Sunday, October 31, 2010

Here's Something Extremely Rare...





...... a decent picture of me. :)

(I'm in the center, Tom's to my left and Darcy is to my right.)

Usually I hate most pictures of me, you know the ol', "Who is that chubby, washed-out old lady??" thing, but in this photo I may just look a tad younger than my 51 years. And that's the shocking part. heh.

Johanna must be one magical photographer, indeed.



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In the photo we're standing beside the American Falls at Niagara Falls on the U.S. side. Oh, and that's Canada (Niagara Falls, Ontario) behind us if you're not familiar with The Falls.

When Your View Is Snatched Away

I'm still remembering our September vacation. It makes me smile, even all these weeks later.

Except for one thing.

When we visited Tom's parents in their senior community of duplex houses, we saw the most appalling thing. Well, it was appalling to us, anyway. Every ninety feet (or so), there were these concrete block 'dumpster buildings' being constructed. Ugly grey, three-walled things probably 7 feet tall, and that's without their soon-to-be-constructed pitched roofs.

And where did they construct these monstrosities? Just feet away from the large living room window of Tom's parents' duplex as well as others here and there. Gah! Now their view of lovely trees, lawns and the sky is blocked by the harsh lines of concrete blocks.

I should have taken pictures to show you, but I didn't.

We couldn't believe it. I mean, the dumpsters they'd used for years, themselves, weren't the large kinds, but rather small and took up so little space on the curb. In comparison, they were barely noticeable. But now! Ugh. Those new structures practically stand there as citadels, what with their ventilation window reminding us of those openings in forts through which troopers would shoot long rifles.

In fact, one of our relatives (not Tom's parents) said he would be tempted to use that window for such a purpose in this case.

Gah. I told Tom and his parents that, had that happened in front of our house, I'd have been livid. I'd have thrown a huge fit. Tom's mom said that's just what she did, but oh well, there was nothing anybody could do. The powers that be, the owners of the complex, had come up with the (lousy) plan.

What a test! Could I pass that test? Well, definitely not without tons of Grace's help. What a challenge to forgive those who stuck concrete blocks in front of my only living room window. Would I be able to keep my sunny attitude? Could I think of a creative way of decorating that nearly floor-to-ceiling window within the rules of the complex? Could I rearrange such a small space and perhaps hang one of those wallpaper mural sheets (if that was allowed) and use that as a window to the outdoors, instead? Could I create a room so sweet and pretty that a ruined view wouldn't matter?

Only with much help from Grace. Much, much help. And I've a feeling that every bit of practice I've had from learning to receive from Grace would be squeezed into play in that type of situation.

I do love windows, their view, their light, especially. And well, some tests are harder than others, but all are passable with aid from God and Grace. But for me, this would be a really tough test, indeed.



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Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible)

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Of Old Drive-Ins and Ways of Life


We keep having these magical weekends.

Yesterday Tom and I drove through the countryside to two estate sales and two yard sales and I found 3 Fiestaware cups (lovely Evergreen ones) for fifty cents each and three matching plates for one dollar each and the perfect little bookshelf I'd been needing for the front porch for $2. I'd asked Tom to build one for me just the day before so, hey, I made his life easier.

And then we went to Reid's. Or I should say, and then we went back to the 1950's. Wow. We discovered Reid's Drive-In (see above photo) and how have we missed this place all these 17 of our New York years? I mean, they have $1 hamburgers, $1.25 hot dogs, $1.10 French fries and shakes are $2.00 or less and an indoor dining room with retro Reid's photos and with a big window overlooking the woods and outdoor tables. The building is from 1946 and is in a country-ish setting and well, it's our new place. Not that we need to be going there all the time, but hey, it's perfect for our yard sale weekends and is even open year-around, unlike Sullivan's and The Silo, two of our other time travel places.

