Saturday, January 15, 2022

Stitching and Grands

 I took last January off from blogging. It appears I was doing that again. I hadn't planned to be away, but I have been busy and quiet. I have been ticking off those chores on my list but more about that in a minute. 

I will share my stitching first for those that just come along  for that. I pulled out my heron the last few days of December while we were in Auburn. It is the only stitch I took with me. I was so darn tired of those tail feathers with all of the grays and it was cloudy so I took off and started working on his body to get to the neck. It was rewarding. 

Here is where I am. Finish in 2022? Yes, it is my goal.


I had to stop to do Lindsay a Valentine's stitch. I have only one more to finish the year for her. I need to do something for May.

Last night, I put the last stitch in the hearts from the old Prairie Schooler month by month. I changed all the colors to purples. Purple is my V-Day choice of color.  I will fully finish it this weekend. Since it is a little smaller than the others I have done I may add some fabric to the bottom and do something to expand it. I did the clock for January from this pattern, but remember I added some fireworks to the top of the pattern.



I will share the fully finished product next time I blog.

What have I been up to? 

  • I have been very busy with taking care of Palmer and getting those routines set up.
  • I have been a cleaning machine.
  • The usual appointments of life and seeing about Mother...making sure she eats:)
  • Organizing and a little decluttering.
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Palmer is just the cutest little thing. I wake up everyday happy to go pick him up. 
What a job I have! 
He smiles constantly. 
He will be 6 months old next week. 
Where has the time gone? 
He loves his walker. He can't really go just yet, but he likes the toys on it and can push back on his tiptoes. He will rock back and forth to get it to go forward. 

One morning I was in the kitchen getting me something to eat and I looked down and he was on his knees in the little bouncer seat.


He had turned himself over which I saw coming, but then he scooted right out. Mimi is going to be on the run VERY soon.

We get outside everyday if it isn't raining. It has been cool a few days, but we bundle up and head out.
He already looks forward to this.

Tucker stayed with me the first day of work because it was a teacher workday and his daycare follows the same schedule. He was dying to take Gus for a walk. Palmer was asleep and Mother stayed in with him. That was our coldest day this year. We didn't make it too far, but as I said we bundle up and go. 


He insisted on holding the leash. I had to give Gus a stern warning about pulling. Both managed quite well to my surprise.

These two are my heart. It keeps me busy but I wouldn't trade the season for anything.

I have been cleaning like crazy every free moment I get. I think all the wheels on my cleaning bus fell off in 2021. Everything looked ok from a visitor perspective, but when I started that deep cleaning I realized I had let things go way more than I usually would. I think the past year like everyone else was just too much on the old noggin. I just fell out of some routines and then throw helping Lindsay out with Palmer even while she was off. Well, like I said - it was just a year when things fell apart. 

I think that I needed that quiet again this year too. I have tuned out and just plugged in at home. 

I have polished every stick of furniture, every door and frame, every baseboard. I have been going through and cleaning every drawer or closet. I have made a lot of progress and it has all felt so good.

The paint can is coming out next. I will have to do this on the weekends only so it will take me awhile, but I am going to paint some insides of closets and tackle what we call the fishing room downstairs. It is basically a storage room. It is not heated or cooled so I guess it is what you would call a utility room in some houses. It is used to hold all the fishing stuff and boating stuff. It has not been painted since the house was built in 1984. It needs freshening up. I may start there. I figure if I get that done I will really have accomplished the hardest task first. It isn't huge and pretty much a box, so it should go smoothly.

That is what I have been up to. Can't complain at all. 
Until next time,
Sandy and Gus



Sunday, January 2, 2022

Rested and Refreshed

After spending a few days in Auburn, I feel rested and refreshed. I think I am ready to tackle a New Year.

As promised, here is the finished picture of the clock I did very quickly for Lindsay.



I know it has been odd weather in lots of places and if you looked at this photo I took in Auburn you wouldn't think it was hot. It looks wintery. I snapped on a walk with Gus. The first two days were quite sunny and warm, but the last two were cloudy and warm. Nevertheless, I was there to unwind, clean a wee bit and just have some quiet time. 


The trees are such a different landscape from home. Almost all the leaves on the trees around our house were on the ground. 

