LipSense is So Sensible

I have found a lip product that I simply find amazing.  It is healthy for me and my lips, is a good value for my money, it lasts and lasts for hours, and the colors are beautiful and many,

It is LipSense, from SeneGence.  They make an entire skincare line, with all of the accompanying cosmetics that go with it, but for right now, it is the lip product that I am crushing over.  I hear great things about their other products, too, which I will be trying soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

There was a learning curve to applying the lip product  in a manner that it looks beautiful for anywhere from 4 to 18 hours.  It was fast, though.  I now wear it beautifully for about 12 to 14 hours before needing to do a touchup, unless it is the end of the day and time to take it off.

I could not stop with just one color.  I now have six for exclusively me.  I have 36 shades to share with my friends and family!  What?  Yes, I said that.  I signed on as a distributor, and I purchased almost all the shades so my besties can try it, too.

If you would like to see the SeneGence Beauty Book, let me know, and I can email you that..  You may also go to Quintessential LIPS page on Facebook to order, or go directly to

www.SeneGence.com/QuintessentialLips  and order there.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section or email me at debgbb@yahoo.com

God’s Identity

I hear God maligned much too often.  He is used in cursing so often that my ears ring and my soul cringes.  Too many are angry and blame Him, not even knowing who He is.  Allow me to tell you.  Let me divulge to you God’s identity.

When God does something in my life, it is not going to be a private event. Why? Because my scars are anointed. Just as we are healed because of His scars, others can be healed by ours…by my own. I am His mouthpiece of His goodness. At least, that is my goal and purpose.

When we walk with our Lord, He is remaking us, renewing us, and healing us in every way, each day. We are His kiddos! He desires that parental relationship with each of us, all of us.

Contemplate what a good parent means to you, and know He wants to be that to you. He wants a parental partnership with every person.

“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our (my) transgressions, He was bruised for our (my) iniquities, the chastisement for our (my) peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we (I) are healed.” (Some translations are past tense, reflecting original language…WERE/WAS healed).

….Prophetically spoken by prophet Isaiah long before Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Isaiah 53:4-5

He had a plan from the beginning and it was Jesus. Think of this! Hundreds of years before Christ even appeared on the scene, God is saying through His prophet that Jesus will suffer and die so we can be restored in all ways, for our benefit and for/to Himself, and amazingly, this prediction is already past tense! Isaiah is already prophesying beyond the actual prophesy! Post resurrection!

Here is some great news! Jesus was and is God. If we see Jesus, we are seeing the very character of God!

What is some of that character? Judge this. Jesus healed everyone, EVERYONE, and all whom He met. No one was excluded…no one. What does that tell you of His character? No one was too sinful. And…No one had to earn it. All that was required was belief that He wanted to change their life, for the absolute best, and partnership with Him in demonstrating that belief. It tells you His character is desire to have you trust and believe in Him, that He wants the best for us…just like we want from our kiddos. He wants us to have confidence in Him, not to be whining, accusing Him, and misjudging Him.

Do you realize that the fruits of the spirit (His spirit, by the way!) are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. That is WHO He is. That is also who Jesus was and is! They are one and the same! Really think about that and consider how the world maligns Him!!!

God even called Himself, “I am Jehovah Rapha.” (I am the living God who heals.) He named Himself this! Why, if it is not true? And how many ways do all of the human race need healing? How many followers say they agree in principle, but deny this in reality. The human race is in a world of hurt and need! Physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, psychological…ha – political even?

Who do you believe God is? I ask, because who you believe He is and the character you attribute to Him makes all the difference in the world to the outcomes of our life…my life. And is your perception colored by other people (even priests and ministers) or by the very word of God?

Really think about it and change your direction if needed.  Get to know His true identity.

The Shepherd’s Diet

I just purchased the Shepherd Diet plan on Friday.  Today, I am sitting down to study it all, read up about it, and plot my start.  I hope and pray that it will not just be another diet to sit in my bookcase, or in my Cloud library.  I have tried so  many diets that I have lost count.  Just know, that I hate diets.  I have had no success with them for two decades.  Once I reached my late forties, it seemed diets didn’t work for me anymore.  I couldn’t just put weight on, then lose it, as I had the first four and one half decades.  In fact, I am very, very afraid of diets.  I will tell you why.

