Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Good Morning! It is still morning, I guess.
I've already been up 12 hours. Just no sleeping much the past couple days. Maybe this will be the day I enjoy a nice long sleepathon. I hope so. I have things to do. :)
I searched online and finally found a picture of my Zip'eMate. Has always been a bear to crank this thing. So much so that I cannot even use it with my bum arm--no lie! Leah even has a terrible time because you have to hold on tightly with your left hand while you cranked hard with the right hand. We have followed the directions for the sandwiching part and even tried our own versions to no avail. If it wasn't so tight it hardly moves, then it didn't emboss. *sigh* So we have hardly used it at all since I bought it--let's see--maybe 6-7 years ago?
This is the Cuttlebug. Smaller, lighter, the sides fold up, and from all the videos online it looks soooo easy to crank that I should actually be able to use it--tada!
Here's a short video about the Cuttlebug for those of you who don't know what these kind of little machines do:
Leah and I are mostly interested in the embossing to begin with. The cutting dies are more expensive than the embossing folders--by a long shot. But we would like to try some basic ones one day--like squares, circles, and ovals. I never even bought one single die for the Zippy because it was so dang hard to use. Good thing, eh?
Oops! I thought this one was a larger picture. Oh well--you get the idea. The sides fold out and then you can feed the mats through. Nice and easy to store, too! The Zippy is large and heavy and takes up a lot of room.

I have been thinking about it and I think I should give Zippy away on freecycle. I would really hate to sell anybody something that works SO poorly, you know? It may have been a lemon in the first place. These portable die cutters and embossers were fairly new back then--so who knows, right? But--bottom line--it sucks!

I've been quite zombie-ish the last couple of days. I'm tired enough when I get sleep--ROFL! Throat has been a little sore. All I have managed to do is putter a bit on figuring out a new Christmas card (nope-don't have any samples made yet to show Leah-been brain planning--hehe!), wrote a couple letters, and planted some more cat grass. This is why our plans are always fluid. Especially mine--hehe!

Been very windy and chilly up here the past couple of days. They're talking rain tomorrow. The lamp worked last night. So far, so good, Leah! :) I hope I am feeling up to working on my to-do list after I sleep long and well. Think positive, right? Right! Wish me luck! :):)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday--3:30pm--I Mourn My Body Past

I Mourn My Body Past
I remember
Racing through the Minnesota grasslands
Playing wild horses with the neighbor kids
Until I fall
Rubber legged
Rolling upon the ground
Too winded to laugh out loud

I remember
Teetering on two inches of wood fence
Encircling the dusty
High school ice rink in July
Watching dirty toes inch
With winged and waving arms until
Sweat trickling down my neck
I retreat
And nestle into the oak tree’s arm
Jagged bark prickling the back of my thighs
As the breeze raises goose bumps
And the Meadow Lark sings

I remember
Evening calf muscles twitching
Red arms burning
Against rough sheets
After a day of pumping bike pedals
Standing upright
Slippery palmed
And panting another journey
Up the hill by the water tower
Working to earn
Two minutes of free-ride flight

I remember
Heart in my hand
Music pounding
Pulsing up my body into my eyes
Light as clouds and air
And love
Until the rhythm and the moon retire

I remember
In capable arms
Groceries and presents
One hundred pounds of feed
An eight-foot Mediterranean couch
Leaden boxes of books
Aquariums with gravel sloshing
Dinners and desserts
A marriage
And a seven-pound baby boy

But now I reside
In my body present
With musical knees
That slow me on the stairs
An injured arm
That will never hold a grandchild in its crook
Painful heels
That can no longer dance at dawn
And a constant pain
That steals my sleep and limits my days

I mourn my body past
But I remember
And I smile
Too winded to laugh out loud


A couple of nights ago my Holtkotter light bulb started to flicker. A couple minutes later it went black in the room. (Big excitement for Karma at 4 in the morning. I'm sure that will go in her memoirs--hehe!). Tried and tried but it wouldn't come back on. I watched a movie and then tried it again--and it worked!!
For a day.
The next night--no flickering warning this time--poof! Darkness befell us once again.
Well, I need light! So in the middle of the night I am dragging in the frigid glass tables from the porch, wiping them down, and stacking them next to my chair so I can put another lamp by my chair. Karma seemed quite distraught by this turn of events.

After all--these are the tables she sprawls about on all summer "outside".
Then, of course, I was doing something brand new that she'd never seen before. That's always a thrill--hehe!
Most importantly--that is the side of my chair where she jumps up from behind onto the arm of the chair and demands cuddle time. Waits for me to get a pillow (she knows it hurts for her to walk on me because of the fibro and she can be most considerate at times) and then she's up and over my shoulder for 10-20 minutes. I am not sure she has fully realized the fact that the tables have blocked her usual route to affection--hehe! But maybe that is why she's been so wound up the last couple of days--racing about the apartment and being all foul mooded and full of the devil...?? hehe!

Well--Leah stopped by after work with the product pictures on the jump drive and with bookmarks for me to measure. And all the poinsettia cards so that I can add the inside holiday sentiment this week. Naturally she wondered about my sudden change in decor. I explained the story to her--and checked the light. It was working once again. So Leah took the bulb out and put it back in again--made sure it was snug.

So, we'll see now tonight if it works and stays working. If it does, maybe it had gotten loose somehow. You know those special halogen light bulbs that you can't even touch directly with your fingers? Well, I have been so careful and have always followed the directions from when I bought the lamp where every time you turn it on you have it on high for a few minutes first before you dim it. Done everything right--hummm? The first bulb I had lasted something like 6-7 years. But since then I have had trouble with them working for any length of time? And they are supposed to last for years. Baffling. As baffling to me as computers!

Anyways, Leah and I went thru and picked out and put together a set of business cards from Got those ordered last night--tada! Eventually we do have our own idea for using original abstract painting, but that may not happen till this winter or so. (You can use your own artwork and make up cards at Zazzle, too.) We wanted to have something right now to put in with our orders or to give to people. Exciting! We found something "crafty" looking that we both liked.

I showed Leah what I had discovered by accident on youtube about die cut machines and how they have changed over the years. The one I bought years ago....well, sadly, I bought the Beta of die machines. In fact--at least Beta was user friendly--ROFL!! I'll see if I can post pictures of what I am talking about later--for all you non-crafters. :)

Leah and I spent the better part of the night discussing our Zip'eMate vs. The Cuttlebug--watching youtube demos--discussing the process of finding out if we could adapt our dinosaur to the newer models, etc. We came to the conclusion that by the time we paid for all we'd need to buy to attempt to get our old Zippy to work properly--we may as well buy a Cuttlebug.

