Saturday, July 30, 2016

So, Like, Where's Your Teepee?

"Be still and know that I am God."   ... Psalm 46:10


While a teenager, I'd watch the show, Emergency, and imagine myself a paramedic someday, even studying library first-aid books. But some of the drawings and instructions grossed me out, signaling, I thought, that being a paramedic wasn't for me.

And it wasn't. For example, years later I watched Naomi place earrings in her newly-pierced ears and I felt queasy. Dizzy. And had to turn away. 

Oh my.

Anyway, lately I'm totally addicted to Emergency via Netflix. (Hey, it could be worse.) It's the 70's fashion, decor, cars and the ability to fast-forward the slow rescue parts that especially has me hooked.

Oh, and being able to research the guest stars on IMDB interests me and--so far--not very I'm-sorry-I-ever-discovered-their-sad-fate-ish (like IMDB can make me feel).

Well, one guy played such an awesome arrogant, darn-the-rules paramedic trainee, that I just had to look him up. His name is Robert Pratt and the episode was titled Trainee

Looks like he escaped Hollywood and became an artist, writer and Native American aficionado. He moved to New Mexico and has--get this--a real teepee in the back acre of his yard.

Love that!

And I especially appreciated his quote in 2004:

“It’s like going to a gas station and refueling,” Pratt says. “If I need an idea, or just a moment to clear my head, spending an hour or so in my teepee is usually all it takes.”

And that, folks, is how I feel about my dear white, blue and pink closet room upstairs. There upon my white bedspread, I gaze around at my blue-and-white striped wallpaper and white shelves with hundreds of lovingly-worn books and instantly! Feel recharged, at peace and contented.

Oh, it's not just the room, itself, of course. I mean, I've never had such a dearly-loved room before--but a room can only do so much. Rather, it's as though God waits for me up there so I can reconnect with Him, recharge and come away refreshed and renewed and ready to face the chaos which is 2016.

But I think it's providing a special meeting place for us that makes the difference. A sort of 'if you build it, He will come' place. I guess you could say it's my teepee out in the back acre. 

I hope you have one, also. 

A teepee, a closet, a couch, a patio, bookshelf or a place on the lawn, in the garden or in a sweet corner. Today, more than ever, we all need such a meeting place and to actually go there, in stillness, to meet the One who waits for us. The One who makes us strong.

Once, in Real Life, a friend sat on my bed while I pointed out what I loved about my new little room. She listened and her only reply was, "Yes, but it's a closet."

Oh dear. A too-perfect example of how sometimes our friends don't always see things as we do.  It happens.


Here are some lovely She Shed ideas at Pinterest. I'll take one of these in my backyard, also!  :)


Oh, this was wonderful from a friend of a friend at Facebook:

I was thinking this morning... after having a prayer time..and reading in psalms and Ephesians chapter 2.... about all of the things that have distracted me from the Lord....all the troubles that we have had, my Dad passing away, our loosing the home we so badly needed, my health, my son's health.. all of these are distractions... trying to keep me from praying and praising... and I thought of this.... "Dear Lord, Be the Distraction.. the Distraction in my life that Distracts me from Pain, from Sin, from Hopelessness... Distract me from the needs and wants... and Pull me into Yourself... Your Hope, Your Love and Your Salvation... Lord You Be MY Greatest Distraction!!!!   

.... Angela Means Kadingo


Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Wallpaper Decision 5 Years In The Making

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."   ... Proverbs 3:6


So during these nearly 5 years of Hobbit Cottage life, I've wanted to do something special with this chimney-wrapped area:

You know, make it more of a feature wall using wallpaper. But could I decide on a certain pattern/color/style? Of course not. Changed my mind probably 20 times. I'd get frustrated then go all Scarlett O'Hara and vow to think about it later.

But then weeks ago I thought, "Why not decorate our house similarly to  those estate sale houses you love so much? What if you added vintage wallpaper and paint colors and made this place just as much fun?"

Well, there's a challenge, especially when you're living in a 'flipped house' and things feel and look quasi-modern.

But a girl can still try, can't she?

So I began looking at vintage wallpaper places online (and fell in love), but gracious! The prices they're asking. Over $100 for one roll was typical.

And we all know Penny Pincher Me isn't gonna fall for that.

