I have a bit of time before my appointment this morning, so thought I’d at least start today’s post. I must say I am so thankful for all the positive and loving comments. It means so much to me.

There are always those who cannot look outside their tiny sphere. They do not seem to understand that judgment is a sin against humanity.

There’s nothing wrong with being different. It is written into our DNA and our experiences.

To me the wrong is with the people who cannot accept that their way isn’t the only way.

What hubris!

Charlie, as with all animals, does not care what I believe or what I ascribe to. He only cares that I love him. If only mankind could adopt that loving an attitude.

Regarding the plastic bags that worried you, I took the bags to the dumpster yesterday, so don’t worry about Ivy. I watched her the entire time and when I thought she’d had enough time to play and explore the plastic bags, I took them out to the trash.

Yesterday while I was watching “Fall” on Netflix Ivy was behind my chair. She had reached up to the shelf in the table next to my chair and managed to pull down a notebook I keep there.

She had the greatest time ripping the first pages into pieces. She likes to take a piece of the paper in her mouth and slowly r-i-p the paper. Maybe she likes the sound. When it’s in tiny pieces, she walks away and leaves it to me to clean up.

The other day she took odd things she found around the apartment into the bath tub. That tub is the repository of all things Ivy finds intriguing.

I don’t want to stifle Ivy’s curiosity, but I will keep her safe.

My little (well, not so little) Nosy Nellie.

I had forgotten to tell you that the other night I couldn’t get Charlie to come in and upon closer examination saw a possum on the fence.

It was a smaller possum than the one that stayed around for days. I haven’t seen it again. But it had Charlie running up and down the fence with excitement. I’m so glad he can still run on the patio.

The stress of trying to keep him happy and comfortable and well is why I’ve been looking for ways to find calm and relaxation for myself. That and the world news that is so discouraging.

It actually took me emailing a longtime reader for me to figure out all the hullabaloo and negativity over the tranquil space I’m creating. I didn’t know the religious implications, if you want to call it that.

For me it was just a way to decorate and focus on things that make me happy. I had no idea that others would find it threatening in some way.

Isn’t that often the way of the world? Casting blame and judgment when they have no idea what someone’s intentions are.

What harm can come from creating a peaceful place to relax?

I distrust people who cast stones.

Definition: To be the first to criticize or accuse someone. Sometimes a person will use the longer expression, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. This is a suggestion to not criticize others when you personally are not perfect.

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  1. John 8: 7 If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” is found in John 8 in the bible..

  2. It never ceases to amaze me how judgemental people can be which is why I don’t have a blog! Do what makes you happy Brenda and if that Is setting up a calming and peaceful place for you to relax then do that.

  3. How fun for Charlie to find a possum to scare away. I bet it made him feel like Mighty Dog to get that possum on the saunter (since I’ve never seen a possum run). It probably made Charlie’s year. I bet he will dream about it.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more calming and tranquil decorating ideas from you. I love the way that your wonderful plant filled patio is so visible from your favorite rooms that it is part of the whole tranquil setting that you are creating.

  4. Brenda, im with you all the way re your decorating and search for calm. Calm spaces are not only good for the mind but encourage lower blood pressure and positive health outcomes.
    Like you i would have no idea or interest in what the occult might be. I do know that a few incense sticks or or crystal is not the occult. Perhaps some of those critics here would like to google and find out what exactly the occult is instead of such hystetical outbursts before truly being armed with information about it. I am certain though the type of decor that induces calm and peace has nothing to do with what they are referring to.

  5. Hi, this is an interesting topic but I think I’ll pass commenting on it except to say that as much as you love all nature it should surprise no one that you would enjoy the rocks of nature, the wonderful fragrances and sounds of music and otherwise. So what is the problem? Strange isn’t it that people would read so much into something so wonderful.

    A while back you said you had discontinued your grocery service because of the cost so I wanted to tell you about my first Walmart Pickup Order!!! Oh mercy! Do I love this service. Last night I filled out my order and chose a time to pick it up. They emailed to tell me when it was ready so I drove over there. The nicest guy loaded my purchases into the van so quickly and pleasantly. I was back home in about 15 minutes!! I don’t imagine I’ll ever have to go in Walmart again!! I usually shop at both Aldi and Walmart because neither one has everything I need.l The next time I call in an order I’ll time it so that I can go to Aldi afterwards or maybe use their grocery delivery. But you might want to try the Walmart pick up service because it is free, you cannot tip and it is so quick & easy. My health isn’t good so grocery shopping is a bit of an ordeal for me so this is wonderful.

      1. The pickup service is FREE. Walmart does not even allow us to tip. I tried but he said they were not allowed to take tips but I could help him by filling out the survey once I got home and mentioning him. So that is what I did. A coupon of questions and that was it!

  6. I’m am very happy for you that you are finding peace and tranquility.
    This is a sad world we live in now with all the hate and violence .
    We have to look for peace outside the world and make our homes our Haven.
    I found your blog during the time my spouse and I were grieving the loss of our son ,ànd you were grieving the loss of your precious Abbie .It helped me so much to read your beautiful words .
    You mean alot to me and others keep up the good work !
    You are loved !!

  7. Wow what a hullabaloo over such a small thing… decorating to achieve calmness, to create a sanctuary. People should make their choices and quietly go away if they do not want to be apart of this. This has nothing to do about religion. Brenda is not a Buddhist and if she was she’d be my favorite Buddhist. I could care less what religion a person is in. That is their business between them and their Creator. I’m not a part of that. I was raised Christian in the Catholic Church. I no longer practice any one religion but I am Christian but I have great respect for all other religions. But Brenda’s posts have never had anything to do with religion. Meditating is a part of all religions and yet it does not have to take on a religious tone unless one wishes it to do so. I come here to gain ideas , to enjoy stories etc. I read this blog everyday at the end of the day as a reward. Keep on doing as you have, Brenda. In short, keep on being you and I and many, many others will keep on reading. Love to the fur babies.❤️

  8. Brenda,
    I have read you for many many years (since Texas days) and find your posts interesting or else I would not continue to subscribe. Your life can be so different from mine many days and other times I relate totally to your need for peace and tranquility and just sitting petting your animals. But it is your blog to post whatever you want and it’s my choice to continue to read it and that I shall do. I think there are some people who love to pick life apart and make some judgement just for the sake of being nasty for the day. I don’t find fault with anyone who decorates different than I do nor reads a book that I wouldn’t bother with. It’s the same with blogs…..all about choices…..so you continue to post and say whatever your sweet heart chooses to that day cause it’s yours to express however you want. Can’t wait to see how you come up with a calming space in your darling home.

  9. I didn’t read any judgment in the comments made about their spiritual walk. All I read was their expressing their opinions and beliefs just like all you others do. Last I heard, this was welcome on this blog.

  10. This is Brenda’s blog, the story of her journey, and she has chosen to share it with us. Thank you, Brenda, for the joy you bring into so many lives.

  11. I read your blog everyday but don’t think I ever responded. I feel I have to now.

    WHAT?!?!?! How dare some people! Those types of Christians are exactly the reason I don’t go to church anymore. I love MY incense and candles and the way I have decorated MY yoga room in MY home. I do what brings me peace and what makes me a better person. I take “What would Jesus do” literally. This is YOUR space, not theirs and they do not have any right to tell someone else where to find peace and happiness. They find it in prayer but not everyone does. I feel closer to God when I meditate or spend time in nature……you know….the stuff their God created. Gesh!!!! You do you Brenda. And by the way I love your pets antics.

  12. I’m a newcomer to this blog and was looking forward to daily positive exchanges of thoughts and ideas. I surely hope the last few days are not the norm here as there is already way too much pettiness out there.. Brenda you hit the nail on the head – what the world needs now more than ever is LOVE!

