There Are No Words...

Once again I wrote this on the eve of the holiday it is for and was thus unable to post it sooner. But I figured, since the message is an eternal one, (and in my book, the Christmas season isn't over yet), I will share it anyway. I hope this inspires you to think of the true meaning of the season as it did me.

There are no words to describe... how Mary must have felt at the angels message,

There are no words to describe... how vulnerable was the Baby in the manger that night,

There are no words to describe... the joy in the heavens at His birth,

There are no words to describe... the depth of meaning to the gifts the magi gave,

There are no words to describe... the hope He has given us,

There are no words to describe... the pain Mary felt at seeing her son murdered,

There are no words to describe... the pain God the Father felt in seeing His innocent Son pay the price for our wrongs,

There are no words to describe... how Jesus broke the hold of death and rose from the grave,

There are no words to describe... the power we have because of Him,

There are no words to describe... the love He feels toward us, children and the lost alike,

There are no words to describe... the magnitude of God's plan in sending His Son to us, to live, to die, and then to live forever.

What Some Will Do For God - A Late Thanksgiving Post

(I wrote this before Thanksgiving but was unable to post it due to time constraints --as well as the fact that I had made a pact with myself not to do anything that would give me neck pain which would result in a ruined holiday. Needless to say, that was a hard pact to keep. ...And in writing this post, I kind of broke it.)

We all know the story leading up to the first Thanksgiving, and because of that familiarity we often overlook the gravity of the account. Let's think about it briefly.

Some of the believers in England agreed that the laws put on them from the King regarding their religious rights were keeping them from worshiping God as they knew was right. It soon became apparent that they would have to make a choice: bow to man or bow to God. They chose to bow to God because they respected Him and knew that in His hands they would be secure.

They left their homes where generations of families lived to endure hardship, because pleasing God was more important to them than their comfort. If they hadn't had faith in God's perfect purpose for their lives, we wouldn't have America today.

Their decision was based upon the belief that God's will was higher than any man's, that He was the Creator of life, and that not only did He hold their very being in His hand but He cared for them beyond human understanding.

The question that I put to you today is, what would you have done? Do you love and respect God enough to make scary, life altering choices for Him? Think about it, what if the pilgrims hadn't decided to trust God and come to America? The thing is, we all will have to make that decision personally at some point or another, to do what is right and obey God, no matter the cost, or remain in our comfort zone and therefore miss His best.

Although we may never have to make a decision so tremendous as the pilgrims did, we will have our own decisions to make. Will we have the courage to do the right thing? The pilgrims had the courage only because of they trusted in God.

I pray that I will have as much courage when my turn to make such hard choices come.

Making the Snowflake Ribbon Necklace (Picture Tutorial)

Well, I did it, and without too much delay. In September I wrote a post on making a pair of nautical earrings, among other things, (read the post here), and in that post I mentioned an idea I wanted to create but at the time didn't have the supplies for. Today I present to you the fruition of that idea: the Snowflake Ribbon Necklace!

I've already said how I wanted similar chain to what I had only in silver. I bought this chain at Michael's, very doubtful of whether it had large enough loops for the ribbon. I decided to try it anyway.

Here's what you will need to make your own:
  • pendant
  • 24 1/2" of chain
  • 2 - 4mm jump rings
  • 1 - 6mm jump ring
  • necklace clasp
  • 28 - 30 inches of 3/8" ribbon
  • cross-stitch needle
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • fabric glue/hot glue

Measure your chain and attach necklace clasp with jump rings to chain. A simple necklace made. I chose a necklace length that was what I considered average, not long but not short. Make yours whatever length you like, only remember that you will need more --or less-- ribbon.

Attach the 6mm jump ring to the pendant (that is, if the pendant needs it). Go ahead and slide it onto the necklace just to get an idea of what it looks like. Already pretty, huh?

Open the necklace and slide the pendant back off. Fold the ribbon over to thread the needle and then find the center, or thereabouts, of the necklace.

I didn't bother cutting the ribbon just yet as I wasn't sure how much I was going to need. Begin weaving the ribbon through the chain. I chose to weave in the ribbon at every fifth chain. Depending on your chain, as well as your preference, you may want to weave in smaller or larger intervals.

It worked after all! The ribbon wasn't too big and the chain wasn't too small.

When I reached one end I guessed how much ribbon I would need for the other end, snipped the ribbon, and continued to weave in the ribbon on the other end.  This is the necklace with the ribbon completely woven in. Give the necklace a little tug to tighten any gaps. Secure the ends by first knotting them.

Then, for a piece that will stay intact, use some fabric glue and dab at the knot. Let it dry for as long as it takes and when set, snip off the ribbon ends close to the knot.

I realized afterward that the glued knot might become an irritant on the neck over time but hopefully I am wrong. However if it does, then I will either pull it all out and try hot glue, or find some other way of securing it.

Now you can slip on the pendant and admire you work.


What do you think? 

I am so pleased this worked out! Because, as you may or may not know, I had no idea whether it would. I merely sat down with my camera and gave it my best shot. 

Let me know how yours turns out! I would love to see the design you have chosen.

Finished... but then - The FourSquare Baby Blanket

One of the last patterns I made for Crochet Spot was the one pictured below, the FourSquare Baby Blanket. You can find the free pattern by clicking the link or searching the site.

I started making baby blankets years ago when my the first second-cousin was expected. (Did you get that?) I found that I really liked making blankets for expectant families and have made quite a few since. I have also found that it can be a job in itself keeping up with all the blankets I need to make. This blanket is for my nearly 5-month-old nephew --a little belated. I have made two for my niece, the first one is the Sorbet Baby Blanket and the next is the Jungle Rhythm Baby Blanket (click the links to see the patterns).

Since I really adore the simplicity of granny squares I decided to jazz it up a little in this four-square pattern. I used Bernat Baby Coordinates in white, Buddy Blue, and wanted Lemon Lime but ended up with Funny Prints. I still think Lemon Lime would have been better but Funny Prints worked out.

When I began seaming the four squares together I ran out of time trying to find the one I wanted and ended up choosing a method I eventually hated. I sent the pattern in to Rachel at Crochet Spot with the simple instructions "Seam squares together". But no way was I leaving this. So I ripped it out and used the JAYGO (join as you go) method at Petals to Picots. Now I was satisfied.

I added a border of the same granny stitch pattern (you can find a pattern for it at Petals to Picots too) and was finally pleased. Now I can send my nephew the blanket I had intended to have finished months ago. But now that I am no longer working for Crochet Spot, I shouldn't have that problem anymore, right? We'll see.

I can't say the blanket is exactly reversible, which now that I think about it, was a bad idea. Blankets are supposed to be reversible!! I let my hate for weaving in ends cloud my judgment.

Now on to the next project. A throw for my cousin's wedding gift. It will be quite a while before I exhibit it here. After that I have another baby blanket I need to make, as well as the growing list of ordered items that have to be made and sent before Christmas. But hey, crocheting is what it's all about, right?

Let me know what you think! And be sure to check out the other patterns I mentioned at Crochet Spot. Hope to see you again soon!

The End of Something and The Beginning of Others

Autumn Harvest Scarf

It has been 2 years and 8 months since I began working for Crochet Spot. I have learned a great deal, from crochet pattern designing to HTML, and succeeded in creating about 130 patterns and 8 or so tutorials. Rachel Choi, the creator and owner of Crochet Spot, has been great and continually patient with me the entire time, kindly making me aware of my mistakes in formatting and other areas, at my request. But for a few of my own reasons, I have made the choice to quit.

One of those reasons has to do with physical problems. I struggle continuously with various pains due to prolonged crocheting periods (among other things) which present a problem when you have people depending on you. Because I am a confirmed crochet enthusiast and unwilling to give up the craft (in fact, the idea itself is preposterous!) this can be extremely frustrating to me. It became apparent something would have to give.

But the main reason is multifaceted. My biggest dream is centered in writing, a topic I am sure I have discussed multiple times in the past. But briefly, I want to write novels, and in the meantime, greatly enjoy writing blog posts and articles on all subjects from fashion, book, and movie reviews to science, history, and crafting. I plan to commit a majority of my time to this from now on.

Démodé Summer Cowl

Then again, I am far from out of the crochet business scene. Once a crochet pattern designer, always one, right? I still have oodles of ideas and finished projects that sit and collect dust. The family can only use so much. I will talk more on this in a later post.

The fact is, I have sincerely felt God leading me in this direction for a long time. I had so many questions and fears. What about my financial situation? What about this, what about that? All of which still tries to wheedle in and discourage me. But I believe that when God calls a person He also equips them. If He wanted me to quit, then He must have something better for me. I just have to have faith and be patient.

Custom Monogrammed Infinity Scarf

And you know what, I have already had a few orders for some of my work. A friend has requested me to make 5 monogrammed scarves (see this post for more on monogrammed scarves), and I have another order for a toddler's bag. To you this may mean little, but to me, it is God's encouragement. I know He has something great in store for me, it's the waiting patiently that I am asked to do. Pray that I succeed!

A 60's Sheath Dress

I grew up playing an I Dream of Jeannie dress up game on the computer. Naturally, I loved it! When you were lucky enough to put together the right arrangement it would tell you it was one of her outfits from the series. If you were one of the special people who had the chance to play this then you know what I mean. For the rest of you, I'm sorry I can't direct you to where you can get it. It just doesn't seem to be available anymore.

The moment I saw the title of this episode, Jeannie Breaks the Bank, I immediately recognized it and was waiting for the outfit I had seen dozens of times. Of course, it being so long, I didn't know which one it was exactly but when I saw it I knew it.

Jeannie wears a peacock blue sheath dress with a spring green colorblock on the front, with nude pointed toe pumps, double-stranded pearl necklace with diamond pendant, white gloves, and a white clutch purse.

This is from the episode entitled My Master, The Author from 1966. Her dress is a princess style with a loose collar. I really love how she wears her hair here, it is much lovelier than the short style in the pictures above.

What about you? Have you played the game? What do you think about Jeannie's styles?

The Cat from Outer Space - 70's Fashion and Movie Review

Jake and Lucy Belle

The Cat from Outer Space is a Disney production about an alien that arrives on earth in the form of a cat. His ship malfunctions and he employs the help of physicist Frank Wilson to repair it. The 'cat', Jake, uses the superior technology from his collar to levitate, open doors, fly planes, and much else. Time is short as Frank is joined by two other colleagues in the effort to help Jake, but it isn't long before the military and other powers get wind of 'the cat' and his unnatural abilities.

This is one among many good Disney movies I have enjoyed growing up. I'm sure most will agree a cat is the perfect choice for the embodiment of a friendly, superior alien. If you haven't seen this movie, I definitely recommend it. The only thing I dislike are the evolutionary assumptions so casually given. Granted, these are limited but as a young earth creationist, I find it offensive that they are so naturally assumed. Although, it would be hard to have an alien movie without the presence of evolution, but I digress.

As usual, I cannot watch a movie without critiquing costume. This movie was made in 1978, a little later than most of the movies and fashion I feature here on Over the Horizon because normally I am not overly fond of fashion from the 70's, but there are always some exceptions and this is one.

Ken Berry plays Dr. Frank Wilson, the physicist Jake asks to help him. Here Ken wears the typical-but-classy sweater over a polo shirt, and chocolate brown pants to go with the pale yellow and tan. It is hard to tell if the pants are corduroy but it would certainly be keeping with the style of the period if they were.

Sandy Duncan plays Dr. Liz Bartlett, the owner of Jake's newfound love interest, Lucy Belle. Sandy's style throughout the whole movie has one or more loose fitting elements. I think I like this outfit best. She wears a smart blue button-up with a noticeably pointed collar, striped sports jacket, loose-fitting bell bottom slacks with a belt, and a short pink kerchief to bring out the pink in the jacket. I'd like to include the style of shoe she is wearing but, unfortunately, I can't tell from the limited view you get of them.

Rarely am I a fan of short hair cuts on women, but there are occasional times when a woman can really pull it off. Sandy's small frame and proportional head are fitting for the pixie cut (as it is now called). Note how she wears it flared back from the face.

Now I don't know if I have spoken about it here on the blog or not, but I am the biggest fan of sweaters. Maybe it has to do with my yarn fascination but then again I have never attempted to crochet sweaters. Either way, I immediately fell in love with Ken's bulky cardigan. And don't miss the colors: emerald green and warm cream! In the next picture you can see his pants are a dull green.

This outfit of Sandy's (pardon the quality of the picture but it's the best I could do) is very casual but full of character. A gray painters jacket with the sleeves neatly rolled up, over a long sleeved red and white striped shirt. Her pants are a bright blue and once again, bell-bottomed.

Do you see Jake on the couch? So adorable!

This has to be my least favorite outfit Sandy wears but it's worth noting anyway. She has donned a loosely fitted pants outfit of laurel green with matching scarf. It really is the epitome of the gradual change from 70's to 80's. Out with wide waistbands and the closely tailored bodices of the 60's and earlier eras, and in with wide shoulders and elastic waistbands, among other things. In my opinion, it is only due to Sandy's small frame that she even looks good in this outfit.

In the last scene, all has turned out well (I won't spoil it for you and tell you how). Ignore the goober on the left.

Ken's suit jacket is a unique shade of brown and the material resembles suede. Don't you love how the seventies utilized color? I'll bet his pants were either a warmer brown or dark blue.

Sandy, holding Lucy Belle, is wearing a white dress suit comprised of jacket and pencil skirt. And you just have to love the collar of the blouse. For the finishing touch, two flowers, one cream-colored, the other pink. It is hard to tell, but I'll bet there is a bit of pink in the blouse she is wearing.

And that does it. What do you think? Have you seen this movie? How do you feel about the styles I have mentioned? I'd love to have your feedback!

The Incredible, Yet Harmful Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star

Crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

Although I have always loved everything about the sea since I could remember, I have been fascinated most with the phylum Echinodermata since highschool, specifically classes Asteroidea (sea stars) and Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers). I've often asked myself what it is about these creatures that so thoroughly intrigues me and frankly, I think it's due to how little I used to know about them. Growing up, I had the impression that sea stars were naturally hard and unavoidably stationary. I was surprised to find out otherwise.

These past years watching "Deep-Sea Live" from the Okeanos Explorer, a NOAA research vessel, I have been enlightened in so many ways. I am always happy to see species from one of these classes and I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of the screenshots I've taken on this computer consist of these subjects. During the last (and just concluded) expedition in Hawaii, I was often amused at the continual 'bickering' between two of the scientists whenever we would observe a sea star enjoying a meal of coral. Of course, the sea star has to eat, right?

I have recently realized that some of these cute little, often pentamorous, creatures can have a devastating effect on coral populations. It's a dog eat dog world, they say, and it's no surprise when something you find adorable has a dark side to it. It makes me wonder what life would be like now if not for the curse?

The Crown-of-Thorns starfish (COTS) is a good example. I first came upon the prickly creature while researching for a paper. I was enamored. I saw groups of them feeding on coral aggregations, a man skillfully holding one from underneath, and the effects of being pricked by one of the creatures spines. They are one of my favorite marine creatures to read about today. But it might surprise you how much harm an outbreak can cause.

Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library

In a well-balanced ecosystem COTS works with the coral to keep it from overpopulating. This is none other than a skillfully planned case of superior design. Unfortunately, as with so many other things, the curse of sin brought on by man in the beginning has wreaked havoc on God's perfectly balanced creation. COTS population has blown out of proportion and in some locations have destroyed over 90% of coral life. Resulting in the need for serious action. Scientists have spent as much as $3 million in poison in an effort to save the reefs. But the battle rages on. Recently, they have found "store bought" vinegar can do the job with less financial cost.

My first question was: why? What causes COTS outbreaks? My suspicions proved true when I read from multiple sources that a high cause is due to agricultural runoff. More specifically, nitrogen pollution. Simply put, the nitrogen causes an increase in plankton, on which COTS larvae dine, and the result is a dangerous increase in COTS population. It is all too common to find out the root of a problem lies with man mishandling creation. Other causes are lack of predators, and there is thought that El Niño plays a part as well.

All actions have consequences, even ones as seemingly unimportant as over fertilizing. God put us in charge of this planet as stewards to take care of it. Cutting down more trees than is necessary, killing off entire species, and dumping trash in the ocean is hardly fulfilling that responsibility.

What a world it would be if nature was perfectly balanced like it was before the fall of man. And yet, despite the destructive ramifications, God still keeps a balance to nature.

"Who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; when I fixed My limit for it, and set bars and doors; when I said, 'This far you may come, but no further, and here your proud waves must stop!'" *

"You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all." **

I've been struck by these two verses many times. Just like God's promise to never again send a global flood, He is trustworthy and dependable. He will sustain us. 

Now what will we do?

*Job 38:8-11 (NKJV)
**Nehemiah 9:6 (NKJV)
References and further reading:
-"Divers kill crown-of-throns starfish with vinegar", SCUBA News,
-"Great Barrier Reef dying beneath its crown of thorns", The Conversation,
-"High-tech fertilisers and innovation have come to the Great Barrier Reef's escue", The Conversation,

Feathers, Buttons, and Charms for Earrings

One thing I love most is getting a great discount on yarn and jewelry supplies! Okay, that's two things.

I normally order my yarn from Jo-Ann's, Knitting Warehouse, or Knit Picks, since I am able to find a greater variety online. But Hobby Lobby is where I go for my jewelry making. It's important to be able to feel the weight of the material you are deciding on using, among other things. I know this because in looking for specific jewelry notions I have ended up being surprised when I actually see what I bought. The chain is bigger/smaller than it looked in the picture, the information about the product is scant, or it's just too heavy for what I had in mind. Hobby Lobby usually has a remarkable selection to choose from and I love when it's half off!

This last trip to Hobby Lobby resulted in some great picks! Here's some of what I bought (the top row, to be more specific). I bought the buttons from Jo-Ann's a little while back. I just couldn't pass them up: wood, leaves, buttons!!

I am a sucker for anything nautical and the Traditions line of jewelry notions grabs me every time. I also am really taken with Fairly Tale notions. They have some unique pieces and I wish I had more to do with them. My jewelry creations are pretty basic right now, just some easy earrings, a necklace or so. I haven't really given myself a lot of opportunity to get creative, plus I am still building my supplies.

My idea for this snowflake pendant is to get some silver chain that looks just like this gold and loop thin, white ribbon in and out before stringing on the pendant. I don't normally wear silver, but all of the other women in my family do. And I occasionally make an exception. I think it will turn out quite nice.

Recently I designed a crochet pattern for Crochet Spot, called the Vintage Glenda Hat. I plan to make a few changes to the pattern, make it in a light brown, and use some feathers and maybe one of these buttons for embellishment. A truly inspired hat that Glenda Farrell herself would wear ...I'd like to think.

For the Traditions notions, I already had what I needed. Simple is as simple does, I opened the fish hook earrings with a pair of needle-nose pliers (which I stole a long time ago from Dad) and attached the charms. Here's a tip: hold the charm up the way you want it to look when it sits in your ears and make sure it will sit the same way when you put it on the earring. It can get a bit tricky, but sometimes you get lucky and the charm doesn't make it necessary.

And here they are! I especially like the image of the sloop. Reminds me of something straight out of an old book. Makes me giddy just thinking about it!

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Jeannie, The Secretary - 60's Fashion

While watching the beginning season of I Dream of Jeannie, I have admired the unique style of her clothing. The 60's morphed the fitted dress of the 40's into a more, dare I say, streamlined model. Although there are things about the 60's I do not personally care for in comparison to some earlier years (such as a shorter heel and more pointed shoe, lack of proper waistline, and etc), I still can't help appreciating the periods sense of fashion.

In the episode I am referring to today (Season 1, Episode 9, The Moving Finger, 1965), Jeannie pretends to be Major Nelson's secretary in order to join him as he acts as technical consultant for an upcoming movie.

As usual, he refuses to take her but that look on her face says it all. Notice the glasses. Not too much so as to look cat-eyed, and straight through the arm or ear piece.

Her hair is teased and well-bodied, in the typical 60's style of "big hair". A top layer is feathered around the crown while the thicker, bottom layer curls out.

