Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Weekend Wrap-up and Stitching Progress

 My post is slim pickings today. We did go to Auburn for the weekend and I took no pictures. I just didn't get around to it. I did enjoy the trip and I even got to wear some pants and a short sleeved shirt for most of the weekend....it was just a wee bit cooler over the weekend. 

Lindsay shared the following picture and a wonderful video of Tucker doing our Auburn chant...Waaaaaar Eagle, Hey! He was adorable.

I can truly say having SEC football back was wonderful!!!!!!! For just a few hours on Sunday it ALMOST seemed normal. 
Not completely, because what it felt like was an away game in Auburn rather than a home game. We watched from our home and could hear a bit of stadium action but even that was a lot softer with only 17,000 in the stadium.

I am really just glad it is happening though.

I must say that one thing that can come out of 2020 for me is that football season can start a little later in September like it did back in the 1970s. Go back to 10 games a season and start mid to late September and just add some extra games to the playoffs is WHAT I SAY! I seriously doubt anyone is listening or cares.

I do have a picture to note in my blog. The man on the right below is our head coach, Gus Malzahn. He is dressed like one of our great former coaches who died this year, Pat Dye. I could not love this tribute that Gus did for Coach Dye. I somehow think Coach Dye would have loved this. He made that striped tie famous in Auburn. It looks just like Coach Dye.

The picture came from Twitter.

We ate out both evenings in town outside with good friends and then ordered food to eat at game time, so no cooking was done, but I really want to go again soon and cook some soup, light a fire, and sit outside all day. It was not cool enough for the fire yet.

Lindsay had a birthday on Friday and we celebrated on Sunday evening.
I did manage to get a photo of her with the pie she requested. 

We all piled up in the kitchen rather than the dining room this year, so Tucker wanted to sit on the stool with Grammie. That was fine with me! 
When I got up to get the pie server out of the drawer behind us, he also decided turn around and see what he could did out of the drawer.

He is getting so big and we will be celebrating his second birthday next month.

That was the weekend wrap-up...now onto stitching progress.

I have been stitching on three things. It is almost making me crazy. I had to wait on floss to come in to start the Liberty Sampler, but I did get a start on it.

I have made a small bit of progress on the heron. It isn't going to seem like much for awhile, since I started at the bottom and am doing the water and water lilies.

I am also still working on my flowers. This one is a Cherokee Rose and I also had to wait on a floss color for it, so the month of September was a lot of waiting. Patience and gratefulness for floss that could be ordered were the words of September.

I woke up to a little cool this morning and it feels amazing. I might even get to wear long sleeves today, but either way there will be some time spent outside walking, bike riding, or puttering in my flowers for certain.

The flowers are in need of attention and turning to fall and winter flowers thoughts and planning.

Happy day all,

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Touch of Fall

 Let's look at some fall decor. I am doing much less these days, but it doesn't mean I don't love fall. I love it so much. The colors are so warm. I am such a blue and green person, but yet I love the oranges and yellows of fall. 

Had I not put some of it our early I don't think I would have much to show. Early worked in my favor this year. I was cleaning before we went on our trip and just started pulling things out and placing them. I came back to worry of the storm, so I had trouble doing the remainder.

I am starting in the kitchen with one of the first things I changed out and I must say every single time I walk by it I smile. That is the goal..huh?!

The sampler crow is mine, but the sweet little Be Blessed was done sweet Carol. I had the bunny with apples and sunflowers out with these sunflower/black eyed Susans in August and early September. These just went perfectly with these flowers. 

The table is all set with its fall napkins and orange candles. I change out the napkins and candles almost monthly. 

I just love the candle holders. I got them in Auburn. After the infamous poisoning of our beloved live oaks on Toomer's Corner many of the local stores had some oak collections. I bought these candle holders and some earrings. I originally pulled them out for fall and football season and then one day it dawned on me that they could be displayed all year long considering that my yard and street are full of live oaks.

The kitchen window got its usual acorns, ribbon, and crows which are impossible to photograph. They are always shadows in photographs but quite lovely in person.

In the living room, I have added some fall to the coffee table and some candle votives and flowers on the end tables. It is time to start lighting the room in the evenings with some candles.

Gus, the springer seems to have outgrown thinking the items on the coffee table were put there for him to play with. Finally! Those flowers were in the kitchen last year. I ended up ordering a new creamer from my dishes from eBay. It is the perfect size for a few little flowers. I always had one, but when I put the sunflowers in the other one,  I had no other thing that was just the right size for the old flowers. I was lucky to find the creamer on eBay for a real good price. 

I added some feathers in a plastic cup on my bookcase and added some stitches in on the bookcases. There is one at the top and the bottom on one side and one hanging in the center.

I added another stitch at the top on the other side and you can see that Deb and Liz kept me company while cleaning today. Their videos are rather long, so I usually have to watch in increments. However, they made good cleaning buddies today.

