Friday, May 19, 2017

Details, Details.

Just for fun on this Friday, ok?

1.) Saw this local house for sale online last week. Isn't it adorable?

*Finally* houses in our area are rising in price. This one is $147,500, which sounds cheap to some, but when you've lived here for 24 years you can't help but remember how real estate used to be.  😌 

2.) Here are a couple lines from a recent obituary from my old hometown in CA --

"Doris loved dancing, family, music, parties, ukulele, hula, adventures, camping, gardening, animals, writing, coconut ice cream and beer.
Doris passed away at Dixie Canyon on April 11, 2017. At Doris’ request, there will be a celebration of life consisting of “music, dance and merriment” on July 8 at Dixie Canyon. “My life has been a great celebration and so it should end in the same manner.”

3.) Attention Gilmore Girls fans! Most likely, you'll enjoy this (wow, what a rabid fan, indeed!)-- 

4.) So to delay a visit to Home Depot as long as possible, I've been ordering things, here and there, online. Well, at Ebay I found 250 catnip seeds for only $1.95 with free shipping. Don't you love discovering cheapo deals like that online? She even has Buy 2 Get 1 Free offers on her other seeds. Sweet.
The seeds arrived in a regular white envelope with this so-cute bag inside --

5.) Someday Tom and I would love to travel Route 66, preferably on a bus tour from Chicago where someone else does all the driving/planning/thinking for us. We even toy with the idea of living someday in a hilly, evergreen-tree-like place we saw on this episode of Hotel Impossible then taking side trips on our own.
Anyway, for the meantime, I ordered this awesome Route 66 book stuffed with history and photos. So cool! Almost like you are there --

6.) Would you like to see a photo of my sleeping pills? --

 I take three 'pills' before bedtime. Now, three fresh slices of banana are even better, but these work when fresh isn't available. Really, they help me sleep better, they, and the minimum dose of Melatonin.
7.) Oh, and two best things from my Stocking a Pantry research? 
a.) Canned potatoes, whole or sliced. Man, these things are convenient. They don't spoil or grow roots inside my cupboard and poof! Instantly they're ready for potato salad, fried potatoes or however else you wish to use them (though I've never tried mashing them).
b.) Spam (yes, Spam). I recalled my mom used to cook Spam with crushed pineapple, so I tried it myself, and oh! Even better than I remember. Lately I've made it once a week with perfect-tasting sides of mashed potatoes and canned cut green beans.
Here, roughly, is the recipe --
One regular-sized can Spam, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick slices.
One medium-sized can crushed pineapple.
1/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. powdered cloves (or to taste)
Add 1 tbl. oil to frying pan and 1 tbl. butter. When melted, add slices of Spam and heat just till heated through. Spread crushed pineapple on top, adding, oh maybe 1/8 cup of the juice from the pineapple. Spread the brown sugar evenly on top, then spread the powdered cloves. Cover, then heat till everything is hot, about 3 minutes (don't over cook or it'll become rubbery and you'll hate me. heh.)
That's it! And yes, I realize I'm taking a chance y'all will think I'm crazy. But really, Tom and I both enjoy this and that's saying a lot since Tom normally won't even touch any meat with a fruit sauce.
8.) And lastly, was anyone else horrified by the season-endings of Chicago Med and Criminal Minds (which, for the record, cut out the majority of gruesomeness of recent seasons)? Oh, and ack! Chicago Fire, too--the worst ending of all! (Just now watched it.) My, my, my. Torture that they're making us wait four months to discover what happens next!  😏

Have a wonderful weekend! (And color me grateful that we've cooled down 20 degrees after two hot-too-soon days. Whew.)


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Worlds And Welcome To Them

"We are limited only by our own imagination."  ... copied


After my last post, does anyone want examples of what I meant by 'creating my own worlds'?

Above, you have my Front Porch World. On rare, not-frigid winter mornings I venture out here with a book, for the sun's warmth bounces off the concrete like a promise that yes! Spring will return and so will long reading hours outside.

Some promises are unspoken--you just have to slow down and tune your ears toward finding encouragement rather than things gone wrong.

Here's my Prayer Garden World. Oh my, if this was all the yard I had, it would be enough. Sometimes I sit in the chair, but usually I place the cushion on the lawn and, with books beside me, play picnic and being a young woman again.

And I lift my face to the sun and dream and let gratitude well-up within me for this quiet, whimsical, semi-hidden, private world of mine.

Another favorite world?  My Closet Bedroom World.

Of all the rooms I've decorated in 38 years of married life, this wins all prizes. Each night before switching off the lamp, I stare at these shelves, wallpaper, books and pictures and feel sweet contentment.

Other worlds I've created?  My--

Blogging World
Family and Friends World
Book Collection World
Retro Music With Aprons and Vintage Magazines World
Stocking a Deep Pantry For The End Of The World World  😉

And who is the light and warmth and joy of these worlds? God, Himself. None of my worlds would spin upright or comfort me without Him.

I feel sorry for people without hope, a sense of humor or an imagination. Those who believe the chaotic, filled-with-arguments, 2017 world out there is the only one. Oh dear! No, the best worlds are those born inside hearts, worlds which become so huge that they burst! 

... and then become cozy, but strong refuge places for the rest of our journey on the way to Heaven, the most perfect world of all.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 
― Albert Einstein

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   ... John 8:12


And of course, a special nod to James Thurber for today's title (though tweaked by me).



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Creating Worlds With Adventures of Their Own

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." 

----- George Washington Carver


Well. Months ago I passed-up an $8 copy of Anne LaBastille's, Woodswoman III at Ebay, even though wow, what a terrific price! Usually that book is, like, $36 to over $200.

What was I thinking? Mostly, that I had much to buy online that month, I could order this book later, I already owned Woodswoman I and II-- and wasn't that enough?

The following month I checked and yes, the $8 copy was phhhtt. Gone. "Way to go, Debra," I muttered.

And yeah, suddenly I wanted it. Badly.

Eight weeks passed, then one morning, on a whim, I looked at Amazon and oh! Spied a copy of Woodswoman III for my, my, my-- just $8.

Wow. A second chance! Often we don't get those (I'd mused just days before). Oh, to follow Grace who always gets it right the first time.

Anyway, the book arrived yesterday, so beneath bright sunlight I sat upon a chair cushion on the lawn of my Prayer Garden, thumbed past two sun-glared pages, then gasped! For I saw this --

Oh my goodness. No one mentioned it was autographed! Suddenly I felt like Anne sat down beside me, even though she passed-away during our last summer out at the farm. Gave me chills--the good kind--and turned that Monday all memorable.

And you know? I needed this. The hour out on the lawn, the autograph and Anne's adventurous stories. Ever since our broiling-hot summer last year and then the realization that I've, pretty much, decorated this house as much as I can (and we won't be moving soon), well, I've too often chosen complaining, pouting sitting and excuses rather than using my energy to discover new adventures.

Tsk. Tsk.

We really do create our own worlds, Anne reminds me, even if it's the peaceful, away-from-it-all world of our own backyard. We choose the way we live in the worlds we create by how we think about them and move within their parameters. 

Our own choices and decisions! We like to blame the Times for bitter thoughts and worlds-gone-sour, but no. We, still, are free to choose, decide and live as God specially-designed each of us to.

Even in 2017 God is greater than choices made by those who have never met Him. And how much better is Life when we walk with Him by way of the unseen garden-worlds of our hearts.

"...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."   ...Philippians 4:8

“Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.” 

― Roy T. BennettThe Light in the Heart

We have problems when we jump out of worlds God specially designed for us into worlds He created for others.


Yikes! See the guys waaay up there on top?

Last month our neighbors had their roof replaced and guess who I prayed for all afternoon?  

Lots of folks appear outside my windows and it surprises me how often God asks me to pray for them. Really, it's kinda weird.