Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just Fix It!

This morning I find myself surrounded by a small graveyard of plastic casualties.  Little hands and faces begging me to, "just fix it!".  The toys have had a hard go of it this week.   Sunshine and backyard play does a number on them. A few trips in the Radio Flyer, and well... some of them are a little shaken up.

I have power rangers with cracked legs.  Jessie just lost her entire leg.  Then, the pop-gun cork was royally stuck.  I have recovered Woody's arm, but he himself is currently MIA.  Bullseye got a hip replacement and the bat mobile got sand in his engine. 

Tiny screw drivers, super glue, and duct tape are the common tools required for plastic surgery.  I am certain all of my patients will be back soon for more work.  If sunshine holds and little boy imaginations grow, my plastic surgery practice will stay busy for a few more years.

Occasionally, I loose one on the table.  There are moments that nothing can be done.  There are tears, red faces, and heavy hearts.  Sometimes, we just have to let go.  We pull out the piggy banks, count our  quarters, wiggle any loose teeth, and make a trip for a replacement.  That is how it works, after all. 

If only I could promise that all their problems could be solved with screwdrivers and superglue.  Someday, when I pack their bags for college, I may have to include the emergency fix-it kit.  Some family glue to hold things together.  A roll of motherly duct-tape for the quick fix, and a father's strength to tighten things that have loosened with time.  Hopefully, they will still see the value in our surgical skills to help them put the pieces back together when they get a little shaken up.  I hope they will always know that we are here to do our best to fix it...long after Woody's Round-Up Gang sings it's last hurrah. 

Until then, we will busy ourselves with today's casualties. 

B Charmer

Friday, March 29, 2013

This Moment

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

They Are Where??

I sent the oldest to brush his teeth before bed.  As usual, the baby followed right behind.  It became very quiet.  Shortly after, my husband told me I needed to go see if I could find the boys.  Huh?  Find them?  They are in the bathroom.  He chuckled.  Sure...

Well, boys will be boys.  This is for sure.  After sneaking around the corner to spy on their shenanigans, this is what I found. 

Apparently, built-in hampers make a great hideout...

B Charmer

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Summer Memories

As hard as it to believe, I am still in a coat and scarf.  It seems as though the pause button has been hit on winter.  I am generally OK, though my morning walk into work would be more pleasant without the arctic winds blowing. 

I was quite cold this morning, and thoughts of summer and sand were whirling in my head.  Last summer, we were quite happy playing at the shore.  I am looking forward to making new summer memories this year.  Until then, I will revel in the warm memories of days past. 

B Charmer

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy to Me!

We are having baby's party this weekend with family. But, we let him pick dinner last night. He picked pizza, and we had to have birthday candles! He said many, many times, "happy to me!" Yes little love...much happiness to you.

B Charmer

Pantry Miracles

I have found that there are a lot of "good" products on the shelf in the stores that do an OK job for things around the home.  But, I am finding that there are many simple...SIMPLE products at my finger tips that do the job as well, if not better. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

Carpet Stain Remover

Since we have rented out our home and are in our second city apartment, I have learned the carpet is just terrible.  It wears badly, stains easily, and is not easy to keep looking nice.  Throw in two little boys, one big boy, and no uncarpeted areas except for the small kitchen and baths -and you get the picture of the carpet battle I face daily.  Not to mention, the carpet is white.  White carpet seems insane in these apartments, to me.  But, it is what it is and there is nothing I can do to change it.  I went out and bought a spot remover heated carpet cleaner.  It does fine, but is it bulky and time consuming when you have an urgent spill.  I have resorted to a much more simple, instant method-white vinegar.  White vinegar and water mixed together and sprayed generously does a great job!  The tougher the stain, the more vinegar I use.  Sometimes, I saturate the stain and set a towel over with something heavy on top to help absorb.  For really tough stains, like red colored stains, I use the same solution but add a hot iron over the towel.  The steam really does wonders.  The vinegar smell can be strong, but it once the stain is out, it seems to disappear very quickly.  I have come to the conclusion that vinegar is just magical.  It cleans carpet and a bazillion other things, works well in a salad, and turns cucumbers into pickles!  I mean, seriously, the stuff is just magical!

Miracle Nectar

Oh. My. Goodness.  Do you even know the millions of things that honey is said to benefit and cure?  It seems endless.  Bug bites, burns, and anti-aging properties are just a few of the miracles this stuff is attributed with.  Honey is just unbelievably delicious.  (Michelle, if your reading...I need an update on your bee keeping!) Honey is not entirely cheap, but I think this product is worth it.  It is natural and seems to not be too hard on blood sugar levels either.  I dare you to search the information superhighway and discover the endless properties of honey.  Lately, I am drinking a tea made with three simple ingredients: honey, water, and cinnamon. This tea is said to battle colds, keep skin looking great, promote weight loss, and help settle stomachs.  Which leads me to my last pantry miracle for today, cinnamon. 


Cinnamon has blood sugar secret powers.  I am trying to get more of this in my husband.  We are always looking for ways to help control his type one diabetes.  Diabetes is a really difficult disease to manage.  It is unrelenting sometimes.  My husband was diagnosed very early in life.  He is not over-weight.  He is active and has always been healthy.  However, this disease can change things very quickly.  We are always learning the cause and effects of choices, nutrition, and exercise.  We  keep looking for ways to do battle with diabetes.  Cinnamon is a good pantry miracle. 

Here is the recipe I am using for my "miracle" tea:

One cup of boiling water
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of honey

I use my Keurig machine, take out the coffee K-cup, and use the small cup setting.  I put the cinnamon in the cup first, let the hot water do it's magic by letting the two steep for several minutes.  I do about seven to ten minutes steeping.  Then, I stir in the honey.  It is suggested that you drink a cup in the morning about an hour before eating, and drink another before bed.  This tea is supposed to really help with colds, skin care, respiratory issues.  It even says that regular drinking will help shrink your waistline!

So, here's to having fun with your pantry today!  Please be sure to pass along any of your pantry miracles.  I would love to hear all about them!

B charmer

Monday, March 25, 2013

On This Day

Two years ago today, I was in the hospital laboring through an induction hoping to quickly meet my baby boy.  It was a nice day, and he made his entrance in his own good time.  Twelve hours of an induction, followed by a failed Epidural, and 8 minutes of pushing and baby Lincoln arrived.  Those first few moments are still so crystal clear.  He didn't cry.  He squealed like the newest, little piglet.  He was so perfect and beautiful.  It was such a sweet moment in time.  I am not at my most loveliest in this picture, but it is exactly how we met the first time.  And, that in itself is lovely enough. 

He is quite the big boy these days.  He jabbers and plays.  He adores cars, trains, and peanut butter sandwiches.  He dances and rides his tricycle.  And he insisted this morning that the Happy Birthday song be sung to Jackson and not him.  He is a brilliant, little soul that fills my heart with so much happiness. His daddy and I could not be more happy to have our baby Lincoln.

Happy Birthday my dear baby boy.  May you be afforded many, many more. 

B Charmer

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oh Mandolin

This morning,  in our large city church,  I heard a live mandolin for the first time in too long.  It was a haunting, lovely sound that echoes somewhere deep in my soul.  It conjured up a million mountain memories of growing up in Tennessee.  It made me smile, and it made me cry.  It made me both happy and sad.  I felt like a mere girl in braids with summer freckles hearing the pluck and strum those high pitch strings.  I remembered my little country church. I remembered the sounds of a praying preacher.  I remembered the feeling of faith as a little girl. 

It was good.

Time changes things sometimes.  It changes how we view things and feel things.  But sometimes a simple, familiar sound becomes an instant transport to the child inside.  It awakens the dreamer, stirs again the childlike heart, and grows a few more feathers on the wings of faith.

It is good.

B Charmer

Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Way Leads On To Way...

Good Saturday.  It is raining and lovely.  I am nestled at home with my boys, hot coffee, and the poetry of Frost.  I have been reading it much lately, as I am a word lover.  Much of it is lovely and dear.  Some of his words are heavy and coded.  This, among his greatest, was on today's read.  Enjoy. 

