Recipe Friday: Hot Cocoa Base

We had our first and second snows of the season. We’ve had winds and freezing rain, and it’s been blustery and COLD (highs in the low 30’s) for a few days. It’s definitely time to break out the hot cocoa.

I decided to go with a concentrated base for this recipe, as it takes up less space in the refrigerator, and I can use just as much as I need for as many servings as I need.

This can be a pretty healthy drink.

  • Raw cacao has many health benefits. Cacao packs in more calcium than cow’s milk. It’s densely packed with iron, magnesium and antioxidants. Cacao can help with issues such as depression, stress, blood pressure and heart health. Cacao has anti-inflammatory properties. Raw cacao contains magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese.
  • Use a healthy sweetener. Stevia would work best; however some don’t like the taste of it. I like sucanat. Other suggestions are maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, lucuma, and monk fruit.
  • You can add, either to the base recipe or cup-by-cup, other adaptogens such as maca powder (yum, by the way), matcha green tea, ashwagandha, or slippery elm. Start with ¼ teaspoon per cup.
  • Other add-ins can boost nutrition, such as powdered collagen or bone broth, or a supergreens powder. Add slight amounts at first, to see how it affects the taste.
  • Raw dairy milk is an excellent nutritional drink.
    • Note: If you use raw milk, you will want to make sure that you don’t use it in any process that involves boiling or simmering for very long. Cooking destroys the enzymes and other nutrients in raw milk.
    • Other note: Different milks have different sweetness levels: dairy milk has lactose; rice milk is slightly sweet; plain oat milk is not sweet. So, adjust your sweetener measurements to reflect your milk and preferences.

All the ingredient amounts are just suggestions – you can adapt anything to taste.
This works well with almost any type of milk; I like to use rice milk or oat milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup whatever sweetener, such as sugar or sucanat (use the sweetener that works for you; 1/2 cup of sugar is a starting point)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao or baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (or liquid coffee)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dairy or non-dairy milk to complete base
  • additional milk to make a cup of cocoa

Directions:

In a small saucepan, whisk together salt, instant coffee, sweetener(s), and cocoa until blended.
Add 1/2 cup milk (or coffee).
Cook and whisk over medium heat until ingredients are blended.
Add butter.
Continue to whisk until butter is melted and the mixture is slightly bubbly. By this time, the mixture should be smooth; if it’s not, continue to gently heat until it is smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then the additional 2 cups of milk. Whisk until all is blended.
Do a little taste test to check the sweetness level; add more sweetener if needed.

Pour into a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. If I scoop out a test 1/4 cup, the rest of the mix fits perfectly into my pint-and-a-half (20 oz) canning jar.
I keep mine up to two weeks. If you’re using dairy milk, it may not keep that long.

To Use:
Shake container well to distribute ingredients.
Pour 1/4 cup of the base mixture and 1 cup of (dairy or non-dairy) milk into a small saucepan.
Heat gently until warm enough for you, or until almost simmering.
Alternatively, pour base and milk into a microwaveable mug and heat in a microwave a minute or so, depending on your microwave.

Praying Psalm 119 Over a Loved One

Praying God’s Word back to Him carries the power of His Word. God teaches us how to pray in His Word, and we may use His Words to make our hearts’ cry to Him.

Psalm 119 is an intense passage of praise for God, His law, His Word, and the force of that Word in the lives of us all. If you are praying for salvation for a loved one (or for one who has gone astray, or who never did grasp the authority and jurisdiction of God in his life), here is one way to pray God’s Word over that loved one. This can be prayed often, over a long period of time. The words here are geared toward a male; however, God’s Word is personal, and you may use this as He leads you. After reading this, return to your Bible and pray your own prayers as you read and meditate on God’s Word.

Of course, another of the true powers of prayer is that prayer changes the pray-er.

Galatians 6.9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

א
ALEPH.

