Monday, April 26, 2010

Another benefit of Spring

One of the benefits of spring that I have recently discovered is a time of hair growth.  One of the books that I read in preparation for writing my hair book stated that during the winter months you hair grows at a much slower rate.  I try not to quote anyone or anything unless it is supported by two other sources, but after looking at my hair photos from the past three years or so, I noticed that this is definitely true for me.  So...if you are planning to get a hair cut or do something drastic with your hair, now is the time to do it (if you don't like will grow back and you won't have to live with it for longer than necessary). I don't regret taking the plunge and chopping my hair off a year ago last October; but if I had known this, I may have waited until April.

Now on to hair tips

I have already given you some advice about shampooing with ACV, a moisturizing/sulfate-free shampoo, or a great sulfate/silicone free conditioner; now on to tip number two.

A healthy scalp will naturally moisturize the first three inches or so of hair that you have; but after that it will need some help.  It is commonly advised that you should brush your hair in order to stimulate your scalp and distribute the oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair strands; but I must say that this is not the best way to do either for Black hair - or anyone else who has curly or thin, brittle, dry hair.

Message your scalp for stimulation while you shampoo (you may also use hair products with rosemary or mint in them for scalp stimulation); apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner/detangler to your hair after you shampoo it, then apply  a SHEA BUTTER/COCONUT OIL MIXTURE to seal in the moisture.  (if you view the video - I do not scent my shea butter, and I recommend using one TBS of oil for every 8 oz. of shea.  I recommend watching the video primarily to show you that you can scent your mixture and this method is probaby my favorite way to heat it to make mixing very easy.)

I usually twist my hair the day I shampoo it and that helps me to lock in and distribute moisture to my hair from root to tip.  After a couple of days my hair may start to look a little dull.  No problem!  My hairs new, other best friend is Grapeseed oil.  It is non-greasy and imparts a great shine to my hair.

For more information about silicones click here or here.

Hope this information is a help!


I LOVE Family Days!!!

As I mentioned, last week we were in Revival; so I didn't get a whole lot done by way of packing and such as every evening was filled with bus route and preaching services.  Saturday we planned to make up for lost time; but our plan was altered (and I am glad!!!).  I later found out that my husband intended for us to get up at 6:00a.m. and go to the embassay sweet hotel for breakfast, then go to the arbetorum in Raleigh and enjoy a walk through their 8 beautiful acres of flowers and trees.  Well, we did all that; but we did not leave as early as planned; and we did not get back home as early as planned.  We arrived back home just in time to take a quick nap, eat a bite, then go to prayer meeting.   We had breakfast at the hotel (a wonderful spread of all-you-can-eat breakfast foods!!!), went to the arberetum, had a great time of shopping and taste testing at the Whole Foods store in Raleigh, then a time of great conversation on the ride home.  I will post pictures later for you to enjoy. 

Once again hoping your weekend was as blessed as mine,


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revival Week

This week our church is in revival.  Dr. James Earls of Baptist Home Missions is the speaker.  Raymond and I are looking at it as our "last charge" before we head to Arkansas.  Thus far, Dr. Earls has preached on Contentment, The Gift that Nobody Wants - Suffering,  and Breaking down Barriers (taken from the account of the woman at the well); and we have truly enjoyed it.  The first message was a great encouragement as well as challenge for me.  As we pack and prepare to head to Newport , I have no idea where we are going to be living (temporarily we will be living in the parsonage of a neighboring church), who be in the church after the present pastor leaves (they are heading to Alabama to plant a church), or where our income will come from; but I am reminded that having food and clothing, I am to be content.

My favorite moment thus far in the revival has to be Aaliyah's introduction to CEF, the dummy that Dr. Earls brings with him every year. (He is a ventriliquist:)  Aaliyah was mesmorized by him; but then the funniest thing happened.  Everyone started laughing at one of CEF's jokes, and I guess Ally thought everyone was laughing at her because she got all excited and started jumping up and down and squealing (like only little girls can do).  It was hilarious!  Learn more about Dr. Earls here.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Save Money!!! - Laundry

Whether you use liquid fabric softner or dryer sheets, this tip will save you money. 

You will need:

1 cup of your favorite liquid fabric softner
3 cups of water (preferrably distilled)
1 or 2 sponges
1 large container with a lid

Simply put the water with the fabric softner into a container.  Put your sponges into the mixture as well.  When you get ready to dry a load; ring out the sponge and toss it in with your clothes.  That is it!!!

