Friday, November 28, 2008



Way back when I was a sorta-kinda counselor at church, I usually spoke with two kinds of people: those who really wanted help and those who only wanted pity and to be told "just keep doing what you're doing, you poor dear, even though what you're doing isn't working."

The first group was lovely to spend time with. They'd listen to me, nod their heads in agreement, ask questions, let me pray for them and then often they'd go out, smiling new smiles from a little bit of new hope.

The second group, though... those pity-seekers. Argh. They made me crazy. For every bit of advice I'd give, they'd give me two reasons why it wouldn't work for them. We'd talk and they'd squawk and blame God for what actually satan was doing (or their own lack of wisdom) and see themselves as special cases where Bible truths would not work for them. I couldn't convince them otherwise.


Frankly? I hate it when people accuse God of doing the bad stuff. Hate. It.

Here is a favorite passage of mine:

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Isaiah 32:17

Wow. A person could get a little tipsy on a verse like that. I could live off a verse like that for a week.

When bad things happen to me, I sooo want to be the kind of person who remains calm, quiet and confident that God is perfectly able to fix things. I so desire to hug Him to me closer than ever when my circumstances turn tragic or just plain dark.

And if you ever see or hear me blaming God for what satan is doing... or making my stomach sick because of worry... or falling to pieces... or believing every negative report as gospel truth... well, you have my permission to shoot me. Because really, I'd find it hard to live with myself anyway if I distrusted God like that, not after what He and I have been through... not after experiencing Life with this One who sticks closer than--and is a better friend than--a brother.

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

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I found this woman inspiring. Maybe you will, too.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Blogland friends... Always I am thankful for each of you and the kind comments you leave me. You make Blogland a blessing and a darn nice place to be. Enjoy your day and your family and friends... and appreciate all your blessings as much as you can. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anniversary Number Thirty


We interrupt your regularly-scheduled blog post for a commercial:

"Are you tired of paying high heating bills every winter? Want to know how to save money on heating costs?

Well do what Debra does. She wears a knitted cap on her head inside the house!
She heard that the majority of our body heat escapes through our head so for two winters she's worn her cap. And sets her thermostat at just 62 or 63 degrees (lower overnight). And wears two or three knitted long-sleeved shirts and two or three pairs of socks. And keeps moving. Or when she stops to watch tv or read, she does so beneath two blankets.

This is how Debra keeps warm during winters and how she saves money. Try it today!" :)
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Now back to our regularly-scheduled blog post....

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Can it really, truly be November 25th, 2008? Can it really be Tom's and my 30th wedding anniversary? My oh my... half the time I feel only 29 years old so how can this be? And half the time both Tom and I still feel like the totally clueless kids we were when we said, "I do."

But all the time I still anticipate awaking Tom, having him awake in my world and talking with me about whatever is on my mind, be it important or (usually) not. Either way, doesn't matter. We still chatter like proverbial magpies.

And where probably most couples would throw a big party for their 30th, Tom and I have celebrated the majority of the days of our years. Always we feel we are celebrating something. Maybe that's how real love is supposed to feel.

No, after Tom awakens this probably-snowy afternoon (he worked night shift last night), we will order lunch (from the only place in town which delivers), we'll watch a Netflixed movie and we'll enjoy our gift to each other on this big, landmark anniversary--our ancient old farmhouse which we bought this past summer, this place which tests and tries us... this place which is growing us up into better people (I think... I hope...)

And for us, that's about as good as it gets.... for us, we can imagine nothing better. For us, we're as happy together as we can be.
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The two of us in 1978... This is where Tom proposed to me, right in front of Rattlesnake Dick's tombstone in Auburn, CA. This was my favorite place when I lived there as a junior in high school--I was funny that way. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Okay. I'm going to go all controversial on you but I think you can handle it.........

So. According to yesterday's cover of Parade Magazine, "Saavy and determined, Reese Witherspoon learns: 'Family is all we have in Life.'"

Uh, really? I disagree.

What about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? What about the Bible, our friends, our homes, our pets, our books, our talents, our hobbies, our memories?

What about mountains, oceans, forests, deserts, meadows and farmland? What about libraries, museums, churches, schools and cities--those we've visited and have yet to visit? What about photography, shopping and Christmas?

What about our teachers, preachers, neighbors and the waitresses down at the coffee shop? What about the Internet and blogs and bloggers and kindred spirits we've met or may never meet? Or music, letters in the mailbox or email?

