Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Fabric Softener

1 cup vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner (unscented or VERY lightly scented)

6 cups water
4-8 drops of Downy OR lavender essential oil (lavender is also anti-bacterial & anti-fungal)

~Mix together, carefully pour into an old fabric softener bottle.

~Use like any other fabric softener.

For dryer sheets:

~Dilute above recipe w/3 parts water, 1 part softener.

~Pour into container w/a tight-closing lid & large enough to soak at least 2 3"x 5" sponges.

~Add sponges to the mix in the container, close lid tightly.

~To Use: shake contents or stir a little w/1 of the sponges b/c it will settle a little between uses; wring out sponge & add to dryer as you do your favorite fabric sheets.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Anonymous...

Recently, there was a commentor on a HOMESCHOOL blog who is a Christian public school teacher. As often happens...in my humble opinion...our choice to homeschool our children is wrongly seen as a failure to evangelize the schools. This 'argument' really ruffles my feathers b/c, as I read Scripture, there is NO place where God sends children out to evangelize, only adults. She also said that there was no Bible verse to suggest that homeschooling was a Biblical option. Oh, and another thing...they commented as "Anonymous." Brave. :-/ Not.

Below is my response to her. I'd be interested in your thoughts...


Dear Anonymous,

Praise God that you are a Christian teacher in a pagan/public school! The unsaved world needs YOU...but NOT OUR children. Our children are home where they belong.

Children were NEVER intended to be sent out among the wolves of this unsaved world to evangelize...NEVER.

~ Jesus/God NEVER sent children...

- The 72 that Jesus sent out were TRAINED ADULTS; not children.

- The apostles/disciples were TRAINED ADULTS; not children.

- The ONLY time in the Bible we see children being involved in pagan education is Moses and Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego (which, by the way, were the names the pagans gave to them). Those young men were there because they were captives.

- We are breaking our children free of a pagan, anit-Christian system.

- You are taking your place as an ADULT carrying on the word of Christ in a fallen world...you are in your correct, Biblical role as an adult, children sent to p.s. to 'evangelize' are not.

~ A homeschool Bible verse? How about Deut. 6:6-7..."These commandments that I [God] give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on [teach them to] your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." In other words: ALL THE TIME. HOW can we do that if they spend 24,000+ hours of their most teachable, most impressionable years AWAY from our homes being taught the lies of evolution as truth...rewritten history as truth...deviant sexual practices as "just another way to love" and as truth by a person, a stranger to their family, in "authority" over them? By someone who is not a Christian? By someone who is NOT YOU?! Even YOU are REQUIRED to teach the lies and distortions in your textbooks. I AM NOT!!

~ Jesus, Himself, didn't enter His own ministry until He was 30. Even Luke 2:52 insinuates that Jesus went home w/His PARENTS to be instructed: "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor w/God and men." He grew in wisdom and stature AT HOME. When Jesus was growing up, as a good Jewish boy, He followed the Jewish tradition of family education:

1) The 1st level of education was ALWAYS at home. They were taught, from birth, the Torah and all Scriptural and family knowledge was passed down orally and memorized. They were HOMESCHOOLED.

2) The 2nd level of Jewish education was called Bet Sefer, which means 'House of the Book.' Children in this level were from ages 6 (officially) to 10. Here is where they began memorizing and learning about the Torah in full.

3) The 3rd level, Bet Talmud (House of Learning), would be where children between 10 to 14 (especially since a 13 year old boy was considered a man after his Bar-mitzvah, he could learn outside the home) decided whether they were to continue w/their father's trade (more homeschooling) OR move on to be educated by the Rabbis and study/learn/memorize the entire O.T. This is where they would "take on" the "likeness" of their teacher/Rabbi. This is where Jesus' warning that "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40) is to be fully heeded in our culture. This is both a promise AND a warning...I don't want my children to be like the teachers I see in the public school system...I want my daughters to grow up to be the mothers - the hands that rock the cradle - of tomorrow, sons to be the leaders of tomorrow...to be the godly fathers and husband/wives and mothers of tomorrow. To be the missionaries, the preachers, the godly business owners, the statesmen and women, the entertainers...and even the teachers...of tomorrow!!

We believe that we are following the path God laid out for us in this fallen, fallen world...to show them the path of righteousness and to groom them, to train them, to coach them, to nourish them just as a gardener tends their seedlings, until it is TIME for them to step out into the mud of this world, be planted and grow...and be productive BECAUSE they were protected, nourished and taught how to grow and produce AT HOME.

YOU are where you should be...YOU are an adult. Our children need to be at home...where they belong.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim<><

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#79~ 5/25/10

For Today...

Outside my window...BEAUTIFUL! Lots of sunshine & high, whispy clouds. A little humid, but I'll take it.

I am thinking...this morning, as a friend & I were going to the country stores, the Old Order German Baptists where having a foot-washing at their Meeting House! TONS of horses & buggies...little kids running around in their head coverings & straw hats...and me w/o my camera! RATS!

I am thankful for...a little time alone.

From the kitchen...a pot of laundry detergent cooling on the stove. lol Already made more toothpaste & face wash. I'm working tonight, so DD#2 will be cooking supper.

I am wearing...jeans, melon-colored shirt.

I am remembering…my gr-ma's huge garden. I was just telling a friend how amazing it was that the last summer my gr-pa was living, she kept that huge garden all by herself, even though he was too sick to help her.

I am going…to test out my 'gardening chair' while I weed the garden - to save my knees & back - & plant some tomato plants.

