Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frame Works?

Here is a picture of my rug hooking current project.  As you can see, I'm still working in the wrong season!

I am planning to do the border in a primitive black to complement the crow.  Not sure how I will finish it but most likely will whip it.  That seems to be my finishing of choice.  This rug will be approximately 18" by 24"
when done.

I've always used a large quilting hoop but recently purchased my first real frame and thought this would be a good time to talk about it. 

It seems that I have pros and cons about this frame.  I LOVE how tight the grippers hold the rug in place compared to the quilting hoop.  However, I don't seem to have the flexibility I had with a hoop.  First let me say, this frame turns every which way, 360 degrees, however, I just have a lot of trouble making good circles with it.  I can't seem to turn it as easily as the hoop.  

Additionally, I am starting to think the frame is too large for my lap.  Perhaps, I should have bought the floor stand along with it.  I don't have the best chair to sit in here in Arizona, it's a small RV type recliner/rocker with an unattached footstool.  Rolling up a throw blanket and placing it in the small of my back in the chair seems to help me sit up straighter and sometimes seems to help the angle of the frame.  
I have also noticed that there is a lot of rug on the frame in an area that really can't be reached easily, hence I'm thinking smaller!  Not sure if I am going to invest in another frame yet, but am thinking that maybe......less is more?

Hope you had a beautiful Sunday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Number 30 and Other stuff!

I was excited to find that as of today I have 30 followers!  YAY!  I really didn't think I'd ever have anyone who would want to follow me when I first started this blog but, I was wrong!  My original goal was to just write, to vent, to journal so any followers for me is a BIG plus!  Now I find that I am accomplishing those things and meeting some great new people, reading wonderful blogs and learning many things as well. me give a big Country Girl welcome to #30: 
It looks like she has some wonderful stuff to make primitive goodies if you haven't found her yet. 


And now onto other topics!  One of my wonderful new blogging friends is Lauren from

If you follow Lauren you know that she and I share a passion for rescuing dogs.  Lauren often writes about her foster Pug furbabies.  I was reminded of Lauren last night while watching the late News when a story came on about a retired Policewoman here in Phoenix, who was injured on the job when she was hit head on by a car while riding her motorcycle.  The crash left her with some irreversible brain damage in the form of seizures.  To make a long story short, this woman had a Pug service dog named Lucy who warns her of impending seizures!   Her Lucy will start an intense whining that tells her it is time to take a pill.  She has been seizure free since the dog had come to live with her!   I found it ironic that her dogs name is Lucy and our Lauren's Pug's name is......LOOCIE!!  

And while I'm at it, meet Wendell.  Wendell, an English Cocker Spaniel, was saved from certain death at a shelter last month in Indiana.  He came to FenceRow Farms, rescued with the hopes of finding a 'furever' home.  I really haven't blogged about it but, FenceRow Farms is my home in Indiana.  It's our kennel name and where we raised and showed Champion English Cockers, rescued Greyhounds, and operated a public boarding kennel for a number of years. 

Well it didn't take long for a wonderful couple to adopt Wendell and he is living the life of Riley now!!  They are in love.  Doesn't he look like he has lived on that bed forever!

My point here is that dogs are amazing creatures often going above and beyond what we humans think they are capable of.  So......if you need a companion in your life, someone to love you unconditionally, to be with you, to help you through rough times.....PLEASE consider saving a life and adopt a rescue dog.  It can make all the difference in the world to you and to that dog!

Hope you all have a warm and furry day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Longhorn Cattle and a Bike Ride

I squeezed in a few minutes for a bike ride yesterday.  I needed it after grooming two dogs, looking after dad, laundry, yard work and cleaning up my grooming room.  

The wind in my hair and the bright blue sky was revitalizing.  And then.....I spied them.   Hidden among the scrub bush and cactus in the desert behind the 'back forty' where I ride.....were a couple of cows.  Longhorns to be exact! 

I'm sure some would say I'm crazy to get excited enough to get off my bike and take pictures, but that's me, and I did!

We don't have many longhorns back in Indiana so it was fun to see them.  Hearing them call to one another reminded me of the country living at home that I miss while I spend the winter here in Arizona with my dad.  Oh sure, our community does back up to the desert and the wild and sprawling Superstition Mountains are just across the street.  And we do have Coyotes, Javelina's, Bobcat's and so forth and true, this is a rural area compared to Phoenix proper, but I do have neighbors.  The houses are pretty close here.  

Anyway, I love it when I come across nature, wildlife and animals that are native to an area I am in.  Especially when I can be reminded of my rural roots!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dog Ear Wash Recipe

Had a dog in for grooming today with very yucky, yeasty smelly ears.  

