Friday, June 23, 2017

Mini Vacation Part 2

Back to my mini vacation details. Warning:  Stroll down memory lane and sappy love stuff.

Sunday was our most laid back day.
We were in slow motion. We drove to Columbus to scope out the trail that I have been wanting to bike ride for years. I had seen pictures of it for awhile and had hoped to find a time to go.

You see I lived in Columbus as small girl. My dad was stationed at Fort Benning. Columbus is special to me because of the good memories we had as a family there. It was there that my daddy died. I have always felt a little bit of my heart had been left there.

Fast forward. When I graduated from college, it was Columbus that I found my first teaching job. Well, actually the county to the north at Harris County High School. I lived in Columbus, while Jeff was finishing up at Auburn. We did a lot of our dating there in Columbus and at Calloway Gardens. Calloway was 5 miles north from the high school where I taught. So once again, Columbus held a special place in my heart.

You can read about our visit to where I once lived here.

On Sunday, we located where we would access the trail and then headed to Pine Mountain to our favorite antique stores. Real antique stores, not left over 1980's and 90's stuff. We just browsed...no buying.

Back to the cabin for supper and this time for my favorite place to eat - Oskar's Cafe. Home-cooked meal.

On Monday, we headed out for Columbus ready for the bike ride around the Chattahoochee Riverwalk.

As a child I have a snapshot in my head of fishing with my dad on the banks of the river. There are no pictures of that event, but it is so vivid in my head. I can almost hear his voice. Hence, I have wanted to do this bike ride.

Jeff was amazing letting me stop many times to just soak places up and stare.




Here are a few shots of the trail.




Our beginning was at the Golden Park entrance.




The path is literally right along the banks. Some places are really shady and others not.




The path is wide enough for two people so no having to worry when you meet someone coming from the other direction who are real bike riders. Bike riders getting exercise, not those stopping and going slow like me.


There are sitting benches and picnic tables all along the path.



A couple of bridges over creeks and some were even covered.



To say that I loved it would be an understatement. It was one of those bucket list days.

The day ended up being a great day to be with the hubby too.

We just slowed down and enjoyed each other and the ride.




We picked up food on the way back to the cabin and just ate there on Monday evening.

We enjoyed each evening at the cabin...just relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet. Me cross stitching and him watching baseball.

I am almost through with this sampler. Then it is on to some finishes and Christmas in July stitching.



Some might say this was a boring trip, but it was just what we needed. I have been letting some things really bother me lately. Sometimes you have to go back to places and get still to remind yourself how much God has been in the small details of your life.

The fact that Jeff and I ended up in Auburn is proof enough.

I had myself a little talk with God asking for forgiveness for my lack of trust. He has things under control. I can't always see the end and the good, but His ways are ALWAYS perfect because they are His Plans.

I am rested. The last two days have been so busy, but summer is here. I am going to do my best to enjoy it. The little tropical storm made me realize I need to take care of a few details around the house. Whew...I hate storms.

Going to make the best of every long summer day AND lose the last 10 pounds!!!
Sandy

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The First Day of Our Mini Vacation


I arrived back from my vacation on Tuesday evening, but I am just now getting time enough for my brain to concentrate on typing. Even with the list of things I came back to do, I really can say the few days away were just wonderful.

It is really true that getting still gives you moments to hear God. Our cell service at the cabin is almost nonexistent. That really and truly isn't a bad thing. Constant alerts on the phone and all the pretties on Instagram can be quite distracting. I often don't even realize it until I have no reason to look at the phone.

We left on Friday afternoon to head to the cabin. We made a quick stop in Montgomery for Hubby to get some new work shirts. I guess he was tired of everything being too big. We found him a few good deals and then headed for the solitude of the lake. I usually try to plan ahead and take some food with us, but I didn't this time. We ate at Niffer's on Lake Martin that evening. The food was just so so, but Hubby ordered dessert. Oh my, it was so good, but so bad. I really should have stopped at two bites but I overate.

Overeating that night was the beginning of not so good eating on the trip for which I am still paying for tonight. Swollen joints. I have been drinking water all day and trying to get myself cleared out of the gluten and other junk I ate.

I am probably going to do the trip in two posts, just because. It is not like we did anything super elaborate, but I am just going to break it up.

Saturday morning we got early heading to Athens, Georgia for an evening wedding. We gave ourselves plenty of time figuring we would look around Athens while we were there.

