Friday, January 31, 2014

While We're On The Subject of Unnecessary Comments...

Let's talk about the weather, shall we? 

Let's talk about
Winter Storm Leona. 


Yes, I got that right. I realize that the powers- that-be over at weather central have named this storm Leon, but if you've gotten so silly as to tag every little breeze with a name, I'm going to be so silly as to rename it. I have renamed this storm Leona. 

Leon is a man's name, for goodness sake. Anybody who knows anything knows that there has been nothing whatsoever masculine about Dixie Winter 2014.  No, this winter event is most definitely a woman. 

A 50 year old woman. 

I know that because Leona is going through The Change. 

On Monday, we were in shirt sleeves for our morning walk. One of us might have  done a little sweating, too,  and griped about it.

By Tuesday afternoon, Leona had turned into an ice princess, and she's been icy ever since. There's just no talking to her, people.  Not to worry, though... By tomorrow we're getting another hot flash. Temperatures are predicted to be in the  70's and wet.

See? The Change. 

Of course, that's just what is predicted.  Menopausal winter storms are anything but predictable.  What will actually occur is subject to The Change as well.

Leona did just what she felt like doing.  She wasn't supposed to visit the Atlanta area at all.  If you listened to the weather mavens at the national level, the old gal was supposed to venture across more southern parts of the state. In fact, our little area was supposed to be in the bull's eye.  Leona was supposed to bring us a good five inches of snow.   I admit it. Folks around here were excited.

Miss Whimsy got snow. 

All we got was the cold shoulder and the icy stare.

Leona wasn't even supposed to get to Georgia until early evening, either.  Like the menopausal winter witch that she is, though, she got a little surge going. She barged in three hours early and headed wherever she jolly well pleased.

She was jolly well pleased to hit Atlanta.


That's why the good folks there were ill-prepared. That's why some of them got stranded. They listened to the dudes who had named her Leon to begin with.

As if...

I heard a little snickering on the news about all of that. Oh, who am I kidding? I heard a lot of snickering. I heard so much snickering, in fact, that I actually changed my news channel to one that I rarely watch, one based out of Atlanta.  It just seemed to me that the folks actually living in the middle of the menopausal winter might have a better take on the situation than those living up where 95 degrees for week   is considered  such a weather emergency that it gets its own theme music for commercial breaks.

As if...

Yeah, two can plan at this game.

I yakked a bit the other day about unnecessary commentary.  Friends,  I can't think of any commentary, veiled or otherwise, that is less necessary in the middle of a *weather event* than snide remarks made by those who aren't in the middle of it.

The simple fact is that when you are unused to a weather pattern, be it hot or cold, you are unused to it. Period. You might not have homes equipped with such things as air conditioners or closets full of such things as heavy winter coats.

Did you realize that there is more than one kind of winter coat?  Maybe not. Maybe you live in a place where a coat means a coat.  Here? Maybe not so much.

The first thing the Practical One discovered upon moving to DC was that she didn't have one. Oh, she thought she did. She had all sorts of southern coating options. They look warm enough. Down here, they even feel warm enough on the three days in January that you get to wear them   They weren't warm enough for long walks to work in DC, though.

(Another shameless excuse to show pictures of my children. 
Won't I make the most insufferable grandmother?)

But I digress...

While Snidely the Newsman was snickering at the people stranded in Atlanta on Tuesday, I wonder if he was so ignorant as to assume that they even owned a true winter coat?  I wonder if he even cared that the miles some of them were trekking were walked in the only clothing they had, that which is very appropriate for a Georgia winter.

I did.

I thought of all the people who might be trying to get home in weather conditions they could not possibly be prepared for. (Dear Mr. Snidely, exactly when did you learn to drive in the snow? Was it by any chance... in the snow? Yeah, I thought so.)

I thought of those people with their Dixie coats and driving skills, and I prayed for them.

