Bean and Co.

Sabrina came home a few weeks ago and we attempted to take her picture with the pets of the house, which is no easy task. Those of you who have tried taking pictures with your pets – particularly those of the feline variety – probably know what I'm talking about.

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We couldn't find Tilly-Roux anywhere in the house, which gave each of us a bit of anxiety, but we kept telling ourselves that surely she was holed up somewhere, not wanting to be disturbed.

So we forged ahead without Miss Tilly, who was probably secretly gloating that she didn't have to be a part of this nonsense…

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(Is it my imagination, or are Sabrina and Effy Thimbles are starting to look alike?)

We did find Tilly eventually. She had crawled into the dresser, and I had shut the drawer on her, not knowing she was in there. It was Effy who gave us the clue, by laying on top of my dresser – which is something she never does. We were all very happy to see sweet Tilly-Roux again, but not nearly as happy as she was to see that she'd missed the photo session entirely.

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Chucky 2.0

When I asked Sophie this year if she was going trick-or-treating, she said she wasn't, because she was 13 and none of her friends were going. Truth be told, I was relieved, because I wasn't really up for the task of making a costume.

Two days before Halloween, Sophie changed her mind. Some friends of hers were, indeed, going trick-or-treating, 13 or not, so she was joining them.

"I want to be an evil doll," she said, and rummaged through her closet for something that would work. We made a quick trip to WalMart for false eyelashes and fake blood, and this was her presentation for her door-to-door soliciting of candy that night:

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The girl does love keeping in character.

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Even Big Papa was no match for her focus.

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So Big Papa turned his sights on other unsuspecting innocents.

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Oh, but that wasn't enough for Big Papa.

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I imagine the Yorkie was having a field day.

Happy belated Halloween! 🙂

Sugar High.

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I'm heading back to Colorado tomorrow, but this time to visit Bre and attend a concert at Red Rocks! But before I go, I wanted to share a recipe with you that will leave you thinking you just downed 3 of those 5-Hour Energy drinks they sell at the grocery stores… The recipe is for Butterfinger Blondies, and you can find it over on my sorely-neglected food blog, Four Seasons Cafe.

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I'll see you soon!

Hey Cuz

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Bre came home for Mother's Day this past weekend, and brought her new puppy with her. At long last, Tasha had a friend to play with!

Plea

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I'm off to Dallas tomorrow morning. I'm so excited! See you when I get back!

Coming Soon…

As I drove through my neighborhood today, I noticed all the robins in people's front yards. Around here, when one sees a robin, one knows spring is very near. So this gives me hope, despite all the snow on the ground (and still floating down from the gray sky today), that the beautiful pastel colors of the new season are almost here. I'm so looking forward to the grass slowly waking up and blushing its bright green, the sunshine coming out from behind the clouds and staying for more than just a few minutes at a time, and especially for my lilacs to start blooming, accenting the breeze with their gorgeous scent. (The part I will miss is my sweet boy Friday laying under them, and then coming back into the house with perfumed fur.)

I don't normally design in light, spring colors (although they are my favorites); I tend to want to dabble in autumn designs more than the other seasons. So for my next release, I've combined my two loves (spring and autumn) and come up with this:

Spring Jack.

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This was stitched by Sherri Berkman, and she did a fantastic job on it! She also chose the amazing frame for it, which can be ordered from Total Framing. Thank you so much, Sherri!

Here is the information you'll need, if you plan to order Spring Jack…

Release Date: April 1
Stitch Count: 125 x 99
Fabric: 40 ct. Vintage Tundra by Lakeside Linens
Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Threads (Old Hickory, Wood Trail, Brandy, Lambswool, Cornhusk, Endive, Old Brick, And Picket Fence) and Crescent Colours (Ye Olde Gold, Antique Lace, Cobbled Peach, and Tennessee Red Clay).

Another option to the Tundra linen would be to go with something darker, like Vintage Examplar or one of R&R's rich coffee-colored linens. The lighter floss colors will show up beautifully on any of these neutral colors.

By the way, when I was trying to get the photo taken for the chart, Miss Tilly-Roux decided to photo-bomb the vignette:

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Silly girl. She's ready for spring as well, but more for the robins than the pastel colors.

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Love.

I adore Sophie's Tilly-Roux.

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She's quiet..

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She likes to move Mike's Legos around when he's not home…

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I'm in love with her all-black nose…

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She never stops purring…

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She drives the Yorkie crazy… (and yes, that's my Ruth Bacheler on the ironing board she jumped up on.)

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…But the Yorkie will sometimes pretend she sees something more interesting, and that Tilly-Roux isn't bothering her at all.

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But mostly I love that she likes my blog…

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Have you ever seen the Simon's Cat videos on YouTube? If you own a cat and haven't watched these yet, you should look them up! They are hysterical, and oh-so-true. Here's one that is exactly what I go through on a daily basis when I'm trying to get Plum Street orders packed and sent out…

See you soon! I have lots of market stuff to prepare for, and I'll be back soon with some sneak peeks!

