Back home and greeted by Ole Man Winter

Back home from our wonderful trip and right into Christmas. It was wonderful to be spending it with family this year as the past 8 I have spent it alone with the hubs. Since I am in a smaller space and Becca put up a beautiful tree, I did not bother to decorate. I did find that in not decorating, I never truly felt it was Christmas. However, Emmy and I did do some Christmas crafting. Emmy loves to come hang out and we craft together, I love that!

Such cute and fun projects. I had ordered some bead kits from Mary Maxim and the angels and snowmen were the only ones we found enjoyable. The wreaths and stars were awful to make and were just not cute at all. We also did some painted wooden decor and various paper crafts. I love how much she loves to craft! And we had a most wonderful Christmas with many lovely gifts all round.

Ole man winter, followed closely on my return! Living in the PNW and Oregon Valley, I am not accustomed to cold temps or snow. And boy has it been a doozy! Temps into the negatives and snow that just keeps on coming. It is strikingly beautiful and my view is lovely! But my poor doggies, it is a deep as my little Misha’s legs!

When snowed in, what does one do but decide it is time to cast on all the projects! I have been wanting to start some new knitting projects and went stash diving and came up with 6 new projects: shawl, 3 hats, slippers, and mittens.

I am still knitting away on my socks. The color of this yarn makes me think of Christmas and winter, although it is very red, white, and blue.

Immediately after caking up my yarn I cast on Sparkling Cider by Kristin Lerher of Voolenvine. I had been wanting to knit this cap for sometime. Used a hand dyed yarn by Republic of Wool in the color way Aster and am holding it with my own botanically dyed mohair yarn dyed with black walnuts. It is knitting up simply stunningly! I must admit that in all my knitting I have never knit cables so this will be a nice new technique!

Selling out home and moving into a dual living arrangement has brought about so many changes. Many have been changes of my mindset. I used to think that I always had to be doing something, that each day had to be marked with some accomplishment. I have finally accepted that doing nothing is absolutely OK. With that new mindset I have been reading quite voraciously. It is an enjoyable hobby that I had rather let slip and one I am enjoying immensely once again! It is not uncommon for me to read 5 or more books per week. I am always searching out new authors and books of interest and have found Pinterest to be invaluable for offering reading ideas. Most all books I can order through the local library, put on hold, and simply drop by and grab. So very convenient. A few that have not been available at the library, I have found through Thrift books most often at $3 or less. I did get a nice bunch of books related to all things Ireland. I read and enjoyed the stories of Christine Breen absolutely decades ago but they have a freshness about them now having visited Ireland several times. I also wanted a bit of history to become more familiar with the beautiful island and her people.

I have renewed my daily rituals which includes some wonderful books with daily entries. I have been reading and loving Tess Ward’s Celtic Well of the Year for several years now and it never gets old! The daily prayers are so rich and beautiful! I added A Poem a Day this year as well as the Witches Spell-a-day Almanac, such a fun book! I am also revisiting Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Peace and Plenty.

As my yearly habit now for the past five years, I utilized Susannah Conway’s wonderful Unravel your Life and Find your Word for 2022. I absolutely love Susannah’s workbooks. It is nice to look back over the past 5 years and see where I accomplish my goals and dreams, what has changed, and what has remained constant, plus has my word been reflected throughout the year and how/why. This year my word is Radiance.

Gearing up to start classes again next week for the PhD. I am taking a series of courses this year on death and grief. I have just a few years left so am finishing up all the courses and certificates I want to have before I begin the dissertation process! The research course last term was extremely intensive but I managed to come out with an A after stressing that I was hoping to just pass! Still loving the process and all the learning and growth that comes with a PhD program.

And now, it is time to begin my day. A fresh new slate with so many possibilities open to me. But first coffee and my daily reading.

Wishing everyone a bright and peace filled 2022!

Patricia

IRELAND!!

I am not an impulsive person when it comes to planning things but there comes a time when impulse is the only expedient solution! With all the Anpost mix up regarding the new requirements for the EU and one lost package and one returned, I was just over it!! The thought of not being able to send Christmas gifts to the grands in Ireland was too much. So I did what any grandma would do and booked a flight to hand deliver the gifts!! I informed the hubs that we were flying out in less than two weeks so inform work…lol. And off we went on a grand and marvelous adventure! It was his first trip over seas and he had the absolute time of his life!

The flights were long as we had to detour through London Heathrow, but oh how wonderful it was to arrive in Dublin and be greeted by my dear loves! Oh how I had missed them, it had been over 2 years due to the damn Covid. My heart was full just seeing them!! I had rented a car for the week so we could take little jaunts to see a few things…Christina was the driver of course..lol.

It was all heavenly! Ireland, there is really no way to describe it. The raw rugged beauty, the people… But just being with my loves was enough for me!!

