“Evil men shall wax worse and worse…”

I am listening to reports of the Florida school shooting.  As Matthew 24:4-8 warns, all of these things are signs of the times.  We can expect the continuing and increasing deterioration of human civilization.  Only the return of Jesus Christ will halt our own self-destruction.

“2 Timothy 3:13 KJV – “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

Now is the time to study the Word of God in order to be armed with truth in troubling times.  This is not an attempt to use a tragedy to sell books.  This is a warning that the worst is yet to come and believers need to be prepared, armed with truth and not fear.

When the Lamb Stands is a user-friendly workbook that takes the reader through the book of the Revelation and outlines the end times.  It is available on Amazon in soft cover or digital download.

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February Thaw

Have you heard of the February thaw?  Here in Central Illinois, we are experiencing unseasonal highs of 44 to 53 degrees on Valentine’s Day and the day after.

Grapevine

When the temps go up in February, I know of two Midwest rituals that take advantage:  tapping the sugar maple trees and pruning the grapevines.  For some reason, the flow of sap makes pruning of the grape vines a February task.  It makes more sense to me that the maples would be ready to tap for maple syrup when the sap is flowing.  Enjoy the break in temps.

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Weird Things to Do in the Spring

Wild Asparagus

I am not rummaging through seed catalogues this spring.  I already have my cultivated garden plots assigned to the basic staples of kale, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe and herbs.  I source my seeds locally so I am locked into that protocol.

In these months before spring, I am turning my research attention to the wild garden outside my back door.  I already know about wild asparagus, berries and mushrooms like the tasty morel.  What intrigues me is the less well-known wild lettuce varieties that can be gathered not just for food but for very effective medicine.

Wild lettuce, in the picture above, grows abundantly in the naturalized areas around our pond and in the chapel garden.  I want to gather it for spring salads but also to make a tincture to use as a natural pain killer.  I have not tried this natural herb myself and want to subject it to my own personal field research.  It is said to be such an effective medicinal plant for pain that it is also known as opium lettuce.  We shall see…  If there is a natural alternative to addictive pain meds, I am all for finding it–especially when it grows around my burn pile.

Another common weed that is actually a medicinal herb and food source is purslane [above].  This herb grows among the green beans and other cultivated rows in my garden and must be dug out to keep it from taking over.  It will be handy to know how to use it rather than throw it on the composting heap.  It supposedly is very high in vitamins and can be sautéed in butter or eaten fresh in salads.  This fleshy plant is slightly tart when eaten fresh.

I will also be gathering pine pollen this spring as it is another healthy supplement that can be eaten in smoothies or on cereal.  But what particularly interests me is that one source said it was effective in fighting radiation sickness.  As radiation levels have already increased in our eco-system from nuclear accidents like Fukushima, Japan, taking a natural supplement to counter that radiation is a good idea.

I love the idea of food shopping in the wild.  No credit cards needed.

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VALENTINE BANNER

My daughter made this sweet banner for February with all the appropriate symbols of the month.  It adds a touch of color to the plain days of winter.  Felt squares are decorated with cut outs of Washington, Lincoln, hearts, snow flakes and valentine envelopes.  She glued the outlines to the felt squares and stitched them to a blue grosgrain ribbon.  This year it decorates the mantle in the sunroom.

HAPPY FEBRUARY.

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Jane Austen Was Here

JANE AUSTEN WAS HERE

Elizabeth Bennett, I presume…

If I have to be house-bound, it may as well be with Jane Austen.  My daughter’s gift of the soundtrack from the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice led to binge watching that movie, the A&E version, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet and two versions of Persuasion.  I haven’t watched Emma yet; it is my least favorite of the top four.  To complete the immersion, I am re-reading  Austen’s Complete Works of…  and comparing the originals to the screen plays, just for fun, and because it is winter…

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From Finger Paints

I am having fun playing with paints.  After acrylics, I decided to jump into oils and this is my second attempt, which is why I did not take a close-up.  When it dries I have to correct some perspective and perhaps put a warmer color on the cat.  We took this picture a few years ago of a tabby sitting on a crate outside a tearoom at Bishop Hill.  I loved the contrast between walnut doors and white panels in the background.

 

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Vintage Valentine Plaque

A simple Valentine Plaque with Bible Verse notation:

SUPPLIES

  • 5×7 rustic wooden shingle or plaque with two small holes drilled at the top
  • Twine Cord
  • Stuffed heart from moss green wool sweater
  • Yellowed music sheet
  • Buttons and appliques’ such as key
  • String
  • Black Board-style tag/white chalk pencil
  • Lace remnant
  • Frosty glitter [optional]
  • Hot Glue Gun
  1. Use twine to make a hanger through the holes drilled in the top of the plaque.
  2. Glue strip of sheet music to center of plaque.
  3. Wrap nubby string several times around the top of the plaque.  Glue loose ends in the back.
  4. Sew a button to the heart.  Glue heart to the center of the music sheet.
  5. Glue a row of lace to the bottom of the plaque.
  6. Using the chalk pen, write a favorite Bible verse on the black tag.  Using more of the twine or string, tie the tag to the warp of string tied around the plaque.
  7. Glue on more buttons and the key notion. Add accents of frosty glitter if desired using white glue.

 

 

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