Downsizing To a Little Fixer Upper For Retirement

Retirement is just around the corner!

As we thought about OJ’s upcoming retirement, we decided we wanted to spend this next stage of life in our home town. We have never strayed too far, but we have moved several times, and we felt it was time to go back home. It didn’t take long for OJ to find a little house he liked. I was not so easily convinced, given that this house required a lot of work before we could move in. But, in spite of being over 65 years old, I knew we could turn this little fixer upper into a cute little cottage. 

Join us over on YouTube and follow our progress as we renovate this little house! 

We purchase this little house in November of 2023, and started documenting our progress, with the plan to hopefully have all the renovations inside far enough along that we could move in sometime in the spring.


You can follow our channel, Coffee Walks and Whatever  here:Coffee Walks and Whatever

My Verse For 2024 ~ Lamentations 3:22-23


My verse for 2023 was Micah 6:8

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 

I wrote this…

As we step into this new year, I acknowledge my total dependence on my Lord and Saviour.  I just want to walk humbly with Him, seeking his guidance day by day as I move forward, embracing change in whatever He has for me.

When I chose this verse last year, I had no idea what changes I would be embracing. Having turned 65 this year, I knew retirement was coming closer for Brian, but late in the summer he started talking about where he wanted to retire. We had originally thought we would retire right where we are now, but things have changed over the years, and we really don’t have anything keeping us here. So, Brian decided we should move back to our home town. I was thinking in a years time, but once he got that idea in his head, he wanted to start looking to see what might be available for housing. And then he found a little house. The first time we looked, just from the outside, I said, “No way, it’s too much work.” At first he seemed to agree, but he kept coming back to it, until I finally agreed to have a look inside. Of course it wasn’t long before we were making an offer, and within a little over a month we were the owners of this ‘little gem’.

I’m not sure what the coming year has in store for us, aside from a lot of work on our little fixer upper, but Brian will be retiring in the spring time, God willing! This will be a new chapter for us, and I’m looking forward to it.

As I was reading and thinking about this year’s verse, this scripture came up a couple of times. It’s one of my favourites. 

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:22-23

I step into this new year thankful for my Saviour and God, for his compassion and his faithfulness. No matter how crazy this world around us is, and no matter how many times we fail Him, God is in control and will never fail us. His mercies are new every day. 

My word for the year is NEW.

Several years ago I wrote a song :

New Every Day

Oh.. gracious is our Lord...., and blessed be his name. 
Holy in all his works...., and righteous in all his ways.
 Great is our.. Lord, and greatly to be praised. 
His compassions never fail. They're new every day. 
 New every day. (new every day) New every day. 
New mercies every morning, fall like dew by God's grace.
 New every day. (new every day) New every day.
 God's compassions, his.... mercies are new every day. 
 God upholds me when I fall..... lifts me up when I'm bowed down,
 opens up his.. hand.....there satisfaction is found.
 Faithful is our Lord..... extending his great grace. 
His compassions never fail, they're new every day. 
 New every day. (new every day) New every day. 
New mercies every morning, fall like dew by God's grace. 
New every day. (new every day) New every day. 
God's compassions, his mercies are new every day.
New every day (new every day)New every day
God’s compassions, his mercies, are new every day

Reflecting On 2023

Looking back over the past year.

1. What were the highlights or accomplishments of the past year?

The biggest highlight of the past year was Emberley having her final chemo! Another highlight was the birth of another grandson. Justin and Ruth welcomed a baby boy in August. Then in September, Jeremy and Ashley had a beautiful outdoor wedding.

In November we bought a little fixer upper! Brian will be retiring in the spring, and decided we should move back to our home town. The beginning of a new adventure! 

2. What were the major themes of the past year?

I don’t know that there was any particular theme the past year, other than consistently putting out YouTube videos all year! 

But come fall the theme was decluttering and downsizing, in preparation for a move to our little house in Carberry in spring of 2024. Then in November, the theme became renovations! 

3. What disappointments or regrets did you experience?

I can’t think of any disappointments or regrets! I’m excited about moving ‘home’! It’s a lot of work to get the house ready, but it’s what we do, and we enjoy working together.

4. What was missing from the past year?

I can’t say that anything was missing from this past year. Emberley coming to the end of her chemo made anything else very unimportant. I’m just so thankful that she is through that stage and pray that she’ll continue to gain back her strength and her immune system.

5. What did you learn from the past year?

That my husband is crazy! I’m pretty sure he’s finding that out  for himself, having taken on this renovation project! But I I’m crazy too, so we make a good pair. 😃

You  can follow our progress on our YouTube channel, Coffee Walks and Whatever

Oral Lichen Planus and Life Update

Time for an update!

Aside from making my yearly review and scripture posts, I haven't been on this blog much for the past couple of years, so I decided I better get in here and let you know I'm still out here! 

Lichen Planus

Even though my last update was almost two years ago, I still have many visits here every month looking for information on Lichen Planus. My posts, My Oral Lichen Planus Diet, Living With Oral Lichen Planus, and my Oral Lichen Planus Resource lists are some of my most popular posts. I hope these posts have been helpful to all who are seeking information about this terrible illness. I belong to a few groups online and hear so many stories of suffering far worse than I've experienced, so I do hope I've been a help.

How have I been the past two years?

I really wish I had taken the time to keep a record of how my OLP symptoms have been. I do know that at Christmas 2021, I decided to try an orange, something I hadn't risked eating in a few years. I was surprised to find that it didn't cause a flare up. Over the next months, I started adding other foods that had previously been on my list of foods to avoid, number one on the list being tomatoes. For several months I enjoyed eating a lot of foods I probably shouldn't have, and I still do. I've even been able to eat pizza! But eventually, I ended up with a flare up and that scalded feeling, although it never went away completely, it did intensify again. So, I had to go back to being more careful. I have to say, I did enjoy it while it lasted!
At this point, in January 2023, I'm feeling pretty good. Yes, I can feel the OLP, but it isn't in a flare, so it's manageable. I'm still able to eat tomatoes, citrus fruits, and a bit of spice in moderation. The one thing I've realized I need to avoid more than anything else is SUGAR. I know, I know, that should be a given, but sometimes I just want a bit of chocolate! Well, I need to find some other food to treat myself, because I'm guaranteed a flare up if I eat sweet things.

What do I attribute my progress to?

Supplements! I really do believe the supplements I've been taking for years now are the reason not only my OLP is milder, but I just feel good, for the most part. I have more energy in my 60s than I ever did 20 years ago! 

Supplement List:

 I take 8 supplements, some of which are blends or combinations of vitamins etc. The ingredient list is long on some of them, so I won't include the amounts of the ingredients in each one. 

Multivitamin & Mineral: Beta caroten, Vitamins C,D,E,B6,B12, Thiamine,Riboflavin, Niacinamide, Folate, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Boron,

High EPA Fish Oil 

Broad Spectrum Antioxidant: Mixed carotenoids, Vitamin C, Mixed tocopherols concentrate, Lycopene, Olive extract, Grape extract, Calcium (carbonate)

Inflammatory Support: Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea, Devil's Claw, Calcium

Anthocyanin Rich Antioxidant: Grape seed, Resveratrol, Green Tea, Protease, Bromelain, Quercetin, Bilberry Extract, Ginko Extract


Extra Vitamin D3

Immune Function Support: vitamin C, E, zinc, Echinacea extract, Astragalus, Black Chokeberry extract

I can't say for sure why these supplements have helped me, but I do know the last three on the list seem to have made the most difference. I added these to my regimen a few years ago, and that's when I started to see improvements. These are also the supplements recommended to strengthen the immune system against a virus and I had a very mild case. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I do seem to be sick a lot less frequently than I used to be, so I'll take the win! 

What am I doing these days instead of blogging?

As much as I've always loved writing, I just can't seem to get back into it. Even in the last two years I was blogging, I'd start off the first of the year with plans and ideas, but had a hard time following through. Our granddaughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2020, at the age of 6. At that time, I started a Facebook page called Team Emberley, and I guess that took more of my focus. It was a way to update family and friends on her progress through the ups and downs of treatment. It also became a way to raise funds to help support our son and his family. With all the trips to the city, and long stays in the hospital or Ronald MacDonald House it was impossible for him to work full time. Two months later, his second daughter was born, making things even more difficult. 
We're looking forward to our granddaughter ringing the bell after her last chemo in June, 2023, God willing.
We've been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement we've received during this time, but we didn't want to depend on the generosity of others indefinitely, so we started brainstorming other ways to raise funds. My husband came up with a novel idea; start a YouTube channel! In March 2022, he uploaded his first video on  Coffee Walks and Whatever.
I'm mostly behind the scenes, but as time goes by, I've started taking part more in the videos. It's a long road to monetization for two old fogies like us, but it's something we can do together, and guess what? We're having fun! 

I hope you'll come over and check out the channel, and you can also follow our FB page.

Will I be back to blogging?

I never say never! When I see how many people still visit here, it really does make me want to come back. And who knows, that need to write may return someday and I'll make my way back here on a regular basis. For now, I'll try to at least make an update now and then. I may even share some videos from Coffee Walks and Whatever. 😁

To whoever is reading this, Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere. I hope you've found a little help and encouragement during your visit. 
Until next time, Bye for now ~~~Deb