Hubs loved the pub life, and we did many pub visits throughout our stay. While he loved the Guiness, I fell for the hot whiskeys made with Jameson’s. The alcohol content is lower in Ireland, so I was able to imbibe happily!

This is just a small sampling of the photos I took, but just look at the colors! The vividness of the sky and land. Every view is breath taking. Ireland welcomed us with a beautiful sunny welcome on our first day and we enjoyed a stroll to the church ruins and graveyard and Grace O’Malley’s castle ruin right on the Atlantic. They are both in their backyard. Oh the wild Atlantic is just something to behold! While we were there she blew in a hurricane. How fierce the wind did blow, but were were tucked cosily away in the house, warm and safe.

We ate like royalty! Both Christina and Bill are incredible chef’s and treated us to traditional Irish dishes daily! Oh my stars, it was heavenly! The meals we had when eating out were also amazing! The food there is so fresh and not loaded with the preservatives and poisons we have adapted to here and boy howdy you can taste the difference!!

Every minute was so wonderful, my heart was filled to overflowing as memories were made and stored away. Seeing my sweet grands was enough, but add in a country so incredibly beautiful with amazing people, and it is beyond dreams. Being my second visit, I was aware of that, yet seeing it anew through the hubs eyes just added so much to the blessings of it all!

I’ve Done it Again

Not blogged in ages, and now I have catch up to accomplish! I will begin with a small blog covering up to my grand adventure in Ireland. You see since I moved, my days are pretty routine with childcare and a bit of knitting, crafting, and reading. But I have had a few special moments I would like captured (and that is what this blog is all about capturing special moments!)

Little Emmy is my best bud and loves crafting. I moved her craft corner down to my area so she can be as creative as she likes without little siblings getting into her stuff. I decided she needed to add sewing to her talents and she took like a fish to water! I showed her how to use the machine and gave her all my scraps and she just made up all sorts of things. Her is the quilt she started making all on her own. I love it!!

Her and I also take lots of walks and love to explore new places.

Currently we are busy making assorted beaded Christmas ornaments, but we are finding them quite hard! We have yet to complete a one…lol.

Took a most wonderful trip over to visit my eldest grand and spend a few nights. We had the loveliest time ever! She is graduating college this year which is just too hard to imagine!

We had the best time ever just shopping, playing games, and hanging out together! It was just what I needed!!

Back home and a birthday party! My sweet Mimi turned two. She loved having her own cake and was delighted with each and every package. She is the sweetest little thing ever and I adore her!

Living here, my life has a new routine much different from that in Salem, after so many months I have adapted and embraced the changes. Jimmy has been working on getting a transfer to this area. Now that the house is sold, we are footloose and fancy free to do as we like. My days are full of childcare, reading, knitting, and recently I have began to sew for the Etsy shop once again. I am learning that it is OK to just do nothing, that one does not always have to be doing something…a very hard concept for me to transition into. I have been reading a good 5 books a week and thoroughly enjoying the joy that a good book brings.

But I have much bigger news and that will be in the following blog!

Happy Holiday Season!

Patricia

And comes autumn…

Oh yes! Beautiful lovely Autumn has arrived! How I crave this time of year! I awake in the dark and the morning comes creeping slowly casting her light across the yard and trickling down to the pond below. The air is crisp and cold, with a hard edge that hints at what is to come. I love to go out onto the porch, wrapped in a woolen blanket and meet the dawn. I have once more dedicated myself to my morning rituals; a scalding cup of milky coffee while I read the daily prayer from Tess Ward’s beautifully written book of Celtic Prayers. I must share an insert so you can experience the beauty of her prose.

“Blessed be you for Mother Earth, for her fruits that we may not go hungry. Blessed be you Creator of all, for supplying the sun and the rain. May I co-operate with you providence and know your blessing this day.

Praise to you Generative Spirit, for as the wind blows the leaves, and all around you crisps and curls with brownness and death, you show your care with pumpkins, squashes and gourds, golden and ochre, bulbous and buxom. And underfoot cream and magenta root vegetables ready to pull, hardy turnips, parsnips, beetroot and swede. On tree and bush, clusters of berries in scarlet and October orange, and nuts cradled in silken case within hard clasp of the shell, feeding birds and squirrels in scarce times. Praise to you.

Strange God who made dying beautiful, I abandon myself to your curious beauty this day. Let me cherish the blood and bone of all the life you have given when the fears of no-life creep in and I am cold. May I befriend the dark with open eye at summer’s end. My I stoke the feisty fire of my desire as vibrant as the leaves I see. May my creative impulses leap like the speckled salmon as I embrace the fertility of winter. May I love the ground on which I stand, as the leaf mold and decay of summer mulches the soil and strengthens roots. May I hunker down, curled up like a hedgehog, in the dark peace of quiet. May the wholesome table bulge with roasted earth fruits, steaming pies and warming drink, fueling my body for wintery days. Let me celebrate the sacred vigor of dying as I welcome this autumn day.”

This is just a sampling of a part of one daily prayer as there is more for the ending of the day. I just love how Tess uses imagery so vividly. I always read these out loud as I feel only in that way can I truly capture the beauty of the prose!

I have not been as regular with my daily walks, but have been out to explore a few places. Over the week end I headed out with Bella to one of my favorite walking trails. I wanted to see if there were many changes in the last 8 years. What I found was great improvements, as they paths are now being maintained. It still captured that sacred special feeling as we wound down through trees over arching the path. It offered a small bit of what I dearly miss about the PNW, the green silent secret paths that twist and turn, filled with mystery and magic.

I must admit I have done little to no sewing, I did start a few bags, but they are still sitting half done on my cutting table. I have been knitting, simple socks and a Child’s dress I started ages ago. Most of my time is taken up with childcare and PhD studies. But I am very content as I am finally settling into this new role. It has not been without its own trials and many bumps. But I love that I feel more of a purpose now. As much as I adore retirement, I was craving a greater purpose once again. My classes are going well. I am finally taking my research courses. I had dreaded and put them off until the last. But so far so good! I still have 2 more years to completion since I have been going part time. Next year I will begin the dissertation process, which is an entire year or more in itself. No rush, just enjoying the process….

Do you believe in magic, do you still have that sense of wonder and awe? I work to ensure that I never lose it! So when I was walking last week and came upon a fairy ring of mushrooms, I was enchanted! How wonderful, how magical!! The ring was only half as it was intersected by the path, but a perfect half arch was still clear.

Isn’t that just magical? What a wonderful gift from nature!

I have none of my holiday decor here, so have had to get creative with what I can find around me. I have thoroughly enjoyed the flowers and herbs growing in the yard and put together this little arrangement for my table. Of course a puzzle always takes up the majority of the table.

I have been enjoying a few yard and estate sales here and there and have found some lovely treasures. It is certainly much more enjoyable to have little companions on my outings. I have done so many things alone for so long, that I forgot just how much more enjoyable it is to have company as I treasure hunt, it certainly doubles the fun!

I have taken full advantage of the library here and find myself reading a great deal more than I have in years. When you have a 1.5 and 4 year old under foot, reading is one activity (along with knitting) you can do and still keep an eye out for mischief that only that age can find. Here is my latest pile. I discovered a you tube channel by a young woman in Portland, Morgan Long, which I have throughly enjoyed and discovered new authors to explore.

I don’t watch a much TV, but when I do it is either a cosy British production or You Tube. I enjoy so many You Tube channels and have discovered so many new things and gotten great ideas. There is just such a myriad of amazing women out there sharing their world and knowledge through You Tube; knitting, nature, reading, crafting, decorating, cooking, it is all there and then some! It was through the channel above by Morgan Long that I discover moon lamps! The kids have had a great time with them!

What could be more fun for a little one than holding the moon in your hand!

Well it is time now to focus on some research and churn out this week’s posting then get my sweet doggies out for a walk.

Adventure awaits!

Patricia

New Horizons

Oh my, it has been a season since I posted. It has been a very busy busy time with so many changes. I shall attempt to catch you all up as I share my latest adventures.

I have currently returned to the little community in eastern Washington that I left 8 years ago. I still have my home in Salem, but am busy preparing to put it on the market. But first, what brought about such a change and so very sudden. Well my daughter completed her nursing program and took a job offer here and I came along to help out with the grands. We found a lovely home with a beautiful dual living set up, absolutely perfect for both families and well, next thing we were both relocated. Let me tell you we moved during the brutal heat streak and the AC in the new house promptly quit. Oh dear was it a few miserable days! But all was soon sorted and we settled in. Very sparsely at first, I had what I could fit in my car and Becca had a smaller truck load. Both of us had homes to prepare and sell and husbands staying behind to work and visit as able.

Returning to a small community has been challenging. So many things I took for granted are not to be found in this rural area. I admit, it has been ups and downs as to my feelings about liking the return to a rural area. There are a list of pros and cons and they both keep growing as each month passes. The biggest adjustment that I have faced has been caring for 5 children with a 4 y/o and a 1.5 y/o. Boy Howdy do they keep me on my toes. Becca works 12 hour shifts so I am one busy grandma. Thankfully the two oldest are so amazingly helpful!!

It has been interesting readjusting from an entire house to a smaller apartment, but I was up to the task! Between thrifting, bargain hunting, and getting down right creative, I have managed to put together quite the sweet little home, or my hidey hole as I call it. My living area in the house is bright and cheerful and I have a nice little deck which I enjoy spending many evening and early mornings on. Let me share some pictures of my little home.

I brought many of the items that had great meaning to me; mother’s baskets, gifts from the grands and my girls, things with sentimental value, and things that just make my soul sing.

I found all these curtains at a yard sale. I felt they added just the right ambiance to my little space.

