Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Stitch and a Little Update

 I finished a little stitch for Lindsay. I used the Prairie Schooler months. I changed the colors to look more like a grandfather clock. I added some fireworks on top and some confetti on the side and Happy New Year to the bottom. 

I gave it to her and forgot to take a final picture so I will do that in another post.

We are in Auburn for a little R and  R. We took in a basketball game last night and enjoyed that immensely.  

Reflections on Christmas around the house this year

I think I got it right or at least for this year. I always get a little tired of the decorations before it is over and the red can do me in sometimes, but this year it all felt right even the red. I think starting decorating a little later and not being in a hurry to put it up helped. I also think I learned that although red isn't my favorite color I am traditional, so red and green it is. I actually tried to change out the dining room to some blue but it felt so wrong. 

I loved the sashes on the banisters this year. That was a fresh update that suited me well. They all fit in the same bin so that was good when putting them away. I did keep my bin with the traditional garland and white lights should I get the notion one year to do that again.

Time to get started on January.

January has become a month I don't necessarily dread like I did when teaching. It is deep clean and purge month. I am already making my cleaning list and for the first time since retiring in June of 2014 I feel like the purge is really at a much better place. I have thinned out so much. 

My one room that is probably going to get a real purge is the sewing room. I have held onto craft stuff that I am now realizing I will never use and it is taking up valuable space that could make that room much more functional, so that is the room that I am going to heavily purge. I will make a pass through all the other closets and drawers but feeling good this year. 

The big thing on the "January list" is a lot of polishing and deep cleaning and some closet painting. Yes, you read that right...closet painting. I know we are the only ones who will see that, but slowly I am going to repaint some closets. The house is 37 years old and it is time to freshen some spaces. 

I also wanted to share an Advent reading I did this year. I had a plan and then changed at the last minute. Literally the last minute. Melanie Shankle self published and online read this year for $10. It was called Waiting on Wonder: an Advent Devotional. I felt a strong desire to read it as I have loved many of her books. Often they are geared to a little younger than me, but this one was just so perfect. I know God led me to it. If she still has it available next year, I strongly recommend it. Every day touched me so much. I love it when the Holy Spirit guides you to something. 

The update on Lindsay. 

We were heading out on Monday when we got a call that they had to change the appointment to Wednesday. She insisted I go on to Auburn. Katie and Paul Allen kept Tucker.

The diagnosis is that, it is muscular. She has significantly weak pelvic floor muscles. I still contend the situation that occurred with the birthing led to this. I don’t think any doctor has disagreed with her but are careful not to indict the hospital. They do believe with continued physical therapy that she will continue to slowly improve. She is sad that she is not further along than she is but she has seen improvement and is grateful that no one feels it is permanent.  Between that and the post partum issues this was a difficult birth. She is on the mend though and for that we move forward with thanks that it was no worse. I have told her 2022 is the year she has to take time to take care of herself. 

Everyone that reads along with me, I often wonder what in the world are you thinking, but I love getting to know all of you. See you in the new year.

Have a wonderful start to the new year and remember God is with us,


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Recap

Our family celebration was important to me this year because I truly have this strong feeling that 2022 will be different with Uncle Danny starting to exhibit signs of his lung cancer. He has lasted far longer than any of us thought he would and for that we are thankful. I keep praying he will find Christ as his Savior soon. Enough of that...this will be a happy post, but

with all of that in mind I was determined to try and make our family gathering a memorable one. 

Before I go on, I feel I must remind y'all no one has a perfect life or home or any of that. If you need a reminder since I do love Christmas and eating on pretty dishes and so many other little things...just go read this post called The Perfect Christmas. I think it is worth reading and reminding that there is no such thing as perfect but Jesus Himself.


Ok, back to this year's story. I was determined that the entire family have the dinner together in the same room. I didn't want us all scattered this year, especially this year. Jeff and I moved the dining room table over and moved the patio table in the dining room. Remember how I didn't want that patio furniture? I have been corrected so many times on how good a purchase that was. 

I pulled out an extra tablecloth and threw on a cloth napkin for a pop of color in the center, grabbed a bowl of ornaments from the foyer table, and added some candles. 

The pictures were all taken before I lit all the candles, but man I was so happy with the set up.

We did enjoy our family dinner so much. Everyone was fat and happy. I made a pie and Mother made a cake. It is something she can still do so that is good. Tucker calls her cakes "Grandma Cake." You know she loves that.

Here a few snippets of everyone.

Tucker helped everyone open their presents. Christmas with a kid that age is truly fun.

Now, I finally get to share two gifts I got for Lindsay. I am not the best gift giver but these were my ideas and I am quite proud of myself.

First up is a watercolor I got a girl on Etsy do for me of Tucker and his prayer that he said the night Palmer was born. You may remember reading about it here. I wanted to find a way to make this into a keepsake. I had a picture of Tucker praying at church. You can read about that here. I sent Nikki at JoyfulFlourish the picture and the prayer and asked her to turn it into an 11 X 14 watercolor.

I loved it and think they did too.

Then we had her a necklace made with the boys' birthstones in it. We had a diamond left from one of Nana's (Jeff's mom) rings. We took that and chose a birthstone for each of the boys. We traded in some gold from other rings where we had repurposed the diamonds like a necklace I have and Katie's ring and got this to a reasonable price and another keepsake for Lindsay. 

She sent us a picture of it the next morning.

Since, I knew I would be taking all the pictures, I had Jeff take one of me on that day as well.

All of the above happened on December 23rd. It is not the first time we have had our family gathering like that. When your kids get married you have to share them. Tyler's family came down for Christmas this year, so we celebrated early and pretended it was a travel year. Flexibility is the key and honestly as the years go on this will happen more and more. 

Christmas Eve was quiet but ticked off pretty quick with Paul Allen and Katie dropping by and then  getting Mother out for a bit. The church service was honestly one of the best ever. I mean ever. It was geared towards families and only preschooler environments were opened. Everyone else went to the services. They were heavily attended and I think all enjoyed it. A skit was done around the idea of a character with a PCI (Perfect Christmas Itinerary) notebook. It was filled with all the things we do around Christmas until Christmas is rushed and often missed. I have been there before especially when I taught school. The music was great. 

Christmas Day involved a morning on the beach, a spaghetti lunch with Mother, Paul Allen and Katie and then a boat ride. Truly the weather was amazing.


I sadly missed on the dress. I was so hot it was almost unbearable and that was 10 in the morning. 

The boat ride...

Lindsay sent these of the boys' major presents....
Tucker got a scooter. BTW, he totally got Christmas and was adorable this morning.

Palmer got a new swing for the boat. He loved it according to Lindsay. 

You may remember the Advent calendar I stitched for them a year or so ago. It just so happened this year the church passed out the papers with pictures on it and they coincided with a children's Bible and story book. Tucker looked forward to this each night. He couldn't wait to pull the card out. I got to do it with him twice over the holidays when Lindsay and Tyler had to go to work parties. His other grandmother got to do it with him two days on their visit. 

The weather has been absolutely amazing the past few days. For those that like a cold Christmas it would not make one happy, but for me...LOVE.

I will be back next week after Lindsay and I go to the doctor with an update. Then Jeff and I are going to Auburn for a few days.
See ya next week,

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Stitching and Catching Up

Since, my last post, I have stitched another page to "The Shepherd's Song." Granted it has been almost two weeks since my last post. I am in love with this sampler. I haven't picked up something in such a long time that I can hardly put down. This one has been it.

Here are the first three pages across the top complete. I only have one more to stitch and the top row will be done. 

I must put it down for a bit because I have two smalls to stitch Lindsay for January and February. I wanted a clock for January, but I had so much trouble finding just the thing. I finally settled on The Prairie Schooler year stitches that were from the mid 1980s and shown stitched in a cubby shelf. I am changing the colors and time and all so I will just wait until I stitch it to share. I may do the February stitch as well. I am starting this stitch this evening.

To finish out my year of pictures on the bayou; here are December's pictures. The first one taken at 6:08 AM. I could see a beautiful sunrise through the window this morning so I hopped out of bed to grab my last pictures for the this yearly feature. The entire year of monthly pictures are under the label "bayou living."

This one was later in the day.

We made it through the shortest day of the year. Yippie! Now, we can start the climb back to long favorite.

We have had mild weather thus far as I suppose many have had. I am super great with that. I have done some outdoor time which I will share a few pictures.

A few weeks ago, I went with Lindsay to the Destin Christmas parade. My job was to help with Palmer so she could have fun with Tucker. I happily obliged.

Tucker fully understands gathering candy now. Of course, Mommy has learned to make it disappear soon as well. 

I think Tyler was in a golf tournament and Jeff was fishing that day, but either way it was a bright sunny morning at the parade, so I stopped back by the beach on the way home.  Life had been pretty busy and nothing clears my head like a stroll on the beach. By the time, I got there the clouds had rolled in but it was still very warm, so I just dropped those shoes at the sand dunes and headed out.

The surprise though was the fencing along my favorite beach entrance. I am sure they are there to help with erosion. The sand will catch over the next few months and build back up. These fences were every so many yards. Rather than fight that and go to another entrance down the way, I just went out to the water's edge and dropped my little rear on the sand and sat for about thirty or so minutes and let the salt air do its job.

My friends, the sandpipers joined me and I had the most wonderful visit with them.

Grandkids make great blog fodder so here are a few more pictures of them.

At church the other Sunday, they had a cookie decorating station set up in the hallways and it was a huge success. Tucker had one thing on his mind; putting sprinkles on that cookie. I had fun watching.

This was also them grabbing a picture in the lobby. 

Palmer is 5 months old.

I have had a busy couple of weeks...just life. Mother wasn't feeling well. She can be down for a few days and then back up. She doesn't eat well and is weaker as the days go. I get so excited when she has a good meal. Jeff fried some fish the other evening and for some reason she ate well and had an Ensure that day so that was a win.

I had a huge sewing project for church which nearly did me in. All straight lines mind you. I made big slipcovers for lots of the wooden decorations. The poor girl was having to touch up paint each year so we discussed last year that I would help out with this. It turned out to be a bigger project that I thought:) My sewing room looked like a bomb went off in it. Gus would come to the door and look in like he couldn't believe it. He usually sits on a rug with me when I am in there, but I think he thought something evil might happen to him. Anyway, a good project is behind me and I got to put to use a lot of fabric I had hoarded and would never use. That felt good. I got the room put back together today and the fabric cabinet looks ooh so much better.

We are having our family gathering tomorrow evening as Tyler's parents are coming down from Atlanta Christmas Eve. We are treating it like Lindsay and Tyler would be traveling this year but they won't have to which is very good for them with the little one. Tyler's twin who lives in West Palm just had a baby so the other grands will head down after Christmas to meet their new little one.

Paul Allen and Katie will probably slip back over to sit with us old folks on Christmas Eve for a bit. We may even take in a movie on Christmas Day. Either way, it will all be good. I have the house ready for tomorrow. Our traditional Christmas Eve menu is always easy and fun. Beef tenderloin, potato soup in a bread bowl (I just get them from Panera Bread and add my soup), and salad. Of course, desserts too.

In other news, Jeff's bother has started to show some signs of the lung cancer. This is an important Christmas I think for Jeff and his sister. 

I am looking forward to my family time. I wish everyone who reads this little corner of mine a very Merry Christmas. I will be back sometime next week. Lindsay has her specialist appointment in Pensacola for those who have been praying for her. I will update you on what we find out then.

Merry Merry Christmas Friends, 

Friday, December 10, 2021

A Little Stitching and More

 I have been drawn to stitching on “A Shepherd’s Song by Plum Street Samplers. I have so many projects going that I will admit it is driving me nutty. I guess you know what the goal for ‘22 is… finish all those large projects before I  move on to anything else. This stitch has been a good stitch for the busy month though.

 I have completed two full pages.

Here is a reminder of the what the pattern looks like.

Here is a picture of my heart.

Palmer looks so much like Tucker at that age.

Garden Notes…
Here is my broccoli. They have started making.

Here is my little rose plugging along. I am going to add a pink one to it next year, but no more!

Here is my gigantic angel wing begonia.

Now, the host as next to that begonia is giving up until next spring along with my day lilies, but the geraniums are loving life.

I shared the next pictures on Instagram, but if you wait until December you will see some autumn color on the coast of northwest Florida.

It is a busy time of year but I am trying to keep the focus in the right place. 

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Christmas Home Tour

 I didn't have any Christmas house posts last year. I am going to try and remedy that this year. Sometimes nothing changes because I am definitely one where most of my Christmas decor is the same year after year with sentimental, long-held items taking center stage. Occasionally those same items get shifted around.

We will start at the front door that Gus and I see multiple times a day, but I dare say no one else sees it ever:) Why bother with it you might ask? Well Gus and I like it very much and it makes us smile multiple times a day to go through here.

Leaving the foyer we enter the big open formal hall as I call it. I once thought it such a waste of space, but you know I have learned to love and embrace this space. It makes me happy to walk through it and now other than Gus and me loving it, we have added Tucker to the mix. Tucker loves the grandfather clock and rarely misses a chiming of the hour if he is at Mimi's house.