Thought it would be a good time to post a homeopathic ear wash that I have used on my dogs for years!

“Purple Power Ear Treatment”

16 Oz. (= 0,47 litres) Isopropyl Alcohol
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.

NOTE – You will also need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder.

To use, purchase a small “Clairol”  squeeze type plastic bottle or a  baby ear syringe bottle to dispense solution to affected ears.

TREATMENT:   Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all.  See your vet.

Shake bottle each time before using. The boric acid will fall to the bottom and recipe needs to be well mixed for full potential.

Put cotton balls or similar absorbent material under their ear.

Flood the ear with solution, (gently squirt bottle), massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue.  Flood again on first treatment, wipe with a tissue,and leave alone without massage.

The dog will shake out the excess which can be wiped with a tissue, cotton ball, etc as the Gentian Violet does stain fabrics.  It's a good idea to do this treatment outside so when dog shakes his ears, staining in the house will not occur.

SCHEDULE of treatment is as follows:

Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears
Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog)

All of these ingredients should be available at a pharmacy or local Wal-Mart.  Wintergreen alcohol can be used for extra soothing especially if your d  Boric Acid Powder soothes the ear while Gentian Violet is an anti-infection agent.

The solution appears to work well on any and all ear problems from mites to wax to cankers.

After the 2nd or 3rd day you can clean out the ear with a Q- tip or cotton balls.

Happy Ears!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Personal Opinion

This is Brie.

My grooming job for the day, little Miss Brie is an adorable, 9 month old ball of fur!  Actually, besides being a cutie pie, she is technically a....Maltipoo.

A Maltipoo........a cross between a Maltese and a poodle, hence......Maltipoo., right here, right now......I'm going to apologize in case I offend anyone with my personal opinion spouted within this post.  

Here goes......I am NOT a supporter of "designer' breed dogs.  There.....that's it, it's out, I've said it.

It's not that Brie and other designer dogs aren't wonderful pets.  It's not that dogs like her don't enrich people's lives and bring joy and love into them.  It's just that.....well......she's a......mixed breed.   Uh oh, I've maligned mixed breed dogs.  Please don't take offense, I don't have an issue with a mixed breed dog, I grew up on the farm with many and they all were wonderful, adoring and loving dogs.  Heck, I didn't even know what a purebred dog was until I was much older and had moved away from the farm. 

It's the 'designer' aspect that I take issue with.  It's mixing breeds and coming up with the likes of the Maltipoo, Labradoodle, Cockapoo, etc., that bothers me.  People taking generations and generations of purebred dogs and 'mixing' them together to make.......what?  Or better yet, why!

I see scads of ads in the newspapers everyday for cute adorable puppies, of which many are mixed, but for marketing purposes have become, 'designer' breeds.  If you've scanned those ads, you know that people ask a LOT of money for those pups, a mixed breed pup!  Sometimes, a buyer will pay more for one of those than they could have gotten from a breeder of purebreds with quality Champion bloodlines behind them. 

And that right there....the money, is one of the two things that irks me about these fashion statement breeds.  People breed these designer dogs with one thing in mind......making a buck.   Yeah, I'm one of those crazies that think, 'dogs are people too'.  I love my dogs with all my heart and I get that back in return.  I just don't understand the concept of a dog being just 'livestock' for sale, to make money, a profit on. 

The second thing that gets my goat is that while people are busy coming up with and breeding these new mutts, thousands upon thousands of dogs are euthanized every single day in the US. Dogs add so much value to human life every day and give such unconditional love.  Why, why, why do we need to breed more for the simple purpose of making the almighty dollar.  

Let me clarify, I'm not one of those crazies that think no dog should ever be bred.  I DON'T believe in a world without animals.  I just wish every dog (and cat) out there that is facing the end of his life in an animal shelter could find a forever home.  Maybe there would be more homes available for them if there weren't so many of the designer dogs being bred and purchased.  

And that the end of my rant, am off my soapbox and sorry to those I may have offended! last thing, thanks to little Brie, I've found my writing mojo that I had lost!!  Am guessing this may not be my last post on this subject!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Uninspired Still

Still not finding my writing mojo.  Not sure what the problem is, except maybe, it's because all seems pretty quiet at the moment.  I don't have anything major, different or unusual going on.  Same ole same ole, looking after dad, grooming dogs......that kind of stuff. 

Today, after finishing up my grooming job, I did manage to talk myself into going for a bike ride.  I've not made any New Years resolutions, but I am trying to eat less and exercise more.  

Here in our community, there is an area that everyone calls 'the back forty'.  It's the third and as yet, undeveloped phase of Montesa.  Lots of people use it to walk, ride bikes and exercise dogs.  I like riding around it because there is little vehicle traffic and I know that from my door, to the back forty and home, is exactly a mile.  The best part are the views.  Thought I would share them with you.

