Featured Post

Introduction

Welcome to the Raggedy Cottage and Garden. As an effort to promote home style creativity and genuine old-fashioned character, I have starte...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HOMEBIRTH/NATURAL BIRTH: Proper Purity Before Marriage

Homebirth/Natural birth
-girdeth her loins with strength

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

In our day of equal rights for the "perverted," man has forgotten the reason behind Christ's death on the cross and true purity of heart, mind and body.

Before a woman even "thinks" about getting married, especially if she claims Christ as her savior, she really needs to ensure that her marriage is built on the foundation of purity in mind and body.  This ensures that the children she brings into the world are not put under the pressure of living in a socially dangerous or untrustworthy environment.  Such unnatural conditions can cause great psychological damage and twisting to children to that they actually "feel" like dying rather than living.  For example, divorce and remarriage causes strain and pressure on the child to "choose" which parent he or she can trust.  When the parents themselves don't ultimately trust God's written word as the ultimate foundation, the results, though "cured" temporarily by man or distorted religious practices, are results of generational curse upon the lives of those that follow behind.

How can a woman who has never been kissed, begin her journey towards building a pure relationship with a future spouse in such an impure world where dating and divorce are commonplace and accepted as "the only" way to find your match?

She can begin by considering HOW god created her.

She should consider the scientifically and mathematically proven truths about her body that even an imbecile or savage person can discern, including the following:
1. She is more than likely capable of having children 1 per year on a consecutive and perpetual basis.  Some women are infact infertile but more than likely the first is true.
2. Every touch can cause her to be sexually stimulated, even a gentle touch by a man on one's forearm or EVEN toes or ears.
3. She is capable of birthing unassisted and without medical assistance or assistance by man.  An unlearned woman can accomplish unassisted birthing and easier childbirth much easier than those who have high degrees of knowledge.
4. Separation between mother and child can cause great stress, anxiety and animosity in society and between family members.

Considering those facts, she should be prepared with a few questions to ask a future and potential spouse.  That spouse should answer a clear resounding "yes" to the answers or he is not the BEST man for that woman:
1. Are you willing to have [(age of predicted menopause)-(age of woman) = Total number of ] potential children?  For example: 40 (age of menopause)- 20 (age of marriage) = 20 potential children.

2. Are you willing to provide home, clothing and food so that I have no need to work away from home? based on biblical Titus 2 commentary

3. Are you willing to allow me to home school potential children? based on Christ's words:

"
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

Those  are a few of the following things to consider.  Of course there are more.  But another vital clue to ensure a pure and good relationship is established with a pure man is to ask and trust in a woman's natural father and/or brother's protection.  It is guaranteed that a woman who listens carefully to the good or bad qualities in a man can discern properly in account of her natural father and/or brother's opinion  of a man who seeks to court the maiden of the household.


The previous conditions to ensure purity in relationship for a woman will NEVER change as long as man dwells on the earth.  Social conditions change but the design of God's plan will NEVER change.  The BEST relationship is established in the light and presence of others and in the light and presence of God.


Further thing to consider is if a woman has fallen from purity, God can and will forgive, but she must be aware that consequences do and will follow. 



Monday, July 23, 2012

GARDENING: Toxic Plants for children

Gardening
-plants a vineyard

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

Whether you have a garden or not, take the time to be aware of the following poisonous plants.  This is especially useful if you have children under the age of 6 or more importantly under the age of 6.  To see an image of each plant use google image.


