Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Where She Spills Her Pragmatic Side

"My times are in your hands ... "   ...Psalm 31:15


You might remember when I'd visit our local supermarket. They'd play Big Band era music and couples and children, even, danced in the aisles (seriously). 

Those were wonderful times.

Well, my times are still terrific, but--get this--I've only shopped at that store once this year(!) And it's not because they stopped playing that music (they did) nor because they rearranged their aisles so I could find nothing (they did that, too).

No, a new peaceful, organized season came along, one where I shop for groceries online. Calmly I sit here and shop from lists then fill my 'prepper shelves'. They're organized, full, and now I can read wild our-Country's-headed-for-huge-trouble articles (like this one) and not panic. Well, not panic much, because hey, I'm doing what I can, controlling what little I can, and God sends a certain brand of peace with personal obedience.

Oh, and I walk to 7-11 for milk, eggs and bread and since Tom enjoys shopping after work, he picks up fresh foods for us. Well, and also bad foods, but he's improving. πŸ˜‰ Plus my simple garden is yielding her green onions, strawberries, chives, herbs and cherry tomatoes.

So it's all good 'round here.

Anyway, here's what I wanted to tell you today:  Ebates is very, very cool. 

I finally joined-up and gee, watching money come in simply because I shopped online, well, it's nifty.

Here are my favorite stores (just a tiny percentage of all available) which Ebates rewards me for shopping at--


After just a few weeks (and after I finally added the handy-dandy app.)--I've earned $23. Which hey! Is wonderful for doing nothing. Well, other than shopping online which I'd have done anyway (and gotten zero back in The Old Days). 

Anyway, if you're an online shopper, even a casual one, you might want to check out Ebates. Of course, it's free. And if you spend $25 any place the first couple months, you'll receive a $10 gift card.

Oh, and if you let me refer you, I'll get extra money, even. But that's up to you. I'm not blogging today for money for me, but rather, to be practical and pass along a blessing. Heaven knows we can all use an extra blessing these days. 

(But here's my email address so to receive a referral and help me out, just in case.)  πŸ˜ƒ   ---

Lastly, I'm loving this new season of shopping from home. It's different, yes, but that's ok. Every new season is unique--God enjoys mixing it up so to keep us leaning heavy on Him rather than upon stale, old traditions or, heaven forbid, ourselves.

That's how we grow and then boldly face all new seasons to come.

"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

"Learn your lessons well ..."  ... copied


Monday, August 14, 2017

Guarding My Heart Like Crazy Lately

This morning I mowed the lawn. Well, not all of it. No, this summer it's just too much for me, so I simply do the best I can then mow the rest days, or even, one week later.

My Mow It All At Once Season appears to be over.

Then after mowing, I collapsed here in my computer chair and read how my favorite old-fashioned supermarket (in the town where Naomi grew up) is selling-out. They'd been in business since 1922 and I'd shop there over the years and feel all 1922-ish, myself. (Adored that.)

But it looks like my Time Travel Shopping Trip Season is gone, also. 

But you know what all this means, right? I'm in a new season, one with its own surprises and adventures which will someday fade to warm, smile-worthy memories, also.

Yesterday I shared this at Facebook --

My world, our world, changes so abruptly, right? And The News makes certain it shares the bad ones with us.

But you won't find me soaking in the news. 
Nor hating men rather than the principalities behind them. 
Nor speaking in bubbled-over anger from ribs of bitterness.
Nor forwarding Facebook posts from 'groups of mockers.' (Psalm 1:1, below)

No, I'm aiming for what I read at Facebook yesterday --

"If you really care about our Country, instead of complaining, posting, liking, sharing negative, political or any other non-sense, figure out what you can do to make our society better and spend your time and energy on that. We are all guilty of doing this, but I personally vow to make a difference in this world!
Stand up, share your gifts and shine your light!"      ----- Janel MacDougall

I'm sharpening my God-given callings/skills/abilities. Asking that God give me a type of 'spidey sense' when others barely whisper, "Help me!," then to show me what needs doing. And I'll do what I do best (even if it appears tiny) and not feel guilty when others imply it's not enough.

