Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday!

24 years ago, just after noon, (and with much help from doctors), our firstborn came into this world.  We named her Sarah Elinor.  She has grown into a beautiful young woman who loves and serves the Lord, and who brings great joy to us. 

Sarah is a crafter just like me, and excels at knitting, cross stitch, scrapbooking, and many more crafts, including her newest hobby, polymer clay crafting.  You can visit Sarah's Etsy shop here.  She has become a good and patient cook (remember that first - failed - batch of brownies?) and will attempt dishes that require much work, always to our culinary delight.  Sarah serves us in many ways, but especially as she braves the stores once a week to do our grocery shopping.  She is also a cat lover, just like me.

Happy birthday, dear daughter.  May God continue to work in you to conform you to the image of His Son, Jesus, and may you serve Him wholeheartedly all the days of your life.  We love you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crazy Cassie

. . . is her nickname.  She is wild at times, and seems to have an over-abundance of energy.  She especially loves to play rope, and will now bring her rope to us when she wants to play.  We're the ones to get tired of playing, as she can keep at it for hours at a time, and when she finished with one person, she will seek out another.

One day I left the vanity door open and when I turned my back to hang up my towel, Cassie had crawled into one of the drawers by climbing over the items in the cabinet!  I grabbed my camera and snapped these pictures. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

This is Lizzie Kate's 1st Christmas, which I made for my daughter and son-in-law.  You have to excuse the picture; I took it back at the beginning of the month before the tree was up, so I simply hung it on the wall to photograph it.  I stitched this design two years ago for a new baby; you can see it here.  It's a quick stitch, although the finishing takes me a long time.  I think it would be better to finish it like a pinkeep, so I'm going to make a note of that and keep it with the pattern.
 I also stitched Nikademus by Raise the Roof designs, from the 2010 JCS Christmas Ornaments magazine.  Grace loves monkeys, and when I saw this design on the magazine cover, I knew I had to not only purchase the magazine, but stitch the design.  I especially liked how two different thread colors were combined to stitch his body and face as they were exactly what I'd expect for a sock monkey.  He's so cute, I could just squeeze him!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."   ~ Isaiah 9: 6 - 7, ESV

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."    ~ Luke 2: 8 - 12, ESV

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ornament Gifts

During one of my visits to Michael's, I spotted some cross stitch kits in the dollar bins, so I purchased three.  Two were identical, and the third is a snowman, which I will stitch for myself. 

I still have to finish the other ornament, but these are gifts for our parents.  I had all the finishing supplies, so a dollar for each kit makes for a lovely, frugal, and personal gift.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meet Cassie!

As I mentioned in my last post, losing Callie was heartbreaking for me.  Sarah felt the same way, so after talking about it, we knew we needed to get another kitty right away, not to replace Callie, but to fill the void in our hearts and lives left by her absence.  This past Wednesday we headed off to Lollypop Farm, our local humane society.  We had identified some cats we were interested in, thanks to Lollypop's great website, and were anxious to select the newest member of our family.  Some of our choices we eliminated quickly, and we ended up spending time with three cats - two were kittens and one a two-year old.  In the end, we settled on Cassie, the two-year old.
Phil plays "rope" with Cassie
Cassie had been at Lollypop for about two months.  She was found under a trailer with a litter of kittens, and eventually brought to the Farm where she patiently waited for us to adopt her. The vet at Lollypop believed her to be part Russian Blue, so we will ask our own vet what she thinks.
Cassie plays rope with herself
Cassie is loveable and playful.  She's mostly been confined to the master bedroom while she gets used to her new home, but we have let her run upstairs a few times.  She can be wild, racing from one room to the next, almost as if she were a kitten.  She loves to play "rope", where someone moves the rope to and fro so she can catch it.  She even takes it away to the other side of the room on occasion.  She also has a jingle ball that she loves.  Cassie plays so hard that she will hop up on the bed and fall fast asleep.  She is seven pounds of soft, lovable fun. 
There is a relatively new type of cat personality test that Shelters are using now; it's called "Feline-ality program" created by Dr. Emily Weiss of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Lollypop uses the test, and Cassie tested as a "Personal Assistant".  "You're working on the computer?  Let me press the keys.  Reading the paper?  I'll hold the pages down for you.  Watching TV?  I'll just plop in your lap so you can pet me.  I love an orderly household, don't you?  I'll help you with all your chores, and I'll help you relax when we're done.  You'll wonder how you ever managed without me."  For now, Cassie is shy and doesn't like unfamiliar noises.  She doesn't seem to like the dog, but we hope in time she will tolerate Kelly.  Mostly, she is bringing joy to our hearts.  Isn't that part of what having a pet is all about?

BTW, in case you are wondering, I am working on some crafty projects, but they are Christmas gifts, so I can't show them yet!  Sometimes it's a real problem that family reads my blog AND it's published on Facebook for all my friends to read.

Remembering Callie

A week ago Friday it became clear that something was wrong with our beloved Callie.  We were on our way out to our annual trek to Stokoe Farms, but Phil took time to call the vet and make an appointment for Saturday morning, to which he and Sarah kindly took Callie.  I was thinking she had a urinary tract infection; she'd get some pills and we'd be on our way.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.  Blood work revealed nothing, but an x-ray showed a large tumor on her intestine.  I hadn't realized she wasn't eating much - how I missed her three pound weight loss and emaciated body, I don't know.  But the tumor explained everything.  Phil and Sarah brought her home, knowing they couldn't make a decision about treatment without talking to me, since Callie had essentially become my cat.  The decision was made to put her down since the vet gave little hope of being able to remove the tumor. 

Last weekend I cried more than I have in a long time.  I cried until I thought my heart would break, then cried some more.  Callie had been my constant companion since my husband got sick five years ago.  She let me cry into her fur, snuggled with me during the night, head-butted me to let me know she cared, and listened as only a cat can do. 

So passed the weekend.  Despite seeing the suffering in her eyes, she tried to act as if not much was wrong.  Somehow she managed to jump the three feet onto the bed and wanted to be petted.  She even found the strength to jump from the toilet onto the vanity, and just hours before her death, took a long drink from the running faucet, something she did just about every morning.  On Monday afternoon, Phil, Sarah, and I took Callie to the vet for the final time.  She was a fighter to the end, requiring two doses of tranquilizer before the vet could give her the final injection that ended her life. 

We will miss Callie, yet we have fond memories of her.  The way she climbed my drapes when we first got her (she ruined them!), how she climbed the Christmas tree, making her paw bleed profusely after having her claws removed, eating turkey grease from the roasting pan and becoming terribly ill.  And these all happened in the first six months we had her!  She was a Calico through and through, having the fiesty personality they are famous for.  She mellowed throughout the 11 years of her life, except when it came to defending her buddy Klaus from our dog.  Thank you, Callie, for filling our lives with laughter and love.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gift Tags

After finishing the finishing (!) on two Christmas gifts - sorry, can't show you until after Christmas - I decided to work on making some gift tags.  I used various Sissix and Spellbinders dies for these.  The poinsettia on the red tag all the way to the left came from Michaels, five in package for $1.  The snowflakes I've had forever; I attached them with tiny pop dots.  Before I add these to our tag stash, I'll run ribbon or yarn through the holes.  Incidentally, I used all scraps for these tags, a task made easier by Sarah sorting of all our scraps by color.  She put them in a shoebox that fits in our craft cupboard.  I still have five of the poinsettias and 12 round snowflake cut-outs to make more tags with.  And plenty of those little white snowflakes. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

First Snowfall

For some reason, I was the only one in our household who was not taken by surprise by today's rain-freezing rain-snow event.  Even the driveway plowing company was caught unprepared!  Despite the treacherous roads - which I didn't have to drive on - it was beautiful outside, and I managed to snap these pictures about an hour before sunset.

The weatherman said that we can expect the cold temperatures and snow to stay with us for the next two or three weeks, so it looks like we have a good chance of having our annual Stokoe Farm visit authenticated by snow.  Yippee!