Saturday, March 31, 2012


I had a wonderful, wonderful birthday! But was so wrapped up in company and good times that I completely forgot about my camera the whole time--LOL! It was dark and rainy most of the time Ruby was here. Even had a short thunderstorm on Thursday morning. So here some older pictures of Karma when it was warm enough to have the porch door open--LOL!
There was a bit of sun and Karma was listening to the geese...who are still treating us to their daily cacophony.
I had the three bags of shredded paper ready to go with Leah for recycling.
Ruby arrived Wednesday afternoon bearing gifts. She actually had a couple pair of the wild socks that she can't wear. These are the taller, regular ones and they are tighter around the top than the ankle length. Here's the one pair in purples and blues and the other is fall colors.
Ruby knows that being house-bound I have many nightgown, she brought me three new nightgowns! Two summer and one winter! :) And she had stopped over at CashWise and brought a pot of tulips!
They're already starting to open! Talk about bringing a little spring with her!
And she brought me several cans of my favorite treat coffee...french vanilla international cafe! I haven't had any for months! Whoohoo! And some cans of the new Fancy Feast with gravy for Karma. ;)
Dagan arrived first with dinner from Applebee's. Leah had to work a little later, but she had the oriental chicken salad waiting for her when she got here. Was really good! And eating anything from a restaurant (or even fast food, for that matter) is a big treat for me!
Leah's been doing this new way of eating where she eats mostly vegetables, eggs, fish, salads...and little or no carbs. She had told me a while ago about how she has a cast iron skillet that she makes a couple eggs in the morning, scrubs out, dries, and leaves it on the stove for the next day. My small non-stick skillet is getting worn...again. I knew I was going to have to replace it sometime this year and thought a small cast iron skillet would be perfect. Leah said they come pre-seasoned now, too.
So, Leah got me a 10-inch cast iron skillet! I already used it Friday and it is now in its new spot on the stove. Leah said they didn't sell covers in town, so she is ordering me a cover...AND the silicone handles that they make for the pan and cover! (I picked red to go with my tea pot.)
She got me the scrub brush for my new pan and one of the tuna can strainers. I have seen these around for years but had never tried one. Leah got one and said it is really slick!
I don't think I mentioned that I have been trying to avoid sweets and eat less bread and pasta. I've still been eating rice, though. And a couple months ago I added tuna and salmon back into my diet. So I guess I'm a vegetarian who eats fish now...a pescatarian. (And, I confess, once or twice a year I've eaten chicken.) Ruby brought four carrot cupcakes and candles for my birthday and we all devoured our cupcakes. ;) We just hung out and had such a nice visit. They left together at 10pm. (Ruby stays at a hotel down the road.)
Thursday I was up early. Ruby and I had the whole day!! Ruby wanted to order Chinese...we had enough for lunch and dinner--whoohoo! (No cooking and treat meals for two whole days!!) We gabbed and watched episodes of Big Bang Theory--LOL! I got Ruby hooked on it this last year and she has been watching all the repeats she can find. I had a whole bunch of them recorded so we could go through and pick out ones she hadn't seen yet. So we'd watch Big Bang and laugh and laugh...then chat and visit...and then watch Big Bang. I think we had watched 11 episodes (including the new one that was on Thursday night) by the time she left at 10pm. May sound weird to other people, but we had planned on a Big Bang marathon when she came. I've been recording repeats for several months--LOL! We had an absolute blast!
Ruby had twisted her knee while raking before she left home and then getting in and out of the new loveseat didn't help (she's shorter than I am). We gabbed again for a while on the phone Friday morning before she left Fargo and went on to her next visit in Saint Cloud. I hope her knee isn't bothering her as much. I've twisted my arthritic knees, too, and it is a royal pain. We had a marvelous time! It went waaaay too fast. It is so good to laugh a lot...and we just plain enjoy each other's company. :):)
Oh, and I almost forgot! Next Friday Dagan plans to pick me up after his half-day of work and take me over to PetSmart to buy plants and fish for the aquarium, too, as another part of my birthday present! What a great birthday this year! And actually ON my birthday, too. :):)
Yesterday I took an R&R day. Today I am going to catch up reading blogs...or start, I should say. I may not comment, but I will read them all. And will catch up on emails, too. When I am away from the computer for days it takes a while to get back up to speed...but I will. ;)
Tomorrow is no eating, etc...have my dentist checkup on Monday. Senior bus. I'll bring a book with me.
Tonight from 8:30-9:30pm wherever you live is Earth Hour. I have my candles and oil lamp ready.

Click Earth Hour to learn more.
Thank you--thank you--thank you to everyone who remembered me on my birthday! I was surprised and delighted by all the recognition and good wishes! If you can turn off your lights for an hour tonight, I'd love it if you could join me in the dark! ;)
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


What have I been doing since last we spoke?  
Shredding paper.  
 You may remember back when I finally cleaned my files and my desk that I had this entire box filled to the brim with papers that needed shredding.  Well, I do eventually usually get around to my various projects.
 I'd take big clumps of paper out of the box and shred till the shredder got warm (doesn't take long).
 I finished the first bag on Sunday.
 Yesterday was a cloudy day.  We had a visit from a couple crows!
 They were checking out the big puddle in the parking lot.  I don't know why crows get me so excited, but I just love to see them.  I used to see them a lot when I lived in Moorhead.  Sometimes one or two would follow me as I was walking to the college...for blocks and blocks.  :)  Was delightful to have a short visit.  Not that they know I'm here, but it always makes me smile to see them.
 Yesterday I got a couple really fun things in the mail.  My brother and his wife usually send me a Target gift card for my birthday.  Isn't this butterfly card just one of the wildest plastic cards you've ever seen?  Thanks, Blaine and Kathy!  The card was beautiful, too.
 Then...Tracey Fletcher King was complaining on her blog one day about how she hates snail mail because it's just bills and junk mail.  Well, you know how I LOVE snail mail with hand written letters and handmade cards...I asked her for her address so I could send her something fun.  (She LOVES tea and I had a set of tea related stamps I have thought of since I met her last November.)
Well, Tracey--this talented Australian artist--made me a card!!  (Kind of embarrassing that I rubber stamped a card for her, but I am not an artist.)  She also attached gorgeous little paintings to the envelope.  (Am covering addresses with her card.)  These are the two flowered cups on the front on the envelope...
 ...and these are the set of four teapots on the back.  Isn't the card lovely?  The mat under the cup is so colorful.  Her work is always bright and cheerful--and makes me smile.  Thanks, Tracey!!  I am absolutely delighted!!
 Meanwhile, back to the shredding--LOL!  I finished a second bag yesterday...
 ...and started on a third.  That is the last of the box of paper on the table and I hope it all fits in this third bag and I can finish today.
 You can bet Karma does, too.  She has not been able to get in her afternoon beauty sleep since Saturday--LOL!  Karma is both intrigued by what I'm doing and greatly annoyed by the sound of the shredder.  So she alternates between staying in the room to keep an eye on the goings on and hiding under the bed to catch a few winks.
This morning we had a bit of filtered sun for a short time.  Karma went out on the porch to catch a few half-rays.  It didn't last long.
Totally clouded over and grey, but it's 52 degrees out.  Feels a little warmer than it has been because the wind finally died down.  That beating dryer flap kept me up half the night.  The wind finally died down and then I slept in this morning...ahhh!  Silence really is golden.  ;)
I see raindrops on the window.  More light rain.  Mother Nature seems to be making up for all the snow we didn't get this winter.  Which is good!  Good for the farmers.  :)
I saw the announcement that Blogger will have a new look in April.  Thought maybe, for once, I'd go ahead and switch over instead of waiting until they force me into it.  But then a box came up...I knew there were a ton of choices ahead...I was tired...and wondering what the heck had gotten into I clicked not now...thinking I had backtracked to the old form.  Well, not in the blogger dashboard, I didn't!  *sigh*  
They have a different way to load photos now.  I used to be able to cut and paste and move them around before I started writing the blog, you know?  I tried and tried and tried.  I cannot figure out how to move a photo anymore.  I deleted the blog post entirely.  Thought I could start over, right?  Oddly, when I started a brand new post and clicked to add photos...all the same photos were still there from last time!!  So frustrating!
I had to delete that post, too, and then completely shut the whole computer down and restart it to be rid of those first pictures I had chosen.  Awk!!!!  You can choose more photos at a time, but you had better have them sorted and in the exact order you want them in the first place, I guess.  At least I have to because I cannot figure out how to move them.  And, of course, everything looks very different and there are new icons. 
Old dog had a bad morning with Blogger--LOL!  
Well, today I shall shred.  
Tomorrow Ruby will arrive!  
So, I'll probably be back this weekend.
Have a great day!!  :):)
"Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough."
Emily Dickinson

Sunday, March 25, 2012


On Friday I caught this glimpse of the sun peeking through a hole in the clouds.
We've had a lot of rain off and on lately. Today is a sunny day but it's cooled off up here the last couple days. Only 39 degrees right now in the afternoon.
Before I forget, I wanted to tell you a fish story. These are the two tetras that are left in my little ten gallon tank. Their tails do have some red to them, even if it doesn't show much here. Black tips on the upper and lower fins and a hint of gold stripe under the top black tip. Do not remember what kind they are. If you know, please tell me. :)
Anyways, there used to be five of these in the tank...a runt and four larger ones. The runt (on the left) was always shunned by the bigger gang, so it mostly hung around on its own in the tank all these years. Would try to hang with the big guys, but they blatantly ignored the little one. When the great heat wave killed off half the fish in the tank, surprisingly, little Runt survived. Only four fish left, but still the larger one chose to try to follow around the two bigger black tetras rather than hang with Runt. So, poor Runt was still alone while the other three were in their little clique.
Well, as you know, the two black tetras both croaked. One in the bucket while the tank was being cleaned and the other one shortly after discovering in the newly cleaned tank that his cohort was gone and there was nobody left but this odd tetra who had been trying to be their friend. Not any real company substitute for that last black tetra who was apparently much more devoted to his own kind. He freaked out and died.
Well, now that there are only the two tetras left--guess who suddenly looks like a good hanging buddy? Yes! Runt finally has a friend! For the first time in his long, lonely aquarium life, Runt has somebody to hang with. Makes me so happy. I am stopping in all the time to watch them. (Well, and to check to see if Runt has been abandoned.) Silly, but I am just so dang happy for Runt!! I don't think I'll buy any more tetras for Traitor to decide to hang with.
Funny. They never officially had names till now. Runt and Traitor. LOL! So, that's the fish story.
Meanwhile, Karma's new batch of grass started sprouting on the porch. I moved it inside because it was too short and Karma was pulling up the grass seedlings right and left.
Caught her sneaking up on the table to chomp and pull... I pulled the chair away. One thing about having a fat cat--they're too fat to jump from the floor to the table top--LOL! All I have to do is move the chairs away at night and she is handily thwarted. ;)
She fell asleep...pouting...hung over the arm of the chair.
This was the following morning! Talk about shooting up! Grew an inch or two overnight! (You can see I have been busy writing cards and letters.)
Karma catching some rays while it was still warm enough to have the door open.
Okay, I also did get out the watercolors and attempt to paint the church. *sigh*
Looks a little better from farther away--LOL!
Just was one of those days where nothing worked right at all. I could still have tried to mess with it some more to fix the trees or something, but it was already overworked and--truth--I was sick and tired of it, to be honest. Done! Just supposed to be a sketch. I need to move on to lesson three.
This morning...Karma has her grass to eat. She's happy. And it's inside because it could have frozen last night. (Crazy weather!)
My dear friend, Ruby, is driving up next Wednesday on my birthday to stay for a couple of days!! Dagan and Leah will be by, too. We are going to order dinner and visit...on my actual birthday...whoohoo!! I'll be 61...and counting!
Smile! Hug somebody! Laugh!
Have a great day!
"We're all just walking each other home."
Ram Dass

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I sometimes wonder what cats seem to be observing that is completely invisible to us. I took these over several days.
What or who does she see up on the ceiling...
...down on the floor...
...on the ceiling again...
...out on the porch... the hallway...
...and on the floor again? What are they watching so intently? I have always seen cats do this. I like to think she sees angels or spirit guides. ;)
Anyways, I did get out the good easel.
Because the base is clear Plexiglas you can use this for tracing, too. I love the way it hangs over the edge of the table so you can get really up close and personal.
I did tape up the picture of the church, tried to straighten my sketch up with my carbon fountain pen, and then erased the pencil lines.
This is as far as I got...because I got sidetracked yesterday...
...making cards.
Put together 17 "scrap cards".
I've always called these "scrap cards" because every time I make covers for my bookcards from 12" X 12" scrapbooking paper I can get two covers from each sheet of paper and then end up with a couple of good sized extra pieces or scraps. They're not large enough to cover the front of a card, but all the top parts of these cards are scraps from bookcard covers. Then I go through my regular scrap bin to find pieces for the bottom that would coordinate with the bookcard cover scraps.
I had already gotten that far with a whole stack of them. So...yesterday...I decided I needed some fast cards. The simplest and fastest way to put them together is just to grab some ribbon and a flower or big brad or something for an embellishment and that's that. Not fancy, by any stretch--but I love making them because they are basically a recycling of scraps project. And recycling always makes me happy. :)
It was also Caroline day yesterday--tada! I asked her to help me bring in the tall fans from the garage. How ridiculous to be doing that already in March, eh? And to already be asking Caroline to wipe out the window sills and clean off the porch door glass like it's spring. I wonder if it really is?
I set this little rug on one of the chairs by the table (new spot) and, of course, Karma slept on it while I finished the scrap cards...on into the evening.
As the sun was setting last night I saw this gorgeous bank of clouds angled across the sky...
...and grabbed the camera. :):)
I was watching (on Netflix streaming) The Human Experience. I am more than half way through it. Decided to take a break, dry my eyes, and blog. What remarkable young men and what a journey! And now I shall go back and finish watching as my heart unfurls.
Spread the love!! :):)
"Treasure the love you have received above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished."
Og Mandino

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The sky this morning is dark and cloudy...
...but the sun is valiantly making bright appearances between the cloud cracks. Looks like it could go either way today.
We've had a lot of grey and occasional light rain, but it has been very warm. We've broken heat records right and left--sometimes by 20 degrees! Last night was chillier so I closed the porch door part way. Karma was spying on me from the dark porch.
What crazy weather! Mid-March and sleeping with the bedroom window fan and the porch doors wide open! We seem to have gone from November to May in these last two months. Very, very odd.
Miss Spy is loving this. I don't know if it's spring fever or what that makes her full of the devil when those doors to the wilderness of the porch open--LOL! A couple days ago I caught her spying at me from the porch door glass...and waited...
...till her eyeballs popped over the bottom of the glass--LOL!
It has been windier than all get out! See the ripples on the big puddle in the parking lot. The wind was blasting our way so that for three days the dryer flap pounded against the side of the and night.
Between the heat and the wind that snow pile was almost gone a couple days ago...nothing but a frosty shadow.
This morning...totally disappeared. Can't believe how warm it has been!
Yesterday I got a birthday package in the mail from England!! All kinds of goodies from Tori & Kelly and their dogs Kero & Willow! Handmade candles...treats for Karma...
...a handmade card...
...four CDs with various Victorian pictures on them...
...and a seal on a sled Christmas ornament made from pompoms and pipe cleaners that Karma begged to check out (she didn't hurt it--I think it may have smelled like dog or something else equally fascinating). Thanks so much, Tori!! You shouldn't have! That was so sweet! :):)
I finally felt un-sore enough yesterday to haul the sewing machine out. It works this time--TaDa!! I sewed all afternoon on repairs and alterations.
Karma wasn't happy with the noise of the sewing machine, hid under the desk...
...and fell asleep. If she thinks that's bad, wait till I start shredding that whole box of papers that are in the bedroom from when I cleaned my files. (I do eventually get around to things--LOL!)
Why alterations? I will never understand why because I am short and round that when I buy something big enough to get around my "round" the manufacturers seem to believe that my neck simply has to have grown to the size of a gorilla and I most certainly must have the long, long arms to match. I can't do much about the gigantic neck holes that barely cover my bra straps, but I took 4-5 inches off some sleeves that came to my fingertips. ;) I'm sure I have a few more tops where I could shorten the sleeves, but I was done in and packed it up. My next sewing project will be the custom journal covers...but that will take some sketching and planning. So glad the machine is in working order this time. It felt so good to be sewing again!
Meanwhile, the other black tetra died. :( I am down to the two tetras that I can't remember what kind they were when I bought them years ago. Weren't familiar to me from my pet shop days long ago and slipped out of my memory shortly after I bought them. I think the last black tetra was so lonesome and hated the barren tank so much it just gave up the ghost. Had been hanging miserably up in a corner most of the time trying to hide...either that or was cruising the tank like it was looking for its buddy. They are fairly old for tetras...5-7 years maybe...can't remember. Been so very long since I bought fish. These last two seem to be hanging in there and are less freaked out by the "new" tank. So hopefully they'll be okay. :)
Today...I am working on a couple of letters and I hope to get back to Cathy's class. Thought maybe I'd try to draw in the leaning church with ink first and see if I can maybe straighten it up a little before I paint it. Then I can erase the pencil drawing. And this time I'll get out my good table easel. I just kept remembering how my calligraphy teacher stressed using an easel to keep from over-slanting. Maybe it would help me with drawing, too? Does sound awkward, though. But then I thought calligraphy on an easel would be terribly awkward and difficult, too. I did get used to it at the time. Well, gunna give it a try. Obviously, if anything can help me..... ;)
Okay, I am off. Waves from Fargo. (Karma would wave, but she's sawing logs.) Happy Tuesday!! :):)
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
Mark Twain