Friday, March 9, 2012

Where I am From

Over 4 years ago now, I posted this about my self, entitled, "Where I am From." Somewhere, someone had a a list to follow that would guide you in writing your own "history" in a very unique way. The past few days, I was thinking about this, and wouldn't you know. Ann VosKamp wrote hers and posted it today on her blog. So I thought I would repost mine here:

I am from books, from old sappy novels like Elsie Dinsmore that make you cry, and from soft, heart-searching music.

I am from the old style home with big, wide staircases, wrap around porches, railings and slate sidewalks.

I am from the forsythias, the pussy willows and lilacs.

I am from Sintra Klas and oli bollens, and singing hymns around the piano, from Anthonie and Aleida, and Sterenborgs and Eelmans.

I am from the weather watchers, the campers, the nurses, and the typists, the oil burner repairmen, the bakers and the cooks. I am from sea captains and fine keepers of the home.

I am from being afraid of what was hiding in dark closets. I am from staying away from old men in the park, not accepting candy from "bums" and not accepting rides from strangers.

I am from jumpropes and double-dutch, hopscotch and handmade beanbags, swings and seesaws, sandboxes and tricycles.

I am from knowing God loves me, died for me, and that I will be with Him, my Mom and Dad someday. I am from being forgiven, loved. I am from a God of second chances.

I'm from New Jersey, Holland - Texel and Amsterdam, boterkoek and chocolate chip cookies.

I am from the Dad who turned over outhouses as a child, pushed the peddles on the old Dutch pipe organ for his blind uncle as he played. I am from the dad who delivered coal, fixed oil burners, and fixed my bike. I am from the Mother who could knit, crochet, tat and sew anything without a pattern or a chart, and the stepmom who gave every ounce of her being to make my father happy.

I am old stuff, like linens and handmade quilts. I am old kitchen utensils, buttermolds, and rolling pins. I am old hymbooks, old recipes, old lace, and old pictures.

I am from my heart, my soul, my feelings, my prayers. I am from words that need to be written, hugs that need to be given, prayers that need to be prayed and tears that need to be shed.

I am from the Poet's Heart and I love to write and His Songs!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dark Spots ----- BOZO??????

Yikes!!!!! I woke up this morning, stumbled into the bathroom, and even in the dim, morning light, there it was ------ MY NOSE. I could see it plain as day in the mirror ---- darker than ever. Yep! Looks like it's there to stay. I feel like Bozo the clown. I thought that maybe, just maybe, it was
a temporary thing, as it seemed to be a little lessened the past few days. There is only one possibility: I had quit taking the Niaspan (for high cholesterol), as the flushing and the burning sensation were getting too much for me. It's like a hot flash on steroids ---- like a thousand bee bites on a bad sunburn -- in otherwords, unbearable. For about 4 or 5 days, I didn't take it. Last night, I took it again, and woke up with the now infamous brown nose. Can that possibly be?????? Anyways, I'm on a search for a cure. I wonder, how many lemons does it take to fix a brown nose????? I will try all of these "remedies" listed below and let you know. If none work, I guess I'll join the circus!

Brown Spots on Face Natural Remedies

Brown spots on your face, also known as age spots or liver spots, occur most frequently in older skin, and usually as a result of years of sun exposure. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, these brown spots appear most commonly in adults over the age of 40, although they may effect individuals of any age if they spend enough time in the sun.

True age spots are considered harmless and do not require medical treatment. They can be lightened with over-the-counter and natural remedies to the point of being almost unnoticeable, although this can take weeks or even months to accomplish. If you’re determined, however, you can remove brown spots on your face over time using the tried-and-true methods described below.

