More Grands and Stomping Around my Old Haunts

These past few weeks have been magical!  First a visit to Nevada to see Becca and grands (shared in my last blog) and last week over to Washington and a week with Erica and grands!  Since Erica has moved back to my favorite small town I have been so excited to have the chance to revisit all my old haunts while also seeing the grands.  It was even more lovely than expected.  We did a lot of walking and I took the kids and Erica to all my favorite walking places.

First up was Pioneer Park.  It is such a beautiful and peaceful place!

I was so excited to take the grands back to one of my very very favorite places.  I took them here when they were much younger and blogged about it here   It is simply the most magical place!  Although we went late in the evening and unfortunately the bugs were out in swarms.  We all ended up quite eaten alive!!  It did have some changes since I lived there.  The most notable was with the increase in homelessness in WW we saw many signs that people had been sleeping and unfortunately several syringes.  It made me quite sad to see that one of the most magical places had been sullied by the homeless and drug addicts.


I was also very excited to go back out and walk the paths around Bennington Lake.  So early one morning Erica and I set out.  This time I was not disappointed at all.  The views were so breathtaking and the paths well maintained.  Oh how I miss all this natural beauty.

WW is such a beautiful place and going back made me quite homesick and wanting to return.  Perhaps I may do just that…..

On my last evening there, the high school had a suicide prevention walk.  The evening was beautiful and quite a nice crowd turned out.  It is such a worthy cause as suicide rates continue to skyrocket.


I haven’t done much knitting or sewing of late.  In wanting an easy travel project I pulled out two pair of socks still on the needles that I had not completed.  I also knit up myriad dish cloths as the girls all seem to be running out again.


I only have one thrifty treasure to share. I stopped by an estate sale last week and when I saw this darling sampler piece I just had to have it.  The workmanship is not the best and I am guessing it was done by a young person.  But I just love it!  I am thinking it must have been salvaged from something and framed.  It sure does make for a cute little display piece.


Going back to the community that felt most like home to me was so bittersweet.  I realize just how much I miss living there.  When I left and moved to the city and nearer the ocean, I loved every minute of this life.  But as the years have passed, I miss being close to nature.  I have only been on my bike a handful of times since moving here as with the traffic and no decent bike paths, I just gave it up.  Biking was such a part of my self care and gave me such great joy.  I miss the slower pace and friendliness of a smaller community.  Yet I have an amazing job which I do enjoy.  But my heart is being pulled back. I do not see myself living in this city for more than a few more years.  The crime is escalating (this town was always known for a high crime rate but it had cleaned up a bit) and my soul is in need of open green spaces, friendly faces, and limited traffic.  Time to begin to plan for yet another phase of my life.

And now it is back to work today and time to play catch up.  I am home for a bit until my next grand adventure which will be off to Ireland end of July!

Plotting, planning, and dreaming..


Vacation time begins!

The last few weeks have been busy indeed.  I was so excited to take a week away from work and head down to visit Becca and family!  It had been way too long since I had been down so when the hubby announced he had a week off, I suggested we jump in the car and spend the week with the grands!  The trip, although longs, was nice.  We were surprised to see so much snow still on the mountains!

We arrived in time to celebrate Easter with them.  We spent the week just enjoying being with them all.  The hubby took the kids to the park every day and I helped Becca catch up on some organization and knit up a bevy of dish clothes for her.  I spent one afternoon taking Bella out to have a look through the thrift stores.  It was all just so wonderful and the week went by far too fast.

Silly Easter fun!


Matty LOVED the park!  He came back each day saying how much fun he had and then falling fast asleep!


Look at that face…doesn’t he just look like a mischievous little nymph?


My little Emmy loves to spend her days doing gymnastics and bouncing about like Tigger!


It so hard to believe that my Bella is already a young lady.  She is just the sweetest and kindest and I could not be more proud of her!!


Maddox is totally all boy.  He is inquisitive and loves to spend his days teasing his sisters. He reminds me of my little brother so much!


Of course I cannot forget Charlee.  She lived with us for over a year and is always so excited to see Misha.  They were the best buddies and always love playing together.


I just wish I had more time to spend with my girls and grands.  I look so forward to the day I retire and can spend endless amounts of time with them with no deadlines or schedules!!

Before I went to visit, I had managed to catch a few estate sales.  I have gotten so selective in my purchases and seem to always be walking away empty handed.  So imagine my delight when I happened upon a sale and found these treasures!

This tablecloth is just like the one that was bought by my mom in Paris when we visited together in 1977!  The lace is exquisite and it is perfect on my small round table!  At only $4 it was a steal!!  I just love finding things that bring back precious memories!  My house is rather like a museum of memories and that suits me just fine!!


Speaking of exquisite…check out this beauty.  It is the perfect size for my dining table and now that my Easter decor is packed away is adorning the table.  Another steal at $4!


A close up of the lace detail… Really can you believe this was $4?  There is not a stain or blemish on it!


I have had a tea cup collection for absolutely years.  It was one of my first collections when I was first setting up house and started with a few cups from my grand mothers.  It grew so large that I had to cull it down and now I have been exceedingly particular about adding new pieces to the collection.  But I could not resist this darling little fortune telling cup!


