Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Little Day Trip and Daylilies

 Jeff and I did manage to do our little day trip that I had planned a while back. I taught 4th grade for many years and took students every year to Tallahassee for a field trip. It was always a fun trip and one the students looked forward to all year. I have said for ages that I would love to go again without students. Over the years, we did several different things but the trip that settled in as the favorite was a trip to the old and new capitol buildings, a downtown museum within walking distance from the Capitol and then an outdoor museum that gave the students a wonderful nature walk with a look at plants and animals as well as lots of exhibits of life in early Florida.

I also really wanted to go in May. We always took the students in May so that we could do a mock vote in the House of Representatives. They would be thorough by the last 2 weeks of May and we could be assured of having that experience.

We recreated everything about the trip except going in the new capitol building which is the tall building below. It is closed on the weekends. The old Capitol is the smaller building in front of the tower. It is restored to the 1902 building and is a museum. 

Photo taken from Wikipedia.

I don't have a photo of my own because there were protestors out front. I love the red and white striped awnings. We ran through the edge of the protestors to get inside and enjoyed out visit immensely.  I need not have worried that Jeff would enjoy it too, because we both had such a fun time. Slow and easy --no hurry.

I thought this filing cabinet was so pretty.


Me in the old Senate chambers.


After this, we walked over to the museum. I love this museum and have always wanted to visit it again. I used to tell my students it was like walking through their Florida History textbook. It was a good museum because it always help their attention.

I always remember the large mastodon who some of his parts were found between here and Tallahassee.


And a tusk...


This is just a small diorama in glass but man it is so realistic and so perfectly north Florida...


I had Jeff take my photo near an exhibit of a Pensacola Civil War Camp


I always carry a sweater to wear inside because of overzealous air conditioning, but I didn't need it all day. No one had the air turned down to the extreme.


We then had a wonderful lunch and then headed out to the outdoor museum. Of course, I wanted to see the Florida panther so we headed out on the nature walk. It was as beautiful as I remembered. 

The painter is on the second level laying down. 


Here is Jeff for the day.


It was a nice getaway for the two of us. Him from work and me from a very hectic previous week which is kinda still going that way for me. 

I am trying to get all that home health set up and on a somewhat regular basis. I think this will help me a lot when it gets somewhat routine.

I have not missed all those roses I dug up in the front flowerbeds with the day lilies I replaced them with. They are just a delight to drive into the circle and see. 

Some of my latest blooms...







I will leave you with the cutest picture of my two sweet grandsons taken on Saturday by Lindsay.

Tucker is looking out for his little brother.

Stitching post coming soon!



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Life Lately

 


The fruits of my plantings....


Another set of day lilies have bloomed. These are called Alabama Jubilee. The red orange color is just beautiful. When I drive up they just make me smile.


Mother's Day didn't turn out as planned. The children had a cookout planned and were in complete charge of it. I told my children that to me Mother's Day is everyday. I am blessed beyond measure. 

What happened?

Sunday morning, Mother texted me at 6:27 AM to ask me if I was up. Of course I was, so I called to check on her. I haven't really said much here on her condition lately, because it is just so hard to explain her symptoms. She was not doing well and really had herself stirred up, so I decided rather than taking her to immediate care places where they just prescribe her another round of antibiotics that she can't take that I would just go to the ER. I quickly got dressed and got her there by about 7:15 which was in our favor for a weekend in ER. Nothing like a weekend in the ER..

They ran tests of course. The ER doctor when I first walked in and explained her symptoms and why I was there told me it was quite possible we wouldn't get any answers, but that they would get an IV started and run some tests on her. 

After a CT scan, he thought she might have had some mini strokes as late as 3-5 days ago. They then proceeded to do an MRI. The doctor we saw once they admitted her didn't think that was the case after the MRI. He thought it was normal aging showing on the test results. Remember my mother has epilepsy and has had seizures. 

