What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sermon Notes: "Giving Up Lent"

The scripture lesson for yesterday's message was from

Luke 9:22-24

22.  "The Son of Man must suffer many things, 
and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, 
and be raised the third day.
23.  Then He said to them all, 
"If anyone desires to come after Me,
Let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me.
24.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it."

Easter is the most important of all holidays, and yet it doesn't get the attention and interest that Christmas does.  The season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, includes several very important days in preparation for Easter:  Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday, the day of Christ's Resurrection..

Where did the tradition of putting ashes on ourselves come from?  Back in the day, when people depended on wood fires for cooking and heating, ashes would accumulate quickly and needed to be kept swept up regularly.  However, if someone was sick or  grieving and unable to maintain cleaning up the ashes, the ashes would spill over and people would find themselves covered with smudges of soot from the ashes in their homes...and ashes became a sign of grief or mourning...and there are many examples in the scriptures of  "putting on sackcloth and ashes" for  a period of grief  for the loss of loved ones or for sorrow for sin.  

(Personal note, just this morning I read in my devotions from Daniel 9:3-9 about Daniel's very own confession of sin and his prayer to the Lord....verse 3 in particular says:

"Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, 
with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes...")

Lent traditionally was a time to bring in new converts to the Christian faith, to spend this 40 days in "the wilderness", to shake ourselves from business as usual and tune into what God is saying to us personally and to our church.  Many of us are out of tune and for some odd reason we don't recognize it when we are out of tune.  It's interesting that we have time for doing other things that we like to do, but we are too tired to worship or visit the sick.  People are afraid to show their emotions at church, but they have no problem yelling and jumping up and down at their favorite sporting events.

It's also interesting that we only want to imitate Jesus in some ways...we tend to only take what we like or want, kind of like eating at a smorgasbord, and often leave off the most important aspects of following or imitating Christ.

We tend to give up the same things year after year for Lent, like TV, or meat, but it really doesn't seem to make any difference in our hearts and lives.

Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us by giving up His life so that we could be set free from our sins and have eternal life.

Would you be willing to go beyond self-sacrifice or self-denial of things to prepare yourself for Easter and Christ's Resurrection?

When we do give up things we discover how much time we have been wasting...would you be willing to spend that time in self-examination...to look at ourselves in depth?

Is Lent truly a time of self-denial for us...but in reality, Jesus isn't concerned about our TV, whether we eat meat or not...Jesus is only concerned about what is going on in our hearts...

Can we take the time to give up the sin of lethargy...or do we say "right now I'm just too busy..."
Are we like that Pharisee that we see in Luke 18:9-14...the one who went to the temple to pray at the same time as a tax collector...and listen to what that Pharisee said:

11.  "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,
'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, 
or even as this tax collector.
12.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess,'

And then Jesus goes on to describe the tax collector in verses 13-14

13.  "And the tax collector, standing afar off, 
would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, 
but beat his breast, saying, 
'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'

14.  "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,  and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

The "sinful man," i.e., the "tax collector", prayed for forgiveness and mercy...and that is what Christ is looking for in our hearts during this season of Lent...

So, I'm giving up the way the "church" traditionally celebrates Lent...I'm giving up Lent this year instead to draw closer to God Himself during this time...

What about you? Now, what are you truly giving up for Lent?

Won't you pray with me this prayer of confession:

"God of grace and glory, forgive us when our failed faith causes us to stumble or stop on this journey with Christ.
Grace us with faith that hopes against all hope, 
so that we may trust in Your promises and walk in Your ways.
Lift us up, that we may carry our cross 
and continue on the path to new life."

Here is one of the hymns of commitment we sang:

"Where He Leads Me I Will Follow"

Dear Friends, thank you for joining me in these weekly "Sermon Notes" from our Pastor's Sunday morning sermons.  I would like to ask you to please keep praying for our Pastor A.C., as he is still dealing with some physical issues, and yesterday was very difficult.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers on his behalf.

