Friday, August 31, 2007


I am getting really tired of the days and nights switching and all the crazy hours, but I suppose it is best to sleep whenever I am able to, since lack of sleep causes the fibro to be even worse. It is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they say. I get to where I don't know what day it is anymore. Yesterday, after being up all night again and not sleeping well again for a couple of days, I went to lay down at 9am. I was supposed to have company last night, but she called and rescheduled for next week--so I turned off the alarm and slept--until 11:30pm!! So, once again, I have been up all night. I think it is Friday--hehe!

When I do have these catch-up on my sleep marathons--it is wonderful! I am dreaming and sleeping so well and not getting up as often--not as restless. You just don't realize how precious sleep is until it is doled out to you--chuckle! And I had missed dreaming. That is something that has come back to me again--when I have the sleepathons--hehe! People need to dream, I think. I think my soul suffers more from being dream-deprived than sleep-deprived. :)

This morning--since it was cooler, was a nice morning, I got a lot of good sleep, wasn't really extra sore, was awake with the dawn, and if I wait for help it will never get done--I went out and started sorting thru boxes and bags in the garage. I am starting an area by the door for things to be picked up for the homeless. I didn't even last my full hour but close to it! :) My arm started to burn a little--it's not too pleased with the lifting--and I do need to wash clothes today, so I stopped right away. Listening to my body. I got a start, tho! TaDa!!

This is the third summer since I moved here and I have never gotten back out into the garage to clean up and organize since I moved in! Everything was just tossed and piled in there back when I moved in. Plus I have kept bringing things out there--Dagan and Leah are storing things out there--just a mess, of course. I barely put a dent in it--hehe! I should have brought the camera for a "before" picture--but I forgot it. Next time. As I said--I barely put a dent in it anyways--just shuffled boxes and bags over to the door. Feels good to have gotten started, tho. Even if I can get out there once or twice a week--it will get done eventually. :) I'll need Dagan and Leah for certain things. I just cannot move heavy things with this bum arm anymore and I can only do a little at a time with the fibro---but I can get quite a bit of it sorted on my own using mostly my good arm--little by little. I guess I certainly got my exercise for today! :)

Ha! I see the weather on TV as I am writing this--and today is the only nice day expected for a while. So, looks like I picked a good day to do that. Looks like rain every day again for several days and hotter weather, too, back into the 80's. I am so glad I finally got out there!! I have been telling myself to get out on a cooler day and get going before the snow flies around here--hehe! *Big Grin* Takes me so long to complete these kind of physical projects any more. They are admittedly daunting, to say the least. I guess going back on Sparks has really motivated me again. Good!

Then--I am so excited! Haiying went to China yesterday. She will be finding me (and for others from the CBP group and her students) seals and a carver--and various items like ink sticks and brushes, etc. Haiying wrote my names for me on a video--can't remember if I have put the link in here, but I'll put it in again just in case. She was explaining calligraphy practice paper to Barbara from the group and then drew my names for me--the two that I will have made into seals--"Rita" and "SoulComfort"!!

She picked my characters for my name after getting to know me. Chinese sure sounds confusing to learn. Haiying said that there can be up to 100 meanings or characters for one sound--so she picks what she feels represents the person after she gets to know them a little better. I asked her to do the SoulComfort by the meaning, since she said it didn't have a positive name by the sound/phonetically. What a sweet lady! So, I have had my characters personally picked! I am excited because her husband will be in the United States in September, so I will be getting my order sooner than I had thought (November). Yipee! I can hardly wait. I guess I had better practice learning how to sign my names in Chinese so that I can write them on any paintings I ever have that might turn out well enough to sign--ROFL!!

I feel rested--the sun is out--it is a sparkly day--the birds are singing--the washer is going--a cool breeze is floating in the open windows--and I already got something bigger accomplished this morning! What a good day, eh? Life is good!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Okay, I showed the sheaf of regular paper I made--now these are the four sheets I made out of actual paper towels that I put aside to attempt to do brush painting on the front for cards. They are already folded but I will have to unfold them to paint in case it soaks all the way thru the paper--hehe! They do not feel like regular paper--very soft and porous. No idea if they will work well or not for brush painting, but I had to try it. I need to get back in practice painting again before I attempt it, tho.
Been awake all night again--sigh! I fell asleep in my little chair again yesterday. The culprit for these unprecedented napping spells is this old neck pillow I found and brought out when I was so sore from cleaning and organizing. I got it years ago for my massage table--for people's necks when they laid on their backs while I was doing energy work/Healing Touch/Reiki/Soul Comfort. Thought it might help my neck and shoulders in my chair when I was so sore--and it did. But it has led to unexpected napping when I am tired--for hours--in my chair. Good grief! I might turn into a napper yet--heaven forbid!! hehe! Even with the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I rarely ever have napped--just sleep longer when I am so extra tired when I do get to sleep. Just felt so strange! I didn't know what day it was! Chuckle! Here's the flowery culprit!
I spent all my good hours on the computer. I was finally all caught up on emails--for a few hours, anyways--hehe! Snooping around for bookbinding supplies I still will need. Got back on! I was suddenly unable to access the website last winter for no apparent reason. After a couple of months, I never thought about it anymore, actually--gave up. I was just contacted by a couple of people I had met on Sparks and decided to check--and I was able to get onto the website again, consistently. So, I am back on Sparks--getting motivated to be healthy and lose weight--and chatting online with the "Old Hippies Losin' It" and the "Chatty Crafters"! Also joined a group who just post three things they are thankful for every day and another one on The Secret--lots of positives, right?

I am totally amazed at all the wonderful people one can met online! Blows my mind! I was rather afraid to even post anywhere until the last couple of years. I have mostly been an online lurker in the past. And I have gotten a lot braver this past year, actually. :) Nice of them to Invent the computer and the Internet for this solitary lady in Fargo, eh? It is like being able to have a little company any time I am well enough to be spending time on the computer--and I know they are there.

The people in the Chinese Brush Painting Yahoo group--hard to even describe how they lift my spirits and are so kind to a beginner who bothers them with questions. :) They have the most interesting conversations. I have been introduced to something I never thought I'd feel comfortable attempting to learn--and enjoying it so much! The immediacy of the process--the alien feel of the paper--the challenge--it is all very satisfying to me even when I am not "satisfied" with my actual painting or practice strokes. There is a freedom in it that I have never felt with western painting. And that is exactly the polar opposite of what I had expected! Because it is precise and there are really no second chances in brush painting, I have been shocked by the feeling of freedom and relaxation that it gives me. Practicing strokes is almost meditative for me! :)

Anyways, I need to get a few hours of sleep. Leah is stopping by tonight to cut my hair back to chin length again. It is too thin to be this long--hehe!

I hope you all have something you love to do that brings you great joy! Something good for your soul! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I was reading some crazy article that was on my Yahoo home page about how scientists had done a study on cat's memories and determined that their memories only lasted for ten minutes.
They obviously have never owned a cat.
(See August 8, 2007)

Karma is still keeping mystery critter vigil at least once a day, if not more.

I had a very nice, peaceful day yesterday--playing around with brush painting, writing a letter in a bookcard, cooking, putting back all the handmade papermaking supplies up in the hall closet for now, reading, receiving calls from two friends, catching up on reading emails & digests and getting rid of junk mail--just a quiet day. Didn't feel too sore. Didn't overdo. Was a good day!! Plan on another one today. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007


I do have a lot of handmade paper to play with. I suppose I could put away all the supplies for a while. :) Here's all the rest of the paper I made in July and August.

I started to get set up for the brush painting and as soon as Karma saw the water bowls again...
...she couldn't wait to drink out of them--she just plunged right in!
Funny! She has never tried to drink out of them when I am actually painting (I keep an eye on her). Maybe she can smell the paints and inks? But I always empty them, scrub them out, and refill them when I am done when I am leaving all the supplies out and at the ready. Knowing that Miss Karma will be drinking out of the bowls. Karma prefers "sneaking" the water when she thinks I am not looking, of course. Always tastes better. So, I was surprised when she ran right up and started drinking out of the bowl--she obviously missed those bowls! She loves and prefers all the bowls that Leah made! Ignores her old water bowl most of the time now. She will ask to go out on the porch specifically just to drink out of the water bowl on the porch that Leah made. Silly girl!
Anyways, I did get the brushes out yesterday and played some with the Doddle Pad (newsprint) for practice paper. I have been looking at any demonstrations that I can find on brush painting on YouTube. Found a demo of a carp and tried it. Really messed up the tail, especially. Should have gone back and watched the video again-hehe! Just wanted to try something new, I guess. I have been focused on orchids and bamboo and haven't tried anything else. Was fun!
I also worked on a couple of the EDM challenges, but I only have one page done and I don't take the picture until I have a page spread finished. :) Guess I'll have to work on the other page here pretty soon.
Dark day. Scattered thunderstorms. Don't you love the weathermen? Yesterday in the morning I checked and it was supposed to be sunny out today. By later in the day yesterday--the prediction was partly cloudy. Today--storms. Duh! They're here. They could probably do as well looking out the window or calling friends in Bismarck--hehe! Anyways, have a good one!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I didn't sleep well Friday night--so I actually fell asleep in my chair for 4-5 hours on Saturday and woke up at quarter to eight at night! Talk about an unusual thing for me to do. Unheard of when Miss Gracie was here, that's for sure--plus I am not usually a napper--hehe! So, I have been up all night again. Warning--lots of pictures this morning!
First of all, here are the potential cards that I glued the paper moulds on the fronts of on Friday. The one card, standing up, is actually finished. But--funny thing--I went to write in it this morning and it wasn't such a good idea to put the moulds on before I had written in them--hehe! Really are quite lumpy to write on that side--chuckle! Do-able, tho. I shall manage, never fear. :)

Okay--here is the entire construction process. First I take the cover sheet of handmade paper, place it on the plastic piece that protects the table... ...line up the ruler and punch the holes every half an inch. I decided I needed a nice tight sewing to keep the pages neat and so the threads wouldn't be flopping about like they can do when they are longer.
Then I picked out however many sheets I wanted for that card (2-6 half sheets--this one had 6), lined up the ruler again, and punched the holes half inch apart again through all six sheets. I just love my Japanese screw punch!! Was such a good investment. I use it a lot!
I picked out a color of embroidery thread to go with the card and used a threader for the needle. This is a needle with a larger hole and a dull point.
I tend to pull off too much of the thread, but I never have to worry about not having enough, I guess--hehe! :)
I pull the thread halfway through the bottom hole of the card...
...and then sew up to the top and leave the thread dangle. Thread the needle on the other end...
...and sew up the other side...
...leaving the threads on the outside of the card.
Then I tie a knot--about 4 times.
Trim the knot and you're done. I have left dangling threads, too, before. You could even tie beads, charms, or other do-dads on to the threads, too. Whatever you like.
Yes--I save the leftover pieces of embroidery thread--chuckle! I plan to cut them up into small pieces and throw them into some paper pulp one day--like thread confetti! :)
Here's the "bookcard" all finished.
And from another angle. They do lie flat when you are writing, too. I am loving them!!
So--that is what I was doing in the middle of the night as long as I was awake. :) Keeps me out of trouble, eh?
I only made a couple of cards and took all these pictures. I have a whole stack of handmade paper to make cards with, too. Now that I have this process going, I can move it to one end of the table and get the Chinese brush painting stuff out again--tada! I also want to get back to practicing my orchids and bamboo. :)
Others are getting up soon--I shall be crashing in a while here. Have a great day!! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Felt good enough yesterday to at least begin working on the bookcards.

I started by cutting some sheets of the 32 lb. cotton business paper in half (cutter on the far left). Then I folded them in half and creased the edges with the bone folder. I took a few of the handmade paper sheets and folded them in half and creased them with the bone folder, too.

I also did glue a few of the paper moulds on to the front of a few cards--no pictures yet. Have never tried using the paper moulds before and didn't know what glue to try. I used Tacky glue. Had to put a light weight on top of the cards to get the moulds to stay put, since they were a little wavy. I did make two bookcards yesterday (no moulds), but didn't get pictures. Was concentrating on how many holes to cut, etc. I'll get more pictures next time I am constructing the bookcards.

I got so wrapped up watching the end of the Deadwood series yesterday that when I woke up at 5:15am I was lying there wondering how it ended--got up and watched the rest--hehe! So much for my Deadwood weekend--hehe! Well, the Specials DVD is supposed to arrive today so I will have a little bit more Deadwood--chuckle! I was relieved to hear that they are hoping to do a 2-hour movie. I really, really hope they can do that and get all of the actors together again for it. The storyline was just cut off when they were cancelled.

Yawn! Yawn! But I couldn't resist watching the last two episodes early this morning. Karma has been on the porch. Baby swallows (looked like babies to me--beautiful but not too bright) have been landing on the railing on the other side of the screen. Karma just freezes, but she doesn't try to catch them. She stands up occasionally and paws lightly toward them--(and they don't even fly away?) Her hesitation probably comes from living with Gracie--hehe! She is fascinated--glued to the spot--Cat TV--hehe!

Lets hope this doesn't mean they have been building another nest in the dryer vent...???

Beautiful sunny day today. Down into the upper 40's again last night, but supposed to get into the 80's today. Life in the North Country, eh? :)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Been being good. Yesterday I laid down for a "nap" at 3:30pm and woke up at 2:30am. Some nap! I hadn't slept well at all the night before and was tired, but I hadn't realized how tired I was. You'd think I was a bear and ready to hibernate with this chilly fall weather.

Not as sore now today. Good! Is it any wonder it took me almost five months to unpack (with occasional help) when I moved here and over a month of total R&R to recover. Sad, but true.

It's going to be a Deadwood weekend--hehe! Have more DVDs coming from the third season. That will help keep me in line so that I can get totally recovered and back to normal. :) Flipping days and nights has me feeling off kilter, too--but I would like to stay mainly on days, of course.

Karma is glad I am feeling better. We played hide and seek this morning and I had a couple of her favorite pole toys on a string out and we played till she was too tired to play anymore--hehe! Now she's parked in the chair by the window watching the sun come up and people leave for work--one of her favorite morning things to do (if she's not sleeping in bed with me--chuckle!)

Have a good day!! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Last of the angel pictures I have been saving.
This is a male angel and you put oil inside the tiny place--I have never gotten it to work as a candle and dust sticks to the oily wick--but he's cool!

This one is actually a bell.
Here's a rabbit or bunny angel.
The next three were moved from the curio cabinet yesterday, but here's the older pictures I have been waiting to post. This is a praying angel.
Here's the cat loving angel.
And this is a metal angel pin.
I think those are all the angels I have around the place now. Can't even remember when I posted the angel collection last--months ago? Oh well, this is the last of them--(that are in the apartment, anyways--lots more in the garage--hehe!) Might not all even be on the blog anymore. When Blogger switched us over to Google as a host, I lost several of my pictures. Oh well--such is life, eh?
Monday I actually managed to wash clothes. I forgot I needed the cleaning cloths for Caroline. I only slept a couple of hours--Caroline came and cleaned. We got the curio cabinet cleaned and reorganized (which made me remember to post the rest of the angels). Was hurtin' and I didn't even blog yesterday. It was another dark and drizzly day. So dark that the automatic garage lights were on all day again.
I went to bed at 6pm last night and have been up since 3:45am--tada! Hoping that I will stay closer to being on days again. We'll see.
I am just glad I have no appointments, my place is back in order, I have clean clothes and sheets, my table is cleaned off, the sun has actually come out this morning, and I can just collapse for a couple of days. :) Later...

Monday, August 20, 2007


Dagan showed up first with more of the painting supplies--canvases and such. He took out my cart full of stuff to my garage for me. Leah was on call for Vally Video and had answer that first. She showed up later with Taco Bell for all of us. :)

They put the pails on the two outside plants for me. Thanks, guys! That one in the corner is really scrawny. I didn't think it would survive the summer. Maybe it will do better inside this winter.
It was so nice to see them. They are waiting on an appraisal on the house to be built--I guess that is the last step before the decision is made? I sure hope it all works out for them. The loan official at the bank is helping them with it all. He seemed pretty conservative to begin with, so I don't think he'd lead them astray. Should find out pretty soon.

I have still been up all night and sleeping during the day. Karma likes to come up and sleep next to me at the computer, especially in the middle of the night. I had to put two little stuffed critters in her way or she lays her head right on the keyboard--does strange things to it and has even frozen the screen up several times. Now that the little stuffed animals are there she curls up next to them and my keyboard is safe.
May look a little strange when people see these two little critters piled almost, shall we say, inappropriately on top of each other for no apparent reason--chuckle! There's a legitimate reason for the odd placement--had to make them as high as possible or Karma just laid her head over them right onto the keyboard--haha!
It has felt like Fall! Chilly and damp--in the 60s during the day! Feels like October instead of August. August is usually so unbearably hot. Strange weather, that's for sure. This can't be good for the farmer's crops if we don't get some warm weather here pretty soon. Feels like, if this keeps up, that we will have the leaves changing. Like I should get the winter clothes out already. Odd.
I am one of the people who actually doesn't mind it at all. I love sleeping with the window open when it is 50 degrees outside. In fact, I have the fan in the window and love to cuddle under the blankets when the room is cold! Ummmm! I prefer it colder rather than hotter. Always have.
Anyways, I need to rest up for a couple of days, but I am so thrilled that I am finally done with the cleaning/reorganizing project!! Relief!! And--thrill--I have a Deadwood DVD to watch!! I love that show and have waited a long time to finally start getting Season 3--which I believe is their last season? :( So, as long as I have to be good for a while, I have something great to watch tonight! Hurray! Later. :) :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


All the do-dads are cleaned and back on top of the hutch and bookcase. I got busy in the middle of the night-hehe! Took out the trash and picked up all the stuff off the floor--put away what I could and piled the little green cart up high with stuff to go to the garage. I am going to ask Dagan or Leah if they could wheel it out for me today when they come over. I guess it doesn't hurt to admit you could use some help, right? It took fibromyalgia and a bad arm demanding that I needed help--forcing me into it--before I finally--slowly--learned that lesson. We all need help sometimes. I still get twinges of shame and I still hate to bother anybody. It's the Scandinavian/Swedish upbringing, I guess, combined with my independent personality. we say in the Midwest.

Since Leah brought back my cutting supplies....
...I made my first "bookcard" last night, too! Well, remade. I had one card left from the last batch--messed up the first page and decided to take it apart and add more pages inside. Wow! I had six half sheets cut to size--which made twelve pages. When you write on both sides--that's twenty-four tiny pages--tada!! Love it!!

I dug out one of my lined grid sheets (I have made up for letter writing on various unlined paper) and cut it down to size for the little bookcards. Then, for the heck of it--I made up a larger envelope template (just a little larger than normal to fit the fat bookcard) and made my very first envelope. I have never made one before--I know, what a shock, eh? So, I am not up to doing too much today, of course. But it is so nice!! I just need the cart to go to the garage and I can wait and clean the curio cabinet under the hanging plant later (or even have my cleaning girl do it on Tuesday--now that's a thought! Asking for help, right?) I can relax and things can get back to normal--my normal. Ahhh! I can hear the Chinese brushes and the Japanese screw punch calling me now!

I will post pictures of how I am making the bookcards the next time I get into that project. For now, Dagan and Leah should be here pretty soon. I am going to go collapse until they arrive....

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I was too sore to even blog yesterday. For a couple of days before that I was busy, tho. Got the bookcases done by the window. Still might have a little tweaking to do, but they are basically organized--and there is room left where the couple of large plastic satchels will fit that are over at Leah's right now. This might not be noticeably different to anybody else, but it is to those of us who use the space--hehe!
I still have an assortment of empty boxes and odds and ends on the floor in different areas that needs to be cleaned up--and I still have to bring things out to the garage and the dumpster. So, one more day of more physical stuff and the place will be basically back in order. I am hoping to do that tomorrow afternoon before Dagan and Leah come over. R&R yesterday and today and I should be up to it. :)
I have been working on painting the ice cream pails here and there, too. Leah stopped by Thursday night and brought me the satchel with all our cutting supplies in it--so I can work on the bookcards when I am up to it. She helped me with the big philodendron on the desk hutch.
This is why I was making the pails to cover up the pots. Yuck! (WalMart pots.)
This is where the philodendron had sprawled out across the wall. (I had already removed all the do-dads on top of both the hutch and the bookcase.)
Leah helped me take it off the wall and swirl it around the newly covered pot! Took up most of the top of the hutch--hehe!
Here's another covered pot across the room. I guess they don't look all that bad.
Dagan and Leah are bringing the last of the painting supplies over tomorrow night. And Leah said she'd help get the hanging porch plants in their new ice cream pail pots, too. Nice! They don't cover the very top of the ugly pots, but they look better nonetheless. And--added bonus--don't have to worry about overflow--hehe!
I also found a new spot for the leather scraps--in a large plastic container that fits under my bed. This shows the thicker scraps on the right and the thinner on the left. The thinner scraps are pretty small on the whole except for a couple of pieces and they're in very odd shapes. Not sure if they would work for a book? Only way would be if you patch-sewed them together, I suppose. Ah--well--that's for another day...
I looked all over the apartment for something I could use for my smaller pot that hangs here inside. Found an empty sherbet container and painted that, too. The stack of books in the middle of the table are about book-binding. I found directions for putting a book together with the coptic stitching open back that I'd like to try with the thicker leather.
Anyways, the sherbet container worked! Just the same as the others--with the top rim of the ugly pot sticking above. I am so happy it fit, tho!
That's what I had been doing Wednesday and Thursday. I had to think--my days and nights are flip-flopped and it is hard to remember which day is which. I am so glad all the bookcases have been cleaned and organized--tops and most shelves have been scrubbed off well. Kind of like doing spring cleaning in August, eh? Including, now I also will have to totally clear off and clean the cabinet under the little hanging plant because everything fell down upon it. (These awful pots are just crumbling an outside layer right off of them!)
Anyways, my table is cleared off again now!! So once I am finished up with the tail ends of this cleaning project tomorrow--I can set up for brush painting again on one end for sure. Might make some more paper yet--haven't decided. Haven't put all those supplies away yet--thought I might do a few more...?? We'll see how I feel after a break.
Been cooler and raining up here in the North Country. Makes it easier to sleep with a cool breeze at night--ahh! Been down to upper 40s and low 50s at night.
That's it--I have been typing very fast--only gave myself half an hour on the timer because I am still very sore. Hopefully will have time to blog tomorrow before Dagan and Leah arrive, but if not--I'll be back Monday. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Last night I finally finished the ice cream pails! These are the two for inside--didn't paint the bottoms.

These are the two for outside--painted bottoms for the hanging plants. Then coated with a clear polyurethane to help protect them against the weather.
They are getting a good dry before I start putting plant pots inside of them. This entire experiment might not even work at all. Might look really awful--who knows? And, then again, I might not really care--they're bound to look better than the ugly pots, after all--hehe!

I had to bend the corner of the newspaper under. The wind came and flapped the paper up onto the side of the pail when I had been painting them--made a mess of it. So much for the weathermen saying there was absolutely no wind for once in Fargo last night--hehe! There's always at least a little breeze up here. :)

It is morning, the sun is shining, and I am about ready to go to bed here pretty soon. Yup--my days and nights are still totally flip-flopped. Living the crazy, wild life over here, eh? (I think the fumes from the polyurethane are getting to me--chuckle!)

