Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mama Is Coming, the Blog, the Journal, and More

I have some exciting news today. Over the weekend, Hubby and I took Mama to look at houses here. She has made the decision to move here. It is a great relief to me, and one that I had hoped she would make for some time. She had to have time to resolve that home was not going to be the same without my step dad. She has spent more time down here lately, but doesn't want to move in with me, so we have been thinking about it for awhile. There is a unusual street less than 2 miles from me that I have been driving down a ton. It is just one circle off the beaten path. You would never even know homes were down that street. Quite a few elderly live on it and it is extremely quiet and safe. Many of the homes are two story and that is a no go, but one came up that seems perfect. We made an offer yesterday, and I went up to put her house on the market. We are nervous, but I know God will work out the details. We will hear by 5:00 if they accept the offer. Nervous here, but...I know if they don't something else will come along.

I started this blog and a hand written journal at about the same time, March 2014. 

I was a couple of months from retiring, but the last year of my job had brought on some incredible challenges. Mama had fallen almost a year before, my step dad had cancer and was dying, my daughter was engaged. Three teacher friends died that year. Two of them from the grade level that I had worked with just before I took the science coach job. I can't even begin to tell you the highs and lows of that year. 

I started the blog even when quite a bit around me was in UPHEAVAL, but HOPE was there. The blog was to be the good things, never the sad stuff, but I gotta tell you the though stuff was happening. I have never kept a journal. I have ALWAYS loved to read primary sources of history. I think journals are absolutely fascinating. I love biographies as a genre. The journal is something I have kept on doing much to my surprise.  I don't write often, but every now and then when something just needs to be gotten off the chest, I have found writing it out is extremely therapeutic. ALSO, I love writing down things from my Bible reading that really gets me thinking. I am using a Moleskin pad. I never thought I would be the one to keep a journal, but I love it. It probably helps that I have more time to do that now as well.

I think blogging is definitely changing and that is ok. That is how things go...change is inevitable. I like blogging though. I like to record my happy thoughts and the things I am doing. I love reading about the lives of others. I am drawn to it for some reason.

Surprisingly, I like to journal.

In other news, I am loving my Bible Study that I am doing on Thursday mornings. I forgot to share the picture of the tables. I didn't get a photo before we all sat down and had our breakfast, but I thought it was so cute. We have 4 large tables set up with pink table clothes and this little centerpiece. So cute.

The weather has been wonderful and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Enjoying my blessings,

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Purse Tour

I shared earlier this week how my obsession with purses began early in life. I do love them.... too much in fact.

I did a purge last year and sold about 10 in a yard sale with my mother. I also have given Mama probably 7 or so in the last two years. Earlier in the week, I decided I had not purged enough after I made an impulse purchase last Saturday. It was the wake up call, that I needed to STOP the madness.

I went through and pulled out 6 to put on Ebay. As of now, I have sold 3 of them. 

My goal was to narrow down the purses kept to 10. I couldn't do it at this point. I have 11 left and tons of totes. That was another obsession. Teacher totes.

I have to convince myself that I do not need another one, although I am really wanting a new one for the winter.

So, in no particular order, here are the 11 left in my closet, PLUS my current carry and what goes in it.

Hmmm, let's start with the current one I am carrying around and what I have in it.

I have some items in there that I could probably lighten the load, but the truth is I always want to carry more than that. I am full bag toting kind of girl. You never know when you might need this stuff. I have kind of solved some of the load carrying a tote with me when we travel, alleviating the need for so many things in the purse.

Here is what I put back in after I tidied up.

I think you will see that I like patterns. It is the sewing girl in me that loves a fabric store full of possibilities. It carries over to the purses which I noticed lately is not so vogue anymore. This purse is a Spartina 449. I really like it and could get attached to their bags very easily. 

This is it packed. I have a few things I consider when purchasing a purse. It must open wide...no cavernous pits that things can get lost in, so not too deep. I prefer higher linings as I think it helps me see things better. My wallet must not stand up on its side. I don't know...that just sends me over the edge. One other thing that has really become a thing with me lately is that my sunshades thing needs to be standing up near the edge of center for easy storage and access.

Now, onto others. You will see I have had, ok still have a slight obsession with Vera Bradley. I have many totes too, and all of the ones given to Mom have been Vera.

Vera #1
This is a style I really like. I purchased it in a spring color and really like the shape, but not the color. It is the sell pile. Lots of looks at it. I bought this color because I thought it would work for fall. The thing to love about a Vera is they are so lightweight allowing me to add more to the bag! Good shape. Pocket for keys and phone outside. Easily carried on arm or shoulders. I like it!!!

Vera #2 and #3
The old standby Mandy. I need to purge these as I have not used either one in a long time, but these are  two of very favorite patterns. I have lots of luggage, make up bags in the navy one... very Auburny...you see! I have iPad covers and things like that with the purple. These are two of the greatest purses ever. I loved Mandy and have had lots of these in different patterns. It is a dream inside, but has one small drawback. If you pack it full, then those straps don't exactly stay on your shoulders. 
Just can't part with these yet.

Vera #4
This is my shopping purse. If I am doing big time shopping with daughter, I will pull this one out because it holds enough of the essentials and it is a cross body for security and easy access. The flaw though is the wallet has to stand on its side. 

Vera #5
I also LOVE this style. IT is a perfect organizational purse. I gave Mom one in a pink color. I think I REALLY just need this one in NAVY....don't you agree? It has a wonderful place on front for phone and a great zippered place on the back for keys and more.
Yep, this one is favorite. The pattern...not so much...hence, the reason I need another one!


This is one my daughter gave me for Christmas one year. I really really like this bag. IT is not pink or orange, but kind of a coral, so hard to match with things. (like that should matter with all of that pattern in VERAS.) The color is called geranium which is one my favorite flowers. I like the inside; the way it opens, the size, etc.. The drawback...it is HEAVY. The purse itself is heavy. I love it, but it is not good for a trip when you have to hold it tons. A lunch outing?, yes.


This next bag kind of has a story which lets you know I am really crazy.

A couple of months before my daughter was married and I was making regular trips to Pensacola for my stepdad's chemo treatments, I purchased a VERY SIMILAR one at the Pensacola Dillards. That Dillards has a wonderful purse and shoe selection I might add. It is very near the chemo center, so I made a dash in for something else on my way home one day. I walked by purses and they were on sale. They lured me in. I bought a Kate Landry purse, (I had never heard of them) in same shade and style. I had no time to change out purses as I was dealing with wedding and cancer. The DAY OF THE WEDDING, yes you read that right, I decided to pull that purse out of the bag and use it. It was completely different from all other purses I had. It wouldn't really be seen by anyone but it was large and I figured I could throw a ton of stuff in there and have it in the car. Daughter handed me her car keys as they arrived at the reception because they were leaving in that car. I threw them in the purse. Hubby comes later to ask for keys so he can pull it up for them to leave in. 
IT WAS A CAVERNOUS PIT. I am standing at the car digging pulling things out left and right as he was tapping his foot.

The next day I threw it aside. Daughter says a week or so later she wants it. Then she proceeds to tell me it is the greatest purse ever. What?! Yes, the three compartments keep you so organized, so off to Dilliards I went and bought one. The only difference? 

A big one. The straps on the previous one fit on the shoulders. These ----NO.
She is right though... Great on organization and I do like it a lot.

#8 & 9
Ok...onto trips to Auburn purses. I have two for this. One small and one homemade. I use both depending on my mood. 

The small one is great for games because it is a cross body and holds just the essentials, money, tickets, etc.


The homemade one carries essentials only too, but it can be washed easily and no big deal if it gets messed up from a spilled coke.

