Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sunday Afternoon, June 23, 2024 AD (in the year of our Lord)


I have been doing some stitching. Not as much as I want, but as much as I can squeeze in. I am still working on the Advent calendar and have finished 12 of 24 of the items.

At the rate I have been stitching, it takes 2-3 days to stitch one of the little items that will make pockets.  I have laid out the book and all the floss colors on my counter in the sewing room which has made the stitching go faster or easier. The pattern is in a book which sitting in my chair in the living room can be cumbersome. I can leave it all out in there and pop in whenever I want to stitch. 

I have started a new big piece. I am still considering myself a one stitch person because these days that fits my mind's attention best, but this one I keep by my chair in the living room for time when I am not reading.

Here is the pattern. I will not frame it like this. I think a compass rose or something like that would be a great addition to the upper left corner so no need to try and make a mat finish it off.

Here is my start. I am in no hurry, but one day I think I will have a Florida wall in my master bedroom.


I finished another good book. The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon was another intense read. I say intense because it had lots of action and the subject matter reminds me I am glad I was born in 1960. It follows a midwife in the 1700's in Maine. The one who recommended it to me said it would make a great movie. Yes Arlene, you were so right. Between this latest read and The Women, I read some inspirational books to lighten the load. I have another by the author of The Women to read this summer, but I am going to read a lighter one for the next 2 weeks and hold off on the other until July. I have been on a reading kick lately and am enjoying the distraction it brings.

The Frozen River's midwife kept a journal and I loved the entries. It reminded me of how much I like keeping a paper journal of sorts myself. Hers kind of reminded me of a Daybook with her entries of weather and where she went and the babies delivered, but also noting that she was just at home some days. Home - I love days at home too!

With that daybook in mind, I will make the remainder of the post similar.


It has been a nice start to June here in the Panhandle of Florida. I have thought the mornings and evenings have still be quite delightful, although I sensed this week brought the heat with it. I may not be able to spend the mornings and evenings outside on the deck as much.

What Is in My Ear?

I am into podcasts. This is not new, but I am pretty much loving this format. I have tried to read more fiction as of late, so listening to my informative newsy things in podcast form feeds my need to learn and know more. I stuff my phone in my shorts pockets or apron and away I go while attending chores. My topics are usually health or just plain informational. It feeds my nerdy side. Probably need a catchier title for this one rather than What is in my ear? I didn't want to end with a preposition with What I am listening to?

What I am Watching?

For awhile now, I have been watching The Gilmore Girls. Seasons back then were 22 episodes rather than 10 like today so I have finally made it to Season 5. I was ready for something else, so I went back to Sweet Magnolias.  I have one more episode there to be finished with it. That one is straight up soap opera. I miss my old soaps. I was a Guiding Light girl.

What I am Wearing?

My summer uniform is chino shorts and a cotton or linen top to be cool. Not a lot of variety but it is my favorite season for weather and fashion.

My To Do List

Washing windows outside. I don't do anything fast anymore. I am more the tortoise than the hare. I clean two rooms a day thoroughly and then devote the remainder of my energy or time to such objects as cleaning outdoor windows or any other similar project. I missed cleaning my windows last summer with the crazy summer I had and I am paying for it big time. Sea spray is really bad on the back ones and it is not going to come down with the Windex stuff you put on the end of the hose, so I may be cleaning windows for a while. YIKES...


How much I love watermelons and peaches...another reason to love summer!

I don't think a lot of people share my love for summer, but that is ok.

Change comes - like it or not...

I am preparing for some change, but not worrying about it...just trying to prepare my mind for it. Like looking for homes. I don't think it is real soon, but it is most likely coming so we have driven around a lot and looked at neighborhoods. I am coming to some conclusions about what I would like vs not like when the time comes. I will say I really like Fort Walton Beach rather than some of the surrounding areas where finding a smaller home would be possible. I like my big trees dripping with Spanish moss and I like that we have lots of access points to the water for the public. 

Like I said, I am not worrying over it, but pondering it and PRAYing over it for down the road. 

Our previous home which is walking distance from our current home is not for sale, but was the perfect house plan and size. It was so pretty and now...

It looks awful. It has been through 3 owners and is on its 4th. The yard that we worked so hard on and was quintessential southern has been destroyed. It was once outline with white dwarf azaleas, flanked on the sides by sweet olive and camellias  and at the end of the drive you were met with big pink Pride of Mobile azaleas. Lush St. Augustine grass was sodded by hand by us WHEN we were young. Lots more too.

You know what is there now? No grass...not one blade, one lone plant remains. A camellia. All the other is gone. Sad huh?! I sometimes I wish I could get it back and take it back to its former glory. 
Mostly, I don't like to walk by it. I let Donna who lives across the street from there walk to our house, so I don't have to look at it.

Here it was back in the 80's.

The little girl on the front is Kristan and Lindsay is in the chair. I can't tell who is holding her, but she was a baby. Maybe it is Aunt Donna who lives across the street from this house.


I am also pondering how much I hate Parkinson's!

In the Garden

Oh my,  the flowers this year! I have had a major run of tough luck. Gardening can be like that but this problem I think I have finally figured out and I think it all comes down to fertilizer. I purchased something new on a quick trip and I didn't look too closely at the percentages. I was so frustrated with my flower pots on the front and then it started affecting my roses. I was just not getting it, but then it hit me. I took a look at the label and I really do think that is it and that all is not lost just yet. Frustrating, but not done yet.

Jeff and I went to Auburn for a few days. It was good to get away and check on the house up there. That is about it here in my little world. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

June Birthdays and a Little Thinking Back to 2014

This is mostly going to be a post for me to record the June birthdays in our family. However, I will reminisce for a second. I remembered after my last post that the date June 6 was important to me in other ways. I did a post on June 7th of my first year of this blog recording a very special day in my life --- retirement from 31 years of teaching and noting that my last official day of work was June 6, 2014. I took a moment to reread the things I did in June that year. Along with celebrating family birthdays, a trip to the beach was taken and then I painted the kitchen and the dining room all in June and July. Many plans for my life were swirling in my head. I will just go ahead and say quickly many of those plans did not come to fruition, but I was not imagining grandchildren and what a blessing they have been.

I was thinking the other day how I should probably change my tag line for the blog....

A blog about decorating, stitching, baking, gardening, family and walking a faith-filled journey.

I am not sure I am living up to that tag line at all!

I do not plan to change it. It is what I thought the blog would be and maybe one day it will be... 
It is mostly a small glimpse into my little corner of the world. I do like to record my stitching and the highlight reel of my family. We are not perfect as a family, nor does everything work hunky dory in our lives and a blog can be a highlight reel that can make one think otherwise.

I am still a fan of blogs more than any other medium although time is limited at this stage of my life. For now, I will plod along with the tag line as it is.

My sidekick sitting on an old comforter in the sewing room while I stitch. The comforter has been with us for almost 40 years. I bought it at Sears and it was my most favorite comforter I have ever purchased. Feel and weight were perfect. It just got old and faded and the stitching sort of gave out so it is a dog blanket these days. I think Gus likes it too.

Gus, Jeff, and Paul Allen have June birthdays. Can y'all believe Gus is already 7 years old.

Ok ---birthdays. I have had to let the birthdays being rolled into one celebration as the family grows. We choose a weekend also to celebrate so all the littles can stay on their schedules. The kids all arrived early to swim while I took Mother to urgent care. 

I stayed calm and we stayed out of the ER. She rolled herself into the living room before Jeff and I got Gus put in his kennel box and proceeded to talk to him which she never does. He got all excited and scratched her arm. It peeled the skin back. Her skin is like tissue paper and skin tears like this have happened twice before. They always seem to happen at the worst times. All is well now and home health is doing the wound care so I don't have to worry about that. I mostly took live shots so here is the recording of life after I arrived home from urgent care Sunday afternoon.

Lots of fun was had by all. Tucker can now jump off the end of the dock with his floaties on of course. I think he felt very comfortable with Paul Allen being there to catch him. Tyler missed the event. Work got him and he didn't make it. We were sad, but he was too.
 Palmer and Miles also jumped off with Katie and Paul Allen catching them, so not a full fledge head under, but still quite a big deal. Palmer is not so impressed yet and only did it because Miles did it first. And getting pulled around on a giant llama is fun too. 

We had fried fish which the guys had to cook. We do it outside so we don't have that mess inside. Cheese grits and salad were enjoyed too. I made 2 desserts on Saturday that matched the days when we used to have 2 separate parties for both guys. Don't worry, Gus got celebrated too! I made a yellow cake with the fudgy icing and a strawberry pretzel salad. Both were hits.

The pictures show the mess too, but sometimes the pictures like that are the best kind. All the bloggers who showed perfect pictures have gone on to make money and left blogging. We will just go back to the old days when it was fun before it got crazy.

Miles is exuberant when the other 2 show up. He loves for them to come over.

Next up, notice Miles has his head in a plate. He had just received his piece of cake and we laughed later looking at the picture because I don't think any of us realized he was doing this for the picture.

He popped up to jump in the picture of Mom and Lindsay. Notice her bandaged arm...

We had fun celebrating and then relaxing in the living room. While my plans were so different back in 2014, how could I ever say anything but good when my family has grown and gifted me with such special time with the boys.

A group hug was in order to leave.


Now, for an update on Jeff. The surgery has been canceled as of yesterday. His back is better and not hurting, so it has been decided to wait until it happens again. He has spent almost 5 months miserable and then the nail event happened. It has been quite a ride for him. The nail hole is almost healed. He had his last injection today. It has not fully closed up so the last injection was a different antibiotic and is supposed to continue working for 2 more weeks. He will still go in twice a week to check and redo bandage. He is still limited on the walking on it but he can ride his bike.

It has been a crazy few months. CRAZY, I say.
I am making it and have prioritized some self care for me. I have had 3 beach days since the beginning of June and enjoyed every single one of them. I am sure most of you have read about the shark attacks. Sharks are there!!! I never swim in the Gulf. I never go in more than mid calf deep, but what happened last Saturday is odd. I always see people being so brave with the water and you want to tell them to think about things, but they would think you were crazy. I try to just let it go. You don't live along the coast not to have heard of so many drownings and yes, shark attacks. When the kids were in high school, a 14 year old girl from Louisiana died from a shark attack in Destin. It was awful. That is not what one expects on a vacation. 

Let's end on a happier note.
I do plan to come back next week with a post of thoughts on all kinds of topics and some stitching. 
Until then, enjoy the summer. I know I am!!!


Thursday, June 6, 2024

June 6, 2024 AD

 Since I am writing on D-Day, I must make note of this day. What a great sacrifice was made on our behalf! My father-in-law went in a day or two after there at Normandy. They were definitely the greatest generation and should be honored.

This little gem was once a gorgeous light blue hydrangea that took up a large space. Over time, it looked worse and worse and I pretty much thought it had died. I wasn't sure of the cause, but I left what remained of it there. For the past 2 years, it has sprouted and had one tiny bloom. This year it has 2 stems and one gigantic bloom which is more purple.  I like blue better, but I am celebrating its possible return to glory.

I have been stitching away on another Countdown to Christmas holder for Miles this time. You may remember seeing these same stitches done back in 2020. I have 7 out of 24 to do. I want to leave myself time to put it altogether without being rushed.  I have another large stitch I am working on, but I don't have enough progress to really show yet.

I have been busy without outdoor work between rain or hot weather. I reached down to pull up an oak leaf sprout which happens a lot and got an acorn and root too. I love it. I stuck in a pot because that is what I do!

I have raked a ton of leaves and straw---10 trashcans worth over the past 2 weeks.

You can see a sampling of them:) for proof.

If I don't they all wash down to the bottom deck and I am tired of cleaning it up. Usually Jeff and I tag team this chore, but the sidewalk and lower deck is the scene of the nails in the feet.

Those stones don't keep it from washing down on to the lower deck. I am going to add some more tomorrow to the sides of the sidewalk to try and help my issue, but now that the leaves and straw are up hopefully less will come down.

I have squeezed in 2 beach visits these past 2 weeks. I have toted my little chair out there with a big old glass of ice water and a good book and just had me a nice time. I have told myself that is going to be a priority this summer while I am not babysitting. 

My boys are growing up so quickly. The next picture was taken at church this past Sunday. Miles liked his animal hat so much that he kept it on.

Jeff is still getting his IV antibiotics daily. He will continue for another week. He saw the infectious disease doctor yesterday and according to measurements taken it has healed about 66 percent, so that is good. Surgery is still up in the air and I know you are sick of hearing about it, so I am stopping for today.

Gus got a grooming and I snapped a picture of his bowtie which he hates, but he is sure cute.

This next week is birthday week so baking and celebrating the men in my life will be happening.

Summertime is my favorite season, so I am trying to squeeze all the goodness out of it every single day. Heat and all!