Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Stockings are hung...

Thanksgiving has finally been documented so now let's move on to Christmas. Nothing new was added except the Christmas stockings this year. Some things have moved around and even one new idea but all with stuff I dug out of the Christmas closet.
I honestly haven't even been to any stores to look at stuff, but I decided a while back I had more than enough stuff and I wasn't going to keep buying just to be buying. 

With that said, I have seen lots on Instagram to drool over.

Stockings...
You may remember that I stitched them back over the summer after the menfolk in my life didn't like the idea of no stockings. 

Here they are with a no mantle approach.



We don't have a mantle so they are hooked on to the fire screen.  Jeff even went out to the garage and found some of the chain from rehanging the light in the kitchen that was a close match to the color on the screen. He took some of that and made custom hooks. They look perfect!


As you can see the tartan ribbon won out this year. The closest contender was the brown like above the picture. More about that in a minute. I think even a Christmas green would look good. I didn't have any, so tartan for the win!


Some closeups as requested.

We have two T's, so Tucker's got a little dog added all from the same pattern book.


You may have noticed the garland above the palm tree picture. That was new this year, but I had it all. I also moved around some of the things that I put out on the shelves this year. I made quite a few changes, but again with all the tried and true long time things of Christmas I love were used.


A wee bit of TV for Tucker. We don't leave it on all day because I like peace and quiet and yes those are my arm weights on the hearth. Keeping it real...I didn't even THINK about moving them.

I will share more throughout the month like I did fall. 

In other news, I have loved my new potted outside plants this year. They are doing quite well. I need to document what works and what doesn't so here we go.

We have dianthus and dusty miller in a three  of the five along the wall. I will say that I have been heavily feeding all of these pots after listening to James T Farmer's Instagram stories. I have learned so much from him. He does a story every Friday that he is not traveling and he is a wealth of information.


Note these were all taken before Thanksgiving and with the heavy feeding are growing still and blooming more. I also try to deadhead daily.


The other two pots have some foxtail fern, lamb's ear (which I am loving), violas, and pansies. I had almost given up on pansies, but the white ones kind of caught my eye and then remembering some things I had learned from the Instagram stories about them needing lots of fertilizer, I went for it again. The white ones are really popping from the drive and I am loving them this year.


That is that...it has been such a busy week of errands. When I get bent out of shape about the many errands I try to remember just a few years ago I would have been trying to do all of them while rushing out the door schoolhouse door at 3:30 finished or not and getting it all done. I really can't complain that it interferes with house chores or stitching or walking or well really anything. Watching Lindsay try to do it all reminds me quickly that I am blessed to be able to help her. 

Working hard to keep that positive attitude. 

Anyone else enjoying Christmas music. Pandora has a station that I have just loved. They play two traditional Christmas carol/hymns, then an instrumental, and one fun. A perfect combination for this lady.
Sandy


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Thanksgiving Week Recap Part 3 Final

I know everyone has moved onto Christmas and that is coming tomorrow, but I must document the final installment of my wonderful week with family.

WARNING: photo overload

We traveled to the Auburn house on Friday morning. We stopped for a quick trip in Montgomery to get a Christmas gift that we had trouble getting here. Mother graciously stayed in the truck with the dogs. Just wait to hear about dogs:)

Arriving in Auburn I was greeted with such beautiful leaves everywhere. Growing up most of my life in the very Deep South, my usual views have been the piney woods of south Alabama and the beaches of the panhandle of Florida. Just a quick drive to Auburn gives me such delight with the variety of trees. I have to pinch myself sometimes that I get to have my two loves....beach and a different scene without the drastic change with Auburn.




I walked through leaves everywhere just to hear the crunch. I remember my first fall in Auburn way back when. I fell in love with the sound.

Now, mostly I was just a happy camper for the weekend because I had both my kids in the same house. We also had 5 dogs. Yes, you read that right - 5 dogs! I have to tell you that they were amazing and all behaved very well. The biggest problem was the mess around the water bowl. The weather was glorious so we spent time outside and that helped.

Lindsay and Tyler just have the one dog, Hallie, the Boykin who is the smallest and a complete Diva. She opted for laps to site in whenever possible. 
Paul Allen and Katie have two dogs. Katie had a Boxer named Reece (think Reece's pieces for her coloring) when they met and they have acquired the Bluetick named Dansby after an Atlanta Braves player. 
And then of course, we have Lemony and Gus.

Friday evening we made a fire again. Dogs ran around in the leaves and got rid of some energy before retiring for the night. IT was decided Friday night was the night for campfire because tomorrow was rivalry Saturday and we would want to watch all the other games that night.

Scenes following from Friday night.

Lindsay, Tucker, and Paul Allen

Lindsay, Tucker, Hallie, and Gus

Paul Allen and Katie

Tyler trying to eat pizza with 5 dogs wanting some. Reece's nose is missing from the picture  but she was there.


 Saturday morning Jeff went and got breakfast for us so we could all sleep in IF that is possible with 5 dogs. 


After breakfast,






I am not sure Mother felt all that great over the weekend but she did enjoy the kids. She was inside when we tried to take family pictures before the kids left for the game.

Here are some of the pictures taken.

Lindsay, Tyler, Tucker and Hallie


Paul Allen and Katie with Reece and Dansby.
We tried to set a timer on the phone and take a family picture. You can see we weren't all that successful, but I love all the pictures nonetheless because they are the wonderful moments of family time. When you look back at the family photo albums these will be a lot more fun than the perfect we NEVER got.



Gus was not cooperating my eyes were closed.



The kids headed off to the game and Jeff, Mother and me stayed back to keep Tucker.

Here are the kids at the game. It warms a mother's heart to see her kids have fun together. 


We did win for those who didn't spend Saturday watching football.
The Palmers were all happy. We do remember though it is only football. 

I gave Tucker a bath and sat outside on the porch waiting for his parents to get home. They thought they were doing the right thing by borrowing a parking pass from a friend. It turns out we watched everyone arrive home but them. It took them much longer to get home. Should have just walked. 

I gave Tucker his evening bottle. We are trying to wean him off, but he is a bit reluctant. Jeff snapped this picture of us.




Next morning Jeff again went to get us all breakfast. It rained overnight and cleaned up Toomer's Corner. I thought this was a wonderful photo. Jeff can take such good pictures.

Samford Hall in the background - an Auburn icon.

A picture of Mother on Sunday just before we left.


She is not a dog person, so it is always funny to me that all the dogs are drawn to her.


I will leave you with one last thing. For those who watch football yourselves or it is on with your husbands.... the Auburn - Alabama thing can be way over the top. It is a bit different down here in the south and this one rivalry is crazier than most. Family member against family member. It is kinda real all the stuff you read about to an extent unfortunately HOWEVER there are some of who keep in the right place. 
Just football -

Here is a better picture of how I feel.


Jesus is Lord indeed! The week has been over and I in full on loving Christmas so future posts will be just that. 

I hope to keep up some of this regular posting for a wee bit longer. It is time to talk Christmas.

In Christ,
Sandy









Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thanksgiving Week Recap Part 2

Here we are at Thanksgiving Day where I have the fewest pictures because I was busy, but at the same time just soaking up family time. A recent event with a very close friend just reminded me how much I need to enjoy every good moment with my family. They are going through a very hard time this season with an illness and my heart hurts for them, but I have been reminded of just how important every moment is.

Thanksgiving morning I set out to get all my things in order so that I could make my two dishes to carry over to my sister-in-law's for the feast. Jeff smoked a ham on the grill and then fried a turkey. Coupled with my sister-in-law making a couple of dishes and her daughter's mother-in-law doing the same there is never a chance that it could be classified as anything less than a feast. Mother made a cake and that was that.
Too much food!

My niece Kristan who is my kids' only cousin came over early in the day because they have a new dog and he needed to meet Gus, the Springer and Lemony, the Golden. Gus and Scout, as he been named hit it off very well and ran and ran and ran to get all their energy out. I think Scout was tired. I don't think Gus has that word in his vocabulary.

Off to Aunt Donna's we went around noon and feasted.

While final preps were made getting it all laid out, Tyler and Torrey (niece's husband) took the twins (niece's kids) down to the dock to fish. Lindsay followed with Tucker and let me just say Tucker had no intention of not being where the action was.

She captured this adorable picture of the kiddos on the steps.


My how they have grown. We basically get to see them at Thanksgiving and in the summer because they live in Houston. Life has been about the twins and they are the star of the show when they arrive in town. We are a small family as I have no siblings and Jeff has one sister with one kid and one brother with no kids.
All that to say now Tucker is getting some of that limelight, but the twins didn't seem to mind.

The weather was beautiful and we ate outside on the porch and inside with the doors open.
Some played games and others like me sat in rockers and just enjoyed the great weather and view of which I didn't take one picture. Some continued to fish off the dock. 


Kristan, Katelyn, Uncle Al with Tucker and Lindsay who apparently wondered what I was doing. I like candid pictures. They show real life.

Paul Allen and Katie arrived later as they had to eat first with Katie's family. 

Mother enjoyed a round of Domino's.

She seems to be concentrating hard.

As I said I took few pictures and the day was way more fun than it looks. I really don't think anyone even missed the farm. 
We just enjoyed the family being together. I was a happy girl. I didn't have to host and I had all my chickadees this year.

Tomorrow we will have one last post on the week with LOTS of pictures.
Sandy


Monday, December 2, 2019

Thanksgiving Week Recap Part 1

Where do I begin on such a good week? The beginning...?

My husband and kiddos were off for the entire week ---perks of working for the school system. 
It began over the first weekend with some shopping for Thanksgiving prep and some Christmas gifts. Those weren't so fun other than Jeff and I just had fun knowing he was off and getting in the spirit.

On Monday, we drove out to Alys Beach to Tyler's (son-in-law) job site. He is working again on another condo on 30A. This particular beach community is not my favorite. It is a tad bit too planned and too sterile in its very rigid and strict codes. It is a rather rich zip code, so no worries of me ever having to worry about it. * I had a link to Alys Beach but I don't think it worked so you can Google it for pictures.

I like Grayton Beach and Seaside much better and of course, my beloved Fort Walton Beach.
We ate lunch right next to the building site and then walked over to it. We weren't able to tour because they were busy busy busy bees unloading the roofing materials. Maybe we will get a tour when it is finished.


As you can tell from the picture, the weather was fabulous. In fact, it was completely perfect all week.

The name of the restaurant was George's. It was all good. I had a delicious burger.

Jeff outside so I could show you the sign for it. It is right across the street from the water and next door  to the building site. That green wall in the background is part of a building site. Everything must be hidden from site while the construction is going on.
A crane was living materials up on the roof. Tucker enjoyed this.



And a picture of the family.


On Tuesday, Lindsay came into town and we visited the Eglin Armament Museum. Never too early too teach Tucker about history and maybe encourage an engineering career. Grammie will try at least.


He doesn't look all that interested, but we were anxious to get his picture. He really enjoyed the outside tour in his stroller of the airplanes. It was actually hot that day. I could have worn shorts. 




We walked around inside as well, but he was tired of his stroller by then.


Wednesday might have been decorating day. Shock! I am usually a hold out for Thanksgiving, but after all it is later this year and I was going to be out of town from Friday to Sunday. Lindsay said I should just quit fretting about it and do it. Half the Instagram World was decorated.

Actually we got the tree Tuesday night. The decorations went up on Wednesday. The banisters got their garland, the foyer got dressed, and the dining room. I hung the stockings and Jeff even helped with that. 
I still have to put some odds and ends out and tidy up the sewing room, set up a wrapping station, and  then the pictures will come. I have changed up a few things this year, but absolutely nothing new was purchased but the stockings. I just shifted some things around and dug deeper into the closets.

One more thing unrelated to this past week. Remember the "pajama pants?" I have them on today because it turned quickly cool again. It was 43 when I woke up so I put them on to go pick up Tucker and thought I might not remember to show them y'all again. 
Here are the pants Lindsay said looked like pajama pants. I have no make up and a t shirt so I looked lots better that day with a cute sweater and scarf.

It is hard to tell but they do have a wide wale and look corduroy, but they are pull on and comfy for layering over leggings, so even if you agree with her they are a definite GO for Sandy:)



Check back in tomorrow,
Sandy







Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Christmas Carols Fully Finished

I am back from the most wonderful week away. I plan to share all of it this coming week, but tonight I am finally sharing the long awaited Christmas carols that I stitched. I thought it appropriate on this first night of Advent to do something Christmasy.





I am laying aside the weight of perfectionism with these. They are not perfectly finished, but may be perfect in my eyes which is highly unusual for me. Of course, I get better with each finish, but on these stitching them on one piece of linen and then finishing later caused some to be closer therefore smaller than the others. I truly couldn't love them more though.
Hence I am about to overshare pictures of them.

Let's talk about them for a second because that is what stitchers do. I first saw these on Saltbox Stitcher's Instagram feed. She saw them at a show I think. They were finished so simply and the green and the primitive look of them just captured me. I quickly went on the hunt for them and pretty much stitched them right away. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxunKUxnCwa/


You may remember that I started finishing them and even shared a picture of that. I got sidetracked and had to put them aside for awhile. 


That was truly an inspirational thing. When I went back to them I remembered what I loved about them and quickly set out to change what I had done. I looked to order the original chenille ribbon but LadyDotCreates was out of the country and her Etsy shop was closed.  Oh my goodness, when I went to look her site up I noticed she was having a sale. Oh my... 
I then went to the conversion chart found here to find the DMC color closest to The Gentle Arts Otter Creek which was the called for color in these patterns. I made my own cording and it all turned out just right. Up close you can see the two colors separately but just looking down in the basket they look very blended and match the color beautifully.



Jeff even got in on the action and painted my very shiny jingle bells to make them look a bit rustic. 



I think they would be so pretty done in red and I think that would change the whole feel --- maybe a bit more playful. The patterns also came with berry patterns done in Garnet. Beautiful color.

Like I said though I was so drawn to the primitive green. 
I truly love them.


It is just a sampling of the carols I love to sing and remember this time of year. 
There are so many that the pattern left off...

Away in a Manger
It Came upon the Midnight Clear
Mary, Did You Know
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

and then 
Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer
and Here Comes Santa Claus.

I mean the list goes on and on.

Don't you just love the reins?

I backed them with velvet also from LadyDotCreates.


One more!


The Christmas decorating began early this week, so I will share all about my most wonderful week of Thanksgiving and then share some of the decorations later.

A peek at one though....


We will talk stockings soon. As you can see the red tartan won out, but we will talk a contender!

Happy first day of December ...
oh and if I may ----War Eagle Baby!
Sandy


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Football, Firepits, and More

This week is already passing by so quickly. I've had errands to run which makes it move quicker than usual I guess. Let me do a weekly post since that is all I am going to get out for the next few weeks anyway.

We traveled to Auburn this past weekend. It was beautiful weather...a little fall nip, but not freezing. What I call sweatshirt weather. The game was during the day, but got quite chilly before it was over. I knew it would and dressed accordingly. Those of you who have the honest kid or the one that just doesn't mind telling you what they think as in my my case, Lindsay. She said the pants I chose for the ballgame looked like pajama pants. I didn't take offense as I was warm and toasty. They didn't look like pajama pants for the record either. Just not skinny jeans. They were some pull on cords from LLBean and great for wearing a pair of leggings under them for warmth. Daughters:)

We didn't pull out the win, but I enjoyed myself immensely. Jeff and Mom stayed home with Tucker and one of Tyler's cousins used the extra ticket. He is a Georgia grad and a former football player there, but he was very kind so we were fine with him sitting in the stands with us. Actually all those around us were super nice to him. That is my kind of rivalry.

We came back to a fire and barbecue all ready for us to eat. I bought Jeff this fire pit from Solo Stove last year for Christmas and it was the first time we have used it. It will not be the last now that we know just how wonderful it is. We plan to use it next weekend for the alabama game. We made s'mores and just relaxed around it for the rest of the evening. It doesn't smoke very much if at all. It has some kind of ridge around the top that aides in that. It is stainless steel and you can leave it overnight and in the morning it is amazing how few ashes are in it. It has doubled in price since last year, so I am very glad I got it when I did.



Beautiful leaves, acorns, sweatshirt weather, family and fire pits made this mama very happy.

I did not stitch much. I just enjoyed the family. Below is the turkey I was working on earlier in the week. I am not going to fully finish him as I have some busy days still ahead. I have gathered all my fall stitching and put them in a project bag for next July. I have quite a few I really want to do, but just haven't been able to pull off this year.


I am thinking about Christmas and planning and hope to get some shopping done next week. Jeff is off for the entire week so I know I will be running running running. I will need a week of rest afterwards. I have some Christmas stitching I want to do, but none that has to be done so I will just enjoy my Christmas stitching. I may start switching out fall decor to Christmas slowly next week since I am not hosting at my house. I do cook quite a bit, but my sister-in-law lives within walking distance from me so no traveling or packing up this year. I know everyone will miss the farm, but I am glad to have it sold. I think I said that already:)

I plan to put out the Nativity first and then I am going to set up my Christmas carol basket next so that I can share them with you. I have already been admiring them just sitting on my sewing room counter.

I will leave you with Tucker and Lemony. She lets him do anything. I turned around to find him in the  box with her. She chooses to lay down there ---her kennel is not used to keep her in as Gus's is. Her door never gets shut! Fortunately I had just washed all her bedding and cleaned out the bottom of it. I do that on a regular basis. Both dogs have their own little home in the family room and are trained to go and get in them when you say, "Go get in the box." This is usually said when we have guests over.


I read another book that I think would make a wonderful gift for anyone who has a young mom in their lives. I hadn't planned on buying it, but I just kept coming back to it and felt the urge to get it. IT is a new release by Emily Ley called When Less Becomes More. I seriously can't say enough good things about this book. So much wisdom from a 36 year old. I read through and couldn't put it down and thought about if only I had read it when I was 30. I promptly gave it to Lindsay to read. It is really really good.

I may or may not post next week with the holidays and the trip to Auburn for the weekend after Thanksgiving.