I am reading...Bible: Proverbs & Joel.

I am hoping...that our country will survive.

On my mind…my mom, my family, $$.

I am creating...a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...the radio, a passing truck.

Noticing that…"If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

Pondering these words…I should not let the culture determine who I am. The culture DID NOT make me ~ GOD did!

Around the house...finsihing the laundry detergent, working in the little garden, general straightening.

One of my favorite things...drives in the country.

A Scripture thought...Hosea 12:6 ~ "But you must return to your God; maintain love & justice, & wait for your God always."

A few plans for the rest of the week...work, doing a few homeschool assessments, getting my hair cut! Woohoo! I'll look like my blog photo again! '-)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Obviously not a pic taken today, :-) but this is the Old Order German Baptist Meeting House that I mentioned earlier.
Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homemade Herbal Shampoo (Oily Hair)

This is one of my favorite shampoos & make it whenever I can. This will leave your oily hair squeeky-clean! You can ALSO use this as a body wash for all skin-types.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><


2 c. distilled water

1 TB. lemon balm

1 TB. lemongrass

1 TB peppermint

1 TB. yarrow

2 ts. lemon peel, fresh & finely chopped ***optional***

20 drops of essential oils of: lemon, rosemary, rose, ylang ylang ~ or your favorite combination of these choices ~ WITH tea tree essential oil.

1/2 c. baby shampoo OR chemical-free shampoo base

~Bring the water to a boil & remove from heat. Add herbs & lemon peel ( ***lemon peel is optional*** ), cover pan, steep for 30 minutes.

~Using a cheese-cloth or fine-holed sieve, strain mix into a bowl, add oils & stir.

~Add shampoo to mix, stirring GENTLY so it doesn't make a foam.

~Slowly pour into an clean, used shampoo bottle. ***This makes about 2-1/2 c., so you may need more than one bottle. I use 1 lg & 1 sm liquid Castile soap bottle (this is not my photo, but this person is using a Castile soap bottle, so I wanted you to see it & the other containers) ~ The small one contains what I'm using & is in the shower, then I pour the remainder into the large bottle.

~Refrigerate the bottle(s) you don't put in your shower, or at your tub, & ideally, use w/in 4 weeks.

~Wash & rinse as you normally do; this will not make tons of suds.

~I Googled a few "homemade shampoo" photos, below & above, to show you that you DO NOT need anything fancy to store your shampoo in...just use what you have that works like these people did. :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I am a KEPT Woman!

Sometimes, I get the best little ditties in my e-mail...

I am a "KEPT" woman...

You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind, but GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)

There were times when I thought I could go no longer, but the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong, but the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Ps. 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough, but GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid,etc... (Matt. 6:25-34)

When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up. When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me! Praise the Lord and pass the filet mignon! I'm blessed to be "KEPT."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

28 Years Ago, In a Life Far, Far Away...

I Tim 1:15-17~"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners ~ of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him & receive eternal life. Now to THE King eternal, immortal, invisible, THE ONLY GOD, be honor & glory for ever & ever. AMEN!"

28 years ago, tonight, I was born again!! THANK YOU, LORD! And thanks to my darling Ty, & to Marty Schwieterman, Gregg & Sono Harris. And thanks to Russ Taff who sang the song that led me Home!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Growth in the Christian Homeschool

Webster’s New Illustrated Dictionary – growth – n. – The gradual development of a plant or animal; increase in size or amount; something that grows, as, the hill was covered with green growth.

2 Peter 3:18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

How do you measure “GROWTH” in the life of your homeschooled children?

In your mind, is the success of your sacrifice to homeschool, love, nurture and prune your children for the sake of Christ measured by academics? How high their SAT/ACT scores are? What Ivy League college they are accepted by? Is homeschooling strictly academic in your home? Or is the growth of your children measured in a different way?

How about by the growth of the out-pouring of GRACE to the needy, to those who may not have many friends, to forgiving a sibling for “barrowing” something without permission AGAIN. How about their understanding that we are saved by grace and not by “being good,” and taking that Good News to a lost and dying world so that they might be changed into a new creation and welcomed into life eternal. I Cor. 15:12 – “But by the GRACE of God I am what I am, and His GRACE to me was not without effect…”

How about by the growth of their RELATIONSHIP with Christ. Does the love and maturity that comes from spending time with that Dear Friend show in their countenance? Does it show in how they treat their siblings, in how they obey their parents? If our children are growing in their relationship with the Lord, we will see that shine through in moments that we least expect. It won’t always be the big things…look for those precious little reminders that give assurance…opening the door for an elderly couple, bending down to pick up something someone dropped without being asked, willingness to read the Bible or ask questions so that they may understand all the more. 3 John 1:4 – “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

How about growth in an OVERWHELING ASSURANCE that they were created with a purpose by a loving God Who is directing their paths. There may come the day when they will wonder out loud, “Why am I in this family?” Hopefully, their understanding that the Lord directs all things, even our decision to homeschool, will allow them to appreciate the choices we have made for them. As they grow and learn they will be able to see how they have been allowed to flourish in their homeschool environment and how their education and life-style compares to no one else’s…and that will be an overwhelming assurance that God knew what He was doing when He allowed us to be a family. Jer, 29-11 – “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

How about growth as they take pleasure in WORSHIP. I don’t know about you, but to me, worship is the way I “hug” the Lord! We need to help our children understand that. One wonderful fact to share with them is that this has been going on since time began! Songs of praise and worship help us to cultivate and express our love-relationship with the Lord. Talk to them about how God inhabits the praises of his people, that even the rocks and creation cries out to God in worship, or how David calmed Saul just by singing praises to the Lord. David was such a worshipper! Do they know that the book of Psalms is actually a hymnbook? Worship isn’t always expressed in song…worship is also expressed in our tithes and offerings, our willingness to use our time and talents and do all for God’s glory. Psalm 100:2 – “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.”

How about TIME. Do our children grow in the Lord by taking TIME to BE WITH Him? Do WE? Relationships do not grow unless time is spent together. The same with ourselves and the Lord. We grow in our relationship with Him by spending time reading our Bibles, time in prayer, time in worship, time in the fellowship of the saints! The Lord has been so good in all He has done for us, how can we NOT want to spend time with Him? Hosea 10:12 – “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is TIME to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”

How about growth through HELPING. Cultivate a willingness to HELP others…this will improve relationships within our homes as well as cause them to grow a good reputation within our church and community. A wonderful, creative lady in our support group started a service club and they have done everything from bake and deliver cookies to election workers, to decorate a local library for holidays, to write encouraging letters to our servicemen and women, to sew teddy bears for abused children. One of the girls who delivered cookies to the poll workers was recognized in a store by one of the recipients and was told how much those delicious cookies are appreciated and looked forward to every year! A little bit goes a long way! Those girls have learned so much about helping in the Name of Christ. Ecc. 4:9-10 – “Two are better then one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can HELP him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to HELP him up!”

Just as a little plant needs the ingredients of sun, water and soil for growth, our children need the ingredients that we have been endowed by the Lord to provide for them…

Relationship with Christ
Overwhelming Assurance

Blessings from Ohio, Kim<><

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WOOHOO! Way to Go, Arizona!

If Los Angeles wants to boycott Arizona, it had better get used to reading by candlelight.

That's the message from a member of Arizona's top government utilities agency, who threw down the gauntlet Tuesday in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by threatening to cut off the city's power supply as retribution.

Gary Pierce, a commissioner on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission,
wrote the letter in response to the Los Angeles City Council's decision last week to boycott the Grand Canyon State -- in protest of its immigration law -- by suspending official travel there and ending future contracts with state businesses.

Noting that a quarter of Los Angeles' electricity comes from Arizona power plants, Pierce threatened to pull the plug if the City Council does not reconsider.
"Doggone it -- if you're going to boycott this candy store ... then don't come in for any of it," Pierce told FoxNews.com.

In the letter, he ridiculed Villaraigosa for saying that the point of the boycott was to "send a message" by severing the "resources and ties" they share.

"I received your message; please receive mine. As a statewide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona's electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the 'resources and ties' we share with the city of Los Angeles," Pierce wrote.

"If an
economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation."

Appearing to tap into local frustration in Arizona over the raft of boycotts and threatened boycotts from cities across the country, including Los Angeles, Pierce warned that Arizona companies are willing and ready to fight boycott with boycott.
"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands," Pierce wrote. "If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy."
Pierce told FoxNews.com that he was speaking for himself, not the entire commission, though he has the support of at least one other member. But Arizona has some serious leverage over Los Angeles, as well as the rest of California. The state and city get electricity from a nuclear power plant outside Phoenix, as well as from coal-fired power plants in northern Arizona and two giant hydroelectric power
generators along the Colorado River.

Despite that, the Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly last week to ban future business with Arizona -- a decision that could cost Arizona millions of dollars in lost contracts.

Los Angeles officials were furious with the Arizona immigration law passed last month and joined local officials in cities across the country in pushing boycotts to register their dismay. Critics say the law will lead to racial profiling and civil rights abuses.
Arizona officials have defended the law, saying the state needed to take its illegal immigration problem into its own hands. Pierce said he's "supportive" of the state's efforts to control the border.

The law requires local law enforcement to try to verify the immigration status of anyone they have contact with whom they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. It empowers them to turn over verified illegal immigrants to federal custody. The legislation explicitly prohibits screening people based solely on race or national origin.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#78~ 5/18/10

For Today...
Outside my window...the green of the trees & the greyness of the morning trying to let the sun shine through. Ummm...then again...maybe not. :-/
I am thinking...of making ends meet & how hard my sweet DH works.
I am thankful for...having a husband who works so hard to keep our heads above water. Lord, please bless him, give him strength & lead him to the job of his dreams.
From the kitchen...the dough for a new loaf of flaxseed bread is in the works in the bread maker, I will soon be putting it in the loaf pan for the 2nd rise & then baking. I hope the dampness of today won't keep it from rising. LOVE the smell of fresh-baked bread! :-P
I am wearing...jeans, purple long-sleeved shirt.
I am remembering…visits to my gr-pa & gr-ma's little farm. Sometimes my back yard has the 'feel' of their back yard. You know...something about how the light shines or the air smells. Does that make sense?
I am going…tidy the house, do some baking, study the training manual for work & then work the late hours tonight. Passing my sweet DH as he is coming home from work & I'm going to work is a little depressing.
I am reading...the Minor Prophets; in Hosea right now & about to go into Joel.
I am hoping...that the Publisher's Clearing House van will pull into my driveway! lol Other than that, I wish the weather would co-operate so that I could finish getting the rest of my kitchen garden planted!!
On my mind…paying bills & time w/my family; choices being made by one of my DDs.
I am creating...a peaceful, Christ-centered home.
I am hearing...te radio, the break-maker.
Noticing that…when I am weak, HE is strong!
Pondering these words…"If I want to walk in the will of God, I have to try to think like Christ." ~From Sunday's sermon.
Around the house...general tidying, a little laundry; looking forward to watching American Idol after work - my family DVRs it for me.
One of my favorite things...helping ppl find new things ~ health care, personal care, recipes, etc ~ that works for them & helps them & saves them $$.
A Scripture thought...Jeremiah 6:16 ~ "This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads & look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, & walk in it, & you WILL find rest for your souls.'"
A few plans for the rest of the week...making as much family time as possible, praying, work, & the wedding of one of my favorite young ladies who is a life-long friend of our girls on Saturday!
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Annie Oakley: local girl done good!