I showed Leah what I had been up to lately, too. Since we need to find some other quicker and easier way to make Christmas cards right now, I began snooping thru all my card magazines (the first four magazine holders).
I have been thru all four of these! Took notes and drew little sketches on ideas for card layouts and designs. (Something else that had been on my "one day" list--tada!)
I have two huge three ring binders where I keep craft ideas and information..., of course...I had to go thru and do a little reorganizing in both of them while I was at it, too--hehe! See that pile of smaller notes? Well, down the line I want to recopy them onto larger sheets so they can be organized and then filed properly in the binder.
But--for now--they got placed inside a plastic zipper pouch made for a 3-ring binder. The blue binder has card making, altered books, card templates, and angel companies. The green one has beading, polymer clay, aromatherapy, miscellaneous crafts, and information on selling crafts. Whew!
Now this week I can go thru the card one, snoop thru what supplies we have on hand, and come up with a simple Christmas card idea. :)
I'm hoping to get the poinsettia card sentiments done this week, also. And learn how to post on Etsy. Busy week for me, eh?
Leah didn't leave until after 10pm! We were just soooo excited and having such a great time--ideas spinning and flying about!! We really did need to get out from under the pressure of the time-consuming handmade Christmas cards for this year. Time just got away from us. Felt like a weight has lifted off of us! And we want our craft time to be just plain fun and pleasant and relaxing--something we look forward to. We are back on track now. :)
And big business decisions were made. We will eventually purchase a Cuttlebug--ROFL!
I had been awake almost 28 hours by the time I went to bed at 2am. Overdid it with all the magazines, etc. Was up at 6:30am and so sore I couldn't get back to sleep--but very, very happy. I can always get started on my to-do list tomorrow. No problem. :)
When my body speaks, I have to listen. So today I take it easy and watch some Nature documentaries...
Say--that reminds me--I think I have one more piece of writing from college that I haven't posted..."I Mourn My Body Past"--maybe I'll post that later. (Was published in the local paper up here a few years ago--won a contest for "over 50" authors). I'll make a note.
Have a wonderful day!! :):)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Flu season is upon us. Remember to cover your mouth...
...or I guess we're supposed to sneeze our arms now?
And wash your hands often.
As draggy as I felt yesterday I thought I'd still be asleep. But I slept five hours and here I am--awake. Oh well. Karma loves it when I keep crazy hours. Every time I wake up--it's canned food treat time! And every time I turn the aquarium lights on and feed the fish in the mornings--it's canned food treat time! So, since these magical moments can happen 2-3 times a day (like recently), Karma's as happy as a pig in mud--and I have cut the amount of canned food down from a tablespoon to a teaspoon--hehe! Karma doesn't seem to care how much she gets. I think she loves the ritual more than anything.
Who can blame her--living with me and my irregular hours--she needs some form of routine, I guess--chuckle! And she does know the difference between me repeatedly getting up in the middle of the night and actually waking up, so she doesn't get all excited and vocal about it until she's sure of the difference. Well, I take that back. There have been some very rare occasions--but those have been when I have been sleeping during the daylight hours--getting up and down as I do--and she's in a foul mood. ROFL!! But when I tell her no--she mumbles to herself a bit and waits.
Well, let's see...Leah and I have been trying a different way to do things for the Etsy posting. This time of year gets just crazy for Leah--well, in both May and October. Dagan and Leah have things they do every year--like annual trips to this cabin with friends (Leah always brings a slew of baked goods) and ValleyCon is always around Halloween (they always run a booth/room). And now she is starting a new job...
...soooo...I was thinking...and I suggested to Leah this afternoon that we should keep working on the red handmade paper Christmas cards, but plan on using them for next year. That I could look thru my card magazines and what we have and try to come up with something simpler and quicker to put together for this year. She thought that was a great idea. :)
We don't know how this year just got away from us? We had plans and started so early--way back last winter! There were papermaking problems with terrible buckling and spots from the ironing board--illnesses--other commitments--job searching--thinking we had plenty of time and lowering it on our priority list--Dagan's surgery--my fibro flares--starting an Etsy shop, etc. Well, we don't want to be scrambling and under the gun again this year to finish a complicated, time consuming 90-100 cards by mid-December so we can get them in the mail before New Years. We'll just shift the red and white ones to 2010--tada! Whew! :):)
I just physically don't do well with any kind of stress (even when I think I am perfectly fine and nothing is bothering me--my body will react). And Leah sure doesn't need any additional stress, either. So, my task is to come up with something simple and fast that we will both like. Now that is actually a fun job!! *she grins* We can continue to work on the papermaking--but wait until we are done with 2009 Christmas cards and things settle down. Probably be January at this rate--hehe!
Meanwhile--Leah put product pictures in a Picasa album for me so that I could try and post from my place. Long story short--the Picasa pictures did not want to travel on over full size to my computer for some reason? I did learn how to get into the account for posting, tho--and that you really do need the product there with you for descriptions (measurements and such). Finding out what doesn't work is actually progress, right?
So--today after work Leah is bringing over the product photos on a jump drive and the products. Also--all the poinsettia cards so that I can start to put the Christmas greeting in the inside. Then Leah will pick everything up again when I am done because she does the mailing. We figure this might be the best way for us to do this most of the time--Leah taking all the photos and doing the mailings and me doing the product posting. :)
So--that's the plan. :):)
As those of you who follow my blog know--we usually have "a plan"--ROFL! But plans can change and we adapt. Our plans have to be quite flexible and fluid--hehe! Persistence and small steps do pay off eventually, tho--said the tortoise to the hare. :):)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Okay--can you blame me for not recognizing him?
I found a trailer to the movie Rage online:

You can get a glimpse for yourself of how odd the film is and who is in it. :)

When Dagan and Leah were here Leah helped me move the plants back inside. They are dreadfully lopsided--hehe!
This one was way back in the corner and sure didn't grow much all summer. ??
Sunny morning.
Soaking up the sun.
Crazy hours. I've been up since about midnight and will go to bed this afternoon. Sleeping so well, tho--aahhhhh! Can't complain. Beautiful cool nights. Sunny mild days. Almost caught up on email--hehe! Life is good! Later gator!

