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Dec 25, 2017

Have it your way - Christmas Day 2017

I've been detoxing from computer use lately and it has been wonderful. With no cell phone in my life and my home phone answering machine switched to the 'off' position it has been a great time to relax, rest, nest and nourish my soul.  I thoroughly enjoy long bouts of solitude as I have begun to embrace and honor my 'loner' side, instead of trying to fix, fight or deny it. Winter is a perfect time for me to enjoy a slower pace of life with the welcomed quiet,  short days of winter as well as the much sought after private time. For me, Christmas is a time of rest and relaxation, for the most part.

I got my fill of  2017 Christmas decor back in Oct and Nov. Ah- the days when Christmas came after Thanksgiving. Not so anymore. It is just so over the top these days. I think Instagram held a contest for the most Christmas trees one could fit into their home. Seriously,, some homes have a tree in each room or at least a half a dozen trees in their home, and some have trees lined up 3-4 in a row like a department store or mall. But hey, I have not been in a mall in over a decade, but I can only imagine what one looks like these days. Okay, the 10 trees in the home trend, well ah- that just short circuited my holiday mood.  Then I looked at a few more blogs the other day thinking that since the stores are already selling Valentines cards that blogs would be showcasing Valentine decor about now.. But pleasantly surprised  the trees are still up on most posts. That will all change just a few hours if not minutes after Christmas.


I went to church yesterday and I actually thought it was Christmas instead of today. Everyone was saying Merry Christmas. Oh wait, were supposed to say that for a whole month, I think?  I love Jesus but the more I seriously think about and really consider the meaning and the origins of Christmas, well I  am not a big fan of birthdays or pagan traditions that have been up cycled and costumed to trick people into believing they have something to do with the birth of Jesus. I am not condemning your way of acknowledging or celebrating the holiday but lets be clear... Christmas is clearly made up of pagan traditions, with a little Santa frosting on top.                                  

Yes, sometimes I decorate for a holiday and sometimes not. However, since I found out my artificial  Yule / Christmas tree is made of PVC and is off gassing toxins in my home as well as being filled with dangerous levels of lead, I have chosen to keep in in the shed this year. Did you know you should use gloves to put up and decorate an artificial tree?  And small children should not touch the faux branches as well as the ornaments that have lead in the paint and are often made from PVC also. Now this information is certainly a holiday buzz kill for faux tree owners. Who knew?  I know my Jewish friends and menorah owning gentiles don't worry about their menorahs being toxic.Hmmm- on second thought, I better check that out.

 I wanted to make sure I sent Jesus's birthday card on the right day and for the life of me, I cant seem to find any place in the bible where it mentions His birth DATE or where it tells Christians to celebrate his day of birth. 

The commercialism of this holiday seems crazy to me. I see so many people who experience self induced stress, as they overspend and try to fulfill other peoples wish lists. Don't worry if you mess up and buy something they don't like  - it can be easily dumped in the landfill. Heck no one remembers what you bought them thirty days later anyway.  I've seen stats that claim that 60 -75% of gifts are donated to charities within a few months of receiving them. The environmental waste is astonishing. Did you know that most Christmas cards, and definitely those with glitter, as well as most wrapping paper (due to the toxic ink) is not able to be recycled? Just sayin.....


 Bringing it down to a very personal level - I have requested time and time and time and time again that my friends and family please not gift me with even more "stuff". ALL I WANT is to have my request honored. I live in a 560' square foot house now and more "stuff" NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, is not welcomed nor is it a happy thought for me. I am trying hard to downsize my life as well as my possessions. It is a never ending battle to get others to stop the 'gift giving' cycle. Downsizing, dumping and donating - is my mantra for 2018. Yet again, I request NO GIFTS PLEASE for holidays or birthdays. Some people tell me I should just say "thanks" and then donate or dump it. In the meantime the "stuff" sits in my car, collecting dog hair or taking up space in my home until I get it to it's final destination. I prefer to be honest and ask for these nice people to stop giving me more stuff.  IT just doesn't seem to work, and it is very uncomfortable, stressful, irritating and awkward for me to be gifted yet again. I wish I could be heard, and not feel stressed out over one more thing coming into my home. My deep wish and plea is for no more gifts or possessions of any kind to come my way. Instead -Spaying or neutering an animal in my name or giving to my favorite charity would be wonderful and appreciated.

 I know some of you minimalists or those who live in tiny or small homes deal with this same issue and any advice is appreciated. It stresses me out to the max. HOW do I get this to stop?  What is one to do in the case of compulsive givers who ignore my constant honest requests for no more stuff? Sigh.

My eyes are burnt out after looking at forty two thousand online Christmas trees over the past couple of days. I mean y'all did some amazing and beautiful super size decorating in your homes this year. A bazillion lights shining so bright, right thru my computer screen at night. Holiday shout outs go to the folks who have been in long lines, fighting traffic, rushing about and digging through stores piles, zooming through aisles just to find what seems like the perfect gift. Please take time to rest now and enjoy what you created for your 'have it your way' kind of day.. Enjoy the day with your friends family in laws, outlaws, significant others, fur kids.or in the joy of solitude.

As long as I can remember I have always hoped that Christmas would just zoom by. I do not like the expectations that everyone has of what I or others should be doing on that day. The more I study the bible, I find that there is not one reference for celebrating Christmas. That is because no matter how you dress it up or decorate, it is based on a pagan holiday. I do not believe it is a salvation issue. However I also have to ask myself "Does this man made observance of Christmas please my Heavenly Father?" And (for me) I would have to say "no". Will I go to hell for putting up a Christmas tree and decorating my home once again? - I do not believe so. I believe God extends much grace our way. Sometimes we Christians are able to lead unbelievers to Christ and salvation because of the Christmas story. That is a beautiful thing. Critical, rejecting spirit brings antagonism towards both the messenger and the message. May God Bless you and Merry Christmas. I am  not here to rain on your holiday.. Just sharing my thoughts and ideas here.

As a child I remember the time when my mom revealed to me that she had made up stories about Santa and that she and dad were actually Santa. I immediately realized that I had been lied to for many years. My mother always told me to tell her the truth when she interrogated me. So, the Santa thing didn't set well with me. I guess some kids didn't take the Santa lie so hard, once they realized the truth. Heck, as long as their supply of gifts kept coming in, what was the big deal?  I had been deceived by my mother and now questioned what other lies she might be keeping, living or telling. Years later, some whopper lies came to the surface. That is another story.

 Now I know that most (or maybe not most?) kids do okay with the Santa experience but for deep thinking, inquisitive kids like me..It was a huge deal to find out Santa was not real and mom was a liar. I ended up hating Santa images, statues and Santa decorations, just like some people don't like scary clowns. To this day I dislike anything Santa. Just another little side-note to a holiday that holds some odd memories for me. Christmas has always been a questionable and strange and confusing holiday in my book. And now, even more so as a Christian. Like - why don't churches have Christmas service today it it's supposed to be a Christian holiday?  The confusion for me comes because it is a man made secular holiday, birthed from Paganism, dressed in baubles, glitter, consumerism, stories that hold no truth and lots of expectations. This is not to minimize the wonderful memories you may have or Christmas or the way you celebrate it. After all it is the most wonderful time of year for somebody. And I hope that somebody might be you. 


 So here we are. You never know what you are gong to get when you come over my way, to this blog. A very different post from my Snowflake themed home and yes tree, last year. This season these are just some of the things that have been on my mind. Just keeping it real folks.

One holiday blog post stuck out in my mind above the rest this Christmas season. The tree and home  are both beautiful, festive and VERY calming.  It's is my favorite holiday post this year and definitely my favorite tree. Why? - it is not a fancy tree that is falling over with trending ornaments, but it simply beautiful and so refreshing in a world of over the top trees that look near to catching on fire due to all the lights on them if they don't tip over first from the weight of the baubles on them.  It is unique and peaceful and not over done. It is grand in its simplicity and it is a statement to me. A decorated tree that makes one think, one that sticks in my mind and so I am sharing it with you below. If simple sea washed beauty speaks to you go visit the Sea cottage blog. Her home, photography and art are stunning.


 To my enlightened Christian friends, and to my Jewish friends who both observe Hanukah, well y'all got it going on as far as Biblical holidays. You can now see why so many are so stressed out at Christmas time, can't you?      Shalom.
                            A good laugh no matter the day is great for the heart. Merry Christmas

It is never too late to have a happy childhood, (once you recover from the Santa is a lie drama) . ha-ha..ha... Oh, wait.. it's supposed to be - Ho, Ho, Ho. NOT.


Nov 21, 2017

Thankful and Blessed

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells.. Yep.. Christmas songs are ALREADY playing on the radio and several porches are lit up with Christmas lights. I am in full out protest of rushing into holidays that are not even on the calendar this month.  I am appreciating pumpkins even more than normal, this November

In my last post, I shared my farmhouse porch made up with pumpkins and  Fall fancies, in shades of orange. I  also brought a bit of orange color into the farmhouse cottage this year. After revisiting last Fall's pictures and posting some never shared photos, from last fall, I think it will be the last year that that I will invite the color 'orange' inside my home.

  Below, are a few farmhouse pictures that didn't make it into my Fall (October 2016)  post, where I used (much preferred) neutral tones to usher in the beautiful NC Fall season. You can see those pictures  here.

My sweet vintage cow cutting board was scored from an auction for $5.00

Authentic, (sealed) chippy vintage ceiling tin works as my back splash.

I distressed the new zinc counter tops to give them an old time farmhouse look

Rusty roses and little pumpkins rest on my chalk painted vintage mantle

On the mantle, I used French Linen chalk paint by Annie Sloan and then dry brushed it with Old White

 Current pictures (below), of my lil house dressed in splashes of orange. I still think that orange is best suited for Gods perfect decorating, - where it is used in nature,on leaves, fruit, sunsets, lobster mushrooms, flowers and animals to name a few.

A corner of my dining nook

I scored old chippy ceiling tins at an antique mall.  Instantly, I knew they would be perfect as indoor  awnings, above the windows in my dining nook. After having custom corbels made to hang them on, I installed them and added vintage crystals to form a unique fringe. One day, they will have their own blog post with details and better pictures.

Clear vintage saucers for .25 cents each, add interest to the window

A cozy place, where views and meals are enjoyed

Even three TINY orange pumpkins sitting on the window sill are much to bright for my liking. Target practice with tiny pumpkins, hmmmm....Heck yeah....

Toy truck filled with little, itty-bitty, teeny-weeny tiny pumpkins

A 50 cent, ugly sign from goodwill - gets transformed into a mini chalkboard

A sneak peek... of my newly built hood,  made from barn-wood. More about it later.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanks Giving holiday.
I give praise to my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I am SO  thankful for such a blessed life.
He gives me breath, and I give him praise.

Especially, during these holidays, when you may not find enough hours in your day to do what you think needs to be done, you can still make time to play. Go outside, and skip for a few minutes. No matter your age... the world is your stage. Go on, ... it's okay, skip. It's okay to play... I dare you.  Life is very short, make time to play. Please remember that it is never to late to have a happy childhood.

Happy Fall Y'all.

This post is shared with The painted hinge.
The Charm of home


Nov 4, 2017

It's not Christmas, it's November. It's Fall y'all.

 Remembering and yearning for days gone by. The days when Christmas ornaments and candy canes did not appear on retailers shelves until one or two days after Thanksgiving items went on clearance. The same shelves then ushered in Christmas lights, bulbs, Christmas candy and holiday gift items.


  Commercialism of the holidays can certainly side track us. It's overwhelms me to walk down the store isles and see pumpkins, costumes and Christmas do-dads side by side, and often falling off the shelves having already been picked over in September and definitely by Oct.


As we know, Christmas is one of the most enterprising times of year for businesses.Each shop, mall  or website is trying to out do the other in drawing our attention to their business with decorations and advertisements months ahead of  the actual holidays. It takes the fun out it if we buy into it and rush from one holiday to the next instead of taking time to enjoy the day, season or current moment.
I am not an experienced gardener. I had several old boxes of seeds from the dollar store and I literally scattered them over the dirt and they created a simple but beautiful garden for $3.00

Not trying to be a holiday buzz kill, but why are we in such a rush?  Isn't 30 days of Christmas decor enough already?  Have you seen the holiday ornaments that look like a pumpkin on the one side and  on the backside they become Santa's head ornaments.? Or the fence boards that are painted like a snowman on one side and on the flip side is an angel. Now they need to come up with a 3 way ornament to use one side for a heart theme as not to forget Valentines Day. Well those multi holiday ornaments will save us alot of time on decorating our abodes. We can then spend more time on social media or Pinterest, learning about 365 uses for a pine cone.

 One might take a hint from dogs, who dwell in the moment. They can certainly teach us something about life if we just make time to observe them. For a dog, a walk in he woods is not about the destination, it is broken down into sniff size increments of joy and fun. They fully experience every moment.

 After weeding my dollar store wild flower garden yesterday I decided to snap a few pictures of my November flowers in full bloom. I took time to sit on a deck full of colorful leaves instead of being in a hurry to sweep them away. Then I decided to sit a bit, among pumpkins and just take some time to appreciate turkeys everywhere who are are enjoying their last days on earth. To be thankful for the beautiful warm days of November as I'm surrounded with trees dressed in their seasons finest colors.

98 cent chrysanthemums fill my flower boxes.

Alright, already... on a different note. How does the color orange make you feel? Orange can be a very strong and energetic color.  It  is  attention-grabbing and often used in advertising. Some people describe orange as bright, happy, and uplifting. For me orange is, way too bright and overwhelming. It's a controversial color and I think it is best suited for leaves, pumpkins, oranges, animals, flowers and sunsets. Other than that, I am not such a fan of the color orange.  That being said - only tiny splashes of orange show up inside my home during the fall season.  I have relegated the seasons most popular color (mostly) to my old farmhouse porch, my deck and my flower garden.

I designed this privacy fence around my deck. I incorporated several vintage wavy glass windows into the design. I will add some all weather lace curtains to the windows and possibly some shutters? The theme of my deck area is "Garden Cafe" and I have got some fun plans for this area.


This little all metal bistro set was purchased on Craig's list for $75.00. I like that all three pieces fold up flat for easy storage if I want to store them away for the winter months.


If you coat your pumpkins with a layer of any brand of floor polish or soak them in a bleach water solution it will preserve them and they will last much longer than normal, outside. I use a combination of real and faux pumpkins to decorate with. I do not decorate for or observe Halloween and so I pick up real pumpkins after Oct 31st at greatly reduced prices.


Welcome to my front porch, (below). Here you will see rusty stars, a galvanized farmhouse porch light and a large vintage feed bin that I scored from an old barn stall in WA. They all set the stage for different decor that surrounds them as the seasons as well as my mood changes. The old galvanized metal feed bin also provides lots of great storage options for my porch.


An old milk can and vintage tractor seat are put to good use as another storage spot (under the seat) and it's also a comfortable place to sit. You may remember that this used to be in my old chicken coop?

I love my old handmade screen door. It is a simple design that sounds so sweet as it swings shut. It whispers 'farmhouse', 'sweet farmhouse' to me every time I hear it squeak upon it's opening or closing.


    Cheap bandanas add a splash of color when needed. I borrowed them from my dogs necks.


I have a thing for galvanized vintage watering cans. I have a collection of them. Well, I sorta have a crush on all things galvanized. My geraniums are still blooming like crazy this 4th day of October.






I  recently found some pillow covers at a great price, so I decided to try to like the color Orange a bit more. I added a few pillows to this Victorian Iron child's bed that is a centerpiece on my farmhouse front porch. So, of course the new pillow covers inspired me to re arrange my front porch. I know many of you completely understand just what I mean.


 And here we have two of my children who dress in fur. They are not related but one would think so. One was rescued online from Burns flat, Oklahoma. Left on the streets when her previous owners moved. She ended up in a high kill shelter and was scheduled to be put down. She cost me a fortune to rescue her and I did not plan to keep her, but ended up falling in love with her. The girl on the left was destined for a life on a chain. She was left with no food , water or shelter as a young pup and chained up outside. She had been attached by another animal or dog. I freed her from a life on a chain and she just happened to win her way into my heart. One is 3 years old and the other is 10.

 These girls are best friends and are shepherd, cattle dog, and husky mixes. They look like sisters.




So, even though I am not a fan of the color orange.. I must say that when my amazing PRESIDENT gets a tan... I like orange more and more. I LOVE PRESIDENT TRUMP and continue to do happy dances on my porch. And every time I hear a liberal squeal, yell, scream and have a meltdown I sing "oh happy day"  because I know our president is  busy trying hard to make America Great Again. Then  I just keep on dancing..... And now to get that swamp drained on both sides.

I do like his shade of orange.

 When I think of the color orange and IMO where it looks best.... Hands down, orange looks best on Killary.  I can't help but have this image (below) on my mind.  And- before anyone gets their panties in a wad and wants to go on a rant, know this- this is not a design blog. Nor do I care if people like or don't like this post. Snowflakes can leave and look at other blogs if offended. I believe liberalism is a mental disorder and I hope one day a cure will be found.  All are welcome here but if you are offended grow a backbone and deal with it. I spent years being offended by O'bummer. If you leave nasty comments remember this, - I will delete them faster than you write them. I believe in free speech but I also don't entertain low information non sense and hate speech comments from liberals. 

Women for Trump and Hispanics for Trump

       DEPLORABLE LIVES MATTER --- YES THEY DO,   I am a deplorable, how bout you?.

Oh, my, my my,.... Martha... did she just say that?  I was just looking at her sweet little farmhouse porch and cute little doggies and now that shabby chic woman went on a political rant. My, my, my.  YEP... That I did. No apology. I am sick and tired of the liberal agenda and all that it stands for, which by the way seems to be against everything that God stands for. I am not afraid to say it loud and clear. And one more side note. I am sick and beyond tired of liberals phobias, attacks and hate of white men, Christians and anything that is related to Jesus.                                 

 I am a Hispanic and a legal one. And I know which bathroom to use. My grandparents came to America to work and contribute to the American way of life. Leaving their country and languages behind. Grandpa joined the Navy and became a United States citizen. He and grandma, like other immigrants of the time were never handed  free medical care or one food stamp.  Nor, were they provided with free attorneys. They were not free loaders or criminals. They came to America  for a slice of the American dream, to contribute instead of suck from our country. I stand strongly for borders, language and culture and building the WALL. 

                                                   Enjoy this beautiful time of year.
              Remember, it is NEVER EVER too late to have a happy childhood. Please go play. 


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