Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Where She Delves Into The Deepest Recesses of Her House

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks... She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
...And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works," ... Proverbs 31:17,27, Hebrews 10:24


Sometimes sweet ol' Debra can still go all baby-grumpy about her petite, it's-already-decorated-so-what-do-I-do-now? house.

There. I said it. (And I'm blushing, trust me.)

But then, oh! Often God (because He's good) will swoop in, with Grace, and cheer me up.

Like last week. See, our tv cable was out (long, dull story) so I sat upon the red couch and thought, "Hmm. There's always YouTube. I'll go there." And that day, Thursday, I discovered Kathryn at Do It On A Dime.

Wow. Have you met her yet? She's the cutest thing since puppies and her cheerfulness could lighten any old Scrooge's heart. She loves --

--organizing her home
--cleaning her spaces
--shopping at Dollar Tree 
--finding terrific deals online (like at new-to-me Hollar)
--decorating beautifully, inexpensively
--and being a mom to 2 of the happiest little boys, ever. (Try not giggling when her tiniest guy does. I dare you.)

She's young and reminds this older mom of all that's wonderful about that era in ones life--and that we needn't lose that joy later on.


Thanks to Kathryn--for now--I've set aside my big decorating dreams and schemes, like, wallpapering, painting, rearranging, changing-out counter tops or lighting or---- and am venturing deeper. As in, into the dark, cluttered recesses of my cabinets, drawers, shelves, cupboards.

And now I'm all excited about better-organizing this small house of ours. Like, cutting down more boxes to corral things and also buying those cute plastic storage options you can place anywhere (for instance).

After all, just because ones stuff resides, hidden, behind a cupboard door doesn't mean it's then ok to heap it all in a chaotic muddle.

Oh, of course, through the years I've done some clever organizing, but somewhere along the way I stopped. Picked up a case of Sour Who Cares? and quit trying to improve not just how my cupboards looked, but how they functioned for Tom and me. 

Let's just say I got kinda comfortable with searching and yanking and re-stacking and pushing things just to find, like, a can of olives.

It's easy to stop mid-way, tired, and settle, discouraged, right? But there's no reward in that. No later joy.

(And I'm not just talking home organization here, either. You know that.)

Well, already, with cut-down boxes, I've re-organized two kitchen drawers--one always annoyed us, but no more. Then in a hutch cupboard there's no longer a jumbled tiny pantry--nope. Now I can--gasp!--find things.

Also I'm looking at the aforementioned Hollar (and elsewhere) for some cute plastic storage boxes and caddies and --. Well, you get it.

Oh, how much better to be a proactive lady rather than a pro-complaining one.

And you may quote me.  ツ

---Nate Berkus

Always remember to enjoy the learning, the doing, the entire journey. Those take up far greater portions of our lives than just crossing the finish line.


Speaking of homemaking, this looks pretty perfect (I'll be ordering it soon) ---


Sunday was Naomi's birthday. She and Justin braved the cold and came over and we had such a lovely visit with them.

Next year she'll turn the big 4-0, and I'll tell ya--ol' Debra is gonna feel that one!   😲

                                            My new favorite photo of those two.


                                    Bought your Valentines yet?



Oh! And if this doesn't make your day, I don't know what will. 

Love it. All of it. My, my, my. (Always remember lovely things still happen during these troublesome days of ours!)


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It's All Good. An Update.

"Keep doing the right thing even when the right thing isn't happening to you."   ---Joyce Meyer

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."   ... 2 Corinthians 5:7


I've schlepped along on our new treadmill every single day for 2 whole weeks so you'd think I'd be all trim and gorgeous by now, right?


Of course, in our fast Internet, fast food, fast delivery world we (admit it) believe getting healthy/in-shape should happen just as quick.

But of course, it doesn't. The roly-poly body we created in 5 years will not become Venus-like in 17 days. 

I think now, 2 weeks in, is when tons of folks get all, "Oh forget it! This is too hard. Who cares?"-ish. 

But I've found an awesome secret. Want to hear it?

Since Treadmill Day One, I've kept a log in an online draft folder. I write the date, the time spent on the treadmill and the speed I used. If I also walked to the coffee shop that day, I note that and whether I did stretching exercises or shoveled snow.

That's my huge secret.


See, no place on my list am I recording any losses/gains of weight or inches. (Nor am I measuring anything or staring into mirrors.) Nope. I'm listing only my faithfulness and leaving the results to God.

Chuckle if you wish, but I'm loving this idea.

Didn't lose a pound or an inch? Who cares? 
This week I used the treadmill daily. 
Walked to the coffee shop twice. 
Shoveled snow 3 times. 
Did stretches on the floor, twice. 

Whew! That's a lot. For me. That's way more than I did last January and that means improvement, moving forward and something to celebrate--the faithfulness, the grace from God to do this.

Always, faithfulness pays. 

If not immediately, then eventually. But every time, in any area, God rewards our faithfulness.

So hooray! I'll take it. I'll take listing, meditating upon what's gone right instead of what's going wrong or hasn't yet changed. 

Not basing my happiness on up-and-down results, but leaving the results with God to do with what He wishes? I'll take that, also.

"A faithful (wo)man will abound with blessings..."   ...Proverbs 28:20

I cannot control (or always improve upon) the results of anything, just my faithfulness to do what God asks.

This is pretty much my blogging philosophy, as well. "Just write and leave the results of that writing to God." (Or, "Don't get all loopy if no one comments." heh.)


Gee I love my new window heart light thing --

You should see at night when it casts a warm red glow upon the table.


Oh! I've not even ever read an Agatha Christie book (!), but I really enjoyed this documentary about her at Amazon. Free with Prime.


         (A special thanks to my friend, Ann, for sharing these at Facebook.)

Have some extra time today? 

Here's a fun slideshow of living rooms from the 1960's, ones taken from peoples' personal photos.

Seeing those may help you understand better why Tom and I so enjoy estate sales. We've seen tons of rooms like these, ones not redecorated since the 60's--and they, woosh! Immediately whisk us back to the old days of our retro childhoods.

Happy sigh.


"Walk ... with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love." ... Ephesians 4:2

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Necessity of a Life Of Your Own

Yearly I share this post. That's how important I believe it to be.

(But you'll find some new 'Debra Advertisements' at the end.) ツ


Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 65-years-old, and sweet. We spoke of mornings and I told her, "Usually I'm out of bed before 6:00 a.m.." When I asked if she, too, was an early riser, she nearly gasped, "Oh my, no. That would make my days feel eternal. I try to stay in bed as long as I can."

Oh wow. 

I could only suck in my breath then change the subject for I felt surprised and sad for her. Her words haunted me while I drove home that afternoon and they haunt me still.

Since then I have watched women lose their husbands either by death or divorce and here's what I've seen: The women who'd created another life separate from their husbands, those are the women who survive. Thrive, even. After the initial shock, they do well, smile real smiles and discover other worlds and the people who people them.

But then there are the others. You know, those who clung to their husbands for all their support, encouragement and companionship. Oh, they had outside acquaintances and activities, yes, but no close friendships or passionate interests. Mostly, their spouse was their whole world.

No need to draw you pictures of what happened to those women after their losses. 

You can imagine how they fell down hard, splattered, crumbled, and then needed whole truckloads of Christians to help peel them off the floor of despair.

So today? Today I would tell those of you who are married: Get A Life. You know, a life apart from your spouse, separate from him/her. A nice life, certainly--I mean, hey, I'm not hinting at a secret, tip-toeing-down-alleys-behind-his-back kind of life. Uh, of course not.

But I mean please search-out something you are passionate about. If you're still not sure of God's unique calling made especially for you, now is a marvelous time to discover it.  How can we use and refine those gifts/skills to help people if we don't know what they are? 

Even something simple like learning to love your daily rituals is big. Teach yourself to find the joy and peace in drinking your morning coffee, washing your dishes or folding your laundry. Develop good habits like taking walks (staying in shape--it's vital for your new life), deadheading your flowers, reading inspiring books and learning new hobbies and skills each year. 

Find and keep and tend to good, solid friendships.

Oh, and learn to pay bills and where to go for help with your investments, insurance, home repairs and all that annoying stuff. Do it now while you still have someone to show you how.

And above all, discover who you are in God and who He is in you. With all your heart, seek to love Him best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you. 

Discover and learn and do and be you today--the you apart from your spouse. Learn what you like (and what you don't) and what you do best. And step away from any fear of the new or the future. 

But don't wait for your spouse to join you. No, this has nothing to do with him/her. This is for you, this is for now and this is for later, also.

Not sure what you can do for others?  Go here.

My friend, Susan, shared this link to Volunteer Match with me. Looks like a perfect match to this post!

"You are significant. Even alone."        ... Jan Kiemel Ream


The first time I posted this, Kristi (a widow, herself) left this very insightful comment which I appreciated much:

"One little postscript: When you still have the gift of life on earth, you can always use it to think about and help other people. I think the poor woman in your first paragraph would not have found her days so long if she had involved herself in helping others. I hope she has discovered this by now."


"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  ... 1 Corinthians 16:13


A favorite surprise for me this past Christmas Day? 

Tom and I sat talking about my much-loved tv series, Early Edition, and I told him, "But seriously, I've given up believing the final two seasons will ever come to DVD. I'm just resigned to owning the first two seasons. Forever."

Then Tom said, "Have you checked lately? I'll bet the last seasons are out by now." To which I pretty much said no-way-I've-checked-every-year-for-like-15-and-they're-never-there."

Tom then said, "You never know." 

I said, "I know."

But then I got my sorry self off the couch, stepped here to the computer then clicked my way to Amazon where, oh! I spied this--

Oh wow. All four seasons! Something I'd dreamed of for at least 18 years. And by Christmas Day's end, I had Amazon gift cards with which to buy this new set.

Happiest of happy sighs.

So again--never, ever give up! Well, unless you're hoping for something that God's pretty much told you isn't right for you.

If that's so, you can then begin believing for what He does want you to have (or do)--and never give up on that.


The very best book I read in 2018? This one--

Fixing-up-a-house-dreamy and vintage wonderful. Read about it here.

Unfortunately it's not at Open Library. Darn. Maybe it's available elsewhere to read online? Or your town library may have it?

But you can purchase it here or here.  (Costs more than books I usually recommend, but trust me, this one--if it's a genre you love--is worth it.)

It's a keeper.


And is this an adorable idea or what?

                     (Thanks to my buddy, Dolores, for sharing this at Facebook.)


"Walk ... with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love." ... Ephesians 4:2