About Me

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I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Serendipity Sunday--A Week of Giving Thanks

I am sharing LOTS of pictures today.

It has been a week full of Thanksgiving.

Don't get me wrong, I do my best to say THANK YOU to God every day, and I try to be mindful each day on my fb wall to remind us to use our gifts and to be KIND.

This is the first time since Mother died that I felt like making her Chicken and Dressing and actually making a Thanksgiving meal for me and Charcoal.

It felt good to be ME again, for just a little bit...

BUT true to form, Satan threw his darts and I allowed someone to steal my JOY, BUT I am doing my best to turn the other cheek and forget about them. 

I shared Mother's recipe with lots of people.
Some people, again, true to form, thought I was saying that they should use my recipe and not theirs...
All of the ingredients gathered and ready to mix

That ABSOLUTELY was not my intent.

I am the last one in my family to make this recipe.
I have no one to pass it to.
I was simply sharing MY RECIPE, in hopes, that someone could carry on the tradition, IF they didn't have a recipe.
I mix everything together before I add the chicken broth so that the spices are evenly distributed and so that the egg won't cook as soon as that boiling broth hits them!
I believe that You SHOULD love what you were raised with.  
I think you SHOULD love your tradition and carry it on.
Nobody has a better tradition than anyone else.
We SHOULD embrace the things we love. 
Look at that beautiful broth!  Made simply by cooking a whole chicken in water.  Nothing fancy, but oh, so yummy.

BUT I also want to remind each of you, that things change.
People come.
People go.
It is the cycle of life.

This was after some broth was added.  I let it soak a few minute so the broth can be absorbed
SOMETIMES, traditions have to change.
Don't hold on to things that cause too much stress.
At some point, the one who always did it all will need help.
Help them with JOY.
Look forward to spending time with the PEOPLE 
and not focusing on the THINGS.

This is after another round of broth has been added.  Again, let the cornbread absorb the liquid, but I think this is just about the right consistency!

As we get older and look back on our life, 
most of us,
 if we have allowed our hearts to absorb the moments, 
will notice that it really was not 
the THINGS that mattered, 
but the people that were important.

We debone the chicken and place it in the bottom of the pan and pour the dressing on top.  It is true, in the South, we tend to turn most everything into a casserole!  LOL  I am OK with that!
What mattered was/is the
Moments spent with people who are no longer around.
Those empty chairs can spark memories
but they sure can bring guilt to a person, too.

Oh, and that yummy golden brown of the prepared dressing!!  Do I dare taste it before Thanksgiving?
Love people while they are HERE.
Give them flowers while they are around to enjoy them.

Yep, I couldn't wait and I tried it BEFORE Thanksgiving~~The NERVE of me!
I tried to give Charcoal a bite of the dressing, too.
He isn't the biggest fan of Cornbread, but he does eat it..
He was CERTAIN this must be terrible...

When I showed him that it was CHICKEN, 
He decided that maybe I was not trying to torture him.

Ah, it must have been good and it made him sleepy...
Or maybe he was saying a prayer of Thanksgiving!

I don't think that Life can get must better than this!
To have him cuddle with me or 
to lay his head on my leg, 
this is the life!

For those who judge me and think I would EVER give Charcoal food to harm him, Then they know NOTHING about me at all.
He eats healthier than I do.
NEVER would I ever cause any harm to him, so get over yourself!

Charcoal got a REAL treat from his Uncle Kevin.
I wasn't sure if I should cook it, or just give it to him.
He nuzzled and sniffed the package for a day.
I then cut open the package--more sniffing.
I partially pulled it from the package--one lick and more sniffing.
He then pulled it all the way out--a lick and more sniffing.
He put it on the couch, where all of his treasures go...
I threw it back on the floor...
FINALLY, after his Thanksgiving meal, he decided that I was NEVER going to feed him again, because he whined and begged and pouted...
So, up on the couch it went.
I heard a few crunches and then he hopped down.
No more Pigs tail!!

Wuf, Wuf, Uncle Kevin!

Aunt Cheryl Sent him a stale cookie...no sniffing, just CRUNCH!

Cheryl finds the cutest cups/containers!  
It is just PERFECT!

Cheryl's husband, Jerry, is a master craftsman.
This phone holder is a work of art.
I can't wait to get it painted!

Oh, my goodness.
Those Cadbury Candies were so yummy, 
I went and bought a package to put in with some of my orders.
Yes, I still have some left.
No, I would NEVER feed Charcoal dark chocolate, because dark chocolate is TOXIC to animals.

