Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Uh-Oh. It's Finally Here.

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Oh, and "This, too, shall pass."


Oh man. 

Poor ol' Debra thinks she's (finally) having a mid-life crisis.

No, really.

This past week I've felt aimless, helpless (mostly regarding fixing what bugs me about this house, or even, being able--physically, mentally--to move ever again), not to mention being moody and disgruntled (about who-knows-what?), so much so, that Tom majorly got upset with me (my attitude/tone) on Sunday.


Yesterday I read online symptoms of a mid-life crisis and gee, I've got many. One writer even said, "Do not make any major decisions during this time," but hey! Where's the fun in that? 


Besides, part of me believes a mid-life crisis can be a signal, a wake-up call that something is wrong, needs changing. Like, if you've always wanted to do/be something or go somewhere--perhaps now is the time to make those plans. You know, before it's too late.

It's not getting any earlier, after all.

I told Tom perhaps I need to stay a few days in a motel. I can't seem to get enough time alone lately and how luxurious would it be to lie around a pretty room all day? You know, watching HGTV, staring out the window or soaking in the tub and not ironing, watering the yard or feeding the cats? He seemed very open to this idea. Said he'd make all the arrangements. I could go anywhere.

Uh-oh. After awhile I teased him about wanting to get rid of me. Funny, he barely denied that. 

Then last night just as I felt better while picturing myself in the motel down the street on our beautiful river, Sally's granddaughter's husband knocked on the door and said they'd had to put Buddy, the sweetest dog on earth, down. He'd kept getting infections since becoming partially paralyzed.

Oh my goodness. Buddy's sweet face and demeanor (and the sadness) kept waking my mind all night. Tom and I had so enjoyed watching Sue and Buddy sitting outside on a picnic blanket lately, Buddy guaging breezes with this long, cute nose, looking like, "Life is still so good, after all."

How simple to lose ones heart to Buddy.

Oh dear. I may take a few days off from blogging. Or not. As I said, I've just wanted to be alone lately (more than usual), for I'm deciding what I really want/need, and what I must release (or accept) so to keep from dreaming about what's not mine to have in the future. 

I asked God if I could skip confessing all this, but He reminded me that it's not right to just disappear from your blog without an explanation, nor is it good to pretend all is well. Plus, He's big on vulnerability--I know this.

So there you go.

But don't worry, ok? It's not like a few bazillion other people haven't gone through this before. Also, I feel fine physically. Well, except for my usual brought-it-on-myself out-of-shapeness, which yes, would be a terrific thing to tackle now, too. Besides, I'm spending less time online--who needs to read more bad news at a time like this? 

Yet as always, it's one day and one moment at a time, each while sitting beside the Best Friend on the planet. And that can never be too bad of a thing at all.

“Evelyn stared into the empty ice cream carton and wondered where the smiling girl in the school pictures had gone.” 
― Fannie Flagg


I appreciated this from Facebook this morning:

From Brenda Allie Flom:

I know we all get angry and frustrated about the chaos going on in our nation right now. I know we are all sick of the corruption and lies. I also know we have a ginormous God who's got this. Some of the things that are spoken by believers verbally or by FB actually contradict this. The statements of late are proposing an itty bitty God and a ginormous devil. They are cursing doom and gloom over the land.
Let's start speaking from the heart of our Father and not the heart of our flesh. Let's repent for our emotions that have brought curses and instead, speak blessings of life, peace, protection, righteousness, unity, love and restoration over our nation.
God sees it all, He wants our praise, prayers and decrees. He wants us to take a stand as sons. He wants His ecclesia to rise up and take their place in the authority He has given us, instead of joining in with the worldly negative mindset.
Let's start today. Let's start NOW."


Did you see this scary film of Jay Leno's car crash? Yikes!



Joel Osteen said it perfectly this morning (6/30) at Facebook:

Don’t fall into the trap of being negative, complacent, or just taking whatever life brings your way. Set the tone for victory, for success, for new levels. Enlarge your vision. Make room for God to do something new in your life today!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Just In Case You're Different---

"To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."   ...Ephesians 4:22-24


Saturday was hot, I was wilting, but on a bench at a yard sale, I spied a 1948 yearbook from the high school (now middle school) down the street.

