Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Stitching Post

I didn't plan on doing a stitching post so early in the week, but when great stitching friends send you mail you have something to write about.

You may remember I finished the red bird and the blue bird patterns and then they were sitting in the box to be fully finished. Late yesterday afternoon the mail was brought in and Jeff says you have a package. Hmmm... what could it be?!!!

Sweet Mary from Stitching Friends Forever sent some fabric that went with the redbird perfectly. Now, I was so excited that I went right to the sewing/work room and started stitching. I think it is perfect, but my color man, aka husband says I chose a too bright cording. Dang it...he may be right especially in the light this picture provides. 

I may even leave it off. The fabric is a pretty match and might need to be left alone...

I am going to rest on it today and mull it over. It is only attached at the edges and and can be quickly changed out if I decide it needs to be a more muted blue, BUT

I decided to go ahead and do the stitching post because I also dug around and found something for bluebird too.
I rather like this one a lot.

I had sort of planned to group these over time in a basket, but I am thinking I might like them apart. The pictures you have seen were just plopped on my sewing room shelves yesterday after working on them. I have to go back and glue the cording down now OR change it.

I also finished a favorite verse. It is special to me. Now, I will admit the pattern is way prettier than I chose to do mine. IT is done on a pretty ivory linen with silk threads. I just really wanted to stitch this the other day and so I pulled out some things I had.

I plan to self frame this. It will fit in an 8 X 8 frame which I ordered a cheapo one from Amazon. I think my plan is to paint blue and play up the blue in the stitch. I have some in the garage so it will be an easy do.

I also have been working on my blue jays each evening and a little patriotic stitch every now and then. I have realized I can't do too many stitches at one time. It makes me nervous!!!

That is all for today. 
Thanks Mary, you made my day yesterday!
Busy in the house and outside. 
Keeping busy helps not to focus on Coronavirus.

Friday, April 24, 2020

A Little too Much Excitement and a Finish

First let me say I did an update on my computer and now NONE of my comments are coming to my email, therefore I can't reply to them via email. I learned a long time ago that when you reply in the comment section that often the commenter never sees them unless they go looking for it.

I have also learned with the Apple updates if you are patient in a few weeks they will remedy themselves, so I will reply in the comment section for now which means it will take longer because I don't readily look there all that much either.

Now for the meat of the post. Along with this gorgeous spring we have had the usual amounts of what is known in the south as "Spring Storms." Severe thunderstorms along with the dreaded tornadoes. I am a weather watcher so I follow along as the lines move across Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia and us. Often we are lucky and they some how leave Mobile and move sort of northward and we miss them here in Fort Walton Beach which I don't mind a bit. I never take my eye off of them though.

I have lived in the Deep South and my family and Jeff's are just weather alert people.

Yesterday was a weather watch day. I got up early to make Katie a dessert. It was her birthday and I made her a strawberry pretzel salad. For those that might not know what a dessert called a salad is, it is three layers of pretzel crust, followed by the cream cheese filling, and topped with jello and strawberries. I started early because it takes a while to make all the layers. Standing in the kitchen with pajamas, Jeff said I needed go ahead and get dressed and put on lace up shoes. Both of us always wear substantial shoes in stormy weather. Just a family thing. Broken glass means needing good shoes.

After lunch, the weather did turn very dark and started blowing. It ended up that we did have a tornado in the area and I think it managed to stay above us but somehow managed to blow over all three of us. We all were scurrying. Jeff and I came from different directions to the living room and I was opening the downstairs door to head down if needed. Lindsay had to grab Tucker and head to the bathroom. We ALL got the flickering lights and strong winds and enough to frighten us all, but that was it thankfully.

Later we drove around and saw a few places with trees or fences down, but gratefully no homes damaged. I think the biggest story was a picture of it behind a neighborhood near Hurlburt Field and a boat in the middle of Eglin Parkway which is the largest highway running from north to south in our area. It had blown it into the highway from a boat store.

THAT is all the excitement I needed. It is always so hard to hear the stories about the tornadoes each spring. IT is one of those things you really can't do much for because they happen so quickly.

The picture is from the Sherriff's Department Twitter page.
Now onto stitching and good weather.