  13. Brenda I never comment as I usually am a week or two behind, but I have to say you are the coolest!
    I am an Uber spiritual practicing Catholic. It about expanding one’s mind as well as our soul. Its fun to explore.
    I love how you roll with the punches and even see the humor in some of these responses .
    KEEP on this journey. That’s what makes us “tune in”.

  14. Sandy, this is your blog. If some do not agree with certain things you’re doing, the adult way to deal with it is keep your mouth shut and no longer read your posts. I quit reading a blog a few years ago because I do not agree with the writer’s opinions. But I figure it’s her blog and she’s entitled to write what she wants. This is one of the reasons I prefer animals (dogs for me) to people. Don’t let it get you down!

  15. Good evening Brenda, I hope that your appointment went well!
    I am sorry that there was such a backlash about your ideas to decorate your apartment. Just do it!!!! That is my advice. Its your life, your house and your health.

    We live in strange times where people seem to take offense to everything and anything and they feel as if they can tell the rest of us how to live.

    Youo have one life, do whatever you need to do to feel good.

  16. I didn’t read all the comments regarding your post about creating a calming, nurturing space for yourself. Thus, I didn’t realize that there were some negative and critical responses to a your interest in some different ways to do that.

    I was raised in the Christian tradition. But I decided a long time ago that I can’t remain a member of that tradition because of the narrow-mindednss and hypocrisy of so many that call themselves Christian. I don’t want to be identified with those attitudes in any way although I live my life practicing most of the values that religious traditions teaches. I feel that, like we mentioned yesterday, the one most important tenet of Christianity is to Love in the broadest and most inclusive sense of the word. Or, the WORD, if you will.

    It seems to me that people that wouldn’t insult another person over any other subject or practice will not hesitate to be rude and disrespectful over differences regarding the other’s religious beliefs. Why is that? I think it’s because many folks feel threatened when confronted with a difference of opinion or outlook on religious matters. If a person is so sure they believe the Truth, then there is no need to be threatened or disrespectful of those with differing opinions. Yes?

    Sorry you had to be subjected to the rudeness and disrespect of those who felt threatened, Brenda. Don’t take it to heart. We all have the right to our own beliefs and practices and I think wanting to make your own home a place of tranquility and calm is a pretty innocuous desire. The bottom line is it’s your home, your needs and your blog. If folks are offended, thus critical—too, too bad. Ignore them. I’m glad you are caring for yourself in whatever way feels right.

    So happy to read about Charlie and the ‘possom chasing. And I think Ivy is really an extraordinary cat. I think her mind works differently than most other cats. Which may or may not be a blessing for you! Makes good stories for us , though!

    Happy Monday, Happy Week!

  17. I think there is judgement being handed out on both sides here. It is sad. We all want the same thing in the long run. We just have a different idea of how to obtain it. I love your blog and will continue to read it and expand my horizons. I have pugs and they are little clowns. I love seeing pictures of your fur family. They tug at my heart. Sandra

  18. Brenda, I went back and re-read everyone’s comments, and I only saw two people who said they were no longer going to read your blog. Out of all your readers who are so excited for you and want to do this with you, there were only two. TWO. I, for one, never said that I would stop reading your blog. All I said was that I do not like close-minded, religious blogs, and I don’t. I was only expressing my disappointment, if that’s the direction your blog is going. But instead of contacting us individually in private to address our concerns (you have our email addresses after all), you chose to stoke the fires with today’s passive-aggressive post and allow your readers to berate us. One even made mention of wanting to “use some pungent initials.” Really?! And you replied that you already had. If that’s true, lovely. How is that being positive? How is that being tranquil? How is that being open-minded? What are you and your readers doing if not criticizing us? In other words, what are you all doing if not judging us? Pot – Kettle, much? I suppose I could have come to you privately in email and avoid all this madness. Being that your blog is an open forum, though, I just assumed it would be safe to write to you publicly. I see now it’s only safe to do so for those who agree with you.

    1. Why on Earth would it be Brenda’s responsibility to reach out to you to address your concerns about something she wanted to write about on her blog? And clearly, going back and rereading the comments did little to bring clarity and understanding to this entire situation for you. You’re making this about you, as if you’re entitled to anything (which by the way, you’re not). I hope for Brenda’s sake you take your BS (how’s that for some initials) elsewhere.

