Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Cross Stitch

I redid my June cottage. I just couldn't go with the June pattern. I even tried to like it after I got it mounted, but it did not grow on me. NOT EVEN a bit.

I started to wait until after I finished all of them which will be the August cottage, but I know me. I would not want it do it then, because I have 4 projects lined up when I finish the cottages. 

I decided to just get in gear and fix it while it was bugging me. I took 4 of the other cottage patterns and made a new June inspired by the things in my kitchen for the month of June.

These have been hanging on the stove for June.

This is on my table now.

Well, I have also added the lantern instead of the roses which are going kaput in the heat. That guided the blue for June and the shutters in the cottage.

So without further adieu is the new June cottage that I love.

It will only get 2 and 1/2 days of display, but I am glad that I chose to do it now.

Complete with  a cherry yellow cottage and Florida oranges and sunshine.

Of course, now it is time to think patriotic and I am to break out a bit of red, white, and blue. 

I love July's cottage and will mount it tonight to be ready for Friday.

As I was uploading my pictures, I found one that I just had to share with you.

I bet you didn't know the Devil resided in the grocery store. He does! 

These are sitting there overtime I go down this aisle. They are just calling my name.

So far I have resisted the little devil on my left shoulder and listened to the angel on the right. These little mini ones are so good. I am quite sure they are like crack. You can't just eat one...

I really considered turning the box display around backwards the other day. No one was on the aisle with me. Then maybe they would move them. 

Staying on my healthy plan, because I feel better when I do,

One last look at the old ....

and the new.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five for Friday #3

A Five for Friday

I haven't posted much lately, so I thought I would pop in with an update today. 

My first one is long, but worthy of my time to explain.

1. The Book of Numbers and My Lesson on Grumbling

Two weeks ago, my morning Bible time found me in the Book of Numbers. I am following an app, and we had just finished Acts, a rather exciting book.

Numbers...not so exciting, so I began to slack and quickly read it and half heartedly at best.

I am no better than the Israelites who should have known that wouldn't end well.

Anyway, I was rebuked by Scripture. (II Timothy 3:16)     I had just read Numbers 12 about Aaron and Miriam grumbling. I choose the word grumbling BECAUSE that is just what I had been doing for the previous week.

It slowly seeped in ---the grumbling attitude.

Webster's defines grumble as ...as complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way.

That is why I say I had a grumbling attitude...I was muted in my grumbling mostly, but it had permeated my heart.

So, I found myself on Tuesday reading that the Lord got angry at them and departed. Miriam becomes leprous and is shut up for seven days outside the camp.

I was struck instantly by the Holy Spirit that I had been an incessant grumbler for over a week.

He then led me back to Numbers 11 that I had skimmed over about the Israelites complaints over wanting meat instead of the manna.  Moses had become quite discouraged. (You aren't  just messing yourself up with a bad attitude.)

Oh, they got meat alright ----they got so much quail and a plague.

I know I am skimming over it, but I am confessing my grumbling attitude was sucking the fun out of me. When I repented...

He has made Numbers so rich. Two days of powerful lessons in what I didn't think I needed to read.

I think I will just try and listen and obey more.

2.  Mama has the neighbor ladies coming for dominos.

Y'all this is such good news. I don't know if she wore them down asking or if they really want to come, but she has the neighborhood ladies coming to play dominos today. I am sure she has made a cake and will be completely kaput when it is all over, but she did it on her own.

I am praying that it will be a good thing.

3.  Lots of sadness lately.

I have struggled with some sadness this week, good thing my attitude is better. 

My son has two brothers that he is really good friends with. One is a year older than him and is his roommate. The other is a year younger and they have been very close for a long time.

Their mother died on Wednesday morning. 

Their father died less than two years ago.

My heart has just been crushed for them. I too have had many losses in my life and I think that makes it harder for me sometimes.

I had been over there just a couple of weeks ago and actually didn't see the mom, but I had no idea she was that close. I have had a really hard time with that news this week.

She asked to see my son and the other roommate, but they didn't get there. She went that quickly.

Life is hard sometimes.

I also have a dear friend whose daughter-in-law is just a day or so away from passing from cancer. She is in her early 30's with a young child. Hits too close to home for me and my daddy.

You get a glimpse of why I have been silent.

4. Soaking up the longer days.

All I have wanted to do in the evenings is soak up the length of the days. Time passes so quickly and the longer days is one of the things I LOVE about summer. Knowing that the longest day of the year was this week has had me sitting on the back deck trying to soak it up each evening.

I need to remember that I live in a vacation paradise and enjoy it to the fullest.

5.  Cross stitching update.

Y'all know I didn't like the June cottage. Since I already have July's cottage finished. That leaves me with just August. I decided to use some time to redo the June cottage.

Somehow, I figured if I didn't do it now, it might not ever get done.

I shared that the inspiration came from the placemats and napkins I have on the table for the month of June. They are not red...that is July people.

Anyway...here is a sneak peek at June. I am loving it.

By the way, it is simply amazing how much more you can accomplish in a day when you have a better attitude.

Soaking up sunshine and long days with a much better attitude,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fudge Icing

I am sure every southern lady has a version of this recipe in their stash somewhere. My mother and mother-in-law both made this and both were amazing.

It is not for the faint of heart.

Here is my version of this fudgy goodness.

Fudge Icing

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 squares of unsweetened chocolate*

*If you haven't bought unsweetened chocolate lately, it is packaged differently. A square is considered 1 ounce. Read the label carefully to make sure you know what now constitutes a square on many old recipes. They lowered the amount that they put in a box also. There are only 4 ounces in a box now...so that means for 2 squares or 2 ounces you will use half of the box.

Tricky way to charge you the same and give you less....just like those 4 lb bags of sugar now.

Bring these items to a boil, and then boil 1 minutes, stirring constantly.

It never ceases to amaze me that about the time the chocolate squares are melted is when it begins to boil.

Add 1 stick of butter and stir until melted.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Now, this is where the fun begins.

It takes practice to time the cooling and thickening of the frosting with the cake layers.

Also using a metal frosting spatula or butter knife is a must when icing with this frosting.

Now, to the cake...

I use Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix that you add butter to. There really is no other brand and definitely the one with butter.
Trust me...I have nothing against Betty Crocker or Pillsbury, but for this frosting...you will be very sorry if you don't use the Duncan Hines add butter cake mix.

They just go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The cake mix has also been the victim of package downsizing too. In order to really get a good cake like a 7 layer one, you gotta bite the bullet and do two mixes.
You can use the extra batter for some cupcakes.

I use the old metal WEAREVER pans. They make a great cake.

I use a soup ladle to spoon out the same amount of batter in each pan and make them really thin.

If you go with the 7 layers, you will need to do two batches of frosting as well. Cook them separately as the whole process with cooling works out well.

I have to tell you the first few times I made this frosting I got in a hurry and try to frost too soon and it would run and I would get so frustrated. 

You just have to keep stirring it and it will eventually thicken enough to frost but then you have to beat the clock so that it doesn't harden.

It really isn't hard, just takes a little time to perfect.

Trust me it is good even when it doesn't look perfect. 

A helpful hint is to put pieces of wax paper under the edges of the bottom layer, so that after icing it you can pull them out and have no mess.

Blueberry Fluff

The dessert recipe from this weekend's birthday is called Blueberry Fluff, but any berry can be substituted.

My son likes blackberries, but Hubby has requested strawberries before.

I actually had some really great peaches this weekend, and thought about doing half in peaches and half in blackberries.

The recipe actually calls for a different crust, so I will give you both.

I will start with the original recipe.

1 cup flour (self rising is what I always use)
1/2 butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Work the three ingredients together and pat into a 9X13 dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool.

Then mix...1 - 8 ounce cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar. Mix until smooth. Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip. (I use the mixer for the entire process...just slow the speed for folding in the Cool Whip)/

Spread onto crust.

Then cook...
2 cups of blueberries or any berry
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Cook 15 minutes. Thicken with 1/4 cup cornstarch. During the 15 minutes the fruit will be bubbly...after 15 minutes add cornstarch and make sure it is mixed in well.
Spread on cream cheese mixture and refrigerate.

I usually make this the night before I serve it.

Now, for the pretzel crust. Other than the crust everything else is the same.

1 1/2 cups of crushed pretzels. I just do this with my hand. My son doesn't like them finely ground.
Mix with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter and pat into 9X13 dish.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

I will share the fudge icing recipe tomorrow.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Birthdays, Baking, Job Fair, and Cross Stitch

What a busy weekend we had!

We don't get to pick our birthdays in life, because if we did I would not put two birthdays one day apart and with so much going on.

My hubby's birthday was on Friday and my son's on Sunday. The activity in past years was that school was literally getting out on or about those days...often I was still cleaning up my classroom. 

Well, this year it was just other stuff...my daughter works in the Human Resources department for our school district and let me just brag a bit...she is phenomenal. She talked our school district into doing a job fair this year...so needed as we have been behind the times on this and with a teacher shortage it was time to think with some fresh energy. She has traveled around to all the universities this year and set up the job fair ..."Teach at the Beach." 

That girl has a big old dose of my stressing and worrying gene, so she was in crazy mode leading up to it. The entire family rallied around helping. I was at Niceville High School at 7:00 AM Saturday morning washing down tables. Each family member had a chore.

It was a success.

On Friday evening, Hubby and I put up a basketball goal for a dear friend's daughter. Daughter Emily wanted to surprise her dad with a basketball game after the rehearsal dinner. Then Saturday evening we had the wedding. 

What I wore to the wedding.

I always try to make both birthdays a separate and special event, but it is getting harder as they age, so all Hubby got on Friday was a cake. I felt guilty, but we were pretty busy.

I knew there was no way I was getting both desserts made on Saturday evening, so I made the cake on Friday. Y'all, I have been trying to perfect this frosting for years. Mama and Mrs. Palmer could do it with their eyes closed. I reached my goal this time. 

This was the most amazing cake ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Allen has chosen a different dessert for the past few years. I would love to tell you it was one recipe, but it is two.

The original recipe was a Blueberry Fluff that my mom made. It is from a Brewton cookbook that came from the annual Blueberry Festival held in Brewton each June.

It was a hit with Paul Allen, but somewhere along the way, he decided it would be great with blackberries instead of blueberries and with a pretzel crust that was on a recipe that Nana (Hubby's mom) used to make on a Thanksgiving recipe.

Yes, I spoil that boy.

My baby turned 24 yesterday. I really don't know how I got this old.

I will share the recipe tomorrow.

One more birthday picture. Terrible picture of me but real life.

Cross stitch update.

Last night, I finished July and it is a perfect July piece.  

I have not been able to get over the June cottage. I have come to terms with the beach cottage for August because if you aren't a teacher, you are probably trying to get in as many beach trips as possible. 

But....June is still bugging me.

On Friday, my inspiration came.


From my placemats and napkins that I have out for June and those plates I purchased at Pier 1.

I am going to use these colors and this plate for the June cottage inspiration. I started late last night to wind down from the weekend. I will try and work quickly to finish it as soon as possible.

Cleaning up and stitching,

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Latest Treasures

I have acquired a few treasures for the farmhouse.

My aunt is downsizing and doesn't want them anymore. Her daughter, my cousin, is more of a minimalist, so she didn't want them...that left me.

I can't even tell you how excited about the first one I am...If nothing else, the memories it brings back are priceless.

This antique bread bowl was my grandmother's on my mother's side. Mama says she really doesn't remember Grandma not having it.

Grandma kept this on top of cabinet (pie safe type) in her kitchen....of course she had a flour sack draped over it. I have stood by her side while she made the most amazing biscuits in the entire world almost every evening for years. She had the patience of Job and ALWAYS let me make a baby biscuit for the last one.

After my dad died, Mama and I moved back to Conecuh County to be close to family on both sides. We built a house about 300 yards from my grandparents and my PaPa made a trail just for me from my back door to their front yard. I walked it every evening. 

Now, I know everyone one thinks that they are the favorite, but REALLY I was!!!

I can still remember Grandma's every step using this bowl to make biscuits. I have tried to replicate it  to no avail. I am not kidding when I tell you there was magic in the bowl or her fingers.

You could eat them dry and day old and they would melt in your mouth. The last good biscuit I had was the last one she made for me.

When my aunt said I could have it I was over the moon excited.

Priceless treasure.

