Monday, March 28, 2016

A Little Garden with Too Much Rain

A little update on our garden.

Spring is truly here in our neck of the woods, however that hasn't meant smooth sailing for the garden. Rain has plagued us.

I am talking cats and dogs raining.

We spent Saturday before last buying our plants for the remainder of the spring garden.
We purchased tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, and peppers.

The funny thing is it really is spring here in terms of temperature and budding of trees, however, Hubby went last week up to the lake for a little R&R and fishing. He and a another principal friend spent two days fishing for their spring break. He said the cabin in no way looks like spring. All the trees were still bare.

Back to the garden.

On that Saturday, Hubby prepared the remainder of the fenced in area for planting. A little chicken manure was tilled in. 

While they were busy with this, I mowed. I mowed a lot!!! We have had an elderly couple keeping up with this. They enjoy it and like the extra money. He just had a knee replacement, so they are out for awhile. 

Since I am the picture taker, I am rarely in photos. I need to remedy that.

Jeff even got the tractor out for the pastures. I used the riding mower for around the house, cottage, and barn.

I am tired just recalling it.

The potatoes and onions look great. Still no carrots. It rained like crazy two days after they were planted. I guess they all got washed away. I still won't let him hoe up that row.

I keep hoping carrots are going to spring up or down in those weeds.

Lindsay and Tyler worked on preparing the rows. Lindsay adding fertilizer. Jeff overseeing. Tyler wanting to make sure his row was straighter.

Then Lindsay and I put all of the new plants in the ground. She watered. If we had known how much rain was coming, we could have skipped that part.

Oh, I put marigolds around all over, because I read they were good for keeping insects out.

We were so proud of our work.

And then the rains came and came. Hard rains!!!

When we to see about the progress this past Saturday in the rain, the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers looked like they had been stomped on.

The row with cabbage and lettuce looked like they survived.

But the middle rows....well they had one or two standing, but most looked horrible.

We will see in a few days with the sun if they pop up or we start over.

The tomatoes seemed to have survived which surprised me. 

I am really glad I am not a pioneer depending on this for my survival.

It rained all weekend for Easter. I don't think any of those sweet kids at church got an outdoor picture of their outfits or had an outdoor egg hunt.

Today I walked out to sit on the deck when the sun finally came out. The birds were so happy. I took a video just so you could hear those little birds. I truly think they were happy that the sun was out. 
In the first video you will hear a F-35 jet at the end. 

Around our parts, we say that is the sound of freedom! 

Farmer Sandy 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easter Traditions and Embracing Change Part 2

As I shared in Part 1, these posts concerning change came to mind last week as I was volunteering at church. We were getting things all ready for Easter Sunday. 

I realized how hard each of our staff works around holidays. As a teacher (now retired), I always hated when we got out for the Christmas holidays so close to Christmas or when Easter came at the beginning of spring break.

I was sharing that with our young girl who works as the director of our elementary aged children. I said many times I felt like I missed the holiday. I could just see her face light up with recognition of that feeling. We talked longer and I shared that she would have to maybe come up with ways to make sure she did something special with her family before the holiday.

Well, no quicker than I had spoken those words to her, did I have a lightbulb go off in my head.

You see, the day before that conversation Lindsay sprang on me, that she and Tyler would not be with us on Easter. I was so sad. I didn't say it to her, but I know she saw my face upon that news. 

Here is my shallow self shining through for y'all.

I wanted to have Easter dinner on my new bunny plates. 

Don't judge me too harshly! I love the Lord Jesus with all of my heart. 

HE is the most important thing in my life!!!

I just wanted to have my family all around and have that Easter dinner that I had come to love over the years with my Hubby's family.

AS I shared with Jessica at church to make her time with family on another day, my wheels started spinning.

It is a dinner after all, and it can be done anyway of the year. 

My point here is keep those traditions in tact, but be flexible and think of how to make them work OR make new ones

So this past Saturday, I had my chickadees and my mom over for Easter dinner.

The menu consisted of ham, roasted potatoes, fresh green beans (not pictured), deviled eggs, strawberries, and banana pudding. 
Strawberries were added for Lindsay and me who are dieting.

My plate. The bunny plates were used for dessert!!!

Easter treat for the kids and Mama. Mama is definitely learning new traditions with a move and the death of my step dad.

The message was not lost on my daughter. She knows me so well.

Lindsay and Tyler

Mama and Paul Allen

He still gives me the look, but he is softening with everyday.

Jeff and Paul Allen

We had a wonderful evening together. The kids stayed around for quite a while that night and I was REALLY HAPPY!!!

Hubby Jeff got a treat too. He hates bananas and doesn't like to pick them out, so he got his own complete with meringue.

I will continue to grow and change and love on my kiddos no matter what day it is.

I think I remember reading somewhere over the years that Coach Bobby Bowden's wife picked a day in the summer to get all five of her kids together at one time. 
I can't imagine getting 5 together.

