Settling back in…

After the RC and the bug this week I finally felt that I had settled back into my routine.  I am most certainly a creature of habit and like a routine.  Not that I get stuck in a rut.  But just daily routine; I like getting up early in the morning so I have time to enjoy a cuppa while relaxing or sneaking in a bit of knitting before work, I like coming home to a cozy house in the evening and curling up with my knitting, a book, some sewing, or a good Brit TV.  I do like to add an evening walk when the weather changes.  I do not like being cold one bit!  I am really a homebody and nothing makes me happier than to just putter around the house doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

This week I had a bit of a stressor, however, as I had a research paper due and with being sick hadn’t done a thing on it.  I can generally put out a paper with moderate effort, but with this one nothing was coming…nada.  I spent 2 hours on a few paragraphs Monday and was beginning to get worried.  Then late Tuesday it came to me and I was able to finish it up and have if formatted by Thursday.  Oh what a relief.  Now to start the next one that is due in 3 weeks….. This course is all about mindfulness, authenticity, and leadership which are subjects that I have a great deal of practical and working knowledge about.  When writing papers though, I do have issues with having a certain page count required.  Generally we have to have 10+ pages of our research/writing for a course work paper.  I do like the research part of writing.  I learn so many many fascinating things.  I have decided to just stay with the Mind Body Medicine program. After giving it a lot of thought and reviewing all the courses I think I need to stay the course.  I am excited about some of the upcoming classes so that helps.  If any one is wanting to know just what this doctoral program is about and what you would possibly do with a PhD, Netflix just released an amazing documentary call Heal.  It really covers so much of the science and where research is taking us.  Amazing, inspiring, and exciting!!

After thinking that we had dodged winter weather the snow hit.  It came down in huge fat flakes and covered everything.  Luckily it hit on Saturday so I was able to just enjoy watching it out the window whilst cuddled up all cozy and warm.

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It did not stick and within a day was all melted away and the sun was peaking through.  But it was so beautiful and a nice surprise.  I love snow as long as I do not have to drive all over town in it….not in a city anyway!

I have been working right along on my Amulet Shawl.  I am really pleased with this color combo.  The yellow just makes me smile.  It is made up of myriad tones and knits up beautifully.  I will have enough of these yarns left over I will knit a pair of matching socks.  The yellow is one I dyed with coreopsis from my garden with an added bit of marigolds.

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I also did some sewing and completed 13 projects bags to list in the Etsy shop.  I enjoyed the process of making these.  I did take time to also go through all my cottons and have many ready to destash on IG.  In going through them I have so many other combos that I cannot wait to sew into bags.  These two large bags are from fabric I ordered from Spoonflower.  I just thought they were both so cute.  But I did not expect the cat print to be so large.  It takes a large bag to fit in some of the design.

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When February arrived I was committed to doing the Fiberuary challenge on IG.  I tried I really did, but I just wasn’t able to keep up with posting something every day.  I love following others who do and maybe when I am on school break I can join all the fun IG challenges like the Fiberuary one.

That has been it for my week.  I feel like I got a lot accomplished this week and that always feels good!  Tomorrow is back to work, start the next paper, and begin more project bags.  Yes, I have work cut out for me and that is all good.

Happy February,

Patricia

 

 

Road Trip and the Bug

I had the most wonderful time attending my Saybrook PhD Residency Conference in Monterey.  You see this is the first conference I have been able to attend since starting the program.  Something came up every time I had scheduled to go.  Erica decided to come by my house and we drove down spending one night in Redding on the way there and back.  Boy Howdy…next time I will take the train…it was one long trip..but then I am the worst car traveler EVER!

But the conference!!  I met and was able to interact with so many many gifted and talented peers!  The speakers were over the top amazing and had so much to share. There were so many awesome sessions it was difficult to narrow it down to a few!!   I participated in a wonderful all day session on Mindful and Compassionate Leadership in Healthcare which was so enriching, a Dream Table, and Holy Callings and Creative Sensibilities.  But the session that really rocked me and was most transformative was the two day session on Transformative Social Change as a Vocation.  I did not realize that Saybrook offered a PhD in Transformative Social Change!  I admit I am toying with the idea of changing from Mind Body Medicine to TSC!  It is more where my heart lies…but I am two years in so change may be too costly in time and courses.  I am going to check with the head of that department and see where it would put me.  OMG let me tell you that group was really where I felt I fit in!  I have always been an activist and rebel; pushing the limits and desiring change….living in how things should be not how they are.   So we shall see.  The problem with Saybrook is that I want to do all the programs all the time!!!TSC Group Photo RC Spring 2019

To be at a conference with such intelligent, caring, and motivated people was humbling to say the least.  I certainly look forward to the next one and the next….and so on…

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And the food….dear Lord…we had so much to eat.  I chose the vegan option each meal and it was delicious.

