The Rabbit: A Retelling

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For your entertainment, this describes what happened at my house last night. My fourteen year old daughter, Natalie, wrote it. I think she's quite talented!

The Rabbit: A Retelling

by Natalie Estes

It was a calm, cool night. I was standing in the backyard, staring at the lightning bugs and wondering what it was like for your own butt to glow. Yes, these were the deep thoughts frolicking between my ears when, suddenly, Cocoa dashed across the yard to the fence. In the corner of my eye, I saw the dark, small shape of some critter dashing along the edge of the fence, Cocoa close at its heels. Then, I watched, horrified yet increasingly interested as Cocoa swept the critter up and into its teeth. I was about to cheer when something in me suddenly objected. I looked closer, and saw that Cocoa had not caught some varmin, that this was not a rat or a mole, but that this was, in fact, a baby bunny rabbit.

Before I could even form words of protest on my tongue, I watched in horror as Cocoa's jaws tightened, and listened to the pitiful last squeals for mercy and freedom the poor bunny cried before, at last, the jaws closed completely and ended its life.

Horrified and shocked, I fled like a deer, galloping over patio furniture and drink coolers to the door. I dashed inside, sliding on the hardwoods but staying upright as I sprinted to my mother's bedroom for answers, comfort, and protection.

I told the tale of what had happened to my slack-jawed mother. She quickly donned the appropriate attire for venturing outdoors- No doubt the neighbors would be drawn to peek over our fence after hearing my cries- and together we returned to the scene of the crime. At some point my curious sister Raegan must've heard our ruckus, because she soon joined us, as well.

Together, we three women ventured onto our lavishly furnished deck, which had been transformed into an outdoor world of death and merciless predators.

We searched the darkening grounds for the offender, and were quick to find her. Staring at us proudly, she held the limp, swaying body of the rabbit in her murderous maw.

The next instant seemed to last a lifetime.

My mother, always calm and collected, squealed not unlike the poor rabbit did in its last moments. Also like the rabbit, she dashes away from the deathly dachshund but, unlike the rabbit, she reached her abode safely. I followed her inside to find her sobbing into her hands.

Feeling as though our roles should be reversed, I consoled my mother until she was calm before returning outside. I stood on the deck, pondering what to do. Raegan hopelessly chased the hound, who, even as she worried deeply for my mother and ran for her life from my sister, still clutched the lifeless kit between her fangs.

This was when my mother, finally recollected, opened the door again.

Cocoa leaps into action. Seeing her chance not only to escape from Raegan, but to see her mother and make sure she was unharmed, Cocoa dashed inside.

My mother's recently-repaired psych shattered. Cocoa, terrified of my mother and no doubt worrying that her recent kill would be taken away, sprinted into her kennel and holed away. Safe for the moment, she began to eat.

I finally decided to ask for guidance from my wise father. I called him, and after a few moments of waiting and listening to the phone ring- meanwhile, my sister began to narrate our dog's meal, "She's torn it in half! It's going everywhere!"- my father answers.

I explained the situation, from the bunny inside the house to my mother's hysterical screaming and sobbing in the living room, and he instructs me what to do. I steel myself, set the phone on speaker and place it on the counter, enlist my sister, and set to work.

We lock the kennel door, entrapping both predator and prey within the confines of the wire shelter. It seemed Cocoa's house of refuge had turned against her, and she began to inhale the rabbit, sensing that the end to her escapades were near.

Together, we carried the kennel out the backdoor- Our mother squeal ed as the cage passed her- and closed the door behind us.

I unlocked the door and tilted the kennel, forcing the dog, after a final chomp, to exit. My sister and I then lifted the kennel and carried it, blood, blankets, and all, to the trashcan. We dumped the entirety of its contents into the disposal bin with relative ease- Our only issue being when the kennel, in a last attempt to resecure its belongings, snagged the edge of the bed, forcing us to dislodge the bed from the kennel's metal claws- before carrying it back, empty, to the deck.

I ventured inside to calm my mother, and give her the news that the rabbit was gone entirely. She seemed comforted slightly by this, but for the most part just worried for the dog. (No doubt this night had tore a permanent rift in their previously near-perfect relationship.) I assured her the dog would be taken care of, as long with the kennel.

I washed the kennel and the dog down with the hose outside (listening to the neighbors laugh at us over the fence) before carrying the dog inside for further scrubbing in the tub. Finally, the dog seemed clean of all remnants of its crime. The situation seemed controlled for the first time

all night, and at lastI permitted myself a laugh. Who else would this happen to but I?


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Cleaning shower glass

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I have tried everything from dawn and vinegar to magic erasers. I've put them all to the test and this one is hands down, the winner! I'm not being compensated by any company or any person for telling you this, it's just something I wanted to share with you... it'll make life a little easier!

Here's the panoramic photo from inside my shower - I can see clearly - not a single water drop and no soap scum around the edges.

Here's the scoop...

Use this soft cleanser on a sponge - work in circles on entire glass surface and then rinse well. You can find these products at Target, of course.

If there's a lot of soap build up - you might have to repeat that last step.

Then, spray the glass with this Rain-x cleaner, rub it in and then squeegee it off.

Dont use your shower for 24 hours.

From this point on, the rain-x will repel water drops and scum. You should repeat the rain-x cleaning monthly.




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Prayer List Printable - July

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Prayer List Printable - July

Another free printable for the Resolution Notebook. 
Simply click on the image and it will take you to the download page.

Here are all of the monthly prayer list printables...

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DIY Sundress

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I made this sundress and have worn it several times now and just love it! I don't have a pattern but I will try to give instructions with photos. Email me if you have any questions. It's a really simple and fast project!

And here I am modeling it with the side slit showing.
FYI... There's a slit on each side.

This is one of my favorite dresses that I used as a "pattern".

Using my old dress, I cut a "FRONT" and "BACK" piece that was about 3/4 inch wider and about 4-5 inches longer (for seam allowances, hemming and top elastic fold over).
I cut them on the fabric fold, as shown.

Then I cut 2 pieces of white fabric (the same size) for lining the dress.

I pinned the front fabric panel to the white lining with right sides facing.

Then I did the same with the back panel.

I sewed them together on all sides except bottom, I left that open. Then, I cut seam allowances and turned them right side out, pushing out the corners.

I placed the front and back sewn panels with right sides facing, then I pinned them. I held up the "dress" to see how high I wanted the slit to go up on the side, then I marked that measurement on both sides.

The next step was to take elastic (measuring 1/2 inch) and wrap it around my chest until it was snug. Measure/wrap where the top of the dress will begin. Then I stitched the ends of elastic together, using a zigzag stitch.

I pinned the elastic into the dress at center points - on the sides and front and back centers and then stitched the pinned areas. I folded over the elastic and hand stitched (using slip stitch) into the lining part of dress only, this way there's no elastic line showing on front of dress.

This next part has no photos and I apologize. I got caught up in sewing and just forgot completely.

I pulled the dress on and marked the place where I wanted the waist to be placed. Then I created two buttonholes at front and center and sewed two parallel lines for the waist tie pocket. Think pole pocket for a curtain panel!

I created a "tie" and threaded it through the belt button holes. I wanted it long enough that I could tie it in a bow.

I put on my favorite wedge sandals that I'd always be wearing with the dress and then pinned it at that hem line. I trimmed the excess fabric and then turned it in and pressed the seam. I stitched closely at the edge. I could've hemmed it the traditional way but this is the way I chose to hem this one.


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DIY Placemat Make-Up Bag

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1. Placemat: I bought this placemat at Target for $3, it measures 14" x 19"

2. Zipper: 14-16 inches



Lay placemat face up - with the short end at the top.

Lay 14-16 inch zipper face down - and pin to place mat as shown. So that right sides are facing (zipper right sides and fabric right sides.

Using your zipper foot on sewing machine, sew zipper where you pinned.

Now, unzip zipper and pin unattached side to the other short end of placemat - as shown in pic. Sew that side.

Leave zipper half way zipped and pin two sides closed, leaving the bag inside-out.

Stitch those two sides. If using a metal zipper stop at zipper and teeth or you'll break your needle. ***If using metal zipper, you'll need to come back and hand tack (sew a few stitches) over this area.***

Trim edge that you just sewed along with the zipper end pieces.

Now, it's time to cut some corners ;)

Measure and square off 1.5 inches in each corner. I used a pen to make marks, then cut those lines.

Now, take the corner and pinch it on sides so that it lays flat - as shown

Sew closed.

Repeat on all corners.

Now, turn your bag right-side-out and poke your corners out.

Your bag is finished.

Tie a pretty piece of ribbon to the zipper.

***Remember to stitch over zipper ends if you used a metal zipper***

This is the other bag I made from a Target placemat...

I made these in 30 minutes!

Happy Sewing!


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Prayer List Printable - June

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Prayer List Printable - June

Another free printable for the Resolution Notebook. 
Simply click on the image and it will take you to the download page.

Here are all of the monthly prayer list printables...

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Prayer List Printable - May

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Prayer List Printable - May

Another free printable for the Resolution Notebook. 
Simply click on the image and it will take you to the download page.

Here are all of the monthly prayer list printables...

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Happy 2nd Birthday & Happy NEW Blog

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April 9, 2014

615,000 PAGE VIEWS

It's hard to believe that two years ago today, I published my first post on Doodles & Stitches!
In some ways, it seems like yesterday 
and in other ways, it feels like this blog has always been a part of me.
I am excited about all the opportunities this blog has afforded me.
I have gotten to work with great people and companies such as…

Home Talk
Shutterly & Tiny Prints
Cafe Press
Me and Mrs. Jones
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint
West End Salvage
...and many more.

I have made great, new friends in the blogging world 
and have been forced to step deeper into the social media world.
I've grown with Pinterest, as it was a new baby when my blog was started.
Over the past two years, I've taken many instructional classes to become a better DIY-er.
I've read and studied and improved… haven't I improved?
I have been featured on many blogs and have joined plenty of link parties.
I've hosted many link parties too.
But mostly I've…
Painted, Sanded, Cut, Sewed, Sawed, Waxed, Stirred, Cooked, Glued, Created 
and then Photographed!
I have learned to photograph in the oddest angles, with my left hand (and I'm right handed), in order to get that "perfect shot" to show you, my reader, just exactly what I was "talking" about.
Now, I'm excited to tell you that some
At 2 years old, changes are happening at Doodles & Stitches.
D & S will continue to be the DIY blog that you love but 
I'm removing the "recipe" portion. 
This doesn't mean that I'm not cooking and sharing recipes anymore.
Quite the contrary!
I LOVE to cook.  
I love exploring and blending flavors.
I love creating new dishes.

Today, I want to introduce you to my new cooking blog…

I hope you'll bookmark it and visit often.
You'll find all my recipes from Doodles & Stitches on the new blog plus many new ones.

Happy Birthday Slice of Sassy!


Happy Birthday Doodles & Stitches!

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