Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our hearts and paws to yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season!

Frankie, Christmas 2002

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Proper Kong Toy Management

Nickel is now 1.5 years old and still has an abundance of energy. We know from experience that he won't slow down at all until he's at least 3 years old. Our survival strategy can be summarized in a single phrase:  a tired puppy is a good puppy.

Fortunately, Nickel loves to retrieve his red kong toy so we stand on the deck outside the back door and throw the toy as far as we can into the woods. Nickel will joyfully retrieve the toy many, many, many times before he is even slightly winded. Frankie however, almost 10 years his senior, loves the kong toy too but is more interested in chewing it than endlessly retrieving.

Frankie waits for the next throw

Frankie, being the senior nose sniffer, is more accomplished at locating the toy but Nickel often lunges more quickly once Frankie finds it or he simply takes it from Frankie ... until Frankie holds his ground and refuses to give it up. Then Frankie settles in for a nice long chew. Nearby sticks work well for variety.

That red speck is the kong toy.


After 12 or 15 retrieves, Nickel needs a bit of a breather.

The problem with a brief respite is the kong toy tends to roll off the deck. Thus, the need for proper kong toy management. One day, after fetching the kong toy from beneath the deck, the straw broke the camel's back. Nickel discovered something very exciting while getting a drink of water:

Now stay put!

Safe and secure

These days, our smart boy secures the kong toy then gets his drink of water.

Gotta go!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Miles of Thread

I have used lots of white thread this year, driven in part by the modern quilting trend of white or light gray fabrics used in the background of quilts. Last week, I finished up a cone of cotton thread:

Here is the almost empty cone beside a new one so you can see how much thread that is:

A cone of Aurifil 50wt thread is 6452 yards ... well over a mile! Yea!

Have you noticed the new tutorial menu at the top of my blog? I plan to post all four tutorials over the next few days. I started with the "clever coasters" tutorial and will add the remainder throughout the holidays. After picking up several charm packs, I folded and pinned the coasters while watching "Men in Black 3" the other night. The sewing is the fastest part ... it took a couple hours to stitch all of these:

Clever Coasters

Then a couple evenings folding and poking out the corners while watching the finale of "The Voice" and "X Factor" and wa la ... nearly 100 coasters finished! Most of these are gifts for friends and family. I hope you enjoy making them too!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Nagging Ritual

At our house, play time as well as dinner often begins with a robust nagging ritual. Here, Nickel has gotten bored and would very much like someone ... anyone ... to take him outside and throw his kong toy so he can run like the wind and retrieve it ... over and over and over and over. Is there any chance Harry can be convinced?

Please ... I'm BEGGING you!

But there's always time for a good scratch! Nickel, while a haunt if he doesn't get the exercise he needs, can be very sweet and affectionate. As you can see here, he adores Harry.

Oh that's the spot!
When breakfast or dinner time approaches, Frankie typically takes the lead in proactively reminding Harry ... aka nagging ... that the goldens are absolutely, completely, totally and utterly starving. STARVING! He begins with an adoring stare while sitting beside Harry:

I love you so much ... did I mention I'm a tad hungry?
A few minutes go by ...

I'm definitely hungry now ... can you see me?
 Tick tock tick tock ... a little more in the lap ...

Can you see me NOW?
 A few more minutes pass ...

Now I will get in his lap. He will definitely see me and maybe even hear my tummy growling.

Oh geez ... is he STILL reading?
Trust me when I say that going on daylight savings time is sublime while going off, in a word, sucks.