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Saturday, January 30, 2010


In the photo editing listing, I used the word 'could've'. I have used it all my life, but spell check did not recognize it. It would let me do would've, but not could've. Go figure. My school teacher friend in Alaska used to shake her head at my 'southern language'. She finally asked me why we did not learn proper English grammar in the South. I told her that we learned it in school, we just chose not to use it with each other. Sort of like deaf students learn the proper way to sign English, but sign American Sign Language (ASL) with each other because it is their true language. We southerners have our own language. he-he
I have lived in so many place, I my accent is all out of shape, I have trouble being understood now that I am back home. At the same time, if any one else hears me, they ask me where in the south I am from.
My most favorite word in the south is: Jevver = did you ever. Jevver hear anything so silly in your life?

Photo Editing

I spent the last hour working with my Adobe Elements 6 to create that photo at the top. 2 weeks ago when I did the original one, I could change the background colors behind the butterflies. Today, for the middle one, the background was white. I wanted something different, but for the life of me, I could not remember how to do it! So, I decided it could be white for now and when I uploaded it it, it is light gray. That works! Whew! I could have stopped 45 minutes ago! Computing just boggles my brain. I think because I do too many different things with it, I can't remember all of all. And then, I learn something, and don't come back to it for several weeks or months, and I have trouble figuring it out again.
It is the same with making pie crusts for me, so I guess I can't blame it on the computer. ha!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blackberry Picking

Last year, when we moved into our home on the property we bought about 8 years ago, I told my husband that we should do something with the property out back. Something to make good use of it. The next day, I went walking and noticed that the back field was full of blackberry plants! Now, I like blackberries so told him that we had us a crop also! I enjoyed picking the berries, sharing the berries and making jelly and cobbler, etc.
I wrote an article about it for a blog of a friend of mine. That was before I knew what blogging was and it was all mysterious. I have the post for it here so you can read it.

Article on Laura's Blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I make biscuits from the Betty Crocker recipe in her cookbook. But, being it is just the 2 of us, I half the recipe and come up with 4 biscuits. Today, I could not decide on biscuits or cornbread, so I made them with half of each meal! A little grainy for biscuits, but good, all the same ... especially with that veggie soup. :)

Vegetable Soup

When I make Veggie soup, I use a little beef stock with small pieces of meat. Then I add vegetable broth I have saved and frozen from left-overs of previous meals, onion, green pepper, celery and a little spaghetti sauce, mixed veggies and whatever vegetables I want to add from the refrigerator. Season and cook until done.

Eat Your Vegetables & Fruit

We returned from vacation last night. I never realize how many vegetables and fruit we eat until we go on vacation. I don't know why I am surprised how few vegetables we Americans eat. Unless you order a salad at a fast food, there are no vegetable choices there. Most American meals focus on meat and starch. I don't consider potatoes, rice, and macaroni and cheese as vegetables, as many restaurants do. Vegetables that are included are so cooked, I wonder if they are any good for us anymore. My husband and I are not vegetarians, but compared to what we had this week (which was very good, mind you!) we are close to it. Anyway, it is good to be back home and I plan to make a big pot of vegetable soup for supper! Then, after a trip to the store, we go back to a raw vegetable with each meal and fresh fruit for snacks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Smile

Brightens days
Cheers others
Refreshes spirits
Lightens burdens
Gives joy
Pleases God

© Belinda Jo Adams

The first time I told our daughters we would write a 2-word poem, one of them said, "That should be easy! I just have to think of 2 words."


I wrote the article below several years ago. Recently, we went to a meeting and a woman spoke about how to recycle items that would be thrown away into beautiful items for decorating the home. That is what we did in the 60s-70s. I am glad it is being revived.

Decorating like Granny

I get tickled when I see items in stores for sale that look old fashioned. Don’t get me wrong, I like what they call country decorations. But, my granny decorated with what she had. She did not go out and buy things to try to look old fashioned! She used tin cans for flower pots, not flower pots that looked like tin cans! She used calendars from funeral homes or other places where they gave them away as their advertisement, not calendars that were made to look like those and sold at fancy card shops! She made quilts out of scraps of old clothing and left-over sewing, not material bought just for cutting up to make quilts to look old fashioned!
When I was young married, we made crafts out of left over items that would have been thrown away. Now, you go to a craft store and buy a kit with all the supplies right there in it. And what happens to all those items that we used to use and not throw away? They end up in the landfills! © Belinda Jo Adams

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Laundry Detergent

This past October, I made homemade liquid laundry detergent. I made a half-batch and being I only wash 3-4 loads a week, it has lasted me a while. I figured it cost me a penny a load. So far, it is working nicely. Here is the site that I got the know how from.

Update: the link I had here is not good anymore, so I found a new place to go to with many different recipes. I usually go by # 2, but I only do a fourth at a time being I don't nned as much.

Home made laundry detergent recipes

CRA Private School

We called our homeschool CRA Private School because it was our girls' initials and homeschooling is about as private as it gets. We homeschooled for 8 and a half years back in the 80s-90s. We had many blessing and are very glad we chose that route for our children's education. Both have gone on to achieve many goals in their lives. We are proud of them.


Homeschooling is a great adventure
A challenge and a blessing, too.
Learning comes not just from books.
There are many areas to pursue.

Seeing first hand what happens
By going on field trips galore.
Learning by on-hand experience
When freely allowed to explore.

If children can learn without hurry
And can go at their own pace,
Nothing can quite compare
With the victorious look on each face.

Being taught self-discipline is the answer
In learning to write, to cipher, or to read.
Training them to have concern for others
And helping when there is a need.

Homeschooling is not for everyone
But, for the ones who were willing to try,
God has surely blessed our efforts
And talents we were willing to apply.

© Belinda Jo Adams

Monday, January 18, 2010

Last week, I did not get as much done at home as I wanted to do. For we were out and about doing various 'other things' that needed to be done. I mentioned it to my husband and as I ended the sentence in 'because' and stopped, he added, "Life happened." Yes, life happened. And I am so glad we are capable of doing all the things we did. Now, to play catch-up this week!
We need to be flexible to have time to do all that comes into our lives, either planned or unplanned.

Butterfly Musings

Why Butterfly Musings? I am writing about various subjects ... just fluttering between ideas. I like butterflies and thought the idea fit my style of writing. I sat in a waiting room one day last week. A lady walked across the way, carrying a butterfly purse. As I watched the purse go by, I thought ... Butterflies .... blog .... musing .... Butterfly Musings. That's what I'll call my blog! The photos of butterflies are ones I took.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Microwave Oven 'danger' sites

Please read the post for Jan 15, about microwave ovens, before this one.

These sites explain more about the dangers of microwave ovens, if you care to research for yourself.
1 - microwave use
2 - microwave hazards
3 - Is your microwave killing you?
4 - microwave dangers
5 - Dangers of Microwaved Food
6 - microwave dangers
7 - microwave dangers

I so enjoyed my microwave, but I don't know about now! I guess next I will research plastics. I do know today I read for us to not use plastics in the microwave or dishwasher! More to come on that one!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Microwave Oven Use

When I was in high school, our home economics class went on a field trip to Jacksonville, FL to a department store. We were taken upstairs to a meeting room. There, they demonstrated the oven of the future to us. It cooked food fast and we were amazed that we could see something that would be for sale in our future.
The microwave oven has become a household item that we all think we have to have. I have had several during the years. I have heard controversial issues concerning them, have slacked off some, but always go back to it. Until now … I hope. While on vacation this summer, a friend warned us of the dangers of the microwave has for us. When I got home, I researched it online. Most of the places were similar and talked about almost the same warnings. Several are listed below. The only site I saw that rebuked those other places and said all was not a danger happened to be a place that sold microwaves!
I thought, you know, it would be neat to see if I could go without my microwave for a week. That week has now turned into almost 5 months. I did plug it in a couple times and heat water for us or someone, but mostly I used the stove top and toaster oven or an electric water pot. It was fun to challenge myself to do things ‘the old fashioned way.’ Then, recently, I was trying to heat up some meat loaf and it was frozen, had not thawed enough, we were hungry and it was time to eat. So, I plugged in the microwave, regardless of the danger and zapped it. After the meal, I thought about forgetting it and not worrying about it anymore. So, I went online to look at the links again. I came across Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s web site. I had not seen her site before. Some of the others I had seen before were old sites and it was refreshing to see a more updated one. I liked what she said and won’t repeat it all here. You can go to Kelly's site to read what she thinks.
I am not a health professional or anything like that. I am a housewife who is concerned for my family. For now, I plan to keep doing what I have been for the past few months. I feel as if there is something out there that is making people sick with so many different diseases. The microwave oven has been out for about 40 years. Could it be one problem among many other issues we need to be concerned about? I don’t mean to put fear in people, I just wonder why so many people are sick nowadays. I challenge you to try to do without your microwave for one week and see if you can do it!

This was our first microwave oven. Some friends gave it to us in the 80s (another neat story) and we used it for 20 years and passed it on to some more friends when we bought another one.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thai Chicken Pasta

My niece won 3rd place in a recipe contest for her Thai Chicken Pasta. It is in the Healthy Cooking magazine Dec/Jan 2009/2010 issue. Page 32. Congratulations Jeni. I am proud of you!

Jeni's Thai Chicken Pasta

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I try to take a day a week away from the computer and rest. Usually, that is Sunday. I feel it is good for my body and soul! So, I have not blogged since Saturday with Monday being a 'chore' and 'errand' day this week. I have a lot I want to post and many ideas. It will all take time, though as I juggle my responsibilities and hobbies. I hope you have a wonderful week. I can't believe January 2010 is almost half gone!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How I bake cookies the healthy way

Keep in mind that when I say 'healthy', it only means how they say what is healthy at the present. I have been a half-health-food nut for more than 30 years and just when I get something a point of habit to help us be healthy, we read or hear how that has changed. So, I keep plugging along trying to do my best to do right by us. These are ways I do things, it does not mean it is the best way. It is up to you to determine what your family needs.

So ... when I bake cookies these are some of the things I do:

Cookie recipes usually call for 1 t. vanilla added in with the liquid ingredients. I have nothing against it, but the price. I won’t buy imitation vanilla and the other cost too much. I did not have it once, and found out the cookies taste just as well. So, unless I have it on hand, I don’t bother using it.

I use half the amount of sugar a recipe calls for in all my cookies. I figure all the other items I add in add sweetening to the recipe and it helps us stay healthier by not eating so much sugar. Less weight gain. Less money spent, also! I tried honey and other substitutes, but half the sugar is easiest.

When not using egg yolks, I use one more egg white than the eggs the recipe calls for. I throw the yolks away. It bothered me at first. But, I also throw peach pits away because they are not good to eat.

I use 2/3 unbleached flour and 1/3 whole wheat flour that I mix baking powder in to make my own self-rising flour.

I use one of those cookie dough scoopers. We like a little larger cookie.

Tropical Oatmeal Cookies

The recipe below, but I added chopped walnuts, dried pineapple cut into bits, coconut, and tiny chocolate chips. I call them my Tropical Oatmeal Cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

1/3 c. soft butter (not melted)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. raw sugar
3 egg whites
1 ½ c. self rising flour
2 ½ c. quick oatmeal, uncooked
½ c ground flax seed


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, oil, and sugars until creamy. Add egg whites and continue beating. Add flour. Mix. Stir in the flax seed. Add oatmeal, a cup at a time, and stir with spoon. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls***** onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

I added chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips to this recipe.
This morning, I picked up one of my books 'Stories for the Romantic Heart' and opened it to a page containing this writing.

The Beauty of Love by: Author Unknown

The question is asked, "Is there anything more beautiful in life than a boy and a girl clasping clean hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?"

And the answer is given. "Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces are seamed, but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love."

Steve and I are amazed when we see couples walking along ... with their hands so close, but not holding each other's. Now, I know that maybe there are reasons ... we just hope the reasons are good enough to miss out on that special sweetness. We sure look forward to still holding hands when we are old and wrinkled.

I found it at Their post said it is in also... A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Library

Today, I went to the library. They are having a sale on their books. Though I hate to see a library selling their books, especially my favorite authors, I do like a good sale. And 4 books for a dollar is a good sale. At one time, I was on the floor looking at the bottom shelves with books lined up in two rows, one behind the other.
It remended me of when I was in the sixth grade and walked about a half mile to the public library. I liked the Nancy Drew books and would go back in the corner by myself and enjoy some quiet time of reading. Having five younger brothers and a younger sister, that was about the only quiet time I could find!
This noon, I came home with two bags of books and spent five dollars. A few were by my favorite authors and some for research. My husband has encouraged me, during the years, to keep a library even when I thought I should downsize because of space and moves. He knows it is important for a writer (and reader) to have her own books. So, now I have my own library in our home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holding Hands

43 years ago tonight a 15 yr. boy and girl went on a church outing to Skateland in Jacksonville, FL. They have been 'skating through life' since then, hand in hand.

We still like to hold hands. This photo was taken while standing in the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona where they meet at the 4 corners.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brrrrr Cold

It is 26 degrees here this morning. Not what I expected for the Deep South. Though I did grow up here and knew it got cold in winter. I also remember wearing shorts at Christmas in N. Fla. And I am sure I could have here in S. Georgia this year, if I wore shorts. But now into January, it is cold. However we have been in much colder weather. This is a photo taken of us at an ice art exhibit in Alaska. It was way cold! But we had to go see the ice art! The one here was in honor of Schultz. We thought his comic strip would cease at the time, but thankfully it did not.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sweet Memories

Sometimes when I sign in and use my email address, I hit the comma instead of the m for com. It always brings a smile to my face for I remember a friend of mine whom I was teaching computer. I had explained over the phone for her to type in .com and she could not get where she wanted to go and was frustrated. I went to her house to see what she was doing and she was typing in ., I had to refrain from smiling too much, for I thought it was so cute.
It is nice to have sweet memories of people to bring smiles to our faces. bja

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Lure of Alaska

This story is about a different branch of the Williams family tree. In the early 1900s Cason Williams travels from Georgia to Alaska in search of an answer for why his friend died. Was it really an accident as the report said, or was murder the real cause of death? And where is the gold Shane found? Will the old timer Cason meets be able to help him survive the cold winter of Alaska? While waiting for Cason to return, Anna, Shane’s fiancĂ©e back home in Georgia, is worried she will be forced into a marriage of convenience to help her mother keep their home.

My Precious Jewel

A love story set in the early 1900's in the United States. Eleven-year-old Emerald Cooper loves Aaron Davis, who is ten years her senior and only sees her as a close friend of the family. At the turn of the 20th century, a time when women could not enter into a man’s world, she could not let him know how she felt before he left on a venture. While Aaron is away helping in the building of the Panama Canal, a newcomer, Reuben Baker, comes to town. As the years go by, Reuben falls in love with Emerald and sets her heart in turmoil as she tries to decide whether to wait for a chance to declare her love for Aaron or accept a love that is being offered her right now.

Silent Love

This story is about Jonathan's great-nephew Clayton Williams as he leaves his home in North Carolina to follow in his uncle's footsteps by venturing farther west. Beth O'Neill and her family are also traveling over the Cumberland Mountains heading west. See how Beth handles losing her family, then tries to decide what to do now that she is on her own and headed to an unknown land. Read how their lives intertwine with Winola, a twelve year old girl, whose drunkard father loses her to slavers while gambling. Experience with them the hardships and pleasures of living in the early 1800's Ohio.

