Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday-1:30pm

Today is International Typewriter Day!
Never knew there was a day for typewriters, did you?
I bought this old Underwood manual typewriter several years ago because it was very similar to the typewriter I learned to type on in the basement when I was a teenager.
Why did I buy it when it is so difficult to type on?  
(Especially with a bum arm-LOL!)  
Nostalgia.  
Just nostalgia. 
Even though we were only allowed three errors (corrected with white out) on assignments before it would effect our grade so I was, therefore, often up late smacking away at those keys retyping almost complete pages because I didn't want my typing to be the cause for a lower grade and took my writing assignments very seriously--I still love an old Underwood.  
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There's a clacking-dinging-sliding rhythm to the old typewriters.  I still love that sound.  I am glad I have my Underwood now so that Ian will know it one day, too.  So--Happy Typewriter Day!!
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I made it out to the garage--LOL!
You can see all the furniture they use for ValleyCon--a bar, tables, benches... 
...and on top of my car is a StarGate that goes around the doorway to their suite entrance (really cool). 
The Paseo isn't gong anywhere at the moment, let alone traveling through a StarGate to another world...since it can't even be charged with a charger--ROFL!
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I had this idea to try to put some water out for the birds and Little Buddy.  I took the old green kitty litter tray and filled it with an ice cream pail of water...but it scared them all to death, I guess. 
So, the next day I brought the tray back in and rinsed it out.  Karma jumped inside, of course. 
Don't worry.  It was only actually used for kitty litter briefly once when Karma was a kitten.  She was much too violent a digger for such a small litter pan.  But I kept it and have used it for various craft projects ever since.  Sadly, it did not work out for critter water, though.  Maybe it was the dark color or the size?
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Anyways, Leah came over for crafts Monday night and we got a lot done!  We filled both the black table... 
...and the art table by the window... 
...with the Christmas ornament stamped fronts.   
See them shine like they are actual glass?  We put some old 3D Lacquer (used it up finally!) and some Glossy Accents on each of the ornament balls.  They take a long time to dry so they sat overnight...with the door shut to keep cat and cat hair away--LOL!
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We also experimented and decided on how to embellish the other card fronts.  They were difficult to get in a photo--but the bigger birthday cake one will have some shimmer... 
...and the crazy cat one will have some puffy frosting on the top of the cake. 
These Japanese pens are fun to play with.  You draw on the color... 
...and then use a heat gun to puff it up. 
A bit tricky.  A lot depends on how much "ink" you put on the paper and then how long you heat it.  No two will look alike, that's for sure--LOL!  But it will be fun when we get to that part.
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Was hot and sticky.
Karma remained at her critter post. 
[When I took the picture and talked nice to her she started "petting herself" on the rug.  She's a sucker for my sweet talk.] 
Finally yesterday it was only warm and half-sticky...so I opened the place up. 
Karma was extra happy. 
She likes to be able to hear her CatTV full blast with smell-o-vision!
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I did take a picture of another happy mail surprise gift and took videos of the critters on the patio this morning--but they haven't yet arrived into DropBox.  Could be my sketchy internet since that was hours ago.  If I ever can get a hold of them, you'll see them.
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Oh, and I had hoped to catch both Little Buddies--yes, I saw one chase another one away this morning.  No such luck.  Only one at a time.  But now I might have to call our little ground squirrel friends something else, eh?
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The Internet is better and worse and then better.  Frankly, I haven't felt up to dealing with it yet.  I'm far too cranky when it comes to techie stuff right now and I don't want to be an unnecessarily cranky customer.  It's not that bad...yet.  I have just had my fill of technical issues.
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Because I've also been dealing with my touchy, lazy HP printer.  Just trying to print off my bank statement so I can balance my checkbook has become a complete ordeal--for months.  Both Dagan and Leah have tried to help me with it.  *sigh*  
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I spent an hour yesterday struggling with McLap (who has to be plugged in directly or the HP printer will not acknowledge her existence).  Also trying with the HP laptop--which will occasionally work with the printer wirelessly like it is supposed to...but not yesterday.  The printer did tell me once that my yellow ink cartridge was past the expiration date.  But that's the new one I just put in a while ago that Leah got for me at Costco.  I got all the colors and two big blacks--and now they might all be out of date and my printer won't let me use them?!  AWK!!  I am not sure if that is the real issue or not because my printer has never, shall we say, liked working.  It is quite the slacker.