I do quite well on them the first three or four weeks.  I initially lose some pounds; I might even lose ten pounds.  Then all weight loss ceases, while I continue doing everything perfectly, just as I did the first two to three weeks. It is at a standstill.  If I eat any less, I think I will starve.  I keep on, getting discouraged, so that by the time a month or more passes, I give up altogether.  I’m hungry, I’m giving up things I love to eat, and I am losing no weight.  I’m grouchy, fatigued, and feeling certain that I am not getting enough nutrition.  I then gradually go off of the diet.  The ten pounds I lost inch back on, and then about two more pounds, to boot.

Every time I repeat this process, trying another diet, I add another two pounds or so.  I would guess I have about fifteen to twenty pounds that I carry that I’ve gained right after a diet.  I swear to you that I am telling the complete, unadulterated truth.

I really need to lose some pounds, though.  I want to lose 30.  So…I am committing to trying again, and this time it is the Shepherd’s Diet.  It is based on eating things that are suggested in scripture, foods that are biblically sound.  Sounds like a reasonable idea, I guess.  I’m game.

I will post on here when I actually begin (I have to figure it out, first, and buy the right foods), and then I will post as I progress.  I will be as honest as I possibly can be, and we will see.  Wish me luck, or maybe God’s blessings!

 

Good Doggy

After eighteen years of wear and tear on our living room carpeting, and 
having a dog for 15 of those years, we are replacing the carpeting with 
hardwood flooring.  It was started this morning and should be completed by 
day's end on Friday.

I am quite excited.  If I had my way, we would have hardwood flooring 
throughout our entire home.  It is dog friendlier, and it makes life easier for 
allergy sufferers.  Husband and I, both, are the latter.

I was anxious to observe and see if my dog had been using the carpeting in
any places that we were unaware of for the purpose of elimination, so I 
watched as the carpeting was removed, and next the padding.  I was
really thrilled to see that he had not.  There was no stain, not even 
one on the padding beneath, or on the subflooring.

I know he had tinkled on it a couple of times when he was a puppy and at 
least once that I knew of since then.  We were always quick to soak it up, 
then neutralize it with white vinegar and water, and then completely soak 
that up with dry towels.  It has always worked beautifully and inexpensively.  

Of course, we would get it professionally steam cleaned on a quite regular 
basis, too.

Now we know we have an obedient dog to the tenth degree.  You go, Sprout!!!!!

Yummy Fluffy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

This is so delicious!  Try it; cause you won’t be sorry.

1 cup of vanilla flavored Greek yoghurt (I use an organic brand)
1/3 cup of organic creamy peanut butter
1 - 2 Tablespoons of raw honey

Whip these three together (I merely used a wire whip) and serve with slices of fruit.  Especially good are 
apples and bananas, but try many.  ENJOY!!!!

			

Last Thoughts for our Failing and Cherished Pet

I’d like to introduce Sprout to you.  He is my 15 year old Yorkshire Terrier, as of March 2, 2017.  He’s a real cutie, for certain.  I’ve had him since he was right around 7 to 8 weeks old.  He’s been the proverbial faithful companion to me, never allowing me to question his love and devotion.  Thank you, Sprout, for these many years of togetherness.

He has been healthy and lean through the years.  That might be because he has been a pretty selective eater.  I’ve loved that he did not become a little chubby dog, as so many other dogs that I observe do.  His agility has amazed me.  He has  scatted about like a cat, jumping higher onto places than I would ever have imagined that he could.  Husband and I often joke in whispers that he was a cat in his last life.  We dare not allow him to hear us say THAT!

Sprout is a male dog, and he is territorial.  Yeah!  How dare another canine walk across Sprout’s sidewalk!  He has never believed himself to be a little guy, either, and he is little, but he is not a teacup size.  He has pretty much hovered around 10 pounds his entire life.  He believes himself to be a giant among dogs, without a doubt.  The challenge has always been to guard him from himself, that he not try to match himself to the giant labradoodle in the house behind us, or any other such monstrous sized dog.

Sprout’s favorite game has always been tug of war with a squeaky toy.  As a puppy, I preferred to not encourage that sport, but hubby would not listen and heed my warnings.  They loved playing this game together, and Sprout’s love for it  only grew over time.  We knew he had mastered it when he treated a bunny in the back yard in the identical fashion that he does his squeaky toys.

The funniest memory that I have of Sprout is the day he came upon a chipmunk on our back porch.  That porch is about 12 by 12, so when the chase began, there was plenty of room for them to run in circles on that porch.  He didn’t catch that chipmunk, thank goodness, but it was the funniest thing to see.  It was like a real life Tom and Jerry cartoon.

I have to say that I believe the Yorkshire Terrier has the most beautiful of faces of all canine.  That is my prejudice, of course, but oh well.  I won’t deny it!  Sprout’s adorable face is not an exception to my firm belief of this opinion.

I am told that the longevity of a Yorkshire Terrier is right around 15 to 18 years.  I had hoped for the 18, but Sprout began failing this past year.  He appears to have lost a good deal of his hearing.  He seems to not see so well anymore, either, although the vet says he does not have cataracts. The worst thing is that his hind legs collapse on him pretty regularly now.  He has arthritis, and hobbles around on many days.  I suppose that just like humans, he can predict the weather better than the weather man.

In the past couple of months, he has become less controlled in his elimination processes.  It is challenging to keep our patience.  Additionally, he licks everything these days, almost like it is a compulsive addiction, which is something he did not do the first twelve or so years of his life.  He has also begun to inappropriately chew up things again, like the carpet flooring.  He never did that before.

In a short space of time, our living room carpet suddenly became so damaged from him that we are now scheduled to have hardwood floors installed in about two weeks.

My husband and I always vowed that we would have him “put down” when these kind of events developed, and yet, here we are; we are struggling with doing exactly that.

We’ve had many conversations about it.  We wait.  How bad will it get before we decide to pull the plug?

Everyone who loves a pet goes through this.  It is never easy.

There are financial consequences to consider, as well.  We have faithfully taken him for annual checkups, shots, teeth cleaning, and lab work.  It gets pricier each year.  We love him, though.  He is our baby.  We have justified that he is worth it, and so are we.

Now, it gets more questionable.  Is it morally ethical to invest more money in his health or into prolonging his life?  We think not.  We consider that he has had a better life than many of the humans on this planet, and there are so many ways to use the money we would continue spending on him to help actual “people” in need.  These are people with a hope and a future.  Our Sprout is running out of hope and a future.

Yet, it is still tough.  We still procrastinate.

At this moment, Sprout stands in the middle of the living room, looking at nothing, and yet barking his head off.  He isn’t barking at something outside that he sees through the window.  There is no noise outside or inside, apart from him barking, and if there was, he could not hear it.  This is senile behavior.  This is also something new.

I think the time is fast approaching when we must take action, and until it does, I am praying that God will cause him to slumber right into the beyond, to wherever friendly, loving pets spend eternity.  I wish him no pain, no anxiety, and no sadness, just happy endless dreams of chasing chipmunks and bunnies.

 

Recipe Hoarding: Fixed!

I have hoarded recipes and cookbooks for years.  I clip or copy recipes from magazines and newspapers, print them off of the internet and Pinterest, hunt down ones I see on TV cooking shows, or request them from family and friends.  Until yesterday, I had a bushel sized pile of clipped and printed recipes all disorganized in a basket, waiting to be organized.  I have too many cookbooks on my baking shelves.  I have big notebooks filled to the brim with more recipes.  It is too, too much!

I enjoy cooking, so I do try many of these recipes that I save.  Some become favorites, some I’m unsure of, thinking I may try again, but make some changes, and sometimes they are flops and they get pitched.  If they are winners, I try to  jot down the dates of when fixed, and rank them one to five stars.

