Monday, October 31, 2016

Musing. Just Musing.

Anyone remember the Home Alone House?

Well, forgive me, I'm in a mood (uh-oh!) and via a recent real estate listing, that same house, to me, now resembles a Refrigerator House:

Brrr.   :)

This morning I re-watched Home Alone (mostly to 'house study') and re-fell in love with that home--although yes--26 years later it's a bit dated.

But still. All that wallpaper and wainscoting and the fireplaces and wallpaper and tiled bathrooms and sconces and did I mention wallpaper? They still, to me, feel welcoming and warm. I still, in my head, walk up those stairs and dream awhile.

Call me old-fashioned. It's ok.

Anyway, today I'm extra grateful for my tiny Hobbit Cottage, even though its lack of storage and wall-and-floor-and-creative space annoys me most days and it'll never feel like a Colonial.

Even so. 

Today those cold grey photos reminded me the best houses are special because of their intangibles. The laughter, love, grace, creativity, memories--and acceptance of flaws-- which you add. That's what makes a real home, one still alive and worth revisiting in your mind, even long after you've moved away.

Yes, even so. And each of us can add those things to any type of home, even those closer to a cardboard box than an in-your-face mansion. 



"She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple...

24 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness."

From Proverbs 31

What stood out to me in those verses? The "She can laugh at the days to come," part.


How many of us are currently "laughing at our days to come"? Seems more like we're worrying and complaining this election year. Not that the coming days are a joke, but rather, we should--no matter what the circumstances--be filled with boldness and trust because God hasn't changed, even though our world certainly has.

His stance on things still matters most, so please don't dread a week from Tuesday or beyond, ok?


To be fair, the dining room of the Home Alone house fared better in the personality department:

To see more comparison photos of the Home Alone house and it's recent real estate listing, go here.


“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” 
― Pascal MercierNight Train to Lisbon


Oh, and meet Molly Mermaid. She arrived here last Friday:

There's just something about cast iron...   


Free Kindle Books:

Little Women

Running Home

Once Upon a Sunday

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Important Thing I Forgot To Tell You

Over the bad, bad summer I had to flick the forgiveness card upon the table. More than once.

If you don't play that card? Your soul goes dark and you stay mad at the people who hurt you. And even ones who didn't. (Unforgiveness spreads like wild Creeping Charlie.)

You lose the desire to love. You don't sow pleasantness, so neither do you reap it. Your creativity fades.

You climb down into Sad Holes where you used to always kneel before you knew better. You become weaker.

You morph into a party pooper; you forget how to have fun and resent those who remember. And you can age ten years in ten moments.

You experience unforgiveness like a black crayon slowly scribbling over your whole Life until all color is gone.

But Forgiveness? Forgiveness is like flinging open the door and running beneath a warm yellow sun. And experiencing again every good day you ever had.

Oh forgiveness!
Of ourselves. Our weaknesses. Our body.
Our spouse.
Our children.
Our imperfect house or yard or car or job.
Our Life which looks different than we'd imagined in our teens.
Our barely-enough money.
And yes, even forgiveness of God who sometimes allows things which feel horribly unfair.

We cannot ignore forgiveness and still live Good Days. There is no true happiness, friendship with God and bright weeks without choosing forgiveness.

To walk beside God on His Road, we must want peace more than we want to be right. That's just the way it works.

And oh, the freedom in that acceptance.


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

"He who forgives ends the quarrel."
- Author Unknown


Unforgiveness digs our original hurt deeper, makes it more painful and longer -lasting.


It's easier to live this life well when we remember there's a better life to come. Patty Griffin sings here a song about that next life.

And just because I love it so much (and it reminds me of dear Clara) here is Making Pies.


Free Kindle Book:

Complete Novels of Jane Austen

An Hour With George Muller

Live Uncaged

Cabin By The Lake


Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Bit of Fun (And Don't We All Need That?)

I'm thinking Autumn flew in to Hobbit Cottage:

... and around the block, too:

And when Winter arrives, will Debra do her usual complaining? Not this year! No, not after my bad, bad Summer. Ugh. (When ol' find-the-blessings Pollyanna says that, you know things were impossible.) Record heat, humidity, grouchy folks and disagreements, being cheated out of puttering, walking or reading outside, etc.--this summer flaunted it all.

Boo. Hiss. I, for one, am thankful to pull a curtain across it. 

(And don't come back.)   :)


Have I driven the new car yet? Are you kidding? That thing is so complicated that it took me 2 weeks to figure out how to use the doors. 

No, really.

If you've got the key in your pocket (I could remember that part), you can unlock the door by curving your hand around the handle. If you want to lock it, you touch some nearly invisible dots.

On our first outings, I got it backwards.
Then I couldn't remember where the dots were. Tom would walk away to estate sales--I'd be left behind trying to lock up. In the rain.

Twice that car snickered at me. I swear I heard it. 

At this rate, it'll be years before I actually drive the thing. When you've never dealt well with technology, mechanical stuff or change, you're gonna need to pray for the very spirit of God to help you.