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A group of us took a trip to Pacific Grove to see the Monarchs.  Sadly there were little to none there.  The butterfly sanctuary is beautiful and filled with cypress and eucalyptus trees and was just such a peaceful spot.  Regarding the Monarchs, I remember when I lived in the Bay Area and would take trips home to visit my parents when the monarchs were migrating.  The sky would be yellow with them; thousands of butterflies and sadly the highway was covered with those that were hit by cars as they crossed the freeway.  It was breathtaking to drive through the migration path and be surrounded by these beautiful creatures.  It is catastrophic that they are disappearing due to man’s destruction of the planet.

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This is a nut from the eucalyptus tree.  I found the trees quite fascinating!

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While out and about we drove by the wharf.  We only had one sunny day while we were there, and we were in conferences all day that day of course.

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I just loved this weathered mailbox so had to snap a pic.

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While out and about we came upon the cutest book store ever.  It was connected to a tea shop.  Neither of us can resist a bookstore!  We also hit a few thrift stores but there was nothing to be found, no hidden treasure at all.

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Back home and Erica and part of the crew hung out a few days with me.  I just love the time with my kids and grands!  It really is what life is all about!  I pulled out all the legos and they had the best time building.  I love love love collecting toys for the grands and still keep a closet full.  They all know when they come to grandma’s house they are free to take home any of the toys as grandma will just stock up with more for the next visit.

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A return to work and lots of catch up to do; but a few days in and I was hit hard by the bug..the nasty flu bug.  Oh my, I cannot remember when I had such a bad case of stomach flu.  It certainly put me down hard.  But within 48 hours I was feeling better and able to work on more project bags for Stitches Plus Purls Etsy shop.  I had stopped making bags as I suffered tremendous burn out from making so so many on demand.  But I missed the joy of piecing together the bits and bobs to make the bag fronts.  So I decided to take it up once again; but this time at my own pace!  It is a nice little extra bit to add to my savings, as well.  I just love my sewing room and do enjoy spending time in there.  I plan to do more declutter and destash some of my fabric and yarn as my stash has grown a bit too large!

fullsizeoutput_18e5IMG_1492IMG_1494However, since returning home I have not had a chance to jump back onto the declutter/eliminate wagon.  I did manage to send a lot of bits off with Erica so that was a few less boxes of clutter.  I have this habit of buying things that I just think I need to have and then finding I do not use them…a Vitamix, a Kitchen Aide…Dooney bags…often not cheap things. But not this year, as that is changing.  This year all that extra money is going into savings as I seriously plan my exit strategy from the work environment. I do think my office area looks a bit better with less clutter.  With school back in full swing and papers to be written, an organized, yet cosy, setting is essential!

 

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And look at how nicely I have all my knitting projects with the systems I used utilizing bags from 31 Bags.  I love it!  This fits nicely in my corner by my chair so all is within arms reach.

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And now I must off to finish up some projects bags.  The hubby is out of town for a few days, so that leaves me free to keep any schedule I please.

Happy Sewing!

Patricia

 

 

Whiling away the days…

Until I head to Monterey for my RC.  I am really excited to go.  See, I have to attend a residency conference every September and January for my PhD.  Every. single. other. time. I was set to attend something happened and I had to cancel.  So fingers crossed that next Thursday finds me on my way.  I am very much looking forward to it!  It is a week of working and networking with peers, professors, and others in our field.  I am also ready to begin classes again this week.  This academic journey has been so fulfilling and amazing!

I speak very little about my work, although I do enjoy this current position and company immensely.  But I just have to share this little cutie.  When it appeared a resident’s kitty needed a home, we decided to make her a community cat.  I admit, I am a dog person and really not a cat person.  But our little Puff Puff is just the cutest ever.  At first she was so shy and would not venture out of the HSD office, where she lives, but recently she has started visiting me in my office.  It does cause a distraction from work as she demands to be petted and will firmly plop down on the key board until attention is given…

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She is just the sweetest kitty.

I was so delighted to receive happy mail and find it was a late Christmas gift from Erica.  The girls know I just love anything that says Grandma.  Well check this out….

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My poor dear mother would be aghast.  She was always so shocked at the project bags that I made with cuss words on them.  I think it is hilarious…but I don’t think I will take it to work….

As I have been sorting and clearing out, I came across these skeins and decided I would start some mittens and hats .  I will do color work mittens out of the Jo Sharp and I think a hat out of the knit picks and Cascade.  I have been wanting to make the Anders on Top hat for a bit.

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I am still plugging away on my shawl.  Not too enthused so it is just a row here and there.  My knitting mojo is still slumbering.  I do hope that starting some mittens and hat may just wake it up.  But it is all good either way.  Sometimes we have periods where we just need a break.  I am still working on project bags so my creative juices are still getting some work out.

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Speaking of the bags,  I just got so burned out when the demand became overwhelming.  However, I miss the fun of creating the bags, so decided to once again produce some.  But it will be at my pace and my own leisure/pleasure.  I spent this morning finishing up some of the natural dyed bags I had started and I also worked on a few of the pieced bags.  I made quite the mess in the process as usual.

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I am trying to better utilize my oils and when I found some unscented milled soap in my drawer I decide to give a try at turning it into scented soap.  I grated it down, added a bit of water, and microwaved it until it was melted enough to mix.  I added one of my favorite YL oils, Stress Away, and then rolled it into a log.  I am not sure if it is going to be scented enough.  Once it hardens I will give it a try.   Not at all pretty, but serves the purpose.

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In my quest to declutter and par down half my belongings, I have been digging through my stash.  So far this is the best I can do with fabric destash.  When I return from the RC and have a bit more time I will get it photoed and listed on the IG destash page.  It is a bit more difficult for me to get rid of fabric, but must needs and I honestly have more than I could use in a lifetime or two!  I also have a few bags of yarn and fleece, but those will go to my sisters if they want them.  I do like to give things away to family first before selling.

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While sorting, I pulled out my box of Valentine decor.  I put it out, but it just didn’t work so I put the box for sell and just kept these few cuties.  I just love that little candy heart box with the three candies…to cute!

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Looking back at the week, this has been a pretty creative week for me, and that feels good!  I too often just let the days pass and do not engage my creative side.  I am so grateful that I come from a line of creative women who were well versed in the needle arts and sewing who encouraged my creativity as they shared their skills with me.

And now, although it is darn cold, the sun is shining brightly and the outdoors is calling me and my little Misha is impatiently waiting!

Happy Creating!

Patricia

Welcome 2019

It just seems that we turn around and another year is upon us….and so it is now 2019.  2018 was not a kind year and was filled with so many ups and downs and with so much sadness and loss.  I am ready to embrace a new year and all the promise and adventure that awaits!  In working on finding my word for the year, the word courage kept coming up again and again.  Courage to truly simplify my life and let go of things; both the tangible and and that which exist only in my own mind.

But, before ringing in the New Year, on Christmas Eve I cut into the glorious Christmas Pudding that Christina and grands had stirred up while here.  It is filled with a myriad of wishes and taste like a dream!  I will savor a slice daily until the platter is clean!!  It is also just lovely to behold and smells of spice heaven!

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Also on Christmas Eve I opened that lovely parcel wrapped in brown paper and string that traveled all the way from across the pond to my doorstep.  It was filled with wonderful things!  My secret Santa, Janet, outdid herself and I love every bit of it.  The bag will be so fun to use for toting items to work and it will be so fun to know I am carrying a bit of the UK with me!

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After I spent several days sorting through the Christmas decor, packing and storing away, I jumped feet first into decluttering.  It is my year to eliminate half my possessions and I am serious as can be about this endeavor!  Courage indeed!  I started with the holiday decor and went from there to my hutches.  I easily condensed and had an empty hutch within a day.  Then it was cupboards and closets in the living area.  I have a growing wall of boxes and my plan was a yard sale until…..I discovered the wonder of FB marketplace.  I initially listed a few pieces of furniture and within minutes had literally dozens of messages.  I had every thing sold and out of the house within 2 hours!  OH MY!  So this is my new go to for downsizing.  An added bonus is you can get at least double what you would get at a yard sale!  There are a few things I am not yet ready to part with and I am holding back some things so I can have some lovely vignettes around the house….like this display of English village pieces.

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I just love my monthly subscriptions/clubs.  I know I have mentioned Grove Collaborative before, but I just love it and it is worth mentioning again!  Every month it is so fun to try new products or reorder those I just cannot live without.  I love they are all natural and I love they are constantly introducing new items and including freebies.  This month it was this beautiful apron.  I have fallen in love with the Little Moon products and sent them off to all my girls so had to finally get a set for myself.  I also wanted to try the Badger Balms so when they had a three pack…well who could resist!  This and my monthly YL oil order are my fun mail!

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I had lost my knitting mojo and was totally and completely socked out.  I did not complete my sock KAL but I did complete 10 pair and have 2 more socks completed waiting for their partners.  I am happy with the fact that I could knit 10 pair of socks in a year….that is so amazing considering the prior year I was lucky to get one pair done in 4 or 5 months!  My knitting really exploded in 2018.  I did pick up and work on my pachyderm hat and completed it.  But I really suck at doing color work on fingering and it will be quite surprising if this can fit on anyone head…..I just carry my floats too tight.  I do fine on worsted but just flopped with this project.  But it is ok as to me so much of knitting is the process.  I made this hat from my own hand dyed yarns.  It still needs a good blocking out.

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Since there was a special order for a Stitches Plus Purls bag, I decide to go ahead and complete a few more from my botanically dyed fabrics.  I have decided to dip back into some bag making, but on a limited scale.  I had just gotten too burned out and it became drudgery.  But I’d  like to do a few here and there so will begin that process next week end.