We had just gone through a little town called Conyers. I remarked that I had never heard of the town. I really have no idea why I said it.

As we left the town, we were on a two lane road, but it was still a busy road. A woman stopped in front of us to turn left. We stopped and there was plenty of room in between us. Unbeknownst to me, the ever distracted female, Hubby was looking out the rear view mirror and this is what transpired.

A small car with a young gentleman stopped behind us again with plenty of room between us. Then from around the curve behind us an older gentleman in a pick up truck came around with no time to stop. I think it caught him by surprise. The speed limit was 55 even though it was quite busy with traffic. Hubby said he knew he wouldn't be able to stop. Thank goodness for looking in the rearview. He pulled off slightly to the right off the road. The gentleman behind us tried to pull as close to the middle as possible, but there was oncoming traffic.

The pickup trip man said he just decided to say a prayer and go for the side of the road. He knew he couldn't stop. So at what seemed like a crazy speed and Jeff saying brace yourself, the pickup truck came flying by on my right side. I honestly don't know how me missed the mirror. He sideswiped a tree just past me and that sent him off the ground and into another tree. The side of the road took a great big dip with the treelike. It blew his camper off into the road.

How all four vehicles came out of this with no one hurt is beyond me. I think it is those host of angels.

From my vantage point, I was afraid someone would be badly hurt, but it was all on the passenger side. He was able to step out of his truck all in one piece. No scratches. He was probably sore the next day.


The tree just ahead of me that he sideswiped. That actually saved him I think.




When I finally got my nerves in check, I said I guess I won't forget Conyers, Georgia.

We made it to Athens in time to see the stadium, campus, and walk around in a museum. I actually enjoyed all the historical furniture pieces.

I thought this piece was interesting. A baker's cabinet it was called.


I loved this quilt top. It was amazing.



We had no idea where we were going to change clothes for the wedding, but the museum had a quite bathroom on the lower level that was clean and no one knew we even used it to change it.

Here we are with our daughter at the reception. 


The wedding was for her brother-in-law, Tyler's twin brother.

I ate some pasta and by the next morning I knew I shouldn't have. That avoiding gluten is real for me y'all.

We enjoyed seeing Tyler's family and that was our first day. Long drive back to the cabin, but we made it back before midnight with the time change. Glad for an uneventful return back.

I will be back tomorrow evening with more.
Sandy







Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Serenity

I am back from my most wonderful trip. Not a long journey, but a quick extended weekend trip to the cabin and one of those places that holds lots of good memories.

I will tell you all about it later in the week and maybe into next week. As I tend to do, I have overbooked myself and then the usual stuff of life threw in some curveballs as well.

I committed to volunteer at church all day tomorrow, so I get back only to spend my first day back working all day. We have needed to take care of some packing and unpacking of things in the Volunteer Room and in the cabinets in all of the preschool classes, so I will put my organizational tasks to work.  Then I have to rush home to make a cake for a small group meeting tomorrow evening.

Throw in my mom's air conditioning isn't working. She discovered it the morning she left for her trip to Maine.
I also have to call about getting some trees cut and trimmed at the cabin.
I have to get Jeff's truck to the Chevy dealer on Thursday morning for a recall. May have to stay while they do it..Yuk!
There's more, but you get the picture.

LET ME JUST SAY though, that the trip was the refueling I needed!!!

We named the cabin near Auburn "Serenity" many years ago. There is a story behind it, but suffice it to say, it has proved to be a place that does just that. Provide serenity.

Honestly, there is something about it that calms my spirit upon entering it.

I left for our trip a bit down, well heavy hearted to be truthful. There are some things you don't share in a blog, but I am not unlike anyone else out there. Real life can get you down and even the strongest in faith have their moments.

The trip recharged my batteries, gave me some perspective on things and God had a chance to settle me down.

I was reading in Colossians 1:9-14 this morning as we were headed home. It stuck with me all day.

Tonight I turned the verses into a prayer for myself.

I will share with you because it is one we all need to remember.

Heavenly Father,
I pray that I will continually ask You, O' God to fill me with the knowledge of Your will through the wisdom and understanding that You, Holy Spirit provideth me. I pray that I would live a life worthy and pleasing to You, Lord. Let me bear fruit in all my works, help me grow in my knowledge of You. Strengthen me hourly with the power that comes from You. May you find in me a grateful heart who is running the daily race with patience to wait on Your perfect timing.
In Jesus name,
Sandy

I will be back at the end of the week with details of my good good trip.
Sandy

"Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee."



Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Little Crafting Project

As promised here is a picture of the seating chart that was made for my daughter's mother-in-law.



She needed a seating chart for the wedding reception of my son-in-law's twin brother who is getting married this weekend.

Lindsay was tasked with this project, so to Pinterest we went. Of course, Pinterest makes everything look so easy and it is never that easy.

We found an old frame and painted it silver. We then bought mat board at Hobby Lobby and had it cut to size. That was the only thing we could find that was navy. The pearls were flat bottomed in the craft section. We just glued them on to add a little glitz.

I wrote out the names and numbers on the cards. School teacher handwriting comes in handy sometimes.

The top was done with a Cricut machine which I now must make use of to make it worth the money. I was in a no spend time, so I will have to learn to use it well and make some crafty gifts for birthdays, weddings, etc.

We are headed to the wedding as well this weekend and then plan to take a few days away as well. I won't be back blogging until the end of next week.

Hoping to relax a bit,
Sandy

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer and Stitching

Summer is almost officially here, but as I said yesterday, it arrives with the end of my son's birthday.

I always want to get out the red, white, and blue.

I hung my little Freedom cross stitch in the kitchen for now. I still plan to land it at the farmhouse, but I thought I might enjoy it here for the summer. I did pull out my new cloth napkins from Everyday Occasions and managed to put some red ribbon around them. That is as far as I got yesterday adding red, white, and blue. I was productive, but with Tuesdays being me my volunteer at church day and just cleaning up around the house well....




I finished my piece called the "Starry Night Sampler."




I saw this on a blog. The blog is Carol at Stitching DreamsShe has some of the most amazing finishes ever for Christmas ornaments. Anyway, it caught my face and I hunted it up on eBay. It was from an old Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine from October 1993.


I love the frame they used in the picture and was going to pursue a similar frame, but then yesterday I saw Priscilla's finish on this patriotic stitch below.

Source: http://priscillas2000.blogspot.com/2017/06/patriotic-sheep-stitching.html


I simply love this. 

I am so torn between framing the "Starry Night Sampler" or doing something else.

Do I frame or go with something like this??? My question comes down to is this good for the stitching long term as this one would probably be out all the time. I am good with this kind of finish for my seasonal stuff.

Oh, and I still have two pillows that have cross stitching on them. One here and one at Mom's from 20 something years ago. So, does that answer my question???


Decisions - Decisions.

I am going to try and finish up my "Garden Borders" by Blackbird Designs and then it is onto Christmas in July. I have several pieces done that need to be finished and I have a bigger project in progress. Then I want to do some Christmas ornaments.



I will stop there today. Maybe one more post out of me this week tomorrow.

It is raining here again today. I am hoping all this rain we have had for the past week will mean my flowers that I spent so much time fertilizing are going to pop if the sun ever shines.

Off to get busy,
Sandy


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June Is for Birthdays

I have both June birthdays behind me. They swept in quickly and were both over before I could blink. For much of my teaching career they were immediately after I left the classroom and in the first decade during post planning. It felt like summer commenced when we celebrated my son's birthday. I thought it would be different when I retired, but it is so ingrained in me that it still feels like summer begins with the morning after his birthday, so I have got red, white, and blue on the brain this morning.

First a few photos from the birthdays. We celebrated Jeff's at a local wing place and then came back to the house for the annual yellow cake with fudge icing. Recipe here.

Uncle Danny had just said something hilarious that cracked Lindsay and Jeff up, so that explains the facial expressions.



Paul Allen's birthday was at home. 

We cooked fish that Tyler and Lindsay caught in the Gulf this weekend.

This is the Snapper we ate.

But, I had to show you Lindsay and her friend on the left. These went back in.

We ate in the dining room and then opened presents in the living room.
I took the opportunity to get a couple of pics of the kids.

Tyler, Lindsay, and Hallie

Paul Allen and Katie

I made a dessert for Paul Allen's birthday. It is a combination of two recipes

The picture was an afterthought. They had already torn into it.



It is his request. Aunt Donna makes a Jello thing at Thanksgiving and he loves the pretzel crust.

