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

Monday, February 18, 2013


Every year, all over the country, there are crowds of people who walk for me.  Why?  They are walking for those of us who cannot.  They are raising valuable funds for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization that works diligently to improve the lives of those afflicted with MS.  They provide an endless variety of assistance to individuals and also provide valuable funds for research, so that some day there will be a world without MS.  

My daughter Anna will be taking part in the University of California in Irvine MS Walk this year, along with her co-workers from Clark Construction.  I am so proud of Anna's giving heart, and her compassion towards those with MS.  

On her personal page Anna states:  

My mother and my cousin both have MS.  I walk because I can - and it's something that many of us take for granted.  Every hour of every day, someone is diagnosed with MS.  That's why I registered for the Walk MS event.  Walk MS is a day that connects friends, families and co-workers.  Each step we take brings us closer to a world free of MS.  

If you haven't sponsored anyone yet for this year's MS walks, perhaps you can sponsor Anna.  Donations do not have to be grand, you know that every single dollar counts.  

You can visit Anna's personal page here.


Saturday, February 9, 2013


Here we are with snow up to our butts, yet all Dave and I can think of is THIS
That's my sister Christine in the pink.  
Because THIS is a lake house that will be totally ours on March 5. 

100 feet of waterfront and a 24 foot dock.  The water level in the lake
is dropped for the winter, that's why it looks so high and dry right now.  

You see, my sister and her hubby bought a camp on this lake a bit ago, and if you visit her blog you can see what a wonderful place they got.  And, of course, in her blog you'll see what an amazing interior decorator she is with her special touches and quilts.  

David and I fell in love with this lake, and have always loved my sister and her family, so put the two together and start searching.  There aren't many homes on the lake, so we knew we'd need patience and it could take years.  

But, last Friday Chris and Mike were checking in on their camp when they spotted the realty signs for this house, just 2/10ths of a mile from their camp.  They called me and gave me my marching orders and we all went and saw the house last Saturday and by Monday night we were under agreement.  It was meant to be, all of it.  

It is a neat funky house, and is actually a mobile home with a home tastefully built around it.  It is a fantastic lot with a horseshoe pit and a nice lawn and just enough gardens.  

The home and land are handicapped accessible, including a paved path down to the dock, which is also handicapped accessible.  In the picture below, I am standing on that path and I intend to always stand on that path.  How would we ever find someone strong enough to push my oversized arse up that path in a wheelchair anyhow?  And, I know that now that we have all this handicapped access, I will never need it.  

 There are a lot of really funky interesting details in the house, like this loft, which was created on the top of the mobile home when they built the home around it.  My sister is so excited, saying yay her dear grandsons can have sleep overs at Auntie's house.  And, they can, we will welcome their love and joy with open arms.  And, Dave can get up early with them.  :)  

 The views!!!  This is the view from the dining area.  

This is where the constructed house meets the mobile home.  This picture is taken from the front family room and is looking into the dining area, which is within the mobile home portion.  

That red wall and green paint have got to go.   

How many ways can we count our blessings!

The ramp that I will never need.  

The mobile section of the house, with the loft up to the right, and through the kitchen to the back is our bedroom and bathroom.  The other bedroom is in the constructed part of the home.  

This is, indeed, a dream come true.  


Dave wandered around the driveway with the yard stick.  We don't know how much snow we got, but it's a lot.  


The weathermen and women are now so bored with their occupations they have the time to name a storm, and this East Coast blizzard is named Nemo.... really?  I would have expected to meet Nemo off the Great Barrier Reef, but what ever.  With the onset of computer-aided forecasting, the weather peeps apparently have nothing to do, so must name storms.  

Anyhow, Nemo got us plastered last night, here in Beverly, Mass., on the North Shore of Boston.  
Proof that we got plastered, this is the slider to our deck.  
I was able to open the slider just enough to get a peek at the snow.... there's a lot of it.  
Before Dave started to clean up, he found a spot that he thought reflected the real snow fall amount.
Some areas have 10' drifts, and in other areas you can see the grass.
The storm is not over here on the coast, it is blowing and snowing and will for a while yet.
My main man, with his two sled dogs.  :)  The dogs are a bit perturbed that they cannot
blast out the deck door into "their" yard.  Not to worry, at some point the main man
will snowblow his way to the back yard, where he will carve a "poop loop" and a path to
the doors.
We have power, we have heat, we have chocolate.  I awoke this morning to the aroma of bacon cooking, a once a year treat around here!  We are planning a Downtown Abbey Marathon this afternoon.  Life is good for us here, I know that is not the case for many on the South Shore of Boston, who are right now facing an astronomically high tide and are evacuating.  Let's hold them in our thoughts and prayers.  

On a warm note, this week Dave and I entered an agreement to buy a house on a lake in New Hampshire.... but that story is for another day.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Morning in the Sewing Room

There's not much new to report in the sewing room, as I continue on with this project
which is pretty much getting on my last nerve at this point.  I have one more row to make, and so am making the parts
First the claws.  I've tried triangles on a roll and a few other methods for 1/2 square triangles, and have found the good old fashioned way gives the best results every time.  I make them a bit oversized and trim them down to size.  

A friend recently mentioned how little I talk about how MS affects my life, and I responded that it's such a boring subject, who cares?  I sure do my best to ignore this disease and find that works just fine for me.  

However, in the sewing room this morning I thought perhaps I should take the time to share how MS can affect a person.  So much of MS is invisible, many people look at someone like me and comment "You look Great!"   When someone says this to me, I push them down the stairs say "thank you!"  

Anyhow, here's what it's like to assemble parts for 1/2 square triangles, I really want all of you to try this!   I want to you to go and put your fingertips, including your thumbs, in ice water for about a half hour.  Once they are completely numb, go to your sewing room and assemble some 1/2 square triangles.  Not easy, is it?  My numb fingers and thumbs drive me mad.  I cannot feel the fabric, I cannot feel the thread.  

My eyes do that work for me.  And that brings up another idea for you.  Now that you have your fingers numb, I want you to put on a pair of prescription glasses that belong to someone else.  Focus your eyes closely on the work of assembling, pinning and marking those squares.  Then, look up once in a while for a view of the lovely day.  It'll take a minute or two for your eyes to adjust from one task to the other.  How do you like that?  LOL this disease is nuts.  

But how can I complain when I am surrounded by so many of God's graces?
A cat who loves me beyond measure, right there on my cutting room table.
A roof over our heads, food in our cabinets, and the sunshine bathing our sewing room.
And dear Poppy on the ironing board, close at hand,
holding down a row for the quilt, so that it cannot get away.  
And, of course, My dear Misty, wondering when lunch will be
served and nap time held, because she knows then she will
have my lap all the way through the day until bed time.


The cats spent the morning in the sewing room with me, and so I snapped a couple of photos.  They are so lovely, and are so dear to me.  
My Reesie kitten, rescued at Cape Ann Aniimal Aid.  She is 100% my girl.

Poppy Kitten, rescued in California by our daughter Anna.  She is a wild sweetheart.  That she has green eyes
tells us that she has quite a bit of Bombay cat in her lineage and I have been told that these tuxedo cats
with green eyes, as opposed to the usual gold or yellow, are highly sought after.   Poppy displays many
of the personality traits of a Bombay... which makes me wonder why they are treasured.  She is fiercely
independent, even more so than the usual cat, and is very territorial.  Along with those traits, though,
she is hysterically vocal and very loving and dear.  She is very brave, which is one of the Bombay cats'
most popular traits, and plays full tilt with our two 20 pound dogs, outwitting them every time

An Act of Stufficide

I don't know what you call this
in your house, but here, it is a common enough occurrence that we have a name for it--"Stufficide."  It seems that since Bella came on board there have been many more of these than there used to be.  

Dave and I being who we are, we did not interrupt this crime, as we knew that Cassy was enjoying it so.  We kept an eye to make sure everything was being simply pulled out, not eaten, and we let Cassy be Cassy, with wild abandon.  She is a happy girl.  

Thrift Shop Find

Some of my time is spent volunteering for Bootstraps of Beverly (Mass).  It is an organization that started as a small food pantry in the basement of a church, about 20 years ago, and is now a large organization that provides many different services to those in need in our area.  

I volunteer in the thrift shop, where donated items are taken in and sold to support those programs.  It's an amazing shop, and our local residents are amazing in all the items they bring in our doors for resale.  

I rarely buy items from the shop, as I have all that I need, but recently there was something I just had to have.  
This must have been a manufacturer's sample box.  

Look at what it holds!
I did buy this, I couldn't help myself.  But, it wasn't for the floss, it was for the box.  I have a thing about unusual wooden boxes.  The floss is going to Denise who I know will actually use a jumble of floss where there's probably not two of any one color.