Oh Ireland how you captured my heart!





Oh my!  Where to start!  Ireland was marvelous; everything I dreamed it would be and more. I had expected Wales, why I do not know since I was right on the Atlantic so should have expected a coastal environment. But it was all wonderful.  The Atlantic was so warm, and the weather!!  Erica hated the rain and cool temps, but I reveled in them!!  It is my type of weather!! The Irish people were so very warm and welcoming!  The slower pace of life, the clean fresh food, the inclusiveness and focus on things that matter, the feeling of safety!  I could go on and on…..just being surrounded by such beauty day in and out!  But mostly seeing Christina and the grands!!!  They are all flourishing in this beautiful green land of peace and plenty.  Oh the grand time we had. Of course we did major thrift shopping.  Ireland has amazing thrift shops and the prices can’t be beat.  I also got in lots of sight seeing and wandering through beautiful holy ruins, danced my feet off to lovely Irish music, had my fill of the Guinness, and played in the Atlantic Ocean.  Bill cooked the most ahhmazing dinners nightly….omg amazing! The quality of the foods, all fresh and local, was a thing of beauty indeed!! The local grocer visited weekly in his van filled with staples and extras…..loved that!!  The tea and biscuits, crisps and omg the breads!!  Last time I visited France and the UK (sadly 20 years ago), I swore I would never return to the USA, but well that was a dream…..  But now, now living in a place of beauty, peace, and plenty is not such a dream but a clear possibility.  So I flew home knowing that this is one dream I can fulfill in a few years time.

I want this post all positive, but it is hard not to contrast the mess we have here with the beauty, peace, and prosperity that so many other nations enjoy.  Clean food, clean air, a collective spirit, a slow pace that focuses on humanity not profits.  I returned to a country that had just had one of the largest mass shootings (well there were numerous), a community caught up in a gang war with multiple drive by shootings, and a citizenship that has lost its soul.  Toxic water (blue green algae), toxic air, poisoned food sources, a crazed gun culture, and the USA work ethic that doesn’t promote mental health and the need for reasonable work hours and vacations. Sigh….I won’t even mention the narcissistic evil thing occupying the White House and his enablers.  I will hold Ireland in my heart (and plan my next trip).  I will keep the Irish spirit that I felt so deeply from the people as my strength.

Yes Ireland, you have captured my heart!


Painting and packing….

Only a bit over a week away and I will be on my way to Ireland to see my loves!  I have already been busy packing as I have a lot I want to take to Christina and the grands.  At minimum two large checks bags full of this and that.  I am so excited to see them all! This will be such a fun and exciting time as it has been over 20 years since I last visited Europe.

While waiting and planning I have been busy busy busy….  The husband has had two long week ends away and I used the time to do some deep cleaning and some painting!  I finally tackled that black furniture I had become so extremely tired of..


Boy howdy was it a great deal of work!  But isn’t it just absolutely lovely?  The black was so dark and dreary.  Not only do I love this color but it adds cheer to the entire room.  Next up I will paint the breakfast nook chairs and the bar benches (I am thinking a burnt orange).  I am getting all the dark colors out out out. When living in a house that is not full of light I find that I must do everything possible to add as much light as possible.

I just haven’t really been up to my usual running about chasing yard sales.  However, I have managed to find a few nice bits here and there. My favorite were these Hummels.  I adore each of them…that little piggy in the basket is way over the top in cuteness!


I also nabbed some gorgeous Christmas cards.


I think this little bit of needlepoint is lovely.  I just love the hand made items.  The detail is so exquisite.


I did find a few other bits, some sampler kits and in progress pieces, holiday bits, and a few kitchen odds and ends.

Another thing on my agenda for the week-end was to get some oily products made.  I made up numerous sprays and oily rollers that will I will take to work for the Alzheimers Association fundraiser.  I tried out a variety of recipes and mixes.  I had discovered Blackthorn’s book and wanted to make up every potion in it!  The book is a real treat and is now on my to buy list.

I do love how when I play in the oils the entire house smells so darn good!


I have really been utilizing the library a great deal lately.  I have been checking out every book on Reiki, Chakras, essential oils, and Ayurveda.  It has been bags and bags of books. But has given me a chance to really read a variety of authors and then pick the books I want to add to my own personal library. I like that I can order books from so many libraries so have a large assortment of titles available.  I have jumped head first into embracing Ayurveda principles for optimal well-being! So I have been collecting books on the practice. I was thrilled to find the three textbooks by Dr. Vad.  Below are my latest goodies:


I have also continued with some amazing books on tape.  A month or so back I started the habit of daily walks at work. I use that time to listen to my latest audio book.  Currently I am listening to Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.  Although a bit dry it is fascinating.  It just makes me sad that we were sold a false account of history in our public school systems.  It was a very exclusive story that held no place of honor for those who did not fit the white, middle-class version. I am horrified when I think of all those who did not fit this false bill of goods and how that impacted their own story and journey.  I just pray we can repair that damage as we seek to uncover and make known the truth and give place of honor to all peoples. There is just so very much work to be done!

And now I must away to finish up my last paper for summer term. Oh how I love this learning process and all the wonderful exciting things I learn that enrich my life!

Happy Happy,





And June is gone…

My but how the month of June just flew by!  I don’t care to have a month fly by so quickly!  I barely had to time to take a breath and in a few days it will be July!  But oh what a lovely June we had here in the PNW.  The weather remained cool for the most part and we even had some nice rainy days!  I admit I love rain and by the time summer is at end I am just begging for the nice wet days of autumn.  When I live on the east side of the state we could go months with no rain and oh how I prayed for a cloudy day and even a few sprinkles!

I took advantage of one of my days off and got out my Independence Day decor.  I have quite a collection and only did a few vignettes with a small amount of my collection.  I am pleased with it all.


I adore these little cross stitch pictures that I found a few years ago at a yard sale!


At work we have been doing all and sundry to raise money for the Alzheimers Association.  The residents have been tie dying up a storm and making all matter of things to sell.  Last Saturday we had a car wash, BBQ, and sale.  It was a lovely time with staff and residents joining in.  Everyone had on their tie dyed shirts and were busy bustling around doing this and that.  Unfortunately I cannot share pictures of my dear sweet residents but here are a few and the tie dye items I just couldn’t resist!


And why would I need a pink girly onesie?  Because a new granddaughter will be joining the family!  Becca surprised us all with the announcement that she was having a baby and we all were rooting for another baby girl!  This little one will arrive in December!  I am looking so forward to some knitting projects in pinks and sewing up ruffles and what not!

I did make a few yard sale stops on the way to the fund raising event (but of course I did!).  I found some goodies that just had to come home with me!  Well I actually hit the jackpot on holiday items!


Look at these Santas!!


Would you say I cleaned up on Halloween items?!  I just love every piece.  A great deal of Midwest and Bethany Lowe!!


I just cannot resist a cute mug.  My girls just love mugs too so I like to grab cute ones for them.  The scrabble mug is just way too cute!


I am always finding St. Francis as he is quite popular.  But when I saw this Madonna I just had to have her.  I think she is just beautiful!  I am working on making an alter in my home and my Madonna will be just perfect for that sacred spot!


I think these funky funny iron birds are just a riot and so picked them up.  I’m sure they will be passed along to one of the girls.


Comes a lovely three day week end and what’s a girl to do but begin some major rearranging!  Of course it helps if you just happen to but the mother of all curio cabinets!

This gorgeous beauty was posted on the marketplace and I just kept watching it as the price lowered.  Finally I could resist no more and took the bait. It just barely….honestly without an inch to spare…fit into my car.  At 80 inches tall and 46 inches wide it is one enormous piece!  It pays to have an extra wide long SUV when you are a devil of a thrifter!  But look how wonderfully my baskets fit into this lovely piece!


This new addition meant that I could now transfer the Hummels to a larger curio where they could more easily been seen and enjoyed!  The curio that they were in will be taken to work to used for the products my sweet residents make to sell.


With an empty wall I did a bit of rearranging of pictures.  So far I like it, but it may change….still a work in progress…


This has always been one of my favorite pieces.  I just love the shape of it for some odd reason.  I think it is perfect in the kitchen area by the back door holding some plants.



Once that was complete it was time to begin to work on my newest frame project.  I desperately need a decent bulletin board at work.  When I found this frame I knew it was just the ticket!  I will cover the cork board with linen and have yet another lovely piece to use at work.


Look at this gorgeous detail!


And now I must back to focusing on a research paper.  It is always nice to take a break and refresh the brain.  The week end is just beginning and there is going to be lots more to complete before it is over!

Happy Independence Day!


Solitude and lots of cleaning…

Friday, last, the hubs left for a long week end off with his motorcycle buddies to do a camp out.  That left me home alone to play as I wished.  And play I did:

I had so very much fun playing in the oils and made up a variety of roller balls and sprays.  I will taking these to work to donate as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer Association. It was so fun finding different recipes and combining a mixture of oils for a variety of remedies.  I really must make up an assortment of these for myself!  I made bug sprays, and smudging sprays, sleepy time sprays, and memory boosting oils, oils for headache, and immune boosting, and so many more!  Notice how I am using the double dickered lazy Susan I found at a yard sale last week?  It is just the ticket!

Speaking of oils brings to mind my focus of my PhD which is all about complementary and alternative medical practices.  I just have to share just how much I am enjoying my latest course, Ayurveda Medicine. The professor is a practitioner and a great part of the learning is applying the principles to our own lives. Since it is a practice that connects mind, body, and spirit the applications are very life enhancing and life giving!  If you are interested in a bit of just what is Ayurveda this website is amazing www.banyanbotanicals.com. You can take a test to determine your dosha type and then get loads of information on how to keep yourself balanced.  I promise the information is so spot on and helpful!

Aside from the oily play, I got a bit crazy with the house cleaning.  Oh boy howdy but I went to town indeed.  See I have all these tile floors with light ivory grout….imagine light ivory grout and dogs and dirt….yeah not a nice picture.  Well it was time once again to get down on the hands and knees and really have at it.  Lord Love a Duck but my poor ole knees groaned with pain, but I got them all done and how lovely they look!  Then I determined I just must do all the baseboards and wash down the walls…boxers and their drooly slime ya know.  Then I had to deep clean the carpets and then the guest bath and then on and on.  The house looks and smells so lovely now and I am very pleased indeed!

Part of that crazy cleaning spell was due to needing to keep busy as my oldest darling grand, my Doodle Bug was in the air on an eleven hour flight to Japan.


She of course made it safely and is having a grand time.  She is there on a language scholarship.  This little brainiac decided last fall to learn Japanese and did so well she won a national scholarship to travel to Japan and do some language immersion.  I could not be more proud of her!  But to have her half way around the world does bring out my worry wart nature….


After all that cleaning I took some pics of a few of my favorite little vignettes through out the house. I did move some houseplants around, placing some out in the breakfast nook to adds a bit of brightness.  I love how plants just add such a lovely touch.

Oh my when I was out on my walking the dogs the other day with the hubs, we happened upon this lovely bicycle for sale.


Since my middle had been looking for a bike just like this, I of course grabbed it for her.  At $30 I think it was a great deal.  It has a light aluminum frame and as she requested no gears and the old fashioned breaks on the pedals.  She was of course delighted.  Now to get it over to her…

Although I skipped one day of sales, I did venture out a bit on Saturday to take a break from all the cleaning.  I found a few lovely bits to bring home with me:

Isn’t this just the loveliest antique wedding ring quilt?  It was under $10.  I just love it so much!


Oh My am I developing a Nancy Ann obsession?!


Sweet little purse to carry my cell phone on my walks.


This little Buddha was actually in a box of crafts below.  The little boxer is just perfect for my collection.


I could not resist this box of beads and assorted bits.


Here is where my latest little boxer sits.  Among my sweet Frassy and Munster and my other little glass boxers that I have found or been gifted.  The cross stitch and little tea cup were from my dear friend Louella, the beaning boxers were from my dear friend Vivian, and the necklace with Frassy and Munsters names was from my Becca.  All so dear to my heart….


All too soon the weekend came to an end and once again it was back to work.  I have been so good at incorporating spin classes and walking into my daily routine.  I do appreciate that my schedule is so flexible.  And so routine returns until the next weekend …. I think it may be the week end to pick up the paintbrush and start some furniture projects?!

Thinking a clean house is a sign of a clear and uncluttered mind,


More Lovely Treasure Hunting

I was beginning to think that this year was going to be a wash for treasure hunting…and then this week end happened!

Another piece of painted milk glass!  I am getting quite the nice collection of the painted pieces and I think they are so very lovely!


Baskets of such beauty, oh my!  It has been the season for cranberry glass!


I am a bit of an oddball about my mugs and cups.  They have to have a certain feel in my hand and this one not only fits perfectly but is also a thing of beauty!


I certainly could not pass up a cake stand in the grape leaf pattern.  I am very choosey about the pieces I add anymore, but this little lovely was a mere $4!


This sweet little vaseline glass jar was .50 and just the cutest ever.


This year I have not see a great deal of needlepoint pieces.  But this sweet little stool is a perfect addition to my other pieces.  I just love filling my home with lovely pieces of handwork. I know the work that goes into these pieces and like to think the maker would be pleased knowing that her pieces are being appreciated and loved.


Beautiful crockery and check out that little doily!


We all know how I love decorating for the holidays so no big surprise that I would bring this lady liberty home with me!


I had been meaning to grab a brush for dry brushing and some other assorted bath items so when I found this new with tags….well it was just the thing!


More lovely little dollies.  I will redress the one in green.  I searched on line and it appears these are Nancy Ann Storybook dolls and their story is charming. These would both have been made prior to 1948.


Vintage fabric loveliness!!


And another cute little baby.  This little one is on a few inches high.


Oh my such lovelies!  I also picked up a few toys that I did not bother to photo.  I do enjoy keeping a record of my finds as I can look back and see if I actually used or kept the items and determine if I am just picking up needless clutter.  It is interesting how my thrift buying has changed over the years.

Since coming to the city one of the things I have dearly missed is cycling.  I had gone out a few times, but the traffic is awful and it seems the norm around here for cyclist and pedestrians to be hit…oh my!  I have attended spin class off and on and decided if I cannot be out on my bike then I best get back into spinning.  So that is what I did….and I love it!  I was not sure I could complete a spin class as out of shape as I have become…but I did and I can.  Since I have been concerned about my lack of movement and the impact upon my health, I recently started tracking my steps and adding daily walks while at work.  I happened to find a shaded lovely street behind my place of work and a huge church parking lot.  The route, if I plan it correctly, can give me a nice 2 mile walk.  It has done wonders for my mental health to leave during the workday and regroup.


All that shade makes it possible to walk even on the hottest days!

During my walks I listen to books on tape.  Currently I am listening to the most fascinating book on aging and death…very appropriate for the field I am in and the fact that I am now in my 60s and experience numerous changes in my own body due to the aging process.  I believe this book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, should be required reading for everyone in the field of elder care.  It is one of those books that leaves a permanent mark on you and how you view the world around you.



With summer term started my studies have taken up a great deal of my time.  I am studying Ayurveda Medicine this term.  It is an ancient Indian practice and it is fascinating!  I have determined that of the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, I am Kapha.  I find it such an amazing study.  It is one of the oldest practices and many of the ancient Chinese practices were based in part on Ayurveda principles.  The principles, based strongly on nature, are so spot on with what science is proving today.  I am implementing many of the practices into my own life and find that they are so helpful as they address body, mind, and spirit.  They fit so well with my new Reiki practices and lifestyle changes. Speaking of Reiki, my Reiki table arrived and I have been practicing on my hubby.  Reiki is such a beautiful addition to my life and has really been quite transformative.  I am much calmer and it has improved my meditation practices to add Reiki into them.  Oh that I could have had all these tools 30 years ago!  Western medicine really lost so very much when it focused on a pharmaceuticals as the answer to all and viewed the body as a machine with each part distinct into itself.  The more we learn the more we realize that it is a model that is great in emergencies, but does not promote overall health.

In the world of making, I must admit I have done nothing!  My knitting mojo has waned and even my dishcloth knitting has stopped.  But that is OK.  One just needs to go with the flow.  It will return and I will be knitting up a storm and sewing something lovely.

The time is growing closer for my trip to Ireland! It is only just over 5 weeks away! I am very excited!  It is so hard to have the kids so far away. I miss them so much so there will be lots of memories to be made in a few short weeks.  While I have never been to Ireland, I left my heart in the UK upon my first visit at 18 years old. The green rolling hills, the beautiful lilting voices, the slower pace, and the endless beauty and history for miles!

Well now must off and head over to get some spinning in.






A Good Haul…

Oh my and what a week end it was!  I got out to numerous sales and found some wonderful treasures!  I know, I know, I keep saying I have to downsize but hey I am being careful in what I chose to add.  I am also busy subtracting a great many things away.  So all in all that makes for a justification…right?!

First was my darling dolly (I am back into just thinking I need all these cute little dolls) and THIS…THIS amazing little Singer!  OMG isn’t it just too much?  I have added it to my shelf with my two other children’s sewing machines!



Salt and pepper Hummels…waaayyy tooo cute!


This little angel will travel to her new home in Ireland in a few months and join up with Christina’s collection.


Look at this!!  It is made of a metal and just the absolute most.  I have thought of perhaps removing the mirror and using it as a frame or chalkboard…..ideas ideas…


I was admiring this painting at the estate sale and was offered it for $2.  I just had to jump on it.  It is just perfect in my master bath.



More magical sounding little bells to hang on my tree out back.


For the grands of course…


This lace!!  There is several rolls of each…and it was $1 for the entire lot!


It is the year for linens.  I remember when you could not hardly afford to touch linens.  Now you can pick them up for pennies!


OK, I admit I have NO idea what I am going to do with this.  But I had these exact dolls when I was a child and so……. Yeah I know…


I like to pick up bits of the David Winter cottages when I find them.  The estate sale actually had a lot, and tried to tempt me to take them all by offering an amazing deal…but I only want a few and only certain ones.  See I can pass up a wonderful bargain.  And when I declined there was another woman who was just praying I would do so as she wanted them quite badly…so there we go.


Look at how lovely they are perched on my hutch..


Perhaps impulse…but just look at this!!  It is amazing and such a beauty.  It catches the morning light and just glows!


And this….this is absolutely beautiful!  The craftsmanship!


I did grab a few more bits and bobs, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and that to me was the best part of all!

Now that I have completed Holy Fire Reiki and began to practice it, I have been wanting to dig deeper into spirituality and spiritual healing modalities.  I found a few books that build upon Reiki practices and embracing Reiki as a lifestyle.  I also started my summer term and chose a course on Ayurveda. It is absolutely fascinating!  Very involved and I am overwhelmed with all the new terminology and concepts..but boy howdy I am loving it!


I spend a great deal of time on the phone with my sister Anna comparing books and sharing our newest acquisitions in the world of complementary and alternative healing.  The deeper I dig in the more I thirst for yet more knowledge!  It is all so exciting.

In looking for ways to improve my own health and thinking about the need for healthy microbiome, I took an afternoon and made up several batches of fridge pickles.  I had a nice collection of organic produce from Imperfect Produce that was just the ticket.  I adore anything pickled!  To make these I simply made up a brine of 1 part water to 1 part apple cider vinegar which I brought to boil along with some pickling spices.  I chopped up some veggies and added them to jars along with garlic cloves and lots of fresh dill.  I then simply poured the boiling brine over, sealed, cooled, and fridgerated.


I did a bit of playing with decor.  I love this piece that I got a few summers ago and found it up above the garage where I had stashed it away.  I thought it would be nice with some of my books, bears, and a Christmas cactus I found at an estate sale.


This cute little crib will eventually make it way to the museum in my hometown, but until then it is just the place for more of my bears.


Although I haven’t done any sewing lately, I never tire of this view as I pass by my sewing room.  The tree appears all afire and the loveliness of the soft pink walls always delights me.  I just love color!  Although I admire the all white rooms in magazines and on Pinterest, I just can’t imagine a room without color.  I do prefer the soft hues.  Perhaps some day I may just have a go at an all ivory or white room…although I think I would sneak some color in there somewhere!


Speaking of color.  Remember all those pieces I painted in a black Pottery Barn finish?

Well I am just over the black furniture….completely over it.  I want light and color and so I am busy looking at idea on Pinterest and think I will go with a lovely Duck Egg Blue.  But then I see a lovely mustard or a dusty rose…and it is off down another path.  But I am sorely in the mood to paint some furniture pieces as I enjoy it so.  If I could only decide upon a color and stick with it!  We shall see…

And now I must off and get that pesky school work done.

Happy Treasure Hunting,


Return to Routine and a Wonderful Transition

After all the wonderful visits it was back to the usual routine.  It has been so absolutely wonderful to visit and I will have memories to treasures until the next visits.  The next visit will be Ireland!  I will be leaving in July for a few weeks!! I did receive a lovely package from Ireland last week.  It was full of wonderful goodies and I have been savoring them bit by bit!  Is there anything more lovely than receiving a care package from a loved one?  I just love all the items my daughter chose to send! I am using the soap and it is delightful!  That Barry tea….OMG there is no need for coffee as it is truly the bomb!!

But I must share a most transformative experience!  Since beginning the mind body medicine Phd program I have been fascinated by all the alternative medicines and their ability to support the whole person: mind, body, spirit. Working towards balancing my own wellness wheel has lead me to a deep sense of self.  I had been interested in Reiki for some time and a month back visited a Reiki Circle which was an amazing experience.  Well last week end I took the Reiki I and II training.  I was lead to Holy Fire Reiki and my guide/instructor is such an amazing amazing person.  The experience was so deeply spiritual and through it I had a deep reconnection with my own faith tradition and spirituality.  Holy Fire Reiki has literally transformed my life.  I came away from that week-end with a clarity and deep understanding of my purpose and the gifts God has so graciously bestowed upon me.  I have felt that I am in a transition period and that I am being prepared for a change in what I am currently doing.  I now believe this more than ever and am just allowing myself to be lead to where I belong at this time and this place in my life.  I am much calmer and able to be open to embrace whatever life has to throw my way.  Reiki is a way of life and I now practice daily to gain wisdom, peace, understanding, and to send out and receive God’s perfect love.  I am ever so deeply grateful that I was lead to this practice and the gifts I receive daily though the practice!  Being a hyper-sensitive person and an empath, it is so easy to take on the emotions of others and allow those to impact our own health.  Reiki has given me a way to channel the gift of an empathic soul to heal self and others.  I struggle to put this experience into words so will just leave it at that…  You can learn more about Holy Fire Reiki here: https://www.reiki.org

I have been out and found a few treasures here and there.  In needing to up my wardrobe I have been doing some thrift shop trips and while I have found some amazing wardrobe pieces I have also found a few other goodies as well.  This is from my most recent trip.


I like to decorate my outside fence with faces and have quite a nice collection.  I just love this clay mask and it is just the perfect addition to my collection!

When I was a child this exact picture hung on the wall of our house at the ranch.  Imagine my delight when I found it!  The older I get the more nostalgic I seem to become.  I have always been an empath and a hyper sensitive person, but it just increases as I age. I love surrounding myself with items from my childhood.


I was delighted to have my best friend Mia arrive for an overnight stay.  Although it was a quick visit it was absolutely wonderful!  Since it was a Friday we headed out for a few estate sales.  Just the previous day I had purchased a bevy of Hummels from a lady who was going to have a yard sale so that was out first stop.  These are the darling pieces I managed to score.

This little guy has a pig in his back pack and is just the cutest thing ever!


Mia found some treasures as well. I also got found this St Francis.


Unfortunately Mia had to be on her way and I had to head to work.  But on my way to work I passed by a sale and found these treasures.  I have been wanting a Ginny doll forever!


A trip to my local nature grocer and I found these gems.  I went in to find the Reiki magazine but found 3 issues of Mantra Wellness.  This is a new to me magazine and just absolutely full of wonderful articles and beautiful painted saying and illustrations.  I will savor each issue!

As I have been being lead deep into the mind, body, spirit connection and the need for balance in all areas of the wellness wheel, I have been using my essential oils more often and in healing ways.  Add the Reiki experience and I was determined as ever to bring these practices deeper into my work place.  Working in the field of long term care there is always drama and loss which creates an imbalanced and often negative chaotic energy.  I often find the need to clear the energy.  Yes it may sound crazy, but I have always been extremely sensitive to energy forces both good and bad.  I now have better tools to direct, divert, avoid negative energy.  I diffuse many blends to cleanse my office and wear oils to protect, cleanse, and release energy.  I recently found this amazing spray and immediately ordered a bottle.  It has crystals inside the bottle as well.


You can clearly see the web address.  She has many wonderful items in her shop!!  This won’t be my only purchase for sure!  I also added a few special pieces of decor that bring me joy and peace.


As an HSP my environments are important sources of either peace or chaos.

You know how every once in a while you come across a book that is just so amazing you just can’t seem to get enough of it?  I have found that in Matt Richtel An Elegant Defense. I first listened to the book on audio.  But then just had to have a copy to start reading and highlighting passages.  This is a book about our immune system and fits in so perfectly with my PhD training! It goes quite in-depth about the working of the immune system and how it impacts our health as it is so connected to every other system in our body.  The author uses 4 case studies to highlight the research that has been done and where we are currently in understanding of the immune system.  With the rise in auto immune diseases it is definitely a must read!!  It is absolutely fascinating!!  You can find it here  https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Defense-Extraordinary-Science-Immune/dp/0062698532

I have done little knitting or sewing of late so nothing to share.  I have been doing mindless socks and dish towels in the evenings while watching my latest go to Brit series.

And now I must away and get some work done.  I had earmarked this three day week end to do some organizing in the garage storage.  Something I put off as it is quite the drudgery!



More Grands and Stomping Around my Old Haunts

These past few weeks have been magical!  First a visit to Nevada to see Becca and grands (shared in my last blog) and last week over to Washington and a week with Erica and grands!  Since Erica has moved back to my favorite small town I have been so excited to have the chance to revisit all my old haunts while also seeing the grands.  It was even more lovely than expected.  We did a lot of walking and I took the kids and Erica to all my favorite walking places.

First up was Pioneer Park.  It is such a beautiful and peaceful place!

I was so excited to take the grands back to one of my very very favorite places.  I took them here when they were much younger and blogged about it here https://unraveledpatti.com/2010/08/10/grandma-heaven.   It is simply the most magical place!  Although we went late in the evening and unfortunately the bugs were out in swarms.  We all ended up quite eaten alive!!  It did have some changes since I lived there.  The most notable was with the increase in homelessness in WW we saw many signs that people had been sleeping and unfortunately several syringes.  It made me quite sad to see that one of the most magical places had been sullied by the homeless and drug addicts.


