Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blogging Anniversary

Hello Blogging Friends,

I have an anniversary for my blog. No landmark year like one, five or ten like some of you, just 4.

When I set out of this journey, I really didn't know what I thought it would be. I started it just before I retired from 31 years of teaching. I was going through some of the very big highs and lows that life offers. I was finishing a career that quite frankly the last ten years had consumed. Y'all teaching is very different now. I had just spent time planning my daughter's wedding all the while dealing with the upcoming death of my step dad (been in my life since age 11) from a pretty rough road of cancer.

I won't go through every play by play of all that, but suffice it to say it was an unbelievable year that took me some time to recover from. Lots of great moments coupled with some very sad moments.

I was hopeful though because I was turning a page on the chapters of my life.

I loved blogs from the first ones that I read which BTW were all teaching blogs. I ventured out to what I like to call home and family blogs. I have really tried to remember the first ones I read, but not sure of the titles of all of them. Sadly most have quit blogging. I do understand because sometimes you go through phases of life and they take over. I would say if you quit, let us know you are stopping!!!

I have to be honest...I am not even sure what I thought I would write about or how long I would do it. I just went for it. I never ever wanted it to be more than a hobby and community.

I am so shy so putting myself out there was hard for me. I really don't even think I cared if no one read it. I just wanted to keep a journal of the good things. I have to tell you I think I was shocked the first time someone commented. I like comments because they help you get to know others.

What is it about blogging that draws me in?

I simply love journaling the good things. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love going back to see photos of things past. It is like a glorified photo album.

I mostly write only the happy stuff, but trust me my life is far from perfect. I have ups and downs just like most other people. I say most other people, because I really think a few people in life go through it with few tough moments, but most of us don't.

I love it when others share how they have walked through a trial because it can be very helpful. I just tend to be a little quieter about life. However, don't ever think it is all roses here!

I love it when others share their homes, because I simply love home decor. I have loved it since I was a kid. I have looked at more books, magazines, etc. than most. However, one should never feel that theirs is not pretty enough to share. I love all homes and love to see how one makes 4 walls a home. Being lived in and feeling comfortable is way more important to me than magazine worthy!!!!!!!!

I love getting to know the people behind the blogs I read. I look forward to seeing what you are up to. The community behind the blog is so important. Life is about relationships and while we aren't in the same neighborhood, I have learned that we all have so much in common. One of my favorite things is to see photos of the other parts of the country and even the world.  As a kid, I always had my head in a book or an encyclopedia so I guess it is no wonder that I would love blogs.

 I think the downside to blogs is just like any other social media you have to be careful that you don't get carried away and start thinking I don't have so and so, or someone has it better.

When I get to feeling a bit uncomfortable I walk away and purposely stay off the computer and phone  for awhile. Fasting from it is a good thing.

I have absolutely no clue how long I will do this or what I will even write about.

I do know will change as I go through the seasons of life.

One of my favorite Bible verses is "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

I am not making plans just going with the flow.

I love the friends I have made. I had no idea I would actually meet a blogging friend in person. It was wonderful. I truly love Arlene and am so glad we stepped out there to do that. Tamyra is just as darling as I thought... we met at an antique sale. Leslie Anne and I have emailed back and forth. We really need to get together. I wish I could meet all of you in person. Maybe one day.

I have learned so much from reading blogs.

My other thought about this four year anniversary is that a lot has happened in this four years. I have not written about tons of it, but seeing this blog reminds me of how much life has changed in the four years. I love retirement. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE, but I am all good with it.

Thanks friends for reading all my ramblings on life.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mother and Daughter Sad

Lindsay and I are totally bummed. We were scheduled to fly out early this morning for our mother /daughter trip to NY.

This big record breaking storm cancelled our flights.

Big Boo Hoo!

We can't get a flight out until Friday which means we have had to cancel the trip.

She was on vacation this week, so maybe we can try again this summer.

I guess that happens when others want to come to the beach and there is a hurricane in the Gulf.


Anyway, I think we are putting together a road trip for a couple of days locally.

Mary @ Stitching Friends Forever, we had reservations at your restaurant recommendation. We are so sad! We were going to Wicked that evening, so we made reservations for that restaurant. Maybe another time! Thanks for the tip though.

It is sunny here though,

This morning on the bayou.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Stitching Finish

I finished "Bluebird out My Window" by With Thy Needle and Thread last night.

My plan is to make a pillow like on the example, but you know how that goes ...always subject to change. I really like the ribbon on the example, so hoping to find something like that.

I debated back and forth the entire time I stitched whether to put the HOME on the bottom. It is not that I don't like it, but some reason I just wanted the bluebird to be the focus. By adding the HOME, I felt that would be a focal point.

For how many green lines to add to the bottom well, that debate could have gone on forever. I just wanted it to look balanced. I just had to make decision and put the model away.

I really like this one. IT called for one over one and lots of "fancy" colors. I ended up doing it on 28 count antique white Cashel linen and doing two over two. I used only one fancy color; the green vine is Weathered Vine by Classic Colorworks. For the remainder of the project, I used color conversion charts and tweeded the colors with DMC. I am good with my choice.

Oh, and I added an eye to the bird.

On to something else,

Friday, March 16, 2018

Chicken Delight Paprika

I have an extensive collection of cookbooks. Maybe an obsession would be a better choice or words.

Either way, I love them and from time to time browse through one to find something new to cook.

One of my favorites is a hometown cookbook from the Brewton, Alabama Civic League. It has the most wonderful breakfast casserole that I use and get rave reviews each time I use it for a brunch or church function.

One of my favorite things about this cookbook is finding a recipe from someone I remember growing up. That is what happened one night when I was looking for a new way to cook chicken.

I was flipping pages when I came across this...

It was by a mother of one of my classmates. It sounded so easy. I will be honest...I thought it would probably be bland, but needed a fresh idea that evening.

It has turned out to be a winner. Very tender and actually lots of flavor.

If you are looking for a quick and easy prep during the week this is an idea.

I am sharing a couple of pics of cooking and then our plates.

As you can see I used onions instead of mushrooms. I detest mushrooms! Onions work much better for me.

I have cooked it a couple of times. The trick according to Hubby is not to let all the juice cook out before putting it in the oven because he likes a little more stuff to pour over it especially if I serve with rice or potatoes. You can always mix up a bit more butter and wine to pour over it.

OH and very important!!!! I put California Style Garlic Salt on everything, so that was added to mine. If you haven't tried it, you simply must.

This is what it looks like out of the oven.

Hubby's plate on the left and mine on the right. I don't like corn. He doesn't like broccoli.
We even eat two different brands of ketchup. That is a long story.

Opposites attract you know!!

Have a great weekend all,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Week One Challenge on Simple Organizing

As promised from yesterday, I am sharing the first week's challenge from The Inspired Room's #simpleorganizing challenge.

The Week 1 challenge was "Setting the Stage for a Welcoming Home." The premise is evaluate your entry as to whether it is warm and welcoming. It should evoke a feeling of calm over chaos for guests  but also your own family.

I would totally agree with that. I know that since retirement I have taken the time to declutter and just to look around and have fun making my home pretty. I have always loved decorating, but finally feel I have time to think about it now.

Now, y'all have all seen my front door entrance and it is lovely....THE ONLY PROBLEM.....

No one really uses it. The dogs and I go out it every morning and every night to go out and take care of business. I have no earthly idea why no one comes to the front door. I have thought about it long and hard. I wondered if it is because our sidewalk doesn't go straight out to the cul de sac, but rather from the driveway which is then only a few steps from the garage door.

I don't think I am ever going to change that, so let's talk the real entry for family and friends.

Right through the garage and hello laundry closet.

Not the prettiest sight.

The closet is actually just that a closet and had louver doors on it, but the back door couldn't even be opened if the dryer and door were opened. With dogs it was just chaos all of the time.

The decision was made to take the doors down. BUT, then look at what you would see if you entered.

Honestly even if I spent money on putting all those necessary items in cute containers, it is still what it is.

My best effort was to add cute curtains that I could keep the basic necessities of laundry hid. 
While I know I could do more like getting cute little wicker baskets to house some of it, it just hasn't happened, but that is something I would like to do because I think that would really make a visual difference. It is in the plans. I would love to do away with that wire shelf because it is so old, but that is not happening. I was thinking on this and thought some kind of shelf paper or even a cloth ruffle to cover a bit of it would be nice too.

