Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Little Gardening and More

With my lull in stitching over the past two weeks and waiting on an order, I needed some serious gratification. I popped out a quickie to tide me over.



I am trying to do a few patriotic smalls so this fit the bit and helped me feel a bit better. 
This pattern called for Happy 4th at the top, but I left it off for this quick piece. Isn't this pattern and finish adorable below?


The weather has been completely gorgeous today, but my pictures are from Friday. Spring started out with beautiful sunshine, but Thursday and Friday were a bit cool. Today was perfection. I will take a couple of months of that.

First up is my flower pots by the garage. I had pretty petunias last year, but they don't survive after May with the summer heat, so I am just going straight into all geraniums this year.

The pot in the middle has been there since last summer and survived the mild winter without even being moved into the garage for one night. It is a show stopper already. I purchased two more pink ones that I thought would match, but they were a different shade, so I got two white ones to separate the pinks.


In a couple of weeks these should fill up their pots and be a vibrant pop of color.

Onto my wannabe rose garden.
I have terrible soil, spotty sunshine in this area, and hot weather brings black spot which usually wins by middle of summer, BUT 

I keep trying.

The first bed does better than the second. 
So here we are in late March. We will check back in a few weeks. 
There are five rose plants here: 4 hybrid teas and 1 grandiflora along with my day lilies. 
I still need to redo my pine straw, but here we go....


Next up is my other brick wall of potted plants and the other rose bed which does not do as well.


Right next to the wall these roses still get enough light or something.

However, the further away from the brick wall I struggle each year. 
I have 7 plants here with two of them being floribundas and the rest hybrid teas.

You can see the ones to the left just get a bit too much shade. I may regroup next year and just do something different over there. I do have one bloom on the floribunda. I guess you would say that is the first bloom of 2019.


I also repotted some houseplants, so gardening is moving into full swing.

Mother turned 84 on Thursday. We are celebrating this weekend. 

Here she is on her birthday.


About to watch Auburn play some basketball. I guess if you are following the tournament you will know whether I am happy or sad.
War Eagle,
Sandy







Friday, March 22, 2019

Where Did 5 Years Go?

Five years ago today I started this blog. Blogging wasn't really new to me as I had maintained a teacher website and blog before beginning  I Majored in Home Economics, but they had never been personal in nature. I actually had no idea what I thought would happen or really why I did it.

I will say I was very unsure of what life post teaching would be like. I left college and taught continuously until June of 2014. It was a wonderful career; not always easy, but nonetheless rewarding. 

I don't think I really ever thought anyone would ever read, but alas a few did. I have wondered at times why do it and yet I have felt compelled to do a "happy journal" of life. I will say I have met some wonderful and amazing ladies that have truly been lots of inspiration in many and varied ways.

I didn't have a ton of time to post, but wanted to mark the day since 5 years is kind of a big deal.

Now, if I had my act together I would be doing some kind of big celebration, but I do NOT have my act together.

It is quite interesting to me how much I have changed and adapted to life post teaching. I had envisioned one plan and to be quite frank it turned out nothing like I thought, but I have to say I am good with that. Life is a journey and one must navigate the twists and turns in the roads.

I have had some big challenges that I hadn't planned on, but I have so many good days and so many wonderful blessings and I am one who believes in counting blessings and being positive.

I am so grateful 

for a wonderful family...

Mama turned 84 yesterday and even though she has some bad days I think she is in pretty good shape mentally and physically for her age.

I have the most amazing husband who dotes on me continually.

My daughter is married to the best match and they have blessed me with Tucker. I am blessed that they live close by.

My son is finally growing up and just like my daughter...has found the most wonderful partner.
I can truthfully say that I couldn't have chosen better mates for either of them. Prayers answered with a resounding yes to good people for both of them.
So one happy day I hope to have another wedding on the horizon.

Oh and I am grateful for my doggies!

***

I think the plan I envisioned was a bit selfish on my part and now 5 years later I can see that. I thought about only me when I made those plans and quite frankly I am glad I had a few interruptions to that plan.  I am one that can easily fill my plan book with too much no matter if I am teaching or staying home. I have learned I still have to slow down and ease up on the gas pedal. 

Family and friends are more important than free time.

One other thing I am so grateful for is my health. If any have followed along I was in really bad health when I left teaching. I am in such a better place. Always room for improvement with exercise, but so grateful for my improved health.

I plan to keep on posting, but never with a schedule. I am taking it as it comes. I won't go away without warning!

Stitching, gardening, family, dogs, a little decorating, thoughts, FAITH and more will be shared. I will always try to keep it positive. Life is NOT perfect and one should EVER stop by here and think it is so.
There are troubles in most everyone's life. 