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It is taking me some time to get back into a routine.  The loss of my mom has settled deep inside me and I know it will take time to center myself again and find my own space/path/place in the universe.  It has taken me time to process the moving overseas of Christina and grands, but I know they are only a plane flight away and I am so eager to visit!  In all this, I know how deeply blessed I am.  Yet, Salem has never really felt like home to me.  And that has contributed to the struggle to recenter.  I have created a cozy nest which I love, have a job that I thoroughly enjoy, and am loving every minute of my PhD program; but it just is not home.  I have struggle with that feeling since after the first year of moving here.  I cannot pin point the reason although try as I might.  Generally I am a “wherever you go there you” are kinda girl.  Maybe it is growing older and being so far from my children and grands….that is huge….I miss them all dearly.  Whatever it may be, it is what it is, and my answer is to gather my nest eggs, decrease my possessions, and prepare to for the day I can say goodby to Salem and return to “home.”  I am not unhappy, as I am happy by nature, but I miss a sense of home, of belonging.  So I prepare for the move that I know will eventually take place when the timing is right.

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I shared a few weeks back about poor Bruno’s eye ulcer.  Well, it just isn’t healing.  This is a not uncommon occurrence in boxers.  But after trying different meds the vet said it would now require deriding.  I am traveling for work the next few day so on Thursday my poor sweet Booger will go in and have this simple office procedure.  I am hopeful this will promote healing and get the eye cleared up!  He has not had to wear the cone at all but a few days after the original visit, but will once again with this procedure.  Oh how he hates it!!

And now dears, I must off to work…in meetings the next two days…never my favorite place to be…

Hopeful 2019,

Patricia

Winding down the year..

Now that December is nearly over, I find myself mulling over the past year and looking toward the next.  I must say that 2018 was filled with much upheaval and loss and certainly not the kindest year.  Numerous years ago I was introduced to the idea of finding a word that would embody what you hoped to accomplish/be/live the next year.  Then a few years ago I chanced upon an amazing tool by Susannah Conway that not only assisted in finding your word, but provided a guided exercise in reviewing the previous year and planning the next.  Unravel Your Year is simply the best.  She also offers a free journal for finding your word and you can sign up for her monthly love letters.  Susannah also offers a variety of e-courses; all focused on helping you to reach your true potential.  You can find it all here https://www.susannahconway.com.  It takes me several weeks to complete the journal and I have kept my old ones to reflect back on and see just where my journey has taken me.

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I have so enjoyed the Young Living advent calendar and each day has been a treat.  Something I certainly need this year!!  I have began to use my oils more and more.  When I first dipped my toes into the oils all I thought them for was to diffuse.  But now I add them to unscented body butter to create a marvelous scent that stays with me me all day.  I also wear my lava bracelets daily and they are a fun way to dabble in numerous scents.  Although one time I accidentally put a strong healing scent on and boy howdy I had to leave the bracelets lay until the oils dissipated as the smell was simply awful.  I also rub scents on to help modify my mood.  And I recently started adding them to my bath along with some Epsom salts.  I have yet to make up any sprays or roll ons; but I will certainly start that at the first of the year.  I just enjoy playing with them so very much.  When I saw this great idea for storage I jumped on it.  This is a 31 bag and it just  works perfect for oil storage as you can see just what you have!  I need to get a second one for sure!

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I send many many oils off to the girls.  I stuffed Christina’s luggage with myriad of bottles of oils along with bath and body products to last her a long while!  On the subject of sending things along to the girls; I have always enjoyed making and sending little care packages to them.  Parenting is a tough job and it can be so uplifting to receive a small unexpected parcel containing sweet surprises!

I certainly feel much better now that Christina and grands have made it to their new home and are busy settling in.  I miss them so very much.  But I know they are safe and starting on a new and exciting adventure and I know I will soon be there for a nice long visit!  And we can all chat daily through the wonders of technology!

Comes a rainy stormy week end and I set about beginning the task of decluttering.  Helping Christina clear out her stuff and move abroad really made me realize just how much extraneous clutter and stuff I have accumulated!  It is a bit daunting; but I am just taking it a bit at a time.  First I tackled the china cabinets and just started stacking everything I no longer wanted on my dining table.

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My first goal was to eliminate at least one of my china cabinets with the goal of letting go of two before the next year ends.  Two of the hutches will go to my daughters; Becca will get the large cabinet with all the milk glass and Erica the smaller and all the Hummels.  So I carefully packed up a great deal of the milk glass to be put by the side until the time comes Becca is ready for it.  In one day I did manage to pack up a large box of goodies to go and empty a hutch and get it listed on the classifieds and sold within an hour!  Look at me go!

