Friday, July 28, 2023

Good News. Oh, and Clarity. :)

" Let whoever would love life and see good days [good–whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). --- 1 Peter 3:10


The first part of that above verse? 

That's me. I'm one who 'would love life and see good days (good-whether apparent or not)'.

And that's why, this week, I had to choose healing, peace and anticipation rather than sadness, disappointment and melancholy. You know, over Daniel the Cat's passing.

In a weird way, it felt reminiscent of this from Joshua 1:

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them ... I will give you every place where you set your foot ..."

God gave the Israelites a certain time period to officially mourn Moses. Then it ended. A day arrived when He declared, "It's time to march forward with Me. Let's go."

The best heart-healer, ever? Jesus. In fact, while sitting upon the red couch hugging my Daniel pillow (again)--

--Jesus clearly impressed upon me, "Daniel is thanking you for releasing him from a body in pain."

Wow. The healing quickly flowed to this heart which so loves life and wishes to see good days. When I reach Heaven, oh my! May I not have to groan, "Man, my life down there could've been a zillion times happier. If only I'd allowed Jesus to heal my hurts. Gah."

May I grant no permission for roadblocks between Jesus and me, our relationship, and all He wishes me to do for others.

So I've dried my tears and now am anticipating the special cat God's picked for us to carry home soon-- 

--and I'm thanking Him for hundreds of the sweetest memories of a cat-friend who's loving his life while racing in between Tom's and my houses and yards in Heaven, joyfully, with new pals who wait for us, also.

So does God really care about our pets? Certainly! I mean, hey:

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care."   --- Matthew 10:29

Personally I need no more assurance than that so to rest calmly since God makes certain our pets await us in Heaven because we love them. Simply because we love them--and God loves us.


A sort-of funny story? If you've ever wondered why I've referred to our cats as Daniel the Cat, Sammy the Cat, etc., here's why--

Years ago I ventured upon a new-to-me blog. The first post? One which, basically, said this:

"Someone left our front gate open and David stepped into the street. He was hit by a car. Oh, we were so devastated and worried! The driver of the car helped us carry him into the house and upon the couch where he appeared to be in shock."

(While reading this my jaw kept dropping as I pictured little toddler David, injured.)

The post continued--- "We immediately called the vet and he said we should bring David in without moving him more than necessary."

The vet. David was a dog. And yes! That's tragic, too, but hey, my poor ol' heart stopped pounding as much.

Oh, and by the way, David pulled through. He would be ok.

So now you know that--for the sake of clarity--why I add that 'the cat' part.  シ

Always I wish to write as clearly as possible here, lest there be confusion and a total missing of what God intended me to say.


Seriously, I'm enjoying that Youtube site, Aesthetic Home Decor Staff, which I shared one video from last time. So many creative ideas! Be still my heart.


Sometimes we're waiting for Joy to fall upon us--when in reality--Joy is waiting to be chosen.

 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, July 22, 2023

After a Year of 'No's,' We Received a 'Yes'

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."   --- Matthew 6:8


The devastation of losing Daniel the Cat? Probably a 9. 

Oh dear. Both Tom and I were struggling with this loss and although the comfort from God and prayers of friends hugely helped, one thing majorly lifted the heavy grief from my shoulders.

What was it? Allowing myself to consider bringing home another cat to Hobbit Cottage which no longer feels like home without one.

Seriously, the dreaming of a new cat felt like the joy only God can splash down. Like sunny, sparkling skies after black cloud afternoons. Like glee following sorrowing.

Probably I'd thought no more cats because these last months were my Year of 'No's':

No more vacations (most likely. Even staycations are iffy).
No more onions, Buffalo wings, salmon (lest I become terribly sick).
No more thoughts of moving to a different house (not enough energy).
No more ability to tackle large decorating projects (remember, I'm a decorator at heart).
No more evening meals (that's too much food and we can't sleep).
No more grace for the local cafe (I've not visited in a year).

And of course, barring a miracle, no grandchildren. But you know? I'm okay with that one (and growing in peace with the others), but no more cats? No more little buddy to hang-out with while watching Tim Janis' bird videos or snuggling within my tiny closet room, or being happily greeted at the backdoor? 

No more feeling the kitty kind of unconditional love? Oh dear. 

Yet wow, what a joy to realize the only 'no' was from me, not from God nor from Life circumstances, but rather, from imagining a similar dreadful sorrow of loss years ahead. And yet! The price of struggling through a few days of grief in no way compares to thousands of cat days of happiness.

I'd forgotten that.

So after a year of 'no's', oh glory be! I received a 'yes'. Just give me 2 or 3 weeks to prepare, to finish some projects, making me available to devote extra time to welcome a new cat, home.

And color me grateful for this 'yes' from God, one I needed far more than you know.


