Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Random Collection of Thoughts

I didn't plan on posting until tomorrow, but I have a little time while Tucker is napping and the rest of the week should be a little busier so now it is.

I am going to dump my brain in no particular order...just whatever pops out.

We are headed to see Overcomer this evening with our small group. I know without a doubt it will be good. I love Priscilla Shirer and really need to order another of her Bible studies. I went through Discerning The Voice of God of hers last year. It was very good. I don't know that there was any new information for me in there, but just a wonderful reminder of how to recognize His voice.

I had a migraine yesterday. Haven't really had a bad one in a long time. It was probably the culmination of some poor eating choices, some stress, and low pressure. Anyway, it made me feel just plain awful. Monday had been a rainy day, but I had really enjoyed it and Tucker and I got some stuff done around the house. He likes to go from room to room. Something new to look at.

Yesterday was a different story altogether. I almost had to call his mommy to come and get him, but he took a nap which I think was divinely timed. I took an Imitrex and fell asleep myself which broke it and other than feeling fatigued I made it through the day. I didn't sleep so well last night, but despite it I feel much much better today. I actually took the "not sleeping" and did a mind dump on paper in the middle of the night. Did some praying and my stresses felt a whole lot better.

I don't know about y'all, but when I get a little out of sorts I have to get quiet. I also find taking a piece of paper and just putting it down helps. I am a sorter on paper.

Now, if I haven't bored y'all to death, we will move on.

September is a really busy month at our house. It is a month of celebrations. Lots of birthdays for our family. For some reason I always look forward to September even though it is still hot and not a whole different some years in that regard than August. I think the change of thoughts toward fall help. I am probably one of ten people in the whole world who puts away her white shorts, jeans, shoes, etc. It is still warm through September, but I make sure I wear autumnish colors. I will wear pull out those colors to wear in my shorts, skirts, shoes, and sleeveless tops. I guess it is all about a mindset that makes September different than August.

Anyway, I plan to rearrange some clothes to a more prominent position in the closet today or tomorrow if time allows - if not next week. I don't really change out the closet since I have a large closet and I have pared down my wardrobe considerably but I will put the things I wear the most in the middle for easy reaching. So here we come- navy, olive, orange, browns, tans, you get the idea.

I have a doctor appointment with my wellness doctor tomorrow in Pensacola. I hope he motivates me because this summer has been hard. I haven't eaten horribly, but I have waned a bit and certainly not exercised like I should. A stroll with Tucker in the stroller is not a good brisk walk that keeps some muscle mass going. I am aiming to do better. Better get my sticker chart out again!!!

Jeff and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage on Sunday. We are headed out to Auburn this weekend for a long weekend all by ourselves...well, the dogs are coming. The kids are going to watch out for Mama and I think one of her siblings is coming down for part of the weekend so she should have some entertainment.
I am looking forward to out time alone. We are hoping for some pleasant weather because we have both agreed that we just want to get outside... a hike or two. It could be dicey with heat or rain depending on what the storm sitting in The Atlantic decides to do. I will make some checks of my hurricane preps before leaving so I don't have to come back to that. Jeff was getting some gasoline for generators today. We can always use it in the lawn mowers and hopefully that will be the case.

I did stitch an ornament for Tucker from my new book. I think it is a bit reminiscent of Dick and Jane. My finishing pile is getting large. I will get to it.

Stitched on 28 count even weave from Hobby Lobby with DMC colors. IT is about 3 inches  X 3 inches.


I think the only stitching I am taking with me is my stockings. I have 4.5 to stitch left. I may take one small bunny with a string of apples that I have been working on for too long. Now, it would be a little late to display him, but I do think I want him finished.

Ok...that is it for me. I haven't decided if I am going to take my computer with me on my trip this weekend, so do not think I have forgotten anyone if I don't comment on your blogs. It is just hard to comment from the phone. I may leave the computer home and really just read blogs only...


I am looking forward to some down time and relaxation. I have a good book I want to read, so hopefully some hiking and reading will take place along with some football on Saturday of course!!!
Auburn plays its first game away. War Eagle!

I am going to save the rest of my full mind for next week. I have gone on long enough:)
See ya next week,
Sandy



Monday, August 26, 2019

Ducks, An Ornament Finish and Some Random Stuff

Today is a gloomy rainy day but much much cooler so I will take it with a smile.
It was a slow weekend around here and sometimes those are good. Football season kicked off so the boys in my life were all aflutter. Auburn starts this Saturday, but they were ecstatic over any college football.

I changed out my table linens for orange and navy in honor of it, but didn't take a pic. There is no fall decor anywhere, because even though I am kind of over the heat, I am not sure I ready for summer to be over, but let's face it when football season and school starts the carefree days of summer are over whether we are ready to admit it or not. Now, I suppose if my husband retires I will think less of school, but then again maybe not because Tucker will be starting before I know it.

I will say that stitching the sunflowers was the best thing I stitched to put out for late summer color and a little seasonal decor. They are just perfect for this time of year and other than walking in and opening the drawer where all my fall stitches are located to see if there was anything else I needed to stitch- there has been no thought of autumn decorating.

I took my cotton boll to the framer's on Saturday. I can't wait for it to get back. I went old school on the framing since I had done it on Aida. IT just seemed to scream for matting. I did go with an oval mat, Robin. Thanks for that idea.

I finished my chickadee ornament.



I am still stitching Christmas. I am slowly working on the stockings and started an ornament out of the Christmas book. Those little boys and girls remind me of Dick and Jane. I will share it later in the week. I am 2/3's finished with one.

Remember I stated that I was doing a private blog for my kids. I love to write AND I am fully aware that a writer I AM NOT!!! However, I do love to write, so going through that bin of scrapbooks just brought it out in me. I am going to share more of it when I get a chance. Probably over the winter months. I loved reading old cards and letters from my grandma.

But for today, I am going to share with y'all something I wrote on the other blog. I debated on whether to do it, but decided y'all might like to see what I am doing with it. Here is one post I wrote for them...
It doesn't have too much soul gripping info so I can share it with you.
The italicization will be that post.

TREASURES IN DECORATING

While studying home economics at Auburn it is no secret that the home decor classes were my favorite and that the foods classes which seemed a bit more like chemistry were my least favorite. I actually prayed to get through a couple of those.

I am certainly no great decorator but have strong feelings about what goes in a home. It should be a haven for family and comfortable for guests while looking tastefully put together. I think it should have a mix of antiques along with some carefully placed playful things as well.

I think the objects in the home should tell a story; that family's story.

In Joshua 4, the story of the Lord directing the Isrealites to gather stones from the River Jordan was to be a memorial of what God had done in their lives. Go read it - it is a great story!!! The short version is they were to gather 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan to take where they would lodge that evening. The number 12 was to signify that each of the 12 tribes has sent a participant to gather a stone to be used in the remembrance setting. Just as the Lord had done with Moses as they left Egypt, He had cleared the river for them to take the Ark of the Covenant across. He always went with them. The 12 stones were laid at Gilgal. They were to be a reminder to the children coming in the future of what God had done for their ancestors.

Now, this is a far far far stretch, but I am going to share treasures all over our home and why they are treasures to me. Treasures given to me by all of you and reminders of travels and blessings we have shared.

The first one is the mallard duck.


 I can't tell you why I like mallards or really other ducks too. They became a big thing in home decor in the 1980s, but my love for them precedes their popularity. While living in Columbus and teaching at Harris County, my apartment complex called Club Hill had a pond that lots of mallards lived in. I would go down and feed them and just watch them.


Your dad being the ever observant and great gift giver that he is gave me this duck for our first Christmas as an engaged couple. I was completely ecstatic. It has held a place of honor on all our bookshelves in every home.

