The Elm Street House...35 years later.

We went on a day trip to Cañon City, Colorado where I grew up this week hunting for fossils.  We went to the Royal Gorge  Bridge too.

It was a blast! I love Cañon City.

On our trek we went by a couple of my old houses…ugh. Both the Elm house and the Cedar Street houses were trashed, especially the Elm one. Made me sad as I loved that house.

But 35 years later, they have gutted it and made it into a storage shed for hay. I went inside and was shocked to realize the house was probably only 800 square feet total, maybe less even. I remembered it much bigger! But then I was smaller. :0)

The last time I was by the Elm house, a few years back, all the windows were broken and there was trash everywhere. Matthew our middle child was with me and when we left he said, Mom were you guys really poor when you were growing up?

I was surprised by his question. I told him how wonderful my Mom had decorated that house. She planted flowers and a huge garden.  I shared how great it was to walk down to the river to fish any time we wanted. We had pigs and chickens and a pony named Silver to ride, and a hillside where we found shark teeth fossils right there on our property. We had acres to play on and we even discovered and old dump site from probably a hundred years ago on the property…oh the treasures we dug up from there. I remember an old brown whisky jug we found.

For a kid it was paradise…I didn’t feel poor for a minute. Hardly any of my friends were so blessed to have a pony to ride, the whole river to fish just steps away, and a Dad who liked to take his kids fishing. Autumn there was glorious too, all those yellow cottonwoods. We even had fruit trees and a walnut tree.  Heaven on earth.

Maybe we were poor by the world’s standards but my folks did a great job of making what we had seem wonderful. My mother made holidays magic. Looking back, I now know that she worked her buns off to make it special for us. I wonder if I even appreciated all her hard work. I don’t think I even realized it was her. I have thanked her many times as an adult but I don’t know if I did as a child.

I suppose that anyone who looked at the 5 homes we lived in from the time we moved Cañon City when I was in second grade to when I graduated high school 10 years later might think we were poor. But we didn’t know we were. We had food and parents that loved us and in my book that makes a person rich.

So take heart in these tough economic times. If you are feeling like you aren’t able to provide all the things you would like to for your kids…it is probably better for them anyway.

Just love them and spend time with them and do bunches of things together and they will grow up feeling rich. And while you are at it introduce them to JESUS and they truly will never be poor.

I once heard a story about a wealthy man who took his son to their “poor” cousin’s house to show him how blessed he was to be rich. After the visit the father asked his son what he thought. The son said I see what you mean Dad. We have a swimming pool but they have a river that runs forever. We have a fenced yard and they have the woods and acres and acres to run in. We have a big house and they have a big barn full of animals for pets while we have one dog. They really are rich Dad. Thanks for showing me.

One of my Mom’s signature lines while I was growing up was Bloom Where You are Planted and another was When Life Gives You Lemons~Make Lemonade. She had them posted in our home, but more than that she lived them.


I guess it is all about perceptions.


Sick of Being Sick?

Some years it just seems like the bugs are bigger and meaner and more plentiful than others. A few years ago, when our oldest was a senior the swine flu infiltrated our home. Sickness abounded! It was awful!
The doctor’s office just said yea they have the flu. Drink lots of fluids and rest, took our co pay and sent us on our way. :0( We were needing serious help to get well. Lots to do as a senior and soooo sick.
The next morning my dear friend Charlene appeared in our door way with armloads of soup and bread and all these homeopathic remedies that turned out to be amazing. Since it is flu season and I keep hearing from friends who are under the weather I am forwarding the list of things that work for us. We hardly ever get sick these days, PRAISE THE LORD, but when we do it is usually a doosie!
I am including the email I sent out to our friends after we had recovered from the illness. It explains what happened and how her suggestions helped us!
So do drink lots of Kangen water, take your Juice Plus and try some of these if you do get sick.
From 2009
Hi All,
So Matthew and Micah had a brush with the back to school bugs already but Martin got nailed! Sore throat, headache, aches, fatigue, 103.2 for days on end, etc.
He has now missed a week of school and has 3 AP classes and one month left to finish his Eagle Scout Requirements. Please pray!

