Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shooing Those Zombies Away


Zombie: The
 body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less...
     A person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; auto-maton.

****

I'm big about regularly shooing the zombies out of my life. You know, those dead things which used to be alive, but now only appear to be.

Like books I once loved, but now am all, "Eh. Who cares?" about. Go keeping every dead-to-you book (whose covers still appear bright as ever) and your house will someday become a hard-to-walk-around-in zombie book tomb.

And trinkets! That paper mache cat we excitedly bought in 1985 can represent who we were back then-- but now, in 2013--we can have morphed into someone different (hopefully better), and what we've got now is a 1985 zombie cat. The cat's still there, still cute, but--the life our desire gave him--drained away. He's pretty much sitting there, well, dead.

And if we don't regularly release those kinds of zombies--the trinkets, doodads and clothes, etc., which no longer belong--the death piles up and we find ourselves living inside a stopped-up, overflowing hoard of dusty, lifeless zombies.

Our zombie ministries to others which we keep trying to puff life into. The zombie tv shows we watch only because we always have. The zombie flowers we still grow in the yard even though they've made our skin crawl since 2007.

And sadly, we can have zombie friendships, also. Two old friends, but now only one gives, the other always takes--or does nothing at all. 

Dead zombie friendships are hard to let go of--I know. I had one die back in 2010, though we've spoken a few times since and anyone looking probably thought our friendship appeared fine. But it was the zombie thing all over. Only an appearance of life, but no heartbeat.

Yet the death of that particular old friendship happened so oddly. Suddenly. And as I pondered its demise, the more I saw God's fingers all over it. I've not found Him to do slow, lingering relationship-deaths in my life, no, usually the sever is quick. 

And in this case I'm assured of one thing--I would be in error to try to resuscitate what God, Himself, ended.

The refreshing thing? I blame no one, have no hard feelings toward my former friend and am not pining for that from which God released me. I'm just recalling the fun in the years we spent together, the lessons--and feeling grateful.

Oh, that we would always see God behind the scenes! That we'd remember for more than ten seconds that to everything there is a season, a time, a purpose under Heaven. A time to be born--and a time to die.

And oh, that we'd treasure aliveness and never welcome any zombie into our lives, our homes, for even one moment. Life just might change into something altogether different, alive, if all zombies were shooed quickly away.


*******

Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.  (Isaiah 60:1-2)

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."


*******

Oh! Almost forgot. Tom and I watched a wonderful old movie last night from the instant films at Netflix. It's called The Scarf. Wow, great story (give it ten minutes, or so, at the beginning to grow on you) and the filming in spots was beautiful--made our tv feel like a huge movie screen and we felt as though we were there. I think many of you would love it.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Why So Many Conspiracies?

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   ... Jeremiah 29:13

*****

Practically every time I say, "Nothing in this crazy world can surprise me anymore," something comes along and surprises me.

The latest thing? All the many conspiracy theorists out there who insist the tragedy at Newtown, Conn. did not happen. All those children did not die.

And oh! Even some Christians agree. Recently I found this in the comment box at a godly prophetic blog:

"To (another commenter, not the blogger who didn't even bring this up), I too believe Sandy Hook was a government act, that is why they refuse to release the video, because it will show that there was no assault rifle used. it is a demonic psy-op to disarm people in order to make it easier for them to persecute, murder and take us into the Anti Christ period. your suspicions are correct."

Good grief. These comments further stab the hearts of those parents who lost children (young and older) on that horrible day, people who will suffer for years to come, especially those who don't know God as their Healer. 

This tragedy was real. The sister of a dear friend of mine personally knew one family involved from her church before this family moved to Newtown earlier last year--and lost their sweet little girl.

Only one of too many horror stories.

On that horrific Friday, innocent children and adults had their lives ripped from them --and to deny that is to attempt to nullify the reality that those children lived. It's to accuse the government of lying to millions and perpetrating a horrendous act upon all our hearts. 

It's to do many things, but one I'll touch on here: To passionately believe in any false conspiracy theory--to give our life to that-- is to reveal that the deepest needs of ones heart are floating around in a gaping black hole.

God created us to passionately want Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He made us to crave closest friendship with Him and to be fulfilled by that friendship. He made us to chase after Him until we find Him. And He made all of this chasing and finding and discovering to be so awesomely rewarding that we can't help but share with others what spills from the overflow of our filled, contented, joyful hearts.

Now, if you've read here long you may recall casual mentions of mine, conspiracies if you will, regarding the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the pill dispensers medical community. And ok, yes, I certainly have some not-so-kind thoughts toward them.