Ok, the last one is anther Spartina 449. Like I said, I could easily get obsessed with these. I really like this one and used it most of the summer.

yes, I like this one...

If I could get rid of one the Mandy's I might get it down to the desired 10. Then I must never look at purses again. Probably not going to happen.

Oh, and I have purged the totes down to 10, but those don't count as purses.

Hope you enjoyed my stash,

Friday Catch Up

The weather has been just about perfect. Cool mornings and evenings for getting outside, but warm, not hot, in the middle of the day with lots of sunshine.

Lemony, the Golden has thought so too. She has been outside sunning quite a bit this week. I have left the doors open in the mornings too. I have rigged up a gate at the top of the stairs to keep her from swimming off. The neighbor down the way rewards her swimming off from home with treats. Lemony heads straight there after she thinks I am no longer paying attention to her.
This is her routine this week.

Relaxed with my ball enjoying the time outdoors.

Play with my ball. She loves tennis balls.

Oops, roll it off the deck, knowing full well that when she give the forlorn look that I will open up and let her run down to get it.

I finally pulled myself together this week and did some much needed yard work. I picked up two large garbage bags of pine straw from the bottom deck. Y'all have seen my neighbor's pine tree that I share bunches in sunrise pictures or just bayou pictures. It is REALLY big. It is quite majestic and grows right at the water's edge. Other than during hurricanes, I actually like the look of it, but it has two strikes against it. #1 -it is terrifying to look at during a hurricane, and #2 it drops copious amounts of straw on my decks. It is a never ending battle. Sometimes I just give up and let them stay there for a very LONG time like I did once it got too hot to breathe outside...aka...August.

I cleaned up the lower deck, and got the floats and summer equipment cleaned to store for the winter. I haven't put paddle board up or kayak up yet. Maybe a morning or two still left that it will be usable.

All the tomato and pepper pots have been emptied.

I also tidied up my rose beds and put the pine straw in them. I FINALLY put some pansies in a few pots. I left some things as they were, such as my impatiens downstairs. They are leggy, but still blooming. I will give them a little longer, but all in all things are looking better outside and I can sit in peace without thinking I need to get up and sweep. 

I finished stitching November in October this week. Yippie! I am ahead of the game. I will share the finished product November 1st.

I loved stitching on the Aida cloth much better than the linen. I like the way it turned out, but we will see how it mounts up.

Mama is on her way down today, and we will head up to the farm to fool around in the morning. Did you hear that? I guess it is going to be called the farm. I knew something would fall into place.  

We will be back for SEC football. 

I have a few indoor chores today, so I have to get busy.

I have sold 3 of the 6 purses I listed on Ebay. I am sharing more on my purses tomorrow, so if anyone is interested in a purse crazed woman, check back:)

Until then,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Love of Purses

My love of purses began at a very early age. Earliest known sightings are age two at Easter. 

I have had one on my person ever since. Purses were the most important package under the Christmas tree as a child. I am not proud of it, but in 7th grade, I absolutely thought life might be over if I didn't have one of the box purses that everyone was carrying at the time. I spied the perfect one at Gayfers (oh, I still miss Gayfers) in Pensacola. It was navy with orange flowers...you can clearly see how that would be the one..right?! (War Eagle) Well, Mama left the house one day, and I did the unthinkable for my rule following self. Yes, I opened the package to peek in and make sure she got the right one. I taped that little package right back up and thought, Whew!, she got it right. All would be well, for school after the new year. I am not proud of that at all!

There are more of these pictures than anyone would want to see.

I have a definite problem with purchasing too many purses. My family just rolls their eyes. I can't even sneak one in the house anymore. I am always on the look out for the perfect one to store all my belongings, because I am one of those Nancy Drew kind of people that is sure I need to have that item in my purse. You never know when you will need to reach in and grab something for the occasion. Not good for the shoulders, and I have to be careful about buying one not too large, but I certainly can't go for those small bags either. 

I have had some favorites over the years that I have used longer than others, but I just can't pass by a purse display and not look and ponder the possibilities that a particular one might hold.

Important one too... Bermuda Bag that matched the suit Mama made. Pink ribbon. Yes, this was a masterpiece of matching attire.

Some of my favorites have been a Liz Claiborne purse that I carried around in the 90's when the children were smaller. I really like that one, and it didn't even have a lot of pockets. I think it was the shape of it. The late 80's had me with one in the shape of a rectangle with two side by side zip of compartments that I really liked. That one kept me organized. I was never good with those big bottomless pits with no form to them. They might look kind of stylish for the hippies, and I would be drawn to them, but they were no good for daily use and would often end up at the bottom of my pile to be taken to Goodwill. 

I must say I don't really care about the brand, just functional as well as the CUTENESS factor. I fell in love with Vera Bradley's sometime after the 2000's and I have had more of those than I can even really count. They were a school teacher's dream. Totes too...oh my, that is a completely different obsession. Teacher Totes!!!

I love fabric stores and the endless of array of patterns and colors, so could there be any wonder that I would become obsessed with a Vera? I mean really, all those patterns. However, the thing that I loved the most was the pockets. Organization galore. I have had every kind of purse you can imagine in Vera Bradley. Oh, and yes, they are purses, not handbags to me. I am not sure why, but they are purses. I have had different favorites at different phases of life. Anyway, I felt in the past few years, the brightly colored fabric purses were losing their swagger. I was sad, because I was in love with them. I began to look around this wonderful thing called the Internet and learn that I could capture everything in small bags (Vera, of course) and still be organized with a leather type tote, so that set me off on new adventures.

The reason this post came about was this past weekend. I went shopping with my dearest daughter. She had birthday gift cards to spend and off to Destin we went. She just had to take me in this new store to look at jewelry. Well, let's just say, she looked at jewelry, but all I could see was purses galore. I made an impulse purchase, which BTW, her job is too keep me from making any more purse purchases, because even after a purse purge this past spring, my collection was vast and ridiculous, I might add.

I came home with said purse, used it the next morning for church and realized it was totally wrong. A purse must have a wide opening to be useful with or without pockets. IT CANNOT be too deep because keys can be lost in a cavern. IT must be wide enough for my wallet to go in and not have to be on its side. I just hate my wallet on its side. I think that goes back to my precious Grandma. She always had a wide but not deep purse that she used as a FILING CABINET. Ask her where anything was, and it would be in her purse in an envelope, neatly filed away in her purse. She would just peruse through her files until she found it. I wonder if things were alphabetized...probably not, that would just be for truly crazy people like me.

Ok, I digress, back to the impulse purchase. Oh darn, I am going to drift again. Lately, I have done that a ton lately. That is the problem with blogs and Instagram. They cause me to make impulse purchases. I  had a come to Jesus meeting with my self this week over purses and impulse purchases. NO MORE!!! 

Anyway, after realizing my mistake, I took to my closet where I store this wonderful assortment of purses and decided a real purge or at least as much of a purge as someone with a REAL PURSE PROBLEM is able to accomplish, needed to take place. I pulled out six and listed them on EBAY. I sold one already. Didn't make much because shipping is out of control these days, but it was really about trying to tame my addiction. My mom will get a few. She loves my cast offs.

I still have too many, but there will be no new purchases anytime soon, AND furthermore, I will still carry a patterned Vera Bradley even if they are not so vogue anymore.

Now, if you have stuck with me this far, you will have to come back soon, because I am not finished with this post. Like I said, I LOVE purses, so I can find plenty to write about.

We will venture into the closet of purses and even inside my purse if you dare.
Until then...

A stroll down memory lane with purses I found on the Internet that I once had....

I had one like this in 7th grade. Clasp was different.

8th grade and mine was love green. I really liked this one. I even have a photo of it in the yearbook sitting on my desk.

And this was the ONE, that I opened a Christmas package for. Navy background with little orange flowers.

Hope you survived the purse story,

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bible Study, Housekeeping, and New Program

I normally go to my mom's on Thursdays, but I am doing a seven week Bible study at church starting today. I am rather excited about it. I have always wanted to do a girl's study. I read them constantly, and my husband and I lead a Bible study at our home with couples our age. Since retiring, I have wanted to do a women's study. What excited me about this one is that it will be women of all ages. We will meet together for part of it, and then divide into groups according to our age for part. I love being around the younger girls. So much energy! The study is called Seamless. 

I will choose another day to visit with Mama. She is doing so much better. I am so grateful for that. She has some spunk back in her life. A few weeks ago, we had parked at Auburn for the game, and she was out of that car walking fast like she used to. She told Hubby he was walking to slow and she couldn't possibly walk that slow. Now, that is my mama talking. He got her on the hills though..she couldn't keep up then. We got a good laugh at her though.

Whew, I was on a housecleaning rampage yesterday. It only takes a couple of days to get behind. I try to really clean an area a day and then keep the clutter up daily. For just two people, I have no idea how we can have so many dirty clothes. I do all of Jeff's shirts. He still wears the shirt and tie everyday, so that means he really wears two outfits a day. You know what though, I am loving being home and having the time to be a housekeeper without the stress of teaching.

Now, for my news. I am scared and excited. My mom's neurologist for her seizures has left that world and opened up a new practice in Pensacola. I am going to be one of his first patients. I am so sick of taking the RA meds. I have no clue if I will be able to come off of them. He makes no promises, but I am ready to try a new approach. This will be a total program. Diet, exercise, lifestyle...you name it. It is beyond expensive, but I figure the money I spend on drugs and the way I feel most of the time makes it worth the try. I have told Hubby it is my Christmas present. 

I have been ready for months, but it took him a while to get his office and practice up and running. I am still in the "I don't know what it will be like" phase. I met with him on Monday. We are knowing doing blood work before I meet with him again. I gave up 17 vials worth yesterday. I now have a saliva test to turn in. All of that has to get back before I see him again. I have been reading material he has given me. I am fearing the detox program the most, but yet, I am looking forward to it. I am the pickiest eater ever, so I know it will be beyond tough.

My purpose in telling about it, is accountability. I figure if I share it, readers will want to know my progress. SCARY!!! 

I am thinking it is going to be a slow process, because he has said it will be. He believes too many fail because they try too much at one time. I guess I chose this because I have respected him as a doctor, and quite frankly I am sick of the medicines and the side effects. I had been taking the most common of drugs for years...Methotrexate. I took that and then began to have to add to it. I have taken Humira (didn't agree with me at all), Enbrel (kind of gave me some pep, but that needle was the biggest needle on the planet), and now Xeljanz. I had to quit Methotrexate last January after I had pneumonia. The x-rays shows some nodules that are side effects of long term use of Methotrexate. 

I am hopeful, but know that it will be hard. I would like to lose weight, and really see what I have to eat to keep the inflammation down. The weight loss will help I know. It is funny, we ate so well when the kids were little. It fell apart when they reached the age for going to sporting events with my son. After I had worked all day and then had more work for the evening, it just got easier to eat out. That will kill you every time. I never gained it all at one time, but more like a pound a year from the time they were in middle school to now. Same for Hubby, who has lost 25 pounds. So proud of him. But, that is where, I realized it was more than eating like he did. He lost 25 and me nothing. 

I know I am picky and will miss certain foods, but I have reached the point where it is more important to feel well than to worry about what I am giving up. It is what will I gain.

Y'all read that...hold me to it!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

20 Years Ago: Double or Triple Whammy?

I hadn't planned to post today, since I have a very busy afternoon. My morning prayer circle got canceled, so I thought I would be reflective today.

Twenty years ago, on October 3rd, 1995, Hurricane Opal hit our area. That in itself would be plenty to recall, but it is the circumstances around it that made it even more difficult.

Life is full of hilltops and valleys. That year, late summer and into the beginnings of fall plummeted our family from the hilltop to the valley.

Summer found us with school out and summer projects; just the love of being home. I loved being home with the kids. I counted the days until I could be just a mommy at home. Jeff was teaching by that time too. Lindsay would be starting school, and Paul Allen had turned 3. 

We lived right around the corner from our current home which was Jeff's parents home. Jeff's dad was retired and for entertainment he kept our yard as immaculate as his own. I am not kidding when I tell you the man could do up a yard. Flowers everywhere. People stopped to gaze at his front bed of impatiens. They were a sight to behold.

We had noticed he had slowed down. He actually had gone to doctors, even had gall bladder surgery earlier in the summer.

Late summer, August 3, 2015, Hurricane Erin came into our area as a Category 2 hurricane. It was amazing. I have never seen so many limbs in one yard. We all thought the amount of debris was incredible. I said it really pruned the trees for Opal.

August 1995 after Erin. Photos taken of photos. The scanner was not being cooperative.

New lunch boxes. No, he didn't need one, but he wanted one because she had one. 

I have told you before we are truly the last people in the county to regain power. We are on a small line that connects to nothing important. 

Anyway after several days, Mr. Palmer made his way to the KFC and brought over dinner. You can not even imagine how good that meal was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me back up for a side story, Jeff is one that always thinks he must get out and survey the damage before he should which ended up in a flat tire. 

When we sat down to that dinner, for some reason I felt it was video worthy!!! The kids are explaining to Nana and PaPa how Daddy should not have been driving after the hurricane (repeating what I had said) and how we got a flat tire and so forth. We have priceless video of our eating our first hot meal and Daddy getting scolded by the kids. It's the little things we remember. Who knew that video would be such a wonderful memory.

A week passed by and we had celebrated the return of electricity. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love air conditioning. Those August nights were some of the hottest of my life. 
Mr. Palmer had a doctor's appointment that gave us news that changed our lives. He had cancer that was untreatable and he had just a little time left.

School started.

Jeff went to work late every morning. His wonderful principal set up his planning period early so that he could come in late. So, for six weeks he went to his parents house every morning and then as soon as school was out he was back over there. 

Lindsay started to school and flourished.

I held the fort down.

Late September arrived and with that Lindsay's birthday. The time was getting close for his passing, so I took her for a small party with just closest friends to Chuckie Cheese and back over to see her grandparents. I knew he would pass soon, and I couldn't help but be selfish and hoped it wouldn't be on her birthday because I didn't want it to always be her birthday and the day PaPa died. I realize that is rather stupid now, but you know when you are in the thick of things you don't think rationally. He passed away after midnight that evening.

Lindsay and Chelsea pictured here are still best friends today.

Less than a week, still battered from the whirlwind of the last 8 weeks of recovering from a hurricane, and then watching a loved one pass away, I awoke to the alarm of the TV. 

There was another storm out there...surely, it wouldn't come to the exact same place. 

I went to bed and left the TV on watching it. I woke at 4:00 to that sound on the Weather Channel when there is an alert. Hurricane Opal was indeed going to come to the same place and she was a category 5. Later it was determined that she was only a 4 with the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Big deal. She was not good news.

I have lived along the Gulf Coast all my life. I remembered Camille from 1969. I was up and waking everyone. We packed our stuff and headed to Nana's. She was a mess. We loaded up the car, two kids, Nana, and Jeff's brother to head north. 

That was the year that Emergency Management Systems everywhere learned lots of lessons. Too late for us, but they learned lessons! We were on Highway 85 North halfway to Crestview with all four lanes north jammed up and jelly tight with people. The radio announcer begins to say, everyone needs to get off the road immediately. Where!? That is Air Force Base reservation. There is no where to go. Lovely...two small kids and a distraught Nana. 

We get to Crestview only to find out that a tornado has just come across the area. We realized we would never make to my parent's house or to Jeff's aunt's home in Montgomery. We would have to find shelter. We made a phone call to a family in north Crestview. They said come. We made it only to find out two more families had made it there too. Words can never express my gratitude to those people. I took Nana and the kids to a bedroom and just tried to keep them calm. It is all surreal to even think about. Those people were angels in the midst.

We rode out the night. When we were able to be let back into Fort Walton, we headed home.

IT was unbelievable. For us, more trees down, the bottom deck at our current home (Nana's at the time) washed away. Boats everywhere. No electricity for two more weeks. 

Highway 98 in front of the Sound. That high rise in the background is still there today.

The shopping center is no longer there. This is right next to the old civic center and library building on Highway 98.

But, the worst of that was trying to deal with all of that while grieving. My poor hubby was so pitiful. It is a time we will never forget. I can still remember the weeks and months after that and the tears he shed. He was very close to his dad, and I knew his life would be forever changed. He was his parents' surprise baby. They had him late in life, and Jeff was one of those who realized how special his dad was. A WWII vet who had gone in not on D-Day, but the day after. Still not good. He was from the Greatest Generation for sure.

Every hurricane has a story, and I can tell you one for every single one, big or small, that has hit our area since Camille in 1969, but none are quite like Erin and Opal.

It is deeply embedded into the fabric of our stories.

We don't think of his passing with Lindsay's birthday, but with Erin and Opal.

20 years ago, this past weekend, but, yet still so fresh. But, God is always good and provides a way to pass through the deep waters.

Now, off to start a busy day. Needed to write it down for posterity's sake.

Picture taken in May of 1995.

Hurricane Erin, Hurricane Opal, and the loss of a great man. Triple dose of trouble. They valleys come, but God holds us up.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Cottage Cross Stitch

I was only four days late on the October cottage cross stitch project.

I am going to go ahead and tell you that all photos will be dark, because it is cloudy and getting darker earlier. I couldn't wait until tomorrow to take pictures, because I have a very busy day ahead.

I made a small change on the tutorial for mounting it that I did here.

It hit me after I did the September one, that it would so much more economical if the magnet were on the back of the frame and the washer was on the cross stitching. You would only need the magnets placed one time. Washers are very cheap, so you would glue those on the back of the cross stitching.

I didn't try to pull the washers off of the back of the frame. I figured it might tear it up, so I just placed the magnets on the washer. I thought I had some bigger ring magnets left over from school, but I couldn't locate them. These craft magnets are not as strong, so I used two.

for non-science people.

All magnets, even ring magnets have a north and south pole, so double check to make sure they are attracting the thing you want them to stick too. 

***Remember: Opposites Attract (just like in real life relationships)

I didn't think to say that in my tutorial.

Check to see if they attract before you glue.

Here is a picture of the candy corn backing. I have no magnets or washers on this piece. It is held in place by the cross stitch washer.

Love this fabric. Made a pillowcase dress out of it last year for a friend.

I am officially going to try Aida cloth for November tonight. I picked up some of the oatmeal color with flecks in it. I am not wild about the linen in the two I have done. It is thin and when you go to mount it some of the threads show through to me. Probably no one in the world notices but me, but I do notice. If I don't like it, I can go back to the linen.

Now, for the placement on the kitchen counter.

I am crushing on the Pioneer Woman measuring cups in front of my mixer. I did not allow myself to buy any of her stuff, even though I think she is wonderful. I have no need for kitchen supplies. I could furnish someone else's kitchen too with the many things I have. However, I succumbed to the cuteness of these measuring cups. I don't know how accurate they are because I haven't tried them out yet.

Pretty cute, huh?!

One last thought tonight...I will miss the color of green now that it has cooled off.

I love the green and fullness of the ferns which won't last long with the cooler temperatures.

