Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Books! A Whole Bunch of Books.

Books! I won these vintage Scholastic books this afternoon at Ebay. (Yes, kids' lit. again.) All for less than a dollar each and some are copies of stories I too ruthlessly gave away during our last moves. I look at them in that photo and whisper, "What was I thinking?!"

But they're returning home again.

Books like these are my 'meds'-- they calm my head and steady my heart and make me feel 12-years-old, as though I can do anything and have a whole lifetime ahead in which to do it.

You must know what works for you, especially in Today's pretty mean world.

In fact, a couple weeks ago I realized that I simply must stop feeling guilty about the 4 or 5 days each year which I remain in my pajamas and robe. One reason? I've not been sick in 3 1/2 years(!) so I've not had that excuse to spend the day in night clothes. "So it's ok," I assure myself. "If I'm not gonna be sick, then I deserve a few days to appear as though I am."

Heh. As I said, you must know yourself. If you don't, you'll spend your life doing all sorts of things you dislike because other people told you to or caving to the 'tyranny of the oughts and shoulds'. And who wants to spend a bunch of decades living like that?


“Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.” 
― Alberto Manguel

“She read all sorts of things: travels, and sermons, and old magazines. Nothing was so dull that she couldn't get through with it. Anything really interesting absorbed her so that she never knew what was going on about her. The little girls to whose houses she went visiting had found this out, and always hid away their story-books when she was expected to tea. If they didn't do this, she was sure to pick one up and plunge in, and then it was no use to call her, or tug at her dress, for she neither saw nor heard anything more, till it was time to go home.” 
― Susan CoolidgeWhat Katy Did

“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.” 
― Louis L'Amour


Oh! And a very special thanks to 'The Mysterious Susan' (as I'm calling her) who loaned me a delightful kindle book. I'm enjoying it much!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gee, I Hate The Disappointment Test!

When you buy a house in New York state, you get an Abstract of Title. 

What's that? It's a written history of your house, as in, who, back in the 1800's bought the original huge plot of land, when they subdivided it, who then bought your little piece and then who eventually built your house upon it.

Then it lists all the married couples or singles who, over Time and decades, bought and lived in your house, how long they lived there and, at times, it gives occasional details of improvements/property divisions, anything requiring The City to do something.

Our other suburb house had an Abstract of Title and on cloudy days, I'd take it from the drawer and read the names and notes and look around my rooms, imagining the original owners who'd built our bungalow in 1937. We were only the third couple to own the house so my imagining was a tad limited, though I'd heard a huge victory garden had been grown just outside our windows over a couple summers so I'd look out there and imagine that.

But our farm's Abstract! That house was built in 1880 and a ton of people had farmed that land and then lived in the house once it was built, so that one was great fun to read, what with its lists of old-fashioned names and notes. I even shared some of that with you here.

Well. Three long years had passed and we'd still not received our Abstract of Title and the Deed for Hobbit Cottage. Our real estate lawyer (you must have one here) told us 2 years ago that we must be patient--the city had laid-off workers, things moved slowly now and blah, blah, blah. 

Then he retired.

So. Last week I contacted our oh-so-helpful realtor friend, Cher, when Tom discovered from the City that they'd sent all those papers to our lawyer 2 weeks after we bought our house(!) Tom called the lawyer and (skipping a ton of details), the package arrived in the mail yesterday.

But there is no Abstract of Title. 

Tom told me our lawyer said it had been lost over time, but the papers include Title Insurance and that's good enough nowadays --- except that it's not good enough for me! Oh. My. Goodness. I nearly had a conniption fit. A stroke. A cow. I'd waited so patiently for three years for the history of Hobbit Cottage, only to be told it's not coming. It's gone. And once on a roll, with tears in my eyes, even, I told Tom, "Well, fine. Let's move then! To a house which still has its Abstract." And I came here to the computer and perused real estate listings

Yes, I said that. I did that. (Oh dear. Hanging my shameful head.)

For all the 21 years that we've lived in New York we've been told to hold onto those papers! You must have them when you sell your house, otherwise it costs you $1,000 so the City can pay a little old man in a dusty basement to research your history all over again. (Well, that's what you picture when you're told this. The $1,000 is for real--I do know that.)

Some of you understand my disappointment. Others? Well, if it sounds absurd, try to imagine your waiting for 3 years for a visit from old friends or a vacation or promotion, etc., then being told it's not gonna happen. Ever. Maybe that will help you know how I felt.

The disappointment test! Gah, I hate that one. But it's a test I take over and over because I fail it over and over. God doesn't let us flunk out, you know. Instead, His goal is for us to calmly, trustingly change what can be changed and accept what cannot. Jesus doesn't crumble into a thousand tiny pieces when things go wrong and He wants us to be like Him. He's made ways for us to, in fact.

The trick is wanting Him more than we want anything else--because that is possible, indeed, and a great love for Him cushions all other blows.


"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he hath said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you."   ...Hebrews 13:5

Yes, I failed the contentment test also. Eegads...

And yes, I know my most helpful readers will suggest I do some online searching of my own or that I go down to that dusty City Basement of Records and poke around, etc. We'll see. Right now I'm still calming down and facing the fact that this meant too much to me. A heart adjustment seems to be needed more. Alas.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  ...Psalm 139:23,24

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's New Around Hobbit Cottage

Tom brought home this free pie rack stand from work so I placed it here for now. I can stack my current books beneath it and they don't take up any extra table space so gotta love that.

Some big news is that our back-and-to-the-right neighbors are building a humongous garage (with three gables!), making ours appear like a toy version, but hey. We're happy for them. 

Their driveway was so skinny,with the neighbor's chimney jutting out beside it, that they couldn't park in their original garage (which they're joining to the new one) so they'll be adding a new driveway on the other side of their house.

Do Tom and I even know these people? Uh, no. We're just watching and guessing at all this. It's a favorite game of people like us who have no life.  :) And ol' Debra got extra points for imagining that they'll create a man cave in the upstairs portion.

Oh and it looks like we're finally getting new neighbors in the grey house which you often see outside our windows:

For nearly a year that house stood empty, but on Saturday a group of happy young folks moved in a few items. I'm glad the house won't sit empty over another winter--it was sad on those dark mornings looking over there and seeing not one light in a window and knowing the rooms felt like ice.

Oh and guess who's having to discipline herself to keep from watching too much HGTV? I've found it to be much better than it was a couple years ago and I especially enjoy Flip It To Win It, Genevieve's Renovation, Love It or List It, Flea Market Flip and Property Brothers.

One thing I've had to be careful of (besides watching too much of this stuff)? Letting it make me dissatisfied with my own tiny house. So far, so good--most often I find myself imagining ways to apply these new ideas to Hobbit Cottage. And that is fun.


Oh, and I hope my last post didn't have you wondering if I was planning on turning into a Bad Girl.You know, with all the prison talk. No, what I meant was that if I ever, on a future day, get tossed into jail for defending my Christian beliefs, I want to live so that I'd not be blown away in my head by my new digs.

And with the way our Country is going? What I just said isn't all that far-fetched.


"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."   ... Philippians 4:11


Oh, and I was very touched by this Christian newscaster who had to report that his cancer is inoperable. It was sad, but courageous and a blessing.

He's now in my prayers.