Monday, August 31, 2015

Where Have I Been?



"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." ...Proverbs 6:6-8


******



Lots of people live with daily/monthly/yearly plans.

Me? I pretty much live plan-less.  

Yet ever since I heard about that possible economic collapse, I've felt the need to ready Tom and myself (even if friends/relatives think we're nuts) for anything.

A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. (Personally, I believe America is heading for a shaking which will involve varied forms.)

And suddenly I've got plans dribbling from my ears. Plans, plans everywhere. Plans that tickle my head awake at 4:00 a.m., tempting me to get up so I can have more fun readying us for a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.

It's been pretty cool, calming, actually, which may sound odd, but when God leads, things go differently than one would suppose.

All this is partially why I took a mini vacation from my blog. Well, that and because sometimes a girl just has to escape from blogging so she can think thoughts all her own, ones she doesn't feel must be shared with the whole world.

Anyway,  plans with specific target dates, deadlines--imagine! I've noticed they keep Mr. Procrastination away and Mrs. Progress here.

As I said--it's been cool.




Oh, and before I leave this line of thinking, have you read the book called, Pulse? Well, there are many, actually, but this is the one I mean. I bought the Kindle version and am enjoying it (lots) and learning and meditating upon much.



******


"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."...Philippians 4:7


******


Speaking of books, I felt so blessed to find these for pennies Saturday at yard sales:






In fact, I began reading The Pet Sitting Peril and could not put it down Sunday afternoon. I even ordered another of this author's books because I so enjoyed this one.

Kids' novels--they help keep my brain set at Calm (and Balanced), especially now within this world we find ourselves.

Oh, and this is the hand-written inscription inside Mary Poppins:


"To Kathy ...  from Great Great Aunt Mary  Dec. 1, 1974



******

While on my 'vacation,' I Netflixed the movie, If I Stay, one afternoon. Tom arrived home soon after (with dinner!) then I actually watched the movie all over again with him this time.

Yeah, I can't believe it, either. But we both enjoyed it much. (It's not for everyone, I'll add. But it was for us.)  :)




******


Wow! Did you read about this concrete-dome house which survived a fire out West? My, my....


******


Free Kindle Books:


The Glimpse

A Dream Unfolding

A Better Way


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shining Some Light On Today's Bad News



"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light."   ... Ephesians 5:11,12


******

Generally, I don't blog about our Country's Bad News, mostly because of that rather strong "shameful to even mention it" part in the verse above. So you won't see a post or Facebook status about Bad News from me just to, la dee da, pass it along.

Uh,  no. But if I can use it to shine some light, to keep it from happening to someone else then, sometimes, I'll go ahead for light's sake.


So, going ahead... 

It's been eons since I soaked in The Bad News, but today I did. You know, sat and bathed in the reporting about the horrible, unfair deaths in Roanoke.

First of all, if you are one of those people who would ask me, "But what about all the thousands of deaths over in ______?", well, cool it. God did not whip up only one single batch of human cookie dough then press the same gingerbread man cutter into it. We're not all exactly alike.

Uh, no. He gave each of us different concerns (and callings and gifts) so that all needs would be covered, everywhere. (That is, when we're faithful to do our unique part.) Otherwise we'd all care only about one segment of humanity and what about all the rest?

Er hem. Moving on.

This morning's tragedy? Such a clear example of what can happen to blamers--people who believe all their problems stem from other folks, never themselves. Blamers never grow-up. They don't forgive. They don't change the world (for the good) and they don't accept responsibility for their mistakes nor do they move on from feeling like victims. They just fume, grow bitter, open all the dark doors of self-pity and count their hurts, rather than blessings, one by one. 

And eventually, they explode, implode--or both.

And that's also what makes me nervous when I read those little poems that touchy nice people share, the ones that end with, "And that's why I'm thankful I'm a sensitive person!"

Yes, God makes sensitive people--but--for a specific reason: so they'll be sensitive to the needs of others. So they'll know when others are hurting and need encouragement/a gift/someone to listen.

But God did not make sensitive people so they could always be offended and licking their wounds and crying on their couches about the friends/others who did not speak to them with just the perfect words in just the perfect way.

