Monday, May 20, 2019

5-20-2019 Monday-11:45am

Good morning!
First of all I have to show you the gift that Connie over at Far Side of Fifty sent to Annie!  A hand made cat bed plus a couple of cat toys!
 Connie has been crocheting nests to donate to animal rehab.  They use them for birds and other small animals, too.  
I had never heard of this and think it is such a marvelous idea.  What a sweet surprise to get a giant one for Annie!!  Thanks so much, Connie!
****
What a busy week...well, for me, anyways.  ;)
****
Monday after blogging I decided to finish the rest of the Julia Cameron book.  I'm doing a lot of "artist's dates" lately, so I just finished the last two chapters of the memoir questions--moving up here to Fargo-Moorhead to go to college, and then being housebound and disabled.  Done!!  Whoohoo!
****
Tuesday afternoon I went down to the historical presentation here in the community room.  A gentleman from the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota gave a slide show and talk about the old streetcar system they used to have in Fargo-Moorhead.  Was very interesting.  Minneapolis-St. Paul (where I'm from) had a streetcar system, too, years ago.
****
Wednesday I made it down for the coloring group.  Kari/Carrie (I really need to find out how she spells her name), the activity director, had forgotten the picture she had been coloring.  Luckily, since she had shown an interest in the zendala templates I had with me last time I participated, I'd brought with examples of how I had finished them and a bunch of extra templates.  
****
 Some of you who have been following the blog for years will remember when I was heavily into zendalas.  Here are some of the before and afters I showed her (and a couple of other ladies).






Sometimes simple and color are all I want to do. 
I don't know why this one is one of my favorites.  Just love all the bright spots of color and it has a kind of tribal look to me.  I gave Carrie the template to play with... 
...and, of course, had an extra pen and 6-inch ruler she could borrow--LOL!  So she started on her introduction to zendalas!  Next time I'll bring my zentangle binder to show her that's filled with tangle examples.  ;)
****
Carrie is really into crafts, too.  After the coloring group she had to walk around to put a flier on everyone's door and was coming to mine as I was coming back from checking my mail--so I invited her in to peek at my studio and all our art & craft supplies.  She loved it so much she asked if she could take pictures--LOL!  And when Leah and I finally do downsize she would love to go through anything we want to get rid of--which is marvelous!  Either she will use it herself or use it for her job with seniors.  Awesome!  Incentive for us.  A lot of places that take donations don't seem to want art or craft supplies especially if they've been opened or used--like paints or glues, for example.  You'd like to find a place where they'd be appreciated.  Not that we will have all that much we can part with.  (Sorry Marie Kondo--it all gives us joy...or might give the boys joy...so we're having to part with joy--LOL!)
****
 Then Thursday night Leah came over for Craft Nite.  But she didn't work on Christmas cards because she had an idea to make sets of Thank You cards to give as teacher gifts to Ian's two teachers.  It's his last week this week!
****
You may remember when Ian and I played with the gelli plate one day using stencils and such.  Well, Leah took those papers Ian made and cut them up into squares to tape behind this three circle die she cut into the left side of the white card stock.  Then she cut out the matching green thank you die and glued it to the front on the right side.  
She got that far, but didn't finish taping the white fronts on to the green card bases.  She's coming by tonight to finish them off.  And Ian had a part in the artwork!!  Leah comes up with such clever ideas.  :)
****
Then Friday early evening McFamily was on a walk and Leah stumbled across a garage sale with a TON of mounted rubber stamps for sale.  She was texting me pictures while I ate dinner...until we finally decided it would be easier for her to come over and pick me up.  So, I unexpectedly went to a garage sale and had a visit with McFamily afterwards!  Got to read Ian a couple stories before bedtime :)
****
We got 29 stamps for $20.  
Quite a bargain!  Whoohoo!
****
On Friday a splurge item arrived, too.  Platinum has come out with three less expensive roller ball maki-e pens.  I've been looking at the one with Mt. Fuji and the cranes...
...and Amazon had it cheaper than anywhere else I could find online.
I LOVE IT!!
So, if you get a letter from me with plain old blue or black gel ink and I tell you I am using my fancy maki-e pen...sorry...the joy is all on the writer's end--LOL!
****
Then on Saturday it was Gramma Day and Ian had both lunch and dinner here.  We cuddled up and watched some Thomas The Train.  I was so exhausted after my busy week I was in bed by 8:15pm!  Me!  Slept for 12 hours and had a pajama day yesterday--LOL!
****
Was a chilly, rainy week with scattered sunshine.  I think we were supposed to be down to 32 degrees last night, but it is 60 right now.  Basically expecting 60s all week and more rain.  I plan to be busy with the second set of 3-tree Christmas cards at some point.  Caroline comes to clean on Tuesday and we have a coloring day again on Wednesday.  I hope I can get as much done this week.  :) :)
****
Another week has flown by.  All the rain is greening up the place.  Oh, and I've been watching Game of Thrones--am two episodes away from the final season!!  Maybe get finished with that this coming week, too.  The final episode aired last night, I believe.  Now if I can just not hear any spoilers in the meantime--LOL!
****  
See you next week!!
****
"Patience is not just the ability to wait, 
it's how we behave while we're waiting."
Joyce Meyer

Monday, May 13, 2019

5-13-2019 Monday-11:30am

Good morning!
Was a busy week.  We did have some sunshine here and there, which was nice.
I woke up on Tuesday to find that Bubbles (maybe the 16th or 17th--had so many Bettas I lost count) had finally died.  He'd amazingly hung in there all these many months lying about on the silk plants and struggling to swim very far.  He'd seemed happy, though, until the last couple days when he laid on the bottom gravel and wouldn't come up to eat...so I knew his days were numbered.
****
I am taking a fish break.  Cleaned the bowl and plants--packed up the fish stuff bin--and hauled it all out to the garage for now.  Which meant I could move the old Underwood typewriter into Bubble's spot by the printer in the bedroom.
Which meant I could spread out the flowers by the window.
****
I spent a couple of days filling out forms and making copies.  Had verification copies to make and paperwork to fill out for federal housing, lease renewal, Real ID driver's license, commodities, etc.  Digging out birth certificate, marriage license (to prove name change), on and on.  But all that was completed, mailed, or turned in.  Except that I need to call for an appointment for my Real ID...if they'll let me renew my driver's license this late.  Either that or I'll get a North Dakota picture ID, I suppose.  I drive so rarely anymore, anyways--haven't had a car for years.   
****
  Anyways, this is what I did all week while re-watching Game of Thrones.  I finally used the border stamp set I got a few months ago to stamp on the sides of some sheets from a Rhodia writing tablet.  Not exactly fancy stationery, but it was fun. 
I'm not used to using such a long skinny stamp and messed up quite a bit until I got the hang of it. 
I love those new little ink pads!  They don't bleed through the paper...but...I discovered with the first batch I did previously that they do take a long time to dry so stacking immediately isn't a good idea--LOL!   This time I made more and spread them out to dry for quite a while before I stacked them up.
Just a touch of something a little springy for a few letters. 
Annie kept me company last week as I worked at the table filling out forms, stamping, and... 
...working on the Christmas cards. 
After adding the thinner double sided tape around the outside edges... 
...I taped the fronts on to all the cards.
Then, since we had the green plaid rectangles already cut out for the inside, I taped all those on the inside of the cards.  Our sample card is to the left there.  All we have left to do is stamp the inside sentiment in red on white card stock, cut those out, and tape them on top of the green plaid rectangles. 
I'm leaving that part up to Leah so that I can get started on the alternate set of three-tree cards that will be three green plaid trees inserted into a white background for the front.
****
With all the drizzly rain we've been having the grass has gotten so green! 
Enough to mow for the first time this year!  Another sure sign of spring--fresh cut grass!
****
I still chop up bread heels really small when I have them for the birds.  Toss it out in the grass and they come to feast, of course.  But they all come for drinks and baths, regardless as to whether there is food out there or not.  The robins and mourning doves especially love to bathe.
****
Gramma Day got switched to Sunday this weekend because they were all at a birthday party on Saturday.  Ian said he wanted to come for lunch and dinner and stay till dark--LOL!  (A little difficult to do when your bedtime is 7pm now that the sun is up longer and longer.)
****
Ian and I had one of our very long lunches at the table with the laptop...watching videos...which we never know where that will lead--LOL!  We forget to eat--ROFL!  This time we were watching a video of these two guys on a canoe trip in the wilderness in Sweden...which lead to a discussion about digging holes to poop in and never leaving a trace of trash behind...which got me wondering if you could bury the toilet paper in your poop hole...so we googled it.  You can if the ground is moist enough for the paper to decompose, but not in land that is sandy, rocky, or dry.  Which then led to introducing Ian to outhouses (googled pictures) and tales of visiting Bill and Helen Horsma on their farm in Minnesota that had no indoor plumbing when I was a girl.  How scary it was to take that long walk to the spiderwebby outhouse in the daytime, let alone at night!  A smelly outhouse was choice spider real estate due to the massive fly population.
****
Horsmas did have a kitchen sink pump  besides the yard pump, though (googled pictures).  Got to talking about olden days before people had bathrooms inside...and googled pictures of tin bathtubs.  Told him how they had to boil water from the pump to make hot water for the tub and the whole family bathed the same night one after the other...which led to the saying "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" and what that meant about double-checking and being careful.
****
Which led to talking about how instead of a bath or shower Horsmas had a sauna...and how you filled up the room with steam tossing water onto the hot rocks on top of the wood stove (googled pictures, of course--hard to find the old kind).  How you got clean by sweating...and how we dared to run all the way back to the farmhouse in our bare feet through the snow!  Not brave enough to roll naked in the snow as we heard some Swedes did--no way!  Barefoot was cold enough in your damp clothes in a Minnesota winter.
****
I showed him another video of a lady hiking the Appalachian Trail...and we talked about how you had to carry everything in a giant backpack.  No canoe to store your gear.  They have the open shelters like the canoe guys had...but some of the shelters on the AT have outhouses, too.  And we talked about how they have to hang their food up in the trees at night to keep them away from bears, raccoons, skunks, and whatever other hungry critters are around.
****
When we finally finished lunch Ian wanted to watch Our Planet.  So we finished up the last two episodes.  Were just starting to watch some of his favorite show, PJMasks, before dinner when--surprise!  Dagan, Leah, and Liam arrived with dinner from Subway for Mother's Day!  (Ian wasn't too happy about his Gramma time being usurped at first--LOL!)  I got another Baker Nursery gift card and a couple of these kind of forever spiral notebooks to use with FriXion pens.  
 
Kind of plasticy pages that the FriXion pens can easily be erased on over and over and over and it won't ruin the paper.  And you can just dampen the grey cloth and even wipe the whole page clean just like that if you wanted to!  Comes with the cloth and a FriXion pen.  
Leah and I love our FriXion pens.  It's all I use in my bullet so I can erase mistakes and changes in plans.  :)
****
Leah thought (since I've been saying for years that I need to go through my terribly messy password notebook and rewrite it all after I check what is even valid anymore--LOL!) that I could use the black one for that.
****
And then I have an ongoing Leah List I am constantly rewriting and scribbling things off...so the red one could be my new perpetual Leah List.  :) :)
****
So, we ate dinner and then Dagan found the new season two of PJMasks on youtube so we watched a brand new episode Ian hadn't seen yet.  (Netflix only has season one.)  Ian sat with me in my chair and Liam (who also loves PJMasks but is still leery of Gramma) sat on the small tan recliner and was as glued as Ian.  Then they packed up and went off home.
****
I called my mom for Mother's Day.  She had been out to dinner with my sister and family on Saturday and my brother and family Sunday, so she had an entire Mother's Day weekend and sounded very happy!  She likes her new place.  Plays cards twice a week, goes to church on Sundays to Blaine and Kathy's church (same one where us three kids were all confirmed Methodists long ago), and gets regular visits from family.  She says that's been plenty for her to keep busy.  She doesn't even get down very often to play Bingo.  Says she's getting lazy--LOL!  (Maybe content is more like it.)  
****
Let's see--what else?  I did another chapter in the Julia Cameron book.  I went through my years working two jobs in a senior condo complex in Minneapolis.  Worked days (several jobs) in the office and was also living there as the overnight live-in emergency response person (for a free apartment).  Averaged 124 hours a week between the two jobs.  (Ended up with mono--LOL!)  Loved my 150 people.  They were like a big extended family.  Several of them wrote to me for 8-12 years after I moved and one lady called once a year after Christmas, too, for a good decade.  In the meantime I was also studying Healing Touch at St. Catherine's University, in a Woman's Spiritual Group in Minneapolis, and did volunteer energy work at a couple of churches.  Busy times!  Hard to believe I used to be an energizer bunny type person.  How life changes.  :)
****
I have two more chapters to go in the book--TaDa!  I may be slow, but I can be persistent--LOL!
****
Oh, I popped in to the Coloring Group last week, but didn't stay to color this time.  There were three ladies that time besides the girl from the office.  Nice!  This week I will try to make it down for the historical presentation and the Coloring Group.  :)
****
Down to only season 6 and 7 of Game of Thrones to re-watch before I start on the final season.  Plugging away.  Just as good the second time!  :)
****
Today--doing laundry, as usual.  A bit slower moving than normal, but feeling okay.  Annie is sleeping in the chair next to me--much like her above photo.  ;)  Suddenly it is 70 degrees today!  Beautiful.  Sun is shining.  Breezy, but not windy like it usually is.  Gorgeous day to read on the patio later, I think.
****
Hope you have productive but calm days ahead.
Till next week...  ;)
****
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
Desmond Tutu

Monday, May 06, 2019

5-6-2019 Monday-1:30pm

Good afternoon, everybody!
We've had quite a few days that looked like this with light rain or without.  The sun has peeked out here and there, too, but been a lot of chilly damp days.  
My headset came... 
...but I haven't figured out how to use it yet. 
Been either wet or cold out, anyways, so I haven't been out on the patio.  Been busy, though.  I worked on the Christmas cards while re-watching Game of Thrones from the beginning before I see the final season.  (Yes, am really doing that.) 
I finished setting in the trees using the wide carpet tape... 
...and then put double-sided narrow tape around the outside edges. 
And I finished them all!!  
Next is taping them onto the card base. 
****
On Thursday I went down the the Community Room for a Coloring group.  Yup!  Even though it was at 10am, I made it.  (Mornings are generally my thawing out time so I got up early.)  Was only the activity director, Kari (not sure how she spells it) and one other lady, but the place got busy due to Meals on Wheels people showing up for lunch.  I ended up chatting with Kari for quite a bit and really like her.  
****
I was impressed that they have some events I actually want to go to this month.  Coloring group three more times, two historical presentations, a DNA activity (?), a Do Something Nice Day, a day to bring in donations (like a give-away for anyone here and anything left over is going to somewhere like Goodwill) followed by Drink a Coke time, and a Creativity Day.  I will check out any of those I can.
****
They also have the usual Bingo, Birthday Party Day, morning coffee group, movies a couple of days (I have already seen every one of them so far--LOL!), our two regular library days, and a senior walk day.  They made May baskets and dog treats last week.
****
I am really surprised that this is all coming from Goldmark.  Shocked, actually.  Their reputation has been soooo bad up here in the Fargo-Moorhead area for decades...but I have to admit I am impressed that they are really trying.  Managing apartments for old people must be lucrative--LOL!  ;)  I'll let you know how it goes as I check some of these things out when I am able to go down.
****
Speaking of old people--ROFL!--my mom is doing really well in her new apartment.  She loves walking around the pond outside.  They have mallards (likely nesting) and she can buy corn at the front desk to feed them.  She can hardly wait until they plant flowers.  We have a couple more weeks before we can do that up here.
****
Caroline brought my groceries on Friday so the larder is full again.  Always nice.  :)
****
Dagan had his checkup (heart/pacemaker) in Minneapolis last week and everything checked out fine!  They have to order for delivery on a bed for Liam because it won't fit in the car, so they'll order mine at the same time.  
Nope--not telling.  ;)
****
Ian was over for a longer Gramma Day Saturday.  He wanted to eat dinner here, too.  :)  At lunch he showed me his spork and spork holder he uses for school.  There's a smaller kids' one and an "adult" one inside the holder.  This one in his right hand is the adult spork, he told me, because it has a small serrated "knife" on a side tine of the fork end.
After lunch we opened up one of the three craft kits Tori sent Ian from England months ago.  (Yup--was a long winter and, believe it or not, Ian and Mama are sick again, too!)
With this kit there were two dragonflies and a bee to make from clothespins, foam, beads, pipe cleaners, etc.  Ian really enjoyed it!
Working on the bee antennas.

Finished, but still wet, bee.
(Still think it looks more like a butterfly.)
I drew in some white lines for Ian so he'd have something to follow to make the glitter glue stripes.  We used an old paintbrush dipped in water to spread around the glitter glue better because it was harder to do with just the plastic nozzle.
****
 Then he worked on the dragonflies.  Decoration for those was easier--just foam stickers in shapes.
Ian...confessing to me he could only watch nature shows with me and not any PJMasks because he had a temper tantrum in IKEA. 
 
Finished dragonflies.
We split a blueberry bagel after we finished crafting, but Ian wanted me to take a video of the finished dragonflies.

You can hear that cough again.  Mama doesn't sound good, either.  When will it warm up here and they can all get well and stay well!  Good grief!  :(
****
Anyways, we had a great time.  Thanks Tori! 
**** 
Didn't finish the crafting till 4pm, watched the last episode of the The Deep Ocean, had dinner, and when Dagan came to pick him up it was already bedtime!
****
Okay--this is something really silly!  I was watching a video from Jerry's Artarama where this guy, Mikey, was trying to paint along with Bob Ross...and, since I had done this once myself, I was cracking up through the entire video!  If any of you have ever tried following Bob Ross you would really get a kick out of this video.

Bob Ross makes it all look so easy!  It's not.  He is much more talented than people give him credit.  I had all the right supplies, but not his easel.  I would watch a little, pause the VHS (yes, it was back in 2001, I think), and try to do what Bob did (which I couldn't, either).  Very frustrating, yes.  I was laughing and giggling--sent the link to Dagan and Leah because we have tried painting together with acrylics (not Bob Ross, but acrylics are almost as difficult for me as oils).
****
Leah sent me a photo of the Bob Ross painting I did!  I was going to throw it away and I forgot that Dagan wanted to keep it.
So, that's my Bob Ross attempt--LOL!  It resides at McFamily's in a hallway upstairs, I believe.  Rigid triangle mountains and sad trees, not happy trees--ROFL!  Maybe some day I will try again.  It was frustrating but it was still fun.
****
Earlier this morning Leah was texting me because Costco had flowers for sale again--8 for $27.99!    I wanted red ones!  She dropped them off for me and I have them on the curio cabinet in my bedroom like I did last year.  Got four red geraniums and four red begonias.  Whoohoo!

So nice to see flowers...even if it is still too cold to plant them.  I will tend to them the next 2-3 weeks until we can plant them on the patio.  
****
I'll leave you with Annie checking out her new cat toys.  
****
Fact--I can't get down on the floor and dig out the toys from under the chairs, cabinets, and end tables so I have to wait for someone to come over who can do the hunt for me.  I put out a few at a time and when they disappear I put out a few more...but when they have all disappeared and there are no more Annie gets upset with me.  I end up trying to swipe out what I can with a yard stick and usually only get one or two.  (She plays very aggressively and they end up way in the back.) 
**** 
So, I finally ordered a bunch of new cat toys.

Four more new toys came on Sunday!  Annie is one happy cat.  :)  She hunkers over them so that I can almost imagine her saying--"My Precious!"  She's exhausted herself this weekend.  Is snoring away next to me right now.  Didn't even wake up when I went to finish laundry.
****
Well, that's it for this week.
♭ ♭ Happy trails to you...
till we meet again.  :) :)
****
"The greatest surprise is that there is anything at all--that we are here."
Br. David Steindl-Rast

Monday, April 29, 2019

4-29-2019 Monday-1pm

Good afternoon!
Monday again already and almost the end of April!  They just got snow to the west of us, but we mostly got rain here and missed another April blizzard.  ;)  Springs are unpredictable.
****
I haven't slept in my bed for so long that Annie thinks it's... 
...her own personal giant-sized cat bed--LOL!
And--no--I haven't touched the clothes bins yet.  It got cold again.  We got rain and a little sleet during the night--or mini hail.  There was something pattering on the AC in the dark and I could see a little white on the grass.  Yup--been up most nights still.  But earlier in the week I was out every afternoon reading on the patio--even if I had to wear my hooded lined sweatshirt to do it--LOL!  ;)
****
Leah came over Tuesday night to finish off making her invitations.  AND she came back Thursday night, too, since they are going to Minneapolis for Dagan's checkup Wednesday (heart/pacemaker) and she won't be over for a Craft Night this week.  She did cut my hair--tada!  We've been trying to arrange the hair cutting since at least Christmas, so that tells you what kind of winter we've had--LOL!  
**** 
Meanwhile, I've been working on the Christmas cards!  Finally!  Well, one set.  We really want to get ahead of the game again.  I am using my last set of birthday cards this year, too.  Leah and I discussed plans for the alternate set of three-tree cards--which I'll start next after I finish these.  :)  Obviously we don't want to send them one year right after the other.  We have plans for more sets, of course.
****
 With this set--first I am taking double-sided carpet tape to set the three white trees into the three tree hole in the plaid background.
This particular carpet tape is black. 
I saved all those little pieces between the trees, separated them, and now am popping them back into the holes.  The plaid isn't going to match, but it's good enough. 
So this is what my table has looked like off and on this past week. 
I am almost done with this part.  We're making about 90, but need to double check and do some counting.  Could be we need a few more.  :) 
Annie keeps me company, but she finds card making quite boring--LOL! 
****
I got pictures from Leah!!
Easter family photo--with Blink (not really cooperating)...
...and without Blink.  :)
Liam is getting so big already!
He and Ian both have the straight hair in front and curls in the back--LOL!
Ian is still insisting he wants to grow his hair long.  Their fine hair gets all frizzy almost magically and sticks straight out from the back of their heads.  You can wet it down and an hour later--frizz. 
Leah found out she can put a little gel in and then the curls will stay! 
Well, mostly she does Ian's.  Liam's hair is shorter and he's not old enough to insist on growing it out--ROFL!  ;)  
****
These pics were funny!
Ian helping Liam who wanted to get on the roller skates... 
...briefly!  LOL! 
Notice how big Phil is!
I haven't shown you Baby Phil for quite a while.
He's doing quite well, too.  
****
And you might remember the little baby spider plant that Leah's sister sent up to me from Mpls?
When we plant flowers this spring Spidey needs to be re-potted, too.  ;)  The other plants in the blue planter under the light are catnip.  Annie LOVES me to snip off pieces for her.
****
Last Thursday Leah was shocked when she heard this happen on the side of the house! 
The neighbors have this pile of big rocks for landscaping in their yard...and the company was there to mow and fuss about for spring... 
...when the mower must have hit a rock in the lawn and hurled it over to smash their window!  The workmen said to go ahead and have it repaired and then send the bill to the company.  Luckily it only broke the outside pane of the double-pane glass window--whew! 
But you think--what if the kids had been out playing in the yard or if anyone got hit by a big flying rock.  Goodness!  You don't think of lawn mowing as being that dangerous.  Seems kind of early for mowing in the first place, doesn't it?
****
Man, it was such a fast week. 
**** 
Since McFamily is going to Minneapolis and will stop at IKEA with their now larger vehicle...there just might be something new over here in the near future.  Just saying.  ;)  There have been measurements and discussions.  Always exciting!
****
I'll leave you with a couple pictures of Liam examining their Dyson. 
He seems to be taking after his Mama.
Wants to know how everything works. 
And Leah told me that she was also a fearless mad climber, too!
****
Well, the mourning doves are cooing.  Annie is sleeping in her chair next to me.  Clothes are rolling about in the dryer.  It's a dark, drizzly day--high of 45 degrees (7.2 C) and a low tonight of 31 degrees (-0.6 C).  I just asked Alexa--LOL!  But as soon as it is dry and halfways warm I shall be out reading on the patio some more.  And when it warms up I will be more motivated to use my spoons to "marikon" all my clothing instead of using them up working on Christmas cards--ROFL!  Every day I have to check spoon level and make priority decisions.  ;)  
****
Have a wonderful, wonderful week, everybody!  Use your spoons wisely.  Till next time.  :) :)
****
"In truth, the heart must crack open if the soul is to become free.  And you simply cannot think your way into that."
Terry Patten