Sermon Notes: FUMC, Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 3/17/2019

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given. I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously. Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said. Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear... That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts. So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Moments of Grace: Renewal and Restoration - Revisited for Lent 3-17-2019

Original post written 3/4/2016, so some things have changed, but not God's Grace! It is always there, ready for us to experience and and be blessed.
Have a blessed and beautiful day today...

"Create in me a clean heart,
O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
and sinners shall be converted to you."

Psalm 51:10-13 NKJV

We are in the middle of the Lenten Season...and although I didn't make any particular commitments to "give up" anything for Lent, it has been on my mind anyway~ not so much the "giving up", but the commitment to make this time count for some positive growth in my spiritual life.  

Looking at the picture above of the geranium plant growing in the teapot is an example of the renewal and restoration process that God wants to work in our hearts.  You see, that teapot was once my everyday teapot for making my morning cup of hot tea as well as steeping the tea for our family's pitcher of iced tea each day.  One day I noticed a hairline crack had developed where the handle attaches to the pot, and it became necessary to retire this teapot from its regular use, lest the handle should  break off and spill the boiling hot contents on an unsuspecting person.  Removing this teapot from service made me feel a little sad because it still looked so pretty and it seemed such a shame to just throw it away.

(This was when I originally put the broken cutting in water. It did okay
for a little while, but soon became weak and pale and no longer produced flowers.)

Then I remembered that I had been rooting a broken off piece of my geranium plant in a jar of water on the kitchen windowsill for several months...but it was starting to look a little pale and weak trying to survive in just water.  Perhaps it would grow better in some potting soil in...yes! The cracked teapot!

After replanting the rooted cutting in the nourishing potting soil and setting it in a sunnier window, the plant began to put out more foliage and eventually a new flower shot up as seen in the first picture above.

What a lovely example of the grace of God as seen in Psalm 51:10-13.  That cracked teapot and broken geranium is a lot like our souls when we have sin in our lives.  We became broken and fractured by the wind and storms and cares of this life, and rather than casting us away, Jesus came along and picked us up, put us in the soil of His Holy Spirit and watered us with His love so that we could be renewed and restored to new life.
Kind of like having a brand new "clean heart"and restored joy!

What are some examples of God's renewal and restoration that you have seen in your life?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper Update #3

Welcome to the third episode of Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper!  If you missed the first two episodes you can watch the reruns HERE and Here.  
As you can see above, our cottage is getting a more "welcoming look", and hopefully more curb appeal as we make new improvements every day.

I know I said I was going to try and do all of the furnishings and restoration without having to go out and purchase items.  However, I was stumped on how to create a realistic kitchen for such a tiny space.  The other day we were in Walmart, and I discovered this cute little "Calico Critters" kitchen for their dollhouse.  It appeared to be close enough to the size I needed, with all the little extra pots and pans, food, utensils...so I decided to go ahead and get it.

However, when I tried to put it all together and make it fit my very limited tiny kitchen space, it was a bit of a challenge.  Let me say one thing, do NOT buy this little kitchen for children 3 or 4 years of age. I cannot imagine them being able to maneuver the tiny items included in this set...my first thought was "choking hazard"...so I would not recommend for children that age. And it definitely needs adult assembly skills...although maybe someone younger than me would have been better. LOL. But, that being said, with a few minor adjustments to accommodate my little kitchen, I am now pleased with the results.  It's just too bad that the kitchen is so tiny that you really can't get into it to see everything.  That is why I put the little stove and sink on a small piece of wood and glued them on it, so I can slide it in and out to move the utensils around, etc.  The refrigerator is well stocked with food, but it is too hard to get to it to open it and show you...however, if you look at the picture on the box above, that is how it does look.  It really is cute...just too small for tiny children to play with without destroying it...

Since my kitchen is so tiny, and I really can't put anything on the wall that divides it from the living room, I decided to "add on" to the kitchen.    Basically, I took a picture from an old calendar, (one of John Sloane's "Country Seasons" beautifully illustrated calendars), and I re-worked and decoupaged the picture to a piece of cardboard to make it look like a kitchen/dining room wall in an old house.  This gave our room the desired wood stove, "window", china cabinet, etc., to make our house more homey.  I attached it into a little "shadow box", which right now is all made of cardboard, but eventually if I can get some help, it might become a little more stabilized with wood. I just love the more realistic look this gives our kitchen area...and it makes me smile...

Here's another view of the "added room", which does not have a roof...it is just an addition to brighten the kitchen corner...

Of course, I needed to cover the back side of that addition with something, so I took another page from the calendar and added this lovely back porch.   Wouldn't you just love to be sitting there on that porch with that darling little girl and her basket of lilacs?    I hope Mr. John Sloane doesn't mind me using my old calendars this way.  I always save these calendars because they have such beautiful pictures, and I figure this is a better way to use it than to just have it taking up space in my cupboard...

Okay, so back inside the house I've been pretty busy this week.  I just added this beautiful old crochet doily that looks like a patchwork quilt to become the carpet in the upstairs bedroom.  It is predominately blues and pinks and some greens and yellows, and makes that room look more warm and homey, don't you think?  All the children are playing upstairs today...but that little boy is still praying.  I think he's praying for a little brother.  At least he has a toy train and red tractor and a stuffed duck to play with.

Mother is downstairs wondering where all the children are. It must be time for supper.  You might notice some added furnishings here too.  We went to the Dollar Tree and I couldn't believe the cute little furnishings they had for a dollar!  The little green chairs came in a set with another little table, but they were bright pink and bright purple.  I decided to paint them this pretty apple green, which goes better in this room, don't you think?  Also, you will see a bench under the window in the back. It was actually a taller table, but I shortened the legs, made a cushion for the top, and now it is a bench for seating.  The little chest of drawers is really cute, and it is made out of wood. I need to paint it but haven't decided yet what color.  I also added a fireplace around the ceramic tiles. It is made from a Kleenex box.  Amazing what you can do with a little ingenuity, scissors, and Elmer's Glue!  I also "framed" a picture above the fireplace. The frame is made from the same cardboard as the fireplace.

The clock on the wall is the face of an old watch that no longer works...

Let's go back upstairs and check on the children.  These two little girls are playing in the garret...

And the other little girls are watching their bigger sister trying on her hat and makeup.
I love to see the imaginations of children at play, don't you?

Speaking of which...Here's yours truly, using her imagination and trying to figure out how to put something else together. Hubby took this picture without my knowledge...

But here he got my attention. I don't really like this picture of me, but it does show you the real me hard at work...and you can see that our dining room table has become a "craft table".  I have to figure out how to get it all cleaned off before Sunday, as our kids will all be here for dinner after church to celebrate our youngest son's 42nd birthday! 

So, I'm trying to get as much done now before I have to move this off the table. I do have a plan for where to put it, but it won't be quite as convenient to work on it when I have to move it ...This program now reminds me of another of my favorite DIY shows, "Texas Flip and Move"...where the "flippers" purchase an old house at an auction and have to move it to their lot to renovate it, and then buyers come to an auction to purchase it, and they have to move it again to their own lot.  Wow! That's a lot of flipping and moving...but that is exactly what I am doing...except...there will not be an auction to sell this house when I am finished with all the work of restoring and renovating it.  At least not in my lifetime as far as I am concerned...

Thank you for visiting today!  Please stay tuned for more home improvement tips on the next episode of "Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper".   Until then...why not get in touch with your "inner child" and enjoy doing something fun and creative?  I am finding this to be a wonderful challenge to my brain.  I'm trying hard not to become too obsessed with this "hobby", but I am having fun in the process.

