But first....thinking back on all of my blessings in 2008!

The countdown begins....it's just a matter of hours till we "Ring in the New Year"!!! As this year draws to a close, I cannot let that happen without thanking each and every one of you for all the blessings that you have brought me!

Although, most of us have never met, I cannot tell you how important you are to me!

With great fondness, I think back on the days of Rate My Space, where many of us first met....where we shared our love for home & family! Often times, we refer to one another as a "virtual friend" simply because our relationship has been through a computer but I would like to say that you and your friendship is just as "real" to me as my own dear family!!!

In the beginning, it was our passion for interior design that drew us together...with pride we uploaded photos of our homes and then sat back "holding our breath"...waiting for the comments to come...hmmm, "would people love my home as much as I do?", we would ask. And yes, there were a few that didn't ....but the few that did...WOW...they were the winners...they were the "keepers"!!!

Asking for input and suggestions, we ventured forth on a journey that many of us could have or would have never expected!!! We just couldn't wait for Vanna to post another fabulous room....and I tell ya what, it's still beyond me how such a grand lady with such a grand home could be so down to earth and enjoy "rubbing elbows" with some of us that only aspire to her design genius!!! But she's our Vanna...and our fearless leader of the ChattyCathy's...hehe!!!

Soon we were meeting for our daily "Coffee Clutch" at dear sweet Gloria's house....a morning ritual that I looked forward to!!! Gloria always had the pot on in that beautiful blue & white kitchen of hers....you just couldn't help but feel at home there! One by one, we would file into Gloria's kitchen....but it didn't take me long to realize that if I didn't get up early enough....all the donuts that Ann brought were already gone...boohoo!

I remember all of the leisurely evenings that we spent out on Susan's porch with our iced tea in hand, the smell of magnolias carried on the "Summer breeze...making me feel fine"....ahhh, what a way to end the day! What? Are you kidding me??? It never ended there...for the night owls in our group...we just carried the party on over to my Sis' Cindy's house...digging through that totally awesome pantry of hers for a little midnight snack! Of course, while we were there, we were always "picking her brain" for interior design "how to's"...hehe!!!

I'll never forget the countless times that our night parties soon became "sleep overs"!!! Of course, one of my favorite bedrooms was Lynne's beautiful toile bedroom...and that girl always had a breakfast tray waiting for us the next morning!!! Dear Lynne always had to run off to mind her gift shoppe but she always provided us with breakfast on that pretty tray before leaving!!! I remember the debate on whether to take out the pretty tree that was behind the bed in that toile room or to leave it....nothing ever stayed the same with all of us girls around...hehe!!!

Ohhh...the toile bedrooms...they seem to be our favorite!!! One night we'd have a slumber party at dear Lynne's and the next night we'd meet in Laurie's beautiful black & white toile bedroom...ooooh all those buttery yellow accents just melted us!!! And as we gathered around Laurie, she would talk (sometimes it would take several comment boxes) and then she would worry that she had said to much but we were always enthralled and grateful for her conversations!!! Those warm summer nights almost always led to a swim in Laurie's pool!!! Ohhh...the fun and games! But it was all innocent fun....we always minded our "lady like" manners....well almost all the time!

There were the nights....hmmm....that I recall....a certain mischievious little group emerged! They were a strange bunch...you might even call them a gang because they always traveled in packs...hehe!!! Dressed in pantyhose and fishnet stockings...what? that doesn't sound so strange??? Hmmm...the pantyhose and fishnets were on these lady's heads!!! Oh yesssss....incognito....and they were led by a "Granny Farkle"!!! She was the ring-leader!!! When least expected...in the darkness of night...they could be found "tip-toeing" through our homes....they carried purses as big as they were....and before you knew it....they had "STRUCK"!!! Things started coming up missing....I lost my dear French bust to that gang!!! They were always so sly....so secretive....except when they started fighting amongst themselves!!! Why...I heard told....that there was a fight over at Vanna's one night....in that pretty little shabby chic guest room of hers! Granny Farkle's gang started fighting over which one was going to get Vanna's "courting seat"....and as I hear it, it really wasn't much of a fight because the tall 5' 10" blonde gang member won....hehe!!! And all this time, Vanna thought there were ghosts in that pretty little bedroom....wink!!!

We were quite the group....grand admirers of "all things pretty"!!! And pretty things were in abundance in the homes of these ladies!!! I just loved Laura's (Tomarie) Limoge collection....I'm still drooling over that pretty little aqua box with the flowers on top and the little pumpkin coach...ahhh...and then there is Christine's doll collection! Oh yes, and speaking of "dolls"....didn't we all just have the best time of our lives at Christine's for Thanksgiving? She is such a doll...and definitely the "hostess with the mostest"!!! I do believe that Christine's Autumn tablescape was the most beautiful that I've ever laid my eyes on!

What a talented bunch of lady friends that I have....from Christine's tablescapes to Ann's knack for crafting....I'm still going to make one of those pretty books like she made!!! My Girlfriend's talents are "never-ending"....and I've learned so much from all of these grand ladies...and at the end of 2008, I can say that I'm a better person because of them!!! Each of us have moved from an acquaintance and friendship made at RMS onto a true friendship of genuine care, concern, and love for one another!!! This past year we have enjoyed each other's fellowship....we've shared tears of joy....tears of concern....we've prayed for and supported one another....and I just know that if I ever really needed something, I could go to them!!! It really just doesn't get any better than that!!!
Thank you my friends....for all of the sweet memories....for making 2008 a remarkable and memorable year for me!!! I will always love and cherish you....and I'm looking forward to more of your sweet fellowship in 2009!!!

Love ya'll,
PS....To all of my blogging friends....I look forward to getting to know you better in the coming New Year!!!
Update & just a little note: The dear ladies that I mentioned in this post have since started their own blogs....
It's been nearly two years since we first met during those days of Rate My Space...I am still enjoying the friendships of these dear, sweet ladies! If you haven't ever met them or visited their blogs...please go by and pay them a visit! You'll be so glad that you did!!!


Anonymous said...

CHari- Happy new year to you!

wish I had been in on the beginnings of RMS but am so glad you let another newbie join you all!


Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Oh Chari how sweet this trip down memory lane was for me today..we did have some fun and girl we are still having fun only doing it in blogland now..I so remember meeting you at Picket back porch where we would go every morning and just talk about our plans for the day..guess that was like in March and then you finally joined in RMS after much talking to..and titled your first post"" testing the RMS waters"" and and thrilled I was to finaly have a place to visit with you..Yes it been a busy year and so many changes...but I would't take a million for all the wonderful friends I have made from RMS and now blogging..and girl I was GRANNY FARKLE the leader of the gang..I use to love it when we would strike and hit and clean out our friends homes..Your the best Chari..I love you to girl more than my luggage..may you have a safe and blessed year with Honey..Hugs and smiles Gloria

"Blossom" said...

You pretty much covered when I joined in. Thank you for all the sharing you did.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Chari, what a great post this was! (of course the fact that I'm in it makes it even better-LOL)! This was so fun to read and remember all of that fun on RMS. What a great year it has been, and you have been such a wonderful part of it for me. I look forward to our continued friendship in 2009! Wishing you a wonderful year! Love ya, laurie

Sue said...

Oh my goodness Chari, you have been such a blessing to me and all you have come in contact with, I am so glad to have met you and want to wish you a wonderful and prosperous, blessingfilled new year!!! Love ya sweetie! xoxoxo

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Oh Chari, what a marvelous trip these past few months have been.. There has been alot of fun with all the anics hasn't there? I can't imagine making this journey without you. I look forward to this next year and all the anics that we can come up with..You have blessed my life in more ways than I can say...I pray that 2009 is the best year yet for you and yours...Happy New Year my friend. hugs ~lynne~

Anonymous said...


lvroftiques said...

