Goodbye 2017

As 2017 comes to a close I am busy reflecting upon the year and looking forward to what the new year will bring.  There were many many changes in 2017, some great challenges, and some wonderful blessings.

Becca and grands had been living with me since August while her hubby was changing doing some job changes.  Last week it was all sorted out and off they moved back down to Nevada.  I was sad to see them go, but this house was really not large enough for 4 kids, 3 dogs, and 3 adults.  The memories we made will be priceless and my house will forever be open to my children and grands as needed.

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The week that they were leaving, Doodle was able to come down for a few days on her way to Cali and her Christmas break.  It was so special to take her and Bella out for a day of shopping and play.  Look at those smiles!  I just adore then all so very much!

But the day came all to soon and the u-haul was loaded up and they were on their way.  The house was so eerily quiet and my heart was so empty.  It had been a crazy time with too much noise, continual messes, and tempers at time running high; but more importantly it had been a time of having Becca and the kids close and sharing so many treasured moments.

I knew I must immediately jump into a project and keep busy.  Of course the first thing was putting the house back in order.  That took time indeed!  The sewing room had been put in the dining room, the dining room up into storage, numerous things tuck up and away to make it baby proof, and assorted stack and piles of stuff here and there.  It was rather a mess!

Once I got the general cleaning sorted, I tackled the sewing room.  I took the opportunity to paint it as it needed a good refreshing.  I chose a soft mauvey rose.  Oh how I love how it turned out!  I also added a couch and our old tv so I can now watch my podcast whilst sewing and stitching.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  I am still hanging things here and there on the walls and moving items around, but it is now my favorite go to place!

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A few weeks prior to Becca leaving I left my job.  I had not been happy in this field for some time and knew I wanted a change.  I had been planning on leaving for some time and the time was just right.  With 60 fast approaching I had been taking serious stock of my life.  My daughter is always telling me you only live once and I couldn’t agree more!  One thing on my bucket list had been a PhD, but I never seriously thought I could possibly commit to it.  Well I did, both feet just jumped right in.  I chose Mind Body Medicine as it is a very timely subject and there is so much opportunity in that field.  I started in August and have adored my classes and the learning process again!  I also stopped dyeing my hair and took my hair to the grey it has become over the years.  I am loving it and have been getting constant compliments!

While at my last job, I was able to purchase this beautiful desk (and you may recognize the chair from an early post).  I absolutely adore it!  This is now my work station for my papers, bill sorting, letter writing, journaling, and morning pages.  It is such a lovely piece and fits just perfect in my little windowed alcove.

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making, creating, crafting

Becca and I liked to knit in the evening while watching podcasts.  I got a pair of socks completed and several other projects in progress.  All yarn is hand dyed by Becca and myself.  It is so fun to dye up yarn and then see what it looks like when actually knitted into a garment.

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The camera just could not capture the true color of the yarn in this shawl.  This is the Amulet Shawl by Helen Steward of Curious Handmade.   I love her patterns!  They are so well written and fun to knit.  I am ready for the lace but put it down while the kids were still living here as for me to do lace I need a lot of concentration….lol.  Becca hand dyed this yarn and the matching green.  I added a bit of mohair when knitting with the green just to add some texture.  I won’t add it on the lace however.

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Plain vanilla socks.  I finally learned to a fish lips kiss heel after making Becca do most of them for me.  I love this yarn.  It was one of the very first yarns I ever dyed.  It is on a sparkle base and just has so many lovely fall colors going on!

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I had purchased a kit for this hat from Twisted some time back.  I even had a good start on it, but just didn’t care for the colors.  I had this multicolor that I had dyed and dyed some grey sparkle to match for the elephants.  I think I will like this much much more!

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On my reading list

I am a very reflective person.  I have kept journals, morning pages, and blogs for years.  I love looking back and reflecting upon my life journey and looking toward the next leg of the journey.  I am always on the look out for articles, books, magazines that inspire me to dig deeper.  I was so delighted to discover Breathe at my local natural foods grocer.  It is a lovely British magazine all about living mindfully.  Each issue is a treasure.

Every year I download Susannah Conway’s “Unravel your Year.”  I have been following the practice of choosing a word for each year for 5 or 6 years now and her guide is amazing in helping to firm of the next word of the year.  The word for this year is shaping up to be “peace.”  Peace to me is living mindfully, letting go of control, anger, unreal or useless expectations, pursuing that which is nurtures your soul, and embracing a simpler, kinder, approach to life, self, and other.

Another journey I started some time back, but got off track with a houseful, was veganism.  I absolutely love how I feel eating a vegan diet!  I cannot adequately describe the change it has made in my health and life.  Also those who know me know how I do not like cooking.  But cooking vegan….I love it.  Fortunately I adore veggies, rice, beans, and such.  The variety of meals you can create and the taste is magic in my opinion.  Once I embraced veganism I started watching documentaries on the impact on the earth and our health from the diet so high in animal products and processed foods.  Not that I needed anything to convince me….I know how amazing I feel in just a few short weeks!  I am however fascinated by the science of it and so wanted to read Micheal Greger’s book. It all ties in with my PhD studies.  Lifestyle is where we are at in our treatment of current diseases.  Lifestyle medicine is the cure for what ails us and the planet.  So far it is a fascinating read.

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Tragedy

On Christmas Eve my youngest grandson had a terrible accident resulting in 3rd degree burns to both hands.  He was sent to Shriner’s in Sacramento and underwent full skin grafts on both hands.  He is receiving well and is back home with hands bandaged and (we pray) grafts taking and healing happening.  His healing will be a long process lasting into adulthood.  We are just so grateful for the amazing MDs at the ER and Shriners and all the wonderful staff.  Little Sebastian still managed a smile through it all and has kept in good spirits.  He is a strong healthy boy so we are hopeful for the best outcome!

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A word of warning….gas fireplaces heat to 500 degrees and remain dangerously hot for hours after being turned off.  They are the cause of thousands of 3rd degree burns in children yearly in the US.  They do not cause 2nd degree burns….it is right to a 3rd degree.  If you use one be sure and use a screen.

And so I will bid 2017 goodbye this evening and embrace 2018 and all the treasures and gifts it has in store for me!

Happy New Year!

Patricia

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