Sentimental or not.

I am not over sentimental.

I have at times been called Scrooge. I don’t love the process of Christmas. I tend to be grumpy when it’s time to put up the tree. For a couple of reasons.

  1. In a few weeks, it will have to come down and all be put away.
  2. My family, are a lot like me and are not fans of the process. However I will plow forward and get it done, because in the end, I like to look at the beautiful tree in all of it’s lighted beauty. My family however, does not. I think years would go by and none would suggest putting the tree up or decorating. It’s not their thing. Sometimes I am ok with it, and sometimes not so much.

This year, it was no different. If I ask for help, it will be done, however no one is jumping around getting excited about the Christmas decorating process.

I am already anticipating next year. Baby blueberry will be 8 months old. No, he/she will not be old enough to help but I am already anticipating smiles and giggles as Grammy decorates the tree.

This year as I grumbled to myself as I started to decorate the tree alone, as usual, the boxes of ornaments are laid in front of me. I start to pull them out and floods of memories fill the room. Tears, yes of course.

There are ornaments that my Mom made with love each year. This is one that she made  the first year Steve and I celebrated our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.


When the kids were growing up, it was a tradition for them/me to receive a yearly ornament documenting their year with a picture. Mom would make one for each child and of course there were church/Sunday school ornaments. Look at my babies.


Steve’s sister used to buy an ornament every year for each family. She loved Disney and one year she found out that I really liked Elvis.


We have numerous fire fighter inspired ornaments.


This one really threw me over the edge. This was bought by my Mammaw when she visited Florida one year. The memories of loved ones no longer walking the earth is such a gift. Mammaw sits with Jesus every day. I have no doubt.


There are homemade ornaments made with love gathered through out the years.


This one…………reminds me that I am loved enough to be sacrificed for.


I will finish the tree tonight. It will be beautiful in my eyes and hopefully those in my family.

Each year I want to be excited to decorate for Christmas. However it just doesn’t happen.

I do however love to remember the sweet sweet memories of the ornaments that go on my tree every year and next year when my sweet blueberry is here, maybe……just maybe there will be some extra excitement through the big old house.

Merry Christmas and good luck getting your decorations done.


The not Scrooge.


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The story of Elmo

My Mom is a seamstress. She will never admit it so don’t ask but the girl can sew.
She sewed clothes for me as a child. My kids were no doubt adorable but on holidays when Nana decided they needed new clothes, she whipped up some of the best outfits. Nothing from the stores were good enough for my kids. Nana originals. I’m hoping when blueberry comes, maybe he/she might have the pleasure of wearing a Nana original. Oh, btw, blueberry is the size of a turnip now but I don’t really want to call he/she turnip. Not cute. Not cute at all.

Once upon a time, in 1981 my mom made me a robe. Not just any robe, but a red robe. It was fuzzy and had pockets and a hood. At 17 years old, there is zero appreciation for a robe.

Many years later, a friend of Courtney’s named my robe Elmo. Fuzzy…yes. Red….yes. Elmo it is.

Every winter, people that know me, love me and live with me, know that Elmo will make an appearance. Elmo is warm and comforting. I have no idea what kind of fabric Elmo is made of but 35 years later, my favorite piece of clothing is still going strong. Elmo has no rips or tears, the red is still vibrant and Elmo is my extra blanket when the temperature drops below about 75 degrees.

For your enjoyment, I give you……………Elmo


It has been below 75 degrees this winter and Elmo has already been washed and worn. Elmo will do his job in our treacherous Florida winter and then will be hung back up in the closet until next year. Don’t be jealous. Not everyone can have an Elmo and a super hunky husband.


the girl that needs her fireplace, shown in the picture repaired. Help me find a brick mason that can help my 113 year old FP.


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I reminded myself to be thankful

The last few weeks have been challenging.

I have been sick. First an infection, then a stupid cold. Yes, colds are stupid.