1 May ___ be blessed and undefiled in his way, may he walk in the law of the LORD.

2 I pray Your blessing upon ___, that he keeps Your testimonies, and that he seeks You with his whole heart.

3 May he also do no iniquity: may he walk in Your ways.

4 Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently.

5 O that ___’s ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!

6 Then he shall not be ashamed, when he has respect unto all Thy commandments.

7 He will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when he shall have learned Thy righteous judgments.

8 I pray ___ will keep Thy statutes: O forsake him not utterly.

ב
BETH.

9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.

10 May ___ seek Thee with his whole heart: O let him not wander from Thy commandments.

11 May he hide Thy Word in his heart, that he might not sin against Thee.

12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach ___ Thy statutes.

13 With his lips may he declare all the judgments of Thy mouth.

14 May he rejoice in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 May he meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.

16 May he delight himself in Thy statutes, and not forget Thy word.

ג
GIMEL.

17 Deal bountifully with Thy servant, ___ that he may live, and keep Thy Word.

18 Open thou his eyes, that he may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.

19 He is a stranger in the earth: hide not Thy commandments from him.

20 Break his soul for longing unto Thy judgments at all times.

21 Rebuke his pride that he may not be cursed, as he errs from Thy commandments.

22 Heap upon him reproach and contempt; for he has not kept Thy testimonies.

23 As princes sit and speak against him: let Thy servant meditate in Thy statutes.

24 Make Thy testimonies his delight and his counselors.

ד
DALETH.

25 ___’s soul cleaves unto the dust: quicken thou him according to Thy word.

26 Cause him to declare his ways, and You will hear him: teach him Thy statutes.

27 Make him to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall he talk of Thy wondrous works.

28 Melt his soul for heaviness: and strengthen thou him according unto Thy Word.

29 Remove from him the way of lying: and grant him Thy law graciously.

30 Cause ___ to choose the way of truth: lay Thy judgments before him.

31 He has not stuck unto Thy testimonies: O LORD, put him to shame.

32 Cause him to run the way of Thy commandments, then Thou shalt enlarge his heart.

ה
HE.

33 Teach ___, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; cause him to keep it unto the end.

34 Give him understanding, that he shall keep Thy law; yea, that he shall observe it with his whole heart.

35 Make him to go in the path of Thy commandments; show him the delight therein.

36 Incline his heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

37 Turn away his eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou him in Thy way.

38 Stablish Thy Word unto Thy servant, cause him to be devoted to Thy fear.

39 Make him to dread Thy reproach, and to fear it: for Thy judgments are good.

40 Behold, cause him to long after Thy precepts: quicken him in Thy righteousness.

ו
VAU.

41 Let Thy mercies come also unto ___, O LORD, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word.

42 So shall he have wherewith to answer him that reproaches him: may he trust in Thy word.

43 And take not the word of Truth utterly out of his mouth; may he hope in Thy judgments.

44 So shall he keep Thy law continually for ever and ever.

45 And he will walk at liberty as he seeks Thy precepts.

46 May he ever speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and not be ashamed.

47 May he delight himself in Thy commandments, and love them.

48 May he lift up also his hands unto Thy commandments, may he love them, and meditate in Thy statutes.

ז
ZAIN.

49 Remember the word unto Thy servant, cause ___ to have hope in Thy Word.

50 This is my comfort in my affliction, for Thy word hath quickened me – Thy Word can also quicken him.

51 His pride has had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.

52 May he learn Thy judgments of old, O LORD; and take comfort in them.

53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of his wickedness – he forsakes Thy law!

54 Make Thy statutes to be his songs in the house of his pilgrimage.

55 May he remember Thy name, O LORD, in the night, and keep Thy law.

56 This I have, because I keep Thy precepts; I pray that peace for him, as well.

ח
HETH.

