This has been a difficult year for the family in many ways, but it is with much GRATITUDE that I share the following photos. All three of my children are avid dog lovers and each of them lost a dear member of their family this past year. While all of us were stricken with sadness and grief, we are eternally GRATEFUL for the love they gave to everyone. While their departures left holes in everyones’ hearts, the memories they leave behind are filled with love, laughter, and GRATITUDE for having been a part of our family.

The first photo is of Ollie. He was a King German Shepherd who passed away suddenly of stomach bloat at the young age of 8 years old. He was a well-behaved and loveable guy who loved to play ball. He is missed by all.


This lovely lady is Birdy. She was a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix who actually smiled when we arrived for a visit. She was gentle and kind and oh so huggable! She died of old age at the age of 17! Again missed by all.


And last, but not least, and the most recent loss, is this beautiful lady, Razzle. She was an Alaskan Malamute. Larger than life, she would “WOO” for you when you arrived and immediately roll over for a belly rub. Such a sweetheart! She passed suddenly from an aneurysm at the young age of 7. Very much missed by all.


During this past year I managed to complete one quilt. This was made as a gift for someone. The soft colored batik squares make this quilt just lovely. I have always wanted to do some straight line machine quilting and quilted this one only 1/2 inch apart. It turned out perfect. I can’t wait to give it to the person it is meant for.



For myself personally, I am GRATEFUL for all my family and friends who sent flowers, cards and gifts in the past month or so. It was appreciated more than you will ever know! I had not been feeling well for several months and suddenly found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery at the beginning of March. It has been six weeks now and I am a new person. Still need to build up my stamina for all my activities, but I feel VERY WELL! Thank you again for your kindness!




And lastly, I am GRATEFUL for many boring days during my recuperation when I finally got up the desire to work on some needlework. I managed to complete about HALF of my “Tulips” cross-stitch piece. I still have a long way to go. But to me HALF done is ALMOST done. SMILE



Happy Spring to everyone! It has finally arrived in Chicago. Although I would like it to be a little warmer, I will take what is given.

Amities, Averyclaire


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra D Joliet
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 11:42:55

    So sorry for your losses. My dog is going through chemo for the 3rd time. She’s 13. She was much younger when she had chemo before. In 2013 they didn’t think think she would live another year-she’s truly a miracle dog touched by all the puppy prayers. Although we were blessed with many years the doctors didn’t see coming, I will hate the pain and grief when that time comes-I’ve been through it several times over. She will be our last dog because of our age and our own health issues. I’m just south of Chicago and yes we also got a taste of spring.


    • averyclaire
      Apr 22, 2018 @ 11:57:57

      So sorry about your dog! It is truly devastating! It is easier in the end to hang on to the gratitude and love!


    • Carole Watkins
      Apr 22, 2018 @ 12:11:24

      Sandra, we lost our 14 year old Holly last fall and it was very, very hard to say “goodbye, Sweet Puppy”. As my husband is 85 and I am 81, we thought we are too old for another pup….WRONG! We happened to see an ad for another Standard Poodle (He is our 4th) and we “just went to look”….Right, Guinness came home with us in November at 4 months….He is funny, a comedian, and absolutely adores us (and WE HIM)….and we discovered, quite to our surprise, we were NOT
      too old for another fur baby!!


  2. Carole Watkins
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 12:14:10

    Avery, I’m so sorry for the year you’ve had…losing family pets is very difficult, particularly for kids…Your health is better, your stitching is beautiful and Spring is trying to shove Winter out of the way….who knows, you might also find another pup banging on your door “Let me in, Let me in”!!


  3. Pat Logan
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 12:16:15

    I am so sorry to hear about your rough time this year! Animals are such a part of our families!

    Thank goodness you are on the road to recovery. Prayers that you stay on that path! Hope all stays well!


  4. Patsye
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 12:47:33

    I agree with Carole Watkins. Really glad you’re doing better. Patsye


  5. Shirley Jean Creighton
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 13:16:38

    As just a recent subscriber, I had no idea of your difficulties. The sadness we feel at the loss of our furbabies is real and overwhelming. Gratitude is healing. I will be praying for you for healing in all the areas you need. God Bless.


  6. Jackie
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 13:33:12

    I was just thinking about you the other day! I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been ill but glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery. Love your tulips project – very happy indeed!

    It’s so hard to lose the furry members of our family! They never ask for much and give so much to us. Thinking of you all!


  7. Joanne Obergfell
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 14:27:27

    I am sorry for the losses of your dogs. I know that feeling very much. Loved your quilt and your Tulip piece. Happy Spring to you and your family.


  8. gracie
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 16:23:52

    So very sorry…they were all beautiful babies.


  9. Cheryl Muszynski
    Apr 22, 2018 @ 18:28:26

    So glad you are feeling better- I, too have Tuplis and it is on my “get around to”list. Miss your beautiful finishing but I am happy you are doing what you really enjoy!


  10. Jessica Grimm
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 02:37:35

    Oh no Karen, emergency surgery… I hope you’ll have your stamina back soon! Big hug, Jessica


  11. KerryCan
    Apr 23, 2018 @ 06:13:17

    You have the most terrifically positive attitude, Karen–finding the good, even in your troubles. I know the pain of losing pets and am so sorry for all the members of your family–those dogs all look so sweet! Your quilt is simply gorgeous! And your tulip piece is another way you’ve made lemonade out of the lemons you’ve been thrown–I’m so glad to know you’re on the mend!


  12. Brigitte
    Apr 25, 2018 @ 02:13:14

    You were going through some rough times this year, aren. But it’s good to read that you argon the mend after your surgery. It takes a while until all the energy and strength are back. But meanwhile you can stitch a bit :))) Your tulip piece looks wonderful.


  13. Margaret
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 07:22:32

    I’m so sorry to hear you had to have emergency surgery. I hope you are well on the way to a quick recovery. Sorry for all your family’s furry losses. Our pets are a huge part of our family and they leave large holes when they go. Glad you are able to stitch while recuperating. Take care.


  14. Carol
    Apr 28, 2018 @ 08:39:11

    Oh, Karen, I’m so very sorry to read that you have been ill and had to have surgery. How very scary for you and your family. I hope your recovery will be speedy and full!

    And all of those sweet fur babies. They really do leave a hole in our hearts when they leave us, don’t they? Our black cat has been gone for 10 years now and I still miss him…

    So glad to see you are stitching again–that tulips piece is amazing! May have to add that chart to my stash 🙂 And the quilt you made is truly lovely–such gorgeous colors.

    I hope the rest of 2018 goes better for you. We all have years that are challenging and are filled with one worry after another. For me 2014-15 was that year. But, things got easier and better and I know they will for you, too. Sending a hug your way 🙂


  15. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm
    Nov 08, 2018 @ 15:57:00

    I dearly love seeing the dog photos…they are all beautiful and proud. When Dave died, I had 5 dogs and am down to 2 now. We’re a small, tight pack and do almost everything together. My dogs make my life full and happy.
    Such good news, you’re doing better (hope that’s still the case!) and the flowers are divine. Be well, stay healthy.


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