A change of scenery is good for one sometimes. I really just wanted some quiet unrushed time. Mother decided not to go. I don't think she rests well when she is away from home and I got lucky in that her brother came and stayed with her for two of the days and then her sister for the other two. I got a much needed vacation and didn't have to worry about her.

The following picture is an interruption to the Auburn trip, but Lindsay sent this to me while I was up there. My my that boy is so cute.


Does anyone else miss the old version of blogger when you could upload all the pictures and then put them into your post without the hassle that it seems to be these days? Or is just me doing something wrong?

Back to Auburn. We did take in a basketball game. That was not on our original agenda, but Lindsay and Tyler gifted us two tickets to the Auburn/LSU game. It was a great game and we had a blast. Our tickets were in a good place for old folks who didn't need to much breathing of germs on us, so hopefully all is ok. I think we have already passed the number of days to come down with it.

Now, back to my walks in Auburn. Many of you may remember the post I did on all the many colored doors in the neighborhood. This house was a favorite from that post with many commenters. It recently went up for sale and I was completely in shock over the inside pictures on the listing. For such a traditional home, the inside obviously had an artsy person. Every wall was a different and very bright color. It was quite overpowering. I actually found it hard to see the layout of the home over the wall colors and this from a girl who loves color. 

Anyway, homes in this neighborhood rarely stay on the market past two weeks no matter what is going on in the housing market. It sold and the door has been changed. Based on the door color, I am guessing the house has been toned down inside as well.


I left Auburn feeling rested and refreshed. The few days away were just what I needed. This morning we got up early and took a beach walk before things get hectic again. Our church was only going to be online today so we could watch at our discretion. It was a beautiful early morning and this time I dressed appropriately for the temperature. I even waded in the water. 



Yes, that is odd even for our area. While we were strolling we saw lots of odd things on the beach. We watched out step until we figured out what they were.
I will let you see if you can figure it out before I give it away.


We passed several of these before we finally came up on some with the tentacles trailing.


Have you figured it out yet? I certainly didn't think they were around here.


A very long tentacle made Jeff proclaim, "Portuguese man o' war." We looked it up and yes, he was right. Later in the day, it was confirmed by the local news guy.


The surf was quite rough with a southerly warm wind which is going to meet a northerly cold wind somewhere along the south tonight. That means someone is probably not going to have a good night. I am praying all will be smoother than is expected.

We took a very long walk. As we were headed back in the other direction the sun was popping out.


I have been in reflection mode as per my personality being the end of a calendar year. I know that '22 has the possibly of some tough times for us. 

Anyway, in this time I couldn't help but think with a lot going on I was really going to have to be disciplined this year with taking care of myself. I don't know that I really pick words of a year, but when something comes across my mind like this did I try to incorporate it in my life. 

A while back I mentioned the word streamline came to me rather than simplify. That simple shift in my mind from one word to another made a significant difference in some things.

A smoothie for breakfast for my disciplined eating plan.

As I pondered the word discipline I came across a podcast where the guy said discipline was no good without motivation. I chewed on that a day or two and I agree that he is correct, but I still think discipline is the idea I want to incorporate. I need to adhere to my strict dietary plans for good health with two autoimmune conditions. I know it is vital for health. I also need to keep up some form of exercise and movement to keep those joints lubricated. There is always a balance there for me with rheumatoid arthritis. There is a happy amount of exercise and there is a too much which leads to rest instead of forward progress.

A well disciplined life is in order. I am hanging onto that thought as I head into the new year to guide me. 

While I was relaxing in Auburn, I was reading and the word humble jumped off the page at me. I asked the Lord if I was prideful. I didn't think so, well not much anyway:) but if He was telling me so then I would be on notice and trying to pay attention to it.

Today when I finally sat down to watch our church's message I found out why that word was on my mind. The message today was all about what to avoid;  that being pride.

The gist was understanding my place before a God that is BIG and HOLY

1 Peter 5:5 says... You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.


He talked about the "clothe yourselves with humility" part and likened it like putting on a servant's apron. The analogy was about a particular garment worn by servants in that time period. Just a reminder to put on humility each day towards others and giving God His due in respect to who He is. 

Apparently the Lord thought I needed to be tuned in to this as well so I am listening and hopefully will apply this where needed.

A song from today's service stuck in my head too. 

Here were a few lyrics that caught my eye and ear. .

I stand on the chain-breaking

Miracle-making

Powerful name of Jesus

On the body-raising

Prodigal-saving

Powerful name of Jesus

I want to focus on those lyrics too along with discipline and humility.

