Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Goals, Ramblings, Planning and Ramblings

I am popping in today but must admit it might take all day to write this post. My new life! I am not complaining in the least. I made it through an entire week. 

It will be a hodgepodge of topics as I just letting my mind roll on.

My favorite part of my new "job" are the smiles in the morning. He loves to look in the mirror and let me sing to him. 

My least favorite part of the job is the poopy diapers which he just did one.  Although that is foot kissing time. Like I said I am sure I will stopping and starting this post a good bit.


I made three for the new year!!! Yeah I know it is the 15th and I am just now posting them.

My first one is a rather odd one.
It is to live by the motto; 
"A place for everything and everything in its place."

I am a stacker, a piler, whatever you want to call it. These piles can exist in a room that is totally clean except for the pile that I just never follow through on putting away or making a decision on what to do with the stuff. I have one in my kitchen, my desk, and my bedroom almost always. 

I am simply resolving to do better. The first step in this plan is to keep the kitchen island free of things. That is my work space for the kitchen and I am working on daily going by and clearing it and making sure absolutely nothing gets placed there because that is the beginning of the end.

Along with that I am trying to handle things once and be a better decision maker on doing something with this stuff. It is just the random stuff brought in and laid down.

My second one is be more content. I think in the days of so much content coming over the WWW that we are in just overload of looking and thinking we need something different. I don't think this is a new concept at all. I can remember looking at my magazines in the "old days" and thinking that everything was so perfect and I needed to clean more or work harder when in actuality I was living life and doing as much as I could fit in - in a day. Those pictures are staged as well as most of what we see daily pouring in. I think it is just too much and we can become addicted to it all.

I have to say that this goal is working on itself with my lack of time now. I do want to be content and not think I need new just because.

My third goal is a critical one. I let my health slip a bit at the end of the summer. I don't know what happened to me this year, but I was just in a worn out slump. I didn't walk, go to the gym, go outside and putter in my flowers. For one thing it was so dang hot, but that is not the reason. It was more mental than that. I ate more which added back some pounds, so I am diligently getting those back off.  Even gluten free can have calories! 
I am making progress and know that my health is just not an option to let slide. Having the issues I have means that walking, lifting light weights two days a week, and eating from approved list of foods is a MUST!!!!---no matter the feelings.

I think I have my mind set on that one. 


January always means start the clearing out stuff process. I have been working on this for the past 4 Januarys (since retirement) and I must say that I have surprised myself this year. Not so much to contend with as I REALLY am on the last bit of cleaning out the things I don't want. 
I am down to the nitty gritty. I will show you what I mean.

I have cleared the main level that we live on pretty well. I had a few items that I pulled out of the dining room this year and tried to sell them on eBay to no avail. These I have tried to pawn off to all family members. For those of you who are new we moved into my husband's parents' home after my mother-in-law passed away from a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. Lots of repairs and stuff to go through. We had an estate sale, but there were still things. I lived a very busy life teaching so much of it didn't get fully cleaned out until I retired. 

Here are collector plates that do not sell on eBay for any kind of decent price to make it worth the trouble. 
Complete with the certificates and purchase price for the taking, but no one is interested:)

I am boxing them up for now and I am making one closet downstairs that holds a few pieces such as this. For me this is out of my way. I am going to let everyone know in the family that they are there. I am not sure if I am just going to let that closet go or actually empty in 2019, but everything like this that I simply don't want is going in that one place. I have the space for it.

Bottom line is though that I will feel good about the rest of the house and the final bit of stuff will be corralled in one place. 
If I don't deal with it by December 2019, then I am guess I am admitting defeat on the #1 goal. Huh?!


They are as lively as ever. Lemony is back in full force. I think those ears may have been bothering her even when we had the allergies to her skin. Either way, she is feeling great. She is playing with Gus daily. She generally gets in one spot in the living room and pivots to play. She makes Gus do all the work which is fine by him. They had a tennis ball the other day. They look as if they are kissing. They both had their mouth wrapped around it tugging on it. 


There is not much going on in the way of gardening, but the usual January items are going on. Camellias are blooming and I planted three of them in the side yard a couple of years ago.  They have a few blooms now. There are several on our street to enjoy.
I took a stroll around the house on Sunday afternoon to look at all that needed doing when it warms up. It actually has been warm one day and very cold the next, but when it warms up to means March.

I have some serious window washing to do which if I speak too much about that I will be reminded of the painter. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you feel my frustration?!
I will have to do some touch ups to the downstairs doors on the deck. He got in a rush and it rained a lot which he should have had it done anyway.

I will stop.

The roses have kept on even though they look straggly with no leaves and need pruning, but that happens President's Day.

Anyway I have a long list of outdoor chores to do, so that means I need to be working on my indoor chores when I am not busy with Tucker.


I am still working on WTNT's "Berry Days at Thistle Farm." It was supposed to be done on 36 count and I have done it on 32 count. I am not loving 32 count. I think it is that wishy washy number where one over two is not enough and two over two is thick. I am not exactly loving it, but plowing through. I am not sure how I am going to finish it. I had one idea in mind, but I am leaning towards another. I have made a bunch of color substitutions which I will share about when I finish it.


I have to share this with y'all. I have been using the same planner for the last 8 years. I can't go digital even though I am quite tech savvy for my age due to having to keep up in the teaching field and the fact that we had an amazing tech teacher that led inservice in the summer. 
This planner is my life line. 

I decided to go cheaper this year and ordered another kind off Etsy. 
Let's just say this was a bad idea. The planner off of Etsy was just fine, but it was not the planner for me or the one that has guided me happily for the last 8 years, so I promptly remedied that after a week of the other one and the stars are aligned now.

Yes, I am much happier.
I use an Erin Condren life planner and it is perfect for me. Worth the splurge. I won't make that mistake again.


Last thing. I think I may have found jeans that I love. It has been a very long time since I can say that. I ordered these...

right after Christmas and have worn them OFTEN since then. I plan to order another pair of them. They fit great. Not too tight. Just a straight leg. Fits high but not too high. Finally a pair of Goldilocks for me.

I am stopping for now. More later maybe.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Back to Work

I feel somewhat like I went back to work, but without the stress of teaching.

My daughter started back today, so today was Tucker's first official day at Grammie's Daycare. It was a teacher workday so she got to leave an hour early even though she is not a teacher:) She was very happy about that. There were tears on her part. I sent her pictures and updates throughout the day.

I am tired, but it was a successful day. I felt a bit like I was going back to work, because I was thinking on a schedule starting last night. I got up with the alarm today and walked the dogs before I left to go get Tucker. I am picking him up so that gives her a bit more time in the mornings. I knew Gus would not handle the day without a good bit of activity this morning. As I get into a routine, I will be able to go outside with him more during the day. Oh and Lemony is back to herself...Thank goodness. She will be turning 10 this month, so I have to keep her healthy.

Get a load of those boy clothes!

One more thing on the grandma story. Over the holidays I was reading in the January Southern Living and noticed a name for grandmas. It was Shug. I so loved it! I told Lindsay I might change my name, but I am thinking Grammie has already stuck. Stay tuned.

Now, onto other stuff. We took a beach walk this past Saturday morning. The following pictures are not made by me. My husband is a much better photographer even with a phone. I thought he got some nice photos that morning. We were so glad to see sunshine although it was early when we went out there.

I am hoping to find time to stitch in the evenings and strike a balance between stitching and my other love which is reading. I have to remind myself I am not in a competition, but to enjoy both and slow down!

My latest stitches are the strawberry one which I started this past weekend, and

the space shuttle which I started in 2018. I am going to most likely have to work on this one during the weekend because all that black and white needs some daylight to stitch it.

I am also reading two books. One is on the Bushes by the granddaughter and the other is a John Grisham book. I will let you know more about them later.

I think it will be a weekly post for now. We will see how things go as I am sure I will fade in energy as the week goes on.

Getting sugar everyday,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

First Finish for 2019

I have a cross stitch finish two days in. 

Mind you I was two-thirds done going into New Year's Eve.

I stitched while Hubby watched TV on several occasions and have the first finish for 2019.

This is the first part of the Schoolhouse Series by With Thy Needle and Thread. I am stitching them on 28 count mushroom laguna two over two rather than the called for one over one. They are going to be much larger, but I am still planning to make them into pillow form. 

Now, for a little backtracking. On New Year's Eve morning, the hubby and I rode out past Navarre to Opal Beach and walked. This is about halfway between Navarre and Pensacola. It is a less traveled area. It has been YUKKY weather here for many many days, so we have had to just get out in it.

This was my haul. 

I had no intention of collecting so many shells but I couldn't stop myself. They were just so pretty.

One lone sand dollar. Lots of broken ones. Water has been rough too.

It has been dreary for days on end here. That was the extent of the sun for the day.

Then we later went to the movies.
We saw the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Mule." It is rated R and there is a scene with bare bottoms. I guess they call them covered these days:) with string bikinis. 

If you can look over that scene, then I can highly recommend this movie. Great story! The song at the end was just perfect. The lyrics matched the movie so well.
The song is called "Don't Let the Old Man In."

I liked it so much that I came home to look it up and found this article on it.

I was just fascinated by the lyrics and the song. Basically it is a tribute to you are as old as you feel.
Anyway, I liked the movie.

Now, he owes me Mary Poppins which he will not want to go to. I will have to save that one for Mom or Lindsay:)

We came home and made supper and I stitched and he watched football. I decided to celebrate New Year's with the ball drop on Eastern time even though we are central time. I felt better the next morning for that decision. I am not OLD...just wise!!!!!

New Year's Day was spent with more football watching and a few chores in between. I did make black-eyed peas, my sister-in-law made collards, Mom made cornbread, and Jeff grilled pork chops for a New Year's meal. I thought to myself ---this is the way to go. Everyone contributes--I like it.

Anyway, tonight I put a finish on that stitch because Jeff went nuts and decided that we should watch the Netflix movie with Sandra Bullock called "The Birdbox." Yea, that scary thing that has been advertised on TV lately. I don't know what I was thinking.
My eyes were glued to the hoop. I told him I would finish my stitching while he watched. 

Friday morning is my first day with Tucker. He is coming for a half day and then Lindsay goes back to work on Monday. She is sad...I feel for her. I remember crying on the way to work after I dropped her off for the first time. I am hoping somewhere down the road she can go part time and keep her job.

Oh well, that is the start to 2019. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Goodbye 2018

I truly feel like I was just welcoming 2018. It has flown at supersonic speed.

I hope to end it tomorrow with a beach walk. Hubby and I made it out today even though it was a dreary day. We set out to go early this morning only to turn around and head back because it started raining pretty hard. We came back and made breakfast at home and then did a little cleaning and organizing. We went back a bit later.

It has been dreary for the last couple of days and I think we have about two more of those days which hasn't been all bad. I am in that clean up and declutter mode. I have had Hubby working on some things and he is obliging because he can't get out to do much else. 😆

I have been stitching in the evenings. I realized I have quite a few large projects in progress and suddenly it was driving me nuts, so I am back in one stitch at a time until I whittle some of those larger WIPs down.

I started the chickadees and pinecone one right around Christmas, but my heart wasn't in at that moment. Two things: I am ready to stitch anything other than Christmas and winter and I realized I wouldn't be able to finish it to display this winter because it is pretty time consuming. I put it aside until the fall. I had a moment where I questioned it yesterday. There was a group of baby chickadees right outside the living room in the oak that the top of the tree is seen from my top deck. They were so cute, but like I said...
I am ready for something else.

I am working on the schoolhouse series. I am doing them on 28 count 2 over 2 and that was on purpose even though the pattern called for 1 over 1. I just simply can't do that little tiny stitching anymore. I don't think I would even enjoy trying, so 2 over 2 it is.

Progress on the first section which will be the largest. The others are more pinkeep sized.

I have been making all my goals and lists and plans for 2019. I always do this in my planner. It is nice to look back at the end of the year and see what you accomplished. 

I stitched and read quite a bit, but I can tell you I did awful on my gym visits starting late summer. I can totally feel it, so I have been detoxing from the holidays for the past few days and have another week to go and hitting the weights and walking again starting tomorrow.
I will start tracking it again in my planner!

My last note for this evening is blogging. I know it will take a hit after this week keeping Tucker. I have been thinking about much of my day and how I am going to rearrange things to accommodate this blessing.

I love to exercise, read my Bible, then read blogs while eating breakfast and all of that is going to have to be done in the evenings now. I will go back to a schedule much like I did when I worked full time. A quick devotional in the morning because I simply must start with a little bit of His Word and then all of those other items I will work into my evening schedule.

That means I will be reading my blogs most likely at night and even posting my own things. I hope to be able to write at least once a week. We will see how it all goes down I guess.

I will leave you with a Tucker picture. He was at my house the other day hence the pink seat that he is sitting in. A friend gave it to me:)

His mommy dressed him so cute.

Gus was saying hello to him. Lemony has been under the weather. She got an ear infection and didn't feel well at all. Then her antibiotics messed her tummy up, but she is on the mend now and I knew she was feeling better because she played with Gus quite a bit today.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

Another Christmas has come and gone. I am in clean up mode now. I spent the day yesterday taking down the decorations. I got them down and clean up day is about to go down, so I decided to post before I forget.

Christmas Eve was the usual minus Lindsay, Tyler, and Tucker who visited Tyler's family in Atlanta. His grandparents and aunts and uncles all got to meet Tucker for the first time. I think it was a good idea to wait until this age (10 weeks) to visit. They said he was great and smiled and cooed for all.

