Somewhere for the keys to call home

Do you have a counter top where everything lands?

Purses, keys, the mail, items to be returned to others?

I know you do. 

We all do and mine is in the kitchen. 

It’s the keys that drive me a little batty. They are everywhere and when you need them, they are lost under a dish towel or a big stack of mail. 

So I looked for a solution and you know that I can’t just screw a hook into the wall or something as easy as that. I needed a plan. 

The old house had plaster and lathe walls. The goal was to keep them but they were beyond repair  along with everything else in the old house. They would need to be replaced with drywall. 

Sounds easy? Nope.

Weeks and weeks of hammering down the plaster. Creating piles of gross dirty plaster which in turn has to be shoveled into buckets and wheelbarrows and taken to the dumpster. These weeks were some of the hardest of demolition. 

Under the plaster, there is lathe. Little strips of wood. Each little piece had to be pryed off  with a crowbar and then each little nail had to be removed or hammered in. 4400 square feet people. And 90% of it all was done by these people and me. 

Of course I saw potential in the lathe. It’s wood. Project after project bursts into my brain while watching the lathe be pulled off the walls. I want I keep it all!!!! Ok well there were 1000’s of pieces so I didn’t keep them all but I did keep a few hundred. 

I received a few eye rolls but whatev.

Back to the crap on the counters.

First project using lathe 

Cut to size

Screw together

Go to hobby lobby twice to buy hooks because I need/want/have to save 40% on absolutely everything not already on sale. 

Attach the hooks

Screw to the wall

Hang the dreaded keys and have cute wall decor all at the same time.

I love it when a plan comes together……..

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21 Days of Life

The last 21 days have been a blur.

You know how it is? 

You plan and prepare. You think you know exactly how it will go and when it actually comes, it’s like a hurricane. You have everything ready but everything that you have isn’t really what you need. There is never enough time in the day and you have way to many things on your To Do list. 

Today, Jack is 3 weeks old. 21 days already. 

A blur. 

The left picture is Day 1

Top right  is  2 weeks old. Right bottom is yesterday. 

Watching him change and grow is such a miracle. 

Steve asked “when will people get sick of pictures of Jack?” Probably yesterday…..but that’s ok. I will continue to diary so that we can remember the first weeks of his life 

We can remember the evenings when we have dinner now as a family of 7. 

We can remember when Justin’s Grandmother Christine came to visit and had dinner with us. She loved on Jack and watched her grandson be a Daddy. 

We can remember when Uncle Kyle drove over from New Smyrna every other week because he loves Jack so much. We will remember the day Courtney, Kyle and Moshe sat on the couch and laughed. They made faces at Jack because he made them first. 

We will remember every night Sing-a-long with BB (BB is me!) and how he loves the song Wheels on the Bus and Old Jack Wissinger had a Farm. 

We will remember Jacks first Sunday he went to church. He is already loved by so many. He only made it through the music and the first 10 minutes of the message but he made it. 

I will remember watching my daughter be a Mommy. Watching her learn her baby and to watch her figure things out. I will remember being proud of her and how I watch her care so intimately for her son. How every new mommy is so sleep deprived and even when there is an opportunity to rest, she can’t stand to be apart from him. That’s love. 

I will remember Justin caring for his son.  Watching him change diapers and caring for his family the entire first week as his wife rests from a difficult delivery. I watch him as he becomes a Daddy. He works hard for his new family of 3. I can see worry on his face when he is unsure. I can see happiness when he is content. I might only be his mother-in-law, but he is my son. 

I will remember watching the people I love the most, love on this precious new life, we all want to hold him but lovingly we sit and watch when it’s not our turn.

Tomorrow I’ll return to house pictures and the carport Reno, painting and building new things. 

But today, without apology, I will post pictures and news about Jack. Happy 21 days old sweet baby. I could not love you more.



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What was once a work cabinet 

I originally posted about this flat file cabinet here. The E-One Treasure

This cabinet was ugly and rusty.

Ok. That’s not nice. 

I often feel ugly and after working too hard the day before, I feel a little rusty too.

She’s a beauty just waiting for a make-over.


Here are my inspiration pictures.

We can do this!!!

All the pieces were disassembled and pulled out into the yard. Hardware was removed and prepared to paint.

My spider fearing friends need to look away NOW.

This baby was hiding in the cabinet. Goodness knows how long it’s been growing in there cause he was HUGE!!!!


You would think sanding metal wouldn’t be so gross.

It was gross.


Each drawer had to be prepared and painted separately. There were 5 drawers and the shell. Carport renovation has things a little higely pigely so finding a place to work can be challenging. 



The hardware was in great shape so I just gave it a spray paint face lift.

Only one thing was a challenge.

A missing wheel.

A wheel that the drawer slides in on.

Here is where ingenuity and imagination comes in.

Dad? I need a wheel for the file cabinet. One is missing and I have no idea where it is. 

He says “well I saw it but I have no idea where it is.” 

Enter an old table leg and a saw. 

I feel a little like Fred Flintstone.

Here she is all painted and put together. 

I want to use this piece for an exact purpose so it needed a little height.

Enter Amazon Prime 

This beauty is now our coffee table. 

I want to style the top with a basket or tray to hold our tv remotes and what nots but I’m loving it! 

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The laundry room deserves love too

The old house has always been designed for the people who will live here next.

No we are not moving. 

However, when the time comes for Steve and I to live in the old house alone, I’m not sure what two people are going to do with 4400 square feet. 

Our laundry room is big.

It has lots of storage and shelves and the next family that lives here will love it.

I have this thing about everything having a place. A place to call its own. Even the iron. 

Here is my inspiration picture:

I must have the items I need to make this. Right?

To the hoard I go. 

I find some white shelving 

I find some brackets 

I did have to buy some hooks 

But they were brown so I had to paint them.

Screw this piece to that piece. 

Add the hooks.

Order a super cute ironing board cover because now it’s wall art.

It is finished.

Now if I can get the shelves painted and styled, this laundry room will be in the books.

With a new baby, it’s already one of the most popular rooms in the house. 

Happy Memorial Day friends. As you enjoy your day, don’t forget the remember those who have sacrificed their lives for us. Those who have protected and served our country. 

Hug the ones you love a little tighter today. 

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For Others

A few years ago, before the old house was even a thought, I started a little business. I would travel the town on any given Friday and/or Saturday morning and find treasures. So called treasures to most would be junk and most would say “throw that trash away” but I have been gifted to see the future of trash. What does that make me? 

The trash whisperer? 

It’s not below me to travel roads on garbage day just to make sure no one is throwing away a treasure. I’m currently working on a table I pulled from such an excursion. 

Friends sometimes ask me for help with their treasures. I feel honored that they trust me enough to take their piece and sometimes, without guidance, give it a face lift. 

Recently I have had two different friends allow me to get my hands on their treasures. 

The most recent beauty belongs to my previous neighbor. 

We were visiting their home one evening and I spotted this treasure in their garage. “I love this? What is it and where did you get it?”

She replied, “It was hand built by a church member to hold hymnals. It’s really really old. It needs to be restored and I’ve been looking for someone to do it for me.”

Well I just happened to know someone that does that.

She knew I restored old pieces but didn’t think I would be interested with the house reno and the new baby. 

“As long as you are not in a hurry, I would love to do it!”

So it came home in the truck with us. I think that was March………..

Every few weeks, I would drag it out into the yard and work on it. 

Honestly? I thought it was going to be a easy job.

Sand it down.


Put it back together,

Bada Bing. Done 

Here’s before after I had already removed the doors. 

Sanding didn’t work. 

When you sand very old stain, it turns into glue. Very sticky glue that gums up your sandpaper. 

The job just got much bigger.

All the old stain had to be removed. 

That means stripper and a scraper.

Ya’ll I hate stripping off old stain.

It’s dirty and slimy. 

I stopped counting after I stripped off 3 coats. 

But look at her now!

Yesterday she went from living in the garage with the spiders to her owners looking for her a place in the house. 

She had me at the old hardware.

I am grateful for the talents I have received. 

I am grateful for the people who entrust me with their treasures. 

Now it’s Sunday and not much work will be done today. However look out world cause Monday is coming. 

Now this girl is getting ready to get up and get ready for church. If you don’t have a church, come to Church of Hope. I’ll save you a seat! 

But first…….coffee.

Have a blessed day friends. 

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A Brand New Memory

If I say “Granola” you know what that means right?

All Natural.

All Organic.

No Preservatives.

You get it?

Courtney Dawn Kern Wissinger = Granola


It’s not a derogatory term. It’s not meant to be degrading. It’s just fact.

She’s proud of her ways and does not waver.

As she traveled through her early adult years, she was quite the gypsy.  She didn’t have a set plan and she wandered through the country and parts of the world. She liked living the way she did and when she returned home in May 2015 she decided she would settle down.

