Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canning Sweet Relish

This is my first year canning relish.  I don't normally buy relish but, recently, I've been working on a copy-cat recipe for Big Mac Sauce.  I used to love Big Macs but we quit eating fast food over a decade ago...so...I'm working on memory!  In the process of creating my sauce, I bought both sweet and dill relish and found out that my boys like them both.  However, when I read the ingredients I cringed.  Lots of yucky stuff!

I decided to try canning my own relishes this year.  I started with a recipe in one of my canning books.  I made a small amount and thought I could come up with something my boys might like better. I created my own recipe for sweet relish and ran it by my main "relish eating" son.  Once I got his approval, I canned it.

Here's the recipe I ended up creating myself:

Sweet Relish

7 cups chopped cucumbers
1 large red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup canning salt
Cold water
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp. celery seed
1 tblsp. mustard seed

Remove both ends of the cucumber. Chop the cucumber and red pepper. (I used a food processor and pulsed several times.) You want small pieces but not a puree. Place chopped cucumbers and red pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let stand 2 hours.

Drain thoroughly and press out excess liquid.  Combine sugar, vinegar and spices. Heat to boiling.  Add drained cucumber mix and simmer 10 minutes.

Pack hot..into hot half-pint jars. 
Leave 1/2 inch head space. 
Remove air bubbles.  
Wipe jar rims. 
Adjust lids. 
Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

And here's the results, I'm really pleased and can mark one more thing off my shopping list.

This recipe is really good.  My mama says she is eating it with a spoon. Seriously.  

She can't wait to try it on beans with cornbread.  I think my Green Tomato Relish is better for that.

I'm trying to be more organized in my canning efforts this year.  I can a lot but I haven't kept good track of what we run out of and what surplus we end up with.  I've been reading a lot about canning and have really had my eyes opened about this possibility of food storage.

I'm keeping an organized list of everything I can this year and what dates I put it up. I'll keep records of when we run out which will let me know next year if I need to can more or less.  It will also help me plan our garden next year - what do I need to plant more of or less of.  I am hoping this will make me more efficient in my attempts to save money and provide quality food for my family.

I've also decided to can more ordinary things.  For instance, I make a lot of soups and stews.  I typically fill a huge crock pot and end up freezing the leftovers for another time.  No more!  Now I will be canning the leftovers.  Why did I not think of this before?  Less freezer space, no worries if we loose electricity and my boys can open a jar and have a quick and easy dinner when I'm not here.

I'm also trying to collect all of my favorite canning recipes into one binder.  This makes things easier to find.  I'm also making notes on my recipes about how many batches I typically make.  This will also help me be more efficient next year.

I'm very thankful for the bounty of our garden this year.  It's been a really weird year weather wise so far but our garden has continued to produce.  We praise our Father who has been so gracious to us despite the challenges!

What are y'all canning now?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Biggest Basket of all....

I'm just a bit busy right now...juggling life it seems.  It's canning time and instead of spending my time with y'all, I'm chopping pickles, picking beans, shredding zuchinni & squash, washing canning jars, trying some new lids I can't wait to tell you about, and hanging out with my canner.

Today, we have our family party for Siah's birthday.  It will be wonderful to have my whole family gathered around my table again.  I baked and decorated a cake yesterday.  Once everybody leaves, I'll be back at the stove canning again.

I just wanted to share some pictures with you. I had occasion recently to make the largest gift basket I've ever done....isn't it beautiful?

There are 16 bars of soap, 4 lip balms, a sack of salve, a large tube of Aches Away salve and a jar of Jewelweed salve!  

This basket will go up on my website as soon as I can leave the stove!
It will sell for $125

All of this bounty is contained in a very high quality wicker basket with wire supports in the bottom.
It's heavy!

This basket was created for a gentleman....don't you think it makes a lovely gift?

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's raining men!

My third-born son turned 18 a couple of days ago.  I can hardly believe it - three men I call son. Doodle is shooting up so fast that I believe he will be as tall as me before the end of the year.  Before I can blink they will all be men.

Because of scheduling conflicts - Josiah's family party will be delayed so that all of us can be there but yesterday was still his birthday and I wanted it to be special. When asked what he wanted to do, he just wanted a day to sleep in and relax. Easy peasy! He also wanted to go to home group that night.  Jeremy has been teaching that class for many months now and that night was supposed to be the last class.  Supposed to be! 

Josiah had asked me not to bring a cake or make a big deal out of his birthday at home group.  So, of course I complied, agreed, nodded and completely ignored him. He knew he wasn't going to get off that easy...nobody does.

I had a plan!

Months ago an unexpected package arrived in the mail (aren't those the best kind?).  It was from a faithful customer who has become a sweet friend. When I opened the package, it contained the most beautiful tallit I have ever seen...and it was a messianic tallit!  All of my boys loved it but within minutes of opening it, I knew what I was supposed to do with it!

I tucked the shawl away and began to make plans...over the last few weeks, I've made phone calls, written emails, run secret errands and ordered a fabulous cake to pull this off!  I never could have done it without everyone's cooperation and willingness to help me make this a special night for a special young man! 

Here's how it all turned out!

I asked our elder if we could have a surprise party that night instead of regular home group. Right after worship he asked Josiah to come sit in a chair....Josiah had no idea what was about to happen! Does he look a bit nervous to you?

Another dear friend translated the Hebrew on the atarah, the embroidered piece in the "collar" area when placed around the shoulders.  The translation turned out to be ""Blessed are you oh Adonai, Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has fulfilled all of Torah through Yahushua the Messiah and has covered us with His Righteousness".

  I had asked Tootie if he would join with the men in our group to bless Josiah and present him with this beautiful prayer shawl. I left the rest up to him and he amazed me - what a blessing - his family's love for my son is very evident.  He presented the prayer shawl to Josiah... while sharing the above translation with him.

Josiah could hardly keep his eyes off of this beautiful tallit!

Then several men were asked to read the scriptures found on each corner of this tallit and to pray for Josiah! His older brother Jeremy led...

And the rest of the men followed, each reading a scripture and praying for Josiah as the rest of us joined in prayer...it was such a special time of encouragement and love!

I asked a dear friend in our church to bake a "guitar cake" for the occasion.  This was something Josiah had seen before and wanted me to make for his next birthday.  Let's just say that I felt this was beyond my capabilities...I'll make the cake for our family celebration.  This woman's talents are amazing..if you are local and need a special cake you need to meet this special lady!

All lit up!

Just before slicing! Not only was it beautiful but delicious too!

Then we enjoyed great food and fellowship! Notice he is still wearing the shawl!

I'd say he's a contented young man - don't you think?

I stand amazed that my heavenly Father used another one of His daughters, over a thousand miles away, and prompted her to purchase and send this special tallit to my boys!

I told Josiah this..."your Heavenly Father sent one of His daughters, over one thousand miles away, shopping for you...He sent her to a certain thrift store, on a certain day, at a certain time to find a particular gift He had for you...when she saw it He reminded her of you, prompted her to purchase it and mail it to us...don't ever doubt Yahweh's ability to gather from the far corners to bring you what you need and what will bless you...He is Jehovah Jireh!".

How blessed we all are by our friends and church family.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lavender...with a TWIST!

What do you get when you combine both Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils?

You get one of my new soaps...Lavender Twist!

This is one time I really wish these pictures were scratch and sniff!  You won't believe how refreshing this scent is.  I combined the underlying sweet, floral scent  of lavender with a burst of fresh citrus - it is amazing! It took some experimenting to get the ratio of these two essential oils just the way I liked it but I am extremely pleased with the results!

This soap has quickly become my favorite bath soap but I also like it at my kitchen sink too!  In fact, I find that I'm reaching for it over and over again when I need to replace the soap in the kitchen.  The boys think I have a fixation with this soap but they're tolerating it getting used to it.  They do, after all, get to pick their own personal soaps and the soap for their bathroom sink.

If you're local, feel free to visit my kitchen sink to give this soap a try....yummy...it's worth the trip!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Is Tennessee Senator Corker a true conservative?

If you don't live in Tennessee, feel free to skip this post.

I read recently how Sen. Corker has "seen the light" and is touting conservative values now.  How convenient (and often) this happens just before election year....

I hear he's a nice guy...independently wealthy too.  Neither qualifies him to be a Senator.

I call his office (and Sen. Alexander's office) on a regular basis.  I'm treated like a country hick without a brain...because, if I had a brain, I would think them WONDERFUL...of course.  I was recently told by Senator Corker's office that he was trying to "keep a balance" between freedom and safety".  Balance? Willing to trade a little freedom to get a little safety?  NOT ME!

I don't care what he says...I care how he votes.

