Sunday, July 31, 2022

July Recap

 I truly thought I would be writing to tell you Miles had arrived since this is his official due date, but he is not here yet. I realized I have not written one post about life in July. I have done a stitching post and a photographs post but no life.

I need to recap July and hopefully little Miles will be here soon. More about that in a bit.

July started out with us in Auburn for a relaxing weekend. The following weekend we went to see the Blue Angels. We haven't been able to get over for the past couple of years so we were doing our best to make it a priority this year. It was a better and longer show than ever and so worth the effort to get over there. If you aren't a long time reader, the Home Show is on Pensacola Beach each July. We go by boat and try to get right in front of the Pensacola Beach Ball on the sound side. The big beach ball is center stage. 

We took our boat and were joined by Lindsay, Tyler and the kids in their boat, and good friends who also took their boat. Our friend led the caravan over and got us spectacular "seats" right at center stage. We all tied up and had the most marvelous day of swimming, snacking, and then watching the show.

Here are just a few snaps.

The kids were amazing. Palmer sat in his swing and then got on the floats with us. They have incredible floating devices for kids now. 

When Tucker wasn't eating he was swimming. He had a blast and came over to sit with Mimi to watch the Blue Angels fly over. Mimi ordered him 2 books about the B.A. to look at.

He loves planes, but says he doesn't want to be a pilot.

Now, for a different story. A story showed up in our local newspaper about a dog that was at the shelter where Paul Allen and Katie got Dansby. They recognized him right away from the picture and story. This one had been abused more than Dansby. Someone had used him as target practice with a BB gun. Yea, I wish I could do the same to that person. Anywho, he had been adopted too even though this one lost his eye to that incident. Dansby had some places on his ear, but nothing like that. Katie responded to the email and said they had his litter mate and a meeting was set up for the 2 dogs.

You may remember that Katie had a DNA test done on Dansby and he was half Blue Tick and half Beagle and Treeing Walker. Dansby looks like a full blooded Blue Tick. His brother got more of the Beagle coloring.

Then July brought Palmer's 1st birthday. I took him on the actual day to have lunch with Lindsay and PaPa.

Happiest little 1 year old around.

His birthday was on the weekend and I didn't get the cutest pictures. Because this has been the hottest summer ever (said by the summer girl herself who loves where she lives) Lindsay did it inside and later in the day. To be honest. Palmer was over the day and ready for bed before he even got to presents. Tucker on the other hand got a bonus birthday because he had a blast.

A few decorations and pics from the evening.

A smiley face theme was in order since Palmer is all smiles all the time.

Katie and Paul Allen in front of the picture taking wall which I didn't utilize nearly enough.

Palmer getting his smash cake that Lindsay made for him. Not too interested in it.

The kids played pin the smile on the face.

Picture of the cake and cupcakes.

One of Mama with him.

Pictures of Palmer each month.

A quick picture of the kiddos. Tucker and Palmer on the right.

Palmer the next morning after a good night's rest.

We are finally getting the last of the carpet in our home out and my entire house is turned upside down. I would complain but I am so happy to see that carpet gone. As with everything, it is taking forever and we had a little water damage by the door leading out to the deck. Not really surprised. When hurricanes come in they blow the water straight at 3 doors in our home. I seriously can't wait for them to be done. I won't give you all the ins and outs because it is a first world problem, but I want my house back in order:)

I did get in there yesterday and painted the closet while all the clothes were out. I still have to do the baseboards because that trim piece is not nailed in yet. The baseboards were this pinky almond color when we moved in that matched the pinky wallpaper. I had painted the bedroom ones but never got around to painting the closet ones. I will do them before I load the closet back up. 

It looks so clean and nice in there.

In the final bit of news for July, I was putting Palmer in the stroller Thursday morning and his finger met my eye. Y'all it has been so painful. I made it through the day Thursday but by the time I got Palmer picked up and Jeff here, I was in a 9/10 kind of eye pain. I had to make it through the night. I didn't have an eye doctor so I just went to my regular doctor's clinic. My doctor wasn't there of Friday but the doctor who looked in on me had the nurse call an eye doctor to get me in. The regular doctor didn't charge me for the visit. Bless her! The eye doctor was amazing and I now have an eye doctor and one for Mom too so I don't have to take her to Pensacola anymore. She put a contact in my eye. It acts like a bandaid to the cut which she said was a significant cut. She even gave me her personal cellphone number for the weekend if I had problems. I go back tomorrow to get the contact out.