I spent some time outside yesterday in the glorious sunshine for the first day of spring. I repotted some plants and puttered in my rose garden that is a total wannabe in Florida's humidity. I keep trying to win though.

Next week, I will pop back in with some pictures of those flowers, an update on the bathroom debacle...just wait on that one:), some stitching, and more

maybe even some recollections of that first year.

BUT I just wanted this post to be like the first one...
a little plain.




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Some Fully Finishes

Popping into night after a bit of creativity today. I spent some time in the sewing room today puttering, cleaning, and crafting.

I started an outfit for Tucker. I bought some fabric a while back and finally cut out the romper. I hope to finish it up before the week is over.

I also put a finish on the May wordplay.


 I think it might need a little gardening tool attached with a button or ribbon, but I didn't have one in the stash. I will be on the lookout for one, but either way I love it.
The ribbon was from my giveaway package gifted to me by Meg from Live to Stitch. It was still sitting front and center in my cabinet and I thought it just turned out perfectly. Thanks Meg!

I also redid a bunny. I had it on a flat piece.

The glue was still wet on this at picture time.

After I ripped it away I began to think why didn't I just add the cording to the piece and saved myself the trouble, BUT after it all dried and I had it in the kitchen later...I just loved it in its new state.

Here is the old version...

Like I said, the cording was probably all I needed, but I ended up being pleased with the pillow.

I haven't put out the first bit of spring, so tomorrow evening I plan to add some Easter and springy to my table.

Gus and Dansby finally got tired and I missed them today. I found them on my bed all curled up together. I had thrown an old comforter up there because they were running circles in the bedroom on Monday and I didn't want them messing up my bed. 
They are so cute together.


I had one last picture to share. You may remember the wrapping paper I used at Christmas from https://everyday-occasions.myshopify.com/.  I loved it so much that I ordered some springy paper. It comes in sheets rather than rolls. I took them out and wrapped them around the mailing tube and added them to my desk area. I thought they added a little pretty to my sewing room. 


I have one more roll of gingham. It makes me want to wrap some presents.


Can't wait to welcome spring and hoping it lasts for a while.




Monday, March 18, 2019

A Little Planning

Popping in today with some goings on in my world. The past week was a very busy week in many ways. In fact, the past two have been busy busy which has resulted in not so much to share in terms of stitching.

I was working on my CCN "Bless Our House" when I had to stop because the colors were not showing up on the linen. Not having a place to go purchase something else stumped me for the better part of a week. I pulled out linens in my stash to look at and then to make a long story short I have decided to simply doing some ripping and use a different color. I like the linen and it is not a ton to rip out, but all of it kind of made lose some mojo and then coupled with busy I didn't accomplish much.




While stumped on my house above I pulled out the Schoolhouse series. I worked on it a couple of days when I simply could not go any further!!! It is supposed to be stitched on 28 count but one over one. That ain't happening here. I w-i-s-h it could happen, but I have tried and even if I can see it I can't pull off stitches that I am pleased with enough to struggle with the vision problem. I will tell you what I decided in a minute.

I also stitched on my Lizzie Kate "Things Unseen" piece which is a Helen Keller quote. I started it a while back. It is to be done in pieces. I am almost finished with Part 1. I really love the pattern and want to finish it, but it is 32 count. That is not my happy count linen. To me 32 is that gray area where depending on the linen and the amount of stitches it can look clumpy with 2 strands but not at all like cross stitching with only one strand of floss.



All that led to not much getting done in the stitching department. Now, I did work in my flowers and houseplants so all was not lost. I love digging in the dirt.

I had planned to go to Auburn after church yesterday. Spring break is this week for our school system. Paul Allen and Katie are off and Lindsay and Jeff have to take off, but they're taking off some, so I was going to steal away.

That didn't pan out as I am keeping Dansby, Paul Allen's dog. I didn't think I could handle Mama and three dogs when she is not a dog person. I am keeping Dansby because Jeff, Paul Allen, and Katie left for the Everglades this morning to fish this week.

Back to Auburn! What fun it would have been to be in Auburn last night. I would have been able to walk up to Toomer's Corner to see the basketball team come in after having won the SEC championship. Wow! It has been a VERY LONG time since that happened. IT was rocking there last night and of course the trees were rolled

Lindsay's friend that was pictured a few posts back at the baby shower Lindsay gave for her delivered early and the baby is in the neonatal unit in Pensacola. Lindsay is headed over there today to see them, so I wasn't sure I wouldn't have to keep Tucker after all. Lindsay however couldn't bear to leave him since she is off and only has a few days with him, so she took him with her today. The baby  should be fine, but she was needed the special care offered by the larger hospital over there for a couple of weeks. We are praying she grows and gets to come home soon.

Anyway, I am at home at all is not lost. I am by myself today with three dogs, but spent some time in the sewing room rethinking my stitching plan. I made a new plan and put some stitches back in the long time away box and pulled out some other ones to start soon.

ONE THING FOR SURE is that that I don't need to buy any new patterns and I need to shop my stash!!! I did and have some new plans all made and lined up.



I decided to put away the schoolhouse series until next year when I will do them on 40 count. I am going to work on some patriotic stitches and summery things for now.
I made a 123Stitch order for linen and floss so I am feeling better now.
The dogs are all good.

Dansby and Gus have already made a mess with unstuffing some dog toys. 


Lemony is parked by Mama in the kitchen.


The sun is partly shining so that is real good.

I will be back at the end of the week because I think I have my blogging mojo back and have lots to talk about!
Watch out!

Come on spring!
Sandy


Monday, March 11, 2019

Spring Feels

The temps have been warmer and even some sun after what has been a very cloudy winter. It is not spring just yet, but I am wishing for  a long spring.

Azaleas have been in full bloom around here and I have just soaked in their goodness every time I go outside. I have enjoyed them on walks with Tucker and just drives around town. They are truly one of my favorite flowers. They have bloomed a tad bit early this year with the warm temperatures as of late.

I stopped in front a neighbor's home to take this photo.

I decided to clip some from my back yard to put in the house and love them even more since they are short lived.

I took these looking down from the upstairs deck. You can see that these are almost done and new growth is poking through. 
Hmmm.... see that screen on the ground... that would go with the painting of the house story that I never shared with y'all. Maybe one day. IT was a mess of a story!


Anyway I clipped some from the bottom to bring inside.



I am in need to getting new pine straw down in my flower beds out front. I think it is going to be warm this week, so Tucker and I may go outside to enjoy it.

I never shared that the sweet little community of Beauregard that had the horrible tornadoes last week was where I did my student teaching 36 years ago. I graduated from Auburn on March 17th after student teaching at that sweet little school.

This was the only picture I found in the classroom back then.




I didn't take it out of my scrapbook so sorry for the glare.
Look at that gorgeous black hair.


Paul Allen and Katie went to Auburn this weekend for a baseball game and to get away. 

Here is a sweet picture of their dogs on the way home.
Reece, the boxer and Dansby....wait...wait...


the coonhound. 


They had a DNA test done on him at my suggestion:). I just knew he had a ton of Bluetick in him. He is the sweetest thing too.
He is named after an Atlanta Braves baseball player because Paul Allen is obsessed with them and has been since he was 4. I suppose he gets that from both his parents.

Anyway, I thought the pups were simply adorable. Reece is a girl BTW and very sweet too. Katie has had her a long time.

Here is my little man ready for spring too. Lindsay sent that this weekend. I thought it was just so cute.


He has discovered his feet and is quite vocal as well these days.

I will be back soon with some stitching and such.

Needing to get some housework done as I have been very lazy this morning with the time change. It did not hit me yesterday, but OH IT DID TODAY!






Friday, March 8, 2019

No Catchy Title

I need a name for those posts -where I'm in the mood to write my brain's rambling thoughts. Arlene from Nanaland calls it "The Stream." I love that one. Amanda from Dixie Delights calls them "Musings. I like that one too.
I have not been able to come up with one that is catchy. If I used my last name, I could call them "_________'s Ponderings" and have a little alliteration.

So with no name for the unloading of my thoughts, let's pour them out anyway.

I've been rereading Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle, because it is just that good. Yesterday's beginning verse was from Judges 6:12. "When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.'" The devotional titled Unlikely Warriors is about Gideon being chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from Midian. Gideon is anything but a warrior, and  actually hiding when the angel visits.

Gideon feels ill equipped, but God sees what we can't see.

Two of the quotes from Melanie Shankle that resonated with me were.
"I see all of my fears and insecurities and worries and just general yuck, but He looks at me and sees something entirely different. He sees something He can use for His plans and purposes."
AND...
"I want to listen for His voice and see more of what He sees because He knows to look at the part of us where we see nothing and He sees a mighty warrior."

Last week, I was thinking that maybe I was too old to work with the elementary age kids at church. I don't know if I mentioned that I changed from preschool where I have been working for the last decade back to elementary age. I have the girls in grades 4 and 5. I would have said that was my sweet spot, but then I started and felt a little inadequate. This past Sunday we had a meeting after church with all the leaders in elementary ages from all services. I began to listen to others and realized most of us feel that way. I will leave it at I was very convicted to stay the course and keep at it.

