Saturday, January 31, 2009


It's a movie.

It's incredible.

Buy it...don't rent'll be glad you did.

Get some tissues while you're at the'll need them.

Trust me.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bail out + Stimulus Package = DISASTER!

As usual, Dr. Paul is the only one making sense.  If these people in government could learn to look beyond the end of their nose, think about our children's future, our nation's future and be willing to do the right thing...well...we just might stand a chance.  What do I think the chance of this is?  That whole "snowball in Florida" thing comes to mind.

Why does no one seem to understand that all of this money comes from one place!  I am sure if they came knocking on your door to collect your share of the bailout and stimulus....they'd get a lot more objections than they are now.  They are doing that...they are just dipping into your pocket in a much sneakier way.  Pickpockets are good at that.  Have you read where most of this money is going?  Can you say P.O.R.K. ?

These people interviewing Dr. Paul (and those people who work on the  know the ones whose salary we pay)...make me think of toddlers.  Here is my "mama" take.  We have a bunch of toddlers (some people refer to them as Senators or Representatives).  They've been bad.  They've done bad things and they know they've done bad things.  They are whining and crying and excusing their behavior to mama (also known as the American people) because they don't want to take their consequences.  They still don't want to do the right thing because it will be "hard".  They don't like hard things...even if it will make everything right in the end.  They don't want to do hard things because their "friends" might be mad.  You know the ones who come around everyday for free cookies....they'll be mad when the cookies run out.  They want it to be all better....or at least make us think it is all better....even if it is just temporary ....even if it makes it worse in the end....and perhaps.....just perhaps.....that is really what they want after all.

Through their machinations, we are becoming an Empire rather than a Republic.

Make your voices heard people!  Remember....they work for us....they are supposed to represent us.  Remind them of that.  Often.


Monday, January 26, 2009


I've spent the last two Saturdays teaching my  Medicinal Herb Course at the local community college to a group of 5th through 8th graders.  Interesting.  Really interesting.  I do not usually spend a lot of time around public/private school kids.

I was amazed at some of the things I heard.  All you have to do is stop and listen to them talk to each other.  These were bright kids.  The "cream of the crop" from 8 counties.  And I really enjoyed my time with them.  I had the same group of kids both Saturdays.  I'll have a different group the next two Saturdays and will be teaching Soap Making to them.  More about that later.

I had one young man who couldn't stop whispering.  Unusual.....I'd expect that more from the girls.  But, not a problem for me.  I am a mama of boys.  Four of them!  And, I knew that the staff at this school backs up its teachers.  They would rather send one child home than ruin the experience for a class of 20.  Fortunately, I was able to handle it fine.  I have found, with my own children, that placing an attention seeking child in a position where they can't seek attention usually cures the problem.  It works in the classroom setting also.

I had some very sweet kids and a few homeschooled kids.  I had one boy who was there wanting to learn things to help his mama.  She works, goes to school and takes care of home and kids.  I know how she feels.  He so desperately wanted to learn things to help her alleviate stress.  He was a good kid and I know she must be proud of him.  I told him so.  He was a delight.

There was a young man who wanted to be a vet.  He gets teased by family members for this goal.  I really tried to encourage him - he has just the right kind of personality to be a vet.  Sensitive, humble, caring. I hope he continues his pursuit of this dream...he'll be a wonderful vet someday.

I was amazed at the cruelty kids can show to one another.  Name calling, accusations about them, their parents and more.  Good thing the government wasn't around...the "new hate crime laws" that impede free speech were broken all over the place.  What used to be considered childish behavior is now illegal.  And I was amazed at how much it could affect these kids. One young lady was quite upset.  I spent a long time speaking to her about these types of people.  There will always be someone to call names and make false accusations.  Don't give them power over your life....blow it off and move on.  Of course, you and I know, the truth always comes out in the end.  He promises us that!

I was also amazed at how much interest there was in the opposite sex.  We are talking 11 and 12 year olds!  And how it apparently is encouraged by some parents.  Dating at 11?  Give. me. a. break.

What was heart breaking to me was the total lack of knowledge about our Father and His ways.  The biggest joy and delight in life and they were clueless.  Which, of course, explained a lot of the behavior and hearbreak that I saw.  However, the kids were very politically correct and assumed, for the most part, that what they see on TV is the truth.

