Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last minute Halloween craft & a great fall dip recipe ~

WELCOME! Thank you for stopping by. It's hard to believe that Saturday is Halloween. Fall is just flying by. Tomorrow is supposed to be a magnificent day here in northern Ohio ~ sunny and mid-60's. I do love that kind of weather.
Here's a super easy Halloween craft. This is made with one of those little peat pots from the garden center. Just sponge on some orange paint, add the facial features and outline with a thin black marker. Antique lightly if it's too bright. Add a wire hanger and you're done ;-)
Today was "dip day" at work. This must have been quite yummy since I had 4 people request the recipe ~ and it's super-easy to make (my kind of recipe!).
5 oz package instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)
15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 T pumpkin spice
12 oz Cool Whip (I used low fat)
Mix the first 3 ingredients together.
Add Cool Whip and mix well.
Serve with vanilla wafers. I think graham crackers would be good too.
(The original recipe called for 16 oz of Cool Whip (that's a lot of Cool Whip!) and 2 T of pumpkin spice, but I thought that was way too much to make.)
Pug hugs :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

9.5 & a Weekend Update ~

~ ~ ~ Welcome friends ~ ~ ~
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have had a fun, productive weekend.
I must thank April DeConick over at Red Jack Rugs. A few of months ago, she started a rug challenge. The challenge was to find 10 minutes a day to do anything related to rug hooking, whether it be pulling loops, color planning, dyeing wool, etc. In the past, my goal was to hook 30 minutes a day, and if I couldn't find 30 minutes, I didn't hook. Needless to say, it was very hard to find 30 minutes, so I'd only hook 3 or 4 days a week if I was lucky. Now I am proud to say, I have actually pulled loops for at least 10 minutes a day since the end of July (except one long weekend when I was out of town). It's usually only 15 or 20 minutes, but I am hooking on a regular basis which is a good thing because I must be the world's slowest hooker!
Here's my latest project. I must be on a cat kick (this is my third cat item in the last few months), and as you all know, I am a pug person. (The last cat I had went to the rainbow bridge when she was about 18 years old.) A couple of weeks ago, I had just finished a Christmas gift that I hooked (can't show you in case "she" checks my blog) and did not yet have my next gift planned. I needed something to take to the monthly hooking at the library and the first thing I found was this cat, something nice and easy and rather mindless. When I purchased my Townsend cutter this summer, I purchased a 9.5 cut blade. Did I tell you I absolutely LOVE my Townsend? If someone tells you it cuts wool like butter, believe them. Anyway, back to my rug. This is the first time I have hooked with the 9.5 strips and I really do like it! The rug is about 14.5" x 19".
As many of you know, my latest foster is a little 7 year old puppy mill momma named Eema. She is the sweetest little thing and so loving. We are working hard on the potty training and I think we are making some progress. She gets a special treat when she does her "business" outside and it seems to be working. She will make someone very happy when she finds her forever home.
I spent some time this weekend cleaning the basement. I am one of those people who just can't keep a basement or garage clean. Maybe it's because when I don't know where to put something, it's easier to put it in the basement or garage rather than dealing with it! It feels good when I get them cleaned ~ it just doesn't last. Maybe in my next life, I'll be one of those people who gets rid of things if they haven't been used or worn in a year. Nah, not me. I'm somewhat of a pack rat and I come by it justly ;-)
Pug hugs :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall on the north coast ~ ~ ~

It was the perfect fall day here on Ohio's north coast.
70 degrees with sun and a gentle breeze.
Oh, how I wish it would stay
this way until spring ;-)

Thank you for stopping by. Please come again soon!
Pug hugs :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Do you know how to blacken beeswax? & my first foster ~

Do you know how to blacken beeswax or where to find instructions? I've searched the Internet without success. There are many items for sale, but I'd like to know how to make my own. Years ago, I made beeswax ornaments, and the smell of melted beeswax is heavenly.
Since it seems very strange to post to my blog without any pictures, I thought I'd share a couple of pics of my first foster, TeeJaye. In August of 2008, I got a call asking if I'd be willing to foster a female pug that was in a shelter. Barb wanted to pull her from the shelter, but could only do it if she had someone lined up to foster her. She knew nothing other than it was a female. I himmed and hawed and reluctantly said I would. At that point, I wasn't sure if I wanted to foster. Fast forward to the same evening. Barb and I met and she handed TeeJaye to me. The word that came to mind when I saw her was "skanky" (if that's a real word!). Poor thing was missing about 25% of her hair. She was skinny and so pathetic looking. I thought how could I ever care for this girl when I didn't even want to touch her! The loss of hair was due to a bad case of fleas (which thankfully were gone by the time I got her). The hair immediately started to grow back, she put on some weight, and she was the most loving girl and a real beauty. Here she is in her "street walking" costume....
...and all decked out for fall!
This young lady ended up stealing my heart and she came very close to being a foster failure. Luckily, I had met the lady who ended up adopting her, so I knew she was going to a good home. The day she was adopted, I took a half day off work and spent the day crying. I knew I was doing what was best for TeeJaye but it still hurt.
I am now fostering pug #6 and each and every one has been special. They have all taken a little piece of my heart when they've been adopted.
Please, if you are thinking about a pet, consider adopting or buy from a reputable breeder. PLEASE do not buy from a pet store. My current foster Eema has spent her entire life in a cage having babies! Her baby days are over and my hope is that she will soon go to her forever home where she will live with the dignity she deserves!
Thanks for listening and I'll get off my soap box now!
Pug hugs :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuesday's hookin' ~ finally!

