Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sara and I shopped for a Christmas dress and found a very understated one on sale at Hannah Andersen's. Of course, Grammy had to get the red and white tights with the red ruffles on the bum and the red patent leather shoes to match. Then we trekked over to Pioneer Square for a photo with Santa. Eli wasn't afraid of him, but was too intent on all the lights and people to smile. It was a sweet photo anyway. Santa said Eli told him she wanted a Harvard Law degree and a Mazaratti. Sara thought that was perfect.
Eli is mobile - either rolls over and over or pushes herself backwards to get where she wants to go. It's just a matter of time before she's crawling. Her two bottom teeth are just sharp enough to hurt if she bits down when sucking on your hand or fingers. She's enjoying peas, squash and rice cereal - not too sure about avocado. She's such a happy, contented baby. Goes with the flow most of the time. She'll be 7 months old on the 7th - how can that be possible?
I'm so grateful to be close enough to see her at least once a month.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The next to the last evening I was there, I took a walk in the park across from my hotel over to the edge of Lake Michigan. It was cool, but not the bracing cold I had expected, and there was a slight wind. The trees were bare and the grass had turned that dirty shade of greenish-brown. Just yards from one of the busiest streets in downtown Chicago there were birds and squirrels. The further I walked into the part, the more faint the traffic became. It was lovely. The photo above was the entrance to a bridge that spanned the rail system that connects parts of Chicago. I love the old lightposts and globes. I could almost imagine this spot a hundred years ago with children playing and adults strolling arm in arm.
Today I'm home again where I walk along much quieter streets, where I know my neighbors and they know me, where people do not rush along the sidewalks on their way to important meetings. I'm glad I had the chance to experience Chicago, but I am even more grateful to be home.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
If you've never checked them out, you should - they post a new sketch every Sunday and have several designers create a page from it. The photos were taken on Eli's 4 month birthday in a lovely park in Portland. The patterned papers were from this month's Cocoa Daisy kit. Really like how it came out.
I have another layout almost finished using last month's Cocoa Daisy kit. I'm definitely on a roll!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The weather was perfect - cool and overcast until the last couple miles when the sun started to peek through the clouds.
We had just gotten started walking when the first three runners passed us. They looked like they were out for a Sunday jog when they past the 20 mile marker. It was fun to watch the runners go by us as we walked. Some were really struggling and others were running easily.
The cheers of the crowd that lined the route helped us pick up the pace. And we finished in under 2 hours - 1 hr and 50 minutes. That was a great time for me. I told Sara as we neared the finish line that I would like to still be doing this in 20 years. Guess that means I need to keep moving. :)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
She looks about 3 years old in the photo. There are a couple other photos taken about the same time, so there must have been an occasion for a formal photo shoot. I also have a couple snapshots with her with that bow as well. Love that crazy huge bow in her hair. Somehow, it's really a stretch of my imagination to think of her this way.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This is a great photo of Sara and Greg, but the color was poor from being taken in bright sun. So I added a bit of sepia, a vintage overlay, and a frame. Now it looks as great as it was supposed to be.
I'm learning so much from this class. My photos may never look the same again. :)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
My backyard is a veritable smorgasbord of color and fragrance this morning. The calendar may say spring but the temperature says summer. With the very warm temperatures my roses have exploded in bloom. Walking in my garden is a heady experience with all the intense scents that my roses give off. I am of the belief that if I'm going to have a rose in my garden, it needs to have a fragrance. I have such a limited space for them that I just can't choose one with only color and beauty. I have picked an eclectic bouquet to enjoy in the house.
Many other plants are in bloom as well - oriental poppies, iris, California lilac, calla lillies, clamatis, the Stella Dora daylillies, columbine, and honeysuckle (that one smells heavenly).My marathon weeding weekend has made the walk through the yard much more pleasant. I can see the flowers rather than the weeds now.
