I have been searching a few months for a cabinet. This cabinet will be in our living room and needs to hold toys, toys and well…….more toys. While our home has a lot of square footage, our community living space is not huge and needs to function better.

While at The Interfaith Thrift Store (my favorite) a couple of weeks ago, I spotted this big cabinet with lots and lots of doors/drawers. While it’s an ugly shade of orange wood currently, I’m all about a change up.

Broken doors don’t scare me

Missing trim doesn’t scare me

Big huge scratches don’t scare me

Figuring out the final color/treatment makes me a nervous wreck.

We got the cabinet home and in the garage

The original job of the cabinet was an office/desk.

It had a slide out desk.

It had a master/breaker for computer, printers, etc items

It has lighting

Day 1 was all about demo. I don’t need or want any of the aforementioned items so they gotta go.

I removed all the electrical items

I took off all the doors and marked them so that I would know where to return them when the time came.

So many handles

So many hinges

Find a container with a lid to put ALL the things. Don’t throw away anything until you are completely done. Even if you don’t re-use the item, you might need to buy something similar and it’s a heck of a lot easier to use the current item as a sample than to start from scratch.

Trust me on this one….. I’ve thrown away SO MANY THINGS.

I am still unsure as the final paint color/treatment but it will be a while until I’m ready.

There’s so much prep work to this type of project and DO NOT skip steps.

Day 2 will consist of fixing a few things and starting on some new shelving.

But first I’m going on vacation so I’ll be back next week with Day 2.

If you have questions, ask away.

Find your perfect piece and get started!

Happy hunting


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Just Write

I was watching a show the other night and it talked about journaling. The character on the show said “what should I write about?” The other person said “whatever pops into your mind.”

I haven’t had much to say on this blog page but I really enjoy writing so I decided to just write.

I’ve thought a lot lately about Luke.

Two different people in the last few weeks didn’t even know about Luke. He’s the middle grandson. Jack, the oldest is a people person and loves everyone. The baby is so cute and sweet.

Luke is a little quieter.

He’s a little more introverted

He’s the snuggler. He will sit for a long time on your lap with absolutely no agenda. He’s sweet and loves to follow his big brother around.

I’m the baby of our family and was always doted on. Daddy’s little girl. Pretty pretty princess. I didn’t have a middle sibling and I never want Luke to have the stigma of being the middle child.

He’s the best little boy and is so very loved 💙💙💙

I recently quit my job.

Was it a real job?

It was 10 hours a week and I got paid.

So yea, it was a job

I’ve never needed or wanted a job to “complete” me. I either had a job to bring in a little extra $$ or the job found me. I’m happy staying home.

I’m happy caring for the people that live here.

I enjoy being able to help Steve with a delivery when he needs a driver, babysit in a pinch, meet a friend for lunch and volunteer.

I like nothing better than heading to the garage in my paint splattered clothes, earbuds and a drink and spend hours creating something out of nothing.

This was my dads gun case. I’ve added shelves and started painting

I’ll continue being content in my little corner of the world. I have a great family, wonderful friends and many things to be thankful for

I’ve being thinking a lot about social media. My previous job required social media posts. Now, I scroll for fun and sometimes to put one of my garage creations up for sale or post about a recent Coffee Hour Tuesday morning.

Often I don’t like what I see, read or feel while scrolling. The world we live in, is sometimes scary and I don’t want to be a part of negativity, politics, racial slander, religious offense snd so many other things I see while on any given social media platform.

Freedom is just that…….Freedom. But freedom doesn’t come with earbuds or eye patches and I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do about it.

In recent weeks I’ve been confronted. I won’t share what I was confronted about but it was serious enough that now I question

My integrity

My honesty

My loyalty

My whole being

This confrontation has stirred up feelings I have never had, I question social media and it’s purpose in my life.

I’m not ready to remove the apps yet but as I pray, I’m asking God to show me things I need to change.

While I might question who I am……I will never question whose I am.

It’s taken me a couple of days to “just write.”

Why is it so hard?

I’m not sure but I’ll continue to ponder thoughts and try to put them until words.

Jack and I have a date today so I’m out of here.

Happy Friday friends

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It’s Home

I read a quote yesterday that said

“It’s not the size of your home…… it’s the way people feel when they are in it.”

We have a giant home

It houses a lot of people.

One that’s brand new

You will definitely have gritty feet most of the time when you walk on our wood floors. Mostly from little boys running outside and not giving a flip if they wipe their feet or not.

So many wonderful things but so many bathrooms to clean. So many opportunities to be together and just as many to find a quiet place to be alone.

Sippy cups and couch forts.