What about glorious mornings and golden afternoons and dusk and the moon and shooting stars? What about friendship, sitting on the porch or hiking or lying on your couch in the living room watching tv or dvd's of your favorite shows? What about tea parties, birthday parties, candlelight, chocolate cake, spaghetti, potatoes and roast? What about sports and our jobs and housecleaning and taking walks?

What about the myriad other things I've not even mentioned??

C'mon Reese...... we have just one thing in Life? Really?

Or were you misquoted?

***
"... but trust in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy..." I Timothy 6:17


So here's our barn about as finished as it's going to get before winter, for we've officially run out of time and money. A huge hole was dug all around and in front of it to level the ground, then a special kind of gravel was poured then rolled over which makes it nearly as hard as concrete. Well, kinda-sorta.


My outdoor "toys" are still outdoors. We've already had snow and yet there my terra cotta planters and wooden ducks and plaster of paris figures, etc., sit out in my garden or in the flower beds nestled against the house. At first I thought my not bringing them inside the barn meant I was lazy. And well, there is that.

But mostly? Mostly I think it's a rebellion of sorts. I am rebelling against the end of summer and an especially-early end of autumn. It all went so fast and I'm denying that soft, golden days have ended. We moved here in June, a whirlwind of activity and of acclimating ourselves to a whole different life woooshed by, swept us up, then sat us down-- bam! Right in the snow of an early winter.


Sigh.

But alas, there's next year. There will be a first Spring and a whole round of lessons and first sights and sunny mornings for appreciating it all. Yet now there will be snow and new wintry scenes from these windows and we will watch and wait patiently and remind ourselves there are times and reasons for each season we pass through in Life. I hope we will wait patiently, I mean.


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This weekend I sponge painted above the two smaller windows in our diningroom. I've got many projects planned even though "they" say you shouldn't redecorate/remodel your house around Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you've read here very long you probably have surmised I don't really care what "they" say.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Restore Unto Me The Joy of (Fill in the Blank)


Eons ago, Tom wrote a song which contained this Bible verse:

"Restore unto me the joy of my salvation..."

Well, lately I've been humming that song, but with lyrics I tweaked a bit:

"Restore unto me the joy of cooking..."

Good gracious.

The first early years I was married, I loved to cook and I became good at it. But lately? Ugh... I often push myself into the kitchen and force myself to open a cupboard. And that's right about when I start praying that I'll enjoy cooking again. Amazingly, that prayer usually works--eventually a joy of cooking returns to me.

Of course, it helps to surround myself with cooking inspiration, so I watch a few episodes of Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart and I peruse cooking magazines--or better--my collection of 1920's and 30's cookbooks. Sometimes it's just enough to see old photos of cakes or roasts placed upon old Fiestaware in front of a hoosier cabinet.

What I do not do after praying my 'cooking prayer' is watch shows where the homemaking arts are ridiculed and women who stay home are told they are wasting their lives. Nor do I pick up books, magazines or peek at blogs which preach "any idiot can care for a home--your time and effort are more wisely spent outside in the real world."

Uh, no. That would only guarantee my prolonged boredom with cooking. Sometimes the cause of my defeat is simply the place where I've been spending my time.

I've had other prayers, as I'm sure you have, too:

Restore unto me the love of cleaning my house...
Restore unto me the joy of early mornings...
Restore unto me good thoughts toward my next door neighbor...
Restore unto me patience with my husband and my daughter...

But whatever the prayer, I've found believing with much faith is only a start to its being answered. The other step is to drench myself in good inspiration and avoid anything which will keep me in the same ol', same ol' pathetic place.
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"It's the little foxes that spoil the vine..."

Friday, November 21, 2008



Just for fun, another re-run:

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Okay.

There's this verse in Proverbs about four things the author doesn't understand:

"There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:

the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
...the way of a man with a maiden."

And here's what Debra would add:

"...and the way people put those silly, gigantic inflatable Santas, snowmen and reindeer on their lawns."

I mean, really. Come on.

Everyday I take my walk around the neighborhood and everyday I see poor ol' Santas sprawled across lawns like spread-eagle pancakes beside their deflated plastic friends.

I don't understand the Christmas cheer of that.

In my mind, I always imagine the abominable snowman, at night, tromping across all those lawns, committing mass murder. Or that Santa and his friends got so cold, they decided to impale themselves rather than take one more freezing long night while having to keep those goofy grins upon their faces.

