Monday, July 28, 2014

The Best Friends I Cannot Have

"A  little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty."   ... Galations 5:9-11


         I love where I live. The city, the state, the house, the yard.

Even on dark, rainy days like this one I love staring at my 'farm garden bed'. Even the squirrel on the fence enjoys  looking.

I've found that Life with God at the center is awesome.

Yet some Christians disagree. They believe Life on Earth is bad. All of it:

Non-Christian music
Laughing in church
Yard sales in a church parking lot
Women teachers/preachers
Dresses above the knees
Welfare benefits for anyone
All tv evangelists
Mega churches

They make a bigger deal of what appears bad than of our huge, awesome God and alienate inquisitive, seeking non-Christians.

I don't spend much time with those Bad Things Spreaders, those for whom Christianity has become a Thou Shalt Not Agenda (sometimes blatant, other times subtle). If you are one, well, I may spend a little time with you and I will ask God to help me love you, but I'm afraid we can't be best friends. (But then, you probably don't want me as one. It's wild how that works.)

I have to protect my mind and the person God's still creating and keep the poison out of my soul. If I don't, who will?

Once God opened my eyes to all the beauty, I told Him I wanted to help Him broadcast it, like seeds, everywhere. And I mustn't let anything hinder me from spreading the Good News-- I can't afford to ever become a Bad Things Spreader.


"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."   ... Proverbs 4:23

"...having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."  ... 2 Timothy 3:5  (Sometimes when we separate ourselves from certain others, satan and/or our conscience will tell us we're sinning. But if we're obeying God in it, we're doing right and can rest peacefully in that.)

"Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord's commands; he meditates on his commands day and night."   ... Psalm 1:2

And in case you're wondering .... no, nothing happened recently to spark this post. This is just something never too far from my mind, given Today's negative-leaning world. And if this post makes me sound conceited,well, let's just say I hope it doesn't. I'm only careful where I place my allegiance, how I care for my sanity, and how I spend my days, which adds up to my life. That's all.


Free kindle books:

Yesterday I spray-painted the bottom half of our flagpole but it is not that florescent(yikes!).


Renee Zellweger's farmhouse is for sale and some photos are here. Some of the outdoor views reminded me of Gladys Taber's Stillmeadow.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Potential Danger of a Spare Room

Alert! The two names I chose out of Tom's cowboy hat as winners of the Amazon gift cards will be announced at the end of this post.  :)


"For He knows how weak we are. He remembers we are only dust"  ... Psalm 103:14


Yesterday I drove to a church rummage sale and came home with these roosters, above, which I think are the perfect finishing touch to my kitchen:

And after two whole years I finally found a place for my old sugar sign:

Yes, it sat against our refrigerator for two years because the creative corner of my brain must have crashed around age 52. It's been pokey-slow ever since and that's what brings me to my title.

After returning from another church rummage sale this morning, I lugged a like-new quilt and two throw pillows into Tom's room to store until I get around to cutting up that quilt so to recover the pillows for my guest room/bedroom upstairs. Oh, the convenience!

That's when I looked at the rest of his bed and saw the largish box of vitamins I'd ordered but hadn't unpacked and the empty box my red Fiestaware cups arrived in, the 20 rolls of bathroom tissue which need to be carried to the basement, a wooden star I need to spray paint and hang on the patio wall, two empty hanging baskets, a quart of white paint and the stack of Tom's catalogs that usually go beside his recliner but which, since he's away, look better not there.

All in only 4 short weeks.

And I thought, "Oh my goodness. This is why God didn't let us buy a house with a spare room!" Procrastinator Me would have turned it into one of those horrifying rooms like on Hoarders, you know, with piles of I'll-get-to-it-later bags and boxes six-feet high and leaning.

Whew. Once again God knew me (us, really) better than we know ourselves. He didn't keep something out of our reach nor was it 'just one of those things' having to do with money or time or whatever. He just did the wise thing, for we already have a cluttered basement with bad secrets and we certainly don't need an above-ground room to nag and shame us, also. Uh, no.

If we truly want God's will (not ours) and if something is a long time coming or just never comes--most likely--God's got an extremely good reason. And may I remember that often He's gotta be honest with my weaknesses because I'm refusing to be. But the times when I am honest, I usually understand God's reasoning much more clearly, mystery solved.

Lesson learned. Again. And again. And again.


"My times are in your hands..."   ...Psalm 31:15

Another sweet treasure from today's rummage sale. Probably from the 1960's (50's?), complete with very old alphabetical dividers and new index cards (old recipes would have been nice, but hey. I'm thrilled with the metal box).

And, below, Daniel just being cute.

(Speaking of which, this kitten video was hilarious!)


And now ... drum roll please........... The two winners of a $25 gift card are ................  Cheryl Dawn and Dolores Lynn!  Congratulations, ladies! If you'll send me your email address at I'll have a gift card sent to each of you.

And truly, I had so much fun with this drawing that I'll definitely be doing others in the future. A special thanks to each of you who entered and for adding your kind comments!!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Ten Long Years Ago ...

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."   ... 1 Corinthians 10:31


July 25, 2014

Ten years and 3,000 posts ago I oh-so-tentatively stepped into Blogland, hesitating because (as I asked one friend) who would want to read about my life?  And isn't that too me, me, me-ish?

But then it's like God said, "How about if you let me write through you and see what happens?" Awesome idea. I try to do that.

Oh, what I've recorded in ten years! I've lived in 4 different houses, all of them old. Back in 2004,  Naomi still lived at home, but now she's in far away Nashville and Tom's job was only one mile down the road, but now he spends weeks at a time way over in South Africa. Me? I'm still here, still happy, still content because of the Friend who sticks closer than a brother and does not fly away.

During these past ten years I lost my dad, my aunt, two dear friends I'd known for decades and 4 cats whose deaths hit me harder than I told you. I've lost some friendships, but gained others and when I began this blog I had a cute little figure, but now it is neither little nor cute. Nor do I have the stamina I once had. Alas.

You've watched me play happy 1950's homemaker with my aprons, retro radio music, old magazines and vintage decor. I've painted lots of rooms, wandered through old houses at estate sales, bought a thousand books and old-timey bargains, eaten at 1960's-type diners and taken myriad country drives through Western New York and Buffalo, an area you probably feel like you know by now. (I love this place.)

You saw me sitting in my gardens with a spade and you read about our adventures on a 4-acre farm which I simultaneously loved and hated, but wouldn't have traded the experience for a zillion dollars. And during Tom's 20-month layoff, hopefully you saw me grow-up, become braver and complain less while trying to trust God more than ever.

Occasionally, blogging feels frustrating and love-and-hate-ish, but when it does, God tells me I'm working in my own strength and not leaving the difficult parts/people/results to Him. I'd never trade away these ten blogging years, either.

You shared in our big cross-country train adventure and you know? I form sentences for you inside my head and feel like I take you with me everywhere. Always you are here with me, each of you, even when it appears to others that I'm home alone when Tom's away. But oh! You and God and Grace and our cats are so here, so real, that often our little Hobbit Cottage feels downright crowded with friends, so much so, that never am I lonely. My heart feels too full for that.

I do thank you for reading here about my simple, but wonderful, God-given life. I consider that--I consider each of you-- a very rare, precious gift.  Today, and all days, my cup runneth over and will continue to do so because of God and His goodness toward me.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord, He is good."   ...Psalm 34:8


Now, no one go and faint from shock or anything, but today--in honor of my tenth blogging anniversary--I'm holding a drawing for two $25 gift cards. Just a tiny way of giving back to you who've so often blessed me.

So! All you have to do is leave a comment below this post. Or--as some of you have told me Blogger doesn't let you do that--you can comment at Facebook or in an email sent to Be sure to leave your name--I'll write each one on a slip of paper then draw two names from one of Tom's cowboy hats.

I'll draw the names at or around 12:00 noon (my time) Saturday (you can enter until then, just once, please) and will let you know the winner at that time. "Good blessings" (as opposed to good luck) to each of you who enter the drawing!  :)


Want to read my very first post? Go here. The interesting, telling thing is that I didn't even introduce myself first. More than anything I just wanted to 'get the good word out.'  I've lightened up since then, having learned better how to weave my messages into daily stories of my very average life... but I still think being a 'Mary' is the best way to be.


Free Kindle books:

Ordained Irreverence

Storm Clouds Rolling In

Etsy Selling Success


The Savingstar Friday Freebie is a Celeste frozen pizza for one.