Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow? . . . .

. . . Let me show you . . . 

This year, I didn't plant any veggies. With my busy schedule and because varmints got into my cucumbers, zucchini and squash the last two years, nope . . . didn't even plant tomatoes. I went the easy route and just planted herbs and some wild flowers. I'm still happy with what I have.

I have echinacea and lavender . . . 
echinacea, rosemary, sage, basil and English Daisies . . . 
I love my sage bush, it's now about 5 years old and when it blooms it's full of gorgeous purple flowers.
This year, I went with simply seeding the front bed with two large packages of assorted wild flowers and I couldn't be happier with how pretty and happy-looking they are.

I still have chamomile, dill, cilantro and oregano on my kitchen window sill. I'm debating whether to take them outside in planters.

Special kudos to our friend, Chet, who did all the preparing and weeding for me, this year, to make it look so good and to my DD#2 who often helps me keep it looking so nice and healthy.

What did you plant this year?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<>< 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#154~ Precious in the Sight of the Lord

Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of His saints.
O LORD, truly I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son [daughter] of Your 
You have freed me from my
~Psalm 116:11

". . . All the days ordained for me 
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be."
~Psalm 139:16

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~Rev. 21:4 
It seems that the last couple of months has seen much loss and many setbacks for our loved ones . . . 
 Safely Home
Ron DiCianni

A few weeks ago, a long-time friend passed away from a rare lung cancer. She had never smoked and was very self-aware about her body. It was simply amazing how it all crept up on her. She was diagnosed on April 7th and passed on June 7th. Her family is still reeling from the swiftness of it all, although they find much comfort that she is with the Lord.
  ~ Terri ~
such a sweet soul

Last week, a very dear friend lost her earthly battle with breast cancer and is now dancing through heaven. Her 5 girls and our 2 girls grew up together in our local homeschool community and played on our homeschool volleyball team. How much fun I had serving with and enjoying this sweet soul over the years ~ the daughter of missionaries, she grew up all over the world, spoke 8 languages with no accent and I OFTEN told her that I could sit and talk with her for hours at a time. Truly, one of the most interesting and entertaining people I've ever met. I will miss her smile and chuckle as she would shake her head at me and say, "You're so funny" or "You're a nut." lol

Two nights ago, a dear aunt lost her husband as he came to the end of a long, courageous fight with cancer. Sadly, he is the 2nd husband that she has had to bury. 

A few months ago, another dear aunt lost one of our family's favorite uncles. She is strong and courageous and even though she will surely waves of heartbreak, she too is rejoicing that he wonderful husband is with the Lord.
And on July 7th, a dear great-nephew of ours was in an ATV accident while on vacation with his dad and uncle (our nephews), 2 of his brothers (one who plays football at West Point) and a couple of friends. While he was driving, the road gave out from under them and he, one of this brothers and their friends went over a cliff!!! This nephew was the only one seriously hurt, he broke his back and partially severed his spinal chord. He cannot feel his entire left leg or his right leg from the knee down. He was about to start his Freshman year playing football at a KY college. He is now in a spinal injury facility in GA. Please keep him in your prayers.

Yes, this is a fallen ol' world, BUT . . . GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE! And He has a reason for all of this and it will all work out for His glory. No matter what we go through, or whether ~ in our opinion ~ we lose loved ones to an "untimely death," all of our days are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. NONE of these things are a surprise to God. He IS good and He sustains us through it all. Unless the Lord comes back soon, none of us are getting out of this alive. Why are we so stunned when He takes us home? I suppose it's the price we pay for love.

So . . . as we are not promised tomorrow, love each other today, preach the gospel with your life and rejoice when heaven gains one of our loved ones. 

Someday, someone will be rejoicing at our homecoming, as well.
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." ~Phil. 1:21

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Homemade Healthy Tonic Tea

Well, here we are, the middle of July and already I am hearing early sounds of fall ~ the cicadas are already "calling" fall to the area, just as doves (a.k.a. rain crows) call when rain is coming. So, does that mean that we will have an early fall? Mmmmm . . . we can only hope. Only the Lord knows for sure, but as much as I love fall, I wouldn't mind.

And as fall has it's own charm ~ abundant color, the smell of leaves burning, crisp cool air that charms us outside for a walk after donning our favorite sweater; or curl up with a cup of tea and your favorite comforter for cozy night by the fire.

Fall is also a time when we need to make sure that our immune system is boosted and working at it's peak.

Government school and private school kids will be going back into the classroom and breathing in a host of new germs; homeschool kids will be rejoining their clubs, gym classes, sports, dance and other group activities where they will, also, be greeted by others' germs. And if your family's immune system isn't built up, germs will be passed around to each other like a supper plate. 

Almost daily, I enjoy my favorite Wellness Tea blend, but from time-to-time ~ especially if a family member has a cold or if I start to feel some little tickle that could be the precursor of something coming ~ I boost my medicinal tea up a notch and mack my Tonic Tea.

You Will Need:

For a large batch ~
~1 TB. freshly grated ginger root
~1/2 ts. cinnamon
large 3-fingered pinches of . . . 
~astragalus root
~licorice root
~echinacea leaf OR root (I prefer the root)
~lemon essential oil
~1 large tea ball OR 2-3 small tea balls
~tea pots ~ 1 for boiling water, one for steeping ~ OR 1 medium pot


1) fill a tea pot or medium cooking pot with water
2) fill a tea ball(s) with first SIX ingredients
3) bring water to boil 
    ***if you are using the tea pots, once water comes to a boil, place tea ball into pot and pour water into pot...
    ***if you are using a pot, place tea ball into pot of water and let come to boil...
4) once water boils, remove from heat ~ steep for at least 15 minutes, more if you want it stronger
5) then remove tea ball and discard used herbs
6) add 3-6 drops of lemon essential oil to the tea and stir a little to blend
7) fill your tea cup or mug
8) add local honey to taste, if desired
9) settle down, get comfy and drink in that tasty immune-building tea . . . ahhhhh . . .

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#153~ Men After God's Own Heart

"....The LORD has sought out a man after His own heart..." ~Samuel 13:14

These last few days, my prayers keep returning to those godly men ~ young dads, middle-aged dads, grandpas ~ who ARE STRIVING to actually BE godly men in this fallen world; even if they have to fight an ungodly system or culture to do it. So many obstacles in the way of our men.

MEN . . . 

PLEASE KNOW that we are praying for YOU. 

According to some of my seminary notes, the way it's worded in the Greek, the "great cloud of witnesses" standing and applauding you! So, your families are not only praying for you, but we are standing and applauding YOU along with that great cloud of witnesses! We are praying for YOUR endurance and for YOU to succeed with your family!

Ladies, let us love, respect and help our men.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mullein ~ Useful for All Ages

So often, we use only certain parts of an herb. A whole, beautiful plant may have to be harvested simply for the root, or leaves or flower. However, there are some plants that have value in every part. One of those is Mullein.

Mullein is most commonly known from being used in earache drops, and well it should be as there is hardly anything better! But it is a plant full of healing properties.

The leaves and beautiful, long, yellow flowers are wonderful in a poultice or salve for nearly any and every skin irritation ~ rashes, insects bites, minor cuts ~ AND even for respiratory tract infections and congestion.

You can also use the leaves and flowers in a tea, or infusion, for any bronchial distress ~ colds with deep chesty coughs, bronchitis and asthma ~ best used with local honey

Mullein tea, or a syrup made by mixing the tea with honey, can also give some relief to constipation.

In the above mentioned earache remedy, SOME people say to use only the flowers, many use the dried leaves. You may want to try both and see what works best for you. However, unless you grow your own, the dried leaves are more readily available from suppliers. This same oil can be used for far more than earaches, though. You can use the oil in any of your homemade creams, salves, balms and it can be used on insect bites, oozing sores (covered with a bandage), treats bruises and pain similar to Arnica and can be a great relief for hemmorrhoids. 

Another use for the oil? Beard oil! It shines, de-tangles and aids in growth.

You will need:

~1/3 c. freshly chopped OR 1/2 c. dried mullein leaves OR (for stronger medicinal oil) 1/3 c. dried mullein flowers OR 1/2 c. dried leaves
~2 c. olive oil
~1 large garlic clove (NOT FOR THE BEARD OIL!!!)
~small or medium pot
~mesh strainer 
~glass measuring cup with pour spout
~small funnel
~amber dropper bottles


1) Put all ingredients into the pot
2) Start warming on medium heat JUST LONG ENOUGH to tell that it's starting to warm nicely, THEN lower heat to medium-low to low and simmer for 1 hour for beard oil OR 1-1/2 hours for stronger medicinal oil
3) Let cool for about 1/2 hour
4) Strain into a pourable measuring cup
5) using the small funnel, carefully pour into your dropper bottles
6) be sure to date your bottles, this should last around 5-6 months

To Use Medicinal Oil:

~For earache: tilt head with aching ear facing up, carefully drop 2 drops in affected ear, put a SMALL piece of cotton in ear, keep head tilted for 3-5 minutes to allow oil to flow into ear.
~For boo-boos: drop 2-3 drops onto a cottom ball or directly onto the sore, GENTLY tap to apply.
For beard oil: 

~drop 2-3 drops into palm, rub hands together, and rub throughout the beard.

What a wonderful, useful herb.

Have you used mullein? Tell us how.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#152~ God ~ Color Coordinator Extraordinaire

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth." ~Gen. 9:12-13

If you have read this Marmee's Pantry blog long enough, or maybe searched through some older entries, you may know that I modeled from the time I was 9 years old until I was 25 and was also a make-up artist for 17 years. So, even though I've technically been out of "the business" for years, I still love to play with new colors and now make some of my own make-up.

So, since the make-up and fashion world involves so much color, it's sometimes hard for me not to notice certain color combinations and how they just naturally go together . . . or . . . don't. :-/ lol

And if you will pay close attention, you will notice that God ~ as ALWAYS ~ is THE Color Coordinator Extraordinaire. His natural combinations are the ones that catch our eye and are often copied in color palettes. 

If you have seen The Devil Wears Prada, you've gotten a small, but true, glimpse at how self-important high fashion icons think that they are in world events. Amazing, but true. But these people, in their tight little high fashion worlds, do not realize that all they can do is merely imitate the Master Designer ~ God has already put all of those incredible fashion colors together . . .  

The bright and cheery yellow and black of bees and black-eyed Susans~
The striking red and black of a Scarlet Tanager~
The sweet, restful greens and pastels of Spring wildflowers~
The bold blacks and browns of a Bay horse~
The happy combination of a blue sky dotted with white clouds~
And who isn't made a little happier by a bouquet of white and yellow daisies?~
And even our favorite seasons have their own color pallets ~ the bold, crisp natural tartans of fall ~
And the merry reds and greens of winter and the Christmas season
And lest we forget, God's ultimate color palette, the rainbow ~ the source of every color imaginable encompassed as the sign of His great promise. (Gen. 9:12-13)
Oh, don't we think we're so smart?

God is so good to give us such beauty. Enjoy it.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bergamot ~ A VERY Essential Oil

"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels [12-1/2 lbs.] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 500 shekels of cassia - all according to the sanctuary shekel - and a hin [about 4 qts.] of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.'" ~Exodus 30:22-25
Something I am continually amazed at is God's provision for His children. Herbs and plants for health and medicinal purposes. Whether used in a tea, a tincture, a poultice or expressed into lovely, potent essential oils ~ God has provided for our health and wellbeing without depending upon synthetics. 

As I think about what to share here at Marmee's Pantry, not only do I like to tell you about herbs, oils and home remedies that are pretty common (because, everyday, there are precious newbies starting out in this exciting venture of medicinal herbs and oils. And since we were all new to this at one time, we must not forget about them), but I like to share information about some of the more over-looked but incredibly beneficial herbs and oils, as well. 
One that is so often over-looked is BERGAMOT [berg'-a-moe]. This precious oil is a little different than most essential oils because it actually comes from the peel of an odd cross between a lemon and a lime. Amazing. 
Now, for all you tea drinkers out there ~ you know that wonderful Earl Grey tea you love so much? Bergamot is what gives it that fruity-fragrant taste! Drinking Earl Grey tea (or adding a couple drops of Bergamot essential oil to your favorite herbal tea) not only tastes great, but it is actually a detox. It can rid your body of parasites, intestinal worms, viruses, icky fungi growths, ease nasal congestion, help your digestive and urinary tracts, can help with upset stomach, gas and indigestion. For digestive issues, you may drink Earl Grey, OR add a couple drops of Bergamot to your favorite herbal tea OR rub a few drops onto you tummy for relief.

And how often have you thought, "This tea smells and tastes so good that I think I could wear it as a perfume"? Well . . . guess what else Bergamot is used for? You guessed it ~ Bergamot is often found in perfumes, colognes, deodorants (because it can stop perspiration ~ that's why it's in my homemade hot flash essential oil) and room sprays.
And since it is so effective in reducing perspiration, it is also very effective in reducing a fever. Simply put a couple drops in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and inhale deeply; and try putting a drop on each temple.

Some other things that can be helped simply by inhaling Bergamot from your hands, a homemade inhaler or in a room diffuser, is that it can help with hormonal mood swings, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and lowering blood pressure (because it helps your body's production of dopamine) and normalizes cholesterol (get off of those statins!). And it is FANTASTIC for your mood and to give you a more positive attitude ~ it's like L-Theanine in an essential oil. :-) Did I say it's good for your mood? ;-)
Does your child have a boo-boo or a scratch? Take advantage of Bergamot's anti-bacterial, anti-septic, disinfecting ability by putting a few drops on a Q-tip or cotton ball and using it on the scratch just as you would any other anti-septic ointment. Apply as often as needed. You may also find that insect bites, acne, cold sores, chicken pox and shingles heal a little quicker by using Bergomot on the eruptions.  

As I was saying earlier, Bergomot is often found in fragrances ~ men's fragrances, in particular. Dr. Axe has a yummy recipe that I especially like on THE Man

You will need:

~5 drops of cedarwood essential oil
~3 drops of bergamot essential oil
~2 drops of sandalwood essential oil
~1 cup of vodka (70% or better)
~glass roll-on OR spray bottle


1) add essential oils to bottle, first
2) add vodka almost to the top of the bottle, leave room to shake before using
3) use as any other cologne

**WARNING** Unfortunately, as near perfect as this oil sounds, sadly it has a couple of draw-backs. DO NOT use this oil if you are pregnant or nursing and be careful of your sun exposure. And, as always, ANYONE can be allergic to ANYTHING.

How to YOU use Bergamot, this VERY essential oil?

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

**PLEASE READ the obligatory disclaimer at bottom of page** 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#151~ Effective in Prayer

1)"O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, Who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying . . . 2) I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against You . . . 3) Remember the instruction You gave Your servant Moses . . . 'if you return to me and obey My commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for My Name' . . . 4) O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of this Your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering Your Name. Give Your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.' I was a cupbearer to the king." ~selected verses from Nehemiah 1:5-11 (*see below)

"This, then is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your Name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also forgive our
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil;
for Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
~Matthew 6:9-13 [Jesus speaking]

"He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think." ~Brother Lawrence; The Practice of the Presence of God
Let me start off by saying that I DO NOT believe that there is some "magic" way to pray that will somehow make God into a genie who is compelled to answer our prayers. I'm not that ignorant, nor am I that bold. 

I have prayed very meaningful prayers that have been immediately answered, often-times not knowing what to pray for or what to say quickly enough. They usually go something like this:



Simple and direct. Both of these prayers are highly effective and I recommend them in times of emergency. :-)

However, we DO NOT have to expound the most eloquent, King James prayers. God just wants His children to pray ~ to talk to Him as often as possible. Like any parent, He loves us and wants to talk . . . and REALLY appreciates it when we listen.

But . . . God's Word, the Bible, does give us "models," if you will, of how we might pray from both Jesus and Nehemiah. For this devotion, however, we will look at Nehemiah's prayer.

It should be the most natural thing in the world for those of us who are born again Christians, to call upon the Name of the Lord and offer Him praise. Praise for how utterly, incomprehensively amazing and HOLY that He is. That THE ONE AND ONLY GOD should know who we are, should have sent His One and Only Son, Jesus, to shed His blood as a ransom and eternal payment for our sins. That the Creator of all knows and loves us. That every good thing we have ~ whether material or talents ~ has come from His loving hand. A world that is over-all beautiful, repeats it's seasons, day and night, plants that grow, animals to enjoy as pets and for work have ALL come from His hand. Health and the ability to work, it's ALL from Him. How can we NOT praise Him?


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." ~1 John 1:9

This "exercise" isn't for God, but for us. Just as in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God asked Adam, "Where are you?" God most certainly knew where Adam and Eve were, He wanted THEM to know where THEY were: lost in their sin

As are we.

There are days when I feel like I sin in some way ~ whether in thought or deed ~ with every breath I take. I am, by nature of this fallen world, a sinful creature. But praise be to our wonderful God, that through His Son, Jesus Christ, we can have forgiveness in His Name. We have a way out.


Once again, this "exercise" isn't for God, but for us. God knows what He has promised us, could it be that He wants us to know and understand His promises? Repetition and remembrance helps us to be aware, thankful and remember what God has promised. WE are the ones who need to remember that when God makes a promise in His Word, that "He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion . . . " (Phil. 1:6)


Nehemiah needed favor from the king and he asked God specifically for it. Elijah asked specifically for God to open his servant's eyes so that "he may see . . . the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." (2 Kings 6:17) Solomon realized his great need to wisely rule his people and humbly asked specifically for wisdom and discernment and it was given to him. (1 Kings 3:7-9

Make no doubt that God knows what we need before and even more completely than we do. I think He wants us to asked specifically so that WE will understand the depths of our requests.

And something else that strikes me about this passage of Scripture ~ "I was cupbearer to the king."

Nehemiah knew his humble estate both before God and before the king he was about to petition. When we go before our God, even though He is a Friend of sinners (Matt. 11:19), HE IS STILL GOD and not your Buddy, He deserves our reverence and humility. 

Once again, there is no "magic" formula when it comes to prayer ~ pray the way God has led you ~ but we do have some mighty impressive examples of how to pray more effectively.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><
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