About Me

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MS Gulf Coast, United States
I am a Christian wife, mother and grandmother. I love to sew and create new and innovative items to share with my customers. The most popular area of my store is my Walnut Grove section which features clothing reminiscent of "Little House on the Prairie". Please take a moment to visit my store and see my latest creations. www.pattisoriginals.etsy.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Work Outfit

We will be heading to North Dakota and the pipeline jobsite next week.  Most of our job will be in the office but we will have to visit the pipeline sites once a week for updates.  A requirement for visiting the jobsites is fire resistant clothing.  This clothing must be certified and approved by governmental agencies. 

We were able to locate some of this clothing in Superior and bought each of us a complete outfit. Because the clothing is approved as fire resistant it is very expensive.

This tee shirt, complete with label verifying it is fire resistant, was a little over $50.

The outer shirt was $53 and it is also certified.  This shirt looks just like a regular work shirt.

The jeans were regularly $70 but we got them for the 'bargain price' of $63. Remember we had to buy 2 of each of these pieces of clothing because we each need a set.

Every grandmother who works for the pipeline must have steel toe boots.

And when put together, a grandmother is still a grandmother, she just wears work clothes.

So next week the adventure begins as we head out to the jobsite.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Duck, Duck But No Goose

We were enjoying a relaxing breakfast this morning when my husband noticed these mallards outside our patio.

I hurried to the other room to try to get a closer shot.

The ducks were attracted by the water which is caused by the snow melting in the woods behind our house.  Once the snow is gone the ground will be dry and there will be no more ducks.  In the meantime, this Daddy Duck and his duckling will keep playing in the water.
We will be leaving Superior in a few weeks but we sure have enjoyed the wildlife in this area.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Phunnies

The Rabbit is Dead
A man is driving along a highway and sees a rabbit jump out across the middle of the road. He swerves to avoid hitting it but unfortunately, the rabbit jumps right in front of the car. The driver, a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulls over and gets out to see what has become of the rabbit. Much to his dismay, the rabbit is dead. The driver feels so awful that he begins to cry.

A beautiful blonde woman driving down the highway sees the man crying on the side of the road and pulls over. She steps out of the car and asks the man what's wrong. "I feel terrible," he explains. "I accidentally hit this rabbit and killed it."

The blonde says, "Don't worry." She runs to her car and pulls out a spray can. She walks over to the limp, dead rabbit, bends down and sprays the contents onto the rabbit. The rabbit jumps up, waves its paw at the two of them and hops off down the road. Ten feet away the rabbit stops, turns around and waves again. He hops down the road another 10 feet, turns and waves, hops another ten feet, turns and waves and repeats this again and again and again until he hops out of sight.

The man is astonished. He runs over to the woman and demands, "What is in that can? What did you spray on that rabbit?"

The woman turns the can around so that the man can read the label. It says ...
It says, "Hair Spray - Restores life to dead hair, adds permanent wave."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fun Begins

 I started working outside of the home last week for the first time in over 5 years. It has been exciting and tiring.

It is nice to have a job with people who treat you so well. Everyone has been extremely nice and easy to work with. The best part is my trainer, my husband, Larry. My husband's boss offered me this job with the idea that I would help Larry accomplish, what promises to be, a very heavy workload this year. Larry is a very patient teacher, although very meticulous, and so far working together has been fun.

When I did not work outside of the home, I took care of grocery shopping and miscellaneous errands but, anything else, we have always done together. We have always spent our weekends together, whether having fun, working or running errands, so we are used to being together a lot. We really enjoy driving to work and sharing lunch together.

So unlike so many people at work (who were afraid we wouldn't like being together so much) we look forward to this opportunity and will try to make the most of our time together

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh, Dear, the Deer

We have deer grazing in our backyard every single night.  I have been trying to get a photo of them but either the screen or the window glass or the flash get in the way.

Tonight we sat in the dark until the deer appeared.  I opened the patio door and snapped a few shots.  Even with all that preparation these were the best photos I could get.

These deer are not afraid of humans or the flash.  They just stood there staring at me.

You can see the flash in the eyes.

Not very good photos but at least I finally got some.

Update-a few days later the deer came out earlier and my hubby snapped a few shots.

The deer are in our backyard every night and I never get tired of watching them.  Hope you enjoyed them as well.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Phunnies

Rudy, the Adventure Cat
(a true story, author unknown)

This is the story of the night my ten-year-old cat, Rudy, got his head stuck in the garbage disposal. I knew at the time that the experience would be funny, if the cat survived, so let me tell you right up front that he's fine. Getting him out wasn't easy, though, and the process included numerous home remedies, a plumber, two cops, an emergency overnight veterinary clinic, a case of mistaken identity, five hours of panic, and fifteen minutes of fame.

First, some background. My husband, Rich, and I had just returned from a five-day spring-break vacation in the Cayman Islands, where I had been sick as a dog the whole time, trying to convince myself that if I had to feel lousy, it was better to do it in paradise. We had arrived home at 9 p.m., a day and a half later than we had planned because of airline problems.

I still had illness-related vertigo, and because of the flight delays, had not been able to prepare the class I was supposed to teach at 8:40 the next morning. I sat down at my desk to think about William Carlos Williams, and around ten o'clock I heard Rich hollering something indecipherable from the kitchen. As I raced out to see what was wrong, I saw Rich frantically rooting around under the kitchen sink and Rudy or, rather, Rudy's headless body scrambling around in the sink, his claws clicking in panic on the metal.

Rich had just ground up the skin of some smoked salmon in the garbage disposal, and when he left the room, Rudy (whom we always did call a pinhead) had gone in after it. It is very disturbing to see the headless body of your cat in the sink. This is an animal that I have slept with nightly for ten years, who burrows under the covers and purrs against my side, and who now looked like a desperate, fur-covered turkey carcass, set to defrost in the sink while it's still alive and kicking. It was also disturbing to see Rich, Mr. Calm-in-any-Emergency, at his wits end, trying to soothe Rudy, trying to undo the garbage disposal, failing at both, and basically freaking out. Adding to the chaos was Rudy's twin brother Lowell, also upset, racing around in circles, jumping onto the kitchen counter and alternately licking Rudy's butt for comfort and biting it out of fear.

Clearly, I had to do something. First we tried to ease Rudy out of the disposal by lubricating his head and neck. We tried Johnson's baby shampoo (kept on hand for my nieces' visits) and butter-flavored Crisco: both failed, and a now-greasy Rudy kept struggling. Rich then decided to take apart the garbage disposal, which was a good idea, but he couldn't do it. Turns out, the thing is constructed like a metal onion: you peel off one layer and another one appears, with Rudy's head still buried deep inside, stuck in a hard plastic collar. My job during this process was to sit on the kitchen counter petting Rudy, trying to calm him, with the room spinning (the vertigo), Lowell howling (he's part Siamese), and Rich clattering around with tools.

When all our efforts failed, we sought professional help. I called our regular plumber, who actually called me back quickly, even at 11 o'clock at night (thanks, Dave). He talked Rich through further layers of disposal dismantling, but still we couldn't reach Rudy. I called the 1-800 number for Insinkerator (no response), a pest removal service that advertises 24-hour service (no response), an all-night emergency veterinary clinic (who had no experience in this matter, and so, no advice), and finally, in desperation, 911. I could see that Rudy's normally pink paw pads were turning blue. The fire department, I figured, gets cats out of trees; maybe they could get one out of a garbage disposal. The dispatcher had other ideas and offered to send over two policemen. This suggestion gave me pause. I'm from the sixties, and even if I am currently a fine upstanding citizen, I had never considered calling the cops and asking them to come to my house, on purpose. I resisted the suggestion but the dispatcher was adamant: "They'll help you out," he said.

The cops arrived close to midnight and turned out to be quite nice. More importantly, they were also able to think rationally, which we were not. They were, of course, quite astonished by the situation: "I've never seen anything like this," Officer Mike kept saying. (The unusual circumstances helped us get quickly on a first-name basis with our cops.) Officer Tom, who expressed immediate sympathy for our plight. "I've had cats all my life," he said, comfortingly, also had an idea. Evidently we needed a certain tool, a tiny, circular rotating saw, that could cut through the heavy plastic flange encircling Rudy's neck without hurting Rudy, and Officer Tom happened to own one. "I live just five minutes from here," he said; "I'll go get it."

He soon returned, and the three of them, Rich and the two policemen, got under the sink together to cut through the garbage disposal. I sat on the counter, holding Rudy and trying not to succumb to the surrealness of the scene, with the weird middle-of-the-night lighting, the room's occasional spinning, Lowell's spooky sound effects, an apparently headless cat in my sink and six disembodied legs poking out from under it. One good thing came of this: the guys did manage to get the bottom off of the disposal, so we could now see Rudy's face and knew he could breathe. But they couldn't cut the flange without risking the cat.

Stumped, Officer Tom had another idea. "You know," he said, "I think the reason we can't get him out is the angle of his head and body. If we could just get the sink out and lay it on its side, I'll bet we could slip him out." That sounded like a good idea at this point, ANYTHING would have sounded like a good idea, and as it turned out, Officer Mike runs a plumbing business on weekends; he knew how to take out the sink!

Again they went to work, the three pairs of legs sticking out from under the sink surrounded by an ever-increasing pile of tools and sink parts. They cut the electrical supply, capped off the plumbing lines, unfastened the metal clamps, unscrewed all the pipes, and about an hour later, voila! the sink was lifted gently out of the countertop, with one guy holding the garbage disposal (which contained Rudy's head) up close to the sink (which contained Rudy's body). We laid the sink on its side, but even at this more favorable removal angle, Rudy stayed stuck.

Officer Tom's radio beeped, calling him away on some kind of real police business. As he was leaving, though, he had another good idea: "You know," he said, "I don't think we can get him out while he's struggling so much. We need to get the cat sedated. If he were limp, we could slide him out." And off he went, regretfully, a cat lover still worried about Rudy. The remaining three of us decided that getting Rudy sedated was a good idea, but Rich and I were new to the area. We knew that the overnight emergency veterinary clinic was only a few minutes away, but we didn't know exactly how to get there. "I know where it is!" declared Officer Mike. "Follow me!"

So Mike got into his patrol car, Rich got into the driver's seat of our car, and I got into the back, carrying the kitchen sink, what was left of the garbage disposal, and Rudy.

It was now about 2:00 a.m. We followed Officer Mike for a few blocks when I decided to put my hand into the garbage disposal to pet Rudy's face, hoping I could comfort him. Instead, my sweet, gentle bedfellow chomped down on my finger, hard, really hard, and wouldn't let go. My scream reflex kicked into gear, and I couldn't stop the noise. Rich slammed on the brakes, hollering "What? What happened? Should I stop?", checking us out in the rearview mirror. "No," I managed to get out between screams, "Just keep driving. Rudy's biting me, but we've got to get to the vet. Just go!"
Rich turned his attention back to the road, where Officer Mike took a turn we hadn't expected, and we followed. After a few minutes Rudy let go, and as I stopped screaming, I looked up to discover that we were wandering aimlessly through an industrial park, in and out of empty parking lots, past little streets that didn't look at all familiar. "Where's he taking us?" I asked. "We should have been there ten minutes ago!" Rich was as mystified as I was, but all we knew to do was follow the police car until, finally, he pulled into a church parking lot and we pulled up next to him.

Rich rolled down the window to ask, "Mike, where are we going?" The cop, who was not Mike, rolled down his window and asked, "Why are you following me?" Once Rich and I recovered from our shock at having tailed the wrong cop car, and the policeman recovered from his pique at being stalked, he led us quickly to the emergency vet, where Mike greeted us by holding open the door, exclaiming, "Where were you guys???"

It was lucky that Mike got to the vet's ahead of us, because we hadn't thought to call and warn them about what was coming. (Clearly, by this time we weren't really thinking at all.) We brought in the kitchen sink containing Rudy and the garbage disposal containing his head, and the clinic staff was ready. They took his temperature (which was down 10 degrees) and his oxygen level (which was half of normal), and the vet declared: "This cat is in serious shock. We've got to sedate him and get him out of there immediately." When I asked if it was OK to sedate a cat in shock, the vet said grimly, "We don't have a choice." With that, he injected the cat; Rudy went limp; and the vet squeezed about half a tube of K-Y jelly onto the cat's neck and pulled him free. Then the whole team jumped into "code blue" mode. (I know this from watching a lot of ER.) They laid Rudy on a cart, where one person hooked up IV fluids, another put little socks on his paws ("You'd be amazed how much heat they lose through their pads," she said), one covered him with hot water bottles and a blanket, and another took a blow-dryer to warm up Rudy's now very gunky head. The fur on his head dried in stiff little spikes, making him look rather pathetically punk as he lay there, limp and motionless.

At this point they sent Rich, Mike, and me to sit in the waiting room while they tried to bring Rudy back to life. I told Mike he didn't have to stay, but he just stood there, shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like this," he said again. At about 3 a.m., the vet came in to tell us that the prognosis was good for a full recovery. They needed to keep Rudy overnight to re-hydrate him and give him something for the brain swelling they assumed he had, but if all went well, we could take him home the following night.

Just in time to hear the good news, Officer Tom rushed in, finished with his real police work and concerned about Rudy. I figured that once this ordeal was over and Rudy was home safely, I would have to re-think my position on the police.

Rich and I got back home about 3:30. We hadn't unpacked from our trip, I was still intermittently dizzy, and I still hadn't prepared my 8:40 class. "I need a vacation," I said, and while I called the office to leave a message canceling my class, Rich made us a pitcher of martinis. I slept late the next day and then badgered the vet about Rudy's condition until he said that Rudy could come home later that day.
I was working on the suitcases when the phone rang. "Hi, this is Steve Huskey from the Norristown Times-Herald," a voice told me. "Listen, I was just going through the police blotter from last night. Mostly it's the usual stuff: breaking and entering, petty theft, but there's this one item. Um, do you have a cat?" So I told Steve the whole story, which interested him. A couple hours later he called back to say that his editor was interested, too; did I have a picture of Rudy? The next day Rudy was front-page news, under the ridiculous headline "Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water."

There were some noteworthy repercussions to the newspaper article. Mr. Huskey had somehow inferred that I called 911 because I thought Rich, my husband, was going into shock, although how he concluded this from my comment that "his pads were turning blue," I don't quite understand. So the first thing I had to do was call Rich at work--Rich, who had worked tirelessly to free Rudy--and swear that I had been misquoted.

When I arrived at work myself, I was famous; people had been calling my secretary all morning to inquire about Rudy's health. When I called our regular vet (whom I had met only once) to make a follow-up appointment for Rudy, the receptionist asked, "Is this the famous Rudy's mother?" When I brought my car in for routine maintenance a few days later, Dave, my mechanic, said, "We read about your cat. Is he OK?" When I called a tree surgeon about my dying red oak, he asked if I knew the person on that street whose cat had been in the garbage disposal. And when I went to get my hair cut, the shampoo person told me the funny story her grandma had read in the paper, about a cat who got stuck in the garbage disposal.

Even today, over a year later, people ask about Rudy, whom a 9-year-old neighbor had always called "the Adventure Cat" because he used to climb on the roof of her house and peer in the second-story window at her. I don't know what the moral of this story is, but I do know that this "adventure" cost me $1100 in emergency vet bills, follow-up vet care, new sink, new plumbing, new electrical wiring, and new garbage disposal, one with a cover. The vet can no longer say he's seen everything but the kitchen sink.

I wanted to thank Officers Tom and Mike by giving them gift certificates to the local hardware store, but was told that they couldn't accept gifts, that I would put them in a bad position if I tried. So I wrote a letter to the Police Chief praising their good deeds and sent individual thank-you notes to Tom and Mike, complete with pictures of Rudy, so they could see what he looks like with his head on. And Rudy, whom we originally got for free (or so we thought), still sleeps with me under the covers on cold nights, and, unaccountably, he still sometimes prowls the sink, hoping for

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finding A Home In Minot

We will be leaving Superior, WI in a few weeks and heading to Minot, ND.  Minot is where the flood happened last year and it is one of the biggest towns in the oil boom area. 

Last summer when we were in Minot we could not find an apartment and we had to stay in a hotel for 6 months.  Needless to say that was expensive and not very comfortable for such a long stay.

We have started searching in Minot but apartments are very difficult to find and expensive.  So far we have had no luck but our search continues.

We have considered buying a recreational vehicle or perhaps a home in Minot but the prices are way too high because of the demand.

As of right now we have reservations in one of the hotels and we are definitely hoping we don't have to stay there very long.  We are praying the Lord will provide us with either a home or apartment for the duration of our stay.

Monday, March 12, 2012

36 Hours

First a blizzard and then 2 days later we got 36 hours of snow, not heavy, just steady.  Added about 3 inches to the accumulation.  We ventured out when the snow finally stopped.

The foundation plants are just about covered.

From the front window we watched the snow slowly climb up the trunk of this little tree.  It is about 12-14 inches deep here.

The mailboxes show the latest accumulation.

Our front porch got covered again but not as bad as last time.

We live on a main street so it was well cleared by the time we headed out.

The side streets are not so lucky.

The sun came out and it was time to play in the snow.  See the little girl on top of the snow mound.

I never get tired of looking at the trees when they are covered in snow.

The local mall looks like a fortress with the wall of snow pushed off of the parking lot.

When a car is left out in the snow this is what it looks like, if you are lucky!

And as the roads are cleared the mounds along the sides get taller.

This week the temperature should be warming up around freezing and with the intense sunlight the snow will start melting.  Overnight the temps will drop and cause all the melting snow to turn to ice.  This will be repeated each day making for a slushy, sloppy mess!

The snow is sure pretty when it first falls but the mess that follows is very disheartening!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Phunnies

A Mom's Gifts

Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.

The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."

The second said, "I sent her a Mercedes with a driver."

The third smiled and said, "I've got you both beat. You remember how Mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can't see very well. So I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He's one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it."

Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks. "Milton," she wrote one son, "The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house." "Gerald," she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!" "Dearest Donald," she wrote to her third son, "You have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Week's Reprieve

Last week I mentioned that I was offered a job at my husband's place of employment.  My start date has been delayed by one week.

I am hoping to use this week's reprieve to get a few items completed for inventory.  So far I have managed to complete a few doll outfits...

mop cap included in 4 piece outfit

and a pioneer outfit for a size 4-5 child.  I just love this purple calico print.

Here is hoping I have the time to complete several additional outfits this week and then my life changes drastically!

Update-What a great week I had.  I was able to complete 3 pioneer outfits.
Size 6-8
Size 6-8

Size 8-10

Completed all these projects and got the housework all done.  I am as ready as I can be to start working on Monday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our First Blizzard part 2

Thursday, the day after the blizzard, we had to get out so I brought my camera and took some pics to share.

When the snow plows go through they shovel all the snow to the sides of the road but there is still some snow/ice on the roadway.

Then they apply a de-icer and the roads just look wet.

People who do not have a garage may need to dig their car out before they can drive them.  These cars are on a main thoroughfare and the snow plows come through to keep the road open and pile the snow on the side.

The snow just keeps getting piled higher and higher until the road is clear.

If you do not live on a snow evacuation route (main street) this is what your street will look like until all the main streets are clear.  These roads are very treacherous and it is easy to get stuck.

Someone showed their creativity during the storm.  Notice the dog on the bottom right.

This is in a parking lot.  The lot is plowed and all the snow is piled up, as much out of the way, as possible.

This is what the plowed parking lot looks like-no lines.  Everyone tries to remember where the lines are and parks.  This can be tricky.  And when the snow starts melting you must walk through slush to get inside.

This house looks surrounded by piles of snow.

These trees are outside of the college near our home.

Some leftover beauty from the storm.

These benches are outside the courthouse.  The snow is all the way up to the seat.

Our little town is quickly recovering and I am happy to say we came through with flying colors.