Bible, Change, Christian Life

Assurance

In my last post about my Word of the Year, I wrote that a definition of peace that I have on my bulletin board is “confident assurance in any circumstance”. Isn’t that something we all would like to have? I had neglected to write down where I had found that phrase, so I Googled this morning and found that it is in my Life Application Study Bible study notes on John 14:27, where Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The study notes say:

The end result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is a confident assurance in any circumstance; with Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace (see Philippians 4:6-7 for more on how to experience God’s peace.)

Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from him.”

(emphasis mine)

I like this study Bible because the notes and commentary help me gain a much greater understanding of what God’s Word is saying. That’s not to negate other study sources, but I have really enjoyed this Bible over the years. If you are interested in the Life Application Study Bible check out this website to find out more about it.

Also, I found this on Etsy this morning. So pretty! Click on the photo to go to Etsy.

Peace watercolor by goodnewsxdesign — click photo to find it on Etsy

Bible, Change, Christian Life

Peace

For 2023 I decided to choose a “word of the year”, which is a popular thing people are doing to have something to really focus or concentrate on during the year, instead of just making New Year’s resolutions. My word for 2023 is Peace.

I have had some scripture verses about peace on my bulletin board for the past few years, mainly Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This year I plan to learn more what God says about peace. I’m not talking about “world peace”, but the peace that comes from knowing God and His Word.

As a writer and transcriptionist (or, person who types words for a living), I do like words, so this word of the year idea works well for me. Plus, it means I get to find things that have my word on them, so I can be reminded of my word. I already had this ball being used as a Christmas decoration, so I just added it to my desk. You’ll see that I have other words hanging around on my desk as well.

My desk.

Made this one for the bathroom.

Found this one for the living room. The decor style in here right now is “Winter”, therefore it is rather spartan.

Made this one for the car and had it laminated.

The more you see a thing, the more you think about it!

A definition of peace I have had on my bulletin board for awhile (I don’t remember where I found it) is “confident assurance in any circumstance”. I definitely aspire to have that kind of peace in my life.

When I say the word “peace”, the chorus of the hymn “Wonderful Peace” always comes to mind. I found this video of a years-ago Gaither Homecoming concert where they are singing the chorus. There’s nothing like hearing many people praising God together!

Wonderful Peace – Gaither Homecoming

The full lyrics of “Wonderful Peace” are below.

Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.

Refrain:
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!

What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!

I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!

And I think when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the Author of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
In that heavenly kingdom will be:

Ah soul, are you here without comfort and rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
Oh, accept this sweet peace so sublime!

Adventures, Change, Cool Stuff, Family, Fun, People, Photos

A Wedding!

We had a wedding! The Girl and her Fiancé were married on January 14th. We had the wedding at a house here in town that is set up and decorated to hold weddings, and had a bilingual ceremony in English and Spanish, since The Son-in-Law’s family speaks Spanish. It was a lovely ceremony and I would like to get a transcript of it, the minister did a great job. The bride and groom declared that they had a fun day. After the wedding everyone came to our house for cake and coffee and we had a nice visit. The lady who runs the wedding house took photos too so we had some family photos done for the first time in forever, and a photo of all three of our kids together for the first time in years. In fact, it was the first time they had all three BEEN together in years and years! We enjoyed meeting the Son-in-Law’s family, with the rather whirlwind courtship and wedding we hadn’t had the chance to meet them before. Here are some photos for you to enjoy!

The Girl and The Son-in-Law

The Hubs and The Girl

The Boy, The Girl, and The Youngest Girl

Some smooching! 💕

Cutting the cake. The groom chose German chocolate for the cake flavor, even though he had never eaten German chocolate cake before! I was very glad he liked it!

The cake.

It was a lovely wedding and the The Girl and The Son-in-Law enjoyed themselves, which was the most important thing. They now live in wedded bliss upstairs in what used to be just the The Girl’s space, so they can save up for a place of their own. The Son-in-Law fits in well at our house and we are happy to have him here.

Hooray, wedding!! 🥰

Change, Home and Garden, Home Care, Success!

Doorknobs

You GUYS, guess what? After 18 years living in our house I finally get to have all matching doorknobs!! Isn’t that the neatest? The Hubs started in this morning and asked me if I wanted to learn how to put on a doorknob, and of course I said I did. This is the new doorknob design – I got them at Lowe’s.

The Hubs began by taking the old doorknob off the hall closet door. There are five doors in our “hall” (a square area in the middle of the house). We had already replaced the bathroom doorknob, and while the two offices and stairs doors matched each other, the hall closet had a totally different knob. When he got the knob off the closet door, he discovered this on one side:

And this on the other side.

I think they shot at it from far away…

Um…ordinarily you would just make a hole with a hole saw or something, like this one in my office door:

So right off, there were some annoyances. This was not unexpected, since our house was formerly owned by a man who thought he was good at building and remodeling. Note the word “thought”. He was not good at building or remodeling. In fact, we would describe most of his work as “horrible”, and often “nonsensical”.

The Hubs (while making sure I knew that this isn’t the best way to do a doorknob, the best way would be to get a new door and then put on the doorknob, but we don’t have new doors in our budget right now) had to get out his Leatherman tool with the little saw and saw out some of the material to make the hole bigger. Then he realized that there were two little tabs on each side of the new doorknob that needed to fit in, and he had to get a pointy tool to dig out some space for the little tabs. (I don’t think The Hubs has a hole saw, so he just had to make modifications.)

Digging out for the tabs

See the little tabs at top and bottom?

The strikeplate wouldn’t fit in its spot properly, and then The Hubs suggested I sand and paint the area before he put in the new plate since it wouldn’t cover the brown.

The Hubs decided I should put on my office doorknob, so I got the screwdriver and started taking off the knob. The screwdriver was a bit thin and kept falling out of the screw, so that took awhile.

It finally was done and then I took off the faceplate and the innards of the knob, and then we found that the hole wasn’t big enough for the doorknob works to fit through. The Hubs got out a round file and filed the hole out so the knob workings would fit.

See how it’s too wide?

The Hubs with his file.

Then The Hubs just went ahead and put my office doorknob on himself, and later I started removing the doorknob on his office door. That one had to be filed out as well, so he did that and then went ahead and put THAT knob on, so I didn’t get to put any of them on, but that’s OK. We still have to put on the one that goes on the stairs door and the one on The Girl’s door, and the one on our bedroom door, but now we have to wait to do those until The Hubs has more days off from work.

Isn’t it nice?

So much more up-to-date!

But I just can’t BELIEVE I finally have matching doorknobs!! How awesome!!

1940s, Change, Success!, Yard Sales

Ferris Wheel

I got this vintage Fisher Price Little People music box ferris wheel for just $1.00 at the jumble sale I went to last weekend. I could tell it was in good condition, it was just filthy. Here it is just after I bought it:

Ew.

Blargh.

But here it is now:

And here it is in action:

The song is the chorus of “In the Good Old Summertime” and the lyrics are as follows:

In the good old summer time,
In the good old summer time,
Strolling through the shady lanes
With my baby mine.
You hold her hand and she holds yours
And that’s a very good sign
That she’s your tootsie wootsie
In the good old summer time.

George Evans and Ren Shields

The song comes from the 1949 movie “In the Good Old Summertime”.

There were a few spaces with dirt on the ferris wheel that I couldn’t get to with a Q-Tip. I have some long cotton swabs somewhere, I think, but couldn’t find them. It is much better than it was though, and all the important parts are nice now. Amazing what a simple wet rag and some elbow grease can do! Don’t you just love to see something dirty come clean? 😃

Change, DIY, Furniture, Home, Projects

The Chairs, Phase 2

After the wood filler on the chairs had dried, I sanded those areas smooth and scuffed up the chairs with my sandpaper to help the primer adhere better and to smooth out some damaged edges. I concentrated most on the tops of the chairs and parts that are more noticeable, and just smoothed out the dings on the bottom rungs. (Oops, some of the wood filler came out of the largest space I filled where the veneer was missing, so I filled it again, let dry, and sanded more.) Then I wiped the chairs down with a wet rag to remove the sanding dust.

As soon as it got light I went out to the patio and got the primer. I picked the two hottest days of the week to work on these, so I wanted to get the primer done while it was still cool outside! It is predicted to be in the 90s today as it was yesterday, and when I went out in the afternoon yesterday it was just stifling.

I decided to put the chairs on the patio table to paint the lower parts, with a sheet underneath and the chairs set up on boxes so the sheet won’t get in the paint. With the primer I’ll paint the top parts of the chairs first and then flip them and paint the underneath parts because I’ll be sanding the primer when it’s dry anyway. When painting, I’ll do underneath first in case there are any drips or boo-boos.

I finished the first coat of primer at 7:30 a.m. and decided to wait two hours to sand out any brush strokes and put the next coat of primer on. The chairs already look better with just the primer on them. I was concerned that the details of the chairs would sort of fade out once they were such a light color, but I see the details actually standing out now that they are white instead of dark wood.

Chair details

As I started to put the second coat of primer on, I noticed a few areas of the old wood stain bleeding through the primer. I put a second coat on those areas and let them dry to see if the second coat would cover it, and it didn’t. So, I went to Lowe’s and bought some Kilz 3 Premium which is supposed to be good for painting over wood. I put a coat of Kilz 3 primer on both chairs and they are drying now.

A bit blurry, but you can see the bleed-through.
Kilz 3 primer

Tune in tomorrow to see if the Kilz primer does cover the bleed-throughs, and how the first coat of paint turns out!

Aging, Change, Cool Stuff, God, Memories

Keepsakes

Marnie and I went to an estate sale today and found all sorts of goodies.  I even missed some of the items for sale because there were so many things to look at!  All the items for sale had been moved to the barns on the property and some items were very dirty.  In fact, one of my items was marked $3 but the lady only charged me $1 because it was really filthy. Dirt for the win! Right now I’m going through some of the things I bought, hoping to find things I can sell in my Etsy store.  I got a whole box of sewing notions – vintage patterns, thread, buttons, and zippers; a bag of game pieces; some Christmas decorations; a bowl made of English walnut that is worth far more than I paid for it; a concrete bear statue for the side yard; two wind chimes; some other things, and most interestingly a box of cards and letters originally owned by a Mennonite girl named Irene.  I think this is her senior picture:

Right now I’m going through the box and wiping off all the dirt and spider webs from the cards and letters.  They are mostly just letters from her friends with a few newspaper clippings, such as this one about some giant waves at the coast.   I do wish there were more newspaper clippings, as I enjoy reading the ads and other little articles.

Irene was very detailed in noting on each envelope that she had answered the letter.  I assume she would have gotten many more letters than this in her life and I’m not sure why these are the only ones left, but I imagine that her family had looked at these and didn’t feel they were important.  There are no photos in the box except the senior photo.  Plus, they are all dirty and webby and there was an actual spider in the box.  

Of course, you don’t learn much about a person from reading the letters sent to them. I don’t know if the estate was hers or how she was related to the person who left the estate, but I found her obituary online and she indeed passed away in the last few months.  It sounds like she was a wonderful and generous woman who loved to help people.  But she had no children of her own, and some letters from her teenage years would have meant little to her nephews and niece, I think. 

Anyway, I always find it very interesting to read old letters and postcards.  I was hoping to find some postcards in the box, but only one has turned up so far.  It is a photo of Giant Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, from 1961. 

Backpacking, Change, Health, hiking

Toes

I don’t have much to report today, except that I had my right big toenail removed on Tuesday. It kept trying to grow a new toenail but didn’t succeed in getting very far, so there were layers of toenail that kept trying to grow. (I don’t remember any trauma to the toe, so the origin of the problem is a mystery.) The nail had also mostly separated from the toe, so the podiatrist thought removing it would be the best option in hopes that it will grow back in a normal fashion. He actually showed me his toe that was growing a nice new nail after he lost it in a mountain biking accident. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a toenail removed, if you have you know that there are shots involved. The doctor sprayed my toe with cold spray, then put two or three shots in my toe. (It hurt a bunch, I’m not gonna lie. I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes tightly so I couldn’t see what he was doing.) The reason they have to give your toe more than one shot is that they don’t know for sure which nerve will hurt when removing the toenail.

After waiting a few minutes for the anesthetic to kick in, the doctor came back in and popped the toenail right off. I didn’t feel a thing really, the shots did their job. Then he bandaged it all up very effectively and I left the office with no toenail. I waited 24 hours like the doctor said and then took off the bandage to look at the toe. It didn’t look very nice at all, so I immediately put another bandage on it. The yellow stuff on my foot in the photo is the solution the nurse used to clean the area before the doctor took the nail off.

A good bandage.

Though it didn’t hurt when the doctor took the toenail off, it is uncomfortable now. I had a hike planned this Saturday to Duffy Lake (the site of my very first backpacking trip, when I was 21!) but decided not to go as it isn’t an easy hike and we would have to cross a river, and I didn’t want to wade in and get germs on my toe. Hopefully I can get some easy walks in around the neighborhood in the next few days.

Have you ever had a toenail removed? How long did it take to recover and be hike ready? Comment below!

Backpacking, Change, Christian Life, Cool Stuff, Doing Things Differently, Fun, God, hiking, PCT

PCT, Here We Come!!

So here is my official announcement blog post — my bestie Marnie and I plan to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022!! The trail traverses California, Oregon, and Washington, from Mexico to Canada, and is 2650 miles long. We plan to start at the southern terminus at the Mexico border and head north. It is a journey of five or six months, depending on how fast you hike.

PCT Southern Terminus – photo from thetrek.co
PCT Northern Terminus – photo from PCTA.org

We have gotten our thru-hike permits from the Pacific Crest Trail Association (albeit for days at the end of May which isn’t feasible when hiking through the California desert, we are looking for cancellations to get a better date and a date together) and we are working to get prepared for the trail.

EDIT: We were able to get permits for the end of March! Yay!

We would love it if you would pray for us for these specifics:

  • That God will be glorified in our hiking.
  • Provision (finances, bravery, physical and mental strength, etc.) for the trail.
  • Protection from injury/illness, ice, snow, water crossings, critters, anything else.
  • Fitness and ability to get good nutrition on trail (both of us sometimes find it hard to eat while backpacking).
  • Successful and smooth food and resupply boxes prep (there are places where there isn’t a good place to resupply for food, we will mail supply boxes to those places).
  • That we will get our “trail legs” soon so we can hike the miles we need to hike to finish on time (before the snows in Washington).
  • Energy to journal at the end of each day.
  • That neither of us will experience post-trail depression when we get home, but instead have energy and enthusiasm for the next stage of our lives.
  • Anything else applicable that you can think of!
Marnie (left) and me on a day hike.

Thank you!! Please feel free to ask any questions about our trip in the comments!

And if you want to know more about the PCT, The Trek’s website is a great place to start!