2014 in review and plans for 2015!

Wow – can you believe that the first month of 2015 is almost half over?  I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, often being tempted to forego posting totally in favor of FB.  But, while I enjoy FB it certainly isn’t the same as putting pen (fingers to the keyboard) to paper (monitor) and seeing what transpires.

If I could sum up 2014 in one word it would have to be “TRAVEL” – and yes, all in caps.

  • I was able to go to California 3 times to see my daughter and her family.
  • I saw my daughter in San Antonio about 8 times.
  • I went to Georgia and saw my eldest daughter & family.
  • I went to Hilton Head, SC with my eldest and her family.
  • I took my Mom to see the Dalai Lama in Atlanta where I met up with my eldest daughter & her hubby.
  • Another trip to GA and my daughter and I went to see OneRepublic.
  • I went to Indonesia via Hong Kong.

Now, no matter how you look at it, that is a LOT of travel!  2015 won’t hold as much travel, but in October my California daughter & family will meet me in Kauai for nearly 2 weeks of fun in the sun!  We’ve rented a house on the northern shore, just steps from the ocean.  I cannot wait.

My folks had a lot of health issues in 2014, which reminded me that the decision I made to move here was the correct one!  2015 and they are both doing well.

Christmas saw my eldest and youngest visit.  It was nice, really nice.  We did miss the middle daughter greatly tho.

My fibermyalgia worsened and then I was finally able to get some relief with new meds.  And joy-oh-joy — I have osteoathritus in my hips and thumb joints.  What is all of this teaching me?  I have to MOVE more!!  Tonight my Mom and I start water aerobics.

Speaking of exercise – 2015 will be the year.  My lazy bum is back on the treadmill (mainly thanks to iFit which is having a Jan challenge of walking (or running) a mile a day each day in Jan with pre-programed routes).  While I am missing some days, I do enjoy the days I do the walks.  Yoga has entered my life again (more than just thinking about it, LOL) and on Wed my oldest daughter and I do a practice together thanks to Skype.  Next month I want to add weights back into my routine as well.

I stopped the soap business (although I still make soap for myself) and started making quilts again.  I even purchased a long-arm!  My middle daughter in So Cal and I will be doing FaceTime sewing dates.  I’ve also become a volunteer seamstress for NICU Helping Hands, a non-profit out of Dallas.  We take donated wedding gowns and turn them into burial gowns for premie babies that don’t survive.  It is certainly a bitter-sweet task but one where I hope the garments I make can, to some small degree, help a grieving family.

I picked up a second consulting job.  Between the two I’m pretty busy!

2014 saw us have to put our Siamese cat to sleep.  She was 18 and went into total kidney failure.  That was hard.  My youngest daughter and her boyfriend came home to be with her (and me) at the last.  Then then thoughtfully invited me into their home so I wouldn’t have to be alone that first week.  What a comfort they were during that time.  2015 will see a new Siamese kitten entering our lives.  Hopefully in April.

In mid-March I’ll be heading out to So Cal to visit my daughter & family there and watch the grandkids while their Mom goes to a conference for Breast Feeding.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the new kitten (breeder is in San Diego) and bring her back with me when I return home.

So, that’s 2014 summed up and 2015 planned out.

I am so grateful that I have such a life and that my family and friends are with me always!

Greetings from Sunny California

Well, here I am back in beautiful, sunny Southern California!  At home today the high is supposed to be 55 and here it’s going to be 80.  Sunny skies as well.  Just about perfect!

I’m visiting my middle daughter and we’re having fun.  Last Sunday was my birthday, this coming one is hers so it’s fun to get together to celebrate.  Tomorrow we leave for Ontario, CA.  Steph and I will be spending Friday enjoying “The Road To California” – a quilter’s convention/show.  We are only going to spend 1 day there but I’m sure we will enjoy the heck out of it.  That night we are going to meet long-time friends for a catch up dinner.

Life doesn’t get much better!  Peace and love to you all!

Quilting with my Sister

A while back one of my sisters and I went on a weekend bus trip to several quilt stores in north Texas.  It was a lot of fun, and very inspirational.  We decided to sign up for a paper-piecing class, and finally we got to go yesterday.  To say it was fun would be a great understatement.  We had a blast!  The instructor was good, our fellow students were a lot of fun, and the project was enjoyable.  I only finished one of many blocks, and now that I am home I am looking forward to getting busy on the quilt.  Pictures will be coming soon.

Today, after getting home from my sister’s house, I got inspired with soap making.  I’d been wanting a citrus-sage soap, but the blends I’d been playing with weren’t just right.  But today I think I hit gold.  I made a custom blend of essential oils; lemongrass, sage, orange, cedar and petitgrain.  I think it smells heavenly.  I had infused organic olive oil with annatto seeds which is supposed to color the soap some shade of yellow.  The soap “batter” in the mold was a bright yellow-orange, but I’m sure it will change after it goes through gel.  So I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow when I un-mold it.

I also made some coconut soap – not only will it smell like coconut, but it has coconut milk in it and unsweetened coconut flakes.  I’m anxious to see it after it is un-molded as well.

Finally, I made up a big batch of Tattoo Butter.  It’s a whipped body butter made up of organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, almond oil and with Vitamins A and D added.  It is supposed to help skin heal after a tattoo.  No color or scent was added.

Tomorrow I’m going to go out to my garden and take some photos.  The garden was not a huge success, except for beans, watermelon, hot peppers and herbs.  The deer have returned to nibble on the few plants still flowering.  At least someone is enjoying it!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Anticipation

It’s been an odd couple of weeks.  I finished painting the crown molding and other trim in all the rooms that my wonderful sister and brother-in-law painted for me while I was away playing in southern California.  I’ve started painting the hallway – which is a bigger job than you might think.  My hallway is over 30 feet long, then has a 8′ “L” shape.  I’ve got the “L” painted with 2 coats and one of the long walls painted with 1 coat.  And that took about a gallon of paint.  I had to buy another gallon and I bet there will not be much left (which really is a good thing).  So, for the first time in a long while all the rooms in my house are tidy.  Well, maybe the kitchen needs some help since I’ve taken up candle making in addition to soap making – but hey.  A little chaos is good for the soul.  Right?

The garden is coming along.  ALL the rose bushes I planted have taken and some even have buds and will soon have roses on them.  The garden beds (the raised ones) are full of little beautiful green things peaking through.  It is wonderful to see things starting to grow!

I have been having back issues (sciatica on both sides) and I’ve been going to physical therapy 3 times a week.  It is helping so much its really unbelievable (at least to me).

And what does all the above have to do with anticipation?  Nothing.  The anticipation is coming…

Tomorrow afternoon I leave to go to my sister’s in Texas.  We are going on a quilter’s weekend bus trip – going to tons of quilting shops in northern Texas.  Both of us took up quilting a few years ago, and it is really fun to have a creative outlet to share.  We have such different styles and tastes, but we can appreciate each other’s work.  I am cautiously optimistic because it is a bus trip, and filled with a total of 53 crazy quilters.  So… anticipation for sure!!

I hope you are well and are anticipating something exciting in your near future.

Quilt Show

I recently took up quilting and I’m loving playing with fabric, color and design.  This weekend the local quilt guild held its annual quilt show.  I went and had a great time (no, I didn’t have anything in the show).  I want to share some of the amazing quilts with you.

I just loved the butterfly sticking up on the little girl’s hand and the brightness of the yellow flower…

The Navy is celebrating 100 years of aviation and have a series of quilts depicting the years.  This one was my favorite (probably because of the purples)…

And I fell in love with this one – such gorgeous colors and wonderfully proud women…

And a coffee quilt – need I say more?

I’ve uploaded many more of these works of art to my flickr account and if you are interested you can view them here.

Today I’m getting organized.  I need to get some soaps ready to sell and I have some special orders to fill.  Busy times!

I hope you are having (or have had) a delightful weekend.

Peace!