Yeah, ouch. But! This is the 'grow-up stuff' which has set me free and totally jerked me away from becoming an offended blamer who just wanted to become a hermit in a cabin when she grew up.

And oh, how marvelous to be set free.








******

"And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."   ... Matthew 24:10


"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."   ... Ephesians 4:32


******




Wondering how my visit with Sally went last Wednesday? We talked so much that we didn't actually watch The Price is Right.  :) She told me all about her granddaughter's wedding, showed me her bouquet and even gave me two of the reception favors. Oh, I do love clever reception favors, especially when they are cute, handy things like these:



They're filled with a chili mix of spices. Yum! I've been sprinkling bits into my crockpot. Misty and Cameron were married in the country inside a barn used exclusively for weddings and the reception was held in another building on the farm property. Nifty, right?



******


Months ago Kristi recommended the series at Netflix called, Granite Flats and finally Tom and I watched the first episode yesterday.

Oh my! It's like The X-Files meets The Wonder Years. (Yeah, it's that quirky.)

We enjoyed it much and look forward to more.


******


Free Kindle Books:




Monday, August 24, 2015

Feeling Peace While The Stock Market Threatens


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."   Proverbs 3:5,6


******



This morning at Hobbit Cottage, I:


1.) ... took a picture of our fireplace because, on Saturday, I hung the blue painting there (again) instead of an old mirror. And yes, it's a bit busy, but I'm thinking Winter will make it feel better.  :)

2.) ... also snapped photos of what happened after I 'Played Books' (my favorite game) this weekend, placing rows of my kids' lit. in front of our dvd's so to more efficiently use shelf space--and--because before, I had to crawl on my knees (no, really), behind a chair, in order to find these much-loved books, crammed upright and sideways. Not good. 

But it all feels very good now:




And for those of you who enjoy reading the titles of other peoples' books, here you go:





3.) ... and I've got barbequed chicken in the crockpot, the outside plants are watered, I washed a load of sheets and will hang them on a rack upon the front porch and I (going on two weeks now) sprayed out there The Hornets Which Will Not Die.

4.) ... oh, and I read a couple articles about the present and impending doom of the stock market. 

But you know? As I've continued to prepare these past weeks (since this post) For Anything, I've felt such peace in all my buying and tucking away of food and supplies and making lists and goals and studying articles and contemplating, quietly, asking God what I should know and do and believe.

And it's been awesome. Oh, that palpable peace which does not make sense, rather like this:


"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."   ... Philippians 4:7


What a joy to do whatever I can, then trust that God will do what I cannot. And to keep enjoying Him in all the doing, which makes things that could have been a drag, quite pleasant, indeed.





"Dreams don't work unless you do."   ... John Maxwell




******


Now, here's a young man who's got me beat by spades in the Housing Contentment Department. Oh my goodness! I've seen small spaces, but that one--wow. Barring a miracle and boatloads of grace, I couldn't do it.

Could not do it.


******


Oh! forgot to mention that 'Genie' contacted me at Facebook and apologized for forgetting our pre-arranged lunch. She said she does better with the phone (I don't, but I can push through it...heh) and asked me to call her for another date.


******


Free Kindle Books


A Good Man Gone

Farm Girl Country Cooking

Freezer Meals For an Easy Life

Friday, August 21, 2015

If God Says You Can--Then, Hey.You Can.



Whew! That's a relief.

And that's the type of thing I recall when our lawn needs to be mowed--again. Like this morning. If I couldn't handle it? It would be ok, for God would understand and then He'd make it doable and affordable to hire someone else. 

Yet in the meantime, till that day arrives, He enables me to push the ol' lawnmower around each week--if I receive my strength from Him.

I think that's what trips up lots of folks--they rely upon themselves. Limited Strength City. Oh dear.





That quote is also terrific for when people try to guilt you into doing what God called them to do. You know, like being a foreign missionary (for anywhere from a week to six months or a lifetime). Or giving a ton of money to a cause dear to their heart or buying the size of house they have or taking a vacation to where they went.

Especially in those situations, it's vital to know who and what God made us to be and do. Go trying to live like other folks and we're on our own (scary!), for God's not obligated to strengthen us to do what He quietly placed inside others' hearts.

