Tuesday, April 29, 2014


OMGoodness!  I just realized it was Tuesday!  LOL!  And a whole week has flown by without me blogging.  Heavens to Betsy!  Just been busy, I guess.
Well, let's see...
I added the pump for some air in the fish bowl.  The tiny 3M removable clip worked perfectly to hold the tubing so the air stone doesn't flip out. 
 Yes, the pump needs a good cleaning, but I noticed the fish needing air more than a clean pump--LOL!  I'll get back to it.
All those bags on my little green cart are full of gravel in ice cream pails.  I wheeled them and my trash out to the dumpster.  Then later wheeled out the ten gallon tank with cover and light (when I got the light strip cleaned which isn't in there yet in this photo). 
Before Dagan and Leah arrived on Thursday I worked on Leah's baby shower thank you cards... 
...and got all the thank yous stamped. 
I know other people love StazOn ink pads, but they drive me crazy.  They dry up so fast and don't give solid coverage if you have textured paper.  Regardless, they were all stamped before D&L got here.
Leah worked on cutting out the baby buggies and finished!  Dagan did the SpotBot for me.  (After the fish tank project my back was pretty bad.)  And I got a new belly shot before they left.  So this would be somewhere around 7 months along now.  Hard to say when they changed her due date to three weeks earlier.  McBaby will arrive when he's good and ready.  ;)
Since then, I have not been moving very quickly...but I have kept moving.  Been working on putting together the thank you cards (T Stands for Tuesday folks over at Elizabeth's, note the trusty thermal coffee mug) on the several rainy days we had in a row... 
...while Miss Karma slept... 
...and slept the dark days away.  
Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the fauxdori covers.  I have been diligently dealing with them every day, believe it or not.  When I used the heated coconut oil--well, I got way too wild and crazy with it.  Put way too much on, I guess.  I have been trying to leech the oil back out ever since.  I was pressing them using old washcloths between and around them...then used computer paper...switching them out every day...and there is still oil soaking on to the computer paper.  Yesterday I decided to try to air dry them for a while. 
Not that this will actually do anything for all I know, but I keep working on them.  They are definitely not as hard and stiff as they were when I got them from Amazon--ROFL!  Just have to keep working at getting the oil out of them now.  I don't know why this cracks me up like it does, but I am sitting here giggling as I am telling you this.  First I want it in and then I want it out.  Murphy's Law, I guess, eh?  ;)
I am really hoping to get over to the art table again soon.  I even got my deck of Mixed Media Inspiration Cards (Kiala Givehand's) in the mail last week...
...but I was too busy saving fish and snails to play--LOL! 
There are 52 suggestions of what to do next on mixed media or an art journal page... 
...and since I do get stuck a lot (actually almost every time I finish a background--LOL!) I thought these might give me a push.  Soon!  Soon!
I found Kiala Givehand on youtube last year when she was making a-book-in-a-day once a week all year long.  Every one had to be in a different style and I was absolutely enthralled, of course.  I got her deck of cards from her store on her website here.  She's doing these 10 on 10 videos this year where she picks 10 cards to make an art project with on the 10th of the month.  Anyways, these looked like fun to play with. 
That's about it from this last week.  I've been reading The Plan, copied the recipes I'll need for the first 20 days, and tweaked shopping carts.  Been pretty much caught up online now recently--whew!  Feels good!  Caroline comes to clean this afternoon.  Dagan and Leah will be back on Wednesday (to finish the thank you cards).  The sun actually came out today!!  Haven't seen it since last Thursday or Friday--can't remember now.  We're at our high of 51 (11 C) apparently today, but it is so windy that it feels much cooler.  We're supposed to stay in the 40s to low 50s for days with the possibility of rain every day.  As long as we see the sun some days that will be nice.  Should green up around here.  The Red River already crested at around 33 feet and is subsiding, so we should be okay locally this year with no major flood.  Nice! 
Anyways, hopefully it won't be a week before you hear from me again, but you never know.  Seems life has been busier since my sciatica has been behaving so well for me.  (Numbness and burning I can tolerate quite well--it's that sharp knife pain that slows me down.)  Have a wonderful rest of the week!!  Happy T-Day to all those visiting from Elizabeth's!  Keep smiling!!  :) :)
"A good heart is better than all the heads in the world."
Edward Bulwer-Lytton   

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Good Morning!  
