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!

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♡

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Whacky Wednesday

It is Whacky Wednesday!!

I can’t think of a single thing that is Whacky, but I haven’t posted on a Wednesday in a while, so I thought it was time.

It has been a beautiful week in Middle Tennessee.

We sure could use some rain, but I am thankful for the nice weather to play with Charcoal.

I have laughed with him as we played fetch.  He has sniffed and sniffed and sniffed…

On Sunday morning at 3 am, we were out “sniffing” and he decided that perhaps he should answer the call of nature before bedtime.

He sniffed for the perfect spot…did the circle dance of his people, when he stepped on a stick (he had left there earlier in the day), and jumped straight up and promptly went to another spot a few yards away!

I laughed as he gave me the stink eye.

Fast forward 12 hours, and we are outside again after a nice sleep.

I sat down on the steps to reach for a stick to start our game of Fetch, when he dropped the big stick he had left (as he most always does) close to the step on my TOE!

I am pretty certain it was dropped in retaliation of my laughing at him.

He doesn’t forget!

We play fetch, quite often in the dark.  He usually brings me back the stick I threw!  I find that funny.

It has been a long hot summer, and Charcoal had no desire to play outside or to stay for long, and I had to force him to go potty.  It made me sad.

The mosquitoes and fleas were awful, so I didn’t complain, But it did worry me that he didn’t want to play.

As soon as the weather changed, my boy was back to himself, as if the long, hot summer was a dream.

Tonight, he brought his FIRST stick to “HIS PILE” for the first time in a long time.

The other day, while he was “fetching”, I reached over to “HIS PILE” to see if I could break some more of the big limbs into smaller ones.  He came FLYING back and yanked those sticks out of my hands and returned them to “HIS PILE”.  He isn’t very kind in grabbing them back.  He will take them out of my “fetching” pile and put them into “HIS PILE”.

Oh, what a silly bundle of love he is!  A bit possessive, but that is ok.

As I was sending a message to a friend, I told her that I MUST go to the store because I only had: a can of refried beans, one can of Garbanzo beans, 2 cans of crushed pineapple, spaghetti noodles, a package of yellow rice, a serving of ham, a serving of shrimp, four packages of frozen veggies.  I snickered as she said to add the ham to the spaghetti.  No, that is for the pizza crust I forgot to mention!  LOL…

As I went to prepare my meal for the day, I decided to cook the shrimp and I thought the yellow rice would be really good.  Yellow rice is just about one of my most favorite things to eat with just about anything!  As it was cooking, I wished that I had some black beans to go with it.  I remembered the can of Garbanzo beans (yep, organic), so I drained them and heated them.  As I was waiting for all of this to heat/cook, I glanced over to see 3 tomatoes that I had pulled out to eat before they ruined.  I remembered that I had some sweet onions~~another staple that is most always in my house.

I chopped the tomatoes, and the onion, placed the yellow rice and Garbanzo beans on the plate and mixed them together for an amazingly wonderful tasting salad!!

As I looked at the bounty that I found after my few moments of “wondering” what was left to eat, shame over took me. I had a feast!  Oh, how many people would LONG to have the “scarce” pantry I thought was incapable of nourishing my body and definitely not satisfying my hunger.

Once again, God kept His promise~~He prepared a feast in the presence of mine enemies...

The enemies of fear, frustration, doubt, and hunger were shown WHO was the BOSS!

“Bless this food to the nourishment of my body and my health to YOUR service.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Lord, Amen.”

Thank You, God…Have I mentioned how blessed I am…~charlotte♡

My favorite rice salad made with yellow rice! 
The veggie salad above it is yummy, too! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Musings about Blogging

Happy Monday!

We have had another gorgeous day in Middle Tennessee.

Charcoal and I spent 2.5 hours outside, until the sun went down.  What a WAY to spend part of a day.

He is my reminder to STOP, go outside and breathe fresh air and SEE all the beauty that God created for us.

I had a couple of people ask me about Blogging—yes 2 people!

I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

I realize that some of you will not enjoy reading this, but it is ok.  Try the next post.

I am in no way an expert, and most of what I do is by trial and error.

Does my blog make a difference in the world?  Probably not, but I enjoy it on most days and some others do too, so it makes a difference for me and that other person!  That, my friends, is success.

I guess I need to start at the beginning and in reading, perhaps you will get the answers that you wanted by digging through my words. You didn’t think I would make this EASY for you, did you?

I joined Facebook because someone told me I needed to join to help my business grow. So I joined FB.  I had 9 FRIENDS for a long time.  I had no clue what in the world it was about.  When my mother died in March of 2012, I got a few more friends when people looked for me to send condolences.   At that time, I saw a little of the possibility of FB.  The day of Mother’s death, I got the link to a website I had designed for me, and so, I started adding to it and launched the website on the anniversary of my Daddy’s death, because I have tried to do something POSITIVE on special dates or to do something for someone else on those days, and I KNOW that my parents would not want me in a perpetual state of sadness.  Yes, I struggle…

I had in the meantime, started a FB Business Page, and struggled to find what to do with it.  I thought I would add helpful hints, but again, I had few followers.  I started playing the “games” of FB with if you like me, I will like you, and let’s have FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, where you share your link and on and on.  I got my followers to 1500 and by this time, I had found my niche in sharing memories each morning of my life growing up on a Dairy farm with 2 brothers and I would share something I had painted.

Sadly, the web site was a bust.  I couldn’t get the lady to FIX stuff and she didn’t share my web like she said she would, and well, I was frustrated.  People kept telling me I should write a book and that I should blog, and that I should….

I wanted to design patterns and I wanted people to buy them.  That wasn’t asking too much, was it?

So, one night, while all of my friends slept, I opened an Etsy shop (May, 2013).  See—I really should NEVER be left unsupervised.  Sales were slow in coming, but they came quickly enough to keep me going.  I then discovered that I could add instant downloads to etsy, so I became more excited!

I plugged along with designing, putting things on etsy and doing my daily posts on fb.  By this time, FB had changed their “formula” and hardly anyone was seeing my posts, or they were tired of them, or, who knows what, but seeing only 10 likes on a post with over 1500 followers was sickening.

I struggled with deciding if I should start another FB page where I would share thoughts on my faith, because I KNEW that my sharing my beliefs was a “put off” to many and then that would leave a page to share only my creations, without my commentary.  I thought about it long and hard, weighing the pros and cons, but at the end of the day, I AM WHOSE I am and I can’t deny it, nor do I WANT to deny it. 

SO, again, while my friends slept, I started a blog in December of 2013—man, we have GOT to find a supervisor for me!

Well, now, I had a blog.  I had no clue, really, what that meant, and still, today, I am not certain at times.

I tried to blog each day, while I kept doing my daily posts on FB.

I have only dial-up internet, and that, in and of itself, is almost too much to overcome, but still, I persevere.  I seek solutions, but there is this horrible evil called MONEY!  MAYBE this will be the year that I solve that problem.

I blogged for a while, and lost steam.  During this time, I stopped writing a daily post on FB, because only 30 people seeing it, was just a waste of my time. I started finding a cute little post for my wall, instead.  Meanwhile, nobody was really reading my blog either, or so it seemed, because I was focusing ONLY on followers.  I didn’t know what else to do.

I tried to get “followers”, but today, I only have 79 followers on Google Plus.  I tried give-aways, but people do not follow directions at all (grrrrrrrrrrrr….) and it did nothing to gain followers, the purpose of the task.  I see blogs with hundreds of followers, and wonder what I can do to get followers~~that quest is ongoing!

I think that perhaps I have joined the circus just as the elephants are being phased out~~too late to succeed.

I lost my UMPF…again.

Days quickly passed and I suddenly realized that I had not blogged for a week, and then a month, and I was so disappointed in me!

I kept trying to keep it going, until ONE DAY, I decided that I needed a focus~~A purpose.  I didn’t want to be like so many of the bloggers that I followed—months and months of nothing!

The whole reason I wanted to have a business page was to share tips.  Then I discovered that I enjoyed sharing memories, and others liked it, too.  I also have a fascination with recipes, especially appetizers and I wanted to pass along some family recipes, since I am it!  I have no children.  I have lived through some challenges in caring for elderly parents, and while I don’t want to rehash past mistakes, I DO feel that I experienced things so I could pass them along to people.  We never know what someone is going through until we walk in their shoes, and even then, it is different.  Oh, and being POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING remain important to me, for we don’t need any more gripping!  Whew—I become more and more like my Mother with each passing day~~LOL

Recently, I developed a plan for ME~~A SIMPLE Plan.  I chose 7 witty subjects:  Serendipity Sunday, Monday Musings, Technique Tuesday, Whacky Wednesday, Tutorial Thursday, Food Friday and Smorgasbord Saturday.

My goal was to post ONCE a week.  If I did more, then YAY for ME!!

So far, so good.

With this schedule, it allows me to post ANYTHING that I wish, yet it has given me a focus.  I am able to post things that I LOVE and it covers different topics so that I can reach more people.  YES, the tutorials that I give are the most viewed, and that is GREAT.  It tells me WHAT my base of people want.  That is SO GOOD to KNOW!  How many times, as crafters, have we said, “if ONLY I knew what people wanted.”  I now know what people want.  How cool is that?

I have learned about organic views vs. hits and not to dwell on the number.  I can see that by sharing on the social media that I belong to (twitter, google+, Instagram and FB), the number of followers I have isn’t the only measure of success.  For instance, while searching for stats to do this post, I found some posts with almost 500 organic views…I found some with only 16…sigh  The snowman nodder on Thursday has 279 organic views, and that means that the number is from only ONE address, whereas the hits are simply that—possibly all from one address!  LOL (yes, I can picture it now—a lone man in Timbuctoo with the only computer sitting and visiting my blog all day, every day!)

SO, now you are caught up with my struggles as a blogger.  I apologize for the length, and yet I have a few points before I wrap this up and move on to another task.

If wanting to blog, I think some questions need to be explored.

1.      Do you really want to blog?

2.      Are you willing to keep doing it and doing it consistently?

3.      What can you do to motivate yourself to be a consistent blogger?

4.      What is your reason for blogging?

5.      What are your expectations from blogging?

6.      Are you willing to put the time into the process to be successful?

7.      Are you willing to forgive yourself if you fail?

8.      Are you willing to regroup and try something different?

I can’t think my friends enough for the support I continue to get.  I HOPE that in some small way, you KNOW what you mean to me.  I fail at so many things each day, but KNOW that my heart is trying and that just like you, I am doing the best I can at the moment, and maybe, tomorrow I will be a little bit better~~baby steps, right?

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world.  It keeps me wanting to try harder. 

I am simply blessed to create~~charlotte♡