"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OUR HOUSE IS A ZOO AND WE LIKE IT THAT WAY

On lovely sunny mornings like today, you can find all critters great and small sunbathing by the deck doors.  It's such a relaxing sight, to see them all sitting still for a moment, enjoying a sun bath.  

Sweet Little Misty.  8 yo and not feeling totally herself, with chronic
pancreatitis and now a "dead" hind leg.  She's still got great spirit and love.  

Our Dear California kitten, Poppy.  
Our Dear Cassy Dawg, the care giver and worry wart of the group
Also, the smartest and quirkiest and we love every bit of her.  
Lovely Reesie, so dear to me, I do believe she is one of
my earliest cats, Blossom, brought back to me.  Note
Dave in the background, working out of the house,
surrounded by critters. 
And last but not least, sweet Bella, our newest addition.  She had ants in her pants
during sun bathing time, so I wasn't able to snap her with the others.  She came to
us as one of the special needs dogs in the rescue, and we decided to keep her,
because we are mental because we rarely get adopters for special needs dogs and this
girl has been bounced around enough and she loves our home.  She is having
surgery on her eyes on November 20 because Dave and I aren't totally broke yet
because we will do what ever is necessary to preserve her remaining vision, and
surgery is the only option.  She will be having an extra salivary gland on each
side re-routed to her tear glands, which do not work, and so saliva will
bathe her eyes and keep them healthy.  Her eyes will drool when something
smells good.  


Monday, November 5, 2012

DOGGIE BAG AND DRESS-UP TIME

I've begun some sewing for a fund raiser for Poodle Rescue of Vermont.  Dave and I were going to begin fostering dogs for them, but then Bella got added to our home and there really is just no more room at the Inn right now.  Once we get more accustomed to living with 3 dogs and 2 cats, perhaps tossing another dog in here once in a while won't make a difference.  For now, it would.  

I wanted to help them in some way, so I decided to use my sewing skills to do donate items for them to use to raise funds. It's refreshing to do some SMALL sewing for a change.  Here's the first items I've finished:

The Doggie Bag and Matching Neckerchief.  


There's a yo yo with a vintage button to add a bit of bling to the bag.  I recently inherited my dear Auntie's sewing room when she passed away..... and she had button boxes that would make you drool!  I am so happy to use them and spread the joy around.  I'm not going to die some day with a box of beautiful buttons stashed away! 

Of course the dog neckerchief is reversible.  


A fancy Doggie Neckerchief.  
I'm fairly certain the doggie bag/neckerchief sets will be sold at their E-Bay store, which you can get to by going to their web site and clicking on the box that says "Hat Sale."  The single fancy neckerchiefs they will sell from their Saturday morning booths at Petco's in the area.  They have for sale on their E-Bay site the most amazing quilting table in the universe, maybe you ought to hop over and take a peek!
How cute is that?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Wow, I've not posted anything here since the end of August?  Whoops, life has kept me busy and that's a good thing.  Have been busy with a million different things, and I'll get caught up with pictures of all that soon.  

For today, we're here to say 


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Misty the Sailor Poodle!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

BELLA!

UPDATE 10/16/2012 
BELLA WAS UNADOPTED TODAY
AND WILL BE COMING TO OUR HOME TO BE OUR 
THIRD DOG.  
SHE DID WELL HERE AT THE START OF HER TIME IN RESCUE,
AND WE LOVED HER AND WILL LOVE HER AGAIN.  

SHE NEEDS A HOME WITH A BIT MORE DEDICATION AND
EXPERIENCE THAN WE USUALLY FIND AMONG OUR ADOPTERS.    

SO NEXT TIME YOU MIGHT MEET A RESCUER WHO HAS 5 DOGS OR 10 CATS
DON'T JUMP TO THE CONCLUSION "HOARDER!" 
JUMP INSTEAD TO THE CONCLUSION "SAINTLY LUNATIC!"