Healthier alternative:  Use white vinegar instead of fabric softner in your rinse cycle or in this "recipe".  If  you need or prefer a fragrance, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.  1 drop per ounce.

Hair Care 101

Here is my official first hair care post.

Hair care in a nutshell - keep your hair clean and moisturized.  My staple products are Apple Cider vinegar (pictured on the left), Shea butter, and coconut oil.  Now, I should tell you that I have added a few things to my Shea butter to make it a little more effective; but I didn't start out with it as a mixture. 

Tip #1 - Do not use commercial shampoos if they contain Sodium Lauryl or Soduim Laureth.  Besides the fact that these things are proven to cause cancer, they are extremely drying!  They also make it necessary for you to use a follow up conditioner.  These two ingredients are used in everything from engine degreaser to toothpaste.  They are what give 99% of our cleaning agents today the "foaming" effect.  Well, it is not necessary to have foam/sudds to get clean. 

Instead, use a shampoo that does not contain these items and shampoo once a week or more.  Contrary to popular opinion, Black people can wash their hair more than once a month and still have beautiful hair left on their heads :). I recommend something like Burts Bees baby shampoo or Organix.  There are others; but I know that you can find these two at Walmart or Walgreens.

As I have previously stated; I wash with ACV for three weeks, then use a shampoo (or conditioner) once a month.  I just recently found a great conditioner at Trader Joes that has no harmful ingredients in it.  I now use it for myself and Aaliyah when I don't have time to make my own shampoo; or I feel that my hair needs to be conditioned (when I notice excessive knots).

For more information about ACV rinses and other benefits of apple cider, click  here.

Hope this helps!


P.S.  You can now read the introduction to my book on Facebook under My Notes.

Ugg! I don't want to go...

This is what I said to my husband at 5:00 in the morning on Saturday when he woke me up.  Our pastor got this brilliant idea that the church needed to go to the Azalea festival in Willmington, NC; and I was brilliant enough to raise my hand and commit to go about a week ago.  Well, we are presently operating with one vehicle and my husband has class every Saturday which starts at 7:00 a.m. - about forty-five minutes away.  Thus, he had to drop Aaliyah and I off at the church at 6:00 in the morning.  I should add that Saturday morning is my day to sleep until I wake up (or until Aaliyah wakes me up!).  I don't set my alarm clock or anything.  I just get up when I get up!

Well, I got up and went...and I had fun.  I rode with the Pastor's wife, daughter, and another young lady in our church and we had good fellowship.  We were able to watch a parade which included women dressed in what I call "Southern Bell" dresses, marching bands (I love marching bands), and many other interesting things.  Once the parade was over, we went to the river and toured old sail boats, some of our group went on a boat ride (we intended to tour the US NC Battleship; but they hiked the price up to $12.00 a person, so we passed on that); and best of all - there was lots of food! (Fairground corndogs, houghies, kettle corn,cotton candy, candied apples,  etc, etc, etc!!! - I would go on; but I don't want to make myself too hungry again.)  To top the trip off, we went to the coast and took pictures by the beach. 

What is my point for this post?  There really isn't one!  I guess if I had to think one up it would be that sometimes it is a good thing to spend time with your church family away from church.  Hoping your weekend was as blessed as mine! 

For more about the Azalea festival click on the link below


P.S. My husband was able to lead a man (an ex-marine, if there is such a creature) to the Lord on Sunday afternoon.  Isn't that great!  His dad was saved at our church about two weeks ago.  They both came as a result of their daughter (and grand-daughter) sending them a tract; then our pastor and another brother visited their home and invited them to our church shortly thereafter. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

By Demand - Liquid homemade laundry soap

If you prefer liquid laundry soap, here is the recipe.


2 cups of grated soap (I recommend Pink Zote)
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda

1.  Put the soap, plus 2 or three cups of water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until dissolved.  2.  Stir often.
3.  Once the soap is dissolved, remove it from the heat and add the other two powders.
4.  Stir again until it is dissolved.
5.  Pour into a gallon size bucket then add enough hot water to fill the bucket.
6.  Let stand overnight.

It will have a gel-like consistency.
Use between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup per load.
(picture taken from "Little House in the Suburbs".com)

If you are using Zote - one bar should be sufficient.
You can make up to five gallons (or more at a time) if you have a five gallon bucket.  Just adjust the measurements as needed of your ingredients.

