Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Christmas in July Stitching and More

As usual, my stitching for July was less than my plans, but I am delighted with what I did stitch.

I completed 5 carols and am stopping on #6 for tonight. I might get her finished tomorrow, but I am doubtful because of lack of floss. I had to order more tonight and should have already done that. There are 8 total to be done.
I am completely in love with these and am going to get them done by the end of August.

Five carols and the chickadees were my Christmas in July stitches.

In other stitching for July, I have stitched on three other things than Christmas which I will continue until I get them finished. One of them might be soon as it is kind of small and on Aida which makes it go really fast:)

Now, for a little update on the decluttering of some sentimental items. It has gone slowly since I was a bit busier than planned when I first mentioned. I am not pulling out and making a bigger mess. I am going slowly.

I am only sharing the funny tonight....a conversation that occurred via text messaging to just Lindsay and Paul Allen. 

I have quite a collection of tickets to concerts from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Everything from Aerosmith, Boston, Styx to Barry Manilow and then throw in some contemporary Christian like the Imperials and Dallas Holm. It is quite an eclectic collection. I am going to share the convo and how one of them nailed it on the head why it is now difficult to throw them all away.

Sent a few pictures like this one...

In case y'all are not music fans, the Commodores' lead singer was Lionel Richie. They were from Tuskeegee which is just down the road from Auburn.

I inquired of them should I keep or throw away?!
I knew what each would say before I even sent it....Not even kidding!!!!!!!

That was Paul Allen's response...
Here comes the sister....

In two pictures (sorry).

Lindsay is not as sentimental... Paul Allen is more like his mama:)

But wait - it gets worse...

I then sent two more pictures of several cutouts we made in high school to decorate the locker halls during football season. These were placed on lockers. I was always on the team that decorated the school for home games, etc. 

And yes, more tickets.

The conversation continued with Paul Allen thinking those were kind of cool and yes, Lindsay is right when you keep stuff that long it is harder to throw it away. 

One more - the next one caught their eye because of the ticket at the top of the page.

A close up.

They wanted to know what this was. Anyone else remember this TV show. Well, it really was a TV show and it was a competition between three towns somewhere in America. It ran from 1975 through 1976. My little town of Brewton was featured against Andalusia and Opp, Alabama. Andalusia was the winner and the show aired in March of 1976 on ABC. I even found a website that talked about it.

I have been brutal, but I will share what I did with the tickets and some other things in the next post.

More tickets:o)

Where did July go?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

We enjoyed our very quick trip to Auburn this weekend. It is such a delight to be able to go just a few hours away and relax and see such different scenery. I have said it before I am a beach girl, but I so love the trees just that far north. So many different varieties and even different birds to view. 

We ate breakfast Saturday morning out and did a bit of shopping, but mostly walking and just being outside because the weather was wonderful. Low humidity and lower temps made me just want to soak up the outside. I sat on that little side porch I have shared here before with Mom and the dogs while Jeff did some other stuff.
Stitched a bit on a totally new project that has been in a project bag. It was easy stitching on Aida and just right for the trip.

I did do a little shopping for the house. I have been very selective so as to not make it harder to clean plus I don't want much up there, but I have wanted some matching lamps for the master bedroom, so I went to Ross and found the Perfect Pair for less than $20 each. They were traditional in style and such a perfect match for what is already in the room. The lamps I had were needed for the other bedroom anyway.

They even matched the framed picture above the bed. That picture I have had for almost 25 years. It was above the bed at our previous home which was country in style. When we moved to our present home, Mom took it to her house because it was pretty and very nicely framed. When she moved down here I stuck it in a closet and now it has found its perfect place again. See sometimes, getting rid of stuff is not a good idea!!!

I would say this room is complete. Maybe a throw for when I am sitting up there watching TV sometime. I actually have one here I am going to take next time AND I want to stitch the birds for a wall in there. The bluejays are in progress and I have lots more to choose from of those patterns.

Then I moved the other lamps I had into the second bedroom upstairs and I had wanted a mirror in that room. The furniture in there is from Lindsay's house. They needed a place to store it while baby beds are needed. Lindsay was actually wanting to see it, but Tyler couldn't part with it, so I told her to put it in the Auburn house and if she ever wanted it back then I would be happy to return it. I have a feeling it will be there forever.

