Monday, October 14, 2019

10-14-2019 Monday--9:30am

Good Morning!  
Lots of pictures of birds, snow, and pens this week.  So funny now that I was afraid I wasn't going to have any birds to feed this winter!  Early in the week I was excited to see this covey of seven.  (But just wait!)
I spent the week cleaning fountain pens.  You may recall I was too sick to keep up with my fountain pens, ran them all dry, and piled them in that little shoe box to be cleaned later.  Well, I finally grouped them up mostly by brand...
...and have been slowly cleaning a batch a day.
Take them apart, clean out the cap with a brush, shoot water in a syringe through the converter, squeeze water through the nib with that blue bulb thingie, do several five-minute rounds in the new jewelry cleaner, rinse the parts with water again and (if  the water is clear) leave to dry.
I haven't been able to do a batch every day, so I still have a couple left yet.
Yes, I am a real pen nerd.  I showed my FP trays a long time ago, but for anyone new:
I rotate through approximately 35-40 FPs in 5-6 little stacking trays.  I write daily in three journals and write to about 30 people total (about a dozen quite regularly).  I use different  colored old highlighters (see the yellow one fourth from the left) to keep track as to where I am in the rotation for journals and in letters.  
I keep a notebook that's divided by tray number tabs...
...where I keep track of which ink is currently in which pen.
I mainly need to know that because I love to buy up ink sample vials from GouletPens.  The vials hold more ink than will fill a single pen converter so I keep the leftover ink over on my desk in one of these wire drawers... alphabetical order so I can use the rest of the ink up in the proper pens.
Yes, I am most definitely a pen nerd--ROFL!  ;)
Okay--back to the partridges!
They were predicting possible snow for late Thursday night through Saturday.  We were on the edge of the storm's path and the edge of freezing so weren't sure how much of it  we would see here.  Well, the birds knew it was coming!  
I suddenly had this covey of 15 partridges show up for food!  They came back every couple of hours!!  It was awesome!!
When Leah came over Thursday night it wasn't snowing yet but by the time she left she said there was a slush on the car.  No crafts this week.  When I went to turn on the TV Sunday night... Smart TV wasn't connected or my YT-TV had disconnected--I wasn't sure what happened but I told Leah I could watch on my laptop till Thursday--which was just fine.  Well, it turned out that the Smart TV had somehow reverted back to factory settings?  I don't know what I could have done or if Dagan and Ian did something when they plugged in my humidifier back there on Sunday or if the TV lost it's very smart mind--but out of the three scenarios I pick the latter--LOL!  ;)
Needless to say, that's all we did all night was to reprogram the Smart TV.  You have to log in to each program you use (Netflix, Prime, etc).  Something you only think you will have to do once, you know?  I thank Leah for her patience and technical expertise.
  If it weren't for their help I would definitely need a dumb TV. 
Woke up Friday morning to a thin layer of the white stuff on the grass, but the snow was melting as it touched down on the streets and sidewalks.  All the seed was gone so I tossed out a couple cups...and within minutes had company.  :)
Notice Annie peeking out the cracked patio door.  :)
Even the vole came for a quick bite.
The  humongous covey kept coming back again and again.  (I counted 17 a couple of times and last night there were 20!!)
I had gotten this far cleaning pens but had to take a long break because I had pushed it with the KT situation.  
My knuckle was at the top end of red, swollen and painful right when I woke up...and the toe was also plus feeling like I had a stone underneath it.  I  didn't want to push myself into a bad flare so I waited till the next day to even fill them and have left the rest alone since.
(The KT situation has improved with taking it easy on them and is much better by  today.)
Anyways, I took a short video of the pretty snow falling before the blizzard arrived.
As the wind and snow picked up the covey stuck around and ate like crazy.  I was putting out more seed every 2-3 hours.
Flocks of sparrows were here, too, of course.
Annie was really enjoying it all--the snow, the birds, the smells.
I kept the patio door cracked open as long as I could.  
Really wasn't that cold but the wind had picked up so that we moved into blizzard conditions.
The heavy, wet. sticky snow was plastered on the screen and window.
I could barely see out, but enough that you could tell the birds had all retreated for the duration of the storm.
Saturday morning I woke up to this.
The covey had been there digging for seed, so I tossed out some more right away.
Looks like winter, doesn't it?
We had bird company within a couple minutes.  Makes me wonder if a few of them were hunkered down nearby.
By Sunday afternoon the snow was already melting.
It was Gramma Day and Ian got to see 17 partridges on the patio.  See how fast the snow was melting!
Ian (snacking on cashews) wanted to watch... 
...Mighty Machines!
Gramma really enjoys that show because you always learn something new about how things are made or done.  At the end of our  afternoon we did watch some PJMasks, too.  A fun afternoon--chatting and learning.  :)
This is what it already looks like this morning.
Melting quickly.  All that green grass being revealed once again. 
The one tree across the way has turned reddish brown.  Still hasn't lost leaves even under the weight of the ponderous snow!  I wonder if this early freeze will throw off the progression of our trio? 
The weight of the snow broke big chunks of my begonias off in the planters and shriveled up the geraniums and coleus.  They all took a beating.
While I was typing just now the giant covey arrived, had lunch (12:15pm), and wandered off again.  Yes, I paused to watch.  ;)  I would love it if they stayed together all winter!  Safety in numbers, right?  There is a hawk living somewhere nearby, after all. 
Well, that's the news from this past week.  All the snow should be gone in another day or two, but what an odd thing to see when the leaves haven't even all turned, let alone fallen, and the grass is bright green.  Seems early to hear plows and shoveling and see snow piles.  Have you had unseasonable weather where you are?
Till next week...from the crazy pen lady--LOL!  It is such a delight to have most of my fountain pens back in action!  They aren't expensive pens, but there are a lot of them.  I am more into the inks than the pens, I suppose.  Have a great week!!  :) :)
"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together."
Vista M. Kelly

