Thursday, October 31, 2013


I looked online and it claims the sun came up at 8:06am--LOL!  These pictures were taken at 8:30 and the outside lights were still on.  Lots of noise this morning.  I looked out to see these trucks...
...and it is the time of the month for UHauls, too. 
All the noise was from the mystery men again. 
Now they are doing something to the parking lot instead of the sidewalk. 
No doubt about it this time. 
They had a confab...  
...walked down and had another discussion... 
...walked back and thought some more. 
Whatever they are doing out there it seems to be difficult to figure out.  It must be something important if our tax credit owners are spending money on it.  They are reluctant, shall we say, to fix things they should in the buildings or to clean the carpets in the hallways...things like that.  I am still quite baffled as to what they are fixing out there.  My guess is they were forced somehow to do this--whatever it is.
Myself, I have been cleaning out the last of my Preppy fountain pens.
The blue bulb thingie--I had one of these for Dagan when he was a baby when I took him home from the hospital with pneumonia to suction out his nose and now they sell them to squirt water through pen nibs.  Works like a charm!
Some inks stain so much it gets embedded into the plastic. 
And others come clean as a whistle. 
Those of you who have been around for a while know that I have had drawers filled with the Preppy pens ever since I got my pen cabinet.  The drawer on the left was full of all the pens filled with... bottles I own.  (I have a few more bottles in my desk hutch, too.)
The now empty drawer on the right was full of pens filled with ink samples from Goulet Pens Ink Drop--where I get five new samples every month and I might have enough samples to work my way through for years, ya think?  (These are in a drawer in the dresser under the TV.)  I sometimes had another drawer in my pen chest filled with sample ink Preppy pens, too! 
Why have I not been refilling them and why would I empty the last of the ink out of the final pens?
Because I have fallen in love.
I think it was after my birthday in March that I treated myself to a couple more expensive pens (around $50-55)--or was it after Christmas?  Anyways, I got the red demonstrator Pilot Prera on the left and the TWSBI Mini on the right.  LOVED the Prera so much that I got a lime green one shortly afterwards.  Trouble is--I can't keep my hands off them!!  Especially the Preras!!
  So I have been neglecting my three dollar Preppy pens, which I used to use all the the point that they were drying out and clogging up.  Pens need to be loved and used.  If not--cleaned and gently stored away.  So, I am taking a Preppy break.  Since my hand always wants to reach for these three wonderful pens...for now...I decided to gently store away the Preppys.  You know how I love variety.  Eventually I will want a rainbow of fountain pen choices but, for now, I will have to settle for a rainbow of gel pen choices if the urge hits me--LOL!  I plan to keep refilling my fav-three with ink samples.
These are the types of puttery things that can happily take up my days, folks.  ;)  
Oddly, since I have kicked my OCD blogger to the curb you will probably see more of me...and shorter blogs!  Because I can sit in one session (instead of two or three) and write to you sooner.  I know--seems like everything in my life comes out ass-backwards, doesn't it--LOL!  Makes me happy!
We haven't had a sunny day for---hummm--four days, maybe?  So I'd rather end with another picture of Karma getting her rays.  Which I'm sure she has been missing.  ;)   
Instead we have a grey day with a ton of construction noise.  I should go see what they are doing out there.  
Have a silly day!  :):)
"Love doesn't make the world go 'round.  
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."
Franklin P. Jones

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Been gone for a few weeks from WOYWW, too.  What's on my workdesk?  Well, my art table has been quietly waiting for me to return.  Not much happening there.
My craft table...well, it does double-duty every morning when I journal...and I have another letter to respond to waiting for me this morning, too.  I often bring the McLap over (on the wire stand) and either watch some craft videos or listen to Pandora while I am writing. 
Oh, I promised you a silly Karma story.
(Kind of silly on my part, too--LOL!)
Okay, remember Miss Karma didn't like the new baby lift chair even with the throw on it and wouldn't sit up there unless I had that yellow rag and some of her toys up there?  Well, since she had been going for the big blue treat ball every morning instead of the bowl on her brown mat (loves the new Halo cat food I was putting in her blue ball)...and I had already removed the extra water dish weeks ago...I decided to remove the food dish, too.  She really doesn't need a food station in two places all winter and three in the summer (pantry and the porch).  The big blue treat ball is quite enough.  All of them have regular cat food in them but she thinks the living room food is her "special treats" because I put very little in there of different foods than she gets in her regular bowl and I kept it in small jars in the end table.  I know.  Silly.  But Karma was fooled into thinking diet cat food was something quite special.  (All her food is diet, believe it or not--except for the canned food.)
Long story...but I removed the "treat" bowl, washed the fluffy brown mat, and put it up on the chair.  Now she loves the chair.
She's up there all the time now--LOL! 
It is a very small chair.  Her regular cat beds don't even fit on it without hanging partway off and even my feet hang totally over the my ankles!  And I'm only a little over 5'1"!  That's why I call it the baby chair--LOL!  
Well, it's 36 degrees and just as dark as yesterday.  Dagan and Leah aren't coming over, I guess.  They are carving pumpkins tonight.  :)  Halloween tomorrow!
Amour was such a sad movie.  But realistically done and the acting was magnificent.  I believe the actress had been up for an oscar.  She should have gotten it!  Wow!  (Not that I saw all the performances, mind you.)  Makes you wonder what you would do under those circumstances in your 80s...what it would be like to be in either position.  I've been lucky with my movie choices lately and haven't picked a stinker for quite a while.  ;)
    Have a scintillating Wednesday!  :)
Karma says hi!
"Look at your feet.  You are standing in the sky.  When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth."
Diane Ackerman

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


X Marks The Spot!
That was sunrise yesterday.  Today was so dark I have had to have the lights on all day, but yesterday Karma was soaking up the rays. 
I thought I'd post kind of late for T Stands For Tuesday over at Elizabeth's...with my thermal mug of coffee, of course.  Been writing letters today and made a loaf of bread.  Smells so good in here!
Just cut and glued some felt onto the bottom of the pen cups Leah made.  I'll let them dry well before I stick the pens back in (in a semi-organized fashion, of course).  The bottoms were pretty smooth, but you know how I am--LOL!  ;)
I want to thank everyone who left comments and sent emails with all your support and advice.  I am glad you will understand if you don't hear from me as often--but know that, regardless, I do usually keep up reading your blog posts because, as you may recall, I get them via email now.
[Note: if you don't have the "follow by email" on your blog I won't be able to get your posts.]  
My problem wasn't that I was getting sick of blogland, but that I like it too much--LOL!  And that I have these self-imposed, Minnesota-nice, OCD "rules" that I guess I just have to throw out the window.  I so thoroughly enjoy you all and our little snippets of chat and quick visits...but I just can't keep up and do all the other things I love, too.  Might be a bit sporadic with my contact...and more of a lurker, I suppose, than a true participant in the groups (but if you comment here and do have "follow by email"--I will follow--just don't have the time to go through the whole list of people in all the groups) but I enjoy those, too.  
Who knows!  Without all my OCD rules...I just might post more I did for the first several years when I wasn't expecting that more than a handful of people were reading anything I had to say...back when I seldom got comments...when I didn't know anyone online...wasn't following a couple hundred blogs...and was just writing for friends and family.  I know it's different now--and I wouldn't change that.  I feel part of a community that I treasure.  I love to hear what you think and see what you are up to...and that hasn't changed.  I may not interact as often, but my love of my blog family won't change.  In fact, I think I will treasure each comment even more in the future.  :) :)
Anyways, enough rambling.  
Been a productive, puttery day and it's almost time for dinner.  Where does the time go?!  Dark and cold--only 36 degrees right now.  Oh!  Somebody body-blocked my door at 11:15 last night and scared the crap out of both Karma and I.  Sounded like they were trying to break the door down...SLAM!...and then they ran down the steps.  People are so weird. 
The maintenance man came and changed the light bulbs in the kitchen ceiling for me this morning.  Yes, again!  Last time he even changed the ballast and they are still burning out on me.  So strange. 
Let's see...
In the past few weeks I watched I Remember Mama, After Earth, Oblivion, Mud, The Great Gatsby, and Star Trek: Into Darkness--and I liked them all!  (Click on any of the titles to see the description on imdb.)  Today Amour arrived in the mail.  So, right now--I am going to go heat up some bean soup, cut me a thick slice of fresh bread, and watch me a good movie.  Thanks again!  I feel a weight has lifted.  
HappyTuesday--what's left of it.  ;)
"There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in, but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze. "
Etty Hillesum

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Good Morning!
Seems like our days have been half cloudy...
...and half sunny lately. 
Been in the 20s at night and 30s-40s in the daytime.  We had one day where it hit the 50s this past Friday.  Feels like winter already.  Which makes me think of snow and Christmas carols.  ;)
Can't believe it's been almost a week since I blogged.  Once again, I haven't gotten around to reading blogs the past several days or even responded to your comments on my blog from the last couple posts--which seems to be the case more often than not anymore.  My life has really become "either/or" lately with the sciatica.  My time was limited enough before, but even more so now.  I'm really not sure what to do about it.
I am learning how to work around the sciatica without setting it off, though.  At least most of the time--LOL!  For example, I wanted to scrub down my stove and the dreadful pans on the stove, right?  Well, it took me one full day, but I managed to get the job done!  I just had to do it in 5-10 minute sessions off and on all day long.  Of course, there's always that one burner pan that you can never seem to get completely clean--but close.  ;)
Also, Dagan stopped by briefly to drop off some things and pick up the container Leah left here with the banana muffins last time.  I asked him to pull out my table leaves from under the bed for me.  Then that project took the better part of another day because I scrubbed and cleaned everything on the lazy susan, too.
I forgot to take a before picture of the craft table but found this picture from last year when I was catching up on shredding.  (Note the vinyl covering on the table top that we got at Joann's and cut to fit.)  That's what the table has looked like for ages.
 Here's the table now with the two leaves.  Karma has lost her chair by the window because I still had to have room on my end... 
...where I sit every morning to journal.
I did pull the chair over so she could look out into the porch, though.  She found that interesting--only because the chair was in a new spot, I think.  Slept there all afternoon yesterday.
 Such an expanse!  Added 20 inches to the table--but it seems twice as long. 
But there's no clear vinyl protection anymore.  So I am using a "protector" (from my folding tabletop desk from Levenger) where I write because I use bulldog clips, as you can see, to hold paper down and in place for me (instead of my bum arm).  Didn't want them scraping on the table all the time--or the bottoms of the two pen cups, for that matter.  Leah made those and, as you can see, I cut hunks of felt to put under them.  Going to trace around them and glue the felt on to the bottoms so they won't be an issue, either. 
The other thing that I am constantly moving around on the table top is my laptop--which I keep on this metal holder whenever I bring the McLap over there.  I found this package backing from my ScorPal that I happened to keep (has directions on the other side) that fits perfectly under the metal holder.  Now I can slide that all over safely, too.
I guess I really didn't want to mark up my wooden table any more than I have to, you know?  I do most of the wet art stuff over at the art table these days, so that's good.  Ink is always a possible stain issue with me, though--LOL!
Karma this morning.  Best of both worlds--a box and sunshine. 
She was outside for a while curled in a ball...35 degrees.  Karma still thinks every so often that she just might see those swallows. 
On other days this week I cooked up enough food to last me for a week or so--made TV dinners, a huge pot of 13 Bean Soup, and my machine bread.  Was such a joy to have my kitchen back, use my new pots, and have everything right at hand in my clean pantry!  
Oh--my library girl, Amy, should be here any minute.  You won't know I am gone, but it will take me longer to write this.  I need a break to move around anyways.  Be back.
I'm back.  Sweet Amy left and I have all these books for the next six weeks (five of which I never read from last time--sad!).  Three books about food production & healthy eating, one by Proust (never read anything by him and wanted to see if it would paralyze my brain or not)...
 ...and seven more in The Cat Who series.
I told her I will not put in any more requests until I have finished all of these books. 
My life has become quite distinctly "either/or" since sciatica has graced me with more time to smell the roses.  My limited productive time has become even more limited, shall we say.  If I do one thing the rest of my list has to get put aside.  (I have constant lists going in my head and on paper--LOL!)  Like right now--I honestly feel guilty even blogging because I have not been able to get around to read blogs for many days and still haven't responded individually to the comments I received from my last couple posts.  *sigh*  Something's got to give.
I don't want to quit blogging. 
But I don't want to spend all my good hours at the computer, either.
The following questions are mostly for my blogland friends, I guess--my loyal followers.  I always used to wait to post on my blog until I had gotten around to reading all the blogs I follow, commented on most of them, and responded to all my own wonderful commenters.  That's just not been a good working plan any more.  Hasn't been for some time.  The only way I could keep doing that is maybe if I only blog once or twice a month...and then I might just totally get out of the habit and quit, you know?  
Not that my ending my blog would be an earth shattering event--LOL!  
  What would you think of my only replying to blog comments when you have a question?  You know I read and appreciate each and every comment you take the time to write.  And are you okay with it if I don't comment on each one of your blog posts?  I do try to read them all even when I don't comment.  I know many of you can't comment on every post, either.
I've already had to do a little of both the last few months.  Seems like I am always apologizing.  And I've had to post (like today) before I've gotten caught up in blogland--and then I feel guilty.  This ship has been sinking.
I just don't want you to think I don't care if I am blogging and you haven't heard from me, you know?  My body is more in charge--especially this past year, it seems.  And lately it's either cleaning my pantry/kitchen or keeping up in blogland---adding leaves to my table or keeping up in blogland---reading or blogland--playing at my art table or blogland--writing letters or blogland--cleaning my stove or blogland.  One thing at a time.  My multitasking days seem to be over--LOL!  And I always seem to have too many things I want to do.  :)
I guess I'm wondering what you think.  I am blessed with such a sweet group of loyal followers--and your opinions matter to me.  Would you rather hear from me personally in comments & replies or more often in general via more blog posts?  Something has to give.  
Anywhoo, I am surprised at how much a person with a cranky leg can scrub 5 to 10 minutes at a time--LOL!  I have plans to order some drawer organizers, shelves, and food containers in November so I can finish reorganizing the kitchen.  The rest of the kitchen is on hold till then.  Now that I have a larger table I am more prepared for the winter projects I have in mind that involve cutting up fabric, binder boards and large sheets of paper!  ;) 
Beautiful sunny afternoon--a balmy 48 degrees with a brisk breeze.  Karma is snoring softly on the other chair.  The cranky leg is complaining that it's time to move again.  Hope you have had as wonderful a weekend as I have.  :):)
"There is no large and difficult task that can't be divided into little easy tasks."
Buddhist saying

Monday, October 21, 2013


Quick FYI
You'll never believe what happened!  I was sore enough yesterday, as you may recall.  Well, I completely filled up this big PUR water container in my frig...went to put it guessed it.  Murphy's Law.  It slipped out of my weak hand and crashed to the floor...
...bouncing against the bottom shelves...landing upright, but leaving behind a tidal wave of water.  (I had filled that whole top blue part and it was completely empty.)  There was about half an inch of water in the bottom crispers, a quarter inch in the top one, the shelves & bottom of the frig were standing in water, and even the bottom door shelf was splattered.  [This picture was taken later so you could imagine the scene--no time for photos.  If I had stopped moving I would have become totally overwhelmed.]
I stood there.
Surveying the damage.
Knowing the stooping and bending ahead of me...I almost cried.
But there was little point in that.
I shut the frig door and went to get some towels. 
I needed to take a bite out of this job quickly...and start planning how to break it up into short time sessions...before it got the better of me, you know.  
The water wasn't going anywhere.  
It would wait for me.
I unexpectedly cleaned over half my frig yesterday--LOL!
Here's my drying potatoes...
...and onions (had to peel the soggy onions skins off). 
More purging was done, though--LOL!
I am soooo glad that Caroline is coming back tomorrow!  (We decided on her coming two weeks in a row so we could get back to the regular schedule.)  Maybe she could see if there's a tray to pull out under the frig.  I couldn't get down and under there myself.  And I have my little green cart filled with three purging trash bags that would be awfully heavy for me to lift up into the dumpster right now.  [In fact, just walking to the dumpster sounds like a challenge at this moment.  I never even got the mail from Saturday yet.]  There are always blessings.  Caroline has never come over two weeks in a row.  Perfect timing!  :)
But--this is it for me today...and for the immediate future.  I'll be away from blogland for a few more days.  I'll have to catch up when I am more functional.  I didn't sleep much at all last night.  I shall hobble through the day and take it very, very easy...maybe even take a nap.  I promise.  
Be back in a few days.  :)
See yesterday's quote--LOL!  
Even more appropriate today.  ;)

