Saturday, November 30, 2013

Still Believing After All These Years


"Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent."   ...John 6:29


*****

Tonight Tom and I did our annual viewing of Polar Express and yes, I would still hear that tiny silver bell because, even at 54, I still believe. In Santa? Nah...but in Jesus who still pours childlike wonder into me, keeping me full of faith that good still happens. If I believe.

Jesus told Thomas, "Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed" and oh, for me, believing is seeing and what I still see!

In my little Hobbit Cottage I gaze from The Red Couch to our windows and watch blazing pink sunrises with silhouetted snowy trees become bright blue with a gleaming sun which later turns all Halloween orange. And while God leads other folks to crowds or foreign lands, I think He leads me to windows. I get messages there to share with you... and that is well with my soul. 

Other times, Tom and I sit near each other, watching Daniel and Sammy The Cats batting at one another, nonchalant one moment, intensely another, but always with cat glee that brings smiles to our faces.

And yesterday Beezus and Ramona returned, bringing the chocolate-peanut butter bears I'd ordered. And wow! I'd just told Tom, "I wish I felt like making something for dessert right now." And there it was, right at our red door, brought by two girls straight from books.

There's an earlier part in Polar Express, where the boy at first, cannot hear the bells while everyone else can and I felt bad for all those people in Real Life who cannot hear or see or believe, either. Oh, what they miss! And I understood in a deeper way their inability to hear and how that sadness can make them search in very wrong places.


And I felt more grateful that, even in my 50's, Jesus still infuses me with wonder. I'm not twiddling my thumbs, waiting for a better day in Heaven--no! But each hour I aim to notice it all, every pure drop of childlike belief plopped down like raindrops and I fling away any drops of worry so to celebrate His extreme goodness, instead.



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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfulness. It Was In There All Along.

My buddy, Kim, because she knows me so well, sent this to me at Facebook:



Of course, I loved it. And what else? Oddly, it reminded me of these:



Yes, Dorothy's ruby red slippers of Wizard of Oz fame and these lines:

Dorothy: Oh - will you help me? Can you help me?

Glinda: You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.

Dorothy: I have?

Scarecrow: Then why didn't you tell her before?

Glinda: Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.


Oh my... Especially the "you've always had the power to go back to Kansas part." If we truly have a huge God inside of us, we always, technically, have the power to live a thankful, glimmering life no matter how dark the rest of the world becomes. God makes a friendly, caring, love-filled life available to everyone who seeks Him with all their hearts.

But yes, we have to learn that for ourselves. And believe it and step out upon it. Just like Dorothy.

And oh, when we do!


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"Where sin abounds, there Grace much more abounds."   ... Romans 5:21

... and be ye thankful!   :)


*******


Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my readers!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Here We Go Again

For those of you who like this stuff, here you go. The view from my window:



Oh well, it had to happen sometime.



This morning I shoveled a bit, cursed myself for not keeping-up with my back exercises and fervently hoped that we can strike the same snow-shoveling deal as last year with Mike Our Neighbor. 


At least Tom gets 4 1/2 days off beginning this afternoon and already I can hear, "And since there's no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow," swirling around inside my brain. There'll be no outdoor adventures during those days, I promise you.

It's an awfully good thing that Tom and I, after 35 years, still enjoy each other's company and lots of the same Netflix shows. heh.




**********

So last night I noticed that Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was on tv and I promise you I didn't go ballistic. But I did vow to--today--do my annual sharing of my post as to why that whole story is just plain wrong.

So here we go again with that.  Do re-read it with a smile, ok?

*****

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving to each of you!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Having Christmas My Way. Again.

 

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."   ... 2 Corinthians 9:7

*****

So yes. Yes, since last week, Christmas carols have wafted from my kitchen radio on Buffalo's Joy FM. Days and days before Thanksgiving, even(!)

I make no apology for that.

Now, if you're one of my longtime readers, you might recall how years ago I had issues with the way the world does Christmas and how I preferred to keep it year around (like the reborn Scrooge of literary fame) rather than join in the intensity of it all.

Yet now I wonder what was all the fuss? Oh ok, Tom usually had to work on Christmas Day (often Thanksgiving, also) and I'd worry that would mess up Naomi's psyche (or whatever) when, actually, my complaining about Tom's having to work those days and moaning about commercialism also, (etc.), probably did the most 'damage'. Though hey-- at 33, Naomi appears fine and well-adjusted one might even say (with my fingers hopefully crossed.)