She met Justin and they were married in August 2016 at the old house. It was a great memory for the old house and then came baby news.

Typical conversations would be talked about.

Is it a boy or a girl?

What theme should we decorate the nursery?

What OB will be delivering the baby?

Courtney – “I would really like to have a home birth.”

I thought silently “Of course you would. Probably outside, sitting under a tree, singing kumbaya while waving burning sage”

Home births are for hippie’s right? Those granola folk that are hairy in places that I don’t want to talk about and smell a little. No way. NO WAY. My grandchild will be born in the sterile hospital, under supervised medical care where all the bells and whistles will go off at any given moment alerting the many people just waiting to tend to my child and my soon to be grandchild.

Courtney and Justin meet with a midwife. Crap. I am losing this battle.

Oh Thank GOD! Insurance will not pay for a home birth with the birthing center they visited. Hospital here were come!

So the grandmother I am, I asked everyone I knew to refer OB’s and of course I passed on the information pronto.

The first OB was chosen. The first visit was completed. Notice I said first.

The second OB was chosen. A few visits were completed. Notice I didn’t say finished.

A conversation was started at dinner one evening very far into Courtney’s pregnancy.

Here’s how it goes.

“I have found a birthing center that will accept our insurance and we want to have the baby here, at the old house. Is that ok?”

We might have looked like this.


or this


But we said Yes.  Scared to death……..but Yes.

The first appointment with the midwife is scheduled. I’m going! I am NOT going to like this woman and no one can make me. She is going to have to answer all my questions and she better get them all right. I’m going to sit in my chair with my legs crossed with that serious expression on my face that she’s going to know I mean business.

Who am I kidding? I really wanted to hug her and ask if she really knew what she was doing because MY BABY IS HAVING A BABY and I don’t have a clue about home births.

She did know what she was talking about and I immediately felt at ease.  You know that moment when things just click and you feel at peace? Yep, that’s what I felt.

The second appointment was scheduled and it would be a home visit. Uh Oh. She would be meeting my parents….and Steve. The super skeptical one. If you think I am over protective of my kids, I’m a super slacker next to Steve.

We all survived the home visit and now it was just wait. Wait for labor to come. Wait for women who were practically strangers to come into our home, spend hours and hours taking care of our daughter and delivering our grandson.

That doesn’t sound weird at all………….yes it does. But we are doing it anyways.

Labor Day comes.

3 women come into our home.

They cared for our child as if they loved her. They were kind and sincere. They were professional and wonderful. We spent almost 24 hours together and we are now family whether they like it or not. Dialis, Karin and Heather from the Loving Arms Birth and Wellness Center will forever be remembered and appreciated as they brought the newest member of our family into the fold. The most precious gift of life.


I am a convert.

I am an advocate of home births.

I lived it. I saw it. I believe it.

The old house is 114 years old. I think back to its younger years and how it has probably welcomed many births.

Now it has welcomed Jack.


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Starting a new normal 

Becky and I attended a funeral last week.

The funeral was for the Father of our sweet friend Debbie and the Grandfather of our friends Robby and Becky. 

We had never met Mr. McLaughlin.  You don’t go to funerals for the person who has left this Earth. You go to the funeral for those left behind. 

When Debbie came down the aisle and locked eyes with us, her eyes filled with tears, we knew that coming to the funeral was the right thing to do. She never expected us to be there. We didn’t know 95% of her family. 

Mr. McLaughlin was “not leaving home but coming home” as spoken by the priest at Our Lady of the Springs Catholic Church. His journey home ended as he entered Heaven. He met Jesus. 

The years that he spent debilitated with Alzheimer’s were no more. He was whole. 

As the family now has to figure out living this new way of normal I will pray. Will you pray with me? 

My friend Robby faces his own set of challenges and as he spoke the Eulogy as his Grandpas funeral, he spoke of his family verse. Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

It’s not easy to not be afraid. The world we live in is sometimes a scary place. 

This week I will read Deuteronomy 31:6 often. It’s a promise to us. 

I will also be listening to some good old Irish tunes. Maybe some “Danny Boy” or a little “When Irish eyes are smiling” because Mr McLaughlin loved those songs and evidently he was a singer and would bust out singing every once in a while. 

To Debbie, Robby and Becky,

Your life here on earth will never be the same without Dad and Grandpa, that’s a fact. The good news is, he’s dancing to an old Irish gig, hanging with Jesus and shooting the breeze with those who went before him. And? He’s just waiting on you to get there. 

I love you friends.


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