Moving on to the dining room. I bought some more flowers to do Mother an arrangement. She had really liked the ones on the coffee table last year and they were out when I went back to get her some. She seemed totally uninterested this year, so I just put them in my dining room. She is changing and seems to forget what she liked from season to season and also seems to need less out for display.

I added the pumpkins that were on the table last year to the side table, but I don't know that I love them here. I love them. They are one of my favorite decorations, but I can always change it out.

In the hallway, I added a stitch and a pumpkin.

In the foyer, I added some real and faux leaves, acorns, pinecones, etc. 

Getting a close up I realized I was working way too hard to get that picture.

Now, for some REAL cuteness. My daughter is one who doesn't usually decorate a day before October 1st, texted the other day saying she thought she would go ahead and decorate. Of course, I told her to go for it. She sent pictures but she had Tucker pose for them. You hardly notice her cute decorations for looking at that sweet Tucker. Spoken like a true grammie.

I will add some different things in mid October and then again in November, but for now I am enjoying the fall. We have not had a sunny day in over a week, but we have some glorious temperatures the last three days, so it actually makes me feel like fall.

I will be back with a stitching post next week. We have a birthday celebration for my daughter and are also planning to go to Auburn for the weekend.

Feeling like fall,

Saturday, September 19, 2020

My First Cross Stitch Drum

 I made my first drum. I have been eyeing these for ages. I ran into a problem the night we were awaiting Sally, the devil. I needed a floss color for my flower stitch---I had already visited Joann's. I then decided I would pick up another stitch and again, I needed another color. I ended up just doing a floss order...

and switching gears.

I opened up a cabinet and the wool cloth, ribbon, and floss that I had ordered ages ago to do a strawberry caught my eye. I pulled it out and wheels turned. I remembered a pattern I had and I just started stitching. I would call it nervous stitching. We had the local weather on and watched --- waiting to see where that girl was going. There is no way to sleep while it is that close.

Weeks ---Garnet is the floss color.

I stitched and would get up every few minutes to look out the window....

I stitched the top row pretty much in the two days of the storm blowing in.

The pattern was a February 1993 Leisure Arts magazine with a Christmas sampler on the cover. I have looked at this sampler so many times and never stitched it. I liked it but yet, not enough to stitch. For one thing, it was one of those things you wonder where you would put it and it would only be out for a few weeks.

It just came to me that this could work for one of the drums. You can see I took portions of 4 rows to make my two rows. 

I watched Vonna's tutorial, but I did make some adjustments to her margin. I think next time I would even use less margin for the back side and even try to figure out how to make it blend together more.

I think these would be cute on a candle holder.

I definitely will do another one of these. I would love to do a patriotic one. 

One of my biggest decisions was whether to stuff it with fiberfil or sawdust. I think both would have been great. I ended up going with fiberfil.

I definitely want to use less margin on the back side and try to blend them together better.

For a first attempt though, I really like it. I just realized I didn't take a picture of the back. It has about a inch with nothing. I didn't do a stitch down it. It looks really neat, but I would like for it to flow together.

I am busy stitching on three things and awaiting a floss order. I am working on my flowers, my heron, and about to start my sampler.

I am also going to set aside some time to put my Advent calendar together.

It feels cool tonight, but raining again. Our neighbors just to the west don't need more rain. We don't either for that matter. I have decorated for fall. My daughter is a stickler for no fall decor until October 1st, but she texted me the other day that she had decorated. I think 2020 is for breaking rules.

I will share some of that next and a couple of pics she sent me of hers which have my sweet Tucker posing with it all. You will have to force yourself to look away from his cute little self to see her pretty decorations though.

I am so thankful for the many sweet notes, cards, and warm thoughts for my birthday and our well-being with the weather. Thanks so much blogging friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sally, the Devil

 Hello Friends,

I would like to introduce you to Sally.

She was my firstborn, well maybe my first Springer baby. I am quite miffed at the National Hurricane Center for using her name for devil work without asking. She was an angel who lived to 15 years of age and her claim to fame other than being an angel was being a Leap Year baby.

Now, for the other Sally...I consider myself so grateful that I don't have more damage. 

Those of us who grew up along the coast and just inland use the names minus Hurricane to talk about those monsters. We refer to them like famous people that all people should just know by their first names...Camille, Erin, Opal, Fredrick, Eloise, and Ivan to name a few.

Forever now, I will have to say Sally, my angel's name and associate it with trouble.

I got power today and I must tell you I have NEVER had power back any less that two weeks.

Ivan who came on September 16th, 16 years ago left without power for 16 days. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I have been in the yard all day cleaning up and will say a prayer of thanksgiving for a hot shower.

I only have pictures to share with you of my little yard, but the news will share the mess around the area.

