WWI Christmas Truce: 100 Years Later

WWI Christmas Truce: 100 Years Later, trenches, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, assassination, Allies, Germans, Germany, British, Western Front, history, teacher, Soldiers, generals, orders, war of attrition, guns, Christmas tree, beer, singing hymns, carols, gifts, cigarettes, warfare, war, The great war, anniversary, France,

WWI Christmas Truce: 100 Years Later

You likely have already heard and seen this breath-taking video. If not, I humbly post it here in hopes that it will ignite a fire in your breast to lay down your own personal agenda whenever it undermines peace between you and another. History is an excellent teacher.

 

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“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” ~Romans 12: 18

The Christmas Truce is an enduring image of the triumph of man’s spirit over hate and adversity. What really happened in no man’s land between British and German infantry in December 1914?

Setting the Stage

“THE assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife in Sarajevo on June 29, 1914, sparked a rapid sequence of events which led to the outbreak of World War I. In early August, Germany swept past Luxembourg and Belgium on their way into France and at first made rapid progress. The Allies and Germans tried a series of outflanking movements which eventually led to a battle line – the Western Front – stretching from Lorraine in the south to the English Channel in the north. Soldiers dug trenches and erected barbed wire to hold their positions: the nightmare that was to become ‘trench warfare’ had begun.

“In places the trenches were just yards apart and, as the soldiers realized that neither side was going to make any rapid victories or progress, the trenches became more fortified. The opposing forces now had time to regroup and strengthen their lines with more men but it soon became apparent to the Generals and to the men on the front line that this was going to be a war of attrition – the only way a ‘winner’ would be decided would be when one side ran out of men or out of bullets. As Private R Fleming of the 2nd Durham Light Infantry put it: “It is not war, this. It is who can kill the most in the shortest possible time” ( The Newcastle Evening Mail January 13, 1915).” (source)

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“The proximity of the enemies also allowed men to shout out to their opponents or stick up signs on wooden boards. After a particularly heavy barrage of missiles or bullets, the soldiers might shout out “Missed” or “Left a bit”. (1) This black humor was to be the start of a ‘conversation’ between troops that would hasten the onset of a Christmas truce.

“For much of December, it had been wet but on Christmas Eve the temperature dropped and a sharp frost enveloped the landscape. A ‘white Christmas’ would provide the backdrop to one of the most remarkable Christmas stories in 2,000 years.

“The shouting between troops turned into something more during Christmas Eve. Germans celebrate Christmas on December 24 – more than they do on the day itself (in Britain and France, December 25 is the main day of celebration). So on the Western Front on Christmas Eve, German soldiers began to sing carols and place Christmas trees lit with lanterns above the trenches. As a sub-altern told the Press Association: “Their trenches were a blaze of Christmas trees, and our sentries were regaled for hours with the traditional Christmas songs of the Fatherland. Their officers even expressed annoyance the next day that some of these trees had been fired on, insisting that they were part almost of the sacred rite.” (source)

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German troops decorate a Christmas tree inside their trench.

A ‘white Christmas’, singing of carols, shouts of good wishes across the trenches and the erection of illuminated decorations: A truce which days earlier had seemed inconceivable was now all but inevitable.

Christmas Eve – The Truce Begins

WWI Christmas Truce: 100 Years Later, trenches, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, assassination, Allies, Germans, Germany, British, Western Front, history, teacher, Soldiers, generals, orders, war of attrition, guns, Christmas tree, beer, singing hymns, carols, gifts, cigarettes, warfare, war, The great war, anniversary, France,

German troops pose for a picture and prepare to (hopefully) welcome in 1915.

It is not hard to understand how singing and shouting between trenches on Christmas Eve escalated into something more. This letter, for example, was one of hundreds sent home by the soldiers on the front and shared by excited families with their communities through the local newspapers. Censorship appears to have been in its infancy.

“As I told you before our trenches are only 30 or 40 yards away from the Germans. This led to an exciting incident the other day. Our fellows have been in the habit of shouting across to the enemy and we used to get answers from them. We were told to get into conversation with them and this is what happened:-
From out trenches: “Good morning Fritz.” (No answer).
“Good morning Fritz.” (Still no answer).
“GOOD MORNING FRITZ.”
From German trenches: “Good morning.”
From our trench: “How are you?”
“All right.”
“Come over here, Fritz.”
“No. If I come I get shot.”
“No you won’t. Come on.”
“No fear.”
“Come and get some fags, Fritz.”
“No. You come half way and I meet you.”
“All right.”
One of our fellows thereupon stuffed his pocket with fags and got over the trench.. The German got over his trench, and right enough they met half way and shook hands, Fitz taking the fags and giving cheese in exchange.”
Letter from Private H Scrutton, Essex Regiment, published in the Norfolk Chronicle on January 1, 1915″ (source)

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Conversation between English and German soldiers.

And this from Rifleman C H Brazier, Queen’s Westminsters, of Bishop’s Stortford: “You will no doubt be surprised to hear that we spent our Christmas in the trenches after all and that Christmas Day was a very happy one. On Christmas Eve the Germans entrenched opposite us began calling out to us ‘Cigarettes’, ‘Pudding’, ‘A Happy Christmas’, so two of our fellows climbed over the parapet of the trench and went towards the German trenches. Half-way they were met by four Germans, who said they would not shoot on Christmas Day if we did not. They gave our fellows cigars and a bottle of wine and were given a cake and cigarettes. When they came back I went out with some more of our fellows and we were met by about 30 Germans, who seemed to be very nice fellows. I got one of them to write his name and address on a postcard as a souvenir. All through the night we sang carols to them and they sang to us and one played ‘God Save the King’ on a mouth organ” (The Hertfordshire Mercury, Saturday January 9, 1915). (source)

Christmas Day

First, it should be remembered that while the truce was widespread it was not total. In some parts shelling and firing continued during the day; there were deaths on Christmas Day, 1914. Pat Collard, for instance, wrote to his parents at The Chestnut Horse pub describing a horrendous Christmas under fire, concluding: “Perhaps you read of the conversation on Christmas Day between us and the Germans. It’s all lies. The sniping went on just the same; in fact, our captain was wounded, so don’t believe what you see in the papers.” (Hampshire Chronicle, January 1915). (source)

But despite Pat Collard’s experience, there were indeed many truces along the Western Front that Christmas.

This letter from Private Cunningham, of the 5th Scottish Rifles reveals in more detail how such truces came about: “On Christmas Eve the firing practically ceased. I think both sides understood we were going to have a day off. Through the night we sang carols to one another, the German lines were only a hundred yards away, so we heard each other quite plainly. This went on all night. When dawn arrived we started putting our head above the parapet and waved to each other. On our left was a brewery occupied by the Germans and to our surprise we saw a German come out and hold his hand up, behind him were two rolling a barrel of beer. They came halfway across and signed to us to come for it. Three of us went out, shook hands with them, wished them a merry Christmas, and rolled the barrel to our own trenches amid the cheers of both British and Germans! After that it was understood that peace was declared for a day. We both got out of our trenches and met in the middle of the field, wished each other seasons greetings. The Germans said: “A merry Grismas!” Some of them were quite good at English. We had a most interesting day. The Germans got permission for our officers to bury some of their dead which were lying near our lines. ” (The Scotsman, January 5, 1915). (source)

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Germans soldiers supply thirsty English troops beer.

While this was typical there are also reports of very untypical truces with some soldiers going far behind enemy lines or staying with the enemy for some considerable time.

“This account by Rifleman C H Brazier, Queen’s Westminsters of Bishops, conjures up a comic picture of the Christmas Truce hardly typical of the usual image depicting cautious soldiers nervously shaking hands in No Man’s Land:

“The trenches in this position are so close that they are called ‘The Death Trap’, as hundreds have been killed there. A hundred yards or so in the rear of our trenches there were houses that had been shelled. These were explored with some of the regulars and we found old bicycles, top-hats, straw hats, umbrellas etc. We dressed ourselves up in these and went over to the Germans. It seemed so comical to see fellows walking about in top-hats and with umbrellas up. Some rode the bicycles. We had some fine sport and made the Germans laugh.” (source)

The End of the Truce

“If initiating a truce in the middle of war-torn France seemed impossible, then ending it was to prove even harder. Soldiers seemed reluctant to begin shooting at the very people they had been sharing jokes with just a few hours earlier.

“Company-Sergeant Major Frank Naden of the 6th Cheshire Territorials: “Next day we got an order that all communication and friendly intercourse with the enemey must cease but we did not fire at all that day, and the Germans did not fire at us.” (Evening Mail (Newcastle) January 31, 1914)” (source)

“And the Manchester Guardian’s Paris Correspondent wrote: “The sequel was more interesting than the event itself. The French and German soldiers who had thus fraternized subsequently refused to fire on one another and had to be removed from the trenches and replaced by other men.”

“It was then we discovered that those on the ‘other’ side were not the savage barbarians we’d been told,” Alfred Anderson, the last surviving British soldier to take part in the Christmas truce, told George Beres for the History News Network. “They were like us. Why were we led to believe otherwise?”

I find it encouraging that such a spontaneous truce was possible, yet also heart-breaking. Heartening in that for this short time these young soldiers could put aside their political hatred and unite in observance of a common holiday, and heart-breaking in that a short time later these same young men who had been breaking down the barriers of war would again be killing each other on a massive scale. 

WWI Christmas Truce: 100 Years Later, trenches, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, assassination, Allies, Germans, Germany, British, Western Front, history, teacher, Soldiers, generals, orders, war of attrition, guns, Christmas tree, beer, singing hymns, carols, gifts, cigarettes, warfare, war, The great war, anniversary, France,

The all too short Christmas Truce of 1914 was a celebration of the human solidarity and fraternity amidst the unimaginable pain and suffering of the Great War. It was an initiative of the soldiers on both sides against its political and military leaders. Indeed, the spirit of Christmas prevailed in December, 1914. 

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” ~Matthew 5:44

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Family Films, Heroines and Heroes, History, The Christian Walk | 3 Comments

Virginia Lee Burton, Fabulous Children’s Books Author

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Virginia Lee Burton, Fabulous Children’s Books Author

Dear Mama, if it is difficult for you to find wholesome, engaging books for young boys, look no further. Virginia Lee Burton’s children’s books are just the thing to acquaint boys with the wonderful world of books. And her books seem to not have an set age range…even older boys become engrossed in the pathos of the story and detailed illustrations!

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“I am a part of everything that I have read.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

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Virginia Lee Burton is best remembered as an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. Her memorable characters, still ‘alive’ in our grown children’s imaginations, make her one of our very favorite children’s book authors.

Virginia was born in Massachusetts in 1909. She won the Virginia Lee Burton, Fabulous Children's Books Author, Life Story, book, simpler times, reviews, children's literature, personification, animation, country cottage, urbanization, Amazon, Theodore Roosevelt, quote, living books, fiction, children's author, Song of Robin Hood, Trains, Trucks, Tractors, Cable cars, Diesel Engines, snow, snowplow, writers of stories, illustrator, complete and unabridged, classic, old books, homeschool readers, Geopolis, bulldozer, Choo Choo, Calico the Wonder Horse, Popperville, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Engine, The Little House, Maybelle and the Cable Car, Caldecott Medal-winning author,   prestigious Caldecott Medal for The Little House in 1943, and her illustrations for Song of Robin Hood (1948) found a spot on the Caldecott Honor list.

Burton’s themes take us back to a simpler life. She pays tribute to heroes who persevere through difficulties with goodness and strength of character.

Burton specializes in bringing the inanimate to life with her vibrant and detailed drawings and stories of courage and vulnerability. The beauty of the her stories is that they are simple, yet deep and complicated at the same time.

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It is true that her books captivate boys. Trains! Trucks! Tractors! Cable cars and Steam Shovels and Diesel Engines and Bulldozers! Every young boy’s dream. But in truth, everyone (girls included) from toddlers to grandparents are drawn into the oftentimes heart-tugging predicaments the subjects find themselves in.

Her use of personification, a highlight of her stories, makes for rich conversation with children. Her winsome animated machines can lead to great fun as we think about machines and why we sometimes compare them to humans (or animals) when we talk about them. Can you tell we like her works?

Song of Robin Hood

In all, she wrote and illustrated 7 children’s books:

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The Little House

The Little House is a poignant story of a cute country cottage that becomes engulfed by the city that grows up around it. The house has an expressive face of windows and doors, and even the feelings of a person, so she’s sad when she’s surrounded by the dirty, noisy city’s hustle and bustle: “She missed the field of daisies / and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight.” Fortunately, there’s a happy ending, as the house is taken back to the country where she belongs. A classic!” ~Amazon review

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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

“Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers — the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.” ~Amazon review

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Katy and the Big Snow

“Katy, a red crawler tractor, “could do a lot of things,” Burton explains early on. In the summer she is a bulldozer, helping to build and repair roads in the city of Geoppolis. In the winter, she turns into a snowplow, waiting and waiting for her chance to be useful. Most of the winters, though, the snowfalls are mild and the town doesn’t need Katy. But when the big one finally hits, the town is buried in page after page of powder. The power lines are down. The doctor can’t get his patient to the hospital. The fire department can’t reach a burning house! “Everyone and everything was stopped but… KATY!” Suddenly, the entire community is dependent on one little snowplow. Children love witnessing Katy’s shining moment of glory and will inevitably admire her “chug, chug, chug” endurance.” ~reader Gail Hudson’s Amazon review

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Maybelle the Cable Car

Maybelle was a cable car a San Francisco cable car. . . She rang her gong and sang her song from early morn till late at night. . . . By recounting the actual events in San Francisco’s effort to keep the city’s cable cars running, this classic story illustrates how the voice of the people can be heard in the true spirit of democracy. Virginia Lee Burton’s original art for Maybelle the Cable Car was retrieved from the archives of the San Francisco Public Library to re-create this edition with all the vibrant charm of the original, which was published in 1952. ~Amazon review

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Choo Choo 

“The story of a rebellious little engine that isn’t content and wants to show off, runs away and ultimately learns an important lesson. Does this sound like anyone you know? The author skillfully and carefully weaves a story that incorporates many topics of interest and importance to small children, such as travel, time, distance, trouble, responsibility, duty, etc., within the context of a story about a train. The illustrations are masterful and were prepared by the author herself. As with her other books, she is writing to her own small children, which adds to the richness, depth, sensitivity and focus of the story.” ~reader review

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Calico the Wonder Horse

“This is an old fashioned, action packed, rootin’ tootin’ western that has it all…cattle rustling, hold-ups, a stampede and kidnapping, a wild and thrilling stagecoach chase, and through it all, Calico comes to the rescue, outsmarts the bad guys and saves the day. Virginia Lee Burton’s clever, witty text is dramatic, engaging and full of wild west colloquialisms that will have both kids and adults laughing and cheering at all the fun. Her marvelous comic strip illustrations are expressive and full of detail and beg to be pored over and explored. Put it all together and you have the makings of a timeless classic to share with friends, family and future generations.” ~reader Roz Levine’s Amazon review

Now there is a 4-book collection that commemorates Virginia Lee Burton’s most popular classic stories, each featured complete and unabridged. They have been entertaining children, parents, and grandparents for more than sixty years, and I think they will entertain you, too!

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Mike Mulligan and More: Four Classic Stories

“There’s a reason why this book [The Little House] has lasted through 70 years of cultural change in America. Kids love it. Moms and Dads love it. Grandmas and Grandpas love it. What’s not to love?” ~Michael J. Ettner

Caveat: I have not read Life Story, but it has many, many references to evolutionary processes as she describes how the earth came into being, and so I share this warning. It is the only book of hers that I don’t recommend.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

Virginia Lee Burton, Fabulous Children's Books Author, Life Story, book, simpler times, reviews, children's literature, personification, animation, country cottage, urbanization, Amazon, Theodore Roosevelt, quote, living books, fiction, children's author, Song of Robin Hood, Trains, Trucks, Tractors, Cable cars, Diesel Engines, snow, snowplow, writers of stories, illustrator, complete and unabridged, classic, old books, homeschool readers, Geopolis, bulldozer, Choo Choo, Calico the Wonder Horse, Popperville, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Engine, The Little House, Maybelle and the Cable Car, Caldecott Medal-winning author,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

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Salt Sole: Never Buy Minerals Again

Salt Sole: Never Buy Minerals Again, clears skin diseases, prevention of muscle cramps, congestion of the sinuses, balance alkalinity/acidity pH of the body, normalize blood pressure, natural antihistamine, dissolves kidney and gall bladder stones, Himalayan salt, stabilizing irregular heartbeats, sea salt,  Celtic salt, refined salt, DIY, homemade, homemaking, health benefits, Dr. Mercola, vibrational energy,

Salt Sole: Never Buy Minerals Again

It turns out not everything that tastes good is bad for us! It’s posts like this that make me a happy blogger…sharing life-giving information that doesn’t cost an-arm-and-a-leg and is doable for all of us.

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Salt is essential and basic to all life – we cannot live without it. But most people just don’t realize that there are immense differences between the pure white, refined cooking-salt you find on tables in restaurants verses natural health-promoting salt. Man-altered table salt is stripped of minerals and bleached, not like God’s wonderful creation at all. Himalayan salt is mined from mountainous sea beds far from industrialization, so it is pure and free from modern environmental toxins. Sea salts, unfortunately, are becoming more and more contaminated as the oceans fill up with toxins.

These differences can have a major impact on our staying healthy.

Natural sea salt contains ninety-some essential minerals, whereas refined, adulterated salt (a byproduct of the chemical industry) contains only two elements, sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). Himalayan salt contains all of the minerals and trace elements found in your body and all of them are available in colloidal form – meaning they are so small your cells can readily absorb them.

Minerals in Himalayan Pink Salt – Spectral Analysis…94 trace minerals, electrolytes, and elements.

Sole (pronounced so-lay) is a fully saturated solution of water and Himalayan pink salt (you can also use Real Salt or Celtic salt). The water becomes saturated when the water can no longer dissolve more salt. At this point, the crystals remain undissolved on the bottom of the jar, indicating that the solution has reached it’s saturation limit. The water is now fully saturated. This is what is called Sole, and it can be taken as our daily minerals. 

Salt Sole: Never Buy Minerals Again, clears skin diseases, prevention of muscle cramps, congestion of the sinuses, balance alkalinity/acidity pH of the body, normalize blood pressure, natural antihistamine, dissolves kidney and gall bladder stones, Himalayan salt, stabilizing irregular heartbeats, sea salt,  Celtic salt, refined salt, DIY, homemade, homemaking, health benefits, Dr. Mercola, vibrational energy,

Here is a rather new-agey discussion on what happens when water and natural salt mix.

“Each of the ionized minerals in the sole represents the ionized minerals naturally occurring in your blood. And each mineral element carries its own unique vibration or frequency pattern of energy.”

I tend to believe these claims of generation of energy for the body, however. When salt and water collide, water is no longer water, and salt is not salt anymore. This combination produces a release of energy available to your body. Many in the scientific community (here, here, here) are now working on harnessing this release of energy when natural salt and water come together on a larger scale. The human body can benefit from it, too, with a properly prepared Sole.

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We’ve all been told for so many years that salt is damaging, so the thought of drinking salt water may be pretty illogical, but it turns out that this concentrated solution can have a variety of health-supporting uses.

Dr. Mercola discusses the numerous health benefits:

  • Sole is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats.
  • Sole is a strong natural antihistamine.
  • Sole can dissolve and eliminate sediments which lead to stones and various forms of rheumatism like arthritis and kidney and gall bladder stones.
  • Sole can balance the alkalinity/acidity [pH] of the body and normalize blood pressure.
  • Sole is vital for clearing up congestion of the sinuses.
  • Sole is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.
  • Sole can help with skin diseases by cleaning from inside out.
  • Sole is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucous plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.
  • Sole is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.
  • Sole is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.
  • Sole is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a crucial element for diabetes sufferers.
  • Sole is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in your body’s cells.
  • Sole is vital to the nerve cells for communication and information processing.
  • Sole is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.
  • Sole is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in many ways, is a result of mineral and water shortage in the body.
  • A little Sole on the tongue will help stop persistent dry coughs.

A study conducted at the University of Graz in Austria found that people who drank water containing Himalayan crystal salt daily experienced improvement in respiratory conditions, organ functions, and connective tissues. Participants also reported sleeping better and having more energy. The study noted a boost in the ability to achieve higher concentration levels. Some of the study participants stated they lost unwanted weight while others involved in the study showed enhanced hair and nail growth. For a complete summary of this medical study please refer to the book Water & Salt – The Essence of Life

One teaspoon of Himalayan Sole (and other unrefined salt) contains approximately 412 mg. of unprocessed, natural sodium. The USDA also states that the body absolutely requires a minimum of 500 mg. of sodium per day just to live. 

How To Make Salt Sole

What You Will Need:

  • A glass jar (mine is 6″ tall)
  • A plastic lid, non-metal (like this one)
  • Himalayan, Celtic, or Real Salt (see sources below)
  • Filtered water (ours is filtered by our Berkey)

Directions:

  • Fill the jar about ¼ of the way with Himalayan Salt, Real Salt or Celtic Salt (or a mixture)
  • Add filtered water to fill the jar, leaving room at the top
  • Cap jar and shake gently
  • Leave on the counter overnight to let the salt fully dissolve
  • In the morning, if there is still some salt on the bottom of the jar, the water has absorbed its maximum amount and the Sole is ready for use. If not, add more salt and repeat (shake and wait overnight) until there is salt remaining at the bottom of the jar. This means that the water is fully saturated.

To Use:

Consume every morning on an empty stomach. Do not stir the Sole. Take 1 tsp. of the Sole from the top of the Sole and add it into a glass of water. Do not use a metal utensil to measure or touch the Sole with any metal object. A wooden or plastic spoon is preferred, but do not leave it sitting in the Sole.

Never Buy Minerals Again

You can store Sole at room temp. It will last indefinitely as salt is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so you should never have to buy minerals again unless you run out of salt! More water and salt can be added as needed to keep up the amount in the jar.

Best Unrefined Salts:

You can usually find Real Salt, Celtic, and Himalayan Salt at your health food store. If you can’t, you can find it here online. Here are many options for price comparison:

Disclaimer: I am not a professional nor a doctor. I am a mother. I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use. Using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is intended to treat or prevent disease. Consult your doctor.

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Salt Sole: Never Buy Minerals Again, clears skin diseases, prevention of muscle cramps, congestion of the sinuses, balance alkalinity/acidity pH of the body, normalize blood pressure, natural antihistamine, dissolves kidney and gall bladder stones, Himalayan salt, stabilizing irregular heartbeats, sea salt,  Celtic salt, refined salt, DIY, homemade, homemaking, health benefits, Dr. Mercola, vibrational energy,

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Food & Recipes, Health, Healthy Living, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding | 12 Comments

Earn Your Life

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Earn Your Life

An old man walks down a wide path through a colonnade of evergreens. He has a full head of gray hair, combed from a wavy peak to one side. His eyebrows spike with a grandfatherly flourish toward his temples. He wears a light blue Windbreaker over a golf shirt with a horizontal stripe, Sansabelt slacks, and the crepe-soled shoes his doctor recommended. His gait is quick but stiff – stiff like someone who has just gotten himself up. He marches forward with great intent and purpose, as if he’s hunting out something or someone.

Behind him trail his family. His wife is closest, his son and daughter-in- law a step or two farther behind, bracketing their children.

The man’s eyes show that for the moment he’s not thinking of his family, although he seems to be dragging them in his wake. His eyes are at once wide-open yet fixed, poached by what can only be dread. His mouth works in a way that shows his stomach is in his throat. Off to the left his family can see the curve of a long shore, hear the soughing of the waves, and nearly breathe in the scent of the brine. But the man looks neither to his right nor to his left. He keeps stumbling forward, his body tense yet determined.

When he finally turns to his right, he steps onto a vast lawn striped with thousands of white crosses that extend toward the horizon. Here and there a Jewish star adds to the procession of markers that contrast starkly against the green sward. The old man’s pace speeds as he makes his way through this vast cemetery. His family struggles to keep up.

James Ryan’s determined march finally halts in front of a particular cross. The rims of his eyes show red. He wipes at them with a shaking hand, sniffs hard, tries again to breathe. Here it is, his captain’s cross, the name, the date: Captain John W. Miller, June 13, 1944.

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He takes another sniff against his watering eyes, bites his lip. He’s almost choking as he struggles to breathe in the heavy air. His knees give way, and he kneels before the cross, his shoulders heaving. His wife is suddenly at one shoulder, his son at the other. He’s glad they are there, but they cannot help with what needs to be done.

He mumbles that he’s all right, and they retreat several steps, leaving him to the thoughts that press so hard he can’t bear the weight.

Not until this moment does he realize that what he has been looking forward to yet dreading is a transaction. An exchange of some kind. For him this visit to the Normandy American Cemetery is no sightseeing tour. It’s a profound action. Even now he cannot say why he believes this to be the case. The emotion that’s seized him declares it to be so, however.

Whatever must happen involves the question that’s dogged him his whole life. The unspoken question that’s brought him here. He feels its presence in every memory, and not only the good ones.

Now that he’s looking at his captain’s grave, Ryan has to ask the question.

Decades earlier, on June 6, 1944, Captain Miller and his men had landed at Omaha Beach, a horror James Ryan had been spared as part of the 101st Airborne. His unit had been dropped into Normandy the night before the sea assault. He later learned from the tales of his buddies and from seeing newsreel footage what D-day had been like. Although Germany had not been expecting the assault at the place Eisenhower chose, the air assault hadn’t softened their positions one whit, and when the armored front of the Higgins boats opened onto the beach, the men were ducks on a pond to the enemy’s machine guns.

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Many of those sitting forward in the landing craft never had a chance to move from their seats as the Germans opened fire. Those who jumped over the craft’s sides to swim and crawl ashore could only cling to the Belgian gates and iron hedgehogs – the jack-shaped defensive works strewn in rows all along the shingle that prevented tanks from making the initial assault.

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The army rangers humped forward in waves, men falling to the right and left every few feet. They were getting hit not only by machinegun fire but by artillery as well. Bodies flew with the explosions. The wounded picked up their severed arms and stumbled a few more feet to their deaths. The waves washing onto the beaches ran red with blood, lapping at the dead, who lay scattered and senseless.

Captain Miller and a few of his company made it to the seawall. Although 50 percent of the men in the first waves to hit Omaha Beach were killed in action, the others broke the first line of German defenses.

Soon after the hell of D-Day, Captain Miller and a squad of seven men were assigned to find paratrooper James Ryan and bring him home – alive. The army’s chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, had personally issued the order for Private James Ryan to be taken out of the war. Ryan’s two older brothers had died in the great assault, and a third brother had been killed in action in New Guinea. Marshall thought that three sons were enough for any mother to contribute to the war.

Captain Miller and his squad found Ryan with remnants of the 506, Baker Company, which had orders to secure a bridge on the far side of a river. The company had been ordered to hold the bridge at all costs – or, as a final defense, to blow it up. When Captain Miller and his squad arrived to take Ryan home, Ryan refused to leave. Miller asked him what he was supposed to say to Ryan’s mother when she got another folded American flag. Ryan replied, “You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she’d understand that.”

Captain Miller and his squad told Ryan angrily that they had already lost two men in the search to find him. Miller finally decided that they’d make Ryan’s battle their own as well and save him in the process.

The Germans soon came at them – nearly a full company of men, two Panzer tanks, two Tigers. The Americans lured the Panzers down the village’s main street, where they staged an effective ambush. The only thing Ryan had been allowed to do was pitch mortar shells like hand grenades. Captain Miller never let Ryan leave his side, protecting the private every step of the way.

Still, one tank blew their sharpshooter to eternity. Another soldier died in hand-to-hand combat with a knife to his heart. No matter their ingenuity, the squad couldn’t hold off such an overpowering force, and the men made a strategic retreat to the other side of the bridge. In the retreat one of the sergeants was hit and collapsed.

Captain Miller took a shot beneath his ribs as he struggled to fix the wiring on a detonation device. Then an artillery blast knocked him nearly unconscious. All hope lost, Captain Miller began shooting at a tank coming straight at him.

Suddenly, Tankbuster aircraft shrieked down on them, blowing the enemy’s tanks to smithereens and routing their foot soldiers. The Allies’ own armored reinforcements rolled up minutes later.

Of the squad that had come to save Ryan, only two men escaped relatively unscathed. The others were dead or dying.

Captain Miller lay close by where he had been hit, his back slumped against the bridge’s wall. Ryan, in anguish, was alone with his rescuer in the final moments before Miller died. Ryan watched as the captain struggled in his last moments, shot clean through one lung. The captain wouldn’t take another breath, except to grunt, “James. Earn this . . . earn it.”

Were these dying words a final order or charge?

These memories rivet the aged James Ryan, who now finds himself staring at the grave marker and mumbling to his dead commander. He tells Captain Miller that his family is with him. He confesses that he wasn’t sure how he would feel about coming to the cemetery today. He wants Captain Miller to know that every day of his life he’s thought of their conversation at the bridge, of Miller’s dying words. Ryan has tried to live a good life, and he hopes he has. At least in the captain’s eyes, he hopes he’s “earned it,” that his life has been worthy of the sacrifice Captain Miller and the other men made of giving their lives for his.

As Ryan mutters these thoughts, he cannot help wondering how any life, however well lived, could be worthy of his friends’ sacrifice. The old man stands up, but he doesn’t feel released. The question remains unanswered.

His wife comes to his side again. He looks at her and pleads, “Tell me I’ve led a good life.”

Confused by his request, she responds with a question: “What?”

He has to know the answer. He tries to articulate it again: “Tell me I’m a good man.”

The request flusters her, but his earnestness makes her think better of putting it off. With great dignity, she says, “You are.”

His wife turns back to the other family members, whose stirring says they are ready to leave.

Before James Ryan joins them, he comes to attention and salutes his fallen comrade. What a gallant old soldier he is. 

(Excerpt from The Good Life by Chuck Colson)

So you see, James Ryan, out of gratitude for the sacrifice of his friend Captain Miller, did all in his power to live a good life.

Today, Veteran’s Day, is an exceptional time for each of us to look at our own lives and examine our hearts. Are we attempting to live ‘good lives’ in gratitude for all those who have gone before us in sacrifice – those who gave their lives, those who gave up years in service to our country, and those currently serving? Are we filled with thankfulness for those who have gone before us so we could live a ‘good life’ – one of freedom and liberty in a country where we have a vote, can raise our children as we would like, and can sleep safely at night?

And what about our families, devoted friends, and most of all Christ?

Like James Ryan, are we kneeling before the cross? What a powerful allegory in this imagery. Are we following the commands of our Captain thankfully doing our duty for Christ whatever the Lord has called us?

Take a long look in the mirror and appraise your life.

This Veteran’s Day, thank those who have sacrificed for you and those you know who have served in our nation’s armed forces at home or on foreign soil. Connect with them today…just do it! Tell them how much their service means to you. Maybe you’ll do what I do when you see a serviceman or woman in uniform …wherever that might be. Walk up to them and thank them for their service.

And then go and remember Whom it is you serve.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

Earn Your Life, Saving Private Ryan, The Good Life, live a good life, Chuck Colson, book, grave, gunner, sacrifice, honor, bullets, movie, Higgins boats, Army Rangers, machine-gun, wounded, sharpshooter, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, thankfulness, salute, fire, 101st Airborne, Baker Company, sea assault, beachhead, paratrooper, Panzer tanks, Tiger tanks, General George C. Marshall, Germans, war, Stephen Spielberg, cinematographer, Captain John W. Miller, Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy American Cemetery, white crosses, the cross, Christ, Jesus, serviceman, servicewoman, freedom, gravesite, America, WWII, invasion, landing, France,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Books, Heroines and Heroes, History, Tribute | 5 Comments

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The ‘Dirty Dozen’

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The 'Dirty Dozen', Clean fifteen, 15, Physicians For Social Responsibility, Robert Brault quote, Thomas Jefferson quote, male infertility, Rising rates of testicular cancer, Falling sperm counts, Decline in testosterone levels, Fewer males being born, birth defects, sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, canned food, processed foods, consumer demand, farmer spraying chemicals, toxic, chemicals, tractor, sustainable farms, farming, buy local, CSA, map, farmers markets, locally owned, pesticides, organic, conventional, cancer, carcinogenic, clean food, vegetables, veggies, fruit, dairy, meat, cheese, carrageenan, additives, MSG, hidden sources, Monsanto, big chemical companies, healthy living, parenting, cooking, eating, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, infertility, children, juicing, produce, Azure Standard, Green Bean Delivery, Whole Foods, Luke 12:22, national map, free app, download app, Environmental Working Group,

(source)

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The ‘Dirty Dozen’

Especially YOU, if you are juicing or find yourself infertile…listen up!

Our family is doing a 21-day juicing detox to address some deep-seated health issues. It has become clear that while juicing we consume SO MUCH MORE pesticides because we consume so much more produce in a short period of time. So, why buy the typical pesticides-laden conventional fruits and veggies when you are working so hard to rid toxins from your body! I want to get the best payoff from our health investment; it PAYS to know the dirty dozen and clean fifteen. Organic is a better value in this case when you figure the real cost of healthcare today.

Pesticides Affect Fertility

Choosing produce is also of concern to those considered infertile. As my husband and my journey with infertility crossed over the decade mark, I began reading that pesticides were strongly suspect in infertility. The notion was confirmed by my fertility specialist, as well.

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Infertility affects both women (sources: herehere) and men (here and here).

Physicians For Social Responsibility states that, “Human reproduction is under threat, and male fertility appears to be particularly at risk. Worldwide, sperm counts are down and infertility rates are up. Concerning trends in male reproductive health include:

  • Rising rates of testicular cancer
  • Falling sperm counts
  • Decline in testosterone levels
  • Fewer males being born
  • Increases in certain types of birth defects

Science tells us that pesticides and other chemicals are at least partly to blame. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are particularly adept at interfering with reproductive health, even when exposure levels are extremely low.” (Source)

Mamas, some of those men are our little boys now! 

Not only do we gain exposure from heavily sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, and conventionally canned and processed foods but also from the gorgeous fresh fruits and veggies one finds on supermarket shelves.

According to the EWG: “The fruits and vegetables on “The Dirty Dozen” list, when conventionally grown, tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67. For produce on the “dirty” list, you should definitely go organic – unless you relish the idea of consuming a chemical cocktail.” 

Dr. Alex Lu, Harvard, exposes what pesticides do to us and our children (2 Minutes).

The truth is, choosing organic-certified foods — when you can and can afford to — is one of the best choices you can make for your children.

“If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“The way he treats his body, you’d think he was renting.”  ~Robert Brault

Every year the Environmental Working Group analyzes pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA to come up with rankings for these popular fresh produce items. All 51 foods are listed HERE from worst to best (lower numbers = more pesticides).

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Organically grown foods have become more widely available as consumer demand increases. Nationally, more than 3/4 of all grocery stores carry at least some organic products.

  • Ask the farmers who sell at your local farmers market if their products are organically grown.
  • Ask your grocer to stock locally and regionally grown organic products.
  • Consider your own small garden plot for growing some of the things listed on the DD list: sweet bell peppers, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, spinach, and kale are some of the easiest veggies to grow.

On Packaged Organic Items, Read the Ingredient Labels

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The 'Dirty Dozen', Clean fifteen, 15, Physicians For Social Responsibility, Robert Brault quote, Thomas Jefferson quote, male infertility, Rising rates of testicular cancer, Falling sperm counts, Decline in testosterone levels, Fewer males being born, birth defects, sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, canned food, processed foods, consumer demand, farmer spraying chemicals, toxic, chemicals, tractor, sustainable farms, farming, buy local, CSA, map, farmers markets, locally owned, pesticides, organic, conventional, cancer, carcinogenic, clean food, vegetables, veggies, fruit, dairy, meat, cheese, carrageenan, additives, MSG, hidden sources, Monsanto, big chemical companies, healthy living, parenting, cooking, eating, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, infertility, children, juicing, produce, Azure Standard, Green Bean Delivery, Whole Foods, Luke 12:22, national map, free app, download app, Environmental Working Group,

 (Creative Commons)

There is a carcinogenic ingredient allowed in organic food! This surprising ingredient is a substance derived from red algae (seaweed) called carrageenan. 

Carrageenan is used as a thickener and stabilizer for certain dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt. Carrageenan is extracted from red seaweed (so naturally-derived) and widely used in the food industry for its thickening and stabilizing properties. It is most commonly used in milk and milk products including non-dairy milk alternatives such as coconut, rice, soy, and almond milk regardless if the product is certified organic by the USDA.

The organic watchdog group Cornucopia Institute notes that according to USDA organic code, non-organic ingredients like carrageenan can only be introduced into certified-organic food when they are deemed “essential” to the manufacture of a given product. The group argues that carrageenan should not have been deemed essential, because some organic dairy companies don’t use it at all, proving it can be done without. For example, Horizon and Whole foods 365 use it in their cottage cheeses, while Organic Valley and Nancy’s don’t.

Here is a shopping list to avoid using carrageenan.

While this hopefully makes us more aware, don’t let it make us become fearful. Simply exercise wisdom and seek it from the Lord. He has always directed my steps, and He will yours, too. Keep learning as much as you can.

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The 'Dirty Dozen', Clean fifteen, 15, Physicians For Social Responsibility, Robert Brault quote, Thomas Jefferson quote, male infertility, Rising rates of testicular cancer, Falling sperm counts, Decline in testosterone levels, Fewer males being born, birth defects, sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, canned food, processed foods, consumer demand, farmer spraying chemicals, toxic, chemicals, tractor, sustainable farms, farming, buy local, CSA, map, farmers markets, locally owned, pesticides, organic, conventional, cancer, carcinogenic, clean food, vegetables, veggies, fruit, dairy, meat, cheese, carrageenan, additives, MSG, hidden sources, Monsanto, big chemical companies, healthy living, parenting, cooking, eating, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, infertility, children, juicing, produce, Azure Standard, Green Bean Delivery, Whole Foods, Luke 12:22, national map, free app, download app, Environmental Working Group,

(Creative Commons)

Use this handy Dirty Dozen list (top photo) to help you budget your spending on organic produce. There is an app that you can download, too!

Support the Organic Farmer, Especially Locally Owned

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The 'Dirty Dozen', Clean fifteen, 15, Physicians For Social Responsibility, Robert Brault quote, Thomas Jefferson quote, male infertility, Rising rates of testicular cancer, Falling sperm counts, Decline in testosterone levels, Fewer males being born, birth defects, sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, canned food, processed foods, consumer demand, farmer spraying chemicals, toxic, chemicals, tractor, sustainable farms, farming, buy local, CSA, map, farmers markets, locally owned, pesticides, organic, conventional, cancer, carcinogenic, clean food, vegetables, veggies, fruit, dairy, meat, cheese, carrageenan, additives, MSG, hidden sources, Monsanto, big chemical companies, healthy living, parenting, cooking, eating, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, infertility, children, juicing, produce, Azure Standard, Green Bean Delivery, Whole Foods, Luke 12:22, national map, free app, download app, Environmental Working Group,

National CSA map

Juicers, those trying to conceive, and families with children, I strongly urge you to consider buying the Dirty Dozen foods organic, as best you can. Just do the best you can and don’t sweat the rest. Don’t give way to fear or frustration. True rest in the care of the Lord and peace are far more healing and strengthening to the body and spirit than any amount of organic food! 

“And He [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.” ~Luke 12:22

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Juicer Infertile

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook and join me on Pinterest. I’d love to have you subscribe via Feedburner. Thank you!

To Juicers & The Infertile: Know The 'Dirty Dozen', Clean fifteen, 15, Physicians For Social Responsibility, Robert Brault quote, Thomas Jefferson quote, male infertility, Rising rates of testicular cancer, Falling sperm counts, Decline in testosterone levels, Fewer males being born, birth defects, sprayed yards, neighboring fields, road fumes, toxic cleaners, air fresheners, canned food, processed foods, consumer demand, farmer spraying chemicals, toxic, chemicals, tractor, sustainable farms, farming, buy local, CSA, map, farmers markets, locally owned, pesticides, organic, conventional, cancer, carcinogenic, clean food, vegetables, veggies, fruit, dairy, meat, cheese, carrageenan, additives, MSG, hidden sources, Monsanto, big chemical companies, healthy living, parenting, cooking, eating, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, infertility, children, juicing, produce, Azure Standard, Green Bean Delivery, Whole Foods, Luke 12:22, national map, free app, download app, Environmental Working Group,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Children, Detoxing, Food & Recipes, Health, Protecting Our Children, Raw food | 5 Comments

Mama’s Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

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Mama’s Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Very trendy now are chia seeds and chia pudding, so we have been enjoying chia puddings along with everyone else. You can probably find over 100 recipes if you look on Pinterest alone! 

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Mama's Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding, raw, gluten-free, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, zinc, soluble, insoluble fiber, add bulk to food, raw cacao powder, raspberry puree, apple sauce, bananas, almond butter, chia gel, substitute for fat, coconut milk, water, dairy-free, processed sugar-free, pumpkin patch, James Whitcomb Riley, poem, quote, when the frost is on the pumpkin, snacks, breakfast, refrigerate overnight, trendy, dessert, health benefits, cozy, autumn, fall, harvest time, recipes, Pinterest, homemade, homemaking, keeper at home, health benefits, lose weight, feeling full, relieve constipation,

hydrophilic chia seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids including α-linolenic acid (ALA)

Since it has turned all fall-like and cozy-feeling I’ve been making this {raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, processed sugar-free} chia pudding concoction with pumpkin for breakfast and snacks…anything to add more pumpkin to the season! Our visit to the pumpkin patch was just perfect for that crisp autumnal day!

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For a basic recipe to which you can add any *flavor plus sweetener* (raw cacao powder, raspberry puree, apple sauce, bananas, almond butter, etc.), stir 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and a pinch of sea salt into 1 cup milk or milk alternative. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight. It makes itself while you sleep! By morning it will be thick and creamy – amazing for topping with berries or few nuts for a healthy breakfast or an afternoon snack or dessert.

A second way to use chia is to gel it. Similar to the pudding, you can make a chia gel, which can be stirred into sauces, dips or salad dressings to lend a more satisfying texture to otherwise lean items. Mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 1/2 cup water (or other liquid, such as coconut water) and let sit for 20 minutes. Chia gel can also be substituted for some of the fat in baking recipes though I have not done this.

Chia seeds don’t have much, if any, flavor of their own. Instead, they take on the taste of whatever you add them to. I feel they amplify flavors and add desired bulk to make your cooking even more appealing.

