Friday, October 23, 2015


Like Frankenstien coming back to life. Kind of fitting for this spooktacular time of year. I have been away but not far away. Since my last posting in April I have been rediscovering myself.  So many amazing things have happened while I've been out and about.

I have previously mentioned The Summit Project (TSP), a living memorial honoring Maine's Fallen Heroes, post 9/11/01. I was invited to carry a memorial stone in The Maineiacs(Air Guard)Charity 5k. I needed to train to not only walk 3.1 miles but also carry a stone that could be up to 20lbs. I requeste the stone of a female soldier. I learned I would be carrying the memorial stone of Army SPC Cassandra L Cassavant of Cornish, ME. She took her own life at 21yrs old on 8/3/07 while stationed at Fort Hood. I was consumed with emotions and struggled with how I would connect with someone I never met. It didnt take long.

 I began walking, the first 3 miles was rough. The second time I walked my 3 mile trek it started to rain and Soul Sister was playing on my Pandora. A flood of emotions came over me and I began to sob. She touched me, she empowered me, she helped me find my spirit again. When I trained it was we. I actually ended up participating in three 5Ks before walking the Memorial 5K. Going to the gym three days a week and walking three and six miles on Saturday and Sundays and starting yoga up again has brought me a new level of joy.  In the Susan G Komen 5K, my first certified timed event I beat my personal best with pace of 12:49 min/mile!! Because of her I  crossed that finish line. Both my mother nad my husband also carried a stone in the memorial 5K. Although I carried her stone for one day I will carry her in my heart always. She helped me find my phoenix, rising above to be the BEST ME I CAN BE. I had lost that in all the craziness of the stress at work. I am also studying for a new certification for work; Certified Financial Crime Specialist. Lots of study time ahead for me this winter. My husband I have been on several invigerating hikes this summer.

Mom came to visit for about two weeks from Wyoming. We made crabapple jelly,   The Unity Common Ground Fair, did the 5K together, went to Bar Harbor, Eastport, and to Canada to FDR's Camp Campabello, antiquing and ate lobster.

Being involved with TSP has touched my life in many ways, connections with new friends, my husband and my mother getting involved, co-workers, and Gold Star families. This past weekend my husband and I participated in the 2nd annual TSP Acadia National Park hike. Hubby hiked up Cadillac Mountain as a member of one of the four 20 member teams that carried all of the memorial  stones to the summit. I volunteered as Base Camp support, helping set up to serve over 200 people when the hike was complete. I had the honor of meeting Cassandra's mother and her teenage daughter. I am grateful for the connections I made with several Gold Star families. It is very hard to  put into words the many emotions experinced during this event. But a day absolutely filled with joy.

I am headed to VA in two weeks to walk in the Across The Bay 10K, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, with my daughter and my friend. They are runners; I walk a fast pace with some jogging. I am thrilled about this exerince with my daughter and friend. Just think five months ago this was not even a possibility for me. And we will get to visit my Family in Maryland.

I've done a little bit of hooking. We had our first gathering in September and tomorrow we have our next get-together in Winterport. Looking forward to catching up with the ladies about their summer adventures and gardening. Ready to get back to some handwork. hope to post more often and hope you'll stop by. Keep on livin' P.J.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A sisterhood

A few Saturdays ago hubby and I participated in the Hike for the Homeless in Bangor. 
It was a brisk 3.79 mile walk.

Ice on the Penobscot River

The Englewood Corner Crafters...Winterport Hookers met for the last time for the season; last Saturday. We had a full house and a fun crafter's yard sale. I picked up a couple of large bundles of wool! Several ladies brought some good quality stuff. I am tickled with what I purchased. I will share pics in another post.

 I got up early Saturday morning and made mini applesauce muffins to take. 
I was pleased that I had my act together...five minutes down the road I realized 
I forgot to pack myself a lunch. Hahaha. 

 It was so good to see everyone and their wonderful work. Sharing stories of our projects and plans for the summer. Talk of getting into the garden, ready to play in the dirt; setting up for camping, plans to meet for a mini road trips, family coming to visit and what is the next rug hooking or knitting project. We each have our circles outside of this circle that brings us together. Hmmmm, sounds like a design idea brewing in my head.... I love the connections we have with each other, how one inspires the other, the support given when one of us has a situation in our life's circle. It is a sisterhood I am proud to be a member of and welcomed into. It is more than just hooking/crafting together. I may appear quiet at some gatherings (I know a shock for those that know me) but I am absorbing so much that is offered during the conversations and sistership. There have been several connections made that brings my soul such joy knowing I have met and gotten to know these ladies. Looking forward to seeing them in September and hearing about their summer ventures.

 Lets see some of their beautiful, talented work!

Sherillee's husband's braided denim rugs; that's right blue jeans.

Cynthia's kids

Lylah's chair pads

Sherillee and her tiger

Debra's Tom T on skis

A runner

Poinsettia pillow

Cynthia's sunflowers

A basket weave inspired by an antique rug

Admiring the colors of these worms

Lois' flower basket; love the vintage colors

A beautiful country landscape (on my wishlist)

Carol's houses

Sherillee's stain-glass footstool topper

And closing.... some sweet finds at an antique store on the way home...
including the basket. All under $20.

I will share progress pics of the Libby Rug and The Siren next post.
Have a happy week.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

April Showers

The sounds of the birds rejoicing in the early morning hours and the calming tip-tap of the rain drops slowly drumming on the roof top are so comforting. Spring is really here!! After I vacuum the house I will be lighting a few candles to bring a warm glow to this gray day and get some stitching done.

Yesterday nearly reached 60 degrees and it was such a reprieve from the long harsh winter. Unfortunately living this far north, and we don't even live in The County (I can't imagine), we are expecting s n o w this weekend. Yep, you read that correctly...snow. I am going to take it as a sign to sit back and take it slow, taking a sign from Mother Nature as Spring is taking her time getting here.

 I don't talk much about work on my blog but it has been a stressful few weeks; although I have had some serious ups in between my downs; one of which I can talk about. I have had the great opportunity to speak at several community groups over the past year, on the prevention of elder financial exploitation. This week I spoke to a Rotary Club and I am tickled that one of the members has asked me to speak to one of his senior groups. He said that usually there are about sixty seniors that come to their monthly meeting. This will be three times the size of groups I have presented to and it will be seniors themselves, not just community leaders and advocates. This does make me happy as this is a subject I am very passionate about and feel fortunate that I work with a team of co-workers that are diligent in this fight as well. It is unfortunate that we see too many of these types of cases, but we are persistent in the fight by providing education and awareness to preventing and identifying financial exploitation. There Is No Excuse For Elder Abuse!

Oh and one more UP for the week...
a group of us from work went to a Paint and Sip. 
This was my first time, some of the others have been to a couple. 

I really enjoyed it and everyone did a great job!

I have been rotating my hand work and have made progress on all three of my projects;

Libby Rug

The Siren

And my granny squares are stacking up.

Wishing everyone a splendid Spring and a Happy Easter.


Sunday, March 8, 2015


That's what we used to say during our hikes in Girl Scouts when we wanted someone to catch up with the group. The front of the group would yell "Ketchup!" and the rear would respond  "Mustard!"
So I guess I am MUSTARD. :)

Let's Ketchup for February. 
Snowmobiling, hooking, stitching, cooking, a wonderful visit with our daughter and a miracle.

For those who may not have heard the news it's still winter... :-/  

We have enjoyed the snow since we got the sled this year. 
And some of the snowfall has been picturesque 

Christmas trees

A Stone's Throw

That Barn

but.... I am ready for spring.

I've enjoyed making some hearty meals this season. I do love my crock-pot Sunday's. :)

I made a chicken tortilla soup. Kickin' good for a winter warm up. 

I tried a new salad, an avocado caprese salad.
I used a cranberry pear balsamic vinegar to make the dressing.
It was heavenly and healthy!

I made my girlfriends recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup for super bowl.

 I will be making this for the pot luck with the Winterport Hookers/Ellingwood Corner Crafters. 
The daughter stopped in with me on the Saturday she was home
and met these lovely ladies and saw their amazing work. 
She loved it!

On one of the subzero weekends I made corn beef and cabbage with leeks and red potatoes. 
Oh my word! Delish....

And while the hubby and daughter were out snowmobiling I made a pot of potato rivulet soup. 
A classic family recipe. 

And got a good fire going so I could warm them on the inside and out.

They had two days of great sledding. 
The first day they hit several local trails around the lake and surrounding towns. The next day they rode to Greenville and back. Those two came through the door grinning and I picked up that the hubby appeared to be hiding something and the daughter shouted from the bathroom as she was hitting the shower....Guess What Mom?! And knew it....they had crossed Moosehead Lake which I asked them not to. They both were giddy about it. I was glad they had a great  and safe time.

A mom got to braid her daughters hair. :)

Suiting up

thumbs up!

Happy trails.....

I got a short ride a couple days later.

I was diligently working on my siren before our daughter came home. 
Here is a glimpse of my progress. 

While she was here she tried her hand at hooking. She worked on the Libby rug. 
So glad she pulled some loops on this one. 

 It really is looking like our Lady Liberty Bell. 

 It was such a wonderful week with our daughter.
Her and I had a pedi together...

...snuggled on the couch watching movies including Disney flicks. She hooked us up with Netflix which opened another can of worms...I am caught on Bates Motel and into the second season of Dexter. Planning on starting House of Cards which I know my husband will enjoy. We hit the LL Bean Outlet and another Maine staple, Reny's before I took her to lunch at Shimbashi's for her birthday. 

We truly enjoyed and absorbed our quality time with her. 

 The animals were happy to see her too! 
The hound snuggled up with her in bed the first morning and when she laid on the floor watching movies. The cat slept with her almost every night. So much love in our hugs, snuggles, laughs and meals. It was a terrific winter retreat. 

A few fun shots of the critters. 

Sassy Hound

Various positions of napping..
snuggle hound

cat and dog nap

built in sleep mask

she thinks she is a dog

baa baa black cat have you any wool...

Cat got your wool? She loves my wool bag...

Watching the chickadees in the bush...


 On the last day of our daughter's visit my husband and I were headed to work for the day.... The weatherman called for snow showers during the morning commute and unfortunately we were experiencing white out conditions on our drive in and just about eight miles before getting to town we were involved in a major pile up.

It was the scariest thing I have every experienced. 

We share our thanks for all the men and women who volunteer and serve our communities.

They did an amazing job and were there very quickly.
We were very, very fortunate to have only bumps, bruises and a banged up knee (still waiting for an MRI) and saddened with the loss of our truck; but she did her job in keeping us safe.
We are truly grateful that everyone survived and the most seriously injured will be alright.
Someone had commented on the story calling it the Three Mile Miracle.

 As we said our goodbyes to Big Beulah II...

we were thankful that we found another truck very quickly.

We brought Big Beulah Bell home this past Friday night. 

 I'll end this long, long Ketchup with a picture of an amazing sunset from Thursday night.

Finding comfort and joy in the simple things!