Awwww Chari!! I remember all of our fabulous adventures! And the joy of finding and getting to know the most wonderful group of women, who love all the same things I do! That Gloria and her merry band of marauding fishnet babes *winks* Didn't we have the most fun?!! Remember shopping at Lynnes store and all of our matching birdies!( and baby birdies lol!) Girlfriend I knew you were a special one from the very beginning! With the tongue of an angel! Receiving a note or comment from you Chari makes it a special day indeed! And I know I speak for us all when I say that "you are such a blessing to us!" What a privilege it is to call you friend. I hope your 2009 is filled with all things good! You deserve nothing less! Vanna

Lynette said...

OK - I wasn't part of the original RMS gang, but I have met most of y'all through RMS and now through blog land and can claim almost all of y'all as my very own "blogger buddies" and I have been so blessed to have y'all as friends! What a great ride 2008 was and I can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for us!!
Chari, you are a true frind indeed and love to see your name and pic pop up on my blog! Stay warm in "Colorful Colorado" today!!

Anonymous said...

Dear, dear Chari, I've got tears in my eyes too! Yes what a wonderful, unexpected journey for all of us. God has so blessed us with this experience. Vanna, said it so well you truly do have the tongue (and heart) of an angel. I truly do count each of you beautiful ladies as some of my greates blessings ever! Love you Sis, and wish you the very best New Year filled with much love and great health. Love, Cindy

Susan (Between Naps On The Porch.net) said...

Chari...this was sooooo much fun...definitely a trip down memory lane for all of us. Those were great times and now blogland is becoming our new avenue for making more fun memories! What a wonderfully special group of ladies we have met through RMS and now through blogging. Thanks so much for the mention in this delightful post! :-) I remember everyone kept eating all the chocolate chip cookies out on the porch...I was baking every day trying to keep that plate filled!!! :-) Can't wait to see what 2009 will hold for all of us! Love ya! Susan

Lisa (aka) French said...

Chari for everything there is a reason and RMS was my reason to learn to meet Kelly, and all the wonderful blogging ladies out here! Hugs to you and thanks for always being so sweet;) Hugs French;)

xinex said...

Happy New year, dear Chari! What a beautiful story. You should write fictions, you are such a good writer. We sure had a lot of fun in 2008 but our friendship just gets better everyday and so will 2009. I think your biggest accomplishment is being able to quit smoking and I am very proud of you. More power and health to you for the new year! Love ya!....Christine

Anonymous said...

Hi Chari, Like Vanna and Gloria, I remember when you dipped your toe into the RMS waters. And then you posted - was it a bedroom? - and it got on the Front Page! Yes, indeed, getting a comment from you on RMS has been a highlight of the day. I remember the shenanigans that went on with Gollum and this gang, too. Now I need to dip my toe into blogland. Happy New Year! Fieldstone/Pam

Tomarie said...

Chari! I've had my step-grandson visiting and I'm just now getting around to my favorite blogs. And what do I find but a wonderful trip down Memory Lane!
It IS so amazing that we all met each other and became such good friends..all through an HGTV website! Almost makes one scratch their head! :-)
Thanks for the mention of my Limoge collection...they kind of are my babies~LOL!
You have been such a good, kind, and comapassionate friend! I just have a good feeling we're all off and running to the best year yet! Love ya! L~

Melissa Miller said...

Awwww Chari this was such a fun read! You're an amzing writer. What other talents are you hiding from us dear friend?

I'm so thankful to have met you on RMS! I'm looking forward to more blogging in 09' and learning even more about you and your lovely home.

Happy New Year! ~Melissa :)

Anonymous said...

I have an award that I would like to pass on to you if you don't mind. It is a little different from other awards and I think it speaks of you perfectly. Would you hop over to my blog when you have a minute to pick it up.


Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Chari, I just found at about your need for prayer. I'm so sorry to hear of yours and DH's loss.. I'm here when you need me dear friend.. continued prayers and hugs...~lynne~

Unknown said...

Happy New Year from Houston! I enjoyed your blog and added myself as a follower. I agree with your post...It's so funny to know that I have "virtual friends" all over the world now!

PS: The letter to Santa from your son was priceless. I too used to get notes from Santa telling me of behaviour he had seen me displaying or telling me to eat more vegetables, etc. It's a neat tradition!

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