Sunday, December 14, 2014

First Christmas

Our first Christmas celebration this year was with our daughter Nicole and her boyfriend, Scott.  We baked cookies, made eggrolls and watched Christmas movies.  She was very excited about her new Christmas dragon and the blue Kitchenaid mixer she really wanted.

Today we'll start the morning with pumpkin pancakes and apple cider syrup followed by more cookie baking.  Guitar Guy is off to play a gig with his band, while we continue the movie marathon. 

Life is good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lighted Village

 Today feels more like the holidays with Chex Mix in the bowl, fudge on the counter and the village lights glowing.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Grateful for small things

I am grateful for a beautiful Christmas tree, a purring cat at my side and a hot cup of coffee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Home again

 Back home from North Dakota and already missing the beautiful fall weather. It was a wonderful week and I learned a ton but took very few pictures to share with you. My first day I went to Red Pepper Tacos, which is a Grand Forks tradition. Friends who grew up there told me to have a grinder with ham, taco meat and hot sauce, so that's what I did. They also shared fond memories of stopping there after school or during college.

While online school is convenient, there really is nothing like being on campus in a live classroom, or going out with friends after class is done. It has been a good many years since I attended my undergraduate program and I'd forgotten how fun it is to be surrounded by a group of people who are as passionate as I am about social work.

Most of my classmates were kind about including this grandma in their activities even though many are young enough to be my kids! I did learn from the 20 and 30 somethings that Dr. Who is either for teens or old people. Does that mean I'm a teenager?

This week is back to the routine of work and homework with a long string of papers due between now and Christmas break. What about you?  How is your week going?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Live from Grand Forks, ND

It's hard to believe that I'm sitting here in Grand Forks, preparing for my on campus week at UND. I've known I would be here for a long time, but it's a strange feeling being alone in a city I know little about and not knowing a soul here.  That will all change tonight when the rest of my 50 or so MSW classmates show up for the meet and greet. 

I'm excited and anxious at the same time about a full week of immersion in group therapy practice but am looking forward to meeting my classmates in person, after months of online interactions.  Even with live feeds, it is hard to get to know much about each other beyond the superficial.

Today more people start arriving and I'm off to meet a couple of them for lunch.  Off to shower and bundle up for the cold weather.  Thanks goodness for wool socks!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall isn't in the air

Even after so many years in the desert, September always seems like it should be the beginning of fall.  In reality, we still have 100+ degree days and warm nights, and summer clothes will needed for another 2 months.  This year we've been hit with rain from tropical storms, making the air sticky and our streets flooded.  That must mean it is time to get out my fall tablecloth and decorations in a vain attempt to "feel" a change of seasons that doesn't exist here.  Some years that works better than others.

School and work are chugging along and school board has become busy again.  Knitting still is at a minimum, as my evening classes cut in to prime knitting/tv time.  In less than a month I'll be headed out to North Dakota to spend a week immersed on social work with the rest of my class.  I expect that will be both invigorating and exhausting.  I feel for the couple of moms coming with brand new babies in arms and will be grateful for my quiet room in the evenings.

Life continues to evolve as changes are happening with Guitar Guy's business.  More to come on that.  This week I was reading about the family life cycle for a class and how important transitions affect family dynamics.  It was another reminder that we all continue to evolve and change from the day we are born until the day we die.  For today, I choose to think that is mostly a good thing :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August flies by

August is being both a fun and productive month this year.  I finished my first semester of school and have a couple of weeks off with no reading or papers.  I learned a lot but was pretty well exhausted by the time I turned in that last assignment. 

Work has been picking up, with more clients than I really wanted, given my school schedule.  Our budget is in need of the income, especially if we want a little extra to visit the grandkids. I've been experimenting with doing some visits in Kingman, an hour north of us, so have added a good bit of driving to my routine.  The good news is that I am re-listening to all of the Jim Butcher books on my Ipod as I travel.

We just got home from a visit to Iowa and had our whole family together for a couple of days.  That's a rare occurrence these days with everyone's busy schedules.  Every time we go it gets harder to leave.  We are at that weird stage in life where we see retirement coming in the next 5-7 years, but it is still too far away to be excited.  I keep talking to Guitar Guy about moving closer to the kids eventually, but at this point we don't know where they will end up.

Since I have to see my clients every week, I had a full day of visits yesterday and another one today to make up for vacation.  As I hit the road for Kingman, I leave you with this cute face, still so clear in my mind

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is it really July?

I have no knitting pictures because knitting has been in short supply.  You can't see my house because I seem to have forgotten what cleaning is (and I never was strong on that to begin with).  What I am doing is working a lot and studying a lot!

I'm suddenly wondering what I was doing with all that free time before I started school.  More knitting and binge tv probably.  I'm surviving school and some days, actually thriving on it.  A few times I've been caught off guard by new theories created in the 30+ years since I finished my BSW.  Mostly I find my fellow students are struggling with the same things I am, no matter what their age. 

I'm counting down the 3 weeks until the semester ends, and trying not to think too much about the papers yet to be written.  At the end awaits a glorious week with my grandsons in Iowa and all the sweet corn I can eat.  I can't wait!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reading, reading, reading TEXTBOOKS!

Just a quick note since I've been so bad at keeping this blog up to date:
*Still haven't finished cleaning the office
*Working more
*Started graduate school 2 weeks ago and still trying to adjust to the workload
*Got to spend my grandson's 5th birthday with him
*The heat has hit Arizona and I feel limp
*Spending tomorrow with my daughter and going to a play
*Being lazy and avoiding the schoolwork I know I have to do today

That's all for now!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tackling the office

 The goal for this weekend is to clean the office and set up the new desktop computer sitting in that big box on the floor!  I also have to figure out where to put the yarn overflow LOL 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March blew through

It has been a windy month in Havasu, bringing with it dust and pollen to make allergies nuts.  Everyone is sneezing, coughing and trying to track down allergy medication (which is fast disappearing from store shelves).  It seems a shame to close up the house and term on the air conditioning so soon, but that is the only real alternative to a drippy nose and streaming eyes.

Our temps have already been in the high 80's and 90's, which doesn't bode well for the summer.  If you've been suffering through feet of snow, I may appear to be a whiner. To truly appreciate the "joys" of an AZ summer, please come visit at the end of June or early July :-)

The good news is that I'm staying steadily busy in my business, have extra projects to keep me stimulated and intrigued, am getting everything lined up for school and am getting some knitting done.  I'm trying to start the Water and Stone sweater for my daughter, but it begins with a cable, which is not something I've done before. I'm also concerned about the yarn I chose and how to size the sweater. Thankfully she's close enough that I can find an opportunity to try it on her.  I'm aiming to be finished for the fall, so have time.

 I finally made a pair of Skyp socks for me from Sanguine Gryphon (now Verdant Gryphon) Bugga.  Love the feel and the pattern.  Will definitely do these again.

 The Mukluks are for my beautiful daughter, once I sew the suede on the bottom.  I made a pair from my grandson and she requested an adult size. Thankfully there is an adult pattern so I didn't have to resize.  The yarn is a cheap acrylic but very soft.  A quick fun knit.

Right now I'm working on these Hermione socks in Opal Tonks.  I don't usually like pink, but this yarn just kept calling to me.  It's good to expand one's color palette :-)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A New Look at Yarn

My daughter-in-law got a new camera for Christmas and experimented with capturing photos of snowflakes.  For her background she used a little piece of lacy knitting I did for her.  I loved the juxtaposition of the snowflake on the "forest" of fiber so thought I'd share.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pot Pourrie

January has been an odd month for me, with a mix of productivity and sloth.  I've been busy knitting mittens for my daughter-in-law and grandson, who are living in the polar vortex this winter.  I love how the Mini Mochi ring mittems look but they aren't terribly warm.  Those, however, were a special request.  I made two pairs of plain vanilla mittens in different sizes.  Wasn't sure which ones would fit and they can always be layered.

I've been busy with visits for my geriatric care business this month but there is increasing competition for the contracted work.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a continued part-time caseload as I'm planning to start school in May.  Yes, I know how old I am.  Yes, I already have one Master's degree.  Yes, I'm still excited about learning, even if it means writing papers and reading dry textbooks. 

I applied and was accepted to the Master's in Social Work program at University of North Dakota.  Obviously, since I live in Arizona, this is a distance learning program.  Unlike my previous degree, this one requires being in video classes for 6 hours per week and a one time visit to Grand Forks, ND.  I have been thinking about the MSW since I graduated from college.  Increasingly, most positions require an MSW, unless they are entry level.  Until fairly recently though, the MSW degree wasn't available through distance learning due to the clinical practice requirements. 

This is actually part of my "retirement" plan.  Like many of us boomers, I anticipate needing/wanting to work at something fulfilling as long as I am able.  I know many people who experienced traditional retirement for about 1 year and said, "That's enough of that".  I also have valued role models who found rewarding new careers at 60 or older because they were open to reinventing themselves.

Knowing how much time school can take, I have a mile long list of things that need to be done before May, like cleaning out the garage.  That's where the sloth comes in :-)  I've thought a great deal about what needs to be done but so far have made little actual progress.  My plan to walk 3 times a week has also stalled despite our beautiful weather.  But, today is a new day, and most things are possible (except for being 25 again).  Off to work and seeing what the new day brings :-)