Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Come to see me in Kingsport, TN...

I apologize for my posts being a little sparse this week. I have been busy mixing teas, making salves and a few new products for a festival I will be attending this weekend. For my local readers, I will be speaking in Kingsport TN this coming Saturday, April 28th at the Spring Garden Fair on the grounds of the Exchange Place Living History Farm. I will also have a booth there both Saturday and Sunday.

This is a wonderful festival to attend as a family. The Fair focuses on demonstrations of springtime activities on an 1850s farmstead. Usually they will have a sheep shearing, men plowing and planting with horses, basket making, soap making over a fire, a broom maker, a petting area with farm animals, pony rides, and more. There will be various speakers, old fashioned foods, traditional music, heritage breeds of animals and lots of children's activities.

There are also many vendors selling plants, seeds, trees, and other garden related arts and farm products. Vendors are encouraged to bring native and heirloom plants and seeds.

This is a VERY popular festival with thousands attending each year. I hope to see some of you. If you attend, please come and introduce yourself to me. I love to meet my readers!

I'll be back to writing next week!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Are you a true Tennessee native?

You measure distance in minutes.    

You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.     

You use "fix" as a verb. Example: "I'm fixing to go to the store."     

All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.  

You install security lights on your house and garage and  leave both unlocked. 

You know what a "dawg" is.    

You carry jumper cables in your car... for your OWN car.     

You only own four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup.  

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require six pages for local gossip and sports.  

You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday. 

You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit "a little warm."  

Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite past time known as "goin' Wal-Martin'" or off to "Wally World."  

You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as  good pinto-bean weather.    

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or pop... it's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: "What kinda coke  you want?"  

Fried catfish is the other white meat.     

We don't need no stinking driver's ed... if our mama says we can drive, we can drive.  

You understand these jokes.     

Not EVERYONE can be a Tennessean; it's an art form!

I have to confess....I've only lived here 8 years but there are many on this list that apply to me. I assume this is true because I am a southern woman. I will never qualify for some of these....although I DO understand them all.  How about you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Things I have learned living in Tennessee

Possums "sleep" in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.  

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Tennessee.   

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Tennessee plus a couple no one's seen before. They all live in my garden!

If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.  

 "Onced" and "twiced" are words.   

 It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.    

People actually grow and eat okra.   

"Fixinto" is one word.   

There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.   

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar!   

"Backards and forwards" means "I know everything about you."  

"DJeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"     

You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.  

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.

Just a note  I DID NOT start my children on sweet tea at the age of two!    More about Tennessee tomorrow!                                                                                                          

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

From the past to the present…the wooing of a city girl…. (Pt.3)

Have you any idea what ensues in the typical ob/gyn office when a woman...a really old mature woman is found to be pregnant at 42!  PANIC!!!! Of course they see this gift of God as a "problem" that needs to be taken care of...which, of course, they offered to do.  They were most kind and understanding as they offered to tear this unborn child from my womb where God had placed him. They assured me, in the most convincing and comforting words, that this child would be deformed, have Down's syndrome or some other "unacceptable" birth defect.. I would be making the "right choice" by following their advice.  After all, they reminded me, this would be your FOURTH C-section....that would be SO dangerous....you could die, the baby could die....Gloom and Doom were their theme songs.

The really awful thing is that they were talking to me as if they knew that I would follow this advice without question.  Their attitude told me that, unfortunately, this was the normal response for most women....to blindly follow their advice...after all they are DOCTORS....and I am "just a woman"....
When I informed them that I had every intention of keeping this child, that I was thrilled that God had graciously placed another life in my womb and that I trusted Him with both my life and the baby's life...well...that is when the PANIC ensued!  From their reactions, they must have assumed that I was delusional and needed medication to come to the correct decision (read: their decision).  Many people visited my little examination room - all doing their best to convince me that my life was in danger....that I would be sorry....that  this blessed little life was sure to be flawed...one person even used the word "worthless"...it sickened me! How do young girls withstand this onslaught?  Especially those who don't know our precious Saviour and what His word says?  The pressure to cave in to their will was intense!

