Friday, November 21, 2014


Good Morning!
We've seen blue sky a little more often since Tuesday. 
This morning it says "18 degrees--feels like 2 degrees".  Must be windy out there. 
 I actually got behind and worked on two weeks of the Paper Project at once.  (Yes, I have gotten in every week for four weeks--whoohoo!)  The third week was--left to right: Rhodia webnotepad, ivory, grey lined, 90g; Classic Rhodia, white, violet lined, 80g; R by Rhodia, ivory, grey lined, 90g. 
My favorite was the R by Rhodia, but they were all excellent.  The webnotepad and the "R" were so smooth!  (I already use the "R" writing pads regularly.)  The Classic Rhodia has just a touch of tooth to it.  Fantastic papers for fountain pens.  I would personally prefer blank sheets because all the lines are a bit wide for my taste.  The Rhodia webnotepad was even wider than the other two.  I prefer to buy blank pads or journals and then use my own writing guide behind the blank sheets. 
They all had some bleed through with the regular ultrafine Sharpie I threw in this time.  Certainly not unexpected.  Regular Sharpies bleed through just about everything... 
...except for the index cards that came in week four--which was why I decided to test a regular Sharpie.  The big pink graph paper is from a Clairfontaine Multiple Subjects notebook, pastel (pink), violet grid, 90g.  Then there were two Exacompta Index Cards, pastel (yellow and blue), grid, 205g. 
As I said previously, I'm not used to writing on grid paper and have not been won over yet...although I do prefer the narrower line spacing--LOL!  The papers performed excellently with fountain pens, of course, but discovered I'm not a fan of writing on pink or blue paper.  The yellow was okay, though.
The blacks look okay on any color.  The red shades and purples look even brighter on the pink paper--as well as the blues looking deeper on the blue paper--so it depends on what color ink you're using, I guess.  Maybe my old eyes just preferred the contrast that made it easier to read on the yellow--LOL!  Anyways, that was the last two paper tests from Exaclair USA.  :)
I caught Karma with the flash a couple evenings...snoozing under the table on a chair... 
...and in the red TV cabinet, 
When I remember, I've been opening the doors overnight to air out the cabinet because Leah is sensitive to odors and scents.  Karma thinks this new cabinet is hers.  Afraid not!  But she can enjoy snoozing in there for now.  ;) 
This afternoon I am heading over to McFamily's.  Leah and I have Christmas projects to work on.  :)  The sun is shining and there is pale blue sky visible today.  Karma just settled into her deep brown bed on her chair.  Cozy sounds really good, but I am off to brave the elements today.  Have a good one!!  :):)
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Good afternoon!  Yes, I am quite behind schedule today.
We've had a dusting of snow and some very cold weather.  Single digits.
South of us in the Twin Cites they got pretty dumped on but it missed us up here.  We've mostly had cold, gray skies...
...but did see some blue sky a few times this past week.
I spent Saturday over with McFamily.  Gramma got to watch Ian while Mama and Daddy put up Christmas lights outside on the house (about 20 degrees so they had to come in and warm up a few times) and shift things about in the garage so they can get both cars in there this winter.
Ian really likes to be sitting up these days...or practicing his standing.  Loves his little jumpy seat contraption.
We were having a great time yucking it I grabbed the camera.  
Thought maybe I could encourage him to do the raspberry for you, but he was more interested in the camera and trying to converse with Gramma--LOL!

I even stayed around for bath time!   
Note: They were talking about replacing those waterfall faucets.  You can't take them apart to clean them and they get gross inbetween there.  We all love the red and black sinks!
After Ian went to bed Leah cut my hair for me--ahhh!  I don't think I got home till after 11:30pm.  A really nice day!  
I was in pretty rough shape on Sunday and Monday, of course.  No surprise--LOL!  The extra long visit was totally worth it.  ;)  Feeling better today and finally slept today I am doing laundry and Caroline's boss will be here pretty soon (Katie got sick and had to reschedule from last Friday).
All you ladies over at Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday--take note that I am back, once again, to my trusty, very old Thermos cup.  You may recall I had troubles with the new Contigo cup dribbling on me?  (For those of you who don't know, I have a bum left arm--muscle damage from a job over 20 years ago.)  Well, I learned how to, little by little, keep twisting to get it tight enough not to dribble...but then...I couldn't get it back off again--ROFL!  So, it is now over at McFamily's where I will always have help.  :)  It holds like 2 1/2 cups of coffee and keeps it warm for a long, long time...but I need assistance to use it--LOL!
Karma finds my antics quite amusing.  
Anyways, I haven't much else to report.  Let's just say it wasn't a very productive week for me.  One of those hobbling about weeks.  But Leah and I do plan to work on some Christmas projects this week.  I'll try to remember to take pictures.  
The sun is trying to come out.  Karma's snoozing on a chair next to me.  I have to go switch clothes in the washer and dryer.  It's 21 degrees (-6C) and getting sunnier as I've been chatting with you all. 
Life is good! 
Have a wonderful week!!  :):)
"As the Sun shines upon my heart, so may my heart shine upon others!"
The Upanishads