 We also have RV storage in the 'back forty but that doesn't deter from the Mountain view
 you've seen the views on my bike ride.  And you didn't even have to work up a sweat to do it!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Uninspired in Arizona

Can't find my blogging mojo.  I know it's here somewhere but I can't remember where I left it.  

I think it may have something to do with the horrible tragedy that occurred in Tuscon last Saturday.  The sadness and incredulity of it is everywhere.  You can hear something about it on television pretty much 24/7 here in Arizona.  And you see it in all the papers when you go to the grocery or drugstore.   

It's a horrible and incomprehensible thing that has happened, however, I am not inferring that this incident is any worse than millions of horrible things that happen in the world each and every day. 

I think since I can't find my blogging inspiration today, that I will post a few pictures of some things I find beautiful here in Arizona.  Hopefully, my writing inspiration will return soon.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Things that make me go.....HMMMM!

Dad and I eat out a lot.  It's just about the only thing I can get him out of the house to do.  Plus, it seems he enjoys my cooking less and less, so as it gets harder to cook for him, it becomes easier just to go out somewhere.  Thing is....he's picky about that too so there are not a lot of choices.

And not to get off track here, but this seems like a good place to interject my frustration.....tonight as I served him supper, he announced he doesn't like baked potato's.  A few weeks ago, it was carrots.  I was flabbergasted as he has liked these things in the past and I have seen him inhale them on many occasions!  Well alrighty then!  Regroup!!!  Of course, I had already given him his insulin based on what his sugar tested AND what I was serving him.  He is supposed to have 60 carbs a meal.  Unfortunately this whole potato fiasco meant he'd had too much insulin and would not have enough carbohydrates with his meal.  To make matters worse, when he realizes that I am frustrated, he says,  "Oh just don't worry about it."  To which I wanted to ask him if I should start worrying when he passed out on the floor because his blood sugar went too low, but......I bit my lip.  

Alas.....I digress.....grrrrr!!  And don't worry, I found something else to give him to meet his carbohydrate requirements.  Now, back to my story. 

Last night at a nearby unnamed restaurant, we were seated near the kitchen.  There was no door, just an open space and we could easily see the goings on.  Waitresses were busy running too and fro trying to get orders out.  It seems that the restaurants dad likes to frequent have gotten very busy lately.  I chock it up the return of snowbirds to the area now that the Holidays are over. 

This area of the kitchen seemed to hold their deserts, mainly pies.  I noticed a waitress working very fast and what I at first thought was efficiently.  She carved up yummy looking pie slices onto several plates and it had me thinking, "Wow that looks so good, and I want some!"  That was, until I saw her scoop ice cream on top.  Right there in plain view, though her back was to me, I saw her un-gloved fingers reach out and 'help' the ice cream out of the scoop on to the pies. if that wasn't bad enough.....she then proceeded to wipe her hands on the back of her pants.  WHAT!!!!  Are you kidding me?  I did not just see that.  But, sadly i did see it and watched her do it a few more times too, once, touching the side of the pie as it moved from the pie tin to the serving plate.

Needless to say, that blew my appetite for dessert, not that I needed it anyway.  But I sat there wondering,  "Hmmm, I wonder if the customer that ordered that pie and ice cream knew what I had seen, would they still want desert?"

I suppose, if we don't know something like that has happened, it won't hurt us right?  


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Not Again!

It seems I may have been a bit premature about being realigned with the universe.  I guess I still need a 'do over button' similar to the 'easy button' featured on the Staples commercials!  I have yet to locate either of those buttons however, and the sane side of my brain says it's likely not to happen. 

I won't bore everyone with all the details, suffice it to say it's just a bunch of little stuff that keeps happening.  You know...... kinda like having an itch on your back that you can't reach.  I am trying to ignore it, but sometimes it just doesn't work!

Long story short, I sew and print bandanas to sell to animal rescue groups for their adoption events.  You may have seen these type of events at your local PetsMart.  The bandanas are printed to appear that the dog or cat is saying to the viewer, "Adopt Me".  They are meant to draw attention to the adoptees in the hopes that the animal will find his or her 'furever' home.  

Yesterday I had two orders for a total of two dozen 'Adopt Me' bandanas.  First I have to hem them up.

(No, I didn't sew my fingers thank goodness)

The next step is printing the pattern onto transfer paper from my computer to the printer.  The transfers are printed on specially inked paper that is not horribly expensive, but not so cheap as to want to mess them up since my profit margin on the scarves is minimal.  