Once they realized I would not be swayed...they then began discussing a multitude of tests with me.  Tests that would "show" us what defects the child had (note that they didn't use the words "might have") so that we could THEN end this little life.   Sort of a..."I'll prove to you that the child is not healthy or whole and THEN you will be willing to do the right thing" approach.   The fact that the tests endanger the pregnancy was glossed over - after all, if you don't think the little child is worth anything..then why would it bother them to cause a miscarriage? I looked at everyone in the room and calmly uttered two small words..."NO TESTS".

Complete silence followed my announcement.  I then gently explained that I would accept from the hand of God whatever He chose to give me...if it was CP,  Down's syndrome, or some other birth defect...it didn't matter.  If God chose to bless me with a child with special needs then He would give me the grace to get through it...but there would not be, under any circumstances, any tests...for two reasons.  I would not want to endanger this pregnancy and it didn't matter what the tests showed - I was keeping this baby!  I am sure at this point, from the looks on their faces, that someone was thinking of "Baker Acting" me.  Then they brought out the legal waivers.  All of those lovely documents that state that they have explained the dangers, recomended tests A, B, and C and that I have refused the tests...therefor they are not to be held liable when the baby is born with problems.  To their great relief I signed them all happily.

It was not an easy pregnancy - I could tell a big difference from pregnancy at 36 (which was frowned upon at that time!) and pregnancy at 42!  I spent a good deal of it on bedrest because of a fall that sent me into early labor.  These same doctors who were so willing to rip the life from my womb, turned around and fought hard to save that same life....isn't that strange?  I never understood it.  This gave me much "down time" (literally) to spend in the Word.  It was during this time that God really began speaking to me about relying on Him and not others....in all things.  He began to show me that in living the typical American lifestyle, I relied on others for everything and very little on Him for anything outside of the spiritual realm.  God was revealing to me that He wanted more of me.

We lived the "normal" American life.  We were active in church and my boys were involved in several sports and other activities in the homeschooling community.  We ran to the store often, out to eat occasionally and saw friends when we could. We lived in a small house in a nice neighborhood, mowed the lawn on the weekends and cleaned house on Saturday mornings.  We went to the park, the beach, Disney World and other Florida attractions.  We looked and lived like everybody else...except, perhaps for the homeschooling.....but there was a HUGE homeschooling community in Florida so we always had plenty of activities to choose from.  We were comfortable.

God began to show me something better.  God also began to point out the dangers of this life.  I saw them every year during hurricane season.  Store shelves emptied...people hoarding with the intent to make money when the disaster hit....people totally relying on "the system". But what if the system broke?  What if YOUR system broke?  What if the trucks didn't roll right after the hurricane (tornado, power outage,  terrorist attack...)?  What if the store shelves stayed empty?  Outside of God supplying manna again, my little family would have been in deep trouble! 

God began to remind me of my childhood - my grandparents' home where the root cellar was always stocked with food - where Grandma had a pantry filled with canned goods...where water flowed from wells or springs. I remembered my Aunt Annie's home and garden filled with veggies, herbs and flowers.  I remembered family stories about how my great-grandparents' farms saved our family during the depression.  They would come to town once a week and bring fresh eggs, home churned butter, meat and home-canned goods or fresh garden goodies to the other members of the family....the city dwellers.  If it hadn't been for those visits from the farm, the city dwellers in my family might not have survived the Great Depression!

God began to show me, through the parables, through Proverbs and other verses, what life could be like....what life should be like.  More dependant on Him and much less on "the system". God was wooing me to country life!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Rejoice! The tomb is empty and Christ the Lord is risen!

May you and your family be blessed this most glorious of days!


      He could hear the crowds screaming "crucify" "crucify"...

      He could hear the hatred in their voices,

      These were his chosen people.

      He loved them,

      And they were going to crucify him.

      He was beaten, bleeding and weakened. His heart was broken,                  
      But still He walked.

      He could see the crowd as he came from the palace.

      He knew each of the faces so well.

      He had created them.

      He knew every smile, laugh, and shed tear,

      But now they were contorted with rage and anger...his heart broke,

      But still He walked.

      Was he scared?

      You and I would have been

      So his humanness would have mandated that he was. He felt alone.

      His disciples had left, denied, and even betrayed him.

      He searched the crowd for a loving face and he saw very few.

      Then he turned his eyes to the only one that mattered

      And he knew that he would never be alone.
      He looked back at the crowd, at the people who were spitting

      At him, throwing rocks at him and mocking him and he knew

      That because of him, they would never be alone.

      So for them, He walked.