I LOVE when Cheryl goes to playing with cookie dough, 
and if there is a frog,
 I am so happy when it HOPS to my house!
I LOVE the posite!!

                                    We are NOT going to share 
Jerry's comment about this frog...bad, Jerry, bad...
Santa Clause is Watching YOU!! ;)
Poor froggie...

Charcoal had several POUTING moments...
He does NOT like the word NO.
His head might be lowered and turned away, 
but those eyes are cutting to see what I am doing!
Poor Charcoal... 
Maybe Mommie needs to throw that towel away!

I was so excited to find LifeSavers
AND Butter Rum Lifesavers
When I shared on my FB wall, 
I discovered that I was not the only one 
who had fond memories of these treats!!

I am going to send a few to some special friends.

I also made Mother's favorite Cranberry Relish.
She loved this stuff and made it for Christmas and for Thanksgiving
AND she took some each time to 2 of her special friends.
I remembered those times fondly.

Now, this stuff isn't for everyone, but it is PERFECT 
for anything that is salty.
Yes, we will NOT speak of the amount of sugar involved, either...
it is only twice a year, right?

It is simple.
Grind the following in a food processor:
Bag of Fresh Cranberries
2 oranges--with peeling.
2 Apples--with peeling

Add sugar to taste .  Start with 3/4 cup of sugar and add until you are happy with it.  With this batch, I used 3 small halos, cutting off the thick peeling at the top, and 3 Jonathan apples, since my fruit was small AND boy, HOWDY, it was SOUR!  I added 1 1/4 cups of sugar--just keep your mouth closed!
If I use navel oranges, I always cut off the thick part of the peeling and much of the sides, since it is so thick.  A little bit of peel goes a long way.  You don't want the bitterness to overpower the relish.
And yes, cut out the center of the apples. 

The color is absolutely beautiful!!

This was my Thanksgiving Feast:
Green beans cooked with onions, ham and potatoes, 
and always, at the end, a splash of vinegar is added.
Cranberry Relish
Chicken and Dressing
Macaroni with a can of Crushed Tomatoes and Cheddar Cheese.

Served on Mother's White Grape Plates she got for Christmas in about 1972 as a gift from her Sisters.

This is Charcoal's Plate...no onions, no salt and he did NOT 
like that I put the Cranberry Relish on his plate...
Well, he LOVES oranges, so I tried!!

He LOVED his Thanksgiving Meal...
and wanted more...more...more..

He thought that STEALING the rest of the PupPeroni 
would fill his stomach...
Those things STINK and are far more toxic 
than any food I make to feed him!

It looks like his is crying
Maybe he is just starving....

 My friend, Lois, finds the cutest frogs to send me.
This was a Birthday gift.
Oh, how fun is this!

AND she hand painted these 
adorable magnets that were in 
the www.paintingezine.com
I love them and they will stay
 on my freezer all year long!
I am so blessed.

I made these Taco Bites this week, also.
Yum, Yum, YUM!

I had to send them to the Testing Lab...
He did the ole turn my head and get that away from me...
Oh, and for those that are fearful,
His had no salt or seasoning.
Hamburger, cheese and Flour Tortillas.

Ah, but YES...

If you aren't a member of the Marketplace, please join.
I have some items listed in our latest Album, and you will find a code ONLY available on my pictures to receive a discount to use for any item in my Etsy shop.

Click here to join the Marketplace, if you haven't already joined.

I hope that you all are Thankful.
We ALWAYS can find something to garner our Thanks.
Some days, we have to look a little harder...
We get stuck in a "funk" sometimes, 
But YOU have the power to MOVE to a better place.

By being Thankful, 
I believe that it stirs us to 
To offer Kindness
To spread HOPE
To, well, BLOOM!

I tell you...Life just doesn't 
get much better than this!!

I am simply blessed to create~~charlotte♡

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What if NOTHING ever changed? Serendipity Sunday

Am I the only one having trouble keeping up with what day it is, much less what the date is?

It seems that I have spent the entire year just figuring out how to get to such and such date, and now that I am here, I’m not sure that I am really here, or even where HERE is!  LOL

I’m not going to lie—it has been a tough year.

All of the craziness around me hasn’t helped, either.

I have discovered that my heart hurts when my friends hurt or argue.

We ALL think we are right and we have no clue how someone can’t see things as we see them.

You know, it is called LIFE~~Plain and Simple.

We believe the way we believe because of the way we were raised and with the experiences we have had.  We all were raised differently, and we have had different experiences, and THAT simply is WHY we are unable to see things as others see them, and sit down for this one~~PEOPLE are thinking the same way about YOU that YOU are thinking about THEM.

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that… =) (nope, not really.  It made me giggle. Yes, there is still much work left to be done on me!)

Because of our differences, we have to work a bit harder to learn to live Compassionate Lives.

Today I am 54.  54!!

I am now OFFICIALLY an old maid.

My Aunt Lattie (Daddy’s only sister) was the measuring stick for me being an old maid, because, you see, she was 52 when she got married and was happily married for over 25 years to one of the kindest men that God placed on this earth.

I guess, really, I have been official for a while, now.  I just felt the need to confirm what I suspected…LOL

It’s ok, because thinking back over the Frogs I have kissed (sorry frogs—I don’t mean to use you as something evil), I am pretty happy to be right where I am and to have escaped some close calls~~whew!  Thank you, God, for protecting me when I was foolish.

It is tough not to look back on my life on days like this, especially when the world outside is so calm and quiet, so my mind can walk down the trails I have journeyed.

Yes, some tears have fallen, but that is nothing new.

It is so easy to go to the “poor pitiful me” parts and look around and feel lonely.  Time has a way of changing things, as it should, for where would we be if we stayed stagnant and didn’t move….if things never progressed, or yes, even digressed?  What if we had no serendipity moments…no moments that took our breath away (both for the good and for the bad)…how would we learn if we didn’t have experiences?  If we stayed in the past, where it might not necessarily have been safe, but comfortable, how would we revel in the goodness of mankind…the beauty of nature. 

What if NOTHING ever changed?

Boy, howdy, wouldn’t THAT be awful?

As I reflect on the changes I have been trying to make in my life, I still feel the old me constantly emerge, and it takes a sledge hammer on many days to wake me up to ME being a big ole brat.

I have worked on being compassionate~~to realize that I MIGHT not always be right (I said MIGHT)…to acknowledge that the times I want to share that I am RIGHT is not nearly as important as having PEACE in my life.

I cannot do one single thing about anyone else.  I don’t possess the power, and really, we should ALL be very happy with that fact. =)  BUT I do have the power (on most days) to control ME and how I react to others and how I treat others.  I can only hope that I will make a difference for someone, and let me be clear, THEN, I want to be certain to point them to God, the maker of Heaven and Earth, as the EXAMPLE to follow, and not me.  I just pray that my life will not turn people away from God.

You know how hard it is to change YOU?  Then image the impossibilities of changing someone else!!

I have lived the most blessed life.

You have patiently walked with me as I have retold the journeys I have made.  You have encouraged me when I felt as if my world had fallen apart.  You have lovingly given words of support when I needed them, and most of the time, when I did NOT deserve them or expect them.  You have listened to some crazy ideas that I have had, and either laughed and said, “there she goes again” or some have actually heard my heart’s cry for change and have made the efforts with me.  You have bought my patterns.  You have bought my hand painted items.  You have gone “oooo and aaaahh” when I have shared what I am doing. Yes, some have even told me when I was wrong.

You have been a family.

So, as I reflect on the past year of my life, while I have fought to stay positive and to keep the faith through trials, you have been there with me and for me.  I hope I have learned some lessons to make my life easier, but then, maybe I will make some of the same mistakes, BUT one thing is for sure, I know many of you will be right here cheering me on, and praying for me.

I have written down 10 items that I would like to ask you to join me in praying for in my life as an “unspoken prayer” because God knows, and if the time comes for me to share, I pray I will be willing to do so.  They aren’t frivolous items, but real needs.

I look forward to living each day to its fullest~~ To LIVE…to THRIVE…to PARTICIPATE!

I hope to remain Thankful.

As I look back to this day in 1962, I am THANKFUL for being placed in a Godly home with a Father and a Mother who led by example. ..Who allowed me to grow and to make mistakes...Who taught me what was important, and allowed me to have fun adventures.

I am grateful that I had two brothers, who loved me for part of my life, and I can only hope, who are thriving and living their lives to the fullest and are clinging to the values that our parents taught us and are passing them on to others.

I am so glad that Daddy was able to get that $500 loan to pay for me!!

I laugh as I remember the stories of Mother telling that she was not allowed to let her feet touch the ground for her 10 day stay in the hospital—10 days, folks!  LOL

I pray that I will continue to develop a heart of Christ.  That the things that break His heart will also break mine, and that I will do what I can to HELP.

Thank you, for continuing to stop by my little corner of the world.

I am simply Blessed to Create~~charlotte♡