Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happiness is.... Sunshiny Days

Do you remember the book Happiness is a Warm Puppy?

Amazon

The book can be yours from the Amazon link above for a mere $2,797.00. Yep, I might should have kept my copy.

I was thinking of it yesterday when looking out at a  sunny day. It was cool outside and probably similar temperatures to this past Saturday, but the sunshine makes all the difference. 

Happiness is definitely a sunny day.


I kind of had to make myself stay out in the cold on Saturday to work at the farm, but yesterday I wanted to be outside. 

I worked most of the day, but did go out with the dogs several times to enjoy it.

We celebrated my son-in-law's birthday last night. I almost forgot to snap any pictures. By the time I remembered everyone had gathered in the living room for dessert and the lighting was dark. ­čś×

I used to be so much better at pictures. I have just gotten lazy in my old age.

Birthday boy and Mama


Hubby

Son and Daughter with my cute pillow on the floor and the old quilt for the dogs. REAL LIFE!


Oh, and I almost forgot to share one of the cool things that happened yesterday. I went out the front door and standing on the fence just a few feet away was a hawk. I thought he would fly away and soon as saw me, so I backed up into the garage and tried to take his picture. OF course, I think my hands were shaking so he is blurry. He kept me in his sights, and then finally he flew downward into the neighbor's yard. Must have been hunting something good. 

I have seen him a few times on the water side, but never on the front. Nature is always cool to me.


Off to take Mama to the eye doctor this morning.

With joy,
Sandy


Monday, January 30, 2017

A Little Bit of Everything on My Mind

This is going to be a week of thoughts and goings on. I really try not to wait a week to post, but this week just flew by and well... I just didn't stop to write anything.

The Everyday Life - I would say that "everyday life" kept me from checking in last week. The appointments for yourself and your mom and your husband. Things that eat away the moments in the day. I chose the fruit of the Spirit -JOY- to work on this year. I am determined to live with JOY each day. It is a daily decision when things start getting busy each day and you see the moments getting chipped away.
I actually think I did pretty good last week even though it was busy. I looked at the calendar and kept the mindset that every week is not like last.
I also reminded myself that I am so happy to be able to take care of those things and not be working at the same time.


Dogs - Y'all know my Springer, Lucy has been having seizures for sometime now. 95% of the time she is happy, energetic, and her usual stubborn self. She will be 12 in April and Springers generally live up to 15 years. My first one lived to be 15 and my second to 13 and a half. Lucy is health other than the seizures.
The baby has to take some seizure medicine and it makes her ravenous and THIRSTY. She would be fat if she weren't so energetic. Lately, I have had to add peeing to her list. The water drinking has increased and I feel awful sometimes removing the water bowl from her. We have had to add diapers to the list of issues. She will go two weeks and have no accidents and then bam she will have two days of leaking all day.
Dog lovers will understand why I put with it all. Others will think I am nuts.
They are my babies.


Gardening - The winter has been a mild one, thus making me want to go and plant lots of flowers. I am working on keeping my geraniums alive through all of this. Some are blooming and some are puny. I did purchase some geraniums this weekend. I will be babying these through any cold nights we have the remainder of the winter. I have my tulip and daffodil bulbs in the bottom of my refrigerator ready to go this spring. I don't dare plant them now with the warm winter we are having. I plan to put a bunch in the ground this year on my side yard. I am looking for that wow factor. Last year was the first year I had ever used tulips. I fell in love!


The Farm - We spent Saturday at the farm. We did a little prep on the garden for the spring garden. I dug up some stuff. Hubby has to till soon. I learned so much last year, so this year should be a little better. Potatoes have to be in the ground by Valentine's Day.
I also want to do this raised bed we have with some wildflowers or zinnias.
I am also needing to continue with my in the house ideas.

Salt Lamps - Salt lamps are simply amazing. I know some would think I am nuts, but they are wonderful for cutting down on dust. I have 4 of them. One in my bedroom, one in the living room, one in my sewing room, and my latest purchase in a hall closet.
You read it right. The hallway coming in from my garage is well traveled by humans and dogs. I have a louver door closet for storage in the hallway. I decided to try one in the closet to see if it would help there. I will keep you posted.
My daughter got one for her bedroom. She is now convinced as well.

My Children - Love them. They went to an Alan Jackson concert this weekend together. Lindsay had planned to go for Tyler's birthday. It would be his Christmas present. I could not possibly let them go without Paul Allen as he loves Alan Jackson. Lindsay ordered four together and Tyler and Paul Allen had to open them at the same time on Christmas. Paul Allen took the girlfriend who we are all loving. They had a blast together. Made this mama very happy.

Last but not least...I am going there. - I have tried to be mum about the goings on in the country, but this weekend got me. It wasn't even the topic that got me. It was pulling up Bloglovin on my phone after church and seeing a big ad for donating money to the ACLU. The day I give money to that organization y'all can know I have lost my mind.

I immediately went to my blog and took the Bloglovin button off of my blog and redid my BLOG LIST of favorite blogs. I had some on Bloglovin that weren't on the list on my blog. Either they didn't blog often LIKE ME or I just hadn't added them. Either way, I am OVER it being put in my face. I have tried to remain neutral and keep my mouth closed, but the other side just ain't having it, but I draw the line at requesting I send money to things that go way past my core beliefs.

With that, I will get busy planning a birthday party today and finding Joy. I wish that people could all get along, but we never have.

Joyfully living,
Sandy

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

I will start with Friday. Hubby has had maybe a pinched nerve going on for months now. We headed out to Pensacola very early Friday morning for a test. He has an MRI on this Tuesday, so prayers needed for answers friends. The pain has subsided substantially, but he has some numbness in the fingertips.

Anyway, I stitched up a storm while watching the Inaugural festivities and waiting on him. I made quite a bit of progress on my Books of the Bible piece. I will share a new picture soon. I did find one mistake that I made. I am soooo glad I caught it now, rather than later. It was an easy fix---thank goodness.

I have to tell you that we made it home by lunch. We had watched on the phone on the way home. I was a complete lazy bug and sat and stitched while I watched TV all day. Melania Trump was simply gorgeous.

I have been a reader girl each night. I finished the third book in the Angels Walking series by Karen Kingsbury. It was called Brush of Wings. I simply loved them. Lindsay is finished with all three, and Mama is working on the third one now. We all agreed they were a good read. I actually finished that during the week.

Add captionAmazon

I then started on the books I received from Kelly at Talk of the House in her giveaway. There were two Mary Kay Andrews books in the gift. 

I finished Blue Christmas this weekend. It was a light read and entertaining. I didn't even mind that they were Christmas books. I am back. I just got into a reading slump.

Amazon
Amazon


I am currently reading the next one called Christmas Bliss. Now, what I didn't know was that these were books 3 and 4 in a series, so I will be backtracking to read the other two at some point I guess­čśŐ

I also finished up last week a nonfiction book I started last year by Eric Bolling. It is called Wake Up America. Each chapter was pretty much a stand alone idea so that is why I was able to spread it out. I think it would be a great read for teens and college students because of the character traits he describes. I really did enjoy it.

Told you I had been a reading up a storm.

Speaking of storms, it is always horrible to read about the deaths from tornados. We had to gather in to the hallways at church yesterday morning, but thankfully the thing never came down. Praise the Lord.

We went to see the movie Hidden Figures on Saturday evening. I loved it, but I love all things space. It is definitely a movie worth going to see! Do I know how true it is? No! Do I want to know? No! I just wanted to enjoy it and Octavia Spencer is wonderful as well as the other ladies.



Off to try and be productive around the house and avoid sitting to stitch or read for awhile.

Cleaning,
Sandy




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stitching Update

I have been slowly stitching my way through a few projects. I have quite a few going at one time. I have to be honest stitching multiple projects is not that good for  person who can get distracted and finish nothing.

To help me with my easily distracted self, I have made one a primary focus.

My books of the Bible sampler is that project.


This is actually a pretty large sampler, and I do plan to have it framed for the farmhouse. It only has three colors and of course I had to wait until an order of thread arrived via mail to work on it the other day. 


That makes a good argument to having something else to work on while you wait. 

