Friday, October 31, 2014

When Something Might Be Taken Away ...

"...let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." ---Hebrews 12:1


My buddy, Dolores, shared this at Facebook:

Did it remind me of some deep, meaningful truth? Nah, it brought to mind our view of the river, the one we paid lots of money for by way of a picture window, which has, for weeks, been blocked by big ol' nasty machinery. Grrr...

There's an empty lot down there where the name of our area, plus the word 'vineyard,' were formed using stones on a mound of dirt. After that, wooden boxes of something (grapevines? On a corner city lot??) were planted, other ground was dug up and some gravel brought in. And each night, unsightly endloaders, etc., have parked--not in a back corner of the lot--no. But in front, sprawling across our pretty river view.

Of course, I could complain (way more than I have) silently and aloud to Tom. I could also storm down there and ask the drivers to park  farther back (hey, I'm sure some eccentric little old lady somewhere would do that). I could also sit here and fear and fume that maybe a building's going up next(!), destroying our view forever and proclaim that--if it does--we're so outta here. We're moving. 

(And ok, ok... I did, in the heat of the moment, say that one time.)

But no. If wisdom is letting go of something every day, then I'd be wise to let go of this. To--like late yesterday afternoon and this morning--so appreciate and treasure the times the machinery is gone, making the river visible again in all its blue glory.

I'll remain calm, rather than stress-out about this, weakening my immune system, jeopardizing my health, ruining otherwise lovely days.

And I'll believe, in faith, that if a building does go up, it will be built in a back corner of the (huge) lot. And all will be well.

If wisdom truly is letting go of something every day, I'll choose to be wise.

For I do know this: Life is all about how we choose to react to the foul balls which land upon our heads. And the best life will always belong to those who choose to smile anyway, believe for better days, and remind themselves that at least they still have God, He who makes all things right. In His time. 


See what Tom and I really, really want to buy?:

Since we have no built-ins here, at least this would lend to the illusion that we do. Also, our current source of emergency heat is a kerosene heater out in the garage, but can we find anyplace to even buy kerosene? Uh, no. (We've been blessed, indeed, not to have had a black-out in the five years we've had that yard-sale-found heater.) Anyway, this fireplace uses cans of gel and those are super easy to order online. And again, it would be for emergency heat only.


We have questions! Most likely they can all be answered by a YouTube video, but hey, we're lazy and wanted to ask here first:

If we hang our tv above this, where do the cords go? (My friend, Susan, said you drill a hole behind the tv for the wires. Makes sense.) Also, does the swivel wall mount thing come out far enough to where someone (Tom) could see the screen if he's on the extreme left?

And one more ... where the heck do the the cable box and blu-ray player go? Hmm? On all those HGTV shows I just see a tv above a fireplace and nothing else. ???

I'm thinking we need professional help. Tom thinks we should just wing it. Oh dear. But I'd rather not buy this (beautiful thing) until we know for certain that it's gonna work for us.

Anyone have any answers before we seek out YouTube?  :)


Oh, and Happy Halloween! My friend, Tara, shared this blog post at Facebook and it mirrored what I've always felt about Halloween, well, the part about how the world comes walking right up to your door and what an opportunity that can be!


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thinkin' Nicole's Gonna Kill Me Yet

"She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness."   ...Proverbs 31:27


Okay. I'm only going to show you this corner of my house because, as of this morning, it no longer looks like that. Plus, some of you who tell me that Hobbit Cottage is just perfect (though you've never been here) and that I should be quiet, content and live here till I die, well, you need a good ol' reality check:

Gah. I can't believe I lived with it that way for that long. 

(Sorry about the darkness. I forgot the stair light works now-- the bulb burned out two years ago,but I couldn't reach it to replace it. I fixed it finally this weekend since I moved what had blocked my reach.) See? Also not perfect. There's a list.

Anyway. I finally changed that corner to this:

Better, right? Someday I might paint the two white-ish frames, black. 

Now, the cat tree thingy, the vacuum cleaner and Tom's back-stretching, toe-stubbing thing (I named it The Hector because I can't, for the life of me, ever remember what it's really called)--they're still there. I just pushed them out of camera view. And where will Tom's coats go which once hung there? I don't know. I really don't.

We have just 1 1/2 closets in this house and one is a storage room now (upstairs, where Tom seldom ventures) and the other is in his room, but is a good-sized closet only for, say, a clothes-wearing ferret.