Sally came to the day 16 years after Ivan to pretty much the same area, however Ivan was a monster storm and very wide and of course we were on the east side. That was one of the most harrowing nights of my life. He traveled in slowly, not as slowly as Sally though. The water was inches from coming in our home. 

I know that I am on the water but I am actually elevation wise higher than many neighborhoods in Fort Walton Beach. However, the bayou is like a wind tunnel and it is so scary.

The similarities for Ivan and Sally are the long time they took to come in and location. The difference is surge. Ivan had a higher surge and wind strength. Sally rained for 48 hours solid and hard. She also blew for 48 hours. Ivan did not last that long, although he was an all nighter ---just not a two day storm.

Here is our dock. It actually came up higher than this. We got another squall line after I took these so add about 6 inches more to the height.

This one was not projected to come to us, so many many people left their boats in ---over here many can consider themselves lucky. Ours was still out from our trip.

The pine trees should not be in water and bark is like a missile to the windows.

The oak should not be in water either.

Now, with Ivan the water was lapping over the second deck. where the stone wall porch is ---see the Adirondack chairs. 

For us ---no comparison to Ivan, but out of the beach and just to the west of us they got hit so hard.
LOTS of erosion and roads washed out.

Each storm has its own story so that is why you have to talk about them with their name. They are like people with stories all their own.

Some tidbits...

I know many have seen the news. The Three Mile Bridge is a big deal. It is a MAJOR artery. I actually almost posted a story about it just a month or so ago and never got the time. The bridge is new and built so high...like scary high...not as scary as the Charleston bridge but still scary. IT was built in amazing quick time. They built it and the bridge in your pictures was to be just the east bound. They built it and made it 4 lanes with not near enough room...hence you have to grip the steering wheel with a death grip when you drive a pick up truck and I do. 

They tore the old one down and had started the west bound lanes. Eventually they were to be two lanes with emergency lanes on each side. Well, now it will be awhile.

The deal is this storm caught everyone off guard. Probably shouldn't have but it did. There were barges out there that in normal situations would have been removed. 

They also had another one hit Garcon Point Bridge which is an alternate route. IT should be a quicker fix. This leaves I-10 as the only route in for many who live in Gulf Breeze and Navarre and work in Pensacola. 

In storms here when Highway 98 has been out ferries have been used to bring people across Choctawhatchee Bay, but Pensacola Bay is a bit rougher bay than ours, so I don't know about ferries.

I can't describe how scary it is to see the water and winds blow in. The bayous look like a choppy bay with waves and whitecaps. The rain blows completely horizontal and 100 mile an hour wind is hard to describe.

We only got around 60-65 this time.

A few more things...

We watch the local news when a hurricane is in the Gulf headed our way. We are blessed along the Gulf Coast to have wonderful meteorologists. I guess we have weather that would be desirable to cover, but we did switch over to the Weather Channel and Arlene, you might find this interesting. 
The guy along the bay with a white fence behind him was just at the end of Palafox, the street where we ate at the Tin Cow.

Rainfall totals at Orange Beach were 30 inches. That is simply incredible.

For nature lovers...
I was picking up in the front under the live oaks. I was collecting acorns because that is so me.
There were some with the caps on and I collected a little container full...
Usually by the time they get to the ground they have the tops off.

But then I found some attached to the fallen limbs and there were some that hadn't even gotten ready to fall.

We had lots less down in the front circle because our neighbors in the circle all went together this spring to have our life oaks trimmed. Saved us a lot of work today.

Now, let's wrap it up because I have been aware of storms since age 8 and could talk for days about the little names.

Some might ask why we stay here --- it is home. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I live for the salty air. 

Some would ask why didn't you leave... that is simply an entire post for another day, but it was supposed to be a 1 and not even hit here. There is a big difference in each and every category.
I did try to leave for Opal and it was a complete nightmare!!!

If you have any interest...here are two more things...

I am putting a link here for an author who writes a column for the Destin newspaper. He says why we stay and live here well. I didn't know his wife was from the town I grew up in until about a month ago. He tells part of my Ivan story when I arrived finally to see my mama in Brewton. 

I am leaving you another link... This is Brewton. So sad. My folks had a business right in the middle of that water during my growing up years.
The Army Corp of Engineers bought them out and were supposed to prevent this from happening again. We moved to the other side of town with the business. With 3 feet of rain and a slow mover, it didn't work all these years later.

My takeaway from this one...
The National Hurricane Center is not going to be my guide anymore. They haven't gotten the strength right in the past two years and they missed the track on this one.
Not their fault, it is just the way it is.
I will go back to living with the mantra...IF IT GETS IN THE GULF, IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GET ME AND BE A 5!

*With that said, there is a low in the Gulf, so I am going to sleep tonight and double check all my preps tomorrow morning. BTW, it is right where Opal formed and believe me our family has a very sad story for it.
I think Sally, the devil caught everyone off guard because we put too much stock in the NHC.

Yes, I am a prepper...the kind that lives in hurricane country...not a hoarder kind on TV. 

This is how we survive the heat that comes after most...

Window unit for one room for whole family to sleep in and generator on the deck to run it and the refrigerator.

I will be back in a few days with something besides storms ---stitching and fall decor. 

I did stitch through some of the winds and rain and long time. Nervous stitching I call it. I will update you on the details later.

And yes, I put out some fall decor. I will celebrate Thanksgiving, but Christmas may come out early too. This is 2020 and I am ready for the hope that Christmas offers and possibly a better 2021.

Just as my family made me feel special over the birthday trip, many of you blogging friends made me feel special checking on me. Wow, y'all are amazing. I think I was even a topic of conversation in the Walmart in Ocala. You can't beat that.

Saying prayers of thanksgiving for a strong house and roof over my head.

Lifting up prayers for those who need it to the west and north and even out West with fires.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.
Even in the tough times.

Monday, September 14, 2020

An Out of this World Trip!

 I lamented about a lack of summer in a previous post. The past few days went a long way to help those gloomy feelings. The family took a few days off to share a special birthday with me (well, a wee early) at one of our most special places...Cape San Blas. 

We took three trips with the kids between 1997 and 2001 and stayed at the same house on the bay. I think we found our new house to do at the very least three summer trips!

This is the house for 2020 and beyond...

If you aren't familiar with Cape San Blas, it is still on the Panhandle of Florida but it is not like the touristy 30A. It is an actual cape and forms a bay that is not fed by a river, but by the actual Gulf of Mexico itself. This makes it just unbelievably pretty and unique. It has incredible sea life on the floor of the bay that is not seen around here. It is quite shallow and great for snorkeling and finding great treasures...starfish, sanddollars, gigantic conch shells with creatures inside, sea urchins, and scallops. The water is more like the green waters of the Gulf so yes, it is a wonderful place.

We will definitely not wait so long again to go. I think my birthday and the hurricane almost two years ago prompted the desire to go. We are somewhat afraid it will go the way of 30A and lose the Old Florida look and feel.

It is not a place to go and do the touristy things. There are no restaurants on the cape. It is half national park and half beach houses on stilts which took a beating during the storm. They are building back furiously and I think our rental was pretty new as well as all the others on our row. 

I had the most wonderful time and totally relaxed. I walked the beach so much that I was worn out. I pretty much only looked at my phone for weather and to take pictures. Nothing else...I highly recommend it.

Lindsay decorated as soon as we got there so I also got to experience a themed birthday...first one in 60 years. It was the perfect theme ---SPACE--- and I just happened to wear my NASA shirt on the way over. I had no idea:)

Tucker had fun with balloons as well...

I got sugar cookies and a cake that Mama made. And yes, today on my actual birthday I am eating healthy and trying to get all that bad stuff out. We grilled one night and made spaghetti another. On the first night, Tyler stopped in Port St. Joe and brought pizza. That is the last town on the way to the cape. 

For reference Cape San Blas is about halfway between Panama City and Apalachicola on the Panhandle. 

We arrived on Thursday and Jeff, Lindsay, Tyler, Tucker, and me went out on the bay for a short trip to to scallop in the bay. 

On Friday, Paul Allen and Katie arrived and I stayed back with Mom and Tucker and let them go with Jeff. They didn't get as many scallops as they had hoped but had a ton of fun. 

Tucker was unsure of the scallops because if they are still alive the shells will open slightly.

We also spent some time playing on the beach.

You can see it was just a hop, skip, and a jump from the house. 

I had a beautiful view from the house porch. I am not sure if you can tell, but the water is in the picture..It just sort of blends in with the sky.

It was sort of overcast during the trip but that actually proved to be beneficial in knocking back some heat and making it pleasant. Jeff went out one morning and caught a rainbow early that day.

There were green flags until the last day. GREEN FLAGS ---unbelievable... The Gulf was like a smooth pool.

Mother did very well. She has lost so much strength and had great difficulty navigating all the stairs on the house, but we helped her and she took 3 very short walks on the beach with me. She seemed to enjoy being with us all though.

She will probably sleep for two days to rest, but I am glad she got to go.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say..it was a wonderful birthday celebration and I am indeed blessed. I am so grateful for 60 years. I came home to cards and texts so I am enjoying this birthday.

It is a very windy and blustery day. We are under tropical storm warnings and the wind and rain is expected to pick up after lunch, but I think we are in the clear or at least I hope. 

I will stop and share more later, since this is very long. I will be back with some fall decor, more trip thoughts, and stitching later.

Oh, I collected 60 shells to commemorate my birthday trip. Just what I need more shells!

Thankful for another trip around the sun,