Saturday, May 28, 2011


Since it has been cooler Karma's been sleeping in her nice warm cat bed again.
Leah was over on Wednesday night to make a couple of guy graduation cards.
She used this technique to make the cardstock look like wood. The "Congrats" oval sits right inside the oval window hole... this is what you see when you open the card.
I thought this was a clever idea! The "Congrats" is attached with brads that look like screw heads.
She made two of them.
Leah's family has always gotten together over Memorial weekend. They left yesterday to go visit with her mom first. :)
Early this morning there was this dark wall of clouds along the horizon.
The sliver of a moon was still out as the sun was rising.
Later in the daylight you can really see that is becoming a road over there. Won't be too long now, I suppose.
Anyways, I am taking care of Sammy and Annie for Dagan and Leah while they are gone on their long weekend. Since my days and nights are flipped (am slowly working my way around the clock) I left early this morning for West Fargo.
Iggy had asked me what was on the other side of my apartment building...pretty dull stuff. Here's the street that runs in front of the complex.
Endless new housing developments across the street.
Oddly, there's this public playground--right next to this busy four lane road.
Here's looking a little bit the other way down the street. Somebody came up behind me, so I had to go.
My view is more interesting, I think--even if there is some construction and I will probably end up overlooking a lot of small businesses. It's also quieter in the long run on this side because I don't get the louder constant traffic noise. Pretty barren around here because I think this all used to be farmer's fields at one time. But I do get to see a lot of sky! ;)
I forgot to get pictures of Sammy and Annie. I'll try to remember next time. They're much friendlier now than when Dagan and Leah first adopted them.
I started watching Justified and I love it! Will definitely follow this series. Of course, I loved Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood, too. And he was in the movie I Am Number Four that I just told you about. This morning I began watching the series The Darling Buds of May with a very young Catherine Zeta-Jones that Serena mentioned on her blog. Cute!
I hope everyone (in US) has a nice long weekend with decent weather. :):)
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
From a headstone in Ireland

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Proof that even on our cloudy, overcast days... to the east in Moorhead somebody saw a glimpse of sunshine. ;)
Today, though, has actually been sunny! Cooler--only 62 degrees right now and there was a frost advisory north of us last night--but today it's sunny!! Too cool for Karma to want to lay about on the porch, so she snoozed on "her" chair.
Cats can become deeply relaxed. Believe it or not, she was awake when I took this picture.
Okay--the piston pen. I finally asked on the Goulet's live stream program last night why my piston pen was evaporating so fast and was that normal? (Never did get a return email, but they just got their help back and said they are behind on emails and blogs because they had to focus on orders.) Anyways, they said there's holes in the cap and that can cause quicker evaporation. It was hard to get a close-up of this tiny hole that I found on the side of the cap--was the only hole I found?
What I did was take a tiny little piece of poster tack and squeezed it into the hole. Looks huge, doesn't it?
But it is very small as you can see from a regular shot. We'll see if that slows down the evaporation. I mean, good grief! I can lose an inch of ink in a little over a week! My apartment must be very dry, eh? I do like the pen, tho, so wish me luck! :)
My days and nights are still flipped. So, I am often going down in the middle of the night to check my mail. Twice within the past week the elevator has looked like this. :(
Pee or whatever it is all over the floor. Even almost looked like a couple poop smears? Dog? I've often wondered if it was a dog, but then you can see where they pee down the wall in the corner...
...and it would have to be a pretty tall dog.
Why do people do things like this? And even if it was their dog, why don't they clean it up? I'd be mortified if my dog peed all over the elevator, you know? Oh well. Sorry to complain, but it hadn't happened for a while and I had gotten my hopes up that maybe they had moved. :(
Anyways, Leah is running about doing errands and is going to stop by quickly to make a graduation card later tonight, I think. BTW--Dagan and Leah and even Caroline do not use the elevator and take the stairs. I don't blame them. There's also often snot wiped or spit dripping down the wall and they scratch all over the door with their keys. Right now there's a swastika--that they had to draw three separate times before they got all the angles going the right way--LOL! These are obviously well-read, intelligent folk we're dealing with.
Deep breath.
Clear out my negatives.
I think I need to watch one of those 10 minute relaxation videos. ;)
Well, I have finally started coloring the cupcakes (for the birthday cards) with the copic markers--another step to do 50 times--LOL! Always relaxing to color. :)
Yesterday I watched a movie from Netflix called I Am Number Four. If you like movies like X-Men, I think you'd like this movie. It is set up to have sequels and I hope they make them. :)
I'm not going to let the urine soaked elevator get to me. (I feel so sorry for the cleaning person!!) I'll continue to wear rubber soled shoes and press the buttons with my mail key. ;)
"In the midst of gathering darkness, light becomes more evident."
Bonnie Bostrom

Monday, May 23, 2011


Just a couple of videos for you today. :)
This youtube site found me and subscribed to me on youtube. Whoohoo! It is all about Fargo-Moorhead! And they had this quick tour video I thought you might enjoy.