We just have to be creative. 

 I look forward to Easter Sunday because I know ...

  HE LIVES!!!!

Blessed indeed,

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter Traditions and Embracing Change Part 1

I was volunteering at church last week when it this story began to take shape in my mind. I will explain that later in Part 2.

We all have traditions that we follow, however there are times when we must adapt to change or wallow in self pity. I choose to embrace change and adapt.

When I got married, my mom set the example for me to adapt to changes without being sad over lost traditions. You see that new spouse has a family too. You will want to be in both places, but that will be hard especially if you have siblings. 

My mom decided to arrange things to work out so that she could still have me, but share too.

I have learned to love both family's traditions equally!

This is how Easter came to be done in our home.

On the Saturday before Easter, I made the hour and a half trek to Brewton where Mama would have everything ready to dye Easter eggs. My kids looked forward to this for many years. This is just one example of how clever my mom was with holidays.

The kids loved going to her house on that Saturday before Easter.

Easter Sunday allowed us to be at our church, and for Hubby and I to serve fully in our church. Afterwards, we had Easter dinner at Hubby's parents followed by an egg hunt.

I loved that Easter dinner with my Hubby's family and that egg hunt.

I have to do some similar things  now that my daughter is married, which I will share in Part 2.

Today though, I thought I might start this story with a history of change. I am sharing a few Easter outfits that change over the years. I am sure this will resonate with moms of grown children. 

Oh how sweet they were.

This next one has to be my favorite outfit for my son. That was the last year I got away with that. I remember Hubby didn't like this one bit. 
My heart goes pitter patter.

The year of the bonnet. Paul Allen was not to be outdone. He insisted on wearing a hat too. A Barney hat.
That boy loved Barney...

and his thumb! 

This dress is one of my favorite dresses for Lindsay, even though it doesn't have one bit of smocking on it.

A rare picture where Paul Allen is actually trying to pose.


I know I am not the only mom that this happened to...

All that sassiness and the beginning of the end of nice dressing.

You get different shoes for starters.

That is the last that I am willing to show you. I am sure there is someone out there who feels my pain. 

The pictures are there and yes, they went to church, BUT the smiles are gone when you pull out the camera. You get the look that is only for moms..... put the camera away!

Your next set of nice photos of dressed up teenagers with smiles will most likely involve events at school, like Homecoming dances or proms.

Take heart ---  young moms and snap lots of pictures of those kiddos in their Easter best for as long as you can.

They will enjoy looking at them one day and be ashamed of themselves for not letting you snap more.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 to adapting to changes as they get older and yes, marry.

Continually changing, growing, and learning,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sleepy Mallard

Hubby is on spring break this week, so my posts will be sporadic, and it is one of those weeks when I have lots to share... Pooh!

Maybe I will be able to hold them all in my head until I have time.

Saturday morning I woke up and looked out the window right by my bed. That is a routine of mine. Not sure why??? or what I expect to see, but routine.

Down on the ground was a pair of mallards. My favorite duck ever. I have a history of loving them!

They were sleeping. I took my phone and zoomed in so sorry for the blurry photo.

The female must have sensed me looking because she popped her head up immediately. 

I went over to the door leading out to the deck and took another picture. By this time the female was walking.

She went around a second and proceeded over and poked the male until she got him up.

He was not enthusiastic about the day at all.

He went back and tucked his head for a little more rest.

I guess he felt like me sometimes when I was working. It was Saturday morning and I wanted a little more rest.

In our house, the mallards are the exact opposite. I am not a morning person by nature. Hubby is and wakes with dawn if not before raring to go. 

I know I should rise earlier, because when I do I get so much done.

I don't know why, but I just don't stir so easily. It could be the fact that I am awake most nights from 1:00 to 3:00. 

This morning I looked out and the water was out and raccoon tracks were along the shore. He usually is across the bayou. There is a patch of woods over there, and I often see one prodding along on the shore.

Saturday was a busy day. I will sharing more later.

Busy baking,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day and a Bit More

Top o' the morning to you!

I was up and at it early this morning. I had a volunteer meeting at church this morning and I was trying to beat the clock on a few things before the meeting because rain is coming in.

I am a geranium loving fool. I have them everywhere. Two of my larger ones on the back didn't survive the winter and come back to life. I had tried something different this year. I brought some of them in to try and make it, but those were the ones that didn't do so well. Next year I might as well leave them out and just cover them.

I stopped by Lowe's and got two to replace them and really wanted to get them in the pots before it rained.
Last year's photo.

Also, I really had to go to the gym this morning because I had several busy days this week and had been slacking. Have to be firm about my time there. 

This is what happens when you live on the water and you own a spaniel and a retriever....every time you go out back.

They look so innocent.

