Thank you so much for visiting my blog. God BLESS !

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sprint Bill and Plans...

Just a reminder that if you have Sprint as your cell phone carrier, you most likely have free roaming charges. I have been billed for roaming charges over and over and have to call Sprint to have them removed. They advise me to put my phone on the Sprint only roaming option, but I remind them that I live in a rural area and many times we go into roam and that is a perk in our plan and I will NOT put my phone in Sprint only... *sigh*... So, check your Sprint bill and call and get the credit you deserve and was promised on your plan.


Have you tried using Facebook? I have found it to be a perfect place to gather with old friends and meet many new ones. Facebook offers a way to connect and find friends from the past that have also signed up there. There are many games to play, where I have met so many nice people and have become facebook friends with them as well.

Do yourself a favor and take some time to sign up. It's easy and it's free. You will find joy in connecting with high school friends, college friends, friends that you have worked with in the past and past and present coworkers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Passing of a Friend...

A few months ago, she complained about her back hurting... then with a hug, she received a couple of broken ribs. From there, the pain overtook her and she found out there was a mass when she was xrayed for her ribs.

Nancy sold on eBay and was known as PrimsandFancy. I haven't blogged for awhile and am checking my links to the right today and found hers there. I don't have the heart to remove it. It was the link to her eBay store.

About a year ago when the economy starting going downhill, she started closing some of her retail space and asked if I would like to help her sell some of her items. She would ship number 7 boxes filled to the top with her made in China wholesale items. She was a PowerSeller on eBay and strove for perfection everyday, every moment. She emailed me at least 5 times per day, giving me information on my listings, advice, and informing me of our competition and what was selling. She knew the business inside out...

A month before she passed, her emails diminished to one every three days or so. She told me she loved me in every single one of them, something she had never done in all the years of our friendship. The pain was so intense, that she could not sit at the computer for any length of time. She gathered some items together and sent me one last box. The hardest thing after she passed was looking at the items that were next to me on the floor, waiting to be listed. I eventually gathered up the strength deep within me to pick her things up and place them in the family room, with unsold items that she refused to "give away", and had been listed since the beginning of time it seemed...

Now, I am boxing up the items and dropping them off at the local Goodwill shop. Some things I am throwing into the trash next to me, as I sort through each prim and decide if it is worthy of keeping... deciding if Nancy's items would be someone else's treasures.

I am unlisting many items on eBay and will be relisting my quilt items again soon. The items that are not handmade by me, are most likely Nancy's goods. Remember... we are not promised tomorrow. RIP Nancy. I love you, too.

Black Eyed Susans

I love Black Eyed Susans...

They are one of the last perennials to bloom in my yard.

Cicada Time in WV

The sounds of cicadas fill the woods this time of year. It is nice as we affiliate the noise they make to the lazy days of summer. Here is a very informative website all about cicadas:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

eBay Store and Sale

As most of you know, I have been selling on eBay for approximately 5 years. They have recently changed many things, including how little store exposure we receive. I spent much of the day unlisting items and reducing many that I feel are worthy of listing. I will be making more handmade items when the girls start school and listing pumpkins before that time... If you are looking for Americana signs or other decor, primitive items, fabric strips, eBay templates, dolls, handmade bowl fillers, Christmas decor, please stop in my store and purchase while it is available. The wholesale items and signs listed that are not handmade by me will not be relisted. Once the merchandise is gone, that will be it. Thank you so much for checking out my eBay store and I hope to hear from you there :)

School Starts Soon~~~

Can you believe school will be starting soon? This summer has certainly gone by quickly for us. The leaves, walnuts and hickory nuts are starting to fall. I have to be extra careful now mowing under the walnut trees. The walnuts to NOT feel good when they land on your head... We got our school supplies shopping done and it was fairly painless. We hope to get one more camping trip in before winter and then we will winterize the camper and get ready for the snow to fall :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Web

Before you even realize what is happening, your abuser is manipulating you, controlling you and breaking down your self esteem. Your abuser could be your husband, wife, grandparent, guardian, boyfriend, girlfriend, older sibling... anyone in your life that is hurting you could possibly be an abuser.

Charlie had many issues from childhood that were unresolved and still are unresolved. He was abused and I truly believe that if you are with someone that has been deeply hurt and or abused, they have the potential to abuse you, especially if you are a submissive or passive person. Your kindness is seen as a weakness and they will be able to zero in on what makes you tick and what they can do to break you down, continuously and gradually, without you even knowing that it is happening.

Some, as Charlie did, begin to try to remove you from what you are familiar with and from the people that love you and have been in your life for you. They want you out of your safety zone and into their own web where they can shut you off from people that may try to influence you and be there for you to possibly get you out of your relationship with them.

Charlie had the ability to make me feel on top of the world one moment and the next so low that I would cry in silence. No matter what you do, you cannot please them. You can have an immaculate home, most professional looking landscape, dinner on the table, looking like you just stepped off a magazine cover, and they will find something to pick about or dig at you for not doing right or for not doing at all. An abuser is never happy. They are never happy or appreciative of you or what you do. They only want to control you and hurt you because when they succeed in doing so, they somehow feel that they are overcoming their own pain and hurt. To see you hurt, makes them feel better and even successful within themselves.

Why do you continue to stay in your situation? Are you financially stuck because you have been a stay at home mom for your children and you have no job, no sitter, no one there for you? Do you feel that the person you are with is going to change? Do you believe them when they tell you that you are all that they have and all they ever wanted? Do they have a way of making you feel more loved than you have ever been loved, even though they continue to chip your heart away and shut you down? Do you feel that they are the only person that you can have a relationship with? Are you afraid to leave them for fear worse will happen to you? Is it possible that you can say yes to all of the above? YOU ARE NOT ALONE and this is a situation that is so much more common than you think!

People that are being abused usually do not open up and tell others what they are experiencing. You feel as though you deserve it because the person you are with manipulates your mind into thinking that you could have gone to the store to get the milk you forgot or that the dishes in the dishwasher should have been put away... however they convey to you in their own way, an abuser is able to make you feel that you deserved what you received, whether it be verbal abuse, mental abuse or physical abuse. NO ONE DESERVES ABUSE.

Do not let anyone make you feel that you are less than a person. Are you embarrassed because you are abused? Are you ashamed and afraid of how others may view YOU? Is the church you are going to telling you that divorce is the wrong thing, not biblical? God made all of us and God does not want us to suffer or be abused. He does not want us to stay in a situation that hurts us in anyway. Our God is a forgiving God and above all, God knows our heart and God sees everything, feels everything and will help those who ask for His help.

Think about yourself. Forgive yourself. LOVE yourself.

Happy Independence Day!

Martina McBride ~ Independence Day

Please copy and paste the link and insert...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

One Foot Still In the Door

Charlie found a place to live, but asked if he could keep his things in the garage. I didn't see any harm in that, not realizing at the time that he simply wanted to keep one foot in the door, as he continued to find excuses to come over because he needed something out of the garage.

A mutual friend of his and mine, who Charlie grew up with, had just gone through a divorce himself and was trying to "help" me understand that I could not wash Charlie's clothes for him and do little things for him because he was mistaking my kindness as a weakness to continue to be in my life. I was torn about this, but later realized that this was very true.

Charlie was very cooperative. He was paying the bills and coming over to get the girls to spend time with them and seemed as though he was truly making an effort to change. He was still going to therapy and was keeping me up to date on his progress, all the while still pleading with me to give him one more chance. Seventeen years of marriage... one more chance... Would I ever regret not giving him ONE MORE CHANCE?

The paperwork came for the hearing date for the divorce. I caved. I drove to the courthouse and let them know that I would not be continuing the divorce proceeding. I allowed him to move back in and within one week, he was back to his old self again. I could not believe it. I received a call from one of my job applications, and after a very positive interview, started a new job and in the same breath, told Charlie to get back out of the house. I filed for divorce again, kicking myself for not keeping a copy of the first packet that I filled out only a few months prior.

Why was Charlie so willing to leave? Many people were told by him and think that it was out of the "goodness of his heart" that he "gave" the house to me. In reality, he received over $40,000.00 cash and his untouched retirement benefits, which I was entitled to share, all of his almost 900 hours of PTO time, half the amount of alimony that the court ordered him to pay and all of his guns, which value at well over $20,000.00 or more. I received the house... no cash... but was happy to be able to keep the house for the girls and me. Charlie knew he was guilty of abuse... guilty of years of abuse to me and the girls were old enough to share with the courts and could answer any questions they had in regards to our life with Charlie.

The Beginning of the End

Funny how people say they will change and can change when reality smacks them in the face. I personally do not believe people can change. My life experience and the lives of my very dear friends have shown me that people simply do not change. This is my personal view and if you disagree, that's okay with me.

I mustered up the strength to go down to the courthouse and get a divorce packet. The divorce packet was almost a 1/2" thick and very intimidating. I filled out the divorce packet and asked Charlie to please leave. I had been sleeping in the basement for awhile and I had no desire to allow him to touch me ever again. He cried, pleaded, begged, got on his hands and knees and told me he was sorry and he would change. He told me that he knew that he had hurt me and that he was sorry, over and over and over again... I felt nothing. I had nothing left to give. I had nothing left in my heart. I had to fill out the packet if not for myself, but for my girls.

We had the paperwork notorized and Charlie went to therapy for two or three months. He was determined to show me that he would change. I had filed for divorce and there was not a day in my life at that time, that I did not take the girls to the bus stop and come home and lie in my bed and cry for hours at a time. I had no job. I had no idea what I was going to do financially... I was so confused and lost.... felt so alone and so ashamed of my life and what I had accepted as treatment from a man that didn't deserve the time of day from me, much less two wonderful children. I had to be strong, if not for myself, for my girls. Every day, I would get into the shower and I would cry and pray. The tears of hurt and sorrow washed down the drain and my strength was renewed enough to get me through the day. God's voice, every single day was telling me, "...this too shall pass...". That was my ritual... every day for weeks...

My Second Baby Girl

As I watched my first daughter grow into such a beautiful, sweet child, it weighed heavy on my mind to decide whether or not to have another child for her to share her life with. She was extremely close to me, but as she grew older, she showed a little more interest in her father, who was happier to spend time with her when she was out of diapers and potty trained. He never changed her diapers, so rarely would take her places or do things with her unless I was nearby. Her father loved archery and for Christmas one year, I purchased her a little red bow out of the Sears catalog. With the purchase of her bow, a bond began between her and her father and she loved more than anything to see him smile at her hitting the target. We had started going to 3D shoots and enjoyed the time we shared, walking through the woods and watching everyone in awe of a little girl with a pony tail letting go of a tiny arrow and smacking a target dead on from a few feet away. She was the youngest to ever compete in the IBO World Championship held in Flatwoods, WV approximately 13 years ago.

Archery didn't last long when Charlie started to try to change her and the simple things that she was used to. He began to turn something fun into something he wanted for her and of course, for himself, which was more competition. The fun was replaced with a release and expensive bow that she had no interest in picking up. All she wanted to do was shoot her little red bow without conditions and new equipment. That was the beginning and end of archery for her...

My second daughter was born when my first child was 4. She was a quiet baby and slept all of the time. I remember asking the doctor what was wrong with her. I would find her in various places through the house sleeping... on the floor, at the bar, under her bed... He told me to feel fortunate that she slept, as many babies did not. My second daughter was extremely close to me and seemed to cling to me constantly. She was always a very sensitive little child.

I had become as much of a buffer as I could when it came to disciplining the girls. I knew too well what Charlie was capable of doing and was always on guard and on edge, watching and waiting for every moment and movement that he would make when one of the girls did something that he was not fond of. He was extremely tough on the girls and made them eat at the bar instead of the table with us because he didn't want them getting food or prints on the oak dining room table. Shoes were and had to be left at the side entrance door and he had a sign made that was professionally engraved that read, "PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES. THANK YOU." This sign was placed on the kitchen entry door and when someone did not remove their shoes, I had to hear about it after they left. No eating was ever allowed in the vehicles. He had a habit of kicking their toys out of his path and then screaming about it. If he got annoyed at the girls, he would lift them up by their arms and sling them into their bedrooms.

My oldest daughter started to have coughing spells late at night. Charlie went to bed early and got up very early to go to work. I would take the girls to the basement with a snack and water and keep them down there until bedtime so they would not wake him up. My oldest daughter woke up one night and could not stop coughing. Charlie was livid. He jumped out of bed and screamed at her and yelled that HE had to get up early and could not sleep and slammed the bedroom door. I went in with her and tried to help her stop coughing. I finally decided that I was not able to do anything for her and took her to the ER. The ER doctor immediately diagnosed her with asthma. There were many trips to the ER until I figured out what worked best for her here with her nebulizer and how to control her asthma before it got to the point that she needed an ER trip. This was simply an inconvenience to Charlie and he still would get annoyed at her for coughing and more annoyed at me for not being able to quiet her.

One evening, I walked by my second daughter's room and saw her sitting on her knees on the floor with a Barbie Corvette and scotch tape. I went into her room and knelt down beside her and asked what she was doing. She told me that daddy kicked the car and broke it and she was trying to fix it. At that point, my heart exploded into tiny pieces and the realization came to me that Charlie had not only hurt me, but was hurting my children.

