3 Words that Show Compassion

Picture yourself at the grocery store, you have a list in your hand and need to get out of the store in the next 20 minutes or you will be late picking the kids up from school. You see Sally coming towards you, you haven’t seen her in awhile, but you know things are not good for her right now,. As you pass her you throw a smile and say “Hi, how are you?” And don’t skip a beat as you keep pushing a cart waiting for her to respond, “Good” she says. As you pass by you say “Have a great day” and finish your shopping. You think to yourself how proud you are of Sally, holding her head up high through everything. Now where did they move the peanut butter to?

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Lets look at this from Sally’s point of view. Every day she gets up, knowing what the day will be. One of the things on her to-do list is going to the grocery store, while there she sees several people she knows. All of them ask “How are you” and she responds with a smile and “good”. She knows it is a lie, but she also knows that nobody really wants to hear the truth, because none of them actually stop long enough to hear more than a one word answer. And what if she were to say that if she doesn’t pay her electric bill by Friday it will get turned off? Or that the doctor told her this morning he wants to do another biopsy? That her daughter cries all the time because she is afraid she will lose her mom? She has tried to speak up in the past and the look of panic on the faces of people told her they want to leave the conversation and fast. So she lies.

Every time she lies, a piece of her dies inside. She feels more alone and helpless than ever. Sally is amazed at how easy it is to smile and pretend everything is good, just so someone else doesn’t feel uncomfortable. She tells her kids not to lie, but she does it every single day. She wonders if there is a difference? Sally finishes her shopping and heads to pick up her own kids from school, feeling very much alone.

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A greeting is a word or gesture of salutations. A question is a statement made with an expectation of receiving an answer. How often do you greet someone with “How are you?” And really give the time to listen for an honest answer? I am not saying that you don’t have a schedule to keep, I just wonder if you really ask the question expecting an honest answer? Whether you know the person is going through a hard time or not, are you ready to stop and listen to what they have to say? If not, then stop asking that question when you see people. A simple hello is fine and have a nice day works perfectly. Sally understands you are in a hurry, she just doesn’t want to keep lying.

When you ask someone how they are doing, and can’t or won’t give the time to listen for an honest answer, you are asking that person to lie. We teach our kids to have compassion for others, but do we really, truly exhibit it in our own lives? I honestly believe most people have no clue how this one little thing affects others, or they would stop doing it. We don’t get up in the morning intending to cause someone grief. If we know we have hurt someone we try to make it right. People like Sally, they rarely speak up. It is such a small thing, and how do you tell someone what they are doing is so painful?

What is the solution? Either make the time to really listen to the answer, and make sure Sally knows she can be honest, or don’t ask the question. It is okay to just say “hello”, “hi” or even “you look beautiful today” and keep walking. We don’t have to stop and talk to everyone we see. Just make those times when you see someone you know, that you will have a positive impact. A smile, a hug or well wishes can make someone’s day, and they take only seconds. When you have time, that is when you ask those three little words. And if Sally tells you things that make you uncomfortable, imagine how she feels telling you. Now that is showing compassion.

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How to highlight and contour

Highlighting and contouring is all the rage, but might seem a bit daunting at first. One of the pictures and tutorials make it appear harder than it needs to be. I created a video where you can watch me doing it, but I thought a picture tutorial could be equally beneficial.

Begin with a clean face. We should always wash our face every night. In the morning I like to rinse it off, but if you have very oily skin you may need to wash it again. Apply a moisturizer with SPF and allow to dry. Next a good primer will help create a flawless finish. Finally, apply your foundation that matches your skin tone to even everything out. Now that all that is done, we can get down to our tools.

I create my contouring color.
I create my contouring color.

We need two additional shades of concealer. For highlighting we go 1-2 shades lighter. For contouring we go 2-4 shades darker depending on the effect you want. I use a concealer brush as it keeps my fingers clean and allows me to apply in very specific places.a powder brush and finishing powder finishes our list.

I don’t contour every day, so I found creating my own means I only need my highlighting color and foundation color. I do this by using a paint tray I picked up at Wal Mart for $1. You can see I use it for a variety of custom mixing, I sprinkle in a little Fierce loose mineral Concealer and a dab of Bisque BB Cream. Using my Concealer brush I mix it together and have the perfect amount of contouring cream.

Bisque and fierce are what I use. But a darker BB cream mixed with Fierce will create an even darker contouring cream.
Bisque and fierce are what I use. But a darker BB cream mixed with Fierce will create an even darker contouring cream.

There are many images online of places to apply your highlighting and contouring colors. But here is the basic idea so you can decide what works best for you. If you want to extenuate an area, apply the lighter shade. If you want to minimize an area or create a shadow, apply the contouring cream. In those lines by my lips, using the contour brush allows me to target the lines without spreading it all area the area. It can also help you target say a bump on the nose with contouring cream.

Applying at the jaw line gives definition between the cheek and my double chin.
Applying at the jaw line gives definition between the cheek and my double chin.

Applying around the eye totally brightens it and even if you are not going for a full contouring application I always reccamend at least doing that area. You will see what I mean in a moment. I like to blend around the eye with my finger, and use a sponge or beauty blender around the rest of my face.

Not quite blended all the way
Not quite blended all the way

A Beauty Blender will finish the job perfectly, but if you don’t have one, go ahead and use your powder brush. Gently and in circular motions, move around the face till completely blended. Some people stop here and use a Kleenex to dab away any excess oil. (I will explain that tip another day) I use powder to finish.

Looking better!
Looking better!

Finish your makeup routine in whatever you like. I applied blush, lipgloss, eye shadow and my favorite mascara EVER. Looking at it in a side to side comparison, you can definitely see the difference.

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Full frontal warning here. I think my entire face got a lift.

Now if I could just improve how my thighs look this easy.
Now if I could just improve how my thighs look this easy.

Now, how easy was that? Let me know how it goes! I would love to see your results.

Glass Coasters for $2

SUPPLIES

Glass Tile
Felt
Glue

This project was spurred by the simple fact the girls wanted to do it
We were in Lowe’s and looking at the clearance items when we should have been looking at wall hangers. The girls liked the tile and asked what I could do with them.

For starters we chose the tile with rounded edges. This looks so much nicer than the flat, unfinished style.

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At home I pulled out some black fleece and cut into squares 1/4 smaller than the tile. Looking back I realize I should have used a rotary cutter to do it.

Next i glued the felt with craft glue.

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Instant set of 6 coasters for $2. They slide very easy when pushed but stay in place when being used.

I have some ideas for next time, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Gleening Feeds the Hungry

When Ruth followed her mother-in-law to the land of Isreal, she had no way to support them. She followed advices and went into the fields to gleen. Any produce that was dropped or left behind, Ruth picked up and either sold it, or fed her tiny family with it. It is a tradition that has continued around the world for thousands of years, and still exists today. Gleening has become more organized as groups formed to share in the resources and work. I am a member of one such group, and this is how ours works.

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Members register through the local senior center and the annual $20 fee goes towards their Meals in wheels program. Local farmers donate food for various reasons. A corn field may ha flooded preventing equipment from harvesting. A hail storm caused blemishes to an apple orchard or the field produced more than the farmer could sell. The gleening club members first fill bins that go to the Senior Center or local food bank to be distributed as needed. Then, we are allowed to pick whatever is left and bring home.

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Another source are senior citizens who have trees in the backyard. They are unable to pick the fruit, yet don’t want it dropping all over their yard. The gleeners come in, and pick the trees clean, tidy up the yard, and let the owners take what they want. The remaining produce is divided between those who worked.

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A common misconception is that something must be wrong with the food. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Our butternut squash was harvested from an organic farm and was donated because of the rather large and unusual shape preventing them from being sold for market.

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Food that is of high quality and ready to be canned, frozen or put away for long term storage.

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Whether you want to save money or just help others, gleening is a wonderful tradition to continue. A google search can help yu find a group in your area, or learn how to create your own.

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Freezing Pumkin Purée

Okay, I know pumpkins are not exactly in season, but it am going to be using some of what I froze so I figured I should probably finally share how to do it. The only way pumpkin should be canned is if you do it in cubes like I did the yams. To can purée is not reccamended as it is so dense the heat cannon properly penetrate to the center of the jar. I know some people do it, I personally prefer not to take the risk. Pumpkin butter is just as thick and also should be frozen instead of processed. Freezing it is easy and you know that you only have one ingredient in it, pure, unadulterated, pumpkin.

Small is better.
Small is better.

Starting begins with choosing small baking pumpkins. The large ones used for carving don’t have as much meat and it tends to be stringy and not as sweet.  Prepping only requires that you wash the vegetable and then cut in half, removing all the seeds. Set them aside because you can roast them later! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place each half upside down on the sheet. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until cooked through.

This requires a sharp knife.

The pumpkin is done when the top begins to sink down. This means the flesh is cooked and the skin will just slide right off. Remove and allow to cool for about 5’minutes, then just peel the skin.

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Cut it up and toss it into a mixing bowl. This works best if the meat is still warm. Keep mixing until it is smooth and remove any strings that remain.

You can add spices now if you like, I just freeze it as is.
You can add spices now if you like, I just freeze it as is.

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Allow it to fully cool before scooping into freeze bags. I do it in 2 cup increments, but I suggest doing amounts according to your favorite recipe whether it is a pie or muffins. Push out all the air and smooth out totally flat. This lets you stack them in the freezer and conserves space. Be sure to label each bag with contents and date.

Now for those seeds we set to the side. Remove as much of the strings as you can and wash the seeds in warm water. You want to remove as much of the slime as you can.

A few small prices of the stings are okay, we can move them after roasted.
A few small prices of the stings are okay, we can move them after roasted.

Spread onto a sheet of parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet. Place into a preheated oven till dry and slightly browned. While still warm, sprinkle with sea salt and store in a jar.

Be sure to stir occasionally while in the oven.
Be sure to stir occasionally while in the oven.

Use the seeds in trail mix or just to snack on. They are great for car trips.

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I hope that come next Fall you are up for freezing your own Pumpkin purée. It is a thing of beauty and having it in the freezer gives you the opportunity to bless your family with nummy goodness.