Always consult a doctor if you have an irregular brown spot that appears to change shape, as this may be a sign of skin cancer. It’s a good idea to talk to your physician anytime you notice an abnormality in your skin, especially if you’ve spent a great deal of time in the sun, just to rule out cancer. Once you’re sure that you have nothing more than typical liver spots, then you can begin using home remedies for brown spots on your face.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice gently bleaches brown spots on your face and hands.
Fresh lemon juice contains mild acids strong enough to slough away the top layer of dead skin and lighten brown spots on your face. For the best results, dab the juice of a fresh lemon directly onto brown spots once or twice a day for as long as necessary.

Honey and Yogurt

Combined, honey and yogurt create a mild, natural bleach that can lighten brown age spots on your face. As an added bonus, the mixture also softens the skin and improves complexion. Try mixing 1 tsp. plain, raw yogurt with 1 tsp. pure honey. Apply directly to the affected areas, allow the mixture to dry completely (about 30 minutes), and then rinse with tepid water. Repeat daily as needed.

Aloe Vera Gel

Gel from the aloe vera plant contains chemicals that slough away dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthy cells, which in turn lightens age spots. Apply aloe vera gel directly to your brown spots once or twice a day until you achieve the desired results. The Reader’s Digest Association recommends using fresh aloe gel straight from the living plant. If you don’t have access to a living aloe plant, you can purchase aloe gel at your local drug store or natural health store, but make sure it doesn’t contain any additives. You want only 100 percent pure aloe gel.


Buttermilk contains lactic acid that helps fade brown spots.
An old folk remedy for brown spots and skin discoloration, buttermilk contains lactic acid that gently exfoliates sun-damaged skin and pigmented areas. The substance eventually lightens brown spots on your face until they are barely detectable. Dab buttermilk directly onto brown spots, allow it to dry, and rinse with tepid water. Repeat once or twice daily as needed for the best results.

Red Onion

Another common folk remedy for getting rid of brown spots on the face and body is red onion. Rubbing acidic red onion juice directly onto spots once or twice a day is believed to gradually fade the discoloration over time. This remedy doesn’t smell great, but it will work if you don’t mind the lingering scent of onions.

Onion and Vinegar

In her book “More Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies,” Joan and Lydia Wilen recommend combining onion juice with vinegar for an effective way to get rid of brown spots. Grate an onion and squeeze it through a piece of cheesecloth until you have about 1 tsp. of onion juice. Combine the juice with 2 tsp. white distilled vinegar, and massage into brown spots twice daily until no longer necessary. Again, this remedy smells awful, but according to many women, it works wonders.


Chickpeas can help get rid of brown spots on your face.
An Israeli remedy for brown spots on the face requires the use of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans (the ones you use to make hummus). You can buy them canned very inexpensively in your local supermarket, or prepare them from scratch. Mash about 1/3 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas with a fork or potato masher, add a bit of water to get a paste-like consistency, and then spread over brown spots. Leave on until the peas begin to dry and crumble, and then rinse away with warm water. Repeat once every night until age spots are gone.


Green papaya is rich in a protein-digesting enzyme known as papain that dissolves old, dead skin cells without harming new, young cells. The papain is most concentrated when the fruit is still green, and according to folk medicine, it works wonders for reducing liver spots. Place the fleshy, latex side of the papaya over the discolored areas, and allow it to remain for 20 or 30 minutes once or twice daily. Repeat as necessary until your age spots are gone.


Lemon essential oil and benzoin essential oils both have bleaching properties that can help get rid of brown spots on your face, according to Bill Gottlieb in his book Alternative Cures. Gottlieb recommends combining 1 to 2 drops of either of the oils with a vegetable carrier oil such as almond, and then applying to the affected areas twice daily as needed.

Homemade Skin Lightener for Brown Spots

Stephanie Tourles, natural beauty expert and author of Herbal Remedies for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin, recommends making your own lemon cream skin lightener to get rid of brown spots on your face, hands, arms, or anywhere else they appear. The lemon juice acts as an alpha-hydroxy acid and natural bleach, while the cucumber is cooling, and the yogurt’s lactic acid also gently bleaches.


