Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goals Update and Hitting the Reset Button

I hit the reset button this week on some things. I am somewhat of a driven person...always feeling the need to do a bit more or measure up to some unknown thing. 

Warning this is one of those long feelings posts... with no pictures. I love pictures too.

I have loved retirement this past year and a half, but yet felt like I needed to be doing more. I have had a hard time not feeling like I should be doing something more than staying home and enjoying just that....staying home. That driven part of me wrestles with not be a working woman, I guess you would say. (I know that is totally messed up:)

There has been no doubt at all in my mind when I think rationally -that retirement came at an extraordinarily right time for many reasons.

With all that said, I made my goals list for the new year in the back of my planner as always. There is nothing wrong with my list, but it didn't seem quite right this year. I couldn't really put my finger on it. I have been so busy with getting Mama settled (that is coming in a post later...I promise), that I accomplished very little on my goals list.

I absolutely love reading blogs. One of my favorite things about them is that it is often helpful to be able to read another's insights in life without sounding whiny to your friends:)  when you spill out all your thoughts verbally to them.

Lemon Lane Style wrote a post this month that really got my attention. It was after I had written down my goals for the year. She talked about how this year just felt different to her, like a continuation of last year.  Like when you turn a new age and it feels no different than the previous year.  She too is about two years into retirement as well. I was definitely relating to her analogy when ....

Patty from Lemon Lane Style wrote these two lines...

I think subconsciously I have given my permission to just be...

To be content with who I am, with what I have and with where I'm headed.

That really resonated with me. 

Then Arlene from Nanaland wrote one morning about a conversation she had with her mother over  a cross stitch project she was stitching. 

Arlene wrote this...

She confided in me that it was driving her crazy as it was stamped cross stitch and not the usual embroidery that she loves doing. I told her to put it up and get out something that made her happy.

Arlene went on to write about precious time really is. After all we have passed the age 50 mark.

That also really resonated with me.

Time is fleeting. I should be doing more of what I feel called to do for eternal purposes, but just simply enjoying life as well.

Then at church this month, we had a sermon series that was just a bit different than your usual feel good New Year's message. It was a four part series and the final piece was this past Sunday.

The final piece to my "not just settled mind"!

The first three weeks were all about not making the same old resolutions... get our of debt, loose weight, get healthy...blah blah blah. We all need to do those things was the point, but how about a 
not so me focused year? The question for the first two weeks was ----"What breaks your heart?" 

Well now, let me tell you I have a lot of things that break my heart. The plight of kids for one thing and the breakdown of the family, married couples in trouble just when you should be enjoying life together. I mean the list could go and on. 

But what to do about all of that is a whole different ballgame!

This week it was summed up for us in a powerful way that really got my wheels spinning.

Nehemiah Chapter 3 was the passage of Scripture. If you have read the first two chapters of Nehemiah, you know they are about getting permission to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. They are a great narrative and very interesting to read. When you get to Chapter 3, it might be a bit more like Leviticus. Stop reading that book and move on :-)

I am flying through the message to give you the highlights or my take aways that changed my thinking.

Basically, as they are rebuilding the wall, each person did a portion that was "Right in Front" of him. 

I am guilty of looking for this great big falling star to pop right out of the sky and say..."Sandy, this is the great thing you need to be doing right now."

The question then became ---"What is right in front of you that you need to be working on."

I know I am popping right over how I got to this conclusion from the message, but trust me it was all there in the sermon.

I began to ponder Sunday afternoon and Monday...what is right in front of me..???

The answer was not so earth shattering, but very clear. Thank you, Holy Spirit!

My family... each one of them needs a portion of me right now. They need me to just be there, to not be so stressed from work or with so many projects that I don't have to time to stop and listen so very attentively.  Our round dinner table has had some great conversations lately. My kids are smart. One comes for lunch every day and the other for supper.

They need my devotion to prayer for them.

My dear Mama needs my patience and time. She is tweaking out a new existence at age 80. That really can't be too easy. She knows she is still of sound mind, but yet unable to handle the things she once did. She is also realizing that her body won't keep up like it once did. That is a tough pill to swallow.

The biggie was one I had really had not considered quite worthy of my time, but it has been revealed to me that is is quite worthy and will now be a priority, somehow.

For what reason I am not sure, but I have so many ladies reach out to me. Well, I do know to...God uses our struggles to make us stronger and teach us things and then He expects us to 
impart that wisdom to others.

Some are going through some tough things and others seeking an older lady to guide them through the struggles of being a mom in an overly busy world. I have had at least 5 ladies in this past month all seek to find time to spend with me.

I have to be honest with you. With several of these texts or phone calls, I found myself annoyed. I was like...don't y'all realize I am busy and don't have time for you?

