Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Still Trying To Not Be All Prepper-Like, But ---

                          My Autumn daisies

Lately my head wakes me up around 4:00 a.m. with, "Get up! There's food to bag, online articles about finance and preparedness to read and prepper videos to watch and that huge, messy project aka Cleaning-Out The Bad-Secret Basement."

Oh, and there's Clara's videos. Always, I'll be grateful that prepping led me to my new Internet Grandma, Clara. Have you watched the one where she gave a tour of her home? (Be still my all-things-home-loving heart. Especially appreciated her bedroom, the photos and the Italian opera music.) Or did you see this page with a ton of her cooking videos? Clara's even got me using my oven again. Wow.

There's that feeling now in our Autumn Cool Air that one should prepare for Winter, though this year I'm prepping for more than just a season of bitter cold. And the wild thing? I'm loving the focus and fun of every detail. Hence my brain shaking me awake so early.

Only a handful of my friends feel that something huge is around the corner for our Country--the rest say they'll continue to 'live by faith.' 

But uh-oh! 

'Faith without works is dead.'  (James 2:17)

And 'The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.'  (Proverbs 27:12)

And 'A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t.' (Proverbs 13:16)

And -----

I'm trying not to all the time write here about prepping (honest), but it's so on my heart and what's coming is, many of us feel, different than anything we've ever seen before. Plus, I'd hate for you to blame me later for not sounding any sort of a warning. 

Call me crazy--that's ok. But as other of my fellow-crazies are quipping, "I'd rather be wrong and prepared than be wrong and not ready."

Yep. That's it. That's the way I'm feeling.

"While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."   ... 1 Thessalonians 5:3


While looking through a box of dusty books at a yard sale, I asked Tom to see how much an old ink drawing print was. When he returned, he whispered, "They said they'd take $10." I told him I'd think about it. It was definitely worth $10, but I felt especially cheap that day.  

I found no interesting books so I walked back to the car and there was Tom placing the ink drawing inside-- what a happy surprise!

He said he talked them down to $5.  :)

          (The line toward the left is not as pronounced in real life.)

Anyone else find it as cool as both Tom and I do?


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Out of Time

The Dance

Real Faith

Open for Business

Deeper Christian Life

The Anonymous Bride

Writing Conversations

Monday, September 28, 2015

But What's On The Inside?

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."   ...Luke 2:19


On Saturday, for your sake, I so regretted forgetting my camera.

See, Tom and I visited another estate sale in a vintage house (a Cape) whose walls hadn't been repainted since probably the 1960's. And when I spied a tv like this:

... my heart did that skipping-across-an-album sound. I don't recall ever seeing such an evocative television set in these time warp houses.


Most of the walls were a greeny-turquoise, including the kitchen whose basic, old cabinets shone white. But! The insides of them had been painted the most cheerful cherry red, and wow, I instantly smiled and thought, "Only a fun person would have done that, would have enjoyed that burst of color when reaching for a glass. I wish I'd have known her."

That unexpected cherry red inside those cabinets intrigued me all day.

And you know? It reminded me that the insides of people, also, can surprise us. A person may appear oh-hum on the outside, but then prove herself strong inside in hard times with a strength which comes only from time spent with God.

Unlike the zillions of nurses who recently fell apart and/or went rabid regarding The View incident, I most appreciate folks who--on the inside-- get their encouragement from God. No relying on peoples' 'up' words for them. No shaking, sinking if the right words don't come. The strong-yet-gentle people listen to God's "Atta girl! You've got this. With My help you can do this important thing."

And it is plenty. More than enough, for "greater is He who is within us than he who is outside throwing darts."

Those confident-in-God folks are the ones I recalled after opening those cupboards and finding myself surprised, intrigued and wishing I'd have met the woman, now gone, who chose a paint color which would take my breath away decades later. 

The world (or my world, anyway) spins better, smoother, because of people like her. 

" ... but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious."   ... 1 Peter 3:4


Speaking of a fun lady....

Oh! My fellow vintage-loving friends will enjoy Clara and her Great Depression Cooking videos. I just met her yesterday (what took me so long?) and I am charmed and inspired.

Here's my favorite YouTube video so far.

And here's another favorite.

I so enjoy Clara's stories! But beware: her videos are addictive like chocolate.

Clara was such a cute lady.