And it's yet one more retro destination which zooms us back in Time. And you know? We've discovered lots of those here in Western New York, but the hilarious thing is that, according to newspaper journalists and magazine writers and bloggers (and others) these old vintage drive-ins with food at cheap prices Do. Not. Exist. They were from a long ago bygone time. They're gone forever from 2010 just like women who wear aprons and happily live as homemakers and families like June Cleaver's and farmers with white farmhouses with barns and stone fences.

Well, we're being lied to by cynical people who don't get out much. I see all these things all the time--they're still around for me and for anyone with the gumption and optimism to find them. Which makes me wonder--if I'm being fed this type of news from ignorant, biased reporters, how many other lies am I being told and how are they affecting the way I view my world?




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Never give-up looking for what makes your world a better place.



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"You can't believe everything you read." ... copied

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seeing Deeper


Before I start this post, there's something I forgot to tell you about our train trip. Namely, not once--not even one time!--did I have to whip out my driver's licence. And remember, we traveled by train from New York to Nevada and back again(!) And nobody ever searched my suitcase or made me remove my shoes or twirl around with hands upraised or any other nonsense which, well, makes me hate flying. It was as though Amtrak never even heard of terrorism which, alas, made me feel as though we were traveling back in the 1930's, ever so far from 2010.

Loved that.

Anyway, also while on the train, we swished past some backyards which were heaped full of rusty junk. Old cars, appliances, boxes, bicycles, pans, glass, etc. And always I would wrinkle my nose and think, "Good grief. How can they stand to have a yard like that??"

But then we arrived home and discovered the show, American Pickers.

Wow. That show is my current favorite-of-all-time (hopefully I won't lose you because I said that) and the most incredible thing? Now when Tom and I drive past the very occasional wildly-cluttered-with-rusty-stuff yard, both of us point and exclaim, "Ooooh! See that? Can you imagine what treasures those people must have? See their barns? Don't you wish we could look around inside them and buy some stuff and then sell it? Oh, that would be fun."

All because of a tv show, Tom and I now view messy yards in a whole new light. And because of the people who Mike and Frank have introduced us to on American Pickers, we have compassion for those types of collectors and yes, hoarders, as well. The people we've met on American Pickers are some of the sweetest, old-fashioned folks ever.

What a lesson! We've been reminded to look past the What and to see the Why--and the Person--instead. To view the Who, beyond the Do. To keep in mind that the heart is in the deepest part of a person and cannot be totally seen and understood just by seeing his or her outsides. Nor by viewing his or her backyard, either.

What matters is how we see what we see.

What really matters is compassion.





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"The greatest of these is love." ... From 1st Corinthians 13



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And yes, I wrote that first paragraph because of the new airline search rules which go into effect today. Gah. As if I wasn't already feeling violated enough the last time I flew! :(

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Thoughtful Communication



Being online. Isn't it wild?

I mean, you send a long, newsy, witty, chatty email to a friend or relative, asking thoughtful questions about their days and telling them what's new with you, your family and your life, perhaps sending pictures, even. But what you get back (if an email comes back, even) is maybe, "Hi. Got your email. We're ok here. Love, Moomoo."

Communication. The good kind requires time, effort and practice and I'm, frankly, still working at it, but I like to think I'm better at it than I was, say, five years ago.

It's tempting to go all bonkers and steamy-eared about the people who never seem to 'get it.' The ones who whine, "It's just too hard to write more than two sentences. My brain freezes."

Yet as with many areas in this life, I think what matters is that we keep asking ourselves, "How well am I communicating? How thoughtful am I toward others?," rather than ranting, "The people in my life are thoughtless, clueless clods and they can just sit waiting for another email from me till they get dusty. So there."

Heh.

Want to know the instant, easy way to become more thoughtful and a better email writer/communicator? Just remember this one simple Bible verse:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Write the kinds of emails/blog or Facebook comments you'd like your friends to write to you. Ask the kinds of questions you'd like someone to ask of you. Write as often as you'd like your friends to write to you.