Winter will find me working a long list of projects around the house. I am in no hurry. I will do them as I can. I have already been a polishing doors and furniture. It is getting shiny here.

That is all I have time for tonight. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Stitch and a Little Update

 I finished a little stitch for Lindsay. I used the Prairie Schooler months. I changed the colors to look more like a grandfather clock. I added some fireworks on top and some confetti on the side and Happy New Year to the bottom. 


I gave it to her and forgot to take a final picture so I will do that in another post.

We are in Auburn for a little R and  R. We took in a basketball game last night and enjoyed that immensely.  

Reflections on Christmas around the house this year

I think I got it right or at least for this year. I always get a little tired of the decorations before it is over and the red can do me in sometimes, but this year it all felt right even the red. I think starting decorating a little later and not being in a hurry to put it up helped. I also think I learned that although red isn't my favorite color I am traditional, so red and green it is. I actually tried to change out the dining room to some blue but it felt so wrong. 

I loved the sashes on the banisters this year. That was a fresh update that suited me well. They all fit in the same bin so that was good when putting them away. I did keep my bin with the traditional garland and white lights should I get the notion one year to do that again.

Time to get started on January.

January has become a month I don't necessarily dread like I did when teaching. It is deep clean and purge month. I am already making my cleaning list and for the first time since retiring in June of 2014 I feel like the purge is really at a much better place. I have thinned out so much. 

My one room that is probably going to get a real purge is the sewing room. I have held onto craft stuff that I am now realizing I will never use and it is taking up valuable space that could make that room much more functional, so that is the room that I am going to heavily purge. I will make a pass through all the other closets and drawers but feeling good this year. 

The big thing on the "January list" is a lot of polishing and deep cleaning and some closet painting. Yes, you read that right...closet painting. I know we are the only ones who will see that, but slowly I am going to repaint some closets. The house is 37 years old and it is time to freshen some spaces. 


I also wanted to share an Advent reading I did this year. I had a plan and then changed at the last minute. Literally the last minute. Melanie Shankle self published and online read this year for $10. It was called Waiting on Wonder: an Advent Devotional. I felt a strong desire to read it as I have loved many of her books. Often they are geared to a little younger than me, but this one was just so perfect. I know God led me to it. If she still has it available next year, I strongly recommend it. Every day touched me so much. I love it when the Holy Spirit guides you to something. 

The update on Lindsay. 

We were heading out on Monday when we got a call that they had to change the appointment to Wednesday. She insisted I go on to Auburn. Katie and Paul Allen kept Tucker.

The diagnosis is that, it is muscular. She has significantly weak pelvic floor muscles. I still contend the situation that occurred with the birthing led to this. I don’t think any doctor has disagreed with her but are careful not to indict the hospital. They do believe with continued physical therapy that she will continue to slowly improve. She is sad that she is not further along than she is but she has seen improvement and is grateful that no one feels it is permanent.  Between that and the post partum issues this was a difficult birth. She is on the mend though and for that we move forward with thanks that it was no worse. I have told her 2022 is the year she has to take time to take care of herself. 

Everyone that reads along with me, I often wonder what in the world are you thinking, but I love getting to know all of you. See you in the new year.

Have a wonderful start to the new year and remember God is with us,

Sandy


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Recap

Our family celebration was important to me this year because I truly have this strong feeling that 2022 will be different with Uncle Danny starting to exhibit signs of his lung cancer. He has lasted far longer than any of us thought he would and for that we are thankful. I keep praying he will find Christ as his Savior soon. Enough of that...this will be a happy post, but

with all of that in mind I was determined to try and make our family gathering a memorable one. 

Before I go on, I feel I must remind y'all no one has a perfect life or home or any of that. If you need a reminder since I do love Christmas and eating on pretty dishes and so many other little things...just go read this post called The Perfect Christmas. I think it is worth reading and reminding that there is no such thing as perfect but Jesus Himself.

*****

Ok, back to this year's story. I was determined that the entire family have the dinner together in the same room. I didn't want us all scattered this year, especially this year. Jeff and I moved the dining room table over and moved the patio table in the dining room. Remember how I didn't want that patio furniture? I have been corrected so many times on how good a purchase that was. 

I pulled out an extra tablecloth and threw on a cloth napkin for a pop of color in the center, grabbed a bowl of ornaments from the foyer table, and added some candles. 

The pictures were all taken before I lit all the candles, but man I was so happy with the set up.



We did enjoy our family dinner so much. Everyone was fat and happy. I made a pie and Mother made a cake. It is something she can still do so that is good. Tucker calls her cakes "Grandma Cake." You know she loves that.


Here a few snippets of everyone.


Tucker helped everyone open their presents. Christmas with a kid that age is truly fun.






Now, I finally get to share two gifts I got for Lindsay. I am not the best gift giver but these were my ideas and I am quite proud of myself.

First up is a watercolor I got a girl on Etsy do for me of Tucker and his prayer that he said the night Palmer was born. You may remember reading about it here. I wanted to find a way to make this into a keepsake. I had a picture of Tucker praying at church. You can read about that here. I sent Nikki at JoyfulFlourish the picture and the prayer and asked her to turn it into an 11 X 14 watercolor.


I loved it and think they did too.



Then we had her a necklace made with the boys' birthstones in it. We had a diamond left from one of Nana's (Jeff's mom) rings. We took that and chose a birthstone for each of the boys. We traded in some gold from other rings where we had repurposed the diamonds like a necklace I have and Katie's ring and got this to a reasonable price and another keepsake for Lindsay. 

She sent us a picture of it the next morning.


Since, I knew I would be taking all the pictures, I had Jeff take one of me on that day as well.


All of the above happened on December 23rd. It is not the first time we have had our family gathering like that. When your kids get married you have to share them. Tyler's family came down for Christmas this year, so we celebrated early and pretended it was a travel year. Flexibility is the key and honestly as the years go on this will happen more and more. 

Christmas Eve was quiet but ticked off pretty quick with Paul Allen and Katie dropping by and then  getting Mother out for a bit. The church service was honestly one of the best ever. I mean ever. It was geared towards families and only preschooler environments were opened. Everyone else went to the services. They were heavily attended and I think all enjoyed it. A skit was done around the idea of a character with a PCI (Perfect Christmas Itinerary) notebook. It was filled with all the things we do around Christmas until Christmas is rushed and often missed. I have been there before especially when I taught school. The music was great. 

Christmas Day involved a morning on the beach, a spaghetti lunch with Mother, Paul Allen and Katie and then a boat ride. Truly the weather was amazing.

Beach....


I sadly missed on the dress. I was so hot it was almost unbearable and that was 10 in the morning. 


The boat ride...


Lindsay sent these of the boys' major presents....
Tucker got a scooter. BTW, he totally got Christmas and was adorable this morning.


Palmer got a new swing for the boat. He loved it according to Lindsay. 


You may remember the Advent calendar I stitched for them a year or so ago. It just so happened this year the church passed out the papers with pictures on it and they coincided with a children's Bible and story book. Tucker looked forward to this each night. He couldn't wait to pull the card out. I got to do it with him twice over the holidays when Lindsay and Tyler had to go to work parties. His other grandmother got to do it with him two days on their visit. 

The weather has been absolutely amazing the past few days. For those that like a cold Christmas it would not make one happy, but for me...LOVE.

I will be back next week after Lindsay and I go to the doctor with an update. Then Jeff and I are going to Auburn for a few days.
See ya next week,
Sandy



Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Stitching and Catching Up

Since, my last post, I have stitched another page to "The Shepherd's Song." Granted it has been almost two weeks since my last post. I am in love with this sampler. I haven't picked up something in such a long time that I can hardly put down. This one has been it.

Here are the first three pages across the top complete. I only have one more to stitch and the top row will be done. 



I must put it down for a bit because I have two smalls to stitch Lindsay for January and February. I wanted a clock for January, but I had so much trouble finding just the thing. I finally settled on The Prairie Schooler year stitches that were from the mid 1980s and shown stitched in a cubby shelf. I am changing the colors and time and all so I will just wait until I stitch it to share. I may do the February stitch as well. I am starting this stitch this evening.

To finish out my year of pictures on the bayou; here are December's pictures. The first one taken at 6:08 AM. I could see a beautiful sunrise through the window this morning so I hopped out of bed to grab my last pictures for the this yearly feature. The entire year of monthly pictures are under the label "bayou living."


This one was later in the day.


We made it through the shortest day of the year. Yippie! Now, we can start the climb back to long days...my favorite.