Anyway, to tie the black lamps in with the existing stuff, I got a black circle mirror at Hobby Lobby. While I was picking this out, Jeff wandered and found a wall decor piece for above the bed. It turned out to be the perfect piece.

Oh and it does have knobs. The original ones are here and I keep forgetting to take them back up and put them on. Lindsay had put the blues ones on from Anthropologie. Those are an option too, but I think I am going with the originals if I can remember to take them.

I don't know if I shared that the bedspread was one Mom had in her closet from her previous home. So I have scored a pretty big win in this room as well. I swapped out a picture with a navy mat to go in there from one of the bathrooms and everything is falling into place.

I hung my Things Unseen sampler downstairs. It looks quite lonely on the wall, but that just means this wall gives me a reason to do some stitching to go with it!!!! Couldn't be happier with that idea.

Of course, I could have moved the bird prints to that wall and hung the sampler by the Hoosier cabinet, but I think I will mull it over. I added my great granddaddy's picture to the cabinet. I should have it out and enjoy it and it will remind everyone that the cabinet was his.

We ate at my favorite restaurant, Acre, with friends Saturday evening.

We took the dogs to the dog park on Sunday morning. It was just beautiful and we had it to ourselves which meant we could wear Gus out before heading back home by lunch.

It was a good weekend and we needed it.
Jeff's brother who has cancer  has had some setbacks so he definitely needed it to recoup for the long haul in front of him.

Oh and I bought Tucker two new outfits for football season.


And it won't be long before he can go to Auburn and enjoy the slide that was out back.

No rushing it though. He is growing plenty fast!

Tucker and I are strolling in the early mornings now when he first gets here.

I will share my stitching progress later in the week.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Summer and Dogs

Popping in for a life post here.

Tucker has my heart! He is growing and verbal with what is his talk. The other day he was in the walker and just moved over to the kitchen door and acted if he was talking to someone in there.

I pulled out the sunflower stitches this week to replace SOME of the patriotic stitches for late summer. I am really glad I got these done. I think they are perfect for August.

Kitchen counter corner.
One made it to the living room and I really need a round hoopla style one to replace the July hoopla. It is so funny how that piece caught the hubby's eye, and he thinks I need one there for each month!

I also changed the table linens to something other than blue. I have had blue out for quite a while, so I decided to match the yellows and oranges in the orange plate in the first picture.

In other summer decor I was not looking to purchase anymore pillow covers for the living room after I got the anchors, but then Jenny at Everyday Occasions offered these 

and I spent some money.

They are just so perfect and maybe my favorite ever.

I found a wonderful app to scan photos in so I can upload them to a drive and iCloud. I never ever notice ads on the sidebar, but this one popped up and caught my eye in Pinterest. Turns out I really liked it. You can lay out a page of photos from your photo album and it will scan each one separately. It was not free, but I did the one week trial and decided to pay for it for a year. It was $11.99. It is called Phototyme. It goes pretty fast doing it with the app. Now, I need to really make use of this year.

It even retouched them a bit. Here are a few that I did.

My great granddaddy.
My dad.
I also decided to write somethings down for the kids as I am working on making some of the pictures digital which turned into me thinking on it a bit. I decided another blog would be the way to go. I made a private blog for just the kids. I will tell them the story of why I adored my great granddaddy and all about that bike that he could ride up into his 90's. Mother has him on video and the local paper did a story on him one time.

I will occasionally share a story with this blog as well.
So that is my latest in my decluttering process of sentimental items. Of course, both of those photos are ones I will keep, but I am am making sure the kids know who and what everything is because with each passing generation, we can't keep everything.

I am stitching! I have almost finished another Christmas carol and I worked on my roses stitch, but the blue jays are calling me for some reason. I have been stitching on it the past two days.

Speaking of roses, summer has heated up and my roses and my geraniums are none too happy about it. They both look like they are very tired. They will perk back up when some cooler temperatures arrive in October. I had really avoided them lately and I got out to weed my beds on Sunday after church. I should have done it in the morning because that is when the afternoon sun hits hard on them and I literally almost got sick working in them. I had to quickly put my tools down and head inside for cool. 
That is why I try to do stuff inside during July and August!!!

Actually it has been a tad cooler in the mornings and Tucker and I have taken a stroller ride as soon as I pick him up each morning. He loves the outdoors!

Here is his 9 month old picture.

Gus and Lemony shots for your enjoyment.

