Farewell, sweet boy

Note:  I wrote this almost 2 months ago to the day that Boomer was in the ER vet and I didn’t think he’d come home.  I’m very grateful for the 2 additional months we had together. It is very sad to share that Boomer crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. 

Ten years ago Boomer claimed me as his human. There were very few times over the past decade that I wasn’t under the watchful eye of Mr. B.  He was my constant companion.

Boomer touched many lives and made a lot of people smile during our nine years of therapy dog work. Oh, how he loved our visits to schools, libraries and CHOA to see the kids!  He was always ready to hop in the car and ride – just to be with his people.  He loved Chick-Fil-A nuggets and puppy sundaes from Brusters.  Nothing made him happier than being able to go back to bed after breakfast whenever I was off for school breaks.  He loved petting in all forms and wouldn’t hesitate to use the power of the paw to get what he wanted.

Boomer – you were such a great dog and a joy to have in the short time I was your chosen human.  Bye, Boomer!  Mommy loves you!







Why I rarely buy quilt patterns anymore…

Last year, a sewing friend of mine who adores Christmas (I mean she starts planning in JULY), announced she wasn’t going to buy Christmas craft magazines any longer. Publishers seemed to be recycling previous content. There wasn’t anything new for her to get excited about.

I thought about what she said.  I also chuckled as I remembered back to Christmas time with my 13 year old niece asking for t-shirts with 80’s bands logos on them. I listened to those groups when I was her age. The old adage, “what’s old is new again” certainly rings true.

I love Pinterest and am inspired by many designers, but here again, many things I like are simply a “refresh” of an earlier project or idea. There’s usually no need for me to buy every single pattern I see.  Why?

  • I already have an extensive pattern and book library at my fingertips.
  • I use EQ8, which comes with a number of ready-to-use quilt designs.
  • Similar projects/tutorials can be found online for free.
  • Like Ma Ingalls, who made Laura Ingalls Wilder’s wedding dress without a pattern in These Happy Golden Years, I’ve been sewing long enough that I can figure out basic quilt/home dec projects merely by looking at a picture and the pattern envelope.

I actually still buy books, patterns and magazines, only they must be something geared to a more intermediate/advanced level sewist or be by a designer I like (e.g., Lori Holt).


Take a deep breath

The world is a crazy place right now.

Online videos show people are fighting over everyday items at big box stores to the extent someone was injured enough to require ambulance transport to a medical facility.

In my area, it’s eerie to see grocery store shelves literally bare. It’s not the usual bread, milk and eggs run we see when a dusting of snow is forecasted. People are frantically buying up whatever they see. Produce, meat, bread, paper products, frozen foods, milk, canned biscuits – all gone.  Hubby’s employer has now curtailed all travel, so my road warrior hubby will be at home for a while. This meant a trip to the grocery store last night for milk. We got the last 1/2 gallon of 2% milk and managed to find substitute brands for other items we typically buy for weekend breakfasts.  Makes me ever so thankful for my stocked pantry and freezer (Mrs. Schubert’s cinnamon rolls in the freezer section are a good substitute for the Pillsbury canned version).

Local schools are cancelled for the foreseeable future. I’ll be teleworking 3 hours per day to support digital learning initiatives, plus compiling book orders and conducting library database maintenance. Reading new books was on my list, but now that the libraries are closed, I’ll have to borrow/buy ebooks or visit the local bookstore.

What this does mean is that I will have some time to really organize my sewing studio and actually finish some of those UFOs languishing on my work table.

Keep calm and quilt on!




Can you believe it’s already March?

The past couple of months have been a blur:

  • Hubby has returned to work full-throttle, including all of the insane week-long travel.
  • Boomer nearly bled to death and required several days in hospital at the ER vet. Thankfully, he’s made a remarkable recovery and we’ll be resuming limited therapy dog activities later this month.
  • Sadie, the Labradoodle we’ve been keeping, is now officially a member our family.
  • I severely sprained my right ankle about 3 weeks ago and am still recovering.

My sewing studio hasn’t been touched in a couple of months, except to hand sew on a couple of buttons. It shows.

I celebrated National Craft Month by sewing today. How about you?





Older sewing machines are worth rescuing!

“I’m at the warehouse,” read the text message from my coworker.

She was at our school district’s behemoth warehouse looking for tables. In a flash, I receive photos of several sewing machines that she’d discovered. One of the high schools had disbanded its interior design program (aka home economics) when the supervising teacher retired. Several of the machines had been sent to the warehouse as surplus.

“Tag the Janome and the blue Brother,” I replied.

Both machines arrived at school a few days later. They were in sad shape. The Brother was immediately pronounced DOA as it was seized up.  The Janome, on the other hand, was a different story. While filthy and obviously neglected, I was still able to make decent stitches by simply advancing the hand wheel. I immediately ordered a replacement foot pedal/power supply, extension table and thread guide.

With the new parts, the machine sewed well enough to be used during Friday clubs. Clubs are now a thing of the past, so the question became, “What to do with this one?” I decided to keep her. I spent time servicing and cleaning her up today. What a difference! I could not believe all the crud that was under the bobbin area – broken needles, extreme lint and thread wrapped around the gears.

My FW maintenance class served me well. I have confidence in my ability to service my own machines and most of the tools already on hand to fix minor problems I encounter during a service. Is the service perfect? Oh definitely not!  However, said machine now sews beautiful stitches with very little noise. Besides, I can always take the machine to the mechanic  if it’s beyond my abilities.

Bless you, Emergency Vets

Since so many of us have four-legged quality assurance supervisors in our sewing studios, thought I’d share this post.

In the 25 years I’ve owned dogs, I’ve never ever needed to use emergency vet services…until a week ago!

It’s very much like taking your human family members to the emergency room. Something was suddenly terribly wrong with Boomer, but I didn’t know what. I was worried about my dog and how much it was going to cost.

ER vet services are not cheap. Plan on about $500/day for care plus any tests, treatments and surgery your dog may need. 

Boomer came home very weak after five days in hospital, but glad to be home.  He was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia, an auto-immune disease that caused his body to suddenly start attacking his platelets (those things that cause your blood to clot). He was bleeding internally. I’m very thankful our primary care vet told me what to look for and to head to the ER vet ASAP if I noticed certain symptoms over the weekend.

My boy looks like he’s been in a fight. However, he’s slowing perking up and here’s hoping his follow-up visit tomorrow has his platelet counts continuing to move in the right direction. I want him around and enjoying life for as long as he can!

And the word for 2020 is…

Empower:  “to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.”

As in empowering myself to step outside my comfort zone and step up to claim opportunities for myself in all areas of my life. 

Something as simple as asking for a different table for dinner on New Year’s Eve (we got a prime window seat!)

Pushing the claims adjuster to get the claim resolved fairly and quickly.

Returning an item that did not meet expectations.

Holding up the line an extra 60 seconds to get the 50% discount on the expensive item that the cashier missed (even though the customer behind me was complaining loudly).

Having that difficult, long overdue conversation with a coworker because I’m tired of her crap.

**Setting boundaries and learning to say “no” without feeling guilty.

**Putting myself out there to generate more teaching and tech editing opportunities for my biz (a/k/a marketing).

These (**) are the two biggies. My other two potential words of the year were “intentional” and “discipline.” I’m going to need both of those to help “empower” myself to accomplish these two items.

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