Thursday, October 1, 2015

Life's Sadness

Hello everyone.  All is well here at Lilly My Cat.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I like to share positive things with you.  But, sometimes, real life creeps in and it can jolt you for a bit.  That's what happened this past week.

It was so sad to hear of the Umpqua School Shooting  in Oregon.  My heart goes out to all the families and loved ones affected.  I'm aware of what a community goes through when this happens.  It happened to my little town of Moses Lake back in 1996 when Barry Loukitis killed two students and his teacher at Frontier Middle School. I remember this day very well.  I was waiting for my children to arrive home from school when I heard all kinds of sirens going off. My dad had given me a police scanner back them and I knew something was going on.  When my children arrived home safe and sound, they informed me of what they had heard.

We knew one of the boys* that was killed; he and his family were members of our church.  Our pastor had a lot to deal with during this time.  It was a community of about 12,000 people so most everyone had some kind of connection when this tragedy took place.

Fast forward a few years to this past week. After doing some routine errands we wanted to escape the heat.   It was a very warm day and my husband and I decided to go to lunch at the beach.  We parked in the parking lot and purchased our parking ticket.   When we arrived at the restaurant, it was at least 13 degrees cooler.  We enjoyed our favorite meal watching the waves of the ocean and the surfers perfecting their craft.  After lunch we were going to walk on the pier but the sun was shining it's brightest and we had to walk back to the car to extend our parking.

Between the parking lot and the ocean, there is small green grassy area.  After extending our parking, we found that our beach chairs and umbrella were in the trunk so we set them up on the grass.  It was quiet and we were enjoying the view of the ocean, shaded by the trees.  There were a line of cars parked behind us and one of them was running with the driver inside.  I didn't pay much attention since I had pulled out my needlepoint and was busy stitching.

After a few minutes, my husband commented on the driver since her head was down.  I said "maybe she's bent over texting since the sun is shining".  You could hear the car engine accelerate.  A few more minutes passed and my husband said "I think she's having seizures since she's jerking".  We walked over to the car and I knocked on the passenger window - no response.  My husband walked over to the driver's side window and knocked - no response.

At this point, we called 911.  I was a bit hesitant since I never interfere with people and their personal space but obviously, this was different.  Within three or four minutes, the sheriff arrived in the parking lot.  He went over to the passenger door and luckily it was unlocked.  He then opened the driver's door and immediately knew what was happening.  The driver was had overdosed on heroin!

I was scared - I don't know why.  When my husband had looked in the window, he could see what he thought were bruises on the driver's leg.  Turned out they weren't bruises; they were track lines from injecting heroin.  The ambulance arrived within another minute and the sheriff cut the seat belt to free the driver.  They put the driver on the ground and immediately started oxygen and I think they gave the driver some type of shots too.  The driver regained consciousness within a few minutes.  They took the driver away in the ambulance.

The sheriff spoke with us and told us he could not arrest the driver for possession of heroin since the 911 call was in regard to the driver being unresponsive.  The sheriff did find the heroin "kit" in the car.  After awhile, the towing company arrived and towed away the car.  The sheriff was extremely kind to us and did his job well. 

Here's what surprised me that day.  When I hear or read of drugs these day, I immediately think of pills.  Not hard line heroin.  The area we were in that day is a very safe, family oriented place.  The driver looked like any ordinary person, driving a late model car.  But, obviously, this was not the case.  Why would someone want to do this to themselves?  I spent about an hour googling heroin addiction and how the veins in the arms collapse hence the need to inject in their legs.  How they have to wear long sleeves and pants, to cover their track lines.  And, how they are never sure what strength of heroin they are injecting into their bodies.  Sad, very sad indeed.

I'm hoping that this person will realize they could have died.  If the car engine had stopped, with the windows rolled up on this very warm day, I think it would have been the end. Or, if we would not have called 911 that day, would the driver have woke up from this overdose?  Maybe, this person will change their life but of course, we will never know.  I hope she gets the help she needs. 

