Friday, December 2, 2022

Porch #71 * A Few of My Favorite Things

PORCH
a soft place to land
a calm weekend haven
a gentle pause from life's busyness
so we may experience
the tender lovingkindness of Jesus
as we do life together
in community


Friends, I'm loving that it's December!  I can't quite believe it's here, but now that she's arrived, I'm welcoming her with open arms.  The pine-scented candle is lit and I'm serving up mulled cider, easing into calming Christmas music, and wearing my warm and toasty fake-Uggs again.

Speaking of fake, Tim hauled the old Christmas tree out of the basement the other night and it took all of about two seconds to decide it was truly beyond hope.  Scrawny, 3/4 of the lights shot, leaning precariously to one side.  We decided to say farewell and send her on her way to the dump where all good things come to an end.

So there's no tree this year (for more than one reason) but I'm pulling together a few little Christmas-y vignettes here and there.  It's not what it used to be.  But it sure beats nothing.





πŸŽ„

The year's final month presents a weird dilemma for bloggers.  Life gets busier so we're online less.  There's a yearning to dive deep into the many facets of Christmas, yet there's an inward tug to wrap up the year talking about our favorite things - books, posts, links, people, life savers, one words, etc.  

So this weekend, let's do both. 

FAVORITE STOCKING STUFFERS
Pilot V5 Assorted Pens
love matching ink to notecards 

if I cry my tears aren't black

with Microphone
a granddaughter's request

i tuck one in every envelope

must-haves for half a century +

for easy smooth-as-silk veggies

Teacups Embossed Notecards
my mom treasured these

Cell Phone Card Holders
brilliant idea for traveling light

refreshingly zingy

Glitter Gel Pens
my go-to coloring book companions

Hydro Flask Water Bottle
for another granddaughter 

my old hoofs love 'em

sheer genius

enough brushes for the whole gang

πŸŽ„

FAVORITE LINKS
Help an Elf
Victor Moubarak

Christmas Bitter & Sweet
Tim Challies

Living in a Saturday World
Pam Ecrement

Vanessa Caruso

Emily@ My Weathered Home

Yours Truly

πŸŽ„

Brene Brown
$6.99

Gary Chapman 
$4.99

$2.99

$1.99

Abigail Santamaria
50 cents

πŸŽ„

May brilliant ideas emerge from unexpected places.  May your soul sigh with relief as you cross things off your must-do list without even doing them.  May you be able to say, 'no thanks' without a hint of guilt.  And may every conversation be generously seasoned with kindness.  

For Jesus' sake, Amen.
Linda

visiting 

I appreciate those of you who support my work and keep this space blissfully ad-free!  As an Amazon Associate, I receive a small commission when you do your Amazon πŸŽ„ shopping after clicking on their links here ... at no extra cost to you.

58 comments:

  1. Bookmarked the Amazon link for mascara. I've been thinking I need to try something different in that department. Do you use anything in particular to remove it since it's waterproof and the old soap and water routine might not do the trick?

    I'm also running into the blogger's dilemma. There's so much I want to say about Advent and Christmas, but there's so little time to say it, so I'm going with a theme, tying it to the scripture memory challenge from my November newsletter, and doing a LOT of baking to share with my people!

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    1. Cool idea to tie your December writing to the memory verse challenge you've already got going, Michele! I still pretty much go week by week but this month I've got a pretty vague idea where we're going.

      Um ... baking ... yeah, I need to think about that. I wish we lived closer. You'd be a terrific motivator for me.

      For face / make-up removal?
      I like Diamond Cleansing Wipes
      https://amzn.to/3F07750
      or good ol' Noxzema, just like Grandma did back in the day.

      READERS - Michelle writes an excellent newsletter. Actually, I highly recommend anything she does. Click on her name and check her out!
      πŸ™‹‍♀️

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this! I am ordering a few things - which I never would have thought to get!!! Your emails are always appreciated!

    Blessings,
    J

    * subscriber email response

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Let's hear it for getting a few more gifts ordered and done with! Happy Friday to you, friend.
      ☑️

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  3. Such a happy, uplifting post to find in my inbox this morning! I pray you have a wonderfully blessed Christmas season filled with unexpected blessings from above! Much love to you.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Can you believe we're saying Merry Christmas already? Kind of surreal ...

      I hope you guys are all well. I'm guessing you're getting ready to do a lot of music in the weeks ahead. Enjoy!

      READERS - Listen to Cheryl's bluegrass/country/Gospel group sing I'll Fly Away!
      https://youtu.be/C0ga-4fSKiY
      🎢

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  4. LOVE your pictures !!!!

    * subscriber email response

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You've been such a terrific comfort in recent weeks. God continues to allow our paths to cross and I'm beyond grateful to call you friend. Just like Mom.
      😌

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  5. I know what you mean about the blogging dilemma in December! There's so much fun to blog about and so little time to read all the wonderful things you want to read that others are sharing! I love your favorite thing list and your vignettes are great. Especially love that red berry wreath and the display under and your nativity is lovely. Happy month and thanks for your visits and coming by!

