Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Flower Wednesday

I have one new flower to show this week.  Pretty in pink with little dog bones.
all done
The pink one is the only flower I have finished this week, but I also got several new sets of hexagons basted and ready to sew:
all ready to go
(I really need to get some more yellow centers ready)
For now, I have them stacked neatly in an eyeglass case.
all ready to travel
The “One Flower Wednesday” group has really helped get me re-motivated to work on this project.  My original goal was a table runner that needed 29 flowers to complete.  I’ve made 30 flowers now, and want to keep going.  I need to find a bigger table…..

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet....

Nothing can keep this devoted dog from his tennis ball!

Thanks for the encouraging comments regarding Toby's injury.
After a rocky start, he has adjusted  pretty well to wearing the cone.  The little rascal has even managed to get access to the toenail that he is supposed to be keeping away from, but only just barely.  I don't know what else can be done, so we are just keeping our fingers crossed.

The pup has figured out eating, playing and the usual canine mischief while wearing the cone.  He's even pretty good about taking his antibiotics.  (Wrap up anything in a piece of bread and Toby will happily eat it.).   The only thing he cannot do while wearing it is fit into his crate.  Since the crate is his bed, it meant coming up with a new sleeping arrangement.  We ended up taking the cushion out of the crate, putting it into Toby's normal sleeping corner and blocking him in with furniture and a baby gate.  I hope he adjusts back to sleeping in the crate when this is all over with.

Normally, Toby is a happy camper when he's in his crate. 

This past weekend, when we were traveling, we took the crate with us for him to travel in, and also as a familiar place to sleep.  My parents-in-law, who had him as a houseguest while we stayed in a hotel,  said he was quite content all night. 

Only 5 more days until the cone comes off.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my furniture, the doorways and my shins will survive. 

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too much excitement

This poor little guy broke one of his nails pretty badly during a rousing game of Fetch and had to go to the vet. They don't want him to keep licking at it, so it's "Toby the Spacedog" for the next week.

Toby absolutely hates it of course. He tried his best to pull it off, but eventually gave in. His spatial perception must be all off because he's just kind of playing statue for now.

Please tell me that your dog has been through this and everything will be all right.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer pleasures

ripe for picking
This weekend we took a road trip to visit my husband’s family.
My father-in-law has a large garden, and the raspberries were ripe for the picking.
rasberry bushes

There were so many raspberries that we had 3 baskets full in no time at all.
rasberry basket

My father-in-law also grows grapes, although they were not yet ripe.

He has a lovely perennial flower garden too.  When I saw these little beauties:
grandmother's garden flowers
I  couldn’t help but think of Grandmother’s Flower Garden:
grandmothers flower garden hexes
Now I’m off to check out the cookbooks for a good recipe for raspberry pie….

Friday, July 9, 2010

Memories of Nana

Today I wish to remember my Nana who passed away 3 years ago at the age of 101.  Nana was my father’s mother, and today would have been her birthday.

Nana was a wonderful grandmother and great grandmother.  We were very fortunate as kids to live in the same city, so we saw her often.  The memory I associate most with Nana was her cooking. It was spectacular.  She could make all the traditional Italian recipes, but she could also make the most wonderful one-pot meals from almost anything she had in the refrigerator.  

Every Wednesday she would cook up a big pot of pasta with either vegetables, beans, or meat, and drop it off at our house for our supper. All she asked in return is that we bring the empty dish back to her so she could fill up it again for us the next week.

Nana & Barry

When I was young, Nana would sometimes babysit for my siblings and me on a Saturday night and she would keep us entertained by making homemade pasta.  I remember being amazed as she made a little well  of flour right on the kitchen table and then cracked an egg into the center of it to start the dough.  She would roll it out by hand using a big wooden rolling pin that my grandfather had made for her. 

After rolling it out nice and flat, she would start at one end and roll it up like a long jellyroll and  then cut it into strips for fettuccini.  Our job was to unroll the strips of pasta and then hang them over the backs of the kitchen chairs to dry overnight. (She would cover the chair backs with cotton dishtowels first.)  The dried pasta would be used for Sunday dinner the next day.  Oh! I can still taste how yummy it was!

Xmas Eve 1980 A

Nana was always quick to lend a hand when needed.  Up until the last 10 years of her life she was still helping others.  She once had a job as an aide to an elderly couple, doing some cooking and light housekeeping.  Nana was older than both of them at the time.

Laura takes a wedding photo

In addition to her cooking skills, Nana was an avid crocheter.  She loved to use crochet cotton and the smallest of crochet hooks to make doilies and table cloths.  The Pineapple pattern was her favorite.  She gave me a beautiful crocheted table cloth in the Pineapple pattern as a wedding gift.


I asked Nana if she had ever made a quilt.  She told me that she had made one once, but that one day it was stolen off her clothesline in the backyard.  I was disappointed to think that not only had Nana lost her handiwork, but that I would have loved to have seen it.  Her response was, “Whoever took it probably needed it more than I did.”  That one line sums up Nana’s philosophy on sharing.  More than once I heard her say that there was always room for one more at the table.

Nana was a big part of our lives, and barely a day goes by that someone doesn’t mention her name.
Nana at 90
Thank you, Nana.  Happy Birthday!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Enjoy the Fourth

Happy Birthday, America!
July 4th
Whether you celebrate it or not, hope you have a great day!

Today I am thankful for:
The men and women in the armed forces who so unselfishly serve their country.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New life for an old stitchery

photo album_001 My mom is an accomplished knitter, but she did try her hand at stamped cross-stitch once.  She made a pillow from a kit.  The cross-stitching was done with yarn, which may be why it appealed to her.

The pillow was finished back in the 1970’s sometime, and was part of our family room decor for years.  Naturally, a certain amount of wear and tear was endured until my mom finally put the pillow away.

When my folks were downsizing their belongings in preparation for their move, we found the pillow.  Years in the attic had not done anything to improve its appearance.  It looked tired.  Mom was reluctant to part with her handwork, but she knew  the old pillow had served its purpose and that there was no place for it in their new home.

My fast-thinking sister took a pair of scissors, cut away  the cross-stitched portion of the  pillow top, and  quickly stuck it in her bag without my Mom seeing it.  She brought it home and gently hand washed it.  The colors were renewed, and the background fabric shed it’s coat of dust.

My sister gave me the stitchery to see what I could do with it.  This is what it looked like when I got it:
pillow before

And here is what it looks like now:
pillow after
I found an apple green fabric in the home dec department that really gave a fresh look to the colors. Then I sashed it like a quilt block, popped in a brand new pillow form, and gave it a fresh start.

We are going to give it to Mom at her upcoming birthday.  I can’t wait to see what she thinks.

Today I am grateful for:
      A quick thinking sister who saw the possibilities in my Mom’s handwork.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Positive Posting

My blogger friend Shirley at Bits and Pieces has come up with an inspiring idea for the month of July.  She has asked her fellow bloggers to try and post at least one positive thing each day during July.

A while back, I started a "Gratitude Journal" where each day I posted at least 5 things I was thankful for.   The obvious things, like family, friends, health etc were listed on the first page.  After that, I tried to add new things each day.  Things that I might not normally have stopped and appreciated.  I kept a mental list of the things I was grateful for so that I could write them down at night,

 After only a few days, I noticed that my outlook on life had become more postive overall.   Just reviewing the list in my head during the day so that I wouldn't forget any of them by bedtime forced me to take time out to remember that there is a lot of good in my life, even during times of struggle.

  I'm going to join Shirley and try to post something positive here each day in July.  Since I already missed July 1st, today I'm going to post 2 things.

  First, my finger injury is healing nicely.  I can still blog, I just use less fingers.  And, I haven't had to cook dinner all week! 

  Second, I had a very nice visit with my parent's at their new home yesterday.  They are settiling in nicely.

There!  I'm feeling more upbeat already!  Care to join me?

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