A Visiting I Go

What a wonderful few days I had up visiting my mom.  It was a short visit but very relaxed and enjoyable.  She is doing remarkably well and getting around much better than she was a few weeks ago when I was there.  That is a wonderful thing!

On this trip the hubby came along and we brought the dogs.  We booked in at the Historic Condon Hotel.  It is an old hotel from when Condon was just a young village and has been completely renovated.  It is beautiful and so full of charm!  Add pet friendly and you have a winner.  They have even added a dog run out back!  Honestly I could just move right in and stay!

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While there I did a great deal of organizing and cleaning out of cupboards and closets for mom.  When going through stuff we found lots of old photos.  These are of my mom with her best friend and a few of her beaus from her early years before meeting my dad.  Of course I believe my dad to have been the handsomest of all of them!

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In sorting out, I came across these darling kits she had bought from Mary Maxim.  Now I am a serious yarn snob I admit, but the cuteness of these was too much to resist.  I knit up the little candy corn baby and started the penguin.  I had to bring the penguin home to compete as I did not have time to finish it.  I think these are really just the cutest things  ever and of course then went a bit mad and ordered a few more kits and a book of holiday clothing for these wee little ones.  My goal is to make my mom an outfit for every season for her wee baby.  She got such joy out of the candy corn one.

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Although my career has been in long term care and I am aware of the aging process; it is entirely different when it is your own parent.  It has been so difficult to watch this progression with my mom.  In the past year we have seen an increase in her declining health and ability to care for herself.  We are blessed as she does have little to no symptoms of memory loss, just what would be expected at her age in a natural aging process.  The two things that I mourn the most for her and for myself are the loss of her ability to do the things she loves.  She can hardly knit anymore as she cannot read patterns or see well enough.  She also can no longer sew.  Growing up she was never without her knitting or sitting at the sewing machine making garments for all of us; of course that was when she wasn’t keeping 8 hungry mouths filled.  It’s just damn hard and a journey we must all face.

I woke the other morning to a gorgeous overcast day.  There was a nice nip in the air and I opened the doors and windows to let all that lovely Autumn air into the house.  I added some lovely scent to the diffuser my mom sent home with me and made a delicious salted caramel latte with my Nespresso machine.  Now this is the life!  IMG_7444

I just really wasn’t up to heading out the door to sales Saturday morning, but I eventually did just that.  It was a pretty sad day for pickins.  Found some clothing that will be great additions to my wardrobe and a few odds and ends of this and that.  I did find a lovely watercolor to add to my others.

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On the back it states that it is the old Piscalini barn east of Cambria and is signed by the artist.  I think it is lovely! I may eventually upgrade the frame, but I rather like the character that these old frames add.

Remember the discussion from a few weeks ago about the ability to keep an Orchid reblooming?  I had stated that I was going to attempt a repotting of mine.  Well I did a week ago and so far so good.  I didn’t even wait for it to stop blooming but just took the plunge and plopped it into a large pot gently putting all the growing roots, that were wildly escaping the too small pot, back down inside the pot and into the soil.  I think I may have just had success with this repotting project.  During the summer I did a mass repotting of most all my plants.  I had not bothered until my dear friend Mia brought over her plants for me to housesit while she moved and they were all in large roomy pots.  Put me to shame entirely!  They have loved the extra room and are all growing heartily.

I think that I have had too much time on my hands as for the past month, I have been shopping the IG destash again and with a vengeance.  I love getting so much squishy and lovely mail, but I seriously do not need any more fabric….yarn yes…but fabric no…lol.  But nonetheless when I arrived back from my mom’s all these lovelies were in my mailbox.  But one of the benefits of having daughters who are also crafty is that they are always happy to take things off my hands.

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But best of all was a package from my dear friend Roni (the author of the several amazing books with one being The Longest Trail….you all much check it out!!).  She had asked me if I would have any desire for these sweet little ones and I said “oh my stars would I?”  Aren’t they just the sweetest.  I do not recognize the make of the two larger ones and will do some investigating, but the little chicken girl is a Hummel.  I am totally smitten by all three!

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I have been so thoroughly enjoying my Autumn decor this year after not having it out for the past several years.  I am a homebody through and through and enjoy every bit of creating a cozy and homey abode.  I enjoy having my collections out on display so that I can see them and enjoy each and every one.  Each item brings me joy and many evoke such sweet memories of my own childhood, while others memories of being a young mother and time with my own babies.  My home is indeed my sanctuary.  I know many crave a minimalistic home to thrive, but my nest must be full of treasures; sweet bits and bobs that fill me with joy and make my spirit and soul soar.

On the subject of nesting and what makes us thrive, I find that I am in a minority when it comes to preferring silence when at home.  I am not referring to talking with the spouse, but to having any type of background noise; be it TV or music.  There are times when I prefer some piano or classical music that is not overpowering, but instead soothing and non intrusive.  I cannot bear a loud tv blasting away all hours of the day and night.  In fact most of my adult life I have not had TV; well in childhood we didn’t really have TV to speak of either as we were far to busy to be spending time sitting in the house in front of a TV set.  I have always preferred the solitude of silence.  But when it come to scent, I am all on board.  I utilize essential oils, scentsy burners, and candles. However, even with scent I like something that is not overpowering.  Currently I am diffusing fennel or sweet birch essential oils, lighting pumpkin spice candles, and have maple in my scentsy burners.  The house smells delightful!  I also avoid perfume but am never without my essential oil bracelets and lava necklace.  Again my favorite scents currently are fennel and sweet birch.  I love how essential oils are not overpowering.

All this running around this past month has been hard on my babies.  I have made a habit of walking them daily when I am home and they love that.  I had gotten so lazy and out of the habit of the daily walk with the summer heat.  I honestly cannot imagine a life without a boxer…or two.  They have such personalities and bring such joy into my life.

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I was up early this morning as usual and busy doing the last little things I want to accomplish before heading back to work.  Having this month off was amazing!!  I am so happy I scheduled a break between going from the last job to this one.  I am excited to start and have a stack of decor that will go into my office.  That is always my first order of business; creating my own space.  I must be in an organized environment and surrounded by bits and bobs that I love.  And oh how lovely this office is!  I will share pics of course when it is set up.  I have one day at work then off to training for 2 days at their corporate headquarters.

But now I must away and complete some homework and run a few last minute errands.

Choose Joy,

Patricia

 

All the lovely treasures…

For those new to my blog, I must explain that in the summer months it is quite filled with my wonderful thrifty finds.  I adore the hunt and yard and estate sales in my area are simply amazing.  I do engage in other hobbies and have numerous interest which I do share; but over the summer my finds seem to dominate my posts.  I find blogging about my finds is also a great way to look back and see if what I bought has actually been useful or if I am wading into the area of just collecting stuff…..way to easy to do when on the yard sale path!  That said I will launch right into this weeks finds!

Oh Boy was the week end one for amazing finds!  The best part of collecting anything is the thrill of the hunt and the fun in finding amazing things for pennies.  This week end was certainly one of the best.  Between 2 estate sales and a few yard sales I scored big!

Estate sales here can be a bear as people arrive early and line up around the corner for a good one.  You have to be there at least a good half hour or more and willing to stand in line and then fight crowds.  Luckily the things I want and collect others rarely want.  This week end first up was a hoarders house and will be broken into 3 separate sales due to the sheer volume of stuff…most all new in boxes of course.  But what drew me to the sale was the pics of the knitting items.  And boy did I score big at .50 per skein for Malabrigo and indie dyers as well as just practical old dishcloth cotton.  I also got a slew of knitting bags, circular needles, notions, and books.  I rarely buy knitting books, but at $2 I couldn’t pass them up.  The Principles of Knitting I had just purchased off Amazon for $30 so grabbed it for one of the girls at $2!

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Also found a few darling knitting pics and plaques.  Just too cute!

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As if the knitting stuff wasn’t enough I also nabbed a random box of unopened DoTerra oils for $15!

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Next I was off to a second estate sale that was not advertised but that I happened to see the street signs.  Oh my but did I score huge here!  This quilt….OMG…love it and it is so beautifully done in both hand and machine stitching.  Notice how the maker even fussy cut some of the hexis!  At $20 this was an absolute steal!!

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When I was young every summer we spent a month at my Grandma Starks huge old Victorian in northern Idaho.  One of my favorite activities was playing with the dollhouse that my Grandfather had made for my mother.  It was darling and filled with the cutest ever furniture.  The dollhouse is with my mom now, but the furniture all disappeared over the years.  Imagine my thrill when I saw two bags of the exact furniture priced at $15 for both!!  I will be taking this up to her to fill the doll house back again with furniture.  Now a few dolls and it will be complete!

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I also stopped in at a few yard sales that I passed by and grabbed a few other treasures including this nice hook for my purse and some darling halloween decorations.

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I also found another cashmere sweater at a sale for $1 and immediately began unraveling it.  I love the soft heathered lavender color!

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I also found a few items for the yard and yard tools.  I’d say it was an incredibly successful week end indeed!

Didn’t get in a lot of knitting.  I am working down the foot of my second August sock, but could not resist casting on Septembers socks in this sock yarn I got at the first sale.  It is in my besties favorite team colors, the Seahawks, so will be gifted to her once the sock kal is over in January.  I hope too have enough left over to make a cute head band as well.

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I did play around in the sewing room a bit this week.  Organized all my beads as I want to get some lava stone bracelets made and they were just in a heap.  Since I also had to sew up a bag for a special order I made up a few bags out of my eco dyed fabric just for fun.

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I am just fascinated how coreopsis flowers print onto fabric.  There is just so much detail!  I love these bags!!

Recently I have been playing on the IG destash page and grabbed a few goodies.

Got this natural dye book for $5.  It is great resource!!

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And assorted bits and bobs of fabric.  I cannot resist Halloween and Christmas fabrics.  I now have the complete set of Heather Ross new Christmas line featuring the cutest ever mice.  I also love this complete set of Moda brushed cotton colors in fat quarters.

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The week has gone by quite quickly.  I have a short break between ending this job and starting the next, but in that time I will be busy as ever with trips and visits.  First off I will be heading over to Washington to get my beautiful granddaughter Doodle settled in her college dorm and ready to start her first year of college!  Then Christina and the sweet peas will be here for a long week end, and then off to Monterey for a week of residency for my PhD.  I also want to squeeze in a visit to my mom.  So it will be a busy next few weeks.  I did get a chance to go meet my team at the new position and I have to say I cannot wait to start!

And now it is Friday, my replacement at work was found and I was released early so I am free to pursue a day of pleasure!  First up is another amazing estate sale in which I spy Hummels in the pictures.  So off I must to wait in line and hope for a few treasures to increase my collection!

Happy Hunting,

Patricia

So Much Love

What a whirlwind last couple of weeks!  Since I had determined I was not going back to work my focus has been on spending time getting over to visit all the kids and grands.  I have been dying to take Amtrak somewhere so booked my trip over to see Erica and grands.  What wonderful trip it was!

The train ride was amazing and I am thoroughly sold on train travel!!  The train wound all along the Columbia River!  Breathtakingly beautiful!  And to just sit back and knit along the way while enjoying the view…priceless!  The staff was all so friendly.  The observation car is just perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning as you partake of the amazing views!  I am determined now that I am taking the train across the US someday!

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The visit was amazing!  Loved seeing the kids!  Took them to the movies, walks, and even did park trips in the rain!

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I was able to watch Trinity play a tennis match!

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And I got to meet the newest Grandson, Sebastian!!  Look at those eyelashes!!fullsizeoutput_5d1

Erica and I wasted no time and accomplished a great deal!  She made some fabulous sock blanks for her etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/hypwoolyarns.  I am so in love with these!  Look at those iced dyed…totally pieces of art!!

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I love the idea of knitting a sassy saying right into my socks!!  Look how awesome these knit up!!

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It was so fun being back in Walla Walla…oh how I miss it dearly!  We hit a few of my favorite old haunts but sadly did not fit in any wine tasting….just too busy!IMG_5644IMG_5660

And I had to visit Stash the local quilt shop where I found some amazing goodies!

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Look at these awesome goodies!  Those Ghastlies!!

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All too soon it was time to catch the train back home.  Of course the hubby and doggies were so happy to have me home.  But I always miss my girls and grands so dearly.

Once again there will be some changes.  I know I said I was never going back into my career field but I accepted a position as Administrator for a new memory care community.  I know, I know, never say never.  I will start in April.  But that means…..I have to sew like mad to get ahead on bags for Stitches Plus Purls!  www.etsy.com/shop/stitchespluspurls It will be a challenge to keep up with sewing, dyeing, and working….but I am up to the challenge!

And now off to the sewing machine!

Happy Spring!

Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

Such a wonderful life!

What a glorious few months it has been!  Becca and grands arrived in late January and stayed on for an extended visit until March!  It was so wonderful!!  We stayed incredibly busy and accomplished so much!  It was 5 absolutely perfectly glorious weeks!!

First up we headed to Stash in Corvallis for a pop up show by The Lemonade Shop!  Of course we both came away with some lovely skeins!

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After seeing all that loveliness we decided to play with the dyes ourselves.  Bella had been wanting to try her hand at dyeing and I am a firm believer in encouraging the creative process!!

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Look at this loveliness!  Bella dyed the first two on the left!  She did an amazing job!

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The next step was to wind all that beauty so we could cast on!

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Our final endeavors!  I’m very much in love!!

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We are all tea drinkers and decided we must put in an order to Davids Tea.  So excited to receive our package!!

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With Davids we must use the good tea cups and have a formal tea sit down.  Of course they were delicious and it was great fun trying out so many blends!

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In all that business the littles had a grand time building forts and playing!  This little one is just as sweet as a honey pot!!

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Two adorable sweet peas!!

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We were fortunate enough that Cozy in Eugene was having a StevenBe Trunk show.  Of course we had to take him one of our bags!  Had such a great time and of course more yarny purchases.  We both got supplies and whipped up hats using a bulky combined with a mohair.  We had both sworn off mohair, but you cannot meet StevenBe and not give in to mohair and sparkles!!

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I had always given my girls free rein with fabric and the sewing machine.  While Becca was visiting I redid my sewing room as Matt was kind enough to put together Ikea type shelving for the room.  Bella was more than happy to have my cast offs and I told her the sewing machine is all yours.  With some simple guidance from me she went to town and sewed up gifts for her sibs and mom.  She definitely inherited the crafty gene!!

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Along with our busy gab abouts we also found lots of knitting time.  Obviously we had to cast on those newly dyed yarns…right?  But first I finished Emmy’s vest which I started with another of my earlier hand dyed yarns.  I’m very pleased with it and she loved it!  This is a vest pattern from the book Swoon by Carrie Bostwick Hoge.  It was a fun, fast, and easy knit.

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Then socks on my newest dyed which I named Pretty on the Outside.  I adore just a splash of color here and there.  I cannot stand a heavy variegated look so tend to stay away from them when hand dyeing.

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I also did up a quick fingerless mitt from my Such a Ghastly Woman.  This yarn just will not photo true to color.  It is mauve with black and grey yet looks so pinky in the photos!

IMG_5472This is the Multnomah shawl on my Westside hand dyed.  I wanted to capture the colors of the PNW so did a mix of browns, rusts, and spruce on a gray base.  I adore how this is knitting up.  I recently dyed an Eastside which I will share on another blog.

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Believe it or not there are a few other projects I cast on but did not get photoed.  I will include those next time.  I have nearly completed a darling deer vest for Maddox as when he saw all the dyeing and knitting and Emmy’s vest he wanted one for himself.  What else could a grandma do but cast one on!!

All too soon it was time for Becca to head home.  Oh how quiet and sad was the house when they left.  But with our etsy business I had little time to dwell on my sadness and had to jump back into bag making!  Oh how I love my sewing room with all the neat new shelving!  It is still not totally organized and I promise photos after it that is completed!

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Becca went home in a bit of a snow storm over the pass and within the next few days we also welcomed snow in March no less!!  But it quickly cleared up and the rains returned.

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And now life is back to the usual routine.  I am once again staying home for a period of time which I absolutely adore!  I love being domestic and am an incredible homebody.  I love the freedom not working gives me to have the grands over for extended stays which will commence again this summer.  To me heaven is waking each morning to have an entire glorious day ahead with infinite possibilities not beholden to any outside schedule and all the dysfunctional crap that seems to have taken over our work environments.

Next on the agenda I have booked train tickets to visit Erica and grands and finally see my newest grand!  Oh yes I am positively living the life of Riley as my dear Grandmother used to always say!!

Happy March!!

Patrica

Closing Out The Year

This has been a difficult holiday season with losing my Cinny.  I was still mourning my Holly. Yet I know that as long as I give my heart to boxers, that time will always be too short.  Boxers have a shorter life span than many other breeds; nine years is a good lifespan. But I would never ever give up the love that this breed so freely gives.  I will always be a boxer girl.  It has been tough on Bruno and I have been in touch with NW Boxer Rescue to find him a new companion and another sweet love for us.  I love this rescue group! I was sorely tempted when Kim let me know they had some puppies; after several days of waivering I knew that at this time I could not really meet a puppy’s needs.  So I am still waiting for the right fur baby for our home. I leave it in the hands of the rescue group to find the best fit for Bruno, Jimmy, and me.  

Before losing Cinny we kept busy preparing for Christmas. In November I took five days off work.  It was glorious!  I kept so busy and accomplished so much!   Jimmy had a few days off and we concentrated on finishing the last of our shopping. We did a part of our shopping at Portland’s Saturday Market. Every time we head into the city we try to find new places to explore.  It is such an amazing city. 

I also decorated the house, knitted, sewed, and played in the kitchen.

Infinity scarves are really fun, fast, and easy. I have made an additional two since these pictures were taken. With the hubs working swing shifts, my evenings consist of curling up with my sweet boxer babies, turning on my favorite Brit TV shows (a second watching of Foyles War is my current choice), and knitting away. I also pulled out one of those weaving contraptions I found this summer at yard sales. I was hooked, it is totally mindless yet turns out a great looking scarf.  All of these projects are from the bits and bobs of yarn I collected secondhand for pennies. 

You all know how much I love Pinterest. When I saw these chocolate spoons I just had to make some. I wanted a little flavor so used a chocolate orange and combined it with a Hershey bar. I found the spoons at Goodwill and Walmart. 

Got out for near daily walks. Always new places to explore at Minto-Brown Island.

One one of my last days off we headed to the beach. I am so grateful that we did.  Cinny was more active than usual as she ran and played. We never would have expected that within 72 hours a brain tumor would take her from us. Look at that happy face!

I received this in the mail from my sweet daughter after losing my Cinny.

How special is that!!  RIP my sweet Frassy and Munster. 

Here is another sweet gift I received in the mail. Every year for the past 7 or so, a dear friend Louella sends me a home made ornament. I treasure every one.  Louella also includes a goodie for the fur babies to. She has two handsome fur boy’s who like to be included in the giving. 

Aren’t those just too cute!! 

Inadvertently several years ago I started finding a focus word for each year. 2012 was balance as I learned to balance work/health/life. 2013 was adventure as I got married, left one job, moved states and started a new job. 2014 really did not have a word as it has been loss and imbalance again.  In perusing Pinterest I happened upon Susannah Conway susannahconway.com and her wonderful workshops.  I immediately signed up for this one

There is a facebook page where participants can share ideas and work together.  I love it!  

Her next workshop is

I am considering this one as well.  I am pretty confident I have my word and will sharing it after the first of the year.  

Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year!

Patricia

 

 

Family, Fun, and Movie Making

The past two weeks have been super busy. Lots of day trips, family coming to stay, and organizing and having a yard sale.  And also, sadly, my Doodle had to return home to prepare for back to school!  I sure miss the heck out of her!!!  House is way too quiet and poor ole Bruno is lost without her to curl up in bed with every morning. 

Since it was the last few weeks with Doodle we jam packed lots of fun in.  

We spent one day making a movie. I cannot believe her patience with this process.  We were 4 hours in the woods with thunder and lightening all around as she calmly took shot after shot to produce her newest stop motion.

It is amazing how stop motion movies are made. The time and patience that go into the making is amazing. Doodle is currently working on a series and has produced two episodes. You can watch them here 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKI03zYDHJ-V4pGkMpv9ulQ

Of course we had several more trips to the beach.  Usually we never venture further south than Newport, but we wanted to see some new sights and check out Sea Lion Caves.  I had not been there since I was a child and Jimmy and Doodle had never been there.  It was more commercialized than I remember, of course, but very well done with lots to grab your interest and a killer gift shop!  

We discovered an amazing beach on the way home!

Bruno and Cinny just love the beach!  Cinny acts like a puppy once she hits that sand.  The sheer joy that they exhibit spills over onto all of us!!  

We stopped at the cutest little cafe for lunch. They had the most awesome Japanese tea pots all over.  But what made them so sweet was inside each one was a note. What fun to open the pot and discover this note:

I was blessed to be there with two people I love dearly!!  Since Doodle had an upcoming birthday we ordered her a large piece of chocolate cake.

Check out all those umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. The owner makes them. 

At work we had an event to celebrate the dog days of summer. Doodle dressed Bruno up in Harley wear and dressed to match him. She won third place ribbon, losing out to two pocket dogs dressed in dresses.  Bruno would not hold still for a photo. 

It was a great event with dog rescue groups, a local vet, our humane society, and some therapy dogs. The residents loved it and that is what mattered!

All too soon Erica, my sister Anna, my momma, niece, nephew, and grandson showed up to take Doodle home. But they were able to stay a few nights and we squeezed in shopping, yard sales, and a trip to the beach. My momma loves the ocean and was out in that water with her walker!

While Doodle was here at every yard sale she was looking for things for her sibs. She had nice gifts for all of them all wrapped and ready to give. I am so proud of how giving she is!  When her brother, my sweet Jayse, came down with Erica to pick her up she was so excited for him to open his gift.  Jayse loved the building set and his cousin and him got busy building. They were so creative!!!

 A great time was had by all!  We stayed up late, ate too much junk, and talked a storm. When time to head home the car was so loaded there was little room for passengers!  As when those we love leave, the house was too quiet and lonely.  But they will be back soon and next week Chrissy is arriving with more grands!  Cannot wait!!

Living the dream,

Patricia