Silly Spiders and Yummy Mummies

Mummies and Spider

I’ve got two quick and easy little projects for you.  To tell you the truth, I think the little spiders are cute but I’m not entirely sold on the mummies.  However, since I’ve made them, I may as well share them and let you decide if you like them or not.

spiders in pumpkin tree

The spiders look pretty adorable and goofy and if you made a few Little Yarn Pumpkins, these spiders go well with them.

Spiders and Pumpkins

Now before I go any further, I have to include this disclaimer: I know spiders have eight legs and mine only have six and they’re also pretty much missing a body.  You can make more realistic spiders, if you prefer, and I made one just to show you that I could:

8-legged spider

But the following directions are for rare 6-legged spiders.

Spider supplies

You will use two black pipe cleaners, googly eyes, adhesive if the eyes are not self-stick (I used small glue dots) and a pair of scissors that you can use to cut the pipe cleaners.  In some craft stores and sites, pipe cleaners are called Chenille Stems, but they’re really the same thing.

Cut the two pipe cleaners in half, making four pieces.

Four Half Pipe Cleaners

Twist three of the pieces together right in the middle, twisting a few times.

Twisted Pieces

Wind the last piece around the twist in the middle, going around three or four times with each wrap next to the one before, not on top of it.  Then turn back and wrap a second layer of pipe cleaner over the first.  It should be snugly wrapped, but not too tight.

Wrapped center

At this point, it kind of looks like a spider that has had an unfortunate encounter with a shoe.

Make bends at the ends of each leg for little spider feet.

Flat Spider

Then bend each leg so the bend is higher than the body – kind of making it shrug it’s little spider shoulders.

Spider shoulders

Now you just need to add eyes.  You can put on as many or as few as you like, but I generally go with two.  I use small glue dots to adhere the googly eyes.

A reminder about using glue dots: take the embellishment, in this case a googly eye, to the glue dot.  Press it onto the glue dot, than peel off the embellishment and the glue dot together.  This is much easier and more efficient than trying to peel the glue dot off the paper strip and getting it stuck to your fingertips before you can adhere it to the embellishment.

Spider Trio

That’s it!

If you purchased some glue dots for making the spiders, you might want to try these Yummy Mummies: cheesecloth wrapped candy bars.  I went to the free weekly Craft Gym at Once Around last Tuesday mostly because I wanted to see if they had restocked orange chenille yarn to make more pumpkins.  I figured I’d also pick up googly eyes for making spiders.

The mummies are kind of a cute way to dress up a candy bag for Halloween but I think that most people who would be happy to get candy, wouldn’t care if it came done up as a mummy.

Mummies eye spider

I had cheesecloth at home and when one of the other crafters gave me some candy bars (I shared DIY tips and supplies for both Yarn Pumpkins and Silly Spiders), I decided to make some at home.

I used cheesecloth, scissors for fabric, an ink pad and a sponge, a distress dye stain (you only need one form of ink or dye – even a brown felt marker will work), googly eyes, adhesive, and thin candy bags like the Hershey’s in the photo.

Mummy supplies

When I picked up googly eyes for the spiders, I found these eye stickers by Jolee’s Boutique and grabbed a package. I’ll try them on some mini pumpkins.  You can also use a small circle punch and a hole punch to create eyes.

Cut a small nick one one side of the cheesecloth to get started, then tear several strips, about two inches wide. My fabric was 36 inches so my strips were 2 x 36 inches.  You can cut it if you prefer, but tearing it adds a great raggedy edge.

Fold up the strips and then sponge or smudge ink on the edges of the fabric.

Distress Inked Edges

When the ink or dye is dry, use a small glue dot or a bit of adhesive (directions at craft class said to use hot glue, but you’re likely to melt some chocolate that way), even double stick tape will work, and stick one end of the strip of cheese cloth to the back of one candy bar.

Wrap the bar, using several strips as needed, finishing with the end glued to the back of the bar.  Add eyes and that is it.

Yummy Mummies

To make paper eyes, I used a small circle punch, I think it is 1/2 inch, and a standard hole punch.

Making Eyes

I drew red veins on white paper and punch out two circles.  Using the smaller hole punch, make two smaller dots or circles.  I actually drew on the white paper with blue-grey marker and punched the irises from that. A black marker created the pupils. Foam dots adhered the eyes to the mummy.

Tied Eyes

I still think the spiders have the mummies beat (6 hands down) but with the right chocolate bar, I might be persuaded otherwise.

In the meantime, get your Orange and Black on and Go Giants!

Go Giants

Thanks for creeping by.

 

 

 

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Nifty Fifty Inchies Card

Nifty Fifty Inchies Card

Here’s another inchies project – a card celebrating my friend Maria’s 50th birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Maria! Yes, you can celebrate all week, or do what I do and celebrate birthday month!  With a day that started with chocolate and included champagne, and lots of laughter with friends, she observed her special day in style.

A milestone birthday was a good reason for creating this card.  I enjoyed my previous inchies project and confess to making another that I didn’t share here because I forgot to take pictures.Angled 50

Most of the time for this card was spent looking through my bits and pieces of paper ephemera to find  as many variations of 50 that I could.

50 degrees

An old dictionary provided a definition, artwork showing a celestial chart and decorative paper with tape measure designs are a few of the things I found.  A small calender page just needed a little editing – I think I created the month of Maytober.

Sparkly 50

Maria is a math instructor so Exercise 50 from an old math textbook was perfect.  A pink square with large white numerals just needed some sparkle to be included.  A glue pen and glitter took care of that.  Every inchie didn’t have a 50 on it.  I wanted to get some other sweet images, more color and more pizzazz, so I added a small tag with a stamped heart, washi tape and printed paper with some gel pen embellishment.

Complete Poems

An old British map, the back cover from sheet music and a Japanese postage stamp all made the cut.  I wanted to include polka dots and the color pink, two things I associate with Maria.  I added a punched out star to the little “Wish” embellishment.

The finishing touch is the gold number 50 stickers called thickers.  A thank you to Carson for writing about crafting with thickers – I was convinced I needed these in my craft arsenal and they really complete this design.

Gold Thickers

All the very best to you, Maria.  I really do think you are nifty, smart and absolutely hilarious!  I was delighted to celebrate your special day with you.

Thank you all for the visit.  This is my 400th blog post!

Bright gold

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Little Yarn Pumpkins

Mantle Pumpkins

I’m ready for Fall, even though we’ve been in a heat wave that feels very summery.  It’s been getting into the 90’s but we expecting “only” a high of 87 today. I made a batch of these cute little Yarn Pumpkins at the free weekly Craft Gym at Once Around. They had directions from the parenting site Make and Takes which has lots of kids craft projects and recipes. Make and Takes made Yarn Apples first but I think the project is more suited to pumpkins.

They are very simple to make and look pretty adorable in little groups.

White, Orange, Green

I brought some to work and put them on the counter by our Department Administrative Assistant, Monica, and she said people were commenting on them all day long.

Supplies needed:

  • Yarn
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • A little scrap of cardboard is helpful but I usually just use my fingers

Yarn and Pipe Cleaners

Cut your pipe cleaner into two pieces, about 2/5ths and 3/5ths.  I used tan in this picture but green for the stem in some other pictures.

Pipe Cleaner

Now take your yarn and start wrapping it around the piece of cardboard or around your fingers.  Don’t wrap your fingers too tight!

Wrapping Fingers

My big hand with my fingers spread out like this made a pumpkin similar in size to a grapefruit.  Wrap at least 100 times around – for smaller pumpkins or if your yard is pretty chunky you can do less.  My smallest pumpkins were between 80 and 100 and wrapped around two fingers, spread out a bit.

Once you finish wrapping, take the shorter piece of pipe cleaner and put it under the yarn then bring the two ends together and twist very tightly.

Full Wrapped with Pipe Cleaner

Twisted Pipe cleaner

Trim the ends.  If the wire in the pipe cleaner is poking out,  mush the pumpkin down on the table to press the ends flat.

Take your second, longer piece of pipe cleaner and put it through the opposite side of the yarn, twisting it tight. This is the top of the pumpkin and the ends of the pipe clear make the stem.  After twisting close to the yarn, I fold one end of the pipe cleaner than wrap the other end around  it.

Top of Pumpkin

Now you just need to foof it out!  Bang it on the table a few times, get your fingers into it and squish the yarn around until you are happy with the shape.  I think it looks more pumpkin-like if it is a little flat, not completely round and spherical.

If you use the cardboard, the steps are the same.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard.

Using cardboard

Put pipe cleaner under the yarn and twist the ends tightly together.  Folding the cardboard makes this a bit easier.

Yarn on cardboard with pipe cleaner

Trim the ends of the pipe cleaner on the bottom and put the second piece of pipe cleaner through the yard and twist tightly for the step at the top.

Bottom

Top

After twisting pipe cleaner for the top of your pumpkin, bend one end down and wrap the other end around it to form the stem.

Twisting Stem

Now just fluff it and foof it and play with it until you’re satisfied with the shape.

Mix of real and yarn pumpkins

Here’s a mix of yarn pumpkins and real mini-pumpkins together.

2 yarn, 1 real

I like how it looks with pumpkins made from different yarns, especially the plushy, soft chenille yarn they had at Once Around (the green one in the photo, above).  It was great going to the Craft Gym because everyone was sharing the various yarns around the table which meant more variety without having to buy all the different yarns.

I made a few using two colors by adding orange or green yarn on top of white.  Several people in our craft class made pumpkins by twisting two strands of yarn from different skeins at the same time, but I didn’t try that.

White with Green

This is wavy white yarn wrapped around the cardboard with a bit of green wrapped on top, before the pipe cleaner step.  The finished pumpkin is in the top photo.

Little vines

After I took some pictures at my mom’s house, I decided to add a bit of curly “vines” to some of the little pumpkins.  I unraveled a strand of green yard and using single ply, I wet it and wrapped it around the handle of  paint brush.  A chopstick or pencil would also work.

Wrapped Yarn

Using a heat tool, I dried the yarn while it was still wrapped around the paint brush.  I experimented a bit, trying hairspray, hair gel and mat medium but found that just using water and heat was effective.  If you don’t have a heat tool, a blow dryer should also work.  You can easily loosen the curl to look more like a vine.

Staight to Curly

Drape a strand or two of curled yarn around the stem of your pumpkins if you want to take the extra step.

Texture

Now I’ve got some cute fall decor, maybe fall weather isn’t too far behind

Thanks for the visit.

Curly vines

 

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Make Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Good morning, Sunshine! Yes, I admit my diet isn’t always quinoa and kale.  This sunny plate includes a pluot from the Farmer’s Market, one scrambled egg that I got directly from the person who keeps the chickens (lucky me, a co-worker gives away super-fresh eggs) and refrigerator cinnamon rolls baked on a waffle iron.

Packaged rolls and waffle iron

Our Emeril “Professional” Waffle Iron (I don’t know what makes it professional).  Yes, each and every waffle says “BAM” on it.

Emeril Waffle Iron

I saw these on Pinterest and naturally couldn’t wait to try them.  Heat the iron and spray with nonstick spray.

We made two waffles from four regular sized rolls for dessert and decided that they were too toasty.  They were bigger than the ones we cooked the next morning for breakfast.  Maybe it was the temperature of the iron.  I really don’t know.  But they were good both ways, just better when less toasty.

Rolls on the waffle iron

I grated fresh orange zest over the icing.

Orange Zest

Shortly after fixing these, I saw a post about Daniel Shumski and his blog and book “Will It Waffle.” He has waffleized many things.  There are more possibilities than I ever dreamed of.

Cinnamon Roll close up

Maybe he has one made with quinoa and kale.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

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Art Journal: Stitching on Paper

IMG_0062 This two-page spread, Birds of a Feather, came about because a crafting friend, Phoenicia, sent me a picture of embroidery on an old page, here.  I followed several links until I found PaperStitch and more about the artist, Jessica, along with some tips on how to embroider on paper. Embroidery is not my thing, but I loved how it looked and wanted to try it. I got off to a bit of a rocky start because I didn’t have any embroidery thread or an embroidery needle.  I tried it with regular thread and ended up losing track of where I was on the project.  I had knots on the back and then on the front and it was a mess. I realized I needed to start over once I had the right supplies. My sister Kathleen let me have some embroidery thread  and a needle.  I glued a sheet of graph paper to the back of an old page from a math textbook to give it some strength.  The old paper is kind of brittle. Embroidery Thread I used a feather template that I’d previously found at Lia Griffith handcraft your life (sometime I’m going to make some paper feathers, which is what the template was for) and scribbled on the back of the page with a pencil so I could transfer the design to my paper.  Jessica at PaperStitch said to put your design on the back of the paper so it doesn’t show in the finished piece. Scribbled Pencil Feather Next, I pierced holes in the paper following the pattern. Pierced More pierced I threaded the needle with three strands of embroidery floss and started stitching the feather design.  Because I’m working on paper instead of cloth, I’m careful not to try and do more than one stitch at a time because I don’t want to tear the paper. Stitched Feather The paper is old but I wanted to distress it even more so I used some ink around the edges of the page which you can see on the finished spread. I’ve had this sweet bird stencil for awhile and thought it would compliment the feather design. Stenciled Birds The background is a thin layer of gesso brushed then scraped across the page with a plastic card then inked up with some distress inks.  The birds are done with several colors and types of felt pens that I used to ink a stiff brush. Flowers cut from different papers finished the birds page.  I mounted some with glue dots for a little dimension. Flower detail I’m pleased with the finished pages and will probably do more embroidery on paper.  Maybe I’ll even learn some proper stitches. Embroidery close up Birds of a Feather Thanks for stopping by.  Thank you to Phoenicia for lighting a creative spark. Feather + Birds

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Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse

Rem and I had an incredible dinner earlier this week. We’d talked about going to Chez Panisse someday, and eating in the downstairs restaurant.  They recently marked their 43 anniversary.  I visited the upstairs cafe about 29 years ago but I’ve forgotten most of the details (though it was the first time I ever had crème brûlée).  It was time to experience dinner at the restaurant.

Outside Chez Panisse

Rem had an unexpected windfall, a gift from his dad, with a note saying “Take Dianne out to dinner.” It was the trigger to do something special.  We weren’t celebrating anything yet the evening felt celebratory.  Rem had just called two days prior and asked when they had seating on a weeknight and we got a table for the early (5:30) seating.

The restaurant at Chez Panisse serves a set menu of four courses that changes daily.  It is posted on their website a week ahead but if you make a reservation for a date further ahead then that, you’ll have to be ok with whatever they’re serving.  That isn’t a bad thing though, because what they’re serving is bound to be good.

Their signature is serving food created from the very highest quality, seasonal, organic ingredients.  It is mostly sourced locally and sustainably, and it is all beautifully prepared.  It is deceptively plain and simple. This is not hefty servings, swans made of spun sugar, pheasant under glass with esoteric spices and herbs, or blanketed with fancy sauces.

We arrived a little early for our 5:30 booking and were invited to wait in the foyer or upstairs in the bar.  We decided to try a non-alcoholic spritzer.  Since they had two types listed,  Plum Berry, and Lime, we got one of each and shared them.

Spritzers

Before I go any further, I’m must apologize for the photos.  The lighting wasn’t great, especially when we got downstairs to the restaurant, but more critically, I forgot to take pictures several times because I was so eager to tuck into whatever was on the plate or bowl set in front of me.

These drinks were a delicious start to the evening.  They both achieved a beautiful balance of not too sweet, not too fizzy and just right fruitiness. The aroma bloomed up from the glass and reminded me, for some reason, of fruit popsicles – but the best most perfect popsicles ever!  Every time I lifted the glass and tipped it for a sip, I was greeted with the fruity fragrance. They were so flavorful and refreshing on a warm, sunny afternoon.  We traded the glasses back and forth so we could both enjoy the two different drinks.

Before we finished our drinks, it was time to move to the dining room. Going down the narrow stairs from the cafe and bar to the  dining room, I noticed the copper railing.  The foyer is decorated with big posters and a large bouquet of fresh flowers.

tomatoes

The dining room has interesting looking nooks and crannies and is warm with lots of wood, copper light scones and lamps.  There was a huge arrangements of flowers  and leafy branches in one corner and and a footed plate of tomatoes on a sideboard.

As we follow the host, I see the open kitchen and I’m delighted when we are seated just to the left of the wide entry to the bustling space.  The menus, small works of art with a beautiful linoleum block print of strawberries, sit on the white-clothed table under a large leather bound wine list.

strawberry printed menu

A waiter brought a small bowl of rosemary olives and then a basket of bread with a small dish of butter and our feast began.

Wine List and Olives

The main course is roasting on a spit just inside the kitchen.  Rem sits with his back to the kitchen to start but we switch for a course so he can check it out.  We nibbled the olives and mopped up the herbaceous juices with bread, anticipating the first course.  The waiter said there were “tomatoes in everything since they’re so good right now,” which wasn’t quite true, but they had a starring role on the first plates set before us.

Again, I’m embarrassed that I didn’t manage a photo until I was well into the dish.  It was just so enticing.

Menu inside

The different varieties and colors of tomatoes were drizzled with a vinaigrette and then scattered with shreds and leaves of two types of basil.  Two milky white slices of fresh mozzarella were the perfect counterpoint to the juicy, sweet tomatoes.  A large, golden brown fan at the top of the plate was a big zucchini flower dipped in tempura batter and fried to delicate crispness.

Half-eaten tomato appetizer

When I talked to my friend, Tom Hudgens, cookbook author and chef who worked for a spell at Chez Panisse, he said that much of the beautiful produce and other ingredients at the restaurant aren’t available to the average shopper because the vendors save their very best, peak-of-season items for Chez Panisse.  One bite of this perfectly plain but absolutely luscious plate of tomatoes had me convinced.  More of the good Acme bread sopped up every bit of juice and dressing from my plate.

Rem had been a bit apprehensive about his encounter with fish.  We knew it was on the menu and he wanted to have the full Chez Panisse experience, but having worked on a salmon fishing boat one summer in Alaska, he was a little cautious about the next course.

Halibut in broth

A piece of roasted halibut, crisp on the surface and flaky white inside, sat in a rich gold soup of fish stock created from lobster and rock fish, with tomato and saffron.  Dried fennel was scattered over the broth and soup.  I believe it was the most succulent, delicious, perfectly cooked piece of fish I’ve ever eaten. Rem agreed that it was incredible and ate it all.  He didn’t love the broth but I wanted to pick up my bowl and lick it clean!

At some point, I knocked over my glass with the dregs of the Plum Berry Spritzer.  I’d been letting the ice cubes melt a bit then sipping the last of the ambrosia. Luckily the glass tipped but stayed on the table and I only lost the ice.  The staff dealt with it quickly without making me feel clumsy.

The cute solo diner at the next table over asked in a charming British accent if there had been much left in the glass and when I said no he said “then nothing lost.”  We chatted a bit and learned he’d been anticipating his visit to the restaurant for 10 years!  His dinner partner had cancelled but he decided to stick to his much awaited plans.  He was enjoying his meal as much as we were enjoying ours.

View into kitchen

We’d been watching the main course roasting over open flames: spit-roasted pork loin.  It was served with shell beans (more bits of tomato in the bean broth), chanterelle mushrooms and crispy-fried sage leaf garnish.  Meyer lemon is mentioned in the menu and I didn’t taste it, but I guess it was used on the pork.  A small salad of watercress and escarole completed this plate.

Pork Loin Main Dish

Rem enjoyed a class of Rosso Scarpa with the entree.  It was very tasty but didn’t reach the same heights as the others. Once again, I soaked up the juices with bread and left my plate nearly clean.

Our neighbor told about his vacation so far including a terrible trip to Las Vegas that he wanted to forget ever happened.  He spent a5 days picking raspberries at an organic farm in the Central Valley, part of WWOOF, an organization or network, really, of organic farms and volunteers who work at them for room and board in exchange for 5 hours a day of labor. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  He was still looking forward to visiting Harbin Hot Springs before heading back to London.

The pace of our meal was slow and relaxed.  The room was a bit noisy but not because of loud music, which seems to be popular in some places these days.  Cooking and serving in the kitchen along with a crowd of happy people eating, drinking and celebrating whatever they were celebrating made for a constant babel.

The final course: dessert! I’d watched the plates go by and was happy when ours arrived.  Profiteroles, one with plum ice cream and the other with toasted almond ice cream.

Profiteroles

I couldn’t decide if I did or didn’t like the toasted almond ice cream.  Alternating bites between the two different flavors made them somehow even better than each tasted alone.  The almond was made by soaking toasted almonds and caramel in cream.  Then the almonds and caramel are squeezed in cheesecloth to get all the flavor out, the nuts are discarded, and the infused cream is used to make the ice cream.  There was something about the flavor that reminded me of milk left from a bowl of cereal, but better.

However, the sauce on the plate and the garnish of sliced peaches, strawberries and raspberries lifted this dish beyond what you might expect from looking at it.  Rem tasted a bit of peach and exclaimed “did you taste the peach??!” as I was savoring a perfect raspberry that almost moved me to tears.  It was a transcendent moment.

It was shortly after reaching this blissful state that I noticed proprietor Alice Waters in the kitchen. I don’t know if she comes every night but it was a thrill to see her in person.  She came out and greeted guests at a nearby table.  Johnny, the Brit at the table next to ours was nearly overcome.  After she returned briefly to the kitchen he looked at us in amazement and said he was more starstruck than if Tom Cruise had walked by.

He asked a waiter if Ms. Waters could possibly sign his  menu.  She came by and they ended up having an extended conversation including a discussion of organic farms, his travels, her daughter living in England and who knows what else!  They ended up exchanging emails and he sat looking stunned after she shook his hand and departed to visit with other guests, his dessert melting in front of him.  It was delightful to witness and clearly the cherry topping off his evening and perhaps even his trip.

A last, final small plate was set on the table, something more than what was listed on the menu, an encore to our meal. Three small bites for each of us and yes, once again I forgot to take a picture before I ate.

Empty plate

These little bites or mignardises were, for each of us: half of a ripe Mission fig, a strip of candied grapefruit peel and a chunk of dark chocolate almond bark.  We were sated and happy.  Our meal had been all that we had imagined it might be and more.  I’m already thinking about returning for my birthday next March.

Thank you for your visit.

 

 

 

 

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Remembering Ruby

Ruby 8 weeks old

Ruby at 8 weeks old.

Yesterday was a very sad day: my sister Kathleen had to say goodbye to her sweet girl Ruby.

Ruby was 15 years old and she, like many of us, had certainly slowed down.  Her hearing and eyesight were diminished and she was no longer getting out for walks.

With stuffed puppy

I have some great memories of Ruby.  She was an adorable puppy, full of personality.  From the very beginning, she thought she was a big dog.  I think maybe that was her Indian name: Runs with Big Dogs.

Once she chased after a coyote and another time she ran right up the trail at a horse!

Ruby with her first little octupus

Kathleen couldn’t resist dressing her up for special occasions.

Santa Pup

Wiener Dog

I think, at best, Ruby tolerated it.

Kathleen and I take a walk every Saturday.  They used to be longer hikes. Ruby loved chasing a tennis ball, but we learned not to bring a ball or we couldn’t make progress on the trail.  In fact, we didn’t even say “ball” around her.  But sometimes she would find one anyway.  Her sense of smell must have been pretty good because there were times she would plunge off the side of the trail, seeking an unseen ball and after a time, her head would pop up with a tennis ball clenched triumphantly in her teeth.

Sometimes she would nudge a ball off a trail just to amuse herself and chase it down the incline, through poison oak and underbrush.

Muddy Dawg

In 2003 Kathleen entered Ruby in the Doxie Derby dachshund races held at UC Davis every year.  I wish I had pictures from the event but they haven’t been unearthed.  Some dogs wander off the course or stop, or turn the wrong way.  But Ruby ran like an Olympian!  Her ears were flapping and all four feet were a blur – at one point she was flying with nothing touching the ground.  She won a preliminary heat and we were delighted.

Happy Dance

Here she is doing a happy dance.

When Kathleen brought home a Siamese kitten, Xander adopted Ruby as his second mother, curling up with her and sucking on her fur.  Ruby tolerated that for only so long.

Ruby and Xander

Rem was a big Ruby fan and even did a stint of weekly dog-sitting.  When Ruby was little, Kathleen worked in a dog-friendly office and for 7 years they went to the office together.  But later, Ruby stayed home and various friends and family members helped Kathleen by taking Ruby out for little walks.

Sometimes Rem would take Ruby with him out for coffee or a stroll.  This is on the waterfront in Sausalito.

In Sausalito

Here are some pictures of her from our Saturday hikes.

In the creek

Posing on a rock

More than likely her Mama was holding a treat and calling her name to hold her attention long enough for me to snap the picture.

On more recent hikes Ruby would ride for part of the way in a puppy pack adapted by our sister Sarah.  Ariel is carrying her in the  pack here.

Ruby in the backpack

Ruby celebrated 15 birthdays.  Here she is on her tenth.

10th Birthday

Two weeks ago, Ruby suffered a blood clot in her front right leg and she could no longer use the leg, which meant she couldn’t walk.  A younger dog may have been able to adapt but especially in a short-legged, long bodied breed like a dachshund, it really wasn’t possible.

Kathleen made the terribly difficult but very brave decision to keep her beloved girl from more suffering.  Ruby was going downhill and was no longer eating.  In the morning we had a last walk, with Ruby in a stroller, and Molly keeping company.  In the afternoon, visits and petting in the sunshine on the front porch with friends who loved her.  Xander lay next to her, purring, while Ruby was on Kathleen’s lap.  A wonderfully kind and understanding vet came to Kathleen’s home to take care of things, and Ruby died in Kathleen’s arms.

I had plans for the evening, an outdoor symphony concert by the lagoon at the Marin Center with my mom. Unfortunately, I had to leave shortly after the vet, with tears drying on my cheeks. I was tired and didn’t really feel like going out but I’m glad I did.  It kept my mind off the sadness of the afternoon and it was beautiful sitting outdoors watching the sun go down, birds swooping around, seemingly in time to the music.

The concert finale included a glorious fireworks show and I had an image of Ruby racing along, her ears flapping and all four legs working beautifully, a blur of motion as she flew, and the fireworks seemed to be a fitting response to her arrival in heaven.

R.I.P. Ruby Red Faw

April 25, 1999 – September 13, 2014

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