Gus sleeping with his new frisbee.

Lemony working to find a cool spot.
Paul Allen got a new job. That is an answer to prayer!!!!!!!!! He did not attend college and that makes life a bit harder. He has drifted around for sometime working for the school system as teacher's assistant. I am not even going to lie and tell you that I struggled so badly with him not going to college. I was a first generation college attender and being a teacher, well... it was hard. One day I might share the story, but for now I am happy to have moved a prayer request to the praise side. That is all I will say about that.

That is life in home ec land. I am leaving you with one last photo because it just has to make you happy. Paul Allen and Katie's dogs.

Reece and Dansby

We are heading to Auburn this weekend for a little rest and relaxation. Can't wait!
See ya next week,

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Weekly Check In

I got my Lizzie Kate "Things Unseen" back from the framer's earlier this week.

I just love it. It will be headed to the Auburn house at the end of the month. I know it is just going to be perfect there.

I haven't been stitching nearly as much because I had a very busy week last week and then went down to some kind of bug this week. Spent two days in bed and little Tucker got two days with his parents. I am glad to be on the mend and looking forward to a very normal day with him tomorrow.

I have been stitching on my blue jays and my roses, so not everything has been #jollyJuly, but I have finished two carols. I have some ripping to do on the third one. Yuk.. The linen is pretty much an even weave linen, but occasionally it has a small strand and being on 40 count it has slowed me down more than once. I have also been working on some Christmas stockings as well. I will save that for a later post. I have actually spent lots of time trying to decide on the perfect font. I have stitched one stocking three times and ripped it out. I think I have decided on the font and the color.

Other than all of that, I have watched more space stuff than most would care too, but that is the space nerd in me. I can't believe it has been 50 years. This was me very near the date of the July landing in 1969. Mom always dated the pictures in the albums. I became completely fascinated, well actually I was already which is why I remember every detail.

An update on decluttering.

You guys were very helpful with your comments on sentimental items. I think of some of you might truly understand my dilemma! 

I will share a few things you said that sparked thoughts in me.

Many of you said take pictures of things and you have really made me think of how to make the picture thingie work for me. I have an idea... more coming later on that!

Some said that they had labels on things. I like that ---at least they will know what it is why I kept it:)
It is hard to get rid of things in general because I hate to see things languish in a thrift shop, antique store, etc., but this generation is just not going to treasure some of it and it isn't all their fault. 

As with every generation, we grow and change and things are just obsolete. Period and I don't want it all to be a burden to my kids. Now, granted I am still young! Still, I have gone through my share of stuff with parents passing though and I can tell you it is a chore and a half.

These kids live in a digital age for sure. Now, I will tell you my kids are as sentimental as me as long as it stays at this house. They both don't want me to get rid of things. Paul Allen literally goes downstairs to check if things are the same!!! They both have neat homes and don't want it there, but want me to keep here forever. In fact, When I texted them that it was time for posters of Donny Osmond to go I actually heard back from both of them pretty quick:)

I think decluttering is a PROCESS and I have been doing a little for the past five years. I love to focus on it in July and January especially because of the weather. January just lends itself to that because it is cold and you are ready to pare down the house after Christmas and July is hot and it makes for stuff to sift through when you can go outside as well.

I came up with some ideas to work on and will share them as time goes and I am feeling much better.  I also found a wonderful app!
So stay tuned you readers in need of decluttering sentimental items and we will see how I do. 

Being sick makes you so grateful for so many things. Hubby washed a load of clothes last night. Washing clothes is not his strength. Bless his heart. I have a routine and he could clearly see it was piling up. When I went to get the basket this morning it was done. He is a keeper!

See y'all next week,

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Decluttering Questions

Decluttering seems to be the buzz word these days for cleaning out closets. I have been on a decluttering kick for the past 5 years because I think it is a process for this sentimental girl.

Now, let me preface everything in this post with I am very organized. If you want your closets to look pretty and organized just call on me. I will head to Wally World and buy some bins, get out my label maker and jazz that closet up for you. I really should take you on a tour so you will believe me:)

However, with the craze of decluttering on Pinterest and Youtube - the million dollar question is "Are you organizing junk?" I suppose I am guilty of that.

That is where y'all, the readers come in again. You were wonderful in your cleaning responses!

