Oh my, but we are learning an entirely new vocabulary as this current madness continues to impact our lives. I pray this finds all of you safe and well. Does your heart just hurt from the pain and suffering? As an empath, the pain is often unbearable and I find that tears come unexpectedly at any moment. Yet I take comfort in knowing that this too shall pass and that God is always in charge no matter how out of control life appears. But oh how my heart hurts for humanity….
So many changes as we face this. I started by doing grocery pick up but now do only delivery service (instacart allows you to add a tip right into the purchase…please everyone tip very generously as these are the people who are keeping us safe!). Imagine my delight when I got a full grocery order after weeks of bits of this and that! It was like Christmas! Silly thing to be excited over food and drives home how extremely blessed we are…let’s never ever forget that!! It feels so very very selfish to delight in these things when so many many are going without or losing loved ones and my heart battles with all my own blessings while others are not so fortunate.
It is so important now to be mindful of how very blessed we are and express our gratitude by doing good and being kind. I am so excited to see the increase in kindness and sharing through the on line neighborhood groups. If a need is shared, so many come forward to help out. I honestly believe most people are good and decent. We are certainly seeing the best and sadly but less often the worst in others in this crisis!
As I count my blessings, of course my dear family is always first. My children and grands, my spouse, my siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and on that close list goes. I pray for their safety and good health. It is so hard knowing we will be unable to visit for an extended period. But we have such marvelous technology today that allows me to be right in the living room in Ireland visiting with my loves, or down in Nevada, or in California. Isn’t it a marvel and isn’t it such a wonderful blessing!
Here on the home front we are doing well. Sheltered in and staying safe. The hubby is on extended leave until his organization gets their shiit together and puts protocols in place for safety. The doggies love all this home time with us! Sweet Koda has found his place in the pack and fits in so easily. He is such a sweet cuddle bug and is all boxer with the beaning and boxing! Like my sweet piggy, he never leaves my side and just follows me around the house.
My little Misha is like a cat. She dictates when she wants attention and is very independent. But what a sweet gentle soul she is. I couldn’t love her more!
With this time on hand, we got busy preparing the garden beds. Unfortunately nothing will grow out back with all the shade…..gggrrrrrr! So pretty or not, the beds came round to the front. I had already done this before the virus hit, and now I can just claim it is my victory garden. Short on looks, but long on value and purpose! I did put a few seeds into some growing soil and my little baby basil are popping up.
After a good start, on came the endless weeks of rain. The PNW is green for a reason and that is lots and lots of rain! I got in a goodly amount of herbs into pots before the rains hit so that was good!
She may be unsightly, but she is practical and in the coming year we can improve the beds and make it proper and attractive. Oh just look at that dreary weather…
I have been doing all I can to boost our immune systems and keep us healthy. I am running my diffusers and keeping the doors open as much as possible. I am huge on fresh air for health.
Remember the art pieces I shared last time from Elizabeth and Charlotte sent all the way from Ireland? Well I just happened to have perfect fitting frames. Sometimes it pays to be a packrat and serious thrifter. Just look how lovely they both look all framed and displayed!
I will eventually get a different frame for the avocado, but I wanted to get it on the wall so for now it is in a rather frilly frame.
The clock above is one identical to the one my grandma stitched and is still hanging out at the ranch house where I grew up. When I found an identical one I knew it had to come home with me. My grandma was a prolific needleworker and also did a fair amount of crochet. My maternal grandma was a truly gifted seamstress and knitter who often designed her own patterns and my mom was all of these! How blessed was I to come from a long line of talented women!
Being tucked away at home (I never like to stay stuck at home as that doesn’t acknowledge how blessed and fortunate I am to have a home and to be able to shelter safely in place) I have turned my mind to all my lovely collections. It is amazing how many many lovely items I have been able to collect over the years. It is rare that I pay over $10 or $20 for anything. Look at all these lovelies. I enjoy my collections and I think that is so very important. To me they are beauty to the eye and food for my soul. They all bring back memories as many are passed down or gifted to me and many others remind me of loved ones or my childhood.
Join me as I take you on a little tour of a some of my collections.
The Blue Boy and Pinky are needle point that I found at a yard sale. They remind me of my childhood home as mom had a framed set hanging on the front room wall. I used to love looking at them and it was the beginning of my love for the great masters and museums. They bring back those memories and make me happy just glancing at them.
This Pulaski hutch has a story too. I was following it on the FB market place and the price was coming down so I grabbed it. I had no idea of the size until I went to pick it up. I just barely fit into the backend of my Atlas…and that sucker is huge. But we got it in and oh do I love it. I often light it in the evenings while relaxing in the front room. It is glorious and so beautiful!
Tucked on the bottom is a blue button can that I got from my mom years and years ago. It is still filled with some treasured sewing items that she had in it when she gave it to me. It may only be an old tin candy container, but to me it is filled with so many many childhood memories. The pink fluted bowl was a wedding gift to my parents. Many of the baskets belonged to my mom. She cherished her baskets and how we all delighted in adding to her collection!
Oh sweet sweet Hummels! This was a collection by chance. See my daughters will tell you, “never tell mom that you collect something as she will find you the mother of all collections”. LOL. Well that is so very true. Erica my middle had a few Hummels she collected on her trips to Germany way back when she was barely an adult. She loved the darling little figurines and, well I found my first two by chance at an estate sale. Then she came visiting and we found a few more and she let slip how much she loved them….uuuhhhh ohhhh….and the race was on. Maybe I have taken it a bit too far? But oh I have also fallen in love with the sweet little faces and since they are basically giving them away anymore….well what can one do but take them home. This entire collection will eventually find its way to her home in California. Until then, I do really enjoy the darling little figurines. They capture such innocence and joy. I have so many favorites in the collection I cannot possibly chose a favorite!
Sweet Koda boy just had to be in the picture. He is my little shadow….
The little tea set was a gift from Erica from one of her trips to Germany. Aren’t the little Friars just too much?! I spy a little Koda eye….
Teacups and other lovelies. There are some pieces from moms wedding and cups and saucers from my both my grandmas. I have many more tea cups, but I did narrow down this collection and started using some of the others. This hutch…oh this hutch…be still my heart. This was the beauty that I got over a year ago at an estate sale for peanuts. It has a drop down drawer with a desk with little slots. It is magnificent!
And lastly my milk glass. Now this is one collection that I do have too much of. I have more boxes packed away including plates, cups, pitcher, vases…crazy huh? This another collection that just rather evolved. My Grandma collected milk glass and I always admired it when I went to her house. When she moved to a retirement community I was too young to have thought to ask for a piece and it was all given away. Unknown to me, I was pregnant with my youngest when my beloved Grandma passed away. Forward to said daughter was 8 and at a yard sale and she saw her first piece of milk glass and fell in love. So we started collecting pieces. Mind you this daughter reminds me of her great grandma, she has the same exact laugh and mannerisms. How fitting that she would love milk glass. And again this collection is housed with me until her children are older and she is in a home large enough for this hutch and the collection. My favorites are the hand painted Fenton pieces. I have a few pieces of the yellow vaseline colored milk glass as well. Again these pieces were all mostly $5 or less.
I hope you have enjoying seeing some of my collections as much as I have enjoyed sharing them. I also have a lovely collection of kaleidoscopes and my sweet teddies that are perched aound my front room.
I have also been keeping busy with jigsaw puzzles. I read that they are having a run on puzzles during the stay at home orders. Luckily I have a huge stock of used puzzles I have collected! My favorites are still the Wysocki ones! I also do my handiwork; knitting, stitching, sewing. And now the studies are keeping me occupied once again. The days flow gently one into another. When I feel the fear rising I reach for my rosary or practice one of the positive psychological interventions that are so very helpful. Let me share as perhaps they can be helpful to you as well.
Savoring experiences can help one grow in positivity. According to research by Bryant and Veroff savoring consist of three time-orientations and four savoring processes. Below is a chart that shows these with prompts and examples
|The past||reminiscing||Think of a time when you felt total happiness.||Reflecting on a time in the past and reliving the positive emotions of that time.|
|The present||savoring the moment||How are you feeling right now at this moment.||Being mindful in the moment and pausing to savor those feelings.|
|The future||anticipating||What is something that you are looking forward to with great joy and anticipation.||The positive emotions that come with the anticipation of an event in the future.|
|Thanksgiving||gratitude||Understanding blessings that are bestowed daily by others and the universe.|
|Basking||pride||Acknowledging a job well done or excelling at a task.|
|Marvelling||awe||Realizing the wonder of the moment, realizing how infinate the world is and the sheer beauty of nature.|
|Luxuriating||physical pleasure||Feeling deep feelings of joy, pleasure, happiness.|
How this works is you use a prompt from the time-orientation and allow yourself to really engage deeply in the experience. An example is a time when I felt completely secure and loved. As a child several of my siblings and I came down with the mumps simutaneously. My mom fashioned rather a hospital ward in the living room and we all laid sick a bed while she was like a mother hen attending to our physical needs while comforting us with a cool hand on our brow, fluffed up pillows, and words of comfort. I remember lying in that fever induced state hearing her humming as she tended to the chores of farm wife with a family of 8. My father would come in at the end of the day and tease each of us about our chipmunk faces while lying a tender yet weather hand on our brows. The feelings of love, of safety, and of believing that the universe consisted only of my siblings, my father, and my adoring mother were complete. My mother, her cool hand on my brow and the sound of her joyful humming as she went about her work are still etched deeply in my soul.
How this memory relates to the four savoring process is that it brings feelings of gratitude and physical pleasure. In recreating this memory I internalize these positive feelings and my positivity grows. I am savoring these feelings and that savoring last for hours as I go about my day to day duties and chores.
And now dears, I must off and work on a paper that unfortunately isn’t going to write itself…
Sending many hugs and blessings!