Nor could I resist this cup featuring the state capital building.


I was unsure if I already had this piece (which I did), but at $3, I took the chance and brought it home.  I can always pass it on to someone else.


Oh how I love the painted milk glass pieces and this piece is just so very lovely!


Remember when I started doing some serious clearing out quite a few months back?  Well that stack of boxes just sat there in a huge pile taking up more than a corner of the dining area.  I finally pulled them all out, sorted through them and then took the best pieces in to work.  Every month the residents have a swap meet and always want lovely things.  It was the perfect solution to my clutter.  I had planned perhaps a yard sale…but the idea is exhausting….  The stuff I felt was just simple cluttering bric a brac I took to the charity shop.  It is nice to have my dining room back!

You know how some days you just awaken and think you must have a stay a bed day?  Today was one of those.  I had been feeling a bit run down and antsy and when I awoke I just made up a bed tray with tea and toast and settled back into the soft warm comfort of the covers.  I have been listening to the latest Kate Morton on audio and as I sipped my tea I finished the last chapter.  The Clockmaker’s Daughter was as her other books.  Twists and turns and unexpected happenings right up to the end.  It spans centuries and appears like a puzzle of the worst sort, but in the end all comes together beautifully.  Speaking of books on audio.  On that long trip down to Nevada we started listening to An Elegant Defense by Matt Richtel.  It is a fascinating story of our immune system.  We still have 5 hours to left to the end and will catch that up on our upcoming trip to Washington.  After I finished Kate Morton, I started listening to Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry.  It is a young adult book and I am enjoying it immensely.  It is just the thing for a stay a bed day!

After a lovely stay a bed day, it was back to work as usual.  Then comes Saturday and what a beautiful day it has been.  I ventured out to seek some treasures but found none.  Back home and out the door with the dogs.  One of the reasons I love living in the PNW is the sheer beauty of the area.  Spring is in full swing here and the earth is awash with a kaleidoscope of color!

And now I must off to prepare for the next vacation.  In two days we are off to the east side of the state and to pay visit to middle daughter and grands!  I cannot wait!

Springing along,




Springing along…

Once March gave up her roar, spring came tumbling in with sunshine amidst showers.  The days feel longer with the time change, and the temps have been inching into the 70s. I think perhaps my body is slowly adjusting to that dratted spring forward nonsense, although I still cannot manage to climb out of bed at 5:30 am, my preferred time to get up so I can savor the nice chunk of the day before heading to work.  It has been lovely to get out in the evening for a walk with the doggies.  Oh how they love those walks! And I love all the signs of spring popping up everywhere!  We have had a week of absolutely gorgeous weather, but tomorrow the rains return for the next week or so.  But that is what keeps the PNW so beautifully green!


We had a fun visitor at work the other day.  A llama!  He was just the sweetest guy ever and ever so soft.  The residents just loved him and he seemed to enjoy all the attention and hugs.  You can see why the yarn is so deliciously soft!!


With Easter coming up soon, I sprinkled bunnies here and there throughout the house.  It makes for a nice bright festive look and just shouts spring!  I did take a few pieces to work as well to cheer up the lobby.  Most of my bunnies have come from yard sales other than the ones I sewed up several years ago.  The darling embroidered piece is actually a pillow case and I got it at a yard sale as well.  I just thought it was the cutest ever!


I wanted to share the decor at work as I was so pleased with it!  This tree!!!  Isn’t it just gorgeous!  It lights up as does the small silver egg.


We must always have candy on the front desk.  Don’t mind the pizza box in the back…lol…it actually contained churros that we bought for the entire staff….yummmm!!


I brought a few of these things from home, but I found most of them at Home Goods and Pier One.  I am darn good at bargain hunting and Pier One has amazing quality for great prices!!

I have not done much knitting.  I did get Voolenvine’s Wildes Meer cast on.  I am enjoying knitting on this pattern, it its very intuitive and easy.  The yarn is actually a bright springy green not the yellow it looks here.  This will be a shawl for my bestie Mia.  I am using a skein of MadelineTosh Sock in the color way Grasshopper.  It is always such slow going when you first begin a shawl.


I started another group of project bags and just had to make one out of this zombie fabric.  This is a larger bag and will not be for sale as it will go to my youngest.  I love how I placed the label.  Not a fan of zombies or all the zombie shows but Becca is and will love it!


I was so excited to receive my monthly Grove order I fell in love with the pomegranate dish and hand soap sets so got a bit crazy with my order.  But when one was added free along with two dish brushes and 2 pair of gloves….well how could I go wrong?!  Grove has opened up a world of natural products that I would never have otherwise been aware of!


I have made a few estate sales here and there, but they have been the slimmest of pickings.  So when I saw this little lady on the FB yardsale site….well I just had to snatch her right up!  Isn’t she just the sweetest?


Well as you see it has been relatively quiet so there has not been a great deal to write about.  And now I must off to work on bags and do a bit of knitting.

Happy Spring!


On yet another year older

Let me tell you that this year the spring forward really kicked me.  I found myself not being able to sleep so staying up really late but still getting up early in the morning and the exhaustion just was a bit overwhelming for a good week.  I don’t know about you, but I think it’s about time we just do away with the nonsense of leaping forward and just go about our business.

On the heels of the time change came my birthday.  Now I prefer to keep my birthday rather quiet and under wraps at work.  But nothing doing.  I arrived at work to numerous birthday wishes, flowers, gifts, and food.  While all the hoopla makes me embarrassed I must admit it was so very endearing!  Best of all is that we get a day off to celebrate so I am taking full advantage of a 3 day week end to sew, knit, and catch up schoolwork.  It is hard to believe I have hit the ripe old age of 61!  Where does time go?!

And what all does one do with an extra day off?  Well for one thing get out all the Easter decor and start the decorating process.

IMG_1535In the world of knitting this week, I had one cast off and am ready to begin the next cast on.  I finished up the Amulet shawl and I am now ready to cast on Wildes Meer by Kristen Of Voolenvine.  I have wanted to knit that shawl for some time and when my dear friend Mia was here I had her pick out yarn for a shawl and her choice is just perfect for that pattern!



This was knit in one of my botanical dyed yarns using coreopsis to get this amazing yellow, and then a yarn by Despondent Dyes. Kathy dyes up lovely yarns with the funniest names for her color ways.  Check her out at



I have also been playing in the sewing room making yet more bags.  I do have a good dozen completed and just need to get them listed.  I so enjoy sewing them when there is no pressure to meet deadlines!


I have been so happy with my imperfect produce subscription I have received 3 deliveries so far.  This last week I ended up with 2 boxes as I also got some canned goods…yes they also have some great organic canned items!  I love how each Monday before my Thursday delivery I can go into my account and add or delete items or even just  skip that weeks delivery.  It is so nice to have a well stocked refrigerator full of organic produce and an overflowing fruit bowl!

I love chard and look at all those beautiful organic bunches.  Also look at that asparagus!!   And blood oranges…so sweet and delicious!


Speaking of things I love.  I have become hooked on 31 Bags and since my niece is a consultant I have easy access to ordering All The Time!  I love how she keeps it so fun and is always doing innovative ideas to promote the bags.  Check her out at They just recently added a Llama design…LLAMAS!!  I cannot pick a favorite but here are a few ways I use and LOVE them!


Check out that huge gym bag in the back!  I use the black geometric to carry items to work and back.  The feathered one holds my latest knitting project, and the flower one is a thermal which I use to pack my lunch to work in.  Waaayyyy to fun!!  Yes I am a bit obsessed with these!


Ohhh and see how I use them by my chair to hold my current WIPs.  The deluxe utility holds three of the smaller folders which have handles and I can easily take out as I am working on a project.  I keep this by my couch within arms reach.


I did get out to an estate sales again this week.  I didn’t go early though so the first pickings were gone.  But I did find a few items.  Love this vintage Christmas table runner.  I will probably cut out the designs and use them in a quilt or my own version of a table runner.  And that Oregon cup!  I just couldn’t pass that up. It will most likely find its way into a care package headed to Ireland.


The other day I was thinking about how some books are like old friends and I cannot bear to part with them.  For me those include the books of Gladys Taber, DE Stevenson, Lillian Beckwith, Elizabeth Goudge, Betty MacDonald, Miss Read…oh dear the list is quite exhausting…Louise Dickenson Rich, and Shirley Jackson.  I recently picked up my volume of Jackson’s short stories which include my two favorites that she wrote about raising her children; Living Among the Savages and Raising Demons.  My copy of this book is an old library cast off with a multicolored binding.  Nothing attractive but I love it nonetheless for what treasures lie inside.  I had not read Jackson for years and forgot how dark many of her short stories were.  Her writing is exceptional and she crosses numerous genres with ease.


Lordy, Lordy another term already started.  Saybrook is changing most of their courses from 8 weeks to 15 next year.  While I like the 8 week shorter duration, it means no breaks between term A and B and the intensity of completing numerous papers and presentations in an 8 week period is just brutal.  This term I am finally taking my ethic class. I put it off as long as possible.  An ethics course is always a requirement.  It was in my MA work and again in PhD.  But it is interesting and, at only a week in, already learning new information.  The learning is just so exciting to me, it never gets old.  I dread the papers and presentations, but that is really where the deep learning lies.  I love the research part of paper writing.  Having access to a professional journals and articles through the Saybrook library is so valuable.  Often when I want to know more about something or read something that doesn’t sound quite right, I can pop into the on-line library and do a quick research to ascertain what peer reviewed studies and true research has to say on the matter.  I LOVE that!

And now with the warmer days, I can get out and about in the yard.  Seems we went from freezing to 60s overnight.  Nightly walks will also commence once again and the doggies and I do love our walks.  With that said, I must off to stake up the raspberry plants as I managed to find nice metal fencing post at todays estate sale for .50…how bizarre is that?

Spring Forward,


Marching in like a lion

My but Oregon has had the craziest and coldest weather ever the past few weeks!  I always expect March to roar in like a lion, but this year that roar was exceptionally loud!  The temps have been extremely low for this area and I read the other day in the paper that February of this year was the coldest on record for Salem for ages.  I even had the pleasure of skating to work on ice one morning.  While I was used to that when I lived in Walla Walla, driving on ice in a city is a whole ‘nother story….  But we are getting to the end of it and spring is just around the corner!

