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 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

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.