But He's oh-so-faithful to give us all we need to do what He created us, His special, unique kid, to do.





What remains is that we learn how to say no to others when it's appropriate and yes to God (like, always) and to learn how to receive rather than try till we nearly die. 

You know, earning, forcing, banging round pegs into square holes because we've not learned how to receive.

Oh my, if you learn nothing else in this Life, learn to receive. Like, 'receive ye the Holy Spirit.' Receive the strength you need to do everything. Receive, receive, receive.

Then move on and happily do whatever God especially called you to do.

Daily. All those endless little tasks which add up to something big in God's eyes.

With joy.





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


******





Okay, so we rarely eat garden tomatoes before October. I just let seedlings from last year's plants sprout up in late Spring, but that's ok. We like tomatoes ripened in brown paper bags.  :)

 Every day I touch the leaves then inhale the scent from my fingers. Is anything more summery than that?

Which reminds me! 

I don't care how many people tell me otherwise, it's still Summer at Hobbit Cottage and will be until September 23rd. Life is way too short to rush such a lovely season (especially now that our heatwave is over) before its official end. 

Well, maybe Winter can be rushed---- heh.

But Summer? Never.




******


Free Kindle Books:


Maggie: The Dog Who Changed My Life

Organic Composting

And I'm really enjoying this (still free) book which I listed the other day:

   Death on a Deadline


******


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Only a Quickie Post Today



Yesterday I needed some time off after last week's preparations for company then our wild and fun weekend. So I chose to do something I find very relaxing: I looked at local real estate online. 

Hey, it's what I like.

And oh, I found one house I loved and the only thing really wrong with it is that there's no bathroom downstairs. A bedroom, yes, but a bathroom, no. It was adorable, in a decent location and only $54,900. (Oh, and to be clear--no, we're not considering buying this house.)

Anyway, I need to get busy around here and prepare for my Price is Right date with Sally, including making a (fake)crab and pasta salad, but I thought I'd share the kitchen photos from the aforementioned house for those of you who, like me, would love an old-fashioned kitchen like this. (The rest of you will question my sanity.)

And yeah, there's no dishwasher and the stove is off by itself (though has room for a small cabinet beside it) and some glass-fronted cupboards would be perfect above the stove for my Fiestware and a small-ish white kitchen island with a black counter top would be terrific and ----

But even with all its imperfections, I fell in love at first glimpse:










Be still my vintage-loving heart.


And now I'm off to enjoy my day and may you decide to make yours memorable!



******

Saw this at Facebook this morning:


"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions." —Stephen Covey


Love it!




******



Oh! And I simply must show you these sweet gifts my nieces brought/sent to me:





Cool and thoughtful, right? I am blessed.




Free Kindle Books:


August

Death on a Deadline

Summer of the Woods

The Cedar Tree



******


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Family: Is It Everything?



"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man."   ...Psalm 118:8


******

Late Sunday afternoon our neighbor, Sally, knocked on our backdoor, sun blazing upon it. Her granddaughter was married the day before and now on her honeymoon and her daughter, Sue, would be gone a few days, also.

Sally handed me a piece of paper and said, "Sue is a big-time worrier,"(insert eye roll here), "and she made me promise I'd give you our phone numbers in case of a tornado or if the house blows up with me inside it."

Hee. Sally cracks me up. She's 77 and a feisty little thing.

Next day she returned and handed me a pretty bowl of chili sauce which she'd been canning in her hot kitchen all afternoon. Yum! Then I invited her to watch The Price Is Right with me on Wednesday and to describe the wedding to me. She said that sounds like a good time.

Last week a friend at Facebook wrote, "There is nothing more important nor worthy of our time than our family." 

I'm thinking Sally and I would disagree. 

I mean, what happens when your family leaves town? Goes to college or moves away? Or when they criticize everything from your parenting skills to the color of carpet you chose and your hurt feelings pull you down or you question your decisions? Or they refuse to forgive your eccentricities? Or (heaven forbid) they go and die on you?