I was considered quite an oddity when they found out that I hadn't watched television for over 25 years now.  "Why?"  they cried! And I was able to share.  "What do you do instead?"  they wanted to know.  I explained to them that we read together, played games, had great conversations and studied.  I don't think it sounded very attractive to them....they sure don't know what they are missing.

I'm really looking forward to next week.  I have very informally taught soap making to a variety of friends and friends of friends over the years.  However, this class has pushed me to create a more formal approach including notes for the kids to take home.  So, I have spent much time in the last weeks writing my own Soap Making book.  I created a shortened version for the class but am being very thorough, since I am half way there, to create a Soap Making course for ya'll.  It is something I have wanted to do for a long time but just couldn't find the time.

I am getting up to write a few hours before the boys and then after school and well into the evening I have been writing, researching and taking all of my notes from over the years and putting it all together.  Hopefully, this explains why I haven't been quite as diligent in posting to my blog. So far, I'm very pleased with my results.  Right now, I am taking my lists of herbs that color soap, properties of different oils, butters and essential oils and creating charts and lists for you.  What took me years of trial and error  to learn will be right at your fingertips!  It is also nice that all of my hand written scribbles will be set into a more formal context.

I am hoping to finish up this week and then I plan on offering a PDF download on my website...just like my Medicinal Herb Course. to teach my own kids and then I hit the computer key board once again.


Ammunition Accountability Legislation

Orwell's 1984?  You ain't seen nothing yet. And so it continues....government intrusion, surveillance and their encroachment into our lives.  I noticed this last week that a town up the road was installing cameras at intersections....big ones!  Biggest cameras I've ever seen.  It is amazing for me to watch these things and there is no one seems to care.  I read somewhere that if you live in the city you can expect at least 2/3 of your life to be recorded by cameras.  What happened to the right to privacy?

Here's another new one....the coding of ammunition.  The theory goes that if they can recover a bullet then they can trace who bought it.  Better keep you ammo under lock and key and be sure to report any theft!  However, if you follow along, it also means that your purchases are going into a government data base....the amount and the caliber of the ammo you buy.  Kinda solves that nasty problem of all those unregistered guns...if you have one and buy ammo for it...welll....2 + 2...

Here's the the legislation (go to their website...they make it all sound so friendly!). If you live in one of the states where this is being proposed...write some letters.  I will be!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Well...for this area it was a bit of a wonderland.  Those of you with 4 feet of snow on the ground might as well skip this post.  I've got nothing on you.

However, for those of us longing for the white stuff, the last couple of days have been fun!  The boys have been longing for this for a special'll see in a bit.

Lacey butterfly bush

The boys built a snowman...he'll be here for awhile because our temperatures aren't dropping.  A high of 9 the other day and a low of 3.  Brrrrrr....


Oh....if only we had ice skates!

Icey pond!

The boys brought me a piece of the ice from the pond - it was about 6 inches thick.  Is that enough to hold their weight?  Elijah wanted to take his sled right across the pond.  I nixed that idea.....I had no desire to fish him out of the middle. One year (when we had a lot more snow!) my oldest son rode a row boat down the hill and across the pond....let's just say I'm glad he was in a boat.

But the real reason the boys have been longing for snow?  A few weeks ago, our good friend Sue brought the boys a present.  The coolest sled we've ever seen...sort of a snowmobile without a least that is what Elijah calls this thing (his snowmobile to be precise.....somehow he thinks that anything that comes from Sue was specially meant for him!).

The day Sue brought it over, Elijah sat on it in the living room for about 2 hours.  Yesterday he got to try it out for real!

World's Best Sled - chosen by Elijah!

This thing has a steering wheel and brakes!  It flew down the hill even though we only had a couple of inches of snow.  It is really fast!  Ask. me. how. I. know.

Elijah and I did a little sledding together before the other boys were up.  Our sledding hill is a long steep hill.  I always enjoy the ride down but never think it is worth the trip back  up the hill....especially when it is below 10 degrees!

I guess our whooping and hollering woke his brothers because before you know it this happened....

Big'un and little 'un!

They flew down....almost to the fence.  I'm thinking that if we ever get that really good least 6 inches or more....this sled might need a bigger field.

Thanks Stan and Sue.....the boys had a ball!  *ahem*  I might have enjoyed myself too!

I've been able to spend a lot of this snowy time working on my Soap Making book.  You'll be hearing more about that soon.

Other good things are is so good!  I'm so thankful to my Father for His blessings....a dusting of snow, my wonderful boys, good friends, our church family, hot chocolate and the wind in our faces and snow on our eyelashes.....I'm so blessed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For the birds...

It started at Tractor Supply.  We stopped there to pick up a de-icer for a water tank for our goats.  The current one shorted out and Josiah is working on repairing it.  However...since the high today was 24 (read that again people!...a HIGH of 24) and tonight it is 4 degrees NOT including the wind chill, we thought perhaps we might need that de-icer.  While the older boys were picking up what we needed, Elijah and I were browsing the book section.  All of us love books and Tractor Supply has all kinds of farming "how-to" goodies. Elijah went straight for a book on birds.  He is passionate about birds! Then he asked me for my cell phone so he could take a picture of something.  He explained that he found something he was going to build and wanted to take  pictures.  Engrossed in a book on orchards, I think I mumbled "That's nice honey" thinking it was a lovely idea but never really considering it seriously.

A few days later he headed to his shop.  The boys have a little workshop across the driveway that they love to work in.  Josiah was in charge of cleaning it up, organizing all the tools and making it usable.  The boys spend a lot of time there and have been able to really enjoy it.  New tools are purchased each birthday and Christmas or given as gifts.  I am so glad my boys request sensible things...well, at least most of the time.  Books and tools are always high on the list.

There was an afternoon of pounding and hammering and other mysterious sounds.  I was informed by Elijah that "it" would be a surprise and I wasn't to go in the shop.  I got the "ok" sign over his head from Jeremy so I agreed.

Then Josiah asked if I knew that Elijah had dug up a post by my kitchen window and taken it away.  No, didn't know that.  I think this post was something that previous owners had used for hanging a hose. Hhmmm....

I was asked later if I knew that Elijah had sunk that post in the yard under his bedroom window.  Nope, didn't know that either.  I was surprised that Elijah had the ability and perseverance to dig up a big fence post and then dig another hole and plant it properly.  I was kind of proud of him!

I noticed that my plant hanger had disappeared from the corner of the vegetable garden.....mysterious goings on indeed.  The "creation" was revealed to me the next day.  I must say I was really surprised.....and in a good way.

Here is what Elijah has been up to the last couple of days:

Bird feeding station

This is a complete bird feeding station!  I have been requested to tell you that as soon as we have a break in the weather a bird bath is going up next to this.  He is also planning on adding a roof.

Home made bird feeder!

I can not tell you how "wow'd" I was that Elijah built this.  I mean it actually all fits together nicely.  Not that I doubted he could do such a good job but sometimes he is more in a hurry to finish than to think about the importance of a job well done. Way to go Doodle!

He filled different compartments with different feeds to attract different birds.  And it is working beautifully.  This morning we had chickadees, blue birds, blue jays, lots of different colored finches and a few chickens underneath enjoying the morsels that hit the ground.

Happy with his handiwork!

The piece of metal is a scrap we had and his purpose in adding that is to keep our cats from using this as a literal bird feeder for them.  So far it seems to be working.  Notice the suet, the thistle bag and the traditional bird feeder hanging on my "missing" plant hanger.

And the view from his window?  Delightful...Elijah should enjoy many hours of birdwatching from his own room!


I have to confess that I was really astounded by this whole project. His idea, he did all the work (that's a BIG one!) and he did an excellent job.  I sat in his room (where I was allowed to see it for the first time) and marvelled...I must have said "I can't believe you did this"  several times  (and it was a good thing....truly I've said it before but not quite in such a happy voice!).  Jeremy's comment was "he even measured everything Mom!".   My "baby" is growing up and has just really impressed the socks off of his mama.

It's a bittersweet moment.  You mama's know what I mean.

I think I'll go get Doodle and do some birdwatching with him before I turn around and find he's getting married.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Garden Calendar

I've heard from quite a few of you wanting to purchase my Perpetual Garden Calendar.  So what's the hold up?  Why is it taking longer than thought.  Time for true confessions!

When transferring files from one Macintosh computer to another, a certain child, who will remain anonymous for his own personal safety, thought he knew more than his mama did.  Not that this child EVER transferred files before...or really did anything more than play educational games and do school assignments.  This child told me "you can save a lot of time by doing this"  ....and quick as a wink he pushed some buttons....WHICH THEN DELETED EVERYTHING. LEFT. ON. MY. HARDDRIVE!  Pause and let that sink in a minute....everything people!

