Thursday, January 25, 2024

Being Productive

If I don't post weekly, I find it harder to get up enough motivation to record any events around here. However, posting weekly is pretty much out of the realm of possibility with the stage of life I am in. I am back though and will start with the weather like a good senior citizen. 

Cold...I think I have made it abundantly clear here on this  little blog that winter is not my favorite season. In the spirit of not wishing my days away and being productive, I have tried really hard to find good things to do inside. I was doing well with no complaining until the weather decided to drop down in to the 20's. Nope...that is a no go for keeping my whining down. I have survived those days and hope that stuff is done and gone.  This week is ultra gloomy and overcast but it is warmer, so I will take the gray skies for now while I thaw out.

*Those pansies in the above picture did survive all those low temperatures. They are at my mother's assisted living place and are just gorgeous. 

With that out of the way, what have I been up to? 

A good many things...stitching, reading, cleaning and sorting, tending to family, and all sorts of odds and ends that really aren't all that interesting but I will share an overview anyway of that list.

First, we will start with the selling of things in my closets. I shared in my last post that I had the home movie camera and projector in the last post from the 1960's that I had decided to part with. I have no idea why I couldn't just get in the truck and drive it down the road to Goodwill, but I couldn't. My goal wasn't to make a ton of money either. I just wanted to pass it on to someone who might be excited about it. I know that sounds a bit sappy, but I am who I am.

I first listed it on eBay not really thinking it would do much and it didn't, so I listed it on Facebook Marketplace where I must admit I hate dealing with the crazies. I have sold things before, but you have to be patient and let all the spammers, perverts or whatever those things are before you get to a person who just really might be interested. 

I listed the camera and projector and just decided I would let it ride for a long time....honestly, thinking it might take all year. This week, a young girl messaged me that she wanted the camera. I met her at Publix. Turns out she is a young person similarly aged to my kids I would guess who is a photographer. I asked her if she would be interested in the projector too. Yes! She was so sweet and told me I could follow her business site on FB and see what she did with it. I think just as record players are making a comeback old photography is too. She was able to get film and will use it for business. Needless to say that was EXACTLY what I had in mind. The price for both pieces was $75 and I honestly think I could have made more, but I was astounded one would pay that. It was a win and after looking at her work I think she will make good use of the camera.

I am still involving Jeff in helping me make decisions on all this closet stuff. I am really feeling good about it. This is how I make winter work for me. Now, last week when I was wearing lots of layers I will freely admit to a good bit of grumbling.


Now, for other topics. We got the new seawall in May, and then so much happened over the summer and into the fall that we just had to let go on any thoughts of filling in between the old and new with dirt. I wasn't worried about safety. The old one was there and has worked for coming on 4 decades to keep erosion from happening, but we had a gap between them that just had to sit. This past month we have managed to get it mostly filled with dirt. 

We decided to go up to only the height of the old one in filling it. Factors that would have been an issue were the live oak that we didn't want to cut down and the old deck which we didn't really want to start pulling things out to put dirt under it. The sea wall will prevent erosion, but trust me in a major category storm (3-5) water goes right over it!!! We feel we have made the best decision. WE may to make a step on the ground side over by the steps for the littles but I am not sure yet. Of course, grass will have to be dealt with this spring since it is a mess down there.

The next 2 pictures will show you what it looks like on the deck side of the dock.

The metal piece under the walkway looking thing on the left in the picture is the new seawall material being used all over Florida. It is like corrugated metal (not sure of the makeup of the material) and is very strong. Because of the corrugated design you have to do the walkway on top of it. From the water, no one can see that we have the hole. It is not too deep and if something is dropped it is reachable. We mostly wanted the side in the yard to be filled with dirt so no kids fell in the gap. 

You may notice the dirt had to be poured in from the deck which really means the gap is really small. It looks larger in the up close pictures.

My son-in-law Tyler and a good friend are the masterminds behind getting this job done for us. Tyler brought a trailer load of dirt from a job site. He works in construction and managed to get us some helpers. This was one of those things Jeff desired to do so badly, but it is not even a remote possibility for him anymore. 

On that note, he fell off his bicycle right after we received his diagnosis in September. It was not related in any way to the Parkinson's. He tried to answer his phone while riding his bike. Lesson learned the hard way. Anyway, it messed up his shoulder and he is now seeing a physical therapist which honestly is such a good thing in so many ways

Gus has taken a liking to my new chair. 

And Miles is growing up so fast.

I have been stitching and reading when time allows. I will share the two things I have stitched on since my last post. 

The shells...
there are six in the piece and I have completed 2 of them...

The Ole Florida Sampler is coming along too. I am still undecided about any backstitching. 

I love this sampler and the house reminds me of the house my dad lived in. He was the middle son.

My other big project that I have been working on for so long and it too was laid aside because of the events of the summer is my ancestry book. I have finally finished my side and am now am working on Jeff's side. I am super proud of the work I put into it. The kids like it and we are planning a trip this summer to the cemeteries where their great great great great grandparents are buried. I don't know if I will be able to go as far back as I did on my side because both of Jeff's parents are gone and there just may not be the resources available to me as I had. Jeff's mom did leave me a hand written account of her maternal line that should prove to be helpful. I may share this material in a post down the road sometime.

That my friends has been January in a nutshell. Too cold to do all the things I really enjoy but getting some stuff done that I wanted to get done too. Not to bad if I do say so myself. 

I hope to catch up on my blog reading this weekend. I still say it is my favorite medium although there is a lot less of it going on these days. 


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Winter Days

The best thing about January and winter are these amazing plants. Camellias rank up there as one of my favorite flowers, and the fact that they adorn the not so favorite months is a plus in my book.

Winter is here in northwest Florida and I do my best to enjoy it. I have learned over the last decade to make it the season of sorting out closets and starting up tasks that I might not do any other season of the year. It has worked for the most part. I have cleaned out one large closet and painted it which was a big win for me. I have been busy each day with other similar things to make the cold days more productive. 

Other than the usual chores and decluttering, I have stitched, read, and worked on some projects that would be good to get done while I can't get outside. The weather has been crazy here so having these projects has been good to distract from the lack of outdoor time. I thought about this thought the other day...I always wonder how people get so much cross stitching done. I think I have figured out the solution to that. Their house is in order and they aren't sentimental fools like me who have loaded their closets with stuff that should have been let go ages ago and they spend their winter days stitching all day. That is how they do it!

With that said, I must say my house is pretty orderly and my closets are so organized but the stuff in them is me not being able to unload things that should have left long ago. 

Exhibit A

Movie camera and movie projector complete with original paperwork. Both of these items were purchased by Mother in probably 1966 ---maybe '65. I have had them neatly tucked away for decades ....yep decades. They look brand new. Both even work. I never plan to make movies with the camera and I have sent off all of our home movies and had them placed on flash drives so I won't be pulling out the home projector any time soon for movie night. 

I have set a goal of trying to let go of that kind of item in 2024. Surely there is a collector out there who would love them. If not at the end of the year I suppose I will donate them. I don't really want to make tons of money but would rather sell them that donate them for some reason. I have advertised on Ebay already with no luck, so I am trying Facebook Marketplace. We will see what happens. Along those same lines, I really thought I had all pictures and movies and anything related in order until I pulled down the slide carousels from Jeff's parents downstairs. I thought they were empty and I was going to try and get those gone too. When I opened the boxes they were all full. I have already gotten them ready to send off to Legacy Box, so hopefully that is truly the last of that kind of thing. 

On our one closet that we pulled out and gave away a bunch of stuff and painted, I kept about 3 items and put on the top shelf. If they have not been used by June, I will rid myself of them as well. None of them are hurting anything, but I am just still reeling from clearing out 2 houses in 17 months and don't want things we will not use left for kids to clean out. 

Exhibit B

This is a handy dandy stacking container for food. I remember Mom using it in the 1960's for Homecoming at church, trips to the lakes or beach. She was going to get rid of 10 years ago when she moved down here and I picked it up and brought it home. Haven't used it once. It is really cool. I showed it to the kids who thought it was cool, but I bet none of us pull it out to use.


That is what I have been up to since the 1st. Jeff is finding his way too. I have kept him busy with some of that decluttering and sending him to Goodwill and the grocery store. I think he will have enough around here to keep him busy until he figures out how much outside of the home activity he wants. Then I think he will have more options that he probably even wants. 

We kept both Miles and Palmer for our first day back babysitting. They were angels together and honestly it was a really easy day.

So for some fun pictures. I have stitched a little on Miles's Advent calendar...

and on The Ole Florida Sampler. I am thinking that house needs some backstitching for definition, but am waiting until I stitch all around it.

I have been reading and working on the goal of finishing my ancestry book for my kids this winter. I have about 2 months so I am trying to set aside some time each week for finishing that up. I think I can do it if there are no big life interruptions.

That is the pretty boring life of Sandy, but I am contented with it for certain.

Oh and I left up my cardinals in the snow for January in the kitchen. Counter with my planner and papers that I was sorting didn't get moved for the picture. Real life!

Until next time,