Welcome Mimi

Oh just so very much to share since I have been away!  Three weeks ago I headed down to Nevada to be there when baby Maryellen was welcomed into the world!  She is named after my mom, who would be so excited to have seen, held, rocked, and love her.  Her siblings have been calling her Mimi since they found out their mom was having a baby, so Mimi is it for her nick name.  She is just the most beautiful and sweet baby ever!  She loves to be cuddled and I love that!

IMG_8791

Big sister Isabel was so very excited to be having a baby sister and was even able to attend the birth!  Mimi will just love having such a wonderful big sister!!

IMG_8737

This hospital was just the best!  They gave us all bracelets, I even had a grandma one!  The care that they provide and the staff was exceptional!  We should know, Becca was there 3 days waiting to have her, and then back another 2 to actually deliver!!

fullsizeoutput_1e81IMG_8790fullsizeoutput_1e7d

Of course, Nevada in winter means snow, and we got lots of it!  Bella just loved it.

fullsizeoutput_1e83

One of the things that I have done pretty much all my life and a loved I have passed on to my girls and now the grands is doing jigsaw puzzles.  I took one and we blazed right through it and got several more.  Emmy seems to have taken after her grandma and is able to spot that elusive piece and fit it right in…..amazing for her age.  Bella was my main puzzle buddy.  We also played lots of Christmas trivia and we totally reorganized her room!

fullsizeoutput_1e85

After a few weeks in Nevada, it was up to Washington to see these munchkins!  I was only able to stay a short stop there, but we got in lots of loving.  They are all growing so darn fast!  Jayse has just grown into a young man overnight!!

fullsizeoutput_1e8b

Violet had her school concert, it was so cute.  She had the role of pink panther in one of the songs and was absolutely adorable!  She is so strong and confident and will certainly go far!!

IMG_8766

While helping Erica with Christmas shopping, I found a Christmas game.  Oh how fun it was.  We are a competitive bunch and when Erica and Mils faced off, it made for lots of laughs and steep competition!!

IMG_8788

Once again so many wonderful memories made and stored away.  But oh how I miss my Ireland bunch!  Life is all about family and being with those we love, especially during the holidays.

All too soon it was back home to my doggies!  Oh how I miss them when I am gone.  My poor Booger is still limping and quite crippled up.  I had taken him to the vet prior to the journey and he was now worse.  It was off to the vet again and he is now on a series of medications.  He has somehow injured his front legs or has arthritis, but x-rays looked good.  He may need the ACL surgery if things do not improve!!  Poor Pig, it is awful to see him like this!

On this return, I brought a special package home with me!  I will be keeping my grandson, Jackson, for a bit.  Upon or arrival, we fixed up his room, got him enrolled in school, and then sent him and the hubby out to get a tree.  I had already done all the other decorating before I left for Nevada.  It will be nice to have a child in the house again!!  He has kept busy exploring and is so very helpful!

I think they did an amazing job on choosing the tree!!  It is just perfect!!

IMG_1811

One must always put up the Nativity.  As a child I love our nativity set and would play with it.  Over the years the chalky characters began to show wear from so many children playing with them.  I wanted one just like it as an adult, and although  I could not find one like it, I did find one by Home Interiors way back when Christina was a baby.

fullsizeoutput_1e8c

This little hutch was just perfect for my collection of Santas.

fullsizeoutput_1e91.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_1e8efullsizeoutput_1e8f

This tree is filled with all the home made ornaments that I have been gifted and have been made by my grandma, mom, or myself.  It holds so many dear memories!

fullsizeoutput_1e8d

In past years I put my Christmas villages on the mantel, but this year I thought they would be quite cute under my vintage tree.

IMG_1821IMG_1822

I just love a festive house and with Christmas music playing, holiday scents in my diffuser, and a Christmas puzzle on the table, the mood is just perfect!!

I have so very much more to share, but that will be for another blog!

Merry Christmas all!

Patricia

Gearing up…

Countdown begins to the day I am walking back into that world of work.  I have mixed feelings. I have loved my time at home, yet I feel a sense of obligation and responsibility to continuing to work within my career for a bit longer.  I have met most of my savings goals, but just a wee bit more would be optimum. So back into the fray I go come Monday  morning.  I have long believed that the USA has created unhealthy work environments that promote burnout.  All the research that I have conducted in my PhD programs backs that up as factual.  We work too long hours with too little paid time off and are expected to do more with less.  It creates so many many work problems and actually costs employers more in loss of productivity, increased turnover, and excessive absenteeism. But hey try explaining that to most corporate entities and well don’t waste your breath.  Some European countries are trying on the 4 day work week and have actually found that employees are more productive.  Of course if we did that here in the USA we would use it as a reason to demote staff to part time and pay that much less for the same amount of work….sigh….capitalism….

On a more positive note, I am excited to say I have a wellness coach.  My first meeting is next week.  I have been looking at research that supports wellness coaching as a successful means to making positive lifestyle changes to lose weigh and increase fitness.  Since I am also working on my coaching certification, it will be interesting to work with a coach.  I will be evaluating and learning from her coaching skills as I also work on my own needed changes.  I’ll not tell her that though!

IMG_4819.JPG

Along with addressing my fitness and nutrition, I am also seriously changing my use of technology.  See I got hooked on some of those silly games you can play on your phone.  It seemed like such an innocent thing to pass the time while I was traveling or waiting at appointments. But heck if it didn’t rather become a bit of an obsession…good grief.  I am prone to vertigo and noticed all that screen time was creating visual vertigo. So cold turkey it was, deleted all the games and got out a puzzle from the cupboard.  I have always loved puzzles and have always had one going.  When the girls were teens,  they along with their friends, would often stop and try to fit a few pieces together.  It is a great activity that gathers everyone around the table and allows for lots of conversation.  I had allowed virtual puzzles to overtake my regular puzzle table.  I do think technology has a place and great value, but I also think it can be used as a distraction and is a huge time sapper. I notice that too much screen time also impacts my ability to fully concentrate.  So away with the games and limited time on any social media is also a part of my plan to optimize continuing to live a bliss filled life!

With the change in seasons and cooler weather, comes the desire to drink copious amounts of tea.  A bit ago my bestie Mia gave me some of the most amazing teas ever. Well I ran out so had to reorder and of course try out some new to me blends.  Let me tell you this tea company is the best!  The company is Oregon Tea Traders and they are based in Eugene.  I love that I am supporting a local Oregon company.  Check these out.  Notice the one called Oregon Rain!  Oh also notice those cute turkeys that I found at a local charity shop.  I love vintage turkeys and nab them whenever I see them!

IMG_1783

With the return of my knitting mojo I have been busy.  When I was in Nevada, my sweet Emmy asked if I would take her dolly home and dress it.  I couldn’t say no.  This is the same outfit as I knitted for my momma a bit over a year ago right before she passed away.  I could hardly bring myself to even look at those patterns or kits for a year.  But knowing the pleasure that Emmy would get from the dolly and knowing my momma was smiling down on me as I knit it helped.  I will make some additional seasonal outfits. These patterns are from Mary Maxim.  My mom loved Mary Maxim and would pour over the catalog. Over the years she has knitted pretty much every sweater Mary Maxim had that featured color work patterns and she knitted probably close to 100 of their color work stocking patterns.  All of kids and the grands have benefitted from her prolific knitting skills!

fullsizeoutput_1cfd

I also completed the shawl.  It blocked out so beautifully!  I have to say I loved this pattern!  It is Wildes Meer from Voolenvine.  It was so intuitive and the directions were clear and easy to follow.  Just a bit over a year ago I didn’t think I could knit lace and in the ensuing year I have made numerous lacy shawls.  This shawl was my first dip into applied border and I loved the look it can give!  I am sure I will knit this pattern again.

fullsizeoutput_1cffIMG_1786

When I was in Nevada I took some of my yarn for Becca to dig through.  She spotted this hand dyed worsted weight from Knitted Wit and wanted a baby sweater for Mimi.  It has been awhile since I have knit a baby garment but feeling so successful after the shawl I cast it on.  I am loving this knit as well.  Worsted knits up so fast and looks so lovely.  I did question her choice of color as I wanted a nice girly pink, but she loved this turquoise and so turquoise it is.

IMG_1787

I have a confession to make, I have already turned on the Christmas music!  I usually wait until mid November, but heck the season is soooo short and I just adore Christmas music.  I especially like jazzy Christmas.  I also plan on decorating earlier as well.  As I get older and pass into the next stage of life’s journey, I realize that life passes very quickly so it is imperative to enjoy every minute.  If I love Christmas music then I can darn well listen to it all year!!  My mom loved Christmas music and had a lovely collection of records. They would come out, if I recall, in early November as well and as she got older she also listened to it when she wanted; no matter the season!!  I usually prefer silence and rarely having any music playing, but if there is to be music it will be Christmas or soft piano and classical.  That is my HSP empathic nature.

And now I must back to my last research paper for this term. I have one week left in the course, but am determined to complete this paper before I being the new job on Monday. Although it is never a joy to write papers, I love doing research and if your research is complete the papers almost (almost I say not completely lol) write themselves.  So off it is to shift gears and put on my scholar cap.

Be Bliss filled,

Patricia