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Happy Saturday, my friends. 
B Charmer

Friday, March 22, 2013

Porches Off Main

I work on the fifteenth floor of a large office building on Main Street.  There are eight elevators in the lobby, and it takes about 7 seconds to reach my floor.  But, just two steps off of Main, the roads are lined with homes from the past.  I'd gladly trade floor fifteen for a lovely porch.

I would have shared more, but it is a cold day and time is short.  Maybe another day.

B Charmer

This Moment

Today's moment requires words. This is how I found the baby sleeping during an afternoon nap. He doesn't quite know what to do without his crib to contain him. Oh the places I find him when I check on him a thousand times. I always put him back to bed, but sometimes I have to snap a picture first. This day, he was in the laundry basket and the books, but he was sure not to let Bear get too far away.  I know it is fuzzy and not focsed, but I still had to share. 

B Charmer

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Time With Him

Today is his birthday.  Together we have been celebrating birthdays for over 10 years.  What began as a mere friendship turned to a lifelong love.  I am grateful for each of his birthdays. 

I don't often speak about the morning that I could have so easily lost him.  There isn't much to say except that you never get over those feelings. At least, I don't.  I don't really live in fear because I put my faith in God to sustain me in all of life's moments.  But the feelings are always close to the surface.  There are still moments I wake in the night and make sure I see the gentle rise and fall of his chest.  There are mornings when the alarm goes off just a bit too long that I leap from the bed and and get him to wake.  But that is not every day.  I don't let it overwhelm me, but I do know that it is there.  I am cautious and yet confident. 

I felt like I did walk through "the valley of the shadow of death" that morning when he did not wake. I remember praying audibly in the car, as I drove behind the ambulance, not knowing what would await me at the hospital.  I remember the rush of tears when he reached out for me.  I remember everything.  Those moments are unforgettable.  But I focus on the truth and not the fear. 

The truth is that he is mine and I am his.  Our love and our life is in partnered in each other.  We have grown in our love and in our wisdom side by side.  We have worked hard raising our two little boys, and we trust God to get us through each phase of life.  We smile, we laugh, we sing, and occasionally we argue.  But one thing is for sure....we celebrate birthdays! 

Today we celebrate him.  We celebrate time together.  We celebrate happiness.  Happy Birthday Kevin. 

B Charmer

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Equinox

First, my apologies to all my friends that are covered under a heavy snow blanket on this first Spring Day.  I will admit, it is sunny here in the South.  But, we are experiencing cooler that average temps for this time of year.  That being said, I know many of you would be delighted to feel our balmy 54 degree day.  I am still donning my coat and scarf.  I did however see a lady crossing Main Street this morning wearing some really cute T-strap sandals, but I know her toes were freezing.  She was determined to usher in the new season in her own daring way. 

I love winter clothes.  I suppose I like the idea of keeping warm and covering my oh-so-pale redheaded skin.  But, I am a fan of pretty things.  And I do love a good sundress and sandals.  So without further adieu, here is to Spring and the promise of the sweltering days of summer to come! 

A  springtime wish list of lovelies from a favorite.....

May your spring be warm, lovely, and full of smiles.

B Charmer

A new post is up at One Freckled Egg

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Little Red

My littlest red with his little red trike.  These two are becoming fast friends. 
B Charmer 

Those Days

Do you ever have one of those days?  You know, the kind where you feel like you are never going to get there.  The days where you feel defeated before you even begin?  I will admit, they are rare for this eternal optimist, but sometimes they hit me square on the head.  Those days, I just feel defeated.

I know that I am not defeated.  I know that as God grants sunrises, my days are full of endless opportunity.  But, they don't always feel that way.  Some days are hard.  Some moments in life are swift kicks in the rump.  They hurt and they seem pointless.  I think to myself, what is the point of working so hard on something so unattainable?  Why keep writing?  Why keep singing?  Why keep asking others to take a chance on me?  Is there a point?  What is the point?

I don't want to get stuck.  I don't want to regret not trying.  I don't want to be gray and weary from being held prisoner by the life at hand that tries to capture my energy and soul.  I don't want to give up.  I want to feel like I have done something meaningful with my time on Planet Earth.  I want to think I did all I could to use the gifts that God gave me. 

But some days....I feel like I am singing in a hole, writing to a wall, and dreaming for nothing. isn't any use. 

It's silly. It's bad personal philosophy. happens.

Hopefully, tomorrow is not another one of those days. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Instant Cure

These are a few pictures I snapped as we are starting to get settled in our newest space.  It feels a bit more homey with each passing day.  Jackson even found a friend yesterday, and they spent hours outside exploring the sand.  This made me smile.

But, before Sunday play dates, there was Saturday. 

Saturday was a work day.  We went "home" to work on our house that we have renters in.  It has been over a year since I have been inside.  Over the past few months, I have felt a range of emotions since we left.  First, I was overjoyed to say goodbye.  Then, I started missing it a bit.  Somewhere around Christmas time, I had forgotten all the nightmares of living and working in that old house, and decided I wanted nothing more than to return. 

We almost did.  We almost came home.

If you have not followed B Charmer for very long, the house history will not mean much to you as a reader.  To me, it has been the journey of a lifetime.  In short, I loved this historic home.  I convinced my husband to purchase it.  We lived in it and worked on it for six years.  My husband commuted many miles everyday while we lived there.  It became a source of constant frustration and money drain.  I spilled many tears over that old house.  I know I said a million times, "I'm sorry" to my husband for thinking this was a good idea.  I loved and hated it.  I loved the idea, and hated the reality.  We became a family in that house.  We grew up a lot in that house.  We learned many lessons the hardest that house. We fought in (and over) that house.  We forgave and made happy memories in that house.  I almost lost my husband in that house when he became so sick.

Oh, that house. 

When I arrived Saturday, I walked the yard.  The house looked good. It still had all of it's charm.  There was my swing on the wrap-around porch that I rocked my babies on so many nights.  There were my rose bushes lining the driveway.  Ah, yes the trees were blooming and a few flowers as well.  Then, I opened the door.  I met my husband in the kitchen were he was working.  The kitchen was always a battle.  So much many issues.  So many battles over that kitchen.

It all rushed back.  A million feelings that I cannot even begin to describe. It felt heavy and dark.  It wasn't home any more.  It was like the dread that loomed over us while we lived there, was still hanging in the air.  I didn't mention a word of this to my husband at that moment.  We worked side by side on some things.  We took a break on the porch swing.  He looked at me, and said...."why do I feel sick to my stomach just being here"?  I smiled.   I knew exactly what he meant.  We both smiled and we were never so happy that we did not come back "home". 

Life is a journey.  I do not know how many more years that house will be a part of our life.  I do know that it will forever be part of how we came to be who we are today.  It wasn't all bad.  There were many good things that came from that house.  But, for now I will be perfectly content in my little borrowed city space.  It feels nice to leave the dread behind.  It was the instant cure.

B Charmer

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Moment

Inspired by Soule Mama


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will It Work?

I am hatching a plan.  It involves dirt and seeds. Can I garden in the city--on a patio?  Why, yes I think I can.  I hope I can.  I am trying to plan now exactly how I'd like for it to be organized.  My space is quite limited, but I want to attempt it none-the less.  

I am researching plants, containers, soil, etc. for my plan.  I admit, I am sort of a novice gardening this way.  Well, I am not a very experienced gardener at all.  But, I grew up with garden-lovers and spent many hours pulling weeds, watering, and tending to the garden of my mother's (albeit mostly flowers).  But really, surely I can take this on?!  I mean, as long as I remember to water I have to be headed in the right direction-right?

I have been combing my sources for inspiration.  It will be a bit of an investment, and I want to make sure I wisely go about this entire process.  Do you my readers have experience growing veggies in containers?  Please, oh please, do share your tips! 

On my list veggies I am considering:

Small Miracle Broccoli
Little Finger Carrots
Bush Champion Cucumbers
Patio Mohican Eggplant
Tendercrop Green Beans
Green Onion
Sugar Bon Peas
Some type of Pepper
Summer Squash
and scads of TOMATOES

So, I probably need to edit my list to a more manageable plan.  It is just so hard because I can already taste all of these warm, fresh, and juicy plants of wonder! Ahhh....

So, maybe this weekend I can start collecting containers.  I'm just a bit...a wee, a GIANT bit excited! Wonder if it will work?

To be continued....
B Charmer

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