For a couple of years now, I have realized that this hoarding of recipes is becoming problematic.  It is no longer me in control of them, but them controlling me.  How so?  Well, they have been stressing me.  They have been very disorganized and I am forgetting good recipes or remembering ones that I cannot find.  They are consuming too much space in my kitchen, hatching and having babies, like rabbits or something.  It has been frustrating me.  That, my friend, is a form of control.

I decided recently that I was going to win in the control game.  I decided this past weekend that I would finally do something about it, and THIS WEEK!  I would take the situation in hand.  I began that process yesterday.

I took two very large loose-leaf notebooks, for starters.  I weeded those out, pitching recipes within them that I know I will never use again.  I weeded through the huge pile in the basket, categorizing them, and pitching an entire garbage bag full.  The ones I saved, I put in cellophane sleeves, and placed them in their categories in the notebook.  I ran out of sleeves, though, so must run and get more.  I only have the desserts to do yet, the best for last, right?

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I have an index box to go through yet, as well, and then I will begin weeding out the excess of cookbooks.  I will photocopy recipes I want to keep from the books I use little.

I am very proud of myself for facing this frustration with courage yesterday and today.  It was truly daunting to me.  I must say, however,  that I also analyzed why I was saving all of these, so that I won’t do it again.

I have this compulsion to feel like I must try to fix or cook every good recipe I find or see.  My reality is that I will never live long enough to cook that amount of food.  I am 66, and I’m already slowing down.  This is about getting “real” with myself.  I probably have had five times in recipes the number of meals and days I have left.  So, going, going, gone.  I pat myself on the back today for facing this demon in my kitchen.

If you find yourself in this dilemma, or have been, I’d love to hear your story.

 

Memorial Weekend Blessings Too Many to Count

01d8051a30d8d5dfc7bb2998eb641553ec895fcd28Memorial weekend is now past, and today I look back on our many activities and thoughts that I had.

Our weekend didn’t really begin until Saturday afternoon, when John got off of work.  Saturday is a busy retail day of sales for his shop, especially on holiday weekends, so he needed to be there.  Saturday was also my 66th birthday.

My Birthday and Shipshewana

For my birthday, John took me out for a filet mignon dinner on Saturday night, and then we went to see Junglebook.  It’s a Disney movie, but one that is well done and entertaining, even for 60 somethings.  We also went for a frozen custart at Culvers.  It was so delicious!  We both love ice cream.

John had taken off of work the preceding Tuesday so that he could take me overnight to Shipshewana, Indiana for their giant flea market.  That was my main birthday gift, including spending money, and BOY, was it a great time!  We took along friends, Denny and Carol, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Shipshewana and the surrounding area is Amish, so there is much to see and visit in the area.  I really recommend a stop there this summer if you are near it.  The flea market is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer.  Clean, modern, and pleasant  hotels are in the area, as well as B&B’s, bakeries, shops, cottage industries, and home-cooking.

Straw Bale Gardening

Sunday, John and I attended our church, then went out for brunch, a Sunday habit of ours after church that we enjoy.  We then came home, changed our clothes, then did a few chores in our yard, before heading to our farmhouse to check on our garden that we recently planted.

Our garden seeds were all sprouting nicely.  We have a straw bale garden out there, in it’s second rotation year.  We started it last year as an experiment, we learned a few things, and now we are trying again this year.  So far, so good!  We have a smaller straw bale garden at home, as well.

At the farmhouse, we have planted peas, beans, various squashes, pumpkins, water melon, green onions, okra, spinach, broccoli, beets, and Brussel sprouts in the straw bales.  We have lettuces, strawberries, herbs, peppers and tomatoes at home in the straw bales.

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(Straw bale gardens at  home…yes, there is straw under that topsoil.)

While at the farmhouse on Sunday, John and I completed a craft project of mine on the side of the old garage that faces the back  yard.

We took melamine and plastic dishes and charger plates, stacked them together to look like flowers, and screwed them into the side of the garage.  Then, we cut pieces of flat green garden hose to attach as stems and leaves.  We were happy with the results.

We watered everything, including the raspberries, and headed home again.  We were bushed after our very active day!