But. You'll not see me become an obsessed crusader regarding those groups. Instead, my first obsession will remain to follow hard after God.

And yes! Certainly people are called by God to become crusaders. But He only calls us to that which is true; He never asks that we spend our lives fighting for a falsehood. Fighting against falsehoods, ok--but not defending and standing-up for one and not spending our life's hours doing things which change nothing. God would never promote such waste.

Yet even bold crusaders must keep their love and passion for God #1. God will not share His top spot with anyone and certainly not with any cause He seed-plants within our heart beds.

Always, He must remain our number one passion. He alone: His truth, His awesomeness, His very incredible, overwhelming self. 

Only then will our passions' aims strike true.


******



By the way.... not only did I read in several places about this latest conspiracy, but guys at Tom's job were discussing whether it was valid as well. So really, I felt I had to comment upon it--and most likely--these sorts of things will keep popping up and eventually touch each of us in various ways.


*******

"Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you..."  ... St. Augustine




"You shall have no other gods before me."   ... Exodus 20:3

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

What Are Great Minds Saying?

"Great minds discuss ideas; 
Average minds discuss events; 
Small minds discuss people."

... Eleanor Roosevelt

***

I first read that quote probably 23 years ago and often think of it, especially when I'm tempted to discuss people in a negative way. How simple to speak about folks who mess-up. Everyone can do that--and who wants to be like everyone?

And actually? If we discuss wonderful things which people do, well, that bumps us up to the great minds level--in my world, anyway. Many kind souls carry-out their incredible ideas-- teaching us, inspiring us to come up higher in our own thinking, doing, believing.

We also hit that top great minds level--I believe--when we discuss our amazing God, who is way more than just a wonderful idea. He is everything worth talking about, actually. He's the great I Am, limitless, and no one approaches His extreme creativity and love.

And yes, it's quite average of us to discuss (especially argue about) events in the news. Everyone can do that, too (Facebook, anyone?). But even there I think it depends upon what we bring to the discussion table of current events. Do our words carry added insight and understanding? Do they come from a higher Source, shining a brighter light upon what happened? Do they give others a new compassion for those involved--for both, victims and perpetrators?

Uh-oh. I've practically shredded Eleanor's classic saying. 

Yet it's good to dig deeper sometimes, just so we don't grow confused, dizzy in all our digging, but rather, that we come away renewed and well, more. Not just more inside our own limited head, crawling around with average-ness, but more inspired to release our wings and fly. 


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"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  ...Romans 12:2

"For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."   ... Matthew 12:37

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Blessings

Oh! I am simply counting blessings today.

Tom has a lead on two local jobs.

The sun is glowing and we're due to warm up to 24 degrees (!)

Yesterday after I viewed all those American Idol videos I gave you, I discovered another page of videos and absolutely loved (loved!) Kez Ban, especially her second song. Really, if she created a cd today, I'd buy it tomorrow. My French radio station plays songs like hers and that's one reason I appreciate it so. Go here and scroll down to the final video, the one labeled Kez Ban. (Anyone else love her style? Let me know.)

And such great deals this morning from my dear ol' supermarket (though the free toothpaste was from Dollar Tree).


Nature Valley Granola Bars: .50 cents each
4 packages of cheese: $1 each
2 Nature Made Vitamin D3 100 ct. : $2 each
2 Chicken of the Sea tuna: Free
2 Seafood Snackers: Free
1 Duncan Hines flavor packet: Free
2 Colgate toothpaste: Free
2 Ronzoni pasta: .50 cents each

If I'd bought these at full price? $58.06
But today with sales and coupons I paid just $11.00

Wow.

Now can you see why--around Hobbit Cottage--'full price' are bad, bad words? :)

Tom has the next four days off.

And last but not least, tomorrow is Naomi's 33rd birthday and I'm beyond grateful for all these decades with such a sweet gift of a daughter. 

(And wonder of wonders, I'm not feeling as ancient as I usually do on her birthdays!)

I share these because--when I reach Heaven--I long to be able to say, "I didn't miss one single blessing You sent down to me. I noticed and smiled at each one."


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"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."   ... Psalm 136:1

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Some Friday Links


For now, this morning? Just a couple links for you. Perhaps I'll return later today with something, well, more.


