Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Where She Teaches Her House To Clean Itself (And Some Hawaii Stuff)

"Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. ..."   --- Proverbs 3:18


These days? We can all use bits of extra fun, so ....

One of good ol' Debra's favorite sayings for decades:

Work smarter, not harder.

And these she's-no-spring-chicken days she is, more than ever, attempting to teach her house how to clean itself.

And just how does one do that? 

Here are some ideas, quick-fashion, because well, I'd like to move on to Hawaii (wouldn't we all?)  シ

Here in Western New York, most people remove their shoes once inside the door. They just do, which hey, makes them smart because this keeps tons of dirt off their floors and carpet. (These days Tom must leave his shoes on and trust me, my carpet shows the difference.)

In short, dirt kept outside means you're not cleaning it inside. Doormats on both sides of entry doors capture tons of dirt when you use them to wipe your shoes.

I heat extra water in my kettle each morning for hot chocolate so I can pour it over my kitchen sink. This keeps grease and etc. from building, meaning I scour the sink less often. (Helps keep the drain clear, ideally, also, especially when adding dishwashing liquid.)

While pouring powdery substances from one container to another, I do so in the kitchen sink. Powdery residue spills on the counter are harder to wipe up than to just whisk them away with the sprayer in the sink.

If I'm out-and-about only an hour or two, always I return home, change out of my clothes and rehang them. (This, I've read, French women also do.) This habit greatly cuts down on laundry and clothes last years longer.

I do housework in the mornings since that's when I have the most energy. I try to take afternoons off (occasionally this actually works. heh.)

I make our main meal at noon and clean up as I go. After lunch, we place our dishes in the dishwasher and there's no big mess to clean up. (And I'm not tired at 1:00 pm like I would be in the evenings.)

This year, especially, I'm growing what I can in pots both on our front porch and in our herb garden just below it. This way I simply step out our front door with a water jug, then water everything without walking around our yard. (Looove this idea.)

I keep a hand towel on the couch for Daniel the Cat. I can just shake out most of his hair rather than use a wet paper towel all over the couch. Oh, and I use pine cat litter which means I change the box less often.

I've given away tons of clutter and when you do that? You've freed yourself from spending energy, time and soap, even, cleaning.

...and after 40 years of my mowing the lawn, we hired local lawn guys and now every Tuesday feels like Christmas.

Now, there's more, but this post's purpose? To have you, also, actively thinking, "How can I make this stage of my life easier? How can I, these later years, accomplish more of what God created me to do?"

Just a few creative ideas for you today. I'd love to hear some of the changes you've made, as well!

Though I do my housework in the mornings, I'm also sure to fit in front porch reading time, especially if, later, the day will grow too warm.

Oh! And trying to follow my weekly master To Do List really helps. I'd gotten away from it for months and fell behind, got lazy, so it's a blessing to return and keep up.

Two more hints: when I immediately clean spills, there's no chiseling them away later when dried. And using our handy-dandy scented wax melter effortlessly keeps the house smelling pleasant.


When first married, Tom and I watched the old (1968) Hawaii Five-0 series and well, it was okay. It was there. Available. Something to dull our minds before bedtime.


But the new (2010) Hawaii Five-0? Wow, we love that one (and are currently rewatching all). Oh, a few episodes got a tad dark, but mostly, just the right note was struck; light-hearted and serious, making it a balanced pleasure.

People in online comment sections (who probably never watched more than 2 new Five-0 episodes) declare the old Hawaii Five-0 was far superior. Huh. Well, since this is my blog I'll boldly state here: The new Hawaii Five-0 is far superior! (So there. heh.)

We love the storylines, the friendly banter, the balanced light and dark tone, the beautiful Hawaiian people and the gorgeous filming of Oahu and other islands, especially during our l-o-n-g winters, but really, anytime. 

And since we'll most likely never visit Hawaii? We're extra grateful for these livingroom peaks.

Anyway, two last things:

1.) Remember the Duke Kahanamoku documentary I recommended? Ever since, we enjoy the occasional sightings of his statue on Hawaii 5-0 and in one 'bygone era' episode, posters of him inside a restaurant.

(Anyone else watch that documentary? If so, what did you think? I love it when you tell me you viewed my recommendations.)

2.) Whenever Hawaii Five-0 plays vintage Hawaiian music I'd swoon and think, "I should find a Youtube video with those type songs." Finally this week I did that! Here you go if you, also, enjoy those tunes.