In the midst of all this change was the company Christmas party.  It was a lovely evening and so fun to hook up with many that I met in training.  It was held at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland and everyone was dressed up in holiday finery.  However, unfortunately I was feeling quite under the weather.  But oh my look how lovely it all was!

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Imagine my delight when I went to the post box and found a lovely package all tied up in brown string all the way from the UK!  It is from my secret sister and sitting under my tree awaiting Christmas Eve!  I cannot wait to open it and see what lovely treasures await me!!

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I also received a lovely parcel from my dear friend Louella.  Every year for so many years Louella has gifted me a lovely ornament.  I now keep them all on my little vintage tree and just treasure each one.  This year’s ornament was just as cute as ever!

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Well it is now a few more sleeps until Christmas.  I have hosted all the work parties for the year for both residents and staff, all my gifts have been wrapped and sent off, and I can just coast into the holiday with a cleared schedule.  How I love that.  The Plum Pudding that Christina stirred up while she was here is basting away in Rum just awaiting Christmas Day…oh how I cannot wait to cut into it!!  And now I must off to prepare for my work day.  It is a Friday so all is well!

Take Joy!

Patricia

 

Lots and lots of love..

I was beyond blessed with Christina and the grands showed up a few weeks prior to flying out and spent those last days with me.  We had the most marvelous time ever and made so many many precious memories!

I wanted the time to be so special and planned some special treats.  Since they had limited space in their luggage I knew it had to be something small that could be utilized right away.   I bought small items that could be opened nightly to celebrate advent.  The kids loved it and looked so forward each night to their special treat for the day!

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Every night Christina read to us from Dickens Christmas Carol while the kids partook of their treat.

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The weather cooperated a great deal of the time and we got out to their favorite park for play.  The grands just love this park and the balance tire.

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Christina is just the best cook ever and every night we had such lovely dinners!  She also made me a plum pudding and of course we followed with each person taking a turn at stirring while making a wish.  The pudding will be basted until Christmas, at which time to be sliced and enjoyed!

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Christina busted out the Christmas puzzles and we spent many hours chatting away as we worked the puzzles.  When the girls were young we always had a puzzle going, it was a great way to spend time together and listen to their daily news and it is still something we all enjoy!

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The yard was a terrific mess when they arrived so Christina corralled the troops into a yard clean up.  Oh my but they worked diligently and the yard look amazing!!

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Of course we had to do some  crafty things and other hand on fun things.  We had an evening of Christmas cookie baking.  We also made lava bead bracelets and I was able to find a few other crafts for the kids.

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All too soon the day arrived.  My heart is so heavy as only a mother’s and grandmother’s heart can be.  Although I am so excited for their grand adventure and new life abroad, and I know it is simply a plane flight away, my heart hurts.

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As I finish this post they are about to land in Ireland and the beginning of their grand adventure.  Oh this motherhood thing isn’t easy, but I could not be more proud of my daughter for taking this opportunity to offer her children a better life.  I would have done the same thing if the opportunity would have presented itself.  When my girls were young, I taught them that the world was their oyster and to grab every adventure.  I took them off on a grand tour of the UK and France when they were young to reinforce the teaching that the world was there for the taking (Just as my parents sent me off on a grand adventure when I was 18 turning 19…I spent my 19th birthday in Paris).  How could I not be excited when I find that my she is indeed her mother’s daughter?!  And I treasure and feel so blessed by the time we had together before their departure.  Now to get that passport and book my flight!!

 

Thanksgiving

I haven’t written for a few weeks as I have been busy busy busy!  And that is due to some big news.  I spent 5 days at my eldest daughters helping her to pack up house, hold a yard sale, and prepare to leave the US.  Yes they are moving to Ireland within a few weeks.  Oh my but my emotions have been all over the map as you can imagine!!  I am so happy for them to be moving to Europe to raise the children and I believe they will have a better life and more opportunities.  But oh how my heart aches to see them leaving.  But I will have them all to myself for the next few weeks, as they will be coming to stay this week and until they fly out!  Oh all the wondrous things I have planned!!

Boy Howdy, was that yard sale a big job!  Elizabeth helped us man the money station at the yard sale.  It was frosty frosty cold but we managed and Christina was able to sell all but a few bits in the two days of the sale!

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It was quite the experience to help eliminate all the extraneous stuff collected over the years. I must say that helping Christina close up house and sell everything made me realize that I have too much and must do some serious declutter!!  So my goal in 2019 is to eliminate 1/2 of my possessions.  I jumped right in and have already made a good start!  With all my yard and estate sales its really not a wonder that I have so much.

While we were busy with the yard sale the community was having a fall festival.  Imagine my delight when Charlotte gifted me this darling bag filled with lavender and lavender oil.  She is just such a thoughtful and caring child and I was deeply touched.  Plus I love the gift!

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As we headed back to my house we loaded up 5 puppies that were going to new homes.  They were just the cutest things ever!

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My precious loves!

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Back home my house was jam full of storage boxes that Christina sent to me to either have or store!  24 storage boxes in all!  I did not realize just how small my house was until it had 24 totes in the front room….  But I got them sorted out for the most part.

IMG_0062Once I got the storage boxes sorted and cleared, it was time to pack up Thanksgiving decor and bring out the Christmas.  Oh my but this year I decided to go all out and spent 3 days putting out my decor, but I am so very pleased with it!  With the kids coming to stay a few weeks, I wanted the house to be so very festive and fun.  When they arrive we will buy our tree and decorate it.  I did put up numerous small artificial trees that I have collected, however.  A bevy of trees in the house is no surprise to my daughters as when they were growing up I always put up 5 trees, each with a different theme and then of course they could have trees in their rooms as well.  I have always had a bit of the crazy Christmas bug.

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I have had this same nativity since the girls were small.  It was a Home Interiors piece.  At the time I was struggling to make ends meet and my dearest best friend hosted a party and earned enough points to purchase it for me.  I was so delighted and have treasured it since!

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I keep this little vintage tree full of handmade lovelies that I have been gifted by dear friends and family.  It is dear to my heart.

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I even made my desk a bit festive for the season.

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This year I did a bit of expansion with the decor into the living room.  The bookcase is just the perfect place to showcase some of my Santas.

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This little quilt has so very much meaning.  Christina made this many many years ago for my mom.  Each darling little ornament detaches and is just precious.  I will treasure it for sure!

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When I got home I had a few happy mail packages. The first was an advent calendar filled with oils!   This is my Christmas gift to myself!  I just love oils and this will be so much fun!  Currently I have been diffusing Christmas Spirit and the entire house smells like Christmas morning of my childhood!

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Barnyard Knits had a sale on their yarn and I just had to have a few skeins.  My excuse is that I gave my skein of Poinsettia to Christina so absolutely had to replace it!  And of course with a sale I had to grab an additional skein…right?!

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I didn’t get much knitting in, but did manage to finish one sock.  I have 2 more socks to knit to complete all 12 pair for Voolenvine’s sock KAL.  Its amazing that I could knit 12 pair in a year.  But oh my I am a bit burned out on sock knitting!

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Comes Thanksgiving day and since the hubby and I have not had a Thanksgiving off together for years we decide to make a nice dinner.  But Bruno had other plans for us when he awoke with a seriously sore eye.  I could see a rather large scratch so it was a trip to the emergency vet where it was discovered he had a large ulcer coving a large area.  Hours and hundreds of dollars later I made it home with a medicine regime and poor Bruno thinking he was going to die with the cone of shame firmly in place.  We still managed to have a nice dinner and I was so grateful that I took Bruno in as the ulcer was quite bad.

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And now must off to ready for yet another day at work.  Hoping everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and is welcoming in the holiday season with joy and happiness in their hearts!

Joyfully,

Patricia

 

 

Hello November

Once again I take down my Halloween decor and pack it safely away for another year, then out come the turkeys.  I love holiday decor as you know.  I have seriously parred it all down over the past five years or so, well I have tried, but with yard and estate sales, bits and bobs still creep in here and there.  I mean, who can resist all the lovely seasonal decor?  Especially when it is vintage, handmade, or just exquisite quality?

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Oh how I love my mornings!  Isn’t this just the most cozy, warm, and inviting space?

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It is in these early mornings that I can reflect, write my morning pages, sip my cuppa, and sneak in a few rows of knitting.  It just sets the tone for my entire day!  And with the time change waking up early is just that much easier!

Only a short year ago, my youngest and family were temporarily living with me while her hubby took another job and got them settled into a new place.  After she left I was quite depressed and just couldn’t seem to shake it.  Having her here, even as crazy and crowded as it was, really made me realize how deeply I missed my girls and grands.  Follow a trip for 3 weeks to see another daughter, followed by a trip to the beach with my third, and my bestie moving away and well I found I was in a pretty deep funk.  I did begin to focus more on spending time with family and focused on seeing my mom as much as possible.  I am so grateful that I did!  Come Autumn, and although losing my mom has left a deep hole in my heart, I am finding joy in living again.  Perhaps it was in losing her that I realized that I had to embrace and appreciate this life.  Perhaps it was feeling such deep grief that highlighted the beauty of joy when I felt it.  I still miss my mom so deeply and my girls and grands dearly, but I once again look forward to each season and just being.  I realized this only yesterday as I was looking forward to getting my Christmas decor out and decorating the house.  It is so hard living far from family and loved ones, but I can find ways to keep them close and they are all just a trip away.  So I keep busy and count my blessing and remain grateful for those times of joy and being with those I love.