One of those things was my garden calendar.  Thankfully, most things were already moved but this was my greatest loss! So, rather than being able to go in and make some quick changes and reprint....I have had to start from scratch and re-type the entire thing.  At the same time, I am writing my book on Soap Making which must be finished in time for teaching at the local college in two weeks.

I have located the paper I want to use for printing my calendar and am deciding on how to bind...comb or spiral.....any opinions?  I am taking steps to keep the costs down and hope to be able to offer it at the same price.

I am so sorry for the delay, as is the child who made the mistake...he feels terrible!  I'd make him do all the re-typing (I'm a big proponent for personal responsibility and making the punishment fit the crime)  but we wouldn't have a calendar until 2012!  So, I am asking for grace and promising to work hard to give you an even better calendar with more information!

I have a goal....I hope to have it available by the end of February.  I will be sure to blog about it the instant it is ready to go!  I am also keeping a list of people to notify - if you want to be on that list just drop me an email.

Thank you for your understanding....the anonymous child thanks you too!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Meet Joe!

This is Joe....he's my mechanic.


I met Joe over a year ago.  My Suburban was making a horrible noise.  A friend's husband suggested that it might be the $$air compressor$$.  Yikes!  I took it too Joe's Service Center in Greeneville, TN on the recommendation of a close friend.

He opened the hood and listened.  He retrieved a stethoscope from his shop and listened.  Then he began to smile.  I was completely out of power steering fluid!  He filled it up and refused to take any money.  I don't know if that is because Joe knew I was a newly single Mom or if it was because he is just generally a nice guy.

I had heard good things from my friends but my experiences over the years, even when dealing with people I went to church with, were not positive.  I went to see Joe not really knowing what to expect.  The power steering fluid thing convinced me.  That cost him both time and money. I don't know many who would have made that choice.

Not long after, I had another problem with my Suburban.  Turns out that the last fuel pump that had been put on was the wrong model.  It had been forced on but probably never functioned properly and probably leaked gas.  That could explain my 10 mpg!  The fuel pump was still under warranty and Joe allowed me to bring him the part (correct this time!) and he replaced it properly.

Let me tell you why I am so thankful for Joe.  First of all, he is a Christian and is bold in his faith.  It isn't unusual to find his Bible on the service counter when you walk in.   Because of his love of Christ, he's an honest and trustworthy business man.  I mean really honest and trustworthy!  Joe is also a family man.  Pictures of his family adorn his shop walls.  I love to hear him talk about his children - the love he has for them shines through.  You'll never hear a foul word at Joe's...not from him or others - there is a sign posted on his wall telling you to refrain from profanity in his shop.

Let me tell you why I appreciate Joe so much.  As a woman, I've never had much to do with cars.  I probably should have learned some things along the way and I have done better these last few years.  For instance, I now *ahem* check my power steering fluid and add it when necessary, know how to check my oil, fill up my windshield washer fluid and other small things.  But when something big happens, I am at a loss.

When it comes to auto-mechanics, it is very easy for a woman to be taken advantage of....and plenty of people do.  I never have to worry about that with Joe.  I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for that measure of peace.  If Joe says it needs to be done, then I know it does.  He tells the absolute truth.  I think his prices are very reasonable and he gets things done in a timely manner.  Seems my car always breaks down on the way to or from church.  More than once, I have left my vehicle in his parking lot with a note under the door.  I never have to worry.

I was just telling Joe the other day, that when I could afford it I would be bringing my Suburban back.  I thought the anti-lock brake system was malfunctioning.  When I described it to Joe, he told me what he thought it was and how easy it would be to fix that at about 15 minutes!  Now...I ask you..would your mechanic help you like that and give up a call that might have put money in his pocket?  I have heard from my friends that this is not unusual for Joe.  He has helped them be able to do some things themselves too. He's just that honest!

If you live anywhere close to my area and you need a mechanic you can trust, you need to see Joe (I'd drive 100 miles to take my vehicle to Joe!)   I'd never let anyone else service my vehicle or work on my vehicle again.  I'm a customer for life!  I know that my boys will be too.  He's been a tremendous blessing to the boys and I and a wonderful example for them of a godly business man.  I encourage you to let him be a blessing to you!  When you do, please tell him that Cheri sent you!

Thanks Joe, I really appreciate you and am so grateful you are here!

Happy Birthday - hope you had a great one!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Bit Relieved...

