Tuesday, April 27, 2021

So Long April and Catching Up

     April is just about to say goodbye. It has been a rainy and cool month. In fact, Jeff and I both said it was the coolest April we remembered. That wasn't all bad as we know what looms with summer. It is ending with a nice week. 

I took the monthly bayou pics on Monday morning. They really don't tell the month's story since the sun is shining, but they are what is going on this week.

Everything did truly seem a wee bit behind as far as nature. The live oak leaves dropped a little late and the new leaves are just now out. My day lilies bloomed later than I ever remember blooming -just this week for the first time. I had two that never broke ground, so I ordered 5 new ones. I am so excited about them. They are going to look great early summer with my new spiffy beds. They are beginning to get new leaves in the ones that were on them when they arrived. I chose them for their bright orangey reds but Jeff says I chose them for their names.... Rocket Booster and Alabama Jubilee. The place I ordered them threw in one called Ink Heart. Anyway, I can't wait to see them bloom.

The bottlebrush shrubs are bursting with color and I want some hummingbirds. No sign of one yet. Pooh.

The front porch has some geraniums for now. Not sure they will hold up in July through October. We will see how long they last but for now they are really pretty.

My side pots have been redone too. I will share my downstairs salsa garden next week.

Oh and my lemon tree may not produce this year. The hail storm we had two weeks ago knocked off all the blooms. I don't know it if we will rebloom or if we just sunk for this coming year.


Jeff was off last week, but it was a pretty slow week. He played a little golf and fished. We headed to Birmingham to a wedding last weekend. The groom is our best friends and we raised out kids together. Now, they are all grown and are all scattered. Our friends and us were noting this was probably the same time we had all the children in the same room in many years. Lindsay came up Saturday for the wedding while Tyler kept Tucker and Gus

Paul Allen was in the wedding so Jeff, Katie, and I went to the Birmingham Zoo on Saturday during the day. It was a beautiful day. I had thought it would be stormy but it turns out it was stormy at home more than up there.

This is the only picture I took of the weekend. Paul Allen and Katie at the rehearsal dinner. 

We celebrated Katie's birthday one day last week.
Tucker loves Katie. 
He walked up to her when he arrived and said, "UP!"

Helping open presents.

Paul Allen had him believing he should be getting a present, so when I told him it was only Katie's birthday he went back to tell his uncle that it was Katie's birthday. 

He is such a fun age.

He is potty training and getting a big boy room all fixed up. Lindsay wants to work on potty training before she moves him into the new room, but they are decorating it and talking about it and going in there a lot. He is doing well on his potty training. 
I am such a proud Mimi.

I will share his new bedroom soon. He has moved his books in there and some of his things so he is doing a lot of talking about it. I hope sleeping in there goes well, but I think it will.

That is a wrap for April. 

Ready for May flowers,

Monday, April 26, 2021

Stitching Progress

 April is closing in, so I thought I would do one last stitching post for this month. I have a few family photos and some gardening photos to share in a day or two.

I have been back at Let Freedom Ring. It may not look like it but I accomplished a good bit last week.

I was able to get a lot of that over one stitching done on the letters and got some work on the building. I have a long way to go, but I did get back some enthusiasm for the piece. This one is just going to a big one to finish, so someday out there it will be done!

I also started a sweet spring piece that Catherine from I Love to Stitch shared with me. It is a club piece and she was so sweet to share. I had hoped to get more done this weekend, but it was quite busy. I will share that in my next post. I am going to go ahead and finish it this week though. It will have a little time out for spring. I can't wait to stitch those eggs in that next.

This is the pattern.

I will be back later in the week with family and flowers. For now, I am completely pooped from last week. Gotta rest today.

Feeling my age,


Sunday, April 18, 2021

April Showers

 I feel like an old person talking about the weather, but that is what is on my mind. April has been so rainy. The following could be any day in April this year.

It has rained so much that the ground is saying, "No more!" It rained a lot in April of 2014. That has nothing to do with this year, but I remember it. It was the spring and year I started this blog. I didn't mention it all. Like I said, nothing really to do with this year.