I was humming right along and had printed all the transfers using up several sheets of the special paper.  After printed and cut to size, you are ready to print.  I have a big ole ugly heat press that I use and it has to be set at nearly 400 degrees to ensure the ink on the transfer melds into the fabric of the item.   Ready, set,....go.

Wait, screech, halt....something's wrong here.
Notice the transfer at the top of this's backwards right.  And the one below it is not.  Now you might think the one on top is wrong but it's not.  When you lay the transfer on the item you are pressing, the ink side goes down directly making contact with the item you are printing so the transfers must be printed in mirror image.  Like holding up a newspaper to the mirror and trying to read it.  It MUST be backward!

Well lo and behold, the unaligned universe got me again and I had forgotten to set the mirror image option on my printer.  Printing ALL two dozen wrong.  Or technically if you wanted to read them, they were right....but wrong for what I was doing!!

It's not all bad, there is more than one pattern to a page so I didn't waste 24 transfer sheets.  I would have gone back to bed if that had happened!!  I think I ruined only about 5 sheets, not a total loss.  Mostly a loss of my time as each transfer has to be cut out by hand before pressing.  (Kinda makes you feel like you are in kindergarten learning how to use scissors.  Or do they do that in first or second grade now!?)

Anyway....I got the orders done and shipped out yesterday.  Am trying to overlook this mis-aligned universe thing and will see what happens today.  Below is a picture of the big ole ugly heat press as well as a couple of the finished products.

Am counting on being realigned today but just in case that's not in the works, think I'm going back to bed!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 I seem to be re-aligned with the universe.  Nothing funky has happened since my last post.  Good sign right!

Thought I would share what I am currently hooking.

As you can tell....I'm still in the wrong season!

I've always finished a rug before moving on to the next but this time I didn't.

I can't decide if I want to finish it as a pillow or a wall hanging.  It's not very big, only about 8" x 10".   ( I know, still wrong season!)


Monday, January 3, 2011

Do Over, Do Over!

So day two of 2011 and I'm already wanting a 2011 do over.  I mean, how much trouble would it be to go back to New Years Eve and start over?  We're only into this two whole days right?   Yeah ok, so that's not going to work but it was a good thought!

It's really nothing big or earth shattering, just little stuff.  All day on the very first day of 2011, I had the dropsy's.  Like at supper time for instance, I was getting out the margarine tub to put on the table and it was as if my fingers never touched it as it slammed to the floor.  Of course, dad in his usual form, sat there laughing at me.   And..... then there was this.  Earlier in the day I was trying to put a leash on one of my boarders to go outside for a bathroom break.  This dog, a Chihuahua/Jack Russel Terrier mix has springs for back legs and just as I bent over to reach for his collar, boing....he jumped up to meet me placing his cold wet nose directly in my eye.  Again, dad laughs!

So I'm thinking today, day two, will be better right.  Just a bit of a fluke the day before I'm sure of it.  Oh no, not so much!  I have two great friends out here and they decided we should all go this morning to Mesa Market, or as I have always called it, Park N Swap.  It's like a flea market with new stuff.  Yay for me, dad was going to take his morning nap and I get to go out with the girls!  

Somehow, I ended up designated driver.  No problemEnroute to our big shopping spree I see a bird fly up from the side of the road heading for the car but appeared it would fly over.  NOPE!  It smashed right into the windshield.  Thunk.  Myself and the front seat passenger get to view it's beautiful yellow underbody as it hit.  It was a cactus wren. The car was instantly quiet for a moment.  Then Jan, the front seat passenger says, well that bird picked the wrong car to hit.  She knows what an animal lover I am and that I was going to feel bad, which I did.  Of course, it couldn't have been just a common sparrow committing suicide on my windshield, it had to be a pretty desert bird. Not that I wouldn't have felt bad if it had been a sparrow but they are so over abundant as opposed to the cactus wren.  I just might have not felt quite as bad!  

Ok, so this is how day two is starting off........hmmm!  Fortunately, no incidents at the flea market.  And, when we were done, there was still time for us to have a bite of lunch before I had to be home to take care of dad.  Great! incidents at lunch, this is good, luck is changing.  

Heading home we were all talking, laughing as I pulled up to a light and turned.  Shouldn't have been a problem but I managed not to notice that the  light for the turn lane was red.  Don't worry, no accident, but boy did the gals have a good time with me for running that light!  Not sure I will hear the end of it about the day that I hit a bird and tried to get my friends smashed too!  

Judy (in red) and Jan BEFORE I ran the red light!

Next time, I'm going to let one of them drive.  And if anyone has figured out how to get a 'do over'.......let me know!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day One 2011

YIPPEE  SKIPPY.......the sun came back today!!!

Yes it's still cold and we still have ice in the fountain but the sun is SHINING!!
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