A Finish – Chasing My Tail

Last weekend I finally finished a quilt I’ve been working on since Memorial Day.  I decided to name it “Chasing My Tail”, because that’s how the last few months have felt, both emotionally and physically.  Here’s her story:

IMG_3547The fabric and pattern for this quilt were gifted to me by my good friend, Courtney, at the French Seam.  The fabric is from the line “Color Me Happy” by Vanessa Christenson for Moda (V and Co).  The pattern is Scout from Cluck Cluck Sew.  The pattern was really well written, easy to understand, and comes together quickly because you’re sewing strips.

IMG_3670During the first month of putting this quilt together, I lost my golden love, Bubba Jr.  Wow do I miss him.  This quilt was always intended to be the “porch quilt” for our new sunroom/porch.  I had visions of Bubba and I spending many hours relaxing there and looking out over the fields he couldn’t run in anymore.  Best. Dog. Ever.   So there are lots of tears of love, pain, and love again quilted into this quilt.

IMG_3910I decided to quilt this one in the hoop using the quilting ovals pattern from Meringue Designs.  Love, love, love my Bernina 830 LE.  Of course, sometimes “this” got in the way…

Moose helping with "Chasing My Tail"

Moose helping with “Chasing My Tail”

I love the texture of the quilt.  The concentric ovals represent the circles I’ve been spinning in the last 3 months.  The backing is a dark blue print paired with some more pink (I love the way the navy and pink play with the turquoise and the white).

IMG_4126IMG_4125It’s been washed and is all warm and crinkly.  She’s getting a lot of good use and just seeing it all spread out when I walk onto the porch makes me smile.  And again, there’s this….

IMG_4147There are lots of wonderful scrap bits left over when you are trimming the strip sets for this quilt.  They were so pretty I couldn’t throw them away, so I made a matching pillow.  I also ran across some Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel in linen (!!!!) last weekend and I think it’s perfect!

IMG_4150That’s the story of Chasing My Tail.  Hope you all had a wonderful summer.  I am looking forward to fall.  I adore the season 🙂  TGIF!

Just Breathe….

I had every intention of posting a purely quilty post this morning along with a review of a new (to me?) product called Flatter.  I’ll still do that, but I find myself sitting here the last few days and especially this morning with my eyes constantly leaking and the inability to breathe.  Mainly because of this old man…

IMG_2906I wish I could put into words all the love I feel for him and how much my heart is breaking.  We are nearing our final days I fear.  His appetite (which has never been good particularly…he’s a picky little turd and what King Bubba wants, King Bubba gets…we all know who is to blame for that) has been waning for the past week and this morning he wouldn’t even eat his go to thing that he never turns down…white bread.

IMG_3732We started underwater treadmill therapy on Friday to try and build some core strength and muscle mass in those back legs.  I realize that at 14 I am buying time, but I have his kidney values well controlled…so it’s just those damn hips/legs without muscle mass to support him in the rear.  The hardest thing is to be a veterinarian and NOT be able to fix your own baby.  Harder still is knowing that the time is coming soon will you will have to make the ultimate decision, be strong and be there with him until the end because that is what you owe him for all the years of love and joy he has brought into your life.  I have never felt so ill equipped for that role in my life.  I am a hopeful person, I am a strong person…but knowing this is coming is killing me.  When do you make the call that it’s time to give up hope?  It’s ironic, I counsel clients all the time on this.  Clients who I consider friends.  I know the right things to say to encourage them when it’s time to let go and what to say to make sure they don’t feel guilt over their decision.  Funny how it doesn’t hold water when it’s me telling it to myself 🙂

IMG_3735But for now, he’s looking sexy in his socks and doing a lot of sleeping.  And getting lots of hugs and kisses and all the love I can give him.  He’s my boy, my Bubba Jr.  Any emotional strength you can send my way…much appreciated 🙂  And if you could find the switch to turn off my water works so I can get some work done for the coming week and meet some presentation and article deadlines that are looming…well, then even better 🙂   Thanks for listening and I promise more sewing/quilting updates coming soon.  Until then, may your days be “golden” ❤

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Vacation Accomplishments

Wow!  I have enjoyed having a week off so much that I told my staff I’ve decided I should take the summer off.  Needless to say, they’re not in favor of that and it might make paying the bills a bit difficult, but oh boy….this was a much-needed retreat from a CRAZY five months.  I really can’t believe we’re at the end of May.  I have NO idea where the last 5 months have gone (wait….yes I do, I was traveling like a crazy woman and working my butt off, lol).

So, without further delay, here is just a little peek at what I did this week.  First, I started every morning (after the chores were done of course) with a cup of coffee on the front porch with this smiling boy who turned 14 (!!!!!) back on the 10th!  How he got to be 14, don’t ask…seems he was just a goofy pup not too long ago.  Every day we have with him is a blessing.  Lots of limping these days and we’re in early renal failure, but he’s happy and I keep him pain-free.  He still likes to walk to the barn every morning and night (but then he prefers to ride back in the gator, lol).

IMG_3556Mom came out last weekend for a “photo shoot” with Aunt Joann’s quilt.  Special memories here that will last a lifetime!

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We finalized plans for the addition of a sunroom and deck on the back of the house!  I have been wanting to do this forever, but we didn’t want to finance it, so this has been a 5 years of savings and lot’s of speaking gigs kind of project.  Construction should start in the next 2 weeks.

Thompson over view 4 Thompson over view 2Lot’s of stuff happening on the sewing front and that was truly the most awesome part of vacation…just being able to sew and relax with the windows open, the birds chirping, and the horses munching.  Heaven!

First I got caught up on our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I am sad to say that these were February’s blocks…we had to put everything on hold when my travel schedule got out of control and mom had to have thumb surgery.  We’re back on track and I have picked out our 5 June blocks.  With the addition of February’s blocks, we have 65 out of 111 complete.  That means we only have 46 more blocks to go!  Amazing.

IMG_3592I finally had a chance to put all of the ones I have made up on the wall together last night, so here they are.  I really have NO idea how these are all going to tie together in one quilt lol, but I said I was only going to use stash fabric and I have stayed true to that.  I love how when I look at the blocks I can see what was going on at the time in my life and remember special times associated with certain fabrics.

IMG_3593Now, you might have noticed that this is actually hanging ON the WALL.  The other big project of the week was to clear out my sewing room/office.  It has been SO cramped for so long that it just makes me edgy going in there.  First I got rid of Bubba’s big over stuffed chair that was taking up an entire wall.  With his legs, he hasn’t been able to get up on it for over 4 months and when he does, he can’t get down on his own without falling.  It was an accident waiting to happen…so out it went.  Then I got rid of an old kitty condo that was taking up space under the window.  The cats are always on my sewing table or desk, NEVER on their designated space, lol.  So, with that space opened up, I turned an old table that my mom made years ago into a much-needed cutting table.  I added some 5 inch risers and voila!

IMG_3566You can see my Grandma Foster’s old treadle machine there now 🙂  It was crammed into a corner and covered with books.  Moosie likes it too.

IMG_3573Now, as you can see above, the appearance of the self-cleaning litter box beneath the new cutting table AND the lovely brown risers do not add to the ambiance I was trying to create.  Home dec is totally outside of my comfort zone, but with Mom’s encouragement, I bit the bullet and decided to make a skirt for the table.  I fell in love with the Moda Mochi dot linen fabric.  Mom tried to teach me how to make ruffles by  pulling on two threads….after several frustrating tries, I went and purchased a ruffler foot, lol.  This is why god invented technology right??????  Seriously…this thing is a dream!  Here is the finished skirt.  Looks MUCH better than the litter box and risers 🙂

IMG_3585The ruffler foot and I got on famously!  Talk about super simple.  It had 3 settings:  ruffles every 12 stitches, every 6 stitches, or every stitch.  I did every 12 because I wanted looser ruffles.  Now, the new hemmer foot and I, well that is a different story.  We are still not on speaking terms.  I had enough of the mochi dot left over to make a fun little pillow to sit on the chair by Grandma’s machine…I mean Moosie’s chair.

IMG_3586IMG_3588Fun!  I still want to paint the room too, but there are some other things I need to clear out (aka “purge”) before I tackle that.  However, I had such fun with the ruffler that I might consider making curtains when the time comes, lol.

Up next on the cutting table?  Well, I am working on the Scout quilt by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew.  My awesome friend Courtney from The French Seam (she’s also my neighbor at work, lol) gave me the pattern AND the fabric.  Seriously, how lucky am I to work next door to this lady????  If you’re in Indy, you should totally check her shop out…AMAZING fabrics!  I “heart” her 🙂  All of the strip sets are cut and sewn together (thank you for your help Moosie), so today we cut and piece the blocks together and hopefully get the top stitched.

IMG_3547So, it’s been a fabulous vacation and I still have 3 days left!  Cheers!  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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Life, Weather, and Very Little Sewing!

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This has been the view from my window each morning since early January.  While I will agree that it is beautiful, these are the temperatures we have been dealing with….

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I never worried about the cold, or winter for that matter.  I have a four wheel drive, and even though I live in the country, I can get where I need to go most days.  These bitter temperatures have been brutal, just brutal.  Tank heaters can’t keep up with the water when it gets that cold…I worry about the barn cats (who according to my husband have a pretty cushy life with their insulated shelters, hay, and food).  I worry…it’s what I do.  But, the outlook for this week is pleasant…in the 40’s by Thursday so I will hold onto that thought.  This weather makes me feel like this:

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It’s been a tough winter to be an almost 14 year old Golden boy with bad legs.  But he’s my man and he’s been trudging along with a few wipe outs here and there 😉  Unfortunately, I’ve had very little sewing time since Christmas.  The clinic has been incredibly busy (weird I know…derm in the winter, but we don’t seem to have much of a season anymore which is a good thing and means I can pay my staff lol).  I’ve been traveling all over the place speaking and we just made a decision to open a new satellite in northern Indiana.  I have a bunch of publication deadlines coming up and hanging over my head.  I was driving home the other day and thought, “self, you are an awesome dermatologist, a good speaker, and a good business person…but you kind of suck at taking care of yourself and your family”.  Ah well, there’s always room for improvement right?

Soooooo….here’s what I have managed to get done since the end of December.  Mostly it’s been little scattered 30-60 minutes here and there working on my Farmer’s Wife blocks.  Mom has been fighting hand/thumb issues and is finishing up a project for a quilt show in March, so my lack of sewing time hasn’t slowed us down too much.  These are my December blocks:

ImageBlock 94:  Tall Pine TreesImageImage

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I have 3 out of my 5 January blocks completed (yes, I know…it’s February).  AND…I have declared today a “no work” day for me, so planning on some mental health sewing 🙂

In other fun news, there’s a new layer cake quilt QAL taking place over at Material Girl Quilts.  Yes, I know I have just been lamenting about my lack of time but this looks super fun to me. You should go check it out.  Even if I can’t keep up with the deadlines, I’m still going to quilt along as I can.  I’ve chosen my layer cake (the new April Showers from Bonnie & Camille) and now I just need to decide on layout 1 or layout 2 🙂  I’m looking forward to the QAL!  You should check out Amanda’s blog if you haven’t already…she has lots of fun stuff going on over there.

Layer Cake Sampler QAL button2

That’s it for me crew!  I just haven’t posted in awhile and wanted you to know I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth 🙂  Have a great weekend!!!

Holiday Update!

Goodness it’s been a busy month!  Are you ready for the holiday?  There’s been a lot of sewing going on over here in the wee hours of the morning in between life, work, and more life thrown in.  And it’s been cold as anything….Brr!  So, here’s a quick recap.  I am actually off work for the rest of the week, so hoping to get the blog updated during that time as well as enjoy some downtime with Scarlett stitching for fun 🙂

First up was some sewing for the fabric postcard swap generously hosted by Sandi of Quilt Cabana Patterns.  Thank you Sandi for this wonderful treat 🙂  I’ve enjoyed seeing the pics filter in on Twitter.  I’m going to post pics here because I know Marisa has received mine.  I also posted them in the Flickr group that Sandi set up!  Unfortunately, the post office has not been kind and is holding the one that Marisa sent me for ransom 🙂  I’m hoping it will still make an appearance someday soon!