Get ready for the chatting of thought…

I decided this year I didn't want to do the traditional garland and lights on the banisters that line the room that you step down into off the open hall or the stairs' banister. I had grown tired of the garland and almost felt it was drudgery to put it up. It was pretty, but I kept searching for an idea. I can't tell you how many times I have looked ideas whether through a search engine or Pinterest for something else to do. Really to no avail. I had almost decided this would be the year I would just leave it down and skip decorating it. 

But then...Lindsay wanted some garland for her mantel. She knows to ask before buying. I had two tubs of garland. One was some I bought when we first moved here that was thin and cheaper. I had actually wound two strands of it together and had blue Christmas lights with it because my mother-in-law had done blue lights. I later found some much nicer garland and had changed to white lights. In my Christmas decorations I had kept two large tubs of garland to decorate that very long stretch of banisters.

I pulled some of it out last year when I put some garland above the picture above the fireplace. Then we got some for Lindsay's mantel. While that was sitting there, it occurred to me I could make a sash with all that garland since I would probably never use it again. I mean after all I had a whole set of thicker garland that I have used in the past few years.

I began to play with it and then pulled out the red berry garland I had used on the tree a few years ago and well, we have a new fresh look that is different than my usual tour of Christmas.

The first set I used my Prairie Schooler Santas to adorn the sash. This flanks the step down into what used to be a formal living room, now a pool table that holds Christmas gifts until closer to Christmas since Gus would tear those boxes to shreds. Naughty Gus.

Lots of pictures!

I was deciding about the lights I think when I took these. One is brighter than the other. I’m did use them on these two sashes. Just the battery ones from Target.

Then moving further along is our Auburn tree which was started a few years ago. Now, it shines a light on the Christmas Eve dinner since you can see it from the dining room table.

I then needed something more for the stairs' banisters and I remembered I had bought the pinecone ornaments last year not really knowing what I was going to do with them but I really liked them. They were just perfect for the sashes. I am really loving the new fresh look. I will be able to store them in the plastic bin I had all that garland I had kept for years.

The dining room looks the same, but it may get a newer look next week. I am thinking of changing the table runner and ornaments to blue. If I do change it I will share. We do have our family Christmas meal in here. We pile in close and make it work.

Now for the living room.

I have learned I can’t take too much in the room we live in. I have toned it back a lot in the past few years and I feel I got it just right this year.

I put my favorite reindeer on the top shelf of the bookcases and a couple of treasured tins, a wooden tree and a stitch on the bottom shelf and let that be it. The stockings and garland make it a bit busy as it is.

I think this will keep me from going stir crazy with too much out. I added one small item to all the tables like the drummer boy. He graces my stitching chair table along with Mama’s afghan.

I added the lantern to my childhood desk in back of he chairs.

And then for the tree, I always say the tree and the Nativity in the dining room are the important things. Again this year, I went with a much smaller tree.

Lights on.

Close up of my blue bows that I love.

Lights off.


 If you are not worn out yet, I am going to go on with the rest of the tour while I have time.

The kitchen gets a little on the side counter. The truly old ceramic tree that a neighbor made for my mom in the early ‘70s and a stitch I did back in the early ‘90s.

I have a pretty Christmas cross and thingie hanging over the sink but I can never photograph it with the light so you will have to imagine it:) The table is going to sport two looks depending on my mood. I can get a little overdone with so much red so I played with a blue and green look. Currently, it has the red but the other look is close by in a drawer for a quick change.

The guest bathroom has a new addition to Christmas this year. The metal tree was a gift from a good friend. They made it and I had all of the stuff to decorate it. I didn’t plan on putting in the guest bathroom, but when they gave it to me for Christmas last year, I stored it  in the adjoining bedroom’s closet. I pulled it out and started working on it in that bathroom. When I moved it to other places in the house it looked best with that blue wall as its background so there it went.

I will place some candy canes in this favorite little dish too.

Last place is a couple of real life photos in the sewing room.

This counter is my work counter. I have been furiously wrapping as soon as I get a present bought. I have decorated slowly this year and a the time of this photo I still had Christmas stitching and my space ornaments to put out. Real life. I am showing you this because I bought this wonderful Amish basket to put here to add stitches too. That turned out to be a no go for me. It is a WORK a counter. I moved the basket to my desk area to corral items and really like it.

You can see the basket above and it has worked out to be useful after all. When I got this room as a gift I didn’t even have the vision to add those bars for gift wrap. The cabinet builder thought of them. Yes, they are amazing and wonderful!

I added some stitching and even more since this picture, I love it and plan to add more tucked into all the spots.

That is a wrap on the tour for Christmas 2021. As always, I will tweak and add or remove stuff but that is my documentation for posterity’s sake.

Jesus is the reason for he season.