I started Katie a stitch after seeing Priscilla's freebie with chickens seen here. http://priscillas2000.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-little-chicken-love.html

I starting personalizing with Katie's TWO chickens, one white and one grayish black. Then she added another white one making three chickens so I improvised and added another chicken. I wasn't all that crazy about it and stuck it on the shelf.
Then I started feeling so bad for her because Reece, her Boxer is not going to be with her much longer. Paul Allen says she is very close to having to put her down. She has begun to have seizures and a host of other issues. I pulled it on Tuesday to finish it up into a little pillow.

Well, here is the thing. Dansby, the Blue Tick has a thing for chickens. They let the chickens out to roam around their back yard and the dogs stay inside, but occasionally someone forgets and out runs Dansby directly to a chicken. Paul Allen has had to rescue one a couple of times.

The way he rescues them is to bite Dansby's ear. Apparently Dansby will immediately release the chicken if you bite his ear. A little yucky to think about I KNOW!

Well, Tuesday evening, yes the same day as I finished up the stitch with THREE chickens, Dansby struck and killed the newest chicken. So then I was like do I even give it to her? Paul Allen said yes. 

So I gave her a pillow with three chickens. I don't know if it was a good idea or not. I hope she knows I love her. She is actually far more concerned about Reece, the Boxer who she has had since she graduated from high school. 

I guess the silver lining of all of this is she is home with her. She teaches 4th grade and has to do Zoom meetings but she can be with Reece and take care of her and baby her. 

Despite the chicken debacle I think the other presents we got her were huge hits. I have learned what she likes.

I lined the pillow with the below fabric and MRS. T...

do you recognize the other button you sent? Katie loves sunflowers and somewhere on the blog is a picture of her with the sunflowers she grows in their backyard. The button was just perfect for the pillow.

I also stitched up something the other day before I put a book back in the storage bin. After stitching the rabbit, I decided to stitch up the apple. I have stitched this before but I have lost it or thrown it away. I restitched it and look forward to a late summer display with these stitches.

I had finished the bunny and hadn't cleaned out the project bag when the notion struck me to do the apple again.

I have had these apple buttons since the 90s as well. Win Win for using stash.

The much used book will go back to the storage bin. I may pull it out again one day as there are still some cuteness in it that I haven't done.

And that wraps a long post. I will leave you with a hello and goodbye from Lemony and Gus.


Until next time,

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Looking Forward

I never thought of myself as having attention problems, but they may have been discovered with coronavirus! Insert smile here.

I am all over the place especially with stitching, though I do feel this weekend I turned some of that around.
One thing that has caused the problem has been that this was to be the year of doing some rather large projects and with all this coronavirus stuff going on, my attention span has been just shot. I have started lots of smaller projects only to realize I didn't have the floss I needed or maybe I would do this one if I had a piece of the right linen. I mean it has been crazy. I did order some linen and some floss from 123 Stitch. It is on its way. I finally sat down and made a list of things I needed and ordered. I am being very careful with what I spend. That nagging worry in the back of my mind says that is prudent to do!

I will share three of the MANY things I am working on.

I am still working on my blue jays and feel that when I finish the other blue jay I will move rather quickly then. The second blue jay is a baby so she will go faster too.

I have worked on the Isaiah verse some.

And then I have made some progress on a summery small.

I think I will do this one two times. I am thinking this one will be a gift and then I will do one for me.

I am going to try and rein in all the stitching to these three projects until I finish something. Too many projects adds to my craziness.

Since I have been reflective....

I have noticed I skip around in many other ways as well, but those are nothing new. For instance, with cleaning house I find that I work in 30 to 40 minute shifts with a 10 minute rest in there or at least a change of pace. I do stick to my schedule though, so all is good. 

I have always read multiple books at the same time, so I am not overly worried in that department although I have 4 going at the moment. All are good so depending on how much attention is required and the amount of minutes I have depends on which gets picked up.

I am missing my family big time. Drive by visits and FaceTime are better than nothing, but I am ready for full on hugs and everyone sitting around the table together.

Tucker has gotten in some extra mommy time and I know that is good.

Goodness, this Grammie needs some kisses.
Go away Coronavirus.

