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

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