She spent the night in the hospital and got an appetite stimulant and some electrolytes in her IV. She is off balance but she says it is not like the usual vertigo in that she doesn't feel dizzy but she describes it as off balance. 

Often Mom has trouble describing her symptoms. She has her right mind but she has never been able to describe what she feels is happening to her. Nothing new at all. 

She doesn't eat enough and while she says she drinks water all the time....I wonder???

AT the end of the hospital stay, nothing was really established as to what is wrong with her other than "old age." Jeff and I discussed that the only thing they had done differently was the IV and the appetite stimulant which worked because she ate hospital food which she would NEVER have done otherwise. 

I am following up with her doctor Monday morning and her neurologist in Pensacola the first week in July to let them see all these tests and weigh in their thoughts. 

I have signed her up for Home Health to come out once a week and check her vitals. Now, she is agreeable to that right now, but trust me when she starts feeling better she will not want this. I am holding her to this for at least 6 months. This will keep us out of immediate care and in closer contact with her doctor than just me trying to call to get in.

She is also going to have some home physical therapy for now to help with her balance. An occupational therapist is also coming to evaluate her although I don't think that will be needed. Mom's home is set up well for an older person so for now she is all good. I want to keep her at her home as long as possible because she will be happier that way. 

That is life lately here.

Tyler's mom came down from Atlanta this week to keep Palmer so that I can get all this set up and working well. That is good for her to get a few days with Palmer. She has her own elderly parents in Atlanta. Hers have passed on, but her husband's (Tyler's dad) are in their upper 90s so she is well aware of the trials of all this. 

For me the biggest issue is - it is just me. Now, I could not do it without Jeff, Lindsay, and Paul Allen. They are all very helpful.

I did get a hamburger later in the day for Mother's Day. Paul Allen went ahead and grilled them and I went over for one. I told Lindsay to go to the beach and enjoy her day. She did and sent the cutest video of Tucker watching the planes fly by on the beach. A grandson after his Mimi's heart. We love our planes.

Lindsay also took this cute little picture of those sweet boys one afternoon.



Palmer was walking behind the cart last week and of course climbing into it as well. He is such a climber. I fully expect him to be walking by the time I get him back on Friday.




He also loves Gus. He rolls all over him and tugs on his ears much like Tucker did with Lemony. Gus is great with him.


We met with the home health nurse yesterday and are meeting with the physical therapist today and something else on Thursday. I am using the time to get Mother set up for success while I don't have Palmer. I miss him terribly and so does she.

I did slip away just before lunch yesterday to put my feet in the healing waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I knew I needed it. I love my bayou, but the beach is my sanity place.

I just strolled for a good while and let my troubles wash away and felt like I was ready to tackle the rest of the week.



It was a beautiful day. There were lots of people behind me, but I just kept my focus on the Gulf and tuned them out.



Tucker only wants PaPa to take him to get his haircut. He told Tyler that he could take him when he got older but for now he wanted PaPa. You can imagine how that makes PaPa feel.


He is growing up so much. I have said it before, I am so blessed to have them close by and they bring me such great joy. 

I will try to have a more interesting post next week. I have a day trip planned for Saturday. I am praying it will still happen. I won't say what it is yet in case it doesn't. The kids of course will check on Mom, but I think her sister is coming to see her anyway.

Counting blessings,
Sandy


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Catching Up

 3 posts in 3 days! It is not a trend.

I just felt I needed to get down a few more things about April before we get half way through May.

Indulge me if you will in some weather talk which is really just noting what I see in the bayou and the neighborhood. Many things are late this year. Now mind you, it was warm in February and things started blooming, and then we got a cool snap here in north Florida that zapped some things. My dwarf bottlebrush bushes were already blooming when that cool snap occurred and it zapped the blooms. Now, I only have blooms on the lower half. Those hummingbirds if they show up are going to have to fly low.

