Think Happy Thoughts

"Your success and happiness lie in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and (together) your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."
                                              -- Helen Keller (emphasis mine)
It's another one of those cloudy and cold days that tend to populate the thirty-one days allotted to January on the calendar, making it difficult to remember a New Year's resolution to keep happy.  As I gaze out of my droffice (where the dining room and I share a space...:) picture window, I see the once-beautiful Christmas tree, now stripped of all ornamentation and lying on its side at the curb.  I know that it is awaiting its next mission in life:  to provide healthy mulch for the city's planting areas; but, I am nonetheless sad to see it looking so forlorn.  Even the outdoor decorations look like they are wishing they were all packed up and back in the attic, where at least it is a tad warmer.  Still, it is too cold for me to tackle that task.

I sigh and return my attention to the chore that awaits me indoors:  the last of the packing up of the Holiday decorations.  There are Rubbermaid(tm) containers in bright green and bright red, packed and stacked away from the main traffic areas (so as to allow Elmo room to roam without challenge), awaiting a stronger back that will move them to their allotted space under the rafters.  I continue to find the stray reminder of the Season, here and there:  Christmas-themed hand-towels in the half-bath; a token from the Christmas crackers that must have rolled under the table when we popped them; and fir needles in the oddest places.

With Mr. T on the road again (it's that time of the year when he has to travel to every one of this dealerships to get Dealer Development Plans signed), and not around to lift my spirits, I could easily sink into a post-Holiday funk.  Even re-reading those first paragraphs is getting me down.  No, don't want to go there.

Where is Helen Keller when you need her?  Must. Think. Happy. Thoughts.

Let's invoke the "Sound of Music" solution!  Here are a few of my favorite things:  birds at our feeders, projects and finished objects, and something to look forward to...a goal, a plan, anything!

Starling at the Blue Glass feeder
House finch seems to say "What's that thing?"

Red-bellied Woodpecker
at the so-called squirrel-proof feeder
Early morning squirrel calisthenics
at the so-called squirrel-proof feeder

Hey, it's working!  I can feel the doom-and-gloom, lifting slowly from my shoulders.  Let's try another one of my favorite things.

Patricia's Picchu-Picchu
in Ultra Alpaca:  Blueberry Mix
You know, I love starting projects.  If I didn't, why would I begin so many?  Anyway, I think the real reason I love starting projects is that I know I will be over-the-moon when I finish them!  So, I present to you, photos of my Picchu-Picchu sweater, knitted in ab-fab Ultra Alpaca in a color called Blueberry Mix.  I got the pattern (available free from the Berroco website here) and the yarn in a kit from a Facebook link to Appalachian Yarns.  I really believe this will be my favorite finished sweater project for some time to come. Love it, love it, love it.

Details of Patricia's Picchu-Picchu
in Blueberry Mix Ultra Alpaca
I plan on wearing it tomorrow for the first time (not counting the numerous times I've "tried it on" when I see it in the closet...:).  I've been saving it for a special occasion, and I think tomorrow morning's Master Gardener Mentor/Intern Breakfast qualifies.  I get to meet not only my Mentor who will serve as a guide through the coming weeks and months of classes, but also the other MG Interns who will be joining me in the Class of 2011.  Something to look forward to, right?  I'm excited! 

I'll be posting about my experiences as I learn and grow (pun absolutely intended...:), and as I make new friends with similar interests.

Hey, if I don't watch out here, all these happy thoughts will have me breaking into song.

How about a chorus of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! Mr. Bluebird may not exactly be on my shoulder, but he certainly is on our feeder:

Mr. Bluebird...and Mrs. the feeder


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