But then a handful of years ago I finally decided to Just Do Christmas My Way. You know, do the things Grace helped me do with joy and leave the rest alone.

I'd listen to Christmas carols on the radio or play them on my record player.
I'd buy a few gifts online.
If I decorated the house at all, it would just be a tad (fortunately, Tom and Naomi don't care either way).
I'd watch maybe two Christmas movies. Oh, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, (but of course).
I'd mail a sane amount of Christmas cards and send a few ecards, as well.
I'd cook a simple Christmas dinner, but not one which made me twitch with insanity by the time I sat down at the table.

And besides taking an occasional walk in the snow in Real Life or here, well, that's about it.

What helped me most slow down the whole Crazy Christmas Train was the realization that if--during the rest of the year--I'd done for others what God asked, well then, come December I'd be all caught-up. I'd have lived a Christmas type of lifestyle and wouldn't need to squeeze wild-eyed, manic giving into one short month.

No, now December signals calmness, a relaxing type of enjoyment and quiet appreciation of Jesus birth. That is, only if I lived the rest of the year His way.





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"Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" when you now have it with you."   ... Proverbs 3:28


******

The snow--she's a comin'. This afternoon, ready or not. And I'm not, for there are leaves still to be raked. Oh well.



*****


Tom and I do thank each of you who sent us anniversary wishes here and at Facebook!!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Can You Believe It's Been Thirty-Five Years?

Wow. Tomorrow Tom and I will have been married 35 whole years! And so today I have a quiz for you:

How are we celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary weekend? (Choose one.)

A.) I am, at this moment, blogging on a laptop beside Tom as we lounge upon an Hawaiian island beach.

B.) We're about to get dressed to drive downtown for the huge 35th anniversary party being held in our honor.

C.) We're inside the viewing car of an Amtrak train weaving through the fields of Nebraska.

D.) We're curled-up in our cozy living room watching The 4400 and Alaska: The Last Frontier, discussing each, and ordering-out for Chinese and grilling steaks.


My longest and most faithful readers instantly knew the answer, didn't you? D. The answer is D.

And you know? Tom and I wouldn't change a thing. Oh, someday we'd love to take another cross country train trip (that's currently the only item upon my bucket list, in fact). But now's not the time. 

And you know? Neither of us wishes we were someplace else or that Life had turned out differently. Not even close. Instead, we're so grateful for these decades together spent mostly on the same page and for our lovely daughter (who mailed us organic chocolate and a sweet card) and for a thousand amazing-to-us adventures. And our homes, our cats and our friends. And mostly for God and Grace.

Truly, we are blessed. We know that--and are thankful.


******

Oh and speaking of parties, we do have a fancy one to attend soon, one I'd kinda like to miss, but Tom was told it would mean career suicide: his company is holding a suit-and-tie Christmas party at the Pierce Arrow Museum in mid-December. We've wanted to visit that museum for ages, but not exactly under these circumstances. heh.

Oh well.... I've blogged about that before and I do need to whip out my can-do-this-happily attitude soon. :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

TV. Just TV.


This post is just for fun, although me being me, a lesson will be woven into it.

I just can't help myself.

While many people nowadays grumble, "There's nothing good on tv anymore," Tom and I are actually watching too much tv (she says, blushing). Great stuff which makes us think, laugh, or cry (while teasing each other) and when these series end, we feel an odd kind of contentment mixed in with sadness due to wishing for more.

Tom and I find that complaining and longing for the good old days, ruins our present day and when we believe for nothing (or bad things), that's generally what we get.

Rather, when we seek good things (tv shows included), we nearly always find them.

Netflix, we think, is awesome. For there, over a period of just days (and anytime 24/7), we can watch tv series other folks waited years to finish watching on cable tv. At Netflix we have choices.

So here, below, is a list of the shows we watched like hibernating bears inside their caves all bleary-eyed, but happy. Together, pushing the pause button at times to voice our ideas and cheering and booing and wiping away tears. Shows we hated to see end or ones we're anxiously awaiting to someday continue at Netflix.