Toxic Garden Plants
  • Azalea (azalea indica)
  • Bleeding Heart (dicentra formosa)
  • Calla Lily (zantedeschia aethiopica)
  • Carnation (dianthus caryophyllus)
  • Castor-Oil plant (ricinus communis)
  • Chinese or Japanese Lantern (physalis)
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clematis
  • Crocus (colchicum autumnale)
  • Daffodil (narcissus)
  • Delphineum
  • Foxglove (digitalis purpurea)
  • Gladiola (bulb)
  • Hyacinthe (hyacinthus orientalis)
  • Iris
  • Jonquil (narcissus)
  • Lily of the Valley (convallaria)
  • Morning Glory (ipomaea tricolour)
  • Narcissus
  • Oleander (nerium oleander)
  • Pansy (seeds) (viola tricolour)
  • Peony (root) (paeonia officinalis)
  • Primrose (primula)
  • Sweet Pea (lathyrus odoratus)
  • Sweet William (dianthus barbatus)
Unidentified Wild Mushrooms
Should be considered toxic until identified by a mycologist.
Vegetables
  • Potato (green patches found on tubers & above ground part)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tomato greens
Hedges & Bushes
  • Black Locust (robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Buckthorn ( rhamnus cathartica)
  • Cherry Laurel (laurocerasus officinalis)
  • Daphne (daphne mezereum)
  • Elderberry (not berries)
  • Horse Chestnut ( aesculus hippocastanum)
  • Hydrangea
  • Laburnum (laburnum anagyroides)
  • Privet ( ligustrum vulgare)
  • Virginia Creeper (ampelopis brevipedunculata)



Sunday, July 22, 2012

GIVING: Thank you notes

Giving
-gives a protion of meat unto her maidens
-stretcheth out her hand to the poor and reacheth forth her hands to the needy

This is a Proverb's 31 series post




After receiving gifts from those outside the immediate nuclear family, it is good etiquette to return a good thank-you note within one month of receiving the gift.  Below are examples of what to write in the thank-you cards.

http://entertaining.about.com/cs/etiquette/a/thankyou.htm

Dear Aunt Gloria,
Thank you so much for the beautiful stemware you sent to us. I know it will look wonderful on our table and we can't wait to invite you to dinner after the wedding so that you can see it for yourself. You have always had such wonderful taste in gifts!
Looking forward to seeing you on our big day!
With love,
Megan
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Reingold,
Thank you for the lovely candlesticks you gave to us for our wedding. They'll be sure to keep the romance burning at our table for many years to come.
Best wishes-
Elissa James
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Dear Marjorie and Jack,
You two always know how to select the perfect gift! We just love the CD collection you gave us as a wedding present. You'll have to come by soon so we can enjoy our first dinner party together as married couples. We'll be sure to crank up the CD player that night to enjoy the new tunes.
Love,
Tina and Bill

For different ideas on how to make handmade cards check out http://www.vickiscardmakingideas.com/
A basic image printed from the computer and placed on card stock can be turned in to a number of different  cards for many different thank-you notes and other greeting cards.  Even in our day of social networking, it is much more thoughtful to return a handmade paper thank-you note.  It stirs the memory of warmth and kindness to touch and feel a handmade card, given from the heart.

Friday, July 20, 2012

FOOD: Bean recipes

Food
-giveth meat unto her household

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

Are you looking for frugal food ideas and recipes.  Look no further than the bean aisle that contains dried beans at your local grocery store.  There are canned beans as well, but it is so simple to turn your crock pot on high and let the beans cook for about 2 hours and you will have soft and ready to eat beans in a flash. Most stores offer a 16 oz bag of beans for about 1.00.  You can make a meal to feed your family with under 2.00 if you are wise and creative.  Below are a few examples:

http://www.beanbible.com/

For a menu example:

http://theemptykitchen.wordpress.com/recipes/menu-plans/beans-and-rice-rice-and-beans-menu-plan/

In our family we enjoy minestrone soup, lintel soup and plain lima beans with butter ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TIME MANAGEMENT: The Common Book

Time Management
-riseth while it is yet night
-her candle goeth not out by night
-looketh well to the ways of her household
-eateth not the bread of idleness

This is a Proverb's 31 series post.


Have you ever thought of creating a "common book"  It is similar to that of a household management binder only more of a note taking, scrap book of ideas and procedures.  It was wonderful resource for those who lived in the 1800's and it can still be used today.  In those days it would contain a list of ideas and resources for a number of ideas.  For example it would contain a section in the book for special menus and recipes as well as another section of sewing ideas and procedures and another for gardening tips and notes.

