Monday, August 31, 2009

Our last Betty day

Lucky to have Rita's mom, Lizzy from CT join us.

I think I'm about 2 weeks behind in posting this and am having a miserable time getting my text to match my pictures.  Somehow they've changed blogger.
Anyway I do think you'll see how much fun we have on these days.
Sarah, I'm sorry the pic I took of you didn't come out.
You'll see that we had apron makers, Willie and Rita, quiltmaker Chris, who gifted me with the lovely heart frame and fabric. Cindy's only in a background pic, BUT look at the goblet she brought.  I should have used it for her Tuscan Lemonade that was quite a hit.
The rest of us are just chatting/admiring.

If you look closely you'll see the tiny heart in my Stacy's chip apple crisp - apples from Chris, recipe from PW.

Hope those of you locals will join us one day.  It's totally random skills - and even if you think you can't knit, crochet, sew, quilt, the rest of us will convince you otherwise!

America was happy to have pups Garden and Helena to play with!

Quail Botanical Gardens

Quail Botanical Gardens

This is a favorite hangout of the Hilsabeck/Krenkler gang.  America and I were lucky enough to join them.

We snacked on green tomato cake, made from the bounty of Tracy's garden which she's so generously shared with me.

Spinning, alive and well

When was the last time you saw someone spinning or have you ever???
On my last trip to Common Threads, an uncommon knitting store, where I purchase nearly all of my yarn, I wandered into the back room and it was packed with lovely ladies spinning, on all kinds of spinning wheels, some old fashioned, some modern. It did my heart good to know that this skill is vibrantly alive.

A special day

Bram and Kimberly graduate as a skilled companion team with handsome Zeeland.
America certainly approves!

The lovely flowers Rod gave me for our 39th anniversary

and even better, upgraded my computer! whooee!

Still time to sign up

These slides are some of her students' work
Davi, you were 21, but now there are more posts, but you're definitely included.

Find more photos like this on Suzi Blu's Les Petit Academy

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pinxlady to teach drawing class!


 San Dieguito Academy

 800 Santa Fe Dr


 Wednesdays 6-9 p.m.

  September 9th–October 28th

·        COST: $150.00


San Dieguito Adult School  

walk in,

 or online at –   

here's a link to my first encounter with Cecie:
and here's a link to her website:

I can earnestly say Cecie is a gifted artist, a gentle lady, and a good friend.
I'm just bummed that the class is at night and y'all know i don't do nights!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our baby is one

and more gorgeous than ever!

America's best bud

This was at puppy play before graduation.
America loves Daniel - he often provides her with shade.  She trusts him implicitly, knowing he would never back up over her.  She will seek the shade of his chair whenever she's had too much play and it gives me great joy to be his friend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

K9 tribute

Gorgeous tribute to our beloved companions!
Goosebumps for for all 6 minutes!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Calling all fans of Cindy McQuade

Cindy will be selling her remarkable glass pieces here.

Here's a sample of her one of a kind pieces

Such an eloquent tribute

This was written by Mark Kowalski, puppy raiser of Kaelen, selected as a breeder, and shared by Marianne Hymanson, a CCI puppy raiser in Phoenix.


CCI Puppy Raisers are front-line ambassadors for CCI. If you’re not a PR and are thinking of becoming one, you must know and accept this. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Ask any Puppy Raiser and you’ll find out it isn’t so simple. For, as a (usually but not always!) able-bodied person in public, handling a dog with a cape, you’ll be the ultimate source for the curious who want to know exactly how these very special dogs get prepared for their life’s work.

This means, that you’ll have to be prepared to answer the top 3 hot questions that many people ask a Raiser:

1. “How do you ever give it up?”
2. “How will you ever give her up?”
3. “How will you ever give him up?”

Oh, and I really have to include the ancillary question: “Isn’t it really hard to give them up?”

These questions are usually followed up by easy questions concerning the dogs a) breed, b) age, c) sex, and d) chances of making it. The answers to these are so simple I’ll just give them to you now:

a) Golden, Labrador, or LGX (“what’s that?”);
b) Somewhere between 2 and 20 months; 
c) One of A) male, B) female, C) formerly A or B; and
d) "Gee, I don’t know. My job is to get Skippy here to the next stage in his life. But you have to have hope!"

So that knocks off the follow-up questions. I’m not saying there aren’t complications. Take me, as an example. Because of the large complement of “extra blond” hairs on my head, my sore knees, and my wrist with carpel-tunnel syndrome, I often must explain that, “No, the 5 month old dog with me is not MY service dog; I’m just raising it and this is one stage in its preparation.” And you must always be prepared to provide the CCI mission statement and summarize the overall training program.

But, what about those hot top 3? I think that we can safely condense those to one question: “How do you ever give them up?” Even though I’m on my 6th pup at the moment, and even though I’ve thought often and deeply about how to answer this question, I still have no solid recommendations for you.

I don’t know what answer people are looking for, or, what answer I should give them.

Should I break down and sob and tell them "Oh, Boo hoo hoo! Yes, it’s just awful!" like some poor victim being interviewed for the 6 o'clock news? After all, if you had to give your pet up, you’d be very upset. I know I would be. 

But this dog is not a pet. It’s the embodiment of a message of love and hope and help and I’m just writing a few introductory sentences into its life’s message. The Breeder Caretaker has already written theirs and the staff and volunteers at CCI added a short note at 8 weeks. “More film at 18 months, folks, stay tuned!”

Well, should I say, "No, it’s OK, my heart is made of stone.", another 5 second TV sound bite? That’s a pretty silly answer, isn’t it? 

But maybe some of the public think a Puppy Raiser is a special make of robot that feels nothing, does not appreciate that every puppy they raise is unique, that does not let the pup into his or her heart and life, that does not worry and fret over every little thing that might ruin their puppy’s chance for success? Oh, I hope they wouldn’t believe that of us!

Do I have the time (and do they), to engage in a serious discussion of the responsibility I feel to help those less fortunate than me? Maybe this amount or type of "donation" is beyond many people's understanding, though lots of people do understand, give us a quiet "Thank you for what you do", and leave it at that.

Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know what to say anymore.

I could drag them off to a CCI graduation and say "Look! LOOK! See?? See? Now do you understand?" Not going to happen too often, is it? But, actually, this does happen and if you can get them there, magic happens! You can always get a graduation DVD and let them borrow it.

When I talk in excess about CCI pups at home, my wife is fond of telling me that "It's not about the dog, it's about the graduate." And, yes, I agree, ultimately it is about the graduate.

“It’s not about the dog?!?” Hmm, well, maybe it’s a little about the dog, too, since it's a graduate TEAM. Clichés aside, I’ve heard many graduates tell us PRs that they’ve accepted their Canine Companion into their life as one of their best and most valued friends. 

This then, might be my latest answer to the Big Question.

When we open our heart to accept its help, the dog is only too willing to lend us its angel wings. Those wings carry us far above our troubles, they beat against the closed hearts of others, and they tug open the gates that have held us back. What a supreme friend we have in the dog! Who among us would deny sharing this friendship with another friend in need? I, for one, cannot. And I think you couldn’t either!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another visit to the Holocaust

The book describes another horrific incident that took place in World War II in July of 1942.
From Wikipedia:
The Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv (the "roundup" or "raid" of the Vel' d'Hiv, from the French abbreviation for Vélodrome d'hiver, or winter velodrome) is the name of the July 16, 1942 raid - Operation Spring Breeze - during the occupation of France by the Germans. The roundup, in Paris, was one of several aimed at reducing the Jewish population. 

Thousands of families were made to leave their home and spend days sequestered in the stadium.  Subsequently they were sent to a concentration camp and then to Auschwitz. Few of the transported Jews survived. 
To make matters more deplorable, the raid was carried out by French policemen.

Sarah's Key tells the story from two viewpoints, one a little girl who manages to escape and the other, a current journalist, assigned to tell the story to generations of French who had never heard it.  As one might expect, their lives intertwine.  The author deftly managed both.  I appreciated learning about the historical event and following the character's lives. 

Julie and Julia

I loved seeing Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep was extraordinary as Julia, I think almost more Julia than Julia.
This Nightline clip, Channeling Julia Child, gives a glimpse into the real Julia, the real Julie, and the screen Julia and Julie.

Channeling Julia Child 
warning: there's one part near the end that spoiled my image of Julie; wish I didn't know that part.

I was also fascinated by the lovestory between Julia and her husband, Paul.
Here's a picture of the two of them:

Here's a link to Julie Powell's current blog:

Bon Appetit!


I have to admit I'm a sucker for Amazon!
When this was in my email this morning I was drawn to it like Pooh to honey.

This is a link to the best fiction, bestfiction, my cup of tea, but they also have lists for editor's picks, best nonfiction, best hidden gems.
Imagine how surprised I was to see that I'd only read one of the best fiction, Cutting for Stone. I'll be checking out the rest for sure, starting with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Lyn, you were so sweet to give this to me! We're grateful!

Althea Brimm's Collage Class

this was made in honor of my brother's 70th birthday


Davi's tells the fictional story of Virginia & Paul,
a coalmining family from Pennsylvania- sooo creative

here are some photos from our assignment:
make a 'deck' of cards: