Look Back at 2014

I’ve returned. I was on a journey last year, I’m still on that journey, and I hope I always will be. Where have I been? That’s a really good question, one I’ve asked myself a lot.  One word describes my year.

1164 Yes, it’s been a journey of love.  A year I’ve loved my family, my friends, and my work.

My love of renewing furniture continues. These are a few of my favorites from 2015.
818 1101 546 We’ve transformed our house into our home! That took lots of love, hard work, and time. I can now look back and say, “Wow”. There is still lots to do and the journey will continue but looking back we’ve come a long way.

We added a barn wood type door, which goes to a master suite. 101 The kitchen has been completed.
001 002 We added a scrap wood accent wall.

I’m not sure where the journey will take me this year.  But, I do know I am open to whatever direction I’m lead.  Want to come along with me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pallet Wood and Christmas Ties

The days of 2014 are ticking away fast. Before any more pass I want to share with you 2 gifts I received this past Christmas. Each of my daughters made a gift for me!  They warm my heart for many reasons.012

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The first one was made by Crystal, to honor my dad with fond memories of his jolly spirit and love of Christmas.  It  reminds me of the many values instilled as we were growing up. They included all the things she mentioned: Love, Faith, Family, Joy, Beauty, Hope, Peace, Fun, Friendship, Music, Traditions, and Memories. Included is a picture of my parents with my girls in the Family square!  Were they ever really that little?  Yep!  My dad is pictured with Joy!  Love his smile and ornery grin!  Yours truly is the little girl with the doll stroller and baby doll with Memories. And no one ever had more fun playing cards than my dad! 013 She used his Christmas ties and parts of his other clothes to make the wall hanging. His suspenders top it off and become the way to hang it up!   It also, is a good reminder of the kind of grandparent I want to be for our grandchildren.  I want them to remember me as being so many of the same things my girls remember about their grandpa.

Be the good!  Oh yes, I want to believe in the good in the world and also be the good!  Can’t wait to hang it up when our renovations are complete!! Love the message, it’s a great reminder, of how I want to live and be remembered also. Everything about this sign is  me!  Amber, knew I would love the pallet wood, (reclaimed wood, yes!) the saw cuts on it (my hubby cut them apart,) the warmth of the wood, the paint she chose, EVERYTHING! Let’s keep those renovations going so I can hang it!

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Thank you my daughters, I LOVE each gift, and I LOVE each of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crafting Weekend

We did it!  Last weekend 14 women spent 2 days in an awesome craft house and crafted, reunited with old friends, made new friends, laughed, ate, junked, and were inspired by each other!  What a great way to start the new year.

This is what we saw when we first entered the house. 068 Now doesn’t that make you happy?  We are AWESOME, each and everyone of us.  But, this was a good reminder, just in case we forgot.

Everyone, brought their own crafts to work on.  There was quite a variety!  Who knew crayons could be melted in a glue gun?  Not me.

074   Word art was created.030

Globes and maps were enhanced.
075 072 Blankets, aprons, and super hero capes were made!
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What a FUN way to spend the weekend!  Thanks ladies!! IMG_8938[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Puzzle Pieces

This past week I was reconnecting with some very good  friends under very sad circumstances.  We were traveling together to attend the funeral of another  dear friend. Not what any of us was expecting to do.  Our friend was  young and vibrant, and yet, it was in fact her time.

I worked for and with Maggie for 15 years.  We might have spent more time together than we did with our families during  that time.  She was a very talented kind lady.  One I looked up to.  And even though our journeys went in different directions the past 12 years, thinking of her always warms my heart.

During her service we were asked to remember that we were a piece of the puzzle of her life.  And to live, knowing that we were also a part of the  journey  of everyone we encounter.  For some, we are a bigger piece of the puzzle than others.  But no puzzle is complete without all the pieces.   I’ve  thought about that a lot.

We are each on our own journey. But, are we the puzzle piece someone else needs today? The smile, the shoulder, the hug, the encouragement, the listening ear, accepting everyone for where they are today without judgment.  Maggie was all those things and so much more.

Thank you, Maggie, I’m so grateful you were a part of my puzzle.

“Gratitude is the heart’s memory”_ French Proverb

 

 

 

It’s the Little Things

Last week while on the road traveling to do some picking I was rewarded with a great surprise.  No, I didn’t get the most amazing junk to redo, it was even BETTER! How can that be possible?  Let me explain.

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I’ve been doing a few shows this summer along with keeping my booth in the store full and even though the garage is FULL or over FULL by some standards, I needed to go look for or at something different last week to get inspired.  So a road trip was in order. Traveling alone leaves one a lot of time to think. My thoughts were not the best that  day…………………..I was a little peeved with someone.  And I was trying to put myself in their shoes, so could understand  better.  It really wasn’t working!

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And then, I stopped at the toll plaza to pay my fee.  Got out my change and the lovely attendant said, ” Your fee is $1.75, but you don’t owe it.”  What?  “The lady in front of you left her change for the next person who came through, and it’s you!” Suddenly, my attitude changed greatly!  Life was good, the problem I was dealing with went away and I must have been grinning from ear to ear.  It wasn’t the $1.75, it was the kindness, the unexpected lift I needed that day.  Thank you dear lady, whoever you are!

