Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Quick Post

Just a quick post tonight to show you the initial for my daughter's friend. I will get to meet her tomorrow night. They have been having fun this week, playing tourist. I am not done actually framing this piece, which is why it looks a little wonky. I just wanted to give and idea of what the finished product will look like.

I took my best friend out for her birthday dinner tonight. We have this great place called the Lalla Grill here in Monterey, which is one of my favorite places. I feel kind of hip and cool when I go there. We had a fabulous dinner. I had brought fancy cupcakes for birthday cake dessert, but the nice folks at Lalla beat me to the punch and sent out a fancy dessert for my friend. We got to share. Yum.

Anyway, we had one of our deep talks about life over dinner, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours. We solved all of the problems of the world, laughed over crazy stuff and talked about how fortunate we are to have each other as friends. I think the best thing about her and my really close friends is that we all really "get" each other. We don't have to explain a lot to each other because we have all known each other for years, have the same basic value system, and know each other's history. So we understand what inspires us, what makes us laugh, what makes us really mad, and what hurts all of the way to the core. We are also trusting of one another where we can ask some really tough, honest questions, like what did you learn, what will you do differently next time, why do you feel that way? This is such a huge gift in my life to share bonds of friendship on such a profound level with honest and caring people. I have heard it said that, "Good friends are the family that you pick for yourself."

Thank goodness for friendship!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost done!

Okay, not such a big deal because it is a quick stitch. However, here is my present for my daughter's friend, Kate. I am looking forward to meeting her. Right now, they are having fun in San Francisco, but will be home in time for knitting. All that I need to do is get a small frame for it. I am taking my BFF out to dinner tomorrow for her birthday, so I will pick one up then. I hope Kate likes it.

It is majorly cold here, and they said to expect a cold front starting today. This year has been exceptionally chilly during the summer months. I have nothing really to complain about. My heart goes out to the people on the East Coast, enduring loss of their homes in the flooding. It is painful to watch my original hometown of Paterson, NJ under so much water.

So tonight, I will day prayers for the people of the Eastern Seaboard. I will say prayers of thanks that our earthquake in the middle of the night earlier this week merely rocked Liesl and I awake for a few minutes. I will say prayers of thanks for all of the blessings in my life, that my cup runneth over. I will say prayers for the simple things. For chilly evenings, and extra quilts. For peaceful evenings with sea lion songs. And for the love of a little dog with a big heart and smile. Life is good.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Present

After a fun and whirlwind weekend, it was time for me to get to work on a present for my daughter's friend this evening. Over the past couple of years my daughter has become really good friends with a young lady in London. They had begun their friendship on Ravelry, then started becoming good friends offline. Last year, at the last minute her friend invited her to come stay with her in London for a big knitting event. My daughter saw the great potential for adventure. So she talked to her hubby, who said that she should go and have an amazing time. (I heart my son-in-law.) So off she went and had a great time with her friend. I think it is so cool that she did this. I think it was super cool that her hubby made her feel good about going, too!

When she got back, I was coveting the container of Cadbury hot cocoa that my daughter had in her kitchen. I happen to love hot cocoa and have quite to collection of tins and flavors. My daughter told her friend that I was after her hot cocoa, so her friend sent me one of my very own.

So this week her friend is visiting here in the US. After hearing so many great things about her, I will get to finally meet her on Thursday. I am cross stitching her a monogram using a pattern from Rosewood Manor's Red Threads. It will end up being quite ornate. She will be joining us at knitting this week, so I want to give her something as a souvenir of her visit with us, I am looking forward to meeting her. I think she will really fit in with our wild and crazy group!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Tribute To My Dear Friend

A couple of days ago, I received an email that my dear friend, Gordon, had been called home to be with the Lord. I am still trying to process it. He and his wife have been true friends of 20 years. I am really grateful that his family gave all of us who loved him a chance to visit him in hospice to say goodbye and tell him that we loved him.

My dear friend was a true American hero. He and his family had been placed in the camps for the Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. He had also been held as a POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. Yet throughout his life he remained one of the most positive people you could meet. Heaven has a bright new cheerful angel. Earth does not seem the same without him.

Here is his favorite poem. His parents hung a copy of it when they were detained in the Japanese camps. He always had a copy of it hanging in his home. Those of us who were close to him, were always given a copy of it, particularly as we went through difficult circumstances.