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I finished the quilt I was making for my MIL.  She’s been in a wheelchair since earlier this fall and she’s always trying to cover up with her coat or something else, so I thought she might like a little quilt.  Now, she’s definitely of the “muggle” variety as Frances would say, and I’m quite sure this will be just another blanket to her, but it was made with love.  It’s a little jelly roll race quilt made from Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey.  My MIL was a music teacher and I thought she would like the little musical notes.

IMG_0245 And here’s the backing, complete with the assistance of the quilt inspector, Mr. Moose!

IMG_0248A close up of the fabric

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Now, I was running out of time for sewing the binding on by hand like I normally do, so I just used one of my 9 mm decorative stitches and hoped it was wide enough to cover my faux pas with machine stitched binding.  I can never seem to get it just right!  I think this will do 🙂  Not perfect, but fine for the project.

IMG_0253I’m also trying to finish up a little table topper for a friend.  More pics to come on that.  The weekend of Thanksgiving, I started working on a McKenna Ryan fusible applique called “Under the Moostletoe”.  Kind of appropriate with my crazy Moose kitty.  My goal was to complete it before Christmas so I could hang it up, but that’s not going to happen.  This is where it stands currently.  I used the Floriani Applique-Wonder on this and I’m not thrilled with it at all.  Very stiff and the needle makes a chunking noise when it goes through it.  I probably won’t use it again for this type of project.

IMG_2799There’s been lots of wrapping and Christmas shenanigans around here with the furry crew. Here’s a few just for grins!

IMG_0259 IMG_2906Wishing you all a very, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays (whichever tickles your fancy).  xoxo   Lori

 

A Little Quilting…A Lot of Life

Well goodness, it has been a week around here!  Not much news on the quilting front but I have managed to get a little sewing done here and there.  Hopefully lots more this weekend as it’s supposed to be COLD with a capital C around here.  Sounds like time for some beef vegetable soup in the crock pot and some quilting time 🙂

I have to say a big thanks to everyone who has been posting their quilt market/festival photos, tweeting and instagraming (is that a word, lol??).  I have really enjoyed following a long.  A special thanks to Tanesha at craftygardenmom.com, Alison at withinaquarterinch.com, and Amy at amyscreativeside.com for their recent podcasts detailing their time at market.  I smiled and giggled my way through all of them and enjoyed them immensely!  I am now CERTAIN that Alison and Tanesha  and I should NEVER go shopping together…who knows what haul we would come back with?  We seem to exercise similar levels of restraint…NOT LOL.

So, what’s been happening around here?  Well, this stubborn young lady and I are getting ready to start some training with a reputedly wonderful trainer.  Today is our first session and I am SO looking forward to what we’ll both learn.  My 1200 lb goofus and I have a lot of work to do together.  It’s a long story, for another time, but I reached an all time low a few weeks ago when the farrier was here and Tongo was in a snit and I couldn’t get her under control.  It’s hard to find a trainer with a mentality that isn’t just “you have to show her who’s boss”…seems like many horse trainers are similar to the Caesar Milan’s of the dog world (as a veterinarian, don’t EVEN get me started on his crock of alpha dog crap).  Tongo may seem like a big, pushy girl, but once you get inside her head there is a wonderful curiosity and love of being with people and involved in whatever you do.  I just need someone who will help me tap into that and work with her on ground manners, etc. so her “crazy” is a little more controlled and doesn’t end up hurting anyone.  So cross your fingers, I have a lot of hope riding on this guy.  Here’s a few pictures of my silly woman (apologies if you came here only for quilting pics LOL).

