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 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