Meet Martha

I'm sure by now most of you have either read or heard me say, "I have a new puppy!" But just in case you haven't, I'd love to introduce you to her!

First, the quick story:

As many of you know, I have a crush on George Washington, and I often joke that I was Martha's rival in another life. I just find George and American history in general to be very fascinating… so when I stumbled on a litter of English Springer Spaniels that were all named after the Founding Fathers and their wives, well what could I do? Who could blame me for what happened next? And the funny thing was, I didn't even choose one for its name – I simply clicked on the one I thought was the cutest…


So we waited and waited until she was able to leave her mama, and then the day finally came when Sophie and I could drive to South Dakota to pick her up. What an exciting day that was! She was the tiniest, sweetest little thing, and Sophie and I were instantly smitten.

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Bath time wasn't her favorite thing to experience…

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And neither were car rides, although she's more comfortable with them now…

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It's interesting to me how many different looks she has. Sometimes she looks like a different dog altogether, depending on what mood she's in!

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And the car ride again…

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When she could still fit in it, she loved guarding her toys by sleeping in her toybox.

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Her registered name is Meadowland's First Lady Martha. Although she doesn't much act like a first lady most days.

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But she's my girl.

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Lots of you have asked how the Yorkie and Tasha are getting along with her.. The Yorkie is managing to maintain her alpha status when Martha is sleeping, and Tasha does a good job of mothering her. But mostly they live peacably with her, when she's not getting on their nerves. 🙂

At 8 weeks…

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At 14 weeks…

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And that's my Martha. Thank you for stopping by to meet her!

All Hallows’ Eve

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Happy Halloween! I hope you all have a really fun night, whether you'll be out roaming with all the trick-or-treaters, or staying inside with your porch light out and your stitching light on.

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This Summer

The brown-eyed susans are starting to open up, Sophie had her high school orientation yesterday, and the fall market is just around the corner – which means summer is nearing its end for this year, and I truly have no idea where it went!

Thank you to so many of you who kindly emailed to ask about how Mike's broken leg was faring. It's been a long summer for him, but he's managed to keep himself as busy as one can when they're not allowed to walk for 8 weeks. (It was supposed to be 12 weeks, but his leg was healing nicely!) He's now hobbling around with a cane and a boot, and I'm sure in a few more weeks, he'll be fully balanced and maybe ready to ride his bike again.

Anyway, I have hardly been at the computer this summer, but I took some much-needed time off from Plum Street Samplers (at my mother's urging, which I'm very thankful for) and decided to get back to the therapy of tending to my flowers (which I used to love to do so long ago!), cleaning out closets that desperately needed it, and driving Mike to-and-from wherever he needed to be.

So here is a little of how my summer went, if you'd like to take a look. 🙂






I love the little garden flag Sophie made for me when she was in the 3rd grade!





Sophie got a surprise birthday party…





Fezziwig has grown into a handsome boy who loves nothing more than to watch the birds outside…

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And he loves to hide behind the couch too.


And he loves to lay on top of model props.


The July 4th holiday was quiet this year… Bre was unable to make the drive home, Sabrina was out of town, and Mike couldn't participate in the usual fireworks fun, but we still got together with my parents at their house and had a very nice evening. Here are some pictures from around their yard and deck…











My dad and Mike played monkey ball, despite Mike having to sit down for the entire round. (By the way, my dad builds all the wood things you see in and around the yard; and he built their deck as well!)




While the boys played in the back yard, Sophie lit her smoke bombs in the front, and caught some of her favorite little parachute firecrackers as well…




We also had our usual cookout buffet, but I didn't take pictures of that. 🙂

So that's a little of what we've been up to around here these past several weeks. We've had the perfect balance of rain and sun this season, and I've enjoyed going outside in the mornings to look at the new blooms. However, I've made the mistake – more than once – of sitting down on a porch chair to have my coffee, only to realize my pants are suddenly soaked because the morning dew has been so heavy on everything.

And now it's time to move into fall, which means I need to get back to Plum Street and get ready for market. It's almost time! And I'm feeling refreshed, thank goodness! And thanks to Mom. 🙂


It was so pleasant this past Easter, having Bean home and having the sun shining as well. Then again, when I'm with any of my girls, it's a sunshiny feeling, regardless of the weather.

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Summer Frenemies

Earlier in the summer, I noticed Tilly caught in a stare at something outside of the porch window. I didn't pay much attention to it, but after a few minutes, baby Effy had joined her, and they were both just staring… and staring… Turns out they were quite enchanted with Fritz, the ground squirrel that hides in our downspout.


Hello, Fritz! My, my, my, how thin you are! I'm sorry I didn't plant any pumpkins for you to engorge yourself on this year, you varminty gourd-glutton. Oh how sad that day was… late September, and my pumpkins were growing up to be bountiful tablescape decorations…  One morning, I made my walkabout to admire them in the early dew, and there they were, in all their drawn-and-quartered doom:

Death by Fritzing.

I was very tempted just then to let the girls out to play.




But of course, I didn't.

Goodbye, little Fritz. We'll see you again in the spring, I'm sure, nibbling on all of my new green shoots, you ingluvious flower-fiend.


(Despite his destructive tendencies, he is an awfully cute little thing, and I do smile every time I hear him scurrying up the downspout to hide when I walk by.)

ETA: I've gotten quite a few emails and comments about this little guy! He is technically a Thirteen Stripe Ground Squirrel, and is also called a Striped Gopher. 🙂

A Kitchen Visitor

There once was a sweet kitten-black,


Who was always looking to snack.


Christmas cookies would bake,


Powder-sugar and cake,


His mom should have ne'er turned her back.


May this season of baking be full of good cheer and no cat fuzz.

Meet Fezziwig.

It had been bugging me for a while that Tilly-Roux needed a friend.

"Cats don't need friends," Big Papa would say. "Tilly loves being an only cat."

But I couldn't leave well enough alone. It matters not that I'm terribly allergic to cats. I decided that if I loved one cat as much as I love Tilly-Roux, then surely Tilly-Roux would love a little friend just as much.


On Black Friday, Sophie and Bre and I headed out to PetSmart to view the cats from the humane society that were up for adoption. I wasn't completely sure I would be bringing home a cat with me, but I wanted to look anyway. Right away we spotted the most precious long-haired black male kitten, whose littermates had all been adopted earlier that day. He was the only one left.

Sophie pleaded with me to adopt him on the spot, but since I didn't want to make any snap decisions, I decided to wait and sleep on it, and see how I felt about it the next morning.

The next morning came, and the very first thing I thought was this: "Oh no! I really hope no one adopted my baby black kitten! Tilly needs him! And surely Big Papa is tired of being the only male in the house!"

So I grabbed Sophie and Bre and we headed back to to PetsMart. I was trying very hard not to get my hopes up about his still being there, and I thought Sophie would burst into tears at the thought of someone else adopting him. But there he was… all 1.8 pounds of him.

And so we brought him home.

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Fezziwig is very loved.

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And he gets more than his fair share of treats.

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This is what he looks like after a long nap, which makes me laugh…

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And when I'm doing laundry, he likes to sit quietly and observe.

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We weren't sure what we wanted to name him, and my vote for Tuppence wasn't well-received. I just love the line that Jim Carrey's Scrooge says in A Christmas Carol.. "Tuppence is tuppence," when he steals the coins from Marley's corpse in the beginning of the movie. They didn't mind if I wanted to name him Tuppence; they just couldn't seem to remember it. They would say, "Well hello, little… umm… Tipsy? Tellulah? Tallboy?"

We put his collar on him, and it jingled, so I suggested we name him Jingle. Everyone liked that, so we called him Jingle for a few hours.

But he wasn't a Jingle to me, so I thought some more.

He was also Darth for about a half-hour, thanks to this face:


I also thought about naming him Black Friday.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that since I was in such a holiday spirit and I couldn't stop singing the theme song from A Christmas Carol, then it had to be a Dickens character from that movie. Ebenezer was too harsh… Marley made me think of a big yellow Labrador… Tiny Tim reminded me of that awful Tiptoe Through the Tulips song…

Fezziwig! That's what he was. A Fezziwig. But mostly we call him Fezz.

Here is the very first photo we took of him in the room at PetSmart; I asked one of the girls to snap a picture of him to send to Sabrina (she was working and couldn't be with us), and when I saw it, I knew immediately that I could NOT send it to Sabrina, or she'd think I'd lost my mind.

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Although this pose certainly could have earned him a moniker like Scrooge.

And that's how this sweet little boy came to live with us. (Thank goodness Tilly-Roux can't blog about it.) I hope you're all enjoying your week! I'll see you soon!