Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Year 2024

 I feel like the following picture sums up this winter here in the Panhandle. Winter has had a record name of cloudy days. The rain would form in the Gulf and really not go the normal northeast direction but would often linger over us and then fizzle away. It has been the cloudiest on record for our area and FAR too COLD for my blood. I am over it and thought I would not make it:) but the sun came out at the end of last week and saved me from despair. Kind of sounds like a country song in the making. It is once again cloudy to end out February and I am ready for spring.

February has been once again so busy. At one point I was reading along with posts from my favorite bloggers and then this past week and I just gave up. I will catch up soon. I decided to instead try to put up one last post for the month with the good things in life!!!

This little stitch which I think is my second stitch that I ever stitched oh so long ago. I keep it right by the door in my sewing room/office as a good reminder of doing that...counting my blessings.

Even though my mood has been as cloudy as the weather some days, I know I am so blessed and always circle back to being grateful.


I have been stitching only on my Ole Florida Sampler. I snapped a picture before moving the Qsnap.

Then here is the current state of stitching. I am progressing nicely and enjoying the stitch. I am almost at to the border on this side. 

Like I said, February has been fast and furious...

But the camellias have done their best to brighten moods. I have kept a bowl full all winter on the kitchen counter. These decorated the counter for Valentine's Day.

Where on that day, we had our small group Bible Study as usual. We all decided to forego trying to go out since it is hard to get a place anyway and do our usual night. I decided to make dessert for everyone.

The heart shaped brownies were topped with ice cream and chocolate syrup also.

Since it was the start of Lent, we also later had communion. It was the most wonderful way to spend the evening with friends in Bible Study, communion and fellowship.

Jeff decided to hire out the usual chore of putting fresh pine straw out and I didn't complain one bit.

I honestly enjoy working in my flowers and yard, but this year it seemed like such a gift to me to have it done. The guy showed up down the street doing a house. He was not mow, blow and go guy but a landscaper and outside house work guy.  Jeff quickly booked him.

He did an amazing job and I am honestly thrilled with it.

I know many thought I was crazy when I downsized my houseplants and my outdoor pots because I love growing things, but too many is when they become a burden rather than enjoyment. Jeff read his wife well this year and I am just ready for spring. 
Azaleas should be next on the blooms and the day lilies are breaking ground. I have the roses pruned but they seem to be dragging their tails. They will start popping when we have some significant sunshine.

Jeff and I traveled over to Cape San Blas last Saturday to make sure all our summer plans were good ones. It has already been 3 years since I turned 60 and the family went. We said it would happen again soon and yet we haven't made it back. Lindsay is the one to get the plans together and Mom and Dad made sure it was all paid for and set. We will go over again this summer and rent a boat this time. Last time was no fun for Jeff with taking ours. We tried to get the same house as last time, but it was already booked. Lindsay found us another one very similar so plans are made and this time there will be 3 little boys instead of just Tucker and hopefully before full on hurricane season. 

He has also planted himself a garden over at Paul Allen's house so he has something to do. Potatoes and onions are planted with tomatoes coming in March. 

That is the good stuff over here and the other stuff we all have our fair share of. Mom is about the same. She did fracture another piece of her back. No clue as to what she did to make that happen. It may be that her spine is just that weak. Plugging along===she is.

To end this post on Leap Year...

My first Springer Spaniel was a Lear Year Baby. Her name was Sally. We got her a few months after marrying and she became my first dog/CHILD. Never was a dog more spoiled than Sally. She lived 15 years and welcomed Lindsay and Paul Allen.  She loved our family well.

That is a wrap on February. Come on Spring. _Sandy

Friday, February 9, 2024

Sights from the Water

 The wildlife have continued to show off this winter here in our little bayou. The pelicans showed up early in the week and decided to call our boat dock roof home base. For days they have come in and gone up and down the bayou looking like bombers gliding across the water. Some take breaks on the roof while others line up in the water.

There have been dozens each day along with ducks and herons. One day they had a full playground right out in front of our kitchen window. Tucker and Miles were with me that day. They both got to see the show as well. The pelicans would cruise in and dive bomb right in front of the kitchen window to the right of the boat you see. We have had so much fun watching each day. I wish I had videos to show, but if you open the door they move away, but return as soon as you are gone.

With those thought sand observations written, one of the things I have been asked from so many of our friends and acquaintances is when and where you are going to travel. I think I am correct in saying that Jeff and I are on the same page about travel. We both traveled as kids so we don't feel a need to head out on an airplane.  That doesn't mean there won't be any trips, but seriously folks, right here in our little neck of the woods keeps us entertained. I have more than a few places that I love to travel to that are a day drive or maybe a weekend away. We have time to see, but with beach walks and such beauty right outside my door I am more than content.

I shared the photo of the ducks through the lens of binoculars. Many commented on that. I probably should have been clearer about the way it was done. It was really taken through a monocular on a tripod show below. (Nighttime photo shows all the toys on the floor around it!)

I love having it to look at wildlife through. 

I also mentioned in the last post that Gus really likes my new chair. We are now having to fight over who gets it. 

One of the camellias in my yard is just the prettiest color mix. It has been showing off the last week, while the other 2 seem to be stuck with buds and no blooms. Our street has so many camellias and they are large so plenty to keep me happy.

I have been busier than I like the last 2 weeks. More of the usual...appointment after appointment ---nothing that can be done. It is just life right now. I won't elaborate. I try to just focus on the good in life of which there is much. The other I have no control over so we just keep walking forward. 

I am still stitching on the Florida sampler. I will share an update. This is the area where I changed so much whether it was colors or the charted pattern . When I finish the live oak tree I think things will flow much quicker on the sampler. I will not need to change too much like I felt that I needed to for the upper left corner. (Again a nighttime photo... I will share again soon.)

I liked the Spanish moss that I decided to do with straight stitches. I used Weeks Spanish Moss for the floss which was spot on for color. I sill have to do that technique to the right side of the tree.

I am in full on wishing for spring mode. I did get out to start my pruning of shrubs this week. I am about halfway done. Bring on spring soon! 

That is about it for blog worth topics.
Until next time,

Friday, February 2, 2024

Finishing out January

 February has arrived but most of my thoughts today are from January. I tried to get back one more time before the month ended, but it was a busy busy week.

I complain about January like many of y'all, but honestly it is a great month for wildlife watching on the bayou and larger bay. I was sitting at the kitchen table early one morning and Gus was doing his morning watch on the upper deck when he took off from one side to travel to the other. I got up to see what he spotted and ....

it was an otter at the neighbors pier. I really didn't get a great picture of him. I mostly tried to video it rolling around on the grass and then swimming away. The above photo was a frame of the video. That was a great sight. I am so glad Gus goes out each morning to survey the bayou and spies cool things. 

Ducks and pelicans love to have conventions in our bayou each January. One afternoon, the bayou was full of blue bill ducks. Again, I didn't get good photos, but Paul Allen had just arrived home to pick up Miles for the afternoon and we got out the binoculars to look up close. He took this next picture through the lens...

Seeing all those cool animals is one of the good things about January, but like most I was so excited to turn the calendar page to February. It can be a temperamental month with weather. Wicked cold can still sneak in there, but it can bring spring like days too.

I was outside yesterday morning moving the rose pots on the bottom deck and clipping...not a full pruning, but that will happen this coming week. The downstairs was still strewn from filling the new seawall with dirt, so I needed to put the pots back in place. I will do a full pruning soon.

I am dreaming of spring already. Patience ---
but then the groundhog says I will get my wish with an early spring.

If y'all could see my pansies right now, you would not think I have a green thumb at all. They have just not been happy. I got out there today and deadheaded and gave them a dose of fertilizer hoping that will give the boost to go the next 2 months.

I stuck photos of Gus in since I don't have pretty flowers to show you. I do have camellias but I didn't take photos. He loves a good stick.

I also lost all of my geraniums so I picked up 2 new ones today and have them already potted on the back deck. I will be walking around with my pruners in hand this next week getting all the things that can be pruned this time of year. It fills me with excitement just thinking of it.

In other January news, Jeff and I traveled one Saturday over to Pensacola because I had heard that there was a new stitching store. Since, there has not been a local stitching store in our area since the 1980's, I had to check it out. The address was on the far side of Pensacola from me, but an address I recognized so we went over and ate lunch too. I do hope she makes it, but I felt like she needed a young person to help her with the marketing. Either way, the most exciting thing for me was to just see linen in person. I purchased 2 larger pieces and came away happy. 
We traveled back on the road by the beach. Beach views, barbecue and the promise of a stitching store made for a fun Saturday.

I have mostly been stitching away on my Florida sampler, but I will wait until I get a few more things finished on it to share again.

Big things happened here in the last 2 weeks. I finally convinced Jeff to cut the cable!!!!!!
I had long ago set up the TVs in the house with a chrome cast, but that cable remote was just too easy and convenient. Last week, I went a step further and set it up with the updated version of chrome cast that comes with a remote. We got Youtube TV and the remote works so well. You can even run the sound bar through it. He wanted a week to practice with it before he cut the cable, but the day arrived. He took all the stuff back yesterday and I did a happy dance! That bill bugged the stew out of me for some reason.

Lindsay and her family visited Disney in January too. They sent lots of pictures. You won't see any of Palmer with the characters. They were great fun as long as they weren't close.

When they got close, he hunkered down.

And just like that we have made it through January. I have stayed busy with my sorting and organizing in the house. You know the key to all of it is to bring less stuff in. I have done very little shopping in the last 3 years and quite frankly it has felt good. The one thing I did purchase last year was clothes. I love the newer pants styles, but even with my purchases I was careful to make wise purchases.  Winter is a good time to do all of that sorting and organizing and even going to bed early. I can see that the days is getting longer and I am all in for it.