Monday, March 30, 2020

Some Dabbling in My Flowers

In keeping with my trying to blog twice a week during this crazy time, I am popping in today. I don't know if I will promise to blog twice a week though.

I certainly was frazzled last week!!!
 I got hold of that a bit better over the weekend and worked outside in my flowers while the weather is still cool enough to do that. That said pictures of my plants is about all I have to share today. I am mostly blogging this for my own sake. It is how I keep up with changes that work in the flowers.

The dianthus is the show stopper for March which actually feels more like April this year. The violas and pansies are just about to expire as the heat is coming on each day.



My pots this winter were the best I have had in years. The lambs ear that I bought in Auburn worked well as a filler for the pots and something else besides Dusty Miller for that purpose. I am not thinking it will survive the heat on the wall here in summer though. Maybe that is why I have never seen it for sale here.

I have my replacement pots moved up to the sunny area to get ready for the heat of summer when little can take the heat. I have Lilies of the Nile ready. I used these one summer and they hold up to the heat. It is mostly just to have something there. I lost them one winter which is rare, but about 5 years ago, we had a very cold January and they didn't make it. I may try to add some drought resistant plants around the lily later, but they should continue to multiply leaves so maybe not.


The plants we put out in September after removing the roses are doing well. The bottlebrush is not blooming yet, but it has lots of new growth. I can't wait for it to bloom. I think we will get lots of hummingbirds since they loved the Natchez Crepe Myrtle that once graced the front yard that now has the lemon tree in its place. 

Lots of changes over the years, but learning what will work.


The day lilies are up and even have some blooms coming. When they broke ground, they popped quickly.

I also repotted some house plants. The back deck geraniums are putting on a show right now. The right side gets more light than the left which is why those plants are larger.


I love seeing the blooms from my kitchen window. 


Tucker wore his Easter outfit on Friday. Since it looks like we will still be home for Easter, Lindsay is going to let him wear it as much as he can.



Gus is taking all this in stride. Run, swim, rest, and repeat.


I stayed very busy today making up for my lack of housework last week. Tucker was a big helper, but he was getting tired when I spotted  this. Nap time came soon after, but I love how he loves the dogs. Both Lemony and Gus are so good with him. He lays on both and loves on them.


Surprisingly I have not stitched as much as one would think with us being home. I can't put my finger on it. Can't concentrate. I am making progress. I am actually further along than this picture shows which I snapped a few days ago. I have started on the limbs and like the mockingbird the beak and eyes will be last. There is a baby bird as well in this pattern, so I have a ways to go.


I got the bluebird pattern in the mail today. My only new purchase in ages. It is the spring release from Heart in Hand. I will most likely start it tomorrow and try to finish soon.

Jeff is still working from home. He was very busy today as school stated in earnest online for the district. I think overall it went well, but it is just a lot to deal with. One of his coworkers who went on a cruise earlier before all this got started good has been quarantined, but her husband has come down Covid-19 and she has been tested. He seemed to be doing ok, but his fever hasn't broken. If it hasn't by tomorrow he has to go in to doctor. More cases are popping up here in our area. I shouldn't have read it but I there was an article on our local newspaper website about projected numbers for our area. It is not looking good.

I just have to trust in the Lord. Lots of prayers!
I know all are concerned. I will not use worry. Leaning in on Him!

Take care everyone. This was probably not the post anyone who doesn't love flowers was looking for, but I am recording life here and counting so many blessings. One of which is my little Mama moved here and isn't in another town for me to worry about.



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Bring Back Normal

First, let me just say I am a terrible blogger friend. I am popping in and reading all my favorite blogs but I am not always commenting or replying to my own commenters. I am chalking it up to having Jeff home, Tucker here, and mostly my mindset. I am trying to keep the sanity and like most of you there are good days and bad and the good means a lot more tuning out which isn't exactly the best thing either.

So let's move onto other things.


I probably wouldn't have posted until I had a finish on my bunny stitch, but with the quarantine I am not going to finish it fully for awhile.

You see it needs a little something else in the corner, but....




after many attempts to put a bow there that just didn't go, I tried a yo yo, covered buttons, buttons from my stash, etc. Nothing seemed quite right, but what I think will look good and Hubby agrees is a sunflower button. The little bunny has a sunflower on her headband. I think less is best in this case. Sorry for the dark photo, but it was getting late when I took the picture. It will have to wait awhile because I am not about to go anywhere right now.

Here is a close up of the cording which I tried again to mix colors. I had done this once before when I made the Auburn Santa. I saw it on Flosstube the other day. I might have tried to many colors to mix, but it looks ok. I just didn't think I could choose red or blue.


My week is definitely off having Jeff home. I won't go into detail about his time here, but basically he is choosing to work from home to make sure I am not exposed to the many people who vacationed for spring break. Spring break then turned into this stay at home and schools going online. He is very busy doing conference calls and all of it makes me a bit nervous.

When he is not on the phone ---he is constantly moving. He can't sit still for 2 seconds. I have no idea how he will ever be retired.



Above is the only picture I had of leaves on the ground, but it is live oak leaf drop season. Every March they drop their leaves and the ground, drive, roads are covered!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean full cover in the circle and the road coming into our house. Today seemed to be the day that everyone decided they might be getting close to being all down and all came out to mow, blow, and bag.

And like a rite of passage, April will bring the little wormy things that fall off them before the new leaves appear. You can bet your bottom dollar that it will happen in April and that rain will come before you can get all of those up and make a big mess.

Other than that, they are the most gorgeous of trees.

Jeff has been working, then he does yard work and in between all of that he has been working on redoing some of the kitchen cabinets. He started this project a year ago. He would restain a door or drawer every now and then. Now, he is down to one set to do. I am glad for that, so I guess if this goes on much longer, I will get a lot of honey dos done.



I mentioned a while back that I changed planners this year. It is one of the few things I still splurge on post retirement. I went with a new one for several reasons, some of which was I wanted something smaller, but still big enough for what I was used to doing with it, they were designed by a local girl (well, Pensacola), and they were just so pretty.

Here is a picture of it followed by this week vs a week back in February when I just wanted a day where I didn't have to go somewhere. Seems I go my wish...


THIS week...

This is called staying home and can't concentrate on anything!
 vs...real life...
This is normal.

A monthly view for those who like planners.


Well folks, I am ready for normal. 
Kristan, my niece is beginning to sweat over home schooling. She texted the other night that she wasn't cut out for it and I had to chuckle because she is right, however, she will get it done. BUT, what about all those that won't get it done. The teacher in me takes on too many worries.

There are too many worries with this. I am trying so hard not to think of all of them. I really thought I had given up being such a worrier. I realize I have not. 

I know God has this, but turning my mind off has proven to be a bit harder than I like.





Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Finish

I am back again doing my part to give fellow bloggers and stitchers something new to read.

I finished the stitch that drew me away from the blue jays. My attention span is short these days.


My plan for this is a flat fold self easel using one of Vonna's tutorials. I did another bunny from this very old Leisure Arts book like that and really liked it. I think this will be cute to display in late summer. Summer can seem eternal around these parts and I remember always having trouble coming up with bulletin board ideas for back to school in late August and September. It is no where near fall here at that time, so I decided last year that some school things and maybe the apples and sunflowers would give me a change of scenery with my stitching display items while holding off on fall until October 1st. This is one of those ideas. I should be able to fully finish it this week so stay tuned for that.

I am usually a less is more kind of finisher...well, not just in finishing, but in dress and other ways too. Leave it to Faye at Carolina Stitcher to just completely wow me with the following finish. I miss her blog, but she is mostly doing Instagram now. I almost wished I had seen this before I finished my little hoopla bunny, but then again I have no idea where I would put this. Making the smaller finishes seems to work for me, but if you haven't seen this...add it to your idea bank. 
Seriously, isn't this just AHHHH-dorable.


I am getting back to my blue jays very soon because I am actually missing them, but Priscilla and Chelsea published a free pattern that is very small.

You can see it here...

Anyway, Paul Allen texted this picture of Katie's chickens which he calls them her pride and joy the other day.


They have a chicken coup but get to free roam too. They are named Dolly and Olivia. I think I will whip up the chickens pattern and personalize with the chickens' names for her birthday next month.

I ordered this cute little romper for Tucker to have at Easter. I decided I was never going to get to that sewing. Too much to cross stitch plus keeping him leaves little time for sewing. I think he will wear it early since no one knows what is going to happen. It is actually a very soft knit. I missed that when I ordered it but I actually like it. I think he will enjoy wearing it. Picture promised!


This is a gorgeous time of year on the Gulf Coast of north Florida. I am trying to soak up lots of deck sitting. Last evening after supper, we just sat outside for a good while and enjoyed watching the birds and listening to the sounds of nature.