Lindsay sent the cutest video of him getting ready for his church on Sunday morning. Our church has done an amazing job of having something for the little ones too. He has already learned that he has a Sunday morning video. Her are two scenes I made screenshots from the video.

Getting into his chair.

Intently watching. May he always do this!!!

I have many instances just like y'all I am sure that leave me so sad. I believe we will get through it all. I see many instances of good and I still believe there is lots to be proud of in this country.

One example of being fine as long as I don't venture out of my cocoon happened Saturday morning. We were headed out to the reservation to take the dogs for a little exercise. As we rounded a corner there was a line of traffic for at least a mile and probably two. It took me just a second and then I realized that they were passing out food and that this was the line to get some. I just about lost it. I simply can't stand that thought. I have a big heart and teaching for 31 years and serving in church has made me acutely aware that there are many out there less fortunate.

It sucked a little out of me and made me so very grateful. AND I am worried about linen and floss. Nope not really, but stitching does relieve my stress.

Lemony and Gus enjoyed the stroll in the cool waters of the streams on Eglin's reservation.

I feel like there will be much change, but it can be good. I have decided to fill my mind with hope and prayer for the future.

I hope to be looking for things I can do for good and make sure I take out of this thing positive changes in my life.

This spring has been one of the most beautiful ever here along the northern Gulf coast of Florida and I have soaked up as much yard and deck time as I can. I have done many activities outside such as eating, stitching, reading, gardening, walking, and more. It has been good for me. I want to remember that when life seemingly goes back to the normal or new normal that I don't lose the positive changes I have made during this time.

Mother was quite funny the other day. She said she didn't miss going anywhere except to the grocery store. She wants to do her own shopping. I think it may still be awhile before I want her out there, but I think at some point we all have to venture out.

Now for something a little lighter!!!

I have been known to go outside in my "houseshoes" or slippers or whatever you might call them. I wear houseshoes always in the house. Never been a huge barefoot person, but this one is a new one. I got to the end of the circle on Sunday afternoon and noticed that my shoes felt different.

I had changed out of my slippers into two different shoes.

I am leaving you with an old stitch updated with a bow. Forgive me if I already shared this. 
April showers bring May flowers and hopefully a full flattening and down trend of the curve.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter 2020

Where does one begin to document these days? I find sometimes there is nothing to compare it to, so I given up on that measure. I am now just trying to navigate the days ahead and not focus on the uncertainty.
A month or so ago, I looked forward to Easter not just because it is significant in my love for the Lord, but the fact that my first grandchild was old enough to maybe think about hunting an egg.

He hunted eggs, but I only saw via FaceTime and photos though I am eternally grateful for those phones.

Here we are at the end of Easter and I missed my family dinner, but yet Easter was very meaningful.

Here are a few highlights of the weekend. I am so grateful for my church. The staff has worked so hard to make the online portion wonderful for all ages.

This picture was sent for them to make one of those photo collages of the workers.

I picked up Mother Friday evening and brought her over for supper. Jeff and I until a few weeks ago went out each Friday night for Mexican. We had several restaurants that we rotated through. Friday I told Jeff it was time to recreate our Friday Mexican suppers. Mother approved.

We then had a Communion service.

The elements prepared...

Mother moved her chair close when the first hymn was "Jesus Paid It All." I think she approved of the music.

I haven't hugged Mama in over a month and we haven't even had a family celebration for her 85th birthday in March. There is going to have to be some parties and hugging at a later date.

On Saturday, I took a walk with Gus and it was a bird extravaganza right on our street. Cardinals which I love love love, a woodpecker, a bluebird (they only appear here in spring or at least it is the only time I see them) and for the extra special one...a whole group of baby bluejays. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but I am lousy at it and they wouldn't let me get close enough anyway. I wasn't sure what they were until I saw Mama.

Sunday morning, I did get up early. There was no pretty sunrise like usual. It was extremely overcast, but pleasant temperatures so I sat outside on the deck and listened to some wonderful music. 

I later went in and dressed in the first white pants of the season. Y'all know I am strict about my fashion rules.

We all took pictures to send each other that we were watching church online. Again, I couldn't get over how great the staff had worked on activities after the service for the kids. They had a good thirty minutes of games and such for them.

Jeff and I worked together to make lunch. I had set the table for two in the kitchen with the good dishes minus a cloth napkin.

I think we might have put up such a poor mouth that Paul Allen and Katie did come eat a bite, but wouldn't come anywhere near us.

They did take a picture in their back yard for us. I suppose they set a timer.

Mother wasn't feeling well today, so I didn't get her out today. 

Lindsay and Tyler did a great job of being parents with Tucker today.

The Easter bunny brought him a few things including some sunshades.

Jeff and I drove out to the beach this afternoon just to get out. It is so strange not to see a car in sight at the hotels. It is eerily quiet out there. We have a couple in our small group who in live in a condo right on the beach and they aren't even allowed out there.

Strange times indeed. 
I don't even know what to make of it. 
I have enjoyed the slowness when I tune out the world and what could happen. 
I miss my family gatherings. 
My senses seemed to be heightened this year for Easter and I am so grateful.

I managed to stitch on two things this weekend which I will share later in the week. I worked on a beach one that I am planning to gift and I pulled the bluejays back out after seeing the babies.

Easter 2020 documented. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Finally, a Stitching Post

I am doing my stitching post finally and very soon after my gardening post. I am doing so because I am going to focus on Easter starting tomorrow. I will pop into my blogs and check once a day to see if anyone posts, but other than that I am letting all other computer activities go until next week.

Wow, my stitching has been all over the place. I am usually a one stitch at a time. I lose focus when I skip around. I have no FOCUS at all right now, so I allowed myself to just stitch all over the place.

I don't think with the mindset that it will be a bad thing. Nothing that I have started or worked on do I think will get left behind forever. I want to eventually finish all of them very much and many more.

I have said I never have a lack of things I want to stitch and really tried to stay away from being too lured in with new purchases this spring when everyone was showing their wares.

All that said, here is what I have been doing, not doing, and thinking about.

Have Stitched....

I made one purchase from the spring line up. The blue bird by Heart in Hand. Actually, Faye of Carolina Stitcher showed the fully finish of this and that was what got me.

Along with the red bird they are awaiting a full finish.

 Guess what? With all my fabric stash there is absolutely nothing in there that matches. Part of it is the muted colors that were called for. I placed them in the project box and when life settles down a wee bit, I will make a dash to the quilt store and check out their fat quarter bins which is where I usually find the best stuff. Hubby suggested a yellow to go with blue bird and I think he could be right.

Mrs. T from Across My Kitchen Table sent me the PERFECT sunflower button to finish my bunny. I can't wait to have this on display this summer.

I am still working on the blue jays, but they take intense concentration so I am just not there on some days. Just to let you know where I was going with all these birds. I wanted to do three of them and put them in the master bedroom in the Auburn house. Mockingbird, bluejays, and a third one.
I haven't chosen the third one. I am torn between the orioles, bottom right of the pattern below, OR

the chickadees below. I am leaning towards the chickadees. It could change many times. 
Remember I said 2020 was the year of the large stitches. I have the linen already for this third one.

One day and it probably won't be in 2020, I would very much to like to stitch these birds. I would love them for myself, but I thought I might do them for Lindsay. I have the linen purchased and she doesn't know about it so I feel no pressure.

They are pretty big and would look amazing in her home.

I also started the Eagle Has Landed on this chart. I have the shuttle done and framed and this was always in the plan to do another one. Stitching on black may undo me and there is no way I can stitch on this only and not do something else along the way. It would kill me, but I want this one done really bad.

I also started a new one this week.

I told you I was all over the place. I have had this one for ages, but hadn't purchased linen. I pulled out some Aida and this is just such fun stitching and kinda what I needed in my state of mind as of late.

I have always loved this verse and My Big Toe has such great patterns. I have another one that I am eyeing that says, "This too shall pass." I grew up with my Aunt Faye saying that and it seems rather timely right now. I think I will eventually get it and stitch it. 
I was at her house back before Christmas and spied a stitch I had done for her decades ago. I had completely forgotten that one. Made me happy that she still has it.

I have 9 project bags loaded so you have only seen a few ideas. I have a bag with patriotic, summery, fall, and Christmas so you can see there is no lack of ideas. I am not even looking at new...

Oh and there is an idea is this oldie but goldie that I maybe would like to do for Katie. I had a short sleeve version of this shirt that I did and wore in the 90s. 

Let's round the stitching up. I have made a basket of masks for giving out. I sent one over to my sister-in-law and a really good friend yesterday. I am prepared for those that need one as we go.

I then cleaned up my fabric stash cabinet. It is all tidy and makes me feel happy seeing it. I have two bins with small pieces too. 
I don't think I will be so quick to throw things out again. I had plenty of elastic in my stash due to being that  "can't get rid of stuff" kind of person.

I will leave you with this sweetie because I am missing him this week something awful.

Who couldn't love Chik Fila lemonade?

This the fourth post in one week. Probably won't happen again.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

My Gardening Notes

I use the blog to document life in the yard and my flowers, so if you are not into flowers you can skip onto the next blog because that is all I have today. I plan to do a stitching post this week.

I made big changes this past year and so it is important that I note what has worked and what is not working. I love to TRY and grow things. I have learned with age that I can't do it all.

That has been the big change. Less is more. I still have a lot and may over more time have to wean it down some more.

On the front where the roses once were the new beds are really coming to life. The day lilies are starting to pop. The bottle brush is starting to get some buds. I can't wait for that. I am hoping it will bring in lots of hummingbirds.

By the front door the three big pots are coming to life.

The lilies of the Nile have been going in that pot for years. I probably need to thin them, but they come back each year very healthy. I have never lost them to cold and I think it is because of the location of the pot so close to the house and the number of them in there. The swans can't do plants. If things are surviving in spring they don't stand a chance in summer, so basically it is bows to keep them cute.

The middle pot has an assortment of things in it and that seems to work there. Enough of the things that will last all year and some fill ins when seasons change. There is still a ornamental cabbage growing in there.

It surprises me that this geranium is still ticking. If we have a night or two that goes down below 30, I will put it up right by the door and cover with a sheet. It has been ticking for over 5 years too.
One side has hostas that die down in winter but pop back every spring.

That wraps the front door porch. 

Now to what has worked on the wall by the garage.

I didn't plant these until the beginning of November this year due the extreme heat of October this past year.  These pots have been amazing and so pretty when you drive up into our cul de sac. I got almost 5 full months out of them and probably could have gotten more if I had planted them a bit earlier. Pansies just don't like heat and October this past year was too hot for them. 

The dianthus has been spectacular and should continue for a while. I want to note that.  All of the fillers such as the lambs ear, foxtail fern, and dusty miller have all been super workers this winter.

I took these pictures this weekend and those violas have already almost expired.  The pansies are kaput. I have loved them and will use white pansies again. They were amazing against the green. Best color I have ever planted.

I plan to try and get some fillers for the violas and pansies at some point. The won't look too bad when I pull them out if I can't go shopping this year. It is just what it is and I don't plan to dive back into getting out too quickly.

Waiting in the wings behind the wall are the lilies of the Nile for the summer heat when basically nothing survives.

I have almost lost my one and only hydrangea this past year. I have been babying her and she is popping up. I so hope she will survive and flourish this year. 

On the bottom deck Jeff has some tomatoes planted. We did something totally different this year. We started with seeds and planted them in the house and just this past week he put them out in the pots. That is where the one rose left over from last year landed. She is thriving in her pot, but it is April. 

She is a hybrid tea called Oklahoma. 

I so wanted to be a rose grower, but you have to have the right conditions. In our previous home I had a little better place and grew several there. I always brought in a jar of blooms in fall and spring. One of my favorite books to read to the 4th graders at the beginning of school was Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary. Below is a quote from the book and I of course would always share the names of my roses that I would bring in.

I guess I thought I was a rose snob since my roses had names. 

I was inspired to grow them when I was in high school Our neighbor had the most beautiful rose bushes I have ever seen. No botanical gardens topped his. They got morning sun and I think that and the soil were two things I can't replicate here.

If Miss Oklahoma can't produce I will continue to purchase some grocery store roses, but I loved a Mason jar full of all the colors mixed up sitting on my desk or counter.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons and rain is expected tomorrow so April Showers will hopefully bring lots more May blooms.

A stitching post up next.