I simply have no luck even purchasing thread around town locally.

You may remember I didn't finish my cardinals in time for Christmas, so I have plenty of time to do them, but they are still a project that I very much want to finish. 


They have honestly not been the easiest to cross stitch. Lots of various shades of green have been a little harder on older eyes. I really have to work on this during the day to be mistake free. I really need to think about a new style of lamp over my work chair.


I do not plan to frame this stitching piece. I have my finishing idea all ready when I finally get to that point. Since it will only be out at Christmas I feel good about doing something other than a frame.

While waiting for my order to come in the other day, I started this piece that my friend Arlene at Nanaland gave me. I will complete this one for the summer! I have a finishing idea in mind for it as well. I am doing this one on Aida cloth and it will easy peasy. Love Aida cloth.


My other project that I am going to be working on really hard as soon as I finish the Bible sampler is this Loose Feathers sampler. I did the bluebird one for the farmhouse and my original intention was for them to go in the "gathering room" in the farmhouse, but after it was completed, it was a perfect fit for the bedroom.

No worries, I already have a plan for that too. I am simply itching to start this one. Motivation to get the books of the Bible sampler finished.


As you can see below, the partner piece was just perfect on this shelf.


Now, all my stitching friends who I follow on blogs and Instagram are killing me with their cute project bags. I would have to stop and make my own since I definitely can do that, but I have sewing projects lined up as well.

I need "hours" friends. Serious hours.

I am not going to make project bags. I have simply pulled out so many teacher totes or totes you get as gifts and lined up my projects in those. I simply grab one at a time to work on in the living room. Keeps the clutter down. 

I do have one that I didn't mention that I only work on in the sewing room. I had to let it go simply due to the size and amount of time it will take me to complete it, but I do work on it every now and then. It is a heron that is the most difficult project I have ever stitched. I have to give myself freedom from it, so that I can love stitching.


In other news, I finished Brush of Wings last night. So good.

And Lemony, the Golden is 8 today.


Celebrating a birthday today,
Sandy


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I've Been Reading

I have been a busy bee reading.

I just finished the second book in Karen Kingsbury trio of books on angels walking.

Amazon


I loved it. Chasing Sunsets continued to capture my attention. Kingsbury's books are always an easy read and travel quickly. Hard to put down once you start.

Lindsay and Mama have read the first one Angels Walking and were waiting for me to give them this one.

It has made us really think about angels. Kingsbury writes clearly that they are not to be worshipped and all power is in God Himself, but she certainly has given me lots to think about.

I found myself looking through the Bible for all verses pertaining to angels. Some were quite fascinating.

I am about a third through the third and last book, Brush of Wings.

I would recommend them as a good read.

I have also been trying to stitch some too.

Update on that coming soon.

Off to finish my chores,
Sandy

Monday, January 16, 2017

Good Intentions and Crying Babies

I visited my great Aunt Evelyn this morning. She is the last of my great aunts and uncles on my dad's side of the family. My grandmother on that side died before I was born, so the other sisters were very close to my dad and his brothers. When I lost my dad at an early age, they always doted on me.

Aunt Evelyn is the baby and is actually not much older than my dad would have been. She has been very spunky until just about 6 months ago. I call her on occasion and send cards frequently. With the moving of mom down here I really had not been to see her in quite a while.

Mom, Lindsay, and I decided to quit talking about it and actually go see her today. Lindsay was off today, so I called Aunt Evelyn yesterday to tell her we were coming.

At Christmas, she said she had fallen and injured her back quite badly. It has really put her down. She always walked 2 miles and kept her house and yard very neat.

I didn't take her picture today. She was fine, but quite a bit more feeble looking than I had seen her in the past. She said she would be 86 in May if she made it. I have actually never heard her say anything like that before. I didn't think I should take her picture.

I am so very glad I went and will not wait a year before I go back.

She was happy and jovial so her statement surprised me. She did crack me up on this...

She said she once heard a preacher say, "Good intentions were like crying babies in church, Both needed to be carried out." 

She said in the most humble way though, as though she needed to come and see me.

Lindsay liked a little quote she had hanging on the wall... "When life gives you scraps, make a quilt."
We have a baby quilt she made when Lindsay was born.

It is important to visit your family. I am trying to be more intentional. If I wait until I have time, it won't happen. We are always busy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Beautiful and Productive Week

I didn't plan on not blogging at all this week, but I have been productive, so I am hoping that gives me a pass.

This will be a random memory of the past week. IT will be long...sorry...If I don't get it all down, it will fade from memory.

First up --- the weather.
I spoke of the cold that just blistered my geraniums. I was so sad. It really got cold. Three nights of freezing is rare here. In 2014, when Birmingham and Atlanta got all the ice that shut them down, we had ice on our bayou. I had never seen that before and really thought that was a "once in a lifetime."
But, it happened again. Not quite as bad.

When I first walked out on Monday, I saw this... recognizing it from three years ago.


You can see sheets of ice across the bayou. Don's Bayou on Choctawhatchee Bay, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Gulf Coast ---Panhandle.

I grabbed a piece of lettuce from my pots to check out if my eyes were deceiving me.


I dropped it right by the boat. Yep, frozen ice.


Dropped the rope. No doubt.



Next up on my thoughts is --- my week.

I popped in on Monday to show you the painted bookcases, and then I worked liked crazy around the house this week.

Remember I told y'all I feel like I have just been plain unproductive in 2016 blaming a lot of it on dealing with Mother and the move. 

I am determined to be steadfast in my faith walk, but also in just living life. I also added JOY after my last Sunday's message at church.

I am blessed with a very large home, but at my age that can be hard also. Hubby asked me did I want to move. He is not serious at all, so why answer that? But, let me say...when I tell you the rest...no, I don't want to move.

This week was productive. I got up on Monday with a renewed energy and decided to make a detailed list of all I needed to accomplish. I tackled the main tasks that make for sane living first and then tackled a section of the home each day. I touched all surfaces with the exception of baseboards. I cleaned out some closets. I did such a great purge last year, that they actually weren't too bad overall.

The house looks a ton better with just a few big ticket items to handle on my list. I will tackle the baseboards all at one time. Actually they aren't too bad because I use a long handled Swiffer regularly.

Y'all, I am a list maker and love to cross out things. Great motivation. 

I hit the gym and walked with Mother. I have to get her moving. We also made it to the doctor one day and a few other interruptions, but I kept that STEADFAST attitude.  Now, the JOY thing I had to work on a couple of times. I am a work in progress there.

Now --- the weather. I took Mother for a walk on the beach Thursday morning.



She was all wrapped up, but it was very pleasant. In fact yesterday, I worked outside and almost had to go back in and put on shorts. I had short sleeves and a very thin pair of knit pants. It was perfect spring weather....but wait... it is January ---- and it was freezing last weekend.

Yep, that is Florida on the Panhandle. My favorite place in the world. Home SWEET Home.

Which leads me to my last thing for the week's memories. Why I would not want to leave this big old house. The bayou is amazing. I have no real pictures of what I have seen this week being home and working like crazy, but the life on the bayou has been amazing.

January is cold and quite frankly not my favorite time of the year, but it is crazy beautiful on our bayou every year.

Pelicans, ducks, and herons park in our bayou and have what I call conventions. I didn't take any photos of them this week, but the goings on were simply amazing. I would just stop and stare almost every day at the sights. Hundreds of ducks and pelicans. Even Hank, the heron (as we have dubbed him) had a partner one day. He fishes from our boat house and is a regular fixture. 

This was him on one of the cold mornings all hunkered down.
AND the best, I saw an eagle yesterday. Hubby is always calling me to come and see him, but I always seem to miss him, but I finally saw him. Beautiful!!!


I didn't stitch not once this week, so I will remedy that this week. I have my projects lined up and will do a post soon. Waiting on some thread in the mail. I truly give up on Walmart and Joann's. They never have what I need.

I have a top that I am going to cut out the pattern for today on the sewing table.

I am almost finished with a good book, so I will be back with updates.

I also want to go on a few quick road trips. I have a great aunt that I am going to visit very soon in Jay, Florida. She is very special to me, and she told me over Christmas that she had fallen and wasn't feeling too good. I know how quickly a fall can run down an older person after witnessing that with Mama.

