Sunday, June 25, 2023

My House is Built on Him

I decided to start this post out on a more positive note. 

I finished up my sunflower pillow a couple of weeks ago and never shared the final product. It is lovely and just as I am ....a plain little lady.

It is first pictured in the dining room on Jeff's grandmother's rocker. Not sure where it will finally find its home. I am not planning to put it out until mid July.

It took me forever to actually make a decision on the pillow. I backed it with the most lovely shade of green that matched perfectly.

I thought long and hard about a fabric cording, but it just never seemed right to me. I even ordered some store bought cording for it.  Again, it just didn't seem to suit me. The more I thought about it, I decided that the stitch itself was just enough. So plain it is. I can always change my mind, but for now it is just a pillow with no trim. 

I took my time stitching the bottom where it came together and was very pleased with it. I know wherever it lands in the house is going to be just perfect.

I am stitching the whale still, mostly because with all that is going on it is all I can do to stitch anything. During this crazy month, my stitching lamp just broke in half. I have been wanting to wait until after my surgery at the end of July to see what I will actually need. Most of my stitching has been done in my sewing room early morning right under the pot light above and with a terrible clip on that doesn't stay charged long enough. I will need a new stitching lamp but want to make a wise purchase. With all that is going on right now, I think it best I wait a few more weeks to shop for one.


Tucker sayings...

Miles at the Gulfarium...

Palmer with a Dad given haircut...

A beautiful blonde boy. Turns out Dad didn't cut all the curls off. Just like his Uncle Paul Allen, when he walks out into the Florida humidity, it curls right up.

I stayed at Lindsay's most of the day on Friday as it was first day back from surgery in Atlanta. The boys and I went around the circle many many times that day. Tucker on his bike and Palmer on his scooter. While Palmer napped, Tucker and I picked up a grocery order and then later that day we visited Mama at rehab.

Before, I get to that...Lindsay is doing well. She had a rough couple of days right after with medicines. She takes after her grandma with medicine reactions, but she is doing well now. It will take a few weeks for the surgery effects to kick in we are told. The doctor said all went very well.

Now, for Mama. I don't want to even type, but I am going to get a small portion out. 

Mama really could go either way at this point. 

This morning at church one of the songs that I have heard lots of times almost brought me to the point where I would need to go out. 

"The rains came and the winds blew, but my house is built on YOU." 

They have surely blown. I am not even going to tell you all the stuff today. Just don't think I can, but my house is truly built on faith in my sweet Lord. I will get through it all.

Mother could pick up this week and get back on her feet, and that is what I pray will happen, but I would be falling short if not recognizing that she has a hard journey ahead to do that. She is tough, but being 88 with this type of injury is hard. 

She will be dismissed from the facility she is in on Friday. It is a short term intensive care. They work her 3 times a day, but she has had a few complications that have hindered her progress. I have never seen her more humble or trying harder.

I did visit an assisted living place and plan to drop off a deposit and paperwork to get her on a waiting list tomorrow, but she has to get a lot better to even be accepted there. 

Lots of tough things ahead for her and our little family. I need her to be able to come to my house on Friday. They are saying that if she needs further assistance she might have to go to a nursing home. Mother has her mind so sitting in a nursing home will end her. I am praying she can come home with home health assistance until we can think this through and make the best plan for her

I probably won't post next week because with her getting out on Friday, I am pretty sure I am going to be busy. I will keep you posted at some point though.

I am going to try and end on something else. Our niece is here and we will have our annual June gathering of our wee little family Tuesday evening. Enjoy every good day people and while I am dispensing advice, ladies do everything you can to strengthen those muscles and avoid falling.

We had a gator sighting 

I circled it for you. Jeff spotted it from the kitchen window one morning just swimming by. We managed to capture a photograph at the bedroom window. This one was 5-6 feet which is trouble for Gus. Gus had just fallen in love with the new stairs too. This is unusual for our bayou or at least as close to the bigger water as we are. It can happen after a hurricane. I have had to put a leash at the back door to keep him from jumping in. I did let him swim yesterday during the day because there was a lot of boat traffic out. I will really have to watch him in the mornings and evenings.

We also had tornadoes and homeless people trying to camp out at the cottages next door, but I am going to close it up for tonight. If you lack excitement in your life, just come on down to the Palmer house. We have it, not all good, but you will never be bored.

Fortunately, it didn't touch down, but the boys' playhouse was torn up.

I still haven't had time to address comments. It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to go 13 miles with all the beach traffic. Lovely views but lots of people enjoying them too.

Be back in a couple of weeks,


Saturday, June 17, 2023

How Quickly Things Change

Last Monday, in trying to put out a weekly post I shared our celebrations. What fun we had together as a family! 

I have made it very clear since my almost bowing out of this blog back in January, that a series of trials and just the stage of life that I am in have worn me out at times. When I slipped back in after a few weeks I told myself I would continue blogging without any stress. If I could read my much loved blogs and comment I would, but no stress would be attached to that. I have had to stick to my guns on that, so most of you have not heard from me this week even though I have scrolled through while sitting in a hospital room with Mom.

Yes, last Monday evening around 7:30 I received a call from the young Airman who lives cattycorner across from Mother. He informed me Mother had fallen and he had called an ambulance. He had then called me. Bless his heart! 

I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am that he heard her and then found her on the front porch where she had gone out to water some plants and had tripped and fallen. Yes, not even a week and a half had passed since her last fall. We were so relieved she had not broken a bone on that fall, but she did this time! The young Airman is only one of a handful in her 20-25 units townhouse community. Most are old ladies like her who were safely tucked away for the evening. BUT, not Mama. It was about dusk when she ventured out and had he not heard her she would have laid there all night. I have a code in the morning with phone emoji's to make sure she is up and awake after the night, but I don't have one in the evening because surely she would have been inside. Oh and she didn't have her phone on her. She usually wears it on an apron.

I later realized why she didn't have the apron on. A dear lifelong friend who I have shared a picture of on here before made her said apron. Mother had taken it all and spread it out on the chair to take a picture of it. She had then texted Cathy to see if she had a pattern she could mail her for it. She was going to make her a new one, SOOOO...there sat her phone and apron. I figured this out when I was using her phone to let some of her neighbors know news of her and saw the text and picture. Most of her neighbors heard the fire truck and ambulance and had to get their pajamas off and clothes back on to see about her. They were all deeply concerned for her.

Mama broke her femur on the right leg. She had fallen and broken the left femur in May of 2013. She has a matching pair. All of this meant another night in ER. I will tell you now just like I have before that our hospital is great, but the ER is a horrible place to be. It is overloaded beyond even your wildest imagination. I won't rant again about that, but it was a long night and in to the next day before she headed to surgery.

The Lord has watched over us well. I am stinking tired of the trials and honestly tired of recalling the verse that tells me to count it all joy, but I have not one doubt that HE is watching over us. The trauma surgeon that did the surgery is my very first choice. She popped into my head early on in the night at ER, but didn't know if she would be on call, but it all just worked out perfectly. She got the very best surgeon I could have asked for.

I think it was Thursday that I came home for lunch and laid down on the couch so tired and let the tears roll. I wanted to have a BIG OLE Pity Party, and I started one for certain. You know what? Those don't do one bit of good. They don't solve anything and make you feel worse, so I laid there and just said out loud, "Lord, I surrender." I spoke it twice. Then I started thinking about Carrie Underwood singing that hymn. 

10 minutes after that verbal declaration to my Lord, I received a phone call from a case worker at the hospital. She had been in Mama's room and met her and called me breaking protocol. God Bless her. She said my mama would be crying and begging to come home from the rehab center I had picked. I picked it and honestly hadn't had a moment's peace. I knew it was an awful choice, but didn't think I had another option. I had done nothing but dread the moment we had to take her to it. This caseworker said there was rehab center in Destin that it was the best kept secret in our area. She knew it being in Destin and with tourist traffic it would be tough, but that it was not a nursing home rehab and just totally rehab for people like Mom's injury. I jumped back into my truck and went back up the hospital and signed her up. Peace flooded my soul.

