Sunday, August 14, 2022

Don't look to yourself

"The satanic message for this age will be reformation and self-development while the message of God is regeneration by the Holy Spirit." Lewis Sperry Chafer

Thursday, August 11, 2022

I ruined his fun


Ace didn't think I could see him hiding in the water packaging.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Monday, August 08, 2022

Link to Philly Cheese Steak Soup (and Changes)

This is the soup I made for the Asbell Gang last week. Especially in the summer, I bulk cook one day a week and have been making one soup a week to help cut grocery costs. I try to make very flavorful soups that everyone here likes. 

This recipe is pretty good. I made the 32 serving size, added more peppers and onions, and used gelatin to thicken it instead of flour. Sam's Club had a good price on the provolone cheese.

For the broth, I used the water from our cooking collards. I do that to many of the soups I make to add extra nutrition. You can not taste the collards, and I like knowing that nutrition did not get wasted. I added dry milk to the broth instead of using milk.

Dear Reader, Why pour vitamins and minerals down the drain and then spend good money buying more off the shelf? 

Sunday, August 07, 2022

and called us to a holy calling

"I think one of the tragedies of modern Christianity is this: that we're more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness. We can tolerate sin, but boy, we get our hackles up when you talk about holiness." Leonard Ravenhill

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. I Thessalonians 4:7

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 2 Timothy 1:9

Saturday, August 06, 2022

How Country Are You?

 Let's see just how country you really are: I scored a 39ish.

10-20 a little country
20-30 pretty much country
30-40 bonafide country

1. Owned a pellet/BB gun? Yes
2. Owned a real gun? Yes
3. Shot a gun? Yes
4. Gone squirrel or rabbit hunting? Yes
5. Gone fishing? Yes
6. Owned or used a slingshot? Yes
7. Plucked a chicken? Yes
8. Gathered wild ginseng? Looked for it, but didn't find it. Going hunting for it again May 2023, Lord willing
9. Eaten deer meat? Yes
10. Eaten frog legs? Yes
11. Fed a baby animal with a bottle? Yes
12. Gathered fresh eggs? Yes
13. Driven a stick shift? Yes
14. Started a vehicle using a manual choke? Yes
15. Rode in the back of a pick-up truck? Yes
16. Shucked corn? Yes
17. Waded barefoot in a creek? Yes
18. Caught fireflies in a jar? Yes
19. Tasted wild honeysuckle? Yes
20. Gathered wild blackberries? Yes
21. Used an outhouse? Yes
22. Rode a horse? Yes
23. Smelled the scent of cured tobacco hanging in a tobacco barn? Yes, played underneath
24. Taken the ashes out of a wood stove or wood heater? Yes, still do
25. Carried in wood? Yes, still do
26. Walked barefoot down a gravel or dirt road? Yes
27. Slept in a tent? Yes
28. Been attacked by a rooster? Yes
29. Ate raw apple, potato, or turnip off the blade of a pocket knife? Yes
30. Dipped skoal or chewing tobacco or had it put on a bee sting? Yes. Sigh. My grandmother put it on me. Blech!
31. Ate homemade snow ice cream? Yes
32. Used a hand pump to draw water from a well? Yes
33. Been on a hay ride? Yes
34. Jumped on a pile of raked leaves? Yes
35. Carved your initials into a tree? Yes
36. Sucked on a piece of water hose to siphon gas out of a gas tank? Yes
37. Been shocked by an electric fence? Yes
38. Split wood with an ax? Yes
39. Hung laundry outside on a clothesline to dry? Yes
40. Eaten fried bologna? Yes

Friday, August 05, 2022

Prayer Requests

Aug 5th: Our sweet and dear friend Richard, aka Shammy, has informed us he has a tumor in his neck. Please pray for him. 

Aug 5th: Please keep praying for Tim B. who was heavily burned and has been in a burn rehabilitation facility. He is hoping to come back to work this fall. 

Aug 5th: Mrs. K, a nearly lifelong friend, and former neighbor, was the lady who had the stroke in her sleep. She is now in a rehab facility, but she is not progressing fast enough for the insurance, so she may be sent home. There is an issue with her getting care at home because the places they are finding do not want her type of insurance. She also regressed some after the move. She is also depressed and her O2 levels are lower. She is a very sweet older Christian lady who liked to jokingly flirt with Clint to make us laugh. Update 1 pm: They are withholding her Medicaid to cover her expenses of in home care in her son's house until her home is sold. They are asking we pray the appointment to show the house today goes very well.


Aug 2nd: S is a friend from middle school and high school. I am a long-time friend of his family also. He has metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and is having pain in his bones. He is in a lot of pain and is doing all he can to keep working for the business his family owns. He has not told all of his family yet. This prayer request has burdened my heart so heavily for months that I have not been able to even type the words until now. Please cover him and his family in prayer. Thank you!

