Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Serene or Sarcastic? Bitter or Better?


It's getting super hairy out there in the world, right?

Whew. How tragic when young people, especially, become so cynical and jaded. There's hardly anything sadder than a bitter 30-year-old who believes every negative sentence he reads and drinks sarcasm for breakfast.

Do not let this happen to you, ok? 

"Crave balance," God tells me lately, for if I do? I'll never trip into the deep ruts on either side of His straight road. And He reminds me to read the great stories and quotes, inspiring ones like the one, above, and this--

(Click to enlarge. Is this writing tiny or what?)

If bitter or better after bad times are my choices, I choose better.

Oh, and I liked what Troy Dunn (the reunion guy) shared over at Facebook:

Let's not let the politicians crush the holiday season. Lets take back our social media and fill it with positive, inclusive posts that celebrate humanity and the joy of the holiday season. 
I invite you to join me in TURNING OFF THE NEWS FOR A MONTH. Flip on holiday movies, music or whatever puts you in the spirit of joy and service. Smile, laugh, love, compliment.

I agree! Even went and unfollowed the few political pundits I'd signed up with for, frankly, I've heard enough. I'll still read headlines (so to keep current), but not all the gory details following them, for my read-all-about-politics season is over. (Gladly, it proved short.)

Took ages, but I've learned to recognize a dead-to-me season---you find struggle and boredom where once you found Grace.

And also, you discover peace when you stop fighting God and--finally--let Him scoot you over to His next season for you. 

So. Much. Peace.


"We want God to change our circumstances, but God wants to use our circumstances to change us. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances." ~Elisabeth Elliot 


 "Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour."  1 Peter 5:8


Monday, November 28, 2016

The Calm Weekend

"Maybe you are the 'cool' generation. If coolness means a capacity to stay calm and use your head in the service of ends passionately believed in, then it has my admiration."   ... Kingman Brewster, Jr.


For me, it was The Lost Gilmore Girls Weekend. :)

Though of course, on Thursday Tom and I did Thanksgiving Our Way and I fun-chatted with friends online before cooking a simple traditional dinner. Tom and I caught-up on favorite shows and told tv folks how unwise they were ("What, no back-up? Morons.") like always and rested, snacked and happy-sighed. A lot.

But then Friday morning, 3:30 a.m. (who could sleep?), I sat here at my desk with headphones, a blanket, snacks and sentimental tears brimming my eyes for warm-my-heart Gilmore Girls hours. You can't return to Stars Hollow after 10 years and not be all touched and grateful.

And wow, those final 4 words! 

Months ago, after reading they'd be wild, I did try to pre-guess them, but here's an instance I'm thankful for my slowness. How much more memorable to gasp with shock, then reel while final credits rolled.

Friday evening? We went out with Naomi and her boyfriend to a hopping Mexican food place whose food Tom savors, but I only tolerate. A fun family time, yes, but oh, all the lip-reading I did, what with the blaring music. (Does anyone understand why restaurants play tunes so loudly that we must yell at our friends?)

Perhaps it's yet another of those "too wonderful for me to understand" things.

Anyway, next day Tom watched the new Gilmore Girls movies with me on our tv. Cool, right? Though he didn't quite go as far as this one husband whose wife commented at Facebook:

"My husband got up at 4:30, made me pancakes and put on a flannel shirt and backwards cap and we watched one episode before our 4 kids got up! LOVING that my girls are back!"

Awww, right? Even if you're not familiar with Gilmore Girls, that's plain obvious sweetness and an encouragement since we're so often media-fed that nobody's got a happy marriage anymore. (The media and I are no longer speaking.) Heh.

Well, the rest of the weekend I pretty much spent in Stars Hollow by way of the original episodes. 

And yeah, yeah... A few times during those bleary-eyed hours I did ask, "Aren't you wasting time here?" But then I'd go online and read what's happening out there and I'd cringe at all the hatred, lies, schemes, violence and think, "Uh, no. Watching Gilmore Girls while giving Tom space to do what he wants is not wasting time."

No, it's more like therapy. And pondering.  