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Bit of a late start on this freezing morning (20 F or -6 C).  Dark day.  Up too late.  The bed was warm.  You know how it is--LOL!  
Anyways, good morning!  Leah and I have had trouble with our shared drop box.  She puts pictures in it and I never get them for some reason.  Leah's working on fixing that but, in the meantime, she emailed me her picture of Ian smiling and laughing when they got home from our voting excursion last Tuesday.    
Just as an aside...
I am curious as to why this person usually parks this far back from the sidewalk.  ??  I thought my depth perception was bad--LOL!  
Well, I did my paper testing on week #2 of the Paper Project. 
For those interested--these blank papers are, from left to right: G. Lalo Verge de France, white, 100 g; Clairefontaine Triomphe, white, 90 g; Clairefontaine GraF it, white, 90 g.  All performed beautifully, of course, and there was no bleeding or shadowing--not even with the 1.5 Parallel Pen.  
I am intimately familiar with the Clairefontaine Triomphe writing tablets because I have been using those for several years.  The paper is soooo smooth that any pen just glides effortlessly across the page.  Little longer drying time but I write with fine & extra fine nibs and do have ink-patience (and a cute rocking blotter--lol!) so it's never been an issue for me.
The G. Lalo Verge de France (notice I spelled Rhapsody correctly this time--lol!) is very different than the rest.
G. Lalo has this softly ridged grid like a hand-laid paper.  Very fancy.  Seems very absorbent, dries quickly, and has a lot of tooth--but still has no bleed-through.  The slight bumpiness took some getting used to but, then again, I am used to the almost slippery-slick Triomphe and Rhodia writing tablets.  
Can you tell I am having a great time playing with papers--hehe!  I just got week #3 in the mail!!  Whoohoo!
McFamily arrived last night.  (They went visiting for the weekend and bumped to Monday.)  I thought they were coming to pick up Phil...but they worked on putting more red furniture together instead.  TaDa!!  The choice was probably more than okay with Phil being as the temp was in the teens.  (How did it get this cold this fast?)
So now the second end table is together.  (These are so cute I can hardly stand it!)    
Notice the new Contigo raspberry insulated coffee cup for T-Stands For Tuesday.  :) 
Yes, I'm trying another brand.  This one doesn't wobble...but the cover is tricky for me with my weak/bum arm.  I have to screw it on very tightly or it dribbles on me.  So if you have arthritis or any weakness in arm/wrist strength--then I wouldn't recommend this brand.  I think I'll get used to it, though, and how it is supposed to feel when closed tightly.  If I let it sit a couple minutes and tighten again before I drink I have better luck--LOL!  But it sure is pretty and holds a lot of coffee and keeps it hot for a long time.  ;)
And finally...

drum roll, please... 
Yes!!  They got the TV stand together, too!! 
How awesome is this!!  See the hole in the back for all the cords? 
Left it wide open to air out all night because it does/did have a strong paint/lacquer smell to it...(noticed cat hair inside this morning)...but I love it!! 
At this point Ian needed to go back home and start getting ready for bedtime.  Gramma got to give him a bottle and hold him while he took a short, once again, arms full of baby and no pics--LOL!  We need to get a video, though.  His latest thing is giving the raspberry!  Was cracking me up.  But Dagan and Leah warned me it's not as funny if he does it with a mouthful of milk or sprays you with a juicy drool raspberry--ROFL!  Good thing Gramma is washable, eh?
Anyways, next time they come over we'll be doing the furniture switch...which involves all the mystery cords and boxes that keep Netflix and I the BFFs that we are.  ;) ;)  I'll pray for some above-freezing weather for poor Phil's move...and I do plan to tackle the scary sewing machine...soon.  Caroline got the flu and switched to Thursday, poor thing.  We are hitting single digits this week...maybe we did already?  I have matching end tables.  I plan to visit McFamily this week so Leah and I can start stamping Christmas cards.  Life may be very cold, but it's good!  That's what's happening up here in Fargo.  
Happy Tuesday!!  :):)
"If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought."
Peace Pilgrim

