Thursday, May 31, 2012

When You Have a Wallpaper Disaster Day



Grrr. Around here, yesterday was known as Wallpaper Disaster Day.


That back porch wall was too darn tall. I used two stepladders, one a bit higher than the other, but neither was right, and searched the basement for the tall ladder I remember using when I placed those western characters in the cubby above our stairs, (see above photo. Had I ever shown that to you before?). 


Tom insists that the tall ladder's still down there, but oh well.


Anyway, when I found myself using a snow shovel with a pillow case pulled over it to try to make the overhanging, drooping, dripping mess, stick--and when I saw the rip above the sconce (usually I'm good at papering around light fixtures)--and by the time I considered crying, well, I knew I was defeated. This party was over.


So I ripped down that second piece and wadded it into the trash. The first piece (which had taken ages to hang), I peeled off, then walked it out to the front porch to dry. I'll save it for craft projects.


I crawled upstairs and looked at the short wall behind my dresser (blessedly, no need for ladders up there) and asked myself if I'd like to paper that wall today. But I crabbed, "No way. I'll wait until I can look at a roll of wallpaper without despising it."


Some days are like that, you know.


Days when you realize you're just not as clever or physically able as you once were. Times you must face that--if you want a certain thing done--you'll have to ask for help, even though, in the Old Days, you could have done that thing easily alone. Quickly, too.  Requiring a decision to be made--when part of the fun is the doing, do you want to share that with someone else, especially someone who may not enjoy the process like you do?


I already have a new idea forming in my mind about that back wall, something involving a rectangle patch of wallpaper surrounding the sconce set into the center of a larger rectangle of a painted square. Then perhaps a frame of molding around that, though I don't know how to miter corners. Perhaps I could ask Tom for help with that.


Again, oh well. Live and learn and probably this new idea will be a better one. Many things happen for a reason and perhaps that includes the occasional Wallpaper Disaster Day.




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Earthbound Farms  has had great 75 cents off any of their products coupons all this past week. You can always get two each day so I've probably printed at least 8. At my store they're doubled to $1.50 off and this week their salads are on sale for $3. Yay!


B1G1F Mrs. Paul's Parchment bake fish here.


$1.50 off new Wholly salsa here. A Facebook coupon.


Save 60 cents (1.20 at my store) on two cans of Dole pineapple here.


Save $1.50 on Birds Eye Voila vegetables here. A Facebook coupon.


Save $1 on Cat's Pride litter here. (You may need to click on Pets.)

Save $1 on a Pure Protein bar. (These are often on sale for $1 so you should be able to get a couple free.)


Save .55 cents on International Delight coffee creamer here.


Save .55 cents on Bailey's coffee creamer here. (These are on sale at my store for $2 this week so I'll get them for just .90 cents each.)


Save $1.60 off any Nature's Bounty vitamins if you watch a short video here.

Save $1.50 on any 3 Mom's Best Naturals cereal. (Love how natural these are.)


Save .55 cents on two Hormel Chili and .75 cents off Tabasco Buffalo Style sauce and .75 cents off Kraft Fresh Take along with other coupons here. (Click on foods.)

And yay! I just now found the new Roman Meal bread coupon here. I wait for this one each year.


Remember: most coupons online can be printed twice.




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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The This and That of Lately


I'm not sure I'd ever seen peonies this color before they appeared here at our very own Hobbit Cottage. Pretty! And while I took that photo this morning I noticed my new wallpaper lying upon our front porch... hooray! Our weather has finally cooled (and will remain so for a whole lovely string of days) and de-humidified after four steamy days, making it perfect for being creative around the house. So look-out back porch wall, here I come.

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Tom worked 15 hours yesterday(!) and by tomorrow, he'll have worked 10 out of the last 11 days, 4 of those were 12-hour shifts (which they'll be from now on) and then that one 15-hour shift where he went in at 3 a.m., came back at 10 for a boss-suggested nap till 1:00, then went back in until 9:00.