Let's look at his voting record (courtesy of the Conservative Index and Freedom Index issues of  The New American Magazine) and you tell me if he's a conservative.

Minimum Wage.
The minimum wage bill (H.R. 2) would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over the course of two years. The bill would also provide $8.3 billion in small-business tax incentives. The House passed its version of H.R. 2 on January 10. The Senate passed the minimum-wage increase by a vote of 94-3 (Roll Call 42) on February 1, 2007. It is unconstitutional to prohibit citizens from working for less than a government-set wage.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

COPS Funding.
Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2008 budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 21) that would authorize a $1.2 billion increase in federal funds to support the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The Senate passed the Bide amendment by a vote of 65-33 (Roll Call 110) on March 23, 2007. Providing federal aid to local law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

Guest-worker Program.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) introduced an amendment to strike the guest-worker provision of Ted Kennedy’s substitute amendment (S. Amdt. #1150) for the immigration reform bill of 2007 (S. 1348). Kennedy’s so-called guest-worker provision would create a renewable two-year guest-worker program, issue a guest-worker visa, and set an adjustable annual cap on the number of guest workers permitted in this country. The Dorgan amendment was rejected by a vote of 31-64 (Roll Call 174) on May 22, 2007. The guest-worker program would constitute a large increase in legal immigration for our country, which would ultimately displace more American workers from their jobs and depress wages.
Bob Corker voted NO.

H.R. 976 would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to the amount of $60.2 billion for five years. The proposed amount would expand the program by $35.2 billion and cover an addition 6.1 million children. The Senate passed H.R. 976 on August 2, 2007, by a vote of 68-31 (Roll Call 307). Taxpayer-financed federal health insurance is unconstitutional. After successful passage of H.R. 976 in both the House and Senate, President Bush vetoed the measure on October 3, 2007.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

Protect America Act.
The Protect America Act (S. 1927) would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow warrantless electronic eavesdropping on communications where at least one individual is based outside of the United States. The Senate passed S. 1927 on August 3, 2007, by a vote of 60-28 (Roll Call 309). Warrantless surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition “against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Bob Corker voted YES. 

UN “Peacekeeping” Increase.
During consideration of the foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764), Senator John Ensign (R- Nev.) introduced an amendment to strike a provision in H.R. 2764 that would increase the limit on the U.S. share of UN “peacekeeping” operations from 25 percent to 27.1 percent. The Senate rejected the Ensign amendment to H.R. 2764 on September 6, 2007, by a vote of 30-63 (Roll Call 317). The United States should not be funding UN “peacekeeping” period — let alone increasing the amount.
Bob Corker voted NO.

Debt Limit Increase.
This bill (House Joint Resolution 43) would increase the national debt limit to an astronomical $9.8 trillion, an $850 billion increase. This increase would be the fifth time the national debt was raised since 2002, representing about a $3 trillion increase in just the last five years. The Senate passed House Joint Resolution 43 on September 27, 2007, by a vote of 53-42 (Roll Call 354). Raising the public debt limit by $850 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.
Bob Corker voted YES.  

Amtrak Reauthorization.
This bill (S. 294) would authorize $11.4 billion for Amtrak funding over the next six years. That amount would include monies for operating subsidies ($3.3 billion) and capital grants ($4.9 billion). If passed, states would be required to provide a 20 percent match of funds. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) opposed the reauthorization of federal funds to Amtrak. According to DeMint, Amtrak routes are so unprofitable that each ticket is federally subsidized by hundreds of dollars. Amtrak was created in 1970 and has been operating under annual federal appropriation funds since 2002. The Senate passed S. 294 on October 30, 2007, by a vote of 70-22 (Roll Call 400). Spending billions of tax dollars for federal grants and subsidies for Amtrak transportation is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

Mukasey Confirmation.
When Michael Mukasey testified at his confirmation hearings for attorney general, he repeatedly refused to say that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques reportedly practiced by the CIA constituted torture and were therefore illegal. (Waterboarding is a form of controlled drowning.) He also stated, incredibly, that the president could operate outside laws passed by Congress if “what goes outside the statute lies within the authority of the president to defend the country.” The Senate confirmed Michael Mukasey as U.S. attorney general on November 8, 2007, by a vote of 53-40 (Roll Call 407). In so doing, the U.S. Senate demonstrated its willingness to tolerate torture — which is anathema to American values — and its willingness to allow the president to trump laws passed by Congress in the name of national security.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

