Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Every Day? Really?

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" ...Psalm 107:1


For 330 days I've procrastinated telling you something(!)

(Is that a record or something? Good grief.)

Anyway, on January 1st, I named 2015 my personal Year of Thanksgiving. I wanted to major in grateful thoughts and minor in (like, almost never) complaining.

And what a life-changing year it's been! Mostly I'm surprised at the 'little' things I can, in 10 seconds flat, become all wildly-loopy-thankful for, appearing rather like this on the inside:

Things like: 

Sunshine pouring through my south-facing windows.
Twigs falling from our trees on windy days. Gathering them for future campfires.
Feeling excited to get out of bed, even at 4:30 a.m., anticipating learning new living off-grid ideas and listening to Christians talk about how God is moving on Earth today.
A crockpot meal which makes Tom or I exclaim, "Oh, this is soo good!"
A gleaming fire-orange sunset that stops me at the kitchen window.
A new episode of a favorite tv show.
A comment at my blog. Or Facebook. Just knowing anyone reads what I write(!)
When Tom and Naomi arrive home safely from work or wherever.

Oh my. When your every day spills over with gratitude? You don't need vacations or new shoes or to lose weight or collect more money or find a new hairstyle, friend or appreciation from the masses. Or a bigger house, car or shopping mall.

You just need God. And for him to open your eyes to see how incredibly He blesses you, so that every day feels like Thanksgiving.

But happy Thanksgiving to those who faithfully pause to read here on this day we set aside to super-celebrate it!   


To my fellow-preppers-- here's a new website for you:  Survivopedia.

And here is a list of 50 Prepper Blogs.

So many cool ideas! So little time.   :) 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Free Tea Kettle and A Book For a Penny (Sorta)

“Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”   ... John 6:12


So for years, every single morning, I'd heat water in a saucepan for my customized-by-me hot chocolate. 

Now, it's not like we couldn't afford a (more convenient) tea kettle, but I kept forgetting to search for one at yard sales or simply order one online. But living with myself for so long, I've noticed I 'make do' with what I already have. A lot

It's enabled me the extra pennies to faithfully feed my book addiction. Er hem.

Anyway, finally I own a tea kettle--and I got it free. In fact, I even made money purchasing it.

What? I simply ordered cat food for Sammy through Target online (rather than WalMart as has become my habit) and they sent me two $5 gift cards. I then, in my next order, used those cards for the $8.99 tea kettle. Plus, just 'buying' that kettle and more cat food netted me two more gift cards(!)

Technically, I earned $2.90 just by purchasing the tea kettle. ***

What's sad? People whine about Today's high prices, but perhaps they're actually moaning over their lack of imagination or not having a happy spirit of believing, trusting and seeking until they find.


But of course, using what one already has is marvelous, also. In fact, whole decades ago I discovered this book on a dusty library shelf in California:

Oh! As a young bride, I came away from Re-Uses feeling rich because I had spare tuna and soup cans. Cereal boxes, an old garden hose, milk jugs and newspaper. I took notes and felt clever while using Carolyn Jabs' money-saving ideas for many years. 

You can read some of her creative ideas here (be sure to check out page two), but the book has a couple thousand more.

Don't ask me why I didn't order Re-Uses (for a penny, not counting shipping) until this morning. Must be a case of 'making do' again, you know, with the notes I took which then became ideas I now just use naturally. 

But I can't wait until Re-Uses arrives and I rediscover all the forgotten turn-nothing-into-something ideas. Actually, it's a perfect prepper book for a possible future day when we'll all really, really need this stuff.

And as you already know, I so plan to be ready for that day.


"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness."

      ...   From Proverbs 31

Successful people are simply those with successful habits.
- Brian Tracy


*** I think these specific cat food and tea kettle $5 gift card deals are over. But other similar deals are now valid. Target always has such sales each week.

Oh, and my free tea kettle, alas, has a dribble at the edge of the spout cover. But in this case, I'll not quibble about a dribble.  :) 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Here Now? You Can Handle Now.

Hey Everyone--- here's a post tweaked from August of 2012. It's been on my mind lately...


"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  ... Esther 4:14

Something surreal happened yesterday. 

See those 1937 yearbook pages above? Well, a young woman outside my window looked like she'd stepped right off of one. She strolled the sidewalk along our hedge and as she reached the center, a hundred sparrows from our feeders wooshed and swirled over her head, making her smile while she continued down the street.

Oh, what I glimpse from my kitchen window!

With some work and a bit of money I can create a magical addition to our neighborhood-- a quiet, but colorful place, a pleasing yard for the eyes of people tired of this shooting-of-the-week world in which we live. I can make the fluttering of sparrows' wings available to lift their hearts on an ordinary afternoon.

My goal? To leave this house and yard better for my having lived here.

And that simple happening yesterday also reminded me of this: Since God's got me in this world now, He will equip me to handle what's happening now.

He will strengthen me emotionally, spiritually, to bear all the rampant violence out there and give me Grace to hold me up. Together.
No need for, "If just one more thing goes wrong, I will lose my mind!"
He will enable me to find the good in Life. Keep me from wishing days away or that I'd lived in an earlier decade.

But only if--rather than relying upon myself or others-- I rely upon Him. Use His strength for uplifting others and proclaiming good news, not spreading more bad, increasing fear or anger. 

Even in 2015, He still makes beauty from ashes. 
Creates ways where there were none. 
Makes things beautiful in His time. 

And because we're here now? We can handle now. We can! Because He can through us. For such a time as this, He sent us here and as you know, He does all things well. 

Always has, always will.


"...but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,"  ... Romans 5:20

"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  ... Matthew 28:20


Something which also helps me keep my sanity in this crazy world? Having the occasional Old-fashioned Day. I might put on an apron, play my 1940's and 50's radio station and get out my 1940's magazines and yearbooks. Make coffee, bake a cake. Sweep the sidewalk, watch Leave It To Beaver, stay off the computer. Write a letter, clean out a drawer, iron some tea towels and take a walk around an old neighborhood. Anything a homemaker of the 1940's might do.

After a day like that, all feels well. Sane. Normal.


A dear lady from two favorite years of my teenage days, passed away recently and I wanted to share the 'life film' her sister created for her. It's so beautiful. My vintage-loving friends will appreciate Darlene's fun, retro photos and everyone will glimpse her awesome sense of humor, her photogenic-ness and how much she loved her husband, family and God. Her wonderful attitude enabled her, I believe, to live on in joy even through her cancer years. 

Tom spent time with Darlene only once, but he really appreciated this awesome, touching film. I think you might, also.

Good-bye for now, Darlene. I'm so glad I knew you and I'll visit you soon in your new glorious home. In my mind, already I see you there healed, beautiful, and infused with overflowing joy.