Define and Design 2016, Week Fifty-one

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.  ~Tecumseh


December 16

Creativity: Painting, preparing kid’s craft activities for next week

Gratitude: Chapstick, hand lotion, reading a new book

Joy: Watching the toddler’s excitement when I projected colorful snowflakes across the walls, ceiling, and floor. Phone call with Youngest. Christmas music and Christmas lights!

Awareness: My dog gives various signals when someone approaches my door or walks through the front yard. It’s funny how we can tell exactly who the person is by her yip, wag, or dance…and a complete stranger is totally different from her happy welcomes.

December 17

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Grocery shopping for making Christmas sweets, in home spa time, reading, iron and ironing board, soap and hot water

Joy: Christmas music, two Christmas parties even though we left the second one early because it was just too many people and too much action to handle in one day

Awareness: The huge, golden moon hung low in the sky. It followed us all night, peeping through the skeletal trees and holiday-lit buildings, dipping behind walls of fog and popping up on one side and then the other. Finally Luna swooped in front of the road and led us home.

December 18

Creativity: Made a multitude of sweet treats to get us through the holidays

Gratitude: family, home, hot tea

Joy: At home doing the things I wanted to do, my pretty kitchen baking apron, Christmas trees, and Christmas music

Awareness: The wind was speaking in tongues; we deciphered it to mean stay in bed which we did. Once I was up and about I found it was 70 degrees with a lovely wind whipping at my back, delightful for the few minutes I was outside.

December 19

Creativity: Painting

Gratitude: Family dinner, reading time, “light at the end of the tunnel”, Hubby and Oldest are enjoying all of the Christmas treats I made this weekend

Joy: Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Song! (So many memories of my Dad and me and also of my children)

Awareness: Aromas, textures, sounds, tastes, beauty…the senses bring the soul to life. What in each of these five senses moves you? For me it’s a (aroma) woodsy scent, (texture) smooth and silky fabric or a cold gemstone, (sound) music (especially the blues),(taste) a combination of salt and sweet, and (beauty) a landscape (which includes mountains and a river )in which  I feel connected.

December 20

Creativity: Drawing and painting

Gratitude: Christmas shopping

Joy: Watched “Love Actually”, talked to Youngest on the phone

Awareness: People would live much more fulfilling lives if they didn’t depend on the media to tell them how to feel and act…think for yourselves and follow your hearts, people. Be good. Do good. Retribution is NOT progress!

December 21

Creativity: Crafting with the kiddos, writing

Gratitude: Christmas shopping, only a few things left on my list and will do those on Friday (or will send hubby out for them, ha!)

Joy: Tried on the most comfortable pair of shoes ever at the shoe store and decided to purchase them. When I got to the counter the cashier asked me where my second pair were…they were buy one and get one half price…yay, I scored two pairs of the most comfortable shoes ever, in black and brown!

Awareness: I get much more accomplished when I shop alone. I don’t shop for fun; it is a mission for me. On rare occasions I do enjoy shopping with a friend, and then it’s for fun.

December 22

Creativity: Playing games and dancing with the kiddos

Gratitude: A multitude of blessings, small and large. Oldest ordered a bushel of oysters for a family feast when Youngest arrives.

Joy: A sensational sunset, Air travel-Youngest is on his way here!

Awareness: Love, joy, and peace truly are conditions of the heart. I am blessed beyond measure.

Define and Design 2016, Week Fifty

Sometimes there are so many options I don’t know which way to go. It is then I quiet myself and listen to my inner voice.


December 9

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: Socks, music, time alone,

Joy: Dinner at home with the hubby, hot tea

Awareness: I really needed this week of not lifting. However, I am so ready to get my babies back here on Monday. I had no idea I’d miss them this much. When on vacation I’m busy, but here I feel like a part of me is missing without them during the weekdays.

December 10

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: Finished the last embroidery square for a quilt, learned to take my embroidery sewing machine apart to clean and repair; amazing what one can do when there is no one around to help and you need it done NOW! No pain when I woke up and very little at the end of the day, yay!

Joy: A surprise cheer me up gift from a friend arrived in my mail today! Christmas lights, Mint M&Ms, cappuccino

Awareness: Sunshine and shadow dapple across the yard, highlighting the pretty and hiding the ugly; kind of light our personalities do with our strengths and weaknesses.

December 11

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Hubby put up the bed (in the bedroom he’d converted to an office) in anticipation for Youngest’s arrival in a few weeks

Joy: Cooking a big family dinner, wearing my “most comfortable socks ever”

Awareness: When the fur babies of the house detect a human delectable edible they prey on the weakest human link…which happens to be me.

December 12

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Realized I misnumbered my weekly blog posts and corrected it.

Joy: Book Club Christmas Party!

Awareness: Now that I’m back to riding my bike every morning I can see an increase in my energy level and a positive difference in my attitude.

December 13

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Completed stained glass pieces for Christmas gifts and one commissioned piece.

Joy: Talked with my sister on the phone two days in a row!

Awareness: Predictions: Sometimes it is gut instinct and other times you know people and situations all too well.

December 14

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: family, home, jobs, friends, water, warmth

Joy: Sushi dinner and froyo with the family as we are celebrating wonderful things, only wish Youngest was in town to be with us.

Awareness: How people treat (good or bad) others (strangers, friends, or family) is a true indicator of one’s character.

December 15

Creativity: Writing, painting

Gratitude: A crockpot dinner, prep work done for some projects next week

Joy: A surprise package in the mail

Awareness: Every single year I wait until a few weeks before the end of the year to order a particular business product I need on the first…sometimes it gets here rather speedily the first but most times it doesn’t. I wonder when it will arrive…I’ve reminded myself several times in the last few months to order and yet I didn’t.

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-nine

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”  ~Alan Cohen


Made it back to Hatteras just in time for the sunset

December 2

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Resolutions to a few difficulties, Amazon movies

Joy: Knowing I have the next nine days work-free and hopefully healing ensues

Awareness: My temper is short and emotions are high wired when my body is out of sync.

December 3

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: my friend who helped me with PT exercises, order in pizza

Joy: hot tea, a trip to the library (checked out six books), reading, watched a movie with the hubby, call from my sister and a friend, a friend who texted me photos while she shopped and picked up a few things I’d been hoping to get out to buy for someone

Awareness: It’s strange how you think about something and dismiss it and a day or two later you find you find its significance or something of relevance arrives in the mail. Both happened today.

December 4

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: another day of rest,Reading: Book #1 is finished and book #2 is started

Joy: scented candles, hot tea

Awareness: The world stands still. No swirl of clouds move, just a grey motionless sky. Acorns and pinecones sleep upon a bed of pine needles. Tassels of the silver leaf grass are now statues. The golden leaves of the neighbor’s trees droop to its sides as if the day is not worthy of a welcoming wave. No scurrying squirrels, fluttering birds, nor laughing children. The street is not only still but silent…it seems to be waiting. But for what? Tomorrow?

December 5

Creativity: Cooked dinner

Gratitude: GPS, reading time, people doing the lifting for me

Joy: Yoga pants, fuzzy socks, reclining sofa, furry companions,

Awareness: I fare much better with a flexible schedule than all free time. Couldn’t decide what to spend my “resting” time doing…a movie or a book? Book. Then which one? I’m not even going to tell you how long it took me to decide. I have a feeling this is going to be a long week.

December 6

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: catching up on things I’ve gotten behind on

Joy: a great PT evaluation appointment, Amazon movies, books, hot tea

Awareness: I’ve decided to focus 2017 on “relishing the moment” as it will combine my awareness, appreciation, and pleasure of life.

December 7

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: Sunshine, fresh vegetables for salad, hot tea, reading time

Joy: music, friends

Awareness: It is difficult for me to remain idle.

December 8

Creativity: Quilting, decorated both Christmas trees, wrapped gifts, stuffed stockings

Gratitude: home, scented candles, exercise bike, reading time, hot tea, time off for healing

Joy: lunch with a friend, evening time with the hubby, talking and texting with a friend

Awareness: Neither Time nor distance separates close friends.

Define and Design 2016, Weeks Forty-seven and Forty-eight


“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” ~ Michael J. Fox

November 18

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Inspiration, hot tea, order in pizza, family

Joy: Phone call from Youngest

Awareness: Home really is where the heart is.

November 19

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Though I was late for the party I did finish both of the birthday presents to take.

Joy: Shopped for both glass and fabric on the same day…and yes, I did bump into that couple at the glass store yet again! She said on the way there they wondered if I’d be there, too funny!

Awareness: We don’t have to know everything; we only need to get out there and give it our best shot.

November 20

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Stained glass orders. Willpower to turn down frozen yogurt; ok, it might have been the cold weather, but whatever! Seat warmers (feels like fall is gone and winter has arrived here!)

Joy: Breakfast out with DirtMan and Oldest at our favorite neighborhood pub.

Awareness: Watching the sun go down through a sheer curtain…the glimmering citrine gem drops through tree branches and swaying grasses changing its shape and size until it disappears into a cave of dark nothingness.

November 21

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Having a studio and tools Oldest needed to use for a project.

Joy: Salt water taffy! Phone call from my sister

Awareness: Most times I am stressed it is due to my own high expectations of myself…I need to lighten up and realize I really don’t have to do all the things I think I should.

November 22

Creativity: Stained glass, making desserts

Gratitude: I am thankful my mom is here for another birthday. She turned 83 today. I hope she sees many more birthdays.

Joy: Making dessert ahead of time for Thanksgiving dinner, call from a good friend and talking to my SIL.

Awareness: Things don’t always turn out according to our plans, but faith in the powers that be makes it all ok.

November 23

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: early end to a light work day, early start to mountains, safe arrival

Joy: Dinner and smoothies on the road, early arrival to the mountains

Awareness: How comforted the soul is in silence.

November 24

Creativity: mind mapping

Gratitude: dinner with family, movie time with my mom and sister, hearing from Youngest though I was too sick to talk to him at that time, a warm blanket and a chaise lounger

Joy: a spunky, silly little dog who thinks she’s huge and a big, sweet dog who think she’s little

Awareness: Love can alternate in spits of chaos and spells of calm, and it’s usually personalities who determine which mode.

November 25

Creativity: Cooking

Gratitude: Fever gone, week long headache gone, spray and wash and a washing machine, Oldest driving me home as I do not feel comfortable driving at night

Joy: a brief visit with a school friend I hadn’t seen for maybe twenty years or more, another family gathering, lunch out with my mom, a surprise gift from my SIL, scarlet and mustard hues across a rusty mountain range

Awareness: Sometimes it’s better to allow people to speak their truth even when you see an opposing truth in the same situation; there are times in life people simply need validation.

November 26

Creativity: project planning

Gratitude: A hard working husband and son who cut and split wood (already fallen on the property) two days this weekend for my mom, forest fires near here are finally contained. One consumed over 11,000 acres and the other roughly 1600. My heart hurts for all the wildlife.

Joy: Watching tv movies with my mom most of the day, a visit with my sister, hot tea

Awareness: Lazy days usually occur in my life when I need them most.

November 27

Creativity: Writing, Photography

Gratitude: heat from a wood stove, was able to help the hubby stack logs by driving the ATV which was pulling them

Joy: a cup of vanilla cappucinno, helping Oldest bottle wine, Stumbled upon a Christmas parade on a back country road.

Awareness: It’s easy to slip into a bitter mood when one is in pain…recognizing it and refocusing is crucial and possible when one sets intentions as such.

November 28

Creativity: Watching Youtube videos on stained glass

Gratitude: a chance to run to the grocery store to stock up the pantry, all the weekend laundry done, bumped into Oldest at the grocery store and he bagged and put the groceries in the car for me, text from Youngest, a neighbor picked up packages delivered to our house while we were out of town, two kindle books for a total of less than $5

Joy: Hot tea and Amazon Prime movies, a snuggly cat, answered prayers

Awareness: So often progress results with the loss of what was actually more beneficial.

November 29

Creativity: Photography, writing

Gratitude: neighbors, no broken bones, hoping it’s not a torn rotator cuff as it appears to dr to be sprains to the AC, clavicle, and chest…time will tell for sure (fell down my mom’s basement stairs, but only the last four,  over the weekend)

Joy: Ortho Urgent care rather than an ER (Only an hour as opposed to five or more and less expense)

Awareness: I’m not as young as I used to be. Payne vs. Pain; one is not as tough as the other.

November 30

Creativity:  Writing

Gratitude: life, friends and family especially a hubby to do the lifting

Joy: a good book, egg nog,

Awareness: Fence-line Hitchhikers: Golden braids of the silver leaf plants wave a thumbs up hoping to catch a ride with the wind. Perhaps they are unaware one must lift his feet from the ground to fly.

December 1

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Anti-inflammatory meds, ice packs, a good friend who is a physical therapist, a physical therapy department who is bending over backwards to get my evaluation moved up as soon as possible

Joy: Hubby cooked dinner, Hot herbal tea, hot bath with Epsom salt and essential oils, phone call with my sister, clients who are understanding of my need to be closed next week to help my healing

Awareness: Feeling weepy is totally out of character for me. I’m not weepy in a feel sorry for myself kind of way, but in waves that come out of nowhere and for no particular reason; wondering if this is the part of menopause that never hit or if this is some psychological reaction I can’t pin down due to my current physical condition. I do know I don’t like feeling this way and find it embarrassing. I wonder if it could be a reaction of the anti-inflammatory meds I’m taking.