It's like, what are people thinking? Who wants to blow-up gigantic plastic characters over and over only to wake up in the morning and discover them strewn, pancake-style across the lawn--again?

Not me, anyway.

So, I guess, like Solomon (or whoever wrote that part in Proverbs), there are just some things which must be too amazing for me to understand, as well. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Outside our windows this morning...

This (above) is the same side of the house which you see in my new header. Quite the difference, hmmm?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Of Grace Piles

So what exactly is a Grace Pile?

Here are a few examples of the ones in my house:




And our latest one as of yesterday:
See, I've always been somewhat of a neat-freak. Oh, not the clean-it-with-soap-and-water-constantly kind, but rather the keep-things-straightened type.
Hi. My name is Debra. (Hi Debra.) I'm a straightener. I love to straighten things.
But alas, I did not marry a straightener. No, thirty years ago I married a man whose largest weakness is his lack of organizational skills. I believe he wasn't born with a single one. heh.
So--as you probably figured--it's been interesting. But guess what? Years ago I finally got the idea of praying for Grace over various piles of junk. I prayed that I'd be given Divine patience, tolerance and that I'd not even notice Tom's messes (or even my own occasional clutter, as in the first photo). And it worked! Well, usually.
It's amazing, but now I can step right past these various Grace Piles and not shudder/grimace/complain or even run to Tom and nag. Instead, I can just smile now and gaze at the remainder of the house which, usually, (unless I'm ill or mad at the whole world) is mostly straightened.
Grace Piles. Gotta love them.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Are Ya Gonna Do?


So on Election Day, I took my friend, Laura, over to the village of Niagara Falls so she could get her car out of the shop, but first we ate lunch at Honey's before doing a bit of grocery shopping. And while there at the supermarket I heard it coming through the sound system.... I was in shock.... Christmas music! On November 4th!

My first reaction (I confess) was, "I can't believe this... It's not even anywhere near Thanksgiving yet, for goodness sake. Every year they do this sort of thing earlier and earlier..........yada.....yada.....yada...." (Use your imagination for the rest.)

But you know? Since that day, I've decided to just go with the way-too-early-Christmas flow. I mean, hey.... Christmas is a good thing, after all. Look at what/Who started it all. And look at how it affects many people--it nudges them to give a little more to strangers, to smile more, to remember more of "Christmases of long, long ago..." And all that good stuff.

And okay, okay.... none of that is probably on the minds of store managers who blare Christmas tunes through loud speakers on November 4th, or those who display their Christmas goods in August and run wintry toy tv commercials the day after the Election.

I know, I know.

But right there lies a perfect decision opportunity. I can choose to complain about the earlier-than-ever Christmas commercialism or I can use all mentions of Christmas as reminders... Reminders of the One who started it all. I can become insanely frustrated that the world isn't running on my approved time schedule, or I can, myself, start earlier than ever this year rejoicing that God sent His Son to rescue us--that He sheds His love abroad in our hearts, sometimes resulting in extra smiles and compassion for strangers in supermarkets and notes or calls to friends we've lost touch with..... and how we will gather with family, hopefully overlooking all our collective faults...
And is it ever too early to have those things on my mind?



***
Speaking of Christmas, some of you will love this list of Christmas gifts for the craft-impaired.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So I now have a library. And ok, it looks rather odd and very unfinished, but hey... it's a little room upstairs for my books and I am thrilled.

Someday we'll make this a half-bath, but until then the majority of my books have an organized home. Hallelujah.

And perhaps now I can even buy back all the books I gave away during my ruthless days of decluttering before we moved. :)

Those hokey shelves you see are just boards I found out in our barn and at first, I was nearly wild with desire to replace them with real bookshelves, instead. I searched up and down the house and the barn, but could not find real shelves, at least, not ones I could lug upstairs by myself.

Then I calmed down. I reminded myself that what's important in this Life is to use what I've been given--and to be grateful for it. All of it. And it's funny, after recalling that, I came to really appreciate those hokey shelves, so much so, that I've no immediate plans to change them.

Strange what a bit of gratitude can do.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh happiest of Sundays... Well, it all began on Saturday, actually.

See, since late September I've felt so annoyed, overwhelmed, and bothered by everything. (You may have noticed.) Every dollar we spent on this money pit (heh) felt like one-hundred, every time I dropped something it seemed I'd lost all Grace and every tiny deal felt like a big, hairy huge one. It became easier to count my problems because they seemed to way, way outnumber my blessings and there was a new problem every hour (it seemed).