Show the love toward others you'd enjoy receiving from them. But, yes, tweak it all a bit to meet their custom-made needs, which requires some real listening on our part.

But I can do that. You can do that. I think we all can do that, especially with some practice. And patience. And doing it all as unto God, for He designed us to live that way and He knows it's all possible with Him.







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Want to save money on groceries? Here's one of my favorite lists of how-to's.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meeting God At The Spa


Okay, okay. So Tom and I didn't really go to a spa yesterday. It just felt like we did.


It was an MRI place, one I told you about months ago, but this time I had my camera with me---this autumn the camera stays inside my purse so I can stick it out of our speeding car's window and take tons of photos like this:



And this:




Er hem. Anyway, the nurse even gave us the same lovely, tiny waiting room just for ourselves, the place with the perfect lighting (though the little chandelier wasn't working):



... and the beyond-comfy chairs and pleasant blue walls.


Well, they escorted Tom to his MRI then I had that closet-sized room to myself.

Oh wow.

What is it about that room that makes me feel God's always there waiting for me, welcoming me to a new secret place with Him? Well, partly, it's the music. The perfect soundtrack music for my book was playing. The Quilter's Apprentice, my 50 cent rummage sale find was incredible reading while I snuggled in the chair. Already I'd enjoyed my free (actually good) coffee before the room became ours, otherwise, perhaps it all would have been too perfect. Perhaps.

That blue room with its lighting and music and sink-down chairs feels like the warmest hug. And echoes with whispers, too. Whispers which, well, uhm, whisper, "Relax. Feel safe. Drop your heavy thoughts and leave them on the floor." So that's what I did--and came away limp as Raggedy Ann.

Man, I need a blue closet like that here at home. :)

But right now? That ain't gonna happen. Our upstairs guest room is kinda-sorta like that (kinda), but Naomi and her cats and fish are up there now until to-be announced.

Yet I do have my formica table in our dining room window. There's no blue walls or perfect lighting or squishy chair there, (though there's a chandelier and my own good coffee), but you know? It's still special, it still works for me because God waits to meet me there. I pull out my chair and hear Him whisper, "Here I am." And actually? That's all I really need, anyway.







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Thanks so much for each of your comments about our yard sale rug and other stuff! It's fun sharing that sort of thing with others who also enjoy the hunt.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Of Lessons and The Opposite World

Remember how ambivalent I've been about our old farmhouse and too-much-to-mow yard? Well, I'm thinking I forgot how bonkers heat and humidity make me, causing me to peer at my world through black-colored glasses. Or something. So I need to ask a favor of you. Next summer if (when?) I start whining and threatening to move, please remind me that it's just the humidity speaking, ok?

For right now? I am in love with this place, even the yard! Cooler temps arrived, the glorious golden leaves, too, and I've been one happy homeowner. I've even been hiking around the back meadow and woods and sniffing the incredible damp, woodsy air till I'm drunk on it then gazing homeward at the house's back and smiling with love.

And actually? My house, my life, is feeling, well, enchanted. A godly kind of enchanted, that is, for Grace is all over this place, walking from room to room, spreading hope and peace from her fingers.

That's how good it feels.

And I've been reminded that Real Life with God is like living in Opposite World. I mean, Tom lost his job and he's not exactly in great physical shape for a new one and Naomi is still living upstairs and so shouldn't we be all worried and biting our nails? Without God, yes, that would be our new life. But it isn't, because God and Grace are so here and they've been preparing us for this time through myriad lessons on thousands of God College days (or Kindergarten, really), days when we saw lessons as lessons, not big, bad, ugly trials (or people) to pray away to someone else's neighborhood/office/church.

Lessons arrive to teach us, to make us stronger and more able the next time to deal with the bad stuff which isn't even always bad, but just looks like it. Tom's joblessness has given us weeks of rest and times to complete tasks we'd procrastinated and Naomi's presence has been a joy, a comfort and a financial blessing, as well.