Protect your seedlings- Tip #4

Last year, about two weeks after I planted my seeds, I went outside one day to thin (pluck up the excess seedlings - baby plants- and create straight rows).  Everything was great.  I remember in particular my squash seedlings.  I left maybe ten plants at this point and they were doing fine.  The next day I went outside and about half of them were missing!  What happened!?! All that was left of them was a little stub! 

What happened was, I had an infestation of cutworms.  Cutworms are the larvae (catepillars - babies) of night flying moths.  The moths won't do any damage to your plants; but the babies can be lethal.  The moths can lay hundreds of eggs at a time!  I was blessed not to have a total infestation; just a slight problem.

So what do you do?

1.  Till you garden area in the fall to help prevent winter overlay of larvae.
2.  Till again just before you plant to expose and kill larvae or cutworms.
3.  Reduce egg laying sites (weeds and plant residue).
4.  Put a border around each seedling - most cutworms prefer plants about an inch to an inch in a half in height.   Be sure to push the border into the ground about a half and inch or so to prevent the worm from being able to access your plant.
     Border ideas:
          1.  Styrophome cups. (dixie cup or something like that)
          2.  Old coffee canisters
          3.  Cardboard collars
          4.  Pretty much anything that will prevent the worm from being able to climb up your plant.

These little buggers are most active in the late afternoon, so if you want to see them in action; that's when you should go and check your garden; otherwise you will just have to wait until morning to view the damage.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

To be discreet...

What exactly does it mean to be discreet?  Unfortunately my "Created to be His Helpmeet" book is on loan, so I had to go and grab my good, old Websters 1828 dictionary and look it up. 

The literal sense is, separate, reserved, wary, hence discerning.
1.  Prudent; wise in avoiding errors or evil, and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; cautious; wary; not rash.
2.  With nice judgment of what is best to be done or omitted.

I just want to give you and myself something to chew on for today, nothing really deep - I am not usually a deep kind of person. :)


Looking at the definition of the word discreet (sometimes spelled discrete), I find myself challenged.  The first person in the Bible that came to my mind was Mary, the mother of Jesus.  I would call her a discreet woman.  The Bible tells us that just after Jesus was born, when many amazing things were happening in Mary's life, she simply pondered them in her heart.  She did not rush to respond, or feel like she had to say or do something.  She simply pondered.

Webster says to be discrete means to be separate.  Separate from what or whom? To be reserved and wary; and because you are reserved (restrained from freedom in words or actions; backward in conversation; not free or frank) and wary (catious of danger; carefully watching and guarding against deception, artifices and dangers; scrupulous; timorously prudent) you will be able to be discrete.

The Bible says that among other things, a woman should be discreet.  Why? That the word of God be not blasphemed.


How could being discreet cause the word of God not to be blasphemed?
How could you being discreet be a blessing to your husband?
Your home?
Can you think of a woman in your life today who is characterised by discretion?
What are some areas that you can be discreet in today?
Give me your thoughts on this subject.
(Soon I will figure out how to let you email me directly from my blog.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Garden tip #3 - Know your soil

First, you need to know what category your soil falls in (clay soil, loam, sandy, combination, etc.).   If your soil is mostly clay, you can add some sand and/or garden/potting soil to adjust it. (Clay soil will hold in water which can drown your roots.)  If your soil is sandy (water will not be retained and your plants will be thirsty all the time) you may want to add some clay and/or garden soil.  Perfect soil falls right between the two and maintains proper water levels to keep your plants properly hydrated. Remember that certain plants prefer sandy - clay soil (ie watermelon prefers sandy)so, only adjust in areas needed.
Next, I recommend that you check your soil's pH for maximum growth and yield potential. This will greatly impact your garden. You may need to add some lime  (to raise your pH) or iron (to lower it). A pH of 7 is generally best for most plants.  If you are interested in growing mostly one plant - find that plants prefered pH and aim for it.  If you want to know what your pH should be for a certain plant, email me and I will try and get that information to you.

Gardening Tip #2 - Check your zone

One thing that helped me in gardening is knowing what my hardiness zone was. This differes from state to state, and sometimes differs in different parts of the state. I live in zone 7. Knowing your zone can help you to know when to plant what. You can find out your zone online or in a home and garden book. The first year I gardened, an old Home and Garden book that I found at the library was my gardening bible. It had a zone chart, a chart that told me what to plant beside what, and when to plant each vegetable and fruit for maximum growth and yielding. Now I have a book called "Just the Facts". IT IS GREAT!


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