This dress was particularly attractive to me because of the mix of feminine and business. Double layered collar and large, 2" buttons. Do you remember my love for buttons? (See this post).

Being still mid-60's, the skirt is only about a foot from the knees and is casually A-lined. She carries a clutch purse and a pair of gloves. This is the style of the 60's. Adorably simple and just too cute!

As with all my favorite styles, this one is going on my "to sew" list. I wonder if I'll ever accomplish half of what is on that list...

Unfortunately, Tony's costume changes little and therefore leaves me little to say about it. And strangely enough, men's clothing changes gradually through the years as opposed to women's. I can't figure out why that is so.

Let me know what you think about Jeannie's outfit in the comments below!

Harriet Nelson - Casual Yet Impressive

Harriet Nelson was the epitome of a good housewife and the Nelson family what you would call a modern American family of that era. Of course, TV would like you to believe it was all a bed of roses and knowing life as we do, can highly doubt it was. But the show is cute and frankly, I call it insightful. It's a glance back at the early days --days we have forgotten all about. When living was simpler and what you did in a day had little to nothing to do with technology. Food was more natural, although growing more processed, and there wasn't a new diet each new week. Then again, all I have to go from is television. And a few people who know what it was like.

To me the past holds some pretty interesting secrets. You can read about all the history you want, but sometimes there are things the history books just neglect to talk about. Such as the little things, like what people ate, every day little things that have been lost to time. I love taking an old picture of people living normally and studying it to see if I can find some little thing that you may not have known about. It's like taking a peek back in time.

Recently, we have started watching The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet instant from (If you aren't familiar with it, check it out. They have movies, shows, kid's shows and cartoons, documentaries, with the prime intention of presenting morally clean entertainment.)

This episode is called The Pills (S1, Ep 3). Ozzie is intimidated by his neighbor Thorny, to lose weight, but his idea to take pills for it backfires when they turn out to be appetite increasing pills.

Unfortunately, Harriet is only seen in this outfit for less than a minute and only from the hips up. I assume she is wearing a calf length a-line skirt to go with the casual button up. Notice how the sleeves are rolled up giving the impression she has been hard at work, and yet she looks just as fresh as if she had been sitting on the front porch. The vest is waist length and open, with buttons from top to bottom. The belt appears to be leather --and I'm still trying to figure out what is hanging from it. A pouch? Or watch? Over all, her outfit has a western style and still just as immaculate as anything else she wears. Her hair is neatly fixed and her earrings are casually noticeable.

What do you think? Does Harriet's outfit look like something you would like to wear now days? I know I would.

Submission Does not Equal "Doormat"

If you have been keeping up with the news you have seen that Anna Duggar is taking a great deal of flak over her apparent decision to stick with her unfaithful husband. Pure and simple, she has an obligation to make a decision that will not only protect her but her children also, and only she can make it. The sincerity of her husbands words of repentance remains to be seen, and wisely speaking, he deserves a great deal of suspicion and wariness. Only God knows the heart.

But on what grounds is Anna basing her decision?

I am what you may call a devout Christian in that I believe Jesus is God and therefore our Creator, and the Bible is the flawless word of God. The Duggar's also call themselves "devout Christians" but their idea of what it means greatly differ from my own. There are some heavy misconceptions that people like the Duggar's have about God and what the Bible says. Let me explain a few.

It is said Anna Duggar believes it is ungodly for a woman to get angry and that it goes against her beliefs that a wife should submit to her husband.

Let me tell you first of all, when it comes to God's laws, man or woman doesn't make any difference. If God says something is sin, then it's sin no matter who commits it. God doesn't have a different standard for men than He does for women, and no where in the Bible does it say, or even imply, He does.

But is anger truly ungodly?

I always return to this verse: "Be angry and do not sin," (Psalm 4:4, Ephesians 4:26). If God viewed anger as sin wouldn't that verse be a contradiction? But on the contrary, a person can become angry without sinning and a very good reason for how I know this is Jesus Himself. While Jesus was on this earth there was an instance where he was enraged at the way people were desecrating the temple.* He literally drove them out! There was emotion, a great sense of justice, and decisive action on Jesus part. Furthermore, while He was in human flesh He remained perfect, sinless God, and thus could not commit a sin. If we do not share in His anger at injustice in the world, we are no good for anything but to be walked over. (Granted, the way a person responds to their anger can often lead to sin, and more often than not does. That is our responsibility to handle.)