Anyway. Here it's another enchanted Monday and there's a doctor appointment for Tom in the big city and though I'd rather stay home, I'll go along with him and I'll keep my eyes open for the new lessons I'll find there. Lessons, lessons everywhere helping me to grow and discover whole new, deeper realms of peace for an even sweeter, more enchanted Life ahead.



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"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you... " ... Deuteronomy 8:2,3a




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I absolutely loved this!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yard Sale Adventures

For ever so long I've wanted a rug with certain autumnal colors and today we found one. And for just $10. Well, it was originally $15 but good ol' Tom asked if they'd take 10.

Wow. It's a huge rug and fits perfectly in our dining room and now I'll have autumn in there even on the snowiest of days. (Our old rug was well, old. Too small. Stained. It 'had had it', as my mother would say.)



(Looks like we're living in the 1920's, doesn't it?) :)

And see the rooster, below?


He was free at a table across the street from the yard sale where I also found this:



There I was holding this sketch and staring at this girl's face and the owner, a woman, came up behind me and asked, "Do you like that?" I replied, "Yes, it's lovely." Then she said, "You can take that."

Wow! I thanked her and she went on to tell me and her friend beside us that she'd bought that sketch at a gathering of Buffalo artists in the 1960's because she found the girl's face beguiling.

I find it beguiling, too. And now I keep her sketch below one of Naomi, one created by her art teacher in high school:



Then last week I bought these two scarves at a sale for just 25 cents each, entwined them, then placed them amongst these dishes.



And lastly, here's the tin which a man gave to me at a yard sale last week, the tin and it's assorted contents.



And ok, it's scratched and has no lid, but hey! It looks nice in my kitchen and it was a gift. From the yard sale man? Well, yes. But mostly I see the tin, the sketch and the rooster, the scarves and the $10 rug as gifts from a God who is taking very, very good care of us. As He always has and always will.











Of Choosing To Be Happy

Okay. We are heading out the door for yard sales so I have only, like, two minutes. But. Here is what I was thinking this morning.

I was fondly recalling my happy blogging friends, all five or six of you. heh. And something occurred to me. I'm wondering if we happy people are happy only because we choose to be.

Oh, they (whoever they are) say that some people are born with a sunny disposition, but hey, in 2010? I'm thinking that even a sunny disposition is gonna be challenged Big Time. And if it's the absence of problems that makes a person happy, uh, good luck with that nowadays, too.

So it's the choosing to be happy--even when not all your tiny ducks are in their straight waddling line--that matters. That counts. That will make the difference.

So for you, my fellow bloggers who are mostly happy, mostly walking through this life with a calm delight, I say thanks. You encourage me every single day more than you know.

Really.

Friday, October 22, 2010

For Those Who Have Oh-Hum, Nothin' Talents

So on the way to Niagara Falls, we and our company chatted about talents and the way so many people say, "Oh, my talent is so small. It's nothing, really. I wish I had bigger talents. I could do more for God with bigger, better talents."

You know. We've all heard it before. And likely? We've said it all before, as well.

But here's what I'm thinking.... I'm thinking that a talent only appears small when we don't allow God to touch it, first, with His life-giving fingers. Oh, the way those fingers can raise life out of death! Talents of baking cakes or holding hands of those who grieve or email-writing, planting flowers or giving car rides to those who need them (and such things), well, in the hands of God, those talents change lives and set hearts free.

Or they can.

It's not the What, but rather, it's the Who who is calling the shots. Who is in charge, Who is doing the directing, Who is creating, imagining and leading.

It's not your gift that is small, but rather, your God.

Hand over the gift God's given you so that He can show you how to use it powerfully (by letting Him move through you), and well, you'll never again complain about your tiny talent. You'll understand there is no such thing as "aw, shucks, my talent is nothin'," once you leave all the details up to God and just do it. Simply do it because He asks you. Simply nudged by compassion.