Like discovering a way for me to reboot, refresh and stay calm, thus keeping my heart's atmosphere peaceful, making it easier for God to work inside. He can speak more clearly in peace, build things better, stronger, for upcoming Normal Days and the battle which I call '2016 And Beyond'. 

And whew. I do feel refreshed on this normal Monday. Calm. Ready. And hoping you, also, experienced your own version of a rebooting-for-whatever's-ahead weekend. 

Everything's easier when we step into it rested, at peace and prepared.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   ... Joshua 1:9

"Mistakes and pressure are inevitable; the secret to getting past them is to stay calm."

... Travis Bradberry

" ... keep your head when all about you others
are losing theirs..."   ---Rudyard Kipling

A very special thanks to all who wished us a happy anniversary! We so appreciated each kind word.


Anyone want to share their favorite parts of the Gilmore Girls revival with me? Please email me at I have a long list of what I loved best.  :)



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Of Thanksgiving, Anniversaries and Stars Hollow

Wishing all my much-appreciated readers the happiest of Thanksgivings! This year, as always, I'm especially thankful for those of you who read here week following week.

Sometimes my words are important, other times drivel, but always, I like to believe, sincere and more transparent than my natural inclination tends to be without God in the mix.

So thank-you. No, really. Thank-you for hanging in there with me.


Oh yeah, and tomorrow is Tom's and my 38th anniversary which sounds rather ridiculous to me since wasn't our wedding only around 5 years ago?

I mean, like this morning. I stood in front of this painting--

--in our bathroom and nearly gasped after realizing Tom found it on the curb at least 20 years ago. How can that be when I vividly remember him carrying it inside the house that sunny morning? 

The older I become, the years feel like a shorter measurement of Time and this anniversary of thirty-eight years? What's that? Just a collection of a few sailing-by months, really.


How kind of Netflix to give me my anniversary gift this year. Yes, they decided to release The Gilmore Girls reunion on Tom's and my special day. So sweet of them!

I've not been excited or anything--nah--I've only spent the last 6 days re-watching the first 3 seasons of the original. My favorite seasons, those three-- the near-perfection ones. (The others were, imho, Hit And Miss City. But still.) 

And how pleasant to pull myself away from political news though yes! I'm most certainly still praying for The New Kids on the White House Block and those who would malign them. You realize, right, that one needn't drown oneself in politico frenzy in order to pray?

So anyway (again), if you want to find me tomorrow, I'll be under a blanket with my hot chocolate and snacks watching the folks of Stars Hollow. Happy.


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."...Philippians 4:6



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Way to Keep All Days Golden

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..."   ... Ephesians 5:20


Oh my. Ours was a Friday so Fall-golden, warm and silent that just its memory will strengthen me like a hug from God in mid-snowy-Winter.

Friday was our final such day. Weather people warned us ahead that Saturday and beyond there'd be snowflakes, so we held Friday closer than if we hadn't known. I sat on our front steps and soaked within its sunny perfection after I'd mowed over thousands of yellow leaves and hung up laundry outside one last time.

Nothing on this planet could have been better than Friday and I felt determined to not allow one moment to pass unappreciated. 

Unforgettable hours! Yet also, a record-long Autumn, over. And you know? The conviction came to memorize this day for later pondering, but also, to remember every day from God is precious, not just dance-worthy glowing ones nor only the biggies like soon-coming Thanksgiving. But rather, all

Even when they bring something we didn't want or understand, each God Day is a worthy gift. Those are the days which provide opportunities to become stronger, less rattled by Life-to-come, no matter what the circumstances. 

Because now we know Him better since we needed Him more.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."   ...  Philippians 4:6


So when we moved to Hobbit Cottage, the bathroom had a towel ring which fell off the wall whenever you actually dried your hands. So I placed a new hand towel upon it and told everyone, "Don't use this."

Er hem.

Well, it only took me five years to buy a different towel ring and attach it firmly to the wall. (Good grief. I'm trying not to be upset with myself for this type of procrastination and lack of imagination, but there's been just so much of it.)

Anyway, here's the new towel ring which blends nicely with my quasi-France-like bathroom:

Pretty, right? It's made of cast iron (one of my favorite substances, ever, because it just is) and came from Etsy.

Oh, and I'm slowly rebuilding my apron collection so I bought this handmade one for just .99 cents at Ebay ($2.50 shipping)--

Aprons. Some of us understand their wonder.


Oh, and one last thing. Over at Facebook yesterday I shared these Bible verses from Isaiah chapters 8 and 41. I found them encouraging--perhaps you will, also.

"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it."
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God-- I will strengthen you..."


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Don't You Dare Lose Hope!

"The power of Life and Death are in the tongue..." ... Proverbs 18:21

"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."   ... Proverbs 14:29


Oh no.

Last week at Facebook amongst the small smattering of anti-Trump posts on my home page, I saw this headline:

It's Not Going To Be Alright

... after which followed a list declaring that because of a Trump presidency, everyone will suffer and our Country will be so ruined that, even if Democrats win in 2020, it'll be unfix-able. It said we've survived other administrations, but we'll not survive this one and guaranteed that only bad will happen and it actually had the gall to say, 'Our best days are behind us'.  

&*^%$#@ Oh, I was horrified! I considered yelling, crying and lecturing the friend who'd posted it. 


You do not just go around ripping away peoples' hope like that! You just don't. (You also don't, as a Christian, go erasing God from equations with such unbelief). After what many people have survived, hope is all they have left. Hope is, for many, the thread holding them up from a dark abyss.

Many folks have lost everything else: People whose love kept them standing and jobs and money or their retirement/future plans. Or pets who accepted them unconditionally or homes they worked hard to buy and care for. They've let dreams die because it hurt too much to cling to them, they've fallen down so low they can't even look up anymore.

And two weeks ago, multitudes lost their candidate(s) via the election and what they believed a better/the only way to live. Millions put all their 'hope eggs' into one political basket because they've no clue that there's a better place, namely, Jesus. The way, the truth, the Life.

Go ahead and protest, complain and seek change if you must. But! Do not steal away peoples' hope by guaranteeing them that, now, Life can only, inevitably, grow worse.

Oh, what darkness, misery and grief 
Rippers-of-hope will reap.

And for those who are teetering on scary brinks? Don't you dare lose hope! Instead, please put it in a place where, as in a never-failing bank, it will grow stronger, increase, and reap dividends over future months and years. Give Life time to iron away its wrinkles, ok?

And may I make a recommendation of such a place? The God of all hope. Personally, He's never let me down and I have the Bible's promise that He'll never walk away from any of us.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. -----Martin Luther King, Jr.


"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”   ... Deuteronomy 31:8

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."   ... Hebrews 13:8

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."   ... Ephesians 4:29

Check out all these awesome verses about Hope, here.


Remember: we all have responsibilities toward our fellow man.

"Cynicism is just plain lazy..."   ... Ann Voskamp

"If you don't understand why something was put in place, if the reason behind a norm or method is lost, investigate. Don't assume it's wrong."   ... unknown



 .... the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn outfor the best: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence: to believe, desire, or trust:to place trust; rely. 

Hope against hope--- to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

At My House

1.) So we have two 'kitchen dressers' and yesterday I completed Step 1 in the redo of one.

It needs another coat of paint and some washers from the garage so the new knobs don't jiggle like crazy, but even so, it's better and as I whispered while washing the paint from my fingers, "Better is better." 

It is, you know. And even tiny home improvements count. Make a peace-giving difference.

Hopefully soon I'll paint the other dresser and oh! Look at these Ebay drawer pulls now winging their way to my house:

                                        (But they're gold, not green.)

Totally lost my heart at first sight. Anyone else like them? The sellers even subtracted all sorts of shipping costs since I bought 6. Nice.

Are these slow but steady changes to my not-a-colonial house making me happier? Yes, yes they are. Thanks for asking.

2.) TV Talk: Tom's and my favorite new shows? Timeless. This Is Us. Pure Genius. Conviction (Darn! Just read it was cancelled). 

My still-favorites of everything out there? NBC's Chicago shows: Fire, Med, PD. In that order. Terrific writing, especially for Chicago Med, of which I can't watch without tearing-up.

Did you watch this week's The Middle? Perfection. No, really.