If reminded me of a  song by Clay Walker – The Chain of Love. Which includes the lyrics,” Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”  So, I left money for the next car going through the toll plaza.  I hope it brightened their day and  maybe, they passed it on too.

Maybe it is the little things after all.

 

 

 

 

What Do You Imagine?

 

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
Pablo Picasso
I imagine a LOT!  So much that sometimes it becomes a weakness instead of a strength.  How?  Well, I imagine a yard without weeds and it is beautifully manicured.  Our home is totally remodeled and everything has a place and is in that place.  I’m always eating healthy and exercising, and 15 pounds lighter!  I have enough energy to complete all the ideas floating around in my head, aka, PROJECTS!   I can stress over these things with the BEST!  And then, all my energy is zapped and what happens? Very little.
That’s when I need an attitude adjustment!.  I needed one yesterday in a big way.  I was so consumed by what I hadn’t got done I failed  to see what I had gotten done.  You know, the woe is me pity party! So, I invited myself to the party, went to it for a few hours and came home rejuvenated!  The important part of that last sentence is….came home rejuvenated!  I allowed myself to sulk for a little while and then became so joyful and grateful for where I am.
  399132_2801800722733_1375833308_n[1] Yes, it takes courage for me to tell you all this.  To tell you that sometimes I get in a funk and  sometimes I put a smile on my face when I’m really not so smiley on the inside. But just like I love to transform furniture I love transforming my attitude!  And my heart is
SINGING JOYFULLY this morning!  I am so blessed and yes there are so many projects I want to do!  Number one is finishing the kitchen.
Let Your Heart Sing...

Let Your Heart Sing…

I’ve been struggling with the remodel of our kitchen for about a year now.  It still is not completed.  I’ve delayed making decisions and wasn’t able to move forward.  It has not been pretty to say the least.  Earlier this week a wise man said to me something like, you need to make a decision, stick with it, and finish the kitchen so you can enjoy your home.  Hmmmm……wise man?  I think so!  I’m moving forward.
Picasso, I’m imagining our kitchen done and soon it will be REAL.  I am excited to show you the pictures of the transformation……wow!  Instead of thinking of everything left to do I’m just going to finish it.  How blessed I am to be able to imagine it done.  I’m thankful for that blessing.  It’s been a real struggle, but soon we will be past that and instead of jumping in to another project, I’m going  to enjoy our home.  Will I always have projects I want done, of course! But, I’m working on that imagination being a blessing and not a slave driver.  Being  content with where I am. And trying to enjoy the present while continuing to visualize the next project.

What’s Important?

Hello again.

I’ve been learning a lot the past few weeks. No, I haven’t been to school I’ve been listening and enjoying conversations with 2 of my favorite moms.  Those two favorites, are my daughters.

Our children taught us many things when they were younger.  I didn’t have much experience with children before ours, so I was surprised that they were teaching us and not the other way around. They taught me to be more  patient, more affectionate, more lenient, more joyful, more accepting, to laugh at myself and most of all they taught me about loving unconditionally. I really miss the little girls, but now I have the best friends in the world.  I’m not sure when that happened, I just know it happened. 644368_3010584119433_550689174_n[1]

And they are still teaching me.  In a conversation yesterday, one daughter said something like, “Of course we are all busy, that’s why we have to be sure we are spending our time on what is IMPORTANT”.   Pause, for thought. Thank you dear daughter! How wise a woman she is.  I needed to hear those words.  I’m guilty of getting  way to caught up in what I think I ought to be doing or what others think I need to be doing.  And, that is one reason I’m writing this evening….I simply want to.  Something inside of me is telling me to write it down, someone else needs to read about it.  What is IMPORTANT to you? Do you even know? Do you make the time for whatever it is?

Mom with the 14 month old was asked by daycare, what would you like us to focus on the upcoming year? And her answer caused me to pause also.  It went something like, ” I want you to continue to help her to believe she is awesome and to be excited about life.”  Wise also?  I think so, if only we all believed we are awesome and excited life…….we would all be changed. I believe we are ALL awesome and need to let our own unique light shine. 529395_493167214081227_2111504999_n[1]

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
 We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
. So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
 We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson

So, that’s what I’ve been learning the past few weeks.  And for me it’s the best school with the  best teachers. I’ll always be grateful for these amazing blessings.

 

Up, up and away!

It’s been awhile, in fact it’s been almost a full month, since I’ve posted. Oh, the danger of getting lost in the restoring of  junk.  And the tired body of house painting!

There are no excuses!  I’ve missed posting. So today I’m just going to bring you up to speed on what’s been happening around here.

I’ve been painting our home. Going up and down scaffolding is tiring especially when you are terrified to begin with.  The guys who put it up can’t understand my fears.  It’s very safe they say, what seems to be the problem?  Safe?  How can being up in the air over a sunroom on this 2 foot wide structure be safe? But, I did it!  Only 2 more sides to go with the scaffolding.  This is an accomplishment, applause here is required.