Of Amazing Normal



Oh, amazing yesterday.


I made breakfast for us and our visiting friends then they left early, around 8:30 for NYC hundreds of miles across our state.


I straightened the kitchen, put dishes into the sink to soak and then Tom and I watched an old episode of American Pickers (since the History Channel had neglected to put up the new one) and sat there eating leftover cherry pie.


The sun burst out from behind the clouds and I stripped the beds, did laundry and made a quick lunch for Tom since he had mega errands to run and would not return until near 5 p.m.


So he drove away and I hung blue sheets and shirts and damask dinner napkins outside to dry in a sunny, windy 48 degrees and came in and warmed-up leftovers and began watching a movie online called Neverwas, then paused it probably ten times while I sat-up the ironing board, retrieved the iron from the pie cabinet and then carried in some nearly-dry shirts and napkins. Then I ironed and ironed and watched Neverwas (and felt sad about Brittany Murphy), did more laundry, hung more sheets then watched the movie and ironed and folded and ironed and folded and brought in more clothes from the line when raindrops came and I felt like June Cleaver. A lot. (Oh, and the movie was an imagination-rebooter--I recommend it. It's a thriller, though, so be warned. No language that I noticed, no you-know-what (heh), and just a tad of violence.)

And during a few moments of Dr. Oz, I learned that cranberry juice is better for you, more potent, even, than green tea. Oh, the happiness of that news since feeling bad about not liking green tea at all was a bummer. Hooray!

The autumnally-glorious trip to Niagara Falls on Wednesday was oh-so-fun and spending time with our long lost friends was ultra-special, too. Yet you know? My yesterday, my normal ol' Thursday, was equally amazing.


Don't you love it when your Normal Days are just as special as your Special Days?

It's possible, you know. Sometimes it just takes a few years to get there. Trust me, I know.


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Did you see that photo, above? It contains my new love: orange pine needle mulch.

Spreading that was my latest project. I like the way it looks beside the cobblestones and the green of our siding.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hanging Around Niagara Falls


Oh my, but we had a nice time yesterday at Niagara Falls with Darcy and Johanna!














It was soooo windy! (Or invigorating as I chose to call it.)







But oh dear, it all went by so very, very fast...... Thanks for coming to see us, Ladies!





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And just for fun, tomorrow there will be an estate sale in the Southern Tier where they have this lovely old-fashioned barn:


Amazing, huh?



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I've Been Doing Lately

We have company arriving today!

Two friends of ours from Fallon, Nevada who we've not seen in seventeen years (because they moved shortly after we did) are traveling cross-country and will arrive around noon-ish. Following lunch we'll take Darcy and her naval-officer daughter, Johanna, to Niagara Falls and hooray! This is our last day of warmth, 60 degrees, before tomorrow when it starts spitting snow.

God's timing is terrific.

So anyway, I've been cleaning house and the yard and have been tested like crazy. You know, like when right after you vacuum a rug, the cat walks over and throws up on it. Or you wash the bath towels and suddenly they are needed for all sorts of cat-washing, water-spilling emergencies and must be washed and hung to dry again. Lightbulbs burn out, you can't find that extra bedspread and something gets chipped and needs to be repainted.

I've had whole weeks of that sort of thing, tests galore, and it's been a test just keeping my peace. But I crave peace, so I keep on keeping on, trying not to complain, but often failing that test, too.

Alas, with all these tests I'm thinking it will be a great visit. :)


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Has anyone had any experience with Ad Sense? I'm considering adding it to my blog for a little extra income. But if it's going to be a headache, I'll pass. So let me know what you've heard or experienced, ok?

Speaking of that, I'm also considering a return to writing poems for publication which I've done a bit of in the past, and devotionals, too, of which I have a couple thousand (kinda) here in my blog. Writing greeting card verse, too. There's also a way to sell a box of books to abebooks.com, probably for just pennies, but hey. I was going to just run them to Salvation Army anyway. Abe will even pay shipping.

