Time to get our “THANKFUL” on!


Hey all!
Wanted to encourage you to get THANKFUL with me.

I finally got out my fall decorations!!!  Hey, at least they can sit out all of November … believe it or not I am patting myself on the back for getting them out.  Usually I try for October.

I don’t really decorate for Halloween, excepting a wonderfully cute ceramic jack o’ lantern thats teeth announce my family name:








I tried my hardest to create a “Tammy” wreath… think I am getting better at making wreaths… but I am no Tammy to be sure:






What I am really excited about it our “THANKFUL TREE”:








This started last year … THANK YOU PINTEREST!  I took up the tree a notch this year… adding ribbon and different shapes and pretty fake flowers… I am feeling pretty crafty, oh yeah, oh yeah…

WHAT I AM REALLLLLLY excited is I am about to go to the post office and get a little package in the mail for each of my nieces and nephew… and my Kirsten (whose names are on my tree already).  Everything they need for their own “THANKFUL TREE”, except the branches or twigs or flowers.  I wish my families were close enough that they could stop by and I could help them add their little thank you notes to my tree… alas that is not gonna happen… so I send them their own tree.  It may not stick as a tradition for them but at least this year we give it a go… let something so simple as being thankful connect us across the miles.

I may not post my thankful notes on Facebook… but they are dangling from my tree on my table… along with a bowl of thanks from last year (interesting to read what we were thankful for and who stopped by and added to our thankful attitude).

Been busy and crazy…. and sometimes this past year I have allowed myself to drown in my own drama and issues and weirdness and …. well I have been adjusting to all the many changes that have come my way this past year… good, bad, ugly, …. Don’t want you to be worried cuz I am leaning on God and my beautiful and healthy family and just moving through life … I do want to take this moment to encourage you to do what I am doing with my family…. BE THANKFUL!!  It is fun, inspiring and a beautiful way to remember what we should be focused on… God… and the many ways He fills our cups to overflowing!!

I pray you are all able to get your “THANKFUL ON” however you do that… PRAY, post that daily thought on Facebook, journal, blog, or make your tree …. whatever works…

HUGS, LOVE, and many THANKFUL THOUGHTS for you all out there!



time to reflect, commiserate and celebrate!


So today is the BIG day!  You might be asking yourself “what day is that?”  well let me tell you guuurl…


23 years for him… about 22 for the two of us and respectively about 21, 19 and 17 years for our kids…. Franks parents have been supporting him for at LEAST 23 years of active duty but more like 43 years in total!  I think you should feel free to add a comment to this post so we can figure out how long YOU have been serving alongside us!!

Honestly I can say that Frank hasn’t done this alone and our family hasn’t accomplished the joy and misery that is loving and supporting a sailor alone… all of you should have a glass raised as we celebrate the wonder it is to finally shake the dust off of these boondockers and move on to what The Lord has for us next!

Frank is a quiet guy… why he married this particular LOUD girl, I have no clue… at any rate he is quiet… I would have a HUGE party and all of the people in our world over to ring out this milestone of a day however…

I decided today should be celebrated his way (but add red wine to my menu)… so don’t feel like you got left out… I was trying to arrange for two or three close families to celebrate with us tonight but Frank just wasn’t down with that.  We had no party (big OR small) and there will be no ceremony…. Frank took me out to dinner (spaghetti eddies is our fave place… afterwards the kids joined us (minus my Kirsten ***sniff***sniff***) for a loud night of Apples to Apples and Kansas City Rummy, snacks, and of course his favorite “Mammy’s Cheesecake”.

I am honoring the enormity of this day by blogging… writing has always been a great way for me to sort out my feelings… So many things have been racing thru my mind today as I think of what this day closes itself on…

So for those of you who don’t know:  Frank and I met on board the USS Merrimack (AO-179)…  ahh the memories of our first date can be rekindled with just the slightest odor of JP5… we walked from pier 10 down to McDonalds…. yes its still there… then off to a movie… the rest is history… in short order we started our family.  Frank was deployed when Kirsten and Nadine were born, home for Alyssa’s arrival and was able to stick around for Franklin’s first 10 days.

back in the day!

back in the day!

Can I recount all the duty stations?  The moves?  The deployments?  The oooh so short LEO ops, and the even shorter weeks in and out that nobody else seemed to think counted but me and the kids? Or maybe reminisce about “shore duty” that left me alone more than a ships schedule did…  Can I tell you how many of the kids birthdays were spent hunkered down at the house waiting for that all important birthday call??  Dare I try to number the anniversaries that were celebrated with us halfway across the world from each other(more than half of the years we celebrated we did so alone)?  Holidays apart… Should I regale you with stories about how it felt to be left at an airport with four children under four, for 8 months … with one of those children just 10 days old?  … or maybe about the occasion where I was fresh out of surgery and still wrangling little ones and had to lean on my crutches to wave at the ship as it pulled out?  uggh now I am getting depressed…

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yeah all that was hard… REAL HARD.  It seemed to get harder with every underway, not just the big ones that seem to “count” to everyone else.  I remember being more crushed and despondent when Frank left on his last deployment than I did when I left him halfway thru a med on our first deployment.  None of what the Navy has handed me and my family was something I would have chosen… BUT …

I would not trade a single drop of loneliness, heartbreak and struggle for a different life.  For ONE reason:

I will take from these last 22 years a great and abiding trust and love for GOD!  I have had to lean on Him in the absence of my husband in a way I don’t think I would have if Frank had been at home.  I have grown as a Christian woman and learned to depend on the God who is all things to me… I have learned to allow HIM to be all things to me instead of expecting Frank to be…

If you are sitting 5, 10, or even 15 or more years into a full commitment to serving Our Country… don’t despair.

If you think everyone in your life is not getting your pain, don’t shut yourself off from your support.

If you are tempted to feel angry and bitter when your hubby calls from Seychelles while you are getting thrown up on or are delousing your house or sitting in the middle of a dryer you took apart because you can’t afford to call the repair guy… don’t take it out on him when he finally does call.

If you are wondering why these crazy people at church are always asking you how your deployed husband is doing… just remind yourself these people are searching for a way to ask you how they could possibly help…  

If you are in the middle of IT… hang in there… nothing is worth celebrating if it isn’t worth working for!

I would have taken the first out I could have found and ran for the hills,  I saw many women who did just that… ran from the hard times instead of letting God grow them in the midst of it… so if you are feeling like no one gets it and you aren’t being supported, loved or valued or properly taken care of in the middle of your part of serving our country… maybe you can look at it from God’s perspective…. if everyone bails you out and makes it all easy on you… you won’t depend on God the way you could.  Your church family is there, they will hug on you, bring you a meal, find a great repair guy and maybe someone to wrestle with your little man who needs man time … but they aren’t supposed to be doing God’s job just like your sailor isn’t supposed to be doing God’s job!  Embrace the moments that come … good, bad, and ugly… for what they are … moments that can grow you closer to God!  God will provide the right people to minister to you when you most need it… whether it is you or your sailor…  Just know that at this moment you are being refined and made more into His image if you will but allow Him to minister to you and your family.


We need to say thank you to the people around us who have dealt with the drama that is Navy life… thank you to our church family who has been our true family and helped us to find God and cling to Him so we could make it through each and every day of each and every deployment… thank you to the close friends (who are family) that have held us together when we were ready to fall apart… so many of you God has strategically placed in our lives for just the right moment and just the right need… and you all stepped up and answered His call and served us in a way that allowed us to see God… THANK YOU!!

Maybe I am rambling … but maybe there is a nugget of truth and wisdom… take my words for what they are worth.  In the end I think this all boils down to God… He has made the last 23 years possible and worth it… I pray He is able to transform your struggles in the way He has transformed our struggles…

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One last note … I was on comms when desert storm/shield started, heard the order for those first missiles.  Frank was underway less than 10 days after 9/11 and spent everything but transit time of an 8 month deployment in the Gulf… we know what it is to serve in war times… our thoughts and prayers… our thanks … go out to you who are now standing the watch during these times of turmoil…  Thank you for serving and supporting….

We/I love you all and adore you for all you have done to help us through the last 23 years!


Hug, hug, kiss, kiss, hugs and LOTS of love and prayers!!

up to craftiness!!



Well I am tired and doing EVERYTHING I can to avoid making dinner.  To start I have no options as far as what to cook… I could just throw some pasta noodles in a pot and boil them but Frank says I should at least throw some sauce on it for fun, next I have been adding a few items to our etsy store, I also took a paper-ed test (that story another time but I should have waited for better brain function on that one) and now I am blogging.

I have to take a second to say THANK YOU to St. Gregory Catholic school in Va Beach!  THANK YOU!!

