Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve-6am

First of all--the big news! Dagan got that job with the insurance company!!! TaDa!!! :):):) So happy that they are starting out the new year with both of them employed!! He called me mid-afternoon and told me that he stayed home from the Canada trip (Leah went with Chuck and Michal) because he starts work tomorrow--today--the 31st. If he started in 2008 then he qualified for something this coming year with the 401K and they didn't want him to miss out on that, I guess. Nice! I'll find out more today because Dagan is coming over after work (oh--doesn't that sound nice?). We're making spaghetti and he'll stay for my welcoming the new year ceremony, too!! Not predicted to snow--the weather is always a consideration, of course. It won't be at midnight, either, this year because I am working my way around the clock and fading away around 9-10pm. So, we'll do it earlier in the evening and he can get back home earlier, too. Been awful cold again--17 below. Feels like it in here--had to turn the heat up this morning when I got up. Says 44 below wind chill this morning--brrr!

Anyways, I can see why Karma looks out the window all the time--ROFL!! Now that I had to actually go out and shovel yesterday I was looking out at the snowstorm more than I would have and there was a lot going on yesterday--hehe!

This snowstorm was a goodie! There was a layer of ice under the snow--making it very interesting to navigate--even on foot. Caroline was supposed to come to clean yesterday. I decided to walk out the one light bag of garbage I had and thought I'd go over to my garage and maybe push out some snow before the snow plow came--get a leg up, you know? Ha! No way!!
I took these pictures standing by the dumpster--which provided a slight wind break--very slight. I had to toss the bag up and over (good thing it was a light one!) because of the drift in front of the dumpster. To the right of the dumpster--going in a circle--is a dumping spot for the snow plow right there inbetween the garages. Look how high it is already and the winter has just started!

I can't remember if I am the fourth or the fifth garage in that middle section there, but I went--forget it! I decided to wait until after they plowed. Those snowdrifts are about three feet high and it would have been a challenge to just make it thru them to get to the garage door. I checked out the lot--this was about 10am--and decided I'd better call Caroline and tell her not to come.This is my building. My apartment is on third floor on the far end there. The smaller building beyond that is the office building.Here's the view from the dumpster to the main door. Another pile of snow from the plows is on the lawn. I took my first moving video--walking from the dumpster to the door--hehe! The wind was so strong I thought it was going to knock me over--and you had to watch your step because of the ice. The dumpster seems like a long trek in this kind of weather--hehe! (P.S. I picked up the trash on my way out to shovel later. That empty bag had just floated up and down the tunnel of a sidewalk for hours--hehe!)I called Caroline and told her she'd never make it in and out of here because they hadn't even started plowing because it was still snowing. We switched to next week. Turns out that will work better for her because she has a class every other Tuesday and it was on the day she came to clean--so this will make things easier for her. There's always a silver lining, right? :)

I also took a video of this poor girl who thought she was going to get out of here yesterday. Her car was stuck spinning its wheels on the ice--on the right there.Her car was sliding and facing every which way. She went to the office and got a pail of salt--which helped it to slide about more, but she wasn't going anyplace. The scariest thing--never seen anything like it!--was before she went to the office. She had been stuck with spinning front tires for quite a while when I saw her get out of the car--the front wheels were still spinning!!!--and she walked all the way around the car and was trying to kick the snow built up behind the tires!! I guess she figured the car wasn't going anywhere--but I was worried until she got back in and the wheels stopped spinning.She finally zigzagged and fishtailed around until she got back into the spot she pulled out of. The maintenance man came and helped shovel out the spot she was trying to get into--had already drifted over.

Later the mailman made a mistake and paused--probably wondering where he should park in the half plowed parking lot--and then he was stuck spinning his little mail truck wheels on the ice, too. A policeman drove up (we rarely see them here--thank goodness!)--and the mailman asked the policeman to help him. He did and they got it out--with the mailman pushing the truck.After the big plow went through, then the little one comes and works on the cleaning up of the parking spaces, etc. They got the snowblower out again. The sidewalk had been blown out just about four hours before--and you'd never have known it. Drifted over. (And then we can't get out the doors sometimes.)By midafternoon--the sun had come out and the big plow had been through. So, I bundled up again and went out to my garage. I was thrilled at the good job they did this time! Got really close to the garage doors--so there wasn't as much to push away with my new shovel. :) To give you an idea--if you look closely you can see the one long mound of snow that ran right down the center of the road--the whole length of all the garages (they came back later and hauled it away). Well, that mound was about a foot to a foot and a half high and a couple feet wide. Looks like nothing in this photo there beyond my pushed snow--a tiny little bump, right? hehe! Well, you know--white on white on white--it all blends together, right? BTW--this shovel worked really, really well, Leah!! I pushed all this lighter snow away with one arm--no problem!! TaDa!! Thanks again!! You're an angel!!! :):)I made soup on Monday. End of the month soup--hehe! Used a package of the soup bones Dagan and Leah brought me. Threw in what I had left in the pantry--chick peas and kidney beans and barley. May not look like much, but it is really yummy to me!! Was nice to heat up a big bowl of hot soup after being out shoveling snow. Was so cold that your cheeks burn when you come in and you can't see until your glasses warm up--chuckle! They frost over when you walk inside.I was in my nightgown--7:30pm--fading away for the night--and there was a sharp rap on the door and feet hurrying away. It was the poor UPS person--trying to finish off the run for the day. Can only imagine what they had to deal with all day. My order arrived from this new art supply place ( One item was backordered--another small paint kit with metallic paints.You know how I love porcelain palettes! Well, I haven't seen this one very often in the catalogs or online--and this company carried it. Why did I want it? I love the fact that it has a cover!! I can leave rewettable paints and inks in it and cover it away from little tongues!! Karma loves to lick paints and inks for some reason. This is also too heavy for her to push the top off. As far as I'm concerned--I suppose I could consider this a late Christmas present for Karma--ROFL!!

We broke the record for snow in December. Over 33 inches. Yet I can look out at the fields beyond the garages and see the weeds poking up thru the snow. That just tells you how friggin' windy it is here--ROFL!!!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My Monk's Porridge Experiment--hehe! Here's the porridge I made up yesterday.
I had some Nori in the pantry that I bought for some recipe--never used it. Actually have no idea what it is--hehe! I was supposed to cut these sheets into tiny squares to sprinkle into the porridge--but couldn't even manage to cut through one layer with a knife. Tough stuff! Dull knives?
I ended up washing a pair of scissors and cutting them up. I'm storing them in the mason jar.
Karma went absolutely nuts!! ?? Remember "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs"? Well, she was nutty for Nori!!
She cried and begged and danced!
I gave her a strip of it and she ate it right down! ??
It's a puzzlement to me. Neither one of us has had any previous nori contact--hehe! I didn't think it had that much of an odor--but she was crying before she ever laid eyes on it? And I certainly couldn't understand the actual appeal when I popped a piece in my mouth. This is a cat that needs to be coaxed into eating actual pieces of chicken! Cracked me up!
Anyways, I tried making the monk's porridge with some chick peas, nori, and a little tamari sauce.
Was okay--I ate it. But didn't seem like breakfast fare to me at all--chuckle! Really filled you up, tho!
Okay--Dagan and Leah are off on their annual trek to Canada today with Chuck and Michal to visit friends over New Year's. Well, yesterday I went outside to check and--ya!--no way could I get the car out of the garage. Had almost a three-foot snow drift up against my garage door. So I called the kids to see if one of them could come and shovel me out before they left town so I could go buy a snow shovel. (Remember--I haven't had a car for many years--no shovel--and I can't lift with my bum arm--need one I can push.) More snow was on the way, too, and they were going to be gone until January 2nd. I thought maybe Dagan could come, but Leah said she would come and shovel the snow--AND that she had already picked up a shovel for me!! Said that she just kept forgetting to bring it over. (But then I haven't driven the car for weeks and weeks--since pre-snow--hehe!)
So, Leah came over and freed my car--tada! And then we went to the post office (mailed off the rice paper journal to your friend, Ann!) and three craft stores. With all the sales going on I wanted to see if I could find some border punches I liked. Have always wanted some, but they are pretty expensive! ($14.99) Got them for 30% and 50% off at two different stores. Couldn't find the one I fell in love with online, tho. The one on the left is made to be threaded with ribbon and the right one can be used as is or threaded with something very thin like yarn or embroidery thread.
Our running around was quick. We hit the Post Office, Hobby Lobby, gas station, car wash, Micheal's, and JoAnn's in a little over an hour! When you know exactly what you are looking for...hehe! But I have to kind of put blinders on in those craft stores and make a bee-line in and out--hehe! The temptation! Oh, the temptation!
I also got the zippers I needed for the eventual shoulder bag sewing challenge for this winter. And we got some blades for our Fiskar cutters.
Thanks, Leah!
Thanks, Leah!
For Everything you do for me and just who you are!!!
Later on last night I searched online to find the border punch I wanted on sale--no luck! So, as a Christmas splurge I ordered it at full price.
I worked on birthday cards yesterday. Made a couple more videos (which are still uploading--I think one might be up). Caroline comes later on this morning. And I will have snow to shovel this afternoon. :) We have had 4 1/2 inches so far since midnight--supposed to let up by this afternoon. And so it begins....hehehe! I have avoided the battle with the snow all these years without a car. Always pro and cons, eh? Chuckle! More than worth it! Don't get me wrong. :):)
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve already!! Need to check that I have all my ducks in a row for the new year, eh? Exciting! 2009 is near! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008


After making the videos on cutting randomly shaped paper for the front of cards---I decided to just keep working on cutting Ann's paste paper. Since I had planned to use all the smaller painted paper for cards--well, I just kept going. (She also sent some larger sheets that might be big enough to cover a small journal.) You can see the stack of paper I cut for card fronts! Not done yet--as you can see.
Well, it occurred to me--why not use these to make a set of birthday cards? I had planned on making two sets of birthday cards this year anyways. So--Yes!! I just kept cutting off and on all day yesterday--intrigued by the variety. I can pick out the ones I want to use for the birthday cards and have the rest already cut and ready to go! All this paper will take up less room when it is all trimmed up, too. I get to play with my new Dahle cutter and get more comfortable using it. Win-win-win-all around, eh? hehehe! Happy me!
I think I chuckle every time I walk past Karma's cat grass. It does kind of remind me of a haystack. Still alive and Karma nibbles on it frequently...

...when she's not asleep someplace.

I decided to make up some Monk's Porridge--been years! Simple to make. All you need is sweet brown rice. I had to go to a health food store to find it. Some call it sweet, sticky brown rice or sweet short brown rice. You start it the night before. Boil 6 cups of water and pour in 1 1/4 cups of the sweet brown rice--remove from heat, stir, cover, and leave it sit and absorb overnight. Heat it up in the morning. Add water if it is too dry--supposed to be a little soupy and creamy. Got the recipe from this book.

You can add a small handful of cooked beans (black, pinto, or adzuki), leftover cooked greens (spinach or kale), toasted nuts (sesame seeds, slivered almonds), Nori cut into small pieces, scallions,Tamari, Kimchee, crumbled hard-boiled eggs, sliced Shitake mushrooms, Umeboshi plums, pickled daikon, wheat germ, coconut, seeds (sunflower, walnuts). You can spice it up, too, if you like. Of course they don't say to eat it like oatmeal with sugar and milk--but I've been eating it that way--hehe! Not a healthy way--I seem to find it. Has a different flavor than anything I was used to--but not bad. Guess I should try some of the proper, suggested condiments, eh? Once I have made up a batch I just reheat it in the microwave. Simple! :)
I have been reading the beginning of the Soul Coaching book--explanation of how it works, etc.

