Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weekend Roundup

I am going to start at the end of the weekend and go backwards.

While watching American Idol, I put the last stitches in my monochromatic Little House Needleworks stitch called "Summer." I love it. For some reason unknown to me I don't think I realized the top border was ladybugs until I finished it. It is quite obvious to me now.



The plan is to make a pillow for the church pew. (Stay tuned)

Hubby, Mother, the dogs, and I took a boat ride around the bay this afternoon. We let the dogs out to swim and that is always something they both enjoy.

Church was exceptionally good this morning; such an inspiring message. I am still mulling it over.

Saturday evening Hubby and I drove out to meet the daughter and son-in-law and eat out while letting Tyler share the work at his job site.

Let me just brag on my son-in-law if I may. He is the project manager for a condo being built out on 30A. It is right on the Gulf. It is 5 stories, with the bottom being the parking garage.



The top level has two penthouse suites with each their own private pools on the top level. Tyler showed me how the physics worked for supporting that much weight. That is just me needing to know such things. I am always wanting to know how things can hold up so much weight. Kind of a weird obsession of mine. Drives Hubby batty:)



Oh and the price tag on a penthouse suite...a cool $6 million.

The lowest level has a great view still and a great patio looking out at the Gulf and the remaining condo units' pool. They go for $1.9 million I believe he said.



They are all bought though.

I love the house next door. One of the original beach homes instead of a condo.



Yesterday, Hubby and I tagged teamed the remainder of the yard work. We finished putting straw in the side bed and the rose beds. The roses may be beginning to look a bit straggly due to the approaching heat, but the pine straw prettied them up. I should have taken a new picture.

We tackled the side walk on the side of the house that was completely covered with oak and magnolia leaves halfway down and the pine straw near the bottom of the walkway. It was so high that blowing it off wasn't working, so we raked and got it all up. Looked so nice.



We finished blowing off the bottom back decks.

Y'all our yard looks great and is ready for summer. I just need to get the patriotic ribbons and flags going.


Let's see I also finished my John Grisham book, Camino Island. It was a decent read. I would actually say it made a good beach read, because I knocked out the two biggest reading chunks while sitting on the beach last week. I have started a biography which is my typical self. I am finding it very inspiring.

I will be back with shorter posts this week.

Feels so good to have the yard work done. Now, to just keep all the flowers watered.

Feeling a slight bit accomplished and uplifted tonight,
Sandy

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I've Been Working in My Flowers

I have been outside a good bit this week puttering in my flowers. The weather is still pretty...won't be long before the real heat settles in. I have much to do still, but I thought I would share some of my progress outside. Stitching friends I will have a progress update for you at the bottom.

Warning ---long post. I really need to post more often😜

I have these pots right by the garage. The wall sort of hides the garbage cans and stuff that you need to maintain a yard. Since we live on the water, we have a very small lot. There is no storage shed to hide stuff. We have a small place under the house that we store some things in, but most has to go in the garage. Water living though makes it all tolerable.


The petunias have been thriving here, but soon it will be too hot for them. I will have to move them to the shadier area under the trees.


A very long time ago this stone wall was a true planter. Absolutely nothing could survive full sun in the stone. Hubby built a wood piece to fit on top of it and we just bought pots to plant on top.

It was a genius idea if I must say so myself.


I have a mixture of plants in there at the moment all of which are doing well, but when the summer heat settles in I will have to move some. 


One year I got smart and bought some extra pots. When the heat settles in I return the Lilies of the Nile to the wall along with geraniums. They seem to be able to handle the heat best. In the meantime the lilies are on the other side of the wall. This past winter is the first winter ever in our time in this house (since 2002) that the lilies have been bitten by the cold. They are slowly coming back and should be ready by June to pop up there in place of the petunias.


Moving along to the front of the house where I have been trying for years to grow roses. I have roses in two beds. One is doing better than the other.

If you noticed lots of leaves on the wall...there are. I was going to do a whole post in April about live oaks, but didn't get the chance. I will save that thought for next April. It is annual event. The leave dropping of live oaks. 

Here is the first one.


I have five rose bushes in this one... Rio Samba (my new favorite), Perfume Delight, Queen Elizabeth, Chicago Peace (not doing well at all), and Arizona Rose. These all have a pink or peach tone to them. I also have my day lilies surrounding them. You can read why I love day lilies here.

Did you spot my new concrete yard art?



Hubby has a love for concrete yard art. I have to hold him at bay...don't want too much. This one and one other is new.

My other rose bed is to the other side of the front door. It is my red rose bed. Half of it is doing well.
It has an Oklahoma, Chrysler Imperial, and an Olympiad which are Hybrid Teas and making it. I had another Oklahoma and Chrysler Imperial that I think are kaput. There is a Land of Lincoln that just grows tall and never blooms. Argh... Then I planted two Floribundas: Europena and Red Citiscape. Also there is one yellow one in this bed for Mom. It is an Oregold.


Along the walk to the door is my other potted plants. The geraniums are amazing in this pot. Every year they get bigger and bigger. I have some hostas in with them. The big lily looking plant is the Lily of the Nile lilies. They produce a tall purple flower in the summer. The front pot is just a mixture for now. We will see what survives. I had some coleus I think last year in it.

And then there are my sweet swans. I purchased some patriotic ribbon for them. Memorial Day will find them decked out in their new ribbons.

I left the sticks to show you what I have to stop Gus from bringing in constantly. There are some pretty pink ribbons on the swans now, but they didn't show up to well.


Driving into our circle and to the right of our driveway I have a huge flowerbed. I mostly just try to keep it with things that the sprinkler hits. It has azaleas for the early spring, camellias for the winter, a hydrangea and some caladiums for the summer. 

Pete the Pelican has been welcoming folks for quite a while now. A little deer too.

I just put out fresh pine straw and Hubby added sand to the grass. It will be lush and green soon.


One of my favorite things is the wagon wheel with the ferns. The birds love this area too.


Did you see the other new concrete addition?


A sea turtle and some star fish are in there.

Now to the back where I am in no way finished...

The top back deck has my plants that are right outside my kitchen sink.

Geraniums on top for full viewing.


Now let's head downstairs where you will find my mess. I am cleaning here and will most likely have to finish this weekend.

Gus joined me for these pictures and of course he got in that water. He gets in that water EVERY time the back door opens.




Hubby cloroxed and pressured washed the white tile. I would never ever in my whole life no matter what trend was in have chosen white tile. It is insanely hard to keep clean on the water and with a live oak and the largest pine tree in Fort Walton Beach right there to keep it covered it is mostly never white.


It looks nice for now. He broke a pot in the process. I told him I had too many anyway. One less to take care of.


My mother started me on angel wing begonias years ago. I brought them inside this winter and they are looking puny. It won't be long until they are lush again. They love the humid weather on the deck.

Anyway, you can see I have more to clean off.


Little glimpse of heaven on earth. I never get tired of my view. I think it may be one of the best on the bayou. 


Thought you might like to see how much the water level changes with the seasons. This is now. 



The next picture was the same spot in late January.


Crazy huh?!

Now for my a picture of my sweet wet Gus.


I am leaving you with a picture of my table which has cut roses pretty much every time one blooms.


And a little stitching progress.

I am loving this monochromatic summer one. The color is gorgeous. It will be a pillow for my church pew. Can't wait to finish it. I sent my Home of a Needleworker to the framer's on Saturday.



And Lemony is avoiding the heat. Stretched out on the cool tile.

Sweetest dog ever.


See you sooner so that I have such a long post.
Sandy





Friday, May 11, 2018

Good for the Soul

Oh a day at the beach was good for my soul y'all. I feel so refreshed. I might even be real productive today. We shall see:)?

I went out yesterday and visited with my aunts and uncle who were visiting my mom. I rented them a beach condo before I went off for my surgery. They have played dominos which made Mama real happy. They have walked on the beach and just visited. My aunt said Mother had been like a "pig in mud." I think she should be sufficiently worn out today as they all leave.


Let me just say that yesterday was picture perfect. The water was calm and endless. A little cold for me, but lots were swimming. 

Green flags were flying, so it was a great day for it.


I left them all and took my chair and just parked for an hour. I then took a walk. Did me so good.

I am wishing you all a day at the beach soon or at least a good day out in nature.

Sandy

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Latest Reads and New Stitching Start

Yesterday morning I finished--- like early ---before I even got started on the day the latest book from Jan Karon called To Be Where You Are. I tried to stay up the night before and finish it, but my eyes were so heavy. It is awful to get to less than 20 pages of a book and have to give up. When I was younger I could have stayed up to finish. Not so much these days... my body just says no. Of course, wait until 2:00 AM and I could walk the floors.

I have to tell you just one thing about the book, but first --- you may remember I once said I didn't really like these books.

Mother and I at one time shared books back and forth. If I thought it was good there was a good chance she would love it too...and vice versa.

Mama doesn't read as much as she once did though. πŸ˜”

Mother told me about the Jan Karon books many many years ago. I was going through one of those really busy seasons of life where my fun reading was getting shaved real badly. I stuck the books on a bookcase downstairs and said I would read them upon retirement.

Upon retirement, I tried.

I had never met so many characters in one book in my life. I was not overwhelmed. I again lay it aside and then along comes Miss Kelly at the former blog "Talk of the House," who said she actually read the first book twice keeping a list of all the many characters.

SO...I read it again. I made the list and yes, I liked it more, but still I wasn't chomping at the bit to read the next one. I am not sure why I kept going back to them. Mostly I would have moved on...I have tons of reading here that I have purchased over the years and haven't read.

Fast forward with a little time away from work and a little more settled mindset I went back to them and didn't hurry to read them. I slowly fell in love.

I will not say even to this day they are my all time favorites, but they have pulled me in. I love the simplicity of life in Mitford...well, I am not sure anyone has complete simplicity, but I love the way they take life's problems and face them with the Lord and a bit of wisdom of the ages.

What is not to love about Father Tim?

This one was indeed good to me at least anyway. The usual jump around to every character far and wide.

I am sharing a bit of the ending, but trust me it is only one small part.

I was down to the last few pages when Father Tim finally gets a new dog. Dooley gets him a new dog. Guess what the name was?????

GUS

How cool is that? For Father Tim and for me since my little Gus is adorable.

Gus yesterday morning waiting for me to finish the book.


And check out this cover...Isn't it beautiful?


 



And yes, that is a Golden Retriever on the cover who looks just like my Lemony.

This is real life Lemony yesterday morning lying by my bed waiting for me to finish the book.

And then if you take the book jacket off...just look at these scrumptious library binding colors you could use in decorating. Kelly at Talk of the House could have definitely used this in the spring and summer decorating.



If you are still with me, I very rarely tell you that you NEED TO BUY A BOOK, but this devotional is amazing. I strongly recommend it.

SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Oh, and I started a new stitch while I wait for my thread to come in the mail. This one is Summer in the monochromatic seasons' series. I love this color. It is called Ocean Tide by Classic Colorworks. Just gorgeous y'all.


I know I have spent a lot of time writing about a book, but I wanted to do just that.

I am taking time off today from chores and others such things to spend some time at the beach with my aunts and uncles. Mom's two sisters and brother and her have rented a beach condo this week. I am going to go out today and just be. Might stitch while I sit with them and I might go out and read a book or just sit with my toes in the sand.

Leaving with you some flowers from my front pots and some sweet Gus photos at 11 months old.






Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I'm Back

I am back from my almost two week blogging break!

The surgery went well. I am grateful to have it behind me. More about that in a bit.

This is going to be a recap of the last few weeks of April which are long gone I know. I was going through my phone pics and realized I had lots I wanted to record for posterity's sake. I am just going to have to apologize up front for the long post and photo laden post.

I had been taking Mom out to the beach in April for morning beach walks. It seemed to be lifting her spirits. I always take her picture, but one morning a lady offered to take ours together. How sweet of her!

Wishing you all could feel the heavenly feel of the salty air.


Much too warm for jackets now.

The weekend before Hubby and I headed to Tampa for my surgery, we decided to take a quick trip to Auburn to check on the cabin.

The trip consisted of me, Hubby, Mother, and Lindsay. I actually can't even remember where Tyler was that gave Lindsay the opportunity to go with us.

That morning we saw three deer outside the breakfast nook window. Wish you could see them.

They were there...I promise.
Then we went into town and ate at my favorite restaurant again. Acre!!!

Here is our desserts. Never ever pass up on desserts. Y'all that cake was called milk and cookies cake. I mean ---there are no words to describe it.


The lemon tart was delicious too. I was really already too full to eat either dessert, but I did it. Acre is really good.

We then all pitched in and bought "Tucker" (that is his name) his first Auburn outfit. 

Grammie bought the jacket and shoes, Great Grandma bought the beanie, and the new Mommy bought the romper. 



This Grammie will teach him how to say "War Eagle" soon!

Then Jeff and I headed to Tampa for last week. The surgery went well.

Along the way, we stopped and ate the most delicious lunch in Tallahassee. If you are ever in Tallahassee a good place to eat is McCormick's Deli on Capital Circle. Amazing home cooking. The cabbage was to die for.

Then we decided to take back roads rather than the usual interstate travel. The most delightful drive it was through farm land. Wildflowers for as far as the eye can see. I mean really as far as one can see ...field after field and along the road side.



Finally we pulled over and took a picture. It doesn't do the view justice.


We made it to Tampa and located the hospital and then readied myself of the big day.

Everything went wonderful. The Norman Parathyroid Center is amazing. I am on the mend and am already feeling much better. I sincerely hope that this will be the capstone to my journey back to health.

About to go and get cut on..


The view I had outside my room window.


Not bad at all. In fact, Jeff and I enjoyed our little visit to Tampa. I felt good enough that evening to stroll around the Hyde Park area and eat outside at a Bar Taco. Another fine eating establishment. We drove around and looked at beautiful homes right around the bay too.

Next up is me right after the surgery. I only looked this bad for a bit. I actually came to with the worst headache I have had in a good long while. I wanted the ice pack on my head and not my neckπŸ˜†


I would love to tell you that I have had the most relaxing days since I arrived home, but I have had some of the busiest days ever and I could honestly use some relaxing days. I think I might feel a ton better if I had had them, but life is life.

I am working on my Haiti trip lesson plans. I did take a stitching break --- not because I wanted to --- but between the surgery and the lack of plans for the trip I had to get myself in check.

I have a skeletal outline of my plans and feel better about that. I will now just have to devote a bit of time each week to putting it altogether. I am sure God has great plans for the trip. I go expectantly to see what He is up to.

I was so close to finishing my Home of a Needleworker.



Do you see that bottom right hand border? Yep, Classic Cotton floss ---I ran out of it and no local store to buy it. It is on order and sitting ready to finish as soon as it gets here. I also want to add a little brown to the cardinal's wing. I will share soon I hope:)

I started a Summer piece while I wait.

I have lots more to share, so I will be back soon.

I will leave you with a Gus photo. He brings in stuff to chew on constantly. He thought he had really done well with the big piece he managed to sneak in, but alas he had to give it up. I thought my Hubby captured a cute picture of him.


I will be back soon with more exciting details of my everyday life,
Sandy