Winding down the year..

Now that December is nearly over, I find myself mulling over the past year and looking toward the next.  I must say that 2018 was filled with much upheaval and loss and certainly not the kindest year.  Numerous years ago I was introduced to the idea of finding a word that would embody what you hoped to accomplish/be/live the next year.  Then a few years ago I chanced upon an amazing tool by Susannah Conway that not only assisted in finding your word, but provided a guided exercise in reviewing the previous year and planning the next.  Unravel Your Year is simply the best.  She also offers a free journal for finding your word and you can sign up for her monthly love letters.  Susannah also offers a variety of e-courses; all focused on helping you to reach your true potential.  You can find it all here  It takes me several weeks to complete the journal and I have kept my old ones to reflect back on and see just where my journey has taken me.


I have so enjoyed the Young Living advent calendar and each day has been a treat.  Something I certainly need this year!!  I have began to use my oils more and more.  When I first dipped my toes into the oils all I thought them for was to diffuse.  But now I add them to unscented body butter to create a marvelous scent that stays with me me all day.  I also wear my lava bracelets daily and they are a fun way to dabble in numerous scents.  Although one time I accidentally put a strong healing scent on and boy howdy I had to leave the bracelets lay until the oils dissipated as the smell was simply awful.  I also rub scents on to help modify my mood.  And I recently started adding them to my bath along with some Epsom salts.  I have yet to make up any sprays or roll ons; but I will certainly start that at the first of the year.  I just enjoy playing with them so very much.  When I saw this great idea for storage I jumped on it.  This is a 31 bag and it just  works perfect for oil storage as you can see just what you have!  I need to get a second one for sure!


I send many many oils off to the girls.  I stuffed Christina’s luggage with myriad of bottles of oils along with bath and body products to last her a long while!  On the subject of sending things along to the girls; I have always enjoyed making and sending little care packages to them.  Parenting is a tough job and it can be so uplifting to receive a small unexpected parcel containing sweet surprises!

I certainly feel much better now that Christina and grands have made it to their new home and are busy settling in.  I miss them so very much.  But I know they are safe and starting on a new and exciting adventure and I know I will soon be there for a nice long visit!  And we can all chat daily through the wonders of technology!

Comes a rainy stormy week end and I set about beginning the task of decluttering.  Helping Christina clear out her stuff and move abroad really made me realize just how much extraneous clutter and stuff I have accumulated!  It is a bit daunting; but I am just taking it a bit at a time.  First I tackled the china cabinets and just started stacking everything I no longer wanted on my dining table.


My first goal was to eliminate at least one of my china cabinets with the goal of letting go of two before the next year ends.  Two of the hutches will go to my daughters; Becca will get the large cabinet with all the milk glass and Erica the smaller and all the Hummels.  So I carefully packed up a great deal of the milk glass to be put by the side until the time comes Becca is ready for it.  In one day I did manage to pack up a large box of goodies to go and empty a hutch and get it listed on the classifieds and sold within an hour!  Look at me go!

In the midst of all this change was the company Christmas party.  It was a lovely evening and so fun to hook up with many that I met in training.  It was held at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland and everyone was dressed up in holiday finery.  However, unfortunately I was feeling quite under the weather.  But oh my look how lovely it all was!


Imagine my delight when I went to the post box and found a lovely package all tied up in brown string all the way from the UK!  It is from my secret sister and sitting under my tree awaiting Christmas Eve!  I cannot wait to open it and see what lovely treasures await me!!


I also received a lovely parcel from my dear friend Louella.  Every year for so many years Louella has gifted me a lovely ornament.  I now keep them all on my little vintage tree and just treasure each one.  This year’s ornament was just as cute as ever!


Well it is now a few more sleeps until Christmas.  I have hosted all the work parties for the year for both residents and staff, all my gifts have been wrapped and sent off, and I can just coast into the holiday with a cleared schedule.  How I love that.  The Plum Pudding that Christina stirred up while she was here is basting away in Rum just awaiting Christmas Day…oh how I cannot wait to cut into it!!  And now I must off to prepare for my work day.  It is a Friday so all is well!

Take Joy!



Lots and lots of love..

I was beyond blessed with Christina and the grands showed up a few weeks prior to flying out and spent those last days with me.  We had the most marvelous time ever and made so many many precious memories!

I wanted the time to be so special and planned some special treats.  Since they had limited space in their luggage I knew it had to be something small that could be utilized right away.   I bought small items that could be opened nightly to celebrate advent.  The kids loved it and looked so forward each night to their special treat for the day!


