Bring on the Holidays

Hubby managed to garner some vacation time and we took off to Nevada. Becca and family had already had Covid so the MD agreed it was safe to visit. Oh how glorious! I had not seen baby Mimi since she was born and she is now turning a year. Becca also bought a new home and I had an entire car full of decor I had collected for her new home. It was so wonderful to see them! While there we decorated her house for Christmas, put together numerous Christmas puzzles, and just reveled in the blessing of being together!

How full my heart was. Seeing them and just being. Their new home is beautiful and all the pieces I took fit in just perfect. How fun to help decorate her new beautiful space!

We had planned on heading to Cali next, but my daughter’s workplace had a Covid exposure so that was a heartbreak…. So home it was for us.

Since being stuck at home, I am joining the growing group of others who have decided to decorate for Christmas early and excessively. In this year where we are separated from family and dealing with the fallout of an insane self appointed king and stress of Covid’s rising numbers, I am all about finding happiness where I can. Christmas makes me happy; the music, the decor, the smells, all the twinkling lights… So I did a bit more decorating than I have in the past decade. I used to go all out when the girls were home, putting up 5 trees and hanging bulbs from the ceiling. But when they left home I sent many of the decorations with them and scaled back. But this year it is time once again to surround myself with all the Christmas cheer that the decor brings.

It began with this gorgeous 9 foot tree that Becca sent home with me. I generally get a live tree, but with putting up decor so early that was not an option. I love how this turned out and I was able to use all my decorations!

Although Thanksgiving is still one week away, it is heartening to be surrounded by the joy of Christmas cheer. I now plan on getting a bit of Christmas sewing completed. All my gifts have been bought, boxed, and shipped or delivered. When you have family on distant shores, timeliness is of the essence. This year I did do something a bit different. Last year when I was seeing all the various knitting podcasters opening the advent yarn clubs they had joined, I thought well why not create advent gifts for my girls. We are all far apart and cannot spend Christmas together, so what better way to send a daily holiday love note than with a small personalized gift to open daily? So all through the year I was picking up little items here and there and tucking them away. It was quite a trick to gather, make, find 75 items…but I managed. I am so very excited for them to begin to open them. Another tradition that I revived from my mom this year is the Christmas pillowcase. I managed to sew 19 pillowcases, one for each child. These I wrapped up to be opened December 1st and used throughout every Christmas holiday season. My mom did this when I was young. I had the most wonderful pillowcase made in a Christmas novelty print. I looked so forward to it coming out every December 1st to be put on my pillow until the season was over. I believe it was the reason I had such wonderful and fanciful dreams as a child.

Once home, routine was again established. The daily walks were much shorter as Misha is still on walking restrictions due to her stem cell procedure. But she is doing better than we could have ever hoped for. For those of you who had not been following me, Misha had a partial ACL tear and after much research we determined to try the stem cell procedure. Initially it was grueling as the procedure requires two back to back general anesthesia sessions followed by keeping her immobile for a week. She ended up with a nasty rash or infection and needed antibiotics and she quite a bit of pain initially. Once she started to feel better the challenge became a bit harder, but we have managed to keep her from jumping and running. I put my bed on the floor so she can still sleep with me of course…… She was finally able to begin short walks just before we left for vacation. We are finally up to a mile walk this week. She does get 2x weekly hydrotherapy and laser therapy treatments as well. She was so darn excited when she was allowed to go outside for a walk, even if is was a short one! I just love that sweet frosty face!!

How I love the PNW and my daily dips into nature are critical to my overall wellbeing so I was delighted to get back out again with the doggies!! A practice I have added to my self care and spiritual growth tool box is walking the rounds. This is a Celtic practice that states “to walk sunwise (clockwise) means to walk in harmony with cosmic forces. The number of rounds varies, but generally you would walk either a single round, the sacred number of three rounds, or a full seven or twelve rounds, also holy numbers.” This is from Christine Valters Paintner’s book The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred. Christine has a number of books available and I cannot recommend them highly enough!! I live near a beautiful green space surrounded by a flowing brook and a path that circles around this incredible beauty. Here is where I walk my rounds and focus on gratitude, offer prayers, soak up the beauty, or whatever my soul needs that particular day. In adding these daily practices, I feel a serenity that has long escaped me. I feel the blessing more readily flow as I am open, listening, and ready to accept my destiny, my lessons, my journey. In this troubling time this is priceless!

Although I am living in a suburban area, I still find snippets of nature here and there. Places of peace where one can restore the soul.

I am thoroughly enjoying my PhD studies this term. The current course I am engaged in is on guided imagery. This program has been transformative to my own personal growth; spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But then it is a mind body program so if it did not create some major upheavals and improved overall wellbeing it would be for naught wouldn’t it?! I believe that we get out whatever we put in so often to be true. I have been engaged in a deep spiritual journey over the past several months and soaking up so much learning as I grow deeper into understanding my own spiritual gifts and purpose. I have enjoyed and benefitted greatly from adding daily mediation and imagery practices, along with essential daily dips into nature.

And now dear friends, I must off and work on research for my current course. Some of my greatest moments of learning come from the research writing, but it is never fun nor is it easy!

Blessing!

Patricia

Hello Again..

Gosh it has been forever since I have sat down and written a blog. Oh so much has gone on since I last wrote. Let’s start with the fires. My beautiful Oregon joined the ranks of California and was burning vast acreage. We had fires all up and down the valley area and quite close to my community. So many lost their homes, but by the grace of God, very few lives were lost. We were smoked in for two weeks with hazardous air quality which meant we had to stay indoors with the house all closed up. It was a long two weeks. I have never experienced the impact of smoke and fires that close. The first day it was actually dark all day long, like night time dark, but with a red glow casts over all. It was so eery and unsettling… These photos were at 1pm. It was hard to capture the true darkness as my camera wanted to add light to all the pics, but it was like looking outside after dark…just so unsettling.

Thankfully the cooler weather and heavy rains moved in after a long long 2 weeks, and the fires were able to be contained. The main road over the mountain is still closed and will possibly remain so for some times as they still battle the fire and clear up the messes. I am ever so grateful for those who battle these fires! It was heartwarming to see our entire community come together. Since we were considered safe from fires, as we are surrounded by open areas, our fairgrounds became the Red Cross center and shelter for those who had to evacuate. So many people offered to go get livestock and keep them, so many offered food, necessities, clothing, shelter. It was so heartwarming especially in these times of so much hatred and division!

During the fires, the residential conference for my PhD program took place. It was virtual this year, so I was not quite sure what to expect. There were so many wonderful sessions being offered and I was able to have 5 glorious days of intense yet so uplifting, educational, and transformative engaged learning. I was so saddened to see it end. I wasn’t sure how the zoom sessions would work, but they were amazing and we even broke out into small groups with the technology. I always come away from that time of engaging with peers feeling so empowered and uplifted and this time was no different. I know I say it all the time, but I love this Mind Body Medicine program at Saybrook. It has been one of the best gifts I have ever given myself! It has honestly been transformative and brought such positive into my own life in so many ways!

With the cooler weather, the walks have been glorious! Nothing can compare to a PNW fall! I just love being out early in the morning before most of the neighborhood has awakened. There is a softness to the silence and the air is still heavy with the evening chill. I knew I needed to cherish these walks as soon my sweet Misha would be going in for stem cell procedure for her torn ACL which would mean weeks of inactivity.

Just look at that sweet frosty face. She is such a sweet girl and has my heart.

The day came and we scheduled our sweet little girl for her stem cell procedure. I had read very positive things about the procedure so felt it was the best choice. Poor little thing sure didn’t do well with the anesthetic and I spent two night sleeping on the floor next to her. But she finally came right round and started being herself once again. She is 1.5 weeks out and can only go out to potty. Her movement will be severely restricted for the first 4 weeks and restricted for 12. So far it is working out ok but she is sure wanting to play! My sweet little frosty faced girl I cannot wait til we can take walks again and she can run and play!

I have to admit that by mid September I got out the Halloween decorations and went to town with decorating. I figured what the heck why not. With the pandemic and the inability to see my darling grands and my girls, I need to do what brings me joy and so out came the decor. While going through the boxes I also sent off two boxes of decor to Ireland so that Christina and kids would have a bit of Halloween joy. When they moved they left most all their decor with me, so I am slowly getting it sent over to them bit by bit. Yes it is expensive to ship overseas, but it is priceless as the joy it brings!

I put out a few more things here and there and it is all quite festive! I adore the colors of Autumn and Halloween Decor!

I did a bit of thrifting the other day and found this set of beautiful Franciscan china for $8! I loved the soft lavender and decided to use these for myself as every day dinnerware. There is place setting for 8. I could not believe the price! But then no one wants china anymore so it is generally quite inexpensive.

Here is another little thrifty find that I just completed painting and distressing. It was an awful dark brown. I needed a bit more space for books as my library is expanding once again. I like to keep the books I am currently reading or using in my studies close by, and this is just the perfect little cabinet to do just that!

Where a great amount of my energy has been going is into continually purging, rearranging, and opening up more space for a cleaner look. First I painted all the furniture ivory, then I took two pieces out of the sectional so that I could have the windows open. I added curtains, sheers as the PNW is by nature darker so I need all the light I can get. I did have to bring the dog kennel back out for at least 4 -6 weeks while my little girl heals her leg. I am please with the progress so far of this area of the house!

I also have done more in my front room and dining area. I move my large hutch to a different wall and made a wall gallery of all the beautiful handiwork pieces I have made or collected. But that room is currently holding all the items I am taking to NV and CA so it is rather a mess so no photos at this time. My little home is just the right size for the two of us and I am happy with it as humble as it may be. I enjoy finding ways to repurpose what I have or find wonderful thrifted items. I find that less is becoming more and I prefer to fill my house with items of meaning in place of new mass produced disposable junk that seems to be the trend. No hobby lobby or dollar store for me!

Which brings me to a bit of a ponder that has been on my mind. I do like to keep this blog positive, but sometimes I feel the need to just share a thought or opinion. I love IG and I follow so many posts and I am hooked on YouTube and the wonderful marvelous channels of Fairyland Cottage, Bayoona, Hopalong Hollow, White Cottage Company, Daughter of Old, Stitched by Mrs D, The Elliot Homestead, Bealtaine Cottage, The Cottage Fairy, and of course Voolenvine which was the first YouTube channel I discovered and sent me down this rabbit hole. I think I listed my favorites, but I may have forgotten some. I use YouTube for meditating and for music, as well. I am drawn to the whole simple living movement and living a life of contentment while using less and living more mindfully. I love the beautiful images that so many of these wonderful young women capture on camera to bring joy and peace into my own home. Not long ago I discovered all the home decor accounts and stories on IG. While I enjoy seeing all these beautiful homes, I got tired of the constant pushing of merchandise by these people while preaching about Christ on the other. I found it extremely artificial and commercial. I get that is the basis for capitalism, but I just have always struggled with a marriage of capitalism and Christ. The two do not mix, they just absolutely do not. So I appreciate the accounts that are tools for teaching and sharing the beauty of life and nature. I appreciate those who have written books to share their talents and knowledge. But I do not care to have every single story be Jesus and swipe up to buy this gadget. And that dears is my little rant for what it’s worth…lol…

I do believe we are all taking a closer look at our homes as the pandemic has caused so many of us to be home a great deal more. Being that I am an introvert and have been a huge homebody my entire life and one with so many hobbies and crafts that I could never complete them in one lifetime, the adjustment was not hard. Missing my girls and grands has been hard! But I realize how blessed I am in all that I have when so many have so little at this time. I believe that it really is about living a life of gratitude, but it took me decades to get to the point I am now at. We all have our own journeys to travel (why although it irritates me the accounts I ranted about above, I realize they are also on their journey and learning and growing). And with that I will close this as I must off to complete my current school assignment.

Be kind and gentle to yourself and others, stay safe, and savor each day!

Patricia

Hello September!

Oh how I love Autumn, so when September rolls around I am always energized and excited! It means the beginning of cooler weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, beautiful jewel toned forests, paths strewn with crunchy with leaves, cool soothing rains, and the beginning of the holiday season. Although the days are still hot around here, in the early morning you can feel the change in that air!

I have been ever so busy doing a bit of this and that. Still painting bits and pieces, plus candle and salve making, along with harvesting a very small garden bounty. I finally got around to painting my table top. It looks so much brighter!

I found two cute little cabinet/drawer pieces while thrifting and decided the one would make the cutest ever mug holder on my coffee bar. It does have a glass piece for the door which I have not yet put back on. It is just the cutest and has so many possible uses. For now it will stay right here.

The other little drawer piece is just perfect to hold my oils that I use most often in my diffuser.

