Archive for March, 2014

Scooter’s Close Call & The Turkey That Got Away

01Hi! Scooter here. I know you’ve missed me and I have important news.

So last week Mom and Dad went to see Maizie in Ann Arbor. She is my niece dog. (I am Uncle Scooter.) I had to stay home. Anyway, I’m not sure when or how I did this, but I flipped or scrunched, or did something and my dog tags got twisted and caught in my kennel, near the bottom, just by the door.

The picture above is a reenactment. Since I couldn’t see what happened I asked Mom. Mom said she really didn’t notice. She just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t coming out when she opened the kennel door. I love my “house” but I love Mom and Dad more so when they come home I always come out, shake, and then greet them, showing them my tail and attached rump, which are my best features.

Well, I didn’t come out. Since I was facing the other door, Mom opened the other door. (My house has two doors.) When I still didn’t come out, Mom saw what happened and clicked off my collar. We don’t have a reenactment of that, but she was super fast. Then I came out and shook, and you know, showed them my behind.

Mom was really freaked out. She loved me up more than usual, which is a lot. And she kept staring at me all day and followed me around. This is hard to do because usually I follow her around. So we went in circles. She wanted to see if I was traumatized. My illustrious predecessor, Madison, went a little nutso after a thunder storm zapped the power and set the alarm off in the house when he was home alone. He was never the same since. As Mom has mentioned before, I am different. Way different. Nothing bothers me. I went in my house several times, just like normal, so Mom was reassured I was OK. I am nutso in other ways. The same ways as before.

IMG_9699

That night Mom invented a special thing for my collar. It’s called a Tag Restraint. Or a Sock Collar. Maybe we should call it the No Jingle Thing.

02She cut up a piece of microfleece that just happened to be on the floor and just happened to match my collar exactly. (The sewing room is a magical place.) My collar is 1.5″ wide, so she cut the strip 3″ wide and about 9″ long. The straight of grain ran the long way. I don’t know what that means except that the material stretched more sideways than longways so it would stretch to go over my dog tags.

03 Mom doesn’t know how to use a serger, so she picked stitch #12 on her Bernina which moves the fabric up and down as it sews. The seam is stretchy that way.  She sewed a 1/4″ seam and then turned the tube right side-out and pulled it over the part of my collar that has my dog tags.

 

04 So now my collar looks like a snake that ate a mouse. I have never met a snake before, but I would like to lick a mouse, and I know it’s not really a mouse in there, so I like it. Plus it makes me silent. Except for the gallumphing when I run. After all, I am a big beast with thundering paws!

05 Here I am posing with my tennis ball. The snow is melting now and the lawn is growing balls. Spring is wonderful.

Anyway, I am now Stealth Dog. Except when I bark.

That reminds me; I have a funny story to tell you. So I noticed a wild turkey in the back yard yesterday. They fly in from time to time. They have to fly in because the yard has a big fence around it and they are not incredibly intelligent and they can’t find the gates to open and walk in. Come to think of it, neither can I. Oh well, continuing….

So I spot the turkey. I bark and bark like a maniac, you know like when we have a home invasion. We have those all the time, mostly squirrels in the yard, the UPS delivery, visitors, the dog three houses down, loud birds, wind if there is nothing else going on. Mom tells me to shush. And this is where not paying attention to her really pays off. So she comes to the slidey door to see why I am berserking. She sees the turkey at the back fence about 100 feet away. Then she tells me it’s a bird and birds are our friends. Then I think she segued into a recipe for lemon meringue pie. I really wasn’t listening after BIRD. I think she said I could chase it but it would just fly away, I don’t know. Like I said I wasn’t really listening.

Then she opened the door! I was out like a shot. I chased the turkey back and forth across the yard. First we went fast, then I just loped after it. Then we sped up again. Then Mom was running after us. What a great game! I’m barking, Mom is yelling, and the bird is loving it because he’s not flying away! We have GREAT birds here. The turkey is just running as fast as his little legs can carry him, just like Saturday morning cartoons except for the background music.

By time Mom caught me by the Stealth Collar, the turkey had taken a header in some leaves. It just fell over. I was trying to revive it by sniffing it vigorously in all its places but Mom pulled me into the house. Then Dad went out to investigate. I barked from inside. Dad looked for it by the leaves but it was gone. Then we all saw it walking around by the back fence again! So Dad opened the gate and it walked out. I have looked everywhere for it, but I think Dad scared it away.

That was all very exciting. I think you should watch my video so you can rest a little. I will bark if you don’t. Come to think of it, I might bark if you do!

Love,

Scooter Simms

Pleases remember: if you get this blog in your email box, click the TITLE of the blog post (in blue) to get the video to play and to enlarge the images. Clicking the TITLE will take you directly to my blog, where all the good stuff happens.

March 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm 56 comments

Another “Opportunity”

Ami & Niki

Ami & Niki

My cousin Niki is one smart cookie. There isn’t a lot that gets her down. Just look at that smile. That’s us at the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative booth last year in Houston.

I was thinking a lot about Niki the last few weeks. I was in need of an attitude adjustment.

Way back, when the AAQI had just started out, Niki was one of our quilt registrars. She had never seen the “back end” of a web page before. That’s the part where all the editing goes on. She quickly learned, as we all have, that one bad keystroke can cause a major problem. Except that Niki doesn’t have “problems.”  She has “opportunities.”

Recently I decided to channel Niki. My recent “opportunities” have all been associated with writing and designing the pattern for my new Amazing Puzzle Ball pattern. I won’t bore you with the details as they were all computer and software related issues (er, “opportunities”), except to say that I have learned a bunch of new things. As soon as I started flipping out, I tried to re-frame the problem as an opportunity. It really helped!

Shana's Quilt

Here’s a quilting example. Do you remember the quilt I made for my niece? It was Lesson 4 in Five Things That Will Help You Become A Better Quilter. I had a major “opportunity” with this quilt as I put it in the frame. I didn’t call it that at the time, but looking back, my attitude was in the right place. Had it not been, I don’t know if I would have ever finished the quilt.

You see, I was putting the quilt in the frame, and I accidentally pulled a little too hard. Oops!

I sewed the rip shut, but I needed to hide my mending. I covered it with prairie points.

095copy

That created another opportunity: I had four prairie points sitting in a lump on one side of the quilt all by themselves. That looked pretty silly. So I added more prairie points all around the outside edge. That made it look like that was the plan all along. Not only did the prairie points give me a secondary design element, but it suggested a quilting motif too. Win-Win!

Life is full of problems, large and small. “Opportunities” abound.  It’s all in how you look at them.

Ami Simms

www.AmiSimms.com

March 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm 24 comments


Ami Simms

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