Monday, August 31, 2009

My Old Town and Julie and Julia

What a peaceful day. Grace all over the place.

This day was rare, for I ran errands alone back to the town where we lived for 15 years, even driving a different route and not getting lost (always a plus) and then just in time, I remembered seeing online that their library has many of Joanne Fluke's mysteries (newly-discovered favorites) which our new library does not. I'd not been there for over a year and when I asked the librarian how long they'd had their beautiful new front desk she said, "Since February. You haven't been here in awhile, have you?" So I chatted with her about our farm.

Then I picked up some syringes for Lennon the Cat, drove past our old house for old time's sake, shopped at Salvation Army, then drove to the supermarket where I stocked up on non-perishables for winter (I'm determined to be prepared this winter, unlike last). Nearly everything I needed was on sale and you should have seen me dancing in the aisles.

I remembered my history with that town while inside every store and upon each street. How this was where I spent my 30's, the mom of a middle schooler then a high schooler then a college student... all the chauffeuring, all those shopping trips together and all those mom lessons and emotions. All those people I knew there, sat on our porch with or attended church with, many with which I've lost contact. And I drove past businesses which had changed owners and names and ones bulldozed years ago. I recalled weeks when I sang inside my car and other times when I had to try not to cry.

So much growing-up happened in that town! So much of my current happy foundation was built brick by brick in that place (while, simultaneously, God tore down my self-made sad foundation there, too). And how amazing that I can return, unlike when, as a child, we moved every two years. Back then when we moved, we moved, hundreds of miles away and this was way before email. This was back when long distance calls cost fortunes and if your friends were bad at snail mail, you never heard from them again. And so today I found myself grateful for short moves just a country drive away and email and Facebook and blogging. Never again will I lose people unless they or I wish to become lost.

I headed out to the next town over where I'd agreed to meet my buddy, Donna, at the theater so we could watch Julie and Julia.

Wow. Loved everything about it. The blogging references, of course, and the clothes from the 40's and 50's (and even today's Julie inspired me to wear more skirts). And the decor from both then and now captured my eyes, causing me to miss pages of dialogue while I stared at pretty wallpaper and furniture. Loved all the kitchens (even Julie's), the hairstyles and all that food!

I. Must. Buy. This. Movie. Why? Because way too often I just do not feel like cooking. After 30 years of being Mrs. Happy Homemaker I too often resort to opening cans and sloshing the contents into pans and calling it dinner. But with every viewing of Julie and Julia I'd be assured of enough creative culinary inspiration to last me two weeks, minimum.

And that, my friends, is worth any price.


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Oh, and in case you wondered, I do not plan to read the Julie and Julia book. I've heard too many things about it which will keep me away.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Shack

On Wednesday we took our friends, John and Donna, to our favorite restaurant here in our tiny town and as they say, a good time was had by all.

Before she left, Donna loaned me her copy of The Shack, by William P. Young, which a mutual friend had recommended. "I liked it", Donna said. So later that afternoon I began reading, though I confess I speed-skimmed the paragraphs relating to The Great Sadness, as it's referred to in the book. Too heavy, too disturbing for my mother-of-a-daughter soul.

But when I reached the part where Mack returns to the shack, well, I was hooked. Amazing stuff. The more I read, the more peaceful I felt and I loved being reminded of what I have known, but had forgotten, and learning new things, too.

Around the halfway point, I went to amazon.com to read what others thought, rather like my way of sharing the book, book club style.

Good grief. What a lot of fuss! Definitely one of those you love it and it changes your life or you hate it and cry, "Blasphemy!" books. I disagreed with the complaints and accusations, most which accused the author of saying the exact opposite of what he actually said.

Sigh. Christians! Why are so many sour ol' spoil sports? Why can't we do like the Bible says, you know, the be quick to hear and slow to speak thing? Why are we so afraid of that which we don't immediately understand? Why do we toss away books (and teachers and evangelists) if we disagree about just one or two points? Why do we judge things according to the way our pastors/friends/parents judge them, as though they are the be all, end all in this life? Why can't we, instead, ponder these things for hours inside our own hearts, allowing the Holy Spirit to have the final say?

