And just like that October arrives..

Boy Howdy, was I was ready to usher out September and welcome October.  September was a season of deep loss and struggle.  Although grief remains and the struggles continue, life has a way of just moving along in spite of how we may feel.  I find that there is solace in the ordinary and mundane as well as in continuing the seasonal rituals.  One such ritual is putting out my decor.  I enjoy immensely the process of decorating as each piece carries memories of past holiday seasons.  I did take a few of my decorations into work to cheer up our lobby and add a bit of color.  However, I am very happy with the results of my bits and bobs scattered here and there throughout the house.  Halloween has long been one of my favorite holidays to decorate for as the colors are very cheerful to me.  Pumpkin oranges, eggplant purples, butternut yellows, myriad shades of greens; all the lovely colors of the harvest!  I keep the diffuser running along with candles and a few scentsy burners to ensure every room is awash with the smells of the season.


With the return to work and putting in very long hours, my hobbies have taken quite a back seat.  I am lucky to get home before dark.  However, that will change as I get things stabilized and feel like I have a good grasp on the position.  Yet, I do not complain as I love going into work!  I have been able to pick up a bit of work on my socks in the evenings.  I am making my way down the heel of my second October sock.

I did cave and purchase a few more IG destash items.  But I am seriously stopping that now.  I have more than I can possibly ever use…..but in reality is that really a problem….it will all be there waiting for me when I retire and can sew all day every day!  I have really found myself drawn to all the sweet novelty prints that have come out in the past several years.  Some day I will use them for hexies and other little projects.  I do so enjoy just looking at them in all their sweetness.


I did take the time and sew up my little dollies dress.  I need to get her some hair and she is done.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this simple little doll and do want to get some more little holiday dolls sewn up and perhaps some animals as well.  This doll is from a pattern that was sold in my quilting shop years and years ago.  Every stitch reminded me of the joy I had running that shop and how much my mom was involved and the special times we spent together sewing when she would come visit.  It was not uncommon for us to stay up all night sewing and visiting.  Those days were so precious and I am grateful for the memories we made together.


Although I quit going to yard sales and swore to stop buying stuff, when I saw this chair on FB marketplace I caved.  I am a huge sucker for anything needlepoint and this chair is just so beautiful!  I now have two needlepoint chairs.  Oh how I love being surrounded by beautiful handiwork!  Of course my Teddies are already happy reclining in the chair.  I do love my Teddies and pick them up here and there when I find those special ones!


I did bring home some special pieces from my mom’s house.  I am just so entirely sentimental.  My sisters wanted to just keep the house as is with everything in it, but I insisted since I am so far away I needed a few mementos.  I brought home a few cherished baskets and so enjoy looking at them.  Mother loved her baskets and had a most gorgeous collection.  Because they remind me of her, I had actually started a small collection myself.  The collection is now complete with the addition of her baskets.  I will pass one on to each of my girls eventually.


Well, my school term is winding down and due to circumstances I did not sign up for a second term this winter.  I am relieved as with the new job and trying to keep up with my assignments it has been difficult.  I will hit it hard spring and summer term.  I just can’t believe how much I am enjoying this program and all that I am learning.  I was hesitant of pursuing a PhD as I thought I could never keep up with the work load.  But what I have found is that everything I learn has had such practical application and I have used the knowledge both at work and in my personal life.  One of the mottos of Saybrook is that it finds you at a time and place when you need this learning.  Nothing could be more true!

And now dear readers, I am going to pull out my knitting, curl up on the couch, put on some soft piano music and just relax.  It has been a long week and I am due for some self care and R&R.


Letting Go

The past several weeks have been extremely emotionally difficult.  Last Monday on my way to work I received a call from my sister that my mom had a stroke.  I rushed to my home town to be with her.  Thankfully I got there when she could still recognize and respond to me and before she slipped into a coma.  On Saturday she passed away.  Losing your mother is something that we are never prepared for; no matter her age.  With the loss of both parents, sibling relationships take on an even deeper meaning.  My oldest sister naturally slipped into the role of parent to the rest of us; although we are all quite old ourselves.  I am slowly shifting though memories and walking that path of grief.

It is the memories that are most dear.  I can never think of my mom without thinking of her amazing talent as a seamstress and knitter.  Her sewing machine has always had a permanent place in our home and has had years of heavy sewing.  It was purchased 65 years ago and is still running strong.  I learned to sew on this machine when I was in grade school and made the majority of my clothing on it throughout high school.  I love that my sisters, who will be the keeper of her home, desire to leave it up and just as it is.


These are the hands that provided so much comfort and taught me how to cook, sew, and knit.


This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom.  She was so happy, she loved my hubby.  It is hard to believe it was just one short year ago.  She loved her sweatshirts and has a a closetful that she received as gifts.  Someday they will be made into quilts and passed to the grands who gifted them to her.


I know as time goes on I will be able to get past the deep grief and truly treasure the precious memories; it is slow in coming as grief is always so raw.

During my mother’s last days, we had to make a quick run to Nevada due to another tragedy.  Even in the midst of all the grief, I did enjoy seeing the grands.  It is for the little ones that we carry on.  They are always a source of comfort and joy.  We are still reeling from this tragedy but praying that my daughter finds the strength to get past this and carry on.

My knitting mojo seriously just went away during this deeply emotional time.  I did finish the September socks for the sock KAL.  I do not despair, however, as I know it will return.  Knitting offers a sense of comfort and is meditative.  BTW I am not happy how one sock was variegated and the other stripped.  But it was how they knitted up and I am not going to knit a third sock so they will just have to be how they are.


After all the travel it was back to work and trying to find a sense of routine and normal.  It has been difficult and the aftermath of the tragedy in my middle daughter’s life continues to have seismic aftereffects.  But by taking one day at a time we will carry on.   Work has been my salvation as there is so much to be done there that my day is filled from the minute I step in the door.  I do look forward to going to work and enjoy my time spent there; that is a huge blessing.

I did get Halloween decor up and will share that on my next blog.  For now I must away and do some school work.  I struggled to keep up with the work load in all this grief and just only got back on track.



Back into the Fray We Go…

Comes the day and it is back to work for me once again.  I am actually quite excited about this job and look forward to going into work.  After such a long spell at a company that was anything but ethical and decent, it had been a difficult transition back into the field.  It helped to have a few stops along the way that were positive.  I am liking what I see with this company a lot.  But deeper is that I have changed myself.  The way in which I handle stress has changed.  I have adapted mind body practices that help me remain calm and deal with stress in a healthy manner.  I am eating healthier and walking nearly daily.  And of course it certainly helps to have a beautiful community and an awesome office.  I am very influenced by my surroundings so a beautiful environment helps considerably.

After one day on the job I was off to training for two.  Arrived home after two long, busy, and enjoyable days of orientation at my new company headquarters.  I met the loveliest people and just had the best time.  You know how sometimes you just seem to click with people and there seems to be synergy in a group.  That was how this group was, most of us just clicked and really had an amazing time together with the desire to keep in touch.  But I did get too little sleep as we stayed up way too late and then had long days of orientation.  But it was just a lovely time.  The hotel was beautiful as well with nice soft comfy beds and the puffiest ever pillows.

Days off arrived and what a perfectly gorgeous fall day; just right for heading out to see if there were any last minute estate sales.  As luck would have it, I actually happened upon 2.  One had nothing but the other had these adorable Hummels.  I have not seen these little friars before, but they are older Hummels with the markings that date them to pre-1955.  Little Brother Cadfael!  And I do love Brother Cadfael! (For those not familiar with Brother Cadfael is a fictional character by Ellis Peters mystery serious set in the 12th century Shrewsbury in Wales.  It was made into a series staring Derek Jacobi.  He is a Benedictine monk and herbalist.  It is amazing!)


I also chanced upon this adorable reindeer family just like the ones my mom gave to my girls when they were little.  Of course I had to grab them…right?!


Sweet little family sign.  I love the photo letters.


Found this for my garden along with some garden lights and tools.  I just love this and will hang it on the fence with my other goodies.


I also got a bit of fun squishy mail this week.  Now that I am back to work I should have much less time to spend on the IG destash pages!  But I did score some lovely fabrics and yarns from those destash pages!




Sadly, my knitting has taken a back seat with the travel and back to work this week.  But I did get the body of the penguin complete.  Next will be his little beak and wings.  He is going to be absolutely adorable.  Cannot wait for my Mary Maxim order to arrive with all my other kits and books.  Will be casting on the Thanksgiving doll outfit and the turkey asap!  However, I must must must finish my socks and keep up with my sock KAL!


I absolutely love this cooler weather, but my yard is looking pretty shabby.  Won’t be long and I will pull down all the decor furnishings and put them away until next spring.  I used to just leave everything out, but it just goes so quickly to wreck and ruin that I now put most things away into the shed.


These poor babies are once again adjusting to having me back and work and gone for a good part of the day.  It is nice that the hubby and I work different shifts so they have limited kennel time.  I do love my babies!


Well dears, that is about it for this week.  It seems that work will most certainly change how much I am able to play at home, but it is all good.  Life is made up of many seasons and one must adapt and carry on.



Welcome September!

Now begins the last week before I return to work at my new job.  I am excited and looking forward to it; but it has been nice to have this at home time.  I have gotten so much accomplished at home and also included some trips and family time.  It has been such a blessing.

Being the last week end of yard sales I was up and out early Friday morning with great anticipation of what I might just chance upon.  The fun of going to sales is that you never know what you might find.  It is amazing what people will put out in a sale..and often for pennies.  The trick is to avoid buying a lot of stuff you don’t need just because its there and its so inexpensive.  I have gotten much better at that but there are certain things I am just a sucker for such as pots and pans and toys.  I am always on the look out for items for my girls and grands as well.  They laugh about my madness, but always love the items I manage to find for them.  Well it was one of those days that was amazing.  Some days you just hit the jackpot!  Although there were few sales the ones that I hit were awesome.  First just on the end of my block I got all these Calico Critters, their house, furniture, and accessories.  And all for $20 which is amazing because the house alone are usually priced at $10.  What a deal…oh how I love toys and these are just the best!  One of the grands will love them.  Unfortunately they are all growing up so fast and it won’t be long and I will not have an excuse to buy toys….


Love love love doll houses and little furniture and accessories.