The other day I was looking at my IG and up popped the ad for Imperfect Produce again. I have been waiting forever for this to make its way to my neighborhood and it is now here!  I couldn’t wait for my first order!  I signed for for a small box of organic weekly.  This was my first box and I was thrilled!


I have since gotten a second box and there are no disappointments!  I can go in and make changes and selections to the box weekly.  There is a delivery window and you receive a text when your box is almost to your door.  I am going to go to the medium box as we ate that box up in a few days!!

With putting my energy into revamping my work environment, I decided to take a few ugly pieces and redo them in the community color scheme.  Figured it was worth giving it a try instead of just dumping them.  The three pots turned out amazing and hold flowers in the fireplace room.  The two other pieces…not so great…but one of the residents loved them and was happy to give them a home.  So in all it was a win win!  And I got the fun of playing in the paints!  I will post more pics of the finished product next blog…


And look what arrived!!  My passport is finally here!  Now I can get those tickets to Ireland!!  While I have had 2 passports before, getting this passport was such a fiasco.  I couldn’t find my birth certificate and ordering one online was beyond…first they kept throwing it back saying they needed more ID, then my debit card was canceled by the bank as they did not like the link I was paying at…I finally gave up and just sent it in the old snail mail way and had it within a few weeks.  But of course then when the hubby was getting his out of the files…there was mine…it was there all along….good grief!  Then when we went to apply for the passport…first to the wrong address as the county moved building but did not bother to update their website.  Made it there to find out we needed check or money order…well who has checks anymore….so off to get a money order.  Then finally finally all was completed and filed.  The county office where we filed for the passport were just the nicest and most helpful and there were no lines!!  What was amazing was that after filing for the passport it was delivered within a few weeks!  That was fast!!


One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is making up care packages for the girls.  I had a few things I needed to send off to Christina so I thought I would also knit up some quick dish towels to send along.  I enjoy knitting them as they are so fast and easy.  I did ask the grands what they wanted and they requested Takis, Skittles, and more semi sweet chocolate chips.  So of course I had to add those as well.  I also filled the box to the brim with sewing notions as Christina now has a sewing machine!  It still does not seem like they are so far away.  We talk a lot on the phone…a lot of FaceTime.  Work occupies so much of my time that I can easily just think they are still just hours away…which with modern transportation is almost true….


I am still knitting away on my Amulet shawl and have, I think, about 9 more rows of lace before binding off.  But they are veerrrryyy long rows and I do a bit here and a bit there. One tip that I want to share, from Helen Stewart the designer, is when working with lace use stitch markers at the beginning of each lace repeat.  It has revolutionized my  knitting ability!  Now I can knit a lace pattern as I can easily keep count of each repeat.  Before I would always manage to get off count and then rip out and just toss the project in totally frustration.

I am once again taking in the occasional estate sale.  Yesterday while at work I grabbed a few of my mgmt staff and said let’s go have some fun.  It was not one of the best sales by far, but I did manage to find this cute turkey that will be wonderful with my other Thanksgiving decor.  I also found some hand blown glass balls.  I originally had four but when I got back to work my RN loved them so I just had to let her have her pick.  She chose the brightest one and I was so happy to gift it to her.  It was a fun time and I warned the staff that I was always up for an estate/yard/garage sale get away!


As I finish up another course in my PhD studies, I always find my head so full of new knowledge.  This was the toughest course I have taken to date…not due to the material…but the work load and unclear expectations.  While I learned a great deal, it was a struggle to try to navigate the expectations.  In the end I just gave up and focused on learning.  This course was on implementing mindful practices into an organizational setting, most specifically health care settings.  While I could go into a great amount of depth on this subject (my MA is in leadership studies), what I want to share here is just simple.  As research into leadership models continues to grow; what that research is showing is that true leaders are people who have a high amount of self-actualization skills and as a result good moral character.  Authentic, Transformational, and Servant leadership are always at the front of successful models.  But in applying critical thinking to the question of what makes a great leader….this is just common sense.  I am often told by my staff that they appreciate the fact that I am so real and authentic and they feel safe enough to be real in return.  No games here folks…ain’t got time for that shit….that is pretty much my motto in life.  All these buzz words we now apply to leadership; mindfulness, authenticity, true north…they are simply what many of us were taught as children as necessary virtues that make up good moral character.  My point being….just be true and real, take time to smell the roses and be mindful living in the minute, be kind, and always always look inside first and foremost and carry your own share of the shit you created. It really is that simple and I find it amusing that it is now all the rage in the leadership circles and being taught as the way to lead successfully. Yet you cannot teach character, you cannot teach deep self-reflection, you cannot teach humility and accountability.  What you can do is be all of those things and in doing so create spaces of psychological safety for all who interact with you and in doing so allow them to not fear being authentic themselves.   Take it from me, it does work.

And that is my two cents :).

