Smiling behind the mask

Since March, life has just been……..

Weird?

Crazy?

Sad?

How many other adjectives can 2020 be described as?

Every time I have to wear a mask to go out in public I’m shocked this is what we now must do .

I always look at people and I want them to see I’m smiling at them. How does one do that with a mask on?

I was so very lucky to go on a business trip with Steve to the beach this week. While the world has been topsy turvy for so long and we’ve all spent a lot of time in our homes surrounded by the same four walls, it’s a welcome sight to be in the world and see that some things haven’t changed.

I watched the sunset from the balcony.

I watched the birds forage for their food. COVID 19 does not change the fact that if they don’t search for their food, they will be hungry.

This small family positioned themselves just right with the waves to their rear. They had a baby that they were obviously very proud of. They picked the perfect setting to have memories with their sweet family. COVID can not take that away.

Smile. It doesn’t take much to use those muscles. One day, we won’t have to wear a mask and we can go back to not having to wonder if someone sees the smile. For now, raise your eyebrows, show those crows feet. Make it obvious.

People need to see smiles

Happy Friday!

Charma

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I Heard It From A Friend

I have great friends that will call me when they see something I might like. It might be a piece of furniture, a decoration, a piece of clothing, etc.

I take it as a huge complement that people will see something and my face comes to mind.

This ugly, broken, spider web infested piece was the latest piece I dragged home.

What does one do with something so lovely?

Entry table?

Desk?

Nope. I think it should be a ………::

Kitchen island.

The first step was to clean, repair and prime. I also added some really big casters

I searched and searched for baskets or containers that would fit the shelves. Nothing was exact size I wanted so I grabbed some wood and a saw and made them myself

The final paint choice was a creamy off white. The cutest handle was purchased for the drawer as well as two towels bars for each side

It was delivered to its new home last week.

The best part? It was bought for the sweetest couple who are working on their home together. While my pieces might not be shiny new, I have used the skills I have learned to bring it back to life. Each one holds a special place and I love when someone sees someone else in one of my projects and decides that person needs it. It’s like a full circle.

My business scripture is Isaiah 54:7.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

I will continue looking at the side of the road for trash pieces, I hope others will continue to see me in pieces they see.

I hope to continue hearing from friends .

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The Squeaky Floor

Timehop has been reminding me that 4 years ago we were in the last weeks of renovating the old house and getting ready to move in. So much life has happened in 4 years and while it feels like a lifetime, it also feels like the blink of an eye.

One of the many memories that have popped up are the floors.

Most of the house had original hardwood oak floors. They were grimy and gross but after they were sanded we were able to see the beauty of the wood.

From the very first time we stepped foot in the old house, in the pathway from the front door to the kitchen, there is a noticeable squeak in the floor.

I have always loved the squeak.

We could have repaired the floor and removed the squeak but every time I step on the board and hear the squeak I think of the MANY people who have lived in this old house. Way back in 1903, when the house was built, a family walked on the squeaky floor as they stoked the fire.

I hear the squeak as people have paced back and forth by the stairs as they have waited for someone to come down. Maybe a bride? Possibly they peeked up the railing waiting for news of sickness or of a new life that has just arrived. We’ve had two babies born in this old house. Dad also took his last breath in this old house. Those memories cannot be denied.

If we fixed the squeaky floor we would miss the squeak as little men run, walk and currently crawl from room to room

This morning as I had trouble staying asleep, I retreated to the living room so as not to wake Mr. as I continued to toss and turn.

I know exactly where the squeaky floor is, and I stepped to the side of the board as to not wake anyone.

As COVID19 has halted the inviting of people over to share a meal or a game of cards, the squeaky board will be waiting!

I am grateful for the squeak in the floor.

Have a great Thursday,

Love,

The girl who might need a nap

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An Old Mirror and Why Does it Have to Weigh 100 Pounds?

One of the busiest rooms in the house is the mudroom. It’s the door most used for comings and goings and it is the drop off for all the STUFF.

I had already created a cubbie system for shoes and purses right inside the door.

It’s been fantastic with its key holder hanging above it.

It’s just not enough and as the kids get bigger, the more stuff they have

Bags and backpacks, big people hats and what nots.

One day, as I perused the garage, I saw an old mirror leaning up against the wall.

I have no idea where it came from and it didn’t have a purpose.

I pulled the mirror out and was left with the frame.

Now what? It needs a back

There’s a reason for me saving things .

I went digging through my stash and found some old wood floor from when we were renovating the old house

Glue and shoot with the nail gun and BAM it has a back.

The reason why when it was done, it weighs 100 pounds!!

Dang it’s heavy

Caulk and fill in the gaps

Prime and paint

The whole idea was to create storage so I add some hooks

And then the baskets that I got from the thrift store weeks ago. I knew one day they would be perfect for something.

Who would ever think that we would need a storage basket for masks. Good grief

The best part of this room??

The sign that is laminated and taped to the door.

Just a reminder as we walk in and out of this door

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An Old Door Story

We were helping with demo for a local organization who had just purchased a SWEET new property.

Walls came down

Lots of debris hauled out

A few doors were leftover

DOORS???

I love an old door

Who am I kidding, I love old stuff

Dirty

Half rotten

Layers and layers of disgusting paint

The ugliest hardware

I didn’t care and they let me bring the old door home instead of throwing it in the dumpster

What am I doing with it??

At the time…….I had absolutely no idea

I knew I wanted to see what the original wood looked like

Would I find pretty?  Maybe with a beautiful grain that I could just polish up with some polyurethane and add a new knob?

The frame of the door was really pretty and I got super excited. But the inserts had been patched and replaced with some of  the ugliest of plywood. 

When that happens, there is little choice but to either paint the wood or create some kind of treatment to make it all match

 

It was a dirty, super dirty job. I would be chatting with someone and they would ask what I was working on. 

The dumb door would be my usual answer.

And most days, it would still be the same answer.

While one project at a time is not my mantra, I kept coming back to the ugly door. It would not beat me and I knew it had beauty deep down under all the gunk 

Steve helped me find wood that would match the original frame that could be inserted into the inserts so that whatever treatment I decided on, the woods would at least match. 

I finally decided on a white wash kind of treatment. It began by painting the entire door with a watered down white paint. It was brushed on and wiped off quickly. It saturated the wood just enough to give a glazy white appearance. 

Then coat after coat of stain was brushed on and wiped off until I got the exact shade I was looking for. 

This WAS the finished door right before it went to it’s new home 

 

The door was carried upstairs to be installed

It was held up to the door frame and ………

It was too short.

So much for my expert measuring

Down the stairs

Back to the garage where a piece of wood was attached to give it the extra length it needed

More paint

More stain

More sealer

While I do not love the spray on the window (necessary since it’s on a bathroom) I do love that it looks like an old door that you might have seen years and years ago, which fits our house perfectly.

The new/old door currently lives in Naked Girls Room. If you don’t know that story of the room I have shared the link here: https://abandonedocala.com/2016/12/21/naked-girls-room/ and here: https://abandonedocala.com/2017/12/14/naked-girls-room-update/

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Will You Pray With Me?

I’m not an early riser

This morning decided differently

Eyes pop open at 4:30am

I will myself to try and go back to sleep

PLEASE!! I don’t want to get up yet

Fine

Coffee it is

A quiet house, which is not typical

Just the sounds of the AC and a recycling truck on the couch

It’s foggy outside and now at 6am, light is starting to peek from the sky.

I don’t want to watch the news

I try not to read the never ending articles written on COVID19

I don’t want to put my head in the sand and I don’t want to be fearful. I want to be smart.

When I had to share with our church team that I would not be able to attend live services this weekend, it almost broke my heart. I miss life outside the walls of our home.

This home, a great place to quarantine is safe. It has fun things to do. It is everything I’ve always wanted. It houses most of the people I love the most. The others live about two hours south and I haven’t seen them in months.

I am socially sad

Not depressed

I just miss people

Two people that I love dearly are right this second in a crisis. One sits beside her husband as he waits for Jesus to call him home. He is sedated and non responsive. His loved ones are limited to be able to be by his side. Hard is an understatement. COVID makes it harder. No visitors. No help for the family inside the walls of the hospice room. Only prayer. We wait for news. I cry just thinking of the heart of my sweet friend. Watching her love. Just waiting for the last breath. Knowing and being so grateful that one day they will be together again but also knowing that life with continue without him very soon. Will you pray with me?

A young woman and family are with their loved one. He has battled cancer for a long time. Currently he is intubated as they try and heal his very sick body. He’s so young. He has a young family and they have stood beside him as he has struggled through sickness and treatments. I’ve listened as his mother and family have fought hard for him. Asked for continued prayer. He is a miracle already. We wait for news. We pray fervently for this family. COVID has taken away the option for even the closest of family members to sit beside him. Young children need to be cared for while this man struggles for his life. Will you pray with me?

This world we currently live in……it’s hard. We wear masks to protect ourselves and others from a nasty virus. Are the numbers true? I have no idea and I don’t know what to believe, but we have a responsibility to protect our loved ones. Will you pray with me for discernment? To know the right things to do?

I don’t know what else to do but pray. I will continue to trust in His word. I will pray alone and I know that I am heard. But the Bible says in Mathew 18, “where two or more gather in my name, there I am with them.”

Happy Friday friends,

Charma

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Is It Good Enough? lol

Do you ever feel good enough?

Pretty enough?

Smart enough?

Our world knocks us down

A lot.

Last week, while getting ready for our shift volunteering at the Interfaith Thrift Store, a table was brought to my attention. “Charma, this table looks like you.” I love when someone sees something that reminds them of me! What a tremendous gift of love to see someone in a item.

As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t believe how accurate she was.

At the end of our shift, the beautiful table was loaded in my car

Usually, when I get a new project, I can immediately see what it “can be.” What a new paint job could do for its appearance. How it needs to be changed here or there.

This table…….was perfect just the way it was

It definitely needed some cleaning. It needed some nails set and just an overall once over.

Sometimes we need a good cleaning too. Sometimes on the outside like this last night as we demo’d at our church building getting ready for a new school addition.

And sometimes the insides need a little cleaning and we need to take some time to read our Bible or chat with a friend about our troubles.

The table was given a coat of urethane to protect it from water. The word of God is our urethane.

We need to be protected too. We need to put on the armor of God every single day.

Ephesians 6 says:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our world is a scary place. It’s hard to know what is true. What is right. Who to listen to and who to trust. But when we put on our armor everyday, just like this table has its protection, we can withstand the elements.

Now this beautiful old table sits “perfect” just the way it was.

Have a wonderful day 💜

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10 Years

I love it when a random text comes through and says “is it ok if we bring the girls to swim?”

Yes!

We chat

We play

A conversation was started and it sounded something like this. “What are you writing about these days?” I replied “nothing really. I don’t like to just write to write. I want to have something to say.”

This blog holds my thoughts, some stories, a lot of house projects and a little of this and a little of that. This memory popped up.

10 years ago.

We moved from the only place I had ever known living. A place where I grew up, went to school, fell in love, had a job, had babies, made life long friends and so many memories. A place where my parents brought me when I was 2 years old and we lived and created a life until 2010.

As we prepared to move and leave our kids behind, I was terrified. I knew ZERO people, my job would move to a spare room in a new town. I would be sequestered to a back room for 8 hours a day………ALONE. Well JR would be there💜

I was ready for a new adventure but I would I have been lying if I’d said I wasn’t nervous.

Nervous to make new friends

Nervous about a new town and the possibilities

10 years later we have moved 3 times.

We restored a 117 year old house

We welcomed others to the fold and sadly said goodbye to Dad in 2017.

We have made wonderful friends. There are so many, but these two are some of my favorites.

While we miss those left behind, we have created a life, a life I could not have imagined. A life full of adventure and love. A life that only the God of the universe could have written just for us.

Today I feel as if I had something to say.

Here’s to the next 10 years

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One Way to Hide the Ugly

Once upon a time an AC wall unit hung amidst beautiful colonial blue cabinets and other lovely items. It felt ugly and a little misplaced.

In another land, doors left over from a yonder project were left discarded amongst other rubbish.

The AC unit was framed out by the fair renovation princess. The junk whisperer might be a more accurate description.

The doors were cut to size and the insides removed.

Decorative panels were purchased that would allow air to flow through the doors while covering up the ugly. The panels were cut to size and inserted through the back

While the princess/junk whisperer liked the look…..the holes in the panels showed WAY TOO MUCH of the AC so in her mind it defeated the purpose of hiding it.

Plan B: the doors were taken apart 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄and a panel of plywood was inserted and the decorative panel was reinserted.

Pretty and functional

Win Win

Everything was painted and put back together

The doors were hung

The insides of the doors held a little surprise. One side was painted with chalkboard paint and the other was covered with cork. A 266 square foot home needs all the amenities it can hold.

What a sweet and decorative way to hide the ugliness of a wall unit AC unit.

Ready for the next junk renovation.

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Master Bedroom Makeover

We purchased our bedroom furniture many years ago.

It was a splurge

It is really great quality and I knew when we bought it, it would be around for a LONG TIME.

However………I got really tired of the dark stain.

Yeah, I like change

Here is the before

Totally fine

My inspiration photo below hit me right in the face.

This

This is the look I’m going for.

We might have slept on the floor for a few weeks.

The headboard, footboard and side rails were taken to the garage

It was a process

Recruit Mom because she is a fantastic helper.

Strip all the old stain off

Sand it smooth

Paint it a creamy white

Sand again

Stain and wipe off

Stain and wipe off

Stain and wipe off

You get the idea? I had no idea how many times, but it was a lot.

Sand again

Poly – sand – poly – sand – poly – sand

The last step was to create a tufted insert for the center section of the headboard

Again……mom to the rescue

I create the vision

Buy the stuff and she makes it happen

The final product is perfect.

While the tufting does not show as much as I would like, it still checked off all my boxes

I wonder if Steve cares we have pink pillows?

I didn’t ask

He didn’t say

The other furniture in the room also got an update. I’ll be back soon.

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