It does no good to scold, because when you bring out the old towels to dry them off they think it is great. I get wet...Mama rubs me down all over.

The pansy story....seriously...look at these pansies.

Moved them to the side of the house and they are flourishing. I did a little research (quick one site research) and it says they love full sun and can take the winter temps, but I think the problem that I have with them is they get a lot of wind on the block wall and that dries them out. They like water also and I don't like cold, so I am sure I don't keep them moist enough.

I brought a couple in for the kitchen.

When I was younger, I used to bring violets and pansies into Mama for this bell jar.

It is the Liberty Bell. It has been in her kitchen forever. When she was moving, she put it in the box to get rid of. I dug it out.

If the pansies keep doing well I will just bring a few in every few days. If they last through April, they will look good with the cross stitch of April's cottage.

Now, for a What I Wore segment.

I pulled out shorts yesterday, but I think it is supposed to cool down a bit for the weekend.

They are a little baggie, but I love seeing what ladies my age wear. I struggle with trying to be hip, but still embrace the age. I am happy to be still kicking in my 50's and have no desire to look like a teenager. Yet, I want to look cute and not too Old Ladyish.

Since I didn't wear them all day, I pulled them out again today and....

No make up yet.

Yes, I am wearing my green and my shamrock.

Off to eat lunch with my mom and my uncle who is visiting her. 

I will leave you with an Irish prayer.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Monday, March 14, 2016

A Whole Bunch of Random

I worked on a few things at the farmhouse on Saturday. I didn't stay long, just went and took a few things and checked on the garden progress.

The garden is doing great and the weather is getting to the point I think we can add other items. The potatoes and onions look great. No carrots....sad face.

I worked so hard last week while Mama was at my aunt's house. I took off Thursday afternoon and headed to Destin to shop. I went to Pier 1 to get those cute little things I shared last Friday, but I also stopped in at Kirkland's. There was the most adorable cow picture that just spoke to me.

I had no intention of buying anything for that farmhouse and didn't have cow pictures on my brain either. 

However, it called my name and I just felt sure it would be so cute in the living room.
I had another idea in my brain so this was really off track.

I love how it looks.

Picture doesn't show how cute these lamps are.

Two weekends ago, I ran into Defuniak Springs for Jeff to get some post nails when I saw those cute chicks. I also saw the cutest little egg baskets right next to the chicks. I picked one up that day.

The repurposed shirt made into pillows are plopped in there. I think I like it.

Now, my other plans for that room are new pillows for the gingham sofa. Not quite sure what fabric I will use yet. Also, the picture above the sofa will be replaced with something more rustic. 

It is a beautiful print and the frame is the right size, but not the right look for the farmhouse look.

I hung some of my cross stitch pieces that were at Mama's in the guest bathroom.

I am making some cloth napkins and a few more things this week to take. I am getting some ideas spinning around in my brain now. 


The flowers are beginning to pop around the neighborhood. My daffodils all bloomed. I like the look so I think I will add more to that area next spring.

I have loved the tulips. They are a great transition from winter to spring. I will definitely do them in pots again. I moved them all to the front so they could be seen. You can see them as soon as you drive into our cul-de-sac. 

I have never had tulips. They have been quite interesting. They open wide during the day, but close up morning and evening.

I love the orange ones. 

The pink ones have not shown up yet, but they are almost ready.

We have this wall planter on the side of our driveway. I am not all that crazy about it, but it hides a multitude of stuff.

Hubby built a wood piece to go over the dirt years ago. You could never grow anything in that stone in the summer. There is not enough water anywhere to survive the heat of full sun in stone. We put pots on top of it. I have multiple sets of pots to use for the seasons. I store them on the side yard. I have lilies that stand up to the heat of summer. I have been putting pansies in them for winter for many years. They were so puny looking when I moved them to the side and replaced them last week.

After I moved them, they popped out and look great. Maybe they don't like full sun. I am going to research that and maybe change that for next winter.

Let's see. Mama made Sunday supper for the family at her house yesterday. She was so excited. She has been eating with us mostly. 
She still has it. Yum!!!
Pot roast, cabbage, peas, and cornbread.

I made time to sew today. If it is worth showing later, I will share.

I am stitching on April's cottage in the evenings.

One last set of pictures. 

The dogs had already changed to the new time for two weeks. They were stirring earlier and going to bed earlier.
This morning they were a little later rising. 

They are really my alarm clock.

Our bedroom door that goes out to the deck faces the east and has always had light pouring in. I have never chosen to to really cover it with blinds. Just a sheer as it up high and no one has a chance to see in. AND I just love the way the sun comes up and shines in. I never take sunrises for granted.

This is how it looks each morning.

My view from my bed.

I stepped outside to take a picture this morning to share.

Even on a cloudy day, it is still beautiful. The sun did shine today though and it was quite a beautiful day.

Nothing we can ever do to decorate can ever be better than God's handiwork.