I was also very excited to go back out and walk the paths around Bennington Lake.  So early one morning Erica and I set out.  This time I was not disappointed at all.  The views were so breathtaking and the paths well maintained.  Oh how I miss all this natural beauty.

WW is such a beautiful place and going back made me quite homesick and wanting to return.  Perhaps I may do just that…..

On my last evening there, the high school had a suicide prevention walk.  The evening was beautiful and quite a nice crowd turned out.  It is such a worthy cause as suicide rates continue to skyrocket.


I haven’t done much knitting or sewing of late.  In wanting an easy travel project I pulled out two pair of socks still on the needles that I had not completed.  I also knit up myriad dish cloths as the girls all seem to be running out again.


I only have one thrifty treasure to share. I stopped by an estate sale last week and when I saw this darling sampler piece I just had to have it.  The workmanship is not the best and I am guessing it was done by a young person.  But I just love it!  I am thinking it must have been salvaged from something and framed.  It sure does make for a cute little display piece.


Going back to the community that felt most like home to me was so bittersweet.  I realize just how much I miss living there.  When I left and moved to the city and nearer the ocean, I loved every minute of this life.  But as the years have passed, I miss being close to nature.  I have only been on my bike a handful of times since moving here as with the traffic and no decent bike paths, I just gave it up.  Biking was such a part of my self care and gave me such great joy.  I miss the slower pace and friendliness of a smaller community.  Yet I have an amazing job which I do enjoy.  But my heart is being pulled back. I do not see myself living in this city for more than a few more years.  The crime is escalating (this town was always known for a high crime rate but it had cleaned up a bit) and my soul is in need of open green spaces, friendly faces, and limited traffic.  Time to begin to plan for yet another phase of my life.

And now it is back to work today and time to play catch up.  I am home for a bit until my next grand adventure which will be off to Ireland end of July!

Plotting, planning, and dreaming..


Vacation time begins!

The last few weeks have been busy indeed.  I was so excited to take a week away from work and head down to visit Becca and family!  It had been way too long since I had been down so when the hubby announced he had a week off, I suggested we jump in the car and spend the week with the grands!  The trip, although longs, was nice.  We were surprised to see so much snow still on the mountains!

We arrived in time to celebrate Easter with them.  We spent the week just enjoying being with them all.  The hubby took the kids to the park every day and I helped Becca catch up on some organization and knit up a bevy of dish clothes for her.  I spent one afternoon taking Bella out to have a look through the thrift stores.  It was all just so wonderful and the week went by far too fast.

Silly Easter fun!


Matty LOVED the park!  He came back each day saying how much fun he had and then falling fast asleep!


Look at that face…doesn’t he just look like a mischievous little nymph?


My little Emmy loves to spend her days doing gymnastics and bouncing about like Tigger!


It so hard to believe that my Bella is already a young lady.  She is just the sweetest and kindest and I could not be more proud of her!!


Maddox is totally all boy.  He is inquisitive and loves to spend his days teasing his sisters. He reminds me of my little brother so much!


Of course I cannot forget Charlee.  She lived with us for over a year and is always so excited to see Misha.  They were the best buddies and always love playing together.


I just wish I had more time to spend with my girls and grands.  I look so forward to the day I retire and can spend endless amounts of time with them with no deadlines or schedules!!

Before I went to visit, I had managed to catch a few estate sales.  I have gotten so selective in my purchases and seem to always be walking away empty handed.  So imagine my delight when I happened upon a sale and found these treasures!

This tablecloth is just like the one that was bought by my mom in Paris when we visited together in 1977!  The lace is exquisite and it is perfect on my small round table!  At only $4 it was a steal!!  I just love finding things that bring back precious memories!  My house is rather like a museum of memories and that suits me just fine!!


Speaking of exquisite…check out this beauty.  It is the perfect size for my dining table and now that my Easter decor is packed away is adorning the table.  Another steal at $4!


A close up of the lace detail… Really can you believe this was $4?  There is not a stain or blemish on it!


I have had a tea cup collection for absolutely years.  It was one of my first collections when I was first setting up house and started with a few cups from my grand mothers.  It grew so large that I had to cull it down and now I have been exceedingly particular about adding new pieces to the collection.  But I could not resist this darling little fortune telling cup!


Nor could I resist this cup featuring the state capital building.


I was unsure if I already had this piece (which I did), but at $3, I took the chance and brought it home.  I can always pass it on to someone else.


Oh how I love the painted milk glass pieces and this piece is just so very lovely!


Remember when I started doing some serious clearing out quite a few months back?  Well that stack of boxes just sat there in a huge pile taking up more than a corner of the dining area.  I finally pulled them all out, sorted through them and then took the best pieces in to work.  Every month the residents have a swap meet and always want lovely things.  It was the perfect solution to my clutter.  I had planned perhaps a yard sale…but the idea is exhausting….  The stuff I felt was just simple cluttering bric a brac I took to the charity shop.  It is nice to have my dining room back!

You know how some days you just awaken and think you must have a stay a bed day?  Today was one of those.  I had been feeling a bit run down and antsy and when I awoke I just made up a bed tray with tea and toast and settled back into the soft warm comfort of the covers.  I have been listening to the latest Kate Morton on audio and as I sipped my tea I finished the last chapter.  The Clockmaker’s Daughter was as her other books.  Twists and turns and unexpected happenings right up to the end.  It spans centuries and appears like a puzzle of the worst sort, but in the end all comes together beautifully.  Speaking of books on audio.  On that long trip down to Nevada we started listening to An Elegant Defense by Matt Richtel.  It is a fascinating story of our immune system.  We still have 5 hours to left to the end and will catch that up on our upcoming trip to Washington.  After I finished Kate Morton, I started listening to Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry.  It is a young adult book and I am enjoying it immensely.  It is just the thing for a stay a bed day!

After a lovely stay a bed day, it was back to work as usual.  Then comes Saturday and what a beautiful day it has been.  I ventured out to seek some treasures but found none.  Back home and out the door with the dogs.  One of the reasons I love living in the PNW is the sheer beauty of the area.  Spring is in full swing here and the earth is awash with a kaleidoscope of color!

And now I must off to prepare for the next vacation.  In two days we are off to the east side of the state and to pay visit to middle daughter and grands!  I cannot wait!

Springing along,




Springing along…

Once March gave up her roar, spring came tumbling in with sunshine amidst showers.  The days feel longer with the time change, and the temps have been inching into the 70s. I think perhaps my body is slowly adjusting to that dratted spring forward nonsense, although I still cannot manage to climb out of bed at 5:30 am, my preferred time to get up so I can savor the nice chunk of the day before heading to work.  It has been lovely to get out in the evening for a walk with the doggies.  Oh how they love those walks! And I love all the signs of spring popping up everywhere!  We have had a week of absolutely gorgeous weather, but tomorrow the rains return for the next week or so.  But that is what keeps the PNW so beautifully green!


We had a fun visitor at work the other day.  A llama!  He was just the sweetest guy ever and ever so soft.  The residents just loved him and he seemed to enjoy all the attention and hugs.  You can see why the yarn is so deliciously soft!!


With Easter coming up soon, I sprinkled bunnies here and there throughout the house.  It makes for a nice bright festive look and just shouts spring!  I did take a few pieces to work as well to cheer up the lobby.  Most of my bunnies have come from yard sales other than the ones I sewed up several years ago.  The darling embroidered piece is actually a pillow case and I got it at a yard sale as well.  I just thought it was the cutest ever!


I wanted to share the decor at work as I was so pleased with it!  This tree!!!  Isn’t it just gorgeous!  It lights up as does the small silver egg.


We must always have candy on the front desk.  Don’t mind the pizza box in the back…lol…it actually contained churros that we bought for the entire staff….yummmm!!


I brought a few of these things from home, but I found most of them at Home Goods and Pier One.  I am darn good at bargain hunting and Pier One has amazing quality for great prices!!

I have not done much knitting.  I did get Voolenvine’s Wildes Meer  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wildes-meer cast on.  I am enjoying knitting on this pattern, it its very intuitive and easy.  The yarn is actually a bright springy green not the yellow it looks here.  This will be a shawl for my bestie Mia.  I am using a skein of MadelineTosh Sock in the color way Grasshopper.  It is always such slow going when you first begin a shawl.


I started another group of project bags and just had to make one out of this zombie fabric.  This is a larger bag and will not be for sale as it will go to my youngest.  I love how I placed the label.  Not a fan of zombies or all the zombie shows but Becca is and will love it!


I was so excited to receive my monthly Grove order https://www.grove.co/home I fell in love with the pomegranate dish and hand soap sets so got a bit crazy with my order.  But when one was added free along with two dish brushes and 2 pair of gloves….well how could I go wrong?!  Grove has opened up a world of natural products that I would never have otherwise been aware of!


I have made a few estate sales here and there, but they have been the slimmest of pickings.  So when I saw this little lady on the FB yardsale site….well I just had to snatch her right up!  Isn’t she just the sweetest?


Well as you see it has been relatively quiet so there has not been a great deal to write about.  And now I must off to work on bags and do a bit of knitting.

Happy Spring!