I have made big progress here over the last 5 years. I have gone through a lot of closets and whittled stuff down. I will never ever be a minimalist (another buzz word these days). I like stuff and I like to look at stuff on shelves. I don't want to live in a hotel. I like for the stuff in my home to evoke memories and for people to feel right at home when they come to visit.

I think I have achieved that on many levels. 

I have watched too many videos and really none of them have helped the area for which I can't seem to get rid of things. I will get there, but let's first shout out my progress.

My bedroom clothes closet is great. I lost a good bit of weight upon retiring, so that by default took care of that and I vowed never ever to have so many clothes hanging in there again. I still have more than I wear and try to be really diligent about something new in that something old has to go.
I have simplified my bathroom closets too.

I hit up the kitchen, pantry, etc. and I feel great about that. I still have probably too much, but I am not going to throw away something useful just for the sake of decluttering.

I did a major overhaul of the sewing room last year and man I felt a huge load of weight off. I had hoarded fabric and crafty things that I could never ever use, so I really did a massive purge in there and it felt great.

I did the same for my Christmas decorations and that equally felt great.

So, here is the one category that I can't make progress on. Remember I said I thought that decluttering is a process. I think it is. It took me awhile to unload that sewing room, that kitchen, those Christmas decorations, but now that they are done it feels lighter and I haven't missed a thing. The area I have a problem with is the sentimental items. 

I have cleaned out two homes when parents have passed and I truly understand that we collect and that you can't take it with you. I also don't want my kids to have to spend weeks and weeks going through stuff. It will be enough to just do the house, not spend days and days going through all my "organized closets." 

I think I am ready to be ruthless.

I still have posters of Donny Osmond and more from the childhood days, pictures of middle school kids that I haven't seen or even plan to that my kids won't care one thing about. So this stuff is on its way out the door.

I still have our movie camera and projector from the 1960s. Yep, you heard that right. I will share some pictures later.

I mean y'all I could go on and on, but I will spare you as it is getting long and most of you have already left me by now.

I need tips on how you dealt with the sentimental stuff. How did you let it go?

I think I am a tad more sentimental in that I lost my dad at a young age so it made my kind of hold onto things. I think that is my explanation for my filled but very tidy and organized closets.

So if you have made it thus far, how did you let go of the sentimental items or have you yet.
I am betting most of you don't have stuff from high school still packed away???

My kids are pretty digitally minded, so I am not thinking any of my closet bins are going to interest them at all.

Waiting to hear from you.

Stitching post coming in a few days,

Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Stitching Post

The Fourth was pretty quiet around here. A little homemade ice cream, family, and relaxation. Nothing special but special all the same.

Before we get to the stitching update, I really must say thank you to all who participated in my little questions about cleaning.
I most likely need to do a little lightning up in life! Tidy is good, but perfection not so much. Y'all were all very helpful in reminding me of that.

I have another question post coming later, but gotta find time to type it up. Stay tuned!

For now, I am doing a little stitching update.
I stitched two Christmas projects which will be the focus of this post, but I have also been stitching on my larger projects too. I will save that progress for later.

I finished my little chickadee. As I said, I stitched this from a 1992 magazine. I still haven't stitched the project for which I purchased this magazine, but there is really not a bad page in the magazine which is one reason I held onto it for so long.

I have always called my children "my little chickadees" so maybe one of them will recognize it for that one day.

I think he is just adorable!

Now let's view the inspiration for the next project. 

Carol at Saltbox Stitcher on Youtube and here on Instagram posted these little cuties on her IG account.


I instantly fell in love and saved the picture.
This is when you are mad at yourself for not ordering a pattern when it is first out because I really liked it. 
I ended up tracking it down on eBay and so the first one has been stitched. 

The color is way off in the picture as I took them late at night. It is  a lovely green.

I really like them and hope to have all 8 of the carols stitched by Christmas, but I have a lot of things I want stitched by Christmas. 

I will just keep plodding along and we will see.

In other news, it is hot hot hot. 
Does that mean I am old? I remember when I was a young girl thinking older folks talked about the weather a lot. 
I am also feeling a tad anxious about the Gulf this week. Blogger friends, send up prayers that this thing will just fizzle out and bring normal amounts of rain in needed places and nothing more.

Stitching away,

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Cleaning Routines Questions and a Small Snippet of Stitching

My cleaning routines have changed over the years and I have questions for y'all!

So let's go back in time if you would like...

