Thursday, March 29, 2018

A New Washer and an Updated Laundry Closet

I shared earlier in this post that I was participating in the Simple Organizing challenge held by Melissa Michaels for the release of her new book. I really had no idea that I would get to update things when I wrote that post.

Well, one week to the date of that post, my washer burned out. I had one of those fancy front loaders that I will admit was one of my worst purchases ever. It lasted 10 years and has been worked on multiple times. I have complained about it for a decade in which Hubby said it cost too much to get rid of it, so I dealt with it. Other than having to spend money on a new one I was ecstatic that it died. A common problem is the fast spinning wears them out. It had smoking bellowing from it a week ago.

My new Maytag top loader!!!


With the old one out and three days before I would get the new one, I had time to paint the closet which honestly was what it needed more than anything! I painted it the color of the hallway and got a new shelf. It made all the difference. I also added a couple of cross stitch pieces. I moved the things that were sitting on the dryer right outside the door to the shelf on the garage. That was mostly my dog towels (they stay wet from the bayou) and old sheets that I use in the truck for them when we go places. Those were easily moved to the shelf right outside the door.

New shelf. I kept the white baskets. Easy to wash out when they get dusty.


I have no plans to put the curtains back up. The rod is there if I ever need it. The closet doors will remain off. This should all motivate me to keep it tidy. I honestly think I will. It is just so nice to have it clean. I didn't start out with a clean closet, so that made it hard to get it clean.

Much better. Feels a bit more open without the curtain.


Oh, and I got a new light too. The ceilings are really high and the fluorescent light's ballast was out so I haven't had a light in their for years. We just replaced it with a new light, not fluorescent so it will be easier to change the bulb.

I walk by this area hundreds of times a day so I moved my rules here. I plan to take note of them more!

I stitched this back in the 90's and it was in my sewing room where you really couldn't even see it. I love that I will get to enjoy it daily too.


I mean win win y'all!

I will be back next week with some more of the challenges. Catching my breath from the last couple of weeks. Whew.

I did link up with Imparting Grace's linky party this week. http://www.impartinggrace.com/2018/03/grace-at-home-no-292.html

Have a wonderful Easter weekend. I am looking forward to Easter Sunday with church and my family.

He is Risen and I Stand Amazed in His Presence,
Sandy


Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Mother Daughter Trip and Random Update on Things

When Lindsay and I didn't get to go to New York, we decided a trip to the cabin would be a second choice.  I will give you a little rundown of our trip and other stuff going on.

We left early Thursday morning and traveled to our cabin near Auburn. We stopped in and turned everything on and headed into Auburn to shop a little. Along the way we called to see if we could eat at my most favorite restaurant ever. It is called Acre. If you ever travel through Auburn and want delicious food with a great atmosphere you simply must stop here. It is owned by David Bancroft who beat the Iron Chef.

When I arrived home last night, my new Southern Living magazine had the restaurant featured.


 


It is pricey, an absolute adorable setting, casual dress, and very tasty food. This coming from the queen of picky eaters. I don't know what it is about it, but I love it.

Okay, onto other things. We drove around looking at houses since we want to sell the farm and cabin at the lake and then locate something in Auburn in town. Y'all nothing much is for sell. However, we did list the farm last week with a realtor. In one week, he said he had more hits on his site than all other listings combined. I am sure it will sell. It is a lovely place and would make a great horse farm or cattle farm. I have actually had someone to tell me when we get ready to list the cabin, so I KNOW it will fall into place when the time is right. We are in no hurry. We will not sell the cabin until we sell the farm and then locate something in Auburn. A chain of events I guess you could say.

On Friday, we drove to Columbus to do some sight seeing and shopping. I have never taken the kids to where I lived over there as a child or during my first year teaching, so I took her to all my spots. It was fun sharing that.

We drove back to the cabin and ate supper at Oskar's on the Lake. This is a home cooking place I guess that is what you would call it, but it is also good.

Can't have New York, then you will eat good at home!!!

On Saturday, we drove home stopping in Montgomery for a bit too.

Mother and Daughter had a great time together anyway.

The Tuesday night before we were supposed to head to New York, I was washing my last load of clothes. I wanted to make sure I was all caught up before I left when the washing machine I have never liked started smoking. I thought I smelled smoke the other day and was watching it carefully. It is toast!!! While I absolutely hate coughing up money for a new machine, I am so happy to say goodbye to this one.

While I was gone, Jeff did washing machine research and shopped for one. He had it narrowed down for me, so I went machine shopping shortly after I got home. I have a new one being delivered Wednesday. He hauled off the old one before I even got home.

Y'all know what that means don't you?! I can paint that laundry closet and tidy it up some. I will be painting it tomorrow. I was on Pinterest last night searching for ideas. Some of you had mentioned a cabinet. Oh how that would be wonderful, but they won't fit, so the shelf stays. I am going to paint and see if I can doctor the shelf up some without spending money. I have the paint already. Stay tuned!

For those of you wishing for spring, it was so interesting to see the lines of change along the way to Auburn which is located in central Alabama. The dogwoods are in bloom in the woods even if all the trees aren't green. The trees around the cabin have not turned green yet. There are lots of hardwoods there. The grass is poking its head up through the brown though. Spring is coming.


Just a random picture of Lemony. She curled herself up to fit in Gus's bed the other night.



When we were driving home, the temperature yesterday got warmer and warmer. Interstate 65 was packed with people coming to the beach. In fact, I thought there was a wreck, because 2 miles out from the exit off I65 the traffic was stopped. It was just that many headed to the beach. It took us much longer to get home on a Saturday than a Sunday afternoon which is usually when we are coming home. I think other than Monday everyone should have a great beach week. The weather as of now says the high tomorrow is only going to reach 69. The rest of the week 70's. I will say it has been quite cloudy this year thus far. Don't know what is up with that.

I will stop for now, but I do have more organization challenges to share this week, hopefully some stitching, and other stuff.

I am headed to church, but thought I would type this up real quick.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and Happy Palm Sunday,
Sandy


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blogging Anniversary

Hello Blogging Friends,

I have an anniversary for my blog. No landmark year like one, five or ten like some of you, just 4.

When I set out of this journey, I really didn't know what I thought it would be. I started it just before I retired from 31 years of teaching. I was going through some of the very big highs and lows that life offers. I was finishing a career that quite frankly the last ten years had consumed. Y'all teaching is very different now. I had just spent time planning my daughter's wedding all the while dealing with the upcoming death of my step dad (been in my life since age 11) from a pretty rough road of cancer.

I won't go through every play by play of all that, but suffice it to say it was an unbelievable year that took me some time to recover from. Lots of great moments coupled with some very sad moments.

I was hopeful though because I was turning a page on the chapters of my life.

I loved blogs from the first ones that I read which BTW were all teaching blogs. I ventured out to what I like to call home and family blogs. I have really tried to remember the first ones I read, but not sure of the titles of all of them. Sadly most have quit blogging. I do understand because sometimes you go through phases of life and they take over. I would say if you quit, let us know you are stopping!!!

I have to be honest...I am not even sure what I thought I would write about or how long I would do it. I just went for it. I never ever wanted it to be more than a hobby and community.

I am so shy so putting myself out there was hard for me. I really don't even think I cared if no one read it. I just wanted to keep a journal of the good things. I have to tell you I think I was shocked the first time someone commented. I like comments because they help you get to know others.

What is it about blogging that draws me in?

I simply love journaling the good things. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love going back to see photos of things past. It is like a glorified photo album.

I mostly write only the happy stuff, but trust me my life is far from perfect. I have ups and downs just like most other people. I say most other people, because I really think a few people in life go through it with few tough moments, but most of us don't.

I love it when others share how they have walked through a trial because it can be very helpful. I just tend to be a little quieter about life. However, don't ever think it is all roses here!

I love it when others share their homes, because I simply love home decor. I have loved it since I was a kid. I have looked at more books, magazines, etc. than most. However, one should never feel that theirs is not pretty enough to share. I love all homes and love to see how one makes 4 walls a home. Being lived in and feeling comfortable is way more important to me than magazine worthy!!!!!!!!

I love getting to know the people behind the blogs I read. I look forward to seeing what you are up to. The community behind the blog is so important. Life is about relationships and while we aren't in the same neighborhood, I have learned that we all have so much in common. One of my favorite things is to see photos of the other parts of the country and even the world.  As a kid, I always had my head in a book or an encyclopedia so I guess it is no wonder that I would love blogs.


 I think the downside to blogs is just like any other social media you have to be careful that you don't get carried away and start thinking I don't have so and so, or someone has it better.

When I get to feeling a bit uncomfortable I walk away and purposely stay off the computer and phone  for awhile. Fasting from it is a good thing.


I have absolutely no clue how long I will do this or what I will even write about.

I do know this...it will change as I go through the seasons of life.

One of my favorite Bible verses is "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

I am not making plans just going with the flow.

I love the friends I have made. I had no idea I would actually meet a blogging friend in person. It was wonderful. I truly love Arlene and am so glad we stepped out there to do that. Tamyra is just as darling as I thought... we met at an antique sale. Leslie Anne and I have emailed back and forth. We really need to get together. I wish I could meet all of you in person. Maybe one day.

I have learned so much from reading blogs.

My other thought about this four year anniversary is that a lot has happened in this four years. I have not written about tons of it, but seeing this blog reminds me of how much life has changed in the four years. I love retirement. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE, but I am all good with it.

Thanks friends for reading all my ramblings on life.

Sincerely,
Sandy






Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mother and Daughter Sad



Lindsay and I are totally bummed. We were scheduled to fly out early this morning for our mother /daughter trip to NY.

This big record breaking storm cancelled our flights.

Big Boo Hoo!

We can't get a flight out until Friday which means we have had to cancel the trip.

She was on vacation this week, so maybe we can try again this summer.

I guess that happens when others want to come to the beach and there is a hurricane in the Gulf.

Bummer.

Anyway, I think we are putting together a road trip for a couple of days locally.

Mary @ Stitching Friends Forever, we had reservations at your restaurant recommendation. We are so sad! We were going to Wicked that evening, so we made reservations for that restaurant. Maybe another time! Thanks for the tip though.

It is sunny here though,
Sandy

This morning on the bayou.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Stitching Finish

I finished "Bluebird out My Window" by With Thy Needle and Thread last night.



My plan is to make a pillow like on the example, but you know how that goes ...always subject to change. I really like the ribbon on the example, so hoping to find something like that.


I debated back and forth the entire time I stitched whether to put the HOME on the bottom. It is not that I don't like it, but some reason I just wanted the bluebird to be the focus. By adding the HOME, I felt that would be a focal point.

For how many green lines to add to the bottom well, that debate could have gone on forever. I just wanted it to look balanced. I just had to make decision and put the model away.

I really like this one. IT called for one over one and lots of "fancy" colors. I ended up doing it on 28 count antique white Cashel linen and doing two over two. I used only one fancy color; the green vine is Weathered Vine by Classic Colorworks. For the remainder of the project, I used color conversion charts and tweeded the colors with DMC. I am good with my choice.

Oh, and I added an eye to the bird.


On to something else,
Sandy



Friday, March 16, 2018

Chicken Delight Paprika

I have an extensive collection of cookbooks. Maybe an obsession would be a better choice or words.

Either way, I love them and from time to time browse through one to find something new to cook.

One of my favorites is a hometown cookbook from the Brewton, Alabama Civic League. It has the most wonderful breakfast casserole that I use and get rave reviews each time I use it for a brunch or church function.

One of my favorite things about this cookbook is finding a recipe from someone I remember growing up. That is what happened one night when I was looking for a new way to cook chicken.

I was flipping pages when I came across this...




It was by a mother of one of my classmates. It sounded so easy. I will be honest...I thought it would probably be bland, but needed a fresh idea that evening.

It has turned out to be a winner. Very tender and actually lots of flavor.

If you are looking for a quick and easy prep during the week this is an idea.

I am sharing a couple of pics of cooking and then our plates.



As you can see I used onions instead of mushrooms. I detest mushrooms! Onions work much better for me.

I have cooked it a couple of times. The trick according to Hubby is not to let all the juice cook out before putting it in the oven because he likes a little more stuff to pour over it especially if I serve with rice or potatoes. You can always mix up a bit more butter and wine to pour over it.

OH and very important!!!! I put California Style Garlic Salt on everything, so that was added to mine. If you haven't tried it, you simply must.


This is what it looks like out of the oven.


Hubby's plate on the left and mine on the right. I don't like corn. He doesn't like broccoli.
We even eat two different brands of ketchup. That is a long story.

Opposites attract you know!!


Have a great weekend all,
Sandy



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Week One Challenge on Simple Organizing


As promised from yesterday, I am sharing the first week's challenge from The Inspired Room's #simpleorganizing challenge.



The Week 1 challenge was "Setting the Stage for a Welcoming Home." The premise is evaluate your entry as to whether it is warm and welcoming. It should evoke a feeling of calm over chaos for guests  but also your own family.

I would totally agree with that. I know that since retirement I have taken the time to declutter and just to look around and have fun making my home pretty. I have always loved decorating, but finally feel I have time to think about it now.

Now, y'all have all seen my front door entrance and it is lovely....THE ONLY PROBLEM.....



No one really uses it. The dogs and I go out it every morning and every night to go out and take care of business. I have no earthly idea why no one comes to the front door. I have thought about it long and hard. I wondered if it is because our sidewalk doesn't go straight out to the cul de sac, but rather from the driveway which is then only a few steps from the garage door.

I don't think I am ever going to change that, so let's talk the real entry for family and friends.

Right through the garage and hello laundry closet.

Not the prettiest sight.

The closet is actually just that a closet and had louver doors on it, but the back door couldn't even be opened if the dryer and door were opened. With dogs it was just chaos all of the time.

The decision was made to take the doors down. BUT, then look at what you would see if you entered.


Honestly even if I spent money on putting all those necessary items in cute containers, it is still what it is.

My best effort was to add cute curtains that I could keep the basic necessities of laundry hid. 
While I know I could do more like getting cute little wicker baskets to house some of it, it just hasn't happened, but that is something I would like to do because I think that would really make a visual difference. It is in the plans. I would love to do away with that wire shelf because it is so old, but that is not happening. I was thinking on this and thought some kind of shelf paper or even a cloth ruffle to cover a bit of it would be nice too.


I have plans, but definitely couldn't pull it together that quickly. I chose to do the curtains just to the top of the machines because I figured if I did floor length that I was right back where I was with the louver doors.

Now, the monster problem is EVERYONE walks through my garage. Y'all I have literally had friends come by and if the door was down text me and ask if I was home­čść



You may remember before I got sick I was planning to work on the garage. I have hardly touched it, but I am going to do a few things out there as well. It will still be a garage and that is that. It needs to have a lot of decluttering!!!

Ideas anyone???

The book gave me lots to think on, but I truly know that visual clutter and nice things do make me feel less stressed.

Sandy


Monday, March 12, 2018

A New Book on Organizing

I did something a bit unusual for me!

Timid me saw that Melissa @The Inspired Room has a new book out. In one of her more recent posts she stated that she was looking for those that might be willing to join the launch team and follow along with some weekly challenges.

I loved two of her books, Love the Home You Have and Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying. I have even written about one of them here.

I thought, "Why not?!"

So this came in the mail one day!!!


 First, the book is so pretty. What is not to love about pink?

Then I received an email about the challenges being on Facebook...I was like Yikes!!! I don't do Facebook. I emailed back and said I would agree to return the book, but Melissa arranged for me to get the challenges and share them on my blog.

I am probably a week behind on my challenges, since I was sick and didn't get started with the Facebook group.



If you have Facebook and Instagram, the hashtag is #simpleorganizing.
I am not real sure how Facebook works...don't think I want to know ....well, at least as long as my hubby works for the school district. That was the main reason I never got one. Teaching and Facebook don't go together.

ANYwho, I plan to share my first challenge tomorrow...just wanted to share the book today.

I have never ever done anything like this, so we will see how this all goes. The book goes on sale April 3rd.

I am making a list on the notepad of things I really like from the book.
My first favorite thought is
     "Everyday we make choices that contribute to disorder in our home." ---Simple Organizing

Isn't that the truth. I am working on it!

Be back tomorrow with my first challenge.
Sandy

Friday, March 9, 2018

Where Did the Week Go?

I had a bit of a relapse on being sick. Not long after I posted I felt better....

well, I didn't feel so good again. I finally started having a bit of fever. I was so afraid I was getting the flu that I went to the doctor. I don't, but I did have some infection. That was last Friday.

I have been on an antibiotic and just simply laying around. Sometimes you just have to give up, but really a week of it?

I absolutely never not respond to comments on the blog, but that is why...I just felt stinky. Forgive me friends for being so ill mannered.

I think I finally feel better today, so I am now facing a good bit of stuff to do.

I am moving a bit slow this morning, but as soon as I post this I am up and going to will myself to get some things accomplished.

Gus, the Springer was 9 months old yesterday. He is all boy and puppy. He has so much energy. He wakes up early and if I just had 1/10th of his energy I could do great wonders. All that said, he is a sweetie and loves his mama. He follows me everywhere. I don't go to any room that he doesn't follow. He has a squeak toy that he loves to squeak. It has to be hidden once Daddy comes home, because he just walks around squeaking it.

He also stay wet a lot and gather pinecones to try and slip in the house with.

He moves this bed around to all areas of the living room. He decides where he wants to lay down and moves it there. He knows sit and stay, but they are so hard because he really wants to just move.



It has been a slow week around here with not too much to tell. Thursdays is my mom day. We had to go to Pensacola yesterday to her dermatologist appointment. We are switching that over here for next year. It is going to get harder for her to go to Pensacola over time, so I have gradually tried to move things locally. She wanted to shoe shop yesterday. I was dragging, but we did it. I think I was asleep by 7:00 last night which might explain why I feel better today.

Lemony, the sweet girl.


My only other new news is that I have two trips planned. Lindsay and I are going to New York later this month. We are going to take a few days and have a mother /daughter time in NYC. I am excited about just being with her.

The other trip is to Haiti this summer as part of a mission group. My prayer warrior friends can go ahead and put me on your prayer list for that. I will share more about it later. I honestly did NOT want to go, but the Lord just wouldn't let me say no. It will involve me pulling out teacher stuff out. I had really turned that switch off, but it has to be pulled back out soon as I need to start planning pronto.



I will be back soon with more interesting things to look at and read.

Have a great Friday everyone,
Sandy


Thursday, March 1, 2018

March is Here!


I know spring is not until the 21st, but the weather is shouting spring here. Everything is greening and the temps are pleasant. It has been very cloudy though. I find myself scooting outside if the sun comes out. I head out to sit, read, and let the dogs romp. My azaleas are budding while I have seen others beginning to bloom, so I simply had to bring out the spring decor.



Oh and the time needs to go ahead and spring forward, because the dogs have done so. Both are waking up earlier every morning. The last two days I have just given in and am surprised at how much I have gotten done earlier in the day. I really like to lay in bed though.



Speaking of time changes, the Florida legislature decided they needed to mess with my central time zone. Fortunately they came to their senses. If you are not aware, Florida is in two time zones and this old girl likes that. The panhandle is in central and the peninsula is in eastern. They wanted to change it all to eastern. NO thank you. I like my central time zone. The nerve! Can you tell I was not happy with that idea?


I have chosen Thursday to be my day for mom. I take her out and about to shop. I am not a shopper, but she likes to get out and look, so I told her that Thursday was a good day for me. I plan accordingly so I won't be distracted. She starts talking about it early in the week. We are off to Destin today to look for her a pair of shoes. She does fine with trips to the grocery store and Walmart. They are easy drives from her house, but I think she gets a bit nervous going too far from her house.



I have quite a bit of flower planting to do. My roses are doing well. I bought some day lilies so they need to be planted. I also take care of three planters at church, so I need to redo two of them. Winter zapped the other two. I need to get them going and pretty again before Easter.



My other big goal for the remainder of the week is to start tackling the garage. Ours is a bear of a thing to keep clean. I would blame it all on Jeff because he doesn't like to put things away, but  he has been trying.  Some time back he bought some new shelving and moved some old out. He hasn't found his way yet on making them work for him. They need a ladies touch and a bit of organizing. I have procrastinated long enough. I am heading out on Friday to try and make it look as presentable as  a garage can look.



It wouldn't be so bad, but.... y'all EVERYONE comes through our garage to get in our house. The front door is just a step or two away, but no one goes through it EVER. I can have the dang garage door shut and friends will text me and say, "Are you home?"



I give up. The garage has to look better. Wish me luck.

Don't those bunnies look lonely? I would love to add more, but even they will probably have to be relocated. The coffee table is Gus's hunting grounds.



One more...




Progress on Summer Schoolhouse Lesson 1 which is what I have been stitching on the past few days.



Hoping spring lasts a loooong time,
Sandy