Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An old, brand new gift.

So here is the thing...

When Sampson was a puppy he was a chewer. Not furniture, shoes, or "normal" things you would think a puppy would chew on. No, he preferred electronics. TV remotes. Travel alarm clocks. Cell phones. You get the picture. Oh yes, and jewelry.

Sampson became a member of our family in late November, so he was still in the chewing stage at Christmas. My husband had surprised me this particular Christmas with a family ring containing our birthstones on each end and our sons' birthstones in the middle. Shortly after Christmas my ring came up missing. The last time that I had seen it, I believed it had been on my night stand beside my bed. I was quite upset when I couldn't find it but of course I didn't say anything to my husband about it missing, as I was convinced after looking behind the night stand, behind and under the bed, in the little trash can, that Sampson must have gotten it as he had destroyed a pair of gold hoops that had been there as well. I had even gone so far as looking in the yard for... well you know... remains. No luck.

Fast forward 5 years.

My husband and I are rearranging our bed room and painting. I finally confess to him about the missing ring and ask him that when he moves the heavy dressers out from the walls that just possibly there is the remotest  teeny weensy chance that maybe the ring might be behind my dresser, I didn't think it was, but you know I am forever an optimist. It wasn't.

However when my husband moved his dresser out from the wall, there it was! Quite dusty but it cleaned up nice!

It was like getting the gift all over again! Moral of the story; 'fess up in the first place and I could have been enjoying wearing it for the last five years! So glad I didn't find it in the yard :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The boys have been having fun this week...

Kerry Lee small game hunting in PA, a good afternoon for it!

Tim, the 'after picture' from his participation in a 5K color fun run for charity in NC!

Ben ended his buck hunt with this monster in OH.

So proud of all my boys for making and taking some time to do the things they enjoy!  

Monday, September 24, 2012


Currently reading Casting Off  by Nicole R. Dickson.

For a review or additional information, such as where I stole borrowed the picture from, please click here.

One book that I reread every fall is Winter Soltice. One of the reason is the words. I can picture it. And the setting, scenery and pace of the book is comforting. Sometimes I think we all yearn for a slower pace of life. And in this book of a retired lady "relying on her old age income" life slows down just enough. But also has interesting twists and turns.

Do you have a favorite read for the fall? I am looking for recommendations so if you have one please take a moment to leave a comment!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Caturday!

"Caturday" is a phrase that Petco uses but I thought it was cute so here is my contribution.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The harvest...

onions drying from the garden

tomatoes, beets, dill pickles,

aren't the colors pretty?

corn cobb jelly, so far the reviews are a thumbs up!

Also 'put up' in the freezer are corn, cabbage, and zuchinni. We have left to do peppers, eggplant and winter squash.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The definition of love...

4. Love is patient,

love is kind.

It does not envy,

it does not boast,

it is not proud.

5. It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,

it keeps no record of wrongs.

6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7. It always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)

Monday, August 6, 2012

We'll guard the house...

you go on to work. Don't worry about a thing. We have it all under control. We'll miss you!

Yep they miss me alright. Snoozing before I even closed the door! Love my houndies!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Hounds still Abound

Sometimes it takes awhile for an old dog to learn a new trick. In this case I am not speaking of HoneyDew but of myself.

Honeydew will be 9 years old this fall. She has never been what one would call a speed demon. I think that you have heard me refer to her gait as schnufflin. Something between sniffing and shuffling, you get the picture. In any case she really is at the point where she lallygags, no hurry at all, unless a piece of food is dropped, a stranger is approaching to whom she would like to be introduced, or some type of new smell has her on the trail.

Sampson on the other hand is more of the lets go hurry up, lets see what is around the next bend,  "Are you coming mom? Huh? Huh? What's taking so long!" variety.

Now the other dilemma. My time (especially in the summer) is very limited, so I like to multi-task. And I really need to shed a few pounds...ok, a lot of pounds. I love walking the dogs and up until now never would think of not taking both the dogs at the same time as well as get my exercise in. I wouldn't want to play favorites, or leave one out plus I want to spend as much time with both of them as I can.

This year especially with the hotter then normal weather, and everything else going on (another post, another time), our outings have not been very enjoyable, and really I think quite frustrating for us all, (unless the walk has been an off lead walk then everyone is happy!).

