Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Good Tuesday Morning to you! 
Have had some beautiful spring days. 
Actually keep hoping these clouds would gather up into some good thunderstorms because it is so dry here.
The construction goes on...and the dust clouds hover over them. 
The T Stands For Tuesday group always shows what they have been drinking.  This time, instead of one of my usual red coffee mugs, I am showing lunch yesterday.  A glass of almond milk and a Quorn breaded chicken sandwich with cheese and mayo.   
My satchels for the sewing storage arrived days ago... 
...and my other birthday gifts I picked out.  Pilot Iroshizuku bottle of ink (Kon-Peki), a wide roll of the birds MT washi tape, a Lamy (EF) demonstrator fountain pen, and a Pilot (F) orange demonstrator (I heard they are going to discontinue the orange ones and I've always wanted one--dedicated to my Noodler's Apache Sunset ink).  
I did fill the new pens, but I have not worked up to organizing the sewing supplies just yet.  
I've been gone (for 2-4 hours) so many times (7 out of 9 days due to packages and recycling bin and not wanting to leave the cat box unscooped for more then two days) that Karma looks concerned and watches me every time I get up out of a chair--LOL!  But not until afternoon.  She knows I am pretty useless until I thaw out so I never go places in the mornings--ROFL!
So mornings she can relax in the sun.
I am staying home today.  From now on I can go over every other day to spend time with Sammy and Annie.  Life is good!  My dad made it home from the hospital on Saturday--with oxygen this time, so he's happy.  I had a video chat with McFamily last night.  No pictures yet, though, because they have been so busy.  (And I was so tired I forgot I could have at least snapped a picture of the video chat--duh!)  They just got back from two days at Mt. Fuji and tomorrow they head for two days in Kyoto.  They all looked a bit tired, but they have been up a mountain (next to Fuji, which was fogged over) and on a boat ride and spent many hours on a tour bus--LOL!  It was just so good to see them and hear their voices...and get a few Gramma smiles from Ian.  :) :)
  Gramma is really taking it easy and slowly today.  Been watching Netflix's Bloodline...which is like slowly peeling back layers and layers of secrets.  The family members are gradually revealed to you little by little...and not always who you first thought them to be.  I really enjoy that in a series.  These days a good series is like a really-good-long-fat novel.  They can take their time...and get to levels with characters you could never reach even in a two or three hour movie.  No wonder there are more "movie" actors coming over to various TV/Cable series (Cable seems to be better at it than broadcast TV).  They can be layered, meaty, juicy...and patient.  I think various series have become my favorite viewing choice.  
  Anyways, have a wonderful, wonderful day, people!!  :) :)  
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” 

Friday, April 10, 2015


Good Morning!  
Friday already. 
More signs of spring--LOL! 
I always seem to get a tickle out of dirty clouds... 
...with white tops glowing in the sunlight.  Not sure why. 
I've been making trips over to see Annie... 
...and Sammy (who didn't want to be disturbed from his nap at first). 
 I finally finished season three of House of Cards.  Cliffhanger.  (I was cheering--LOL!)
Family notes:
My dad is back in the hospital again.  Same problems it sounds like.  Trouble breathing.  My mom is going to call me back when she has some time to explain everything, she said, but he was eating lunch when I called.  
Love you, Dad!
I had another video chat with McFamily.  Sounded like the jet lag caught up with them a bit, but they were having a great time.  Out and about a lot.  Went on a tour of Tokyo.  Next they're going on a two-day tour by Mt. Fuji.  Ian loves going places with Mom and Dad--and people come up to Ian to take his hand and talk to him.  Strangers were attracted to his dad when he was little, too, so that especially tickles Gramma.  I think it's the joy factor aura, but who knows--LOL!  Anyways, they are having a wonderful time and there will be pictures to come.  :)
In my JetPens order...got some Tomoe River Paper from Japan, I believe.  It's large--about 11 3/4" X 8 1/4".  I have heard it was good with fountain pens, but some people liked it and some don't.  Naturally I was very curious.  I, fairly confidently, bought some white and some cream.        
Cut them in half--because that's more the size I use for writing letters and for the insides of my bookcards. 
But I had no clue as to whether this paper could be written on both sides or not.  Seemed highly unlikely because this ultra thin paper is so delicate!  I got out the fountain pens I have inked up at the moment and wrote on both the cream and the white.   
I learned it takes a little longer for the ink to dry--as you can see by my smearing--LOL!  Could hardly wait to turn the sheets over for the reveal. 
OMG!  Amazing! 
The white had a little bit more shadowing than the cream... 
...but neither of them had one speck of bleed-through! 
The part that cracks me up is that you actually get some indentation from the pen, though, just because this paper is so very thin.  But I think you could write on both sides and have no problems reading it.  Well, good excuse to make a trial bookcard, right?  ;)
I should have some of the Amazon packages arriving soon.  I already got most of the fabric in a big package yesterday (more PUL and Zorb).  One package that is coming (with a bottle of ink and a couple other things) has really traveled about!!  Makes me giggle in wonder because this package has been from San Bernadino, CA to Ontario, CA, to Salt Lake City, UT, to Idaho Falls, ID...and then in ONE DAY it went to Butte MT, Bozeman MT, Billings MT, Glendive MT, and then to Bismark, ND--LOL!  Finally made it to Fargo, ND yesterday.  Looks like it took a walkabout in Montana for some reason, eh?  LOL!  I hope the bottle has survived intact.  ;)
Anyways, just a little update.  Not up to much at all.  We finally got some sunny spring weather yesterday--50s--just gorgeous out!  More of the same today.  Supposed to get even warmer this weekend and for most of next week--in the 60s and even 70s!  Goodness!  Mother Nature keeps teasing us--LOL!  
Have a really nice weekend.  
I'm off to visit cats.  :):)
“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” 
Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Good Afternoon!
Yes, I am moving that slowly today--LOL!  I have seen so many people posting signs of spring that I thought I'd show you the signs of spring outside my window.  ;)
It's windy enough here all year round for this, but the plastic bag caught in a young tree's branch is more likely when those branches are naked.  No buds or leaves...just flapping plastic bags--LOL!  ;)
But now this...this is a true and most definite sign of spring! 
They were out digging everywhere yesterday.
Right behind our garages and across the field behind the far buildings... 
...for as far as I could see off to the right.
But today the vehicles and equipment are lined up silently in the field and Karma is listening to the hard rain (or maybe sleet) hit the windows and pelt the air conditioner.
They are saying we might even have a little snow tonight.  Temperatures are on the edge of freezing so we never know what we will end up with.
I've been on R&R.  Writing letters (note the trusty coffee mug T-Stands For Tuesday gals) and watching TV.
Going over regularly to scoop the cat box, give Sammy and Annie food and water, and last night I even watched some of the new season of House of Cards on their giant TV--whoohoo! 
I had a video chat with McFamily already.  They were jet lagged but happy.  Ian was so good on the long plane ride.  Aaron met them at the airport (Leah's brother) and they seemed to adjust fairly quickly to the time change.
They have a few tours planned--a couple are two day tours.  It is so nice that Aaron has a couple weeks off duty to spend time with them!  Sounds like they are having I great time!  We have another video chat scheduled for today.  Morning for them, night for me.  That works out great.
Leah emailed me a picture of Ian on a bouncy bee in a park in Tokyo. 

 Doesn't it look warm there!  I am sure they are not missing the sleet and snow--LOL!  What an adventure!
My dad is home from the hospital and feeling much better.  Thanks to everyone who sent well-wishes and prayers.  So glad he's home.  :)
Caroline is coming to clean this dark afternoon.  I will be watching more of Kevin Spacey at his evil best.  I hope the change of seasons is being kinder to you than it is to us at the moment--LOL!  Have a great week.  :):)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, April 04, 2015


This is a near sunset picture but--good morning!  I know.  Too early for me to be up, but I've been awake since 4am.  My hours have been a bit out of whack for days.
Our pseudo-summer 70s weather has dropped back to...well, it's 24 degrees right now.  Too cold for Karma to be dozing outside...or even on the floor much...so she was catching some morning sunrays in her chair. 
The camera wanted to focus on my water thermos.  Karma hears the whir of the camera and her eyes pop open--LOL! 
Well, I started working on all the pads for Leah once they got Miss Brother working again.  (The Diva doesn't like stopping and starting to go around curves, either.)  I finished them and brought them over on Tuesday so she'd have time to attach all the snaps before they left yesterday.  :)
Leah had this idea to make a zipper pillow for Ian.  He loves zippers right now...so while Leah was running errands she picked up a bunch of zippers at JoAnn's.  When I dropped off the pads Tuesday evening I brought home the zippers.  First I searched YouTube to get some ideas of how to shorten zippers...and adapted what I saw to work for this project. 
First I cut them all down to about 8 inches long total and then hand-sewed around the zippers at six inches.
I decided to add a glob of hot glue to the back sides, though, so that if Ian chewed through the thread or got it so drooly wet that it broke there would still be a stopper on the backside.  (Made for some inadvertent "decorative" sewing later when I sewed the zippers on to the fabric--never thought that far ahead, but still managed to sew them on--LOL!) 
I needed to tuck the bottoms into the seams, so I had to cut along both sides of the end of the zippers... 
...and chop out the teeth.  Good thing they were all plastic zippers and easier to cut. 
Then I sewed down four zippers on each of the brown squares of duck cloth. 
Sewed them together, turned, stuffed... 
...and hand sewed it closed. 
Only one zipper out of eight gives a bit of trouble but the rest work pretty well. 
I made a quick trip over to drop off the zipper pillow on Thursday during the packing chaos.  Got to hold and kiss that little Ian and say goodbye to everybody before I went back home to collapse.
Been extra stiff and sore, of course.  Seen too many early mornings...   
...like this gorgeous one yesterday. 
And that is why I was up at 4am this morning.  But am so thrilled that I got the pads made and Ian's zipper pillow to play with on the long flight.  :):)  Happy happy me!
Yesterday Caroline went grocery shopping for me.  (Yes, I dealt with my bank--had to repeat the story to four different people--got back on to the Cashwise website, too--hopefully for good now--tada!)  And I made my monthly orders...with extra birthday money thanks to you generous souls who sent me gifts!!  (Thanks--you all know who you are!)  
I am excited to finally order myself some Artbin satchels for my sewing supplies.  I'll show you why it is about time--LOL!  I've been keeping them in a banker's box and have to dig and dig to find anything.  
Embarrassing to admit that somebody who loves to organize like I do has been living like this for decades.  I have stuff stuck in tiny boxes (paper and plastic), altoid tins, an itty bitty jelly jar, old craft supply containers, zip lock bags, and some bigger boxes, too.
Anyone from Minnesota would recognize this yellowed 40 year old box from Daytons (parent to Target stores).  Click here for some wiki-history.  
Does anyone else remember (with tremendous embarrassment) being drug to Downtown Daytons in Minneapolis to get measured for their first bra?  Or making the sparkly-evening-annual-family-walk around the Daytons building (which took up a whole city block)--gazing in awe at the animatronic Christmas window displays?  Or either going yourself or taking your kids (I did both) to see Santa up on seventh floor where they had the entire floor (or most of it) made into a different themed piped-music wonderland every year?  (At least I remember it being on 7th floor but wiki said they originally built six floors and never mentioned them adding on to the building?)  
Ahhh--Daytons.  :)
And, yes--I have also been using these shoe boxes from Dagan's tiny shoes days. 
Trying to find thread in them is a jumbled mess.  (A few of these spools are 40 years old, too!) 
Anyways, I'll show you the new satchels when I get them--whoohoo!  
But...will I be able to part with the old Dayton's box and Dagan's baby shoe boxes?  Does anyone else get attached to odd things like this?
I have some really-fun, not-needed birthday things coming, too!  Okay, I know you guessed ink and pens--LOL!  But I also have a couple washi tapes coming (you might have guessed that, too) and a new billfold (never saw that one coming, did you!).  I've been using the same wallet I bought at Concordia college when I started there in 1999 and it has been falling apart in important places...like my change falls out into my bag--LOL!  A few other more boring things and some more PUL and Zorb fabrics.  :) 
Now, in family news:
McFamily left for Japan yesterday.  They took a flight to Minneapolis, then boarded for Japan, and 13 hours later (2am our time) Leah texted me that they were doing paperwork in an airport in Japan.  I texted a little with Leah a while ago.  They were going to eat and sleep and would talk to me more tomorrow--but she said Ian was great on the long plane ride!  :)  Leah's brother, Aaron, was there with them and had gone on a food run for them.  They are in Japan!!  :)
My Dad (94) has been in the hospital (down in Florida) for a few days.  Fluid on the lungs and swollen legs.  He's doing well, they are getting rid of the fluids, and he might be going home this weekend.  
Love you, Dad!  Be nice to those nurses!  ;)
It's 7:30am and the sun has just come up.  Karma is warm in my lap under the laptop table.  I will be going over to visit with Sammy and Annie this weekend...but, other than that, I am on R&R for a while with a microwave heating pad on my lower back--LOL!  Life is good!  Everyone is okay.  And since I am not moving much right now, I am delighted I haven't had time to watch House of Cards yet.  ;)
Have a delightful weekend!!  :):)
"The little things? 
The little moments? 
They aren't little."
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Well, good Tuesday morning to you!
You may have noticed from my last post that I have been loving the clouds rolling past for the last week or so. 
White clouds or dirty clouds... 
...the scenery changes by the minute!  :) 
Miss Karma's peaceful life was rattled to the core on my birthday.  She discovered that the noisy new creature that Dagan and Leah bring over can look her right in the eye and, quite fearlessly, touch her bed.  She hissed with great enthusiasm...but it didn't listen.  Just as Karma was about to smack it in the head to make her point (she has no claws) I rescued Miss Crabbypants...and her precious bed...and shut her in the bedroom...to her great relief.   
Several hours later, after they left, a nervous Karma combed every inch of the apartment (and the porch half a dozen times, too)...hissing to herself...jumping from imaginary attacks...searching for the creature she would have been terrified to actually find.
And who was the stranger danger?
Little Ian, of course--LOL!
They brought his activity table with because he LOVES to just stand and move parts and make music and listen to the words it says.  Well, not sure he's really listening to the words yet, but the table says colors, numbers, and the alphabet song.
As I took these pictures one right after the other you can see that he kind of walks himself back and forth.
He can slowly make it all around the table if he wants to. 
Ian prefers to stand and stand and stand rather than crawl about.  Crawling seems to only be good for getting to the next place to pull himself up to stand.  Which is a good thing at Gramma's not-kid-friendly-house because they could bring with his favorite place to stand and play and Ian was one happy boy...for hours!  He would have liked to touch Karma, too, but that was not in the cards.  Never will be, I'm afraid--LOL!
The amazing news....drum roll, please!!
Between Leah and Dagan they got Miss Brother working again!!
Our tool girl went to work examining The Diva almost as soon as they got here.  Turned out that when I bumped that lever while the machine was running there was an attached piece right behind the needle that got caught up on the needle.
But then, once she freed the needle, it would only sew 1-3 stitches and the thread would jam up...over and over.  It was Dagan who suggested that we try a new needle.  Apparently Dagan really had been listening to us when we were discussing how Miss Brother IS so very fussy about everything--fabrics, threads, needles, touching anything but appropriate buttons.  So, even though the needle looked perfectly straight, Leah changed needles and...voila!!...The Diva was working again!  (As well as she chooses to work, of course.)
Leah even stuck a post-it note on the lever to remind me not to bump it--ROFL!           
 It didn't stay on very long once I was sewing, but it made me smile while it stuck there.
And...they got the new spacesaver together for my bathroom!!  TaDa!!   
 And...they ordered Chinese (my choice--love friend rice) and even brought a birthday cake!!  Ariel (Leah's youngest sister, moved to Minneapolis) got into town before they finished the spacesaver so she stopped by, too.  Ahhh!  What a nice birthday it was. :):)
So, since then...I've been sewing...and sewing.  (Miss Brother is still being a pain, but she is still functioning so we won't get into that.) 
This morning...everything is pinned and ready for the final top stitching--tada!! 
Leah does the final step of attaching the snaps, so I plan to bring these over tonight after they get home from visiting Leah's other sister, Michal--who lives in town here with her hubby, Chuck, and Ian's cousin, Julian, who's going on two years old.  Tonight I can get instructions on everything I need to do for the cats and the house before they leave on Friday for Japan to visit Leah's brother, Aaron, who's stationed there (Navy).  I need to know important things--like how to work their remotes so I can watch Netflix on their giant TV--since I am going to be spending quite a bit of time over there visiting with Sammy and Annie.  
Sammy (the gray cat) gets lonesome.  He's more the friendly people-cat, but even shy Annie (the black cat) will come around for a bit of attention, too, when I visit.  I will be bringing my laptop, books, letters...and watching Netflix--LOL!  I like to pop in and out different times of the day.  Chuck and Michal will probably be checking here and there, too.  They're also my back up in case I get sick or can't make it over for some reason.  
I am really going to miss McFamily!  Three weeks is a long time in baby time.  How much you want to bet Ian will learn to walk in Japan.  :)  Thank goodness for Google video chats.  I wonder how fast texts will travel from that far away?  And emails?  Anyways, it is so exciting!  Leah's even found a powdered healthy baby food she is bringing with.  I hope they have a wonderful time.  This is a trip of a lifetime!
Anyways, I'll be sewing this afternoon, so not sure if I'll get around to the T-Stands For Tuesday group today or not.  Oh, goodness!  I forgot to take a picture of what I am drinking.  I actually had some Pepsi on my birthday!  I so seldom drink pop anymore, but I was always a Pepsi gal...and Dagan loved his Coke.  We never could agree on pop--but he suffered (how kind) and got a liter of Pepsi because it was my birthday--LOL!  Oh, the sacrifices your kids make for you, right?  ;)
Oh, and no--I haven't dealt with the other two annoying issues I mentioned last time.  Once I get done with the sewing project...they will still be waiting for me.  ;)  Have a great day!  Hug a loved one today!  Literally or virtually, doesn't matter.  :):)
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” 
Mark Twain