Always when driving or walking past, I imagine that suddenly it's 1940 (or 1950) and 'see' teens standing out front in all their vintage clothing finery, holding books and laughing. And now I have actual faces to attach to those spiffy clothes:

                  (Don't you love the obvious movie star influence?)

These 'kids' (who are still living) will turn 86 this year(!) On the more somber side, I spent Sunday afternoon finding obituaries online for those who've left us.

I've many genealogical-minded friends who positively love researching their own relatives from long ago. Me? Eh. I never do that. I prefer looking up strangers online from old yearbooks. 

(Oh, the scandal, right?)

People tell me I should care more about my family tree and how--by learning that Great-Great Aunt Matilda was a quirky eccentric--it will help me understand my own eccentricities. Or because Uncle Ichabod was an introverted writer I can then understand why I'm one.

Hmm. Well, maybe. 

But what I know? For the past 22 years (especially) God has poured His heart into making me more like Him. He's shown me how to better use my gifts and helped tear down the tall, dreadful structure inside which I'd built unto myself.

And He's had a rough time of it. Trust me.

So basically, all credit for any good within me goes--first--to God. Second, to the wonderful teachers He arranged for me, not just teacher-teachers, but to each of you (and others) who've helped round my unbending, like-concrete corners. 

Anyway, we're all different--and that's ok. It's ok if you love genealogy and it's ok that I, instead, collect old yearbooks, stare at the faces and imagine how these teens lived and loved. That, online, I spend hours discovering what I can.

We cannot all go to the same places. Life would be too limited, boxy, that way--there were reasons for the Tower of Babel departure, after all.

Personally I come from a long line of folks who believe there's only one way to think and be. And truthfully? The Internet has played a huge part in setting me free from that. The Internet and God and Grace and you.

And to all of you I say, thanks.


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  ... 2 Corinthians 5:17


Yesterday I was saddened to read that Jackie Burroughs (Aunt Hetty) of Road to Avonlea passed away back in 2010. Tom thinks I already knew this, but if I did, I'd forgotten--and felt bad all over again.

I can't even explain how much I loved this show. The stories, the characters, the Victorian decor, the clothes, the hair and----- 

Well, here's a short Youtube video of interviews on set during their final year.

I'm thinking it's time to get out my Avonlea dvd's again. It's been a few years.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Like A Birthday in June

So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!   ... Matthew 7:11


Owning only around 100 vintage Scholastic books, I felt I needed more (More. Must. Have. More.) so I went to Ebay where these tempted me like crazy:

Just a $4 opening bid and not one was a duplicate of what I've already stuffed upon my shelves. Rare, that.

But I wanted to be sensible, spend less with my credit card this month, so I thought, "I'll just bid the $4. That's it. If someone else bids higher, they can take them."

Time passed (as it will), I forgot what I'd done (as I do), and when I received a You-Won! email, I thought, "Huh? What did I win?" Then I opened it. And remembered.


Don't you love it when that happens? Already out upon our summery front porch I've read Irma's Big Lie, High Country Adventure and Jenny, Sam and the Invisible Hildegarde and well, they were awesome. How soothing, peaceful, to read retro kids' novels while a hectic, confused world swirls around me.

Now, don't laugh but it's felt like a birthday and Christmas and as though God smiled while He nudged me over to Ebay that day.   

Yes, He knows me that well and I matter to Him that much. And so do you.


“...You say to God, “I have never seen you provide for me.” 
God says to you, “You have never trusted Me.” 
― Corallie Buchanan

 “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” 
― Corrie ten Boom

“God loves you so much that he is willing to hold something from you for the perfect time!” 
― Rachel Hamilton


Okay, only some of you will enjoy this, so for you, here you go:

List of People Who Disappeared Mysteriously

Last week I must have been in just the right mood, for I found it fascinating reading.


Here's a beautiful song by Lenny LeBlanc that some of you will love.

