Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Seven Years

 I almost forgot about my blogging anniversary. To be honest, I actually did forget. I woke up early this morning for some reason because since the time changed I have NOT been waking up early. It popped into my head that I hadn't posted my monthly photo of the bayou that I wanted to do this year nor had I given any thought that I had started this blog 7 years ago this month.

Here is my March bayou pictures taken about 7:00 am this morning. As Jeff would say, I have already missed the best part of the day.

Maybe with these photos I will capture different times of the day as well.

Blogging can give one a glimpse into a life such as mine, but there is really so much that one can never know about a person's life. Seven years ago was one of those tough years in life. It was really a roller coaster ride. I had so many blessings that year; one being gaining a great son-in-law and planning a wedding with my daughter. There was also great loss that year with a family member's death and great stress and turmoil with my job. I suppose I had enough good and enough hope to think I could start a blog.

I kept a paper journal of the tough stuff that was going on because it was therapy to write down those hard feelings. I kept a happy face for Lindsay as she was starting out with a great adventure and as a Mama I was so happy for her.

Just thinking back to that year reminds me of the tough stuff, but also that I am so blessed. I really have no clue what I hoped for with a blog. I just knew I enjoyed reading them immensely. At that time, I mostly read teacher blogs. I think most of those have completely died out, but they were helpful and fun. I slowly found others I enjoyed reading that were in the stage of life that I was. I have learned and been so inspired.

I think a part of me had no clue how to be retired. I really didn't have to worry about that, because my time got quickly filled with other things. I am busy and life is not at all like I kinda thought it would be. However, it is so much better. I hope you didn't hear perfect. Nope! I go through stuff just like everyone else, but I am happy where God led the after teaching life.

Now, onto a few other tidbits. 

Holy Week. The week leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection. The foundation for everything I believe. 

I get my second vaccination this coming Monday. I am ready to be with others. I am quite an introvert! I am content at home cleaning, working around the yard, and just general puttering. I have found some positives from the year. I really don't have this huge desire to go out shopping again. I have discovered that other than cross stitch wants and an occasional book I have plenty. I have been simplifying things over this year. All that said, even this introvert misses an occasional human interaction with someone other than my family.

Not a lot:) but some. For one, I have missed my small group. A year ago, I would have been silently complaining about having to have my house clean for my small group to come over on Wednesday nights. Now, I am looking forward to having them over. We have Zoomed for a year now. One of the members really had to be locked down because she had some severe issues a few years ago with her respiratory system. Last week, I made a pound cake for one of the group member's birthday. I cut each couple a piece, then wrapped it up along with my whipped cream and strawberries and Jeff and I quickly delivered it to each home before our Zoom meeting. We ate our cake on our Zoom meeting. Everyone will have had their vaccine next month and we will resume in-person meetings. I am ready.

I will round out this anniversary post and March (how time flies) with a couple of photos. 

I have been outside a ton. I guess I have found that very therapeutic as well. I have been pressure washing.

I had no idea how bad that porch looked until I cleaned it. Jeff borrowed a friend's electric one. It is very easy for me to handle, so he is getting one of those for his birthday. Maybe if I can do this a little more often it won't get so bad. I still need to wash windows, but I will wait for some of the pollen to settle down. Are we really ever finished?

I was out at Lindsay's and she had her new oyster prints up above the cabinet. I love seeing decorating ideas so I will share the quick picture of them. I am not a photographer as you can see the TV in them.

I think they turned out so pretty.

Gus and I have been walking a lot these days. We walked down to some apartments on our road and then decided that since azalea season is almost over that we would help ourselves to a few of this lovely color to bring home.

I also found two perfectly good lamps by the side of the road and brought them home. I don't particularly need them, but I feel certain I can find someone who does.

I cleaned them up and brought them in to do just that.

They swivel out and even had the expensive lightbulbs in them. They work great.

Gus has  has taken a liking to my chair, so the blanket has become a permanent attachment to it.

Looks like he is living the good life...huh? Oh and don't mind the feather duster:)

I will leave you with one last picture. Tucker looks pretty pleased. He got a golf club set like Daddy's if you can call it a set. It has two clubs. The big driver and a putter. The balls are foam. He has enjoyed these immensely. 