I have been hooked on the Oui French style yogurt. The maple flavor is amazing and these little containers….oh my. I felt they were just the thing for soy candles. So down that rabbit hole I jumped with both feet. The first ones I used essential oils, but they take so much and the smell is just a hint. So I decided to order essential fragrances in fall scents and made up a batch of pumpkin spice. It smells lovely. The candles are just the right size to add bits of mood lighting here and there. I ordered the supplies off Amazon and opted for soy over wax. I prefer the way it burns and the clean-up is so much easier when pouring the wax. I just love placing these all over the house to create a cozy warm ambiance.

The salves were so fun to make up. I used beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter then added frankincense and cinnamon. It made up a lovely rich and wonderful smelling cute little bar. I just love the bee mold and think it just adds the perfect touch. I also made up some chest rub with eucalyptus and peppermint. Such a fun and easy project it is to make up salves and the scent combinations are endless! BTW: isn’t this hand just the cats meow? I found it out thrifting one day and just had to bring it home.

As usual the zucchini crop was larger than could be easily used so I whipped up my sister Sue’s recipe for pineapple zucchini bread. The addition of pineapple just adds so much moisture and taste. It so yummy.

Before the month of August drew to an end we did manage to get out and do some berry picking. The blackberries grow wild and sweet all over and just there for the taking. They are a bit smaller this year but oh so sweet. I froze most of them and will make up a batch of jam when the mood strikes.

I did a tiny bit of rearranging, I moved my desk into the spare room. I really like it in there and like that it opens up the bay window area to create this cozy little sitting area and I love how I can display Grandma’s lovely lamp along with one of my mom’s baskets in that area. When I was growing up, this lamp was always on a round table and generally in the window as it is once again. Is there anything more enjoyable than moving things around and creating cozy corners? I have been slowing paring down to just the things that I truly love and bring me joy as I look upon them.

On one of my yard sale excursions, I happened upon some frames. I turned a few into bulletin and chalk boards, but just loved the effect I was able to create with these by framing these sweet little prints that I adore.

This little honey pot was another little bit I found. I just love toast with jam and there is just something special about serving it from such a cute little pot. Currently it holds my home made raspberry and strawberry/rhubarb. Just so yummy! Add this to my homemade bread, a strong cup of coffee, and it is just the perfect morning start!

Our St. Vinnies finally reopened and I made a quick visit and found this beautiful cross stitch Christmas piece. It was under $5 and I think it will be darling layered on my mantle with my Christmas villages. The colors are just so soft and sweet. I also picked up Martha Stewarts Christmas Cookbook for $1. It will make its way to Ireland I am sure.

I also found a few cute stools. I need to refinish but they are cute just stacked in a corner for now. The sweet vase on top was gifted to me and I think she is precious. I keep it filled with all my crystals and pretty rocks.

Oh my, I know fall is here when this appears on my grocer shelves! I am not a big imbiber of alcoholic beverages, but I love these pumpkin ales. I love dark stout and the coffee one is just the bomb. This brand is by far my favorite! YUMMM!!

And now I am off to do a bit of repotting and moving of my plants. Now that the veggies are nearly done, I am moving my herbs to the front beds. I also have a myriad of hollyhocks to get put into the front cottage bed. I am forever moving plants around to find just the right spot. I often will initially put them in large pots until I can decide for sure exactly where I want them. I love the versatility that pots allow me in rearranging and finding just the perfect spot. It helps that I have managed to find some of the jumbo sized pots ($30-$50 full priced) second hand for $5 and less!!

Take care all, keep safe, wear your mask, and generate love and goodwill wherever you may go!

Feelin those fall vibes!

Patricia

Busy as a Bee

With the hot weather driving me inside, I have been a whirlwind of busy busy. Painting the table and chairs ivory really set me off on a painting frenzy. The ivory just made such a difference and opened up the area making it appear brighter and larger. Sooo I just couldn’t take the duck egg blue for a minute longer and did this…

So much nicer! Of course then I was off to go through and organize about everything in the house. I have made a great amount of headway and several trips to the charity shop. Oh and I am still so in love with my Sunny spin bike. It am slowly increasing in intensity and distance and just enjoy it so much.

Remember the coffee bar that I only just completed? Well I just couldn’t live with that either. I didn’t really care for the style and, although I love that color, I am just liking everything ivory. So when I was clearing out the spare room to paint it, I came upon this shelf and with a bit of paint it became this…

I love how I can display some of my treasures and recent finds on this shelf. Eventually I will find just the right cabinet for this space, but for now I am happy with this set up.

I also did a few small projects and have more lined up. This frame was a dark brown and just ugly. A bit of paint brightened it right up!

I found this little cutie at the thrift shop and it was the most awful beige. I love how it turned out and just stuck a favorite quote in until I find just the right picture.

I will post pictures of the guest room next post. It was the most awful dark tan color and is now ivory. I put my desk in that room and added my collection of large antique frames on the wall for a simple yet elegant look. I had been wanting to get my desk out of the front room for a bit as it is always so very cluttered and I prefer to be able to close the door on the clutter and mess.

In all my sorting and clearing out, I also decided it was time to organize my huge button collection. My mom gave me a ton of buttons before she passed away and I have just left them sitting in a tote as I couldn’t bear to go through them. Well I finally got them out and spread all over the dining table as I sort through them. It is bittersweet, as so many we bought together years ago when my girls were little. Oh the fun we had with all our sewing and crafting. One memory so dear is when Erica my second was born and mother came to stay as she did with each of my babies. We decided to organize all our lace and wind it on cards we made from cardboard. I still have so much of that lace and still on those cardboard spools. Oh how I miss her and those days…..

My plan with so many many buttons is to make up button tins for my girls and sisters. I spent many hours as a child playing in mother’s button tin; sorting by like kind, color, or size.

In all my sorting, painting, and clearing out, I have gotten in a small bit of sewing. Christina, my eldest in Ireland, had asked if I would make them masks. So I watched youtubes and hunted down the best possible pattern. I did my first one for the hubby using an old cotton bandana at his request. I used the Jesse pattern, designed by an engineer and custom fit to your face size and shape. It will be a fun way to use of some of the wonderful novelty fabrics I have been collecting.

I have also been very slowly working on naughty bags for the Stitches Plus Purls etsy shop. I have been quite the snail in getting around to finishing the bags. But I did get quite burned out with making so many, so had determined to just work on them as the mood hit. I do adore this naughty fabric from Spoonflower. I am making us some bags with just the fabric and then used the leftovers to cut out saying and combine them with the ghastlies by Alexander Henry (the ghastlies with naughty sayings is the trademark of our bags).

I am a huge fan of numerous IG decorating accounts and YouTube channels. I just find so many amazing ideas and inspirations for my own home and crafty ideas. One of my favorite that I discovered quite some time ago is Shaye Elliot and The Elliot Homestead. I even have a few of her books. Well she just shared a way to preserve all those extra herbs (besides drying) and that is making herb salts. So I was off down that rabbit hole…

It is such a simple project and what a great way to add some additional favor to your meals. I made up a batch with sea salt and sage, rosemary, thyme, majoram, chives, garlic, and bay. Then I made a batch with just basil and garlic in pink himalyan salt. The house has smelled glorious while the salts have been drying. To make this you simply put salt into your food processor and then add your fresh herbs and garlic. Blend, let dry, and put into containers. I will be sharing these with all the girls.

I have a bit of a rant……I mail a lot of packages. I am a huge fan of sending care packages and don’t mind the postage, even to send off to Ireland. I feel the value of the care package is priceless. I have been collecting things for Becca’s first new home they recently purchased and with covid knew there would be not trips so packed it all up. Well it was 5 large boxes. I decided it would be easier to send UPS instead of dragging it all into my local PO. Now I only use the USPS as it is cheaper and trustworthy. But I decided to give UPS a try. NEVER AGAIN! The boxes arrived in short time but with 4 broken items. Now mind you I ship to Ireland as well as different areas of the USA and never ever has my USPS broken a thing. In fact I have often been a bit sloppy with my packing of fragile stuff and still no breakage. After this experience and sharing it, I heard that UPS is notorious for breakage and rough handling of boxes. Although the USPS is having a bit of a rough time right now with that new dasterdly head (please just kick him to the curb ASAP) and mail is slower, I still trust them. They are less expensive and a can trust my items (if I pack them correctly) will arrive in one piece not pieces! Just my little rant. I was so disappointed when she opened the boxes and not just one but 4 items were broken!! One was even a heavy candlestick. That box had to have been thrown or dropped from high. UPS you will not be getting my business again!!

Since my last PhD class on spirituality and health, I have really been looking for ways to expand spirituality into my daily life and live a life in which all things are sacred, especially the mundane, as after all that is what life is made up of. When the girls were young we celebrated all the holy days and seasonal changes. I wanted to incorporate that back into my life and ordered several books to that purpose. The one that I absolutely love and use daily is this book…

The author breaks the year into months and highlights all the days to celebrate and ideas for celebrations. But what I absolutely love is the prayers she has written for each month. They are so very beautiful and I say them outloud daily as they are like music in their beauty!

Each day focuses on a different thing. This particular Friday is Cherishing, but it can be water, harvest, thanksgiving etc. I just love this book and can’t say enough praise about it! That along with daily meditation, walking, using my spin bike, and reading other edifying books has honestly been a game changer. And boy howdy have I needed that as my youngest, Becca, and her family are battling the covid…. So far away, so sick, and it is just so scary and worrisome. Two weeks in and most are recovered except my daughter. I would sure appreciate prayers!! It is some scary stuff for sure that dastardly covid!

On the topic of spirituality, I have been finding feathers on so many of my walks. Feathers are a symbol of angels being near and a sign to know you are not alone. Look at these beauties! All so different.

I just love birds and do all I can to attract them into my yard. The last few times I have been sewing the tree outside my window has held a baby Robin just learning to try its wings and a hummingbird just hanging out. The are deep in the tree but I have the perfect view out the window and yet it does not disturb them. Such a joy and treat to watch!

And now, being Friday I must ready to head out and stalk the yard sales. But first to share one of my little finds that I kept for myself. Isn’t old shoe shine kit this just the cutest to hold my gardening implements right by my front door? The antique doll bed was also a find that was being tossed and just given to me!

And now off to have some great fun!

Happy August!

Patricia

Sweet Summer Days

Summer has hit swiftly with the temps soaring into the 90s and above. Walks now must take place in the early dawn to avoid the heat. Being a morning person, I do not mind heading out before much of the world is awake. I like the quiet stillness that surrounds the neighborhood.

With the heat here driving me inside, I have just been busy as ever as I continue to clear out, rearrange, and refurb the house. The biggest project this week was making a sweet little coffee bar. I happened upon this old microwave cart for pennies and thought it would do just fine. Although I do eventually want to find a little chippy cabinet. The color I chose was curry. Ever since I saw a You Tube tutorial on chalk paint in which the color curry was used, I have been dreaming of painting a coffee bar in that tone. I was a bit unsure, and still think perhaps I will evenutally go ivory, but I am enjoying the pop of color. I still need to find knobs for the doors. But overall, I am happy with it. It is nice having a dedicated space just for my coffee fixins. Plus the cupboard area provides extra storage.

Oh those darn tiles with the white grout….yet again I was down on my hands and knees with a scrub brush cleaning them. With two dogs and the traffic in and out the back, the grout just gets nasty. So periodically I have to get down and go at it. But when it is done it just seems to brighten up the entire space. I am pretty much finished with the kitchen breakfast nook clearing out, cleaning up, refurb. The last chore is to touch up the paint on the cabinets and respray the pulls and knobs. Yet, I am sure when that is done I will find more bits to change around.

When shopping I happened to see fresh rhubarb so grabbed a few stalks and came home to whip up some strawberry rhubarb jam. It is so yummy! I had left over rhubarb so also made up a batch of my sisters wonderful rhubarb bars! Oh how I love those and have not made them in years. It made quite a large batch, but I am confident we can eat them all…

I have been out and doing quite a bit of thrifting and yard sales. I am always scouting for items for the girls houses, and of course for the grands. I made quite the haul of decor for Becca’s new home. I did find a few treasures for myself as well.

My mom had these salt and pepper and we used them forever. So when I saw them I just could not resist grabbing them. Although since I use kosher salt these actually won’t work, but I bet my sister would love them also!

My older sister has the sweetest traditional old farm house filled with antique and vintage treasures. When I see things she would like I can’t resist getting them to add to her collections. She especially loves old cookbooks, so when I saw this I knew she had to have it.

Now isn’t that just so clever and cute? It hangs on the wall and is that lovely depression era greeen. I think it is just the cutest thing ever!

I have been resisting adding anything to my own collections, but at .10 I had to add this darling red transferware piece. I use it as a yarn bowl.

I also found the perfect frame of a piece of needlepoint I picked up quite some time back. I just love needlepoint and pick up little bits whenever I find them.

I so enjoy finding little treasures for myself and others. I know my girls just love that I am such a dedicated thrifter. Many times through the years they have shopped my house to decorate their own as they set up their own homes or changed decor. Now my eldest granddaughter is doing the same as she sets up her first college apartment. It does give me such joy. I also send regular care packages and this is one way of adding thoughtful little gifts to brighten their days and shorten the miles between us.

