Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grammy Love

I got to spend four days with Sara, Greg and Eli over Thanksgiving. Eli and I got to spend quite a bit of time together and even had about 3 hours alone one day when Greg and Sara went shopping.

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


I spent most of last week in Chicago for a convention. The city, like most cities, is a study in contrasts - wealth and poverty, skyscrapers and parks, traffic and solitude, white, black and everyone in between. I love the energy of a large city, but really crave the peace of my small town that I call home.

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

I'm on a Roll

Even tho I'm home with a cold, I still have enough energy to scrapbook. That's a good thing since I have a million photos and almost as many supplies. This layout was done from a sketch on Pencillines.
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

Using the Cocoa Daisy kits

During the summer I did very little scrapbook-ing as I spent so much time in the garden. I'm suddenly overrun with supplies from my monthly kits. Yikes! So I've been on a scrapbooking binge. At the rate I'm using papers it could be next year sometime before I've caught up with them.
This layout has photos that Sara took of Eli on her 4 month birthday. She has quite the variety of expressions. At first, I thought I would put descriptive words in the pp blocks, but decided the photos are too cute to draw attention away from them. So, here you are you doll baby in all your happiness.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This One's for Eric

I realized when I was looking through my recent scrapbook layouts that I didn't have any with my son in them. Now, that is partially because I have so few recent photos of him. However, I do have quite a few of his years growing up. So, I have remedied it. This is of his family dinner celebration when he graduated from high school - only 23+ years ago. Hmmm....maybe I better do a few more.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ali's class as BPS

I'm taking the 'Yesterday Today' class at Big Picture Scrapbooking for the next 12 weeks. The layout below is the first of the weekly layouts we will do in class. I love how it turned out. One of the best things I learned this week is how to scan older photos so I can enlarge and use them. The photo on the right is of me in Brooklyn, NY in front of my grandmother's brownstone apartment where we lived while my father was in Germany during WWII. I'm 2-1/2 years old - notice the high top brown shoes and the wooden doll buggy. Cool stuff.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Portland Marathon - Mayor's Walk

This past Sunday was the Portland Marathon. Sara had run it three years ago and I had walked it nine years ago. Neither of us wanted to do it again this year, but the 10K Mayor's Walk was just the goal we both could achieve this year. Even Eli had a number and was a participant. The first few steps wore her out so much that she slept most of the rest of the way. So here we are ready to take off.

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

Bad Blogger

I'm a terrible blogger. It's been ages since I added anything new. So here's a layout I started a couple weeks ago and finished today. I used a Becky Higgins sketch and just cardstock and few pieces of a Pink Paislee patterned paper. The photos really don't need anything else.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Old Photographs

I have a few old photographs of my mother, but know nothing about the history connected with them. It breaks my heart that I never thought to ask her questions about her childhood and she never volunteered any information. So, rather than leaving the old photos in the cardboard box, I have decided to make layouts for them so they will be seen. Here's the first one.

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

Photo Grid

A couple weeks ago Cathy Zielski had a tutorial on Ali Edward's blog with instructions on how to create a photo grid in Photoshop Elements. I really wanted to try it out and finally made the time today. I already had the layout idea when I first saw the tutorial. Sara had taken many photos of Greg and Eliana on Father's Day. Several of them were really good and a couple showed how goofy Greg can be. I couldn't wait to get them printed and into a layout. Here is the finished result.