Time To Move

The log house had served its purpose, but the cold winters and maintenance on the logs were a bit more than I cared to continue to deal with, as did Charlie. The winters were so cold and the dusty gravel road that we lived on left a film on everything constantly. Our well had gone dry and we paid to have another drilled that only produced 4 gpm. I wanted to get rid of the house before the second well went dry and I was simply tired of the woodpeckers, bore bees, and money spent on sealant for the exterior...

The property went up for sale and $40,000.00 was profited and put into our new home. I had no regrets and was happy to get rid of the house. It seemed to have drained me emotionally, financially and physically. I had used a hand saw to cut trim for the doors and mopped plywood floors until we were able to afford the walnut flooring that we wanted. The two woodstoves to keep going was overwhelming by myself, especially when Charlie was gone to hunt the huge black bear he never got, or that record breaking white tail deer, and wood had not been carried from down over the hill closer to the house. We had electric baseboard heat, but if you have ever had it, you know that it will eat up electricity and leave you with extremely high electric bills.

I live in the house that we built after we sold the log house. My daughter and I LOVED being in the yard every spring, summer and fall, planting bushes, trees, perennials and annuals. Everything was planted for a reason and in a specific place. I edged every tree and garden and mulched every inch that was bare. Spring was my favorite time of year, as God rewarded me with the most beautiful blossoms on everything I planted. Every spring was a new beginning for my garden, a new year for me and a step further away from the past...

My First Child...

As tormented as I was about my life and what to do next, my "biological clock" was ticking away, so I was told by all of the friends around us that already had children. My logic, as much as it could be called logic, was telling me that things were pretty much as good as they were going to get and the outbursts that were bestowed upon me no longer effected me emotionally, as I had learned to let them bounce off of my heart and memory...

In April, my first baby girl was born. From that moment on, my priorities and my life changed once again. I protected her with all that I had and immediately began preparing her to become and independent little being. Still tucked down inside my heart and the back of my mind, I could not completely diminish the thought that someday Charlie would harm me again. I wanted my child to be ready if anything was to ever happen to me and be able to do things by herself.

At the age of two, she was able to sing her ABCs and speak in complete sentences. She was with me everywhere I went... in the yard, in the house, my constant shadow. She absorbed everything that I had to offer her and then some. She could dress herself and brush her teeth with ease. Sometimes her tiny clothes were on backwards and didn't match that well, but she could get dressed. She learned to brush her long beautiful hair and could pull a chair to the cabinets and counters, under my watchful eyes, to get herself a snack. By the time she went to kindergarten, she was well advanced and very bored in school. She enjoyed helping her peers reach and attain the goals she had met long ago. As she grew older, she continued her successes and habits that she learned at a very young age...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Continued tolerance...

Working full time and coming home to yard work and maintaining the house, dirt track races on the weekend and much time spent on the river banks made things tolerable for me. I had become accustomed to insults, critism and constant belittling and passed my time working in the yard and playing with our beagle. Many times I had thought about leaving, but where was I going? I settled for what I had. I held onto every positive, happy moment in my life and accepted it. In my mind, he had made a vast improvement over the previous years and I loved living in the log house on the mountain ~ my serenity as much as it could be...

The log house was gorgeous and comforting, although the winters were cold and harsh, as it seemed every crack within the log walls allowed the cold air to chill our home. The logs were D shaped and had insulation strips between them. The woodstoves we had simply could not heat the entire home. The addition had a cathedral ceiling with tongue and groove and exposed beams and the heat loved to linger there.

Seemed as though things were falling into place, as much as they could with someone who was always in pain and constantly taking it out on me... but I was strong and endured... and appreciated what God had blessed me with...

Wedding day... our first home...

The wedding was small and performed in a church that did not allow music. Guests consisted of friends of Charlie's and the neighbors. One of Charlie's best friends gave me away, the bride's maid was a friend that he grew up with and another lit the candles before the wedding started. Aside from Charlie hesitating and asking the preacher to repeat what he was supposed to say, it went fairly smoothly. It was surreal. I had no one there for me and it was my own fault.

After the wedding and a couple of days visiting his friends and ridge running, we came back home to VA. Things had settled down to some degree... the assaults went from him hitting me to him throwing objects at me and using his words to cut through me. I thought this was a GREAT improvement over what I had been experiencing and saw it as him attempting to change.

We both had full time jobs and were able to save $10,000.00 by saving every penny. We had found a fishing shack in WV that we saw great potential in and that was to be our dream home. The owner allowed us to spend the night in it and although it was tiny and needed much TLC, we were extremely excited about purchasing our first home.

After our move to WV, we focused on remodeling and adding onto the small once empty cabin. We fixed it up enough to get a loan against it and were able to build a huge log addition onto it. Every paycheck that I earned was used to purchase hardwood flooring, bathroom furnishings, ceiling fans, carpet, insulation and everything else required to finish our addition to get out from under the high interest construction loan we were paying on. It certainly paid off, as the bank appraised it much higher than we both anticipated and we were able to get a great interest rate on our mortgage loan.

I married him...

He continued to come around me. He lived to find me, beg with me, plead with me, stalk me. Where were my parents? My parents did not like the fact that I moved out at 18. I was so done with them and would have moved out sooner if I could have. I did call them after the kitten episode and my mother told me to follow my heart. As I sat in the living room, on my knees crying, that was the best she could do... My girls know to this day, if ANY guy EVER laid a hand on them, they would be gone so fast and I would be certain they never came around them again... no matter what... My friends who I always disappointed because I let him back into my life, were there, just not in the capacity of discussing my relationship with Charlie...

Charlie and I took a drive out to the park, walked hand in hand on an old boarded trail and he asked me to marry him. I was 19. I was so tired of fighting to be away from him. I was so worn down. Besides, what is the worst thing that could happen? Didn't it already happen? Maybe if he was married to me, I could sleep at night, knowing that he was next to me and not lurking outside my window or waiting near my car the next morning. Wouldn't it be easier just to cave in and stop trying to get him away from me? Wouldn't the devil in my life be easier to deal with in front of me always?

More of the same...

Our dates were fun... with Charlie, I had the highest highs and the lowest lows. He could put me down in an instant and make me feel like a million dollars the next. He bought food for our kitchen cabinets that were empty in the townhouse and filled my gas tank, which I had mastered driving on the last fumes... He was winning my heart and if not my heart, he was controlling my life, my movements, my thoughts, my feelings...

One night after work at the Hecht Co., I decided to buy him some new jeans and shirts. When I arrived home and turned on my light to my bedroom, he was in my bed. He raised up and started screaming at me. He was a welder and had flash burn (so he claimed) and the light bothered him. He came towards me and shoved me, yelling at me because I was late coming home. He grabbed the bag of clothes that I had purchased for him and threw them across the room. He knocked over a plant, spilling dirt everywhere and pounded his fist on my bird cage and busted it. His eyes turned hard and cold and he bent down and swooped up my new kitten and threw it across the room. My kitten hit the door frame, where my walk in closet door was open, and fell onto the carpet. As I rushed to pick it up, blood was coming out of his tiny mouth and out of his bottom. He was limp, like a wet wash cloth in my hand.

My heart fell and raced at the same time. Another nightmare within seconds was unfolding in front of me... I screamed for my roommates and Mitch threw him out of the townhouse. Mitch's girlfriend at the time, worked for a vet and I drove the dying kitten there. I stayed up through the night and when the vet's office opened, I went in to see my kitten. It was walking around its tiny cage, banging its head against the cold metal. Its eyes were crossed and I asked for it to be put to sleep.

I told Charlie, no more... never ever again under any circumstance did I want him to come near me. He continued to show up. He continued to call me. He continued to lurk across the parking lot where I worked. Restraining order? PLEASE. This was the early 80s... cops wanted you to file a complaint, yet there was no protection or guarantee that they could protect you from the monsters lurking and stalking you. Calling the police and going to court only fueled the fire...

I met up with a friend at the bar. Charlie had followed me there. Another friend tipped me off that Charlie was there and I ran out to get into my Mustang. I could not get into my car fast enough. Charlie grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to the ground. He was screaming at me and yelling at me and I managed to get into my car and lock my door. He jumped onto the hood of my car, stomped on it and kicked my windshield in. I started my car and he jumped off. I drove as fast as I could, not sure where I was going. I saw a cop in a shopping center and pulled over for help. They told me to drive to the station, file a complaint, and make sure that I had pictures of the damage done to the car. I did just that... While driving to the station, I rubbed my head and ran my fingers through my hair. I was scared to see the tremendous amount of long blonde hair in my hand. I dropped it to the floor and cried.

Meanwhile, Charlie is still lurking, calling, popping up right behind me when I turn around at work, telling me how sorry he was, crying, and never ever leaving me alone. I was relieved when the court date came. Funny thing is, he got more time for hurting my kitten than he did assaulting me. Where was the justice? 500 hours of community service and he walked out smiling. I did have a witness show up from the glass company that replaced my windshield. I remember him telling the judge that he vacuumed more hair out of my car than he did glass. Amazing the words that stick in your head forever...

I'm Sorry

I did not ever want to see Charlie again, but he continued to show up. He showed up at my home, he showed up at my job and he pleaded with me to go out with him again... to give him another chance. He told me he was so sorry and cried and started opening up to me about all that he had experienced growing up as a child.

When Charlie was two, his mother left him and his 3 siblings. His older brother has filled in the blanks recently to my daughter and I on exactly what happened when they were all very young. Their mother was abused by their father and that is why she left. The children were placed into different homes and Charlie was raised by a very poor lady that had several older children and was an alcoholic. She found company with a man half her age that lived with her until she passed a few years ago. He basically grew up doing what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, but always carried with him hatred for his mother, as he felt she abandoned him.

Unless you knew someone or was related to someone that already had a job in one of their few plants there, you did not have work. Many people were in the union and waited on long lists for their turn to work, and the money they made had to be used to live off of the rest of the year while they were waited to be called upon again. Charlie packed up his bag and left there and went to VA looking for work. He had moved in across the street from where I lived and that is how and where we met...

Being the naive, trusting 19 year old that I was, and growing up in a home that I witnessed my father consistenly hit my mother, I was reluctant but accepted Charlie's apology at giving him another chance. My roommates and close friends were not thrilled with the idea, nor were my coworkers who saw right through the bruises and the stories I told them about how I received them. I was too embarrassed to tell many how the bruises landed on me. I felt as though I somehow maybe deserved them, especially since that is what I was constantly told.

Self esteem? I had none... I was hit with belts and switches from a forsythia bush through all of my years of growing up as a child. I remember crying alone, so they could not see me weak, rubbing my welts on my legs and thinking how ugly they were on me. I cannot to this day, even tell you why the welts were placed on me. I only remember the pain that I felt that my mom and dad wanted to hurt me in that way... But they loved me, because parents are supposed to love their kids...

My Life... My World...

I was 18, stepping out of my 1980 something Mustang, when a guy walked up to me with a dark tan, black hair and the prettiest hazel eyes you would ever want to look into. That was the first day of the rest of my 18 years with him. He had a huge smile and could charm anyone within 3 feet of him. He asked me if I knew how to hook up cable tv.

I had just stopped dating a guy from Iowa, no less, that was a wrestler in the marine corps and stationed in Quantico. "Steve" had informed me that he had a girlfriend back in Iowa and I really wanted no part of falling for someone that's heart already belonged to someone else... The last thing I wanted at the time was another relationship... and here was "Charlie".

Being the "quick thinker" I was as much as you can be at 18, I informed this gorgeous guy from nowhere that one of my roommates may know how to hook up the cable line. My roommates were guys, two of them in fact. One worked at Taco Hell with me and the other was a bouncer at our local bar called KCs in Manassas. We all three worked together at the Hecht Co. "Steve" and I worked in The Sideboard Restaurant and "Mitch" was a security officer. I thought maybe having guy roommates would deter Charlie from wanting to chat with me further, but he was not bothered by it and came right into the townhouse with me to meet my roommates.

Charlie was from the part of WV that many would never see. The huge mountains and small homes, all with front porches and built along creeks, pronounced "cricks" there, was an extremely rural area and definitely backwoods country. He was the high school football and basketball star and everyone in town knew him. One of my first trips back there with him consisted getting ready to go to "town". When he proceeded to drive 80 yards and park in front of a small building that had a sign that read Library on it, I began to wonder when we were going to go to "town". A few of his friends stopped and parked next to us, catching up on the time he had been gone and when they left I asked him when we were going to town. After about five minutes of laughing at me, he informed me that we were there. This small town didn't have a red light and one main street was the town.

It was not immediately evident that Charlie had any issues or the slightest sign of a temper. He was very congenial and everyone that met him, loved to hear his stories told with his thick country accent and his smile and laugh made everyone feel comfortable and at ease with him. One evening, I let Charlie drive my Mustang and when he proceeded to turn left on a green light in front of oncoming traffic without waiting for the green arrow, my mouth flew open and I started laughing and informed him this was not Walnut Grove and the green arrow was not on for him to turn left. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, his fist went up against the side of my head and I saw stars. At first, I was simply dazed, not understanding or grasping what had just happened to me. Again, another hit from his fist and repeatedly until I realized that I needed to get out of the car, jump out if I had to... He grabbed my arm and would not let me out. I bent over and took off my high heeled pump and started hitting him with it. It wasn't until then that he stopped. He drove me back to my townhouse and carried me into my bedroom. Dazed, hurt and confused, I started to scream for my roommate. He blocked my bedroom door and held his hand tightly over my mouth. I told him I was hurt and needed to go to the emergency room, so he drove me there...

