Sunday, August 30, 2020

For A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon You Can Try ---

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"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all."   --- 2 Thessalonians 3:16


1.) If you're a longtime reader here, brace yourself. Ready? As of this weekend, Tom and I have lived at Hobbit Cottage for 9 years. Nine!

We'd meant this to be a stop-over place, yet God led us here to age in place. And because He knows the future, it's always wisest to follow Him, even while the road is foggy.

2.) Ooooo.... this turn-of-the-century kitchen! And the view from her window--wow. Many of you will swoon.

3.) Now, I've viewed many train videos via Youtube, but having criss-crossed our Country 4 times, I'd say this video best illustrates how it feels to travel this old-fashioned way. 

If you're thinking you won't have a chance for train travel, videos like these may help make up for it.

4.) Mildred A. Wirt wrote most of the 1930's Nancy Drew books so I was thrilled to discover a Kindle book containing stories about Penny Parker, a character she enjoyed writing about even more.

For just .99 cents you can purchase The Penny Parker megapack containing 15 books. What a deal! 

5.) So while emptying used wax melts into custard cups, I noticed when they're full they resemble candles. 

What a great way to get additional use from old scented wax! So finally I ordered some cotton wicks, this kind--

--and after they arrive I'll begin placing them in the custard cups before pouring in the used wax. Great idea, right?

And never fear, I burn all candles inside containers, never upon a flat dish, even if the candle supposedly is a 'stand alone' one. (Wouldn't want you to worry about me.)  ツ

6.) My favorite game? 'Playing Books.' That's where you arrange your books on shelves by genre then place them in alphabetical order by author. The challenge? Trying not to become distracted by reading pages. Thoroughly enjoyable, this game.

But last week I made up another game which I call Homestead Tessie's Jar Game. In that game, you step down to your basement to unearth the canning jars (and others) you stored down there, then you search for more on the other 2 levels of your house.

Afterward, you wash all the jars and lids and place them upon folded tea towels to dry. Then you carry them all upstairs where you fill them with dried beans, rice etc. and add an oxygen absorber to each. Then you rearrange them upon a shelf till they look just right. 

Man, I love that game, also. 

Someday I'll share a photo, but I did want to mention Tractor Supply has canning jars for under $2 each via delivery. Awesome price these days and it's a wonder just to find them!

Ball Regular Mouth Jars, 32 oz., Pack of 12, 62000
7. My, my, my... They don't make mobile homes like they used to! This one is incredible: oh, how my closet envy reared its head.  

8.) Ha! You know about the I Ain't Doin' It lady, right? She cracks me up. And I really enjoyed hearing how 'This Whole Mess Got Started.' Funny, funny lady who's using an idea God gave her, rather than just sitting on it until someone else does.

Please use those God-given ideas while you still can, ok?

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"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, August 27, 2020

We Can Sit Around And Be Afraid Or----

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"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind...Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest."   2 Timothy 1:7, Proverbs 6:6,7


So on Tuesday I heard this prophetic-type woman say we shouldn't hoard food. She knew folks who had and their food spoiled! So they should've relied upon God (she said).

Really? You're using uneducated preppers as an example to not provide for our families? To place everything on God's shoulders? To put listeners at risk of standing for hours in food pantry lines, cringing because their children are hungry? To encourage others to ignore this verse?

"Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." --1 Timothy 5:8


What irks me is she wasn't the first nationally-known Christian to say this. Oh, what a sad price they'll pay for encouraging hyper grace or 'super faith' instead of good old-fashioned work and wisdom.

Always I will tell you the opposite. 

When Covid-19 shut down everything, I had 2 months' worth of most supplies. Now I have 8, so please don't tell me it's impossible to stock-up these days. 

Educated folks can do just about anything. 

Those people, above, whose food spoiled? They did it all wrong. They prepped without knowledge and--in any area--a lack of knowledge leads to bad times. Even God stated:

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."   ---Hosea 4:6 

His people.

A vital hint? A 'best buy' date on a can of food is not a 'lady-this-can-of-food-dies-on-this-day' date. It's only the date to which the company will vow for its freshness. Most preppers use canned food at least 5 years after that date. I myself, have chosen a 3-years-past-the-date cut-off.

And have lived to tell this tale.

Prepping during these past months of insanity has, for me, proven a joyful challenge. I'm happily busy and way too occupied to get caught up in any choose-your-own fear these turbulent days. Hobbit Cottage life is fear-free. 

Yep, just a calm persistence in providing for my family, even as I hear of food shortages intensifying during this upcoming Autumn. (People get all caught-up in reasons for shortages, but I just quietly plug away at prepping.)

No fear here, only faith. And only peaceful mental health while following beside the Holy Spirit who can see the future, unlike me. 

This keeping my hands and mind busy with good things? This not fearing the future because God leads my present? It's all good because He is good. All the time.

Also? The older I get, the more I realize my obeying God was the main thing, not how many folks agreed with what I said or did.

No Prince SaveUsAll is gonna come bursting out of the wall to keep our mental health strong. That's up to each of us, individually working along with the Holy Spirit.

Fear paralyzes. Fight back by doing something productive!



What I did over my (record-hot-in-Buffalo) summer vacation to keep me balanced amongst all my prepping and warnings at Facebook and 'railings against The Man'. シ

Balance. Oh, how balance is more precious these days than ever! 

                         Grew bell peppers (and cantaloupe, squash and cucumbers) for the first time since I-can't-remember-when.

Appreciated God's nudge to have me create this sweet closet getaway before all the world's chaos. This room still feels like it hugs me everytime I step inside.

                     I read books outside on our sunny front porch whenever I                                         could stand the heat.

I also appreciated my old 'politically incorrect' books more than ever (as well as this corner which whisks me away to the old days everytime I run upstairs).

And I've been thrilled to discover Applewood original edition copies of Nancy Drew and that I found 2 for under $10 each and 2 originals with covers, also (not an easy feat).

The Secret At Shadow Ranch? My new favorite Nancy Drew of all time. All. Time.

On some Fridays and Saturdays I sat blissfully at the cafe.

As I told you, last Saturday Tom and I went to yard sales, but I forgot to mention I found the exact type of T-shirt (like new) that I'd been wanting for around the house. Perfect color and size. $1.

Also, Naomi came over a few times and we chatted and watched a basketball documentary's episodes and also the first Goosebumps movie (which Tom and I enjoyed for the 3rd time--really!).  ツ

Chatting with neighbors walking by and who are no longer hidden behind our hedges is wonderful.

I made two batches of Aunt April's Refrigerator Pickles. Yum!

Lots of The Rockford Files helped, as did the one season of Forever. Oh, and some Magnum P.I., also, not to mention Youtube videos, especially Tessie's and also the music reaction videos I previously spoke of. Music is such a great unifier! 

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, August 24, 2020

Short, Sweet and Hopeful

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"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."   --- Jeremiah 29:11


On Saturday I wrote this at Facebook:

On our way to yard sales this morning (my first time this crazy year), I told Tom, "I refuse to wear a mask. I'll step up to the sales and if they ask me to wear one, I'll just say, 'Okay. Thanks.' then walk back to the car."
Guess what? No one holding the 4 sales wore masks nor asked us to, even at the estate sale where we walked around rooms, browsing(!) No one anywhere said a word about the virus or riots, etc.
So if anyone tells you a regular normal is forever gone, do not believe them! Do not! I experienced an old normal today and it felt wonderful and like a promise of better things to come.

And today I'll simply add this:

All sorts of folks online tell me (us) normal is gone. Forever. Well, last Saturday proved to me, anyway, that normal's returning! So if they're wrong about that, what else are they in error about? Hmm?

So there. シ

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You just can’t beat the person
who won’t give up.