It was a wake up call for me.  I always am positive with life and only see the good. After this experience, I feel that our world is really broken in places.  And, I don't know what I can do to fix it.

with my best wishes,



*There is a second part to this sad story.  The boy who was killed had a cousin.  The cousin killed his mother and sister later that year in our same little town of Moses Lake. . . 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September Scavenger Hunt via Lilly My Cat

I can't believe that September is saying goodbye and it's going to be October!  It's always a joy to join in with Greenthumb at Made with Love for her monthly scavenger hunts.  And, as always, I enjoy meeting new friends.  This month I took all my photos from my garden.   It was a very warm September morning when I took these pictures (with the exception of one of them).   I hope you will enjoy.

Woven design in this little table reminded me of my current needlepoint project...

Repeating blue tiles on the barbeque succulents love this sunny area...

Greedy black crows ate all our figs from our fig's one lonely fig left...

Flower of bird of paradise.  I have lots of these and they do very well in the hot, dry weather...

Curly center of my sago palm tree that has grown huge...the new fronds are so amazing when they appear...

Adventures today when we moved the garbage can and found this gecko who had  lost his tail...

Line of the backyard fence...luckily it's narrowly spaced so Lilly can't fit through the fence...

Mesmerizing ripples from the pool this morning while the pump was running...

Triangle shapes from my home's chimneys...

Dreamy evening sky with lights reflecting on the pool ...

Day(time) at it's brightest with blue skies and palms fronds showing all their splendor...

Whatever you want - I just wanted Lilly to smile for the photo this morning but she is so stubborn...

I hope you have enjoyed these photos.  I look forward to seeing what you have shared.

My best to each of you,


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Five on Friday Fotos Featuring Needlepoint and kNitting

Hello my friends. This past week my little grandson stayed two "sleeps" at our home so I was busy.  He started kindergarten this year and I had to take him to school and pick him up each day.  It was really very pleasant to be needed.  It brought back great memories of my own children during those early school years.  Right when I got used to our routine, he returned back home.  But, he's expected to stay with us again next week.
Last week's post about the magazine review was not my usual kind of post.  If you've been reading Lilly My Cat for awhile, you know my passion is Needlework.  I was kind of burned out with my knitting and crocheting until my friend introduced me to needlepoint.  I thought I'd show you what I've accomplished so far.

Here's my first piece of Needlepoint that I've finished.  I bought this "kit" on ebay for $20.00.  It's a kit from Germany and it was a good starter piece for me.  Although, now that I kind of know what I'm doing, the yarn was not the best.  I do like this type of canvas; penelope canvas I think it's called.

Here's the second piece that I bought. Again, from ebay and the tapestry wool was included.  I love the Royal Paris canvas designs and the wool is so nice. It's DMC wool from France.  This particular piece is small though as it will measure 9" x 12" when it's completed.  I'm thinking of making a handbag out of this piece.

Here's my latest purchase from ebay.  I've bought on ebay for many years now either by placing a "bid" or "buy it now" option.  This piece was listed also as "make an offer".  I'd never done that before.   The list price was $39 and I "made an offer for $25 shipping included".  The buyer accepted my offer and I'm so pleased with this new kit. 

The canvas and tapestry wools are made in England.  It's really very nice quality and the size will be a bit unique since it is oblong. I'm excited to get started on this piece after I finish my current canvas.  And, best of all, this one actually came with directions.  How I could have used those directions when I started my first piece of needlepoint!

I still haven't forgotten about my kNitting though.  Here's the sweater I'm currently knitting for myself. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.  It's nice in that it's 80% cotton & 20% wool.  But, it has no sheen whatsoever and it likes to split.  I tweaked the pattern since I'm using a different type of yarn and a different size needle.  It's pretty easy knitting now that I have the sizing correct.

If you've enjoyed these five photos I've shared, then please pop over and visit Amy at Five on Friday. I'm also linking to Victoria's Handmade Monday    and  Keep Calm Craft On. I wish to thank my dear daughter, Heidi, for updating my blog photo and design.  The header photo was taken by Heidi when we were in Paris two years ago.  If you have time, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what's happening in your part of the world.  I read each and every one of them.  

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review of Taproot Magazine via Lilly My Cat :)

Greetings my friends.  First, let me tell you that we received some much needed rain here in southern California.  That's right, glorious, refreshing, green making rain; over one inch in our area.  The weatherman (& woman) said that we may receive more next week.  We're keeping our fingers crossed...

Today, I'm joining in with my friend Amy at Five on Friday.  And, I'm also linking to Victoria's fabulous Handmade Monday.

I thought I would give you my reivew of Taproot magazine.  I discovered this magazine a few months ago via another blog (sorry, I can't remember which blog).  I subscribed for one year at the exorbitant sum of $27.00 for four issues.  Ah, I remember, why I subscribed.  Do you remember the popular barn sweater? It was featured in issue 11 of Taproot.  I love this sweater and I hesitant to purchase the pattern.  Instead, I thought if I subscribed to Taproot, I would receive another great pattern somehwere along the line.  No such luck so far.
Above is the current issue of Taproot that I received in the mail this week.  I'll tell you why this magazine is popular; is has no advertising.  That's right, each and every page is filled with something that will appeal to someone.

This month's copy came with an address book.  Here's the cover of the address book.  I don't know about you, but this is not a pleasant picture to look at.  It's way out there in my thinking.

To my surprise there was a proper pattern for a knitted shawl in the current issue.  But, I'm not sure if I will make it or not.  Since discovering is there any need for any other place to find patterns?

I'm not trying to be discouraging but I really don't think I have gotten anything out of my Taproot subscription.  Issue 13 and 14 really didn't have anything that I could use (there was a tutorial on how to make your own soap or make crocheted jackets for rocks).  And, sometimes, the art work is really avant garde.  Here's what I think:

1.  The magazine is way overpriced for what is included.
2.  The art work is way out there sometimes. For example, do you like see an artist's rendition of a mother having a child?  Women have children so be it. You don't need to constantly draw pictures of how it happens.  And breastfeeding?  Hey, I had my child in the 70's and the doctor didn't even ask me if I wanted to breastfeed. He said  "you want a shot don't you since you won't be breastfeeding"?  I said "yes"....(he was an old, ex army doctor, by the way).
3.  I kind of feel it's a hippie era wanta be magazine.  Don't get me wrong; I would love to grow my own vegetables, make my own bread from my own ground wheat, dye my cloth from natural plant dyes.  But, today is 2015 and not a lot of people have these resources.
4.  The magazine is headquartered in Vermont.  A lovely state that I have yet to visit. I have wonderful visions in my head of what Vermont looks like.  
5.  It's just a bit too out there for my taste.  Yes, I'm in my early 60's but remember, I was a teenager during the hippie years so I'm not out of tune.  I didn't embrace that lifestyle although many things appeal to me like growing your own food, eating healthy, etc.

I don't think I will renew my subscription.  I live in a ramblin' house on a small lot here in southern California.  I can't have a chicken coop and I can't grow a large garden (unless there's someway it can be hydroponic via my swimming pool) haha.   Seriously, it would be heaven if the pool could be filled in and we could have a proper lawn with fake grass. That would make my husband so happy!

Maybe I've just had a busy week so far and was too tired to really tune in to Taproot.  But, if you enjoy learning things and discovering new ideas, then I suggest that you give Taproot a try.

Before I sign off, Lilly thanks everyone for your good wishes.  She is a healthy, happy cat and always enjoys hearing from you as do I.  If you have time, please feel free to comment.  I do read each and every one.

My best to everyone :)


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Old Books and a Rare Book

Hello my friends.  Thank you so much for your kind wishes on the arrival of my new granddaughter.  Little Sadie is doing great.

