Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse, Gus, Stitching, and Hope

I loved seeing the eclipse yesterday. I was lucky enough to have a pair of "the glasses" and they made it amazing. Mother came over and she and I sat in the HEAT (that doesn't even come close to how it felt) to view it. We took turns using the glasses. We poured sweat y'all to view it.

I will say it didn't get very dark here. I honestly remember an an annular solar eclipse back in May of 1984 during my first year of teaching in Georgia that I thought got a little darker, but that was over 30 years ago, so maybe I don't remember well.

It cooled down a couple of degrees and a breeze blew for just a bit. Didn't last long. I was worried we wouldn't be able to see it at all, because the everyday thunderstorm clouds were building, but they held off until afterwards. Like I said, the glasses made it worthwhile to sit in the heat.

Gus is truly growing like a weed. There have been two specific days when I have gotten up in the morning and felt like he grew overnight. He weighed 11.2 pounds at the vet yesterday. He has more than doubled his weight. Lemony is still being the best doggie ever. She is making it easy to teach Gus, because he just watches the perfect role model.

He is sitting under me as I type.

I have started the corn stitch. I didn't stitch at all yesterday, so it doesn't look like much progress. I knew this one would be slow going. There are 5 colors to change out to make the corn. I am determined to finish it by Thursday. I will have one more and then to finish them in some way by Labor Day which is my goal.

I have been studying Job in my Bible study time. That is not the easiest read, but not one to be avoided either. Today's teaching that went with my study was quite good. AS you might know, Job has 42 chapters and I am on 17. Day after Day tough stuff to read. Kind of reminds me of when I wanted to complain over the years, Mama would always let me vent and then pull stories from "where I don't know" to remind me I really didn't have it to bad. She would gently put me back in alignment.

Anyway, today had some thoughts were sharing...

Today's reading was from Job 17 ---he is just ready to die.

     "Hopelessness. It's one of Satan's most destructive tools in his bag of tricks. He uses it to try and slowly strip away the best parts of us, just like he did to Job."

     "I noticed that Job, even on that dark day of hopelessness, still cried out to God, asking for assurance and a pledge of security. It's as if a tiny shoot of hope pushing its way through the cracks of the concrete of hopelessness. And Job once again beloved that God was good and would come through for him."

     "Job was raw and real with his emotional words. He held nothing back, allowing the floodgates of his darkest thoughts to spill out of his mouth like a river before his Maker. And God let Job speak --- He didn't silence, shame or correct him. God let Job express what was on his heart. And although God chose to remain silent, His mercy love and compassion were powerfully active."

    "On those days when we feel hopeless, He is our source of strength and security. God wants to be real and honest with Him, even with our rawest emotions. But we must remember to always remain reverent and honorable to Him in the process. He will not forsake us or shame us. (Psalms 25:3a)  He will comfort and shower us with His compassion. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)"

All of this is from Leah DiPascal and my First 5 Bible Study app.

Completely grateful for His Word and Jesus,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sunflowers and Dogs

I finished the sunflowers yesterday.

I really only had about 10 x's left on Tuesday night, but I was too tired to finish. Yesterday was the first day back for our small group Wednesday evening Bible study group, but I managed to get those x's done. We take off a few weeks in the summer and just do a social in late June and late July. I had gotten off my cleaning routine last week, so I was in a mad dash to clean up the main level of the house and make dessert. The house looks good, so I am going to spend some time stitching today and if the heat doesn't kill me work in the garage.

I plan to start the corn today. The pumpkins will be last.

Gus is 10 weeks old today. I have to take pictures of him sleeping or take video, because if he is awake he is in play mode. He is doing great and I am so enjoy him except at 4:30 in the morning. I am not an early riser.

Here are a few I have tried to take..

Lemony is amazing. She keeps him occupied about half the day. That is good for her too. I think she was bored without Lucy.

I am getting excited about the eclipse. I wish I could be closer to the strip. I really have no idea how dark it will be here. I have researched, but everything is in a percentage and that just doesn't tell me anything. I entertained driving to our cabin Sunday evening to see it from there, but I think I will just stay home. It was fun to hear Katie talking about teaching her 4th graders all about it. She dropped by with Paul Allen after school yesterday. Of course, schools have to be so careful with lawsuits. Our district has taken a policy of no outside activity. I think there will be a ton of absences.

One last cute one of Gus.

That is about all going on my world,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Stitching Progress and Doggy Play

I worked on my autumn small #2 this weekend. They may be small but not so quick. There are lots of color changes which is good for making them pretty, but definitely makes for a slower project.

