Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Life Update and a Little Cross Stitching

     The days are pretty ordinary around here now. I am falling into a routine with little Palmer. He is really an easy baby. I will share more about him near the end of the post. Now for a little brain dump...

     I think I have mentioned that has been so rainy. It has been raining since April. It hasn't stopped and has been causing lots of trouble. The creeks and rivers are swollen and even the ground is saturated. I have seen so many little pumps around the area trying to pump water to other places. Well, two nights ago we had two lines of rain come through. The second one was the final straw for many places. My little hometown just across the Alabama line flooded. The pictures were so hard to see. My folks had a business downtown Brewton years ago. That area was eventually bought out by the state and the Army Corps of Engineers did a lot of work and it has helped tremendously but not enough. I am ready for fall now so maybe we can get some cooler weather and less rain and the threat of storms in the Gulf will be behind us.

Here are a few pictures of the flooding...


The above photo is where one creek backs up to the back side of town. The purple area is where my folks' business was many years ago. They had Brewton Small Motors on this very spot. You can see that when it flooded that the building would have had water in it on the back side.  The entire area to the right of that should not have water. The Army Corps of Engineers changed it to help some and now that area is a great park with a walking trail along Burnt Corn Creek. 
One other note on the above picture. The movie theater used to be where that odd white thing is to the left of the business. It was a two story building where I saw many classics. American Graffiti, Superdad, Jaws, ET, Return of the Zombies...you get the gist.
The railroad tracks are in front of those places and the beautiful old buildings are to the left. Before the changes all of those used to get water in them. 


On the other side of the railroad tracks Murder Creek runs and Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek converge together just to east of this bridge above. In the distance is the Piggly Wiggly and other businesses. I think it might be time for the Piggly Wiggly to get an opportunity to be bought out and move a little farther out.


That is just a snippet of it. It goes in many other directions and affects so many businesses which in this time we are living in don't need all that. 
My heart breaks.

Let's move my brain to a lighter topic...sports.

Auburn is playing Georgia this weekend. I love the Auburn / Georgia game. It is by far my favorite game and has been for as long as I can remember. I think it is true rivalry. I know as an Auburn person I am supposed to like the alabama game more, but I don't. It has its place, but I often think it is too emotional and takes away from a fun rivalry. And of course, nowadays I don't even get upset about losing to alabama. I think of them more as a pro team. Now, Georgia is going to slaughter us this weekend too, but I still look forward to the beginning of the game at least. What I am a loss about is - HOW could they (the SEC officials) move this game to October? Is is just one that simply NEEDS to be played in November for life to feel just right. They really should have discussed this matter with me!!!

The Atlanta Braves are in the playoffs so I am very happy about that. Let's go Braves!!!!!!!!!!!! Now the Braves and baseball in October is a good thing. 
Really the people making decisions about sports should talk to me about scheduling:)

Cross Stitching

I know I was trying to keep these posts separate but I am failing now that I am caring for Palmer.
I veered away temporarily from some of my larger projects for some instant gratification. I didn't think I needed any fall stitching, so I didn't seek out any new patterns. When I put out all my fall stitches it gave me the itch so I remembered my state flowers had some Black Eyed Susans. I think they went with Maryland. 


I think this is a great late summer and early fall addition to my stitches. I just backed it with some felt. It turned out cute to me.

I also wanted to stitch my mother a Santa this year. I plan to make a flat fold finish with an easel built into it. I have no idea if she will like it or not. She has always liked Santas and has quite a few that I help her put out, but there is a real possibility that she will dismiss it. As I stitch I am praying for her too.

I picked out my Prairie Schooler Santa and started it with a brighter red with her in mind. I stitched but then I questioned whether it would match the fabric I planned to use with it.


I know it is hard to see from the above picture...remember cloudy everyday. I think it might be too bright for the fabric, so I started again on the other end with the called for darker red.


I think it might match better, but either way I am going to stitch it twice. I have another piece of this color fabric with a little different pattern and I will make two of them. One will go to her and I will either keep the other or use as a gift this year. Stay tuned.

I am always showing pics of Lindsay's home and her doings but this time Katie has been changing things. She had Paul Allen working last weekend. They did this to their front entry hall.


I took this picture from her Instagram because it was way better than the photo I took. I even loved the new rug. She is going to hang photographs above this wall.

They even put in a new light.


Opposite that wall, she put in a command center. I love it.


To the left of that is the kitchen entrance and then opposite it is the laundry room, but all of this is where they come in at the front door. It is just perfect. 

They are adding a larger baseboard to the house as they have time. They are planning to redo their bathroom when they can get the worker there. That would be the money saved from not having a big wedding. 