 I have a blog on my sidebar you might want to check out. I think she is starting back to blogging. Anyway, she posted a sweet post about LIGHT yesterday. Check it out. 

Take care everyone,
Sandy

Friday, March 20, 2020

Popping In

It almost seems a bit crazy to post things that are lighthearted and fluff in one sense, but in another it seems the way to stay sane--- is to provide some bit of normalcy. I suppose we will all know when it is time to quit posting everyday life.  I think the sad stories are going to pile up soon.

I am praying for all and found some comfort in this message by Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. I will share it with you if you are so inclined to watch.


In the meantime, yesterday was spent rearranging my shelves in the sewing /work room. I took everything off except the notebooks at the bottom and cleaned; then put back in. I pretty much just switched a lot that was on the lower to the top and vice versa. I wanted the things I actually used to be quicker to get to and the more decorative items on the harder to get to shelves. I did stretch my floss boxes out instead of stacked. I used the most narrow shelves to do this. It ended up taking an extra shelf to do this, but will be much more convenient. I stacked some things that I don't get into as often.
I felt so accomplished afterwards.


I did change out my needle storage. It has been a hodgepodge mess for a while. I found an extra fishing tackle box out in the garage. Hubby will never miss it.



I am normally a one stitch at a time girl and I know I said I was going to stitch exclusively on my blue jays, but I made a mistake the other day and just really really wanted to stitch to calm me, so I pulled out one I had started last year. I will just share progress and let you wonder what it will be. It is an oldie but goldie pattern from my stash.


My family has all had to work at some point this week. Paul Allen works in maintenance for the school district so he was actually looking forward to getting a few things done at schools while they were closed for spring break. 
Jeff and Lindsay both work at a higher level and have had to be involved in the planning sessions to get school going online for the district. Lindsay worked only one day.  Jeff worked two other days. Katie is home and the plans that are made will be what she does on Monday. She teaches 4th grade. I think yesterday is the only day I actually had the whole day to myself.

I am grateful they are getting paychecks. No complaining here. 

The one day Lindsay worked, Jeff and I took the dogs and Tucker to the park to let the Gus get some energy out. I thought this picture was cute of Tucker and Paw Paw.




Spring is in full force here and the weather has been absolutely beautiful this week. I think rain may be coming, but for today I plan to work outside most of the day. I have a few windows to wipe down on the back, some pots to clean out for the tomatoes, some general cleaning, and inside of my truck detailing. 

I have been reading Matthew in preparation for Easter. My church's message series was and is going through the book of John. I have no clue whether church will be back in person by Easter, but I am so grateful for the Internet and the ability to watch online. I love Jesus and pray this will turn many back to Him.

Take care everyone,
Sandy

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I Shall Wear Green Today

I am popping in this morning because I have a very rare moment to myself. I almost decided to forgo this post, but I want to record life so I am doing a short one.

I didn't do well yesterday. I let all of this wear me down with the chaos of having Jeff home. He was like a Jack-in-the-Box on steroids. I seriously was so exhausted by the time bedtime rolled around I just fell into bed. He had to go into work today to try and figure out a schooling plan so I don't wish to be in his shoes today.

I didn't wear green yesterday which is so unlike me. I have no clue how much Irish is in me. I haven't done any research other than just what I know. I know my family on both sides came to Alabama from South Carolina so I figure there is some Irish in there. I have shared this before but let's go back over it for old times sake.
I graduated from Auburn on St. Patrick's Day (some will remember the old quarter system). My dear grandma was quite proud of me as I was the first to graduate from college in our family. She showed up at my graduation in a green dress. When my aunt said something about her pretty green dress she reminded everyone it WAS St. Patrick's Day. (I really need to do a lady in a green dress for cross stitch..huh?!) I just came across many birthday cards she sent me while back in college while I was doing all that cleaning and ordering things in January. They are precious to me. She sent me a little extra money because I was in college she writes. Those cards are treasures for sure.

Today is a new day. I am going to slow down this morning and try to feed my soul.

Now for a little life journaling...



Here is my progress on the blue jay. I put her aside to do the two smalls so I am not as far along as I had hoped. She is a beauty though. I didn't put one x in yesterday. I need to do that today. I WILL find a moment to escape somewhere to do that.


This is what she will look like.


Now, for a few gardening notes. Spring is here and has been for awhile. The weather is glorious. I could stay on the deck all day long when it is like this. I will need some of that deck sitting today. I didn't get enough of that yesterday either.

You can see everything is happy and putting out new growth including my fern which I had in the house over winter.


I have kept geraniums along that top shelf so that they show up in my kitchen window since we moved here in April 2003. They do well until the extreme heat of late summer. Sometimes I have to move them inside around the kitchen table and then move them back out in fall. Some years I have failed to do that and just started over. This year I saved them but they got really leggy in the house over winter.


The far left one was a mess so I clipped one of the stems off and tried to save it. I have stuck in the pot below and believe or not I think it is going to make it. I so wish I could share Aloe with y'all. IT is taking over. I have another one that is huge and driving me crazy. I have decided to see if I can kill the one you see in the picture. Not really, but it does need some attention.
Back to the geraniums. I think the two on the left don't get enough sun anymore due to the very large pine tree which I have overshared about on this blog. I may have to try a new flowering plant on the left. I am tying to pay attention to the amount of sun that hits and so forth over the next couple of weeks.



We have been trying to grow tomatoes for several summers with no success. Jeff's dad grew them on the back deck back in the 80s and 90s with huge success. I think it is a combination of the tree and the plants we have been using. We are trying a new plan with new seeds and moving the pots to a new location. I will keep you posted, but we both have been babying these seedlings.

I will leave you with a cute picture of Tucker and a cute story to go with it. This was taken several days before the beach became a bad thing! They had it all to themselves which is rare for this time of year. To be honest, there are not a lot of spring breakers here in FWB. 


You see that is he holding his hand back out to his mom. He wanted it wiped off. The day before he had been at my house and we were outside. He had on some weird shoes that caused him to stumble quite a bit. Each time he fell, I would pick him up and he would hold out his hand to to get the dirt or sand wiped off. I should have taught him right then to wipe his own hands together to dust it off, but I just did it for him. 
They go to the beach and the idea was to relax and let him play in the sand a bit, but each time his hand got dirty he would hold it out to his mommy for her to wipe it off. HAHA. She quickly thought this will not be a relaxing time at all. She spent the time trying to teach him to pat his hands together to clean them off. 
Grammie learned a lesson. 

*Teach him to be a bit more independent. I should know that but I am a Grammie!

I said this would be short...hmmm.
I will wear green today to try and honor one of the greatest ladies ever...Grandma.

I am going to try and be a little calmer today which means a little more unplugging!
I do read my blogs, but the rest of the world is going to get shut out a bit today.
Stay well friends,
Sandy


Monday, March 16, 2020

Hippity Hoppity... Here Comes a Bunny

I managed to squeeze in a finish on Saturday morning of my bunny stitch. Hot off the presses before the glue even dried.



The backing fabric was in my stash. The ribbon was from the seam tapes that have been dyed that I purchased last month.


I really like using seam tape to ruche. It is just so much easier to work with and I have ordered from three different places and loved it from all of them. I can make cute bows or ruffle it....definitely like it though.

The previous orders and colors I have used to make some cute bows for ornaments, but this crinkled stuff will be exclusively for ruching.


A closer view.




And... where it will go later in the week after St. Patrick's Day.


I have tried to remain calm through this crazy virus thingie. Mother is in a panic. Lindsay is on alert. Paul Allen immediately started texting me that I couldn't get out and I must start taking Airborne immediately. That is his answer for all sickness. I feel loved by my kids because they have been very attentive to me. I have a compromised immune system with all my autoimmune issues. I took all those biologic drugs for years. I have been off for about 4 years now, but I have some residual problems from taking them for so long.

As I said I was remaining quite calm...trying to be the calm one for Mom and Lindsay and then....

I had an appointment scheduled with my wellness doctor. For those of you have followed a long time and know my health journey he has been a blessing and an immeasurable good thing in my life. Once my mother's neurologist, I strongly value his opinion. 
He says this thing is very serious. I have to be honest. I had chosen to live in a fog. No, I haven't gone anywhere other than that, but more just choosing to tune out the news. I am a closet prepper:) Not really a prepper, but a Nancy Drew sort. I don't have to panic with food and supplies, but with health that is another story.

I am locked down and concerned and hope this thing goes by quickly. I got some solutions to try for my thyroid although I will stay with my current treatment plan to stay out of the doctor's office. He has recommended a new medication for me to ask my doctor about when I go. I have a scheduled appointment in May with her but don't want to go early since I need to isolate myself as much as possible. 

I plan to do some baking tomorrow for freezing and general puttering around the home. I will also be stitching more on the blue jays. I will update soon on that.

Everyone stay home and take care of yourselves.
Sandy

Thursday, March 12, 2020

A Weekly Check In

I had planned to try and do a weekly check in post today, but with all that is going on I am struggling to decide what to do.

New territory for sure.

I have decided to do a lighthearted update with lots of pictures, but I can assure you I am on alert as we all are over the happenings around the world. I do not make light of them.

I have a weakened immune system so I am pretty much on lockdown per instructions of my family. I need something happy to look at in between the sad.
Lots of prayers needed for this thing to calm down medically and for our country. I can only imagine if it goes on long what it could do for the economy which affects us all.

ALL that said, let's move on to some lighter notes and a story.

I finished Redbird. I can't wait for Bluebird to come out to add it to this one. The called for color was Lancaster Red by Weeks. I had some in my stash and thought I had plenty. I ran out towards the end. The substitute was DMC 221. I decided to keep on stitching. I may be a tad bit lighter but it worked enough to keep on trucking.



I hope to fully finish into a pillow for this one much like the pattern cover model.

I am now trying to stitch quickly on the Easter hoopla by With Thy Needle and Thread and then it is back to the blue jays exclusively until they are finished. I think you will be surprised when I share that again.



Around the house I have added more spring. I added my bunnies to the side table in the dining room. Mother gave these to me in the 90s when craft fairs were everywhere. The kids always loved them. I am going to share my story with you about my impulse purchase in brief here. As I share the story I will break it up with pictures from the week. How does that sound?



When I first started this blog I saw some McCarty bunnies on another blog. Her style was similar to mine (miss her blog terribly) and I thought I just had to have some. I ordered one off of Ebay. I could never find another one the same size to match and it really needed a pair because I like symmetry. I had envisioned one of each side of the sidebar.

A closer view of these little cuties... and that cup has some cute little eggs and a story too. I am full of stories.


Fast forward a year and I ordered another one of those McCarty bunnies and when it arrived I was simply not impressed.  This one didn't stand up but was huddled over and time had me not liking it at all.
A combination of factors. I had ordered both impulsively to begin with would be one. Another is I like things in the house decor that kind of have a story to them. *When you are my age there is not a lot of space anymore so things must have a story or some sentimentality to be worthy of the space they take up.

Along came another cute little McCarty bunny and this time it looked like a match that I had looked for with the first one. I quickly ordered it and it was quite pricey. It arrived and was half the size of the first bunny. Mind you when I looked back it was clearly stated. See the quick decision made. Now I had three odd bunnies who didn't really go together. No story except I was uneasy about the whole dog gone thing. For some odd reason it really was like a bur in my saddle.



Really ridiculous in light of real world problems. Anywho...I sat on it a few days and then began to think there were probably some little ladies in Mississippi who were wanting these to go with their McCarty pottery. I didn't love them. Mississippi is where the McCarty pottery started and it is a big deal over there.
I listed all three separately on Ebay. My goal was to get out of all three what I had paid for the final one. I had three boxes sitting in the recycling bin that all three would fit in, some packing peanuts and bubble wrap in a closet so I wouldn't need to buy that. Like I said I didn't want to gouge anyone as I felt I had been sucked into...just break even.

They all three sold almost instantly. I broke even and I feel so much better.
A win... a silly frivolous win in light of things but a win.

My sewing room. The Easter basket is mine from when I was a little girl and Lindsay used it. It was well made.

Also a lesson in thinking a bit more before I buy. I think we all make mistakes every now and then and we live and learn even in a more mature age.



Now, that I bored you with all that...I do hope you enjoyed some pictures along the way with the story.

I will share a few of Tucker and Lemony. It might seem like Gus is always in the spotlight but that is because he loves being on camera. Lemony ---not so much. I baby her and she got to go on a walk with us without Gus. She needs no leash. She would never dream of being disobedient.

Notice the leaves...I have shared before that the live oaks drop leaves in the spring. It will be an all mass of them soon.



Tucker has been sick. He is on the mend, but you can see how weak his eyes were the other day.


Now, for my finale. My pots along the wall are just showing off with spring like temperatures. 



I do hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I hope my post served as a bright and happy diversion. I am well aware of the seriousness of things and it is meant to be a momentary distraction.
Sandy