Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday-11am

Good Morning!
Well, last time I had pictures galore and this time I have forgotten to take hardly any--LOL!  The geese walked by a few minutes ago, but by the time I got the cell phone out they had already glided past.  Same with Little Buddy, who showed up late yesterday afternoon...while Miss Karma was awake.  He was scrambling to stuff as many sunflower seeds in his cheeks as he could before the big cat got too close.  (Seems aware that danger lives inside now.)  The pair of grouse were wandering along by the garages a couple days ago...but some dog walkers came by and they were on their way.  There's a lot more foot traffic on the walkway now with the nicer weather, so the critter spottings are fewer and briefer.  Putting out a bit of sunflower seeds now and then seems to assure the occasional visitor.  :)
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This is my favorite writing and computer stuff spot.
Karma is either glued to the patio when it's warm enough to open the door... 


...or snoozing in her chair next to me at the kitchen table (should call my office--LOL!).
Before I forget...the roses were crispy-dead in a week.  They may look just saggy, but they were dry as a bone...
...and most had not ever opened. 
Leah complained to the company.  They sounded quite concerned and offered a replacement or credit (note--not a refund, but at least it was something).  Leah sent pictures of both bouquets.  So, if my anonymous gifter wishes to complain you could try another bouquet.  Please--send it to yourself!  I would love to think of such kindness being rewarded by a spectacular flower display like the first one I got last year.  I think Leah opted to get the store credit and wait for a while to try again when there's no holiday--just a random day.  Anyways, the company was really good about it.  I'll let you know when we use the credit.
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McFamily was here on Saturday.  I knew Leah planned to pick up a few things on sale for me from CashWise and drop them off, but the whole family went, picked up lunch, and came over to visit for a while.  Sweet!  On the QT I asked if it would be okay to watch a little more of the new nature show Ian has been glued to when he comes to Gramma's.  Yup!  So I asked Ian if he wanted to watch some more "Africa"?  He ran to the little recliner, climbed up, and sat facing the TV with a big grin on his face.  He does love his nature shows!  (So does Gramma.)
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Leah ended up needing to change from Monday to Friday for crafts this week (so will probably shift next week to a different day, too, rather than come so close together on Monday again).  We're going to start on Christmas card stamping next.   
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Tuesday was the first day for the library outreach program and I got to see Pam again!!  Been such a long time!  She even came over briefly to see my apartment, too...was so impressed and happy for me.  So nice to see her.  After this it will be the volunteer, so we got in several hugs that day.  From now on they will be coming on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
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I checked out one book that Pam brought with for me.  
We had connected via email before they came on Tuesday and Pam still knew where I had left off with Anne Tyler and the Lilian Jackson Braun Cat Who books.  I like to read an author in chronological order even if they are unrelated stories.  It's fun to see how they have progressed as an author, you know?
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The trouble is that the next two of the Cat Who series are inter-library loans and, now that I am part of a building's outreach and not my own personal outreach like I was at West Winds, the system works differently.  Before Pam could call me and tell me a book was in and drop it off.  Now they only come out on the two days a month.  Inter-library loans are regulated by the other libraries and have a shorter time limit on them.  So say the book came in right after they had been here and has a one week limit--it would be due back before they could even get it to me.  And if it is due back before they come back--there are fines from the other libraries.  Bummer.
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They came in carting a whole table of books, DVDs, and audiobooks for people to look through.  I guess that is how they usually do it.  You can put in a request and that works great if it is from their library, but not if they don't carry it.  Whole different system.  And they mostly bring in large print books.  (Not that I don't mind a larger print, mind you--LOL!)  But it's just a little different.
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Speaking of changes...
I was just informed last time Leah was here that she has been being the guinea pig (for us and their friends) with this new google cell phone system called Project Fi and that I will be getting a different smart phone.  They're going to order me a used one because the new phones are like $600!!  (I had no idea how expensive cell phones have become because I usually get Dagan or Leah's old ones.)  Anyways, I guess this phone can use other systems (Sprint, Verison, etc) so that I could maybe get better reception and it's less than $35 a month for me because I don't use up much gigs (or whatever it is) so would be on the lowest plan.  And when you use less you get credit back towards the next month.  ??  Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about or what?  LOL!  Hey!  I'd just be glad to be able to use my phone and not have to stand right next to the patio door some days.  ;)  Sounds like a new phone company might be happening in June.
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For any of you who might care about such things (like moi)...
today is the first ever National Notebook Day!
You can click here for more information.  :)
So now we know about National Fountain Pen Day and National Notebook Day--LOL!
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I know I am feeling lots better when I wake myself up giggling!  That happened yesterday and I realized it had been a long time since I woke myself up because I was laughing.  Ahhh!  Nice!  Even Caroline said the same thing Leah did--that I seem more awake and alive than I have for some time. 
True!  True!  
*she said, giggling*
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It's 76 degrees with blue skies and white clouds.  Karma has fallen asleep next to the patio screen while hoping to see the Canadian geese waddle past again.  It is now lunchtime on this beautiful day so I'll say bye for now.  Hope you have an intriguing day filled with wonder.  :):)
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"No matter where life takes you the place that you stand at any given moment is holy ground. Love hard, and love wide and love long and you will find the goodness in it."
Susan Vreeland

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday-10:30am

Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Well, it's a nippier one today.  Dark and cloudy with freeze warnings tonight, but it's a sweet morning, nonetheless.  Been actually busy since we last spoke...yes!  Busy!!  ;)
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My one big special purchase for May was the big set of Tombow markers!  (Caught it almost $30 cheaper than Dick Blick on Amazon--you know how Amazon's prices fluctuate.) 
So excited to see these! 
And to see the pair of grouse again a couple of times. 
I have noticed Karma sleeps more soundly now that she has finally picked a favorite spot here at the new place.  (The kitchen chair next to my spot at the table.)   
We've had days I can have the patio door open wide; days where it can only be cracked open; and days where it is too chilly to leave it open more than a few minutes (like today). 
Me?  I have been busy coloring.  With two brands of new markers now it was time to get crackin'.  I colored the trio of cupcakes birthday stamp...
...added some shimmer to the frostings with a clear Wink Of Stella pen and a bit of gold on the tops with a metallic marker. 
Then I started on the stamped birthday cake stack. 
I figure out how I want to color them and then go through all 70 of them one color at a time.  I started with the yellow candle flames.   
I have to take lots of breaks so for two days I puttered about cleaning off the studio tables little by little.  I forgot to get a before picture--but let's just say admit that you could no longer see the table tops--LOL!
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The art table by the window is now ready to go! 
The black table is down to the supplies for current projects. 
I worked away while I watched Netflix on my laptop...(that's FBI Files.) 
...and Karma slept.
I finally finished the coloring of the birthday cake set, too! 
Still needs a little something, but I can add to it before I put the cards together.  These are all just pieces of card stock that will be cut down and glued or taped to the front of actual card bases.  Just coloring all the fronts first.  Have one more set that is stamped up and ready to color--that wild, crazy cat holding the flaming birthday cake--so that's next.
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 Latest Wild Kingdom news:
So exciting!  Had a brand new visitor scooting across my patio on Mother's Day afternoon.  A thirteen striped ground squirrel!!  Was so hoping to see it again.  I tossed out some sunflower seeds on the cement patio, but had only seen birds come to eat them and the wind blow them away.
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Finally saw our little friend dash past again a couple days ago, took a chance...tossed out some more sunflower seeds...and look who came to fill its pouches!! 
I was smiling--ear to ear... 
...snapping pictures... 
...trying not to move. 
But guess who was awake this time--LOL! 
Karma was stalking it...low to the ground...like a lioness on the new David Attenborough's series "Africa" that Ian and I are watching.  ;) 
Our new little neighbor was so busy filling those cheeks that it paid no notice of the predator...only a screen between them.  (Karma is just a poser...but our little buddy doesn't know that.)
When he turned his back, Karma scooted right up to the screen...mere mesh between her and her fantasies.  Little buddy turned around... 
...and poof! 
I plan to buy some raw sunflower seeds in June just for the critters.  I could get in trouble with management for putting out bird seed that might start growing odd plants around my patio--LOL!  But should a shelled sunflower seed ever grow it will be big enough for me to see and pull.  ;)  Sunflower seeds are small enough for the sparrows and other birds to eat, too.  Win-win.
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Karma has never tried to "stalk" the jackrabbits.   
They're bigger than her! 
I caught one yesterday just resting for a long time by the sidewalk.  Remember when they did this last winter before they were all white and they looked like boulders in the snow?  
One of the reasons I was motivated to clean off the Studio tables was I had my first Federal Housing inspection here at the new place yesterday afternoon.  Bob has now retired.  I have had inspector Bob every year since I moved up here to go to college in 1999!  Just the sweetest man.  So this time I had a new guy--James--who was also very nice (and quite handsome).  He was telling me he had a 30 year reunion coming up, so he's just a pup and should be around for a while.  ;)
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Then Leah came over last night for Crafts.  First we went over my ongoing McFamily list (weird computer issues and things like that I write down so I don't forget when she or Dagan comes over) and we got up my patio door brace!!  I've had it since last fall but there was no rush to get it installed once winter arrived.  But now that we have days where it's nice out... 
We put it right across where some of the window pane frames are so that you can hardly notice it. 
So now at night I can leave the door cracked open like this with the blinds closed and never worry anyone could try to come in.  If I ran to get mail or bring out garbage or went to an activity for a couple hours I could leave it cracked open and feel safe with the brace on, you know?   
I know--may seem silly to be so cautious, but right before I moved here there was a broad daylight home invasion a block or so away from here--when the husband, wife, and kids were at home!  So it does just make me feel a little safer, I guess.  And it looks better than the bright orange rough stick that was left here for me to use when I moved in that they wrote "don't throw away" on in sharpie marker--LOL!  I was afraid Ian would get slivers!
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Anyways, even though it was way too chilly to leave the door cracked this morning, Karma has to have her morning sniff--LOL!  Probably looking for Little Buddy! 
Oh!  Turns out the roses I got on Friday before Mother's Day were apparently sent anonymously!??  So I have no clue who they were from.  The ones I got on Saturday were marked as coming from McFamily.  The ones on Friday were from "someone who cares"...  So--thank you, whoever you are!!  How sweet!!
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But I have to confess that Leah has already contacted Bouqs.com about the poor quality of the roses this year.  These roses were no different than the disappointing roses we have gotten from places in town.  They are drooping, falling over after just a couple days, edges are turning black, and many have never opened.  It is like they have come from a different company!  No lie!  The ones I got last year were absolutely gorgeous--remember?!!  Huge blooms, fat stalks, smelled wonderful, and lasted for weeks!!   
Not that these aren't nice flowers, mind you.  But they sure aren't lasting long, don't smell, thin stalks, and not all opening.  
And--yes--I trimmed the stems, used the powder, and have been faithfully changing the water...apparently, to no avail.   
What a shame.  That new company seemed to be so wonderful.  Mother's Day is absolutely the busiest time for florists, so we wondered if they subcontracted out or something?  Leah said she will try them once more on a random day--no holiday--and see what we get.  There is absolutely no comparison to the first flowers we got from them.  But they're still much appreciated gifts--from McFamily and someone who cares.  :) :)
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Lastly--I had people asking me about the perpetual calendar stamp I bought that I just LOVE.  It's made by Waffle Stamps.  I found it in a few places online for a little cheaper than Amazon, but when you added shipping at the other places...was cheaper for me to get it with my Amazon order.  You can try the Amazon link here or search for Waffle Flower Crafts Clear Calendar Stamps.  And it looks like my well-used set:
There are seven different 31 day calendars for starting on each day of the week.  You can either have a Sunday-Saturday or a Monday-Sunday calendar--whichever you prefer.  They've even got the circle for circling days.  For the months shorter than 31 days, all you have to do is carefully wipe off the ink from any days you don't need that month before you stamp.  I haven't had any trouble doing that so far.  This is just so perfect for my Bullet journal that it's the best planner stamp I have ever purchased.  Was spendy, but I can use it forever!!  :)  So glad when I buy something online and it is exactly as (well, even better than) expected.
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So, that's it from Fargo for this chat.  Karma's crying for some canned food and I have coloring to do.  Miss Karma and I will be keeping an eye out for Little Buddy!  Have a marvelous day!!  Chat again soon.  :) :)
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"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
Aristotle

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Saturday-12:45pm

We've had beautiful, sunny days in the 60s and 70s...patio door wide open days. 
But then we also had a couple 80s and a 90 degree day!  Ridiculous to have summer days in the beginning of May and be running the AC.  Today it's cooler--67 right now--ahhh!  Fresh air!! 
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I've had people ask how I set up my Bullet Journal, being housebound and all.  (Feel free to scroll down if you aren't interested.)  I print off copies of that chart on the left page and then cut them down to double-sided-tape them into the journal.  Saves me re-drawing that chart every month.  Things I do daily or often (or wish I did more often--LOL!) can go on that daily chart for the month to check off.  Then on the right hand side I have the monthly goals, a calendar, and lists of people to send letters and cards.  
Then my actual ongoing bullet pages are compressed.  Since I can't get a lot done or count on which day I can do them, I split the month onto four pages.  Each page is approximately a week.  At the beginning and end there are either more or less days, but I like even numbered pages so my first two pages can be on the same spread.  And, yes, I do color code my entries.
This month I even got out some very old rub ons to throw on the pages for encouragement.
This is what a month looks like in a more skeletal state.  I worked ahead a couple months this time since I was feeling better.  ;)
I use a ruler and draw the dividing lines and squares.
This is that first sheet I tape in. 
I bought a stamp set I am crazy about that I can use to stamp the month every month--endlessly!  I circle birthdays in red and anniversaries in blue.  Beneath the calendar I make a list of people I owe letters to--and keep adding to that as the month goes on.
Then I write up the over-all goals for the month to the left of the calendar...
...and on the bottom of the letter list column I divide off a box for my list of birthday cards.  (Since I had my old rub-ons out I stuck a big love next to that box since it's Ian's birthday in June.)
Then on my next four pages I keep a weekly To-Do list going...
...and I divide off the bottom of the page for weekly appointments.
That is how my Bullet Journal works for somebody who is housebound and, shall we say, not very active--LOL!
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  I have just stated to do more hand drawn decorations rather than using washi tape (which is what I had been using up until the last couple months--so easy).  The washi tape is making the journal get fatter and fatter--LOL!  And since I don't use many pages per month it is going to take me a good long time to fill up this journal.  :)
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Oh, and I do keep various lists wherever and they are listed in the index.  I even (red) tagged this new one with my/our art & craft goals for the year.  (Man!  Behind, eh?) 
The segments are: Bookbinding, Bookcards, Calligraphy, Cards, Handmade Paper, Sewing-Leah, Sewing-Me, and Watercolors.  This is actually my goal (or wishful thinking) list I make up each year instead of resolutions.  Just a list of what I would like to do that year if I am lucky.  I think the best I have ever done was about half--LOL!  But I like it down in writing so that I can easily remind myself all year and add on if I want to.  What I don't get to is transferred from year to year.  Works for me.  :)
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The last couple days I have been working on letters.  
And what does Miss Karma do all afternoon?  
That's one of her new catnip balls.  A gift from McFamily.  There are teeth marks all over it--LOL!  Karma does enjoy her catnip.
Speaking of gifts from McFamily!!
Two dozen red roses!
Bouqs.com has some great deals.
Aren't they lovely!!
Thanks, guys!  :) :)
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Oh, I saw the two grouse again and tried to get a picture.  Sorry about the glare off the window. 
They got scared by a walker (sounds like the Walking Dead, doesn't it?) and ran right toward me. 
First time I've seen the black across their bellies so well!
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Miss Karma is going to miss the flower box.
But I am bringing out the trash this afternoon.
Karma likes to chew up fresh flowers.  She actually loves dried baby's breath...SO much that Leah made sure never to send anything with that in the bouquet because she'd sit under the flowers and howl and cry--and drive me nuts.
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Due to Karma's love of flowers the roses are up on top of the bookcases.  
I can take them down during the day (when I can keep an eye on Miss Karma) but have to put them up at night. 
Last night I caught this scene of the tree shadow and a jackrabbit munching grass.  I am easily enthralled.
So is Karma.
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OMGosh!  
News Flash!!
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As I was typing away here a heard a tapping on my door.  Two ladies were holding a box of flowers from Bouqs.com and asking me if I was Rita?  They thought the box had been there since yesterday...but I explained that I had gotten a box yesterday!?  This one had my name on it, too??  That was sweet of them because I had already gotten mail today and it wasn't there.  (So the person who delivered the flowers never buzzed me either day.)
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Anyways, I opened it enough to see it was another box of two dozen red roses!!  So I called Leah to find out if these were a mistake and supposed to go to another grandma or what was going on.  No, these were mine.  Leah said she had a coupon for more roses for the same price--but she didn't think it was for four dozen--thought it was for two dozen.  So she is going to check and make sure that either it was a deal for four dozen or make sure that they didn't charge her twice.  I told her she could have a couple dozen for Mother's Day--but she passed (doesn't like to get flowers).  I tried--LOL!  
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So, being as these are my only two larger vases, they are really jam packed now!  I know they aren't arranged quite symmetrically, but it was difficult just getting that many stems into the vases--anyplace at all--LOL!  Yesterday's are in the vase to the right and today's the left.  :)
This box came with some of the little purple flowers (can't remember what they are called), so I let Karma have one as a little present.  She loves it!  I played and played with her...she grabs it and gets all upset if I try to take it away...so, of course, that's what I do--LOL!  When I went to take a picture of her with "her precious" she thought that because I was next to the chair that I was going to try to steal it--so she would not take her eyes off of it--LOL!
So--roses two days in a row!  
Accident or not, wow!
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"My precious!"
(If cats could talk...and watched movies.)
Just snuck a picture of Karma sleeping on top of her treasure.
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Happy Mother's Day for all who will be celebrating tomorrow or thinking of someone they miss.  And a very special great big Happy Mother's Day to you, Leah!!  
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 “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” 
Jill Churchill