Monday, October 07, 2019

10-7-2019 Monday--9am

Good morning!
Hard to take a photo with the sun in your eyes to show you the right tree is almost half brown now this morning...
...but I am not complaining because it is so nice to see the sun after many days of clouds and rain.
Before I forget!  The craft hauls!!  First Leah's.  Seems she has plans I don't know about--LOL!  Got quite a few more items than she showed me in texts.
The punches and dies. 
Cling stamps.  (I knew about all of these.) 
More stamps.  Leah might be wanting to work on Halloween cards this month, you think? 
Finally, embossing folders.  The hard to see one that I knew about on the left is a Christmas tree. 
I am still waiting for several from my haul (super cheap so probably coming from China or Taiwan), but I'll show you what I have received so far.
Two turn-around stamps and a turn-around jig. 
And Chriistmas and birthday dies. 
Okay--Wednesday--Dr. Blom, rheumatologist appointment.
First of all I really liked her.  No diagnosis yet.  She said there are several types of arthritis and autoimmune diseases.  I asked about the Rheumatoid arthritis that doesn't show up in the blood tests, but she said RA is usually symetrical and mine isn't.  In the meantime, she asked me to take Aleve twice a day to see if that can help with the swelling (still have some in knees and ankles, too).  She sent me to the lab to have 12 vials of blood drawn for what looks like 19 more tests.  Said we will have a lot more to talk about after all my test results come back.  (I go back on the 24th.)
I told her about going on the Keto diet and she immediately told me to stay on it.  When I was telling her about Leah's going on the carnivore elimination diet she said--you should try that and smiled.  She knew all about the Keto diet apparently.  Said we will talk more next time but stay on Keto.  So that is what I am doing.
BTW--Dagan asked his cardiologist in Minneapolis before he started on Keto and they said to go ahead.  Leah's doctor okay'd it for her, too.  Three different doctors (all younger) from three differnt clinics.  And my rheumatologist was the most positive and enthusiastic of them all.  
Now I know my vegetarian, vegan, and WFPB friends might think this is dangerous and crazy.  I don't blame you.  Sounded pretty extreme to me at first.  Especially since I have been 95% vegetarian (aiming for 100%) for over a decade.  But I see how obviously it has helped Leah.  Her knees stopped hurting in only a week or two--before she lost more than a couple pounds.  Her lifelong battle with asthma seems to be gone!  She lost 30 lbs in the 6 months she was on Keto and now 25 on the Carnivore elimination diet in 5 weeks.  She has more energy (but that took months) and her sinuses are so much better.  Honestly--being vegetarian didn't do anything for my health all these there's that.  ??
I know I will be talking more to Dr. Blom about it.  I think every person is different and I do think some of us might just have bad reactions to carbs.  I know there are better carbs and worse carbs...and there are arguments pro and con for so many diets.  Well, I'll have more information when I go back for all these additional test results.  I hope.  In the meantime--I'm still on Keto.  I seem to have been slowly getting better over the past month or more.  I am taking the Aleve regularly now because she asked, but there are cons to that, too.
Meanwhile...back at the ranch...LOL!
Leah came over Thursday night but we never worked on the bullet pages.  She helped me with some computer stuff, we double-checked measurements for the table and cabinets in the corner of the sutdio, and we made a decision on which dye ink pads we would like to collect.  We have a lot of odd ink pads (metallic, distress, etc) but my only set of very old Archival regular dye ink pads from the 90s that have turned absolutely yellow with age...
...well, they really need to be replaced.  
I had bought up a few brands of black ink pads to compare quite a long time ago but we never did make a final decision.
Well, we finally did!
Simon Says Stamp brand.
 Memento was the second choice.  I'll check and see what colors there are to pick from and watch for sales/deals.  Already knew we liked the SSS ink pads because I already had just gone ahead and purchased two different reds for Christmas cards.  :)
We were going to work on the bullet pages this coming Thursday...but looks like Leah also has plans to make Halloween cards--LOL!  ;)  So, we'll see what she wants to do when the time comes.
Friday I worked all day washing winter clothes from the bins and packing away summer clothes...and my hand held up pretty decently!  :)  I can almost make a fist some days the past few weeks.  Not a tight fist, but the best I've had since beginning of June.