I saw a picture of what his cancer looked like on the outside of his body months ago. I was told it is much, much, much worse now and that it is oozing. Please cover him in prayer.


Aug 2nd: S, another friend, wrote me this morning and is asking for a miracle for her family.

Update 7/31: 

Tim N's thinks his cancer has responded well to the treatments. He has less pain, is coughing less, and has more energy. They are to do a scan soon.

July 13th:

Please pray M, son of a family friend, who is in rehab for the fifth time. Please pray this time works miracles. Update 7/31: M is home, working, and on medication. 


L. family friend, is losing his wife and his house. Distracted by all of that, he made a $77k mistake at work. The boss has not been informed yet. Please pray he does not lose his job and that God saves his marriage and home. Update: A walk-through inspection was done on the flooded unit, and there was NO damage! PTL!! Update 7/31: His wife has moved to another state.

May the Lord bless you for the prayers you lift on behalf of our friends. How can we pray for you? Our email address is in the header.

it is how we are alike that we should focus on.


 Maggie and Marty weren't the same colors or even the same breeds, but they managed to get along very well.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Elderberry Season


It was blackberries staining my fingers. Now, it is elderberries.
We collected four pounds from the bush growing right next to the back steps! 
You know, the bush I prayed for, kept trying to kill, and realized it was an answer to prayer?!! That story is here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

What I am doing this week to combat inflation

I am hearing it appears pork production may be slowing down even more in the future. In some processing plants, production is currently down 40% with much fewer trucks leaving. Where 15 trucks a day were leaving, now they have 3-4 a day. The fuel prices may be a contributing factor. Might they be packing the trucks tighter to save on trips and thereby gas costs? Workers are saying they are only getting 30 hours a week instead of 40 hours plus overtime. 

While the prices are lower, I have been stocking up on pork for my family. I am taking advantage of the .99 per pound pork butts to cut them into country-style ribs, pork steaks (which I am using in the place of chicken in meals like Tuscan Chicken), buckboard bacon, cubed pork for stir-fries, soups, and stews, etc. I am also saving the bones for seasoning vegetables and making stocks. I render the lard in my oven roaster and save the leftover pieces of fat to flavor beans and vegetables. Then, after those meals are made, the bones and leftover fat go to our dogs who love them. 


Since I am making Tuscan Chicken, I need sun-dried tomatoes. Those are pricey when cooking 32 servings, so I am dehydrating homegrown tomatoes to use to save me from purchasing them.

Over 60? Low Income? Here's help with meals:

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Monday, August 01, 2022



Uncle Jim's Rocky had the wiggles!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Green Beans Galore!


  • Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Please pray for Bethany's and Winter's safety.

Chicago CTA riders on high alert as violence surges on Red Line

Bethany has to ride this for half an hour each way to get to work. She often gets off very late at night. God is God anywhere, even in the big city, and can protect her. Thank you for any prayers you lift on behalf of Bethany and her friend, Winter.

Back to Bowling with Bethany


Monday, July 25, 2022

Clint's Step Father Tom Nichols

We wanted to give Tom's immediate family time to mourn in private, so Clint and I waited before posting this.

Clint's step-father Fmr Suffolk FD Battalion Chief Tom Nichols has passed away. Please pray for his wife Carolyn, children, stepchildren, many grandchildren, and other loved ones. 

Three Asbells in a Pod

Aunt Elisabeth LOVED Emily and Hannah! 
Those three had so much fun together!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Puttying Around with Knives


Doing something new with drywall, I am teaching myself as I go.
Don't be afraid to...

Friday, July 22, 2022

Food poisoning made me thankful all over again...

I contracted food poisoning from frozen strawberries. I was extremely violently ill for several hours. Poor Clint was beside himself! After I had forcefully vomited the 20th time, I could no longer stand up to get to the bathroom. We had to keep the trashcan beside where I was resting in the bed. The experience was easier than when I was carrying babies and had severe hyperemesis gravidarum, but it was still a miserable experience with some lingering effects.

I am thankful for the food poisoning. 

The experience was so torturous that I reflected back on my pregnancies. At one point, Clint and I thought my throat had torn along the same tear (Mallory Wiess tear) I had during my pregnancies which was a bit scary. That bleeding can continue the cycle of vomiting and can be a bit hard to stop. BUT, it was good to reminisce about what I had been through to bring my children into the world. 

Two days later: 

My stomach is better, but it is still touchy. I am very careful about what I ingest.

My throat is raw, and I can barely speak.

My abdomen is so sore I still can't move without wincing. I am going to go exercise in the pool later today to see if I can work the soreness out of my body. 