Why do we always have to have it the way we've always had it?
All right. Stepping down from that soap box. I'm on page 189 of The Shack and I've yet to read anything heretical, so if that makes me an ignorant ol' heretic, so be it. All I know is that this is the book I needed at this moment in Time... words fitly spoken like apples of gold in pitchers of silver.


Thanks, Donna.

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In order to learn new things, we often must un-learn something old. Since that's hard for most of us, it's a miracle we ever grow and change at all.


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Sunday Update: Today I finished reading The Shack. Loved It. I want to read it again, this time more slowly. But I want to buy my own copy so I can underline the thing like crazy. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Five Minutes of a Typical Drive


Finally--finally!--I remembered to bring along our camera on one of our yard sale runs. So here is just a tiny smattering of the usual sights (you can multiply these by hundreds to get an accurate idea of where I live) ones I
never tire of, nor take for granted. Surrounded by these homes and barns, I always re-realize I'm a country girl at heart.







This type of farm always reminds me of Anne of Green Gables and Marilla and Matthew.


Enlarge any photo to feel like And You Were There. :) (My nod to Walter Cronkite.... you have to be a certain age to know what I mean.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009



Heh. I had to smile when I received no comments from my last post. People have a hard time dealing with honesty, mine or theirs. I've noticed that for the last, well, forever, especially among church people. We'd all rather put on our bright, shiny faces and pretend. I get that. I just don't enjoy the game as much as I used to and so, every once in awhile, I insert a post which tells it like it really is--or at least hints at how it really is. And it's freeing and cathartic.



And yet there is one thing I know for certain: I dare not camp out at the bad places. I must not become comfortable in the gloom, lest I dig myself in so deep that it will take not only God, Himself, to dig me out, but Time and therapy and barrels of caffeine and a whole truckload of Christians. And I so do not want that. Personally? Personally I want to stay, to live, so sensitive to God that I go no deeper into sadness than He can yank me out in a day or so.

So that requires dealing with things when they come and facing truth about myself. Dealing with my awful attitudes or moods or habits and not letting them take up permanent residence upon my back like proverbial monkeys. And dealing with those things means becoming brutally honest with myself and not whispering excuses, handing them to God and expecting Him to say, "Poor ol' Debra," and allowing me to lounge around in months-long pity parties. He loves me too much for that and has plans for me to help others and how can I help others if I so desperately need help myself?



Hence the sensitivity thing--sensitivity to His voice encouraging me to get over it, move on and move forward or to seek help and information as to what's happening inside my head. The rough-sounding, but so crucial stuff. Always He loves me too much to allow me keel over in some sort of permanent pity wilt. And He wants to love others through me, too, so it behooves me to let Him pull me up quickly--not after a month or year or decade--but after just a day or two. The less time I give myself to dig deep pits, the better for me, for Him, for you.




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Life is too wonderful and God is too powerful for me to waste weeks and weeks spinning around in a deep, dark pit.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gee, am I ever glad you weren't at my house on Monday.

I was beyond cranky. Our yard felt like the size of four football fields, all of which needed to be mowed. And I was mad at our house, because it's not really at all a 'Blondie House' like I wanted. Like a neon sign, "Buyer's Remorse" flashed in my brain. And Tom brought home a bookshelf from the curb, one which would have looked great painted white, but was not the right height for the plan we've discussed and discussed--and he knew it. But I walked around the whole house anyway, desperately seeking a place for it, and found space only upstairs in my little blue library, yet even if we could have lugged it up those (steep, boxed-in) stairs, we'd have broken our backs doing so. We then walked out to the barn and, not having been in there a few days, I was horrified that Tom had shoved junk into the walkway to both storage rooms, making it impossible to get inside either, and my lawn mower was wedged-in tightly in a corner, making it useless, too.

Seeing all that, I told him, "I can't handle this! I'm going back into the house," and stomped back inside. After which Tom straightened the barn (lest he incur more of my wrath, I suppose) and later we shoved the bookshelf into one of the storage rooms (after I talked him out of keeping it in the walkway...?) where it fit just right.

And rather than make you embarrassed that you even know me, I'll leave out a few other gruesome details.