There are still good people out there and I am beyond grateful. 

Folks, that wraps up July's big events. It has been hot and I have tried to stay cool, keep my flowers watered and stitch. I love day lilies. They have been a great low maintenance addition to my beds. My other big huge thing is moving 2 roses to the back deck in pots. They get morning sunlight and a breeze and I haven't had to spray them once. That in itself is very odd for my climate zone. 

I have some stitching to share soon and hopefully a grandson to show off this coming week. Katie has a 9:30 appointment in the morning and he said if he didn't come this weekend they would get the ball rolling. If he doesn't arrive in the next few hours, we will have an August baby.

How can it be August! Slow down hot hot hot summer. I feel like I am rushing this post, but I hope to get settled back in this fall to blogging.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Stitching Post: Thirsty Hart

 I completed Thirsty Hart by Heartstring Samplery on Thursday night. The pattern caught my eye because of the verse. The pattern was stitched in all neutrals which I will share so you can see the contrast. I have long loved that verse and it always made me think of the little small church I attended as a child. I knew I had to do the pattern, but I knew I would have to have color in it. I am not the best at changing up colors and all. My husband has a knack for that, but me, not so much. I think changing it up made the stitching go slow, because I labored over decision. I am finally done and pleased with the finished stitch.

Warning: it is a cloudy day and the photos do not show the beauty of this sampler, but the photographer is as much to blame as the weather.

Here is the pattern so you can see how much I changed it. It is lovely as the pattern calls for, but it just wasn't what I had in mind. As soon as I saw the pattern, a vision came to mind for a very personal sampler.

Besides changing up all the colors, I wanted it to represent a specific location and people in my life. Both of my parents grew up in the woods of south Alabama in a small community called Range. My mother's side of the family attended a small Methodist church on a dirt road surrounded by my family. The church has a history with my family and I wanted to highlight that in this sampler.

Instead of one of the butterflies, I did a very light almost not seen until closer inspection replica of the little white church. Talking it through with Jeff after having started and pulling out stitches we came up with the light almost ghostly representation. I tried outlining once and it just was not working for me. I liked his idea and am really pleased with the approach. I had to put the little red because the columns out front of the church are brick and not painted.

The impression is with all the color you might miss it, but upon looking closer you notice it in the background. 

I added the initials of my great great grandparents, great grandparents, and grandparents who are buried in the church cemetery along with numerous other members of my mother's family.

According to the history of the church, the roots of Hartwood goes back to 1886 when Rev. Barnes of the Belleville Circuit of the Methodists Episcopal Church South began preaching services in an undetermined place in the vicinity of what is now known as Range. The old record book records that by 1899 there were 93 people in the Society that came to be knows as Beaver Creek Methodist Church.

By the year 1899 the people felt the need of a church building and school in the neighborhood. 
The 4 acres that became that became the church was first homesteaded by my great great grandparents.

My mother has a picture of the first building which was across from the present building and was the church and school. I remember the old buildings in Range that replaced the church building as the schools. My mama and daddy both attended school there. 

Back to the church...That first building according to my history of the church was built in a secluded wooded area near a stream, called Beaver Creek. The area is still pretty much secluded. You kinda have to know where you are going to find it. The first church was built from lumber by a sawmill owned by the Harts. It was located across the road from the present building. The Harts were related to my family. My mother still has the nickname Aunt Maggie who was her great aunt...Aunt Maggie Hart, because neither could or can sit still very long.

The Harts were a little wealthier because Mama remembers as a little girl that they had a phone long before anyone else had one, the kind where you pull the mouthpiece down and talk in it like on Andy Griffith show.

I have a list of the members in 1899 when it was established. Of course, my great great grandparents and great grandparents are on the list along with many family names I recognize. The name was changed to Hartwood in 1913 to honor the Harts because a member of that part of the family left a Trust Fund to the church to help keep up the cemetery and building improvements.

Both my mother and father came from poor families that worked hard but faith was a part of both their lives. I am so grateful for that heritage and I have written other times about how much I learned in that little country church in the woods. Here, here, and here.

Now, that 2 of my 4 large pieces are done...the heron and this one, I can breathe a little easier. I am not good with that many works in progress. That makes me a little nervous. I like to have 2 going because sometimes you miscount and need a brea from one. I will be working on The Shepherd's Song next to whittle down.

I feel like this one will go quicker than The Thirsty Hart because I have made a ton of progress on it and didn't want to put it down. I am not switching anything up, just following the pattern.