"When you have history with God, remembering what He’s done, you don’t get discouraged by every difficulty. You know God brought you through in the past, and He’ll bring you through in the future."  ... Joel Osteen


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Walking Around My Yard For Some Encouragement

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden {and} overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]" ... Matthew 11:28

“This day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today...But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best. ” 
― Hermann Hesse

“Excellence! We all want it from others and we should want it from ourselves.” 
― Glenn C. Stewart

“Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.” 
― Rodolfo Costa

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

“You can do anything you want to do, if you want to do it bad enough.” 
― Tim Carter 


And here's another delightful woman I came to know only through her obituary in my old CA hometown newspaper online. Here are some cute highlights:

On May 3, 2016, our beloved Katy Kennedy died peacefully and joined the party in heaven already taking place with the Kennedy family...

Katy attended Quincy Junior/Senior High School and her lifelong friend and sister-in-law Starra Kennedy loves to tell about her first day as a new student as she was met by Katy in her pink cashmere sweater to show her around school. Katy Mrosla graduated Quincy High with the class of 1964.

Pink was Katy's signature color and highlighted in her wedding to David Ray Kennedy on June 21, 1964.

As most Kennedy stories become enhanced over time, some legendary stories of Aunt Katy are true – she did drive her car off of a steep part of the Feather River Canyon with her mom and she did light the mountain above Silver Creek on fire in an attempt to send out a rescue signal. But mostly Katy will be remembered for her iconic fashion. Her signature pieces not only included all things pink but also bold dangling earrings, bedazzled sandals, white pedal pushers, perfectly teased hair and of course that frosted lipstick.

As per Katy's wishes there will be no service or donations. She asks instead that you hug your children, grandchildren and friends and tell them you love them because time is too short and waits for no one.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Throw That Self-Pity Away, Ok?

"You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy"   ... Psalm 30:11


Yard sales. How I love thee. 

This old print, above, sat on the ground and I walked past it, but Tom spied it and alerted me. Just $3! Now, it did have lots of scratches, but yesterday with my craft paints, I dabbed at them and now--unless you stand there and search (as Tom did)--the scratches faded away.

And so it goes, my goal to make our old-but-made-new house look just plain old again, old item by old item.


Another find? This 1936 book by Marjorie Hillis, the only vintage one amongst 50+ modern paperback romances, the kind I never read. (The lesson? Never assume anything. Walk over to that bunch of looks-all-wrong books anyway, for hey, you never know.)

A quirky, delightful book, indeed.

Her main point? If you live alone and begin to feel sorry for yourself--you're sunk. Self-pity ruins what might have been an adventurous life.

If you have a problem with self-pity (even if you live with others), this book will snap you right out of it. Guaranteed. (If only she'd added the wonder of living in God's daily presence, it would've been perfect. heh. This isn't a Christian book, in case you wondered.)  :)

Anyway, to close this post, I'll add some of the many common sense lines from this fun book:

" For the basis of successful living alone is determination to make it successful ... You have got to decide what kind of a life you want and then make it for yourself."

"It's a good idea, first of all, to get over the notion (if you have it) that your particular situation is a little bit worse than anyone else's."

" extra-special dinner charmingly served on a night when you're tired and all alone; bath salts in your tub and toilet water afterward; a new and spicy book when you're spending an evening in bed; a trim little cotton frock that flatters you on an odd morning when you decide to be violently domestic. The notion that it "doesn't matter because nobody sees you," with the dull meals and dispirited clothes that follow in its wake, has done more damage than all the floods of springtime."

Read more about this book here.


“When we pity ourselves all we see is ourselves. When we have problems, all we see are our problems and that's all what we love talking about. We don't see the good things in our lives.”
― Ann Marie Aguilar

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."   ...James 1:2


Thursday, June 16, 2016

So Where Do You Go?

 " ... for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."   ...Philippians 2:13


Remember Tom and Debra, the estate sale junkies? How we love attending sales in houses which whoosh us back in Time? Well, today I get to show you a pretty typical local house not redecorated since the 1970's (or earlier).  

