Thoughts of Heaven and Ohio State

Today is your Heaven Day.

1460 days ago you went to Heaven. I still remember it vividly. Every December while we celebrate the birth of our Lord and we also sit in the remembrance of you.

Did you meet Debbie at the gate this year? I know you did. She always talked about how you were her favorite Uncle Vern.

I wore her shoes on Christmas Eve and couldn’t help but wonder how she felt when she saw her sweet husband Buford in Heaven when she got there. When they got sick, they were taken to different hospitals and neither one of them knew the other had stepped through the gates of Heaven. I can’t even imagine the joy they felt.

The promises of Heaven , knowing that one day, we will all be together is the thing that holds me in times of grief.

The last week has been a wild ride here at the old house. It’s full to the window sills and you know how I love having all the birds in the nest. I haven’t had a lot of time to sit and think about how this time of year 4 years ago broke me.

Kate brought a gift for the boys on Tuesday morning. It was wrapped and in a bag. I remember her saying there was one for them and one for me. I placed it on the table beside the door and vowed to open it later. Last night, I was cleaning up and remembered the gift. I apologized to Courtney for having a gift that I forgot to give to them and preceded to open mine as well.

I lifted the lid to the box and saw a ball cap. It was red and had a big “O” on the front. Dad was a big Ohio fan and while I didn’t know why there a hat in a box, the tears immediately fell.

Dad had given Kate this hat and she was gifting it back to me.

I touched it knowing the his DNA was on that hat. I could hear his voice as he spoke of his beloved team.

I can see in my mind my Ohio family

I can remember times of joy and laughter with Kate and Charity playing dominoes and eating chicken wings.

People that come into our lives and KNOW you, and I mean really know you, don’t come often. They should be treasured and I don’t know if Kate can fathom how I felt when I opened that hat and read her words of love for me and my family. I guarantee as she wrapped that hat in a box, her sweaty eyeballs thought of you Dad. When she typed the words to me speaking of keeping the love of “Vernon” alive in our hearts and her love of our Savior.

Tonight we will eat chicken wings. Justin got a new smoker and is excited to create some new flavors.

My thoughts of Heaven are so vivid. I picture you sitting with your Momma and Daddy and your old friends. I imagine you speaking about the next loved ones that will join you and how you will meet them at the gates of Heaven. You were always the best greeter.

I’ll meet you at the gate Dad.

Love,

Your baby girl

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You are my Home

Yesterday I watched a cute movie title “Something Borrowed.” During one scene towards the end, there was a line that said “you are my home” referencing his love for her.

That line stuck with me.

Today, Thanksgiving 2021, more than ever I have people and places that are “home.”

My actual home is my favorite place to be. It holds people I love, it gives me a sense of pride, safety and comfort. It allows me to create, to rest, to care for and to host. It’s big, yet the small pockets of joy are in the front porch, the back yard and our garage.

Family is my “home.” My husband, our children that live under the same roof and others that live far away. My mom, my brother, our sisters, my Father in Law. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. While most of this family lineage, I barely get to see…… they are still home in my heart.

Friends are my “home.” My tribe, my porch ladies, friends who have been friends for years and years. And while I have moved away from some, it is important to keep in touch. Friends who stand beside, friends who pray, friends who play games, friends who know us. Friends who can touch my arm and know that things aren’t ok. Friends that can laugh at and with us.

On this Thanksgiving day, I am thankful for a lot of things but mostly for those that are “home.”

Enjoy your day.

I’m looking for my stretchy pants!

Charma

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Sometimes I Don’t Want to

Does God ever tell you to do something?

Personally, most of the time it’s “I don’t want to.”

Not because I’m disobedient

Not because I don’t think it’s the right thing to do

Not because I don’t believe He has my best interest at heart

It IS the RIGHT a thing to do.

I probably need to apologize for something stupid I did or said (this is normally the case)

I’m sure that I am suppose to give encouragement to someone.

Yesterday, two different people said something sweet to me.

One said I was tender. What? Me tender? It was in reference to my tears and my ability to cry at any and all circumstance. I never consider myself tender (maybe towards the grand boys when they aren’t acting the fool)

Am I happy? I cry

Am I mad? I cry (this is the norm)

Am I frustrated? I cry

I want to be tender. I love that quality about people. Soft and gooey. Loving and kind.

Thanks friend for giving me “tender.”

The next person said I was Real and Honest.

Real to a fault. “How do you really feel Charma?” This is the most sarcastic sentence. I can’t seem to not be real. And if my mouth doesn’t say it, my face does.

I’m not always honest. If someone asks me an opinion, of course I will be honest.

My dishonesty comes from within.

If someone hurts my feelings, I won’t tell them.

If I feel something weird in a relationship, I won’t confront them. It has to be me right? I’ve done something wrong so I deserve it?

Today, my gut feels weird about a close friend. There is something stirring and I can’t put my finger in it.

God told me this morning to ask.

Ask what God?

Can you give me a hint? I’m terrified of being hurt or losing a friend.

Maybe it’s nothing but maybe it’s something.

Maybe if I sweep it under the proverbial rug, it will disappear. It will just go away and then I won’t have to deal with it.

Once a sweet friend told me that I should write out my feelings because I seemed to write what others are thinking.

So today, if you read this…..are you struggling with doing what God says? Are you having a hard time listening to Him? Is there someone or something in your life that has you questioning? Will you confront the issue?

It’s Monday and my list grows. It’s thanksgiving week and WOW do I have much to be thankful for. I’m trying to turn down the noise of “things that do” and focus on thankfulness. There is still a list..but this girl will remain focused on people vs. the list.

Happy Monday friends. I am thankful for you.

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It’s all Mindset

In the last minutes of Coffee Hour, November 9, 2021, there were two people left on the porch. Small children were climbing us like trees, spilling coffee supplies all over the floor and crying for a drink.

It was mentioned about living in the moment. It’s hard when all you want is for the children to go to bed and you swear that some days are 36 hours long.

It made me think.

While I am kid sitting for an hour, trying to get dinner in the crockpot and serving lunch to two little men, it’s like chaos in the center of chaos.

I want to remember these times are precious and not an obstacle. Little kids…..are little kids I want my mindset to be way past the mess of it all

I want to remember and be grateful for two little men, ages 2 and 4. How they want to spend time with me. How we made lunch together and watched a little TV while mommy ran a few errands. I want to remember that Jack likes cold sandwiches while Luke likes nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I want to remember that we eat 3 or more meals a day and we have dishes to wash. I want to remember that a young husband loves his young wife and brings her flowers regularly and we all get to enjoy them . I want to see that a young mother does her best to offer fresh fruits and vegetables.

I want to be grateful that we have food to share. Another young family has sick kids and I’m so grateful to be able to make them dinner during hard nights. I’m so blessed to be able to stay home and have the time to do extra acts of kindness

I’m so glad my daughter has friends to share time with who are in the same season of life. They share the Love of God and small-ish children. It was a birthday yesterday and they shared the day together with the treat of homemade cupcakes. The pantry door is ALWAYS open and it even has a lock. I’m so happy for food. Abundance

And last but not least as we circle the kitchen and it’s current state of disaster……..

The coffee pot and carafe

Its no secret how I feel about my CH ladies and all they bring to my life.

Maybe if you are having a rough day, month or year……look for the good.

I know sometimes it’s really really hard.

Now, I clean the kitchen!

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The Maiden Voyage

Long days

Many nights

Most weekends

Since July, the RV, the Camper, the 5th Wheeler- whatever it’s called has been our focus.

Today, Thursday, November 4th we take it out for the first time. We are not camping newbies, but we have never been “in charge” of it all.

As a child, my folks would pack us up and we would go for weeks at a time to far off places. We had families we camped with and since my brother is 10 years older than I am, most years I was an only child. The other family had two girls around my same age and did we ever have adventures. During the teen years, I was a super brat and did not enjoy being drug off every summer away from friends. At the time, I didn’t realize what fun adventures, sweet family time and all the things I would miss as an older adult.

I want those times with my grandchildren and even my big kids.

Yes, some of us live together

Yes, I spend a lot of quality time already with them

Yes, I know all that.

But it’s different. It’s time away from all the things we HAVE to do. It’s experiencing new things through their eyes.

It’s just different and it’s one of the many reasons we purchased the RV.

Last week, one of the kids was sick. Nasty snotty nose and cough.

While this wasn’t the sick one, last week was “all hands in deck” while Mommy took care of the sick one.

In a household such as ours, it’s impossible to “stay away” from dirty noses, coughing in your face, wiping things on you…….little kids.

Last night I had a tickle in my throat.

I’m probably just tired from Halloween, working most evening, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I said to Steve,” I’m not feeling great tonight, so I’m going to head to bed early and try to get some extra rest.”

4:30AM – my eyes pop open. My throat is super sore, my nose is half runny and half stopped up.

Crap

Roll over Charma

Go back to sleep, it’s a big day

5:00 AM – forget it

Just get up

Caffeinate

Start the 4 loads of laundry you need to do this morning

Make a list of things you CANNOT forget

Cold medicine – go get some

We ARE going camping today and a cold is not going to stop me

Tomorrow is 100% chance of rain and you know what?

I’m not at all disappointed

We rarely stop to rest and if we are stuck in the beautiful, newly renovated RV with food to eat, blankets to wrap in and movies to watch…..it will be a good day.

It’s Thursday y’all and the weekend is quickly approaching. Have a fantastic day.

I’m heading to the store for cold medicine (NOT drowsy!!) and some tissues.

I’ll be here for a couple of days 💙💙💙

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Rest?

I was having a conversation with friends today. It went something like this:

Them: do y’all use your movie room?

Me: not very often, but maybe someday when we slow down.

Them: do you ever slow down? It seems like you go from one project to another.

Me: well….. that’s not untrue.

I tend to get bored easily and when boredom hits, inspiration to do something spurs an idea. An idea spurs a plan. A plan spurs excitement and the project wheels burn, and when they burn, they burn hard.

It made me think. Think about this time in my life and what it actually means. I’m not 30, 40 or even early 50’s anymore. it’s not like I’m looking to the end of life yet but really…….what are the goals?

Steve has 14 months of full time work and then he will go part time. Seasons of life are changing and as I watch our grand babies grow so quickly, it has me thinking about the future.

I don’t want to spend all our time thinking of the next project, the next job, the next activity.

Just like it takes motivation to be a hard worker, it’s going to take practice to slow down.

My days and some nights are full of the RV renovation. Today I laid a bathroom floor and it was the most UNFUN I’ve had in a while. I’m hoping when it’s done and we pull out of the driveway on adventures, they can include rest. Sitting around a campfire, reading a book, enjoying the scenery of the beautiful world we live in.

Tonight, while waiting for my hard working husband to return from out of town, I retreated to the front porch. The hustle and bustle of nighttime routines are in full swing inside. The splashing of the bathtub, nighttime stories and snuggles all around.

On the porch, my swing awaits and the humming of the bugs. I listen to the neighbors dog barking and view a lady walking her dogs down the sidewalk.

I spend a lot of time on our porch with other women and friends from time to time but to just be alone and rest….not so much.

I haven’t had much to say on this blog as of late. Life is full and who needs to write about painting another kitchen cabinet.

But I enjoy the written word, the expression of ones thoughts. Maybe soon, there will be things to say.

Until then, I’ll just be swinging and maybe resting

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Without Words

I am hardly without words

I been told that I can “talk to a door post.”

Well…that might be a little harsh but whatever.

Recently I have struggled with words.

The written word to be exact. Usually that’s what I’m the BEST at but under the current circumstance, I struggle

I have a friend

This friend has made some bad decisions, horrible charges are brought against him and he remains in jail.

While I am NOT his judge nor his juror, I struggle to find the words to communicate with him. I’ve had postcards specifically for inmates sitting on my nightstand for weeks waiting forever the words to come.

My mind is blank

I don’t wish him to be free if he committed the crime he is accused of

I don’t want to joke around when I don’t see anything funny (he was always a big jokester)

I’ve had friends share what they sent and that’s all good for them. It has just never felt right.

Until today

This is my office for the day

I am painting cabinets for the RV

I am staining bathroom countertops and painting table bases.

I am mostly alone with all my thoughts.

I sat down for a moment to take a rest and scrolled.

My sweet daughter posted on Facebook (What???? She never posts anything)

She asked “What is your favorite praise and worship song?”

I can go along with this! I love praise and worship.

So many responses and so many good songs!