57 Make Thyself ___’s portion, O LORD: I pray he would keep Thy words.

58 May he intreat Thy favour with his whole heart: be merciful unto him according to Thy Word.

59 Cause him to think upon his ways, and turn his feet unto Thy testimonies.

60 May he make haste, and delay not to keep Thy commandments.

61 Though the bands of the wicked have robbed him: may he not forget Thy law.

62 At midnight may he rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgments.

63 Make him a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.

64 The earth, O LORD, is full of Thy mercy: teach him Thy statutes.

ט
TETH.

65 Deal well with Thy servant, O LORD, according unto Thy Word.

66 Teach ___ good judgment and knowledge: cause him to believe Thy commandments.

67 Afflict him as he goes astray: direct him to keep Thy word.

68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach him Thy statutes.

69 He is proud, and has forged a lie against me: keep me strong in Thy precepts with my whole heart.

70 His heart is as fat as grease; turn him to delight in Thy law.

71 It is good for him that he is afflicted; that he might learn Thy statutes.

72 Make the law of Thy mouth better unto him than thousands of gold and silver.

י
IOD.

73 Thy hands have made ___ and fashioned him: give him understanding, that he may learn Thy commandments.

74 I pray it will come to pass that they that fear Thee will be glad when they see him; because he has hoped in Thy word.

75 Cause him to know, O LORD, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted him.

76 Let, I pray thee, Thy merciful kindness be for his comfort, according to Thy word unto Thy servant.

77 Let Thy tender mercies come unto him, that he may live: make Thy law his delight.

78 Let him be ashamed of his pride; for he dealt perversely with me without a cause: cause him to meditate in Thy precepts.

79 Let those that fear Thee turn unto him, and those that have known Thy testimonies (that he may have those about him to lead him unto You).

80 Let his heart become sound in Thy statutes; that he be not ashamed.

כ
CAPH.

81 Make ___’s soul faint for Thy salvation: bring him hope in Thy word.

82 Cause his eyes to fail for Thy word, saying, When wilt Thou comfort me?

83 Make him become like a bottle in the smoke; do not let him forget Thy statutes.

84 How many are the days of Thy servant? when wilt Thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

85 His pride has digged pits for himself, which are not after Thy law.

86 All Thy commandments are faithful: he persecutes me wrongfully; help Thou me.

87 He had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not Thy precepts.

88 Quicken us after Thy lovingkindness; that we may keep the testimony of Thy mouth.

ל
LAMED.

89 For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.

90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91 They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: for all are Thy servants.

92 Unless Thy law become ___’s delights, he should then perish in his affliction.

93 Do not let him forget Thy precepts: for with them Thou quicken.

94 I pray he is Thine, save him; cause him to seek Thy precepts.

95 His wickedness has waited to destroy him: may he consider Thy testimonies.

96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad.

מ
MEM.

97 O cause ___ to love Thy law! May it be his meditation all the day.

98 Thou through Thy commandments will make him wiser than his enemies: for they are ever with him.

99 Give him more understanding than all his teachers: make Thy testimonies his meditation.

100 Cause him to understand more than the ancients, as he keeps Thy precepts.

101 I pray he refrains his feet from every evil way, that he might keep Thy word.

102 Let him not depart from Thy judgments: I pray You will teach him.

103 Make Your Words sweet unto his taste! yea, sweeter than honey to his mouth!

104 Through Thy precepts he gets understanding: therefore I pray he learns to hate every false way.

נ
NUN.

105 Make Thy word a lamp unto ___’s feet, and a light unto his path.

106 May he swear, and perform it, that he will keep Thy righteous judgments.

107 He is afflicted very much: quicken him, O LORD, according unto Thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach him Thy judgments.

109 Cause him to put his soul into Your hand: do not let him forget Thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for him: let him err not from Thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies may he take as an heritage for ever: make them the rejoicing of his heart.

112 May he incline his heart to perform Thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

ס
SAMECH.