Gearing up for tonights Spring Forward…


February Musings

I haven’t written a blog for a few weeks as I have had my head buried in writing research papers for my course.  Sometimes it is a struggle to get started, but when the flow finally arrives and the paper is already planned out in your head then it just flows.  I love when that happens.  It is the papers that each paragraph is a struggle and you find yourself rewriting sentences numerous times…those are the demons.  This current course I am in has certainly been the most challenging.  But it is nearly over; have a paper to finish, a Ppt to present on the paper, and one last posting and it is complete. Three weeks and I will have a week before the next course begins.  I cannot yammer on enough about how much I am loving the learning process.  It seems I am learning so much that I often think my head cannot contain it all.

I was so excited to get a call from my bestie telling me she was going to be in town for 2 nights!  What a wonderful treat!  We stayed up too late each night catching up.  I was looking forward to taking her to work to give me some ideas for decor.  She gave me the shot in the arm I needed to really start transforming my work environment.  Mia just has the perfect eye for decorating and I was so excited when she suggested we go shopping.  We hit the best sale ever at Pier One and with her talent at pulling things together the main lobby was transformed in no time!  That launched me into tackling other spaces and the place is really taking on a new look.  Updates were so necessary.  I always forget how a bit of moving things around and adding bits here and there can transform spaces!


This front desk still needs a bit more love and clutter clear up, but it is better!


I also did a major rearrangement of my office space.  It was packed with furniture and had no flow.  I like it a great deal better this way!


I still have a lot of shopping to do and have requested some new furniture pieces.  But it is exciting to see the transformation and the residents absolutely love it!  It is important to me to work in attractive spaces!

While here I had Mia go through my yarn stash to pick out something for a shawl.  She couldn’t decide between these three so now I am looking at patterns that would compliment at least one of them.  I cannot decide which one I want to knit up either.  Hmmmmm I will know it when I see it.  I love the blue and it is cashmere, but the green and pink have so much energy….


I have about 12 more rows of lace on my Amulet shawl and then I can cast on for her shawl.  I have really enjoyed knitting this shawl.  I love Helen Stewarts patterns!


There have been so many estate sales over the past few months and I have resisted going.  But I decided that I enjoyed going to them so decided to venture out to one this week.  It was crowded but so much fun.  Sadly there was nothing that really caught my eye except a few cookie sheets to replace my blacken monsters and this cute garden sign.  I can never resist yard decor.  And those who know me know I believe in fairies so this is just perfect for me!  My little garden sprites will love it!


I also found this table runner that is the length of my dining table.  I thought it was quite lovely and for a few dollars I snagged it.  The basket just reminded me of my mom so I couldn’t resist!


Seems we just can’t get a break here in Oregon.  The entire state has been slammed with snow storms for over a week.  Awoke to this.  It is so beautiful and I would love a good hard snow…if I didn’t have to drive in it in the city!  It will be gone in no time however so will enjoy the beauty.


Did anyone else get caught up in the new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy?  I binge watched it in a few days!  I am not sure why I enjoyed it so much as it really isn’t my usual genre.  It was so dark but no in your face slashing.  I cannot watch violence so that rules out almost all US series and movies….and isn’t that just crazy!  We wonder why we are such a violent society…hello…  I generally watch Brit TV while I knit.  I also love documentaries.  I just finished Heal….watched it twice.  Last evening I watched Eating You Alive.  I cannot resist the food documentaries.  I have been stepping in and out of veganism for over a year now.  I need to just stay in as it is when I feel my best!  I love veggies and have never been a real meat eater so it isn’t hard.  Its giving up half and half in my coffee that I just about cannot bear!  I have yet to find a milk substitute that I like.  But I do use coconut or almond milk and just suffer…lol.  I had a bit of a scare with my health so need to get down and serious about taking better care of myself.  I am working on a PhD in Mind Body Medicine for heavens sake…I know this shit!

Speaking of food….  I just signed up for Imperfect Produce!  I have been waiting forever, it seems, for it to come to my city and now it is here!  I get my first box on Thursday.  I chose the small organic box.  I had been reading all the reviews and saw nothing negative.  Cannot wait for my first box!  You all know I love monthly subscriptions.  I am still enjoying my Grove subscription and have pretty much gotten rid of all products in the house that are not natural.  I get so many fun free products from Grove.  Love getting my box every month.  I also enjoy my Young Living oils monthly order.  I use many of their personal products along with oils and love everything!  And I just signed up to participate in a 31 Bag monthly party for 6 months.  I do have my little indulgences as we all need to have those!  I do use Amazon subscribe and save but with all that I am reading about Amazon I think I will stop supporting them.  Yeah I am just one little cog but changes happens one person at a time.

Well I must ready and off to work…

Have a lovely week!


