Friday, September 8, 2023

Happy 14th Birthday to Jackson!!!

Today he got ice-cream!!!

Our ol' boy continues to be our constant companion. 
He still enjoys our daily walks, always taking the lead...though the distance is shorter as his bones hurt, his legs shake, he tires quicker, he WON'T miss it!

Yet, as long as he is with us, he is happy! 
For example, trips to the department store...where he even enjoys a nap. 

As long as he can come along...he IS HAPPY!
He has doggie dementia which produces separation we just take him along. 

He continues to love "his boys".

They know to be gentle with him as they know he can't hear well anymore.
They are always kind and caring to "their Jackson".

And Jackson's smart, as they DO  make the BEST napping companions as well.

We love you buddy and are so grateful for the many years we have had with  you!
Here's to a few more.
With Smiles,

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas Wishes

Aside form Christmas cookies, I think the lights are my very favorite thing about the holidays!
This year we took the grands to our two favorite light shows.
The first was the Scentsy headquarters just a 30 minute drive away:

They have the longest lighted tunnel any of us have ever seen.

Poppi actually got the boys to slow down long enough to take a picture with Meme as they enjoyed running, and running, and running through the lite tunnel over and over.

Our second favorite place was in another nearby town where the whole center of town is lite up!
It's magical. There's a skating rink, Santa in a boat (which our youngest thought was hilarious!)..

...gingerbread houses for the kids to play in,

and even a fire breathing dragon!

As you can tell by their smiles, it was truly a night filled with the spirit of Christmas.
It's wintery cold in our part of the world and I find myself pulling out some ol' WIP as I spend much of my time in the sewing room. I actually have two queen size quilts I'm wanting to finish this winter break and am grateful for the time to get them done. It feels good to be sewing again and I find myself thinking of ways to incorporate more of it in my new life. It makes me think of all of you and the fun we had blogging and supporting each other. So, I'll be sure to post my progress soon. Until then, let me wish you, my quilty blogging friends, a Christmas that warms your hearts as much as these two do for mine. 
With smiles, Val

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

My Top Routines for Optimal Health

27 degrees out and there is no where I'd rather be than on this mid morning trek.

Half way there and the incline is about to begin with one right turn.
As I hike my mind is cleansed and rejuvenated at the same time.
As I begin to enter the "senior age category" of life I find myself grateful that fitness and nutrition have always been a major habit in my lifestyle. I haven't done this hike in a while, and it was honestly a personal test of my level of fitness. LOL! Aside from the cold air making it a bit hard to breathe on the steep inclines, and a few new aches in my hips, I was truly pleased with my fitness level.

At the top I'm inspired and filled with energy as I look out over our City of Trees: Boise, Idaho.
I found myself reflective on my own healthy habits.

Here are my top routines of keeping in shape both mentally and physically:

1. Exercise Every Day: 
Mine takes the form of muscle strengthening exercises five days of week and moderate exercise every day. Moderate exercise is important at our age. I'm also finding you don't have to go all out, we just need to move. My favorite is a two mile walk after my workout giving me a healthy hour of pure exercise.  In the winter months, walks get traded out for 8 miles on the indoor exercise bike. (But it's in front of a window, so I can watch it snow as I workout) My FAVORITE is in the Spring and summer when walking can also mean nine holes of golf or a longer bike ride outside at our mountain summer home.  I'm COMMITTED to an hour of exercise at least five days a week no matter what form it takes. Truth be told, I'm LESS achy when I exercise. And I don't forgo the stretching!!! 

2. Mental Health: 
Exercise is BIG for my own mental health. I also ENJOY  keeping a travelers journal. It fills my need to goal set, helps me get things out of my head and minimizes my over thinking. It has five sections: monthly calendar, my budget book, daily morning affirmation doodles, my journal and a project book. I'm committed to living an authentic life that is CREATED with purpose on purpose and this helps me accomplish such.  

Socially, I find myself becoming more of an introvert as I age. I use to be energized by socialization and collaboration but now find myself  ENERGIZED  by my time alone and prefer social settings with much smaller groups. I'd like to think of this as WISDOM lol...but never the less, I truly find myself relishing this peaceful transition. My blog is really my only social media and lately that has been pretty minimal. I mean, okay, I love Pinterest....but I think of that as my "filing cabinet for the internet". It's a place that stores the ideas and INSPIRATION I find. Social media is overwhelming for me. I don't like the time it sucks up and  honestly my life just isn't that interesting. LOL I enjoy my blog because it documents my quilts and I enjoy our quilt community of bloggers but overall, my mental health is FUELED by the solitude in my life. 

As we enter this pre-retirement stage of life, I have also found list making to become a thing of the past as I'm finding that solitude in the SIMPLICITY of our day to day routines . I just told my husband the other day: "I feel like we are living a life we don't need a vacation from!"  I love that feeling!! And, emotionally, this is an EXCITING transformation. I live in GRATITUDE for all the memories of raising a family that fill my heart but find myself relishing  in the FREEDOM of this stage of life where obligations are minimal and life is full of new adventures for my husband and I.

3. Water: WHY oh WHY is this soooo hard? I've RECOMMITTED  to this, which for me means 10 8oz. glasses of water a day. Luckily my lemon and peppermint teas count! My MOTIVATION is I know this habit with flush my body of toxins, lubricates my joints, helps my skin be more toned (I hope!!!!) and it helps my digestive system.

4. Clean Eating: 
This one is easy for me as I've never been a foodie person. I do enjoy my wine in moderation. 
I hope if you too, find yourself on this pre-senior path of life, that this peace is finding it's way into your heart as well and you are finding the gifts meant for us in this stage of life. 
I'm curious about ways you are intentional about your emotional and physical health? 
Feel welcome to comment and share your inspiration with us. 
With Smiles, Val

Sunday, November 20, 2022

It's Birthday Quilt Time!

Time sure flies when we have Grand kiddos doesn't it!
Our oldest grand guy continues to request a birthday quilt each year. This year he actually picked out all the fabrics for this one. These are in honor of the fact that we've watched every dolphin movie made for kids and have made a pinky shake that someday we are going to swim with the dolphins to celebrate our birthdays!

I found the perfect dolphin pantograph.

His choice to use a minky backing that looks like "water" makes this one an especially cozy lap quilt. 
Happy Happy NINTH Birthday buddy!
With hugs and smiles,

Thursday, June 9, 2022

A New Summer Quilt!

I can remember a time I use to make a quilt every month... here I'm posting one I made last summer that I finally got quilted and 
the binding sewn just in time to enjoy it for the summer!!
The pattern is called: Friendship Scrap Block from

The very best was made from left over fabric from this Lori Holt Kit: 
(Which by the way, makes me smile everyday as it brightens my little laundry room.)

What else makes me smile is the fact that I loved this fabric so much, I now have an oversized 
lap quilt to enjoy and ALL my extra fabric was used!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!
I hoping more sewing is in my future, as I find myself at another cross road. Yep! Last week I hung up my school lanyard and recess whistle after 33 years of teaching.
But! I'm NOT retired! 
I have actually been transitioning into a new District job as our very first Talented and Gifted Coordinator. This has proven to be the most empowering transition I have made personally in quite a long time and one that is worthy of one of my "Life and Learning" post. Hopefully some words of wisdom and inspiration will come to me, but for now, I'm simply relishing the process of change and personal growth I'm experiencing. 
I just turned 57 and got to happily celebrate with these two:
I feel blessed in so many ways and am looking forward to having one more chapter in my career.
I hope this post finds you, my old blogging friends, doing well.
With Smiles, Val:)

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