Something else which helped me this week? 

I began creating a new photo book at MixBook. This will be my 3rd one (I mentioned the others here, scroll down) and for this one I'll include favorite cat photos from Hobbit Cottage, autumn photos and best 'round the house and yard photos and also, encouraging sentences from this blog, ones I believe God gave me.

Has anyone else created photo books, either from Mixbook or other online places? I'd love to know the subjects you centered yours around.

Also? I had some photos of Daniel printed and sent to me from WM. This one sits at the bottom of our stairs and I keep pausing, touching his nose and whispering, "Love you, pup."   ッ


During our last days of a free trial at Apple +, we're watching this adorable show, Best Foot Forward. The young boy in the lead is wonderful, not letting having been born without the lower half of his left leg stop him in Life. What a terrific little actor, as well!


Oooo... over 100 beautiful photos which reminded me that many decorating kindred spirits exist out there. Many.

Wow! An imaginative tiny house in France. I enjoyed lots of their ideas.

And I found this intriguing:  Ida Mayfield Wood: Mystery Millionairess. How wild all the choices, good or bad, are possible in this life.


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 18, 2023

When It's Over

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort..."   --- 2 Corinthians 1:3


One thing dreadful about cats? Healthwise they can go downhill lightning quick. In only days they can fail.

And beginning just hours after my last post, that's what happened to Daniel the Cat. This weekend, Tom and I spent extra hours with Daniel, lying beside him on the carpet, holding his hand, because intuitively we knew--

---Monday would be his final day. And it was. The good-bye's in the vet's office would have been impossibly tragic if we'd not felt assured this was right for our suffering baby.

For 40+ years we've loved our various cats, but Daniel? He was unlike them all. So unique, happiness-inducing and nearly-human: that was our sweet boy.

After Lennon, I'd vowed to never again lose my heart to a cat, but with Daniel, gah. I couldn't help myself. No one could.

What a gift, what an honor, and I do thank God for, over the years, stopping me while cleaning, cooking, dusting, to look at Daniel, to treasure him because these days would not last forever.

Nothing upon this Earth is eternal, only in Heaven will we find forever things and only in Heaven will we be reunited with our indescribable, best-for-last cat, Daniel.

Any prayers would be appreciated. Both Tom and I are grateful for Daniel memories, but oh, in these current moments, they bring us suddenly to tears.

                                         Daniel the Cat. 2010 - 2023


I never do things like this, below. It's not typically me. 

But, yesterday while lying on the red couch recovering from the shock, I thought, "I need to squeeze to my heart something that looks like Daniel."

So I stepped upstairs and, using a gift card, bought this pillow:

Reading the reviews, lots of folks found it comforting and something with which to honor their departed friend.

Others mentioned how realistic it looks and wow. This fellow shared a photo which yes, does make one look twice:

In times like these, I believe God uses all sorts of individualized ways to heal our broken hearts--and for me--this will be one of a special few.


Will Tom and I ever live with another cat on planet Earth? Uh, no. We'd already discussed this a couple years ago. Besides no other cat being comparible to Daniel, our hearts just can no longer handle these shattering good-byes.

So it's the end of yet one more era for us. No more cats. Ever.

We are though, considering locating a virtual cat. Tom also stated he'll probably watch more funny cat videos than he already does.  シ 

But truly, I don't recall seeing Tom this sad over any other loss.


A special thanks to all at Facebook who sent their condolences and really, any extra prayers would be appreciated. Thank-you.

Daily may we stop, glance around, and joyfully appreciate all God placed into our lives.


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, July 13, 2023


"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."   ... Psalm 136:1


Hooray! The bad season is over. Done. Phhht. (Knock on wood.) ツ

In such seasons, we've lessons to learn, ones which can improve our future reactions, like, decrease our worry (or crankiness), remind us to remain calm in the storm, etc.. Did I learn all mine? I hope so.

Moving on-- 

You know how someone can speak a sentence that arrives like a lightning bolt from God? Well, weeks ago Joyce Meyer stated something like this--

"Unforgiveness--probably more than anything else--opens the most doors to unhappiness."

What came to my mind? The way I had, low-key-way-ish, still not released my disappointment at our inability to buy just one more house for me to decorate this side of Heaven. We'll probably grow old here at Hobbit Cottage and well, er, uh, I'd not totally loosened my resentment at the many reasons why.

Thought I had! But no. Gulp.

Strange how negative thoughts can be living far, far down in our depths, yet they still, bam! Can rise, affecting our thinking at odd times--especially--if we're wanting what God does not want for us. 

Anyway, I've repented and released all the negative stuff which I could and you know? For years, my mind said, "If you decorated around here for 2 weeks, you'd be finished, done. You'd have zilch left to do. So sad!" Yet now, after dropping that bad simmering stuff, the creative ideas overwhelm me. And the happiness, as well.