Of course, I have my excuses. This is our third staycation of this summer. Our third! And like the title of that great Berenstain Bears classic says, we've had Too Much Vacation. On these staycations, Tom and I eat bad, bad for us food, lay like slugs in front of the tv watching Netflixed Stargate and drive around to yard sales till we're bleary-eyed from Thursday till Saturday or Sunday.

We are too old to live like this, but we are taking too long admitting that, or rather, finally living the way we should now that we're past 50.

So there was that.

And too, I'd not been praying lately, "Restore unto me, the joy of living out here." That's one important prayer, indeed. Remember when I blogged about that here? Because when you pray that, God reminds you that hey.... If your house and yard aren't the way you like them, then it's your own darn fault:

You've gotten lazy. Ungrateful, too.

You've stopped searching for new ideas and inspiration.

You've started seeing problems as burdens instead of challenges.

You've lost your creative spirit.

You've lost the fun factor.

Alas. Lessons and reminders abound everyday for me. How about you?

Anyway, remember that verse which says, "Count it all joy when you mess up?" (last part is my interpretation). Well, I think I get that, because I'm actually glad that I sometimes have those types of Mondays. Why? Because now I can totally understand when you have them, too. If you tell me you both love and hate your house--I understand that. If you tell me you're struggling with eating right--I get that. If you tell me you have a husband with no organizational skills (to put it sweetly)--I can say I have one of those, too.

Cranky Mondays help keep me relevant in this blog. If I didn't have them, I'd be all Life's Just One Big Peach Pie All The Time... and who can relate to that? There are quite enough blogs out there which share only the good stuff and hide the rest. And though I'm oh-so tempted to do that at times, my longing to be relevant is greater.


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Speaking of houses..... Oh! I loved Yvonne's house. Kindred Spirit City.


Count it all joy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

On Friday Tom and I traveled to our favorite sort of estate sale. Inside the house, a very old ranch, everything appeared as though Time stopped around 1965.

Love, love, love that.

The bedrooms were the 'mandatory' colors of such places, one was turquoise, one was pink and the other was that 40's shade of green. The bedroom furniture was from the 40's or 50's, the closet poles held 1960's clothes and there were even linens, still in packages, from the 50's and 60's.

I searched through boxes of books from the 1920's, the kitchen drawers held wood-handled utensils and cookbooks from the 40's. The appliances were old, due to the fact they made them to last back then, unlike today, where they make them to fall apart so you'll have to buy new ones soon.

Down in the huge (for a ranch house) basement there were boxes of aprons, tablecloths, glassware and Christmas decor. Down there, too, was the old tub wringer washer we expect to see in such places and furniture long ago banished to the basement's depths. And a workbench and child's blackboard on an easel.

Tom and I have probably walked through 70 such houses here in NY, and presently, wandering through these old family homes is my highest form of fun (a sobering type, though, considering estate sale circumstances). I can imagine what it's like to live in one home for 60 (or more) years and almost can I hear the walls talk in such places. Always, I've been the type who can sense happy houses or seething ones. On Friday, I believe we walked through a happy one. Contented, too, since the family did not feel a need to buy the latest gadgets or redecorate with the decades (unlike me, who redecorates every ten minutes).

And you know? Probably most of us can sense the atmosphere of a home, which makes me want, more than ever, to keep mine as peaceful as possible. And since I believe the air of our home reflects the air of our hearts, it behooves me to keep things peaceful inside there, as well.

A dose of contentment wouldn't hurt, either.


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"Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]"
John 14:26-28 (from the Amplified Bible)

Friday, August 21, 2009

You can be silly at Facebook. I like that.

Yet Facebook is also an encourager's dream. On your home page you can read how your friends are going through a rough time and you can, with just a sentence or three, encourage them and tell them you are praying. All on one page. In just a couple minutes you can show compassion and help them feel like somebody is standing with them.

Today, though, I was looking at one of my friend's Friend List and I saw some people who I, too, also know. I thought, "Maybe I should reconnect with them."

But then I got this feeling, this, "No, unh-unh," feeling. And I swear I heard inside me these words, "Leave the Past alone."

