Luka- origin: Russian...

Variant form of in the apostle Luke...a Physician...a Healer... a Mender of Broken Hearts.

This little boy was the Siberian Husky pup we planned on getting to be a friend to our Paisley. We did a bit of soul-searching and decided we should still go pick him up. We drove a total of 9 hrs round-trip...I have a very understanding husband.

It was a good decision. He's been our Healer. Who knew we needed this toe-biter? This de-stuffer of toys? This paper towel and dryer sheet shredder? This fur-covered smile-maker...

I so miss my Paisley girl. I get teary eyed just saying her name. But Luka seems to listen when I tell him about the sweet and funny friend he never got to meet. And his puppy slurps help too.

He's trying his best to fit in. In the 4 weeks hes been here, he's learned to "sit", "shake", "speak, "down" and working hard on "sit pretty". House-breaking seems to be an on and off priority for Mr. Luka. He'll get back to me on how today's going to go...

I hope we survive another puppy...



Heart Break...

I'm so very sad. I'm heart-broken and sick with grief. This morning, without any warning, our sweet and funny Paisley died.

While I was getting ready for work, I stopped to close a window and played a quick game of peek-a-boo with Paisley as she was sitting outside on the deck.

All seemed well. Less than a minute later, she began howling like she was caught under something. I ran out and she was laying on the ground still howling...and then she was gone. I quickly called the vet while I threw on some clothes, snatched her up and sped to the clinic. I knew it was already too late. There was nothing they could do for her. It's hard to determine what happened. They checked for snake-bite (no signs), considered poisoning (not likely, happened too quick), maybe a broken neck ( there are only 2 steps she could've fallen from), or maybe a heart problem.

It might have been her heart. We were just at the vet's for a check up and doctor didn't notice anything but Baby Puppy was a genetic mess: her parents were brother and sister, she had an extra toe and quite an underbite and I thought her spine felt a little more bony and prominent than other dogs I've had. But she was so healthy and active! I never expected this to happen. My poor baby was only 15 months old! We were making plans to travel Sunday to maybe bring home a Husky puppy to join our family. We thought they could grow up together. Now...

I feel I let her down. I should have brought her inside when the thought had first crossed my mind. That maybe if I had tried CPR. I don't know. I should have done something...

But I love you, Paisley.
You made me smile every day.



Hi, my name is Beth...

and I am a Hoarder. In fact, I'm probably the premier episode of this season's "Hoarders". Honestly, I can't stand my studio like this. It makes me nuts. I can't find anything and when I do, what I want is always on the bottom of a pile...

or that pile...

or this pile.

Why all this craziness? Well, Saturday I'm participating in an Artisan Fair (if you're passing by, stop in at The Ottumwa Bridge View Center 102 Church St. Ottumwa IA) and I've been nutso sewing chick. Over Labor Day weekend I sewed up storm for 56 hrs. I lived on Pepsi and M & M's.

Honestly, I didn't even know there was anything playing on the radio at 2 A.M.

Results? I'm taking with me about 50 chenille purses and a smattering of pillows. Paisley's shop will be selling her signature Puppy Cookies as well.

So why am I baring my soul, showing you my darkest secrets, putting it out there for the whole world to see and snicker at?
It's a reminder:

Creativity is a messy process.


P.S. Thank you my family! If you hadn't slipped food and water under the door, I would have surely died!


Dear Lyle...

Did you know how special you were? How incredible we thought you were? Our snack sneaking chatty chipmunk, so funny and sweet. Oh how many times have we begun a conversation and once you got started you could just go on and on; we'd step away or into the next room and still you'd talk, returning minutes later to find you...still talking. I think it's great you just kept going, knowing we'd catch up.

You enjoyed life, simple and straight-forward. Nothing was better for you than being under the hood of an old car with a couple of your kids...unless it's taking a drive in the old car with a couple of your kids. Or taking a drive in the old car with a couple of your kids while having a snack, preferably cake.

You knew your treasures were not of silver and gold and paper currency but in the smiles of your wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Riches packed into a tender hug or the quickest of "high fives".

I don't think you really knew how much you touched our lives. How a piece of you is tucked away in each one of us. We'll hold onto this piece of you and every time we gather together, we'll bring out all these little bits and we'll have you with us once again.

I'm so glad I knew you.

With love,


P.S. Grandpa Lyle, now that you're in heaven, please make time to find Hamster Jerry so neither of you is lonely...

The Legend of the Dragonfly

“In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the lily stems to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what had happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.
The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist.”


1st Birfday...

So Miss Paisley is one year old. Actually, she was one year old on June 16th but because of work schedules we had to put off the big celebration.

So today, after Jaina and I were off from work, we had the big party. HOOT HOOT *cough*

First Jaina, Paisley and I headed to the bestest place in town...Chuck E. Cheese!! Just kidding. We went to PetSmart so Paisels could pick out her own presents. She decided she wanted a parakeet. A real parakeet. Mommy said no.

After a bit we managed to get her to the toy aisle but still she was looking over her shoulder at the tweeties. Here's what we think she was thinking. "Hmmmmmm, the blue ones probably taste like peppermint, the white ones like vanilla, the green ones...lemon-lime??"
There's just soooooo much to see. How does a puppy choose??
Oooooooo! such a cuuuute monkey! And a girl just can't have too many Bobo's...

And what's this?? It's not really a parakeet but a chicken will do!

The treat aisle was soooooo interesting! But everybody knows you have to dig deep cuz the good stuff is always in the back:

The best part was we made some new friends. Meet Maggie and Jasper. Maggie is very outgoing and had no trouble giving out sweet kisses to people she just met. Jasper, on the other hand, is quiet and reserved. He sat patiently while Mom and Maggie chatted the time away.

We headed home but stopped at the Golden Arches for a little party lunch.

Then Paisley generously shared some of the treats for dessert that she had selected. Well, after she had helped herself first. Guess you gotta make sure they're yummy enough for your guests...

I think the guests had a good time. They must have partied hardy as everyone took a little nap afterwards... including the people guests. Paisley sure knows how to have a good time, right guys??

We had fun with our fuzzy friends today. They add so much to our lives( mostly mud and dog fur!) but I couldn't be without them. If you're thinking about finding a new friend for your life, please remember all the sweet faces in animal shelters that are still waiting for their forever homes. Shelters are the only place where you can buy true love.

Did Paisley have fun? I think she'd say: It's the best birfday she's ever had!!



V A C A T I O N ! ! !

Guess where we're going...

See ya real soon!



Bake sale...

Last weekend Paws and More held a couple of bake sales to benefit the fuzzy friends at the shelter. Jaina and I whipped up a batch each of all the flavors of Bark-tique cookies.

We had lots of work to do and we made a huge mess!

(un)Fortunately we had plenty of help.

er...Maybe TOO much help, in fact. But it was important that everything be "Paisley approved".

They looked so cute when we got them all wrapped and tagged!

We also finished taking new pictures of the cookies we were missing in our Paisley's Pals Etsy shop.

I'm not sure how the bake sales turned out but when we stopped by on Saturday, over half our cookie bags had been sold! I'm hoping our "Bounce Back" discount brings new sales at the shop. I'd really like to help out this wonderful no-kill shelter! The people are so caring and genuinely want these critters to have loving forever homes. I can't imagine life without our little fuzzy rat-face.( Well, I can and I'm sure David does! She sure can be a lot of puppy sometimes...)

Anyway, just doing our part to help out and having some fun in the process!



Paisley's Pals...

Because I obviously have too much time on my hands, Jaina and I have started a new project. We've opened a new Etsy shop, Paisley's Pals, with a critter theme and ALL the proceeds are going to the shelter where we got our (not-so) Baby Puppy Paisley. Right now we've added Bark-tique puppy cookies in yummy flavors:

and a fun vintage feed sack purse all foofed up and ready to go!

There are a few more items we've planning on adding, including some new teeny chenille purses and fun squeaker toys. I'm thinking I may need to adopt a 3 day work week with a 4 day weekend in order to get everything done...

Not to mention I could really use the sleep...




Well, looks like this is it for the Forsythia blooms again this year. I KNEW it. I get my hopes up and then THIS:

It's laughing at me...



New Neighbors...

A couple of years ago we bought this cute little birdhouse. Mostly it was just supposed to be decorative, but we soon had a cute little birdie family move in. Each year since we've always had a family set up house.

This year Daddy Bird has been sitting on the roof looking for a wife. (David and I have had a bit of fun joking about Daddy Bird not being pretty enough for the girls.) We wondered if there was a new nest inside yet. I politely "knocked" on the roof and then took a peek inside. There were several sweet little feathers near the front door. I didn't think the Birdie family would mind if I "borrowed" a couple. Soooooo, I grabbed one and gave it a tug. Next thing I know there's some serious fluttering inside and a fairly angry-looking birdie eyeball staring out at me. It appears those feathers may still have been attached to its previous owner...oops.

And they thought this was a nice neighborhood...



More Smiles...

I got a few more squares done yesterday.

Smile 9: A fluffy ball of yarn.

Smile 10: I love seeing the little summer-time flutter-bys.

Smile 11: Stepping on crunchy acorns is one of my all-time favorite smiles.

Smile 12: This week there was an itty-bitty white feather that floated on by. Made me smile.

Unfortunately, I had all this time to stitch yesterday because Jaina was having her wisdom teeth out. Things are really rough for her right now. She can't open her mouth enough to even get a spoon in and her pain seems to still be pretty severe. I'm in high "Mommy mode"...



Shopping by cell phone...

Of course I had to work today, there was a pretty nice auction happening. I convinced David it would be a good idea for him to go early to the auction and check out some of the things I thought I might like. So he went and sent me pictures! I couldn't wait to get out of the office. By the time I got there, the fun was almost over but I still scored a few goodies like:

A couple of cutter chenille bedspreads.

Two cutter table clothes with pretty colors.

A pretty square blue glass bowl and a pair of candle holders. I haven't decided yet how I feel about the candle holders. I really just wanted the bowl but I wound up with lots of unnecessary bits and bobs. David calls that stuff "yard sale fodder".

My impulse purchase of two sweet Frozen Charlotte dolls. I love them! They're my first ones and I'm thrilled. One has such a worried look on her face and the other is more "WHAT-ever". I hadn't seen them during my initial peek-through; it was strictly lucky timing as I was passing the table when they came up. Took them both home for $5! (Although after looking at the pictures, they're more "Dirty Charlottes" than "Frozen Charlottes")

And then my beauty! A three-tiered sweets stand with a fabulous Chintz pattern. yum. LOVE IT! This was another if-you-want-this-you-have-to-buy-a-bunch-o-crap-to-get-it purchase. Yep, "yard sale fodder" part II.

We also brought home a beautiful vintage etched mirror and a treadle Singer sewing machine. I mentioned last night that I thought I should get a treadle machine so that in case some Apocalyptic event occurred, we could still be clothed (no doubt using all my chenille and tablecloth fabrics!) and here David grabs this all by himself! I hope it works!

It's been a long day. I'm sleeping in a little tomorrow...See ya!



Stitching Smiles...

Well, I haven't caught up as much as I would like. It's been busy at work so I'm getting home late and not wanting to stitch when it's dark. But I did manage a few more squares and have several planned out.

Here's what's done so far...

Smile 4: Give me a thunderstorm any night!

Smile 5: Piggy-tails! Especially if they're attached to chubby little cheeks that are skipping down the street.

Smile 6: Sweet little Ladybug

Smile 7: Our Forsythia Bush...each Spring it promises to burst forth with a torrent of golden beauty and each Spring there's nothing more than a misty drizzle of...bud. It mocks me...

Let's see if I can get on track next week. I have a couple of days off since Lucky Jaina gets to have all four of her wisdom teeth out. woo-woo...



I'm stiching along...

but I'm still behind. When I saw Amy's post about stitching a square a day, I thought "What a great idea! I should do it!" and then I thought "Gee, I can't do that." I filled up with self-doubt. So I thought on it for a week and decided to just jump in. Jaina thought I should do 48 squares because well, there wasn't enough creative pressure at 39 squares.

I'm calling my sampler Worth A Smile. 48 snippets of things that make me smile. That seems manageable. So here's my first 3 squares...

Smile 1: Heart of my heart- (that's for 22 years of smiles from my favorite daughter)

Smile 2: Nest with 3 pretty blue eggs

Smile 3: A bit of vintage tatting embellished with a few glass beads

I've learned a few things from this project so far...
1. Free spiriting scares me!(I'm paper-trained. I need patterns.)
2. I'm waaaay slower than I thought I would be.
3. My eyesight just ain't what it used to be therefore see #2.
4. These things really do make me smile!
5. I'm having fun!

I'm hoping I can really catch up Friday when I have a half day off from work. And more daylight. I can really use the extra smiles...