Mother always made a dessert called "Blueberry Fluff" which came from a recipe in our hometown of Brewton, Alabama which does the Blueberry Festival each Father's Day weekend.

Somehow the request turned into ... Aunt Donna's crust, Grandma's fluff, but with blackberries.


Here is the recipe...

Pretzel Crust

(This is my made up recipe for it.)

About 10 ounces of pretzels...they have changed all the sizes of bags these days.
1/4 cup butter
2 T. sugar

Melt the butter.
Crush the pretzels. I do this by hand, because Paul Allen doesn't like them really crushed.
Add sugar and mix it up all well and coat the pretzels. 

I spray the pan lightly before putting it in the pan and then bake at 350 for 7 minutes.
COOL.

I used a little more in the picture. He likes the pretzels.


The Fluff Part

You take 1 eight ounce cream cheese and mix well with 1 cup of sugar.
Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip. 
Then spread on the cooled crust.

The Blueberry or Any Berry Topping

I have used strawberries too.

2 cups of berries
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

Cook 15 minutes. Thicken with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
Cool!
Spread on the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate.


Now for Mama' Original Blueberry Fluff Crust

1 cup of flour 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Work the three ingredients tougher and pat into a 9X13 dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until light brown. 
Cool.

Well, that is birthdays at our household. I would love to say I had a big hip hopping party, but that was it..Just plain ole family time.

AND if I am just straight up honest... Still praying my son will choose to grow up a little soon. This was 25 and I worry way to much about him. He is not a bad kid, but still so directionless. No manager of time or money.

Funny how I chose the fruit of the Spirit, Joy to work on this year, because if I am straight up HONEST....

I let my worry rob my JOY for about two weeks. Not good! 

Thank goodness I serve a God who gives me some grace.

On a lighter note....


I will be back tomorrow with red, white, and blue hopefully, but at least with a few stitching, sewing, and crafty ideas.

Praying,
Sandy




Friday, June 9, 2017

Flowers, Outdoor Life, and Inspiration for Next Week's Decorating

I haven't been at home much this week or it sure seems like it. I am sharing the highlights of my week and letting you see my phone pictures as well.


Jeff and I went to our wellness doctor on Monday in Pensacola. We are seeing him twice a year now even though insurance doesn't cover anything but blood work. He has made such a difference in our lives that we want to maintain the progress.


Just getting getting the vitamins matched to our needs is reason alone to go. We are both doing well. I will say that maintaining the weight loss has been easy. We both want to reach our goal weight. I think we both felt we had pushed hard for so long that the last six months we just stopped the sacrificial and maintained. It is good to know we can maintain.


We are starting Tuesday morning with the sacrificial to reach our goal loss. I will fill you on why Tuesday in a bit. We will both be hitting it hard to reach the goals. Me 8-10 and him 20 pounds. 

Writing it makes it better for accountability!!!!!!!


You have been looking at my roses that I have tried growing in pots. I LOVE roses, especially hybrid teas. My favorites are Oklahoma (the darker red) and Chrysler Imperial (the lighter red). My other favorite roses are Queen Elizabeth (light pink) and President Herbert Hoover (a pink orange blend) which are floribundas. 

My problem is I have absolutely no where to grow them. The latter two do pretty well right up front, but I have no room for the first two, so I tried pots. I have found that they get leggy and the blooms are smaller. I wonder if I have the right size pot. Any rose growers out there with helpful hints please send them to me. I have read but I still feel like I am missing the mark.

The next picture was taken from our dock. I never seem to show y'all this view. It is to the west and the sun setting. I always show y'all sunrises because I can see them from inside my house. The sunsets from the dock are not so bad either.


Mother got sick again. She is in the best of health and very mobile and sound mind for an 82 year old, however she has two issues that wear us both out. One is sinuses. Even with a sinus surgery, she stays a mess. Probably a different climate would help, but that is out of the question. The other issue is recurring UTIs. She has a slow stream, so that causes problems. I stay after her to drink water, but she is just going to get them I think no matter what. 

She has a terrible time taking antibiotics, so I was dreading the doctor visit like crazy. We tried a one dose antibiotic which I had never heard of. I have even forgotten the name. Started with an M. It has helped and we had one day of sick from the antibiotics rather than 10.

Woohoo!!!


