Thursday, December 29, 2016

Famous Seamus

Just last Saturday--on Christmas Eve--Seamus turned 10 years old.  He had a wonderful Christmas as you can see by the Christmas post.  On Monday, he had a wonderful day, visited all the people he loved most.  Everything was fine.  And then at 8:30 pm, something was wrong.  He couldn't sit or lay down.

We rushed him to the vet hospital.

Although Seamus' hepatitis was improving, no one realized he had a fast growing mass on his spleen which had begun to bleed Monday night.  He passed away early Tuesday morning.

When we got Seamus as a puppy, he was terribly ill with pneumonia and almost died.  Twice a day we would take him to the vet for IV meds and check-ups.  We have always felt that he knew he was saved by humans.  My mother referred to him as an angel that God wanted save to provide comfort to all.  I think that is why he passed the therapy dog test so early.   Unlike many dogs, he LOVED going to the vets and wanted to visit everyone.  He remained a cuddle pup his entire life.

It isn't just my husband and I that are devastated.  I cannot even count all the people that were touched by Seamus' loving personality.  His therapy patients, the many people he adopted in our neighborhood, his many friends at the park.  He loved everyone and everyone loved him.  
A neighbor dropped off this plant for us in memory of our sweet boy.
The news has spread through my city neighborhood and I can't believe the response of the folks around here. So many people have stopped by or called to relay their sympathy and to acknowledge how much he will be missed.  We have been inundated with love.

 I am grateful to all of  you who have shared the loss with my husband and me.  

My one comfort these days is that his life meant so much to so many. 

Thank you for your kindness and for loving my boy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Peter and Jessica's quilt.

Peter and Jessica liked their quilt!  I know you've seen it before but I just had to post this photo :)
Peter also liked receiving his great-great-grandmother's aghan she made...probably in the 1960s or 70s.  My mom had it stored away for the someday that came on Christmas:
and Peter liked his Asimov gift :)
The grandkids are getting so big!!  But I don't post photos of them online anymore.  They were both excited to learn that they are going to Florida in two weeks!  They should have a great time!
Seamus had a wonderful day as well:
Now we spend a few days recovering from the madness!  
Hope your holiday was wonderful!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a holiday full of peace and joy!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I Like Thursdays #10

Well it's that wonderful day of the week!  Positivity abounds on "I Like Thursdays" founded by our friend LeeAnna at her blog, "Not Afraid of Color" (here).

What do I like this week?

1.  Having a few weeks alone to get Christmas together.  My husband travels a lot with his job and this month, I was grateful to get a few weeks in where everything could be baked, wrapped and cleaned for the Christmas brunch.  YEEHAW!  Done and just doing some light things on Saturday and then welcoming the gang!

2.  I liked baking this year.  The new cookie recipe that I liked was Nestle's Mint Chip Chocolate Cookie.  You can find the recipe here.  I didn't use the mint chips though.  I found miniature Andes candies in the baking aisle and used that instead.  At first I wasn't sure I liked them.  But now that my palette is cleared (of sugary goods), I have to say these are quite tasty!
3.  I like how Seamus is acting these days.  He's learned some new tricks, is attempting to manipulate us more (always a normal poodle sign), and seems more alert.  We aren't going to do bloodwork until after the holidays but I must say, I'm feeling more optimistic. 

4.  My favorite gift to give this year is an unusual one.  I have a sister-in-law with early onset dementia.  It is heartbreaking and this year has been really tough on her and most of all, my brother-in-law, her husband and primary caregiver.  I know it will get tougher too.  So when I found an article in the New York Times (article here) about a new gadget being used with dementia/alzheimer patients, I decided to do some research and see what others who used it said.  What is it?  A robotic cat (they have dogs too) made by Hasbro that more nursing homes are using to calm patients when they become agitated.  

I know all about this.  When Seamus was an active therapy dog, we would sometimes be asked to go to the dementia/alheimers ward to help calm the patients--and it worked!  So after reading a lot of positive responses from consumers, I decided to order one for Diane.  She lost her own Kitty this year and one of her favorite things is to pet animals, small animals especially (this is really helpful when there is a lot of activity around her).

Kitty came this week and I have to say, I'm really surprised at all that she can do.  Her eyes don't just blink but get small when she is being stroked, She meows, she rolls over on her back so you can scratch her belly (and she rolls back too when she is done with that).  She raises her paw as if to clean her paw.  Oh...and she purrs and she feels like she is purring (the weight of the cat and vibration is spot on to a real cat).  I can't say enough for this product.  I took it to my Mom's to make sure it worked and thought you would like to see Greta's reaction (white poodle girlfriend of Seamus).  PS-that's my mom with Kitty who also is teasing Greta:

5.  My last like is finishing another UFO.  This was a split nine patch quilt that I made with scraps of Christmas fabrics I had (some for years).  Still not sure who to give it to but it will be nice to have it around for a present. sideways 
 I especially like the quilting (thanks Terri Trotter!) in the shape of cardinals!!

That's it for this week!  I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I like Thursdays #9

Well thank goodness for LeeAnna's Thursday round-up of of positive energy!  This week my number one thing that I like--

Christmas presents are completed and wrapped!!!

My husband and I have seriously cut back on holiday presents.  The grandkids are getting older, our kids need less and we just want to be with our family on the holidays.  It's a huge relief.

This year, I made a quilt for my friend's two young granddaughters.  I took all my Christmas scraps and put together this quilt:

With fun fabrics:
Yes, lots of dogs :)
The youngest girl loves LOVES her dolls and I had two blocks left so I put together a matching doll quilt.

I like themed presents!!!

I love matroyshkas (nesting dolls) and love theme presents even more.  The girls' quilts have matroyshkas quilted on them:
Even the doll quilt! My quilter, Terri Trotter, reduced the scale and was kind enough to do the doll quilt in a smaller scale:

Last but not least, I bought each of the girls a nesting doll:

 I like the smell of a freshly cleaned room!!!  I've been baking and doing some (late) fall cleaning.  It's a lot of work but there is a feeling of cheerfulness in a freshly scrubbed room that just can't be beat!  

My oldest and dearest friend and I have a great relationship--we don't swap clothing or jewelry, but furniture and home decor. Shopping at each other's home is SO AFFORDABLE! 😊  Two weeks ago, Linda brought the bookcase I requested.  It fit perfectly by the front door and holds our Christmas tree.

For now, Seamus is holding his own.  His last blood results were not good but his meds have been adjusted again.  I have to hold on to the fact that he is playing more and everyone is commenting that he seems like his old self.  The next set of tests are after the holiday.  Seamus does NOT LIKE how much baking I've been doing.  Yes, dogs can communicate!!! I walked into the living room to see him camped out by the door and lobbying for a game of ball at the park.

This is all I have for this week!  Have a safe and pleasant week and stay warm!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I like Thursdays, # 8!

I am happy to finally have the time to post!  I LOVE "I like Thursdays" and you can learn more about this at the website of our wonderful hostess-with-the-most-ess, Leeanna, here.

I like spending time with my son and daughter-in-law (okay, I love it!).  As usual, they had a wonderful spread for Thanksgiving at their apartment in Philadelphia.  I love their apartment, it is huge and spacious and we all fit with plenty of room to spare.  And then there is the food, both Peter and Jess are foodies (Jess being the primo-cook) so the dinner is always wonderful.  

They both love to travel and Jessica recently returned from two weeks in Japan.  She brought some neat souvenirs for us but my favorite is this wonderful scarf which I REALLY like--isn't it fab?

Last week my girlfriends and I went on our annual shopping spree at the Indie Craft Fair here in Allentown.  It is the BEST place to get fun and funky gifts for the kids.  This year, I found a pillow for Peter's office:
Where else could you find an Isaac Asimov pillow?

Peter loved Asimov as a young boy.  He was so thrilled when he could go see the writer at one of our local colleges:

I framed some of the photos from that day for Peter as well.  I hope he will really like it!

I also like that we've downsized Christmas.  I'm enjoying it more without all the work and pressure (yes, I put the stress on myself).  

Seamus is holding his own and except for the never ending string of gray days, life is good!  Hope you are finding wonderful things to like too!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Christmas prep is almost done here.  Things are much easier since the kids are grown and the grandkids are getting older.  We didn't put up a tree last year and we aren't going to put one up this year either.

Last week Brad was home so we spent most of our time cleaning up the basement and fixing up his man-cave down there.  It was a lot of work (especially for him) but it is really looking much better.

Last week I finished my most important Christmas gift: a quilt for Peter and Jessica.  This is one of two I'm making for them.  The other one was a vintage Grandmother's flower garden that still needs to be quilted.  I was hoping to do a double sided quilt with this one and the vintage piece but it just didn't work out.  So I have this one ready for the holiday and will finish the other one later.  Here are two photos I took.  The quality of the photo is bad (it seems to be grey every day here) but you get the gyst.  The squares are all sorts of things that Jessica likes:  polka dots, cherries, a print that looks like houndstooth, and some fabric with words that summarize her passion for growing, preserving and cooking.  I hope she likes it!  Here is the photo of the whole piece and a close up of the border fabric:

Last week I almost made gifts for our vet and his staff at Emmaus Animal Hospital.  They have been wonderful to Seamus and our family.  We took over a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and a snowman s'more kit for each person there.  I like this little thingy and made some for our library staff and the kids in the neighborhood.

The marshmallow snowmen are made by our local candy company, Just Born.  You might know the company because of the marshmallow peeps they make.  Anyway, if you want to make some of these, the template is here.

I'm off to get ready for a guild meeting and am hoping that we don't get the inclement weather called for this evening.  Hope you are all doing well!  
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  --John F. Kennedy

Have a safe and peaceful holiday!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I like Thursdays, # 7

I know I was lax the last few weeks but I am back and ready to participate in LeeAnna's "I Like Thursdays" series.  Seamus has had some problems due to the high level of prednisone he's on so I've had my hands full with that and other things.  Things I like:

Seamus did get a coat and he looks handsome in that:

 But he's not particularly thrilled with it.  

In the beginning of November, I did something I LOVE and went to a local estate sale.  The best part was exploring the big old Victorian home.  I got a few trinkets as well:

Books:  I just finished Springsteen's Born to Run and am now reading  Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner.  Yes, I'm eclectic in my tastes.  Nothing like going from current rock and roll to mid-19th century fine art. 
Image result for turner paintings
I've been watching "The Durrells of Corfu" on PBS and now I got my neighbor hooked on it too.  She comes over to watch it with me and it is so much more fun to be laughing with a friend these days!  Speaking of friends, I took Seamus to a friend's house to help her daughter make dog mufflers (she's also Seamus' groomer).  Seamus ended up being her model:

Wishing you all a happy week!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Good Friday #6 More positive likes!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

It's time for another happy Thursday post, inspired by Leeanna at Not Afraid of Color!!!  The weather has turned cool here but happily we are getting much needed rain today!
Seamus continues to progress.  His prednisone was increased this past week and thus far, there have been less side effects than I anticipated.  We'll see how the next few weeks go. 

This past week the Hubs was working in Detroit so I spread my sewing all over the dining room (so I could sew around Seamus who can't do the steps).  I know have 88 rose blocks ready for borders and sashing.  I think this will be enough for two lap quilts.  I really REALLY like using up all this fabric :)  
I'm tired of working in the garden these days.  It's cool and damp and I haven't wanted to do much at all.  I do have to finish up though.  This weekend I hope to plant some spring bulbs, weather permitting.

Also, I have this old quilt that I purchased recently.  It is in much worse shape than I imagined and I am thinking of rescuing the blocks and setting them in another piece because I love them. Maybe something for a wall hanging?  During my childhood, I would have imagined these blocks similar to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (second only to my other favorite book, Little Women).  Now I wonder if they are similar to Harry Potter--do they remind you of that too?  Your insights would be appreciated.  Here are some photos:

Have a wonderful week!