"Then Jesus called a little child to Him and said, 
'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted 
and become as little children, 
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child 
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:2-4

Oh, I almost forgot!
Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!
I should have decorated this house with some shamrocks and everyone should be wearing green...
so let's just pretend they are, okay?
Maybe next year they will be ready to celebrate the day.
I just put my corned beef brisket into the crock pot to cook.
Tomorrow we will be also having a pot roast with potatoes and carrots to add to the corned beef and cabbage.
We will be celebrating our youngest son's 42nd birthday after church, and he requested the pot roast...so that's what will be cooking! 
Hope your day is filled with much joy,
and may you find that lovely pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow!
(If you find it, you have to share it with me! LOL)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Foto Friends Birds, Bees, Blooms, and Reflections

Spring is definitely busting out all over here in Florida! Even though the official arrival of the Vernal Equinox is not until next Wednesday, March 20th, someone forgot to tell the flowers, birds, and bees that they needed to wait!

This fat bumblebee was making his rounds around the wild blackberry bushes blooming along the road.  I had to be careful while taking his picture to make sure he wasn't coming in my face to give me a "buzz"...

I love the natural beauty of these blossoms...

And then we have apple blossoms on the little tree in our yard...even though we never get apples, it is nice to see the blossoms...

The azaleas have been putting on quite a show this year! This particular mass of blossoms is better than I've ever seen it in all the years we've lived here!  What is amazing, I don't have to do anything to these hardy old bushes...they just keep coming back year after year.  I wonder what would have happened if I had taken care of them???

Talk about perfection! This Pink Perfection Camellia is doubly perfect!!!

And here's some more getting ready to bloom...

Now, on to the birds:  This is the Female Eastern Towhee coming by for a quick drink of water...

Isn't she pretty?

I love how she is showing off her colors for me.

Here is her mate...this picture was from a few weeks ago. I've never managed to see them both together, but aren't their colors interesting?

Now back to the flowers again...the purple wisteria is opening up and showing off all over our back fence around the Memorial Garden...

Aren't they beautiful?

Here again, I really don't have to do much for these flowering vines to come back every year...we've cut them back a few times, but they grow right back...so lovely...

I paid a little visit to the neighborhood pond to check on the Sand Hill Crane Family.  Here they are on the island where they have their nest.  The two babies are apparently sleeping under the wing of the mama bird, and the father is standing guard over his family...

I wouldn't have known the babies (colts) had already hatched if I hadn't seen them out walking around last week.  I love how they come back to the island every night to sleep, tucked safely under their mother's wings...

Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)

"He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler"

Reminds me of this old hymn:
"Under His Wings"

As I sat there looking around the pond, my heart was a bit heavy for one of our neighbors who lives over on that side of the pond:

My friend has lived here on this little cove for quite a few years, and dearly loves this place. She has been a protector of the wildlife as well as all the neighborhood pets and animals, flora and fauna.
A wonderful neighbor and friend.
She has been battling cancer for quite a while, and has now been
taken to a Hospice House.  We know that once a person reaches this stage, they most
likely don't return home to their earthly house again, unless there is an unexpected rally and change of condition.  

So my heart was a bit heavy, thinking about how she loves this place, and I sat there on the little dock and lifted her up in prayer...praying that her remaining days will be sweet and comfortable, and that when the angels are dispatched to carry her home, she will truly be ready and waiting.

 Such an interesting reflection of the clouds on the water...
reminds me of the circle of life..
heaven really isn't that far away,
and we should all be sure that we are ready to go to our heavenly home.
We may not have the opportunity to prepare for our last days...the Lord could come at any moment...or He could send His angels to call us homeward when we least expect it.
So during this time of Lent, it is a good time to reflect on the condition of our own hearts and be sure that we are ready to "go home" when the Lord calls.

Personally, I am eagerly looking forward to that day. I just pray that all my family and friends are ready as well.

Okay...moving on...I do pray that you will have a wonderful day and weekend. Thank you for visiting here today.  We don't currently have a "Friday Foto Friends" linkup, but I imagine that many of our friends are still posting some lovely pictures about their week today...so why not go visiting around and see?

I know I promised that I will be posting updates on "Pamela's Victorian Cottage"...and I intend to do  that soon....believe me, it is still quite a work in progress, and you will be surprised to see all the "home improvements" that have been made this week...but I wanted to get a few more things done before I posted any more pictures. So stay tuned for the next episode. I know you don't want to miss it!  :)   Bye Bye for now folks!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"Even The Sparrow Has Found a Home"

"Even the sparrow has found a home, 
and the swallow a nest for herself, 
where she may lay her young--
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and My God.  

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; 
They will still be praising You."  
Psalm 83:3-4


I was so blessed and surprised this evening as I sat down in the Secret Garden for little spell, and no sooner had I sat down than this little Chickadee came a calling...
and I do mean literally "calling" for her/his mate.
Not long after I heard the mate responding from the nearby tree.  They were looking me over as if to say, 
"What are YOU doing here in our secret garden hideaway?"
So I just sat very very still and got my camera into position and starting clicking away.
What a blessing!
I was not aware that they were still using this old bird house that sits rather crookedly atop the clothesline post.
 I guess you could say, 
"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"

As we think about this season of Lent, we remember that Jesus also talked about the birds having nests...
(See Luke 9:57-62)
"Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
And Jesus said to him,
"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
Then He said to another,
"Follow Me."
But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
Jesus said to him,
"Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
And another also said,
"Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Being a disciple of Christ is not for "sissies".  Once a decision is made to follow Christ, 
we may be asked to go places we've never gone before, or to meet people we've never known and may not be too sure we want to know.  We may be asked to leave our families behind and take a leap of faith to go far away and attend Bible College or Seminary, or preach the Gospel to people who speak a language that is foreign to us or have customs that are not familiar to us.  We may never have a house to call our own, and may be asked to live in sub-par housing like this chickadee above.  

I can tell you from personal experience, because we've done this many times over the past 50 years of our married life...when you answer the call of God to follow Him, there's no turning back.  Once you take that step of faith and say "Yes, Lord, I will follow You, ", you may find that you are going places you never dreamed of.  You may say good-bye to loved ones and friends that you will never see again...you may even find that your own children are faced with serious challenges because of your calling...and then you may find that when you are ready to settle down and finally retire, you don't have a nice pension to fall back on or any IRA waiting in the bank, or a nice home to retire in.  I can speak from experience there as well...but one thing I do know, God has never failed us yet.  We have been seriously challenged, we have had to make many moves that were not always pleasant, we've had to depend on others to meet our financial needs when we had not one penny to our names...but JESUS NEVER FAILS.  He has ALWAYS been with us no matter where we went or what we were doing.  Even when it appeared that we had lost our way and were off course for a while...God was there, healing our wounds, soothing our troubled brows, and whispering words of love in our ears...even when we couldn't love ourselves.  Yes, following Jesus, even though He had "nowhere to lay His head", has been the very best decision we have ever made in our lives.  I am so glad that early in our marriage God got a hold of our hearts and called us into His kingdom so that we could serve Him for the rest of our lives.  We sang this little hymn so often, with real meaning and commitment:

Please listen carefully to this message with the song attached below...

I never heard this story before in connection with this song, but in reading the comments below the video, I see many who testify that this is true.  Thankfully, we did not have to sacrifice our family in this way as this missionary did, and I wonder if I could have had such faith in the face of such terror, and I must say I am thankful that God did not allow us to be put to that extreme test.  But we were tested and tried in many ways throughout the years, some that have left scars in our family.  Again, God is faithful, and He has carried us through, and I can still sing this song with all sincerity:

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;

I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.
2. Tho' none go with me, I still will follow,

Tho' none go with me I still will follow,

Tho' none go with me, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.
3. The world behind me, the cross before me,

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

No turning back, no turning back.

