Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Random Things

Well, Christmas is over.  The presents are all unwrapped, and now life is starting to get back to normal.  The cookies aren't all eaten, but we're working on that.  (oink!)  Our holiday was a good one, with lots of family and food, and I hope yours was good too. 

We got around 3 inches of snow the night before last.  It melted off the streets long enough for me to make a quick run to the grocery store yesterday to stock up again, then we got a little more snow last night and the temps dropped to below freezing.  The lake froze last night, and everything looks like it's pretty icy out there.  Our high temp today was 32*F.  In other words, winter is here!  Not like so many places around the country that got blasted with the Christmas storm, but still fairly unusual for this area.  So, it must be time to sew again!  Yay!  DH is back out in the pottery studio (with his space heater!), and when I'm done with this post, it's off to the quilt studio for me.

Since there has been so little sewing/quilting happening here, I thought I would share some of what my sister has been doing.  She's been working on some wool applique.  Above is her funky "Trees".  She started this a year ago, and it's been traveling with her wherever she's gone all year as she adds to them.  She told me she had a lot of fun doing these.  I think they're great fun.

Here's a wool applique bunny she did.  It will probably become a pillow at some point.  I think this one is my favorite, because I love bunnies.

This might look like floating bubbles, but they are actually flowers.  The last time I saw this, my sister was in the process of adding the stems.  She tried one thing, didn't like it and took that off and is now working on the next attempt.  I think these are fun!  I don't know what her plan is for this piece.  She doesn't use any patterns, by the way.

My multi-talented sister is also an assemblage artist.  This is what she gave me for my birthday this year.  The round disks are hand-made coasters, she thinks.  I'll probably hang this in a vertical position, not horizontal like it is in the photo.  This will look fabulous on the indigo wall in my bedroom!

If you're interested in seeing some more of her work, check out her website.

Here is the free-pieced house that is currently on it's way to Beth of Live Laugh Quilt blog.  I made this for her "Friendly Neighborhood" project.  She'll be drawing winners on the 1st of the year, and I sure hope this gets there in time!  As you can see, I made an indigo house (appropriate, eh?) and it's surrounded by fir trees, just like in Real Life.   I'm not sure you can tell I free-pieced this, as it came out pretty tame.  But it was fun to make.

And in the window you can see Dunkel and Shade.  They think they own the place, so I had to include them!  hee hee!

We finally joined the 21st century the other day.  T*rget had an LED TV on sale for a price that was crazy low.  DH had been saving his pennies for a while, and it was finally the right time.  Wow, can I just say Wow!?  This looks fantastic.  And the best part?  We can hook up the laptop to the TV and watch Netflix streaming right on the TV!  Love it!  No more huddling over the desktop up in the office.  We don't have Hi Def on Comcast yet, but it sure looks High Def compared to the old (and I do mean old) TV.  So, happy day!  We're still doing the happy dance!

We watched the movie "Julie and Julia" last night.  I loved it!  And Meryl Streep sure "was" Julia Child.  She nailed it.  I remember watching Julia when I was in high school.  I thought she was a little odd then, and now I realize how brilliant and funny she was!  And I loved the whole blog thing - wonder why??  Oh, and am I the only one that backs up the movie to see the quilts in the background?  hee hee!  During that whole hysterical scene with the lobsters, I kept trying to see that quilt in the background.  DH is a good sport about backing up to see the quilt!

Well, here we are at the end of another year.  The years seem to be zooming by so fast anymore.  But it was a good year around here.  Our blessings are many.  And I want all my readers to know that I truly appreciate you stopping by to read my poor scribblings.  I'm still amazed and grateful that you do.   I hope the new year will be kind to all who're reading this, and that there will be blessings upon you and yours. 

Happy New Year!  See you on the other side!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

"Christmas Grove"

I want to wish all my bloggy friends a very Happy Holiday for your winter holiday, whatever it may be. I hope you get just what you're wishing for!  I want you to know how much I appreciate your visits and all your comments!

We will be celebrating the day with my father-in-law, our son and his beautiful family and his mother-in-law/our friend K.  I'm so thankful to be able to spend the day with family, although I will miss my dear daughter and her hubby, who are in Nevada, and my sister who is home with her children.