Most of these we streamed online, a few came by discs in the mail and some I've watched alone:



Alias
LOST
Heroes
Awake
The X-Files
Flying Wild Alaska
The 4400
Fringe
Flashpoint
Person of Interest
Alaska State Troopers
Longmire
Into The Wild Alaska
Into the Wild Venezuela
Major Crimes
Body of Proof
Chuck
CSI-NY
Stargate SG-1
Stargate Atlantis
Monk
Numb3rs
Lie to Me
Crossing Jordan
Touch
24
Undercover Boss
Psych
Bones
Alphas
Continuum
Disappeared
I Shouldn't Be Alive
Man vs. Wild
Man, Woman, Wild
Dual Survival
Iditarod: The Toughest Race On Earth
CSI
Frasier
Law and Order Criminal Intent
Law and Order
Sins and Secrets
Solved
What Not To Wear
Hoarders
Hoarding: Buried Alive
American Pickers
The Event
Flash Forward
Trauma
Cold Blood
The Dog Whisperer
Extreme Couponing
Rockford Files
Man vs. Food
Wreckreation Nation

And yes, that's a mighty long list. But please remember--we've been with Netflix for a very, very long while. :)

****


Oh! And yesterday my buddy Pat at Facebook mentioned another Netflix show, Alaska: The Last Frontier. (And here.) 

Well, Tom and I watched the first two episodes last night and loved them (thanks again, Pat!). Reminded me of all the Alaskan wilderness books I've ever read and also the Little House books as well as those rough, snowy winters we survived in Chester, CA when we heated our houses with only a woodstove from wood Tom went out to cut, himself.

After the show, Tom and I both mentioned we don't miss those rugged Chester winters at all. :)

Anyway, perhaps my list will help you discover new favorite series you'll love on these upcoming long, dark winter evenings. That is my goal.


****


"Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.”  
Sarah Ban Breathnach,


*****

Here's a shorter version of the hilarious Portlandia skit I shared before. Maybe you missed it. It's, uhm, scarily familiar to Netflix Life with Tom and Debra, even down to the Chinese food.  :)




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Money, Money, Money

 
"But just as you excel in everything---in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us---see that you also excel in this grace of giving."   2 Corinthians 8:7
 
 
****

Waaaay back in the 1980's with a tiny Naomi, we watched A Chipmunk Christmas and Tom and I still mimic the one part where, at night, Dave opens Alvin's bedroom door only to hear Alvin murmur in his sleep, "Money, money, money!" Dave becomes super-exasperated because, lately, Alvin has seemingly gone all Christmas-commercialized.

Yet Dave didn't realize that Alvin, out of kindness, gave away his new harmonica to a sick boy and now had nothing to play at the upcoming Carnegie Hall concert. So he and his brothers tried wildly to earn money to buy a new harmonica.

Money. Oh, what we learn about ourselves just by peeking into our checkbooks or our Visa statements.

And I do realize speaking about tithing is unpopular in Today's Christian world so I don't often blog about it. Yet sometimes I feel badly, like I'm keeping a life-altering secret, namely-- I believe God has taken incredible care of Tom and me because we've never once stopped tithing and giving additional money to others in our 35 years together.

A zillion times we've, flabbergasted, watched God swoop-in and save the day for us financially--because we're special? Smart? Cute?

Uh, no. Rather, because we've, out of obedience, tithed and given to others, therefore creating a sort of heavenly account from which He refunds what we've cheerfully deposited. We've never been in real financial need and not because we've always spent money perfectly. Not even close. But I believe by tithing and giving, God sees that our fists aren't in a non-trusting, death-grip around our dollars.

We've tried to do this ...

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."   ... Malachi 3:10

... and never in three decades of our one-income household have we been in dire straights, not even when Tom lost his job. Even then God made certain we had enough money and joy and peace that all would be well. But even then, we tithed and gave rather than keep it out of fear of future lack.

So really, do whatever works for you in this area. I'm not here to force anyone into anything. I just wanted to share these thoughts because I'd begun squirming again in my silence.




**********

"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."   ... Proverbs 11:24

And yes! Each of us can give away more besides money. I've just found that the way we all spend money is so darn fascinating and revealing.

*******

 
I'm thinking I'll spend this cold November day there, at the beach, inside my head. Brrr... By Sunday we're due to only reach the 20's. Wow.
 
 
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Oh, and speaking of sharing money with others, Netflix added a fourth season of Undercover Boss to their instant shows and they also have Undercover Boss series from Canada and Australia. So many shows, so little time...  :)



Monday, November 18, 2013

Wanting To 'Be The Change'


"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13


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"Be the change you wish to see in this world." ... Gandhi

That's what I peeled-and-stuck to my kitchen wall and it keeps me from complaining about this sorry old world.

