Friday, October 31, 2008


I had a revelation Tuesday night, while I was laying on my bed watching It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and You're Not Elected Charlie Brown and NOT stitching...this is supposed to be something that I can find pleasure and relaxation in. It is not supposed to be something that creates any degree of anxiety. And if it does, then there is a problem.

So I have put PS Pumpkin Patch and All In A Moon. I was really enjoying stitching in hand again, but I'm not happy with the tension and the way it looks. It does not make any sense whatsoever to me to continue to take out and restitch the same part over and over, trying to get the stitches to lay like you want and still not be happy with them. And that was what hap been happening. I put in that top line on Pumpkin Patch 3-4 times and was still not content with it. I really wanted to stitch something seasonal, and I still have my Brittercup Autumn Is In The Air that I plan to finish, but I wanted to start something by PS because I really wanted to stitch something of theirs. Another one that I have had semi-kitted is PS Autumn Leaves, so I started it. I am stitching it with a hoop instead of a q-snap. It is easier for me to be able to have my left hand under my work to help guide the needle etc and it is harder for me to do that with a q-snap. My left hand is the one that I have not yet had the carpal release surgery on yet and so it gets stiff and painful fairly easy. If I ever go back to work and have insurance again, I can have surgery on that one too. When I had the right one operated on, they told me that the CTS was severe in the right and moderate in the left and that I needed to have surgery on both, but the right was basically an immediate necessity to avoid permanent nerve damage. Anyway, all medical stuff aside, I am using a hoop and really pleased with how my stitches look. I have always heard how evil hoops are and I know they do squash down the stitches that get between the rings of the hoop, but my q-snap squashed my stitches too. My worry is how this will be in the long term since I tend to stitch with overdyed floss now and can't wash my work like I used to. When I used to wash everything, it was no big deal...they would fluff back up after it got washed and ironed. This is actually in DMC so if I need to wash it I can.

I have too much stress about too many things (employment, financial, etc) in my life to let my hobby stress me out more and keep me from enjoying something that does relax me and give me pleasure.

But the dogs sure did enjoy laying on the bed that night and getting petted instead of laying on the bed and watching me stitch! LOL

My Night At The Emergency Vet Clinic

By the time I got home, I was too tired and too stressed emotionally to write, but we had some dachshund drama here last night.

Rudy and Bosco were outside playing, and I went to let them in to feed them dinner. The girls were already in the house. Rudy had a blob of something on his back...looked like Bosco slobber which would not be out of the ordinary at I went to wipe him off and realized it was blood. I don't do blood and guts. I don't do it more when it is coming out of someone I love and care for. Fortunately, nothing was actively bleeding, or it would have been more exciting than it was. But Rudy had a gash on his back that looked to be about 1-2 inches long and about a half inch wide when the skin was stretched. That was it for me. I do not want to see insides of anything, and most especially not my dog. Of course I was already in my jammies, planning to stitch all night. Of course when I got out of the shower, I just pinned my hair back because no one was going to see me; I was going to sit home and stitch. So I threw on a sweatshirt and some jeans and pulled my hair back in a headband and grabbed Rudy and we headed to the emergency vet. I had been on the phone with my friend Cathy when I discovered that spit was really blood and I called her back on the way to explain my "OMG-that's-blood-I-have-to-let-you-go-Cathy-bye" comment as I slammed my phone shut. The whole time I was driving to the vet ER I kept wondering if I was over-reacting, because I get freaked out over something being wrong with my dogs and I follow the better safe than sorry rule. They probably have gone to the vet for things that ordinary normal people would not take a dog to the vet for more than once. Anyway. So we get to the vet, and give them the story and they weigh him. He weighed 27.5 lbs. That scale better be wrong. No way has he eaten 5 lbs of treats trying to teach him to come here and to not pee in the house. I have not gotten 5 lbs of results, that's for sure. So they vet comes in a checks him out and goes to have them figure an estimate for me so I can decide what I want to do. What the hell does that mean? I want you to fix my dog, that's what I want to do. So just about the time that the tech came back to give me my options (sew my dog up? is that one of my options?) the exam room door opened and my friend Cathy came in with a bottle of water for me and a pet for Rudy. So she got to hear them start talking about the pre-anesthesia bloodwork and the "catheter just in case we need to get in there quick". I think they told me that the estimate was between $275-325, but I got lost at the word anesthesia. Rudy is not neutered because I refuse to put him under anesthesia. My mother was always afraid that something would happen to him and that she could not stand that, so she didn't have him neutered. And after she was gone, I was afraid that something would happen to him and I couldn't stand that, so Rudy is an intact male. (Now this is not all paranoia...I did adopt a little dog from the shelter a few years back who died on the table being spayed...although a good bit of it is my irrational fear of losing my dogs) So what I heard was that they were going to potentially kill my dog with anesthesia and charge me more than I had in my checking account to do it. I agreed to the pre-surgery bloodwork because I figured that was one variable I could control, and they barely gave me time to kiss my dog goodbye before they took him away. Up until that time I had been fine. Thank God Cathy came to sit with would have been an unholy 2 hours otherwise. They finally brought me my dog with a 2 inch Frankenstein-looking stitched-up wound across his back. He got some pills for pain and inflammation, and some antibiotic, and he has to go to our vet in 7-10 days to have his stitches - all 6-7 of them - out. So obviously I did not over-react. I WANTED to react when I had to write that check for $405.43. I don't even know what the extra cost was. I just wanted to get my dog and come home. Cathy followed us home so that she could help me get Rudy settled in while the other 3 went outside, and finally everything settled down and got quiet. Except for Rudy. Who was not quiet at all. He had to stay separate from the other dogs so they won't lick him and possibly hurt him and he was NOT at all ok with that. He whined. And whined. And whined. And made mournful noises. And it just about killed me to have to make him stay in his crate. Bedtime killed me worse because there was no Rudy snoring right up again my neck.

I have kept them separate for most of today...I started letting him out with all the dogs but Bosco because Bosco is the one who will try to play too rough with him. I have let him out all evening though, and they have been really good. He basically just laid on the bed with me while I stitched and watched a Munsters marathon. He looks like a Munster-dog right now.

I think he is going to have to spend tonight in his crate again though because he burrows and I'm afraid he will rub his back and get his stitches caught on the blanket or something or that I will hurt him by accident in the night. So it's about time for the chorus to tune up for the night...what a sad little lullaby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch WIP

I thought I'd post a progress picture of my PS Pumpkin Patch. This is really fun to stitch. Here it is last Friday: And here it is as of tonight:


I discovered a great series of books this weekend. I have had a couple of books in the series for a while, but this weekend, I decided that I wanted something set in modern times to read too when 18th century England got too heavy, so I picked up Laura Childs' Scrapbook Mysteries series. I read about half of one laying in bed last night. They are set in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and they have all the slighty kooky characters that you would expect from that area. The series centers around a woman who owns a scrapbooking shop. There is lots of detail about scrapbooking, which is interesting to me although I am not involved in that. If you like mysteries, you may want to check these out. She also had a series of Tea Shop Mysteries that revolve around a tea shop in Charleston.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Rudy!!!

My darling dachshund Rudy is 5 years old today! He had a good birthday; it was another gorgeous day and we sat outside some and I stitched while they chased things and rolled in things and chewed up things. Then after I came home from dinner, we all had a bone filled with some kind of beef-flavored stuff that is supposed to taste good for dogs I guess. Well, all 4 of them had the bones...I just had a caramel sundae for dessert with my dinner.

Happy Birthday Rudy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Turn The Page

I have not written an update on books in a few days...I finished The Spiritualist, and it was VERY good. I kind of had the whodunit figured out, but not the way it played out and certainly not the why of it all. Then I picked up a book called The Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson that I just finished yesterday and it was REALLY good. It was set in the late 1700s London and involved a cook geting embroiled in a mystery of 3 murders and a theft. It was one of the better ones of that type that I have read recently, so I started another one of hers called The Serpent in the Garden. I have only read a few pages, but I am going to get in bed and read for a while in just a bit. I have her other one too, and I expect that I will start it once I am done with this one assuming that it turns out to be as enjoyable as the first one.

I guess I'm just in the mood for something darker around Halloween...I'm still looking forward to going back to the middle ages for my Sharon Kay Penman trilogy!