For me, for you, there is no better planet-changing, sacrificial plan than the one He maps out each morning. And avoiding that plan--or trying to overreach and top it--never ends well.

But simple obedience! Oh, that always ends well, even if sometimes the results lodge in realms we can't yet see--but someday will view with crystal clarity.

"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."   ... 1 Samuel 15:22

"How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!"   ...Psalm 1:1

When my seasons change, may I be glad I had what I had and not ruin things by wishing it still was what it was.


If you have a couple extra seconds, here's an excerpt from the 'old-fashioned store closing article' which I found to be sweet --

Budwey, known for greeting his customers by name, said he will still visit the store often. He'll keep his office, which is down the hall from the store. But he said it's most important to him that the employees, who have become like extended family for many customers, will remain and keep doing what they do best.
"Our people aren't trained to ask, 'Did you find everything today? They have their own special connections with their customers,'" he said. "I've seen a woman wait in the longest line just because she wants her favorite cashier. That says you're doing something right. And thank God for that employee."
Each year, for prom, Budwey gives all high school senior employees the Memorial Day weekend off. He likes to give free candy bars or doughnuts to children shopping with their parents. And it can take half an hour for him to walk from one end of the store to other, because so many people stop to hug him hello.
__________ Market started in 1922, with Frank's grandmother's store on Oliver Street in ___________. Frank took over the business after his father died in 1972. He was 23 and fresh out of the Army.
It's hard for him to walk away after all these years. But he has a new wife who travels often for work, and he plans to join her and enjoy his retirement.


Eegads! Yesterday I discovered that Blogger hasn't, like it used to, been alerting me to comments which need to be moderated before being published. I went through and approved each non-spammy one, so if you wondered why your perfectly-kind comments over the past month didn't appear, well, now you know. Alas.

(And now I'll watch that moderation page more closely.)


Oh, and be sure to check back next time when I share the absolute easiest way to earn money online. Well, at least for me.   πŸ˜‰


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Fleas and Aprons and Toothpaste, Oh My!

“Do your best and let God do the rest.”    ― Ben Carson


Did I mention our little flea infestation? No, probably not. It's not a cool thing to share, certainly. Sigh.

In July, Carpet Cleaner Guy told me, "Our last job was a huge, terrible mess." He shook his head, I shook mine and said something like, "Hmm. That must've been rough."

Well, they used top-notch equipment, our carpet looked awesome, but the next day? Tom and I began swatting at fleas. Bap! Bap! "We usually don't have this many," I told him, slapping at a flea on my sock. "Maybe all the vacuuming and cleaning stirred up dormant eggs, or something."

It's weird, but not till days later did I recall that, "... huge, terrible mess," remark. Uh-oh. They must have carried in fleas on that new-fangled equipment (which doesn't get drained like usual) and upon their clothes.


Well, no one hates tiny bugs more than Tom, (a major reason we moved from the farm? I could no longer handle his insect aversion.), so he began ordering flea traps online. At first I complained about stepping over all those lighted contraptions, but soon I realized we had a real problem here.

Those traps were attracting and killing hundreds of fleas. 

Good grief. Never, ever have we battled this many fleas. And yes, we could choose to have the house sprayed, but no. Two cats live here and two people who despise pesticides.

Fortunately, the traps work awesomely, especially this kind, of which we have three--


But these past weeks of slapping, pinching and rolling fleas off my socks (to watch them often fly away afterward--what are they made of, anyway?) have presented me with choices--

Will I view this small problem as a huge one?
Will I use up mental energy concentrating upon it?  Let it steal my sleep?
Will I worry about our cats?
Will I let these annoying bugs and bites discourage me?


Will I do the best I can to address the problem--then move on?

Distractions. They're sent to test our determination, fortitude and our desire to obey the latest thing God's got us doing.

Like, God's been nudging me back to creativity for months and I'm determined to follow Grace around today, in peace, while being creative in all my housekeeping endeavors--and not wasting hours fretting about these annoying fleas.

