Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where the red fern grows: You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over {Ramsey August 8, 2003-October 29, 2013}

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Yesterday, with profound sadness and heavy hearts we said good bye to our Ramsey.  It was sudden and we were unprepared.  
We had our last walk on Thursday evening - my sister and I took Ramsey for a walk to pick up the girls  from school.  The next day, he barely moved. I  made an emergency appointment to see the vet at the animal hospital. He had become anaemic and the tests and x-ray revealed a massive silent tumour around the spleen as well as an internal bleed. We made the painful decision to put him down.
The past 24 hours have been so difficult.  The tears wore out my contacts.
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As Wilbur was some pig, Ramsey was some dog.  Together, with my niece, we picked Ramsey from a litter of nine at the breeders at the age of 2 weeks. He was born on August 8 – which would be Lily’s birthday two years later.   He came home to us, Thanksgiving weekend 2003. He graduated from obedience 1, 2, 3 and agility, completed the walk for guide dogs twice, and even tried therapy dog school.  This past February, he was pet of the month in the local community paper.
He was the best dog and our loyal companion. We will never forget you dear friend, thank you for the past ten years.
There is a place called Dog Heaven that is full of liver treats, clean lakes, and rabbits. We believe in that place.
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Dog Heaven has clear, wide lakes, filled with geese who honk and flap and tease. The dogs love this. They run beside the water and bark and bark and God watches them from behind a tree and smiles..
There are children of course. Angel Children.
God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world, so He fills Dog Heaven with plenty of them. T here are children on Bikes and children on Sleds. There are children throwing red rubber balls and children pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs are there, and the children love them dearly.
And. oh, the dog biscuits. Biscuits and biscuits as far as the eye can see.
God has a sense of humor, so he makes His biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits. Ice Cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits.
Every angel who passes by has a biscuit for a dog. And of course, all God's dogs sit when angels say "Sit". Every dog becomes a good dog in Heaven.

Cynthia Rylant’s Dog Heaven
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I woke up Hopie this morning. As always, I asked if she had a nice dream. She answered, “I dreamed of rainbows, unicorns, and Ramsey.”
Dear Ramsey, thank you for the joy, the hikes, the laughter, the cuddles, the spray after a bath, the licks, the fur, and warming our toes during supper. XOX 
“I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried a part of my life along with my dog.”
Where the red fern grows.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crafting with my kids: Milkweed Mice


October has been a difficult month at the day job – as well, Lily seems to have quite a bit more homework this year that we haven’t had the time or energy  to do much crafting together.   This little craft project stems from a recent hike.

A few weeks ago, we took the dog for a run on the beach.  On the shoreline, we noticed the milkweed  exploding.



We collected the spent pods and made these little mice. You find the instructions at 5 orange potatoes.

Instead of drawing ears, we cut tiny pieces of pink and white felt.



Have a lovely weekend! Last night, my sister and I took Lily to see Les Miserables.  I suspect we will be singing the songs all weekend.  It was wonderful.



Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving sewing

We are enjoying a three day weekend and that foggy too much turkey feeling.  We celebrated our Thanksgiving meal with gratitude, a full house, good food, and laughter. I even had  a chance to complete a little sewing project (bonnets and aprons). This year, the girls played Thanksgiving restaurant, made menus, and dressed up to take everyone’s Thanksgiving “orders”.  It was my dad’s idea and made for a memorable meal.
{Sewing Notes: historical apron pattern Hint of History by Amanda Kastner Designs “Buttoned Bib Apron”  Bonnet Pattern Simplicity 9982  View 4 – this pattern is from 1995, probably discontinued I found it at Value Village; fabric thrifted}
A friend in our neighbourhood has started a tiny library of French books. Isn’t it sweet?
“La petite bibliotheque de Leslieville”
Have a happy week,
This post is linked to Make it handmade's Feathers Flight link party. signature

Saturday, October 5, 2013

World Space Week October 4 to 10, 2013

"The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition"
UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/54/68
6 December 1999
As this is World Space Week , I thought I would post about our trip to the Kennedy Space Centre.  (Both the Kennedy Space Centre and NASA websites are down right now due to the government stoppage so I will have to insert the links at a later date.)  World Space Week celebrates “the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.” This year’s theme is Mars.
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During our Florida summer vacation, we took a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center  to see the new Atlantis Exhibit and have lunch with an astronaut. Awesome experience! Here we are in our galaxy t-shirts with Sam Durrance who was a member of the Colombia crew (mission STS-35/Astro-1) and Endeavor crew (mission STS-67/Astro-2).
As Canadians we were very proud to see the Canada arm as well as the IMAX documentary with Commander Chris Hadfield and the International Space Station. 
At the gift shop we picked up Sam Durrance’s mission patches as  well as Commander Hadfield. Every manned and unmanned NASA mission has a patch and the crew influence the design.  I stitched the patches to our solar system wall hanging.  Mission patches are fairly inexpensive, but make a great souvenir. [There is an interesting article here about a quilter who make a quilt from three decades of mission patches.]
For one our World Space Week crafts, the girls  designed their own mission patches inspired by their Kennedy Space Centre souvenir photos. Kind of cute!
Happy World Space Week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Crafting with my kids: St. Francis Day


Tomorrow, is the feast of St. Francis.  To celebrate we have been working on little St. Francis dolls. I found a very clever tutorial for making cork people over at Appleshoe. It is an easy way to make people from wine corks and wooden beads – the possibilities for little people projects is  limited only by your supply of corks.


The facial features for our Franciscans were modelled after the packaging of one of our family’s favourite cheeses, Saint-Paulin.



One of our family’s fall traditions is to attend a pet blessing service.  You can see Ramsey (our black lab) waiting to be blessed.

He does not stray too far from that box of Milkbone biscuits on the alter.


Happy St. Francis Day and happy crafting,