Oh, and whenever you click through my widget over there -----> then buy anything over at Amazon, a few pennies will be added to my spending account. (A special thanks to those of you who've already done that!)

Where there is a will, there is a way, you know. I'm trying to keep my ears open so that God won't have to yell. So that I can hear His money-making ideas and thus save lots of time by avoiding my own time-wasting ones. And I'm staying up-up-up, for I refuse to become one of those down-down-down, sad, cranky Christians. Besides, I think the quota on those is already filled. :)

Many money-making possibilities exist out there. It just becomes a matter of staying pro-active, watchful and discovering which jobs God wants me to accept.




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Monday, October 18, 2010

Books!

So a week ago Friday, Tom and I drove past a Methodist church with a large sign which read Huge Used Book Sale.

Oh my! Made a U-Turn, parked, tried a few doors before finding the correct one and then wow. We stood in the doorway of the fellowship hall and beheld what resembled an acre of books. Books upon tables for as far as the eye could see.

What a rush! The stuff my dreams are made of.

And more, the books were organized. Genre signs hanging from each table and since each book stood spine-side-up it was a cinch to peruse what probably added up to 2,000 books. There were even boxes of books beneath the tables, each book, again, spine-side-up so to be easily read.

Those Methodists were cool. They surely knew how to hold a book sale.

Hardbacks were all 50 cents and paperbacks were just 25. I bought five books, Tom bought three.

I've read three of mine so far and each was a delight. Perfection.

If you like kids' lit. you'll probably like these, too.

The Secret of the Marmalade Cat by Milton Lomask.
A daughter and her mother travel to the old motel they've inherited only to find many things going wrong, as though someone hopes they'll sell.

Pastures of the Blue Crane by H.F. Brinsmead
A 16-year-old girl in Australia, raised only in boarding schools, graduates then immediately meets the grandfather she never knew. They both have inherited a small old farmhouse on the Gold Coast from the father/son so they travel by train to the house-- one is determined to keep it, the other wishes to sell it for the money. (I loved this book! Positively devoured it.)

The Exiles by Hilary McKay
Four young British sisters (I believe the oldest is 13) are sent to live with their grandmother for the summer, a grandmother who they barely know and do not like. What's worse, the girls are voracious readers but they discover their grandmother has only four volumes of Shakespeare and a handful of cookbooks and there's no library or bookstore in town.

Oh wow. The Exiles was one of the best kids' lit. books I've read in my life! And a first novel, even, by the author. Each page was a delight. A perfect book to make my eyes twinkle anytime, any season.

Just thought I'd mention these latest finds...



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I also bought The Day Must Dawn by Agnes Sligh Turnbull, which at a glance, looked similar to A Lantern In Her Hand.

Also, Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner, a story which takes place in Berlin.




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Yesterday In Our Backyard

Oh, yesterday was autumnally glorious, all windy-blowy, sixty sunny degrees with laundry hanging on the line and rainbow trees towering over me, taller than any problem on Earth.



(Click on any photo to feel more like you were there.) :)


A corner of the 'ballroom' with the oak trees in their orange gowns.
















Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Saving Money Game

Of course, when Tom was laid-off, my task became 'pull out all those money saving hints you used to do constantly but had slacked off.'

So now I'm back to cooking from scratch. And turning off the oven or stove top five or ten minutes early (depending upon what I'm baking/cooking) since saving energy equals saving $. And baking more than one dish at a time.

And I'm doing laundry at off-peak hours and hanging it outside to dry or inside on my trusty rack (something I've never stopped doing since long ago we gave away our drier).

And I'm clipping Sunday's coupons, mostly just for household and cat-related stuff since we're eating less processed food. I'm stocking-up on sale items, combining them with coupons when I can and shopping more often at Aldi's.

I'm keeping better organized so we can see what we have rather than racing out to buy more of what was simply buried around here. I'm taking better care of what we own so that it will last longer.

I'm using our basement chest freezer, freezing my garden produce and extra bags of frozen vegetables and loaves of bread, etc. from Aldi-type stores. Keeping it full (so it runs more cheaply), keeping it ready for winter.

I'm making my own coffee and pouring it into a thermos before our weekend yard sale trips so to not be tempted to buy coffee. I'm aiming at making our own snacks ahead, before those trips, and am sometimes making crock pot meals before we head out of the house so we're not tempted to go out to eat, even at cheap places (which is one temptation we too often give into, though lately, because Tom has been selling much through Craig's List, we do 'celebrate' those deals with a take-out meal. But hey.).

I'm turning off lights and dvd's players and chargers (when I remember). And keeping the thermostat as low as I can, wearing extra clothing to keep from turning it on at all on these cool autumnal days.

I'm paying our bills on time so to avoid late charges.

I'm taking fewer supermarket shopping trips, making the most of when I do shop so that my chances of buying unnecessary things goes down with fewer trips. I'm totally avoiding 'window shopping' since who needs all that temptation?

I'm saving our spare change in a pickle jar. We call it vacation money, but I do grab a handful of quarters on weekends to take with me to yard sales.

I'm asking myself, "Do I really neeeed this?" before I buy just about anything. Though if it's an item at a yard sale, something my quarters will buy, something I love but is more a treat than a necessity--I'll go ahead and buy it. The worse thing one can do is to say No!No!No! to everything unnecessary and thus become a fearful, God-doubting penny-squeezer who always feels deprived.

I'm using more imagination than cash around the house.

I'm still making my own household cleaners, mostly from vinegar and baking soda, buying vinegar in huge jugs, but of course. Vinegar is still my favorite fabric softener for the washing machine.

And I'm having fun at saving money. Making it all a daily game at which I'm aiming to win.

(Shhh. That is the secret to winning the game!) :)



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Wondering when off-peak hours are for running your appliances? Here's a way to find out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

R.I.P. June Cleaver


Oh dear. Barbara Billingsley, a.k.a. June Cleaver, passed away today.


Just this past week I'd researched June Cleaver online as I do sometimes and tried to find as many positive remarks as I could. It's not easy. There's such hatred out there for June and for any woman who emulates her, for whole throngs of people just don't get June and they certainly don't understand us who love her, either.


But for me? Oh my. All I have to do is look at a picture of June Cleaver, she in her dress and pearls standing inside of her tv kitchen and poof! I'm inspired to clean something. Anything. To cook and sew curtains and rearrange the furniture. Change the sheets and dust beneath the bed.


The occasional glimpse of Barbara on tv interviews had the same effect upon me. The interview would end, I'd smile, and--if I'd been sulky about cleaning house--well, the sulkiness always evaporated. I'd don an apron and yes, I'd clean something. Or fold something. And the joy, the rampant creativity and freedom of homemaking would return and hang around for days.

I love it when I can just look at a person, or simply remember her, and then feel peace or inspiration or new strength. What power there is in that. And what a necessity, especially in these turbulent days of rebellion, to know certain faces can still nudge you to do and feel right again.


God is so good to place such needed inspiration in our paths. And always, I'll be grateful for Barbara, for June, for both these women. Always, I'll be glad they were part of my world when I needed them so much.



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Here's an obituary which I thought lovely.



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Driving Around Today



I love New York! :)


















We went to yard sales, estate sales and we visited with old friends who held their own yard sale. They even gave us a dish and a lovely wicker rocking chair. Oh, and at a 'garage estate sale', one of the brothers gave me an old cottage cheese tin when I asked him how much it was. I'll shine it up and show it to you--it's because of American Pickers that I picked it. :)

And when we arrived home, Lennon and McCartney were enjoying Autumn from the front porch.