It took me 24 hours of electrolytes to get my body to feel almost back to normal. I'm still not quite right, but those who know me well know I am never "quite right." :-) 

All I have been able to think about is "HOW did I survive this day in and day out for months at a time over and over for years of my life?" 

I have only one answer. 

"Because of Jesus!"

Dear Reader, I am so thankful for the strength and determination He abundantly supplied to enable me to have my children..both the living and the ones with Him. Today at 53 years old, nine years since I have carried a baby in my womb, I stand renewed with amazement at what He brought me through to give me the blessing of my children. I could not have done that on my own. It was Jesus! What difficult experiences have you looked back on and have been thankful for God carrying you through?

Joking: Athletes, if you want to impress me, get your body into condition to not be sore after throwing up 20+ times a day. I was there in my younger years. It would hurt for the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, and then my muscles were good to go. Vomiting repeatedly is a rough workout, and I am feeling it today.

Seriously: If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, I am praying for you and your baby. It's a tough battle. If you need a friend and prayer warrior, please email me at the email in the header.

Around Here

In his new role as maintenance supervisor, Clint is dealing with a lot of issues that were neglected for far too long. He is doing an excellent job at taming the beast. Everyone is joking that he will soon take over the only position above him.. plant manager. He says he doesn't want that job, but he said the same about the job he has now. :-)

Clint and I were able to get away for 5 days and six nights this month. That was a nice break! 

I am home at least 3-4 days each week. The commitment I have right now will run until the end of winter or spring of next year. It might end sooner, but I am hoping no longer than that. I am considering selling a lot of my leftover inventory online in a year or two. 

Brandon is currently at home downsizing. He is either going to rent his home or sell it. His livestock will come to our farm. We will also take care of his pets. Courage, his new dog, is going to a new home since Brandon will not be around enough for him to train it. He is looking into living in a RV on our place or renting a room from Amanda for when he is home. He will be traveling at least 75% of the time, but this is an unequalled opportunity for Brandon to bank some money.

Amanda is LOVING her hybrid RAV4. She custom ordered it and had to wait for it to be built and shipped. She was notified when it arrived on the docks and again when it was at the dealer. She drove to the dealership that night to look at her new baby. It is a nice and peppy little ride. I have pictures of it and will try to add one to this post soon. She worked hard and put down $20k on the car. She will have it paid off in no time.

Joshua is enjoying the new job. He is doing inspections of special ordered RVs before the customer takes possession of them. Some of these units are in the $800k range, and the customers fly across the country to pick them up.

Caleb has a new girlfriend. :-) She seems to be a nice girl.

Bethany is doing well in her job in Chicago. She received a gift of furniture from Clint and I this week and has been busy putting it together. We've been having food shipped directly to her apartment from Sams which is a nice benefit of our business membership.

Emily is moving along in her high school course. She is enjoying daily swims in our pool with Hannah.

Hannah and Emily went to a birthday party and won a water battle. The other team was left dripping wet, and Emily and Hannah were still mostly dry. Joshua was quite proud of his sisters' performance!

Our garden is producing quite a bit. I am freezing the tomatoes so I can preserve them later when it isn't so hot. We are enjoying the daily fresh fruits and vegetables.

If we have not heard from you in a while, or even if we have, please use the email in the header and tell us about you! 

I've Seen This Happen in My Life Multiple Times

If you submit yourself to God's will, He will not only vindicate you but He will expose your enemy's dishonesty and devious plans against you. I have seen this happen in my life multiple times.

We can rest easy as long as we stay under His wing. We don't have to be perfect in our obedience, but we do need to be sincere in our surrender.

Dear reader, in what areas and how can you surrender more of yourself to be obedient to the Most High God?

Thursday, July 21, 2022

They are really "coming in!"


San Marzano tomatoes, known as the Lamborghini of canned tomatoes, can be pricey, especially when cooking a meal for our family of nine. I decided to start 100 plants from seed so I can make my own! We are getting a "big mess" of them (as my grandmother Elsie would say) every couple of days. I am freezing them for now and will process them when it is cooler.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Love wins every time!!

We are praising God for newly restored relationships with old friends! satan got in and did some nasty work, but continual prayer, overwhelming love, and consistent communication burst down the barriers to shine a light on Clint's and my true intentions and heart for the other people. God's ways work!! Please rejoice with us!!

Monday, July 18, 2022

this great job God created them to fulfill

"I believe that if Moms understood how strategic their roles were in the battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, they would grow in excitement about this great job God created them to fulfill." - Sally Clarkson

Saturday, July 16, 2022

A great day with the great aunt and uncle


Clint's uncle treated our Ford Mustang-loving Emily to a fun ride on her 15th birthday.
It made her day!! Hannah got to go for a ride too!
Uncle Jim and Aunt Elisabeth also gave Emily a gift to hang on the wall of her bedroom.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Yay for Brandon and Bethany!!!

