Monday, February 28, 2011

Breathe Easy All Purpose Cleaner

I was looking through my recipe files and found this one for a great breathe easy all purpose cleaner.  This a recipe that I got from a book by Sandy Maine.  I did make changes to the recipe and show those.  It works great and smells so good.  It actually makes me want to clean and that's something to say!  The recipe uses essential oils of sweet orange, peppermint and tea tree.  I have also substituted lavender essential oil for the sweet orange.  The benefits of the essential oils are the aromatherapy, sweet orange will cut grease, peppermint and tea tree disinfect.  An added plus is that these will actually keep bugs away - bugs don't like sweet orange or lavender.

If you decide to use this recipe on a regular basis I would recommend ordering your essential oils from a supplier.  You can get them in a natural foods store but they are horribly expensive.  Wholesale Supplies Plus is one of my favorite suppliers.  There is a $30 minimum order but shipping is included in the pricing.

I store the cleaner in a gallon milk jug.  It will separate after standing and sometimes will get thick.  I just shake and will add a little water to the jug if necessary.


Disinfecting Soft Soap (Herbal Homekeeping by Sandy Maine)

5 cups grated castile soap (I made my own but you could use a natural castile from the store like Kirks)
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tsp borax
6 cups hot water
1 tsp eucalyptus essential oil (I used 1 tbsp sweet orange, 1/2 tbsp peppermint, 1 tsp tea tree -- I like the scent stronger)

Put grated soap into a 3 quart stainless saucepan and add hot water. Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and add baking soda, borax, and essential oils. (NOTE: Here's the adjustments that I made to this recipe): Use a larger pot than 3 quart because when you add the baking soda and borax it will foam a lot (ask me how I know this -- had cleaner all over the stove). In fact, in my notes I wrote to let the soap and water cool for 10 minutes before adding baking soda and borax. I also am waiting to add essential oils until the mixture cools below 140 degrees, otherwise the essential oils will just evaporate from the heat.

Store in a labeled plastic jug or squirt bottle. Shake before using (mixture will separate after it sits). I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per gallon of water when cleaning counters, floors, fixtures, refrigerator, etc.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Sinner Saved By Grace

I've gotten in the habit of watching gospel music videos on Saturday evenings.  I love the Gaither Vocal Band and they are definitely my favorites.  I found this song tonight and it just touched my heart so much.

This song is my story - I am a sinner saved by the grace of God.  If you could have seen where I started and where I am now you would understand the power of God's saving grace.  I was an angry, bitter woman.  A heathen who loved to run around, drink, swear and I thought that was life. I was in a horrible marriage to an abusive man and had a 16 year old daughter who was pregnant.  I had nothing to lean on except myself and I was angry all the time.

I accepted the Lord when I was 15 years old in a little Baptist church in Virden, IL.  But I didn't live my life for Christ.  I continued in my sinful ways for many years.  In 1986 a co-worker asked me to go to church with her and her husband.  I was raised a Methodist and, while it was a wonderful church, it was not a Bible teaching church.  We never read the Bible at home and it was rarely taught from on Sunday morning.  When I walked into the Nazarene church with my friend I wondered what in the world I had gotten into.  These people were carrying Bibles, they were raising their hands in praise, and they said "Amen" whenever they agreed with the pastor's teachings.  That was not how people were supposed to act in church, or at least that is what I thought.

I continued to attend the church, bought a Bible, and found the joy of learning from God's word.  When the pastor would teach I would soak it up like a sponge.  On Easter Sunday 1987 I re-dedicated my life to the Lord and I have been living for Him ever since.  This song just brings tears to my eyes because I realize that without the power of the Holy Spirit and God's grace I would still be that angry, bitter woman.  That doesn't mean I'm perfect.  I am very far from that.  But the freedom that I enjoy in Christ allows me the opportunity to ask for forgiveness every day and I know that I will be forgiven.  What a joyful life I have now!!  I thank God for His loving mercy and for caring enough about an old sinner like me to send His son Jesus Christ to die for my sins.  It is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Emma's New Toy

What can I say?  The girl has fallen in love with her feet - they are her new favorite toy!