For those who appreciated that vintage mobile home I shared last time, you might also like this:

This woman's father sounded like an amazing carpenter and dad, as well. (That hidden staircase, right?)


My own little bit of paradise: my Prayer Garden:

Powerful stuff!


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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Money? She's Gonna Talk About Money?!

"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


A controversial post, but I'm passionate about this and it's my blog, so ...  ツ

I attended 3 high schools (long story, but no expulsions were involved. heh.) and the Spanish teacher in the final one? Via a hometown Facebook group, last weekend I learned he and his wife lost their home to a fire.

They'd traveled to Oregon with their dogs to a dog show so no one was harmed, but still. How devastating to lose one's house, especially while in your 80's!

A friend of theirs started a GoFundMe page and immediately I gave an amount I believe God asked me to. Call me whatever you wish, but for years I've felt grateful for pages such as GoFundMe. 

Decades past, giving in such situations was complicated. You could leave donations at the local bank (but from 3,000 miles away?) or the bank's address was given. Or only a phone number was listed (I'm not a phone person) if you wished to contribute that way.

Often all that complication made it simple to quip the excuse, "I'd love to give, but I couldn't figure out how," and then go about one's merry, kinda-justified life.

Yet now? Color me utterly thankful that places like GoFundMe exist. They make giving simple and I've had only wonderful experiences. (And please, please don't get all, "But they charge an extra fee and I heard they ... blah, blah, blah.) 

Hey, if you don't trust certain groups, search until you find one that you do. 

Anyway. For years too often Facebook friends have posted meme's like this one--

And frankly? They make my heart hurt. 

How's that supposed to help someone whose house burned down? Or widows who can't pay for their husband's funeral? Or parents whose baby needs unexpected surgery? Or ?

The answer: it doesn't help. It only harms the already distraught feelings of those who suddenly experienced a catastrophe.

People, it is a privilege to give money to those in need! An honor. A pleasure. A God-designed opportunity to visibly spread His help on Earth.

And yes, there are other ways to help those in need! I get it. But too often I've observed folks jumping off there: they can't give money, but they can pray. Or send food. Or clean, cook, drive, phone, etc., etc.

All good, yes!

But in many cases, after a disaster, folks need money. And gift cards. They really do. And may we at least consider yanking ourselves from the I-don't-have-money-but-I-can-do-etc., auto-pilot switch (if it's ours) if we've raced to flip it decade after decade. 

What if we changed our response to be more like this?

"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

Who knows? Maybe all sorts of areas in our life would change.

Think I'm clueless? Don't know what it's like? Think again. 

God's worked on my mind for decades, prying the dollars, at first, from my scared little fingers until now I actively search for ways to give. And now? Always there's enough both to give and to save.

Freely, freely you have received.
Freely, freely give.

Go sowing all sorts of help and watch out! All sorts of help will find its way to you. After all, God promised.

"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."   --- Proverbs 19:17

There is no growth without change. ---copied


Okay, only some of you will appreciate this vintage 1960 mobile home video

Such a time capsule! I love the floor, especially, and the kitchen and I can just picture a young woman in a dress and hostess apron along with her husband entertaining her guests with hors d'oeuvres.

Not crazy about the bathroom sink and counter, but hey.... Otherwise, if I lived there? Everyday I'd feel like I was playing homemaking games and never working. 

(Oh, and give the guy a few extra seconds to adjust the light on his camera.)  シ


Nine Sneaky Home Hacks. (She has the best ideas!)

And oh! I watched this gal prepare no-cook, summertime meals and became exremely hungry. 

What I'm hoping is that, when I get to Heaven, Jesus won't say, "Uhm, Debra? Over your lifetime I sent you $10,000 so to help others, but you only used $2,575. Why was that?"



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, June 17, 2022

June This And That (And 'Many Beautiful Things')

The saddest folks are the hiding ones. Our happiness increases, hugely, when we freely share what God makes certain our heart heard and our eyes discovered.


Lilias  Trotter

1.) Oh my. I found not one, but two beautiful documentaries, both you can watch free(!) My main reason for enjoying documentaries is they're nearly always true stories about people who pressed through hard times.

a.) Many Beautiful Things. Watch the trailer here. View the entire documentary at Youtube here, (but it can also be found other places).

b.) Waterman. The trailer is here and you can watch the full movie at the PBS network, where we signed up for free.

                           Duke Kahanamoku

I can't even explain how much I loved both of these and you know? Only those who never give-up on locating wonderful films these days will find them.

'Seek and you will find. You have not because you ask not.'