I will always be busy, but the house doesn't have to be perfect, and I may not get to all those little projects as quickly as I want to, but I am feeling very strongly that I better get out there and find some time for these ladies who are seeking someone to talk to. The thing is ---I know I will ultimately be enriched by spending time with them also.

That is what is right in front of me for now!

I think I have finally settled into retirement with this year. It is now time to start building a wall of relationships this year.

Here is a picture to end this long post.
A duck convention in the bayou today.


Friday, January 22, 2016

A Four, Not Five for Friday #2

 A random update...

Health Update

I could have been upset when I finally broke the 130 mark on the scale, because it got stuck at 129.6. I mean stuck for two weeks at that mark. 

With January, my program added the gym piece. I had an overview from the wellness doctor as my trial run. 

I have been really trying to do exactly what he said for two reasons: the health piece and I vainly would like to jiggle less and be a little more toned. I meet with a real trainer in February, so I didn't think it would be a good idea to meet that person for the first time in my out of shape condition.

I meet with Dr. Paleaz next week, so I will get a few answers to the scale thingie, but I think it is true about the workout adding muscle. I have dropped a ton on the clothing sizes despite the weight remaining current.

I am now wearing a 10 Petite albeit baggy, I am not quite an 8. I do NOT like tight clothing. A little baggy is always my goal.

I am down two sizes and down almost 21 pounds. 
I weighed in at 129.4 this morning. YES, I count ounces.

I have had only 2 days with minor pain from my RA. 

I am so beyond grateful for any day like that. I know that it is a yucky disease and can cause great problems. I am still taking my Xeljanz. I decided to just take the poison and hope that modern medicine and wellness medicine could find a way to make me healthy.

Maybe I will look like this by summer. One can wish!


I have been so good too. I have decided that my favorite type of purse is a tote style for now anyway:)
I have avoided all my favorite brands like they were poison. I went in Marshall's yesterday in Destin and this one caught my eye as I casually walked by the purse display. The good thing about it is that it only cost $25.00 and it was a two for one deal. The little purse was inside the larger purse. I can justify a purse purchase very well. It has been since the summer at least since I have bought one, so that in itself is amazing.


Yikes! I am going there. 

No, I haven't decided who I am going to vote for. Quite frankly, I wish I could take characteristics from several of them and merge them into one. 

I think this is one of those pivotal points in history though, where the choice we make could make a difference in the outcome of our nation. With that being said, my greatest hope lies not in the political leaders of any given time, but in Christ Jesus.

Confession time: I went to see "The Donald" last week in Pensacola. I felt I might I could get a better idea of how I feel about him in person, not soundbites from the news. My son is a funny character. The outside world doesn't even have a clue how he keeps us in stitches. He is very well liked, but reserved outside of home, but for us he is a hoot. Several months ago, after one of Trump's outspoken thoughts on some topic, our son texted a group message to all of us..."He has secured my vote." The word secured is something else. He is not seen as the smart one of the siblings, but underneath, I know he very well read and intelligent. 

Sorry, I am the most horrible picture taker ever. I tried to enlarge, but I was jerky.

They aren't lying when they say a crowd shows up. It was packed and they did turn people away including my hubby who left his pocket knife in his pocket and had to go back to the truck to put it away.

Anyway, it has remained a "kind of" joke that he is a Trump supporter. So much so that I bought him a "Make America Great Again" cap for Christmas.

The family went to see him. I am as unsure as I ever was. Some things I like, some things not so sure. 

There were two free signs in every seat.

Either way, I am still amazed that an avowed Socialist could even be in the news in our country. It has drawn me to prayer for sure.


I decided after Mary in AR left a comment about samplers using I and J interchangeably and a little research of my own to continue on with the sampler started the other day.

Will finish it after all.

My new order came in as well, so I did the worst possible thing... I started one, so I now have two going at the same time. I actually think they will go rather quickly.

Two of my new designs. I started the one on the left.

And I went overboard probably because I ordered three designs total.

I am really trying to use the winter nights to stitch and enjoy the downtime.

I am headed to Mom's this morning to take care of some more business. I have not forgotten that I mentioned a post on dealing with the elderly. It is in my head...just need to slow down to do it.

That's a wrap from my thoughts,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cross Stitching a Sampler Delayed

I was in deep need of something to cross stitch Saturday night. I have no real store to get anything close by.  I am so loving cross stitching my monthly cottages. I am out of the cloth I wanted to use for March, so I ordered it. Waiting for it to arrive has found me with several days of no stitching.

After going to the farmhouse yesterday, I knew I needed to do a sampler for the dining area. I went looking in my handy dandy tub of old books. I came across this old magazine from 1993. Remember, I have a hard time throwing anything away. An organized pack rat.

I started Saturday night. Gathered my thread and found some linen large enough. Worked on it a little last night.

This afternoon I sat down to do a bit more. It was then that I realized that there was a serious flaw in the pattern. 

Did you catch it? There is a missing letter in the alphabet. There is no "J." 

I was so aggravated, but seriously glad I discovered it before I was anymore invested in it. The pattern as well as the picture of the finished product had the mistake in it. Arghhh!

While I am it, the magazine did have something right. You see that cover?!

It inspired one of my favorite shirts ever. I wore this baby back in the nineties. Remember, I am an organized pack rat, so yes, I still have it. It is yellowed since it was a cheaper shirt. I loved that blanket stitch down the center.

Looks a little worse for wear these days.

I really should have looked for an old picture of me wearing it, but I was lazy.

It may actually be time to throw the shirt away and cross stitch those hens on something else to put in my farmhouse.

As for the sampler, I ordered two patterns this afternoon. One by Blackbird Designs and the other by With Thy Needle and Thread. I will do a sampler for the farmhouse after all.

Hubby and I went to see 13 Hours this evening. Hard to watch, but in my opinion one to see.

Ready to stitch, but maintaining patience,

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Little Planning Time Spent at the Farm Today

Hubby and I spent part of the day at the farm today. 

I have spent most of my recent months doing things for Mama and have not given the farm much thought. We do go up there quite a bit since it is close, but mostly I am outside with the dogs. Two weekends ago, the whole family went up after church. It was very cold, so we built a fire outside, and I hardly even went inside. I LOVE A FIRE!

Today, Mama had all siblings with her . They made it down to see her new home. I went by this morning to visit with them before going up to the farm.

I had ordered some curtains from Country Curtains recently. I am very SLOWLY giving some thought to the place. I am trying to make it a country farmhouse on a small budget. I love Country Curtains and found some on sale that I thought would work.

The previous owner had made some swags out of sheers over the windows. It was just OK. I have a vision in mind, just planning to take my time.

Remember we decided to make the center living room/ dining area one big dining area. A friend who does wood working as a hobby is making us a pie safe. I have chosen a sage green color to go on it. We are also searching for a side table that we will paint that same color or leave wood if we find the right piece.

Here is a before and then the latest so you can see where I am headed.

My son took this couch to his house today. We had moved it out to the cottage. He left the pillows of course.
The plan is to put the pie safe along the wall where the couch is in this picture. We also want to purchase some of the old oval rugs that are called braided wool rugs. A rustic table or sideboard would go where the table below is.

This is the progress made currently.

A closer view of the new curtains. They are not lined, and of course they need pressing and working on so that they lay in their pleats. I really really like them. I would have loved navy, but there are a lot of lighter blue elements already in place that has made me go with a lighter blue. Not that Pantene blue though!

This is the other side of that room as it was. I took this table to my mom's new place and swapped her with a more country table. She loved this one and it really didn't fit the look we were going with. All of the furniture she brought for her new townhouse was dark, so it was a win win for both of us. 

The before.

The after as of now.

The kitchen cabinet right next to this is open, so I changed out the dishes that came with the home.
 They are a Mikasa Moonstone pattern. The pattern is that country blue.

There is still lots of stuff sitting out that I am not sure I am going to keep or get rid of. 

Oh, and I had this picture that was in my previous home. When we moved in our current home, Mama took it to her house because it was professionally framed and she couldn't bear to see me get rid of it. 

It is going to be perfect for the look I am after.

Plowing Time is the caption.

I piddled around a bit more. The curtain in the background is going to stay above the kitchen window, but will undergo a few changes. I couldn't fit the rod through the proper place, so it is just in the ruffle above. I am going to change out that rod and move it up a bit, so that this will work. I made it for my classroom years ago. It has a Dick and Jane fabric, but the colors are perfect for the farmhouse.

I added some decorative dishes in different spots around the kitchen. I found all of it in the house left by the previous owner. It is so cute.

There were some metal tins on these shelves. I liked the pottery better.

In the living room I am going to use these cotton curtains also from Country Curtains, but I am going to add some grosgrain ribbon to the sides and bottom. I took an armrest cover from the gingham sofa to match. 

I realized I had no picture of the sofa except our Thanksgiving photos, so I will have to work on that. 
This is definitely the hang out room.

I worked on the bedrooms a tad bit. 

I will share again. My goal is to use what I have as much as possible. I have lots stuffed in closets. If I make a purchase like the table or pie safe then it has to be something super special.

Hubby has tilled up a small space for a garden, so we will have some good veggies this summer.

I have been enlisted to come and organize the barn, so the house may get put on hold for awhile.

