Marriage Old Fashioned? Just Throw a Kegger!

I have just been told that my marriage of 35 years is old and obsolete! Wow! I was also informed that the marriages “now days” are shorter no longer than 7 to 11 years. I was shocked to say the least. If you are going into this short term then delete the vows “Till death do us part”. I am in my marriage for the long haul. I am growing old with the man I love, my BEST FRIEND.

I recently read and article in CNB News “First-time marriages: probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average,”  according to Shaunti Feldhahn in an article written by Paul Strand http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2014/May/Divorce-Shocker-Most-Marriages-Do-Make-It/ . This is much lower than we are led to believe. I have been told it is as high as 50%. So glad to see it is much lower.

So if this relationship you’re in is for the short term then why have the expensive dress, cake flowers, wedding and reception? Just throw a kegger and put up a banner that says “Together until we find someone better”, gifts optional!

No matter what the statistics are and what the naysayers are chanting, I am in my marriage for the long term, say 200 hundred years or more!

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In the Kitchen with Grandma Jo

I have been baking and cooking for the upcoming Holidays. Nope, definitely not good for the waist line as I do test them all.   This ritual reminds me of my Grandma Jo’s kitchen, always full of fantastic smells and always cookies in her cookie jar. There are times when I feel her in my kitchen shaking her finger at me for taste testing.

My latest culinary creation was “Cranberry-Ginger Chutney”

The ginger gives the cranberries a little kick. Here is a single batch of the yummy goodness. I double the recipe and bottle then freeze (leave room at the top for expansion) so I can have some all year around.

1 bag cranberries

2 cups spiced apple cider

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 tsp grated FRESH ginger (please remember to peel first)

1/2 tsp lemon, lime or orange zest (optional, I use lime)

1/2 tsp salt

In a medium sized pan, boil the cranberries with the apple cider 6 to 7 minutes until you hear the berries popping. Simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes. Then add the brown sugar, ginger, citrus zest and the salt. Let all this goodness simmer for another 20 minutes. Transfer to containers and refrigerate.

If making a large batch, pour the hot liquid (careful not to burn yourself) into canning jars. Invert (set jar on lid) so it will seal correctly. Store again in the refrigerator and give as gifts.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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What a Beautiful Morning

Morning Journaling

It is cloudy out this morning, which makes it a good time to sit down and journal. Although any time is a good time to journal. Day, night, rain or shine, journal and feel the stress leave your body.

Why journal? It clears the heart and soul of things that get in the way. Sorrow, fear, hate. Write them down and close the journal and walk away. Better yet, tear out that page and burn it. You will be surprised how much satisfaction and cleansing this will bring.

THEN, journal about the things you are thankful for in your life, be it either the past or the present. Your family, friends, the animals in your life, there is no limit of people or things that bring you great joy. There is so much to be thankful for each and every day.

I am thankful for the clouds and rain as they are rare where I live. The beautiful sunrise I got to see this morning because my cat Thor Kitty insisted I get up. Now, because I got up, I get the witness and enjoy the rare quiet of my house, as I sit here journaling with coffee in hand and my cat curled up at my side.

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Thank You, I Appreciate That

Thank You, I Appreciate That

Tell someone you appreciate them, today!  Why?  Well first it will make them smile and smiles are the most beautiful things in the world.  It will make them feel good which in turn will make you feel good.  Don’t be insincere.  There is nothing worse than being insincere.  You are lying to them and that is bad karma and that will come back to bite YOU in the butt.  Just a simple “thank you” acknowledging your appreciation is the first step.

The dictionary describes appreciation as “gratitude; thankful recognition”.

Look past the surface of the person before you, find the worth of that person.  Then, express to them your appreciation of what they have done or are doing.

If you are not comfortable saying “Man I really appreciate what you’ve done for me” a simple “Thank you” goes a long way.  Feeling appreciated, genuinely appreciated, lifts peoples spirit and it gives a boost to their self worth, their value not only to you but to others.

Tell your children  how much you appreciate their help every day.  Even if it is a chore around the house they started out doing it willingly or not.  They will be more apt to help you the next time or will even help without even being asked!  Saying “thank you” once is not enough.  Make it a habit when you appreciate what someone else has done whether it was for you or for someone else.  Acknowledge their thoughtfulness.

Practice appreciation by starting with yourself.  Acknowledge when you have accomplished something good.  You have the right to feel good.  Pat yourself on the back.