Are you a book lover?  I love books and reading (although my reading has taken a back seat to my needle crafts right now) but I especially like "old" books.  Growing up, my parents didn't read a lot books.  We had a wonderful set of encyclopedia and of course I had my books that I loved.  My parents worked full time so maybe there wasn't time for them to enjoy reading.  Although, they were devout readers of newspapers.  When we moved from Washington to Idaho when I was a child, my grandmother used to send the local newspapers to my parents via the mail.  I had a Barbie doll back then, and she would hand knit little sweaters and clothing for my doll and wrap it up in the newspaper bundle.  I still have those Barbie sweaters she made for me.

I'd love to have a library filled with old books to the ceiling and have one of those "ladders" that crawl across the book shelves.  I can just picture the room with parquet wood floors, old Persian carpets, a well worn leather chesterfield couch, the smell of old waxed wood and dusty burgundy curtains hung across the window.  But, instead, I have a small book case with an eclectic collection of books.  And, a few of them are very old indeed and one is a bit rare.  Here...I'll show you a picture of them...

When my daughter and I were in England back in 2013, we were staying with friends in Rubery, West Midlands.  I bought this little book of Common Prayer in a charity shop ...

It fits in the palm of my hand and has a leather cover.  From the coat of arms that is shown, I believe it is from the time of King Edward VII.  Written in the inside cover is "K. Haywood, Xmas 1919" and written in pencil on the back cover is "Duncombe St., Wallaston Stourbridge".  It was quite interesting to read it as there are numerous sections such as morning prayer, evening prayer, order of confirmation, order for the burial of the deal, and thanksgiving of women after child-birth just to name a few.

Years ago, my daughter brought home from England  this little collection of small books featuring the classics ...
This is a small book of Aladdin that I picked up at one of my Danish Sisterhood events a few years ago ...

As you can see, it's in Danish (which I can't read) and dates from 1876 ...

I picked up this book at the same event.  It doesn't look very interesting and it's in very bad shape but once you look inside it's amazing what you'll find ...

It's dated 1733!  It is Volume 1 of an 8 volume set. 

It's written in English but not the kind of English that I read ...

The star of my collection is this book entitled Adventures of an Orchid Hunter.  I've googled it and found that it's worth in the range of high hundreds to one thousand (I'm sure depending on how they grade the condition).  I purchased this book years ago at a Friends of the Library book sale in my small town for a vast sum of 25 cents!

It was published in 1891 and is in very good condition inside ...

It features a lovely chromolithograph of  an orchid (and many more lithographs) and tells of the author's travels through the jungles of Columbia in search of orchids ...

 I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into one of my collections.  It's probably not worth much but to think of how old these items are and who they once belonged to one day is quite intriguing to think about.

We are in the midst of another heat wave.  I can hardly wait until winter makes it's appearance and maybe we will receive our much needed rain.  I'll sign off with this photo of Lilly.  She sends you her meows and good wishes.

Again, thank you for your kind comments and for taking the time to visit Lilly My Cat.  I hope that you and every one of you has a wonderful day.

my best to you,


It's Friday so I'm join in with Amy at Love Made my Home for  Five on Friday ...
Willy Nilly Friday 5

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Scavenger Hunt @ Made With Love

It's been awhile since I took part in this fun scavenger hunt.  It's hosted by Greenthumb over at Made With Love.  If you have a chance, please stop over to Made With Love and meet some new friends.  I enjoyed putting this collage of photos together.'s a photo of a fruit seller walking his horse and cart down a street in Istanbul.  I was surprised to see this out of my bedroom window as I hadn't seen this horse drawn cart except during my travels in Egypt.'s the big fish my little grandson caught at our local lake.  He was so excited that day and in fact he caught two large fish.

Square...a photo of my easy tomato tart using puff pastry. I took a square of puff pastry, added some sliced tomatos, sprinkled with salt and pepper and crumbled goat cheese on top. I baked it in a 400 F degree oven until pastry was puffed and golden.  It's a simple dinner or lunch entree.