***



Now, I've not even seen this movie, but yesterday when I watched the preview, below, I felt certain that Tom would love this.  When he arrived home from work and I showed it to him? My hunch was spot-on. It's now on our Netflix list and he's excited to see it:


Beast of the Southern Wild



And oh! I found this American Idol try-out video (the top one) this morning and was awestruck by this young man's second song. Wow. A haunting rendition:


American Idol Goes Askew In Baton Rouge


I also appreciated the mention that his gift was his way of communicating with this world. Been there, done that, feel that way, too.   γ‚·



And remember-- Valentine's Day is coming soon! I ordered my cute, retro Valentines this year from amazon.com, they arrived quickly, and I'm just itching to mail them.




******


"A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.   ... Proverbs 18:16

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Musings While I Have My Sanity :)


Thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments here and at Facebook yesterday. All continues to be well around here in spite of the impending lay-off, well, except that I had to ask Tom to please stop making me insane.

In the morning he called from work and left a message. "Would you consider moving to Florida?'

Later he emailed, "How about Seattle, Washington?"

Then another email: "I'm thinking Connecticut might be a good temporary solution."

Then he got home. "How about Texas?"

Ack! Ack! Ack!

All day I felt yanked from one American coast to the other, to the few places I've told him for years I would not live unless God, Himself, sent me an email with clear instructions.

I'd probably move to 200 places, but those are four of perhaps just 6 I wouldn't even consider.

Sigh. We all have a couple areas where we hate to be tested and this is mine: being forced to consider moving to places where God has given me no peace to go. Every two years (or less) I face this test, probably so that God can show me how far I have left to go in the area of completely trusting Him.

Anyway. I told Tom that we must hear from God and not just grasp at straws (nor make an important decision so soon after such news). I also asked him, a few times, to please knock it off. To tell his favorite co-worker buddy, instead, that maybe we'll move to Florida. Or Seattle. Or Connecticut or Texas or--

You know... it's like the ol' 'you have not because you ask not' thing. I need to get better at asking, communicating my needs. At setting some boundaries of just how much and how often Tom speaks to me about packing-up again and moving. (Only three months after we bought Hobbit Cottage, Tom yearned to take a job in Eastern New York and talked about it for weeks. Sigh. His gypsy blood...)

One thing is looking certain, though: Our next move will be out-of-state. And oh, I will miss Buffalo! I feel I've been living in the 1940's here and someday soon I'll have to move to where it's strictly 2013. And settle for less. (I know, I know. Not the ideal attitude. I'm still growing in faith in this area so please give me time.)

Oh well--I've had 20 incredible, dream-come-true years here and they'll always remain close to my heart. I'll carry those years with me and am hoping they'll help me find--and recognize--bits of antiquity and nostalgia in the new place where I end up.

***

For those who worried about Tom's co-worker who he filled in for on Christmas--Tom says that guy has it 'made in the shade.' I could share the details, but trust me, of all the guys at the plant, he's got the brightest, all-set future.

I asked Tom if his co-workers moaned and groaned yesterday and he said, "Not really." With all the earlier rumors, many of them (the plant, like most nowadays, doesn't actually employ 'many') had already sent-out resumes and some have jobs lined-up. The vast majority are younger than Tom and other plants in our area have openings right now.

But I'm sure any of them would appreciate your prayers that they'll be led to the right jobs soon.


********

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."   ... Isaiah 55:12

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  ... Philippians 4:6,7

*******

Re:The photo, above. Didn't you just love Olivia De Havilland in The Snake Pit? One of the few black-and-white movies I own on DVD. Perhaps I'll watch it later today. 

Later.  ----- Oh, am watching now and--as always--I'm astounded by Olivia's superb performance!

******



Outside my window at this moment.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh Well!


"In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."  ... Proverbs 3:6

*********

Yesterday Tom had the day off, but he got called in for a mandatory meeting (for everyone) with the powers-that-be. Tom thought it odd (even considering this meeting-happy plant) and we both agreed that--if the news was bad--we still had God, the best provider, ever.

Tom later returned, rang that doorbell thingy from the car, and so I ran outside with no coat into the 10 degrees (after 36 years in snow country I'm super-acclimated) to carry bags inside from Dollar Tree, where he'd stopped for caps and gloves. From the driver's seat Tom told me, "I picked up some dessert since the bosses announced the plant would be running only another 4 to 6 weeks. Then they'll shut it all down."

Oh well.

At least this time (unlike in 2010), rumors and gossip had been flying like whole flocks of eagles, so we're feeling no real shock. And oh, this time we listened closely to God (who sees the future) and did not ignore tiny warnings inside our hearts. We prepared like mad. 