I think I am still on target for finishing them by September. Arlene @ Nanaland put me on a LED lamp for my stitching. I had looked at those expensive ones, but could never make myself pay that much for them. This is a cheap Walmart lamp, but it works great. It has made a huge difference at night. The sunflowers for instance have 4 colors and it is hard to see the difference in the evening. I have a light on my magnifier, but even the pattern is so small that the lamp made a huge difference.

That is what I love about blogs. I learn so much from others.

In other news, Lemony, the Golden and Gus, the puppy Springer became play pals on Friday morning. I don't know what clicked, but I turned around and they were on the floor living it up. Lemony rolls over on her back and he just climbs and rolls all over her. Lemony can control him with one paw and if he gets to close to her mouth with his razor teeth she just growls. He backs up and then finds another location to pounce. They have literally played all weekend. Made this doggy mama happy happy happy.

That is all for this morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pillows, Dogs, and Back to Home

I finished my other pillow. This is so me....Do one pillow and then let the other one sit for two weeks. I am such a procrastinator. The second was easy though. I was able to remember all the wrong steps I took on the first one and sew it in one round.

I was pleased with how they came out, especially since I was able to repurpose them. Jenny has a whole new fall line coming out next week. I might let myself make a purchase this time since the quality is so nice. I don't know if she will have anything I need, but I am leaving the door open from my self imposed no spending.

Not much going on around here...just the heat of August. School is back in session for kids today. This means I am starting the 4th year of retirement. There will always be a teacher in me, but the season is right to be home. Funny how retirement came right when I would be needed by mom.

I did some rearranging in the living room yesterday to make room for the new kennel. I really think Gus won't care for a kennel home down the road. He goes in there with ease, but he doesn't seem to really care about it. Lucy was like that as well. Lemony loves hers. She considers it her little spot in this world.

I repotted some houseplants yesterday. Growing houseplants is not necessarily an easy thing, but I love the look of them. They don't stay the same size which means adjusting things or they die which leaves a hole. I sometimes wonder why I go to all the trouble.

Gus is 9 weeks old today. He has been a wonderful puppy. He is really so pleasant. Lemony has taken to him which is just so her. She is the sweetest dog ever. She can't really play with him yet, because his puppy teeth are like razors. My arms bear the marks of those razors. She is letting him lay with her when he gets tired though. I have caught them laying together several times.

What shall I do to celebrate being at home rather than in school today? I don't know, but I am sure I will think of something.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#2 Autumn Small Start

I started the second Autumn small yesterday and made quite a bit of progress last night.

It will be sunflowers. I am hoping to make a basket full of smalls soon. We will see.

Y'all the weather here is downright hot, humid, and miserable. I do NOT rush seasons since retiring. I did far too much of that during my teaching years, but I have to tell you that I am ready for some different weather (I think).

June was the rainiest month on record. I never checked on July, but it has rained so much that the bayou looks like a creek and my flowers are just tired of trying to make blooms only to have them pounded off.  Things that are just green are lush, but anything that produces a bloom whether it is a geranium or a crepe myrtle is just tired looking.

It has been really hot as well. The kind of hot that even at 6:00 in the morning it hits you in the face when you walk out. Most of it is just humidity coming off the Gulf. A little happy medium of heat and rain would be nice, but it is AUGUST. August is usually this way, so I have no idea why I am complaining. Maybe I just have nothing to talk about but the weather.

August table

Off to volunteer at church and grocery shop.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Stitching and Gus

A stitching finish...

This was the first of four autumn smalls from the October 2015 Just Cross Stitch magazine. I plan to do little pillows for a basket with them. This one struck me as the September piece of all of them where the leaves are just beginning to turn colors. I didn't think the picture did it justice. The coloring in real life is really pretty. I have some really pretty leaf fabric, and I am going to give that cording thing a whirl this week. 

I did finish the other two things from last week that I was fretting over. 

I think I am going to find a place for this one in my sewing room.

This one just got a backing from the red fabric. I decided that was enough.

Now ---- puppy pictures. 
Everyone can be cheered up from sleeping puppies. 

He is just as cute awake. He is such a happy puppy. Plays hard and then just collapses.

Hope you enjoyed the sweetness,

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Journey of a Faith-filled Life

I hadn't really planned to post this Friday morning. I had nothing new to share, but then I felt led to share something from my Bible study time yesterday morning.

It is rather long and no pictures, so I"ll let you decide if you want to continue.