Sunday, October 20, 2013


We had some glimpses of blue sky before the weekend.

Karma, literally, bathing in the sunlight--LOL! 
What have I been doing?
Working on the pantry and kitchen.  
Many sessions a day. 
The tortoise wins the race, right?  ;)
I'm still crawling along toward the finish line, but I do see the man with the checkered flag in the distance.  Just clearing part of this stained folding table (told you we have used these for art for years) was exciting.
It all got much worse... 

...before it got better...a shelf at a time. 

One table down. 
Then two.
I was stuck for a while.
Until I remembered this heavy duty box and lid I could empty and use up on the top shelf on the left side to hold all the weird oriental stuff and things that I don't use that often (like cooking sherry) but don't want to get rid of.  I wanted them up there, but I am too short to reach anything but the very front.  Yes, even with the stool--LOL!  Now I can get to them when I need to! 
After that...everything fell into place on that side (more the cooking side). 
The other side is now more the baking side, like I wanted.  :)  I even have room to replace some of the odd flours that were up above the cabinets if I want to!  (There was quite a bit of purging going on during this whole process to clean out the old and unwanted.)
When I finished the bottom of the baking side--I was done in the pantry!!
 This was the only glimpse of the sun I saw early yesterday.
Been chilly and raining a lot. 
It's raining right now and 36 degrees. 
This may look ugly or silly, but I decided to replace my jars over the cabinets with appliances wrapped in plastic trash bags to keep them from getting all greasy over time. 
Not the best look, but it's practical.  Easy enough for me to replace a greasy trash bag and not spend hours scrubbing.  ;)  Now my crock pot, steamer, blender, and Cuisinart have new homes up there--most in pieces so they are easier for me to handle.
And with some more shifting and moving...I cleared room to have a designated spot for the bread machine!  
And more room on the other side of the sink, too!  (Although I already had to move the coffee pot back over close to the sink for filling because the lamp behind it was in the way.) 
I have eight cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen and three drawers.  A few are in a state of constant organization and I could actually pass on those.  I've finished a couple easy ones already.  There's one big challenging chaotic cupboard, the cabinets over the frig (I'll have to ask Caroline to help me with that one when she comes on Tuesday because I can only reach the very front up there--just vases and such that should be run through the dishwasher), and two very messy drawers left--whoohoo!!  :)
But not today.
My back has apparently had enough for right now and is demanding respite.  Maybe I can manage some more computer time after a long break for some chatting and visiting...maybe not.  But I am delighted with how far I have gotten and how much better it looks in there!  You know how when you're in the room you can't help but flip on lights and open doors just to gaze around and smile?  Well, you can picture me doing that.  Yessireee!!  :):)
Not counting my back and leg at the moment, I am so glad I am feeling much better.  I have more to tell you about silly Miss Karma but it will have to wait till next time because my body is in charge these days, as you know.  ;)  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  I am going to catch up on some of the new TV shows and hope to be back soon.  :) :)
"Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky."
Chippewa, translated by Robert Bly