Children’s Health Insurance.
H.R. 3963, the five-year, $60 billion SCHIP Extension bill, passed 64-30 on November 1, 2007 (Roll Call 403) and then went to the president, who vetoed it. (H.R. 3963, a bill to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, was rejected in the House, 260-152 on January 23, 2008 (Roll Call 22) when the House failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of those present to override President Bush’s veto. The bill would have authorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion. It also would have put an additional tax on cigarette manufacturers, would have undermined private insurance plans, and would have pushed us further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine. ) The Constitution does not authorize federal involvement in healthcare, even for children.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

Head Start.
H.R. 1429, a bill to reauthorize the Head Start program through 2012, was adopted 95-0 on November 14, 2007 (Roll Call 409). (Head Start provides educational activities and social services for children up to age five from low-income families. The program received $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2007. $7 billion was authorized in the fiscal 2008 omnibus bill, but H.R. 1429 increased funding to $7.4 billion for fiscal 2008, $7.7 billion for 2009, and $8 billion for 2010. The income level at which families are eligible to participate was raised from 100 percent of the poverty level to 130 percent ($26,728 for a family of four). Some members opposed the bill because Head Start grants will not be allowed to faith-based organizations that hire employees on the basis of religious preference.) Having been adopted in both the House and the Senate, this legislation was cleared for President Bush, who signed it into law. Federalized educational system is an unconstitutional and wasteful bureaucracy. (there were no “nays”)
Bob Corker voted YES.  

Peru Free Trade Agreement.
The Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688) is another in a series of free-trade agreements to transfer the power to regulate trade (and other powers as well) to regional arrangements. A prime example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, as noted by the House Ways and Means Committee report on H.R. 3688, the Peru Free Trade Agreement is the first U.S. FTA to include “in its core text fully enforceable commitments by the Parties to adopt, maintain, and enforce basic international labor standards, as stated in the 1988 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.” The ILO, or International Labor Organization, is a UN agency. The Senate passed the Peru Free Trade Agreement on December 4, 2007 by a vote of 77-18 (Roll Call 413). So-called free trade arrangements threaten our national independence and harm our economy.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Warrantless Searches.
S. 2248, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed 68-29 on February 12, 2008 (Roll Call 20). The bill would amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to effectively give the executive branch of the federal government a blank check to eavesdrop on telephone calls and e-mail messages between people in foreign countries and those in the United States. The bill includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that have collaborated with federal agencies in the warrantless surveillance of American citizens. Warrantless wiretaps are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids “ex post facto laws” - laws having a retroactive effect.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Farm Bill.
The version of the five year, $289 billion farm bill is considered here. (H.R. 2419 would authorize the nation’s farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of this legislation worked out by House and Senate conferees (known as a conference report) provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.) The Senate passed the final version of H.R. 2419 by a vote of 81-15 (Roll Call 130) on May 15, 2008. Federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Farm Bill (Veto Override).
H.R. 6124 would authorize the nation’s farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of the legislation provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.  After this five-year, $289 billion farm bill was vetoed by President Bush, the Senate passed the bill over the president’s veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 80-14 (Roll Call 151). A two thirds majority vote is required to override a presidential veto. Federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Funds for War, Welfare, Etc.
The Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2642) was agreed to 92-2 (Roll Call 162) on June 26, 2008. Such bills fund unforeseen needs after an annual budget has been approved. However, regular use of emergency supplemental bills to pay for never-ending wars, domestic welfare, and infrastructure programs has made the annual budget a misleading indicator of spending intentions. This $186.5 billion measure includes $161.8 billion of additional funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remaining $24.7 billion is for domestic programs including tornado, flood, and hurricane relief efforts. It would also expand veterans’ education benefits, expand unemployment benefits, and delay shifting some Medicaid costs to the states. Congress continues to fund a war it never authorized under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution. Also, the federal government is unconstitutionally involved as an individual and corporate insurer at taxpayer expense.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Warrantless Searches.
H.R. 6304, the bill to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would allow warrantless electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States. The final version of the bill would not explicitly grant immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program. But it would require courts to dismiss lawsuits against such companies if there is “substantial evidence” they were insured in writing the program was legal and authorized by the president. The provision would almost certainly result in the dismissal of the lawsuits.The Senate passed H.R. 6304 on July 9, 2008 by a vote of 69-28 (Roll Call 168). Warrantless searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids “ex post facto laws” laws having a retroactive effect.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Global HIV/AIDS Program.
This legislation (H.R. 5501) to authorize $48 billion to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria overseas.  (The bill would authorize $48 billion for fiscal 2009 through 2013 to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis overseas. Currently one third of the funding for HIV prevention is required to go to abstinence education. The bill would change that allocation to balance funding between condom, fidelity, and abstinence programs. It would also authorize $2 billion to fund programs for American Indian health, clean water, and law enforcement.) The Senate passed H.R. 5501 on July 16, 2008 by a vote of 80-16 (Roll Call 182). We have assigned pluses to the “nays” because foreign aid is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Bailout Bill.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 74-25 (Roll Call 213) on October 1, 2008. (This bill authorizes the Treasury Department to use $700 billion of taxpayer money to purchase troubled mortgage-related securities from banks and other financial-related institutions, on terms set by the Treasury Secretary, who now has authority to manage and sell those assets. The bailout plan also expands FDIC protection from $100,000 to $250,000 per bank account, extends dozens of expiring tax provisions, expands incentives for renewable energy, provides a one-year adjustment to exempt millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax, and requires health insurers who provide mental-health coverage to put mental-health benefits on par with other medical benefits.) The bill establishes an unconstitutional merger of government with big business — in other words, fascism — and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.
Bob Corker voted YES.

