Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

America's Monday buddies

These are Mer's special friends that she accompanies on visits to the VA on Mondays.
Bunny, Caleb, Kona, Riley and the most lovable Harley, who steals the show at every chance!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fannie Flagg's newest

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3 stars if you're under 60, 4 if you're over.
sort of a wonderful life theme.
I love Fannie's sense of humor, but this was a little too sappy.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Irresistible Henry House

The Irresistible Henry HouseThe Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book for the story, the history of practice babies (had never heard of the concept), the Dr. Spock angle, the Disney lore, the Berkeley connection and even the Green Stamps!
Thanks, Julie. A perfect read.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lucky America and I

We get to be Daniel's friends and he writes and reads stories to us!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Small sample

Just a small sample of the handmade items that will be on sale at the CCI graduation, Sat. at noon.
Hope someone will take pictures of all the goodies since I'll be out of town!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A missed gem

I can't believe as much as I love children's literature and collage that I've never seen this gorgeous book before.

Stephen Parlota tells a magical story - every creature loves to read so much that they turn into what they're reading about, people into horses, rabbits into turtles. His use of collage is magnificent!
Thanks to Mindy Crum and her 3rd grade friends for educating me about him

Here are some examples of his work:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

and yet another beloved author

Jan Brett

She was at the zoo today signing her new book:

I told her her books just get better and better.
The African theme permeates throughout the book with glorious patterns.

Here's a picture of a real dassie

and dassie, Timbi, from the book

Here the bus she's been touring the country in. Quite a site!

pinch me, please!

I can hardly believe I got to meet Patti Digh,
the illustrious author of these amazing books:

and look - here she is -holding up my art quilt, called Shine!

She and Jane LaFazio are fast friends, sharing a love of their new cowboy boots.

Such a privilege to be invited to be in the picture with these extraordinarily talented women, Patti, Jane, Linda Bannan and Wendee Lee

Near the end of Patti's inspiring talk we were invited to choose, without looking, a rock from her collection
Oddly enough - here's mine:

Shine is surely on my mind these days,
from my art to the shine stamp Davi gave me before she left, to David Crowder to This Little LIght of Mine at mass on Friday.
I'll do my best!

walking in good company for good causes!

Rita and James, we love you!

Glad I could be with Michael, walking for the first time without Peggy.

This is such a beautiful poem to honor our beloved friends with Alzheimer's

Do not ask me to remember.
don't try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you're with me.
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I'm confused beyond your concept
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me.
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can't help the way I'm acting,
Can't be different 'though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don't fail to stand beside me,
Love me 'til my life is done.

--------Author Unknown

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My new button box

from this:

to this:

Thank you, Davi, for my new button box! Love it.
Can't wait to play sorting buttons with Lila.

Monday, October 18, 2010


For those of you not used to CCI lingo those letters stand for Change of Career. That's how we describe pups who have been determined by Canine Companions for Independence as not suitable for service dog careers.
Too many times that's been the fate of my pups, so now, not only do I have a COC pup, but I'm a COC mom.
Mer and I are embarking on a new journey together.
She may not be suitable for the service dog life - and truly when she bolts to the end of her leash in fear at a loud noise - I can understand CCI's thinking, but she is a sweet, loving, joy-filled dog, so we're embarking on a therapy dog career.

Here's a letter she's composed to explain our situation:

My name is America. Sometimes when I come into a room people sing this funny song – “here she comes, Miss America.” I’m fine with it, but it seems a little silly. Canine Companions for Independence named me. I have 6 sisters and all their names start with the letter A too.

I met my mom (people call her Mrs. D.) when I was eight weeks old. I didn’t know very much then, but my mom taught me to do lots of cool things like sit, stay, shake and speak.

After I got all my shots (they only hurt a little bit) my mom started taking me on new adventures. I got to go to the library and the market and senior homes and schools.
I always wore this special cape that said, Canine Companions for Independence. Whenever I had my cape on I had to use my best manners. I could wag my tail, but I couldn’t jump or lick anyone AND I couldn’t eat anything that was on the floor – only things my mom gave me – she called them treats. I get them when I’m being especially good.

When I grew up all the way and learned to go anywhere mom went she took me to college so I could learn to do special things like open doors and pick up keys and turn on light switches. I got too homesick though and now I’m living back home with mom and dad.

Sometimes mom goes to school where there are lots of kids – I love kids. She does something called ‘substituting’ - on those days I get to hang out with kids.

I’ve been taking lots of tests so I can be what she calls a ‘therapy dog’. I’m not sure what that means – probably just meeting and greeting more people. I’m pretty good at that.

If you’re reading this, I hope I’ll get to meet you someday!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Learning something new.

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Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side
To light to guard to rule and to guide.

Happy feast day of our guardian angels.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Looks like fun

This looks like fun

21 different techniques and if the artists are anywhere near as talented as Kelly Warren, happy shack designs, it should provide a wealth of knowledge!

Sign up through
Kelly's blog

Monday, September 13, 2010

new fun

I was so intrigued with this idea of repurposing a man's shirt into an apron.
I took the class from Barb Mc Keon on Sunday at Starry NIght Hollow

It's not nearly as easy as it looks, but the results are way cool!
I can't wait to try another one. Rod has many available on his side of the closet.

The tedious part was making bias binding, but here are some other options which I've already ordered for my next one:

with many others to be found.

Patti Digh is Amazing!

I first became acquainted with Patti when I discovered her blog, 37 days.
The premise is based o the idea that if you knew you only had 37 days left to live how would you spend them.
Her blog continually celebrates life and the concept of treasuring each day we have.

I've subsequently come to know her better since being her Facebook friend. I've delighted in her posts on such varied topics as sending her daughter off to college, the joys and woes of kindergarten, the challenge of learning to knit, the trials of frequent travel and her obsession with Johnny Depp.

I savored her first book, Life is a Verb

and preordered 4 Word Self Help the minute I heard about it.

Actually 4 Word Self Help, Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives, is the reason for this post.

It is simple, but it's simplicity is part of its charm.
Open at random to any page and you'll be greeted by a 4 word phrase that will be good advice. After reading it in its entirety I found myself reducing my communication to 4 words and it's quite fun, not to mention energy saving.
The 4 word phrases are intriguing, but what's even more enticing to me is the accompanying art work. Before publishing Patti sends out invitations to artists to submit art to illustrate her words. I love the idea of giving artists, some well-known, others not so much, an opportunity to be published.
My dear friend, Davi's Princess Magpie work will be included in Patti's next book, Creative is a Verb.

Needless to say, I've already placed an order.

I do hope you join me in the pleasure to be derived from reading Patti's books.
Perhaps one day I'll be fortunate to have a piece in one of them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It really is an endless summer

It's been three years plus since I've retired and there hasn't been a day go by that I haven't enjoyed (well, except for those couple of awful months in the winter...)
You may have noticed I've been much too busy having fun to blog. There's much I wish to write about and share and, oh so many pictures of the grands and America and friends and family to publish, but not right now.

I'm in the throes of enjoying myself too much to spend time on the computer.
Just one little short note:

I just ordered this book

because, even if I never ever bake a cake pop, they're just too cute to look at.

Monday, August 16, 2010

As hard as I tried to like Anna Quindlen's new novel I just couldn't do it UNTIL the tragedy.
I was close to giving up although I knew horror was sure to follow at the next turn of a page.
Even knowing that, I was taken by surprise by the events that totally captured my heart.
From then on I was hooked.
Tears not in the middle where they should have been, but at the end, when Mary Beth's mother asks her, "how are you doing?"
"I'm trying," she replies.

One of my favorite parts portrays a conversation between Mary Beth and her teenaged, poet daughter Ruby.
"Ruby loved to tell me things I didn't know... and that afternoon, she had told me about the butterfly effect, how the beating of their wings in Mexico could cause a breeze in our backyard. 'That's kind of terrifying,' I replied. But even as I spoke I realized that that was what we had all believed from the moment we had children. The breast-fed baby became the confident adult. The toddler who listened to a bedtime story went on to a doctorate. We flapped our wings in our kitchens, and a wind blew through their futures.
'It is terrifying,' Ruby had said, but with gusto. 'But it makes you think before you act.'"

Friday, August 6, 2010

I think this is something I could do


Unexpected Pleasures

Since we were not able to attend the wedding of Erin and Rob Clark in Healdsburg in June, I suggested we connect when we came to Northern California for Rod's niece's wedding in August.
Erin and I have only met online, first because we're raising sibling pups for CCI - she Ariel and me America.
After initial introductions we realized we have a mutual love for Scrabble so we started playing Wordscraper in Facebook pretty much every day.
We arranged a meeting at Zin Restaurant in Healdsburg for Sunday evening.
We were thrilled when Erin and Rob brought their lovely daughter, Jaffray, who started Erin on her CCI journey when she raised Rista for a school project, but, sorry, Jaffray, even more thrilled when they brought Ariel and their new pup Rodney.

Ariel is every bit as sweet as America.

We had a lovely visit, but could hardly contain our excitement when Rob offered to take us flying the next day. He and Rod connected quickly on an engineering level, but it turns out Rob also is the owner of North Coast Air
Here's a slideshow chronicling our adventure.