The live oaks have everyone talking. They are late dropping their leaves and especially their little fuzzy wuzzy worms. They have not done so at the same time either. It is full blown mess out front with them right now and the ones in the back by the water haven't even dropped the worms yet. They look like autumn trees. This is all done by the 3rd week of April at the latest around here. 

CRAZY!

The day lilies are slowing blooming, but I feel like they are late as well. 



The lemon tree still has lots of blossoms which smell divine and I feel they like should already be turning into lemons. 

Oh, it all gives me something to observe. I love the spring and we have been eating out on that back porch as much as possible I just wash the pollen off the table, and then we eat.

I am so glad I downsized many of my pots of flowers. I have been left with a manageable amount that I just love to tend. I have only 3 small pots that I change out now. Good thing, because the price of those 3 pots to be redone was noticeably higher. 

On the bayou, the mallards are back and happily floating around for my pleasure and the stingrays were out one morning early. I had gone out to water the plants downstairs and looked out to see them.


Do you see them?

They are hard to see in the water that early in the morning.



The one bit of sad news is the cardinal didn't lay her eggs in the bush. She built a nest, and then didn't follow through. I don't know if she just decided it wasn't a good spot or if there was just too much activity there. There were workers out in the circle as our neighbors all seem to be updating their homes and seawalls and such. I was so sad. Cardinals, bluejays, and mockingbirds are in abundance on my street so I would have loved some sweet little ones. Oh we have bluebirds which are usually here earlier each spring. Like I said, I have had plenty to observe. 

When I was fully sure the cardinal wasn't coming back I told him he could trim the shrub and that is when I found her abandoned nest.


Jeff and I are going to join the neighbors in a few home repairs. We have done one already. This is probably something no one has noticed in any pictures, but our kitchen island had a white countertop with two rather not so pretty features to us. I am sure we noticed it far more than anyone coming in. The counters were made of Corian in 1984 and still look amazing, but on the island they had to pieced back then, and the adhesive that held them together and went down the center had yellowed. Nothing made it better. I had just lived with it. Like I said probably no one noticed unless they were standing right there. It also had a built in appliance which didn't work. It was a mixer, blender, juicer, food processor ---you name it. It lifted up and all the pieces to it were in the cabinet below it. Jeff hated it more than me. I had long since thrown all the parts away. 

We replaced the island countertop with something new. I knew I couldn't match the white, so I decided to just look at other options. I went with just being an accent but blending with everything there. 

Here is the new island top. 


Because of the appliance that was in the other top, we had power. Rather than having another hole that got dirty around the edges, we had a plug put in the cabinet. (sitting on top in the picture below is the floor tile to see how well it match)


Now, this wouldn't have been the top of thing on my list, but it was on Jeff's so I just went with it.

What is first on my list? Getting the last of the carpet out of our home in the master bedroom. I think it has finally been here long enough and with dogs to make it a very high priority.

Then we need a new railing on the second level porch on the back. 

That is the most immediate list. I think we will shoot for getting both of those done over the summer.

To close out, we celebrated Katie's birthday on a night out. We usually do birthdays as home, but we went to a local seafood restaurant last week to celebrate. This is the only picture that we have. Jeff remembered to grab a picture. What is happening with me on that end? 


You may notice that Tucker is next to Katie. I lost out to Aunt Katie. Pooh...

This little munchkin is on the move even when he is sicky.. 


That is a wrap on April. Welcome May and warmer weather and all the sunshine things.


Monday, May 2, 2022

Finally! The Heron

 The heron is completed. It is not perfect and technically not finished since I have to stitch a small dragonfly. The gigantic heron is complete though so I feel as if I should do some sort of celebration today.



I have no idea how many stitches are even in it but let me just say it is a lot. I loved stitching the water lilies, which is where I started. They are so realistic and were just a treasure to watch form with needle and thread. 


I also loved stitching the neck and head.



We won't discuss the part that slowed me up and made me want to stop more than once. It is complete. I almost feel like a little schoolgirl having finished a sampler or MAYBE I do, since I don't really know how they felt. I imagine that I do. Finding all my mistakes...one of which was not centering it and coming close to the edge on one side. I feel more joy that it is done though. 