By the time I had gotten to the emergency room, the entire side of my face, ear and head were a deep dark red, purple color. The ER doctor wanted to do an xray on my head and as I sat crying in disbelief, I really just wanted to die. I told him no I would be okay and thought at that point if I had a blood clot or something in my head, that maybe I would simply die in the nightmare that had only just begun.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Moved the Computer!

On hubby's only day off, he and I moved my computer to the living room... It was in the bedroom, as we have another in the office... My favorite room in the house is the living room and I am extremely happy to now be in this room much of my day. I took a pic to share with you, but please note that it will most likely never look like this again. By the way, are you vacuuming your tower out on the inside? DON'T DO IT! The computer tech in town advised me not to do that, but to use canned air to clean out the inside and to let your computer sit for at least one hour before turning it on. I love looking out my large window next to me, but now see the tall grass that I need to go mow :) Enjoy your day all and be blessed!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Shortly after getting the camper, I couldn't wait to replace the border with something more primitive and country. I have this same border in my foyer, but with a burgandy check towel instead of the blue... It's sunny here today and I am headed out shortly to work in the yard, but not before listing a few more of my primitive quilt items. I'm in the process of listing primitive throws now and will eventually get to the bedding. Enjoy your day and be blessed :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yard Work ~ Flower Pictures

Iris, azaleas and annuals... this spring is going by so quickly! I feel behind in my edging and yard work, but I guess if I refuse to work in the rain, then I have limited time doing yard work... I'd much prefer to play in the rain than work in it... The dirt is simply too heavy and clumpy and doesn't cooperate when too wet :)

I love my little sidekick helping me in the yard... She tried to move a bag of mulch for me, but found out quickly that it wasn't possible. A special friend of mine once told me that children step on your toes when they are young and step on your heart when they get older... I hope my heart doesn't get stepped on too much by them :) So far, so good!!

Enjoy the pictures and happy gardening!! xox

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were big enough to construct anything. However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood. When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so those workers became popular.

One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and said, "The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest wood." So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood. An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered.

Three days after the death of Jesus of Nazereth, the chief wood gatherer got alarming news. "All of our finest trees are withering!" the messenger whispered. The wood gatherer hurried to the forest and saw that it was true. Several years later, the chief wood gatherer heard that, every spring, many people visited the old forest that had once made his job so easy. Despite his advancing years, he set out to discover why. He saw the remains of forest, now like a salty bottoms, with only a few trees still standing tall, bare, lifeless and rotting. But what was this? As he drew closer, his feeble eyes could make out the people walking among thousands of beautiful, flowering bushes. Seeing one of his own workers there, the old man said, "No one could ever make a cross out of this twisted wood. Our finest tree has gone to the dogs!" He noticed the beautiful white flowers, each blossom looking as if it had been burned from the touch of a miniature cross.
As told to Ben Baston by his grandmother, Louise Brown.

There is a legend at the time of crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this. In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree: "Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember."

The pink dogwood is said to be blushing for shame because of the cruel purpose which it served in the Crucifixion. The weeping dogwood further symbolized the sorrow. The red dogwood, called the Cherokee, bears the color to remind us of the blood shed by our Savior.

Blooming Trees ~ What Else?

Kwanzan Cherry... Dogwoods and Redbuds.. ahhhh the fruits of my labor and blessings from God...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's Left of the Bradford Pear

My dad cut the broken limb off and cut it up into perfect pieces to take camping with us for a campfire. You can buy bundles of wood there for 5.00, but it is usually pine or poplar and burns up very quickly. The picture shows the original split in the tree that I found a few weeks ago. We have to take the rest down soon...

Bear and Bees

Bear loves to eat bees... He will jump off of the ground to grab one in mid air. He caught this one on the porch today when I was outside with him taking pics... He curls his gums back and bites the bee continuously until he kills it.

A Couple More Spring Pics

Redbuds are indigenous to our area. I stood in front of the dozer when clearing the lot if he came too close to a couple of them :) The others I transplanted from saplings that grew underneath my mature ones. They are throughout our woods and I love them. Their leaves are shaped like hearts and they are perfect to put near your house and are very hardy.

Red is one of my favorite colors and it looks so vibrant in the spring with all of the yellow flowers. I am not a fan of tulips, but the squirrels are... :)

More Spring Blossoms

I love this little spot in my back yard... It is full of perennials and is pretty with the split rail section behind it. I lost a dogwood tree a few years ago and would love for the stump to be cut down shorter, but buried on a honey do list somewhere... The hyacinths and daffodils are so pretty together...

