Easter

Happy Easter, everyone!

Advertisements

Puppy Training

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It’s a cold, cloudy day in Maryland and I’m hoping for a bit of snow this evening and tomorrow.  Since it’ll probably be the last snow of the season, I’d like to see a bunch!  So far this winter, we haven’t had more than about 3″ of snow, which is very sad.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on training a psychiatric service dog for my daughter.  The pup’s name is Lila.  She’s a boxer mix…about 8 months old, 35 pounds, and came to us from the local Humane Society.  So far, she’s learned “sit” and “lie down.”  Lila walks fairly well on a leash and is house-trained, too.  She gets along fairly well with the other dogs, but the cats don’t like her one bit!  In fact, the kitties have been hiding in the basement ever since Lila came to live here.  They venture upstairs at night when she’s asleep in her cage.  Lila is very affectionate and adores my grandchildren (ages 22 months and 6 months), which is wonderful since she’ll be living with them very soon!

At this point, Lila still has a lot to learn:  not jumping on people (or the kitchen table), to stop wrestling with the other dogs when we say so, that the other dogs’ legs are not chew toys, cats are not for chasing, the kitchen table is off limits, pens are not chew toys, and so many, many other things!

Lila will be heading to a special boot camp program soon to help with her training.  Then, she’ll be ready to take on the duties of a service dog!

I’m Baaack!

Finally, I have a chance to take a breath and get back to blogging!

Life in our household since 2015 has been incredibly full, but here’s a quick summary.  Right before I took my blogging vacation, my daughter got married and moved from Maryland to Nebraska.  My oldest child was already married, so the full impact of our Empty Nest set in.  Just as we were getting used to the empty nest, our daughter & her husband decided they didn’t much like the midwest, so they moved back here to live with us until they found employment and an apartment.  In April of 2016, my daughter gave birth to the loveliest child I’ve ever seen – my very first grandchild, a little girl!  A few months later, they all moved into a cute little apartment around the corner from us.  Life was good, even though I had no energy…but I was losing weight, so I didn’t care, LOL.  2017 brought a new grandchild (a boy!), a total weight loss of 83 pounds, some health issues for me (including severe anemia), and several medical procedures & surgeries.  My final surgery was right after Thanksgiving (6 hours & 7 incisions!!) and I’m feeling much better now!

So far, 2018 is looking pretty good, even though I’ve gained back about 30 pounds.

I’m still passionate about cross-stitching and will probably post some photos of projects I’ve finished since my last post – there are quite a few!  So far this year, I’ve finished stitching 6 small charts (under 5″x 5″).

Furry Friends

I just finished a little Joan Elliott flower design.  Check out my Instagram (thetimidkitty) for a photo!  This little stitch only took about 5 evenings to finish – simple & sweet 🙂

Now I’m trying to decide on my next stitchy project and I’m coming up empty.  So many patterns and so little interest in any of them!

So, rather than spend my time here lamenting my lack of stitching mojo, I’m going to talk about our family pets 🙂  Right now, there are 6 furry beasties sharing my abode (no I’m not counting my Hubby, LOL).

Shall we begin with the 3 dogs?  Sounds like a plan!  I guess you should know that they’re all adopted from the Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland.

First, we have the lovely & spirited Bonny.  She’s a 9-year-old Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix; we’ve had her since 2008.  She’s our resident escape artist, so we’re always watching her closely.  Our courtyard has a set of stairs with a fence & gate at the top.  She has actually jumped the fence!  Now we have our patented Impenetrable Barrier at the foot of the stairs, so she can’t get to the top…of course, this means we can’t use the stairs either, but that’s ok.  The Barrier consists of sawhorses topped by 2 old plastic lawn chairs; in front of this, we have several large planters.  Filling in the empty spots, we have several tall sticks.  It’s ugly, but does the trick, LOL.

Then, there’s Gizmo…Gizzy…The Giz Monster.  The sweetest, most irritating little Chihuahua mix on the planet.  He’s almost 4 years old and not a day goes by that I don’t think about re-homing him…though I doubt we will.  He gets along fine with the other dogs and especially loves to play with the Biggie Dog (you’ll learn about her next).  He’s an absolute snuggle-bug and wants nothing more than to be held and petted.  He has just one problem…he isn’t fully housetrained and doesn’t seem interested in getting that way.  So I’m either taking him outside or cleaning up pee.  Like I said, sweet but irritating.  We’re going to try doggie belly bands next.  It worked for an older dog we had (he passed away a few years ago), so maybe it’ll help Gizmo.

Last, but definitely not least, we have the awesomeness that is Mariska…the Biggie Dog.  She’s a 2-year-old Shepherd mix who actually belongs to my daughter.  This dog is the definition of SWEET!  She weighs about 50 pounds and loves to snuggle and play with the smallest dog toys we can find, lol.  She had no interest in the bigger toys.  She and Gizmo play well together; she’s so gentle with him – sweet!  We’ll be delivering Mariska Puppah Love to my daughter & her hubby some time in the next couple months.  I’ll miss this sweetie pie!

Now for the cats!  KittyPuff and Pickle were adopted from a no-kill shelter that has since closed its doors.  Olive was a stray, found by a friend, then adopted by us.

Pickle…what can I say about her?  She’s about 5 years old, tortoiseshell, a little bit shy but loves to play.  She’s a very lllooonnnnggg cat, but manages to squeeze herself into the tiniest boxes 🙂  Pickle is the most vocal of all our felines, often calling, “hhheeeellllooooowwwww” when she feels lonely.  Seriously!  It sounds like she’s saying HELLO!

