Sunday, October 28, 2018

Winter Stitch Completed

Two posts in one day. Wonders never cease.

I completed the winter monochromatic piece this afternoon. I stitched it on 28 count just like the others, but this was a very loose weave. I don't remember the exact kind but a country French blue is the color. The thread was Classic Colorworks Vanilla Pudding.

This was the fourth of four of these. I will fully finish it just like the other ones into a small corded pillow. I really love all of them. I will share them all again together when I get the pillow made. I will say that this one was the hardest to stitch because of the loose weave. I had such a difficult time getting it as neat as I would have liked. I love the color though which makes up for my poor stitching on it.

I took two pictures and neither is too good in the late afternoon light, but you get the idea.

These are from Little House Needleworks and the titles were the same as the season. They were to be stitched on 32 count but I chose 28 count as I wanted them to be a bit larger.

Pretty Sunrise

I did not take the picture. I apparently can't find the right light on my own in a camera lens. I can however recognize pretty photography from others. My husband has that gift. This was taken yesterday morning with his phone.

Just a reminder of the beauty in God's creation.

I spent a more restful day at home yesterday and even stitched. I will share some progress this week at some point.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Love of Books

I do love books.
I think I have always loved books.

When I was very young we lived in the country and I had no access to a library at home or school other than the book mobile. I spoken before about how much I loved the book mobile. Mother was always wonderful about buying books. It was the one obsession she sort of catered too. She limited my purse obsession. We ordered books from Weekly Reader and I still have many of them today.

These are all from elementary school age...

When I started sixth grade we moved to a small town with a library. I could have literally lived in there. I would have Mama drop me off there weekly while she ran errands and I looked at all kinds of books. I would quickly make my selections to bring home and then spend the remaining time looking at all kinds of books. I really think my obsession with decorating books began at that point in time.

I fell in love first with biographies. I read every biography they had in this one little section. I read all about Martha Washington, Rachel Jackson, Abigail Adams. Not only did that begin my love with biographies (I simply love to read about other people's lives), but it fueled my love of history. What better figures of strong women and examples for us today! Then I moved onto fiction. I devoured story after story. I never was bored at home by myself. I was an only child, but could lose myself quickly.

The kids always had big bookcases in their room too. Lindsay had two of these in her room. Paul Allen had  two this size as well in his.

Now, I did learn to play with friends too. I had lived in the country and played only with cousins outside of school and we moved into a neighborhood where I swear every home had kids close to my age. Well, That is a story for another day.

When I was in middle and high school I had a fascination with the magazines and books in the home economics room. I loved the CoEd magazine. I remember any free moments were spent hopping up to look at decorating ideas and fashion.

IT is really still who I am today. Magazines are really hard for not to pass by without scooping up an armload. The prices are squelching that these days though.

Two things haven't changed in all of this time. One is I like a copy in my hands. No amount of screen pictures can take the place of the magazine in my hand and as much as I try to like the Kindle I want the book in my hand.

Nothing catches my eye on Instagram quicker than a room with a bookshelf.

In addition to bookcases filled with books, 90% of every flat surface in home has books on it.

After retiring, I realized I could no longer spend as much money on books as I once had. A good part of that was for school. I had a ton of books in my classroom, so when the library was closed at the beginning and end of the year or for holidays to do inventory there were no worries. Kids were not getting out of reading in my room😃

I am using the library these days to find my novels and trying to make a wish list when I need a decorating book or such for the family to give me for gifts. I actually have one now on my wish list to tell them I want for Christmas.

If I like a book I want it in my collection. The last two I read in the library I was like I need to order them now. Nope...I simply must not do that. The struggle / addiction is real friends.

I also make a list of books I want to read now when I hear or read someone mention one rather than immediately buying them. Makes for a lot less stacks of books around the house waiting to be read.

In the stack of books category I had probably gone overboard in the short essay kind of books. I had tons of them around the house. I have been reading them a lot as of late! I have whittled it down to only two of those left. Whew!

I have favorites. I don't even want to start because that would sound crazy too FOR  I wouldn't be able to stop listing favorites. Okay I will tell you only one because I got rid of the collection by that author when we moved into this house. I have regretted it ever since. Lewis Grizzard. ---Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel Good Myself is wonderful. And yes, I do read serious great novels.