Mother is there now and it is truly Heaven sent. I had no idea it was there. Yes, the drive in tourist traffic is completely awful on time. I won't be able to go out there everyday, but she has a rigorous schedule of PT and such and I know with certainty that is a great place. No people sitting out in wheel chairs slumped over, just people who have broken a bone or had a hip replacement kind of place. 30 beds only. The kind of place, that you know just happened to have a room and a caseworker who told me about it because Jesus set it all in place.

Driving to Destin the past 3 days has been beautiful despite the traffic. I get to see the 2 most beautiful bodies of water in the world. The Choctawhatchee Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It is taking far too long for the few miles, but Mother is safe and secure and the drive with beautiful scenery gives me time to pray or listen to a podcast.

I got a chuckle this morning on my way out. I had just gotten over the Destin bridge, and stopped at the first red-light next to that awful gigantic building that I have mentioned before on this blog. I am in the left lane and a truck of young boys on their way to the beach were next to me in the right lane. They got my attention and waved. I waved back and still lost in my own thoughts ignored them mostly. They must have had a bet going because they rolled down their window and started talking. I have no idea what came over me, but I rolled my passenger side down to see what was up. They wanted me to race them. They were joking of course. Here I am - a white headed lady driving a truck. It must have seemed like an easy target. Oh to be young again. I laughed at them and told them I was much too old for a race, but that my truck could certainly outdo them. That sent them into a good laugh.

You know why I tell you that story? Lindsay is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday in Atlanta. You know it has already been canceled once and on Thursday she found out her urine culture had not made it to Atlanta. We all thought ---"Oh no! Not again." I told her she had to give it up, as it wasn't her fight anymore. It got there late Friday evening and the doctor did receive it so, she is on for her surgery. Her devotional this morning was about learning to laugh. It tied in with the thought not to take yourself or your circumstances too seriously. Enjoy the laughter in life. She had told me she was going to just play with the boys today. Tucker got a new bike.

The verse that went with the devotional was ---"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Isn't that true. A crushed spirit just can't not be left to sit in. It does no good. I think we can have an appetizer of a pity party, and then it is time to brush yourself off and remember all of this is doable. There are way worse things than have happened to us this week.

Cheerful hearts laugh with young boys in a truck.

I won't linger much more here except to say that this has made me think it is time to start some paperwork on something other than her current living conditions. I have already seen God mover there too, but I'll save that for later.

The words to I Surrender All are quite comforting. I knew the first verse by heart the other day, but this afternoon I sat out on our dock and looked up Carrie Underwood singing it and here are the lyrics.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
In his presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that thou art mine.


All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to thee,
Fill me with thy love and power,
Let thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!

This was my view while I looked up the lyrics. As you can see, I have many blessings. 

Now, for a few other tidbits about the week...

Tucker and his new bike.

The spider lilies blooming right on time. 

We have had 2 thunderstorms this week. Both were nasty, but needed rain. In fact, one is going on right now. I did get some outdoors time though.

As I said, I wanted to do a pity party about my long list of things I wanted to do this summer and could see that all slipping away, but after pulling myself together and remembering being that tortoise in the race of life...

I got up and got some laundry done and started one piece of the outdoors cleaning that I haven't been able to get too.

I went to the tiled porch out back and cleaned the two doors and glass sliding door because Jeff doesn't like to pressure wash them. 

I got them cleaned off, now the porch is ready for the pressure washer. 

This tiled porch is a bear to keep clean. I don't keep any plants or chairs on it because if you sit something on it, it just stains it. You can see though I let Jeff put a rope on there from some crab traps and it made a mess. 

This tortoise will get it all done in good time. 

