Monday, October 30, 2017

A Crafty Update

Thanks for all the kind thoughts about Mama yesterday. We went in early yesterday to the doctor. She has a middle ear infection. She let it get bad before she went, so she has been in quite a bit of pain. I honestly have trouble knowing how sick Mom is sometimes. She has difficulty relaying what is going on with her and she will not go to the doctor until she says it is time whether that is too late or too early.

I went over every couple of hours yesterday to check on her. Everyone feels better in their own bed when they are sick. I am hoping she will be better today, but I think it will take a few days to get those ear drops working.

Yesterday was a perfect example of what I was talking about with my time management. I never know when my days are going to get turned upside down. For awhile I moaned and groaned, because I like routine. I crave routine in fact, but it is not to be. With my list making of how I spent my time, I saw that I just had to make a plan to work with where my life is right now.

I have made a few lists with those 15 to 30 minutes times in my day in mind. Rather than throw up my hands that my day gets turned upside down, I am trying to maximize those small amounts of time. Yesterday, I did just that and actually surprised myself at what I accomplished and took good care of Mom too.

Now, for some crafty stuff I have been up too.

I collected some leaves at the cabin way back in the summer. I had in mind making my own botanical prints. I have come across botanicals in about three different blogs that I just really liked. I have absolutely no place for them in the house, but they would be perfect at the cabin or the farm.

I took the leaves and placed them in between some thick paper towels and stacked books on top of them and left them for quite a long time. I never took the time to do anything with them. They sat on the corner of my work counter in the sewing room. The other day I thought to myself ---it is time to do something with them. Not really wanting to spend much money, I went to Walmart for frames and found these for less than $8.00 a piece. I had the art paper. I adhered them with rubber cement. I am not out much if they don't last.

My plan is to hang them in the cabin since they are all leaves from there. I have a smaller set of three also. I am waiting on some frames for them from Amazon. Again a good deal on them.

When I get them hung, I will share again. I will go in a couple of weeks for a ball game.

I finally finished the Christmas piece.

I am almost finished with the Nutcracker. I have three more to do in the set. I don't know if I will get them all done by Christmas this year or not. My plan is to add red cording around the edge.

I use small clothespins to hold things together when waiting for glue to dry.

When I do red jackets, I will do a red stripe background with blue cording.

I plan to redo the cording. It takes a bit of practice. When I think I have mastered it I will add it to the ornament and then share my thoughts on how difficult it is to do. I am not the best at things such as this, but I think it is something I can figure out.

Oh and my pecans...there is no way I can leave good pecans on the ground. It is just not in me, so I hope to go back on Thursday and crack a few and see if there are some I can pick up.

Oh, and I have to share later a Christmas afghan Mom crocheted for me. I also I need to share some doggie pictures. Gus is growing like crazy. I will stop for now...


Pecans, Time, and Cording

I am going to try and get out a quick post this morning on things I have been doing.

First up is pecans... well, mostly just farm talk. I haven't been to the farm much at all this fall. Football season has kept me away. There wasn't as much grass to cut, so I let Jeff attend to everything. This weekend I went up with mom (who is still sickly and I am headed to the doctor with her this morning). I went out to check on the pecan trees. You may remember that they haven't produced since we purchased the farm two years ago. This summer I noticed lots of blooms up there. It rained lots here, but not as much inland, so I wasn't sure if that helped or not. I missed the deadline to fertilize.

I picked up pecans under three of them. It appeared that they were all skinny and dried up...duds. I have done my research. Two things I have discovered from my little research yesterday is that they are nutrient deficient and if it doesn't rain in August and September that they will be shriveled as that is the months they fill out.

Mother found a piece of paper with my grandma's handwriting on it with instructions on fertilize proportions. My plan is to do that this year ON TIME. Jeff keeps telling me I don't want 100 pecan trees producing at one time.

Anyway, as I got them home I started cracking a few more. Some of them were good, so my plan is to go back one day this weekend. I am going to go around and crack a sampling from the trees and if I find a good tree I will pick up the rest from that tree.

The ones I collected will be used for decorations this November. I thought a little Mason jar full with some brown and green ribbons would be cute. I can used them on my Thanksgiving table.

Mother. She has been sickly between tooth and ear. I don't think they are related as the ear has been an issue for a good while. The tooth got hot and bothered after some dental work. The tooth situation is scheduled to be fixed in two weeks, but we are headed to immediate care this morning for the ear.

Time Management... I realize even though I am retired that I seem to have a bit on my plate. Some of which is self made. Trying to own a piece of farm land, having season football tickets, a large home, two adult kids that I still dote on, an aging mother, and taking care of my husband and myself's health by being making sure most of our meals are home cooked is a lot. Even as I type it I know that is kind of insane. Jeff and I have been talking lots lately about making some changes after the first of the year. oh, and throw in getting a puppy. I really must be insane, but he is so cute.

All of that to say, I decided I must be wasting time somehow as I seemed to never get my to do list done which causes stress. I decided to do a detailed list of where my time was going a couple of weeks ago. What came out of it was that most of my days are chopped up with duties. I don't seem to have too many of those blocks of time I crave. Even if I think I have them scheduled in, mom calls upset about something or other family members need help with something.

I decided to think on that and came up with this. I have to learn how to make the most of 15 or 20 minutes and make those short blocks of time scattered throughout the week. I am trying to do just that. I may share more on this later as I am about to get dressed to take mom to the doctor.

Stitching --- A post is coming on that soon. I have been stitching in the evenings and yesterday I tried my hand out at making the cording that Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher does so beautifully. I haven't quite got it mastered, but I am way closer after giving it some time yesterday.

The red is the color I think I will go with and no this is not how it will look. I have figured out better than this.

Forgive me for any mistakes. I have no time to proof it...
Say a prayer for Mama if you will and I will be back sooner this week than later.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Little More about the Decorating Book

I wish I had something to share with my stitching, but I was busy all day yesterday with some family stuff. I also have to take Mama back to the dentist today...oh boy!

I am still working on my doggie set for my son and I worked on a possible craft or a possible dud last night that may or not be ever seen. We will see!

Here is my progress on the dog.

RJ from Stitching Friends Forever asked to see a bit more of the decorating book that I mentioned yesterday. I always hate to say how much I love something that you have to buy, because I am ever mindful how we can be influenced reading these blogs to buy something, but ON THE OTHER HAND...I have learned so much and had great recommendations from my blog friends.

I took a few photos of the book A Place to Call Home by James Farmer. All are just with my phone since I have a busy day ahead.

This first one is the dining room of the author's home. These photos are in its everyday state, but it was featured on Southern Living's blog for Christmas. It was so pretty. Where the fiddle leaf figs are stood Christmas trees. He has an amazing garden and has quite the green thumb.

Here is the link to the feature on the Southern Living website at Christmas...

To the left of the table.

To the right of the table.

A few more photos of the book..

There was lots of grasscloth on the walls. I have said before no matter how much wallpaper comes back in is not happening here... lots of pulling down pink and blue 1980's wallpaper in the home I live in now...NO!!!!

I stuck the next page in because I loved his description of the "waller room." His grandmother coined the room that needs to be in every home where children and grandchildren watch TV. They don't sit ---they wallered or lounged lazily.

I am sharing a white kitchen. Those of you have read me for a long time know I am not a white kitchen person...probably the only lady in America who is not, BUT this one is swoon worthy. I think there is enough wood grain to suit me.

Another white kitchen to swoon over is Stacey's at Poofing the Pillows. Few white kitchens stop me to look further, but hers is a stopper!!!

I do really like this one!

Another bedroom...

I loved this room.. It is the wood ---I love my wood!!!

And I still love formal dining rooms even though they are not vogue anymore.

That is a sampling of the book.

Now, to share two more from my collection...RJ, you got me started.

I have had this book since 1984.

It is still one of my favorites. 
This kitchen would still tickle my fancy even though it is not in style...or that outfit.

Needs some hardware on the cabinets though.
This room could still be in style minus the chairs.

AND one more book...

While shopping in Pine Mountain, Georgia back in the summer, I came upon this decorating book. I did not pay $35. for it. It was in a box of books at an antique store.

I just loved it. It was published in 1999. It featured all of us crazy dog lovers that collect dog stuff. It was all tasteful pictures, not gaudy.

Of course, that Springer on the front had me at first glance. Here are a couple from it.

I love the painting, the dogs on the mantle, and the pillow.

Maybe not the picture above the couch, but yes to the lounging doggies.

Ok...hope you enjoyed the tour of books.
Off to get busy with my day.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What I Have Been Reading

I have been away from my blog for over a week. I don't intend for that to happen, but sometimes you just don't have a thing to tell. That isn't always a bad thing.... boring can be good.

The weather finally cooled and I spent time outside last week without hating it. I did a little yard work and some just sitting outside to read.

I am almost finished with my first dog cross stitch for my son's Christmas present. If all goes well, I will share the finished dog tomorrow. Other than that I have no worthy pictures to share.

Gus is growing like crazy. He is 27 pounds now. He is getting a bit more destructive in the house. No big things like a the stairs post like Lemony did once, but he has a thing for seashells especially my starfish. I have had to move all my shells to higher locations. He also ate an expensive book. If I leave for more than a quick trip to the grocery store which is very close to me, he has to go in his kennel.

Gus is a pleasant happy dog though. He actually reminds me of our very first Springer with his temperament. He is pretty calm for a Springer and very easy going.

He is long and skinny right now. Those paws tell me he is going to get bigger.

I read two books this month...well, 1 and a half.

I will explain. There was this book that my husband ordered a couple of years ago.

Miracles sat in a basket by his chair for a very long time. I was cleaning the basket out and planning to take it to the bookcase downstairs when I started looking at it. The book is divided into 2 parts. After reading the introduction, the author says you would be fine to read part 2 first and then come back to part 1. That is what I did and definitely recommend to read it as such. Part 1 is an explanation of miracles and different beliefs among churches. I actually skimmed much of that. Part 2 is a collection of miracles. Extremely interesting. My daughter is now reading it.

My other read for October is a new release.
Church of the Small Things was a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's snippets of life that have great lessons for us. Life is really the compilation of small things that add up to a life. One of my favorite stories in there was the beige wall with the big neon picture on it which she shared as an analogy of two different people who complemented each other.

Now, for the book that Gus ate...

I have a affinity for decorating books. I don't buy them new very often anymore. I have ordered a few and then had to resell them on Amazon because I need to really like them to keep them. I have a couple of oldies from the early 1980's that I adore. When James T. Farmer released his new book, I knew I needed it. I have three of his other books and all are fantastic for the person who likes coffee table style books.

So, I ordered it and loved it. I knew I would have this one for years to come. I unfortunately forgot and left it on the coffee table. The coffee table seems to be Gus's playground. It is just the right height for anything left on it seems to grab his attention.

This is what he did to it.

The only thing left to the book jacket was the back.

I had to splurge and order a new one. I love this one. It is just classic and timeless photos.

I have to check Gus's mouth often. I will say, "What are you eating?" He will stop chewing immediately and give me the innocent look. I feel like I am constantly sweeping his mouth for things.

I will leave you with one more photo of him. Be back sooner hopefully with a few stitches.

A plastic lid he was about to chew. 

Have a great day all,

Monday, October 16, 2017

Stitching Update

I have had these pieces at this point for a full week. Maybe today will be the day I complete them.

One needs a bow and the other needs a decision.

I have mostly stitched on a pair of hunting dogs for my son this week. I decided I might need to make sure I had those done and then I will get back to my Christmas stitching. He requested the dogs. I stitched him this set back when he was in middle school for his bedroom. I think it may have been the last thing I stitched until I retired a few years back. He didn't want to take the other set from his bedroom downstairs, but wanted a new set. He wants his bedroom here to remain the same forever. I did change out the bedspread in his room since his old one was pretty disgusting. He approved that change. I have to say even my daughter hasn't liked the changes in her old room either. Yikes!

I got a new sewing table last Thursday. I had my sewing machine that I bought right before I retired sitting on top of my mom's old sewing machine cabinet. She had my sewing machine from college sitting on her desk. She had actually given my old machine to my daughter when she moved down here saying she wouldn't be sewing.

That all changed as she continually lost weight and basically is skin on bones. She doesn't like to buy petites so she buys regulars and hems all of it. She decided she wanted her old machine back so that meant I needed a table for my machine.

I found this one at Target online. It is absolutely perfect for a little less than a $100. and free shipping. It was extremely easy to put together too.

I hope to try and finish the Christmas pieces this week. I would rather stitch than finish. I can procrastinate for sure on that.

Gus keeps me company in the sewing room. He also seems to like to pull the ribbon out of the basket on the bottom right of the cabinet. I had to find a new for it.

I have explained to him that he has plenty of toys to chew on.

Hoping for a productive week. We will see😊

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Things I Love About Fall and All About Resting

Before I start my list of things I love about fall, I thought I would share a bit of my week.

Mother has been gone on a trip this week and due back tonight. I wasn't sure what I would do with my week, but sometimes the week takes care of you. That was more of the case with this one. I really didn't have a list of things I wanted to go and do, but more a list of things I needed to do around the house. The problem was I have felt sluggish all week.

The sluggish feeling probably is due to two things. One is I do run run run all the time. I am not sure how you get off the treadmill sometimes. Some of it my own doing and some others doing it to me. The second reason is having Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am exceedingly better after my journey back to health, but I do experience fatigue when I have gone too much.

Therefore the week was one where I fought that fatigue until Thursday when I just had to give up and lay around all day. I did nothing important to speak of except put together a sewing table which I will share next week in a post.

Thursday night before I went to bed, I popped over to my friend Leslie Anne's blog to read her column for the newspaper titled, "He makes me lie down in green pastures." I think that is just what this week was all about ---

    Instead of a long list of doing things I don't get time to do with family pressures, I had one of the family members gone and in my mind that meant making the most of the extra time, but I had to lie down in green pastures and just rest. God saw to it that I did by making me just a bit too tired to do anything else.

Either way Leslie Anne's story hit me right where it should and I just rested yesterday as well.

Now, onto the good stuff. Blogging friend Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table posted Five Things I Love About Fall last evening. I decided I would do so too.

Things I Love About Fall

#1... I love the cooler weather, which for us has not happened yet. I love it when you can get outside and work in the yard and stroll through the neighborhood. Just time outside makes you feel good. I am READY for it.

#2... I love the colors of fall. The color palette is one of the prettiest period. I don't see much of it my locale, so I have to create it which is fine too. I love going to Auburn in the fall to see a bit of it there.
This picture is of our cabin last year in November. Some friends stayed there the week of Thanksgiving and posted this picture on Instagram.

#3... I love scarves. Even though it is more of late fall and winter item of apparel, I still love seeing them everywhere.

#4... I love college football. Well, maybe just Auburn football.

#5... Last not least, I love the cotton fields seen in our neck of the woods. The prettiest to me are on the way to Brewton where I grew up. Santa Rosa County Florida has some of the prettiest farm land to me. Our cotton is not nearly as tall as the cotton a little further north, but it is still a sight to behold. IT is one of my favorites of any scenes in nature.

You may have noticed I didn't mention anything apple or pumpkins spiced. I love the look of pumpkins and the taste of apples, but all those spiced drinks make me gag. Yep, not a fan.

How about y'all... what are your favorite things about fall?

Have a great weekend everyone,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

Lindsay and I left late Friday afternoon for the Auburn game. We had a mother / daughter outing as all the guys stayed home. We decided to go even with being unsure about what Nate would do. I had put up everything on the back of the house and with the early game start of 11:00, we felt we could make it home if things weren't faring well for our neck of the woods.

We arrived at our cabin basically in time to go to bed, but that was fine. I had no dogs and really no one to see about. I slept wonderfully as I think she did too. We got up on Saturday morning and headed into Auburn to eat breakfast at Byron's which has an amazing breakfast. It seemed everyone had the same idea, but we managed to get in and eat in time for the game.

It was really a fun trip with my girl. Lots of girl talking. This is the last home game until November so definitely glad we went. We only went through 2 rainstorms on the way home and beat any wind, so all good.

I am married to the most wonderful man. He took my mom out to eat and then to the beach on Friday evening. I know she was on cloud 9. They watched the sunset and saw a baby sea turtle.

Mother is gone with my aunt on one of her bus trips. This is good for her and I have to admit me too. It gives me a little break this week to do some things just for me.

I managed to finish my first Nutcracker that I plan to make into ornaments.

Took it with my iPhone tonight so sorry for the shadow.

Gus is 4 months old today and I realized this is the only picture I made of him today. He and Lemony were playing in the bedroom while I was getting dressed this morning for church. Surprisingly, Lemony looked at the camera. She is usually camera shy. And yes, those are shorts the Gus dragged out of the laundry basket. 

Fortunately, Nate stayed far enough west of us that we got mostly rain and no big winds. 
Our dock is extra high and the only one not covered up in the bayou. I can't remember why Jeff had it built that high, but it works for stormy weather. We always pull the boat out even if there is only a slight chance of it coming to us. No chances taken.

It did come up on the grass about 3 feet in. Thankful that it moved quickly and didn't come here. I never can wish them on anyone else, but I always pray for them to be mild and dissapate.


Friday, October 6, 2017


Did everyone enjoy that harvest moon last night? It was a bit cloudy here in the late evening, but it was huge. I tried to take a picture, but of course, I am horrible at it.

Jeff and I drove out to the beach yesterday evening to walk after supper. I didn't even notice it until we were leaving. I took the picture after we got back on our deck. It was so big and the picture does NOT capture that. I love this time of year.

I have been busy trying to work a bit outside in the mornings as afternoons since it is a tad cooler. I got the garage looking a bit more presentable this week. There is still stuff to do, but at least I am not embarrassed when people come over.

Lindsay and I are headed out this evening and tomorrow for the game. Good friends of ours are using the other two tickets. The men in my life all have a golf game.

We are driving back Saturday after the game for two reasons. One is I hate to be away from my little kiddos at church for two weeks in a row and the other is the storm that is headed into the Gulf.

At one time the path was right over us. It has now moved west so that we would be on the edge. Of course, that edge is the worst side of a storm, so I am watching it closely for how far it moves in our direction. I can't wish it on anyone, so I am PRAYING it dissipates.

I hopefully will back next week with a bit more to share. I have just been on the run lately. Mama heads out on another of her bus trips early Sunday morning. She and another of her sisters are going and should get out of here before the weather arrives. I want them on the other side of rain while traveling the Interstates in a bus.

I ended up stitching on my little Nutcracker mostly this week and one other project. I should finish the Nutcracker this weekend. I am excited to see how these turn out in ornament form.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Soup Time

I am sharing a recipe that I have promised for quite awhile. I love making soups, and it is about to be soup time. This one was made in the heat of August for the first time. I have made it several more times since.

I found it on this website...

I was looking for spinach soups, but more tomato based. However this one caught my eye, so I gave it a whirl. I am writing the directions and ingredients for it below, because I changed it up with the sausage. If you want to see lots of pictures and directions pop over to the link.

Sausage, Potato, and Spinach Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound Jimmy Dean hot sausage (the above recipe called for Italian soup)
1 tbsp McCormick's California Style garlic salt (if you have never used this is a must have for your kitchen)
1 onion diced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound potatoes diced
3 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream

Brown sausage in olive oil. Crumble sausage as it cooks.
Stir in spices and onions and cook until onions are transparent.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook until tender.
Stir in spinach until it wilts.
Stir in heavy cream until it is heated through.

It is very tasty and quite easy to do, so it is very easily a night meal. It would be hearty with a salad and bread.

I worked in my garage today. It was the first day I have ventured outside to work. The true awful heat is gone I think?!

I changed out my table to more of an October table.

I added a little more Halloween stuff which is little since I don't have kids or grandkids. I have a couple of Jack-o-lantern votives in the living room. That is the extent of my Halloween stuff.

I have been stitching, but nothing big to show right now. I am rotating each day with something new until something screams at me, "Finish Now!"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week Wrap-up

I have no clue where last week went. It had wings on it for sure.

Mother was sickly at the beginning of the week. We ended up going to the doctor, but that really didn't accomplish anything. She has had trouble with her sinuses for awhile, but that is usual for her in the spring and fall. I think the thing that got her was our visit to the neurologist last week.  It is a long story and I will spare you the details, but she got her worked up and stress got her so much that her blood pressure was all out of whack. A visit to the doctor was mostly to calm her down. That was really my first 2 and half days of this past week.

She was much better at the end of the week, or I would never have gone to the Auburn game this weekend. My son was on call to make sure he checked on her regularly. She came over this evening to eat. I am always trying to get her to eat more. She is skin on bones.

Onto other things...I took a little while Thursday afternoon to order my sewing room and line up my stitching project bags. I have 12 things all bagged up. I will rotate until something really grabs me and has me stay on it until finishing.

I did stitch on a Nutcracker on the ride to Auburn because I am doing it on Aida cloth and can see it without a magnifier. I am planning to do some ornaments for my son.

Jeff and I met up with our really good friends who have moved away:( We had a nice visit with them on Saturday before the game. For the game this weekend, Jeff and I went and my daughter and son-in-law. It was a great game with a solid victory over Mississippi State.

I am so excited about the cooler temperatures this week. It will time to get my yard in order. It is finally less than 90's for the high. Yippie!!!

I leave you with some snapshots of the doggies and try to blog a bit more this week.