Some might remember I bought an egret pattern too. No, I will not be stitching that. I just don't think I can bear to handle all those shades of white. Although they can't be worse than all those grays in the body and tail feathers.

Like I said, I feel like I need to just sit back and kick my feet up after such a feat of stitching.

I am going to wait on framing him until I have shopped the antique or booth place near Auburn. They had some amazing frames in thereyonce so I think I could possible find one and then have a foam board cut to fit it. Of course, I have to finish the dragonfly. 

Woohoo....Celebrate good times..


Saturday, April 30, 2022

A Baby Shower

 My absence from the blog in many ways can be explained with this statement..."I am unable to say No."

Those words just won't come out of my mouth, even when I know full well I am overcommitting. I need therapy --- just kidding.  I really do need to practice saying that word. I will not bore you with the details of all that has kept me too busy to even read blogs which I TRULY love to do. I will, however share a baby shower and promise to come back very soon and do a "catching up" post minus all the things I didn't say no to that kept me out of sorts. I will also do a stitching post...oh yes, I am so close to the end of that heron that I can taste it and when I am done with this post I intend to finish that little heron.

I had 2 lovely friends who offered to give Katie a baby shower, but Katie is just not used to things being done for her and declined. I think she then thought it over and agreed to letting Lindsay and me do one at my house. Now, she is lucky in that Lindsay has had 2 boys so she is getting lots of good stuff, but one can always use a few more things as it all adds up quickly.

This is to record a sweet day for Katie.

Lindsay and I had a tough test this week with time and babies being sick and all. Do you ever feel like when you are trying to do good that you get hit with so much stress? Either way, we persevered and we thought it all turned out so nice. I would be remiss if I didn't just say that my husband deserves the "Husband of the Year" award. He is amazing and we make a good team of getting things done in a pinch. Remember, I said we had a lot of little things that just lined up against me. Devil, get behind me!!!

I almost forgot to take pictures of the decorations, but thanks to my girl, Lindsay we have some to share.

First up, Paul Allen and Katie arrived a little early. Paul Allen and Jeff were in charge of babysitting duty downstairs. Katie's sister has a little boy just a few months older than Tucker who came as well. They had a blast and I think babysitting took care of itself as Palmer slept through a good portion of it.

We took a few family pictures during that time...

The hostesses.

The guest of honor and babysitter.


If only we could have put Lindsay in on this one.

Parents to be who are ready I think.


I feel I must brag a little more on Jeff. He helped me pull off setting up everything after I was pretty much unable to get anything much done on Friday. Again, I am not sharing the stuff of life that gets in the way, just the good stuff. He hung banners, helped me cook, and got up early to blow off the drive way and mow. Just a side note about the odd spring weather and blooming schedules. It is a common spring occurrence for Floridians to be picking up leaves in the spring rather than the fall. Our live oaks drop their leaves in the spring and almost like clockwork they drop their little fuzzy worm like blooms by the 3rd week of April. It is almost like a rite of passage, but this year they are falling like snow as I type. EVERYONE I know has been talking about the lateness of this event. I guess I am officially old as I am talking about weather and things such as this. Jeff was up early trying to get them up so that they didn't track in with guests. Oh well...he was a huge help.

Here are few of the food tables and decorations.

Well, first is our theme.

Lindsay found this cute invitation and game on Etsy. I printed both out on my computer and saved quite a bit by doing so. The greenery served as our theme since it was so Katie. Lindsay is really good at finding things that really match a person's likes and personality.


Another Lindsay idea - to put out some baby pictures of Katie and Paul Allen.




These beautiful cookies have a little fact in them that was new to all but the Palmers. 


Do you see that little baby's name? It is going to be Miles. I will tell you more about that in a minute. We knew his name from Tuesday night when we celebrated Katie's birthday. They told us then. Well actually, I knew even before the others because Paul Allen shared it with me one day a couple of weeks ago. I was so shocked because he never shares much at all. I was ecstatic over the news.