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Oh, and to get a statement sent to you in the mail from my bank these days--they charge a fee!  *sigh*
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Meanwhile, I am still trying to get used to this new system on McLap, the HP microsoft laptop, and now a new cell phone.  My foggy brain is on overload--ROFL! 
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So, if they are all irritating me too much...I shall read and write letters and put some sparkle on card parts...and wait until my tech support arrives.  Leah might be here Monday for crafts again.  ;) ;)
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I just make a copy of anything I dare try to post or send (like this blog post), click, and pray.  Have a super weekend, everybody!!  :) :)
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“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 
Confucius

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday-10:30am

Goodness!  
Been over a week!  
Well, this time--gratefully--it was because I was busy!  I've given up expected to stay well so I just decided to start getting as much done as possible as soon as I begin to feel halfways decent again.  But before I show you what I've been doing I want to show you the art surprises I got in the mail!
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The one with the cats on the left is a beautiful handmade multi-media postcard from Deb Terry (jinxxxygirl) over at Learning To Just Breathe.  Came through the mail without being damaged at all!  On the right...well, believe it or not, that was an envelope made out of watercolor paper that came from Desi over at Pieceful Art...which also made it through the perils of the post office in perfect condition.  I carefully trimmed the rest of the square envelope away and have a stunning watercolor painting to keep.   
Such artistic blogger friends I have, eh?  
Thanks so very much, ladies!
Snail mail rules!!
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Since I started feeling well enough to get something done Karma has had to struggle to sleep through my activities.  I have been encroaching on her 16 hours of beauty sleep--LOL!
Okay, last Monday night Leah made it over for crafts and we decided to just play with paints!  Such a fun relaxing night. 
We were just slapping paint on stickers.  I had more writing prompt stickers to color and also took some regular avery stickers of different sizes to paint that I can then use in my journals to write or draw on.
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We also experimented with embellishments on the Christmas ornaments stamps.  
We have decided which way to go with them and will be working on those now tonight.  Sweet!
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An old sheet works great on the floor to lay out all the sticker sheets to dry.  Of course as soon as Leah left you-know-who had to go lay on them.  
Who me?
Luckily they were dry enough by that time that she didn't end up being Rainbow Karma--LOL! 
The Midco Tech guy never did give me a call-back.  The internet has been okay and then not okay...but over the weekend was just fine.  I have hesitated to call back...kind of like when your car makes strange noises for you but not when you decide to bring it in.  Since it has been better lately I'm waiting to see how it goes.
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Frankly, I've just been busy all week trying to get things done while I felt better.  Make hay while the sun shines, eh?  :) 
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Karma has been busy keeping an eye on Little Buddy.
We've been closed up with the AC on--80s and 90s and even the couple of days it was a little cooler the humidity was like 80-90%--awk!  Until today!!  
Oh--and for the very first time since we moved here in August Miss Karma finally decided to use the other recliner.  Not sure why she wouldn't before.  Karma logic, as you know, is a complete mystery. 
But--she's still usually in her favorite spot in the chair next to me at the kitchen table... 
...where she is right this moment as I am typing away.
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Well, since I felt halfways decent this past week I FINALLY attacked some projects that have been on my list since I moved!  (So you know that when I AM well I am feeling better and have more energy!) 
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I didn't get a before picture, but you see that EMPTY letter tray on top of the wire drawers...well, paperwork was smashed in so tight between that and the shelf that I could barely get one more sheet in there.  I had not filed any paperwork whatsoever since I moved!!
[An aside for those pen folks:  In the bottom wire drawer you can see an old padded box cover that I lined with felt.  That is where I keep all my currently filled fountain pens.  Four more of them were out on the table when I took this picture.] 
Anyways, not that you can actually see much of anything after my two days of work--but the desk files are all done--sorted, organized, old files out, new files made...ahhhh!   
Then on Wednesday Leah and Ian came to spend the whole afternoon!  Ian has a hard time concentrating to eat lunch over here because Gramma's place is just too exciting.  (Or Gramma is maybe too animated--LOL!)  We watched more episodes of Africa with David Attenborough on Netflix.  Ian showed me how he has learned to jump with both feet now.  And the afternoon was also too exciting for Gramma to remember to take pictures--LOL!!