There was been precious little sewing/quilting occuring here in Haus Indigo.  I did get some presents sewn, but no pictures of them. alas.  So you'll just have to imagine how wonderful they are! I hope to be back in the quilt studio very soon - I sure miss it!

The quilt above was made for me in a Christmas exchange among the members of my quilting bee way back in 1994.  My friend Shirley C. made this for me, and I think it's one of my favorite Christmas quilts.  I don't know if you can tell, but it has sequins on the trees to make it sparkle.  A few years ago, I was showing my then-3-year-old granddaughter the quilt when she started pressing the sequins.  She asked me, "How do you turn it on, Grandma?"  That still makes me smile!

I hope you are smiling too.  I'll be back after the presents are unwrapped and the cookies are eaten!


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Whoo hoo!! "Word Play Quilts"!!!

At long last, the Book Event I've been waiting for all year is here!  Monday, December 6th, 2010 is the day that Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci will be released by Martingale Publishing.  I've been reading Tonya's blog since 2005 when she lived in Egypt.  I found Tonya through Bonnie Hunter's blog.  The two of them were my first introduction to bloggers and quilt blogs.  It opened up a whole new world to me, and it was so exciting!

These two word blocks are ones I made for Tonya, when she asked bloggers for "happy 4-letter words", and she put them all together into her quilt "Cake", which is on the cover of her book.  (Look at the lower right-hand corner and then the 4th row up from the botton, 2nd block from the right.)

This is the block I made when Tonya asked for words in different type styles for a Halloween quilt.  It was one of my first serious attempts at making the letters.  I was assigned "round" type style.  I don't know how well I did at the roundness.  I certainly stressed over this word.  It came out way bigger than I thought it would.  You can see Tonya's finished quilt here.

Tonya has been a huge inspiration to me.  Long ago, when I first found Tonya's tutorials on making her UnRuly letters, I attempted making some letters.  I made the entire alphabet but a poor choice of fabrics made them pretty much unuseable, due to the very low contrast between the letter and the background.  But those letters and what Tonya was doing with them intrigued me.  

Life got in the way for awhile . . . we moved from California to Washington, and my quilt studio was in boxes for most of the first year here.  But when I got it up and running, I decided that I was going to play with the letters.  

I joined Tonya's "House Home and Pantry Quilt Together" and you can see the blog here.  This is the start of my Witch's Pantry, and sad to say, this is all the further I am at the moment. 

Tonya asked all of her students for name blocks, so I made this one for her.  I used indigo fabrics, of course! The "S" was an inspiration that came to me in a dream one night, and I was thrilled that it worked!

This year, Tonya had the "Liberated Amish Quilt Challenge" - see that blog here.  "Shine" was my "warm-up" piece.  This little quilt just asked to be made first.

This is my finished (flimsy stage) quilt top for the Lib Am Challenge.  I learned so much about free-piecing from this quilt.  I got the wonkiest when I put down the rotary cutter and picked up the scissors.

Here's a closeup of the word in the border.  I used all scraps from the quilt top to make this.

This year my guild had a color challenge, using paint chips.  I had written down the idea for this quilt about 5 years ago, and decided that it was the right time to make this quilt.  I'd just finished the Lib Am quilt top and felt ready to tackle this project.  I learned a lot on this one too, and the most important lesson was that the more you make the letters, the easier they become to do!

This is the start of my next "wordy" quilt.  It's been on the back burner for most of this year, and I think I'll work on it again after the holidays.

Tonya and her wonky UnRuly way of making quilts (as well as Gwen Marston and the Gee's Bend quilts)  has changed the way I make quilts now.  I highly recommend that you give it a try too, if you haven't yet.  It's a lot of fun.  I don't think I'll ever worry very much about being "a little off" again.  Tonya's tutorials guide you step-by-step.  If I can do it, so can anyone!

And, if you go to Tonya's blog, you can click on the widget in her sidebar to buy her book from Amazon.  If you do it that way, Tonya will earn a little bit of $$.  I've already ordered my book there and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

In celebration of Tonya's book release today, the entire Liberated Quilters web ring, which was inspired in part by Tonya, is showing off their creations that Tonya and her UnRuly letters have inspired. The widget to get there is on my sidebar. Take a few minutes and look at all the wonderful quilts. Maybe you'll get inspired to try some letters too.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It's about time . . . .

. . . I showed up around here!  Wow, where did November go?  It was such a busy month!  Way too much going on, it seems.  There hasn't been time for posting, unfortunately.  I hardly even got close to the computer for much of the month.  I missed all of you!  I'm hoping I'll do better at posting more often this month.
I finally received all 48 of the Block Lotto wonky star blocks.  Here they are all laying on the living room floor.  This was the best I could do without getting into major furniture moving.  I won't start working on these until after Christmas . . . or at least until my Christmas presents are all sewn!

Remember these?  Here are the other 8 house blocks, finally finished.  They've now been cut in half (top to bottom) and the left halves have gone to California, where they'll be exchanged with my quilting buddies in January.  I'm so proud of myself that I actually got this done early!  This is so unusual for me.  I just wanted to be done with them, so they were there on time and I didn't lose them in the holiday mess hustle and bustle.

November saw me reach a major birthday - 60.  Wow, I can't say I'm middle-aged anymore, can I?  Yikes, that sounds so old.  I know it's not really - 60 is the new 50, right??  So, in celebration of my impending decrepitude, DH treated me to a more portable machine than my trusty Bernina.  I was having trouble hauling that hefty girl up and down the stairs and out to sewing/quilting events.  So, she has a new little Brother.  Except maybe it's really a sister, since it's PINK.  I need to go find some purple glittery "bling" to stick on it to mitigate some of that pink, which is not my favorite color . . . I would have preferred purple.  Oh well, I can live with it because I LOVE this little machine!  And it's so light and easy to move.  Now I just need to go to the free class the store offers to learn how to use that nifty needle threader.  I'm starting to feel older just because I'm having so much trouble threading that needle!  Darn tri-focals.

So, just what was I doing in November, besides getting older??  Let's see, we had a pottery show locally, had a birthday High Tea that was so much fun, went shopping (see paragraph above), went to the Puyallup Quilt, Craft and Sew show with a new friend (I behaved myself and didn't buy too much), went to Oregon for a "Pottery Party" that a friend does for us, visited with my sister the rest of that weekend, and then cleaned house like a mad woman and was hostess for Thanksgiving. Whew!  Oh, and last week we got to deal with a big snow fall.  At the end of all the snowfall, we ended up with 8 inches of the stuff!  I did manage to get to the store to buy the turkey etc. for the holiday, right before we got most of the snow.  (A week ago, our low was 8*F.  The pond was frozen until about 2 days ago.)  And our family managed to get here for the big day.  We had lots of fun and food.  It was grand!

Here's what our front yard looked like with all the snow:

Kind of puts you in the Holiday mood, doesn't it?

If you have a spare few minutes this month, here's some quilt photos to peruse when you can.  These are from the East Bay Heritage Quilters quilt show from this spring.  They're in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay area, with about 500 members.  There are about 10 pages of photos, with some truly awesome quilts.  And some fun liberated ones too!

So, now I'm ready to make my Christmas presents.  I'm hoping to be done early with that too.  But what I really want to do is sit and work on some of my quilt projects.  And visit all of your blogs.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I'm Seeing Stars

Here are the crumb blocks I showed you last month, all together in a little quilt top.  It measured about 34 inches by 42 inches, and I got it handed off to someone else in the guild to quilt.  This will be a quilt for an ill child, and I thought it looked nice and cheery.  The binding is hanging next to the right side of the quilt.  I thought the rainbow stripe added a nice finish.  I had my usual math challenge figuring out the side and corner triangles.  I even looked up the formulas in a book, and still had trouble!  But when I finally got it figured out, it worked out perfectly! 

I don't think anyone in the guild had ever seen crumb blocks before . . . they were pretty quiet when I showed the top, like they weren't sure what to think.  I might have to do a little demo.  That would be fun! *grin* 

At my other guild meeting last week, we had Sharon T. as the speaker, and she talked about scrap quilts.  She was a fun speaker, and very informative too.  When she asked how many people in the guild had blogs, I think I was the only one to put up my hand.  Now, was I the only blogger, or the only one crazy enough to admit to it??

