Sunday, June 26, 2011


It did dry off on the porch by the following day. I tried to sneak up on Karma as she laid out there by the door washing her face and ears.
She saw me, tho...
...and wondered what her crazy human was up to this time. No privacy. Not even when bathing. No wonder she takes off and hides under the bed or in strange spots once in a while--ROFL!
Anyways, thunderstorm with lots of lightning last night. Rain and clouds. It's only 72 degrees, but still 82% humidity--so I am still closed up with the AC on low, feeling pretty decent, and getting a few things done.
Yes! I finally got to....the file cabinet. (Can you almost hear the music from Jaws?)
All the files and such did fit on my desk--tada!
I have stacks and stacks to slowly wade through. Federal, State, and County loans...medical...all the Medicare info...bills...receipts...guarantees and instructions...
I'm not even sure I know what all is in there--LOL! But one file at a time, I will putter my way thru the stacks and, hopefully, have a ton of paperwork to shred when I'm done. ;)
After that--I can start on the cleaning and sorting of the actual desk. ;P
Meanwhile--since I was out of bookcards again and have a whole big bunch all ready to punch and sew together...
...well, I decided to punch and sew. Put together 16 of them.
My last three of the poinsettia watercolor cards from the first batch we printed and eight of the new bookcards are all matched up with an addressed envelope. Yup! Eight of the sixteen bookcards are already earmarked.
This is how I write letters most of the time these days. Not usually this many ready to go at once but, obviously, on occasion. ;) I write in segments and sometimes have 2-3 letters going at the same time. So, even if I have these all addressed and ready to start, I won't be writing to more than 2-3 at a time, if that makes any sense.
Since I can't sit to write for any length of time anymore, it changed the way I write letters--but it wasn't going to stop me! I love having the bookcards ready to go or started so that I can just pick one up and start chatting to that particular person. Since I came up with the bookcard idea I have been hooked! They are so compact and handy for me. I used to have stacks of envelopes, cards, and paper/stationery...trying to keep track of which stack of paper went with which card. (I've made handmade cards for years and would tuck the letter inside.) No wonder I love the bookcards--hehe!
Anyways, I'm all set up for writing letters for weeks! ;)
I can't stop giggling over this order that came on Friday! I had ordered a set of herb pots must have been in March or April. They've been on backorder until now. I was expecting little windowsill type pots--after all they were only $12.95 for the six pots and the seed disks. Stood a roll of paper towels next to them so you'd have a better idea of how large they are. Look at the size of these herb pots!! ROFL!
I will pot them, anyways. I think they will fill up the entire little round table on the porch--hehe! If I can keep them alive until fall, then I will worry about finding room for them inside. Good Lord! I think I might have to cook more often! ROFL!!!
Karma claimed the packaging, of course.
The last couple of months CashWise has been out of quite a few of the items I have ordered. I request "no substitutions", so when they don't have them my bill is less. I had a little extra money this month, too---so---another JetPens order came on Saturday! (I wait till the end of the month in case something unexpected comes up.)
This is a leatherette-type, refillable journal holder. I like the gold, metal corner protectors. On the smaller side than most of mine...
...with two built in thin ribbon bookmarks. The lines are a bit odd with the "header" look, but that might be just perfect for lists! (I am a notorious list maker.) Haven't decided what I want to use it for exactly but it will never go to waste around here--LOL!
And also I got this set of nibs I have been eyeing. Tachikawa Calligraphy Pen Nibs-Type C (Sharp)- 1mm.
Look at the reservoir on those! Wow!! [Please ignore the Karma hair. I didn't even see it until I saw the pictures on my laptop. Just one of those annoying things you deal with when you live with furbabies, I guess. I have her apologize to you, but she refuses to apologize...for anything.]
Anyways, I giggled at this order, too. See the teeny, tiny nib? It's a Brause 66 Extra Fine "Arrow" Calligraphy Pen Nib. I wondered if it might need a special nib holder because JetPens sells all kinds of specialty "Comic/Manga Pens". It does. Too small for any of mine, but I'll get one next time I order. Not expensive and it just looked soooo cool to play with--couldn't resist.
I do love a fine line. ;)
I hope you've been having a nice weekend. For me, I've been doing a lot the last couple days so I am gong to take the day off from the files or making anything--quietly wait for the next line of thunderstorms to roll through. ;)
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
As I was finishing this thunder cracked, the building shook, Karma sat up, and the sky opened up in torrents. Can't even see out the window.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Beautiful out today! Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, mid-70s.
Karma mistakenly thought it would be a good day to lounge on the porch--but the carpeting is soaked out there from days of rain. She wanted right back in.
The amazing duo were here again. Dagan fixed the remote! He pushed two buttons at the same time! The mistakenly pushed one and the function button. I never thought to push two at once. I had pushed them one right after the other--many, many times. Anyways, Dagan got it working again in just about a minute. He really does have the knack. :)
He got my laptop to recognize my printer again, too. For some reason the McLap seems to lose the printer connection altogether when the printer goes to sleep. So now I turn it on just before I want to print something. Saves electricity, too. I'm happy.
Leah put a screen protector on my new phone and I think she got my blue tooth to work again, too. She reconnected it. Said sometimes you have to do that when they are acting up--disconnect and reconnect them. Computers seem to consistently have trouble with brain glitches--more than I do even. ;)
Dagan and Leah will be back in two weeks. :):)
I have been in a cleaning out and throwing away mood. Been in the bathroom shelves and medicine cabinet tossing away. Started to haul out some of my files from the file cabinet...plan to do a lot of shredding. Leah said I can take their shredder since we've wanted to buy a cross cut shredder for our papermaking anyways. I know--a little late for spring cleaning, but as long as I am feeling pretty good...well, if I ever feel like cleaning I never worry about what time of year it is--ROFL! I go for it. ;)
So, I think it is going to be a chaotic mess around here for a while. I have put off cleaning the files for a couple of years because it is going to be such a humongous project going thru all those papers one by one--arg!! Wish me luck! I'll save one end of the table for my books and journals every morning, but anything else will be on hold till this task is completed, I think.
My days and nights have be doing the flip again. Only takes one sleepless night (a while back before the fans--hehe!) and my hours get crazy--LOL! So, during the night tonight I will continue to haul out files and pile them all over my desk, table, art table, TV trays, wherever...
We're supposed to have another day of sun before the rain and storms return on Sunday. Have a great weekend!! :):)
"Cleanliness is next to godliness."
Ancient Proverb

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Yesterday, in-between rain showers, they were working on the connecting road.
Getting closer to being open, but... it is 57 degrees and raining.
No paving today.
I really do wish we could send some of this down to the drought areas.
I had the strangest thing happen to my TV remote.
I accidentally pressed the button right below the power button that is marked "DVD receiver/TV" and now the remote won't work at all and I can't undo that button press for love or money.
I am hoping Dagan can fix it tonight when they come over. If not I will have to buy a universal remote. Just blows my mind that they could have a button (and right next to the power button) that could screw up your entire remote? And why can't you undo it? I've even removed the batteries overnight...nothing seems to matter. Anything I press, that button flashes for a bit and then goes dark. *sigh* I guess this means I should be very careful where I put my fingers, eh? LOL!
I don't know if you remember but last year both my tall fans died. Leah came by Friday with a couple of new ones--tada!! That Karma. If she can't lay on something new she sprawls out next to it.
It's hard to explain why I need three fans to cool off my little one-bedroom apartment, but I'll try to show you. I need one at the end of the living room down by the big windows aiming into the room...
...because they put the AC in the wall so that it faces the porch door! The cool air blows across the far end of the room and not into the room.
In order for the cooler air to make the U-shaped journey into my bedroom I have to help it along or it takes days to get in there--LOL! I have a fan at the other end of the living room up near the hallway and have that one blowing into the hallway toward the bedroom door.
And then I take the fan I use in my bedroom window and put it on the floor in my bedroom door to aim it into the room.
I know. Pretty silly, eh? But it works. I am sleeping better since I have had the house closed up and all the fans on. Even when it has been cooler (and it has been cool up here this year), the humidity has been up there almost all the time since spring. Which has led me to the discovery that the dampness could very likely be setting off my arthritis. I am never sure what makes the pain flare up (and I'm sure the humidity isn't the only thing) but I have generally had sharper pain since spring. So, now that I can get the dampness out of the apartment...well, maybe I might feel better and get more done around here. ;)
I really have been feeling a little better. Pain is less sharp. Sleeping a little better. I don't want to jinx it, but (knock on wood) I feel downright hopeful!! :):) Who'd a thunk it, eh? That the humidity would make that much difference? We'll see. Could be it was a fibro flare just getting better all on its own, of course. But I am beginning to believe that it was the arthritis all over my body that was giving me more pain than the fibro.
Sorry. Don't mean to complain about my aches and pains, but I am just excited--thinking positive. :):)
I watched the strangest claymation movie on instant Netflix yesterday. Mary and Max. It was based on a true story--made me laugh and broke my heart. The claymation is fabulously quirky (and not for kids). I wondered how I never had heard of this movie when it has Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette as the main voices? Probably because it doesn't exactly fit into any normal category? Made in Australia? Very odd friendship? Unsettling and haunting? Anyways, I will watch it again. I seldom watch a movie more than once. If you click on the title IMDB has a trailer.
Well, you'd be proud of me--maybe--ROFL! I got the car out for a spin in between showers and even burnt out some carbon, as they say, going briefly at 70mph on the freeway! Whoohoo! I start to worry about her starting--must be close to a month since I drove her last. No problem. :)
Anyways, I hope you're having a good day and it's a perfect week. :):)
"The store was closed so I went home and hugged what I own."
Brooks Palmer

Friday, June 17, 2011


The mostly rainy and/or cloudy days continue up here. Dark...
...darker. Rain...
...breaks in the clouds...
...and this happy little rainbow!!
Rain? Chilly? Karma looks ultra relaxed and warm in her cat bed.
Tori and I were talking about old necklaces and I did find the old ankh that Alan (my first love) made me in metal shop senior year. When Leah and I were first experimenting with beading I made a copper bead necklace for it...
...but I think I'd rather go back to the leather or silk cording I am so partial to.
Hard to believe this was shiny silver when it was new 43 years ago--LOL! The silver color has almost completely worn off. Looks more copper colored now. I kind of like the worn effect. Looks more ancient, as befits the old Egyptian symbol of life, doesn't it?
Of course, then I found my three favorites (all on leather or silk cord, you'll notice). The hunk of green moldavite that I had hand-wrapped by a woman in Stillwater. The wrapping was a little bit on the gaudy side for my tastes with all the curlycues, but I still wore it all the time--great energy in that stone! The sterling silver is in desperate need of a cleaning.
Then there's the blue (plastic?acrylic?) one with the rune symbols on the front. I saw this in a kiosk at the new Mall of America or the MegaMall, as we call it. (Also bought a set of stunning rune stones from the same place.) The series of rune symbols had something to do with protection by my guide or something like that--been so many years ago now I can't remember exactly. But it was supposed to have been blessed and the energy fixed or some such by the golden streak and the red dot. That's, sadly, the best my sketchy memory can do right now. Knowing me I probably have the card that came with it...someplace. I just immediately thought of it as symbolic of my guardian angel, GA, and that's what it has always meant to me.
Then there's the brass musical sphere! It's a chime ball that makes tinkly music when you move. I've seen a lot of them, but mine has that crescent moon shaped holder and you can remove the chime ball to play with it in your hands. (Which I used to do sometimes at work or in classes in college when I was bored--LOL!)
And here is the back side of my moldavite.
You can google moldavite. Very interesting tektite that is supposed to be 15 million years old.
Since I rarely leave the house I got out of the habit of wearing jewelry...or makeup, for that matter--LOL! But I have been wearing my moldavite necklace a lot since I found it. Still love it. Still need to clean it. ;)
While digging about I also found my golden graduation tassel from high school.
Even tho I doubt he reads my blog...thanks for the ankh, Alan. I still have it. :)
"Every man's memory is his private literature."
Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The glimpse of a orange sun rising yesterday must have indicated more rain on the way--hehe!
Well, the nasty, aggressive, hunchbacked killifish finally died yesterday. Been on it's last fins for a week or so.
Have you ever had a fish you wish you had never bought in the first place who terrorizes all the other fish in the tank but won't die and lives on for years and years? That was Old Hunchback.
Killed its partner right off. Harassed and worried it to death. Wouldn't let it eat. Same thing with several tank mates. Not sure if Old Hunchback was a male or female, but it was homely with a right nasty temperament. Would splash water at you when you came near the tank. Watched you. Was smart. I'd hear it splash water at me sometimes when I got up at night to go to the bathroom!? In the dark! I didn't even turn the light on! Apparently I woke it up and pissed it off, tho. Old Hunchback always let you know when you pissed it off.
The only fish who have survived with Old Hunchback, monarch of the top of the tank, have been a couple of bottom feeders and some tetras who normally live in the middle range of a tank, but relegated themselves to as far down as they could swim, hid a lot, and have been willing to catch anything to eat as it floats down from Old Hunchback's surface territory. I think they are going to be shocked with their new-found freedom--LOL!
Goodbye Old Hunchback! The strangest thing is, I will probably miss your angry splashes, threats, and scowls. (Do you hear the sound of a toilet flushing?)
On a lighter note. I took out my tabletop easel and the piece of board I use with it when I use it for painting, etc. See how nicely flat it folds up.
Karma was there in a flash to check them out and smell them as if she had never seen them before--sheesh!
Here's a side view of the easel on the table. It is made to hang over the edge of the table so you can get right up close to your work. There are adjustable notches to raise and lower the acrylic front.
What's awesome is that for craft or art projects where you need to trace something--you can just place a light behind the easel because of the clear acrylic and it works fantastic as a light box of sorts, too.
This piece of pressboard came inside of a travel case I actually bought for the easel. It fits nicely on the easel and I do use it whenever I am taping something down to work on it. Then I can easily remove whatever I'm working on and leave it taped to the board if I need to get the easel out of the way because I need the table for something another project...or possibly even eating--ROFL!
A piece of gator board fits nicely on the lip, too. (I staple watercolor paper to gator board for WC paintings.) I love-love-love my table easel and have used it for all kinds of projects. And yes--I am quite anal with the neatness factor, as you can tell. The easel still looks practically brand new even tho the wood is unfinished. What can I say.
Anyways, if you remember, I mentioned that we had swastikas etched into the paint on the elevator door. Next I saw a big smiley face. Then it was the "N' word! Several times! I wondered when they were gong to paint the door again. But the next thing I saw was this!
They attached a huge sheet of silver metal on the whole inside of the elevator door! (And we thought the elevator door made noise before!)
Really? Do they honestly believe that a person can't scratch with a key on a piece of metal?
I'm pretty darn sure that the graffiti war will continue. ;)
Raining. 65 degrees. We're supposed to see the sun tomorrow and then back to scattered showers. Hope everyone is having a good week. Giggle. Be sure and giggle today. :)
"I find ecstasy in living--the mere sense of living is joy enough."
Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday-7:15am-Calligraphy class

Pink and blue cloudy morning sky yesterday. We did see sunlight come and go.
The wind was so boisterously gusty that I had to weigh everything down on the table and Karma was too spooked to sit at her spy post at the window. She disappeared a couple of times. Eventually I will notice that I haven't seen her for hours (which is unusual). I mean, come on! This is a small one-bedroom apartment. There are only so many places she can hide--LOL! I think she likes me to go looking for her--will not let out a peep as I call for her--and she is always sitting there calmly observing me when I do find her.
The first time she was lounging inside her stroller where it was parked in the bedroom.
The next time I moved the chair and found her where she had been sleeping under my desk.
It's not like these places are unusual or anything--just that I haven't seen her in her stroller when it's in the bedroom for maybe a year or two. Same thing with lounging under my desk. I guess she likes variety like her owner and eventually rotates her activity choices around given enough time. ROFL!
Speaking of...I did get out all my old calligraphy stuff. My classroom binder...
...stack of instructional books...
...and my one year's worth of Tabellac Ansatae magazine for calligraphers and bookbinders. Been a few years ago and I discovered that the name of the magazine has even changed. It was put out by John Neal Booksellers and is now called Bound & Lettered.
I have purchased bookbinding supplies from Volcano Arts. A tricky site to navigate, but worth the time. And Paper & Ink Arts carries calligraphy & bookbinding supplies plus all kinds of delightful goodies to drool over.
I thought maybe you'd get a kick out of some of the class info. Our teacher's name was Mrs. (Jean) Heidenreich and she had been a professional calligrapher for all her adult life. She did the usual--wedding invitations, certificates, wall art--and had worked for a greeting card company for decades. I never thought about greeting cards sayings having been originally hand written. Computers had pushed her out of a job (this was close to 20 years ago) and into early retirement (she defiantly announced, grey curls bouncing, that she wasn't yet 65). But you can see why. Here's a sheet she handed out about common faults.
As you can see by her alphabet sentence on the bottom of the page, her italic calligraphy is so nearly perfect that you wouldn't know it wasn't done by a computer. She was, shall we say, a strict perfectionist. We started out with about ten people and ended up with four of us because the others had dropped out by the third class. One man packed up and walked right out the first night as soon as he discovered she did not allow the use of calligraphy pens and we were required to use dip pens, nibs, and bottled ink. (Quite arrogant for a grade school principal!)
The "alphabet" sentences--so cool! Everyone has probably heard of "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog"--well, she had this whole sheet of crazy ones! I loved practicing these and had forgotten all about them until I dug out my class binder--hehe! My favorite one is "He jokingly removed the porcupine quills from the zebra's back with wax".
Remember I mentioned that she insisted we write using an easel? We met in a drafting classroom so that each table had a built in easel. She actually encouraged us to have the easel at a higher angle than shows in this handout. Took some getting used to, but I couldn't believe how it helped with proportions.
Mrs. Heidenreich had a personal table easel that she brought with her each time. Soooo cool! It had a wooden frame with a clear acrylic base. I asked her about it after class. Hers had been handmade to her specifications by a friend and she actually contacted him for her easel-enamored student. He was older and retired, but he did agree to make me one and that is how I purchased my very own personal, handmade, awesome table easel! I guess I should take pictures of that to show you, too, eh? ;) I have used it for a lot more than just calligraphy since then.
Anyways, here's an example of an assignment I did. Mrs. Heidenreich would make her corrections in pencil so you could clearly see your black ink mistakes. I had a terrible, terrible time with consistency. (Always been a personal failure of mine in numerous areas of my life.)
Our final assignmnets she went over individually with us and didn't mark with pencil so that we could keep our best work pristine. We all worked on these same two projects.
Centering was difficult, too! It's pretty obvious that even after six weeks and a lot of practice my work most definitely would never be mistaken for a computer font--ROFL!!
The class was challenging, informative, frustrating, exciting, and fun! After several weeks Mrs. Heidenreich told me I could call her Jean outside of class (had a difficult time with that). And after the final class (I was always first to arrive and last to leave), she informed me that I "had potential". I was thrilled with such high praise coming from such a tough lady. :)
I am dreadfully out of practice--but now I have rediscovered the silly alphabet sentences--aha! Fun! I confess that I have cheated since our class all those years ago and have mostly used calligraphy pens since then. Mrs. Heidenreich would be so disappointed in me.
I'll get pictures of my beloved easel for you. I promise!
Hope you are having a good week. :):)
"Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead."
Aldous Huxley