I tried to shake that cloud inside my head. I kept reminding myself of that 'anger zaps all your serotonin' thing and I told myself to calm down and relax and eat better and exercise and forgive and take days off and don't worry--well, you know. But mostly all I could do was move over a bit on the couch so God could sit beside me while I wondered what in the world was going on. And sometimes I would hear Him assure me that this would not last forever--and I'd close my eyes and whisper, "Thank-goodness."

Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Maybe you don't. But all I can say is that after seven weeks (or so) finally, on Saturday morning, the cloud lifted. It dissipated...poof! And oh my goodness...how good to feel good again! It was even dark, cloudy and rainy all day but still, still the light inside my head kept burning. It was like one of those 'suddenly' things my favorite teacher speaks of sometimes. How your life can feel like a hopeless mess for months and then suddenly! You're given hope and light and grace and things don't look so bad at all.

Of course, I've tried figuring it all out. Why yesterday? What did I do differently? At first I thought it was because I'd eaten lots of foods with tryptophan on Friday and had also doubled my daily dose of Vitamin B Complex. And maybe it was this or that or this or that, I reasoned.

But today? Today I'm thinking the weeks-long cloud was a combination of things, some which I understand, some which I don't. Maybe it was an attack of sorts--the main reason I keep this blog is to encourage others so sometimes--I've experienced in the past--satan tries to discourage me. And maybe it was a season of needing to stand on what I've learned and know to be true, even without a whole lot of help from good feelings carrying me along.

And I'm thinking part of it is that (er, hmm, should I mention this?)--in September I officially became menopausal. And well, that means I have this 'new' body which I need to feed with more sterling diligence and a whole lot less sugar... and I need to take it around the block for some exercise, as well.

I'd grown sloppy in both areas. Was even being awakened at night and convicted like crazy.

But all I know--even without making huge changes yet (but I will, I will)--today I feel like my old self. My good ol', Pollyanna self. And not only am I grateful beyond my ability to say so, but trust me, Tom is thankful too, poor guy. He's thrilled that the whiny, worried, overwhelmed Debra left yesterday and he's hoping she'll not be back.


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I'm sharing all that for those of you who may also have a dark cloud inside your head right now. Hang in there... "Suddenly miracles" do still happen... but only after we've waited awhile in trust and hope. And in the meantime try to do whatever God is convicting you to do... He understands our individual bodies and minds expertly, inside, outside, upside-down.


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"Having done all to stand, stand....."

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Oh! If you have time, you may want to check out a lovely home here. Color me utterly inspired.

Saturday, November 15, 2008



Just thought I'd share some pictures of stuff from around my house...









This is definitely a 'before photo'--someday this room will be blue with lots of white decor. But for now it's stuffed with boxes so I decided to turn the boxes into a bed. And that is what you see--boxes with a blanket thrown over them and a makeshift Victorian headboard.



I moved my craft table into the guest room which has pretty much become Debra's Room. I have this thing about setting small tables in front of windows--you can't have too many places at which to sit and dream...




I found this metal tray at an estate sale yesterday for a quarter. I'm amazed at how well it frames the teapot.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Supermarket Slowpokes and Different Drummers



Okay, here's something a bit more cheerful. A re-run, but hey... sometimes that's all you've got to give.

One day while in the supermarket I stood mindlessly waiting in line at the check out...
The young woman ahead of me unloaded only half of her groceries upon the conveyer belt while waiting for the man in front of her to pay for his purchases. Then she calmly (was she humming?) stepped over to a display of Christmas decorations and gently picked up a tiny reindeer. In the meantime, the cashier had begun running her groceries through the scanner, yet the dreamy-eyed woman ever-so-slowly replaced the reindeer, stared out the big front window awhile, then revolved once almost like a ballerina back to her cart. Only then did she notice she still had groceries in her cart in need of being placed up on the belt. She turned to those of us in line (did I hear impatient tapping toes behind me?) and gave us a sweet, "Uh-oh! I'd better move a little faster" smile. And yet still she moved with grace and only slightly faster.
Here, just a few feet away from me, was someone who moved to the beat of a different drummer.
Oh, her clothes were different, but they weren't the most obvious thing about her. I believe she was wearing a long paisley skirt and a thin black cardigan over a white blouse.Her hair fell almost to her waist and was black. And her shoes were more like black ballet slippers.
But what struck me as unforgettable was her peaceful, un-stressed-out spirit. She stood out as a contented person in her own happy world, a world where neighbors still have time to chat over the back fence. A world full of delightful secrets. In fact,her world appeared so happy that I wanted to join her in it. While leaning upon my cart and watching her, I felt myself relaxing my gone-shopping-keep-up-with-the-crowd muscles, ones I flex only in public because at home I am a different person. Or feel like one, anyway. I am much more like that ballerina-slippered woman among my own people and my own stuff.
And one year later here I am writing about that supermarket woman. Actually, I've recalled her often because she taught me something. Namely, that I take who I really am with me wherever I go. And who I am--and who I've allowed God to become in me--can make other people pause and perhaps desire a different approach to Life. Maybe my calm spirit can help Type A personality people slow down, and in turn, perhaps this crazy world we've created will stop spinning so out-of-control.
If only for one precious minute.