Mom has been injured for the last month, at least, maybe longer. She had a nasty fall and has not been able to recover. The last 2 weeks have been horrendous for her. It is hard to watch someone suffer and not know how to fix it. Mom is tough as nails and you know if she is down, there is a problem.

Last week, at the same time Mom is completely incapacitated, Dad gets sick. He can’t eat. He can’t drink. Both parents…..down.

Steve is so busy this time of year ( I hate the word busy but it fits) Government entities-new budgets-spending money-yes busy. I try to have zero expectations. Sometimes my “try” is successful and sometimes it’s not.

Dad needed to go to the Cancer doctor this week. Mom can’t drive. I’m in charge. We walk in, Dad is so very sick and I want them to see how sick he is. Maybe someone will do  something. Anything. The nurse comes in, they take his vitals. His 0xygen level is so low, it doesn’t read. Go to the hospital. Don’t stop at the desk. Just go.

Long story short, he’s ok. It’s not cancer related thank goodness but wow……what a week. I’m super drugged up with cold medicine trying to survive while taking care of Dad at the hospital and Mom at home. We survived and even prepared a Thanksgiving meal. The kids are here and my heart is full.

This morning I did not wake up thankful. I woke up weapy and grumpy trying to figure out how to get everything done on this Thanksgiving day. I got over it. I remembered to be thankful.

There are more things to be thankful for than I can begin to list. I don’t need to list them, I just need to remember them. Life is sometimes hard and that won’t change. There will be difficulties and hurt. Tears and probably times that a scream might need to happen. However I will remember that my God is in control. He holds me tightly in the palm of His hand. He knows every hair on my badly needed colored hair. He loves me even when I act ugly. This will never change.

I have amazing friends who will stand in the gap for me. They will hold my arms up even when they know I won’t ask. They will sit and visit with my family like they are their own.  will spend hours with me in the hospital when I know I wasn’t the best friend.

It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving day to be thankful. Sometimes I will forget to be thankful but today, I remembered.

The girl who is thankful for you. Have a blessed day.


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Once upon a time……

Once upon a time there was an ugly brown cabinet.

An ugly brown cabinet that lived in my co-workers office.

This ugly brown cabinet had potential. It has potential to not be ugly anymore. It had potential to not be covered with ugly brown laminate. It had hidden beauty. Beauty much deeper than it’s filing cabinet status.

The ugly brown cabinet’s owner didn’t know that the cabinet had a fan club. Me🙂

I would enter his office and admire the ugly cabinet.


The owner of UBC was leaving. The UBC moved to my office. Hee Hee Hee. The UBC weighed 900 pounds and I am not joking. I would continue to use the UBC until it was time for our offices to move. There was no room for the ugly brown cabinet. It was either take the UBC home with me or it would…..oh my gosh….be sold or donated. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! STEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not share the details of my new furniture piece. It’s easier to deal with immediate unhappiness than to stew on it waiting for pickup day.  The truck is parked in front of the office. We walk into my office. This is the piece? Yes I say. Ok let’s see how to get this out of here. REALLY CHARMA????? This thing weighs a ton!!!!!! yes……I know……..however I can already see what it’s going to look like in my head. The eyes roll. He loves me.

UBC has lived in my hoard for almost 2 years. Now the hoard has moved and been stored a few times so the UBC has been yelled at and not been loved. I owe people that have helped us move so much, it’s not even funny.

FINALLY the day arrives that the UBC is getting the makeover it properly deserves.

You would think I would have taken a picture of the poor UBC before makeover day, by not me. I think of it after all the hardware has been removed and she’s laying all naked and afraid.


I knew exactly from day 1 of seeing UBC what I wanted it to look. There are 4 large drawers and 4 small drawers. However I wanted it took like there were 12 drawers all the same size. I knew that UBC could not be UBC anymore. My sweet farmhouse cannot have an UBC in it’s decor.

I give to you……………


Pretty White Cabinet.

My guys (Steve and Dad) usually look at me like I have 3 heads when I start spouting my ideas but they are good sports and pretty much do what I want. This time, my idea didn’t disappoint.

