Tuesday, May 28, 2019


I am excited to have a new webpage to go along with the great things God is doing on my life. 
I plan on leaving this up for now but all of my writing has been transferred over.  
Here is the link 
Dorothy's new website
Thanks for your love and support!

Monday, February 11, 2019

5 Things Every Husband Needs

In conversations with other wives the conversation often turns into "husband bashing" sessions. As Christians, I think this is extremely contrary to what God wishes us to do.
Now don't get me wrong. My husband and I are so very far from perfect! And we have a history. About a decade into our now nearing 22 year marriage, we hit some really tough patches and were seperated for almost an entire year. Next to our daughter's death, that 11 months apart was the hardest thing I have ever lived through.
Because of the miracle God worked in us in complete restoration of our marriage, we have had the privilage to walk along side other couples in tough situations.
When asked how we survived, we always respond with "ONLY by God's grace and much effort!" It's not easy. After almost a decade back together it is still not easy.
Here are a few things however, that I have learned along the way, that not only apply to my husband but seemingly to husbands the world over, and can hopefully help curb the husband bashing cycle.
#5. He Needs A Cheerleader
The workforce is a tough place to navigate. No matter what our man's occupation, he needs encouragement. Even though we may not physically work with our man, he needs to know he's doing a good job. He needs to feel like he has a supporter who cheers him on regardless. I once heard a stat that went something like this. As humans, we need to hear 7 good things for every 1 negative thing thrown our way. The workplace can be brutal. He probably hears more then his share of negative feedback.
Home should be different and a haven, the place where encouragment is a natural, daily part of life. 
One of our favorite things...camping! 
Now I must note, each personality will respond differently and have different styles of needs in the encouragment department. So find the most meaningful way to be an encourager to your man.
#4. He Needs a Friend
Remember how much time you spent in the dating/newly wed stage doing everything with your husband? 
 I can remember how as a new wife, I desperately wanted to spend as much time as possible with my constantly hunting husband.
That meant I took hunter's safety courses, got my hunting license and proudly showed off the Browning A 500 rifle he got me.
It meant stiffling the urge to yell "run Bambi!" to every deer with in a mile and trampse through piles of snow and mud to track the ones shot by the group.
I did not grow up in a hunting family and was always the one to rescue the small chipmunks being tormented by the large hawks overhead. I also gave every pet rabbit and kitten that died the proper burial. 
So hunting was a real stretch for me but I did it because he was my best bud and I wanted those moments with him.
As we've been married longer, I no longer hunt, though my gun is still somewhere in the basement.
I have had to find other ways to connect with him.
Sometimes it is simply sitting on a dirty, over turned 5 gallon bucket and chatting while he works on his truck.
Other times I make an effort to run errands with him, making the attempt to not chatter his ear off but simply be a comforting and quiet companion.
How is your friendship with your man?
Epic day exploring caves
#3. He Needs You To Laugh With Him
This one kind of goes hand in hand with number 4.
As my husband and I have worked through our differences, we have found how important it is to have fun together. Laughter is an essential ingredient in a healthy marriage.
A few years back, he came home from work and wanted me to look at some You Tube videos his friend had shown him. Inwardly I groaned and wondered what silly shananigans he wanted to waste my time with.
Boy, was I ever wrong. What he had was Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage".
Not all folks love that series as much as we do, but the way that Mark explains the God given differences in men and women had us in stitches for the whole set of several hours it took us to piece together the series on You Tube. 
We could not stop watching and laughing.
My shy, introverted husband bought the DVD series and ended up hosting a marriage retreat at our church with them! We liked them so much we shared them again just a few weeks back with a few couple friends. 
How ever you do fun best, make an effort to have fun and laugh on a regular basis!
All dressed up for a friend's 40th birthday
#2. He Needs You to Trust Him
Trust. That's always been on the tough list for me. It may be hard to admit, but I like to be in control.
I am learning however that trusting him is imperative. He needs to be able to provide for us. He needs to be able to care for us.
To me, this has been challenging even more since our daughter died as a result of drowning, which took place in our back yard. I tend to want to never let my 3 living children out of my sight. Even with him. But in so doing I ruin a lot of what could be happy memories for them.
God created men with spirits of daring and adventure that are so different from our mother hen spirits.
In trusting that he is capable of caring for the children he fathered, I embrace God's creativity in creating him.
When I first posted this photo, I titled it "my favorite place"
#1. He NEEDS Your Respect
According to Emmerson Eggrich in his best selling Love and Respect, Men need respect like we as women need to feel loved. 
That one thought, though it made sense right off, has been a doozy for me to learn and apply. 
I could spend all day saying "I love you" to Lowell and it really wouldn't trip his trigger. He needs my respect AND the actions to back up that fact.
This past year, I was very sick for many months. As a result, I had the time to listen to several of the Love and Respect Seminars and I had the time to think about how to personally apply the stuff I learned to our relationship.
For me that has "fleshed out" in my stepping back from my take charge style personality in order to allow him to flourish in the decision making process in our home. 
 I often wrongly thought that he did not need to or wish to be involved in a lot of the day to day life process. 
Since I have taken the time to get his opinions on things he is so much more confident and creative in what he brings to our relationship and we are working so much better as a team, together, instead of him in his corner and me in mine.
There are many ways to show respect.
Find what works to best respect the husband God has gifted you with!
sunset by the ocean, frizzy hair and all
So there you have my list.
It is not comprehensive and is not a magic cure all.
God created us unique and individual. 
Each of us is responsible to find the best ways to make our marriages work in ways that will best shine God's healing, love and light to the world around us! 
Giveaway Time!   
I'd love to hear from you and what you have found helpful in your marriage!  So to urge you along in the sharing process,  I am hosting a giveaway.  Winner will receive a chosen by you favorite **book of mine on marriage
(**may be in used format since I am the queen of recycle).
Winner will be drawn on Valentine's Day
1.Post a pic of you and your valentine in the comments. 
2.Tell us how long you've been married.
3. Share 1 thing that you have found helpful in your marriage.
4. Share this blog (then comment telling me you did. Facebook and Instagram entries will be counted as well)

Monday, February 4, 2019

You asked for it....Installment 2 - Hannah's Banana Muffins

I am somewhat of a fanatic when it comes to food. Trying to making food healthy and yet not taste like dry cardboard is high on my to do list.
A few weeks back I paid a visit to my newlywed friend Hannah.  As we sat chatting she served up all things appropriate to my current "diet".  She was super excited to share her freshly made loaf of banana bread. Now I love banana bread but my family isn't a huge fan, so it is not often on our menu. Hannah had some delectable chocolate pieces in her loaf and informed me it was low in sugar.  It was delish, so of course as I left I asked for her recipe which she promptly shared. The original recipe was called Skinny Banana Bread and was authored by Lauren Allen. 
I set out to create some yummy of my own and have been quite delighted with the results.
I decided first that I would bake the loaf in my muffin pan since I seem to have bad luck with getting the loaf baked all the way through before the outside is burned.
Secondly, since I am still trying to steer clear of sugar, I decided to see if I could cut the sugar out altogether though the original recipe only has about 1/2 cup sugars (brown and white) 
total,  since bananas are a sweetener on their own.  It worked. Trust me, I did a happy dance.  Now, if you have a hankering for a bit of extra sweet, add a few chocolate chips which are super yummy and make these a hit with my kidos.  The excellent part is they store perfectly for an easy to grab breakfast with your cup of coffee or a mid morning treat...IF the kids leave any for me.
And of course I think of my sweet Hannah whenever I make them. 
Are you drooling yet?  Here is the recipe with my latest tweaks.
4 bananas mashed
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
*1 1/2 c flour
2 T. butter, melted
**yummy add in items:  Chocolate chips, pecans, coconut...the list of possibilities is endless.
* In my last batch, I used freshly ground whole wheat instead of my typical King Arthur Unbleached (amazing stuff for all things baked)  Good flavor,  but as with most whole wheat baking you must add a bit more baking powder/soda.  (I am still tweaking those exacts) Or you could try 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wheat.
**My favorite add ins are 1/4 c chopped pecans and 1/4 c chocolate chips.
Mash bananas in mixer bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well.  Grease 8 muffin cups in a regular sized muffin tin or line with paper.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Test with toothpick to make sure they are baked through. All ovens are different.... Try them!  Let me know what you think and what tweaks you made. 
 My sweet friend, Hannah, the new Mrs. Yang (the fact that she's baking things in her own kitchen makes me feel soooo old.  After all, she was a darling 2 year old just yesterday)

