Don't forget to visit my website! Jackie Coleman - Author

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bottle Cap

In the days just after Davy was killed, I was so restless. I was trying to do my best to keep my mind occupied, but that was an impossible task. No matter what I did, I thought about Davy the entire time.

One day, I went for a walk in my woods and found this bottle cap. It was the ship on the bottle cap that caught my eye. Davy liked pirate lore, and was thrilled when we vacationed on Ocracoke Island, where Blackbeard was killed.

I picked up the bottle cap and put it in my pocket. When I got back inside, I put it on the shelf, above Davy's picture. It's been there ever since.

I looked up "Small Town Brewery" on the internet. It's in Wauconda, Illinois. It looks to be a fairly new brewery, so the bottle cap is not decades old ... meaning it's very possible it's from when his best friend, Zach, would come over. They'd sit outside, build a fire in the upper fireplace, drink a few beers, talking and laughing under the stars until the wee hours of the morning.

It might not be Davy's, but I like to think it is, and it makes me smile to remember those two "boys" hanging out and having fun ... and I can easily see Davy flipping this bottle cap into the woods to see how far he could make it go. That's definitely something Davy would do!

So when I found it, it brought me a small bit of comfort ... I was touching something Davy had touched.

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Painting of Davy

Not long after Davy died, a childhood friend, Ben, told me he wanted to paint a picture of Davy. I was thrilled! He said he wanted to try a new technique he'd been working on ... painting on glass. He came over one afternoon and we picked out a dozen or so pictures of Davy.

Ben was a true friend all through Davy's childhood. They were thick as thieves. Ben lived a few houses up the hill, and those boys played from the time their feet hit the ground in the morning until they were called in for the night. They were always so dirty at the end of the day! I didn't mind at all ... it meant he had fun ... and the dirt was nothing a little soap and water couldn't take care of. Ben confided in me, just lately, that they would climb the massive pine tree in our backyard to see who could go the highest. That tree is at least 100' tall! I'm glad I hadn't seen it. My heart would have stopped!

Davy and Ben in the tree house in our backyard.
Ben came to the funeral home when Davy died. He was inconsolable. He was the same at the funeral. His family came to the visitation and funeral separately from him. Their adult kids were crying and the parents could hardly hold it together.

When we planted Davy's dogwood, it only seemed right that Ben be there.

A few weeks ago, he messaged me and said he'd had a dream the night before. In his dream, I came up to him, crying, asking him if he knew where Davy was. He just looked at me, knowing Davy was gone, then he started crying. He said he woke up thinking about the painting, that he had yet to start, and that it was really pressing on his heart that he needed to do this. Now.

Not long afterwards, he sent me a couple of pictures of the process as he painted Davy. He chose a picture of Davy sitting on my sofa, with a sweet, satisfied smile on his face, as his infant son lay fast asleep on his chest.

 Here's the picture he painted from ...



The beginning of the project ...


The finished project, with a white matte behind the painting ...


The finished project without the white matte. He said he was going to put a mirror behind the painting so that we could see our reflection, too, when we looked it.



I don't have it yet ... but I know exactly where I'm going to hang it once I get my hands on it. What an incredibly kind thing this young man did for me. His expression of grief and pain at Davy's passing was impossible to miss.

It touched my heart that pretty much all of Davy's childhood friends ... and many times their entire families ... came to both the visitation and the funeral. All of his friends were crying very hard or trying very hard not to.

Davy, I don't think you have any idea of how many hearts you touched. I miss you, Buddy.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Laundry Closet is DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is another project I have wanted to tackle since I bought this house, and it's finally DONE! I had everything in place and the shelves stained for while now, but the thought of hanging three very heavy shelves ... on a plaster and lath wall ... and making sure they were all level and spaced evenly really intimidated me. But, I figured the shelves weren't going to hang themselves, so I put on my big girl panties and went for it. While I was hanging the shelves, there were many, many, many times I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I persevered!

The walls are plaster, so hitting a stud was essential. The shelves are heavy, so holding them in place by myself to mark the screw holes for the brackets was very difficult. Plus, I also had to make sure the shelves were level. This definitely would have been easier with another pair of hands ... but somehow I managed.

Here's the AFTER ...


When I moved in, my side by side washer and dryer took up most of the closet. There was a little space on each side and there was one long shelf across the top, so despite having a whole closet, in reality, I had very little storage. I left the doors on the closet (because the washer and dryer weren't very "decorative"), so I'd have to close one side to use the washer, then close the washer side to use the dryer. It was a hassle, but I lived with it. (First World problem, right?)

And now here's the BEFORE ... (the "line" in the middle is the light pull-string)



The old chest in the AFTER picture was in the closet in the guest room, and I needed that room for toys. Moving it meant buying a stackable washer and dryer and putting the old chest beside it. The chest holds a lot of Davy's things, so moving it  made sense. I had toys piled on it when it was in the guest room closet, so putting more things in the chest was a chore.

