Saturday, January 14, 2023

Want a Good Life As You Age? Know Thyself.

"Know thyself." Yes, do that. Well, if you want a sweeter life, that is.


So I'd not done an online search of our old farm's address in months and when I finally did? I discovered the owners sold it last September.

Quickly I clicked upon each 'for sale photo' and oh dear, kept repeating, "What were they thinking? Who paints the majority of their walls dark brown and dark grey?" I mean, yearly I view hundreds of local houses for sale and only in around 3 percent do those colors appear (maybe that's an exaggeration, even).

I felt sad for our poor old 1880's farmhouse, you know, going from this:

To this:

And from this:

To this:

And yes, I realize when you sell a house, you totally release it to the new family, even after pouring so much of yourself into it.

Well, anyway, perhaps the new owners immediately repainted all those walls. Yet even if they didn't, still, I'm deciding to discipline my mind to  only recall how I painted each room. The light, happy colors I used as well as the cute wallpaper (which our buyers ripped down).

But back to the 'know thyself' thing. For me, I know I cannot live happily inside a dark-walled house, especially during winter. I mean, these past 12 days we've had only perhaps 3 hours of sunshine! 

Fortunately that's rare for us, but oh my, that's had me doing all my winter survival hacks:

Sitting beside large windows. 
Using my like-sunlight lamp to read by.
Stepping outside for a few moments (hey, it's cold out there).
Reading summery-type books.
Keeping up with my vitamin regimen, especially Vitamin D3.
Thinking happy and grateful thoughts.

And while using our new air-purifier I felt so improved that I thought, "Hey! Maybe I can eat/drink a few cow-milk products this winter. But no. After a few days my head felt all heavy and I ended up feeling like this on the inside, wandering from room to room:

I backed off, got honest with myself, left dairy alone and immediately felt better.

Know thyself. Really, know thyself. 

What do you need so to live and feel well?
How much alone time do you daily require?
Which colors work best on your walls? 
Which foods can you eat? Which should you avoid--and when? (I can have dairy the other 3 seasons. Yes, that sounds weird, but when spending time 'knowing thyself' you learn odd things.) 

Years ago I had to release real coffee if I wanted to feel and sleep well. Now, I could've sought pills for headaches and also sleep aids, but for me? Creating hot drinks I enjoy even better was wisdom.

Then in 2022 I had to give up onions, Buffalo wings, hot sauce and my weekly kombucha. Did I sulk? Well, ok. For awhile. ツ But then I pulled up my big girl pants, went on a search for substitutes--and found tasty ones.

Valiantly push through the complainy head thoughts and seek to, instead, know thyself. That's my message, my advice, my key to a still-lovely-though-older Lifestyle which I, myself, am learning to always appreciate--and--maneuver around.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   ... Joshua 1:9

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
― Joseph Campbell

Honesty! So much honesty with ourselves is required as we age.


After listening to many music playlists at Youtube, I believe this is my favorite of all.

Oh my. Randi Lynn Reed's latest video was worth the wait. So lovely. How to Make Ordinary Life Feel Extraordinary.

Yesterday Tom and I watched a sweet, hilarious, thought-provoking movie called Family Camp. I think we viewed it free at Prime. (We search all over the Net for movies these days since we've seen just about everything, so I lose track where they all are).

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."   ... Jeremiah 29:11


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, January 10, 2023

Where She's Attended The Best College for 22 Years

 "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."   --- John 4:35


So one day in September of 2000 I felt as though all my friends had disappeared from The Real World. Poof! Gone. 

Where did I discover them again? Inside this Internet World.

So finally, feeling a bit irked, co-erced, but also curious, I jumped into the Net. Twenty-two years later, I've (mostly) never looked back.  ツ

All the kindred spirits! The school friends who'd vanished. All the opportunities to encourage everyone. The whole 'fields ripe unto harvest' thing. These are my favorite parts of the Net.

But next on that list? The way anyone with spunk can attend college here, that is, one they create and design for themselves. For just monthly provider fees I've searched for all the beneficial, worthwhile and interesting information my mind could ever crave--for daily and lifetime use.

At 18, my one year in 'real' college was, well, a drag, (oh, what I've never used since!) yet the 22 years in this Internet one were (are) fascinating. Engrossing. Helpful.

The college I've designed here basically helps me live Life as God meant me to and oh, the adventures of that.

Some specific 'courses'?

... shopping groceries for less
... creating budget meals
... prepping food for any emergency

Home Care and Decorating:
... design and color basics
... creating a personalized, comfortable home.
... hacks and ways to fix broken things
... ways to remain organized
... learning creative skills like woodworking, sewing, crocheting, etc.

... soil preparation, rotating crops
... where to place a garden
... composting and so much more

... discovering foods and vitamins so to stay healthy
... knowing how to recognize food allergies
... living with a restricted diet
... learning how to sleep better at night.

... traveling our Country's states via videos
... learning about other countries and their people and homes

... learning from others' experiences, good and bad
... finding inspiration from long ago heroes
... discovering the classic books
... delving into subjects like Great Lakes shipwrecks, 1900's mansions of the wealthy, the Gold Rush, the Great Depression, The Titanic, etc.

... ways to improve writing techniques.
... how to increase vocabulary.

... and of course, learning all sorts of Bible concepts from good teachers.

Yet truly, this is just a small sampling of where my college years took me. Whatever you want and need to learn--it's here on the Internet. For me, the most helpful places are Youtube, Open Library and also, websites not government-related or sponsored (don't get me started).  シ

The beginning of a new year? A perfect time to start college life here on the Net--and may you enjoy it even far more than I have.

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."   --- 2 Timothy 2:15

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

“Let the improvement of yourself keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Other 'courses' at Youtube:

Personalized fashion 
Planning a working capsule wardrobe
Prepping emergency supplies
Organic living
Painting, wallpapering
Food preservation
House building
Crafting of all kinds
Biographical history of authors and others
Small space living
Film and music history
Small business start-up
Working from home
... and much more!


Newly-discovered favorite Youtube channels:

Big Old Boats (videos not for the faint of heart, but for unknown reasons, I've loved shipwreck history for 30 years). Part-Time Explorer is also excellent.

Chateau de la Ferte  While viewing this video I thought, "These people must have bionic parts!!" Never have I watched such a happily-hardworking couple. Wow.

Johanna's Dream Home  And this young woman! Johanna blew me away here with her woodworking and decorating skills. How marvelous to make a room look as though it was decorated decades ago and her foreign flair (as Susan in the comments noted, she's from Romania) and knick-knacks enchant me. 
And oh! I discovered this lovely episode today. Johanna's doing an incredible job on this house handed down through her family.

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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, January 04, 2023

A New Year's This And That

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."   ---1 Corinthians 10:31


1.) We have choices! Our days can feel heavy with complaining or we can happily fix the fixable challenges and enjoy the rewards.

(Here's an extra tip: each year use some of your Christmas or birthday gift card money for items which will improve your future.)

2.) Chantel shared a Read Your Bookshelf Challenge! I'm considering following it for fun. Here you go, it's cue'd to where she begins her goals. This is a great way to finally read your unread books or those you'd enjoy reading again.

3.) Speaking of books, here's a Kindle one which helps me stay organized, that is, when I actually use it. ツ   Simple, but helpful ideas.

4.) Own an air-fryer? Be sure not to leave it plugged-in, ok? Far too often, this has happened. (Yikes!)

"Ughhh, the one thing i wanted to tell everyone in my last post, but I forgot to tell you
😔 My mind's not working right yet. But, what caused this was our air fryer. We left it plugged in and when the electric came back on, it surged through it. We even had it plugged into a special outlet for protection- it failed😢 Anyway what i wanted to tell you was the fire inspector said this was the 6th air fryer fires he’s had to do, they (firefighters) are trying to get air fryer companies looked into because of all the fires. So please unplug your air fryers when not in use." --- Cindi Jennings, June 18th, 2022

5.) Okay, this isn't pretty, but it works for me. ツ 
My (new-to-me) most-used recipes are taped inside the kitchen cabinet beside my stovetop. When I need one, I hang it from the bottom edge of the door and with the light backing it, I don't even need reading glasses to read it.  

6.) Attention crafters! Have you heard of the 'For the Love of Paper' books? Here's a list of them at Amazon and here's a video where you get to peek inside one. Colorfully inspiring! 

7.) Frankly, I'm still recovering from the tragic stories due to our blizzard and people venturing needlessly outside. 
Please, please, please never do that! 
Have what you need inside your home before the storm rages. Seriously prepare ahead. If you've forgotten something, make do until the storm passes. 
If you can skip traveling to work that day of the expected storm, do it. If you can't and your boss won't let you leave early? Leave anyway. 
It's better to lose your job than your life.
That all sounds dire, but seriously, my heart is still healing from the few stories I allowed myself to read. Truly, this is life or death stuff.

8.) These inflationary days? Prepared, convenience food prices have skyrocketed. If we truly need to save money we can say no to laziness and yes to a willingness to cook meals, snacks, desserts, ourselves. To seek out inexpensive recipes online or in those dusty old cookbooks upon our shelves. 
And as I've shared before, whenever I'm strugging with the 'want to' of anything, I pray, "Restore unto me the joy of _____" and amazingly, this always works, perhaps because I expect it to. 
Always believe your prayers will be answered!

9.) Did you know there's a town in Alaska where everyone lives in just one building? I found this video fascinating (but your results may vary. heh.).

10.) Now, I lean toward lots of color in decor, but oh my. This young lady created a most beautiful nuetral-themed apartment in NYC. I loved everything. Wow.

This year of 2023, let's see how many new ideas we can imagine and also learn from others!

And to end this, here's a little reminder that spelling matters! シ 


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, January 02, 2023

Resolutions? Yes, I Make Them. Happily.

"We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."   --- Romans 6:4


A new year! Wow. Fresh opportunities to view Life a new way. To start something again, perhaps finishing it this time. To grow.

And yes, ol' Debra is making resolutions, not caring how many Facebook friends sneer at that idea, either. 

I mean, really. Why get all snarky and pessimistic about folks setting goals? (If I were those people I'd resolve to become less jaded, sarcastic and bitter.) Er hem.

Anyway, last January I felt God nudging me to spend 2022 becoming: 

1.) more grateful 
2.) more excellent 
3.) slower to speak 
4.) and less complainy.

Godly conviction! New year's resolutions can reflect our godly convictions. Know the advantage of that? When God convicts us to do something, Grace is standing there to help us accomplish it.

We're not guaranteed that benefit if we procrastinate. (Yikes.)

Now, today I'm looking at those 4 conviction-turned-resolutions and honestly asking myself, "How did I do?" 

Hmm... I grew in gratitude. 100%? No, but I grew, I paid attention, and that's what matters.

And around our house both Tom and I grew in excellence. Kinda had to because after 10 years, Hobbit Cottage fell apart. Well, sort-of. Seems we spent the entire year paying to have things fixed, but you know? It's ok. 

Things around here are more efficient, safe, unclogged, better-decorated, less-cluttered and our heads feel lighter from fewer concerns.

Finally we tackled our basement! And immediately afterward Naomi needed to move in. We 3 each have 'our own floor' (in a way) and Hobbit Cottage suddenly feels hundreds of square feet larger.

No one's getting on anyone's nerves so obviously, God and Grace are involved.  シ

Now, the slower-to-speak thing. Yes, I witnessed miracles in that area. Still have room to grow there? Of course! Yet at least now I'm cognizant. Actively tweaking loud-mouth stuff.

But the complaining thing. Gah. I'm not sure about that one. I seem to recall ol' Debra complaining tons lots. Sigh.

Yet will I mope and feel all defeated about that? No. Why not? Because too often self-condemning folks collapse in dark ditches, sulking, while people who received forgiveness are walking past them on the street above. Traveling forward.

New Year Resolutions! I love them, take them seriously, even the fun ones:

Read more books!
Be a better friend!
Encourage more people!
Discover new projects!
Fix annoying things!
Keep decluttering!
Share more books and movies here!

I've more fun resolutions, but this is plenty long already.

I'll end this by saying may you make resolutions, fun ones, holy ones. And I hope you've discovered the joys of a well-lived life, one where becoming like Jesus is the greatest goal---

---an attainable target as long as we allow Him to direct and lead and change us.

And yes, we can set goals anytime of the year! But why not now at the beginning of 12 fresh months? Why not when it's on our minds? Why be all contrarion about it, instead?

"For nothing will be impossible with God..."   --- Luke 1:37

I'm expecting wonderful things in 2023--how about you?


Remember when I bought these?

I found an additional use for them: as clips for my hanging clothes which would otherwise slide off the hangers. Other uses? To seal bags of bread or frozen vegetables or fruits.

Oh, and lately my nostalgia-loving heart has enjoyed this. Soothing, and certainly whisks me back a few decades! Department Store Music from 1979.

I love making new year resolutions!
Setting new goals. Aiming for specifics and hitting at least half rather than aiming for nothing and hitting it all.
The anticipation of God walking us through changes!
Feeling the stretch and a sweeter dependence upon Him.
Fresh ideas!
Staying open. Dreaming.
Having God partner with our heart while living-out new year resolutions means no failing
if, always, we get back up having learned and grown stronger
by the new year's end because
we did step out
we did try
we did obey
and we did come closer to fulfilling
His many reasons for imagining us,
for placing us here
to know Love, to be loved and to grow in love
toward others.

Did I complete any of my 2022 resolutions 100 percent? No. I did not. But I aimed at them and advanced far more than if I'd aimed at nothing. 
Never allow disappointment of yourself or others to color your entire world. Move forward in godly, anticipatory joy, instead!


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