Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm learning a new homemaking skill......


God has recently blessed us with friends who have friends who have friends who have fruit trees. :) Most of these people that have fruit trees are elderly, and they could never pick all the fruit off of their trees, let alone eat it all! So, my Mom, myself, my brother, my Aunt Kris, and my cousin Mariah have been going to people's homes and picking their fruit. They have all been so grateful to have the fruit gone, and we are so grateful to have the fruit!

So far, we have picked off of 3 different apple trees and 2 different pear trees. This has provided boxes upon boxes and bags upon bags of apples and pears. Dealing with all this fruit, and canning it is something I'd never done before, so my Aunt has been teaching us how to do everything.

First, we use our apple peeler, slicer, corer to (you guessed it!) peel, slice, and core our apples or pears. (Thank God for such a wonderful contraption as this! If we had to sit down and peel, slice and core every single apple or pear by hand I think I would go nuts!) Then each apple is cut in half and thrown into a bowl filled with water and a little bit of lemon juice. This keeps the apples from browning. We transfer the apples into a big pot of boiling water and apple juice where they boil for quite a long time. Some of them we boil for a shorter amount of time and can them just as they are, in slices for making apple pies and the like. But most of them we boil until they are able to be mushed easily. Then they go into the magic bullet to be ground into apple sauce. With that done, we can some of the apple sauce. Some of the apple sauce we make apple butter with in a crockpot. That part of it is pretty easy; you just throw the apple sauce into a crockpot, put some cinnamon, sugar, cloves, and allspice in, and cook it on low for about 12 hours or so.

The canning part we do at my Aunt's house, because we don't have any canning equipment yet. The tricky part about canning is that all of your stuff, the apples or sauce or butter, the jars, and the lids have to be hot so that the jars don't break when you boil them. While everything is hot, we fill up the jars with whatever we're canning. Then we wipe the the edge and lip of the jar so that it's completely clean. After that, we put the lid and ring on, and then transfer the jars to the canning pot (I think there's a specific name for that pot, but I can't remember what it is.) Depending on the size of the jars, they have to boil for a certain amount of time. Once that is done, we take them out of the pot and set them aside to cool. Once cooled, they seal.

Well, that's my latest newly-learned skill. It's a lot of work, and we've been doing it often over the past couple of weeks. We've been dealing with apples and apples and more apples! Whew!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Plantar Warts ..... and Duct Tape?!?!

Duct tape. They say it can fix anything. Is this true? My answer would have to be: I have no idea. But I do know of one thing it can fix. And that is plantar warts.

A plantar wart is caused by a virus and forms on the sole of the foot or the palm of the hand. Now, I won't disgust you by posting pictures of these things. If you're into gross pictures then you can go look it up yourself. They really are pretty nasty.

To get to the point, I had a plantar wart. I got one on my hand. I wore duct tape on it for 10 weeks. Now it is gone. That's the story in short form.

I know that this is kind of a gross subject, but I really wanted to share this "medicinal tip" that I learned from my own experience with people. Because, although it takes quite a bit of time, it is a pain-free and much less expensive way to remove plantar warts than say, burning, freezing, or surgically removing.

So, if you have a plantar wart, I would strongly encourage you to use duct tape before you try anything else. Here are just a couple of tips if you're going to use duct tape on a plantar wart:

  • Wear the duct tape at all times possible. When I did it, the only time that I did not have duct tape on my hand was when I was in the shower or washing dishes.
  • Try not to change your piece of duct tape very often. It is a little bit difficult when the wart is on your hand, but it is best to leave the same piece of duct tape on for as long as possible.
  • In my experience, I found that DUCK brand duct tape works best. It seemed to stick to my skin better and heal the wart faster.
  • Every couple of weeks or so, you can scrape off or cut off the white, dead skin around the wart. I know it's pretty disgusting, but this seemed to help mine to heal faster.
Well, that's my gross, but extremely helpful tip of the day. I just really wanted to share this because it so helped me. (Call me a wuss, but I was deathly afraid of having my wart frozen or burned or cut out. I don't deal with pain very well.) :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Day at Mingus Mountain

Yesterday we took a little trip to Mingus mountain. Mingus mountain is a popular spot for hang gliding and paragliding, so we got to watch some of that take place. We also saw millions of lady bugs and a horny toad lizard, took a little hike, and enjoyed the beautiful views. In all, it was a quite lovely day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Psalm 119

Today I read Psalm 119 in my personal devotions. The whole chapter is so beautiful! My summary of Psalm chapter 119:

Delight in God's law, love God's law, meditate on God's law, never forsake God's law. God's law is righteous, true, and never fails. Period.

In this chapter, David is constantly talking about the law of God. I counted the references to God's word in this chapter. Here are my results:

References to "your law(s)": 25
References to "your testimonies": 22
References to "your precepts": 19
References to "your statutes": 22
References to "your command(s) or commandment(s)": 23
References to "your rules": 17
References to "your word(s)": 28
References to "your promise(s)": 11

Total number of references to God's word: 167

Is that amazing or what?!?! There are 176 verses in chapter 119, and David talks about the Bible 167 different times! Now understand, that I found these numbers by going through the chapter and counting them, and I could have easily missed a couple.

Reading this chapter this morning, I just sort of realized (not for the first time) how important it is to God that we delight in His Word.

Here are some verses from Psalm 119 that I really liked:

Verse 9
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word."

Verse 34
"Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart."

Verse 75
"I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me."

Verse 89
"Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens."

Verse 97
"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day."

Verses 130-131
"The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments."

Verse 137
"Righteous are you, O Lord, and right are your rules."

Verse 160
"The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever."