Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Oh August

August is one of those months that I really never can quite put my finger on how I feel about it.  My thoughts of August revolve around two things: school and HOT.

I think August is the hottest month by far for the Deep South. I mean hot, y'all...hot and humid. The flowers are tuckered out because it is just plain hard to  keep enough water on them. If you go out and get in your car your are a hot mess in a second.

I think the reason August is just such a hard month for me to put my finger on the feelings is the start of school. I honestly never remember being wishy washy about August until I graduated from college and started teaching. It just took on a new meaning at that point.

School starts were the same for me all my life until I started teaching. When I moved to Florida all those years ago, we started later than I was accustomed to. Prior to teaching, life was carefree so August was putting in as many beach visits as possible. I fully thought of it as getting the most out of "summer."

Then I started teaching and August was a little stressful getting ready for school along with doing in the full blown heat.

I am sure those of you with August birthdays are thinking...you are a crazy lady. My mother-in-law's birthday was in August . Her birthday was a great celebration in the stress of starting school. I think I need more August birthdays in my life.

Anyway now that I have been retired for 4 years ( can't believe it), I am a little more of the mindset to get all I can out of summer. I am in that slow down time mode even though it goes faster than ever.

The heat however makes me long for a little cooler temps and then as marketers have really tried hard to move up the seasons. I find it hard to think fall with August though. Last year for a bit of seasonal decor, I decided to ease into things with sunflowers and then late August and early September with a few school things.

I have the same plan for this year. I also will use August to try and do some tidying up and projects in the house since it is so hot outside. I have quite a few things I need to tackle in the house and I really want to make something for little Tucker. Anyway working inside with morning and evening time outside is my strategy. We will see how it all works out. Hopefully, I can make August a productive month rather than wishing it away for fall.

I have taken a few days to go to the Auburn house. I have been taking care of a few tasks and gone to Atlanta to pick up Tucker's crib since no one but me had time to go get it. I have spent a little quiet time...TV off...just making lists and planning...resting my mind too.

I will share the remainder of the Auburn house towards the end of the week.

Here's to a productive August,

I will bring out August tomorrow instead of July. The year is really flying by.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A Stitching Update Post

I have pretty much stuck to my rotation for two weeks. First time ever. I am usually a one project girl. I think I still am, but I am giving it a whirl until one just calls me to finish.

Here is where I am on my 5 projects...


I would be farther along with the shuttle, but I have changed the red two times. I first started in the above colors which are the called for colors. I decided they were too orangey. I tried another set and worked on them awhile only to determine they were too pinky. I went back to the original and liked it after I stitched it awhile

Helen Keller saying...

Christmas ornament...



I think the Autumn piece maybe calling my name to finish. I love this color. It is not as variegated as the spring and summer ones, but a great fall color. It is called cinnamon stick and that is exactly what it looks like.

Now, we can blame blogs and Instagram...namely Carol and Faye respectively of Stitching Dreams and Carolina Stitcher for my slight veering of the rotation. Yesterday, I simply had to try the Prairie Schooler Santas. I found a free copy on Pinterest. I am sure PS is not happy about that, but, well, I am using it to try them. I have looked at these forever and they both posted one this week SOOOO...I just had to try it.

Now, for a bit of other stuff. I love to see what others are doing. I was away from stitching for a long time and upon returning to the greatest hobby I found that much has changed. I love to quiz my stitching friends on what they do. I have learned so much from each of you.

I have to say I tend to fall back on my old tried and true methods, but I want to know if there are other things I would like better.

On the Prairie Schooler Santa, I am trying 40 count doing one over two. Whew! It is tiny. I had to use the hoop to help with the seeing the holes.
I have been trying the no hoop method. I find it a bit hard...haven't given it up yet, though. I have used the Q snaps for some projects especially those when the entire piece fits in the snaps and I don't have to undo them.
I honestly tend to fall back on the hoop because it is what I learned on way back in 1980.

My favorite tool is the line keeper. You place the pattern on the magnetic board and then use the magnet to hold your place. I almost always get off count without it.

Keeping it up this week and then we will see what happens from there.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Auburn House

It is time to share a little about the Auburn house.

Both my husband and I traveled a good bit as a kid. Traveling is not really on our list of things we want to do upon his retirement. There are a few trips that would be bucket list items...for him it would be Alaska and Normandy...for me it would be Nantucket. Anyway big huge trips are not on our list of things we want to spend our money and time on, but we have always loved to visit our Alma Mater. It is just enough different in landscape from our coastal life. Day trips from Auburn antiquing or bike riding at nature spots are high on our fun list of things to do.

Over the past couple of years we noticed we spent less time at the cabin. We were either in Auburn or traveling and back to the cabin at night to sleep. We talked for a very long time about the idea of an Auburn house. As we verbalized it with the kids, they were very on board.

So, here we are looking forward to lots of fun times with our growing family. Plus, it is great to have a place that is a change of scenery.

This past weekend, we moved our cabin furniture into the new place, so here are a few pictures along with some thoughts for it.

I definitely think we need that Auburn flag on the porch that the previous owners had.
Also to the left you will notice the little side porch area I shared earlier this week. Behind that vine covered fence is the area I was sitting with the doggies.

Notice the part that sticks out on the left of the house...that is the dining area. You walk right into the living room from that bottom door and right into the master bedroom with the upper door. The upper porch has a really cool ceiling fan, so I put one of the patio chairs up there to see if we actually ever sit out there. It is like sitting in a tree house with the big oak right there.

Above is the side yard. The part to the right is the second porch area. We will need to add some chairs here. We are going to add a fence piece across this area too. It will come out from the side of the house and attach to the iron fence. The dogs will have two exits from the house and still be corralled as well as being able to enter from the garage to it. I didn't take any pictures of the very back of the yard. It contains the playhouse. 

The door where the steps are goes into the dining area...you will see in a minute and the door on the left goes to the garage. I think we will get a fire pit like the previous owners as well for this patio.

Now for some inside pictures. I almost panicked when we started moving furniture in, because buying all new stuff is not part of the plan.

The living room seemed very small at first. I don't think it is really all that smaller than the cabin, it is more the location of the door (well, two doors to the room.)
It is also painted a dark gray. Now, I actually love the color...just wasn't quite sure how our furniture was going to look at first.

My collection of cross stitch pieces would actually serve as my inspiration pieces as I will explain later.

Oh, and before I go further....the house is fully outfitted in plantation shutters. Anything I might not like was overlooked when I saw those babies. They are beautiful. Someone spent some money and I am SO happy they did.

Now, onto the couch. As I said I was about to panic on how to fit everything in there until everyone got in there and helped me move all the furniture around. 

Turns out the couch would only fit on this wall with anything else in the room. This is an early picture. Also note the table...more on that later.

The chairs fit opposite of the couch kind of. Like I said about here I was a little bummed about how things were going, but it got better.

I decided none of my lamps were going to work on the little table (remember the tables). I mostly have a stack of mess on the built ins. The built ins are so pretty. I would prefer not to have them in a second home...stuff to dust. However, I am going to style them minimally and plan to buy nothing. I am shopping the house to style them on my next visit. I also have a floor lamp downstairs that doesn't go up very high to try out behind the red chairs.

Back to the other side. I cleaned up that area a bit and styled the top of my pie safe that did fit perfectly in the niche.

A close up of the top.

We are using the pie safe for blankets and throws. The jar on top holds some cotton stems and greenery that I bought at Kirklands. I am buying very little new. I have more than enough to furnish the whole house. I did have to buy a shower curtain and rugs and this jar with the cotton.

Now to the tables... we decided to paint them. I will show you more later.

Before we move on to the dining area that juts out, this wall has a door that goes out to the first patio behind the vine covered fence.

The bean bags fit nicely here and I don't have a picture but another of my cross stitched pieces fit on that wall.

Oh, and we will have to buy an area rug. I have one in mind at Home Depot.

Now, onto that dining area that juts out.

You can see that this leads all the way to the back door where the steps were that led to the second patio. Lemony is shadowed here. BTW, the dogs seemed quite at home.