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    1. It's fun to do life together even if it's from a distance. Looking forward to what you'll be sharing with us in the weeks ahead. Merry Christmas, friend.
      πŸŽ„

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  6. My granddaughter uses the Pack This list pad and loves it! They are seasoned travelers. I'm going for BBT's book that I've been meaning to get. Letting go of some of the old Christmas "things" can bring a freshness to the season. Wishing this for you and yours. xx Debby

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A Barbara Brown Taylor book (or 2) is perfect for year's end reading. She always offers rich food for thought and prayer. I know we're both fans.
      πŸ“˜

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  7. Thank you, Linda, for inviting your readers to visit my Blog and help an elf. Elves are forgotten most of the year. They can be lonely, sad and in need of comfort and friendship.

    Everyone can help an elf and it will cost you nothing.

    Not a penny, not a dime. Just a second of your time.

    Visit - http://timeforreflections.blogspot.com/2022/12/help-elf.html

    God bless y'all.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The Salvation Army thanks you, I thank you, for being so thoughtful and generous, friend! Bless you!

      READERS - Please go help out ... it won't cost you a cent.

      Dear Lord, Please multiply these gifts like loaves and fishes. For Jesus sake, Amen.
      🐟

      Delete
  8. Thanks for highlighting my post in this issue. Interesting to hear where things are with your Christmas decor. We have only candles in the window at this point and for many reasons are unsure of what else we will do...rare for us, but there are a lot of balls in the air right now and we'll see...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I absolutely hear you about all the balls in the air. It's nice to be in the place where we've removed all the pressure from ourselves to perform and decorate and pull out all the stops. I'm grateful.

      And I'm richly blessed that you're here and that others will read your rich writing.

      READERS - Please head over to Pam's post, Living in a Saturday World
      https://pamecrement.com/2022/11/30/living-in-a-saturday-world-2/
      πŸ•―️

      Delete
  9. You got me again!!!  One of my all time favorite movies & favorite actress of all time!!  Miss you 😎😘

    * subscriber email response

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    1. I was singing this to my sister in public last night. The guys rolled their eyes. I just laughed and kept on.

      Miss you, too. I hope you guys will all be together for Christmas.
      πŸ“½️

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  10. Your decorations look lovely! I love that old truck picture. I'm not sure I am going to put up my Christmas either. Instead, I may just decorate sight spots in my home to warm me wherever my eyes linger. Thank you for encouraging permission to just slow down, so we savour instead of rush this lovely season away.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 'decorate sight spots in my home to warm me wherever my eyes linger'

      Oh Lynn, so beautifully said. I'm captivated by this idea. Wow. Thank you for taking this to a whole new level, friend!
      🏘️

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  11. Sorry for no tree this year. Love the pictures, great decorations. Have a wonderful Christmas season!!

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    1. No tree? I'm finding out I'm in good company! I like that.
      πŸ˜‡

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  12. Linda, your vignettes are beautiful. I have simplified a little this year, and I doubt anyone will even notice. I put all the pressure to do it all on myself. Merry weekend!

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    1. Interesting point that you wonder if anyone will even notice and how we put the pressure on ourselves to overdo. As a home and garden blogger, do you find that makes this all more difficult? Just wondering ...
      🀷‍♀️

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  13. We opted out of putting up a tree again this year, Linda, mainly because there are no little ones here at Christmas to enjoy it. But like you, I do put out some meaningful decorations, the nativity scene and the Advent wreath. Simple, but full of joy and memories to cherish.
    I'm hoping I can blog right up to and through Christmas! Blessings!

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    1. Looks like there's more of us than I thought, Martha! All that does is make me relax into simplifying this season. Maybe we'll be trendsetters?! Kinda hope so ...

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  14. Good afternoon...had to check time as I'm still in my jammies. Guess what? I have a gently used tree in my basement. Still boxed. You may have it as I now have a much smaller one. Let me know if you are interested and I'll send you the details. You may have either before or after Christmas in case you are going minimal this yearπŸ€”πŸŽ„πŸ€—

    * via text

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's sweet! Don't tell anyone but I'm actually kinda liking life without it!
      πŸ˜‚

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  15. Your photos sprinkled Christmas through the internet to me! Funny, our tree lights are acting up this year too. works this year but may be on its last leg....Merry Christmas!

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  16. I Love your favorite things. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Welcome! I'm so glad you're here today!
      πŸ™‹‍♀️

      Delete
  17. I always enjoy getting your heartfelt and thoughtful newsletters. It makes me feel so good to know that there are people out there like you who can express themselves so well and who are devoted to the good, true, and beautiful things of the world.

    * subscriber email response

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Praising God that He's doing something good here. So grateful ...
      πŸ•Š️

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  18. I'm sorry to hear about your tree, every year I think the tree I own will be it's last, but I make it work somehow. Great stocking stuffer list. Some people make stocking stuffer list items as expensive as an actual gift, but yours isn't.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I remember when we used to keep stocking stuffers under $1 ... and stories of back in the day if you got a fresh orange, a candy cane, and a pair of socks it was a grand holiday. My how things have changed ...
      😏

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  19. Thank you for all these goodies, Linda. :) Your Christmas decorations are cozy and inviting. The picture of the pickup with the bunnies is so cute! Love and blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hope you're enjoying a bit of Christmas prep and lots of love and joy, friend.
      πŸ’š

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  20. We didn't put the tree up in 2020--not worth the effort for only the two of us! I did what you've done this year: put fairy lights, candles and decorations in key locations. Come January 7, 2021, clean-up was much easier and quick. But now that we can gather with family again (especially the grandchildren), the tree seems more important. HOWEVER, I'm very tired of struggling with our current artificial model. Next year it's either a new pre-lit tree that sets up more easily, or none at all! 😁

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    1. A friend bought a fabulous fake tree last year after Christmas and it was a steal. Here's hoping you find the perfect fit for you and you family! But you're right, very few possessions are worth struggling with. I think we're all figuring out how to keep things in the right perspective as the years go by.

      One holiday at a time, right?!
      πŸ˜‰

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  21. I just ordered the book on CS Lewis' wife. I can't wait to dig in. Thank you

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    1. I loved this book. So excellent. And for 50 cents?! Come on!! Really?
      πŸ˜‚

      Delete
  22. Your Christmas-y vignettes are perfect, Linda. Sometimes, less is definitely more. I understand that blogger's dilemma you describe so well. I'm just trying to go with my gut this month--I'm actually reposting something from 2019 later this week because it just felt right when I stumbled across it last week. Pam's post was so good, and I LOVE those Pilot pens you linked. :-)

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    1. Oh yeah, let's hear it for re-posting. There's something about digging something out a few years later, dusting it off, and re-imagining all over again. Yes, yes, yes.
      ✍️

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  23. I'm looking up several of these gift ideas now. Thanks for sharing the links! Our poor Christmas tree sounds like yours, except maybe more of the lights are working. So we'll keep it another year, even though it sheds like a real tree. :)

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    1. You're a whole lot more gracious than we are, Lisa! We were done as soon as we looked at it. It was so sad. And then we realized that Tim will be starting to build floor to ceiling shelves right where we were going to put it, so it made it a no-brainer. Brilliant!
      πŸ’‘

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  24. Hi Linda! I'm sorry I'm late to this party. While mascara, etc isn't quite my bag :), the Christmas tree story is right up my alley. Jo and I made a decision last year, that it was time to put the old guy to rest. Like Lisa's comment above mine, the tree shed more than a real one. Not good. So since Tami's heart attack has her living with us, we are using hers this year. We keep talking about getting a new one but then remind ourselves of priorities. Too bad we are so practical. LOL.

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    1. Yep, you're right, you've got no need for mascara. I always hesitate putting stuff like this on the blog because I know alot of men read it. But maybe they have wives or daughters or sisters or girlfriends, right?!

      Makes a whole lot of sense to use Tami's. I'm guessing she thinks it's a great idea, too.
      πŸŽ„

      Delete
  25. Linda, I love your vignettes. So pretty. This is a great favorite things list.
    I really appreciate you sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month sweet friend.

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    1. Paula, thanks for swinging wide the doors every month. You're incredibly generous!

      BLOGGERS - Don't miss Paula's link-up! She gives us weeks to join the party. Such a great idea.
      πŸ‘

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  26. What a plethora of links and resources. I saw you listed watercolors and I am wanting to learn how to paint with watercolors. Hopefully I will in the New Year. I also love your Christmas decorations. I realize a tree is not always necessary. You still have some sweet spots pointing you toward the season.

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    1. I'd love to hear about your painting process as you go along, Mary. I played around with it this summer and found it incredibly calming and surprisingly satisfying ... but haven't done much since. Maybe this is just the nudge that some of us need?!
      🎨

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  27. Such fun links you have shared Linda. I loved the teacup note cards! So beautiful, as I do love all things tea :) December really is such a busy month, but I'm finding ways to keep things simple and sweet, and more about family and making memories. I pray you and Tim have a blessed Christmas season as we remember JESUS the One who it is all for!

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    1. 'Finding it ways to keep things simple and sweet.' Just reading your words makes me smile and breathe deep with relief. I'm done with all things over-the-top and crazed. We've been there done that, haven't we.

      A blessed Advent to you, friend. And welcome home after all your travels!

      Delete
  28. I grew up on Lip Smackers, so it's nice to see that they're still popular. I also have the embossed teacup cards.

    Taylor Swift would approve of the glitter gel pens. LOL.

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    1. Margie, hi! After I added them to the list, I remembered how much you'd love them!
      πŸ˜‡

      Delete
  29. Such a joyful post, Linda.
    Your decorations are lovely.

    Hugs and blessings πŸ’

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