113 Cause ___ to hate vain thoughts: but love Thy law.

114 Become his hiding place and his shield: cause him to hope in Thy word.

115 Sweep away the evildoers from him: that he may keep the commandments of his God.

116 Uphold him according unto Thy word, that he may live: and let him not be ashamed of his hope.

117 Hold thou him up, and he shall be safe: and he will have respect unto Thy statutes continually.

118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from Thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore make him to love Thy testimonies.

120 Cause his flesh to tremble for fear of thee; make him afraid of Thy judgments.

ע
AIN.

121 He has not done judgment and justice: leave him to his oppressors.

122 Be surety for Thy servant for good: let his pride oppress him.

123 Cause ___’s eyes to fail for Thy salvation, and for the Word of Thy righteousness.

124 Deal with Thy servant according unto Thy mercy, and teach him Thy statutes.

125 Make him Thy servant; give him understanding, that he may know Thy testimonies.

126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for he has made void Thy law.

127 I pray ___ would love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

128 And that he would esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and that he would hate every false way.

פ
PE.

129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: may ___’s soul keep them.

130 The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

131 Open his mouth, and cause him to pant as he longs for Thy commandments.

132 Look thou upon him, and be merciful unto him, as thou usest to do unto those that love Thy name.

133 Order his steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over him.

134 Deliver him from the oppression of man, and cause him to keep Thy precepts.

135 Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach him Thy statutes.

136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because he keeps not Thy law.

צ
TZADE.

137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are Thy judgments.

138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

139 May zeal consume ___, because as Thine enemy, he has forgotten Thy words.

140 Thy word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it.

141 He is small and despised: do not let him forget Thy precepts.

142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth.

143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on both of us: make Thy commandments his delights.

144 The righteousness of Thy testimonies is everlasting: give him understanding, and he shall live.

ק
KOPH.

145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: cause ___ to keep Thy statutes.

146 I cried unto thee; save him, that he shall keep Thy testimonies.

147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hope in Thy word.

148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that he might meditate in Thy word.

149 Hear my voice according unto Thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken him according to Thy judgment.

150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: he is far from Thy law.

151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all Thy commandments are truth.

152 Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

ר
RESH.

153 Consider ___’s affliction, and deliver him: do not let him forget Thy law.

154 Plead my cause, and deliver him: quicken him according to Thy word.

155 Salvation is far from him because he is wicked: for he seeks not Thy statutes.

156 Great are Thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken him according to Thy judgments.

157 Many are his persecutors and his enemies; do not let him decline from Thy testimonies.

158 I behold his transgressions, and am grieved, O LORD; because he keeps not thy word.

159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken him, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

ש
SHIN.

161 Princes persecute him: may his heart stand in awe of Thy word.

162 May ___ rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

163 He does not hate and abhor lying: cause him to love Thy law.

164 Seven times a day may he praise thee because of Thy righteous judgments.

165 Grant him great peace when he loves Thy law: may nothing offend him.

166 LORD, I have hoped for Thy salvation upon him, may he do Thy commandments.

167 May his soul keep Thy testimonies; and love them exceedingly.

168 May he keep Thy precepts and Thy testimonies: for all his ways are before thee.

ת
TAU.

169 Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give ___ understanding according to Thy word.

170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver him according to Thy word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught him Thy statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of Thy word: for all Thy commandments are righteousness.

173 Let thine hand help him as he chooses Thy precepts.

174 May ___ long for Thy salvation, O LORD; make Thy law his  delight.

175 Let his soul live, that it shall praise thee; and let Thy judgments help him.

176 He has gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; do not let him forget Thy commandments.

Recipe Friday: Kielbasa Bake

We were gifted some kielbasa and, wondering what to do with it, I thought about my Baked Pork Chop Dinner – I liked it so much that I decided on a re-do.