I do love blogging, for the simple reason that I love to chronicle the good things in life and that I love the sharing of ideas and life, but I am not the best blogger. I tend to get a bit busy and don't take the time to share.

I guess I should add that to my list of things to work on or maybe just accept that I am a sporadic blogger.

Living life,
Sandy


Monday, January 9, 2017

Painting Bookcases

I decided to paint the bookcases in my daughter's old bedroom which I guess should be called the guest room, but really will always be her room. I have tried for the past two years to grow it up, but it still has her stuff in it and while I have taken a ton of it and stuffed in drawers, I have not completely "unLindsayed" it.

She has had the bookcases since she was about 6 or 7 years old. They were white and were perfectly for an elementary aged girl.

When we moved into our current home, she was in middle school and I toned them down by painting the doors and the background the same as her wall color. She had so much stuff on them until it worked. Ribbons and photos of friends made it last until high school was over.



They were well built custom made that we bought from another teacher many years ago.

I have thought about getting new ones, but I really don't think I could buy anything new that would be as well made, sturdy, and have the storage. They are solid wood through and through.

At the encouragement of Hubby, I painted them. My goal was to make them be less noticeable.

I think I achieved that. Do I love them? I don't know.

I guess that probably means I don't.



They will stay this color though, because it was not an easy job. I chose a semi gloss paint which was the dickens to paint with.

Hubby sanded them and I used the same stuff I used on the cabinet at the farm on the laminate shelf. This the top of the base.

Then Hubby added hardware to dress them up.



I have one more thing I am going to do in there and then it is a finished room...you hear me...finished.

We are going to swap out the bed with a poster bed we have at the cabin. We won't have to move mattresses, just the head and footboards.

The bed at the cabin is actually the bed that with our master bedroom furniture and we upgraded to a king.


Her bed is a more recent purchase when the antique bed she had broke due to boys trying to jump over it. Boys will be boys.

The poster bed should look better with the antique dresser and nightstand and hopefully look a little nicer with the new brown on the bookcases.

Anyway, this project took a full week to do. Everything had to have two coats and they had to fully dry between times. With the shelves you had to do one side twice and then the other side twice. Took a lot of drying time and moving around.

Really glad to be done with it.

Like I said, like them or not...they are staying this way.

My son walked in one day while painting and said they looked great. I think my struggle is that they would appeal to a boy and I am still thinking of this as a girl's room rather than a guest room.

I can't part with my books too, so that is a reason to keep them.

This picture is just because I like it.

All painted out for January,
Sandy

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Good Lord's Day

Today was such a good day at church. The music was amazing. The sermon was literally one of the best ever. It was not what I expected for my New Year's sermon, but let me tell you it was just what I needed.

Key topics included possibility - which is what you would expect with a New Year's sermon, but the Scripture was ...

Galatians 5:22-23New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Those notes are not from today...
Not exactly what you would expect, but he tied it in so well. I have homework to think on which fruit of the Spirit I will pursue working on this year. My initial thought is not where I am landing right now. I am going to pray about it first.

I will let you know what I decide. I am working on being steadfast in my walk this year. I shared it on Instagram, but not here. I was so inspired by @1862antebellum and her post last Sunday. You know how sometimes you are struggling for some reason to put your thoughts on a piece of paper, and then someone does it for you. That is what happened last Sunday.

I will share what she wrote....


Anyway the word steadfast is what I had been looking for. "Day by day small goals with a steadfast attitude and bringing honor to Him." ---1862antebellum

She nailed my thoughts for 2017.

She used to blog at Antebellum 1862. She has two Instagram accounts worth following.
@1862antebellum and @thankfulfarm

This past week I tried to do just that and be grateful at the end of the day for whatever I accomplished.

There is lots more to the story than this..., but I will stop here and see where this takes me.

I am adding one of those fruits to my list walk with a steadfast attitude.

In other news, my once beautiful geraniums that bloomed prolifically during Christmas look wretched. I tried covering them, but I fear they lost the battle.

I will be back tomorrow evening to share my painting project and a sewing and stitching update.
Oh and maybe a few more things going on.
I love Jesus! Yes, I do,
Sandy



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Living Room Refresh

This past fall, we were shopping for a dining room table for my daughter. I saw a really nice chair on sale and purchased it. I had not gone in there looking for it, but knew it would be a nice replacement for an aging glider.

I just can't take pictures against the light.

Upon arrival at home it presented a new problem. Too much of one color all in the red family. The room was on fire with energy. Not exactly what you want for a living room that you want to relax in.

This was taken before the refresh. Little better view of it though.

You can guess the rest of the story...one thing leads to another...new rug...then replace this and then replace that.

It all started before Christmas and I kind of had to put on hold some of my thoughts during the holidays.

This week I have been a "busy bear" restyling things.

Lots more blue and lot less clutter.


I am pleased with the outcome.

It is much calmer in here.

A room is never finished and changes whether due to style (which I am not so much concerned about) or family changes.

One thing of note was that I did read an article about trends for 2017. I love that blue is a color we will see more of this year. I am a little over the neutrals, well too be honest I like color and never have been a neutral person, so at least maybe I will see some color in the magazines now.

I saw that certain metals were coming back, although I am not thinking it will be the metals I have in my home. Mine will still probably look dated and as I change them out as I have some, what I choose will be out of style.

That is why you better like for yourself what you choose.



Anyway back to the restyling. The sofa is not going anywhere any time soon, so I have to work around it. Color? I am not sure what it really is. It was called cinnamon when I bought it and I guess that is the closest thing to it. Go open you cinnamon bottle and you have it. In the light of day, it looks somewhat burgundy, but at night not so much. The new blue pillows look great with it.

I commissioned Mom to make me a new afghan to use. She is back to crocheting and needs things to do to keep her busy.

Hard to tell from the picture, but the afghan is the same color as the new coral.

I went house shopping for blue pieces to put on the bookcases. I also did a major decluttering of the shelves. Nothing sits in front of books with one tiny exception. It is my AFA (Air Force Association) medallion for service. (I headed up the teacher workshops that our Hurlburt Field AFA did for our panhandle educators. I am very proud of it, so it has to be near a small part of my space books collection.)


I didn't even realize how cluttered I had let them become until I got busy on them. Rest for the eyes as that is our view each evening. I also removed the vases from the hearth. I am asking myself why I ever put them there. Hubby said because that is what decorators do...they decorate.




Hubby also found some prints over Christmas that he just had to have. I liked them, but wasn't quite sure where they would go, but his choice was great. I love them. That area once housed some palm tree plates. I also took down my cross stitched bass and replaced it with a heron print. The bass will go to the farmhouse.


Behind the native redfish and trout is Choctawhatchee Bay. Our bay. The heron print you can see here. 

I added some coral in blue to the end tables.

I moved one of my blue planters to the the Christmas tree spot. I am not thinking I will leave that chair there. I am trying to sell an armoire in my bedroom and that chair will go back in there at that time.


Oh and the dog box got a calming cover that is awaiting a blue monogram.



All in all, the living room is looking a little refreshed and calm.

I am all about calm,
Sandy

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Cover for the Dog Box

Why I had not done this earlier, I can't tell you!

For almost 8 years, (Lemony, the Golden will be 8 on the 19th), there has been a dog box in the back corner of our living room with just a sheet over it. You know dogs sort of pick where they will lie and they dictate how things run in a "dog lover's home."



Before Christmas I was looking at a LLBean catalog and saw the cutest dog box cover quilted in a dog print. I almost bought it thinking it would make the eye sore a little cuter. Then, I thought I can make one cheaper.


This week I decided to do just that. I had some linen in my hoarding stash and set out last night to actually follow through.

It looks so much better than a sheet. In the light of the morning I may need to line it, but that is an easy do.


I texted my daughter a picture of last night and said it is linen, so it must need a monogram.

She texted back - absolutely - 100%.

We southern girls and our monograms. I just may do it, but for today, I have to get back to my bookcase painting project.

I can't wait to share the living room where I have been changing things up. Hopefully, by the end of the week.

Off to paint,
Sandy