Thursday, October 29, 2020

Her Long String of Mental Health Days

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."   ---Psalm 46:10


Still here! It's just that my mental health day has turned into a mental health month

Those first 6 our-Country-has-gone-wild months were intense, right? I mean, I felt such grace dealing with it all, as well as crazy-prepping and warning folks to wake up, (not to mention the failing health of Sam The Cat), etc.--but even so--my mind was not created to operate on High for that long. 

So I switched it down to Low.  シ And what a relaxing, healing month, indeed.

How have I filled these days? Well, yearly I hold this personal contest called Can We Avoid Using Our Main Heater Till November?, and mornings I boost our little electric fireplace heat by drying foods in our oven (inspiration thanks to Tessie). If you've ever done that, you're aware that the oven door must remain open a tad.

So far I've dried apple slices, onion rings and chives. It's all much simpler than I'd supposed and yes, I could purchase an official food dehydrator, but in this tiny house? I'd have to store it in the basement and well, uh, no. That place needs emptying, not filling.

What else? Oh! Those old Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Have you seen those? Color me addicted. Those two actors were perfection in their parts and oh, all that London fog and scary (also beautiful) old houses! (Sherlock's apartment, especially when colorized--wow. Cozy beyond words.)

Though probably I've watched too many of these. Nightly in my dreams I find myself in the misty London world of Sherlock and Dr. Watson. Er hem. (The movies are at Youtube, but find them listed in order here.)

Our local cafe.
My Judy Bolton Books.
The original Nancy Drew books.
Decluterring with joy.
Those 1970's music reaction videos at Youtube.

All these bring me happiness, calm, and okay, some things simply cannot be explained. But why feel pressured to explain to the squint-eyed questioners? Especially when we consider this verse--- 

 "Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?"   --- Proverbs 20:24

I love that God custom-made us, don't you?

Anyway, how wonderful this (homemaker) job of mine.  I can stare out windows, renew, refresh, read, do a little work. Then rinse and repeat (ha) and somehow still accomplish the important tasks.

How I love following Grace! 

Never does she lead to headaches, heartaches or worry, but only peace. Sweet, sweet peace of mind, even after one returns to Life's Road where all the crazy drivers need the help Grace can give them, also.

Take some time off! But for heaven's sake, don't ruin it with any feelings of guilt.

And as I've often stated, if we don't care for our own mental health, who will?


Adam The Woo went to Mt. Airy! And wow, I feel as though so did I. He even stayed inside Andy Griffith's real-life home and showed us nearly every inch. Wow. Made my day.


Oh! And I have a dear friend in Philadelphia who lives only blocks away from the latest riots. Could you please keep her and her husband in prayer? Thanks so much!


"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, October 24, 2020

Two Minutes of Suspicion--Or--Ha! What a Test, Indeed.

"For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."   ---Proverbs 3:12


So out on our front porch, I pulled a package addressed to me from our mailbox.

Obviously a paperback book and I thought, "Hmm. I'm only expecting hardcover copies of either Nancy Drew or Judy Bolton. Gah. Did the seller make a mistake? (Grrr.) Or wait. Could this be a gift from someone else? Perhaps something in memory of Sammy The Cat?"

(Do you ever do that? Examine a package instead of just riiip! Tearing it open?) 

Well, I stepped into the kitchen, grabbed the scissors, pulled the book out and oh. my. goodness. Forgive the blurriness, but look at the cover:




Gah. What the heck? 

Here were my thoughts: 

"Okay, who's the meanie who sent me this? 
Some online (former)friend who knows my address and is mad at me?
Some fraidy cat who's trying to tell me I need to lose weight? 
Some Critical Carrie in our neighborhood?"

But here's the cool part. I kept hearing, "Stay calm. Stay. Calm. And think instead of react."

So I quickly skimmed the book, saw it's someone's story about overcoming folks' name-calling, etc.. I thought, "Well, okay, but still. I'd rather choose my own such book in this case, thank-you."

All this took maybe two minutes. Then I checked the return address. (Yeah, yeah, I'm slow.)

Thrift Books. The label said Thrift Books and boy oh boy have I ordered lots of books from companies with that name! So I grabbed the packaging, the book, passed by ol' Tom at his desk then climbed the stairs to do some sleuthing. 

Aha! I'd received an email saying The Mystery At Lilac Inn had been delivered minutes ago and was I happy with my purchase?

Uh, no. Not all that happy. シ

But I laughed. Contacted the seller, told my sad story, snapped that photo and immediately they issued a refund. If they'd issued a long, personal apology I'd have been happier, but hey. Money back is the next best thing.

Today's Lesson?

Tests come to show us whether we've let God change us--or not.

If I'd received that book while in high school? Oh dear. My emotions woulda gone all, "Tilt! Tilt! Tilt!" over into, "WHICH HORRIBLE PERSON SENT THIS AND DOES THE WHOLE WORLD SEE ME THIS WAY?"

And oh how tragic if, at 61, I still acted as I did at 16. If I too often expected bad outcomes, not the best, due to undealt-with insecurities. Some older people still do, you know. 

But personally? I prefer a few uncomfortable moments of God's correction rather than whole decades of remaining an offended, cranky lady, upset with everyone... and always hurting.

Every godly change increases our peace and strengthens us for the future.

And if we cooperate? We're always prepared, always strong enough with God to face anything, even a wild year like 2020. Even with joy.

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."   --- John 16:13


Speaking of Judy Bolton books.... 

Years past, I'd collected the earliest books, but I'm just now reading them--and ordering more. Lovely things! 

They whoosh me away to the 1940's and how contented lately have I been to race around with Judy and her friends solving mysteries which, according to the author, centered around actual happenings.

Unlike Nancy Drew, Judy ages and matures throughout the series, in fact, I'm nearing the book where she marries.

Treasures, this series of books.

Oh, and I'm enjoying the old Lloyd Nolan movies where he portrayed Detective Michael Shane. So far this one, below, is my favorite (Tom also liked this one)-- 


"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

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Where She Got Rid of 520 Things--Or--The Year of Letting Go

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." ---Matthew 19:29


Well, I did it. 

Spent a year, 52 weeks, getting rid of 10 things weekly. Five hundred twenty+ items flung away to the wind! Or, er, to the Salvation Army bin down the street or the trash can outside my back door.

Though I should clarify: when those annoying covid-19 lockdowns hit, I had 9 weeks left to go. And I stopped flinging. But when the whole world goes crazy you're allowed to put some things on hold if it aids your sanity.

You are. Just ask Grace. 

Those first covid months? Intense! Seems always I sat here listening to pundits then repeating their warnings. None of it tired me either because it felt Grace-led and she provides all strength needed. Also, the pundits (and teachers) spoke truth and truth sets us free. And freedom? Not burdensome if not mishandled.

Oh, and I majorly restocked my food prepper shelves. Got up often at 2 a.m. to scribble shopping lists and make online food orders. 

Go following Grace and you can do anything God asks of you, even during dark, silent mornings while alone. Even with joy.

But late August it all began to wane. The intensity lessened, shifted, and it felt like Grace said, "This phase is completed. Let's move on." And that's when I returned to (and finished) the discard 10 things weekly project.

My aim? To enjoy every single task, to dread or resent nothing. Weekly I anticipated filling a bag of cast-offs and I even tacked on another 6 months when I felt Grace say, "Honey, it's time to stop avoiding the basement and garage."

Oh, how much we accumulate and not just within our hands, either! 

This year also, at Grace's nudging, I gave up HGTV. Already I'd avoided episodes with gay couples (you know how God feels when people try to improve upon His creation of marriage, right?). 

But then when House Hunters threw in a 'throuple', well, that was the end. No more. I voiced my thoughts, then walked away after 9 years of consistent viewing.

This was huge for me. Only a handful of things in Life do I love more than houses and decorating and I imagined an HGTV boycott to feel like deprivation, but it didn't. I've not missed it.

What else did I fling away this year?

True-crime shows.
A couple friends.
Daily online peeks at local real estate.
Netflix. (I told Netflix their Cuties film was the last straw and shame on them!)

But here's something I know to be true: 

When God asks you to release something and you do? You feel Grace standing beside you more closely than you ever did before. And nothing you give away compares to that.


Remember the old Monkees tv series? Did you know all episodes are available to watch on Youtube?

And yes, this show was very silly, but sometimes in a world-gone-serious, that just might be what we need for balance.

Speaking of the Monkees, I really enjoyed Jovaughn's reaction to I'm A Believer.


Prepper Hint:

Oh! And my sister asked if I could post a general prepper list so I referred her back to ones I listed in December of 2015. Hopefully most of the links still work--the list covers nearly everything to help prepare you for anything (scroll down).


"He leads me beside the still waters... He restores my soul."   ... from Psalm 23

"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, October 15, 2020

Healing Places

"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise."   ---Jeremiah 17:14


Healing places; you have some, right? Places where God speaks and soothes and heals your heart (and mind), especially from our Country's present chaos?

My front porch is my favorite healing place, but oh dear. Summer blazed for months then September blew-in all icy. Some days I lasted just 6 or 7 minutes and I don't like hurry-up anything, especially healing which always requires time.

Well, we had an extra patio table in the backyard so I carried it upstairs. Moved a bookshelf away from the window and sat the table there.

(In this tiny house almost never can I rearrange, a favorite thing, so this proved exciting. My first 'years' in Heaven? I'll rearrange furniture constantly to make up for this.) ツ

Anyway, now I have an all-weather healing place which nearly feels like sitting outside, especially if I slide down the top window glass.

But October's being gorgeous and often I'm back outside on the porch with Jesus, healing in the sun and swaying leaf shadows, especially since the passing of Sam The Cat.

Other healing places?

Our local cafe. For the first time since long ago March, Amy's returned to normal days and hours! I thanked her for this and now I sit staring out at the autumnal scene, bubbling over with gratitude.

Here at my computer. Seriously, those music reaction Youtube videos? No politics there, no good vs. evil, just delight while watching young folks visibly overwhelmed by music I loved in the 1970's. Just exclamations of what we all have in common. Oh, and Tessie, of course! Every single morning she inspires me.

Downstairs at the red couch. The Holy Spirit and I watch Youtube videos or movies or 1970's tv series and bask in a sweet normal.

Anyway, you get it. And perhaps my healing places sound silly, but wherever a person gets healed is important--and nothing to apologize for.

I hope you, also, have special healing places. Oh, not hiding-till-it-all-goes-away rooms, nope! But rather, places to pause, heal and recharge for service to others. 

The world needs you, us, you know: 

If it’s ever so small the part you take,
The world has need of you.
Be it big or little the effort you make,
The world has need of you.
If it’s only a thought you give by the way,
If it’s only love’s a word you pause to say,
It’s a part that nobody else can play,
The world has need of you.

By your smile you can change another’s life;
The world has need of you.
By a word you can bring peace out of strife,
The world has need of you.
Then life your head and never say die;
Count every blessing, stop every sigh.
Get busy… don’t let a chance slip by,
The world has need of you.

by Evelyn Whitell

.... and the world needs us to be healed. Made whole. God needs us to spread His love in the specific, creative ways He designed for us since Time's beginning--

-- for such a crazy time as this.

"Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who susta
ins me."   --- Psalm 54:4

Actively seeking healing is important, for when we just pile hurt upon hurt? Eventually it'll all topple over into a meltdown and then we'll need major help, much time away, time in which we could have aided others.


And as I shared at Facebook today:

How incredible to follow the Holy Spirit to the right place at the right time wearing the right shirt!

Kirstie Alley (yes, the actress) wrote this at Twitter:
"I was sitting in a tiny restaurant a few minutes ago. My friend died recently, another has cancer & I hit the wall tonight. I was just so sad & trying not to cry. So weak.Then I looked up & this girl had her back to me with this on her shirt. My sadness vanished. I got a miracle."

(It reads, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7)


Prepper hint:

When you bring home flour, rice, dried beans, corn meal, etc., freeze them first for 2 or 3 days so to kill any insects or their eggs.

My autumn daisies.


And oh! Look what sent us in memory of Sam The Cat--flowers! Seriously, they are a remarkable pet supply company.

(And while I'm at it, this table area is yet one more healing place, especially during sunny winter afternoons.)


Ooooo.... Wonderful old suspense movie alert! Mirage, with Gregory Peck. You can watch it free here at Youtube.

Highly recommended.


"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, October 09, 2020

When Grace Whispers, "No."

No season lasts forever, thus our responsibility to appreciate each present one lavishly.


Yesterday was Sam The Cat's final day upon Earth. 

Often I've mentioned him to you, but what I'd held back? My struggle with caring for an elderly cat these past 6 covid-19 months.

While millions of folks had real, visible, legit problems, my mental, emotional and physical strength was being zapped by our nearly 17-year-old cat.

I would give you the lengthy list as to why, but I like you all too much.  ツ I'll spare you.

Just know I've felt like a wimp, a wimp with only seeping-away Grace to handle an elderly cat. Oh, how I need full Grace! Especially during these, my older years. A needer, wanter, requirer of 24/7 Grace: that's me.

Anyway, this week Sam--who, for years, rallied from thyroid problems, etc., and seemed determined to live forever--flew downhill fast in a perfect storm of issues. Barely could he walk on his last day. 

He'd belonged to Naomi his first 8 years and yesterday she came over and spent his final 4 hours with him pressed against her heart. Our house was quiet, like a funeral home, with only Tom speaking occasionally over his office headset.

Then at the vet's office, I remained with Sam while the doctor spoke to us, then with a last pat and whisper, walked through a rainy mist to the car. 

Braver than her mother, Naomi remained with Sam until the very end. 

With 100% assurance I know Sam's in Heaven all healed and reunited with our other cats, racing around the rooms of our mansions. (God being incredibly detail-oriented, He keeps track of all whom we love.) I have no doubts of this. None. Zero. Zip.

But still. The memories. 

I gaze at our living room and still watch Sam gallup to me when I, in falsetto, call, "Sam-eee! Sam-eee!" That, and the thousands of times I held him baby-like, giving him his thyroid pills, and those eyes. Those big hazel, trusting eyes of his staring at me.

We still have Daniel The Cat. He's 10 and huge and I'm sure missing the snuggling, the playful batting of his big brother, Sam.

But after Dan leaves us? No more cats. No. More. Cats.

You may be 90 and a wiry, strong Cat Lady, but me at just 61? My limits and I are well-acquainted. That dwindling strength of Grace was scarily telling and I know to obey its hintings. 

I know God needs me to be focused, strong, to encourage you and others.

So our decades of having 2 or more cats are done, over. Here at least. But oh, what gloriously wonderful cat seasons those were! And now they're ours to remember, forever, with joy.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
--Dr. Seuss

And today I'm smiling through the tears of memory.

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left."   --- Isaiah 30:21

Each person I lose, each cat, all bring Heaven down a little closer to me, so much so, that I find myself often there within my mind.

God so often leads us by His way of Grace, making the road far less bumpy and much more pleasant.

Sammy the Cat:

Always up for a game. Any game, for any length. At any age.
So light on his feet, he felt weightless jumping from your fingers.
Loved his little brother, Daniel, to pieces.
The most good-natured cat we ever had.


Thankfully, I've some happy news for you.

After 9 (10?) long weeks, today Amy is reopening our neighborhood cafe! Oh my goodness, I can't help but feel God, Himself, had a hand in the timing of this opening.

Just when I needed it most. Wow. His goodness overwhelms me.


Also? Our neighbor, Sue (whose mom is Sally) was blessed this week with her second grandchild, a girl named Storie (cool name, right?). She joins her brother, Justice (another awesome name).

Color me happy for them all.


A very special thanks to all who encouraged us yesterday at Facebook! We appreciated each kind word and prayer. Thank-you.


"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, October 03, 2020

Don't Forget: God Invented Unfriending.

"I appeal to you... watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him..."   ---  Romans 16:17, Titus 3:10


I unfriended someone at Facebook. First time for me, not counting when I got hacked years ago and had to unfriend everyone for their sakes.

This person, for months, left only negative comments for me and I did leave a couple 'warnings'. But the last straw? When, on her page, she posted a dark, 'we shall never forgive President Trump for his past' post. 

Something happened when I read/watched the film of it. The blackness of unforgiveness ran across my eyes like, well, er, a demon. A shadow. I don't know how else to explain it, for it happened fast. The ugliness snatched my breath. 

God didn't need to send a couple whispering angels to show me what to do next. After many years of knowing this person, I had to unfriend her, at least for now.

And when I did? I felt peace.

People keep foolishly saying, "It's just politics! You can still get along fine with everybody, just don't discuss politics."

No, it's not. Not anymore, not like it used to be.

There are people at this moment praying President Trump and Melania will die of Covid and I'm supposed to remain friends with them? Overlook that poison, the deep, murderous hatred? 

Here's what I believe God says about that:

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, but every fool will be quarreling."   --- Proverbs 22:24-25, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Timothy 3:5, Proverbs 20:3

As with all my posts, I say you're free to do what you want. 

But as for me? I'll not remain friends with the blinded-by-anger ones. The haters. The unforgivers. The ones who refuse (for even one moment and after 4 long years) to believe God would ever choose someone like President Trump to make godly changes in our Country.

I'm done with those making decisions according to their hatred--and I've never felt more peaceful.

"Sometimes God will remove you from people who are poisoning your life."   --- Joyce Meyer


Another movie recommendation, one that kinda fits with my post's theme, even: The Boat Builder

Just a smattering of language. At the ending, Tom and I were like, "But that couldn't happen, could it, without repurcussions? But the more we thought about it? Yeah, that happy ending could, in real life, happen." 

"Pray for and the First Lady." ---@CharlieKirk11


"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