Tuesday, October 30, 2007

She's EATING!!!....

Last night I made a chicken noodle skillet dinner with chicken breast meat, pasta shells, peas, corn, seasonings, cream cheese and sour cream. A real "comfort food" meal. As I was preparing to serve it to the kids(Mark wasn't home from work yet), I noticed Soshie was in the living room by the dining room entrance. She got up on the table where Sarah and I were eating so I offered her a bit of chicken. She accepted and went on to eat about a tablespoon of shredded up chicken with sauce on it. Of course I had to call Mark with the good news!! Then, the rest of the evening she spent on the loveseat with me as I crocheted. At bedtime she went into the bathroom(we have to feed her in our bathroom because the other cats intimidate her so much) and proceeded to eat several morsels of dry cat food!!! She approached the litterbox but ended up not using it, then came to bed with us. This morning she went back and ate even more dry cat food! I am trying really hard to not get my hopes up, this may just be a last "hurrah" before she nose dives. If it isn't, she is still a very weak, starved cat and it might take weeks before she's healthy. But, she's EATING!!

In other good(but sad) news, the man accused of murdering 5 people back when I was a young teen has confessed. I'm sure the families will never know what really happened to their loved ones, but at least a part of the case has been closed. Read about the KFC MURDERS, be sure to follow the links to the other articles. Being a very sheltered teen at the time, I have since come to believe that I dated(briefly) the brother of Monte Landers, a boy named George Landers, the year before this happened. I remember him asking me if I knew Monte but don't remember the rest of the conversation.

And, to elaborate on the crochet mentioned above, I've started another bat wing shawl! I'm using the Patricia pattern(my picture is MUCH better) from Berroco again and love how my first one turned out. This time I'm using Yarn Bee's Icelandic Jewels in Ruby instead of Yarn Bee's Highland Thistle. It has much less bounce to it and I think will be a better drape. My first shawl is very long and seems to get longer each time I wear it. It is deceptively heavy and just pulls down more than I'd like. Of course, the color and texture(other than the bounce) are just beautiful, you can see a pic in the "finished projects" section on my sidebar. Hopefully this new shawl will be even better. I would have a picture of my first 11 rows but some lovely kids took rock star pictures of themselves last night and drained my batteries!

I guess I'll spend the day doing laundry and housekeeping, among crochet sessions.

Tomorrow we have LARHE park day, grocery shopping, and Halloweenie stuff. The girls will be collecting UNICEF pocket change donations. Ryan is going "reverse" trick or treating with his youth group, handing out candy and inviting people to come to church. I'll be here handing out candy as usual. We put day-glo green spider webs all over the holly bushes and have our jack o'lantern carved.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Walk on the Wild Side, but not Too Wild....

Friday night we attended a Halloween party hosted by a pagan friend. There were wicked cool decorations, great food, interesting folks, and fun games! The weather was perfect and much of the activities were outside. A few people had guitars and there was singing going on around the fire along with much merry-making. We did a game where we all got in a circle and tossed half-used balls of yarn across to the people on the other side who had to wind the yarn around themselves and toss it back across to someone on the opposite side. It made a nice spidery web. Then our hostess spoke about how we are all interconnected and that things far from us can affect us in ways we don't really think about(her example was the California fires). She also spoke about having compassion. It was a really neat "game".

We all went to the party but early on we took the kids to overnight events so we were able to have a relaxing Saturday by ourselves! We went to the mall so I could redeem a free sample card at Bath and Body Works but they were out of them. Then we ate at a Mexican place, stopped at Mark's office to drop off a printer, and came home to do laundry and watch college football. It was wonderful to have the whole afternoon and evening to ourselves for conversation. The girls didn't get home til after dark and the boy spent another night with his friends since they were at a church picnic/bonfire thingie.

Sunday was a work day for me. I primered and painted the hutches we're going to put in the living room. They'll get more coats this afternoon and hopefully we can move them in next weekend. There is a desk section that bolts in between them but it has yet to be located at my parents' place and it isn't here either. I did see it there last winter though so there is hope that we'll be able to use it one day. We also have a corner hutch and kitchen table to paint so I may drag one of those out to put the primer on.

Here is the before picture:
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And here they are in progress:
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We don't have much planned for today except to carve our jack o'lantern and find some wire or leather straps to hang
Calvester and Franklin.