Diversity...a large selection of spices at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  This was my first time visiting the Grand Bazaar as last year in Istanbul I visted the Spice Bazaar.  The Grand Bazaar is grand in all ways.  It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

Rough...the imposing rock wall at our property (do you spy the little cat?)  It's a huge rock retaining wall that has beautiful bouganvilla plants growing on it. 

Bow...My new little granddaughter's outfit with all the bows.  She came home in this outfit and was so tiny compared to this dress. little grandson as Spiderman..grandma's joy! We visited with him one afternoon and he quietly disappeared upstairs. He came down wearing this costume.  It was 90+ degree outside that day.  He loves Spiderman and Transformers.

Forgotten...a doorway from long ago in Turkey.

Crowd...a lovely evening at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA.  We attended this performance for the first time this year and I must say it's probably the most favorite thing I've done in a long time.  This is the common area where the music and art show takes place. But, the actual pagent takes place in an outdoor theatre with the audience sitting under the moon and the stars.  It was an amazing evening.

Colorless...little feet of my grandchildren at the beach.  Last week it was 20+ degrees cooler at the beach.  They didn't stay long but just long enough to enjoy the water and cool off.

Friendly...I can't forget Lilly my sweet cat!  She is my constant companion.  I feel bad for her as she's had to be in the house this week due to the hot temps outside.  I guess as long as she's is fed, she is a happy cat.

Whatever...needlepoint is my new obsession.  Here's a picture of my current needlepoint project.  I hope to make it into a handbag after it's completed.  I completed the pastoral scene and need to block it and find a frame.  I really enjoy this new hobby but I find I need to work on it during the natural daylight hours since the colors fad into one during the evening.

I'd love to hear from you wherever you are.  I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into my eclectic life.  Lilly sends you all her best wishes for a wonderful week.

take care,


Friday, August 21, 2015

Patons Royal Baby Dress

Hello my dear friends.  First I want to thank everyone for your kind comments and advice from my last post regarding old friends.  It helped me a lot.  Wow, it's been a busy week here.  My little granddaughter, Sadie, was born on Monday, August 17th.  She is so precious and we are so excited to have a new member to our family.  I was busy babysitting (mansitting as he likes to say), my six year old grandson.  Grandma is tired after being on duty for these past few days...

The house is empty now as my son left too.  We've had guests these past two weeks as my son's acquaintances spent time with us here.  Guys who like to eat and splash in the pool.  The house is cleaned and is all in order now until next time.

I wanted to share with you the special gift I made for my granddaughter.  It's a pattern I found from Deramores and it's called Patons Royal Baby Dress. 

The yarn called for in this pattern is Patons Fairytale Soft 4ply which is an acrylic yarn.  I purchased this yarn from Wool Warehouse.  I see that right now they don't offer it in white, but it does come in white color.

I purchased three skeins of this yarn ...

The pattern was a bit of a challenge for me.  In order to keep track of the stitches, I used some markers to notate the location of the pattern section ...

I was so pleased when I finished the crown design for the front panel...

Here is the front view of the dress.  I really like the way the yoke turned out ...

And, here is the back view of the dress.  The pattern called for knitting the button placket and sewing it into place.  I picked up stitches and knitted it directly on the dress ...

This pattern has a fitted yoke but a wide skirt.  I'm hoping that Sadie will wear this as her christening dress.  It was a fun project to make and I learned a lot.  I used a size 3 cable needle.  You can find my Ravelry notes here. 

I'm almost done with my first needlepoint project.  It's been very enjoyable but the backside of the canvas looks so bad.  I've order another needlepoint kit and I'm hoping that what I've learn this time can be put to use and that my next project looks much better.  Do you have any suggestions to help me?  I found out that I should not "knot" any yarn; instead thread it through the existing stitches. 

It's still a bit warm here in southern California.  The news has been saying that we are in for a super el nino this winter (I wish) but who knows.  And, the wild fires in my home state of Washington are horrendous.  I have lots to be thankful for so for sure I can take a little warm weather - nothing to complain about.

Have a wonderful weekend and I wish everyone the very best.

My best wishes,

Pat xx

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