Man, it's feast or famine around here. Either Tom's in the recliner watching tv while his brain turns to oatmeal or he's working a million hours. 

But am I complaining? Me? :)

Life in the power plant! To be fair, it's the fault of Start-Up which, at any plant, totally takes over men's lives. Off and on I've dealt with this for 30 years, so I should be used to it. I just get concerned about a 55-year-old guy doing this, but as I said, mostly Tom seems to be thriving on the newness and challenge of it all (this is a different source of power than he's used to) so I will choose to be patient. And trusting. And happy.


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Well, it's been too hot to do much of anything (our air-conditioner is in the basement, but I'd rather not heave-ho it upstairs until the hot weather comes to stay) and our vacuum belt is broken so I can't vacuum, but must, instead, crawl around with masking tape to pick up all the black wads of Sammy's hair which Daniel spits out while playing with him..... and so.... I had my own little Leave It To Beaver marathon yesterday via Netflix instant view. 

Happy sigh. 

I became all inspired to play June Cleaver, even in this heat, and I washed our fabric shower curtain as I'd been meaning to for ages and hung a new plastic liner, even.

Thank-you, June, for the inspiration you never fail to give to keep a nice, neat and welcoming home, even in these pre-droopy, 2012 hot days of late Spring.


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(I believe that's the very same type of roses we had at our other suburb house. Cool.)


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day and Nostalgia Down The Street

Memorial Day! Today I will remember our soldiers and our freedoms they paid for and also, especially, the two dear friends Tom and I lost this past year. In fact, Sandy, our friend of over 30 years, passed away exactly one year ago today and then there's John, Donna's husband, who we all lost just weeks ago. 


But today I am grateful that I can think of both of them with joy because both reside in glorious, God-dwelling, light-shining, saints singing, something-always-going-on Heaven. So wow! Sandy, a great worshipper and someone who loved to entertain in her home, is most likely spending her days in Heaven doing both. And John, as Donna has guessed, is most likely a greeter in Heaven, welcoming new arrivals with a hug, a funny story and an offer to give them a tour.


I have seen the goodness of God for myself and I can just see my friends, all of those I've lost, going about Heaven in awe, in laughter, in song and in anticipation of all the wonders yet unseen and looking forward to welcoming us, their loved ones, into the gates some day ahead. A day marking the beginning of a whole new, thrilling life.


And the sensible, mature part of me could never, ever wish those people back here. On my, no.


And you know? For me, this simple day back down here on Earth is a day of joy, as well, because of Who I know and Who He is down here on this planet He created, living, breathing inside my heart.






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And something fun here on this lowly Earth? This past Saturday Tom and I finally visited the drugstore down the street in the ancient part of town. We stepped inside and oh my! Small and felt so old. It is old. In fact, I think Adam and Eve used to buy their meds there. :)


Okay, Sonny and Cher, anyway. 


I mean, hey, the decor screamed "we've proudly not changed a thing since 1975!" I wish I'd brought my camera to show you all the orange burlap-like stuff up on the walls, the yellowed flooring and the plastic letters, too, telling you what's along the outer walls. 


And oh! In the back, you walk down five stairs to a small room where, along the three walls, are greeting cards in displays from probably the 1950's. Then to the left, there are five steep stairs going up to a type of stage, actually, where the pharmacist in his white uniform stands behind a counter. I found it wild, actually, that they've kept the pharmacy part way up there since tons of people who need medications can't do stairs nowadays. It must be kind of funny if a person in a wheelchair comes in and has to, from the bottom of the stairs, yell up to the pharmacist what she needs, then to see the pharmacist run down the stairs and hand it to her. 


Man, Tom and I were instantly transported to the 1970's (1960's?) that sunny, warm Saturday and we so enjoyed the trip. We always love time travel and back here in Western New York, it seems we're always traveling somewhere other than the present.



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Oh! You will love these creative ideas for pallets. A special thanks to Kim for sharing them.


