Monday, June 26, 2023

A Second June This-And-That

1.)  So in between all the crazy, need-this-like-yesterday research about gout (Tom's was serious. Severe.), God gave me a personalized gift. 

This woman's never-boring decorating videos. Wow. She shows us gorgeous, expensive coffee table books of dreamy rooms, while narrating bits with her lovely voice.

Oh, those rooms! My since-childhood decorating passion has returned to the Sizzling setting rather than the Fizzling one.  シ Here and here are my favorite videos so far.

2.)  Tell me about it. Oh my.

3.) Also, Oralia gives us plus-size ladies wonderful advice about the clothes we should/should not wear and she models such beautiful pieces. Another gift, really, this past week.

4.)  Way, way back, I adored televised ice-skating competitions. I especially remember Kurt Browning because you could sit on your couch and not worry that he'd fall.

Finally at 56(!) he's retiring from skating and both Tom and I got all teary-eyed at his final performance here.  Also, I enjoyed this interview

Good for Kurt to have used his gift to bless others for so many decades!

5.) Probably I've read 'Live Alone and Like It' 7+ times, even without living alone, myself, and now you can read it, also.  Go here.  Marjorie Hillis was a quirky author with a sense of humor rather like mine, but she shares hers better.

Orchids On Your Budget, too, is encouraging. Written long ago, their relevance still astounds me.

6.) As for Daniel the Cat? He's had some healing, for he can take more steps and make better turns while in the sling thing. But barring a miracle, he may have to spend the rest of his days in the large center-of-our-living-room crate so to avoid stairs and furniture.

Yes, that's sad, yet he's healthy otherwise and God's given us much acceptance grace. We'll try to make interesting the remainder of Daniel's days and again, we're open to all miracles. 

A special thanks to those of you who have prayed for him.

7.)  Oooo.  Brave (and true) words.

8.) Seriously, I've stated this numerous times, but the trick is learning to enjoy everything you do. All of it. The housework, errands (and the traffic), decluttering, yard care, paying bills, doing laundry.

Spending time discovering ways to find joy in each is extremely worth the effort! All of life becomes a treat, not a hassle.

9.) Oh! I keep forgetting to mention that yes, I still want our house repainted, but no, not in a lovely dark blue-grey. We'll stick with repainting the same light yellow, for my practical side won: dark colors absorb sunlight like crazy--and who needs that? Certainly not me, the summertime wimp.

Stay tuned to see if this actually gets done in 2023.

10.) And my oh my. Some seasons (like my current one) you just have to repeat--and do-- stuff like this again and again:

.... and I would add more photos and verses, etc., but it's time to make lunch which hey, has become interesting. All those websites which say, "A gout diet isn't bad. You can have all the celery, cherries and water you want!"

Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating. But hey, not by much.  ッ

Let's all hang in there together, ok? No season lasts forever and often that's an encouragement.


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, June 20, 2023

Just When Things Were Improving ---

So. Saturday morning I awoke thinking, "Hey! After the past 6 challenging weeks, I'm  feeling more normal. Hope-filled. Like I can smoothly handle Life again."

Then I came downstairs. 

Oh dear. Barely could Tom walk due to the worst gout flare-up, ever. Pain level 9. (We know what triggered it.)

I even offered to drive him to the emergency room (huge for me), but he said he'd be ok. He looked over his doctor's gout do's and don't list, I got him settled, then returned upstairs where I did gout research online. Made lists of my own because the doctor's list was--good grief!--designed to keep Tom going in for appointments forever.

Don't get me started on how this is yet one more example why I only respect emergency room doctors, surgeons, holistic folks and nutritionists. Er hem. (Honorable exceptions exist, of course.) 

Anyway, I created a new Aldi list with all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables then had them delivered instead of our usual Saturday-from-a-restaurant lunch.

More meal changes. We'll need to make even more meal changes in addition to the previous since-2020 ones.

For three days I felt like such a (tired) nurse to Tom and Daniel the Cat (again), but slowly Tom's recuperating. He did need to take half a day off from work on Monday, but he's back at it today and feeling better.

And so am I.


You know that saying, "Create a Life you don't need a vacation from."?

Well, after accepting that (typical) vacations may only exist in my past, I began listing ways our Hobbit Cottage feels vacation-y already.

And ok, I took that quote rather literally, but when thinking about traveling, staying in hotel rooms, seeing sights, etc., what we've already got made me feel like, "Who even needs to get away?"