Monday, December 31, 2018

Choosing Joy Over Fear

I've been pondering a lot of things as I sit thinking about the year that is leaving and the year that is to come. 
It's been a not so fun year with all my crazy health issues that lasted through out most of 18 months. My last living grandfather went to heaven this year. 

Some dreams got worked on.  Some dreams died. 

Abby's been with Jesus for almost 4 1/2 years now and our family is doing alright. We've actually done well, I'd say, with all that has happened to me. 

Recently though I started connecting some of the dots to key areas we seem to struggle with....It mostly boils down to allowing fear to dominate.

Several times it has come up in our grief therapy. I can see it in my children.  It's much harder to identify in myself. 
It hit me this past week. 

Beings I have been so ill, we had made the choice late this past fall, to stay home from our yearly trek to spend Christmas with my parents and siblings in South Carolina.  It was hard. I was sad.  My children just about couldn't fathom Christmas with out Nana.

It turned out amazingly. 
Pretty near perfect. 

We had a friend's wedding on Saturday and hosted Lowell's mom, aunt and siblings/families on Sunday. Then it was just us.  Just us, uninterrupted for 2 whole days. We played games, laughed, relaxed, ate fun food and stayed in our jammies. I realized a bit in, that making our own traditions wasn't half the work I had thought. 
I can not remember the last time my husband and I laughed so much or did so much dreaming together. 
It was refreshing. 

As I lay down to sleep one night, those old emotions started knocking. 

Our last 21 years has had its share of tough times. Sometimes I have really missed the fun we had before all the hard stuff hit. We used to laugh more.  We hosted people and enjoyed it immensely. We planned things together and had the most fun seeing them through. Looking at old photos, shows the laughter in our eyes and not the deep underlying grief and sadness. 

 It seems life is full of seasons and the last real magical time was the family trip to Edisto beach.  The ocean greeted us with open arms. All 5 of us have expressed feeling the magic of that time with my parents and siblings and their families.  We took a gazillion photos, ate seafood hammer down, played games and built sandcastles. We rode bikes around the island and ran after the ice cream truck. We took a huge family photo on the beach complete with Pawpaw dancing around to keep the tears at bay. 

2 months later Abby went to heaven and joy seemingly left, leaving grumpy tear filled days in its place. 

Our Miss Kendra has explained many times that in grief, it may be hard to allow oneself to enjoy life, to laugh, to live fully. 
Like I said, I see it in my kidos. My youngest in particular goes bananas, usually ending up hiding under her pillow when we watch a funny show as a family.  Laughter is almost frightening.
Her young mind and the trauma she has experienced put up a wall that make the joy in daily life painful.

As I lay, trying to sleep, pondering the thoughts slamming through my brain, it suddenly hit me. 
Coming through the magic of a few amazing, seriously enjoyable days serves as a breeding ground for a heavy feeling of doom and almost bracing myself for another tragedy and losing another soul I love. 

I can not and will not live there. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am not naive. I know that life is full of good days and bad days, happy and sad, blessing and tragedy. 
I am well acquainted with grief.  My rose colored glasses have long since disappeared. 
But, God is faithful.  He is good.  I can indeed trust HIM in the easy and the hard.  He is with me in the valley and on the mountain top. I am also fully aware that the trauma we have faced as a family will continue to affect how we see things. But, I know that when the hard emotions come along, He will walk with me through the working through them process.

Do I then have it all together?
Absolutely not! 
But I know He does....

So as I set off into 2019, my conscious thought process is to allow joy to seep in and bring the gifts of laughter and dreaming along with it, thus defeating the monsters of fear. 

Who is with me? 

My favorite fridge magnet 

I would love to hear about your choice selections for 2019. I would also like to hear how I can pray for you!
 Drop me a comment below or pm me.  I LOVE to hear from you!
Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Let The Real Church Arise

Today was a very different day then I had planned. I baked some treats to deliver to friends and neighbors. 
It was supposed to be quick. I'd be home again in 20 minutes.  
I took Lexi and as we made stops she'd jump out and run to the door, pink Santa hat bobbing. If the folks were home she'd hand off her chosen treat, wish them a Merry Christmas and head back to the warmth of the van. 
We had just a few bags left and suddenly I found myself turning down a road I hadn't planned on going down. I thought for sure no one was home. As we waited briefly, my neighbor, whom I know just in passing, came to the door and seemed very glad to see me when she figured out who I was. We shouted polite pleasantries back and forth until I realized she wanted more. I climbed out in the cold and sat down beside her on her cement front steps. As the conversation moved along my heart broke and I watched as what seemed to be a huge dam in her heart crumble as she wept over pain many decades old. I awkwardly patted her back whispering prayers for wisdom. She'd been hurt bad by organized religion. God had let her down and she built walls high in a heart riddled with grief at the death of sibling at a young age. Christianity had recited well all the trite pious nonsense typical for those who are not well acquainted with pain and loss.
She kept thanking me for listening and kept excusing all of my time she took. I kept assuring her I was just fine and invited her to my home for a visit.  I also asked her if I could pray with her before I left. She obliged. 
As I drove home, my heart kept breaking for her pain and for the pain of others so wounded by the organized church full of those of us who are supposed to represent the name of Christ.

As I arrived home a return call was waiting for me from another person I have not seen in some time. I'd left several messages on her machine and was praying for strength to do the right thing. I'd been feeling for several weeks that I needed to apologize to her as I know she has been deeply hurt by a grouping of Christian people I am a part of.
This dear one came into our midst as a brand new believer. She was eager to learn. And she loved Jesus! Instead of encouraging her and coming along side her we showed how good we were at spouting massive amounts of judgement and harsh Pharisee like righteousness at her at every turn. Needless to say, she didn't stay with us long.
Now I was never openly mean to her, but I didn't step in and stop the ridiculous happenings. And to my shame I joined the mean gossip about her all to frequently.
So recently, when a similar un Christ like incident happened that I of course in typical Dorothy fashion got involved with, God started gently pressing on my heart the importance of calling her up and replacing that bad experience with grace and standing in the gap for the group collectively in asking her forgiveness for how she had been treated.

Now I did not wave a magic wand and fix her pain. I am not achieving some level of holiness and am not working on brownie points with God, but my heart keeps breaking repeatedly at the crass cruelness we as Christians exhibit to other persons God created and loves! 
When will we get it?
When will our focus change to what's truly in the heart of God and his will for each of us?
When will we grasp how short of a time we have left here and become passionate about taking as many as we can to heaven with us?

My friend Russ took this picture of my son and his friend at our last communion. I love it on so many levels.

I wonder when we will learn how to roll up our sleeves and serve each other in love, leaving harsh judgement, criticism and un Christ like attitudes where they belong?
I wonder how many will take a stand with me and repent for the sin in our midst (even if we don't see ourselves as guilty) and learn what exactly it means to be Jesus with skin on to those around us?  And I really wonder what could happen if we joined forces and stood together as an organized body and follow God truly? 

Time is short. Let the real church arise!

