Oh Ireland how you captured my heart!

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Oh my!  Where to start!  Ireland was marvelous; everything I dreamed it would be and more. I had expected Wales, why I do not know since I was right on the Atlantic so should have expected a coastal environment. But it was all wonderful.  The Atlantic was so warm, and the weather!!  Erica hated the rain and cool temps, but I reveled in them!!  It is my type of weather!! The Irish people were so very warm and welcoming!  The slower pace of life, the clean fresh food, the inclusiveness and focus on things that matter, the feeling of safety!  I could go on and on…..just being surrounded by such beauty day in and out!  But mostly seeing Christina and the grands!!!  They are all flourishing in this beautiful green land of peace and plenty.  Oh the grand time we had. Of course we did major thrift shopping.  Ireland has amazing thrift shops and the prices can’t be beat.  I also got in lots of sight seeing and wandering through beautiful holy ruins, danced my feet off to lovely Irish music, had my fill of the Guinness, and played in the Atlantic Ocean.  Bill cooked the most ahhmazing dinners nightly….omg amazing! The quality of the foods, all fresh and local, was a thing of beauty indeed!! The local grocer visited weekly in his van filled with staples and extras…..loved that!!  The tea and biscuits, crisps and omg the breads!!  Last time I visited France and the UK (sadly 20 years ago), I swore I would never return to the USA, but well that was a dream…..  But now, now living in a place of beauty, peace, and plenty is not such a dream but a clear possibility.  So I flew home knowing that this is one dream I can fulfill in a few years time.

I want this post all positive, but it is hard not to contrast the mess we have here with the beauty, peace, and prosperity that so many other nations enjoy.  Clean food, clean air, a collective spirit, a slow pace that focuses on humanity not profits.  I returned to a country that had just had one of the largest mass shootings (well there were numerous), a community caught up in a gang war with multiple drive by shootings, and a citizenship that has lost its soul.  Toxic water (blue green algae), toxic air, poisoned food sources, a crazed gun culture, and the USA work ethic that doesn’t promote mental health and the need for reasonable work hours and vacations. Sigh….I won’t even mention the narcissistic evil thing occupying the White House and his enablers.  I will hold Ireland in my heart (and plan my next trip).  I will keep the Irish spirit that I felt so deeply from the people as my strength.

Yes Ireland, you have captured my heart!

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 



Doodling with my Doodlebug

Last week my eldest grandchild flew in to spend the summer with us.  It has been so much fun sharing all our favorite places and activities with her!  It has been so long since I had seen her (and too many of my other grands too….hear that Chrissy!!!).  I was so excited to share all my favorite places,with her!  

Since we were already in Portland we did some exploring.  We always park out and use the Max to ride into downtown. 

We stopped off in old town Portland to enjoy the myriad unique shops that it is known for. Here are a few we particularly loved. 

Red Monkey store front features a wrought iron door locked tight and you must ring the bell to be let in. Specializing in leather goods it is filled with unique t-shirts and other oddities!  Check them out at http://www.redmonkeydesigns.com. 

They even had a custom bike in the shop. The hubby liked that. 

Doodle loves antique and curiosity shops so we visited a few.  Porch Light http://www.porchlightshop.com was fun and filled with unique items made from old and outcast items. One of my favorites was old book covers spiral bound to blank pages for journals. For fun and frivolity Eden: A Garden of Opulent Curiosities. http://www.edenportland.com is filled with treasures to dress up yourself and your home.  

Totally fun!  One of the things I adore about Portland is the curiosities you see just walking down the street:

Doodle is like me when it comes to bargains.  Look at the awesome boots she found at Goodwill. She needs gear for the Harley!

We also found a great leather coat for peanuts!  Now she’s set to do some serious riding with her gramps.  

Next day was perfect to head to our favorite place….the Seaside!

Doodle and Bruno hit it right off!

Little Cinny has finally recovered from the loss of her sister.  She has bonded with Bruno and he has sparked a return to play and happiness in her.  I am so grateful.  But my heart still aches with emptiness….

Doodle loves the seaside as much as we do!  There will be many trips that way. Like me, she can’t stay out of the water!!

 

When Jimmy got some free time he transformed Bruno’s man crate. Now Bruno is also a Harley fan.  I think he did an amazing job!!

I have so many plans for Doodles visit.  She has made a perfect yard sale partner and we are serious yard sale addicts!  We go to conquer and do we ever!!  She has also been volunteering at work too, and like my Bella, the residents love her!!

Doodle makes these awesome stop motion movies. Amazing!  Here is the one she did for my Holly. Yeah it will have you crying. Still can’t watch it without sobbing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYeGXtUFz30

Btw: she would love it if you would leave a comment!  


I adore summer as it means the kids and grands will all come visit!!  I just love sharing all my favorite places with them!!  Hear that girls?  Get over here!!!  

Joyfully,

Patricia 

BREAKFAST, BOOKS, AND BUMMIN AROUND….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next morning we headed to Colville Street Patesserie.

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Check out these goodies!!  YUMMMMMY….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On my list to read:

Three Philippa Gregory novels:

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Boleyn Inheritance

The Other Queen

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

I also have on my list:

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

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

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

That should keep me busy for a bit.

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

Happy Haunting…it is almost Halloween after all!!

Patricia