Thank you so much for dropping by. I hope you are experiencing some fall-like weather in your little corner of the world! Here on Ohio's north coast is it quite chilly ~ mid 40's. I am still waiting for some gorgeous fall colors and for our Indian summer to arrive. They are predicting warmer temperatures next week and I do hope the weather guesser is correct. It seems we went from summer to late fall. I do love the fall, but not what comes after it!

Tuesday was the monthly get-together at the Metro Parks. Luckily I was able to take an extra hour at lunchtime and get in a little hooking time. I have a few rugs to post, and to those whose names I forgot, I do apologize and next time will try to do better! Several ladies were just beginning a new rug and asked that I not take a picture until they had more done.

I think this is Sylvia's runner. She always chooses such amazing colors. Mitsuko had finished this cockscomb and just needs to complete the binding. She plans to hang it on the wall. Karin's penny rug totally done ;-) Carol's antique adaptation was phenomenal. My picture does not do it justice :( She is an amazing color planner and the colors chosen for this rug were so old looking. An Edyth O'Neill design. Another great rug that my photo does not do justice to. This rug is being hooked in a #6. Her colors are gorgeous! Andrea is also hooking her rug in a #6. I think her sheep are needle felted. Check out her blog at last but not least is this sweet little mat. I am so sorry I don't remember her name ( I am TERRIBLE with names), but she said she hooked once as a teenager and nothing since. She is doing a great job! I had to show you the close up of Carol's sunflower. The center of the sunflower is done using a technique called seeding. What a great look it has! The second row of yellow is done using a technique called beading. She is using two different colored strips of wool at the same time, pulling one loop in yellow and the next in brown. (Am I making sense?) Beautiful! I hope everyone is having a fun, productive weekend. I got sidetracked while trying to complete this post, and we are now at 49 degrees with sun. Almost feels like a heat!

Pug hugs :)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marv update & a new rug book ~

I spoke with Marv's forever Mom this evening and she said Marv is doing great and adjusting just fine. She said I was more than welcome to share this picture. That is Alicia on the right holding Marv. On the left is Tori, part of her extended family. The fawn pug is Alicia's first pug P-Lo. Isn't that just the cutest name? Alicia says she keeps reassuring Marv that he has been displaced for the last time and will be with her forever. I am so happy for Marv ;-)
I just got this book in the mail today and haven't had the time this evening to go through it, but I did flip through it quickly. It is loaded with pictures for inspiration. (FYI - I got it for a great price on Amazon.)
A big thank you for stopping by and I hope you come again soon!
Pug hugs :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good bye Marv, hello Eema

Marv went to his forever home this weekend. He's now living in Cincinnati and I do hope he's livin' the good life! He deserves it. His life was disrupted four times in as many months. I know some will say that he's just a dog, but a dog will offer unconditional love. He and I got off to a somewhat rocky start, but as I learned about Marv, we got to be pretty good buddies, though I never did appreciate when he growled at me! I was hoping to post a picture of his forever Mom, but was unable to connect with her to get her permission.
To be honest, I was looking forward to being pug-less for a while. Little did I know that I would be coming home with another foster. This is Eema, the phonetic spelling of the Hebrew word for mom. This little beauty is a 7 year old puppy mill girl. Thankfully, her puppy mill days are over and she will never again have puppies. She had been fostered in Columbus for a few weeks, but the foster home had a couple of boys who were behaving badly and the foster mom was worried that little Eema would end up in the middle of a fight. She is a well behaved pug starved for affection. We need to work on potty issues, but hey, after living in a crate for your entire life, I can understand why she has issues. She has been spayed and is up to date on all her shots. The poor thing even had to have seven teeth pulled, but she has no problem eating! Now we just need someone to fall in love with her and help her along ;-)
PLEASE!!! If you are thinking about getting a dog or a cat, please, please, please consider a rescue animal. There are so many animals looking for their forever home. If you chose to buy, please find a reputable breeder and don't buy from a pet store. Because of pet stores, puppy mills abound.
Pug hugs :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hooking at the library ~

~ ~ ~ WELCOME ~ ~ ~
Last evening was the hooking get together at the library. It was a small but very talented group that met. Last month we were unable to meet due to a scheduling conflict so it was great to see everyone.
Candy's rug is coming along nicely. She is hooking this delightful rug in a #4 cut and says that her next project will be in a wider cut!
The colors in Heidi's rug are very vibrant.
Polly is nearly finished with her rug. This is being hooked for her daughter and I'm sure she will LOVE it.
Both Karin and Lisa are hooking penny rugs. Karin's, on the left, is a commissioned piece. Lisa's piece is for her dining room table. I'm not sure of the dimensions, but it is going to be loooong. I told her it would look great on my table with my new old sled sitting on it during the holidays. I'd better not hold my!
Here is a pillow that Karin hooked. It is beautifully sewn together and filled with scraps of wool and has such a great feel to it. The colors are so old looking, especially the robin's egg blue Santas. I did not capture the true color, darn it.
Here's another small hooked mat by Karin that she will be listing on eBay tonight or tomorrow. Once again my colors are not quite right. The colors are much more primitive/old looking in person. Her seller id is primitivespirits and she lists the most incredible pieces. If you are not familiar with her work, please check her out.
An apology is in order. Sylvia hooked during the day, so she brought the most amazing afghan that she is knitting to work on. It is beautiful and I failed to take a picture. So sorry, Sylvia :(
On a sad note, I got a phone call from my dearest friend Mary. We met in 1972 in Spain. I was an undergrad student and she was a graduate student. We have remained the best of friends all these years. Her husband was killed in an accident this evening. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
Pug hugs :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm not sure where or how to begin this post. There was a death of sorts today in Lorain, Ohio. Ss. Cyril and Methodius Slovenian Roman Catholic Church celebrated its last mass today. The parish had its start back in 1905 and the current church was built in 1952. In its 104 years there were only 11 pastors, and since 1934, only three. Father Krajnik , the current pastor, has served for 34 years. Last week he celebrated his 87th birthday.

I guess I need to give a little background on our city. We are known as the international city because of our diverse ethnic background. In the late 1800’s and into the 1900’s, people flocked to Lorain to work in the steel mill. Many people from eastern Europe, including Slovenians, Slovaks, Hungarians, Croatians, the Polish and others settled here by the thousands, each group eventually starting their own church.

Recently the Cleveland Catholic Diocese has begun closing and consolidating these churches. Yes, some of these churches were small, with dwindling membership, but they were still viable parishes. Even parishes with hundreds of members have closed or are closing. Did the Diocese really need to hire police to be at the church today? There was one officer standing outside and I was told 2 plain clothes officers were inside. Was that necessary? What did they think these loyal parishioners would do?

Now I must admit, I was not a member of St. Cyril’s and as my 89 year old mother would tell you, I am a lousy Catholic, but there is a great sadness in my heart today. I cannot even begin to imagine what longtime church members are feeling. My heart aches for them. Within days, everything will be stripped from the church, including the stained glass windows.

Did you even know there was a St. Cyril and a St. Methodius? They were 9th century brothers and great missionaries, known as the Apostles of the Slavs.

I have many pictures to share. I hope you will enjoy them.

Parishioners from other closed churches offering their support. Thank you!

The front of the church. Sorry I forgot to walk across the street to get a better picture. The stained glass window is in the choir loft.
Is it still called a cornerstone when it's not in the corner?
The altar. Note the eastern European influence.
The largest and most detailed stained glass window in the church is in the choir loft and depicts Ss. Cyril and Methodius.
There are six stained glass windows in the nave of the church which portray our religious mysteries. Here is a detail of one of the windows.
The lower portion of each window depicts readings from the Old Testament.
Statues in the church.
I always joked that midnight mass was held at 9pm on Christmas eve. I was especially fond of the manger.
A young lady dressed in typical Slovenian attire.
Father Krajnik, pastor for 34 years.
This is Uncle Ray, the uncle of my dear significant other. I always joke that he's the world's oldest altar boy at age 82.
My mom leaving the church for the last time.
These old books were in the choir loft and we were allowed to take them. The one on the left is from Holy Week and was printed in 1913. The song book "Cantate" was published in 1920.
In the old church hall, people gathered one last time after mass for coffee and donuts. I was so happy we were allowed to take dishes for remembrance.
To all those who have made it to the end, THANK YOU!

Pug hugs :)