A couple of friends moved out my old washer and dryer and hooked up my new ones. They put the vent for the dryer hose above the electrical outlet, but there's no way I could get three shelves with it located there ...


So I moved it below the outlet ...


I had bought a 2x12x12 and had it cut into three, 4' pieces for the shelves ...


And stained them ...


Then I hung beadboard on the back wall of the closet. I didn't bother making it neat around the outlet because I had bought fabric to hang just beneath the bottom shelf to hide all the hoses and wires. The string for the light makes it look like I messed up on the beadboard, but (again) that's just the light pull-string ...


Finally, and with great trepidation, I hung the first shelf ... (and added an angel (temporarily) at the end of the light pull-string). This shelf was particularly maddening because I had intended to use the brace on the side wall as guide to keep the shelf level. After I hung the first shelf, it was not level. Not even slightly. It was then that I realized the side brace wasn't level. Ugh! I had to remove the shelf and brackets and start over. Second time was the charm ...


Then the bottom shelf ... (This time, I moved the light pull-string out of the way before taking the picture) ...


Then the middle shelf ... and it's done!


To someone who knows what they are doing, tiling the bathroom and hanging these shelves would have been a piece of cake ... but I do NOT know what I'm doing ... so for me, they were NOT a piece of cake!

There are other projects I want to tackle, but after the bathroom and the laundry closet, I'm not exactly anxious to dive into another project, so they're going to have to wait. Plus ... I still have to grout the tile in the bathroom. The plan is to do that tomorrow (which will be "today" because I'm not posting this until tomorrow!), then I will be 100% done with both projects. What a relief, and what a sense of accomplishment I feel!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Another House I Drew

This was the childhood home of a friend, so I drew this for her. I can't find the picture I took to draw from, but here's the drawing ...


Friday, February 15, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Grief

This is so true ... and I know I need to move on ... I just don't know how.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I Did It! All By Myself!!!

I still have to grout, but the tile is FINALLY hung! If anyone with even a modicum of experience laying tile had watched me do this, I would never be allowed in Lowe's or Home Depot ever again! It's not perfect, and it's not done, but I'm so proud of myself!!!

BEFORE and AFTER

When I first looked at this house, I thought the tile behind the hall bath was nauseating. I hated it! Three years later, I finally did something about it.

First I took off the old (extremely) ugly tile.


The tile hadn't been installed correctly, so water had seeped in behind the bottom tiles. After spraying Chlorox to kill any mold, I attempted to chip away the damaged areas, but they were so badly damaged, there is no way an amateur like myself would be able to obtain a smooth surface to adhere new tile.

Then I had an epiphany! Styrofoam! I'd use styrofoam to cover the wall, filling the joins with FlexShot to make sure no water could get between them.


With a smooth surface to work on, I measured a grid and started laying the tile. (I don't know why the tub looks like it's gold ... it's not ... it's bone.)


And now it's ready for grout!



I can't WAIT to get this grouted and be able to mark this off a three year old to-do list!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Heaven Really IS For Real

I have a book called "Grief Recovery" that I have been putting off reading. A friend loaned me the book "Heaven is for Real", which I figured would give me some peace before reading the book on grief.

Long story short, a little boy (3 years old) claimed he had gone to Heaven when he was in the hospital near death. After he was well, he knew things he couldn't have possibly known. Over the next few months and years, he kept telling him mom and dad more and more about Heaven and Jesus.

They showed him all kinds of pictures of Jesus, asking him, "Is this what Jesus looks like?", and he kept telling them no. Then one day, someone told him about a girl, Akiane Kramarik (then 12 years old) who claimed to have visions and had met Jesus, and that Jesus told her to paint her visions.

The little boys parents showed him the picture she had drawn of Jesus. He became excited and instantly said, "Yes, that's him! That's what Jesus looks like!" They described the picture they showed him as Jesus's face being half in shadow. I got on the internet to find the picture, and to find out more about this amazing little girl. Neither was hard to find.

Akiane Kramarik is a self-taught painter and claims that Jesus spoke to her when she was four years old, encouraging her to draw and paint her visions. She began to draw at the age of four, was painting at six, and began to write poetry at seven. She painted a portrait of Jesus, called Prince of Peace, at the age of eight.

You can go to her website https://akiane.com to see all of her incredible work. It's truly jaw-dropping that a little girl had that much talent at such a young age.

So, if you've ever wanted to know what Jesus looks like, here it is ...

Photo courtesy of Akiane Kramarik, https://akiane.com.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hobby Lobby

My house could be a showroom for Hobby Lobby. I love their merchandise, and I love that they are a Christian company and play Christian music in their store. However, I don't need anything else. I have no wall space I need to fill, and I hate clutter, so I can't buy little decorations to sit around.

Still ... I really want to go to Hobby Lobby!!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Rooster Trivet

My sister gave me a rooster trivet for Christmas. I don't need another trivet, but I kind of really needed a rooster in my kitchen! It sat propped against the back splash for a couple of months while I pondered where I could find it a "forever home" ... and I found it!