The Kauff -E- Shop was out for the first time in a long time at a craft show!  We had a blast!!  St. Gregory’s does an art/craft fair every year right before mother’s day.  It is a fundraiser for their art department and FUN for the vendor’s, the kids and the teachers!
I just love watching the kids debate how best to spend their money their parents money.  There were a couple of kids who kept coming back, trying to decide if they should get that one item or another at another table… some just want to visit… others just want to know what is the price of the last fifty cents they have in their baggy!

Frank was really cute as he “haggled” with the kids.  As soon as word got out that he let one haggle there were a few who came back, wanting a bird house for their mom… hope they LOVE their bamboo bird house!!

" Now let's see here, you say you want to give me $2 for that there house?"

” Now let’s see here, you say you want to give me $2 for that there house?”

Kirsten and Nadine rocked the show as far as The Kauff -E- Shop went.  Kirsten had her perler bead creations flying off the table.  Nadine sold all of her pins and was making custom orders while kids milled around and talked to them about their favorite internet laughs… I thought by now Charlie the Unicorn had faded out of the lime light but no… they were chatting the girls up about that!

"Hey there's a nun!  Lets sing Do, Ra, Me, this is JUST like The Sound of Music!!"

“Hey there’s a nun! Lets sing Do, Ra, Me…. this is JUST like The Sound of Music!!”

I think you can safely say we are all inspired to get crafting and ready for the next show… hmmm I better book us another, we have nothing on the books just yet … but we will!!

If you saw us at the show and are looking for something you didn’t have a chance to buy you have a couple of options:

wait for the next show

we have a few things for sale around town at Kitsch in Ghent, Norfolk, as well as Norfolk County Feed and Seed… even if you aren’t shopping for our stuff you should check these places out … they are awesome and I am all about supporting the local economy!

email us so we can hook you up (bat house… corn hole… I know we are waiting for a few emails, calls or texts)

or check us out on Etsy

Okay… well I have delayed long enough.. hmmm maybe I need to sit with my laundry for a few minutes… mind you I didn’t say FOLD it, just sit with it!!

Hugs and HAPPY crafting!!

busy bees!


Here is a promised post on MASON BEES!  We are hoping to attract some to our yard using the Mason Bee Barns Frank is now creating and selling.  Here is a pic of a “barn” Frank made hanging in our yard:

Mason Bee Barn

Mason Bee Barn


The tag that is placed on your Mason Bee Barn, if you purchased one that Frank made, reads:

Boost your garden’s productivity by providing a happy home for peaceful, non-stinging Mason bees. Slightly smaller than honeybees, mason bees are incredible pollinators. Each one visits as many as 1000 blooms per day — 20 times as many as a honeybee!

Basically my take away from studying up on the MASON bee is that they are great pollinators and they aren’t aggressive like other bees.  They are not trying to protect the queen so they don’t need to sting… that being said, I did read that they can sting but it is more of a mosquito type of sting than a bee.  The bees are probably around you already… they will naturally find your house but they can be purchased if you want IMMEDIATE bee occupancy.  Oooh one other thing… the house itself is ready to go, you can purchase (or make “tubes”) that you slip into the holes where the bees will live, lay eggs and pack mud into.  This makes it easier to clean but from my research it isn’t NECESSARY just nice.

Just so you know we are not experts on this subject, we are new to attracting MASON bees to our yard… our only claim is to make some barn’s and houses that will help attract them to your garden.

As I said with the ladybugs, I don’t want to plagiarise so I will direct you to some great sites that will give you more info:

GREAT youtube video posted by GardenGuy

ParentMap has a great article on Mason Bees and includes a how-to on making the tubes I mentioned!

NCU’s department of Entomology has a very good article on this page with links to follow, says it all really!

The fuss on buying mason bees… make sure IF YOU BUY that they are right for your area

Well that’s my info on mason bees, promise to keep you updated on our progress!

One last pic of our mason bee barn and a pic or two of our ladybug house hanging in my roses:




New home for the ladies!!

New home for the ladies!!


I did place a few raisins inside just so the home is more "inviting"... okay its bait!

I did place a few raisins inside just so the home is more “inviting”… okay its bait!




Hugs and Happy gardening!


May Crochet Class Schedule!!


If you are one of my “yarnies”, (yup I just made up a word!) I wanted to find a way to stream line my crochet class schedule for Michael’s at the Western Branch Store.  There are several ways you could have become a “yarnie”… student from previous class, saw me at a demo, saw me at a craft show… just found my blog… at any rate I would LOVE to see you in a class and on your way to a love of crochet!
One note to all students… if no one has signed up for a class 24 hours prior to that class/yarn night the store cancels the class.  Please make sure you sign up in advance!!
I have added classes to ensure if you are a morning, afternoon, evening or weekend person that you would be able to work through all offered classes!  Remember I am only guessing about what class schedules will work with your calendar… feel free to email me back with a more precise request if it will get you crocheting!!
This month the featured class will be AMIGURUMI!  Those cute little animals that you can crochet using scraps of yarn and love!  I have the prerequisite listed so you know if you are ready for it or not… this class is FUN,  I am always crocheting little animals for my nieces and nephews!
Here is a pic of some of the ones I have made that you might soon be able to make as well!!


All you have to do now is go to any cashier or hit the web-page where you can now sign up for classes online (not all of my May classes are up online because I missed the calendar deadline… this situation has been remedied and won’t happen again) to sign up for a class!
Hope to see you soon at a crochet class!
Yarn Hugs!
Here is my May schedule for Michael’s, Western Branch location  (look after the “calendar” for a description of each class):


6th Monday   9-11  single crochet

8th Wednesday  1-3  tall crochet

                            630-830 YARN NIGHT

11th  Saturday 230-430 Single Crochet

13th   Monday 9-11  tall crochet

15th  Wednesday 1-3  Texture crochet

16th  Thursday 630-830 Tall crochet

18th  Saturday 230-430  tall crochet

20th  Monday 9-11  Texture crochet 

22nd  Wednesday 1-3  discover time for crochet AMIGURUMI!!

25th  Saturday 230-430  texture crochet

26th  Sunday 230-430  discover time for crochet AMIGURUMI!! 

27th  Monday 9-11  discover time for crochet AMIGURUMI!!

30th  Thursday 630-830  discover time for crochet AMIGURUMI!!



Discover Single Crochet $25.00, Materials Not Included

Here’s where the crochet fun begins! Select your favorite colors and start making your own crocheted designs that you’ll be proud to wear or give as gifts. By Craft Yarn Council


Discover the Tall Stitches $25.00, Materials Not Included

Now that you know the basics of crochet, you are ready to learn the Tall Stitches. Create your own unique style as you complete a decorative pillow or scarf . Prerequisite: Discover Single Crochet. By Craft Yarn Council


Discover Textured Stitches $25.00, Materials Not Included

Kick up your crochet skills in this class! Work magic with your crochet hook as you create unique style that incorporates stitches that are sure to wow. Prerequisite: Discover Single Crochet and Tall Stitches. By Craft Yarn Council 


Discover Granny Squares $25.00, Materials Not Included

Learn to make circular patterns in your designs. Select your favorite colors and start making your own crochet designs that you’ll be proud to wear or give as gifts. Prerequisite: Discover Single Crochet and Tall Stitches, and Textured Stitches. By Craft Yarn Council 


Yarn Night $5.00, Materials Not Included  Yarn night is a GREAT opportunity to get some time with friends, set aside time for a certain project or simply to review class material and make sure you got it down!

Sit and Stitch with friends who share your passion for knit and crochet. Enjoy our space, get inspiration from others as we share a fun evening putting projects together. $5 reserves your spot today!


Discover Textured Baby Blankets $25.00, Materials Not Included

Crochet this warm and charming hooded blanket with rich textured stitches. Prerequisite: good knowledge of crochet basics, including how to make a slip knot, foundation chain and single crochet. By Craft Yarn Council

Discover Time for Crochet  $25, Materials Not Included  
THIS CLASS CHANGES MONTHLY when offered May will be AMIGURUMI!!   Prerequisite: Discover Single Crochet and Tall Stitches. By Craft Yarn Council 


confession of a newbie knitter!


I have to confess … as an avid crochet-er I never thought I would ever see the day.

I have sworn myself against it for as long as I can remember.

I have claimed  I would never ever take up “the knitting” while Franklin (my son) was still at home (two sharp pointy objects… look like a sword fight waiting to happen to me).

I have been crochet-ing for EVER.

I love crochet for so many reasons:

First because it ties me to Grandma Price.  She taught me the ways of “the hook” at least 35 years ago… I remember fondly the endless chains that became bracelets and the one swatch that was to later become my teddy bear, Cupid’s, blanket.

I love creating things for the people I love, very rarely it seems I end up with one of my own creations.  For someone who has been crocheting for the better part of 35 years I only have one blanket, one shawl, a coffee cozy and a few doilies to show for my efforts.

I love crochet as it has become a source of income that I enjoy.  You have heard the old adage “if you love your work, you will never work a day in your life”.  Well I DO love my work!  I have been teaching crochet unofficially for nearly as long as I have been crocheting (Sue-Sue probably was a first forced student, sorry lil sis!).  I have been teaching crochet at Michael’s for about 2 years now (?).  I never leave a class feeling like I worked… always feel like I just had some good girlfriend time.  Teaching combined with craft sales rounds out my employment portfolio in the world of yarn.  Grandma would be proud… she was always trying to get Frank and I to sell our crafts… I won’t go into the prototypes she sent home with us… OR the doilies that a friend needed that she purchased and took home with her (not to mention they were found in her dresser drawer after she passed on).  Yup Grandma would sit at a craft sale with us and tell us how she “told us so”!

I do go on about crochet… LOVE ME SOME CROCHET!!

Well Wednesday I finally took a class on knitting!  If it weren’t for the fact that a good friend of mine (whom I WILL be visiting in Florida) teaches knit … well I probably would have thought twice about it.  Kirsten, one of my much beloved daughters knit-s.  Don’t ask, I have no idea how she learned, I told her “you are on your own girl.  I don’t hold with those kinds of things”.  Kirsten took the class with me so as to brush up on a few stitches and get to the next level.  Nadine wanted to challenge herself, she claims she WAS challenged.  I was just feeling crazy!!

Here is the progress in pictures.  My work is yellow, Nadine is chunky brown yarn, and Kirsten was working a variegated tye-dye colored yarn:

casting on

casting on


yeah... she got skills!

yeah… she got skills!

mine on left, Nadine's on right

mine on left, Nadine’s on right



My first ever knitted dish cloth! Ummm Marsha.. how do I get this off my needle?


In conclusion I would have to say this knitting stuff deserves a closer look.  I did end up investing in bamboo needles.  I love the way the yarn slides off the needle and onto the other needle.  Am I sold on knitting?  I still need to see how versatile it is.  I love the things I can make with crochet… I need to know how knitting compares… maybe I will just knit certain things and crochet the rest… who knows where this could lead… I think I might be a little scared!

I hope my lack of knitting skills is good for you all… so many people say “I could never do that” to me when they look at the crochet work I have in my hands.  Well I have been crocheting forEVER so I can make it look easy (or difficult).  I don’t know if I will become a knitt-er but I do know that I wouldn’t ever know if I didn’t give it a go.  We aren’t all good at everything but we never know until we give it a try.

I love, love, love knitted dish cloths.  Even better than crochet dish cloths!  I can now at least make me some (not so pretty, not so professional) dish cloths!


I actually am learning to knit!

Get out there and learn something new!!  Have a blast doing it and laugh at all of your dropped stitches …and in my case added ones.  Just so you know I casted (correct knitting terminology?) on 34 stitches… end count was 43??? Not sure how that happened, but sure it will still wash the heck out of my dishes!

Hugs and happy learning!

Ladybug, Lady Bug fly away home!


this image was taken from Stylehive.com … as soon as the sun comes out to play I will get picks of MY ladybug house in my roses :0)

You need a ladybug house if you have a garden!!  I mean really need one!  Honestly ladybugs are a natural pest control!  ECO-friendly, non-chemical way to get the pest outta your garden! YOU NEED SOME LADYBUGS!!

You would not believe how much I have learned about ladybugs lately! My beloved husband has been busy in the woodshop.  As you may well know… we have a very nice, renewable source of bamboo … uhhh OUR BACKYARD!  We are always looking for creative ways to put this plant to use in our yard as well as in our shop.  Introducing the LADYBUG HOUSE!

To be honest, this post is for our customers who have purchased our houses and are needing/wanting more info.  It is also to brag on my darling husband (and a touch of forcing myself to get back in the blogging rhythm).

If you have purchased a ladybug house from us (Currently we have some at Norfolk County Feed & Seed and at our craft show booth) you may be looking for more info.  The tag on the houses reads:

Aphids are the most common garden pest and are difficult to control by spraying. Luckily, one ladybug can eat dozens of aphids a day, seeking them out wherever they hide. Ladybugs also prey on mealybugs, scale, leaf hoppers and mites. Bait these natural bamboo feeding stations with a raisin or two to welcome ladybugs into your garden and provide food when aphids are scarce.

So that is the basics… Ladybugs, as cute as they are, happen to be hunters!  If you are like me you are probably wondering “how in the world does she eat them bugs?”.  I did a google image search that produced many pictures of pretty little ladybugs doing in aphids and pests of all sorts… here is a good one linked up to scholastic that has some good info… so you can see a ladybug can actually eat bugs!

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that ladybugs can be ladyMENs!



I won’t repeat anything I have read verbatim, I am more than positive that cut,copy and paste is some form of plagiarism at best.  So here are a few links I found informative… enjoy, feel free to comment on the post with any info you have on the ladybug hunter and how to lure and keep her in your garden!

Here are the links:

a blog with good info and how to build your own house

treehugger, a blog and video with ladybugs doing their job – info on how they are harvested to sell

amazon ladybugs to purchase

Growquest, a supplier of ladybugs that cuts out the middle man – cannot vouch for this site or seller, just found it kewl that they have bugs to acreage figured out, also pics and videos!

I also encourage you to go to your local gardening store… like NORFOLK COUNTY FEED & SEED where you can support your local economy while luring the ladybugs to your garden!

Well thats all I got for now… tomorrow I plan on blogging about Mason Bees… because we have Mason Bee Barns as well!  Praying the sun comes out tomorrow so I can get pics of both in our yard and get them up on Etsy already!!



Baby LOVES!!



I am not going to sit and explain why the heck I haven’t written in forEVER… not gonna give excuses or even make promises for the future… nope… just wanted to blog a bit and … well if I say anything else on that subject I will be making excuses and/or promises so….

I am in love with a few lil girls and I just wanted to share my baby LOVES with you!

As you all know I am crochet royalty…. or at least I consider myself crochet royalty… mainly I am the queen of crochet… in my house at least!!  So I think after I share my pics that I will go crochet me-self a crown, after all if you have declared yourself to be a queen you should have your own crown, and it is VERY appropriate that it is CROCHETED!!

I am about to put a variety of my lil girls up on our ETSY, more on that after the pics… you should know that all of these lil girls have homes already… if you want then we must chat…..

So here are my baby loveS:

This lil cutie was my first crochet doll and she has found a home in PA with my niece Autumn!

This lil cutie was my first crochet doll and she has found a home in PA with my niece Autumn!



Long story short... sitting at Panera crocheting when someone just HAD to have her... she was already promised to a friend... but money walks... the customer was happy, I got double my asking price... and pulled an all nighter to complete the order for someone else!

Long story short… sitting at Panera crocheting when someone just HAD to have her… she was already promised to a friend… but money walks… the customer was happy, I got double my asking price… and pulled an all nighter to complete the order for someone else!

These sweet sisters are going into Easter baskets... they were designed to look similar to her granddaughters... LOVE THEIR HAIR!!

These sweet sisters are going into Easter baskets… they were designed to look similar to the customers granddaughters… LOVE THEIR HAIR!!




These are the other two grand baby look a-likes... she has one more grandbaby on the way... and yes she already placed an order for her doll baby!

These are the other two grand baby look a-likes… she has one more grandbaby on the way… and yes she already placed an order for her doll baby!


A friend from work has this lil girl waiting on her... she has the softest hair... I will be using as much "loops and threads Charisma" for hair as I can!

A friend from work has this lil girl waiting on her… she has the softest hair… I will be using as much “loops and threads Charisma” for hair as I can!



Okay… I have to get moving for the day… lots to do!

I will mention briefly that before the week is up I will have some lil ladies on Etsy.

I have to tell you this because I cannot seem to NOT get asked if they are for sale…

so much so that Nadine made me a button to pin on my crochet bag that says “WHY YES MY BABIES ARE FOR SALE… ask me for details”.

So YES they are for sale…

no they aren’t on Etsy       YET

YES I do custom orders…

but the reason I blogged about them is because these lil ladies make me smile whenever I see them!

Alright, gonna kick this day into motion!



What if…


I haven’t been blogging …

For me writing is a way of letting my thoughts, emotions and prayers percolate…

Whenever I sit down to write my throat closes up and I fight tears.

Don’t get me wrong… I know my blogs main ingredient is silly Charlotte theories and weight loss with a dash of seriousness and a pinch of heartfelt and passionate expression.

I am just saying that what is on the top of my mind, tip of my fingertips and the deepest depth of my heart has been pretty darn serious and heart wrenching…

Today I was driving to scoop me up an iced coffee and head back to the “Transition GPS” class I am attending with my “retiring (seriously!) this year” husband and my thoughts were percolating and a song came on the radio… There was a lot of hope and perspective in it…

Sometimes I just know that when I wake up at night, going from a deep sleep to not being able to return to rest… I KNOW that God needs me to be on my knees for you. Maybe the sleepless nights are the way we know HE is near, because HE IS…

And there really is no question … Is there…

Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Grieving: a good perspective


I have not been blogging because I am simply at a loss for words.
It’s hard to find something to say when your heart is torn, knowing your best friend is going through the worst pain you can imagine and you can’t do a thing to comfort her.
A loving, generous and kind hearted friend has been able to do what I have not…
Write about all the words tumbling around in my head… And other things that I just couldn’t even begin to understand. Brandi, thank you for putting words to my thoughts and expressing things that can become wise counsel to anyone who wants wise council.

The link to her blog is here

Here is the cut and paste version:

How To Deal With Grieving Parents
by B

I used to say someone should write a book about how to deal with people who are grieving. Why on earth would I say that? Because I’ve been in a state of mourning. I’ve watched my mother walk through it twice. One of my grandmothers buried two husbands and a son. One of my grandmothers buried a baby, Jackie Shaye who I was named after long before I was born but I saw her deal with that grief years later. The one thing I’ve learned from my mourning and watching others close to me mourn is that we all deal with it differently. Very differently.

My Gran was sick when she lost Jackie because she was wracked with guilt. I’m not sure my own mother has ever completely recovered from the death of her mother and her best friend. And Mammaw, well there was probably never a stronger person in this world to deal with everything she dealt with. Her son had a heart attack at a time when hearts could not be prepared. She was forced to watch as he slowly wasted away in his early thirties. She raised two boys alone after losing her husband in his thirties. She remarried and dealt with cancer. Honestly, I don’t know how she didn’t go stark raving mad. She didn’t. There is something true about the term Steel Magnolias. Then there was my own loss, so much less when you think about perspective. Saying goodbye to a tiny little baby we never really knew.

Recently our sweet friends lost their four month old baby very suddenly. They are still wrestling with God, trying to be strong for each other and their daughter. I am heart sick thinking of how they feel as they prepare for her funeral service at the end of the week. I know there isn’t much to say to a grieving parent. After so many, “At least you know that you have an angel in heaven…” statements I wanted to yell that I wasn’t ready for Jessa to be in heaven. I wanted to watch her grow up to be a sweet little sister to Bria, hear her say “mama” to find that first boyfriend, to choose to follow Jesus and be baptized, to have her Daddy walk her down the aisle and watch as she provided me with a slew of grandchildren to squeeze and love. So many things that she could have done and seen. When that ache is deep and the wounds are open, it’s hard to see the pain and trouble she would feel in this world and that I was being a bit selfish wanting her to experience it. The fact is, I’m still a bit selfish when I see Arleigh and Hanan huddled close on the futon in the playroom and Bria goes off to play by herself. I know it’s God’s plan but it’s certainly not mine. The meals brought to our door were such a blessing. The love that came from our friends and our church family helped get me through. And yet, there are times when people in their need to help, become a burden.

I was talking with my friend Anna. She talked about how when her son was so very sick in the hospital other mothers would come to her and in trying to comfort her, begin to unload their burden of guilt at having a healthy child. I distinctly remember being in the hospital and being desperate for people to leave me alone. I also remember Cynthia and how she wanted so desperately to comfort me. While I would like nothing more than to show up and hug Cynthia and love on her and insist that she give me a much needed hair cut to forget things for a moment… I also know that my desperation to comfort her is perhaps not what she needs at this moment. She needs to catch her breath and come to grips with her loss all while confronting it head on with a funeral service. Often in these situations in our desperation to serve, we actually turn the tables on the very people who are mourning and ask them to comfort us. It’s just not fair. If you haven’t walked your own path of mourning, sometimes it’s hard to see.

Each of the people that I have known to walk the path of mourning have done it in different ways. My friend Christine lost her mother at a very young age. I haven’t asked but I get the feeling that she poured herself into her younger siblings. My mother was so angry for such a long time. Her mother died before most of her other friend’s mothers. It still frustrates her to hear people talk about the difficulties of caring for their elderly parents because she would give anything to be allowed that privilege. My father died all too soon. I miss knowing that’s he’s there to talk me down off a ledge but he still is in some ways. He used to tell me to pick up every penny because they tell you who to trust, God. In every life changing moment, there has always been a penny somewhere lying on the ground for me to find. I was sad when he was gone. I also felt like I had to help my mother. I consoled myself by trusting that he would be far better off in heaven than if a stroke had left him with brain damage. I also understood Mom’s frustration when people complain about their parents. I didn’t deal well with losing Jessa. In fact, I can still get quite angry about the fact that I missed so much. The girls pulled me out of it as I’m sure Victoria will do for Cynthia and Lorenzo. The care and concern and love shown to us was appreciated but sometimes, it turned into comforting someone else. I am not in any way calling anyone out. I’ll be the first to admit, there were times that I was forced to comfort someone because they felt so bad for me and it kept me from thinking about my own grief for a second. It’s still not fair. There are also some people who plainly wanted to share my grief for their own attention. That is infuriating. The problem is, I don’t think those people realize it’s what they’re doing.

So, here’s my two cents. Cynthia can correct me if I’m wrong. Let the person that is grieving set the tone. Sometimes the grieving person knows what they can handle, sometimes they do not. I thought I could attend a dear friend’s baby shower a week or two after coming home from the hospital without Jessa. When confronted with the reality of the situation, I could not. The cry I had on the way home was cathartic. It helped when friends sent living things that I could plant and feel like Jessa was living on through something else. It helped when people let me know they were there. Some I chose to talk to. Some I chose not to confide in. Sentiments are sweet. My mom cherishes so many things that she got at my father’s funeral. I on the other hand get stressed. We move so often, how will I feel if it is broken or lost? What I’m saying is everyone is different. Let the person tell you what they need, don’t think you know best especially if you are not a close family member or very best friend. If the family says they can’t accept your company, don’t be offended. Be grateful that they love you enough to say not now. There were people that I didn’t feel like I could say no to. It made things very hard.

Let’s move on to social media. Unless you are expressing a sincere sympathy or your prayers, keep your mouth shut. Grieving families don’t need to worry about whether or not they hurt your feelings. In fact, I told a dear friend that I really appreciated her offer to come and sit with me, but I just couldn’t bare to cry anymore. Guess what? We’re still friends. I spoke with her this morning. I’m praying for her husband as he battles cancer. We’re still friends. Thankfully she didn’t rake me over the coals in some social media format because at that moment, I just needed space. Guess what. There is an inner circle. Don’t be offended if you aren’t part of it. There are few people that I let in. I don’t need a gaggle. I need less than a handful and I’m good. If the grieving parent needs a gaggle, they will let you know.

Why post this now? It’s fresh on my mind. There are a few people that I would love to sit down and ask them to really think about their motives and what they think they are accomplishing. There is nothing more that I would like to do than jump on an airplane and show up at a funeral service Friday. To hug Cynthia and Lorenzo and love on Victoria and tell them that it doesn’t seem like it right now, but it will get better easier even but it’s hard right now and we’re here for them. The fact is, I would most likely be in the way. Comforting the Garcias for the sake of comforting me to help me think I’ve done something is selfish. I am selfish. If I had the money to get off this rock and babysitters, I would have been there. Cynthia would love me enough to say thank you for coming, I love you. I need to be with my family. I don’t need to feel like I need to entertain you or comfort you. I wouldn’t be do anything her own Mama can’t do.

The best thing I can do for Cynthia and Lorenzo is let them know we’re here. I can let Cynthia know what helped me work through my grief. I can pray, pray, pray. If she asked, I would be there in a heartbeat.

So clearly I’m working through my own issues here. If I had made this concise, (I’m sounding like my preacher with a 5 point plan after he has essentially wrapped up a sermon) I would way pray long and hard. Use a little self examination to really think about your motives and what you expect to accomplish. Let the grieving party know you are there. Take a covered dish if you really need to feel better and then pray. If they need you, they will let you know.

Love you Garcias. If you need us, you know where we are.