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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Amazed By God and Donna



So. Remember my post, The Necessity of Your Own Life? The one where I said it's vital that we, as women, form a special life of our own, one separate from our husband?


Well, lately I've seen that my friend, Donna, is reaping beautifully from having done just that. After John's death, Tom and I would visit Donna in the hospital and she was always looking ahead. To getting out of there. To recreating her home so to make it more livable for her at this stage in her life. To decorating her new place. To painting beautiful scenes on canvas again of nature and old houses, etc. To working amongst her flowers in her gorgeous backyard. 


To returning to her still-full life.


And now? Now she's finally home again (yay!) and her family and friends have made her side apartment accessible to the main house and cleaned the apartment, too. Her pastor's husband is refinishing the floors and soon a group of us will paint the apartment walls. And more? Donna has a friend who will move-in and live in the upper floor of the main house and they'll share the main living area.


Over the phone yesterday I told Donna that I believe much of the good help she's receiving from so many people is because she's reaping from the help she's always sown to others. And oh my, Donna is such a great helper! She aids others with their yard sales (her help was vital at Tom's and my farm yard sale). She takes food to those who've lost loved ones. She's planned probably a hundred church gatherings and birthday parties with the heart of a true servant. She's taken lots of friends, including me, out for coffee and for country drives.


She's one of those Thoughtful People.


Plus, Donna belongs to a group of artists who, each week, travel to beautiful outdoor vistas where they set-up their canvases and paint for hours. And she's traveled all the way over to California a couple times with our mutual friend, Marian, the two of them creating wonderful adventures along the way.


Wow. I am so darn proud of Donna. I know she misses John--he was one of-a-kind (the only person I've met who resembled a book character) and they were married over 30 years, but she's not allowed the missing of him to rob her of hope and anticipation nor fool her into thinking her best days are gone. 


No, Donna nurtured a great love for God within her all these years and she's faithfully created a life of giving to others. And now though John is gone, Donna's reaping from all the many and varied seeds she flung around so faithfully wherever she traveled along the pathway God created for her to follow.


And she and God will have a ton of new, exciting adventures in the days and years to come.






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The painting, above? Next to the one she painted of our farm, this is my favorite of Donna's paintings. Is it gorgeous, or what?


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Galatians 6:7

"Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [a]by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and [b]that only is what he will reap."         ....  from the amplified Bible.
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

So Much to Celebrate

Oh, see these two cookbooks? Found both in a basement for free this morning at a yard sale. Free old-timey cookbooks... hardly gets better than that. :)


Earlier, before Tom even got out of bed, I drove to the supermarket with a fistful of coupons and spent 28 dollars instead of $61, what with buying things on sale and using coupons. I showed Tom (who was up when I returned) all the things I got for absolutely free: 2 pouches of Starkist tuna, 1 box of macaroni and cheese, 2 cans Bush's mesquite beans, 4 candy bars (I know, I know) and 2 boxes of Barilla pasta. Those were just some of my great deals... I highly recommend online coupons.


And speaking of the supermarket, I saw a beautiful young black woman there, around 35, with long hair up in a ponytail, sunglasses on top of her head, a lovely red tunic-type stretch top with cool 3/4 length sleeves, black capri's and nifty sandals. I saw her and thought, "You know? I should tell her how nice she looks." And of course, God nailed me, as always, and said, "Since that thought came to you, yes, I'll now wait for you to say it aloud."


So I did, because oh, I hate that dreadful feeling which comes after not doing the obvious right thing. As she began pushing her cart past me, I turned toward her and said, "Oh! You look really nice!" Well, she much appreciated the compliment, told me her aunt gave her the top (I told her it was perfect for her, because it certainly was) and she said I looked nice, too, and how we both must like the same things because we wore similar colors (and she was tactful enough not to add that my clothes, though, looked like they first saw light in the1990's. heh).


Anyway, we both stepped away feeling blessed and well, isn't that one of the major things that matters in this life--that we live free enough to give compliments where they are due? Took me ages to get there, but God dragged me kicking and screaming until I finally became free in that area. Free, but still always needing that extra tiny push from Him. 




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And oh, I must say again... I do love Facebook.


Recently I got in-touch with a young woman at Facebook who I taught in a California Sunday School when she was 6 and 7, a girl who was probably my greatest challenge in all the 17 years I taught. :) I'd just begun teaching so, most likely, I wasn't as creative as she needed me to be (years later I grew and changed). But now? Now she's a single mom and she's growing closer to God daily and learning so much and turning into just about the sweetest, most creative young woman, ever. Her creative spirit inspires me to break-out of my same ol', sameness.


And I am blessed watching her grow all these thousands of miles away, thanks to Facebook.


There's another young lady there who I've known since she was 3 when she'd always face backward on the church bench and stare and smile at Tom and me until her mom would turn her back around. After Tom and I moved away, she and I began writing letters to each other (I believe she was 8) until she graduated high school and now, through Facebook, I've watched her get married and have an adorable little boy and lots of pictures have allowed me to share this time of her life with her as well.


And did I mention that I love Facebook?  






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Our cats enjoy sitting here gazing at the backyard in the mornings and afternoons. They watch all the birds and breezes making leaf shadows. Kitty TV,as Kim put it. Love that.


And my wallpaper for the blank wall on the right will be here very soon! Yay!






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"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."  ... James 4:17




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For a list of my favorite places to find coupons online, go here.




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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Officially Spoiled Rotten



This is coming from a purely grateful heart, ok? Not bragging, no! Just expressing pure, humble gratitude to God.


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Today it's official. God has totally spoiled me rotten. Rotten.


When we moved to Hobbit Cottage last September, our city was building a new park just three blocks away on the edge of our huge river. Often the machinery has been loud... roar roar bang! Roar roar bang! But since all the land along this section of the river is privately owned, we told ourselves all the noise would be worth it just to have access to the water's edge, ourselves.


Oh wow. The park is finished and today I walked over there with my camera and oh. My. Goodness. This is the part where God has totally spoiled me rotten:


That park is incredible! Oh, the breezes off the water caressed my face and smelled like salt and everything felt so huge--huge body of water, huge bridge, huge expanse of beauty everywhere I turned my eyes.







And all just three blocks away. Oh my. Tom will be working about a million days in a row this week (well, not a million...), but how can I complain? No, not when I've got this gorgeous park and a convenience store on the way where I can pick up hot dogs or dark chocolate for lunch and take a book with me and read and gaze up from my book to all that water and seagulls, geese and this little inlet that reminded me, oddly, of Gilligan's Island:


I sat at a picnic table and looked all around me and cried a bit from a too-full heart. And I brought all of you along with me and formed words within my brain to try to describe this splendor to you. But it's too difficult. This just means so much to me to have this park and truly I'm thanking God today from the deepest places within my heart.


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Dying To Self. Lesson #593.



So! I loved your comments after my post yesterday about dreading fancy/large/public gatherings. And you know how we tend to learn things in layers, understanding them more deeply as we grow-up in God? Well, I really saw more clearly why we loner-types would feel so uncomfortable about those types of dinner parties:


We're sooo concentrating upon ourselves. 


You know, "How will I look? Will I be dressed correctly? How will I feel? Will I say the right things? Will I say the wrong things? What if I don't know what to say? What if I drop a spoon? What if I can't hear what's being said? What if no one talks to me? What if no one finds me interesting?


I ....I.....I .... Me.....Me....Me.....


Good grief.


The whole Bible tells us to knock that stuff off. For one thing, it tells us to keep our minds on God:


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


So obviously, for me anyway, if I've lost my peace about one of those upcoming dinners, then my mind has veered from God (and what He can do through me) and has traveled to myself (and what I ...I...I ...cannot do.).


(Buzzer sound.) Wrong. Wrong choice.