I think there is actually one of Daddy's in this bag too, so that expensive one is Daddy's.

Tucker is one of those blessings of retirement. I get to spend lots of time with him and count that as a huge blessing. 

This ended up being a way longer post than I planned. Every now and then I get a notion to write. 

I will be back after Easter. I hope you have a blessed one.

He Is Risen Indeed!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Stitching: In the Hoop

I must title this one "in the hoop" because I have a lot "for me" things in the hoop and no small finishes. I have spent a good bit of time outdoors still, but the weather is springy yet not too warm yet, so outdoor chores and time in the fresh air is calling. I have either walked or worked until I am pretty tired each evening.

I have done no smalls this month even though I have several ornaments and a few other smalls calling my name too, but the little stitching time I have done has been between the larger pieces. I did all the water on the heron. I only have the water lilies to do and then it create the bird time. I actually think that will go faster in places than the lilies have gone. Either way, I have enjoyed stitching it so much.

I did come across an Instagram post of a finished one that is framed beautifully. I follow a hashtag for the pattern company of the heron and all of the birds I did the last two years. This framed beauty popped up and all I could say was, "Wow!" I saved the picture and the company she used to get the mats. She sent off for that and then had it framed locally according to her post. I think I could make it work even though I miscalculated on the sides. I think there would be enough to be covered by a mat and I could stitch some fabric to extend it for the frame. It is all to be seen when it is completed which won't be anytime too soon.

From Instagram

I did work a bit more on Let Freedom Ring. I think I am going to give it a weekend day from this point forward to stitch on it. I will share more when I have something really worth showing.

And then a very odd "for me" occurrence happened. I started a new sampler. What was I thinking? I don't like too many large pieces going at one time. That makes me a little crazy, but I had ordered it and I just couldn't wait to start it. 

When I was at my Aunt Faye's house a couple of weeks ago, I happened to notice a stitch I did for Mother to give her decades ago. I would say I stitched it in the mid 1980s. She still has it hanging in her home.

I have so many stitches I want to do, so there is never a lack of ideas going around in my head, but I don't want to obsess over anything, so slow we will go.

Turtle speed; not hare speed,


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Color My World

     Anyone thinking of the 1970s song by the band, Chicago? Chicago X is in my top 5 favorite albums of all time which has absolutely nothing to do with this post today.

No, this is not a post about the song, but a post from a girl whose imagination has returned and her need to write thoughts. 

I do love color and weirdly have an entire Pinterest board called "I Do Love Color." I have this crazy obsession with collecting paint chips and color combinations and have found the best way to group them is on Pinterest. Of course, once you pin one item, then those things pop up in your feed all the time adding to the madness.

I have to admit to being a color snob and having rejected all things white these past few years. When white walls and white couches and all white kitchens became the latest thing in vogue, my mind just said, "NO AND NO!"

I would occasionally see a kitchen with white and think, "Well that does look nice and clean. I might even see a white couch and think it was pretty if it had colorful seasonal pillows on it. White walls were completely rejected though.

Then today I was walking around in the yard and started paying attention to the orange blossoms. They are the most beautiful shade of white I think I have ever seen. They are almost a pearl on the tree surrounded by the most beautiful green leaves....

Which leads me to another thing about color I learned from my husband. It is nothing earth shattering, but an analogy that had never run through my mind which is almost always ruminating on something. We were choosing a paint color for a bathroom many years ago that had some blue tile, so he said we should go with green because he took his cues from nature. 

You see nothing we ever create comes close to God's creation. If you looked at my obsession on Pinterest with color palettes, you will notice many of those pins have something in nature to guide the color palette.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

The idea of looking to nature and of course my handy dandy color wheel has guided me ever since in choosing colors for a room.

Now, back to that orange blossom. As I sat and stared at that orange blossom with its pearly white petals, I thought, "You know, I could have walls that color of white!" 

No, I will not be changing any walls. I like what I have and I will not changing to keep up with trends, but I am looking at white with new eyes. 