After the doctor said there was nothing they could do to help, my dear friend Charlene gave me all this great homeopathic stuff. In a day Martin is feeling much better. She researches everything to the nth degree. Everything she has ever recommended has worked. I just thought I would share since I have heard of so many who are sick too!

The deal is that if you can do these things the instant you start to feel like you are coming down with something it works MUCH better. These seem to be helping to shorten his stay in sick land, if we could have given it to him at the onset he might not have had to go there at all.

I started coming down with a sore throat and headache yesterday and I jumped right on it. I am going to keep taking it all for a few more days but I think I dodged the bullet!
Hope it works for you too!
Martin was skeptical, didn’t want any “witch doctor” remedies so Char provided us with the scripture to back it up, free of charge! He really likes feeling better!

Liz Cowen Furman

To God Be All Glory!

I have been told that any of them that you can get Certified Organically Grown are better.

***Oil of Thieves-Thieves Young Living Oil, mix a few drops with olive or Safflower oil (about a teaspoon)and apply to chest/back and throat, put a few drops in the humidifier. Smells great and kills germs in the air while keeping your humidifier from growing bad germs. Check out the story of where it came from origionally on the recipe page. eew!
Two other sites I found…;

Recipe for Theives Oil:

Eucalyptus Oil-add a few drops to the humidifier.

or the health food store.

Elderberry Tea–Take dried elderberries 1/4 cup simmer in water 10-15 min. strain and drink.
This is an anti-viral herb (VERY useful) You can also simmer in water/strain then mix juice with 1/2 cup of honey. Put in the fridge and take as a syrup, stays good for 2 weeks and you can take it if you feel anything attacking you.
Get loose leaf, any health food store would carry. Tastes a bit like raisins, sweeten with a dab of honey if you want.

Astragalus Root-add to chicken broth. I cooked the whole chicken or pieces with the bone in, in by pressure cooker with 1-2 roots, added a clove of garlic(cut up), one onion cut up, 3 stocks chopped celery until the meat was falling off the bone. I used the broth in chicken soup but made extra and froze in an ice tray so i could pop out a little bit for whoever is feeling sick, and heat it up. I also plan to add a cube or two to other things I cook during the flu season. Also, the cooked chicken I used in shepherd’s pie (my kid’s favorite) and other recipes that call for cooked chicken.

Juice Plus-17 Raw fruits and veggies with the water, sugar and salt taken out. What is left is in capsule form and has had a profound effect on our families health.

Kangen Water by Enagic– Ionized, microclustered, alkaline, filtered water. Changed our lives!!!!

Verses to back it up:

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47:12

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:34

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:14
***This one really seemed to help alot! :0)

Fire! Fire!

Whenever we put on holiday gatherings and weddings we always hope everything goes perfect. But if you think about it, the ones where something goes wrong are those that go down in history for us. The perfect ones no one mentions. If nothing goes wrong all we can say is “we got married” or “we put on a Christmas Tea.”

Several years ago my mother-in-love and I hosted a table at our church’s “Holly Day Tea.” Thus named for our pastor’s wife Holly. We actually hosted a table every year for nearly 16 years but one particular one lives in infamy.  It is the one we always come back to when recounting our decade and a half of hostessing.

For eleven months we planned our table. We took great pains to make it beautiful. You see, at our teas everyone that hosted a table brought their Christmas finery from home. The white table cloth provided for us by our church made the table into a blank artist’s palate.

One year we did a teddy bear theme and gave each guest at our table a tiny teddy bear with moveable arms holding a little sign we made commemorating the year and the tea. One year we used Muff’s collection of Tea Leaf dishes from the 1800s. Very cool. That year we gave little containers of tea that matched the guilt of the dishes perfectly. We spent hours planning every detail. It was so fun to find the perfect little keepsake in July at some close out sale as that is how we did it. Very frugal we two.

