Sunday, April 18, 2021

April Showers

 I feel like an old person talking about the weather, but that is what is on my mind. April has been so rainy. The following could be any day in April this year.


Seriously!
It has rained so much that the ground is saying, "No more!" It rained a lot in April of 2014. That has nothing to do with this year, but I remember it. It was the spring and year I started this blog. I didn't mention it all. Like I said, nothing really to do with this year.

If April showers bring May flowers, then it should be an amazing scene around here next month. The truth is I am wondering if it will be true this year. It rained so hard that the lemon tree lost all her blooms. I don't know if that means we will get some new blooms before spring is over or no lemons this fall. 

I planted some new day lilies this year. I have no clue if they will produce this year or not. Considering the cooler weather we are getting this April, then maybe I will have some success. I had 4 day lily plants. Two did not come up at all and the other two have still not bloomed. They have a couple of buds but this is the latest they have ever bloomed. I picked some pretty colors so I am hoping the new ones come up.

I have really been redoing a lot of my beds this year. I want more things growing in the ground than in pots. I am not getting any younger and need less to take care of.

You may remember I pulled up my roses two years ago. I had one that looked worthy of throwing in a pot and putting on the back deck to see if she would survive with no care. Well, bless her heart she has. This spring she is looking quite healthy. She is a hybrid tea by the name of "Oklahoma." 


Here she is...


I had a wonderful treat this week. Barbara, from Sweet Tea and Sandals drove over in the rain to visit. No sitting on the deck for us, but it was wonderful to meet her in person. I sincerely hope it won't be our last visit.



She is just as sweet in person as in her blog. Gus approved. She brought me a sweet present.
What could be better than a devotional book built around dogs for this dog loving girl? And the cover looks like Lemony.



Not much else happening here though.

Jeff is home from work this coming week, so I will be scarce. We are not going to Auburn or really anywhere. A stay vacation. We do have a wedding to go to in Birmingham next weekend. We hope to take some time in May to go to Auburn and relax at our home up there. I am hoping we can take in some baseball games.

I have a few honey do chores for him this week. I have been stitching on the huge sampler, "Let Freedom Ring." Hopefully next week I will have something worth showing in my stitching post.

Until then, if you live in northwest Florida try to stay dry.
A little soggy,
Sandy


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Stitching Post

 We are almost halfway into April and I haven't talked about stitching any, mainly because I don't have tons to share. I have been skipping around which is not my usual but nevertheless what has happened.

I did finish all the pages across the bottom of my heron. It is now time to stitch a bird.


The creator for Crossed Wing Collection does a beautiful job of making things look so lifelike. The lily pads are just beautiful.

I finished my first flower on Thirsty Hart, but didn't take a picture before I put it up. I am going to change up some colors on this pattern for certain. I piddled around with it one evening instead of stitching and didn't make a decision. 

I then pulled out one I have had in the bag for quite a while. I didn't have a small just calling my name so I pulled out Cats on Parade and stitched two nights on it.


This can be stitched in a frame. I covered that picture up. I do want to do a drum with it and of course I chose a different color than the one from the pattern.

I am going to pull out Let Freedom Ring this evening and stitch on it this week or at least until I finish the pages I have started all the way across.

I have been enjoying the outdoors and walking but I have also been going through some stuff in my sewing room, so since that is sewing related I will put it here.

I have already admitted many times that I should be in a HELP group for people who buy fabrics because they are pretty but never uses them. One load has already gone to donation and I have really really been trying to use what I have to do my little pillow backings.

I still have a good bit of fabric and no real plan for some of it. I have whittled it down to one shelf and then my plastic bins with small small pieces that are not in this cabinet.


I then went through all my sewing patterns. I am donating a big box of them.
The top blue bin has apparel patterns and the diaper box has kids or craft patterns. I probably won't be using any of them any time soon, but I decided to hold onto a few for now. I really shouldn't!

The navy bin has an extra iron and some batting and the clear bin has some ribbon from Mother's smocking days. I am going to be on the hunt for someone to give some of that too, maybe.

I also am donating a bunch of old sewing paperback books, Classing Sewing and Sew Beautiful magazines. Some of these were mine and some were Mama's. I have a hard time throwing away any old books, but I stuck these oldies in there. 



Mama and I took a class way back in the day and each made a macrame purse.

I am also going to try and sell her smocking pleater. We discussed it and I am never going to use it. I dreamed of doing it at one point, but my time to do has passed. I have other things I enjoy more. It is funny how our mind and even passions change with time.

She and I talked about it and of course, she doesn't want it back at her house taking up space. We determined that if we didn't get it in the hands of someone who use it that it would end up on a shelf at Goodwill with it time being passed as well. 

I haven't decided where to list it though. I dread listing things. I am a procrastinator and a half on those kinds of things. 
eBay? Facebook Marketplace?
Where have you had success selling?




That is what I have been up to in the crafting world. 
Cleaning so I get my groove back to actually do something,
Sandy



Monday, April 12, 2021

The Busy Week and the Special Sunday

     For someone who likes routines and schedules, last week was one of those weeks where all of that was thrown out the door. Whether it was appointments or things the family needed it was a less than smooth week. I am hoping for a little more order this week. 

I don't have a ton of pictures to share, but a few things to document for the first full week of April. We had lots of stormy weather last week too. We were lucky as those to the west of us got it a wee bit worse than us. I woke up to hail at 4:30 one morning and then another smaller round of it a little later. No cracked skylights though...whew! Our friends to the west covered the local news with broken car windows. 

I am thinking all that rain should really make the grass pop now. I feel like we are having a more true spring this year. I am enjoying it. That and running around to various appointments summed up the week.

The weekend is the real story in this post

Last spring when we began this crazy year I got a Facebook account. I must tell you that for anyone who knows me in the flesh knows that was the surprise of the century! 

I have adamantly railed against the social media icon since its inception. This isn't the story though...that would be for another post.

I don't get on it much. I have no real passion for it. I will say that two good things have come from it. The first is contact with cousins that I don't get to see. I enjoy seeing family pictures. All the rest of the stuff is of no interest to me. I scroll fast a couple of times a week and move on. 

The second is that I discovered that my little home church in the woods (the one in my sidebar) had a pastor who was coming weekly and that his daughter was posting it on Facebook. During the week whether I was ironing or doing some task that provided time to listen I would put it on and listen. 

Let me share just a wee bit of history. The church was my mother's side of the family's home church. Her family is buried in the church cemetery. It is on land that was owned and surrounded by that part of my family. When my dad passed away at the age of 5 we moved back "home" and I attended there until moving to Brewton in 6th grade. 

Those elementary years are such formative years. I know it personally and of course watched it with my own children as well as observed it teaching for 31 years.

That little church in the woods holds a dear a special place in my heart even though other churches do too.

My family that live right there at it have not been attending there for a very long time. IT is so small that it has never had a full time pastor. It is one that was served by the Methodist board with a once a month or bi-monthly pastor for most of its time. 

While a pastor is important, let us not ever forget the importance of the congregation and lay people. Those are the images and things that come to my mind and those people were the building blocks of my faith.

I digress...

Anyway, 

Currently, a pastor has taken over three small churches such as Hartwood and preaches three messages every Sunday. Hartwood gets their message at 11:00. I have been tuning in each week and listening and a seed was being sown in my heart that I needed to take my mama and go one Sunday.

Two weeks ago, the pastor mentioned that yesterday would be Homecoming at Hartwood. I remember homecomings at Hartwood as a small girl. That seed sprouted up in my heart with a resounding ---"I am going to make this happen if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise."

Yesterday, Mother and I attended Homecoming at Hartwood with her youngest brother and his wife who can walk to it if they choose. For reasons that won't be discussed here in this post, people can get out of a routine and I think a new one will be formed. 

My mother's sister who lives on the dirt road on the other side of that church attends another church now and probably won't attend it but she has two sons who live within sight of it that I hope another seed was planted.

I enjoyed it so much. Talk about a blast from the past. Yes, many people have passed away from my childhood, but many like me are much older and have children and grands that I didn't recognize, but I recognized enough to have a heart soaring. I have never been one much for reunions but this one was such a blessing.

Reason enough has already been said to know that I have been blessed by such an odd thing as Facebook, but to watch my mama's face and body yesterday was simply amazing. 

I took her home and she felt every bit of comfort that home can afford one. 

We sang "The Little Church in the Wildwood" and "When We All Get to Heaven" and listened to a sweet message about heaven being our real homecoming. We saw faces that brought back sweet memories of service and fellowship.

It was a good day to be in the old home church. I am so happy I listened to the Holy Spirit's prompting.

Like I said this is not a post of pictures but of words that need to be documented. 

Oh and my Aunt Faye up early before her church and cooked a good meal for us all. I hated she did that. She is 81 and up and cooking for a bunch, but I could not love her more for it. It was a sweet meal with aging aunts and uncles and cousins.

My heart is full to start this week.

The girl who runs our children's ministry sent me this picture in a text while I was in church of  Tucker saying his prayers at our church here in FWB. Warms this Mimi's heart!

Does it get any better?

I will close with this picture of Mama and me at Hartwood at Christmas 1966. I was Mary in our little play. I remember that night so well. So much can be done even without a full time pastor. 
The church is His people. 

I am grateful for a mother who always saw fit to have in church.



Now, I have made a big deal about lay people, but I can't say enough good about that pastor who has taken on three small churches in rural areas where there is as much need as a large city. Drugs and lack of jobs have ruined many of our rural areas. This pastor could be retired but he is choosing to minister to such areas. There will be an extra jewel in his crown.

Here is to a week of housekeeping and looking forward to a special visit with a friend. I hope to do a stitching post soon.

Leaving you with the lyrics to the song, but imagine a white church instead of a brown one:)
Sandy

here's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

Monday, April 5, 2021

Easter Weekend

 A joyous Easter Monday here! 

I have been blessed to be in the company of my family and to worship the Lord. Just knowing last year that we weren't able to go to church is mind blowing enough. I know there are many who couldn't go this year and I feel for them so much. I am grateful for the fact that I could attend and also teach "my girls". 

I am so grateful for being able to have my family around the table to eat and visit. It is always so much fun to watch the kids be together and enjoy each other's company. OF course, Tucker is still the star of the show. His day of sharing is coming soon.

I am not photogenic!!! but it is what it is. Aging is not always easy, but a part of life so here is my family all gathered on the deck. I am far more happy to be able to take this picture than to worry about my poor posture OR bad hair days.


Mother was able to take one for us before Tucker was over it.

I am going backwards in time for the remainder of the post.

Tucker had a visit from the Easter bunny before church.





Mother, Jeff and I actually attended church on Saturday evening. We had a service then and two on Sunday morning, so as to spread it all out and it helps me out so that I can cook early Sunday morning and then go in to teach at my regular time slot.

Jeff was lagging behind in the parking lot, so Mother and I had our picture taken at church.
IT was quite chilly this weekend. I simply had to wear pants (no cute Easter dress for me) and hunted down a jacket to match. I had gone to a bridal shower earlier in the day, so no changes were made to the outfit.


On Good Friday, Tucker was off from school since he goes to a church daycare/school. Lindsay decided to take off and spend the day with him. We went up to the north end of our county to Baker. They have a wonderful strawberry farm. My goodness... we had so much fun. We were able to get up there before the crowds.


I told you it was cold. I had put away all the jackets and scarves. I had to dig them out for this trip.
Tucker was dressed in the cutest camouflage overalls and boots.


He enjoyed picking them. There was absolutely no trouble with him picking the wrong ones. He loves strawberries and he knew exactly which ones looked best for picking.


I honestly don't know who had more fun, but suffice it to say Mother AND Tucker enjoyed themselves immensely.



A little heavy on the pictures but they were all so cute.


The strawberries were so pretty. 


While driving home, I had a side thought. When I retired and began cross stitching again, one of the first things I stitched were the Little House Needleworks monthly cottages. I loved every single month except June. It is a strawberry cottage. I just didn't understand that one! It dawned on me that strawberries are probably in season in most of the country in June, but for Floridians that is not true. Well, strawberries are probably a much more year round thing in south Florida, but this is strawberry season in north Florida.
It all made sense as I was picking them.



So many blessings, but the most wonderful blessing is the resurrection of my Savior.
He is alive.

Looking forward to a great week,
Sandy


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Seven Years

 I almost forgot about my blogging anniversary. To be honest, I actually did forget. I woke up early this morning for some reason because since the time changed I have NOT been waking up early. It popped into my head that I hadn't posted my monthly photo of the bayou that I wanted to do this year nor had I given any thought that I had started this blog 7 years ago this month.

Here is my March bayou pictures taken about 7:00 am this morning. As Jeff would say, I have already missed the best part of the day.

Maybe with these photos I will capture different times of the day as well.

Blogging can give one a glimpse into a life such as mine, but there is really so much that one can never know about a person's life. Seven years ago was one of those tough years in life. It was really a roller coaster ride. I had so many blessings that year; one being gaining a great son-in-law and planning a wedding with my daughter. There was also great loss that year with a family member's death and great stress and turmoil with my job. I suppose I had enough good and enough hope to think I could start a blog.

I kept a paper journal of the tough stuff that was going on because it was therapy to write down those hard feelings. I kept a happy face for Lindsay as she was starting out with a great adventure and as a Mama I was so happy for her.

Just thinking back to that year reminds me of the tough stuff, but also that I am so blessed. I really have no clue what I hoped for with a blog. I just knew I enjoyed reading them immensely. At that time, I mostly read teacher blogs. I think most of those have completely died out, but they were helpful and fun. I slowly found others I enjoyed reading that were in the stage of life that I was. I have learned and been so inspired.

I think a part of me had no clue how to be retired. I really didn't have to worry about that, because my time got quickly filled with other things. I am busy and life is not at all like I kinda thought it would be. However, it is so much better. I hope you didn't hear perfect. Nope! I go through stuff just like everyone else, but I am happy where God led the after teaching life.

Now, onto a few other tidbits. 

Holy Week. The week leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection. The foundation for everything I believe. 

I get my second vaccination this coming Monday. I am ready to be with others. I am quite an introvert! I am content at home cleaning, working around the yard, and just general puttering. I have found some positives from the year. I really don't have this huge desire to go out shopping again. I have discovered that other than cross stitch wants and an occasional book I have plenty. I have been simplifying things over this year. All that said, even this introvert misses an occasional human interaction with someone other than my family.

Not a lot:) but some. For one, I have missed my small group. A year ago, I would have been silently complaining about having to have my house clean for my small group to come over on Wednesday nights. Now, I am looking forward to having them over. We have Zoomed for a year now. One of the members really had to be locked down because she had some severe issues a few years ago with her respiratory system. Last week, I made a pound cake for one of the group member's birthday. I cut each couple a piece, then wrapped it up along with my whipped cream and strawberries and Jeff and I quickly delivered it to each home before our Zoom meeting. We ate our cake on our Zoom meeting. Everyone will have had their vaccine next month and we will resume in-person meetings. I am ready.


I will round out this anniversary post and March (how time flies) with a couple of photos. 

I have been outside a ton. I guess I have found that very therapeutic as well. I have been pressure washing.


I had no idea how bad that porch looked until I cleaned it. Jeff borrowed a friend's electric one. It is very easy for me to handle, so he is getting one of those for his birthday. Maybe if I can do this a little more often it won't get so bad. I still need to wash windows, but I will wait for some of the pollen to settle down. Are we really ever finished?

I was out at Lindsay's and she had her new oyster prints up above the cabinet. I love seeing decorating ideas so I will share the quick picture of them. I am not a photographer as you can see the TV in them.


I think they turned out so pretty.

Gus and I have been walking a lot these days. We walked down to some apartments on our road and then decided that since azalea season is almost over that we would help ourselves to a few of this lovely color to bring home.



I also found two perfectly good lamps by the side of the road and brought them home. I don't particularly need them, but I feel certain I can find someone who does.




I cleaned them up and brought them in to do just that.

They swivel out and even had the expensive lightbulbs in them. They work great.



Gus has  has taken a liking to my chair, so the blanket has become a permanent attachment to it.

Looks like he is living the good life...huh? Oh and don't mind the feather duster:)


I will leave you with one last picture. Tucker looks pretty pleased. He got a golf club set like Daddy's if you can call it a set. It has two clubs. The big driver and a putter. The balls are foam. He has enjoyed these immensely. 


I think there is actually one of Daddy's in this bag too, so that expensive one is Daddy's.

Tucker is one of those blessings of retirement. I get to spend lots of time with him and count that as a huge blessing. 

This ended up being a way longer post than I planned. Every now and then I get a notion to write. 

I will be back after Easter. I hope you have a blessed one.

He Is Risen Indeed!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Stitching: In the Hoop

I must title this one "in the hoop" because I have a lot "for me" things in the hoop and no small finishes. I have spent a good bit of time outdoors still, but the weather is springy yet not too warm yet, so outdoor chores and time in the fresh air is calling. I have either walked or worked until I am pretty tired each evening.

I have done no smalls this month even though I have several ornaments and a few other smalls calling my name too, but the little stitching time I have done has been between the larger pieces. I did all the water on the heron. I only have the water lilies to do and then it create the bird time. I actually think that will go faster in places than the lilies have gone. Either way, I have enjoyed stitching it so much.



I did come across an Instagram post of a finished one that is framed beautifully. I follow a hashtag for the pattern company of the heron and all of the birds I did the last two years. This framed beauty popped up and all I could say was, "Wow!" I saved the picture and the company she used to get the mats. She sent off for that and then had it framed locally according to her post. I think I could make it work even though I miscalculated on the sides. I think there would be enough to be covered by a mat and I could stitch some fabric to extend it for the frame. It is all to be seen when it is completed which won't be anytime too soon.

From Instagram



I did work a bit more on Let Freedom Ring. I think I am going to give it a weekend day from this point forward to stitch on it. I will share more when I have something really worth showing.

And then a very odd "for me" occurrence happened. I started a new sampler. What was I thinking? I don't like too many large pieces going at one time. That makes me a little crazy, but I had ordered it and I just couldn't wait to start it. 


When I was at my Aunt Faye's house a couple of weeks ago, I happened to notice a stitch I did for Mother to give her decades ago. I would say I stitched it in the mid 1980s. She still has it hanging in her home.



I have so many stitches I want to do, so there is never a lack of ideas going around in my head, but I don't want to obsess over anything, so slow we will go.

Turtle speed; not hare speed,

Sandy

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Color My World

     Anyone thinking of the 1970s song by the band, Chicago? Chicago X is in my top 5 favorite albums of all time which has absolutely nothing to do with this post today.

No, this is not a post about the song, but a post from a girl whose imagination has returned and her need to write thoughts. 

I do love color and weirdly have an entire Pinterest board called "I Do Love Color." I have this crazy obsession with collecting paint chips and color combinations and have found the best way to group them is on Pinterest. Of course, once you pin one item, then those things pop up in your feed all the time adding to the madness.

I have to admit to being a color snob and having rejected all things white these past few years. When white walls and white couches and all white kitchens became the latest thing in vogue, my mind just said, "NO AND NO!"

I would occasionally see a kitchen with white and think, "Well that does look nice and clean. I might even see a white couch and think it was pretty if it had colorful seasonal pillows on it. White walls were completely rejected though.

Then today I was walking around in the yard and started paying attention to the orange blossoms. They are the most beautiful shade of white I think I have ever seen. They are almost a pearl on the tree surrounded by the most beautiful green leaves....

Which leads me to another thing about color I learned from my husband. It is nothing earth shattering, but an analogy that had never run through my mind which is almost always ruminating on something. We were choosing a paint color for a bathroom many years ago that had some blue tile, so he said we should go with green because he took his cues from nature. 

You see nothing we ever create comes close to God's creation. If you looked at my obsession on Pinterest with color palettes, you will notice many of those pins have something in nature to guide the color palette.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest


The idea of looking to nature and of course my handy dandy color wheel has guided me ever since in choosing colors for a room.

Now, back to that orange blossom. As I sat and stared at that orange blossom with its pearly white petals, I thought, "You know, I could have walls that color of white!" 



No, I will not be changing any walls. I like what I have and I will not changing to keep up with trends, but I am looking at white with new eyes. 

By the way, I do drive a white truck:) I do wear white pants starting Easter Sunday often to make up for the fact that I still adhere to the old rules of fashion and plan to keep them regardless of what you are thinking:) I did choose white cabinets in my sewing room...

Thinking about color is just one of the many things that rolls around in my ole noggin sometimes!

Update: Mother is feeling better and got a special visit from a very good friend. Mrs. Cathy and her husband stopped by and stayed for two days. They have a motorhome and still travel in it. Mother and Cathy have been friends since they met in 1961 on a military base far from home in Germany. Cathy is 6 years younger than Mother, so she was probably around 20 when they became best friends that have stayed in touch across the miles all these years. She visits every so many years and it really cheered Mother up. I snapped this picture of them as we ate at a local seafood place.



To round this post out, I noticed this picture 

Terrible picture, but notice top shelf...


which is me thinking color and balance and all that when I arrange things. I recently found this vintage black orange blossom Florida plate and had to have it. For $10 this pre Disney plate with landmarks listed just called my name. It even has Fort Walton Beach instead of Destin, golf where Disney is now and Cape Kennedy rather than Cape Canaveral. 

I had to rearrange the shelf when I swapped out the plate that was there with this new black Florida tray. I went with black and gold in the clock on the left, cream with the candles, black and gold with the tray, and then cream and gold in the tall clock. I tried to mix up but repeat the colors. 

I have so many color combos I love... 

  • burnt orange and navy -naturally...War Eagle
  • pink and green -think preppy
  • blue and green
  • navy and olive
Do you have a favorite color combination?

Colorfully writing my thoughts,

Sandy