After a winter of rain, rain, and yet more rain here in the UK, this weekend we have had an inkling that spring just might be around the corner! Yay! My favourite time of year.
This morning I actually did my yoga/meditation on the lawn, okay, I wore plenty of layers, but still. It was soooo great. I’ve had to modify my yoga practice a lot lately, thanks to bouts of dizziness that are still plaguing me, but it was amazing to have the sun on my face during practice, and of course I had my stalwart little helper doing her own version of downward facing dog (sadly one pose that is off limits for me at the moment – and it just so happens to be my favourite – *sigh*).
Yesterday, we took a walk in the woods with the sun poking its very welcome head through the trees and warming the still very muddy ground. Thanks to the rain the stream was high again (which a certain water-mad little girl thoroughly enjoyed), and there were carpets of snowdrops everywhere. We saw a few squirrels, badgers, and rabbits, all no doubt venturing out to enjoy the unexpected but extremely welcome sunshine.
This glimpse of sunshine goodness made me realise that there is still lots to be grateful for and to look forward to, despite that the world is currently in a state of such desperate turmoil. It reminded me of the importance of grabbing hold of the things we are grateful for and celebrating them when we can, keeping our focus on the good things and sending our positive energy out into the world with the hope of better times for all.
Back in sunny Arizona for the month. Today it was reporting snow flurries in Lacey and Tumwater and we are whining that its forecast for 66 here which will mean it will get up to a little above 70 in their backyard. It’s been a lazy month as we’ve seen a lot of the tourist places now so this month is sort of a laid back do nothing one. We have been visiting with friends and family that have come down for a few days or have moved here.
I had planned to do some writing but this darn laptop is skipping when I type. I turned off the keypad and that helped a lot but only figured it out a few days ago so what the heck. I’ll catch up when I get home.
I’m going to make reservations for the trip back home later today. Coming down we stayed a night in Mt. Shasta at the Tree House and I would recommend it. It’s a Best Western and older but has a cozy ambiance. Here are some pictures. We ate in the bar as the dining room wasn’t open but they use the same menu. Really great food and looked like locals were enjoying it which is always a good sign.
You could tell you were in the mountains. Going back we are going to treat outselves to an extra night at Seven Feathers. Do a little gambling. Its an easy drive home from there.
Right now we are about to leave for the Yard House, a local restaurant, to catch happy hour. Gosh a hard life. The Yard House is another recommendation. It’s Ricks favorite place to go. Its an American sports bar chain, with 80+ locations across the United States. I heard there is even one in Seattle.
Made it back and they have a new drink on their menu. A Paola Margarita. And, oh my gosh is it good. Linda and I both ordered it and Kris and Arlene had a second drink so they could have one. Too bad Linda and I are one drink (at the most) gals because I sure could have had another one.
With March here, spring is right around the corner. Hoping your world is coming up roses.
Mid February, and it’s beginning to feel a lot like freedom here in merry England. The majority of Covid restrictions have been lifted, the remainder set to be removed next week, ie mask-wearing on public transport and in shops. There is a relaxed atmosphere creeping back in and my diary is slowing but surely filling up again.
February has so far been far busier for me than anticipated, a whirlwind two weeks that seems set to continue. It started with a portrait painting demo by a visiting professional artist at my art club, followed by him giving an all-day workshop a week later. The majority of us were disappointed in what he presented, the 2 hour-demo more talking than painting, and his workshop for various reasons was cancelled. As the club had already booked and paid for the room hire, the club secretary asked if I would step in and run an acrylic workshop instead, to which I agreed.
Not having run an all-day course before and at such short notice, I had little prepared, no notes or handouts ready, nor any idea what subject matter to cover (nothing like diving in at the deep end!). As I don’t paint people or portraits, and not knowing the capabilities or skills of most of the attendees, I asked them what they would like me to do. Trees or a woodland scene or bluebells or snowdrops came several replies. Sorted! Confident and comfortable with bluebells woods, I quickly painted this lttle scene to use. I would demonstrate a section, they paint it, I do another part, they paint it etc – you get the gist.
Despite my inadequacies painting whilst standing at an easel with 14 pairs of enthusiastic and eager-to-learn eyes watching every move, I managed to enjoy the day, as did they. The workshop was fun and lively, exhausting but worth it, and some good work produced. Even I learned a few things. When we’d finished everyone asked if I were doing any more workshops, all ending with a heart-pleading “please”. I’d obviously got something right. And thus, the next workshop has already been booked for late March, with all my attendees saying yes within a few hours of my notifying them of the date (except one who will be on holiday).
And what did I learn? That, during the lead-up to the next workshop I need to be totally prepared and organized and, more to the point, practice painting stood at the easel, something I am not used, I always sit when painting. I also discovered I enjoy teaching it, and like painting, never knew I had it in me until now. It comes down to confidence, something I never had even as a child. But unless I’m careful, the art could easily take over my life. I must pace and organize myself in order that my writing, my real passion, doesn’t get left on the shelf. I have a novel to get out, others to write, so have planned my schedule: Work on my novel early mornings (I’m usually up at 5am) until 7-ish. Breakfast, housework etc until 10:30, 11am latest. More writing until lunch. Afternoons devoted to art (and the occasional nap) plus work on the website I’m creating for the art group. Evenings: back to the novel, sprints more important than ever! So far, I am keeping to that regime, then again it has only been 3 days.
I mentioned my March diary filling up: Several medical appointments; meeting friends for coffee one morning; hairdresser appointment; kitchen hunting–yes we are back on that trail as was put on hold because of you-know-what; garden needing attention, which also means several garden centre visits; the workshop to run; a girlie weekend celebrating mother’s 96th birthday. And, hopefully, one or two long lunches with writing friends I have so missed to pencil in.
Yes, life in Blighty is slowly but surely and with care returning to normal. Thank goodness.
I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s day no matter how you celebrate. January was a busy writing month for me. I had a couple of deadlines and I made them thank goodness. While I weather is still cold, we … Continue reading →
I was lucky enough to be part of the judging for the American History Fair in my county this year again. There were fewer entries which made me sad, but the students work really hard and it definitely shows. Some are in middle school and some in high school. This year’s theme was diplomacy and debate. I’m sharing a sampling of the displays I liked the most.
I wasn’t really sure what the La Belle Epoque one had to do with diplomacy or debate, but it was very visually appealing. I can’t recall what the paper the students had to provide with their display said, but I liked the board. LOL
Hoping everyone has a great month and stays warm– it’s even cold here where I am- 30s Fahrenheit in the nights and into daytime. Brr!
Most of you may know my family does a winter getaway each year. We call it a winter cabin that we rent, but with our numbers topping 20, it’s really way beyond a cabin. We didn’t do it at all last year because of COVID. This year, also because of COVID, only 8-12 made it.
I’m really proud of how well we did. We were all vaccinated. We all tested before going to the cabin. And now that we’re past the isolation mark, no one has gotten sick with COVID from the cabin. It took a lot of work to make that happen and the kids worried, especially, about hubby and I. But we did it and I’m really glad we did.
There was a LOT of snow.
We saw deer and wild turkeys.
We painted (a lot). Here’s my attempts at art and my granddaughter’s ocean picture.
And we talked, chatted, ate too much, and yes, may have inbibed a bit. This annual catching up weekend is precious to each and every one of us and I’ll be praying that next year, COVID doesn’t put a wrench in our cabin machinery.
I hope you’re having a wonderful, cozy winter that fills you with happy memories.