I actually don't like sharing my thoughts on books too often because my love of books is so ECLECTIC that you would never be able to pin me down to one kind of book therefore I always feel like one would think ----"Oh, she liked this book, so the one she just mentioned is probably good too." The truth is it might be so very different from the last.

I think some of my nonfiction love is that I just love to learn. Maybe that is why I was a teacher.

Anyway, I have a book obsession and can't get rid of any. There in every room in my house! Literally!

Guest bathroom reading.
Master bath selections.
Mail catalogs are great for the bathroom.
Shop  while you, I didn't just type that:)

I just had a thought other than grand baby and dogs today and thought I would share. But wait...I think the next post on books will be my collections. I have several collections of books. Stay tuned for when I have some time for which I don't have a ton of lately. I don't think that will change.

Jeff took off from work today to spend the day with daughter and grand baby. Lindsay is back to herself and things are clicking at her house with the baby. IT is sweet to watch you child with their child. Anyway, Paw Paw is so excited to get some father/daughter now grandson time today. I am going to clean my house and cross stitch some. I have missed that. Haven't touched a needle in over a week.

Hope you enjoyed my little story today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Update from the Coast

Well, my little grandbaby...hunk of love... is one week old today

I am just going to say that life has been wonderful and hard all at the same time.
Let me explain with this picture.

*You see my daughter was crying her eyes out before this picture and afterwards as well.

She came down with a big case of postpartum hormonal tears flowing happy and overwhelmed all at the same time.

A  surge of uncontrollable tears and feelings of inadequacy.
I am sharing it because while I am a blogger of mostly happy stuff, life happens here at our home just like everywhere else.

Lindsay has had a year of hell at work. She has held an office together like a seasoned 50 year old at the age of 29. She has been called upon to take of problems at her place of work that most people will not experience in a lifetime. She has done it well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think all of the taking care of big problems for everyone else coupled with an unbelievable hurricane that even though we were lucky has affected our lives in many ways added to the emotional mess.

She has had a couple of panic attacks and spent a lot of time crying which made the sleep deprivation all the worse.
Sleep deprivation was a big part of it.

The storm left the hospitals here and in Destin with overloaded and incredible demands. There are two hospitals in Panama City and both have been closed.
Lindsay's hospital in Sandestin was so overloaded that she spent her visit in the delivery room. She didn't get to a recovery room as they had no rooms. She didn't get the normal nurses who guide the parents through the recovery.

Y'all there are so many sad stories all around here. IT is unbelievably heartbreaking. I think that and a couple more things just led to a bad start.

Grammie ( has spent the last three nights though helping reverse Tucker's lack of day and night understanding and letting his parents get some much needed rest has turned things around.

Anyway, just a summary...the worst part is over and I think we are on to normal OR as normal as having a new baby can be.
They are trying it alone tonight and I know they will be fine.

Now, back to the picture. Lindsay wanted me to take a picture that she could post on social media, but then she chose not to for awhile. She said the photo was just another adding to idea that all is well when she was having a hard time not crying and feeling inadequate. I was proud of her. I told her to own it and be a help to others.


Life will not be normal along the Panhandle for a very long time. There is just so much devastation to the east of us. I could tell you story after story of how people are having to temporarily relocate here to get through. Schools are closed and will be for a long time over there.
It has caused so much traffic congestion.
I wish I could say it was only like July, but it is like July on steroids even in Fort Walton Beach.

Anyway, there has been no cross stitching, no cleaning mine own home, etc. Poor Lemony and Gus have spent a lot of time just being let out to go potty and back in. They were so happy to have me home tonight.

I am sure my blogging for the next few weeks will be sporadic at best, but I am in love with this thing called a GRANDbaby. It truly is GRAND.

So, let me just share a few pictures😊

4 generation selfie....
Me with no makeup. I am sleep deprived now:)

Mother is so excited. We went to her house today where she had cooked lunch. Lindsay ate well and Great Grandma and Grammie entertained baby.

Let me just say...I think this is going to do wonders for Mother. With Lindsay being off from work until January, she will visit with Mom at least once a week.

Now, I rarely like pictures of me, but let me just say...this one says it all. I am beyond excited to be a grandma.

This one makes up for the no makeup one above, but let's be real....this was Sunday after church:)

IT IS THE BEST feeling.

I am not sure how I am going to feel about posting pictures of my little man. Sometimes I just have a hard time with the posting of pictures, but I guess there are cameras everywhere anyway...(Big Brother 1984 style exists even though I try to think it doesn't).

With that here he is close up.

Take care everyone and remember the Panhandle in your prayers. Seriously it is far reaching in the needs department.
Sandy aka Grammie

Thursday, October 18, 2018


He arrived.
All 8 pounds 3 ounces of sweetness. I had no idea he was that big. Lindsay did NOT look like she was going to have an eight pound baby.

Everyone is well. Tired but well.

I will be busy for awhile. In a good way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Santa Cross Stitch Finish

I finished my second Prairie Schooler Santa.

He is stitched on 40 count with called for colors. I did change out the alphabet to red and green since the cream color wouldn't show on the linen. The PS Santas are all stitched on a much darker linen.

I have two to fully finish into ornaments before I allow myself to stitch another. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed these stitches.

Stay tuned for the ornament.


Monday, October 15, 2018

A Pretty Shade of Blue

I wasn't even sure I would write about the storm anymore, but I will today. After I finish typing, I am pulling myself up and going to spend my morning outside working in my flowerbeds. The extreme humidity is gone and the mornings are much nicer.

Oh how that heat had gone away at the normal time, the area to the east of me would look a lot different. I have only seen the west side of the storm damage with my own eyes. I don't think I have the stomach to see the eastern side of the damage.

The line of trees down are all from north to south exhibiting the counter clockwise spin perfectly.

Our church served about 1500 hot meals in Panama City on Saturday.

My husband and three friends spent the day cutting pine trees off the roofs of two homes. Two homes...there are thousands.

That won't even make a dent, but it helped two.

I would say turning from State Road 20 south (which is south of Interstate 10) and traveling south that almost all of the trees are gone. In some places 100% of them are down. South Alabama and northwest Florida are the piney woods of the U.S. Those pines are snapped at the tops, middles, and bottoms. The live oaks along the bays if standing are shed of all their leaves.

It looks like winter in someplace else USA as we never lose the leaves on those trees. They shed in the spring.

Many homes did surprisingly withstand winds only to have the trees through the roofs. The west side is wind damage, the east side is wind and water and as I said I won't see it anytime soon.

There is a long way to go there.

I am changing topics.
Hubby painted the deck chairs a pretty new shade of blue.

We are getting the house painted, so it has been pressured washed. I will have workers staring in for a couple of weeks. Yuk, but necessary:)

I have a multitude of tasks to keep me busy so I will move to rooms where they aren't working.

I did read a good book. I have started popping into the library and just browsing the new releases bookcase. Dear Mrs. Bird by A J Pearce was the choice. It started a bit slow, but I did think it was a worthy read. It is a story of the living in Great Britain during the bombing raids of WWII. It was the author's first novel and it was inspired by finding an old 1939 copy of a ladies magazine. I would recommend.

I have been working on my Prairie Schooler Santa this month. It is the 1997 Santa.

I am a bit busy and have definitely not been blogging, but maybe I will be better.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Relieved, but oh so sad

This is not my usual post, hence, the comments are turned off.
I need to unload my scattered thoughts.At the end of the day yesterday, I just cried.

I write this blog as much for myself and posterity's sake than for anyone else to actually read. I need to mark this storm named Michael.

Along the Gulf Coast for which I have lived most of my 58 years. A stint away as a baby in Germany and Columbus, Georgia and then away for college and first year of teaching have been the only years away from the area. Here we have stories for each named storm. They are part of the fabric of our lives.

Yesterday was no different.

This one started out as being marked by me having to be calm because Lindsay had worked herself up with the expecting of her first child that she might be one who gave birth during a storm. She wouldn't be able to get to the hospital, no epidural, etc., etc., etc.
She grew worse when she was called to say her regular appointment would be canceled and then that the hospital where she would deliver if little Tucker came was actually being evacuated. After a few phone calls, it was decided she and Tyler would come here as there would be no bridges to cross and the hospital just down the road.

Mind you at this point in time, we were all thinking our usual Cat 3 storm. They are NOT a walk in the park, but we have lived through them many a time. We know they are not fun and leave behind lots of problems, but yet, we know how to manage them.