So, during this season of Lent...have you decided "To Follow Jesus...No turning back, no turning back?"  I can assure you it will be well worth the journey.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Pamela's Victorian Cottage" - My "Fixer Upper" Episode

then I hope you will enjoy the continuing saga of what has become a new episode
of "Fixer Upper" in miniature...or maybe even it could fit on "Property Brothers", or perhaps"Hometown"...just a few of my favorite house remodeling programs on HGTV or DIY networks.  I don't know, it might even qualify for my most favorite program, "Maine Cabin Masters", except this little Victorian Cottage is a bit too fancy for a Maine Cabin.  (That may be my next project...)

So let me take you back and show you some before and after photos so you can see the progress I've been making on this true "fixer upper" yard sale purchase...

This is how the cottage looked when I brought it home from the yard sale and all the "kids" in the neighborhood came right over and claimed it for their own new house...

This is the true version of the little old woman who had so many children she didn't know what to do...she didn't really put them in a shoe...she just moved them into my little Victorian Cottage...But did you notice that there was some gingerbread trim missing from the top of the dormer roof above the door?

Or did you see there was also more gingerbread trim missing from the gable end of the house here:

And actually it was missing from a couple of other places too, so this gal had to get to work on restoring and repairing right away. Thankfully, the missing pieces were actually included with the sale of the house...I just had to install them myself.

Now, you may think that was easy...well, let me tell you, no it wasn't. First of all, one had to get the right kind of glue to make the gingerbread stick to the roof...and then one had to find the right kind of clamps to hold the gingerbread in place until the glue dried...as this lady didn't want to sit there for an hour holding a piece of gingerbread trim in place...especially when there were several different places to glue and hold on all sides of the house...and so, after trying a couple of different glues, I discovered that plain old Elmer's Glue worked the best...and it dries clear. (don't use wood glue...it turns yellow!)  And thankfully, clothespins and little plastic clamps found at the neighborhood flea market also helped hold the gingerbread trim in place until it dried...((I forgot to take pictures of that step...my producers will probably fire me and my TV show won't get renewed for next season...)

Anyway, here is the after picture of the front of the house...

And also you probably didn't know that the front door needed a door knob!  I mean, how can one enter a "closed door" unless there is a doorknob?  ( I know what you are thinking...crawl through the "open window"...)  Well, yes...that's true, and one of the windows did need to be glued back in also...but first things first...
This picture probably doesn't do it justice, but I found a little loose rhinestone from an old ring, and it fit perfectly on this door for a "glass doorknob".    I also put a little pearl doorknob on the inside of the door! (Now it looks as if that door could use a fresh coat of paint...but that's a future job...)

Okay, back to another "before picture"...Here was the family gathered that first night for their first tea party in the new house.  They didn't care that there was no kitchen, and that there was ugly brown paneling on the wall in the space that was supposed to be a kitchen, and the stairs were also in the way...and there was also ugly brown paneling upstairs in the bedroom...and that it was actually glued on with a glue that was not holding very well, and it was coming off the wall...and so there was another project for this fixer upper gal...

Below is the after picture:  I have always wanted rose wallpaper on my upstairs bedroom walls, ever since I was a little girl visiting at my Aunt Margie's house in Crafton, PA.  My sister Doris and I always slept in a little room upstairs that had slanting walls just like this room, and it had the most beautiful pink roses all over the walls and ceiling in that room. My sister and I would lay in that bed and just stare at the ceiling and walls and dream about having roses on our own bedroom walls someday.  Well, that day has come! Doris, here's your new guest room!  Next time you come to visit, I will let you sleep in this room!!  Now, you may ask, "how did you get rose covered wallpaper in that room so quickly? You just found this house a couple of days ago...Well, this girl is the author of the philosophy that "necessity is the mother of invention"...and so is being cheap and not wanting to spend any more money on this "fixer upper". We are on a tight budget here with this renovation!

I had some lovely file folders with a beautiful rose design on the outside, and I've had them tucked in my desk drawer for many years, holding papers that probably need to be shredded...but anyway...I found them, and decided that they would make very lovely wallpaper for this upstairs bedroom...and so, with my wonderful Elmer's Glue...there you go...Oh...and did I mention that I also found a little sample jar of some paint that was a lovely creamy color that worked perfectly to paint on the garret wall and around the dormer windows?  Yes...that helped brighten the upstairs bedroom considerably...and it didn't cost me a penny!