Hmm. Leave all the Past alone? No, I was hearing leave those (good, delightful) people alone.

So ok, I thought. You don't have to tell me twice (well, not this time, anyway). I'll just reconnect with the friends You want me to. I respect your knowing the whys and whats of why I should reconnect with some and not with others.

And as for those You, Lord, bring to my Friend List, I will encourage them. And sometimes, I'll be a little silly with them, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


If you're familiar with Beverly Cleary's Ramona books, then this will make you laugh: they are one of my favorite series of All Time.


Seriously.


I finished rereading Ramona's World yesterday and you know? This part gripped me:


"To everyone's surprise Susan threw her apple across the lawn... Her face crumpled as if she were about to burst into tears.


'Why, Susan.' Mrs. Quimby put a comforting arm around her shoulders. "Whatever is the matter, dear?'


'Everything,' said Susan through her tears. 'Nobody likes me and everybody likes Ramona.'


'You are supposed to like people on their birthdays,' Ramona tried to explain to make things better.


'I don't mean just on your birthday,' said Susan with a tearful gulp. 'I mean every day. People even make valentines for you. All mine were store-bought. You aren't perfect and nobody cares. ... I'm supposed to be perfect every single minute,' said Susan, her chin quivering.


How awful, thought, Ramona, beginning to feel sorry for Susan."


Can anyone else identify with Susan? I remember telling Tom something very similar back in my 40's, saying I was sick of the unfairness of it all. How it seemed that I showed mercy toward my friends and their imperfections, but oh! Just one mistake from me and they walked away, never to come back. Or the friendship faded to yearly Christmas cards. Then nothing.


But alas. One of the many reasons I enjoyed my 40's (especially the second half) is that I learned to let some things go, including friends, if that's what they wished to do. If they discovered I was just too much--or too little--for them. And I learned to let God bring the right friends into my life, ones who liked me, warts and sins and all.


And that has made all the difference.


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"Love hardly even notices when others do it wrong." From 1 Corinthians 13, TLB






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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More people can identify with us when we're being honest.

I heard a wife say this while being interviewed upon her 70th wedding anniversary: "I've never told my husband what to do. I believe he can make all his own decisions" (And her husband nodded in agreement to both her statements.) Again, come on...... Never told him what to do? Never in 70 years? Isn't there some selective memory stuff going on here? And also again, those kinds of statements make the rest of us feel like we belong to the WWWC, the World's Worst Wives Club.

There is no crime in admitting you sometimes make your husband crazy. Actually? I believe the greater crime is in allowing others to believe you always do everything absolutely right and your home is constantly one amazing, blissful string of heavenly days.

True, we should aim for something like that and allow God to change us and mold us daily, but if we're not there yet, is it ok to let others think we've already arrived?

I think you already know my answer.


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"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ... John 3:32
(And the truth about ourselves just might help to set other peOk. While I'm still in a rather cranky mood, I'll share a pet peeve. (I hope you brought your sense of humor over here with you. You might need it, depending upon where you are on this issue.)

I roll my eyes and think not-so-nice thoughts when I hear people say things like these:

"She was a woman who never, ever complained." I mean, come on.... never? Never ever? Those kinds of statements make the rest of us regular people feel awful. Wouldn't a more valid and correct statement be, "I don't remember ever hearing her complain?" (Though I find even that would be a stretch for most human beings...)

(Speaking of a departed spouse): "We had 50 blissful years together." Really? All 50 years were blissful? I've got what I think is one of the best marriages around and even I would never say all 30 of them were blissful. Besides, saying those sorts of things tends to alienate just about every person you've ever met. Being real, generally, is more likely to help set other people free, too. Hey, you never know.)