Cook-out

On Monday, we headed to our friends’ home near Columbus for a holiday cookout and to visit our good friends, Denny and Karen.

It was a fun time, but we also reflected on the price so many have paid for our freedoms.  Denny is a Vietnam vet, so we were in good company on a special day to remember vets.  Karen, his wife, made us a special cake for the day.  (Pictured above.)  Delicious!

When we got home on  Sunday evening, we watered our straw bales, as well as the blueberries and cucumbers.

A Weekend Well-Ended

The weekend is over, but my favorite memory was the Happy Birthday phone call from my daughter, Candi, and her family.  I spoke with the grandchildren, and I love talking to them.

Is my life all roses?  No.  I had a heartache this past weekend, too, and it was an adult son who neglected my birthday altogether.  I also had aches and pains to deal with, because I am having some bouts of fibromyalgia.  These things are all a part of life and the ups and downs of it.  I still consider myself very blessed and I choose to focus on those blessings.  There are too many to count.

My thought about the greatest blessing of all, which is freedom, is this: freedom does not mean liberty to do everything I want to do; it is about liberty to do what I ought to do.  I have this good life because there were those who gave up everything to make it so, and I have the responsibility to live life as honestly, creatively, kindly, and generously as possible.

Until next time,  Debby

Our Front Door Birds Flew Away

It took a little while, but the baby birds on our front door finally flew away.  There were three, originally, but one seemed to have died.  We don’t know how or why, really .

Yesterday, I took the bucket of flowers with the nest inside down, cleaned it all out, then power washed the front door and the porch.  They had made a little mess, for certain.  I will surely miss peeking out the window and watching the mother bird feed her little ones.

My Flowers are Bursting with Color

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I was out in the yard walking my Yorkie,  Sprout, earlier today, and my next door neighbor walked over to talk to me.  Now, I was very happy to see her in a very friendly mood, as she does not often socialize with me.  I have no clue why, really, but when she is in the mood to talk to me, I always enjoy talking to her.  She made some small talk with me, then asked me if she could have some of my irises for a table bouquet.  I told her they were not quite popping out yet, but as soon as they did, she could have a bouquet.

Now this picture below is from last spring.  They look this beautiful every year, though, and right now there are even more blooms on the stems than last year.  The fuchsia colored phlox above is in bloom right now, and what a show of color.  We have three colors of this filling in much of the border area of our front flower beds.  One just wants to pick it and eat it, it is so luscious.

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I can’t take the credit, not really, for our gorgeous yard, and it IS gorgeous.  My husband, John, works so hard on it, keeping things watered, fertilized, trimmed, and shining.  I pick out what I want in my garden at the nursery, after much thought and deliberation, then show him where I want it.  He plants and cares for them.

I know, I sound pretty spoiled.  I think I am in that regard.  I used to work hard alongside him, but he gets pretty picky about how he wants things, and after developing hurting knees and other aches and pains, I decided I should allow him the privilege of doing it on his own.  I think  you know what I mean.  He’s a perfectionist about how he plants things.  He did grow up on a farm, so I will give him some slack here.  Meanwhile, my knees thank him, too.

The point is, he knows what he’s doing, and I get to reap the beauty of a gorgeous yard.

The real joy is truly when others also express appreciation.  When an unsociable neighbor breaks her silence and resolve to walk across my yard and ask for some of my flowers, well, that feels pretty special.

My first instinct is to protect my flowers and ask her, “What?  What are you thinking?  Cut my beautiful flowers?”  A second later, I realize this could be the way to her heart, and it could make her feel loved and special to give her a bouquet liberally and with joy.  That’s just what I did.  I said, “Yes”, enthusiastically.

We get many walkers who stop and comment on our yard.  It is very gratifying.

John and I wonder how many more years we are going to be able to keep up this flowery show.  Just last night, he was saying how exhausted he was getting the mulching completed.  This morning, I prayed about it.  I asked God to renew his strength, as well as my own.  I also asked God to give us the wisdom and will to know when to simplify.  Until then, we will continue to enjoy our beautiful spring flowers in bloom. If we can reach out to others by giving bouquets, then our joy is even deeper!

 

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