We really enjoyed doing it together. It was a hoot to sit and plan the next year’s table. In January or February when things are slow and we had time, we would choose the dishes then spend the rest of the year in search for the perfect centerpiece and ten little gifts to give our guests. I always bought the tickets for our table and invited friends that I thought might attend a church function but not go to an actual church service. It was my birthday present to JESUS. Fun outreach.

One year we used Dave’s Grandmother’s Franciscan Apple Dishes. They were beautiful. For a center piece we used the apple dish tower serving plates with exotic chocolates from some distant land and flowers. Of course we always had candles. Ahh candles, don’t they just set the mood. Don’t they just make the ambiance so soothing and Christmassy?

Well they usually do. That year one of the candles happened to be right near me. (Never a good idea.) We ate the delicious food that Peggy Browne always coordinated so perfectly. The lights dimmed and we settled back to watch the entertainment. The candles on the tables twinkled and just shouted MERRY CHRISTMAS.

A few minutes into the program, much to my chagrin, my whole water glass was thrown at the table dousing me and the chocolates as well as the napkin inferno.  Hysterical laughter surrounded me. Seems when I set my napkin on the table it was a bit too close to the flame and in a minute or two ignited and went up in a blaze. Since my back was to the table watching the harpist I was oblivious.  UGH!

Now every time the subject of the Holly Day Tea comes up with ANYONE that attended, they always laugh hysterically and recount the table that went up in smoke. We’re talking a decade later.

So many life lessons in that for me; never turn your back on a flame, no matter how small. I’m thinking that applies to life too. If we ignore little flames instead of dealing with them when they are small and easy to snuff out they often become blazing infernos that are much more difficult to extinguish.

Another lesson is that sometimes the things that we consider disasters we laugh about later. I often catch myself saying to someone, “We will laugh about this someday.” (I have teen aged boys).  If we can just keep things in perspective then we can stay sane, maybe even calm in a crisis.

I used to make wedding cakes for hire. Now I just do it for friends. I could tell you some hysterical wedding stories and I always tell the brides to hope something goes wrong. Nothing dire or disastrous of course, but you’ve got to have a story. Otherwise all you can say is “We got married.” How boring is that?

Merry Christmas and remember…we will laugh about this someday! :0)

Laugh, Learn & Live



December 12, 2011

The Closer We Get the Faster it Goes.

A few weeks ago I went to the Recreation Center to pick up my youngest of three sons, a high school sophomore, Micah after his Saturday morning basketball practice. Arriving a little early I plopped down on a bleacher to watch. One half of the gym had my sons group while the other was occupied by four boys. I was mesmerized. All four had dark hair; all had black basketball shorts and white high top tennis shoes. The boys looked strikingly similar except that two were high school age and two were third graders. Each group of two was working in their half of the half gym. From where I sat the two younger boys were in front of the older ones.  As I sat watching I was struck by the thought that only minutes ago my sons were the small ones with big dreams, looking up to those high school boys. How fast the years have flown by.

My mother-in-love, Muff always said, “Once they enter school it is a snap and they are in college, so enjoy every minute.” A concept I could hardly believe when mine were all in diapers and she first shared that thought with me. Through the years, whenever they would give me a hard time her haunting prediction would come to mind. It helped me to remember what is important and what is not.  Now that I am on the verge of an empty nest with the last of our hatchlings in high school, I marvel at how short a time we really have here on the planet. Muff is now 85 and starting to look toward home.

Over the last few years when Christmas time rolls around she comments, “It can’t be time for another one; we just celebrated Christmas a few weeks ago.”  Oh Muff has all her faculties about her; her mind is still sharper than mine (not sure that is much of a reference). It just seems to go so much faster now. Kind of like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

So enjoy every minute you have with your little darlings or your grand darlings as in a minute we will be looking toward home. My most fervent hope is that when I cross over and arrive on JESUS lap, he will say “Well done good and faithful servant.” My hope is that I will have represented Him well, and made each of my short minutes here on the planet count.