I haven't had time today to do much research on CPSIA.  My Mom and I were at the hospital early this morning for her first cataract surgery.  Things went well and she is home and under "supervision" until we see the Dr. again in the morning.  I liked this Dr....very friendly, southern gentleman with an excellent reputation.  The procedure went so well and was so "easy" that she was talking about having the other eye done before we left the recovery room!

Thankfully, I have great blog readers who did more research.  Here are some comments left...I am posting them because not everyone reads the comments:

From blueberryraindrop:,0,7588285.story

thrift stores exempted now too... and sounds like any used product sales, so probably garage sales too
"On Thursday the agency backed away even more, issuing a statement saying that "sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits . . . or new toy standards."

From Kerry:
Thanks for all of the good information.  I checked out some of the websites listed in your blog and found this on the site.
"Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards."  I know that doesn't help small, homebased manufacturers like Rob, but for those of us who buy used clothes and stuff...will the new law be less of a problem?

From Brandy:
I'm pretty upset about this too ... we're trying to buy LESS crap from the stores and more homemade stuff (until I'm able to make it myself) ... 90% of the books we buy are bought used ... about 80% of the clothing we buy is bought used.
I found out this morning that they clarified a bit:

From Tricia:
Check out the link below. It clarifies the new law making it ok to resell childrens toys without checking for lead.  (In the red box)
Hope this helps!

From Cheryl:
Check this out...I believe this situation may have been handled.

From Christy:
in reading the article online that spurred your comment (and those from Heather) I think ban and felony are harsh words that I didn't see.  although, i tend to agree with you about the size and "size" of our government's britches, i think this new legislation is intended to regulate all of the recalls that seemed to come from china (and other countries we import goods from). i'm a big supporter of resale stores and consignment sales and most of my kids' toys & clothes are used and come from these places.  i feel it's my responsibility to make sure their toys are safe (and lead "free"), even new ones...seeing how a LOT of toys were recalled in the past 2 years.

believe me, i'm NOT a government fan at all, but don't agree with the wording of your post title, based on the information Heather provided in the links.  thanks for posting about this at all though...i hadn't heard anything about it.

I have taken a few moments to read through more of the CPSIA website ...I was searching specifically for the original intention of this law. It appears that the desire was to limit lead content...not a bad thing.  But, as often happens with Big Government, they get carried away and become down right foolish.

They also exempted what they called "natural substances".  "Precious gemstones of diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. Certain semiprecious stones, natural or cultured pearls, wood, natural fibers and other materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur, and untreated leather." And, "surgical steel, precious metals: gold, sterling silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium, ruthenium".  However, this exemption applied only to "material that is untreated and unadulterated by the addition of materials or chemicals including pigments dyes, coatings, finishes or any other substances, and has not undergone any processing that could result in lead content that exceeds the CPSIA lead limits."

It also appears that initially, this law was retroactive to all consumer goods still on the shelf when this law came into effect in February (emphasis mine):
"First, with respect to lead, the Commission is aware of the potentially significant economic impact that the new Act would have on any remaining inventory next February.  However, Congress stated that children's products that did not meet the new lead limits would be treated as a "banned hazardous substance" under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act as of February 10, 2009 and made it unlawful "to sell, offer for sale, manufacture for sale, distribute in commerce, or import into the Untied States" any banned hazardous substance. The language Congress wrote does not permit me the flexibility to take into consideration the policy and economic issues that have been raised by you and your unidentified clients as to the potential consequences of requiring products to meet the new stricter lead limits by that date."

(Taken from a letter from the CPSC to  Arent Fox LLC).  You can read more here.

The term "Children's products" is way to broad - that could mean anything! This needs to be narrowed down to specific things such as toys, or clothes etc.

And a last comment from Scott...which I think sums it all up very nicely:
Lets remember these “clarifications” were made AFTER people have been emailing and phoning for days. Make no mistake, if they could have got away with it they would have. They tested the waters and when everyone reacted in a negative way they backed down.

I am thankful that it appears that the "panel" has decided to back down. I don't know if the CPSC has been receiving comments for some time, it appears that they have. The original article I quoted might have been published sometime ago before this went up for review...I only heard about this yesterday.I hope you can see why I used the word "banned" was  the word used by the CPSC  themselves.  I have not found the reference to the penalty (felony) but I haven't time to dig right now.

You can read more here. I think Barbara hit the nail on the head when she said "This is not the final word on the story and we need to keep alert and keep pressing for better clarification." I agree...although it appears that the worst is not going to happen, I think we need to remain vigilant during this comment period, press for clarification of the more ambiguous portions and be vocal with our opinions.  If we don't hold government in check, they will continue to whittle away at our freedoms!

Thanks so much for everyone's input!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Like children's books? Better get them while you can!

*Warning* Government rant!  If you love everything this government does and consider them a benevolent group of guys and gals then keep on moving to the next blog!  I have never seen government idiocy at this level before....and I am outraged!

Do you know?  Have you heard?  Are you like me?  Do you shop Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, garage sales, used book sales, library book sales, buy home school curriculum and great used books for your children????  Well, come February 10th you can kiss it all good-bye!

Our government (who in my humble opinion has grown way to big for their britches and is exceedingly arrogant) has passed some legislation that takes effect on February 10th which, in an effort to keep you safe, will make it a FELONY...a felony people! participate in any of the above things if you are looking for/shopping for children's things.  In fact, you won't even be allowed to give it away!  You heard me!  No longer can you pass some used home school books or curriculum to a friend, neighbor or that sweet family who's budget is too tight.  Not unless you are willing to face 5 years in jail and a $100,000 fine!

I plead with all of you....please, please, please, call your representatives and express your thoughts and demand a response...politely of course!  If you have never called or written before, please make this the first time.  Can you imagine what this is going to do to those raising large families?  To the price of new things in stores?  To those of us living on limited incomes?

Here is the information...
Notes from Heather

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned

Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.

Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under)                      is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in
production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.

What does this mean to the homeschooling family?

Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply
with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books!
Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process
anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.

No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how
the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or
giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" --libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.

(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included
in "children's toys".)

Just how serious is this new law? has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to
compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manu- facturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause
to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.

I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after
February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.

(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly
violating Federal law.)

So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children's books? Or that homeschool curriculum business?
Or your EBay business selling children's items?

ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.                                                                                                            Or email:

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.

4) Sign the petition.

5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and
encourage them to do the same.


For the complete story, read the following links:

Consumer Product Safety Commission Summaries on Legislation Index
page for Children's Products Containing Lead; Lead Paint Rule and
other rulings

Office of the General Counsel FAQ on retroactive inventory requirements -- The use of forward effective dates                                         appears to force current inventories to adhere to the ruling on February 10th, 2009

Specific FAQ on their interpretation of books and other media to be included in the testing of lead based products

Effective Date: Lead content limit of 600 ppm becomes effective 180 days after enactment. An advisory opinion regarding the application of the new lead limit to inventory existing at the effective date can be found on our web site at

Getting the Lead out: There is no lead in children's books

There is no lead in Children's books: From a Pedtrician

We have a small window during which the  CPSIA will take public comments.  You must take a few moments to call them, write them and encourage others to do the same.  We must work to change this.  They are tentatively leaning towards loosening the original plan.  If you make your living selling children's things, then it is imperative for you to let them know how this will effect you.

Call, write and alert your friends, families and co-workers.  If you have a blog...please consider posting about this.  Let us work together to try to stop this ridiculous ruling.  Our freedoms are flying out the doors folks and if we don't begin to shout and scream and fight back then America will cease to exist and we will become just another socialist/communist experiment that  failed.  Let us not go down without a fight!

So...tomorrow - I'll be phoning and writing and forwarding this message.  After that...I'm shopping for some used classic books for my boys while I can still get them!  And, I'll be hitting some garage sales for clothes ....while I still can without fear of facing a felony conviction....

Let's get busy!

Monday, January 5, 2009

And the winner is....

Gentle Petals!  Way to go Diane!

The winning soap!

I  can't believe how hard this decision was....I think perhaps many of you have secret careers in the marketing world!

I liked this name because it relayed the "gentleness" of the soap with both words...gentle and petals....really great!

Diane, drop me an email and give me your choice for the other free soap and your snail mail address and I'll have both of your free soaps in the mail to you as quick as a wink!

Again, thanks to all of you who participated - it is so much fun to have ya'll helping me in my little business!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Truly Exciting News!

Before my holiday break I mentioned that I had some very exciting news....and today I'm sharing it with you!  I speak all over East Tennessee about to cook with them, make medicine with them, clean with them, grow them, preserve them...and more!  I have never been paid to speak...usually I am allowed to sell some of my creations and often I have people sign up to take my class here on the farm.  I spoke last year at the local Rotary Club.  A dear friend (Hi Sue!) invited my whole family to attend.  We had a lovely lunch at one of the nicest restaurants in town and after the meal I was the guest speaker.  I told the boys that I had this feeling that something big would come from this.

After I spoke, a lady approached me and gave us four free tickets to the Biltmore House in North Carolina.  You can read more about that here.  I thought at the time that the tickets were the "big thing" because I had been praying for some time for a way to take my boys there.  I was wrong....boy....was I wrong!!!

I had a phone call several months later from a sweet lady who attended that luncheon.  She happened to be the Assistant Dean of Community and Economic Development for Walter State Community College.  She asked if I might be interested in teaching my Basic Medicinal Herb Course for the college and if we could meet to discuss it.  So, this past September, I met with her at the college.  It happened to be my birthday.  I was asked if I would be willing to teach for their Talented and Gifted program.  It is a 6 week session that the college puts on for local kids in the 5th through 8th grade.  The program is divided into 3 sessions.  I was asked to teach my Basic Medicinal Herb Course for two of the sessions and to teach a Soap Making Course for the other session.  I explained to them that I was a Christian and that I taught these classes from that perspective...I thought that would be a definite deal breaker but I couldn't do it any other way.  To my surprise, they did not have a problem with that at all!!  So, of course I agreed!

We also discussed the possibility of teaching, in the future, some continuing education classes to adults on many of the lost arts....herbal medicine, soap making, canning, bread baking, cheese making, jam and jelly making, gardening and more!

None of us knew if children that age would be interested in my classes.  The packets went out and sign-up began in October.  The college called me to let me know that my classes were the first ones to fill up.  We were both excited!  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach these skills to other children who desire to learn them.  These children had many choices (much "cooler" ones I thought!) and yet chose Herbal Medicine and Soap neat is that?!! Both I and the college are thrilled that they are this popular!

I must confess that the thought of teaching this to 20 kids at a time is a bit overwhelming!  I've had to re-write portions of my book a bit because we won't be able to cover it all in the time allotted and I have added a section on the History of Herbal Medicine. I have also never had to take all my paraphernalia and teach this class away from the farm.  My greatest concern is that I might leave something home that I really need.  I'm trying to make really thorough notes.

I am still finishing the Basic Soap Making book.  Once it is done and polished it will be available for sale on my website along with my Basic Medicinal Herb Course.

I am ever so thankful to my Father!  The fact that this happened on my birthday was such a neat gift!  He continues to show us in many ways that He is faithful to provide, to help us grow this little hobby into a viable business that will allow me to stay home with my children and continue to home school them.

Beginning in the middle of January and lasting until the end of February, I will be spending portions of certain days teaching on the local campus!  Please pray for me if you think about it and please pray for these children that not only will they learn about medicinal herbs and making soap but that I might be able to help them see that these herbs come from the Giver of All Good Things and that He cares for them, died for them and desires to have a relationship with them.  Wouldn't that be the ultimate teaching experience?!

I have had several emails and also phone calls from some of you who just can't decide if you wanted to purchase this book while it is on sale. If you are one of those "on the fence" about whether this book would be good to use with your children, or is really simple enough for a beginner, perhaps it will ease your mind to know that my local Community College was pleased enough with it to ask me to teach it for them.

Remember!  The sale ends at midnight tonight!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

By popular request...

I have had several requests by email to leave my Medicinal Herb Course sale up until Sunday night.  I've heard all kinds of reasons - needing the bank to be open tomorrow, payday tomorrow etc.  Some of the reasons have been serious and some have been down right funny....I, evidently, have some very creative readers.  Makes me think of the whole "the dog ate my homework" scenario!  So, I am happy to oblige and I thank you so much for your interest, your patronage and for all the chuckles!

We are also going to postpone the announcement of the winner of our Soap Naming Contest until Monday. We are having a hard time deciding...the names submitted so far are very good...again...ya'll are quite creative!  And, truthfully, we are still enjoying family time so much that I just don't want to get "back to reality" and the work-a-day world until after this weekend.  We have one more holiday celebration this Saturday which is a "10-to-10" party at our house with friends.  We are looking forward to it so much!

Thank you for your grace and patience with me as I immerse myself in family time for just a bit longer!

See you on Monday!


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