In the same family 75 years, its vintage loot was (mostly) removed but still, you'll see why these sales make me all dreamy-eyed and place me in a whole other dimension:

(Check out the bits of turquoise and the orange curtains, also. Wow.)

(The living room!)

And of course, the obligatory basement rumpus room:

 We've seen at least 50 such basements, always with cast-off furniture and usually a bar.

This house is for sale and you know? I'd be so tempted to leave it just as it is. No, really. I'm serious. 

Oh, it's even niftier to find houses not redecorated since the 40's or 50's, but ones like this are still cool.

You're welcome. :)

Why share these photos with you today? Because when this world gets to be too much, I go retro. My vintage magazines and cookbooks get pulled out, swoony music plays on my 1930's replica radio, I put on an apron and sweep the front porch. My whole day goes like that--peace, God and Grace envelope me and it becomes easy to pretend the 2016 world out there went retro (and kind, sweet and happy), too.

This works for me. I come away refreshed, encouraged and smiling and ready to help lift others from their downward spirals.

The main thing? Sometimes people tell us there's only one way (theirs) to recharge our batteries, to again become refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated. You know, like one size fits all and if it doesn't fit you, well, you're weird. Impossible, not spiritual enough. So get with it and blend in.


God made us all differently, in individual shapes, sizes and colors. What matters is that we discover our own right fit so that others will be inspired to discover what keeps them sane and standing while spinning upon today's chaotic planet.


 "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. ..."   ... from 2 Corinthians 12


Would you like to view some gorgeous paintings by the artist, Abbott Fuller Graves? Go here. 

Wow. Inspiring to the nth degree.


R.I.P. dear Millie Helper.

A.k.a.  Ann Morgan Guilbert.

October 16, 1928 - June 14, 2016

To view one of my very, very favorite Millie scenes, go here



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Happier Things. Well, Except For----

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?"   ... Genesis 18:14


Totally, Tom and I have jumped back into the weekend yard sale thing.

Oh, we're not hauling home tons of stuff (not yet. heh.), but it's the getting out, the chatting with WNY people (some of them, delightful characters), the wandering through houses not redecorated since the 1950's--that's what we love best. (Although I allowed one house on Saturday to make me nuts for two days. It was perfect. And sold in April. Grrr.)


Some of my latest tiny treasures:

I think the (so-quirky) lady gave these to me for a total of .25 cents. I'd recently regretted letting go of similar plates during our oh-just-get-rid-of-it moves, so these felt like such a gift.

The sweet yellow bird at the top of this post came from there, also.

And although I've nothing else like this polar bear, I couldn't resist him and his vintage patina.

Loved these tiny birds and this saucer, below:

Oh, and this homemaking book from 1948! Be still my heart. Here's a sampling of its chapters:

It's called The Household Manual. The woman charged me just .10 cents, but I scoffed and gave her a handful of change, instead. :)

And a rare (cheap) purchase from Ebay, another lady head vase for my collection:

One can never have too many lady head vases, right?   :)


Okay, that was fun, but this last part is not. Sigh.

Yesterday while watering my snow-in-summer, Sally crossed the street and told me that Buddy, the sweetest dog on planet earth, is partially paralyzed.

Oh my goodness! I felt so awful while she said he'd injured (ruptured?) one of his discs, a rather common thing to happen to dacshunds, and can't/won't move his back legs. The vet has him on steroids, etc. (You can read more about this dacshund problem here.)

I was sure to tell her we'd pray for Buddy (we're big believers in prayer for animals!), then I asked her to wait while I ran inside to snatch a small silver dacshund we'd found at a yard sale for Sue (Sally's daughter who is my age), Buddy's official 'mom.'

Sally was so tickled by it and hours later, Sue knocked on our door, with much emotion upon her face, and hugged us both, saying the little silver dog had made her day.

Please keep them in prayer, ok? It's taking lots of extra energy to care for Buddy right now and we're all choosing to believe he will get better.

Thanks so much!


Oh yes! While reading our old hometown newspaper online from Chester, CA, this story totally blessed me. It reminded me that people still do good, heroic things in today's sad world.

I think you'll be blessed by it, also. Check it out here.