Saturday, February 19, 2022

February's Stitching

 This is a little bit early to title February's stitching, but if you have just read my last post you know my time is very limited. 

Two posts in one day!!!

I have stitched away on pretty much 2 things and I have an amazing gift to share.

First, let's look at the heron.

That center section is going to be the death of me. All those grays are so alike! I was going nuts so I had to scoot on up the neck to keep my sanity. I am going to finish the head and the dragonfly and then from there however long it takes I will someday finish that body and tail feathers. I had hoped I would finish by the first day of spring, but I am now thinking I have to move it back to Easter. Easter is my new goal.

Next up is not Thirsty Hart. If you read my last post, one of my really hard days I just needed some comfort stitching which led me to pull out The Shepherd's Song sampler. I don't know what it is about this sampler but it is just pure joy and comfort to stitch.

In fact, I have never stitched anything by Plum Street Samplers that wasn't so much fun to stitch. The new releases are showing up on Instagram and she has two that I am already dying over. They have been written down to mull over like my last post said I do these days.

I got the most wonderful gift from Catherine at I Love to Stitch on Valentine's Day. Catherine, you don't know how this lifted my spirits. 
She sent me two wonderful patterns and scissor fobs. 

I want to start both immediately. 

Stitcher friends, how is there so little time and so many things we want to stitch? I know you feel my pain. In fact, my list of things I want to do is so so so long. I love cross stitching and it is a great stress reliever or at least with the right pattern. It is very rewarding.

I am about to get off the computer and walk Gus and then find some time this evening to partake in this wonderful hobby.

A Long Winded Post

 I know before I begin that this is going to be a long post. I have much to record and little time these days to do that. I try to remember from day to day what happened so I can record it but whew, that can be hard at times.

First up is BIG NEWS....

Some of you may have caught this big news on my after Christmas post and then wondered what happened to it if you came back to that post...I will explain after I re-share it.

Our family got great big news and surprise would be an understatement at our family Christmas night. 

We were opening gifts and it was my turn. 

The gift was from Paul Allen and Katie. 

I started looking in to my bag and noticed a book and an ornament. I proceeded to pull both out and there was the sweetest ornament of Gus made by Katie. I immediately went ooh and aahh and stood up to hang it on the tree. I had the book in my hand and as I was making my way back to my seat across the room I am slowly looking at it thinking this looks so good. Mind you I am relaxed and in no hurry!!!

Suspense was building for Paul Allen and Katie.

Katie tells me there is something else in it so I am flipping through the pages. I come to a picture in the front where I proceed to stare and try so hard to process what I am looking at. It lasted for what seemed like eternity to all my family. I think they first thought I was reading something that was in the book, like a note from them...

Well, I know that all of you are going, "Sandy is getting another grandbaby!" My mind would just NOT process this. I stared and stared trying to make sense. "Was this part of the book?" After an eternity, Lindsay figured out that only one thing could stump me like this and blurts out, "Are y'all pregnant?" 

Katie shakes her head yes, and my mind started working. I was able to squeal and give hugs. 

The whole situation was so unexpected that I forgot to take my annual photo of the kids by the Christmas tree that I have done FOREVER!

I took it down after Katie said she was going to hold off on telling the staff at her school for a while. This mother-in-law wasn't going to take a one in a billion chance that someone from her school would read it here before she told them.

Grandbaby #3 will arrive in July and Mimi's Daycare will grow again. Katie plans to take off first semester which will coincide perfectly with little Palmer going to Daycare in January. My heart is so full!!!

They will learn at the beginning of March the sex, but the doctor told them at the last appointment that he is 80% sure it is a boy. 

Onto other life updates:

I shared at the end of "21 that Jeff and I knew this year would hold some rough days. And that has been true. My lack of writing has been me trying to deal with all that. When life gives some rough waters, I find I am not always able to write. Not always true, but this time around coupled with winter, business of keeping babies and other assorted things I have just not been able to compose thoughts.

My brother-in-law has started the spiral of his lung cancer. It has already been hard to watch and deal with,  so I have been very mindful of my time and thoughts. I am sorry to say as a blogger I have not read much or commented on anyone's blog. I apologize for that. I have really considered whether I wanted to continue but God keeps holding me on to for some reason. The time that I am in currently is not a time to make a decision and I know that, so I feel no reason to rush a decision or do anything for that matter except take time for my family and self care.

I will share two other things that have been hard on the feelings and then we will move on to the GOOD STUFF of life.

I have a good teacher friend that no longer lives here in town, but we have kept in touch. She and I taught next door for almost a decade. She was Paul Allen's teacher and her husband was his football coach in the first two years of high school. Before they left here, she had begun to get sick with what was diagnosed as Hepatitis (the bad kind). She has gotten it with her first child's birth back in the early 80s and a blood transfusion. It has taken a toll on her liver and she has been going downhill for some time now. I had heard from her just a few weeks ago where we talked for a very long time. She had been through a rough patch but was able to communicate with me. Then she went silent again. I knew it couldn't be good. I also had figured out on my own that basically she had to get so bad to be on that transplant list. It has happened. She has about 3 months without a transplant. Her daughter posted that she has almost passed this past week and that the process has started which I believe means she has to be in Birmingham until the liver is available. 

Couple that with watching Danny, I just had me a sappy teary day last week. 

I also have had a very good friend move in the last week. Jeff and I were so shocked when they hit us with the news just before Christmas that they were moving across the state. Tom grew up here like Jeff and we just couldn't imagine what had come over them. They are really really good friends. We still haven't fully accepted it yet, but nonetheless they left last Sunday for their new home in an over 55 community on the east coast. One son lives here and is expecting a grandbaby so I did a shower last weekend for them YES, I have been so busy. I am so crazy these days that I have no photos to share. 

Solution to Winter Blues

It is no secret secret that winter is not my favorite season, but over the years I have learned what makes it better for me. The solution: staying busy and lots of house projects. That is what I have done. I hate cold and dreary days. I can tolerate the cold if the sun is shining. Somehow I just knew this winter was going to be a winter. IT has: I have been busy with life events but also with a long to do list.

I have painted more closets. I still haven't painted the fishing room yet, but maybe very soon. 

We have had some work done on our dock. January and February are the best months to work on some projects water related because the water levels are so low. There has been work all around our home with new seawalls and repairs to docks. Everyone in our circle has had work, as well as across the way. Those poor boys have been in that water on some of the coldest days putting in seawalls and new pilings which is what we had done. They are hardy souls is all I can say.

Across the bayou has taken on a whole new look. Our boat is out of the water for some updates and repairs. 

Like everyone else I am longing for spring. I have tried not to think too hard on it until just now. I am looking forward to March where I can turn my attention from inside chores to outside. That means I better get on that fishing room soon.

Outside, I need to wash windows and pressure wash porches and stone walls. Oh yes, I have lots to do and am looking forward to those spring days. 

Gardening: Indoors and Outdoors

Indoors. One of the best things I did was downsize my houseplants. I have a manageable amount with enough color and fun to keep me happy.
I have one newer plant that replaced an older one...nothing new. I am determined I will maintain the amount I have now and no more. This has been fun to watch. I got a cutting from my aunt of a dolphin plant. The blooms look like dolphins leaping.

Outdoors. I am starting to let myself dream of spring with this weekend. I am also pleased with my changing of things over the past two years in the outside flowerbeds. I added some new day lilies back in the fall to fill in the front flowerbed that once housed all those roses that JUST WOULD NOT GROW in the soil or humidity. They are all peeking up. I can't wait to see their beautiful blooms about April. 

I have ordered one new rose to go in a pot that has already been accounted for in my allotment outside to water. I saw this rose in a lady down the street's pot back last spring and asked her about it. It is on order and supposed to arrive when it is time for my zone. I am waiting with bated breath.

In one other bit of flower news, I have spent years trying to find something that would grow in my swans on the front porch. This my friends was taken today.

They have weathered well even under some very cold nights. It seems they are sheltered from the cold here in the little corners of my porch that needs pressure washing.

Fun Projects

I made Tucker's Valentine's cards. Lindsay found a picture and sent it to me. I told her I could make those on the computer. Now, the picture we saw was much fancier as I just have the Pages that comes with a Mac computer, but I thought they turned out cute. I want to make sure I stay somewhat tech savvy, so I have encouraged her to send me projects like that because she has limited time. I found these cute little trucks to add to them and the ribbon was from my stash. She and Tucker assembled them and he was so excited to give them to his friends at Daycare.

The teacher sent a video on the app of him passing them out. All the little kids were driving them on the table. He was so proud of himself passing them out.

It is truly the little things in life that bring smiles to my face.

Another project I have been working on is my ancestry book. I am doing a little bit every week of this...

I have a form I am using to add information. I have a whole list of rules to use before placing in the notebook. I am doing maternal first by levels, like grandparents first and  then another level with great grandparents. Or course, each time that doubles the pages if I know the material. I always do maternal first and am adding females married names in italics so that when some last name comes up as how are we related to that name the kids can see the origins.