One more picture to end this post. My step dad was a genius with making something out of nothing or fixing anything. I shared this stool on an earlier post

Hubby had me out there today looking at what I needed to do in the barn. He had gone to Mom's house in Brewton last week to help finish cleaning out her garage. He brought a few things here. The picture below is one of those things.

He found this. This would be "Gene" special. You put your hose in at the ground and you have a faucet. I am sure he had this at one time up at their farm.
The base is a brake disc.

The farm will be a great place to keep a special memory of him.

So blessed,

Update on the above photo. Mama said he made it for her to use when they went camping for washing dishes outside. Smile! 
She dreamt things up, and he made them. So true!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Catching Up with a Random Post

I am ahead of schedule on cross stitching my monthly cottages. I only have a row of green to finish underneath the cottage for February. I think I can finish that before February 1st.

I changed the colors for this one. It was all pink. I thought it needed some contrast and some red. I really like the change.

Here are the last of the photos of Mom's place.

She finally agreed that I could take pictures of the kitchen and her office.

Let's see. Those dishes that called my name out at Dillard's back in November finally got to try out my dining room table. I played with them and set them out so that I could drool. I do plan to use them soon, but most likely it will be something just in the kitchen.

I just really LOVE them.

For the last bit of randomness, I will give an update on my health journey.

I am still feeling amazing. That detox was awesome. Dr. Paleaz recommends them twice a year. That will be definite part of my life going forth. I am not sure I will have to do a full 30 day detox, but it will be a sure thing if I can feel this well forever.

I have added the gym to my plan. That has been BRUTAL. I am so out of shape. I knew I was, but it was worse than I even thought. I have had pain, not joint pain, but muscle pain!

He has me going three days a week. I try to spend 45 minutes each of those days. It consists of some movement stretches. That is what he calls them. I think it is very much like gym class in the 70's. I try to do that part at home, since my gym is literally 1/4 mile from my house. Then I work on a portion of my body each day with weights or yoga type poses (that is not what he calls them..it is just what I think it is like). Arms and back one day, core the next, and legs the third day. A break day always between them. I spend the last 15 minutes of my workout on the treadmill. I would say the training is like that of sprint training. I walk a minute, jog 30 seconds, etc. I once did that back in the day when I actually ran in the afternoons.

The place that I have been going is the Florida Health and Wellness Institute in Pensacola. It has been extremely wonderful for me.

My current weight is 129.6. I started at 150. The weight is coming off slower, but I am sticking with it, and hoping to get this body back in shape.

I am down from a 14 Petite to a 10 Petite. I made it to Talbot's today to get a new pair of jeans.

At some point, I will do a before and after shot. I am not there yet! however, I am not giving up!!!

I am caught up now. I am working of my list of things to take care of this week. I am being way too optimistic, but we will see.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Picked Up a Few Treasures?

Downsizing from a home that you have lived in for such a long time is a daunting task. I may do a post on that topic alone some time as I have lived it for the past two years. When we moved in our current home, it was not empty. We had an estate sale for my in-laws as well, but then there was still all the things you would never sell in an estate sale. Yes, I think I might just share my insights on that one day.

For now, I did pick up two things as a last minute walk out the other day. I have vowed not to pick up anything else, though!

I plan to take these two things to the farmhouse.

The matchbox was in my mom's house by the back door. It always held the garage door remote. I am sure it was a flea market find at some point. I am going to sand it and paint it red.

The scale is missing the front piece of glass, but it cleaned up nicely. Since they are in vogue right now, I think I will use it at the farmhouse.

I guess I am probably just shuffling junk from one place to another.
That too is a post all by itself!!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

More Pictures from My Mom's New Place

I took these before Christmas. She is really getting it in shape now, so I will have to take some more later. She has her office and kitchen ready for pictures now.

This is her bedroom. 

Her bathroom. It has a garden tub and a walk in shower. A great walk in closet as well. Just perfect for her.

The guest bedroom.

This is her big room. It runs from the foyer you see pictured in the above photo all the way through the townhouse.

She originally wanted to cover the window above the mantle with a shade, but has decided she likes the light, so we will decorate outside the window when it gets warmer. Just outside to the right is a little deck just perfect for sitting outside. Partly covered, but not all. When we add some plants, I will share that. 

Now, we are looking in the opposite direction. Between the two bedrooms is an office. The doors are before you get to the Christmas tree.

To the left of the dining room table is the entrance into the kitchen. The kitchen eating area is down near the entrance to the back deck.

The office has been changed up completely. She had to get things in there to see what worked. I will share later.

She was just as cute as could be on Christmas Day. We ate over there. She was very excited to have us there.

Two more from the outside front.

This is the entrance into the neighborhood.

The white truck on the right is my truck.

A perfect place for her.
So glad to have her nearby!!!!