When I was about to give up I happened upon a sign and wow am I glad I stopped.  Check this out!!  Delonghi Nespresso Cappuccino and Latte machine; like new.  The price….$10…can you believe it.  They retail for over $300.  I had been looking for a Keurig machine for work but have wanted a Nespresso forever!  I ordered pods from Amazon and they will be here on Sunday.  Cannot wait to make up a latte!  Maybe I will even get some pumpkin spice syrup…


At this same sale I also got a pair of new in the box Dansko clogs!  They were only $35…amazing considering they run $150 new.  I have a black pair and needed a nice brown pair.


I also grabbed this little lantern for $1 at the same sale as it will be adorable hanging on the shed out back with the other lanterns I have collected.  However I think it looks darling with my Autumn decor as well!


I also got a huge heavy stainless steel fry pan with lid; Becca has been wanting one like mine forever.  They are the best!  And I got a few more toys and little bits and bobs.  All in all it was one of the best days ever.

Awoke to a beautiful and perfect fall day Sunday!  Put on a long sleeve T and threw open the windows and doors….absolute heaven!  After completing the weeks homework I engaged in some sewing play.  I love doll making and when I was browsing through my patterns I came across some old favorites from waaaayyyy back in the days when I had my quilt shop.  I pulled out Cinnamon Spice and decided I just had to make her.  I did add some  embrodiary detail to the apron and will add hair instead of using cloves.


Then it was outdoors to harvest some more herbs for drying and the last of my marigolds for the dye pot.  They smell heavenly!  I did start a pot of garbanzos and added copious amounts of herbs and spices.


Started up the dye pot with the coreopsis I had harvested and frozen plus the marigolds just harvested.  I expect a nice golden tone from these.


Since I had the dye pot on the stove I threw in two skeins of yarn; a sock and DK weight.  I love this color.  I did keep the dye bath for future dyeing projects as there was such an abundance of it.  I think it would make a beautiful sweater and may dye another sock weight to use for the body of a Sunset Highway.


As for knitting; I did finish up two socks but not a pair.  This will be September and Octobers sock for the KAL.  I must admit I am getting a bit burned out on sock knitting.  I love to knit socks, but being on a schedule is not so fun.  But I only have to finish these two pair and make two more pair to complete the KAL.  I do love KALs as they force me to accomplish projects I might very well otherwise let languish in my knitting bags.  The yarn for the blue/mauve/green sock is one that was dyed by my middle Erica.  I have been wanting to knit something in it for ages.  I love the color variations.


On late Sunday my Nespresso pods arrived from Amazon (don’t we all love how Amazon Prime includes Sunday delivery?!).  I brewed up a latte and oh my stars but it was wonderful.  The machine added hot frothy milk as the espresso was also filling the glass.  I am not disappointed in this yard sale find at all!  Since the pods have arrived I have been enjoying espressos too many time during the day!

This morning seemed like a good time to finally jump in and paint the bathroom.  Oh how I do not enjoy painting rooms; but it is a necessity.  I wanted a calmer more relaxing atmosphere in the guest bathroom and I am just so over the nasty brown/tan/whatever you call it that was put in all the houses of this era…yuck!  I completed it all except that corner above the tub/shower.  No matter how I have tried I just cannot reach it.  It will be left for the husband.  But I did go ahead and put up the decor.  Next I need to get a new shower curtain and rod…a trip to Home Goods should solve that problem.  But over all I am pleased with the outcome.  Notice that I added that large canvas of the path that I had in my entryway.  I like it much better on this wall in the bathroom.




Tomorrow I will head over to Condon for a few days with my mom.  I am looking forward to seeing her.  Then it will be home and off to work and the end of my free days again for awhile.

And now I must see to some school assignments.  Never a dull moment and I do enjoy it that way!

Happy September!!




Weekly musings

Just yesterday, while standing in line and waiting for an estate sale to open, the topic of how to get your orchids to rebloom came up.  It was a mixed camp with several who could and those who couldn’t.  I was taught that the trick to growing an orchid successfully was to never water it, but to add ice cubes periodically.  Since I switched to that method I have had total success with my orchids blooming repeatedly.  What I haven’t had success with is repotting an orchid, well actually I haven’t been brave enough to try yet.  But I am going to give it a try with the orchid I currently have once the blooms fall off.  So we will see how that goes.

Woke up this morning to the most wonderful overcast and cool day!  Such a relief after the heat.  The only thing that would make it nicer was if we had a bit of rain.  I miss the rain in the long sunny hot days of summer.  By the time the first rain arrives in the fall I am long past the cloudless sunny days.  With the cool weather, I headed out and began to cut back the overgrown raspberries and harvest a huge crop of herbs for drying.  Although I cannot seem to get a vegetable to grow, the herbs do splendidly.  Its rather silly that I grow so many as I just never seem to get around to harvesting them.  But this year I took the time and will dry and crush them.  I also deadheaded my coreopisis and put the spent blooms in the freezer until I am ready to mix up a dye batch.

Oh my stars, but I decided that since I had some time off before I head to my new job that it was time for a thorough cleaning and decluttering of closets and cupboards…so away I went.  I purged and cleared and organized and made it through all the bedroom closets, the linen cupboard, laundry room, both bathrooms, and the pantry before I totally pooped out.  What a job and it took most of the day…but what an accomplishment!  Next I tackled a bit of clean up in the sewing room; sorting out some bits here and there and tidying up.  It seems that clutter just always gets away from me.