And then the Bible tells us where else to place our minds:



"So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good to all people ... also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith."  Galations 6:10



So if I'm to fill my mind (be mindful) with ways to be a blessing to others, to stay on the look-out for ideas in order to be kind and thoughtful to those who people my world, well, why's my mind everyplace else in these situations?


We're to think of others more highly than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3) Who knew? heh.... 


Rather than keeping my mind upon my weaknesses, inadequacies and former shyness and how I will look (which is pure pride and no way can God bless and reward that), I'm to creatively consider others and how they feel.


Well, now I know and believe you me (as my dad used to say), the next dinner/lunch/little bitty snack I'm invited to amongst strangers--instead of spending days dreading that upcoming gathering--I'll be imagining ways of how I can encourage those strangers and others, how I can make them glad they came and make them thirsty for the life-giving God shining through me.






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Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastfulor vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]." ... 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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"It is impossible to be selfish and happy." ... Joyce Meyer




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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Creative First Steps





Well! You've never seen what we jokingly call our back porch, all maybe 9 square feet of it. But that's what's in the above photo (and yes, it's tricky going out the backdoor from the basement) and since we first moved in I've wanted to wallpaper that wall which greets us when we walk in. The one with the sconce which we'll replace someday with a larger, prettier one we found at a yard sale years ago and happened to bring along with us.


Anyway. I'm so excited because today I finally ordered some wallpaper online which I absolutely love, something I think will look great above the short wainscoting (even though, ok, their background colors are different values ... whatever. heh.) Here it is:



Oh, I am in love and about as impatient as a girl can be. Since we can't hang any pictures, etc. on that wall (they'd always be knocked off since the space is so tight), this wall will be a piece of art in itself.

Since two rolls are coming, I'll also be papering behind my dresser upstairs and around the closet bi-fold doors to the right:





I'll make changes to that area, make it more neutral since the paper is rather busy.

So anyway, just thought I'd share my latest creative plans with you while I'm waiting (waiting!). At least it feels great to finally put some action behind my decorating dreams.



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In case you're wondering, I found the wallpaper where I usually order it--at Steve's Wallpaper and Blinds. I liked being able to pay through amazon.com since that always feels safer and saves me from having to fill out an information form, etc.


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Dinners, Dread And Stepping Through Walls

Waaay back in The Old Days over at Tom's other job, occasionally they'd invite us all out to restaurants for lovely dinners.

Man, I used to dread those. Even though I knew dreading anything is wrong because dread is a form of fear and fear brings torment (yada, yada, yada). And then the wild thing is that--always--I ended-up enjoying those dinners, having had fun playing wealthy patron while listening to Tom's co-workers and their wives laugh and joke around--politely--I may add. Everyone seemed on their best behavior during those things.

And I'd even catch my new self stepping outside of my old self, so to speak, and relaxing, letting the peace of God within me take over so that I could converse with people and make them feel comfortable. And oh, how God loves it when we come out from behind our self-built walls--and instead--just be who He created us to be, with His spirit shining through like crystal, not blackened by walls.

Come out, come out wherever you are...

So anyway, I'd kick myself the whole drive home at having wasted whole days dreading what ended up being a delightful time.

Well, I mentioned to you on Sunday that we had a fancy-schmancy dinner coming up on Tuesday evening, a dinner with our financial guy (who's an extremely pleasant young man with a lovely wife and three beautiful children--the latter of whom I've seen only by way of the family Christmas card) and another businessman connected to the financial world, plus, four other clients (who ended up being just two, since the others, regrettably, couldn't make it).

Well. All day Sunday and Monday I caught myself dreading that dinner just like the ones from The Old Days, dreading it way more than a dentist visit, even. Good grief. I kept lecturing myself to knock-off the dread and I reminded myself repeatedly of how each fancy dinner from previous times ended up being a Good Thing. And I even would repeat the name of Jesus when that dread would rise up because, for me, that name fixes lots of things going wrong inside my head. Just sayin'.