Since I'm still in my summer funk (nothing deep and scary, don't worry--I plan on snapping out of this soon), I'll just share some of my latest yard sale finds. It wows Tom and me how God places little perfect surprises just for us in peoples' yards. Is the above vinegar and oil cruet sweet or what? And only 25 cents (!) Here's the other side (enlarge this one. It will make you smile, I promise):



And here's my nifty so-like-Kim teapot for $3:



And lastly, you'll have to enlarge this photo to see what's so cool about these tennis rackets. They're very vintage and perfect for our barn loft museum (I especially love the middle one, circa 1950.):



And now Tom and I are headed out to find some air-conditioned places. Our a/c is still down in the basement although, my oh my, we sorely needed it yesterday (we sat, very still, all day watching Early Edition dvd's--and reading books-- since it was too hot to do anything else). Being cheapskates, we didn't want to haul the a/c upstairs for our last full day of high heat and humidity... a cooling trend begins later this afternoon. And are we ever anticipating that!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Sigh.

Things weren't feeling 'right' around here for a couple weeks and finally I listened to what God was trying to tell me.

He said there's been too much...

Too much tv watching.

Too much eating.

Too much computer time.

Too much analyzing how I feel about this house.

Too much complaining.

Too much of other things as well.

So, as I said, I finally decided to listen. And now I need to finally decide to obey. To knock off the too much stuff and fly right. And since He's here convicting me, He's certainly also here to help me. As long as I stop relying upon myself to make things better.

It's vital to nip these sorts of things in the bud, otherwise they tend to grow into monsters which lead me around the neck to places I do not want to go. And it's much, much harder to shoo away monsters (and find my way back home) than it is to snip, snip, snip these things while they are small, but large enough to disturb friendship with God. And without that wonderful sense of fellowship, well, I have nothing.

And as we all know, it's the little foxes which spoil the vine.

Alas. And amen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just a few photos from around my house this morning. This hasn't been the best week for me... I mean, I was just accepting the Naomi and Carl thing, feeling grateful that they have remained friends, but then this Oreo thing came along and now I feel bad for the three of them--and sad for me having to deal with that, as well. (If only Oreo wasn't so smart and the closest thing to a grandchild we have...) This has been one of those, "This too shall pass... this too shall pass," mantra weeks.

Yet I am feeling better today, for God and Time are healing my wounds. But I'm only up to sharing photos this morning, so here you go.

Not every house has a fake guest room, but ours does. Those are boxes beneath the spread. I began painting this room a couple weeks ago and already it looks a bazillion times better than it did with the horrible dark paneling. (If there's anything I hate about the 1970's, it's that Just Cover It With Paneling revolution.)

The red flower painting was a $5 yard sale find. The frame is amazing.

I painted two of our porch chairs a bright yellow and left the other two a light aqua. It's much more cheerful down there now. (Enlarge to see.)

We found this radio/tape player at a yard sale for $5. We love funky things such as this and the parrot bowl beside it.

Out in my poor old wild, neglected garden suffering from my annual It's August And I Just Don't Care About You Anymore Blues...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If You Buy Groceries This Might Interest You

Wow. Have you checked out Alice.com?

You can buy groceries there online.

And if there's a coupon 'out there' anywhere for the products you buy, Alice will automatically apply that coupon toward your purchase. No need to clip anything or use a discount code.

Alice will mail you your groceries for free. No shipping charges! And you'll receive your order in only 2 - 3 business days.

And Alice will remind you when you are running out of your groceries so you can order more. Plus, she'll place little pictures of what you order on your main page so next time you can simply slide them over to your cart, rather than search for what you need on the appropriate page.

And that's just the half of it. Even the prices for most things are good, especially when you factor in the gas you would have spent as well as the value of your time (and your sanity).

Today I received my first order from Alice and as I unloaded my box I thought, "Wow. This could get addictive." Just think! When we're surrounded by snow and treacherous ice this winter, not only will Bob the Milkman bring groceries right to my back door, but so will Alice.

Happy sigh.

Go see Alice for yourself. She might just be right for you, too. :)


(We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blog.)

We all have those times when everything bad seems to happen at once.

Your appliances break down. Your child gets into trouble at school. You get a speeding ticket and discover your registration has expired. An in-law dies. Your favorite tv show gets cancelled (as well as your vacation). You lose your wallet. Your best friend moves away. And the rain just won't stop.

You know.

I've been thinking about those times lately--not because I'm currently going through one--but because my daughter is and has been for at least two months. With more serious types of bad times.

