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Monday, August 30, 2010

Notes From Mom - On Seeing Eye Dogs

As promised, the following is Mom's 2nd blog post.  Today Mom is writing about her seeing eye dog.   I have only corrected a few typing errors. 

Hi Everybody,


This is my second bloggin.  I promised that since I have already discussed my vision loss that I would cover my beautiful and wonderful dog guide,so here goes.


She is a beautiful pure-bread Golden Retriever from Leader Dogs for the blind in Rochester, Mi. Her name is Honey- B.




I used my white cane for ten years before I was certified as legally blind.  When my doctor told me I immediately knew what I was going to do because I was never comfortable with the cane and had walked off curbs and over cracks and that is because I never had confidence in myself. After that diagnosis I asked my doctor for a note.
 
Then I called Leader Dogs to get an application never expecting to have to go through so much just to apply. After getting the application, I had to have letters and forms filled out by a Glaucoma specialist, my regular ophthalmic doctor and my General Practitioner. Then I had to have a video made of me walking and using my cane. Whew! I expected to have to wait a long time for them and their doctors to decide if I qualified.  I DID.  I was so excited when they told me on the phone that they had a dog for me and that I could come in two weeks for training with the dog.  That was 4 ½ years ago.


I had no idea of what to expect even though my totally blind friend filled me in on a few things.


The school is very large.
Every one has their own room with a bath and shower. There is also a TV and a very small refrigerator. There is a double bed, a nightstand and a wood special built chair bolted to the floor so that it can,t move if you should miss a little in sitting down.  There is also an outside door that is security sea so no one can get in at night because if it is touched from the outside alarms go off all around the building.  The door is there to be able to take your dog out at specified times or if a quick out is necessary for the dog.  Everything outside is fenced in and everyone has there own spot for their dog to use about the width of your room.


They have a very big dining room with large round tables  that holds ten people along with your trainer who helps with any thing that might have to be read or explanations of any kind.


I am sorry because I am getting somewhat ahead of myself.


I went to the school by train (it took 6 ½ hours) I they wanted me to take a plane but I have always been terrified of planes even tho I was on one to Miami when I was 20. (Because I always felt that if God wanted me to fly He would have given me wings and if he wanted me on a boat I would have fins)
 I left very early in the morning on a Sunday from downtown Chicago, my husband took me down to the train station.  I arrived at the school about 3:00 p.m.  After getting settled in they told me that training would begin on Monday morning.  We would be getting up at 6a.m. by the ring of a clock that you could hear back in Chicago and a talking voice that kept saying “it is now 6 a.m." If it were a person I could have killed it but as I said before everything is bolted down.  

They told me that Wed.  
was the day I would receive my dog.  Oh did my heart skip a beat.  At lunch that day they told all of us the names of our dog.  HONEY-B was mine.  We do not name our dogs.  Leader Dogs has volunters who raise these dogs for their first year of life starting at 8 weeks old.  The get the prevlidge of naming the dog.  In my case I couldn,t have picked a better name.  We were also told to sit in our chair in our room.  They bring the dog to you, open the door and tell you to call your dog.(Ididn,t know her breed at the time.  All of a sudden I heard her feet on the floor coming down a small hallway.  She took one look at me and said (SUCKER) All of her jumped into my lap – good to have a bolted down chair.  She licked and kissed me and snuggled into my lap and instant love was born.



We didn,t train for the rest of the day because they wanted us to start bonding.That was about 1:00 in the afternoon. I just hugged her and petted her and talked to her and cried at how wonderful God was to give such a precious gift. We did not bring them to dinner that nite because they did not have a harness as yet. Speaking of dinner, the food was very good. When we finally started training the next day, what fun but so much work.  The dogs knew better what to do than we did.  The trainers (l for each 6 of us) took us to every place imaginable that we would possible need to go when we got home. Malls, pharmacies, Meyers food stores, restaurants, RR crossings, the trainer took me to a local library for which I said why here, I can hardly read people will laugh. Then she told me that the aisles were very narrow and they have many things in the way.  Did you know that it takes about 2 weeks for the dog to learn the size of you and they will make the judgment if both of you can fit through some of the small spaces?   If the dog doesn,t think so they will stop dead until you figure out what it could be and can tell the dog which way to go.
That is really something and best hope it is not a person too stubborn to move and you have to pat down the object to figure it out! 




Never did I think about the playfulness of Honey-B . Oh Boy!  When they got their harnesses they came everywhere with us. The first nite she came to dinner with me the fun began.  She was put under the table and we sit on their leash so we know when they move she decided to play with all the other 6-7 dogs also under the table. When any dog moved away from us and we usually didn’t now it because were new at this our trainer would take the dog and put them in the office next to the dining room.  I was always looking for her. I think she was the most friendly dog in the group. Another gal at my table had a Golden also but that dog never left the spot.  To this day H-B as I sometines call her is friendly with anyone that comes to our home.  Without the harness on they are not working so they can be petted.  With the harness on they know they are working and have a totally different kind of demeanor.  All I have to do is tell her she is working and she follows me to the closet where I keep her harness.  I take her outside when we leave put her in the dog run and tell her to PARK- that is the word for potty which is not classy enough for a dog guide. 



When I hold her harness out, she walks right into it.  After that, she pays no attention to anyone but me.  After that, no one is allowed to touch her-talk to her-or make eye contact because all of that can break their concentration and they will then walk us into something and it is no fun to walk into a wall or into something in a store.  I have had it happen often.  Then I explain the problem to the person so it doesn't happen again.


I have never fallen or gotten hurt on her watch and that is 4 1/2 years.  I don't think I would ever want to be without a dog guide.




Below are some of the things she is trained to do.  All I have to say is find:


(verbal)


a door
a chair
turn right or left
go straight
easy (means don't pull)
stairs
bathrooms
find curbs
come close
leave it
go park (and they don't fool around)


(hand signs)


forward (also verbal)
straight
left or right
sit
down
come close




Thanks for listening about my precious H-B.  My next blog will be about my 17 years of Hell with Bi-Polar.


Pam's Mom

If you would like to learn more about Leader Dogs For The Blind, click here to visit their website.

Tomorrow is September 1st.  That I means I have another Guest Blogger to introduce to you.  I know you will love my next guest!!!  She's so sweet!  And she ix offering a lovely surprise to my readers!  Be sure to stop by and meet her.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Victorian Halloween Tussy Mussy's and a Sneak Peek

Bubba and I went to 2 Flea Markets this morning.  I found some little bits and bobs.  A few vintage millinery flowers, a bit of old lace, an old mirrored dresser tray and a couple of gorgeous frames for my crazy quilting.  I didn't take any photos because it isn't anything all that exciting but you'll see everything eventually as I use them.

When we got home, I packaged up 2 orders, washed some dishes and sat outside on the deck for a little bit.  It's a hot one today!!!!  Very humid again!

I just finished adding a couple more of Mom's Victorian Halloween Tussy Mussy's to the shop:



Mom is having some surgery the end of September to relieve a pinched nerve and wanted to get her Halloween things ready early.  I believe mom has some Thanksgiving Tussy Mussy's ready for the shop too.  I'll be seeing her tomorrow so I'll know for sure then.

And speaking of seeing Mom tomorrow, I'll take my laptop over and mom will write her next "Notes From Mom" post.  I can upload it when I get home tomorrow.

So let's see, what else is happening here?  Well, Bubba snapped a few photos of Nightmare sleeping in the rocking chair:



Scott and I learned a long time ago, never to wake up a sleeping Nightmare!  LOL!!! 

In other news,  I've decided to take a little Pink Saturday break for a few weeks.  I want to get back to writing my Creatively Coping articles and I have some new project ideas that I want to work on.  I have to remind myself that I'm only one person and can only do so much so I'll take a break from Pink Saturday for a few weeks to do some other things.

I'll leave you with a sneak peek of my Lady With Roses Crazy Quilt piece:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Pink Saturday Everyone!

Another lovely Pink Saturday!!!  I have 2 things to share with you today.  Both of these gorgeous Victorian Tussy Mussy's were made by mom:





These were custom orders.  I love it when mom does kitties!  If anyone is interested in a custom order for Tussy Mussy's, please drop me an email.  Mom is thrilled when she's asked for something special!!!

Before I head out for today, we're really getting close to 300 followers.  That means we can have our drawing for my Sewing Art Quilt soon!! 



If you would like to enter to win this quilt, please click here for the details.

I would like to say thank you to our Pink Saturday hostess Beverly at How Sweet The Sound.  Please take a moment to visit Beverly's blog and while you're there, check out some of the other sweet Pink Bloggers!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drawings


Gerry at Older Rose is having the loveliest give away!  There are 2 prizes. This gorgeous pincushion:

And these incredible beautiful hand-painted buttons:

Please hop over to Gerry's blog and enter her drawing.  
Oh, those buttons with the bluebirds just scream at me!

And don't forget about my drawing for this sweet little Sewing Art Quilt:

 

When I reach 300 followers, my husband will draw a name from the basket and the winner will receive this quilt!  I'm almost so there!!!  Details can be found here.

I wanted to give you an update on my current work in progress.  I got home from WalMart today and decided that housework and laundry could wait.  I needed to stitch so stitch I did!


 
I did a lot of silk ribbon roses on this piece.  It's not quite done yet.  I still have some do-dads to add so be sure to stop back and see it completed.  I'll be framing this one.

Lastly for today, I added 2 more of mom's Victorian Halloween Tussy Mussy's to the shop:





  
These are just so pretty!!  Very glittery and festive!  They can be found here.

I guess that's the new for today.  Be sure to stop by on Saturday for my Pink Saturday post!

Grandma Kellogg's Sugar Cookies

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before or not.  My husband Scott is a Kellogg of the Kellogg's from Battle Creek, Michigan.  William Keith Kellogg, who invented Corn Flakes, was my husband's great, great, great uncle.


Being that we like anything vintage and that we're rather proud of my husband's heritage, we have gathered a few fun Kellogg's collectibles.  The above tin sign is a reproduction but I love the soft colors.

I charted this little sampler from an old Kellogg's advertisement magazine page:


If memory serves me, I stitched this little sampler 3 times.  One for Scott's dad, one for Scott's sister and of course, one for us.


This magazine ad is quite old.  My sister gave it to Scott for his birthday one year.  That little cat underneath is some sort of tin mold.  I picked it up at Flea Market years ago.  It's one of my favorite treasures.  It's rusty and crusty and I love it!

This plate came from the Kellogg's corporate headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan:


We visited there years ago and they treated us to a lovely tour of the facility.  Before we left, they gave us this beautiful collector's plate and a copy of W.K. Kellogg's biography.

These treasures hang in my kitchen.  And speaking of my kitchen, I thought I would share with you today, Grandma Kellogg's Sugar Cookie recipe.

Grandma Kellogg's Sugar Cookies are to die for!!!!  I have always loved them.  In my personal opinion, these are the best sugar cookies I've ever had.  Grandma knew I loved them and she went out of her way to make them whenever she knew I was going to be there.

Scott's grandma was a tiny little women with a big heart and a strong attitude.  She loved to bake and was really good at it!  She also crocheted but knitting was her thing.  Grandma passed away 2 years ago in September.  She was almost 93 years old.

She had given me her recipe for her Sugar Cookies a few years before she died.  What a treasure to have that recipe in Grandma's handwriting!  Unfortunately, although I've tried to make these several times, they never compared to Grandma's.  Grandma used Oleo, which to my understanding is a type of margarine.  I've always used real butter in my cookies.

I recently gave Grandma's recipe to my sister Kathi.  She made a batch the other day and guess what?  They are darn close!!!  Very close!


So here's the recipe for Grandma Kellogg's Sugar Cookies which she called, Ethel's Sugar Cookies:

3/4 cup Shortening (part Oleo)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon flavoring (part Lemon/part Vanilla)
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt

Chill for at least one hour.
Roll to 1/8 inch thick.  (Grandma's cookies were actually about 1/4 inch thick.)
Bake 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

Cream Oleo & shortening with sugar.  Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time and beat well.
Add flavorings.
Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt a little at a time and mix well.
Chill covered at least 1 hour - better over night.

Grandma always frosted these with Royal Icing.  YUM!!!!!

If you try these, please let me know what you think of the.  I miss Grandma Kellogg and the stories she used to tell me.  She was very fond of me and very good to me.

In other news, I want to share our latest addition to the shop:


Is this too cute or what?  This is an original needle-felted Halloween Cat by Kathi!  Check out the spider on the pumpkin.  I am so in love with this little sweetie.   I can't believe Kathi did all that in needle-felting.  Amazing!

Before I head off to stitch, here's an update on my latest crazy quilt project:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review - The Handmade Market Place

A few years back, who would have thought there would be a book available on how to sell handmade items online, at craft shows and in brick & mortar stores?  Handmade is all the rage these days and I think it's going to continue to grow.  People are tired of mass produced, poorly made, big box store items.  People want quality.  People want things that will last and things that are made with love and care.  Shoppers are looking for a more old-fashioned way of life and they're starting with buying handmade.



I picked up Kari Chapin's "The Handmade Marketplace" over the weekend.  It was an easy read, filled with warmth & humor and I can honestly tell you that Kari doesn't miss a thing!

This book covers everything from branding your business (I didn't understand what that was until I read the book) to dealing with taxes & paperwork to advertising both online and in the real world.

Kari discusses photographing your work, blogging, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and how to choose which online marketplace is right for you.

Loaded with tips and helpful suggestions from some of the most successful crafters in today's world, I strongly recommend that if you plan to open an online shop (or if you already have one) or if you plan to work craft shows, farmers markets and the like, this book is a must read.

I was thankful to find out that I've already been doing much of what Kari's book covers but I learned a few things and I'm thrilled to have a handbook where all the info is in one place.    If you love making things like I do, pick this one up.  You won't be sorry.

Before I head out today, I'll leave you with mom's latest creations, Victorian Halloween Tussy Mussy's:



These are available here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peach Pound Cake Recipe

I mentioned yesterday on Facebook that I was making Peach Poundcake.  The response to that post was amazing!  Everyone was asking me where I found the recipe.  We'll it's a Taste Of Home recipe that found.  It sounded so good that I just had to try it:


They are indeed, AWESOME!  I made mine into cupcakes as you can see and after trying one, I decided that they didn't need frosting.  Nor do they need the extra calories!  LOL!!!!

Here's the recipe:

PEACH POUND CAKE

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 6 eggs
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 2 cups diced fresh or frozen peaches
* Confectioners' sugar

Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the batter alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in the peaches.
* Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Yield: 12-16 servings.

~~ Taste of Home June/July 2003~~

I actually found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs but for the life of me now, I just can't remember which one.  I feel bad because I like to give credit where credit is due. If I remember, I will add the link.


For now, give this recipe a try while peaches are still in season.  I used fresh peaches and like I said, these are wonderful!


Tomorrow, I will post a book review.  For now, I'll leave you with my current work in progress:




Quick Edit:  I found the recipe on Sheri's Prim Rose Hill Studio blog.  Please stop by and say hello.  Here blog is just lovely!!!  And she has another recipe that I want to try!

New Items In Pam's Etsy Shop

My little cat is my signature, my logo or brand so to speak.  I love making these sweet little crazy quilt cat dolls.  I worked this one in a Cottage Style:


Just like with real cats, no two are alike!

I also listed a gorgeous pair of Goldstone earrings by Kathi:


Check out the sparkle on those goldstone beads at the bottom!  So glittery!!!  The pearls are freshwater copper pearls and Kathi uses only Sterling silver for the hooks or posts!

Both can be found here.

Girl With A Kitten Crazy Quilt Framed

Instead of writing one big long blog post today, because I have loads of things to share, I thought I would do a couple of short posts.  Simple and sweet!!!

So for now, I thought I would share photos of my Girl With A Kitten Crazy Quilt piece:


I've started another crazy quilt project and will have photos soon.  For now, enjoy the eye-candy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Pink Saturday!

Another lovely PINK SATURDAY!  I so look forward to this event every week.  It's so much fun to see what Pink Bloggers are sharing!

Today, I have a prize flea market find.  I purchases this pair of kittens with roses back in October for only $12.00:


I was absolutely in love with them the minute I saw them!


I have no idea how old they are or where they came from.  I just loved them so I bought them!

And speaking of kitties, here is a rare photo of my Simba & Nightmare laying on the same chair:


Nightmare is quite dominant and that is Simba's chair so I was a little surprised to see them together like this! 

Finally for today, the drawing for my little Sewing Art Quilt continues:


When I reach 300 Followers, my husband will draw a name from the basket.  I can't to see who the winner is!  To learn more about how to enter, click here.

I'd like to take a moment to thank Beverly, our Pink Saturday hostess for including me in in another lovely Pink Saturday.  Please take a moment to visit Beverly's blog and while you're there, visit a few of the other Pink Saturday bloggers!

Hummingbirds

Now that it's cooled off just a twinge, my hummingbirds have become more active!  Here are a few photos that I took a couple of years ago:

Hummingbird13


Hummingbird9


HummingbirdFeeder4


Hummingbird12


They're the tiniest little things.  No bigger than your thumb!  This is a female Ruby Throat Hummingbird.  The only breed we have way up north here in Illinois.  The males have a bright red throat.  I need to get some photos of the males.  They're a twinge smaller than the females.

Hummingbirds are very territorial.  We have 2 feeders for them.  One on each side of the house.

They're highly intelligent and quite fearless.  Each year, about a week before they go south for the Winter, they come right up to me to say goodbye.  It's an amazing experience.  They just fly right up to me, and hover about 10 inches from my face.  It's their way of thanking me for feeding them.  They usually head south the last week of September.  I always miss them when they leave but at least we have them here to enjoy for a few more weeks.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my Pink Saturday post!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wedding Ring Pillows & New Project

Just a quick post for today everyone.  Mom just finished up a few new Wedding Ring Pillows:



Mom uses vintage handkerchiefs to make these!  Something old, something new!!!  Both are available in the shop.

I've also started on a new crazy quilt project.  Well, it's actually almost done:


I just love this little girl with the kitten!  It'll be a framed piece.  I expect to finish it up shortly.

I guess that's my news for today. 
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