Thursday, July 29, 2021

By Popular Request: An Extra This And That.

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."   ---Hebrews 13:16


1.) Oh. My. Goodness. This young woman took over her parents' lease on their NYC apartment (where she grew up) and did an amazing job in redecorating!

Wow, congrats to her. If I had to live in NYC this is the way I would choose. (Tom and I could easily live in a lovely place this size.)

2.)Am I watching the Olympics? Nah. 

Decades ago I did though, especially gymnastics (being a former gymnast, myself), but one day it's as though poof! 'All wind left my sails' and I no longer cared, even about ice skating(!)

People do change, you know.  Nothing wrong with that, either. ツ

3.) Remember that stack of books I plan to keep till the day before Heaven? Here's another one:

                           The hard-to-read titles are The Better Country and Chicken Every Sunday.

4.) Last late-autumn, for the first time, ever--rather than toss my outdoor hanging impatiens plant--I carried it inside and babied it over the winter.

It survived! Wow, shocking. And how nice to just, poof! Carry it outside again, rather than purchase another for my Prayer Garden. 

Don't you hate it when you should have thought of something decades earlier? But, "Patience," I say. Why spend my later years kicking myself down the road's end?

5.) Am I still addicted to Cash Jordan's New York City real estate videos? Oh my, yes. Talk about fun, relaxing and an enjoyable way to tour NYC. He's a delight. Cash takes me for walks and subway rides and I feel as though I got out of the house. heh.

6.) Okay, you won't believe this, but in the past 2 years I've flung away 960+ items from our home(!)

Seriously. This aiming at giving/throwing away 10 items per week has worked amazingly well. The only rather hard part? Barely can I see a decluttered difference 'round here. Uh-oh.

But hey! The decluttering records I've penned on our calendar pages assure me of progress, even if no one else can yet spy it. So it's okay. (A lesson is there somewhere.)

7.) Do I ever wish we had two bathrooms? Uh, no. 

Barely can I keep the one we have, clean. Fortunately I've read that some other neat-freak-ish folks have this problem. They, like me, happily keep the rest of the house tidy, but oh, the annoyance of cleaning the bathroom.

Glad I'm not the only one and again, I'm forever thankful we have just one bathroom. Whew. ツ

8.) Speaking of books--oh dear! Just as I'm crazy-decluttering them (over 200 gone lately), Joyce Meyer's ministry sent me 5 of her books as a yearly gift. I chuckled at the irony, of course.

I'll read these, though, and you know? They'll be perfect to pass along to other folks via Salvation Army. Perfect.

9.) Oh! And if you're signed up for my blog's email alerts, something will need to change. Blogger is doing away with this feature at July's end (darn), so I'm currently searching for an alternative.

More accurately, I've discovered one, but have procrastinated looking into it for many weeks. Many. Weeks. Sigh.

Update: Hooray! I did it. You'll need to sign up again to receive email notifications, but it should be easy. Go to the top of my right-hand column, add your email in the box, then click 'subscribe'. You'll be sent an email with a 'confirm' button.

Easy (crossing my fingers this works!).

10.) And lastly--drum roll .......  The 3 winners of my 17th blogiversary give-away drawing are:


Congratulations! And a special thanks to all who played along. (Debi could you please send me your email address at Thanks.)

Oh, and yes, okay. I, also, am not a huge fan of Amazon, but here's what I remind myself: thousands of small, one-or-few-persons businesses make their living via Amazon and I am all about supporting small business.

Our current world? It's not always as black and white as we like to suppose (but boy oh boy, when I was young did I ever believe it was!).  ツ

Anyway. Again, congrats to the winners and I do thank each of you who congratulated me on 17 years of blogging!

Saw something like this the other day: It's one thing to 'move on', but it's another, better thing, to 'move forward'. At first I thought, "Semantics?' But then, no. It's deeper than that. And true.

And here's another free and fun link for you: a Seals and Crofts playlist. My oh my, I've listened to this nearly everyday lately.


Never forget!

And while you're at it, this is also terrific to remember:

Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "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, July 26, 2021

Where They Went To See A Movie, 17 Years Blogging and a Giveaway

“It’s in giving that we receive.”
— Prayer of St. Francis


So Sunday marked my 17th year of blogging, but unlike other years, I didn't feel like writing about it that day. (Hmm.)

Instead, Tom and I drove to our local theater to see Black Widow. Enjoyable, the entire experience; the getting out of the house, the not needing masks, the young, willing-to-work staff, the comfy seats, and the new 'Screen X' which gave us a 270 degree view of this fun new film.

And oh, the wonder of the whole excursion feeling so deliciously normal.

Sheesh, nearly 3 years had passed since visiting our theater(!) Now, technically we'd planned to, last year, watch A Quiet Place 2 there, but we all know what 2020 did to movie theaters.

Why on Earth would ol' Tom and Debra wish to see a scary film like A Quiet Place 2?! It was filmed super-locally. That's why.  シ

You can imagine all the local news chatter back then about who-spied-whom, who saw the film crew in a diner, etc. Then the movie trailers got Tom and me excited: "That's the bridge we've crossed tons of times!" "There's Main Street in Akron!", etc.

Finally, after a year of waiting, we watched A Quiet Place 2 free at home (via a trial sign-up). Holding my iPad, this site explained where each scene was filmed (we'd visited many), but I squealed when I discovered the baseball field was in the town where we'd lived 15 years.

Wow. So cool, right? (Well, hopefully some of you won't think me too overly groupie-like.)

Anyway, back to the theater. Why even drive to movie theaters these days when we all have big screen tv's and comfortable couch's? 

For me, it's because I'd truly hate to be, like, 80-years-old and with a shaky voice telling young folks, "In the old days, we'd go out on dates to places called 'theaters'. We'd sit all cozy-close in a large dark room and watch movies on a huge screen and feel like we were there! Up on the screen, you know, there amongst the action. But, sadly, theaters disappeared long ago."

With our senior discount (aging does have its advantages), we spent only $18, total, which to us, seemed cheap. And you know? We were happy to pay it, to sow that money as a seed. A sustaining one. To do our part in keeping a good thing going awhile longer.

After all, it is in giving that we receive and you know? Ever since Tom and I began viewing all money-spending (yes, all) as opportunities to help other people, we've noticed a huge difference in our finances.

We now always have enough for what truly matters.

"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”   ---Luke 6:38

"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."   ---2 Corinthians 9:7

Movie theaters aren't your thing? Then I would ask, what is your thing and are you supporting it so that it will continue?


Seventeen years of blogging!

And as always, how kind of God to custom-make a way for me to 'share my letter to the world' (to steal a line from Emily D.). No more perfect way to minister, connect and encourage could there exist for me, on this scale, anyway.

Well, not that I currently know of.

And also as always, an extremely-huge thank-you to each of you who read here year after year after year. Oh my! Your faithfulness blows my mind and I appreciate each of you.

And to reward that consistency? I'll be giving away three $25 online gift cards from Amazon. Just leave a comment here or at Facebook or email me at to be entered.

I'll hold the drawing on Thursday, July 29th, 2021 then I'll contact you if you've won (if I know how to reach you) or will contact you via another blog post that day. 

Thanks again so much, Everyone!


And just for fun...   Here are some lovely old bookplates. It's always a surprise to receive a book in the mail with one of these on the inside!



Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "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, July 21, 2021

Where She's 'Thinking On These Things'

"Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."   --- Philippians 4:8


So I'm addicted to another Youtube channel. (I know, I know.)

Cash Jordan. He's like Kevin McCallister (Home Alone) grew up, returned to New York City and became a real estate agent.  (Oh, that similar grin of his!) シ

Cash leads us around NYC buroughs, pointing-out shops and restaurants we'll walk to if we rent this currently-available apartment. After watching 30+ videos (don't judge me. heh), it's as though I've visited NYC and now understand the allure of life there. The old, tree-lined streets remind me of my cozy 1940's and 50's books with their earlier NYC stories.

Oh, and these empty apartments inspire me like crazy to declutter my own little house.

I'm also thrilled to see the city slowly returning to a version of its former self. Whew, what a relief after hearing some doomsayers' 2020 reports.

Now, of course I love the luxurious apartments Cash takes us through, adding his funny descriptive remarks, but you know? I prefer the tinier, cheaper places he shows us, for they stretch my mind. I ask myself--

"If Tom and I had to live there, how would I arrange our stuff?  
Which space-saving ideas would I use? 
How would I make those 2 (or so) rooms pull double or even triple duty?", etc.

I enjoy this challenge for my over-60 mind waaay more than crossword or sudoku puzzles. 

But mostly? Cash's videos make me immensely grateful for our tiny, yellow, paid-for Hobbit Cottage in our sketchy-but-good-enough-for-us town.

Still though, it's fun to peek at how folks live in NYC, even if, personally, I'd never, ever move there.

My favorite (so far) one bedroom (tiny) apartment is here.
My favorite one bedroom, good-sized apartment is here.
Although, this one, also, is wonderful (oh, those shelves!).
My favorite studio apartment is here.
A super-luxurious apartment for sale is here.
A penthouse (for rent) that's been in one family for 100 years is here.

P.S. Even the folks in Cash's comment box seem kind, funny and contented(!) I've read through many a comment box in my day, but his is one of the most consistently delightful.

More? Cash points out apartment features for which to be grateful, things which folks on HGTV almost never are.


Oh! And guess what? 

As I wrote at Facebook:

So I don't care how many 80-year-olds are still mowing their lawns, after 42 years of mowing ours, I quit! 😮 Or thought I had, for it's taken weeks to find a company with an opening. But finally this afternoon I spoke with Neighbor Sally's lawn crew and hooray! They'll begin next Tuesday. Whew. Another season of my life ended and I'm fine with that. You can color me grateful beyond words.

And still celebrating this next day!


Why today's title? Because rather than complain and meditate upon our terrible humidity or the sad/evil state of the whole world, I'm choosing to think about things still-lovely and of a good report.

Yes, like what I've just now shared with you. Why over-spiritualize and complicate everything? And really, why ruin days by frowning, complaining and sulking?

Life is far, far too short for that.


Oh! And nearly forgot. No longer do I need the occasional pint of ice cream. Why not? Because daily I make a smoothie which obliterates all cravings for ice cream and contains a million (well ...) fewer calories.

Interested? Here's my recipe, as usual, with ingredient sizes only estimated and made for you to tweak. シ

2 (very) heaping tablespoons of vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup-ish almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 envelope of Stevia
1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 or 4 frozen strawberries (or fruit of your choice)

I shake these together in a fruit jar, then place the jar in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then I remove the lid, casually slice the fruit with a sharp knife, then shake it again.

Of course, you're free to use a blender or bullet, but since Tom works just feet away, rather than ask each time if he's on the phone, I ditched the blender idea early and now just go old school with a (quiet) fruit jar.



Saturday, July 17, 2021

July This And That

1.) Now, how many books have I released during The Great Book Purge of 2021? 196. So far, that is. And only while holding, oh, maybe 7 books has my heart felt a sharp pain of good-bye. 

Yet I survived, again, so far.  シ

2.) If you're wondering which books I'm currently planning on keeping until the day before I leave for Heaven, here's a sampling (and of course my Bible is included. Goes without saying). :

The hard to read titles? The Stillmeadow Road, Star-Spangled Summer and Paintbox Summer.

3.) Sometimes you just need Christmas in July, especially these chaotic, evil days. So this dark, rainy morning I re-watched Home Alone. (And ok, that house is a bit dated now, but oh my, still it inspires me.)

Home Alone. Just right.

4.) Speaking of houses, here's one of the nicest, most practical tiny houses I've ever seen (and that's saying lots).

5.) Want to instantly feel wealthy? Stroll around your house with paper and pen (or yeah, some type of note app on your phone) and list every item/person/pet for which you are grateful. 

Keep the list. Recite it aloud, especially during times of stress or discomfort.

6.) Okay, now this was too cool. The Somers family in Alaska gave away their van. All their videos are special, but this one  is a list-topper.

7.) A special day of rest every week is a gift from God and I hope you have one, also. Tom and I have chosen Saturdays for ours and you know? All week we anticipate our 'Saturdates' (as Naomi calls them).

We guard them, let nothing interfere (unless it can't be helped). But mostly? Separately we do what we want during the morning hours, then close the curtains upon that crazy world out there before ordering out for lunch around noon. 

Then we watch favorite tv shows and movies while simply enjoying being together. I highly recommend arranging your life (I prepare on Thursdays and Fridays) so you, also, can take one day off each week. 

Highly. Recommend. It. Sunday arrives and we feel recharged!

8.) You know how some folks say, "I was born the wrong decade"? Well, although I truly believe God made no mistakes in sending us specifically here when He did--in Heaven--I'm thinking whole towns will exist which reflect the eras we'd have enjoyed.

Like, if you believe you'd have loved the 1940's, there'll be towns/houses/people resembling that era, only, of course, a million times lovelier. City-structures, houses, hairstyles, clothing, music, cars, everything resembling the 1940's, filled with folks just like you who either lived in that era or wish they had.

Of course, I don't know all this for certain, but the idea just seems to make much sense. And hey, who says we can't dream about Heaven?

9.) Oh and here was a special blessing--for me, anyway. Far back upon moving to New York in 1993, I discovered the Junior Authors books at our local library. In encyclopedia style, they contained photos and autobiographical stories of many of my favorite authors' lives. 

Being reference books, they couldn't be taken from the library (darn), so guess who, probably every couple years, sat there for hours with those books? Yep, me.

The blessing: some of these Junior Author books are available at and can you imagine my excitement at this discovery?

Now, this fact may not make your heart skip a beat, yet I'm mentioning it so to encourage you to never give up in your search for what you love best. 

Who knows what we'll find if we never cease our search?

10.) Which reminds me: during these difficult days in which we're living, I'm determining to accept challenges as inspiration to excel rather than let them flatten me all pancake-like.

Anyone can become a sad pancake. But God created us and enabled us for much, much more!

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."   --- Philippians 4:13


Oh, and here's something extra, especially for those of you who, like me, love Ralph Moody's Little Britches series of books.

What is it? After reading my blog post about Uncle Levi, Ralph Moody's cousin's son contacted me! Wow, color me happy.

In a second email, he even sent an essay he'd written about his early family members.

Always remember that Life can --still in 2021-- be sprinkled with sweet surprises.


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "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, July 12, 2021

When Water Poured Into Our Basement But We Got Free Taco Bell, Saw Northern Flickers And--

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."   ---Psalm 103:2-5


Man, at Hobbit Cottage it's been The Year of The Plumbers. 

Last week during a huge afternoon rain storm, Tom heard the sump pump running constantly, so with trepidation I stepped down to the basement and good grief! 

Water streamed inside from beneath the wall, even shooting through it in places, then into the sump well, itself. Gah.

So we called our go-to plumber folks (who feel like family now) and at 3:30 (exactly when overtime begins), the guy took a look and said, "That's not good."  ツ 

Remember two weeks ago when we had our septic drain cleared? Well, this time the storm drain was clogged.

Plumber Guy unclogged it, but uh-oh. While doing so, he spied water gushing up through our front lawn which, he said, usually means a broken clay pipe. So once more a scope needs to be sent down there then perhaps even a bulldozer-digger thing rented so we'll have more torn-up lawn to match the backyard.


But you know? That evening the rain finally stopped, the sun set upon our daylilies and I took one of my best photos, ever.

Then the next early, dark morning, around 4:30 a.m.? I peaked outside to our front porch (it's a habit) and saw a bag upon the table. Opening the red door, I grabbed the bag, then brought it into the kitchen where I showed Tom and wow! Five items from Taco Bell delivered at 11:00 pm.

Why do we receive so many (relatively) mistaken deliveries? Perhaps to remind us (and you) that God can provide for us 'outside of the box', in abnormal ways during abnormal times likes these. 

Hey, who knows?

Then later that morning--for the first time in years-- I spied two gorgeous Northern Flickers, male and female.

Beautiful birds, indeed.

So true that old saying, "into every life a little rain must fall." But when it does, oh the value of concentrating more upon the showers of blessings God sends!

If we've trained our eyes to recognize those, the list will be ever so much longer. And of course, far, far more sweet.

What are your expecting? More good or more bad?


Last week an evangelist stated no Christian right now should be resting, but instead, fighting. But what I know for certain? My recent weeks of mental and physical rest were directly ordered by God.

I know because I'm back to my good-ol' strong in mind and kinda-sorta strong in body self. I'm feeling refreshed and able to return to the fight using the specific tools/gifts/callings God's given me.

Which goes to show (me, anyway) that we must be able to hear from God, ourselves, lest we follow God's instructions meant for others (even highly respected folks), thereby landing us in some sad, dark ditch. Exhausted.

No way are we all called to fight the same battles the same way at the same time! God's army contains many and varied soldiers, some who will rest while others fight so that they may return to the battle recharged, thereby allowing the weary to rest while the battle rages so they, also, can later return, renewed.

When we can hear from God, no longer do we feel guilty when we chose differently than what relatives/friends/others told us to do. 



Glenn Beck made my morning (and made me thankful to not be in Wyoming) with this hilarious 12 minute video.

Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "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, July 06, 2021

Where She Cleans-Up After The Party

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ... 
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away ..."   ---Ecclesiastes 3:1,6


Last week I wondered something.

Some of the books I sat aside to fling away (150 so far) are ones I'd imagined always keeping. Like, the-day-before-Heaven-keeping.

And during past book cullings, my mind's back rooms whispered, "Relax. You can always buy more books later." Yet this time? Only silence.

"What does this feel like?" I mused. "This feels final-ish, like something from long ago, yet what is it?"

Similarly, I wrapped paper toweling around knick-knacks, ones with huge sentimental value, and placed them also in plastic bags. Into our recycling tote went pretty magazine rooms from decades-old binders and, also, vintage poems I'd written. I even released a journal (more will follow).

"Man, what does this feel like?," I kept asking amongst the papers all over our guest room floor.

Finally, the answer came. This feels like cleaning-up after a party. This party being, my life.

Party items--streamers, signs, refreshments, paper plates and cups--serve a specific purpose during a gathering's duration. But you do not keep them forever. You use, play with and appreciate party things; they help you celebrate.

And then you bag them up. 

You let them go. Release them. Then, with your memories, you move on to the next thing, hopefully a Life-brimming journey.

God's 'next things' always contain a vibrancy, for He's all about Life. He is Life.

Whew. This 'cleaning-up after a party' analogy will (more likely) enable me to release what God asks. He sees my future! And in this moment He knows exactly what will invigorate me in years ahead and what will unnecessarily wear. me. out. 


"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."   --- 1 Peter 5:7  Cooperate with God and we'll walk in wisdom rather than exhaustion. Release past seasons and we'll shake-off burdens and step in freedom. When God's finished with a season in our lives, we need to be, also.

Want a new life? First release the old one.

Warning: Old seasons God's finished with may contain the following:

good memories
bad memories
old habits
yard sales
inefficient ways
gifts, presents
movies, tv series
cooking, recipes
wrong thinking, lessons
ministries (yours or others')
thrift store-shopping for fun
yard work


Folks, last week I counted my books (including cookbooks, diaries and magazines). The final number? 741. Oh dear. Ol' Debra does not need 741 books, especially when she owns even more on Kindle (97% were free).

Ugh. Hanging my head here..... but moving on with much hope!


Oh, the humidity!


The more stuff we own, the more energy we expend caring for it, energy we could've used in more eternal ways.


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "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