Thursday, January 31, 2008

I think we people have a bad habit of praying when we need something and forgetting to be thankful when our prayers are answered.
One of the worst emotions I think a person can ever encounter is the sick feeling of having hurt someone when you thought you were doing good. That happened to me yesterday.
The night before a little stray dog approached me in town when I was visiting my mom. As I parked my truck she came shivering to me from behind a dumpster with a "Can you help me?"expression on her face, but she was so timid I couldn't approach her. She was skinny and shivering so bad. Several other people parked while I tried to call her and I asked them all if they'd ever seen her- and they apatheticly said no.
I asked my husband to bring me a dog crate and I was able to lure her into it with some delicious smelling hot meatloaf fresh out of mom's oven...She got a flea bath right away, but she's got mange and might be pregnant too... more vetting than I can afford- the next ten hours were spent trying to muster up the gumption to take her into the pound- but she'd been so happy snuggled in that crate with a hot water bottle getting the chill off her bones- It was hard to think of her on a concrete floor without anybody fat. maybe I can find a terrier rescue to take her in where she's be fostered in a home.... she would hop on 3 legs when I took her out the cold was so hard on her- how did she make it before? I made a little shirt for her out of one of my daughter's old turtlenecks- just slipped it over her head with the back in the front and rolled up the sleeves- cut a short slit up the back so I could cinch up the waist with a knot... oh she was happy in her pink shirt!
Then we were getting ready to go out- I was changing and asked my husband to take her out- and she ran from him!! By the time I was able to get outside-she was GONE into the night... in a new place, without a name to call or acollar or a sense of where she was... and wearing that damn pink shirt!!! Iwas just sick.I just thought of her getting tangled in some brambles or a barbed wire fence... as a stray dog she had a chance- but as a stuck dog she was a goner! I imagined the cuffs on the arms getting soaked and unrolling, tripping her... finding the pathetic scene months from now hanging from a fence... argh. My husband must have gotten up 10 times in the night to check the crate we'd left on the back porch for her if she came back... and it began to pour.
Finally the next day after noon- she came back- without the shirt. She got some dewormer and must be feeling warmer now because she likes tosleep on the top of the crate (like Snoopy). She let me pick the brokenglass out of the pads of her feet with some tweezers.

No puppies. (yet) The bulging belly seems to have been mostly composed of deer hair. I'll spare you the details.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If I have to knock Brandon off the top of this page, I'm going to have to replace him with another cute guy or my readers will protest. Yeah, the sad news is that I won't be posting any pictures of Brandon doing a victory waltz with me, someone else won the American Hero Grand Prize- but hey- it was Brian Horn the founder of so I'm not complaining! (even if I am a little dissapointed that our efforts for Brandon didn't pay off in the way I'd hoped) They are still all heroes and we love them all!

Isn't he adorable?
(try me.)
Here's Angus modeling his brand new hat from the pattern "We call them Pirates" What a fun knit. I didn't know what size I'd get- but with 3 men in the house I figured it would fit one of them. Older brother Broadus is a bit jealous, so I'm going to try to hunt up a set of needles to stretch my gauge a tad and use up the rest of this yarn which was purchased originally for the "WTF over?" hat.

This hat, below, was made for the purpose of an online auction to raise a donation for

Also on the AnySoldier front- here is a set of 8 pillowcase tops which I made for Christmas presents for paratroopers of the 173rd who are currently in a remote part of Afghanistan. These were shipped out in early December and feedback is starting to trickle back in. Each pillowcase top was backed with soft warm flannel and shipped with a pillow and a few cans of Copenhagen snuff and a big Hershey bar.

The original idea for these came from a classic Chuck Norris joke which says that everyone has Superman sheets- but Superman has Chuck Norris sheets. I always think of our soldiers as Supermen- and I thought if anyone should have Chuck Norris sheets it would be them (did you know that bedding is a prized care package item and that many soldiers will go their entire deployment without a pillow or set of sheets?) - after shopping around I found out that they don't make Chuck Norris sheets... so I thought that I would have to just make them myself.

I did some research and found out about a product called "Bubble Jet Set" which allegedly will make regular old printer ink waterfast when printed on treated fabric. I'm not going to be there to see the long term waterfastness of these pillows... I feel a little uncomfortable not having done any tests beforehand - but from what I understand- these guys will be lucky to get a hot shower... I really doubt the pillows will be washed much, if at all before this deployment is over.

In order to get your fabric to run through a printer it needs to be backed with butcher paper for stiffness. I spent a few days working on photoshop collages of military themes for paratroopers (Including lots of Chuck Norris facts) - these were specially customized for our heroes of the 173rd "Sky Soldiers". In the end I had about 20 various layouts which would print on 8.5 x 11 either verticaly or horizontally. Each pillow top required 7 pages of printed fabric which was then pieced like a quilt.

On a final note, I was forwarded a very beautiful thank you note from a soldier who had been a recipient of some of the "Sew Much Comfort" retrofitted clothing (see the link in my sidebar) If you have sewing abilities, please consider this very worthwhile way that we in the civilian sector can give back to the brave men who give so much to our country.

"My name is XXXX XXXX . You probably don't remember me or my story but, I remember you every time I open one of my clothes drawers. I received some of your clothes during my stay in Walter Reed Medical Center, as I was there recovering from wounds I received in Afghanistan on XXXXXXXX. I was very badly wounded and your clothes with the Velcro sides allowed me to change my clothes with less pain than I would have been able to otherwise. When I left Walter Reed for XXXX my wife contacted your group asking for help again. I am very happy to say that your group was able to once again help me and sent me more pants, shorts, and drawers which I still use today. I just want to thank you and your group for all your help I had broken my pelvis, shattered my foot and broken both my legs. Without your fine clothes I don't I would have been able to be dressed without being in terrible agony so I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you and the volunteers who help you do it really means a lot to me and my wife. If you can thank everyone there it would mean a whole lot to us. By the way I came though fine my pelvis was fixed, my legs healed and I lost my foot. Don't worry about the foot though it was my left one which I never liked anyways and I have a prosthesis already so I am walking already. Once again thank you and keep up the good work"