Live with Abandon

I just had to blog this morning. It is such a beautiful day not just because of the weather but because I am redeemed! My daughter and I went to a Newsboys concert last night and what a mountain top experience. To worship uninhibited with my ten year old daughter was a mighty experience within itself. Watching her shyly lift her hands not so sure of letting go and being embarrassed to lifting her arms freely so far over her head that she could reach the stars. The Spirit was stirring in her body last night and in mine. What an awesome night! One of their songs is called "Live with Abandon". Very powerful-simple but rings truth! Here are the words to the chorus:

I wanna live with abandon
Give you all that I am
Every part of my heart, Jesus
I place in Your hands

This is how I am feeling today-a new day has risen and the sun shines on my face. I'm covered in paint from projects in the garage but I work unto the Lord even if it just painting projects. God gifted me and I give him the glory for what I love to do. It's just a hobby but one that stirs my passions. So if something stirs you it's the Holy Spirit churning those gifts He has so graciously given you! Chase them, free them, use them for His glory. Just do what He has gifted you to do. I have no idea how painting and decorating can be a ministry for God but He does. I am just asked to use my gifts. So I challenge you today to live with abandon-give all you are to God, place every part in His hands. Let Go and Let God!!

Ephesians 3:14-19 My prayer today-look it up!

What's a blog post without some pictures-so here is God's glory in the everyday things of life.


Smoke House

Many people don't know what a real smokehouse is because the only smokehouse they have ever experienced is a barbecue restaurant. Well, I'm here to tell you about the real deal. Back in the day, people farmed their land providing food for their families. There were no big chain grocery stores or bulk buying like at Sam's Club. And if there was a store most people had to drive a long distance to get there. People lived off the land. What a great concept! Maybe we should go back to the old days of simple living. There were smokehouses on most farms because people would raise hogs, have a pig killing, hang the meat in a smokehouse, cure it and then have meat for their family for the winter. That's just what you did. Yes, I said a pig killing-get over it PETA. God made man to have dominion over the animals and he provided them for us to have food. And there is nothing better than fresh smoked pork on your plate. My grandparents actually had a "slaughter house" on their farm. It was a large open barn  with a huge fireplace in it-so big you could literally stand in it. This "house' was where all the action took place on the farm when there was a hog killing.

Recently, my family and I traveled back to Virginia to visit our families. My husband's family is selling the home farm and we wanted to enjoy it one last time before it is sold. We ventured in several of the barns and around the fields. We ended up in the old smokehouse. We took the kids in and explained how a smokehouse was used. I have posted pictures of the original old smokehouse on the Thorton farm. It's like taking a step back in time.

The Smokehouse

Can you see the charred wood inside the smokehouse?
The house literally fills with smoke to cook the meat.

This is the salting table-this is the underside-but the meat was placed
on top and seasoned before it was hung up to cure

Wood for the burning stove

This is where the farmers kept the fire stoked to smoke the meat.
Some olds brooms left in the corner

My husband demonstrates how the meat was hung up with
 one of these poles on the racks.

That small piece of wood across the top is what the meat hung to by a string-
using the wood pole it was laid across the wood beams to hang securely.
While we were in the smokehouse-a "big" mouse ran out of the fire barrel straight for me-I of course screamed and ran out snagging my new jeans on a nail and ripping a hole in the rear. My girls and my nieces thought it was funny so they posed like mice for the picture!


Vintage Glider

This is our vintage glider project. There was an old glider that was literally falling apart in a barn back in Virginia. We adopted it and began the tedious work of bringing it back to life! My husband has an incredible eye for fixing things that are in desperate need of repair. I do not have an original photo of the glider but it was ugly-very dark and rusty with turquoise paint peeling off. The rust had eaten through a lot of places and we weren't even sure it could be saved. But my husband took it apart piece by piece. He had it sand blasted to remove the rusty green paint. Thus began the process of repairing it. He added steel rods for extra support in areas that were rusted completely through. He cut off about two inches on both sides of the bench and back parts that were rusted beyond repair. He filled in areas with bonding putty-actually layers of it that took days to set up and dry. After two weeks of repairs-Mel (my husband) primed it with several layers of white primer. Then I got to do the fun part-pick out a paint color. We decided on a light green-blue with white glossy squares. I had the honor of painting it. It took many coats to accomplish the right color. Mel taped off the squares and painted them white. After the third week,  the painting was finished and it was time to reassemble.   Mel with his expertise put it all back together and it looks amazing! We had no idea it would turn out this good. 

