Friday, June 18, 2010

Tea Party

I was "checking my websites" right before Olivia's naptime. Usually I cannot get online during her waking moments, as she wants me to play YoGabbaGabba videos for her on youtube or something or other. 

So I was grateful but curious about whatever was occupying her so much that she'd let me go online. 

I kept hearing little feet running back and forth behind me. 

Little feet padding closer and CLOSER...silently standing behind me for a few seconds...and then little feet going farther and farther...silence...steps coming closer and CLOSER...

When I looked I saw that she had brought her entire tea set into the office, piece by piece, and set it on the floor for a Tea Party. She also brought Eeyore and her dolly Pipi to join in the fun. 

I forget that she always does that. Wherever I am, she hurries to bring in her toys so that we can play together. Oh, here she comes with Alphabet Caterpillar, her third guest of the tea party.

Guess I should go have that delicious cup of invisible tea now...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Polkadot Sparrow is FOR REALS!

Well faithful readers, I have some special news for you!

Polkadot Sparrow, my quilting blog, is REAL. It exists. And not just in the fantastical recesses of my mind. It's floating around in cyberspace, too! 

I am excited for this new adventure. And also grateful to all of you who have supported me in my endeavor (Tommy for snagging my site and giving me technical advice; Aunt Helen, Sarah, and HeatherN for rooting me on; and all you others who thought that this was a good idea). 

I'm hoping it's a smashing success! And if not, I'm still pretty darn proud of myself for crafting my blog banner in Photoshop. JB and I were actually wondering about paying someone to make a professional-looking one when the Lord inspired me to make this baby:

No, I am not a professional web designer. This was just a pretty little divine accident.

Feel free to comment on it all you want if you'd like. I love comments! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Farewell Maggie

Maggie, my in-laws forever faithful dog, has taken her final bow. 

She was 14 and just done with this world, so last weekend I took her in to the vet and said my final farewell.

We were watching her and Lexi while M&M were in Tennessee. Maggie could barely walk outside to take a leak, and even if she could get out there without being carried, she could barely squat. She wasn't eating. Or even moving other than to waddle to the water bowl.

So JB carried her out to the car in his arms one last time.  A big ball of fur and bones.

"I used to carry you like this when you were a puppy," he said. And he set her gently on the front seat. 

On the way to the vet I reminded Maggie what a great dog she was and what a great run she had. She was mostly deaf so I spoke loudly so that she could hear me. I commended her on her great faithfulness and obedience. And her varmint catching abilities. I told her that she would run again in heaven. 

"I like to think that there aren't squirrels in heaven though, so you'll have to find something else to chase," I told her. 

I couldn't carry on too much conversation because it wasn't safe to drive with tears flooding my eyes. It felt right to take her in; she was miserable. But it's still sad to say goodbye to an old friend. 

I waited in the room at the vet's office for at least a half hour, stroking Maggie's fur and telling her how wonderful and good she was. I was able to keep it together for the whole procedure. I shed tears at the very end, but didn't sob. 

And I was able to keep my sadness at bay until Friday, when I was taking Olivia to M&M's. "We're going to see Grandma Marian and Grandpa Mark," I told her. 

O was silent and then said, "Maggie!!..."

"No baby, Maggie is not there anymore. She went to heaven."

"Yexi?... Maggie!! MAGGIE!!"

"Stop talking about Maggie, O," I squeaked out between my tears. 

It was official. I was going to M&M's and for the first time Maggie would not be there. 

Good-bye, Waggum McTaggums. You were a GREAT dog. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

April goes to Washington


A couple of weeks ago JB and I went to Washington D.C. to visit his bro Austin and our new(er) SIL Lauren. I had never been to D.C. before, and as someone who likes America and History and Family, I was set to have a good time.

And I did! (So did JB!)

Here's our Top 10, chosen by me (you'll be able to identify the usual suspects in most photos, but Lauren is the ghost in the long shot of the Lincoln Memorial):

10.) Went to a fabric shop in Fairfax, VA. Fail. The place was nice, but all the fabric was sorted by color. Which defeats the purpose of buying matching fabrics from a particular line! Which is what people like to do! The fabrics are spread all over the place and you cannot find what you're looking for. I got a few things. But it wasn't as exciting an experience as I hoped it would be.

9.) Watched the series finale of LOST with JB. We cried and cried and cried. It was a great finale. 

8.) Went to the MegaMall in Tyson's Corner. Money,  money, money. They had stores there that I've only seen in magazines. Like United Colors of Benetton. Naartjie. L.L. Bean. Shopping there really hammered home how downtrodden the Michigan economy is right now. This mall had big name stores, little to no sales or clearance racks, bright lights, and even brighter, happier shoppers. Michigan malls seem so funeral-like compared to that place. However, I still scored a megadeal at L.L.Bean. There was one lone sweater on the sale rack. One lone red cashmere sweater originally $100. I got it for $25. My first cashmere sweater. Or part-cashmere. I don't care. Even 10% cashmere would make me feel glamorous!

7.) Lost all four games of Ticket To Ride (Europe) that we played. I tried and tried and lost and lost! But you can't go wrong with building your own trains through Europe so it was fun anyway.

6.) PUPPIES!! Puppies, puppies, puppies!! Took a harrowing car ride in and around curves, up and down mountainous road, to see Austin and Lauren's future black lab puppy (and 9 others). By the time we got there JB, Lauren and I were about to vomit. Austin was perplexed at our sickness. JB explained to him it was because he was the driver and was not subjected to the chaotic ride. He drove as carefully as he could on the way home. We all felt much better. Though perhaps we were just riding in on our puppy euphoria. 

5.) Smithsonian! There are a ton of Smithsonians. We hit up the American History one. Most of the exhibits were not as impressive as I had thought. Perhaps the hundreds of people milling about everywhere were the problem. JB and I dug seeing the Julia Childs kitchen and now he has agreed to do our next kitchen with all wood cuttingboard countertops. I am thrilled. My other huge memory from there was the Vietnam War exhibit. I saw an actual helicopter that had to fly in and out of the warzone chaos, picking up dead and wounded. It wasn't like the big helicopters that rich people buzz around in. It was dinky. Like smaller than my kitchen. Vietnam vets are some brave mother f'ers.

4.) Went to the Holocaust Museum. A great experience. Very disturbing, though. Why didn't more Jews or good Germans revolt??? How did that much mass murder happen in modern day?? I held it together until I walked through the boxcar that had taken Jews to one of the concentration camps. I thought of all the babies and little kids who had to squish in there and who died by the time they reached their destination. Imagined being a mom and a.) watching your child die in front of you, and then b.) having to hold that dead baby for days in a cramped car. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

(Did you know that Denmark refused to play the Nazi's game? They resisted till the end. Go Danes!)

3.) Walked through Arlington. I don't care what the liberals say: God Bless the U.S.A.

 2.) Saw WWII and Vietnam Memorials at night, as well as the Lincoln Memorial. If that don't make you proud to be an American, nothing will.

1.) Rode to the top of the Washington Monument: AT NIGHT. Tours are closed to the public at night. Unless you flirt with the security guard like Austin did. :) The view was amazing. Unfortunately the windows were clouded over on the outside, so I didn't get a stellar shot, but I'm sharing what I did get anyway.