If April showers bring May flowers, then it should be an amazing scene around here next month. The truth is I am wondering if it will be true this year. It rained so hard that the lemon tree lost all her blooms. I don't know if that means we will get some new blooms before spring is over or no lemons this fall. 

I planted some new day lilies this year. I have no clue if they will produce this year or not. Considering the cooler weather we are getting this April, then maybe I will have some success. I had 4 day lily plants. Two did not come up at all and the other two have still not bloomed. They have a couple of buds but this is the latest they have ever bloomed. I picked some pretty colors so I am hoping the new ones come up.

I have really been redoing a lot of my beds this year. I want more things growing in the ground than in pots. I am not getting any younger and need less to take care of.

You may remember I pulled up my roses two years ago. I had one that looked worthy of throwing in a pot and putting on the back deck to see if she would survive with no care. Well, bless her heart she has. This spring she is looking quite healthy. She is a hybrid tea by the name of "Oklahoma." 

Here she is...

I had a wonderful treat this week. Barbara, from Sweet Tea and Sandals drove over in the rain to visit. No sitting on the deck for us, but it was wonderful to meet her in person. I sincerely hope it won't be our last visit.

She is just as sweet in person as in her blog. Gus approved. She brought me a sweet present.
What could be better than a devotional book built around dogs for this dog loving girl? And the cover looks like Lemony.

Not much else happening here though.

Jeff is home from work this coming week, so I will be scarce. We are not going to Auburn or really anywhere. A stay vacation. We do have a wedding to go to in Birmingham next weekend. We hope to take some time in May to go to Auburn and relax at our home up there. I am hoping we can take in some baseball games.

I have a few honey do chores for him this week. I have been stitching on the huge sampler, "Let Freedom Ring." Hopefully next week I will have something worth showing in my stitching post.

Until then, if you live in northwest Florida try to stay dry.
A little soggy,

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Stitching Post

 We are almost halfway into April and I haven't talked about stitching any, mainly because I don't have tons to share. I have been skipping around which is not my usual but nevertheless what has happened.

I did finish all the pages across the bottom of my heron. It is now time to stitch a bird.

The creator for Crossed Wing Collection does a beautiful job of making things look so lifelike. The lily pads are just beautiful.

I finished my first flower on Thirsty Hart, but didn't take a picture before I put it up. I am going to change up some colors on this pattern for certain. I piddled around with it one evening instead of stitching and didn't make a decision. 

I then pulled out one I have had in the bag for quite a while. I didn't have a small just calling my name so I pulled out Cats on Parade and stitched two nights on it.

This can be stitched in a frame. I covered that picture up. I do want to do a drum with it and of course I chose a different color than the one from the pattern.

I am going to pull out Let Freedom Ring this evening and stitch on it this week or at least until I finish the pages I have started all the way across.

I have been enjoying the outdoors and walking but I have also been going through some stuff in my sewing room, so since that is sewing related I will put it here.

I have already admitted many times that I should be in a HELP group for people who buy fabrics because they are pretty but never uses them. One load has already gone to donation and I have really really been trying to use what I have to do my little pillow backings.

I still have a good bit of fabric and no real plan for some of it. I have whittled it down to one shelf and then my plastic bins with small small pieces that are not in this cabinet.

I then went through all my sewing patterns. I am donating a big box of them.
The top blue bin has apparel patterns and the diaper box has kids or craft patterns. I probably won't be using any of them any time soon, but I decided to hold onto a few for now. I really shouldn't!

The navy bin has an extra iron and some batting and the clear bin has some ribbon from Mother's smocking days. I am going to be on the hunt for someone to give some of that too, maybe.

I also am donating a bunch of old sewing paperback books, Classing Sewing and Sew Beautiful magazines. Some of these were mine and some were Mama's. I have a hard time throwing away any old books, but I stuck these oldies in there. 

Mama and I took a class way back in the day and each made a macrame purse.

I am also going to try and sell her smocking pleater. We discussed it and I am never going to use it. I dreamed of doing it at one point, but my time to do has passed. I have other things I enjoy more. It is funny how our mind and even passions change with time.

