Flea Market Flips

My new must watch TV is a show on HG TV called “Flea Market Flip”.

Two teams shop flea markets to find three items to fix up and flip (resell) for profit.  The team with the most net profit at the end wins $5000.  The flips are amazing!

I started to visit my local flea markets and thrift stores just to see what was possible for me as a beginner.

Today I am sharing my first find, and simple fix up!

A candle sconce, with simple lines, that is now a gold and beautiful addition to my home.

This is how it looked when I purchased it for 50 cents. Dust and dirt in every corner with slight scratches here and there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cleaned it up and simply spray painted with my favorite gold paint.

I added a battery operated candle to complete, adding some warmth to the item.

A bunch of options for this 50 cent find, hang it in a corner, place on my dining room table, or on my desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allowing myself to be a beginner I started small, but small flips first, building on each project.

I found this light fixture for sale on Overstock.com, maybe as I grow as a flipper I would have this vision for my candle sconce!

La Pedriza Antique Black Finish Glass Chandelier

Turn it upside down and add the lighting works!

Somewhere I read that for a happy life you need three things, someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to!

I have folks to love, and now finding and fixing up items is my new something to do and to look forward to!

Have a happy day!

Love Hurts

My oh my, it is so very hard for me to believe it is February 14th, 2017.

I somehow got lost in 2016, emotional issues and sudden emotional outbursts brought sad times to my life.

Unfortunate happenings to those I love also filled my mind and days.

So many missed memory making days gone and overwhelming disappointment took over.

Can we love too much?  Love so much that we hurt ourselves?  That’s me!

People, even those who you love so very much, disappoint and can unknowingly hurt.

Over the months, with lots of prayer and soul searching, I’m better, not sad most days, I’m OK.

I realized so many troubling things about myself… that not all folks love the same way no matter how many good things you have tried to do for them.

We are all different, I could not ever think about disappointing anyone I love, that would kill me, but maybe I did.  Maybe not being there for them during troubled years in my life, when it was all I could do to survive myself, hurt them!

Why do I desperately want to be included, doing anything I can for their acceptance. I see now that this comes from being isolated, not always able to get out, due to my husband’s disability.  He cannot travel and do things others can, he does his best and has never asked me not to go and enjoy myself.

Aware that my life is passing so quickly!  It can’t be stopped, realizing I have wasted so many days.

Too much time on my hands since I stopped working, not having that daily interaction with people is huge.

So thankful to God for loving me and giving me another day, month, and hopefully many more years to love.

We must all live our lives fully engaged and that’s what I am working on!

Enjoying my new found passion for finding thrift store items, giving them new life.  Exercising everyday, taking an online fun lettering course, reconnecting with old co-workers, all these help me stay busy.

I know that I am loved no matter how crazy I have been, and I am so thankful to have folks in my life to love.

Love to all today, and never forget to live your life fully engaged!

 

I have attached an old song (1960) recorded by the Everly Brothers years ago, ‘Love Hurts”

 

My Refreshing Time of the Year

At last, it is Spring!

Although the past week brought nights of freeze warnings and some snow, the calendar tells us it is Spring.

Crabapple TreeMy flowering crabapple tree is in bloom and temperatures are finally going to be warm in my area for the next week.

After my family’s emotionally hard winter we are all ready for a refresh!

No matter how long the winter,

spring is sure to follow.

—Proverb

When growing up my Momma always did her “spring cleaning”, going so far as to wash down walls!  We had so little, but she wanted to keep what we had, neat and clean.

Just like Momma, but not as extreme as washing walls, I try to give my home a spring refresh.  I give everything a good dusting, eliminate clutter that has piled up over the winter months, and cleaning a few windows, letting in the spring sunshine.

I want my home to be clean, simple, and uncluttered. Seriously, having clutter in a home is horrible. Never being able to find anything is so stressful, it weighs so heavy on your overall life.  If eliminating clutter is the only thing you have time for this spring, do it!

My spring decorating is no frills, just simple.

Found some white dishes in a thrift store and added to each side of my dining room hutch.

White Plates in the DiningSpent $3 on some dogwood sprigs at Hobby Lobby for the table, and added some sweet yellow birds here and there.

Dogwod in the DiningYellow BirdsSpring is also a good time to refresh other areas of our lives, our emotions, our hearts.

I have spent some quiet time focusing on my life, my faith, forgiveness, letting go, the important things, love, tell them!

Refresh!  Take care of those areas in your life that are weighing you down.

Go outside today, breathe the sweet spring air, feel the warm spring sunshine, and refresh!

Lovely thoughts to all of you!

 

 

Living with Multiple Sclerosis

In several posts I have shared that my husband Jim, suffers from Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Our days together can be so difficult and challenging, filled with overwhelming sadness for me to see what this disease is doing to his body.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Diagnosed many years ago, starting with numbness and double vision, the doctors told us that they thought he had a “mild case”, if there is such a thing!  They stated that he would probably not be crippled.

At one point he suffered from extreme, relentless neck and shoulder pain.  His neurologist sent him to the Mayo Clinic for a week of testing, only to be told the pain was due to Multiple Sclerosis.  Jim described the pain, “as if someone were putting a drill to his shoulder and neck”.

As with many episodes of the disease, the pain eventually ended, but the fear that it may return is terrifying to him.

I have decided to post more, from time to time, on what we face living together with Multiple Sclerosis.  I need someone to talk to and I have chosen my blog.

After a bit, no one, not even family members, who love us, can understand the devastating way this disease is taking his body from him.

Can I say I am “Loving my New Simple Life” when my husband is deteriorating little by little every single day?

Believe me, if I had not changed my way of thinking about life, identifying what is really important, love, family, being together, our lives now would be filled with even more unhappiness, depression, and dark clouds.  We do laugh and find joy in being together on most days.

Life is rough, but I knew when I stopped working it was the right thing to do, to be with Jim.

Living with less money, doing without a bunch of extras was hard for me at first, but now it has taught me to love all that I have.

Maybe some of my writings will help others who are living with someone with a physical hardship.

Until the next time, I wish all of you love and courage.

 

DIY Scrap Wood Open Shelving

DIY Open ShelvingMy TV passion right now is watching “Fixer Upper” on the Home and Garden TV channel.  The show features a husband and wife (Chip and Joanna Gaines), who live in Waco, Texas, on a restored farmhouse.  They are so cute together and the show is delightful.  Each episode of the show highlights how they restore fixer upper homes for other folks within their budget.  It is amazing what they can do.

Joanna’s style tends to include antique pieces, industrial items, and of course farmhouse, especially open shelving, featured in most of the kitchens she designs.

My kitchen is old, small, and nothing expensive about it, no granite countertops or fancy backsplash.  Recently, I did paint it a nice gray and we do have fairly new stainless appliances.  Not much money for anything else, but for now I wanted to share a fun DIY project, spending less than $20.

It’s my little bit of farmhouse style using scrap wood.

Kitchen Shelving Project

Now that it is completed, I have a bit of farmhouse open shelving on a small wall in my kitchen.  I really love the look and that it also allows me to display some of my white dishes, bowls, and pitchers.

The wood was a scrap piece I found in my garage, a 2″ x 8″.  I had it cut into two pieces, sanded, and stained with Mimwax, Special Walnut.  Purchased the brackets at Home Depot for $5 each.  That was it!

Open ShelvingA DIY project like this brings me joy, it is simple, clean looking, inexpensive, and so fun to put together.

Something I always try to remember about my home, “all that I have, is all that I need”.

I have a sweet home, filled with all the things I cherish, and blessed with love and laughter.

Blessings to all!

 

 

 

 

 

Not Just a Cup and Plate

An enjoyable afternoon for me, when I just want to get away from the everyday things in my life, is to visit an antique shop or antique mall.

On my most recent trip I stopped and focused on this glass plate with a sweet matching cup.  I almost immediately remembered why I loved it so!

Glass cup and plate

Years ago, when my parents bought a new home in an ordinary subdivision setting for that time, my mother began to experience lots of neighbors.  Most women in those days did not work, so getting together for coffee and such was common.  Once a month the ladies took turns hosting luncheons.  This was something new for my Mom, and I still recall her anxiety when it was her turn.

She cleaned and cooked and she even managed to buy some special dishes. She wanted everything to be special. The dishes were glass with small matching cups, which fit on the plate. She loved the little dishes, and although I was only in the sixth grade, I loved them too!

I bought the plate and cup and will always cherish the things I have in common with my Mom, especially the love of caring for my home as she did.

Mom's cup and plate

My story has a sad ending, my father was troubled and eventually lost our home. Overwhelming heartbreak fell on us, especially Mom.

This memory brings sadness and tears to my eyes when writing it, since today is my Mom’s birthday.  Mom would have been 92 today.

My parents divorced, but Mom kept us all together with her love and caring.  We all miss her every single day.  She was the most loving Mother and Grandmother to all of us for all of her life.

My comfort is knowing she is in the presence of our Lord, and the suffering she experienced at the end of her life is over.

Happy Birthday dear sweet Mom.

birthday mom

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Are you all wearing a bit of green today?

Shamrock

My husband’s grandparents came to the United States through Ellis Island from County Galway, Ireland.  They met in New York and married before moving to Ohio.  Grandma was a maid and Grandfather worked for the railroad.  They were truly wonderful people, loving parents of six children, hard working, and devout Catholics.

I love these wedding photos taken over 85 years ago.

Irish GrandparentsGrandma looks so lovely, and Grandfather so young and strong.

When my son was small, not yet in school, we would make a trip to see Grandma once a week to help with cleaning or errands.  The best part of the visit was sitting and having a cup of tea with her listening to her stories of Ireland and of meeting Grandfather.

We do not have a huge celebration on St. Patrick’s Day but I try to do a little something special and always Shamrocks on the table.

Although I was having dinner out with a friend tonight, I left chocolate cupcakes and Cincinnati’s famous Greater’s mint chocolate chip ice cream for my husband and son.

St. Pat's TreatsYummy!

Wishing all of you lots of Leprechaun kisses on this day.

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more,

and nothing but happiness

come through your door.

“And the rain will fall ….”

I have always loved the Bee Gees, especially Robin Gibb.  When he passed I was so very sad.

The lyrics in a song he sang comes to my mind as I think of events in my life over the last few lost months.

On my last post I wrote of losing both of our beloved pets, but I did not know at the time that there would be more “rain” to fall.

With Christmas approaching, I had to pick myself up and try to make our home festive for the holidays, although my heart was not there.  My family was coming for Christmas Eve so with the help of my son we worked on painting and carpeting our finished basement, which we had not used in years. When completed it was so very nice.

Two days after Christmas, the “rain” did come literally.  On the morning of December 27th, I discovered that our newly finished basement was flooded.  Our hard work for so many weeks was ruined.  It was such a mess!

With a calmness I can’t believe, and again with the help of my son, we cleaned once again, dried up everything, and moved on looking forward to a new year.

The weather turned very cold and on January 5th, we decided to warm up with a fire in our wood burning fireplace.  After about an hour we suddenly started to hear a noise which I can only describe as pounding coming from our fireplace.  My son ran outside and when I got to the door he met me saying, “Mom, we are in trouble, call 911”.  Flames were coming from our chimney!

The “rain” had once again fallen on our lives.

Thankful to the Fire and Rescue folks, and so very thankful the fire did not spread into our home and to others homes around us, and we were all safe.

Smoke and a black soot rested on many rooms in our home, but again with a calmness from God, we picked ourselves up, brushed off the soot, and started again with our lives.

I really do believe God does not give us more than we can handle.

In the song the lyrics continue to say, “and the sun will shine, it will shine on you”,  and I am happy to report, the sun is shining once more on us.

Hope your lives find calmness when the “rain” falls on you.

My Lost October

I have always loved the fall time of the year.  Love every special thing it brings to our lives.

The colors, pumpkins, apples and apple recipes, cooler temperatures, getting out my favorite sweaters and scarves, going to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte or maybe a coffee and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin.

This October started with joy and excitement, but ended with overwhelming sadness and helplessness.

I have written and mention many times about my two cats…….

Squeeze Box, adopted at 3 years old, so sweet and just a beautiful, loving pet.

and “Kitten”, our older cat, seventeen years old.

IMG_0337[1]We brought “Kitten” home when she was just a kitten.  Petite, loving when she wanted, just such cute ways about her, smart, my son’s favorite.

IMG_0391[1]Our two females did not get along, so when one wanted out the front door, we had to bring the other in the back door. Crazy, but we made it work because we loved them.

“Kitten” wanted out on a beautiful early October evening, so “Squeeze” reluctantly was brought inside. “Kitten” stayed out all night, as she had done so many times over the years, but in the morning when I went to the door she was not there.  She was always there waiting to take her turn to come inside, knowing she would curl up at the bottom of our bed for the rest of the day.

I went to the door many times throughout the day and called her, walked around our yard, searching under bushes, under our back porch, checked with neighbors in case she might have been closed in one of their garages, but she was no where to be found.

We called local vets, and over the next week drove the streets of our neighborhood, and also to many shelters to see if she was turned in, not likely, since she did not go to strangers, but we tried everything.  Our “Kitten” was gone.

After a week or so had passed, realizing “Kitten” was not coming home, we started letting “Squeeze Box” go outside again.

She so loved just curling up under one of our large backyard trees, and staying there all day, or sleeping on one of the back porch chairs.  It was rare that she ever left her yard, her safe place, or so we thought.

After a few days of adjusting to caring for just one cat, I went to the backdoor to feed “Squeeze” and she was not there.  Walked around the house looking for her, but as with “Kitten”, she was no where to be found.

I panicked, surely she was not gone, I woke my husband, and we spent the entire day searching,  “Squeeze” was gone.

If you have ever had a pet you know the hurt, the sadness, the emptiness our family was going through.  Two loving, sweet, members of our small family were gone, without a trace.

We still do not know what really happened to them, but the best guess is unthinkable.

We have since discovered that our area is home to many coyotes, and cats seem to be there main target.  Coyotes can grab cats and carry them off, even back to their living areas, to be eaten.  It is so very hard for me to write this, and to think of what my beautiful pets might have gone through the last minutes of their lives.

This is now November, and we are finally moving on, even talk of another kitty for Christmas.

We miss them and their unconditional love, every single day.

I can hear my husband many evenings before coming up to bed, when he is securing our house for the night, locking the doors, turning on the front and back porch lights, still giving a call or two to each one of them.

Sure wish this was the beginning of October again!

Blessings and love to all of you!

 

 

 

 

Spending Time with Ana!

The leaves are falling in my part of the world like crazy, so before the snow falls, I want to share a special time I had at the end of summer with my niece Ana.

Ana with water dropsI have written before on the joys over the years of spending special time with all my nieces.  Since God blessed me with only one son, my nieces were gifts that allowed me the fun of shopping, buying dolls, dresses for special events, crafts, all the things you just don’t do with boys!

During our few days together we shopped, for clothes, some extra school supplies, including a silver glitter notebook, and some neon colored pencils.  Ana loves “bling”.

I let her pick out her favorite treats, cereal, donuts, Sun Chips, nothing healthy of course, I did say treats.  This is something my Grandma would do when I would visit her as a little girl. Such a sweet memory for me even to this day.

We played “Crazy Eights” until I thought I was going crazy, decorated a large wooden “A”, painting it glow in the dark hot pink with black glitter dots, and put together an outdoor place for Ana.

Our days were perfect, warm and sunny, so we set up our “swimming pool” in the backyard.

Ana with beachballCartwheelsWe came up with a game where I gave her actions to complete around and over the flowing water, so many cartwheels, jumping jacks, and such.

The morning we decided to build Ana a special outdoor place, we first needed to shop for fabric. Ana picked a black and white zebra like print.

Once we were home, we found a rope in our garage, attached it to two branches on the large maple tree in our backyard, and using some bricks we secured the fabric across the rope.

Ana's Crazy EightsWe added a quilt and lots of pillows, and finished up with a chalkboard paper banner, “Ana’s Place”, which added the final touch.  Perfect!

Just Ana

Our finished placeWe did laugh together and enjoyed our creation all day. I felt like a kid again.

Although Ana also loved time spent on my tablet, playing games, and working with my touch screen computer, watching movies, listening to music, I thank her for spending time with me doing creative things and spending silly time with her aunt.

As this second part of my life is playing out, and Ana is growing up, I thank her so much for being with me for a few days this past summer.

Life has a way of keeping us from our love ones, jobs, relationships, just life and living it our way, good or bad.

I so regret the years that passed and I did not keep in touch with Marissa, Amanda, Dawn, Amber, Carrie, and now Ana.  Those years are gone.

Please make time to connect and be with your family as much as you can, even if it is just a call, or text.   “I love You’s” mean so much, especially the unexpected ones!

Blessings and love to all!