Hers.

Ever since Bre's Tilly came to live with us briefly last year, Sophie has been longing for a kitten of her own. I'd have been happy if Tilly had just stayed behind when Bre moved away, but no, Tilly wanted to move away with her mama.

Sophie had been asking for weeks if we could rescue a kitten from the humane society, but the answer was never what she wanted to hear. Whether it was accompanied with "I'm allergic," or "Your dad only likes Tilly," the response was always the same: no, no, and no.

Last week, I gave Sabrina a call to let her know that I'd secretly changed my mind about letting Sophie have a kitten, and I needed her help. We scoured all the shelters in the area by internet and phone, but found only older cats. I didn't mind older cats, as I would have loved to adopt the cat that had been at the shelter the longest, but with the hooligans and their antics, I thought a young kitten would be a much better idea. (I decided this after talking with Theresa from Shakespeare's Peddler, asking her for some advice on what to look for in a kitten. Thanks, Theresa!)

Finally, Sabrina found a 4-month-old at her local Petsmart, which adopted out cats and kittens from a nearby shelter. We decided to stop there first, and Sophie thought we were simply going to look at the cats, and maybe play with one; she had no idea that Sabrina had chosen this location specifically…

Here's a side note: Earlier in the week, Soph asked if we could visit a shelter and perhaps play with a cat. I told her that only those serious about adopting could play with the cats, and she said, "Well can we pretend we're serious about adopting?" So I pretended to think about it, and told her that we certainly could pretend to be interested in adopting. But of course, she had no idea that I wouldn't be pretending. 😉

…So into Petsmart we went, and Sophie spied the 4-month-old.

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I took out my phone and started taking a few pictures, but I'm disappointed that I missed one photo in particular: the sign on the window said her name was Tilly! We were all so surprised! When the Petsmart employee walked over to see if we needed help, we asked if we could have a one-on-one visit with little Tilly, and she said to us, "You can only visit with her if you're serious about adopting. Are you serious about adopting?" I answered, "Well, we think we're serious about adopting."

At this point, Sophie was just pleased that I was playing this "secret" game of ours so she could play with the kitten. So into the little room the three of us went, and the employee brought her out to us. She set Tilly on the ground, and after a long stretch, Tilly ran straight to Sophie. We all cooed and giggled at her, and finally we couldn't stand it any more and each of us held her. She was as gentle and charming as could be, and never minded us passing her around.

I asked a few questions about the adoption process, and Sabrina mentioned how she thought this was the perfect little kitten for Sophie to take care of. When we looked at Sophie, her face was a mix of emotions, because in her mind she knew we were "just pretending" for the employee, but in her heart she was desperately wishing that our intentions were sincere. So Sabrina and I knew in that moment that it was time to come clean.

"Would you like to adopt her?" I asked.

Sophie caught her breath. "Seriously?" she replied.

"Yes, seriously." I said.

There was a pause as the reality of it registered, and suddenly she put her hands over her eyes and started sobbing. Now it was mine and Sabrina's turns to be surprised! We both hugged her as she sat between us, and she kept saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" to us through tears. It truly was a very special moment.

The adoption went through speedily, and soon it was time to choose a carrier to take Tilly home in and for Sophie to fill out the adoption papers. It thrilled Soph to be handed the vet records by the Petsmart employee, as it made her feel as though Tilly was truly hers.

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Here is the mama and her new baby, on the car ride home…

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Tilly rested in Sophie's arms the whole ride home, which lasted about an hour.

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Little Tilly, whom Sophie officially named Tilly-Roux to be a little different from Bre's sweet kitty, is settling in nicely. She doesn't have quite the moxie that Bre's Tilly had when the hooligans are around, but I'm sure that will change as she grows bigger. The Yorkie has figured out that this little one is frightened easily, and is taking full advantage of it. Tasha, however, is only trying to be her friend when she charges her portly self at the little feline.

I have no doubt that, in time, this Tilly will be batting The Yorkie's behind like Bre's Tilly did.

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Thank you, Sabrina, for all your help in this. And thank you, Bre, for making your dad see that cats really are as sweet as dogs. (He loves this Tilly as much as his first grand-kitty.)

Christmas Hooligans

I tried taking the Hooligans' photo recently for Christmas, and my hair still hasn't grown back yet from where I snatched it out.

"Come on, hoolies, let's do this. Sit nice for me and you can have a Wheat Thin."

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"Tasha, you need to move forward."

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"Tasha, move forward so I can take the picture. You can have a Wheat Thin afterward."

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"Tasha that's enough. I'm setting the Wheat Thins behind me. You can have one if you move forward."

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"Look at me, Tasha. Not the crackers."

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"Tasha!"

"Oh for Pete's Sake. Just have one now."

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"Thank you. Now was that so hard?"

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The Hooligans hope you're having a lovely Christmas season so far.