March 24, 2015
Thought for today….
A very dear friend of mine, Samantha, recently gave me a wonderful birthday gift. It is a “Positive Thoughts” jar. It’s a lovely white, ceramic jar with a lid that has a slit in the top. Each day, or when the spirit moves you, you can select one of the 365 cards inside. This morning I chose the following thought:
“Time alone is time to build and renew your spirits.”
Oh how this is true for me! You may not think you need it, but when you do take the time for yourself to relax, ponder, reflect, and rejuvenate, you move forward with the hustle and bustle with a refreshed attitude…. and with many wonderful memories and treasured moments.
Last month I decided to take some time away for me. I had been trying to get up to the cabin for months. Each time I had thought about it, something would come up. After the holidays I told myself, “Okay, self. You need this, so do it! The mountains are calling.” So I set a weekend aside, added two vacation days, and went on a lovely little retreat.
I drove up on a Friday and arrived in the late afternoon. After getting a fire started (it was about 42 degrees inside!!), I quickly warmed up unloading the van and going up and down the stairs. You see, the cabin is nestled amongst cedar and pine trees slightly below the road.
I settled in fast, unpacking a bit, putting food away, and setting out my SoulCollage supplies, as that is what I had planned on working on. I also laid a nice cloth down on the coffee table, and created a little arrangement to enjoy while I was there. I placed a small easel and one of my cards there, a mango candle that I had received from my aunt for my birthday, some magazines, and a book. Just the right touch! I took Bella, my Beagle/Chihuahua mix dog, for a walk and found some fallen pine and cedar branches and a couple of small rocks and a pinecone to add to my display. When I got back I found a glass and added the branches to a bit of water. Not the wildflowers or sweet peas I find in the spring and summer, but it was winter after all, so they were perfect. Making myself some chicken soup topped the day off with warm comfort.
I spent the early part of the next day, Saturday, walking around Murphy’s, a little town about 18 miles back down highway 4. It was a beautiful day. Since it was a holiday weekend, even at 10am parking was getting scarce. I found a place down by the park. I enjoyed walking up and down both sides of the town, peeking in the shops. There are a few I enjoy checking out each time I visit the area, although my very favorite went out of business a couple of years ago. There was even a small flea market/craft show and one store was having a yard sale out back. My kind of happenin’s! I found a few “treasures”, my absolute favorites being 3 blue and purple teacups and saucers. I don’t know how I have been living without them! Haha! I proceeded to use one of them the duration of the trip.
I returned to the cabin, had a bite to eat, and set myself down to work on some cards. What an enjoyable afternoon and evening; just browsing magazines or my files for images, cutting and pasting, creating collage after collage. I ended up making 13 cards that weekend, and journaling about each one. Well, all but one. I just hit a brain block with it.
The next morning my brother, Willy, arrived early. He was coming up for the day to do a few things (it is his and Jon’s cabin by the way). I had seen some posters the day before in Murphy’s about the daffodils blooming at Ironstone Vineyards and asked him if he wanted to take a drive down and check them out. So we did. It was crazy…. and a bit sad. The daffodils were blooming so early. It’s generally more in March that they do so. The area is suffering, as we are down here in the bay area, from lack of rain and snow. There it was, mid-February, and it was 75 degrees and gorgeous. All that aside, there were daffodils blooming along the roadside, down by the water wheel and creek, and in hundreds of pots and wine barrels around the buildings. Daffodils are so sunny and happy! You can’t help but smiling when you see them.
Willy did a little wine tasting….he knew better, but wanted to give them another chance (he’s not very fond of their wine). I walked around and took a few, okay a lot of, pictures. We did a quick walk through the museum and saw the biggest piece of gold I have ever seen! It is in a vault, encased in glass, and lighted just so to experience it at its best.
Here is a little bit about it:
“The gold specimen is the largest single piece of gold mined in North America since the 1880s. Between 1849 and 1880, several large masses were found, none of which exist today.”
“The focal point of Ironstone’s Heritage Museum is the largest Crystalline Gold Leaf specimen in the world. Weighing forty-four pounds, this specimen of gold was discovered in 1992 by the Sonora Mining Company, on Christmas Day, just fifteen miles from its current home at Ironstone. Crystalline Gold is one of the most rare and precious natural gold formations consisting of gold that has been deposited in layers between quartz, clay, maraposite, decomposed shale and pyrite. “
The “Gold Pocket”, as it has come to be known, is 98 percent pure, making it a specimen of exceedingly high quality and value. Sixty-three pounds before preparation, it spent almost a year in an acid bath washing away most of the surrounding matrix to ultimately reveal the forty-four pound specimen that is on display at the winery.“
The rest of the day was spent visiting a bit with Willy, relaxing, watching some Northern Exposure (one of my favorite television shows – I have the entire series on DVD), and making some cards.
On Monday, I was in a dilemma as to stay and work on more cards, read, watch a movie, or take a drive up to Bear Valley. It was February and I wanted to see some snow. Well, I decided to stay. It was a very relaxing and rejuvenating day. Later I started to pack up a few things as I would be leaving for home the next day.
Tuesday morning, I woke up early and decided I needed to take a drive. So I grabbed my camera and headed up towards Bear Valley. I knew the road was closed just before Lake Alpine, but it was beautiful outside and a great day for a drive. As the altitude climbed, I kept watching for snow. I was disappointed that I didn’t see any until just before I got to the valley. Oh my, so sad. Even up by the ski resort, the mountains were almost bare. Just patches of snow. I drove on to where the gates were closed across the road and got out to walk around. There were quite a few cars parked along the highway with families out walking about in the icy snow. They were all trying to find a place for their children to play or saucer. I took a few pictures and headed back down.
I stopped a few times, and then found a wonderful spot; a running stream winding along a snowy bank. I sat a while, just looking, took some pictures, and looked for rocks. I selected a few and brought them with me.
Time was getting late and I needed to get back down to the cabin and pack up. I headed home about an hour later than I had intended, but who cares. I didn’t really need to be anywhere.
Once home, I knew I had needed my little retreat and should treat myself more often. Whether time alone at your own home, or a little get-a-way for yourself, do it!