H.R. 2 would reauthorize the “State Children’s Health Insurance Program,” commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. (H.R. 2 would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. SCHIP is designed to provide health insurance to children of families whose incomes are up to four times above the poverty level (and therefore would have too much income to qualify for Medicaid), yet would have little income to buy private insurance. Often SCHIP crowds out private insurance: the Congressional Budget Office found that between 25 and 50 percent of children who enroll in SCHIP dropped their private insurance to get “free care.” Because SCHIP, like Medicaid and Medicare, pays doctors and hospitals only a fraction of the actual cost of care, the unfunded costs get passed to holders of private insurance. Additionally, SCHIP would apply to 400,000 to 600,000 children of legal immigrants whose sponsors had agreed to cover the children’s healthcare needs for at least five years after arriving to the United States. ) The Senate passed H.R. 2 on January 29, 2009, by a vote of 66-32 (Roll Call 31). Federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional and would likely lower the quality of healthcare.
Bob Corker voted YES.

IMF Funding.
During consideration of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental bill (H.R. 2346), Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered an amendment to delete $5 billion provided by the bill for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is an adjunct of the United Nations and grants foreign aid to qualifying countries. The Senate rejected the DeMint amendment on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 30-64 (Roll Call 201). Foreign aid is unconstitutional, and this is deficit spending.
Bob Corker voted NO against the amendment to delete funding.

Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations.
The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $91.3 billion in “emergency” funding for the current fiscal year over and above the regular appropriations. The spending would include $73 billion for the Defense Department (including the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan), $1.5 billion to address potential pandemic flu, and $5 billion for the International Monetary Fund, a UN agency that lends to qualifying countries. The Senate passed H.R. 2346 on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 86-3 (Roll Call 202). The spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Supplemental Appropriations.
The final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346), would provide $105.9 in “emergency” funding. (This final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional$105.9 billion in so-called emergency funds over and above the regular appropriations for 2009. This outrageous supplemental package would include $79.9 billion for defense funding (including for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), $10.4 billion for foreign aid programs, $7.7 billion to address the national flu scare, and $5 billion for International Monetary Fund activities. This supplemental bill would also include $1 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program. A day prior to the House vote, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) urged his fellow lawmakers to reject the bill, stating, “I continue to believe that the best way to for discretionary spending for the two departments and their related agencies, a 25-percent increase from fiscal 2009 levels. The bill would provide $1.5 billion in federal grants for Amtrak and $18.2 billion for the Section 8 Tenant-based Rental Assistance program.) The Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on June 18, 2009 by a vote of 91-5 (Roll Call 210). The spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., Cash for Clunkers and foreign aid) is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Cash for Clunkers Funding.
H.R. 3435 would authorize an additional $2 billion for the “Cash for Clunkers” vehicle trade-in program. Under the “Cash for Clunkers” program, consumers would trade in their old cars for more fuel efficient vehicles. (Congress passed the original Cash For Clunkers in June (see our July 20, 2009 issue). After running out of funds almost immediately, Congress quickly introduced yet another bill (H.R. 3435) that would provide an additional $2 billion for the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Under the program consumers were offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded in were destroyed, meaning cars not ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock o
used vehicles and inflating the prices of used cars.) The Senate passed H.R. 3435 on August 6, 2009 by a vote of 60-37 (Roll Call 270). The federal government should not be subsidizing the car industry and because it is unconstitutional and wasteful.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Energy-Water Appropriations.
The final version (conference report) of this 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3183) to appropriate $34 billion for energy and water projects ( The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3183 would appropriate $34 billion in fiscal 2010 for energy and water projects. The funds would provide $27.1 billion for the Energy Department, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, and $1.1 billion for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation.). The Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on October 15, 2009 by a vote of 80-17 (Roll Call 322). The Department of Energy is not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Bernanke Confirmation.
On January 28, 2010, the Senate voted 70 to 30 to confirm Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term as Federal Reserve Chairman (Roll Call 16). With Bernanke at the helm, the Fed, which can create money out of thin air, has pumped trillions of newly created fiat (unbacked) dollars into the economy, even though this reckless expansion of the money supply (inflation) will diminish the value of the dollar and further hurt the economy in the long run. Bernanke’s Fed has also kept interest rates artificially low, encouraging excessive borrowing and malinvestments. And Bernanke has called for the Fed — which already possesses the power to create booms and busts through its control of the money supply and interest rates — to be given new powers to manage the financial sector. Bernanke is accountable for the economic havoc at the Fed; which is a central bank that should not even exist.
Bob Corker voted YES.

Audit the Fed.
During consideration of the financial regulatory reform bill (S. 3217), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve. The Senate rejected the Vitter amendment on May 11, 2010 by a vote of 37-62 (Roll Call 138), after unanimously adopting a watered-down audit-the-Fed amendment offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Sanders had much earlier introduced legislation in the Senate that mirrored the audit-the-Fed legislation in the House championed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). When Sanders caved and offered his watered-down amendment, Vitter stepped in and offered an amendment for a full Fed audit along the lines of Paul’s (and Sanders’ earlier) proposal. The Sanders amendment allows for a onetime audit of the Fed’s emergency actions taken in response to the 2008 financial crisis. However, unlike the Vitter amendment, the Sanders amendment (in Paul’s words) “exempts monetary policy decisions, discount window operations, and agreements with foreign central banks from [GAO] audit.” The vote on the Vitter amendment is used here to rate Senators on their position on auditing the Fed.
The American people need to know what the Fed is doing and because this may represent a first step in eliminating the unconstitutional Federal Reserve.
Bob Corker voted NO.

If you vote AGAINST auditing the Fed...

If you vote FOR Bernake...

If you vote FOR any legislation that curtails my constitutional rights in order to "keep me safe"...

If you vote FOR spending money unconstitutionally (which is most of it right?)...

I'm voting AGAINST you and I'll campaign diligently for any true conservative that opposes you.

Remember friends, everyone becomes more conservative right before an election. How did they vote during their entire term?

I think both Alexander and Corker need to go.  We need true conservatives to protect the liberties of the people of Tennessee.

Remember this voting record when you go to the polls.

Politcal rant over.

I feel better now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is there a baby in the house?

If there is, or if you just need a very gentle, healing soap, let me tell you about one of my new soaps!

I'm very excited about this soap for babies - although you don't have to be a baby to use this soap!  It takes a wee bit longer to make because I infuse the oils with healing herbs.  I chose herbs that are known to be gentle and have healing properties that are beneficial for the skin.

I also filled Baby's Bath Bar with a healthy dose of Shea Butter to help moisturize and protect baby's skin.  I topped things off with Lavender essential oil because of its gentle and healing properties.

I've been wanting to create a soap for babies for some time, but not having a baby in the house kept it from being a priority.  But...with a son married last year...well....you just never know when the need may occur!  sshhhhh.....I never said a word....they might think I'm nagging, pushing, looking forward to a grandbaby!

So if there is a baby in your house...or if you're just looking for a very mild, healing soap....visit my website to read more about Baby's Bath Bar!

While you are there, you might want to check out the home page for another hint of things to come!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The soap formerly known as....

Baby's Breath has a new name.  Baby's Breath has always been a true spanish castile soap.  Pure castile soap is getting harder and harder to find.  Oh, you'll see lots of soaps labeled "Castile" but I challenge you to pick up the bar and read the ingredients....you'll find palm oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil...I've even seen *ack* lard!

A true castile is made only with olive oil.  Some people don't like it because it doesn't produce a heavy, bubbly lather....but oh! the moisturizing capabilities!

I've renamed Baby's Breath.

It is now called....

Pretty self explanatory don't you think?

Oh...there just might be another teeny-tiny reason I've renamed it....

I wouldn't want it to  get confused with a brand new soap created especially for......babies!

Check in tomorrow to learn all about it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

His Endless Gifts....

As summer gets into full swing on our farm, we see so many gifts from our Father!  With such tender care from Him, how could we not desire to worship Him passionately?

#856 - #883

a garden fully recovered - miraculous!

our first squash

canning plans

the beautiful sunset last night

worship with friends

laughing with my sons till I cry


food from the garden every day

the gift of a fancy dinner out!

teaching from the Word


projects completed

school all done for the summer!

reading together


Anna's enthusiasm - she makes me smile!

finches outside my window

lightening bugs last night - amazing!

flowers growing tall

fresh baked bread

summer fun!

company from Germany this week!

Lauren's sweet & gentle spirit - she blesses me!

friends always only a phone call away

Godly advice 

praying friends

the song of the river

daybreak - so peaceful

We are learning to see His gfits as a continual love note that reminds us that He is always here.  He is faithful and He loves us passionately! Will you worship Him with gratitude by counting His gifts with me?  You will discover that He is your source.  He is your healer.  He is your provider.

He never fails...

He never forsakes...

He leaves me breathless....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Marvelous!

Worship Him today!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Of Retailers and Restaurants

Dear Retailers and Restaurants,

I spent the day yesterday visiting some of y'all.  Here's what needs to happen:

For the retailers:

1.  Change the music.  The majority of people in your stores were over the age of 40. Do you really think we want to hear that selection of music? Does most of your revenue come from 15 year old teens? Or were you playing it for the pleasure of your staff?

2.  Turn down the music. Most of us have no desire to shop in a "disco" environment!  Often the noise volume helped us decide to shop at your competitor's quieter store.

3.  Hire help. When you are a huge anchor store with two levels,  I believe there should be more than 3 people working on one level.  Seriously.

4.  Do some market research. Gear your stock towards whichever demographic spends the most money. I highly doubt it is really 12 to 16 year olds.

5.  During this time of year, please try to offer something in between the teeny-weeny bikini and the frumpy "old-lady" swim suits.  Some of us actually like to swim, be modest and fashionable at the same time.  I'm just saying.

6. Just a note about the people behind the make-up counters.  Do they have to wear ALL of your products at the same time?  They certainly don't look like real women...or what the average woman wants to look like...some are scary enough to make small children cry.  Perhaps you might try... *gasp* ... the natural look! As it is, most of us consider that area of your store comparable to the clown show at Ringling Brothers and keep on walking.

7. Could you assign someone to bring order to your departments?  Simple things like picking clothes up off the floor and putting your racks in order so customers could find what we are looking for without feeling like we're cleaning a child's room. We do that enough at home.

8.  Tell your staff to stop calling customers names.  "Honey", "sweetie", "sugar" and "sweetheart" are nice to hear from your hubby but not from the pimply-faced teenage boy working behind the counter.

For the restaurants:

1.  Turn down the music.  It's supposed to be "background" music.  Some of us actually like to talk to each other while we eat.  Without raising our voices.

2.  Tell your staff to keep their hands to themselves.  Why should a waiter feel it necessary to touch a customer every time he comes to the table? Stop that!

3. Without naming names...when two people order an "all you can eat" garden salad (with olives and hot peppers) and delicious garlic breadsticks from a wonderful Italian Restaurant, bring more than two cups of salad at a time. Oh, and the breadsticks shouldn't be the same consistency as a baseball bat.  Warm would be nice too...

4.  We don't want cute and silly waiters. Cute and silly are just irritating. Irritated people don't tip well. We want polite and efficient.  We tip for polite and efficient. Understand?

*Added suggestion from Debbie S.* Thanks Debbie!

5. Please don't set the A/C to below freezing with the ceiling fans going, as well. When I'm freezing and covered in goose bumps, I'm not going to linger over your coffee and high-priced desserts! Just sayin'.

You'll thank me in the end.

Thus ends my yearly shopping rant.

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