The Others

I lead a blessed life. There is no doubt about that. However this post is about the others.

Steve loves the rock band Boston. Always has. Always will. Boston tours every summer and if at all possible, he wants to go. Sometimes I go with him and sometimes he will take one of the kids or a friend.

This year, the tickets  were bought and we decided to make a weekend of it. 

We live in a house full of others. This allows us to go as needed. Whether it be for business or pleasure. The house is looked after and JR is cared for. This blessing of others makes it very easy to go. 

The concert was Thursday evening in St Augustine. Thursday night is small group night. My co-host graciously hosted and led small group. Having others in your life that you can count on makes all the difference. I do not like to miss small group but sometimes it’s necessary. The others in my group are not just acquaintances, they are my family. 

We arrived in St Augustine and checked into our hotel. There was not much time before we left for the venue so we walked next door to KFC for dinner. Standing at the counter after we ordered a woman walked in. I couldn’t help but hear her ask about the prices of a meal. She didn’t have enough money and it was obvious that she couldn’t just run to the bank and get some. I opened my wallet and laid out the amount she needed. No fuss. So grateful to have excess. Our food arrives and we sat down with our dinner.

We were almost finished when she arrived at our table and laid the change in front of me. She said with a smile “thank you, but they didn’t need everything you gave me.”  Then she bent down and hugged me.  The change I didn’t care about but the hug said thank you for seeing me

We made it to the venue. It was a beautiful night.  Our seats were 2 on the end of a row. Steve always wants to sit in the end. I don’t know why????? He’s only 6’6″. Maybe leg room. Maybe he hates blocking peoples views. No matter…..he sits on the end.

A gentlemen comes and sits next to me. He is alone. As usual, we start a coversation.

He lives  outside of Tallahassee. It took him 3 hours to get to the concert. He has seen Boston in concert 15 times. 

He is a Vietnam Vet. He served two tours in the war and was a Seabea. I nodded like I knew what a Seabea was and then went straight to Wickipedia. A Seabee is a member of the United States Navy construction battalions. Steve shook his hand and thanked. Him for his service. He spoke of his daughters and his love for his country. What a gift it was to sit next to him. We laughed and sang songs together all night. 

Today we get to sit and admire the beautiful ocean. No plans. 

Maybe read a little

Maybe take a walk 

A nap?

Dinner and an early night in. 

Maybe sounds boring to some but to me, it’s perfect. Maybe we will meet some others today too.

Be blessed friends. 

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Listening to the chickens

When I’m working on a project. It’s usually pretty quiet. 

Time to think

Time to dream

Time to pray

Time to listen to the parrot that lives next door named Synbad. He calls the dog and yells hello frequently 

Time to sing.  Thank you Jason for “turn it up” Sunday. It has been on repeat ever since. 

Sometimes it’s time to reflect on recent coversations. Like one I had this past weekend. It was a difficult conversation. My friend is toubled and I can do absolutely nothing about it but to listen, be a good  friend and pray. 

Today I prayed while working on this beauty. It is my first commissioned piece since we moved to the old house. My previous neighbor contacted me about this unique piece that used to hold hymnals in a church. A church member had built it and it was in great shape but the finish was looking pretty bad and it was in need of a facelift. You know my weakness for a piece with a story and I wanted super bad to paint this beauty but the owner wanted it to remain stained so her wish I granted.

My least favorite thing is to strip off old stain. It’s dirty and slimy. The “new and improved” strippers that say it won’t burn your skin are worthless. If it doesn’t burn, it doesn’t work. So it’s brush it on, spatter it on your skin, complain a little, scrape off the goo. 

Wash – Rinse – Repeat.

As I scrape and guide the goo into a container. An old song pops into my head. It still uses Thee and Thine for goodness sake but look at the words. 

It’s a prayer to my friend 

It’s a prayer for me.

 As I take the old stain off, sometimes it’s stinky and gooey just like something’s in life. But then I am the potter and put things back together just like the Heavenly Father can put us back together. I’ll wait, yielded and still. 

If you don’t know the song, it might not even appeal to your taste in music but when something enters my brain, it’s not a coincidence. It’s for a purpose.

Let it sink in today. 

I’m just going to be sitting in the yard, working in my project  listening to the chickens next door. Yes I live in the city.

Have a blessed day.

Have Thine own way, Lord!          Have Thine own way.                     Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will,                                                    While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord!          Have Thine own way!                             Search me and try me, Master, today!                                               Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,                                                As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord!         Have Thine own way!          Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!                                                    Power, all power, surely is Thine!        Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord!        Have Thine own way!                     Hold o’er my being absolute sway!        Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me.

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A Birth Story

Today we celebrate Courtney and Baby Jack.

I am privileged to host a baby shower celebration with some of my closest friends and family.  We gather together. Eat great food and at Courtney’s request, share our birth stories.

What better way to share mine, but at my daughter and grandson’s celebration.

Steve and I were married February 9th, 1985. Birth control was not my friend and we soon found out that a baby girl would be joining our family in March 1986.

My pregnancy was relatively easy.

A baby shower was planned for January 1986.

It was to be held at our church with family and friends in attendance.

I picked out my dress with the ugliest bow at the neckline I could find. That was the style. Yuck.

We had cake and punch and gathered into a circle to open gifts.

So many wonderful gifts to celebrate our baby girl.

I stand to thank everyone and there were gasps.

My dress on the back where I was sitting was wet. Uh oh. My water broke. It was 9 weeks until my due date.

Steve was called.

We left for the hospital.

I was in labor.

It was too early. Way too early.

IV’s were placed. Monitors were positioned. Sonograms were completed.  The sonogram showed that Baby girl was perfect but only weighed 2ish pounds and it was too early for her to be born. The sonogram also showed that there had been two bags of water surrounding her which is the reason for the fluid and the reason for labor beginning.

We knew the head of Security at the hospital. He was a church friend and informed us that the helicopter was ready and waiting to take us to All Children’s Hospital if labor could not be stopped. They are better equipped to handle preemies.

The IV fluids dripping into my body were working hard to stop my labor.  All night long, blood pressure cuffs would inflate and deflate, temperatures were taken and monitors would beep. I lay waiting to hear the news if our baby was going to be born. I was 21 years old and very scared.

The second day arrived and the labor was slowly stopping. We were not out of the woods yet but it was looking promising.

The third day was even better and they would remove the IV and try oral medication to see if the labor would still stay away.

The fourth day I was discharged with very strict instructions of bed rest. The only reason to touch the floor would be to use the restroom and take 1 shower a day. No exceptions.

Steve had begun his Firefighting career in June 1985 and we had purchased our first home in November 1985. There was 0 vacation time and not a lot of money so we moved back home to Mom and Dad’s so that Dad could take care of me. Under no exception was I allowed to be alone.

Dad would work in the backyard in his garage and I would lay on the couch. All day. Every day for 8 weeks. The medication I had to take was nasty stuff. It would make my heart race and made me feel overall like garbage. I remember when Mom would come homr from work and take my pulse to make sure everything was ok.

The day came I was allowed to get up. Yeah!!!

Steve and I are at the home improvement store. Of course we are. Some things never change.

Way back in the day, if you needed to pay with a check, you had to go to Customer Service and get your check approved before using.

We had our items and I waited in line to purchase while Steve was at Customer Service getting our check approved.

I look to him.

He looks to me.

I mouthed,  “We have to go.”

We left our items and headed to the car. My water had broke while I was in line. I’m sure there was a puddle but I didn’t wait around to find out.

Hospital here we come.

Courtney Dawn Kern arrived March 2nd, 1986 at 5:50AM. She was 6 pounds and 6 1/2 oz.

She was perfect.

31 years later, today we celebrate the upcoming birth of Jack William Wissinger. My baby is having a baby.

What a glorious day it is.





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Fannie’s dresser

I’m a sucker for a story. A project that has little piece of history. 

This project is a doozy and I didn’t even know it.

I have a friend named Gail. 

Gail and I bartered personal trainer time for piano lessons and each week I would go to Gail’s home.

I would park in the driveway and walk through her garage. To the left sat an old dresser.  It had garage items stored on top of it but I could still see it. You can’t hide from me you beautiful piece of old furniture. I can spot you from a mile away.

Each and every week, I would say “anytime you want to part with that dresser, let me know how much you want for it.”  I might have begged a little.  

One day, Gail called and said they were moving and did I want the old dresser? Yes please. 

All this happened while the old house was in renovation . Probably not the best timing but timing flies out the window sometimes. 

The dresser came to live with me. It has to live in the hoard but one day it would have its rightful place in the old house. 

This week as I prepared for the  baby shower, I headed to the carport for something. I noticed the dresser in all it’s glory, waiting patiently  for me to decide her fate. Will I be painted or stained? Where will you place me so that others can stare at my beauty? 

I said to myself “no time this week Charma!” But myself didn’t listen and instantly had a plan for the old girl. 

You see her laminate wood drawer fronts were not in the best shape so stain would not work. However the solid wood top was in excellent condition with only a few water stains to deal with. 

So I stripped the top and let the old girl show off her beautiful wood.

I repaired a few of the loose pieces on the drawer fronts. The cans are holding down the pieces so they will dry.

And I took a little of this paint  and mixed it with a little of that paint. Last minute painting calls for mixology cause I really didn’t have time for Lowes. 

It was perfect.

She showed off at the baby shower too. 

I sent a picture to Gail and asked her who the  dresser belonged to and this is Gails response:

Her name was Fannie Harris and she was my grandmother. 

When she was born, her family didn’t name her. They called her the baby. So she named herself when she was 7 or 8. She grew up in the coal town of Coshocton, Ohio. Her father built the first RR to move coal out of the mines. My grandmother attended Ohio Wesleyan College and studied music. She played the piano and sang in the Church choir until she couldn’t walk up the stairs at about age 93. She lived an active life until she broke her hip and died at 99 and one half. My Aunt changed her head stone to make her 100. 