I imagined my precious niece, whom I love so very much, walking alone in her heeled boots and southern- styled winter coat.  I was grateful to learn that she wasn't stranded, thank God. She made the ten mile trip by vehicle in a record hour and a half.

Others didn't fare so well. Maybe they were mothers with children... or mothers trying to get to their children.  Betcha they were someone's loved one. Betcha that someone was worried about them.

So  to what purpose must we endure the snide comments during the weather events?  I can't think of a single one. That's why I use the same finger on the Snideleys that I use on the Swoopers.  Only this time, I use it to change the channel.

And that's all I have to say about that. 

So... how's your winter treating you?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Constant Comments and Swooper Attacks

Bloggers are the nicest people!

Really folks, I think I have met some of the nicest people in the world in this little place we call Blogville.  Take Susan at My Place To Yours, for example. Even though I had become a Nogger during the Christmas season, she still remembered that Christmas Eve was my birthday and sent me an unexpected birthday card.

And then, there's Kitty. Many of you know Kitty from Kitty's Kozy Kitchen. She's not only one of the best recipe sources in Pinville,  but she's just a generally nice person.  I got a little treat in the mail from Kitty this week.

It came about because I felt the need to leave her a comment (surprise, surprise) about the name of a tea in one of her posts.

This one.

I told her that it should be the official tea of Debbie Land.

She LOL-ed me.

Then, she sent me a little gift of gab in the mail for good measure. 
Thank you, Kitty!

She also sent along some eggnog tea.  It will have to be egg nogger tea for now, though, because this morning, I would kind of like to yak about that constant comment business.

I plead guilty.

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I'm what you call a constant commenter.   I'm uncomfortable with silent spaces and generally feel the need to fill them with a little commentary.  According to the Man of the Place,  I have never had an unexpressed thought in my entire life.

That's not true. You wouldn't believe some of the thinks I think. 
But then again, maybe you would. 

The truth is, while I joke about my motor mouth, I actually do work at keeping a grip on it.  Even more than the quantity of words, though,  I try to work on the quality of them, especially in that constant comment business around here.

As in,

If you can't leave a nice comment, don't leave one at all.  

Let's face it. Unkind or unnecessary written comments don't  just slip out accidentally. There's no such thing as a slip of the finger, people.  Written comments have to go through a filtering system. They have to go from head to hands to keyboard. Then, when it's all been said, they still remain unexpressed until we willingly send them.

And there's always that delete option that could be deployed...

The truth of the matter is that most if not all of the unnecessary comments in Blogville don't come from our blog friends and neighbors, do they?  They come from the Swoopers.  You know the kind I mean. You've never seen them before,  but suddenly... there they are, swooping in to leave an unnecessary negative.  I'm not talking about blogs of potential controversy, either.  It happens just as often on regular old yakabouts.

I got swooped one time for yakking about Sunday dinner with my family.

Another time, I got swooped for cutting down a Christmas tree.  

The post wasn't even about cutting down a tree; it was just about decorating it. I merely mentioned that we get a live tree in the body of the post. Suddenly, I was swooped.  I have no clue who this woman was. I clicked her name, but I had never heard of her blog.  I think it's pretty safe to yak her out since she's never been back here. She showed up on that post, though, swooping in to tell me that there was never a reason to cut down a tree.

I think she might have used a few of these  !!! for good measure, too.

Never mind that Christmas trees are actually a row crop. Nope. Plant them, folks, but under no circumstances should they be cut down.


I guess she doesn't eat corn, either?  (Probably not. You know, genetically modified corn and all... And don't even get her started on the carbon footprint left by a herd of belching bovine...)

But I digress.

It isn't really the specifics of the matter, anyway. It's the principle of the thing. What's more, it's the pure mystery of it. How do these people find you?  Do they sit in basements somewhere googling for key words? Do they receive some sort of swooper alert?

 Some folks blame the anonymity of the cyber world.  It gives cowards boldness they never had before, they say. I think I agree with that.  I also think it's probably just a sign of the times.  We live in a culture that seems to lack common courtesy in every other area. Why should our words be any different?  Fight picking and insult hurling is all the rage these days.