She and I talked about it and of course, she doesn't want it back at her house taking up space. We determined that if we didn't get it in the hands of someone who use it that it would end up on a shelf at Goodwill with it time being passed as well. 

I haven't decided where to list it though. I dread listing things. I am a procrastinator and a half on those kinds of things. 
eBay? Facebook Marketplace?
Where have you had success selling?

That is what I have been up to in the crafting world. 
Cleaning so I get my groove back to actually do something,

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Busy Week and the Special Sunday

     For someone who likes routines and schedules, last week was one of those weeks where all of that was thrown out the door. Whether it was appointments or things the family needed it was a less than smooth week. I am hoping for a little more order this week. 

I don't have a ton of pictures to share, but a few things to document for the first full week of April. We had lots of stormy weather last week too. We were lucky as those to the west of us got it a wee bit worse than us. I woke up to hail at 4:30 one morning and then another smaller round of it a little later. No cracked skylights though...whew! Our friends to the west covered the local news with broken car windows. 

I am thinking all that rain should really make the grass pop now. I feel like we are having a more true spring this year. I am enjoying it. That and running around to various appointments summed up the week.

The weekend is the real story in this post

Last spring when we began this crazy year I got a Facebook account. I must tell you that for anyone who knows me in the flesh knows that was the surprise of the century! 

I have adamantly railed against the social media icon since its inception. This isn't the story though...that would be for another post.

I don't get on it much. I have no real passion for it. I will say that two good things have come from it. The first is contact with cousins that I don't get to see. I enjoy seeing family pictures. All the rest of the stuff is of no interest to me. I scroll fast a couple of times a week and move on. 

The second is that I discovered that my little home church in the woods (the one in my sidebar) had a pastor who was coming weekly and that his daughter was posting it on Facebook. During the week whether I was ironing or doing some task that provided time to listen I would put it on and listen. 

Let me share just a wee bit of history. The church was my mother's side of the family's home church. Her family is buried in the church cemetery. It is on land that was owned and surrounded by that part of my family. When my dad passed away at the age of 5 we moved back "home" and I attended there until moving to Brewton in 6th grade. 

Those elementary years are such formative years. I know it personally and of course watched it with my own children as well as observed it teaching for 31 years.

That little church in the woods holds a dear a special place in my heart even though other churches do too.

My family that live right there at it have not been attending there for a very long time. IT is so small that it has never had a full time pastor. It is one that was served by the Methodist board with a once a month or bi-monthly pastor for most of its time. 

While a pastor is important, let us not ever forget the importance of the congregation and lay people. Those are the images and things that come to my mind and those people were the building blocks of my faith.

I digress...


Currently, a pastor has taken over three small churches such as Hartwood and preaches three messages every Sunday. Hartwood gets their message at 11:00. I have been tuning in each week and listening and a seed was being sown in my heart that I needed to take my mama and go one Sunday.

Two weeks ago, the pastor mentioned that yesterday would be Homecoming at Hartwood. I remember homecomings at Hartwood as a small girl. That seed sprouted up in my heart with a resounding ---"I am going to make this happen if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise."

Yesterday, Mother and I attended Homecoming at Hartwood with her youngest brother and his wife who can walk to it if they choose. For reasons that won't be discussed here in this post, people can get out of a routine and I think a new one will be formed. 

My mother's sister who lives on the dirt road on the other side of that church attends another church now and probably won't attend it but she has two sons who live within sight of it that I hope another seed was planted.

I enjoyed it so much. Talk about a blast from the past. Yes, many people have passed away from my childhood, but many like me are much older and have children and grands that I didn't recognize, but I recognized enough to have a heart soaring. I have never been one much for reunions but this one was such a blessing.

Reason enough has already been said to know that I have been blessed by such an odd thing as Facebook, but to watch my mama's face and body yesterday was simply amazing. 

I took her home and she felt every bit of comfort that home can afford one. 

We sang "The Little Church in the Wildwood" and "When We All Get to Heaven" and listened to a sweet message about heaven being our real homecoming. We saw faces that brought back sweet memories of service and fellowship.

It was a good day to be in the old home church. I am so happy I listened to the Holy Spirit's prompting.

Like I said this is not a post of pictures but of words that need to be documented. 

Oh and my Aunt Faye up early before her church and cooked a good meal for us all. I hated she did that. She is 81 and up and cooking for a bunch, but I could not love her more for it. It was a sweet meal with aging aunts and uncles and cousins.

My heart is full to start this week.

The girl who runs our children's ministry sent me this picture in a text while I was in church of  Tucker saying his prayers at our church here in FWB. Warms this Mimi's heart!

Does it get any better?

I will close with this picture of Mama and me at Hartwood at Christmas 1966. I was Mary in our little play. I remember that night so well. So much can be done even without a full time pastor. 
The church is His people. 

I am grateful for a mother who always saw fit to have in church.

Now, I have made a big deal about lay people, but I can't say enough good about that pastor who has taken on three small churches in rural areas where there is as much need as a large city. Drugs and lack of jobs have ruined many of our rural areas. This pastor could be retired but he is choosing to minister to such areas. There will be an extra jewel in his crown.

Here is to a week of housekeeping and looking forward to a special visit with a friend. I hope to do a stitching post soon.

Leaving you with the lyrics to the song, but imagine a white church instead of a brown one:)

here's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

Monday, April 5, 2021

Easter Weekend

 A joyous Easter Monday here! 

I have been blessed to be in the company of my family and to worship the Lord. Just knowing last year that we weren't able to go to church is mind blowing enough. I know there are many who couldn't go this year and I feel for them so much. I am grateful for the fact that I could attend and also teach "my girls". 

I am so grateful for being able to have my family around the table to eat and visit. It is always so much fun to watch the kids be together and enjoy each other's company. OF course, Tucker is still the star of the show. His day of sharing is coming soon.

I am not photogenic!!! but it is what it is. Aging is not always easy, but a part of life so here is my family all gathered on the deck. I am far more happy to be able to take this picture than to worry about my poor posture OR bad hair days.

Mother was able to take one for us before Tucker was over it.

I am going backwards in time for the remainder of the post.

Tucker had a visit from the Easter bunny before church.

Mother, Jeff and I actually attended church on Saturday evening. We had a service then and two on Sunday morning, so as to spread it all out and it helps me out so that I can cook early Sunday morning and then go in to teach at my regular time slot.

Jeff was lagging behind in the parking lot, so Mother and I had our picture taken at church.
IT was quite chilly this weekend. I simply had to wear pants (no cute Easter dress for me) and hunted down a jacket to match. I had gone to a bridal shower earlier in the day, so no changes were made to the outfit.

On Good Friday, Tucker was off from school since he goes to a church daycare/school. Lindsay decided to take off and spend the day with him. We went up to the north end of our county to Baker. They have a wonderful strawberry farm. My goodness... we had so much fun. We were able to get up there before the crowds.

I told you it was cold. I had put away all the jackets and scarves. I had to dig them out for this trip.
Tucker was dressed in the cutest camouflage overalls and boots.

He enjoyed picking them. There was absolutely no trouble with him picking the wrong ones. He loves strawberries and he knew exactly which ones looked best for picking.

I honestly don't know who had more fun, but suffice it to say Mother AND Tucker enjoyed themselves immensely.

A little heavy on the pictures but they were all so cute.

The strawberries were so pretty. 

While driving home, I had a side thought. When I retired and began cross stitching again, one of the first things I stitched were the Little House Needleworks monthly cottages. I loved every single month except June. It is a strawberry cottage. I just didn't understand that one! It dawned on me that strawberries are probably in season in most of the country in June, but for Floridians that is not true. Well, strawberries are probably a much more year round thing in south Florida, but this is strawberry season in north Florida.
It all made sense as I was picking them.

So many blessings, but the most wonderful blessing is the resurrection of my Savior.
He is alive.

Looking forward to a great week,