I mean, here we have comfortable beds, two patios (one where, if you squint, you can see a river), the ability to have food delivered and a large tv from which we can comfortably watch travel videos. We can take little trips 'round town (people travel myriad miles to get here), we can read many books, step amongst my gardens, Tom has gym equipment and I can walk to the cafe--

--all while saving thousands of dollars, to boot.

Everything can be improved upon, also, including making our bathroom more spa-like which, Honey, is no tiny feat.

But you know? After making that vacation-y-life-that's-already-ours list, I felt so encouraged.

And since this blog is all about encouraging you, my friends, perhaps I've nudged you to create blessing lists of your own as reminders of how truly good you actually have it.



"Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endures forever."   --- Psalm 136:1

"... but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."   --- 1 Samuel 30:6


Fans of The Andy Griffith Show might really enjoy the movie, Mayberry Man. So sweet and I can recommend it without reservations.

If you like super-quirky, what-the-heck-was-that? movies, there's Linoleum. I do have a couple reservations (like, a certain conversation, but you can forward it), yet mostly we enjoyed the imaginative stuff and the twist ending. Unforgettable, actually.

Oh, and thanks for praying for Neighbor Sally. She's home from the hospital and is mostly ok. At 85 her dementia has worsened a bit, but she's still her same fiesty self overall.

And here's a creative tiny house I liked, especially if she'd not used purple, but light greens and yellows, instead. heh.  ッ

... and this one certainly came to mind a few times lately!  --


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 09, 2023

Where She Walked Her Ironing Board Down The Street And Then ---

So last week I told myself, "Stop counting your losses! Sheesh."

But oh, how easy to sit upon the red couch and feel defeated by things that didn't turn out as I'd planned, making dreaming a sometimes hurtful activity. 

Yet finally this week I returned to creating projects. Oh, not only busy work (which at times, we all need), but ways to make days easier, simpler and more lovely for this lady who's not exactly growing younger. Er hem.

And since we'll not be spending oodles of money on a new house, I'm actually buying a few items so to make life here, as I stated, lovelier. After all, Tom and I have some excess money (especially since God--it seems-- continues to sneak extra into our account. Weird!) and if I'm still pinching pennies like a pauper? It's my own darn fault.

Anyway. I'll share some let's-make-your-life-easier-too ideas, below. We'll begin with the ironing board thing.

Now, my clothes don't need ironing, yet 90% of Tom's do and finally I realized, "Hey. For 5 years (more?) I've raced to see how many shirts I can iron before my back starts shouting, "Are ya trying to kill me?". Plus, in this small house, the ironing board has never had a this-makes-sense home place.

So. I ordered a hand-held clothes steamer then carried my 44-year-old ironing board down the stairs and down the street to the Salvation Army drop-off. Well, after I took this photo.

Good-bye old friend. You helped me iron away thousands of wrinkles, but sadly, both you and the iron have become wrinkles, yourselves, in this aging lady's life.

Why hold onto any item which once aided you, but now is only a burden?


Moving on ...

When I take my nighttime vitamins, sometimes Tom's in the kitchen also and we step all over each other. Well, remember when I moved my cocoa-making supplies to the opposite side of the kitchen?

That began a sort of miraculouos 'his and hers sides of the kitchen' thing and we've never looked back.

How simple Life becomes when we calm our minds, let go of old ways which used to work and adopt new ideas for our growing-older selves.

The test becomes to not get all exasperated and quit before we discover those better ways.


Other ideas in short?

I may not be able to rearrange this small house's furniture, but I can rearrange pictures on the wall and knickknacks and items in cupboards, drawers, even the refrigerator and ---

This gardening from my front porch idea is wonderful. Much easier all-around; the planting, the watering, etc. I just step out the door and poof! There's everything I need.

I can always burn my pretty-colored tapered candles or switch-on my cross and heart window lights or my fairy lights or --. Also, I can still buy newer, nicer things to replace older worn-out things (which doesn't sound like a big deal except after the little lying voices in your head have told you there's nothing left to do.).

Last time I mentioned watching Restaurant Impossible. Well, I've been doing bits of housework during the commercials-which-cannot-be-forwarded. I consult my page of Things To Do This Week in my notebook and seriously! I'm amazed at what I can accomplish in 3-and-a-half minutes...

... who knew that at 64 I'd still enjoy playing Beat The Clock games?


There's more, but you get it and I hope you, also, will step around your house today and discover ways of making your own life not just easier, but more creative, efficient and fun.

You can do this! Just ask Grace for help and she'll be thrilled to give you all things necessary so you'll enjoy this season as much as earlier ones. Or perhaps even more.

"But God gives us more and more grace."   --- James 4:6


Something very odd? Whenever any favorite tv shows involve boxing, I do not count them as good episodes. Usually they bore me. 
Well, Tom and I had never watched the Rocky movies (with Sylvester Stallone), but finally last month we did (free via Prime, I think) and you know? I loved them. Loved. Them.

As I often say, some things just cannot be explained. What matters is that we stay open-minded to at least try a few new things.


Finally it hit me that since I've read Mary Emerling's cottage book 280 times, probably she's written another I'd love. (Gah. I. Am. So. Slow.). I ordered this one (previewed it at Open Library) and color me Inspired City. Wow.

Man, I keep telling myself perhaps I'm not finding wonderful books, tv shows, movies, ideas, etc., late, but rather, at the times I needed them most. But yeah, I'm not sure.  ツ

Oh, could you please pray for our neighbor, Sally? She's in the hospital and how upsetting to watch the ambulance whisk her away.

Never lose your zest for this life God has given you!

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, June 06, 2023

June This And That

O God, You are my God.

Earnestly I seek You;

my soul thirsts for You.

My body yearns for You

in a dry and weary land without water

So I have seen You in the sanctuary

and beheld Your power and glory.

Because Your loving devotion is better than life,

my lips will glorify You.

So I will bless You as long as I live;

in Your name I will lift my hands.    Psalm 63:1-4


1.) Oy! Last week was another best of times, worst of times one, but finally--for now-- I worked through deeper acceptance of Life at Hobbit Cottage.

The aging. The walking problems of both husband and cat. The 'if God wanted us to move, I'd not have to force the issue' re-realizations. Basically, the diving into deeper levels of dying to self and doing battle with self-pity, as well.

Never rent a room in your brain to Mr. Self Pity! He'll leave it a sorry mess.

Er hem. This (technically, it was a 'short' from this, but I can't find the link) and this evicted that Mr. Self-Pity from the room he'd rented. Whew. Color me thankful.

2.) We signed-up for 3 free months of Apple TV Plus (via Roku, but I'm sure you can find similar offers) mostly because of Michael J. Fox's documentary, Still. Fascinating, truly, my only complaint being the 'language', yet when you've prayed for someone over the decades, you can forgive that.

If you're interested yet not wanting to mess with any Apple TV offers, this shorter Youtube video with a Michael J. Fox interview also proved riveting. Well, to me, anyway.  シ

3.)  Lately, yes!

4.) One reason I love New Year's Resolutions? The focus they can bring. For instance, I vowed to read more books this year and oh my. May was my readingest month in years!

The Saturdays
Trillium Hill
Practically Seventeen
Thoughts of Home
The Brass Keys of Kenwick
Class Ring
Boy Trouble
The Real Thing
Revealing Heaven 2
Double Date
Double Feature
Showboat Summer
Woodswoman 1
Woodswoman 2
The Disappearance of Anne Shaw
Double Wedding

Sort of felt like reading in the waiting room of Life while working through those 'Old Grey Mare She Ain't What She Used To Be' issues.  シ

5.) Man, since turning 63 (last year) my body suddenly decided it can no longer handle (most) onions, hot sauce, kombucha and now, since May, salmon. Oh, and if I have even the occasional real coffee, I can't sleep and most milk products mess with my ears.

Good grief. Are we having fun yet?

6.) Oh! Tom and I love a good documentary and The Codebreaker was awesome. Here's the trailer.

7.) Yesterday I watched 50 Things I Quit To Simplify My Life and was amazed at how many I, too, had released along my journey. How wonderful that this young woman discovered these early.

8.) Lately I'm rewatching Restaurant Impossible for the usual reason that human nature fascinates me--and--during my 'trying times' I've often quipped,  "Well at least we don't own a restaurant!! Whew." シ

9.) And this may come in handy for some, especially these days of home-sharing: Master Bedroom Converted Into Studio Apartment. She shows us terrific ideas.

10.) And for anyone also going through times of acceptance or disappointment? 

Hang in there.
Give yourself much quiet time with God. (I unplugged from the Internet for a few days.)
Let go of what God asks you to release.
Resist Self-Pity, and instead, insist upon Hope.

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You because he trusts in You."   --- Isaiah 26:3,4


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