The dining area looks out to both patios. Both opposite ends have full windows like you see above. 

We added the leaf to the table and that is our guiding point for the painting of the tables in the living room. In fact, Jeff worked on them all evening. They are going to be brown on the bottom and then leave the natural on top. Hard to see from this picture, but that is what the dining room table is. The table is not what directed the color choices for painting the coffee table though...

I was looking at the cross stitch pictures I had hung by the front door and they are matted in brown and gray. That is when it struck me to paint the tables brown.
 Later, Jeff noticed the table had a brown bottom, so we definitely had a plan.

I will share them later again. I think they are going to be perfect.

This is the other side of the dining room. The kitchen is on the right.

The kitchen from several angles. I used all my old stuff. Nothing new here.

Right next to the kitchen's opening are two closets and the stairs going up. I will share upstairs later. 

Going towards that back door is a small bathroom and one bedroom downstairs.
Mother gets first dibs on the downstairs bedroom when she is with us.

I will share all of the beds and baths later as well as the backyard.

Let me just say...I love the house. 
I think it will be perfect for us.

It is not what I even knew I wanted a year ago, but I have been praying about it and I feel it is the Goldilocks house and location.

I will keep you posted, because well, we all love house tours...right?!
This one will be a little minimal and different than if I lived there all the time. I will decorate most of it over time. Like I said, I have plenty to carry every time I go. Of course, I don't really want too much to clean when I go.

In other stuff, I really planned to do a stitching post last week but time got away from me. Believe it or not the non rotational girl has stuck to her rotation plan. I have quite a bit done on 5 different projects. I hope to do a post soon!!!

I also bought something for the grand baby's room. I knew Lindsay wanted this giraffe and it would probably not get bought if I didn't get it, so....
then I just simply had to give it to her today when it came in. She came by after work. 

Much going on... life is very busy. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sometimes Our Minds Need Rest

I had planned to do a post all about the new "Auburn house" today. We just got back yesterday evening from our new adventure.

My devotional this morning was just perfect FOR this morning, so I am sharing some thoughts related to that. Having the "vacation home" is about finding some rest time.

Here are a few lines from my devotional.

"Sometimes we need a place to go and lift up our worries and fears and grievances and allow God to shift our perspective. And sometimes we just need to rest because, if we're going to be renewed, we have to be kind to our soul. We can't just keep going through the motions, pretending like it's all okay when it's not. It's okay to say we're tired and need a break." ---Melanie Shankle (Everyday Holy)

Psalm 77:11-13 says...
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. what god is as great as our God?

You know...you won't say things like David says in the above verses if you are constantly running running running. You will become tired from serving others and start having a big old pity party for yourself if you don't give yourself some needed rest. I am not quite sure I gave myself the much needed rest this weekend that the "new second home" will eventually provide, but it is coming. The Lord met me about halfway through the weekend with a little reminder of what my goals are and to be MYSELF!!! Maybe more about that later😊

Stopping and giving yourself some sabbath time and quiet time helps you remember just how great God is and how blessed you are.

Food for thought this Tuesday morning. I will be back soon with updates and catch up with all my blog reading later today.

I will leave you with a few pictures from some quiet time I did have at the "new place" (looking for a name)...

Lemony is grounding or earthing. Have y'all read about that? Very interesting.
The dogs shared my love of the side patio and had some quiet time with me in the mornings.

Looks like Gus is praying with me.

Have a blessed day,

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Sneak Peek

We closed on our vacation home, second home, Auburn house,...not sure what we will call it. If you have followed along lately, you know we sold our cabin near Auburn on Lake Martin and have our farm up for sale in north Florida. (trying to scale back) We will continue to live in a wonderful home on the Gulf Coast of Florida, but we will use this new home as a getaway place.

Today was the day to finalize the papers. We will be traveling up on Friday to move the cabin furniture which has been in storage for a couple of weeks into the new place. I have just been itching to share it with y'all. 

The following photos are realtor photos, so I am only sharing the outside for now. Lots more to come.

The neighborhood contains homes similar to ours, but this one has been my favorite for some time. We have hoped to get into this neighborhood for quite a while now.