Enjoy other Daybooks at:

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Velveteen Christian ~ Are YOU Real?

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces…

“What is Real?” asked the Rabbit one day…”Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because when you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
~~The Velveteen Rabbit

But He [Christ] said to me [Paul], “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~~II Cor. 12:9-10

When our daughters were little girls, The Velveteen Rabbit was one of their favorite storybooks. And it is a tremendous book. But I honestly can’t think of a time, while reading the above passage, that I didn’t cry. Why, I could barely type it without getting weepy. It is such a parable of the Christian life.

So, let me ask…Are you Real? I think I am on my way. There have been many times in this Skin Horse’s life when I have felt like I have had my hair loved off (when our darling first-born, Jessica, died of SIDS at 3 months old), when it felt like my eyes would surely drop out (when my Daddy suddenly had a brain aneurysm and I held his hand as the machines were turned off and he was ushered into the presence of Jesus), when I've gotten loose in the joints (age happens…) & have felt very shabby (using every drop of our savings after my dear husband was laid off last year can wear on one’s feeling of security). Real life can be ugly in this fallen old world.

But, I can’t be ugly to my God & my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am God’s child. HE has made me Real! One beautiful May evening in 1982, at age 23, I took my first step toward ultimate reality. I became a child of THE King!

Many times since that night, like Paul, I have been weak. But my Savior was there to minister to me & to put the pieces of my repentant heart back together & to forgive me – all over again – of my sins.

I have suffered so many insults. You can’t leave the life I led without being cast off, ridiculed, misunderstood or insulted by old friends and even family members. But my Savior was there to capture all of my tears and treasure them in a bottle. His love caused the bruises from those insults to become prayers of forgiveness and opportunities to ask the Lord to make Himself real to those lost people.

I have suffered hardships. Most recently has been my husband’s lay off last year. We were going to remodel our house & were in the process of saving to open my dream of a bulk food business, Marmee’s Pantry. But I have a Savior Who, even though my dream has been post-poned and our house still needs to be remodeled, causes us to be thrilled that we simply still HAVE our home! It's been a long year.

I have been persecuted. Isn’t it funny how our unsaved loved ones seem to almost lie in wait for us to make even the appearance of the slightest slip up? And when we do – because no one is perfect – they are right there throwing our mistakes right back in our faces…and even “spread the word” and add a little spice to the story in the process. But I have a Savior Who opens the gate of opportunity for explanation, correction of any lies told and a restoration of any reputation that may have been damaged.

I have had difficulties. Is there any Christian who hasn’t? There are times when I feel as if my life before Christ was carefree and fun. And then I remember that, whether I realized it at the time or not, that there is always a reckoning. A price MUST be paid for one’s sin. The cost of some people's sins are obvious…a child born before marriage, a scar from a sordid past. The scars from some difficulties are buried so deeply inside that they can haunt a person for the rest of their lives. But I have a Savior Who walks with me through my difficulties and causes me to come through them victorious!

And victory in Jesus is REAL! And, I suppose, that’s the part that unbelievers don’t understand because it’s beyond understanding. It surpasses understanding! This is a sinful, fallen world and those who hold fast to it will reap it’s false rewards.

My prayer is that if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior yet, that you SOON will. That you will know His peace that surpasses all understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And that if you do know Jesus as your Savior, that you will draw closer and closer to Him until that day when He calls you Home.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” ~~Phil. 1:21

Now THAT’S real!

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Friday, May 14, 2010

Growing Older & Enjoying It

Just in case you didn't know it, I'm 51 years old. WOW! WHEN did that EVER happen to ME?!?! It wasn't until I was in my 30s that life finally seemed to start 'clicking.' Know what I mean? Yes, there are always going to be times of family strife; yes, that's when our kids are growing and active and going in 20 different directions; yes, that's about the time we start losing our gr-parents, parents, uncles, aunts...even some of our childhood friends. It seems that that's when life starts getting 'REAL'. If you weren't close to the Lord before that time in your life, then that's when you either sink - and walk away because you forgot that we DO live in a sinful world after all, BUT God is still on the Throne and He still loves us and has an awesome plan for our lives...OR...you swim - you stay afloat, you dog paddle, you rely more deeply on the Lord and draw closer BECAUSE you realize that this sinful, fallen world isn't "IT." That there's more and the Lord is your ultimate reward.

That realization is what makes life work, what makes it do-able, what gives me my joy in the hard, sad times. Just like the "Footprints" poem says, that's when Jesus carries me. And, having been a Daddy's Girl, I LOVE being carried and cuddled by my Daddy...my Heavenly Father!