--Babe Ruth

"Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done."   --from the old hymn


Anyone else enjoy these kinds of vintage cookbooks?

The best cookbooks (they say) contain lots of photos so these must be amongst the best. シ Do I actually cook from these? Not really. Mostly I just browse through them on winter (and sometimes, summer) afternoons. And smile.

And speaking of books, did you know you can sign up with Kindle Unlimited free for 2 months? Go here to learn more.


Oh! And on another personal hopeful note, Amy from the cafe posted Facebook photos of friends helping her paint and update. She'll be re-opening soon!

But amongst the photos I noticed this one which illustrates part of the view I've sometimes described to you. Between the hotel and house there's a peek of the river and to the left of this photo is a huge expance of sky where I watched that unforgettable 'starling ballet' (also known as a murmuration of starlings).

More normal soon to return! Color me so very grateful.

"Never give up,
for that is just the place and time
that the tide will turn."

--Harriet Beecher Stowe


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Friday, August 21, 2020

Disappointment? We Can Handle That.

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" ... but the cheerful heart has a continual feast."   ---Proverbs 15:15


I forgot to tell you something.

Three Thursdays ago as I puttered around my house, tiny things kept going wrong. Sammy The Old Cat threw up. Flowers on my patio table died. The lawn needed mowing, but the humidity would make that rough (and me all sneezy). The one book I desired to read was unfindable, I felt old, and people in our Country were still acting like loons.

But you know? 

After each complaint, I reminded myself, "At least I can go to the cafe tomorrow! At least I can go to the cafe tomorrow!" Take a book. Sip coffee, stare out the window perchance to dream.  シ

Again and again I'd encouraged myself with that thought.

But then that evening at Facebook, Amy posted that the coffee shop was closing. Changes were happening. She was sorry. Stay tuned.

Oh no! Not that. And basically? My heart broke. Gah.

While growing-up, my mom would tell me, "If you wouldn't look forward to things so much, you wouldn't be disappointed when they don't happen."

Yet I couldn't accept that. Early I learned anticipation is a sweetness in Life, in fact, it's a result of faith. Go having real faith and you'll get excited about what's coming. So yeah, like the Apostle Paul had his messenger of satan to buffet him, for decades I've known my buffet guy is named Disappointment.

But here's the good news. Also decades ago, Jesus became sweeter, better to me than anyone, any good time or fun surprise. He became so vital, so real to me that I could honestly say--

I may have lost ______, but as long as I have Jesus? I'll be happy. In a fun way, He'll make up for this loss. As long as I still have Him I can anticipate what He'll think of next!

And that, my friends, is why, on this Friday weeks later, I barely miss the coffee shop. See, in just a few moments I'll carry my hot chocolate, my reading glasses and a retro Nancy Drew book out to the sunny front porch where I'll sit with Jesus, Himself, and we'll commune and smile and gaze with squinted eyes down to the river at the end of the street.

And all will be very, very well, indeed.

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"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."   --- Hebrews 11:1

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'   ---Mark 12:30

"Return to your first love"....   ---from Revelation 2


But hey! I've some good news to add. According to Amy's latest Facebook posts, it looks like, rather than being a co-owner, she's bought the business. She's currently updating the decor and has even changed the cafe's name.

She's encouraging us to still stay tuned, for she'll be re-opening soon. Hooray!


Lauren's camper transformation took only two months and under $1000

Oh! An 11-year-old girl from our state renovated her own 'tiny house.' Kids these days.... many are quite the little go-getters. 


Speaking of Yutube (my last post) did you know that you can easily block any channels they recommend which you'd rather not watch? Simply click on the 3 vertical dots below the small screen, then click on 'Don't Recommend Channel'. This way you can customize everything so that you only see what pleases you.

(And isn't that a nice thing these days whenever we can get away with doing it?)  ツ


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Places To Go, People To See--Or--August This And That

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"... those who are rich in this present world should not be arrogant nor put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." --- 1 Timothy 6:17


1.) Did you see how all the houses in a Nevada neighborhood switched out their porch lights for blue ones so to 'Back The Blue'? What a wonderful thing! (Watch the video here.)

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2.) Oh Youtube! Your 'music reaction' videos delight my heart as I watch young people discover the songs we 'of a certain age' grew up tapping our fingers to on our radios.
And it sounds weird, but while listening to the 20 and 30-somethings' awe-filled reactions to performers of 50+ years ago I recall this verse:

"A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men."   ---Proverbs 18:16

A majority of these singers no longer walk this Earth, but their gift--which they did not hide--still makes room for them, still creates melody in the hearts of young and old in 2020.

My favorite 'reaction folks' are Twins The New Trend, but I've branched out this week and found others. Videos like this one were great fun: watch their expressions! And here's one for Rainy Days and Mondays, a favorite of Jr. High Debra. Oh my.

(But you must promise not to become addicted to these like I am.)  シ

3.) So remember the 2 original 1930's Nancy Drew books I showed you?

 Well, immediately upon finishing The Clue of The Tapping Heels, I skimmed my updated, 1960's copy and gah! They'd ripped the heart and soul away. Changed some characters, left out the wild adventures, and used words like 'groovy'. 

I sat on the carpet beside my bookshelves and exclaimed, "This is garbage! Garbage!"(Tell us how you really feel, Debra.)  シ

Well, now I'm gonna replace every 1960+ updated version of Nancy Drews that I can. I'll consider each book on a case-by-case basis and will soon march down to the Salvation Army bin with a bag of too-modern-for-me Nancy Drew books.

(In the 90's, Applewood Publishers reissued the first 21 books in their original form and 2 are speeding toward me.)

4.) Speaking of books, I must mention again. Just fill in the title and author of book you're searching for and they'll rush you to the cheapest copy in all of Internet Land. 

In fact, in my Ebay cart I had one of those Applewood ND books for $8, but I zipped over to Bookfinder, where they took me back to Ebay, whose search had not shown me the $5 copy available(!) Really, imo, Bookfinder is one awesome place for us penny-pinching bibliophiles. Indeed.

5.) Anyone else ever watch the news lately and recall this verse?

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6.) Yay! And also at Ebay, I bought two seasons of The Rockford Files.

Image result for the rockford files season 2 dvd image

Season 2 episodes weren't available to us on tv so Tom and I are happy to watch these at each weekday's end. Some old tv series don't 'hold up' after tons of decades, but this one, to us, certainly does. It 'scratches our take-me-back-to-the-1970's itch'.  シ

7.) Loved this. I'm a huge fan of those who create rather than complain.

Image may contain: text that says '©2016 CREATORS It's always so pleasant taking tea with Vivian here by the lake.'

(Thanks for sharing that at Facebook, Dolores!)

8.) Now here's a wonderful verse for our Times!

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9.) Remember the Oui yogurt jar upon my window sill with the tealight? Well, here are lots more ways to use those adorable jars (and others).




"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, August 17, 2020

Shall You Shine Or Whine?

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"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small."   --- Proverbs 24:10

(Could there be a more convicting verse for these wild days? Hmm?) ッ


Yikes! Some friends have disappeared from social media. Poof!

I don't even mean they've unfriended or unfollowed me. No, they still exist there by name, but like a shell. Their pages feel like ghost towns and they, the real them, are gone

It's creepy. I mean now's our time to shine

To warn, to help, to clear-up confusion. 

To share God's Word, to offer what we've been given. 

To shine as bright lights so even the blind will see.

To present peace and strength to the weary rather then, uhm, be the weary ones, ourselves.

Er hem.

God knew these crazy-dark days were coming. He did! So He spent years not just warning, but preparing us.

