I will start with "Roses, Wines, and Canines," our Greyhounds Rock fundraiser gathering that was held here last Sunday. Our weather was perfect (cloudy and mild, with a light breeze) and our guests and vendors (and volunteers) had a really great time. We raised about $1700 for GRF to donate to The Greyhound Health Initiative ... and we are already planning ways to make things even better when we do it all again next year.
We set up a big party tent ...
... and a designated fenced play space for our guests' dogs.
Anu and Myth waited patiently in their ex-pen while we set up on Friday.
My favorite part of our events, The Blessing of the Hounds. Can you find me in the crowd?
While I'm on the subject of Greyhounds Rock ... I have been spending at least one day per week sewing collars to keep the GRF inventory up. Sugar Skull collars continue to be the biggest seller, and it's difficult to keep a selection of them in stock. Last week at the fabric store, I picked up two new skull fabrics.
A view of part of our collar inventory at our table at the recent Fredericksburg Pet Expo. See Ruby in the background?
Dorothy was helping, as I laid out fabric to cut the strips that would be turned into collars.
This new fabric reminds me of the art used for The Beatles "Yellow Submarine"
Ruby is modeling the other new pattern, which I am calling "Hearts and Roses Skulls"
I am also making fleece dog toys for the GRF store. I have a ton of fleece in my stash, and this is a way to use part of it and clear out space in my sewing room.
Fleece toy, which sells for $10.
Maggie thinks the pile of fleece is a high-rise cat bed.
It's not been 'all work and no play' for me, not hardly. I make time to do fun stuff, too. A few weeks ago, my husband and I skipped out for the day and went to see the NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Richmond.
It was an evening race.
Dinner is served.
Dessert, which lasted almost until the end of the race.
Post-race ceremonial burn-out by the winner.
Speaking of cars ... I have been spending some time re-learning to drive my Mustang. Over the summer, it went to the shop and had a transmission transplant. The car started life its life in 1966 as an automatic, and that's what it was when we bought it in 2002. Now, thanks to the genius of my mechanic, it has a factory-correct 4-speed manual transmission and a very sporty Hurst shifter. It has been decades since I drove a stick shift, and I was pleased to find that the muscle memory of clutch and shift is still there.
Oooohhh ... shiny.
This new shifter is not so foreign to me anymore.
Lots of people I know go all out to decorate for Halloween. I am not one of those people.
I got a colorful sugar skull wreath at Target for the front door ...
... and a haunted house nightlight plug in at Bath and Body Works.
Halloween and haunted houses makes me think of Poe, which brings me to my next bit of random-ness. In May, Sharon (Goth Gardener) and I spent an evening at the monthly Unhappy Hour at the Poe Museum in downtown Richmond. We had our picture taken in their photo booth ... and it was just posted on the museum web site earlier this week. We were being so silly!
Photo booth photo.
Sharon took this one of me with a new friend.
September is a very busy time next door at Hartwood Winery. My husband and I spent two Saturdays over there, harvesting grapes from the vineyard with other volunteers ... total harvest was six tons of red grapes and seven tons of white grapes ... all used to make Hartwood's wines.
Picking red Chambourcin grapes on September 13 ...
... with my husband and my sister ...
... and white Vidal grapes on September 26.
Yesterday was my birthday ... 56. It's a number that I wear proudly. I am what I am ... no sense in skirting the issue. Besides, thanks to my parents and some fortunate genetics, I have never really looked my age. That was a bit of a problem when I was younger and got carded all the time. Now, I think of it as a blessing.
My husband's present to me was this cow that was painted by his friend Ed King.
I spent part of the day gathering and editing the photos in this post, with Dorothy chilling in my lap.
That brings us up to the present ... which is cold and rainy, as the remains of a coastal storm passes through our area. There was concern that Hurricane Joaquin would affect us tomorrow and/or Monday, but that storm has turned eastward and should not be a factor for us at all. My garden loves the rain that it has received (with this current storm and with a previous one last week). Happy garden = Happy gardener.
Now it's your turn. What have you been up to since we last 'talked'?