Now, to share my little buddy. 





I am the worst picture taker because from these you would never know he smiles all the time. His nickname needs to be Smiley. I am enjoying my time with him. 

We were all so worried about how Tucker was going to take the news of Palmer staying with me, but he was a grown up boy. He cried a wee bit but he has gone into school everyday with no tears since the first day. He gives me a hug and can't wait to see his little brother every afternoon. I truly think he loves going to daycare. He sees his friends and likes learning. 

So you can see I am blessed. That is what I have been up to. I realized I have no new Gus pictures. I will remedy that on the next post.

Now, for a little sunshine in the Sunshine State,
Sandy

 







Sunday, September 26, 2021

More Birthday and Family Time and More

 I didn't plan to be so long away from the blog, but September and June are often two of my busiest months. It is the months of the most family birthdays. 

I am letting phone pictures guide the post. 

One Saturday morning, I walked out to water my flowers on the back deck when I spotted dolphins. You can't help but stop to stare, so I rushed out to the end of the dock to spy two dolphins pass by. I am awful at trying to anticipate how long they will stay under and then pop up, but I managed one picture to share.

Even Gus was quiet to watch them pass. 


I got a sweet present from Arlene for my birthday.


She sent me some of her linen that she had dyed. I already started a stitch on one and have another plan for another. Thanks Arlene.

I also got some sweet cards lined up in the background.

Then one night before the first official day of fall I was lured out to gawk at the full moon on the bayou. I so wish I could take a picture to show you how bright and beautiful it was.


The next picture is of my sweet Tucker. They had a sale at Target and Lindsay managed to get a Marshall of Paw Patrol costume for $10. It is almost too small but I told her he will enjoy it enough even before Halloween to be worth it. If you don't have a preschooler then you may not know that Paw Patrol is IT for them. 
He LOVED the costume.


He had to FaceTime to show me all the parts of the costume. 

Someone is 2 months old.


The entire family went to Auburn for the weekend. It was Lindsay's birthday on Saturday so we made a family weekend of it.

The weather was amazing and I can tell you that nothing warms my heart better than having the family together.

When we arrived I found that Katie had decorated the stairwell chalkboard. They had been up there a few weeks ago and she had been informed that anytime she was there and wanted to do it that it was hers to do. I discovered about a year ago that she had a knack for it.


Isn't it amazing?
Now for some closeups.





Jeff, Mother and I went up on Thursday afternoon, so I had time to hang up my "Lord's Prayer" stitch. You can't really tell, but it looks amazing on the wall with my samplers and verses.

It is the on the bottom left.

Jeff had time to think of things he wanted to do for the weekend, so he comes walking out of Home Depot with "Bones." Then he set it up so that if the kids came in from the garage or around the side of the house they would see him. Jeff loves things like this. He absolutely loves his family too.


Tucker is finally getting big enough for the little fort out back. He can't climb up in it on his own yet, but loves being helped. 

We now have darts, a basketball goal and new additions of a ping pong table and corn hole to keep the family active and having fun while watching football on the outside TV.

We grilled out, played games, watched football and on Saturday night made a fire to enjoy and make Smores. 
I wish I had taken more photos but you know sometime you just want to be in the minute. I will post some of the littles and some I snatched from Lindsay's Instagram account to record the moments shared.

I am about to blow up the computer with pics and they are NOT in timeline order because I do NOT feel like fighting the blogger battle of photos tonight.
I just want to get it all recorded...

This is Tucker on his way home with a swollen upper lip because he busted it running.


From Lindsay's account...


Me and the grandsons on Saturday morning.


Lindsay and Tyler took the kiddos downtown to take some pictures at Toomer's Corner and Samford Hall.


Mom with Palmer while Lindsay and Tyler took Tucker to the ballgame for the first half. Tucker loved the eagle flying.


Gus letting Katie spoil him even more rotten.


Palmer on the way home.


Another pull from Lindsay's account.


Tucker with some famous Toomer's lemonade.


This is part of us in the backyard. Our really good friends who we have been friends with forever joined us  for the day. Tucker and Mother were napping and Jeff being silly covered Palmer up. Lots of fun was had and good memories were made. 



This is the stuff of life that makes it worthwhile.

So so blessed,
Sandy

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Birthday, All of September, and Stitching

 I decided at the beginning of the year that I would separate my family updates from stitching posts, but I am breaking my rule with this post. September is always a busy month and that means less blogging.

I have been working on two of my larger pieces and am honestly farther along on both pieces than my pictures. I was just too lazy to go back and photograph again.

I had hoped I would finish the heron this year but I don't think that will happen. I suspect it will go into January of next year. 