Friday, September 25, 2009


My sleeping around the clock got interrupted and I guess I am right back there again. I've been up since 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Going to bed soon here--but I thought this time I'd blog before I went to bed instead of after I get up. Just had to show you what I got done last evening and all night long--little by little. I worked on the inside pages for the bookcards.
I'd pile them up in sets of five pages and then fold-fold-fold.
When the timer went off and my hour was up I'd go watch my Netflix movies.
I watched X-Men again and understood it better after having seen the new Wolverine movie. Yup! X-Men was the one I had seen. Now I think there are two more for me to watch.
I also watched Rage:
A young blogger attempts to document the inner workings of a top New York fashion house in the week leading up to a major show, but his behind-the-scenes interviews take on much greater significance when a runway model is murdered. A celebrity supermodel (Jude Law), a war photographer (Steve Buscemi), a critic (Judi Dench) and other personalities share their versions of the week's events in Sally Potter's darkly comic riff on the information age.
Hard to describe--but fascinating! The whole movie takes place with an assortment of fashion industry people coming one by one and talking in front of a green screen to a young boy/teen (you never see him or hear him). He's apparently doing a school project--or that is what he told everyone. They didn't know he was posting the videos on his blog. A murder of a runway model takes place (off camera, of course) and people come and discuss things with the young man. The acting--well, I remembered Judi Dench was in it and I love Steve Buscemi--but I never re-read the sleeve. Well, I had to go back and re-watch some of it because I had no idea that was Jude Law playing a supermodel!!! I knew it was a guy--a male--but he was actually exotically beautiful! No lie! Those eyes! I almost kept it to watch it again just because of realizing at the end that it was Jude Law--hehe! But Netflix takes up enough of my life as it is--ROFL!!
Anyways, what a strange movie! Compelling just for the acting alone. Of course, that's all you're getting come to think of it. I don't think it was ever clear what happened off stage or who killed the model (and I won't tell you anything else), but I didn't really care. I got wrapped up in the array of characters--which was the point, I guess.
Movies-Schmovies. Karma slept.
By morning I had finished folding ALL the business paper I had! Here's the finished stack of covers and four stacks of folded paper for the insides of the bookcards--tada!!
Another step done!
I have never mass produced this many bookcards! I think the most I did at one time was thirty-three (just for me, of course). We have never mass produced this many regular cards, either--not counting Christmas cards, I mean. Like the ones we call the "scrap cards" we are working on that I showed you yesterday--(because they are made using the scraps from my bookcard covers). It's exciting! :)
Don't be concerned we've lost our minds--ROFL! I am not worried if other people don't love the bookcards as much as I do and they don't sell because you know I can use them up myself. And Leah and I would also use up the scrap cards. (Leah's not a letter writer so she doesn't use the bookcards.) We already have transformed scrap cards into whatever we need--birthday, thank you, get well, congratulations...everything but Christmas cards, I think. We love them. :):) But we are quite willing to part with some of them--never fear. So we can make some more--tada! You will see some of these on Etsy later on.