It was cracked and I was sad about that. It had gotten really dry, so Hubby started putting vegetable oil on it and brought it back to life. I struggled with whether to repair it, because that means I probably can't see if there is MAGIC in the bowl, but I let him repair the cracks.

That is not all folks.

My great grandmother had a Hoosier cabinet.

Hubby went up to my mom's house in Brewton (which has not sold---whine) and picked it up last evening. We will take it to the farmhouse this weekend. We have to put it all back together, but it has the flour sifter in it and a roll top door. I remember it in my grandparent's kitchen.

I would not be able to keep it either if we didn't have the farmhouse, but it will be perfect there.

If that wasn't enough, there is one more item. My great grandmother had a antique butter mold.

Y'all it is Christmas in June for me.

One more thing...
I can still remember Grandma emptying a new bag of flour in the dough bowl. I really thought I had remembered it wrong on the brand, but thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I am not. 

It was always a bag of Shawnee Chief.

I have a very busy weekend. Two birthday boys. My husband and son are one day apart, so two desserts to make. I also have one of my best friend's daughter's wedding this weekend. Hubby and I are putting up a basketball goal tonight, so that when they come home from rehearsal they can play basketball like in the movie "Father of the Bride."

Off to get busy on cake for the first birthday,

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Throwback Thursday #2 - Dining Room and Family Room

I really thought this little project of sharing our house way back would be so easy, but it's turning out to not be so easy. 

What started this little idea? I was searching through a tub of pictures trying to find out how the side of the house looked in order to fix a drainage problem I was having. I found a whole bunch of pictures of the house as it was being built and then quite a few of the outside. It is simply amazing to see how much things have grown in 32 years. I will share that next week.

As I discovered this week while sorting through albums is that my mother-in-law took lots of videos. The kind where are talking lots and the camera is on a tripod and recording us eating our meals around events. They are something else ---just imagine listening to your family conversations. I am not sure if they are boring or downright hilarious.

She stopped taking still pictures unless they were on vacation.

It has been really hard to find still photos of the house, but I managed to find a few of the dining and what we call the living room, but I guess it would be the family room on a house plan.

First up the dining room,

I know y'all are dying for me to share the video of this meal. I am sure you can tell from the picture how much fun that conversation was. 

Behind Jeff's dad, you can see the built in china cabinet. For me, it is way too stuffed. Although, one might say that of my version as well. On the right, you can see the Kent "Silver Pine."

Mrs. Palmer had made a set of dishes with decoupage that we ate off of each year, but Jeff says he remembers eating on the "Silver Pine." as a kid, so we have used them every year since 2002.

Current day china cabinet.

In this one, I blanked out Jeff's face for his sake. IT was not meant to be photographed at this minute, but I needed the photo to show you the wallpaper and buffet.

I gave the buffet to Kristan who is the little girl in the photo, our niece. Y'all have seen her twins on the blog before. They were in Lindsay's wedding, and I had quite a few photos of them back at Thanksgiving.

The buffet matches the table and chairs which I kept and the desk that sits in our pool table room. I think she will get that down the road as well. I am kind of holding it for her.


I found the new /old buffet at an antique show and it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture I own.

And I don't miss that wallpaper not one bit. 

Everybody can go goo goo over the new wallpaper all they want and tell me how easy it is to remove...not having it.

Now, onto the a few of the living room.

The TV is currently where that lamp is. It actually was there for them as well shortly after this picture. They bought this huge freestanding one that fit there.

For less than a year it was on the bookcase by the kitchen wall.


We added the cabinet piece under out TV. You can not tell it wasn't there all along. Previously, it had been just a stained piece of wood and the TV sat on the floor.

Gone are the brass doors on the fireplace as well. The mantle went through tons of changes. Mrs. Palmer never liked that. The last mantle was marble and I actually still have it downstairs in a closet. Her last thing was to take it down all the way, and she had a really ornate wooden thing with a mirror and shelf.

The above picture was taken in June of 1985 and the mirrors went up shortly after this picture was taken.  The glass sliding doors as well as many of the windows had the pop in grids. I took them out and really liked it better without them. I still have them downstairs in case they come back in style.



I think that was the biggest sofa ever. It was pieces that she changed on a regular basis. 

Oh and by Christmas 1985 the mirrors were in place.