Today you can make a common book with any number of categories:
Here may be a few:

Garden
Poetry
Electronics and Technology tips
Child Raising Tips and Results
Husband Support and ideas for better help mete
Kitchen and Food
Cleaning tips
Education schedules, ideas, goals
Remedy Methods
Prayer Section, ideas and prayer list
Books reading list
Frugal living ideas
Evening Entertainment ideas
Bible reading activities
Craft ideas and projects
Home sewing projects
Wisdom and proverbs
"ology" section of various studies
Etiquette Tips
Birthdays, Anniversary and Holiday Dates
Survival, Bulk foods, native lifestyle and Emergency Procedures
Resources and Programs, inernet based and local
Small Business, Farmer's market and Free Style income.
Baby, home birth and natural birth
Large Family Suggestions

Having a Common Book can save you lots of time trying to "look up" the same information over and over again for reference.  It can be made from a bunch of scrap paper or a simple .10 notebook from Wal-mart.  It can be FanCy and more scrap book in nature or it can be plain and more of a scratch book of sorts.  You make the choice and design it to fit your lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CRAFTING/HOUSEHOLD SUPPLY: Handmade nature toys

Crafting/Household supply
-works willingly with her hands
-layeth her hands to the spindle/distaff
-she maketh fine linen

This is a Proverb's 31 series post


There are many ways to create toys on a limited budget.  Infact some children enjoy homemade toys and toys that are under the price of 5.00 far more than expensive "name-brand" or "popular" toys on the market.

Below are a few links to help you get started in creating a collection of handmade nature toys.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SELLING: Amazon Associates Store

Selling
-she sells fine linen
-delivers girdles unto the merchants (item that alters the body appearance under clothing)

This is a Proverb's 31 series post


For a great way to get good information and other sources for building a more independent Christ-like life feel free to visit my Amazon Store.  The store has the following categories:

Off the Grid living
Garden Outdoors
Natural Pregnancy/Birth/Baby Items
Christian Books Fiction/Nonfiction
Homeschool resources
frugal living
Sewing and Craft
Natural and Organic Foods

http://astore.amazon.com/raggedycottag-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=3

If the link above doesn't work you may also try the link in the upper right corner.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 16, 2012

SHOPPING: Planning a Cob Home

Shopping
-seeks wool and flax
-is like the merchants ships and brings her food from afar
-considers a field and buys it
-percieveth that her merchandise is good

This is a Proverb's 31 series post 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

CHARACTER: Setting captives free and over comming anger

Character
-Does him good and not evil all the days of her life
-strength and honour are her clothing
-opens her mouth with wisdom
-in her mouth is the law of kindness
-her children and husband rise up and call her blessed
-her own works praise her in the gates.
-she feareth the LORD

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

Do you have a problem with any of the following?


Self-injury
Gambling
Gluttony
Sexual impurity (including thoughts and pornography)
Homosexuality
Drunkenness
Anorexia and Bulemia
Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar

If you answered "yes" to any of the following. There is hope!  You may follow a one-two month course to help you find freedom in Christ from http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/


If even after you follow the course and you still find others are tempting you to return to your old sin, if you learn the art of reflexive listening and tell them simply that you do not wish to interact with them as they are causing you anger and such, you will be able to go quite far.

The battles in this life have much to do with OUR OWN sin and not with other people's sin.

To find enjoyment in ANYTHING is life is VERY difficult if you are battling any form of sin as it is.

Friday, July 13, 2012

CLOTHING: How to help daughters choose modesty

Clothing
-all her household are clothed with scarlet
-maketh herself coverings of tapestry
-her clothing is silk and purple 

This is a Proverb's 31 series post.

In our American culture, modesty is downgraded among our youth girls.  It only seems to gain its appeal for the woman 35 and older.  If you are living in an environment where it seems that others seem to want to pressure your daughter to dress in ways that are not modest or to emphasize more of the appearance of clothing rather than the appearance of her character, you can relax a little bit because there are ways that you can peacefully work with her.