After I cast off the first of November sock, I picked up the little penguin again that I had started when my I was visiting my mom just prior to her complete decline.  She had wanted to knit this little guy up for my nephew for Christmas but wasn’t sure she still could work on the fine yarn.  So I eagerly started it for her (well after I finished the cute little candy corn dolly dress for her).  I wasn’t sure I could make little items because they always look so complicated, but they really aren’t.  These little projects really are fun and near instant gratification.  I am amazed at how simple they actually are!  This little guy will go off to my nephew from my dearest mom.  I have another candy corn dress to make for another niece and then I have done all the knitting that my mom wanted me to do for her for her grands.  I just wish she could see this little guy….she would just love him!

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Although I only finished one of the November socks, I couldn’t resist casting on this for the December sock.  This yarn is not something I would buy off the shelf, but I got it for .50 at an estate sale and figured I may as well get it knitted up.  It is wool but not quite as soft as most wools I have knitted on.  I’m hoping it will block out a bit softer.

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I just recently discovered a great way to organize my knitting projects that I keep by my chair.  My daughter had a 31 Bag party some time back and, well you know how it is, we feel we must order and support our kids… But OMG am I glad I did.  I LOVE these bags and organizers.  Fast forward months later and I have acquired a stash.  I love how this Deluxe organizer can fit so much and it even has a lid.  I only have one of the file folders inserted in it at this time, but will get 3 more as they fit just perfectly and can be pulled out when working on that particular project.  Being an organization freak this is just my cuppa!!

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I have gone out to a few estate sales, but aside from seeing some amazing and beautiful houses, nada.  Not a thing worth buying.  I did find this cute pillow in a stack of stuff headed to goodwill.  I thought it was just the cutest ever.  Being hand done I just had to have it.  The stitching is exquisite; its just all too cute.

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And now I must off to run a few errands and accomplish my days chores.

Finding Joy,

Patricia

 

As we say goodbye to October

The month of October was really rather a blur for me.  But I did manage to get out several times to enjoy the beauty of Autumn.  The trees have all turned the burnished colors of Autumn, and the yards and streets are awash in a multicolored quilt of leaves.  Our daily walks now, when we can get out, are taken in the twilight hours.  The air is crisp and moist.  Gardens are giving up their last crops and preparing to slumber through winter.  I love this time of year, how I would love to live in a world of Autumn year round!  Well perhaps I would like a few spring days sprinkled here and there.

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My knitting mojo returned and I completed my October socks and one November sock.  I am knitting the November sock out of a yarn that I found at a yard sale for .50 cents.  It is bouncy and stretchy and I really enjoy knitting on it!  I am beginning to think I may just complete this box o’ socks KAL and complete all 12 pair!  But boy howdy am I tired of knitting socks!  I am ready to switch to mittens as I have a passel of grands that will be needing mittens for the winter!

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I have also picked up my shawl once again, I had casts it on then it got put to the side.  I am knitting Helen Stewart’s Amulet Shawl once again.  The main body is out of a yarn by Despondent Dyes and the contrast is my own natural dyed with marigolds.  I enjoy working on anything by Helen Stewart as her patterns are so easy to follow!

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I love the wee morning hours when it is still dark out and the world is just beginning to wake up.  I have my special morning ritual, small things that just set the tone for the rest of the day. Lately it has included some soft Christmas Jazz, but often it is silence.  I fix my coffee, do some simple meditation, and do my daily morning pages and then a bit of knitting on my latest project.  It allows me to ease into the day and prepare for the nonstop whirlwind that faces me each day as I walk into work. There is nothing as cozy as being curled up with my doggies, the world silent and dark around me; knowing that soon the day will begin and I will be prepared for whatever it shall bring.

I awoke to a surprise last week, my Christmas cactus was all abloom!  It has not bloomed for several years.  I did change locations this summer and put it in the living room in the window.  Apparently this is the spot that is just right!

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Just the other day, a group of my friends were discussing buying clothing and how it seems that the second hand places have become the best option lately.  I like to chose second hand for a variety of reasons.  I think mostly I like knowing that I am not supporting yet another throw away industry, but recycling that which is already out there and keeping less out of the landfills.  I also like the prices and, honestly, the selection is often better.  Mass produced clothing limits the styles I get to chose from, as it is dictated by whatever “they” determine to be in fashion.  I am fortunate that we have numerous second hand shops here locally.  With the move toward trying to use less and protect the environment, it only makes sense to recycle clothing.  I have gotten some beautiful pieces for pennies by shopping wisely and digging deep.  In fact, I made a stop by today as I needed some black slacks.  I found a pair of black and grey and a lovely dressy top as well.

And now since it is my hubby’s birthday we are going to visit our local pastry shop for some late lunch and cake.

Happy Autumn,

Patricia

October musing….

Today the sun is shining and it is a perfect fall day!  I love how the sun’s rays filter through the windows creating a ever changing montage of still life vignettes.

Isn’t my Frankie just the cutest ever?  I have had him since my days of running a quilt shop way back when Becca was a baby!