I love this time of year. (sigh)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
In the past 48 hours I've learned alot about honeybees - in fact, I've learned more than I really wanted to know. Monday late in the afternoon I heard the intensity of buzzing in my yard increase substantially. I looked up and saw quite a few bees circling above my backyard. I went in the house and watched as they seemed to settle in my sweet gum tree at the back of my backyard. A little later I went out and discovered a huge hive/swarm of what appeared to be yellow jacket hornets!!!!! Yesterday I called around and finally found an exterminator who would be here this morning at 8:00 to look at my problem.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Maybe some day I'll get good enough with the curling brush and the hairdryer so it will look like this all the time.
I finally have some time to get to work in the garden today after working every day this week. I'm just not used to that schedule, but we've moved into the CCC building while still treating patients at the old building. It's kept all three of us nursing personnel working full time to take care of both places. I'll be glad when everyone is moved over and we're all in the same place again.
Off to the garden.......
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Welcome, little one. She is so very precious. She arrived by C-Section May 7, 2009 at 3:41pm. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 8 ounces, and was 21 inches long. In this photo she is less than one hour old. The hair looks curly, but once the meconium and vernix was washed out, her hair is straight.
The Stiles couple has now become a family of three and they couldn't be happier. Greg is already super dad and can change a messy diaper in record time. Sara is slowly recuperating from the C-section and large blood loss. She loves snuggling with Eli and is already speaking to her in Spanish. She and Eli will be released from the hospital on the 11th, so I am going back up tomorrow to stay with them for another week, so they can get settled into a good routine. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this special time in their family and see my first grandchild at the very beginning of her life.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This photo shows my little vegetable garden I've been working on. This area was all grass and weeds until I covered it with newspaper and some of the soil left from last summer's front yard re-do. I'm gradually adding compost, left-0ver soil, fertrich from last summer's project and dolomite lime. I had a soil test done on the soil here - it's in horrid shape so I decided on slightly raised beds so I could take my time enriching it all for the next few years. What you see planted here is a six pack of lettuce varieties, several tiny cilantro seedlings and two rows of carrots and radishes. The branch in the upper portion of the photo is my apple tree which is in full bloom.
The next area of raised bed will hold tomatoes and red peppers. The third area will be green beans, lemon cukes, and a zucchini plant. It's a small area but will keep me in my favorites for the summer. I plan on some rotation of crops as the summer progresses into fall.
The rest of the yard work has been weeding and spring clean-up. I have a lot blooming now and love this time of year in the garden.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Greg and Sara have a wonderful black and white framed photo of a couple workmen sitting on one of the scaffolds yards above the bridge when it was being built. They could be a couple of boys from the Huck Finn era sitting there eating their lunches.
I think this bridge is by far one of the most picturesque in the Portland area. I love that I get to drive across it when I visit my kids. There's a beautiful park on their side of the river under this bridge. It's called Cathedral Park because the supports for the bridge look like a Cathedral from the under side.
Hope you enjoy this little glimpse of Portland history.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
1. I don't work on thursdays. I work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but not Thursday or Friday. Crazy that I'm retired and work at all, but I'm grateful for the work.
2. Sunshine: We've had warmer days with sunny afternoons for about a week. I've even gotten out to do some much needed weeding in the front yard. Sunshine really lightens my mood.
3. Scrapbooking: I love this hobby. I love putting words and photos together and remembering things that happened in the past or telling current stories. I love the creative element of chosing paper, colors, and extra goodies. There are lots of people who are way more artistic than I, but that's OK because only I can tell my stories.
4. A clean home: I finally found a cleaning lady who will be spiffing up my house twice a month. I hate housework - well, not really, but I'd rather be doing lots of other things besides cleaning. And with my asthma, I really shouldn't be breathing in a lot of dust, which is another reason for the cleaning lady - without her my house gets really dusty. So, she came for the first time on Monday while I was at work. My house was so beautiful and spotless when I got home. I love it!!! And look forward to having it like this at least a couple days out of the month.
5. Good books: I love to read and am so grateful the volumes of really good books out there. I just finished two of the best ones I've read in a while. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks was so well written and well researched. It took me from the 1400s to the present day. Loved it.
And The Amber Room by Steve Berry was also well researched and interesting to read about all the art treasures that were looted during WWII by the Germans and later by the art collectors who restole them and hid them for their own pleasure. Steve Berry writes an excellent mystery novel with lots of history thrown in.
There you have it. The five things I'm thankful for today.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
During November and December I worked five days a week to fill in for the full time RN at work. Last week she surprised me with this lovely bouquet of pink tulips as a thank you gift. They were so unexpected and such a breath of spring.
I'm really enjoying having them in my home this weekend.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1. That I have a friend who is on the Paper Trunk DT - hi, Dena. Check out the blog for a chance to win some cool new papers.
2. The fog is gone (for now). We've had fog over the past couple weeks almost every day. Caused by a temperature inversion, they say. I get really feeling blah when it happens and can't get motivated to do much of anything. Yesterday, the fog lifted - to reveal clouds and some glimpses of sun, and occasional dribbles of rain. I would rather have that anyday than the fog.
3. The few signs of spring that are appearing in my garden in spite of it still being January. - see the previous post for one of them.
4. Wolfgang Puck's organic chicken broth: I've been a bit under the weather for a couple days with an upset stomach and have been subsisting on chicken broth. Wolfgang's is the very BEST around. Just heat it up straight out of the box and drink it down - warming and tasty.
5. My grandbaby: Baby Stiles has been cooking in utero for 26 weeks now. That's a milestone as there is an 80% survival rate if it is born now. Of course, the continued prayer is for a normal gestation period, easy delivery and healthy babe in May. But I'm grateful for every day that passes now.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
1. last summer's raspberries: I love raspberries so I freeze as many as I can during June and July when they are in season. Tonight I spinkled about 1/2 c of them on some yogurt - yum. They are almost as good as when they are fresh.
2. freckles: that's my Jack Russell terrier. She's my buddy. Sometimes she drives me crazy when she wants more attention than I am willing to give her - but I'm really thankful for her company.
3. Sunshine: We don't get enough of this in the winter around here. Today was supposed to be cloudy all day, but about noon the sun peeked out and stuck around until dark. Lifts my spirits just to look outside and see the blue sky and the sunshine.
4. Project 365: This project is helping me to see my life in small vinettes. And I'm more aware of all the little things that make up the big things. I'm thankful for the mindfulness that it's stirring up.
5. Goosedown quilts: I love mine. It keeps me cozy warm in winter and is light enough to use in the summer (most of the time). When I was growing up, I needed lots of heavy blankets on my bed to keep warm. I remember that my toes couldn't even wiggle for the weight of those blankets. My quilt isn't like that - I can wiggle my toes to my heart's content. Crazy, huh?
That's it for this week. I'll try to remember on Tuesday next week.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Community Cancer Center where I work is currently housed in the original building which is slightly over 25 years old. To say that it is too small is an understatement.
Yesterday my coworkers and I were treated to a tour of the building in the photo above, which will be our new home sometime this spring. Our radiation treatment center will occupy the first floor and include two new state of the art machines plus one machine we will be moving over from the old building. The top two floors will house the offices of the three medical oncology physicians who are currently spread out in separate offices around town. There will also be office space for the American Cancer Society and the tumor registry clerk. So, all services for treating cancer will be located in one building a short walk from the hospital. Patients will not have to travel all over town for treatment.
There is a beautiful reflecting garden to the rear with a couple water pools and a really cool water falls down native rock from near here. All three floors are floor to ceiling glass overlooking the garden. Patients receiving chemo therapy treatments will be able to gaze at the restful water feature and our radiation treatment patients will wait for their treatments while looking out the window as well. The building was created with attention to not only physical wellbeing, but emotional and spiritual care also.
We are all looking forward to having a place to offer care to our patients in such a lovely location. Move in date is set for about the end of April. I'm excited.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
So, today I'll choose five things I'm grateful for:
1. My health. I have my aches and pains and have to watch my diet and take my medication. But I'm still able to work in my garden, walk in my neighborhood, enjoy dinner out with friends and many more pleasures that are easy to take for granted.
2. A job I love. I wish I could brag about weighing all the benefits about choosing to become a nurse when I graduated from high school, but really, I just had always wanted to be a nurse. I went to a school that was something my parents to afford, and I graduated. I was just plain lucky that I chose a profession that has grown and provided me with a very comfortable living - not rich by any means, but comfortable. I've never not been able to find a job. I've had the opportunity to try my hand at many different facets of this profession - some I loved, some I did for other reasons. But now.....I'm retired, and working part-time in a facility and with people I really enjoy being with. I love my patients and it breaks my heart each time one moves from this life to the next.
3. Where I live: I live in a smallish, rural town. It's a two hour drive to the beach and two hours to the mountains. I've lived here for over 35 years and have many friends and acquaintances. I know my way around, where to shop, where to eat, who the good doctors are, what events are worth going to. I didn't always like living here. I thought it was the backwater of America. In a way, I guess it is, but it's my home.
4. Central heating: you may laugh at that, but I haven't always had this. For many years I lived in homes with wood stoves. Wood heat is wonderfully warm.....as long as you are in the same room with the stove. It's really cold in the winter in the rooms away from the stove. So I'm thankful for my gas furnace. I turn it up to the temperature I want and I stay warm no matter what room I'm in. gotta love that.
5. The Internet: WOW what a wonderful thing it is to be able to communicate with people all over the world who share interests with you! I never would have been able to know that Becky was having a less than perfect Tuesday which lead her to think about all the things she is grateful for. Reading about that, I'm able to also take a few moments to think about all the blessings I have everyday, but especially THIS day. Thank you, Becky.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This is the little sewing area of my new craft room. Today I put up the shelf and will have sewing supplies like bobbins, frequently used spools of thread, and sewing machine needles in the drawers on it. The blue tin holds hand sewing supplies and a couple spools of thread. I've never had a special sewing area - when I sewed clothes for myself and Sara, my machine sat in the dining area of our country kitchen. And I cut fabric out on the kitchen table. This new space is such a luxury for me. I have enough counter space to the left of the machine to cut fabric or leave a current project out until it's finished.
I love being able to put up the shelf myself. Having the right tools makes it simple and easy. I love my cordless drill and the 4 foot level. The shelf was up in less than 15 minutes. Go, me!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I really enjoy reading about the lives of women 50-75-100-200 years ago. So I'm hopeful that at some point one of my descendants will find my daily documentation of some interest. They may laugh at me sitting in front of my computer at work, or at a photo of my dinner coming out of the microwave, or of the strange clothing I wear. So, I'm embarking on the project 365 to leave some record of who I am and what I do and think in the year 2009. It just may help me look at the things that define me and make me think, too.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Last year my word was perseverance. I tend to leave things half done rather than pushing through (persevering) to the end. So, this past year I have persevered in completing the Master Gardener's course and volunteering my required hours, in living within my means, in working way more than I wanted but which paid for a couple luxuries I would not have been able to afford otherwise, in completing a huge front yard project that took most of the summer, in losing some unhealthy weight, and in walking through some valleys that I had not anticipated.
Welcome 2009 and a new word, GIVE. Now, more than ever, I am conscious of how blest I am with a steady job, health, a wonderful family, and great friends. This year I will look for opportunities to give back, pay forward, or otherwise give of myself for others. My giving will be out of a grateful heart without any thought of being thanked or repaid. The payment will be in the giving. This is the last you will hear of my word as I chose to be private and not toot my own horn.
A new year, a new focus.