      The sounds of the hammer striking the spikes echoed through

      The crowd. The sounds of his cries echoed even louder,

      The cheers of the crowd, as his hands and feet

      Were nailed to the cross, intensified with each blow.

      Loudest of all was the still small voice inside his

      Heart that whispered "I am with you, my son",

      And God's heart broke.

      He had let his son walk.

      Jesus could have asked God to end his suffering,

      But instead he asked God to forgive.

      Not to forgive him, but to forgive the ones who were persecuting him.

      As he hung on that cross, dying an unimaginable death,

      He looked out and saw, not only the faces in the crowd,

      But also, the face of every person yet to be,

      And his heart filled with love.

      As his body was dying, his heart was alive.

      Alive with the limitless, unconditional love he feels for each of us.

      That is why He walked.

      When I forget how much My God loves me,

      I remember his walk.

      When I wonder if I can be forgiven,

      I remember his walk.

      When I need to be reminded of how to live like Christ,

      I think of his walk.

      And to show him how much I love him,

      I wake up each morning, turn my eyes to him,

      And I walk.

      -- Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Imagine a world with no more income tax....

I received this notice from several groups and thought it important enough to share with my readers (here goes my political side!).  I have neither heard nor read anything negative about this...please share if you are more informed than I.  This appeals to my frugal side since it only applies to "new" things and there is no tax on purchases made for necessities....this might not appeal to those of you who love to roam the malls :)  Please let your Senators and Congressmen know how you would like them to vote....after all they are SUPPOSED to be representing you!

ALERT: April 15th is coming up fast... the most dreaded day of the year for hard-working taxpayers in this country.Don't you think it's time to finally make April 15th just another day? Don't you think it's time to finally get rid of the IRS and repeal the dreaded 16th Amendment -- and get rid of the income tax? So do we -- and now, we can.TODAY, April 3rd, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), U.S. Rep. John Linder (R-GA), U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Ken Hoagland of Americans for FairTax are holding a news conference and rally to announce that they have re-introduced the "FairTax" in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. They're being joined by hundreds of grassroots supporters of the legislation, including the President of RightMarch.com, Bill Greene, along with members of Georgians for FairTax and Americans for FairTax. The "FairTax" Plan is a nonpartisan national grassroots campaign to replace the federal income tax system with a progressive national retail sales tax. It provides a "prebate" to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement and, through companion legislation, repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax is a NATIONAL RETAIL SALES TAX; in other words, you would pay your federal taxes whenever you purchased a product or service. The FairTax means that the federal government would no longer withhold federal taxes from your paycheck -- you get to keep more of what you make. You would no longer need to file federal income tax forms -- the federal income tax system would be abolished. And under the FairTax all families will receive a monthly tax rebate check.It's time for a real change -- but Congress won't change unless WE FORCE THEM TO.

TAKE ACTION: The current income tax system is broken. It's complicated, easy to evade, and unfairly burdens the lower and middle classes. And, attempts to fix it have only made it worse.The FairTax would impose a 23% (tax-inclusive) sales tax on the purchase of new goods and services in the U.S. It would let workers keep their entire paycheck and retirees keep their entire pension; abolish the IRS and ends all audits of individual taxpayers; replace the federal income tax, freeing individuals from ever filing a tax return again; replace all payroll taxes including Social Security and Medicare taxes (current Social Security and Medicare benefits would not change); replace corporate and self-employment taxes; eliminate all hidden federal taxes; provide a universal rebate equal to the sales taxes paid on essential goods and services to ensure that no American pays taxes on necessities; replace all estate, gift, and capital gains taxes; dramatically lower tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans; close all tax loopholes; bring accountability to tax policy; and let American-made products compete fairly. It's time to scrap the current tax code, and give the IRS the boot. Click below NOW to send a FREE message to your Congressman and both of your Senators, demanding that they SUPPORT the newly-reintroduced "FairTax" .  Click here to send a message (Note:  you will need to change the address information!) 

See how much the FairTax is an improvement over the income tax -- Click Here to try out the "FairTax Calculator" for yourself!


Monday, April 2, 2007

Neat contest...if you hurry!

There is a neat contest over at 5 Minutes for Mom...but you'll have to hurry!  Go to this page .  And you can go to this page to learn all about the Dyson that evidently everyone is talking about.  I gotta get off of the farm more :)
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