In the end, the only fingers I can control are my own.  For my blog friends, neighbors, and fellow partiers out there, I'll try to use them as positively as I possibly can. I would rather be a Kitty or a Susan  than a swooper any old day of the week.

And  as for those swoopers? I'll continue to use my fingers on them, too... by hitting that button that says delete. 

And that's all I have to say about that. 

Have you ever been the victim of a swooper attack? 
Do you leave them, respond to them, or delete?

And in contrast, what was the nicest thing anyone ever did for you in Blog Land?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Living in a Crack House

If you read my previous post, you know that I had a most unwelcome guest in my home during my blog hiatus. Based on the comments that followed, I think I can make a pretty safe assumption about my friends in Blogville.  We don't like snakes, and the thought of one slithering into our homes gives us a serious case of the willies.

I'm not here this morning to yak about seeing a snake in my house, though.  I'm here to yak about something far, far worse.

What could possibly be worse than seeing a snake in the house?

Not seeing one.

Really, ponder that for a pair of minutes.  We arrived home that day in time to actually see the snake on the kitchen floor.  What if we had arrived just a few minutes later than we did? What if we had arrived after the late Mr. Snake had slithered his way out of the kitchen and into some more remote corner of the house?   What if he had taken up residence in that remote corner?  What if he had thrown a big old snake family reunion?

Or what if... and here's where that active imagination comes in handy... what if our unwelcome guest was actually the late Mrs. Snake? And what if  Mrs. Snake was looking to do a little nesting in the remote corner? What if she had filled the home with a bunch of little vipers in snake skin diapers?

Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I think about. 

That would be the reason that we could call the Great Snake Adventure a true Come to Jesus moment around here. It caused me to think about such things as snakes and houses.

You see, the simple fact of the matter is that although I knew in my head that a snake could wiggle its way into a house, I sort of pushed it down the list of phobias because, well, that kind of thing just doesn't happen in my house.

Maybe your house, but not mine.

We live in a subdivision after all, not in the middle of a cotton field. The house is relatively modern, too.  It's not as if I restored a wonderful old  grey haired lady like I've always wanted to.

(I'm starting to see a reason why God kept saying no to that one....)

Nope. We live in well built, custom home.  It's what is called a Georgia Power Good Sense Home too, which means that the powers that be say that we're adequately sealed.  There's no possible way a snake could get inside my home.

And yet, it did.  

We're still not exactly sure how he got in the home. All we know is that he found an opening somewhere and slithered in. The husband seems to think he was a back door friend.  We tend to be careless with our back door, especially with all that coming and going that we do. We're busy people don'tcha know. Sometimes we leave the door wide open while we load to and from the Busy Mobiles.  

We're not going to be doing that anymore...

Of course, maybe it wasn't an open door. Maybe it was an open window. Maybe it wasn't either one. Maybe it was  just a crack somewhere  After all... all a snake really needs is a crack. 

No, we're not sure how the late Mr. Snack got into our house; we're just sure of one thing:  We won't be so careless about cracks and openings in the home place ever again. We've done a thorough crack inspection.  What's more, we've covered every conceivable threshold with the stuff that's designed to keep the snakes away. I even put empty boxes of moth balls in the remote spaces around here... just in case.

We're feeling pretty safe for now. Of course, it's just a temporary measure. Time and life tend to wear away at even the most effective snake repellent around a home.  We're going to be more more vigilant about reapplying it in the future.  

In the end, I'm glad that we saw the snake in the house that day.  Really, it's true. After all, I would far rather be aware of a snake in the home than be completely oblivious as to its presence. 

And I'll throw this one in for free:  If a snake can slither its was into my well sealed home, it might be able to slither into your home as well. Just a thought.  

By the way, 
if you still think this post has really been about snakes this morning,  
you might want to go back and read it again.


