Tuesday, May 30, 2017

T-shirts

I have a lot of t-shirts!

I don't like wearing t-shirts. At least I don't like wearing thicker t-shirts. I apparently did at one time...judging by how many I have.

I have given away and donated more clothes than one should ever even own with my weight loss. I felt guilty about it for awhile, even though I think having pretty clothes should be a perk to working outside the home.

Now, I am getting down to the nitty gritty with the last thing to sort and donate. T-SHIRTS! I have lots of them. You know how you get something everywhere you go...it was t-shirts. Then throw in two of my loves: Auburn and space and one has waaaayyyy to many.

I spent today going through them and had to go back to it three times.  I sorted three different times before I was sure I made a huge dent in them. I know....shameful.

I pulled out some of the space and Auburn ones to make a quilt from. I still have about five that don't fit a category for a quilt, but I am struggling parting with them.

I still have a dozen that are still sort of big, but I can use around the house to wear. All of them are lightweight, so I might wear some of them to clean and putter around the house. I really find I never wear t-shirts except for Auburn ones outside of the house.

Speaking of Auburn t-shirts, I have an orange one and two blue ones that are more of a lady cut that I really like. However, I still have about a dozen besides the ones I pulled out for the quilt. I told you I had a lot! I will work on finding someone in the family that is bigger than me to give those to.


I am not buying any more t-shirts and have informed the family. Even when I get to Auburn and they have the cutest new design. Nope...

Clearing things out thanks for listening to my thinking,
Sandy

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

It was a pretty quiet weekend around here. I spent a good portion of Saturday helping Lindsay with a project, while the guys were all fishing. Lindsay is in charge of a seating chart sign for Tyler's twin brother who is getting married next month. Her mom-in-law asked her to come up with something. I think we have a pretty good thing going, so I will share it with you when we are done. She scoured Pinterest of course for ideas and we thrifted a few things and got the rest from Hobby Lobby.
Sneak peek...


Memorial Day is a aways a holiday that sparks emotions. One of which is just the sheer gravity of how lucky we are for the sacrifices of so many. I always tried to teach that to my students even though they much like me had summer on their mind. It is not a holiday to be taken lightly in my mind. We are so blessed!

On the other hand, it does mark summer for me. Even though, the official start of summer is later in June. Here in the deep south, the warm temps are in full swing. When I was a kid, I looked forward to summer and beach trips or just the free time to listen to records, play with my cousins, or read.

Later, when I had children, I could not wait for school to be out to be with them. Jeff and I were looking at photo albums this week. I took so many pictures of them in the summer. We lived for that time together with no schedules. Time flew too fast.

Now days I get to enjoy all the seasons, so I can't really choose a favorite season anymore. Summer is hot as blazes, and we will be drenched in sweat very soon just walking out to the front yard, but it still holds the promise of a lazier schedule.

The cows arrived at the farm this weekend. I have not seen them in person yet. I will go up on Wednesday to see about the garden and meet them. Jeff couldn't stand it, so he went up today and sent me the following pictures.

One of them is expecting any day now. I can't really tell from this picture, but maybe the middle one.


They are miniature cows. I have never seen any in real life. 


Jeff titled this above photo "French Kiss" when he sent it. No, thank you! 
Below, is "Captain Morgan," the bull.


I can't wait for Lemony to see them. Wonder what she will think?!!

I made a top today. I didn't put a ton of effort in it, but I did cut out a skirt that I plan to sew carefully. I also want to make a shift like dress, and then I will go back to just crafty sewing for awhile, or at least I think.

I will most likely just wear it around the house and on the dog walks this summer. 

Jeff made some fresh salsa tonight and brought home these from the grocery store.


Oh my word, they were delicious. Yes, the bag was full and we ate them all. That didn't help the diet, but they were all things I can eat. I mean they were yummy!!!

Let's see, I finally took my Freedom stitching to the framer's. I haven't gotten it back yet, but I am so in love with the frame I picked out. I can't wait to show y'all.
I have two things I am working diligently on. Alternating days... I will share soon. I was hoping to finish the two I am working on by the end of May, because I have some Christmas stuff I want to work on. 

That about sums up my weekend,
Sandy


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trying to Find the Right Houseplant

I set out yesterday morning to change out some plants.



I had three houseplants that just were not doing what I wanted. Two of which go on the top of my built ins in the living room. The room is a well lit room, but I guess being on top of a book case opposite the windows is not conducive to growing plants. Now, I have tried out every kind of decor imaginable on the shelf and plants just look the best. In fact, just recently I shopped the house and tried out like what seemed everything I owned all with the hopes of finding something other than a plant to place up there.

I have used philodendrons there because I want a kind of full with some draped look to it. They always look fabulous at first and then the no light tends to start the process of looking like they have been stuck in a closet.

So off to shop I went. I picked Mama up and she proved most valuable with an idea for a problem I am getting to in just a minute.

I came home with two low light plants that are not some exotic plant which was the problem with the third plant. You know you see some plant that looks great, but you have no clue what it is ---well, chances are it won't grow very well and your back at it again. I have tried to get away from that in the past couple of years and go with what I know.

The third plant was just one I have in the kitchen and I swapped it out for something that looks like it might stand a chance.

So, here is the after on the bookcase. If these don't last, I am going to go for fake and I hate fake.


The one in the foreground is the new addition to the kitchen.

My other shopping was for church.
There are three outdoor planters at church that I tend. All three have different amounts of light ranging from full on light and heat to mostly shade. The full sun one will only work with a Yucca plant. I am not crazy about it, but it is the only thing that has worked. The mostly sun, but some shade has some Lantana and that has worked well for that location. I have tried everything with the shade pot. Lots of things will grow in shade, but it gets so darned hot that you can't keep enough water.

This is where Mama came in handy. She suggested I try some of the begonias that she and I grow at our homes on the patio. Today, I am taking some of that to try and see if I can make that work there.
I am using one of my pots of it, which meant I needed a new plant for that pot­čśé You see how this works?! I didn't get a chance to pot the biggest plant from the first picture, but I am headed out to pot that one for my bedroom or my foyer. We shall see where it ends up.

If they survive, when I work on Tuesday, I will share a picture.

The rest of my day was taken up with errands, so no stitching at all­čś×

We ended the day by driving up to the farm to check on the garden and the fruit trees. My squash and cucumber haul.



We planted only 4 squash plants and 2 cucumbers this year. That should supply us with a reasonable amount. My yellow onions are finally turning out as well. I pulled one up to check.

The wannabe gardener and farmer,
Sandy

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fickle Sandy

No staying power!

I was going to work on this during my housekeeping breaks yesterday.


What did I do???

I started a new one instead. 


I ordered this from eBay. It came from a Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine published in September/October of 1993. It would have been so perfect in my former house's kitchen.  I am not sure if I will finish it for my kitchen here or the farm.

It also had the most adorable teacher bunny pattern. I am going to have to do this one as well.



The following piece hung in my classroom for years and now hangs in my sewing room, so I think the bunny teacher piece will be nice with it.


I am in a stitching mood. I have to hurry and do my chores!!!

Trying not to be so fickle,
Sandy




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Week

Last week was a great week, so much so that I just soaked it up and stayed off the blog. Those weeks when I don't have a million errands are few and far between, so when they come along you have to make the best of them.

My daughter works close by and comes for lunch most days. I love it and miss her when she can't come, but she had to go out of town for a good bit of last week, so no lunch prep. I used the time wisely.

Most of my days last week began with morning walks with Lemony. She is enjoying them immensely. I bring her back home and then go for a more vigorous walk afterwards. I love strolling with her down the street. We have enjoyed the birds and morning time so much. I need to be a great photographer to show y'all the beauty, but alas I am not one.



Speaking of walks, I have just so enjoyed spring this year. I know the serious summer heat is coming, so I am trying to get outside now as much as possible. I got half of my outside windows done last week. I have puttered in my flowers and roses. Lemony has enjoyed the water and has been swimming everyday.



I did lots of housework, but I did pop into Instagram for eye candy a few times. I fell in love with this porch picture that James T Farmer posted.
Source: https://www.instagram.com/jamesfarmerinc/ 
It is not his porch, but his is pretty great too. I love this porch and could seriously relax there. I love all of Farmer's books. He graduated from Auburn in horticulture I think, but he is amazingly talented at putting those beautiful gardens together. He has a two Instagrams. The picture is from his more business related one, but I love his personal account as well. https://www.instagram.com/jamestfarmer/?hl=en

The garden at the farm had to be attended to as well as the beginning of the week had been so dry. We went up Tuesday evening just to water the garden. The small amount of squash plants are doing well and I will have a reasonable amount to deal with this year. I still have some yellow onions to gather as well. The tomatoes are not looking so well. It had been so dry. That has changed with the end of the week, so hopefully that will help them.


Thursday night, our local Auburn club had their annual big dinner with a coach visiting. It was one of the better ones I have been to in a while. Paul Allen and Katie (the girlfriend) and Mama went with us.


That was my boring week, but fun week.

On Saturday, we went to the farm to mow grass. There were three of us mowing, so we got a ton done. Jeff was weed eating around the pond and was sort of "ambushed" as he calls it by a large water moccasin. He was holding the weed eater way out and the snake came up from the area he had already done. He looked down and said he still has his younger day moves, because he was back peddling up the bank despite pine straw trying to make him slip. It unnerved him to say the least. The snake crawled out into the water. He grabbed his gun which was loaded with snake shot and started looking out across the pond because he thought it probably swan out to the middle. As he is scanning his way back to the bank, he realized it had only gone out about a foot and had just its nostrils out of the water. He was waiting on Jeff to come back to strike. Jeff shot him three times in all. He was 4 feet 2 inches long and as big as his arm according to Jeff. Since I do NOT look at snakes at ALL. I had to take his word for it. Everyone who saw the picture, said something to the effect ..."Oh my goodness!" I took their word for it as well. They are moving!!!



We also went to our lake cabin near Auburn after church on Sunday to do a little yard work on Monday. We are going up in a few weeks for a few days, so we thought we would get a good bit of work done early so we could relax in a few weeks. We got only weed eating done and the porches cleaned before rain set in. I must say it was a beautiful rain, but hard and steady enough that no more work was getting done.


I love the cabin in all seasons, because you really see the seasons there. We don't see seasons here along the Gulf Coast. Maybe a little cool weather in the winter, but not the tree changes. I love all of the trees there. There are so many different kinds. Here we have live oaks (which I love), palmetto bushes, long leaf pines, and transplanted palm trees (they are not so native to our area). You see palms everywhere on the famous 30A, but they have all been planted there in the last 20 years.



In stitching news, I have yet to frame or do a finish on Freedom, but I will handle that this week. I have been working this week on a sampler.

This will go in the gathering room at the farmhouse.


I have lots of mending to do this week, so I will spend some time in the sewing room, but not on fun stuff. I have to take up a dress and hem a skirt for my daughter to name a few.

That is all the goings on in my world. I will try and post a bit more this week.
Sandy

P.S. Two other random pictures from my phone.


A hawk on the boat house last evening.

Auburn's softball coach was eating at the same place as us at the lake. Sly picture huh?! Anyway, he spoke later and was so nice. He had a game win earlier in the day, and they were looking at film on a laptop with the owner of the restaurant. 


Monday, May 15, 2017

A Weekend Wrap-Up and a Few Gluten Free Finds

My weekend started on Friday morning. You see it was the first time in such a very long time that I had no obligations outside the home or for anyone else. I had cleaned the home enough that I could live with myself if I played in my sewing room all day!!!

I worked on a bathing suit coverup. Not that I really needed it for me, but I had this fabric and pattern and really wanted to try it out. I have another darker piece that I think would be great for Lindsay, but I needed a trial run for the pattern. I am glad I did this one, so I could see the things I would need to alter for her. Of course, hers will be much smaller, but I would like to do more of a bell sleeve. The sleeves were so long on this pattern, that I will shorten them to keep the bell. I basically had to cut off the whole sleeve for me. I had already altered the pattern for length as I am so short. I still had to cut off 2 inches, so I think that the alterations I made will be perfect for her. I will do some fringe for her on the sleeves and the hem. I couldn't find any to match this color, but hers will be an easy match.



I basically puttered around all day just doing the things I wanted.

Saturday morning, Jeff and the kids went fishing in the gulf. I DON'T fish in the gulf. Nope, not for me, so I took Mama grocery shopping and to Target. We got her some curtains for her bedroom.

Jeff cooked for me on Saturday evening. I should have taken a picture for y'all. It was simple, but so good. He saut├ęed some shrimp in ghee, California style garlic salt, and Tony's Chachere's Creole seasoning. (I have written before about this particular creole seasoning. It is so good.) Then he put it over my latest gluten free find noodles. It was delicious. Easy and mmmm good. I will make again and take a picture.

The gluten free noodles is the reason I decided to mention the dish, because I have found a two new gluten free things that are very tasty. I love pasta so much that I would say it is my favorite food. That  has been one of the hardest things about going gluten free, but I found a new brand that have improved them immensely.

Barilla is the brand. Much better than the many others I have tried.

My other tasty find is Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix. I have tried some Krusteaz products and thought them just fair, but the blueberry muffin mix is great. Some things that are baked that are gluten free are good right out of the oven, but not -the next day.  These were delicious all the way to the end. I baked them and put them away and pulled one out a day for a while.



We all went out to eat after church yesterday. I loved being with my family. They were all enjoying themselves and that makes a mama happy. I just sat back and soaked it up. I did get a present even though I told them I wanted nothing. Lindsay picked up two bracelets.



As you can see, they are going to match my summer church preschool area t-shirt.
Jeff took this as we first got to church of Mama and me. The bracelets will go great with my t-shirt.




I sat in my orange chair for a good while yesterday and just relaxed. Nothing else. I did sweep off my back decks later and stitched. I finished up my Freedom piece.



I am going to give myself a couple of days to figure out how I will finish it. Just not sure yet. I like how it turned out as I did a few color changes to make it bit more patriotic. I guess that means it lost some of its colonial colors, but I like it so that is what counts. The word freedom and the stars were supposed to be brown, but I did the blue and I liked it very much.

I had such a great weekend. I had time to do some things I wanted to do, so that was a treat in and of itself.

Off to get busy on my chores,
Sandy

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Meaningful Mother's Day Gift

I am sharing a Mother's Day gift idea that costs nothing but time today.

Many years ago, Mother had reached the age that it was harder and harder to think of gift ideas.

Most of my great ideas come in the middle of the night.

For years, I kept a post it note pad by my bedside because that is when all my best teaching ideas came to me. One particular night, I had the idea of a letter with things that Mama had taught me laid on my heart by God I believe. I scribbled down the thoughts that came to me over a good period of sleeplessness on to the post it pad.



I didn't follow through with it right away. I kept the post it note, knowing that when I got a chance I would write it all up in a letter. I think it was probably almost a year later, that I wrote it for Mother's Day, 2003. I know it was in our transition period to the home we live in now. I actually thought about it the other day when I was looking at photographs of the dogs and saw this picture with the drawer open on my bedside table. Post it note location.



I can't believe I am sharing this picture.

Most likely this photo was taken on a Saturday morning, since Paul Allen and I have always been the sleepy heads and Lindsay and Jeff are the crack of dawn risers. I am sure he came and crawled in bed with me.

Anyway, fast forward to the letter.
I typed it up to give her as a Mother's Day gift in 2003. I found my edited copy. I gave her the final copy and she hung it on her office wall until she made the move here. I saw that she had put it a photo album. I know it meant a lot to her.

I scanned it in for y'all to see.


I think that is a great idea. I could add lots more to it now, but either way at the time, those were things that meant a lot to both of us.

She is 82 now, and actually I can think of lots to get her now. She loves shoes. We all laugh at that. Most ladies her age are hoping to find any COMFORTABLE pair, not genuinely get excited about shoe shopping. I took her to the outlets yesterday and she bought two pair. 

We did decide many years ago that I wouldn't buy a present anymore, that we would do something together, so this year our do something together was the Extraordinary Women's conference. For many years we would go to our cabin for a few days when school was out and shop in Auburn and Columbus. 

Just thought I would share the idea this year, so that if you still have your mama you can tell her how much she means to you.

Sandy







Thursday, May 11, 2017

Photo Book and a Video

My free photo book came in. For a free book other than a minimal shipping and handling fee, I was pretty pleased.




FreePrints Photo Book and FreePrints are apps on my phone. They are separate apps. At first I thought it was too good to be true. You get a certain amount of free photos a month and a free book soft cover 5X7 book each month. I tried it and have been using the prints for several months now. I print my photos that I want on my phone every two months.

The book was my first try at it. I didn't do any sorting or special things, I just tried the free quick upload. I would say if you are looking for a quick coffee table book, then this is an option. I did look up what some others had to say about it on the web. There books looked good and reasonably priced for the upgrades.

Now, mine might not look that great from the picture below, but that is because these pictures are of Sally from the 1990's. The picture quality from then is not the best. I could have edited them on my computer since it is linked to my phone.



Mother is still having diverticulitis issues. Her stomach got all flared up with the round of antibiotics she had to take for her sinuses this spring. She has a rough go of it lately. She is trying to behave because her bus trip with my aunt to Maine is this summer. She wants to go so badly. I have her an appointment with the doctor before the trip, but I could sure use some home remedies. Anybody out there with some ideas??? We go between constipation and diarrhea. 

I have been just working around the house this week , but with a few morning appointments to keep me sidetracked. I am trying to finish my Freedom cross stitch project this week. Not sure if I will make it or not. I am hopeful. I have a sampler I want to work on, but I am too close to the end to stop on the patriotic one. I have not decided if I am going to finish it myself or frame it. I had intended to do a patriotic finish and use it seasonally, but now I am thinking it might look good framed at the farmhouse. Decisions, decisions!

I am going to be brave and share my video that was done for the doctor's Facebook page that brought me back to life. I see everything wrong, but my family said they thought it was good. Either way, I hope it brings him as much success as he brought to me.

I did it first take, no do overs, etc. I think when you really believe what you are saying, passion comes through. That part is all good...it is just the crooked nose, the eyebrow that was having a bad day, the dress that made me look fat, etc.

Does anyone else do that to themselves?

The link is below. I hope it works. It is found on the website for the Florida Health and Wellness Institute, so for those of you I have gotten to know well, here is me... (for others browsing, just pass on by).

https://www.facebook.com/FloridaHWI/videos/1363699883717521/

Off to do some errands this morning and then try to work in my flower beds this afternoon.

Oh, one more thing...

I am going to share a quick photo of Paul Allen's girlfriend. Y'all know I love her. She is really shy and I have yet to get a photo. I am so afraid of running her off, and I like her. Did I say that already?

Anyway, she and Paul Allen planted a dogwood at his house. Hubby helped plant an orange tree the other afternoon. I guess he paid attention and decided he would try again. He sent this after he planted it. It is not probably what she would want me to share for a first time photo, but I can't help myself. She is just so cute.



Healthy and grateful,
Sandy

Monday, May 8, 2017

I am Still Here

Happy Monday,
I didn't mean to not post any last week. I can not give any good reason other than maybe I was enjoying the slower days.

For the first time in a very long time I was home during the day last week except for Tuesday morning and all day Friday.

I just tried to enjoy that.

Tuesday morning, Hubby and I drove over to Pensacola advertising firm to film us for our doctor that has brought us back to life. An ad agency happened to be one of the doctor's latest patients and she has had a miraculous turn around as well, so she is trying to get him on the market. We filmed a piece that will be on his website. I told them they would have to do a ton of editing. I am not so good on camera. When they get it done, I MIGHT share. Yikes!

On Wednesday evening, my small group went to the yearly "Night of Integrity" hosted by the FCA. The regional leader is a friend of ours, and we always go to the event in support of her. It is at the local college here and is attended by youth from the two neighboring counties (Okaloosa and Walton). I am sharing this because I heard one of the best speakers I have EVER heard.

If you get a chance to see Inky Johnson, former Tennessee safety, you must run! He was so inspirational. It was meant for youth, but I seriously walked away so convicted. I whine too much.

Y'all I will stop my whining. You can read more about him here. I wish I could get my hands on his book. It is out of print and the cheapest one on Amazon is like $65.00.

On Friday, Mother and I went on a day trip home. We had some business to take care of in Brewton and Flomaton, but we also headed to the Range and Repton where all of my family is from and I lived as a child. We picked up my aunt and headed to Monroeville to the Vanity Fair outlet. We also ate lunch on the square at a place called "The Sweet Tooth." Yes, they had sweets that I did not eat, but they have a lunch special each day that is to die for. I cleaned my plate and was full all day. If you have never been to Monroeville, it is the home of Harper Lee. I grew up shopping there on the weekends and still love to head to the square any chance I can. They have made the old courthouse into a museum that is very nice.

On Saturday, we went to the farm.


I think we are getting cows in that grass soon. Hubby has a guy that wants to bring in some miniature cows to graze. A win for both of us. Less cutting grass for us and plenty for the cows.


I worked a bit in the garden. I gathered the last of my green onions.



I still have yellow onions to gather. Currently, I have four squash plants , NO zucchini, 2 cucumbers, and 10 tomato plants going. I was much more reasonable this year. I love looking at the squash plants. To me, they are such a reminder of God's provision and care for us. They grow those big umbrella leaves to shelter the fruit. He covers us too with his love and care.




I have been puttering around the house, trying to clean out a few closets while keeping up with the chores. I have stitched some each day. I have made a point of sitting in this orange chair each day for a little while. It has become my favorite spot.



Lemony and I are going on daily walks and falling into a new routine with each other.

She seemed to be a bit more cheerful last week. You wouldn't know it from this picture. One morning after Hubby got up, she came in and plopped herself in his spot. She was quite lazy that morning. She didn't want to get up at all. This is actually rare for her, because she doesn't like to jump up. There is a lot more of her to jump up, so she usually settles for the floor or the dog bed.




That is about it for this girl. A bit more of the same this week or at least I am hoping.

Boring, but good life,
Sandy

Monday, May 1, 2017

Photo Books, Laundry, and Stuff

I have been a busy bee this Monday.
I got behind last week on laundry.
How can two people make that much laundry? I am not sure, but some of it has to with my state of mind the last week. I normally do a load a day. I just sort of looked at it last week. I was busy with something to take me away from the house everyday last week, but mostly I just was still in a funk.

I have been running that machine all day today though.

My geraniums right before my Lucy passed.

I am doing better. We all still miss that little Lucy a ton. She just had a larger than life personality even in her sickness. Lemony, the Golden doesn't have a big expressive personality. She is real laid back, very smart, but doesn't get in a hurry about anything other than a ride in the Jeep or a walk. I have wondered if she missed Lucy, but I got a glimpse of it one morning last week. She looked for her when it was time to eat. I had tried to feed Lucy two mornings, so I guess she would have those same moments too.

I have been trying to make a photo book for the kids of our life with the dogs. I have been scanning in photos with each of the kids with our dogs over the years. Three English Springer Spaniels (Sally, Murphy, and Lucy) and one Golden Retriever, Lemony. Of course, Lindsay has already started her own family of dogs now with the Boykin Spaniel, Hallie. I have scanned and scanned!

I made a book using an app called Free Photobooks. I have used the app for free prints, but not the book. Free? You are allowed so many free photos a month. I actually did a test of prints comparing them to Walgreen where I usually go.
I printed the same set of photos from each place and then mixed them up. I voted for each photo to see which one I like best.

THE RESULT: Literally half and half. I liked half from Walgreen and half from the Free Photos. You only have to pay the shipping.

I will let you know if the book turns out good. I made a book for me and then a copy for both kids. It only costs $10.00 for the extra two. I have no clue if it will turn out ok.

This all brings me to my thinking point...Pictures are amazing. I love digital and really love my iPhotos much, but I love a printed photo album as well. My family loves to pull them out and go back through them. When I first retired, I purchased a bunch of alike albums and redid mine. I pulled all of those that had sticky backs out and put them in new albums. It was quite a job, but I love the albums. You can see my choice here.

I have also worked today to get back on my cleaning zone for each day. I skipped a couple of days last week. NOT GOOD!!!

I cleaned off my desk in my sewing room. I finally made my wrapping station counter a full fledged desk. After observing how I work in there, I just knew I needed that counter top to keep me organized on the bill paying, filing, and general papers that come in and clog up the kitchen counter. I noticed that I generally pulled the wrapping paper and moved to my workspace in the window anyway to wrap.


Just cleaning off my desk cleared my mind today. I don't like stacks of papers and I AM A STACKER!!!

Lindsay dropped in for lunch which is always good and I have supper in the crockpot. Every moment I needed to stop and rest was used to stitch. I am making a few color changes in my freedom stitch. Made a bit of progress today on it as well as laundry.



A good day I say,
Sandy