      Brenda, I’ve read your blog for a very long time, and I’d venture to say I’m one of your younger readers (31) and I want you to know I look up to you. Keep evolving and changing. You are the best version of yourself in a long time. I will continue to read and love your blog.

      1. Man alive, Lauren! You couldn’t have proven my point better if you tried! I just believe that sometimes taking the high road by being gracious and kind, even when you are perturbed, is the epitome of class. I’m not saying Brenda doesn’t have class. In fact, I’d say she has more class in her little toe than you have displayed here. But, I believe she could have taken it a step further, and if we choose to be jerks, then that would be on us, not her, and she could walk away with no regret. The one thing Brenda should never do, though, is allow her readers to berate other readers. That conduct should never be tolerated, especially if she cares for her readers! But it seems Brenda is very tolerant, which is extremely hurtful. Therefore…

        Thank you, Brenda, for the many years of sharing your decorating/gardening tips and tricks, your laughter and your tears, your loves and your hates, your cares and your worries, your fears and your challenges, but, most especially, thank you for filling my heart with such joy with each and every picture you shared of Charlie, Ivy, and Abi. I’ve had the best time! Good luck to you in all your future endeavors!!

        1. It’s hard to know when to okay a comment. I don’t want to appear picking and choosing. So unless a comment is truly profane I go ahead and let it through. I figure you all are adults and can deal with it or not deal with it. It’s your choice and I don’t want to deprive you of that choice.

        2. My apologies, Georgia, if you believe I lack class. Thank you for passing a character judgement. That was very gracious of you 🙂

          1. I think you both were judging each other, so own it!
            The judgemental judging the judgemental.! It goes both ways.
            It’s time to cool it with the judgemental accusations. Enough already.
            Yes, I’m judging you for being judgemental. lol See how silly it all is!

          2. The comment I just posted was referring to the back and forth between Lauren and Georgia.
            I’m sure they both are really nice people and have both enjoyed your blog post, but are just getting caught up in the negativity that is being posted by some readers. Just didn’t want you, Brenda, to think I was referring to you.
            Let’s all bring back the camaraderie we have so much enjoyed through the years of meeting here each day to read your post and the usually gracious comments.
            I too love the songs from the 60’s and 70’s. They had so much meaning to them.

  19. Dianne, Oops, apparently my late mother was not the Bible scholar that you are; thank you for clarifying the “the glass house” meaning. The point I was trying to make is how much better the world would be if mankind could just “Live and Let Live!

  20. I started to post a comment the other day after reading the one which felt like water thrown in your face. I didn’t… not because I didn’t want to try to say something to encourage or comfort you, but because nothing I typed felt good enough. But today is another day. Please know, Brenda, how happy your reference to the Jackie Shannon song made me. After a few hours on YouTube listening to it again so many years later (it was one of my all time favorites, too) and a Luther Vandross version, and then roaming around listening to lots of songs that took me back in time, I felt inspired and refreshed. What could possibly be “wrong” with that? And what could possibly be wrong with surrounding yourself with calming and peaceful objects? It amuses and annoys me when people are so unaware of self….. Christianity calls for loving God and loving people. There was nothing loving about that person’s comment. You hit the nail on the head in reference to “What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love”. I hope she has a moment and finds it in her heart to apologize. If not, I hope you continue sharing. Vulnerability might attract an attack now and then but it also attracts deeper connections with others and with the better parts of ourselves…. I had a little girl come up out of nowhere today at Target and ask for a hug….. So, we hugged! It was outstanding. I’m passing that hug to you.

  21. They must feel threatened in some way with your peace and tranquil living style. We all decorate our homes to create a sanctuary. Why would I condemn or criticize someone else’s sanctuary…some people truly make no sense. I think your home is charming and very inviting! I’m glad that Charlie can still run as well! Love and hugs!