I have plans, but definitely couldn't pull it together that quickly. I chose to do the curtains just to the top of the machines because I figured if I did floor length that I was right back where I was with the louver doors.

Now, the monster problem is EVERYONE walks through my garage. Y'all I have literally had friends come by and if the door was down text me and ask if I was home😆

You may remember before I got sick I was planning to work on the garage. I have hardly touched it, but I am going to do a few things out there as well. It will still be a garage and that is that. It needs to have a lot of decluttering!!!

Ideas anyone???

The book gave me lots to think on, but I truly know that visual clutter and nice things do make me feel less stressed.


Monday, March 12, 2018

A New Book on Organizing

I did something a bit unusual for me!

Timid me saw that Melissa @The Inspired Room has a new book out. In one of her more recent posts she stated that she was looking for those that might be willing to join the launch team and follow along with some weekly challenges.

I loved two of her books, Love the Home You Have and Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying. I have even written about one of them here.

I thought, "Why not?!"

So this came in the mail one day!!!

 First, the book is so pretty. What is not to love about pink?

Then I received an email about the challenges being on Facebook...I was like Yikes!!! I don't do Facebook. I emailed back and said I would agree to return the book, but Melissa arranged for me to get the challenges and share them on my blog.

I am probably a week behind on my challenges, since I was sick and didn't get started with the Facebook group.

If you have Facebook and Instagram, the hashtag is #simpleorganizing.
I am not real sure how Facebook works...don't think I want to know ....well, at least as long as my hubby works for the school district. That was the main reason I never got one. Teaching and Facebook don't go together.

ANYwho, I plan to share my first challenge tomorrow...just wanted to share the book today.

I have never ever done anything like this, so we will see how this all goes. The book goes on sale April 3rd.

I am making a list on the notepad of things I really like from the book.
My first favorite thought is
     "Everyday we make choices that contribute to disorder in our home." ---Simple Organizing

Isn't that the truth. I am working on it!

Be back tomorrow with my first challenge.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Where Did the Week Go?

I had a bit of a relapse on being sick. Not long after I posted I felt better....

well, I didn't feel so good again. I finally started having a bit of fever. I was so afraid I was getting the flu that I went to the doctor. I don't, but I did have some infection. That was last Friday.

I have been on an antibiotic and just simply laying around. Sometimes you just have to give up, but really a week of it?

I absolutely never not respond to comments on the blog, but that is why...I just felt stinky. Forgive me friends for being so ill mannered.

I think I finally feel better today, so I am now facing a good bit of stuff to do.

I am moving a bit slow this morning, but as soon as I post this I am up and going to will myself to get some things accomplished.

Gus, the Springer was 9 months old yesterday. He is all boy and puppy. He has so much energy. He wakes up early and if I just had 1/10th of his energy I could do great wonders. All that said, he is a sweetie and loves his mama. He follows me everywhere. I don't go to any room that he doesn't follow. He has a squeak toy that he loves to squeak. It has to be hidden once Daddy comes home, because he just walks around squeaking it.

He also stay wet a lot and gather pinecones to try and slip in the house with.

He moves this bed around to all areas of the living room. He decides where he wants to lay down and moves it there. He knows sit and stay, but they are so hard because he really wants to just move.

It has been a slow week around here with not too much to tell. Thursdays is my mom day. We had to go to Pensacola yesterday to her dermatologist appointment. We are switching that over here for next year. It is going to get harder for her to go to Pensacola over time, so I have gradually tried to move things locally. She wanted to shoe shop yesterday. I was dragging, but we did it. I think I was asleep by 7:00 last night which might explain why I feel better today.

Lemony, the sweet girl.

My only other new news is that I have two trips planned. Lindsay and I are going to New York later this month. We are going to take a few days and have a mother /daughter time in NYC. I am excited about just being with her.

The other trip is to Haiti this summer as part of a mission group. My prayer warrior friends can go ahead and put me on your prayer list for that. I will share more about it later. I honestly did NOT want to go, but the Lord just wouldn't let me say no. It will involve me pulling out teacher stuff out. I had really turned that switch off, but it has to be pulled back out soon as I need to start planning pronto.

I will be back soon with more interesting things to look at and read.

Have a great Friday everyone,