But I digress a little. Below is an e-mail that a dear friend of mine sent me about growing older. Although there are parts in it that show it probably wasn't written by a Christian, the gist of it is OH SO TRUE. As I said earlier, I was probably in my 30s before I started really coming into my own. Living life the way we thought the LORD was leading us and NOT what culture, society, the "old guard" at church, fashion, parents, in-laws...WHOEVER...ANYONE who isn't living OUR lives says we should be living it! It's not that I don't care what others think, I just don't care enough to take their well-meaning, uninformed criticism of my homeschooling, my regarding my husband as the head of my home, my raising my daughters to look forward to being wives and mothers, my finding joy in small things, my wanting to learn more about gardening or making my own household cleaners and personal items instead of "simply going to the store," if I traded the high heels and dress suits of my modeling/make up artist days for well-worn jeans, funky jewelry and Burkenstocks!!...among other things. I'm sure YOU have been there, too.

Well, all that to say. I really enjoyed the little story below...w/a few little comments added by me [ ]. It spoke of a lot of my feelings (except for sleeping 'til noon!) w/o being disrespectful. And if any of you are younger than me by more than 10-20 years, I hope you learn this lesson VERY SOON. There IS a "great freedom that comes with aging." Enjoy the ride!
Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Old Age, I decided, is a gift!

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, NOT my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother! [I'm looking more like my Dad & my aunt! KW<><]), but I don't agonize over those things ... for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family, for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement goose that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m. and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s and 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love...I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the 'jet set.' They, too, will get old. [Haha! Joke's on them!]

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart NOT break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. [II Cor. 1:3-4] A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am SO blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your questions, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (IF I feel like it!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dill Dip & a Super Simple Appetizer

How much do you LOVE those little packets of dips that you can pick up at your favorite country craft shops & booths at crafts fairs or from Tastefully Simple? Aren't they the best? (I used to be a Tastefully Simple consultant & I LOVE their goodies!) My favorite has always been the dill dip mix. But...ever since I discovered a recipe to make my own mix, I've not bought one since. And let me tell you ~ this mix is as good if not BETTER than those mixes!
{Full disclosure: not my dip mix, but looks like it. Photo: Google.}
Here's all you need & all you need to do:
3/4 c dried dill weed
1/4 c garlic powder
3/4 c seasoned salt (mine or your own store brand)
3/4 c dried onion flakes
3/4 c dried parsley
1/2 c Spike or Accent Seasoning

~Combine all ingredients in a bowl w/a whisk.
~Store in an air-tight container.
To make dip - take 2 T of mix, 1 c sour cream and 1 cup mayo (my mayo recipe; but some prefer Miracle Whip) and blend well. Refrigerate for an hour or two at minimum, overnight is best. This is delicious for a raw veggie dip, bread dip, spread on crackers, pretzel & chip dip, on top of a baked potato...etc.

This would be a nice gift item in little jars with a decorative label or tag including directions.
Super Simple Appetizer:
We enjoy an awesome Italian restaurant in Troy, Ohio that's located right on the historic traffic circle, smack in the center of town. They serve the most basic, yet enjoyable appetizer. I've started serving this at our Growth Group meetings w/my herb bread (which is basically my flaxseed bread, baked rounded & on a stone instead of in a loaf, w/lots of my dill & rosemary added to it!)...

{Full disclosure: not my dip but similar. Photo: Google}
~In a saucer or dipping bowl, add your favorite herbs ~ fresh or dried ~ you may choose to crush them or not, I do. I use some of my own dried dill, rosemary & oregano.
~Use about 1 to 1-1/2 ts. of the herbs for each dipping saucer/bowl, then add shredded Parmesean cheese & cover w/extra virgin olive oil.
~Cut or tear pieces of herb, French or Italian bread & dip liberally into the oil/herb/cheese dip.
Simple & sweet! On a side note...this mix, on a larger scale, is great tossed w/your favorite pasta! Homemade is always best.
Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Must-Read Blog Posts!

One of my favorite blogs to read is from Lady of Virtue at Large Family Mothering. You do NOT have to be from a large family to benefit from her timely, gracious, encouraging, bold blog posts. She so often says exactly what I'm thinking...whether I've realized it until she's expressed it or not.

Here are 2 of her latest posts that YOU NEED to read:

1) Life on the Fringe ~ if you need encouragement in your choice to stay home w/your babies & live on one-income in a two-income world, while extended family & even church family are poo-pooing your choice of life-style...


2) Respectable ~ an excellent post on why the 'women's movement' has not only enslaved women but has actually caused men to disrespect women, especially those women who are DEMANDING respect.

Let me know what you think. You will be blessed.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#77~ 5/11/10

For Today...

Outside my window...grey, rainy & gloomy; chilly & breezy.

I am thinking...this is certainly one of those springs when it is best to plant after Mother's Day. It's an old Ohio axiom...Ohio weather is so unpredictable in the spring that USUALLY you can be assured that the frosts will be over by Mother's Day...USUALLY. There was a frost warning out last night & NOW it's raining. I'm hoping I'll get my little kitchen garden in by the end of the week!

I am thankful for...living in a area of the country that experiences all 4 seasons. There's something lovely & special about each one.

From the kitchen...clean up from last night. I was lazy...I worked late & DD#2 fixed supper for all of us after she got off at 5p.m. Bless her. Since I was eating my supper at nearly 10p.m., I didn't have the strength to clean up or to ask her to do it. Soooo....

I am wearing...sweat pants, long-sleeved t-shirt & zippered hoodie.

I am remembering…what a great Mother's Day I had. We all took my mom out to eat & between my girls I got the sweetest card - ever - & a collection of Tom Selleck western DVDs & Patsy Cline's greatest hit of CD!

