Saturday, November 22, 2014

celebrating and cleaning

Do those two words go together?
This weekend they are perfect companions.  We are heading into Thanksgiving week.  That means my work schedule is a bit more flexible since teachers are giving conferences and students are not on campus.  It also means we need space in the fridge for a turkey and space on the counter for all the goodies that our guests will bring. 
I love the way we do our Thanksgiving meal.  My husband cooks the turkey (for 36 years) and I set the table.  Our family guests each bring one or two dishes to share and there is always more than enough to eat.  I have started making a stuffing dish to accommodate some special dietary needs but it is fun to hunt down the ingredients.  And when everyone shares in the meal preparation, there is such a sense of community to accompany our meal. 
So today I am cleaning the kitchen, making a grocery list, and tackling some of those tasks that don't get done often enough (cobweb control for instance).  I will sit with the memories that are bound to come up when I pull out our special dishes and napkins.  I am sure I will be wishing for years past, before Alzheimer's and aging became constant companions for mom and dad.  There will be sadness mixed with gratitude.  But isn't that life? 
Today I am thankful that I have this cleaning to do and I am celebrating with others over at Ruth's place.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

yarn and books and beads!

Off the needles today - a simple hat that I hope my mom will wear when we go out walking - it is getting cold in Seattle.
On the needles - my Candlelit shawl.  I decided to go with the pattern and try beading - thanks to a lovely tutorial on Helen's blog and the encouragement of my daughter.  I picked up a very tiny crochet hook and some beads last weekend and proceeded to misread the pattern (user error not pattern error) so I added more beads than needed.  I didn't really like the way it looked so I let it sit for a few days and then I realized my mistake.  I took out the knitting and started again.  I do love the look of the beads now that I have tamed it down a bit.  It really is so much easier than I had imagined.  Have you ever tried adding beads to your knitting?
I am not quite done with Being Mortal but I heard about this book on a podcast and was so curious.  I am a few chapters in and I like what she has to say.
I am looking forward to next week.  The teachers will be holding parent conferences so I have some time to play catch up and a flexible schedule.  I am looking forward to some serious meal planning and goal setting for the upcoming #HolidaySweat challenge.  And my friend Lori is home from her trip.  That means another installment of the mystery QAL and some time to hear about her travels.
Linking up with Ginny at Small Things today.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Move More Monday - Soup time

I spent a morning this weekend making soup for my freezer.  I was surprised to see that we were down to just a few jars.  I made two soups - both a lovely orange.
First up was my Carrot Ginger which I have shared before.  Then I tried a new recipe from my favorite local store - PCC.  I have taken some wonderful classes at PCC and they have a great online data base with loads of great recipes.  This one is a Butternut Squash and Tomato soup.  The house smelled lovely as the soups simmered away on the stove and now my freezer is once again filled with easy to grab jars of soup for my lunch.
It has been very cold - at least for us.  I have had to wear wool socks and two shirts for my runs but I am not complaining because the sun has been shining and the sky is so blue.  I am happy we have not had any rain or we would certainly also have snow. 
The last few years, I have participated in Cathy Zielske's Move More Eat Well class.  I was looking back at the monthly pages I have made and getting some new motivation to finish the year strong.  I have fallen off the healthy eating wagon a bit lately but with my soup in the fridge and a new week beginning, I am re-energized.  Just gotta keep moving!  The Holiday Sweat Challenge begins in less than two weeks!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slow stitching Sunday and a bit about kindness

I had one of those Saturdays with nothing on the calendar - pretty rare!  Today I don't have anywhere to go after church although I will head to the trail for a run and perhaps to a yoga class this evening. 
What I have had time for is some slow stitching.  I am knitting a hat for mom.  It is getting cold and I like to take her out to walk when I visit but we can't seem to find her hat (ah, the mysteries of Alzheimer's).  I also had time to get the binding stitched down on my itty bitty.  I love that little peek of cheddar fabric - it makes the quilt sparkle.  This one is small - about 8 1/2" square and I am looking forward to having  it on my holiday table. As I stitched, I was thinking of my one little word for next year.  I am leaning toward kindness.  It seems to be popping up a lot lately.  So many who need a small kindness spoken into their day.  But also the kindness of others is amazing.  When I visit mom, there is always someone there, sharing their gifts and talents.  Last week is was a man who comes every week to play his ukulele and sing.  Other days there are people playing board games, doing puzzles, or paging through a book or magazine with one of the residents.  It can be difficult to engage a person with Alzheimer's.  I have learned so much these last few months about how to chat with mom so she doesn't get agitated about not remembering.  But is has been a lesson of love that she is giving to me without even know it.
An online friend (someone I have never met, just chatted through blog posts, email, and instagram) send me a large envelope of cheddar fabric after I asked her if she had any online sources.  Such kindness and generosity - another lesson of love. 
Hope you have a lovely Sunday and that moments of kindness will speak into your day.
Be sure to visit Kathy to see how others are slow stitching today.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Celebrating

It was one of those weeks that makes me wonder.  Why do the short school weeks seem so much hard than the regular weeks?  Don't get me wrong.  I fully enjoyed my two days off and I need that time.  But when I went back on Wednesday, it felt like I still have 5 days of work to do in only 3 days.  But here we are, the weekend has again arrived.   It is Saturday morning and I am celebrating:
Linking up with Ruth for my weekend celebrating today.