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deciding What To Stitch Next...

I am in that decision making stage of what to stitch next. This can take from several days to several weeks to decide. I decided a couple of weeks ago to not enter my stuff in the fair after all this year. I have an overwhelming number of irons in the fire and something had to go off of my to do list. Plus the expense of having to frame something. Oy vey! On top of it all, Star Spangled Banner is not the clearest pattern to read and I have made several mistakes that should not have happened. The biggest was in the lining up of the pages. I feel like I have stitched the thing twice. So I will enter it next year. I do not feel as disappointed as I thought I would about not entering the fair. I guess that means that it was a good decision.

So I am thinking about stitching a Blackwork piece in red. I have all of the items that I need, so I could start it right away. It is a big project, so I have to think this through before I start it. I do have a couple of small gifts to make including something from my daughter's friend who will be visiting the first week of September. She sent me some lovely Cadbury hot cocoa from England this year, so I want to make sure I have a nice little gift for her. I can not wait to meet her. My daughter speaks so highly of her. I think she will be able to come to knitting night, which will be really fun!

I am also thinking that I would like to get my sewing machine out. I would really like to make a few projects. That Moda Bakeshop blog is always calling to me with beautiful projects.

It is hard to have so many interests because they all compete with each other. I love gardening, stitching, cooking, sewing, playing with Liesl, reading good books, spending time with friends, and reading blogs, Martha Stewart and BHG online for even more great ideas of things to do. So many fun things to do and so little time. sigh...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Random Thoughts

Well, there I was at 3:00 am. Running through my mind my checklist of things that needed to be submitted by today. All I could do was lay there and stress, even though I knew I had turned everything in. I wish I had not done that to myself, because I had turned everything in and the day went okay. Except that I have been very sleepy...

I had the best time with Liesl tonight. I have taught her that when I say, "Hug" she jumps up and lets me give her a hug. She likes hugs, so she is moving a little faster to come get her hug. She smiles when I say it, too. She is such a sweet little dog. I was watching her play tonight. She is such a busy little dog and goes from toy to toy. One of her favorite games is Shove The Toy Under The Chair or Cabinet and Then Act Like It Is The Only Toy She Can Possibly Play With! Last week, I found one of my leather gardening gloves shoved under the cabinet, just because. She is something else. My friend at work who has several larger, older dogs says that he thinks Liesl is awesome, but after watching how busy she is, he knows he could never have a mini schnauzer. She is funny to watch!

I was laughing quite a bit earlier. One of my friends was posting on Facebook a web page called Awkward Family Photos. So I decided to look around on the site. Oh my goodness, it is laugh out loud funny. We have all been there...

I am a bit frustrated because it has been so cold the past few weeks. Now one of my trees is convinced it is fall and is dropping its leaves even though it is only mid August. It was just in bloom last month. But it has been cold enough to have the heat on lately. Brrrr.

Well, I am overly sleepy, so I am off to dreamland...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Old WIP

It has been a while since I had this tea cosy piece out (from Victoria Sampler.) I put it away in frustration last year. It had a lot of fancy stitches, some of which I needed to practice for a while first, like the bullion stitch to make sure that I had it down. Even so, some of the stitches had not turned out to my satisfaction. I am notoriously hard on myself. I think I am ready to make peace with my tea cosy and finish it. Then I can put it together to keep my teapot warm.

It has been kind of a tense week and weekend and I have had trouble sleeping. My dear friend continues on in hospice care. His family is diligent in posting daily on his Caring Bridge website with updates. What has stuck with me all week, is that he keeps asking if he is going on a trip (and if he can drive.) He is still teaching us all lessons of faith and dignity all of the way. He and his family are also teaching great lessons of love. It breaks my heart that he has to suffer so, but at the same time there has been great beauty in the outpouring of love for such a great man.

As a result, I am reminded how fragile everything in life is. Life and health are held in a delicate balance. The entire ocean's ecosystems can change with the decline of one small, seemingly insignificant species. Relationships can change for better or worse with each conversation. And everything can change in the blink of an eye.

And so I walk in gratitude. I am grateful for those things that make this life wonderful. Family, friends, my dog, gardens, beaches, good books and cross stitching. Peace, joy, laughter and love. For this is the day that the good Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally, An Evening In

This is the one weekend that all of us on the Monterey Peninsula dread, traffic wise. As always, we through our doors open in welcome to those who choose to visit the Peninsula. However, it is what we call "Car Week." This is the week of the Concours d'Elegance, Concourso Italiano, the historic car races and lots of car auctions in the area (one sold for 1.375 million dollars today.) We do not have major highways here and it leads to the nastiest traffic jams. Usually a standard commute is about 30 to 40 minutes here, during Car Week it can be as much as 2- 2 1/2 hours. Somehow the past couple of years I have been off on the Friday of Car Week so that I miss the worst of it. Luckily, yesterday I negotiated with my boss to flex my hours today so that I would miss it. So I woke up at 4 am and was at work by 6 am. I was a little squinky eyed, but grateful to have the extra two hours of quiet in the office. We have been prepping for our annual audit which is next week, so I needed all the time I could get.

As a result, I got off at 3 and while there was still traffic, it was not horrible so I was happy. I had to do one of those ugly Costco trips because I was out of everything-toothpaste, orange juice, etc. It was not too bad and I was home by five. Yay!

Liesl and I were tired from being up so early today. I came home, put on my jammies, got a cold drink and lit a fire in the fireplace (it is so cold right now) before settling into the sofa. Liesl went to sleep and I just got comfy. When she finally got up I got to play with her. I looked at her and thought about how much I love her little furry self. I was so glad to spend some time with her.

I did not get to stitch tonight. Somehow on my way to the car at lunchtime, I got stung by a bee on my thumb. I have lived on this planet for 48 years and this was the first bee sting ever. I did not even know I had been stung. I always thought it would hurt way worse. I thought I had somehow scratched myself, but then saw the welt. It has been swollen all day and is throbbing a little now. So I relaxed on the sofa with the new IKEA catalog, painted my toenails and drank a micro brewed Virgil's Cream Soda that my daughter got me at Whole Foods. Yum. It was so nice to be home and relax. Next week is going to be rough with trying to make sure we are giving the auditors what they need. It is nice to be cozy at home now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Knitting Circle

It has been over a month since our last knitting circle meeting. Everyone has been travelling or busy. We finally all came together tonight and had the best time. We decided the theme was "American Barbecue." We had burgers and home made potato salad, cole slaw and brownies. We also have a club libation, which is sangria and served with our dinners. I am not even sure how it started. It is a little bit of red wine, mostly fancy soda, oranges and frozen berries. We feel like we are being wild. LOL

Not one single knitting needle came out to knit. We had such a good time talking and laughing and just being together again. It was so special. One of our members just got back from Guatemala and brought us beautiful handmade worry dolls. They have a magnet so that it can be put on the fridge. Prior to that, another member brought us cloisonne thimbles from Spain. It is so nice that they thought of us.

I love being with these ladies. The founder of the group said that we were each selected because we are all down to earth. This group of women is just awesome and we just laugh so much., We range in age from 20's to almost 70. There are 7-9 of us on a given night and the number is based on how many chairs the founder had available at her house. This group is one of the huge blessings in my life. If a member has something good going on everyone is happy for her, if someone is going through something sad, the group offers compassion. It started as a group to share an interest in a craft but has become so much more. We have become good friends and my life is so much better because of it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Hibiscus

Here are my pretty hibiscus, I just thought they were too beautiful not to share.

I tend to write about happy things on this blog. I have the same problems, frustrations and sadness as others. However, as a general rule, I do not believe that this is the proper place to talk about those things. I prefer this to be the place to talk about beauty, gratitude, and happy things. Generally, I feel pretty blessed and happy. Unfortunately, I have something sad going on right now.

I have a couple that have been friends for about 20 years. I have had the pleasure of working with both the husband and the wife at different times and they are such a joy. I have considered them part of my extended family for years. Sadly, he became very ill with a particularly bad form of cancer on June 26th and has been hospitalized ever since. He is in so much pain, that it is heartbreaking. His family has set up a web site so that we can all get daily updates on his condition. May God Bless Them for doing this. Unfortunately, his condition has been quickly disintegrating.

I went over to visit him today. I am hoping that it is not the case, but I fear that it was to say good-bye. I knew that it was best for him for me to hold it together and just keep a happy smile on my face. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve so this took every ounce of strength that I had. I am grateful though that I had the chance to tell him how important he is to me and how much I love him. I made it a couple of steps out of his door before I lost it and had a really good cry in my car. I have been weepy all day. I am truly a better person for having known him.

All of this serves as a reminder that life is so short and it changes in the blink of an eye. I think to myself that my friend had a perfectly normal day on June 25th before it all changed. So take the time to tell the people you care about how much you love them. Waste not your time that you have here. Love one another, take care of each other and don't waste your time disagreeing with each other and fighting over something that does not really matter. And if you could spare a prayer for my dear friend, I would sure appreciate it.

I am off to go hug my dog...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Busy Saturday!

This is kind of a hectic weekend. There is a lot going on, plus I have a huge project for work that I have to work on. I am a bit stressed, so I did not sleep well last night. Liesl had to go out around 6:30 am and I could not sleep after that. I just got up around 7 and got dressed and took Miss Liesl to Carmel Beach super early. It was cold and drizzly but she really needed to run. I prefer taking her there early anyway, because it is the regulars in the early morning. After about 10 am, you tend to get people who do not go often enough to understand that there is an etiquette (usually involving safety) among dog parents. Inevitably, Liesl will get thugged by a bigger dog who probably should not be off leash. She can be a tough little cookie and hold her own, but I have had to pick her up to get her away from big dogs who will not leave her alone in a not nice kinda way. I can usually tell pretty quickly that she is unhappy when her ears and tail go down and she gets a helpless look on her face. That is when I scoop her up and get her out of there. I have had a large dog jump on me trying to get at her after I have picked her up, with the owner doing nothing because he was on his cell phone. Grrrr.

We had a great time today though. We had much of the beach to ourselves. One of the guys at work had given me one of those ball throwy things, that toss the ball further than I can. Liesl runs like a bullet after it. She loves to chase anything. She was so exhausted on the way back to the car. Usually she chases sandpipers and seagulls on the way back, but she dragged herself back to the car, figuring that giving the birds a dirty look was going to have to suffice. LOL We came home and she got her bath and her breakfast and she was out for a long nap.

While she was sleeping, I got to meet my dear friend, Barbara, for long lunch. She has been out of town for over a month and I have missed her. So we got all caught up on the news. It made me so happy. After that I had an appointment before hitting Trader Joe's. TJ's had gotten in a new shipment of those hibiscus I got a few weeks ago for $6.99. They are gorgeous! I got another one in a corally pink. So pretty. There is a rumor that they have yellow ones but I have not seen one yet. I will keep looking!

By the time I got home I was totally overly tired, so I napped on the sofa. I woke up to sunshine, finally! So off the furgirl and I went to the backyard. I got a lot done back there. The prior resident of this house had planted succulents in pots, which looked terrible and made the yard look a bit haphazard. I decided that this had to change, and replanted everything in some bare spots in the yard. They were terribly root bound, so I think they will be much happier now.

So now I have given myself a pedicure with sparkly nail polish. I am going to stitch for the rest of the evening, until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is It Friday Yet?

Okay, first things first. The question came up in the comments of how one would eat the Litchi tomatoes. I shoulda thought about that. Apparently, as the tomato grows, the thorn "shield" retracts. This is what a mature one looks like: They are pretty freaky looking.

Sakes alive, it has been a crazy week and this weekend looks a bit busy, too. I need to clear a portion of my garden back. I also need to make more homemade yogurt. Tonight I went online and googled some healthy Kong filler ideas for Liesl. She does not like peanut butter and I want something healthy and low fat to keep her busy. There was one recipe that called for tuna, plain yogurt and grated carrot. You freeze it in the Kong. It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids so it is good for her, too. I think I will try this one. One of the guys at work said that he just uses Cheez Whiz instead of fancy fillers and it works pretty well. I may try to use that as a "liner" for the Kong and add kibble to it. Oy vey, this dog is spoiled.

I need to get frames or framing supplies this weekend for my fair entries. I am getting pretty excited about fair. I love going and seeing Monterey County's best. We are an agricultural county, so the ag stuff is fascinating. I have a friend at work who shows her pigs, cattle and chickens at fair, too, and helps with 4-H. We both talk about the fair all year. I am thinking about exhibiting at Santa Cruz county, too, on her suggestion. I think my knitting group is going together so we can have fun together. These are some of my very favorite friends, and it would be such a hoot to go together.

It sounds like the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog is a big favorite with you, too. I have stumbled upon another one on my blog roll that is just so sweet, peaceful and comforting. It is Amish Stories. If you have time, check it out. In the meantime, make the lemon cookies that I mentioned earlier in the week. I had my last one today. So awesome!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Litchi Tomatoes

I know this sounds ca-razy, but these are tomatoes! They are called Litchi tomatoes or Morelle de Balbis. About a year ago, my daughter gave me some heirloom tomato seeds. Last year, I thought when they came up, that they were weeds. So I took them out. This year, I was watching them come up. (These are volunteers from last year's seeds. ) Then I remembered that Google is our friend and did a search. They are tomatoes that have a sour cherry taste, apparently. The stems have thorns, too! Yikes! The plants themselves can be formidable and can grow to 8 feet. I have no idea what I will do with them. LOL

I am working on my fair entries like a madwoman. They are due to the fairgrounds on the 20th. I have a feeling I will be up after midnight on the 19th. Again...

Well, guess I had better get stitchin'!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Too Good Not To Share

I love really interesting jewelry. I love the fact unique jewelry is kind of celebrated right now. I put this chic little necklace together with two pieces from Michaels. The Biwa pearls still in the shell usually retails for $7.99. It comes with the silver bale already attached. The black satin cord was about $3 or $4. I get so many compliments on it. The other day someone said that she had just seen this necklace in a window of one of the local jewelry stores (for quite a bit more, I am sure!) It is a fun piece and I usually wear it with a black dress or sweater. It makes me feel chic!

I wish I could send some of our weather to the folks in Texas and in the South. It is so cold here. I am in my wooliest socks, a sweater, and under all of my blankets. Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco." He wasn't kidding. We are 100 miles south of SF on the coast. It is so cold in July and August. Drizzly, too. I always feel sorry for the visitors to our area that show up in shorts and tank tops. They do a brisk business selling sweatshirts on Fisherman's Wharf. I am always shivering as I look at kids at the beach playing in the surf with the 58F degree temperature water. Brrrrr

If you ever decide to visit the Monterey Peninsula, remember that July and August are our chili and clam chowder cooking months. It is cold here then. September and October is the time of year the locals look forward to. That is when we get our warm, sunny weather. I can't wait.

Well, off to tuck the fur girl in under her blanket. Puppies get cold, too...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Of My Favorite Blogs

Today I tried a recipe from one of my fave blogs-Mennonite Girls Can Cook. There are some incredibly delicious looking recipes on this blog. Today I made these Lemon Cookies.

They are made with lemon curd and are so easy to make. They are so pretty and so light, too. Okay, mine are not so pretty, but the ones on the website are. They are beyond delicious if you are someone who loves lemon. In addition to the lemon curd, the cookie base has lemon zest, lemon juice and coconut extract. So delicious.

I am going to make their Moroccan Rice Salad this week, too. I have brown rice cooling as I write this to get ready. I think it will make yummy lunches. I will let you know how it turns out!

I am really having a lot of fun trying out all of these new recipes. I have recently re-discovered how fun it is to cook again. I may have to start making organic dog cookies next!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oy vey! I have been sick the last few days. Like stay in bed and not move kinda sick. Which was bad because I was just on vacation the prior week. My doctor ordered me to stay home in bed and rest since Thursday. I finally could not stand it anymore and had to get up for a while today. Liesl has been a great nurse (dogs just know) but she had a little cabin fever this morning. I took her for a shorter than usual walk on the beach. It was drizzly but it was nice to feel the coolness on my face after being feverish and headachy for the past few days.

I had to use my stern momma voice a couple of times because Liesl tends to think she is funny. She will pick out certain people (I can not figure out her criteria) and poke them on the backs of their legs with her cold nose. She thinks this is even funnier when they are wearing shorts. I am usually pretty good about catching her before she does it. She will get a certain excited walk, and her ears go back, or she will double back after someone who just passed us. Hence, the stern momma voice. On the off chance that I miss her cues or if I look away (there were a school of dolphin today) and she does provide the poke, she will turn and look at me with a big smile like she thinks she is hilarious. Mini schnauzers...

After I returned home, I got back on the sofa with my blanket. I was finally able to stitch today. Luckily, it was Shark Week this week since I was not able to concentrate on a whole lot. I must admit, I am a bit Sharked out. I am also tired of the commercials for "Hill-Billy Hand Fishing." It looks like pretty much every possibility for reality shows has now been exhausted. LOL

I was wiggly from having to lie down for the past few days. It gave me too much time to think of stuff to do. I had a burst of energy and decided to take 15 minutes to clean out my largest kitchen cabinet and my spice cabinet. I should have to wear a hard hat when I open those cabinets because lately when I open a door, stuff rains down on me. It was a good thing I did clean them out because I learned that I pretty much have a couple years supply of sugar (two five lb bags), lemon pepper (three unopened bottles), green chiles (four cans) and Jello Sugar Free chocolate pudding mix (6 boxes). I feel like I have accomplished something big.

I am pretty fortunate. I live in a major agricultural area, referred to as The Salad Bowl of the World. We have unlimited access to really fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been thinking a lot lately about hearing that I should eat food grown locally and in season. I am finding that this is also a more economical and fun way to eat. For instance, as I was on the Martha Stewart website, there was a reference to foods that are currently in season and recipes for them. One of the veggies was eggplant. Now I happen to love eggplant, but I have always felt limited with ways to prepare it. It was thrilling to look through all of the recipes for eggplant. There was a recipe for eggplant tomato soup that looks heavenly. If I am feeling well enough to cook tomorrow, I am definitely going to cook this for my lunches this week. The other thing that I am finding is that I am finding so many exciting recipes, that I am naturally cutting back on my meat intake. I am having so much fun discovering new ways to cook. I think I will add eggplant to my veggie garden plan next year.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Liesl!

Tomorrow (Thursday) is Liesl's 4th birthday! It seems like only yesterday a little four month old bundle of energy appeared in my life. She had not been in a good situation for about 8 weeks before she became my little Liesie-poo, but she has been spoiled rotten ever since she came into my life. She is a schnauzer, and therefore, expects it as her due. LOL

It is hard to believe that four years have gone by so fast. She was about five months old in this photo. She is such an amazing dog, and seems to understand so much. She acts quite human sometimes. I tell everyone I have a perpetual two year old child. This is the temperament of most terriers. She is so sweet and so loving. I just love her so much. There are times I look at her and I fall in love with her all over again.

So tomorrow I have a new toy for her. A stuffed turtle. I am going to make her favorite dinner of chicken breast, brown rice, and carrots all mixed together. We might go to the beach after work, her favorite place ever. Then she might get about a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream as a special birthday treat.

She is such a blessing in my life. I am so grateful that God sent her to me to walk beside me on my life's journey.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Yay! Back To Work!

It was so nice to be back at work today. I was happy to see my co-workers and Liesl was overjoyed to see all of her friends. She gave kisses to all of her dog friends. Her people friends told her that she is pretty. I was off to a little bit of a rocky start because I had a little insomnia last night and could not fall asleep. This is pretty unusual for me, and I think it was just the changing up of my schedule.

That soba noodle salad that I made last night was awesome today. I had been looking forward to it all morning. It was delicious and the veggies stayed pretty crisp. All of the flavors had married and it was just perfect. I found a recipe for another Thai salad that I think I will make up, too. It is rare that I look forward to my lunches, so I think I will start a new trend for myself. Plus I felt really good that I ate super healthy today. It makes me feel so much better about myself.

Tonight after I got my chores done and Liesl brushed out, I got to stitch. It is so amazing how stitching just makes me feel so centered and peaceful. It has an instant calming effect the minute I pick it up. I am coming to the end of this piece. It has been a good journey.

It is nice having life in balance. I feel rested from my vacation and that my spirit was fed with all of the things that I love to do. Now I feel great that I am contributing to the world again and working with the left side of my brain. I love walking to my car thinking, "What a great day!" and then settling into my comfy blankets at night thinking, "What a great evening." Everyday is such a blessing and a gift from God.

May you be blessed many times over!