Monday, February 27, 2023

Spring Weather is Here

    I was longing for spring. It came this past week, and I must say I am very happy to see it this year. I feel like I am being revitalized from this past year by the early signs of spring. 

    We passed the 1 year anniversary of losing Danny and there are workers at work at Lindsay's house to restore it. Sadly, the insurance company is dragging their feet. They say it will happen, but give no timeline for it. The adjuster said when he did his thing that it was a no worry claim, but I think it must be just the state of home insurance after so many storms in our state. Tyler works for a local home owned construction company, and they are letting him go ahead and get things going so life can return to normal and fronting them the money to do so. We are grateful for that. You can see, things are looking up a bit from the doom and gloom of the start of the year.

   Most of my pictures are of nature springing to life. Azaleas are going to be in peak season here this week. I love azaleas about as much any flower on the planet. I look forward to the blooming season which can be from February to late March here. They are choosing the earlier time this year and as I said I am all in for it.

Here are a few from my yard.

These are on the back and when I took this picture over the weekend, they still had some opening to do. I looked out this morning first thing when I got up to see if they were opened. Happy to say they are just all out showing off. 

I truly love spring. It is just nature coming to life before our eyes. Pleasant temperatures so that you can shed the sweater and bring out the shorts, but not the perspiring that will come soon.

My next two pictures are of flowers as well. Friends brought over some pansies for me. I chose to place these on the back deck table. I can enjoy them while washing dishes and I have since cleaned the table so that we can eat as many meals as possible.

More evidence of the goodness of flowers on my happiness meter. My begonia on the top deck is flowering.

Add all those to my pink geraniums and orange pansies and I am smiling big. 

I saved the best for last on my flower pictures. We were so afraid we had lost the lemon tree to that horrid freeze at Christmas. Well, Saturday, the 18th (the first day of such pretty weather ) Jeff and I had gotten out in the yard to start some spring stuff and I walked over to inspect the lemon tree as I have done almost everyday since Christmas and .....

this is what I saw.

Can you see those little green leaves starting to pop?
I literally squealed with delight. 

There are more coming each day. Small, but it is alive. I don't know how much it will produce this year, but I am just so grateful it didn't die.

The orange tree is popping with flowers too.

I took this over the weekend as well, but today I walked out they were opening up as well. 

We realized that after getting out in all this beautiful weather we will need a new seawall this year. Many of our neighbors got one last year and ours seemed fine last year, but it is clearly time for a new one here, so there will be workers here soon helpfully to get it done so I can clean up out back and get it ready for summer. Home ownership means something always needs to be done.


I think my family all had the same idea this past Saturday. It was a beautiful day so we all got outside. In our family group texts, Lindsay sent this picture...

They hit the beach and Palmer has the right idea. Snacking away.

The next picture came from Paul Allen.

They had gone to the creek on the reservation. I am sure the dogs were running somewhere with them.

Well Jeff and I were going to let them outdo us, so we hopped on the boat.

Spring has come early and I am not sad a bit about it. I know we will have some more cool days but hopefully none that are frigid. Gus leading the way for us.

I am recovering well from my sinus surgery. Honestly, way better than I could ever have imagined. 

I can't complain nearly as much as I was a few weeks ago. 

A few more pictures of my grands.

I thought they were so cute here. Flooring has made it this room now, but they had brought their chairs from the bedrooms in to watch a movie.

Katie had bought matching shirts for them. 

Azalea season requires pictures of kids in front of the pretty flowers. It is a tradition. Tucker is growing up so fast. T-Ball season kicks off this coming weekend.

Palmer is holding onto that blond hair. 

And little Miles is growing so fast that he can sit in my high chair and eat now.

They are growing up so fast. 

I should have a stitch to share very soon. It is a beauty too.

I will close with we went to see The Jesus Revolution movie last night. It was very good and I highly recommend it. It is an excellent reminder that no matter the climate of the nation that God can still move and never write off a generation of youth. 

Well that is about long enough so I will call this one a post. Be back soon though with some stitching goodness that I can't wait to share.


Friday, February 17, 2023

A Slice of Life

 My surgery is behind me now. I have the official name of it. FESS- Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. I have had a deviated septum for decades and had sinus issues that went along with it while teaching. The past few years I had really done well and kind of ignored all of the past issues, but last March they reared their ugly head. I have been sitting for a couple of days and really wonder if spending the first few months of '22 with the care of my brother-in-law and then the subsequent cleaning out of his house may have been the culprit for the start up of the ugliness. Remember he was a heavy smoker and staying even for 5 minutes in his house was hard. Either way, it is done and now my nose has been sculpted on the inside with a splint to be removed on Tuesday.  Sounds lovely, huh?! 

Actually, it has all gone very well and I feel like a better person already, so when they dig out all the packing on Tuesday I won't know how to act to breathe again.

I have had lots and lots of rest and have actually stitched so much that I was ready to take a break from it today. I have done so much on The Shepherd's Song that it may be finished very soon. One more sheep and half of another and then grass to stitch.

Before surgery, I was like a mad woman to make sure the house was spotless, the laundry and ironing all caught up so that I could indeed just take a break. Miles has been cared for by his other grandparents and Paul Allen even got to spend a day home with him. It is a long weekend so like I said I should be all rested up. 

I fluffed the kitchen up as well before the surgery. I took down some rooster plates from the top of the cabinets, put some things away on the counters, and shuffled things around. I moved some plants out around the table last month and really like the neater look in the kitchen. I tell you have been in that less is more look for some time now. 

Plates above gone and things shuffled around. 

You can see all the plants around the table are gone. I realized while Lindsay and family were with us that the plants were a nuisance to using the table and then I realized while they were pretty that nothing beats the view out.

I still have two plants there, but they are on low stands and not visible unless you walk around the table to look.

My Christmas cactus has bloomed a second time. It has never done that. This picture was taken last week and it is even fuller than this. The poinsettia is also still putting out new red leaves as well. All odd --- The weather is just as crazy. Cold one day, warm the next. It is supposed to be cold this weekend. As I am typing the temperature has already dropped a good bit from this morning. All my longing for spring just has to stay on hold.

I mentioned in the last post that I moved around the toys in the living room when I moved the large fern outside. (By the way, it is thriving outside) I moved one of the kitchen plants to flank the other side of the glass doors. 

The toys are neatly in the windows and more out of the way in the living room. Much neater all the way around for Mimi's Daycare.

Gus has taken good care of his mommy. He has been my blanket when I am in the recliner.

He has wondered why we have been on no walks though. I can't do that until Tuesday. It is bothering me as well, Gus.

I don't think I ever shared Miles's name all hung in his room. Looks cute there.

I have many projects I need to be working on while I am doing all this sitting, but some times just resting is what is needed. I don't get that many days like this, so sitting it is. Just glad it is over and went well.  No more infection!

I don't think I responded to a single comment last time. I will be better this time as I am feeling so much better.

Bring on spring,

Thursday, February 9, 2023

A Stitching Post

 I finished my second Christmas ornament for the year. 

Again,  I used up some leftover ends of linen to do part of this pattern.

I chose not to complete this pattern after starting it to keep the ornament smaller. I love these patterns and have seen them used in so many ways, and maybe one day I will do some of those things I have seen. I just chose not to go to big with the ornaments.

Here it is all finished up.

It has joined the other one for the time being. I think the next month's selection is going to be a bright and cheery one.

Now, it is time to pull out The Shepherd's Song for the remainder of the month. It is coming along. I finished the big house in the center. I still have a few more windows to install, but those shouldn't take too long and then I can get back to the sheep and flowers. Each time I pull this out I start humming in my head the old hymn, "Surely goodness and mercy, shall follow me -all the days, all the days of my life."

My days are filled with this goodness...

I do have a little color. I brought these into the garage over the deep freeze at Christmas, so they have lived to give me some joy.

I typically plant white pansies, so they will look good at Christmas, but after Ian there were no pansies anywhere for weeks. I was thinking I might not have anything in my pots and then orange and only orange showed up. I think I love them! May not go back to white next year. 

My other 2 little pumpkins playing in the Jeep that Santa brought.

That's it here in my little neck of the woods. 

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Good Riddance, January

 I know I said it was the end and I really think I meant it. I didn't have the peace that I thought would come though.

The moment I typed that closing post was very emotional for me. January was NOT a kind month to our family. No deaths or terminal illnesses, but there are things that can come at you so fast and hard that they are hard to process. I don't think I will recap January in the traditional way. 

It involved a flooded house, multiple flat tires, a swamp rat:), sickness, and more. That will just get you started. Like I said - no deaths or no terminal illnesses, but rather a bombarding of trouble. 

Arlene, Jeff didn't get to me...Lindsay did.

I sometimes feel with all the world's problems that me writing about stitching, flowers, and puttering around my house can seem somewhat frivolous almost. I am very aware of the world's circumstances but I go back to that quote by C. S. Lewis from this post about doing sensible things. Lindsay was the one who encouraged me to rethink the decision. I went back and reread all of 2022's posts. What a journal of the good things in our family's life! I don't write much about the bad, because we don't forget those things, but instead choose to focus on the good which Lindsay reminded me is what we need to hear.

I am sure any reading will think I have lost my mind and that is ok. I think the journal of our family's life is worth keeping up for now. I don't have nearly the time I did when I started this venture so I don't promise replying to comments all the time. If you want to read come along, because I feel compelled to rethink that decision.

What is going on now?

Still some turmoil... but things have calmed down some.

Jeff has been sick. An almost case of pneumonia I think. Palmer has been sick. Mother has been sick. She has been diagnosed with COPD. She has never smoked a cigarette in her life nor lived with a smoker. She has had asthma her whole life. She still doesn't think she has it, but that is what the doctor says so I think we have to go with it and prepare for the colds and sinus issues being a bit harder than normal. I have surgery scheduled for Valentine's Day. I know---not a fun way to spend that day, but I am ready to get it behind me. Oh and the pleasures of turning 62 get you an EKG and other tests to have surgery. I didn't know all that. My EKG was abnormal which meant cardiologist visits. I have been cleared thankfully. Remember January was not fun.

I am so ready for spring. Everyone who has ever read a winter blog post from me knows winter is not my season. I have coped with it by staying busy on house projects, but this year that was a no go having Lindsay and Tyler and 2 kids living with us. Oh that is more of the flooded house thing. I have not been able to do many of those January things that keep me grounded. 

Trust me when I say I am so over winter even if it is not over us. I have done some things in preparation for it. I lost a lot of plants with the Christmas deep freeze so I basically did a redo downstairs and planted some new roses.

I thought I had lost one of my old roses, but it has started budding from the bottom. Thank goodness. I will now have a white, coral, red, yellow and pinky rose. I can't wait to cut roses again. You may remember I could never grow them in the ground, but they do wonderful on the back deck with containers.

The day lilies replaced the roses up front and have been just the biggest delight. They are all popping through the ground right now. I can't wait. 

Lindsay and family gave me a hummingbird feeder for Christmas. It has been placed outside ready for the hummingbirds. 

I ordered a second one since I like this one so much. One will go in the shade of the side yard. I have been reading away on them. My bottlebrush shrubs are still up in the air on whether they all survived the freeze as well as the lemon tree. Time will have to tell us.

The spider lilies have started popping up out of the mush too.

Many of the camellias have been finicky. Some have popped on out while others have not. It has been a very different year for the plants in the neighborhood.

There is still many plants up in the air and I have had to replace several of my pots with new things so more to share outside soon.

I have been stitching on The Shepherd's Song when I could and reading an old book from the 1980's by Lewis Gizzard. That has been fun to see if from a perspective of living in 2023. He was one of my favorites in the 80's. 
I did pull out my ornament for February yesterday to keep up with my plan for one a month. A stitching post will come when I finish that.

As for family, I have said many thanks for this big old house which was large enough to welcome Lindsay and family for 3 weeks. 

I got to celebrate Tyler's birthday with them. Everyone else was sick. 

The boys sat with me for most of the meal at Outback, but they managed to get in the laps of their parents for these photos.

Tucker had his very first t-ball practice and LOVED it. I absolutely can NOT wait for the games.

Yes, besides all that cuteness in his baseball outfit, that is concrete floors. It will get back to normal or whatever normal is these days.

Palmer is in daycare now. I think he does like playing with the other children. 

He has been sick so he has had a few extra Mimi days.

Playing with his train. Astute eyes will notice a large fern is not in the window anymore. It had gotten so big that I needed to take it outside. It needs to be divided into 2 pots. I moved all the toys over to that spot and I like the change. I also moved some other plants around. 

I should have done this one ages ago. No more plant on the top shelf of the built -ins to climb up and water. 

I just spaced the existing items out a little farther. Like I said, I should have done that ages ago. 

I moved all but 2 of the plants out of the kitchen. I will take a picture of that soon. It looks so much better. I moved one plant into the living room to replace the fern but in another area and got rid of some.

Little Miles and I are falling into a routine and he is happy and thriving at Mimi's Daycare.

I pick him up...

We do our thing here...

He is 6 months old.

Gus is doing great..
He is my best bud.

Just the thought that it isn't January anymore cheers me up a bit.

I am not insane, but letting things get to me. I have way too many blessings to not try and be a light in the world.