Sooo, through weeks of searching I finally got a hazy picture in my head. Something not too busy (oh, but all those florals and roosters!) because that area is Naomi's and she owns enough appliances to open a coffee shop, plus, above the cabinets I've crammed way too many gaudy chotchkes.

So something simple, with a straight pattern, and which would glow yellow in the sunlight. 

And this is what I chose, though ok, it doesn't scream vintage, exactly, yet it is a bit timeless:

Plaid wallpaper--the easiest of them all to hang, as I discovered in our farm kitchen.

 But the problem? Most rolls (like this cheapo one from Ebay) come in 20.5 inch widths, but my wall? It's 21.5 inches wide.


Of course, I could let that spin me to Crazy Land and spend more months searching for something the same, only wider--or--I could just plan to center it, then paint that half inch on each side a similar yellow.

I stopped doing perfection in my 40's. I'd noticed that perfection will make you insane (no, really) if you don't tell yourself to knock it off and live happily with imperfection-but-better-than-it-was-before. 

(You don't know how often in my life I've whispered, "Ok, it's done. It's not perfect, but it's better--and better is better.")

Oh, and I'm going to paint the frames a creamy pale yellow and add a yellow hanging wooden shelf above them. When I'm finished that'll be one happy-looking wall. Indeed.

And it only took me 5 years to figure this all out.



Say, is everyone still taking their daily vitamin D? I'm noticing at Facebook that some of my friends are kinda down. 

I'm beyond-grateful for my Vitamin D chewables, even now in summertime because Honey, I've spent all of July inside this air-conditioned house lest that heat and humidity out there make me sick. 

These chewables taste like candy and keep my head happy--what's not to love about that?  (And if you're wondering, I take 4,000 units daily, in divided doses, and buy whatever brand is BOGO at my supermarket or similarly-priced ones at VitaCost.)

Oh, and in the midst of this politically-charged-air time and weekly terrorist attacks, not to mention all the meanies online and in Real Life, please don't forget this verse, ok?

 "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."   ...  Philippians 4:8


Free Kindle Books:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Major Reason Growing Older Is Awesome

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart."  ...Proverbs 21:2


So I was thinking. (Uh-oh.) At 57, I've created a history! Something from which to learn and relearn.

I've done things, both wise and not-so, and traveled places by train, bus, plane and car. I've viewed much of the U.S. (and tiny bits of Canada), made and lost many friends by either distance, time, indifference or death.

I attended 14 years of schooling, got married, had a child and watched her grow up, leave home, then return again. I've lived in three states and 12 houses (since 1978) which I've painted, wallpapered, cleaned (and re-cleaned!) and survived many renovations. I've had tons of cats, grown flower and vegetable gardens, visited hundreds of yard sales, estate sales and thrift shops and attended church where I've taught children in classrooms and basements and adults in sanctuaries. 

I've waited through Tom's surgeries, visited with friends in coffee shops and their homes and mine and written thousands of letters, emails, diary entries and blog posts. I've read hundreds of books and watched probably too many movies and tv shows. 

I've gone camping, ridden in motor boats, roller and ice-skated, grocery-shopped hundreds of times, sat in movie theaters, attended concerts, school plays and church potlucks, parties and picnics.

Of course there's more, including the whole gamut of emotions I felt during all that, but good gracious! Just creating that list made me dizzy.  

It's not an exciting, unusual list. But it's plenty for me.

But a major reason I like being on this side of that list? Now when I do things, I do them because God's leading me to or I want or need to. Not because people will resent me if I don't or how they'll be impressed or think I'm sweet and thoughtful if I do. 

Oh, motives! They will jog us around in circles or a straight, productive line. Chain us up or set us free. 

And what has most simplified my life these later years? Made them easier and more joy-filled? Just trying to do what God asks. When He asks. Without arguing, but instead, remembering He knows what's down the road, waiting, and the straightest, least-confusing way to arrive there.

In heart peace, always in the eye of all swirling storms (including emotional and even political ones).


Thanks to all of you who've left such kind comments since Monday! I appreciated them, much. The winners of the Amazon gift cards have been notified and I really enjoyed giving them away. Perhaps I'll do another drawing in early December?

Giving. It improves any day.


Students Welcome 'Waving Grandma In The Window' Home From Hospital


Has anyone else been watching Brain Dead on CBS? Tom and I have, via On Demand, and are shocked at how much we've enjoyed this quirky (quirky!) show. Especially me, who dislikes politics way more than I've told you.