Thus simply put, becoming angry at your husband does not go against a wife's responsibility to submit to him.

But submission itself is a touchy subject, one plagued by years of stereotypes and misrepresentation. It's not something to keep women under the thumb of men. This is a ghastly misconception that one would think had gone out with the crinoline. We are all required to submit daily --yes, all of us. For example, when driving our vehicles, we submit to the laws of the road. We submit to leaders, elders, children are expected to submit to their parents, employees to their employers, and so forth. And yes, biblically speaking, a wife is supposed to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-24), but in doing so she is not expected to lose her voice and her identity. God made each of us unique and with a special purpose. Likewise, a husband does not become a god to her, with the right to rule superior (Ephesians 5:25).

But more importantly is this. At the top of the submission pyramid is God, to which all of us are first and foremost required to obey. Anything contradicting Him loses its right. For instance, a boss, husband, parent, leader, etc, has no right to enforce you to do something that you know goes against God.

Next down on that pyramid for a woman would be her father or husband. And yet, I would say it is wrong to put man higher on the pyramid than woman because this implies that man is superior to woman. Genesis 1:27 says, "[I]n the image of God He created him (man, as in mankind); male and female He created them." Both were made by God, in His image, with just as much importance in the eyes of God as the other. The husband being head of the wife, father head of the family, does not replace equality and pit men better than women. A wife submits to her husband because she respects him. The problem for us as women is that it is hard for us to adhere to this way of life because we know the undependable nature of mankind. You can't trust that your husband will always do what you "know" to be the right thing. It really boils down to this, no woman can be what she needs to be for her husband, her children, or herself, apart from God's empowerment. It is impossible because we do not have the strength within us. We have to trust God to do what needs to be done. Which can be oh, so hard!

Anna Duggar appears to have lost her individuality and seems to consider her responsibility toward her husband her highest priority. Biblically, there are grounds for divorce, but whether this is it, I will not say. I just hope Anna will soon realize the right God has given her as a person. Because a godly woman is a strong woman.

For further reading, see Ephesians 5:22-6:9; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 5:5.
*Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46

Blue Eyeshadow, More Frames, and All Around Class

There was a time in years past when my siblings and I would sit in front of the TV in the afternoons watching reruns of I Spy, I Dream of Jeannie, and Star Trek, to name a few. Naturally, we had our favorites but we watched whichever came on. But always shows from the time between the 40's and 70's. 

A quick synopsis: I Spy is a TV show that ran for 3 seasons between 1965 and 1968 about two American agents undercover as Tennis professional and his trainer, covering assignments all over the world, despite the fact that the first season seems to remain in Asia.

Episode 10 of season 1 is called Tatia. Kelly falls in love with a double agent and Scotty has to convince him of her true identity.

Although Tatia had about 5 or 6 outfits in this 50 minute show, this was one of the best. The blue scarf covering her hair and casual striped sweater gave her a real down-to-earth look. Her makeup too was fairly basic, or at least as basic as makeup can be in the 60's.

Her glasses were simple and very similar to others I have seen and posted here on my blog (see here). But I had to mention them just the same. I love the color. 

In another episode, Sheldon Leonard plays a high dollar fence who has attained important microfilm. And, you guessed it, Kelly and Scotty must get it back. His frames are little more square than Tatia's and dark in color but the over all shaping is the same. It's that 60's style that never fails to impress me.

Julie London also stars in this episode called Three Hours on a Sunday Night (Ep. 12, Season 1). In keeping with fashion of the day, her hair is short but full. In comparison to many of her other hair styles in her younger days, I think this one does her face slim justice.

She wore furs, shimmery dresses, and blue eyeshadow. I believe the 60's was the era when colored eyeshadow was the "thing". Admittedly, pictures, moving or still, were often black and white in the earlier days so it is hard to tell what color makeup a person may be wearing. But it is a fact that neutrals were more common during the 40's and 50's. Her lipstick also is a lovely shade. Not too much and not too little.