Laundry for days

Monster trucks, diapers and wipes

Pac and plays and bouncy seats

Projects started and moved aside because my brain spun in another direction

It’s home

I noticed today, someone on the porch wanted a glass of water and felt comfortable enough to walk in, find a glass, pour some water and come back out. While some may cringe (that word has been popular in conversations lately) I find it endearing that my home allows for this comfort.

The powder room is always questionable. Be careful

We have not always lived in spacious homes. Our first hone was 1000 square feet with one tiny bathroom and two small children. We still gathered and shoved people in every corner. Outside was a picnic table and a sprinkler to play in. It’s not the size……

It’s the home

I had a conversation the other day about our living situation. It was said that most think we are weird and how can you live with your family?

Too many people

Too much family

Too many personalities

However, the person commented “I’ve wanted this family dynamic my whole life. I’ve wanted to feel wanted. I’ve wanted to have people to bounce off life’s good, bad and ugly moments. I’ve wanted to raise my children with other generations.

It’s home

Yes, our home is big

Yes, mostly it’s fun but dang it, it’s also a lot of work

Yes, we get along 98% of the time

Yes, I usually offer our home for game nights, porch dates and other social activities because I’m the extrovert.

This weekend we are planning a party for a 4 year old. We have worked outside every evening until 9pm planning and preparing. It’s a super special day and while projects have to get done, we want those that celebrate with us to know how important they are.

It’s home

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Baby Boy 3.0

Contractions every day for weeks……

Nothing consistent but we wait and wait and wait. The ninth month seems endless.

Mommy continues to care for your brothers just like every other day.

She takes you all to mass every day.

We swim

We play

She’s an extra special Mommy to this BB.

BB is my grandmother name. When we were surprised with news of Jack in 2017, I traveled to a website that talked about baby sizes in fruit. Jack was 7 weeks old inside his mommy and was the size of a blueberry. I would continue to call him my little blueberry until he was born. While I didn’t want to be called blueberry as his name of endearment, BB was perfect.

This morning, April 27th around 6:15 AM, Justin peeked his head into our still dark bedroom and said labor is in full force.

Babies are still sleeping, midwives have been called and we get ready to add a new baby to our home.

Courtney requested pizza at 6:30

We could hear the bathtub filling up. It’s a 115 year old claw foot tub, probably not the best for birthing a baby.

While we know the new baby is a boy and his name will be Patrick-Josef Francis Wissinger, the excitement is still very real.

Jack was a 22 hour labor

Luke was a 5 hour labor

Patrick was a 3 hour labor and entered this house of love at 9:15AM weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces, 19 1/4” long with a head full of black hair, big cheeks and full lips just like his brothers.

Little man, you will never wonder if you are loved.

You will never long for kisses and hugs

You will always have someone to play with

We are so very thankful for women that have chosen midwifery as their profession. While it’s their job, it’s also a calling. It’s a calling of love and compassion as they guide and help women through the most difficult of times. Our midwives are our friends and we are most thankful for them.

Welcome to the world baby boy

We love you so much already 💙💙💙


BB 3.0

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Our front porch is getting a facelift.

It’s a very loved and used spot in our home. Sometimes it’s a quiet retreat to read or watch people walk by.

Weekly, women of all ages, races and specialities sit, have coffee and discuss many of conversations. #coffeehour

Jack joins us sometimes and is a fan favorite at coffee hour

Friday morning, I was priming some new boards that had been replaced on the porch floor. There’s more to fix cause old houses have old rot.

Paint can and brush in hand, looking a hot mess, a couple walked by our home and made a comment about how big our hone was and how we must paint ALOT.

Yes, it’s big

Yes, we had it painted last year and the conversation led to how we came to Ocala, how we live with so many people, the history of this old house and some interesting facts about the historic district we live in as well as traffic, new sights in our town and how downtown is such a fun place.

They are a newly retired couple moving to Florida from Minnesota. They were visiting different cities and were walking our historic district this afternoon.

“We just started walking down some of the streets and so many people are so friendly. We love it here.”

I replied “I know many who can’t handle the Florida heat and complain about so many things. Florida is my home and I’m staying put.”

Later that evening, we walked downtown for dinner with friends. The weather was beautiful, we sat outside (we had to move under roof because it started to rain), we enjoyed just a coupon hours of relaxation after a busy and sometimes stressful week.

I remembered my conversation with the nice couple from Minnesota and will continue to speak highly of our town.

Perfect? Absolutely not

Every town has his problems. The weather is usually warm and sometimes hot but this is my home and I love it here


The Florida girl

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Do you Romanticize?

Last week I watched the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

This week I have been listening to the book by Michelle OBama.

