exploring, preserving: past, present


Saturday Upside – More Closet Cleaning Treasures

I’ve written before about how Saturday cleaning time has helped me rediscover hidden treasures.

Today, I will share three more pictures of the gorgeous embroidery that my grandmother (Dad’s mother) did. All of this is still on old flour bags cut into tea towels. And again, all patterns were pictures in Grandma’s head, spilled out onto cloth in beautiful stitchery. In a set of seven fruit-themed tea towels, I ended up with three:



All tea towels in the set had central multiple-fruit embroidery, surrounded by single fruits and a scalloped black edge on the bottom for framing.



My favourite of the three I have are the strawberries. The French knots are so incredibly tiny, and perfectly placed, to represent the seeds.



These tea towels, and the tea towels in my other post, were all done by my grandmother in the late 1970s. I am taking them all to a framing shop this week to preserve them!

Love finding forgotten treasures – the upside to Saturday cleaning!

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday as we find the upsides in everyday life.



Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, or Where’s the Upside in This?

Three weeks of interrupted sleep. Grumpiness. Aches and pains all over. Bleary, red eyes. Itchy skin. Sneezing. Scratching. Hair loss. Yuck. Great way to start a “Saturday Upsides” post, right? Well, all those symptoms are actually exhibited by one of our dogs. Well, and some of them by her owners (lack ofsleep, grumpiness) because she’s been keeping us up with her symptoms. Before I get into that, let me make some introductions….

Our home life is a very comfy one, shared with two quirky and spoiled dogs named Selah and Belle.

Selah is a grey and white Shihtzu who has spent all but eight weeks of her nine years with me. Belle is an all-white Bichon-Lhasa cross who has spent 3.5 out of her 5 years with us. They both love table scraps, can be very smart, but hide it well.

We just realized that for the past three years in a row, Belle has become ill every November. Each time, it’s felt like it has snuck up on us over the span of two weeks of her giving us more cuddles, whimpering at night, starting to scratch her ears and sides more, culminating in a trip to the vet to figure it out.

Normally, Belle’s a shy and skittish dog around new people and things, so when the first symptoms of illness came on (cuddling and whimpering at night), we just chalked it up to her wanting to be close to us more. Three years ago, the vet said the scratching and bumps on her skin were probably diet-related, so we cut out everything from her diet except special kibble for allergy-prone dogs.  That seemed to do the trick, and life calmed down (including her scratching and whimpering).

A year passed, then (again in November, but we didn’t figure that out then) the symptoms set in–more cuddling, more whimpering, and finally bumps and scratches and waking up at night to her desperate attempts to get relief by scratching and thumping on the floor (yeah, that’s always fun to wake up to at 3am!). Took her to the vet again, and the vet thought it might be parasites or yeast growing on the skin, so she gave us a special shampoo for her. Calm returned, scratching and whimpering stopped, restful nights again (ahhhh).

Well, here we are in November again. Just finished taking Belle to the vet…again. Our vet said “hey did you know this is the third year in a row you’ve come in November? I think she’s got fall allergies!”

After doing a battery of tests to confirm it’s nothing internal (and we got the all-clear that everything’s working fine internally), the final conclusion is that “it’s in the air”.  Yup, Belle’s got allergies. And it’ll happen every November. So if we pro-actively feed her a pill from the beginning of the month through to the end of November, none of the symptoms will return.  That’s it. Phew. And it only took three years to figure out.

So, in about two weeks, Belle will be back to her usual calm, cuddly, now-predictable self. And we will too. ‘Til then, I get to enjoy an unusually cuddly dog seeking relief from her itchiness and giving me extra kisses even after the baths she despises so much. Because she knows we’re only trying to help, and relief will come.

Join Bonnie at Recipes Happen and others every Saturday, blogging about looking for the “upsides” in everyday life. Happy Saturday everyone!


Saturday Upsides – finding the Positive!

I’ve been thinking about starting “Saturday Upsides” posts ever since Bonnie started them a month or so ago. This Saturday (yesterday) seems the perfect situation to highlight for my first post like this. But first, the back-story….

Bonnie from Recipes Happen had the idea to do Saturday posts that look for the positive in things/situations that might, on the surface, look not so positive.

Now for my Saturday story. Yesterday (Saturday), I woke up feeling horrendous. Near-migraine, chills, stomach pains…and all this had been building since Wednesday night. But I thought it would eventually just go away. Not so! So a 7 am trip to the walk-in clinic confirmed I needed antibiotics and bedrest.

Okay, that means my Saturday would be spent in bed, cuddling with my dog Selah. That’s not so bad, right?

Selah, my 9-year-old Shih-tzu.

That in itself could be considered the upside of my Saturday. But I did have one other upside. I found enough energy to gather 3 very simple ingredients to make what I had always wanted to make–a mixture of honey, ginger, and lemon to use in hot water for when I’m feeling icky.

This concentrate is so easy to make.  Just take two lemons, slice them very thinly, and place into a 500 or 750mL jar (size depends on the ratio of honey to lemons you want, I chose 750mL). Chop up 2tbsp of fresh ginger and add to the jar. Pour unpasteurized honey over the top, making sure you mix to get rid of air bubbles.

Two tablespoons of this mixed with hot water is so good.

Actually, a tablespoon of this with a shot of rum or whisky is also quite medicinal.  😉

So, my Saturday that could have been me moping away the day had two upsides: I cuddled all day with my dog, and I tried a recipe that I had wanted to make (and it took only one minute of my time!) that will help me feel better!

Want to join the Saturday Upsides conversation? Just add Bonnie’s picture and link (see above) to your post and join us!  (And thanks Bonnie for starting the trend!)