Monday, October 20, 2014

And the Answer Is .........

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. "  ... 1 Corinthians 7:17


Nope. No new house for us, at least not this year.

Tom and I crunched some numbers yesterday and ack! We could easily pour $35,000 into that house I showed you (including new rugs, furniture and upkeep)--and that doesn't even account for kitchen updates which, see for yourself, it needs:

The kitchen could never be made larger, either, not without wiping out the dining room (and I'd feel disloyal doing that). The house would still be a good investment (if we someday found small-kitchen-loving buyers), but we'd have to live with contractors and cigarette-smokin', tool belt-totin'  noisy workmen for a very long time. Bleh. Been there, done that and cringe at doing it again.

Oh well. 

Yet, gee are we grateful that we wandered the rooms of that larger house. Yesterday morning outdoor temps fell to the 30's (again), but we've still not used our main heater this season and as I told Tom, "I'll bet we couldn't heat that big ol' house with our two tiny woodstove electric heaters as we have here." He said, "No, we certainly couldn't."

This Hobbit Cottage with it's small needs and rooms and doable fixes has enabled us to do something we'd only read about--they call it 'saving money'. Such a foreign concept to us, but we've certainly enjoyed it.  :)

So Life goes on and we continue to make our updating plans for our sweet place before Winter comes swirling in and keeps us inside where all is warm and golden.


"When disappointment comes, you have a choice. You can either let it press you down or use it as a stepping stone to something better."   ... Neil Vermillion


My clock radio awoke me with this lovely, evocative song this morning and I just wanted to snuggle there with Daniel the Cat for another hour, dreaming along with more such songs which whisk my head away to sunny, retro places.


A special thanks to Clarice for sharing this at Facebook.

Free Kindle books:

It's Your Call: What Are You Doing Here?

Poison Town

In God's Time

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Search is Over

Way back in May as Tom and I drove away from a yard sale, he pointed and said, "There's a house for sale." I looked across the street and gasped. "Oh, it's my Blondie House!" 

My heart pounded. Oh my. The type of house I'd wanted since I was 15 and watching good ol' Blondie and Dagwood movies.

Well, we looked the house up online and saw that it cost $109,000. Hmm. More than we wanted to pay and besides, in a week Tom would travel to Africa so the whole matter seemed impossible. So we forgot about the house. Kinda.

Then yesterday I saw it again online and ack! It had gone to foreclosure and was $30,000 less. Wow, the deal of the century, Tom and I told each other.

We walked through that house today. It's in a beautiful neighborhood and when I saw the milk bottle box I thought, "Yes, I knew you'd be here. I've 'seen' you for decades." The same thing happened when I saw the laundry chute, coat closet, entryway, pantry and linen closet. Three pretty bedrooms and a bathroom were upstairs and a whole little 'house' for Tom's room/man cave downstairs:

And the corner cabinet in the dining room was a dream come true:

I think I even saw the ghosts of both Blondie and Dagwood. Happy sigh.

"We could afford this! Pay cash!", we reasoned (though since it's a foreclosure, the agent said the powers-that-be would consider us if we got a loan, first, but wouldn't wait around on a contingency.). "It's the perfect house for us," we told ourselves. 

But then we talked ourselves out of buying it.

We came home, calmed our emotions and then considered all the cosmetic work and the hiring of men to do it (nothing major, but still, there's a list). Plus, there's the paperwork, the selling our house, the packing up, the cleaning, the moving, the switching over of addresses everywhere, the buying of one of those stair lift chairs for company and Tom, the cleaning and heating of all those rooms, the way Tom and I would probably never see each other while rambling around in 1,700 sq. feet and how we'd have an excuse to collect more furniture which Naomi would someday have to sort through if something happened to us. Oh, and we'd probably be moving in a January snowstorm ...

Weirdly, I can't even get excited about it. It's like I see Grace wildly shaking her head, "No! Don't do it!" And even though this is the house I've pictured for 40 years upon hearing the words, 'Dream House,' I keep recalling recent days when I became downright weary just doing my usual housework. How would I handle such a huge upheaval?  

Though truly I believe if we had to move, Grace would help and hold us together. But we don't have to move...and I realized today I must love Hobbit Cottage more than I believed since I'm willing to happily stay. And it is a grand thing to realize that.

Though, gah. Tom says he's gonna sleep on it tonight, just in case. He keeps thinking about how it would be a step up for us, both the house and neighborhood, and I keep reminding him that that's a matter of perspective and priorities. (The houses may be worth double, but there's no river there, after all, and who says we need to make a 'step up'?)

Anyway, there'll be no more looking at houses for sale online, not by me. I mean, after you let the perfect home flutter away, well, what's the point? Instead we'll stay here (unless Tom decides differently tomorrow--yikes!) and continue to make these rooms more efficient and comfortable. We'll stop wishing improvements would get done and just do them. Finally.

And all will be well.


These are a couple houses across the street from The Blondie House:

And here are a couple more photos from the house:


Friday, October 17, 2014

They're Not Gonna Suck *Me* In!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ... Philippians 4:6-7
Good grief. The News lately is working overtime in their scaremonger role, trying to frighten us all out of our minds. Although, of course, they call it keeping us informed.

Ebola. Enterovirus. Terrorism. The Stock Market. Accidents. Hurricanes. The Polar Vortex. Global Warming. Earthquakes. Burglaries. The Economy. Murders. Kidnappings and other Very Bad, We're-All-Gonna-Die stuff.

Well, hey. Monday through Friday I watch a half hour of our local news, 20 minutes of a National morning news show and I read the occasional interesting Yahoo news article online. And then I go live my vintage-ish life.

I do not soak in a News Bathtub all day long beneath fear bubbles.

Are you kidding? No, God told us over and again in the Bible to fear not, but rather, trust Him in all things and when I reach Heaven's shores I don't want regrets that I played the role here of Big Worry Wart. No, I'm aiming to be grateful that--though it (regrettably) took a few decades--I ended my journey trusting that God would take good care of me, even when the world became all screwed-up beyond repair.

God is huge, after all, and will always be greater and able to handle any very bad thing down here. And may no fear ever multiply so wildly inside my head that it pushes that assurance right out. 

May I instead pray, talk it over with God, do what I can--then move on to live this abundant life Jesus died to give me.


"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may haveand enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [a]overflows)."   ... John 10:10

"And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."   ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."   ... Psalm 23:4


Again--I stay informed, but I refuse to stay scared, which means that when Grace says, "You've watched/read enough News," I obediently step away and get back to living life. 

Learning to recognize Grace was one of the greatest lessons, ever.


Tom and I have a bigger cable package, but no DVR. Yet we do have Primetime on Demand and boy oh boy, do we early-to-bed folks appreciate watching the primetime shows any time we wish! Our current new favorites that we'd never before seen?

Chicago Fire
Chicago PD


Find this weekend's Savingstar freebie here.


Free Kindle books:

Finding God When You Need Him Most

With Autumn's Return

Billow Creek Bride

Mason Jar Meals