The kielbasa itself was enough for one dinner for the two of us. I wanted enough of the “rest of the stuff” for some left-overs: it will be good fried up as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-oz pkg kielbasa
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks a bit larger than the sweet potatoes (they take different amounts of time to cook, so the sweet potatoes are a bit smaller)
  • 1 medium-large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 small apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • Liberal amounts of olive oil
  • Seasoned salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. I used a large baking pan, 15” x 10”
  3. Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place each of the sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, and apples into the pan as you cut them up.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.
  7. Gently mix the vegetables about the pan and spread evenly.
  8. Slice the kielbasa into lengths you like, and spread over the top of the vegetables.
  9. Cover with foil.
  10. Bake at 350° for one hour.
  11. Remove the foil and bake another half hour.

A Mug Rug from Kathie at Homespun Seasonal Living

One of the e-newsletters I receive is from Kathie, at Homespun Seasonal Living. “Cozy” is the word that comes to mind every time I see her name in my inbox.
Today’s newsletter contained a link to find instructions on how to make a scented mug rug.
Find the instructions here: https://homespunseasonalliving.com/scented-mug-rug/

As an aside, I thought of you, Amy, and homeschooling. 😊

From Burdened to Blessed

I was having one of those days, a day full of this and that and several of the “other things.” Nothing horrendous or devastating, but you know how it is, when things just keep coming and coming, and then suddenly it’s too much.

Encumbered.

So I took a walk.

At first I was too involved with my own issues to notice anything around me. But as I talked with God, He opened my eyes to the stunning beauty around me. The sky was a brilliant blue. The fall leaves displayed their glorious colors in the trees all around; and the fallen ones offered a friendly crunch beneath my feet.

I turned a corner and had to smile. I knew that on this corner was a house whose owner had decided, instead of a big lawn, to plant corn. I’d watched it grow all summer. Now the harvest was over, the brown cornstalks stood straight and bare. And intertwined were morning glories!

Leave it to God to bless me with beauty.

I began really looking around me. I think trees in the fall are a lot like people. Some jump the gun six or eight weeks ahead of time, changing colors to be the first to show off.

Others go half-and-half, not sure where they stand, whether in summer or fall.

Some bide their time, lurking; then, like a firecracker in the span of a day, go all-in.

Some are hold-outs, clinging to all the green they’ve got for as long as they can.

Some are so brilliant they’re almost electrically charged.

Others are more muted in their colors.

And some are content to drop ’em and go to bed early.

Besides the morning glories, there were other late-bloomers.

By the end of my walk, I realized I still had the burdens, but God had blessed me with His joy. Like Psalm 81.6a I removed his shoulder from the burden. Burdens are still there, but God removed my shoulder for a while. He’s going to show me how to deal with each one, in His time.

Recipe Friday: Thieves Blend

*

Thieves Blend, or Four Thieves Blend, has been around since the Middle Ages, give or take a few centuries. There are many stories surrounding the name and the mixture, but most herbalists, scientists, and doctors agree on its effectiveness.

Thieves Blend of essential oils is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral. Granted, many microbes are beneficial to the human body, but God provides amazing protection against the harmful ones through His plants.

Benefits of Thieves Blend:

  • Cleans the air of germs and molds as you diffuse
  • Respiratory support
  • Prevents against food spoilage
  • Stops unwanted microbes and superbugs
  • Antioxidant
  • Oral health
  • Digestion
  • Alleviates discomfort due to arthritis, muscle pains, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, gum issues, and ulcers
  • Powerful emotional and physiological effects from diffusing

According to https://www.fiddlerselbowgrease.co.uk/blog/the-story-of-the-four-thieves , here is the story:

The use of Thieves oil dates all the way back to the year 1413.  The time of the infamous Bubonic Plague (aka The Black Death) ran rampant through Europe and Asia. The plague spread like wild-fire amongst the citizens, and the physicians alike.  It seemed impossible to be in the vicinity without contracting it, and at the time, the sickness really did mean ultimate death.

However, four thieves, who were notoriously robbing the infected dead bodies of all their possessions, miraculously never contracted the highly infectious plague, were captured and charged for stealing from the sick and dying.

The crime these four men committed was punishable by being burnt alive.  The judge was so intrigued by how these men had stayed immune to this terrible disease, that he told them if they shared their secret he would spare them this punishment. Taking the deal, they told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways.

