know that it will be here soon.

Recipe

It seems that I am asked to make this recipe for every big party in my family. I never like sauerkraut - it was always too sour for me. This recipe is more sweet sour, and I can't stop eating it.

Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut

2 cans Bavarian Style Kraut
2 cans Water
1/2 medium head shredded Cabbage (I use a whole head)
1/4 - 1/3 cup Brown Sugar (to taste)
1/2 lb. Bacon, fried, drained, and crumbled.
1 medium Onion, sauteed in 2 Tbs Butter, and then mixed with 2 Tbs. Flour
2 lbs. good Polish Sausage, cooked, cut in pieces (I use fresh, not smoked)

Combine all above ingredients in crock pot. Cook for 6-8 hours until cabbage is tender. The recipe says to add the sausage in the last 1/2 hour, but I like adding it right away so that all the juices mingle.

Money Making Tip

My family had a garage sale. Since my garden has been invaded by oregano, candy mint, lemon balm, chives, day lilies, irises, and hostas, as I've suggested in previous posts, I decided to try to sell them.

About a week before the sale, I dug up the mints and chives and put them in small pots that I had collected from plants that I had bought over the years. I kept them well watered so the plants could root in the pots. With the lilies, irises, and hostas, I dug them up the day before and broke them up into individual plants, and put all the bare roots in baskets. One thing - you have to make sure that there is a root on the plant or it will not take.

I put homemade tags in each pot, and made signs for the day lilies, hostas, and irises listing the price per plant. I priced them from 50 cents a pot to $1 for a hosta. To my surprise, I sold most of them and made $35 on these plants.

I am so excited that I'm thinking of having a plant sale. The one thing that I will do different is pot the plants a couple weeks in advance so that have enough time to root, and look healthy.

Something invading your garden? Why not make some money? Anyone selling different varieties of hostas? I started a hosta collection. hehe

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

When my nieces were in there late teens, and all grown up, I could tell that they were getting annoyed by the opinions I offered. So, now, when someone says something about my lecturing, I say:

"I stopped lecturing a long time ago."

It's true. I only offer my opinion if asked, or if I ask their permission first. Sometimes, I really have to bite my tongue, and change the subject. One nice thing did happen - my oldest niece told me, with a distraught face and sad eyes, "You can still lecture me."

Believe and it will happen,
Aunt Janet

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Me?

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask why me? Then a voice answers nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.
Charles M. Schulz

Sometimes life just doesn't go your way. You can sit in a corner and cry, or you can use humor to get through it.

If I let all my life's problems get to me, my eyes would be constantly swollen and bloodshot. Instead, I try to laugh about the things that are going wrong in my life, and then go on. I cannot change circumstances that happen to me, but I can change how I react to them. At times, I cry to relieve pressure. Other times, I laugh and make a joke of it.

My financial situation will continue - my buildings are not selling. I am in shock tonight, I'll cry tomorrow, and then I will laugh, and find a way to work through the problems caused by the lack of no money. And I will laugh again!

My Animals

Puppy is still with us today. Her pain medication was not working, so the vet put her back on the original mediation. Considering that I was preparing myself to say goodbye this weekend, I am so grateful for more time with her. She was very amusing today, talking, barking and wanting attention. Thanks for your prayers!

Gardening

My garden is loaded with volunteer tomato plants. I never have to plant cherry tomatoes, because every year they come back by themselves. I just need to weed out 98 of the 100 plants. Or, figure out a way to sell them. Has anyone ever sold tomatoes to restaurants? I would love to know how to go about doing this.

Please pray for me to laugh,
Aunt Janet

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Puppy - Lessons in Love

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
John Grogan, Marley and Me, 2005

Soon, I will need to say good-bye to my best-est of friends. A little bit about her - she loves to talk, takes care of everybody, is the peacemaker, and has the friendliest wag I've ever seen. My friend is my dog, Puppy. I say that Puppy came straight from heaven to me from God. I was asking for a baby, and I got one.

How did she get her name? One day, my husband found her in our backyard. Since she was great puppy, we thought someone would claim her. After two weeks, and no calls, we knew she came from heaven, and she was already coming when we called "Puppy". My husband said that it would be mean to rename her - she picked her own name.

She has a beautiful face, and has natural eyeliner to bring out her beautiful, happy eyes. She loves to talk, often talking back to her father. She will greet anyone with her cheerful barking. And her tail - watch out for that tail! It wags one hundred miles an hour.

So, now, twelve years later, she has been my shadow, my best friend, and my teacher. I've seen her break up fights in our house, get in between someone that's playing too rough or fighting, or defend them when they are being scolded. I've seen her pick up my dying old dog by putting her nose under her belly and lifting her so she could stand. I've seen her grieve when her best friend and dog mom died suddenly at home, crying at the top of her lungs "Please wake up." I then saw her take the role of the dog mom to our Maggie, teaching with gentleness, yet firmness, playing, and letting Maggie drag her by the collar to go outside.

We took a walk in the garden today, a place that she loves. She has been known to eat the asparagus right out of the ground, but you need to pluck the top off first. She's ate strawberries and raspberries right off the plant. She's also found possums, and scared bunnies. And she usually gets the first harvest, whether it be radishes or tomatoes!

I don't want to say goodbye. I'm not ready to give her back to heaven. But, I know that soon I will need to, for she has bone cancer. She is still so cheerful, and wants to cuddle, but she does not walk on the bad leg and needs medication for pain. As she lays at my feet sleeping, I know that the time draws near.

God sent me baby animals when I asked, knowing my need to mother. I love her for she is one of my children, and she loves me - unconditionally. Another baby animal will come into our household for Maggie, for Maggie will be empty without a playmate. And even though, I think that I cannot go through it again, I will learn to love my new furry friend until God, once again, calls them home.

Puppy's mom,
Aunt Janet

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Walking...

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.
Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.

Raymond Inmon

I went for a walk today. I took in the beauty of the woods, and introduced myself to some new farm animals. I felt refreshed, rejuvenated.

I started walking several years ago to help relieve stress and lower my cholesterol. Don't laugh - that's what the doctor prescribed. Whenever I'm feeling anxious, I go for a walk. Something always catches my eye, and makes me reflect on how blessed I really am. God will send cardinals, or a ripple in the lake, or even two small fawns to show me that He really does care. He gave us all this beauty!

So, if you are feeling down, tired, or just plain blah, go for a walk. God will send you a surprise, whether it be an idea, or something tangible like a fawn, and you will know that you are loved.

Gardening

Strawberries are here! Since the harvest is huge this year, we are sharing our strawberries with the birds and bunnies. Usually, I cover the strawberries right before they start ripening to prevent the little critters from stealing my harvest. I use netting that is big enough to let in the light, but small enough to keep out the animals. If you can't find this netting at your local hardware or garden store, you can find this netting at Gardens Alive! or Gurney's Seed and Nursery.


Easy Recipe


Springtime Salad


Spinach or Romaine Lettuce
Strawberries, sliced
Toasted, Sliced Almonds
Green Onions, Sliced
Vinaigrette or Poppy seed Dressing


The one thing about this recipe is that you can make as much as you want. Use your own taste buds and add as many of the strawberries, almonds, green onions, and salad dressing as you like.


Past Post


Per my husband's instructions, be sure to check out my previous post, Looking for Mom. My husband didn't want me to do another posting because he thought the slide show was so cute!

Take a walk and enjoy,
Aunt Janet

Monday, June 01, 2009

Where are you, mom?

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Looking for Mom
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Sorry, gang! I got lost in the garden. Thanks Maggie for finding me!

Aunt Janet
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