In no Bible chapter did Jesus tell us to give our whole heart, soul, mind and strength to family. There are reasons He said only God deserves that--and besides the obvious ones? Only God keeps us balanced, alert to needs of family and non, unshakable and just plain sane. And feeling loved and contented, even if family crawls away in a huff or flies away on vacation or, yes, passes away.

Sally and I are Christians and both agree that only Godly Love will keep us steady upon the balance beam between sanity and losing-it. Only Godly love points our eyes upward to the best Leader, ever, and keeps our emotions under control 

And only Godly Love will grip us tight around the shoulders, even should everybody else stagger all topsy-turvy and fall off this crazily-spinning Earth we now find ourselves living upon in 2015.









******



"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  ... Matthew 10:37



"But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."  ... John 2:24,25

"Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord."   ... Psalm 26:12







****








Want a timely example of this? Check out Kathie Lee Gifford's tribute to her husband, Frank. 

I watched this yesterday but am still reeling from the way Kathie Lee 'went for it' while she had the chance to share our wonderful Christian hope. May God bless her richly for that.



*****


Free Kindle Books:


A Hope Revealed

Natural Remedies Using Honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, Etc.



******



"Jesus replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." ... Luke 8:21

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Weekend To Remember



"Let all that you do be done in love." ... 1 Corinthians 16:14


******


Hobbit Cottage surprised me again this weekend, for we close-to-comfortably fit an extra four people within her walls, even overnight, and everyone survived to tell the tale.

What wild, fun days we had with our visiting family! The trip to the carousel museum and around our old haunts where Tom and I shared myriad memories of our two like-back-in-Time decades here. 





The quick stop at the 1920's theater to take photos of the lobby's intricate detailing.





The lunch on a rooftop beside the Niagara River (and the annoying bees. Oh dear.) and the quick stop at the Erie Canal.





Then the next day at Niagara Falls? We (literally) rubbed shoulders with thousands of people from the entire Earth (oh, the humanity!), and wow, their stop-and-stare-gorgeous children. I told Tom, "I think they're making prettier children nowadays."  :) 

But eeks-- the hour it took us to park. The miles we walked. The humidity and heat and crowds like I'd never seen there before. Gulp.





Yet we all survived that, too, and realized we had more stamina than we'd supposed.  Probably no one was surprised more than myself--even without my new handy-dandy back brace, not once did my back bother me as it is wont to do.

I felt young again, actually. Well, until three of us climbed endless stairs up to the parking garage. There, I felt 99. But most of this busy weekend I reminded myself of a younger me (heavenly help--clearly--was involved) and came away inspired, more than ever, to begin walking again. To not allow myself to sit here and age before my appointed time.

Anyway.

On Sunday, these dear family members we'd not seen in a long time (and two young ones we'd not met before), drove away and Tom and I felt sad and missed them. Though we found ourselves grateful for our God-blessed life here, for average days so celebratory, though simple. 

But how quickly times like these with extended family come and go. And how many good memories they leave in their wake until more come back around like the tide in its time. 
















******


Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckley




And I must share this quote, below, though thankfully, it doesn't apply to our recent visiting family.  :) But the truth of the statement does make me both giggle and cringe:


A family is a bunch of people who keep confusing you with someone you were as a kid. ~Robert Brault








******


Free Kindle Books:


Walking

Homemade Body Scrubs and Masks

How to Triple Your Writing Speed

A Guide to Help You Save More and Spend Less


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Photos on a Summer Day


"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."   ... Psalm 34:8


******




So! Ol' Debra's been busy this week preparing for Tom's sister, her daughter and two of her children to come and visit us. I've painted and cleaned and vacuumed and mowed and dusted and--





Well, you get it.




So since our fun weekend will begin within hours and I still have a few tasks in need of tackling (aren't there always some?), I'll just share photos with you today from Hobbit Cottage where life is still peaceful and sweet as I hope it is at your home, also.










*******


Oh, and I must share this sweetest inscription, ever, which I found inside one of my recent yard sale books. From 1945. Happy sigh:





Can't you just picture a pretty woman with a wave in her hair and wearing a dark, 1940's dress while writing those words upon a small desk in a wallpapered living room with a smile upon her face?

******





Free Kindle Books: