Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What Will You Remember?

"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."   ... Psalm 100:5


Oh, yesterday! The perfect sun-blinding, warm type of day which, recalled, encourages our winter-weary hearts on dark, icy-blue February afternoons.

I read outside on the front porch, raked leaves, trimmed dead daylily stalks and nearly went all "the-hills-are-alive!" Julie-Andrews-style.

Glorious. Simply glorious.

Daniel and Sammy luxuriated with me upon our sun-sparkling glass-topped table--

-- while I read Reminisce magazines, basking in others' long ago treasured memories. Then pausing, I asked myself --

"What will you remember about these years?"

Oh, may it please--instead of Today's strife-filled world--be sitting beside Tom in the living room, eating meals and watching tv shows while feeling peace so palpable.

Or feeding the birds outside our dining room windows and picnicking on quiet afternoons, watching my flowers grow.

Or eating-out with Naomi and Justin (or like last Friday for our 39th anniversary, along with Naomi's dear friend since high school, Kellee). 

Or sitting upon the red couch with a lap full of Daniel, staring down the street at the gleaming blue river.

Or sweeping the front porch in my apron. Decorating. Taking walks to the old-timey American Four Square house street and snapping Autumn photos there. Baking chocolate cookies. Playing Andy Williams records upstairs with both windows open, wafting the white curtains around.

And so much more, all done with my favorite Companion beside me.

Yet as I end this, let me earnestly add these words to all my readers--

Please do not let these turbulent Times turn your heart sarcastic, bitter, nor your words, harsh. God is still God, He is still good and may it be said that we, in all types of weather, turned our sails toward goodness, also.

"But where sin increased, Grace increased all the more..."   ... Romans 5:20

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."  ...Psalm 19:14


Warning to all lovers of dollhouses--you just may lose your heart, as I did, to these--

(If these can't inspire me to finally get serious about redecorating my own dollhouse, nothing will.)  

Go here for more information.


And gracious! With my half of the gift card Kellee gave us for our anniversary, I bought this book--

It arrived yesterday, I sat aside my Reminisce magazines and oh my goodness. I could not put down this book! It's that good.

Read about it here.


"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."   ... Ephesians 4:15


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When It's The Things Left Undone That Blind You

The older we get, the easier it is to become all 'been there done that, why even try anymore?'. But don't let that happen to you, ok? Ask God to help you keep things fresh and rut-free.



At least I'm not all, "Here I am at 58 and what have I done with my life?" No, (mostly) I'm ok with my past.

Rather, I've felt so restless, wondering just what or who I should blame (the ungrateful whiners on the Net? The mean/violent people on the News?). But whatever, it's led me to, "Here I am nearing 60 and isn't there something new out there for me? Something vital? You know, before it's too late?"

Actually, in earlier years, I've often visited this place. And oh, the temptation to leap, whoosh! Dive, splash, into something bigger/different/adventurous just because it's there. Just because it's not where I've already been.

But darn, that's when Wisdom plops down beside me and asks, "You realize you're running, right? What about the undone things?"

Oh, those.

The four strips of wallpaper still left to hang in the kitchen.
The three strips needed to finish the bathroom and the flaking windowsill which needs repainting.
The backdoor I've wanted to paint a fun yellow-green.
The laundry. The ironing in the overflowing basket on the cats' tall scratching post. 
The books I've collected yet not read.
The emails I owe. The folks we should invite over.
The last outdoor hedge which needs trimming before winter.

And more.

And then it comes to me as it always does s-l-o-w-l-y: how about asking for a fresh, new attitude, instead? And new eyes which make old ideas appear bright and enticing--and then--seeing where things-finished lead you?

Hmm! Now there's a thought.

(Besides, who wants to leave this life with a whole embarrassing trail of half-finished tasks strewn behind her?)

And then, as always, when I calm my heart enough to hear it, that advice sounds--as Goldilocks would say--just right.

If God can paint Autumn this beautifully, I'm thinking He's capable of painting a pretty wonderful rest of my life, as well.


Something I'm trying to finish? My new wardrobe. 

Lately I'd noticed women on tv wearing what resembles the whole vintage necklace selection from their local thrift shop.

I adore that look.

So, for pretty cheap, I ordered two lots of retro jewelry from Ebay. Here's the one that's arrived so far--

And this one will probably be here today--

And this will be enough

How good it feels to actually complete what one's begun! (Surprise, surprise.)  ๐Ÿ˜‰


A main thing is to stay on the same page with God rather than jumping ahead to a later chapter. Go skipping a few pages and we--most likely-- won't be equipped to handle the new place gracefully.



Monday, November 13, 2017

Life Lately With Mr. Atlas

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."   ... Isaiah 43:18,19


So the 8 weeks while ol' Debra's lolled on the red couch trying to heal from plantar fasciitis (and grown rounder from snacks, tv and books), Tom's turned into Mr. Annoying Healthnut. He tells Naomi and me 'new' health information from online (which we've told him for 12+ years), he consistently gets up at 4:00 a.m. to exercise at his company's gym, he's lost 25 lbs. and now resembles Charles Atlas.


Okay, of course I'm proud of him. Really I am! But still.

You know those people who nearly always whine, "I'll be so glad when this year is over"? Well, normally that's not me, but Honey, this time it is. This was one of those "just one irritating thing after another" years--

The flea infestation.
Sammy The Cat's thyroid issues.
The too hot/humid summer.
My irritating plantar fasciitis.
The acceptance that we may never move again.
Our washing machine stopped working.
Six trees outside our windows were chopped down.
(There's more, but even I'm tired of all this whining.)

... and I need a fresh start.

But what I need more? To remember truths like this one --

"The only reason you get discouraged is because you forget who you are, who God is, & the fate of what opposes you."  --- Neil Vermillion


Today I serve a God whose mercies are new every morning--not just on a rare January 1st..
Today I can view my circumstances differently and-- 
Lean heavier upon God. Learn vital new lessons and--
Imagine creative ideas for now and other days ahead and--
Become stronger on the inside, even if the outside appears weaker.

Whew. For I certainly don't feel like waiting 48 days (till January 1st) before feeling refreshed and a brand new start free from the downward yank of self-pity.

Nope, now--today--is an extremely better time. Indeed.


"Life happens. If you wait for all your circumstances to calm down to have peace, then you’ll be waiting your whole life. God never promised to keep us from difficulties. He didn’t say we wouldn’t have storms, but He did say He would give us peace in the midst of the storm. He calls it a peace that passes understanding. That means despite what’s going on around you, you can still be at peace."   ... Joel Osteen


Those 'remember not the former things' verses are good for me right about now, for I'm still working my way through forgiving Tom for all the times he sabotaged my previous heath-kicks over the years. He doesn't get it and most likely couldn't help it. But now I hesitate to begin again lest he sabotage me all over. It would be less likely this time--but still--the fear remains that I'd see a redder red and the steam from my ears would be steamier. 

Issues. Ol' Debra has issues.  ๐Ÿ˜ณ


I remind myself to count my blessings, not my problems. The blessing number is always much larger!

And if you're wondering--my foot continues to heal and improve. (Though I am being typical and wishing it was happening light years faster.)


Oh! And isn't this little retro-looking refrigerator adorable?


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Putting Away The Playground Toys

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." ... Ecclesiastes 3:1


On Tuesday and Wednesday I prepared the playground for Winter.

"Playground?," you ask.

Yes, my backyard. The place where--in early Spring--I burst from the back door, grab a spade, and start digging. The place where tomato seedlings pop up from tomatoes I grew last year and where I do lots of 'sit-down-gardening', using my hand spade and tiny rake to gather leftover leaves which leeched good nutrients beneath Winter snow.

You know--garden play.

But now it's Autumn and tomorrow snow is promised. So I yanked up blackened tomato plants and churned yellow-brown leaves via the lawnmower (creating confetti). I moved the big lavender plant from the driveway then carried plastic windmills, terra cotta pots and the big sunflower dish to the garage.

Every moment brought happy past remembrances and an anticipation of new sunny morning adventures in 2018.

And yes, a tad bit of sadness, too. But hey! I reminded myself. "This is not Spring--and you can't go skipping seasons."

God likes to mix things up. 
He created seasons to keep us relying upon Him, not our ruts.
He frowns upon our trying to skip uncomfortable seasons.
He realizes all seasons are necessary. That all grow our trust level.
He knows change brings growth, patience and beauty. If we accept it.

And I think finally this will be the Winter I don't sit at the windows wishing for Spring. 

This year I truly want to do Winter well, for I've moaned through far too many others. May I slow my pace, read, bask and create within the Inside Playground  where I must choose play of a different kind. And may I welcome that challenge, find new solutions, rather than wish all discomfort away.

Go skipping an uncomfortable season and we'll have avoided some necessary personal growth. And someday we'll have to go back--and learn the lesson well before we can continue.

Choices made today will help create our tomorrows--for good or for bad.


Our across-the-street neighbors recently bought the old light-green house kitty-corner from us. I watched the first strokes of dark grey paint being brushed on and thought,"Ew! I hope that's just the primer."

But you know? As each wall was completed, then the trim, I found myself liking the change.

Imagine that. Waiting until something was finished before I expressed an opinion aloud. What a novel idea.  ๐Ÿ˜Š

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


Speaking of creativity.... Does anyone remember when I wrote about the wonderful documentary called Amargosa which tells of the re-imagined theater in Death Valley? 

Here's a short youtube video/trailer about the so-creative woman who followed her dreams.

And here's the entire documentary which you can rent for .99 cents. 

For years, Marta Becket's incredible art has often been the nudge I needed to stop being all half-enough-is-good-enough, especially during long, cold Winters. What an inspiration she was!


Monday, November 06, 2017

Where The Ol' Hermit Tells You This and That

Sometimes, right or wrong, a lady just likes to, silently, keep Autumn all to herself. 

Er hem.

So today it's simply scrapbook time--bits of pieces from here and there gathered together.

So here you go --


2.) Last week my buddy, Dolores, asked if I have a daily schedule. After thinking a moment, I told her it's more like I have a daily rhythm. I rest, have some hot chocolate, watch tv, then straighten the house. Then maybe I'll have computer time then wash the dishes, feed the birds, or dust or do laundry. Then rest, have more hot chocolate, then vacuum and maybe read, then sweep the front porch, then rest, read --- 

All day it's like that; rest, work, play, rest, work, play and you know? For me, it's a lovely way to live. To be. It's like a rhythm of freedom and choice, all done with Grace and God, the three of us together.

3.)  Lovely Clarice shared this at Facebook (click to enlarge the beauty)---

4.) Another Facebook thing --

"The only reason you get discouraged is because you forget who you are, who God is, & the fate of what opposes you."   ... Niel Vermillion


You may enjoy this home where the owners are creating their own version of mid-Century style. Some cool stuff there.

6.)  "Life happens. If you wait for all your circumstances to calm down to have peace, then you’ll be waiting your whole life. God never promised to keep us from difficulties. He didn’t say we wouldn’t have storms, but He did say He would give us peace in the midst of the storm. He calls it a peace that passes understanding. That means despite what’s going on around you, you can still be at peace."   ... Joel Osteen

7.)  I used this gif at Facebook for a meme of sorts and isn't it hilarious?

8.) This would so be me, the used-to-be gymnast, if I lost my common sense and actually tried it--

9.) Oh! forgot to tell you that Travel and Leisure voted Buffalo America's Friendliest City! But then, I've been telling you this for 13 years.  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Here's a bit of what T&L said--

1. Buffalo, New York

"People smile at each other on the streets. We talk to strangers all the time and are just overall willing to help each other," said one local Buffalo resident. "They don't call us the City of Good Neighbors for nothing." One reader recommended that visitors ask for directions — not because they're lost, but because a local might just escort them to wherever they're going."

10.)  And lastly, here's an example of the kind of music I use as the soundtrack of my life at home. I love how music remakes the atmosphere and suddenly--instead of ironing-- you can feel like you're a spy inside a movie and the same ol' same ol' flies away.

This. So fitting in Today's world.


See you next time!