It signifies a love of mine and a wonderful husband that noticed my affinity for mallards. I always stop and pause when the ducks swim by outside on the bayou. I went on to stitch this piece. This was a very detailed stitch and may be one of my top 5 things that I have ever stitched.



If you look closely over our home and even the Auburn home, you will find those little ducks everywhere without being too cheesy.

Home decor should resist being tacky of course.

I will be back later in the week with another post for the week if the Good Lord is willing. Two in one week. Y'all don't faint.
Sandy

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

I have a recipe worth sharing.
I set out to make a German Chocolate cake for my brother-in-law. I love to bake cakes, but for some reason have never made one. My mother-in-law always baked one for my b-i-l's birthday so that was my fix for the year. I remember Mom even made them when I was really little, but for some reason this is not on our regular holiday family of cakes. Now, I have a son-in-law who considers it a favorite, so it was simply time to find a good recipe and get started.

I shopped my extensive recipe book collection with not much avail. I was actually quite surprised. I did find one which said 1 package of German Chocolate. I kind of chuckled because if any of you bake with Baker's chocolate you KNOW they have changed the packaging. It nearly sent my mother over the edge. Basically, they have cut the packaging in half in some cases as in the German Chocolate and charged the old price.

I headed to the Internet to search one out and I have one to share. It was super good. I knew when I read the directions for the cake that it was an old recipe and not some newfangled one where you just dump everything and hope for the best.

Here is my first ever German Chocolate cake. It doesn't look so good, but it was indeed tasty.



I am sharing the link to both the cake and the frosting. I didn't change anything to bake mine. I would say if you want it to frost the sides you will have to double or at least make more of the frosting. It was plenty adequate for the layers, but wouldn't have covered the sides at all.

The cake was so moist that it was a little difficult to get out of the pans, but now that I know that I can adjust with parchment or just be a little more careful.

The cake recipe can be found here.

The frosting recipe can be found here.

Definitely a keeper for me.

Love baking,
Sandy

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

Another weekend has come and almost gone. It was a busy one and I took few pictures, but usually that means I am enjoying myself. When kids hang out with us, Jeff and I take it as a good weekend.

Friday night, Paul Allen and Katie went downtown to eat with us. There is one of those appetizer places right downtown which like many other places - Fort Walton Beach has done a wonderful job of sprucing up the downtown area along the water. We ate and strolled along the Landing and got some ice cream for dessert. Happy parents that the young ones hung out with us. Usually it is just the two of us.

Then on Saturday, Lindsay and Tucker ate a late lunch with us. Tyler had to go out of town, so we ate on the Destin Harbor at a place called Boshamps. Great food! Tucker was in a right jolly mood and we enjoyed them immensely. We went back by Hobby Lobby before he got too tired for me to pick up some bells for carol stitches.

Today after church I went to check on Mother. You know when she doesn't come to church that she is feeling bad. She called early on to say she wasn't feeling well. She has not felt well for really the last couple of weeks. I am pretty sure she has a sinus infection, but getting her to go to the doctor is a task in itself. She has a regularly scheduled visit next week and says she wants to wait. I don't know about that.

Along those same lines, I will go ahead and share that my brother-in-law who has cancer decided two weeks ago to not take treatments anymore. I have been really trying to help cook along with my sister-in-law. I am hoping to make a favorite cake for him. His birthday is in a couple of weeks, but I have decided to go ahead and bake it tomorrow.

Life is a series of navigating the good along with the ugly. That is just plain and simply how it goes.

I started a few finishes on Saturday morning. I know that I am in no hurry to finish anything. When I get in a hurry, mistakes happen and I don't like the results.

Here is a sneak peek.




I will say I am not doing what I originally thought I would. They have taken a turn. I am not even sure that I am going to do all 8 the same.  We will just see what comes out of the room over time.

I stitched Lindsay a jack-o-lantern. It is from an older Just Cross Stitch magazine. The pattern was called Pumpkin Smiles.


I learned how to do a covered button. I just got lucky on the jack-o-lantern coming out pretty close to center.



Tucker was 10 months old on Saturday. Where is my little baby?


The shoes are way too big BTW.



I stitched on my blue jay piece today. I will share when I have some major progress on him.
I have decided I am going to frame the cotton boll piece. Now, to get it down to the framer's.

That is a wrap up of the weekend.
Time to plan for a new week,
Sandy

Friday, August 16, 2019

A LONG Post of Stories

Let's catch up! 


I have been a bit busy inside with the August heat.

I was lamenting the other day about how hot it is!!!
I was trying to throw myself a good pity party. I was thinking how I have always had a love/hate relationship with this month. For many years I held onto summer with all the gusto I had in the first part of the month. I should really say I held onto the summer vacation. August meant back to school and the carefree days of life would be over. 

I remember one particular August when the school district was doing the wishy washy school start time thing that happened about three times in my 31 years as teacher. This particular year, it was decided we would start late in August again. I actually changed schools that year. I would be teaching at the school my kids attended so as a family we were ecstatic. I was giving up a school working at to be with them which was way more important. On the last day before the first day of teachers returning to work, I tossed caution to the wind and the kids and I headed to the beach with all the nonworking Mamas. I had already been working a week to get my new room in order.
It was one of the best beach days of the summer. The waves were super calm which meant we actually got in the Gulf. (Now, that is a whole other story about how I don't get in the Gulf.)

We rode the waves on floats and stayed all day. It is one my favorite memories with the kids...not the nonworking Mamas of whom I was extremely jealous of and really didn't have a whole lot in common with. That is another story of the things we do to each other...nonworking vs working Mamas. 

Anyway with August in the south, life needs to be slow since SITTING  (and I do mean sitting...no moving other than breathing) on a porch or on a beach is about the only thing fun to do. The roses and geraniums are begging for relief for heat. You see I was complaining in my mind to the high hills!

Then, I read this and I got a kick in the seat which was much needed. Many times it is all about perspective. Here, this Mama was seeing the good things about August. 

Anyway, now that you have survived this story we will catch up with the needle and floss.


I completed all of the carols and 

am about to start some finishing of things.


Once I cut the carols apart, they seemed so much smaller than when I was stitching them. 

I also have continued with some Christmas stitching. 

Another story....

Last Christmas, we were at a friends house and Jeff fell in love with their stockings on the mantle. They have an extra large fireplace which was needed to hold lots of stockings for a blended family. No couple has ever blended their families as well as Mike and Cindy. There were 16 stockings. Every kid, spouse of kids, and grandchild had a stocking. They hung on the wood of the mantle. There is no way to describe the mantle, but it has pieces of wood that stick out almost like antlers which made the perfect holding place for the stockings. They were a neutral stocking and had colorful names on them. She had ordered them and had them done.

Now, let me tell a little backstory on stockings at our house. I hope you like stories, because I love them.

I never had a stocking growing up...maybe no mantle or the fact that I am an only child were contributing factors, but they weren't important to me. When Lindsay was born, she got a really cute pink gingham one and I hung it on our mantle. Along came Paul Allen and Mom found a a green and red patterned one and that is what we went with through elementary school. A refresh on school supplies and candy were items put in them for Christmas morning. When we moved in our current home the kids were in middle school and we were at Lowe's one evening and found some with a  chalkboard. That became the new tradition that are hung with toothpicks in some holes in the stone since there is no mantle.
When Tyler was added to the family, I found a fish for him.


Then along came Katie. So, I tried to just let them die away. Paul Allen who does not like change was not happy about that. Jeff wasn't too happy about it either, so when he saw the ones at our friends house, he was after me to find some new ones. Oh and now the stockings hold candy and scratch off lottery tickets.

One day while on Instagram, I came across this picture.

Source: Instagram

Now, I adored the picture, but I really thought and thought on it and knew that I could not stand that much color and pattern with a ton of stockings. I even have some fabric like that. I was really drawn to that letter and pattern though. 