By the way, I do drive a white truck:) I do wear white pants starting Easter Sunday often to make up for the fact that I still adhere to the old rules of fashion and plan to keep them regardless of what you are thinking:) I did choose white cabinets in my sewing room...

Thinking about color is just one of the many things that rolls around in my ole noggin sometimes!

Update: Mother is feeling better and got a special visit from a very good friend. Mrs. Cathy and her husband stopped by and stayed for two days. They have a motorhome and still travel in it. Mother and Cathy have been friends since they met in 1961 on a military base far from home in Germany. Cathy is 6 years younger than Mother, so she was probably around 20 when they became best friends that have stayed in touch across the miles all these years. She visits every so many years and it really cheered Mother up. I snapped this picture of them as we ate at a local seafood place.

To round this post out, I noticed this picture 

Terrible picture, but notice top shelf...

which is me thinking color and balance and all that when I arrange things. I recently found this vintage black orange blossom Florida plate and had to have it. For $10 this pre Disney plate with landmarks listed just called my name. It even has Fort Walton Beach instead of Destin, golf where Disney is now and Cape Kennedy rather than Cape Canaveral. 

I had to rearrange the shelf when I swapped out the plate that was there with this new black Florida tray. I went with black and gold in the clock on the left, cream with the candles, black and gold with the tray, and then cream and gold in the tall clock. I tried to mix up but repeat the colors. 

I have so many color combos I love... 

  • burnt orange and navy -naturally...War Eagle
  • pink and green -think preppy
  • blue and green
  • navy and olive
Do you have a favorite color combination?

Colorfully writing my thoughts,


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Springtime in the Neighborhood

    I haven't been stitching, BECAUSE I can't come inside. The days have been pretty. The azaleas are in full bloom in my little corner of the world and having a banner year of blooms. I have been working and fluffing in my own yard.

I will share some of those pretty blooms with you. My backyard azaleas are coming back after Jeff severely pruned them two years ago. They had gotten rather large so he did a major cutback. They are showing off now.

Since that picture even more have opened. They are simply amazing.

This is what makes spring such a pretty season. Blooms everywhere.

The front side yard got its fresh pine straw and is looking pretty spiffy. Let's take a tour down the side that is the entrance of our circle.

I just had to buy the Golden statue to honor Lemony. She joins the big sea turtle, starfish, Pete the pelican, and the deer in that part of the yard. 

More azaleas.

Some are hidden from this angle, but when you drive in you see them. Three of the five homes in the circle have azaleas in their yard like this too.

Then all down the street in both directions they are so pretty. So many colors. White, coral, dark and light pinks, purples, and what this year is my favorite color - the deep wine color ones (for which I didn't photograph).

Scenes from street on my walks.

Well, then I started thinking about my front flowerbed and decided on one more change.

My first change came in September of 2019 when I pulled up all my roses in the front flowerbed. You can read about it here

I had replaced the roses but had left some privet hedge that made a corner on that flowerbed. I have never liked it there, so I mentioned it to Jeff and we spent time this weekend digging around to loosen then pulling them out with the truck. Then I was tasked with moving all the dirt back around and getting it level to put a new plant there. I was worn out and he actually pulled a muscle throwing away a very root bound Lily of the Nile in a pot. Are we getting old?

Anyway, I have put one of the newer azaleas that are supposed to bloom spring, summer, and fall in that corner. They don't bloom prolifically like the others, but we actually have some at the Auburn house so I have seen them and it will be a little bit of color and green.

It is quite tiny now, so I moved the Spaniel mama dog and pup over and the bird feeder to balance it out until it puts some growth on.

I changed out the three pots on the ledge with all green stuff. I actually had all of it in pots, so nothing new was bought. I have a collection of pots I keep hidden on the side of the house to change things out.

I got my pansies replaced with the vincas.

They really grew large and proud last year, so they are coming back for the summer. 
I kept the dianthus for a while longer. They will go into the summer but not the major heat of late summer.

The fruit trees are popping and now have blossoms and you may have noticed some tomato plants next to the vincas. Jeff is trying tomatoes again this year.

Lemon Blossoms

and Orange Blossoms

The orange blossoms are truly gorgeous. They would make a wonderful bouquet.

I have so many azalea blooms, that I cut another bunch to bring inside and enjoy.

And just like that spring is here and oh so pretty. I will stitch soon, but I have so enjoyed the days in my flowers. 

Feeling springy,

Monday, March 22, 2021

Birthdays and Country Roads and Churches

   Yesterday was Mother's 86th birthday. You would think I had pictures to share, but no. I tried to celebrate Saturday evening. She hasn't felt well all week, so she was not all that peppy. She would not have let me take her picture. On Saturday, I was all glum myself because she didn't seem to enjoy any of the fuss I had tried to make over the birthday. She didn't even take the pretty flower arrangement I had made for her from grocery store plus yard flowers. It is still sitting on my table. When she said she didn't want to go to church and then she laid on her couch all day yesterday on her birthday I decided she genuinely just didn't feel like celebrating which made me even sadder.

She started having a little usual kidney troubles last weekend but wanted to go to her sister's house so badly that she mustered up energy to go. She, her one sister and brother who live in Range went to visit her other sister who lives in Dothan. My uncle came and got her last Sunday (I am going back in time instead of forward in this post) and they all went to Dothan on Monday. Then I went to Range to pick her up on Tuesday. She was so worn out that she didn't enjoy our driving all over the country Tuesday. 

The original plan had been for she and I to go up and visit and go to the cemeteries and so forth on Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day, but when she go the opportunity to visit the Dothan aunt it all got moved up.

My family is all buried in country church cemeteries. 

Mother is slowing down and that saddens me. She still thinks she can keep up but when she actually gets out there she finds she can't. She is battling with that herself in her own mind.

Anyway, I did drag her to a few places along with my aunt and uncle. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with them and our drives down dirt roads.

We visited Hartwood of course. This is the little white church in my sidebar. It was my home church until we moved to Brewton in 6th grade. I have so many WONDERFUL memories here. The church is on a dirt road just beyond my Aunt Faye's house. The church is located on the back of a block of land that is nothing but my mother's side of the family's land. Her family is all buried in the cemetery across the little dirt road from the church. 

Hartwood United Methodist, Range, Alabama

The graves go back for generations on my mother's paternal side of the family. There was actually another wood church before the current one that has been there for as long as I can remember. 

I took a picture of the inside looking through the windows of the door. It still looks the same except for the carpet (their was tile when I was growing up) and it is missing the attendance thingie that was on the wall behind the Christian flag. That cross and the Lord's Supper picture has been there as long as I can remember. I can still hear the hymns being sung and Sunday school through that door to the right.

We drove just down the road to the cemetery where my dad is buried along with his side of the family and then took a drive down the dirt road that he grew up on. There is no sign of their homestead. It is long gone, but there is another wonderful little country church. I have seen it many times, but never been inside. We stopped to stroll around that cemetery as well. 

Brushy Creek Methodist 

The door was open so I peeped in. Isn't is pretty with all that wood. It was built well before the Civil War and the property around it is so pretty with all the trees and azaleas. Speaking of azaleas, I will be recording all of that soon.

We made another stop before we got to Brewton because in doing all of my ancestry stuff I realized my great grandmother who died way before I was born was buried in a cemetery I knew about. Mother and I made a wrong turn and drove on the longest dirt road ever before we got to it and realized it made one big circle and if I had turned earlier it would have been right off the road as I originally thought it was. Oh well, we had an adventure.

We found it right away, so now I know where she is.

I will be back later to tell you about all the work in the yard and share the azaleas that are putting on a spring show.

I have to end this with a cute Tucker story, because after all I am a Mimi.

Lindsay and Tyler had to go to a wedding out of town with the in-laws so Tucker stayed at our house on Saturday and night. He got to visit Jeff's bother and sister and then we had Mother, Paul Allen and Katie over Saturday night for the fish fry birthday party. He had a big day getting lots of attention from all. When it came time to eat, I fixed him a normal dinner plate and he got to sit in a regular chair at the dining room table. He wasn't relegated to a corner on a stool since we had enough seats for all to sit at the table with him in a chair. This was not lost on him. He immediately realized he was a big boy and sitting in the chair like everyone else. He first got himself tickled by posing in the big mirror that goes across one wall, but he quickly settled in eating his absolute favorite meal. I have never seen a kid who likes fish more than him. He ate his weight in fish and cheese grits and enjoyed his status at the table. 