PWC now resides in the mudroom and will be filled with who knows what. I still admire her beauty.


the girl that should be trusted when she sees ugly furniture

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I kind of got a stamp in my passport


I didn’t even have a passport until I was almost 50.

Steve and I traveled to New Zealand and Fiji in 2015 as we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I wanted to get my passport stamped! I think I may have watched the movie “While you were sleeping” a few too many times. Sandra Bullock dreamt of her Europe stamped passport. However now-a-days you don’t get a stamp, they scan it and move on. What a rip off.

Steve needed to take a business trip to Buffalo NY to inspect a stainless steel truck on order. I very rarely travel with him on business but this trip was perfect timing for a weekend get-a-way. We flew direct fly Orlando to Buffalo, picked up our rental car, drove to the hotel and settled in for the night.

The next morning was a work day, for Steve that is. I was perfectly content to kiss him goodbye, run to the coffee bar and settle back into bed with my coffee, a bagel and a morning full of HGTV.

Niagara Falls was on the itinerary. Friends had said to travel to the Canadian side for better view of the falls. Passport in hand, we drive the 30 minutes to the bridge crossing over into Canada


The bridge was called the rainbow bridge and it was blue.


Once we made it into Canada, the falls were our first stop.

How many people does it take to figure out the parking meter? I’m not telling


It’s  a leisurely stroll on a crisp beautiful sunny day through a couple of tunnels until you reach the falls. Incredible, majestic, stunning are a few words of description.


After walking for a while, we received a recommendation to drive to Niagara on the Lake. The title had me.

What was not expected was a glorious picturesque drive through wine country. Fields and fields full of grape vines that surround some of the most beautiful homes E.V.E.R.



We might have driven up one of the driveways just a little.


It being October and the trees being in full bloom didn’t hurt either.

Walking through the quaint little town of Niagara on the Lake was perfect. Old historic homes (cause you know that’s my thing) on every corner.


Of course, I had to pretend to be Mary Tyler Moore. Steve might have rolled his eyes.

img_1989Our second day was cold and gloomy. Not much fun to be outside in. So the next best thing is to have a little retail therapy. Renovating for a whole year does not leave much time for clothes shopping. We were too busy spending every dime at Lowes or Home Depot. I am not a huge fan of the mall so after walking around for a while, we decided a movie was what we wanted to do. This movie theater was AWeSoME. Reclining seats baby. Tom Cruise and Cherry Coke filled our afternoon.


The weather on our last day was not great but we made the best of it anyways. We decided to go back to the Falls on the US side and see if we can find the trails we missed the first day. The US side did not disappoint.


We had a great time on a weekend away. I am already thinking about the next time I might get a stamp in my passport.


the girl that loves to be home in the old house.

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The E-One Treasure

My friend Renee and I are hoard buddies. From the first day we met, we have loved the same stuff. Old, ratty, no one else wants, you get the drift. We share the love. I’ll see something in her hoard and I’ll trade with her something from mine.

Not too long ago, Renee and her family moved to a new house. Even before the house was purchased, I went over with Renee to check it out. Not only does she have a really cool house, she has an even cooler barn. As we toured the barn, off in a dark room, in a dark corner I spotted a treasure. It’s like I’m a cat that can see treasures even in the dark.

Months later, Renee is visiting (my hoard) and we were making a trade.
Me: “Hey do have a place for this bathroom vanity? I bought a dresser at a yard sale, a sink from craigslist, Steve cut a hole in the top and now we have no where to put it.”

Renee: “Oooooh I love it. Let me measure and see if it will fit. Oh never mind, I want it anyways. Do you want that metal cabinet thing in my barn?”

Me: Um…….”YES! I will see when Steve can hook up the trailer and bring the vanity to you. We can get the metal cabinet at the same time.”

A couple months later, yes we are slow movers, we head over to Renee’s on a Saturday morning to drop off the vanity and pick up the cabinet. The vanity is an easy move. The cabinet….not so much.