I realized with lots of stocking I needed something neutral and calm with so much Christmas red. I find that too much red in the house affects my mood. It makes me a little anxious. Probably should do a study on that. I promise it has nothing to do with alabama as a team. Promise, cross my heart!!!!

I thought about this picture... and how much I love everything about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.nineandsixteen.com

This would have been easy to do with store-bought and having them monogrammed, but I could not get that cross stitch pattern out of my head. AND if they were going to be special at our house, they really should have some cross stitch on them.

Months later, I bought some stockings on Amazon that have a burlap top. I knew that I could stitch on it. I ordered extra for a hopefully growing family. 
Then, y'all that is where I got stumped. I could not find anything like that picture. I stitched so many letters and ripped them out.

One day while watching Misty Pursel on Flosstube... the heavens opened.
She shared a book of a designer that is all over Pinterest but I never really could find a good book in English with her work. It was promptly ordered even though I was really trying to be good on ordering any new "stash." 
It is so wonderful that I feel totally good about the purchase. Besides having the lettering pattern that was just so perfect, every other page of the book has something that I am dying to stitch for Christmas.

I WILL BE USING THIS BOOK FOR YEARS TO COME.



Here is a stocking which I will add some ribbon to pretty it up.


Another one...


Hoping to do two a week until I get them all done...8 total.

Then check out some of the pages of this wonderful book.


I see some ornaments for Tucker in the future.


I have seen some of these stitched by  the ladies in my sidebar and they are so pretty.


All those numbers are for the cutest Advent calendar idea. Maybe one of those for Lindsay and then another for Paul Allen if he ever has kids. Stitching until I am 100 years old.



Weeellll if you are still here, I guess I will close this post. I can't seem to get my blogging mojo going ...maybe it will be better in the fall.

I once blogged about so many things...trips, day to day life, thoughts rolling around in this old noggin, and home decor. These days all I am doing is stitching.

I guess stitching friends like it, but I have probably lost any other readers. 
I am sorry!

Question for you that are still reading... do you want the other stuff or should I just stick with the stitching when this busy season of life is over. This could be viewed as a test if you are still reading­čśé

Tomorrow is another day. Until then I will be trying to keep a positive attitude in the heat.

I almost passed out while tending to my flowers the other day, so it is real OR I might just be getting older.

Story telling is over. (Today I acted like those little kids who start telling a story in class and go on and on and you keep trying to gracefully interrupt them and get things moving along.)
Sandy










Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Stitching Away

While I was waiting for my floss to come so that I could finish my Christmas carol stitching, I finished up a stitch that I wanted to do for fall. Cotton is beautiful in the fall months in the south. On the drive from here to my hometown just across the state line of Florida / Alabama you will see beautiful fields for miles. It may grow much larger a little farther north, but not prettier.

 
The pattern was found on Cross Stitch Stash. It is stitched on 14 count Aida.

Here is a photo I took a few years back.

I am not a photographer so you can't tell much from my photograph, but trust me it is gorgeous.
I have no clue how I am going to fully finish it. I don't know if I will look for a frame or make it into a pillow or a flat fold. I really haven't had a lot of time to contemplate it just yet.

When I finish the carols, I will have  quite a bit of finishing to do. I still haven't even made an ornament yet out of the chickadees.

Now, about the carols. I have finished 6 ...


and purchased some wonderful velveteen for the backing and some beautiful ribbon. I ordered them from the lady that the pattern suggested although the pattern suggested chenille, but I think I plan to ruche the ribbon. I ordered the same color as the called for chenille. It came from an Etsy shop called lady dot creates. It was a so pretty and arrived quickly.

Took this photo late in the day and it does not do justice to the color.


I have two more carols to stitch and am now working on number 7. I will share them when I am finished with all 8.

Until then, football season is just around the corner and Tucker is already fitting into the outfit I got him the other day in Auburn, so who knows if he will even be able to wear it for long.
#growinglikeaweed


Happy stitching,
Sandy