Tuesday, August 24, 2010

With Ears of Velvet

Since I introduced you to Buddy back in December of last year, who is one of our three quirky wonderful dogs, I feel it's only fair to introduce you to Shadow With The Ears Of Velvet. In November of 2004 we met for the first time with one of our pet sitting clients, a sweet elderly lady with a tiny Chihuahua and a very large black dog, mostly Lab, who was probably about a year and a half old. We had a storm that fall which was the aftermath of a hurricane and it poured and poured buckets of rain. This lady had a fence all around her very large yard and the fence went nearly out to the street at the end of her driveway. She told us that she saw this large black dog sitting at the fence, peering in, in the midst of all that rain early one morning. Now her neighbor didn’t have a fence and had a wide front porch where Shadow could have taken shelter. But he stayed at the fence all day in the rain just gazing into her yard. Eventually she couldn’t help herself and went to let him into the yard and the shelter of her garage. He had no collar or tags so she figured someone had dropped him off on the side of the road.

Since the nights were getting chilly she found him an old blanket and made a nice bed in the garage. In one night he completely chewed up the blanket. She’d replace it with another and he’d chew it. I’m not sure how many blankets he went through (as well as other things of interest he found on the shelves in her garage) but she felt sorry for him and just kept getting new blankets LOL. In fact the day I met with her, I noticed him running in the yard past the window with an old telephone in his mouth – one thing she had forgotten to move to a higher shelf.

Well, long story short, we fell in love with Shadow and told her that if he was ever too much for her to handle, that we would be glad to take him into our home. Remember she was elderly and Shadow lover boy liked to jump up and put his paws on your shoulders so he could lick your face. When he did that, he was taller than she was!

A couple of days after Christmas that year, she called and asked if we would like to have Shadow – he was just a little too energetic for her. So of course we went right over and picked him up and he’s been our baby ever since. He has the sweetest eyes and the softest velvety ears and all along has thought that he was a lap dog. He even gets into the recliner with Jack – talk about crowded! Shadow is a real cuddler too – loves to sleep right up against you in the bed. Which is great in the winter but not so wonderful in the summer LOL  And...well OK - the boy loves pillows.

He also loves socks and will find one anywhere you happen to hide it! And runs off with his food bowl right after he finishes eating – takes it up onto the couch and will lick it to death until he falls asleep (no that wasn't his food bowl in the top picture LOL). And as you can see by this picture – loves his creature comforts!  And Buddy loves him too.

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Passing On Temptation

Friday is my son's 38th birthday and I just finished handing him a whole uncut-with-not-even-a-crumb-missing rum cake.  Last night when it was baking in my oven my whole being was saying "Ohhhhh that smells good, ohhhhh that smells SO good, ohhhhh how am I not going to eat it tonight?"  Luckily when you're hooking a rug you can't use your hands to eat at the same time - although come to think of it, I could have had Jack feed me LOLOLOL  At any rate that sucker (the cake, not Jack) was well wrapped by bedtime.  Now in the bottom of the bundt pan there were a few tiny little pieces of pecan that didn't come out onto the cake when I turned it out.  I very gently and daintily scraping furiously with a spoon ate those morsels - but no crumbs, just pecans.  And now it's out of my sight and smell and temptation.  Happy Birthday Steven!

And here's the recipe so that you too can be tempted!

Rum Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 regular sized box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup olive oil
4 eggs
1 cup pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a bundt pan.  Put pecan pieces in bottom of pan.  Mix all other ingredients except for eggs until well mixed.  Add eggs beating in one at a time.  Batter should be smooth and shiny.  Pour into bundt pan.  Bake one hour and ten minutes and leave in pan.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
Melt butter in pan with water and sugar.  Let boil for one minute, remove from heat, and stir in rum.
Pour over cake very carefully making sure the glaze goes down the sides and middle of the pan.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

Untie a ribbon in your life - you might find an adventure!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Bear Came Over the Mountain...