However, yesterday with the family all gathered here to bunker down and the TV on, we watched and waited as this thing blew up BIG. We kept waiting for the turn northeast that they do.

FOR a good while, it didn't seem to look like it was going to turn. My stomach turned sick as I thought this is not going to be our usual. My mind was racing, but I had to outwardly look as if it were no problem. With Lindsay, Tyler (who has never been through one), and Mom PLUS Jeff's older brother and sister (he was an accident baby) I began to think we would be huddled in one room worried about surviving with trees falling on us or back of the house windows being blown out.

Calm face....insides in turmoil.

IT did finally make that turn. For a fleeting moment, I felt intense relief.

In all my years, I have never really had a storm where I was on the west side of a large storm. Always the east.

It is SO DIFFERENT. Normally, the water rushes in and white caps in our little bayou. Instead it was being pulled out and the wind blowing in a different direction. Honestly, a lot less scary. AND I had power, so I could see and imagine first hand what was happening in real time just to the east of me.

2 miles per hour less than a Cat 5 makes it a Cat 5 in my book when you realize over the coming weeks what they will find in that area. It will take weeks to know the full extent of it. That area is less populated in many ways, but yet, it is truly one of the most beautiful areas in all of the planet not just Florida.

There are no planned communities or condos, but rather just beautiful old Florida.

I mourn for those people and all they have lost, but also for the beauty of nature that has been devastated because that is what it will be ---pure devastation.

I once remember another place that had big sand dunes and looked totally different. Gulf Shores pre Hurricane Frederick. In those once sea oats covered sand dunes are now tall condos.

It takes decades to rebuild them. I have watched our own Okaloosa Island rebuild the sand dunes following storms of far less magnitude.

I guess at the end of the day, I was whipped. I kept thinking of how blessed I was, but how unfortunate others were. My heart aches for them.

I was so relieved that Lindsay was okay and that Tucker will hopefully arrive this next week right on schedule.

As we were driving home from taking Mama back to her place, the flashing lights were just a few doors down. My neighbor that I have shared with before lost her husband during the storm. She had just gotten a full house generator in case we had a storm. He has  a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's. I honestly don't even remember the name of his disease, but it is awful. My heart broke for her to have to deal with that as well.

It is called life. Almost all of us have been through equally troubling times if not worse. We all have stories of troubles. We are not immune to them.

So at some point last evening, when it was just Jeff, me and the dogs sitting there I busted out tears.

Tears of mourning for others and such sincere gratefulness to God that we were spared.

I got on my knees and just thanked the Lord and prayed for the others. I will continue to pray for the others.

A couple of years ago I read a passage of Scripture from Daniel. It just stopped me in my tracks that day. One of my favorite verses is Daniel 12:3 "And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteous like the stars forever and ever." A noble I try to live by. Chapter 12 is the last chapter in the book of Daniel who was a prophet and the latter part of the book is said to prophecy of the end times. I had overlooked or as I believe the Bible to be a living book had it opened to my eyes that day the latter part of that chapter.

Daniel 12:4 says that many of us will go back and forth and knowledge will increase.
For all of our smaller more traveling world and constant knowledge at our fingertips, we have grown ever more increasingly mean towards our fellow man.

Daniel 12:10 begins with words that the Lord had told Daniel to seal up until the end times.
"Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand."

This is not a political post. I could not care less what political party one ascribes too. I care about Jesus. Oh how I miss the days of going in a closet-like contraption to vote and pulling the curtain and pre yard sign days. I think that made us still love our neighbors a bit better.

I am not mentioning Daniel 12 to necessarily predict which days we are in, but to point out that we are certainly missing the point of leading and loving others to Christ.

In light of the past few years in the news, when will we stop the madness to love our neighbors.
In reality probably not, but as a Jesus follower I simply must do better. I must shine that light for Christ.

People are hurting. There will always be hurting people. Somewhere around the world there is something going on and love needs to be doled out.

I can't do much more than pray and offer assistance to those that have been left with nothing after Michael. I will look for opportunities to do that. I will also hug my family a little closer and when the sun comes up this morning I will watch that sunrise and thank the good Lord for my view and my blessings today for I know not what comes tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34 says; "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

You can see I am up with needing to unload my weary mind. I will be fine. I have so much to be thankful for and I am just so mindful of it right now.

Be back with my usual posts soon,

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Storm of Activity

I am going to discuss the real storm in a bit, but first I have been a "storm" of activity this past week. I think I have my seasons and months all mixed up. After all, it is hot. I took a real long lazy break this summer. I am not sure what happened with me, but I just got lazy in all areas of my life. I do have a chronic disease with autoimmune conditions, so I don't know if I just really had some lethargy that was associated with that, but I just got lazy and didn't get back on track with my usual start of school.

Tasks have been put off and exercise has been almost null and void. Anyway, this week I picked myself up and got my rear in gear.

I have been on a tear this week cleaning and getting some order back into my days.

I will share more of that as time goes, but today I have a few family things to share and a bit of stitching stuff to share.

We have a storm headed into the Gulf this week and that means it is going to hit somewhere. I don't want to wish it on anyone, so I am praying it fizzles out to be just a rainmaker moving quickly so no flooding occurs anywhere.

You know we all bemoan how hot it is, but October is hot in Florida...even in northwest Florida. The difference this year is actually hotter than normal. Normal is warm sunny days with a little cool in the mornings and evening where you don't hate going for a walk or sitting at a football game. No, we rarely get to wear winter clothes such as scarves, but we do maybe get to add some long sleeves and jeans in fall colors.

My daughter was born in late September and right after her birthday for 28 of her 29 years we can usually expect a break in the oppressive heat and humidity. Then we embrace the warm days and cooler mornings and evenings. I have marked all those breaks by her birthday.

November is fall in our neck of the woods. The few deciduous trees we have that would turn colors occur in November and we get some pleasant cool days that we can wear a sweater and a scarf. Of course, that is occasionally. I can remember wearing shorts on some Halloweens and Christmases and some where we were bundled up.

September is the month for hurricanes here and we usually breathe a sigh of relief with October. Well, that was the case until that one year that it didn't cool off and we got Hurricane Opal in October. I wrote about it here.

Now, with this one I have no idea what is going to happen. I have felt it was way TOO HOT for anything good to come out of it. I have decided I will NOT watch the Weather Channel though. Gee whiz...they do more harm than good with the hype.

I am as prepared as one can be that has lived along the Gulf Coast for ALMOST all of her life. I have everything and won't be out in the rush that will ensue this week. I always try to put my Nancy Drew Girl Scout prepared self together and plan ahead of time.

My only concern this year is my daughter is pregnant and due the 19th, but she is having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions (although I had those for two weeks with her). She goes to the doctor on Tuesday morning, so hopefully they will make a plan or at least put her mind at ease, because right now she is a mess.

Now for other stuff...
We went out to my son-in-law's job site today on 30A. This is his first building project where is the actual lead project manager. It is nearing completion. In fact, one of the unit owners moved in this weekend. Mostly all that is left is cleaning up and just small things like caulking etc.
I wrote about it earlier here.

I took some pictures for you...
Lots of pretty kitchens and views.



There are 12 units. We went in three of them today. The above one is ground floor which is really second floor and was my favorite view.

All units share the pool on the ground, BUT...

The swankier and richer ones have their own balconies complete with fireplace and a mini pool.

I know I saw two with that set up. 

The penthouse or top floor has a full size pool. We didn't go all the way up this time. Crazy cool views.
I don't think I would want to live there full time would be too much like a hotel.

We are really proud of Tyler. His office is close by to this one. His next build will be at Alys Beach which is bit further down the road on 30A.

This condo is right across the street from the Gulf Place for reference.
View back towards the street.

I also attempted to make my own cording for one of my stitching finishes. I used Vonna's tutorial. She is amazing and shares so much. The Twisted Stitcher.

I worked on some Christmas stitching. I am calling it quits for tonight. Barring no baby and no storm this week I will be back soon with some more talk.

If we have a storm...well, it will be awhile, because I know I won't have power for two weeks. That is another whole story. That will be a small price to pay for being safe and sound though.

Remember Lindsay and the baby in your prayers this week.

Oh, and I think some of blog issues had to do with my Safari update. I downloaded another browser and hoping for better times there as well.