And what's cooking in my crockpot today? Barbecued pork necks.

Tomorrow it's tamale pie.


Free Kindle Books:

Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

The Secret Garden

Fried Chicken and Gravy

A Spool of Blue Thread


Friday, September 25, 2015

Now That Autumn's Here

"See, I am doing a new thing! ... I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."   ...Isaiah 43:19



Gorgeous, but bittersweet because of what follows--and if The Farmer's Almanac is correct--what's coming will be a doozy.

May we all be prepared. Again, in all ways, for anything.

Which reminds me: For my fellow Preppers--- I've discovered the simplest way to attend 'Prepper College.' Just 'take classes' by way of Pinterest. Wow. Those classes never end. 

Check out my college here.

You're acquainted with the Einstein quote, "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know," right? Well, for the first time ever, I finally feel that way. Previously in other areas, I've felt more like, "The more I learn, the less remains to be learned." 

But oh my, this living a self-sustaining lifestyle information is spinning my head. But pleasantly so, which makes me think God is nudging me along.

He does make all things new/alive/interesting, you know. Again, when He is behind them.

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."   ... Matthew 11:30


See these blank books?

Last year, my friend, Robin in New Jersey, mailed me the blue one (she made it. Isn't she clever?) and at a yard sale I bought the green one. 

I went throughout both books and placed a letter of the alphabet on each of three pages (for quick reference later). I use Robin's book for general information I want to remember and the green one is to corral all the Prepper info. racing 'round my head.

And there is your Lesson of Practicality for the day.


In my WalMart episode post, I mentioned a watch Naomi gave me. She said she spied it, liked it, then thought, "But who do I know who still wears a watch and doesn't carry a cell phone? Aha! Mom."  :)

Such a spiffy watch! I even keep it as a decoration on my nightstand. Probably explains why I often forget to wear it, but seeing it each night before I go to bed reminds me of Naomi. And that is pleasant.


Here are Daniel and Sammy having a conversation around our table yesterday afternoon:

Oh! And could I ask a favor? I dropped by Sally's house yesterday morning and she's still having the headaches she mentioned to me during our visit here. Her son will be taking her in for tests next week. 

I told her I'd be praying and if you'll join me, I'd so appreciated it. Thank-you much. She's the cutest little thing-- I wish you all had Sally for a neighbor.

Oh, and my buddy, Anne, is having a broken tooth pulled by an oral surgeon today and I know she'd appreciate your prayers throughout the day....  (Ol' Debra knows about having teeth pulled and always prays like crazy before each one.  Gah.) 


Free Kindle Books:

Heaven in Your Eyes-- A Journey Through The Lives of 'Just Everyday People'

Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar

Bring Your Garden Inside

How to Maximize Small Space Storage


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

More New Beginning Than Death

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants."  ...Psalm 116:15


On Sunday afternoon, Tom's mother passed away.

For years she'd wanted to make the trip to Heaven, for many months she'd lived closer to there than Earth, in a bed, unable to do little more than watch tv. And now she's been set free, totally healed from heart problems and a crippled leg from mistreatment in childhood.

Healed. Running in smooth rhythm. Reunited with her husband and loved ones gone for so long. And face to face with Jesus, basking in that warm heavenly Light we on Earth can only dream about. 

My mind enjoys imagining her breathing air molecules containing, I think, pure joy. Frankly, it's hard not to be envious. 

For years, I've remembered Tom's mom whenever I make tuna sandwiches. Once while we all lived in a California town, Tom and I dropped by to see his parents one afternoon following a tiff with them which had lasted much too long. Kitty stood at the counter stirring tuna salad for sandwiches and asked if we'd like one and while munching the tasty tuna, pickles, celery and lots of mayo, we chatted and healed what had been a broken relationship.

Again, that word--healed. The longer we're here, the more opportunities for healing we're given, even before Heaven.

Kitty was more one-of-a-kind than most-- colorful, unique and not simple to understand. But if you were patient, could stretch your heart from its usual places, she could brighten your world and make you view Life from a whole different slant. May we all have such people in our lives to keep us from only stepping corner to corner within our own small boxes.

Her final years were difficult, but she tried to make the best of them and became a favorite of her nurses. The last chapters of Life show us what's deepest within, and what shone from Kitty was sweetness and patience. 