Constantly changing with the styles, 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thoughts This Tuesday

Today I am going to share something I read a couple of weeks ago in my Bible study time. It has been marinating in me for a time and thought I would share it with you.

I had been studying Acts with my First 5 app. The message in the app that day had nothing to do with what stopped me in my tracks. I came to a verse and in the middle of it ---I just stopped. I read it like three times. The rest of the chapter was lost on me as well as the message of the app that day.

But this verse just spoke to me. It made me go off on a different path with my thoughts and one that I have pondered since.

I need to give you just a bit of background...
AND I will give you a quick and watered-down bit of background....OK?!

The apostles are a bit overwhelmed (a good present day word) and needed help. They selected 7 men of good reputation, full of wisdom and Spirit to assist. (my take --present day elders)

Stephen was one of those...

from Scripture of Stephen.

Acts 6:8 
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

Stephen is arrested for the above and brought before the same council that had tried Jesus and the Apostles.

I am not to my point yet, but this is so cool about Stephen before the Council.

Acts 6:15
"And fixing their gaze in him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like that of an angel."

Oh, that others might see Jesus in me like that...

Rather than speaking to the Council to talk about himself and the charges, he systematically goes through the history of the Israelites and how the Jews had ignored God's message over and over. 

Chapter 7 of Acts chronicles the Israelites from Abraham to Solomon.

Basically, Stephen proves to the council that they have done way worse than him from their own Scriptures.

In the middle of this great chapter and Stephen's talk, one verse just stopped me in my tracks...

Acts 7:23 talking about Moses
"But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel."

It entered his mind ---

It entered his mind. I try to make sure I am in tune with the Holy Spirit through Scripture reading, prayer, just being aware of Him throughout my day. Many times things enter my mind. Thoughts of calling or writing a note, or sometimes simply someone pops into my brain and I know they are struggling. I feel led to lift them up in prayer.

how many times do those things enter my mind and I just never follow through with those ideas if you will that pop into my mind.

Lately, I have really tried to stop and pray if something comes to mind and if in a while that thought is still there to call and check on something or write a note to ACTUALLY follow through.

What if Moses had not followed through on what I believe was the Spirit leading him to visit his brethren?

God would have had to use someone else, because His purposes will be fulfilled, but what about the blessings missed by listening and following through?

Just a thought for today. I think we need to be walking with God and praying and reading His word, etc. to be assured those thoughts entering our  mind are indeed from God.

Just sharing my thoughts on this Tuesday,

Friday, June 3, 2016


I wanted to get out on my paddle board all day, but chores and errands kept me inside and on the run. The great thing about summer is the longer days.

Lindsay and I hopped in the kayak for a quick spin to the back of the bayou.
Hubby snapped a picture of our return. He had been working on his boat.

Lemony took a swim also as Hallie watches on from the dock. 
Lucy---well Lucy uses any excuse to slip off and visit everyone in the circle.

I did manage to change out the ribbons on the swans that have been there since St. Patrick's Day.
Patriotic ones --- kind of missed Memorial Day, but they will make it for Flag Day and July 4th.

The rest of my day was spent cleaning and running errands for Hubby and Mama.

Loving the long days of summer,

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June Cottage Cross Stitch

I am finally getting around to sharing the June cottage.

I have to say it is my least favorite OR August will be my least favorite. I have July and August to finish and at the very beginning these two didn't do it for me. I have loved the others and July is awesome.

The problem with June is it doesn't seem like June. I guess the strawberries fit in, but June to me is school's out and beach. Maybe a tire swing or birds singing...I don't know...June just is not right.

August is even more wrong and now that I have thought about it, the cottage for August is far more June. 

I could redo those two and make the August cottage the June cottage and June would be taken care of, but that would leave August with a question mark.


It is not that I don't think of August as beach month, because honestly August was a month when I felt like I needed to hit the beach as much as possible while getting my classroom ready and finishing up the last of undone projects at the house, so the problem is what do I want for August.

In my classroom, it was always a generic month for bulletin boards. The welcome back kind of thing.

I was thinking August needed sunflowers. 

I guess if I could figure out what I thought August should be, I could make June with the August pattern and create something new for August. 

All food for thought...

For now, I am stuck with this one.

I am loving June though... been pretty weather,