I loved the cooler temperatures today. I just wanted to sit outside in it. I hope the 70's and low 80's last a long time. I don't like the cold of winter, and I certainly don't like it when all the green turns brown. There are no great leaf colors here, just in pictures. 

Loving October and counting my blessings,

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Farm? The Ranch?

I shared mystery pictures on Monday. This evening I will solve the mystery. 

Hubby has longed for a piece of land in the country for YEARS. His family had a farm in nearby Crestview as he was growing up, and he loved spending time there. That family farm finally got surrounded by town when Crestview exploded. The family made the decision to sell, and now two schools sit on that land.  Between cheaper homes, and the addition of the Army base up there, Crestview has had quite a population explosion.

A few years ago, he decided it was time to look. We looked everywhere! In the process of searching, it became apparent that the land needed to be within an hour's drive, if he was really going to be able to utilize it. We found many great places that were 2-3 hours away, but really felt that would end up being too far away. The search was fruitless and disappointing to him on many occasions. 

Two years ago, he came across "the perfect place" in a neighboring county. 

It fit all of his requirements. Woods, pasture, water, barn, equipment, but, the biggie.... close enough to home to really be able to run up there on a Saturday. He was going to be able to drive his tractor and get back home in a timely manner.

Even better, it bordered a good friend's piece. The friend has a 12 acre pond, and they had already had great fun up there.

Well, he contacted the guy, and we toured. We prayed and gave it some thought. The decision was made to make an offer. The guy said it was too low, and very cautious Hubby decided to pass it by. He never got over it.

A few months passed, and we discovered that it had sold to someone we knew for not much more than we had offered. He was even sicker. 

Time passed and nothing sweeter came around.

A few weeks ago, the new owner called and said he would sell. He already had a place in the area, and I think he just bought it on impulse. We didn't mess around this time. Sold!

I will give you a quick tour.

The back side of the land has woods.

Hardwoods, pines, and a trail before you get to the creek.
There are two large pastures separated by a pecan orchard. Sadly, we have been told that the pecan trees are near a hundred years old, and won't be big producers. I was sad about that.

There is a structure on it that I guess you would call a cottage. It is surrounded by a fence and has a great gazebo inside the fenced area. I didn't get a picture of the outside of the cottage. I think this area would be great place for a small garden and maybe a few roses. The cottage is structurally sound, but needs some tidying up on the inside.

There is an unbelievable barn with a concrete floor. Stalls on one side, and plenty of room to park the equipment that came with it. Two mules (one large and one small), a four wheeler, riding mower, and tractor. BTW, mules are not animals, for my city folks, but I guess you could say they are souped up golf carts.

Behind the barn, there is a corral for horses. I don't care for horses. They scare me. Always have. Cows I love, but horses, NO.

There is a pond.

Behind the trees, you can our neighbor's pond.

And if all that is not enough, there is something else. It is incredibly nice on the inside.

Amazing tree. Oh, and you can see the cottage over to the left back behind my mom.

It is in pristine condition, so no I will not mind at all staying in this. In fact, we are planning to have the family Thanksgiving celebration there this year. The kids will have plenty to keep them happy after the big dinner.

I know that Hubby, my son, and my son-in-law are going to love it up there. I don't think I will mind it too much myself. 

Of course, it needed a satellite for football.

It came completely and with very nice stuff. I will maybe share that later.

As for future plans, I don't know...will it one day be a home for us. I have no clue. I don't have to figure that out now. I love the water here, and the kids have balked at any idea of selling our home and downsizing and apparently Hubby has no plans to downsize. Only me.

Screened porch looks out to the pond.

The land has a name with a sign out front. The blank blank Ranch. The blanks would give away the location, and I am not quite sure I am ready to do that. We don't know quite what to call it yet. I think it will come to be known as something to us all on its own. Time will tell.

Well, that was a quick tour. I am sure we will spend most of the time in the barn. I am going to need a fire pit. I love a fire. If he wants me there more, I will need a fire:)

Counting my blessings,