Saturday, April 30, 2022

Debra In Her Later Years Is Thinking --


"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." ---Romans 12:11


Remember how the Apostle Paul said: 

I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I've preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."?

Well, I'm not quite there yet.  ツ

But I'll tell ya. Being 63, many days I fight this battle:

I mean, I've cooked meals for 43 years! Four decades I've 
cleaned house, done yard work, gardening, laundry. Bought groceries, run errands, redecorated and shoved heavy furniture around. 

I've paid my dues, done my time. Don't I deserve a break?

Yes! And, well, no. 

In 2019 we had those 100 feet of privet hedges yanked and hauled away which still thrills me! Same with how we hired a lawn care company in 2021. (They returned this week and I almost raced outside to cheer. Almost.) Oh, and I discovered an easier way to do laundry in our basement and always I'm trying new ways to make meal times simpler.

Using a pine pellet cat litter, I change Daniel's litter boxes less. I no longer rearrange furniture. I work on my flower beds s-l-o-w-l-y, Naomi wheels the trash bins to the curb for me, Tom's much better at placing his dishes in the dishwasher (and feeding Daniel over weekends) and no longer do either of us eat dinner, only a healthy-ish snack.

And as I've mentioned here 50 times, I've decluttered over 1000 items and weekly I order groceries online.

Changes! I've made changes in my 60's and they've simplifed my life. Made it more streamlined, doable.

But still, I must remind myself of this: the goal is NOT to-- 

do away with all work

become lazy

hide from people, Life

no longer take risks

care only about me, me, me

dream constantly of vacations

yearn for retirement

twiddle my thumbs till Heaven.

Nope, I've preached much in this blog (let's face it) and like Paul, I'd hate to, in my 60's, 'be disqualified for the prize'. (Yikes.)

So balance! I'm seeking new balance. Fresh wisdom. Working smarter, not harder, using excellence(not mediocrity) and discovering, welcoming, new plans God has for me these later years--

--plans I can do, otherwise He'd not even ask me.

Newness of Life in one's 60's? Yes, with God all things are possible, even that. Even now in 2022, even in a world gone wild.

               (This is not me, but rather, a nice lady I found online in her garden.)

 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."   ---Psalm 73:26

"It's important to finish our journey well."   ---copied


Have you ever made a list of your Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time? I created mine over last weekend. With the exception of two songs, I've listened to these for decades, at least 50 times each, and still they send my head and heart to happy places.  ツ

(Please don't judge me. Heh.) ---

Ventura Highway  (America)

Annie's Song  (John Denver)

Once Upon a Time (Andy Williams)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)

Fields of Gold (Eva Cassidy)

No More Night  (Glen Campbell)

When I Need You (Leo Sayer)

Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

Moonlight Serenade  (Glenn Miller)

Oh! And one more--

Come Saturday Morning (The Sandpipers)

 (Painting by Anna Smorygina)

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, April 27, 2022

The Only Post I Share Every Single Year

"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."   --- Psalm 68:5


I share this yearly, but also, I tweak and update it. Read this before? You may want to again, rather like a checklist so to view your progress.  ツ


Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 67+-years-old, and sweet. We spoke of mornings and I told her, "Usually I'm out of bed before 6:00 a.m.." When I asked if she, too, was an early riser, she nearly gasped, "Oh my, no. That would make my days feel eternal. I try to stay in bed as long as I can."

Oh wow. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even something simple like learning to love your daily rituals is big. 

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

Find and keep and tend to good, solid friendships and other relationships, like those with your grandchildren, church friends or neighbors.

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

But my most vital advice? Learn to love Jesus, best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you. Don't know how to do that? I once read, "it takes God to love God," so, well, ask Him for that love to flood your heart. Believe Him--and He'll do it.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Okay, now from 2022:

I found this video interesting and helpful:


Coming soon to a planet near you:

 "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

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

Friday, April 22, 2022

April This And That

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."   --- Psalm 34:8


1.) Some folks believe if you eat from opened cans of food in your refrigerator, you'll die(!) I am not one of those people. For 43 years I've cooked from those food cans in the fridge and lived to tell the tale.

But lately I'd wanted to buy lids for those cans and hooray! The Simplified Saver shared some perfect ones from Amazon. They're more rubber than plastic and each fits 3 sizes of cans. Nice colors, also--I appreciate mine!

Check them out here.

2.) And oh! Something else I found on my journey to make my over-60-and-I-deserve-a-break life easier was these new-fangled chip clips. Very sturdy, should last for years. 

3.)Years ago I told you I was suspicious of Tom's doctor. That he mostly just prescribed pills rather than lifestyle changes or natural help. 

A few of my readers commented doctors know more than I do.

Well, Tom's former doctor is currently in prison. Why? For prescribing too many pills. Also--at the time of the court cases--6 families wanted to sue him for wrongful death of their loved ones, but when they saw him enter prison, they backed off, or rather, the news stopped sharing their stories.

The moral of this? If your gut tends to be reliable--trust it. Go with it, no matter who says you're all loopy for doing so.

4.) Have you ever tried crystalized ginger? It's an acquired taste (Naomi gave us some and at first I took the tiniest of bites, but weeks later, I was chomping them, whole), but it's wonderful for stomach discomfort. So are slippery elm pills, acidolphulus and carbonated water/ginger ale.

Of course, if your stomach issues are consistent, try eliminating certain foods/stress and see a doctor if the issues persist.  ツ

5.) Just when I believed I'd seen it all on Youtube, I discovered videos of independent lawn care companies who, one day a week, find local homes whose yards are overgrown (and tagged by city officials) so to help the owners for free! A couple workers even mentioned praying to find these homes.

Wow. Totally restores some good feelings about today's world. Here's one of my favorites of those Youtubers.

6.) From Patara at Appalachia's Homestead at Facebook:


7.) With rising prices of everything, capsule wardrobes make more sense than ever. I love how the one I created 3 years ago still works for me and now only occasionally do I need to add a piece to replace an older one.

Last week I used some gift card money to buy this--

--and as I told my friend, Dolores, "Haven't worn it yet, but I do know it won't look as good on me as it does the model! Ha!" ツ

8.) How's your prepping coming along? I'm still loving the challenge of my stockpile. I decided to collect 10 months' worth of food rather than 8. Once you learn how to prep for 1 month, multiplying that is easy.

One mistake people these days make while adapting to all the changes we're facing? They view them as a big, fat chore. Don't do that, ok? Keep it fun. Keep it Grace-led and you'll still enjoy life, yes, even in 2022.

How we react to hard times will always be our own responsibility.

9.) I told you my phrase for 2021 was "Be slow to speak," and oh my goodness! That has turned into my super power. (Really.) Wow, all the tiffs I've avoided just by either pausing or altogether skipping what I was going to say.

Highly recommended, that 'be slow to speak' thing.

10.) Have you seen this young man at Youtube? He speaks several different languages and goes around NYC surprising mostly Asian folks by his ability to use their language. Often they're blessed that he's taken the effort to communicate with them (there's a lesson in that somewhere).

Though I'm not a fan of Youtube's policies, I'm a huge fan of all the lovely, talented, passionate folks I've met there.

Color me grateful.


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, April 20, 2022

For Those Who've Lost Dear Ones

"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?"   ---John 14:2


Waaay back in 2013 I wrote about Kris, who I'd known in Chester, CA., how I'd, sadly, discovered her obituary online. She'd died at only age 48. (I'll wait if you'd like to read that post, first.) ツ

Fast forward to one dark, icy morning in 2019. 

I'd just wheeled the trash can to the curb, then as I touched the back doorknob I recalled Kris' daughter's latest post to our Chester Facebook group. "She sounds exactly like her mom!", I mused, chuckling. "Bubbly. Like a leader."

I paused in our kitchen to remove my coat, but stopped. Suddenly the oddest thing happened! In my mind I saw Kris in Heaven (light everywhere) amongst a small crowd. Happily she exclaimed, "Come on, Everybody! Let's make a parade for the Lord!"

The folks around her laughed, cheered, then formed a line, raising their arms, stretching them side to side. They proceeded with various dance steps and the line curved, advanced down the way, until the 'vision' vanished.

Wow. That shook and blessed me. Such a rare thing, one I didn't feel released to share until now.

Lately I realized something: after that happened, I began 'researching' Heaven. Read books about it, watched Youtube videos, discovered favorite heaven-leaning authors, speakers, teachers.

I even began planning my heavenly home! Its yard. My library. What I'll do, who I'll see. Some days, in my imagination, I take little walks there--they're becoming happily familiar to me, these imagined 'tours'.

Even when I sit at the table paying our bills, sometimes I muse, "Just think! No more paying bills in Heaven!" That usually flows to, "And no more cooking unless I want to. No more dark, cold clouds keeping me from our front porch. No sinus issues. No reading-glasses slipping down my nose. No more having to remember to set meat out to defrost."

"No more ---" Well, you get it.

I love, love thinking about Heaven. All the folks who I know live there now and how they're having the times of their lives. How I believe they can see us down here, pray for us, while never, themselves, wishing they could return due to that indescribable, perfect place: their home.

Oh, the joy of anticipation! But even so, I never limit my joy to 'the sweet by and by'. 

No, Jesus lives second-by-second with me here. Also, I believe He's going to do awesome things soon upon this Earth! He'll set some upside-down things, right-side up. It'll be exciting and I can barely wait. 

And so I will continue to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."

And wait and be and complete what He intended me to do. In the meantime. Wrapped around by much joy.

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."   --- 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Our loved ones in Heaven? I've a feeling it's important to them that we, for our sakes, complete (finish) the journey, the mission, the plans God intended specifically for us.


Two movies Tom and I enjoyed:

Waffle Street (based on a true story)

Please Stand By (just a bit of 'language' at the beginning, otherwise, fine)

Fans of Jennifer Garner and Donnie Osmond will be delighted by this. ツ


Had to smile (and agree it often feels this way!)  

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, April 13, 2022

Got Peace In Uncertain Times?

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."   --- Psalm 32:8


Another week between posts? Wow. It's this peace, I think, which kept me silent--the kind that passes all understanding. 

I especially felt it yesterday, the first time I returned to my 'sit down gardening', sun on my back and all contented that I can still clean out a flower bed at my age and in my (sorry) shape.


Naomi was parked out front in her van home (still loving van life) and I thought how good of God to give us a daughter to help us these later years. Weekly she works on clearing out our basement, she buys us treats and also wheels the trash receptacles curbside. And more.

Last week, finally, I told her we may not be moving from New York. We might! But we might not. She took it well, especially after I mentioned a move would be hard on Tom (she's such a daddy's girl). She's still considering her own major move and I told her we understand. Totally.

After searching (via online) for housing in 3 states (FL, SD, NY), my, my, my. Tom and I are ultra-grateful for our Hobbit Cottage, even without an attached garage and even counting its cave-like basement laundry situation:

She's paid for.
We've low taxes in a high tax state.
We've got that large front porch with a (if you squint) river view.
Our indoor stairs? One of only 2 means of exercise I get each winter (so they're appreciated).
Online my next bedroom options all appear tiny, but upstairs here at Hobbit Cottage--though we've slanted ceilings--I've got (app.) 24 feet by 12 feet of floor space which I've broken up into 3 rooms with lots of bookshelves. In no other house would I have such spaciousness.

I'm flinging away many possessions, but to fit what's left inside a tiny, average bedroom? I may not yet be emotionally prepared for that, although it's my aim.

I've discovered our 860 square feet may be few, but they're arranged nearly-perfect for us. Well, except for that basement laundry and garage across the yard--but yes--no house is perfect.

Anyway, the aforementioned peace weaves itself amongst my dreaming, searching, wondering, imagining. And it's Spring! The glorious time of sit-down-gardening, pulling leaves and twigs from the 5 flower beds God helped my younger self create years ago.

Flower beds that, no way, could I build now, which reminds me--timing! Always move according to God's timing. I don't care how many people quip all happy-like --

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

--it's simply not true. I mean, hey. While young, I dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina (while I was a gymnast) but Honey, it's been too late for that for decades! (Let's get real.)

But God's word? That's true, especially when He says we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

All things which He ordained and which we cooperated with, that is. 

Yet if we missed one of those points? How good of God to provide us (if we leave space for it) an also-special Plan B.

He's incredible that way and those who follow Him the closest, miss out on no good thing. You've noticed for yourself, right?

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."   --- Proverbs 16:9


Here's something fun--

Rhoda Stone has been sharing 'mug recipes', you know, food you can create in a coffee mug rather than making a big batch which you scarf down all by yourself.  ツ

(She also made a mug cake, but can I find it again? Nope. Let me know if you do, ok? Thanks.)

It's a nice concept to get us thinking outside of the box, still eating what we want, but in smaller portions.



And I had another 'book miracle'. Now, I bought only 2 or 3 books last year since I gave away 300 in The Big Book Purge, but for at least 6 years I've enjoyed Marjorie Hillis', Live Alone And Like It (bought an original at a yard sale for 50 cents, but that's a different miracle).

For nearly as long I've watched the prices on her later book, You Can Start All Over, but always they've hovered around  $28 and more, and well, I didn't want the book that much.

But yesterday! I found one that cost, with tax, $6.43. Wow. Guess who immediately thanked God a few times??

Good things really do come to those who wait with faith!


One more thing: Tom and I watched the cutest, funniest movie last week.  It's called Who Gets The Dog? A delight!

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, April 06, 2022

Bucket Lists? Even In Unpredictable 2022?

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless....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. "   ---Psalm 84:11, Jeremiah 29:11


At one time, my 'Bucket List' resembled this:

Travel across country by train.
Visit at least one Laura Ingalls Wilder site.
Teach in front of 100+ people.
Collect a dreamy library.
Live on a little farm.
Write something other people will read.
Travel Route 66.

Thankfully, only the last one remains unchecked. Not done. And unlikely.

But you know? I'm grateful for these 3 young folks, below, who've whooshed me, via Youtube, down Route 66 many times. Through re-watchings, I've got the road's attractions nearly memorized!

Justin Scarred

These days I almost feel as though Tom and I traveled Route 66, like, years ago. Remembered, but not quite, in a hazy sort of way.

(Nope, I am not ready for the old folks' home.) シ

No, it's like as I'm aging, I watch God making my dreams come true, but in unexpected, brain-unimagined ways. 

It's when we insist, "Things must be and look a certain way," that we gather trouble.

What matters is that we stay open for lovely things to happen. That we keep believing, knowing, we'll not miss-out. And heavens! Not allowing ourselves to repeat the ol' pathetic, "Good things will never happen to me! Things will never change," thoughts.

Please never go there again, ok?

Anyway, today color me thankful for ALL folks who faithfully use their God-given talents to bless the rest of us. 

And oh my, may we faithfully share what only we can give, reaping all that God meant since He first imagined us.

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..."   --- from Romans 12

Regarding Bucket Lists? Do what you can while you still can. God's timing: it matters.

Life on Earth is a huge puzzle. If your piece is hidden, this world is not complete. It's lacking.


In my last post I mentioned having my groceries delivered by Aldi. Do I mind giving the delivery folks a tip? Are you kidding? I love it. I'd much rather give money to them than my own gas tank.

And I love thanking them for what they do. Yesterday the kind, older black lady stood at the bottom of our front steps with a final bag while I placed others inside. I asked, "Oh! Did you need to take a picture of these first?"

She replied, "No, no need for a picture. It's just that I'm not wearing my mask and I don't like to bother people by being in their space."

I chuckled and said, "Oh, we are sooo over that!" She laughed, agreed, then came up the stairs. I thanked her for packing the bags so lightly.

But then later as I shut the door, I thought, "What have we done to ourselves these days? How sad, this feeling we must stand far apart."

Warmer days are here... color me rejoicing!

Oh! Have you heard the song that Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote for Governor DeSantis? Tom and I really, really enjoyed it. (Your results may vary, heh.)


"Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal."   --- 2 Corinthians 8:14

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