I don't know why the photo edges are blurred. I didn't do that intentionally. In fact, I would rather have them crisp, but don't have any idea how to do that. But I do like how the layout turned out. I used products from this month's Cocoa Daisy kit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another photo from Jessica's class

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

Photoshop Class

I'm taking a free Photoshop class on Jessica Sprague's site. She makes it all seem so easy and I must say I love the things I've learned in the first 4 days.
This photo was taken 5 years ago when I was in Maine for Greg and Sara's wedding and took a road trip afterwards with a friend. This gorgeous 4 masted sailboat was moored at Bar Harbor. The early mist makes it seem so mysterious. I think the clipping mask we used on our photo gives it just the right amount of artistic appearance. I think I may have to print it out and scrap it. cool stuff.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Japanese Visitor

Last month my friend Sanae visited from Japan. I first met her when I visited Japan as a delegate from our Sister City program. She was the interpreter for our visit. She has a wonderful command of the English language and teaches students privately. A year later she visited my hometown as a member of a return Sister City delegation and she and her daughter stayed with me.
This time she stayed with another family so I didn't get to see her very much. She is just a sweet and bubbly as ever and is so curious about my country.
The photo above has had the frame and the word art added as part of a digi class I'm taking from Jessica Sprague. It was so simple to do that I have to wonder why it has taken me so long to get my feet wet in the world of digital scrapbooking. I see some more digi classes in my future.

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

What a difference a couple days makes

Now you see them/it
Now you don't
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.
Well, he arrived right on time and took a look at the hive/swarm. He thought they were honeybees as yellow jackets don't form a nest like what I had. He had forgotten to put his binoculars in his truck, so made arrangements to come back this afternoon to look at them more closely. I went on-line and found that honeybees frequently swarm and form a temporary home like what was in my tree while they look for a more suitable permanent home.
When I got home about 4:00 the hive/swarm was GONE, and the exterminator was just coming out of the back yard. He said it's common this time of year for honeybees to stay in one place for 36 to 48 hours and then leave. There can only be one queen per hive so if there is more than one, the queen leaves and takes some of the workers and drones with her to find a new home.
So, my backyard is again mine and I can work/relax out there without the fear of being stung. Whew!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back home

I got back home last Sunday after being gone for about 10 days. I was amazed with how my garden had grown in my absence. Here's a photo of the front year that I just put in one year ago. I'm afraid I will have to dig up some things by next year as they have filled in so quickly. The rhode in the background in front of the house window is COVERED in huge pink flowers. It is nice to see the fruits of last summer's labors.

I missed a haircut appointment while I was gone and my hair became a mess. So, I finally got in for the overdue trim yesterday. I love the way Victoria styles it and have not been able to replicate it. So I took a couple photos so I could remember how good it looks when she does it.

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 Eliana Pamela Stiles

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

It's about time

That I update my poor lonely blog. I've been really busy with work, trips to Portland, and yardwork. Also am working on a baby quilt for my first grandchild.

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

March-Lion or Lamb?

I always hope that March will come in like a Lion and out like a Lamb. This year March seems to be conflicted. This morning started out with rain which was supposed to last all day. It's now a bit past noon and the sun is trying to come out. So, I took advantage of it and dashed out to my front garden which is looking like Spring! I'm always thrilled when I take a photo that turns out exactly like I want it to. I'm sharing it with you, my blog readers. Welcome to Spring in Oregon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St. John's Bridge

This is the bridge that spans the Willamette River on the way to the area of Portland where Greg and Sara live. When I drove up there last Friday I couldn't resist taking a couple photos. The sky was soooo blue and the bridge had been repainted last summer and was gorgeous against the sky. Don't ask how I managed to get these photos. The first one was on the hill approach to the bridge and I was stopped in traffic. You really don't want to know about the second one.
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

Last Assignment

I'm really sad to see the DYL class end. I've learned so much and created so many layouts that I have just LOVED. This is the last one. We were to pick a scrapbook product and build our layout around it. I wanted to scrap these photos so kind of went at it backward. I think I chose the perfect scrapbook product in the patterned paper by Scenic Route. The rub-ons are an older Basic Grey product. The color in my photo doesn't do the flowers justice - the iris is really a very deep purple, and the day lily is an intense lemon yellow.
Now that class is over, I'm going to have to use what I've learned to create my own pages. Kinda scarey......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Design Your Life

Although the class finished right before Christmas, I'm still finishing the last couple lessons. The layout on the top above is my most recent assignment. I was to chose one of my favorite layouts from past weeks and assignments and do it again - alterating it as I wished, but sticking to the basic sketch. the layout on the bottom is one of our first assignments. I love the large photo and the smaller supporting photos, so I used it to tell a story about having Pema, my daughter and son-in-law's dog, come visit me. I kept the sketch intact and switched the journaling block around and added the red paper under the photos to tie them together. I used letter stickers to put my title directly on the photo, and I used some cool ribbon on the bottom of the page. I like how it turned out and it's a good example on NOT reinventing the wheel and still coming out with a cool layout.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thursday works better for my gratitudes cause I don't work on Thursdays. So here they are.

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


There is nothing quite like the unexpected gift of flowers, especially these lovely tulips in January.

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

Thankful Tuesday

Finally remembered to post my gratitudes on Tuesday.

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

Winter landscape

It's been foggy for days and days. Today it rained and then the sun came out briefly. It's still very much winter here. I love this quote from Camas: “In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer”.

And I might add that in the depths of winter I can also find signs of spring. I have two hellebores that usually bloom at Christmas time. It was so cold around that time that they were delayed for almost a month. Today I found this:
I transplanted this particular plant last summer so it would be in the shade garden. I wasn't really expecting it to bloom the first year after being moved, but it is. I also found that my raspberry colored one has buds on it as well. There is still hope for spring after all.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Project 365

This is the 3rd weekly spread on my Project 365 album. Yessir, I have kept it up now for 21 days. That's how long you have to do something for it to become a habit. Hope that's true. It's really been easy so far to find something each day to photograph or save and write a little blurb about it. I'm enjoying the process and am already looking forward to reading these pages in a year to see how much my life has changed or stayed the same.
I'd encourage any one who would be remotely interested in this to look on the web for the ways others are finding to document their daily life without this special album. I can't remember right off the top of my head, but have seen several in my travels the past few days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thankful Tuesday on Wednesday

I forgot that yesterday was Thankful Tuesday until after I had already posted. So, I'm doing it on Wednesday.

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

Project 365 today

So far I'm making an entry a day and thought I would share today's photo.
Victoria has been my hair stylist for about a year and a half. She is the only stylist who has been able to cut my hair to really satisfy me. Last spring she asked me if I had ever let my hair grow. I groaned. Yes, I have and it looks like a bush. Well, I agreed to let her try my hair in a short bob.
You can't see the back of my hair in this photo, but it's wedge cut in back, and more blunt cut in front. I get compliments all the time on my hair and it really is rather simple to style thanks to six 1-1/2 inch plastic brush rollers that give me the height and straighten my frizzy hair. I love her. And I'm grateful she let me snap this photo of us today. Thanks, Victoria, for getting me out of my hair rut.
Oops, I forgot this is Tuesday. I'll post my thankful Tuesday tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Building

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

Thankful Tuesday #1

Becky posted five things she has to be thankful for today and suggested that others might join her. Thankfulness is something I am intimately involved with every day that I work. You see, I'm a nurse and work part-time at a radiation treatment center for people with cancer. I am constantly reminded of all that I have to be grateful for and that nothing I am going through even holds a flickering candle to what my patients are going through. In addition to surviving with a life threatening disease, some risk losing their homes or cars because of insurmountable debt from the bills associated with their illness. Recently two of our families had gas or power disconnected because of non payment of fees. Some come in for curative treatment and some come for treatment that will ease their pain for a little longer. How can I even think of complaining because I had to wait in line a little longer than I had planned at the grocery store?

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 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

A New Shelf

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

Project 365

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who got a kit before they sold out. Project 365 is one of Becky Higgins' KOTM creations. It has everything I will need to document in photos and words every day for a full year of my life. While my life is far from being fascinating, it will have some really high moments this next year - like becoming a grandma for the first time.

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

One Word

I like the idea of choosing one word to define a direction for a new year. Resolutions made in the light of a fresh start usually fall by the wayside once life gets in the way. So, one word.

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.