Friday, October 26, 2007


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He was handed to us at the local pet store, next to the place we get our hair done. I had taken Ryan in for a trim and Amy to get some fullness taken out of hers and we walked down to the pet store afterward to see the puppies. A woman came in with a laundry basket, we assumed it was a litter of kitties. The girls saw it was a big piggie and we all went over to see it. The woman said they'd had it since it was 5 weeks old and it was about a year old now. Her kids didn't want it any more so she was bringing it to the pet store to sell. I asked the sex and she didn't know(if you've ever seen a male piggie from the back you'd wonder if she was blind!) I lifted it up and found boy parts and a nasty impaction(google it, I don't wanna 'splain it here). Anyway, she asked if we wanted him since it sounded to her that we knew what we were talking about and would give him a good home. I reeeeeally didn't want another pig, especially a male since they don't live together as easily as females, but we took him anyway. Who could resist such a cute piggie? And free at that!
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He is SOOOO sweet!! After determining that he probably wasn't sick since he was an only pig we let him meet Basil and Moonshine yesterday. So far there has been a bit of rumblestrutting and mounting behavior but no biting. It seems they might all be able to live together after all!!

I thought I'd also give a Soshie update. Mark is having a really hard time with her illness. He does NOT want to put her down yet. I keep asking him to take her and he keeps making excuses. Soooo, I've decided she's not going down without a fight. I started giving her droppers of water to help boost her energy. Dehydration can make them feel worse off than they really are. So far it has helped a tiny bit but she still isn't eating. It seems she isn't any worse off that when this started so maybe it is just her body telling her not to eat while her intestines heal from the streamer she ate. We don't know what is wrong and don't have the hundreds of dollars it would take to find out. If she is not much improved by the end of the weekend we'll have to discuss other options. This has been really tough for me, I'm ready for it to be over either way. We went through about a year of Chester being sick and I nursed him back from near death after his liver got "fatty" from his rapid weightloss. He did well for a long time, eating canned cat food every night, but Soshie hates it and won't touch anything I've offered her so far.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Applique and my banner...

Someone asked a few days ago if I had made the cat wall hanging in my banner. Yes, I did! A few years ago I wanted a simple cat applique and drew that one out. It is done in a dark brown fabric that looks like wood grain on a muslin background. About the time I had it finished, I bought some pieces of felt. I wanted them a bit more "felty" so I put them in some boiling water on the stove. What emerged was some slightly lumpy, beautiful pieces that had lost a lot of their vibrant colors(but are still very nice). The liquid that was left made a perfect dye so in went the cat! The background turned a washed-out pumpkin color but the cat just darkened slightly. It was an experiment that went right!

Here it is without the Halloweenie effects:
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Along with a few of my other applique WIPS and finished projects.
This is a large wall hanging of the oak tree that is in our back yard. I hope to finish it before next Spring.
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I have two more of these Sunbonnet Sues but have run out of the background muslin(it was from a vintage bag) so that will be all I do.
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This is a small wall hanging for my dad's woodturning shop. It has a turned bowl and vase on it and looks better in real life(this was edited many years ago with a cruddy photo editing program).
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Here is one of my favorites! This is a rocket I did for the first grandchild of our next door neighbors. I babysat his mother when I was a teen. The binding around the window sill, where the curtains hang down, was unbelievably hard to do. Don't you just love the flame fabric?
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And finally, this wall hanging was a challenge I did in an online group. The challenge was to create something from The Wizard of Oz. Can you guess which character inspired me?
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

still bizzy but in a better way...

As in just regular bizzy, not hectic stressful bizzy. Unfortunately, Soshie has continued to worsen. I'm afraid she won't last many more days. She is refusing to eat or drink and is so very weak. It has to be the cancer, I felt her tummy and there are lots of hard lumps along and under her nipples. I just wish she wouldn't suffer much longer.

Anyway, aside from that sadness, we are doing good. Mark's job has kept him late for the last 2 weeks, that's getting old but probably won't let up any time soon. It makes for a hard time doing dinner but we have it worked out now.

We had a spend-the-night guest last night so we had to run her home after lunch. Earlier I took them all to watch Ryan's flag football game so I could do my walking around the track(1.5 miles!). Mark had dropped Ryan off and then gone for a run, turns out it was a SEVEN mile run!!! He was a bit tired. After the haircuts we stopped by and picked up our raw milk order for this week and now we're finally home. All except Ryan, he went to a movie with some kids from his youth group and is now at their house until after dinner.

The girls have been wanting new hair styles for a few weeks now. We finally had some time(and money) to go get it done. They look SO Good! I got mine trimmed too. If you'll look to the right at the pic of me in the blue, it looks much like that but about an inch shorter in the back and better bangs. I had it straightened in that pic but now it is fluffy with the back and sides kicking up in a stylish way because I have wavies. Still, not a big enough diff to photograph, maybe later. Here are the girls...

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And here's a sneaky peek at their halloween duds. Amy now has a better(much longer) skirt, courtesy of Goodwill and Ryan has found all the elements for an Aragorn from LOTR costume so he won't be a cowboy(darn it).
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Amy's Fairy Art

She draws in spiral notebooks(what they call Schedules) all day long. Many of her pictures there are better than the ones she does in Paint. Later I'll share her animal drawings but for now, here are some of her fairies.

~~~~****EDITED****~~~~ Scroll down to the next post to see my crafty Halloweenie decorations!!!

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Dark Faery
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Fire Faerie
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Luna, the Moon Princess

Introducing Calvester and Franklin!

I made these to hang on our front porch for Halloween night. Their harnesses will attach to the lip at the top of their heads and hang from hooks screwed into the porch beams. They are made from old light fixture globes, painted with plain old craft paint and glowed-up with candles.

Here they are!

Calvester and Franklin.
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Even though Calvester looks like the mean one, Franklin is capable of pulling more tricks. His candle wouldn't stay lit so I can only show you what Calvester looks like all aglow.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Toooomorrow, tooooomorrow!

I promise to have some pictures of the super cuteness I crafted today! A hint, they started out hanging around under a light bulb and have flipped for their new roll as Halloweenie decorations!!! You'd never believe it. Tune in tomorrow....

meanwhile a picture done by Amy:
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Being Blessed!

I really am, ya know. Blessed, that is. In many ways, with many things. My most recent aquisition blessing happened last week. One of Mark's co-workers was in contact with a friend of hers who was cleaning out her grandmother's assisted living apartment/room. She was about to throw away a ton of quilting stuff and K(thanks K) intervened on my behalf! I received many boxes of fabric, rulers, notions, thread, patterns and on and on. Last week I sorted the fabric, passing on what I couldn't use, and sorted the notions, keeping what I'd use. I will make the rest available to my sistahs on an email list I'm on for homeschooling quilters. After they get what they want, I will offer the rest up for adoption here.

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This is what was left of the fabrics. It came to me in the white-lidded boxes and a few larger boxes. The boxes behind the white-lidded ones contain fabric I already had and some of my yarn stash. Trust me, this is WAY more than it appears, these boxes are jam packed!!

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This is a rather large, double-sided container of over 100 spools of thread. I forget the brand name of most of it and I don't know if it is a good kind or not.

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Most of these are iron on sweatshirt decorations from the early 1990s. Not something I'm gonna keep.

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Here are several siggie blocks in the spool pattern, along with three different block-of-the-month kits(one only has 2 but the rest are complete). The Christmas one is paper pieced, the pink one doesn't have good instructions that I could tell. All of them have the fabric already cut out for you but I don't think it includes background fabric).

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Here are the rulers and other notions. I also have, not photographed, about a dozen quilt books and quilting pattern line books(for the actual quilting design, not the piecing).

I'm also blessed with books!! Which is why I'm posting this picture of the ones I have FOR SALE to my local homeschool group members.
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And finally I am blessed with, eyesight, a computer, a camera and internet service that allows me to see, photograph, and share these lovely Cosmos with you.
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Soshie. I think she's on the mend!

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We got Soshie in November of 1996, just before Amy's first birthday. She was being given away along with a carrier full of siblings in the parking lot of the Nacogdoches Walmart. The owner claimed they were barn cats and she appears to be. Soshie loves to be petted(by me) but will not let anyone hold her or cuddle her on their laps(even me). She's a very petite, high-strung kitty but also really sweet and smart.

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About two weeks ago I noticed she was rapidly losing weight and was spending almost all of her time crouched on the computer monitor(pic is from this summer, before her illness). It seemed as if she had a bad tummy ache and was using the warmth of the monitor to sooth her pain. She was barely eating, taking maybe two to four bites of food a day, not even eating cooked chicken which she loves and not using the litterbox. I assumed she had something bad wrong with her, like cancer(she has mammery tumors) and would most likely be leaving us soon.

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Last night, I brought her to our bedroom as usual and she got in the litter box. She strained and finally went. I saw something glittery and was thinking it might be a tapeworm or something. On closer investigation I found it to be a metallic pompom strand from one of Ryan's toys, about 10 inches long. She seemed to feel better and purred louder than I've heard in several days. This morning she was even marching around on the bed asking for "daddy pets" from Mark. She is definitely more alert and hasn't made her way back to the monitor yet, choosing to stay on my bed. Maybe she's turned a corner and will be fine. I hope so.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy!!

Yes we ARE!!! It has been a very busy weekend here at the Casa Sonier.

Friday afternoon we had a visit from a (former) homeschooling friend and her daughter, and someone from a church came and got two big bags of fabric I had to give away. Friday night Ryan had church and the rest of us did a bit of housework.

Saturday morning the girls and I got up REEEEEALLY early to drive 40 miles out of town to get raw milk for a small group of families in our homeschooling community. There are around 10 of us but not everyone orders every week. The man who offers it has it as a first-come, first-served basis so I was afraid we might not get any on a weekend unless we went very early. Anyway, we had orders for eight gallons but when we got there he only had six so we took what there was and headed to another of the family's homes to drop it off for distribution. The milk is certified organic, hormone and antibiotic free from Jersey cows. It tastes WONDERFUL but I can't have too much because it is whole milk and wrecks my diet!

While we were out doing milky stuff, Mark took Ryan to flag football and ran around the track. He ended up taking Ryan to his friends' home to spend the night, came home and got us girls and we headed out to Lowe's, Kohl's, and Walmart for various sundries. I got paint to do our hutches, a dark blue called Indigo Cloth, which I'm supposed to be primering this afternoon.

Mark and I got up early and cleaned on our garage. Last night Amy discovered a most unwelcome visitor(a RAT, eek!) out there so we decided it was past due for a clean up. I piled two tables full of junk in the yard and put a free sign on it. Finally someone stopped and took every bit of it for a church garage sale. Turns out it is the church Ryan attends! Mark picked up Ryan and a friend from church and stopped by his office for some leftover pizza they had from Friday. I love no-cook Sunday dinners!

The COWBOYS come on at 3pm so I'm not sure how much more work I'll end up doing.

There, I'm updated, now I feel better! Sorry no pics, maybe tomorrow or Tuesday. I do need to tell all about the fabric and quilty goodness that came my way last week. I am very blessed by all of it but won't keep but maybe a fourth of it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Are you a Halloweenie?

I am!!! We love to decorate for Halloween here. I love the thrill of finding scary things that really aren't so scary after all. Here is our fireplace, the only place we'll put Halloween stuff this year until Halloween Night when the trick-or-treaters come.

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I found this vintage Jack O'Lantern last year at the local Methodist church junk sale.

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We bought wooden cut-outs, and glitter and had a paint 'n' glitter session yesterday afternoon, isn't he cute?

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I did the paper chain Friday. My grandmother made the ceramic Jack O'Lantern and my dad did the pastel farmhouse scene many years ago, I think it looks spooky! The needlework owl is another junk sale find from this year's sale. It cost a whopping FIVE dollars!

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My mom made this cute cross stitch wall hanging for us a few years ago. It is one of my favorite decorations and I have a Santa one she did for Christmas too.

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I don't like to have fires in the fireplace because it is rarely cold enough but the candles look great in it. The cat was a find from last year.

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Here it is all put together. I have a piece of fabric that I'd like to put with this and some green spider web stuff but haven't located either one yet. I'm sure we'll add to this over the week.

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Here are the girls and I from several years ago, Amy had already taken off her forest queen costume though. Sarah was 2.5 years and had just cut her hair all by herself!

Friday, October 5, 2007


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(although our east Texas leaves don't do this til mid-November or later most years... and our sycamores were taken out this summer for being too close to the house- I miss them very much)

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
- Robert Frost, October

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Looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
An thinking of the days that are no more.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

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The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
Oh, it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown,
To Mother Earth come tumbling down,
The breezy nights the ghostly sights,
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that it's October.
The pumpkins yellow,. big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
It's Halloween - let's celebrate.
- Pearl N. Sorrels, It Must be October

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