So Much Good!!!

I get very anxious when I am in large groups of people.  By ‘large’ I mean anything over 6-8 people.  It’s hard to explain if you don’t know what I mean right out of the gate.  Part of what happens is I get overwhelmed processing so much input from multiple voices and visual images.  I also get extremely self conscious about what to say, what I will sound like, what will people think of my opinion, will my question sound stupid, etc. etc.

Anyway last week the quilter’s guild show organizer called and asked me to volunteer at the show this past weekend. Before I could stop myself I said yes to volunteering for 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon on Saturday.

My customary action after such a blunder would be to come up with some excuse to beg off at the last minute or to actually manifest an ailment (allergy attack, cold, bad back or ?) to get out of my commitment.

But this time I soldiered on.  I rationalized that this is a very friendly, innocuous group oif women involved in an endeavor I find very challenging and satisfying.  I love to learn and would find a lot of opportunities to do just that at the show.  And right now I am into pushing the envelope, getting out of my comfort zone, and getting over it!!

So i went.  I volunteered.  And I had a great time!!!  The women were very welcoming.  The show was great.  I got a lot of new inspiration.  I bought some wonderful new applique thread and some new patterns.  And I made some new friends.

I hoped that I would come out of the show feeling like I belonged in the group.  I had only attended one meeting and made excuses for the last 4 months for not attending again.  Anxiety based excuses. I feel like I made a jump start at feeling at home at future meetings.

Stay tuned.  I plan to attend the June meeting and am looking forward to it.  Now if I can just avoid getting a cold or a backache…….

Out of Step

On this day that celebrates mothers I am out of step.  My mother died many years ago as did my aunt who took over as surrogate after Mom died.  I also am one of those women who decided back in the 80’s that motherhood was not a good idea for me.  I have never regretted that decision.  But it does make for an interesting life in retirement when many people are so busy with extended family – kids and grandkids and great grandkids.  And Mother’s Day particularly.  I am a bystander with memories of my very special Mom and Aunts, but a bystander.

First Bloom

First flower after pruning


New Beginnings

Spring is a time of new beginnings.  We are blessed in our community to have a seed exchange hosted by one of the vendors at our local Farmer’s Market.  She and her family have been hosting the event for the last 5 years.  Every Spring we gather for a potluck, fellowship, gardening stories and tables set up in their garage with a wide array of seeds everyone has brought to share,

This year we brought several varieties of native plant seeds gathered form our own plants and the area.  In addition to the wealth of seeds there were cabbage starts and onion sets that someone brought as well as raspberry canes.

After a sun-drenched afternoon we hurried home.  David went staright out into the back yard to put his newly acquired seedlings into one of the raised beds.  I watched from the window of my studio as I cut out fabric for 2 new quilting projects I have in process.

Life is truly a blessed event.


3 weeks ago I got a call from 2 friends asking me to do a “huge huge huge favor”.  I who LOVE retirement and am over 4 years into it was being asked to go back to work.  Cover for a friend going out on sudden leave.  Social work with older adults.  Quilting and spinning on hold.  Fewer hours in the studio and in the sun.  And I said “yes”.  Oh my.  Did I think it would be easy? Not.  But it is a reminder of why I love retirement and will be happy to get back to it at the end of April.  More sun.  More studio time.  Memories of a job well done.

Signs of Spring……




I am so grateful to Dave for persevering and putting down a new floor in our master bathroom.  We bought our house 15 years ago.  For some reason (warm feet? cheaper? easier?) there was carpet in both bathrooms that should have been replaced when we moved in.  Dave is a reluctant do it your-selfer.  He really really hesitates when he hasn’t done something before, despite numerous instructional youtube videos and substantial internet research,  But he did it!  In honor of Dave I give you our new bathroom floor:

2014 Nov.Dec 053

He was so burned out from the experience that he vowed to never do it again.  But, after a week had passed he began to talk about getting enough additional flooring to do our second bathroom.  What a trooper!!

We did get more flooring.  But, alas, the ball is in  my court.  I decided before the new floor went down the hideous wallpaper had to be stripped and the walls redone.  My turn.  Because the wallpaper is glued directly to the wallboard and is a painstaking task to remove, well beyond Dave;s patience.  Who puts wallpaper directly onto wallboard anyway like it’s supposed to last forever and not be a terribly tedious job to remove??

Christmas Gifts

A rhododendron blooming out of season


A creek running through fern-lined banks


Chickens foraging in the sunshine


And enough roast beef to share with the doggies.  Who could ask for more?  Merry Christmas!!

Northwest Winter 2

Technically I live in northern California.  But it is really the Pacific Northwest, especially when the coast looks like this…….


…and this……


…and my dog watching the waves today looks like this…..


I am thankful for the blessings of the season, the companionship of friends and family, and the memories of special times and people past.
A joyous Christmas to all!

Northwest Winter

A couple of days ago I drove into the valley through the river canyon. After all the rain we’ve had the river was rushing through the canyon grey green and tumbling over rocks.  It was magnificent. The mists were rising above the treeline. The sky was full of steel grey clouds with the sun occasionally peeking through. I had Christmas music playing over the CD player. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The rain started late yesterday. It poured down all night and all day today and will continue through the night tonight and all day tomorrow. I just came back from feeding the chickens and listening to the rain pelting down on the roof of the coop. I had to clean out the drain in the backyard so the little lake that had formed could drain away.

Thank goodness for lots of projects to keep warm and cozy indoors and wait for a break in the rain.

Here is our Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This is a redwood tree grown in a pot that is ok two thirds of the way up. But the top portion has  foot of trunk between the last sets of leaves. So I just wound extra tinsel around to camouflage it a bit. The tree is standing in a pot and held up by a bunch of rocks and some wood wedges but it does lean to the left. I think that gives it a certain panache.


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