  22. Oh dear Brenda! I read you daily, but seldom respond. However, now I must. I live in a town of ‘Christians’, most of whom are judgmental, hypocritical, and seem to almost derive joy out of others’ struggles. Maybe it’s fear, but I am way too old to waste time on people like this. Their behavior is anything but Jesus-like – it’s amazing and not a little puzzling to me!
    Brenda, good for you for staying strong! I love how you are exploring new ways on your path to inner peace. It is only good! Surround yourself with those who love and approve of you – obviously, there are many!!! I too have become somewhat of a recluse, and I am fine with that. Practice your self-care and remove yourself from those who don’t embrace you.
    Peace and love,

  23. I’m so happy to see so many of your followers supporting you in the midst of this drama. I love some of the comments. It is up to you the way you choose to decorate. You’re not asking them to follow you and do the same. Cant wait to see what you do next. I love to hear of Ivy’s shenanigans in the bathtub. Cracks me up. And good to hear of Charlie chasing the little one outside.

  24. I wonder how the people who judge would feel about being judged themselves. I enjoy your blog and decorating ideas. Don’t change a thing!

  25. Amen to all of this, Brenda! How you choose to decorate your space and find ways for peace and calm are all up to you and really none of anyone else’s business. There is nothing wrong with expanding your horizons and searching out anything that is a possibility for you to feel less anxious. Like someone else said on another one of your posts, I think some people thought that maybe you were going to be worshipping “idols” or something. I remember one time walking down a street with my aunt who is *very* Catholic and we passed one of the shops like the type you had gone into. She immediately freaked out and said, “Those people practice voodoo!” I had to explain things to her. So I think with some people, it’s also the fear of the unknown.

    I have an idea for you with the plastic bags instead of throwing them in the Dumpster. Save them up and keep in your car (I stuff them into one big bag) and then bring them to Walmart or Meijer or any other store where they recycle them. You should see a big metal container or box and sign right inside the doors of these stores where you can put your plastic bags.

  26. People who live in fear of anything outside of their narrow vision are often taught or indoctrinated by someone who doesn’t have their best interests at heart. Such as a person, church or organization. They are just human too and don’t have the answers any more than the rest of us. Fear is used to influence people. I understand needing to belong and we are all searching for peace in our own way. Love not hate.

  27. I know that I seldom comment. but I always read every post. I had missed the last two because of a trip.
    now I’m caught up. I think you are one of the most courageous and most caring and generous people I’ve ever known.
    and yes. even … what do they say … “virtually!” because I only know you through the internet. still… it’s REAL LIFE TO ME.
    you are loved Brenda. and admired. by so many of us!
    and the only thing I kept thinking in the nasty “Christian comments” was REALLY FOLKS? and HOLY CRAP!!! LOL!
    I felt like I’d had a big pitcher of water thrown in my face. only it was in your face. and it made me sad.
    I have been a searcher and a lover of wisdom my whole life. Thomas Merton… Wayne Dyer … Lao Tzu … Thich Nhat Hahn…
    can never spell his middle name. but they are all wonderful. especially Dyer. and all things Zen. peaceful and serene.
    and that’s to name only a few! Heal Your Living on you tube. it’s already been mentioned. (but then I’m a minimalist.)
    and Jesus of course. and somehow I think HE would be friends with everybody. and smile his wonderful smile.
    I just can’t really see him saying “OK. that did it. I’m leaving now and closing the door on you. I used to like you. but no more.”
    so… I just couldn’t believe what I was reading.
    I should say… “oh. I’m sorry they were offended.” but what I really want to say is … “GET OVER YOURSELVES PEOPLE!!!!” LOL!
    and then I would send them to the library to read up on the inquisition and the colonization of other countries… on and on.
    when it should be only about LOVE.
    sorry about the length of this. truly! it’s why I never comment! good grief! Keep being your wonderful self.

    1. No worries about length. As everyone knows I’m rather long-winded myself. Yeah, did kind of feel like cold water being thrown in my face. Definitely made me less enthusiastic temporarily about my decorating plans. I just wanted to tell those people who have stopped reading: It’s DECORATING, people! Not world policy or a threat to their religion.

