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!