I remember being able to clean the whole house on Saturday. Oh those days in my 20's with tons of energy, I would often get up and start in one room and make my way out and have all the rooms done by noon. I even washed clothes too. 

THEN kids came along and they had lots more stuff and their rooms weren't as easy to clean. I had to adjust and show them how to do stuff. Even with all the showing, I will say right up front, Paul Allen was a HUGE challenge. He loved clean and organized, but he couldn't maintain. He loved nothing more than cleaning up his room and organizing his shelves and even from the very earliest age he was fascinated with this book and 

and this page!!! We had to read every bin name...don't try to skip one, because he knew even before he could read.

By the teenage years, we have moved into our current home and with a larger square footage, things became even harder. I ended up having to hire help and let me just say the lady was amazing and was such a huge help. She only cleaned the main level which meant Paul Allen's domain didn't get touched. There is not enough money in the world to have someone do that. I would tackle it each Saturday and fuss fuss fuss. Lindsay maintained her room and laundered her own clothes. It was most definitely not up to my standards, but I had to cave because of work, busy schedules, and eventually health.

Side note: Both of my kids have neat and tidy homes...I would NOT have guessed that along the way!

When I retired, I set out tackling the house little by little to get it in order. Paul Allen wondered why I waited until he moved out to buy a new bedroom set, new window blinds, etc. I just rolled my eyes at him. His idea of cleaning when the weekend came and he had passed with the grades report was to stuff coke cans and anything else into drawers and cabinets. I am not even gonna lie when I tell you the teen years with him were rough. That is a whole three posts story there.

My entire life I have cleaned a room and then moved on. Sometimes the Internet can mess with you and this craze of clean with me videos and books is unreal. I am a second guesser anyway. 

So first question, do you clean an entire room before moving on...like vacuum, dust, etc OR do you do a task for the whole house like dust the whole house on one day???

I like the idea of a room all done and then move on, but I am indeed curious.

#2. Do you do it all in one day or break it up?

With my age and the size of this family home that I am indeed blessed with, I have had to break mine up into areas per day. I just recently changed all that my areas and get the main level done in three days. 

I do my bedroom and bath and then the guest bedroom and bath (Lindsay's old room) on Mondays with washing sheets and towels.

I then do the living room and my formal areas on Tuesday with laundry.

Wednesdays is my tougher day. The kitchen gets a major cleaning ....refrigerator too with the sewing room and laundry area added. Laundry too. 
You can see I am basically doing a heavy use room with a light use room on each day.

Thursdays are errands and running around with Mama.

Friday is a quick check of downstairs and my porches with some decluttering tasks added in if time permits.

I do laundry everyday and iron on Fridays or Saturday mornings. 

Saturday I work outside in the yard and run around with Hubby and Sundays are for resting!!!

Oh, and I have all of this written on index cards to keep me running smoothly because I like to write stuff down and have lists!!!

#3 Now, I am curious about the deep cleaning tasks...
Do you do those a certain time of the year or spaced out?

I used to do all of them in the summer or right after Christmas because that worked with my teaching schedule. June was a month of spring cleaning if you will.

Now that I am home, I have tried to make a master list and work through them as needed. I have been more successful with that as time as gone on. 
I will say I have a list of tasks that I need to get to like touching up baseboards downstairs with paint and lots more decluttering of closets.

The decluttering post  is coming later with questions 😃

I am interested in what y'all do if as usual I overthink and plan stuff
My mother is the QUEEN OF CLEAN and you can eat off her floors. No lie. Of course, she would never allow a dog to live in her house, let alone two.
She is super hyperactive and just moves and does as she sees fit. Maybe one day I will get there, but probably not as long as I have dogs.

As a lover of books, this is my absolute favorite book on cleaning. I have bought many and sold all of them on Ebay or Amazon, but this one I have kept in my collection.

My favorite cleaner in this crazy share your cleaning on the Internet is  https://www.instagram.com/abowlfulloflemons/ on  Instagram. She also has a website and it has lots of useful information, but she has simplified things from the days of her blog and her IG account is much better, BUT she has a brand new home so that makes it hard for those of us who have some knicks and bumps of a 35 year old house. 

Let me know some of your best tips in the comments.

For those of you who only visit here for stitching, here is your look at what I am working on for Christmas in July stitching. An ornament from a very old magazine.

Eagerly waiting for comments on this post,