I remember sitting on one of these old gliders at my great aunt's house that she kept on her sunroom porch. My aunt's glider had the plastic seat cushions and plastic pillows. You know the 1970's yellow and lime green plastic fabric. This glider is still vintage but with an updated look. I hope you enjoy the transformation pictures.

The glider after it was sand blasted.

Mel cutting off the rusted sides.

Reinforcements everywhere

Blue paint

After it's been primed

You can see where the rust literally ate through the metal.

Ready for assembly

Mel hard at work getting it back together.

We could not sit on it until all the parts were assembled.

The finished product

Come and sit awhile!


Baby Blessings

Today, we celebrated one of our sweet neighbors and her little baby Elliott that is due to arrive in October. I hosted a small gathering of ladies from our neighborhood to celebrate Tari. She is a special  young lady. She's a West Point graduate and is currently serving our country in the Army. She has been on several tours and fought for our freedom in other parts of the world. She and her husband are a military family that live in our neighborhood. Her husband is active duty and Tari will be getting out of the military in December so she can be home with little Elliott. I admire these two young people and their dedication to our country and to each other. I first met Tari at a community Easter egg hunt in April. Her sweet disposition drew me in. She's a fellow decorator, project addict and the most AMAZING chef ever!! She can make and bake anything! I am so glad we have gotten to know them. So today, we wanted to just love on them by throwing a little baby shower brunch. Here are some pictures from the morning. 



I'm not a hunter! When I say hunter I mean camouflage, deer, tree stands and the winter cold at 4:30 a.m. I tried the deer hunting thing with my husband years ago and it wasn't really my sport. Well, I know that because you can't talk. You have to sit on the cold ground and be still and quiet! What??? You want me to do what? Be still and don't talk. No way. I can watch deer hunting on the TV and actually see a deer because they have skipped through the hours of just sitting out there waiting for one. I'm a different kind of hunter.

I am a thrift store hunter. Almost every Saturday my husband and I journey out to estate sales, yard sales and the thrift stores. We do not have to leave at the crack of down but earlier enough to catch the good stuff. Sometimes we leave around 7:00 a.m. I know our only day to sleep in and we are up and rolling out the door to hunt! We are hunting for cheap stuff for projects that we can repurpose and sell. It's amazing the things we find. We love to find a treasure or trash and brainstorm what we can do with it. We'll stand in a store and brainstorm out loud throwing around ideas. We do get some stares but who cares. It's super fun for us! Our dream is to open a repurpose store. But in the meantime, we are repurposing and reselling from our home. Last week we went to several Goodwill stores and I had the camera. I don't know why I had the camera with me at the thrift store but I was thinking blog! So here's what I captured on my camera.

A $5.00 chair soon to be recovered and sold!

Look at all the junk on the shelves-you have to know what you
are looking for or this mess can be consuming.

Our Goodwill in Richmond Hill is huge and stuff comes and goes super fast!
So if you see something you want buy it on the spot-
it will definitely be gone within the hour.

No clothes shopping today-but I do love to find myself
some clothing deals- I'm not too proud to wear "recycled" clothing.

A few finds at the Richmond Hill Goodwill.

Sometimes the kids get in on the fun! Mel is in a zone.

So much to go through-you have to be in the mood to HUNT!

People leave things out by the drop off centers-that's a no no to take.
It is technically property of Goodwill. 

We found some great finds at the Goodwill in Savannah-all to be repurposed and sold.


Repurposed Old Door

This door came out of an old house Mel and I tore down 18 years ago. We were given an old house because it was going to be burned down to make room for a field. The old house sat right in the middle of a field down a long lane. We spent weeks tearing it apart board by board. Over the years we have used the wood to build our cottage in Virginia. We've made furniture, we built cabinets and floors with it. We only have a little of it left because we do not have enough storage for all we would like to keep. This door was the back door of the house. We were going to cut it down and make something but we decided to keep it as a door. It took several hours today to get all the nails out of it and clean it. Apparently, whoever lived in that house had taped plastic over the windows to keep the cold air out during the winter. It even had carpet attached to the bottom of it. I scraped tape off and removed a ton of nails that were all around the window frame. This door is unbelievably heavy and it doesn't even have any glass in it. After bleaching it and scrubbing it-I put it in our guest room that is filled with beach decor. I think it fits in there nicely!

Old hardware-we figure the door to be around 60 years old.

A few of my tools I used on this project.

This side of the door had several layers of paint.
This particular layer just peeled off.

A bucket full of glass, paint, nails and carpet that came off of this door.

This finished product.


 I created a beach room because we live so close to 
several beaches and the intracoastal waterways. 
A beach theme was a must-plus I had a lot of 
blue linens that I needed to use somewhere in the house.