Brandon finished his first job in his new position a week early. He is on his way home from TN today! 

Please keep him in prayer as he travels and as he makes decisions regarding his home, belongings, livestock, and pets. Our family dynamics have changed a lot in the last month, but there are still more changes ahead.


Bethany had only worked two weeks in her new job when she was approached about a leadership position. We are very proud of her! She is hoping to come home to visit in a couple of months. We are hoping Winter can come also.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Stubborn Stain on Shower Base Pan

I was hired to clean the floor of a shower that had a long, dark stain that the homeowner had battled for years. I think the stain came from chemicals leeching off some of the metallic color on the shower wand's hose.

I tried all kinds of cleaners including oven cleaner to remove it. Nothing worked. I finally solved the problem by wet sanding using a drywall sanding block. Wendy for the win!!!

(I'm a participant in the Amazon associate program which means I'll earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you buy through some of the links on this website, in which case I thank you. #amazonaffiliate)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Place Jesus over Self

 The Spiritual Saint

That I may know Him. PHILIPPIANS 3:10

The initiative of the saint is not towards self-realisation, but towards knowing Jesus Christ. The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a reckless abandonment about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do. Self-realisation leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work. Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples’ feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realised His relationship to the Father even in the most menial work. “Jesus knowing…that He was come from God, and went to God;…took a towel,…and began to wash the disciples’ feet.”

The aim of the spiritual saint is “that I may know Him.” Do I know Him where I am to-day? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realise myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realisation that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realisation of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in. -My Utmost for His Highest © 1992 by Oswald Chambers Publications Association Our Daily Bread Ministries

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rolling with the Captain



We found Captain America waiting for us at the base of a tree at the first spot where we pulled over and camped near the Olson Tower. We couldn't leave him way out in the middle of nowhere, so we let him ride along. Before we knew it, he was leading the expedition from the antenna of the truck. He rolls with us now. He took a beating from the mountain laurels on some of the trails, but he hung in there like the superhero he is.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Nom Nom


First picking yielded about 8 cups of wild blackberries...and we had to stop due to time.
The harvest will be excellent this year!

Friday, July 08, 2022

What EDC do you recommend?

What EDC (every day carry knife) do you recommend?

I have a Buck and a Kershaw I like and use a lot. Both are made in the USA. They have held up to a lot of abuse. I love taking them on camping/hiking/off-roading trips. 

For general things around my home and farm, I use a really cheap knife I bought off of Amazon. It's great for cutting baling twine, opening packages, cutting through stubborn woody plants, whittling down a twig for marshmallows, cutting through tubing, etc. "Lockback Knife Laser Engraved" 

If I lose it in a field, I don't cry over it like I would the nicer knives. I've had two I've used for five years, and they are still going strong. I've received a lot of use out of the $12 (each) investment. No one wants to steal them because they say "Wild Thing" on them. LOL!

#AmazonAffiliate I earn a very tiny commission should one purchase from the links above.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Hydrating Enemas for Dehydration

I'm just sharing the knowledge in case it helps someone else down the road. I was a severe hyperemesis gravidarum patient for 14 pregnancies. There were some really nasty things going around in hospitals during some of that time. Through a nurse, I learned about hydrating enemas which were used before the invention of IVs. My husband would give those to me to help me stay out of the hospital, and they worked very well. It was much faster than a trip to the hospital. I was able to crush and dissolve the anti-emetic pill and put it in the electrolyte solution. While I know how to start an IV, I would do the hydrating enema first for most dehydration cases.

Asiatic Dayflower

This plant is known for its three-petaled blue flower.

I have been asked to do more posts about foraging and herbal medicine, but I can't find time to do a very detailed post. Maybe this will work for those of you interested in learning:

The Asiatic Dayflower is edible and medicinal. The medicinal properties are: anti-inflammatory, depurative, diuretic, and febrifuge. It is often used for colds and flus, gargles, inflamed skin rashes, etc.

I do not have the time to expound upon the many applications in detail, but the knowledge is readily available should one desire to seek it out.

Dear Reader, Many people spend money to spray toxic (to their own bodies) substances on these "weeds" and then turn around and spend more money to purchase similar foods and medicines off of a shelf. I prefer to use what God has provided in abundance right at my feet.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022


My laptop is working again. Clint brought home his computer repair tool kit and worked wonders on it. 

However when I got up to use it this morning, the touchpad was misbehaving. Clint is going to look at that later. If it does not work, I will just get a mouse. 

I am not home. I am helping a friend install the kitchen that I designed for them. I am also helping organize and paint. There is barely enough time to do the job.  So I am not responding to texts or returning calls until we are finished. My love to all!