And people say there's nothing good on tv nowadays. Pish posh.

3.) Our cats are goofy. Total box-lovers.

4.) Last week, a very dear friend sent me this waited-for-decades-for-such-a-thing book:

Of course I devoured it and yes, the information was bittersweet as I'd guessed it would be. But still, I'm so happy and grateful for this book! (Lots of never before seen photos, as well.) 

So another thank-you goes to the special sender, you-know-who-you-are, one of a handful of my readers here since 2004(!) 

5.)  The day after the election I searched around on our tv for Fox News. Had no idea where it was, for I'd not watched it in probably 9 years. Or maybe ever. I forget.

And uh-oh, Debra's still taking peeks at it (and other news shows--deal with it) and even added some pundits on her Twitter feed. 

Clearly, the world is ending.  :)

6.) And lastly, a prediction. (I never do this, at my blog, anyway, but hey. Sometimes you have to go with your gut). 

Soon I believe we'll start hearing teachings everywhere about Bible verses dealing with 'light'. Like all these. And this passage:

 " ... the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”   ... From John 3

And the word 'expose,' as well. Time will tell, of course. About many recent happenings.

Please give God time. And people, too, for time is always required to fix broken things. God's not in a hurry nor in a rush to see His plans happen--His timing is always perfect, even if we don't see it that way. It just is.


And as I stated over at Facebook---Truly, these are exciting times in which to be a Christian!


“Roses do not bloom hurriedly; for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.”      ― Matshona Dhliwayo

“You don't have to be in hurry in life. 
Everything happens in sacred-time.” 
― Lailah Gifty Akita


Free Kindle Books:

Choc Churro Murder

The Tour:  A Trip Through Ireland


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When Trees Fall and Plans Fail

See those two beautiful trees?

They're gone now.

I think God must have closed my ears and kept me away from the big window while the saws roared. It would've saddened me more to watch the destruction from my front row seat.

No, I came to the window later, saw a huge pile of firewood up against a house, wondered about it then gasped! Saw that the now-they're-just-stubs trees I'd told you about, exist only in memories and my blog photos.

(Oh, how I'll miss this!)

There's one down-to-nothing tree left. I wonder if they're coming back to destroy it today.

Grumble. I remember during the huge October Storm ten years ago how Buffalo felt devastated over losing thousands of trees like those lining our street. Maybe things have changed. As they do.

The "no great loss without some gain" thing this time? Our view of the river is wider, clearer.

This gorgeous tree down the opposite way was chopped down three weeks ago:

... though to be fair, a huge branch had grown right up to a front window, stretching only three feet above a lower roof line (how'd they keep from dropping rounds through the roof?). But still, couldn't they just have cut off that branch then driven away?

Each autumn since 2011 I anticipated walking down the street so to stare at that tree.

Then there's the huge tree in front of our house which was whacked down two years ago:

Looks like our neighborhood is slowly going treeless.  *&%$#@

But what are ya gonna do when your city rips down trees or does things which can't be changed? Move away? Stay mad your whole life and turn it into an angry movement? Break things? Bemoan your lack of control over this life and never care about anything again? 

Well, if you do, that's your choice. It's not how life must now go. Those are choices you, well, choose--they're not automatic. And none of us should be so helpless that our feelings color all our future, black--we're only an eternal victim if we choose that, as well.

Life is chock-full of disappointments and woe to us if we can't discipline ourselves to deal with them maturely. Woe to us if we exercise our frustrations on others rather than seeking acceptance which heals, then inspires us to create something better than we lost.

And a big woe to us if we, as adults, never learn to rely upon God for all the comfort, hope, love, guidance and anticipation to live the remarkable kind of life He intended.

May our trust be deeper than any doubt, for even when our plans crumble and die, Jesus remains the way, the truth, the life. And that's for always, even when it appears otherwise.


" ... not one sparrow will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."   ... Matthew 29:31


" ... if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. Keep reminding God's people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen."   ... 2 Timothy 2:13-14


As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I've come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way. 

------  Marianne Williamson

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   ... Jeremiah 29:11-13

Some of the best paths are only available to adults who allow Life to mature, not weaken, them.