My darling teen grand daughter Bella, who has the 3rd bedroom in my apartment, likes to call this our witchy area as it has all our special crystals, sage, herbs, and other items that we treasure.

I am waiting to find just the right overstuffed chair to replace the one with the blues. I am hoping for something in a nice rose shade…

I loved the detail on these French country chair I found on a great sale. And this little chest I grabbed from a yard sale…isn’t it precious?

I have a lovely sewing area as well in this sweet three bedroom apartment. Don’t mind the mess…..

All this shelving I found on marketplace and at great prices. I just had to have all my fabric and craft items surrounding me!

And a lovely large bright bedroom filled with my special things and a nice large writing desk!

This little wicker dresser I picked up for pennies and painted. It works perfect for my clothes and small tv.

I also have a nice little book nook, but I brought very few of my books. However, it is perfect storage for the wonderful wine offered here and my sewing room overflow.

On one of my yard sale outings I happened upon an artist who was retiring and selling off what was left of her work. Oh my Gosh! Beautiful pieces and such a wide range of styles. I’ll share what I found.

The cross stitch was made by my eldest Christina decades ago, it is so lovely.

However my most precious piece is an original by my friend Candice! I love this piece as it reminds me of my father and I when I was a child. I adore her work!! Notice the small little canvas as well. Isn’t her work just AMAZING!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. It is really just a perfect space. Although I have not a one of my hutches, which I dearly love, I have managed to still surround myself with the things which are dear to me and create a warm and cozy home. And is is nice being surrounded by family. I still dearly miss my eldest and grands tucked over in Ireland, and my middle in Cali. But my siblings are all much closer and I can now visit them.

My days still follow the same rhythm, early slow morning savoring the dawn of a new day, walks with the dogs (not as often as I’d like), knitting and crafting, and still working away on the PhD. Now with the cooler weather I am getting out more. I do miss the beautiful PNW and all my lovely lovely green spaces, but I am finding the beauty in my current surroundings and appreciating a more rural and quiet community. I have always believed that wherever you go there you are and you must simply bloom where you find yourself planted. So I find I will bloom here in this space and this season of my life.

To new adventures!

Patricia

So Much Catch Up

I have not blogged in forever, I did start one several months ago, but just never completed it. Do you have those times when you just don’t feel the ability to write, be it journaling, blogging, letter writing? I go through those dry periods and one such happened over the summer. But now I am back. I do want to publish the last blog I was working on before starting anew. So this is very outdated…several months so. But be that as it…..

June 2021

Oh so very much has transpired since I last posted. First was a lovely train trip to Cali for a wonderful visit with Erica and family. And greeting the newest precious grand baby, Grayson! He is a darling baby indeed!

While visiting I helped the grands engage in some fun tie-dyeing. I had found a wealth of white cotton shirts that would fit each and took them down. It was fun and the results were amazing! All so very different and beautiful. They also had fun dyeing up a batch of onesies for baby brother!

While there we also celebrated the graduation of sweet Milsie. She was graduating from both HS and CC as she took all the courses to complete her AA during her HS years! What a great accomplishment! She is off in the fall to LA to college, what a brilliant and brave young woman is Milsie!!

It was a great time visiting everyone and meeting my newest dear grand, Grayson!

Next it was home and what a flurry of busyness followed! My youngest took a nursing position in the town I had loved before relocating to the PNW. Since her husband was staying in Nevada to work, I decided to join her and provide help with the kids. We found a beautiful home with a nice mother-in-law 3 bedroom apartment in the lower floor. It is overlooks a park and large pond and is absolutely beautiful inside and out. But oh what a flurry of work, the hubs and I decided to sell the house while the market is so high and just move our belongings to WA where I will be living. He will also stay in OR and work for several more years. So I got busy and packed the entire house in the 10 days prior to my leaving for WA. I managed to get it done but what a job!

In relocating I only initially brought what we could fit in the car, which meant I was moving in with no furniture except a chair my daughter brought. I have managed and picked up pieces here and there over the past few weeks. I nearly have a nice little place together. What a change this has been.

I am posting this and will follow with an update of what has transpired since my move and return to a community that I had once loved so dearly.

Embracing change,

Patricia

Beautiful Busy Days and Welcome to a Beautiful new Grand Baby!

So much busyness has transpired in the past month and all has been wonderful. My middle, Erica, and family arrived for a nice month long stay. I had been looking so forward to this visit for months and cleared out the house to put up numerous beds to accommodate everyone. 10 additional bodies in the house made for much busyness, but it made my heart so happy. I loved having a purpose and reason to cook and care for others! We took endless walks, exploring and enjoying the beauty of spring with all abloom. On the last week we headed off to the beach for a glorious week of seaside beauty. It was perfect the entire time with warm sunny days. I don’t believe anything is more lovely than the seaside!

When the time came for them to say goodby and return home, I was delighted to have this little sweetie stay on for an extended visit! My heart was indeed full!!

With the loves gone, except one, life settled back into routine. Daily walks, knitting, reading, and of course, the beginning of summer classes for my Phd studies.

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting of late and finished up numerous projects. I had enjoyed the sampler blanket I made for the upcoming new baby that I indulged in a wrap that was knit of a variety of sampler stitches. For the wrap I used all my own botanically dyed wools. I love the end results, it is so soft and cuddly, long enough to wrap numerous times around the neck or shoulders.

I also finished the little hooded sweater I had been working on for Mimi. It is just adorable and matches perfect with the little thrifted dress I found!

I finished up another pair of socks out of some leftover yarn. I always have a pair of socks on the needles as it is mindless knitting that is easy to pick up and go as needed.

Little Ava and I have been busy having our own adventures. One of the things the grands have always looked forward to with grandma is yard sales and thrifting. We have had the grandest time visiting various charity shops and the yard sales on the week-end. She has loaded up on toys, even finding an American Girl doll for a few dollars!! Oh what fun we are having! It is so lovely to have a little one around the house again!

We took a lovely trip south to Eugene and spent the most wonderful few days with my brother and sister. My brother continues to hold his own and has even improved as he continue to battle the end stages of amyloidosis. Time with his is precious and we enjoyed memories of our lives and delved into the deeper meaning of life. Anytime with my sister Sue is always fun and this time was no exception. We had a marvelous time! I treasure this time with my siblings.

The gardens are growing fabulously! My cottage garden improves each year. It is really quite remarkable as the majority of my plants are discounted from the big box stores. I watch the clearance section as it is an inexpensive way to get a large variety of plants for little investment. This peony was one such clearance plant last year and is absolutely gorgeous this year. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers!

I do splurge on the absolute must haves! I have added so many new plants already this year I can’t begin to count them. Slowly bit by bit the gardens are taking on a new life. The challenge of the back yard still remains, due to all the shade, but it is evolving into a lovely green paradise.

Currently we are busy redoing our deck as it had rotted beyond repair. I love playing in the dirt and soil and watching new shoots push up through the ground and the flowers put forth their blooms! There is really nothing quite like a garden as a balm for the soul against the chaos of the world.

Comes the day when the newest member of the family arrived. Precious Grayson made his debut loudly and safely. We couldn’t be happier to welcome this new sweet baby boy! I will be traveling down Sunday to welcome him and see the rest of the gang!

Oh my as I look back over this blog, I realize I started it back at the beginning of May! How time flies and gets away from me so easily. So very much has transpired in the month or so since I started typing, but all wonderful magical moments that will be tucked away to be retrieved and relived as life continues to march on.

Celebrating life and love,

Patricia

Visits and Vaccine

Last week past was one of those most lovely weeks that will be stored away in my memories. My brother, Fred, who is fighting the good fight against the rotten amyloidosis, was to be in Pdx for a few nights along with my sister and niece. It was the perfect opportunity to go join them and spend a few days just being together. We had a marvelous time. Sis, Sue and niece, Rachelle and I did get in some fun shopping while Fred rested at the hotel. It was such a glorious time with no schedule other than just being together! The weather was beautiful and the time was so precious! Unfortunately I did not get any pictures, but my mind is full of memories and precious pictures of this time! My niece did so generously gift me some of her doll collection. Just look at these darlings! The Madame Alexander Little Women collection. I just love them! Three darling daughters, just like my own!

Back home and to routine. I just love my daily routine including the walks. My soul needs the daily dose of nature! The PNW puts on such show in the spring. The daffodils are thick; lovely lemon yellow with their little lacy heads pointed toward the sun. They are indeed one of my favorite flowers!

I just love all the oddities I see when out in my little patch of nature.

My sweet little girl is getting such a frosty face. How they both love the walks too! Sadly the walks have had to be shortened, Misha’s back leg is acting up again after the stem cell is long over and done. She is getting some rehab and we are cutting the walks back to a mile until she is better. I think this may be the new normal. It appears she did not tear her meniscus which would explain why the stem cell was not 100% successful, but I have read that often it takes two injections. Although I banked the cells, I prefer not to put her through that again and will stick with rehab for now.

Speaking of nature, I started reading Sharon Blackie’s The Enchanted Life and find it just so perfect for this point in my life. She discusses how our western culture leaves the gift of wonderment behind in our childhood and how destructive this is to ourselves, humanity, and the earth. Being a child of a huge imagination, this book resonates so deeply with me. In my 5th decade I began to shed the western views and re embrace my own sense of wonder and belief in the magical and mystical. It has coincided with a spiritual growth, as how can you truly believe in the spiritual without a sense of wonderment and mysticism?