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I then worked on another project I had been waiting to feel well enough to accomplish...moving around and reorganizing some things in the kitchen.  Got that done, too!!  TaDa! 
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On Saturday McFamily was finally able to borrow a friend and his truck to help move the ValleyCon furniture over here to store in my garage.  I haven't been out there yet but I do have a big project waiting for me in the garage, too.  
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I have been putting things out there for Freecycle all winter and have things I don't need here at the new place, too, that never came inside in the first place.  Sorting through it all and writing down all of it to put in a whole series of ads in Freecycle has felt totally overwhelming.  
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But I just realized yesterday that it would be soooooo much easier to just donate it all at once to New Life.  Duh!!  I really have been foggy brained--good grief!  I've donated to New Life several times over the years.  They help homeless people get back on their feet and also have a little thrift store.  Good people.  So, that's what I am going to do.  I'll need Dagan or Leah to come help me move things all in a bunch up by the door, but that's a LOT easier than putting up a dozen ads on Freecycle.  TaDa!!
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Anyways, Dagan and Ian came to the door after they had unloaded the ValleyCon furniture while Leah went with their friend to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up a couple patio chairs for me.  (Mesh--no cushions to get soaked so you can't sit in them for a week like my old padded chair.)  And Leah already picked up the matching kids chair--it's in their garage.  Cool!  (And they were pretty cheap, too!)
I could hear Ian as Dagan was opening the door saying "Africa!  Africa!"  So we watched a little more about the Sahara Desert while we waited for Leah to arrive with the chairs.  Ian and I do love our nature shows!!  ;)  
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Oh, and I forgot to show you the goodies I bought this month for working on our sets of cards.  I got some big Liquitex acrylic paint markers, a set of Wink of Stella markers, a few Wink of Stella brush pens... 
...Souffle pens, and Japanese puffy pens. 
Remember when I had the studio tables all cleared off and pretty empty just a little while ago? 
I am not quite as compulsively neat in the studio, I guess.  LOL! 
Since I had completely spaced and not gotten pictures of Ian when he was here I asked Leah to send me some.  When they were working on the deck the weekend before last goggles were necessary to keep the wood dust out of your eyes.  Ian loved the goggles! 



And yesterday Mr. Ian was over at the Red River Zoo!   
That's actually a buffalo statue painted like a tiger--LOL! 
[They had buffalos all over town several years ago all painted by different artists in all kinds of crazy ways.  Was a hoot!] 
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Here's Ian in front of a rabbit cave--LOL! 
He looks pretty sharp in those shades. 
While they were (melting) at the zoo I was working on laundry and re-organizing my closet and dresser.  Another project I finally checked off my list!!  Also sent off half a dozen letters I owed this week, too.  (So nice to have been busy since we last spoke and not sick--ROFL!)  Needless to say I have been waiting to start watching Orange Is The New Black because I didn't want to get stopped in my tracks when I was on a roll! 
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Right now, I am off to clear the tables in the studio again.  We will need surfaces to let things dry as we are playing with 3D Crystal Lacquer and Glossy accents tonight.  They take way too long to dry to leave about on the floor.  Karma would be sticky and shiny--probably with cardstock stuck to her fur.  So we need surface areas I can keep out of reach from the feline roommate.  Gosh!  I love having a door to the studio!! 
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Oh, and it's 72 degrees and only 28% humidity today!!  Open patio door!  Sun is shining!  Little Buddy and the birds have been here munching on sunflower seeds and oat nut bread.  What a sweet break from the heat!!
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Have a really great week!!  :) :)
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"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle."
Walt Whitman

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday-1:15pm

A quick hello.
This was the last time I had the patio door opened up...must be four days ago now at least.  The weather has turned hot and humid--most days 80 or higher.  
 Except for a couple of days this next week (Tues &Weds) in the mid-70s, the predictions are for it to be in the 80s and even 90s for quite a while.  That's the end of the glorious spring days, I guess.  There will be reprieves, I'm sure, over the summer.
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You have not heard from me for a couple of reasons.  This past week I have had internet issues--and I don't think they're gone yet.  Long story, but from Monday till Wednesday afternoon the tech guy who was here told me I had over 3700 "flaps" (internet drops).  He exchanged the modem and a splitter in the wall--but I still have had issues.  They seem to be a bit better the last couple days, but I still have had some disconnect issues.  He's supposed to follow-up-call me this coming week before he goes on vacation on Thursday.  So, I hope I can post this okay.
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I have also been sick again for over a week.  Kind of like a relapse of that awful flu with some other stuff thrown in for good measure--awk!  So I am drinking lots of fluids and watching Netflix and reading.  :)  Got my fingers crossed that I might be past the worst of it now.
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A dear blogger friend, Iggy, sent me a Cat Who trio-story book he found at a used book store!  It had the last book I read (and had wanted to re-read because it has been so long--how perfect is that!) and the next two (that the Fargo library didn't have)--all in one book!  Thanks, Karl!!!
I just found out a few days ago that our volunteer, Kirsten, got a summer job in California!  So she won't be back until August.  Which means, we won't have Library Outreach until then unless Pam can find another volunteer.  So they are just sending someone by to pick up the books people took out on Tuesday.  
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But they are also still bringing me the paperwork to fill out for a new card, though, so that I can order interlibrary books in the future and I guess they have e-books now through the library.  Pam said she'd even come over after they mail me my card to show me how to navigate the library website.  Plus, she said she found me some Anne Tyler books at a used book store I can just have that she's sending along, too, on Tuesday!!  She is such a sweetheart.  
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I also rummaged through my TBR shelf and found a couple more books to read soon.  I will have plenty to keep my busy till August--LOL!  
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You may notice that I only have two pictures.
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Well, another change has occurred.  Dagan and Leah have switched me over to a new cell phone and new company.  Hang on to your hats--it's Google!  Yes, they most certainly are trying to take over the world!  Trouble is, they are doing a pretty good job of it.  ;)  
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It's called Project Fi.  Leah's been on it since October--being the guinea pig for all the rest of us.  She hasn't had any issues and so now Dagan, myself, and a lot of their friends are switching over when their contracts are up.  I don't use up much of the units (can't remember what they are called right now) so I should pay the minimum--which will be around $25-30 a month.  Awesome!
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You'll have to search for Project Fi because I can't link it for you now because no matter what I do it brings me to my own account--LOL!  
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Anyways, new cell phone...and it's not set up so that my pics go automatically to DropBox.  Leah thought she had set it up for that when she was here last week, but no new pics have showed up--just these two she moved over.  Not that I have taken many pics in the first place because I haven't been feeling well.  But if I am up to Craft Night Monday night and Leah is, too (I think they have been staining the deck in this heat all weekend and Leah melts like I do)--then Leah might be able to get it working.  Eventually I'll have pictures again.  
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I know--I could get out my old camera but I haven't been using it for so long and I have this new ElCapitan on McLap where I can't seem to find anything now, so I'm not sure I could figure the old camera method out anymore, either--ROFL!
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So, that's it from my corner of the world.  Karma's sleeping in the chair next to me.  I am hopeful that I will feel up to crafts tomorrow night with Leah...and Tuesday they are picking up library books and Caroline comes to clean.  We'll see how I hold up.  Better than I expect, I hope, because I really, really want to see Little Ian!!  Been weeks!!  Gramma needs her Ian fix--LOL!  
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Have a good week, everybody!!  :)
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"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."
Omar Khayyam

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Thursday 10:45am

Good Morning!
Can't believe it's already been a week since we chatted.  The tornado sirens went off one day.  We've had rain off and on--even thunderstorms!  And some gorgeous sunny spring days, too.
Let's see--basically been working on making cards and writing letters.  (I do love getting snail mail, you guys!)  
I finished stamping 100 of these Christmas card fronts. 
We still will probably stamp the backs with our new made-by stamp.  And we have yet to decide if we want anything stamped inside the cards but the hardest part of the two scenery Christmas sets is done.  :)
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I got as far as I could coloring 70 of the crazy cat stamps.
I just have not figured out yet how I want to color the cat and I want to do something embellish-y for the cake frosting, too.
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Karma loved the flower box and packing paper for the couple days I left it for her to lounge upon. 