For starters, you need to learn how to listen to your young daughter.  If you are forcing your daughter to wear modest dress or other specific types of clothing and she is throwing tantrums, the approach of that nature will eventually burnout and die.

1. Start by examining her closet of clothes.  If there is anything in her closet that does not seem to fit your sense of appropriate attire (appears too provocative or too masculine in nature), toss it out.  Ask your husband for his opinion on the clothing attire as well.  Hopefully he is a Godly man who understands the need to protect daughters from onlooking "boogy men"

2. Next, take your daughter to the closet of clothes and ask her what she would like to wear.  Allowing HER the choice in the matter of what she wears gives her confidence that she CAN make the right choices as far as clothing attire is concerned.  Be aware that if she is young (say about 2 years old) she may pick out a long sleeve shirt for hot weather and a mismatching skirt to go with it. She may even pick out a shirt that you don't particularly like, but you must learn to accept her opinion or she will never LEARN about the importance of modesty.

3. To help her gain confidence in choosing modest clothing.  Tell her the PLAIN facts.   Men look under women's skirts or look down women's shirts.  It is not good for a godly women or a woman who doesn't want to find her self in a dangerous relationship to dress in ways that draw "boogy men" attention.  For a two year old the word "boogy man" means a whole lot.  For an older teenager, simply saying modesty prevents bad relationships with the opposite sex will go a thousand miles to save your daughter from so much trouble.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FEARLESS: Home church

Fearless
-not afraid of the snow
-she shall rejoice in time to come

this is a Proverb's 31 series post

There are many ways in which you can follow Christ as far as biblical standards are concerned.  Are you in an area where it seems like the churches have abandoned the scripture or are overly controlling in areas where Christ himself discourages people from acting as a control factor in that area?  Are you concerned about the music that is brought into certain churches or feel as if the church in the area has simply put more hope in the flesh rather than in the Spirit of Christ?  Perhaps you have noticed that individuals in the churches surrounding you are supporting and encouraging wicked practices like abortion or dating....  The list goes on.

If any of the above are true for you, you can have your own home church!  You could ALWAYS invite other families or you could join up with a "good" church in the area and simply call your home church a bible study.  What ever the case may be, it is possible to stick with your convictions and live for Christ no matter what the circumstances may be.

An article to help you get started can be found at .http://www.ehow.com/how_8279800_church-home-kids.html

For those of a more liberalized approach to Christianity here is a link to independent aspects of Christianity.  It basically entails that one only need to look within to find the essence of finding freedom in our lives.  A person of this nature must be aware that it could cause you to feel as if you are a lone park ranger in an isolated jungle if you really WANT this type of spirituality.

On the other hand, those who are more conservative and follow exclusive scripture, particularly the KJV a good way to enhance and exemplify the biblical writings is to have one chapter of Christ's writings read, a random chapter of the old testament read and a random chapter of the new testament read.  When you allow the words of Christ to be the preacher, there is no need to "hire" an actual trained man to preach.  Women can "submit" in a sense to there own husband's to get the most of relationship between husband and wife.  You may also play or sing a hymn or two.  Various elements like communion, foot washing, head covering and such can be held at a separate time.

One thing to remember in order to be fully successful in home church is to keep a specific scheduled time to have church for 1-4 hours at a time every week depending on how detailed you would like it to be.  Willing to serve others is also another another key to success.

Good luck and happy worshiping!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

COMMUNITY RELATIONS: NEXT - DOOR NEIGHBOR

Community Relations
-her husband is known in the gates when he sitteth among the elders of the land

This is a Proverb's 31 series post 

NEXT - DOOR NEIGHBOR

There was a date in time when people spoke slowly to their neighbor
There was a date in time when the only other family that was known was one's next door neighbor
There was a date in time when it was not necessary to own a bigger this or that than one's own neighbor
There was a date in time when your only friend was your next door neighbor
There was a date in time when all your social gatherings involved or included your next door neighbor
There was a date in time when your service to the community was simply to help your next door neighbor
There was a date in time when all the information about the world came from your next door neighbor

Did such a date exist?
What became of facebook and all its networking ability?
Perhaps you should ask your next door neighbor TODAY.

Perhaps that date in time when perfect relationships with neighbors can exist is today.
It may take some problem solving but try it out and see what happens.  Watch your character change and grow to something better than it was before.

It doesn't take any money to keep up with and become friends with your next door neighbor.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

HEALTH CARE: Mother's Remedies

Health Care
-strengthens her arms
-strength and honour are her clothing

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

CHRONIC SUPPURATIVE INFLAMMATION OF THE MIDDLE EAR.—An inflammation that forms pus; hence called suppurative. This is an inflammation that has become chronic (continued) and has one characteristic at least that is very noticeable, and that is the discharge. This may last for an indefinite period. The acute suppurative (pus-forming) inflammation just described in the foregoing pages, may have inflicted various kinds and degrees of damage upon the mucous membrane which lines the cavities, and as a result of the conditions thus established there will be a discharge which may last an indefinite time.
Causes.—Improper or lack of treatment for the acute suppurative inflammatory attack. This is the chief cause. The first attack may have been caused by scarlet fever, measles, etc. They are prone to become chronic, especially if not recognized early and treated properly.
Symptoms.—The main symptom is the discharge from the ear. This may be abundant or scanty. It may stop for a time and begin again. The hearing may be slightly or seriously impaired. Such patients are not accepted by life insurance companies.
Treatment.—Cleanliness of the parts and perfect drainage must be secured. Syringing with one to fifty carbolic acid solution (acid one part, warm water fifty parts) is good treatment. The opening in the drum should be made large enough to give free discharge to the pus in the middle ear.
The patient's strength must be built up if necessary.

The above snippit is from a free e-book published past the current copyright date laws from the book Mother's Remedies. 
Of course you need to use your current medical knowledge to determine whether the treatments are good or are dangerous to human life.  In most cases, conditions affecting the health of people are easily overcome with good prevention, rest, healthy thinking patterns, exercise and healthy eating habits.  On the other hand it is useful to know what those who lived before us used as remedy even when a doctor was not available to help cure sometimes major aliments.

Monday, July 9, 2012

HOMEBIRTH/NATURAL BIRTH: Recroding sheets

Homebirth/Natural birth
-girdeth her loins with strength

This is a Proverb's 31 series post 

Are you planning to have an unassisted home birth?  Or are you planning a birth with mid wife or even a natural hospital birth.  Perhaps you need some sort of sheets to record your health conditions and keep track of herbs and remedies you need to take to keep up with good health.  You may find some sheets to assist you on my raggedy cottage and Garden SALE website.

Good luck and happy birthing!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

GARDENING: What to do when you can't garden

Gardening
-plants a vineyard

This is a Proverb's 31 series post

Are you living in a situation where you are not able to garden or are not allowed to garden?  There may be different cases where that may be true.  For example, perhaps if you are like me, you live in a community where they offer the ability to have a community garden.  However, the cost of gas or riding a bike to the location is far more strenuous than the actual fun of raising and care for the garden is possible.

In our situation, having three children under the age of five makes it difficult to have a personal community garden plot because of the strain of child discipline and the constant watching of sometimes friendly neighbors and other times not so friendly neighbors who do not like children.  My oldest has said to me, "I want to plant a garden" and he often dreams of planting one.  I would love to have a plot right out side the door where I live.

On the other hand, because I am living with in-laws I know that they have a decent yard space, but it is specifically designed to meet their needs and they have not offered us to use or change their yard in any way.  Unfortunately, tearing up the entire yard and turning it into a garden is perhaps to "socially unacceptable" in their eyes so I have to make do with other activities.

