Friday, February 27, 2015

February Update

I am so ready for spring just like everyone else, but I have tried to make the best of being indoors this month. Here is the month of February in review.

If you can't get outside, why not cheer yourself up with roses. I bought 2 bouquets after Valentine's Day for half off at Publix. It was a very good decision. 

I am so ready to get outside and get things growing, but Ole Man Winter has had other ideas. I did get out and get my roses pruned and put new straw in the beds.

I planted three camellia bushes last winter after last year's winter killed off some of the palm like plants. I love them and don't know why I hadn't already done this. They are blooming now and are providing that much needed color and hope for making it to spring.

I know I sound like the cold is just so unbearable here on the Gulf Coast. I think I might be just a tad bit spoiled. I am not one pining away for snow. Pretty in pictures, but not a bit interested in seeing it anymore in person.

The Burpee's seed catalog arrived. I absolutely adore browsing through it. 

Like I said, I can't wait for spring!!!

Now, onto other news.

My mama is doing much better after our high blood pressure scares last month. We have two doctor appointments next week, but I have to say she is doing so much better. Thankful for that.

I have had much more success this month with my cleaning schedule. I am falling into a bit more a routine and I must say it feels so good. I finally listened to all those that said, "clean that sink out before you go to bed." I must say it is really nice to wake up to that in the morning. I also discovered Bar Keeper's Friend. It has renewed my 30 year old sink. I am loving it.

The other routine I love is the bed made as soon as I get up. You know I did that for so many years, but the last 10 years, I worked at an early start school and it kicked my butt. You are just so less likely to lay anything down and start the clutter pile if the bed is made.

It has taken me a while to really settle into retirement. I am not sure I am completely there, but I am loving the being at home and taking care of the hubby and home. I actually like to iron. I know I am probably the only person left on the planet that does.

I have cooked so much more. I made the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Parmesan last night. It was delicious and I didn't take a picture. I added garlic salt, California style to it. I love that stuff.

I have made three desserts this month for our Wednesday night church small group, including this one from Cottage at the Crossroads. The only thing I did different was to make a regular homemade graham cracker crust.

I am enjoying myself as you can see.

I have been sewing quite a bit. I love to sew. I had to put that on hold for many years, but I am trying to get back into it.

I made the pink dress for a friend. I see every flaw, but it turned out pretty cute.

I made the little shirt for my great nephew. I had made a little skirt for his twin sister earlier. He loved it. I have plans for more sewing for them. They are five and the cutest little things you ever saw. 

Yesterday, I made this little romper for a friend. I need to put the buttons on today. 

In addition to the sewing, I have been counted cross-stitching. I may have picked the hardest pattern ever to start this back up. Oh my word, it is incredibly difficult to see with old eyes.

It will be a heron when finished that measures 20" X 24". I plan to make a pillow out of it, IF I ever finish it.

Still reading the Word with my chronological plan and soaking it up. I should be finished by mid-June. 

And now for the not so good stuff...

Yep, that is my car being towed. I had a dead battery, but it caused my key to stick in the ignition. 

AND, we have to build a new deck on the back. They have come to measure, and I am just trembling with fear about the price quote for that. It hasn't been done in 30 years, so it is time. I am hoping they will get started soon, so we can get out there as the weather warms up.

Well, that is February in a nutshell.

Blessed indeed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finding Time for God

Now that I am retired, I have so much more time for reading God's Word. I love that and am soaking those moments up. Recharging my soul you might say.

However, yesterday as I was reading and spending that time in the Word, I couldn't help but think about those years that I was a working mom with zero spare time. My daughter is now working full time and will probably one day be one of those moms trying to make it in this world juggling job and family.

I know there are plenty of people out there who say-- just quit and be a full time mom. I am not here to debate that. We all have choices we have to make and unless "we walk a mile in someone's else's moccasins we shouldn't judge." 
(I am guessing that little nugget of wisdom is not PC today, but it is so true.)
What I am about to share is for any busy mom!

When life gets busy and crazy we need Jesus so much more. I remember one particular night that changed my view on making time for Him. It was a Friday night and the kids and hubby were gone to a football game. I sometimes would let them go and use that time to clean house and get caught up on the second job of housekeeping. I found that I would be less stressed on Saturday and Sunday. The TV was on more for company than anything else. A football player was talking about his faith and he made this statement.

Obedience is the highest form of faith. 

That statement really struck me. As he talked, I listened, but it was the statement that really made me think. 

I don't have to have time. 
I don't have to like it.
Etc., Etc., Etc.,
I just have to be obedient.

I began to ponder how I could add that devotional and quiet time to my already busy schedule.

This is how I handled it, and it really changed me in big ways.

During those years, 
I didn't have time to read through the Bible or become a Bible scholar. I was doing good to read one verse, SO THAT IS WHAT I DID.

I went to the bookstore and bought one of those small devotion books with one verse at the top and a small story. A book similar to this.

I began to search for those small devotional books that I could read on the way out the door or at night before I went to bed. 

God met my obedience!!!

He began to take those simple little books and amaze me with how timely the verse or story would be to me that day or at least a day or two afterwards. That my friends... is how He works. He meets us where we are and uses our obedience to bless us.

He grew me even with a verse a day and small devotional books!!!!!!!!

For many years, that is all I could do. When summer came and I had more time or when I had those moments I dug deeper and spent more time. For those seasons of life, when you don't have time to breathe, I found that being obedient to just stopping even for a couple of minutes was met by God.

One more thought for those working moms out there, those seasons will come and go. Your children will no longer cause mounds of laundry and messy dishes galore. I loved to counted cross stitch from college on. I basically had to give it up when the kids were toddlers. Life just got too busy for it. I now have time and am busy stitching each night. 

I started this piece in the early 1990's and life happened. It was left in a box unfinished until last year when I finally had time to pull it out and complete it. 
I now have time to stitch most nights. Seasons come and go.

I hope this helps someone out there to pour more of Him into your life. Sometimes I have thoughts, but chicken out on sharing them. I think I am going to stop that. After all, it is my blog:) I can express my thoughts...right?


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Foyer Is Finally Repaired

The foyer that had a sheet hanging over the door before Christmas has hopefully been repaired from the leaks. We had taken gutters down a few years ago, and then proceeded to have Biblical rains last year. Those rains took a toll. Gutters are back up, but part of the problem is just design. The foyer is an octagonal tower. Lots of windows and lots of points coming together from several places on the roof of the house causing downpours.

New tile and a new paint job rendered a share of "what was behind the sheet?"

The picture below is taken looking towards the foyer from the family/living room.

I have always thought of this area as quite a bit of wasted space, but it nice sometimes to have open space for that breather of clutter.
To the left is dining room and to the right is the stairs leading down. We have a split level, so the main level is top. The room where the curtains are is a formal living room that we have converted to a pool table room or should I say billiards room.

The peacock lamp actually called my name out one day at Kirklands. 

Were you able to count all 8 walls? The opening back into the house is number 8. The stained glass is one of my favorite things in the home.

The room is a tower. This is inside looking up.

You can see it has a chandelier in it. I am not crazy about it at all, but haven't ever gotten around to changing. I have changed quite a few light fixtures out in the house. If I wait long enough, maybe some of them will come back in style.

This is outside looking at it.

This is in the open area. I think it is one of the shots I have missed in pictures. The double doors are a coat closet. Opposite that wall between pool room and stairs is another closet I use for seasonal decorations and photo albums.

Well, that is the foyer that seemed like it took forever to get the floor replaced and walls painted. 
I am hoping for no more leaks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Love Bookshelves

It seems that bookshelves are all the talk these days. Many of us have them, as they have been a staple in homes built in the 1970's-1990's. I think somewhere around the turn of the century I began seeing less of them and more of the niches in newer homes.

With the day coming when our actual books are going to become a thing of the past, it seems everyone wants to do something different with their shelves. I must say I am struggling with this new trend as I just love my books. I always loved seeing lots of books on a shelf and arranging and rearranging as the collection grew or I needed to add a new picture frame.

I think of myself as someone who tries to keep up and not be stuck in the past. I just reminisce about it.  However, this one is going to be a toughie for me. I have always had a love affair with books. Just about every picture of me as a child involves books and purses. I do love my purses...a story for another day. My husband used to just shake his head while I was still teaching about the number of books I ordered from Amazon. I don't think there is a room in the house that doesn't have books unless it is the pool table room and the bathroom. The bathrooms used to contain books, but with our phones I think that has taken care of the stacks in there:) Hmmm...maybe I am liking the advent of online books after all.

Just a very small sampling of my space books. You probably really don't need to know how many books on space I have.

Actually, I do love my Kindle and Kindle app. I find that I like to read the quick fiction novels on there that I probably won't want to keep, but when it comes to nonfiction which I read a lot of, I love my books. Which brings me back to my bookshelves...they are full of nonfiction books.

I really like the look of books. I hear so many talking about the colors and mismatched look of them. I think I see them in a different light. I see them as books I really enjoyed reading and the stories that they hold so, for me my books, will remain.

I love looking at all the young girls fixing up their shelves with many different things and they are so cute and adorable. I have seen so many adorable shelves holding collections. I think that my oak shelves balance the colors of the books and of course white is all the rage now. Different times for sure. Either way is good!!! A home should be a place for the family that lives there to enjoy. AND I have found that when Mama is happy the rest of the family is too.

I have a feeling there will come a time that when one walks into my living room, they will know my age because of the books.

Anyone else out there that still loves the look of books on a shelf?

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking up with...


Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1st

One year ago today, my sweet girl married the perfect match for her. Lindsay met Tyler at Auburn her Freshman year, shortly after she arrived on The Plains. 

January 29, 2014 brought an ice storm to the south like we Southerners have never seen or at least the kind of 100 year stories. Tyler's parents are from Atlanta and spent the night in a Publix parking lot. Two of the bridesmaids lived in Birmingham where they were iced in safely thank goodness in their apartments as many spent the night in cars and classrooms.

I can tell you that a kind of strange sensation flowed over Lindsay and me. There were no longer any worries or stress over flowers, decorations, plans for the wedding, etc, etc, etc. Those quickly went to everyone going to safely arrive at the wedding? We quickly settled into the mode that is was no longer in our control and that we just wanted friends and family to arrive safely. 

It is so funny to think back to the weather. The bayou we live on actually froze over almost all the way across like a lake in the northern states. The South was quite a scene. We don't know how to drive or even walk outside in that kind of weather.

Santa Rosa Sound - Hurlburt AFB Officers' Club

As you can see from the photograph above, the weather changed quickly and warmed up to give us a very nice day. There were a few clouds during the day, but the sun shone through enough to give us some wonderful outdoor pictures. It wasn't cold at all during the day. The sunset was magnificent and all our family and friends from Alabama and the Atlanta area were treated to that beautiful sunset. I think all but two people we invited made it to the wedding.

They spent a weekend away in Savannah this weekend relaxing after a year of many changes. They started out in Jacksonville, but have moved back home, but they go in opposite directions each day for work and have rather long commutes. I am praying that God sees fit to help them out on this soon, but in this economy good jobs are hard to come by and they are lucky on this account.

I told her that her weather story had come the year she got married. Her dad and I were married on September 1st, 1984. On our one year anniversary, we were trying to evade Hurricane Elena. We went to my mama's house across the state line into Alabama. Why? I am not quite sure, because they get about as much damage as we do from tornadoes and sometimes straight line winds as with IVAN. Any who, we ate our frozen wedding cake with threats of a hurricane. It went to Louisiana. And...BTW, I can tell you where I was and what I was doing for every hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Camille in 1969. It is our way of life.

I pulled out their top layer of the wedding cake to have ready for them to take home tonight. She said it was still good and she was glad that I had done that, because she really didn't remember what it tasted like that night:)

Blessed indeed,

Praying for my dear mom as we are dealing with some health issues.