I am going…to do some major housework, work through some of the training workbook I have to do for work & go to work tonight. Making bread tomorrow.

I am reading...Bible: Hosea.

I am hoping...that my friends will still be able to go w/me to the farm stores on Friday.

On my mind…still praying & hoping for my own bulk food store, someday.

I am creating...a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing...Nancy Pelosi on the radio, she's speaking at a CHURCH, telling them about how church-goers need to work together w/the gov't. Wow...I think I just threw up in my mouth! Warning: If your church starts preaching "social justice"...RUN!!!!!!!!! Equal justice is a far different thing...equal justice is what George Whitfield preached that brought America into the Great Awakening!!

Noticing that…my little dog, Maggie, is in desperate need of a trim.

Pondering these words…Prov. 10:17 ~ "He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray."

Around the house...never ending laundry, general straightening up, baking bread...

One of my favorite things...family time! W/my schedule this month, I will only get to see my sweet DH on Wednesdays & Sunday. :-(

A Scripture thought...II Tim. 1:12 ~ "Yet I am not ashamed, because I know Whom I have believed." 'Nuff said!

A few plans for the rest of the week...working & trying to make family time & trying not to let my house fall apart. I do SO miss being at home!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is our sweet little Magpie Maggie Mae!

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stones of Remembrance

Joshua 4:4-7 – “So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, ‘Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take a stone on his shoulder…to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

When beginning our school year, most of us probably go before the Lord and bathe the coming academic year in prayer. But about this time of year, winding up the school year seems to take place at the same time our energy is winding down.

This time of year it is so easy to feel like we are a hamster in a wheel…running, running, running but going nowhere. Besides the end of the academic year soon coming to an end (for most of us) and the “cleaning up” of those loose ends that this may bring, there are other things coming to a crescendo…sports, dance recital, music recital, end of year ceremonies and parties, conventions…the list seems to go on and on. With all this activity and the exhaustion that accompanies it, it is easy to forget all that has been accomplished during this school year and forget the grace and answered prayer that God has showered down upon us like sweet April rain.

As the busyness of this time of year takes us by storm, all the little things can cause our thoughts of what we have accomplished to become distorted. When homeschool life gets a little overwhelming (or just life in general!) instead of remembering the rough days, we need to strengthen our own faith by getting out those “stones of remembrance” and look back at all the prayers God has answered. These “stones” are our faith manifested in physical reality…answered prayer, healings, a loved-one’s salvation…all those school lessons and activities…what a list!

I believe that if you are honest with yourself, you will agree that God’s grace has especially extended to your school year and that it really was a success! If you take a peek through your children’s notebooks and review what has been absorbed this year, you’ll realize that something really did get through! On those days when you may feel like you’re not teaching your children anything, look at all your children do know…The LORD used you to teach them that! Are they well-rounded? Do they have a relationship with Jesus? Have they seen answered prayer? The LORD used you! God knew what He was doing when He put those children in your home.

These are our Stones of Remembrance!

Joshua 23:14 – “…You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” Amen!

Blessings from Ohio,
Kim Wolf<><

{Originally written Spring 2007}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Glenn Beck, American T-shirts in Public Schools, and Moving to Mexico...I Feel a Rant Coming On

How is it that, IN AMERICA, a few teens were made to leave school ~ of which their parents pay the taxes that support the school & pay the liberal teachers ~ b/c they were wearing AMERICA/USA t-shirts on the day of a FAKE so-called "Mexican holiday"? Are you aware that Cinco de Mayo is NOT a real 'holiday'? It was invented by the Corona Beer Company!!

Now, I appreciate heritage...I'm very proud of my Scottish-to-Cherokee heritage & enjoy aspects of all of it. But once you CHOOSE to come to a country to live & make the best of your life for your family & your faith...once you CHOOSE to become a citizen of that country...to be a LEGAL immigrant...do you then expect that country to cater to the unique qualities, customs & language of the country you CHOSE to leave b/c it couldn't meet your needs & THIS one could?

Pardon me, while I vent here...

America USED to be a "Melting Pot." Silly me, I had always assumed that meant that no matter where you came from ~ or where your ancestors came from ~ once you were here, you found your niche & you 'melted in' & blended into the society. You BECAME American! Certainly, everyone kept bits & pieces of their heritage ~ that's why we have cities w/their own China Towns, our area has a Germantown...that's even why we have awesome ethnic restaurants & festivals to celebrate the differences that are just enough to bring us all together. But in their everyday lives, these people are Americans.

No one wants to take away the parts of our past or heritage that make us special, but if we cater to one nationality then where does it stop ~ why stop at having labels & job applications printed in English AND Spanish? Doesn't that offend people who come here from Israel, or Greece, or France, or Africa, or Egypt, or Japan, or China, or Russia, or Germany, or...? If I visit another country that doesn't have English as a primary language, I expect to either have a translator close at hand OR I learn that language. If I CHOOSE to LIVE in that country, I AM EXPECTED TO learn that language. Why is that not expected here...anymore?

Oh, I'm so sorry to burden you w/my rant...but I'm tired of how hard SO MANY are working to make America UN-American!

Below is a transcript from the Glenn Beck Show about the farce of a school that sent a few teens home for wearing America/USA t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo...SENT HOME! Oh...Homeschool, people!! (Sorry...another rant!) Below that, is a related e-mail ditty that my DH sent me.

So, thanks for letting me rant. I hope no one was offended. I, for one, happen to be glad that the Lord blessed me w/ancestors who came to America & WANTED to be Americans!

Blessings from Ohio...USA...Kim<><


GLENN: From the Bay Area, California. On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T shirts with the American flag on them. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day on this campus. Galley says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when — brunch break? Well, there's step — there's problem number one. Brunch break? When the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove their American flag bandanas and that wearing — that they were wearing on their heads and for others to turn their American flag T shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office. "They said we could wear it on any other day but today was sensitive to Mexican Americans." Why would it be sensitive to Mexican Americans, the American flag? If you were a Mexican American, you wouldn't have a problem with the American flag, would you?
PAT: Wouldn't think so.

GLENN: But it was offensive to Mexican Americans because it is their holiday. I'm — excuse me? Then maybe Mexicans should celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico because technically it is their holiday. It is their Fourth of July. Our Fourth of July in America happens on... the Fourth of July. Do they celebrate the Fourth of July and ask their students in Mexico to remove Mexican shirts? The boys said the administrators called their shirts incendiary, the American flag. They said if we tried to go back to class with our American T shirts not taken off, it would be defiance and we would get suspended. The boys saw really no choice. They went home to avoid suspension. They say they are angry that they weren't allowed to express their American pride. How about freedom of speech? How about the d*mn American flag? Their parents are upset, calling what happened to their children total nonsense.

Excuse me. Should we elevate total nonsense maybe just a bit? Do you think it's a little more as a parent than total nonsense? It's absolutely ridiculous, said one of the mothers. All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature; they're expressing their individuality. But to many Mexican American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They said they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors in America on a Mexican holiday, end quote. "I think they should apologize," says one Live Oak student. It's a Mexican heritage day. We don't deserve to be disrespected like that. As for the apologies, the families say fat chance. "I'm not going to explode, I'm not going to apologize, I did nothing wrong — I'm going to explode." I went along with my normal day, said one of the students. I might have worn an American flag, but I'm an American and I'm proud to be an American. The five boys and their families met with Morgan Hill unified school district. The district released a statement saying it does not agree with how Live Oak administrators handled the incident. As for the boys, they will not be suspended and they will be going back to school later today. They may even wear their red, white and blue colors again, but there won't be any controversy because today is not a Mexican holiday.

PAT: Can you imagine being sent home for wearing an American flag on St. Patrick's Day? I can't, I can't fathom it. I can't — how did we get to this point?

GLENN: You know how we got to this point. Again, the story comes from the Bay Area. I'm going to — you know, we love immigrants in America. We're not France. We're not France. We're not Germany. We're not England. We're America. We were built by Americans. But immigrants that want to be here because they want to be Americans. We've gone from a country that people used to — they loved it so much, they wanted to blend in so much, they would change their name from Jorge to George. They would change their name so they would sound more American. Now, I don't think we need to change people's names, but I don't think that we should be celebrating Mexican holidays at the expense of America. We used to be something called a melting pot. Melt in! You don't melt in by being offended by people who are wearing the American flag. If you want to be an American, it's your flag now, too, not the Mexican flag. You want Mexico? Go back to Mexico! You want Germany? Go back to Germany! You want Sweden? Go back to Sweden! Canada? Go back to Canada!


Dear President Obama:

I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me.

We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements. We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I'm on my way over?

Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.

2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.

3. Please print all Mexican Government forms in English.

4. I want my grandkids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.

5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history.

6. I want my grandkids to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school.

7. Please plan to feed my grandkids at school for both breakfast and lunch.

8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.

9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico , but I don't plan to purchase car insurance, and I probably won't make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.

10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.

11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my housetop, put U S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.

12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.

13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.

14. I want to receive free food stamps.

15. Naturally, I'll expect free rent subsidies.

16. I'll need income tax credits so that although I don't pay Mexican taxes, I'll receive money from the government.

17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Government pays $4,500.00 to help me buy a new car.

18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I'll get a monthly income in retirement.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico . I am sure that President Calderon won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Thank you so much for your kind help.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Avoiding HRT ~ Progesterone Cream

As promised, I am concluding the posts about what I have done to help me through 'The Change' naturally. I want to avoid medical HRT at all costs. As mentioned before, I found a great book by Ann Louise Gittleman & her advice has been of tremendous benefit to me, personally, w/the use of Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil & Progesterone Cream. Another great souce of information on the use of Progesterone came from Dr. John R. Lee, M. D.; especially from a free CD I had gotten from the health food store that I work at, even before I worked there, on which he is giving a presentation about the benefits of using Progesterone Cream.

Below, are Q & A's from from Dr. Lee's website. I thought it was better to give you information 'from the horse's mouth' than to muttle through it myself. As I clarified in a comment to my last post (on using Evening Primrose Oil), talk to your Dr about any personal health issues you have before starting any new regimen...also take into consideration that MOST M.D.'s are only trained to use the practice of MEDICINE & no natural/herbal/holistic practices at all. It seems that everything is 'fixed' w/either surgery or a pill. My personal opinion is that: 1) we can benefit from BOTH; 2) we are ALL different, one size does NOT fit all! 3) I personally fear the changes coming to our health-care system & want to try to avoid using it as long as possible.

All of this information I'm giving you on my personal regimen is meant for information & opinion ONLY...this is not meant to be medical advice to you, personally. I'm sure you all understand that this must be stated. This has been of great benefit for me.

Now, before I post Dr. Lee's information, you must know that there will be a few personal issues discussed, below. I happen to believe that hard things must be discussed or else...how will we know? How will we know that what we are feeling/experiencing is 'normal'? How will we know that there are ways to ease one problem w/o increasing another? How will be know that there might be a better way? Personally, sadly, I know very few women who are facing the physical changes in their lives, that come w/age, naturally. I have had practically no one to go to for answers &/or reassurance; that's a huge reason why I want to share the advice I've been given & research I have found - that has worked for me. I want to encourage you to do your own research.

With that, I will leave you w/the Q & A's from Dr. Lee's website. I hope it helps you, too.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><


FAQ's About Progesterone Cream
by John R. Lee, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins

Q: What is progesterone?

A: Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. Progesterone is manufactured in the body from the steroid hormone pregnenolone, and is a precursor to most of the other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, the estrogens and testosterone.
In a normally cycling female, the corpus luteum produces 20 to 30 mg of progesterone daily during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Q: Why do women need progesterone?

A: Progesterone is needed in hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women for many reasons, but one of its most important roles is to balance or oppose the effects of estrogen. Unopposed estrogen creates a strong risk for breast cancer and reproductive cancers.

Estrogen levels drop only 40-60% at menopause, which is just enough to stop the menstrual cycle. But progesterone levels may drop to near zero in some women. Because progesterone is the precursor to so many other steroid hormones, its use can greatly enhance overall hormone balance after menopause. Progesterone also stimulates bone-building and thus helps protect against osteoporosis.

Q: Why not just use the progestin Provera as prescribed by most doctors?

A: Progesterone is preferable to the synthetic progestins such as Provera, because it is natural to the body and has no undesirable side effects when used as directed.
If you have any doubts about how different progesterone is from the progestins, remember that the placenta produces 300-400 mg of progesterone daily during the last few months of pregnancy, so we know that such levels are safe for the developing baby. But progestins, even at fractions of this dose, can cause birth defects. The progestins also cause many other side effects, including partial loss of vision, breast cancer in test dogs, an increased risk of strokes, fluid retention, migraine headaches, asthma, cardiac irregularities and depression.

Q: What is estrogen dominance?

A: Dr. Lee has coined the term "estrogen dominance," to describe what happens when the normal ratio or balance of estrogen to progesterone is changed by excess estrogen or inadequate progesterone. Estrogen is a potent and potentially dangerous hormone when not balanced by adequate progesterone.
Both women who have suffered from PMS and women who have suffered from menopausal symptoms, will recognize the hallmark symptoms of estrogen dominance: weight gain, bloating, mood swings, irritability, tender breasts, headaches, fatigue, depression, hypoglycemia, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts. Estrogen dominance is known to cause and/or contribute to cancer of the breast, ovary, endometrium (uterus), and prostate.

Q: Why would a premenopausal woman need progesterone cream?

A: In the ten to fifteen years before menopause, many women regularly have anovulatory cycles in which they make enough estrogen to create menstruation, but they don't make any progesterone, thus setting the stage for estrogen dominance. Using progesterone cream during anovulatory months can help prevent the symptoms of PMS.

We now know that PMS can occur despite normal progesterone levels when stress is present. Stress increases cortisol production; cortisol blockades (or competes for) progesterone receptors. Additional progesterone is required to overcome this blockade, and stress management is important.

Q: What is progesterone made from?

A: The USP progeterone used for hormone replacement comes from plant fats and oils, usually a substance called diosgenin which is extracted from a very specific type of wild yam that grows in Mexico, or from soybeans. In the laboratory diosgenin is chemically synthesized into real human progesterone. The other human steroid hormones, including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and the cortisones are also nearly always synthesized from diosgenin.

Some companies are trying to sell diosgenin, which they label "wild yam extract" as a medicine or supplement, claiming that the body will then convert it into hormones as needed. While we know this can be done in the laboratory, there is no evidence that this conversion takes place in the human body.

Q: Where should I put the progesterone cream?

A: Because progesterone is very fat-soluble, it is easily absorbed through the skin. From subcutaneous fat, progesterone is absorbed into capillary blood. Thus absorption is best at all the skin sites where people blush: face, neck, chest, breasts, inner arms and palms of the hands.

Q: What is the recommended dosage of progesterone?

A: For premenopausal women the usual dose is 15-24 mg/day for 14 days before expected menses, stopping the day or so before menses.

For postmenopausal women, the dose that often works well is 15 mg/day for 25 days of the calendar month.

Q: What amount of progesterone do you recommend in a cream?

A: Dr. Lee recommends the creams that contain 450-500 mg of progesterone per ounce, which is 1.6% by weight or 3% by volume. This means that about ¼ teaspoon daily would provide about 20 mg/day.

Q: How safe is progesterone cream?

A: During the third trimester of pregnancy, the placenta produces about 300 mg of progesterone daily, so we know that a one-time overdose of the cream is virtually impossible. If you used a whole jar at once it might make you sleepy. However, Dr. Lee recommends that women avoid using higher than the recommended dosage to avoid hormone imbalances. More is not better when it comes to hormone balance.

Q: Wouldn't it be easier to just take a progesterone pill?

A: Dr. Lee recommends the transdermal cream rather than oral progesterone, because some 80% to 90% of the oral dose is lost through the liver. Thus, at least 200 to 400 mg daily is needed orally to achieve a physiologic dose of 15 to 24 mg daily. Such high doses create undesirable metabolites and unnecessarily overload the liver.

{Q & A from www.johnleemd.com}

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