Friday, June 29, 2007

Still UNpacking...

I'm almost done unpacking and getting the office the way I want...just one box more to go. Here is one photo I can share with you of what I've done thus far. I received a set of 4 woven baskets from Robyn (coworker) as an Open House gift. The basket shown measures 12 x 12 x 12 inches. I'm using it to store my finished hooked rugs that I don't have up on the walls or (gasp) on the floor. On the front of it, I tacked the little sheepie mat from Kelley. I love how this looks.

I had a (brilliant, if I do say so) burst of creativity this afternoon and will be debuting a set of patterns that are so fun and funny-looking...they make me smile! Check out my website later this weekend to see what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Darkness, Darkness...

Okay, I couldn't get fireflies (what, you think I'm a great photographer? ha!), but I did get a great photo of the night sky. This is what the sky looks like right now in the northwest. I think it's gorgeous!


I sat outside after dark last night and was treated to a light fireflies! It was absolutely gorgeous! Yes, I've seen fireflies before. However, in the city, there either aren't so many...or because of the lack of open space...or simply because of the backdrop, it's just not the same. If I get time tonight, I'll see if my camera has the capability of capturing them on film (ohyeah...I mean to say capture them on my digital camera memory card).

Driving home from work on my newfound route...I go up a very large hill and when I reach the top and start down the other side, all I see ahead is the lake. It's a stunning view! Another great photo opporunity is awaiting me there, methinks.

I was walking around my house yesterday, thinking about what else I need to many boxes to unpack (not many up here, but down in the basement...ohhhhh, I don't even want to think about that!)...and I decided that I absolutely LOVE my living room. I believe it is the room that most shows who I am. It's all about me, with my collections that are there...collies, angels, labs...favorite photos (of the dogs and grandkids) and favorite things abound. Thanks to Kim (again) for helping me.

My next favorite room is my sunroom, though it is far from how I want it to be. TV, my music, my easy COMFORT is all there. That is the room where I spend the most time. It's about 12 x 12 feet, with windows and patio door on three sides and the other side is the entry (probably about 8 feet wide) into the dining room. Though this house is huge, the dogs all lay around my big easy chair and ottoman when I am relaxing there.

OMG, I am in LOVE!!! I normally don't watch much tv...and really not much daytime tv at all. WELL, I turned on the Oprah show the other day and Nate Berkus was on. If you watch Oprah or get her magazine, you are already aware of who he is (and probably all ga-ga over him as am I). Oprah calls him 'cutie pie'...I think he is absolutely adorable! Here's a photo of him...

If I had lots of money to spend, he'd be here personally to decorate my house, that is for dang sure! Okay, enough of that! haha!

Here's Tag...patiently waiting for me to quit typing and play ball with him...

Monday, June 25, 2007

What to do with...

old quilts??? Or, to be more specific, quilt tops. These 2 quilt tops were given to me by my (then) mother-in-law back in 1974 when I was just a new bride. I believe that they were made in the mid to late 1940's, so they're really old. Neither quilt top that I'm showing you here has a backing on it...waiting for me to finish them, I guess. But, I don't know what to do with them. I've thought about selling them, but have no clue if they have any value...thought about backing/filling/quilting them, but don't know where/how I would use them. I don't really want the dogs all over them. I've thought about cutting them up and making things (totes?), but I don't think I could make myself do that. Then, I kinda think it doesn't really matter what I do with them (dogs on them included) because at least they'd be used...right now they are in a cedar chest where no one can see them.

The first one shown is a log cabin quilt and measures about 70 x 78 inches...each block being approximately 8 1/2 inches square. The seams are machine-stitched. Not sure what type of fabrics were used, but most of them are 'shiny'. This quilt has some definite worn spots, where the fabric is thin and tearing a bit.

Here's the looks like each block is lined with a fabric before it is sewn to the surrounding blocks...get a good look at those (now) vintage fabrics that were used for that!

Here's the second quilt, which measures about 76 x 94 inches. It has a few holes in it...mice, I'd guess. I think it's mostly hand-stitched, using the decorative feather stitch in matching threads. Each block is about 18 inches square. This is a real mixture of fabrics. I like this one the best.

Here's the can see the hand stitching on the lining and on the seam allowances.

I welcome any and all suggestions you may have about what to do with these quilt tops.

Before I forget (again), thank you all for reading my blog...and for the comments you make!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Still UNpacking...

Not much going on this weekend...working on the office and the basement.

Here's how the pears are looking now!
Here's Bubba, owned by my landlord's daughter, Cayley. He's a Welsh Pony cross.

My main task this past week was to find the shortest/quickest route to and from work. It was quite an adventure, as I don't know my way around out here at all (and didn't use a map)...but, as long as I knew I was heading in the right direction, I was okay. I found a great route and it only takes about half an hour, which I think is not too bad. It's a lovely drive, too...very stables, pastures, cows...tractors and other machinery, fields of corn (will it be knee-high by the 4th of July?)...take a deep whiff of's country living, for sure! I truly LOVE living out here.

I don't think I shared this photo before. This is the antique table I received from Kim as a housewarming is soooo gorgeous! The crocheted doily was made by Gram Kelley (though Mom says she made it)...and it is perfect for this table!

I'm anxious to get done with unpacking and setting feeling the urge to dye wool!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Still UNpacking...

I've slacked off a bit this week in showing progress of putting my house together. That's really because I haven't done much since the Open House. WHY? Well, first of all, on Sunday, I had an allergic reaction to a drug I was taking...chills/fever/shortness of breath/wheezing...I was NOT feeling well at all. But, I'm back to normal (whatever that is for me, hey?).

I just have a few photos to show...

This is one of my dining room walls. Yup, the color really is that bright mustard. It's what it was when I moved in...hmmmm, may have to change it. At any rate, here is my 'brown dog' grouping...minus the antique dog shown in a photo of my living room. AND, that empty space is for a rug that is coming someday. It's another brown dog mat that was given to me for my birthday, but I have yet to lay my hands on it (my birthday was in February).

Here are photos of the basement where I will set up my rug hooking business. Not sure how long the basement is, but the house is about 1450 square feet, so it's a lot of basement...even just using 1/2 of it! There will be no painting of walls or floor done at this time...maybe next's more important to get everything set up. That huge table came with the house...ha! It's HUGE and way too big to get up the steps! Lucky me! I can always use more table space! I have LOTS of boxes to unpack, wire cubes to put together and wool to fold/organize. YIKES! What a mess it is right now! I'm hoping to work on it a bit this weekend.

AND, here's my messy office...part of it, anyway. As you can see, I have lots of work left to do.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

This is my most special possession ...and hangs in a very prominent position in my's the first thing I see when I awaken each morning. It's a filet crochet of The Lord's Prayer. It was crocheted by my Gram Kelley over a period of a few years. She started it around the year 1950 when she sat at my aunt's bedside (my aunt was bedridden with nephritis). I'm not sure if it was framed immediately upon completion, but has been as long as I can remember. Including the frame, it measures about 33 x 42 inches. When I was about 11 years old, I started making comments to Gram about it..."Gram, when you die, may I have that?" Needless to say, my family was appalled by my behavior. However, it wasn't long before Gram wrote my name on a piece of paper and taped it to the back of the frame...her way of saying that it WAS to be mine. I found that out when I was about 18 years of age, but I didn't quit pestering her about it. My aunts thought I was a very rude young person...but, HEY! see whose wall it's hanging on! I didn't have to wait until Gram died to have this beautiful piece in my home, either. She gave it to me several years before she left us. Thank you, Gram.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Today was my Open House! I think it went very well...23 friends/family came to help celebrate my move to the country. Travelling the greatest distance was my Mom, Ray (her husband), Aunt Bev, Uncle Babe and Great Aunt Florence, who drove down from Eau Claire (about 3 1/2 hours away). What a treat it was to have them here! Kim, as usual, was a huge help to me! Everyone loved my house (as do I), so I guess that means I can stay here! There was lots of food and a great time was had by all!

I didn't get pictures of everyone, but here are a few of my guests.

Aunt Bev and Uncle Babe...

Ray, Mom (smile!) and Great Aunt Florence...

Don and Elaine...I met E online through the collie email list about 12 years ago. At that time, they lived in Minnesota, but since have moved to Wisconsin...about 45 minutes away from me. We don't see each other often, so I am very happy that they came!
Though gifts weren't expected, I did receive some...what fun! I LOVE presents!

Thank you, everyone! A perfect day!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Still UNpacking...

YAY, I am almost all done UNpacking! My Music is all unpacked and sorted, my bedroom is almost done, the dining room is done and the kitchen just needs a few things put in place (if I can find that PERFECT place, that is). Cleaned at my apartment yesterday and broke a belt on my vacuum, I need to go back today and finish up. Going to be one of the warmest days, of course...temp in the 90's and high humidity. ohluckyme!

No new photos of the house today. Am sure I will have some to share after this weekend. I'm having an OPEN HOUSE tomorrow so my friends and family can see the house.

HEY, but here's a photo someone shared on the Led Zeppelin email's Robert Plant with Strider, his blue merle collie boy that he had way back when. I once saw a video of Robert and his family walking through a field with Strider all grown up...would have been late 60's or very early 70's...Strider was a beautiful dog. (NOOOO, that's not why I have collies...didn't know ole Percy had ever had one until a few years ago.) "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is a song all about Strider. You'd know it if you heard it. There's a verse that I always thought was 'there's no companion like a blue-eyed girl''s actually 'there's no companion like a blue-eyed merle'...guess I never paid attention to the part that Robert sings 'you're the finest dog I ever knew'. HA!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting UNpacked...

WOW...who knew I had soooo much stuff! Holy Schmoly! Kim has been helping me get unpacked...the living room is completely set up the way I want. Here are a few photos...

The office is a mess, but that'll get all sorted out next week. Kim told me to NOT go downstairs...I guess she thinks I'll freak out when I see how much stuff I need to organize for my rug hooking (personal AND business). But, I kinda have an idea...cuz I did pack it all it'll be cool. NOT! I just want to get the living areas all sorted out and stuff on the wall, etc. I am having an OPEN HOUSE on Saturday, so lots to do yet before then. I organized my cd's tonight...LOTS of them. I counted the boxes left to unpack and put away, and (not counting the office or basement), there's only 5. So, that's doable! It's all coming together...YAY!

The dogs are loving it out here. Soooo much more room for all of us. Course, when I sit in my easy chair, they're all laying around it close by me, anyway! Silly pups.

I'll be sharing more photos. Tomorrow, I go back and clean my apartment...ugh.

Monday, June 11, 2007

ALL Moved...YAY!!

FINALLY, I am back online! A bit too efficient, AT&T switched my service a week early, so I had no phone and no internet access this entire past week...what a drag that was!

Sunday was moving day and things went smoothly, though one is never quite as ready as one thinks...and now I am here at my place in the country! Ohhhhh, I am loving it! I have a wee bit of experience of being in the country (friends and family)...but I gotta tell you, LIVING out here is going to be the best! AND, today I got my SSI (satellite speed internet) hooked up. Life is great!

Here's how the field of green (gold) looked earlier today. The first crop of hay is all cut and raked into huge rows!

Already tonight, they're baling...HUGE square bales of hay! I'll have to get out there and take a photo tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

In Progress...

I haven't written about my rug hooking. I actually haven't been doing too much of it, what with moving, final exam/grading for my online teaching course, etc. While packing up my personal rug hooking 'stuff', though, I did remember to keep my latest project here in case I had the time - or the desire - to hook. So, my 2sheep rug is what I'm working on...I did pick up the hook and pull some strips last night for the first time in almost a month. I started this rug at my first rug hooking camp back in 2002...and it's been sitting here all these years, waiting for me to pick up where I left off. Funny how things work...when I pulled it out this last time to decide if I was inspired enough to finish it, I had an entirely different idea of how I wanted it to look. I tore it all out (had the ewe's head and all of the baby done, is all) and started anew. I have struggled with it a bit, but right now, I think it's looking okay. Here's a photo of it...

I am reallllly looking forward to organizing all my rug hooking (business and personal) woolens, patterns, etc. at the new house. I have 1/2 of the entire basement to spread out in...can you imagine having all that space? Wall to wall wool (well, maybe not at first...ha)!!! Believe me, I am sure that eventually I'll be using all of that space up, though! Why crowd things if one has room to spread, hey? I'll take photos as I go along. ohyeah, I also need to get going on a top 10 priority list of projects.

I started with punch needle this past winter and find it fascinating (and soooo quick!). I completed punching a few pieces, but haven't done any finishing work on them. Looking forward to rediscovering what I have...I'll probably be surprised.

It's a beautiful and sunny Sunday morning...

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Packing and MOVING!...still!

I was out at the house today unpacking a few boxes....only 8 more days until I officially move in! I am feeling so very good. I took some photos of what is in the backyard...what I see when I look out my kitchen window.

The flowers are blooming. I have no idea what these are, but they sure are pretty.

I know this is a peony...they are so beautiful. I have 4 huge peony bushes...LOVE them!

Here's the beginning of a pear...

Here's my field of green...

I feel so calm and peaceful at my new house...cannot wait to finally be there!


Tango. After many years of having labradors, I decided that I wanted a collie. So, along came Tango, the perfect, 'what can I do for you?' boy...the dog of my dreams. I wasn't so sure about the tri-color...up to that point, I associated the typical collie with Lassie, who is sable and white. But, I figured Tango looked as if he was dressed in a tuxedo, and that set him apart from the rest. From the moment we started working together, we were a team in the truest sense of the word. We worked in obedience, agility and therapy. 

Here he is back in 1996.

His HIC (herding instinct certification) was a cinch for him. Not paying attention to the activities of the herding day at all, he 'turned on' the moment he walked into the arena. This was my first experience with herding...I was so very proud of him. Here's his photo...

Tango is the leader of this pack. The other dogs respect him...he is alpha without so much as a whisper. Here's a photo of him now, at 12 years of age...his colors have faded and his hearing is going, but he still is always ready for whatever I ask of him.

He is my calm.


Nooooo, she is NOT named after the allergy medicine (I get that question alllll of the time ). Her breeder is a musician...a violinist, to be exact. Allegro is a music term, meaning 'lively'. In Italian, the 'o' ending is male and the 'a' ending is female...hench, Allegra. She was born with a PDA (check out this link for more info on PDA, which was surgically corrected when she was 3 months old...and then she became mine! Here she is the day before her surgery...

Allegra earned her HIC (herding instinct certification) when she was just one year's a photo. She thought those sheepies were just too much fun!

Allegra is very much a talker...and you best be listening when she has something to say! Here is a beautiful photo of her, taken last year when she was 8 years of age...

She is my joy.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I recently heard...'grief is the price we pay for love'. I wrote it down because I didn't want to forget it...and because I believe it to be an absolute truth. You see, I lost my Cruiser this past winter and I am grieving for him still. He was a beautiful tri-factored sable and white rough loverboy. Cruiser, Cruisie, Doozy, Roozy...I miss you so.

Several years ago, Cruiser passed his HIC (herding instinct certification) with flying colors. The tester joked that one sheep must have mustard on him, as Cruiser was totally fixated on that one sheep. Here's a can just see Cruiser behind that one sheep...

Here's Cruiser last summer, having a relaxing day outside...

In January, Cruiser was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, a fancy medical term for kidney failure. He had been having problems for about a year, but without extensive and expensive testing, we could never put our finger on what exactly was wrong with him. When he was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, that answered a few questions, but didn't explain all that had been going on with him. In the end, it doesn't really matter...he is gone. I euthanized him on February 28.

When we bring an animal into our lives, it is with the knowledge that we will more than likely outlive them. Yet, we apparently feel that the years of companionship and unconditional love we receive are worth it. Knowing that they will not always be with us doesn't make it easier to say good-bye, but I do believe that it keeps our hearts open and full.

He was my love.