Tongo helping with gate repair

Tongo helping with gate repair

tongo1We call this one “mirror, mirror, on the truck….if I break you I don’t give a “bleep!”  🙂IMG_1076IMG_0718

Speaking of trucks….Lexi broke a nail this week and decided to die on me Tuesday night on my way home from the gym.  Turns out she needed a new alternator which Jim says must have been carved out of gold.  I prefer to think of it as doing my part to support the economy 🙂

In quilty news, not much happening other than still working on Mason’s memory quilt.  I was moving along like gang busters and then I hit a wall.  My plan had been to keep the quilting straight line and very simple so as not to detract from the photos, but once I got the basic lines stitched down, I felt like the picture blocks needed a little something more.  So after playing on Clingwrap with designs (seriously…the BEST way to audition designs), I decided to go with some small bone quilting…which has slowed my progress down immensely.  SIGH…but it will be so worth it!

IMG_2655It’s fall here and one of the most beautiful times of the year to live in the country.  I bitch about it all year-long because we’re a million miles from civilization, but it’s truly beautiful out here in the fall.  We celebrated last weekend by taking a long walk along the creek that borders the back of our property line and letting the golden boy go for a long swim.  Seeing him so happy brings a tear to my eye because a few months ago, I would have never counted on having him here in November.

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So there you go…a wrap up of my week.  Here’s to lots more quilty love next week 🙂

Zig Zag Table Runner – Coffee Style!

Another finish finally 🙂  Feels good to be sewing again!  A few months ago I started a zig zag table runner based on a fun tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The pattern calls for a charm pack and some yardage for backing, but I made my own charms from some fabric I bought when I went to the quilt store in Florida last March with my mom and Katie from Katie’s Quilting Corner.

IMG_1759The tutorial was super easy to follow.  It was really interesting how Jenny put it together so I wanted to give it a try.  Basically you make the top with alternating rows at an angle.

cropped-img_1777.jpgOnce the top is pieced you layer the bottom and the batting and then stitch all around the edge, leaving a hole, then turn it inside out, sew up the little hole, then I straight line quilted the top.

IMG_0197My coffee cup likes it!

IMG_0199Here’s a pic of the backing.  Love this fabric!

IMG_0200There you have it!  In other fun news, we had a Halloween photo shoot with the fur babies this week.  It was a little challenging to corral 3 super heroes 🙂

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The End of the Travel Season…and a Baby Quilt!

So, this picture perfectly depicts how I feel after 6 weeks of intense, crazy travel and speaking engagements!  I am mentally and physically exhausted but oh so happy to be home.  I have one more speaking engagement this coming week, but it’s only an hour away so I’ll be home the same night.  Whew!  Bring on some sewing time!!!

Bubba Jr.So, when I left you in August, I was working to finish a baby quilt for my niece and her new baby.  He arrived soon after that and is super cute.  The quilt was actually completed when he arrived.  That could be a first for me, lol.

This is the little man himself! AlexReally, how cute is he?  Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle.  You want to know the disgusting part?  The quilt was DONE and ready to go and I STILL don’t have the label on it…sigh.  So now he’s almost 2 months old and his Auntie Lori hasn’t given him his quilt yet 😦  Bad Auntie.

So, here’s the front of the quilt.

Quilt FrontAnd the back of the quilt.  As an aside, I need to do some brushing up on my WordPress skills and learn how to insert pics with text to the sides, etc.  Every time I try, it ends up all wonky in the “published” version.  Oh well, for another day…

Quilt back

And just for fun, I hung it from the tree.  Can I just say, trying to take a picture with the dogs and horses NOT in the picture was a bigger challenge than anticipated?  LOL

Quilt HangingSo, one of the many tasks on tap for this weekend is to finish little man’s label so I can actually deliver it to him (or have UPS deliver it) this week!  I have lots to catch up on, so stay tuned for hopefully more frequent posts in the near future now that I’m home 🙂

 

Busy, busy, busy!

Gosh!  I can’t believe that:

  • #1 – it’s now the middle of August
  • #2 – that it was 45 degrees here this morning at the barn and
  • #3 – I actually have a few days of “stay-cation” and get to do some sewing!

Score!!!!!