In as much as you have done it to the least of these...you have done it unto me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

You Asked For It...Installment 1: Making Kombucha

As you probably have figured out, I love cooking, baking and pretty much anything to do with food!  For the next few posts, I will be sharing recipes and how to's that you, my loyal readers, have asked for. 
That said, I am not the queen of cooking!  I do not have all the answers. But I do love the process and am always honored when you want my recipes. 
 If you had told me a few years back that I'd be brewing up weekly batches of Kombucha, I would have laughed in your face.  Me!  I hate sour fermented things like vinegar, dressing and even ketchup.  My hubby makes fun of me because I am a fairly simple girl that way.  My parents always said we had to taste something once and if we didn't like it we wouldn't have to do it again. I always figured it wasn't all that bad to eliminate the extra calories and sugars that dressings and toppings add but that's not today's topic.  
Back to my newest project, kombucha. I have read many different opinions on the brew.  You can see everything from it is indeed the miracle cure all to the claim it does nothing at all.  Because of my year plus of antibiotics I figured I would at least give it a try. I have discovered I kind of really like it and it does seem to aid in the digestion gut issues I have had. 
So, here is my how to!
Start out with clean sanitized containers, preferably new. It is extremely important to make kombucha in a clean environment to avoid bad bacteria.
 This pic is from my first set up. I bough clear gallon glass jars that I use now.  If you prefer a carbonated beverage, I highly recommend the swing top bottles shown below. I will explain more about those in a minute. 

Next,  a good healthy brew needs a healthy scoby. 
Often you can snag one from a friend who has been brewing for a while who will most likely have a small scoby hotel going. Personally, I did some research and loved what I learned about fermentaholics.com and bought several of my last endeavor's start up from them including my scoby.
You will also need to get some good jar covers to keep the gnats and fruit flies out of your juice. 
These are my favorite and come with rubber bands to secure them on the top of your container. 

Now, for the actual brew. I have tried various teas, plain ole black was my main stay until I found this! I got it off Amazon and one small bag makes a whole bunch of brew, like 5 gallons!

I boil up about 6 cups of RO water.  When it's boiling I get one of those handy dandy tea strainers and fill it with 2 T of this tea, and let it soak for about 20 minutes. While the liquid is still hot I strain it over 3/4 c of raw organic cane sugar and stir till it's all dissolved, then let it set until it's cool. 
After it's cooled properly, I add it to the jar in which I have the scoby and the starter tea it came in. Cover with the cloth and let set in a warm dry place for 7 to 14 days. 
At this point, I strain out all but about 2 cups of the tea and the scoby into another glass container. You can consume at this point or add flavor. My very favorite thing to do is add about 1/2 a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries and let that set for 3 to 5 days. Then I get my bottles ready by putting 1 t of sugar in the bottom of each. After I strain the berries out of the juice, I use a funnel to pour the brew into the bottles. This will then set on the counter and carbonate for a few days (I usually plan 3 or 4) 
Warning: If you don't get good quality swing top bottles they can fizz and bubble right out in the carbonation process....They have also been know to explode up to the ceiling and create a royal mess. Ha!  The best, safest method is refrigerating before opening carbonated bottles. I honestly open mine out on my back porch as I have had 1 to many bad experiences. 

That's my kiefer experiment peeking out of the corner.... 

The next step is to break out the pretty glass and the ice and enjoy! I always strain mine when I get a bottle out as the scobies are alive and growing at all times and I often find remnants in my bottles which I do not enjoy tasting. 

I usually try and have mine earlier in the day and sometimes have as my beverage with breakfast. 

I love it when you comment!  Ask questions! Let me know how it went for you and it there are more recipes or tips you'd specifically be interested in. I'm grateful when you share my blog  with your friends!
It's the little things....

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Best Ever Scones

Year ago I worked at a wonderful little tea room where the owner made the most delectable ever scones. Since the place closed, the recipes also are seemingly forever lost. 

So, I went on a quest to find THE perfect recipe. In my mind, I remember my dear amazing chef friend telling me that the secret to a good scone was heavy cream and butter.  Real butter. 