I’ve decided that I romanticize peoples lives.

Isn’t life perfect with your pretty little crown, servants to do all the things and endless amounts of cash? People to drive you around and tend to every need. Not a worry about bills to pay or what’s for dinner?

Who would think that being a Prince and Princess would include hurt and heartache?

Come on!

President and Michelle Obama slid right into the White House and life was good right? The book was not about politics and I will not speak of my political affiliation. It was the story of her life. Her childhood, the story of meeting her price charming and how they made it happen.

They put theirs lives into the open and even Prince and Princesses have it rough. They have people who talk behind their backs. They have hard stories to tell and while they are in the public image, I still seem to think they just don’t have a care in the world with all their fancy clothes, mansions and whatnot.

I know that this is not true…..I’m not clueless, but I do romanticize other peoples lives.

Both of these stories made me think. And while I hesitate to share details of my/our lives, my story is the only story I have to share.

While I sat on the porch this week with lady friends, we discussed our wonderful porch. Do people know that we worked every night and every weekend for a year to create this home? I’m not looking for a pat on the back or a atta girl/boy, but it didn’t come without sacrifice.

Do people know when they see a photo of Steve and I that at one point, our marriage was questionable? Not without hard work, forgiveness and GOD, did we survive.

This family……. is my heart and soul but what family doesn’t have disagreements and as children become adults and make their own decisions is there not conflict and tears. Differences and hurt hearts. Don’t think for a minute that multi-generational living doesn’t have its downsides. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Relationships outside your family take work. They don’t grow without time. They don’t grow without sacrifice. There are times when it will be hard and there are times when laughter is all that’s needed. My circle of friends is small but these two are my closest. I might not tell them enough or often how important they are, but I try to show them

While we romanticize others lives, especially the royals and the famous, today, when you are in contact with those close and not so close, remember everyone has a story and how they got there.

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The Itch to Switch

Why would you change something that was so pretty? I heard this a lot as I planned and prepared to change this wall.

I stenciled this wall a few years ago (2017) and while I loved it…….. I get the itch to switch. I crave change and most of the time, I spend little money on things so it doesn’t feel like a waste when I’m ready for a change.

You can see the post about the stenciled wall here:

I’m always thinking about the next thing

Not that I forget the amount of time it took to complete the wall. I vividly remember the fear as I stood on a very tall ladder, bending practically upside down to get the exact spot higher than my comfort level allowed.

I remember mixing up the paint color because I didn’t feel like buying more paint and I knew that a little of this color and a little more of this would provide the exact look I wanted.

When the change happens, I have to rely on my favorite guy to help me. He knows about measuring and figuring out how to make it happen. He helps me pick up the wood, measure exactly and decide if it’s glued and nailed or just nailed.

Yes……that is a thing

We made a plan and the day arrived to get started.

Big squares?

Little squares?

Medium squares?

So many decisions and then the angles….oh my word

And then I think it would look better with a tiny little trim piece on the inside of EVERY SINGLE SQUARE.

Yes I did

Then there is caulking

And priming

And finally finish paint x 4 coats.

And while it’s not a pretty blue stencil pattern

It’s classy, white and lovely

This is immediately inside the front door and if you saw the post about the Doors from France, the doors are immediate to the left. You can read about the doors here:

And while I might still get the itch to switch, the trim on this wall will remain but you never know what color it might be.

I’m already knee deep in the next project.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The girl with the swirly brain

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Life Under a Tarp

Does anyone else see life lessons in the most mundane of activities?

I was mopping the floors and as I mopped, little paint specks kept grabbing my attention. Why are there paint specks when I diligently use tarps on the floor to keep the paint specks from happening in the first place?

As I scraped, I thought to myself …… self, sometimes when we try to cover up and make everything just perfect, under the tarp of life there are resolved issues (paint specks) that need attention.

Dang Charma that’s deep.

Just mop the dumb floor.

Then I was thinking about this afternoon.

Steve and I attending a funeral today. The 31 year old daughter of one of Steve’s fire department brothers. They worked together for most of his 25 year career. Our kids played together. We did ballet hair together. We sat through endless dance recitals and many holiday dinners at the fire station.

As our children grew up, we moved and while we no longer were in the same circles, today we will go and honor them. We will celebrate her life and give hugs to our old friends (screw you COVID)

Who would ever think that under the tarp, we call life, we would have to say goodbye to our child. No one wants to ever go through that tragedy and while we celebrate Katie today, we will continue to pray for her family in the upcoming weeks.

While you might not be going through the death of a child, remember people are dealing with all kids of things under their tarps.

Be kind

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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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