Blogging

Today while looking back through my blogs, I realize that in December it will be 10 years since I started blogging! It is such a fun trip down memory lane to look back at all those blogs and relive so many many happy memories!  Why do I blog? There are myriad reasons.  I love having a written and pictorial record of my life as it offers me much joy and memories as I look back through those blogs.  Oh how I wish we had this technology when my children were young.  What joy it would bring to be able to have tangible record of all the wonderful memories that were created as they grew.  Memories can be so enhanced with a written and pictorial record.  It is in the mundane that most all of life’s wonders take place, what we see as the daily grind will someday be remember as the beautiful precious moments that make up life.  Another reason I blog is to leave a record for my descendants.  I have a few journals from my maternal great grandma and grandma.  How fun it is to read about my mother as a baby and child through their eyes.  I often wonder what life was like for my mother, grandmothers, and aunts. My children and grandchildren will have written evidence of their importance in my life and how deeply they are loved and cherished. They will see the memories we made together through my eyes along with a pictorial history. They will have an understanding of what life was like for me; the daily mundane and the special events and times.  Along with my blogs they will have years of pre-blogging journals.  What I do not blog for is to influence others or to develop a huge following.  I do not promote my blog, it is personal and if others discover it and enjoy my musings that is ok too.

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Comes the day to begin my foray back into the work environment. It was nice to be greeted by these lovelies and makes the transition back into work not quite so painful.  I am just finishing up the first week and it is amazing how easily I can fall back into the routine of it all. Yet, I do miss my sweet days of pottering about the house without a care in the world!

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With the days not yet falling into darkness early, I am still able to get home in time to enjoy some sunny days hanging out in the front room working on my studies while the doggies bask in the sun.  I love coming home to those sweet faces and all the doggie kisses!

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I have been getting in some knitting time too.  In the evenings I like to put on a favorite Brit series and knit some rows while my favorite inspectors solve cases of deadly doings in the small quaint British countryside villages.  My project has been the baby sweater for baby in waiting Mimi.  I do love how this is knitting up so quickly.  I was concerned about the pattern directions, but they are very easy to follow.  I am delighted to have a return of my knitting mojo I tell you!

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My plan is to make this dress to match out of one of these three fabrics.  I am leaning toward the kitties…

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My bestie received the Wildes Meer shawl and posted this picture.  I am so happy she loves it!  I had also sent her some of the duplicate Hummels I had collected.

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Although I did not bring out my Halloween decor this year, I have been playing around and moving things here and there.  This is by far my favorite room in the house. It is nice to just mix it up a bit…

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Oh how I love Autumn.  The colors are so splendid and never disappoint!  While out on my walk the other day I just had to snap this shot…..so lovely!!

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In my quest to spend less time on my phone and social media, I am doing much better with the dizzy spells that I was experiencing from visual vertigo.  I have not missed playing those silly games and am finding that I am spending more time knitting and reading.  I also have been putting together jigsaw puzzles on the table instead of online!   It is just so insidious how technology creeps in and takes over!

And now it is off to prepare some lovely vegan dishes to get me through the work week.

Happy Autumn!

Patricia

 

 

Gearing up…

Countdown begins to the day I am walking back into that world of work.  I have mixed feelings. I have loved my time at home, yet I feel a sense of obligation and responsibility to continuing to work within my career for a bit longer.  I have met most of my savings goals, but just a wee bit more would be optimum. So back into the fray I go come Monday  morning.  I have long believed that the USA has created unhealthy work environments that promote burnout.  All the research that I have conducted in my PhD programs backs that up as factual.  We work too long hours with too little paid time off and are expected to do more with less.  It creates so many many work problems and actually costs employers more in loss of productivity, increased turnover, and excessive absenteeism. But hey try explaining that to most corporate entities and well don’t waste your breath.  Some European countries are trying on the 4 day work week and have actually found that employees are more productive.  Of course if we did that here in the USA we would use it as a reason to demote staff to part time and pay that much less for the same amount of work….sigh….capitalism….

On a more positive note, I am excited to say I have a wellness coach.  My first meeting is next week.  I have been looking at research that supports wellness coaching as a successful means to making positive lifestyle changes to lose weigh and increase fitness.  Since I am also working on my coaching certification, it will be interesting to work with a coach.  I will be evaluating and learning from her coaching skills as I also work on my own needed changes.  I’ll not tell her that though!

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Along with addressing my fitness and nutrition, I am also seriously changing my use of technology.  See I got hooked on some of those silly games you can play on your phone.  It seemed like such an innocent thing to pass the time while I was traveling or waiting at appointments. But heck if it didn’t rather become a bit of an obsession…good grief.  I am prone to vertigo and noticed all that screen time was creating visual vertigo. So cold turkey it was, deleted all the games and got out a puzzle from the cupboard.  I have always loved puzzles and have always had one going.  When the girls were teens,  they along with their friends, would often stop and try to fit a few pieces together.  It is a great activity that gathers everyone around the table and allows for lots of conversation.  I had allowed virtual puzzles to overtake my regular puzzle table.  I do think technology has a place and great value, but I also think it can be used as a distraction and is a huge time sapper. I notice that too much screen time also impacts my ability to fully concentrate.  So away with the games and limited time on any social media is also a part of my plan to optimize continuing to live a bliss filled life!

With the change in seasons and cooler weather, comes the desire to drink copious amounts of tea.  A bit ago my bestie Mia gave me some of the most amazing teas ever. Well I ran out so had to reorder and of course try out some new to me blends.  Let me tell you this tea company is the best!  The company is Oregon Tea Traders and they are based in Eugene.  I love that I am supporting a local Oregon company.  Check these out.  Notice the one called Oregon Rain!  Oh also notice those cute turkeys that I found at a local charity shop.  I love vintage turkeys and nab them whenever I see them!

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With the return of my knitting mojo I have been busy.  When I was in Nevada, my sweet Emmy asked if I would take her dolly home and dress it.  I couldn’t say no.  This is the same outfit as I knitted for my momma a bit over a year ago right before she passed away.  I could hardly bring myself to even look at those patterns or kits for a year.  But knowing the pleasure that Emmy would get from the dolly and knowing my momma was smiling down on me as I knit it helped.  I will make some additional seasonal outfits. These patterns are from Mary Maxim.  My mom loved Mary Maxim and would pour over the catalog. Over the years she has knitted pretty much every sweater Mary Maxim had that featured color work patterns and she knitted probably close to 100 of their color work stocking patterns.  All of kids and the grands have benefitted from her prolific knitting skills!

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I also completed the shawl.  It blocked out so beautifully!  I have to say I loved this pattern!  It is Wildes Meer from Voolenvine.  It was so intuitive and the directions were clear and easy to follow.  Just a bit over a year ago I didn’t think I could knit lace and in the ensuing year I have made numerous lacy shawls.  This shawl was my first dip into applied border and I loved the look it can give!  I am sure I will knit this pattern again.

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When I was in Nevada I took some of my yarn for Becca to dig through.  She spotted this hand dyed worsted weight from Knitted Wit and wanted a baby sweater for Mimi.  It has been awhile since I have knit a baby garment but feeling so successful after the shawl I cast it on.  I am loving this knit as well.  Worsted knits up so fast and looks so lovely.  I did question her choice of color as I wanted a nice girly pink, but she loved this turquoise and so turquoise it is.

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I have a confession to make, I have already turned on the Christmas music!  I usually wait until mid November, but heck the season is soooo short and I just adore Christmas music.  I especially like jazzy Christmas.  I also plan on decorating earlier as well.  As I get older and pass into the next stage of life’s journey, I realize that life passes very quickly so it is imperative to enjoy every minute.  If I love Christmas music then I can darn well listen to it all year!!  My mom loved Christmas music and had a lovely collection of records. They would come out, if I recall, in early November as well and as she got older she also listened to it when she wanted; no matter the season!!  I usually prefer silence and rarely having any music playing, but if there is to be music it will be Christmas or soft piano and classical.  That is my HSP empathic nature.

And now I must back to my last research paper for this term. I have one week left in the course, but am determined to complete this paper before I being the new job on Monday. Although it is never a joy to write papers, I love doing research and if your research is complete the papers almost (almost I say not completely lol) write themselves.  So off it is to shift gears and put on my scholar cap.

Be Bliss filled,

Patricia

 

Such bountiful blessings!!

Remember that genetic test I wrote about a month ago?  Familial hATTR Amyloidosis, a genetic mutation that produces an amyloid protein that forms into an abnormal shape, which can then deposit in clusters in the body’s nerves and other organs and build up to harm tissue and organ function.  It is a newer discovery and many clinical trials are being performed with new drugs.  My brother is in once such trial and why all the sibs were tested.  It is wicked and destructive and being a dominant gene there is a 50% chance of having it if a parent has the gene.  I was more worried for my daughters and grands than myself.  Yesterday my results came back and I AM NEGATIVE!!  Hallelujah!!  Although I will tell you, there is a great sense of guilt as so far 3 of my sibs have tested positive and are fighting heart issues and neuropathy.  It makes me feel sick to see them suffer this!  Especially my older sister who devoted her last 10 years or so to caring for my mom. My heart breaks just thinking about it….. So while I thank God and count my blessings, I am also deeply saddened.  Yet I feel I can now move forward and just get on with living.

We took advantage of my time off between jobs and spent a long week-end visiting Becca and grands in Nevada. It is always so wonderful seeing the grands.  Becca had a long week-end off school so it was just perfect.  We knitted and visited and stayed up half the night.  She is getting close to having sweet little Mimi, just a few more months!  While there Maddox had a birthday, too!

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All too soon it was back home and business as usual.  I have determined that I need to get a handle on my health; which means shedding weight, eating right, and moving!  I do prefer a vegan diet, but consume too many and too much processed foods.  I love greens and veggies of any kind but find salads can get dull.  I was so thrilled to find these at my local grocer. They can be sprinkled on my salad, oatmeal, fruit etc.  Love them!

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As a part of my renewed commitment to fitness I have started walking daily again.  This is one of my views.  The neighborhood across the street is all steep steep hills and I chose to walk that route to get a better workout.  Plus the views are so beautiful.  I believe nature is healing and we all need to engage with nature daily to maintain overall well-being.  I do love the PNW, the greenness, the rain, the cooler temps…

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Sweet Misha is my walking partner.  She is just the sweetest little girl ever! So very well behaved.  I cannot take Bruno out as he is dog aggressive and weighing it at 90 lbs he is a bit too much for me to handle, so poor ole Booger has to stay home.

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As I walk I always listen to a book on tape.  Currently I am listening to Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders.  It is a wonderful book on how the gut works and its impact upon our overall health. I just love audible and have listened to some amazing books.  I seem to be drawn to books that are health related and/or explain how our anatomy works.  I am fascinated with the body and with all the new medical research surrounding the mind/body connection….obviously as that is my PhD studies.  I am contemplating taking an Anatomy and Physiology class, however, as I have never taken one.

With being home, I am busy playing around with organizing everything and sundry and also putting together fun new vignettes.  I recently made this bulletin board but had no place for it, yet just loved it. I figured it would be lovely to frame some of my favorite art pieces by Kelly Rae Roberts.

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I am not going to pull out all my fall decor, but wanted a nice color arrangement so put together this bouquet with assorted foliage pieces I had. It gives a nice little pop of color.

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I have been getting in a bit of knitting as well.  I did finish a tea cozy and cast on another.  But the biggest project has been continued work on the Wildes Meer shawl. I am working on the applied border.  It is a new to me technique and I was so excited to give it a try.  You cannot tell in the pic, but when this is blocked open it is going to me aaahhhhmazing!  Lacy and light and gorgeous.  The applied border is slow going and I do a bit at a time.  This shawl will go to my bestie, Mia, and is in the SeaHawk colors.  I love the bold pallette!  My next cast on will be a baby sweater for baby Mimi.

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It has been marvelous to just be home and hang out with the doggies.  I am the biggest homebody EVER!  I often have to force myself to leave the house as I love to just potter around the place; knitting, organizing, sewing, reading, playing in the yard, or watching my favorite Brit TV.

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Well that has been my week, so much good news and a lovely visit!

Looking to all the lovely days ahead,

Patricia

 

 

Lovely, Lovely Rain

I am most definitely a PNW girl.  I love the cloudy rainy days.  They both comfort and invigorate me.  When I lived on the east side of the state, by the time summer was over and months without a drop of rain, I was craving the cool comfort of a rainy day.  This love of cool rainy weather is one of the many reasons I loved Ireland.  While there, people kept apologizing for the weather and I kept repeating….this is my type of weather!   This morning I awoke to the sounds of rain beating on the roof and running down the gutters to splash loudly on the gratings.  It was such music to my ears and I hoped out of bed to throw open the doors and windows so I could revel in the sound.  My silly boxer babies don’t like it so much and act like they may very well melt if they get too wet.  Silly babies.

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It has been a glorious week of being home and just relaxing.  This week I tackled the Autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving decor.  Oh dear me I had 14 boxes full!  Christina had left her decor when she moved off to Ireland, and add that to my own holiday obsession, and well….14 storage boxes is the result!

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It took a few days, but I sorted through it and got it down to 7 boxes, which I think is pretty amazing.  Now to just get the Autumn decor put out before it is time to switch to Halloween decor!

Once I got those boxes sorted, I was ready to begin the Herculean task of tackling the storage area above the garage.  It has become a catch all for everything and there was nary an empty spot what with all the flotsam and jetsam that had landed there.  Down came box after box of junk, enough for two trips to the thrift shop for drop off!  I still have the task of going through all the cardboard boxes of items and getting them into storage boxes, but the majority of just unnecessary junk is gone.  That also meant I could finally get the boxes out of my guest room and start making it back into a guest room where guests are not just sleeping amongst boxes.  I do love organizing, it is in my blood. An organized environment means a peaceful environment and is necessary for an organized mind in my world.  I don’t do chaos in my home life.  Many people can manage in a storm of clutter, some even thrive in that environment.  Me, I just remain unsettled until I have organized clutter.  If one must have clutter, then it must be organized clutter.

I also spent some time in my studies.  I just love the placement of my desk and the view out my window.  One nice lovely glorious hydrangea blossom is pushed up against the window.  So beautiful in its perfection!  Notice my little pencil cup that states “Time and Tide wait for no man.”  My dad used to say this all the time.  The cup has a little house and tree on the other side.  It is Devon Ware Motto Ware from England and just the sweetest thing.

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My knitting bug has finally returned and I picked up the shawl I have been working on for my bestie Mia.  You can just see the lace pattern beginning to take shape.  I love this pattern, it has been one of the most user-friendly patterns I have ever knit.  It knits up fast and yet offers enough of a challenge to hold your interest.  I am ready to add on the applied border, a new to me technique.  If you love knitting, you must catch the podcast that the designer of this pattern, Kristin, records weekly.  Kristin is the genius behind Voolenvine yarns.  I adore her hand dyed yarns and her podcast!!  For those who do not knit, this may look like a mess now, but it will block out to look like the picture.

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While in Ireland, I found some lovely wool at a charity shop and knew it was just the thing for a tea cozy.  This is a little pattern I designed my self, simple yet lovely to keep your tea warm.

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In the evenings when I knit I watch Brit TV.  I just cannot tolerate violence in programing and it seems 99.9% of US programs have never ending graphic violence. Not my cuppa.  Yet, I love a good mystery and detective story.  I love how Brit TV tells a great story but does not feel the need to provide unnecessary violence and graphic detailed shots.  I have been hooked on foreign shows for over 20 years.  I also love how their actors look like real people, not surgically enhanced replicas  of each other.  It is a rare occasion when I watch anything from the US.  Currently I am rewatching Midsummer Murders. I adore that program and coming back to it after 3 years is like watching it anew.  There are just too many wonderful shows on Acorn and BritBox!  And I cannot wait to see the Downton Abby movie!!  Nothing more cozy than knitting, a cuppa, and viewing the gorgeous British country side as your favorite detective solves yet another mystery.

With the rains upon us and the cooler weather, I lit up the little turf burner I brought home from Ireland. The house was filled with the smell of a turf fire and it brought up all the cozy memories of sitting in front of the turf fire knitting and visiting.  Oh how I do miss lovely lovely Ireland!

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And now I must off to my task for today.  With this time off, I am busy tackling all those things left undone.  Today is the sewing room…it has become a catch all for this and that. Time to clear it out.

Happy Autumn!

Patricia

 

A Lovely Day Trip

It had been so long since we had headed out to visit the ocean. I love living an hour away, but time seemed to just pass so quickly it had been months since the last trip. Although it was raining, it was still perfect in every way….isn’t the seaside always perfect?!  The doggies just love running free on the beach!

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While strolling along, I picked up some stones that have that smooth just right feeling for holding in your hand.  I will add them to my Altar of Sacred Things.

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All too soon the rain began to pour and we had to make a dash for the car.  I am not good at running in deep sand and ended up soaked to the skin!  A nice hot Chai Tea for the trip home helped take away the chill.

Home and a bit of play with the oils. A few months back I ordered roller bottles with gemstone rollers.  I also ordered the oil recipes and stickers for chakra oils. I decided there was no time like the present to mix them up.  I am in love with these!  They also smell heavenly!  I need to make another set as I have stickers enough and just need to purchase a few more of the gemstone roller bottles.

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After the beach day, I had caught a chill so took a stay abed day at home.  By early evening I was feeling a bit better so decided to process a box of tomatoes that I had been given.  Spaghetti sauce it was. It will simmer overnight (I will transfer it to the crock pot) and be ready tomorrow.  Much will go into the freezer.  It has been so long since I have done any big batch cooking, it was quite enjoyable.  And the house smells lovely!

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The other day I was out scouting around at yard sales and thrift shops and I came across this beauty for $5.  It was just too much of a steal to pass up…right?!  The top needs refinishing and I cannot decide if I want to paint it or refinish it.  I love the claw feet with the gold covers.  It is Duncan Phyfe style and made by the Coombe Furniture Company of Ontario, Canada.  Known for quality furniture, the company made the furnishing for the Canadian Government House in England, the MPPs chairs in Parliament, and the Queen’s suite when she visited Charlottetown.  It closed doors in 1972.  Such a lovely bit of history!!

Sadly what has been missing from my blog and that I have just been in a slump over is my knitting.  I have made a few dish cloths and started on a tea cozy with some lovely yarn I found at a charity shop in Ireland, but my knitting mojo is just gone.  I’m not stressing as I know it will return in due time.  But I have so many many things I need to get completed!  I have found that my hobbies do wax and wane.  I will go through periods where I sew and do needle crafting non stop, then just feel a slump.  Working takes such a large amount of one’s day and energy that is does impact my crafting time….sigh…

Yesterday I got happy, happy news!  I received an offer for an exciting job a week ago.  This field I am in is beyond and Oregon, due to lack of enough regulatory oversight and most all companies being for profit, is down right awful.  Seriously, I would not put my own parents into an assisted living in the state of Oregon and I am an administrator!  Anyway, it is still in my own field but working for a non-profit and helping to facilitate a remodel and the addition of a MC.  I start in October as I gave the customary months notice yesterday….and as I prayed…my current company is just paying me out!  That leaves me almost four weeks of glorious wonderful time off to just be!  I do have a heavy school schedule so that will keep me busy, but oh happy, happy day!

And speaking of school work….off  I must to work on just that!

Happy, happy day,

Patricia

Settling Back In

It has several few weeks since the grand Ireland trip and I am slowly settling back in. However, there was not much time for settling as right on the heels of Ireland came a trip to Monterey for my PhD residency conference. Erica and I always travel together and this time we took a side trip to Sacramento on the way there to get Sebastians hands checked on. It has been a year and half post burn and he is doing amazing.  He will be facing an operation to correct one graph that has left his finger bent, but he has full function and feeling in both hands!  A blessing indeed!

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While I always enjoy time with my Saybrook peers and all the deep learning, connecting, and growing that takes place, this year I really just wanted to be home.  I am sure it was due to recently being away to Ireland and being that I am the biggest homebody EVER!  I did have an amazing time though.  This is the last RC in Monterey as Saybrook has moved campus to San Diego….so in January San Diego it will be.

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In my last blog I didn’t share any of the treasures I brought back home from my trip.  I was completely in love with the Atlantic and brought back a few shells and rocks to add to my Altar of Sacred Things.

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So very very touristy, but who can pass up a thatched cottage turf burner?  I really knew nothing about turf and was surprised at the smell.  You can smell the oil in it as it burns.  It puts out a great deal of heat, as well!  We had a turf fire most nights I was there to take the chill off!

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Everyone needs to return with a piece of Belleek when they visit Ireland.  I found this lovely vase for a steal at a charity shop in one of the nearby villages.

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This little leprechaun is from Shamrock Pottery.  He is such a cute little guy and is set to bring the luck o the Irish to my home.  He was also one of a pair I found at a charity shop.

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While in one charity shop I saw this darling Grandma cup.  Imagine my delight when we got back to Christina’s and Erica handed me a bag with the cup inside!  I will treasure it!! I adore anything that says grandma on it!!

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I have long wanted a tree of life necklace intertwined with Chakra stones.  This was another gift from Erica!  I love it and only take it off to sleep!!

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I love Celtic crosses…absolutely love them.  This little cross is made from bog turf and found a perfect home on my Altar of Sacred Things.

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County Mayo does not raise sheep for yarn, but for food source.  Yet I wanted to bring home a bit of yarny goodness and found these lovelies at a local needlework shop.

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These are just a few of the goodies I returned with.  But best of all was the memories I returned with!  Ireland was so very lovely and I cannot wait to return!!

Back into the fray, life continues on.  Work has been a bit of a pill and I determined to once again accept another opportunity.  It is an exciting change and I look forward to it.  The change will not take place until early next month and at that time I will share more.  This term of my PhD program has me busy as ever.  Always weekly assignments due as well as reviews and research papers…..never a dull moment.  But the learning….oh the lovely lovely learning!  I am thinking about a change of course however.  Ayurveda Medicine (my summer course) resonated so deeply with me.  I found it to be a holistic common sense approach to overall wellness….including all spokes on the wellness wheel.  I am considering studying to become a practitioner.  I am not certain yet, but it keeps coming up as something of such value to my life.  Hmmmm just don’t know….

I have been reeling with the news that several of my siblings have been stricken with a genetic disease that we didn’t even know existed until recently. hATTR Amyliodosis is a disease in which abnormal proteins build up in tissue (in our case, most often the heart).  There is no cure and only a few FDA approved treatment drugs.  My older brother has been approved for a controlled trial, my younger brother was just diagnosed, as was my older sister.  All siblings are being tested for the gene and I am awaiting the test.  It is unsettling to say the least.  I waiver between not wanting to know and yet knowing I must be tested for the sake of my own children and grandchildren.  It is fatal, but more and more drugs are being developed and tested and if identified early progression can be halted. I know that only God is in control and trust that all will be well.  Thankfully I have not exhibited any of the symptoms.

As I contemplate this test and the impact it could have on my life, I realize the importance of gratitude and counting one’s blessings and I have a myriad of blessings indeed!

And now, there are a bevy of estate sales out there calling my name!

Blessings abound,

Patricia

 

Oh Ireland how you captured my heart!

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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!

Patricia

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..

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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!

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I also nabbed some gorgeous Christmas cards.

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

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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!

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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:

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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,

Patricia

 

 

 

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.

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

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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!

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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!

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Look at these Santas!!

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Look at this gorgeous detail!

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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!

Patricia

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.

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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….

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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.

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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!

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Oh My am I developing a Nancy Ann obsession?!

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

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

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

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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….

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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,

Patricia