The bear came over the mountain, the bear came over the mountain, the bear came over the mountain, and climbed up on the porch...   My friend Carole, who I went to high school with, lives on top of a mountain in north Georgia.  The view out the french doors and bank of windows across the back of her house is fabulous - woods that go straight down and gorgeous mountains.  Shortly after she and her husband moved into the house, they looked out the window and there was a bear sitting on the porch railing, eating out of the bird feeder.  They had the presence of mind to grab the camera and take a shot or two.  I would have been strolling high-tailing it up the stairs to the top floor and praying that bear didn't figure out how to open the back door!  In any event I was just enchanted by the picture and of course that became my next challenge to myself for a hooked rug - try to hook a bear.  After many months I finally finished that rug a couple of weeks ago and took it up to Carole as a surprise last weekend when we met for lunch.  Enjoy!

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book, livre, Buch, libro, bok, Kniha, Kitap, Boek

In whatever language you say the word; books have been the light of my life since I was a child. I grew up in a small town with a small library, with which I was intimately familiar. By the time I was 12 I had read every book in the children’s section. The librarians would let me check out ‘adult’ books but would look through them very thoroughly before they would let me have them LOL During summer vacation from school I would sometimes read 3 or 4 books a day, sitting on the couch totally lost from the real world. I would BE in that book. My mom could stand right in front of me talking to me and I wouldn’t hear a word. There was a sea grape tree right outside my bedroom window that had a perfectly curved limb where I could sit and read while shaded from the Florida sun.

I find that today, I have to somewhat limit myself because if I don’t, I’ll sit and read and do nothing else. No creating, no laundry, no cleaning up dust bunnies. There have been times when Jack would call and ask if I wanted him to bring dinner home and I’ve jumped on that because I just HAD to finish a book. Much better than cooking sometimes LOL

I love all sorts of books but have five or so favorites that I won’t even lend out. One of those is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, first published in 2006. Now I know you’ve probably seen ads on TV about the upcoming movie starring Julia Roberts and I can’t WAIT to see it. But the book was so good that I’ve read it twice and am on my third reading. The basic story is that she travels to three different countries for three different reasons for a year. First Italy (eat), then India (pray), and then Indonesia (love) seeking to heal herself both physically and spiritually and find balance in her life.

In India you may see a lot of people wearing beads around their neck – japa malas – that are strung with 108 beads. They use the beads to stay focused during meditation and these have been used there for centuries. One bead is touched for each repetition of mantra. Every japa mala has a special, extra bead, the 109th bead that dangles outside the perfect circle of 108 like a pendant. When your fingers reach this marker during prayer, it is time to pause in meditation and thank your teachers. When medieval Crusaders drove East for the holy wars and witnessed worshippers praying with these japa malas, they admired the technique and brought the idea home to Europe as rosary.

Elizabeth structured her book into 108 sections – 36 sections in each country, which makes the book very easy to read. It’s the kind of book that you want to digest slowly. Each section only a few pages long to read and think about before moving on to the next section. Every time I’ve read it I’ve found something different to think about – light bulb moments.

What this book ISN’T: preachy, boring, whiney, melancholy

What this book IS: charming, witty, sad, happy, joyful, and enlightening

Do read it when you get a chance and let me know what YOU think about it.

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Help thy sister's boat across...

I saw this Tibetan quote the other day

“Help thy sister’s boat across and
lo thine own has reached the shore.”

It made me think of all the help I’ve received from my crafting sisters over the past years. Whenever I needed to know how to do something new, there has always been a friend to either guide me with her knowledge or we would muddle through it together. Those muddling times were some of the best and funniest!  Even if I'm not in need of instruction, just seeing all of the beautiful creations made by my blog sisters is such an inspiration - it spurs me on to create my own dreams.  And each time I pass that help along to someone else, my boat does indeed reach the shore.

Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!