Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Be Kind to YOURSELF

Hello Hello my fellow blogging friends!!

I came to realize that it's almost been FOUR months since I've even blogged.
Yet, after getting my hair cut today and chit chatting with my hairstylist...
(I just LOVE getting my pixie cut...especially with the onset of Summer!)
 
...I was inspired to write this post...as for the first time during this pandemic I felt like I wasn't alone in finding myself needing to navigate unknown terrain yet internally frustrated in NOT finding comfort and motivation in all that use to motivate me. For example, when this pandemic started I had  an ambitious list of all the things I was going to accomplish with this new found time on my hands....especially when school "officially" let out in June! BIG plans I had listed, because there was nowhere to go and nothing to interrupt my progress. Yet, in four months I've only "loaded" a test quilt onto the frame and completed a quilt top started six years ago (Well, I guess THAT's an accomplishment isn't it! LOL!)  But, the sewing room more often than not, remains dark:
There are honestly moments where I feel as if I'm failing this "stay at home" thing after being so use to an active work/social "routine". Why don't I want to quilt like I use to??? My hairstylist and I talked about this...as she is going through the same thing! We're both use to feeling productive. We both have ambitious list that we have NOT gotten to...nor do we care! We have found comfort in new hobbies. Hers has been bullet journaling and pen pal lettering. Mine has been my Sue Spargo Homegrown stitching:
I L O V E this project. I was able to sew during my school ZOOM meetings and continue to enjoy working on it, now that school is "out for the summer". The bright happy colors, creative stitching offer relaxation and fun!  It's not overwhelming. It's a perfect distraction from the news that at this very moment fills my background announcing: "Will face masks be on student's back to school lists?" It calms any anxiousness as like you, it seems like daily we are trying to navigate an unknown terrain. A text from my principal just dinged reminding me of our "blueprint" meeting as we as our school's leadership team, begin to outline the reopening of school in the Fall according to ODE orders. (We hope!!) I will begin my 32nd year as an educator in a very new normal that's for sure!

My hairstylist and I talked about how we just need to show up with kindness. PERIOD.
And not only for others but I'm here to say, for yourself as well!  My mind and body shout daily: "Fresh air! Fresh air! Exercise" so I have been intentional about that. I'm trying new things and added a different variety to my fitness regiment. I'm trying yoga. I bike ride. I walk. I golf.
I'm being kind to myself. I finally gave myself permission to NOT accomplish anything at all if that's how I'm feeling. My number one priority has been to be healthy and take good care of myself. And I'm doing that. I do exercise a minimum of an hour a day. I eat well. Annnnddd, I even sleep in a little longer if I awake and being under a cozy quilt makes lingering a little longer rejuvenating. 
But I also give myself permission to stay in my PJ's all day long! As often it's discouraging to continue to keep a calendar that has actually morphed into a document of everything that I didn't get do and people I didn't get to be with. Of course, that makes me sad.
List of 60+ IT events cancelled/postponed/going virtual due to ...
So I guess what I wanted to share, is if you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, if you feel like you are failing at this stay at home thing, know you are not alone. You DON'T have to do it all. You don't have to clean the kitchen drawers. You don't have to learn anything new or even accomplish something. Nope. You don't, Just BE. Reach out to a friend to let them know you are thinking of them. Go for a walk. Watch an old movie.  But know you are doing the best you can in this moment you are in. And honestly, THAT in itself is incredible! BE safe. BE healthy. BE present. BE happy. Yes! Even if it means staying in your jammies all day!

Bitmoji Image
With SMILES! Val


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Slow Blogging....

Ugh! I'm such a "slow blogger" these days and can't seem to find my ol' blogging "mojo".
 In reflection, hubs and I are busy enjoying our empty nest, even during a pandemic,
life seems to keep busy...although we really miss eating out once a week.


As a teacher, working from home has been very odd. It's hard to believe sometimes the reality of this Corona Virus Pandemic. Luckily, I have found my hand stitching to be a great comfort during my numerous Zoom Meetings each day as know one can see what I'm doing! LOL!

Anyhoo, that doesn't leave me with anything crafty to really share with you here on the ol' blog. But!
If you are new to my blog, I welcome you to take a look around by clicking on my tabs at the top of the page and my post labels at the bottom of the page. With seven years of quilting documented here...there's plenty of inspiration to be found and friends to meet by following the blog links on my sidebar. 
As always...
With SMILES! Val
air hugs

Friday, March 27, 2020

Taking Time to Smell the Flowers

 Our daily walks help get us out during his time of "social isolation".
They help me process all the changes that seem to happen daily
 and ensure we get in our daily "steps" too.
Witnessing the coming of Spring seems to give me a little bit of hope too.
Be intentional to get your daily dose of sunshine and fresh air...it helps!
With SMILES! Val
keep your distance

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

When Life Gives us Lemons....

Each morning....

...and throughout the afternoons....
I'm feeding my body with the:
Image result for benefits of lemons

When Life Give Us Lemons...

...take control of the things we can! Green tea with a twist of lemon has always been an afternoon treat...but I've been remotivated to get back to my daily juicing routine too. It feels good to be feeding my body with nutrients that will build my immune system. Along with being intentional about what I put in my body, I'm also boosting my immune system by reducing the stress of the Coronavirues impact on our daily life by limiting how much we actually watch the Covid19-News...enjoying some creative stitching when we do decide to watch.(Smiles!)
Soooo... do you find yourself being a little bit more intentional during these uncertain time to nourish your mind and body?  If so, do share in the comments how. Oh! And check this out! I recycled my lemon mesh bag as a new thread catcher for the birds:
 Hoping it attracts some new birds this Spring.
With SMILES! Val
Bitmoji Image


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Checking in....

A New Way of Wine Tasting....I Guess. 

A week ago, our Sunday Wine Tasting included a drive in the country....
 ...which led us to a secluded vineyard tucked between the Idaho mountains.
We enjoyed  sampling a delicious variety of cheeses and wines.

Now I'm contemplating if this is what our next excursion may look like!  
(The closet and bathroom literally crack me up!! 
But I guess if I had kids at home I maaayyy have done this??? LOL!!!)

I started "Spring Break" from school this weekend, after, like so many of you I'm sure, a week of drastic change in lifestyle and routines. Spending time working from home in virtual conference rooms like this felt WEIRD!!!   
We as educational leaders in our community are committed to creating a plan to provide our students and families with consistent educational routines and support during what is swiftly becoming a new normal of isolation. The enormity of our social situation and it's impacts on not only our students education, but the role we we continue to play as community leaders is quickly changing. I joked in conversation to my mom, that  when I finally do return to work, it will feel more like a worker for the Red Cross as we may be called upon by the Govoner to for example, provide childcare resources for our first responders. Either way, I'm all in. I think it's important we ban together with grace and love as we all start to navigate this new normal. 

But! Social Distancing...Doesn't Mean Isolation.

It just means new ways of  doing what we love to do...and some of the new habits I'm thinking could be to our advantage! For example, below is a copy of the new "health and safety" guidelines sent out from our local golf course. Bullet number two: "All cups will be raised 1 inch above the ground." I'm thinking is THIS could be a huge advantage to my short game, as now when we putt we only need to "hit the cup" and not get the damn ball exactly "in the hole".  I'm seriously thinking: "Sweet!" (Mom, you'll have to share these with Dad!)
So this afternoon WILL find us getting some fresh air, sunshine and exercise...on the golf course!
With a low immune system, I'm of course taking many precautions to keep myself healthy and safe. But I can not live indoors in complete isolation, as I especially love being outdoors! 
So I hope you'll stop by the ol' blog here knowing I'll be posting more often.  I'll share ways you too CAN take good care of yourself  in hopes to inspire you to create a healthy life for yourself  during a time that you may be feeling like you have no control at all and isolation is real. 
With SMILES! Val
Bitmoji Image




Tuesday, February 4, 2020

An "Enchanted Anniversary"

This past weekend we had fun getting all dressed up as we attended a local fundraiser.
It was an evening spent enjoying friends, good food and lively conversations.


It also found us celebrating our Thirty-First Wedding Anniversary!
 Here's to Thirty-One more babe!
With SMILES! Val
Bitmoji Image

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Happy Saturday!

My husband caught this moment and texted it to me. 
Makes me look forward to Spring.
Happy Saturday everyone!
With SMILES! Val
Bitmoji Image

Monday, January 20, 2020

My "Accidental" Green Thumb.


I've always had a few houseplants...but my spider plants have gotten out of control!
And I honestly can't seem to resist the temptation to propagate them continuously.

HOW to PROPAGATE SPIDER PLANTS 

To Propagate, just trim the babies off once they've started to spout little nubs 
like shown in the picture below. 

I like put my babies into old shot glasses to root in a sunny window. But you can also put them directly into a small pot of soil. I just like to watch the roots grow until they fill up the glass. 
Once the little glasses are filled with roots, I then combine them into a small starter pot. 

However, I don't need another large plant and my mom lives too far away to share,
 so I'm thinking of experimenting with this new set of babies above. One, I'd like to have three  smaller plants to put in a hanging container and I want to teach myself how to make a macrame plant hanger. (Stay tuned!)
 

THEY LIKE to BE a "LITTLE" ROOT-BOUND

Spider plants prefer to be in a tight pot. THIS plant to the left below was obviously in desperate need of a transplanting.  My mom and I have noticed they seem to sprout the most babies (spiderettes) when they are like this. My mom and I enjoy texting each other our plant's progress especially when they sprout their first "baby"

This plant below my mom and I refer to as the "mother" plant as most of the plants above have been rooted from her. My mom started this plant years ago from my original spider plant whom we at the time called the "grandmother" plant....but after many, many years of propagating, she got old and her root ball unhealthy. 

PLANT CARE TIPS:

They grow best in the natural sunlight of a morning window...

...and only require a weekly deep watering (Depending where you live this could be more or less.) During our cold winter months here in Eastern Oregon, the shower will do as a place for this deep watering, but in the summer months they love to drain in a sunny spot on the patio.  
Spider plants have a dense, fleshy cluster of tubers as their root system.  So I water when the soil is dry to touch. When transplanting, I will give the plant a deep watering as shown below, then increase the pot size so your plant sits in the center of the new pot with about a two inch perimeter of new soil.
Not too big, but enough room to grown and expand. We apply fertilizer spikes every two months.

 I myself, having never been a gardener, am surprised at my own "green thumb" as these little guys have grown into becoming a part of my own household routines over the years.  So if you've never tried a houseplant, yet would like to try, I highly recommend these hardy Spider plants.
With SMILES! Val
 heart flowers




Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Such a mild Winter....

...that when I few inches of snow arrive, it just makes my day!
What are one of your Winter pleasures?
With SMILES! Val
catching snowflakes on your tongue
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