It's already Tuesday?
We've had some gorgeous days up here since we last spoke on Friday.
But my craft table looks the same.  Notice--for the T Stands for Tuesday crowd--this red thermal cup has seemed to become my tea cup these days.  I do love a pretty cup, but for daily use my practical side comes out...because I like my coffee and tea hot.  ;)
Miss Karma likes her sunbathing hot.  It's been warm enough to have the porch door cracked open...
...or wide open to the sun. 
Karma was so delighted she was rubbing and petting her head on the door frame--LOL! 
I snuck up on her... 

...so, of course, she quit. 
Paused to do some intense sun worshiping...but I didn't go away.
She threw me a look! 
 Okay!  Okay!
I left her to snooze in the sunlight...undisturbed.  ;)
What have I done since I saw you last?
Well, I had a kind of fish emergency.
As some of you may recall, I have just been waiting for my last fish to die in the ten gallon aquarium in my bedroom so I could tear it down and put it away in the garage...maybe forever.  It is getting difficult for me to haul buckets and tanks about anymore.  I cannot flush live fish...and just had a couple sleepless nights over snails, for goodness sakes.
Okay, after I finished blogging on Friday I noticed the light had burned out on the fish tank.  Well, I did not want to put more money into an aquarium that I want to store in the garage, right?  I am incapable of flushing, as previously noted...so I made a trip to the garage to bring in the 2-gallon bowl that I have normally used for a betta.  I rinsed all the dust out of it, partially filled it, and set it out overnight to aerate and become room temperature.  (Oh, and the heater died months ago, so room temp is what they are used to--LOL!) 
I had a mass of live plants floating on the top of the tank...grew so crazy well that they covered the surface till the planted parts below got no light and died...and the mass of floating plants made it dark on the bottom half of the tank, even with the light on.  I had only ever seen the two ottocinclus (smaller algae eaters) and one tetra who would sit in the front until it saw me coming.  So, I figured three fish.
Meanwhile, I got out the misting box or spray box again.  (Told you my art table had been calling to me--however briefly--LOL!)  
Miss Karma hung out by the box for some time.  Anything new, you know.  And, yes--she tried to lay inside of it but I shooed her out.  Which made the box even more intriguing, of course.  (I'm sure she laid in it during the night, but it would have been long dry by that time.)
No plan at all.  Just wanted to play with the Dylusions sprays--so I just grabbed bottle after bottle and misted about!  What fun! 
On Saturday I took the plants out of the ten gallon and sorted, pruned, and planted enough to fill the 2-gallon bowl.  There weren't as many as I thought.  Kind of like unwrapping an old philodendron...there were a lot of stems.  I hope they survive being torn apart and planted.
When it was time to catch fish (with a flashlight and net because I had no light) I discovered I was chasing two tetras!  For the life of me I can't remember the name of these, but they are bright and quite handsome.  
That was a far as my body would let me go on Saturday with the fish project.  But I did spray some more.  Since one of the 52Journal challenges (I am way behind again) is about a garden or flowers or something, I grabbed a crumpled paper towel to block and kind of sprayed in green ground and a blue sky...with doodling in mind.   
I also decided it was finally time to get rid of the two vases of old dried Mother's Day roses from several years past.  But I can't throw away dead things, either, apparently.  I took the flowers off the stems and am going to save them to add to paper pulp when I make paper this summer.  [Yes, that is a cat litter pan--LOL!  Never used.  I have two of them that were too small, but I didn't return them and saved them for crafts.  Amazing how handy a litter pan can be.] 
They'll only be flecks in the blender...but loved and appreciated flecks.  I will know. 
Sunday I went to siphon the water from the ten gallon...and heard a splash!  Yup--there was actually one more tetra!  It must have been hiding behind the slate rocks.  I'm shocked that out of the four or five I bought years ago that three are still alive! 
It was "the loner" who tricked me.  There had always been this one tetra who didn't like to school with the others all the time.  He must have been the one hanging by himself in the front of the tank...which he still manages to do quite often in the 2 gallon bowl--LOL!   
Anyways, I siphoned the water down as far as I could--hauling buckets--but the tank was way too heavy for me to move.  I had extra gravel in the bottom for the live plants--like maybe 3 inches.  So, I scooped out gravel...enough to fill this ice cream pail you see below.  Also cleaned the main part of the cover...