But despite all the glitz and glamour of their female costars, the stars of the show never cease to impress. Here, Kelly is in blues with a satin ascot and Scotty in beige with signature shades. As usual, immaculate and ready for anything.

Culinary Chronicles - Buckwheat and Flax Crackers

It is high time for another Culinary Chronicles!

I don't think I have to tell you how rotten I feel at putting this off for so long. I think (if I remember correctly) I promised this recipe a few years ago. But then I got distracted with other posts I wanted to write and etc, etc, etc. So normally I get to my work and I get it done. Since I have been making these crackers at least once a week for many years now I tend to be a little robotic about it. I'm trying to slow down and change the way I look at things. (Take a look at my last post for a hint at why). I want to stop ramrod-ing everything in my life in order to meet my impossible (and self inflicted) schedule. So Monday morning I got out the home-ground buckwheat and flax as usual and just stared for a moment. I was weighing the sense in "wasting my time" to document the procedure. I feel a little sheepish admitting that, yes, I felt a hint of guilt at taking the time to do this when I had so much that I usually need to do. But I told myself that was nonsense. What has come of my life that I can't even do a food post anymore?! Well, the pep talk over, I set to work.

In the beginning, I wanted to make a cracker that worked and wasn't made out of wheat. I did some research and found some recipes that sounded good but, as always, I had to create one just the way I wanted. Here's what I have worked out.

This recipe makes 3 pans/cookie sheets worth of crackers. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (In the winter I have to bake them at 390 degrees but our summers get pretty hot and 375 degrees seems to work best).

Measure out 2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour into a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of finely ground (but not clumpy) flax flour and 1 tsp of Himalayan pink salt. Mix well, pressing out any clumps in the flours.

Once flours are well mixed, add 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I have used coconut oil before, and it works really well, but since I freeze the flours the coconut oil hardens rather quickly and becomes difficult to work with.

Incorporate just until mixed. The dough should be thick but all flour fully mixed in. If you think it is too thick then add some more water. Just remember, you want it to be thick so that it is workable and produces a hardy cracker instead of a bready one. You might have to try a few times before you get it. Believe me, I have had practice.

Measure out 4 pieces of parchment paper the length of your baking sheets. Take one and sprinkle a small pinch of buckwheat flour over it. Toss some more buckwheat flour over dough, working it with the spoon into a ball.

Separate the dough into 3 even balls. They look a little crude but over kneading them presents a bready cracker.

Take one ball and flatten it out in the center of the prepared paper. Toss a little more buckwheat flour over it to keep the paper from sticking.

Lay a sheet of paper over the partially flattened ball and use a rolling pin to flatten further. This is kind of the tricky part. At first my crackers came in all different shapes, mostly ugly ones. But I learned to work the dough into a rectangle by first rolling it vertically and then horizontally. Just feel the direction the dough is going and be careful not to push it too far. You want it to be thin but not quite paper thin. And then again, ugly crackers can be cool. Original.

Take a pizza cutter and slice the dough however it pleases you. If the dough is too thick it will stick to the blade, you don't want this to happen. But if it does, dash a little more flour over it before you do. Repeat with next 2 balls of dough.

Slide paper onto baking sheets and bake crackers for 15 minutes or until they begin to have a nice toasted look. You can quickly poke a center cracker with your finger to test the crispness but be careful not to burn yourself. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Buckwheat and Flax Crackers

Makes 3 sheets


    1 1/2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour
    3/4 cup of finely ground flax flour
    1 tsp of Himalayan Pink salt
    3/4 cup of water
    1/3 cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degree. Mix flours well then add liquids. Stir just until mixed and let sit while you arrange parchment paper. Divide dough into three balls. Roll each ball between floured sheets of parchment paper. Cut with pizza cutter and slide paper onto baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until crackers are golden.

I love them particularly with hummus, but I also eat them with cheese, and peanut butter, and on occasion, homemade salsa. Sometimes I add a bit of cheese to the batter, and other times I have added seasonings like rosemary. Feel free to try anything you like.

Let me know what you think and how it goes for you!