This has been on my to do list for too long. Time to get a dent in it. Making the form was the biggest dent: Who knew that was my stumbling block.


I have divided any free time between reading and stitching. I have watched very little TV or any Youtube videos to delve into my 2 favorite pastimes. (I keep my book handy and rather than scroll or turn on the computer I have reached for a few pages of my book). My other favorite pastime is gardening which will divide the other two come spring.
I read an amazing book; a very large book.

I have been on a quest to limit my purchases which I will share more about in a second, but this book caught my eye right after the new year. The title caught my eye and I love the author. He is a pastor out west and I have heard him speak and listen to  him on occasion. I knew that Buzz had communion upon landing on the moon, so that title captured my attention.

I am ashamed to admit that I became a SPACE NERD SNOB while trying to decide if I would purchase. You see this pastor is young and I said to myself, "What could this young whippersnapper know about space?" He is far too young to share my passion, but that title and his ability to write and speak made me go back two times to look at it. 

OH MY STARS! I am so glad I went back and clicked purchase. IT is indeed worth the read for any space nerd, but the pastor is full on gifted to pull together the ideas in this book.
Communion coupled with the last 7 things Jesus said on the cross, the 7 I Am statements of Jesus in the book of John, and the letters to the 7 churches in the book of Revelations with space history and his thoughts on conquering one's inner space (the mind) made for one of the most captivating books I have read in a while.

400 pages of Sandy goodness.. Is it for everyone? Probably not, but my friends, Levi is every bit the space nerd that I am. I hope I have some former students out there that are reading and loving this book.

I shared both the book jacket and the book because of my most recent post on throwing out book covers. I could have guessed with my most long time readers if you stood in my court with keeping them. If you are one of those that throw them out (God forbid) then you would have a great book to KEEP in your library.

I am also reading a wonderful book that I will share later.

Now, speaking of limiting purchases.

I have been on a quest to downsize my belongings for some time now and in keeping with that idea, part of it is bringing nothing new back in.

Last year, I recorded in a notebook purchases in different categories. I am a visual person so I wanted to see what I was spending money on and if they had truly been worth the money I spent.

This was so helpful. I jotted down anything I thought I might want and thought hard before buying. I really only made one poor purchase last year in clothes and 2 poor purchases in books. I think Lindsay is getting the dress and the books have already been donated.

I bought a shirt the other day that I am in love with so let's talk...


My wardrobe has taken a dramatically different look in retirement. Not my style, but the elements of my wardrobe. I am a simpler classic with a bit of preppy in there for style.

On any given wintery day, this is my look... 
(please excuse the unkempt hair)

I love cotton tees from Talbots or LLBean but they leave my neck exposed. Hence, this vest which I wear most days:)

I love a good ole 100% cotton button-down. The one on the left was a petite medium which is my go to size, but in this particular shirt it was oversized. I washed it in hot water which drew it up some. 

I love the shirt. I wear it a ton even though it is somewhat big on me, but I wanted one that was more fitted but NEVER ever tight. I don't do tight. These shirts came on sale and I ordered the small (the pink striped on the right) and I found a winner winner. I will wear this thing out. It still feels so comfy but now I can dress it up or down depending on how I style it. 

However, my point of sharing is that in keeping up with my purchases and really thinking before I hit click I have really honed in on my style and added only things that coordinate with what I have and that I know I am going to get lots of use. This is all important as one hits those retirement years. 

Jeff and I are dreaming about retirement. Not in a bad way. IT is so hard to really make plans as things change that you can't foresee, but we are thinking about things we would like to do. I even went to look at a waterfront lot the other day. We have talked about downsizing the house, but the truth is this place we are at is just wonderful in so many ways. Actually the truth is it only two downsides. It is not the size which would be the first to come to mind with most. I can close off two parts of it and really only live in 4 rooms. The downside is the size of the yard. I need more space for Gus to run freely and the other is the biggest of all... I don't care for my next door neighbors who are way too close and just truly a pain in the a$$ ---yep, Sandy typed that and there is not way to say it in a polite fashion.
Why must people be so human? ARGGHH...

Weeellll, that is all the thoughts in my head. Jeff has been busy today so I finally had a chance to do a mind dump and record some life.

If you have survived reading, then you are probably better able to concentrate than I have been.

In closing, my little Palmer is 7 months old on Monday.
I count myself so very blessed to spend time with these little boys every day. 

And just think, I get another one to add to my blessings.

I am about to try and do my stitching post for February next, so if I am lucky I will have two posts in one day.

A not so good blogger,