I have been getting in quite a bit of knitting in the evenings. I discovered a new Brit mystery series, George Gently, and I am hooked. It is so nice to curl up in my oversized comfy chair, knitting in hand, and fall deep into the English countryside and a chilling mystery. I finished the sampler blanket and loved making it. All the different stitches kept it interesting and it simply flew off my needles! The picture is awful, it is so hard to get a good picture of some knitting projects…sigh…

Since I enjoyed playing with so many stitch patterns, I decided to dig out a sampler wrap pattern I had purchased some time back. I used my own botanically hand dyed yarns in DK weight and went to work. It is amazing how fast this is knitting up as well!

I have been waiting some time for the vaccine to open to my age group here in Oregon. When I heard it was coming I jumped onto the net and immediately booked an appointment at a local pharmacy. I got my Pfizer the first day of the opening! I did experience a bit of a reaction as I woke up in the night with chills and headache that continued through most of the next day with a general feeling of malaise. But I have the first shot down and honestly feel like I can breath again and can perhaps put all this behind me and get on with seeing all my girls and grands again. Next thing will be to book a flight to Ireland!! It really is such a huge relief!!

Well with March comes the slow return of YARDSALES!! Hurray!! On Fridays, I do a bit of driving around to scout for sales. I have happened to find a few here and there and found a few small treasures. This year is much more about a budget, so it is an added challenge and fun to see how far I can stretch $5.

I love this glass globe and it is a lovely addition to my collection. The stand has a multicolored light so that the globe can be illuminated.

I have quit collecting milk glass but when I saw this little beauty for a dime, I just had to bring it home.

Who doesn’t love a cathedral? I have such fond memories of visiting numerous on my trips and when I saw this beautiful vintage sketch of Reims Cathedral, well I couldn’t resist for .50.

I also got a few nice tops that I can wear as we transition into spring. Oh the joy of the hunt as the season begins again. Thrifting is one of my favorite past times!

Also while out I had to grab a few mugs that I saw. I just love the huge soup type mugs. I just seem to have a thing for mugs in general. I like the ones that just feel right in your hand. To me cosy is a warm mug of coffee or tea in a mug that fits in your hand like a glove, spreading warmth. Silly but just one of those peculiarities….

I recently moved one of my bird feeders to a spot directly in front of the window. Oh how I enjoy the little birds that come and feed each day. Have you all be noticing the birdsongs early in the morning as spring has sprung? It is one of those sounds that I never tire of and as lovely as any symphony.

I just cannot get enough nature at this time of year. Do you find the same feeling is driving you? I want the windows open and prefer to be outdoors. It is the perfect time also to start the deep cleaning, although I generally prefer most of that in the fall and winter as I prepare to hibernate indoors.

And now I must off and complete yet another assignment for this terms course. It is winding to the end and I have a paper to get busy on. I have thoroughly enjoyed this course on the Mythic Journey. Like I keep repeating, this PhD is the best gift I have ever given myself. Each new class is like Christmas and the joy of opening a new gift and discovering just how much you love that particular gift.

Happy Spring everyone!

Patricia

Another trip around the Sun

Once again I have seemed to let so much time slip away before sitting down once again to add to my blog stories. February left us with a little calling card. We were hit with an ice storm that was quite severe and caused much damage to the entire area, downed lines and trees. Although we had a branch come down through the roof and into the bedroom ceiling, we were luckier than many who had whole trees on their homes. Also we only had a 24 hour power loss with many having an outage for well over a week. All in all I felt quite lucky indeed.

As I lay in bed the night of the storm, I could hear trees and branches falling all around. The sound of transformers blowing was unnerving, but the sound of the branch (although it may look small) hitting the roof was quite terrifying as it shook the entire house. It was too dark out to see the extent of the damage, and in looking out the entire back yard was a mess of branches.

On my first walk following the storm, the extent of the damage was quite visible. My favorite little nature park was closed as the bridges into it were covered in branches and the park itself had numerous trees down covering the paths.

It was quite the mess. But neighbors were out helping neighbors clear the trees and the power company and city crews worked diligently and in a few weeks most of the damage was cleared and roads were opened again.

With that bit of excitement behind us, the weather took a beautiful turn with sunny days interspersed with some rain. The temps increased as the days grew longer and then March tiptoes in like a lamb. The walks have been glorious as the world begins waking up again. Yards and gardens are awash with purple crocus and stark white snow drops. The buds are fat on the bushes and the trees are beginning to green up. It is a joy to be out in nature when spring begins to bloom. I have been working to increase my walking mileage daily. Just being out in the sunshine, surrounded by a myriad vivid greenery makes my heart and soul sing! The dark days of winter are behind us and my body breathes a deep sigh of relief. This has been such a difficult year and, I am sure that many of you agree, fighting off the beast of despair and depression was often a daily chore. A chore made all that much more difficult with dark short cold days gnawing at our very souls.

March is my birthday month. Yet another year, boy they sure seem to go faster the older I get. But I had a lovely day and received some wonderful birthday mail.

This came all the way from Ireland and is scrumptious!!

Beautiful hand dyed and hand spun wool from the Irish Isles with a book on Aran sweaters. I just love Aran sweaters but have yet to attempt one. My mom made me the most beautiful one and it was passed down to my daughter and then to my granddaughter and is now tucked away for the next generation.

And this lovely chakra tree from sunny Cali. I have a special altar in my room and it holds all my dear sacred items. This chakra tree is just the perfect addition! I love the meaning of various stones and the belief in their power to facilitate healing. Everything on this altar is thrift finds except the tree and the rosary (it was a birthday gift last year from Ireland, my dear grandson bought if for me) and some of the crystals my sweet granddaughter gathered up from the wild Atlantic Irish beach and sent them to me.

I have been enjoying my latest knitting project immensely. The girls and I decided to do a knit along in January. But I was held up waiting on my yarn. We decided to do sampler blankets and I wanted a super wash as I was going to make my blanket for the newest baby on the way. I chose Lions brand Wool ease, a worsted weight, in their ivory color way. The pattern is The Little Snow blanket by Kay Jean Designs, a free pattern on Ravelry.

Terrible picture, but you get the idea. The different pattern stitches have been so fun to explore and yet all have been simple and easy. I love how it is knitting up and it will block out beautifully. I am just finishing up the last design portion and will finish off the boarder. I have been monogamous on this project with only a bit of a dip here and there knitting on my current sock project.

With March comes the possible beginning of yard sales! Oh how that makes me smile! I do love my weekly thrifting adventures. I must confess I have made a few trips to the local thrift stores and picked up a few treasures. Mainly some cashmere sweaters to ship over to Ireland. But I have also found a few books and a bit of decor for the other girls as well. With the downsizing of my own things, I now concentrate on finding treasures for my girls and grands. Oh how fun is the hunt!

The other week end, with the sun shining so brightly and the world abloom, I thought it was the perfect time to bring out a bit of Easter decor and brighten up the house a bit.

Not a great deal, but just enough to add some cheer and bring a smile.

I have been doing a great deal of reading lately. Little fiction, but many books on spirituality. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been focusing greatly on increasing my spiritual life. This has coincided perfectly with my mind body PhD studies, as well, as my courses over the past year have been Spirituality and Health, Guided Imagery and Health, and now The Path of the Mythic Journey.

I find that Celtic Spirituality resonates so deeply within me. Newell’s book shares so beautifully the basis of Celtic Spirituality. At the core is the belief that God is present in all creation and can be found in the beauty of nature, that the innate goodness of God indwells within all humans as we are made in God’s image, and that God is neither exclusively male or female but instead both. Celtic Spirituality desired that the church be built upon the Apostle John’s teachings and beliefs. It viewed women as an important part of creation and that they held places in the teaching and sharing of God. They viewed the veil between life and death, heaven and earth, and what is seen and unseen, as thin and at times transparent. To them all was sacred and God was found in the mundane of daily life.

The book by Mirabai Starr, oh where do I begin! Everything about this book is amazing! I discovered Mirabai through a symposium on mysticism and fell in love with her energy, teaching, and just her very essence. I savored this book and took my time reading and rereading sections. I found myself referring to her and quoting her again and again in my current PhD course. Here is one quote that I now keep on my desk,

“Ever since you first tasted the elixir of nobodyness, in the midst of meditating or grieving, you have lost your hunger for sombodyness. Mainstream culture conditioned you to construct a persona and defend it with all your might. The endless self-improvement project, fueled by self-loathing and foiled by the realities of the human condition, has only reinforced the illusion that you are separate from your Source. But a combination of spiritual practice and tragic losses ended that game. You, for one, are relieved to surrender” (p. 61).

How I love this. So much is said in that one small paragraph that leads to deep inner healing and a breaking through as we surrender and shed the expectations of the material world we live in.

I also purchased some new books. This is an author that is new to me but her name kept coming up as I was deepening my spiritual journey. I have not yet started either book, but The Enchanted Life is next on my list.

Christine is another author that has been transformative in my spiritual growth. I chanced upon one of her books in one of the little libraries that dot our community. Oh My Goodness! If you want to engage in a personal retreat Christine offers a deeply rich and meaningful series of steps to deepening your spirituality and walk with God. An example of one such practice is her walking in prayfulness. She has taught me to fully utilize my daily walks as a means to deepen my own communication with God and seek the beauty that not only surrounds me, but dwells within. She breaks her books into weeks and offers exercises and practices for each week to fully engage in a closer walk with God. She also practices in the Celtic tradition. This is her newest book only just released. I am saving it to begin my next journey with her guidance in April.

The days they just slip by don’t they? I keep busy with my knitting, playing in the sewing room, reading, doing puzzles, and getting out for my daily walk. Add a bit of watching my favorite YouTube channels and British mysteries, and this retirement life is just the thing indeed. Soon the pandemic will be behind us and I will be on my way to visit all my children and grands. Oh how I await that day! I still have not had my vaccine as the list does not include me yet, but fingers crossed before mid April I will have that shot in the arm and a new life awaiting! Oh how the sunshine and beginning of spring brings such a renewed feeling of hope and wonderment!

Happy Spring!

Patricia

Away so long

Well it has been some time since I last blogged. Time just seemed to get away from me and I did have a bit of pandemic fatigue as I am sure you have or are experiencing as well. The fatigue that just makes you want to take to bed and hibernate it away. But must needs we have to carry on with the business and busyness of living. For me that is a great deal of the mundane and simple. Being alone with family all at such distance and now retired, my days are simple and slow. I do like slow sweet simple days however. But I do miss my children and grands dearly!

I have also been struggling with family health matters. My big brother was just put into hospice care. I shared some time back about the gene that 3 of my siblings have that causes amyloidosis, his was the worst case and is coming to its end. I did take a trip over to see him in spite of the Covid dragon blowing fire all about. I am so glad I did. There is so much that could be said about this, but the words just escape me as my heart feels the feelings.

My days are rather routine. I have my sweet rituals that add meaning; morning prayers, daily meditation, and lovely long walks. The doggies and I are now up to 3.5 to 3.7 miles daily. I remember back to the days when we were lucky to get in 2. I set a goal of 60 miles a month and blew past it in January. It is a bit more of a challenge to walk in the suburbs as the same ole same ole streets can get a bit tiring. Luckily we have so many open green spaces here. Those are my daily soul medicine as I need nature to thrive! However the rain can often turn them into bogs and I ended up slogging home one day after wandering into a boggy area and treading up to my ankles to get back out. That was a mess, but I had to laugh at myself for being so silly as to enter a boggy area after days of heavy rain.

I did chance upon a new organizer for 2021. An ad popped up on my IG for this lovely Dragontree planner. It was discounted 50% as the new year had passed. I debated about it for a week, but I just love a new journal and planner and finally took the bait. I am glad I did as I love it. It is nice and large and spiral bound. It is not a journal, but a planner. I enjoy filling it out daily as I plot and plan what I shall do at the end of this pandemic or when (if ever) I get a vaccine so I can resume travel. Isn’t the color of this planner just dreamy? I do love periwinkle!

I have since enjoyed exploring the Dragontree Apothecary site https://dragontreeapothecary.com It is a Portland based company and has a treasure trove of wonderful offerings. I have enjoyed a guided imagery offering and now use their Ayurveda Kapha oil blend. They offer an excellent video on full body self massage that is a perfect addition to my self care routine.

Do your communities have the facebook buy nothing groups? They are such a wonderful idea. I have been able to clear out so much stuff and find homes where it is needed or used through that group. I have also found things I need as well. When someone posted this set of books, I threw my name in and was the lucky recipient. What a fun old set of novels. They are the story of a young married couple and just easy pleasant reads, just what is needed right now. I love discovering a new author and book series, although these were written in the late 20s to 40s. Books of that era are always my favorites. I had to then pull my favorite Christopher Morley’s off the shelf and fall into the lovely stories of Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookstore. They were as delightful as the first time I read them! This was followed by one of my favorites, however more modern, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

Other favorite activities have been jigsaw puzzles and knitting. I cast on another sweater for sweet little Mimi, a simple hooded cardigan. I am making it plenty big so it will fit her next fall. I finished up one of a pair of socks, I always have a pair of socks on the needles as I love the mindlessness of sock knitting, and I cast on a sampler baby blanket for the newest grand due in the summer. I am using an acrylic wool blend for the blanket as it needs to be easy care and washable. The cardigan is a pure wool and with proper care will last for generations.

As I like to watch a bit of TV while knitting, I look around for a new British series and fell upon Hattie Winthrop Detective. It is delightful. What is not to love about a woman of a certain age (my current age) determining to open up a detective agency and solving the most intriguing crimes across Britain. Delightful indeed! That and my favorite you tube channels give me a lot of enjoyable knitting time. I just marvel at the you tube variety. I have learned so much about so many things through watching these video blogs. I have my favorites who I never miss and chance upon new ones quite often.

One new thing I chanced upon in my you tube browsing is Miranda Esmonde-White and Essentrics workouts. Although this has been on PBS for years, I was never aware that it existed. Now it is my daily workout routine. I find that I do feel more fluid, less achy, and more flexible. It seems to be a mix of yoga, pilates, and dance. I was doing a simply daily kettlebell exercise, but I find this much more to my liking!

Today everything is thick with ice. Snow was the forecast, but we got freezing rain instead and the temperature at midday has still not risen above freezing. It is days like this that I am grateful to be retired and able to just cozy up at home with nowhere to go. So I am curled up in front of the fire, cuppa at hand, and knitting on my lap. This is indeed, as my grandma used to say, the life of Riley!

Stay warm and stay safe!

Patricia