But oh, how she did want to make that one-way trip to a most glorious Heaven! And finally on a quiet, sunny Sunday afternoon, with her daughter and grandson beside her, she did.

And so clearly can I see her running within that glowing, most perfect Light.

      “I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday sweet and fragrant, between its leaves.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of the Island


There will be a small family gathering in Kitty's honor in October and Tom and I are hoping to attend.

Tom took yesterday off from work and chatted with his best buddy there over the phone. And an amazing thing? His wife is making us dinner for two nights. Oh my goodness! That's way too kind. 

But I'll gladly accept it.  :)


This weekend Tom and I finally watched The Age of Adaline. We both agreed it was wonderful.


Free Kindle Books:

A Fine Mess

What on Earth Is Happening?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

So There I Was In WalMart....

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."   ... James 1:19

... and never assume anything!


This weekend I remembered why I only shop at WalMart, like, once a year.

Tom is now humoring me regarding my Prepping For Anything project, so he and I headed to WalMart to peruse the camping aisle. I gave him a head start there, though, so I could pick up various and sundry other supplies. We arranged to meet at a central spot 15 minutes later. 

I took off at breakneck speed, pushing my shopping cart (look out people!) and ran miles all around the place.

Stores not having clocks anymore, (and me always forgetting the nifty watch Naomi gave me), I estimated when 15 minutes had passed, then zoomed to our meeting spot. But Tom wasn't there. So I thought, "I'll race around and find band-aids," then took off again.

That's when it happened. I picked up a band-aid box, turned around and my cart was gone! Disappeared. All those canned goods and tea lights I'd searched for--no more.

My first thought? I must have left the cart a couple aisles over during my detour for hand sanitizer (which I never found). So I checked. No cart anyplace, north, south, east, west.

My second thought? "I can't believe this. Somebody actually stole my cart! I've heard of that happening, but it's never happened to me in all these decades."

Then a worker asked if I needed help and I disbelievingly told her someone had zoomed off with my cart. She helped me search but alas, nothing. I thanked her for helping, then left to find Tom where I told him.

It all felt surreal. And oh, the tug of war! Part of me thought, "People nowadays! You can't trust anyone inside a WalMart." But a calmer voice whispered, "Stay calm. Don't accuse people. You don't know what really happened."

Well, skipping details, blah, blah, blah, I told Tom that we'd just go and shop at Dollar Tree, but I did want to grab a couple cans of meat here, first. I'd meet him at the original meeting spot in five minutes.

And what did I find at that original meeting spot? My shopping cart. Sitting where I'd left it. There with every can and the 200 tea lights I'd placed inside.

Oh. My. Goodness.

That had never happened to me before, either. Gracious. And standing in the aisle I thought:

1.) We're all allowed one glaring senior moment like this and it's no surprise that it happened at a huge, too-busy, too distracting WalMart. So forgive yourself and for heaven's sake, stop worrying about Alzheimer's(!). Just slow down and focus more the next time.

2.) And in the future, be much slower to accuse people without all the facts, first. Believe the best about others and they just might believe the best about you.  

Love is always the best way. The better choice.


"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  ... Colossians 3:14

"There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear."   ... 1 John 4:18


Did you know that you if you'll coat the shells of eggs in mineral oil, they'll keep for months, even un-refrigerated? Now, I don't plan on trying the un-refrigerated part, but I will be coating my 3 dozen eggs for $5 this week. How refreshing to pay a decent price for them again!

And here's something else I found fun: you can make a lamp using cooking oil. I'm going to definitely try this to see how much light it puts out, though I'll use fresh oil rather than used.

This prepper education I'm giving myself is feeling like a college course--and I'm so enjoying it!


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The Rose

The Happiest Season

Crazy Cat Ladies and Why We Do That

Me, Jill Robinson!

Borneo Bound

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The View Ladies--You Expected Proverbs 31 Women?

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ..."  ... 2 Corinthians 4:4


My, my, my... All this uproar about what the ladies at The View said flippantly/foolishly about a nurse.

You'd think everyone, even Christians, expected those women to do and be better. To speak with the 'law of kindness upon their tongues.'

Wait. Apparently, everyone did expect that.

It's a distraction, People. What satan loves is for us to live livid. Offended. To become part of revengeful mobs writing angry Facebook and Twitter posts, believing our words will change hearts so blinded to the Truth. Hearts desperately empty without Jesus.