...and then finally carried the tank to the kitchen on my hip with my good arm.  Scary, but I made it!  There was still a lot of gravel in there, let me tell you!  Then I quickly picked off all the snails that were on the sides of the tank--well, all the ones large enough to pick up without crushing...and my body said it was done for the day.  Well, I still rescued snails the rest of the night...got all the bigger ones out and many smaller ones.
Turns out my body was, in fact, actually done for two days--LOL!  All I managed to do yesterday was scrub off the rocks you see in the sink...and rescue more snails. 
I feel so very badly for the snails!  They came in with the live plants and are such cute little things.  The adults are only about 1/8 of an inch...the babies are anywhere from a speck in size...and I have trouble saving anyone smaller than about a third of adult size.  And there were eggs all over the glass and gravel...and sometimes you try to save an itty-bitty one and crush it by accident!!  Or it drops back into the water and that dark gravel and is lost...but you know it is still there somewhere...alive...just struggling to survive.  Where there is life there is hope!
I can't walk past the tank without staring and searching for snails.  I saved another dozen or so little ones yesterday.  But today, I'll have to bite the bullet.  The plan is to scoop out the rest of the gravel and clean the tank--if my body is feeling cooperative.  I'll have to be satisfied that I saved as many snails as I could...after one last long search, of course.
The snails will haunt me for a while.
But everybody is looking good in the bowl.  I thought they'd go into shock with all the light they have now...especially the old and timid tetras...but they are doing well so far.  And when the fish finally die...do you think I will be able to kill the plants and the snails?  Doubtful.  But if the plants die, the snails probably wouldn't survive long.  So would I buy more plants just for the snails?  Dilemmas, eh?
Now you know why I am, obviously, not a fish flusher.  
But I am happy that the bowl inhabitants look content and nobody has jumped or crawled out or keeled over.  Nice!!  
Funny--this project would have taken me a few hours in the past but has already taken me five days...and I'm not done yet--LOL!  It is amazing to me how many projects can be broken down into small pieces and finished over time.  My body has taught me patience and perseverance I never thought I had.  And that's a very good thing.  :)
But that is why I am running so late today.  Took me longer to thaw out this morning.  LOL!  ;)  I am off to the garage to find another ice cream pail.  Oh, and I will wrap and tie the pails up with plastic bags before they go into the dumpster so the gravel doesn't get spilled all over in there.  I am not even cleaning the gravel this time since I know that would really put my body right over the brink (it's almost over now) and I am not sure I'll ever set the tank up again.  It might just have to go off with somebody on freecycle...if I can part with it.  I've never gone long without fish...since I was nine.  But I still have the bowls.  (I also have a one-gallon bowl in the garage.)  It might be time to get rid of my last aquarium!  
Anyways, that's what I've been doing since Friday folks!  Fretting over fish and snails. 
Hope you are having a good week.
Keep smiling!!  :):)
"Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force."

Friday, April 18, 2014


Woke up to snow Wednesday.
No surprise.  Been known to have snowstorms in May up here.  We definitely returned to some winter temps again for a little while, but that Wednesday snow was basically gone again already by Thursday.
Caroline came and she moved the table over for me, now that I removed one leaf, far enough for Karma to be able to sit in "her" chair by the window once again.  Tada!     
She has her Cat TV spot back. 
I put away the TV tray and moved the cat bed elsewhere...but I have now created a monster--LOL!  She wants to sit next to me regardless of whether she has her chair back or not.  The old TV tray is perfect for her to see what I am doing when I am writing or working on cards like I was here on Wednesday. 
I think she was a dog in her last life. 
Truth is, I think she misses the loveseat (that was so bad for my back) where she could lie right next to me and paw at me to give her some lovin' and just keep a hand on her while I watched TV.  (She often startles me when I am deep in thought or concentrating on a task--lol!)  
But at the table my hands are busy all the time.  So, sometimes I just sit and watch some youtube videos on the McLap and rub & scratch her like when we had the loveseat...and Karma is very purry with that. 
Wednesday night Dagan and Leah came over.  Leah worked on cutting brown baby buggies, I was still folding the green card stock for card bases, Leah let me feel McBaby rolling & kicking (made it more real!), Dagan showed me how to clear my browser cache, and he started putting together the boxes they picked up for me at IKEA. 
They look gray here, but they are really black.
Here's the rest wrapped in plastic.  You can see better in this pic that they are black. 
The boxes are not super sturdy, but for those cheap prices I can put them to good use.  If I recall, the largest ones were only $9.99 for a set of two and the smallest ones (on the art table picture) were like $4.99 for two!  I wouldn't want to put anything really heavy in them, but I do like them.
Anyways, Dagan and Leah had to leave early because they had Cashwise delivering between 8-10pm.  They'll be back this coming Thursday again because we missed so many times due to illnesses and such--and we want to get some cards done.  ;)
Leah was more comfortable in my desk chair so we did a switch.  Decided that since they were coming back sooner than the regular two weeks that we'd just leave things out as they were so we don't have to set up all over again in a week.  I went to take a picture to show you that my place does get messier when we are in the middle of projects--and I didn't even notice Karma down there--observing, quite suspiciously, the desk chair in a different spot--LOL!   
She has since raced through the living room and up that chair several times like a crazy person...of course.  ;)
So, we have thank you cards for Leah in progress... 
...and supplies for the many winter scene Christmas cards ready to go, too. 
I do clear off my end of the table to do my writing stuff in the mornings (journaling and letters), but then I work little by little on card stuff every day, too.  I was thinking yesterday how much I do love having my new little art table!  Even when the craft/writing table is all filled up with stuff, my little black and red table can be free for art play.  What a life I lead, eh?  Well, even though I haven't gotten over to the art table really since I got sick--LOL!  It has been calling me softly lately.  My junk journal has been patiently waiting for me there.  ;)
But I have been so wrapped up in other things that my days have been flying by.  Been reading The Plan and printed off the free downloads I found on her website for the vegetarian adaptation (there are vegan, celiac, dairy-free, pescetarian, men's, fall and spring adaptations, too).  I also found grocery lists and a cooking plan for making up the meals ahead of time for the first three days.  Nice!
Since I could finally get back onto my Cashwise grocery cart, after Dagan and Leah left, I spent all evening--well, and ever since--searching out foods for The Plan.  Some so alien to my kitchen and pallet that I get that icky jumpy sensation in the back of my throat just writing them down...like those raw beets.  Feel free, unless you hear otherwise by some miracle of culinary magic, to picture me shuddering every time you hear me say the word beet.  
Note:  My mother loved beets.  Made us try them.  I remember the smell lingering in the kitchen...almost as awful as lutefisk!  So my dislike is not because I have never tasted them or shared air space with them.  ;)
Let's change the subject to what I consider yummy food!  I made a wonder-what's-in-the-frig veggie soup. 
 Nappa cabbage, matchstick carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes!  Vegetable broth, spices, and added a big can of crushed tomatoes at the end.  Scrumptious!!
The only safe parts would be the carrots, celery, onions and broth on the beginning of The Plan.  So you know I will be testing my reactions to tomatoes, cabbage, and potatoes early on--LOL!  I'm getting kind of excited to find out what my personal yes and no foods actually are.  :)
Oh!  Oh!  And I have been working on my budget and shopping carts...still have the rest of the month to tweak and adjust, of course...but it looks like I will be able to start The Plan in May!!  Whoohoo!  I don't think I will have to wait till June after all.  :):)
I like the fact that you start adding in test foods (pretty safe ones, odds-wise) on like the fourth day.  So you already will have tested quite a few by the time you finish her 20 day regime.  ;)  Then I will start to test all my favorites on my own after that.  Coffee and chocolate will be high on my test priority list--LOL!  Anyways, enough food talk.  ;)
I forgot to tell you that the neighbor next door moved out this month...and took their Christmas wreath with them.  It was still green, too!?  So they'll be no more watching it gradually fade to a golden brown...faithfully hanging there as the stalwalt reminder of baby Jesus...till November when the new green wreath arrived to replace it.  ;)
Well, the clock ticks by and it is already lunchtime!  Veggie soup awaits me!  Have a super duper weekend, folks!!  Keep smiling.  :):)
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."

P.S.  I posted this at noon and it said it had published and I even went and checked it over to see how it looked online--and yet I just discovered this post was still sitting here as a draft??  So I am going to try again.  Blogger sure has glitches sometimes.  I hope it works.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


It's been colder again up here.  Below freezing a lot.  It's 22 degrees right now (-6 C), but sunny with the typical clouds we've had for days.
So it may be chilly... 
...but they have been pretty days. 
Miss Karma has been keeping me company while I've been reading The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas and taking notes.  All you T-Tuesday folks might notice I have a thermos of plain water instead of my usual coffee thermos mug.  ;)
The Plan is a very different approach than the diet information I found online for cleanse, elimination, detox and the like.  It is supposed to work like an elimination diet to find out what you can and can't eat, but you follow this specific eating schedule for three weeks and weigh yourself every morning.  If you gain, you ate something reactive that added to the inflammation.  You have to drink half your weight in ounces of water every day and take some supplements.  But you're supposed to lose half a pound a day (when you're eating non-reactive foods, of course) until you get back to your natural weight you should be!  And it's supposed to help you get rid of the chronic inflammation--and, therefore, many health issues that are caused by that inflammation.
The difference is that after your initial detox type days you pretty quickly start adding foods to see what happens.  No foods are off limits to try because every person is different and what is bad for one person might not be bad for you.  For example, there are foods that 50% or 75% or 90% of people react to eating, but you might be in the safe percentage, you know?  So you find out what specific foods are the best just for you.  The initial diet days are based on 90% not being reactive to those foods.  Interesting!
I could add back my coffee and such fairly soon and test them.  The testing will take a long time because it's one at a time and it can take 24-72 hours for your body to react...but adding something new every three days doesn't sound so bad to me.  You wouldn't be hungry because you eat three meals and snacks!  (That's more than I eat now!)  I just need a digital scale.
There are things I hate in the food plan for those first few weeks (like pears and beets).  Maybe I can gag them down--LOL!  You're supposed to eat pretty much exactly what she tells you, I guess, for the safe, non-reactive foods those first few days, especially.  (There may be some strong "reactions" over here to those pears and beets, though--LOL!)  After a while you can start to make choice substitutions.  I can switch apples for the pears, thank goodness--but I don't know about the beets.  Whichever foods pass the test are added in, too.  
I am not done reading.  Just last night I found some recipes and eating plans online on their website to download for vegetarians and vegans that I haven't looked at yet (but we know that won't eliminate pears and beets--sigh).  
I'll have a lot of things to buy next month.  Might have to start in June because I won't have all the foods for the three weeks--but I didn't plan to start the even stricter elimination diet until June, anyways.  I am excited to try this.  I sure as heck will tell you if it works for me, without a doubt.  All the foods are safe and healthy, so they sure can't hurt a person.  Just not what I am used to eating, that's for sure.  They claim the cravings go away pretty quickly.  Hope so!  I can't even imagine being back to my natural, normal weight, for one thing!  Or not having IBS issues!  Or needing BP medication!  Makes it worth a try right there, eh?
So, you know what I'll be doing today--reading the book and taking notes--and making up the grocery list....which I can't check out to see if Cashwise has everything I will need because I've been bumped off again and can't get back on until Dagan and Leah come tomorrow night and clear my browser cache again.  (Yup!  Still happening after every third time I have been to my cart.  Sigh.)  I'm going to write down the instructions as to how to clear my browser cache this time so that I can do it myself. 
Anyways, that's what's happening up here.  When it was still warm and spring-like Karma was appreciating every moment of morning sunlight.
We were actually able to open the porch doors up all the way for a few days! 
 So spring really will arrive eventually...she's just such a tease--LOL!  ;)
I forgot to tell you that I reluctantly had to cancel my membership for Ink Drop over at Goulet Pens.  Only because I have so many samples (and I'm using them all the time) that I have an entire drawer full of them--ROFL!
When I have whittled down my stash I may sign up again.  But I have plenty to play with for a good long time, don't I?  Who knew a person could actually have too much ink!!??
Caroline comes this afternoon.  Dagan and Leah come over tomorrow night.  So I also need to cut and fold card stock for Leah's cards before Wednesday night.  
Oh, and Dagan and Leah went down to Minneapolis to IKEA this past weekend for a bunch of things.  We both wanted the same shoe bench and they were in stock this time.  So, if they remember to bring it, might be putting together a shoe bench for me!  Which means I am going to shift things around in the entryway--whoohoo!  I'd better take a before picture--hehe!  Not too often anything big gets moved around here.  ;)
Anyways, that's what's happening up here in Fargo.
Have a good one!!  :) :)
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
J. R. R. Tolkien