My friend Iva Mae gave me a piece of this gorgeous Bridal Wreath... I have several of these now in the back yard. This one is the largest.

My friend Donna gave me the purple phlox. It has spread nicely and it is a great fill in. I enjoy sitting here and watching the girls chalk on the driveway and play basketball with their friends... when I'm not participating as well :)

This is one of a few white dogwoods that I planted. It is starting to open and will have huge gorgeous blossoms in a couple of weeks or less.

... more pretty daffodils ~

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The Easter Bunny arrived! Little info about him...

The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season.

The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar.

The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.

The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs.

The children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests . The use of elaborate Easter baskets would come later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread through out the country.


Wishing you and your family a wonderful Easter! He is risen!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weeping Cherry Tree is Blooming!

This is one of my favorite trees in the yard... I wish I could blink and make it bigger, but it is rather slow growing and I love it anyway... I have to prune the bottom so I can duck my head and mow under it. I think it looks better pruned evenly.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Englander Pellet Stove

We purchased this Englander Pellet Stove from Home Depot and it is now hooked up and running. I absolutely LOVE it! I filled the hopper with pellets yesterday around 12:30 and it has hardly used any pellets. I turned it off through the night and back on again this morning. Our home is very well insulated and I have had the setting on 1, which is the lowest setting. If you have been thinking about purchasing a wood stove vs. a pellet stove, I would definitely go with the pellet stove. It is so easy to use and much cleaner than the wood stove. I am seriously thinking about putting one in the family room within the next few years to replace our woodstove. We'll see how the wood supply holds out ;) I still need to find a more appropriate hearth pad, but using this one for now. I would prefer a corner hearth pad and a darker color. Enjoy your day and be blessed!

Split Bradford Pear

We had high winds here on the mountain the other day and they split my Bradford Pear tree... Oddly enough, there was a large split at the bottom of the branches, however, the split was on the other branch. We cleaned up the broken branch and will have to take the rest of the tree down soon. Bradford Pear trees are known to have soft wood and break easily.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pellet Stove Installation

The pellet stove pipe installation kit is complete. Because the vent on the back was in line with the electrical outlet, I decided to run the pipe up on the inside out then out, alleviating having to reroute the electrical wire to have the pipe outside. The pellet stove installation kit is galvanized, so I painted it flat black. The piece on the outside is galvanized and looks nicer than I thought it would. (I'll post a picture later of the outside piece.) Fortunately, my dad's roto saw did a great job. I couldn't believe how much drywall dust landed over the entire living room, just from cutting the 7" or so inch piece out.

The second hearth pad was shipped and it was white with missing grout and a chipped stone, damaged during shipment. The company that I bought it from said to keep both and offered to send another pad out as soon as I approved the picture they emailed to me. The pad that the pellet stove is sitting on is not for a corner, but at this point, I want my money back and I will purchase one from a local woodstove dealer when they stock this fall. I prefer one that is darker and more rustic and is actually a corner pad.

We still have to install the air vent to the outside. It is a small vent to assist the draft. After that, we will test it and make sure it is working properly and hopefully I'll be able to relax and enjoy it this fall ;) I'll let you know how well it heats after the test run... xox

Good morning Wednesday~

Last summer when we went to the beach on vacation, we also visited a beach where wild horses live called Assateague Island. I took this pic from the vehicle. We didn't get out and explore because we could drive and see them on either side of the road... I would have much preferred to park and walk and enjoy, but was outnumbered ;) I found their link if you are interested in checking it out.

Cloudy here today and calling for rain. I managed to sell a few things on eBay, so I was happy to see that this morning. I suppose someone told my buyers that the economy is bad :)

Enjoy your day and be blessed. xox

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank You Iva Mae

A few years ago, my friend Iva Mae's husband came over and opened his trunk to reveal a five gallon bucket of daffodil bulbs. Iva Mae sent him over to give them to me. She loved her flowers but was not always able to work in the yard. She was not healthy and suffered with emphysema and diabetes, and died not before she told me that she loved me. Every spring I look out into my yard, back and front, and smile when the daffodils begin to bloom one by one. I will always think of her when I see them. Thank you Iva Mae :)

More Spring Pictures

Daffodils, grape hyacinths, forsythia, Bradford Pears, the first few weeping cherry tree blooms, hyacinths, and new growth on my red rose bush ~

It's late, but I wanted to post the pictures I took earlier today because if I don't do it now, I may forget :) Enjoy and God bless xox