I did receive several happy mail packages this week! The first is from my sweet granddaughter Emmy. She asked her mom for an envelope and stamp and this is what I received! Never mind that the money was her brother’s toothfairy money… That Emmy is something else. But it is all so very very sweet and I love it all!

When I lasted visited Erica I had purchased some soap by the Indigo Wild company. Their Zum bars are honestly the best soap I have ever used and the Frankincense and Myrrh bars are beyond yummy. Mine was used up a bit ago and I finally sat down and ordered up some new bars. Imagine my surprise when the box arrived filled with free goodies! OMG!! And the lovely lovely smell, it has my entire house smelling delightful! I am so excited to try the laundry soap! And look at the two sample bags/boxes of all their soaps! OH I am in soapy heaven!! What I love about this soap is that it lathers up amazingly and then leave you squeaky clean but not dried out. It is such a lovely product!! It has given my entire house a lovely smell.

I also rather gave up on trying to keep up with knitting enough dishcloths as they wear out so quickly (we are famous for cutting into them when cleaning knives). I had been reading so much about Swedish dish clothes and ordered some up. Oh they are lovely and look at these darling designs! I am a total convert. I love how absorbent they are.

The gardens are all doing very well and I have a nice little harvest. The tomatoes are slowly coming on and are so very delicious. The flowers are all abloom and filled with busy bees. I will make many changes in my veg beds next year however. I didn’t stake my beans right and they overshadowed my other plants. I also just didn’t put in enough lettuce, spinach, and chard. But gardens are always a work in progress. I love the way my little cottage garden is shaping up and I think nasturtiums may just be my newest favorite annual. They make great ground coverage while you are slowly building up your perennials.

And now I must off to get the gardens watered before our heat hits. I am not a hot weather gal and prefer to stay in the nice cool house until the heat of summer passes into fall.

Stay Cool!

Patricia

Summer has arrived

Our lovely cool days finally came to an end as summer has officially arrived with temps in the 80s to 90s. Honestly, I’d rather not and just remain in the 70s all summer long. But alas it is what it is and one must adjust. This means walks in the early morning and more indoor activities. I just do not do the hot weather at all!

With the heat, I was hoping for a nice haul of cherries to can. Out to the produce stands to find just bits of scraggly cherries here and there and at exorbitant prices. And not even local to boot! It just so happened I was doing my grocery shopping and found gorgeous sweet cherries from Hood River for waaaay less than the fruit stand pickings. So I just grabbed quite a few pounds and canned them up. When I lived in eastern Washington I got so spoiled by all the local farms that sold their home grown goods. I am finding that here it is just stands that sell others goods and often not even local. I’m not giving up yet as I am sure there are some actual local farms that sell their produce, I’ll just keep looking..

Hopefully I can get at least a few dozen…

Still busy painting, sorting, organizing, moving things around and all. I finally finished the table and chairs and am just so happy with them. Such a huge improvement! When your house is dark, you need to bring in all the light that you can!

I do certainly need some window treatments, I have just never bothered as I rarely have the shades closed. I like as much light as possible!

While the painting bug was biting, I also painted this cute stand. I like it so much better!

I also moved it to a different location and added a few more of my little Auntie Lena collection. One of my favorite things is this darling little cast iron stove! It was my grandma’s and I think it is just the cutest thing ever. The little black hearth is made from Welsh coal. I picked it up on the great European tour I took with my girls when they were younger.

I also painted this sweet little sewing box that I recently found on FB marketplace. It is just perfect for my knitting projects.

All this time being inside just got me into the mood to move everything around. I had already completed the family room (as I posted last time) and I love it so much more. It is just so much cozier and inviting! This time I tackled the front room. I had been thinking of moving (or even eventually eliminating my desk). This room is most certainly the most cluttered looking in my house as it is where most of my favorite treasures and collections reside. I will live with the clutter, as I enjoy the lovely pieces that I have inherited and collected over the years.

I am much happier with it all. I have been contemplating painting my desk. But with that gold metal trim on each side, I am just hesitant to try it. Perhaps I will just pass it on to one of the girls. It is a lovely vintage Drexel Heritage piece.

I also moved a few of the art pieces around a bit more.

I did find a few treasures the last few weeks. Many will be finding homes in my daughters homes. I love the hunt, but with wanting to downsize, I can now find the lovely items to decorate their homes. They get amazing items and I get the joy of the hunt…win/win.

I actually got two jade plants. One will go to another home. That is the result of my treasure hunt for the past few weeks. All lovely items and at amazing prices.

However my favorite new gift to myself is this:

My Sunny spin bike! It just arrived and we sat it up today and I immediately joined a YouTube spin class. It runs like a dream….oh the joy of having a gym quality spin cycle in my own home! I love cycling, absolutely love it. But since moving to Salem my poor Blue Bliss Giant road bike has been stored in the garage. The traffic and drivers here are just too dangerous to even want to go out and try to share the roads with them! When I happened across an article on home spin type bikes, I was smitten. I did a lot of research and the Sunny products are always in the top 2-3 bikes in the ratings. Which is awesome given that they start at $200! This is just like what I am used to in spin classes at the gym, it is such a smooth ride, is totally adjustable, and offers a great range of resistance. And….YouTube is full of spin classes that you can just tune right into and it is just like being in a class….LOVE IT!!

The outside is still growing up a storm and everything is looking so beautiful. I am doing a bit of harvesting here and there with peas, zucchini, tomatoes, berries, and lots of herbs. But with the heat, I must turn my attention to indoors. And now I must off to see to some bag sewing.

Happy Summer!

Patricia

A Visit with the Sibs and some serious rearranging

Several months back I shared about the genetic disease that recently raised its ugly head in my family. Amyloidosis is an ugly and unforgiving genetic mutation that strikes hard. In the testing, 3 of the 8 siblings came out positive, with one of my brothers bearing the major brunt of the disease. My sisters planned a get together at our parents house to commemorate mother’s birthday and just be together. It was lovely as all the sibs showed up and we had a great time remembering our childhood on the farm and crazy shenanigans. It was so nice to spend time together and such a blessing that everyone could be there. But, oh my, we are getting so very grey! It is so hard to believe so much time has passed and we are now the elders. Lots of laughs, lots of good food, and lots of wonderful memories!

I arrived home to extreme temperatures and my AC deciding to go kaput! Oh dear, 90 degrees with no AC has shown me just what a whimp I have become. Thankfully, the PNW is not long with heat and after a few days it dipped back down into the low 70s. The nights are always cool also, so that helps considerably when the heat does strike. I did get a repairman out a week later for repairs. But it has not been needed as we have remained below 75 degrees with occasional rain showers.  Oh how I love this type of weather.  I just cannot cannot do extreme temps, either hot or cold.

Well, I have been busy, I got the bug to do some deep cleaning and clearing out. Of course for the majority of the work, I picked the second hottest day when the AC was down…good grief. But I am really liking the changes and the paring down of stuff. I moved all the artwork around and left a space above the TV as the bigger TV takes up so much space so need to see where to place a pic… These are for the most part all original water colors or pen and ink pieces that I have found at yard and estate sales. I just love them! I have added a few more plants in the corner since the picture, I like them grouped in that manner. I really love how much cozier this room now appears. It seems to be my new favorite room to hang out in.

I took some bits and pieces of clutter out of the breakfast nook and threw this awesome quilt (that I recently grabbed at a yard sale for $1!!!) on the table. I just started to repaint the chairs a nice chippy ivory. The black was just too much. Notice the pictures of Christ. The large one in the garden of Gethsemane hung on the wall in our hall when I was growing up. I just love it. The small one is an amazing exquisite cross stitch done for me by Christina. It is beyond lovely. All these hung in the hallway, but I wanted them out to be seen and enjoyed!

I love this little shelf. It holds what I refer to as my Auntie Lena collection and the little model stove she passed on to me. I love this water color as well.

I did a bit in the front room as well, but since I am still working on that I will add those pictures to another blog. But I will share a gorgeous afghan I got for $4 at a yard sale. It is esquisite. I just cannot pass up beautifly hand crafted items! BTW the dog cover on my couch is the best. I got them off Amazon for the two loveseats as boxers are absolute slobber machines! I have already washed them and they are indestructable!

I don’t know about you, but I get such joy from moving things around and discovering new ways to display my collections. I am working toward slowly downsizing. I honestly do not need one more thing…. 

Well except plants…all the plants all the time. I do haunt the Walmart for the discounted plants (it is the only time I will ever shop there if I can help it….). I found my Foxgloves there, oh how I love Foxgloves! I chanced upon a close out of shrubs and ornamental trees and got gorgeous several beauties. I did not get a picture of the Spirea or Gardenia yet. All these beauties were $10 and under. It is so exciting to see everything growing and I have already been harvesting greens, peas, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. So exciting. Growing things just makes my heart sing!

My goal is to gradually turn this area into a cottage garden.  I am acquiring plants to do so bit by bit.  I have to always remember the importance of placement with height and size factors considered.  I just want it full of my favorites; hollyhocks (I have some in pots still doing great but not yet transplanted, foxglove, bee balm, daisy varieties, lupines, nasturtiums, gosh just so many I can’t think of them all right now.  But the old-fashion flowers that would be found in my grandmothers gardens.

The new bed we developed out back is doing great.  The dogs did break the top of the cute bird bath though….sigh… But I had the top from a cement one and I am using that so that works just fine.  I just added the broken bits of the other one to my stone border to give a splash of color.  

Classes finally ended for summer term and the break is always nice. But I really enjoyed this course and had a great deal of personal spiritual growth during those 8 weeks. One of the things I love about Saybrook is that it focuses on personal growth along with intellectual growth. Of course one would expect that in Mind Body Medicine and Psychology, but sadly other universities don’t follow this practice. We delved into so many areas; radical transmissions, near death experiences, consciousness and the connection to health and spirituality…just on and on. I will be taking the next course from this professor in the fall and look forward to that! I did drop to part time studies as they extended the semesters and taking two courses simultaneously is just not where I want to be right now. It put out my graduation date by a year 2022. But that’s doable. To me this is all about savouring the learning process while growing, stretching, reaching new heights in my intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional growth….you know mind, body, spirit!

While busy engaging in so many other projects and business, my knitting has rather taken a bit of a vacation. However, I am on the last border of my crocheted afghan. I am not happy with how the last border is looking so keep ripping it out….irritating.. It does not show in this picture but is a picot edging in that dark rose color. I am still not sure I am sold on this color scheme and will pass this along to one of my girls or grands.

And now it is time to head out for my daily doggie walk. I am not sure who enjoys this more, the doggies or myself. So my dears, I close and I wish peace and joy during this crazy upside down time.

Patricia

Books and Blooms

Retirement and time spent in my home sweet home has given me lots of opportunity to catch up on reading. I have always had a huge collection of books. When the girls were young we always kept a library room, or if we didn’t have an extra room, lined the hallways with book cases. Being that we were all avid readers, those books were dear to us. As I made several moves in the past decade, books were one of the items pared down. But over the past few years I have started growing my library once more. My taste are eclectic, with a mix of fiction and nonfiction and myriad genres. Here is a peek at some of my shelves. I also have a mishmash of a few shelves of assorted fiction and stacks here and there of my current reads.

Much of my taste runs to authors long since passed. I adored all the back to the land books from the 30s to 50s. Of all the authors of that genre, I would say that my favorite is Gladys Taber. Gladys Taber shares the story of her move from NYC to Connecticut and the purchase of a 100 year old ramshackle house that she brings back to life. She shares her wisdom and wit as she writes about daily life. Betty MacDonald, of the Miss Piggle Wiggle children books, has written a series of books about her life and struggles. As suggested by the titles, The Egg and I, The Plague and I, you can only imagine her wit. Such joyful reading. Shirley Jackson (everyone absolutely must read her trilogy of adventures raising her children. With titles like Raising Demons and Savages Among Us, you can imagine the belly laughs she brings. Oh I just just discovered the wit and charm of Beverly Nichols when I stumbled upon his books at an estate sale. I am savoring every bit of the Merry Hall trilogy. What a delightful read, it is part gardening, part philosophy, part gossip, and sheer fun. I also love books of simpler times (although they really weren’t simpler now were they?). Miss Read and her lovely English village series, Lillian Beckwith and the stories of the Hebrides Islands, oh how both bring me such joy and take me away to far away lands. And one must not forget D.E. Stevenson and Elizabeth Goudge. The Pilgrims Inn trilogy is among my favorite reads. I have my modern favorites too as you can see. Kate Morton, Bill Bryson, Jan Karon, Debbie MacComber (the Blossom Street Series is the only ones I have read), Rosamunde Pilcher, Mauve Binchy….on and on the list goes as I find new treasures! I know I have forgotten so many, but these are the ones I keep in my own library to read over and over.

I have gotten a few new book acquisitions. My latest Saybrook course has been a deep dive into spirituality and the role it plays in wellbeing. One of the areas we are exploring is rituals. This took me back to my Catholic upbringing and the rich beautiful rituals that are practiced. I love celebrations and I believe that it is in the mundane daily living that we find the sacred. For every season in life and in nature there is a celebrating of that change/passage. I had wonderful discussion with my granddaughter in Ireland who is truly an old soul. We were discussing the Celtic traditions and she shared with me the wheel of the year which I just had to explore further!

Besides books, I have been out in the yard and so busy. We seem to have days of rain followed by days of sun or days with rain and sun alternately. Such is the PNW. I had the area in the back where there was no grass as we had the raised beds there. I had been slowly coming to the realization that it was best not to fight against all that shade, but rather to embrace it and fill the area with shade loving plants. A trip to the nursery and a haul of discounted plants led to creating this

There is still the need to plant a bit of grass, but I just love the little island and it will grow to become so lovely as the years pass.

I also added a little fire pit. My next big job is to surround this area with pea gravel….

I love to find discounted plants and scout the nursery centers for the outcasts that are past their blooms or a looking a bit down on their luck. Here are a few of the treasures, now abloom, that I grabbed off the Walmart discount shelf.

And that is just the blooms, I have also gotten numerous bushes, peonies, hostas, and a tree. It does pay to scout for the discounts. The best time to go is after some searing hot weather when the plants have drooped and lost blooms. They are promptly placed on the discount rack!

Remember the ginger rhizome I planted? Well we have some little shoots peaking through. This plant will stay inside until summer proper arrives and the temps remain above the 60s. My poor turmeric has done nothing but that rhizome had only one eye and a very sad one at that…

As Oregon has begun to open up again, I have not been able to resist the urge to go thrifting. I wear my mask as I do not want this virus for sure! But once our Goodwills opened, well I decided to pay the two closest a visit. I was not disappointed and found two enormous pots, a pillar, and these wonderful door things that I will turn into a screen (I LOVE these!)

And I found a salt lamp to replace the one I gave to my granddaughter for her college apartment.

Jackson, just love the hunt as much as I do and he has scored many games, nerf guns, and little treasures for his siblings and mom.

As I have shared, I just love podcasts and any TV time is generally spent on youtube watching my favorites and scouting for new delights. One of my favorites has been Elliot Homestead. I just couldn’t resist adding a few of her books to my library which then led to needing a cast iron skillet (why oh why did I ever give mine away??). I did my research and order one by Victoria. Well, it says it comes preseasons, but I am on my second seasoning and so we will see. The first seasoning did not result in a pan that “eggs just slide right out.” In fact I was scrubbing stuck on egg which was like glue! So we shall see…. But the books are indeed lovely and full of stories of setting up their homestead.

In all this gardening and reading I have still found time to get in some handiwork. I finished up the last of the dishtowels I had been working on and since I have become obsessed with crocheting, have nearly completed the current afghan I started a few weeks back. Crocheting just seems to go so quickly and is easy to rip back if there is a mistake. But I still love the look of knitting for garments. I have done a few rows on socks and am planning on casting on another shawl design by Joji Locatelli.

Well dears, that about covers my little bit of busyness in this corner of the world. I do try to keep busy and productive and live each day with extreme gratitude for all my blessings. This current condition shall pass and it is my prayer that we come out wiser, kinder, and better humans for it.

Keep blooming where you are planted as you sow kindness and love!

Patricia

Nesting and Creating

As is expected in the lovely Pacific Northwest, we have had lots of rainy days mixed in with bits of sunshine and cooler weather. Fortunately we have been able to get out for daily walks in between the showers. My plants are loving this rain and beginning to show some real growth. But we are coming into some warmer days and that is exciting as then the plants will really pop. Oh plants….. I have rather an obsession with plants (like yarn, fabric, books, thrifting….well you get the idea). I love experimenting with a variety of different shrubs, flowers, veggies. Some do amazing while some are a disaster. But if you spend but bits on them it is not such a tragedy. I am the queen of discounted and “free range” plants. I stalk the plants discount racks and bring home a myriad of beauties. Currently I grabbed two lovely jasmine and two amazing peonies for only $5 each! Considering I had only recently nearly popped $50 for one larger jasmine, this was especially thrilling! I don’t know about you, but to me there is something so satisfying in watching shoots emerge from the ground, a flower burst into a beautiful bloom, and picking that first sun warm ripe tomato and popping it directly into your mouth. Pure and utter delight!!

The work in the yard continues on and on as I am constantly moving things about and again and again. In the back I have added the two jasmines against the back fence and did bit of rearranging. The fire pit mess is going away as I just grabbed a bunch of shade loving shrubs and tree and will be making a nice little arrangement in that area. I mean, why not make mounds and fill them with shade loving plants?

The herbs are growing nicely and I keep moving pots and plants around. I was going to take them off the patio, but I rather like them there. Oh that patio needs a major redo though!

Out front I have made several changes, and am sure I will continue to do so. I purchased a few peonies (again on a great clearance) and put them and a bevy of iris rhizomes in the space bordering the neighbors that was a huge weed bed. It just needs the bark chips. I love peonies and Iris, so this will be delightful next year when they all come into bloom.

This little area by the house is quite the work in progress and will continue to be so. I love my little wheelbarrow and it will stay. But I added quite a few plantings and this fountain. The fountain is a thrifting find that didn’t have a working pump so was pretty much given to me. The hubby added a pump and we fixed it up just fine and I think it is lovely. When I finish with all the plants how I want them I will add the bark chips to this area and call it good…..well at least for this year. Those little green bits in the front will grow up into huge flowering bunches as bee balm and the lupines should also put on quite a show. My little nasturtiums should provide some color to my salads as well at the flower beds! The large coreopsis provides a gorgeous yellow dye which I use to dye wool.

The hubby has been busy trimming bushes and trees and has found a few abandoned nests. We made sure they were old unused nest from the best we could tell. I thought they were so sweet placed just by the door.

Speaking of birds, with all the bird houses, feeders, and baths the back and front yard have just filled up with so many lovely birds. My favorite have always been the little chickadees in so many colors. I love to sit at my desk by the window and watch them!