That's a wrap for now. I will be back later in the week for some pretty outdoors photos.

A little photo of Tucker from his mommy.

Happy spring,


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Stitching: A Bunny and Some Samplering

 I did complete one more bunny for my basket. I feel like spring is the area where I need more stitches for my basket in the future, but hey -that just gives me more to do.

This bunny was in the current issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine. I decided to get a year's digital subscription to see if I would stitch enough to be worth it. We will see:)

He was called a Vintage Easter Bunny and I think that is a good fit for him.

I think he looks a little bit like a donkey. Here is a picture from the pattern. As you can see the colors seem much lighter than mine. I had to make one color change but it was in the eggs, so I guess they lightened the picture.

Just Cross Stitch magazine

I think he is a cutie though. I have a few other bunny patterns I found, but I will wait until next year for them. I am a person who likes to stitch smalls just before the season, but as it nears I fizzle and am on to the next season.

Here he is ready to hop into the basket on Thursday and the strip of fabric next to him is what I used to back him with. It was in my stash and just right. I also stuffed him with sawdust. That vintage vibe just made me want to do sawdust.

I have also worked on Let Freedom Ring. I got those vines straightened out. My goal for March is to finish the wording and the pot for the flower on the right and that will be it. I will not lie...I have lost my mojo for this piece. I want it finished, but I don't want to stitch it. That must be why so many have a ton of projects going. I am typically a one large and a small or two a month kind of girl until that large piece is finished. I have two big pieces going with this one and the heron and it is not good for me. I also have a project in my head that is dying to come out.

I think I am going to get my heron done because that is who I am ...a finisher. 

That is it for my little stitching post this time.

Hippity Hoppity, Easter is on its way and I can't wait,


Monday, March 15, 2021

Spring and Airplanes

 This past week had glorious weather and I made the most of it. Lots of time walking, puttering around in the yard to see what I need to do to get things looking good. The azaleas are starting to bloom all down the street. Mine are about two days away from full on explosion.

The lemon tree is loaded with buds. See the little purple things?!

We have an orange tree in a pot. It was at my son's house and not doing well, so they got another one, but I wanted to save this one. I have! IT is loaded with buds, but I have no where to plant it. Jeff says it will get too big to put right near where it is obviously loving life. 

It is loaded in buds too.

I drove out to walk on the beach Friday morning. It was still early and a bit hazy when I arrived, but warm.

This was me coming down from the board walk. There were red flags so the surfers were out. There were a good many families pouring out by the time I left. Red flags means no swimming, so I hope all listened.

Those who surf generally know what how to handle it.

It was a wee chilly still in the water.

Some jellyfish were out too.

Saturday morning, I went with Lindsay and Tucker to the Eglin Armament Museum. Tyler had to go out of town a week ago on business and flew. Lindsay and Tucker drive by one local airport on the way home each day so Tucker has become crazy about planes.

When he comes to my house we drive by the larger airport and the museum and of course, jets fly over my house daily multiple times. We took him as a very little one, but this time he loved it. He wanted to see every plane and to know its name. He would repeat it when you told him and then want to see the next one. We walked around the entire property doing just that.

When we went inside he was only interested in the planes, so I asked Lindsay if I could buy him a plane in the gift shop. She said, yes. He had the most fun picking it out. He had a hard time deciding between an F-15 or one of the older WWII planes. He was so cute in the museum that he actually got quite a bit of attention for his excellent behavior. That made Mama and Mimi very proud.

You can see he chose a WWII plane...a Spitfire.

Time for a nap then.

Saturday afternoon, Jeff and I took the boat out for the first time in '21.

I gotta tell you that was fun and a little hard at the same time. Lemony loved to go on boat rides. She was Captain for several years and Gus was her Co-Captain. Now, it is his job all alone.

Spring is here. Yippie!

I am headed to get my first dose of the vaccine this morning, so freedom is around the corner.