We have had mild weather thus far as I suppose many have had. I am super great with that. I have done some outdoor time which I will share a few pictures.

A few weeks ago, I went with Lindsay to the Destin Christmas parade. My job was to help with Palmer so she could have fun with Tucker. I happily obliged.


Tucker fully understands gathering candy now. Of course, Mommy has learned to make it disappear soon as well. 


I think Tyler was in a golf tournament and Jeff was fishing that day, but either way it was a bright sunny morning at the parade, so I stopped back by the beach on the way home.  Life had been pretty busy and nothing clears my head like a stroll on the beach. By the time, I got there the clouds had rolled in but it was still very warm, so I just dropped those shoes at the sand dunes and headed out.


The surprise though was the fencing along my favorite beach entrance. I am sure they are there to help with erosion. The sand will catch over the next few months and build back up. These fences were every so many yards. Rather than fight that and go to another entrance down the way, I just went out to the water's edge and dropped my little rear on the sand and sat for about thirty or so minutes and let the salt air do its job.


My friends, the sandpipers joined me and I had the most wonderful visit with them.


Grandkids make great blog fodder so here are a few more pictures of them.

At church the other Sunday, they had a cookie decorating station set up in the hallways and it was a huge success. Tucker had one thing on his mind; putting sprinkles on that cookie. I had fun watching.



This was also them grabbing a picture in the lobby. 



Palmer is 5 months old.




I have had a busy couple of weeks...just life. Mother wasn't feeling well. She can be down for a few days and then back up. She doesn't eat well and is weaker as the days go. I get so excited when she has a good meal. Jeff fried some fish the other evening and for some reason she ate well and had an Ensure that day so that was a win.

I had a huge sewing project for church which nearly did me in. All straight lines mind you. I made big slipcovers for lots of the wooden decorations. The poor girl was having to touch up paint each year so we discussed last year that I would help out with this. It turned out to be a bigger project that I thought:) My sewing room looked like a bomb went off in it. Gus would come to the door and look in like he couldn't believe it. He usually sits on a rug with me when I am in there, but I think he thought something evil might happen to him. Anyway, a good project is behind me and I got to put to use a lot of fabric I had hoarded and would never use. That felt good. I got the room put back together today and the fabric cabinet looks ooh so much better.

We are having our family gathering tomorrow evening as Tyler's parents are coming down from Atlanta Christmas Eve. We are treating it like Lindsay and Tyler would be traveling this year but they won't have to which is very good for them with the little one. Tyler's twin who lives in West Palm just had a baby so the other grands will head down after Christmas to meet their new little one.

Paul Allen and Katie will probably slip back over to sit with us old folks on Christmas Eve for a bit. We may even take in a movie on Christmas Day. Either way, it will all be good. I have the house ready for tomorrow. Our traditional Christmas Eve menu is always easy and fun. Beef tenderloin, potato soup in a bread bowl (I just get them from Panera Bread and add my soup), and salad. Of course, desserts too.

In other news, Jeff's bother has started to show some signs of the lung cancer. This is an important Christmas I think for Jeff and his sister. 

I am looking forward to my family time. I wish everyone who reads this little corner of mine a very Merry Christmas. I will be back sometime next week. Lindsay has her specialist appointment in Pensacola for those who have been praying for her. I will update you on what we find out then.

Merry Merry Christmas Friends, 
Sandy


Friday, December 10, 2021

A Little Stitching and More

 I have been drawn to stitching on “A Shepherd’s Song by Plum Street Samplers. I have so many projects going that I will admit it is driving me nutty. I guess you know what the goal for ‘22 is… finish all those large projects before I  move on to anything else. This stitch has been a good stitch for the busy month though.

 I have completed two full pages.


Here is a reminder of the what the pattern looks like.


Here is a picture of my heart.



Palmer looks so much like Tucker at that age.

Garden Notes…
Here is my broccoli. They have started making.




Here is my little rose plugging along. I am going to add a pink one to it next year, but no more!


Here is my gigantic angel wing begonia.


Now, the host as next to that begonia is giving up until next spring along with my day lilies, but the geraniums are loving life.



I shared the next pictures on Instagram, but if you wait until December you will see some autumn color on the coast of northwest Florida.



It is a busy time of year but I am trying to keep the focus in the right place. 

Merry Christmas,
Sandy