Yes--us crafty folk are often a little crazed, aren't we? LOL! I can hardly wait to see how they all turn out!! I do want to pick out the best ones for Etsy. :):)
Anyways, I pushed my limits--so tomorrow--I mean today--after I wake up--I'll take it easy. Do other things--not cards--save the shoulders. But I can walk by the table--often--and gaze at the stacks--the progress--and smile--and smile. Another very good day indeed. :):)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Dagan and Leah were over last night--and I forgot to get pictures again--duh! I made a chicken and cashew stir fry over rice with broccoli--salty, but yummy! We watched one of The Office DVDs from last year that D&L got from Netflix. Leah decided to sit and glue the two card front pieces together while she watched and I finished up the last of them after they left. We've kept the leftover pieces with the fronts in case we want to use some of them on the insides of the cards. Wait till you see them all! Such variety! Of course, that makes it extra enjoyable for me--hehe!
Leah has been enjoying her training at the new job. It's one of those places for digital TV where you get a little satellite dish installed. Several people have the dishes here in this building, Leah said. She has to work every other weekend on Saturday and Sunday, tho. Gets one day during the week off. She's hoping to work her way up. After all, she basically ran a call center in India from Fargo, right? :) She's just glad she is working!!
Dagan's been back to work and doing well. He was pretty sore, tho, by the time they left at close to 10pm. He gets his stitches checked here in Fargo pretty soon and then goes back to Minneapolis for a check-up after six weeks. Looking especially good to Mom!! :) :)
Intense Guy sent Miss Karma a youtube video--and she loved it! Thanks, Iggy!!
I had seen a clip from it on The Bonnie Hunt Show. Karma even pawed the screen sometimes--especially, for some unknown cat reason, when the guy bounced down the stairs.
It's cute! I can see why it has had over 26 million hits!
I hope it didn't give her any ideas--hehe! Karma's always been full of enough ideas on her own--ROFL!! You can watch The Mean Kitty Song here.
We're back in the 70's during the day and the 50's at night. Perfect weather! Ahhh!
Let's see...I have the original X-Men, lizards on Life In Cold Blood, and Rage (about a blogger and the fashion world?) to watch--and I might sit and fold inside paper for the bookcards. Just feeling happy. Smiling as I type this. May happiness settle upon you, too! :):)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The heat wave of Indian Summer has apparently ended. Got down into the mid-40s last night. Cold enough that I woke up and had to close the bedroom window. Slept a split shift. Went to bed at a normal time and was up in the middle of the night (closing window--hehe!). I read for a while and then went to bed again this morning and slept till noon. Got my 8 hours--in shifts--but that's fine. :)
Another great cheap toy.
Treats in an empty kleenex box.
I am making dinner for Dagan and Leah tonight. Sounds like they'll be here after they both get off at 5pm. Leah and I will work on making cards if she's not too tired. I'd better get busy and check emails and such...more tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Here's the nasty side of me! I really enjoyed watching this car get towed away from the handicapped parking.
It's a sight you don't get to see very often.
We have had problems with people parking there and the office put a warning up a while back.
Now if it actually was a handicapped person's car being repossessed or towed because if a major car problem...
...all I can do is apologize for my momentary glee and the delight I felt at watching the car being towed off the property. Not nice, I know. I don't know the whole story. But the small part I saw--just tickled me to no end--hehe!

It really does feel like fall now. My very favorite time of year! I keep the windows open and bundle up--enjoying the chill in the air. Karma likes to snuggle under the covers when the apartment gets nippy--hehe!
Caroline will be here around 3pm. I'm up and showered and have gathered up the trash. All I have to do is pick up cat toys.
I never did get around to watching Heroes last night. Spent my sessions on the computer (still catching up). Did a lot of reading--another murder mystery and writing magazines (trying to get inspired?). Filled one bookcard and started another one. [Letters, journaling, blogging, morning pages, or dream journals don't count as "writing-writing" in my book. Pardon the pun.]
Ahhh! Autumn!!! I think of nature painting the woods and forests--the smell of bread baking and soup simmering--getting your life in order--long evenings to write, create, or snuggle up with a good book. (I have a stack lined up!) I am always as excited by the first snowflakes as I am the first thunderstorm in the spring. The ducks and geese pass through and the squirrels race around getting ready for winter. Fall to me is a time of change, renewal, contemplation, evaluation, rest, assessment, reading, satisfaction, and lots of industrious handiwork. Must have been a pioneer in a past life, eh?
Well, I'm going to go pick up cat toys and watch Heroes until Caroline arrives. Have a great day! May your harvest be a good one!! :):)

Monday, September 21, 2009


Miss Karma struggling to stay awake to watch the bugs on TV--hehe!
We watched slugs, beetles, flies, spiders, salamanders, lizards--all assortment of insects, amphibians, and reptiles--mate, reproduce, fight, kill, deceive, nurture, shed, transform, and die. Absolutely mesmerizing to watch close up like that--as long as it's not real life--ROFL! Lizards don't bother me like a lot of the insects do. But I do tend to think most salamanders, tree frogs, toads, and smaller lizards are darn cute, actually. I have one more DVD from Life In Cold Blood and the next series I'll be getting will be Planet Earth! That looks awesome!! :)
New week.
Things are getting back to normal. I decided to work on folding bookcard covers. I did the same thing I did with the 12 x 12 scraps--went thru and took out one of the two cover pieces I got from each sheet...

...and just started folding. :)

Just kept plugging away--using the timer--1 hour at a time.

Finished up this morning!
Since I have been out of bookcards for over a month...
...I had to finish and sew together a few for my personal use.
No surprise, eh? Hehe!
Sounds like Dagan and Leah will be over for dinner after work on Wednesday! Leah and I will probably work on scrap cards. :) Tomorrow Caroline comes to clean. It has cooled off again and there's a light, gentle rain tonight. I am taping Heroes and will eagerly watch that later on. I want to be in good shape for Wednesday, so I will probably stay away from paper folding, etc, till then. Just feeling happy. :) :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Discovered a great new cheap "toy" for Karma. Empty cat food bags. :)
They make crinkly noises and smell like treats!
She obviously plays with them while I am sleeping, too--hehe!
Quick hello today. I get thrown off with the inverted hours, but all is well our way up here. Hello! Hello! :):)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Quiet night up here in Fargo. :)
My days and nights are flipped at the moment. I just got up a little bit ago--so it feels like it should be Sunday--hehe!
Continuing on with my catch-up...
This is the order I got from Impressions. They even send a pretty Thank You card with the order. :)
Trying something new--flower stamens and I thought I'd also try the yellow pearls for flower centers, too. The needle tool is for--you guessed it--poking holes. I've seen that used a lot lately in online demos for a faux stitched look or just a design element.
Some more small packs of pretty papers...

...and I had been so impressed with the quality of the "Pound of Paper" that I got another one.
I'd always wanted to try their cardstock--so I got their cream colored set of cards and envelopes. They are very thin but, since these are the main sets they sell, I'll reserve judgment until we have tried them in actual use. You don't know how well they work until you use glue and such on them--hehe! I do love the rounded envelope flaps.
I had taken this shot of dried aquarium plant a while back (for you, Iggy--hehe!). This is what I added to that handmade paper that I like so much--hehe! (Bookcard cover in our Etsy shop.) I've got this plant that keeps growing and takes over the top of the tank. I think I'll back off on the trimming for a while, tho. The plant looks like it got a bit shocky last trim. I'll let it get really good and overgrown before I trim it next time. We already have a small stockpile.
Goes to show you--I'll try almost anything in paper pulp--ROFL!
May be 2-3 weeks before Leah and I get back to making paper. She starts her new job on Monday. She has a couple weeks of training first. Not sure if we'll be getting together for crafts this coming week or not--playing it by ear. Might work on making cards. We'll see if she feels up to it. :)
Meanwhile--I've been reading--cleaning up around the computer desk and my chair--catching up online (most of my good hours)--getting used to tracking my food again on SparkPeople--and just puttering about. Oh, and watching TV and movies, of course.
I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
This action-packed prequel to the popular X-Men films explores Marvel Comics character Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) past and the events that influenced the mutant before the Weapon X program bonded his skeleton with the powerfully strong metal alloy adamantium. After the death of his girlfriend, Wolverine seeks vengeance against supervillain Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber). Ryan Reynolds, Danny Huston and Lynn Collins co-star.
I'm kind of new to X-Men and maybe I am glad I saw this one that explains how things started. I want to order the other ones now. I know I saw one of them once, but felt like I had come in the middle of the story, you know? I'll watch them in order now. I really liked this one about Wolverine and how things began with the mutants! :):)
For a while tho--I am going in a completely different Netflix direction. Nature shows! Another great love of mine. Going to be watching a lot of bugs and crawly creatures, I think--hehe! Life In The Undergrowth and Life In Cold Blood should have arrived while I was sleeping the day away. :)
Meanwhile--Miss Karma is currently sleeping the evening away--hehe! She's actually just waiting for me to be done at the computer. Then she'll wake up and ask for treats.
Does that mean I am back in my predictable routine? I guess so. Our routine gets thrown off when I am offline--hehe!
Treat time!