KittyPuff is our little derpy cat.  She’s gray, 4 years old, and very timid.  I’m her person and, if given the chance, she will spend the night curled up on top of me.  One of her eyes is cloudy because of a lesion on it when she was a kitten, and she’s slightly pigeon-toed, but I think she’s absolutely perfect.

And then there’s Olive, a pudgy gray 3-year-old.  Formerly a stray, she tolerates the other cats and despises the dogs.  I never thought I would say she’s a good cat, but…well…she is a Very Good Cat.  When she first came to live with us, she hated me.  Seriously!  She would cross the room just to bite or scratch me!  Now, she loves everyone 🙂  She’s the only cat who will come out and greet visitors with a head bump (kinda like a fist bump, but with her head…just hold your fist out and say, “Boom, Kitty?” and there ya go!  The Hubby combs her every morning – she actually waits patiently while he’s in the shower – so her coat is lovely.  I could just go on and on about how much she’s improved since we took her in 2 years ago.  She’s just so awesome!  Even my mother-in-law likes her…and she’s not much into animals, LOL.

So, there you have it – a no-so-brief rundown of all our furry pals.  If anyone wants to take Gizmo off our hands, just let me know, LOL!

Tempus Fugit

Time has certainly flown for our family.  The Hubby and I are now empty-nesters!

Since late April, we’ve been making wedding things happen for our daughter – a bridal shower, a wedding, a reception, etc.  I’ve written too many invitations to count, put many miles on my car (buying everything from banners to dishes to a lovely wedding cake), and had more fun with my daughter than I’d ever imagined it would be.  Finally, The Big Day arrived!  We made it to the church with plenty of time to get everyone ready, there were quite a few helpers buzzing around, so everything that needed to be done was done.  We were about to head upstairs for a few photos before the ceremony when we realized we’d forgotten about the flowers!  No, not ordering them, LOL!  We’d forgotten to get them out of the fridge and hand them out!  Whew!  Let the wedding commence!

The bride’s brother played his cello for the processional, the groom was quite dashing in his black skinny jeans, gray vest, and purple bow tie, the groomsmen stood tall & handsome, the bridesmaids were graceful in their lavender dresses, and the flower girls were adorable as they tossed flower petals everywhere 🙂  Then the bride entered on the arm of her daddy.  She was stunning – lovely white strapless gown, bouquet of varying shades of purple flowers, crystal-studded headband, purple hair (yes, purple hair!), and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.

The ceremony was short and very sweet, then the happy couple exited to The Beatles’ When I’m Sixty-Four.  Smiles all around, photos and more photos, time for the reception!  Everyone had a nice time, then the newlyweds dashed off on a romantic honeymoon to Philadelphia 🙂  A week later, they left again…this time, to Nebraska, where they plan to live for the foreseeable future.

I wish them much love, more fun than they can imagine, and every happiness.

Mama Wants Her Mojo Back!

Last month, while Hubby and I were away for the weekend, I started what was supposed to be a quick stitch.  Basically, it was a fill-in project because I was certain to finish the current stitch before we got home.

The problem?  I’m just not excited about it.  I wasn’t overly excited when I began, but thought, “It won’t take long and might make a nice gift for someone.”  It’s a silhouette of squirrels inside a heart (scherenschnitte style); I chose a pretty auburn-colored thread, rather than black, to make it nice for autumn.  That weekend, I got about 1/3 finished and haven’t really worked on it since.  Now I’m ready to toss it in the bin. There are just so many other projects that I really, really want to do!  Am I making sense?

Anyway, I really feel like I’ve lost my stitching mojo and the only way to get it back is to either finish this design or toss it & find a small something that I’m really interested in finishing.  The nearly instant gratification of a cute, finished stitchy project, should get me excited about stitching again, right?

Any advice for handling not-so-exciting projects or getting back the stitchy mojo?

Lovely, but…

BUNNY CROSS-STITCH - FINISHED

Waaayyy back on March 23, I began stitching an adorable design from The Vermillion Stitchery’s Bunny Collection. I finished last night and love how it turned out.  Stitching it…didn’t love that nearly as much.

So what’s up with that? I’m so glad you asked! The Bunny Collection is a packet of 9 counted cross-stitch designs featuring…you guessed it!…bunnies 🙂 They’re all very cute – lots of flowers and cute bunny faces. But then I got started.

Before stitching, I made a high-quality copy so I can use a highlighter to keep track of my stitching; not a problem since all the charts are black & white. I gathered all my DMC embroidery floss (over 30 colors in this design). Part-way through, I found a symbol that wasn’t on the listing. After looking through several other charts in the packet, I found the symbol and ran to the store to get the appropriate color thread. Back to stitching. Then, I found another mysterious symbol. Once again, I searched through other charts to find it and ran to the craft store. Sigh…

Ok, fast-forward to backstitching.  Some of the outline symbols were hard to read, but it wasn’t too frustrating. Until I got to the blue flowers. The outline symbol on the chart (I had returned to the original chart by now, to make sure I read the backstitching right) was so hard to read! Maybe it would’ve been better if I had enlarged the chart about 10 times… Anyway, I finally finished last night and I’m very happy with the result. It will probably end up being a Christmas gift for some special person, but don’t tell!

As for The Bunny Collection, I don’t plan to keep this chart pack (hello, ebay!) and will probably never buy another thing by The Vermillion Stitchery. That’s ok, though, because there are plenty of other talented designers out there that I like better anyway 🙂

Happy Stitching!!

PS:  I was in Michael’s yesterday with my daughter, getting ideas for wedding stuff (June 20 is the big day!) and found some really cute wood picture frames on sale (buy one, get one half off!).  I bought a few and plan to get some things framed soon so I can (finally!!) open my etsy shop, The Timid Kitty.

PPS:  Look for me on Instagram – thetimidkitty