I am procrastinating now because to the right above that leg is going to be the tails feathers. It will be a lot of grays and changing threads. It is going to be so beautiful when completed, but it is going to take lots of concentration. When I get past that page I honestly thing the neck and head will go a lot quicker. 

My other stitch as of late is the Thirsty Hart sampler. This one is going slow because I am changing ALL of the colors. I am not great at that, but I envision this as colorful not a neutral pattern as charted.


I think this one can be finished in '21. As I said I am already a little farther along.

I have to take Mom to get an endoscopy tomorrow and then stay with her some tomorrow so I am taking a long something smaller to work on. I will share my progress on that next week.

I saw an Instagram post from one of my favorite decorators/gardeners. He lives in South Georgia so he is my gardening zone. He gets my love of summer but also forward thinking to fall. He said September is 3 parts summer and 1 part fall. I think that is true at least for Zone 8b. Summer is the one season I sort of hold on to even though I love everything about fall. 

I am slowing easing in which suits me really well. The light is changing and this week it seems like it happened even faster because of the cloudy weather.

I love mums and when I was growing up the big antebellum homes in Brewton would have lots of them out front. I have zero luck with them but it doesn't make me not want some any less. I succumbed and bought two small ones to enjoy since I figured the prices was about the same as grocery store flowers.

This was one morning when the light seemed so pretty and my little mum made me happy.


I have put out some fall...not all...just a slow adding it in.

I had put decorated my dining room table. My birthday was yesterday and we had a family dinner which was prepared for me. We hadn't planned to eat in there, but outside but it was rainy. I threw on the table cloth and set it all back in place. 



I was blessed and here is my only picture of the evening...


Here are few more shots from my phone...

Palmer's name has been hung.


Tucker loves the airplanes and in this case helicopters and much as his mimi.


I would have stopped to watch too.

It has rained so much that I have taken to walking Gus in the rain....otherwise he is going stir crazy.



So long,
Sandy



Thursday, September 9, 2021

Doing Sensible Things

I decided I better get a post out soon or people would wonder what happened to me. I have been busy, but I am also going to admit I haven't been in a blogging mood. Let's see --- I will do my best to keep things upbeat because I have more blessings than ills but the ills have kept me busy:)

I did a bit of unexpected decluttering projects. It kind of hit me in two waves... The first was one was that I just simply opened my cookbook closet  which also contains the medicine cabinet and paper goods products for the kitchen and thought to myself, "This is ridiculous." I had to go through it in small incremental doses because for the past two weeks I feel as if I have been here, there, ---everywhere but my own home.

This and a candle in the living room are the first signs I am moving to the fall season.


I got it done and a good bit left that closet including 15 cookbooks with 6 more being seriously evaluated. I have a problem with cookbooks...that home ec major coming in to play there. That closet is way more pleasing to the eye now. I am pretty sure those other 6 will leave it soon.

I then tackled another closet where I keep small appliances and baking goods and made a huge dent in it as well. I tackled under my bathroom sink and really made a difference there. I got rid of some hair gadgets that I will never use ...you get the idea.

All of these were literally done when I would be home for an hour before I had to go somewhere else. Little snippets of time led to quite a pile for Goodwill. 

At some point in all this decluttering story... Mom had spent the night over here in the last month when she was having a very bad day and it just hit me that I really needed to think about the possibility of Lindsay's old room being needed for her one day. I had Lindsay come over one day. I told her she didn't have to do anything but just point to things and tell me if it was really a keeper or could it go. We made a huge mess on the floor with books and stuff that were easily pulled off shelves or drawers. She left me with a list of things to then see about as I had time. I think we pulled almost 40 books off the shelves. IT took me another couple of days to get it all righted and out of there. I think I have a better grasp of it all now. Her closet is almost all empty on the bottom. I can easily box up the rest of what I would want in that room and place downstairs in a closet if I ever have to move Mom in here. 

I know Mom wants to stay at home as long as possible and I want that too. I would rather hire help as long as I can before I made a move. I also know she would rather not EVER come here, but with the assisted living places going into lockdowns that would not be something I would consider unless it were a last resort.

Now for Mom...she is doing better. We have an esophagus stretch scheduled for next week. She has had a pulled muscle that required a doctor visit. I suppose that was probably from all the pulling up she had to do when she got really down. Now, if you saw her today you would not think she had been as sick as she was a few weeks ago. That is what she does...Down down down and then bounces back.

Her best friend passed away and we attended the funeral on Monday. We moved to Brewton in August of 1971 and they met soon after. They were besties for a long time. They did everything together and Mrs. Carolyn was so sad when Mama moved here. They kept in close contact. She was 92 so older than Mom and had gotten some cancer a couple of years ago. 

