Sunday, February 28, 2010

Are You Carrots, Eggs or Coffee????

Sometimes I get some real good advise and like to share it with others. This is one of those good ones.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

        Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

        In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

        Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

        "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

        Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

        Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

        Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
        "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

        Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

        Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

        Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

        May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

        The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

        When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

        Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Green Cleaning Products You Make Yourself, Easy and Fun

List of supplies:
half gallon and gallon jars or something similar, spray bottles for liquid cleaners, measuring cups, as well as big bowls and spoons for mixing, a grater and labels for your containers.

You will need: Borax (mule train) laundry booster, baking soda, washing soda, Castile soap, liquid and bar, distilled water, cheap vodka, apple cider vinegar, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, ammonia, and essential oils. Lavender,(repels insects), Tree Tea antibacterial and fungicide), Lemon, Orange, or Tangerine (grease cutters).

All Purpose Spray

1 T cheap vodka
1 T lemon juice
1 T liquid Castile soap
1 T Borax
1 cup distilled water
Essential oil (optional)

Mix all together and pour into spray bottle. If you want to use essential oil, add citrus oils for cutting grease, Tea tree, lavender, thyme or oregano to kill bacteria.

Dusting spray

1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup vodka
2-3 drops Essential oil (of choice)

Put into spray bottle. Spray onto cotton cloth and dust away!

Window cleaner

1/4-1/2 tsp liquid Castile soap
3 T vodka
2 cups distilled water

Put into spray bottle, shake gently before using.


2 tsp Tea Tree oil
2 cups water

Put into spray bottle and shake well. Spray on areas that are moldy or musty.

Lemon Dish Soap

2 cups Liquid Castile Soap
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops Tree Tea oil

Mix and keep in a squeezy bottle. Works good as a hand soap too.

Gentle Wool Wash

2 cups liquid Castile soap
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops cedar wood oil

Mix well together. Store in squeeze bottle. Shake before using.

To use:
Fill sink with warm water. Add 1/2-1 of soap. Swish water a bit.
Let soak for 10 minutes. Gently rinse till water runs clear.
Gently squeeze out water, lay flat to dry.

Tub Scrub

1 cup of Baking soda
1/4 cup of salt
10 drops of a citrus essential oil
5 drops of Tree Tea oil
Mix well. Keep in an air tight container.

To use:
Sprinkle around tub and scrub. Rinse.

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of Baking Soda

Mix well. Add to the dispenser as usual.

Fill rinse dispenser with white vinegar to make things squeaky clean.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 gallon water
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup Baking Soda
10 drops lemon essential oil
Citrus Degreaser

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup baking soda
5-10 drops citrus essential oil (optional)

Mix together to make a paste. Apply to greasy area, use damp cloth to wipe off.

Carpet Deodorizer

1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
10 drops favorite essential oil

Combine and sprinkle over carpet. Let stand 20 minutes, vaccum up.

Soft Scrub

1/4 cup baking soda
2-3 Tablespoons of Castile liquid soap

Mix together till it is smooth. Use a cloth to apply. Wipe clean.

Oven cleaner

1 small box of Baking soda
Liquid Castile soap

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, and cover with baking soda, avoid heat coil. Sprinkle more water over soda. Let it sit overnight. Wipe it up in the morning, use a scrubby pad. To remove the reside, put a bit of the castile soap on a damp cloth and wipe clean.

Combine, and keep in a spray bottle.
You can add an essential oil if you like.
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar, One teaspoon of borax mixed with a teaspoon each of white vinegar and lemon juice will make a homemade stain remover that effectively removes ink and many food stains from most color-safe fabrics.

Baking soda mixed with water to form a paste makes an excellent homemade stain remover for perspiration stains on clothing.

A saltwater mixture is also an effective pre-soak for heavily soiled clothes.

Another version of homemade stain removers that can be effective as a spot remover for delicate fabrics is three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide mixed with one tablespoon of ammonia. This mixture should not be made in any larger quantity and should be discarded after use.

Try straight club soda or a lemon juice and water mixture for fabrics.
1/2 cup baking soda

Combine and put into spray bottle.

Premade Mini Scrapbooks

I make these little mini scrapbooks from brown bags. I have two on my etsy ready to have your pictures and journaling tags added to the pockets. Here is mine. Each page has a different theme. For my garden this year I'm going to make one just for that and have all the pictures of what we grow for future sharing with friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bell Pepper Muffins

Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped red, yellow and green bell peppers
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flour (can use gluten free flour)
4 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. Watkins baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teasp. dried basil
1 cup low fat milk
1 egg
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400f. Spray a muffin pan with Watkins cooking spray. In small skillet cook peppers in butter about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In large bowl combine dry ingredients. In small bowl combine wet ingredients. Add peppers to wet mixture. Stir into large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well. Spoon into muffin pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan.
You will find the above Watkins baking powder at

Herbed Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients: 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
2 teaspoons parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teas. pepper
1/2 teasp dried thyme
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 bags frozen organic green beans

Preheat oven to 350f.  Combine first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Toss well. Add oil to bread crumbs stir well. Reserve 2 tablespoons bread crumb for topping. Combine green beans and bread crumbs mixture in a casserole dish and add topping mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden and crispy.
You will find all the above spices at

Spinach, Bacon and Mushroom Salad

Ingredients: 1 large bunch organic spinach leaves 
3/4 cup sliced organic mushrooms
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup croutons
4 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped
Dressing of choice
In salad bowl combine spinach, mushrooms, and bacon; toss. Top with croutons and eggs. Pour dressing over top and serve.
I like Watkins Gourmet Snack & Dip Seasonings to make my own salad dressings.
Use Bacon and Horseradish with buttermilk and mayo for a creamy dressing. Or mix the Watkins Garlic and Dill, or Cucumber and Dill with plain yogurt for a delicious no guilt dressing.

Turkey Tettrazini Casserole and Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:  1 bag egg noodles cooked  
 Watkins chicken soup and gravy base 2 tablespoons
1 can evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon Watkins Nutmeg
 2 cups diced cooked turkey
6 green onions, sliced 
1 jar chopped pimientos
1/4 cup organic grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350f. In large saucepan, over medium high heat, bring 1st four ingredients to a boil. Cook stirring until thick and bubbly. Add turkey, noodles, onions, pimientos and 2 tablespoons cheese.
Transfer turkey mixture to a lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Chocolate Fudge Pie
Ingredients:  Crust: 1 unbaked pie crust                
Garnish: Whipped cream

Filling: 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening          1 bar sweet baking chocolate
         1 can sweetened condensed milk
         1/2 cup flour
        2 eggs beaten            1 teaspoon watkins vanilla
      1/4 teaspoon salt        1 cup flake coconut
    1 cup chopped pecans

1. For crust, prepare as directed. Do not bake. Heat oven to 350f. Place wire rack on countertop for cooling pie.
2. For filling, melt 1/4 cup oil and chocolate in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sweetened milk, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt: mix well. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
3. Bake at 350f for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in middle. Cool on wire rack.
4. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Refrigerate leftovers.
For watkins vanilla and other ingredients go to

Monday, February 22, 2010

Simple Laundry Soap You Make Yourself and Save Big!!!

Homemade Laundry Powder (the easy version)

    -Use 1/4 cup in regular washers, more if the load is very dirty or greasy

    -Use 2 tablespoons in High Efficiency washers 3 tablespoons if the load is greasy or very dirty.

    -Use Vinegar in the rinse for a natural fabric softener.  The vinegar smell will go away as the clothes dry.


1 box Washing Soda

1 box Borax

1 4lb box Baking Soda


12 ounces grated laundry soap (Zote, Fels Naptha, Ivory Soap) All found at Wal-Mart Or Hardware Store

Combine until evenly mixed.  This makes enough laundry powder to last our family of 3  for around 6 months.  It is very economical, coming around or under 10 cents per load with no fillers and no harsh chemicals.  It can also be used as a scouring powder for kitchen and bath.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bacon and Maple Grits Puff

Ingredients: 8 slices bacon           2 cups milk                1 1/4 cups water
1 cup quick cooking grits             1 /2 teaspoon salt       1 /2 cup maple syrup
or buckwheat hot cereal               4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350f. Grease 1/1/2 quart round casserole or souffle dish. set aside.
2. Cook bacon in large skiller over medium high heat until crisp. Blot on paper towel.
     Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.
3. Combine milk, water, grits and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in syrup and bacon drippings.
4. Crumble bacon, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish. Stir remaining crumbled bacon into grits.
5. Beat eggs in medium bowl. Gradually stir small amount of grits into eggs, then stir back into remaining grits mixture. Pour into casserole dish.
6. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Top with reserved 1/4 cup bacon. Garnish with chives.

For variations use hot buckwheat cereal in place of grits, for a gluten free alternative.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oven Pancake Puff, Saves Time and Energy

This recipe is my own. It saves me time standing at the stove cooking indiviual pancakes. I don't have much energy due to Lyme disease, so any short cut is a blessing.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup gluten free flour           1/2 cup water          1/4 cup organic half-half or almond milk
2 eggs         1/4 teaspoon Watkins gluten- free baking powder   1/4 cup tapioca flour

Beat eggs well. Add water and milk and stir. Add all dry ingredients and mix well.
In baking dish coat with organic oil canola or olive oil. Sprinkle with your gluten free flour. Pour mixture into dish and bake in 375f oven for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean. I have a speed bake option on my stove and it takes 25 minutes.

Variations: add 1 Tbls. fruit  or   1 ounce of organic cheese or    1 ounce of organic turkey or chicken sausage. I use organic gluten free flours, like MaryJane'sFarm or

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oven-Baked Stew

Ingredients: 2 pounds boneless beef steak cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup flour                                 1 1/3 cups carrots sliced
1 can tomatoes chopped               1 Watkins onion soup mix- (see below)
1/2 cup dry red wine organic if possible
1 cup mushrooms sliced                 1- 8 ounce package egg noodles cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 425f   In 2 1/2 qt shallow casserole, toss beef with flour, bake uncovered 20 minutes, stir once.
2. Reduce heat to 350f. Stir in carrots, tomatoe, soup mix and wine.
3. Bake covered 1 hour 30 minutes, Stir in mushrooms and bake for additional 10 min. covered.
Serve over noodles. Add a spoon of sour cream.

To order natural and organic Watkins Onion Soup Mix and other fine baking products go to my website at

Deep-Dish Fruit Custard Pie

This recipe can be made with your favorite fruit. I going to use peaches.
Preheat oven to 425f
Ingredients:  1 9 inch pie pan with pie crust, ready made or fresh
3 1/2 cups of fruit
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs           1/4 cup butter melted                    1 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon          dash nutmeg

Arrange fruit in pie shell. Combine milk, eggs, butter, lemon juice, and spices in large mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Pour over fruit.
Bake for 10 minutes.

Streusel Topping: Combine: 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cuped chopped walnuts in medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add streusel mixture topping on fruit. Reduce oven to 350f and bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean from center. Cool on wire rack.

Yummy is all I can say. Top with whipped topping.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inner Peace...this is so true.

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment ,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

And you thought this was a spiritual message!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watkins Products Donates to Haitian Earthquake

I am a member of Watkins Natural Products and wanted to share this news of their contribution to the earthquake  in Haiti. To order product from me go to

Alll natural cleaning supplies to aid in clean-up and recovery efforts

Winona, Minn., (Jan. 28, 2010) — J.R. Watkins Naturals has donated more than $80,000 in product — including all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, laundry detergent and hand soap — to aid the Haitian earthquake clean-up and recovery efforts.

The company has partnered with the University of Miami's Global Institute for Community Health and Development, which has a clinic in Haiti and was able to coordinate the delivery of these and other donations.

"Conditions following the recent earthquake are difficult to imagine," J.R. Watkins President Mark Jacobs said. "We saw an opportunity to offer some comfort to the Haitian people by providing them with basic, day-to-day cleaning necessities."

J. R. Watkins has a tradition of providing support to those in need following natural disasters. In 2007, the company donated similar supplies to the residents of Rushford, Minn., after flooding in the region.

Selling Handmade Jewelry To Buy My Daughter's First Car

My daughter has been one of three care givers for me for the last 5 years along with my husband and mother. I came in contact with Lyme disease in 2005. She was 14 years old at the time. I was bed ridden for 6 months and went from 140 pounds down to 98. All the tests the dr. were doing to find out what I had was making matters worse. As I lay on deaths door, my dear daughter was having to take over the running of the house work. She was home schooled and had to take off one year to adjust to this new life.
Once, I found a doctor in 2006 that knew what I had and started treating me with alternative medicine I started coming around.
I had gained back up to 126 pounds by December 2008. While out going on an appointment we were hit by a women who ran a stop sign. That aggrivated the Lyme and I started loosing weight and my body was shutting down again. I then was diagnosed with Celiac's disease. I lost back down to 110 pounds. In the past few months I started to gain back little bits.
All this had taken a toll on my daughter. She managed to graduate in 2008 and started a little part time job in April 2009. She has been so over whelmed that she has not gotten her driver's license. So, my husband and mother have been taking her to work. With a lot of love and encouragement we have helped her to start studying for her license. She is almost ready to go take the test.
She will need her own car and insists on buying it herself. She knows how expensive my treatments are and that they are not covered under insurance. Which we can not afford.
Therefore, she is saving the money herself from her jewelry making business and the part-time job to pay for her car.
We would really appreciate your help if you could buy some of her designs to help her buy her car. She has done so much that other children have not had to do at such a young age. And, how many children do you know that would step up and take care of the house and their mother at the age of 14?
So, please find it in your heart to help such a rare self-sacrificing child to make her goal of having her car by the end of this year.
I will post how much she has saved from every sale. She so far has $500.00 in savings from her job. And, no sales from her etsy shop.
Please visit it at

We thank you in advance from our heart.
Marsha and Rafael Jaramillo

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beef Stroganoff Casserole An Old Favorite

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef organic          
1/4 teas. salt   1/8 teas. pepper  1 teas vege. oil
8 oz. mushrooms    1 large onion chopped  3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup beef broth organic     1 can organic cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup organic sour cream    1 tablespoon dijon mustard
4 cups cooked egg noodles

Cook beef in skillet salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil and cook onion and garlic add mushrooms until tender.  Add broth. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat add sour cream, soup and mustard blend well
3. Drain beef and add to mixture.
4. Place cooked noodles in casserole dish and pour sauce mixture over top. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Watkins and Fuller Brush Products Now Available Here

I recently was introduced to the Watkins Natural Products company by one of my farm girl friends and co-op members, Lynn (Weedy Ways). I have always liked the Watkins line and started using the organic extracts and spices in 2000. I am so happy to be able to buy at a discount now and get all the things I use at a great price. My id# 387871 to use when ordering or joining.
I found that they also have laundry and cleaning products as well as supplements. I was buying the bio-degradeable non-toxic laundry soap from another company but have compared prices and found that Watkins had a product just as good at a cheaper price. And, these days cost is a major factor to all of us.
So, I started replacing my other products organic and natural with the Watkins line. You can do the same and enjoy quality products that have been around since 1868. That's right over 100 years.
Please be sure to use my id# when joining or making a purchase so that I will get credit for the sale.
My id# is 387871 it is in my husband's name Rafael Jaramillo and Marsha Jaramillo
If you join this month you will get the website for free for 3 months. That is a great deal.
Thank you for helping me become a part of a great company. I hope you will join us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ham Loaf and Cheesy Macaroni

1 pound ground pork and ham
3/4 cup milk  1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg  1 tablespoon instant tapioca
1/2 teaspoon horseradish prepared
In large bowl, mix togethr first ingredients. Blend well. Place mixture in loaf pan bake at 325 for 1 hour.
In a small bowl stir sauce ingredients. Pour over ham loaf and bake another 30 minutes. Basting occasionally.
Let stand 10 min. Slice to serve.

 Sauce 1/2 cup ketchup   2 tablespoons packed brown sugar  1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cheesy Macaroni
1 package white cheddar cheese
2 cups milk   1/2 cup Parmesan cheese   1/2 cup cubed American cheese
1/8 teaspoon black pepper    7 oz. package macaroni cooked according to package directions.
1 1/2 cups of the ham loaf
1 cup frozen green peas

In a large saucepan add all the cheese and milk. Heat over med. heat until cheese is melted. Add macaroni, ham and peas; cook, stirring until heated through. Serve hot.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It Was a Success, Our First "Support-a-Farmgirl-Night"

I am so happy to report that our first "support-a-farmgirl-night" was a great success. We nearly bought out Cindy's shop Herbal Cottage and put a little dint in Hannah's Pretty Stinkin Green. It was so nice to wake up this a.m. and see more had shopped while I slept. The girl's will be so happy. Please, join us in this great event every two weeks on the MaryJane'sFarmgirl Forum. Check the link below to join.

Next Date: Feb. 15, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m. est.

If you'd like to support last nights shops they are:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Come be a part of a good cause "Support a Farmgirl Night" Feb. 15,2010

Support A Farmgirl Night
7 p.m. eastern time
Link below

Tonight at the link below I will be hosting the first "Support a Farmgirl Night" that will take place every two weeks on the MaryJane'sFarmgirl Forum. Just join the forum it's free and take part in my Sunshine Farmgirl Co-op shopping event.
We will surprise one of our members with a frenzy of shopping tonight at 7 p.m. eastern time. Don't miss this wonderful event. Support women all over the U.S. who make beautiful things from soaps to totes.
Sign up and join the fun on the link below.