I tried various recipes but none of them fit what I had in mind and the happy sweet memories of hers which just melted in your mouth...until I stumbled on one from an online source called Katie's Cucina. It met all the criteria for ingredients, simplicity of putting together and taste! I added my personal touches and bam!  I had a personal favorite and it became the most requested thing I have ever put together.  I have since supplied scones for many different events/get togethers. They are a treat that my kids all enjoy and are a quick breakfast or snack. Now that I am not currently doing gluten, the next thing on my to do list is figuring out the delish in gluten free but for now, I will share the love!

*2 cups flour (See note below on flour)
*1 T baking powder (yup you read that correctly!) 
*1/2 t salt
*2 T sugar (I prefer raw sugar)
*5 T butter
*1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Mix all dry ingredients together well. Add butter like you would to a pie crust (crumbly and pea sized in shape). Add enough of the cream (at least 1 cup) to make a wet sticky dough that is not runny. Depending on the add in items I find that 1 and 1/4 cups are about what I need.  Press onto tray. I usually make mine about 3/4 to 1 in thick. 

Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 min until lightly browned.  Do not overbake! 

Mix in your choices of flavor.
Here are some we love!

Blueberry: 1 1/2 c blueberries (fresh is best but frozen works, just eliminate a little of the liquid in recipe and be prepared to bake a little longer. Some enjoy lemon in this so you can add 1 T lemon to the liquid in the dough and top with lemon glaze. (Recipe below)

Lemon Poppyseed: 2 T poppyseeds and 1 T lemon juice added to the dough. Top with lemon glaze. (Recipe below)

Cranberry/Orange: 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries chopped. 1/4 c orange juice substituted for part of the cream. Can add chopped pecans to this combo for some real delish! Top with orange glaze (recipe below)

Kid's Favorite - Chocolate Chip: 1 c chocolate chips or 1/ 1/2 if you really like chocolate. Top with plain glaze. (recipe below) 

My Sister's Favorite - Raspberry Lemon: 1 c raspberries.  1/4 c lemon juice subbed for part of the cream. Top with lemon glaze (recipe below)  Raspberries are messy so it is best to just press them into the dough after you have it pressed onto the tray. 

Bacon and Cheese: Omit sugar from recipe.  Add 4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled to the dough. Mix 1/2 to 3/4 c cheese into dough. Sprinkle more cheese on top. ( I do not use glaze on this one obviously)

Cinnamon & Peaches:  Add 1 t. cinnamon into dough.  Slice 1 peach into thin slices onto the top of your dough. Gently press into the dough.  You can omit the cinnamon from the dough and gently sprinkle on top of all to avoid what looks like whole wheat dough and makes people suspicious (Ha!). Top with plain glaze (recipe below) 

Glaze recipe: 
I am bad about using a pinch of this and a bit of that so this is sketchy.  If you start out with the powdered sugar and not the liquid you should be fine.
I usually start out with about 1/2 c powdered sugar and add liquid slowly till its the consistency we like.
For lemon or orange add about 2 t lemon/orange juice to start.  Mix until no longer lumpy.  You want a smooth not to thick appearance.
For the plain start with 1/2 c powdered sugar and 1 or 2 T cream or milk. 

Other tidbits
*I have found King Arthur Unbleached to make a totally different, light and fluffy scone then the other flours I have tried. (varieties of white and whole wheat flours)
*Berries and fruit in general can be messy and make the scones runny/sloppy.  Handle all berries with care and try not to smoosh them as you mix them or press them into the dough. 
*I love making one batch and dividing in half as not all of us like the same kinds.  1 batch feeds our family of 5 and when I use for breakfast it is the main item on the menu.   
*You can make them in any shape you want.  I usually do them round. You can fit 2 small circles from the one batch onto one regular size pampered chef jelly roll pan.  
*Make sure to use a pan with sides if you don't want a buttery mess in your oven. 
*These are super simple and I can get from start to finish in about 30 minutes!

Most of all, get a cup of coffee ready and ENJOY!