 Below is the other direction from the dock which I always share morning pictures with you. This was taken yesterday evening. I just needed to sit outside for awhile.


The next picture is straight across from me. It may be the only vacant lot on the water anywhere around here. I love it.


I took Mother to Gulf Shores yesterday to visit a friend from Illinois that was at the beach for vacation. The interesting thing about this friend is that she and Mom have been friends since 1961 when we were stationed in Germany. They were young newborn mothers and became fast friends. Their friendship has lasted all these years. They used to write letters before the advent of smart phones and visited with each other every two or three years. The last time she made it down was Lindsay's wedding in 2014.  It was great to catch up with her.


Today I have been trying to get the house in some sort of order and bake a cake for Jeff's birthday. My two men have birthdays with only a day between them.  (NO DIET until Tuesday) I have always tried to make sure I had separate birthdays because everyone should have their day. We are celebrating one tonight and one Monday night...not the correct days but it is when I can get all the family assembled.


Yesterday evening I was just plain tired for some reason, so I sat in that pink chair on the second level and took the next photo.


I ventured out there because I had become carried away with two baby cardinals out the kitchen window. I looked at them with binoculars for the longest time. They don't usually play on the water side of the house, but they were even hanging out on the dock.

I don't know if you can see it in the photo below, but I was able to catch one of them on the chains that hold the boat up near the top.



I am getting ready to diet and decorate my house for a more patriotic feel for summer next week. I ordered these blue checked napkins a while back and have seen them in several people's Instagram accounts. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/blessedmommatobabygirls/

The next two pictures are completely off topic, but on the same Instagram account. I love this table and hutch.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/blessedmommatobabygirls/

A closer view of it. Eye candy is what I call it.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/blessedmommatobabygirls/

Now, this is where I got the napkins and I plan to copy this picture!!! https://jennysteffens.blogspot.com



IS this not just plain adorable?!!!

I will share it next week after I get past two birthday celebrations and a craft project with my daughter. 

I will also be sharing a craft project and a stitching update next week.

For now I am busy getting ready birthday celebrations.

See y'all next week,
Sandy






 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weekend Roundup

I have a busy busy week lined up. I had hoped to post last night, because I figured I wouldn't get a chance if I didn't do it then. I am popping in with a few weekend updates and things that I like and then you will not hear from me except to comment on yours until the end of the week.

On Friday, I worked in the yard half the day. I fertilized all my flowers, pruned lots of things, and even planted a new hydrangea. All of it should pay off this week with lots of blooming flowers as it has rained a bunch since then. Lots of rain off the Gulf should have everything growing and looking pretty.

Saturday found me a lazy girl. I guess a little too much work in the flowers made me sit a spell. I used it to do quite a bit of stitching. I made some progress on one of my works in progress. I enjoyed it immensely.

Sunday evening we went out to 30A with Lindsay and Tyler. Tyler is a project manager with a construction company that is building a big condo out on 30A. He is literally on the Gulf if he is onsite or a block away with a view from his desk window of the Gulf. I mean really...how fun is that to be working there. Should be there for quite a while on this job site. We went out to see the job site and eat. Surprisingly Sunday evening was not quite as tourist filled as a Saturday probably. It was a nice outing.

Paul Allen and Katie went to Tallahassee on Saturday. Katie is a 4th grade teacher and just recently went on the 4th grade trip to Tallahassee. I could plan that field trip in my sleep still as I did that trip for many years. I always loved it. She had gone to the same spots I always took my students. She had enjoyed it herself so much that she and Paul Allen went to both of the museums (one an indoor and one an outdoor) on Saturday. They coincided with a baseball tournament that Auburn was in held at Florida State. He sent a cute picture of them.
They cheered on the Tigers at the baseball game. I noticed Katie has on orange and blue. Yippie!



I read a good book this past week. The book was Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog, by Lauren Green. I never like recommending books. This one was deep, but I really enjoyed it. I have a fiction book I am starting tonight. I think it is going to be a winner. I will let you know.

I have quite a few things to do this week that will take me away from the house, so I will be popping in late evenings to read my blogs, but I am going to leave you with two Instagram photos that I loved, but I am on a self imposed no spending rule, so I can only window shop😊

This table is so cute from twoofakindart.


Then there is these adorable shorts and blue gingham top from nineandsixteen.


Well, that is it for me today. See y'all at the end of the week.
Sandy