If you are desirous to teach your children various names of garden plants, you may always take them to a local nursery and start naming the different plants.  Or you may go around the yard where you live and start identifying different plants that you see.  While you are naming the plants you could state, "God created plants on the third day of creation, so that means that God created the tomato plant on the third day of creation" and then state the bible verse to go along with it.

Perhaps there is a family member or kind grandparent that would allow your child to help garden or water for a day.  I am sure that your child would love to do just that.

Not only are those options available, but if you are lucky you may grow a large container tomato plant or another vegetable or a 4 ft X 4 ft garden plot in square-foot garden style.  In the meantime, there are plenty of books on gardening that you may study to prepare for that day when you will actually have the opportunity to raise your own vegetables.

GIVING: Sharing a household

Giving
-gives a protion of meat unto her maidens
-stretcheth out her hand to the poor and reacheth forth her hands to the needy

This is a Proverb's 31 series posting 

Are you on a tight budget?  Are you in an area that is not safe?  Do you have a high risk of being forced to work outside the home simply for shelter?  Are you married into an immoral family where it would be more dangerous for your kids to leave them alone with the family than to take the chance to stay at home with them?

If you answered "YES" to any of he above statements, you may need to humble your self and live in another household with another family!!!  AHHHH! some of you may say.  I would NEVER WANT to live with my in-laws or return home to the family I was raised in.  But my question is this, is it worth scrapping your moral convictions all for the sake of "keeping up with the Jonses."  God has a permanent solution for the moral problems of our society all related to the problem of financial greed and gain produced by mere men.  That solution is to TRUST him to provide a shelter.

For the past two years, we have trusted God when it came to following he command to "be fruitful and multiply"  This has left us in derision as we had no home of our own to live in.  I have found that the ONLY solution to this problem is to stay home with my children and to be available to help my husband.  We have had to move in with in-law grandparents in order to make ends meet.  In fact, it has been VERY difficult at times because of my knowledge of their sin-nature and theirs of mine.

If you are in the situation of shared housing here are some pointers to remember:
1. Remember GOOD etiquette to ease the burden of human relations and social problems.  For example: say please, thank you, keep silent when you wish to share a truth about their sin-condition etc.
2. If the home owner does not want to synchronize meal times with you, instead you may camileonize (chameleon is that creature in God's creation that changes color in different environments) the time.  For example: Eat Lunch at 2:00 instead of 12:00 so that messes are not as large or contained by the immediate nuclear family)
3. If the religious beliefs are controversial or of a different nature (even those professing Christ can have differences about the truth) you MUST always remember to over come evil with good and feed thine enemy.
4. Remember that life on this earth is temporary, so seek ways to find "space" away from other people and have fellowship with Christ alone.
5. If in-laws or the other family who owns the household does not follow your and/or moral convictions regarding discipline of children, remember to remain under GRACE.  Even if the home is filled with beer cans, filthy TV shows, foul language you must consider the price of sin that Christ had to pay in order to get men out of their sin-filled lifestyles.  You CAN stand up and say, "I DO NOT want you to treat this child that way" etc etc, but their moral decisions are a fruit of their lifestyle of which a sheep can do nothing in the middle of a pack of wolves.  Remember that if we are dead in the flesh SATAN WILL tempt your children, perhaps may even KILL your children.  You ARE SERVING the Living God by being a martyr in this wicked world.
6. Remember to submit to husband and smile at him often praise him in front of the other family who owns the household.

Hope those tips help.  We must be strong in the face of the lion of this world.


Friday, July 6, 2012

FOOD: French Bread

Food
-giveth meat unto her household

This is a Proverb's 31 series  post


This is taken from www.theprudenthomemaker.com



French Bread
French Bread
2 tsp yeast
4 tsp Kosher salt
8-10 cups bread flour (this is white bread flour; all-purpose flour will work in a pinch but doesn't rise as high)
1 cup warm water (between 105º and 110º)
4 cups warm water

