Hodgepodge…..

Aha! What season do you suppose this little plant reminds me of? Yuppers….I just love it when those little holly berries suddenly turn from green to their pretty red color! Yes, the temps are getting cooler at night and in the morning here in the Bristolwood…..


I took the thermometer picture several hours after getting up this morning. Things really are chilling down in the Bristolwood, and I am enjoying the change. Our leaves are still green…we live in a woods made up mainly of hardwoods, so our leaves stubbornly hold out, refusing to change their garb until the frosts come and rob the trees!

A couple of nights ago, we took a ride to a mall that has a special store that sells all kinds of antiques, as well as reproductions of antiques. I picked up three little goodies to add to my tiny Scottie collection. I got a little Boyd glass “box”, the little Scottie that looks so much like Jock from Lady and the Tramp, and a comical little Scottie from Department 56. I was told the artist that did the Dept. 56 Scottie lives not too far away from us. I just fell in love with that whimsical little Scottie, dressed in green with the large ruffle about her neck!

I began grooming little Murphy last night. He is so nervous about the clippers, so I end up trimming so much around he ear with blunt-tipped scissors. I decided after taking the fellow out for his morning “constitution”, I was going to complete his haircut!!! I had cut his eyebrows last week, but I cut them WAY too short! Ah well, they will grow back quickly.
Late this afternoon, we decided to take a drive to an outlet mall not too far away. We did some serious shopping…I actually bought a couple pair of jeans, anticipating the purchase of an ATV later in September. (I have been anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the 2007 models. ) As we were shopping, the sun began to set and I so wanted to photograph it. We rushed to the truck, and Mark drove away from the shopping mecca so we could take pictures without all of the buildings in the foreground. The perfect ending to a day…..

Murphy’s New Nightshirt

As I posted last night, Murphy has a new little nightshirt! I must say that Michelle didn’t spend a whole lot of time on this garment, as I think perhaps she knew Murphy wasn’t going to be too excited about it….

Upon completion, Michelle raced into the room, proudly holding up her newly formed masterpiece! Now, I will admit, I was impressed, as she had no pattern. Michelle has always been very creative, however, and all of her young life, she has never failed to impress me with creativity.
So, was **Murphy** impressed? You be the judge…….

Yup, as soon as the little shirt was on, Murphy hid his big face! He immediately THREW himself on the pillow, striking a most “I am SO depressed” pose. Not even the mention of a “cookie” would get his attention. Poor little forlorn Scottie Dog!

Somehow, I finally was able to coax the little pup to sit up to model his new duds. Again, I ask, does THIS look like a happy little Scottie Dog to YOU? Alas, I took great pity upon my little laddie and removed the offending garment. And, did I get a big “Thank You!”?

I don’t think so! Instead, I am convinced he is lying there thinking about HOW to get out of EVER wearing that cute little nightshirt….EVER again!!!!

Watching Summer Come to a Close….

I remember telling my mother several years ago, that the trees and greenery all seem to attempt one last “hurrah” during the closing weeks of August. It appeared to me that all the greens were making a courageous effort to try to avert the changing of the colors that were inevitable. My mom said she never really noticed….I still stand by my theory. It seems like colors are so very intense during these fence-sitting days. Not much summer left, but autumn has not made its entrance, either. Perhaps it is just the fact that the sun is again lowering in the southern sky, casting that beautiful golden hue on all that happens to cross its path.

There is nothing like sleeping with the windows open this time of the year. The air seems almost intoxicating, and the cooler temps bring on a more restful slumber. I love the cricket choruses arising from down the hill, and the tree frogs joining in is so cool. Ah yes, I am anxious to say adieu to the heat and humidity. My only desire is that the autumnal colors would linger far longer than they do!

Today, Michelle decided she wanted to sew something. I am greatly ashamed that I have never taken the time to teach her the basics in sewing. However, I was startlingly amazed at her skill in reading through the pattern! She was given a fairly simple pattern, along with some fabric to make a nightshirt. I gave her (very) basic instruction about making sure that the top of each piece was oriented in the same direction. What followed pleased me and made me happy to know that Michelle is capable of reading directions and following them without interpretation!
Perhaps the fact that she has spent many hours with the computer, doing schoolwork, has paid off…The fact that she is able to work alone and is motivated to complete her project is satisfying!

OK….yes, there are Scotties on the fabric. And, NO, I did NOT purchase it!!! Carly, are you there??? Oh, and one brag? The sleeves on the nightshirt were plain and hung down straight. They were quite large. I told Michelle I could show her later how to form a casing so she could insert elastic in the sleeves, forming a “bell-shaped” sleeve. Well, as I was preparing dinner, didn’t she take it upon herself to make the casings and create her own version of my suggestion?

Shortly after completing her first garment, Michelle went on to make the puppy a wee little nightshirt. It was so funny, and I was quite impressed to see that she even cut out little facings for around the neck! She is so much fun! Don’t tell Murphy that, though….he “froze” when the nightshirt was lovingly placed on his little body. He just rolled his eyes as though going along with the nonsense, but not really *liking* it!

Today was a very slow-paced Monday, and for that, I am grateful! Every now and then, we all need a little break!

One of the surest signs of the autumn coming are the mums. They are beginning to bloom in shades of rust, orange, and dark red. I love their colors…they look so pretty when the leaves begin to fall and they blend in with their surroundings. I bought an aster when we went to the market on Saturday. It is planted and I hope it does well. I was so disappointed that the ones I had planted two years ago never came back up again, but as I planted the new addition, I noticed that there WAS a scraggly little aster plant coming up! Funny, it wasn’t there last year!(guess it was sleeping!)

So, Here Are the Pics From Today…

I figured if I waited a bit, then tried to post these, Blogger would FINALLY let me post them. And, yes, they did! Here is a picture of one of the ponds hidden in the woods on the trails we explored earlier today.

Here is another view. Mark was really encouraged when he saw these, because he can ride his ATV on the paths, being able to go around the ponds. He so misses being able to hike and explore new areas. It is kind of weird how we don’t really notice how hard it is for disabled people to enjoy new things unless we know or live with a person who is disabled and they convey this to us…Mark is always looking at inventions other disabled people have crafted. In a world where we take walking for granted, when one loses the ability to walk, it really causes a great deal of stress. For the first three or four years after Mark suffered a spinal cord injury, he never went inside a store. He was just so bummed at the thought of using a wheelchair to get around. Life was tough….Now, he uses the chair. but oftimes feels very uncomfortable using it. The ATV gives him a new freedom that causes him to be on equal ground with “walking” folks. The bad news is that most people think of half-crazed kids doing donuts and driving like madmen on ATV’s. Because this is the general concensus, folks like Mark suffer….he would love it if he could get a special permit to be able to drive the ATV on the small roads nearby. He longs to ride next to the kids as they ride their mountain bikes. No way. In most states in the US, ATV’s are equated to trouble, or troublemakers. How sad…if we lived in the city, Mark could drive a handicap “scooter” on the sidewalk. Being handicapped is such a double whammy….so much insult in the form of injustice is added to the injury suffered…..

On a happier note, here are some pretty flowers I found growing near the pond.

Covered Lots of Miles Today!

Today was a rather busy day, and we seemed to relax and enjoy!

The kids usually sleep in on Saturday morning, but since they called it a night early last night, I thought I would get them up early and take them to McDonald’s for breakfast. Ben loves the Big Breakfast, and it is a treat for him. So, we went out the door and off. After McDonald’s we stopped by Tim Horton’s for a bagel for Michelle and me.

The family was invited to a birthday party for Michelle’s friend (our neighbor) this afternoon and into the evening. So, after breakfast, I wanted to take a run to a big farmer’s market several miles away. It is a big market, featuring many goods made by Mennonites and Amish. I haven’t been in quite some time. I had a good time walking around and seeing all the goodies. I only bought a tote made with the “faithful companion” print, featuring a Scottie on it.

On the way home, I stopped at a small farm stand and bought a seedless watermelon, a head of cabbage, and a quart of roma tomatoes. I intend to try to make Mark some good sauce for pasta with the maters! (hi Becky!!!) Oh, I am going to add some from my plant, too!

After the market, we headed back to take the kids to the party. The neighbors were graciously understanding when I explained that I had been having some problems with breathing and said the kids would be fine. left their without us…Their son was looking forward to playing with Ben, so that was cool! Mark and I dropped the kids off, and decided to try another one of those great state trails set aside for the handicapped…..

We decided to check out some roads that were located in the higher land. We entered, following one trail that was about 1 1/2 miles. It was very nice, but there wasn’t a whole lot to see. Then, we went on another trail that was fabulous. We spent about 2 hours driving on roads through the woods. It was so pretty, and we came upon a couple of beautiful ponds and marshes. I had some pictures, but Blogger is being a BEAR tonight! Anyway, this land was cool, and there are lean-to’s located in the woods…one must get a “camping permit” to sleep overnight in these. I guess I would be a real chicken doing that, but the concept is cool. I think I would need at least a “cabin” to spend the night where I know there are foxes, coyotes, bears, and other things that go “bump” in the night!!!!

After our expedition, Mark and I decided to have a quiet little dinner, so we went off and ate. After this, it was nearly 8pm, so we decided to head out to grab the kids. The neighbors had the party at their lake home, which isn’t too far away. Needless to say, the kids had a ball! They love parties, and this one was so much fun! It is just so hard to think that our kids were so little just “yesterday”. Time sure flies….

We got home well after dark, and it was a rather full day! Many end-of-summer memories, and just a fun day all the way around! I actually feel much better…not sure if being out of the house all day made me feel better or not, but it sure was nice!

Good Grief!

I nearly forgot to post a picture of my lovely new Scottie quilt! This isn’t the greatest picture, as it is so hard to get a picture of the bed. The wall at the end of the bed has a steep slope, so tis a bit tough. The big pillow behind the little Scottie shaped pillow was hand-crafted for me by a soap-maker. We had a gift exchange one May, and my person made a custom pillow with an embroidered Scottie on it! The little Scottie pillow is one Ben won in one of those “claw”

machines. He had walked into a grocery store, and spotted the Scottie….he just HAD to win it for Mom…he spent $2.00, but walked out grinning from ear to ear as he handed it to me!

This its the time of the year when the days begin to come to an end earlier and earlier…I treasure these shorter days when I can go to my little “refuge” and just enjoy the glow of a pretty candle lighting the room.

And so, from my little refuge to yours, have a good evening!

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………

I had a little fun this morning, playing with the camera, taking some more bee pictures! The camera that I am using is an Olympus C-5050. I have had this camera for nearly 3 years, but am just now beginning to figure our all the bells and whistles. It is a rather complex little bugger, and later this afternoon, Mark and I were playing with it, and Mark found some really cool features. He had read through part of the manual, so he knows a lot more than I do!

On my way down the porch to take the bee pics, I passed my hanging Fuschia plant. The way the sun was shining on it, the plant looked almost fluorescent!


Well, it is *almost” Friday…hurrah! This week seems to have flown by. Seems like that happens a lot this time of the year!

Another Day…

With nothing exciting to talk about! Oh, wait, I did receive my new Scottie Dog quilt from Dillard’s today! What is so exciting about that (other than the fact that it has Scotties on it!) is that there isn’t a Dillard’s anywhere near here! Someone on one of the Scottie lists alerted everyone about these quilts, but the online store was out of them. It stated to “contact your local Dillard’s”. When I put in my zip, it said there was NO Dillard’s. I got wise and used a “western” zip code, and it came up with several store listings. So, last Friday I called seven different stores, all saying they either had no bedding, or the quilts were sold out. Finally, on store number eight, I got lucky! The woman said they were actually in the kid’s department. I patiently awaited her return to the phone, and when she did, she said they had a full/queen size as well as a twin size. I told her I would take BOTH! To make this long story short, the quilts both arrived today…WOW, that was fast!!! I will take pictures in the daylight tomorrow and show off my new quilt! (the twin size one will be used as a “throw”)

This morning, when I opened my eyes, they fell upon a pretty little flower arrangement in my new Royal Albert Country Rose vase.

I love flowers, especially where I can see and appreciate them. This is a simple arrangement of just carnations and baby’s breath. But I love the color of these carnations. Speaking of flowers, I bought a bunch of autumn colored flowers for my father-in-law’s grave. I had made a “patriotic” arrangement in May for Memorial Day, but wanted something new. Mark said he thinks they only allow flowers until the early fall, so he told me perhaps I should just keep them. I had spent quite a bit for the May arrangement, buying them at a craft store. This time, while in the local Dollar Tree with the kids, I really loved the autumn colors. I bought five different “bush” type flowers and intermingled them. The result was pretty, and to top it off, the Dollar Tree even had a wired ribbon that matched!

This afternoon, I did take one really cool picture. Still scratching my head, wondering how I avoided getting stung, though! (I was actually about 1″ from Mr. Bumble!)

Funny Things…Telephones!

As I was lying on the bed, trying to just relax after a somewhat busy day (note I did not exactly say *industrious* day), my little cell phone began to ring. Feeling so tired, I was not motivated to answer, but far be it from me to ever leave a ringing phone to its own devices….

I rolled over and plucked the little phone from its pouch in my purse. I glanced down and saw my eldest daughter’s name on the face of the gadget. Opening the phone to answer, I greeted her, “Hello?” Nothing….nada….hmmmmm, what is *wrong* with my cell phone? I look at the phone and see that it says we are “connected”. Connected? WHY can I not hear her? I am beginning to feel a little perturbed when I suddenly hear her voice loudly hailing me from my PURSE! The lightbulb goes off….

I keep my Bluetooth headset inside of a soft leather change purse inside my purse. Apparently, something leaned against the change purse, causing the headset to “activate”. Once I realized what was happening, I answered the call, and the two of us giggled and laughed for quite some time!!!

That same cell phone caused us to have a somewhat disturbed night’s slumber one night last winter. Angus was curled up, sleeping soundly near my feet on the bed, as he was use to doing.
I had spoken on the phone earlier, and when I hung up, I apparently accidentally hit the volume button located on the side of the phone, causing it to go into “vibrate” mode.

Oh my! Someone called, and the phone began vibrating loudly. At first, being somewhat rudely awakened, I was more asleep than awake! Not Angus!!! That poor little fellow equated that vibrating phone with the evil clippers that are used to groom him into the handsome little Scottie he is! Being a true diehard, Angus decided the *best* decision for his well-being was to bail off the bed and onto the floor…abandon the sleeping quarters at all costs, to escape the clipper-like noise!!! BTW, just for fun, if you have a phone with the “vibrate” mode, place it into vibrate mode, then plop it onto the mattress on your bed. It seems like the structure of the mattress causes the vibrating phone to turn into an unbridled MONSTER! At least to a 20 pound Scottie Dog! (also make sure the house is VERY quiet before attempting this!)

And then, of course, there was Baby Michelle….I had spent some time talking on the telephone, once again talking to the eldest…Michelle was a little baby. I think she was about 4 months old.
After talking on the phone, I quickly rushed off to the bathroom for a quick bath. I raced about, propping pillows all around the baby, feeling she was safely “nested in” whilst I took my bath.

I came back after my hurried bath to find little Michelle staring at the telephone, which was now nearer her. As I grabbed it to replace it on its cradle, I was in awe that there was a voice talking on the phone! It seems my little baby girl had accomplished her very first phone call at the tender age of 4 months, by hitting the redial button! As her older sister spoke to her, Michelle answered in little baby gurgling sounds!

And so, as you can observe, telephones in this house are just another of those “necessary evils”!