When the pails are good and dry I can get them off the table--then, whether I finish my big organization project right away or not, I can set up again to paint, to draw, or to do something creative. If my OCD tendencies can be held at bay, that is, and I can ignore the mess. Hummmm??? That is a big question....

I have been spending some time snooping around on YouTube--looking for painting demos (of several kinds) and searching for demos on bookbinding. When I am searching around on the computer, I can use up all my good hours pretty quickly--and I don't even get to all my emals! It is amazing to me how fast time disappears at the computer! :)

I was looking for a demo on coptic stitching for book binding. Leah has these leather scraps she got at a fair--the scraps aren't very large--so we'd have to make smaller books (~3-4" by 4-5"). I'd love to try to make a little sketchbook with watercolor paper! I found one demo that had enough of the actual sewing that if I find the instructions in one of my books (no, I haven't looked yet--duh!)--now I could probably figure it out. Cool!! Another little project I've had on the back burner. I had a short bookbinding class for two days within an art class at college. It was a voluntary thing--I jumped at the chance! Have been collecting supplies since then, but haven't actually made any books--yet!

I do have quite a few of the supplies: davy board, specialty papers, awls, waxed threads, glue, and I think I have needles, too? When I saw Leah's thick pieces of leather--just looked like they'd be really cool for a rough looking book cover. Leah agreed and wants to go for it! Hope it works! :) Leah also got a bag of thinner leather scraps. Not sure if they're large enough to cover a piece of davy board or cardboard--even if it is small--because that actually takes a larger piece of leather, of course. I'll have to really go thru them and see what is actually there. They've been shoved into two plastic bags for quite a while--accidentally came over here a year or so ago with the beading supplies, but I never took them out to look at them. Time to come out and say hello, eh?

Well, hopefully next time I can show you what at least one plant looks like parked in a painted ice cream pail--ROFL!! Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Leah emailed me a great picture of her and Dagan!

I tell you--I just love them to pieces!! :) :) :)
And I heard good news! The loan guy at their bank figured out another way that they could work out the loan for the house!! And now it looks like they might be able to do it after all--tada!! I hope it all works out for them. Dagan told me that if all goes well they should be breaking ground by September--so we'll see. They'd have to start soon--get the foundation dug out and the building framed--because snow and ice are waiting around the corner--hehe!
I was finally feeling better this morning. I put on the second coat (or was it the third?) of white acrylic paint on the ice cream pails. My days and night have been flipped for a few days. I only had a nap today, so I am hoping to get back to a more normal schedule here pretty soon. :)
I found a small can of country blue acrylic paint in with all the paint supplies that came back from Dagan and Leah's. Used it years ago to paint the wooden stool I found in the dirt floor cellar at the farm. Amazingly, it was fine--that was around 17 years ago! I decided to just paint them all blue. Added some white to the can so that I, hopefully, have enough paint for all four pails. The color will be a lighter blue, but that's fine. I hadn't been sure what color or colors to paint them in the first place. The two that will be going around the plants outside on the porch have the bottoms painted, too--and I will have to put a layer of polyurethane on those.
I have been forced into being "good" and sticking to just the usual daily activities for the past several days. Finally am feeling better, but am taking it a little slower. Just wanted to start out with something simple and yet I get to at least have a paintbrush in my hand--hehe! Testing the waters, so to speak. If I don't have a flare again, then I shall get back to organizing the bookcases. :)

I watched some movies, of course. If you like very dark, sick humor, I watched a movie with a lot of twists and turns in it. Kind of reminded me of that old movie The Ladykillers--Tom Hanks made a remake of it that was pretty good. Only this one was faster moving and a little darker--but funny--to me, anyways. Called Big Nothing:

Strapped for cash after being fired from his new job at a call center, former teacher Charlie (David Schwimmer) teams with a low-level crook and his girlfriend in a scheme to blackmail the Rev. Smalls, an easy target known to visit adult Web sites. But their simple plan quickly falls apart when Smalls dies. Now, Charlie's got way more trouble on his hands than he ever expected in this crime caper co-starring Simon Pegg.

