Making Do

to get along or manage with the means at hand

Merriam-Webster

As the cost of gasoline rises and supply chains are stretched to breaking, there are so many ways we can cut costs, meet our family’s needs and learn some age-old solutions for our households.

Sometimes, going high tech is useful, with YouTube videos available on how to do just about anything you can think of; but at other times we are digging out old recipes and how-to books – actual, literal, made-from-trees books, to give us our direction.

Whichever you choose, bathe your path forward in prayer and Scripture reading. God will open your mind and heart to His wisdom, which far surpasses our own.

With that in mind, I’ll share a few links to items that are helping us save, stock up and make do. All of the picture are clickable links that take you to the purchasing page for the products.

(For transparency’s sake, I’d like to inform you that if you choose to buy any of these items through the links here on my blog, as an Amazon Associate, I receive a very small commission.)

Summers are very hot in Florida. In fact, even here in mid-October, we are still hitting 90* occasionally. And in our house, we keep our thermostat pretty high, due to an aging a/c unit. Therefore we find ourselves going through a LOT of ice to keep our drinks cold. And the price of ice is rising, just like other things. Our refrigerator freezer is too small to use ice trays, so we opted for something different:

A small counter-top icemaker.

It does a great job of making ice, as long as you add water. We bag the ice up and store it in our freezer. It only takes a few days of diligent scooping to get a nice supply of ice.

However, we quickly found that we were going through many more bottles of water than we had been. It makes sense – we were putting it into the ice maker! So…how to remedy that problem?

By pulling out something that had been languishing in our storage shed for a long time: a water distiller.


(We somehow misplaced the glass pitcher that collects the water. But we found this Rubbermaid container that does a fabulous job:

Here’s the lid for it:

This handy gadget takes whatever water you put in it, turns it into steam, then collects that steam as a liquid, thus removing all impurities.

Our distilling setup.

We can use the bleachy, yucky city water (at no extra expense) and turn it into lovely pure water to use in our ice cubes.

But with one addition, we can elevate this whole process to something wonderful. By adding this mineral concentrate to our distilled water, we can add back valuable minerals (Magnesium, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium, Sulfate, Lithium, Boron, and Ionic Sea minerals) to our ice:

Who knows – we might actually start drinking this water, instead of buying bottled water!

We store our water in half-gallon Ball jars:

To some, this may seem like quite a complicated process, but once it’s set into motion, it pretty much takes care of itself. We store the distilled water, add it to the ice maker when needed and put the ice in the freezer.

We are saving money by not buying ice and extra water nor the gas which we’d use to go buy it, and we’re adding a pure mineral-enhanced ice source to our daily diet.

If we choose to use this water for drinking and cooking as well, our savings will really increase!

To take the process one more step further, this water would be excellent for storing for emergency use. Do you have an emergency store of water? Here in Florida, most of us keep some extra water on hand, especially during hurricane season.

Here’s a great YouTube video on storing water. It’s very thorough and logical.

I hope this post has gotten your wheels turning on the subject of water. I’d love to hear what you do in your family to save money, store for emergencies and maintain the flavor and mineral content of your water.

In what other ways are you “making do” these day? Are there other subjects you’d be interested in? Let me know.

Thanks for reading.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Hello August!

I’ve never really been a fan of August. As a youngster, it was always too hot to do much outside, and too boring inside. I was an only child until the age of 13, so no siblings to play with. I also had to start thinking about the upcoming school year, wardrobe, routine, pressures and supplies.

August marked the end of church Summer Camp weeks (my absolute favorite thing about summer!) and the lazy, unplanned mornings at home; and the calendar started filling up with lots of activities, some I enjoyed, but many that I didn’t.

Now, however, I’m finding the joy in August. Not only are some things started to really take off in my garden – despite the heat! – but now starts the time of planning and research and plotting out my new fall garden scheme.

I love researching what will grow here in my zone (9b) and learning which plants make good companions to others. Did you know that you should not plan onions and/or peppers near your beans? Yeah, neither did I, until I started studying.

And did you know that now is the time to start your seeds for all those things that wouldn’t grow here during our hot summer? That’s right – broccoli and carrots and lettuce will do well here during the fall when the heat diminishes and the hours get shorter.