Sunday, November 09, 2014


It's a filtered-sun morning.  I caught a dirty-cloud afternoon one day this last week.
Leah picked me up and we went to vote on Tuesday. 
I promised Ian my sticker if I got one. 
We've had a lot of cold, cloudy days.  In fact it's 25 degrees right now (-4 C) and it sounds like we'll be lucky to hit 30 this whole week (-1 C). 
Last Wednesday evening it snowed.  I tried to take a picture when it first started. 
It did snow enough to put a white fluffy layer over everything.  By the time I remembered to take a picture the next day it was already mostly melted away. 
Well, I did get the new sewing machine unboxed. 
The big white thing in lower right hand corner is the carrying case I bought to go with it.  
The machine is mostly plastic.  Feels so different than my old metal one. 
I have to confess that I am feeling overwhelmed and intimidated.  Have picked up the manual half a dozen times and gone into brain freeze.    
Has that ever happened to you?  It's like my mind can't focus.  I can read a sentence or paragraph over and over and not retain anything whatsoever.  I remember this happening to me in college or even way back in high school when I went to tackle a book in a class that I knew was going to be really difficult for Spanish.  (Yes, had Spanish in both high school and college but to this day can only remember a few colors, numbers, and a mere smattering of meatballs--duh!)  I felt like this when I first got my McLap, too.  Everything was alien to me with a laptop...the keyboard, the little touch box thingie...took me a long time to get used to it.
Now, the alien computerized sewing machine sits at my table...waiting for me to force myself into pushing past the brain freeze.  This week.  I have to do it this coming week.  And I pray we become as good of friends as me & McLap.  (Which, sadly, means I only knowing the functional basics and nothing more.)  
This week....
Meanwhile, on these dark days...   
You'd have to enlarge this to see that the automatic lights outside and on a few buildings were coming on...and this was at noon!!  And as you can see the movers of the earth are busy pushing dirt about before it freezes up...all across my horizon.  Will be a lot of building next year.  
The floor is colder.  Miss Karma spends more time up in her warm brown bed.  
I made up a dozen bookcards with the paper-towel "papers" for covers.  Used all the ones I had added color to before I glued them together. 
Got down all four sewing stuff banker boxes from my bedroom closet.  Doesn't Karma look more relaxed. 
We did have a couple glimpses of blue sky and sun, too, this week. 
McFamily went visiting this weekend.  They plan to come by to pick up Phil tomorrow night. 
Phil is slowly dying in my dark bedroom.  I keep picking yellow and dead leaves off of him.  He would not fare well all winter in there...and he's too big for the new desk hutch which is narrower.  I hope he survives the move to Dagan and Leah's.  We figure if Leah trims him down he could probably make several baby Phils...and I would definitely like one of them.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you!  Cashwise delivery finally worked with my EBT card this month--tada!!  Now it's just a matter of the corporate web team getting all the products back online and (possibly) fixing the website issues--LOL!  The natural foods department is obviously not high on their priority list...and the website is still worse than their old one...but I can finally get deliveries again, at least.   That's a relief!  
Been busy cleaning, purging, baking, cooking...  
Took me a whole afternoon to go through two drawers in the soon-to-be-removed other end table.  Everything needed to be thoroughly examined...several items needed new spots...and, therefore, some needed new containers...which sidetracked me in the bedroom for over an hour...then I found the forgotten laser pointer...which led to recharging batteries...and torturing Miss Karma...  
Yes, I am a world class putterer.  But I am busy.  And I am slowly getting things done.  Really.  :)
Now I just need to push through the brain freeze with the scary-complicated new sewing machine...  ;)
  I had to find a self-bolstering quote for me for today.
Dive in and have a great week. :):)
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."
Duke Ellington

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Good Morning!
Good Morning!
Been another week again already--goodness!
We've had a few days with sun... 
...but a lot of them have been like this. 
I remember seeing Sunday morning that it said it was "30 degrees-feels like 16".  But Karma says--when you're inside on a sunny day you can bask on the carpet without getting too cold...yet. 
She's much less frantically scratching in a frenzy like she was since getting her hazelwood collar.  Not that she's stopped, of course, but she's calmer and her face and ears seem to be slowly clearing up.  ??  I am pleased it has helped at all and a bit surprised, actually.  Whoohoo!  :)
Exaclair is a company that imports a lot of excellent, fountain-pen-friendly paper from Europe.  They are conducting something they call The Paper Project right now over on the Rhodia Drive blog.  Pen/ink/paper nuts, like myself, can sign up and hope to be chosen each week to get some free paper samples to play with.  (You know it takes a particular type of person to get a thrill from getting three pieces of paper in the mail--LOL!)  Of course, I signed up the second I heard about it.  ;)  I got in the first week when they chose 30 recipients...and just got my envelope from the second week when they upped it to 50 recipients. 
The first week we got three different samples of graph paper.  For those who are interested, they are left to right: Clairefontaine Classic, white/blue/graph 90g; Rhodia 80th, ivory/grey/graph 90g; Rhodia Ice, white/grey/graph 80g. 
I have to confess that I have never written on graph paper--even though I see graph tablets and notebooks have become quite popular.  (I've also never tried the new dot grid, either.)  I found out I prefer the grey graph lines because they are softer and lighter.  Liked both the 90g papers better than the 80g (little more tooth/resistance and also had a bit more shadowing).  They all were perfectly excellent, though--even with the wide Parallel Pen dropping down a heavy amount of ink...but the two 90g papers seemed smoother to me.   
I use fine and extra fine nibs normally and that makes a difference on preferences.  I still prefer blank or thinly lined paper, but this was fun trying something new.  I had to use the seven fountain pens I happened to have filled right now and, as you can see, I prefer Pilot pens and am presently trying out a lot of their Iroshizuku ink samples that I ordered from Goulet Pens.  (I have fallen in love with Iroshizuku inks, BTW--smooth, flow well, dry fast--just a delight!) 
Noticed afterwards that I misspelled Rhapsody--LOL!  I was just so busy with the writing experience and how the paper responded to the pens...well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  ;) 
No bleed through to the back and little or no shadowing.  You'd have no trouble writing on both sides of any of these papers.   
I can hardly wait to play with my next three samples--all blank this time--although one of them is already a staple of mine.  (Clairfontaine Triomphe writing tablets--love them!) 
I've been slowly gluing the old paper towels together (almost to the end of the stack!)--and I found these two that had herbs printed on them.  They didn't even have paint on them, either.  Glued them together...loved the look and the texture...couldn't resist making one of my bookcards.  
I thought maybe I could tear the edges so I'd have a deckled edge. 
Ah--nope.  The glue gives it a bit of a stiff, plastic consistency so the "paper" tore ragged and uneven.
Got out my Dahl cutter instead...(notice the coffee mug T Stands For Tuesday ladies over at Elizabeth's)...
...and here it is!
I will never look at printed paper towels the same again--LOL! 
Even the inside has the herbal print.  Cool!  (Already filled and off in the mail today, BTW.) 
I cleaned the fish bowl.  Am down to two tetras left and one ottocinclus.  These old fish will eventually all die and then I'm taking a fish break for a few years...I hate to say forever.  There may be a betta, whose great grandparents aren't even born yet, with my name on it--LOL!  ;)
Last night McFamily came to visit!!  Dagan and Leah got my table stabilized and functional again--whoohoo!!  I got to feed Ian a bottle again, too.  The last time he had one was when I gave him one about a month ago.  He took it more readily this time.  We almost forgot--again--but Leah took some pics.  Ian always seems distracted by the camera...
...but not for long.  :) 
When I say he's growing so fast...well, I told you he started rolling over front to back at 3 months, right?  Well, he already rolled over back to front now at about four months and he's doing the spinning about on the floor using his legs already.  Goodness sakes!  At this rate it won't be too long and he'll be crawling!  Look out cats!
Anyways, my craft/everything table is back!!! 
See the metal bands on the base?   
I will not hip-move it by myself ever again--promise.  So happy to see it upright again I could have kissed it!  Now I can get the new sewing machine out of the box!!  
And guess what!  They got one of the end tables together, too, last night!!  I love it!!  So darn cute.  And the red is perfect.  Not a bright red or a burgundy--just a luscious deep red.  You never know for sure when you order online, you know?  I am absolutely delighted.  :)
Karma claimed the empty black end table, of course.  (The old ones will be going down in Dagan and Leah's basement.)
These are all the glued paper towels I have been very slowly working on over the last month or two. 
At first I was putting some extra color on them before I glued them... 
...but them just glued them as is...figuring I can add color afterwards.  
I am almost done with the gluing.  Be finished with what was a huge stack in the next few days.  By then I should be deep into meeting my new "computerized" sewing machine, eh?  
This afternoon the plan is for Leah and Ian to pick me up to go vote.  And it sounds like McFamily will be picking up Phil on Friday.  He has to be moved before it gets so cold that he'll go into shock if he is thrust into the outside air.  He's gotten so huge that it is quite a project to move him...a lot harder than Fern was.  So, barring bad weather, I think Phil will be gone Friday.  He would not like living in my dark bedroom all winter.
Oh!  Before I forget!  I have noticed that a couple people's blogs now have that strange little "prove you're not a robot" box in order to leave a comment--and they didn't have it before.  ??  Is this something new Blogger/Google is pulling on us?  Is it on mine?  Let me know, okay?  
Well, that was the week that was in Fargo--ROFL!
Thanks to each and every one of you who bother to come by for a visit--whether you comment or not.  Just thanks!  You are appreciated.  Enjoy the rest of your coming week.  :):) 
"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
Joseph Campbell