Don't you love those blue ceilings on the porch? or can you see them? Well, they are there. 

The neighborhood has sidewalks and a commons area for the dogs as well as a great side and backyard for them.

There are two small areas for sitting on the right side of the house. This one below will be where we place the patio furniture that was on our screened porch at the lake, although I love the former owners' blue chairs.

This other little area is my favorite though. I will be putting the black rocking chairs that once graced the front porch of the cabin. I envision this as my little place to just sit, think, and relax.

I can't wait to share more next week. 

Of course, besides being such a quiet little street really very close to the heart of Auburn it is walking distance to the stadium. A long walk, but doable.
Oh, and walking distance to my very favorite restaurant, Acre. I will need to walk if I eat there too much.

To close out this post...

Have you ever seen a longer tongue than Gus's? Lemony has a black spot on her tongue. I have seen lots of Goldens with the mark if you are wondering!
We take them to run most days. We have a tennis ball slinger which wears them out. 

Be back later in the week with a stitching post,

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Stitching Post

I have spent the week just being home, no rushing around; just puttering, thinking about things I want to do, cross stitching. I have ignored a whole lot of Lemony hair. She is in full on shed mode. I have ignored lots of things, but I have given myself some much needed time to regroup.

I did something I don't do well. I stitched on something different each day. On Monday, I did go through my patterns and kit up some upcoming projects and move some to the back burner. Most of the things moved to the back burner were patriotic things. I hope to do better before next summer on those.

I picked out six things to stitch on each day.

They were...

Autumn - this is my monochromatic series in which I have done spring and summer.

Christmas ornaments - in my cleaning out earlier I found this very old magazine that I had LOTS of things I wanted to do in it. In fact, when Carol of Stitching Dreams did this one I knew right where she had gotten it from. Seems someone else has an old stash of patterns. BH&G Christmas Cross Stitch December 1992. I want to do all of these, but I started the half window. That window reminds me of the house we lived in prior to our present home. We built that home and brought our children home from the hospital to it. We lived there until they were in middle school.

School House series - I have wanted to do this one forever. I have actually started it and played around with it for quite a while. It is supposed to be one over one. I simply can't get the house to look like I want it doing it one over one. I have practiced and practiced. I am not giving up on one over one, but this one is not the one to do it on FOR ME. I simply love this series, so I am following my heart and doing it on 28 count even though it will be larger. I have actually paid tons of attention on Instagram to many have done this. I haven't liked it even when I saw it done by others with one over one. I think maybe doing it on 40 count over two with one strand would be better. OH WELL, isn't it wonderful that we can all be ourselves. I think as much as I love this pattern that doing it larger will suit me just fine. I will however do something else later with the smaller count stuff.

This series should take me all this year...hopefully ready for display by next August.

Space shuttle - this one is one I have had forever. I would love to do the whole series, but have chosen to start with the shuttle since I will probably never get all of them done. Even if I did, where would I put them? I decided on the shuttle since all of teaching career I taught about the shuttle. I am really enjoying stitching this one thus far.

Helen Keller - I saw this one on Instagram and even though I have been keeping a wish list rather that buying everything I have seen out there that is so great, I KNEW I had to have this immediately. I love Helen Keller. Some of my most famous quotes are attributed to her. I have to do some frogging on this...sigh, but I can't wait to get back to this one. One thing I changed was that I had planned to just use DMC. I started it out with that and THIS one is one that simply must be done with the called for colors, so she has been started over with the new colors plus I made a mistake.

I said six, didn't I? Well, this one has been hanging over my head since April of 2014. I had not stitched for probably 15 years when retirement was rolling around. I saw this heron and at about the same time "our little heron" that we have name Hank Heron (Paul Allen named him after Hank Aaron) came to hang out in our bayou daily. He has been here ever since. My thoughts were, "Oh, this will be a nice one to do in honor of our lives on the bayou." What I didn't consider was how really large it is. It is 26 X 22 inches. The stitch count is over 87,500. I could stitch every day for YEARS and never finish.
I know because I pulled it out yesterday and timed myself stitching some of it. It was decided that one would go to the NEVER EVER stitching pile.
I think that one was just an example of what I thought retirement might be and what it actually is. I love being home, but I want to spend my days doing family and things I really enjoy.

It has also made me ponder whether I really want to learn to smock or maybe spend the time cross stitching something special for little Tucker.

For now, there are five in the rotation with the fall and Christmas pieces taking front runner status. I will most likely do the most stitching on those with the others getting some time too. All of this along with getting the Auburn house ready. We close on it Tuesday and will go up next week to move the cabin stuff in it. Pictures coming in a couple of weeks.

I get to go to the Blue Angels tomorrow after all. I thought I would be flying home from Haiti. Going to the Pensacola Beach show each July is on the top of my list. The whole family is going so I am one happy Mama.

As for Haiti, it looks as if we will go next July.

We went this morning to get gas in the boat for tomorrow. Captains Lemony and Gus led the way.

Hot even at 8:00 A.M.

That is all for today. Sorry for the long post. I keep thinking I will change that, but who am I kidding - that is probably not going to happen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Little Rearranging

I have spent most of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday just being lazy. I spoke to Mama early Monday morning (she had gone to stay with my aunt because I was going to be gone). She advised that I take it easy since I wasn't supposed to be home anyway. I had a hard time relaxing at first...due to coming to terms with how grateful I was to be home and just doing nothing.

I took her advice and let everything go including even unpacking my suitcase. I wondered off to my sewing room and kitted up several things to cross stitch. I organized a bit. I had thought I might finish off some of the things I had stitched, but I was NOT in a sewing mood. If I am not in the sewing mood, mistakes will abound.

I have cross stitched, looked at magazines, read and just hung out for ALL of Monday and Tuesday. It was actually pretty nice!!!
Today, I picked myself up and decided to get busy unpacking that suitcase. Mom is due back tomorrow, so I knew I needed to get up and at things again.

I think the down days were really just what I needed. I have gotten a little inspired with magazine reading to do a few things around the house.  I will share that in a minute.

We are closing on the new "vacation home" in Auburn. We are not going up to move in until next weekend. I have been thinking and thinking about what I will do with that place. A closet downstairs is full of things that I had at the farm. I need to sort through what I am keeping for the new place or getting rid of.

I will share all of the planning and pictures with y'all. I love stuff like that, so you will be able to read along if it is your thing too.
I have moved past the cabin mourning and am really looking forward to the new place in Auburn.

Now, to my day.

I started puttering around in the bedroom. I moved into the 21st century and well, really out of the 1960's by removing the dresser scarf from my dresser. Then that started the moving things around. IT all honestly felt good. I don't have it like I want it yet, but I will and the process will be fun.

Come along for the insanity of my thinking...

Dresser scarf in place. My mother ingrained in me the importance of dresser scarves. I have tried to remove it before only to replace it, but I know this time I am freed from it. Something just snapped in me today (for the good some of you are saying😁)

Then, I noticed that the wood frames and wood jewelry box were just way too much, so then I started moving things around.

I looked to my little shelf that my dad made in shop as a teen. I moved the wood frames there and moved the framed pictures I had on the top to the dresser.

Sorry, about the dark pictures, but I took them later in the day.
Well, this was ok, but the symmetrical person in me couldn't tolerate the portrait and landscape versions on opposite sides plus the different colors.

I took the family picture and spray painted it silver. I had some paint and I didn't really like the frame as it was anyway.

I am still not happy with it, but it is all good. I am going to look for a different picture for the family frame and possibly even shop the house for a different frame. You may notice I already tried to change the picture out to be portrait style. All of our family photos are landscape. 😔

I am going to keep working on it. I will get it just right.

A few more shots from the bedroom.

This is my little nook. I actually do read here often. 

This is the only carpet left in the house and when the farm sells we are removing it. I will be glad to see it gone. Gus has really done a number on this area. He has been hard to house train. 😠

But, he is cute.

Oh well, I feel much better and looking forward to some puttering.
I will share all the stitching I have done this week in my next post.