HEAD COUNT HERE WILL NOW BE 3 DOGS AND 2 CATS, WITH 
2 ADULT HUMANS SQUISHED IN WITH THEM.
WHEN THE KIDS OR THE REST OF THE FAMILY ARRIVE
FOR HOLIDAYS..... WELL, WE'LL SQUISH THEM IN HERE ALSO.  

UPDATE 10/13/2012  BELLA WAS ADOPTED TODAY!!!!


Another foster dog has entered our home and hearts.  Bella arrived last Saturday.  She was surrendered to Schnauzer Paws Rescue because her family could not afford the care that she required.  Born with tear glands that do not function properly, she was progressively losing her vision due to severe dry eye.  

We got her here and to the veterinary ophthalmologist, regular vet, and groomer.  She's now on a course of treatment for her eyes, and we are already seeing positive results.  The amount of green goop flooding her eyes is decreasing, and her eyes just look more comfortable now.  With eye washes and treatment applications 4 times a day, her tear glands are going to wake up and start producing the moisture her eyes so badly need.  
Isn't she lovely?  When she arrived, she had not been groomed in a very long time, and she was one messy looking lady.  Our groomer worked her magic, and the results are obviously amazing.  
She is a very, very dear dog.  Her manners are good, she is playful and goofy.  She eats well and sleeps well and is very easy to have around.  She is a bit timid, but Dave is helping her overcome that by taking her on walks with Cassy, where she'll learn that moving forward is a great thing.  

Bella may be with us for quite a while, as she will not be adopted out until her tear production is normal and especially until we find a family that we know will take care of her eyes for life, preserving her remaining vision.  


A GRADUATION

On August 26, we celebrated yet another joyous occasion, as Anna graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston) with a degree in Facilities Planning and Management.  Here she is having just received her diploma, look at that smile!  



I don't know if we could possibly be more proud of this dear daughter of ours.  She did something not many 20 somethings are doing these days--she entered Wentworth in 2008 and 4 years later, she graduated.  She embraced the college experience and the learning and growing and she is, indeed, ready to tackle post-college reality.  
She studied hard and learned well.  

Anna is moving to California October 1 to begin working for the construction company she interned for last fall.  Orange County, 22 years old, loves the beach, loves her chosen profession, and looks good in a bikini. Can it get any better?  

It was such a great day, with the family all together for this special occasion.  
Me and Anna, I fit in her armpit just fine.  In my own defense, the girl has 12" heels on.  

Dave and Anna.... what can I say?  Two peas in a pod.  

Our two college grads, Paul and Anna, in one place at one time, something there's not enough of these days.

No photo album of Anna is complete without her sidekick Cassy included.  
And, of course, Poppy.  
                                           

CONGRATULATIONS ANNA
WE COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD
YOU MADE THE MOST OF YOUR 4 YEARS OF LEARNING
AND DID IT WELL

Thursday, July 19, 2012

BOBBY!

FOLLOW UP:  Bobby was adopted on Sunday, July 22 by a wonderful family who will give him lots of time and love and all that good stuff.  


Today a foster dog arrived in our home.  I'll have to admit I had a bit of the "Yips" about this arrival, as it's been a while since we've had a foster dog in our home.  But, not to worry, he arrived and all is well.  


The first thing I did with him was change his name, as he had got himself a case of very selective hearing, as he learned to ignore his previous family as they chased him through the neighborhood every time he would escape, which, I understand, was often.  So, here's a tidbit of dog training for you--if your dog dashes, when he/she does come back to you, praise that dog like it is the greatest creature on the planet and give it a piece of chicken on top of that.  If you scold the dog, do you think it'll come back to you next time?  Nope.  


 He's only been here for 4 hours, and I already have him coming when ever I call him "Bobby!" because he has already learned that "Bobby!" means he's getting a treat.  


Anyhow, he is a 9.5 year old black miniature schnauzer, and he is very, very dear.  


Right now he is sitting in our front windows, enjoying himself immensely
 It's obvious to us he was not allowed on the furniture in his home and so we are teaching him to be naughty, lifting him onto the furniture.  We may regret this, I know.  In spite of the fact that his family reported him as an "incessant barker," he has not barked once at the parade of kids, dogs, skateboarders, bikers, going by the house tonight.  Like I said, he's been here only 4 hours.  Give him some time, and he'll be barking.  

