Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ordinary Days

The pictures give you a glimpse of daily life around here. Nothing to special, but the ordinary days are truly the best days.


Walks with Tucker. 
Gus, the Springer had been outside and had gone and jumped in the water when I told him not to so he got locked up on the back deck to dry. Lemony, the Golden was rewarded for not getting in the water and went on a walk with us. She was very good as usual. Stayed right out front and led the way. 

Tucker is moving and grooving these days. He was quite proud of himself for pulling up to the bookcase. This was the beginning of pulling and cruising the furniture to get where he needs to go even faster. 

He was like, "Look at me, Grammie!"


That face!!!
Grammie is smitten but on her toes keeping him out of stuff.

It rained yesterday. It hasn't rained since August at our house. Two times last week, it sprinkled for all of 10 seconds each and just like that --it quit. Yesterday's rain was a wonderful slow and steady rain. A good rain.

I finally planted some flowers this weekend in the garage wall pots. They had geraniums that were basically sticks left from hot baking sun in the 90s since forever. Next year it is back to lilies of the Nile and grasses for just green color in the summer. 

The pots got some pansies in two of them and some dusty miller and dianthus in the other two. They are more Christmas colors than fall, but just happy to see something in them at all.
I can't say I do much for fall outside anymore. When the kids were younger we would go pick out some pumpkins about a week before Halloween and carve one of them. I don't go to the trouble anymore. Mums just don't well here, so I absolutely love seeing them in pictures from others though. 

It is still warm. I put on some pants for a baby shower on Saturday and nearly died. It has cooled in the mornings some and not sweating so much for the early walks. I think the worst of the heat is slowly dying and that is all I need. No cold --- just not oppressive heat and humidity.

I am stitching away on the three things I shared last week. I didn't get #2 on the Advent calendar finished. I started it on Sunday which is my plan each week, but I should have some time to stitch later in the week to finish it.



I am plodding along with the other two kind of dividing the time equally between the two. You would think the fall stitch would be a quickie, but that border has taken some time. It calls for filling in the middle of those diamonds with a darker color, but I am thinking I will do some satin stitches there. Just haven't decided on the color yet. After all, I am butchering this pattern, so why not change something else?


As you can now probably tell, my bird is a mockingbird. I am really enjoying him.



Tucker will turn 1 this week.
Last week was the anniversary of Hurricane Michael. I saw on the news in Bay County alone, they have collected what has been 36 years of debris. They took it mostly to parks to begin with and have about 10% more to deal with. That is staggering to think about.
It is still quite a mess over there in so many ways. It was truly devastating to the not only the people, but the environment.

I took this yesterday morning when I got up. I think about how many trees this size were broken in half by that storm. It is still so hard to think about how scared I was a year ago. Lindsay being 9 months pregnant and that ferocious storm headed right at us. Even though they kept saying it was going to turn a little east, one little wobble could have it sitting on us. I still have a hard time thinking about it.



Well, that is all I have for now.
Grateful in so many ways,
Sandy





Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Stitching and More

I am finally getting around to the stitching update, but we will talk about more than stitching.

I have been a bit distracted where stitching is concerned. I think sometimes there are just too many choices and that kind of got me to where I am. I just had to take a step back and do some thinking and focusing on what Sandy really wanted to stitch. The end result was I had a lot of things I wanted to stitch, but I also had a lot I didn't.

I want go into all that, but some of the fall things will just have to wait until next year, especially the Thanksgiving ones.

I am going to plug along on Bittersweet September by Blackbird Designs but it is going to be different than the pattern. I think the colors ware what drew me to the pattern, but I am changing it as I go. I plan to finish it this fall, but it may only get a week or two of display time before Thanksgiving. We will see how the changes take shape as I go.

For now, here is where I am...

The house looks light, but I think it will work.

I am not very far, because while at Auburn I just HAD to start this...

My photos are so dark...the light is fading fast these evenings.


I am not going to show you a pattern picture just yet. IT is coming and I am hoping to complete this one by November 1st.

Then I decided I needed to maybe do an Advent number a week if I was going to get this finished by next Christmas and have it done up in some form for Tucker and family.
The first one is done. I am doing them on a sparkly white that I have done some Christmas ornaments on before. I ordered some more of this and really think it will be perfect.

Doesn't look sparkly in the picture, but is is...promise:)


I never showed you where I hung the "cotton" stitch. I ended up putting it in the Auburn house living room. I had a Blackbird Designs sampler there.



I don't think I ever made a picture of the sampler in the place above, but anyway it hung where the cotton is now.

The sampler moved to the downstairs bedroom which I plan to make a gallery wall of my stitching.

I loved both in their new home.

I cleaned out a closet this week in my quest to survive the long hot summer. I got rid of shoes. Too many shoes. I had cleared out lots of clothes after retiring, but never addressed the many shoes I no longer wear. So yes, I am still trying to make lemonade out of lemons. It hasn't rained here since August. It sprinkled the other day for all of 10 seconds. I got so excited only to be let down. On a happy note, it was cooler this morning early.

I am now moving on to grandson pics. Tucker visited the pumpkin patch over the weekend and got some pumpkins.

The Methodist church is the place to get pumpkins!!!

Then Lindsay sent me these earlier tonight of him out front with his new pumpkins in place.

No smiles for the camera. However there are lots of them these days.


In just a couple of weeks we will be celebrating his first birthday. Time has flown by. He has changed so much and is looking like a big boy these days.

I finished the book that I mentioned the other day when referencing the seasons. I enjoyed it. That is one reason there is less stitching. I decided I had become a bit obsessive and needed to read as well. After all it is one of my favorite things too. The book, Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal was the book I was reading. I picked up the book our of the trading library in the Auburn house neighborhood. I actually pulled it out for Mom to read one weekend when we were up there. She read it and gave it back for me to take back. I don't think she was too sure about getting a book out of the little book house. I assured her I had put three in on another visit. I just love this idea.

It was a good read. I read it slowly until the last third and had to read to find out the ending. I will be honest it was predictable but had a little twist. It is not good enough to go out and purchase, but definitely worth picking up at the library. It is older with a 2014 copyright.

That is all that is worth mentioning in my neck of the woods for now.

Sandy



Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Hot Season

Yesterday's post was prompted by this post that you are about to read. I just decided yesterday's post needed writing first. 😉 Both have to do with how reading something sends you on a wild goose chase of thoughts.

The book I am reading and haven't finished yet, is well written and has held my interest. It is not a page turner as I am reading it slowly each evening. I hope it turns about to be worthy of some of my stitching time.

The main character, a young girl was coming in after walking home from school in New Orleans. She was hot as one who has lived in the Deep South can definitely relate.

So these lines from the book sent me off on a real spin of sorts to prompt two posts.

After being told her face is as red as a Creole tomato, she responds with, "That's because New Orleans only has one season. Hot." 
The other character replied, "No, baby we got seasons. We got oyster season, crawfish season, shrimp season, crab season. Come to think of it, we got alligator season, hurricane season, Mardi Gras season. We got a whole mess of seasons around these parts. And baby, it's only the end of May. come September, even I begin to sweat."

This prompted me to think how hot it can be so much of the year here. Everyone is certainly aflutter over the heat this October, but it is not a new phenomenon. I can remember in high school that our homecoming was always in October. It was so difficult to plan what to wear for the game and dance. Some of those years were cool and you could wear a blazer, but some of them were downright hot. I even remember in college that the homecoming court on some years wore skirts and blazer suits while some years a short sleeved dress. Of course back then we didn't have a weather app on our phones with 10 day forecasts either. It was a guessing game on purchasing THE outfit.

Last year was hot as heck! Many times when we have this kind of heat late into the year, we worry about possible storms in the Gulf. I have had my eyes on the Gulf for just that. So far so good.

I guess I am officially old because I talk about the weather a lot! I remember thinking as a kid that old folks talked about the weather a good bit. I wonder if our tolerance for the extremes is just lessened with age.

It also made wonder about what seasons other than spring, summer, fall, and winter I observed. Hurricane would be a the top of the list. Growing up I heard a lot about hunting season from relatives; whether it was deer, turkey, or quail season. Football season is a season for sure in the south and I always loved baseball season. Most all of the seasons are hot with the exception of late December and January. An occasional week of cold can be thrown into February or even March sometimes. I have already shared that choosing attire is somewhat summer attire almost year round  thrown in with rules of no white shoes and seersucker. Those rules set seasons for us southerners. I like to wear certain colors and patterns in the fall even though they might be sleeveless.

I decided I had lamented enough about the heat yesterday and decided to do something useful. I gave my refrigerator a deep cleaning. It was needed and nice standing in the cool!
My plan for next week is just to buckle down and do some more chores like that so that when it does cool down I can spend it outside.

How's that for a good attitude?!

Stitching friends, I promise my next post will be a stitching one:)
Sandy



Friday, October 4, 2019

Trains

Reading aloud and sharing new books with my students was one of my favorite things about teaching.

 I loved reading as a child. I would say I have always had an eclectic taste in books and read equal parts of fiction and nonfiction. I could be entertained with an encyclopedia as well as The Hardy Boys. As an elementary teacher, I  have to admit that I loved reading children's books. They squelched my burning desire to read and were easy so that I could read a ton during the school year waiting on summers to get to my rather long list of books waiting.

I tried to read new ones each year to always know what was out there and to be able to suggest just the right book for a student as I got to know them. Along the way I found the perfect books to read aloud to my favorite age group, 4th grade. I found that when I retired that collection of books was something I simply could not part with. Long time readers know I love my books.

One such find one year was read each February during black history month. Now this book grabbed me from the very first page. When teaching those said 4th graders writing, I would have used this to teach them about openings in writing. I would have said this book had a hook or a grabber depending on the book. 


This book definitely had a hook!

Upon reading this paragraph I literally had to reread it. Honestly, the first sentence grabbed hold of me. 

I hope you can see it. I love the sentence, "I told time by the trains that passed through the town."


"I walked behind Papa, listening to the dark, listening to the familiar sounds of the Alabama piney woods."

The Alabama piney woods. Then a train whistle. Immediately it evoked so many memories. I grew up most of my days until marrying after college in the piney woods of Alabama. Those pines surrounded my every view for most of my growing up years. There were other trees, but no doubt pines were a huge part of the landscape of my youth. Trains were the other common denominator. 

"Somewhere in the distance a train whistle broke the silence and floated on the currents of the warm May breeze."

Yep, I have listened to train horn blowing across the road, and off in the distance depending on where we lived, but it was always close to a train. In Columbus, Georgia it was probably a 1/4 mile away as a very small child, then across the highway as an elementary aged child when we lived in Range, Alabama. In middle and high school, we moved about 20 miles to the town of Brewton, Alabama where the train ran right down the heart of town and the sounds at night were off in the distance. I would go to Auburn University where a train again runs right through town and I lived right next to the train tracks for three of those years.

As you can see trains have been a part of regular sights and sounds. Marrying and moving to the Gulf Coast was my first experience with no train sounds. I did miss them, but I quickly noticed another sound that would take their place from then on...the sound of jets. I have a fondness for those too!!!

Back to the book.
The next page is even better.

"A shooting star raced across the heavens and I made a wish that one day I'd ride on a train to somewhere special --- a big city maybe where ladies wore shoes all year long and carried umbrellas when it wasn't even raining. Mama had been all the way to St. Lois, but she didn't think too much of city life. Said she was glad to get back home. But she didn't discourage me, saying, "Hold fast to your dreams and one day you'll get to ride a train, see all the sights you want to see." 

Hearing her, Papa always argued that it was the doers in the world who got things done. "Work, save yo' money, buy a ticket, and that's the way you'll ride ---dreaming aine got nothing to do with it." 
"But it's the dreaming-part that makes the working-part more tolerable," Mama usually answered."

It is truly a wonderful book and filled with so many good teaching tidbits whether writing tips, reading comprehension tips, or those life tips that I loved throwing in there.

I decided to share this one with you, because I was reading another book last night that a line made me stop and pause. You will hear about that one later:)

One of the great things about blogs is I love reading about the world outside mine. I have lived in a small swath of the southeast except for Germany as an infant.

Is there a sound or sight that is part of your core like trains are to me or jets to my children?
I would love to hear.

I promise I am stitching and have some to share very soon. Sometimes I just get a notion to write something down a thought. The other book's paragraph was on seasons. I can't wait to share that thought with you. 

Until then have a wonderful hot day,
Sandy

Do you see Hank Heron?





Monday, September 30, 2019

Birthdays and Such

I am documenting some life before September gets away from us. I always feel like birthdays should be marked in the month that they occur. Lindsay and I have September birthdays while Jeff and Paul Allen have June birthdays. Lindsay was actually due two days before my birthday, but showed up real real late. 
My dear girl turned 30 this year. Being in the middle of the week, all we had time to do was a quick dinner with all of us meeting in the middle so to speak.

The birthday girl, Tucker, and Tyler.


McGuire's was the chosen spot. If you have been to Destin or Pensacola you have probably spotted the large green Irish pub. Those are the only two. It was so crowded in Destin still. Georgia had a fall break last week, so traffic was still a bit busy. 

We enjoyed our meal as they seated us in the back corner and all was good. The food was tasty. Tucker was happy. What more could we ask for?! I only snapped the picture above and one more of Lindsay since we were in the restaurant. Besides a pricey purse and some tops I gave Lindsay the gift of going to the Auburn game this weekend with Tyler and Jeff while I stayed back at the house with Tucker. Mother went to Auburn as well.

It was a very quick trip, but those are still fun.

I have meant to do this, but never have my phone with me or the dogs are pulling so that I can't really take pictures. I just love the little neighborhood where we bought the home in Auburn. It is just the cutest and was suppose to reminiscent of Charleston, but I think it is more St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans than Charleston. Our particular home is Charleston, but many of them remind me more of a smaller scale New Orleans style. There are so many cute door colors. I always think I need to share them. Saturday morning I just had Gus with me, so I snapped just a few. There are many more and lots more variety of colors.

Here is a sampling of them.






I really love this next one. I guess it is a mustard color. 



There are some really pretty olive green ones and of course some orange ones. One of those in particular is really pretty. I just didn't have time or patience with Gus to go get pictures of the others, but you get the idea. 

Several are stained as ours is. It needs redoing pretty bad and hopefully we can get that done soon. I like the stain too and really wouldn't want to paint that unless it was damaged in some way.



I am stitching and reading a book. I will share them when I am further along. Not too much to really see yet.

Tucker is moving around these days. Not walking yet by himself, but with the help of this cute cart I found at a second hand store he can get around pretty good. He made it all the way across the bedroom while I was cleaning. 



If you are wondering about all that get up on the door. I had a sheer and it didn't make the room dark enough for him to sleep in, so I had a piece of blue cloth. I just draped across the rod and then added a baby blanket for good measure. I have been saying for months I was going to make the fabric into a curtain and have yet to do it. Maybe showing you my pitiful attempt will shame me to get it done.

I will end September with one more decor picture. When I first started stitching the smalls I had planned to use this basket to make a display on my coffee table.



However, Gus came along and if it was sitting on the coffee table he thought it was put there to play with and possibly rip to shreds. He is better, but not nearly enough to risk my stitching to him.
Basically, my coffee table has become a place for Tucker to stroll around and a few toys to play with reside there.

I am not thinking it will be anything else for the foreseeable future. 

I had placed some the fall smalls around on the bookcase, but I decided to place these on my sewing counter. I have smiled each time I walk by. This room is also my laundry room, desk for bills and such, just life for Sandy. I think for now it is turning out to be a nice place to display them. I have some more to add as the month rolls on.


That is it for September. It has been fully documented. 

Kinda ready for just a bit of cooler weather; not cold... just cooler. Oh and some rain too...not a flood, just some rain.
Sandy




Tuesday, September 24, 2019

An Ornament Finish

I fully finished the ornament for Lindsay last night. They aren't the best pictures since I took them last night, but they are now documented. The colors don't look quite right either, but the reds are a little burgundy and the greens are a little green with a blue in them in real life.






I cleaned up my sewing counter and hopefully I can get the Christmas carols finished soon.

I will be back next week. I have a birthday for my daughter to celebrate and a trip to Auburn this weekend.




Monday, September 23, 2019

A Sewing Project

I made it into the sewing room one night last week to try and make a table runner.

I know I said no pumpkins until October 1st and for the most part that has been true. The only ones out are on the dining room table thus far. This set of pumpkins were a purchase I made when I first retired and went nuts buying way too much. These have made the cut to keep although finding the perfect spot for them hasn't been exactly easy.

They have tried out lots of rooms. They are great colors for the family room, but that is the room where IF I put too much I feel a little stir crazy. 

This year they have landed in the dining room which led to thinking I needed a table runner.


I had some linen like fabric. I pulled it out and measured what I wanted. I lined it which I wish I hadn't because you can see it has a bit of a roll in it. I think I should have just hemmed the edges and mitered  the corners. Oh well, Lesson learned.

I pulled out my machine embroidery and did a little design at each end and tried not to say any bad words as I did this. Long story with this machine. We definitely have a love/hate relationship.

I survived that so I tried to do just a decorative stitch found on regular sewing machines. I didn't plan the turn of the corners too well, but I have decided it works and I will quit trying to be such a perfectionist.

Who am I kidding? It just isn't glaring in my face like it would be in the kitchen, so I can hopefully tolerate it.



The pumpkins were a Joanns purchase and I haven't seen any like it since. I added some feathers and napkin ring flowers. I am always picking up feathers, rocks, acorns, leaves, etc.


So there ---another piece of the fall decor puzzle.

I am trying to add to my basket of fall pillows. I started a short stitch this weekend. I really have so many things I want to stitch, but I am going to try and whip this out this week with a few changes.




I plan to do the house a lighter color. I don't like the brown. I also am going to do something different with the alphabet, because I don't like that large W.

A little Tucker this morning on our walk. He was ready to roll today.



Breakfast. Grammie loves how he crosses his feet.


I will leave you with a fun picture. I pulled out some bracelets for church yesterday. Yes, the organized packrat has some real life VINTAGE bracelets.


The leather one is from 7th grade and the green ones were a gift from a friend for my Sweet 16 birthday party.

Anyone else still got bracelets from 1976 and 1973?

Happy fall,
Sandy