The latest thing? Her favorite cat has been diagnosed with impending kidney failure and is now on dialysis. He's only seven (eight?) and these next two weeks will tell a lot about his future, whether he'll have one or not.

We all love Oreo The Cat. He lived with us for two years before Naomi moved to her own place and he's the most nearly-human cat we've ever known. This is hard on all of us, but especially Naomi and her former boyfriend and his brother, as well, who moved in with him when Naomi moved away last month. For Naomi, this has been one of those 'the thing I most greatly feared has come upon me' things.

We'd really appreciate your prayers if you are into praying for cats and for the people who love them.

And I'll just add this. Although we all hate those times when bad things happen all at once, I think I'd prefer that over something bad happening every two weeks all year long. We'd never get a break that way, we'd never have those stretches of a few months where we heal and Life feels so golden and sweet that we forget about those occasional weeks of constant hard times. Instead, you'd just begin to get over one thing and head into another, then another, then another. You'd almost feel like going through Life ducking your head all the time.

I'd never thought of it this way before, but rather, I'd just dreaded those occasional two or three months which will invariably bring along their share of annoyance, angst and sadness. But again, I'd prefer to get it all over at once, rather than live with one thing after another after another after another all year long, never getting a break, especially the kind of break only God can give.

And oh, how grateful I am that, during those times, He holds our hand and hugs our heart.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Quotes and &^%*& Weather



Tracy shared this fun quote over at Facebook:


"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe in Paula Deen. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."

~ Unknown

(Although, my oh my, I do wish Paula Deen would use less butter for her own sake.)


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And here's another quote I love:

"You don't know what you don't know."

Now there's a humbling thought and one which can give us necessary patience with people who radically oppose that which we have discovered to be oh so true.

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In other news, I painted more of our living room (above) and I'm loving the warmer color on the walls. The more I change this house, the more I like it. Huge surprise there, huh? It's disappointing, though, that I can't just be happy with ugly walls (especially ones painted years prior by others) when I'm so often writing here how attitude makes all the difference. In this one area, my attitude needs to behold freshly painted walls in order to be content. Sigh. (No one's perfect, after all.)


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And in more other news, those of you who enjoy thunder and lightning storms are now officially nutso-whacko in my book. We had two huge storms yesterday--two!-- and I hated both (so did Lennon and McCartney the Cats, poor dears). Such stifling humidity and as of this morning, the southern part of our state is flooded, there are driving bans, one man was swept away from his own yard and 11,000 homes are without power. Perhaps thunder, lightning and rain are different in your state. Gentler. I don't know. But they are dreadful here.

Yet I found myself yesterday feeling grateful for this 130-year-old house. Why? Because in all those years it must have experienced hundreds of horrible, treacherous storms--and yet it still stands strong today. The floors shook during the thunder, but they did not collapse.

What a lesson.


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Remember the latest bistro table find at a yard sale? The one we were going to put on our new patio after it gets poured someday? Well, change of plans. When I moved the table which was here in order to paint, I liked the way it looked next to the post:

Saturday, August 08, 2009




I'm glad that I try not to make decisions according to the way I feel.

Yesterday, if you would have walked into my yard and handed me a fistful of money as I yanked out giant squash plants, I'd have sold you this old farm. The house and the yard felt like too much. "The honeymoon with this place is officially over," I kept hearing inside my head (and well, it probably is).

But alas. Today I (finally) painted the closet area of our living room, rearranged a few things on our front porch and mowed part of the lawn. And well--today--I would tell you to keep on walking with your money. Today, Life here feels doable.

Oh, how important it is to listen to God in the deeper parts of my heart and not to my finicky feelings. My feelings are often all over the board, but I'm thankful that I, myself, am not yanked around with them (well, not constantly, anyway). That would be way too exhausting--and there's too much work to be done.

And I can't afford to let my changeable feelings exhaust me.




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"Deep calls unto deep." ... Psalm 42:7

Thursday, August 06, 2009




Last night Tom and I traveled to the town we moved from, to a park where Naomi played drums in a new band. People everywhere, boats along the canal, small dogs and a summer evening so perfect weather-wise it could not be improved upon.