I have become addicted to gardening podcast and my knowledge has grown exponentially. I think my favorite is Epic Gardener. I learned from him that I can plant and grow turmeric and ginger! I currently have both potted and just waiting to see the first shoots emerge. It takes a few weeks. But OMG having my own fresh ginger and turmeric is an absolute game changer! You simply take the rhizomes that you purchase at the store to be consumed at home, stick them into a pot with just a light covering of soil, keep them moist and at 70 degrees, and just let them grow. Pick rhizomes that have numerous little buds (or heads) and they will bloom away for you. The important thing to remember is that they are a tropical plant so need warm moist environment. When it warms up in July I will place them outside. For now they are in front of a sunny window area indoors.

I did get in a bit of my thrifting monster fed the other day. Just down the street was an amazing yard sale. Donned my mask and headed out. She had so many lovely things and I purchased numerous country type decor for my youngest as she is in the process of buying her first home. I also got this darling antique crib for FREE! It needed a bit of repair, but it is just too cute. I have debated putting it out doors with plants, but it wouldn’t last more than a season, so instead my teddies have a new home.

As the temps heated up, I turned my attention to indoors. I had been thinking for a bit that I wanted to move the large white hutch out of the living room and move my large glass hutch into that space. That meant packing up most all my milk glass but bits and bobs and favorite pieces. The milk glass will be going to my youngest soon anyway as she buys a new home. The large white hutch is now in the hallway. I am still working on what will be placed inside and atop it.

My lovely basket collection is now center stage in my living room where I can fully enjoy them. I may play around a bit more with placement of the baskets and lovelies as well as the pictures on the walls surrounding it.

Well moving the hutches also gave me the inspiration to paint this little sweetie. I chose a color to set off my favorite hand painted Fenton milk glass pieces. It is quite chippy and the pink was almost too much, but I wanted to highlight the colors in the milk glass. I am quite delighted in the results.

Next up is a revamp of the bedroom. I have huge furniture that weighs a ton and with the bedroom being so dark, it looked like a deep dark hole. We took off the head and foot boards and just that simple act opened up the room so much. This meant moving the huge dresser and just doing an overall clearing out. When it is all done, I will share pictures. It is still a messy work in progress!!

And that is how I have been filling my days, busy nesting and creating, sowing and harvesting and what could be any lovelier than that when one must stay home and stay safe.

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Quiet Days and a First Harvest

Dear me but if I didn’t go and put my back completely out.  It had been hurting pretty badly for a week, but I was sure I could just walk it out and continue along with the yard work and such, until I lifted a huge pot.  Ouch, that did it and was cause for a trip to the urgent care….during Covid that is not something that I wanted to do!  But I must say Kaiser was so organized and there was absolutely no contact with anyone but the md and rn.  Muscle relaxers and a stern lecture to give it time to heal and I was back home and didn’t need to be told twice to give it a rest!  So I had a good 4 days of being unable to do much of anything due to the pain level.  Today was the first day I finally felt I was able to start doing some modified activity and even get out for a walk!  Good Grief I hope I never do that again!!

Mother’s Day was spent quietly at home.  I took a lovely walk and putter about in the yard moving a few things here and there.  I then settled down to watch the mystery series Lochness on Acorn TV while working on my crochet afghan.  I must say I am hooked on the ease and simplicity of crocheting.  It is almost instant gratification as projects seem to go so quickly.  I am 2 rows short of 1/2 through this afghan.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the color scheme, but now that it is further along I am finding it lovely.

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While convalescing I was able to get the buttons on Mimi’s sweater and block my latest pair of completed socks.

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I love this golden yellow yarn.  It is some of my botanical hand dyed.  I used coreopsis and marigolds.  I love the flecks of colors throughout.  I reminds me of the wheat fields back home on the farm.

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Having my hubby home full time has been wonderful for completing so many things that we just never got around to.  He has gotten several jobs that had been neglected completed and we have little by little been transforming the yard.  We have gotten most of the bark chips spread and will be getting delivery of pea gravel next to finish up the back.  I have put in so many lovely herbs and veggies.

My little strawberry bed is coming right along! Jackson and Jimmy put a nice rock border around it.

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I love this bird house.  Every year we have a little family of birds move in and make nests. I absolutely adore having a myriad of birds visiting my gardens.  I have several bird feeders out front where I can watch the birds out my window at my desk and just today I saw one using one of the two bird baths I put out.  I especially love the little chickadees.

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I was delighted to find a bay plant.  It is one of the herbs I had been hoping to add so was delighted to find it at my local nursery.  Until I decide where I want to plant it, the pot and basket will be home.  Now if I could find some Borage.

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My raspberries have never looked so good.  We did place a little gate going in as silly old Koda decided that it was the only place he preferred to poop….good grief..

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I’ve been playing around with the hodge podge of yard decor I have collected over the years.  It is all from thrifting.  I love all the faces and have several more I need to get put out.

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We also had our first harvest.  Some lovely radishes and cilantro.  It is so delightful to finally have things growing.  That shady back yard just didn’t cut it at all.

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The doggies enjoy nothing more that hanging outside with us and basking in the sun while we work away.

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It was so delightful to finally get out for a walk again after 4 days trying to heal.  As we walk through this little nature area we often see Blue Herons, but we can never get a picture.  However, this guy was totally chill with us and gave us the perfect photo opportunity!  They are just so beautiful!

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I finally got around to getting my last batch of naughty knitting bags uploaded to Stitches Plus Purls Etsy and they were all sold out excepting 3 in a matter of hours.  Now that I can move again I must get busy on another batch.  Speaking of bags, I found this naughty naughty fabric on Spoonflower a month ago and ordered numerous pieces.  I waited a month for it to finally arrive.  This will become bags for the shop.  Very naughty but oh so fun.

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Summer courses have began and I am taking Spirituality and Health.  I really have enjoyed pursuing my PhD at this stage in my life.  One of the beauties of Saybrook is that each class is not only geared to learning the knowledge to go out and practice your trade, but also focused on helping you dig deep and grow as an individual.  This course is no exception and comes at a perfect time as the world grapples with a pandemic and the personal impact on my own little world and self.  I have grown so much in knowledge in the three years since I started the program.  I have loved the learning process and each class has been like opening a rare and beautiful gift.  Well there have been a few courses that just didn’t excite me, but I still learned a great deal. This fall I will need to begin the long journey of writing my dissertation…oh my!  The biggest problem is I have no idea whatsoever what to do my research on.  It has to be a passion as a dissertation is so extensive and a full 2 years of work so you must have a great and sustainable desire for the research project.  Well I will figure something out I am sure.  My focus has not been on the end goal, but instead on each course and the joy and enrichment they have provided.

Well dears, the gardening is calling me out to enjoy her beauty and see the newest little seedling popping up out of the earth.  I wish you all a lovely Mother’s Day and a heart filled with contentment and peace.

Patricia