Lastly I climbed up into the garage attic and organized the holiday decor and brought down all the boxes of Autumn decor.  It has been a few years since I went all out with decor and decided this was the year to do so again.  It takes a few days as it requires moving around furniture and boxing up current decor.  But with the start of the holiday seasons the decorating will go from Autumn to Halloween to Thanksgiving and into Christmas.  It is nice to be surrounded with all the decorations that I have so lovingly collected or made over the years.



It is amazing what one can accomplish in a few days if you put your mind to it!

Hoping to catch one last week end of yard and estate sales before the season ends. But I did catch a steal on the FB marketplace.  I nabbed these 6 older and large Hummels for $100 for all!  I have been hunting for the Stormy Weather piece and never saw it for less than $100 alone, so this is an absolute steal!!  The book was a wonderful surprise mail from my dear friend Wilma. It arrived at the perfect time; I found it in my mailbox on my return from placing my mother on hospice care.  It really is the little things and small acts of kindness that matter the most!


Due to my mom going onto hospice and her changing condition, I decided to skip my residency conference this term.  I will instead go up and spend a few more days with her before starting my job.  But that doesn’t stop the new term from starting! I have a heavy load this next 8 weeks with my next level research course added to the mix.  I am going into my second year so it is time to begin the process of my dissertation…and that is rather a scary thought!  But this journey has been so rewarding!  Every single thing I have learned in the Mind Body Medicine program has direct application to my personal life and betterment as well as to those I care for and work with in my field.  This term along with advanced research I am taking Mind Body Therapies and Practices.  I love that part of the course is personally engaging in practices and reflecting on their application. I have noted that it would have helped considerably to have had an undergrad class in A & P.  But I am learning the body physiology as I go along…although it is often a struggle for me.

Now is the time for longer walks in the cool air.  I just couldn’t bear those hot days and anything longer than a 30 minute walk was misery.  I don’t like heat at all and being out in it is not my cuppa in the least!  Now I feel like I can actually explore and extend my walks.  The dogs do much better in the cool weather as well.  I love discovering new neighborhoods and imagining living in those houses that just seem to pull at my heart strings.  You know the ones that just speak to you and are so perfectly in tune with your own ideals of what embodies a home.  It is the little things; a rambling garden full of cottage flowers, homey decor on porch, cozy window dressings, and of course a picket fence.  I adore the homes that the owners have utilized the yard area for veggies and fruit in lieu of an expanse of lawn.  It is not uncommon in this area to see front yards filled with raised beds chock full of veggies, fruit, and herbs and with fruit bearing trees surrounding the beds. I have not been brave enough to do that in my front yard yet.  But with the inability to grow in the back yard due to shade (even after spending a small fortune to trim back branches) this next year may indeed be the year I just take that leap.

This is one of my favorite gardens!


Today the husband and I went out to pick blackberries, but we were too late as they were all dried up.  So instead I suggested a run to Pier 1 for the newest harvest scents. I love their diffusers and at buy one get one 50% I couldn’t resist.


They also had a sale on candles so I grabbed 2.  I love the harvest scents so much and have been wanting to fill the house with the smell of spices.  And speaking of spices I rarely ever get lattes, but with all the cool weather and Autumn decor I just had to have a pumpkin spice latte.  It was no disappointment and I savored it over numerous hours.  As we were out we dumped a load at goodwill donation center.  My husband says I am a hoarder; and perhaps I am, but when the woman in front of us dropped off this canvas I said “hey I’ll buy that from you.”  She gave it to  I will remove it from the frame and set it up on a shelf at work or leave it framed and hang it in a hallway.


On the subject of fun and interesting finds; I found this silly monkey a few weeks back for .50.  I think he is just the cutest ever.  He will sit on my desk at work as a reminder to never take myself too serious and that life should be a huge part monkey business.


Not much new under knitting.  I have finished one of my September socks and then cast on a sock in a different yarn altogether and have it to the toe decrease already.  My cardigan and shawl are still languishing on needles.  I did cut out a cute doll that will be a Christmas gift.  I need to do some embroidery on the apron and face and then can get her sewn up.  I will post photos of all next week.

Well that is this weeks ramblings.  I must off to bed as another busy day tomorrow.

Happy Autumn Days!


Time of Joy, Time of Sorrow

I cannot even remember if it has been two or three weeks since I last posted.  So much has happened in that short time frame.  Much of it joyful and also some deep sorrow.

First headed over to Walla Walla to pack up Doodle Bug and get her settled in her college dorm.  I cannot believe she is already a college freshman.  Although it was a great deal of work and a very rushed trip we had a great time.  Erica arrived too and we hustled around to get her packed up and resettled.  It was so wonderful to be a part of this transition for her and she was full of excitement and ready to take the next step on her way to adulthood when we left.


It was hard to leave her as she is so far away, but my Doodle is a smart girl and she will be OK.

We headed straight to Condon to spend a night with my mom.  When we got there I was surprised at her decline.  Since she lives over 3 hours from her MD and with her back fractures and declining health it is just not feasible to keep making those trips.  We all agreed it was time to bring in hospice.  It is easy to recommend hospice to families when it is not your own; yet it was obvious she needed the additional support.  Although it was a hard decision, we all agree it was the right decision for her.  Mother wants to stay in her home above all else and we all want to accommodate that.  I decided to stay on for a week just to spend time with her and meet with the hospice team.  Becca and crew came up from Nevada and Erica and crew stayed on for a bit longer as well.  While it was a difficult time it was wonderful having my three girls and all the grand together!


