So our favorite youngest daughter has been bugging us about a dog for awhile. We had a chocolate lab for a number of years that we had to put to down about 4 years ago. For about a year none of the kids were ready for another dog. And then we were getting ready to make a move and I wasn't going to do that with a new dog at the house. It has just been this Summer that I was willing to consider the possibility.
We decided to first start out by fostering some dogs to see what kind we would like next. Said favorite youngest daughter lasted 3 days before she was "done". Puppies are a pain and annoying she found out.
This was our first foster, Hawkeye, at 8 weeks.
He's one of 10 St. Bernard American Bulldog mix puppies.
He was so soft and fluffy and chewed on everything he wasn't supposed to.
We had him about a week and he got adopted.
Everyone asks how we can foster and then give them to someone else.
Well, in Hawkeye's case I wasn't sure I wanted a dog that would end up being 100-150 lbs. when it was fully grown. I don't mind large dogs, but that is a little much. I already have "big" kids.
But hey, we like them when they sleep, for sure.
After Hawkeye we got these 3 North Dakota rescue puppies.
Piper, the little brown one and her two sisters Xena and Gabby (red collar).
Piper went to another foster family after 2 days with us and they ended up keeping her.
In the foster world that is called a "foster failure", but a win for adoption.
We had these two together for 2 weeks. We affectionately called them Thelma and Louise.
At times they were a little crazy together.
Last week our Gabby girl got adopted by a nice family.
She was quite happy to go with them and they were thrilled to add her to their family.
And now we are down to Miss Xena the Warrior Princess.
She's definitely more princess than warrior.
The kids have all liked her the best from the beginning.
We had a couple close adoption calls, then they changed their mind or picked a different puppy.
I keep telling the foster team leader that we are getting "out cuted" by the younger fluffier puppies.
(And with about 18 more puppies available in the next month or two that might continue happening.)
However, at this point we don't mind.
Xena is a lovely puppy and seems quite happy with us.
This weekend there is another adoption event...so fingers crossed.
If she doesn't get adopted soon we might have to seriously consider keeping her for ourselves.
I am a foster volunteer thru the Carver Scott Humane Society. If you are local in those MN counties go check out what's available for adoption.
Alexander is the son of my good friend Cindy. I've known him since he was born.
This Spring he graduated from high school. I told him that if they wanted to pay for the materials I would put the time in and make him a t-shirt quilt for his graduation gift.
Alexander was all over that.
He is a funny kid. He has Asperger's and is very OCD about some things. It was difficult for him at first to go thru all his shirts and "give" them away, even though the majority of them didn't even fit him anymore. However, having them in a quilt will make both him and his mom happy (i.e. less shirts in his dresser drawers sitting there doing nothing).
I had him go thru his t-shirt stash with me and he showed me the ones that for SURE had to go in the quilt and then depending on how the size and design ended up we had another pile of shirts to add to as needed. I didn't use up all the shirts he gave me, but we did use 24 of them. Not everyone will have that many shirts but Alexander NEVER wears a solid t-shirt....NEVER. It has to have some logo or something on it.
This is the first time I have put together a t-shirt quilt that didn't involve the majority to be school or sports themed shirts. In fact, he only had one shirt that represents his school. Instead, Alexander likes video games, goofy sayings, Star Wars, Pokémon, etc. So I had to pull that all together in this quilt.
Here is the top all put together before sending it off for quilting.
He picked out his sashing/border fabric as well as the backing fabric. He wanted to choose and not have me pick out something for him. Fine with me.
I just heard back that the quilting is done and I should get it back next week. I asked Lynn to quilt his name and graduation year on a blank block that I included in the quilt since he didn't have any shirts with his name. I guess I need to go find some binding fabric to go with now that I know the quilt is coming back.
Zelda and Gang fabric from JoAnn's. Needed 6 yds. for the backing and it couldn't be matched perfectly. I tried. From a distance it will hardly be noticeable.
Mario border fabric also from JoAnn's. Used about 1 1/2 yd.
I was slightly lazy about painting and probably should have taken the entire thing apart so that I didn't get any of the hardware painted. That seemed like too much effort. Besides, by keeping it hanging up I could just flip it over and spray the bottom without having to prop it up against anything else. And the day I painted it was so warm that it dried super quick.
Instead of taking the swing apart I broke out the Glad Press 'n Seal Wrap and put it over the chain parts near where I was spraying and any of the bolts that I could get to.
It felt pretty genius on my part.
Once it all dried I just pulled it off and threw it in the trash.
Our nephew Samuel, in Nebraska, just graduated from Hastings High School this past May
(as well as received his Eagle Scout Award).
Post graduation he gathered up the t-shirts he felt he could part with and sent them to me so I could put together this t-shirt quilt.
He is a tall guy (goes without saying for our family)--about 6'3"
and so I had to make sure this quilt was long enough to cover his frame.
That was a trick as he didn't have as many shirts as his sister did.
His older sister is the blondie middle one of this trio of cousins.
I had to be a bit more creative in how I put his quilt all together.
The finished top.
I am really loving the gray/black keyboard look.
A little close-up of some of the t-shirt piecing I did for the borders.
Now to pick out the back, binding and send it off to the quilter.
Front and back (where possible) of about 7 t-shirts plus a sleeve logo. He had an EXACT duplicate of the white shirt front and back so I only cut the paw print off the second shirt and placed it in the quilt.
For this quilt I pieced much more of the solid color portion of the t-shirts to add to it, including the sashing. I might have even pulled some solids from other t-shirt quilt extras I had.
I like a good porch swing.
It reminds me of my Grandma Johnson.
They always had a swing at their homes.
Though the swing that Grandpa made at their Idaho Falls home was more like this glider.
When we moved last year we took the porch swing with us that had been hanging on our kids' swing set. The new owners didn't want the swing set and we gave it away on Craigslist in about 2 hours after listing it, but the porch swing came with us.
On Saturday hubby and I made the A-frame for the porch swing.
I'm not going to show the entire process, but just a few to give you an idea. We based it off of a couple plans we found. I listed the links at the end.
17 degree angle cut on the legs and markings of where the cross pieces will attach.
We could have just attached the 2 x 4 pieces with a butt joint but lap joints are stronger.
You just make a number of cuts between the markings down to the depth that you need.
Measure and adjust the blade as needed.
Then hubby just used a chisel to bust out the cut pieces.
Once the cut pieces are all out then you do a little clean-up with the chisel.
After you have all the cuts done we dry fit the pieces and take additional measurements of the cross pieces. The larger piece on top is the beam placed there to determine the correct placement.
Then we just started assembling and screwing down pieces.
The only cutting down of pieces were on the 2 x 4's. We left all the 4 x 4's at 8 feet and the top 4 x 6 beam at 8 feet also. We debated on cutting some of it down, but decided we liked it as is. The bottom of the top beam ended up being 7 feet 4 inches from the ground once we were all done.
Porch swing is in place.
It would've been nice to actually hang it on our front porch too;
however, there would not have been much room to actually do any swinging.
You can see the stump back left that we need to remove too. Here is the post on that tree. And then we plan on putting a garden back in that spot too now that it isn't covered entirely by shade.
A little close-up of how hubby attached and stabilized the beam and frame.
We angled the legs out 10 degrees to prevent some rocking from side to side.
The little stabilizer block piece is cut 45 degrees on the right,
10 degrees on the left and is 6 inches long.
After some time decided to place the swing here so we could enjoy the view of the pond and sunsets. We eventually plan on putting in a permanent fire pit there in front of the swing.
I am really happy with how it turned out for us.
It already is a nice addition to our backyard.
(4) 4 x 4 x 8 ft. green treated beams for support legs --$7.65 each
Cut top of each leg piece at 17 degree angle.
(2) 2 x 4 x 8 ft. green treated boards for cross support --$3.75 each
(1) 4 x 6 x 8 ft. green treated beam for top post --$15.57 each