Thursday, April 26, 2018

Stitching, Mama, and More

Popping in with a random assortment of things going on. I will be taking a small blogging break. More about that in a minute.

First up is stitching.

I felt as I had to get to a certain place in "Home of a Needleworker" before I could lay it down. I wanted to do a different bird since this will hang in my sewing room. I have mentioned before that I have a pair of cardinals that hang out in the trees outside my sewing room. They have been guests for years. I never tire of them.

I really wanted to do a girl since she is a poser. The male will hide from me or so he thinks.
I just could not make a girl work out in such a small place. I felt a girl would blend into the pattern a bit more as well, since it had a crow there. Pooh.

Yesterday, I was even leaning towards a bluebird. Bluebirds are not that common around here, but this spring I am seeing one almost daily. He/she was just hanging out in the side yard while I sat outside with the dogs.

The cardinal won out because they are always outside the sewing room window and that is where this piece will eventually hang.

I am not sure if I am totally pleased with it, but I am going to finish the top and bottom borders and then evaluate.

Next up is Mama.

I am trying to get her out of the house more. I think she sleeps better (which is a big problem for her) when she walks around outside. Yesterday, I called her and we went out to the Armament Museum here at Eglin AFB. I simply love the place as I used to take my students there frequently. I was one a few teachers in the district that took our students there to do aviation related stations (we called them sorties) inside the museum. My class was featured on the website about 10 years ago. I am old news now. Anyway, she liked it. She said the planes were all much bigger than she expected up close.

Then last night, I again made her go with us to the annual FCA Night of Integrity for our county. We just go to be going even though we are kids😀 We heard Daryl Strawberry. VERY good.

Other stuff...

I am going shopping with Lindsay this weekend for baby furniture. Oh boy!!!

Here are the bumpers she ordered. I never shared them. Adorable!

I am laying the stitching aside I until I make my deadline for lesson plans for my mission trip this summer. I don't even like the word deadline, but alas I have one.

Deadline and lesson plans together kind of make me shudder.

I am excited about the trip, so I am ready to see if I can put something together that will be useful to the teachers of Haiti. Much different issues than here. They just want something other than stand and deliver, but have limited resources and benches for seating. Our students wouldn't even know what to do with themselves there. Either way I am praying and buckling down to get things prepared.

That is one reason I wanted everything done but the borders on the stitching. I felt like I would be able to come back to it and that would be a good ending and starting place.

One other bit of news...

I will be heading to Tampa next week for some thyroid surgery, so I will be out of commission for next week or more. So... no posts and I probably won't even be able to read my favorite bloggers and comment. Don't worry I will catch up later. I will miss y'all.

Prayers will be accepted. My parathyroid surgery is Tuesday. If all goes as expected, it should be a quick recovery and I will be back in the saddle in about a week.

See y'all soon,

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Birthdays and Stitching Progress

April is slip sliding away from me. It has been the coolest April I can remember in a lot of years. I guess people farther north know that better than me. I am not really complaining as it has been pleasant, just cooler than a normal April.

I have been busy working in my flowers, running from place to place, and just your general stuff.

On Monday evening, we were privileged to celebrate my son's girlfriend's birthday. She had celebrated with her family over the weekend. Her sister is actually pregnant too, so she had a party to go to on Saturday night with her family. She missed our gender reveal party.

Jeff cooled fish and I baked a cake for her. She is a tiny thing and never eats very much at all. I have never seen her eat so much. Made me feel good. She is so much more comfortable around us these days and even pulled a good joke on Jeff. On Sunday, he had asked her which she would rather have grouper or snapper. She chose snapper. On Monday evening, she told him she said grouper. When he looked like he surely had lost his mind, she laughed.

Good one. I loved it.

She has a Boxer named Reece as a pet. She is totally in love with Gus and he her. I guess no one ever says Boxers are cute or have a lot of t-shirt choices with Boxers on them. Reece is a sweetie too. I have noticed she is quite protective of Katie.

Jeff found a little garden statue of a Boxer. I think she totally loved it. She has helped Paul Allen with his yard quite a bit and planted a lot of flowers over there. I think she was going to put it at his house.

I also got her an outfit from a local store which I think I did well on. Yea for me.

Now for some stitching progress. I was so hoping I would finish this by the end of April, but....

I have more lettering and stuff around the Home part and borders for top and bottom. I don't know if I will make my goal or not.

Not much time to stitch tonight, so we will see how far I get.

Hoping to stitch,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One More Thoughtful Post with Some Advice

I have one more serious post this week.

This one was planned since last week when I came across it. I am not sure it will speak to everyone, but I am sharing it in hopes that it will make you think if you are one who avoids the camera.

I don't spend a ton of time thinking about that I don't measure up, but yes, I have moments when I get dressed and feel less than.

I have shunned photos because I thought my hair didn't look right, or what I had on made me feel fat, etc. I am not shallow, just a person who looks to harshly on herself sometimes.

My daughter was married 4 and 1/2 years ago. We searched for the just right photographer and knew that we found her in Ashley.

Lindsay and I rode out to Navarre to meet her and sign our contract. Navarre is along the coast in the opposite direction from Destin. Ashley and her husband are Auburn grads, so lots in common. They had arrived in our area while serving in the Air Force at Hurlburt Field.

Just a couple of weeks after that, we heard that her husband had a stroke and really defied death. He had encountered some issues while serving in Iraq. This has led to years of intensive medical issues. Lindsay and I have followed along watching him do incredible things from learning to walk and talk again to competing in Wounded Warrior activities.

We followed along and were amazed at how strong and faithful Ashley had been. She has been by his side as they traveled to the many places necessary to bring him back to health. Devoted would not even begin to describe her.

I honestly thought they were doing well and then bam, he ended back up in the hospital a few months ago.

They had finally made it home again, when Ashley found that he had a massive heart attack in the night and passed away.

We have been so sad for her.

The hard things in life are not easy to understand, but Ashley was a girl of great faith.

She posted this on Instagram last week. It just really touched me.

Since her IG account is public, I am going to share it with you. You will see that Ashley was having a lower moment here. She has great faith and I know she will persevere, but she has a tough road to follow.


I would say she nailed the good advice.

Take the photos and quit worrying about that you don't look like a model. We are not models, just living this precious life that we have been gifted.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Some Devotional Thoughts

I mentioned in a previous post that I am reading Melanie Shankle's new devotional Everyday Holy. I am throughly enjoying it.

At the end of this past week, two back to back devotionals sort of blended together and on the second day and I journaled a few thoughts about it. I am sharing my journaled thoughts.

The first day was about Joshua and the fear he felt when taking over the leadership position of the Israelites after Moses passed away. Lots of discussion about being strong and courageous and even an analogy with The Wizard of Oz illustrated the author's points.

God spoke of how He would never forsake them and how Joshua and the Israelites were to not turn left or right.

Joshua 1:7 "Only be strong and courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

Oh how often we are reminded in Scripture not to turn to the right or the left. I can't count how many times I have read that.

To me that has always meant that I need to follow after God; not getting off His path ---keeping my eyes on Him for guidance if you will.

The next day's devotion was entitled "The Highlights Reel." I think we all know where that is going... The version of social media photos that cuts out any of the behind the scenes and not so pretty moments.

It began with this verse from The Message version...

Galatians 5:26 "We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better or another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Now, I can never read The Message without comparing it to Scripture that is more of a direct translation. My version that I read is New American Standard.

Galatians 5:26 "Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."

Now, I think The Message is a stretch from the actual translation, but I like it and here's why...

I think the author of The Message is trying to take it from another viewpoint. The viewpoint of the person putting themselves down far too often. They feel less than than when they are envious.

Anyway, the point of this devotion was that with the advent of social media we have to borrow a phrase from Emeril, "Kicked up a notch."

A notch or two or three.

I loved her illustration and will share it with you as I think we are all vulnerable to this at times.

"All the feelings of inferiority we sued to feel when everyone's Christmas newsletter arrived are now available to use everyday via our phones, tablets, and computers." ---Melanie Shankle

Do y'all remember those? Our family used to chuckle at this one family from our church who sent out a two page spread each Christmas. There was no way we would ever live up to their newsletter, so the best thing to do was just chuckle about it and realize The Palmers were just The Palmers.

My point in all of this and how I thought both were so related is.... I may have been still mulling one over when I read the other one, but here is my summation.

So much stuff we think we need because we see it daily on Instagram. I think we need to focus more on making sure we follow the pathway that God has us on. We need to quit looking left and right by thinking we must surely have the next thing we saw on social media or to do the things we see.

I am as guilty as anyone. I need to focus on my gifts and my calling.

You know I think He really does have more interesting things for us to do.

Lately, rather than rushing to purchase the thing I saw and liked whether it be clothing which I do not need, cross stitch patterns that I can't possibly get to for months, etc. I have begun to make a list and mull it over awhile. If I get to the point where I can really use it or need it I can look at my list for inspiration.

Growing in Him daily,

Sunday, April 22, 2018

It's a Boy

My first grandchild will be a boy.

Lindsay and Tyler waffled back and forth on the idea of a gender reveal party. They mostly said no, but the girlfriends all said they would be more than happy to do it. In the end they decided to do it last  evening. They did not expect the answer to arrive at the doctor's office until the end of the week, but it arrived on Monday afternoon. A long week of waiting.

Tyler's parents drove down from Marietta. The balloons were filled with small blue balloons. The grandmas held the balloons while the kids poked them.

Hallie, their Boykin came to find out the answer as well. 

Y'all I look pregnant in this photo. I literally have no idea what happened other than the kind of baggie jeans I was wearing poked out. However, based on an Instagram post that I read this week from Lindsay and Tyler's wedding photographer whose husband passed away just a month ago...yes, he was so young...I will not be shy about photos no matter how bad they are again. I may share that IG post with you later and their story, but today is a happy day.

The video was so cute!!!

Lindsay's friend and hubby hosted the party at their new home that they are renovating. It is so dang cute.

The light is gorgeous.

Lindsay, Tyler, and his parents got stuck in the Island traffic coming from Destin into FWB about this time of day on a weekend, but no problem. The girls had all kinds of games and entertainment to keep the rest of us happy.

Now, Lindsay and I have been sharing pics for awhile from Pinterest. In fact, I need to get over there and make my "Grammie Time" board public.

Here are some of the inspiration photos. She will be going with a neutral safari themed nursery.

If it had been a girl...

Aren't these adorable? Source

But, these are cute bow ties it will be.


Here are some nursery pins...

In this one she loves the bed and giraffe.

Here she loves the giraffe and pics. She is going with a white crib.

She is liking the blue walls here.

She will go with neutral bedding. She has ordered some bumpers, but I don't have a picture like I thought, so more is coming people

So, the planning for a little boy begins.

This Grammie is excited.

Thinking blue,

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Whole Bunch of Random

I didn't mean to skip out for over a week. I have just been busy and a lazy at the same time. Let's catch up.

Housework and Running Around

This is the time of the year when it seems like between Mama and me that all we do is go to appointments...dermatologist, mammogram, dentist, etc. I seem to be the kind of person if I have too many interruptions to my routine, then I get all off kilter and behind. This week has been a bit better than last.

These bunnies get to stay out year around. #McCarty bunnies


Yesterday the weather was so nice that I spent almost the entire day outside working in the yard and then to the beach. I was completely pooped last night.

My new favorite rose. #RioSamba

I dabbled in my flowers and fertilized all of them. I blew off the back decks and moved some plants outside that I had kept inside downstairs.

One of the rose gardens and day lilies.

Part of the other rose garden.

I now need to go downstairs today and clean the floor where I had all of them. I also have a hankering to do some furniture rearranging down there today.

I had already moved the geraniums out a while back. Brought the angel wing begonias out.

Oops needed to put the boat brushes away.

I still have much to do outside, but I pooped out before I could finish. The side area needs lots of leaves and straw picked up. Maybe I will work on that this Saturday.

After I had done all that, I called Mama and we went out to the beach for a walk. She did great as we walked a pretty good distance. The water was cold, but we managed to walk near it where it was easier for her without getting too wet.

She wanted me to take a picture of her by the Jeep to send to her sister. I guess riding in the Jeep with the windows out and hair blowing was fun. Actually it was. I love to use the "dog mobile" to go out to the beach. It means no sand in my truck. The dogs were a little mad at me. I left with them looking out the window wondering why I was not taking them. The Jeep means they get to go most of the time.


Let's update on Gus and Lemony. Lemony loves to sit in this chair.

Gus has been a bit mean lately. He will notice that she is headed to get in it. Lemony walks slowly and calmly everywhere. Gus is scattered and hops everywhere. Lately, he has cued in on her destination and just before she gets there he leaps and lands in it taking it from her. Most of the time I scold him and move him so she can sit in her usual location. Lemony is the queen and at 9 and 1/2 years old has earned her role.

The other day the "Queen" got Gus good. She was headed to the chair. He jumped up ahead of her, so she very nonchalantly turned away like----nah da nah da...I wasn't going there.... no problem. He jumps down and she quickly turns back and jumps up there. I just laughed out loud. She fooled him.

Gus has taken a liking to my chair as well. He really needs to go find his own spot.

But, he is so cute.


It is not uncommon for me to read multiple books at a time. I have always done that and then bam bang I have about 5 books to share at once. I actually have such an eclectic taste in books that I don't always share my reading choices. I read a lot of nonfiction for one thing.

Anyway today I am sharing a devotional book that I can soundly recommend.

Melanie Shankle's Everyday Holy is a definite recommendation.

It is a new release and I have thoroughly enjoyed it every day. I was just needing a little something different. I had been Bible studying hard for quite a while. I felt a little stirred to do something different.

This little devotion is packed with such wisdom. I highly recommend it.

Birds and Stitching

The birds have been so happy lately. On the walks with the dogs they are just everywhere. Singing and fluttering around. They are happy about the weather as well. It is still cool for this time of the year here, but I am not complaining. It has been nice not to be too hot too soon. I have shared before about the pair of cardinals who hang out my sewing room window. Well, that led me to think I might change out the bird on the "Home of a Needleworker" that I have been stitching on as of late. It has a crow in it, but since my plan is to have this piece framed and hang in my sewing room, I may change the bird out to a cardinal. I am going to stitch the bird last and see how it goes. I might need to do a female so that it blends in with the piece a bit better. Stay tuned.


We find out the sex tomorrow night, so I will be back with that bit of news next week. I can't wait to find out.


I don't share stuff about the news because - well, we all know blogging is supposed to be an escape. I have lately turned off the TV except for a few choice programs and I have been getting my news from here.

You can visit her website here to learn more about the whys and hows of her method. I have found it to be a good good choice for me.

One more thing in the news...I just loved Barbara Bush. I think any of the ladies that have to live in the White House are pretty incredible no matter the political party. Talk about life under a microscope. They mostly can do no right with the opposing political party and get beat up pretty good.

Anyway, I always loved Bar. I remember reading about her decision not to color her hair anymore. I went with her inspiration there. AND what southern girl could not love a string of pearls.

Now, if I have offended anyone by just bringing up anything too close to politics and news, my other favorite First Lady was Jackie O. She was so pretty...

Have a great weekend everyone. I sincerely hope it is getting warm where you are so that you can get outside. I was so tired yesterday, but it felt so good to be outside all day.

Smiling in the sunshine,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Fully Finished Bluebird Stitch

I stole away from chores and appointments yesterday to finish my bluebird stitch.

I ordered the called for ribbon from Country Stitches Online. The pattern is called Bluebird out My Window by With Thy Needle and Thread. The ribbon color was "tobacco brown" and said it was seam tape. Just let me say if it is really seam tape whatever they do in the dyeing process was amazing. It was so soft.

I stitched it on 28 count Cashel linen and sort of wished I had tried the recommended 36 count. Either way, I really liked the ribbon attached to it. I could have even used a longer piece, but again I liked it so I am pleased. It will find a home on my shelves in the living room for a while. The final product measured approximately 5" X 7". It might have fit in a ready made frame well.

The cloth was a remnant piece from the quilting store. It did have the designer name on it.
It is "Windermere" from Brenda Riddle Designs.

I will hopefully get in the sewing room today or tomorrow and finish my little umbrella for April or otherwise April will be gone before I know it.

Happy stitching,

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Little Decluttering and a Little Stitching

Where did last week go? I am not really sure. It did fly by quickly though - that I can say.

In between all the many errands that I did for myself and others:) I did some decluttering which didn't really help the overall household chores, but made a few places look better. Hubby decided he wanted  me to rearrange some things in our master closet. I decided it might not be a bad plan, so I tackled that. It all looks better, but not picture worthy as we have just a standard walk in closet. Nothing special, but I can say it is all clean of dust bunnies and neatly organized.

Not the master closet, but my sewing room. You have to be in the room to see this view. It is a happy view for me...all my favorite things mixed in with some sewing and stitching stuff.

Then, it was onto the sewing room. I have been thinking about getting rid of quite a bit in this room since I made the decision to lighten up on the sewing. A decision that has made me feel lighter in mood.

See that top left blue basket. It has LOTS of pens and pencils. Check it out below.

Have you ever seen that many? Remember we are school teachers here. Every workshop gives you a pen, plus the many that I collected of different colors. I should have a lifetime supply.

On the surface this room didn't look too bad, but opening a few of the cabinets was stressful, so I devoted a day to this room - well, a day of coming back to do things in there when I didn't have to run here or there.

This set of cabinets got an overhaul and are much emptier now.

I have been a fabric hoarder. There really isn't another word will do besides "hoarder." It wasn't pretty! I was pretty brutal with myself and honestly felt much like the way I felt when I cleaned out my clothes after retirement and losing weight.

A sick kind of feeling of how much money you spent and the fact that you really wasted that money. I could take the time to try and sell it, but I have to be honest...I hate doing garage sales or trying to sell things.

I took every piece of fabric out of the cabinets and hauled them into the close by bedroom. I put them into various piles such as: definitely donate, maybe yes, maybe no, I will really use this, I might use this. Yes, the piles were insane, but I worked through it and then decided on an amount to keep.

I had a little sad party about it and then just boxed it all up nicely and labeled the box as to the wonders in it and am praying that someone will walk in Goodwill and be so happy that I donated it.

The lesson learned here is ... don't buy it unless I REALLY plan to use it that week.

Out of the three cabinets, this is the only one that houses fabric anymore and only one shelf. 

After I unloaded the fabric cabinets, I tidied up a few other places in there. I still have so many things that could probably go, but I have to plan for a mission trip, so I am going to wait on making all those plans. If I don't use those crafty items, some of them are going which will free up two large drawers in there.

This is the messiest of the drawers. It is kind of the catchall of supplies I don't want up top. Do you think I have enough tape?

I have lots of storage in this room and quite frankly there is a lot of it not being used well, but I enjoy being in there, because it is "MY" room.

Remember my writing box that I bought at the antique sale???

It sits on my counter and corrals my scissors, rulers, and a few sewing notions.

In other news, Gus turned 10 months old yesterday. He is doing well. As I write this post, he and Lemony are rolling in the floor having a morning play romp. Lemony is usually good for two of those a day. She would have made a good mama dog.

I have said before I have to wait until he sleeps to photograph him, because he is in MOTION a lot.

I have more to share this week, but I tell you I have lots of appointments, so it may be another slim posting week.

I promise there is a stitching post in there soon...

I have been stitching on Home of a Needleworker...

And these two projects are sitting on my counter just waiting for a little sewing time.

I actually ordered the exact ribbon to finish this one. I don't think anything else would do.

The view from my kitchen windows...

The geraniums are popping. 

I am stopping for now and will try and be back soon,