Every night Christina read to us from Dickens Christmas Carol while the kids partook of their treat.


The weather cooperated a great deal of the time and we got out to their favorite park for play.  The grands just love this park and the balance tire.


Christina is just the best cook ever and every night we had such lovely dinners!  She also made me a plum pudding and of course we followed with each person taking a turn at stirring while making a wish.  The pudding will be basted until Christmas, at which time to be sliced and enjoyed!


Christina busted out the Christmas puzzles and we spent many hours chatting away as we worked the puzzles.  When the girls were young we always had a puzzle going, it was a great way to spend time together and listen to their daily news and it is still something we all enjoy!


The yard was a terrific mess when they arrived so Christina corralled the troops into a yard clean up.  Oh my but they worked diligently and the yard look amazing!!


Of course we had to do some  crafty things and other hand on fun things.  We had an evening of Christmas cookie baking.  We also made lava bead bracelets and I was able to find a few other crafts for the kids.



All too soon the day arrived.  My heart is so heavy as only a mother’s and grandmother’s heart can be.  Although I am so excited for their grand adventure and new life abroad, and I know it is simply a plane flight away, my heart hurts.


As I finish this post they are about to land in Ireland and the beginning of their grand adventure.  Oh this motherhood thing isn’t easy, but I could not be more proud of my daughter for taking this opportunity to offer her children a better life.  I would have done the same thing if the opportunity would have presented itself.  When my girls were young, I taught them that the world was their oyster and to grab every adventure.  I took them off on a grand tour of the UK and France when they were young to reinforce the teaching that the world was there for the taking (Just as my parents sent me off on a grand adventure when I was 18 turning 19…I spent my 19th birthday in Paris).  How could I not be excited when I find that my she is indeed her mother’s daughter?!  And I treasure and feel so blessed by the time we had together before their departure.  Now to get that passport and book my flight!!



I haven’t written for a few weeks as I have been busy busy busy!  And that is due to some big news.  I spent 5 days at my eldest daughters helping her to pack up house, hold a yard sale, and prepare to leave the US.  Yes they are moving to Ireland within a few weeks.  Oh my but my emotions have been all over the map as you can imagine!!  I am so happy for them to be moving to Europe to raise the children and I believe they will have a better life and more opportunities.  But oh how my heart aches to see them leaving.  But I will have them all to myself for the next few weeks, as they will be coming to stay this week and until they fly out!  Oh all the wondrous things I have planned!!

Boy Howdy, was that yard sale a big job!  Elizabeth helped us man the money station at the yard sale.  It was frosty frosty cold but we managed and Christina was able to sell all but a few bits in the two days of the sale!


It was quite the experience to help eliminate all the extraneous stuff collected over the years. I must say that helping Christina close up house and sell everything made me realize that I have too much and must do some serious declutter!!  So my goal in 2019 is to eliminate 1/2 of my possessions.  I jumped right in and have already made a good start!  With all my yard and estate sales its really not a wonder that I have so much.

While we were busy with the yard sale the community was having a fall festival.  Imagine my delight when Charlotte gifted me this darling bag filled with lavender and lavender oil.  She is just such a thoughtful and caring child and I was deeply touched.  Plus I love the gift!


As we headed back to my house we loaded up 5 puppies that were going to new homes.  They were just the cutest things ever!



My precious loves!


Back home my house was jam full of storage boxes that Christina sent to me to either have or store!  24 storage boxes in all!  I did not realize just how small my house was until it had 24 totes in the front room….  But I got them sorted out for the most part.

IMG_0062Once I got the storage boxes sorted and cleared, it was time to pack up Thanksgiving decor and bring out the Christmas.  Oh my but this year I decided to go all out and spent 3 days putting out my decor, but I am so very pleased with it!  With the kids coming to stay a few weeks, I wanted the house to be so very festive and fun.  When they arrive we will buy our tree and decorate it.  I did put up numerous small artificial trees that I have collected, however.  A bevy of trees in the house is no surprise to my daughters as when they were growing up I always put up 5 trees, each with a different theme and then of course they could have trees in their rooms as well.  I have always had a bit of the crazy Christmas bug.


I have had this same nativity since the girls were small.  It was a Home Interiors piece.  At the time I was struggling to make ends meet and my dearest best friend hosted a party and earned enough points to purchase it for me.  I was so delighted and have treasured it since!


I keep this little vintage tree full of handmade lovelies that I have been gifted by dear friends and family.  It is dear to my heart.


I even made my desk a bit festive for the season.


This year I did a bit of expansion with the decor into the living room.  The bookcase is just the perfect place to showcase some of my Santas.


This little quilt has so very much meaning.  Christina made this many many years ago for my mom.  Each darling little ornament detaches and is just precious.  I will treasure it for sure!


When I got home I had a few happy mail packages. The first was an advent calendar filled with oils!   This is my Christmas gift to myself!  I just love oils and this will be so much fun!  Currently I have been diffusing Christmas Spirit and the entire house smells like Christmas morning of my childhood!


Barnyard Knits had a sale on their yarn and I just had to have a few skeins.  My excuse is that I gave my skein of Poinsettia to Christina so absolutely had to replace it!  And of course with a sale I had to grab an additional skein…right?!


I didn’t get much knitting in, but did manage to finish one sock.  I have 2 more socks to knit to complete all 12 pair for Voolenvine’s sock KAL.  Its amazing that I could knit 12 pair in a year.  But oh my I am a bit burned out on sock knitting!


Comes Thanksgiving day and since the hubby and I have not had a Thanksgiving off together for years we decide to make a nice dinner.  But Bruno had other plans for us when he awoke with a seriously sore eye.  I could see a rather large scratch so it was a trip to the emergency vet where it was discovered he had a large ulcer coving a large area.  Hours and hundreds of dollars later I made it home with a medicine regime and poor Bruno thinking he was going to die with the cone of shame firmly in place.  We still managed to have a nice dinner and I was so grateful that I took Bruno in as the ulcer was quite bad.


And now must off to ready for yet another day at work.  Hoping everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and is welcoming in the holiday season with joy and happiness in their hearts!





Hello November

Once again I take down my Halloween decor and pack it safely away for another year, then out come the turkeys.  I love holiday decor as you know.  I have seriously parred it all down over the past five years or so, well I have tried, but with yard and estate sales, bits and bobs still creep in here and there.  I mean, who can resist all the lovely seasonal decor?  Especially when it is vintage, handmade, or just exquisite quality?


Oh how I love my mornings!  Isn’t this just the most cozy, warm, and inviting space?


It is in these early mornings that I can reflect, write my morning pages, sip my cuppa, and sneak in a few rows of knitting.  It just sets the tone for my entire day!  And with the time change waking up early is just that much easier!

Only a short year ago, my youngest and family were temporarily living with me while her hubby took another job and got them settled into a new place.  After she left I was quite depressed and just couldn’t seem to shake it.  Having her here, even as crazy and crowded as it was, really made me realize how deeply I missed my girls and grands.  Follow a trip for 3 weeks to see another daughter, followed by a trip to the beach with my third, and my bestie moving away and well I found I was in a pretty deep funk.  I did begin to focus more on spending time with family and focused on seeing my mom as much as possible.  I am so grateful that I did!  Come Autumn, and although losing my mom has left a deep hole in my heart, I am finding joy in living again.  Perhaps it was in losing her that I realized that I had to embrace and appreciate this life.  Perhaps it was feeling such deep grief that highlighted the beauty of joy when I felt it.  I still miss my mom so deeply and my girls and grands dearly, but I once again look forward to each season and just being.  I realized this only yesterday as I was looking forward to getting my Christmas decor out and decorating the house.  It is so hard living far from family and loved ones, but I can find ways to keep them close and they are all just a trip away.  So I keep busy and count my blessing and remain grateful for those times of joy and being with those I love.

After I cast off the first of November sock, I picked up the little penguin again that I had started when my I was visiting my mom just prior to her complete decline.  She had wanted to knit this little guy up for my nephew for Christmas but wasn’t sure she still could work on the fine yarn.  So I eagerly started it for her (well after I finished the cute little candy corn dolly dress for her).  I wasn’t sure I could make little items because they always look so complicated, but they really aren’t.  These little projects really are fun and near instant gratification.  I am amazed at how simple they actually are!  This little guy will go off to my nephew from my dearest mom.  I have another candy corn dress to make for another niece and then I have done all the knitting that my mom wanted me to do for her for her grands.  I just wish she could see this little guy….she would just love him!


Although I only finished one of the November socks, I couldn’t resist casting on this for the December sock.  This yarn is not something I would buy off the shelf, but I got it for .50 at an estate sale and figured I may as well get it knitted up.  It is wool but not quite as soft as most wools I have knitted on.  I’m hoping it will block out a bit softer.


I just recently discovered a great way to organize my knitting projects that I keep by my chair.  My daughter had a 31 Bag party some time back and, well you know how it is, we feel we must order and support our kids… But OMG am I glad I did.  I LOVE these bags and organizers.  Fast forward months later and I have acquired a stash.  I love how this Deluxe organizer can fit so much and it even has a lid.  I only have one of the file folders inserted in it at this time, but will get 3 more as they fit just perfectly and can be pulled out when working on that particular project.  Being an organization freak this is just my cuppa!!


I have gone out to a few estate sales, but aside from seeing some amazing and beautiful houses, nada.  Not a thing worth buying.  I did find this cute pillow in a stack of stuff headed to goodwill.  I thought it was just the cutest ever.  Being hand done I just had to have it.  The stitching is exquisite; its just all too cute.


And now I must off to run a few errands and accomplish my days chores.

Finding Joy,



As we say goodbye to October

The month of October was really rather a blur for me.  But I did manage to get out several times to enjoy the beauty of Autumn.  The trees have all turned the burnished colors of Autumn, and the yards and streets are awash in a multicolored quilt of leaves.  Our daily walks now, when we can get out, are taken in the twilight hours.  The air is crisp and moist.  Gardens are giving up their last crops and preparing to slumber through winter.  I love this time of year, how I would love to live in a world of Autumn year round!  Well perhaps I would like a few spring days sprinkled here and there.


My knitting mojo returned and I completed my October socks and one November sock.  I am knitting the November sock out of a yarn that I found at a yard sale for .50 cents.  It is bouncy and stretchy and I really enjoy knitting on it!  I am beginning to think I may just complete this box o’ socks KAL and complete all 12 pair!  But boy howdy am I tired of knitting socks!  I am ready to switch to mittens as I have a passel of grands that will be needing mittens for the winter!


I have also picked up my shawl once again, I had casts it on then it got put to the side.  I am knitting Helen Stewart’s Amulet Shawl once again.  The main body is out of a yarn by Despondent Dyes and the contrast is my own natural dyed with marigolds.  I enjoy working on anything by Helen Stewart as her patterns are so easy to follow!


I love the wee morning hours when it is still dark out and the world is just beginning to wake up.  I have my special morning ritual, small things that just set the tone for the rest of the day. Lately it has included some soft Christmas Jazz, but often it is silence.  I fix my coffee, do some simple meditation, and do my daily morning pages and then a bit of knitting on my latest project.  It allows me to ease into the day and prepare for the nonstop whirlwind that faces me each day as I walk into work. There is nothing as cozy as being curled up with my doggies, the world silent and dark around me; knowing that soon the day will begin and I will be prepared for whatever it shall bring.

I awoke to a surprise last week, my Christmas cactus was all abloom!  It has not bloomed for several years.  I did change locations this summer and put it in the living room in the window.  Apparently this is the spot that is just right!


Just the other day, a group of my friends were discussing buying clothing and how it seems that the second hand places have become the best option lately.  I like to chose second hand for a variety of reasons.  I think mostly I like knowing that I am not supporting yet another throw away industry, but recycling that which is already out there and keeping less out of the landfills.  I also like the prices and, honestly, the selection is often better.  Mass produced clothing limits the styles I get to chose from, as it is dictated by whatever “they” determine to be in fashion.  I am fortunate that we have numerous second hand shops here locally.  With the move toward trying to use less and protect the environment, it only makes sense to recycle clothing.  I have gotten some beautiful pieces for pennies by shopping wisely and digging deep.  In fact, I made a stop by today as I needed some black slacks.  I found a pair of black and grey and a lovely dressy top as well.

And now since it is my hubby’s birthday we are going to visit our local pastry shop for some late lunch and cake.

Happy Autumn,


October musing….

Today the sun is shining and it is a perfect fall day!  I love how the sun’s rays filter through the windows creating a ever changing montage of still life vignettes.

Isn’t my Frankie just the cutest ever?  I have had him since my days of running a quilt shop way back when Becca was a baby!


These gifts of beauty are even more greatly appreciated as in the past few weeks I have been working steadily with only a day off here and there.  This week was not any different and I have not have much time for anything.  The work days have been long and demanding and I come home after dark exhausted.  However this is to be expected at this time and this too shall pass.  I do feel an excitement about my job that has long been missing, and I embrace that and add it to my blessings.  There have been several things that have contributed to this heart change; one is coming to the realization that it is not work that I mind, it is being so far from family.  Further, as I have continue to pursue this PhD in mind body medicine, my knowledge of healing practices has grown exponentially and I have been incorporating those practices into my everyday life.  It really is how we view life and life events that shapes our mental and physical health.

Even when work is demanding unending time, I still find time in the wee hours of the morning to get in some knitting.  Simple mindless knitting that can be used as a type of relaxation is just the ticket at this time and socks are just perfect.  I cast on the second October sock in some yarn that my middle daughter Erica dyed.  I just love the way this yarn is knitting up; the colors are so beautiful.  I had intended to use it for a shawl but just couldn’t decide on a pattern so socks it is.  If I was to name this yarn I would call it Vintage Christmas.


I couldn’t resist casting on another pair as well.  These are in some yarn I scored at an estate sale for .50 per skein.  I love the crispness of this nautical color combo.  This is a yarn brand that I have never used previously.  It has a stretch to it.  I will be interested to finish these up and try them on!


It seems like years ago that I made the trip up to Condon to see my mom and say goodbye.  Do we ever adjust to losing our parents?  I know my mom used to tell me all the time how hard it is to lose your mother, but how can we really know until it happens?  How many times in an ordinary day do we all think about how mom would love that, how I have to tell mom something, how many times we ask for her advice.  Our moms are so woven into the fiber of our own self!  While at work the other day, while checking my voicemail, I realized I have numerous voicemails from my mom!  How sweet it was to hear her voice!  It was a long hard day and hearing her asking how I was; well it was as if she knew I needed her at that moment!  Oh how dearly I miss her!!  When I lost my dad, a dear friend, Wilma sent me a copy of my favorite author, Gladys Taber’s book on grief.  I pulled it out again the other day and began reading it.  Her writing is soothing to the soul; she weaves in the business of living with the stop motion of grief.  It has been of some help.  But as she states, time is the greatest healer of deep loses to the heart.  Go on we must, and so we do.


One thing I have noticed lately, is how I have allowed the use of social media to creep back into my life and begin to take over a lot of my free time.  I think our electronic devices are a diversion from reality and getting things done; anyway they are for me.  How easy is it to come home after a long day and just stare at the screen as we scroll through IG or FB, totally disconnected from any engagement with what is happening on the screen and in the real world around us?  Wouldn’t that time be better spent knitting, taking a long hot bath, reading, or engaging with friends and family?  I think so, so will once again unplug myself.  I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  I love how we can keep in touch with friends and family far away and see what they are doing, and I enjoy connecting through IG with like minded makers and the sharing of our craft.  But lately I just scroll mindlessly as a means of killing time and disconnecting.  I do spend a lot of time with my phone as I text daily with my children and grands, and that is a gift of technology that I love!  Oh technology how we love and hate thee!  As Neil Postman so wisely said “for everything technology giveth, it also taketh away.”

I finally opened the box from Mary Maxim and feel like I may be able to cast on one of the cute little outfits.  But grief is  unpredictable and while I may feel ready today, tomorrow, I may be unable to look upon these projects without tears and deep sadness.  Mom just loved the little candy corn outfitted baby that I made her so much and I was so excited to make outfits for all the holidays.  We’ll just have to see how it goes….. I am still busy knitting away on the penguins she wanted me to knit for my nephew and I hope to complete those and send them to him for Christmas fulfilling her wish!


I had some fun mail today.  I subscribed to Making magazine in the summer and look forward to each issue.  This issue I think is the best yet!  I am in love with that sweater!  I have been wanting to cast on a color work sweater but have not found just the right one. Well this one is perfect!  And look at those sheep?  Knit our of worsted weight, they are reversible!  The entire magazine is a treat, chock full of lovely patterns and photos!

Although it is not yet Halloween, I must admit I have had Pandora playing Christmas music since last week end.  My mom loved Christmas music and had a huge collection of Christmas records.  Our house was filled with Christmas music from mid November until the big day and even after for a bit.  I generally waited until after Thanksgiving to begin listening, but with Pandora I can listen anytime and it feels like a fitting tribute to my mom.  My mom was always humming to herself and would sing bits and pieces of words here and there amongst the humming.  It was comforting as a child and a sign of her contentment in her job of raising a brood of 8.  And speaking of Christmas, I must add a Hallmark subscription to my Amazon TV account. Oh how dearly I love those sappy Hallmark movies!!

And now dear friends it is off to prepare for my work day.  I’ll get in a few more rows on my sock and then off I must…




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.



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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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,