Here it is in all of it’s rusty glory. Sorry the picture is sideways, but you get the idea. The best part of the story is next.


We get the dolly off the trailer cause this baby is heavy. Kind of ridiculously heavy. Per my husband everything I like is heavy. Sorry. Not sorry.

So the cabinet is sitting on a table kind of trapped in a small area, not quite big enough for two grown people and a furniture dolly. The only option is to pull it off the table, push it out of the small area it is currently housed in, and then push the dolly under it and haul it out to the trailer. We might look a little 2 Stooge like but we got it moved off the table, with only a slight crash. However when it slid off the table, some of the drawer opened. Upon first inspection, there was nothing in the drawers, however when it landed on the floor, paper spewed out. Not just any papers but E-One Firetruck Drawings.


Now for those of you who do not know, Steve sells Firetrucks for the Florida E-One Dealership. E-One is the reason we moved to Ocala 6 years ago. I might have squealed a little thinking I might have found a vintage treasure of old firetruck drawings. I already had them framed and hanging on the wall. Not so much. 1995 is still really cool, but not vintage enough for me cool.

The days that followed, Steve spoke to some of his co-workers and people he knows who work at the E-One plant. They remembered my old cabinet. I can’t make this stuff up. I loved that old rusty cabinet even before I knew it’s history. But now…I love it more.

I’m unsure of the future for the heavy, love the drawers ,metal cabinet. But what I do know, is it will have a home in the old house. Painted of course.


the girl going on a get-a-way with her guy this weekend.


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and baby makes 7

When we decided to buy the old house, Steve and I would live in the front house and Mom and Dad would live in the back apartment that is attached.

Courtney and Justin’s relationship was a whirlwind and within months of meeting, we were already planning a wedding. During times of planning, we talked of the future. Where will you live? Discussions flourished as we discussed them living with us at the old house while they decided where they wanted to plant roots. Some parents would cringe at the thoughts of adult children living with them. Us….not so much. I love having as many under the same roof as wants to be there. I know it’s not permanent and that’s ok. I want my birds to fly and have their own nests.

Fast forward a couple of months and you guessed it! We are going to be Grandparents and Great Grandparents. 4 generations living in the big house. To say excited would be a great big fat understatement. I am already in love with the littlest one. I sweetly refer to the babe as blueberry. Why blueberry? When Courtney and Justin shared of the babe, they said it was the size of a blueberry. It is no longer that size but lovingly, he/she will be my blueberry.


I have heard my friends and others say that there is nothing like being a grandparent. I am ready to try it out. Parenting was a great joy and the best gift I ever received so I am assuming grandparenthood is going to blow me out of the water. I have had people say to me that I will make a great grandmother. I won’t prove you wrong.

As I was given permission to blab on the blog today, I do not believe it was coincidental that I listened to a video on and it was titled “Why hasn’t God answered my prayers to have a baby yet?” Courtney and Justin are so incredibly blessed to have gotten pregnant so quickly. I always teased Courtney that she better get busy cause her eggs were getting tired. As I listened to the video, it became so apparently clear that so many are not as blessed as we are. There are struggles of infertility, miscarriages, the loss of a child and so many more.   Quietly crying as others are pregnant. Accepting baby shower invitations when they know how incredibly difficult it will be. Silently struggling as months and years go by when all they want is a child.

As we celebrate the news of our newest family member, I will pray for those wanting to hear the news that we were so blessed to hear. News of God’s greatest gift. The gift of life.

Steve wants to be called Grandpa. My Dad is Pappa and Mom is Nana. I’m still working on my name. I know I might not have a choice, blueberry might pick one for me and that’s ok.

I will apologize or not if I talk a lot about blueberry and what’s going on at the old house. I’m not sure I will be able to contain myself. COME ON!!!! I have a nursery to design.


the girl who is over the moon excited for baby blueberry to arrive. Only 191 plus or minus a few days to go.



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