The Doors from France

As I walked through the door opening to the master suite every day multiple times, I always knew I wanted something else. Something that would give the opening some pizzazz.

The opening was not always there. When we bought the old house, this was a wall….on the other side was the 4th apartment which had a front door on the porch. That sounds like a story all on its own. This photo is Steve framing up a door opening in 2015. Look at those stairs. So gross

I had a conversation with the owner of the Mustard Seed Collection Vintage store about my desire for a set of old doors. I asked her to keep her eyes open for something unique. It didn’t matter if they fit or looked pretty, I can fix those things.

I wanted unique.

She said “I have something in our storage unit. Would you like to go look? My husband is right here and can take you out.”

Steve looked at me

I looked at Steve

Yes please

They were hiding in the back of a giant storage unit behind another building.

They were so gross and so perfect all at the same time and they definitely came home with us

I already knew I wanted to strip all that disgust off and find the most beautiful original wood. It was shared that the doors were from early 1900’s France (she has a picker that travels the world and once a year, she is able to select some of his items) They were exterior doors used in a hotel.

Mom decided she would be able to work on the doors. Detailed and tedious work is exactly her style. She doesn’t mind doing the same thing day after day after day. I think she may regret this one.

Layer after later of thick, old paint had to be removed.

There were additional small doors and many details

The iron inlay was sand blasted and re-painted

Finally the wood

Not cute.

Not pretty

Not stunning

Plan B – they would have to be painted

New glass was cut for the small doors

A new frame was built so they would fit the opening.

Plan C – the transom idea was not going to work so an old window was used instead. Here’s the story on that.

Hardware was purchased

Screen was purchased? Yes screen

The new doors are immediately inside the front door.

Each big door has a little door. Each little door holds the black iron decorative piece and behind each black iron piece, there is screen.

Since the doors were initially exterior, the screen was so that the small doors could be opened for air ventilation but to keep out the bugs.

Did we need to add the screen since they were interior doors now? No, but I love the uniqueness and I wanted them to be authentic as they could

The back sides of the door are in our Master Suite area. You would feel the screen from this side

Immediately when you walk through the doors, our bedroom is on the right

Also in this room is a baby grand piano, a double sided fireplace and a whole bunch of plants

And for a real life view…….

This side of the room is next

We purchased the doors in May 2020. Real life happens and they were finished this week.

Expectations are usually WAY off from reality so if you decide to tackle a project, big or small, give yourself grace and always expect the unexpected

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Day 3 Lent Journal – Whose Shoes Today?

I put on my shoes, charged up my ear buds and headed out the door.

Holy rain clouds

Courtney grabbed a raincoat for me and said “are you going?”

I am

I got to the end of the driveway and it started raining. The rain doesn’t bother me but the thoughts of being far from home in thunder and lightning scares me.

So at the end of the driveway……… I turned. We have a large circle driveway.

We have stairs

More stairs

More stairs

And even more stairs

We have a ramp and stepping stones

I easily walked a mile with lots of stairs this morning. As I walked and looked at our home, I saw weeds that need to be pulled, plants that need to be pruned, stairs that need painting and so much more.

However I saw a welcoming porch that provides relationships, comfort and safety for so many people.

I saw new growth as we will welcome spring soon

While I had a raincoat, shoes that fit and a warm home within reach….. many do not.

As the rain pounded on my head and soaked my shoes, I knew that dry clothes and shoes were within reach. So many do not have that option

I might not have walked on the street today, but I definitely walked in someone’s shoes

I won’t bore you readers everyday with my journal. I’m going to try and post once a week instead.

Happy weekend friends

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Day 2 Lent Journal – Chapter 36 on Repeat

I put in my ear buds and started on chapter 36 of this months book club selection. Such a good book and while I should have been finished long ago…….I haven’t

Which way do I turn out of the driveway?

I don’t have a set plan

I haven’t marked off the mile

I’m winging it and I’m not very good at that. I like to be planned and prepared and this is a little out of my comfort zone.