May these simple thoughts help someone today.


Anger can turn our dreams all cloudy.


This is (was, as of June) my 4th year of decluttering 10+ items weekly at home. It's been like a long, slow good-bye with many 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, but yes! Two-thousand items are gone and this, below, has proven true:

Quicker ways of decluttering exist, of course! 

But what matters is--when God asks you to get your house in order(as He asked me)--you work with Grace, for she makes any task personally doable and as pleasant as possible. 


Years ago I told you that I place favorite magazine pages into plastic sleeves, then into 3-ring binders. Lovely decorated rooms, gardens, essays, even my own poems, etc.

Well, somehow one of those binders disappeared and with it, the fun 'An Idea A Day Summer Calendar' pages from a 1980's McCalls magazine. For our nearly 12 years at Hobbit Cottage I'd missed checking those summery ideas as I used to for decades.

And of course, the precise issue date of the McCalls issue escaped me.

But then! While gardening last week (and again missing that calendar) I suddenly thought, "You know, Cheryl Tiegs was on the cover. You could go to Ebay and find it that way."

Good gracious. Immediately it popped up. Imagine that! (heh). And oh happy day: those calendar pages with sweet summer ideas are again mine.

Another lovely thing? The 'I Beat The Odds' article which is why I bought the magazine in 1984. It was written about a young woman, Cindy, who attended my dad's church in Auburn, CA. Diagnosed with leukemia at 14, she went on to, in her 20's, have a baby son, even though doctors warned her the chemo would make pregnancy unlikely.

(The article said she talked with her pastor and prayed but what really happened? The entire church prayed for her, while a teen, for months and even, one night, annointed her with oil, something rare for a Baptist church, at least back then.)

Anyway, armed with her married name, I discovered her at Facebook. Forty years later she looks lovely, is still married and even has a daughter, as well.

Plus, (there's more?) I'd totally forgotten the article about the book, 'Wishcraft' (by Barbara Sher), which in ways, changed my life. I told you about it here, how it's aimed at helping folks find what they love to do, (dare I say, their God-given gifts?). 

Way back then, I checked-out the book from the library, but appreciated the article much more because it got to the point. Quickly. 

Oh, how I love it when people make their point swiftly, especially when they are me. heh.  ツ


And the story about Cindy reminds me that my sister's daughter-in-law, Kat, has bravely warred against cancer for most of her adult life. What an inspiration to all and this past weekend she and her husband renewed their vows at a beautiful outdoor ceremony.

We're so thrilled they were able to do that.

Here they are with my mom on the left and my sister on the right. Happy sigh (and all good wishes and prayers).


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, July 07, 2023

Oh, The Plans of Mice and Debra :)

"This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength..."   --- Isaiah 30:15


Daniel the Cat stopped eating much and Life became all, "let's see if he'll eat this or this or --." Then our computer router went wonky-lost-its-mind and I asked Tom, "So when does our good season begin? Eight weeks of this bad one is making me nuts."

After much research and dietary changes,Tom's gout cleared up after 10 days. For a week he felt fine, then yesterday morning when I stepped downstairs he grumbled, "My foot hurts again."


Plus, it's *&%$#@ summer so I'm feeling 95, weak, all trying-to-survive-ish and --

No, that's enough. 

My Complaining List is long, but oh, how important (I lecture myself) to name what's going right, rather than sinking below the teary waters of Self-Pity (man, what an enemy he is).

Yet I'd made all these plans! Much decluttering and porch reading and making our house--if not elegant--well, self-cleaning, roomier and spa-like.

But times, seasons, like these arrive to remind us that, basically, we don't have much control over Life. Some, yes, especially when it's our own self-control in reacting to the bummer stuff.

Yet sometimes God desires we replace our supposed-control with faith, instead. A trusting that He will work things out, in time.

If we do our part,
then rest while
He does His.

In calmness,
no worry allowed.

And that's the test.


While trying to choose creativity over complaining, I made this, below, inside our old entertainment center. Cleared away tons of clutter, hung the picture then the battery-operated sconces and brought down favorite old books. (Forgive the glare, lighting, etc. I used my antique iPad to take the photo.)

I love the vintage surprise awaiting behind the doors. How encouraging to make a change, even though it took 3 days and a younger Debra would've done it in a half hour. heh.


Books I read in June:

Woodswoman 3
Big Doc's Girl
The Hidden Pearls
Mystery of the Empty House
You Can Start All Over
The Clue in the Cobweb


Only my friends who love rampant creativity (and don't mind a bunch of stuff) will enjoy this young couples' small apartment  . Personally, I loved this.


And here are some movies I can recommend. Well, mostly recommend  ツ

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