Settling back in…

After the RC and the bug this week I finally felt that I had settled back into my routine.  I am most certainly a creature of habit and like a routine.  Not that I get stuck in a rut.  But just daily routine; I like getting up early in the morning so I have time to enjoy a cuppa while relaxing or sneaking in a bit of knitting before work, I like coming home to a cozy house in the evening and curling up with my knitting, a book, some sewing, or a good Brit TV.  I do like to add an evening walk when the weather changes.  I do not like being cold one bit!  I am really a homebody and nothing makes me happier than to just putter around the house doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

This week I had a bit of a stressor, however, as I had a research paper due and with being sick hadn’t done a thing on it.  I can generally put out a paper with moderate effort, but with this one nothing was coming…nada.  I spent 2 hours on a few paragraphs Monday and was beginning to get worried.  Then late Tuesday it came to me and I was able to finish it up and have if formatted by Thursday.  Oh what a relief.  Now to start the next one that is due in 3 weeks….. This course is all about mindfulness, authenticity, and leadership which are subjects that I have a great deal of practical and working knowledge about.  When writing papers though, I do have issues with having a certain page count required.  Generally we have to have 10+ pages of our research/writing for a course work paper.  I do like the research part of writing.  I learn so many many fascinating things.  I have decided to just stay with the Mind Body Medicine program. After giving it a lot of thought and reviewing all the courses I think I need to stay the course.  I am excited about some of the upcoming classes so that helps.  If any one is wanting to know just what this doctoral program is about and what you would possibly do with a PhD, Netflix just released an amazing documentary call Heal.  It really covers so much of the science and where research is taking us.  Amazing, inspiring, and exciting!!

After thinking that we had dodged winter weather the snow hit.  It came down in huge fat flakes and covered everything.  Luckily it hit on Saturday so I was able to just enjoy watching it out the window whilst cuddled up all cozy and warm.


It did not stick and within a day was all melted away and the sun was peaking through.  But it was so beautiful and a nice surprise.  I love snow as long as I do not have to drive all over town in it….not in a city anyway!

I have been working right along on my Amulet Shawl.  I am really pleased with this color combo.  The yellow just makes me smile.  It is made up of myriad tones and knits up beautifully.  I will have enough of these yarns left over I will knit a pair of matching socks.  The yellow is one I dyed with coreopsis from my garden with an added bit of marigolds.


I also did some sewing and completed 13 projects bags to list in the Etsy shop.  I enjoyed the process of making these.  I did take time to also go through all my cottons and have many ready to destash on IG.  In going through them I have so many other combos that I cannot wait to sew into bags.  These two large bags are from fabric I ordered from Spoonflower.  I just thought they were both so cute.  But I did not expect the cat print to be so large.  It takes a large bag to fit in some of the design.


When February arrived I was committed to doing the Fiberuary challenge on IG.  I tried I really did, but I just wasn’t able to keep up with posting something every day.  I love following others who do and maybe when I am on school break I can join all the fun IG challenges like the Fiberuary one.

That has been it for my week.  I feel like I got a lot accomplished this week and that always feels good!  Tomorrow is back to work, start the next paper, and begin more project bags.  Yes, I have work cut out for me and that is all good.

Happy February,




Road Trip and the Bug

I had the most wonderful time attending my Saybrook PhD Residency Conference in Monterey.  You see this is the first conference I have been able to attend since starting the program.  Something came up every time I had scheduled to go.  Erica decided to come by my house and we drove down spending one night in Redding on the way there and back.  Boy Howdy…next time I will take the train…it was one long trip..but then I am the worst car traveler EVER!

But the conference!!  I met and was able to interact with so many many gifted and talented peers!  The speakers were over the top amazing and had so much to share. There were so many awesome sessions it was difficult to narrow it down to a few!!   I participated in a wonderful all day session on Mindful and Compassionate Leadership in Healthcare which was so enriching, a Dream Table, and Holy Callings and Creative Sensibilities.  But the session that really rocked me and was most transformative was the two day session on Transformative Social Change as a Vocation.  I did not realize that Saybrook offered a PhD in Transformative Social Change!  I admit I am toying with the idea of changing from Mind Body Medicine to TSC!  It is more where my heart lies…but I am two years in so change may be too costly in time and courses.  I am going to check with the head of that department and see where it would put me.  OMG let me tell you that group was really where I felt I fit in!  I have always been an activist and rebel; pushing the limits and desiring change….living in how things should be not how they are.   So we shall see.  The problem with Saybrook is that I want to do all the programs all the time!!!TSC Group Photo RC Spring 2019

To be at a conference with such intelligent, caring, and motivated people was humbling to say the least.  I certainly look forward to the next one and the next….and so on…


And the food….dear Lord…we had so much to eat.  I chose the vegan option each meal and it was delicious.


A group of us took a trip to Pacific Grove to see the Monarchs.  Sadly there were little to none there.  The butterfly sanctuary is beautiful and filled with cypress and eucalyptus trees and was just such a peaceful spot.  Regarding the Monarchs, I remember when I lived in the Bay Area and would take trips home to visit my parents when the monarchs were migrating.  The sky would be yellow with them; thousands of butterflies and sadly the highway was covered with those that were hit by cars as they crossed the freeway.  It was breathtaking to drive through the migration path and be surrounded by these beautiful creatures.  It is catastrophic that they are disappearing due to man’s destruction of the planet.


This is a nut from the eucalyptus tree.  I found the trees quite fascinating!


While out and about we drove by the wharf.  We only had one sunny day while we were there, and we were in conferences all day that day of course.


I just loved this weathered mailbox so had to snap a pic.


While out and about we came upon the cutest book store ever.  It was connected to a tea shop.  Neither of us can resist a bookstore!  We also hit a few thrift stores but there was nothing to be found, no hidden treasure at all.


Back home and Erica and part of the crew hung out a few days with me.  I just love the time with my kids and grands!  It really is what life is all about!  I pulled out all the legos and they had the best time building.  I love love love collecting toys for the grands and still keep a closet full.  They all know when they come to grandma’s house they are free to take home any of the toys as grandma will just stock up with more for the next visit.


A return to work and lots of catch up to do; but a few days in and I was hit hard by the bug..the nasty flu bug.  Oh my, I cannot remember when I had such a bad case of stomach flu.  It certainly put me down hard.  But within 48 hours I was feeling better and able to work on more project bags for Stitches Plus Purls Etsy shop.  I had stopped making bags as I suffered tremendous burn out from making so so many on demand.  But I missed the joy of piecing together the bits and bobs to make the bag fronts.  So I decided to take it up once again; but this time at my own pace!  It is a nice little extra bit to add to my savings, as well.  I just love my sewing room and do enjoy spending time in there.  I plan to do more declutter and destash some of my fabric and yarn as my stash has grown a bit too large!

fullsizeoutput_18e5IMG_1492IMG_1494However, since returning home I have not had a chance to jump back onto the declutter/eliminate wagon.  I did manage to send a lot of bits off with Erica so that was a few less boxes of clutter.  I have this habit of buying things that I just think I need to have and then finding I do not use them…a Vitamix, a Kitchen Aide…Dooney bags…often not cheap things. But not this year, as that is changing.  This year all that extra money is going into savings as I seriously plan my exit strategy from the work environment. I do think my office area looks a bit better with less clutter.  With school back in full swing and papers to be written, an organized, yet cosy, setting is essential!



And look at how nicely I have all my knitting projects with the systems I used utilizing bags from 31 Bags.  I love it!  This fits nicely in my corner by my chair so all is within arms reach.


And now I must off to finish up some projects bags.  The hubby is out of town for a few days, so that leaves me free to keep any schedule I please.

Happy Sewing!




Whiling away the days…

Until I head to Monterey for my RC.  I am really excited to go.  See, I have to attend a residency conference every September and January for my PhD.  Every. single. other. time. I was set to attend something happened and I had to cancel.  So fingers crossed that next Thursday finds me on my way.  I am very much looking forward to it!  It is a week of working and networking with peers, professors, and others in our field.  I am also ready to begin classes again this week.  This academic journey has been so fulfilling and amazing!

I speak very little about my work, although I do enjoy this current position and company immensely.  But I just have to share this little cutie.  When it appeared a resident’s kitty needed a home, we decided to make her a community cat.  I admit, I am a dog person and really not a cat person.  But our little Puff Puff is just the cutest ever.  At first she was so shy and would not venture out of the HSD office, where she lives, but recently she has started visiting me in my office.  It does cause a distraction from work as she demands to be petted and will firmly plop down on the key board until attention is given…


She is just the sweetest kitty.

I was so delighted to receive happy mail and find it was a late Christmas gift from Erica.  The girls know I just love anything that says Grandma.  Well check this out….


My poor dear mother would be aghast.  She was always so shocked at the project bags that I made with cuss words on them.  I think it is hilarious…but I don’t think I will take it to work….

As I have been sorting and clearing out, I came across these skeins and decided I would start some mittens and hats .  I will do color work mittens out of the Jo Sharp and I think a hat out of the knit picks and Cascade.  I have been wanting to make the Anders on Top hat for a bit.


I am still plugging away on my shawl.  Not too enthused so it is just a row here and there.  My knitting mojo is still slumbering.  I do hope that starting some mittens and hat may just wake it up.  But it is all good either way.  Sometimes we have periods where we just need a break.  I am still working on project bags so my creative juices are still getting some work out.


Speaking of the bags,  I just got so burned out when the demand became overwhelming.  However, I miss the fun of creating the bags, so decided to once again produce some.  But it will be at my pace and my own leisure/pleasure.  I spent this morning finishing up some of the natural dyed bags I had started and I also worked on a few of the pieced bags.  I made quite the mess in the process as usual.


I am trying to better utilize my oils and when I found some unscented milled soap in my drawer I decide to give a try at turning it into scented soap.  I grated it down, added a bit of water, and microwaved it until it was melted enough to mix.  I added one of my favorite YL oils, Stress Away, and then rolled it into a log.  I am not sure if it is going to be scented enough.  Once it hardens I will give it a try.   Not at all pretty, but serves the purpose.


In my quest to declutter and par down half my belongings, I have been digging through my stash.  So far this is the best I can do with fabric destash.  When I return from the RC and have a bit more time I will get it photoed and listed on the IG destash page.  It is a bit more difficult for me to get rid of fabric, but must needs and I honestly have more than I could use in a lifetime or two!  I also have a few bags of yarn and fleece, but those will go to my sisters if they want them.  I do like to give things away to family first before selling.


While sorting, I pulled out my box of Valentine decor.  I put it out, but it just didn’t work so I put the box for sell and just kept these few cuties.  I just love that little candy heart box with the three candies…to cute!


Looking back at the week, this has been a pretty creative week for me, and that feels good!  I too often just let the days pass and do not engage my creative side.  I am so grateful that I come from a line of creative women who were well versed in the needle arts and sewing who encouraged my creativity as they shared their skills with me.

And now, although it is darn cold, the sun is shining brightly and the outdoors is calling me and my little Misha is impatiently waiting!

Happy Creating!


Welcome 2019

It just seems that we turn around and another year is upon us….and so it is now 2019.  2018 was not a kind year and was filled with so many ups and downs and with so much sadness and loss.  I am ready to embrace a new year and all the promise and adventure that awaits!  In working on finding my word for the year, the word courage kept coming up again and again.  Courage to truly simplify my life and let go of things; both the tangible and and that which exist only in my own mind.

But, before ringing in the New Year, on Christmas Eve I cut into the glorious Christmas Pudding that Christina and grands had stirred up while here.  It is filled with a myriad of wishes and taste like a dream!  I will savor a slice daily until the platter is clean!!  It is also just lovely to behold and smells of spice heaven!


Also on Christmas Eve I opened that lovely parcel wrapped in brown paper and string that traveled all the way from across the pond to my doorstep.  It was filled with wonderful things!  My secret Santa, Janet, outdid herself and I love every bit of it.  The bag will be so fun to use for toting items to work and it will be so fun to know I am carrying a bit of the UK with me!


After I spent several days sorting through the Christmas decor, packing and storing away, I jumped feet first into decluttering.  It is my year to eliminate half my possessions and I am serious as can be about this endeavor!  Courage indeed!  I started with the holiday decor and went from there to my hutches.  I easily condensed and had an empty hutch within a day.  Then it was cupboards and closets in the living area.  I have a growing wall of boxes and my plan was a yard sale until…..I discovered the wonder of FB marketplace.  I initially listed a few pieces of furniture and within minutes had literally dozens of messages.  I had every thing sold and out of the house within 2 hours!  OH MY!  So this is my new go to for downsizing.  An added bonus is you can get at least double what you would get at a yard sale!  There are a few things I am not yet ready to part with and I am holding back some things so I can have some lovely vignettes around the house….like this display of English village pieces.


I just love my monthly subscriptions/clubs.  I know I have mentioned Grove Collaborative before, but I just love it and it is worth mentioning again!  Every month it is so fun to try new products or reorder those I just cannot live without.  I love they are all natural and I love they are constantly introducing new items and including freebies.  This month it was this beautiful apron.  I have fallen in love with the Little Moon products and sent them off to all my girls so had to finally get a set for myself.  I also wanted to try the Badger Balms so when they had a three pack…well who could resist!  This and my monthly YL oil order are my fun mail!


I had lost my knitting mojo and was totally and completely socked out.  I did not complete my sock KAL but I did complete 10 pair and have 2 more socks completed waiting for their partners.  I am happy with the fact that I could knit 10 pair of socks in a year….that is so amazing considering the prior year I was lucky to get one pair done in 4 or 5 months!  My knitting really exploded in 2018.  I did pick up and work on my pachyderm hat and completed it.  But I really suck at doing color work on fingering and it will be quite surprising if this can fit on anyone head…..I just carry my floats too tight.  I do fine on worsted but just flopped with this project.  But it is ok as to me so much of knitting is the process.  I made this hat from my own hand dyed yarns.  It still needs a good blocking out.


Since there was a special order for a Stitches Plus Purls bag, I decide to go ahead and complete a few more from my botanically dyed fabrics.  I have decided to dip back into some bag making, but on a limited scale.  I had just gotten too burned out and it became drudgery.  But I’d  like to do a few here and there so will begin that process next week end.


It is taking me some time to get back into a routine.  The loss of my mom has settled deep inside me and I know it will take time to center myself again and find my own space/path/place in the universe.  It has taken me time to process the moving overseas of Christina and grands, but I know they are only a plane flight away and I am so eager to visit!  In all this, I know how deeply blessed I am.  Yet, Salem has never really felt like home to me.  And that has contributed to the struggle to recenter.  I have created a cozy nest which I love, have a job that I thoroughly enjoy, and am loving every minute of my PhD program; but it just is not home.  I have struggle with that feeling since after the first year of moving here.  I cannot pin point the reason although try as I might.  Generally I am a “wherever you go there you” are kinda girl.  Maybe it is growing older and being so far from my children and grands….that is huge….I miss them all dearly.  Whatever it may be, it is what it is, and my answer is to gather my nest eggs, decrease my possessions, and prepare to for the day I can say goodby to Salem and return to “home.”  I am not unhappy, as I am happy by nature, but I miss a sense of home, of belonging.  So I prepare for the move that I know will eventually take place when the timing is right.


I shared a few weeks back about poor Bruno’s eye ulcer.  Well, it just isn’t healing.  This is a not uncommon occurrence in boxers.  But after trying different meds the vet said it would now require deriding.  I am traveling for work the next few day so on Thursday my poor sweet Booger will go in and have this simple office procedure.  I am hopeful this will promote healing and get the eye cleared up!  He has not had to wear the cone at all but a few days after the original visit, but will once again with this procedure.  Oh how he hates it!!

And now dears, I must off to work…in meetings the next two days…never my favorite place to be…

Hopeful 2019,