Thanksgiving Week 2016

We had quite the rainstorm this AM.  Now it’s turned to snow.  At first it wasn’t sticking, but now it is.  I need to visit the post office today, but I’ll wait until it quits.  Glad we got all the outdoor chores done before this started. I still have to store the patio chairs, but now they’ll have to dry first.

 Good friends came into town yesterday and we spent several hours “catching up”.  It was nice to just sit  and talk.  Spent the rest of the day writing our Thanksgiving cards and getting our family letter out.  They’ll go in the mail today.

Now I can start working on earrings for the Christmas Market in two weeks. I have Christmas Candy Baskets ready, except for putting in the candy.  Rock Candy, of course.  A few will have chocolate peppermint pieces.  In the meantime, I’ll try and get the blessing blanket done for a wonderful lady who is expecting her first in March. Then I’m going to go back to knitting baby outfits – more fun.  I’ve found  some new needles I’m going to order that replace the sets of  5 double pointed (DP) needles with three bent double pointed needles.  DP needles are okay with larger yarn, but I have trouble holding onto No. 1 and 2 needles.  Old hands are not as pliable.  It will be fun to try something new.  I have several patterns I’d like to try that call for small size DP needles.  And I need to settle on a project for the hospital.  I’m thinking a scarf would probably be the best, I won’t have to count stitches, just knit. Then again, I might be better off keeping track of a pattern – busy mind to go with busy hands.  On second thought, maybe I’ll do both.  LOL

November is about over and I have much to be grateful for – a wonderful husband and partner, good kids doing their thing, a wonderful house that is warm and dry, plenty of food and #enough money to live a nice life.  Every year, about this time, I sit down and go over my goals from last year and make new ones for the year to come.  I’ll do that this week.  Stay tuned – – –

Happy Sandwich Day

History of Sandwich Day
There is a commonly known story about the history of the word sandwich, and it’s attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. One piece of that history that’s rarely discussed is the meaning of the word Sandwich and the town it comes from. Sandwich is a city in the shire of Kent in England, originally the word was spelled Sondwic, and then Sandwic, and ultimately in 1086 as Sandwice. The name of the town came from its purpose and its claim to fame, it was a market town. So what does Sandwich actually mean? “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.

John Montagu was the 4th Earl of this town, a royal title that essentially means ‘chieftain’ and placed them in charge of a territory in the King’s stead. John was a well a known lover of card games, and it’s said he originally ordered his meat to be delivered to him between two slices of bread so that he would not get his grease laden fingers on the card, nor require a fork to eat. As people heard of this, they started ordering their food “The Same as Sandwich”, and eventually just “a sandwich”. From such things are legendary culinary delights born. Sandwich Day celebrates both the Earl himself, and the wonder he brought to us in the form of the sandwich.

New Moon – Black Moon

Yesterday was a new moon, a black moon because it was the second new moon in one month.  A new cycle begins and a new time to focus on personal goals that express positive energy.

Should we focus on –

  • Work
  • Our budget
  • Our business
  • A special relationship
  • Or just having fun?

We’ll have trick or treaters tonight.  That will be the first time in 20+ years I’ve been in a neighborhood that is conducive to having children knock on our door.  In Bandon, Or. We our home was tucked back behind our commercial building and hidden amongst the huckleberry bushes.  Too spooky and no real neighbors.  In Escalante our home was again behind our commercial establishment and even though there were children nearby, they didn’t know us and didn’t stop to trick or treat.

We have a nice family two doors down now and they still have two children at home.  They plan to come tonight and that will be fun.  Their mom tells us we’ll probably get about a dozen stoppers, and that’s perfect for us.  We’ve got a bowl full of Goldfish treats for whomever knocks.  In addition, I’ve got a special enough basket for each of the girls.  I’ll include my poem and list of what is your enough for each.  It will be fun to see what their costumes are.  I still have the scar on my thumb here the knife slipped cutting a slot for a hobo stick.  We had great fun when my girls were little.  I have a couple of pictures of them dress up for Halloween.

One of those pictures is with the San Diego Chicken.  We lived in Santee, CA at the time and I was a PTA volunteer.  My job was to help with the entertainment for the school Halloween carnival.  The Chicken was brand new and indicated he would love to visit your school.  So, I asked if he would, and he did.  It was a huge success and great fun.  More fun than elections.

Maybe that’s why there’s such a big interest in Halloween, even for adults.  It’s a time you can dress up and pretend to be someone else.  It’s a great distraction from politics and nasty elections.  I’ll be glad when

  • the nasty negative and stupid ads go away;
  • when the Clinton News Network (CNN) goes dark;
  • when the media realizes they’re no longer providing news and need a disclaimer that their report is only for entertainment;
  • and for snow – the weather event that brings peace and quiet.  A few feet would be fine.

Until next time.

Helping Hands – Volunteering in Today’s World

Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of not-for-profit organizations.  Rotary, Lions Club, Job’s Daughters, Scouting, musical organizations, political organizations, and a rock club (I’m sure there are more but they don’t currently come to mind).  Over time, they all come down to some type of political/power struggle.  I volunteer to do something, and later on wonder what was I thinking?

I was thinking I want to help.  I want to assist their progress in some way.  I want to see them succeed. How can I help?  With my take-charge personality I end up the chairman, the president, the leader.  I find myself pulling away from those decisions more and more.  Would I be Secretary of the Rock Club. No thanks.  How about the Membership Coordinator? Grant Writer? Publicity Chairperson?  NO, NO and NO.   I’ll help where I can, but I don’t want the board meetings, the distraction to creating, the politics.

So how can I help?

I’ve been knitting for years.  As my little sign says, “knitting keeps me from unraveling”.  I can create something useful and keep hands busy.  I’m a much nicer passenger when I knit and don’t watch Tracy drive.  I’ve gifted hundreds of blankets over the years both knit and crochet.  I’ve taught both my youngest daughter and grand-daughter how to knit and they also have “busy hands”.  So what do we do with all that stuff?

When we had our art/gift gallery we sold well over 100 scarves to travelers looking for something useful to offer that would remind them of their trip.  Grandmothers love the scarves as gifts for grandkids.  And some locals bought them on a regular basis as gifts and for their own families. But now that the store is closed what happens to them?

One day on Facebook an ad showed up for an organization called “Operation Gratitude”. They provide “Care Boxes” for our active military, veterans, first responders, and wounded warriors.  They take only scarves made of acrylic fibers – check;  4-6” wide – check; in masculine colors – check.  If you go to their website you can download their donation form to see all the other ways you can help.  They recently had a “service day” at their base of operation in California and created 3,000 “care boxes” for the first responders in Dallas.  This is an organization I want to give to.

I’ve put together a box of scarves with the labels as requested and will send them off this next week.  They also ask for letters to the care box recipients.  It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what to say, and how I might help take their mind off where they are.  I wrote a letter using pictures from our previous time in the heart of the Grand Staircare Escalante National Monument.  I hope it will give them something else to think about.

It also reminded me to add their service as volunteers to my gratitude journal.  I’m grateful they believe our freedoms are worth fighting for. My grandmother, mother, father, and 1st husband all volunteered for the Marine Corps.  They each had their own reason for that service, and each contributed in a unique way.  They wanted to help in some way.  I guess it’s in my blood.

Until next time – – –

 

I’m A No. 2

I’ve had lots of callings in my life.  Each one with a unique focus and outcome.  Most I’ve just followed along not questioning.  Others, I’ve fretted and cried over and wished I was somewhere else.  When I finally allowed things to evolve I realized why I was there.  And one, I didn’t realize until it was no longer part of my life, how I failed to achieve the desired result.

As a Leo I’m pretty Type A and love being in the spotlight.  The many years I played in an orchestra I enjoyed the limelight as much as the actual playing.  When I was a Congressional Aide I thrived in the spotlight and having the power to help people solve their problems.  What took me many years to acknowledge and learn to deal with?  I’m not a No. 1, I’m a No. 2.  My purpose is to support someone in a leading role.  Help orchestrate results and outcomes.  Help ease the journey for the person taking the lead.  I’m really good at that and that’s what I’m doing now with my best friend and spouse, Tracy.

Currently we’re in the process of building his workshop for lapidary and other works of art.  It’s basically constructed but now needs painting, lights, and cupboards.  He’ll spend the next two-three weeks getting all that finished.  With 90+ degree weather, he’s happy to be inside with air conditioning.  He ended up at the local ER for heat exhaustion last week, so getting him out of the excess heat has been the goal.

Now I can settle down and get some of my “to do” list checked off.  First, rewrite my bio on Linked In to focus on the baskets and bead work.  I really want to promote the custom ornaments.  At $100 each I can make a reasonable return on my investment of time. They make such a wonderful wedding gift.  And the rock candy baskets are perfect for kids.  At $7.50 they are an affordable gift for grandparents to make.  Those are only available at the rock and gem shows.

It’s going to be a good year, even though I’m losing my mom to Ovarian cancer.  She’s in stage 4, and sleeps most of the day and all night.  Her Hospice nurse gave her 2 months just about 2 months ago.  I’m expecting to get a call any day that she passed in her sleep.  That’s her wish, and mine as well.  She’s on stronger doses of morphine each week and now that she won’t be receiving her gamma globulin infusions we expect she will contract Pneumonia before long as she depends on her oxygen system to breathe. A sad end, but I’m so proud of her.  She’s trying to be very brave and we try and talk every day.  Sometimes she’s just in too much pain or very sleepy from the meds.

Two weeks ago we traveled to see her, probably for the last time.  We spent time talking about all sorts of things.  She told me some new stories which I’ve written down.  We took her out for one last luncheon at her favorite restaurant.  The last day Tracy spent time watching the flowers bloom while we had “girl time”.  We lay on her bed, because she’s too weak to stand up for very long.  She lay in my arms and we hugged, cried, laughed, shared stories, and said goodbye.  And then we left for home.

All the business of passing on is ready.  As her No. 2 I’ve tried to make her shine and keep her from feeling alone.  I will miss her, but know that she is at peace and after 25 years of pain from spinal stenosis, pain free.  I’m proud to have been her No. 2.  I’m grateful that I know what my calling is.  It gives me peace.

Until next time – – –