Local notes on quilts, dogs, pears and more

Mooreen Morris of Soroptimist International of Hood River writes:

“The lucky winner of the 2013 Harvest Quilt was Jean Hoodman of Forest Grove.

“I want to thank everyone for their help and support in promoting the 2013 Harvest Quilt. The businesses involved: Waucoma Bookstore, Curves and Hood River Sew & Vac. You can’t have a piece of art like a handmade quilt without the talent of the quilters — so a big thank you to everyone involved in making the quilt and, of course, the Columbia River Gorge Quilters Guild and E.T.C. (Every Thread Counts) in Hood River.

“A big thank-you to the staff at the Chamber for all of their assistance; for understanding what the tradition of the Harvest Quilt is in the valley and also for allowing us to be part of the Harvest Fest. I really don’t know how they pulled off such great weather for the Harvest Fest, but I know that it made the entire weekend a huge success.

“Soroptimist Int’l of Hood River had the privilege of escorting the quilt around the Gorge in the past months. We were fortunate enough to make over $2,500 to help further the education of women and girls in the area.

“The 2014 Harvest Quilt is in its beginning stages so if you are interested in participating stop by E.T.C. for all the information.”

Jennifer Clark and Jim Patterson, of Hood River, write:

“This letter is about a dog named Fuji.

“He was rescued after years of appalling abuse and neglect. (If you Google “Fuji Hood River dog” you will find his picture and story.)

Our family adopted him a little over a year ago after reading about him in the paper. He was old, had some health problems and had been available for adoption for many months. We thought of it as a kind of service project; something we could do for an unfortunate being that had nothing to give in return.

We were so wrong.

It took several months, but somewhere along the way, he shed his past.

He learned to trust us. His chronic health issues resolved. He learned to play and to rest with ease. He found his voice (after months of unnatural silence, ingrained in him by the abuse that he endured).

He wasn’t perfect. He couldn’t see very well; he couldn’t hear; he was terrified of lightning and the flash of a camera. He had a loud, irritating bark. He was always underfoot; he harassed our cat; he grabbed treats with such gusto that we had to use a spoon lest we lose a few fingers.

Yet he was the most endearing, lovely, sweet, tolerant and patient dog we have ever known.

Whether you are looking for a pet or already have a few, consider adopting a homeless animal. It’s a bit of a gamble. You might get one that has annoying qualities or behaviors. But you are also likely to get an animal that will blossom once they have the security of a home where they are taken care of.

You might get lucky and have your life changed by an animal like Fuji, whose resilience amazed us every day.

He was open to the possibility of good things, despite his wretched past. It was such a pleasure to watch him enjoy his life.

Fuji died earlier this month. He gave us much more than we gave him.

We want to say thank you to all the people who helped him along the way: the folks who rescued him from his terrible life, animal control and law enforcement, Hood River Adopt A Dog, his foster parents, many veterinary professionals, and interested community members.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Laura Makepeace. Her skill, creativity and enduring compassion make this world a better place.

The Gorge Windbags Toastmasters Club received this update from South Africa from club member Doug Newcomb:

“Fellow ‘bags, Greetings from South Africa, where I just delivered the keynote for the Car Conference 2013 at the Johannesburg Auto Show. The 45-minute presentation — which some of you witnessed a rough version of earlier this year (and which I recycled and retooled for this event) — was VERY well received.

“Great experience, beautiful country and I can say I went the distance to deliver a speech.

“Hope to see you soon.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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