Even tho the book covers 28 days--the author says you could spread that out to 28 weeks or even one week per season and make it a year. I had figured I'd have to adapt the timetable for myself in the first place, so I was glad to read that. :) You know how slowly I am able to get things done! The idea of trying to do daily tasks--well, it is not likely I would ever be physically able to keep that up. So, I am kind of aiming for the 28 weeks but I will probably forget about a time table altogether, to be perfectly honest. Just move slowly along at my own pace, you know?
Then--it says you can work at any of these three levels on any given day.
Level One: "Committed to Change" (15-30 min)
Level Two: "Going For It" (30-60min)
Level Three: "Playing Full Out" (takes as long as it takes--includes levels 1 & 2)
I have gone through books that have timetables like this in the past. Usually I find myself struggling to keep up and I end up skimming or sliding across the surface--not wanting to fall behind, you know? I have gone back and done the books again later on to get more out of it (like The Artist's Way--wonderful book).
I am more interested in doing the deeper work. Some areas I need more work in, obviously--chuckle! I may linger in some chapters and may move swiftly through others--go through the process my own way--allowing for my own limitations. That's the plan. I am working on the prep work right now and plan to start the first chapter on January 5th. A Monday seems like a good day to start. Naturally--I will keep you informed of my progress and what I am working on--or through--hehe!
Going to be a good year!! :):)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday-3:45am-Five A Day

Five A Day
I was tagged by Serena... list the top five things I try to do every day to stay mentally healthy. So here goes:
1. LAUGH!! Chuckle, giggle, snigger, snort, guffaw, snicker, chortle, titter, cackle, tee-hee, ha-ha, or smile from the belly--laugh! Anyone who knows me knows that when I lose my sense of humor something is really not right with me.
2. I try to think about all the things I am grateful for in my life--especially on the bad days. Try to stay positive--avoid negatives! (That includes negative people, the news, etc.) This has actually become easier for me these days as my body has turned into a virtual stress/negativity barometer!! No lie!
3. Blogging, emailing, posting, and writing letters as much as I can. Have been trying to blog every day at least. Living basically like a shut-in--those activities keep me in contact with the world outside of myself. Have met some wonderful people in cyberspace! :)
4. Do a little something for my soul each day--something joyful! Whether it is one of my crafts, art of some kind, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing--even on my non-functional days I can still usually read, watch a good movie, meditate, write a letter, cuddle/play with Miss Karma, or think about #2--hehe!
5. I really, really try to not leave dishes in the sink when I go to bed or leave a mess that needs to be cleaned up--no matter how dreadful I am feeling. I know--sounds silly--but for me--well, I wake up kind of extra painful every morning for the first few hours and waking up to a mess I have to clean--it just feels overwhelming, you know? Besides--my place is so "full" that I can't afford to be that messy--ROFL!! I will leave an ongoing project out, of course, but there's something about waking up and already being behind that brings me down. A damper on the joy factor, eh?
So those are my Five-A-Days, Serena! :)
Yesterday I worked on a couple videos for Ann. They are still uploading. I had made her a thank you card using some of her own paste paper that she had sent me as a gift--and she wanted to know how I did the cutting to get it to fit on the front of the card. If I understood what your question was, Ann--hehe! I tried to show that process--and how to use carpet tape with card layering. If I didn't explain what you needed--just let me know, okay, Ann?
I had all kinds of problems trying to download the videos into my computer last night. The computer said I didn't have enough room. So, after Dagan and Leah let me know they made it home okay and the roads were not terrible (text message), I called and asked what I needed to do? Now, those of you who follow the blog know that this free computer Dagan got from work has two separate brains in it. Well, I can use the second brain space to store all my videos! They told me where to find it and I managed to figure it out!! TaDa!! I am always so excited when I conquer a computer puzzle!!! :):):) Next I want to figure out how to move all the previous videos over there into that brain, too. (I am chuckling as I write this. See how wonderful blogging is for my mental health--ROFL!!)
Been sleeping my way around the clock again. Going to bed earlier in the evening and waking up in the middle of the night lately. Eventually I'll return to proper days. At least for a while--hehe! Good thing my strange sleeping patterns don't interfere with Karma's 20 hours a day--ROFL!! Have a good day!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I forgot I had these in the camera from a couple mornings ago--was wondering what the orange sunrise meant.

Must have meant bad weather coming, eh? We have another severe weather warning for today, too. "Light freezing rain mist"--18 degrees and icy. Dagan and Leah are driving home today--so I'll be glad to hear when they are home safe.

Miss Karma has been thrilled with the warmer weather. She's been begging to go out a few times a day because she can sit on the carpet in a few new spots and the snow is really wet for the licking--chuckle!

Yesterday I worked on my calendar--writing in birthdays and such.

And my weekly (motivational) checklist--lying in front of the calendar. I'm all set now through April.

Okay--I am finally going to reveal that I have a mysterious, magical set of highlighters that I have been consistently using to color code my calendars since 1997 when I worked in the office at Lee Square. Not one of them has shown any signs of drying out. I haven't ever said a word about this to anybody--for fear I'd jinx their magical powers. No lie!

I used them all through my college days to color code my red calendar to keep track of due dates, tests, etc. I have been using them ever since, as you can see, on both the calendar and the weekly schedule checklist. They sit under here on my desk... the original package I've always kept them in. Twelve years now--that's absolutely unbelievable! Even though I always take good care of my office supplies--make sure caps are on tight and not left off for any length of time--I have never, ever had markers last this long. Especially ones I have consistently used at least once a week for 12 years!
I hope bragging about them won't change anything...??? :):)

Friday, December 26, 2008


Karma and I were just being lazy and watching Christmas movies yesterday. :)

My friend, Ruby, told me that she had tried the Fettings frozen bread dough many years ago and it did that same exact thing--collapsed in on itself! She even tried to use it for making rolls--and they collapsed, too. We chuckled and wondered how a company putting out a product like that is still in business? I guess it wasn't just that I got a bad batch, eh?
Leah emailed that she actually had gotten the pearl earrings free through a promotion. She got a card in the mail--a free while they lasted deal--and she went down there right away to get them for me because she knew how I love pearl earrings! (And I know how she hates to be on contact lists--so I appreciate her sacrifice--chuckle!) So--I do feel much better now. I didn't want them spending any money on me with things the way they are and all. She said she got the candles this past fall for me, too. Yup--made me feel much better. :) Won't be as scared to wear the earrings now, either--chuckle!
Leah and I both love our containers--hehe! I have already thought of a use for the candle jars after they are empty and cleaned, too. I've wanted to get more of the flakes for guilding. These would be perfect! I know she expected that I'd find a use for the jars, too--hehe!
Dagan and Leah will be back home on Saturday. Not supposed to be as bad weatherwise on Saturday, I guess. Today they are talking freezing drizzle and then snow--yuck! That's what we can get when it warms up--supposed to be near 30 degrees today. I'm always glad when I know they are home safe, of course. They'll let me know. :)
Well, today--most likely I'll be either working on my calendar or starting on the birthday cards. Hope everybody had a great Christmas! :):)

Thursday, December 25, 2008



I let Karma check out the packages from Dagan and Leah for a while. :)
Since I have been on such crazy hours (slept from 3pm till 10:15pm yesterday)--I opened presents from Dagan and Leah in the afternoon before I went to bed. Christmas Eve night was the traditional time for opening presents in my family.
What a shock! Pearl earrings! Real pearls!! I'll be afraid to wear them! Wow! I could have never guessed that one--never! I am speechless! Thanks you guys! You two are the genuine pearls in my life. :):)

I had already guessed correctly on the other two packages--candles! They know I love vanilla scented candles. These smell wonderful! Got one going right now. :)

I peeled off the labels on one of the candles and stuck them on Karma, of course!

