Ringing in the New Year: looking ahead in 2017

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We rang in the new year quietly with a mildly alcoholic drink and a movie.  No late night parties for us or big celebrations in a bar or hotel ballroom.  Maybe it’s because we’re not in our twenties anymore or just that we enjoy being at home with our canine friends.  Whatever the reason, we were satisfied with our quiet evening at home.  We are at the point where we didn’t even have to explain to each other why we spent our evening at home.  Our priorities had changed.   Continue reading

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Pink pussy power: a hat to warm them all

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I hope my readers will forgive me using a certain word in the title.  It’s actually taken from a website and a hat initiative called “pussyhat project” which can be found here:  pussyhatproject.com.  I am a knitter and lately a bit of an activist, so this project appealed to these two interests.  I came across the project on Ravelry, a social network for knitters.  Last week I ordered 18 skeins of pink yarn when my favorite yarn store offered free shipping.  On day four I’ve completed three hats.  I keep coming across more and more people who want to attend the Women’s March on Washington — website here —   and who need a warm pink hat.  Because baby it’s going to be cold outside!

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My first blogging award: The Liebster

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A blogging award, oh my!

Most people who blog do so because they want share what they write with others.  Hopefully, bloggers also get something out of it.   That something is usually related to an emotional need to put idea to (virtual) paper, or to have a record of our innermost thoughts that we hope someone else in the Internet universe will enjoy.  We have many choices and probably thousands and thousands of blogs to read.  I watched my readership rise slowly, from onesies and twosies, to dozens.   So, I was surprised and pleased to be nominated for The Liebster by Laura Bruno Lilly at http://laurabrunolilly.com/blog/.   I love to read Laura’s blog.  She feels like a kindred spirit.  Her artistic pursuits and deep faith resonate with me.  She has a curiosity about people and places that I love. Continue reading

A first place ribbon at the Quilt Show!

 

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Look at that winning smile!

The past week or so has been jam packed.  Larry and I went on a vacation — more on that later.  My friend BJ came for a few days and we attended the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza at Oaks, PA.  BJ is a master quilter and had entered one of her quilts in the Show.  I felt very fortunate that I live close to Oaks so I got a nice visit with her.  I went last year —  without BJ — and did a post about it with a picture of her quilt with a ribbon.  This year we went together, and, yes, another ribbon.  I was not surprised because BJ is one good quilter.   BJ retired a few years before I did and decided to pursue her love of fiber and become a professional quilter.

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My one year blog-anniversary

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One year ago I wrote my first blog post.  At that time I was embarking on a new life in a new town.  We had packed up the car with our two dogs, and left DC for Pennsylvania.  How have I spent my first year outside the office?  Well, let me tell you, it hasn’t been boring or mundane.   The journey has begun.

Let me count the ways.

I gained a new appreciation for sitting quietly by my peaceful pond and do nothing.

I put in a backyard garden and understood how hard it was to successfully grow food to feed yourself and your family.

I realized that not only did I not miss getting up every day to dress for the office and embark on the morning commute, but I didn’t miss spending the day in the office and keeping the boss happy.

I cultivated an eye for wildlife all around me:  Mallard ducks and woodpeckers, rabbits and deer and chipmunks and butterflies.  I learned to be patient and wait for them to come out and show themselves.

I got back into the practice of cooking not because I had to but because I wanted to.

I lingered in local shops to get to know strangers who became friends.  I let down my guard and learned that trust is easier than it seems.

I left the house without locking my door and didn’t think twice about it.

My blood pressure went down, way down and stayed low.

I stopped worrying about things that didn’t matter.

What about year two?

Now that I’ve taken a look back, what’s in store for me in the coming year?  One of the things I started with at the beginning of the year was genealogy research.  I started a project of finding out more about my family history just over a year ago.   Then life got in the way, most importantly, both of my parents, who are elderly, began to decline and became more frail.  We had to clear out their house to get it ready to sell.  I found a few of my relatives and connected with my second cousin who live in New Jersey.  My year two plan is to start the work of adding more leaves on the family tree and get it in a form that I can share with my relatives and for those who come behind me.

I want to write more, beyond the format of this blog.

My backyard garden project continues, with failures and successes.  Before the season ends I need to map my garden on paper and catalogue what worked and what didn’t.  Over the winter I will begin the task of planning the garden in a more scientific way, putting planting dates on the calendar, starting seeds indoors, and investigating ways to prevent pests from destroying my zucchini and eggplants.

We have travel plans in the next twelve months and beyond.  I will be blogging about that.

I want to try at least three new things.  Stay tuned!  No, I will not be jumping out of an airplane or bungee jumping.  I will be planting fruit trees, spending more time outdoors, and getting creative.

Want to join me?  What new things do you want to try?

Groundhog Day: the day after

 

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Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

 In the movie   Groundhog Day Bill Murray plays a weatherman who wakes up to discover that each day is February 2nd and is forced to relive it over and over again.   Finally, after what seems like a lifetime of anger, bitterness, nastiness, depression, and a lot of humor, he changes his fate by changing his behavior.  I never tire of watching this movie.  It has such a feel good message of redemption through personal growth.

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Finished objects

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Newly finished object,  Knitspot’s “Pedal Pusher”

There is a special vocabulary for knitters.   A UFO is an unfinished object, and a WIP is a work in progress, and DISO means you are almost finished with something but ran out of yarn so you are desperately in search of some more of it.  These words are a shorthand knitting language.  Then there is the SABLE,  which means stash acquired beyond life expectancy.   I have been working hard since October to finish some projects, and have sprinkled pictures of them throughout this post.  All of them have been completed in the past two months. Continue reading

Twas the night before Christmas . . .

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Twas the night before Christmas and in Marla’s house, we were busy preparing for a day that would not interest a mouse,

For we had no presents, no tinsel, no tree, just two grown up people in wait for a  day that was free,

Our fridge was packed, our house nice and warm, as we hunkered down for a quiet day outside the norm,

No children were waiting, no brew was chilling, as we eagerly looked forward to a day that was thrilling,

When what on our lawn did we spy from the door but some deer, a grouse, squirrels, and wait . . . birds galore!

As darkness descended on our small village street we heard the sound of peace, joy, and a new day to meet.

So my virtual friends I send you a warm greeting, in hopes that one day we may be meeting,

And wishing you all a joyful weekend, filled with family, food, good cheer and old friends.
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Getting organized the Japanese way

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I recently heard about a book that promised to change your life.  It’s called “the life-changing magic of tidying up:  the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.   I put my name on a list of over 100 waiting to read it at the library and a few days ago I received an email that  a copy was available. Continue reading