Oh, and this was actually a first sighting of a new visitor--exactly what I saw from the kitchen table.  Looks like a dove.  Maybe a mourning dove?  
It's been around since and definitely doesn't like to share the sunflower seeds any more than the bigger black birds do--LOL!  The poor little sparrows.  
No wonder they have become so adept at darting in and escaping quickly.  She turns around and poof--LOL!
Chillier days Karma keeps her post in her warm round bed. 
Most all the critter family out there have seemed to learn that Karma can't really get to them.  They will be right out there--sometimes inches away--even when her face is practically pressed against the screen.  So she usually just sits and watches them now.  Miss Karma has never had better CatTV!!  Goodness sakes!  Smell-o-vision and everything--LOL!
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Me--I continued on with the cards.  Next it was printing Christmas card fronts with an ornaments stamp. 
Three of them--that I would also color. 
Was a quiet week for Karma and I.  No visitors.  I wasn't feeling that hot on Monday so I passed on Craft Night with Leah.  Might be up to it tonight and will let her know.  Wait and see how the day goes.  
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Been cooler and damper. 
Karma can hardly wait for me to get up and open the patio door. 
 But we've had a couple days where it got too chilly in here and a couple days where it got too hot.  Typical spring rollercoaster weather. 
Oh--some bad news.  :(  
Sadly, these roses were collapsing after about five days, too. 
Well, it was a new company, cheaper, and they started out last year actually fulfilling all the expectations they put out there--fresher, longer lasting, healthier, more fragrant flowers. 
But maybe they got too big too fast and couldn't keep up the quality?  Granted, these looked better to begin with and are dying more gracefully but pretty much just as quickly.  At a week they are not as crispy dead, but definitely have one thorny foot in the grave.  A whole flower even fell right off the stem.  
Regardless, I asked Leah to go back to buying me a live potted plant if she wants to get me something for Mother's Day next year.  ;)  I think I agree with her stand now.  No more cut flowers.
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 Meanwhile...back at the ranch...
Letter and cards and Netflix.
I started coloring the ornaments. 
Yup--assembly line method.  One color at a time. 
Got this far!  
Now we just have to decide how to shimmer them up.  They need a little bling--but almost done.  
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I saw a cable TV truck across the way at the other apartment complex and it made me wonder why they put orange cones in front of the parked trucks? 
I think electric repair trucks might do that, too.  Why?  They are just parked there?  They're not in a no parking or a handicapped spot?  I have never understood why they do that.  Anyone know?  (I think of you, Iggy, every time I see an orange cone!)
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And, speaking of puzzling actions...why would Karma think she needed to claim the electric cord to my laptop?  Silly girl!
Anyways, this morning it was sunny and cool.  I put a big pile of sunflower seeds out because I hadn't seen Little Buddy for a couple of days and the birds come and gobble down the sunflower seeds in no time anymore.  Especially the black birds.  I thought if I put out more maybe there might be some left if Little Buddy came this morning. 
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And he was almost the first one there! 
If you click to enlarge this you can see those fat pouches! 
He filled them up full, scooted away, and quickly came back in a flash until the entire pile was gone!  No seeds for the birds today--LOL!  Lots of entertainment for Miss Karma, though.  And for me.  ;)   
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But right now, Karma's softly snoring in the chair next to me.  Even the birds are pretty quiet today.  It's 68 degrees right now and supposed to get up to the mid-70s with a blue and white sky and only 48% humidity--ahhh!  Windows open day!!  Love it!  :)
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I hope you've been having a good week and good weather.  I'll be writing letters owed and watching new seasons on Netflix of Hell On Wheels and Pinky Blinders (already watched Bloodline).  Caroline will grocery shop for me tomorrow and I can put in my Amazon order--with some goodies for Ian (his birthday's in June and Gramma's not going to be spacy-late this time) and a few crafty pens for some shimmer and bling on the cards--whoohoo!  Maybe even do some crafts with Leah tonight.  Life is good!! 
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Happy weekend!  :):)
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"Gratitude makes us feel bursting with delight, just to remember the gifts we have received. Thus we are doubly blessed when we receive something: for the gift itself and later, in recall, for the miracle of having been given it."
MJ Ryan