Then around Monday night it's like I had a breakthrough! I realized that satan's plan is to make me so dread these dinners, to walk into them so uptight, so wanting them to be over before they've even begun--that all that junk would hide the Light within me. And I'd be too nervous to make anyone feel comfortable. And I wouldn't be anywhere near the gracious woman God longs for me to be around others so to represent Him in a kind, loving manner.

Wow. So Tuesday was a better day, way less dread-stuffed, (though there were a few "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus's" whispered). 

And the dinner? The dinner was a delight. Delicious (I had the petite filet mignon... oh my goodness)--and--God helped me speak to others comfortably and to care that the businessman had a hearing problem much like mine, so I spoke louder to him. I saw every person at that table as being deeply loved by God and, within my heart, I prayed that each one would come to know my Greatest Friend--the One who knows me best, but loves me anyway, constantly, and cheers from my corner when I tear down self-imposed walls and run outside of them so to love others as He does.



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"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  ... Galataions 2:20


"Love one another..."  ... John 13:34


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just Doing It ... And Changing the World



"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” ... Esther 4:14



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What I've seen during my 50+ years? The Christians who daily use their God-given talents/gifts/abilities/callings make a difference in their world. By fulfilling their purpose for being here, their world changes around them and they, themselves, change, as well. They stay busy with good things and with allowing God to fine-tune them, so busy, that they don't have time to complain about much at all. 

So loving, that the hours fly by while they're praying for, and serving, others. I watch these people both in Real Life and on the Net and their peaceful attitudes inspire me. 

Those who love to bake--bake. Then they offer others, their neighbors, their hurting friends, the treasures from their oven--and if asked--advice and wisdom and concern toward those in need. 

They don't criticize themselves (or God) for their small baking gifts. Don't hang around wasting time, wishing they were singers or preachers or writers like other people they know. 

No, bakers, well, bake.

And writers write.
Singers sing.
Seamstresses sew.
Crafters craft.
Gardeners garden.
Hairdressers dress hair.
Pray-ers pray.
Servers serve.
Knitters knit.
Photographers take photos.
Teachers teach.
Babysitters sit babies.
Encouragers encourage.
Coupon clippers clip coupons.
Musicians make music.
Bloggers blog.
Animal lovers love animals.
Cleaners clean.
Personal trainers train.
Decorators decorate.
Movers and shakers move and shake...


... and all find themselves at the right time, in the right place, with the right words because they live God-directed lives, as opposed to selfish ones. They're in this to bless others, not themselves.

And accepters of their own gifts are happy in the doing of them. Happy in the serving, in the being used. For such a time as this, uniquely doing what no one else can do because God, in one-of-a-kind ways, creatively moves through them to touch and bless and heal and inspire others.

At least, that's what I've seen and experienced for myself. And I have found that being used by God is just about the most refreshing, rejuvenating, renewing thing, ever...

... and the changes that serving others brings, well, will blow you away once you allow yourself to swim out into the deep, never glance back, but keep swimming and swimming far out into those exhilarating, joyful seas of serving.



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What do you enjoy doing?
What are you good at?
What's your favorite way to help people?
What do you lose track of time, doing?

Answer these questions and you may just discover what God has created you, personally, to do in this life!


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"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ."  1 Peter 4:10-11


Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  ... Matthew 22:37-40



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Monday, May 21, 2012

We're Being Watched



Well. For the past 6 months Tom and I have played the most ridiculous game. It's called What Are Those Neighbors Doing Now?


An easy game to play--you just look out the window and make assumptions about what's going on with the family across the street.


Heh.


Good gracious. We've tried to put that game away, hide it in the closet, (so to speak), but we still drag it out for the sake of curiosity and er, fun.


"Hmm.... This isn't Spring Break, yet I know they're gone for the week. What about their kids and school?"


"Wonder where they went? Must have been one of those huge amusement parks. Their kids seem the right age for that."


--Or--


"Did you see there's another new car over there? A different one this time. Do they rent them? What's up with that?"


"And their truck is still there this morning. Do you think he rode his motorcycle to work today?"


--And--


"Wow. I don't believe I've ever seen them walk at a normal pace. They're always practically running. They must be in good shape... or always in a hurry."


Good grief. (Yes, I'm hanging my head in shame...)  :)


But you know? I'm pretty darn certain the whole neighborhood is watching Tom and me like that, too.


And if I'm right? Well, I soo desire that they--somehow--see God in us. That they watch us trying our best to keep our yard up (but no, not being obsessive about it) and that they note we're not noisy-stereo folks, gossipers, hermits or screamers, either (heaven forbid). I hope that when they see us interacting with each other outside, they can tell we still love and respect one another.


Because the world is watching us, you know. All of us. And may they see much good fruit of the Spirit sprouting up all over the place. And desire to grow that fruit for themselves.




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"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."   ... Galations 5:22,23

In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven. ... Matthew 5:16





I've added more twig planters since you last saw them.


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Do you love that top photo for this post, or what? :) In reality, they were watching the wonderful ice skater, Sonia Henie perform, which I think is sweet. Sonia's autobiography actually created in me a new love for autobiographies at age 17. I've never forgotten that.


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our Favorite Place to Eat



Some people adore their favorite elegant French restaurants or expensive steak houses, but not me. I'm one happy, satisfied lady when I get to go here, to this fun retro place, above.


Tom and I ate here again on Saturday (this is the place that I told you was closed on Mother's Day weekend), yet I didn't take this photo, but rather, stole it off the Net because my brain refuses to remind me to take the camera when I go there. If I had snapped a photo, I'd have shown you the best part! It's the deck at the far right (see the red umbrella?) which hangs over a lazy, silent river. How cool is that? We even saw a turtle yesterday swimming in the middle--he was relaxing while the ducks were someplace else. 


This Tuesday night we'll be going to an oh-so-fancy restaurant with our financial guy and his other clients, thanks to someone he knows who's going to give a little speech, etc. We've already seen the menu, and well, just imagine every fancy, high-calorie, over-priced thing you've ever dreamed of eating--those are our choices.


But you know? I wish we were going to this hot dog place, instead. Man, we could all sit on the deck and watch the ducks in the river and the big, dilapidated house just on the other side (and imagine its rooms), and count the cars that zoom over the bridge. We could all laugh as much as we wanted and wipe ketchup and relish from our mouths from hamburgers and hot dogs. And relax, all dreamy-like in our casual, comfortable attire.


But oh well.


Another reason I love Hobbit Cottage? It's only around a mile away from this, our favorite place. Tom and I have come here for years (this is the place I've told you about many times), have dragged lots of friends here, too, and now! Now I could even walk here if I wished, some sunny, but cool day while Tom's at work. 


Just knowing I could do that makes me smile.


I hope you have a special, happy place to eat, too. (And I really, really wish you could come with me to mine!)






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This is part of the painting on the wall of the covered dining area.





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"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you."  ... Hebrews 13:5



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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Some Things Are Better Left Alone...


(If you've not yet watched the NCIS season finale, you may want to come back to this after you have.)


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Oh wow. I just now finished watching the season finale of NCIS.


Good grief. Let's just kill off the whole entire cast we've grown to love, ok? Or make it look like they did, anyway.


Ack!


NCIS is one of those shows where, most of each season, it's like watching the same episode over and over, week after week. Same ol' corny jokes from the same ol' characters who almost never change their lives in any way, who never advance and move on or grow in their attitudes or relationships. The only thing that ever changes is the corpse.


All reasons why I love it.


Always the same  (in a world that's always changing), always there, ever-so-watchable week after week, season after season, year after year. Smooth, witty dialogue. Predictable.


Comfort tv at its very best.


These finales.... argh. Writers jerking me around like that, making me want to zoom through summer so I can see who survived the ax--and who didn't.


(It'sJustATvShowIt'sJustATvShowIt'sJustATvShow....................)


Harumph.......




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"If something ain't broke, don't fix it."  ... copied




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