Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just Can't Title This One

You know it's been a long winter when you stand at your window and suddenly gasp, "The crab apple tree has leaves!"


Today is Tom's birthday. We've celebrated here at home this weekend, for he often dines at restaurants on weekdays with co-workers, not to mention all his traveling, paper work and errands. So he appreciates sitting in his recliner each Saturday and Sunday.

Which, uh, I'm not sure is working out for me, I told him. Me, me, me. Yet since it's his birthday, I pushed that discussion back for another day. :)

We watched tv and ordered out for lunch and I puttered outside where, at Hobbit Cottage, it is the time of the transplanting of the forget-me-nots. 

But here's the other thing: Tom's mom is very near getting what she's longed for for years--to enter Heaven. The doctors say it will be any hour or any day, so good-byes have been spoken and now everyone waits. Tom's mom has so often spoken of Heaven that, rather than be sad and pray that she remains here in bed, often in pain, we find ourselves pulling for her to get her heart's desire. She is 85 (86?) and oh so ready to enter the brightly lit gate of which she's already had a peek.

Here's a portion of Tom's tribute to his mom:

"My Mom, Esther Joy "Kitty," has lived a full, long, and rewarding life. Her childhood was a very hard life, yet she made the most of it, fighting and reaching, and grasping life by the neck. She had physical problems that took great courage and determination to overcome. I think that tenacity, and warrior spirit helped guide me in my own struggles.
That struggle for her is drawing to an end. Her mind has stayed as sharp as anyone I know, but the body is worn out. She is at heaven's door, asking to come in. She's been living in a nursing home for several years now. Her beloved "Daddy" passed away in the Fall of 2013, and she has missed him ever since. She would tell me - "I miss Daddy", and also "I'm tired, and just want to go home", as she would lay in that bed, day in and day out. She has congestive heart failure, and is breathing very shallowly now, preparing, I think, for passing through that eternal door. The doctors and nurses say it could be any time now."

May we all live ready to release this world for the incredible one ahead. May we not view Death as the end of all worlds, but rather, the beginning of the best one for those who know Jesus.


"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants."   ...  Psalm 116:15

 “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him."  ... 1 Corinthians 2:9


Here's a treat! My friend, Tracy, has published a Kindle book titled Inspiration for Homemakers, guaranteed to delight the most wonderfully old-fashioned-minded amongst us--and at only .99 cents! Tracy's book will inspire you to new great heights around your home and within your heart. 

You'll find it here.  Congrats, again, Tracy!


Free Kindle Books:

Running on Empty

The Rancher

Organize Your Home

Memory Improvement


Friday, April 24, 2015

For Those Who Would Burn Down Farmville

It's been 5 years since I last posted this, but it still haunts me (in a good way) when friends play games at Facebook. (And it still surprises me the 'but my hobbies make sense' comments I received the first time around. Sigh.)


"Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment."   ... 1 Timothy 6:17


(You may have to mull this one over awhile.)

Some people at Facebook criticize their Farmville, Cafeville and survey-loving friends. You can even join "I Don't Care About your Farm, or Your Fish, or Your Park, or Your Mafia!!!" groups. When you sign-up, they appear on your friends' home pages and well, I'm sure some feelings have been hurt.

Myself? I don't generally do surveys or games at Facebook because I lack the desire. Yet I have Facebook friends who are into them, especially Farmville. Big time. You go to their wall and see little pictures of animals, candy or poker cards with hardly a photo of themselves or anyone else.

And that's the sort of thing which makes my other friends wild. You know, the way game photos can clutter up the home pages of non-gamers. Who cares that we can click "Hide" so we can make it all vanish? Many people just believe if they think games waste time, then no one should play games. Period.

And there is the problem. There is the rub.

I heard one woman say that anyone who likes any  tv reality show is being duped. Others quip that all cell phone users are rude and today's movies are all garbage.

But here is what Debra sayswe all need downtime, especially in Today's stressful world. And we all relax in different ways--my idea of fun is different (probably) than yours and what relaxes me might stress you out. 

And who am I--who is anyone--to say, "My way of relaxing is a wiser, better way than yours?"

Which of us was chosen by God to declare that reading, hiking and sewing are fine hobbies, but Farmville, reality shows and computer games are pathetic? Golf yes, but Facebook no way?

Does anyone else hear the pride in those statements?

Of course, any activity can be overdone. Anything in Life can become an obsession and whisk us away from our responsibilities. Yet even there-- it's not the hobby that's wrong, it's us. Our lack of self-control and not coming away when convicted.

De-stressing types of hobbies-- may ours allow us to relax and recharge. And may we extend grace to others whose hobbies are nothing like our own.


Free Kindle Books:

The Cat Manual

Trail of Thread

An Unexpected Family


"Love one another..."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

If You Don't Give Up--

"Behold, all things have become new..."   ... 2 Corinthians 5:17


See the cute hippo? He's one of the items Tom brought home from South Africa.

Also this elephant:

And my favorite gift this time? Giraffe bookends:

While working on my 'book,' I revisited those months in 2010 after Tom was laid-off and I marveled how, less than 3 years later, God gave him a whole new career, one so similar to what Tom had dreamed of for years.

It still amazes me that, after being laid-off for the first time in 32 years, Tom treated those 20 months like a long-awaited vacation (though he did seek jobs online). He chose trust rather than panic and he enjoyed those nearly two years of rest (well, the moving away from the farm wasn't too restful...).

People said, "Oh, it's so terrible when you're laid-off in your 50's!" Yet Tom didn't let those words seep inside him.

Then another job came along and when that power plant ceased running, immediately Tom's much dreamed-about career happened. 

Now he teaches S. Africans to run one of the largest coal fire power plants in the world. In fact, Tom's boss wants him to, here in the Buffalo office, teach co-workers how to teach(!) 

How remarkable to watch God turn a bad thing into something extremely good.

So today I would tell you--if something appears to have gone all wrong in your life--please don't panic or assume your best days have passed. Our God is much larger than that and He waits to respond to our faith.

He requires a quiet trust that believes all will be well--somehow, in Time--perhaps in a different form than we'd wished. And obedience which inches us into the right place at the right time--gratefully.


"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result..."  ... Genesis 50:20

" And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  ... Romans 8:28


Last night our new neighbors moved a few items into the house next-door. 

And so, a new Cody-free chapter begins.  :)


Yesterday I discovered lots of episodes online of Restaurant Impossible which I'd not yet seen. Hooray! I enjoy many shows in which wisdom and ingenuity are used to fix things.

Speaking of which, oh. my. goodness. After 3 long weeks, I can once again print coupons! Yesterday when I discovered my latest tinkering (and most likely, God's mercy) had repaired our printer, I woo hoo'd like crazy to Tom in the living room. 

Wow. Total glee on a snowy, north wind afternoon, one where I'd raked leaves and transplanted forget-me-nots that morning because I'm determined to play Springtime Games--anyway.


Free Kindle Books:

One Lane Bridge (this one sounds intriguing!)