Sunday, January 25, 2015

Living My 60th Year

Back Yard to the Right - Jan 24th
 This past week proved to be 'busy' as the
others.  The aftermath of the party and the beginning of tax season.  Heard some reviews of the party - seemed to go well.  Nice to go back to the way it was - simple and enjoying every one's company.  Next the housekeeper helped to get my life back in order - it is one of my greatest treats for me, once a month, I'm forced to pick-up, clean-up and then the magic of the housekeeper - viola!  Nothing gets too far out of order.

A sense of order - it is truly the peace I enjoy.  Life has too much chaos, responsibilities to others,  and then some.

Friday night was the Friends of the Library Wine & Cheese event.  It's a fundraiser, ticketed event, small attendance about 150 folks, and they raffle off literary baskets of goodies.  It is a chance to mingle with folks in town and as a Library Trustee, thank them for coming to the event and supporting the Library.  We invited our new Representative to the State House, Gary Byron to attend.  I made sure he was introduced to all the Library folks - director, assistance director, FOL president, Board president, etc.  A few of the RTCs and elected officials showed up along with the DTCs and elected officials.  A good time was had by all.  It was pretty much over in a little over two hours.

Lately every event seems to have a taint of political to it.  After the town folks defeated the referendum 6 to 1, and then beating the DTC's candidate for the Representative seat in every district including her's  - this town is just not going to take it any more.  The town folks are 'sick and tired' of the increasing taxes with NO difference in services - possibly a decrease in services.

We were able to raise the Library budget in the pre-lim meeting, completed several other items for the PEP committee, the snow above.... worked on a crochet project.......  all in all, another great week.  Now let's see how this week comes with snow predicted for Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday.....  we are looking to get two feet!  Yippie!!!

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Big Book Thread Ornaments
#53, #50, #40, #38
Here's some of the snowflakes I found that I had done earlier.  So lovely.  Yes Yes - I know I need to block them.  

This is the second set of four.  Now  the Countdown at  ----  >> 42 to go till this Thanksgiving.

Now that my cousin's event is complete for the next eight years, I can go back to paying attention to this challenge.  The house is back in order, though life keeps speeding at me.  I received notice from my brother in St. Louis that my niece/godchild will be singing at the regional a capella competition at Washington University.  I knew that was true as she texted me at the last moments of the birthday.  What subsequently happened is that she is doing a solo in this event!

Okay - I'm still futzing around with flights - and how to meet a deadline and still get out and back to St. Louis to see her perform.

Everyday is like a snow flake - not one is the same.............each day is unique.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Living My 60th Year

A solid week into my 60th year.  It was a big week, after my birthday - I hosted the Cousins Party this past weekend.  All cousins were present and accounted for except for my brother that lives in St. Louis.  I've a smaller place - so it is a bit packed in -  it was the way we began - a simple house party.   Once thing about a house party - you need to borrow items from people you know so that it works out well - extra crock pots, extra tables for staging in the garage, etc.  Mom supplied some of them and a chance to visit with her.  Here are the turkeys she's been going on about.  I couldn't get a better picture, they were a bit skittish - when they did parade by - there was 12 of them! 

I did the cooking and that was a joy except that my feet didn't care to be on them for the day and a half prep.  We enjoyed lots of stories that only family can tell, created more memories as usual.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  It wasn't a big overnight event - running off spending hundreds of dollars.  Somehow we got away from the simple get-togethers we did enjoy. It seemed that one was trying to out-do the last one.  Their was discussion of next year's event, not a gathering, ensued.  We shall see.  

The taping of stories wasn't as successful as I anticipated.  All of a sudden, they went quiet when the camera was turned on.  I'll have to rethink what I wanted to do.  They were all gone by 12:15am ouch - and I finish cleaning up and was finally horizontal by 2am!   What is left is to return borrowed items, last of the dishwasher runs, and pack the balance of extra dishes away.

The rest of my week was good.  Minimalism has paid off!  In the challenge, I needed to remove items from the kitchen that I wasn't using right now.  That really paid off with all the cooking I did for the party.  There are a couple of other cabinets I need to re-assess and complete over the next week or two.  The garage will get a look over again.  I hung up a old lace curtain over some of the shelving and it looked so much better.

Town meetings abound and will continue over the next several months.  Some are televised which means I could listen to them here. Others are not and will possibly need to attend in person - errrrr!

It's another week - 358 days to go.  All in all, a good week.

Here's to a year of catching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


And I'm off on my challenge to make at least 50 snowflakes by Thanksgiving.  

With one a week, it should be easy enough.  I've found my pattern books and have copied with permission patterns from all over the world.

Love to read patterns in other languages - most of them - once you get the rhythm - it makes sense.  Of course if they have diagrammed their work - it is easier.  Not all patterns are written equally, there is the native language, if it is British or US terminology, it depends on when it was written, pre 1900 or now.  It is all about this challenge.

These need blocking. When I get another block to use for blocking and sufficient snowflakes made - I'll have a blocking party.

Hmmm  nice way to gather some fiber enthusiasts together and get the job done!

Top left - by Snowcatcher
Top right - Grandma Jennie's Pattern - by Kara
Bottom left - Lacy Snowflakes by Brenda S. Greer #30
Bottom right - White Christmas in Thread #8

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Living My 60th Year

Birthday Day was completed, hundreds of messages in various methods of delivery, text, phone, IM, FB, in person, around a conference table, email and by US mail.  From England and Australia to all over the US.  All wishing me a good day.  How blessed is that.  A few folks sent me a multiple messages of wishes throughout the day.  

I generally attempt to keep up with thanking each person for their kindness and leave them a message.  It can be challenging at certain times of the day, though by the end of the day I was caught up.

The CountDown counter was updated for my next birthday - at a glance it seems so far away.  We know in a flash that months will disappear and it will be just around the corner again.

My observations - we all need to slow down just a wee bit. The quicker we can dash off a message - life is truly rushing by.  That is why I  engage each individual with a thank you for their birthday message to me.  I received pictures, songs, a dancing e-card that the senders' faces were imposed over the dancing fools on the card.  There were private messages - nice to get one from a school mate that shares the day with me.  First time I noticed he was actually the oldest in the class!  There was a lovely private FB/IM from a gentleman I met this past summer in the campaign to save our park. It was a gentle message, so kind and ended in in a kick to save our park yet once again!

Several folks hopped over to read my blog post for my birthday. That was a bonus!  Extra reads :)  Thank you extra for stopping by!

The nieces and nephews in the picture did remember their Aunt Patty.  I spoke with two of my nephews - the little guy #3 wants to come up for a visit during his April break.  He actually got out the calendar and let me know just when.  I need to figure out how I can complete tax season - breathe and have him stay with me for a few days. LOL  Aunt Patty can do anything!   He was so excited, "Aunt Patty I have to tell you something really important."  okay I was all ears. "Aunt Patty - I can get the software I was saving for (has to do with computer gaming) with the $25 you gave for Christmas!"

It was tooo funny!  He was so excited and it was great he wanted to share it with me. Nephew #2 was telling me about how his shoulder was healing and getting ready for his midterm tests.  Niece #5 called - though when I returned her call I missed her and hopefully we can chat later.  Then niece #1 and #3 called and left message that I haven't been able to retrieve.  I called them both back and left messages  - I'm sure they were out celebrating my birthday!  And rounding out - nephew #1 texted me from school this morning (ahem??) and niece #2 texted me very very late at night.

All in All - a day I was thankful for.  I'll leave you with the sentiment written on a card that was sent the old fashion way......

Here's to a year of cathching the dreams you chase,
doing what makes you smile,
and loving the life you live.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy Birthday and the start of the 60th year.

Today is my birthday!  Yeah!  I'm finishing my ahemmm my 59th year and beginning a decade year - my 60th year.

This picture was taken on the celebration of completing my 50th year.  All those kids are my nieces and nephews --- update - one graduated college, three are in college, and the remaining four are in secondary school.  I'm glad to report that all are doing quite well.
Beginning this year will be different.  I'm not sure how yet.  There won't be any fanfare, no rockets blasting, instead a quite day.  I have decided to write on my blog more, read more, make plans to enjoy friends and family, and work on a challenge or two or three throughout the year.

This quote was  posted on my FB page,  It does sum up items that you can do for a great year.    Some of these I do, some I wish I did more often.  Of course 'wishing' doesn't get it done - doing - gets it done!

My birthday is often 'cancelled' due to snow.  Three years ago - all set for taking me out to dinner, calling a cab so I didn't have to drive and then Mother Nature said 'no way' and delivered about 25 inches of snow.   It was kinda cool and really pretty outside.

Tomorrow looks no different - ice, snow, rain though it may reach to 36degreesF.  Wow - like almost beach weather.  Those you you reading along - in New England we have been in the single digits and with a howling wind bringing us down to negative double digits!

The number of the birthday is just a number representing the time on earth.  Heck the guys at the TV station here where I volunteer think I'm in my 40's - so I'm loving that!

My new year begins today.  I will add to my already interesting journey - I'll call this year -  Living my 60th year.  Come on along!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lyrics that stay with us

It is amazing when we take a moment to reflect on moments that represent part of our journey in life.  Music - it can transport us in a split second, we can become overwhelmed with emotion and it can stir up memories we haven't thought about in a while.

I was watching a movie the other night - Love Actually - one of my favorites for around Christmastime or feel good any time movie.  One of the music tracks was this one from Joni Mitchell - written in 1967 well does it sound today 

"Both Sides Now"  Joni Mitchell

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
and feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
from up and down, and still somehow
it's cloud illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds at all.

Moons and Junes and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way that you feel
as every fairy tale comes real; I've looked at love that way.
But now it's just another show. You leave 'em laughing when you go
and if you care, don't let them know, don't give yourself away.

I've looked at love from both sides now,
from give and take, and still somehow
it's love's illusions that I recall.
I really don't know love at all.

Tears and fears and feeling proud, to say "I love you" right out loud,
dreams and schemes and circus crowds, I've looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say
I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day.

I've looked at life from both sides now,
from win and lose, and still somehow
it's life's illusions I recall.
I really don't know life at all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's officially Tax Season - I'm back from a long nine hour Don Farmer tax seminar taught by Walter Nunnallee, CPA, JD, LLM.  I've been attending this seminar for the last 16 years when it was taught by Don Farmer.  It's a great time and Walter does great stand up comedy all day long!  It is held at a venue that can sit 700+ CPAs in one room.  It's like a mini reunion.  We visit with colleagues we have worked with in the past, catch up on where everyone is and who's still active in the profession.

This is when Dawn, who worked with me many moons ago, and I meet up, catch up, talk shop, and have lunch.  Oh yes, we listen to lots of talk about new legislation, tax cases, and what other "crap" our legislature got passed that we need to be using for the benefit of our clients for the upcoming season.

Tax is full of acronyms that allow us pro's to speak in shorthand which leave the rest of the world in the dark.  Every year we recieve handful of new ones - this year we have TIPA latest new law we need to learn that was signed by the President on December 19th! Then welcome ABLE Act which is brand new - it stands for "Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014".  TIPA changed/extended 49 different laws that are retroactive to January 1, 2014.   Let's add PEOs, HCTC, ACA, PTC, and SRET which are all new for 2015 season.  While your head is whizzing, today's manual is 698 pages long and would most likely be 100 pages longer if we didn't have these acronyms.

For the next four months or so..... yeah - it is fun. Okay maybe not the last couple of weeks. I do enjoy unraveling people's finances and help them get a jump on making sense of their cents.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

This Year 2015

Welcome 2015!  Can you believe it?  Of course we can.  It's seems like a rush and it was here.  I know myself that after a busy season, two campaigns that run somewhat concurrently - then the year was over; then what?  

This year there were small successes, a few ouches, some realizations, and there was some plain ole fun.  I had a chance to be creative with my thread - barely (pun intended).  Harvested lots of veggies from our expanded plot in the community garden. Worked on two political campaigns.  

I found new ways to bring my charity work to the forefront so the charity gets better attention.  Put up with folks that 'steal' ideas and attempt to call it their own.  I say - what you put out there, only comes back at you!  Karma is good!

This 'creed' for 2015  is really simple.  It is very much like the How to Build a Community poster I have hanging up in my home.  It's about your time and space - your journey.  What have you done or not done - good or bad  (that's a judgement thingy)?  

I made some handmade gifts - some were appreciated, others were acknowledged and some ignored.  What was important, I enjoyed being creative. One joy was getting back to blogging in combination with a minimalist challenge.  My home is better for it and a better sense of organization has invaded my space as I look each day to continue to rid the stuff not necessary from my life's journey.  As the 'stuff' goes away, I feel a weight lifted -  the 'stuff' does not take space, nor time, nor energy.  

This year - let's see how it unfolds.  In a couple weeks I'm hosting the "cousins" party.  There are nine of us - making a total of 17 when including the spouses.   There is the beginning of my personal count down to the "big birthday" some graduations, trips, and who else knows.

Happy 2015 ----  Let's get living the good life.

Picture credit: