Friday, May 20, 2022

Stitching Post

 I haven't talked cross stitching in too long. Mostly, because I am in a harder season of life and have had less stitching time. Less stitching time for me = Big need for stress release it provides. I simply must find a way to do more of it!

I have been stitching on two things for the past few weeks. I finished one and made some good progress on the other.

The finish was from Scattered Seed Samplers and is called "Gathering Together." It is meant to be a pinkeep. I, of course will not use it for that purpose. I haven't decided if I am going to stuff it with sawdust or fiberfil. I will sew it together this weekend and just see how I feel about that.

This is the stitch and the backing fabric.

My other stitch that I have worked on a good bit is Thirsty Hart. You may remember I am changing all the colors and wanting to personalize which as I near the end I will share more of my thoughts on that. 
I think all the color changes and flying by the seat of my pants on this has slowed me down on this one, but I know it will worth it down the road.

Thirsty Hart by Heartstring Samplery.

It is not that I don't like the pattern colors, but it is this personalization thing that is making me choose the bright colors. It has far more to do with the verse and the church I attended as a child.

I finished stitching down the left side so I know how long it is going to be. My pictures are a bit dark, but my time is limited and I just had to go with the time of day it was. Morning and a little cloudy.

I took this close up of the top to show that I am having trouble finding just the right color to do the center lines of the yellow flowers. The left is a wee bit light but the right is totally wrong. I am hoping to come up with something like I did for the blue flowers down the side.

My butterflies are all going to be very colorful. Like I said, I am stepping out on this one.
I am thinking I am going to stick with Thirsty Hart until I finish it and just do a few smalls in between. I have a Halloween stitch, a duck and a schoolhouse that are small that I really want to stitch this summer while working on Thirsty Hart. 

Now, here is where Sandy really fell off the wagon and bumped her head. I have been pretty much a monogamous stitcher for my entire stitching life. What came over me I have no clue!!!???

I have three very large projects going and had four until I finished the heron. I think I am going to stick with Thirsty Hart mixed with a small for immediate fun until I finish and then I am going to work on The Shepherd's Song.

The Shepherd's Song by Plum Street Samplers.

I love me some pink people. Everyone needs more pink in their life!

Isn't that little sheep so cute?

Motivation to get moving on Thirsty Hart so I can do this one next.

Then there is the tablecloth sampler as I have dubbed it. It is 24 inches wide and I am not sure how long it is yet.

Let Freedom Ring by Lila's Studio.

I debated even showing this one again since I haven't touched it in a while. I fear this one will be a multiyear project. Well, I know it will.

When I get the other two samplers done then I will make a plan to get back to this one and finish it. It may not come out of its project bag until 2023.

Speaking of project bags...

There are 12 there. Some you can't see in the stack and yes, they all contain something I REALLY want to stitch. 

I mean I really want to get started on some of them, but I am going to try and stick to my above plan.

I do have something to share that I stitched way back in the 1980s. It was a pillow and at Mother's house until she moved down here 7 years ago. I decided to cut it out of the pillow. Some of you may remember the hopscotch pillows. It had a very flat fiberfil pillow insert in it with lace around the ruffle and screamed 80s and better days. My initial thought was to make it a new pillow without any of the green hopscotch fabric showing, but I am thinking I may just frame it. 

I am really undecided at this point, but it is going to need some cleaning too. It is all DMC floss so that should not be an issue. I sort of think an oval mat around him would be cute. Thinking on it, but going to move on it soon.

I will hold off from showing all the bags since that would be like showing stash and until you do something with it I am not one to bother with that.
BUT, there is some mighty good stuff in them.

One might think stitching is an obsession, but it is truly just my favorite hobby and I love doing something with my hands while sitting. Couple it with a good book read to me (my only thing about that is I wish they read faster) and you have a perfect evening for me.

I am anxious to pull out all my patriotic stitches this week, but a little hesitant to put away some of my spring. There are only so many places to put my stitching. I need a room devoted to all the stitches.

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,

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. 


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 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..