When it is done, I am adding a new one in the mix to work on with Let Freedom Ring. I haven't forgotten about the patriotic one and want to complete her, but she is gigantic. To stitch along side her, I fell instantly in love with the next pattern the moment I saw it. I have had to wait almost a year for it to be released. I didn't want to miss out on purchasing it, so it is bought and will be started sometime in 2023, but I am holding off until Shepherd's Song is completed.

The saying is "How great the blessing and how vast the art to live on little with a thankful heart."

I am going to be stitching a few smalls for the remaining week of July and then August though. I am stitching Lindsay an apple for Back to School and then I will have her little monthly collection complete. I also have 2 Halloween stitches started. Actually, it is the same stitch on 2 different pieces of linen. I took with me the last time I went to Auburn and couldn't decide which piece to do it on. I tried both and kept stitching and still couldn't decide. One will be dark and the other light. I have decided to complete them both and give one to Lindsay.

I also have to add baby Miles a Christmas stocking and of course an ornament. He should arrive next week. We are all ready to meet him.

Oh and then my second pattern arrived from the subscription I ordered this year. There are 3 in it and number 2 arrived. I want to start it immediately, but first the apple.

There are so many things I want to stitch and time is a factor. So as with all things, plans are subject to change:)

I hope to be back next week with a July life post. Palmer is 1. I have no idea how time flies so quickly. It is almost August and my little grandsons are growing like weeds. May I leave a legacy of love for Jesus to them.

Loving summer,

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Handling Memories and Sentimental Items

 I have little time these days to post, but I am moving right along with life. My days are filled with Palmer, Gus, Mother and then preparing for Jeff to get home from work. It is not a bad life at all. It is filled with the ordinary of life, but I couldn't love the ordinary more to be honest. Palmer and I go through my cleaning routines while he plays or pulls things out of cabinets. We check in on Mom to make sure she is eating and taking care of herself. We get outside for walks with Gus and water flowers. Then when he naps, I try to do something on my long to do list of things that need concentration OR I nap as well depending on how tired I am.

We made a trip to Auburn for the weekend of the 4th. We got there early afternoon on Friday and stayed until Monday morning. Our good friends were there as well. You may remember these friends have been our friends forever. The men have been buds since Junior High and roomed together in Auburn. We all actually lived in the same apartment complex. They lived here in Fort Walton Beach until our youngest children graduated from high school. We made many trips to Auburn together and did life together. When they had to move from FWB to Tennessee after their children were all in college, we were sad. They are now in north Alabama which is good for the female friend since she is near her aging mother and can see about her. We both now have a second home on the same street in Auburn, so we get together as often as we can.

This weekend we ate out one night, and cooked out at our house one night. Jeff grilled pork loin and we celebrated the 4th together on the 3rd. Mother went with us this time. I think she knew she would be by herself all weekend and decided to go. I think she halfway enjoyed herself. On the way, Paul Allen called and was asking if she was staying home because he was going to check on her. I think that made her feel good too. Gotta keep her spirits up and me as well. When she gets down it wears on me mentally; not gonna lie.

But all that is not really the topic of this post!

I have been working on emptying closets and dealing with "the stuff" for 8 years. I can't even believe I have been retired from teaching that long or blogging for that matter.

I thought I would share how I dealt with home movies, photos, etc.

I have been working on the home movies for awhile. I have sent them off in waves to Legacy Box. I would wait until they had a good sale and send off 8-10 at a time. That was affordable. I caught a 65% sale once during a Super Bowl. I was surfing the computer while Jeff was watching and it was only available during the game. I never sent them off for less than 50% off. 

I now have two boxes to store the originals in. I know many would just toss them, but that is not in my DNA. 

After looking at them to take a picture, I could probably consolidate to one box if I packed carefully:)

There are multiple options from Legacy Box. I chose a flash drive (USB plug-in). This way I could easily make copies to give to different family members. I have a MacBook Air and there is an adaptor that allows for more than one flash drive to be in at a time. You pay extra for a flash drive; the digital option is part of the regular plan.

MacBook Air USB adaptor.

I have taken each flash drive and made an index card with the list of videos/movies on them and stored in a snack size bag. A snack size is perfectly sized for 3X5 index cards. I then placed all of them in one larger bag. I have made copies of flash drives for different people. 

That weird looking thing on the side is a flash drive. Believe it or not.

All those movies are right here in a smaller footprint.