I took some of songs and decided it would be my playlist for today while I worked

#1 – Reckless Love

Oh, the overwhelming, never-endin’
Reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down
Fights ’til I’m found
Leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it and I don’t deserve it
Still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending
Reckless love of God

Y’all…. The tears fell

The mans face, who sits in jail, immediately came to my mind. He leaves the 99 to find the 1. He can’t earn it, he doesn’t deserve it,

The reckless love of God

#2 O Come to the Altar

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

His arms are open wide for the sinner

For my friend in jail.

#3 It is Well

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see and this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Our sins no matter how deep and how wide are thrown to the bottomless sea.

We just have to believe and seek Him

Y’all…… I don’t have to have words on a postcard. I don’t have to know what to say

This man, he and I served together in the church band. He is a phenomenal musician and he knows the lyrics to these songs. He knows the truths of Jesus. He knows…….

I will be sending him the lyrics to these songs for him to remember.

Remember that he is loved by our Heavenly Father.

Even in the midst of his trials and consequences for his actions, he can be forgiven and be made new.

One postcard at a time

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I Finished the Big Thrifted Cabinet

I finally finished the Big Thrifted Cabinet.

It started smooth sailing with demo.

I changed my mind 20 times on a final paint color and the process was stressful.

The primer was not great which meant the final coat was not great.

I ended up sanding and repainting the whole cabinet two times with each time being 3 coats.

I wanted to burn it to the ground and I would have clapped as it turned into ashes.

I walked away for a couple of days and when I returned to it, I didn’t hate it so much.

Things started to come together for good and one day, I asked Steve if we could bring it inside.

It’s huge

It’s heavy

We have SO MANY stairs and there is not one option that doesn’t include stairs.

I had help lined up to carry it in, and it rained so me and Steve……. The dynamic duo, hauled the sucker inside.

It’s like an obstacle course to get it to its place.

You see, we live in a big old house , but the common area, the place we all hang out, isn’t that big.

The whole reason for the cabinet is to hide a plethora of toys, books, puzzles, monster trucks….. and all the things little boys like to play with.

There was the perfect wall for it to sit

It wouldn’t be in anyone’s way but would provide the needed storage we desperately needed.

Move the table

Move the chairs

Don’t hit the 118 year old freestanding fireplace.

But we did it

And I love it

To jog your memory, here is the before

And here is the after

I’m glad it’s done because the RV renovation is calling my name

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From Wall Art to Lights

The old house during renovation creates many opportunities to Reuse, Repurpose or Restore.

Each apartment had bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.

We tried really hard to use original items as to keep with the integrity of the home.

Bi-Fold doors are not unique.

These weren’t old and had zero sentimental value.

I originally repurposed them into wall art.

You can read about it here

From doors to wall art

I’m NOT good at artificial flowers and/or greenery and the buckets on the doors always looked half done.

I took them down and now will make room for the Big Ugly Thrifted Cabinet

What can I do to make these bi-fold doors prettier? Functional?

Sometimes I have to just walk away and think about it for a while. Sometimes days. Sometimes months. You get the idea.

To the hoard you go.

I had originally painted them

They were stripped and stained

I searched and searched and searched some more for the perfect addition to the doors. I tried some sconces I had and they DID NOT work. Of course I had already drilled holes, requested help hanging the doors and then decided I didn’t like them.

I was able to find some lights I loved and attached them to the front of the doors

I was unwilling to spend money on an electrician to hard wire the lights. I also didn’t want to run chords behind the doors to an outlet.

Next best thing?

Puck lights with a remote control

This is looking straight down into the light

The puck light just sits in the place where a lightbulb would normally be.

Be safe Florida friends. It’s a wet one today.

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It used to be a Gun Cabinet

While there is nothing wrong with a gun cabinet…..it’s just not me.

I have nothing against guns but having them out for the word to see isn’t my style.

Dads gun cabinet has been hiding in the back of the hoard for years. He used to display his prized gun collection.

I never knew what to do with it so it sat collecting dust.

One day, I needed/wanted a new project so I pulled it out.

I put out a Facebook post asking what it could be. There were so many great ideas.

I knew I wanted to remove the scrolly (is that a word?) from the top and sides.

Those came off easily the back was also falling apart so I cut a new piece and fixed it

I found an inspiration photo I really liked. I would love to say it’s outside of my norm, but it’s not.

I really wanted the full door hardware, but I couldn’t make it work.

I added shelves

I painted the body white and I stripped and stained the door.

It now lives in our piano room

It’s holds some sweet mementos from Dad and Steves Mom.

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