But then, that's how I'm trying to live my entire life--wholly throwing myself upon God's grace and mercy. 

Total dependence upon God--it's the only way I want to live now.


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


And if I was queen? All political ads would resemble this one. (Please don't be afraid to view it. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. )  


(I get that. More than you think I do.)   :)


Free Kindle Books:

The Teacup Novellas

Don't Wait for Me

Life with God in 2016 is still wonderful. I don't care who tells you otherwise.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Choices. We've All Got Them.

                              (I hope Autumn glows outside your windows, also.)


My oh my. I'm feeling a million percent better than I was two weeks ago. 

Well, my left knee is bugging me, but still, our faithful God healed my heart, so what's a swollen knee? Life feels glowy-beautiful again. And it's Autumn.

Give God time. He does all things well and can be depended upon. He's far more reliable than people (there's little comparison, really), never makes a mistake and is always close so to listen, heal and enfold us.

No, really. He is.


I hung three Cherry Jeffe Huldah paintings in our bathroom and one in my bedroom where it glows and cheers me no end (though I could not get it to glow in a photo.)--

And today I'll hobble to our bathroom and hang up something else from Ebay:

... so we'll have an official (and hidden) place to dry damp dishtowels and washcloths. 

Sheesh, I've had to figure out at least 50 solutions for problems here at Hobbit Cottage, some weeks feeling as though I'm doing algebra(!) You know, like I'm using those same neurons/muscles/whatever up there as we used to in high school a lifetime ago.

Spinning. Some days my head spins in solution-finding(but oh, the sweet satisfaction from solving annoyances). And s-l-o-w-l-y, it's becoming less inconvenient to live here. 

I just wish solution-finding came quicker like it used to when I was young. Oh well.


You won't believe this, but I'm rereading Susan Branch's Martha's Vineyard book for the 4th time. And yes, it's that good and always like receiving an infusion of creativity and gumption. And don't we all need those sometimes?

Highly, highly recommended.

"First Corinthians 15:58 says, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 

This is a choice we have to make: to not be moved by our circumstances, to not let anything steal our joy. You have a destiny to fulfill, so don’t live worried. Just do your part and trust God to do what you can’t do."

... Joel Osteen

It's Autumn! Glorious, sparkly Autumn. Please don't let all that horrible election news coverage spoil it for you, ok?


Free Kindle Books:

Second Chance Ranch

A Fresh Start

Salt Water Taffie


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Final Thing on My Bucket List

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..."  ... Romans 12:6


Oh my goodness. I need a colonial house. Or, ok, at the very least, a smaller-sized Cape arranged like a colonial.

See, I realized that, given one solid week of decorating here at Hobbit Cottage--- I'd be finished. Done. There'd be zero creative, fun projects left, no, there'd just be shoveling-out the basement--and everyone knows that's more nightmarish than fun. 

Decorating is hugely who I am. What I do. How God designed me and uses me via this blog, even, and frankly? It scared me to realize Hobbit Cottage is one week away from creative completion. (Seriously, I'm on the brink of overcrowding and over-cluttering this place and not respecting the blank spaces one seeks in sensible decorating.)

I need new projects. Fresh, creative, adventurous challenges, years away from being done. And to leave another house better than we found it, as well.

So here's the plan. I'll complete the enjoyable parts, tackle the unpleasant ones (decluttering, repairing, etc. It'll take months.) and then come Spring, begin The Great Serious House Hunt for some sad-looking, cheapo colonial that needs love.

Of course, a couple of you said I should be thankful I even have a house. That I should just settle, read books, clean house and twiddle my thumbs here until I die. (Well, no one actually told me to twiddle my thumbs....)

Those people were not Decorators, so they don't get it (and I forgive them). Nor are they dream killers, I keep reminding myself. They simply don't understand, quite like I don't understand women who love to ride motorcycles.

We each have our limits, our blind spots. And may we all seek to become more empathetic.

I have just one thing left on my bucket list: to live in a colonial-style house. And be that good, dreadful or wimpy, it's my bucket list, after all. And your list is yours. So really, let's not apologize for them (or for how God made us), but rather, get busy before the grace, time and opportunity have vanished. Forever.


The work continues on our bathroom. Look what I bought yesterday for awesome prices at Ebay:

Do you love Cherry Jeffe Huldah or what? I believe these will totally complete the look I'm going for in there.


A reason I love Facebook? Confirmation galore like this:

"It doesn't matter if you've reached your goal. Dream another dream. Keep moving forward. There's always somewhere higher to go. It may be in a different area of life, but God did not build you to be stagnant. Until you reach Heaven, you want to be moving forward...even if your goal becomes to just rock on the porch and pour your love and wisdom into your grandkids or the kids next door. God is never finished with you."

 ... Jesse Duplantis

Oh, and these, also, by Joel Osteen:

"You have exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny. Take the hand you’ve been dealt and make the most of it. Nothing that you’ve been through has to keep you from becoming all God’s created you to be."

"Don’t lose sleep because you’re not accepted and celebrated by everyone. Don’t focus on your critics or get distracted fighting battles that don’t matter. Just keep running your race and being your best."


Free Kindle Books:

Maple Syrup Murder

The Way of Grace

Black Beauty

Cranberry Oatmeal Murder


Daniel. Our cat from outer space?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

When You Awaken in The Waiting Room

"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise."   ... Jeremiah 17:14


I've written a few times from the invisible-to-others waiting room, the place where one sits quietly while healing from emotional stuff lest she becomes a hoarder, eater, recluse or I'll-show-you! controller.

It's like I woke up this morning, gazed around and thought, "No! I'm not here again, am I? It's been years since I needed this annoying place."

Why's it annoying? It's the 'time requirement' for healing. The way you must make shorter To Do Lists and appear like you're sitting around all lazy-like, yet believe, accept, that you're not wasting time though it looks like you are.  And it's the annoying clock across the room which I swear click-clicks backward

In the waiting room, one must give herself permission to sit still, listen, and stare out of windows.

Some healings happen suddenly. But the stacked-hurt-upon-hurt-you-tried-to-ignore kind? You can't rush those kinds of sutures. They come only by way of silence, God-whispered lessons and a surgery-like repair and girding of the heart. And time. Slowed down, waaaait-for-it time.

But lovely things can happen in the waiting room, also. 

Like, the sweetest reading material arrived for me from two dear old friends who, like me, had no idea I was even in this place.

Here's just half of what they snuck into me:

I became all teary-eyed with gratitude that God asked my friends to send me perfect gifts during this time of healing. He loves me that much and wow, my friends obeyed that still, small voice.

How sweet must be our obedience to God.

Anyway, the complete healing will come. Always, the waiting room door eventually swings open and everything good in this Life sweeps you back outside and twirls you around until that room, those hours and days, are barely a memory in all your newness of life.


Other friends have also spoken the kindest words to me lately, made me smile and feel grateful while sitting here. I do thank each of you.


In the stillness around here, I did cover one bathroom wall with wallpaper and decided to just leave it that way (rather than two walls). Finally, a bit of character in our grey bathroom. I like it.



“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.” 
― C. JoyBell C.


Free Kindle Book:

Cappucinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse (Finished this one and enjoyed it.)

Carved in Stone

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Pre-Election Months. What Were We Thinking?

So in my immense quest to be occasionally relevant, I've decided to discuss the upcoming presidential election (Debra-style). And to my intelligent, but worried-about-next-month's-outcome readers, I would urge one thing:

Come on, people. Snap out of it.

As I, myself, recently recalled after The Big Blow, worry is a sign we're paying closer attention to the world (and how it works) than to God. (Yikes! What were we thinking?)

No matter who wins the election--I believe--our lives will change. And oh! What we could have done to prepare had we not spun in frantic circles, wasting time, distressing, instead:

We could have spent extra quiet time with God. Listening. Loving Him. "Becoming built up in our most holy faith" for any hardships we might face ahead.

We could have gotten our houses in order-- spiritual, financial and physical. You know, become prepared for tons of changes, emergencies, like: Created bug-out bags and alternate routes from work so to avoid areas of possible rioting. Collected enough supplies at home so to avoid panicked crowds at supermarkets. Prepared to hunker down at home just in case things really go wild. Socked away extra cash at home and worked at getting out of debt. In general, prepared for short-term troubles and farther away, longer ones.

We could have gotten in good physical and mental shape so to cope with any changes. Could have listened to way more Bible teaching than news reports, more Bible study than newspaper reading.

We could have finished projects and made Life easier (and our minds, lighter). Rather than camping-out in front of the tv news, we could have un-procrastinated tasks galore, in Real Life and online, soaking in a sense of accomplishment rather than hopelessness.

We could have sown more unity, peace and seeds of helping, friendship and forgiveness rather than alienating Facebook friends and neighbors by our rabid, unverified political posts. (Friendships last longer than presidential terms of office.)

We could have--well, you get it.

Yes, November's is an extremely important election. I agree. But all months preceding it were precious, given by a generous God. None were worth wasting in dread, worry and unbelief. As I commented at Facebook:

God's had a specific plan for thousands of years and no two questionable presidential candidates are going to screw it up. I think it's pretty exciting to see what God will do next!

And in coming weeks, each of us will (I know this) face the reality of whether we arrived at November 8th fully prepared--or not.

So get busy, ok? And remember Whose we are and Who will care for us no matter who's sitting in that big white building in Washington D.C..


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   ... Philippians 4:6-7

“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

“The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ.” 
― Oswald ChambersMy Utmost for His Highest

(Ouch! But true.)


For my fellow preppers: One reason I love my new battery-operated sconces is that they make excellent emergency light sources at home. You'll find a variety of them here.

Oh! And for genealogy fans, this morning I discovered a new show on Netflix called Heir Hunters. I'm thinking many of you would enjoy it.  :)


Always there's something productive we can do rather than just slide into a heavy heart through unproductive worry.

" and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."   ... Matthew 28:20