Monday, June 17, 2019

Stitches and Celebrations

I have a small patriotic finish.



I hope to make a circle finish (not on a hoop though) with  it this week so that I can enjoy it displayed this year. I love the ribbon on the pattern envelope. That comes from Brenda Gervais's shop. I ordered some brown to do a couple of pillows one other time and it was delightful to work with, but this time I will go with stuff I have in my stash.

I have been working on Things Unseen stitch, and I am embarrassed to show the wrinkled status. It looks horrible, but I have used a hoop mostly and folded it to put in my project bag when not stitching on it. I am now done with Parts 1 and 2 of 3. Part 3 begins underneath the black checkerboard line and house. I am eager to finish it now as the end is near. It has embellishments of beads and buttons so whether I frame it or make a wall hanging with it is yet to be determined.



Along with stitching, June is a busy month with birthdays. Gus, Jeff, and Paul Allen all celebrated birthdays this month. The birthday celebrations quickly reminded me that I have been retired from teaching for 5 years. I really can't even believe that, but it is true. Sometimes it seems like yesterday and others like a lifetime ago. For many of the 31 years I taught, the birthdays came on the heels of just getting through with post planning. I really didn't even settle down until the birthday cakes were made and at least family celebrations took place.



 Jeff and Paul Allen are two days apart and I always made a point of them having their own special day. Family usually never minded because it was two desserts. I once even had a slumber party for boys out in backyard tents two days after I finished getting the classroom closed and packed. I was so tired and didn't relish staying up all night. All but two boys ended back up inside on the floor so I felt the need to stay outside and monitor the two. Let's just say I never had an outdoor slumber party ever again!!!




After the kids were older the school system changed to an earlier August start and I got to have a little breathing room before parties. Either way, I am not sure why but the beginning of June still seems a bit busy. Summer is in full swing so even though the calendar says it isn't even summer yet...it is indeed summer even before the kids are out of school. 



Longer days always mean filling them to the brim, yet I love the no schedule. I sort of still fall into that no schedule feel and it doesn't always mean I am the most productive person. I tend to jump around from task to task rather than staying on my routine.

Along with birthdays, Mother and I took a trip home to check on the cemetery. My dad is buried in a small country cemetery. I always like to go up and make sure the grass is getting cut. We also picked up my aunt and then as usual went to Monroeville to eat on the square for lunch. I take all the scenes for granted I guess and think every single single time I go that I am going to take pictures of the famous square and courthouse for y'all from To Kill a Mockingbird, but I never do. Next time!

Paul Allen and Katie went to a Braves game, that is THE Atlanta Braves for which we are all fans. So, this was the very first time in 27 years that we had a joint birthday party. Katie had bought tickets for Paul Allen's birthday and they were for the day of his birthday. Both go their celebration on Jeff's birth date. The kids  stayed at the Auburn house so they could take the dogs and they made a little mini vacation out of their time trip. Here is Dansby on one of the days of their vacation at Chewacla State Park. It is near the house. It has lots of rocks and Dansby was a pro at climbing them.


I thought that was such a cool picture. 

We have also been going on out on the boat each weekend and taking the dog for a swim.

It seems like Gus is always in a picture, so here is Lemony who is a bit more camera shy, but a mama lover.



Both.

The background is reservation for Eglin AFB...hence no houses. The dogs absolutely love these outings.

One more thing. Isn't this the cutest wrapping paper ever. 
I had some cute stuff from the lady that sells this at Christmas. Some of you commented on it then, but this is my favorite. I need to stock up on this when she puts it on sale. 


I will close it for now. 
Sandy




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Dog Story and Some Stitching

Gus, the Springer met his brother this past weekend. A rather cool story this is.
Soon after we arrived home with Gus, my son discovered that a former student of mine's fiancé had gotten a dog from the same litter. The student and his now wife were just graduating from Florida State, so they named their pup, Chief after the mascot, Chief Osceola. 
I couldn't believe someone so close had managed to get a dog from the same litter. I always talked about our dogs when I taught and we have had Springers since just a couple of months after we married. I had Murphy at the time the student was in my class.

We were out boating this past Sunday afternoon and had taken the dogs to the back of the bayou to swim along the shore of Eglin reservation land. We were slowly boating back home with the dogs in their usual position up front getting as much wind as possible. We happened to see the young man and his dog outside his parents home. He was tossing a ball into the water to tire him out. 

The brothers finally got to meet. We took a couple of quick pictures, but they are all basically a blur because the dogs were running. They had a blast. 



Small world!

I finished my gift stitch. I have stitched it before and shared it on here, so nothing all that new. The book is a very old book that I have had for decades and stitched many things out of it. This time it is for Jeff's birthday coming up. 


Modeled after this one...


Typical Golden pose!


Currently I working on Part 2 of Things Unseen. I am making progress.



I have three other rather large projects that I am just dying to do, so other than the month of July when I am going to work on Christmas stitching, this is going to be the year of large projects.


I just needed to start one of the other ones the other night, so I started a few stitches on my rose project. This was not on my list at the beginning of the year, but blogs and such got me.
I saw that Martina was doing a rose pattern and I just new I needed to do one, so off to Ebay I went a searching.





AND then there is happy mail!
My sweet friend Arlene sent me a wonderful present today. I feel as if I have arrived with my new "Stitching with the Housewives" bag. Priscilla and Chelsea have just made it even cooler to be a cross stitcher. Truly is a wonderful hobby.



Oh and my finishing is so much better than it was 5 years ago and I came across Priscilla's blog and realized there was a whole new world of stitching that didn't have to be framed. That said, I decided to maybe maybe maybe redo my monthly cottages that I first saw on that blog. I have had them in my kitchen each month for years now. I thought maybe I would redo and make a flat fold out of them. Well, since I had two June stitches.... Long story about how I didn't like the red one with the strawberries and stitched a new one with different colors which I guess could be peaches or oranges. Anyway, I took one of them to redo. Then I had a moment of sanity and realized I do not want to go down the rabbit trail of redoing things along the way because I improve. I will accept the old and keep moving. No more redos on them. I do hope to continue to improve!!!



So with keeping Tucker, keeping a house tidy, cross stitching, and reading I am living the life.






Loving the longer days,
Sandy

Monday, June 3, 2019

Yes, I Will

This is not my usual weekend wrap up post. One of those will probably come in some form or fashion later as Tucker takes a nap one day and I have a bit of time. I have a fun dog story to share.

Today however is part of an email I shared with my small group earlier today. I decided to share it with the blog too.

Yesterday at church the second song just really captured my attention. I had not heard it before and texted our music guy this morning asking for the name of the song. I am putting a video link of the actual group who sings it with the lyrics that I found on Youtube.
I was so taken with the song and felt the Holy Spirit talking to me about that I pulled out a piece of paper to jot some notes so I wouldn't forget.

Here is part of my email.

“I choose to praise, to glorify the name above all names.” 

I have been a lover of all things space, stars, moon, and planets since I was a little girl. I followed the steps to the moon before most people my age really cared and I still follow the cosmos news. The most interesting part of all of that is that not one single thing I have ever heard or studied including the universe was formed billions of years ago has ever discounted my believe in a real big God. All that I see and the intricacies of it all just point me more to a god that is far bigger than I can imagine. 

Life can be difficult and in the trials of life we can lose focus of how big that God really is. I remember going to see Old Faithful in Yellowstone and how disappointed Jeff was that it wasn’t more powerful in its spewing forth from the earth. Why the buffalo were roaming on top of it just moments before it erupted! However, it isn’t the power of it that made Old Faithful  famous. It is in its name…faithful.  Just think with our Heavenly Father we get faithful and powerful. 

I have met those who don’t see it like I do. They have gotten caught up in either the delivery of God’s Word or science, or something has not steered them toward the faithfulness and powerful God I love, but I pray that my words and my actions make them take a second look at Him.

Life can be overwhelming a bit…

  • Harsh words on social media
  • The news…politics alone
  • Cancer
  • Aging parents
  • Raising children really never ends
  • Images to make you feel like you are not keeping up
  • etc., etc., etc.



I thought of a line from a book I read many years ago. Two sisters were talking that had just been through a tough time of loss. They were discussing that things were finally looking up and life seemed settled. They knew they needed to celebrate these moments, because around the corner lay the next trial. IT was not written as a Debbie-downer statement and I didn’t read it as such, but a true picture of life. Life is ups and downs, hills and valleys, and walking that journey with faith in a God who does see and care. Much like the image in the move “The Shack“ of the overview of the maze. God sees and is guiding us through that maze.

The lyrics of the song were so powerful.

“ I count on one thing, the same God that never fails will not fail me now. In the waiting, the same God who’s never late is working all things out. Yes, I will lift you high in the lowest valley. Bless your name. Sing for joy when my heart is heavy all my days. Yes I will!

Such powerful lyrics and so Scripturally based. Here are a few verses for you that I thought of from the song that if you have time you can look over and maybe even read the chapter each is from on a different day this week.
No pressure now…God takes whatever time we have to offer and uses it for Hs purposes.


Psalms 19:1-3
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. …

Psalm 37:25 
I have been young, and now I am old; Yet. I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread. 

This same verse is in 

Hebrews 13 again, but as I was looking it up this verse from that chapter caught my eye. 
15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I guess to summarize I will say sometimes the bad stuff is not going away, but our perspective can change which I think is the message of the song.

The song.



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up


I am a tad bit late to be doing a weekend wrap-up, but better later than never I guess. The hubby, mom, the dogs, and I left for the Auburn house Friday afternoon. It was definitely a low key weekend. We passed a lot of traffic headed to the beach. In fact, Auburn was very quiet. I felt like even our neighborhood there was deserted. I think everyone was at Lake Martin or at the beach. 

We had no great excursions other than eating at Acre and going to the farmer's market. I did a lot of reading and cross stitching and just relaxing.


Me trying to pose in my dress to go to Acre.




We did a lot of sitting around, but sometimes that is just what you need.

Our friends who have a house in the same neighborhood were there also, so Jeff had someone to do stuff with. We went out to eat at my favorite restaurant, Acre. We all had an amazing meal. My dessert was so good. They usually have this cake that I like, but it wasn't on the menu this past weekend so I went with a chocolate torte which was gluten free by the way. Oh my!!!!!! It was so good. 


There is a new farmer's market in Opelika. I will be going there again and again and again. I loaded up with fresh peas to bring home. I cooked some last night with cornbread. They were so good. Nothing like fresh vegetables.

I did a summer drawing for the chalkboard at Auburn. I have a lot of fun playing with it when I go each month.




The kids had good weekends here. Paul Allen and Katie stayed at our house for most of the time. I think they fished, used the kayaks and paddle boards and just enjoyed the water at home. Lindsay and Tyler used our boat to host his parents who were down from Atlanta and his brother and sister-in-law who were up from West Palm Beach. They had a nice time in the bay. Both sent lots of pictures.




I went to church this morning with Tucker to finish doing some deep cleaning that I started last week in the baby rooms. I had quit volunteering when Tucker came along, but they needed me to come and do some things last week so I worked around Tucker's nap schedule Friday and today. 

Then Mom and I went to our semi annual doctor's appointments. Our family doctor left at the end of last year and so we had to meet her replacement. I don't like her nearly as much. It seems no one stays anywhere very long these days. That can be a tad frustrating.

So, that is what I have been up to. I am sharing my progress on the two things I stitched this weekend and then later in the week I will share a decorations around the house since I think Memorial Day is the kick off for summer time decorating.

I stitched on Lizzie Kate's Things Unseen. I shared that I started over on it last week. The pattern is three parts. The first part is finished and I am now working on Part 2.

Part 1 is the left all the way even with the flowers. It is kind of wrinkled because I had it packed up in a project bag. Part 2 will be the right side and then Part 3 goes all along the bottom. The pattern is kind of like a modern day sampler.
It also has a package of embellishments to apply; buttons and beads.


I started my gift stitch which I have done before. It is the Golden Retriever dog. It should go fast because I stitched all of this yesterday, mostly at night.



Be back later in the week with some summer decor.



Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Finish and a New Start and Some Other Stuff

How is that when you completely thought you were ready to stop blogging that you have more thoughts to share and no time to type?!!!

Friends, that is where I am these days. The time is being sucked up by truly good things, so no complaints on that, but I feel like I need to write intensely. IT won't happen today, but maybe soon.

I finished up my June wordplay. I love it! 



I shared that I was a little unsure that I had made it too large when I chose 28 count, but the words are telling me a definite no on that, but then I love the May one done on 36 count too. 

I am so inspired by so many of you stitchers out there. Oh my...I love when I see something somewhere, but then I can put my own spin on it and personalize in a Sandy kind of way.

I added cording, but I gotta tell you when you do them large they scream "just fine with nothing". I was watching Marlene's at stitching by the lake the other day. She and Carol and Salt Box Stitcher are my two that pop up and I can't wait to get everybody away so I can watch. I digress; anyway, Marlene is doing them large and plain and she had one to show and I just loved it, so I don't think it needed the cording, but it is on there now:)

I put them together on the church pew (thanks, Robin) to share with y'all today.



I had no intentions of doing anymore of these than May and June, but now I am thinking maybe more in the future.

Onto other stitching.
I really need to be working on a gift stitch. It is something I have done before and I hope to start this weekend, because I have been busy on another stitch.

So here is my nutty confession. I started this Helen Keller stitch last year sometime. It has three parts and what you see in the hoop is Part 1. I started it on 32 count with two over two. I loved the depth of the colors, but I did some of those flowers and I was like this is a no go. I have whined before about 32 count being my just I don't know what to do with it count.

I have started again on 36 count and I will admit that I was struggling thinking it wasn't as vibrant with one over two. I decided to continue on this week and it is growing on me. It is going to be a bit more delicate. 

The stitch is a Helen Keller quote and I completely love Helen Keller. My plan is not to frame it though, because it came with a set of buttons to place around it. My plan has been to do some fabric around it and make a wall hanging for the Auburn house with it.


I took the picture with my project bag and book because those are the colors I think I will use for the background around it. Such inspiration!!!