The music was eardrum-collapsing loud. It always is. And as we leaned back upon a steel railing, people all around us smoked, drank beer, laughed and some of them danced. There was a giddiness on the air, but mostly I just watched Naomi who can play the drums like you'd not believe and looks like she was created from the beginning of Time to do so. And I prayed for the vast variety of people scattered around the park, folks from all walks of Life.

Now, when Naomi was a sweet, tiny toddler did Tom and I pray for her to, at 29, play drums in the secular band circuit, get tattoos and have good friends who've never even stepped into a church? Uh, no. And are we all disappointed and worried and frantic? No again.

No, Faith and Trust don't get stomach aches from worry. They don't wait-up till dawn with self-imposed headaches and pace the floor and imagine the worst night after tortured night. And they don't doubt or keep asking questions which cannot be answered.

No, real Faith and Trust find the good in Now and believe the best is yet to come--and feel deep peace along the path. They go to concerts and pray for the whole crowd and sing along to the few songs they recognize and look up into a perfect sky on a perfect summer night and know for certain that God knows what He's doing. And that He's teaching us all in different ways... and calling us, wooing us closer to Him all the time as only He knows how.



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"He makes all things beautiful in His time."

"Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:7

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Sigh. It just didn't work out for me to take photos of the myriad old farmhouses yesterday on my way to the tiny supermarket. Long, whiny story. But here's the front of the house with the dreamy old tennis court behind it, but you can't see the tennis court nor the best angle of the house which is from its side. But I will try again another time, I promise. (Enlarge this to see the white picket fence, the hammock, the rock chimney and the old barn front beside an open field.)

In the meantime, here's the other side of my kitchen.



I've decided to leave this one wall green. For some splash of color? For variety? Well, yes. That, and because I'm sick of repainting these kitchen walls and I know when to say when... and when to follow Grace to the next room, where's she's waiting to help.

In other news.... I've mentioned here that I've felt stiffness in my joints since moving here. Part of it is due to working what one might call hard for the first time in years. And part of it is due to not eating right (we're still working on that). Yet I know the other part is that arthritis is trying to sneak up on me for it runs in my family.

So I did some more research online and discovered that, for some people, just by cutting out dairy products, they've been spared the effects of arthritis. And guess what? I've cut way back on dairy, having only a tiny bit of milk in my pretend coffee and in my bowl of cereal--and that's it. And I've noticed a big difference in how I feel. Even with all this painting and with all this (eternal) rain we've been getting--even on those days--the stiffness is not nearly as bad.

Hallelujah. So I'm throwing that little fact out to the universe in case it might help someone else.

And now it's time to return to life down on the farm.... and may your day be amazing.


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Oh, and for those concerned about my calcium intake, I take a calcium/magnesium/zinc pill each night before bed (helps me sleep) and calcium can be found in vegetables, etc.(which I'm probably not eating, but hey...one thing at a time, ok?). :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Another yard sale find... This bistro table (came with four chairs). After our patio is poured, it will go over there. For now, it remains on my homemade deck.




Is this cup fun, or what? And was only 5 cents (!) at a yard sale. I like it better than my other one, below, on the bottom shelf.




And now I must run to the little supermarket in the tiny town next to us. Maybe, just maybe, I'll remember to bring my camera so I can show you some amazing farmhouses along the way.


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I appreciate your comments about my kitchen!

Monday, August 03, 2009

For many years I've told Tom that people with white walls are chicken. Wimps. Afraid of color.


But here I am today in the middle of painting my own kitchen all white.


Alas. Never say never (and never judge people for their decorating choices. I know, I know. Lesson learned.).


I love how the kitchen is looking. I'd love it even more if I'd used a good quality of white paint, one tinted just perfectly. Maybe someday. Today it is what it is and I used what I had.


And it's finally making me happy with this kitchen of mine.




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I left the square of green behind the oval painting because green sets off the colors better (a yard sale find, only $2). I may paint a green square behind the red shelf and one over a doorway (not shown) where I've hung an old-fashioned-looking painting of a rooster, colors similar to the oval painting over the stove. A splash of color here and there is nice, too. :)





The rooster was a yard sale find, too. Just $2.