2.)  Never feel embarrassed that your peaceful places are not the same as others'. Only you know what keeps your mind intact, steady, what calms the storms which whip up inside your head.

I've had a lifetime of resting in the oddest places, so I know this to be true.  シ

3.)  So we've put moving out-of-state on hold for awhile (long story) and we found the perfect house nearby! But, alas: huge power line structures back the yard, so we're passing on this one.

But check-out the shed which Naomi could've made into a tiny house. Place a large-ish window in front and wouldn't it be adorable?

But again, oh well.

Yet, speaking of shed homes, here's one of the cutest I've ever seen (and that's saying something). Much respect for the older woman who did lots of the work!

4.) Oh! And my other favorite part of that house we passed on? This small family room could've been mine-all-mine. (Don't worry, Tom would've had even more rooms than I.)  シ

Boo hoo. (I confess it's a stretch of my faith to believe for another such place, but stretching one's faith is a good, growing thing, after all.)

5.) We had the most gorgeous Spring I ever recall in our 29 years here, but the past two days? This has been me:

6.) With food prices skyrocketing, it's wise to check out books or videos about extreme budgeting for meals. This was an inspiring video along those lines. 

(I've noticed convenience meals have taken the most insane leap, so the lesson there? Return to cooking your own from-scratch meals and save tons of money.)


8.) Well, the plug-directly-into-an-outlet type of scented wax melters just weren't working for me. They saved space--not sitting on a countertop--but they kept dying.

So! I bought this type, below, made room on the counter, and it's lasted for months (looks nicer in-person)-- 

Color me extremely pleased. You can find it at Target (tho' like everything else, the price increased) and ones like it elsewhere. It requires 'special bulbs', but I found them cheaply at Amazon.

9.)  And as I shared at Facebook:

"I was at the gas pump Saturday and while I was standing there, I saw a very old man in a beat up van proceed to put $6 dollars in his tank. Before he drove away, I asked if I could fill up his tank for him. He almost cried! Broke my heart. We must take care of our elderly!" ❤ ❤
---MichelleC @ChelleRenay

10.) And you know how 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ends like this?  --

"...do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope."

 May that be said of us these current wild days, as well as this below:

I don't care what's going on; always God is greater and Light constantly shines brighter than the darkness!


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, June 13, 2022

Holding On And Letting Go. Knowing When to Do Which.

... a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."   ---James 1:8


My longtime readers? You'll recall Autumn Cottage, our first house in New York and somehow, oh my! I missed that our buyers sold it last July. 

For years, I checked online for photos of changes they'd made via a sale listing (anyone else nosey like me?).  ツ Time. It sails past!

Anyway, I'd painted every single wall in that house; they covered them each (except 2 upstairs) with white. But hey, who cares? When you totally release a house, you--ideally--just want what's best for it and its new owners. You give them freedom to undo all you did, right? Right?  シ

The countertops, flooring and paint are new. Behind the door is the large pantry closet --

And the just-an-old-unfinished-basement now looks like this (wow, all that work!)--

Oh, and they removed absolutely everything I did in the backyard, but this is lovely, also (that gate is the perfect accent, right?)--

There's more, but that's enough. 

When we moved-in, I was 34 and never before had lived in the same house for more than 3 years(!) We spent nearly 15 good, good years here so a lesson? Never assume your life will always be just one way. Movers can become stayers and --
May the new owners feel as welcomed and blessed as we did.


Speaking of that house, if I miss anything it's only the sunroom and the pantry closet. 

And you know? When I viewed the kitchen photo and recalled with
longing that pantry closet, it (finally) came to me. "Wait a minute! I could have a whole pantry room here upstairs!"

(We've lived here nearly 11 years. Does anyone else try hard not to kick yourself at how slowly wonderful ideas come to you?)

I mean, ok. I've stored prepper pantry items in that room already, but also lots of books. And cat supplies. I hung damp laundry there and --. But never before had I envisioned how it could become a pantry room, something better than our former closet! 

Oh, how important, especially these days, to respect fluidity, to think outside the box. It's when we believe things must look and be and feel a certain way that we get stuck. Grace can only be followed, not forced.

Wow. I carried all the books into our guest room/my office which I can now call a /library, as well. I removed some food cans I'd stored in here, gave away a handful of other items and all my books fit fine.

Ages ago I told you sometimes we just need to get rid of the mixture in our lives. 

The bad habits mixed-in with good. 
The 1990's decor if we're wanting only a 1950's look.
Indecision dwelling with decisiveness.  
Procrastination with needing things accomplished.
The clinging to bad/sad memories if we're longing for daily joy.

What I'm aiming for lately is a balanced sort of single-minded focus. A determination to complete what I begin, but not to the exclusion of what else needs to be done 'round here.

And oh, what I'd really love is to rely upon God more so that wonderful ideas won't require 10 or 11 years.  ッ

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."   ---Hebrews 12:1

Speaking of pantries, why buy and store those now-expensive envelopes of, say, chili seasoning? It's simple to find recipes for those online and then you can store them in jars or containers or even your own cute envelopes made from foil and a label.

To get you started, here's a chili seasoning mix recipe I found last week:

5 tbl. chili powder
2 tbl. garlic powder
2 tbl. paprika
1 1/2 tbl onion powder
1 tbl. oregano
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder


Lots of years ago, my sweet friend, Joyce, mailed this book to me:

Oh my. Always this book survives every single book purge (and there've been many, trust me). Thank-you again, Joyce!

And guess what? Each of you, my readers, can also peruse the lovely pages! Just go here to Open Library.

In fact, some others of Mary's books are waiting for you. Look her up under Mary Ellisor Emmerling and you'll find a longer list.


Oh! And after finishing my last post, I added 4 or 5 additional authors (scroll down) I read over at OpenLibrary.org. Just thought I'd mention it in case you want to check out the list again. 

Great news! Yesterday Tom and I were finally able to clear our slooow-moving kitchen sink drain! Woo hoo! A toilet plunger, hot water and liquid dish soap did the trick. 
How lovely, incredible even, to begin the week with a freely-running kitchen sink drain.



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

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Hating 2022 Life? You Might Be Doing It Wrong. :)

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."   --- Isaiah 55:12


So Mrs. Youtube Watcher (me) heard tons of this last month:

"Get prepared (or else!)!" 
"Hard, bad times are coming."
"Prep as though your life depends upon it!"
"Grow a huge garden! Small ones don't count."
"Work all day long! Work! Work! Work!"
"Be angry at what the government is doing to us!"


Well, ol' Debra lives a different way. These past 2 years (especially) she calmly checks her master stock-up list to see which items are low, then adds those non-perishables to her weekly Aldi list. Three, maybe four at a time. (No hoarding or panic allowed.)

During rest times (many) with slow good-byes and final reads, she cleared 320 books from her shelves. Over 2 years she strolled with them down to the Salvation Army drop-off. The empty bookshelves? She filled those with Aldi groceries, placing curtains or framed art in front of them.

No harried supermarket trips amongst wild crowds at her little store.

Sitting in front of garden beds with her hand-rake, she cleared the leaves away. This required weeks, but got her humming out in the sunshine.

She dumped pots of old soil into the compost, added her secret ingredients, waited some days, then poured the 'new soil' into pots. Afterward she planted seeds or kitchen cuttings like celery, green onions, carrot tops.

She should've planted seeds indoors by March, but no one is perfect.  ヅ

Oh, and she moved pots to places where she can more easily water them. This year ol' Debra is about making all work easier, simpler and more pleasant for her 63-year-old body and mind.

Like I said, she sits on her red couch and watches Youtube where she learns all sorts of things about preparing for the future, including financially. She actually tries some ideas and some succeed for her, others don't, but her life feels as though it's progressing.

Slowly, inch by inch, lovely day by lovely day, progressing.

Of course, she realizes some folks thrive on hurry, hurry, hurry! Work! Work! Work! And hey, if they're truly thriving, loving Life that way, why not? Wonderful for them.

But Ol' Debra must choose a different route. She knows herself; the one-step-at-a-time way God created her--and probably that's why He started her prepping early, like 6 years ago. Whatever's ahead in the road she'll be prepared, just after a calmer, still-loving-Life pace resembling this one:

"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful."   ---Colossians 3:15

And all shall continue to be well as long as she follows Grace.

I find balance, vital. As a Country, we're currently in spiritual warfare so we must do whatever it takes to remain strong. Wearing ourselves into physical and mental weakness will not do that.

 I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly to the full until it overflows."   --John 10:10 (amp)

"The American dream is to chart your own course. To succeed or fail, but to have a square opportunity ..."   ---Glenn Beck


For fans of Lucille Ball and/or Mark Twain, you may enjoy this video.


Reading, reading. Debra does lots of comfort reading and here are some of her favorite authors over at Open Library.

Everyday I say, "I love this life which God has given me". I hope you do, also.


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