Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Meet Muffin...

I have been meaning to introduce you to Muffin for quite some time now. Muffin is a 12 year old lab cross that joined our family back in September. She had brought her luggage and checked into the local Humane Society in July, soon twisting the staff around her tail with her loving, happy personality. But, poor Muffin, nobody seemed to want an old doggie for their own. Everyone was scared that they would love her to much and she would go to Heaven in too short of a time. Our own 12 year old lab, Blackie, had been lonely since our Hannah passed away last Christmas, so we decided to bring Muffin home. They could keep each other company. It has worked out splendidly so far.

Muffin had been found in the south end of our county just running around in the woods. A gathering of people took over a meadow for a wedding in July and Muffin latched on to all of the little kids who were in attendance of the grand event. These same people loved her but couldn't keep her so they called our Doggie Police to come and find her a good home. Muffin's toenails were so long that she could barely walk and she had a horrible bladder infection raging inside of her. Muffin does have an implant with her registration in it, but they could not locate her owner, somewhere in a different county of our state. We were told that a lot of the homeless people's dogs are implanted with this type of registration, so they think that our Muffin was homeless. The Clatsop County Humane Society took good care of her and got her all doctored up before trying to find her a family to love. You now know the rest of the story. Muffin is no longer homeless and she rather enjoys sleeping on her doggie bed and going for long walks...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Baby Doodle Bug Hats

These two baby hats are now in my etsy shop just waiting to warm the heads of some wee ones for the winter season. They are made of wool and acrylic yarn and would give any baby a jaunty fashionable air. I tried to get Noah Bean to model for me, but he was having none of that...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mile High Apple Pie

Our little Thanksgiving Butterball, Noah Thomas.

Paula's Mile High Apple Pie

Pastry for double-crust pie
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 10 apples)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry; set aside. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; add apples and toss to coat. Pour into pastry shell. You will have to do some of this by hand as your apples will pile up a "mile high". Sprinkle the pecans over the apples. Spoon the caramel topping over top of all. Using a cookie cutter of your choice or a knife, cut a whole in the center of the upper pie crust to vent. Position top crust over pie and press bottom and top crust edges together to flute. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake 30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly. Enjoy with homemade whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Chat...

"Over the river and through the wooods to Grandmothers house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and blinding snow ~oh!"
This song reminds me of my childhood Thanksgivings. I remember singing it loud with my sisters and brother, mom joining in as well, as we were headed into town to Grandma and Grandpa's house for our Thanksgiving celebration. There were always lots of cousins and aunt's and uncle's waiting for us, the house filled past it's capacity with love, laughter and pies. Our plates would be filled and we would pop those black olives over our fingers before sucking them off into our waiting mouths. So many pies to choose from, pumpkin and my Aunt Judy's sour cream raisin were always my favorites. After dinner, the wee ones were always bundled up in our winter gear and sent outside to run off some of that pent up energy and giggly-ness.
I can only hope that my children's Thanksgiving memories are just as special. I truly think they are...

Catie An is my Swap Sister and we couldn't be more on the same page if we tried. I was lounging around the house in my pajamas one day (yeah, right!) when the phone rang. It was Catie on the other end ~ what a wonderful surprise! Catie had opened her box of Thanksgiving goodies from me and just couldn't stand it another minute. We had made virtually the same garland for each other using vintage tinsel garland and vintage postcards!! Talk about being on the same wavelength. It was really incredible to talk live to my swap sister. Catie is an amazing woman and I have so enjoyed getting to know her.

The rest of the goodies from Catie. I LOVE the vintage turkey sugar dish. It has found a special place on my dining room bookshelves where no little grubby fingers can reach it. Catie made those great gift tags to use on my holiday wrappings and isn't that turkey hat just about one of the funniest things you've ever seen. Dustin may be wearing it to work the day before Thanksgiving...

I'm Thankful for you all. May you all be blessed with kindred souls...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Big Thank You...

to my friend, Wende .

Wende brought this adorable vintage step-stool to me for a Puddle Ducks Daycare Grand Opening gift. Isn't it just the sweetest thing?! One of my little puddle ducks, Sam, has claimed it as his own. He will hunt it down when he first arrives in the morning and drag it with him everywhere. I know that you might not think it possible, but Sam actually "lounges" on this step-stool, all kicked back with his arms hanging down at the sides. It's the cutest thing. Thank you, Wende, we adore it!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Picture of Me...

Mary over at Mary's Writing Nook added me to a meme challenge one day last week. The meme is to post a picture of yourself on your site. Above is a self portrait drawn by myself at age 4. I still look the same~lol! My mom had gotten little kits where each of us kids drew something, then she sent them in and our drawings were transfered onto this plastic plates. I still have mine, but not sure if my brother and sisters have theirs.

Here I am for real. I am usually the one taking the picture and don't allow the camera to be taken from me very often for pictures of me. I don't take nice pictures and I don't like them taken. This is all you're going to get and it is a great representation of my evenings, knitting away.

I pick any of you who would like to join in to post a picture of yourself.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Secrets...

If you are in my neighborhood and you listen closely, you will hear the sound of knitting needles clicking and clacking, sewing machines humming and embroidery needles whoosing through fabric. Christmas time is coming and there are many secret gifts being made in Santa's little craft room...

It's a handmade country Christmas ~ going back to where we all belong....

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dark Northern Mornings

As I turned the lights out last night and prepared for a long nights sleep, the wind was howling around the house and shouting down the chimney. Rain was pouring down the window in sheets, daring me to come outside and play in the squall that had blown ashore. Instead, I tucked myself into bed, turned out the lights and the rhythm of the rain was my lullaby. Popping my head out of the covers this morning, a darker than usual world greeted me, sending my mind back 35 years to the dark northern mornings of my childhood.

The year is 1972. I am 5 years old and my Mommy is brushing my golden hair into tight ponytails that pull my eyes squinty until they loosen up. "OW, Mommy that hurts!". My sisters are waiting, impatiently, at the door for me and we walk out into the dark Alaskan morning to join our cousins on our morning trek to the bus stop down the road. We have our flashlights in hand because it is pitch dark, just like midnight. Looking up Roosevelt Drive I can see all the flashlight beams bobbing down the road from the lights of the other kids who live on our street. We're bundled up tight, hoods up on our winter parka's and secured tightly around our chubby cheeks. It's dark and hard to see as we stumble our way to the big red building, (was it a fire station?), where the school bus will pick us up. Reaching the bus stop, we join the others who are already waiting. Laughing and scrambling feet can be heard in the dark morning air. "The Bus!", someone yells and we all run to get in line. Brakes squeak, the door whooshes open, we troop on, take our seats and the big yellow bus whisks us away to our day of learning and friends.

Ah, those childhood memories are sweet...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Puddle Ducks Waddle In...

Puddle Ducks Day Care is officially open. I have so far 3 little ones joining in the fun and have had to turn away countless phone calls for infant care. Under my license I am only able to have two little ones under the age of 24 months. I wouldn't want more babies at one time than that anyway. It would just be way to hard to have more and with Noah only 2 months I really don't want another infant. I have a dad and two more kids coming on Friday for an interview with me and two more that may start next week. It's all coming together. Yeah!
Our first real project was today. I have been crafting some garlands for the holidays and thought it would be fun to make some smaller ones with the kids. We had a wonderful time with paper, glue and yarn.

These are the finished garlands that the little puddle ducks made. The top one is a 5 year olds work and the bottom was made, with a little help, by a 2 year old. They turned out really cute and the kids were so proud of them and excited to show them off to mom and dad.

Noah Bean's bear garland. I think he may have had just a wee bit of help from his Mommy...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pawley Farm

My sister, Susan, has recently finished putting together her website, Pawley Farm . She started several years ago, taking some incredibly beautiful photographs of her farm life. After checking into some framing shops, she decided that she needed to mat them herself and then found a local artisan who makes the barnwood frames for her. She has marketed her artwork herself and has them in several Northeastern Oregon shops including some local farm stands where they blend in perfectly with the farm atmosphere. She has also sold a few to a large furniture store who didn't think they would be interested until they saw her work and were so excited that they bought a couple on the spot and ordered several more. You Go Girl!

My sisters story is unique in the fact that she was born with cataracts in her eyes and had several eye operations as a baby and toddler and is legally blind in one eye. I have often asked myself how she captures the beauty around her. It truly is a God given gift. Susan also is a single parent, raising her two sons on her own for these last 16 years. She put herself through college and is a special education pre-school teacher with dreams to someday own her own farm. Susan and the boys live on a large ranch and vineyard in an old ranch house that they rent. They have all worked on and off (more on than off) for the owner and have the use of a big red barn and several different fields to run their critters in. They have a menagerie of horses, one donkey named Elmer, chickens, ducks, sheep and I hear they have acquired a couple of pigmy goats now. Susan grows a big garden every year and sometimes sells her wares at the local Farmers Market.

My big sister is a wonder in my eyes. She does so much and is now on her way to being a locally known artist. It is my mission to get her name and work out to you. Please hop over to Pawley Farm

and have a look at her work. Send anyone you know. Farm art would look wonderful in every house in the country...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy November!

Turkey Days coming. That means pumpkin pie, mashed potatos, stuffing, roast chicken (CHICKEN?!)- OH, pardon me, that's what's being served at my Rainy Day Cafe' tonight.
This picture's is just a glimpse of some Thanksgiving craftiness that's been going on at my house recently.

I found this knitted baby hat pattern and fell in love with it. These two are for Ayden and Noah. I have just finished one for little Weston who hasn't even arrived yet and have one in the works for a new little nephew, Kyle.
Hurry up everybody. Christmas is just around the corner...YIKES!

Gender Confusion...

We had just a little bit of gender confusuion going on at our house last night. Take a look at these pictures ~

First, Noah Bean thought he was a LADYbug...

Then Dustin and Josh decided to be little fairy princess'...
Just when I thought the madness was over Shilo and Blair showed up dressed like boys. They were in and out so fast that I didn't get a single picture.

Today our topsy-turvy world seems to have righted itself...