Upper house

Back of House

But, the biggest deadline that has been zapping my time has been getting ready for this weekend.  Last March I applied to be in a juried show, Vintage Treasure Market.  I was  accepted and July seemed so far away and I was keeping my booth filled at the store, and I procrastinated about getting things ready!  I work so good under pressure!

So, I’ve been painting, building,  restoring, repurposing, and enjoying every tired moment!  The push is on, I promised myself I wouldn’t start any new projects till I got the ones that are started finished.  We’ll see how that goes! I’m sure it won’t last.  My brain comes up with things much faster than I can complete them.

There will be a little bit of everything at the market.  I’ve built things. (I wanted to get a bed built similar to this one… 295147_477186235642865_2005791698_n[1] but, that will not be completed for this show!  It will be finished and put  in the store!  I love how this bed made from about 90% reclaimed wood.  And yes, I was green long before it was the thing to be. So, it’s back to the shop, lots of things to finish up….so I can start something new!

In the mean time enjoy every day you are blessed with. My wish is that you are living your life in a way only you can.  Use those precious gifts you are blessed with to the best of your ability.  If you don’t know what your passion is………..FIND it.  Living someone else’s life and not your own will never allow you to, “Let Your Heart Sing….”

 

Let Your Heart Sing...

Let Your Heart Sing…

 

 

 

 

 

Sideboards Bring Memories

Some of you may know that my dad was a farmer.  He had a dairy and also farmed crop land. My work the past few days and the wheat harvest in Kansas has really had him on my mind.  I miss you Dad!

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You see, I’ve been making a coffee table from the sideboards of an old farm truck.  When My daughter, Amber and I were out junking one day, we found it amongst some old doors etc.  For those of you who don’t know what sideboards are, they were added to pickups to carry a larger load than the regular sides of a pickup would.

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During wheat harvest my dad would add  the sideboards so the pickup could haul   larger loads of wheat. This was always a busy, fun, stressful and tiring time of year.  Farmers always want rain but not during harvest! The storm threats of wind and hail would get my dad and every farmer to  pace.  Wondering if in fact they would get the wheat out of the field before it was destroyed.

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So, while I’ve been sawing, sanding, drilling, and painting on these sideboards, I have thought a lot about my dad and how much I miss him.  He was almost always smiling, had a great sense of humor, was jolly, loved people, could talk to anyone, absolutely LOVED Christmas, had a sweet tooth, and a very strong faith.  He thought our daughters were wonderful, and they are.  All in all my dad just loved life and lived every day fully. 012

Thanks dad for that example!  I see some of him in my own children and now in their children.  I guess that is just part of it, the passing down of traits.

I’m so glad these sideboards came into my shop and I was able to see that they too could have new life.  That hopefully someone will enjoy the history they represent.  That while they no longer are hauling wheat they might bring the family together in another way.  I can just imagine family and friends gathered around with refreshments on the table and the conversation flowing.  Stories being passed down from one generation to another, laughter, and while your at it have something a little sweet for my dad, please.

Faith and Grit

Yesterday I had an amazing conversation with a friend of mine.  We talked about lots of things including  Prairie Rain Designs. She has been with me from the beginning of that venture and when I told her some of what was going on she said, “Sarah, all of your dreams are coming true.”  I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but, this morning I know she was right.  Through a group of events I had no control over, I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do. And the message is clear, ” I am right where I need to be.”

I may not have known  what I wanted to do, or at least didn’t always know.  But  I come from a line of very hard working women who not only survived but bloomed in some very tough times.  My ancestors came to the United States in the late 1800’s.  Most were farmers.  Many stopped off in Illinois for a few years and then went further west to Kansas.  Many years ago my husband and I took my dad back to the area of Illinois that his family was from.  As a dairy and crop farmer, he often shook his head on that trip and wondered why on earth they left that fertile flat land to come to Kansas! My guess is they were strong, tough, enterpenours wanting a better life for their families. It wasn’t easy for them or the many others that made the trip. My family was blessed with a very strong faith that I’m sure pulled them through those tough times. Lohmeyer_Family002

I come from that hardy stock.  I’m not a farmer or a farm wife, but the work ethic, the joy of a job well done, and my faith has brought me to where I am today. We all see  and do things differently, I  believe, that is because we are all given a unique set of gifts.  Through those gifts, if we use them, we will be able to reach those that others can not.  Homestead001  

If you have read any of my earlier blogs you know that I did not know where Prairie Rain Designs was headed.  I do believe that in the last 2 days I have a much clearer picture of where I’m to go.  Because of the many people God has blessed me with throughout my life the answer is very becoming very clear.  Homestead002

Finding the right piece of furniture, giving it just the right finish, reclaiming it to be useful and a thing of beauty will continue.  There will just be another added dimension to the pieces I’ve reclaimed.  It’s a work in progress and after it is all revealed to me, I’ll reveal it to you. In the mean time, remember to enjoy every day that has been given to you.  Let your heart sing, through those gifts, that only you have been given. They were given to you for a reason.