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Ingredients for Mama’s Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding:

(4-6 servings)

  • 3 cups of coconut milk or milk alternative of your choice
  • 1/2 cup (~8 Tbsp.) chia seeds - I buy in bulk to save money (they are shelf-stable)
  • 1 -15 oz. can pumpkin puree or just under 2 cups of your own baked pumpkin
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp of maple syrup or raw honey or substitute stevia to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 – 2 level tsp. pumpkin pie spice, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, optional to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, optional to taste
  •  1 tablespoon walnuts and pumpkin seeds to garnish, optional
  • a dusting of cinnamon to garnish

Directions:

  • Mix milk and chia seeds together in a glass or bowl until chia seeds are fully submerged/dispersed in liquid and not clumped.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together and stir into the chia mixture, smashing out any lumps.
  • Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours. I try to stir it once before I go to bed to make sure the chia seeds don’t become too gelatinous.

Some say chia seeds help with weight loss, but the 2 studies that have looked at chia refute that they help with weight loss. However, chia seeds do seem to keep me from wanting to snack between meals. The wee seeds provide an excellent source of fiber (11 grams per 2 tbsp!) – both soluble and insoluble – which helps you feel full and keeps things moving smoothly. They offer significant amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin and zinc. More health benefits on chia.Mama's Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding, clip art, autumn

So put on an extra sweater
and some nice thick socks;
Wake up for Mama’s puddin’
served up with bagels and lox.”
~Jacqueline

Mama's Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding, acorns, clip art, raw, gluten-free, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, zinc, soluble, insoluble fiber, add bulk to food, raw cacao powder, raspberry puree, apple sauce, bananas, almond butter, chia gel, substitute for fat, coconut milk, water, dairy-free, processed sugar-free, pumpkin patch, James Whitcomb Riley, poem, quote, when the frost is on the pumpkin, snacks, breakfast, refrigerate overnight, trendy, dessert, health benefits, cozy, autumn, fall, harvest time, recipes, Pinterest, homemade, homemaking, keeper at home, health benefits, lose weight, feeling full, relieve constipation,

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook, but even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner. Thank you!

Mama's Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding, raw, gluten-free, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, zinc, soluble, insoluble fiber, add bulk to food, raw cacao powder, raspberry puree, apple sauce, bananas, almond butter, chia gel, substitute for fat, coconut milk, water, dairy-free, processed sugar-free, pumpkin patch, James Whitcomb Riley, poem, quote, when the frost is on the pumpkin, snacks, breakfast, refrigerate overnight, trendy, dessert, health benefits, cozy, autumn, fall, harvest time, recipes, Pinterest, homemade, homemaking, keeper at home, health benefits, lose weight, feeling full, relieve constipation,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Food & Recipes, Gluten-Free, Raw food, Superfoods, Sweet Treats | 6 Comments

Why 99-Year-Old Lillian Weber Is Not Retired

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Why 99-Year-Old Lillian Weber Is Not Retired

She has no plans of retiring anytime soon. Matter of fact, by May 6, 2015, when she’ll celebrate her 100th birthday, Lillian Weber hopes to have sewn and donated her 1,000th handmade dress for young girls in Africa. 

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Lillian begins a new dress every morning at her home in the small town of Bettendorf, Iowa, to benefit Little Dresses for Africa, a Christian registered 501c3 nonprofit that sends dresses overseas to impoverished girls in Africa and beyond, including America.

It is reported in Africa that girls wearing a new little dress are much less likely to be abducted, abused, or molested because the new little dress shows that someone cares about them. 

Each dress takes four hours for Lillian to complete from start to finish, and it’s been her daily hobby for the past three years. To date, that has amounted to a whopping 855 dresses!

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Along with investing in her family, Weber said the dresses are now part of her life’s mission.  “I think that’s very important to have something different for these little girls,” she says. “I imagine four or five of them standing in a row, and they got a little dress on and they’re all different.”

“I feel the good Lord has given me this to do.” ~Lillian Weber

The people at Little Dresses for Africa, have named Lillian their ‘sewing celebrity.’ The organization has even launched a personal shipping fund for Lillian’s dresses.

“I never get tired of looking at them,” says Rachel O’Neill, founder and director of Little Dresses for Africa. “She likes to do the little extras, and believe me, [the little girls] love it.” O’Neill will personally deliver some of Lillian’s dresses to Malawi later this month.

“She’s my hero,” O’Neill says. “When someone like Lillian goes the extra mile, it shows.

Lillian’s daughters help by cutting out the fabric, and Lillian takes it the rest of the way. “She can thread a needle at 99; I can’t thread a needle and I’m not near that old,” said Linda Purcell, one of Weber’s daughters. “She makes the dresses because it helps her stay busy and staying busy keeps her out of a nursing home. She says she has no intention of slowing down or retiring.”

10 Ways To Make A Difference through Little Dresses For Africa.

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“If I’m still able to do it, I’ll continue all the way through because I know I’m making little girls happy. And that is very, very important to me.”
~Lillian Weber

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What a better place this sad world would be if all of us who were able-bodied said ‘No’ to retiring to the TV set or some other inwardly-focused pastime and decided to re-tread to serve others. Oh, that our hands would be used to love a neighbor, near or far, as we would want to be loved ourselves.

What a cool role model.

Lillian Weber is the kind of woman I want to be when I’m 99! Do you know of another senior who is making a difference?

“Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps.” ~Brennan ManningAbba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” ~1 John 3: 16-18

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner. Thank you so much!

Why 99-Year-Old Lillian Weber Is Not Retired, needy children, poor, ministry, pretty dresses, missional living, dedication, DIY, handmade, homemade, simple, easy, donate, sewing pattern, charity, Rachel O’Neill, stop abduction, stop abuse, 100th birthday, celebration, Little Dresses For Africa, sit in front of the TV, depression, selfishness, nonprofit 501c3, Christian, love, retirement, retiring, re-treading, centenarian, Lillian Weber, nursing home, aging, service, humanitarian, do unto others, Malawi, Africa, Brennan Manning, Abba's Child, book, quotes, shipping fund, role model, make a difference, sewing, pillowcase dress pattern, directions,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Heroines and Heroes, Sewing, The Christian Walk, Tribute | 19 Comments

Murmuration~ Winter Spectacle

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Murmuration~ Winter Spectacle

A “murmuration” of starlings, as this phenomenon is known, must be one of the most magical, yet underrated, wildlife spectacles in winter. One writer says, “In murmuration, each bird strives to fly as close to its neighbors as possible, instantly copying any changes in speed or direction. As a result, tiny deviations by one bird are magnified and distorted by those surrounding it, creating rippling, swirling patterns.”

And whoever thought of the word murmuration, anyway? It comes from the Middle English – ‘the act of murmuring:  the utterance of low continuous sounds or complaining noises.’

You can experience them in the video.

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Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

These images were taken at Gretna on the Scottish borders on November 1, 2011. This brought tears to my eyes. As you watch this chance encounter with one of the Creator’s greatest and most fleeting displays, may your mind be renewed and your heart filled with a desire to praise our awesome God today!

Now I keep my eyes ever heavenward in late fall and winter hoping to witness this very cool event. Maybe you will be inspired by one this winter, too!

“For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.”
~Words by Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917 The Song and the Story 
Queens College, Cambridge University

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ” ~George Washington Carver

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebookbut even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner. Thank you so much!

Murmuration~ Winter Spectacle, quotes, Matthew 6: 26, photography, Gretna in Scottish borders, birds of the air, swirling patterns, flight, George Washington Carver, Dylan Winter, Keep Turning Left, starling behavior, flocks, UFOs, winter display, peregrine falcon predator, bird phenomenon, nature facts, creation,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Birds, Nature | 9 Comments

Developing Your Child’s Observation Skills

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Black swallowtail drying after emerging from chrysalis

Developing Your Children’s Observation Skills

As you work and play around your yard, have a camera at the ready and take pictures when you see something that might interest your young children, even if it isn’t interesting to you. It will sharpen their observation skills, useful for all of life.

For years, we have been on the ready to capture images of beautiful and unusual things on film and to study them. In this age of digital, it is so much easier. We stop what we are doing…we get all excited!

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Last week when my husband and I were working together on the blackberry patch behind the garden, I noticed a black swallowtail butterfly resting after coming out of its chrysalis.

I grabbed my compact camera, a Nikon S8100 Cool Pik, and began taking note of what I saw. This butterfly’s wings were still slightly wet and not yet full size. Notice the greenish tint to the veins in the wings.

This beautiful, but damp, adult had already emerged and was pumping a liquid called hemo-lymph into the veins to inflate the wings. At this time as they are very vulnerable to predators.

Host plants of the black swallowtail include members of the parsley family: carrot, parsley, dill, and Queen Anne’s lace. One of the reasons (besides food value) of growing dill and parsley annually is to witness the yearly attraction of the black swallowtail to our little potager. I see them floating above the plants many days right outside the kitchen window. As the summer progresses, you will most certainly find caterpillars.

You can construct a simple butterfly house and feed it fresh host plant every day; it is likely to make a chrysalis, and later emerge completing its life cycle.

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Probably 3-4 days out of the egg sack.

 

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Parsley going to seed in its second year. Time to re-sow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 1″ (young) caterpillar is on my parsley -  eating away. I have enough to spare for him and a few buddies :)

Developing Your Children's Observation Skills, hemo-lymph, hatching, children, teaching, homeschooling, excitement, enthusiasm, nature lessons, outdoor fun, young children, parenting, motherhood, keeper at home, women's encouragement, photos, video, host plants, dill, parsley, carrot, bird hits window, rescue birds, crysalis, butterfly house, Oueen Anne's lace, bugle weed, life cycle of butterfly, S8100 Cool Pik Nikon camera, photography, observing nature, bird injury,

These perfectly new wings are almost dry and full size

 

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I saw it happen! I heard it! This flash of yellow and a dull thump on the glass! A tiny little palm warbler dropped to the concrete of our back porch. Oh, it made my stomach churn, but I grabbed my camera and rushed out anyway to see if I could help. She just lay there, totally still, with her feet tucked up under her tummy. Her eyes rolled up and opened again. She was probably dazed and not afraid of me.

Developing Your Children's Observation Skills, hemo-lymph, hatching, children, teaching, homeschooling, excitement, enthusiasm, nature lessons, outdoor fun, young children, parenting, motherhood, keeper at home, women's encouragement, photos, video, host plants, dill, parsley, carrot, bird hits window, rescue birds, crysalis, butterfly house, Oueen Anne's lace, bugle weed, life cycle of butterfly, S8100 Cool Pik Nikon camera, photography, observing nature, bird injury, female godfinch

Stunned palm warbler (thanks to Dawna for the ID)

It was a sunny, chilly, and very windy day. My daughter was right there beside me to hold the camera, and we took a 1 minute video to share. I will then tell you what happened.



After we set her down in a little hidden spot among the cobalt blue bugle weed, we watched off and on the whole afternoon and into chilly dusk. She became more alert, but didn’t fly away. The area of my garden is fenced, so there would be no threat of a cat, thankfully. In the morning our dear little friend had left. No sign of struggle, no feathers. She had shown signs of moving, so we decided to leave her in the hands of our Lord who knows…she would have certainly died in ours.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” ~Matthew 10: 29

Mamas, authentic excitement is catching! And truly, more is caught than taught…

It may be that you have a budding scientist (or nature writer or artist or photographer) in your home, and he or she may just need their eyes to be opened :) After all, that is half the pleasure and purpose of teaching our children…to direct them to excellent things, discover their God-given passions, and develop them to the fullest. Here are some practical ways to develop your child’s observation skills:

  • Take your children on walks in parks, on a nearby farm or orchard, or on your own property. Tell them that you want them to find 5 beautiful examples of God’s creation, such as an acorn, a leaf, a butterfly, a bird’s nest, or a plant. If possible, have your children draw what they found in a notebook and label it.
  • If you have older children, allow them time to use a camera to take photos of nature. You can help your child start and maintain a small photo journal of their finds.
  • If you come across some neat insect or plant while by yourself, take it and show your children. Ask them to help you identify it.
  • If you see a beautiful bird, scary snake, or other animal/insect, pull out an identification guide and look up the animal. Read about the creature, find out if it is poisonous, where it lives, its habitat and what it eats.
  • If you find unique things growing on a leaf or a small insect, grab your magnifying glass and show your children the intricacies of God’s creation.
  • Sometime when it’s snowing outside, put on gloves and let snowflakes fall into your hands. Take a magnifying glass and look at the design closely. Read more about the snowflake here.

Observing even the tiniest intricacies of nature builds in us a thankful attitude for the marvelous creation all around us, and it creates a mind eager and ready to observe in all areas of life.

If you are encouraged by something you have read here at Deep Roots, please consider liking my page on Facebook, but even more importantly, subscribing via Feedburner. Thank you!

Developing Your Children's Observation Skills, hemo-lymph, hatching, children, teaching, homeschooling, excitement, enthusiasm, nature lessons, outdoor fun, young children, parenting, motherhood, keeper at home, women's encouragement, photos, video, host plants, dill, parsley, carrot, bird hits window, rescue birds, crysalis, butterfly house, Oueen Anne's lace, bugle weed, life cycle of butterfly, S8100 Cool Pik Nikon camera, photography, observing nature, bird injury,

Deep Roots at Home is also now on Google+!

~ Jacqueline

Posted in Birds, Children, Garden, Home-schooling, Nature | 5 Comments

Can Leftovers Make You Sick?

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(Creative Commons)

Can Leftovers Make You Sick?

Sometimes we think of the refrigerator as some sort of cryogenic chamber that’s capable of keeping food fresh indefinitely.                        

Stew from last week? No problem – it’s been in the fridge. Turkey slices left over from the pitch-in – what day was that, anyway? Leftover veggie pizza slices that got pushed to the back? Sure! But even at a chilly 40 degrees, mold and bacteria (both gram-positive and negative) can thrive. 

Two awful experiences with mold  - one in a past home and now this one – made us very sick! It is no joke, and now I have begun examining other places to be watching for mold. Even if you’ve never had the sickening, icky problem of mold to deal with, you may have not thought about it on or in your leftover food. But, you should!

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My practical friend Julie reminded me of this very thing since I mentioned we were eating more leftovers lately. Because of the sickness and clean-up from the latest mold issue and caring for the needs of two of our aging parents long-distance, I’ve not been as on top of things as I’d like. 

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~ Jacqueline

Posted in Food & Recipes, Health, Healthy Living, Mealtime, Storing Food | 13 Comments