Saturday, December 31, 2022

My Three Hobbies and a Few Reflections

 I am going to close out the year with a nod to my three hobbies.

Hobby #1 is cross stitching...of course.

I discovered this year that I have been heavily influenced by too many and I have bought and started too many new projects over the past COUPLE of years. '22 doesn't get all that bad rap laid on its head. I would have said pre blog days I was a monogamous stitcher. Honestly, I didn't even know that was a stitching term. It is just who I was. I looked for a pattern I liked and thought about where I was going to put it and then stitched it. If it didn't have a purpose I would have passed over it. I tried to salvage this madness a bit in '22, but I am all out going to bring back Sandy with my stitching in '23. 

I have too many large projects started. I am going to finish them one by one which means they probably won't get finished in '23. I am going to really try and stay away from buying so much that I can't get to. I want my stitching to have a purpose. 

The one stitch that will be finished first is something for Lindsay. I will share more about it in time, but here is a sampling of it.

Then, I am going to get back to this next sampler that I think will fit in lovely on my sampler wall at the Auburn house.

There are other large projects started but these will be completed before I pull them back out.

Now, the one little veering from those projects is that I have decided Miles will need an Advent/Countdown to Christmas stitch that I did for my daughter. Lindsay did make me feel better about this project in that she said I could take two years to do it a little at a time. Tucker is 4 and really got the whole idea this year. She actually made a list of things to do to put in each pocket this year. So, I can take the time and maybe do 1 or 2 a month. AND... I want to stitch some Christmas ornaments over this next year to use as gifts for Lindsay and Jeff to have for choices. When I am getting tired of the large project, I can take a break and do an ornament.

That is the cross stitching plan.

Hobby #2 - Reading

I tend to read a lot of nonfiction and researchy things, but this past year I buckled down and read some fiction. It was such a good thing. I felt like one of the younger people who have the attention span of a gnat these days. I decided that would not do and stretched myself to get back into reading for just pure pleasure. A story ---- not to always being learning something. Well, we always learn when we read, but you know what I mean. 

It really kicked off for me from about September to the end of the year. I am keeping that up for the new year. I read some good books, some that made me think and some that were just so so, but I read and it felt really good.

I use the app Libby and got most of my readings from the library. Our library connects to a regional library so we have a pretty good selection. One day I was in Sam's and bored with all that Jeff was looking at so I wondered over to the books. I saw what looked like a good one. I pulled out my phone and looked it up on Libby and checked it out. I read them on the app on my iPad. I prefer a book, but the app is really nice because it lets you flip back and forth very easily. 

My tastes in books is so eclectic. I don't think anyone would use that adjective with me in mind, but when it comes to reading that is me. That causes me to very seldom list my books on the blog. My tastes in reading don't always match my personality. 

More reading in '23.

Hobby #3 - Gardening

Oh how I love puttering in my flowers. I just love to watch something grow. I know I downsized many of my houseplants and outdoor pots in '22, but it was a good thing for me. Too many is when you can't take care of them and it is more of a burden that just fun. Inside and out I had joy with growing my little plants. 

I mentioned the lack of pansy color choices this fall, but let me tell you I have fallen in love with these orange ones.

These were all brought in and survived the cold weather. 

We are thinking we may have lost the lemon tree.  4 nights of low 20s all night may have been too much and even the heat lamps may not have helped it survive. I suppose we will just have to see what spring brings. I think it will lose all of its leaves with the rain. We are in Auburn, so I will see when we return.

And spring, I never want to rush days, but I love spring. The beginning of new things. As Gladys Tabler always said, it should be the beginning of the new year. I like that. Just planning for spring flowers makes me happy.


As I say goodbye to 2022, I am choosing to be hopeful and live life to the fullest in the days ahead. 2022 wasn't exactly the easiest year, but as always, God brings us through and throws in blessings to sustain us. Our family got little Miles added in a year of chaos. I will be keeping him as Katie starts back to work on the 5th. I am pretty sure he will cry a ton as he is attached to her BIG time. 

I am going to miss my little Palmer and honestly not sure how it is going to feel not seeing Tucker and Palmer everyday. I know I am so blessed! Lindsay is going to have to share her weekend time with me. I love those boys so much.

We lost Danny in '22 and I lost a good friend in March. Life is short and every good day is such a gift. Kim was my age...only a few months older. She was a week away from turning 62 at her death. I turned 62 this year and as I have always said, "I am happy to have a birthday!" This year though has made me pause and realize how little time is left and how much time has passed. 

My goal for 2023 is to not waste any days on things that are not worth my time. I want to shine a light for Jesus in all that I do and count my blessings.

Here's to a new year! I will most likely be snoring when it actually comes in, but I am looking forward to tomorrow.



  1. I would love to use what you've written on your goal for the coming year. I want to take that to heart. I need to focus on things that make me happy in the year to come and leave some of the other things behind. I'll be happy to start a new year. Happy New year to you my friend, Diane

  2. Your goal for 2023 is the best one I've read yet. I will remember that and do the same! I will be snoring the new year in as well. I'm a Greeter at church in the morning so no staying up late for me!! Happy new year, my friend!! xo

  3. I’m a big reader of non-fiction, too. In fact, it’s pretty much all I read. I need to try a little fiction in this next year. I sure hope your lemon tree makes it. I tried my hand at one this summer, but this Mississippi heat just burned it right up. I love your pledge to live life to the fullest. Life is so precious, and each day is a gift. Happy New Year!

  4. What a wonderful post to see, Sandy! Two of your hobbies are mine. Bet you can guess which two! Your goal for 2023 has been swirling around in my head, but you put it so clearly. It goes along with my word for this year -- balance. Wishing you peace and contentment in this new year!

  5. Well I just finished two projects and kitted up two more. I have 8 WIPs and that is enough for me. I have started listening to audio books while I stitch.( Killing two birds with one stone) I found that I can listen to books on You Tube. Right now I am listening to The Keeper of Lost Things. Oh my such a good story!!

  6. What a beautiful post, Sandy! I am sorry for you losses that you suffered last year. I always look forward to your cross stitch posts. Happy New Year!

  7. Lovely, thoughtful post, Sandy. You have had quite the year. Hard and joyful all mixed together. I'll be thinking of some of the things you wrote here. Good things to ponder.

  8. I enjoyed reading your post today, Sandy! We must always have hope for better times ahead! My year was a tough one, too, but I do think 2023 will be better :) Oh, I'm sure you will miss little Palmer! But, how wonderful that Miles will get his special time with his grandma. After taking care of two, you'll surely be an expert in little boys and their care. You are so blessed to have them nearby!

    I am pretty much a monogamous stitcher and can't imagine having too many projects going at once. I hope you have a wonderful year of stitching ahead, Sandy. Take care now! ♥

  9. Happy Blessed New Year Sandy: 2022 was a year that many will not forget, I hope and Pray 2023 Blesses us all with good health, loads of stitching and of course reading we are big readers.
    I am looking forward to seeing your projects this new year.
    I like the looks of both of the designs you are posting here.
    I bet it will be very hard to not be with those positively adorable boys every day.
    It is hard to lose loved ones but think of their reward in Heaven.


  10. I always enjoy any/all pictures you share of your Geraniums. I enjoy them so much but don't have any right now. The red ones, especially, are so cheery! As for maximizing our days in the what time we have left, that is good counsel for all of us.


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