Enough of Mom ...It is just that time of life when I will be busy and that is that.

I have done yard work when it is not raining, stitched at night when I am not too tired. (Stitching post next week...maybe) I have held that precious baby Palmer. He is growing and changing so much. Lindsay is not much better. We can't see the specialist in Pensacola until January 3rd. IT is hard for her, but she is a strong girl and is doing a great job with the kiddos and she will persevere.

They were with the other grandparents in a condo for the first football game.


I will leave you with a quote from C. S. Lewis that I heard in a message a week or so ago. I loved it and with all my goings on I have really leaned into the last part which I will bold for you...

C. S. Lewis "Living in the Atomic Age" (1948)

Replace "atomic age" with your choice of word from the news.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. "How are we to live in an atomic age?" I am temped to reply: "Why, as you would have lived is in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents."

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.... It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such changes and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies, but they need not dominate our minds.

*****

I have been really trying to do that. It was good to watch college football again on Saturday. 



My little pumpkins. 

I will try to get my blogging mojo back.

Sandy

Friday, August 27, 2021

Saying Goodbye to August

 I am coming to terms with the fact that August has flown by. She may leave her mark though... More about that later. Yikes!

I sound as if I don't love September. I do though. September is a great month for our family and I love it even more in retirement. I am no longer stressing over school and get to enjoy the month without the other. It is a month of birthdays and an anniversary and then fall slides in. 

I love September and sometimes it seems like we need to throw fall decor out, but the past couple of years I have kind of slowed that down and just eased into fall. I love the light changing and like to spend a little time just staring down the bayou in the evenings...that is, if it is not sweltering in high temperatures.



I like to add a few things slowly and just kind of let it all fall in on me slowly. 

I have quite a few pictures to share. I will start with Gus who got his grooming; more like a shave only. It is ok since it will grow out fast.


He was just glad to be back in the safety of the truck. He got a little bow tie.


Jeff said he looked like he was wearing a suit.

I am still busy but it is getting better everyday. Lindsay is doing so much better. She still has a long way to go, but she knows that if she looks at it from day one to now there has been lots of improvement. She is hoping by the end of September when she goes back to work that she will be back to normal. The physical therapist has been so good. 

Palmer has hit the 1 month mark.


Then, 



this is what happens...


Tucker picked out his clothes that day. They match so well:)

We went to the park one day. Lindsay captured me waiting on Tucker to get tired while she and Palmer stayed in the shade.


In another direction, Katie is carrying on my tradition with the palm tree. Jeff made the palm tree for me many years ago. I had it in my classroom really all except for the first few. It has been downstairs, but I asked Katie if she would like to have it in her room and she said yes. My only stipulation was that she make a picture standing by it for me.

Another Mrs. Palmer



Mother is doing better. I know that I have to face that she is aging. I have not really done that until this last illness. She can get really down and bounce back which she has this time, BUT each time they leave her a little weaker and a little smaller and a little more feeble AND while she is sick a bit cantankerous. I am working on getting ready to be helpful and not let myself get so down with it.


Hurricane season is about to ramp up...September brings that. I have spent more than a few birthday celebrations dealing with those. It is a part of my story.

This weekend one will be looming in the Gulf.


Gus doesn't seem too concerned, but the moment one enters the Gulf I am on high alert. I have lived this life pretty much my entire life. There is a process we go through. I have been a busy bee today washing every item of clothing and sheets because when one is out there that is the first thing I do. I don't want to be caught with lots of dirty clothes when the power is out. 

I am prepared in the way of supplies. I stay that way from May to October...just second nature. 

Then comes the boat and outside plants and furniture if needed. That is still to be determined. After that is wait and watch and lots of prayer. 

We do know what to do but it never makes it easy to deal with. For a few weeks of the year, it is hard but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. 

The longest we have gone without power is 18 days, but generally we can count on 10-14 days if we get a direct hit. The power is nothing compared to knowing everything is ok. 

Several of our neighbors on the street have gotten the whole house generators. They are quite pricey. I have not caved to that yet. We do have generators and gasoline to run the refrigerator and a fan or two. We do have a really small window unit that we put in one room and close off for sleeping at night. 

So as I say goodbye to August in the next few days I am hoping for a miracle and that Ida will decide she doesn't like the Gulf and just dissolve into nothing. IF not that, may she be a quick mover and weaker than expected for whoever gets her. Right now we aren't in the cone, but as I said once they enter the Gulf I keep an eye on the weather.

The news has been harder than ever lately....
I have needed to hug my family a little tighter and thank the Lord for my blessings.
Sandy