I watched Saltbox Stitcher on Youtube yesterday. It took me three sittings to watch it as she always does really long ones and there is no way I have time to sit for an hour and eleven minutes at one time. I really love her and Marlene at Stitching by the Lake. I would say they are my favorites. Not sure why, but they are.
Carol of Saltbox Stitcher stitches one at at time mostly like me. She cracked me up yesterday discussing "Serious WIPE" which is what she titled the episode. WIPE stands for Works in Progress Envy. Yep, that would be me at times. There is so much out there that you think you absolutely must start that one.

On stitching thoughts I have one to share and one pondering.

I think this is very helpful.

Found on Pinterest

I also have been branching out and trying new things, but I am learning that when you do you will have some successes AND failures from which to learn. Case in point, that when you use smaller count linen and only one strand of thread that the colors don't always act like they did when they were on larger count and 2 strands of floss.

I was stitching last night and got to that troubling point. I am thinking I can salvage the progress but may have to rip out some and choose a different color. That is hard to know with just laying the floss across the linen.

I ended up laying my stitching down and reading.

Onto reading.
I am a regular reader of multiple books at one time. I actually have two going at the moment. They are all nonfiction, but I am about to finish up some and read me a good old novel. When I start a novel I rarely read anything else at the same time.

I just finished a book by Phil Robertson, The Theft of America's Soul. I found it to be an easy read and quite good. I loved his illustration he uses to share the gospel with others.



Here is the explanation from the book.




I am also reading Sacred Pace by Terry Looper.  What can I say?! I am a reader of nonfiction.

Don't knock it until you try it!

I have gone on long enough and need to get busy, so I will save my whole long epiphany of magazines for another post.

I took this picture this morning.


Grateful for a sunrise. 

Also, I have been a little burdened by a post I did a couple of weeks ago. I hope I never come off as arrogant or haughty. I am struggling with this blogging thing as of late. 

Sandy









Sunday, March 3, 2019

Last Week's Wrap-up

March has arrived and seems to be coming in like a lion. This winter has been quite cloudy and warm, but a cold front is moving in today. The highs are expected to be in the 50s this week, but sun is coming. The high today was 74 and tomorrow it is supposed to be 58. I am very happy about the sun shining. I am a sun seeker!!!

I also am expecting a very busy week, so thought I better pop in and wrap up last week's goings on.

The pups are doing their thing in the next two pictures.
Well, the first one might not be his entire day. This is a quick nap followed by running around and hoping we are going outside to romp. Gus has decided my stitching chair is his nap chair so I have to keep a blanket on it.


Lemony is in her usual spot.


This is their nap time routine.


Tucker is growing like a weed. He doesn't exactly love this new toy yet, but we try it out for just a bit each day. I think he is very close to liking it.


I love everything about this little bundle of love.

He has been so good for Mama. She comes over all most everyday to visit with him. She has felt bad this week, but I really think he has lifted her up a ton.

My Christmas cactus is blooming again. Don't know what to make of that, but I like it.


I finished my May word play.


I like the 36 count linen I did it on, but I think the pattern is definitely designed for a darker linen. I had a long chat with Arlene from Nanaland via texts about how hard it is to pick linens. That is the advantage of having a local needlework shop. 
Anyway, I had to change the color of the picket fence. It was supposed to be done with Classic Colorworks Picket Fence. I tried that and then a bright white and even an Ecru. I settled on a lavender to get it to show up.

Of course, I had started on the other side and the fence was the last thing I stitched, so I had to make it work.

I fully finished my spring bird.

Here it is in my sewing room on my letter box turned sewing notions holder.


I literally loved it there and think it will find a home all year round in there eventually.

I used the seam tape ribbon that I purchased from Brenda Gervais's store to put on the edge. 
I hate using regular ribbon for this technique, but this stuff is easy peasy.


This is the backing fabric which I have had for a couple of years in my stash. It is a Moda fabric entitled Grant Park. I am hoping to use it when I finish the Schoolhouse series.


For now it is sitting in the living room bookcases. 


One last note. I wanted to get a rug to go under my ironing board. I don't know why, but it always seems to be a little messy there. I didn't want it to go all the way to my rolling chair that I use for my sewing machine or the counter where I do my Bible study, so it has an odd placement.

Off to TJ Maxx I went. I think it worked perfectly and Gus seems to like it as well.


Speaking of Gus, our great niece loves Gus like crazy. She has been after her mama to get a "Gus." I was on the phone this afternoon educating her on what to look for in choosing a Springer. Apparently Katelyn has her caving. 
When I got off I was talking to Lindsay. We just sort of chuckled because we can't see Kristan with a high energy dog. I was honest, so we will see what happens. I love my little doggies...both of them.
I always had a special place for Springers, but Lemony is the best Golden EVER! She has trained Gus better than I could ever. Maybe Kristan needs to borrow her to train a new pup.


I have a busy week coming with a party on Tuesday evening here and my usual small group on Wednesday evening, so I have to get my house all spiffy.