That kept her busy for a while--ROFL!!

She finally got them off of her back. She's so funny! Then she does some victory pouncing and smacking like she killed those nasty stickers.

Karma played with all the wrapping paper...

...and I decorated her--hehe!

The bows really put a quarter in her--hehe! She raced about the apartment--up and down chairs--around and about--until she was all worn out and I took the above picture--and then relieved her of her bows. (Which she smacked around, of course, when she regained her energy.)
Since I got up last night I had been watching X Files--all night. Not exactly Christmas fare, eh? But now on Christmas morning--here before the dawn--I have gotten out the Christmas DVDs: It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Polar Express. I have Polar Express on right now. Working my way up to my all-time favorite--It's A Wonderful Life. Every time Jimmy stands on that bridge and cries "I want to live!" I tear up and need to blow my nose. (That's practically an emotional breakdown for a Swede, ya know--hehe!)
I get daily emails from and a couple of days ago came:

"A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way."
Deena Metzger
I have thought about that ever since. It was like a Christmas blessing sent to me.
I have a sacred illness. I really do. :):)
Karma and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve. Hope you all did, too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve-7:30am

Snowed several inches yesterday--and drifted a bit.

But it was warmer out, so Karma wanted to visit the porch. She is very distressed that the snow reached across the entire porch because of the blizzard. She is used to having carpet to walk on across the back half of the porch.

Now the only spot of dry carpet is under the chair in the corner and she has to walk across the snow to get to it. Most annoying for her.

She has taken to begging to go out just to step in the snow and come right back in--thereby tracking snow on the carpeting inside of the apartment that she can eat while being warm. Karma does love her snow--hehe!
Dagan stopped by yesterday with a bucket of cookies from Leah!

My goodness! She went all out this year!

Dagan's interview went well--but they had him sign a form for a credit check. That could be a real negative for him on getting hired. :( We'll just have to wait and see.
Leah sent me some more of the big plastic bags that work so great for loaves of bread--found them at Sam's Club.

It is so hard to find bags for bread. I have used grocery bags and all kinds of things-chuckle! These are great! Trouble is--what I had to put inside one yesterday.
I have sometimes bought frozen bread dough loaves. I always bought Rhodes in the past. I decided to buy some last month and bought one package of Rhodes and one of Fettings. Thank goodness this is the last of the Fettings! I have never seen anything like it! They collapse in on themselves after they come out of the oven!! They come out looking normally shaped--I went to get the camera, but it was already collapsing.
I have tried letting them thaw in the refrigerator, keeping them small and low, and this time letting it raise really high--they all collapsed like a balloon with a slow leak! I even tried to let one cool inside of the pan--and it shrunk away from the pan--kind of curled up a little and collapsed when I removed it anyways. The crust looks really strange, too. Uneven and blotchy. And they all tended to be doughy on the bottom. Edible, but just barely. Isn't this the ugliest, silliest loaf of bread you have ever seen?
Well, this is the fourth one that I have had to look at--and eat--arg! End of the package--hurray! Obviously, I would not suggest anybody buy Fettings frozen dough.
Dagan and Leah made it to Henning okay last night (his dad's family). The snow had let up quite a bit by the afternoon, but the roads couldn't have been good. I was glad to get a text message that they had arrived safely! :)
If you can believe it--I have been uploading 8 videos since Monday night about 9pm and there are only 6 of them loaded so far!! Good thing I have more time than money, eh? LOL! I think it is because I have the high quality videos, so that's okay I guess. As long as I can finally post them, I am fine with it. I don't really plan on doing much of anything but putter, watch movies, eat Leah's cookies, and hang out with Karma over these next two days, anyways. :):)
Merry Christmas Everybody!!!