Looking out my window...there's still some snow on the ground. The Boxelder tree has some tan leaves and pods on it; and the crabapple tree still has loads of apples for the birds. Within the next month or so, the apples will be eaten by the robins and cedar waxwings.
I am thinking...about my friend who lives in Virginia whose house burned in January; and she and her family lost everything. She's the second person I know who has lost their home and had to rebuild not only a place to live, but their lives.
I am thankful...for the memories I have as I look at various items around our home that belonged to my grandparents, mom, and dad. Although they are tangible things, they also come with memories of things we did together, things that were said, and the lives we shared with one another.
One of my favorite things...actually there are two this month. We adopted two dogs - a bonded pair - from Northwoods Humane Society. Danny is 5 1/2 years old and he is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix.
Scooby is about 10 years old and he is a Terrier/Pug mix.
The dogs came to Northwoods on December 3rd. They were put on a "stray hold" until the 16th of that month and then became available to be adopted.
On the 13th of January, Sophia played the harp at Northwoods; and Olivia and I played with and pet Scooby and Danny. We enjoyed the two dogs and hoped that they would get adopted.
A few days later, we saw that Scooby had been adopted and Danny left behind. I was devastated. Who would split up a bonded pair?
About five days later, I happened to go on the Northwoods website and saw that Scooby was back and available to be adopted again. I couldn't believe it! To me, it was a sign that we should consider adopting them since we all enjoyed spending time with the two dogs.
So, we went in on January 20th and brought the dogs home on a trial basis to see how they go along with our other two dogs. We've slowly been introducing them to one another. Although they spend the majority of their time separated, they are definitely getting more comfortable with one another.
Danny and Scooby spent most of their first two days resting which I guess is normal after spending an extended period of time in a shelter. We also found out that the dogs came from a domestic violence situation and abandonment.
The police were involved with getting the dogs to Northwoods. So, they had a rather traumatic life so far. Hopefully they will feel comfortable and safe for their remaining years at our home.
So, we are very fortunate to have such wonderful dogs. They are definitely my favorite things!
A quick side note: today was a turning point for the dogs. All four spent time together in the same room while I was helping Sophia with algebra.
I am creating...an embroidered Valentine's Day wall-hanging. I pinned the pattern on Pinterest a long time ago and finally got around to embroidering it.
Today I finished a Somerset Star card. I made one of these fabric stars when I was in high school. This is a smaller version of the star and it's displayed in a card versus in an embroidery hoop.
Also during February I want to sew a couple of potholders and make a set of pillowcases. These projects will be entered in the county fair this July...only five months away!
I am wearing...comfortable clothes since I'm not still not feeling well. I'm almost better...but still am not functioning at 100%.
I am reading...a book for the 4-H Wildlife Project Bowl: Landscaping for Wildlife. My goal is to finish it this weekend and write questions for the team members so they can start memorizing the questions and answers. The regional competition is about a month away. They still have quite a bit to learn.
At any rate, Landscaping for Wildlife has a lot of interesting information about the types of plants that would be beneficial to wildlife. Perhaps there are some things that we can do this spring and summer that will attract specific types of wildlife.
Also just started reading Backyard Jungle. So far, the author is talking about his many moves throughout the country and how he and his wife now are settling down in a rental home. He wants to create a place for his children that connects them to wildlife. I'm liking the book so far and am excited to read some of the things he does to attract more wildlife to his home.
I am hoping...that a new volunteering role that Sophia and I are taking on will work out well with our schedules, Sophia and I are in the process of becoming official Northwoods Humane Society volunteers.
We went through our introductory training session on February 4th. On the 11th, there will be another training that's focused on dogs and on the 19th one focused on cats.
Those over 21 years old also can be adoption counselors, and this is something that they need. We'll see how our skills best match up with what Northwoods needs.
I've been resting for the most part since Thursday evening, but still managing to get things done (e.g., meals, filling up the horse water, putting new bedding down for the horses, doing dishes, doing laundry, feeding and taking care of the pets).
As I read that, it seems like I'm doing more than I should. Perhaps I am. Yet, I'm not doing everything I normally do. So, in that respect, I'm scaling back and taking it easy so I can feel better soon.
In my kitchen...I've been trying new recipes like Egg Roll Stir Fry and Double Chocolate Banana Muffins.
Made a vegetable beef stew with rice a couple of days ago; and last night a hot chicken salad from a restaurant that used to be at the Daytons store in downtown Minneapolis. Both turned out really well.
In the school room...the girls are continuing work on their Heart of Dakota; math with Math-U-See; English with Rod and Staff; science with Apologia; and various classes and music lessons at the homeschool co-op. Sophia is taking French twice a week with a tutor through Alliance Francais in Minneapolis. The lessons are all via Skype which is working out nicely.
The girls are starting to work on their 4-H projects for the county fair now. It's a good blend of book work/reading and hands-on activities.
In my garden...there's nothing growing yet since it is still too cold. Our 4-H club signed up again for the Garden-in-a-Box program so we will be receiving some plants and seeds in May. I'm anxious to see if we'll get rhubarb and strawberries this year since we planted them last year. The strawberries were sending a lot of runners out, so I'm hoping that's a good sign for this year's crop.
Strawberries I picked a few years ago.
Board room...at our February 4-H club meeting, I led a session with the youth about how to make a card that has a sewn heart-shaped booklet inside it. The inspiration came from this PIN on Pinterest. I enjoyed making a sample booklet/card for the kids to see. From there, they each made their own card and decorated the front and inside with different designs.
One of the 4-Hers sewing the heart-shaped booklet
into the card.
I suggested that at home the youth think of special things they love about one of their parents and write those on little pieces of white paper that they glue on each page of the booklet. "My mom will love this!" one of the girls said. Yes, she will. It will be something she will treasure for years to come.
Post Script...I saw the link for Gudrun's on The Simple Woman's post for February and decided to request a catalog. The ads for this clothing company are ones that catch my eye; and the clothes look so comfortable. Perhaps a few new pieces of clothing this spring would be nice.
Be a reflection of what you'd like to see in others.
If you want love, give love.
If you want honesty, give honesty.
If you want respect, give respect.
You get in return what you give.
A moment from my day...last Saturday Olivia had an opportunity to hear a presentation from the naturalist at Wild River State Park. He brought along a snake and she was able to hold it.
During the session she also made plaster casts of two types of Minnesota mammals. This spring and summer it would be fun to go out around here and make plaster casts of tracks we see along the road and in the pastures.
Closing Notes....thank you for coming by and visiting.