Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Just Because The World's Floundering Doesn't Mean We Must

"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


Gee, blink your eyes a couple times and suddenly a week's flown past since your last blog post.

Even today I don't have a ton to say, but here's what I shared at Facebook:

So true! And that's why I keep 'kickin' it old school' around my house and life as much as possible. Some things are still within our control, you know. 🙂 Never been a better time to create a version of what we miss!


Stay inspired to create, ok?
Pray for this negative and ugly world, but don't let the chaos influence you.
Remain positive. Loving. Hopeful.
And remember, greater is He who is within us. He's larger, stronger, more real.

All the time.

(Thanks, Lynn, for sharing this at Facebook! I spied it after writing this post and couldn't believe how perfect it was.)


Oooo.... if you love cottage living (and sweetness and peace), this video will inspire you crazy-bigtime. In places, Our Cozy Cottage reminded me of Susan Branch's Martha's Vineyard book (time for my 6th reread perhaps?).

Seriously lovely stuff in the video. Made my day (they have others as well).


Prepper hint:

Each week create a dish or two soley from your prepper pantry supplies for the sake of experience and practice.

I do this by making:

Chili and rice
Stacked chicken tacos (using canned chicken)
Chicken, rice and vegetable soup (ditto)
Macaroni and cheese with tuna
Canned fruit topped with half a Jiffy cake mix (recipe here)


Okay, are these colorful button Christmas tree ornaments adorable or what? You can either make your own or purchase them here.


“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."

[The Autumnal]”
― John Donne, The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose

"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, September 23, 2020

When My Make-Up Bag Caught Fire And Other Stories

"A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."   ---Proverbs 22:3  (An awesome verse in support of prepping, right?)


1.) Remember when I ordered 8 sets of these white shelves from Walmart?

That's when I finally became content with this modest, storage-less house. I learned (on a deeper level) it's not the house that matters so much, but rather, how you live inside it.

The shelves, our fireplace, a larger dining room table and creating 5 flower beds in our yard: those decisions and purchases, especially, changed my mind about living here only temporarily.

Choose action rather than whining and wishing, ok? Activity over apathy can make your dreams happen.

2.) Speaking of those white shelves... My oh my! Last week I spied them at, out of stock, and now they'd gone from $22 to $42(!)

And here's the take-away: Please don't wait for 2 angel appearances or for your family (or strangers) to walk up to you and say, "Right now! Make the choice to ______. You've been waffling back and forth, but just do it!"

Go waiting for obvious signs and you'll be sorry. (Voice of experience here.) Instead, daily listen to that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, of Grace, and you'll be led to all the right places at all the right times.

3.) So have you watched any of my recommended movies lately, especially The Game, A Man Called Ove or Last Man Club? If so, I'd love to know what you thought, well, unless you hated them. heh.

4.) Finally I met my neighbor who moved into Marsha's house. Her name is Lauren and she's probably 20-something. For months I'd meant to offer her our almost-new battery hedge trimmer, for she has a small strip of hedges.

She appreciated the hedger.

Oh, how I still rejoice over the hauling away of our 100 feet of hedges! Not just because my life's so. much. easier., but because neighbors feel free now to stop and chat.

Old Debra woulda been bugged by that (and the being watched). New Debra adores it. And if you needed a reminder that people can change? Well, there you go.

Our God is a life changing one.

5.) Here's another hint for preppers: collect hard copies of how-to books for emergencies. You never know when you'll lose electricity or the Internet and this information will be gone!

Here are some of mine:

(Could a homework assignment be more fun than being told to purchase books? I'm thinking, no.)  ツ

6.) Last week I thought of something. 

While at Facebook and Twitter, millions of my closest friends (ha) and I are often censored. But here at Blogger? They've never censored a single word in 16 years.

Knock on wood.

Also, if you tend to get hurt feelings over friends' rejection of what you post, this might help: only share things you feel 100 percent with all your heart. That way rejection won't sting as much. As Christians, our beliefs should reflect God's Word and so friends' criticisms of that shouldn't move us. 

Truth is truth and even if we lose friends, we'll be blessed by God for sharing truth-- and nothing tops that!

7.) Now, in all my 41 married years, never have I been all, "We must own the best silverware in all the land!"-ish. 

My parents gave us a nice set for our wedding and as many pieces mysteriously disappeared over the decades (probably due to moving often) we picked up mismatched pieces at various estate and yard sales. And called it Good.

But in July, Tom arrived home from Salvation Army, saying, "I bought a whole box of silverware for just 10 cents each!" (You know, place settings for 8.) Ol' Debra said, "Oh dear. At this stage of the game I hope they're special because what we have is good enough."

My oh my. They were special! They're stainless steel, I love them and I'm now into having nice silverware. Ha!

8.) Good gracious. This getting-old (aging) stuff is for the birds. The past two years? Ninety percent of my injuries have been desk-related. You know, from just sitting at a desk. 

You get up one day and you've got a new pain that lasts a week or more and you now must find a different way to sit.

Bleh. I have one of those now. If I move my left leg certain ways, ouch! Bah humbug. ツ

9.) The past two weeks Tom's sold music-related items during what we like to call Front Porch Transactions. Some folks arrive with masks, most don't, and all have been nice, friendly human beings.

We feel very safe selling things this way. People from at least 12 houses can see us, these deals are always done in daylight and each person understands beforehand the house is off limits (a mention for my friends of the worrier persuasion. heh.). 

Anyway, what fun to actually meet new people during our government's let's-just-lock-everything-down-and-see-what-happens days. 

10. Okay, the burnt-up make-up bag. 

Man, I'd had that thing for 15 years. Made of fabric that looked like tapestry, I'd taken it cross-country a few times. Used it every single day. Nearly.

But last week I sat down with the bag at our dining room table, flipped open the lid, yet this time it landed on one of my wax-melt candles. Soon, whoosh! A flame appeared on the lid, surrounded by black charring. Hurriedly I emptied the case then carried it over to the kitchen sink and poured water over it.

Sigh. It's easy to get attached to things you've used so long, right?

I must've not made too much of a fuss over the fire because around 5 minutes afterward Tom, from his office, asked simply, "Hmm. Do I smell smoke?"  ツ

And my make-up items now live in a boring Ziploc bag.

The End.


 (We're having an extra long Autumn here and I feel so very blessed. I hope your area is 'autumning beautifully', too!)

"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, September 21, 2020

Adventures In Lockdown--Or--How's It Goin'?

"... equip God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up... In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."   --- Ephesians 4:12, Philippians 2:3,4


Ol' Debra's brain's been on a God-ordained vacation and boy, did she need it. Perhaps you've noticed during 2020 our Country's been a tad uptight.  シ

After these past my-oh-my 6 months, I needed a couple weeks to play. Relax. Dream.

I mean, really. Remember our farm years? The 4 acres? The 120 year old farmhouse? Not since then have I found so much to do. It's like the pace of Hobbit Cottage entered overdrive when our Governor in March said, "Stay home. Just stay home."

And it sounds odd, but remaining housebound like that suddenly made me what--usually--I detest: busy.

But busy's ok when it's Grace's idea and you follow her lead, her ideas. Receive her strength.

Tom's working from home now? Yikes! That meant my cooking more meals. 
Moving my office upstairs. 
Climbing those stairs way more often.
Creating a more defined schedule.
Becoming (really) ok with a husband housebound with me.
Watching prepper videos, adding to my knowledge of that subject.
Prepping more than just a 2-month supply.
Listening to pundits regarding what's happening out there.

And as our world spiraled into chaos? God reminded me of what I'd observed in the best ministers: In crisis times they pay closer attention. They put others, first, and aim for relevance so to address questions and fears. 

Good, loving ministers do not hide in crisis times

They shine! Previous years God prepared them (and you and me) for such a time as this and now they warn, comfort, instruct and live as examples.

Only a couple things have proven rough for me since March. One of them? Watching many Christians become silent, hide, and then label that 'peace'.

Oh, there's taking a much needed break (as I've done lately), but no vacation should last 6 months while people in our lives are struggling, questioning. 

No consistent, deep, preview-of-Heaven peace will ever soothe our minds if we hide from God's will. If we hold back in fear or doubt. Only in throwing our entire being upon Him, come what may, will we ever experience His peace which never disappears. 

Ever, no matter the face of the crisis.

" Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."   --- 1 Corinthians 13:7

"Therefore be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."   --- 2 Peter 1:10

'The greatest of these is love' and that's where the greatest peace will be discovered: in showing love during the hardest times.


This final Saturday of 'brain vacation'? We visited lots of yard sales where, again, no one asked us to wear a mask and all felt normal. Old normal (so there)!

From 2 boxes of free books, I came home with this one:

                And wow. For just $20, this:

Oh my goodness. Felt like such a present from God, I'm tellin' ya. Color me grateful.


And lately? I'm reminding myself to stop saying, "Man, it's just so hard to find good movies these days!" In all areas I want to speak in faith, in believing for good, even in this one.

Tom and I both loved these films:

The Last Man Club  -- funny and sentimental, equally. Thoroughly enjoyable, only a smattering of language.

Concrete Canyons. I couldn't find a good trailer for it, but here's the Amazon link (it's free at other places, as well). If you loved Scott Patterson (Luke) in Gilmore Girls, you'll enjoy this. A very gentle mystery, with, also, just a tiny bit of language, but otherwise fine.


Here when Labor Day came around? So did Autumn. Some of my front porch mornings are so glorious with a gentle breeze and that 'autumn slant of light' that I can barely contain the beauty!

"I would rather live free with a risk of death than hide in fear of death and not live." --- R. Loren Sandford

"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, September 14, 2020

Bitter? Better? (And Movie Recommendations)

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice."   ---Ephesians 4:31


Here at Hobbit Cottage?  The days have cooled after our second hottest summer in all of record-keeping.

I sit at the green front porch table reading original Nancy Drews, drinking hot chocolate, watching the river and the trees down there change their leaf colors.

Earlier I may have checked-in on Homestead Tessie, read some Bible verses online and visited Facebook, perusing posts in case friends need encouragement. Adding posts of my own if God so nudges.

I hang laundry on the front porch wooden rack then water my garden; carry in tomatoes, bell peppers and green onions, wash each, then add them to our lunch which is dinner 'round here with only a snack in the evenings.

Passing Tom at his desk, I climb the stairs, sit here at my laptop then learn more about prepping. Make shopping lists, peer at my shelves of food storage and call it Good.

Perhaps I watch Youtube music reaction videos, then a couple of pundits, including a pastor or two. Weeks past I watched lots of pundits, but I've cut back. The way I see it? Today's news all boils down to this:

God is good, 
But many people are acting badly;
They need Jesus,
So pray, Debra. Pray.

And all day, every day? God's peaceful, calming, strength-giving presence. After all these years I could not live without it. Wouldn't want to. 

In the 70's we sang, "He's Everything To Me," and yes, now He truly is. Everything.

And during these days of our Country's chaos? I intend to remain oh-so-near that calming, strengthening God. I'll do what He asks because He equips me for those tasks. 

I'm without excuses to disobey, because God gives me only what I can handle with Him. I could aim to become another Billy Graham, but that would sadden God. The perfect plan He made for me would go uncompleted.

I'll guard my heart. Allow no bitterness at what the world's become because bitterness and anger spoil the peace, the calm. 

May my heart become better. Not bitter, not ever. That is also my prayer.


A Man Called Ove. Oooo, we watched this yesterday and by the end? I was an emotional mess--the good kind. シ

We laughed and cried through the whole thing. A smattering of 'language' in the subtitles, a couple thematic things, but otherwise lovely. 


The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet. This was an immensely quirky film! Smiles all the way through, except there are mentions of the passing of a sibling. Otherwise, pure delight. (This young boy was wonderful in his first film role.)


Now, ask Tom, but I don't watch Rated R movies. He will, but I won't.

But.  ツ

Last month I felt weary of watching suspense films again and again while (usually) remembering all along 'who done it.' I craved something unknown to me. 

So at Amazon I spied a 1997 R film with Michael Douglas titled, The Game. Often those older R films can more closely resemble Today's PG-13 (whose boundaries keep stretching, have you noticed?). 

We took a chance and yes! This was less problematic than lots of PG-13 films. Perhaps 12 'naughty words' and no 'dark violence' that I can't handle. No you-know-what, either, other than a blurry scene on a small tv.

The week before viewing The Game I wondered, "Whatever happened to films that returned to you, tickled your mind the following week?"

Well, The Game did that. Kept visiting my head. Seriously, that hadn't happened in years. 

And now all suspense films--for me--get measured against The Game. Yeah, it was that excellent! 

(But again, it's a suspense film, not a Hallmark movie. Uh, no. heh. Oh, and for best results, don't watch any additional trailers or read any comments. Going into The Game, 'cold', as we did, is best!)

(Here's the Amazon link and for my fellow suspense-film-efficienados-- if you watch this, could you please tell me what you thought? I'd love to know.)  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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Bits And Pieces From Hobbit Cottage


1.) Okay, this was different. 

It's a steam punk version of The Secret Garden(!) Not my favorite, ok, but the gadgets and clothing were super cool! Watch for free here (and no, I don't care what the title says; Colin Firth is not in this one!)  ジ

2.) Is everyone stocked-up on their tea lights? 

Walmart online has 100 for only $3.97. I like to keep these in mind for taking the chill off of a room during winter using those varied flower pot heater ideas. (I created my own version through trial and error and usually use votives, instead.)

And speaking of those, I burn votives in our fireplace all winter mostly for ambiance. Always, I buy these; best price, quality, plus they have cotton wicks--that's important. (I use my credit card rewards on these so I pay half.)

Anything used for emergency purposes I suggest buying now while you still can, for as you perhaps discovered last March: 

The middle of a crisis is not the time to prepare for one!

3.) And ha! I had to laugh at this, below:

4.) Are these Autumn-cute or what?

5.) When Tom began working from home I had to change my whole computer desk set up and this article showed me where I went all wrong. heh. 

Lots of helpful advice here for saving your back and your teeth, even!

6.) So have you heard of ebulbs

They're lightbulbs which charge as you use them, then they remain on during a power outage (awesome idea, right?). Tom and I currently are checking them out and thought our fellow preppers may find them interesting, as well.

7.) Am I still devouring the old original versions of Nancy Drew? Oh, yes, indeed. These arrived yesterday:

Those later, updated versions we grew up with in the 70's? Again, garbage. Now I can never go back.  シ

8.) Something else which whisks me away from this world's chaos? 

Those vintage music reaction videos I told you about. We're talking serious addiction to those, also. Man, I laugh, cry, and thank God for the musical gifts He gave so to bless our very hearts--and--for the folks who faithfully used their gifts rather than 'hem and haw' or hide them, instead, for decades.

Here's one of the latest reactions I discovered for my favorite Bee Gee's song, Too Much Heaven. Wow. What. A. Song! (Again, with headphones is best.)

"Everything we are will never die; love is such a beautiful thing."

9.) And yes, this, below. That's how social media can be, but don't let it keep you from sharing truth, ok? Always there will be people who listen, learn and reap the good.

(Just keep spreading seeds, no matter the flack! God will hold us responsible for that.)

10.) Those candle wicks I ordered (from Walmart) to use with leftover wax melts?

I'm able to cut them in half which means each candle-in-a-custard-cup costs only 5 cents since I'm using wax most people would just throw away. (Penny-pincher me is even toying with the idea of clipping the wicks into thirds!)

Easiest candles to make in the whole world.

I'm also saving the leftover wax from those candles to melt in a double boiler so I can use them again(!) 

11.) Photos like these Autumn ones, below. Happy sigh.




"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, September 09, 2020

That Last Spinach Post

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."   ---Hebrews 12:11


My last post, the one about unforgiveness? Not my favorite kind to write (nor yours to read, according to the stats.) Too much like a 'spinach teaching' (as Joyce Meyer and I call it).

But oh, how necessary to share those. 

I mean, I could only write posts about--

Becoming a happy homemaker
Gardening with joy
Decorating beautiful rooms
Prepping the fun way
Finding kindred spirits online
Listening to soothing music
Cleaning your house as unto God
Becoming your best creative self
Coffee shop bliss
Locating incredible books and movies
Discovering joy in everyday rituals, etc.

Yet anyone reading those with unforgivness in their hearts would come away with only a temporary happiness buzz. T-e-m-p-o-r-a-r-y. And via this blog I aim for much higher (and lasting) results. Words and lessons which will outlive me--that's what interests eternity.

And well, unforgiveness spoils everything. 

When we obey God we can 'love life and see good days'. Experience 24/7 peace, joy, and a sweet assurance that all will be well. (No really, it's possible.)

But only if we release our unforgiveness, let it melt into compassionate prayers, instead, for those who know not what they do.

Consistent grace and peace arrive--and remain--no other way.

Always remember: we're not meant to wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual forces of evil--

--and satan schemes against us, majorly distracts, so we'll fail to grow in God the way He created us to.


A healthy, guarded heart is one where unforgiveness gets pushed out, trashed, as soon as it's recognized.

Oh! This documentary looks awesome:  The Booksellers.


"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." ---Matthew 5:23-26

"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, September 07, 2020

This Kills Daily Extreme Joy

See the source image

“Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you."   ---Job 22:21


Maybe you've noticed this at the end of every post:

"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

It's my sneaky reminder. Go staying mad at anyone--even President Trump--and we'll never experience daily consistent joy. Call it disappointment, righteous anger (that never leaves) or whatever--Life will never be joy-filled within our unforgiveness.

God won't allow it.

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."  --from 2 Peter 1.

Or like I wrote at Facebook:

Because of their unforgiveness, Christians who still hate President Trump are now blind to the changes God's made in him.

God has changed our President these past 4 years. (I've heard pastors/evangelists say they gathered around him while he prayed the sinner's prayer.) If he's not changed rocket-fast enough for you, how quickly did you grow once you found God? Hmmm?

Unforgiveness is pride in disguise. It is, as the verse above says, 'forgetting that we have been cleansed from our former sins'. 

It's throwing the first stone. Feeling justified in making a direct hit.

Pride births unforgiveness and pride always comes before a great fall--often deep, blinding deception is that fall.

Unforgiveness poisons, shrivels a life God intended for beauty, joy and wonder. God chooses to not forgive us if we don't forgive others. 

Unforgiveness, pride, blast with a hammer all the light and joy God longed to stream down upon us, leaving us in black blindness, instead. Nothing is worth losing closeness with God. 


See the source image

Have unforgiveness? Let it go. Let. It. Go.

Oh, and this post is not just about feelings toward our President. Each of us must watch out for unforgiveness toward anyone with whom we are close.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil."   ---Ephesians 4:26, 27   

(Four years is an abhorrent amount of time to hate our President. A total mockery of 'do not let the sun go down on your anger'.)


See the source image

I've kept a sort of scrapbook post about what President Trump has done for our Country. Scroll down for a long list I copied and pasted. (If you can only think of 2 or 3 things, you are way, way behind!)  シ


See the source image

Here is a lovely tiny vintage farmhouse. Wow. Love everything about it.

And I'm still addicted to music reactions at Youtube. What a joy to watch young folks discover (and enjoy) music from our long ago era!

I especially loved JayVee's reaction to Yesterday Once More (my very favorite Carpenter's song!). Listen with headphones if you can; it makes a difference.


"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