I came upon a flock of birds. Notice that there is one has darker feathers. He/she is different from the others but is still part of the flock. Do you ever feel different than everyone else? Who in the world wants to be the same as everyone else? We all have our unique qualities and while they might be unusual or out of the box to others, YOU BE YOU.

As I walked past one of the houses that is currently being renovations in our neighborhood, I remember those days. I remember the days of calling the garbage guy and asking for yet another dumpster. 14 people. We filled 14 construction dumpsters. I just want to give these people a hug and let them know, one day, it will be done.

Do you sometimes feel like this tree? It’s so beautiful but the bad days, the hard times, the struggles and the yuck cover up all the flowers. You have to push and pull out from under the stuff to shine.

There’s was so much to see on my walk this morning that I didn’t listen to my book.

I guess I’ll need to read chapter 36 again.

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Day 1 Lent Journal – Walk in my Shoes

Today is the first day of Lent

Lent is defined as a period of 40 days that Christians observe from Ash Wednesday to Easter, often marked by giving something up.

I have not always been on board with Lent or even understood it’s significance, but the last few years I have “given up” something


Social media

I’ve prayed and tried to listen as I thought about 2021.

I had already picked out a book and a Lent sacrifice in regards to giving up sugar for the 40 days of Lent. While it’s a healthy thing to do, it just never felt right.

While speaking to friends and listening to a specific podcast, it was brought to my attention that it’s not always about what you are taking away, it could be what you are adding during this time.

I just couldn’t figure it out.

Walk a mile in my shoes Charma


Just walk a mile in my shoes


Is that my Lent sacrifice?

I’m adding a mile to my day?

It’s kind of cold for this Florida girl. No haters from the polar regions please

I don’t have someone to sit with mom

Could I think of more lame excuses?


But I won’t

Day 1:

I only shared with a few people my thoughts. I don’t want this to be about me but about what is learned from this experience. I have no idea what I’m supposed to learn. What am I supposed to see? What do I do during this mile? I want to follow the rules…….what rules?

Come on Charma. Just walk the dang mile

As I began my walk this morning, day 1, I rouletted a podcast to listen to and started.

I thanked God for our home as I left the driveway.

I walked down the road and stopped at Walgreens for some post it’s. I want the chance to rip off the post it every day as I walk a mile in His shoes

I walked past a beautiful tree lined street and thought of the children who are in school

I passed the house we looked at while searching for the perfect renovation house for our family

There was a lady in her car, sitting at a traffic light singing and dancing to whatever she heard on the radio

Camellia goals

And while I listened the podcast, a few things struck me

Desire harmony

Know who your people are

Know your Love language and those of your people

While I made every excuse as to why I need to walk a mile everyday…..I’m already looking forward to tomorrow

I might listen to a book

I might not listen at all

I might ask a friend to join me or make a new friend along the way

Whatever it is……I’m ready.

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Extroverts Unite

A friend sent me a text yesterday thanking me for being her extroverted friend. While it might mean to be funny, I think there is truth.

Being an extrovert, I’m always still a little shocked when it’s a “thing.” But for some socializing, making friends, being included, feeling comfortable, and so many other things is a real struggle.

I have told my introvert/extrovert story many times in friend/group settings but I feel it’s important to finally write it down

I am for sure an extrovert. I love to host parties, I love to make new friends and invite friends to be friends.

I have an VERY introverted daughter.

One day I was whining. Even as an extrovert, it’s nice to sometimes be invited to things and not always be the host. As I huffed and puffed about always being in charge of an activity, always handling the logistics of an event, inviting people, preparing the food list, asking people to bring stuff……..and the list of whining could go on and on and on.

I was told:

“Mom, not all people have the gift of being a hostess.”

“Not all people feel comfortable inviting people to their home.”

“Not all people feel comfortable enough preparing and leading a group of people”

“Not all people are confident enough for any of it.”

Ok, well dang it. I hear you

So each and every time I fold inward, I think of this story. And while I still like to be invited to things, I try to remember the gifts God gave me.

I look around and make sure that my circle isn’t closed. That there’s always room for one more.

And while a lot of my friends are introverts….. there are some extroverts out there too

Look around and open up that circle

Extroverts Unite

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Cereal and Chicken Noodle Soup

“Sorry your day was crummy” was a sweet message I got last night after returning from the hospital with Mom.

It’s wasn’t the best day

However it wasn’t because it was our anniversary. It was crummy because Mom felt bad and we had to sit in the ER for a few hours.

Our anniversary is the date of our wedding and while I love a nice dinner, our anniversary isn’t what I celebrate.

I celebrate us.

Our marriage

The people we are and who we are together

It’s about the years we have spent together making it work because there were times when I wasn’t sure.

I celebrate two great kids who are now adults building their own lives and families of their own. Parenting is hard and we did it together. We did it while Steve worked 24 hour shifts and many side jobs for the first 25 years of our marriage. We did it by sacrificing snd scraping by for many years.

It’s about times of sickness and times of pain. It’s about losing a Mom and a Dad to cancer. It’s about the extended family who sticks together and figures it out. “It” can mean so many things and losing parents is so hard. I celebrate that siblings can bond together and when things are tough, can solidify the family and love each other.

It’s about financial struggles and disagreements. It’s about making so many stupid money mistakes and having to dig out. It’s about working hard and finally feeling the freedom of debt free. It’s worth it……I promise.

It’s about teamwork and the year we spent every night and every weekend making this house a home.

It’s about the projects we do together. It’s the ideas that swirl in my head and how he can turn my ideas into realities. And sometimes I’m told “no Charma, that can’t happen” and while I don’t like it…….I know he’s right.

It’s not about the fancy dinners or big vacations. It’s not about getting my way or succumbing to his.

It’s about a partnership

It’s about sacrifice

It’s about holding my hair when I’m throwing up or finding the NyQuil when he’s up all night with a nasty cough.

It’s real life

And sometimes it’s cereal and chicken noodle soup at 8pm while standing in the kitchen after a really long day.

It’s about 36 years of marriage and hoping for 36 more.

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It’s the Little Things

Today, I sit in the hospital room for the 5th day.

I’ve made friends with nurses and food service workers. I’m already Facebook friends with some of the hospital staff.

It’s the little things

I don’t have to take time off work to care for Mom on a full time basis. I have a husband who provides for us and I’m able to be at home.

It’s the little things

My friend sent photos of her spouse as he fills her fountain every morning even on the coldest of days. I responded that Steve warms up my car on days I have to leave. He might not write me love notes or poems but he builds me things #lovelanguage

It’s the little things

I’ve had friends bring us dinner this week. Could we have just ordered take out or ate PBJ? We could have but instead, they blessed us with hot meals prepared with love for our family during a time when cooking is not high on the priority list

It’s the little things

Moms group of ladies, her friends, have checked in on her and worried about her probably as much as I have. It’s comforting to know that so many care and love Mom.

It’s the little things

There’s TV to pass the time. I’m almost finished with this months book club read, Netflix made a series about one of our previous books.

It’s the little things

My brother was able to come to Florida. We have tag teamed sitting at the hospital. His job works one week on and one week off so he didn’t lose any time.

It’s the little things

While big things are fun and create a big story, I’m more impressed with the little things

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to let your people know how grateful you are for them and the big and little things they give to you

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Around the Dinner Table

We try and have dinner together, all of us, every night. Mostly we talk about our days and banter with toddlers.

I have missed a few nights due to being out of town and spending time at the hospital.

Tonight, my brother is in town and we gathered around the table. Conversation consisted mostly of hospital talk.

Mom is in the hospital

Our cousin Debbie is in the hospital

It was light hearted talk until I spoke of walking in and out of the ICU

It is necessary to check in with the attendant before walking into the ICU. You must give the patients name, the room number and your relationship to the patient

Beulah Locke

Room 117


As I enter the ICU each day numerous times, I walk the halls all the way back to room 117

It’s impossible not to see the people who are in the rooms. The very sick people. The people with tubes and wires keeping them alive. The people who are unconscious and torn up from accidents. The people who are behind a glass partition due to isolation. It’s impossible not see the woman who sits outside the glass partition because she can’t be with the one she loves but needs to be close.

It’s impossible not to see the man on a big round machine that our recent nurse described as the last thing that they can do for someone.

It’s impossible not to hear the man next door to moms room who has had a brain injury.

I walk into my mothers room where she is most definitely sick. She is in pain and just wants to come home but knows she can’t yet. She is feeling well enough to crack a few jokes and called me a smart ass today for being sassy.

She will get better.

The others?

I don’t know. I don’t know if they will get better and my heart breaks just a little every day when I walk in the halls and a little more in the evening when I walk back out.

Each and every person has a story

Most, I assume have families that love them and just want them to get better.

My heart is heavy for those people.

Tonight, at the dinner table I cried a little for the people whose room I walk by every day as I told the story of how Mom is doing.

Jack listened.

He said “BB, are they boys or girls, the sick people?”

“I don’t know buddy “ I replied

“We should pray for them like we prayed for Nana.”

“Yes Jack, that’s exactly what we should do”

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The After Vacation

I started this fantastic post about the wonderful weekend Steve and I had.

We flew to Asheville NC for a pre-anniversary weekend. I rented the cutest this cabin in the mountains with a spectacular view

The car rental people must have thought we were lacking in class and gave us a super fancy pants car to drive around in

We ate at a hippie breakfast joint, enjoyed a fabulous day at the Biltmore Estate (did I take pictures……..yeah I did)

We slept in

We ate

We enjoyed ourselves immensely

And then we got a call Sunday morning

Mom is really sick. Should we call the ambulance? Of course call the ambulance. I’ll be home as soon as I can

How does one feel when they are a 10 hour car ride away from their loved ones?

Our flight wasn’t for 24 hours. Immediately a call is made to the airlines. Please can we get on a plane today?

Do you have people that will stand in your place when you are physically unable to be there?

I’m not very good at asking and this time, I didn’t have to ask. It was done for me and while I worried from the airplane, especially when they said they were going to de-Ice the plane, I knew Mom was in good hands.

Medically she was cared for

Emotionally she was cared for

Until I could get on an airplane

Travel from the airport and be at moms side

She is a sick lady and it’s hard to watch her suffer

They kicked me out at 8pm and I went home

It had been a really long day. I had some dinner, took a shower and went to bed

At 10:30, the hospital called and said Mom was going in for surgery. I immediately got dressed and headed to the hospital.

I’m scared

I’m so tired

I walk to the ICU surgical waiting room to wait

There are 3 other people waiting in the room with me. Everyone is on their phones passing the time. It’s 11:45 pm

The Dr comes in to speak to the family

There was a gunshot wound and the bullet hit a young mans spine. While he will live, he will never walk again

I’m the only other person in the room besides who the Dr. is speaking to.

Pray Charma

It’s not about you at this moment and your fears. It’s not about you but it about this family who has received devastating news.

While this family’s life will never be the same, I take their picture so I can remember them. Remember them when a worship song comes on that brings back tonight in my mind.

Through it all

Through it all

My eyes are on you

And it is well.

With me

It is now 12:27am on Monday morning

Now I sit and wait

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The Healer

Has anyone spoken to you and they say something that stops you immediately?

I’m texting with a sweet friend the other day. We are chatting about my very sick family member. I shared the details and then she asked me “does she know her healer?”

I immediately responded yes, knowing that she meant Jesus.

I have pondered that question for a while and this month, this week, today……the day a new President takes office, are you speaking to the healer?

Jesus is not only the healer of bodies.

He is the healer of a nation

He is the healer of relationships

He is the healer of hearts

He is the healer of time

Today…..reach out to someone

Speak of your love and admiration to them. Share that they are thought of.

Stay away from the news

Read a book

Play with a child

Sit with the sunshine on your face

Thank our “healer” for His love and for the story that will unfold.

Our stories are written already. We are to obedient and wait for the page to turn.

Today, we are having a generator installed at our home The electricity has been off for a few hours and I sit in the sweet solitude and thank my healer for you

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