Instead of talking another 20 years about saving 8 months of expenses--we finally just did it. Our kitchen and basement are stuffed with sales+couponed groceries, we replaced tons of worn-out things like a good bed for Tom's back and dishtowels, underwear, bath towels and clothes. We insulated the house, had it painted and had concrete put in all around the garage and inside it--no more using a snow shovel to push out three-inch-deep water(!)

And we have no debt, not even little Hobbit Cottage, other than her taxes, the first half which we already paid this year. Also, we gave a lot--we replenished our 'giving account,' you know:

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ... Luke 6:38

... since it probably reached near-bottom those 20 unemployment months when, like a heavenly savings account, we reaped from it.

Truly, God knows best and oh, when we listen to Him! My, my, my... everything changes. Everything. These past 9 months have felt like such a gift, a godly reprieve and one long, long blessing.

And, too, after those 20 months of previous unemployment we remember those cascading financial miracles from God's hand and we have no fear, no doubt of His provision. He's brought us too far along for that kind of doubting stuff. 

We're choosing instead to just keep plugging along with Him in the driver's seat for He takes us to the most adventurous and interesting places! 

Indeed.






*******

"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   ... Hebrews 13:5


********


Tom and I have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Stay tuned to see which we choose or rather God takes us a whole other way. :)


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When Everybody's Offended



So! At the wee hour of 6:30 yesterday morning, Tom and I braved the frigid darkness and drove to a local hospital where I sat and reread Home Another Way while he (lucky guy) had a colonoscopy. 

Arriving home, we celebrated having the procedure over with and Tom's being able to eat again by ordering out for Chinese and then watched an afternoon of Netflix movies together while bits of snow and wind blew outside our windows. The cats curled up on our laps for warmth and all felt lovely.


We discussed the kindness of each hospital worker and again, for the thousandth time, how friendly we find most everyone in Western New York. 


May the folks in the state where we retire be equally friendly, we mused.


And I do wonder about what life will be like anywhere later on because often I recall these Bible verses where Jesus speaks of the Last Days:



"All these are the beginning of sorrows...
 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."  Matthew 24:8,10


Already I hear some of those rumblings, especially as I watch upset people at Facebook and in volatile message boards and blogs arguing, unfriending and retreating into silent corners. Friends no longer friends, relatives who teach their hearts not to care.

And then last week I read something here recalling a 1995 vision Rick Joyner had (I read it back then), something which has, in 18 years, garnered great speed:



"(These hordes from hell were) sent to attack every level of relationship, between churches, congregations, pastors, husbands and wives, children and parents, and even children with each other.
The advance scouts were sent to locate the openings that could be exploited and made into larger breeches for the larger divisions of demons that were yet to come. If the evil one can cause division, he can divide and conquer. Together and in one accord, the Spirit of God can work and we are stronger.
NOW is the time to prepare for the days and months ahead."
***
Prepare, prepare, prepare. I keep hearing that word inside-outside-upside-down-everywhere. In all ways, prepare for a dicey Last Days future just around the bend, a future I already peek at when I consider how divided our Country and her people have become.
How to prepare for days when people are even more offended, more angry, more stressed-out?
Pick your battles wisely, I tell myself. 
Don't nag others about tiny things which won't keep them out of heaven, lest they not listen to you about bigger things which will. Concentrate more on being a good example, yourself, rather than trying to force others into living or believing a certain way. Respect others' freedom in choosing what you, yourself, never would. Forgive because it's right, not just when you feel like it.
And only disagree aloud when God clearly nudges you--His timing will always be right and you can do no better than follow it (and only He knows whose heart He's prepared to receive light). Otherwise, keep quiet. Pray. Believe. And most of all, love.


**********

Again, these are things I tell myself... lest anyone else think I'm referring to them and become offended. :)


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"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."   ... Proverbs 12:18

"The greatest of these is love...."  from 1 Corinthians 13


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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Paying Attention To Today

Of course, sometimes when you research the towns or people from your past, you discover things you'd rather not have known. 

See, when I moved to Quaint Mountain Town (let's call it) at age 17, a young couple in our church had just gotten married. Kris, at only 18, was the bubbliest, hardest-working, most-fun young woman I'd met. After I left for college one year later, this couple became the youth leaders, breathing new life into this tiny church. After college, I lived in QMT another ten years, attended a different church, but I'd occasionally see Kris at the supermarket with two babies in tow. Always, she blessed me by her joy and vitality.