The table before I added the cheese grits. We had a brunch so sausage and egg casseroles, cheese grits, pigs in a blanket, pound cake, homemade whip cream and fruit. 


I used my glass plates that I am lucky enough to have room to store. It saved money again. I bought napkins and the banner you see on the table. Oh and some flowers from Walmart. Honestly, it was one of the most economical showers ever and oh so cute.


I am crazy about the name. I mentioned one night some names from the family tree and my great granddaddy (Mama's granddaddy) and his father were named Myles. Now, they spelled it with a "Y". I have no idea why,  but it could be because the last name has a prominent "Y" in it. Either way, Katie liked it and I think she convinced Paul Allen. 
I loved my great granddaddy. In fact, everyone did. He was an amazing man who really left a huge legacy to me. I have shared before about him here.
He would be so honored and I love that someone who meant so much to me is getting his name used again.

Next up is a banner Lindsay made years ago and it has been used many times. It says Welcome Baby on little onesies.


These are out of order because I don't feel like fooling around with that blogger thing:)


This is the side table in the dining room simply done with some beanie babies taken from our very own collection.


Then there is the beverage counter.


I hadn't used my punch bowl in ages.
In fact, I almost got rid of it, but I decided I had room to store it and let some of those newer decanter style containers go instead. I am so glad I chose to keep the punch bowl. I have used it twice in the last couple of months. I had water and coffee as well. 

Let me go off topic for a punch story. For years, I served Hawaiian Punch in a pretty bowl or decanter. I would add fruit to make it look festive and homemade and I can not tell you how many people would just rave over it. I mean y'all, Hawaiian Punch is really good. You know why? It has enough high fructose sugar to kill you. I almost always 'fessed up to the real recipe:) As many of you who have read my blog a long time you know that I have a much stricter diet because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I stay clear of many things - one of which is HFCS. I decided as much as I love punch there had to be a better solution, so I pulled out my old recipes from the good ole Southern ladies from home who taught me the way in hosting. I found one I thought was good, but it contained Sprite. I haven't had a soft drink in 8 years!!! I decided to experiment and I think I came up with a better solution. Now, is it perfectly healthy? No, but it was far better for a fruity punch.

I used frozen juices. I haven't bought one of those in ages...you know the ones in the freezer section. One orange, one lime, one lemon and then some unsweetened pineapple juice (not a full container - I would say about 12 ounces). Then I added seltzer water ---just a wee bit to give it that kick. No added sugar at all. It still got good reviews. Yippie..

The chair Katie is sitting in was a gift from her mother. We brought it in and she used it to sit in for opening presents.


Just a little view of the room. 18 in attendance. You know it is a good party when no one leaves. I had most everyone stay and just visit. That is what I always strive to achieve. People feeling comfortable enough to just be themselves and to stay and relax. We often work so hard on details when the only real detail that is important is to make people feel welcome.


Also a good sign is when little boys have had so much fun that they fall asleep on the way home.


I am throwing my feet up and about to stitch on my heron. Jeff is out fishing so I have some good uninterrupted time. He is so close. Stay tuned.

This is how we celebrated the upcoming birth of Miles Carson Palmer.




Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Stitching, Flowers and Family

 I have a small stitching finish to show. It is not my best finishing. Sometimes I think I have it all figured out and then you have some that just don't turn out as you envisioned. I think the last two flats have had a little to do with the linen I used. 


This used up the last of this linen so I guess the next finish will determine if it was the linen or my lack of patience. Either way, this one was done for Lindsay. It will be her May Flowers ornament. I really only have to do a back to school one for her and her collection for the months will be complete.

I have been stitching nightly on 3 of my 4 large stitches. I will share some progress in a couple of weeks.

I see that cold weather is holding on to places to the north of me. The pictures of snow in April this week after Easter were a shock to me. I can only imagine to those who live in those places. I know it is holding on because here in North Florida the mornings can still be cool for us. I have enjoyed it knowing what is coming. 

I usually get outside between 6:30 and 6:45 AM to check on flowers and water if needed. I am eagerly awaiting all the things. I know sometimes it must be boring to see my flower pictures but for me it is a journal of what blooms when and first and all that. 

The second daylily to bloom was the newer ones called Bayou Bride.


I realized in looking back at some daylily posts of the past that I once had a pink daylily just to the left of these. I had forgotten about those. They only bloomed one year and then they didn't come back the next year. That is rare. I think they were too close to the house and just didn't get light in the summer, but I am sure the cold got them as well. 

Always interesting to look back.

The geraniums are just so happy right now, but that has to do with the cooler temperatures we are experiencing. 


My lone rose gave me 2 pretty blooms.


Oh and the amaryllis that I put out after Christmas 2 years ago bloomed this year. It is so pretty too.



Jeff and I refreshed the flowerbeds with pine straw on Saturday. Things are looking good. Now, it is just sit back and watch it all come to life. 

I have had a fun thing to watch. I noticed the past two weeks that a pair of cardinals were hanging out in my front flower bed. I have had a bird bath there for a while but no takers. I was so excited when I realized they were hanging out near it, so I have been faithfully adding water to it. 

Then I noticed that the female was hanging out in the bush next to the garage. It has not been pruned yet and has taken to sprouting like crazy. The extra limbs were attracting them or so I thought. Then I noticed they would fly from the birth bath to the fence across the driveway and just watch. They deemed Gus no threat.

Well, I think I have it all figured it out. I am thinking there is a nest built in the top of the overgrown shrub and they are visiting because of that. SOOOO. the shrub has to stay shaggy for now. 


The cardinal was hanging out on the birdbath and the chairs in the garage today. I think there just may be some babies. I am keeping a watch by going to the front bedroom to look out the window LOTS.

The next picture was from inside today and you can see Mama Cardinal on the birdbath.


Oh the fun I am having checking on all this.

Easter was quieter than usual here since Lindsay and family spent it with Tyler's parents in Atlanta. 
We did eat on the deck after church with Paul Allen, Katie and Mama. We had the most nontraditional Easter meal ever. I worked both services Sunday morning (we went to church on Saturday evening). Jeff cooked jambalaya while I was working. The rest went to the second service on Sunday and he had it ready for us. I had told him to put a tablecloth on the outdoor table and put the bunny from the dining room on the table so it would be festive. He had done just as I asked and it was all most delicious. I had made the strawberry pretzel salad for dessert since it is a favorite of Paul Allen and Katie.

I think we may have a new tradition. It was so much easier. A one pot delicious meal was a yes for me.

Here is Paul Allen and Katie on Sunday.


And Tyler and Lindsay in Atlanta...


AND no pictures of Jeff and me. Just didn't get around to it, but we did enjoy the Easter meal on the deck.

Monday evening, Tyler, Lindsay and the boys joined us on the boat for a tribute to the Doolittle Raiders here in Fort Walton Beach. They trained for the Doolittle Raid that began on April 18, 1942. For the 80th anniversary, the Air Force did a Flyover of planes on the beach. The B25, the Raider plane led the way and probably flew by about 10 times. We went by boat to see this. 

Tucker said we were having a picnic. I ordered pizzas and Jeff picked them up on his way home. I packed us a quick supper and we dashed out in the bay across from the beach. The planes left Hurlburt Field and flew east along the coast. This was right up my alley and I am doing my best to pass my love for all things space and aviation to my grands.

My only picture from our outing.




The local college had a special tribute to the last Raider who recently passed away. The mascot for the college is the Raiders and it is an airman with an aviation jacket. The Raiders are a BIG DEAL here as honestly their presence in the early 1940s put Fort Walton Beach on a growth chart and on the map.

That is all the notable news from my world this week.