2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small potato, peeled
1/2 small cucumber
1 tbsp. plain, raw yogurt (organic if possible, and with live cultures)
Blender or food processor
Light moisturizer, optional

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a small blender or food processor for a few minutes, until a smooth, spreadable paste is formed.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in a covered container, if necessary, although the mixture works best when used just after blending.
To use, pull your hair off of your face and neck, and lie down with a towel under your head to catch drips. This process can get a little messy.
Apply the mixture to your face, and cover with a hot, damp towel. To make breathing easier, use two towels – one for the top of your face and one for the chin and neck – leaving your mouth and nose uncovered.
Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse, and follow with a light moisturizer if desired. Repeat two or three times a week until the brown spots on your face subside.
Your skin may begin to tingle during the treatment, and this is normal. It’s just a sign that the ingredients are doing their job. Do not use this treatment on sunburned, inflamed or sensitive skin.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Joy Dare Gratitudes on Monday

I feel like I'm on a really great scavanger hunt!!! Beginning in January, Ann's community of those counting their 1,000 gifts were invited to begin the "Joy Dare." At the beginning of each month, Ann gives a list of prompts, so to speak, of 3 specific things to look for each day --- specific gifts we can be thankful for. It's been so great to do this, but some days have been hard. But here we go:

1. 3 gifts at 3pm: 4 chicken thighs waiting for a decision on how they will be cooked for dinner.

A WW coffee latte frozen popcicle

Sunshine, a gentle breeze, and 83 degree weather

2. 3 gifts green: Oak leaves, all new, little and light green, all popping out in the sunny, warm weather of Florida.

The convenient green dumpster I share with 4 other families, making clean-up, trash removal, so much easier here in the country. Something I don’t think about, but always there.

Fresh spinach salad with it’s dark green, tender leaves, well dressed with bits of bacon, sliced hard boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and honey mustard dressing.

3. 3 gifts wore -- My necklace, a breast cancer momento, with the engraved words, “By Grace Alone.”

Memories of an incredible journey through chemo, surgery, and radiation. Scars of a mastectomy, a faint line of stitches, skin tinted tan by radiation.

Hair! Never thought of it as a gift until it was ALL gone --- smooth as a baby’s bottom.

4. 3 gifts hard to give thanks for: dieting! I'm always at odds with it. Always feeling deprived. Always wanting more. But, oh, so thankful for a diet that works, thankful for slow, but steady success, thankful for the willpower to get up and start again when I've fallen.

My vacuum cleaner. I HATE that thing! I HATE using it. We fight. And Buster has caught on that it's not a good thing. It makes me crabby. It gets clogged (my own fault because I don't use it enough!). But I'm so thankful I have it. What would I ever do without it???????

Brown spot on my nose. Yep! I'm having trouble with this one. At first, it looked like a shadow, that maybe my lighting was not right. But on second look, with scrunched up face and twisted neck, there it was ---- I'm now an official brown noser!!!! Reasons??? Perhaps "radiation scatter." Or just "old age spots." Either way, there it is. I feel like Ponochio. I've tried toothpaste (hey, it's supposed to whiten, isn't it????) Anyways, it's been something to laugh about as it seems to humor everyone and tickle funny bones. I think it's God's humorous way of keeping me humble. So I say thank you and sigh!!!!

5. 3 gifts found: Mercy! To live this long, to have made this many mistakes, to have been this stubborn and rebellious, and He has still shown me His mercy and a depth of love I will never comprehend! A thousand thank-you's on this one.

Grace! Were it not for grace, where would I be? On thousand roads to nowhere with salvation up to me! Man, I love that song. I think it's my all time favorite as it just describes ME! Another thousand thank-you's!!!!

A new talent in a friend. To watch him lead the worship service last night made me feel like a proud momma. And the gift is even more precious knowing the pits from which he was raised. Thank you, Lord, for Marty!!!