I have shared before that I keep a written journal. It is mostly for inspirational thoughts that come from my Bible study and a place to share those moments you need to get off your chest that are just really personal. I found journaling really walked me through a tough time a few years ago.

I have been reading two books that are study related. I am actually reading 4 books...don't judge. It works for me.

One of the books is Priscilla Shirer's, Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks which actually has a video that goes along with it. I have not purchased the video. I was sort of previewing it for a group study later. I have loved it even without the video. Priscilla is a great speaker so I know the videos would only add to it.

The other book is Finding God's Path Through Your Trials: His Help for Every Difficulty You Face by Elizabeth George. This was a recommendation by Mrs. T at the blog Across My Kitchen Table.
I ordered it but procrastinated reading it even though I knew I needed it. I wondered if it would only make me feel sadder.

You see I have let myself get down this summer about something and it has really gnawed at me.

I am going to be straight up honest, because I know even a long time faithful Christian woman can still have moments. I just felt like God was listening and had just quit working on this situation. I can tell you I knew better, but I was letting the emotions get to me.

I have chosen to read each of these books one chapter or one lesson a day along with my First 5 App Bible study which believe it or not started Job this week.

God has spoken mightily as I have delved into these books. He has put me in my place on the emotional side.

The piece that I am going to share is what transpired over the course of my reading yesterday and I journaled it, mulled it over all day, and felt I would share this morning.

Sorry it took so long to get to this point...

I will give you a brief overview, not the three pages I journaled.

In the day's reading of Priscilla Shirer's book, it talked of how the Word is used to hear God, using several statements such as...

  • Anything God's spirit reveals to you will always match up with what is in the Bible.
  • It is the living Word of God. When we read it, the Holy Spirit applies it to our particular situation regardless of how specific and personal it is.
  • If I need God's direction regarding a particular situation, I ask the Lord for confirmation through His Word before moving forward.
  • The Scripture you have hidden in your heart, the more opportunity He will have to bring it to your mind and direct you. Our goal should be to saturate ourselves in His word.
At the end of the day's reading, she had six verses which you were to choose 2 to meditate on for the next 7 days. 

I chose this as one of them... REMEMBER it for a little later in my story.

Psalms 27:13-14
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

I got to my other book and the last paragraph from the chapter titled "Strengthening Your Staying Power." Boy, have I needed some staying power on this particular thing that has been troubling me. In the last paragraph, she summed up that  power with what....? on yes, the above verse.

"I would have lost heart, unless I believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

God showed up yesterday and reminded me that even though I can't see it He is working and I need to hold on, because His timing is not my timing. He is in control. I just need to be wait, be strong, and let my heart take courage.

Hopefully my struggle touches someone else that needed to be reminded like I did yesterday.

Striving to walk faithfully,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Movie Review and a Little Time in the Sewing Room

Last night, Hubby and I went to see with Dunkirk with some friends of ours. My father-in-law and our friend's dad were both in World War II. Jeff's dad went into Normandy about three days after D-Day. He was part of the reinforcements. Still dead bodies stacked up on the shores. He was in the Battle of Bastogne and got a Purple Heart and a commendation. Our friend Mike's dad was a pilot and dropped guys off at D-Day.

Suffice it to say, both couples love to see anything related to WW2. The story of Dunkirk is an amazing story of the spirit of the British people.

All that said, the movie was a little bit of a letdown for me. The story is a great one to tell, but this movie was obviously made by one of those free spirit artistic people. There is little dialogue and lots of skipping around in the story. It has all these great reviews, but I just didn't think it was the greatest movie.

I am not sorry I went to see it at all. Any movie that gets us to look back at the time and be reminded of how lucky we are is a good thing. That said, I am a story line person. I wanted to see the story unfold a little more traditionally.

I did walk in my sewing room yesterday in bits and pieces. I had lots of interruptions ---all were good, but I didn't get that flow of time to think creatively.

Interruptions...Paul Allen came in with lots of questions about how to do things. He was trying to sell a little boat he has. It is slightly more than a john boat that was given to him way back when, but he needs some money so he was trying to get the title all figured out and stuff like that.

Lindsay came for lunch.

Mama came by and ate one bite...that woman does not eat enough to keep her alive. Then we sat outside with the doggies. I can't believe it was cool enough to do so. Weird. We ran a couple of errands and took Gus with us since I am not able to leave him yet. I had a couple of things I really needed to do, so she went along and kept him.

Back to my little time in the sewing room...

I stitched this forever ago. I am now trying to decide if it needs more trim. Of course, not this color, but I have one of those corders ordered, so does it need a little trim or do I just stop with what is on the left?

Then, I worked on the house that has been sitting on the work table for a long time now.

Can't decide between above or below. Nothing is attached. Still mulling this one over.

One more ....
This is another one I stitched forever ago. Thought I would finish it and put it up until next summer.
I stumped on it as well. The red piece is definitely too big. In fact I am not liking the red at all. Needs something a little less dramatic.

Like I said...thinking it all through. 

I need to get these finished and off my counter because I need to finish my other pillow, monogram a baby blanket, and then finish some Christmas ornaments I have stitched. They will be pillow ornaments.

For now, off to do my chores.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Catching Up

This is old news, but I didn't get to share it last week when my computer was getting repaired.

I joined the library. I was so excited, because---

Apparently I was late to this news... you don't have to be a city resident to join anymore. Years ago, you had to live in the city limits to join, but my area has crazy zoning -like, I mean crazy. You can live on a street and one side is in and the other side is not kind of crazy.

Now, my friends tell me now that it changed years ago. In fact now, all of the libraries in our county are linked and I can go to any of the locations. I can search online and if they have  a book at any of the libraries you can request it to be waiting on you at the one you want to pick it up at. I love it. I love real books. Well, I like my kindle too.

This should save me some money too.

I love the library. I specifically remember when we moved from the country into town and I could go to the public library. I was starting 6th grade and simply loved to be dropped off there. It is sort of like the fabric store for me. I can loose total track of time in both.

Did anyone live in a rural area growing up and have the book mobile come to your school? That is how we got books in my elementary school. We loved to have it visit because that meant a whole new case of books. I think it somewhat like the book sales they have at elementary schools now for fundraising. The big cases rolled in and excitement built. I loved the book mobile. I also loved ordering books from the Weekly Reader forms.

After I had a lovely visit to the library last week, I was headed to the grocery store and stopped at a red light. You could turn right on red, so I was easing up to see if I could turn.

Big truck was blocking my view,
when wham big truck hits me from behind.
That is why I drive a big truck.
I WANT MY VEHICLE TO BE THE BIGGEST ON THE ROAD, since I seem to be a magnet for people running into me.
This time they had insurance and I was ok. Just sore in the shoulders. I can't even take it in for repairs until next week because they are behind.

I am not going to complain though, even if I sounded like I was. I am fine and can drive it now.

Now, a quick picture of my stitching progress on a fall piece. I need some stitching time and some time in my sewing room.

I thought everyone might like to see a Gus picture. Puppies can lighten a day for sure and the night. He is up at midnight and 4:00 AM.

Lemony, the Golden is being just that...golden. She allowed him to crawl over her yesterday.

Gus needs to do more this at night.
Playful and adorable he is.


Monday, July 31, 2017

A Pillow Update

I have really been trying limit my spending since retirement and realizing I have a lot of stuff. My thinking has been downsize and really stop the "seeing something and gotta have it mentality."

Well, I have regretted since this spring not purchasing these pillows from Everyday Occasions. I was totally in love with them, but couldn't make myself pull the trigger. They are pricey when you can go get the full pillow at Home Goods these days for less, but I knew her quality was great because I had bought cloth napkins and candles from her.

Finally, my pillows were beginning to look a little messy, so I went to check on them and she was all out of them. Sadness!!!

Mine had lots of pulls in them. Probably shouldn't have let the dogs get on the couch.

Anyway, Jenny who has a blog and Everyday Occasions had the fabric for sale, so I ordered some. (Her blog is in my blog list. Her home is so pretty.) I would just make my own. When it arrived I was even more sad that I hadn't bought them because I love the fabric. While I was thinking mine would not have cording, I realized that my shabby ones were only shabby on the front and that the back, the zipper, and the cording in them, were a perfect match for the new fabric.

I set out to rip off the old front and attach a new front to the old back. It all seemed so simple until I got started.

I used the old front as a pattern for the new fabric.

I am not a puzzle visual putting pieces together person. I really struggled and remember ripping it out three times at least. Probably more because I had to walk away which would mean I forgot what I had learned. Several days later I finally had one finished. This all happened last week while my computer was in the shop. I still have the other one to do, but I think I have the puzzle memorized. One can hope anyway. I hope to take care of the next one this week.

I love how it turned out. I have plenty of fabric to do something else with too since I used the back of the other one.

Happy with myself,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Some Will Think I Have Lost My Mind: Meet "Gus"

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know how I spent my weekend. If not, meet Gus.

I had hoped to tell everyone last week that I was going to get a new puppy this weekend, but my computer had a bit of a malfunction that didn't look good from my comfortable chair one evening. It was due for its yearly visit to the Geek Squad this next week, but it had to take a trip early. It turns out that it finally had to have a new hard drive. Fortunately that contract with Best Buy kept it at a minimum cost.

So back to Gus. I am still grieving over Lucy, but something inside me just knew I had to have one more English Springer Spaniel before I get too old to deal with a puppy. Not that I am ancient, but they are a high energy dog and I know that there will come an age when I won't be able to handle it.

A little background on my obsession with Springers. I fell in love with Spot in first grade when I met Dick, Jane, "Spot", Sally, Mother, Father...you know the books. My version which was the 1963 edition had Spot as a Springer. I wanted one my whole life. A couple of months after marriage, my husband rolls in with our first one. We named her Sally. Oh, the love began for the breed.

We have had Sally, Murphy, and of course most recently Lucy that many of you have followed along with me her sweetness and love stories.

I began to search for one. They are not the easiest to find around my parts. I discovered a place in central Georgia that I just knew was the perfect kennel. The kennel was Lanewood Kennel in Fort Valley. They only had 2 males last week when I called, so I quickly paid my deposit and told them I would be there this weekend. By the time we got there they already had the other male accounted for, but I got to choose first.

When I got out of the truck and walked around the corner I literally gasped. I was in Springer Spaniel heaven.

On another note, the location of the kennel in Georgia was so close to James T. Farmer's place in Perry which he calls "Perrydise" that I would have loved to have driven on a little farther to see his store. If you don't know who he is he has a website and Instagram. An Auburn grad in horticulture I think, he has a flair for decorating and plants. His coffee table books are amazing. Not only does he live there, but I think Kelly at Talk of the House too.

Let me say Fort Valley, Georgia where we picked up Gus is peach tree and pecan tree territory. In fact the kennel owners raise Springers as a hobby. There real job is peach and pecan tree famers. I have never seen so many pecan trees.

Back to the dog. He picked me for sure. He has been just about perfect. We drove to our cabin after picking him on Saturday. It was a 5 hour drive from our place to central Georgia, so we didn't think we wanted a 5 hour drive back or that he would either. The cabin was about a 2 hour drive, so we stayed there last night and came on home today.

He has had a huge day today meeting the rest of the family and Lemony.

Let's just say Lemony, the Golden has been golden today. She has handled the puppy amazingly well. While they are not snuggling yet, Lemony seems to be very good with him being around. My daughter brought her Boykin, Hallie over as well. Hallie was better than I thought, so I think we are going to be all good with the new addition.

Now my work has just begun as Gus is just 8 weeks old. So, in a few months he ought to hog wild, and for the next 2 years very energetic. I am sure I have lost my mind.

Oh, for the name. I know we are the biggest Auburn fans ever, but Gus really didn't have anything to do with our coach. We were just going through a list of names and decided on Gus. It turns out that his dad's name was Gus, so he is Gus Jr. His mother's name was Rosey. I love that.

I will try not to do too much talking about him.
I do have quite a few other things to share as the week rolls on.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekend Roundup

I sort of disappeared last week. I finally had some days at home and just soaked them up. I piddled in my flowers and in my home. Sometimes it is nice to not be in a rush to go around and fluff the nest.

I don't know that I accomplished anything that noteworthy, but I did get the home really tidied up nice and just relaxed a bit.

I had guests over from church on Saturday evening, so I had quite a bit of prep for that on Saturday. It has rained so much this July that I can't keep up with the pine straw on the back decks. This was a discipleship group that we led for the last 9 weeks, so I did all the stuff rather than asking for anyone to bring anything. I thought I was crazy during all the prep.

Jeff and Paul Allen had a golf tournament on Saturday that was for charity, so it was mostly me trying to put it all together. Mom came over and helped which was good for her as well.

Jeff and I took a boat ride to the back end of the bay yesterday. It is all military land ---so all nature. It is his place to go and fish and get away from the stress of work. It is just around the corner from our bayou. Probably one of my favorite spots. I took a book and let him enjoy.

Finding the shade.

It has rained so much that my geraniums are just waterlogged. I have almost lost two of them. My begonias are loving it though. No blooms yet.

Begonias are happy. This little geranium is the best of the ones on the back.

I did very little cross stitching, but hope to remedy that this week.

That is about all that is going on in my life.

Boring can be good.