There are also certain varieties of each veggie and fruit that do best here. We need onions and garlic that are short-hour varieties because our days are getting shorter now. We don’t have the 16-hours of sunshine a day needed for those long-day varieties.

And the Seminole Pumpkin does really well here in Florida because it’s a native variety. The Red and Yellow Roselle Hibiscus do well here too, and will soon have beautiful calyces to harvest for teas and preserves..

I’m also trying a tomato variety that is native to Florida, the Everglade Tomato. It is sooooo tiny, and the fruit will be very small, but it’s nice to have something that actually likes to grow here. 😉 And our course, a Mulberry tree is always happy in Florida. This one is “dwarf”. Yeah…I’m thinking it doesn’t know what that word means! Ha!

So, I’m finding plenty to be excited about in August. It’s not only a time of transition, but also a time of savoring…enjoying the still moments before the rush of our autumn routine pulls us away.

Enjoy what the last few weeks of crazy Florida heat is doing for your plants and soil, instead of wishing the hot weather away. Autumn will come, just like always. Let’s enjoy each day God gives us.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Growing Along

I know you’ve been waiting a long time for a garden update.

Here’s a picture post to hold you over until I can sit down to do a proper post.

Pickling cucumbers
Lima bean pods.
Zucchini and yellow Squash.
Orange bell pepper.
Purple Hull Pea blossom.
Cantaloupe & Watermelon seedlings.

It’s been quite an education out there in the garden. It’s so odd – the things that don’t grow & the things that do. I am constantly surprised.

We plan to harvest our first set of potatoes buckets in the next day or so. I’m hoping we won’t be disappointed. The first bucket we harvested when they should have been ready only had 2 little potatoes in it!

We’ve got cattle panels to set up for all the melon seedlings that are ready to be transplanted. We’re planning to make arches with the panels. It’s so exciting to see the back yard come together as a food forest!

We had to take Isaac for some medical tests this week in Orlando. When we told the tech we were from Haines City, his next question was “Oh, so you guys have a farm there?”

We just laughed & said no. But then we thought about it.

I told him, “Well, we do have a garden this year! It’s not quite a farm, but we are growing things.”

It was funny that he thought of our area as farm country. It is very rural, I guess. I don’t mind that at all. I’m so glad the Lord didn’t “plant” me in the big city. I’m grateful I have lots of nature & clear blue skies where I live.

That’s it for this update! I hope to be back soon!

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Garden Update

Happy peppers & potatoes
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Blue potatoes
Blue potatoes
Soon-to-be Rattlesnake Pole Bean blossoms
A perfectly twirled tendril – so amazing!
A new cucumber blossom!
And he has friends!
Cantaloupe & watermelon seedlings
A sprouting field of wild flowers planted in an old tire. Can’t wait to see what pops up!
Happy little fig tree!

Everything is growing so well. I’m surprised every day by some new growth or blossom or bug or snake… you just never know what to expect in Florida!

We’ve had some disappointments, too: yellow peppers that refused to germinate, cilantro that has only grown four tiny leaves, & tansy that never grew. Our sugar baby melons are struggling & the oregano never even popped its heads up out of the seeds. The loquat tree is being munched on by weevils & out of 8 plants, I have only 1 tomato growing.

But the process had been so rewarding and I’m learning SO much! I love being outside right now before the horrible heat arrives & the Lord is showing me many Spiritual truths out in the garden as well.

Thanks for following along.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Managing My Monday

Yep. It’s been a whiiiiiiile since I’ve done a Managing My Monday post! But I’m just going to jump right in. 🙂

Doug teaches via livestream on Mondays and Wednesdays, so that leaves me here with Isaac and the 2 dogs. Normally, I wouldn’t have to include the “2 dogs” part, but when 1 of those dogs is still a puppy…well, there’s a lot to manage there. So…I included them.

LexaBelle is adorable and growing so fast! She is well over 40 pounds now and super strong for a pup. She has something to “say” about everything – whether she needs to potty, or something outside made a noise, or she can’t find her toy, or she’s hungry…or sleepy…or stuck on the bed and afraid to jump down. You get the picture…she barks at ev.er.y.thing. We’re working on it, but whew – she is so much more vocal than any other dog we’ve ever had, and it’s testing our training ability, I can assure you!

Isaac is a dream to care for. He is so well trained now and understands when I tell him he’ll have to wait for Daddy to come home for something. I can no longer move him up in the bed or change/feed him. Doug does all those tasks. So Isaac has the patience of a saint, as long as I keep the Gaither, Little Einsteins and 3-2-1-Penguins videos rolling.

Every Monday, I handle Isaac’s payroll. I have to approve hours and submit codes via a couple different web sites now. It seems like the process changes every few months. Right now, Isaac only has 2 employees – Doug and Mrs. Julie. That keeps it pretty simple. We’d like to eventually add someone else to the roster for those times when Mrs. Julie can’t make it and Doug already has plans made. It doesn’t happen often, but it’d be nice to have a backup.

Over the weekend I made a yummy, healthy trail mix. I’d been buying a keto trail mix from Wally World, but it was $5 for a small container. I bought my own nuts, included a few extra things they didn’t have and removed stuff I didn’t like. Of course you can tweak it to your preferences. It’s really delicious and keeps me from sending Doug out for chips. 😉

I included pecans and walnuts (sprayed lightly with olive oil, salted and roasted), cashews, cocktail peanuts, and pepitas. I also added Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips and some golden raisins. I realize the raisins pull it out of “keto” range, but I like them and used them very sparingly.

Monday’s also the day I start to work on our menu and grocery lists for the week. This is a task I am so not good at, but I keep trying. Doug’s at Publix right now, picking up the fabulous BOGOs and all our meat for the week. We shop at Walmart, too, via their Grocery app and website. We splurged for a year of Walmart+, so we get free delivery of our groceries each week. I don’t know if we’ll continue it beyond this year. We’ll wait and see what this next year holds, financially, before making that decision.

I did start my Monday in the Word of God today. It’s a really good place to start. 🙂 I’m going through this book right now. It has short undated devotions, accompanied by beautiful art and painted Bible verses. I’m really enjoying it.

During the holidays, I usually change my phone ringtone to something Christmasy – usually Carol of the Bells by The Celtic Women (because it’s beautiful and tickles my funny bone every time it starts playing.)

But for the New Year, I wanted something a little more meaningful. My phone doesn’t ring often, so when it does, I pay attention. This year, I chose a song by the McKamey’s called “I Keep Praying.”

It has really been a great motivator to me so far. There is so much going on that I need to pray about – in my life, my family, my church, my nation. There are so many things I can’t do anything about – except pray. I’m so thankful I have a Heavenly Father that hears me every time I lift my heart, mind and voice to Him in praise and supplication.

He knows me. And He hears me. What a precious treasure that is – for this Monday, and for every day!

Hope your Monday goes well,

Alesha Kay

Warm & Soothing Oil Blend for the Diffuser

I made a new essential oil fragrance today for my diffuser:

2 drops Vetiver,
8 drops Eucalyptus,
8 drops Ginger &
10 drops Lemon.

I have a huge diffuser, so you might want to half the recipe for a smaller one. It was a very soothing fragrance.

When the Eggs Won’t Peel

I nearly lost my religion this morning trying to peel eggs. (And don’t tell me all of your tricks to peel the perfect eggs – I have tried them ALL!) 😝

So…of course, I had to see what the Bible had to say about eggs.

Interesting verse, huh?

 I find it very encouraging that while Job was questioning his very existence, he also asked about egg whites! So funny! But really, very apropos too. Sometimes it the little, fiddly, day-to-day frustrations that cause us to really “lose it”.

But the God who created the universe is still the God who created the chicken. And it’s His creation that lays those eggs that can give us so much trouble.

Whether you are struggling with a life-threatening disease or a wayward child or a lack of finances or a stopped-up toilet…or even if you are struggling peeling eggs – God is God.

He doesn’t change. He remains ever faithful, ever holy, ever the same.

We can trust Him.

My angel-ed eggs may not be the prettiest, but I can find peace in knowing Him.

Give God whatever you’re struggling with today. Let His strong arms carry you through that struggle to rest on the other side.