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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Lovely, Lovely Rain

I am most definitely a PNW girl.  I love the cloudy rainy days.  They both comfort and invigorate me.  When I lived on the east side of the state, by the time summer was over and months without a drop of rain, I was craving the cool comfort of a rainy day.  This love of cool rainy weather is one of the many reasons I loved Ireland.  While there, people kept apologizing for the weather and I kept repeating….this is my type of weather!   This morning I awoke to the sounds of rain beating on the roof and running down the gutters to splash loudly on the gratings.  It was such music to my ears and I hoped out of bed to throw open the doors and windows so I could revel in the sound.  My silly boxer babies don’t like it so much and act like they may very well melt if they get too wet.  Silly babies.

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It has been a glorious week of being home and just relaxing.  This week I tackled the Autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving decor.  Oh dear me I had 14 boxes full!  Christina had left her decor when she moved off to Ireland, and add that to my own holiday obsession, and well….14 storage boxes is the result!

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It took a few days, but I sorted through it and got it down to 7 boxes, which I think is pretty amazing.  Now to just get the Autumn decor put out before it is time to switch to Halloween decor!

Once I got those boxes sorted, I was ready to begin the Herculean task of tackling the storage area above the garage.  It has become a catch all for everything and there was nary an empty spot what with all the flotsam and jetsam that had landed there.  Down came box after box of junk, enough for two trips to the thrift shop for drop off!  I still have the task of going through all the cardboard boxes of items and getting them into storage boxes, but the majority of just unnecessary junk is gone.  That also meant I could finally get the boxes out of my guest room and start making it back into a guest room where guests are not just sleeping amongst boxes.  I do love organizing, it is in my blood. An organized environment means a peaceful environment and is necessary for an organized mind in my world.  I don’t do chaos in my home life.  Many people can manage in a storm of clutter, some even thrive in that environment.  Me, I just remain unsettled until I have organized clutter.  If one must have clutter, then it must be organized clutter.

I also spent some time in my studies.  I just love the placement of my desk and the view out my window.  One nice lovely glorious hydrangea blossom is pushed up against the window.  So beautiful in its perfection!  Notice my little pencil cup that states “Time and Tide wait for no man.”  My dad used to say this all the time.  The cup has a little house and tree on the other side.  It is Devon Ware Motto Ware from England and just the sweetest thing.

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My knitting bug has finally returned and I picked up the shawl I have been working on for my bestie Mia.  You can just see the lace pattern beginning to take shape.  I love this pattern, it has been one of the most user-friendly patterns I have ever knit.  It knits up fast and yet offers enough of a challenge to hold your interest.  I am ready to add on the applied border, a new to me technique.  If you love knitting, you must catch the podcast that the designer of this pattern, Kristin, records weekly.  Kristin is the genius behind Voolenvine yarns.  I adore her hand dyed yarns and her podcast!!  For those who do not knit, this may look like a mess now, but it will block out to look like the picture.

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While in Ireland, I found some lovely wool at a charity shop and knew it was just the thing for a tea cozy.  This is a little pattern I designed my self, simple yet lovely to keep your tea warm.

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In the evenings when I knit I watch Brit TV.  I just cannot tolerate violence in programing and it seems 99.9% of US programs have never ending graphic violence. Not my cuppa.  Yet, I love a good mystery and detective story.  I love how Brit TV tells a great story but does not feel the need to provide unnecessary violence and graphic detailed shots.  I have been hooked on foreign shows for over 20 years.  I also love how their actors look like real people, not surgically enhanced replicas  of each other.  It is a rare occasion when I watch anything from the US.  Currently I am rewatching Midsummer Murders. I adore that program and coming back to it after 3 years is like watching it anew.  There are just too many wonderful shows on Acorn and BritBox!  And I cannot wait to see the Downton Abby movie!!  Nothing more cozy than knitting, a cuppa, and viewing the gorgeous British country side as your favorite detective solves yet another mystery.

With the rains upon us and the cooler weather, I lit up the little turf burner I brought home from Ireland. The house was filled with the smell of a turf fire and it brought up all the cozy memories of sitting in front of the turf fire knitting and visiting.  Oh how I do miss lovely lovely Ireland!

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And now I must off to my task for today.  With this time off, I am busy tackling all those things left undone.  Today is the sewing room…it has become a catch all for this and that. Time to clear it out.