Hey, Great Job!! Now doesn’t that feel good!

“Every time we remember to say “thank you”, we experience nothing less than heaven on earth.”Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Making Soy Candles – A Year of Living Cheap

Soy Candle Making 

This craft is an easy and inexpensive way to make wonderful gifts.  All you need is:

2 lbs Soy Flakes

2- Four cup glass measuring cups (microwave safe)

Scented essential oils

Wax Candle Color

8 Four ounce jelly jars or 10-12 votive jars

HOT PADS!!!!  Do not touch the measuring cup when taking it out of the microwave with your bare hands.  HOT, HOT!!

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Empty half of the 2 lb bag of soy flakes into each of the glass measuring cups.  Microwave one at a time on high for about 3 minutes.  Add your wax color and microwave one more minute.  If not melted, add 30 seconds at a time.  Mixture must be clear.  Place the measuring cup on a hot pad to protect your counter top.  Remember the hot pads for your hands.

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After you have melted all your wax, let the containers sit for about an 30 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally.  Add your essential oil at this point.  I used lavender and peppermint which are my favorite.  I get my oils at my local herb shop, Desert Sage Herbs http://www.desertsageherbs.com/Desert_Sage_Herbs/Welcome.html

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While your soy mixture is cooling down, prep your jars with wicks.  I use wax wicks and not the wood wicks.  This is a personal choice as I have not had any luck with the wood wicks burning.  They usually flare, sizzle and then go out.

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use Tacky Wax to hold my wicks to the bottom of the jar.  Some people use hot glue, but I have had more success with the Tacky Wax (you can also use it to put posters on your wall without ruining your paint with holes!).

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After waiting the 60 minutes your mixture should be looking cloudy and a little slushy.  Now is the time to pour your candles.  Again use care as the glass will still be very warm.  After pouring your candles IF you want to add anything to the candle, now is the time.  I add lavender flowers to my lavender candles.  I sprinkle the flowers on top and use a tooth pick to push them down into the candle.

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Clean up is really easy, just use soap and hot water. 

Let the candles completely cool, then you can move them out of the way.  Wait 24 hours before you add any lids.

The cost for the wax is not too expensive.  I buy mine online and get 10  pounds for $20.00 which includes shipping.  Expect higher prices if you go to a hobby shop.

Go forth and create beautiful gifts for your friends or for yourself!

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Come and visit me on my website at  http://dragonalley.webs.com/

Please leave comments or suggestions on this blog!

 

Paying off Debt – A Year of Living Cheap!

So now you are saving money and what do you do with that extra money?  Buy stuff, go out dancing?  NO!  Now you start paying off debt and putting some money away for a rainy day.

Don’t attack your debt by adding it all up and dividing by some number you pulled from the sky.  Start slowly.  First you start with your lowest credit card and try to double  the payments each month.  If you can’t double the payment then add something, anything to make it a larger payment AND do not use that card again.  Cut it up.  I have a friend that  froze hers in a block of ice so she has time to come to a better decision by the time the block of ice thaws.

When you have your smallest debt paid off then add that entire payment to your next smallest debt, and just keep on going.  You will be surprised how satisfying this is and how fast your debt is paying off.

Same with saving money.   Start off with as little as $10.00  per week and after six months add 5 to 10 more dollars and before you know it you have a down payment on a car or the house of your dreams.

Start small, don’t get discouraged.  But if you don’t start somewhere some day you will really be sorry.

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Age, It’s Just a Number

Age should never be measured in years or aches and pains.  It should, however, be measured in how you feel about yourself and what you have accomplished.  Even the little thing have value.

Today is my birthday and I am, as a friend pointed out to me “Nine years older than dirt!”.  Now to me that is OLD, yet I still feel like a kid at times.   I feel like I can do anything and yes. my body does point out to me  “NO you can’t”.

I have learned a lot over the years.  Grown and made my share of mistakes and I know my ages in numbers but I feel young and alive.  I have so much I want to do in my life and look forward to many more years on this earth.  I want to go to Paris, zip line in Costa Rica and make my Dragon Alley business a huge success!

Age is only a number, so don’t let it stop you from doing great and wonderful things.

Life is what you make of it, don’t let a mere number stop you.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard ShawSee Dragon Alley Journals @ http://stores.ebay.com/Dragon-Alley-Journals

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