Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Fourth of July!

Dear Friends,

Well, time just keeps flying by! 
Things are actually slowing down for a bit now!  I am excited about that, for sure!

It is so hot here in the hottest of hot places!!!! I don't know where all of you live, but it can't be much hotter than it is here in Mississippi!  However, we just turn up the air and get on with life! 

I have not been good about posting, but I have been quickly trying to read through and keep up with you!  It seems some of you are having or have had computer issues with the blog.  My comments are not coming to my email.  That really makes me unhappy.  I'm wondering if that's happening to you, too!  I will be checking to see if I am yet again a no-reply blogger!  I guess I will always fight that!

I cannot believe how fast this year is going by!  It's half over!  Oh my!

I have my Patriotic Tree up, and it's always one of my favorites!  I have it on Facebook, in a couple of groups that I'm in.  Maybe you've seen it there.  But here is is:

 

 

I love these happy and fun ornaments.  I have a few more I'd like to stitch.  I have lots of fun patriotic fabrics to use in finishing.  I really need to make more!


In my previous email, I talked about getting my bedroom in order and paint, flooring, etc.  I also decided to get a new sofa and rug in my living room.  You might remember that I said I had gotten a sofa that didn't look new and the rug was all curled up and wrong.  Well, I called my salesman and got it all worked out, easily and pleasantly!  I went back and picked out two totally different items and I'm very pleased with them.  It's a total change from the dark red sofa and the dark rug that is now in my bedroom.  I just got a wild harir and did it!  I didn't change anything else.  But I will now have to replace the dark chair, but that's fine.  I'll get to that!  The light sofa and rug totally changed the whole room.  It's been fun.  Now I have to stop spending money!  hahaha




Omar couldn't wait to jump on the rug and roll around!  He approves, so it must be ok!  haha  He's such a funny boy!


I actually did some stitiching on the plane for my latest music trip to Milwaukee!  I was so proud of myself!  I hope to show the completed piece on my next post.  I also got to visit with my dear friend, Janie, and she gave me a precious little row of pumpkins that she stitched, and I'm going to make a Halloween ornament with that!  What fun!!!

I cannot make a post without Omar and Zoe!  I've already shown Omar.  I just realized he's in the photo of the living room....He is such a ham!

For the Fourth, I went to brunch with my son and his wife and baby.  It's just too hot to stay outside for long.  We had a good time, though, and here is sweet Zoe!!!


Happy Fourth!  Thank you to those who still stop by my blog!  I need to work on getting more readers!!  (and it would help to post more often!!! haha)  Come visit again soon!

Frances

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hello to All!

Dear Friends,

It has been a whirlwind of activity in my neck of the woods!!!

I just checked my blog, and of course, I was no-reply yet again!!!  I think I have fixed it again.  I really don't like this at all, but I guess I'll just have to check often!!!  Grrrrrr

I have just celebrated my birthday.....a huge birthday.....I am now 60!!!  Oh my, how did that happen?  Well, it just did!   haha   I had a lovely celebration at a beautiful restaurant with my son and his family.  We had a fun time and I was totally entertained by precious Zoe!  Then my friend, Helen, took me out to eat and we had another lovely eventing.  All in all, it was great!

I had to go to Indianapolis to work on the budget of my music organization.  While I was there, I had my trusty handymen to come and re-do my bedroom.  It was painted dark burgundy, which I liked, but it screamed 1980s and I guess it was just time to update a bit!  I also had carpet, and wanted laminate floors like I have in most of the rest of my house.  They painted the walls a very pale gray, matching the master bath that I had done over about a year ago.  They re-hung the blinds and valances, both of which I decided to keep.  Burgundy toile--and I still like it.  Then they went to get the flooring, which is discontinued......So, they had to order something similar, which was to take about 5 days to come in!!!  I got home and had to sleep in the guest room for a few days, which really wasn't that bad!  It was just an obstacle course of propped furniture in my bedroom, and I had to maneuver through on the bare slab to get to my bath, clothes, etc.  But it came in and they put it down and it looks good!  So all is well!  I picked out a new fan--I had the old schoolhouse fan, which I was tired of, so I picked out a new one that is rather futuristic!  I call it the "Jetson Fan".  I'm very pleased with all and so glad to be back in there!  The handymen told me that it took 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint to get the walls right!!  haha    I put the rug from my den in there--it is too small, but I think I'm going to live with it right now.  I'm tired of looking for anything else and it matches fine--just a little bit small.  Omar seems to like it fine!  Sorry to have the antiquated exercise bike in the photo--I never get on it!  That's why the bike looks like new (even though it's old!!!)  haha   All will look better when I hang my pictures.

 



In hanging up pictures, which I have not totally finished, I decided to hang my favorite little Prairie Schoolers in the corner of my room.  I made this Prairie Year a long time ago for my mother, and she had them hung in her house, and then in her apartment.  After she died, I brought them home and they've been in a box for 3 years.  I decided I wanted them out, so one night I got in there with a hammer and hung them up.  I must tell you that hanging 12 small frames is not the easiest thing I've ever done!!!  haha  Don't look too close or you may see something a little bit off, but I think they look about as good as I'm going to get them!  I have always thought these were so sweet and I love the colors--the DMC suggested colors.  I toyed with the idea of making ornaments, but I really like these together as a set!    (the wall color is totally off in this photo!)



The weather has been hot here and steamy on some days, but pleasant on others!  Today, I thought I saw a giant turtle on the creek bank, as I was driving up to my house.  I got out with my phone and tiptoed to the creek bank, but I guess he heard me coming.  All I saw was him sliding down and plopping into the water!  He was huge!!  Probably as big as the platter I put my turkey on!  He was enjoying the sun and I guess I interrupted him!  While I was out there, I picked up two feathers from Canada Geese.  One large feather, and one medium-sized.  I brought them in, washed them off, and dried them in the sun.  They are so beatiful!



SPEAKING OF GEESE.....I think they are so beautiful, and I love seeing them waddling along with their babies.  However, they are the messiest creatures around!!  You know what I mean!  For the past 3 days I have seen tons of poop on my patio!!  I couldn't believe it!  They never come up that close to the house.  I guess they have located the sunflower seeds I put out on the patio for the ground-feeders like the mourning doves.  The cardinals like them, too!  Anyway, I was not happy because I don't want them out on my patio making a mess.  Well, yesterday I just happened to look out and see them coming through the bushes, waddling toward my patio!  I couldn't believe it!  And they had their gawky "teenager" babies with them!  I took photos and then scared them off.  However, there is fresh poo out there today, so I didn't scare them too badly!  haha   Such problems I have!! haha
These photos show them coming in and going out of my yard!!  ha


 

I am getting ready to go to the furniture store to talk about returning the sofa and rug that was delivered yesterday.  I think the sofa has been in someone's house--back cushion has a "head shaped" dent in it......Rug is all curled up and I've had big books on it, and it's still all kicked up on the edge!  Oh me... I will have to handle this!  I'm in a redecorating mood!  Oh, and the delivery men left my old sofa (which they had to move out of the way for the new one)...on its back in my foyer, by the front door and blocking the music room......Stay tuned for chapter two of this exciting adventure!

Oh yes, one more exciting thing!  While the men were here, I got them to put in a new outlet in my foyer, behind my cross stitch tree!  No more extension cords spread everywhere and running along the wall!  I am so pleased and should have done this years ago!  

Sweet Omar is in the baby doll bed, bathing and getting settled for a nap!

Thank you for stopping by.  Please do so again! 

Frances


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Has Sprung!

Dear Blogging Friends:

As usual, I'm running around and behind on the blog!  However, I'm posting my Spring Tree today!  I took the obvious rabbit and egg items off the Easter Tree and have replaced with flowers, birds, etc to be ready for Spring!  You might remember that several of these are old, outdated pieces that I either cut down or just made into ornaments.

 

 

Easter was wonderful!  (I can't believe a month has passed since then!)  Our Holy Week services went wonderfully and without problems.  The church was decorated beautifully and the music was lovely.  All was good!

I had my little family for Easter this year.  And I also included my friends that I had entertained last year when my family didn't come...We had a great time this year and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  I took this photo as I was cleaning up everything.  I always seem to forget about photos until things are over!  I used bright Easter Egg colors and was pleased with how it turned out!


My sweet Zoe came and entertained everyone!  ha  She was so dressed up in her little Easter dress!  She is a sweetie!  Omar came through and didn't hiss or slap at her, so I consider that a step in the right direction!  ha


Actually, she has come to spend time with me a couple of times and we have worked on playing nicely with Omar.  I can tell that he is tolerating her, but she is trying to pet him gently now, instead of hitting him and pulling his tail!  He backs his ears a little, but he endures her!  In another year, they will probably be great friends!  haha

I'm traveling some with my music organization.  Last week I was in Indianapolis to plan an upcoming (in a couple of years) meeting there.  It was such a quick time, but much fun.  I was able to see my dear friend Janie who lives there.  We had dinner out and then went by her beautiful home.  She has a sewing room to die for!  She also quilts and has a beautiful quilt she's working on.  Also, her cross stitch is displayed throughout her house.  It was such a fun evening!

I didn't take any cross stitch with me on the plane, which was too bad.  I was staggering out of my house to get to the airport, after waking up at 3:00 am!  I just didn't think of it until I was halfway to the airport!  Oh well!

I'm cleaning a guest bedroom that I have really let go for a long time!  I have made great progress and have a couple of boxes of junk to donate.  I am not finished...there is more!  I intend to organize my cross stitch after that, and I want to get on with some fun stitching!  You would not believe the patterns, supplies, etc that I have!  And I love each and every item!  I am going to guess that you have too much, too!  ha  But it is such a fun hobby and collecting up "things" is part of the fun!

I'm still feeding my birds and loving that!  I got my handyman to put up a feeder pole I got at Walmart and it is in the back of my yard, near the bushes.  I think it has taken some time for them to find it, but I'm seeing a little activity out there, as well.  I hope they will be more safe there, near the bushes.  It is such a fun and relaxing hobby for both me and Omar!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope to post more quickly next time.  I have another music trip coming up and I will be sure to take a small project with me this time!  I have enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful creations you all have made!  I have made several comments.  I had to go back, yet again, and fix my "no-reply" status!!  Such a problem!!!

Frances




Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter!

Hello Blogging Friends!

Thank you for all of your lovely comments on my last post.  I appreciate your visits and hope to be better in replying to your comments soon!

I have my Easter tree up, and it looks like Spring in my house! 


I'm planning my Easter lunch on Sunday.  My son and his family are coming this year.  However, since I invited friends last year, I've asked them back for this year--the more, the merrier!  I just finished setting the table.  I hope Omar doesn't get up there and sit in every plate...


We are in Holy Week at the moment, and that's about all I've been working on for a while.  I love the services, and it does take much preparation for everything to go well.  The Cathedral was beautifully decorated for Palm Sunday.  We had a procession with singing, and it was stunning.  Below is a picture of the altar area with all the palm decorations.


I especially enjoy Chrism Mass, where the sacred oils are blessed and given out to the parishes.  All of the priests of the Diocese come, and renew their vows.  Representatives from each church come to accept the oils for their churches.  The photo below is during the Eucharistic prayers, when all the priests come forward to concelebrate Mass.  I love seeing them up there together. in their matching vestments.


I don't have much more to report at the moment!  Things will calm down tremendously after Easter is over!  My birds are coming back to the feeders.  I had so many during the winter.  Then they were gone almost instantly one day!  Oh yes-I went to Texas last week, as a guest for their music convention.  I had a great time and heard some beautiful recitals.  I was the featured speaker at their banquet. I don't have any new photos of Omar or Zoe, but I know that I will after Sunday!

Happy Easter and please come visit again soon!

Frances

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Happy St. Paddy's!!!

Hello Blogging Friends!!

Hope you're all lucky and happy, and full of green beer!

I've had my St. Paddy's tree up for a couple of weeks.  I always enjoy this one, too!  (I probably say that about each one!)  I love green, and this tree certainly gives me that "green overload!"



This is the tree from a couple of views.  And below are several close up photos of various ornaments.  I think the newest is the Lizzie Kate "Luck to You" with little beads I put around the edges.  The second close up has a little green pillow with a blue and green checked ribbon.  I pinned a little antique shamrock pin with a pipe on it.  That belonged to my "Nannie" who died about 52 years ago and she was in her 80s at that time.  It's really old and so worn out.  The shamrock is wire and little green threads were woven through the wire, under the little white pipe.  Almost all of the threads are gone, but I think it's really sweet.

 


You will notice I put green lights on the tree!  Also, there are many green beads.  We have a St Paddy's Day parade here, and I have tons of green beads from that!

I love stitching St. Patrick's Day ornaments!  I have such cute little shamrock fabrics!  I have a few patterns sitting here, patiently waiting for me to stitch them!  Haha   I need to do that, so I can use my cute fabrics!

My dear friend Janie came for a visit, and we had such a good time, as always.  She was able to finish up a couple of ornaments.  I did some stitching on a Christmas Cardinal, but it's not finished yet.

I always have to show a photo of my "two favorites!"
First is Omar.....I decided to clean the bottom of the windows...where the window closes.  It had dirt piled up there.  I opened the windows and got wet paper towels and cleaned it up.  The dirt comes through the screen and collects on the bottom of the sill outside.  They were so dirty!  When I opened the window, Omar jumped in the window and smelled the outside air, looking like a bunny!  ha  He sat there all afternoon.  I didn't feel I could leave the room because the screens are just barely screwed in and I was afraid he would knock the screen out and go for a neighborhood run!!!!  However, it was so nice to have the fresh air in the house!  I can't really do it now....all the pollen is everywhere!
I went on the patio to take Omar's picture, and he's really busy telling me something!  Silly kitty!


My son sent me this photo of Zoe. I laughed and laughed when I got it!  They were teaching her how to take a selfie with the phone!  That curl on top is so funny!!!


I guess that's about it for right now!  I'm getting out the Easter stuff and will get everything changed up quickly.  Holy Week is almost here!  EEEEK!  I love the services, but I play for 6 days straight!  It's a lot to keep up with, but I've got it pretty organized, so it usually goes off without a hitch!  (fingers crossed!)  I will post photos of the Cathedral with its Easter decorations.  It's always stunning!

One thing I forgot to show you on my Mardi Gras post was my lion on the front porch!  He was at my mother's house, and came to live with me when she died!  I found a large plastic bag in her closet with a Santa hat (with a little neck strap) and a mask and beads.  Those were the lion's finery for Christmas and Mardi Gras!  She would decorate him and had his things all packed up in a bag.  He can also wear the mask for Halloween!  Anyway, here is Mr. Lion in his Mardi Gras getup!  He's too cute!  I should try to find him some bunny ears!



I don't have as many birds as I had several weeks ago.  I'm sure some headed home to somewhere in the North.  I've got to do a little reading on that.  I still have my feeders, and birds are still coming, but not in the huge numbers they were before!  

Thanks for stopping by, and please come again soon!
Frances

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mardi Gras Fun!

Dear Blogging Friends:

It's Fat Tuesday tomorrow, and then Ash Wednesday, and my days as Cathedral Organist are full until Easter!!!  Wow!  Time flies so fast!!!

I have my Mardi Gras Tree set up in the foyer, and it's pretty similiar to last year's.  It always makes me smile and I love the bright colors!  I have said before that I grew up an hour and a half from New Orleans, and we always went to the big parade-Rex-on Fat Tuesday.  Such happy memories from so many years ago!


Omar walked by as I was taking photos, and decided to sit and pose!  Silly kitty!


This is a fun little ornament of a mask, and directly above it is my little voodoo doll!  She has a blue feather on her head!  It's so cute--I bought it in New Orleans several years ago.  Of course, I've never tried to use it!  haha


These are two fun ornaments I stitched.  I especially like the comedy/tragedy masks, because I put vintage Mardi Gras beads across the very bottom of it.  And I like the plaid ribbon hanger.  Such fun!


This is a fleur de lis and I like the Mardi Gras colors.  You can't see it well, but there's a little matching charm and black tassel at the top left of it, where the hanger attaches. My mother loved New Orleans and went there often when SHE was growing up.  When I cleaned out her apartment after she died, there were many, many beads and she had 4 or 5 pieces of paper with the Mardi Gras colors on them--I guess she didn't want to forget!!!  If you aren't familiar, I'll share them:
GOLD for power, PURPLE for justice, GREEN for faith


I have described this one before, but for those who might be new, I have feathers at the top left and bottom right that belonged to my mother's friend's bird named Joe!  He was an Amazon Blue Front Parrot and regularly dropped feathers, so his owner saved them for me because I like feathers!!!  I have all colors and sizes.  They are so sweet!

Speaking of birds, we have had white pelicans in the bay of my neighborhood lately.  It was so exciting and we all would walk or drive by, just to admire them.  It seems that they were migrating back to Manitoba from the Gulf of Mexico.  I guess they liked the looks of things here, and stopped in mid-Mississippi for a little break so they could entertain us!  Aren't they wonderful??  They've moved on now, but we will never forget the excitement they brought!

 

Aren't they beautiful??  There were so many and we all loved watching them.


This photo was taken from the bridge, right by my house.  For some odd reason, they all were gathering in the narrow part of the bay.  It looks like they're on top of each other!  If you look closely, you can see more of them swimming toward the big group, in a line.  They stayed, for the most part, in a line.  Fascinating.  Also, you can see some egrets on the bank, just checking things out!


In addition, these ducks came through, too.  Lesser Scaup--I've not seen those and they are so lovely.


Speaking of egrets, you might remember the photo on my last post about them being everywhere.  They were here a little before the pelicans.  Later, I took this behind my house.  They were all gathered together, having a nice visit.  Some were even in the trees!  So funny!  Egrets are here all the time, but just not so many!

My "regular" birds are here, as usual, and are still being enjoyed.  I feed them all the time and wish the squirrels would get out of my feeders!!!  Oh well, they have to eat, too!


I'll leave you with another photo from Zoe's birthday.  She's my sweet girl!

Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon!
Frances

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Valentines Day is on the way!

Dear Blogging Friends:

We are almost finished with January....time certainly does fly!

I put up my Valentines Tree, and have almost finished my Mardi Gras Tree, too!  I just need to add the beads!

Since these always fall close together, I have them both up at the same time!  The Valentines Tree is the super skinny one I put in the Dining Room.  I love these ornaments, and enjoy seeing them each year.  This tree always seems happy and fun to me, and I love the colors.  I've always read that children really love Valentines Day--they love to trade the cards at school and there's usually a party with cupcakes and some kind of red drink!!!  Valentines was my husband's birthday, but it doesn't really make me sad about that.  I just hate that he's not here, getting old while I do!  I guess we'll always think of him as young.


I also love my little monkeys that are so cute!!!  I have three of them and they make me smile.  In addition to my stitched ornaments, I have several bought ones that are fun and sparkly, as well as some vintage Valentines from my cousin's mother-in-law!  Aren't these fun??  I love the one with the little faded honeycomb part, by the pink monkey!  So sweet!  The lady would be in her upper 90s now, so the Valentines are probably more than 80 years old.  I love these sweet ornaments--need to make a few more!  The little "Bee my Valentine" was a discontinued store model that I bought in Memphis.  It had blue fabric around it, which I didn't think looked like a Valentine, so I removed the blue added the pink fabric and ribbon so it would look more like Valentines!


We've had snow twice this winter...unheard of here in Mississippi!!!  I've been feeding my birds and they are starting to look REALLY round and happy!!  I sometimes fill one feeder 3 times during a day.  Possibly I'm being a little overprotective, but they almost look like they're smiling when I refill!  The bright green "finch sock" was on sale, so I got it to try it, and they caught on immediately!  Sometimes there will be 5 or 6 goldfinches hanging on it, just eating away!

 

The egrets are everywhere!  This is the creek beside my house and I just love seeing them all sitting around and taking it easy!  There's one funny bird perched on the railing in this photo!  I guess he wanted a better view of it all!


Sweet Zoe had her First Birthday this month!  She was so precious and funny!  She played with the gift bags and ribbons more than the toys, but that's to be expected!  She was dressed in her mother's little Chinese silk outfit, but Zoe was too big for it and the top wouldn't button, so they left it open with a shirt under it!  How creative!  And she was playing with this big clump of ribbon, so I put it on her head!  She didn't leave it on long, but it was so cute!


The other night, I couldn't find Omar, but I knew he was hiding somewhere.  I went all around the house, looking, and came upon this sight!  This little doll bed was made by my grandfather for my mother when she was 5.  It was originally painted "apple green".  That's how my mother described it.  Anyway, it's stained into the wood and this is the best it will strip.  It's rickety and not safe, except for toys.  I use it every year at Christmas to hold the gifts I have for my choir, and I distribute them at the party.  Well, now you know that I haven't put the little bed away yet!!  haha--soon!  Omar was in there resting, and totally ignoring me while I walked around and called for him!  Silly cat!


Well, I guess that's about all for now!  Thanks for stopping by and please come again!
I'll show you the Mardi Gras tree soon--just gotta get those beads on it!

Frances