Monday, November 11, 2019

November This and That

(Collage by Brea Rose Soap Garden.)

1.) Oh wow! Last week outside the cafe window, something happened which I'd never seen in all my 60 years. A super tall tree across the street dropped at least 400 leaves in 2 minutes! Barely could I believe my eyes.

Probably there's a scientific reason. We'd had snow the previous night and now sunshine glowed upon the leaves. But whatever, what a sight to see leaves pouring down from a tree!

2.) I'd needed to order some stair-tread-tape for our outdoor steps when oh! Via local real estate online I spied some decorative treads which I simply had to order (after reading many favorable comments). 

Here are the ones I bought--

(Nifty, right?)

3.) Last week I heard this wonderful song by Casting Crowns, called Thrive. (Go here to listen.) Made my day! Here are the lines I especially appreciated:

We know we were made for so much more 
Than ordinary lives.
It's time for us to more than just survive:
We were made to thrive.

Yes, indeed!

4.) Even though you (or I) never attended Niagara Falls High School, you may enjoy this special 40th reunion video, especially if you, like me, went to high school in the 70's. Over the years I've watched this 4 or 5 times and always it returns me to my own high school days--the good ones--with smiles.

(I enjoyed the funny stories ("this whole table!"). If you watch and like the video, let me know, ok?)

                           (My favorite photo of A.B. Simpson. Isn't it cool?)

5.) Lately I'm reading stuff by an old-time 'God's General,' A.B. Simpson, and oh! I keep nodding in agreement and feeling blessed. 

Here's a devotional book containing his writings which you can add to your Kindle for free.

6.) Naomi gave us 2 vintage stretched-canvas paintings and (miraculously since our house is small) I found the perfect place for each. I'll share 1 here--

                       (As with all my photos, the real thing looks nicer.)

7.) Oh! Over at Facebook there's another collage artist I appreciate. (Find her here.)

(We're due for 10 inches of snow tonight, but I'm still insisting upon sharing these autumn collages.)  シ  

8.) I naively assumed finding terrific (not well-known) vintage movies for you at Youtube, free, would be simple, but good gracious! I'm discovering many are more morally disturbing than Today's films(!) Seriously, and hey, I refuse to recommend stuff that'll mess-up your head.  シ

So I'll just do the best I can, ok? Here are 3 films which won't corrupt your mind too much. Heh.

The Second Woman

Fred MacMurray: The Guy Next Door (documentary)

Gracie Allen: The Better Half (documentary)

9.) So I'm officially at that age where even half a cup of coffee keeps me awake at night. 


But am I grabbing for sleeping medication so I can still stubbornly drink real coffee? Uh, nope. Haven't heard God ok that.

Instead, determined to create an awesome-as-coffee recipe for hot chocolate, I--over much time--developed this one, below. I drink 2 cups daily, except when I visit the cafe where their decaf tastes even better than the real thing(!)

So here you go. (All amounts are approximate.) 

Debra's Hot Chocolate

In an average mug, place--

3/4 Tbl. baking cocoa
1/4 Tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 Tsp. imitation vanilla
1 heaping Tbl. powdered creamer
1 envelope of Stevia
2 Tbl. almond milk (or any milk)

Add boiling water to mug. Stir. Enjoy.

10.) And I'll leave you with this smile, something in an area where I must watch my own attitude. Er hem.


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

My Creepy Dream

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights..."  ...Philippians 2:14,15


So I watched a couple Sid Roth episodes where folks encouraged us to pay attention even to our 'pizza dreams'. "God may wish to tell us something through them", they explained.

I was intrigued. Into the drawer beside my bed I placed a pen and a little Dollar Tree tablet so I could scribble dream details. You know, just in case. 

Well, two nights later, oh my! I awoke from a dream with only one scene--

Standing in our kitchen, I spied something slowly rise from the center of our stove top. From across the room I realized it was the back of a head(!) Then just as the head cleared the enamel to expose a neck, it swiveled toward me and I saw the face. Mine! I gasped and awoke.

(Ha! I'll wager none of you ever had that dream.)  ツ Creepy, right?

Well, as the Sid Roth folks said to, I asked God to help me interpret the dream. And you know? This is what I believe it meant--

I needed to rise above my recent annoyances with things-gone-wrong around my house.The slow kitchen drain, suspicious carpet spots, stuck kitchen window, the odd smell, etc. They'd occupied my mind far more than God's goodness, so I needed to fix what I could, accept what I couldn't, all while basking in gratitude rather than frustration.

I mean, after all: there's always something, right? Always something designed to keep us complaining rather than praising. It's time to stay above, rather than bogged down. To come up higher.

And you know? In the 9 days since that dream I've felt like a changed woman. Seriously!

Isn't it wild how often we must be reminded of principles already learned? How God desires we go deeper in our understanding, (and obedience), so we'll remember truths for, like, more than five days?

Complaining. Ack. Sometimes we cease complaining aloud about something, but does the complaint remain inside our hearts? 

I'm thinking that's where I'd gone. To that grey, misty place where the habit of joy can't quite break through.

So how amazing of God to snap me out of it by 1.) Making certain I came across those dream tv episodes, 2.) Allowing me to recall such an odd dream, and 3.) Helping restore me to a good ol' Debra kind of daily joy by pointing at where I'd gone wrong.

How wonderful of Jesus to correct us, to do whatever it takes to help us live in joy the life He died to give us. Whew.

" ... because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son."   ... Hebrews 12:6

Complaining. It blinds us to what's wonderful and cheats us out of the special day/life we could have had.


Do you ever watch the HGTV show, Good Bones? I mentioned it here years ago, but I'm still more addicted of a fan than ever. Mina and Karen decorate in a colorful way which will restore your faith in a modern-world-gone-clean-line-boring.

Another best thing? Prospective buyers walk through the houses without complaining(!)

I love their good-natured mother-daughter banter and oh my, I'll miss Karen's constant presence in the upcoming season, for she's retiring, yet will help with certain craft projects (I understand retiring, I do!). 

But already I'm telling myself to still expect to love this show even though, yes, it's taking a hit not having fun-loving, unique Karen in all the scenes as before.

To check out some of their color-filled rooms, 


" ... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." "You will keep him in perfect peace he whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you."  ...Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 26:3

Sunday, November 03, 2019

For Those Who Have New Normals

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.""So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."  ... Isaiah 43:1, 2 Corinthians 4:16


Some folks won't let themselves love Autumn because it means Winter's sneaking down their lane, preparing to pounce. 

And I get that! I do.

But last year I didn't allow myself to complain about Winter and oh my, the shock! Those months held hundreds of pleasant hours and now I'm looking forward to snow and slowing down.

Wow. I should've tried that hushing my complaints eons ago. I know better than to moan about anything God has created. I do! (You should've heard me apologize to Him.) Gulp.

Today we've an icy wind, but still I continued The Great Twig Pick Up of 2019. Oh, the scary winds and rains of last Thursday night. Our high today is 42, but still my garden grows its red cherry tomatoes(!)

My annual grocery stock-up? It's nearly finished and I also double-checked my 'Clear Winter' wardrobe and called it Good. (Do you ever wish to talk wardrobes/seasonal palettes? Email me at and let's chat.)

And hey, did you know YouTube has tons of old black and white movies to watch, free? I even began a Favorite Youtube Movie List for you and here's what's there so far:

Phone Call From a Stranger


The Spiral Staircase

So if you needed a reason to anticipate Winter, there's one.  And my votives are stocked-up for burning in the fireplace below the tv. My books stare at me, begging to be reread.

One more wonderful Winter treat? I can ignore the fair-weather chores upon my Master Daily Task List. Skip right past them every day. Hooray!

And am I still, since June, tossing 10 items each week to the wind (and Salvation Army)? Yes, we're 220+ things lighter, with relief, not regret, and I'm committed to this till next June. 

Grace is all over this purging. Grace, and my celebrating that at least Naomi won't have to dispose of what I've released so far when Tom and I are old--or gone. 

Oh Grace! She's wise and lightens all loads with help and waves of anticipation, never dread.

Anyway, have you heard people talking about New Normals? Well, since turning 60 I've had my share, indeed--and have written to you only around half of them. 

But here's the thing: with each new normal, God reminds me He's brought me through every trial, every 'old normal' of the past. His record is flawless and no new normal can defeat Him.

He is stronger than ever, even though I am not. 
Even in 2019. 
And even though this world calls good, evil, and evil, good.

Even so, no lie (that we refuse to believe) will change Him or what He can do. And with our constant, joyful reliance upon Him (the key), no lies will knock us over, nor any new normal, either.

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Consistency!  It's a little like cheating. You go doing small things faithfully, month after month, and poof! You accomplish something huge. A task you previously believed you never could.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."   ... Ephesians 6:10

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"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15