***
Here's a decorating video you might like. Totally inspired me, in fact, after viewing it I tossed these shelves (photo above) up on the countertop and came up with what you see.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!"... Proverbs 24:10

Ain't that the truth...

Once a year Tom and I watch Braveheart, so guess which movie we watched this afternoon? Well, I saw much of it-- I closed my eyes during the battles and when whatsername's throat gets slit and I did go out to the kitchen and make dinner during the middle part.

But alas...I was infused with inspiration and I got the point while I watched all those men standing firm and dying for their beliefs. And I received one of the messages loudly, clearly--I have nothing to complain about.

But still I complain.

And even though myriad little things have gone wrong around here for weeks, that's no reason for me just to lay back hopelessly and sigh, "I give up. Little Things Going Wrong--come and get me. I know you will anyway."

No, if I can't pull out a few daily darts aimed at my weak points, then I'll not be strong enough to handle harder times around the corner. And I certainly wish to be ready for those!

So what remains is for me to learn my lessons well... and count it all joy... and faint not... and all that good stuff. And it is good stuff (I remind myself) even when it certainly doesn't feel good.

Monday, November 10, 2008



I'm still here... And so is Tom when actually he's supposed to be at work, but he strained his back last night moving things around in the barn, things I assured him I'd move around today. So perhaps I will take the car on the long ride to shop for groceries-- or perhaps not. In the country, I am still learning, you must be flexible and you may as well like it.

And I have a new project. This weekend we went to our favorite kind of estate sale, one held inside an 1800's farmhouse where we were allowed to wander up stairs and down and snoop in drawers. The house was dilapidated, neglected, but inspiring and I almost swooned when I saw the library in a closet. I love to step into surprises in old houses, places where people once gave their imaginations some room and some hands.



And while we traveled home I longed to make more surprises inside my own old house and I thought of one. Remember our upstairs half bath-maybe-someday, the tiny room I am painting blue? Often I stand in there simply because it feels like I've stepped outside into the tree top just outside the window and well, why wait to make this a useful room? So I'm thinking of gathering boards from the barn, wrapping wallpaper around them then making shelves for all my books for my own 'library in a closet,' my own surprise room.


I realized this week that my favorite rooms in decorating blogs are those with arrangements I've never before seen, with combinations of items never put together by anyone else. Rooms which show much thought, imagination and love of design and home--but not much money. To me, imagination speaks much louder than expensive things.

So I'll be busy up there and I'll try to get back down here to the computer and Blogland when I can. But I just thought I'd let you know where I will be.


I so meant to take photos of the orange trees and the golden light they cast upon yards and farmhouses, but the autumn got away from me. I promise to try harder next year. In the meantime here are our own naked woods, woods I'll love this winter because they're a million times greater than that ugly brick wall we stared at outside our dining room windows for 14 years at our old house.

And in case you've wondered, I almost never think about our old house. I don't miss it one iota. Tom doesn't either, in fact, three times he's smiled and told me, "I love this house." Why do I recall it's been three times? Because not once do I remember him ever saying that about any of our previous houses. Amazing. He did love a garage we had once, but alas, I'm not counting that. :)


Thursday, November 06, 2008



So what I really want is a white fireplace mantle, but alas, we don't have one. So I took my own advice and used what I already had and somehow I brought down these shelves from upstairs while Tom was asleep--and did not awaken him.
But I like this much better than what we had here against this ugly wall. Previously we had a nice old, all-wood card table there, but that made for way too much brown and no height, etc., and looked dreadful. So for now this is it and it's not amazing or permanent, but it is better..
Today's miracle? I made it over to the antique barn and at first the little box of dishes appeared to be gone! But I remained calm and searched the booth where I thought I'd last seen it. Didn't find the dishes so I wandered around in what I like to believe was faith. I did find four white bowls, though, for $7.95, a fair price.
But one more time I returned to that first booth and aha! Beneath a table was my box of dishes. Someone had thoughtfully hidden it for me these past two weeks so I, alone, would find it. I returned the four bowls and took my little box up to the register.
That's when the miracle happened. The tag said 22 pieces for $30, but the $30 was crossed-out so I thought perhaps they were half-price and $15 would be great. Even more than $15 would be fine because I was so in the mood to buy white dishes and I've not spent any money lately because after the barn re-do we didn't have it to spend. But now I had a little.
Anyway, I remarked about that crossed-out $30 to the woman at the register and she said, "Oh yes, they are $4."
I think I felt dizzy. Maybe I steadied myself on the counter, I'm not sure.
"Four dollars?" I asked.
"Yes," she said.
"Well, in that case, I'll be right back. I saw something else I'd like." So I ran and got the four bowls from a different booth and amazingly --wow! I didn't even realize until I unpacked the bowls at home that they are part of this same exact set of my 22 pieces.
And there is my miracle for the day. I sang little songs all the way home and thanked God numerous times for being so obvious about taking such good care of me.


Okay, so I lied.

Yesterday I did not drive to the antique barn to buy the small box of old white dishes. Someday I will, though.

No, yesterday was so November golden, so pleasant, sunny and heavily scented, that I chose to stay home. The day before I was gone all day, what with voting with Tom in a nearby tiny town and then, later, spending the afternoon with my friend, Laura, in the city. We had a lovely lunch together, but after all the traffic, noise, and shopping, I drove home, windows down, through sunny country roads with the day nearly over and felt twinges of sadness that I'd missed a perfect autumn day at our farm. Soon the sun would set and cover it all in black.

So that's why I stayed home yesterday and stepped out the backdoor over and over to breathe deeply of hot pine branches and grass and leaf scents and to pick up dead branches (my never-ending job). And for hours on our bright front porch I sat with the sun heating my back, rereading Life Among The Savages and pausing to feel how good and amazing all this is. And to watch what a warm, gleaming November afternoon does here at our little farm.

I noticed our shiny wood floors and how the sun travels and slants through the new windows and the birds playing outside at the feeders. I stood in front of our glass-doored kitchen cabinet and appreciated our Fiestaware and the way the Jade-ite tea cups hang rather 1940-ish and then stared out at our meadow all quiet with that weekday afternoon silence. The new windows in the barn, the old compost frame, the burnt-orange leaves of the young oak trees.

I found it good. All good.

Everyone needs to take an Appreciation Day sometimes to see, really see what they've created so far. I'm glad I took mine yesterday.


***
Did you know you can watch HGTV online? I discovered that just this week and was delighted since Tom and I have only 'baby tv cable' as I call it--twenty or so stations, but no HGTV. Watch it here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008




Here's a good verse for some of us today:

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts... and be thankful." Colossians 3:15
Just thought I'd share the verse which today is sing-songing inside my head.
I am thankful that True Trust and True Peace travel together!
And now I am off to a tiny nearby town to browse through an antique co-op and to maybe buy a box of old white dishes I spied weeks ago. If it's still there. Lately I've been in the mood to stuff my house with stacks of white dishes and place them against light blue walls... and stack old books everywhere, too... and make the artful best of this canvas with which I've been entrusted...

... while in snatched moments, praying for the best, believing for the best for our Country...



Monday, November 03, 2008



Okay, okay.... I've written before why I try never to say "I'll be glad when..." You know, "I'll be glad when this day is over," or "I'll be glad when we finally go on vacation.... or when gas prices go down," etc., etc. I realize if we're always putting off gladness until we get what we (think) we want or until Life is perfect, well, we'll probably die without ever having a daily type of gladness which God has made available.

I know all that. Honest.

But today I just don't care. I simply must say it: I will be so glad when this election is over!

Sheesh. I'll be glad when we can turn on the morning news shows and not hear people arguing over who had the most negative campaign. And not see little groups huddled-up for mud-slinging both presidential candidates. I'll be glad when all those horrid campaign tv ads, both local and national, are gone. I'll be glad when we can greet our friends and not fear they'll bombard us with all the campaign details they've been watching.