I am waiting on Fannie’s date of birth and date of death because I am going to place this story and her dates inside the dresser so that the next person privileged to own this beautiful piece of history will know exactly how special it is.

Have a beautiful week my friends.

Remember everyone has a story. Share it with people. 

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Almost done….almost 

Naked girls room has become a very popular room in our home. 

We had its first official guest last weekend and received highest of praise. The bed was a little hard but a mattress topper has already been purchased and installed.

The last update to naked girls room was the AMAZING floor. I’m still in love with the floor but now the whole room has really come together.

I’m going to take you on a little tour.

This door leads to the parents home. Take a hard left to enter. 

And there you have the super secret stairs to naked girls room.

Almost done #1: the stairs need one more coat of stain and three coats of polyurethane.

As you reach the top of the stairs, there is a railing and banister. Naked girls room is really a loft. 

As you enter, you will see the beautiful wall unit my super talented husband built. 

I shopped the house as I styled the shelves. There are still a few holes to fill but overall, finished.

Look to the left and you see the built in platform bed using funeral home kneeling benches as the head and sideboard.

Loving the most recent black sconces installed for reading. 

Almost done #2: the drawers fronts under the platform bed need to be built, installed and painted 

Have you ever had to make a built in bed? Sweet Baby Jesus, it’s like standing on your head upside down. 

This cute armoire used to be in the kitchen/breakfast nook at our old house and now it’s a closet!

The floor…….nothing more to say.

Almost done #3: the cute bathroom.  I’ll show you soon.


The girl throwing a grand baby shower this weekend 💜

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So much to be thankful for 

Just the other day, Steve said “you’ve been sleeping great, I have not seen a middle of the night post in a long time.” Well here you go! It’s 2:34 am and I lay here.

So much to be thankful for.

April 1st, Mom and Dads anniversary. Yep. Eloped on April Fools Day, 63 years ago. Ask them the story, it’s a doozy.  How do we celebrate 63 years? The newlyweds painted stairs and sewed curtains all day and the family went to Sonny’s for dinner. 

It might not seem like a big way to celebrate to many but Dad being able to be active, when the day before he wasn’t so lucky, was a celebration all by itself. 

So much to be thankful  for.

We installed new hardwood floors in the upstairs hall. It was a long long day and by the end of the day I had walked the stairs 34 times. We went to dinner and we were in bed by 8:00 and I was dozing by 9:00. I’ve already slept 6 1/2 hours which could be a reason for my awakeness. 

We have been busting our rears the last month trying to get the upstairs more liveable cause you know why? Jack is coming. He is coming soon.  Courtney is 35 weeks today. You can imagine, it’s the topic of conversation a lot. So much to be thankful for.

I have been retired for one month. Retired? Why am I so tired? I might not get paid any more but wow do I work. In one month I have competed so much at the house, I have spent hours with my family that I wouldn’t had had otherwise. I have enjoyed every second. 

So much to be thankful for. 

There’s not enough time to write about everything I’m thankful for, especially since I need to try and go back to sleep. It’s Sunday! It’s a big day and it’s really full of wonderful things. 

I’m so thankful for my guy. He sleeps and I’m grateful because he’s usually the one awake. 

I’m thankful for my family. I just want them around all the time. I miss them when they are gone. Kyle? Are you listening?

I’m thankful for my friends. My tribe. They get me. 

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Sweet dream friends. I gotta get up soon. 

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What was I thinking 

Many many months ago, there were parsons chairs that someone discarded. They were not lovely but they were in excellent condition and I needed them. Need might be a strong word but none the less they just happened to make it into my car.

I dreamt of crisp white chairs with beautiful nail trim adorning the back. 

Mom said “I can recover those chairs.” 

Of course she can…..she can do anything she sets her mind to. 

I head to the cloth store, handy dandy coupon in hand and with no particular fabric in mind-except white.  I came home with a beautiful white denim and packages of nail trim. 

Weeks later, the chairs are complete. 

They sit for months and months and yes more months waiting for the old house renovation to be complete. 

Complete? Hahahahahahahahaaaaa. Not hardly but we do have a useable dining room. 

My chair. She’s so pretty. Ignore my sewing manucia hanging out on the dining table.

Oh and I have curtains!!!! 


Months go by.

We enjoy many meals at this table, sitting on the very comfortable white chairs with the beautiful nail trim that I’ve only had to clean the chairs 2 times. 

Fast forward to last night. 

Justin comes home from band practice and has a super cute baby high chair that attaches to a table.

We are all excited about the very useful and thoughtful gift.

We hook it to the table.

Figure out how to lock him in. Cause you know it’s been a long time since there’s been a baby in the house.

All of a sudden I look to the left and to the right of his little seat…….to my white chairs.

Me: maybe I should have re-thought the white chairs?

Justin: I can’t wait to see what happens when he has spaghetti 

Me: oh boy 

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