Oh, that we'd recall--

His surprising provision
His heart-comfort
His divine protection 
His instructions via teachers
His sweetness on bad days
His calming voice
His joy-turned-strength
His gifts of needed boldness
His reminders of words to speak
His truth that set us free
His always-there love
And so much more.

And oh, that we'd shine like the beacons He created us to be for such a hairy time as this.

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“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."   --- Matthew 5:14, 15

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Nah, this Erma Bombeck quote isn't convicting or anything...   ツ


Still unsure whether you should stock-up on food? For a new uh-oh! reason to prep you can watch this video or read this article

This information has suddenly popped up everywhere and makes me extra-grateful that I've prepared ahead of time and can remain calm. 

(But this info.---yikes! "Control the food supply and you'll control the people.")

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"You become DANGEROUS to the enemy when you are FULLY AWAKE to God.: ---Lisa Bevere

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Fight With Joy, Ok?

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"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope... Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer...And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   ---Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 12:12, Nehemiah 8:10


Yikes! This morning I listened to a favorite 'freedom fighter' and well, she was kinda 'losing it'. Our Country's foolishness (not to mention sin) threatens to push her over into a persistent anger, frustration.

Oh dear.

I reached out my finger tips to her forehead on the screen and prayed that she'd receive what God longed to give her: the peace of obedience and an assurance of faith that if she does her part, God will do His. And that her part is enough. God expects no more than that from us.

I love freedom fighters. 

While folks sleep nearby, they watch out the window and see approaching armies, invisible to others. They try to awaken those in the dark room's beds, but when they can't? They don their armor, climb down the stairs, then step outside to fight and protect the sleeping.

Afterward, weary, they step back inside to slumberers who roll over and ask, "Did you sleep well?" to which they reply simply, "Not really," then they lie down and rest while the others go out into the day, the battlefield cleared for now, clueless.

Yet for the fighters I would say:

Never forget the joy of the Lord is your strength. Not anger. Not frustration. Not fear of, "But what if--?"
Consistent faith in a good, loving God will bring hope.
And hope brings anticipation.
With anticipation there's assurance that God's side wins.
And that all shall be well--in time.

And one last thing:

Those who expose evil rather than live beside it peaceably? They shall be blessed, now, and in the world to come. 

But they must remember this: for all battle moments spent, spend an equal (or more-than) time sitting with God receiving His compassion from a job well done--

---and allow Him to touch, to heal, every wound so you can return to the battle again with obedience's joy and the memory of the soothing touch from such a glorious, loving Father.

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"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up....Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful. "   ---Galations 6:9, Colossians 3:15

Or as Sean Feucht said it--

This moment right here is a summation of my 36th year of life.
In Cal Anderson Park (formerly CHOP) singing songs to Jesus while people behind me lob curses/obscenities at me/my family while satanist roam throughout the crowd and antifa trashes our gear. 🤣🤪🤣🤪
Pressing through all that craziness though, God brings us an unexpected gift in the form of a Muslim dude (or at least he’s wearing Muslim garb) who spontaneously dances with outrageous joy and song next to me on the last song.
All I can do in response is laugh uncontrollably.
My life is yours Jesus. You’re the Good Shepherd. I’ll do whatever you want me to do and go wherever you want me to go.
I’m sure it will all be insanely wild, spontaneous, full of resistance and yet full of unexpected joy.
My 37th year is yours starting today.
Love and thanks to those rolling with us in this season. Love to all the haters too.


On Thursday, Naomi brought us jars of Oui yogurt. Have you seen their adorable jars?

I placed a tealight inside one on our kitchen windowsill. Made my heart extra happy.

Tom and I watched the quirkiest movie yesterday! We saw it via Hulu and it's called, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? Highly recommended. (It had less than 5 'naughty words', and was otherwise fine, fun and thought-provoking. Not a chick-flick: Tom liked it even more than I did.) ツ

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“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold, is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
Thomas Jefferson

How is God asking you to bring His light into the world at this time?


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15