One interesting note on home movies. A long time ago when it became popular to put all your reeled movies onto a VHS tape, my great uncle Earl discovered some footage of my dad, me and mom taken at his home. I think it was when he was stationed at Warner Robbins and we were at Fort Benning. It is only about 10-15 seconds of footage, but it the only moving movie of Dad I have. He died before we all got the new stuff. Uncle Earl is gone now too, but he could never have known how much it meant to me.

Anywho, now I have it where I can look at often and know the time stamp to get to it without having to fast forward and rewind and fear the tape will tear up.

I also sent a cousin of mine a copy of my uncle on video that I knew she didn't have. 

Copies I have made on something that looks a lot more like a flash drive:)

It has been so much fun to watch the old movies of all family members ---some really old and some not that terribly old.

I don't watch much Flosstube, but one I ALWAYS watch is Marlene from Stitching by the Lake. I just love Marlene and her videos are not all that long so that is a plus for me. She has stated many times she makes these videos for her kids because she would love to be able to hear her mother talk again. Now, I don't plan to start a Flosstube, but I do know what she means. I am trying to do more taping again with my cell phone.

To save them, I have been copying them to a flash drive at the end of each month and labeling by the month on the flash drive. I know there is a cloud and all, but I am a tad bit old school.

One thing that I have noted on all these movies is the approach to taking them. I always just did mine chronologically. A VHS tape for me might have gone from March 1989 to April 1990. My mother-in-law however had a tape and it would be labeled birthdays. She would film birthday celebrations of the family, so you might have one for Kristan in March, Mr. P in May, Jeff in June, Danny in September, etc. Then she would have one for Christmas. She would always set it up on a tripod in the kitchen or dining room and just film us. Those videos are quite funny. A true glimpse into our behaviors, conversation. Not much has changed in us. I laughed at one where Jeff and his dad are going about something Jeff didn't do and it sounds like a present day Jeff and Paul Allen. Like father/ like son.

I did throw away about 5 videos of hers that were nothing but vacation scenery. I don't even know how she could have concentrated to film all of it, but she did. We all agreed, no one was ever going to watch those.

If you are still with me, I redid my photographs too. Well, sort of. I had started putting them into these really large albums and I may even have a post on that, but after doing that for some time, I hated those albums. We all love to pull them out and look through them. The large ones were so big and bulky and not fun at all to look through. 

I changed them all out to a much more manageable photo album. I have two rows on this shelf. 

The bottom row in this picture is 2 rows of albums. They are easy to pull out and look at and I have them labeled with a date.

There are some behind. I like to pull one out every week and leave it out to look through. When I finish the last two albums that are not labeled,  I plan to no longer put my photos in albums. I am going to just put them in the floral photo box. I think it will be time to let the kids take over the recording in albums in they choose. I will print family  photos and some of Jeff and me to keep in there. I have shared this with the kids. Paul Allen especially loves the albums. Poor Katie will have to deal with that one day.

I also have some notebooks with sheet protectors in the closet. Many of those are the sports, school, family portraits, etc. in them. 

All that said, I have really tried to pare down sentimental items. It has been a process of letting go. One such item I pulled out to let go of was the cuckoo clock that doesn't work. It is 60 years old and came from Germany. IT is in pictures of our various homes, but it has been in a box since at least 2000. I will never display it. I have many things from Germany displayed that mean more, so I am going to let it go. The kids will not ever use it or hang it up, so it is time to let it go. It is process for me.

For those of you who are minimalists, you are just shaking your head at me.

The photo closet you have seen in these pictures is upstairs and easy to access by all. There is another small closet at the bottom of the stairs of photos from Jeff's mom.. I have left them there over the years. I have organized some of them that were loose and labeled. There are some photo albums that she took of vacations and I suspect most of those could be gone through and disposed of as well. I plan to tackle that at some point. There are also a bunch of slide cartridges. I think they are all empty. I may seen if I can sell those. Always more to do. 

This is an unexpected post from me because this is one of those days when I a bit too tired to do anything while Palmer naps.

We are headed to the Blue Angels show in Pensacola on Saturday if the weather cooperates. The plan is to take the kids for the first time. I know Tucker will love it. Then it will be staying close to home since Katie will be delivering Miles soon.

My other big project that I have been working on is a family ancestry notebook. My dad's cousin posted some pictures I have never seen before this past weekend. I am so excited to print and add them to the notebook. She had one of my paternal grandmother when she was young that I have never seen. It is fun to look back, but also fun to look forward. A good blend is what I alway say.

So long for now,