Dagan was going to come over after work on Friday to help me do some other seasonal switching over here but his car was smoking on the way to work!  Had it towed to a garage and will find out this week what is wrong with it.  Cars!  :(
 Saturday Ian came over for Gramma Day.  
He wanted a movie day and it was an afternoon Gramma thoroughly enjoyed, too. 
We were waiting for Mama to come to pick him up.  I wanted a picture of his monster knees sweat pants! 
I didn't even realize that his hoodie had a Darth Vadar mask attached to it!  LOL! 
We had a great time!  Here's a little video of our waiting for Mama conversation.  I think Ian was getting a little tired. 
That rash on his cheek was almost gone for a couple weeks and then returned again when he came home throwing up sick from school last week.  ?  Anyways, it is going away again with the cream.
Oh, and when Ian arrived that day I got SOOO excited to see the covey of partridges!!  Right there in the afternoon!  Here I had thought I would be telling you today that I hadn't seen them for weeks.  This is a different covey--six of them--larger--more confident--stick around when they visit.  Must be one of the two I fed last winter.  :) :)  
They came back at dusk, too!
Sorry the pictures are a little blurry.
I think I was too excited to see them and didn't wait for the phone's camera to focus--LOL!
Then last night after dinner Dagan and Ian came by to help me with making a couple trips to the garage and back.  We moved all the patio furniture, three bins of summer clothes, and three fans to the garage.  
We brought in the two humidifiers, the brown rug to put near the patio door (for the shovel I didn't need to bring in...yet), the little round table, and a bag of winter clothes that were missed.  Ian carried a small patio table both trips out and he pushed the cart on the way back in one time and carried the little table another time!  He even helped Daddy plug in the living room humidifier for me behind the TV cabinet.  He was a big help!  :) 
Was a productive day!  I feel prepared for winter now.  
Okay, I have been working on this blog post for so long that it's going on 1pm so I could get a picture without the glaring sun.
You can see how much the one tree has changed (can click to enlarge)...but not the other two--LOL!  I wonder if they are going to prepare for winter in their usual right to left order again this year?  I'll try to remember to take pictures.
So, today--I am washing the last of the winter clothes from the garage.  I've been watching the few things I wanted to see on Hulu before I cancel.  Got the 99cents a month for a year deal on Black Friday last year but don't want to keep Hulu at full price.  I just didn't watch it that much.  And I can rent The Handmaid's Tale on Netflix DVDs.  That was my main interest in Hulu.  Sure it may take months after it airs until I get to see it, but I don't mind.  I'm patient.  ;)
The sun is actually shining today--whoohoo!  So it's up to 58 degrees (14 C).  More and more sparrows are showing up for bird seed since it got colder, too.  Annie and I are happy with more birds, for sure.  Dagan will have to make a trip to Fleet Farm pretty soon for bags of bird seed.  :)  I was worrid there for a while I might not need any.
That's it from here for now.  Have a studendous week!  :) :)  Chat again soon.
"Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, its important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have on every level."
Shakti Gawain