  28. Glad you are in a good frame of mind, Brenda, and that the pets are well. Funny how Charlie being excited over a possum was a happy occurrence because it got him up and moving! I love how Ivy is so interested in playing with her toys, and wish my guys were such busy bees. They never play with toys more than a minute or two each day. But they do play with each other at times, romping around and running under the bed and swatting at each other, so, I’m really glad they do that much.

  29. Brenda
    I am so that way. My daughter and I are smart in different ways. Sometimes we have to explain to each other why someone we know is upset about something we said. I might understand once she tells me but still the depth of their anger or resentment is unthinkable to me. Peace at home has been my answer. And you showing new ways to decorate can make a real difference in my home.

  30. I love your posts and find it sad that anyone would find it necessary to ‘judge’ or even opine on your choices. Whatever happened to live and let live, as my mother used to say “the world would be a very boring place if everyone liked the same things”. I was raised Catholic and joined the Presbyterian Church after marrying my 2nd husband and consider myself a Christian and yet I still love to see statues of Buddha or other religious icons. I don’t find any of it in the least bit offensive. My personal belief is that God reaches people through many religions and if the message is peace and love what could it hurt? Keep being yourself for that is what attracted your readers to your blog!

  31. There seems to be a new resurrection of “Christians” who declare their faith, and then immediately proceed to violate its tenets by condemning the person they disagree with. I am a devout Christian and see your interest in spiritual spaces as benign curiosity in a quest for relaxation in your life. While I’d caution you against toying with the occult, I don’t see a thing wrong with your pursuit. And I don’t think you do, either! 🙂 Love you, Brenda!

      1. Brenda, im with you all the way re your decorating and search for calm. Calm spaces are not only good for the mind but encourage lower blood pressure and positive health outcomes.
        Like you i would have no idea or interest in what the occult might be. I do know that a few incense sticks or or crystal is not the occult. Perhaps some of those critics here would like to google and find out what exactly the occult is instead of such hystetical outbursts before truly being armed with information about it. I am certain though the type of decor that induces calm and peace has nothing to do with what they are referring to.

  32. I can’t understand it – some of your readers took OFFENSE FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS about you wanting to create a separate space for yourself to MEDITATE AND REFLECT ON ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND CALMING? I would use some pungent initials here to describe my reaction to THAT but no doubt many readers and you might be offended, so I won’t. But sometimes a good old couple of cuss words are the best expression of exasperation and outright disgust at how closed minded some of my fellow Americans have become. Geez Louise!

  33. Not is not what that scripture is talking about. It was written to overly religious people of that time. We make judgments every day. That is not the sin. The sin is no seeing your own sin and judging others for that same thing.

  34. One of my dear mother’s favorite sayings “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, if only mankind would take this to heart.

  35. I’m with you 100% on this one, Brenda, not that you need my validation. People who have “all the answers” are usually the most narrow minded. There is more than one way to live in this world, and as long as you aren’t harming animals or people then go live your life! Creating a relaxing environment is something to be emulated, not criticized.

    I am not an extreme minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I find Heal Your Living’s you tube channel very relaxing. A very different way of living to some. I also very much enjoy A Small Wardrobe on you tube. If you go to the You Tube website and search those two channels you may find them relaxing with some suggestions to consider.

    You do what nourishes you, Brenda, and share it with all of us so we may learn and have something new to consider as well.

  36. I tend to be an anxious person so I try to make my surroundings peaceful and comforting. I oftentimes light incense because certain scents are very soothing to me. The same with certain sounds like classical music, subtle windchimes and rain. I also like Buddha statues, not because I’m a Buddhist – I just simply like them. I have a couple of them. I am a Christian and I pray often. I don’t think that my Creator is going to slam the door in my face because of my home decor.

  37. So glad you are doing so well, and I love hearing about Ivy’s escapades. And Charlie running along the fence gladdened my heart! Have a wonderful day.

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