Mother always loves the babies and never misses a chance to hold them!



I spent a part of the time clearing out her sewing room to add a bed.  In doing so I brought out all her buttons and she had so much fun going through them, it wasn’t long before the grands joined in.  Mother let them all go home with some and they were delighted.


While there I helped provide her care; it was such a blessing, but exhausting.  After a week I knew it was time to head home and regroup.  It was a difficult week and there are so many emotions that are continually flowing through me.  Being from a large family with numerous siblings adds to the mix.  We have a difficult time seeing eye to eye and everyone wants to be a part of all decision making, yet cannot agree adding additional layers of stress.  There were a lot of tears, a fair amount of arguing, but in the end I left feeling it was all going to be OK.  I will be there as often as I can; savoring what it means to be a daughter.  It is really still quite raw and I am not able to share my emotions.  I know that those of you who have walked this path understand.  Sometimes there are really just no words…

I hitched a ride back to Salem with Christina and the grands who stayed on a few days.  We had a great time doing their school shopping.  Christina is very environmentally minded and does all her shopping second hand if possible.  It is amazing the new and like new clothing we found; and the kids loved the joy of the hunt….wonder where they got that from…..  We also went to yard sales and found treasures for each of them as well as for Christina and myself.


Mother sent me home with the cutting board she had in her sewing room since my quilting shop had closed.  This table was bought way back when I had Sunshine & Stitches in Concord CA.  It is a wonderful piece and although I love now placing it in my sewing room, I did so with a great deal of tears.  Sewing and knitting have always been such a part of my mother’s life and the passing on of these useful items marking an end to her handiwork days is heartbreaking!  It will be well used and holds memories dear of the quilt shop and her sewing room.  When Christina and the Sweet Peas left I got it set up and my sewing room all sorted to fit the larger table.  I do love it so much more than the rickety thing I had used for years!


I find that, unfortunately, I deal with stress by hitting the destash pages and acquiring yet more fabric and yarn.  I returned home to the mailbox full of lovely items all from IG destash.  I seriously need to stop as my sewing room is at its maximum.


After the sewing room was completed, I got out the beads and made some lava bead bracelets for essential oils.  I love the one my sister Anna gave me and wanted to make more for myself and for the girls and older grands.  I still have to put a touch of glue on the ties and cut them off.  But overall I am happy with the end results.


Oh and I must share my latest acquisition that I got before all the travels.  I knew I wanted another small hutch to house my Hummel collection.  I found the cutest one on the classifieds.  Two sisters were cleaning out their mother’s home and neither wanted this piece.  Her home was so sweet and my heart broke for the sisters.  But I assured them this piece would be loved and treasured.  Isn’t it just the sweetest?


I will need to put something on the bottom shelf; but all in due time.

This morning I was up early and got busy climbing around in my attic storage to get out all the Autumn decor.  It is always such a job but well worth it.  I got the boxes down and will sort through them today and begin the process of decorating.  Last year I didn’t do much decorating and I plan on making up for it this year!

And now off to sort through Autumn decor.

Let the decorating commence!



Lazy Summer Days…Never

On the last post, I stated that I would have some exciting news to share.  Well now I can….I am switching jobs again…yes again.  You see out of the clear blue I got a call from a recruiter and even though I said I was happy where I am, they just kept making offers until I could not refuse.  It was a difficult decision as currently I am only 4 minutes from work and it is a pretty easy community.  But this offer is just too amazing to pass up!  So I will remain where I am until my 30 days is up and then a few weeks off and then over to my new position.  I am going back to a large community and one that includes memory care as well as assisted.  It is a gorgeous community and I love the idea of an office to myself once again and numerous support staff under me to make my own life easier.  It will be a bit of a commute but not bad at around 25 minutes.  I am pretty excited for this new opportunity but its over a month out til I start so lots of time to prepare myself for going back into a large community and much more responsibility again.

My knitting mojo had taken a serious dive and is only slowly coming back.  I did finish one of my August socks and am turning the heel on the second one.  I am still unsure of this yarn.  But I am sure if I decide I don’t want them, someone will be happy to take them off my hands.  This pair make 8 (eight!!!) pair completed in a year…well actually 9 because I made a pair for my Milsie in January.


I also recast on the Amulet Shawl by Helen Stewart.  I had frogged it as got off on my count as was paying no attention when knitting it.  Only a few rows in but it knits up pretty quickly.  I do need to get back to my Antler Cardi.  I only have to finish the top where the designs begins, but have just put it off.

I also did a bit of dyeing.  Had cooked up some beets and just kept the liquid, added a skein and dumped in some rusty nail water.  The results are a very Fall tonal of golden/greenish mix.  I also eco dyed two sock blanks I had dyed with indigo and just needed to add the plants.  This time I added some raspberries for a nice little pop of a soft pink.  I am very happy with the results.


My daughter knit up a pair of sock out of one of my eco dyed.  I think they turned out quite nice!


This has been a perfect summer so far.  Just what I dreamed of when we moved to the Valley.  Only a few really hot days and still cool evenings where we can get out and walk the dogs.  There is generally a slight breeze in the evening which is so lovely and refreshing.  Remember the little park I mentioned a few weeks back.  Isn’t it just so sweet.  It is nestled deep in the neighborhood next door.

In the early mornings, it almost feels like Autumn and I love that!  I can sit out on my patio with my cuppa and knitting and dream of cool Autumn days as it has that slight nip in the air that is reminiscent of Autumn weather.  The yard is a mess, but it is a nice mess and I don’t mind the untidiness of it all.

Thinking of Autumn, we have a family of Turkeys that live in the church lot next door.  Every evening the mother is out walking her babies.  It is so cute to watch them.  They are quite the neighborhood attraction and the neighbors come out daily to see them feeding and strutting around.  I just love having at least a bit of wildlife in my neighborhood.  On my weekend yard sale forays I have seen a lot of deer in town grazing on yards as well.  It is just lovely.


I have made a few sales, but not the volume that I do early in the season.  As the summer winds down there are generally less sales and it seems to me the quality of items seems to dwindle.  I did pick up these lovelies though.

Quite a few weeks back, I talked about finding old cashmere sweaters to frog for the yarn.  I recently found two more in gorgeous red and a deep coral pink.  I am just not sure I can bring myself to frog them as they are both so gorgeous.  The black on I did was not hard as it had a hole right in the front; but these beauties are perfect.  So we shall see.  They were so dang cheap that I suppose I may as well go for it.


Oh must share how the Bright Line eating plan is going.  Well into my 3rd week and it is amazing how much better I feel and how easy this plan is to follow!  No craving at all.  I am finding that eating the 3 meals is satisfying and no sugar or flour easy to follow.  I just ensure that I plan ahead so I can have food that I can eat ready to prepare.  I have even easily transitioned to little to no coffee and what I do drink is black.  Easy peasy and no feelings of being deprived works perfectly in my book!

Well that is about it as to all the doings since my last post.  Blissfully just carrying on and moving along.

Happy August!



A Hectic Week

Well it certainly was a busy week indeed.  My mom and sister were headed over as my mom was undergoing a medical procedure so I took a day off and headed into PDX to spend the night.  We had a nice time but my mom did end back up in the hospital due to some issues.  This aging is just not a good thing; but as my dad always said the alternative is worse.  But it is heartbreaking to watch my mom who has always been so busy, energetic, and full of life have her life quality diminish so greatly due to the natural aging process.  And dealing with chronic pain in old age is just the limit!  But we enjoyed the moments we had.

While there we did enjoy eating out several times.  I had never been to a Cracker Barrel and since one was nearby we decided it was just the place to eat.  I loved the alacart menu and the fact that fresh steamed veggies were on the menu!  It is a very charming place, indeed, with the cutest every gift shop.

I did take my knitting and completed my July socks.  These were an easy and fast knit as this yarn is closer to a sport weight than a sock weight.


I have been in a knitting slump and going back and forth on what to cast on.  When I came across this picture of Helen Stewart’s Amulet Shawl I knew I had to cast on.  This will be the second Amulet I have knitted.  It is a quick and intuitive shawl pattern and like all Helen’s patterns the directions are so easy to understand and follow.


The blue is from a sock blank I was going to just dump as it was a fail.  The multi is one that was dyed by my daughter Erica.  It is a bit bright but I love the pops of green through out.  I did start it but was off a count as was not paying attention so will frog back and restart.

I am still working away every month on my box o sock kal and just turned the heel on my first sock of my August pair.  I am not sure if I love this yarn or hate it.  It was a skein that I had lying around and decided that it was time to use it or purge it.


Knitting a pair of socks a month has been fun but with my slump it is now a challenge.  I hope I can preserver and complete the next 4 and half pair.  But even if I don’t even 8 is quite the accomplishment from a person who was lucky to complete a pair a year!

Becca also shared with me her first completed sock from the eco-dyed sock blank I sent her.  I really love how it looks!


A rather irritating issue for me has been a continual weight gain.  Since beginning my PhD, I have become much more cognizant of the impact of unhealthy habits and carrying excess weight.  Slowly but steadily since the lovely menopause event, the weight has crept up and in the past 5 years since moving here it has exploded.  I am no longer as active as I have always been, add a desk job, and eating sugar and refined flours and well its not a pretty picture.  I had been seeing more and more people sharing results of Bright Line Eating and decided what the heck, I have nothing to lose and order the book.  I gotta say it is amazing.  The author goes into the science of how our brains operate on food and on the wrong foods in particular.  The plan is easy and accommodates my vegan lifestyle.  I have been on it a week and already I have had a loss of cravings and feel much better.  I never focus on weight but instead on how I feel and then just let my clothes become loose until I am down a size.  My biggest challenge has been getting in any sort of exercise.  But since my hubby has managed to get on day shift we are once again taking our nightly walks.  It is so fun to explore all the neighborhoods and the doggies just love it!  In fact we discovered yet another little sweet green space tucked into the neighborhood just around the corner.

In my own little green space my raspberries have been doing well and providing me berries for my daily morning oatmeal.  I finally got around to getting the four lavender plants, that I purchased numerous weeks ago, into the ground.  Lavender is so easy to grow and provides both beauty and fragrance so it is a good choice for flower beds.

I did venture out to some yard sales this week as well but only found a few items.  It seemed to be the week for mucking boots and I grabbed two pair for the grands along with some leather working gloves.  One pair of boots was the Muck brand and at $3 they were an absolute steal.  I also found a pot, some candles and assorted other brick a brack.  I only went out one day this week.  I find that as the summer begins to heat up, yard sales begin to lose some of their appeal as I would rather stay inside and potter about.

I did get some fun mail this week however.  I have really been ramping up my usage of essential oils and just happened to have a peer in my course this term that is doing serious study on the medicinal use of oils.  She recommended this book:


It is like a text book and so full of amazing information!  I love that the science behind the use of each oils is included and explored.

The bracelet that my sis Anna sent me has been getting non stop usage.  I wear it daily and my favorite scent right now is the YL stress away.  I also diffuse it at work as well.  I think there is great value in utilizing alternative and complementary medicines (Obviously as my PhD is in Mind Body Medicine).  In addition to the bracelet, I found this lava stone necklace.


I am sensitive to scents and odors and rarely would ever find a perfume that I could tolerate.  I have found with oils they are less over powering and, well, less abrasive to my olfactory system.  But again I am very particular about the scents I will surround myself with.

I have once again been stalking the IG destash and finding a few goodies here and there. These are my latest treasures.


I am forever a sucker for anything Halloween.  And the others are bits and bobs of groups I have been slowly collecting.  One of these days I will get back to all my quilt and doll making.  And won’t I be ready?!

I do have some big news that I will know more about tomorrow and will share in the next blog.  Until then,





And suddenly it is summer..

With the advent of temps in the 90s, summer was suddenly upon us.  Not being a hot weather gal, I always just savor those lovely temperate days before the heat hits.  I love rainy cloudy weather.  Cool spring and fall days invigorate me, whereas all this constant sunshine and heat make me just want to hide away inside and only venture out in the early morning and late evening.  Yet is a normal part of our seasons and so it is.  My raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries love the heat and I am enjoying a small crop from each.  Although my little Misha girl has learned how to pick fruit off the vines as well.  Bruno is not interested.  The hydrangea bushes are popping out in bloom also.  I do believe they are one of my favorite bushes.  The flowers are so majestic!  My herbs are growing huge and I must get out and harvest them to dry for winter use.

I was delighted to see my orchid produce blooms again this year.  This is the third year it has bloomed.  I do need to put it into a bigger pot.  I did spend a day repotting a myriad of my houseplants that had outgrown their pots.  I am always picking up pots at yard sales just for that purpose and to use outdoors.


I had some free time in the afternoon and decided to make a stop off at one of the local thrift shops.  Imagine my delight to find this Brown Betty tea pot.  It has the made in England stamp on the bottom and is made of brown clay.  I cannot wait to make up a pot of tea in this pot.  I have warned my husband off as he has broken every previous tea pot that we have had.


A bit back I sent out some of my madder root natural dyed yarn to my dear friend Sheila.  I was so delighted to receive this picture of the lovely cowl she had knit up with it!


And Becca sent this picture of the sock she is knitting out of one of the botanical sock blanks I dyed.  I am soooo in love with these blanks!  I do need to dye a few more before my coreopsis bloom has ended.  I did get out and do a serious dead heading of the plant and stuck the blooms away in the freezer for dyeing.


As for my own knitting projects, I am still working on my second July sock and the first August sock.  I am still just firmly stuck in a slump.  But no worries, some times we just need a break and to engage in something new for a bit of a change up.


I did get a lovely package from my sister, Anna.  I have long admired her lava essential oil bracelets and she sent me one along with my very favorite diffuser oil Wintergreen!  What a wonderful package!  I have started delving more deeply into the oils again and am increasing my own stock as I begin to examine the different uses for oils.  Interestingly enough I am in a class with a therapist who is using essential oils in her treatment of those with PTSD.  She has done serious research into their medicinal use and continues to do so.  Being of the mind that we need to explore complementary and alternative medicines I am very open minded to such research and practical applications.  But science aside, they just smell amazing and lift my spirits whether at work or at home.


I took the time this week to get this beautiful canvas hung.  This is the one that I had purchased a few weeks back at a yard sale.  I just love this picture; it is so serene and dreamy.  Nothing like a tree-lined road or path to set the imagination flowing.  What is around that bend?  I always imagine it is something wonderful and magical.  I also hung up the rose cross stitch that I picked up the next week end.   It is just so exquisitely made I enjoy its beauty immensely.


I did get out for a bit this week end to the sales, but found nothing too exciting.  I did pick up 3 new still in the wrap pieces of the glass pyrex storage containers with plastic snapping lids.  I am trying to eliminate all plastic from the house, but do like the rubber sealing lids on these glass storage pieces.  I also found a nice pot for plants and will put it to the side for herbs or repotting.

This has been a most busy week at both work and with studies.  I had a research project due today so much of my time was devoted to that.  Oh how I am loving this PhD!  I learn so very much each week.  It is interesting that I can feel the laziness that my brain has developed as I am working on my papers.  I have to force it to remain focused and complete just one more page of the paper.  Yet, I am absorbing the learning and find that it has such everyday practical use.  This term has been more challenging than the past due to the work load and my peers.  This is one group of amazingly intelligent peers and I must work diligently to keep up!  Granted they are all currently working as therapist so have an edge but I am just so appreciative of their knowledge and the interaction of this particular group of peers.  And most excitingly I have determined what I will do my dissertation on…but will not share until a later date.  But it appears to be an area that has not been researched which is even more exciting!

I also was helping, via phone and text, my sweet Doodle Bug survive her college orientation.  I remember how terrifying that can be; everything is new and strange and the campus appears so large and overwhelming.  But she did great and is ready to begin in the fall.  I am just so very proud of her!

So it has been a busy week all in all.  Now off to play a bit in the sewing room.



Living Blissfully

This has been a pretty busy few weeks.  A lot happening at work that has kept me working late.  I did have a wonderful drop in visit by my mom, sister, and niece on their way to my nephew’s house.  It was a short stay but it was so nice to see them all!  With working once again I don’t get away.  Summer is usually my time to keep the grands and catch up on visiting.  Due to starting work again in April, I will have to make some adjustments to my plans.  I can squeeze in some long week ends and still manage a lot of memory making.

I did get in a bit of knitting.  I finished one of my July socks and cast on the second.  I love this yarn by Austermann.  When I ordered this I thought it was red with black and grey but it is in fact red with deep green and mossy green and it is lovely!


I started working on my Birds of a Feather Shawl by Andrea Mowry but I can’t really get into it.  I am finding it is just not a fun knit.  Every other row you have a marker placed between two stitches that are to be knit together, so you must slip off a stitch, remove the marker, slip the stitch back on and knit the two together then replace the marker.  It is awkward.  I am going to see if I can figure it out to place the marker one stitch over on the previous row or if that will throw the center off.  The yarn is lovely though, it is by Junkyarns one of my favorite indie dyers.


Since I couldn’t get into any of my current projects I decided to organize my project notebooks which resulted in recycling a great deal of patterns I had printed off.  I like to have my patterns printed, I just cannot get into doing everything electronically.  I like to make notes on the patterns for future reference.  After completing the clean up I still didn’t find anything that really excited me, so on to ravelry where I decided that I have the skill set to dive into Kirstin of Voolenvine Yarns shawl pattern Wildes Meer.  I have adored this pattern since it was released but it looked so scary.  My knitting skills have increased exponentially since I took time off work and had the time to do some serious knitting.  Now to just find the perfect yarn…which may be that I have to dye something… Keeping in the clean up mode, I also decided that I needed to better organize my yarn stash which resulted in a thorough going through and which lead to me thinking I best hank the skeins that I previously skeined up with no project in mind.  Hanks take up much less room and do not stretch out the yarn.  I still have a few more skeins to hank, but the project is nearly completed and I actually was able to clear off an additional shelf.

After all that organizing I did cast on another pair of socks with a lovely yarn in purples and lavenders.


I did get some really fun mail this week also.  First off was the spoon flower fabrics I ordered to make bags.  Isn’t it just the most amazing?


I also got an oil order.  I had been wanting to try Young Living’s rose ointment.  I have rosacea and it gets so out of control which requires me to live off and on antibiotics.  I would love to ditch the antibiotics and had heard this ointment was just the thing for rosacea, so we will see.  I will let you all know if it works.


A huge plus of my current position is that I am not only the administrator but the marketer as well.  This means that I have great bonus potential which I have been taking full advantage of.  This month I am set to get quite a tidy sum so felt it only fitting to reward myself.  Since knitting on the ChiaoGoo sock needles I have been totally in love with them. The cable cords are amazing, they don’t fight you like most cable cords.  I love my HiyaHiya sharps, and while the cable cords aren’t too bad, they still cannot compare to the ChiaoGoos.  So I ordered the interchangeable set.  I love that it comes with US sizes 2-15 and ample cable cords.

I had an uneventful July 4th.  I had the day off work so just puttered around the house and garden.  Although my veggies aren’t doing the greatest, I do have some strawberries and raspberries.  I also harvested a bit of lettuce for a taco salad.  Someday I will have my large veggie gardens, but for now I can just enjoy my shady backyard and continue to try out new plants.  I do seem to spend a great deal of my free time outside on the porch or in the yard.  I love to take my knitting outside and just enjoy the outdoors.  The weather has remained temperate which has been wonderful and allows for a lot of outside time!


Although I did not yard sale last week end, I made up for it this week end.  I just needed a bit of a break to refuel.  This week end was no disappointment.

I have found so many beautiful handmade items for my home and I just treasure them all so much.  I like to think that the maker is happy knowing that the item they so lovingly made is being appreciated and enjoyed.  This cross stitch rose bouquet is gorgeous and a true work of art.  It will hang on my living room wall.


Who can pass up a new canvas Union Jack bag?


I have a granddaughter who loves nesting dolls so these will be going to my sweet Woopie girl.


Every time I see a Rowenta iron I grab it.  So far I have found them for two of the girls and myself.  At $5 it is a steal.


It was a good week end for kitchen gadgets.


One of the things I love about living in the PNW is the lush greenness!  Imagine my delight when I discovered a park right across from my work that is filled with narrow tree covered paths, a small stream, and lovely lush green growth!  What a delight and it will be the perfect antidote for a stressful day.  Even on the hottest days it will be a nice respite due to all the shade coverage.  Tucked away green spaces are certainly my preferred answer to a busy and hectic life.


And now I must off to complete some studies.  I am learning so very much in my chosen  Mind Body Medicine PhD studies and it is all so relevant to my own life.  It is certainly fascinating.  Just the perfect thing for a bucket list in my opinion!