Speaking of Auburn, we are headed up this weekend. Yes, we are leaving the beach to go inland. WIth the arrival of Tucker, I have not been able to go nearly as much as I had hoped. I am looking forward to going this weekend. Mother is going with us and a stop in at my favorite restaurant Acre is on the agenda. 
Other than that it will be a take it as it comes kind of weekend.

I hope to come back next week with some "just thinking" posts. My small group will not meet at my house for a couple of weeks so I can let my hair down on having everything perfect and just breathe. Maybe!!!!!

I am already filling the time up with other commitments. I have a hard time saying no.

In other news, we have some bad news in our family. Jeff''s brother has cancer. He has had cancer previously and he has been a smoker for all his life. He is really down and blaming himself saying he knows it is all his fault. At this point we just need to see the final doctor report and make a plan which that appointment is next week. I will tell you that I am pretty sure we are going to get a really bad one based on what we have already seen.  He is not married and has no kids. Jeff's siblings are 14 and 12 years older than him. He was a true surprise to his parents. It will be a lot of traveling back and forth to Pensacola for treatments and such divided up between Jeff and his sister. 
I almost didn't mention it on the blog, but when writing I think it is hard not to show some emotion and I am sure it will shine through in the coming months.

Much of life is navigating the hills and valleys. I have no idea how people do it without their faith.

I will stop here as I have am taking Tucker to lunch with his mommy and then going to do some cleaning at church afterwards.

Looking forward to the weekend. I am always mindful of the sacrifices so many families have made for my freedom. 

Patriotic feelings,
Sandy

P.S. - A few pictures of my little man.

\
Carrots. I told his mama not to bring me carrots to feed him. I am to be the good guy!!!



His mommy reading to him at night in his bedroom. 

Lindsay sprints in the house every afternoon to get him. I know it is hard. I remember those days, but Grammie is in love with him and feels so blessed to keep him everyday.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Wordplay Finish

 I put the last stitch in the June wordplay today. It is large!



I did it on 28 count and a thin weave so I will have to back it on black mat board for sure. The dimensions are 9 inches wide and 5.5 tall. I love the lettering, but it is big. I am not sure about where I will display it with it being that large.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...


On stitching notes I am getting ready to do some large pieces. I am putting my bunny with the apples on hold for a little while. I want it ready by late August, but I want to stitch a dog for my husband's birthday so that is my next project. It is small so it should be easy to get it done, and then it is on to some large pieces. I have some that I really really want to do.

I have lots of smalls done now. One day I will think to take a picture of my storage drawer for my smalls. It is getting to be a delight to open it up. I had done quite a few small pieces for fall last year and now I think I have a good bit for summer. I have some spring ones mixed in and I am not a winter stitcher. I have my one winter pillow that I place on my church pew. Between needing to tone things down after Christmas decorations and living in Florida, I just can't do snowmen. I like an empty house in January and February. 

Speaking of summer, I have not put any summer stitching out yet. I am determined not to rush the seasons anymore. It is hard when you look at the computer, but I feel like I am rushing life and not embracing it. Now, I will admit they will come out pre summer because after all I live in Florida and by the end of next week I should start feeling hot.

Of course, 
 I think we should all do what makes us happy! Life is too short to do it any other way!!!

Spring has been glorious this year. My morning walks have been amazing. 
Tucker and I just sat outside on the front driveway today soaking it up.

The view of live oaks which now have all their new leaves.




Here is the back deck tree that I showed you guys a couple of weeks ago. Full with its new leaves.


The shedding of the old and the new arrival literally happens so fast you will miss it if you don't look.

Holding onto spring,
Sandy





Monday, May 13, 2019

May Flowers

I have been stitching a June word play, but all I can think about are May flowers. They are just so pretty all around...from magnolias to day lilies.

Roses are popping out...



My purple day lilies popped out.
They match Donny Osmond's sash. I am sure there is someone out there who remembers that the Osmond Brothers all had different colored sashes.



Outside my kitchen window my geraniums are super pretty. My little shelves act like a window box for the kitchen sink windows.


View from the sink.


Also tomatoes and peppers.


I am just loving spring. It can just last forever. 

My June word play progress. 


I have been skipping all around on it. I am usually much more systematic about a project. What has gotten into me?!
I am doing it on 28 count. I love the words, but it is turning out really large. Way bigger than the 36 count May word play. Things that make you go hmmm.

Mother's Day was a wonderful day with the kids in which I took no picture. We went to eat out at Harbor Docks in Destin. 

Here is a picture of Mom and me.


The next picture was posted by Lindsay's mother-in-law on IG. I just loved it. It was taken last weekend when they were staying at a condo out on 30A. Tucker and Lindsay got in the pool which was heated BTW!


She is a great mom. I am quite proud of her.

That is it for me today. Time to kick my shoes off and rest a little.
Sandy