God doesn't need me to report what I see through dark, pessimistic glasses nor to type blog posts immediately after drinking from The Cynical Cup as it gets passed around. There's enough of that.

No, you have my permission to shoot me if I start blogging about bad stuff and stupid people, making anyone feel Life is 100% impossible. May I always remember that the Earth is still God's (and the fullness thereof), He sent Jesus to die for the worst amongst us, and He has better plans for my time and energy than to mutter about things gone wrong.

Nope, He'd rather I help others and too, that I choose joy now rather than waiting till The Sweet By and By. I mean, why wait? In God's presence there's still fullness of joy, 'surely goodness,' incredible peace and hope that scads of people will be set free before Jesus pulls us out of here.

And since that presence is still here, these are my good old days. God's presence still wells up inside me and overflows, even in this 2013 sorry, imperfect world. The Times may change, but Jesus never, ever does. He's just as remarkable and incredibly present as He ever was... and able to change the world through us.


********

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."   ... Philippians 4:13

  
What becomes vital is that we actually use His strength rather than rely upon our tiny reservoirs of what appears like strength, but is microscopic by comparison.

********




I'd not visited the huge, 3-story bookstore near us in lots of years so Tom drove us there on Saturday. Everything appeared to be the same--loved that. I had only 15 minutes, so I grabbed these books in the kids' lit. room and am now officially all set for winter.

(The last two are It's Like This, Cat and Mary Poppins At The Park and some were replacements I'd too ruthlessly let go during our moves.)

*********

Oh, the winds last night! But never fear--they did not blow us away.

*********

Every single time I mention that 'these are my good old days', I think of this.

Good still happens!

Friday, November 15, 2013

More Changes. More Happiness.

“If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” 


***

For whole decades whenever I spied 'picture wall murals' in magazines, I longed for the bravery to make one. But finally yesterday I gathered art from around the house, brought my trusty ladder up from the basement, shoved the furniture aside and made that happen.


Oh, now that corner looks 70 years older so color me extremely happy. And if you've longed for your own wall mural? I encourage you to do it. Throw away the fear of nail/screw holes and perfection and just do it. The best decorators--the best anything--live that way.



******

I paid our bills this morning while still in my pajamas and 1950's music played from my radio as I sat in the warm, gleaming light which sun-sparkled across our glass table. Now that's the way to pay bills.  :)

*****

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has torment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."  ... 1 John 4:18



“Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go 

out and fall down and get up with everybody else.” 




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Too Early Christmas? Impossible. :)

(Warning: Please remind yourself that I'm speaking about me here so--if you still hate early Christmas--please don't be offended.)  :)

****

Years ago I told you that it made me crazy bonkers to see August Christmas d├ęcor or hear Christmas songs playing in store aisles in early November. It just wasn't right, wasn't like the Good Old Days, wasn't the way it should be.

Good grief.

Ol' Debra needed to get a life, for hey! Isn't Christmas a lovely time of giving, of family and most of all--of recalling how God changed everything for us by sending Jesus? Aren't Christmas carols beautiful? Isn't it fun to look above you at the otherwise-boring check-stand and stare at the hanging glittered snowflakes and snowmen?

Yes. Yes, it is. At least, they were all meant to be pleasant things. If Christmas has become something bad, it's not Christmas' fault, but ours.

Anyway, ol' Debra used to become crabby about Early Christmas because she still tried to control the whole world. She'd grown up around lots of other Control Needers and they'd dribbled control issues all over her pointed little head, convincing her there's only one way to be--the right way, as in My Way.

But oh dear. Control Needers only think inside of dark, stuffy boxes. Their stomachs ache a lot and they get arthritis and their hair falls out when the world just won't act My Way. Which is, like, all the time.

And well, somewhere during my (stubborn) journey, I decided that--even if it took the rest of my life--I would wash my hair of that need to control what everyone else is doing.

I would lighten up.
I would laugh a lot. 
I'd stop pushing myself to be perfect.
And I'd let people do what they wanted to do because hey... I couldn't stop them anyway. Only God can change people and maybe He doesn't even want to change them My Way (gasp!).

Layers... these realizations and this freedom have arrived in layers ... and how sweet it is (to quote Jackie Gleason).

And now? Let the stores start playing Christmas music and hanging Santa's and reindeer in April, even. My eyes will pinpoint the delight and childlike wonder in the pretty artwork, I'll remember to be kinder to others and oh, the best thing: I'll celebrate that in Today's world--yay! We're given more time to remember the Baby who came to free zillions of adults who didn't have a clue how to live.






******

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
Dale Carnegie 


I refuse to spend my life trying to do something I can do nothing about.  I want something better.



******



At amazon.com I enjoy the decorating books which let you peek inside them and have such extensive photos that you feel you saw the entire book. Here's one of those: Better Homes and Gardens: New Cottage Style (preview) (you may have to click on 'look inside'. Use the 'down arrow' for best results).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creativity: It's In There

We have this picture window, yet during the winter, well, that 'picture' gets to looking pretty tired: grey trees, old houses, dark skies and snow. But last week I thought, "Why not create my own picture, one with some greenery?" 

So I carried two pots of ivy from our back patio to the front one and now my yellow-curtained picture window will frame green ivy upon our patio set and remind me of springtime on even the darkest, most frigid days ahead.



Oh, I like that and already it's warming my thoughts, for today when I skipped outside to feed the birds, there was a 23 degree windchill-- so cold for November! Yet now I'll have my bit of Spring on the patio all winter long.

I love how God and creative people inspire us to make positive changes in and around our homes during times when changing our outside world feels impossible. We are not helpless, nor are we victims to the Times! No, we're the children of the most creative Father, ever, and His new, colorful ideas (and hope) never stop flowing.

Where there's a will, there's a creative way. At least, I've found that to be true.


Bright sunshine has poured into our house for nine amazing hours. I'm thinking I could live in a two-bedroom re-purposed cardboard box as long as it had a southern exposure. :)



******

Tom and I are plugging our way through the second season of The 4,400. What a cool show!





"... for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."   ... Philippians 2:13

Seek and you shall find... ask and it shall be opened unto you....
 
 
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Blaming people or circumstances will only keep us stuck, unable to break away and run free.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roughed-Up or Toughened-Up?


"When you feel defensive, examine what you fear."

****

Ooooo.... that's how my fortune cookie read when Tom and I had Chinese delivered on Saturday. Instantly I recalled my most seeing-red, defensive times (usually with relatives or church family) and I asked myself, "Indeed! At those times, what did I fear?"

Then in my head I drifted backward and spied the answer: Having my motives questioned. Always, that's what I've feared and hated most, you know, being accused of things I never even considered doing/feeling/thinking. Feeling misunderstood and like a big, roly-poly black sheep.

And to this day, that still bugs me most, though I no longer turn all wild-eyed, trying to make accusers see their error. Instead, I'll speak a couple sentences in my behalf, trust God to show the person the rest, then spend time alone asking God to heal any wounds, for yes... being wrongly accused, hurts. Still. But not like it once did, nor not nearly as long, for I've learned how to receive God's healing.

A fear I used to have in the height of defensive times? Being abandoned, afterward, by those relatives/friends/accusers. But now hey... I remind myself how much I love my rather-solitary life with God. Love, love, love it. So what's to fear there if people leave me? My wonderful life will continue.

Anyway.

Today I want to remind you of a guarantee: these Last Days will never become easier. People in our world, in our personal lives, will overall, not become kinder, gentler or more positive. Paul actually warned us that this world would, before Jesus returns, be making a downward spiral:

" There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."   ... 2 Timothy 3:1-5

And what I realized recently? It says, "have nothing to do with such people," but it does not say, "let those negative people make you a nervous wreck who quits trying to change the world."

Uh, no. More than ever it's vital that we cling to our powerful, positive God so that He'll hold us up while others may fall. So that we'll not slowly morph into an unforgiving, unholy example nor be shocked into a stupor when we see old friends (and others) do things in the future which we'd never imagined they'd do.

In other words, don't let 'em bring you down. We've not seen anything yet (well, not much, anyway) and it's vital that we allow God now, during these relatively easy days, to help us:

 Fear not for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice."  Isaiah 41:10

And if we become toughened-up rather than roughed-up? We'll find ourselves still standing when things worsen. Strong. Prepared for any battle and prepared to help anyone who flounders. Prepared, period.




*********** 

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

(Oh my... now there's a verse I think of often, especially when I find myself whining about inconsequentials. sigh.)


*********

Did I already tell you that Tom and I finally saw Star Trek Into Darkness? We both enjoyed it much.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Things I've Forgotten to Tell You


1. Tom's South African Adventure has been postponed until sometime in January which is pleasant since he'll avoid our snowiest months here in Buffalo.

2. Naomi didn't have to move from her home in Tennessee after the flood. One of her housemates left, so Naomi moved back upstairs and too, her landlord promised to make some necessary changes to the home's lower portions. Slowly, he's doing so. 

But anyway, Tom and I felt relieved that Naomi still shares a home with other women her age rather than living alone.

3. I've not checked-out a book from our town's library in over a year,probably a record for me. I did, though, visit once to search through the books for sale, whereupon I bought three and a magazine. I'm still rereading the books I already own and buying occasional ones online.

4. On Halloween Tom decided on his way home from work that we should hand out candy this year (we'd agreed not to in the morning) so when he arrived home at 5:30 with the aforementioned candy, ol' Debra got cranky a bit perturbed because she hates indecisiveness and anything smelling of spur-of-the-moment. Well, I jumped up from hiding in the dark and flung open the curtains and turned on the lights, but made Tom hand out candy to trick or treaters while I heated up dinner. 

Then after reminding him for the 236th time in 35 years that I hate double-mindedness (and have God on my side on this one because of James 1:8...heh...), we both agreed that next year we'll hand out candy for sure. Decision made. Quite early.

5. Our neighbors across the street moved away last week. Even though drama sometimes erupted over there, I'll miss them because they helped us in small ways and I liked how the husband worked on cars in the garage in the evenings--the lighted garage reminded me of old-fashioned teen books from the 40's and 50's. 

Also, they were one of four neighbors I felt would help me if I experienced a problem here, especially if Tom was away on a trip, etc. Now I'll just believe the new neighbors will be as helpful when they someday arrive.

6. Remember how our supermarket played terrific golden oldies music? Well, since way back in January, they only occasionally play those, sort of entwine them amongst newer (but not unpleasant) pop music. I'll take it... and be happy.

Hmmm.... and that's probably way more than you wanted to know about life in and around Hobbit Cottage. :)


*********


Oh! Some of you would enjoy a documentary I watched this afternoon through Netflix. It's called Diana Vreeland:The Eye Has to Travel. Although she and I had pretty much nothing in common, her rampant creativity was the type of perfect inspirational shot in the arm I need every few months.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Happy As Kings?


"You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest..."   ... Isaiah 9:3

*****

When we bought Hobbit Cottage, the previous owner pointed to the square of Scotch tape on one of four identical keys, saying that marked the back door key. And so, while juggling my purse and groceries bags at the door, I'd search through all my keys for that nearly invisible piece of tape before inserting it into the lock.

For two whole years, in all varieties of weather, I'd struggle to glimpse that teeny piece of tape. Good grief.

But then came my personal campaign to Fix Things Which Bother Me and I got out a chunky black permanent marker and scribbled all over that key. And now, all easy-peasy, I speedily unlock our door.

I highly recommend becoming a pro-active person. Or at least, pretending you're one for a couple months.

Then yesterday I ironed four extra curtain panels I'd ordered so to give the new mustard ones a fuller look. As you might recall, it took me two years to replace the old curtains I'd disliked in our living room. But when I moved those curtains to both our office and the basement doorway? They looked wonderful there. Hmm.

Probably for 30 years, I've dreamed of owning a bedroom with a fireplace (don't we all?) and cozily viewing flames while sitting in bed.  But not until last week did I finally move our adorable electric wood stove to a place I could actually see it from my bed. And now I have a version of a dream come true.


(I'll be painting the cords a light, blend-in color soon.)

Oh, and this week I finally painted our kitchen dresser, green. I'd been meaning to do that for--you guessed it--years.

These (and more) simple sorts of activities fill my autumn days and you know? Often these words weave themselves into my head:

“The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”  ... R.L. Stevenson


What I've learned? When I keep my head stuffed with positive, lovely thoughts, they use-up all the space in there, squeezing out thoughts of lack, unforgiveness or unfairness. Because really? With all God's given each of us, we should be even happier than Kings. 

We've been given much, much more.


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"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.   ... Romans 15:13


Oh, the wonder possible from our own windows! A Buffalo sunrise this past week.




And here's something fun from a nearby town (scroll down for the little film) for you, my kindred spirits. All that antique and painted furniture--be still, my heart!   (aww..... the sale is over so the video is gone. Tom and I were glad we visited this little home while we had the chance.)


.... and yesterday Tom and I discovered another fun science fiction tv series by way of Netflix-- The 4400. We've just watched three episodes so far so--if it later became something unsavory--well, don't tell me. heh.