12 July, 2018

Thursday, 12 July 2018

I am here early because it has already been a busy day and the heat is making me stay inside right now.  :-)  I was out with the dogs earlier so I did a few chores and thought I was going to do whatever people do when the heat gets to them.  I think the next dog break will be a quick trip to the nearest tree.

I found a batch of ripe berries... well, they were dark and seem to be pretty ripe.  I am watering the vine bushes hoping that it will help make large sweet fruit for the picking season, which I think is mostly the end of July and August... not sure, but they are starting to get ripe.  I need to make a plan for canning or freezing them... and remembering the lessons of my first summer effort.

Been working on the budget... and the list of things it might be used to do.

Crafting is on the list after this.  I have more painting to do, and maybe some polymer clay molding... or some freehand efforts to make earrings or pendants.  I'm behind in my gift-giving, so I need to catch up ASAP (as soon as possible).  :-)

If I want to enter a watercolor contest, I have to get something done by the end of the month.  I'm not sure I am ready for a competition, but I might enter just for the experience.  Looking at the entries that were already submitted (online), it's a wide level of experience there... but, the sample is way up on the talent list!!!  It looks like a photo!!!  I keep reminding myself it is a process and I am just beginning.

I was browsing the "news" stories on my opening page a bit... Papa's Pizza and a misleading story content about the use of the "N-word" in sensitivity training... it would have been better to be clearer about the use of the word and why it was reported... not actually having to say it in full detail, but verify that a real problem existed and that the media was not misreporting for their own agenda purposes.

Brad Pitt and Katrina housing was another link I followed because housing in New Orleans is a constant reminder to me of the great problems we face in disasters.  Ten years later.... and still there is so much undone.  These are subtle signs about the financial health of our country at a lot of levels.  I played a video at the link, but without the audio, so I don't know exactly what was said.  It was an ET report, that's all I remember.  I also remember there was a Foundation attached to Brad Pitt and the housing cause.  The accusation was that his promise was still unfulfilled... I imagine he was a bit busy with his own trials since 2007.

I discovered a great photo of a shipping container house and I couldn't find it again after not being able to save it.  I did find out there is a container selling place right in my own area!!  I had no idea.  I have occasionally looked online for them, to see what the prices were like, but the companies were all far away.  Now I have found a local resource.  That means more hope for my own housing development goals through Working Together.

My quest to hold off on making some caramels is waning... I may break down and do some this weekend.  I'm not sure if that qualifies as Sabbath rest though... I forgot I am working on that task, too.  :-)  So many things to remember and figure out.

Well... that is my life so far today... with a lot of details omitted.  :-)   If I can get some more tasks off my list later, I will try to do that, but this is a 90+ degree day here... it will probably be hot way into the darkness of the night.  Next week those temps come back...  summer is here.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May GOD be good to the poor who need Him, provide for their summer protections, help them with their daily lives and chores and hopes.

May the summer be filled with cool memories... maybe water fun, lots of working fans, air conditioners and paid electric bills, family that cares, friends and neighbors to look in on the homebound, and shared times of joy.

In GOD there is hope, and we all need to find Him in the middle of a struggling humanity that doesn't always see anyone or anything other than their own hurting hearts and lives.


11 July, 2018

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

It has been a long day.

I was looking for my Wednesday programs on OPB-PLUS about noon and discovered a new show.  This one is called "Articulate with Jim Cotter" and it was a short conversation with four people about their creative work... one a music producer that finds talent in Africa; one a photographer with an old style camera that uses real film; one an older black man that paints things that were big canvas paintings, murals, or both; and a letterpress artist with a huge old machine -- one I hope to get if I live that long.  :-)

I am just beginning to understand screen printing... so this would be amazing.  I saw a movie with Will Smith looking for people to help before he died, and one of the characters had an old letterpress machine... maybe more than one, I can't remember.  I once had an old mimeograph machine that I loved, and had plans for, but life happened and that went away.  I will figure out my art future as I learn more about different types of production.

START UP was on after that.  They had a segment on a California business and then a segment on an ex-social worker who became a photographer to make women look and feel good in photos...  No mention of her pricing was made, but it seems to be an all day event for each customer.  Pricey, I imagine. When they went over her start-up details, she had zero in the bank and began with $10K in credit card debt.  Cameras are very expensive... and computer systems to process digital photos.  I like to see the numbers to compare them to other businesses.

Finally, my last Wednesday program was BEADS, BAUBLES, AND JEWELS.  Multi-strand creations with crimps was the main theme, then there was a short segment on earrings, with instructions on how to make your own ear wires with a form.  I have seen some great YouTube videos on making your own ear wires... and I am still looking for the best tool I saw being used.  :-)  It helps me to think of designs I might want to try... watching other people create.

I was amazed to discover more blackberries getting ripe... just starting the process.  I have to get out there and check our vines to see what they have.  I am watering them to try to get better berries this year.  I have probably shared this before, but I have always remembered one instruction about growing fruits... make sure they have water when they are fruiting... that is when they need it most to become the best fruits.  I hope so.

I was also able to do some of my summer project -- eliminating the ivy patch in one part of the yard.  Well, not all of it, but most of it.  I still have a LONG way to go... but I am working on it.

The heat is doing me in... today I had to turn on the air conditioner.  The thermostat said it was 77 degree - INSIDE!  I had just come in from the outside and needed to find some way to cool down.  I shut the windows and turned it on and then had to rest.  It is hard to get old... a real learning process every day.

I continue to pray for the things I need.  And I work with what I have.  Faith is a difficult thing to understand when you are struggling...  you learn about GOD as you go through things... your faith grows as you see GOD work... it isn't a like a restaurant where you ask and get what you want when you want it, it is like asking for something at Christmas and waiting to see if you get it... kinda. :-)

Well, enough of that.  I need to go.  It's going to be an early bedtime tonight... I did way too much today.  I need to recover from it and start the rest of the list tomorrow.  :-)

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May we all find ways to reach out to those who are older, especially the home-bound and those in senior facilities.  We can glean a lot of good history and find out things we never knew about.

May GOD protect our vulnerable people from the overreach of the government and zealous people who think quality of life is only their definition of it.

May I do better at aging... I sure don't like it... and I don't think I do well with the process!  haha


10 July, 2018

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Here I am again... doing the same things... finding routines to get things done...

Life is filled with repeating activities.  It is hard to find that ongoing excitement about household chores.  :-)

How is your life?  I think we always figure everyone else is doing everything we can't -- or don't want to do.  "They" always have a great life, we always seem to be struggling.

Today, I flipped through some links and ended up seeing a story about more suicides.  Why?  I wonder what their lives were really like if they were so miserable.  I followed a link to one of the people who died, in the news because she was part of a sordid-sounding reality series in another country.  Her younger boyfriend decided to follow her.  It is a huge tragedy to me.  People make their self-worth depend on public opinion, then it all spirals into misery... for them.

I guess it is because we never think it is possible to change our lives... we think that what other people have decided is success is what we are suppose to need.

I guess I have been thinking about singers and their attachment to fame.  Do they enjoy life because they get to sing, or do they enjoy singing because it makes them famous... sometimes rich... in the news.  When does our "passion" in life become our source of unhappiness?

I know it is hard to make a new life... but that is better than no life... than dying by your own hand.  In the future we can find a better happiness.  If we don't try, we find nothing.

I was listening to some sermon programs on the radio, over the weekend I think, and they talked about what happens when we die.  The Bible says we sleep, but current opinion says it is not what is known as soul sleep... well, there are parts that say those who believe go to sleep and those that don't go to hell.  At the judgment, the ones who are not written in the Book of Life go to the Lake of Fire.  They are two separate places... and we can't change our destination no matter how much we love someone else who may have gone to the other place.

In the Bible, when I was studying it to find my own answers, I noticed there are two specific states of being mentioned about the end of everything we know now.  One is called "Death" and one is called "Hell" -- both of these are thrown into that Lake of Fire at the final judgment process... along with Satan and all of his "helpers."  In the judgment, those who believe go to an eternity with GOD, in what we call heaven, which becomes a new place.  Those who are not going to make it into heaven so to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

I just wanted to show there is more than a simple Heaven and Hell in our future.

I think the state of Death is the sleep that the Bible talks about.  The reason it goes into the Lake of Fire is because Jesus has conquered death and we don't need to wait for the final judgment anymore.  For those of us who are going to be with GOD and Jesus in heaven, there is no more death.  We become like the angels is what the Bible says.  I'm not sure if that would apply to the lost... becoming like the angels that followed Satan, etc.

Some people say that Satan wins the battle for our lives and souls when we kill ourselves.  The reason is that there is no more opportunities to change, to make our lives better, to discover GOD's best plan for our lives, to go to heaven.  I suppose that people who really believe in GOD would not kill themselves.  I don't know.  I think GOD will know their hearts and will judge them with mercy.

There certainly isn't a purgatory to work off your sins during life.  And no one can baptize you into heaven after you are gone.  No matter how much we want our loved ones to go to heaven, there is no option for that once they are dead.

I didn't mean to get so sad, but it really hurts my heart when other people are suffering so much and they think death is the best answer to their problem.  If they would just give it some time, life would change, things would get better, they would be able to change the unhappiness into something that makes them appreciate their life.

Well, I have things I need to get done so I better end here.  If you are thinking that death is better than life right now, I pray that you will wait, think about what you really want your life to be, what is in your power to change, and how you can reach the things that matter to you... then start going in those directions the best you can.  I use to try to do one thing, no matter how small it was, toward my future every day... something... just to feel a forward momentum.

Give time a chance to make life better.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

Help us to know that every person in the world is struggling, trying to find their way though their own problems... help us to see that our problems can be solve, even if it means that life will be different, that we may have to change, and in the process discover things we never knew would make our life better.

Help us to see the hurt in others.
Help us to find a way to share, to listen, to help, to give, to take, to become better than we are now.
Help us to trust that GOD has a wonderful plan for our lives... and to seek Him about it.
Help us to find love in what we do each day... for us, for others, for the world.

Help us to be true, honest, hopeful, kind, generous, interested in others... when we get involved in the lives of others, we discover the good parts of our own lives.

In the holy Name of Jesus, these things I pray.  Amen.

09 July, 2018

Monday, 9 July 2018

A new week has begun... I have been a busy little thing today... for me.  :-)

I started doing some crafts yesterday and have continued today... still a lot of space problems so I'm trying to figure it out.  By the end of the week, I may have some products to sell... maybe... I am trying out some ideas adapted from videos I have seen.  By then I may have my photo issues figured out, too... what a week this MIGHT be!  :-)

A little yardwork today... big yardwork tomorrow I think... it depends on how I get this old body going. in the morning.

I am trying not to kill my plants in the summer heat... especially my fuchsia where the robin or robins live these days.  I think a Monday-Wednesday-Friday watering plan will work.  It should be good over the weekend.

In remembering "weekends," I hate to say I listened to my Bible CD over the weekend and heard some reminders about the Sabbath and GOD's opinions about it...  I need to figure out my food prep.  I heard the part about the manna in the desert and gathering twice as much only on the day the Sabbath starts (Friday for us)… and this is the only time their food lasted more than the one day.  I guess that is a clear sign to go back to the Friday food plan... making sure I have enough for the night and the day (Saturday).  I will take the liberty to use the microwave, etc... I hear some Jews have coffee or water prepped in their coffeemakers.   In another part of the Bible it refers to the fire they had to use to cook things... which was a major job in those days.  I will have to consider how much prep on Sabbath days is OK.

I also heard about tithing and more about the added "offerings" to give to GOD (via the work of the temple and sacrifices and sin...). I need to listen to those chapters again.  I think it was about three chapters on the CD.  Plus, I will need to look at them in an actual Bible.  :-)  I may be able to study again, I hope... it's been a long hard many years of a problem reading my Bible, getting to church, etc.  I continue to pray for GOD to deal with my needs.  I am sure He knows what to do about all of our problems... we just need to "trust and obey" what we already know.

I have managed my money for this month, mow I need to manage my budget!  I hope for progress... that is what matters to me right now.  Getting better at the process is my goal... the future will benefit if I can work out a way to change my habits and find better solutions.  What I really am saying is.... I need to figure out how to make it through the rest of the month until I get my retirement money again.  I hope I can find a way to sell something (by making something worth buying.  :-)  haha )

In August I can buy another lottery ticket if the prize is really BIG!

My monthly letters are coming along... mailed four more today and plan to finish four or more for tomorrow's mail.  I will be done with this month's list by the middle of the month I think...then I just need to focus on my sons... in jail, in prison.

I had wonderful blueberries today... my first for this year.  I made a small batch of rhubarb into something like jam... which I may use for toast or pancakes.  Finished off my small nectarines that were so good.  I have some OREO ice cream cones, so one of the weeks of July shopping I will buy some ice cream and treat myself to them.  I love ice cream cones... it's just the right amount most of the time.  If I want more, I can have a second, or a third, one.  Summer seems like a good time for these cold treats.  :-)   Food is big with me... can  you tell?

I happened on a list of 99 people who are newsworthy people who died so far this year... I went through it to see if I knew them.  I didn't know too many, mostly the older ones.  :-)   Some were so young.  It's not so bad when old people die.  We are on the other side of life and it's just a matter of days.  Young people make you think of all they will miss.

Well... I'm a bit tired so I will go.  I am glad I am doing this relatively early.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May GOD help us all to honor Him with the respect He deserves and to be thankful for all the mercy He gives us in this life.
May we appreciate the little things and hang on through the hard times.
May or hearts be filled with all the goodness of GOD, and the great gift of just being alive.
I guess I really always pray for GOD's blessings for me and WT so I can get busy with the things I have been planning for so many years.

06 July, 2018

Friday, 6 July 2018

Today was a decent day... so I might as well post something...  It is Friday, and not a mandatory posting goal, but I don't always follow my schedule... I am "FREE" to post or not post if it comes up.

Now that you know all that, I was busy working on becoming an employer... again.  Every now and then I get motivated to see what has changed in the employer perspectives.  I have been working on a wage "cheat sheet" for making some budget guesses, and decided to empty my printer ink with copies I can look at over the weekend... copies of different aspects of being an employer... like hiring youth, people with disabilities, agricultural workers, independent contractors, and different Minimum Wages.  I also printed off some FAQs about paycheck details.   Now I have to wreck my budget some more buying a spare cartridge of ink.  That's just one of the little costly things that happen when you try to do something on a poverty budget.

It was very hot here today, so I didn't do much outside.  I have really been sitting at the computer too much, it is a problem for my body, and I may be in trouble for the next couple days... we will see.  Pacing is so important I am seeing.

My labor form took hours and hours to get everything placed on one sheet for making estimates and keeping track of possible work options... for getting things done by others.  I think I went through at least three formats... maybe more.

All that was until about 7:00 tonight... then I checked emails and social media to make sure I didn't miss anything important.

Now, I will post and turn this thing off for awhile!

In the search for more information on Smithfield Foods the other day, maybe yesterday, I was so devastated to learn that it is wholly owned by a Chinese pork company.  The closest I could tell was a 2016 transfer of ownership, but that was a guess.

This is part of my process of trying to see where I would put my time and energy if/when GOD provided my work.

So many of the things I want to do are the same things I've seen needed for years and years and years. I wonder why others don't already do them... and I wonder why GOD hasn't allowed me to start the process.  It is an ongoing misery for me... still not answered.

I guess most of the leading people of the Bible didn't have anything much in their life that was financially great.  Their faith is all we know about.  Why is that?  I keep wondering.

We all die eventually, and nothing goes with us... I've been hearing about that a lot in June, because it seems to be the theme at the end of the fiscal year for every ministry... you can't take it with you  (so give it to us)/

I guess my focus on business is part of that question... and other Christian businesses.  We don't hear much about them either... except when the enemy sues them to hurt their witness.

Wealthy people in churches, and anywhere I suppose, are the ones we all think must be GOD's source for their need.  The political parties do the same thing as churches do... attack the wealthy, expect them to give up their so they can have what they want.  In the end, we are all the same.

How do we know when we are coveting and not just wanting to accomplish a goal?  I don't seem to be able to find that line.

The love of money, is that wealth?  I don't think so.  It has something to do with how you use it.  I'm not sure what that means.  We are only required to tithe and can also give offerings to certain things.  So all those wealthy people aren't required to give up everything they have so you can have what you want... or the church wants... or the government wants...  

These questions plague every generation.  Why do some get so much and others have so little.  We can't all be wealthy, and we can't all be poor... what the difference is in GOD's view I am not sure.  The stories we learn are all filled with both good and evil sources of everything.  Satan tempted Christ with all the riches of the world... Satan used that comfort argument with GOD to attack innocent Job.  We believe GOD is able to make all things move on our behalf when needed... so, why doesn't GOD see that we are the ones who need that blessing.  :-)  Human nature... such a pain.

All this because I hate to see things not done that should be done... like helping small farmers keep their multi-generational farms.  Because I have ideas I think will work... and want to try them.  Because GOD has allowed things in my life and I don't know why... yet.

I guess this will be a pondering weekend... as planning for the future is part of my efforts.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May the answers to these very difficult questions find their way into our hearts and minds.  Amen.

05 July, 2018

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Here I am, later in the day, tired, and wondering what to say about today... it was one of those plain days that don't seem significant, but...

I managed to get a tree trimmed the way I wanted it, cleaned up a patch of ground I am working on, used the hose on some dirty boards, dry piles of debris, and some hot dusty chickens... which is always fun.  Finally remembered my hammer so I pounded in some loose nails on the sawhorses I need to use.  I think I need a metal cutter for the nails I am trying to remove from some boards for a working table outside... so I have to figure out what kind of cutter I need... I suppose a search engine is in my future.

I found a broken robin's egg below the nest that is near my window... and that is so sad.  I wondered if a squirrel climbed up there because I saw one coming on the porch the other day.  I suppose a squirrel could have done that.  I'm not sure what to do to save my little robin friend.

I suppose I ate too much... lots of butter on my popcorn and my corn on the cob... two avocados today, and that is good fat, but still fat I suppose... had a soda to quench my thirst at lunch... ran out of real coffee and had to take some aspirin with dinner... withdrawal pains ahead.  Yuk.

I wrote and mailed six letters today... so that was quite an accomplishment.  :-)  It's hard to think of that much excitement with a boring life like mine!  haha  I think I have about 15 more letters to go on my monthly list.

I took a nap from all the heat and yardwork and early mornings.

I cleaned up a bunch of my messy spaces and feel like I can start making some things... small things... I wonder what things.

Ordinary days are what we live.

I sent out an article from the Salvation Army magazine with my letters today.  I try to send what I call an "insert" with my letters, something interesting and meaningful.  It was called MOMENTS, and it was about all the little moments we miss when we are busy running around trying to get everything on our mental lists... my paraphrase.  The idea is that we need to notice those ordinary moments that might be very important to us or someone else.

I guess my moment for the day was the chickens and the hose.  :-)

I better go...  Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May our days be filled with things that make our lives better and affect the future of our world in a good way.
May we honor the equality among us as human beings as we respect the differences that make us each unique and amazing people.
May our goals become worthy of the time we spend on them... we can't get a moment back, we have to invest each one on things that matter.
May life find a way to bring us the good things that we need to achieve GOD's plan for our existence... through our efforts, through the kindness of others, through strangers who want to help us, through people we know, through things we never even consider possible... and may we use those blessings wisely.
May GOD be honored for the mercy He has on us in our defiance, in our ignorance, in our rejection of His love.
May we all find a way to live on this earth without hating anyone we disagree with.
and more....


04 July, 2018

Independence Day, USA, 4 July 2018

I better get this done before I get lost in the links online...

I just finished watching the documentary I recently bought called ANIMALS :: FRIEND OR FOOD? -- so, the emotions of the topic are still fresh.  I guess it was about the way we get our foods, what we decide to eat, how involved we can be in the process.  It was about the way you learn to farm and how our food is processed to eat... kind of.  In the end, the man in the film couldn't do any more killing of his food animals... but... that didn't mean he stopped eating meat.  He hired out the task.

I have often said I want to grow a bunch of chickens so I can have them processed by someone else so I don't have to know which chicken I am eating.  That is how I would solve that problem.  :-)

It's a film from 2003... quite some time ago.  The cover also says it won a bunch of awards.  I'm not sure it was that good, but it is an unusual "documentary" for the issues of food, surviving, meat eating, etc.

For the Fourth of July, I think the best thing you could do is to go to Focus on the Family's website and listen to their two-day presentation with Andy Stanley and Michael Youssef.  


So, make sure you find Tuesday's program first.

I usually watch the celebration/s on TV for the 4th... not sure I will find it tonight.  Macy's seems to be the only one in our area... 8-10pm here.   I love my country, don't always like its government, but am always thankful for being born an American... despite all the problems in life, in the world, in my America.  I think everyone loves their country, but maybe not their government's priorities.

I have mostly been busy trying to reorganize my things again, and getting my spaces and projects and supplies ready.  It was a day to make sure my bills were taken care of, so my budget for the rest of the month is pretty low...  of course, I always seem to make it stretch, change my priorities, or something.  I now have a personal mandate to get my items to sell online and see how they do.  :-)  Is this what they call motivation... not sure it works.

It feels like Saturday today... with the day off for others here and no mail, my routines are off.  I hope you are doing better.

I will get going now...I pray that America will find her way back to goodness and GOD... when so many people lose their moral values, it creates an environment of self-only people... and slowly becomes a place no one really wants to live.  Think about those places where power is the only thing that matters, where the amount of money you have is the gauge of your worth, and crime is the ruler instead of the needs of the people... it is decline of a nation in slow motion, the death of all that is good about America.

Without GOD as our moral authority, what takes His place?

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

May GOD help our country to find its way back to Him.
May our people see the importance of godliness in our daily lives.
May we all discover what matters most... in our lives and in our communal lives.
May life be good for those who love GOD.
May the future find us all in Heaven.