Emmie & Moose

Emmie & Moose

Work has been insane for most of the last month.  I’ve had my hands full being a business owner and managing all sorts of fun (insert silent scream here) that comes along with owning a 3-year-old, growing business.  Mom is ahead of me once again on our Farmer’s Wife blocks, but I have high hopes of catching up with her this week 🙂  We also celebrated my 48-year-old “man-child’s” birthday last weekend with 15 of his closest relatives.  I’m really not sure there is an emoticon that correctly portrays the emotion I have to accompany that statement, so I’ll leave you with these 2 images instead, lol.

After

After

IMG_2276And then this was me…in the corner….IMG_1992And that’s all I’m saying about that 🙂  The only sewing that Scarlett and I have gotten done this past month has been on a baby quilt for my new great-nephew who shall be joining us any day.  He wasn’t due until September, but my niece has been having problems and went into labor early a few weeks ago.  They’ve been controlling it and this Monday she reached 37 weeks so now they plan to let her go whenever he decides to show up.  I’m finally stitching the binding down and then it will be ready to go.  Here it is before I quilted it.IMG_2217And the backing fabricIMG_2218So, as soon as I finish the binding and wash all the cat hair off of it (thank you Moose!), I’ll post some pics of the finished quilt before I give it to her.  Oh yes, and I need to make the label too.  That’s all I have for you as of right now.  Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the remainder of your summer!  I leave you with Mr. Moose, ever the eager helper…IMG_2228

 

 

Life Update – $$$ aka Bubba Jr.

Notice the $$ signs?  His royal golden self has been quite a project since the beginning of May.  Bubba Jr had surgery on May 17th to repair his torn ACL on his good leg.  It was a rough weekend, but he did pretty darned good for an old golden man.  The next week was spent trying to convince him to eat.  He had no appetite whatsoever.  I cooked for him, we tried all kinds of “low-brow” dog foods that as a veterinarian just made me shudder.  Apparently he has very discerning tastes, but by Friday the 24th we were eating dog food again and I was no longer getting this “look” when I said it was time to eat!

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And then, I went out of town for 36 hours to speak in Toledo and everything fell apart.  Jim called me Thursday morning to say he wouldn’t eat and I figured it was just because I was gone and had been at his golden beck and call for the last month.  I got home really late Thursday night and couldn’t get him to eat.  Then the vomiting started.  By Friday we were in ICU and he spent the weekend there with vomiting and bloody diarrhea (sorry if TMI).  I honestly thought we were going to lose him that weekend.  But my old man rallied and I brought him home Sunday night with his catheter still in place so I could give him fluids at home.  IMG_1945

Since then, it’s been a steady battle, but we’ve been moving in the right direction slowly but surely.  The first week we spent fighting to get him eating (I’ve done more cooking in the last month then in the last year…guaranteed, lol).  You’ve never seen two dog parents get so excited about normal poop!   The first day we didn’t have diarrhea was a milestone, then the day we didn’t have blood, another milestone, then solid poop…well, that was a reason for a par-tay!

Bubba's BuffetFor the last week, golden boy has been good.  Happy, wagging, and acting like Bubba again.  I still can’t get him to eat dog food, but he loves anything with beef or bread.  He’s lost almost 13 pounds since the end of April and he didn’t have 13 to lose, so I figure, he’s an old man, we’ve already beaten the golden odds at 13…he can eat whatever he pleases.  The current choice is white bread with Beneful Beef Stew.  We are operating a Bubba Buffet.  His discerning golden tastes no longer like anything involving turkey and chicken…sigh.  He “might” have my number…IMG_1949I have lots to update you on quilting wise as well!  With so much time at home with the old guy, I have finished the Montana quilt (yeah!!!), finished my May Farmer’s Wife blocks,  finished the first 2 months of the Toes in the Sand block of the month club, and started on my Wind in the Whiskers block of the month club.  So stay tuned for more updates!  I just wanted to dedicate this post solely to Bubba since you guys have all been so sweet checking on him 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to everyone!  Bubba Jr got his daddy a special card that he intends to give to him later.  More soon!IMG_1951