Amen.  πŸ˜‰

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."   ... Hebrews 12:1


Hooray! Yesterday my Ebay red and yellow aprons arrived and now the backdoor hooks have that Daisy Cottage feeling (or something close. heh.) --


Oh, and do you recall my post where I mentioned buying a natural whitening toothpaste from a friend of a friend? My teeth really are whiter now, reminding me of when I was a young thing way-back-when.  πŸ˜ƒ

Well, now you can read about this toothpaste for yourself and even contact Marilyn if you're interested in trying it out. Here's her information ---

Thanks to my friend, Marilyn Robinson, I found an AMAZING yet simple oral care product.πŸ˜ƒ
Whitens your smile AND ELIMINATES PLAQUE build-up!!

🚫No Bleaches or Harsh Chemicals⚗️
🚫No Sugar
🚫Not Damaging to Enamel
🚫Gluten Free
✅Gentle on Sensitive Teeth😬
✅Safe for Children & Pregnancy πŸ‘ΌπŸΌ
✅Amazing 4 Wine, Coffee, & Nicotine Stains 🍷 ☕️ 🚬
✅Whitens Caps & Veneers 😁
🌟🌟This patented formula contains a gentle mineral derivative that helps to remove build up. 🌟🌟Contact Marilyn at or text her at 916-712-6980. Thank you.

(I'll also share this information at Facebook today.)

(Oh, and these are not Debra's teeth, lest you wondered.) πŸ˜‰


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

My New Sign and A Variety of Happy Things

Oh! My sign from Etsy arrived and I am thrilled --

And how wonderful to feel a creativity boost/fix while hanging it. It's hard to be creative in this little, I've-already-decorated-it house, yet it's all the sweeter when I finally discover a new, pleasant idea.

Now if this sign will just keep the adult solicitors away, all shall be well.  πŸ˜‰


So why did no one tell me about Swallows and Amazons? Hmm? (Perhaps with so little advertising none of us heard about it.) 

Anyway, what a lovely film, one which both Tom and I enjoyed On Demand last Saturday. This adventurous movie has something for everyone--check out the trailer here.


Oh, and this quote, below, was awesome and still timely (and I hope no one will be all, like, "But what about the husband's responsibility?"). Just enjoy it for the hope it brings, hope that--although the world out there is rough--we still can create a bit of heaven via how we choose to live and imagine within our own homes--


Here's a cool photo of Naomi and her boyfriend playing at one of Buffalo's outdoor venues. Notice the tall, old houses in the background--I've lived here 24 years and still am blown away by the feeling of history everywhere. 


Loved what my buddy, Dolores, shared at Facebook --

Sounds like simple, logical truth to me.  πŸ˜…


While perusing local real estate online this morning, I glimpsed this adorable half-bath. Just thought I'd share its coziness with you--


One last thing --

Needing some quiet and rest and centering today? This lovely blog post will help.

And until next time, enjoy your unique, God-given life, ok? πŸ’œ

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."   ... John 10:10


Monday, July 31, 2017

Don't Worry. Just Practice.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom."  ... Proverbs 11:2


Ol' Debra attended 3 high schools(!) and would've gone to another if we hadn't moved--and well--nearly all those schools are planning our classes' 40-year reunions (am I really that old?). 

That would-have-gone-to school held theirs this weekend and I recognized several faces at Facebook and lots of names of those folks, some who I first met at age 11, the age I wrote about in this blog post from 2010.

So--in memory of all those years ago--here you go. Again.


I was in the 6th grade when we first took the President's Physical Fitness Tests.

Dreadful old things.

Especially the test where the teachers placed three strips of white tape on the playground which we had to touch with our feet in a sort-of dancing side to side motion. Quickly. Sound confusing? Well, it was to me, a very uncoordinated, kinda pudgy 11-year old. 

And of course, all the girls in our class stood there and watched the 'attemptees'.

The girls before me seemed to get it. Slide here, stop, slide there, stop, then do it again. Looked simple.


Then came my turn. The two women teachers, one with a stopwatch, said, "Go." And I went. But not with the graceful, almost dance-like steps of my classmates. Uh, no. My way was halting, faltering and I crossed my feet instead, a big no-no.

Kids giggled. One teacher said, "Stop, stop." Then she showed me the right way. I started again and made the same old clumsy-footed mistakes.

"Stupid old President," I thought, my face hot, reddening. "Why's he making us take these tests, anyway?"

Both teachers looked at one another, shook their heads and then one said, "She's just not getting it. Let's write down 16."

You know how words like those translate to a 11-year-old, don't you? "She's just not like everyone else. She will always be the clumsy one."

Heh. (I am laughing right now, so please don't feel bad for me.)

Well, those words (and my kid's view translation) challenged me. I went home that day, asked my mom for some tape, then put down three strips on the sidewalk. Then I practiced that side-stepping, touch-the-tape thing over and over. After some time, I became quite good at it.

But of course, by then, the tests were over. Done.

And yet, I kept the lesson I learned--that for some of us, things take a bit longer. But if we go home and--with no one watching-- practice? We can keep up. We just need more patience with ourselves, more perseverance--and a sense of humor would help, also.

And you know? Junior High and High School presented many opportunities to recall that same lesson. Like with algebra, folk dancing, sewing, art, etc. Even into adulthood I've 'practiced practicing' and often remind myself that no one excels at everything. 

Each of us has his/her own sets of strengths and weaknesses. God made us that way so to keep us humble.

Well, later in high school I'd walk home and then practice gymnastics alone, again and again, and you know? That clumsy 11-year-old, seven years later, became a gold medalist at her (tiny) high school for her floor routine. People told her she was quite the graceful little thing.

How good it feels to be patient with ourselves, to practice what God's equipped us to do and to keep our sense of humor during the clumsy stages rather than quitting so to save our pride.

Pride--is that really something we want to save, anyway? I'm thinking probably not.  πŸ˜Š


Be patient with yourself, first. Only then can you become truly patient with others.

Mix it up! Step out of your comfort zone. Stay fresh, challenged, alive. (Oh, and please don't get stuck within your feelings of inadequacy from school days. Instead, remind yourself how God feels about you, ok?)

"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."   ... James 1:4


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Got Half a Heart or a Whole One? Hmm?

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man."   ... Proverbs 24:33,34


So last Autumn Tom bought that new looks-like-a-mean-hornet car using our checking account rather than one he'd intended to and ol' Debra, in a rather passive-aggressive way, went ballistic. (Perhaps you noticed.)

It's difficult to explain, but suddenly I felt all que sera sera, hang my head-ish and just floated along in shh! Secret self-pity. 


I began letting some things go, like, er, myself. I would have let the house go except that it's deep in my nature not to, lest clutter and dust really knock me into Crazy Places. 

Yet soon, verses like those, above, haunted, taunted and convicted me. I saw how--for longer than lately, actually--I'd allowed my wardrobe to go all out-of-style-hit-and-miss-boring-basic. My teeth were yellowing and I'd not done my back exercises in ages. And because I'd hit a redecorating-our-small-house roadblock, I'd, in my spirit, given-up (and felt only a new house could fix my angst).

Suddenly those verses, for me, read more like this --

A little barely-there effort, a little thought across the board of your life--so your poverty of spirit will come as a robber, etc." --

Eventually God and Grace (not for the first time) whisked me on a journey out of my mediocrity. They provided unction and encouragement and inspiration in odd places like this line from my orange vintage copy of Live Alone and Like It --

"Whatever you decide on, don't do it half-heartedly." 

Yes! That was my problem. The dreaded half-heartedlies. Gulp. And just where in the Bible are the "It's ok, just do barely enough" verses? (Don't search. They're nowhere.) No, instead you'll find "use your whole heart verses" like these 39 here.

Well, God and Grace kept nudging, so I read my 'dressing yourself for dummies' books then updated my wardrobe, bought shirts, shoes, scarves and bracelets, even. And when a friend of a friend at Facebook sold natural whitening toothpaste, I bought some and am enjoying the results. And you saw the nearly-free Simply Fit board (at least it gets me moving, albeit awkwardly) and I'm doing back exercises and walking when it's not sultry-boiling out there (which seems hardly ever). They're also encouraging me that yes! Even in this small house I can still be creative and if I'm not? It's my own darn fault for lack of trying/focusing/searching for ideas.

And the list goes on.

Today's lesson? Vigorously avoid being half-hearted and lazy (there's needing to rest, but there's also remaining slug-like after God says, "Get up, for goodness sake!").

Like I'm still learning, following Grace whole-heartedly adds color and cool challenges and makes an old, tired world appear new. Yes, even in 2017.

On the whole-hearted track you see and do things you'd never have seen or done on the half-hearted one. It just works that way--on purpose.

We are meant to do tough things. We have a big God inside us who constantly waits for us to receive His help.

"Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans."   ... Colossians 3:23


A special thanks to all who participated in my 13th Blogiversary drawing! I had fun drawing names from the old brown felt hat and the two winners have been notified. Thank-you also for your kind, encouraging comments which blessed me and let me know what I write means something to you.


Oh wow. The John C. Maxwell is now following me on Twitter! Talk about feeling honored...

He is one inspirational guy, indeed. For decades I've been unable to read more than a paragraph of his before I must jump up and do something meaningful.


Speaking of clothes... This arrived this afternoon and I'm in love (well...)--

It's from Walmart and was technically listed as pajamas/a robe, but the reviewers said, "Forget the robe stuff--it looks awesome as a go-anywhere blazer/jacket!" And it does. Wow. And for only $7.50.

Just thought I'd mention it. (It runs a tad large, being pj's and all, I suppose, so I'm glad I ordered a size smaller.)


Or lastly------ We can get mad or we can get busy.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can You Believe It? Thirteen Years Blogging.

"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."   ... Colossians 3:23


Thirteen years and approximately 3,400 un-reposted posts later, I'm still writing to you my 'letter to the world' (as Emily D. put it). That's probably 6,000 type-written pages chronicling my adventures with God, Grace, marriage, motherhood, houses, farm-life, cats, apartment-living, decorating, books, neighborhood walks, estate sales, train rides, daily joys and struggles. 

And lessons--oh, the lessons one learns over 13 years.

Also, today I'm thanking those of you consistently read here, yes, but especially those of you who 'go deeper,'  fishing between my lines for the important thoughts floating behind my simple words and stories. To those of you who not only 'get me,' but who understand that, really, following some of these lessons might just possibly lead to a wonderful, contented life.

One more thing. A dear friend said in an email--

"When I read your blog, you make me feel important, rather than the dopey house frau that so many like to put down."

Wow. Could I receive a better compliment? Perhaps not, for I truly believe--

The dusting, vacuuming, cleaning which must be done over and over;
The caring, the loving, the apologies;
The gardening, the laundry, the errands;
The shopping, the learning, the growing in Grace, contentment and acceptance of what cannot be changed (and changing what can);

---It all matters. It's all important. Everything we place into a day means something to God and will--somehow-- touch even our lives in Heaven.

And may this blog continue to spread these lessons like seeds upon good, fertile ground over more happy years to come.

"Life is a lot more interesting if you are interested in the people and the places around you. So, illuminate your little patch of ground, the people that you know, the things that you want to commemorate. Light them up with your art, with your music, with your writing, with whatever it is that you do." 

---Alan Moore


Wait! Don't go yet.

In honor of my blogiversary, I'll be giving away two $25 gift cards from to two readers whose names I'll choose from a vintage felt hat.

To enter the drawing, please leave a comment here, below, or at Facebook (more than a 'like', please, just during this drawing) or by emailing me at Don't be shy! Just do it.

I so enjoy these give-aways, dare I say even more than those who happily win them.

I'll hold the drawing tomorrow (7/26) at 3:00 pm e.s.t. Please feel free to enter, even if you've won a previous drawing!


Ooooo. The gift for my 13th blogiversary? A cool September-like morning which poof! Made me feel 70 years younger. (Heh. Read my last post.)

Oh, how 62 lower-humidity, breezy degrees can lift ones perspective and remind her that Life (with God) is--still--wonderful.