In order for it to make sense, watch this series from the beginning, (though they do try to catch you up before each episode via a silly song). 

It's not a show for everyone, but it's been for Tom and me (though yes, a couple scenes could have easily been snipped). We've always liked shows with a quirkiness, humor and sentiment combo. Brain Dead has all that in spades.


Free Kindle Books:

A Song for Bellafortuna

The Hope of Glory

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal

Poles Apart

The Christmas Sisters


Monday, July 25, 2016

Twelve Years--Seriously? (And a Giveaway.)

Twelve years of blogging as of today! I would ask, "Where did the years go?", but actually, they're here, all written down, recorded.

Well, I don't tell you everything, of course. 

Like, I kept two local tragedies from you. One happened in our farming community (immediately upon moving there) and another, an accident, Tom saw happen while buying donuts for his work crew on our main street, here. 

Some people probably believe I should have shared those, especially the farm town thing, for it haunted me for months. We'd met one of the teens it happened to and it still can shake me.

But you know? I'm not a news journalist meant to record everything and we're all, you and me, surrounded by too many sad reports. Instead, I want this to be an uplifting place each time you click here and frankly, I couldn't find the words to write those stories.

Which reminds me--almost never do I sit here agonizing over what to write. Oh, a few times I've asked God, "Do I really have to write this embarrassing story about myself?" and proceeded slowly, hoping He'd change His mind in the middle. heh.

Yet whenever I've tried forcing words in any post, before becoming a frustrated mess, I just smack the keyboard shake my head and pack it all up. Then wait until it's God who's nudging me with His ideas, words and timing--not mine. 

How much better to follow God's plans rather than my own. Perhaps blogging has illustrated that to me more than anything else. (It's also shown me the difference between being faithful to an activity and being faithful toward God--and how, often, they appear quite different.)

And you--my kindred spirits! How kind of you to let me blather on and on, especially about God (not everyone in my real life lets me). And how fun to have met you when, otherwise, I'd have had to wait until Heaven. 

Yes, the Internet can be a pain, but oh, it can also be a joy once you discover the best way to use it.

So thank-you to all my readers, long-time or short, for checking-up on me and my simple world to see what's new and what 'classes' God's got me attending each week.  

No, really. You are much appreciated.


"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."   ... Galations 2:20


Anyone who emails me  (  or adds a comment here or at Facebook before noon (EST) tomorrow (July 26) will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from 

I'll be giving away two gift cards, so start leaving your comments now!  Everyone is eligible, even if you won a card in 2014.  :) 


And here's something which so inspired me yesterday: 

Read about it here: Arizona's Mystery Castle.

Then find marvelous indoor/outdoor photos of it here. 

And if you have Netflix, you can watch a segment about it on Monumental Mysteries, episode 10.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

One Path To Feeling Free Again

"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."  ...   Proverbs 13:4


Want to know what also helped yank me out of that mid-life crisis thing relatively quick? 

I took a chunk out of my What I've Been Procrastinating List. You know, finally obeyed that still, small nagging voice and I --

... washed the three white curtains that I've got hanging in front of shelves upstairs (also involved: ironing and hanging a new curtain rod). And washed my white bedspread.

... accepted that this old(er) body is more high maintenance now and I'm too young to just let it go. And went back to work on it.

...finally read certain books on my shelves. Gave away some that simply weren't 'keepers'.

... carried bags of clutter from the basement down the street to the Salvation Army drop-off bin. Worked on the basement a bit (it's never-ending, but I'm trying).

... spray-painted items that had needed painting for months.

And more.

And as always, oh, the shock at how quickly these tasks were completed. They did not take forever(!) nor were they dreadful. And wow, the near-giddiness I felt after flinging away that heavy cloak of All Those Tasks Left Undone.

I highly recommend un-procrastination. It's so freeing. It's nearly like taking a happy pill. 

No, really.

"Just do it." ... Nike

And I must add this: Bubbly On Your Budget, the book I recommended a few posts ago... That Marjorie Hillis was remarkable at making you want to jump up and clean and cull things and see your possessions within the light of luxury. Truly, she's reminded me of much I'd forgotten or let slide.


Tom and I visited a church rummage sale last Saturday and I spent a whole $1.25 on these:

Speaking of procrastination, I had to toss 5 vintage aprons because I'd left them in a basement box for 4 years and darn that unremovable mildew smell anyway. This pretty blue apron was better than I deserve.  :)

And the funky Florida plate? It's unexplainable why I love that sort of thing. It actually surprises me I don't have more of it.


Oh, and one estate sale house had a small room off the front door used solely for a library. Wow, the hundreds of old books upon open shelves and in barrister bookcases to the ceiling (I wanted to stand in that room forever).

That (perfect) 1930's house is for sale, but is priced higher than we'd like to spend, so I came home (and sulked awhile), then placed more books around our living room so to be surrounded by them as I had been in that dusty old library room.

It's not quite the same, but hey, it's a start:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time ... do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."   ... Ephesians 5:15-17


Calling all Lucy fans! The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, NY will be held soon. If not for the small matter of at least 25,000 other fans showing up, I'd consider going.  

But anyway, simply peeking at the itinerary is great fun. Go here and see if you agree. (The Topicana room dinner would be a favorite, as well as Lucy and Ethel's dinner show and all tours around town, etc.)


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oh, No. You Did What?

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"  ...  Matthew 7:3


Nearly four years ago a certain relative disowned me. Well, pretty much, and has had nothing to do with me since.

Let's call this person 'Sam,' since it's rather gender neutral, ok?

Well, Sam was told by a relative about a conversation where I appeared to be unfair. Sam pretty much blew up at me online, publicly, even (though in a subtle way), and refused to listen to my side of that conversation. 

According to Sam, I'd always been an enigma, impossible to understand, unlikable, and writing in a blog is just plain wrong. "There's no need to tell anyone else about this, ok? It's just between us.", Sam added (passive-aggressively, I thought). Then click! Sam unfriended and blocked me at Facebook, making any further communication there impossible.


After the first moments of 'being disowned' by someone I'd always known, I felt shocked. Then saddened. Then steaming, hopping mad. The nerve! I recited Sam's words to Tom and he got a bit miffed, but not enough to unfriend Sam at Facebook. I told Tom if anyone had treated him that way, I'd have unfriended them in a mega-second. 

Tom said he'd think about it. 

Yet, four years later? Sam's still on Tom's friend list which ok, maybe means he's more mature than I am. Maybe. He's not communicated with Sam since then, though, but the 'princess part of me' rather wishes he'd have defended my honor. But neither has he done that.

Me? I still feel that, if anyone speaks to Tom the same sorry way, that person is gonna get unfriended after some firm words spoken/written by me, first. Then click will go the unfriend button and----

Oh. My. Goodness.

I'd be doing the very same thing that Sam did! I'd be forming an opinion after hearing one person's side of the story. I'd be snipping the line of communication, not allowing the other guy his 'say.'

I'd be a hypocrite, doing what had unfairly been done to me.


Oh, how subtle and righteous-sounding our own personal sin can be. The old 'big, fat log in your own eye' thing. 

Good gracious. What a l-o-n-g road is the one to maturity, even after God's already brought us quite the far distance.

And okay. So Tom was being more mature than me (darn.) Heh. Yet a tiny bit of sticking-up for me woulda been nice, too. But rather than force him to do so, I'll just stay ready to defend him.

I am responsible for my own choices, not others'. And God's choices for me don't involve forcing anyone to do anything. 

Oh, as everyone's asking today, "Why can't we all just get along?" But actually? I believe God's going deeper and asking, "Why can't you all just love one another?"

He's already even shown us how.

                               "The worst prison would be a closed heart."
                                                            - Pope John Paul II


"But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."   ... Matthew 6:15


Saw this at Facebook. Loved it much.

"So, on the way to work this morning, I noticed a State Trooper on the side of the road with his trunk up. I felt compelled, even with everything going on in the media, to stop and make sure he was okay. I never saw him, just the car. So, I creeped past at a snail's pace and turned around. I pulled up to the car and cracked my window, hands clearly visible. I saw a white trooper come from the side of the car. I said good morning and asked if he was okay and needed help. He smiled a brilliant smile and replied no ma'am that he was cleaning his windows. He showed the bottle and towels to me and I told him he had the good stuff. He chuckled and asked if I minded if he cleaned mine too. I told him I was OK but he insisted. Highlight of my day...state trooper cleaning my windows with the good Rain X cleaner. Every passerby had a stunned expression on their faces. Then an elderly white couple stopped by and asked if they could have theirs done also. Lol, so he cleaned theirs too. The lady offered to pay him and he said no, just say a prayer for we did. Right along 46 in the wee hours of the morning parked beside the road for EVERYONE to see, we all linked hands and had prayer. White hands, black hands, officer hands, young hands, and old hands...gave glory like never before. I was late for work lol but it was truly worth it. Couldn't ask for a better way to start my day."
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Goin' 70's Because 2016 Is Not All That Great

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."   ... John 16:33


Warning: to be read with a sense of humor, although, Honey, I'm not altogether kidding.


Thirty-six years ago, Tom told our pastor he'd like to be more involved in our church, have some greater responsibility. Oh, the visions of grandeur inside his head. 

Our pastor said, "Wonderful! We need someone to, every Saturday, lead a service over at the senior citizen's hospital."

Oh my. Not exactly what Tom had dreamed of. 

But you know? For two years of Saturdays, Tom and I ministered to the elderly folks and, in time, grew to love them. Of course, they really loved baby Naomi, but hey, being second best felt ok.  

Anyway, we noticed a popular thing amongst the elderly was to live as though tonight was 1940 rather than 1980. To let ones mind go back there (and stay back) and pretend and view Today through the eyes of Yesterday when they'd felt stronger, freer. 

Some folks did this by choice, others by just-couldn't-help-it. At age 21, I didn't understand all that, but, oh dear--I certainly get it now. 

Today's civil unrest and its aftermath, especially, feels so tragic and I find myself wanting to avoid all news forms. And sometimes God does say that's all right. But other times He asks me to read/watch the news--not bathe in it, though, and always while receiving Grace--so I'll know how to pray and speak with others whose minds are being shredded by all this.

But what I've found myself also simultaneously creating? A sort of 1970's home base for my head. A place where life feels calmer and predictable, even, while I watch 70's tv shows whose endings are always the same and where I listen to its tunes and gather colors, decor and funky trinkets of that era around me.

A retro place of escape world where God and I can talk. And why take it to the 1970's? Why besides the fact that I'm going all senior-citizen at just age 57?

I blame those crazy estate sale houses Tom and I visit every summer weekend. Yeah, it's probably their fault, for (I've noticed) I step away from their not-redecorated-since-the-1970's-ness all positively giddy. I like giddy. It's kinda rare.

Last weekend? I stood inside a boy's bedroom which still had Joe Namath newspaper clippings (and sports magazine pull-out posters) up on the grey-paneled walls. And trophies and Scholastic sports paperbacks and baseballs. 

That 'boy' is now at least 63 years old. 

Oh my goodness, another time capsule house, with swoony vintage music playing, even, and, after my tour, I had to yank myself out to our car lest I become willingly lost inside a (probable) vortex. All dreamy-eyed I left with these:

(That dish towel had to be from the 70's. It was quality. And orange.) We drove away and, like a magpie I chattered, asking Tom if he'd noticed the Joe Namath stuff from 1967 (he hadn't) and told him darn, the house had been sold and we so neeed one like it and---

---but Tom doesn't want to move right now. 

Oh well. So the challenges to my imagination and determination remain and I'll continue to create my own personalized retro 70's world because I can. I'm determined to be un-whiney and not hopeless and, instead, able to create my own better-suited-to-me world. With balance, yes. 

Maybe that's really something of value in 2016. It's gotta be better than just crabbing over at Facebook, certainly. 

And now, also, I'm understanding what those elderly folks tried to show me all those many years ago. Probably one must reach a certain age to see it.

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."  ...Psalm 32:7

(My hiding place just has a 1970's flair to it. heh.)

We are not helpless! God will enable us to run our race well and strong and with our sanity intact till the end.


Oh, and that Secret Language book in the photo? I'd owned another (not quite so nifty) copy, but lost it on our October train trip. I couldn't recall the title so to replace it, so wow! How kind of God to lead me to another one on a dusty upstairs shelf of an old house.

Happy sigh.

And did you love those cute custard cups, or what?  :) 


Oh! Just discovered that a short story ebook by Deborah Rainey is free for the next three days. Hooray! Find it here.

And here's an updated version of her book, Nearly. For your Kindle, just $2.99.