Explanation of how I wrote my books

Though all my books are written about the same fictional family line, I want them to be stand-alone, meaning you do not have to read the next one to ‘finish the story.’ However, after Beyond the Mountains was released, so many people wanted to know what happened to Rebekah, I changed the beginning of Silent Love to tell what happened. I thought I should be true to the readers. So, technically, it became a sequel as I never intended. But, that is all that makes it thus. Each book can be read whenever and does not have to be read in order.

Beyond the Mountains

In 1766, Jonathan Williams lives with his family in western North Carolina. He longs for adventure and wants to cross the mountains dividing him from the lands he hears others talking about. Before he obtains his parents’ blessing on such a venture, the Battle of Alamance threatens to divide his family. He tries to decide whether to fight against the governor or venture farther west. A childhood friend, Hannah, has seemingly, been abandoned by her husband and also wants to leave her position at the town tavern. She wonders if her husband will return or if the rumors she hears about him are true. She wishes Jonathan would take her with him when he leaves. As the story unfolds you will learn about both Jonathan and Hannah. After Jonathan finally has his dream come true, he struggles whether it is right to settle a land already occupied by other people. You will get to know friends they make on their adventures during a part of our history when the new people to our country were pushing westward.

Books by Belinda Jo Adams

I have four novels on the market. I call them novels because that is what non-writers call them. Writers say they are not long enough for real novels, but whatever. I have four of them available. They can be purchased at any bookstore by having them order them for you. Or you can shop at the online bookstores for them. The titles are: Beyond The Mountains, Silent Love, My Precious Jewel and The Lure of Alaska. I use my real name: Belinda Jo Adams as the author. I wrote each one from my studies of history and having lived in the area of the setting of the stories. They also contain items from my own experiences.
All four are historical stories that both teens and adults will like to read and hopefully recommend to their friends.

What I write.

I titled this blog Belinda Jo Writes because that is what I do. Write. What do I write? The writing books say to pick one type of writing and focus on it. That would be a whole lot easier than what I do. I I keep trying to focus on one type, but it is hard. The, I see where other authors do various things and figure it is ok. But, those authors can probably afford to pay for their work to be edited, researched, etc, so it is not so confusing to them. Maybe. So, what do I write? I like historical the best. I like to take tidbits from the past and work them into a fictional story or even a poem or article. I have many items and ideas that I will never get around to writing about them all. Recently, I have decided to try to make myself focus on historical fiction short stories and major there. If a poem comes to mind, of course I’ll write it down.


I grew up with superstitions. We threw salt over our shoulders for a reason I cannot remember now. If we took a piece of bread form the serving plate while we had one on our plate, it meant hungry company was coming. If a black cat crossed our path, then we went around another way. We did not walk under a ladder. I do not worry about all that stuff now, but sometimes, I have to stop and make myself walk under a ladder. If you broke a mirror it was seven years of bad luck. I would still be in trouble with that one. One time, I was riding in the car. We were within the block of our destination and a black cat crossed the path. The driver stopped, backed the car up to the intersection, and went around the block. I thought, Now, that cat came from that direction. Maybe he crossed this road, too. But, I did not say anything. Maybe that is when I stopped believing all those superstitions.
The only one that I still cannot bring myself to break is if I have a bad dream. You are not supposed to tell it until after breakfast, or it would come true. I figure it is not that long until I eat so I can wait. Maybe one day, I will get over that one, too!

New Year's Day

As a child, I heard that what you do on New Year's Day, you will do all year. So I thought if I sewed or read ... or whatever, then I would have a lot of time to sew or read or ... whatever!
Yesterday, was spent with family and friends, having fun and eating. If the superstition is true, then we will have fun with family and friends during the next year. Hopefully, we do not eat as much, though.
If you want to read the top 10 superstitions for New Year's Day, go to:

Friday, January 1, 2010

My first priority is taking care of my family, which now consists of my husband and me being the children are gone and it is back to the two of us. After that, I have two desires. One is to teach sign language to hearing people who want to communicate with deaf people. The other is to write. I enjoy doing all three and try to keep them in balance.
As for my hobbies, I like to take photos and play Scrabble.