All posts by ruthsoaper

55 Things #4 – A Funny Story

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” series and here to view previous posts in this series.

It was a Saturday morning when I was driving with my two youngest daughters to pick up my two older daughters from a friend’s house where they had spent the night. Kara (age 7) rode in the front passengers seat and Lindell (age 4) sat on the bench seat directly behind me.

Along the way Lindell began asking me questions about God. “Where is God?”

“God is everywhere,” I replied.

“Is He in the van with us?”

Yes, He is.”

“Is He sitting right here next to me?”

“Yes, Lindell, He is.”

Lindell seemed content with these answers and the conversation ended as we arrived at our destination.

After retrieving the older girls Kara and Lindell returned to their spots in the van while Tina (age 12) sat next to Lindell and Hanna (age 10) sat in the third row.

My focus was mostly on driving when suddenly Lindell screamed  “MOM!”

I nearly stomped on the breaks  at the alarm in her voice. “What’s wrong Lindell?”

“Tina is sitting on God!”



Nearly 20 years later this still makes me laugh.

Thanks for reading. 🙂


Ranger Danger

It’s been nearly four weeks since Ranger became part of our family, so I thought I would share a little about how that is going.

I’ll start by addressing the title of this post – it may be a little misleading and make you wonder what the heck kind of animal did we adopt. The truth is that there is one real danger in Ranger and that is that he will steal your heart and make you fall hopelessly in love with him.

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Here is how it happened to us.

He started by looking at us with those captivating puppy dog eyes that are framed by his adorable floppy ears, and when we look at and/or speak to him he wags his tail in sheer joy. Then, as if he hadn’t already won us over, once we sit down to relax he bounds up in a lap and insists on some cuddle time.  At  times he will even bring his tennis ball and ask to play a game of fetch. Is there anyone who could resist such love?


His approach with Trooper is different of course. Instead of using their eyes to get to know each other dogs use their noses. Ranger will sniff Trooper then stand nicely and let Trooper sniff him as if proving to Trooper that he really is a good boy. He will also sometimes walk up to Trooper and begin licking his face – that is just so cute. Ranger likes to engage Trooper in play so he will jump toward Trooper and bark then jump back or begin sprinting from one end of the house to the other trying to get Trooper to chase him. Trooper plays along by trying to tag Ranger and huffing or barking at him as he runs past. Although Trooper doesn’t have nearly the energy that he use to, and is not able to keep up with the pup, it is good to see him playing along. The barking during playtime can make it sound like they are fighting, but as long as their tails are wagging we know it is all in fun.


Ranger really has come along way since that first day we brought him home, when he didn’t know that he had to go outside to go to the bathroom; he continually put his feet up on the counter when I was working in the kitchen; he begged for our food when we were eating; and my husband found himself making a 4:30 a.m. trip to the store to buy him a raw hide bone.

I think it’s been a couple of weeks now since he has had any “accidents” in the house and as long as we make sure he gets out at regular intervals I don’t feel like I have to be watching his every move. He has learned that he gets fed at his dish, so begging for our food does him no good. He will still put his paws on the edge of the counter sometimes but I get the feeling it’s because he just wants to know what I am doing and perhaps he even wants to help. LOL!

I think it’s been about a week now since we stopped putting him in his crate over night. He now sleeps in his own bed right next to my husbands side of our bed. He settles into his bed when we go to bed or sometimes even earlier, and he sleeps through the night. Even when we are up earlier Ranger has been sleeping until at least 6:00 a.m. If he does get up around 6:00 it is just to go outside to go potty and then he will go back to bed until it is almost time to go to the farm to open up the chicken coop and go for his morning walk. GOOD BOY RANGER! 🙂

While there is much more to tell I decided to keep this short so I could get it published.  You see it seems that each day Ranger is displaying new behaviors that we are happy with, and since there is still a lot for him to learn you can look forward to more puppy tails tales in the future.

Thanks for reading.

55 Things #3 – Something To Make You Smile

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” series and here to view perivious posts in this series.

Here in Michigan this is the time of year when the winter blues, or what is now referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is setting in. The short hours of daylight coupled with the scarcity of sunshine can have a negative effect on our mood.

Today I am sharing a photo that I love. I always say that yellow is a happy color and when I see sunflowers (and dandelions) I see feel like they are smiling at me.


Perhaps this will help chase away the winter blues.

Wishing you sunny days and lots of smiles. 🙂


55 Things #2 – A Lesson About Love

Click here to learn more about my 55 Things series.

This plaque hangs on a wall in a corner of our dining room.

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I love the message, “People need loving the most when they deserve it the least,” and I believe it is often true. Many times what we see as “bad” behavior is a person’s reaction to pain, fear, frustration, insecurity or even loneliness. If we can see beyond the surface and offer some love, kindness and understanding I believe we have the potential to change lives for the better.

I have thought several times that I should move that plaque to a place where it is more prominently displayed, because even though the words are engrained in my mind, it is not in a location where others are likely to read it. Today I decided to do one better – share this message here, where it can reach those who might visit our home and many, many more.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box.


Hairpin Lace and Bonus Photos

It seems so long ago that I wrote about buying a loom to make hairpin lace. It was certainly before all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and it wasn’t until after Christmas that I figured out how to use the loom.

For my first project I chose this infinity scarf. The link to the pattern has a detailed video which includes both making the hairpin lace and constructing the scarf. I used a different type of yarn so my results are different from the one created in the video.  I took a few photos during the process to give you an idea of how this works.


To create hairpin lace the yarn is looped around the pegs of the loom and each loop is secured in place by a crochet stitch. On this loom both the top and bottom cross bars are removable and there are holes at various distances so the hairpin lace can be made different widths.

At first I found it quite awkward using both the loom and the crochet hook but after a while I was able to get into a rhythm and it went quite quickly from there.


To remove the lace from the loom I only had to remove the bottom cross bar then slide the lace off of the pegs. While this piece has about 30 loops on each side, the scarf I made had four strips like this each with 240 loops on each side.

After I had all four strips made, I joined them together by slipping five loops of one strip though five loops of a second strip then slipping the next five loops of the first strip though those five loops. This process was repeated though the entire length of the strips and created the braided or rope-like appearance. I didn’t get any photos of that process but it can be viewed in the above video. The edges were finished by slipping five loops of the strip over the next five loops of the same strip and repeating the process along the entire edge.

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This is the finished scarf. I like the braided effect and can see this process being used to make an afghan, poncho or ear warmer. In fact I have decided to make an ear warmer using this design.

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This design is one of many ways that hairpin lace can be used, and from the beautiful, intricate items I am seeing made with it, I would guess this is probably one the easier method of using it.

Now for a couple of bonus photos.

My sister KC, the one that has been teaching me how to sew, made me this really cute hat for my birthday.

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She also made matching bandanas for the dogs. LOL. Her fabric choices were perfect.

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If you look closely you can see the white fabric has red barns, windmills, chickens and  sunflowers – it’s like this fabric was made for me. The yellow print is filled with honey bees. She knows me well!

What do you think of pets dressed to match their people?