Now, for one fun fact and then I will hush up.
My good friend that I mentioned  had shocked our friend group when she and husband decided to move across the state. She texted me this morning that she (Betty) and Tom were sitting across from Lysa Terkeurst at breakfast. If you don't know who this is ---she is the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I have heard her speak many times at Extraordinary Women conferences in Pensacola. As a small group, we had read one of her books on how she had to divorce and how hard it had been. It quite frankly was a depressing book and we all finished it feeling very sorry for her and knowing that she was one tough cookie. We all saw on Friday morning that after several years from that depressing book which I am sure was helpful to people going through the same thing that she had found new love. Good for her and a reminder that He doesn't forget us even though we go through trials. 

Now, I knew Betty would come out there with a picture. She did and said Lysa was very gracious.

There will be a stitching post at some point out there and a check in on your blogs, but until life gets a little bit slower this will be it from me. Thanks for all of you who pray for us. I will check in when I can. Forgive any spelling or grammatical errors as I just don't have it in me to proofread. The teacher in me is failing miserably.

Oh good grief, I have one more thought. 

Nurses!!! How much a blessing is a good nurse. I met many over the last few days. I often get a little frustrated with the idea of an "influencer" as a job. I am all about capitalism and I know many of them are young moms who just want to stay home with their kids, but we need these young ladies to be good nurse and teachers and such.

I am stopping! It may be awhile before I return this time, but I will be back...


Monday, June 12, 2023


 June brings birthdays to our family, but with our ever growing family we have had to start combining celebrations to keep us from running all the time to birthday parties. Jeff and Paul Allen and Gus were the birthday boys this week. We had a party yesterday for both. We are an imperfect group, BUT yesterday I just looked around and felt so very blessed.

I took pictures beforehand of food to send to the family while the grandsons were napping. Sort of to whet their appetite. :)

If you want non fruit eaters to eat fruit, you must cut it into bite sized pieces (no matter the fruit) and serve it in an easy to eat and pleasing to the eye manner. Lesson learned along my 62 years of life.

All of it was eaten. Apparently, Tucker ate all of the kiwi and I took a big bite out of the peaches. Can I just say how happy that it is peach season...well, technically I have not seen any southern peaches in the store yet, but these from California helped with my craving. They might be my favorite fruit. Hard to say...I do love all of these and a watermelon will never ever be turned down.
Oh and toothpicks to stab the fruit is very entertaining to grandsons. Tucker likes to have a "pick" for his. See, it is just the sweet things of life.

Then they got a picture of the salad with the homegrown cherry tomatoes from the downstairs deck.

I had to make a salad because the remainder of the meal was not so healthy, but oh so delicious.

Next, I made homemade chocolate syrup to go with homemade ice cream.

I used a different recipe for the chocolate syrup this year. Normally, I make one that is more of a hot fudge type and it is delicious, but I just wanted a more typical syrup like you buy in the store without high fructose corn syrup. I kind of blended a few recipes, but here is what I did.

1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
a dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

I put the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan and heat while stirring to it started to thicken. I removed from heat and added vanilla and then poured into my jars.

It was indeed a winner and easy peasy.

Then of course, I had to send the picture of Jeff and me making the ice cream..

We sat outside and relaxed while the ice cream maker did the work. Later Mama joined us who is better but still not up to full speed. 

Then we moved it to the garage to sit in the cold bucket and headed inside to cook fried fish and cheese grits. You can see why we had to have a fruit tray and salad.

It was all very tasty and we all enjoyed it very much. The ice cream was so good. It has been quite a while since we made any and it was very much enjoyed by us all.

Here is Palmer getting the last bits of his with Great Grandma's help.

He didn't want to leave any of it in the bowl. The kids all made it over during the frying of the fish and let me just tell you that nothing in the world makes a mama happier than to see her kiddos and their spouses and their children sitting out on the deck enjoying each other's company. You mamas know what I mean. It just sinks in deeply and it is a great blessing.

Speaking of decks before I move onto the rest of the party...Jeff had the seawall builders put in some stairs to the water since the seawall is much taller. I didn't really think they were needed, but let me just tell you that it may be the greatest thing ever!!!

They are amazing. I have already used them a lot. I put my paddle board in on Saturday and it was so much easier. Lindsay and Tyler came by and we all loved them. They step all the way down. I will have to use a wire brush on them and plan to make that part of my routine. The last day of the month I will scrub them off to keep what happened to the ladder from happening.

The bottom step of the ladder is covered in barnacles. I do think the ladder steps are a new material that should not get that bad. They have been tested by the seawall builder.  Anyway, I just love the new stairs. Again, Jeff is the winner for picking something I didn't think we needed. You may remember the upstairs deck table that I didn't think we needed that I am using daily.

This past week the weather has been quite nice and I have been outside a good bit, but this morning I went down to take the picture of the stairs for the blog and it is a little cloudy. Hank was on top of the dock roof. He is a cutie. 

Back to the party. I didn't have a cake to put a candle on so I went and got my old handled candle holder for Jeff and Paul Allen to blow out. This candle holder is from Germany and was bought when I was a baby so it is at least 60 years old. The kids remember it fondly because any time the electricity went out we used it. During hurricanes we used it to go around the house when they were little. Now, Jeff has us more flashlights that we could ever use, but we still like the candle. It has been in my sewing room so I guess Katie had never noticed it. She said it looked like it was from 1776.

My guys always act like they don't like my antics, but I am quite sure they would be disappointed it I didn't do all of it.

Memories made.

Here are more family pictures.

Last week strummed along with me wondering where it went, but all is good. I will share some stitching in my next post. I did order the other books in the series by Lynne Gentry and read Shoes to Fill this past week. I stick by my assessment of them being a cross between Karen Kingsbury and Jan Karon. They are wonderfully light for summer reading. Just what I need for now.

Some other notes...
Taylor (Lindsay's friend) update. She basically has two kinds of cancer in her at this point. They had done a biopsy last week when the MRI found another tumor. The bad scenario would have been if the breast cancer had metastasized. That would have bumped it up to stage 4. The tumor on the adrenals is a slow growing tumor non related to the breast cancer. It is still not good news, but she will have surgeries for both sooner than we thought. That is good news in my book. This has really as I said set Lindsay back and me too. Taylor is a precious young woman.

I am so grateful for this summer. My life is busy and full and hard at times. Having an aging parent who feels bad most of the time and yet is so photogenic that it is hard to see what I see daily is not going to get better. I hate seeing her age. It is just downright hard at times. Also, once you reach your 60's your energy just wanes plain and simple. My mind wants to do more than my physical body can do, so I am trying really hard to be a tortoise in the race of life. Slow and steady. This is a challenge for me at times, but one that I must work on. My summer list is long, but you know it will always be plenty to do if you have a home. I am trying really hard to just do a little along and relax.

Well that is about it for this week. Starting out a little slow on this Monday, but had a great weekend so that is ok.

Three cheers for summer,


Monday, June 5, 2023

My Summer Has Begun

I left off last post with a restful Memorial Day weekend. I decided to take a few more days to let myself truly relax before I jumped into that list of summer things to get done around the house. I let the chores go around here other than the major rooms and just let myself not jump up to do the next thing. 

Cross Stitching

I started my June ornament in Auburn the last of May, so I have it done already. July's probably won't be spit out that soon. June's selection is another from The Magic of Christmas book. It has a vintage feel to it. I think for July I am going to do a Prairie School Santa, and then I am going to dig around in my patterns for some youthful ones for the next couple of months. 

In other stitching news, I will share the sunflower pillow next time. I just don't have it all stuffed and trimmed yet, but it is so cute. I am about to start on the "my town" stitch. It will be a long term project since I am kind of designing as I go. I did order a Country Cottage Needleworks store that was taller to kind of guide my first building in the town. It is a 2 story building and I felt I needed a guide. I have my palm tree patterns all picked out, so hopefully late June I will get the first stitch in it. 

I did chase a rabbit trail with stitching. A new flosstube account popped up on my YouTube feed. I really like the ladies, so I watched along of one of theirs and went back and caught up with the beginnings of their older ones so that I would know them better.  They are called Curious Crafters, 2 sisters from California. I then followed their Instagram account and that is where the rabbit trail path began. 
Here is the post that made my go ...Gotta have.

I mean how adorable is this whale. I immediately ordered the pattern along with a seahorse like it and the exact linen and trim. It is all DMC colors. I have started the whale while I wait for my order of the store to start my town stitch. I typically write things down I like and ponder and the notion goes away, but this one was screaming at me and I knew it was a Sandy kind of pattern.

For months, I had planned to take The Shepherd's Song sampler to Auburn, but at the last minute I changed my mind. It stayed here....

I decided to make a little collage on the wall in the bedroom. The other 2 were already in the bedroom, so I just rearranged some things.

I think they all go quite well together and they make me very happy.

Outdoor Time

I have loved the late May and early June weather. It is still so pleasant in the mornings here. I have enjoyed my quiet time on the deck in the mornings. There is still a little odds and ends being done on the seawall and dock, so the day isn't all that quiet, but I think they are done as of today. Than the dirt.
Gus and I have kept up with our walks. He is a great reminder to get up and get outside.

I made it to the beach on the cloudiest day. Even cloudy days are good at the beach. I just walked. I will go back this week to sit a spell. 

In family updates, 

Lindsay brought the kids by after work on Friday because Grandma hadn't seen them in a while. I had gone to get Mama and bring her to my house because her house is sort of out of the way and would make it a little difficult for Lindsay. Mother fell down from hugging Tucker. We don't exactly know what happened but Lindsay and I looked up and Mother was laying on the driveway with Tucker sort of underneath her. He saved a broken hip I am sure. She scraped the top layer of skin off of the forearm so I knew that would need professional bandaging, but she also bumped her head and had to have that glued. Lots of blood and an ER visit Friday evening. We would have been out of there pretty quick for an ER visit, but her blood pressure was read as they were about to dismiss her. 227/102, so yes, we were there for  the rest of the evening. We pulled in the driveway at 10:40. Mom's blood pressure will spike like that when she is nervous or upset, but we have found BP meds will cause the opposite. A dip which can be just as dangerous. I think every single test in the book has been run over the last 10 years about it and I never really get a diagnosis. I have found I usually can talk to her and calm her and it will go down. 
Anywho, lesson was learned that Mama will now be greeted by all grandkids in a sitting position. They are not allowed to hug her if she is not sitting. Tucker will hold her to that. Mother will not follow those rules, but he will so that should be good. We got lucky in that she didn't have a broken hip.

Lindsay and our family are still so upset about her dear friend and her breast cancer. They will stay in Huntsville for now and return to the jobs they were giving up to move. It is all a bit much to understand, but I know God has them in His Hands.

Miles is crawling. Katie should have lots of fun this summer keeping up with him. He may even be walking by the time school starts for me to have him. 
Here he is at Auburn. Paul Allen and Katie went up this past weekend. He is wearing his Daddy's first Auburn shirt. It has now made the rounds through the other boys as well.

Here are Tucker and Palmer Sunday morning early. Palmer with a snotty nose is still cute as he can be. Palmer and Daddy weren't feeling well so they had to stay home from church, but Tucker didn't want to miss because we were having snocones at church.

The one thing I did do last week was cook supper all week. I won't get any points in home economics for color, but I made some tasty meals last week.

We are enjoying the time on the deck as long as we can.  You will find Gus with me all the time.

That was about it for my week. Even with the Friday night excitement, it was a quiet week and one I needed to handle such things as Friday evening. I will leave you with pretty pink roses on the bottom deck.

Oh and I did read a good book. No picture because I have already passed it to Lindsay, but it was good. The name is Walking Shoes by Lynne Gentry. My description of it is somewhere between Karen Kingsbury and Jan Karon. For Kingsbury it contains a faith based storyline with a wee bit of drama, but for Karon it contains a small town (Mt. Hope) with the eccentric characters in the town. Good clean faith based book. A good summer read. I plan to order the others in the series. 

It is my favorite time of the year, so I am going to hopefully soak up as much fun out of it as possible.