Happy Autumn!

Patricia

 

A Lovely Day Trip

It had been so long since we had headed out to visit the ocean. I love living an hour away, but time seemed to just pass so quickly it had been months since the last trip. Although it was raining, it was still perfect in every way….isn’t the seaside always perfect?!  The doggies just love running free on the beach!

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While strolling along, I picked up some stones that have that smooth just right feeling for holding in your hand.  I will add them to my Altar of Sacred Things.

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All too soon the rain began to pour and we had to make a dash for the car.  I am not good at running in deep sand and ended up soaked to the skin!  A nice hot Chai Tea for the trip home helped take away the chill.

Home and a bit of play with the oils. A few months back I ordered roller bottles with gemstone rollers.  I also ordered the oil recipes and stickers for chakra oils. I decided there was no time like the present to mix them up.  I am in love with these!  They also smell heavenly!  I need to make another set as I have stickers enough and just need to purchase a few more of the gemstone roller bottles.

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After the beach day, I had caught a chill so took a stay abed day at home.  By early evening I was feeling a bit better so decided to process a box of tomatoes that I had been given.  Spaghetti sauce it was. It will simmer overnight (I will transfer it to the crock pot) and be ready tomorrow.  Much will go into the freezer.  It has been so long since I have done any big batch cooking, it was quite enjoyable.  And the house smells lovely!

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The other day I was out scouting around at yard sales and thrift shops and I came across this beauty for $5.  It was just too much of a steal to pass up…right?!  The top needs refinishing and I cannot decide if I want to paint it or refinish it.  I love the claw feet with the gold covers.  It is Duncan Phyfe style and made by the Coombe Furniture Company of Ontario, Canada.  Known for quality furniture, the company made the furnishing for the Canadian Government House in England, the MPPs chairs in Parliament, and the Queen’s suite when she visited Charlottetown.  It closed doors in 1972.  Such a lovely bit of history!!

Sadly what has been missing from my blog and that I have just been in a slump over is my knitting.  I have made a few dish cloths and started on a tea cozy with some lovely yarn I found at a charity shop in Ireland, but my knitting mojo is just gone.  I’m not stressing as I know it will return in due time.  But I have so many many things I need to get completed!  I have found that my hobbies do wax and wane.  I will go through periods where I sew and do needle crafting non stop, then just feel a slump.  Working takes such a large amount of one’s day and energy that is does impact my crafting time….sigh…

Yesterday I got happy, happy news!  I received an offer for an exciting job a week ago.  This field I am in is beyond and Oregon, due to lack of enough regulatory oversight and most all companies being for profit, is down right awful.  Seriously, I would not put my own parents into an assisted living in the state of Oregon and I am an administrator!  Anyway, it is still in my own field but working for a non-profit and helping to facilitate a remodel and the addition of a MC.  I start in October as I gave the customary months notice yesterday….and as I prayed…my current company is just paying me out!  That leaves me almost four weeks of glorious wonderful time off to just be!  I do have a heavy school schedule so that will keep me busy, but oh happy, happy day!

And speaking of school work….off  I must to work on just that!

Happy, happy day,

Patricia

Settling Back In

It has several few weeks since the grand Ireland trip and I am slowly settling back in. However, there was not much time for settling as right on the heels of Ireland came a trip to Monterey for my PhD residency conference. Erica and I always travel together and this time we took a side trip to Sacramento on the way there to get Sebastians hands checked on. It has been a year and half post burn and he is doing amazing.  He will be facing an operation to correct one graph that has left his finger bent, but he has full function and feeling in both hands!  A blessing indeed!

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While I always enjoy time with my Saybrook peers and all the deep learning, connecting, and growing that takes place, this year I really just wanted to be home.  I am sure it was due to recently being away to Ireland and being that I am the biggest homebody EVER!  I did have an amazing time though.  This is the last RC in Monterey as Saybrook has moved campus to San Diego….so in January San Diego it will be.

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In my last blog I didn’t share any of the treasures I brought back home from my trip.  I was completely in love with the Atlantic and brought back a few shells and rocks to add to my Altar of Sacred Things.

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So very very touristy, but who can pass up a thatched cottage turf burner?  I really knew nothing about turf and was surprised at the smell.  You can smell the oil in it as it burns.  It puts out a great deal of heat, as well!  We had a turf fire most nights I was there to take the chill off!

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Everyone needs to return with a piece of Belleek when they visit Ireland.  I found this lovely vase for a steal at a charity shop in one of the nearby villages.

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This little leprechaun is from Shamrock Pottery.  He is such a cute little guy and is set to bring the luck o the Irish to my home.  He was also one of a pair I found at a charity shop.

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While in one charity shop I saw this darling Grandma cup.  Imagine my delight when we got back to Christina’s and Erica handed me a bag with the cup inside!  I will treasure it!! I adore anything that says grandma on it!!

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I have long wanted a tree of life necklace intertwined with Chakra stones.  This was another gift from Erica!  I love it and only take it off to sleep!!

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I love Celtic crosses…absolutely love them.  This little cross is made from bog turf and found a perfect home on my Altar of Sacred Things.

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County Mayo does not raise sheep for yarn, but for food source.  Yet I wanted to bring home a bit of yarny goodness and found these lovelies at a local needlework shop.

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These are just a few of the goodies I returned with.  But best of all was the memories I returned with!  Ireland was so very lovely and I cannot wait to return!!

Back into the fray, life continues on.  Work has been a bit of a pill and I determined to once again accept another opportunity.  It is an exciting change and I look forward to it.  The change will not take place until early next month and at that time I will share more.  This term of my PhD program has me busy as ever.  Always weekly assignments due as well as reviews and research papers…..never a dull moment.  But the learning….oh the lovely lovely learning!  I am thinking about a change of course however.  Ayurveda Medicine (my summer course) resonated so deeply with me.  I found it to be a holistic common sense approach to overall wellness….including all spokes on the wellness wheel.  I am considering studying to become a practitioner.  I am not certain yet, but it keeps coming up as something of such value to my life.  Hmmmm just don’t know….

I have been reeling with the news that several of my siblings have been stricken with a genetic disease that we didn’t even know existed until recently. hATTR Amyliodosis is a disease in which abnormal proteins build up in tissue (in our case, most often the heart).  There is no cure and only a few FDA approved treatment drugs.  My older brother has been approved for a controlled trial, my younger brother was just diagnosed, as was my older sister.  All siblings are being tested for the gene and I am awaiting the test.  It is unsettling to say the least.  I waiver between not wanting to know and yet knowing I must be tested for the sake of my own children and grandchildren.  It is fatal, but more and more drugs are being developed and tested and if identified early progression can be halted. I know that only God is in control and trust that all will be well.  Thankfully I have not exhibited any of the symptoms.

As I contemplate this test and the impact it could have on my life, I realize the importance of gratitude and counting one’s blessings and I have a myriad of blessings indeed!

And now, there are a bevy of estate sales out there calling my name!

Blessings abound,

Patricia

 

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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!!

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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

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I was able to watch Trinity play a tennis match!

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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!!

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

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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!

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Look at these awesome goodies!  Those Ghastlies!!

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Such a wonderful life!

What a glorious few months it has been!  Becca and grands arrived in late January and stayed on for an extended visit until March!  It was so wonderful!!  We stayed incredibly busy and accomplished so much!  It was 5 absolutely perfectly glorious weeks!!

First up we headed to Stash in Corvallis for a pop up show by The Lemonade Shop!  Of course we both came away with some lovely skeins!

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After seeing all that loveliness we decided to play with the dyes ourselves.  Bella had been wanting to try her hand at dyeing and I am a firm believer in encouraging the creative process!!

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Look at this loveliness!  Bella dyed the first two on the left!  She did an amazing job!

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The next step was to wind all that beauty so we could cast on!

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Our final endeavors!  I’m very much in love!!

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We are all tea drinkers and decided we must put in an order to Davids Tea.  So excited to receive our package!!

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With Davids we must use the good tea cups and have a formal tea sit down.  Of course they were delicious and it was great fun trying out so many blends!

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In all that business the littles had a grand time building forts and playing!  This little one is just as sweet as a honey pot!!

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Two adorable sweet peas!!

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We were fortunate enough that Cozy in Eugene was having a StevenBe Trunk show.  Of course we had to take him one of our bags!  Had such a great time and of course more yarny purchases.  We both got supplies and whipped up hats using a bulky combined with a mohair.  We had both sworn off mohair, but you cannot meet StevenBe and not give in to mohair and sparkles!!

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I had always given my girls free rein with fabric and the sewing machine.  While Becca was visiting I redid my sewing room as Matt was kind enough to put together Ikea type shelving for the room.  Bella was more than happy to have my cast offs and I told her the sewing machine is all yours.  With some simple guidance from me she went to town and sewed up gifts for her sibs and mom.  She definitely inherited the crafty gene!!

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Along with our busy gab abouts we also found lots of knitting time.  Obviously we had to cast on those newly dyed yarns…right?  But first I finished Emmy’s vest which I started with another of my earlier hand dyed yarns.  I’m very pleased with it and she loved it!  This is a vest pattern from the book Swoon by Carrie Bostwick Hoge.  It was a fun, fast, and easy knit.

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Then socks on my newest dyed which I named Pretty on the Outside.  I adore just a splash of color here and there.  I cannot stand a heavy variegated look so tend to stay away from them when hand dyeing.

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I also did up a quick fingerless mitt from my Such a Ghastly Woman.  This yarn just will not photo true to color.  It is mauve with black and grey yet looks so pinky in the photos!

IMG_5472This is the Multnomah shawl on my Westside hand dyed.  I wanted to capture the colors of the PNW so did a mix of browns, rusts, and spruce on a gray base.  I adore how this is knitting up.  I recently dyed an Eastside which I will share on another blog.

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Believe it or not there are a few other projects I cast on but did not get photoed.  I will include those next time.  I have nearly completed a darling deer vest for Maddox as when he saw all the dyeing and knitting and Emmy’s vest he wanted one for himself.  What else could a grandma do but cast one on!!

All too soon it was time for Becca to head home.  Oh how quiet and sad was the house when they left.  But with our etsy business I had little time to dwell on my sadness and had to jump back into bag making!  Oh how I love my sewing room with all the neat new shelving!  It is still not totally organized and I promise photos after it that is completed!

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Becca went home in a bit of a snow storm over the pass and within the next few days we also welcomed snow in March no less!!  But it quickly cleared up and the rains returned.

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And now life is back to the usual routine.  I am once again staying home for a period of time which I absolutely adore!  I love being domestic and am an incredible homebody.  I love the freedom not working gives me to have the grands over for extended stays which will commence again this summer.  To me heaven is waking each morning to have an entire glorious day ahead with infinite possibilities not beholden to any outside schedule and all the dysfunctional crap that seems to have taken over our work environments.

Next on the agenda I have booked train tickets to visit Erica and grands and finally see my newest grand!  Oh yes I am positively living the life of Riley as my dear Grandmother used to always say!!

Happy March!!

Patrica

Closing Out The Year

This has been a difficult holiday season with losing my Cinny.  I was still mourning my Holly. Yet I know that as long as I give my heart to boxers, that time will always be too short.  Boxers have a shorter life span than many other breeds; nine years is a good lifespan. But I would never ever give up the love that this breed so freely gives.  I will always be a boxer girl.  It has been tough on Bruno and I have been in touch with NW Boxer Rescue to find him a new companion and another sweet love for us.  I love this rescue group! I was sorely tempted when Kim let me know they had some puppies; after several days of waivering I knew that at this time I could not really meet a puppy’s needs.  So I am still waiting for the right fur baby for our home. I leave it in the hands of the rescue group to find the best fit for Bruno, Jimmy, and me.  

Before losing Cinny we kept busy preparing for Christmas. In November I took five days off work.  It was glorious!  I kept so busy and accomplished so much!   Jimmy had a few days off and we concentrated on finishing the last of our shopping. We did a part of our shopping at Portland’s Saturday Market. Every time we head into the city we try to find new places to explore.  It is such an amazing city. 

I also decorated the house, knitted, sewed, and played in the kitchen.

Infinity scarves are really fun, fast, and easy. I have made an additional two since these pictures were taken. With the hubs working swing shifts, my evenings consist of curling up with my sweet boxer babies, turning on my favorite Brit TV shows (a second watching of Foyles War is my current choice), and knitting away. I also pulled out one of those weaving contraptions I found this summer at yard sales. I was hooked, it is totally mindless yet turns out a great looking scarf.  All of these projects are from the bits and bobs of yarn I collected secondhand for pennies. 

You all know how much I love Pinterest. When I saw these chocolate spoons I just had to make some. I wanted a little flavor so used a chocolate orange and combined it with a Hershey bar. I found the spoons at Goodwill and Walmart. 

Got out for near daily walks. Always new places to explore at Minto-Brown Island.

One one of my last days off we headed to the beach. I am so grateful that we did.  Cinny was more active than usual as she ran and played. We never would have expected that within 72 hours a brain tumor would take her from us. Look at that happy face!

I received this in the mail from my sweet daughter after losing my Cinny.

How special is that!!  RIP my sweet Frassy and Munster. 

Here is another sweet gift I received in the mail. Every year for the past 7 or so, a dear friend Louella sends me a home made ornament. I treasure every one.  Louella also includes a goodie for the fur babies to. She has two handsome fur boy’s who like to be included in the giving. 

Aren’t those just too cute!! 

Inadvertently several years ago I started finding a focus word for each year. 2012 was balance as I learned to balance work/health/life. 2013 was adventure as I got married, left one job, moved states and started a new job. 2014 really did not have a word as it has been loss and imbalance again.  In perusing Pinterest I happened upon Susannah Conway susannahconway.com and her wonderful workshops.  I immediately signed up for this one

There is a facebook page where participants can share ideas and work together.  I love it!  

Her next workshop is

I am considering this one as well.  I am pretty confident I have my word and will sharing it after the first of the year.  

Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year!

Patricia

 

 

Family, Fun, and Movie Making

The past two weeks have been super busy. Lots of day trips, family coming to stay, and organizing and having a yard sale.  And also, sadly, my Doodle had to return home to prepare for back to school!  I sure miss the heck out of her!!!  House is way too quiet and poor ole Bruno is lost without her to curl up in bed with every morning. 

Since it was the last few weeks with Doodle we jam packed lots of fun in.  

We spent one day making a movie. I cannot believe her patience with this process.  We were 4 hours in the woods with thunder and lightening all around as she calmly took shot after shot to produce her newest stop motion.

It is amazing how stop motion movies are made. The time and patience that go into the making is amazing. Doodle is currently working on a series and has produced two episodes. You can watch them here 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKI03zYDHJ-V4pGkMpv9ulQ

Of course we had several more trips to the beach.  Usually we never venture further south than Newport, but we wanted to see some new sights and check out Sea Lion Caves.  I had not been there since I was a child and Jimmy and Doodle had never been there.  It was more commercialized than I remember, of course, but very well done with lots to grab your interest and a killer gift shop!  

We discovered an amazing beach on the way home!

Bruno and Cinny just love the beach!  Cinny acts like a puppy once she hits that sand.  The sheer joy that they exhibit spills over onto all of us!!  

We stopped at the cutest little cafe for lunch. They had the most awesome Japanese tea pots all over.  But what made them so sweet was inside each one was a note. What fun to open the pot and discover this note:

I was blessed to be there with two people I love dearly!!  Since Doodle had an upcoming birthday we ordered her a large piece of chocolate cake.

Check out all those umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. The owner makes them. 

At work we had an event to celebrate the dog days of summer. Doodle dressed Bruno up in Harley wear and dressed to match him. She won third place ribbon, losing out to two pocket dogs dressed in dresses.  Bruno would not hold still for a photo. 

It was a great event with dog rescue groups, a local vet, our humane society, and some therapy dogs. The residents loved it and that is what mattered!

All too soon Erica, my sister Anna, my momma, niece, nephew, and grandson showed up to take Doodle home. But they were able to stay a few nights and we squeezed in shopping, yard sales, and a trip to the beach. My momma loves the ocean and was out in that water with her walker!

While Doodle was here at every yard sale she was looking for things for her sibs. She had nice gifts for all of them all wrapped and ready to give. I am so proud of how giving she is!  When her brother, my sweet Jayse, came down with Erica to pick her up she was so excited for him to open his gift.  Jayse loved the building set and his cousin and him got busy building. They were so creative!!!

 A great time was had by all!  We stayed up late, ate too much junk, and talked a storm. When time to head home the car was so loaded there was little room for passengers!  As when those we love leave, the house was too quiet and lonely.  But they will be back soon and next week Chrissy is arriving with more grands!  Cannot wait!!

Living the dream,

Patricia