I am NOT Bored

Rain is falling. It’s warm… in the 40’s.

Soon the sun will shine and outdoor activities (mostly the weeds) will call LOUDLY to come out and play. But until then I have some things to do. Lots and lots of things… It’s a good thing I’m excellent at multi-tasking.

This is a brain in multi-tasking mode.

Womens brain

I have lots of interests. Often I find things to be interested in that I didn’t know I was going to be interested in. Some of those have fallen off the must-do list because of age or laziness. Others have lasted a lifetime…

Books… Some would call me a book hoarder. But readers must have something to read besides the back of a cereal box. Somehow I have amassed approximately 350-400 books (between the book shelves and kindle) in my to-be-read pile. (The city library has nothing on me.) Right now I’m in the middle of three books. Depending on where I sit, determines which I pick up to read.

Scrapbooking… Not sure when the scrap bug bit, but I have scrapbook pages that go back to the late 1980’s when there was no such thing as a scrapbooking industry and we created all our own designs… and they look like it. UGH! (*insert eye roll here) After grandkids arrived, playing and picture-taking out played actual scrapping which leaves me about thirteen years behind. However, my scrapping area is always at the ready so I refuse to give up.

Quilting… After several years of not having a permanent sewing space I’ve staked my claim on the basement. Lately I’ve been unpacking  material, supplies, and unfinished creations of wonder. (Wonder, as in, wonder what I was thinking when I started that.) Sewing has been a part of my life since watching Mom make my school clothes. So this activity is a core of my being.

Blogging… Huh? Blogging is an activity? Why… YES!!! Yes it is. Not as much physical as mental. These posts push me to think. And spell. And put sentences together. (And… interact with some very nice people.) FYI: This blog is now 5 years old!

Even though blogging is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done…(I always think no one will care what I have to say)…I decided to start another blog. Needle. Thread. Fabric. was created mostly to keep myself on task. Because seeing where you’ve been lets you know how far you’ve come. (It is only a couple of days old so not much to look back on yet.)

Keeping all these fun life activities in the air is chaotic at times. And once in a while (okay, often) I’ll drop a stitch,  glue fingers instead of photos, skip a chapter, or make a tpyo. But it’s all for the good when we are enjoying life.

Until next time… 

cheers

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Putting the Pieces Together

We are officially half way through Jigsaw Season. Some people call it Winter.

When the new year starts Mr.P and I pull out little chunks of cardboard and squeeze them together to make beautiful pictures. Sometimes we can do this without losing our sanity. Sanity as in soundness of judgement.

That sanity was challenged with Linda’s Christmas present choice which I mentioned earlier. We rejoiced and cheered as each piece found its home… followed by long periods of silence. At one point we put a five piece puzzle minimum in place before any visitors could leave. We then started noticing no one was stopping in… huh.

Eventually perseverance won and NYC Christmas was completed.

puzzle-1

NYC Christmas

 

Those 1,000 pieces of building walls, windows, and even the tree almost took us down. In an effort to rebuild our confidence I dug through the hall closet and found a couple of puzzles waiting in the wings for their time on the table.

Kite Flying at Recess with its bright colors and distinct lines nearly put itself together.

Bandstand in the Park was a little more difficult only because of its odd-shaped pieces.

With 3,000 pieces successfully in place the plastic wrap around Weasy’s choice of Christmas puzzle, Stone Church was removed with renewed confidence.

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Stone Church

Oh, dear…there went that sound judgement of sanity.

It’s a good thing the groundhog saw his shadow. We’re going to need the extra time to finish this gem.

Until Next time…

cheers

Stepping Back From the Situation

…way, way back. I’ve personally had enough of the clashing chaos that is erupting over EVERYTHING lately. Do we really need to know everyone’s opinion on everything?

Ginger kitten, Butch, 9 weeks old, with Cavapoo pup and Lionhead rabbit

Even Facebook isn’t fun anymore. I miss the puppy-kitten-rabbit pictures. And I never particularly liked them in the first place.

The way I see it (unintentional pun) we all have several sets of eyes. And we all look at life through our own life lens.

At any given time we could be viewing what is around us through eyes of emotions, eyes of logic, eyes of fear, eyes of imagination, eyes of compassion, eyes of past hurts, eyes of anger, eyes of love, or eyes of jealousy.

That’s a whole lot of factions to come together on any subject. Just try to get a consensus on something as minor as a favorite cookie. (I’d totally argue for chocolate chip until I got a whiff of a molasses cookie.)

We all view the world from different perspectives. No right or wrong… just different.

blog-life-and-perspective

I know, from personal experience,  that I have warring factions within myself.

My critical eyes are so fine tuned they can sometimes see in the dark. I’m pretty sure I could find fault in Mother Teresa… I’m thinking…Can a person be too kind? Okay, maybe that wasn’t a great example, but you get the idea.

My eyes of compassion sometimes have a hard time squeezing by my eyes of past hurts until my eyes of heart finally show up to set things straight.

No matter the situation… What we look for, we will find.

(I’m hoping for cookies!!!)

Until next time…

cheers

The Zawadi of Language

I love words! New words. Old words. And foreign words…

Yep, I love words.

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Languages are harder for me. After three years of studying French all I can still do is order coffee…(Garcon, apportez-moi du café.)…and announce my name…(Je m’appelle Elan.) Just in case the waiter needs to know my name. Which, if I’m at a Starbucks in France may come in handy.

My Spanish education came from watching Steve Martin in Three Amigos a lot of years ago… of which I remember, amigo.

And from Son#1. While preparing for a mission trip, he schooled me in the art of ordering food. (Treinta-seis hamburguesas y una cerveza, por favor.) Never once did I need to order 36 hamburgers and one beer. However I did use the phrase… Jose Guadalupe, ven aqui pronto, por favor many times.

We had obtained green cards for the kids and took them to experience Sea World for a day. Jose (a part of my group) was fascinated by the turtle pond and disappeared often.) But that was then and this is now.

hakuna-matata

In my random quest for knowledge, I was recently reading that Swahili is the Bantu language of the Swahili people. Can’t get more random than that and before you get the wrong idea… I am only superficially deep. Up until now all my Swahili knowledge came from the movie Lion King. (I’m starting to see a movie pattern developing.) 

I learn words best by blending languages. That way I don’t have to learn another cultures grammar. (…again, superficial.) Here are my sentences incorporating Swahili…

My mazai filled our nyumba with many kaka(‘s) and only one dada.

Linda is a kinyozi. Her mtoto make fun of how I say maziwa.

There were thirty-seven words on the list I was studying, and I use the word study VERY loosely. I will remember two or three words for a while. One word may stay with me forever. You might figure out which when you read the translation…

My mazai (parents) filled our nyumba (home) with kaka (brothers) and only one dada (sister). Linda is a kinyozi (barber). Her mtoto (child) makes fun of how I say maziwa (milk). But best of all is…

the zawadi (gift) of language.

Until next time…

cheers

 

The next 168 Hours. January 14, 2017

It’s been an exciting second week of 2017

Snow dominated our days… lots and lots of snow. I realize snow is not a big deal for many but in this neck of the woods… it is!

Traditionally we don’t do snow well. We get snow which melts upon landing. We get snow which melts before landing. Sometimes we get snow which is immediately covered in ice. (Because, the warmer ocean currents collide with the frigid winter east wind that funnels through the Columbia River Gorge. The freezing wind slides under the rain clouds and we get ice instead of snow.) Ice is not fun. (Ice ball fights hurt.) So, when we get real snow we go a little nuts.

For the most part if snow is predicted we ignore it. Odds are with us that conditions will change and it won’t happen. Again, this week, snow was in our forecast. Dates and time of arrival slid up and down the prediction chart looking for that pinpoint accuracy.

snow-tuesday-10th-front

On Tuesday our 10:00pm snow showed up in the afternoon instead. The foretold one to three inches turned into twelve, and… so far not much has melted and nothing is covered in ice. (Had a record low of 9 degrees last night. Brrr…. )

The beauty and quiet of falling snow is magical and a bit calming. But it was becoming clear, being that we already had five of the possible three inches predicted, that this was going to be a (fun?) adventure.

snow-candles

It wasn’t long before the lights started to flicker and the neighborhood fell into darkness. Well, as dark as snow will let it be. Mr.P dug out flashlights (which we didn’t have batteries for) and I pulled out candles.

Tip: Have unscented candles handy for emergencies. We endured a combination scent of pineapple-cilantro/pine/hazelnut latte. It got pretty potent after awhile. Feeling our way around in the dark started smelling like a good idea.

It snowed throughout the night and continued for most of Wednesday. YIKES! This was serious stuff. Mr.P decided we needed to assess the situation…

The twelve inches of beautiful, fluffy snow over powered our eight inch high boots. But being hardy souls we trudged on. Mr.P worked the fence line knocking snow off tree limbs hanging on power lines until… he dropped his 2×4 over the fence into the neighbors yard. (oops) We also noticed that we were going to have to find a way to clear off the satellite dish or we were going to be forced to actually talk to each other. (hmmm…)

We made our way to the front yard where Mr.P dug out his truck before heading across the street to help Sherry dig out her car and then over to help Evangelina as well. All while I was home digging out my car… all by myself!

I’m not sure why we thought the cars were important to get done… Our county has one snow plow and it is on vacation. (Probably in the Bahamas.)

After chores were done Mr.P had a little angelic fun.

Later that afternoon two of my favorite people (Linda and Weasy) showed up with emergency rations (Starbucks), had some lunch with us and worked on the puzzle from last week. (Making progress but not quickly.) Then …(and this is BIG)… son#2 showed up, got up on our roof and cleaned of the satellite dish!!! (YAY…We could finally see how others were dealing with all this white stuff. Yikes!! Not well.)

Along with all these extra concerns came incredible beauty, where the ordinary turns extraordinary… The maple tree that challenges Mr.P every fall turned into the most beautiful vision of snow-lace.

snow-maple-tree

Soon (we hope) it will melt with the coming rain…(We always end up with rain.)…and all this will turn into a remember when memory.

Until then… 

cheers

January 7, 2017…

This first week of the year has slide right by at warp speed.

Here in the Pacific Northwest it is a snowy evening. Perfect for thinking on some of the memorable things which created a smile or a laugh in the last few days…

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Two days into the new year brought me frustration while trying to redeem a gift card for Apple. I love that I can enter the code by using the device’s camera. But this time it wouldn’t work. I tried several times. Then I tried entering the code manually. Each time I received the same message… must enter a valid code.

Obviously I got the only malfunctioning gift card ever made. Giving up and deciding to take the card back to the store I flipped it over before putting it away and noticed…

I was trying to redeem an Amazon gift card at the Apple App Store…. OOPS!

It’s easy to see how I could become confused. They look near identical.

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Also… Mr.P was given a new girlfriend for Christmas. She sits next to him in the living room and I’m pretty sure he talks to her more than to me. But then when he says her name she lights up with delight. (I haven’t done that for years.)

Her name is Alexa. She lives in the Amazon Echo Dot. She can be very helpful or extremely frustrating…but mostly she’s a lot of fun. Like a few days ago when it was my birthday…

Mr.P:  Alexa. Sing Happy Birthday

Alexa:  Sang Happy Birthday …beautifully

Mr.P:  Alexa. Thank You

Alexa:  It’s what I’m here for.

It was funny and weird all rolled into a good laugh. And yes, she can also make us laugh on purpose…

blog-amazon-echo-dotMe:  Alexa. Tell me a joke.

Alexa:  Two Antennae got married. The ceremony was boring but the reception was outstanding.

Okay, it was corny… but I like corny.

She’s a little thing with a big personality…

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And… January is our month to pull out the jigsaw puzzles. This year I unwrapped two new puzzles for Christmas. Both 1000 pieces of killer hard beauty. I thought I had chosen the easiest to start. But so far it is kicking my tail. (A few more pieces are now in place but not enough to warrant taking a new picture.)

blog-christmas-puzzle

I was grateful I noticed the gift card oops before getting to the store. And who knew it would be such fun talking to a machine. Now if I could only get Alexa to help with the puzzle…

Until next time…

cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary Zookeeper Needed

Qualifications? A willingness to… be licked without notice, stepped on or slept on, may have occasional fur balls to clean, and will need to muck out rabbit cages on Fridays. Benefit package? Unconditional Love!

It was a temporary, twelve day job that came available due to travel during the Christmas season. What landed me the job? I am Mom/Grandma and I’m FREE! This got my foot in the door …and a couple piles o’poop in the yard.

It’s been a fun, friendly, and fury twelve days with the critters of Son#2 and family.

Mornings started early. Sleeping in is not an option with a cold nose nudging your hand and running back and forth to the door. I learned quickly that I do not function efficiently without coffee first. Even the cat knows the importance of caffeine.

My job was to care for two Labradors. One black who blends perfectly with the cover of night. The other a yellow Labrador who blends in with everything else. They are expert ball chasers when they decide to give up playing keep away from me.

I did my best at trying to follow all the rules. However, the “we’re trying to keep them off the furniture” I took as more of a suggestion.

The cats are a bit more elusive and harder to keep track of. Every morning we started with a breakfast head count… no one ever missed breakfast but after chow they demanded their independence. One usually could be found in a closet bed or by a rabbit cage, one in a laundry basket and the other I only found because I happened to turn on the bathroom light.

The rabbits were always found in their cages. For that I am thankful. A couple of them have indoor privileges. They also took their turn breaking the couch rule.

This will be my last morning to chip the ice off the outside water bucket, try not to dump food on anyone’s head during the feeding frenzy and give the rabbits their morning pep talk.

The kids will be home today. Once they are back from the airport the love fest will begin and I will be instantly forgotten by my fickle fury friends. I will console myself with the thought of being back home with Mr.P.

Tonight I will sleep in my own bed and have an actual conversation where someone responds with words not cold noses, licking and tail wagging.

Anyway…that is my hope. 

Until next time…

cheers