Here we had Mom, Jeff's sister and brother-in-law, Paul Allen and Katie for our usual dinner. Since we have always opened presents here on Christmas Eve Paul Allen and Katie opened all of their presents except the ones from Tyler and Lindsay. They weren't sure they would be able to get back over Christmas night.

I think present selections were all good. Both seemed very happy with their loot.

Opening Mom's present...they almost missed the money in the box.

Tyler and Lindsay arrived Christmas Day early evening and we did the same routine all over again. The next night the only thing different about the table was the color of the napkins. Green that time.

Jeff and I both noticed Mom seemed to have the best Christmas she has had in YEARS. Think Tucker might be the reason?

Too many Tucker pictures?

Turns out Paul Allen and Katie did get back over. My heart was happy.

Aunt Donna and Uncle Al came back over for dessert and to see Tucker also.

I got some new cross stitch patterns and floss from Linsay and Tyler, a nifty essential oil bracelet from Paul Allen and Katie, and some new pajamas from Mother. My present from Jeff didn't come in. It is apparently a collectible space thingie. He was downhearted. He wasn't supposed to get anything as we got a new fangled stove/firepit for the Auburn house. I will share it later.

I thoroughly enjoyed my family.

I got a very sweet text from my sister-in-law thanking me for keeping the family traditions alive. Even Kristan, our niece tries to replicate the menu in Houston. They no longer come home for Christmas. Donna and Al do FaceTime and will go out later. I know those days are probably coming for me too. I try to soak up all I can get now.

I am sharing this picture of the Christmas closet. It is now upstairs. I moved it up back before the beginning of hurricane season from the downstairs closet. Funny my thoughts were if we have a hurricane I would be sad if we lost all the ornaments for the tree as most are collected pieces that just tell the story of our family life. I had all my Christmas stuff in a downstairs closet and had thought if we ever had a really big one that water would definitely come in downstairs.

As I put it all away yesterday in the upstairs closet, I couldn't help but think of our neighbors to the east. I am still reeling over that one. It is futile to think you can prepare for that kind of storm. Every home over there has trees all in their homes. No closet up or down is a safe haven for that fury.
A poignant reminder that we can't take it with us. Just enjoy every moment you are given and hold onto memories.

I am in reflection and cleaning mode. I have no idea what January is going to look like on the blog as I will be keeping Tucker.
I will not be going away. I just be even more sporadic. We will see.

I was so sad to see Poofing the Pillows announce she was closing her blog after 10 years. I know they are have an expiration date, but I was still sad. She is going to Facebook only.
My favorite medium is still the blog, so I will just keep on posting. I am sure an ending date will come and I am glad she just didn't disappear.

A few more pictures. My kids were not too dressed up this year for Christmas. One set had been traveling. One set had been out and about at the other parents house in a more active setting. I barely got my usual Christmas picture. Lindsay said I couldn't put it in the frame I usually display. It is perfect to me except for one tiny thing. Katie likes FSU. I guess it could be worse...

Tucker had decided he was hungry, so I was lucky to get one picture.
I even let Jeff take one of me.

and a tired Jeff afterwards.

Oh and the weather was perfect for Christmas too. 
I think it is about to be stormy for the next few days.

Off to clean up,

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas

I am saying Merry Christmas a little early. I am going to take the next few days to unwind and enjoy the family and Christmas.

I managed to get Lemony and Gus both to sit in front of the tree which was no easy feat. Some vanilla wafers were involved.

I have no idea how others get them to pose.

Roses and lemons...I am liking December.

Christmas cactus right in time.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

An Auburn Santa Finish

The Auburn Santa is finished. I took a Prairie Schooler "Partridge in a Pear Tree" to make my own version to fit my Alma Mater.

The Auburn Santa version is decked out in our school colors of Burnt Orange and Navy Blue and yes, we always say orange before blue. It is not blue and orange:)

The partridge became an eagle. A golden eagle. The eagle is not our mascot, but our battle cry. There is a whole long story which every Auburn person completely understands. Auburn is also a vet school so they house all types of injured birds. The bird that flies over the stadium has been a golden and a bald at times. We say Waaarrr Eagle when he flies over. Our actual mascot is a tiger...hence the stripes!

The pear tree became a live oak tree which grace Toomer's Corner at the corner of Magnolia and College Streets in downtown Auburn and begins the beautiful entrance to campus.

After an Auburn victory, students go to Toomer's Corner to roll the live oaks.
This is after the national championship in 2010 where more than the corner got rolled. IT looked like snow afterwards.

I remember fondly going there myself as a student to roll it. I actually walked between the trees daily for my years at Auburn to get to school from my apartment.

So that is the story of the orange and blue Santa with an eagle, a tree with toilet paper on it. 

It's great to be an Auburn Tiger,