And then this site is my favorite place to go when I want to relax in nature. Great ten-minute meditations to calm your soul and lower your blood pressure. ;)

Have a really great week!! :):)
P.S. Looks like Blogger is acting up again. I hope these will work giant sized?
Don't know how to fix this.
Sorry. :(
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
Albert Einstein

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Just a quick note.
[Very funny! This has taken me two hours to post!]
My days and nights have flipped again. Was trying to prevent it by setting the alarm all last week, but that never works so I don't know why I keep thinking it will.
Isn't that the definition of insanity? ;)
Anyways, I wanted to tell you that the first Circle Letter arrived!
The lady from Texas who sent it to me made her recycled envelope (notice the hole on the flap)...
...from a calendar page!
I will be the only one who sees it, though. All the letters came stripped of their envelopes. I had expected to see them each tucked away, intact, inside one bigger envelope. I don't know why? I have never done a Circle Letter before, so I have no clue as to how it's normally done. I guess I had been wondering about matching stationery and possible envelope art. Was waiting to see what they did.
Envelope art is a whole other artsy/craftsy thing. People recycle odd papers, as my lady from Texas did--cudos! You can hand paint, use calligraphy, stickers, rubber stamps, collage...lots of things. No one else will get to see her cool recycled envelope....unless I include pictures next time....hummm...?? ;)
All the letters were short and basically introductions. Was such fun to read each one! There's something about handwritten letters that I will always cherish. :)
The lady who started it off used the most elaborate, delicate stationery I have ever, ever seen!!
Look at that wide paper lace all around the edges. Amazing!! Blew me away!
Since everybody kept their letters really short (by my estimation) and on actual stationery, I dug out these two boxes of parchment stationery I bought many years ago (on sale, of course) on my very first trip to the Mega Mall in Minneapolis.
One is an ivory/cream color and the other is a pale lavender. I used the lavender and, much to my surprise, despite being able to see through the sheet so easily to use the line guide I made...
...this paper held up to a fountain pen and didn't bleed through so I could write on both sides in my Noodler's North African Violet ink--tada! I managed to keep it down to one sheet (my letter folks, you can close your gaping mouths) and sent it off to the last lady in Ohio in a plain pink envelope.
Except for these two boxes of parchment, even tho I write letters constantly, I don't have actual "stationery" around here. For decades I have used small legal pads and folded the many sheets and tucked them inside of handmade cards. And then for the last few years I also use my handmade bookcards for letters. But...stationery?!?! Naturally, it is exciting to have a legitimate excuse to browse through beautiful stationery--whoohoo! I could probably jazz up some of the plain sheets I have around here...or maybe figure out a way to make an even lighter weight bookcard? (They do seem concerned about the postage.) My mind reels in anticipation. :)
Well, there has been a decent pause in the endless rain (predicted to continue straight through Tuesday) as I have been typing this and fighting with Blogger. [I was done and tried to post--it refused my post and only saved half what I had written! So I am re-writing right now. *sigh*] Anyways, there is sunlight! The chatty geese are flying overheard. A young guy on a dirt bike is revving all over the field. The road crew is off for the weekend. Kids are playing in the yard. A basketball is smacking against cement. Karma is snoring in her cat bed. It is an unexpectedly nice early evening. Too bad the porch is soaked--ROFL! :):)
Let's hope Blogger will let me post this time and I didn't forget something I wrote the first time. This time I am going to make a copy before I try. ;)
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."
Duke Ellington

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Karma soaking up some rays... the open porch door.
Dagan and Leah both came over last night--and brought Pita Pit for dinner! The wind did change and we had to close the windows.
They were both on their smart phones when I took these pictures--hehe!
Dagan has a new "tablet" that is really cool, too! I got my questions answered about the new phone. Turned out I had gone offline somehow and wasn't on the internet. That's why I couldn't get to the "market" to look for free solitaire games. (Obviously, I hadn't tried to go online on my phone for several days.)
I picked out a whole slew of free games that I can now slowly make my way through and decided which ones I want to keep and which ones I'll trash. They even had a good free "Yahtz Me" app that is, of course, like Yahtzee. Dagan was playing some game where he was building a bridge trestle for a train. It was obviously difficult to do because we kept hearing trainloads of people screaming as they crashed into the valley--and then Dagan laughing so hard I thought I might see a tear roll down his cheek! ;)
[We really had an extra, extra dose of laughter last night because Dagan's squealing giggles are extremely contagious! It was above and beyond our norm.]
Screaming people falling to their deaths, Dagan's breathless laughter, endless cups of dice shaking, and yet Leah diligently persisted in making her birthday present tags--LOL! She finished up what she needed for right now and will complete the rest of them in a couple weeks. (Not meeting next week unless it rains as Leah wants to golf if it's nice out.)
Leah, the recycler extraordinaire, is making permanent birthday present tags. She'll just save them and reuse them every year. I had her take some pictures before they left. This one shows the front and back sides.
The scalloped and plain circles were cut out with Spellbinders dies using the trusty Cuttlebug. She embossed the "Happy Birthday" on one side--scallop matching purple for the girls...
....and the rusty/bronze color for the boys. Three layers of paper sandwich.
She can attach and detach the tags like she shows on the scissors handle here. Looping the double ribbon over what you want to attach it to, splitting the tied ribbons at the end knot, pushing the tag in-between the split ribbons, and then snugging it up as you see.
I showed Dagan and Leah the rock and was telling them what Spruce wrote to me about it. We got to discussing whether 1,000 million was a billion, as Dagan said it was. He's probably right. I just wrote down what Spruce wrote to me. Math is not my thing--in any way shape or form. And maybe it's not Spruce's thing, either, right--hehe! So I looked it up on Wikipedia this morning:
"1,000,000,000 (one billion, short scale; one thousand million, long scale)" I guess Spruce and I are in the clear! ROFL!
FYI--both Caroline and Leah thought the rock looked like a dried poop patty of some kind when they first saw it. That just makes me giggle!
Oh, and I was looking over the pictures I saved from the tripod box and saw "gear level handle"? What?
Well, I'll be danged! Look how high I can get this thing to go up from the base of the tripod! It was so high that I'd need a stool to look through the camera to see where I'm aiming! Cool! Might be able to get a more overhead shot.
This morning I took a picture of the tripod in smallest mode next to the little flexible gorilla tripod I have been using on my craft videos since I started making them two years ago.
Love my little gorilla, but I had to make a huge stack to perch it on top of in order to get it up high enough to film me at my craft table.
At first I had a stack right on the table, but then I shook the camera quite a bit sometimes. (Even just talking with my hands I can be a table pounder, I discovered--and that's not counting what I am doing when I'm actually crafting.) So then I moved the stacking pile on to a TV tray and put that right beside the table. That is how I filmed most of them. Now I can try it with a real tripod! True. I am too sore to go near the table for a day or so because I sat there all night last night when Dagan and Leah were here. (Dang! I keep forgetting to set my timer lately!) But soon! :):)
Anyways, we had a grand time. It is a glorious day again. I am heading out to the porch to read. Karma's already waiting for me. :):) Have a super-duper day!!
"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


On these glorious perfect spring days (sunny, 60s to low 70s) Miss Karma and I have been spending time on the porch. Ahhhh!
Got to get while the gettin' is good, right?
I took out the camera and Karma starting stretching, and pawing, and showing off.
She's been loving this porch sprawling the last couple of days.
I got two packages in the mail today. One was the cheap tripod I bought thru Amazon (less than $20). Has a carrying pouch. (I saved the part of the box that has pictures until I am sure what I am doing.)
Here it is pulled out of the pouch on the table.
Just spread out the legs and viola! The table was so full of stuff...
...I set it on the floor for a better picture.
Anyways, this is the shortest version.
This is the next highest version.
And here is the tallest it will go. Karma was right there to check it out, of course. ;)
The legs telescope out really easily and you can clamp the clips anywhere along the line, I guess. So, I could use the short version right on the tabletop, I suppose, or the tallest version right next to the table. We'll see how the angles are and what works the best. I have to figure out how to get the camera on and off. I think it has quick release. Leah will be here tonight and she can probably figure it out faster than I can--hehe!
So, now I just need to get back on the stick and back to business with the birthday cards that have been sitting here waiting patiently for me this past week and a half. ;)
The other package was really heavy and I had no clue what John/Spruce would have sent me from Nain in Labrador?
A big rock! A couple smaller pieces broke off in transit, as you can see. I thought I could feel it was very old just by holding it before I read his note.
Here's the other side. You can almost sense the eons embedded in its memory. Hard to put into words.
There are rocks up in Nain that are 3,800 million years old...oldest known rocks in the world, I guess. I will never touch an older rock, I am sure! He wasn't sure if this was amphibolite gneiss (the really old rocks) or proterozoic anorthsite from the Middle Proterozoic period (1,000 million years ago) which are more common in Nain. I don't need to know. It is ancient earth.
Imagine how old this lichen might be?
I'll have to find a special spot for this to sit quietly. :)
Caroline was here this afternoon (she had a funeral yesterday for a co-worker) and it is Craft Night tonight. I haven't heard from Dagan or Leah yet today. I kind of assume Dagan may opt to golf tonight instead of paint--hehe! Leah wanted to work on cards and I have a few new phone questions for her. ;)
It's such a perfect day! All the windows are open and yet the wind is not much in my direction, so it shouldn't blow everything right off the table, I don't think--hehe! These days are my dream days...the ultimate favorites in the spring and fall. Of course, they are saying rain again by Friday, but we so seldom have had a stretch of good days that Miss Karma and I are both in seventh heaven!!
Hope everybody is having a good week. :):)
"Dive deeply into the miracle of life and let the tips of your wings be burnt by the flame, let you feet be lacerated by the thorns, let your heart be stirred by human emotion, and let your soul be lifted beyond the earth."
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan