"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Monday, July 28, 2014

Home Week

This week I'm working on home projects. Just finished sanitizing the kitchen to get ready for a jam session tomorrow. Some serious canning will be happening. I'm so excited. Last year I was too busy to do it, but this year I'm making time to can.

Tomorrow's my usual sewing day, but we will be minus one room. It'll be cramped and noisy.I
l'll be foregoing the din and enjoying some quiet time with a few audio books and some kitchen utensils. I'm looking forward to that.

And I'll be able to enjoy the literal fruits of my labor all year long.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Busy but fun week!

It's been a busy, but fun week! I'm so happy. There is so much to be thankful for. So much.

The wun has been shining the last two days, we got some well-needed rain before that, and I hear good weather is still on the way. Add in out of town visitors, some learning, and a getaway weekend on top of that and you have a perfect weekend.

Well, I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. LOL!

Last I left you, it was Friday and I had my brother visiting. And then we had dinner with the Travelling Bells. Well there was no better way than to cap off the week with yet another dinner before we said goodbye.

For those of you who don't know Dick and Sandy, they are warm, wonderful people. Very positive and fun to be around. Like my folks used to say, "Our kind of people." I'd really like to get a reunion going that I can make it to. Might have to try that again.

The class I took was wonderful. Two days of play. And I soaked that play up as much as could. I'm hoping this will unstick my "stuckness." Yep, I've been stuck. The photo above were the art quilts my fellow classmates and I created. I love each and every one of those.

If I could sum this past week up, I'd say it's a bright colorful quilt -- full of action, friends, and good times.

Life's a banquet y'all... eat it up!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Week So Far

It's been a good week so far. A very good week. I've been extremely busy with lots of people coming in, preparing for some classes, etc. I'll be taking two day of classes with a well-known art quilter who is traveling up here. I'll be learning to use paints and stencils, and incorporating them into my quilting. Can't wait!

My brother paid a short visit. He was up here for a big conference. We got to spend some time yesterday and today. I even got a chance to tour Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. While it's not a huge tour, it was still fun to see the bottling machines and steel tanks they use for some of their wine selections. Best of all I got to try three wine varieties -- Chardonnay, Merlot, and a Muscat varietal only available at the Chateau. Both the Chardonnay and Merlot varieties make for a good everyday wine. Surprisingly enough, the Muscat, despite it's sweetness, had a very crisp finish and would be awesome with some spicy Thai foods or curries. I normally don't do sweet, fruity wines, but I can totally see it paired with foods containing ginger.

I was raised on their white varietals, but I'm not familiar with the reds.  I'd like to go again and pay for the premium tasting and try some more of their premium wines. I'm intrigued by their Mertiage -- an American version of a French Bordeaux. I love a good hearty Bordeaux. I want to try that.

I also took my brother up to Everett to see the big jets. I love my big jets! I need to add more tail art to my pinterest account so I know what airlines I'm looking at. LOL!

Today I dropped big brother off to Sea-Tac for his trip home. I spent the rest of the afternoon ironing fabric and gathering supplies for my Saturday/Sunday class.

Got a surprise email that friends Sandy & Dick were in town early (yay!), so we dropped by and took them to dinner. I gotta say, I missed these folks. Truly missed them! We had a quick casual bite at my favorite local mediterranean joint and caught up before our big date later this week. I can't wait!!!!

And I got to pet two sweet furry kitties -- I was a happy lady! I got my furchild fix, too!

Life can't get more gooder than this...  I"m one happy lady!

Like I say it's been a busy week. Lots going on. I'll be hitting the hay in a few and plan on sleeping like the dead as this is my only day to sleep in for a while. And sleep in I will (I hope).

Good night y'all! Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heaven's Gain

Yesterday I lost one of my role models. My old co-worker Lydia. She battled stage IV cancer for six years. That's one year longer than her prognosis. And for that she's a fighter. Thank you to those who prayed for her this week. It was greatly appreciated.

When I describe where I used to work, it becomes apparent that my co-workers were more than just that. We were a family. That was our company culture. And more importantly, she was a fellow Marketeer. A member of the company's marketing team, of which I was a part of. That made us doubly close.

She was a role model for me. A wordsmith/grammarian extraordinaire. She was a published author, can be found on Wikipedia (not everyone can say that), and was a lifeline for folks in the bleeding disorders community as a font of information. She was my editor and the writer I wanted to be.

Lydia had the best sense of humor. Very offbeat and totally cerebral. But ready with a zinger at the right time that really caught you off-guard. So clever! She held her own amongst a team of strong personalities.

Lydia, Ellen, and I (the women of the Marketeers) wrote a short story called "Dueling Banjos", which dealt with a sisterhood of three strong southern women who shared a deep friendship and an heirloom deviled egg platter of dubious origin. I laughed when she wrote her part, naming her subdivision as Lurking Pines. The story has since been lost, but the love and spirit behind it is still there. Oh how I wish we could find it and revisit those days. I truly wish I could share that story with you. You would love it.

I haven't had a good cry over this yet, but I'm sure I will. While for some this will be a sad time, but for me it's a happy time. I'm happy knowing that she's at peace with God. She leaves behind a full life full of love and fond memories. And most of all, a legacy of words and wisdom.

Please join me in praying for her loved ones. Please pray for their strength, wisdom, faith, and peace during this difficult time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yep, it's Monday

I love my front door screen curtain. It lets the air flow through the apartment. 

Good afternoon! It's unseasonably warm up here in Washington State. Temps are in the 80s/90s. To most of you that might not be a big deal, but up here that is about 10-20 degrees above normal and folks here do not have air conditioning.

For example, our apartment does not. We are lucky in that our unit has a north/south ventilation system going with the windows. Right now I have the front door open with one of those screen curtain thingies and the windows in the back open, along with a ceiling fan blowing. Between that, my tank top, and unsweet iced tea (decaf), I'm doing OK and enjoying the inside air temp.

I'm lagging today not because of temperature, but because of lack of sleep. Last night I experienced a situation we call in our household, "failing open". It's an engineering term that when something fails, it does not revert to it's normal failure state, but fails in a more dangerous way. I made the mistake of drinking coffee yesterday afternoon (big no-no) then I stayed up late watching a really good show on Netflix. One thing led to another and I am hurting for sleep. So for me, "failing open" is being so over-tired, I cannot sleep.

The other reason I'm lagging today is that I found out an old colleague of mine is at the end-stage of her breast cancer diagnosis. She posted on Facebook yesterday that her good days have outnumbered the bad, but it's starting to turn. I knew that a few months ago she wasn't well, so I was expecting this message.

She received her diagnosis the same summer I retired from my healthcare job (2006) and was already at stage IV. She has beaten the life expectancy of five years with her stage/type of cancer and turned it into eight so far. I'm so proud of her for beating the average. I'm also proud of her that she has accepted her fate. It takes a lot of guts to admit that you're dying to other people. It really does. She's not quitting, but just stating the inevitable. The good days will become fewer until there are none left. She's accepting it with grace and dignity. I only hope that if/when I'm faced with such that I accept with as much grace and dignity.

On that note, I ask for prayers on her behalf. Or perhaps just peaceful thoughts. Whatever you deem appropriate to your beliefs. I know it will really mean a lot to her and her family.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good Friday

Today was a good Friday. I'm just sorry I didn't get to toddle on over to 7-Eleven to get a free Slurpee (it's 7/11). But then I don't drink those anyway.

Last night I had a good committee meeting. We hasve a busy couple of months ahead with event planning and I'm looking forward to a break. I announced that I may be stepping down to allow someone with fresh ideas to assume the position. I'm a firm believer in term limits. We'll see. I'm not entirely convinced yet, but leaning toward retiring my position and starting a couple small study groups.

That being said, I"m very proud of my committee staff. Last night I banged out the rest of 2014, and got a good schedule made out for 2015. We even got a month or two into 2016 done! Yay for us! If it weren't for my staff, I would be totally insane. They rock!!!

My committee is for event planning. The "fun" events.  And to know me is to know that is a task I hate. Event planning turns me into an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist. And those OCD perfectionists drive me batty. Hence, I drive myself batty! LOL!

This morning about 1am, I finally got the meeting notes edited, the calendars adjusted, and the whole she-bang sent out for review. (See? I told you I get obsessed!).THen I was so wound up I didn't get to sleep until later.

Today I celebrated by going out on a short morning/early afternoon road trip with some quilting friends. They wanted to check out a shop south of Seattle. So me being the trusty labrador that loves to go for rides, decided to come along. They loved the shop... I didn't so much. It looked like a lot of old merchandise that just wasn't my style.

The shop sent us to a small cafe for lunch and I ate one heckova mean cheeseburger. It was a garlic, blue cheese bacon burger -- a three-napkin burger!!! That and a big huge glass of iced tea (unsweet) and I was in pure heaven! I've passed it several times coming from trap/skeet shooting with hubby. Now we know to stop and grab a bite. It was really good. I'm kicking myself for not taking home a piece of the homemade blackberry pie in the case.

We then made a stop at my favorite local shop where I did some shopping for an upcoming class and checked in about a discussion/study group I'm part of.

I'm beat from being up late last night, so I'm headed to bed in a few. Yes, I know it's only 7::30pm, but it's hot and I'm tired. This way I can sit near a fan, read, and relax. It's a perfect ending to a good day.

Hope your day went as well as mine, if not better. And I hope you got to eat your "blackberry pie"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Feelings... Nothing more than feelings...

No, it's not karaoke hour here in my happy place. Just some general feelings of disconnection and restlessness. Nothing earth shattering or something to be concerned over. Just feeling out of sorts. I guess it's my long to-do list that's knocking on my emotional/physical door.

I also haven't been "creating", which tells me I'm needing to slow down more and get some of those mental obligations off my mind. I've been so busy with stuff that I haven't had time to play. I gotta fix that. And that is well within my power.

And like any over-fed, over-programmed person, I'll deal with my obligations like I'd deal with a submarine sandwich -- one bite at a time. All this will pass in due time.

I'm over committing and I'm going to put a halt on a few things after the first of the year.

What I'm noticing is that as I've goten older, I'm finding it more and more comfortable being a creature of habit and being less flexible. That bothers me. I used to be able to change modes at the drop of a hat. Not so much these days. It gets me discombobulated.

I'm chalking this up to hormones (or lack thereof). I know.. it's a lame excuse.

...Speaking of hormones, I have been having MAJOR hot flashes recently, as that "time of life" known as menopause is in full-swing. One of my savings graces is that a friend recommended a tool to help with hot flashes. Frogg Toggs makes a wonderful product called the Chilly Pad. It's an evaporative "towel" that you place around your neck. It helps "cool" the body. Or gives the illusion of a lesser hot flash. For what it's worth, mine is hot pink. It's a special soft foam-like material that you wet and wring out, and as it dries, it feels cool to the touch. Beats lugging a fan around!

Life is good. Very good. I'm busy, am able to spend time with friends and family, and have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in. I also have food on the table. I'm very thankful for the blessings that God has bestowed upon me. I'm also thankful that this "blip" is just a blip and that I have the will to power through it.