The downstairs living room didn't really need painting...it was already a lovely bright yellow.
I did find a hand knitted/crochet dishcloth that had never been used that made a lovely rug for the living room.   The little tea table that is all set for tea time is actually the lid to a teapot. The teapot itself is too large for this room, but the lid makes a lovely table on top of a covered cap to something I found in the medicine cabinet.     The brown and yellow tiles against the wall are actually two antique ceramic tiles from the fireplace  that came from my mother's "Aunt Dode's" house in West Lafayette, Ohio.  "Aunt Dode" left her house to my grandmother, and so my mother lived in that house during her high school years.  Since these tiles came from the fireplace in that old house, they are now serving as the "fireplace" in this house, at least we can imagine that is what they are!

Oh, and did you notice there is a white crochet valance on the top of each of the windows?  Well, I found this lovely trim on something that was not being used, in a drawer in my vanity in my bedroom, and there was exactly enough to cut and fit on the tops of each of the windows downstairs and upstairs!
Morning Sunshine brightens the home where love abides...

Now, for the kitchen...this is a work in progress.  (as is the rest of the house).
There really wasn't a kitchen. Just a very small space with dark paneling on the wall and the stairs in the middle of the floor.  (See the "Before" picture up above)

In true "fixer upper" fashion, I wanted to tear down the dividing wall between the kitchen and the living room and make more space, but that would have been a bit more demo than I was ready for.  You know, if you watch those shows, they are always tearing down walls and putting up beams to support the floor above,  and building lovely huge islands in the kitchens. Well, this is just an old fashioned Victorian cottage, and I really didn't want anything modern in this house. I am restoring it to a better purpose, not remodeling it.  There is a difference.

Anyway...I did demo the old dark paneled wall, and discovered that the wall underneath was not in very good shape. The thin plywood had been shredded in a few spots, and it wouldn't do to just paint over it either. So, back to my lovely old file folders.  On the back flap of the rose covered file folders was this  lovely pink design.  It was the perfect size for this wall...but it needed some decoration.  Since the kitchen is really too small to add any real cabinetry and appliances, I am probably just going to pretend they are there by putting pictures on the walls.  Maybe I will fit in a little shelf with a sink...and the stove is something I am still thinking about and trying to figure out...again, without spending any more money!
So anyway, I decided to decoupage a few pictures of teapots and other tea time things on this particular wall, along with a cut out picture from an old greeting card of a lovely window, since there was no window on this wall.  (A man must have designed this house...whoever heard of such a small kitchen with no window on the wall where the sink should go???)

This lovely little girl dressed in her pink party dress is quite pleased with the kitchen wall and "pink rug". (again, leftover scrap from the file folder!)  She is ready for her friends to come over for another party already.
Oh, I also decided not to put the stairs back in the kitchen. Since this is my project, I get to decide what stays and what goes. These sweet people living in this house really don't care about the stairs...they have me to lift them up to the next floor when necessary...and space seems to be more needed than stairs! So there! That's that!

Well, the sun is setting on this little cottage for the night.
We will pick this story up another day and see how things are progressing.

I have decided to do a feature each week on the progress of 
"Pamela's Victorian Cottage".  Not promising what day it will be scheduled just yet, as that is up to my "producers" of this new "fixer upper" program.  
So stay tuned for more episodes of
"Pamela's Victorian Cottage".

In keeping with this season of Lent, here are some encouraging Bible verses about "Restoration" from the Book of Isaiah the Prophet regarding the Advent of Christ to the world:

Isaiah 61
1.  "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me 
to preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2.  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3.  To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the 
spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified.
4.  And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations."

May we each look for ways that we can rebuild the "old ruins" of our lives and receive the "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" as we seek the Lord and His healing restoration for our souls.  Have a blessed and beautiful day, my friends.