Comments off

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes...
~Deut. 6:6-9 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nogger Awards Part 2

I thought I'd drop by again this week with a few more Nogger Awards.

In case you missed it, a Nogger is a little tidbit about which I never managed to  blog.  Let's just call it my way of catching up from my months as a non-blogger.  I'm trying to keep it brief again (good luck with that...) so I'm limiting it to four awards. Here they are:

Most Disappointing Adventure I never yakked about 

 Our trip to the Blue Willow 

The Blue Willow has been a favorite adventure destination ever since it was featured in Guideposts magazine a few decades ago. Periodically, the women of the family like to think of an excuse to make the three hour drive to Social Circle, Georgia and have lunch at the Blue Willow.

It is housed in a restored antebellum mansion, and the food is served on Blue Willow dishes. While you wait, a southern belle in period attire greets guests with a tray of homemade lemonade.

At least that's the way it used to be. Unfortunately, the old gray mare just ain't what she used to be.

Our first clue should have been the sign.

And then, maybe the fact that the southern belle had been replaced with a scarecrow from Big Lots.

But no... we had made the journey, and we were going inside.

The food was pretty good. Of course, it wasn't until we finished and went outside that the only man of the party informed us that he had seen a big fat C from the state inspector.  What? Sorry, old friend, you get the Nogger.

 Most Romantic Moment I never yakked about

Dancing with Sir Lotsa Hair. 

That actually happened at a wedding the night before the Great Blue Willow Adventure.    Now, this might not be a big deal to those of you who married Fred Astaire, but around here, it's a very big thing. You see, although that husband of mine is a romantic, he has one major flaw:

 He won't dance. Don't ask him.

Seriously, we haven't danced at a wedding since this one.

But apparently love was in the air that night.   Maybe it was the strains of one of our favorite songs from back in the day... or maybe it was my puppy dog face... but suddenly, we were out on the dance floor, and I was over the moon.

I'm pretty sure that for those 4 minutes and 17 seconds, I was the envy of the ball.   Oh sure, I wasn't the youngest girl there. I wasn't the prettiest or the richest, and I certainly wasn't the thinnest. I was, however, the only girl who got to dance with Sir Lotsa Hair. I'm giving it a big old Nogger.

Want to know which song? Go ahead, admit it. You do.

 The Scariest Moment I never yakked about
There was a snake.
In the house.

In the house, people.
And I was the one who saw it first.

We were walking in the door after working the soup kitchen all morning, and I was making a beeline for the bathroom. Suddenly I looked down, and there... right on my new kitchen floor... was a snake.

No, I don't know how it got in. And no, I don't know what kind of snake it was either.  It was just the snakey kind. The kind that snakes. Isn't that enough?  It was snaking its way toward the dining room, too.

I screamed bloody murder and ran back through the kitchen, back out the door, and back down the steps. It was while I was standing at the foot of the steps that I realized the aforementioned trip to the bathroom would no longer be necessary.

So, after Tarzan pulverized the snake with his steel toed work boots, Jane made a trip to the store instead.  She purchased four boxes of moth balls and some Snake Away which is still lining every conceivable entrance into the jungle.

 I'm not over it yet.
And no, I do not have a picture.

Most spontaneous fun I never yakked about

Christmas afternoon at the Duchy

Granddaughters with their photo ops

The kid sister was pretty bummed that in all those characters, the Duchess had neglected to make one single Sally.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story...

Some women marry Gene Kelly...

I married Jerry Lewis.

Then, we finished it all off with a little Peanuts Dancing.

At least that's what we were trying to achieve. Upon inspection, however, it appears we were actually doing the March of the Penguins instead.

And that's all the Nogging I have for now.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

But Baby It's Cold Outside

I shall not complain...

I woke to temperatures in the low 20's this morning, but a quick glance at, and I've decided I'm in pretty good shape.  After all, we're supposed to reach a balmy 45 degrees today.  

In contrast, the Practical One woke in her little basement apartment to temperatures in the single digits. As of my last stalking, she had hit a torrid 13 degrees, and the ground is covered with almost 4 inches of the cold, wet, yukky, stuff.

Pretty bad when your only mode of transportation is a sturdy pair of boots and an umbrella... 

Of course, to my northern bloggy friends buried under a foot of snow, even Washington weather probably seems pretty mild right now.  

So I promise not to complain. I shall not say a word about being a little housebound because of a little cold snap. I won't even mutter about the three different projects that I started over the weekend which will have to remain unfinished until Jack Frost leaves town. 

I was going to yak all about them, too...

Instead, I'll just yak about some interior house playing I've been doing. Today, we're in the powder room.   

Have I ever mentioned that my powder room is my favorite room in my entire house?  Well, it is. Yes, I know that's odd. I mean, there's nothing whatsoever remarkable about our powder room.  It needs an updated sink and faucet, and if you recall... the toilet is *biscuit* colored. 

Still, I like it.
 It's my favorite space in the whole house to change for the seasons.  

I guess that's because it's a small space with a nice, taupe backdrop
to make change easy.

One of my favorite  children's books ever... don't know why.

Plus, let's face it.  In the powder room,
you get kind of a captive audience.

If you're ever going to have fun with the details, that's the place to do it.

Folks have nothing better to do than
sit there...

and take in the whole story.

By the way, that middle one is my  favorite book of all time if you don't count the Bible.
If you haven't read it as an adult, what are you waiting for? A long winter?

And that's all I have for today, a glimpse into my favorite room.
Some folks call it a powder room.
Me? I just think its a nice place to spin a yarn.


Hope all my winter storm blogging friends stay safe and warm!

Friday, January 17, 2014

And the (N)Oscar Goes To...

Well, it's January so you know what that means. It's time for Hollywood to host its 4,728 awards shows to remind us all how fabulous they are.  Maybe I'll yak about that sometime, but today I'm just using it for some jumper cables to start a  little blog gala of my own. It's a big old party for one.

You see, even though I stepped out of Blogville for nearly half a year, I actually did have a life going on during the hiatus.  Yessiree, things were hopping here in Debbie Land. Had I been blogging, I would have yakked all about it.

But I never did.  I was a non-blogger.
  A Nogger...  

So in the interest of chronicling my life, I thought I would host my own awards gala and show you some of the winners for what I have decided to call the Nogger Awards. That's where I shout out  favorite things that I  never blogged in 2013.

In the interest of keeping it brief, I will only share four of them in this post. Let's start with a favorite pastime of mine, setting the table.

Favorite tablescape I never yakked about

There were several nominees in this category, but the Nogger goes to the Farm Sister's luncheon club table.

She drew the lot for September, but since she's already done a lovely autumn theme (more than one in fact), she went yellow and sapphire on us instead. I loved it.  I wish I could have gotten a better shot of the centerpiece because it was show- stopping. Unfortunately, I didn't arrive early enough to get any better pictures, and once the other girls arrived, I was busy with a yakker of a different sort.

Most exciting opportunity I never yakked about 

That would be the night the Duchess, Farm Sister, and I went to hear former First Lady Laura Bush speak at the local university.

We weren't in those cheap seats way up yonder in the bleachers, either. We were able to sit right down there on the floor with tickets courtesy of the DC daughter that I procreated.  Yes, indeed. She has finally made up for the 10 hours of labor, big head, and broad shoulders.

Oh, who am I kidding? She made up for all that in the first minute...

But oh how lovely the evening was! I can tell you sincerely that Laura Bush certainly earns the title First Lady. You would think I would have better pictures, wouldn't you?
But no...

Favorite DIY home project I never yakked about

No contest here, the Nogger goes to my made- over kitchen chairs.  

First, some before pics
They stayed black for a while, but when the new dining room chairs that I did yak about arrived, it was time to move them to the kitchen. Black wouldn't do. The seats were uncomfortable, too.

So I made my own chalk paint recipe because I'm cheap like that. Then I added this little medallion  to sort of jazz up the back. I stained it first, and then just sanded it lightly  to get the look I wanted.

Then I replaced the poor excuse for a seat with some new, thick, foam and batting and covered them with a burlap.

I feel the need to tell you that the seats have yet to be attached in this picture.  

I think the burlap does a nice job of balancing the stark white.  Plus, they go with the farmhouse thing that I have going on in my kitchen. Clean, white, with just a bit of color for balance.

 Told you taupe could actually be a pop of color...

And finally...

Most ironic thing I never yakked about

Well, you might not *get* this if you do not remember my last post before disappearing into the blog mist, but here it is:

The Love Shack got a new cat. 

Actually, she's a kitten. They rescued her from the barn and named her Waffles. 

Of course, with a face like this

I think I'm going to call her Lil Foxy instead.

And that's all I have for today. Now it's time to scoot and attend to the balance of living. Besides, I need to shop for a designer gown before my next Nogger Awards, the family fun addition.

I'm thinking something taupe... 


What's the favorite thing  you didn't blog about lately?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Along the Way, Take Time...

Well, here it is.  It's a mere 15 days after jumping back into Blog Land, and I'm already lagging behind. I'm behind in my writing and behind in my reading.  The house needs dusting, and there is a load of clothes in the dryer waiting to be folded. Out in the garage, the cars are protesting because of the boxes of Christmas schtuff which have yet to make it to the attic.

And what's worse? Once again, I'll be the last guest to arrive at the 
 at A Haven for Vee. 

Because I lack balance, that's why...

I hate to shush people, but... Shhhh, people! I'm working on it.  It's my whole theme of 2014, in fact. Before I box 2013 into the blog archives forever, though, I wanted to leave you with a final remembrance of the theme from last year.  

Starring the Shiny Red Kodak. 
(posted HERE)

Actually, that's Shiny Red Kodak, Sr. He kicked the bucket a few years ago and was replaced by Son of Shiny Red Kodak. He likes the drive- by  just as much as his daddy did, and his very favorite reason to slow down last year was a little pop of red.

Like little red berries

and little red shacks

and little red bridges.

And there you have it, the first note card(s) of 2014.  

And if in so doing, you lag just a little behind, is that really such a big deal?

No, I don't think so either.

Sharing at A Haven for Vee

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yet Another Word of the Year

I may have mentioned a time or two hundred that I teach a Bible study class every week. I love my class. We're called the Lydia Class, and we've been meeting together for over a decade.  We have a class verse and a class prayer and a class song. We even have a class color.  It's  purple. Maybe I'll yak about that some day.

Just not today

 What we've never had was a class motto or a even a Word of the Year. This year, I decided to remedy that and dub up one. The spiritual chocolate today is all about it. 

I'll start this post the same way I started our lesson,
 by making you guess what that word is.  

So... open your Bibles to the following verses, and see if you can spot the word of the year. 

From Jesus  himself  (John 13:34)
A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

and again from Jesus (13:35)
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another.”

There He goes again...(John 15:12)
This is My commandment,
 that you love one another as I have loved you.

and again (15:17)
These things I command you, that you love one another.

and from the Apostle Paul (Romans 13:8)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

And John the Beloved  (1 John 3:)
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Even my favorite Apostle weighs in on the subject.
(1 Peter 1:22)
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart

There were other verses as well, but I think you get the drift. Every single one of them contains the same Greek word.  I'll ask you the same question that I asked them.
 What do you think is going to be our word of the year?

I'll betcha some of you are thinking that it's love. You might even be like some of my Smartie Arties and be thinking of the specific Greek word, agape.

They got a gold star and bragging rights for knowing that, but they were still wrong. While agape is indeed in every verse, love in any language is not our word of the year. Our word is another Greek word.  It is found in every verse as well, but maybe you were so focused on the love that you overlooked it.  They did.

Or maybe, you were a bit duped by that *one word* business. I wasn't really lying to you. Our word really  is a single Greek word. It's allelon (pronounced  al-lay-lone  ).  It just doesn't have a single English word equivalent.

That's probably a good thing since it's impossible to practice  allelon in the singular. (It's actually impossible to *practice* it at all since it's a pronoun and not a verb, but...)  Allelon is the Greek plural pronoun which means one another.

One another. 

You see, inserting the word allelon in those verses changes the love a bit. This love isn't the unrequited kind like loving our enemies or even our neighbors. This is a love of  allelon,  one another.  It's not designed to be one-sided. In fact, by very definition it can't be one-sided.  Allelon is a  reciprocal pronoun. What one does... the other does right back.

It's part of God's perfect design for the body of Believers.  Pretty wonderful, if you ask me,  yet based on casual observation, it raises a question:   

Is it possible to have our noses pressed deeply into the Word yet still manage to overlook one another?  Is it possible to be so focused on the good stuff... the very important stuff like love... and still manage to overlook one another?

I think so. (Maybe you just did.)
What's more, my class agreed with me. 

That's why we're dubbing this year Allelon: The Year of One Another.  We began last week just the way we ought to, with our noses pressed deeply into the Word without overlooking one another.

All told, Allelon is used in 94 different verses in the New Testament. Within those verses are over 30 different commands as to how believers should (and should not) treat one another.  Because I never do anything half way, we'll be studying every single one of them.

And we started at the beginning... For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (1 John 3:11) 

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Happy a happy Sunday, one to another. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Debbie the Diva and the (Little) Taupe Dress

It all started in the dressing room.

Have I mentioned how much I hate clothes shopping? Well, I do. It's not so much the casual shopping that I hate; it's the commando shopping. You know... the kind that you have to do for what I like to call a Loomer.

Now, I don't know how you handle the Loomers, but I generally follow a few simple steps. First, I procrastinate. Then, since procrastination does wonders for my appetite, I move into phase II: The panic diet phase. It's during the panic diet phase that I realize it's time for the commando raid to find the appropriate Loomer wear.

It's not a good mix. 

That's because procrastinated panic dieting rarely does what it's intended to do. About an hour into my commando raids, I usually decide to surrender, buy yet another black dress, and loom in the shadows. 

Can anyone relate?  (please?) 

(Yes, I realize that the phrase yet another black dress implies that I have a multitude of them. I do. They're just never the right black dress for that particular Loomer.  Plus, they don't fit. Try to keep up, people...)

So that's where I was, standing in a dressing room in middle Georgia, crying because not one of the 4,726 black dresses I had tried on that day was working for me. 

That's when the size 2 clerk who probably never had a case of Loomers in her life knocked on the door. She handed me this:

Does that look like a black dress to you?

Now, the typical Debbie thing to do here would be to take the dress and pretend to try it on. However, I might possibly have turned into a Diva in need of a Snickers at that point because what I did instead was flatly refuse. 

And I said,
 "Sorry, I can't wear that color."

And she said,
 "Who says so?"

I was about to tell her that everybody says so, but I knew in my head that it was sort of a stupid answer. I'm pretty sure that every person on the planet has not weighed in with his opinion as to wearable colors in Debbie Land.

Instead, I murmured something about being a blonde so anything beige just washes me out

While she agreed that I should not ever wear the color beige, she said that taupe was completely different. It's all in the shade, she said, and she began to prove it by holding every piece of beige in the store against my face to contrast it with that taupe dress. 

The next thing I knew, I was checking out. Then, she gave me directions to the best little accessory shop she knew and the name of a woman there who would be able to help me find a pop of color to go along with it. 

I was thinking red or coral or something,
 but the color maven suggested this:

Does that look like a pop of color to you?

It didn't to me either. I guess I protested too loudly, though, because before I knew it, everybody in the store really was weighing in on the wearable colors in Debbie Land.

I was still unconvinced, but since I had dubbed 2013 the year to step out of my comfort zone, I did it. I bought the single most daring outfit I have ever owned: Taupe on taupe.

And you'll never guess what happened next. 

My daring taupe outfit was a big hit. Seriously, not since the electric blue pant suit of '83 have I gotten more compliments on an article of clothing, specifically about the color.

On me.

As in, why don't you ever wear that color?
 It's wonderful on you.


Then, since I never do anything in moderation, I began to buy more of that taupe-y stuff.

Taupe shoes...
Taupe sweaters...
A taupe scarf...

I even tried to taupe-stain a lace blouse with some strong coffee, but it was an epic failure. After three washes, it turned an unfortunate shade of beige, and my closet still smelled like Starbucks. 

You can't win them all, folks.

With all that taupe in the closet, it just seemed reasonable to go ahead and make it the 2014 Color of the Year. When God laid the word balance on my heart, it was a match made in Heaven. 

And there you have it: How Debbie the Diva learned to love taupe.

But now... if you have stuck with this too-long-yakabout for this long, I think you deserve a moral of the story as well.

And here it is:

Maybe you can do the thing you think you cannot do.
Maybe, just maybe, you need to do it a shade differently. 

(I have no idea why that font suddenly changed. I can't fix it either. Ugh.) 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Because It Doesn't Have To Be Black Or White

Here I go again.

I was all set to yak abroad my color of the year and tell you the little story that inspired it, and for the life of me, I can't get the post on the page.  Oh, I'm getting words on the page... lots of them in fact. I just can't seem to spill the beans without making a whole pot of chili.  And so?

 I. Post. Nothing.

Can anyone relate?

A favorite blogger who shall remain nameless  has suggested that maybe, just maybe, I'm something of a perfectionist. Though that would probably surprise the dust bunnies living under my bed, she's not completely out in left field, only instead of a straight-up perfectionist, I'm more of what you call an extremist.

As colors go, I'm more of a passionate red, bright yellowor hot pink.  My neutrals are either black or white. 

It's sad but true. In Debbie Land, it's either freezing or boiling. (Feel free to take that comment literally, by the way.)

 I'm either Richard Simmons or Henry the VIII.  

Sue Ann or Roseanne

OK, strike that one. I'm proud to say that I have never been a Rosanne.  ( I'm not exactly Sue Ann Nivens either, but that's not relevant.)

But really...
 Don't you think there's some space in between?

Yeah, I think so too. 
This year, I'm going to figure out a way to embrace more of it.

I'm not just doing it for myself, either. If you think it's frustrating for me, imagine being married to a pendulum for 30 years.  Therefore, for the sake of all concerned, I have decided to put my focus this year on the practice of moderation. Life doesn't have to be an all or nothing life, after all. It just needs some healthy balance.

That's why balance is my word of the year.  And the color I picked to go along with it? 

It's taupe. 

Yes, taupe. Don't even try to tell me that taupe doesn't have possibilities. It does. Taupe isn't the same as beige or cream or buff. I would never choose them for a color of the year. For one thing, they're boring. For another, I like to wear my color of the year, and I can't wear beige, cream, or buff.

Taupe, on the other hand, has just enough depth to distinguish it from the creams of the world.  Taupe has a personality; it's just a quiet one. It works and plays well with others, too.  It can be both a neutral and a pop of color.  Oh sure, it doesn't pop like red, but who says a pop of color has to scream at you? Why can't it just sort of converse?

That's what taupe is to me, a warm and conversational kind of color, not too loud, but with enough hue to keep it from being bland. Taupe is a color with perfect balance, and that's why it's my 2014 color of the year.

Ta da!!


And now that I've finally spilled the beans,  I can get around to visiting.
Yes,  I'm oddball enough to admit that I was afraid to read blogs  lest someone choose the word first and think I was a big, old, copycat. 

   So... even if you've already blogged it: 
What's your goal for 2014? 
Inquiring minds want to know. 


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