When I was 29, Tom, Naomi and I moved away from QMT and though we'd revisit, I never did see Kris again.

Fast forward to yesterday. Still being on this 'lets-research-QMT's-people' kick, I found two articles from 2006 about Kris, who had, in 1997, moved to Oregon with her husband and family. 

One of those articles was her obituary.

Gah. She'd moved to a small Oregon town just two years before and already made a difference there--in both articles, the mayor, herself, praised Kris. For many years she worked with deaf children, teaching them to speak, helping their parents communicate with them. She also worked side by side with her husband in his construction business, helping to restore an ancient building in her new town. 

Kris was still blessing folks 30 years later, even organizing the town's annual quilt show--but the day before the show--she was rushed to the hospital where she died from complications of lupus. She was only 48.

And well, it's hard to shake this. But you know? The sadness of this discovery confirms what I've been feeling lately, namely: Always live ready to die. Always pay attention to how you live your days.

Do today whatever God asks.
Send that email to the friend who you've not heard from lately.
Take that 'law of kindness upon her tongue' thing seriously.
Treat your pets well.
Faithfully use your specific gifts/talents/abilities.
Meditate upon what's right in this world, not what's wrong. Spread way more good news than bad.
Send a message to that Facebook friend who used to post often, but now never does.
Share books. Food. Money. Encouragement. Ideas. Laughter. Help. 
Tell people you appreciate them. Smile and nod at strangers. Open doors for them.
Take good care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally. 
Give yourself time to heal. From anything.
Complete what you start in a timely manner.
Keep nothing you no longer need/want/like/water.

And love God more than you love anything or anyone else.

Always live ready to bid farewell to everyone you know, just in case your days are suddenly cut short. Let the people you leave behind be comforted that you lived well. How we lived upon this world will have a bearing upon the next one. I truly believe that.


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"She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]."  ... Proverbs 31:26

"... 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.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."   ... Philippians 4:8,9

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Live a complete life, not a partial one.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Uniqueness. It's A Good Thing.


Remember how I said I'm not interested in genealogy?

Well, I'm still not. :)

But. Earlier this week I read online obituaries from past months from the California mountain town where I lived from ages 17 to 29. Feeling all nostalgic, I then discovered a webpage with a list of everybody who's buried in the town's cemetery.

Now, that's my idea of fun afternoons. It's also my own brand of genealogy. 

Though I attended only one actual burial there, I remembered lots of those folks, those pioneers of that tiny place. I searched online for their obituaries, found a few, and even some news articles from the 1940's which told of birthday parties (and who specifically attended), garden club activities and out-of-town guests. 

I felt very like Emily Webb from the movie, Our Town, while picturing these dearly-recalled townspeople buried upon those silent acres. I found that some of their children (my classmates, many) still lived in that town or now in neighboring states.

Never feel like you must enjoy exactly what others do... never feel like an outsider because your tastes, activities, talents and lifestyle vary from the norm.

God is so amazingly creative and I've a feeling the word 'norm' isn't even in His vocabulary.

********

Still not sure of your gifts/talents/calling/purpose? If I didn't feel it's so vital to know those, I wouldn't keep talking about it. I always feel sad when I chat with any adult who has never discovered their specific, God-implanted purpose in Life. Too often they've lived unfulfilled, wandering, wondering sorts of lives.

So, because I treasure practicality, here are some online tests/articles which may help you understand yourself and your talents better:

Your Hidden Talent (A quiz)

How To Find Your Hidden Talent (An article)


How To Find a Talent (An article with some guidance questions)


There are many other books, tests, quizzes, articles out there to help lead you to your purpose in this life. It's such an exciting thing to be used by God to bless others in your own unique way!

**********

“You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold.” 
― Max LucadoCure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot


“I don't fit into any stereotypes. And I like myself that way.” 
― C. JoyBell C.


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Coupon Reminders:

Always take all of your coupons with you when you shop. Many stores have unadvertised specials and it pays to be able to whip out a coupon to combine with it.

Each week create your shopping list (and meals) around the items on sale which you'll then match with coupons for double the savings.

Keep your Sunday supplement coupons from previous weeks in a file. I used to clip what I wanted from mine, then toss the rest away and then be sorry when a coupon blogger later pointed-out a free or nearly-free deal on a brand/item I hadn't considered buying, perhaps because it's usually more expensive than alternate brands. There are tons of great deals out there nowadays, so now you never know and now I always save those coupon pages from the Sunday paper.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten Things About Me



Since I can't think of anything important to write about today, I'll write about me.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. Whenever I'm in a parking lot, I always park facing out of the space, even if it means parking farther away. It's much easier than craning my neck and backing-out while praying no one is walking or driving behind me.

2. I enjoy reading obituaries online from a California town where I lived from ages 17 to 29. They're well-written, bring back wonderful memories of my years there and I sometimes recognize the deceased' names.

3. This April, I'll have lived in the Buffalo area for 20 years (!) Not counting some dreadfully long winters and 3 (or 4) terribly humid summers, I have loved living here with all my heart. I'd have hated to miss all this.

4. I used to adore watching Hallmark-like romantic movies, but now they make me gag.  :)

5. I love Facebook, but grow weary of certain friends' negative posts about our government. I know those things already, everybody does. Why not spread hope and gratitude instead of more fear/distrust/hate? (You all knew this already, but I'd just come over here after reading a couple negative posts and couldn't resist.)

6. I own few clothes and tend to wear the same ones over and over. Mostly I wear black and mostly I don't even notice what other people are wearing. I'm just not a clothes (or shoes) person.

7. I truly don't mind that I'm not (and am unlikely to be) a grandmother. God has given me great happiness and contentment and keeps my heart filled with Him and busy with myriad other interests.

8. If I was offered one last meal on Death Row, I would choose spaghetti, barbecue potato chips, chocolate ice cream and orange seltzer water. (Yes, I know how pathetic that sounds.) heh.

9. When a friend sent me this vintage 1950's youtube video, (thanks, Carolyn!) I felt like it mirrored the life I've lived in Buffalo since 1993. That's how retro the inside of my head is.

10. I used to be shy, but God freed me. I used to be depressed, but God set me free. I used to be bossy and God's still working on that. :)

**********

Oh wow! This totally made my whole week. Not just the incredible man with no arms and legs, but the things he shared with the whole world by way of Oprah's program. Woo hoo! Getting the message out there--awesome.

Thanks again, Barbara, for sharing this at Facebook--it's a perfect example of spreading hope there rather than ugliness!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Own Greek Island House


I asked for humorous books, but Kim (thank-you!) led me to not only a funny story, but a beautifully written one. The author reminisces about the year (1935) he and his older siblings and widowed mother moved to the island of Corfu in Greece. While house-searching, they'd been dragged to dilapidated cottages with no bathrooms, but then a taxi driver took them to the perfect place.

From My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell:

"Mother, who had kept her eyes firmly shut throughout the (wild) drive, now opened them cautiously and looked. Spiro was pointing at a gentle curve of hillside that rose from the glittering sea. The hill and the valleys around it were an eiderdown of olive groves that shone with a fish-like gleam where the breeze touched the leaves. Halfway up the slope, guarded by a group of tall, slim cypress trees, nestled a small strawberry pink villa, like some exotic fruit lying in the greenery...

"... Roses dropped petals as big and smooth as saucers, flame red, moon white, glossy, and unwrinkled...

"... The bougainvillea that sprawled luxuriously over the tiny front balcony was hung as though for a carnival with its lantern shaped magenta flowers... The warm air was thick with the scent of a hundred dying flowers and full of the gentle soothing whisper and murmur of insects. 

"As soon as we saw it we wanted to live there--it was as though the villa had been standing there waiting for our arrival. We felt we had come home."

***

Oh wow.

And when I read this yesterday? I was sitting outside on our front porch in 56 amazing, sunny degrees, having just raked some leaves caught at our hedge's bottom trunks. In a Buffalo January! 

Yet I read this book and felt more like I'd zoomed to a glowing Greek island-- but I hadn't. No, instead of a blue sea below a pink house on a hill, I had peeks of a river down the street and new inspiration to imagine any Greek island feelings I wish about this tiny yellow Hobbit Cottage tucked inside an old, old suburb. 

Within my head--if I want--I can imagine a sea outside my windows and the coziest, book-stacked rooms inside. I need not wait for some imagined home beside a sea to appear, I need feel no discontent. If my house is lacking in what my imagination could improve, then I am to blame. 

Yes, it's up to me how I feel about my home and how I imagine its rooms to be and feel. And that is possible and quite close to magic. The nice kind.


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"A tranquil heart is life to the body..."  ... Proverbs 14:30


Discontentment has blocked and blacked many an imagination.

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We are at 61 warm (but cloudy) degrees right now (!) and, so far, I'm loving this global warming. But when summer arrives and it's hot, hot, hot, I reserve the right to change my mind. :)

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