Proof the yeast by putting the yeast in the 1 cup of warm water. Check the temperature of the water first by checking it with a thermometer. I use a candy thermometer. Hotter than 110º, you will kill the yeast. Lower than 105º and the yeast doesn't grow much. You want the yeast to be nice and bubbly, so let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure the salt in a mixing bowl. I like ceramic; the dough doesn't rise enough for me in a metal mixing bowl (it seems to be too cold).
Add flour. Add yeast mixture and enough water to mix so that all the flour sticks together.
Knead for 10-12 minutes on a floured surface, by hand, turning and folding well. When dough is ready it will be elastic-y and will not stick to the counter much.
Pull all sides of the dough into the center, making a big ball. This stretches the gluten and makes a higher loaf. Put the dough in the bowl with the smooth side on top.
Put back in bowl to rise with damp cloth over the top for 1 hour.
Take dough out of the bowl, and flatten it to about 2 inches tall. Separate dough with dough cutter into 4 equal parts for 4 rounds, or 8 parts for longer loaves (or a combination).
Take each section and pull the edges into the middle all the way around to make a ball. This stretching is important; you will see some bubbles pop. Put the smooth side up as you set each ball on the counter. Cover all the sections with the damp cloth and let sit for 10 minutes.
Wash your bowl.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam; I use airbake sheets.
Shape loaves: Flatten loaves again to about 1 inch thick (just flatten---do not stretch the dough out, just flatten it). Fold one side of the circle of dough to the almost the other side so you have a smile. Then flatten again. Fold both sides in, overlapping, so that the dough is folded in thirds. Flatten again.
For round loaves, pull edges in to the center like before, working all the way around the dough. Grab dough together at center to make a "foot" so that the loaf is sticking together. Turn dough over and gently "round" so that the middle is not sunken.
Put loaves on the cookie sheets to rise again.
(For long loaves, instead of pulling the edges to the center (after folding), you will roll and stretch the loaf to be as long as you would like.)
Cover loaves on the cookie sheets with the damp cloth and let rise about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 400º so that it is ready to go at the end of the second rising.
Put a pan (I use the broiler pan) of water on the bottom shelf. This will steam the bread and give it a nice crust.
When second rising is done, take a serrated knife and quickly and lightly slash the loaves.
This helps the loaves rise more in the oven.
If the loaves deflate when you slash them, they rose too long on the second rising. They will still cook, but watch next time so that you will get a higher loaf.
If you have an egg, you can mix an egg with a little water and lightly brush the loaves all over using a pastry brush with the egg wash. If you do not have an egg, the crust will be less crunchy, but will still be tasty.
Put loaves in the oven and cook until a nice browned top is there. Better to have them a little darker than you think they should be, or they will be doughy.
Take loaves out of the oven. After a couple minutes, turn loaves over on the cookie sheets so the bottoms can dry (or else they stay wet on bottom, even after an hour).
Divider
Notes:
I buy all of the ingredients to make this (except for the water) at Sam's Club, in bulk. The bread flour comes in a 25lb bag. The yeast comes in 2 1lb bags, and is much cheaper than buying tiny yeast packets. The Kosher salt comes in a 3lb box and is half the price of buying it anywhere else. This entire recipe costs me around $1 to make, which means that each loaf is 25 cents.
Flourish 1

Thursday, July 5, 2012

TIME MANAGEMENT: Develop the homemakers 2 week schedule

Time Management
-riseth while it is yet night
-her candle goeth not out by night
-looketh well to the ways of her household
-eateth not the bread of idleness

This is a Proverb's 31series post

Are you a Christian Homemaker?  Or just a homemaker in general (yes, non-chrisitans can be homemakers as well, but they will not have the feeling or the morality of a Christian homemaker)?  Are you prepared to be an effective biblical counselor for your spouse and /or children as they deal with the problems of life?

A great and important way to ensure that you make sure that you are making the most of your time is to schedule your time in advance.  There may be doldrums because of the sin-nature of one's spouse or children which a Christian homemaker MUST be aware of in advance and prepared to deal with.  There may even be sin-nature of one's own self that a woman must deal with.  She MUST encourage her spouse and children to fulfill God's will in their lives through Christ but not be a hindrance or a nag at the same time.

According to the book LIES WOMEN BELIEVE by Nancy L. Demoss, a woman who provides income for the family is of no value in eternity.  The reason is because she essentially abandons her post and allows the "wolves" of society (day cares with perverts, schools with senseless dating and sexual experimentation, husbands unfulfilled and non-desirous to love one woman, in-laws or former family who convict of various ills and social problems etc) to take over  as well as the grounds of serving two masters (one the workplace the other a husband who needs prayer and support).

Life can become very fulfilling for a woman if she carefully plans each day carefully.  Usually a two week time frame of scheduling is very effective in removing idleness which leads to discontentment, fretting and other worries about the cares of this life.  Income, proper housing and proper clothing are not necessary for effective scheduling.  Even attendance, membership or participation at a church to meet one's social obligations are not necessary, and in some cases may not be possible because of the problems in the local congregations of problems developed from family discontentment through in-laws or former family life.

So may a Christian homemaking woman develop an effective two week schedule?

Step 1: Type up or purchase a day planner that has time intervals separated by 1/2 slots.

Step 2:  Type up different activities that you would like to accomplish in that two week time frame in list format.
Examples could include the following:
Homemaking duties
Hobbies (Garden, animals, crafts etc)
Skills Development
Spiritual Development (Including meditation, bible study, prayer)
Exercise
Children's development
School Activities and holidays
Music
Ideas
Shopping
Get-togethers with your friends
Family outings
Holidays
Husband-wife dates
Meetings
Time or outings without the children
Books to obtain and read
Library visits
Birthdays and anniversaries
One-on-one counseling or fun with the children (NEEDS to be done MORE these days than most women realize or desire)
Special Intimacy, Bedroom preparation and beauty for husband

Step 3:   Cut the list in pieces and then paste to the day planner or typed up schedule
Step 4:  You may edit, rewrite or type your schedule to the way you like.

For a schedule that you can easily adjust to your liking within each two week time frame, try creating the schedule on laminated card stock, so that you may simply tape and remove the labels as each week changes.  Decorate the calendar as well.  Perhaps use codes, stickers, clip art and fancy writing to create an attractive calendar.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

CRAFTING/HOUSEHOLD SUPPLY: Drawstring bag gift

Crafting/Household supply
-works willingly with her hands
-layeth her hands to the spindle/distaff
-she maketh fine linen


This is a PROVERB'S 31 series post


Are you short on time, would like a simpler way to save on wrapping paper or do you have extra amount of fabric on hand?  Try making homemade drawstring bag for your gifts.  They are reusable and can be created for various holidays.  If you are gifted and know how to sew fairly well, you really don't need a pattern to create a drawstring bag.  But for the rest, and for those who are new to sewing a simple pattern can be found here.

So give it a try and you'll save time for that next birthday get-together or Christmas celebration.  Children love gifts even if they aren't wrapped in paper.

Find special fabric to change the theme a little bit and see the smile of the person receiving the gift.

In fact, it takes about as much time to sew up a drawstring bag as it does to wrap a gift in paper.  Have fun and be creative.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SELLING: Easy way to upload n' sell

Today's theme topic is SELLING from the proverb's 31 series.

Have you ever written a page or two and you wish you could publish it to share with others.  Have you ever recorded something and you wish you could put it on the internet easily and effectively.  Well there is a VERY easy way to do that and you do not need a lot of internet know-how to accomplish that at all.  In fact, it is so simple, it is as easy as attaching a document to an e-mail.  Not only that, but there are absolutely NO fees associated with this site even after you have sold your product and it connects directly to pay-pal to help you achieve financial success with safety.

Simply go to http://uploadnsell.com/ and start selling all those fun things you have created in your own time and start selling today.

You may check out my other blog associated with the raggedycottagegarden blog to see what I have already accomplished.  It is in the early stages of development and with 3 children, it may take a little more time to continue to develop.  Soon I hope to edit it to full and easy access for any interested customers.