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These gifts of beauty are even more greatly appreciated as in the past few weeks I have been working steadily with only a day off here and there.  This week was not any different and I have not have much time for anything.  The work days have been long and demanding and I come home after dark exhausted.  However this is to be expected at this time and this too shall pass.  I do feel an excitement about my job that has long been missing, and I embrace that and add it to my blessings.  There have been several things that have contributed to this heart change; one is coming to the realization that it is not work that I mind, it is being so far from family.  Further, as I have continue to pursue this PhD in mind body medicine, my knowledge of healing practices has grown exponentially and I have been incorporating those practices into my everyday life.  It really is how we view life and life events that shapes our mental and physical health.

Even when work is demanding unending time, I still find time in the wee hours of the morning to get in some knitting.  Simple mindless knitting that can be used as a type of relaxation is just the ticket at this time and socks are just perfect.  I cast on the second October sock in some yarn that my middle daughter Erica dyed.  I just love the way this yarn is knitting up; the colors are so beautiful.  I had intended to use it for a shawl but just couldn’t decide on a pattern so socks it is.  If I was to name this yarn I would call it Vintage Christmas.

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I couldn’t resist casting on another pair as well.  These are in some yarn I scored at an estate sale for .50 per skein.  I love the crispness of this nautical color combo.  This is a yarn brand that I have never used previously.  It has a stretch to it.  I will be interested to finish these up and try them on!

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It seems like years ago that I made the trip up to Condon to see my mom and say goodbye.  Do we ever adjust to losing our parents?  I know my mom used to tell me all the time how hard it is to lose your mother, but how can we really know until it happens?  How many times in an ordinary day do we all think about how mom would love that, how I have to tell mom something, how many times we ask for her advice.  Our moms are so woven into the fiber of our own self!  While at work the other day, while checking my voicemail, I realized I have numerous voicemails from my mom!  How sweet it was to hear her voice!  It was a long hard day and hearing her asking how I was; well it was as if she knew I needed her at that moment!  Oh how dearly I miss her!!  When I lost my dad, a dear friend, Wilma sent me a copy of my favorite author, Gladys Taber’s book on grief.  I pulled it out again the other day and began reading it.  Her writing is soothing to the soul; she weaves in the business of living with the stop motion of grief.  It has been of some help.  But as she states, time is the greatest healer of deep loses to the heart.  Go on we must, and so we do.

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One thing I have noticed lately, is how I have allowed the use of social media to creep back into my life and begin to take over a lot of my free time.  I think our electronic devices are a diversion from reality and getting things done; anyway they are for me.  How easy is it to come home after a long day and just stare at the screen as we scroll through IG or FB, totally disconnected from any engagement with what is happening on the screen and in the real world around us?  Wouldn’t that time be better spent knitting, taking a long hot bath, reading, or engaging with friends and family?  I think so, so will once again unplug myself.  I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  I love how we can keep in touch with friends and family far away and see what they are doing, and I enjoy connecting through IG with like minded makers and the sharing of our craft.  But lately I just scroll mindlessly as a means of killing time and disconnecting.  I do spend a lot of time with my phone as I text daily with my children and grands, and that is a gift of technology that I love!  Oh technology how we love and hate thee!  As Neil Postman so wisely said “for everything technology giveth, it also taketh away.”

I finally opened the box from Mary Maxim and feel like I may be able to cast on one of the cute little outfits.  But grief is  unpredictable and while I may feel ready today, tomorrow, I may be unable to look upon these projects without tears and deep sadness.  Mom just loved the little candy corn outfitted baby that I made her so much and I was so excited to make outfits for all the holidays.  We’ll just have to see how it goes….. I am still busy knitting away on the penguins she wanted me to knit for my nephew and I hope to complete those and send them to him for Christmas fulfilling her wish!

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I had some fun mail today.  I subscribed to Making magazine in the summer and look forward to each issue.  This issue I think is the best yet!  I am in love with that sweater!  I have been wanting to cast on a color work sweater but have not found just the right one. Well this one is perfect!  And look at those sheep?  Knit our of worsted weight, they are reversible!  The entire magazine is a treat, chock full of lovely patterns and photos!

Although it is not yet Halloween, I must admit I have had Pandora playing Christmas music since last week end.  My mom loved Christmas music and had a huge collection of Christmas records.  Our house was filled with Christmas music from mid November until the big day and even after for a bit.  I generally waited until after Thanksgiving to begin listening, but with Pandora I can listen anytime and it feels like a fitting tribute to my mom.  My mom was always humming to herself and would sing bits and pieces of words here and there amongst the humming.  It was comforting as a child and a sign of her contentment in her job of raising a brood of 8.  And speaking of Christmas, I must add a Hallmark subscription to my Amazon TV account. Oh how dearly I love those sappy Hallmark movies!!

And now dear friends it is off to prepare for my work day.  I’ll get in a few more rows on my sock and then off I must…

Enjoy!

Patricia