The Thieves told the judge their secret: they were perfume and spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of the sea ports and the devastation of the plague.  In this age, physicians were seen wearing long black robes, wide brimmed hats, and masks that appeared to have a beak. The reason being that the masks were said to have contained a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils that the physicians would breathe in order to keep themselves safe from those afflicted with the illness.

Their long black robes were also said to be doused in a similar fragrant concoction and current research continues to build upon this theory. They had prepared an essential oil recipe that when applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet and masks over their mouths, kept them safe from infection.

The judge stayed true to his word.  The men were not burned alive, but instead they were hanged for their crimes.

From then on, the doctors who treated the Black Death victims appropriately used this special blend.  The beak is how doctors got the long-lasting nickname “quack”.

Yet another version of the story relates that a man named Richard Forthave developed and sold the preparation, and that the blend was originally referred to as Forthave’s. Over time, his name became corrupted to Four Thieves.

There are many versions of how Thieves Blend is made, but the basic ingredients are essential oils of lemon, clove, cinnamon, and rosemary. Those are included in the Young Living brand, as well as eucalyptus. Other mixtures contain also oils of  white camphor, sweet orange, thyme, and sage.

A sample recipe for Thieves Blend:

8 drops of Clove Essential Oil
7 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
4 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
3 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

How to use Thieves Blend

Using the blend straight:

Combine 1 drop Thieves Blend to 4 drops of carrier oil to massage on soles of feet, lower back, neck, hands, temples, and behind the ears. This can be used on everyone, but you may wish to spot-test for sensitivity first.

  • Add to dish water
  • Add 5-6 drops to a load of laundry
  • Wash pet dishes in a solution of soapy water and 1-2 drops of oil
  • Add 10-15 drops to a bucket of soapy water to clean floors
  • Sprinkle on your face mask to kill microbes coming and going

All-Purpose Spray: 2 drops of Thieves Blend per ounce of water. Add the oil to the bottle first, then the water. Shake well each time you use it. Use the spray for cleaning around the home.

You can also combine with vodka and/or witch hazel instead of water, and spray on surfaces as an anti-microbial; wipe off or leave on, as indicated. Suggested surfaces:

  • Stuffed animals / toys
  • Cell phones
  • Dishwasher
  • Pet bedding
  • Mattresses / bedding
  • Air vents
  • Take on trips and use in guest rooms or hotels
  • Spray on your face mask, both sides

Thieves Blend is good for diffusing throughout the air.

Much information can be found at this site: https://survivalschool.com/%EF%BB%BFthieves-oil-history-recipes-uses/

There is also a Thieves Vinegar. Fill a jar with herbs and slices of lemon, garlic, sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint, and wormwood. Pour vinegar to cover all, and cap tightly. Allow to steep for several days. As with Fire Cider, this is shelf-stable. To use, rub over hands, sip lightly, or consume with rice or vegetables (do not cook it, though).

According to Wikipedia, “an original copy of the recipe posted on the walls of Marseilles during an episode of the plague: Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of camphor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.”

*image from google images

English Class Fright

Gary slumped down in his chair. The teacher in his high school English class had decided on an impromptu activity: She would have the students take turns getting up in front of everyone and give a short speech.

Gary hated public speaking. He had intentionally avoided debate class and other such English credit options just so he didn’t have to subject himself to this kind of torture. Maybe he should start an immediate protest. Naw, that might count as public speaking.

One by one, she called students up and gave a simple one word prompt: the name of a farm animal. Students were called row-by-row, so Gary knew when his turn would be, but not what animal he would be assigned.

He was barely able to hear what anyone before him said, except for the shotgun order barked out by the teacher: “Cow!” “Goose!” “Goat!”

When it was his turn, he went up and faced the class.

“Duck!”

So he did, and returned to his seat.

Note: This is based on an actual incident of a friend of mine in high school.