Until then, I get the selfish pleasure of watching a dog's heart unfold. 

WHAT IS WITH THIS DEAR CAT?

In preparation for the arrival of a foster dog today, I pulled my dog crate out of the closet and got it all set up for the new arrival.  And, the predictable happened
Reesie kitten always does this--I set up the crate, and in she goes on her own.  My dogs do not have crates, they are free range (well, free house) dogs, so perhaps Reesie likes the novelty of it all, or perhaps it reminds her of these days
when she was a tiny little baby that we thought needed protection from our dogs.  Little did we know it was the other way around!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A BABY QUILT

It sure feels like it's been a while since I've posted about a finished quilt.  Lots of X stitch and knitting, but not many quilts.  


It feels good to have one to post!  It's not that I haven't been sewing, it's that I've been sewing too many things at once and so no one thing was getting done.  Finally I got a hold of that madness and have finished the three quilts I had going at once, and am now working on the bindings.  


The first one I have finished is a gift for the great grandchild of a Pennsylvania cousin.  My husband's Pennsylvania family were all great quilters a generation ago.  Sadly, none of the children of that generation picked up the sport.  In a twist of irony, quilting has been brought back to this family by me, a city girl from New England.  


Although this quilt was great practice on accurate 1/2 square triangles, I wish I had done more with them.  There's so many and a twisting and turning of this one and that would have made for an interesting design.  Instead, I went for simple, and did end up with something very pretty, but a bit plain for my tastes:


I like the swirl design of quilting, as it adds some visual interest to the quilt without overpowering the simple design.  

The fabrics are a white on white tiny fan, and then the pastel polka dots of white on color and color on white.  

 The color on white polka dots, which are the top and bottom rows, do not show up at all in a photo, as you can see.  In person, they are very obvious and sweet.  

The quilting was done by a long armer who has done work for me in the past, but who I have not mentioned by name in this blog.  I sent her three quilts, and all were nicely quilted.  However, on this one the tension on the back thread must have been set poorly, as the stitches are flat in some areas, pulled in others, and in a few spots there is an inch of two of thread that is not attached to the front thread at all.  I do not know how that could occur, but it did.  


Additionally, she took it upon herself to wash this quilt and add a plain white binding.  WHAT?  First of all, I never, ever wash my quilts before I send them off, do you?  I'm interested in knowing people's preferences on that one.  I like to send them off shiny and new, and have the recipient enjoy the change that occurs with that first washing.  Also, her binding was very poorly done, and I am a very picky binder, with nice mitres and nearly invisible hand stitches 1/4" apart.  I like my bindings, they are like my final signature.  And, I had already constructed the binding strip of the color on white polka dot fabrics.  


I was a bit irritated but got over it and fixed what needed to be fixed and have it all set to send off.  


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A FOLLOW UP, HAPPY NEWS!

Yesterday we went to the orthopedic doctor to hear the results of the MRI of this:


And, Hurrah, the news was good.  Yes, it's a significant injury (we didn't need the doc to tell us that), however, it is not a total tear of anything, and the Hamstrings are still attached where they are meant to be attached.  It's a rupture in the middle of the hamstrings, and that shall mend on it's own, given the proper time and care.  


What a relief, and Dave is walking a bit better now.  Phewwww!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AN IMPORTANT RECIPE FOR PET OWNERS

If you have one of these
and it meets up with one of these
then you need this recipe:


one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, one quarter cup of baking soda, 1 tsp of liquid dish soap.  Mix and immediately apply to the dear dog.  Rinse thoroughly.  Keep out of eyes and ears.  


This came to mind because the above-pictured dog got skunked last night, and although we had this all important recipe hanging on the fridge, we did not have the ingredients on hand.  Luckily, I had gotten hold of her immediately after she got skunked and most of the offending stuff wiped onto my nightie.  Perfecto.  A good bath with Sulfadene and she was de-skunked well enough, although I think a damp day may bring out residual odor.  


Today we went and picked up A LOT of the ingredients and have them shelved and ready for action, and we hope that means we will not need them.  



Friday, June 29, 2012

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, DON'T IT

Dave
served as a leader
on a 
with the
to
While there, he fell backwards off the second rung of a ladder,
landing on his forearms and hyper-extending the hamstrings
in his right thigh, although that wasn't really obvious til 
he played wiffle ball that night,
and something went POP in that very same thigh.  
On the way home, they all stopped and visited NYC,
where Dave bravely walked a million miles, and then   
he was returned to me in damaged condition.
Arms are not good landing pads, especially when
you are on coumadin
here's what a hamstring injury looks like,

here's what Dave will be doing tomorrow
here's what he's been doing all week,
working out of his home office (previously known as our bed)
and being cared for by his personal assistant and nurse
(previously known as his Wife Angela).  

This is a not a picture of Dave's personal assistant and nurse
(previously known as Wife Angela)
but this picture perfectly depicts her present state of mind.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ON THE HOOP

There's always a X stitch project on my hoop, especially during the summer when the light is great and knitting feels just too hot on certain days.  


I recently finished this piece, a design by Silver Creek Samplers.  
When I started this, I had in mind that it would be a gift to a friend who suffered a terrible loss a couple years back... but now I am not so sure.  The saying seems rather trite and trivial given the loss she suffered, when her 21 year old daughter decided that living was not something she cared to do any longer.  I will think a long time before deciding.  


The current project on my hoop is a design by Tam's Creations.  It is called Assisi Flutterby.  
Now this is just plain old fun.  It's done on 14ct Aida, which feels really good after working on 18ct for the projects I've done in the last year.  Here's my start on it, done in a nice chocolate brown on white Aida.
I cannot put into words how dear and meaningful all of my needle crafts are to me.  In addition to my Family and Friends, these crafts are what keep me engaged in life.  I am constantly lifted up (and amazed) at the work I accomplish.  Now that I am home-based (others might refer to this as "house bound") since I no longer drive, and as MS continues its disappointing march through my central nervous system, these hobbies are my life line.  They make me happy, they are my therapy, and I will forever be grateful to my Mom for passing these skills down to me.  When she formed a 4-H Sewing Club and started to teach my sister Christine and me and various neighborhood girls as many needle arts as she could, I am certain she had no idea the joy these arts would bring to the both of us over the years.  Certainly she could not have foreseen the importance these hobbies would become in my life.  I'm thinking Mom would be pretty darn pleased were she here to see us at work in our sewing rooms today.  

ON MY NEEDLES

I always have at least one knitting project going at a time.  I have been making a lovely shawl and am nearly done.  
I am knitting this out of Cascade Bamboo/Wool blend, it is soft and bouncy and very luxurious.  
Please appreciate these photos, which I took out on our deck.  It's about 1000 degrees out there, and with my severe heat intolerance due to MS, I got a splitting headache in the two minutes it took to get these photos!

Just before Memorial Day, Dave and I went out to "the river" in western PA for our annual visit with the cousins.  I wanted a knitting project to bring along, but knew that the shawl was a poor candidate, as it is a pattern that is easy to knit but also easy to mess up.  


So, Barbara from Pinelands Treasures shared and easy-peasy pattern with me, and I brought that project to the river with me and am working on it at home.  Have you ever knit a pattern in this fashion?  I have, and it is great fun and a nice change.  You start in the corner with a couple of stitches and go on from there, adding one stitch per row.  When you get to the middle, where ever you decide that's going to be, then you start to decrease one stitch per row.  



This pattern is very, very simple, a good project for those times when you want to keep your hands busy but your mind is occupied otherwise.  Barbara told me that this is the pattern she uses to knit up her kitchen cloths, and I recall my mother in law did the same.  After I finish this blanket, I am going to try knitting kitchen cloths using some of the two million 1/4-1/2" fabric strips I have from squaring up edges for quilts.