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

It was so beautiful here today! I think the high was around 65, and it was sunny. The dogs and I sat outside and I stitched while they chewed on sticks and chased squirrels. I hope to post a picture of my PS piece by the end of the weekend. My LNS has a get-together the last Saturday of the month for stitchers and they gather and stitch all day, etc. I have not been in a while so I hope to go tomorrow...if so, I should make progress on my Pumpkin Patch!

I live on a lake, which is good and bad, depending on how you look at it. From the standpoint of mosquitoes, it's very bad. From the standpoint of scenery (usually) it's good. This is the view from the top of my driveway (I live up a hill as well):
There are ducks but not as many as there used to be because we suddenly got a huge Canada geese population. They are pretty too, but they chase off the little white ducks and mallards, and they chased off my pair of swans that I was enjoying watching. The neighborhood homeowners association is trying to deal with the problem. They have rounded up 63 of them and relocated them, but a few days after that happened, I counted 11 in my front yard again. They are messy and they are noisy, and they are tame enough that they do NOT move to get out of the street for traffic, which means that if they are in the road, and they don't feel like moving, you are just stuck. There was a whole group of them swimming by today but of course by the time I got back with my camera they had moved on. I did take this picture of my little white ducks though:

For several years now, there has been this one lone Muscovy duck:

If my swans come back, I will definitely have to get a picture of them. They are so pretty! The subdivision I live in has 4 lakes, and the swans are currently on one of the others. Maybe they will come back here.
Once the leaves start to change, the lake is really pretty. They went through a few years ago and cut down all the trees at the end where the main road is, and really thinned out the trees on my one is sure why either. So it is not nearly as pretty as it was when I was younger, but it is still pretty enough. I'll have to get a picture of that too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Romeo and Juliet - Or Just Juliet

A couple of mornings ago, I let my dogs out and before I could get their food set out and let them back in, they started one of their barking frenzies that they do to let me know that we are potentially being invaded by some passerby on the street. This was a more frenzied frenzy than the usual frenzy though, so I walked around the house to see what was up. I found my neighbor standing there, who told me that one of the dogs that belong to the neighbors who live behind me was loose and that was the cause of the ruckus. I got mine back inside and fed and went out front to see if I could catch this little dog and notify her owners.

Now, first you need some history on this little dog. Her name is Juliet and she is part beagle and part Jack Russell according to her owner. She is an older girl. Juliet spent one afternoon with me about 2 yrs ago. The house I am living in is the same house that I grew up in and lived with my parents in until I moved out on my own. When I was cleaning it out after my mother died, I looked out the front window and saw this cute little dog running loose. She was willing to come to me but had no collar or anything to identify her so I went and put signs up and kept her with me. She was content to be in the house and so I let her lay inside since I was working in the front of the house and could see if anyone was walking around looking for her. Well, it got dark and time for me to go back to my own house, and I was trying to figure out what to do with her. I put her outside for a little bit while I thought about it, and while I was in the house, I heard her barking. I thought "Oh there goes the G____'s little dog barking" and about that time it hit me: the G_____'s little dog was barking in my backyard! So I found a number to call them and left a message. I decided to go put a note on their door and let them know that their dog was in my backyard but that I had to go home and for them to please come get her. About that time the phone rang, and it was Mr G____'s granddaughter who was now living in the house since her grandfather had died and had the care of his 2 dogs. She came right away and thus I learned that my afternoon companion was named Juliet.

So Juliet was once again on the loose. After my day with her previously I learned from some other neighbors that it is not at all unusual for Juliet and her friend, a grey poodle, to be out running wild. She was out front and I called to her and she came to me and we went in the kitchen. She now has a collar with a tag that says "I'm lost...please call" and has 3 different contact numbers. I tried the first one and it was a place of business. I started to explain what I wanted and a voice on another line told the receptionist that he had it and asked me where I was. Turns out he had gotten a call about 10 min before from the guy 2 houses down from me who had the other dog. The current owner is Mr G___'s son. When he came to get Miss Juliet, we talked for a few minutes, and he is apparently remodeling his father's home with the plan to move in. Meanwhile, Juliet and Lucky (her little friend) are living there alone. He comes by morning and night and feeds them and checks on them. They are in the yard during the day and in the storage room at night. But apparently Juliet is a digger (explains why she was all muddy and got my clean nightgown all dirty!) and they get out during the day. I had a new sewer line put in a while back and still have the rocks that got dug up in the process. The grand plan was to build a retaining wall across the terrace in the back, but so far that has not happened. So I offered him as many of the rocks as he needed to line his fence with so they can't dig out. My mom had done the same with the fence in this house years ago when we had a beagle who was a notorious digger.

That has been the highlight of the week, I guess. I am still working on my PS Pumpkin Patch. It is fun so far. Of course, it will be Valentine's Day before it is finished at the rate I am stitching lately...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Foursome Finished

Well, I finished my Halloween Foursome last night, and I'm not happy with it at all. I don't usually stitch on aida, so I switch out the aida in kits for some kind of linen or evenweave. I am always careful to get the same size so all the beads, charms, etc will still be in proportion and so that the finished piece wil fit if it is to go in a pillow or frame. So I don't know what happened, except that something did, and I'm frustrated by it. The kit came with 14 count aida; I used 28 count monaco. Same size, right? You would think. But my little finished foursome does not fit in the included tuck pillow. I have trimmed and tucked and pulled and scooted and edged and eased and scrunched and everything you can think of...and it just doesn't fit. Here is a photo:

See how it touches on the corners? And this was the best that 30 minutes could produce. Oh well, by the time I get it back out for next year, my frustration with it will be past and I will be able to enjoy it anyway...

So after I finished with that, I kept "unstitching" AIAM...I am almost to a point where I can start stitching it again! Yay!

And since I finished something, I got to start something (I wonder if this explains my constant and steady number of WIPs?!) So I started Prairie Schooler's Pumpkin Patch. I'm stitching it in hand too and really enjoyed it last night. I may have discovered the cause behind my recent (several year) stitching slump. I have been stitching some, but nothing like I used to and not enjoying it like I used to either. So I am really excited about this! Hopefully I will get enough done in the next few days to warrant posting a WIP picture!

I have gotten some really nice comments on my blog posts, and I want to take a minute and thank you all. If you read and have not posted to any posts, leave me a quick note so I know who you are? There was a list of stitching blogs posted at the 123 Stitch message board recently, and I just wondered if anyone decided to come read mine...besides the 2 that I know of!

Off to watch L&O:SVU and stitch some pumpkin patch...

Pumpkin Day

Well, apparently there is a day devoted to least in Canada, according to my friend since I love pumpkins and autumn, I'm going to recognize it too! I just posted a comment on her blog about wanting some roasted pumpkin seeds, and that prompted me to look for a recipe. My mom made these for me every Halloween when I was little. I have seen a dozen recipes, all with different ingredients, but what we had was just plain old butter-and-salt roasted seeds. I was able to find this recipe on today...

1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

This sounds exactly like what we used to have! I had not planned to carve a pumpkin this year, but the more I think about the seeds, the more I think I may have to. I can't buy a pumpkin to get the seeds and then just ignore a perfectly good jack-o-lantern-to-be!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Violin Pyrotechnics

I went to see the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra last night with a friend who had an extra ticket, and the program was titled Violin Pyrotechnics. The soloist was a 16 yr old girl named Shannon Lee who was an absolutely amazing musician anyway and all the more so for being only 16.

I spent yesterday before the symphony stitching some and got the ghost put in on my Halloween Foursome. I also got more of All In A Moon taken out...I got to a point where I have about half of what I have to rip out done now. I probably should have just started would have been quicker time-wise, but when I bought this fabric they only had a small piece left, and plus I really can't afford to get a new piece anyway.

I stitched for a couple of hours tonight and made good progress on my little Halloween Foursome. I have most of the 3rd motif done now. Here is my WIP as of tonight:

I could probably finish it if I could have a night of uninterrupted stitching. Of course, that is a pretty big IF...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ever Have One Of Those Days?

I had one today. To start with, I had to pay bills and that is always stressful and tense anyway. Then just everything I touched went wrong. I was out running errands and looking forward to going home and going to bed (yes, I know it was just after dinnertime, I did not care at this point) and my pregnant friend Cathy called to tell me that she did not know if she was in labor for real or not, but she was going to the hospital and she would call me and let me know. I had planned to be there with her (although not in the delivery room thank God...I would just be in the way laid out there on the floor) so I came home and tried to relax until I heard from her. Then I got really sick at my stomach and decided to come out of denial and admit that I had a migraine. Called to let her know, and she told me that she did not know if she was really in labor for real or not but that she had announced that she would not be going home and coming back, so they needed to plan on doing whatever it took to deliver a baby tonight. Last I heard, she was laid up in a bed attached to monitors and sounding very irritable. I really wanted to be there to support her. Instead I'm going to go to bed with a book and read for about 5 minutes until I fall asleep.

I finished Sepulchre last night. I'm still trying to decide if I like the way it ended or not. In some ways I do but in some ways it seemed to not really fit with the rest of the book. Overall, I thought it was really good though. In keeping with the time of year, I started a book called The Spiritualist by Megan Chance. It's set in 1857, so I"m still in the 19th century...although I'll be returning to the middle ages after this most likely. I really want to read the new Sharon Kay Penman book, and I need to go back and re-read the 2 that preceed it first. But this was just too good of a book for this time of year! Hopefully it will be certainly started out that way.

I have been too tired to stitch in the evening, which is not good because I will never get the Halloween stuff that I have started this year finished in time, let alone do the 2 designs I have picked out that I really wanted to do this year. After Halloween is over, I will stitch on some autumn things until I feel like Christmas, and then I will stitch on some holiday things, and then after the first of the year hopefully things will get back into my regular WIPs! Maybe I should set some stitching goals for 2009...I have seen other people do that, but I really just want to stitch what I want when I want and not feel obligated or pressured into getting anything done or finished. It's supposed to be fun and relaxing (can't prove it by my recent attempts though LOL) right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

I was looking at charts on the Heaven and Earth Designs site today...they have several John Williams Waterhouse paintings that have been adapted for cross stitch. I was adding to my wish list (or course!) and added this one called Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May:

The title is the first line from a poem by Robert Herrick (1591–1674) who was a 17th century poet. I really wish I had been more attentive in my 17th Century British Lit class in college...I had to look up the title of the poem. It is called To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time. It is a beautiful poem with an important message.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Don't Count

That's the only explanation for it. Because I was so frustrated at having to take out so much of AIAM, I picked up a small Pine Mountain Design tuck pillow with a Halloween chart called Halloween Foursome. There is a difference between mine and the one in the photo though...mine is an older kit and instead of the boo charms, mine has a little candy corn button and 2 little star buttons that go in the same place. Made good progress on it last night. Stitched on it for quite some time tonight and all of a sudden the ghost's arm didn't fit. Sure enough a row toward the top was off. So I took that out and started putting it back in and decided that until I learn how to count again, maybe I ought to leave things that involve numbers alone. At lease this time it was only about 7 rows!

So I am going to read instead. What I ought to be reading is the blogs that I enjoy and try to read as often as I can, but instead I am pretty caught up in this novel called Sepulchre by Kate Mosse. I have had her other book, Labyrinth, for some time, but of course now that I want to read it too, it is nowhere to be found. Anyway, I am not a fan or horror or really anything too creepy, but this has been a really good book so far. Definitely a good pick for this season. The Tarot features largely in the novel, and it makes me want to learn more about it. That kind of thing fascinates me, although I don't think I'd favor it over the Episcopal church! :)

I love historical novels anyway, and have read some really good ones lately. If you are interested in the War of the Roses period of English history, you will love Anne Easter Smith's books A Rose For The Crown and Daughter of York. They were the kind of books that you get so involved in that you miss the characters like you would miss friends once the book is finished. One of my favorite authors, Sharon Kay Penman, has just released the 3rd book in her Eleanor of Aquitaine series. I am planning to re-read the first 2 since it has been ages since I read them. I can recommend The Sunne In Spendor is also about Richard III and I read it just after the Anne Easter Smith books. It was excellent. I have been stuck in medieval England for some time now, so I had to move to 19th century France for a bit! LOL

On a holiday note: Here are a couple of fun Halloween things...

Halloween Hangman Game
Pumpkin Simulator

Hopefully my mathematical abilities will have returned by tomorrow night and I will be able to stitch without incident. I am determined to stitch some Halloween designs during this season this year!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rudy Is Ready For His Close-up

First of all, thank you all for the compliments and comments on my new blog! I am pretty excited about it, and it certainly adds to the thrill to have people tell me how much they enjoyed it so far!

I have had one "complaint"...this from a close friend tonight. She told me that I need a better picture of Rudy since you can't see his face very well in the one I have now. If you click it so that it enlarges, you can see his little face better...but here's for you, Cathy:

This is Rudy in my back yard earlier this week, possibly the same day that the other picture of him was taken. I have been trying to get some updated ones of all the dogs, but Rudy is hard to photograph because:
  1. he is a black dog with dark eyes, and so usually in pictures he shows up as a black blob, and
  2. he is in constant motion

This is Rudy from Christmas 2006. The reindeer antlers are obviously supposed to be on top of his head, but every picture I have where they are in place like they are supposed to be is blurry. Did I mention he is in constant motion? He tolerated the antlers for long enough to take some pictures, but after that he was done with them. I saved them in case I decide to try again. I'm still recovering from my first experience with it right now!

Every year at Christmas there is fundraiser for one of the animal rescue groups here and they do pet photos with Santa for a nominal donation. And we go every year. I had a friend help me last year since I have 4 dogs, and as if 4 dogs were not too many to start with, 4 excitable and anxious dogs are even more challenging. We were successful and if I can get the photo scanned, I'll post it. Right now I am without a printer or scanner. I mentioned needing help again this year, and was told that what I need is a new friend! LOL! But that will be a fun picture to post.

I did not get to stitch any tonight because I took one of my good friends out to eat dinner for her birthday, but I did take out the letters that needed to be taken out of All In A Moon and then started on the moon itself earlier today. I'm glad I'm doing this. It will look so much better.

I'm so disappointed

In the first few days of October, I started a cross stitch pattern called All In A Moon by Miss Crescent's Crowne. You can see a picture of it (and the next one called All In A Sleigh too!) here: This had been one of the most fun things I have stitched in ages. I think that's for a couple of different reasons. I'm stitching it in hand rather than using q-snaps or hoops or scroll frames, and it makes it so much easier for me. I used to stitch everything in hand or with hoops and then got introduced to q-snaps and then scroll frames and then I got the idea that I was not supposed to stitch anything in hand and have been frustrated ever since! On a whim, I just decided to try with this piece and it has been so enjoyable. The other thing I am doing differently with this piece is that I am using a larger needle. I know that they are supposed to stretch the holes out on your fabric, but I have tried using both size 24 and 26 (on either 28 or 32 count fabric) and do not see any difference. I'm sure on 40 count fabric it would indeed look like someone tried to stitch with a pickax. However, my stitching projects on 40 count are few and far between. There is a REAL difference in how comfortable it is for me though. So I am using my size 24 needle which I know some people consider on the same lines of a railroad spike in size. That's ok. I have fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome, and I can feel the needle and hold it better.

Ok, so I have been working on this piece as much as I can in the evenings (some evenings are more successful than others...depends on the collective canine attitude) and I got excited and decided that I'd take a picture of it before I started stitching tonight since I anticipated being able to stitch on it for a while. The plan, and it was a good one, was that I would then post the picture of it when I started stitching tonight and the picture of it after I finished stitching for the evening. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I had worked on it for maybe 30 minutes, and one of the letters would not line up with one of the other letters the way it was supposed to. Have I mentioned some OCD tendencies? I cannot stand for a piece to not be just perfect and will take out an amazing amount to make it so. I spend the better part of the next hour trying to figure out how in the world these 2 letters could NOT line up since everything was spaced the distance that it should be spaced from the things it was spaced from...????? So I finally started looking at the moon itself instead of just the letters and lo and behold, the moon was a stitch off. Go back and look at that picture again. You see the letter G? Everything below it is messed up. I just sat there and thought "no way am I taking all of this out! It will just have to be one stitch too far one way and I'll eventually go on to become obsessed with something else and it will all be ok" So I kept working on the letters. Until I realized that, my OCD notwithstanding, it will NOT all be ok, because the letters will be touching each other. And even if they are different colors it will look stupid. And every time I look at it, I will have that same "it's touching" anxious feeling in my stomach. will have to come out. It might actually be easier to start over come to think of it, but I will try taking this out first. If it looks like my spike of a needle has done too much stretching of fabric holes, then I'll deal with that when I come to it. This certainly wreaked havoc with my plan to finish this in a timely manner and then stitch some other cute small Halloween things.

Maybe instead of my original plan to post pictures, I'll instead post the one of how it looked when I started tonight and then one of how it looks when I unstitch it. Sigh.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Cast of Characters

My name is Suzanne and I live in North Little Rock Arkansas with my four dogs who are really my short hairy children. Allow me to introduce them:

This is Daisy...she is a rat terrier/beagle mix from my local Humane Society. She looks like a Jack Russell Terrier and has the personality and behavior of one too! She has at times been a true "terrier terror". I can't believe she was 9 years old in June. Daisy's mother was a full-blood rat terrier according to the Humane Society where Daisy was born. She was dropped off or wandered up as a stray and had puppies the next day. I had just lost a dog to bladder cancer and wanted to adopt a sheler dog, but I really wanted a puppy. They told me about Daisy's litter which was being fostered until they were old enough to adopt. They let me know when they would arrive, and I went eagerly to meet them. However, all but one had gone on a field trip to a local pet store that does adoptions through rescue groups to be seen and possibly adopted. That one was so sweet and cuddly. Trying to be sensible, I waited for the others to return so I could meet them too. There was a littler of 6 and one had already been adopted by the time I even found out about them. I decided I should meet the other 4 before I committed myself to Daisy, who by this time had been playing with a ball with me on the floor and crawled into my lap for a nap when she got tired. The others returned, with potential families on the way right behind them. I guess things happen for a reason. And really, after all that time with Daisy, how could I have NOT taken her anyway???

This is Rose...she is a dachshund/Lab mix. I don't know how it happened either! She was another rescue, but from my vet this time. She had been hit by a car and was brought by the driver in to the vet's office to be euthanized since she was unable to move. The vet determined that she was not in any pain, and wanted to wait in hopes that she would regain movement. Within a couple of days of her accident, she got her functioning back! So they spayed her and started looking for a home for her. Daisy ate all of my mother's prize Rose of Sharon bush and got good and sick and had to go to the vet for the day. When I went to get her, I passed Rose's cage and commented on how she looked almost identical tol the dog I had lost a year or so ago. I had been looking for a companion for Daisy, and after thinking about it all week I went back to meet Rose in person. I took a leash with me, so I think I knew what was about to happen. I sat on the floor and she came into the room and crawled into my lap and sighed. It was a good thing I had the leash. She had been adopted twice and had been returned to the vet's office both times. He made the comment that if it didn't work out, I could return her to him. I thought that was really strange, as he knows that when I adopt pets, I adopt them with the commitment to make it work. The trip from the shelter is a one-way trip as far as I am concerned. She looks so sweet and calm, doesn't she? The first day that I left her alone and went to work, she ate through the plastic pan in the bottom of her crate and then ate through the carpet, the padding, and right down to the concrete floor...right smack in the living room in front of the entertainment center. This was not so entertaining to me. The second day I left her crate on the floor in the kitchen with towels in the bottom of it (since we now had no plastic liner) and I came home to find her AND her crate in the dining room on the carpet, which now had a hole identical to the one in the living room. Who knew that a dog could walk across a kitchen and drag a wire crate wtih her? I knew I was not going to be able to pass this off as a phenomenal accident by a mutant rat to the apartment management staff, so I called the vet. He diagnosed separation anxiety and put her on some medication so that she could be calm when I left. The medication worked like a charm, and ironically, she is the one that I never have to worry about leaving out of some kind of confinement. This "free" dog cost me a small fortune when I moved out of the apartment.

This is Rudy...he came with registration papers that state he is a miniature dachshund. He weighs approximately 22 lbs. That is not miniature in my opinion. My vet just looked at him and said slowly "noooo, he's a standard". Well, he was supposed to be a miniature. My mother claimed to never want another dog after the beagle we had for 17 years died. That was in the mid-1980s. But about 10 years ago, she had a friend who had miniature doxies, and she was just enraptured. So for Christmas, in 2003, I decided to get her a dog. Before anyone says that you are never supposed to give pets as gifts, you are right. I had decided that I would take him if she refused. But I knew she needed some companionship. I found 3 dachshunds at shelters in the central Arkansas area, and all were already gone by the time I tried to get them. Well by that time, it was about 4 days before Christmas, and I was determined to get her a dachshund. I really believe strongly in rescuing animals from shelters, and it galled me to have to pay a breeder for this one. Knowing what I know now, I recognize that this guy was likely running a puppy mill, so maybe I inadvertently rescued him anyway. He stayed with me for 2-3 days before his debut at my mother's house, and I was in love with him by the time Christmas got here. As I walked in that evening with him in my arms, she looked at me in the dim light of the carport and said "What have you got there?" and when I held him out and said Merry Christmas she said "Suzanne, I TOLD you I don't want another...oh look! Come here!" She loved that dog and treated him like a baby. The first time she went out of town and I "dogsat" she told me that I had to hold him and rock him a little bit when he got ready to go to sleep. I thought like hell that would happen but that night when he sat at my feet and whimpered and looked up at me with his where-is-my-mamma-and-why-don't-you-love-me look...Sigh. My Mamma passed away in March 2005 from lung cancer and we had agreed that when she got too sick to deal with him that I would go ahead and take him home with me. He stayed with her throughout her illness and did not come home until the morning she died. He is a handful and she had trouble managing him at times (an elderly lady and a feisty puppy) but they loved each other very much. I joke and say that he is part of my inheritance. Why didn't she just leave me money and jewels?! LOL

And this is Bosco. He is of indeterminate heritage. We got Bosco from the Humane Society, who had categorized him as an Australian shepherd. O-kay. The vet said that he was predominately Lab. That fits. But from the time he came home, I had looked at pictures of pointers, and Bosco looked almost identical, to me at least. In surfing author's websites recently, I discovered romance writer Edith Layton holding Bosco in the photo on her website! See the resemblance for yourself at So I wrote and asked her about her dog and what she thought it might be, and she wrote back and said that her dog, Daisy (how interesting since I have a Daisy too!) was also a rescue and was half pointer and half foxhound. I KNEW Bosco was a pointer! He can certainly push you to the point of frustration when he wants to, that's for sure...Many thanks for Ms Layton for her correspondence with me and her wonderful work with rescue organizations in her area. Bosco was the result of my then-boyfriend who wanted a dog of "his" since the other 3 were mine. He wanted a big dog who could go running with him and would wrestle in the yard with him. Something in Bosco called to something in him, and a week later, after agreeing that we were not going to get another dog right now, Bosco came home. I agreed ONLY because Bosco was going to be an outside dog. That was the agreement. So on the way to get Bosco, he asked if I was going to let him come inside in the cold. I agreed to that and said that there was no reason he couldn't sleep in the laundry room in the winter. Why the laundry room? Why not the kitchen? Because he's going to be an outside dog. The laundry room is heated and cooled. He'll be fine. Then he remembered as a child they had a dog that was chained outside and did not have a dog house to get in to get out of the weather, and he remembered standing at the door and crying because of the dog out in the rain. We can't let Bosco just stay out in the rain. I pointed out that we would have a large covered patio (we were getting ready to move) and we could put a large doghouse on it and the only reason Bosco would be out in the rain was if he didn't have sense to come in from it. So Bosco came home. The house where we were living at the time was old and there were several places in the backyard where Bosco could have knocked boards down and escaped. And it was 3 days before Christmas. What if he knocked something down and got out and something happened? He needs to stay in until we can get the backyard secure for him. Well, the long and short of it is that almost 2 years later Bosco has not yet spent one night outside. The relationship turned out to not be a match made in heaven after all, and in addition to some painful memories I am also left with Bosco (in all fairness, the then-boyfriend could not take Bosco with him and asked me to keep him since he knew I could give him a good home).

So that's the motley crew...who are currently demanding my attention. I seem to have fogotten that the world revolves around the needs and desires. Nothing like trying to stitch with "the pack" clamoring for attention! :)