This week I finally hit upon a solution which seemed like quite a revelation to me but you all probably have already figured out the obvious (hence the old dog comment). I really want to just relax and enjoy my time with my hounds. It finally came to me that I should appreciate the uniqueness of both dogs' character while getting my need for exercise towards a goal of weight loss met.

I decided to give each dog their own time with me, and utilize their style. So first Sampson and I go for a power walk in our neighborhood, talking and stopping for pats and rewards, with Sampson getting my undivided attention. Then I bring him back to the house and Honey Dew and I set off in the opposite direction, but at a slower pace which is my cool down. As she schnuffles along I do lunges, yoga poses, or stretches. I don't rush her, she enjoys herself sniffing every step along the way and again, talking to her the whole time, stopping for scratches behind her ears, with lots of petting and praises.

They love it! They are satisfied, happy and relaxed. And so am I. I love the power walks with my energy dog as well as my cool down with HoneyDew savoring the scents along the way.

I even had a chuckle as the first night we tried this my husband was not aware of what I had come up with and he had come home to find HoneyDew home alone, Sampson and I gone. He went to take a shower and in the mean time I had come home and switched dogs. He came downstairs and found Sampson waiting for him but not me and now HoneyDew was gone! He was confused because he thought he had mistaken which dog was there when he came home, and what in the world was going on? Too funny!

Of course we will still do the majority of activities all together, but I think we will make this a priority everyday. I will keep you posted as I hit some goal markers on my journey of health and wellness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I just wanted to drop you all a quick note to let everyone know that we are still here! Just to give you a quick overview of what the heck I have been doing since I obviously have not been blogging:

Let's see...
  • Had surgery and recovery. I feel a lot better now, with a lot more energy!
  • Helped mom get moved and settled in to her cute new place. My husband and other siblings/spouses, children have all lent and a hand and lots of time to the unpacking and adjusting things to how Mom likes them. It is a joy to have her near us.
  • Spending time with all the family.
  • Weekend trip to see my youngest and daughter n law and their new place.
  • My sons have had quite a few trips home and back to their respective places.
  • Mom and Father n law's surgery recovery/visits.
  • Gallivanting with my mom ;-), we recently went antiquing and shopping for finds in second hand stores, very fun!
  • Walks with the hounds in the early spring weather that we have had.
  • Trout fishing with my hubby.
  • Still doing date night with my Dad and Step-Ma on Friday nights, gives us a chance to catch up each week.
  • Knitting ( I will post pics later.)
  • And working.
The hound pups are doing well although Sampson has given us quite a turn. He has had one full blown seizure and we think another one that we weren't home for but there appear to be signs of it. We are not sure what the cause was but are monitoring him and documenting for the vet. I sure hope he does not have anymore. HoneyDew has been her lovable self and makes me smile all the time. We have lots of snuggle time and exploring time and they have also been going and visiting Grandma and Miss Izzy.

The chickens have been verrryyyyy productive this year. And I have been selling quite a few eggs.

Plans have been made for the garden and I have a few outdoor projects I have been working on. My dad made me a planter box for One Cackle Way and I will post pics once I have all the flowers in.

Middle son finishes up his internship at the National Institute in Washington DC and the great job hunt is underway as he graduates May 11th. I am very proud of him! I am not sure where he will move to but as he says, have to go where the job is. All three of boys will have graduated from college and they are the first generation to do so on both sides of the family. I am very proud of them all!

At work, we are getting into our busy season but it is manageable and I am trying to make sure I keep everything and everyone balanced.

I am enjoying life, living in the moment and enjoying each moment to the fullest! Nice to blog again too and I will be visiting your blogs soon to catch up with what you are up to.

Thank you for stopping by!

Update at 9:56 PM: No sooner had I pushed "publish" on this post, then my husband yelled for me, Sampson has had another seizure. I will be contacting the vet again in the morning. That makes 3, we believe, this month! I am not sure what is triggering the episodes, this time he woke up and went right into it...very scary...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday's Walk in the Park

Compared to Friday and Saturday, yesterday's weather could be considered "balmy"! The temperature got up over 40, the sun was shining and the snow was starting to melt. It melted enough by the river that the hounds and I were able to take a nice leisurely stroll in the afternoon.

I still had to wear my winter coat but I could feel the sun's warmth through it and the Bassets must have enjoyed it too, even plunging in the deeper snow for some scent or other that attracted them.

If you look at the top of the picture you can see that I couldn't let them follow the scent or they would be going over the bank into the river!

With the sun's warmth came the sound of giant icicles crashing down all along the rock face. You can make out some smaller ones still hanging there.

After our walk, the hounds waited in the car while I got a few groceries, and for being so patient I treated them to a bag of beef basted biscuits and the little treats that look like t-bones steaks (not all at once!). And then we came home and snuggled.

I love Sunday's like this!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter lingers on....

It's pretty if you don't have to go out in it.

Although the chickens don't seem to mind.

 But I think I will make tracks for the back door.

And enjoy from the inside!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

From my DH...
...and inside said "No wonder we're so good together. Happy Valentines Day!" plus a personal note ;-)

Our gift to each other?


So that we can spend even more time together! Spring is coming!
Happy Valentines you all!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Treat!

I have made a day trip to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival for the last few years, but never participated in the classes or a lot of the fun. This year my DH insisted I treat myself, invite some friends and stay the whole weekend. For me, it was a mini vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The hotel was wonderful...

I loved the views from our room....

The window looking out was a whole wall of glass, DH definitely wouldn't have liked that - he doesn't like heights unless it is out of a tree stand!

Being able to see some of the class sessions from an eagle eye view...

Breakfast by room service was a real treat too...

And the meals in the hotel were scrumptious too...

Of course there was something for everyone whether shopping...


knitting for charity...


There was a ravelry meet up which meant catching up with online friends (drat forgot to take my camera!)and meeting new people, a wonderful fashion show complete with wine and hors d'oeuvres, a pj/knitting party where drawings were held and prizes given out! There were a lot of free patterns given out at any of the gatherings just for showing up. My ticket was drawn and I was given the book by Iris Schreier (of ArtYarns) who was one of the headliners at the festival. She was really nice and autographed my copy for me.

Since last fall I have been hosting a knit night at my house every Thursday evening. A couple of weeks before the festival I had bought two knitting magazines to share with my group. It wasn't until I was at the Festival that I realized one of our headliners was Steven Be of Yarn Garage who was featured in the Vogue Knitting magazine I had picked up!

He was a very amusing, entertaining and inspiring speaker and while I admit I am a more "sedate" knitter, he did encourage me to "glitter up my knitting", as you can see by the article he autographed for me!

My knitting mentor Jane (Jane and her daughter Jill of B-ewe-tiful Designs,) had one of her patterns selected for Knitters Magazine.

and I have her autograph now too!
I brought home some yarn, and a couple of presents for people who couldn't go but I feel very spoiled!

Want to go next year?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My latest knitting projects...

I have been working on this doll for my little neice Maddy for a while now as time and schedule would permit. It was a lot of fun to make and I will, at some point in the future, make another for my grandbaby hope chest. I was really tickled with how well it turned out!

While doing this project I learned some new techniques like the curly q hair, a new style of increase, an interesting way to embroider the eyes, and how to make knees! 

I loved knitting the button nose,

her little toes,

and she even has a little outie belly button!

Not to mentione the outfit of clothes and a matching hat for dolly and Maddy!

I don't think Maddy quite new what to think of her at first. She also did not want to wear her hat (she doesn't like hats but her momma says she has to wear one!) But with encouragement from her big sisters Morgan, Sammy and Amanda, she was soon wearing it with a smile!

Anyone who knows me, knows I always have a pair of socks on the needle. This pair was made while my mom was in surgery, during visiting hours at the hospital, and when Mom and I knitted together during Mom's recovery before I returned to PA.

They were made for my office mate Amy who held down the office while I was away.

As you can see, she has happy feet!

Next up, an overdue high school graduation present for another neice, a pair of socks for my son Tim, and finishing my son & daughter~n~laws afghan. Yes Samantha, I will finish yours first!!!

What do you have on the needles?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mixed Blessings

As yesterday I was a little under the weather with a stomach virus, I didn't get a chance to post. So I have a couple of blessings to share...

I was blessed with a lazy day and great company on New Years day...

(this one was a sneak camera attack cause the eldest kept laughing or making obscene hand gestures)

The blessing of a furry friend and a spot of sunshine... 

and the ever-changing scenery in NW Pennsylvania with a foot of snow. See the sparkle of the snow and imagine every little snowflake is unique!