This past week has been the worst and tons of times I've just flicked off the tv news and put in a dvd of Road to Avonlea, instead. The happy episodes.

My threshold for negativity and conflict is quite low. I can only stand so much. And besides, I'm a big fan of this verse:

"...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

And when you consider those words, well, so much for any of the campaigns. They each fail that test.

And yes, it is important who our next President will be. Yet it won't mean the end of Life As We Know It if my candidate loses. Or hey--maybe it will! (Already I'm imagining the other candidate will get us wiped off the map. Literally.) But alas... God will still be God no matter what. The Bible will still remain true. And somehow, someway, God will still take care of us, even if it means ushering us into Heaven should Life blow up after all. But one way or another, with Him beside me, all will be well with my soul. No matter who wins, no matter what happens.

Saturday, November 01, 2008



Down a country road from us there's a mobile home park, perhaps the loveliest one Tom and I have ever seen. (And trust me, back East here, we've seen some of the most abominable ones.) But in this park, people have huge yards with sprawling green lawns and tall, ancient trees (forests, some of them) and white picket fences around flower gardens. They have patios with bistro tables and chairs and some yards have sunflowers, colorful birdhouses on posts, and most all these well-maintained homes have a full-size, attached garage. Almost no yard is 'overdone' and nearly all resemble miniature countrysides.

Tom and I love that place and we drive it's quiet little lanes often, usually while discussing how simple, picturesque and serene it appears and wouldn't it be peaceful to live there someday?

I know, I know. What are we thinking? We just moved to our tiny farm this summer.

I guess what we're thinking is ahead. Especially since we discovered this week from Tom's friend at work that--at that mobile home park--you must be over 50 to live there. Hmm. Interesting.

Something else. In our area of New York, this summer we attended a few House Sales, as they are called. House Sales are like Estate Sales except that no one has passed away, but rather, a couple (or family) has chosen to sell the vast majority of their home's contents for a myriad of reasons, either out of necessity or a desire to start all over in a new place. So they allow whole crowds to go traipsing through their house buying anything with a price tag stuck to it.

Love that. Why? For eons I've wished to be present at my own in-the-future Estate Sale, for I'd love to hear people's comments about what I'd collected over my lifetime.

"Gee, how old were these people anyway? They have stuff from every single decade since 1900 and it's hard to tell..."

"Why would anyone hold onto this stuff? Must have been penny-pinchers."

"Oh, she must have been a kindred spirit. I have so many of the same books, dishes and linens."

"Oh, she had such lovely things."

"Oh, she had such dreadful things."

heh. But at an estate sale, well, generally you are dead, so that would complicate the whole hearing comments thing. :)

But at one House Sale, we listened to the owner tell about her new home and she sounded excited. Her kitchen, this one she would soon leave, was stuffed with red and white enamelware for sale and the cutest hutches, but my covertly-listening ears recognized that glee at beginning all over again...the challenge and wonder of it. It's a feeling I've had, myself, but have never followed through on a bold, grand scale.

But someday, yes! Already Tom and I have discussed our own House Sale and how we'll hire someone to manage the money table so we can wander around pretending we're purchasers when actually, we're eavesdropping.

And following the sale perhaps we'll move into that lovely old mobile home park with the sprawling yards and attached garages and we'll have that 'playing house' feeling which we had in our apartment earlier this year. Frankly? Sometimes we miss that apartment and its true simplicity. Maybe we didn't live there long enough to tire of it (though we did tire of the outside noise). But how pleasant to live with only half our possessions and not even miss the other half. How fun and nostalgic to feel as we did thirty years ago when we first married and owned, well, nothing much, and felt free and lighter, less bogged-down.

My point? I'm just grateful that both Tom and I respect the seasons of Life. We are not dreading the future and we're not grasping onto this new farmhouse and land with a choke hold, a fierce allegiance to it for the remainder of our lives. We know people who swear they will never leave their present home, even should they grow too sick or old to care for it, yet that's not who we are.

No, we try to hold onto our possessions--and our very lives--with a wide, open hand. There is an ebb and flow to life and we wish to live in the center of that. True, there's a whole lot of change happening there, but there's also a whole lot of freedom and trust and faith there, as well. And it's pretty exciting to live in any place where you must trust that God knows best and that to follow His timing is the only real way to go.


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"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... a time to be born, and a time to die..."