Satan desires that we spend our afternoons mad rather than praying for clueless, lost souls without a Shepherd. He rejoices when we seethe instead of serve, fume rather than feed the hungry folks in our neighborhoods.

He wants us to totally forget to "...bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."   

There comes a time for us to stop expecting non-Christians to act and speak like they are saved. (Hey, half the time, real Christians don't even get it right.) To recall that the people Jesus got angry with while here, were the religious folks who claimed to follow God, but misrepresented Him. And I believe He'd rather we hurt more over others' lostness than their ignorant words.

It's a test. It's all a test.

Will we ask for more compassion for the lost or will we despise the Godless who are heading into a darkness so frightening, so bleak and so darn eternal?

Will we react with offense or with forgiveness and much sincere prayer?

As always, the choice is ours. No matter who did what to whom, God watches to see how much we've learned. How much we love.


" ... because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."  ... James 1:20

"For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."   ... James 2:13

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  ... Philippians 3:14


And lest anyone think, "Yes, but you're not a nurse!," let me add: True! 

But I am a homemaker and for 36 years I've heard the taunts in media that we homemakers are goal-less parasites, wasting our lives, poor examples for our daughters and drains on society.

And so much more.

So trust me, I had to begin passing the Offense Test in this area decades ago lest I turn into a bitter, people-hating, old homemaking hag.

Update:  Truthfully? Four days later I am even more horrified by the thousands of nurses' reactions. Their comments have included death threats ("Just wait until Joy Behar needs a nurse. Good luck to her in finding one.") and words filled with malice, hatred and belittlement.

The intent of the View Ladies was for laughs and nowhere near the levels of ugly retribution hurled at them. Oh, the nurses' (and doctors') pent-up hatred which has been spewed! Words held back for years, it seems, regarding this show and its hosts.

This has all gone too far and I'm more embarrassed for the (woefully insecure) nurses than I was for the ladies of The View. I hope none of my readers are contributing to this movement of vengeance. It's unbiblical and is making me sick to see Christian medical professionals caught-up in the shameful mud-slinging.


During Naomi's last visit, she gave me her neglected Christmas cactus which, at the time, reminded me of a dead, deflated snake.

I sat it out on our front porch, watered it, and now it looks like this:

The bits of pinky-red intrigue me:


What's cooking in my crockpot today? Pork strips with tomatoes beneath and beans, above. 

Yesterday it was barbecued pork necks.


My niece, Melissa, shared this very fitting quote at Facebook:

Oh, how we so often forget this!


Free Kindle Books:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Of Pulled Teeth, Roosters and Prayer

"... whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."  ... Mark 11:24


So on Friday, Tom had his first tooth pulled.

Now, being an old hand at having teeth yanked from my mouth, I spent a couple previous days, off and on, praying for him. Tom tends to be like most men when he's sick or in pain, you know, how they can resemble a feverish 6-year-old who fears he's gonna die. 

So I prayed he would be comfortable over the weekend (for his sake) and not do the cranky 6-year-old stuff (for mine).

Well, right after the procedure, Tom called, saying he'd need to first go to Rite Aid to fill a couple prescriptions. He asked if I wanted him to pick up anything.

He sounded fine and dare I say happy(!) He arrived home, smiling, and able to speak like always. He'd even visited an estate sale where he bought me two boxes containing a deceased woman's rooster collection (oh dear). 

Not once over the entire rainy, dark weekend did he complain.

Oh my goodness. For hours I felt shocked surprised and kept asking him how his mouth felt. Waited to hear him ask me for drinks or meals or for a blanket or pills or to hold his hand or push the recliner back for him.

None of that ever happened.

Eventually God nudged me and pretty much said, "Hey! You prayed Tom would be fine so why are you acting so surprised that he is?"

Why, indeed, if I truly prayed, believing?

Tsk. Tsk. Lesson learned.

I hope.

            "Be it unto you even as you have believed."

     "Real faith not only does something for us, but it also does something to us."   ... A. W. Tozer


The view from the red couch on this beautiful September morning:


What's Cooking in My Crockpot Today?  Italian Vegetable Beef Soup


Free Kindle Books:

Tea With Grandy Dee

After the Rain

Tiny House Living

Michelle and Tyler

A Life Restored