I also watched a movie about a mail order bride coming to Minnesota in the early 1900s called Sweet Land:

In Ali Selim's Independent Spirit Award-winning tale of how love triumphs over ignorance, German immigrant Inge tells her life story to her grandson after burying her husband on their farm in Minnesota in 1968. Inge begins her tale in 1920, when she's just become a mail-order bride to Norwegian-American farmer Olaf. Discovering that Inge's heritage is actually German, both Olaf and the community struggle to overcome years of anti-German propaganda and prejudice.

I was fascinated by this movie, of course, being from a Swedish immigrant background. Yes--even though my (formerly) married name is McGregor, I am a 100% Swedish "Johnson" girl from Minnesota. My grandfather worked his way over to Canada on a ship and became a lumberjack up there before he moved down to Minnesota. Does that make me second generation or third? I think if you go back--within a couple more generations everybody had come over from Sweden, but I am not positive? My sister has been studying the family tree the past few years--she knows. I'll be interested to see a copy of the information one day. All I know is my brother, sister, and I were the last of the full-blooded Swedes in our immediate family--and I am sometimes accused of having a Swedish accent--chuckle!

Anyways, I really, really enjoyed both movies. :)

It has been cooler at night lately--makes it feel like it's fall already? Was a dark, cloudy day today. Not very hot--but still humid--have had the apartment open. And that's the news from Fargo for today--chuckle!
You betcha! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Crazy weather! Almost 90 degrees yesterday but went down to about 55 degrees last night. Felt really good--like fall! Cooler today--in the 70s!! Loving it!

I have been being good and not cleaning or organizing anything. That kind of physical activity just does me in, I guess. No doubt about it. Can only do so much and I become crippled up with pain. Sucks to be me--hehe! Well, only in some ways. :) In other ways, I am blessed of the blessed!

But--for today--I am sticking with the ordinary daily tasks again and nothing extra. Maybe tomorrow... :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Okay--you can laugh! I discovered that Netflix has some movies that you can watch instantly on your computer. If you are paying say $19.99 a month you can gt about 20 hours of free movie time on the computer--and they say they will not cut you off in the middle of a movie if you watch it straight through to the end and go over your time. They have about 400 right now but are adding more. I wanted to check it out--BUT I cannot sit for two hours in my computer chair. The only chair I can sit that long in is my little lounge chair. So, I pulled it over and watched a movie. Funny! Karma was all confused as to what the heck I was up to--hehe!

Okay--you didn't even hear from me yesterday. I hadn't slept much at all the one night and then collapsed and slept 17 hours the next night! Last night--well, this morning--I went to bed at 8am! So, my hours are all goofed up and I am sleeping half the day away right now. Anyways, I have been puttering with putting things away and getting organized. The hall bookcase now has almost all the painting supplies in it--watercolors, acrylics, oils, and the brush painting. TaDa!!

I got so sore from doing all of this that was as far as I got. The rest of the place is in a mess. I still have stuff all over my bedroom floor and this is what the table looks like.

And this is what the two bookcases by the living room window look like. And there are still things piled on the floor, too. I still have a lot more to do, but the chaos is down to a more liveable amount right now. You'll notice that I kept my Chinese brushes and my favorite watercolor brushes on the stamp cabinet. Those are all the ones I use the most often right now. And the carousel is so nice--(and tall)--I wanted to keep it at hand.

You must remember that I am used to everything being in its place. This messiness might not bother somebody else, but it drives me nuts! hehe!
I also washed smaller loads of clothes (all my scrubbing and dusting rags were in the wash from when Caroline came to clean and I wanted to test out the dryer). The dryer works like a charm now--hurray!
Obviously, I did so much that I am on R&R today. Hopefully get some more done maybe tomorrow. I'll try not to look at it--hehe! I want to get done so I can get back to actually doing the art instead of just moving the supplies about. :)