Oh, and I didn't tell you that weeks ago I created a wall upstairs to (kinda) divide our guest room from my new room, you know, to give our imaginary guests, privacy. You must promise me not to laugh, though. Promise? Ok, here it is:

Hmm.... right? I painted the back of it today and will probably give it another coat tomorrow.

And yesterday I made a curtain for the front (this is one of my homemade substitute pantries) from a still-in-the-package flat sheet from a yard sale for just $1.

See? I'm trying to make this house comfortable and efficient for us. This is where so much of my concentration has gone this year and where I've taken the Patience Test like you wouldn't believe. Yet Grace has me here at this moment so it's all good.

But what else did I do today besides painting and rearranging furniture? I ironed six pieces of clothing for Tom, baked a cake, made a pasta salad, folded laundry, cooked chicken, vacuumed, straightened the house and put a load of dishes through the dishwasher. I'd still love to feed the birds, but I can barely move.

Darn that inspiring ol' Nicole Curtis anyway. She just may send me to an early grave yet.  :)


Stay tuned tomorrow when you'll see what we're planning to buy *if* we can figure out some complications it will cause. I'll be asking questions of you who are technically in-the-know regarding flat screen tv's being mounted to a wall.....


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tempted to Escape Your Life?

"...though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy."   ... 1 Peter 1:8


With interest (and prayer) I followed that story of the missing dad from the Broncos game and what a relief, at 5:30 this morning, to read he'd been found. Safe.

While Tom ate his French toast during the news, we discussed what might have led this man to Pueblo, CO (since nobody's answering our questions right now) and one of my guesses was, "Maybe he just wanted to escape his life for awhile."

Hey. It happens. 

After Tom left for work I considered (again) how vital it is for us all to actively create a life we'd fight to keep rather than one which tempts us to escape whenever things go all wonky.

Me? I love this life which God and I have customized. That must be true because of days like my Monday two weeks ago. Was it sunny? Did I travel someplace exciting? Did I win something?

Uh, no.

I flipped on the tv and discovered Rehab Addict would be on for hours(!) then, during a commercial, stepped out to the front porch where I spied a long box. Hooray! My new telescopic squeegee had arrived.

I'd needed one for three years (having left ours at the farm) because our dining room windows must be cleaned from the outside and now both the newly-installed windows do, also. They so do not fold in for easy, convenient cleaning.

Stepping back into the house, I thanked God and ripped open the box while letting the inspiration that is Nicole Curtis seep into me. And the squeegee had a sponge attached! I'd not even noticed that when I ordered it online.

During the next hour of commercials I washed spots from five windows, no ladder needed. I put a load of dishes through the dishwasher (which I keep forgetting to tell you finally cast its spell upon me two years ago). And while I vacuumed, the sun appeared, I ate lunch, folded clothes and ironed six of Tom's shirts (all with Nicole).

And--by the time Tom unlocked the back door--I felt like I'd been on vacation. Or been sprinkled with fairy dust. Or something else rather odd.

You'll never watch a news story hinting that I escaped my life, not with all the love and work God has poured into me: 

... the lessons of forgiveness, saying no, saying yes, staying in control of my feelings, training my thoughts, expressing delight in tiny things, loving God with my all and--. 

Besides, there is no leaving my flawed self (as Joyce Meyer says, "Wherever you go, there you are"). But now I'll never try, for anyone who can feel giddy about a squeegee on a pole and a tv show about restoring old houses, doesn't feel the need to start all over. 

She already has. Thank God.


Tom felt fine yesterday and returned to work, but he must have been pretty sick over the weekend to have forgotten to tell me that Netflix now has 25 episodes of Rehab Addict(!) and he'd added it to our instant queue. Oh my, seeing it there, I nearly had a happy seizure. 

Wow. I watched one minute of the first episode, felt a sudden jolt of inspiration and raced upstairs, grabbed my little glass-top table, ran outside with it (and some newspaper), swung open the garage door, grabbed some light blue spray paint and painted the table. All on a sunny, record-breaking warm Autumn day.

Another day to remember. Oh, there are many.


Lest anyone have a fit in my comment box, I'm not saying the dad who went to Pueblo tried to avoid his life. His story simply made a good jumping-off point for a blog post.  :)

** Note: his story has been updated since I linked to it. You can judge for yourself now why he left. Even though, frankly, I consider it none of my business. heh.