A Visiting I Go

What a wonderful few days I had up visiting my mom.  It was a short visit but very relaxed and enjoyable.  She is doing remarkably well and getting around much better than she was a few weeks ago when I was there.  That is a wonderful thing!

On this trip the hubby came along and we brought the dogs.  We booked in at the Historic Condon Hotel.  It is an old hotel from when Condon was just a young village and has been completely renovated.  It is beautiful and so full of charm!  Add pet friendly and you have a winner.  They have even added a dog run out back!  Honestly I could just move right in and stay!

fullsizeoutput_14aaIMG_1356fullsizeoutput_14abIMG_1358

While there I did a great deal of organizing and cleaning out of cupboards and closets for mom.  When going through stuff we found lots of old photos.  These are of my mom with her best friend and a few of her beaus from her early years before meeting my dad.  Of course I believe my dad to have been the handsomest of all of them!

fullsizeoutput_14b9fullsizeoutput_14c3fullsizeoutput_14b7

In sorting out, I came across these darling kits she had bought from Mary Maxim.  Now I am a serious yarn snob I admit, but the cuteness of these was too much to resist.  I knit up the little candy corn baby and started the penguin.  I had to bring the penguin home to compete as I did not have time to finish it.  I think these are really just the cutest things  ever and of course then went a bit mad and ordered a few more kits and a book of holiday clothing for these wee little ones.  My goal is to make my mom an outfit for every season for her wee baby.  She got such joy out of the candy corn one.

fullsizeoutput_14b3fullsizeoutput_14b5fullsizeoutput_14b2

Although my career has been in long term care and I am aware of the aging process; it is entirely different when it is your own parent.  It has been so difficult to watch this progression with my mom.  In the past year we have seen an increase in her declining health and ability to care for herself.  We are blessed as she does have little to no symptoms of memory loss, just what would be expected at her age in a natural aging process.  The two things that I mourn the most for her and for myself are the loss of her ability to do the things she loves.  She can hardly knit anymore as she cannot read patterns or see well enough.  She also can no longer sew.  Growing up she was never without her knitting or sitting at the sewing machine making garments for all of us; of course that was when she wasn’t keeping 8 hungry mouths filled.  It’s just damn hard and a journey we must all face.

I woke the other morning to a gorgeous overcast day.  There was a nice nip in the air and I opened the doors and windows to let all that lovely Autumn air into the house.  I added some lovely scent to the diffuser my mom sent home with me and made a delicious salted caramel latte with my Nespresso machine.  Now this is the life!  IMG_7444

I just really wasn’t up to heading out the door to sales Saturday morning, but I eventually did just that.  It was a pretty sad day for pickins.  Found some clothing that will be great additions to my wardrobe and a few odds and ends of this and that.  I did find a lovely watercolor to add to my others.

fullsizeoutput_14c7

On the back it states that it is the old Piscalini barn east of Cambria and is signed by the artist.  I think it is lovely! I may eventually upgrade the frame, but I rather like the character that these old frames add.

Remember the discussion from a few weeks ago about the ability to keep an Orchid reblooming?  I had stated that I was going to attempt a repotting of mine.  Well I did a week ago and so far so good.  I didn’t even wait for it to stop blooming but just took the plunge and plopped it into a large pot gently putting all the growing roots, that were wildly escaping the too small pot, back down inside the pot and into the soil.  I think I may have just had success with this repotting project.  During the summer I did a mass repotting of most all my plants.  I had not bothered until my dear friend Mia brought over her plants for me to housesit while she moved and they were all in large roomy pots.  Put me to shame entirely!  They have loved the extra room and are all growing heartily.

I think that I have had too much time on my hands as for the past month, I have been shopping the IG destash again and with a vengeance.  I love getting so much squishy and lovely mail, but I seriously do not need any more fabric….yarn yes…but fabric no…lol.  But nonetheless when I arrived back from my mom’s all these lovelies were in my mailbox.  But one of the benefits of having daughters who are also crafty is that they are always happy to take things off my hands.

IMG_1365fullsizeoutput_14b1IMG_1367IMG_1368

But best of all was a package from my dear friend Roni (the author of the several amazing books with one being The Longest Trail….you all much check it out!!).  She had asked me if I would have any desire for these sweet little ones and I said “oh my stars would I?”  Aren’t they just the sweetest.  I do not recognize the make of the two larger ones and will do some investigating, but the little chicken girl is a Hummel.  I am totally smitten by all three!

IMG_1369

I have been so thoroughly enjoying my Autumn decor this year after not having it out for the past several years.  I am a homebody through and through and enjoy every bit of creating a cozy and homey abode.  I enjoy having my collections out on display so that I can see them and enjoy each and every one.  Each item brings me joy and many evoke such sweet memories of my own childhood, while others memories of being a young mother and time with my own babies.  My home is indeed my sanctuary.  I know many crave a minimalistic home to thrive, but my nest must be full of treasures; sweet bits and bobs that fill me with joy and make my spirit and soul soar.

On the subject of nesting and what makes us thrive, I find that I am in a minority when it comes to preferring silence when at home.  I am not referring to talking with the spouse, but to having any type of background noise; be it TV or music.  There are times when I prefer some piano or classical music that is not overpowering, but instead soothing and non intrusive.  I cannot bear a loud tv blasting away all hours of the day and night.  In fact most of my adult life I have not had TV; well in childhood we didn’t really have TV to speak of either as we were far to busy to be spending time sitting in the house in front of a TV set.  I have always preferred the solitude of silence.  But when it come to scent, I am all on board.  I utilize essential oils, scentsy burners, and candles. However, even with scent I like something that is not overpowering.  Currently I am diffusing fennel or sweet birch essential oils, lighting pumpkin spice candles, and have maple in my scentsy burners.  The house smells delightful!  I also avoid perfume but am never without my essential oil bracelets and lava necklace.  Again my favorite scents currently are fennel and sweet birch.  I love how essential oils are not overpowering.

All this running around this past month has been hard on my babies.  I have made a habit of walking them daily when I am home and they love that.  I had gotten so lazy and out of the habit of the daily walk with the summer heat.  I honestly cannot imagine a life without a boxer…or two.  They have such personalities and bring such joy into my life.

fullsizeoutput_14d2fullsizeoutput_14ce

I was up early this morning as usual and busy doing the last little things I want to accomplish before heading back to work.  Having this month off was amazing!!  I am so happy I scheduled a break between going from the last job to this one.  I am excited to start and have a stack of decor that will go into my office.  That is always my first order of business; creating my own space.  I must be in an organized environment and surrounded by bits and bobs that I love.  And oh how lovely this office is!  I will share pics of course when it is set up.  I have one day at work then off to training for 2 days at their corporate headquarters.

But now I must away and complete some homework and run a few last minute errands.

Choose Joy,

Patricia

 

All the lovely treasures…

For those new to my blog, I must explain that in the summer months it is quite filled with my wonderful thrifty finds.  I adore the hunt and yard and estate sales in my area are simply amazing.  I do engage in other hobbies and have numerous interest which I do share; but over the summer my finds seem to dominate my posts.  I find blogging about my finds is also a great way to look back and see if what I bought has actually been useful or if I am wading into the area of just collecting stuff…..way to easy to do when on the yard sale path!  That said I will launch right into this weeks finds!

Oh Boy was the week end one for amazing finds!  The best part of collecting anything is the thrill of the hunt and the fun in finding amazing things for pennies.  This week end was certainly one of the best.  Between 2 estate sales and a few yard sales I scored big!

Estate sales here can be a bear as people arrive early and line up around the corner for a good one.  You have to be there at least a good half hour or more and willing to stand in line and then fight crowds.  Luckily the things I want and collect others rarely want.  This week end first up was a hoarders house and will be broken into 3 separate sales due to the sheer volume of stuff…most all new in boxes of course.  But what drew me to the sale was the pics of the knitting items.  And boy did I score big at .50 per skein for Malabrigo and indie dyers as well as just practical old dishcloth cotton.  I also got a slew of knitting bags, circular needles, notions, and books.  I rarely buy knitting books, but at $2 I couldn’t pass them up.  The Principles of Knitting I had just purchased off Amazon for $30 so grabbed it for one of the girls at $2!

fullsizeoutput_138cIMG_1260IMG_1259fullsizeoutput_138bIMG_1257IMG_1255IMG_1254fullsizeoutput_138d

Also found a few darling knitting pics and plaques.  Just too cute!

IMG_1252

As if the knitting stuff wasn’t enough I also nabbed a random box of unopened DoTerra oils for $15!

fullsizeoutput_138a

Next I was off to a second estate sale that was not advertised but that I happened to see the street signs.  Oh my but did I score huge here!  This quilt….OMG…love it and it is so beautifully done in both hand and machine stitching.  Notice how the maker even fussy cut some of the hexis!  At $20 this was an absolute steal!!

IMG_1245IMG_1246IMG_1248

When I was young every summer we spent a month at my Grandma Starks huge old Victorian in northern Idaho.  One of my favorite activities was playing with the dollhouse that my Grandfather had made for my mother.  It was darling and filled with the cutest ever furniture.  The dollhouse is with my mom now, but the furniture all disappeared over the years.  Imagine my thrill when I saw two bags of the exact furniture priced at $15 for both!!  I will be taking this up to her to fill the doll house back again with furniture.  Now a few dolls and it will be complete!

fullsizeoutput_1388IMG_1237IMG_1238IMG_1239fullsizeoutput_1387IMG_1241fullsizeoutput_1389IMG_1243IMG_1244

I also stopped in at a few yard sales that I passed by and grabbed a few other treasures including this nice hook for my purse and some darling halloween decorations.

IMG_1233IMG_1235

I also found another cashmere sweater at a sale for $1 and immediately began unraveling it.  I love the soft heathered lavender color!

IMG_1249

I also found a few items for the yard and yard tools.  I’d say it was an incredibly successful week end indeed!

Didn’t get in a lot of knitting.  I am working down the foot of my second August sock, but could not resist casting on Septembers socks in this sock yarn I got at the first sale.  It is in my besties favorite team colors, the Seahawks, so will be gifted to her once the sock kal is over in January.  I hope too have enough left over to make a cute head band as well.

fullsizeoutput_13aa.jpeg

I did play around in the sewing room a bit this week.  Organized all my beads as I want to get some lava stone bracelets made and they were just in a heap.  Since I also had to sew up a bag for a special order I made up a few bags out of my eco dyed fabric just for fun.

IMG_7333fullsizeoutput_139c

I am just fascinated how coreopsis flowers print onto fabric.  There is just so much detail!  I love these bags!!

Recently I have been playing on the IG destash page and grabbed a few goodies.

Got this natural dye book for $5.  It is great resource!!

IMG_7338

And assorted bits and bobs of fabric.  I cannot resist Halloween and Christmas fabrics.  I now have the complete set of Heather Ross new Christmas line featuring the cutest ever mice.  I also love this complete set of Moda brushed cotton colors in fat quarters.

fullsizeoutput_13ad.jpeg

The week has gone by quite quickly.  I have a short break between ending this job and starting the next, but in that time I will be busy as ever with trips and visits.  First off I will be heading over to Washington to get my beautiful granddaughter Doodle settled in her college dorm and ready to start her first year of college!  Then Christina and the sweet peas will be here for a long week end, and then off to Monterey for a week of residency for my PhD.  I also want to squeeze in a visit to my mom.  So it will be a busy next few weeks.  I did get a chance to go meet my team at the new position and I have to say I cannot wait to start!

And now it is Friday, my replacement at work was found and I was released early so I am free to pursue a day of pleasure!  First up is another amazing estate sale in which I spy Hummels in the pictures.  So off I must to wait in line and hope for a few treasures to increase my collection!

Happy Hunting,

Patricia

So Much Love

What a whirlwind last couple of weeks!  Since I had determined I was not going back to work my focus has been on spending time getting over to visit all the kids and grands.  I have been dying to take Amtrak somewhere so booked my trip over to see Erica and grands.  What wonderful trip it was!

The train ride was amazing and I am thoroughly sold on train travel!!  The train wound all along the Columbia River!  Breathtakingly beautiful!  And to just sit back and knit along the way while enjoying the view…priceless!  The staff was all so friendly.  The observation car is just perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning as you partake of the amazing views!  I am determined now that I am taking the train across the US someday!

IMG_5734

The visit was amazing!  Loved seeing the kids!  Took them to the movies, walks, and even did park trips in the rain!

IMG_5546IMG_5548IMG_5551IMG_5554

I was able to watch Trinity play a tennis match!

IMG_5702

And I got to meet the newest Grandson, Sebastian!!  Look at those eyelashes!!fullsizeoutput_5d1

Erica and I wasted no time and accomplished a great deal!  She made some fabulous sock blanks for her etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/hypwoolyarns.  I am so in love with these!  Look at those iced dyed…totally pieces of art!!

IMG_5562IMG_5586fullsizeoutput_5b4IMG_5634IMG_5615IMG_5620IMG_5624IMG_5626IMG_5573IMG_5633IMG_5583IMG_5618IMG_5612IMG_5686IMG_5684

I love the idea of knitting a sassy saying right into my socks!!  Look how awesome these knit up!!

IMG_5666

It was so fun being back in Walla Walla…oh how I miss it dearly!  We hit a few of my favorite old haunts but sadly did not fit in any wine tasting….just too busy!IMG_5644IMG_5660

And I had to visit Stash the local quilt shop where I found some amazing goodies!

IMG_5558

IMG_5560

Look at these awesome goodies!  Those Ghastlies!!

fullsizeoutput_5d2.jpeg

All too soon it was time to catch the train back home.  Of course the hubby and doggies were so happy to have me home.  But I always miss my girls and grands so dearly.

Once again there will be some changes.  I know I said I was never going back into my career field but I accepted a position as Administrator for a new memory care community.  I know, I know, never say never.  I will start in April.  But that means…..I have to sew like mad to get ahead on bags for Stitches Plus Purls!  www.etsy.com/shop/stitchespluspurls It will be a challenge to keep up with sewing, dyeing, and working….but I am up to the challenge!

And now off to the sewing machine!

Happy Spring!

Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

GOODBYE FEBRUARY….

Oh but I was happy to see the end of February this year.  It may be the shortest month of the year, but it certainly feels the longest.  February started with this:

IMG_1705
Ice on top of ice and snow.  It was so hard packed I could walk on it without breaking through.  Provided I could stay upright it was so slick.  After a small break in the weather, thankfully just in time for my move to the new house, it once again gave us more of this:

IMG_1757
Now I anxiously await the arrival of spring!  I see new growth peeking through the ground and green buds dotting the trees.  The promise of new life and beauty.  

I had a houseful of visitors to help me celebrate the ushering in of a new month.  Christina and kids arrived with my mom in tow.  We had a glorious 3 days together and I was able to show off my new home.  The grands loved the large loft and especially all the toys that I had stashed in their special nook.  They explored the neighborhood paths with me and loved the duck ponds and creek.  We were so busy I did not get any pictures and that makes me sad.  Next time I need to keep that camera at hand.

Christina had just moved house herself and in redecorating she brought me three beautiful large area rugs that she no longer had use for.  They fit just perfect in my home and I love them!  

IMG_1759
IMG_1760
IMG_1761
Not a good photo.  I had just cleaned it and it was hanging to dry and I took it down just for the pic so it is a big wrinkly looking.  It will go in the living room by the fireplace.

She also brought back a childhood toy of mine that she had used to decorate.  I have the orginal Little Peoples house and a doll house that was made for my mom.  I will use them all as decor in the guestroom (well actually it is the grands room and being decorated just for them).  Here is a pic of it that I nabbed from one on sale on the net.  It is identical to mine.  The inside has three rooms upstairs and two down.  I spent endless hours playing with this as a child and it makes me smile each time I look at it.  A perfect addition to my home!

36380709459833618_txLK03Yk_f 

And as always I sent a carload of stuff home with her, too.  Between all the girls and myself we cycle a great deal of stuff from home to home as we change decor, need extra accent pieces, need crafting supplies, or just think something we have needs a new home.  

The decor of the new home remains a work in progress.  I keep changing things around a bit here and there and finding new things to add little by little.  As I work on setting up home and decorating I have fallen in love with Pinterest.  It is quite addicting if you are not careful.  But what a great way to organize and catagorize all the DIY home and craft ideas you find all over the web?  Yeah, just what we all need, one more reason to spend yet more time on the computer.  I already follow too many blogs!   

Today was a sick a bed day.  I have a touch of the flu and spent most of the day snuggled up in front of the fire dozing off and on.  The wind was blowing up a storm and the fireside was so pleasant.  I did a bit of reading off and on and finished the third in the Ladybug Farm series by Donna Ball.  A light pleasant read.  Tonight will be some Brit series and perhaps a bit of knitting.

Marching on,

Patricia


A VERY BLUSTERY DAY…

Winnie-the-Pooh-A-Very-Blustery-Day
After an absolutely beautiful day yesterday the wind picked up and has not stopped yet.  It is lashing at my windows and whipping around my house.  This type of a windy day is rather unsettling and wild.  Parts of town have lost power as the wind continues to beat us about.   I attempted to take the gurlz out to the nature walk but was firmly sent back to the car amid a whirlwind of dust and leaves.  Very much a Winnie the Poohish Blustery Day. 

I did, however, get out to do a bit of shopping.  Here is one of the views I drive by at the end of my block each day.  I love these ponds and we have several of them.

IMG_1746
  IMG_1747

I made a stop off at Stash, our local quilt shop, and could not resist picking up some treasures.

IMG_1752
Artful Blogging is such special eye candy.  I love browsing all the beautiful pictures and then heading to the blogs themselves.  I must admit, I am a bit of a blog addict and can spend far too much time lost in the lives of others through their blogs.  

IMG_1754
Isn't this just the cutest fabric.  Aneela Hoey has been designing some of the cutest fabrics ever.  Notice all the mushroom love and the Little Red Riding Hoods.  In there somewhere lurks the Big Bad Wolf, too.  I am thinking about just sewing them all together randomly for a sweet crib size quilt.  My daughter (check out her blog here http://lifeinpurlsandstitches.blogspot.com ) has just done the cutest ever quilt with this fabric.  Just look at this:

420931_3261907396222_1523317837_32983460_459452132_n
Those blocks are all appliqued.  She used my favorite childhood book My Sister and I as her inspiration.  How stinking talented is that!!  

What else does one do on such a blustery day?  Well with all the grey weather, I especially enjoyed the beauty of fresh cut flowers on the table.

IMG_1748
And  I curled up in my fav chair in the library and read a bit more tales of Lady Bug Farm.  This is the cheery view from my spot in the chair.

IMG_1756
I do love all the cosy spots in this happy bright house.  Just look at this sweet nook just the right size for the little people who visit me often.

IMG_1751
Tucked away in the loft.  I must find a little table and some little people sized furniture for this area.

Life has settled down once again into a routine.  I feel pretty settled in, although I will be adding bits and bobs along the way as there are many pieces missing to complete the house.  But all in due time.  Now it is time to head back up to my sewing studio and see what magic I can create.

Creatively,

Patricia

BREAKFAST, BOOKS, AND BUMMIN AROUND….

Has anyone else felt like the month has just slipped by in an instant?  I have certainly felt that the past season rushed past while I've barely had a chance to take a deep breath.  How I just loathe the rush of passing time!!  I try to savor the days, but they so quickly become weeks….. so is man's eternal battle to slow down our dratted time allotment here on earth. 

During the past flying week my eldest, Christina, came for a visit.  She came by herself to celebrate her birthday. 

IMG_1553
It is hard to believe that my baby girl is 32!!

While I missed my sweet grands, it was so fun to have some mother/daughter time with just the two of us.  I was excited to share some of the best of my lovely village with her and my fav spots while we got in some major bonding time! 

IMG_1554
Every day must start with a good breakfast.  Here we are at Olive chowing down on some yummy goodies. 

My daughters all inherited my love of thrifting, sewing, and reading.  So a perfect day for us included visiting the local second hand shops and the used book stores.  Here was our favorite by far!

IMG_1556
IMG_1564
IMG_1565
Isn't this just amazing?  There are books upon books.  We spent a good two hours just digging through stacks and piles.  We both came away with some great treasures! 

Back at home we pulled out the sewing machines and Becca joined us.  The two of them worked on Halloween costumes for the grands.  I was happy knitting away on mittens. 

Next morning we headed to Colville Street Patesserie.

22138_319983037657_319964462657_4553127_2323033_n
Check out these goodies!!  YUMMMMMY….

166807_10150134037392658_319964462657_7783486_2347388_n
Not really what one should have for a healthy breakfast, but what a treat!!  We brought home an assortment to nibble throughout the day. 

The week end was magical!  We ate too much, stayed up too late, laughed until we cried, and just simply enjoyed time together creating new and wonderful memories!!  I hated to see it come to an end.  It was through misty eyes that I watched her pull out of the driveway headed home. 

Christina will be headed back to pack up her household and prepare to move to a farm in a remote part of Oregon.  She has fully embraced sustainable living and has huge gardens and herds of varying livestock so this will be a great opportunity for her to enlarge her livestock herds and the income they generate.  And…..she will be closer to me!!!

And so it was back to my usual routine…well not quite….

My youngest baby girl Becca is moving to Nevada.  Her hubby has been offered a great opportunity and left a week ago to pursue it.  I am so happy for them both and what this will mean for their future.  But it also means my baby girl will be miles away with my sweet Bella!  While Matt finds housing and gets settled in the new job, Becca has stayed behind to finish the term of school.  This will begin a new chapter in her life as she has never been too far from home, being the baby of the family…..  But they have struggled so hard and are now expecting their second child.  I am so happy for them both.  But……Nevada…that is miles and miles away…….sigh……  

And….my middle sweet pea, Erica, got asked to present her work at not one but two different conferences next month.  Being a working mom of six she may have to miss one and Skype the other.  But as industrious as Erica is, it will not surprise me to see her physically present at both.  Erica, the brainiac, is busy plugging away on her PhD. 

I am so blessed by my three children.  Each one is so distinctly different in their personalities.  Each one is so precious to me and I adore them!!  I see parts of myself in each of them.  They each have a small part of some of my weaknesses.  Yet they always amaze me with their strengths and abilities.  It just takes my breath away and makes me so proud when I look at them and see what amazing individuals they have become!

With the change in weather and the early darkness, I have been spending the evenings inside reading and watching Brit TV.  Here is what has been on my reading list:

IMG_1567[1]
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.  I discovered Kate Morton on Amazon and adore her books.  The Forgotten Garden was good, but The Distant Hours is great!!  It was one of those books that was magical and I just could not put it down. 

A Charmed Life by Liza Campbell.  Liza is the daughter of the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor Castle and as any Shakespeare fan knows, that is the Castle Macbeth.  This is her memoir of growing up in the castle with a father who is, well, almost right out of a Shakespeare tragedy.  Fascinating reading!!

I am currently working on Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, a nice change of pace from the intensity of the past two books.

On my list to read:

Three Philippa Gregory novels:

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Boleyn Inheritance

The Other Queen

I got quite heavily involved in the made for TV series The Tudors.  A bit violent for my usual likes, but a fascinating look at the life of Henry the Eight.  When I saw the books by Gregory at the used book store I could not resist.  I love anything to do with British history from 1066 to Elizabeth I; be it fiction, fact, book, or movie.  My impractical self wanted to get my grad degree in Medieval Studies at U of Cardiff in Wales.  Gonzaga and Communication/Leadership Studies won out from my practical side.  So I indulge my love through books, movies, and very occasional travel…

I also have on my list:

Three Cups of Tea. Have wanted to read that since it came out..

Atomic Farm Girl.  I can relate growing up in the shadow of Hanford…..perhaps I shouldn't read this?!

The Language of Sycamores….just because I love Lisa Wingate's novels.

That should keep me busy for a bit.

In other news, I have decided to take the plunge and buy a house here.  This has been a tough decision as I was not sure I was going to stay here long term.  But I love the community, have a great job, great friends, and my children and grands are relatively close by.  So I am beginning the process. Next week end I will meet with my amazing realtor and begin looking.  I'll let you know how that goes….

Happy Haunting…it is almost Halloween after all!!

Patricia

MORNING PAGES

Some  years back when I was facing a difficult time in my life I discovered Julia Cameron's wonderful books on living a creative life.  Instantly I was in love with her methodology and have used it since. It is quite simple and focuses on what she terms as morning pages: three hand written pages every morning right out of bed and right off the top of your head.  Sounds too simple, I know, but it works.  Occassionally my life gets off track and my well dries up and returning to my morning pages nearly instantly restores me.  I am a morning person and this with my cuppa makes for a beautiful way to begin my day.

IMG_1255 
My favorite spot of late is out back.  While the gurlz romp and play I can write and then do a small bit of reading. 

IMG_1251 

Recently I discovered her small book of blessings.  Beautifully written and so powerful in their simplicity.  Along with the morning pages I have incorporated Sarah Ban Breathnach's principle of the power of a life gratefully lived.  Each day in my journal I list 5 things I am grateful for.  These simple daily practices have enriched my life and, I believe, enlarged my capacity for goodness and good things to flow to and through me.  They also keep me centered.  Occasionally (sometimes too often) I let life crowd out this practice and find myself off track.  I suppose you could say this is my method of prayer as my pages are always directed to God and gratitude flows to Him as well. 

What do you do to keep yourself centered and the creative spirit alive?