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

Tools that Make the Garden Happen

I’ve been so excited to share our latest venture with you:

We’ve added a double paneled arch to the garden! One end will have Top Mark Melons (cantaloupes) on it and the other end will have Sugar Baby Watermelons.

While it was a very simple project – hammer in the t-posts and tie the cattle panel to the posts – it was a big step for us.

Those cattle panels are 16 feet long! Yeah…we couldn’t exactly pop those into the back of the mini van to bring them home. We actually had to pay to have them delivered. It’s like we’re a real farm or something! Ha!

Thankfully there were multiple videos available to tell us what to buy, how to set them up and even what handy little tool to wrap the wires around the posts and panel.

I’m so impressed with how they look and couldn’t wait to show you the final project.

As with any project, there were some really important tools that we needed to get the job done. I thought I’d share those with you today. (The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

This small sledge hammer is amazing! It’s only 4 pounds, but it really packs a wallop when you’re inserting those t-posts into the ground. Doug had them all in, in no time, with this fabulous tool.

The second tool I mentioned above is the Clip Bender. It’s specifically made to help wrap the t-post clips tightly and to secure them to the panels.

Of course you need to start with the cattle panels and t-posts to accomplish this kind of project. I’d suggest checking out your local Tractor Supply Company for those.

We were able to pot up 3 of the recent purchases we made for our fruit forest. Getting trees and plants into matching pots and lined up along the walkway make me a happy, happy gardener!

This is a Cranberry Hibiscus, Longevity Spinach and a Jamaican Cherry Tree.

We hope to have our Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry and Longan Berry Trees in pots by the end of the week, and to get the seeds started for a Red and a Yellow Roselle Hibiscus. I’m very excited to have all of these growing in our garden.

What’s growing in YOUR garden this week?

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Planning a Productive Summer

As the temperatures rise and the activities of the school/college year wind down, we grab our coolest sunglasses and fix our eyes toward summer.

We head into this month of June with a huge list of To-dos, Must-sees and Can’t Misses. The 3 months stretch out before us uncluttered and full of promise.

The problem is that, usually somewhere around the middle of August, we realize that the To-dos didn’t get done, the Must-Sees weren’t viewed and the Can’t Misses were…well, missed.

With that in mind, I’ve created a cute little 90-day Summer Planner.

(The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It’s called “The Summer of Me” not to enforce a totally selfish mindset, but to remind us that WE only accomplish what WE plan to accomplish. No one else can set our goals for us. They must be something we’ve determined through prayer, Bible study, advice from trusted counselors and the Holy Spirit’s leading.

This little planner has 3 month calendar pages:

14 weekly pages:

Several pages for notes, summer activities and a look toward the Fall, and a Daily planner layout for each page of the Summer.

It has everything you need to plan a great Summer and actually succeed at having one!

When you pick one up, I’d love it if you left a review – pro or con – whether you like it or not. This is my first foray into self-publishing and I’d really like to know what you think!

Thanks so much for reading.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Busy Bees

We’ve been busy, busy, busy, getting seeds into the ground and setting up our garden. This will be another picture post, as I don’t have a lot of left-over energy for writing all the words that make the sentences that make the sense. 😉

Tomato and Pepper Seedlings sending up their little stems.

I’m trying to be patient and wait for the second set of leaves on these little guys before I transplant them!

And even though I didn’t get a picture of him, we’ve seen a little bumble bee buzzzzzzing around our blueberry plants. Yay for pollinators!!!

Coconut coir, vermiculite, perlite and compost

I’m becoming enamored with mixing my potting soil. It’s so satisfying to move the ingredients around until they thoroughly mixed and ready to go into the planters.

Bare root strawberries

These arrived in the mail on Monday. We soaked them and got them into the soil right away! Isaac’s old wagon makes a great planter. It even has pre-made drainage holes in the bed! The company I ordered from sent FOUR extra strawberry starts. I had to scramble and find another planter. They looked very healthy after their bath and I’m so excited to see how they do!

The company I ordered from was https://handpickednursery.com/ . They are a Veteran Owned Business.

Raised Container Garden

This represents about 1/3 of our garden so far. The drip irrigation was a new project for me, and I enjoyed it immensely. AND it was incredibly satisfying to turn the water on for the first time and get water dripping into EVERY plant and have no leaks or lines popping!

We still need to regulate the nozzles on the stakes, to be sure each plant is getting the right amount of water, but since some of these plants won’t be in this section, we’ll wait to do that when the final buckets are in place.

Urban trellis.

All of our climbing vegetables and fruits will be in front of the gate here, trailing up these sections of fencing. We’ll have a couple different kinds of melons, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and more.

The master list
The master plan

My plan is ambitious, I know! And I’m hoping it’s a success. But ultimately, I know that I will learn so many things, whether I have a successful garden or not. Then I can build on the knowledge I have, and the things I’ve learned, to make a more successful garden the next time.

Ultimately, I’m leaving the results up to the Heavenly Gardener! After all, He’s the Creator of each tiny little seed I planted. We’ll see what He wants to teach me as I garden this year.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

When the Praises Won’t Come

There are days when the burden is so heavy that I have no strength to praise the Lord.

Just holding my head up and making it through the day is exhausting.

I want to thank the Lord for His goodness and praise Him for his mercy and lovingkindness…

…but I am just t-i-r-e-d.

Those are the days that I am so grateful for the Psalms.

David wrote down his praises and I can just read and enjoy them, and let them echo in my heart and mind as I survive the hard days.

God has also given us great Christian music – psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – that will sing through our soul on the days we can’t find our own songs of worship and praise.

Music that honors God keeps our focus on Him. It stops our sinful, selfish and sad thoughts and reminds us of the truths in God’s Word. It lifts our spirits and puts a little tune in our heart.

So…on the days when your praises won’t come, just borrow someone else’s. 🙂

This song of praise always blesses me. I hope you enjoy it too.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

How I Deal with Sinus Congestion

Do you deal with vertigo? Chronic sinus issues? Congestion? Allergies?

Yeah…me too. And we all 3 have summer colds right now. Ugh.

I wanted to share what I do that actually HELPS. Along with oils, I do these 2 massages.

It keeps me from feeling like I’m headed down Alice’s rabbit hole!

2. https://youtu.be/vAs9uFYvcrk

I do them in order, #1 then #2.  I also take OTC cough/congestion meds EVERY day. Yep, every day. Sometimes multiple doses, some days only at bedtime.

It’s something I have to constantly monitor.

But these massages help.

Just wanted you to know, in case you need them too.

In Him,
Alesha Kay

How You Can Pray for Me This Week

If you’ve known me for any length of time at all, you know I love my church and I LOVE my church’s radio station.

This week, on Thursday, we’ll be starting our 3 days of cheerful giving on the radio, Restorathon 2018.

I encourage you to visit our website during those 3 days and listen live to the station between 6 am – 10 pm on Thursday and Friday and 6 am – 12 a.m on Saturday.

It will be an exciting time of Revival on the Radio as we try to restore our budget for another year of broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in music and preaching on our station.

You can also like our page on Facebook and see all the updates and fun graphics throughout the 3 days. We are doing a Mayberry Restorathon, so the Andy and Barney jokes, skits and graphics will be coming at you faster’n Gomer can say “Shazam!”

Be sure to join us for Restorathon 2018 on March 1-3 for a wonderful time of restoring our budget for the next year. But most importantly please pray for us – for health for the workers, safety for all the equipment, and that we will meet our goal for the year.

Alesha Kay

P.S. I believe you will be able to purchase a Mayberry Restorathon t-shirt on Monday and Tuesday on our website.  They are really great shirts this year! You won’t want to miss out on them!