You might have noticed that there's a new button on my sidebar.  I periodically check out the block of the month at the Block Lotto blog, and last month they were doing the most wonderful scrappy, wonky stars.  I was curious about the Lotto, and noticed that Belinda (Brown Dirt Cottage) had joined.  So when I asked  her about the Lotto, she urged me to join.  So I did!

It was late in the month when I joined, so I hurried and made some blocks, which were 9 inches finished size.  We were allowed to make 9 blocks, and I managed to get 8 blocks done before the deadline. 

Here's my first batch of stars.

I got a little more adventuresome with the second batch.  I think my favorite is the one on the bottom right, with the dots and the crazy center!

Well, the drawing for the Lotto is on the last day of the month, which was Halloween.  So after all the trick-or-treaters were done, I went up to see who had won all the wonderful stars.  I couldn't believe it, but Belinda and I both won!!  We each will receive 48 star blocks.  What a great Halloween treat!  I've already started getting squishies in the mail, which is very exciting.  And I'm already thinking of what I'm going to do with my treasures!  Thank you, Belinda, for "twisting" my arm!!

Last week we had a few days of beautiful weather, so I had to get out and take some photos of the gorgeous fall colors.  The first two photos were taken in the yard. 

The Japanese maple in the front yard, with the sunlight coming through the leaves.  This tree has made me learn to love red-orange!  It's so glorious to see it out the front window in the morning with the sun on it. 

This is the maple tree in the back yard.  These leaves are about 3 or 4 times the size of my hand!

We had storms this past weekend and, sadly, now almost all of the leaves are on the ground.  It's starting to be pretty cold - down in the 30's at night - and it's been raining for 5 days.  We saw deer in the yard again yesterday, which means they've moved down from the mountains.  I guess it can't be denied now . . . winter is definitely on the way.

This was taken in the state forest about 20 miles from my house, up in the mountains.  We took off one day, just to go see the forest.  After the storms this last weekend, there is snow up there now!  Looks like we timed our little jaunt just right!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Welcome to Indigo Threads!  I hope you enjoy looking around.  A big Thank You to Amy for putting on this wonderful Quilt Festival again . . . it's so much fun to visit all the other bloggers and see all the beautiful quilts.  I would hazard a guess that this is the world's best quilt show you can see without leaving home!  So pull up your comfy chair, grab your beverage of choice and don't forget a few snackies!  Enjoy the show. . . .

"Button, Button"  25 inches high by 29 inches wide

My entry in the Quilt Festival is called "Button, Button", for obvious reasons!  This was my challenge quilt for my local guild this year.

We did a color challenge this year, and we drew paint chips to get our assigned colors.  We had to draw one dark paint chip and one light one.  My paint chips were eggplant and light lilac.  This photo is closer to the true colors than the first one.  These colors were not only difficult to find in fabric, they're tough to photograph and capture the right color.

This idea was one I had sketched out 4 or 5 years ago, and never seemed to get to.  I wanted to practice Lazy Gal Tonya's free-pieced letters (see her book "Word Play Quilts" in my sidebar - due out in December!).  So, I decided to combine the two ideas. 

"Button Button" had some technical challenges to it, and I tried some new things that I thought were successful. 

This quilt was the most letters I've done.  It was challenging and fun.  The letters get easier the more you do them, although I had a little trouble getting them right as I kept confusing where the dark and light fabrics went. *grin*  I'm even pleased with the hardest letter - "W".  And I had to figure out how to do the question mark.  It took two tries to get one that was right, but I'm really happy with it.

I had some difficulty deciding on the border, but finally decided simple was best.  I didn't want anything that would detract from the letters or the buttons.  I kept the quilting simple for the same reason.

The technicalities of how to construct this were interesting.  I put some light interfacing on the borders to help support the buttons, then I quilted.  I ended up putting a false back over the first one that I had quilted through and attached the buttons to - I wanted to hide all those ugly knots.  It worked great!

I added a lot of buttons from my collection, and hardly made a dent in it!  I used mostly buttons that were special to me - from clothes I sewed for me and my children, buttons from my Mom and Grandmother, buttons to signify various places I've lived, and so on. 

This quilt won 3rd place in the Guild's Challenge Reveal, and then won a blue ribbon and Best of Class in the county fair.   That was such a good feeling.  From now on, it will be hanging in my quilt studio for me to enjoy every day.

I hope you'll come back to visit again, but first go enjoy all the rest of the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lack of Focus

No, not the picture.  My brain!
I love these fall colors!  I think it's a wonder that they are all on one bush.

Here is where I found them - in my Japanese Maple in the front yard.  Of course, the sun went away right before I got out there, so it doesn't glow as much as in the sunshine, but still, I think it's beautiful.  This bush just up and changed overnight about 2 days ago.  Amazing.

I've actually managed to get myself into the quilt studio the last few days.  I don't have any particular project that I'm focused on.  Mainly I'm just putzing with a lot of different ones.  These are my house exchange blocks that my friends in California are doing, and were nice enough to include me in the exchange.  This is about 2/3 of what I need - we're supposed to make 12 blocks, enough to make a table runner.  But it seems I always have to do something different, so I'm making 16 blocks to make a wallhanging. 

Here are the other 8 blocks, all ready for me to do the stitching on them.  We don't have to have these done until January, but I'm hoping to have them done before Thanksgiving, if not sooner.  *fingers crossed*

Yesterday when I was trying to get some fabrics cut, Shade was "helping" by dancing right in the middle of it all.  So, rather than cut something that shouldn't be cut, whether fabric or feline, I decided I'd better sit down and do some stitching.  Shade likes to lay on the desk next to me when I'm sewing on the machine.  So, when I sat down, he calmed down.  Not having anything in particular to do, I decided to pull out the crumbs and work on some of that.  I always leave some blocks started, so that there's a starting point when I want to sit and stitch for a few minutes.  It eliminates the "brain strain" that could happen if I have to think about it too much!  *grin*  I got a few more blocks finished.  So, I decided to see how many blocks I had.  I had 57!  The ones that I finished brought it to 60.  They're all trimmed to 6 inches and will finish to 5 1/2 inches.  So, I started playing on the design wall.

I had been thinking of adding sashing, but decided that was more work than I wanted to do for a charity quilt.  Then I thought of putting them on point.  I think I like this.  I can't seem to be able to make up my mind about which fabric to use for the alternate squares, so I think I'll just use plain white.  A nice clean look.  So, now I'm back to cutting more fabric!  But this one should be done quickly.

Guess what?  I still have 40 crumb blocks left!  Quilt seeds!  To be played with and decided on another day.  I need to sort my bin of crumb fabrics too.  I've got too many itsy-bitsy pieces in there, and not enough of the larger pieces.

Last Friday I went to a Quilts of Valor sew-in.  I got one quilt trimmed and ready for binding, but forgot my walking foot. so then I got a kit and started piecing.  This will become a Disappearing 9-Patch.  I've got all the strips sewn and now need to cut for the next step. 

And lastly, I've spent two evenings picking out fabrics for pillowcases for Christmas presents for the family.  I see more fabric cutting in my future!  I hope Shade will cooperate!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not Much Happening. . .

. . . around Haus Indigo lately.  I haven't done much sewing to speak of for a while.  I've been working on my exchange blocks, and I'm about half done with them.  I'll be showing them soon. 

I did manage to finish this little quilt:

This is Boo! # 4 - and the last one.  I think I still have some pumpkin fabric left, but I'm done making these.  I made one for my DDGs, one for my DD, and I gave an unfinished one to Purple Pam a few years ago (in trade for some fabrics, I think).  This one is for me.  I didn't stress over the quilting on this one - I just wanted it done! 

I think I quilted too unevenly.  Now that I have this up in the hallway, it's obvious that it doesn't hang straight at all.  Ooops!

Here is one of the visitors to our bird feeder lately.  This is an Evening Grosbeak.  We've had three of them here in the last few days.  They like to sit in the feeder and hog all the sunflower seeds.  As a matter of fact, the  WhatBird website says these birds have been observed eating 96 sunflower seeds in five minutes.  I believe this, because they are definitely greedy guts birds!  I don't know if they're passing through on their way South, or if they'll be staying the winter.  That may depend on how quickly I keep the feeder refilled!

I've been out in the yard trimming plants and cleaning up.  We had a dry spell for a few days and I thought I'd better take advantage of it.  Here is probably my last geranium bloom for this year.  We've been close to freezing lately, and the geraniums will croak when it does freeze.

I trimmed the hydrangeas back severely, as they were too leggy and were just kind of laying on the ground.  The one outside the kitchen window was over my head and blocking the view from inside the house.  They are mere shadows of themselves now.  I did save this one last blossom.  It was just starting to open.  I think it got confused by the weather.  I also had one blossom pop out on my azalea.  Crazy.

Now that we've had some close-to-freezing temps overnight for a few days and a little rain the last day or so, the trees and bushes are finally starting to show some color.  We'd been just kind of fading into fall - leaves just turning brown and falling.  I think a Fall like that is kind of sad.  So I'm very happy to see the colors.  It always puts me in a good mood.  I love a colorful Fall.  I'm going to try to get some photos in the next few days - when it stops raining, hopefully!

Speaking of colorful . . . 

A week ago I taught a fabric-dyeing workshop for my guild.  I didn't get a large turnout - only 5 people.  But I'm more comfortable with fewer people anyway.  It was kind of difficult, as we were outside and the wind kept getting stronger and stronger.  The paint containers (paper cups) kept blowing over.  (We couldn't find any rocks to put in the cups either.)  I was so excited/nervous to do this workshop that I never got the camera out of my bag, so I have no photos to show you.  But this piece (photo above) is the last piece of fabric we dyed.  It's about a fat quarter in size, more or less, and was a white-on-white.  I just took the last of the dyes and poured them onto the plastic-covered table and started smooshing the fabric on top.  When we used all that up, then we smooshed the paint brushes into the fabric too.  It was a ton of fun, and I think this piece came out the best!  I liked this so much, I think I'll just do this at the beginning the next time I dye!

p.s.  Yay! for the Texas Rangers!  And Go Giants!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today is brought to you by
 the number 10!

This date is so fun I couldn't pass it up.  It just called for a blog post!

It's been so long since I last posted (again), I have too much to show and tell you! 

Yesterday my quilt guild had a progressive lunch, which was a lot of fun.  We went to 3 different houses and had 3 different quilt-related activities or demonstrations.  We had about 12 to 15 people participate, and I think we all had a lot of fun.  And too much yummy food!

At the first house, we had scones, fruit and coffee.  Then we got to dye a silk scarf, with these fun dyes that were new to me.  These dye silk instantly, are non-toxic dyes and need NO heat setting and are permanent while wet.  It was so easy and fun.  Even the people that were a little scared of it were quite successful!

At the second house, J gave a little demonstration of yo-yos and hexagons, as many new quilters had asked her about them.  She was so generous - she had quite a few vintage 1930's Grandmother's Flower Garden units that she had received from a neighbor.  The neighbor had them from her grandmother and didn't want them.  Joanne had made many little projects with the yo-yos and was not going to use the rest.  So, we got to take home the rest! 

I fell in love with the graphic ones first, the ones at the top of this post.  I couldn't pass up that stripe nor the dots!  No one was taking the ones with the cheddar centers, so I took them too.  I think I'll make some small table mats with them.  I've already ironed them and started basting the edges under, which you might be able to see in the right-hand GFG above.

At the last house, we got to play with her long-arm!  I wouldn't call my attempt successful at all.  Oh well.

20 inches wide by 17 inches high
As I promised in my last post, here is the 'sister' quilt to Faultlines.  It remains unnamed, because I can't think of a good name for it!  (any suggestions??)  It was made for the same color challenge.  This is another log cabin, although this is the Courthouse Steps variation. 

This one was harder than it looks!  I have lots of left-over false starts.  This was paper-pieced and I kept getting the fabrics in the wrong place.  It was frustrating, and I sure wouldn't want to do a big quilt in this pattern!  At least not paper-pieced.

In this photo, you can see the quilting design I came up for the border.  Even after something like 10 years, I'm still happy with it! 

I was bothered by the empty white corners, so I decided to put buttons there.  I was inspired by a book on Crazy Quilts by Judith Baker Montano that my DD had.  I had fun doing them all as differently as I could think up!  I also added beads to the buttons.

Here's Shade, playing with his fleece mousie.  He's been begging to play lately, which just amazes me, as he didn't care for a long time.  He cracks me up - he's a goof-ball with his mousie!