Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Thought it was time for an update.  :)
First, though, I rarely have cool sunset clouds to show you.  So despite my camera being unable to capture the depth of color here is a span from left to right last night.
My cell phone can't capture the flaming colors...
...or zoom in very closely... 
...but, believe me, it was spectacular! 
I have only seen the ground squirrel a couple of different days in the last few weeks.  It has been colder and I think they are spending more den-time.
Annie spends most of her days right next to the patio door--tucked behind the end table and under Ian's chair--waiting for critters (so she can leap out and scare the crap out of them). 
Yes, I have colored twinkling lights up around the patio door (and the studio window) all year round. 

Not sure why the camera made my ivory colored walls look orange in the picture, though--LOL!
Soon Annie's favorite visitor won't be coming for drinks...
...and to fill those pouches anymore.  Won't see them till spring.  But does my heart good to know I have helped fill their winter larder. 
The days have been cool enough once in a while that I can't even leave the door open all the way and we've had rain off and on, too. 
But I love the chilly weather!
In the evening I leave the sliding door cracked open so Annie can watch for the rabbits. 
They come to eat whatever hasn't been gobbled up during the day.  
Well, I am in the process of changing banks.  Dumping Wells Fargo and will now be at the local bank that Dagan and Leah have used for years.  Dagan brought me over one afternoon while he was still off work those two weeks after Liam was born.  The girl--excuse me, lady (I really am getting old when anybody under 40 look so young to me)--even asked if I would like to switch my Social Security check payment right there that day in her office?!  You betcha!!  Or did I tell you that already?  (Senior/fibro moment)
Of course, the SS guy even told me not to close my account at the old bank until I get the check in the new account because it can take the government a month or two--so I am waiting to see now in October.  So strange to have two accounts.
Leah helped me get bills switched over and to set up the bank to pay the places that don't have auto pay where I used to write a check--so I am waiting to see how all that goes, too.  The only place I have left is my rent check.  I have called federal housing twice to find out where the exact address is for the bank to mail the rent check...never get a person, but have left voice messages.  Too late now for October, anyways.  I'll have to keep bugging them till somebody calls me back so I can get it set up for November.  After that I will be more-or-less paperless with my bills--whoohoo!
I immediately got a welcome letter from Gate City bank--and then I also got this card from the lady who waited on me... 
...with a hand written note! 
Sure looks like things will be different with this local bank, eh?  In another month or two I can close out my Wells Fargo account--tada!!
To those of you I write letters to...this is the reason I am so far behind with my letter writing. 
I get out the pillow and lap desk in my chair (my favorite place to sit and write)--next thing Annie has either left the footrest of the chair and gone to sulk under the bed (which makes me feel especially bad because she just has learned to trust me enough to sit with me in the first place and then she thinks I am driving her away) or she climbs up on the arm of the chair demanding some attention. 
Karma never liked me to write, either, but she got used to it and she had plenty of attention otherwise.  Maybe Annie will, too, but right now I am such a sucker for shy Annie wanting some lovin'...what can  say?  It is the only time Annie let's me really close to her.  She still scoots away any time I am standing up or anywhere else in the apartment.  So, I am very behind on letters, sorry.  I know you will forgive me.    
A couple people have asked about the calligraphy drills.  I am doing three sets of them.  Printed off a large set and two small sets on laser paper.  Next time, though, I am going to print off the drills on regular paper and use tracing paper and parchment paper to practice on top of them to I can reuse them over and over.  Yup--I now have dug up from the craft supply depths both--tracing and parchment tablets.  Can't remember which is for which pen, but I wrote it on the tablets--LOL!
These are the large pen drills.   
I am using a black Tombow marker.
Definitely a big brush marker pen...and difficult to learn to control. 
The small brush drills.
I am using a Tombow small brush Japanese pen--the hard one.  Black ink but the pen has a blue body--got from JetPens. 
This one is the easiest to control for me.  Not tremendous line variation but I really like it the best. 
My other small drill set.  
I am (finally) using my oblique dip pen I bought earlier this year and India ink.  (Very old ink--from my calligraphy class I took back in the early 90s--LOL!) 
We did not use pointed dip pens for that class.  We used a dip pen with a flat edge on the nib and I only learned an italic font.  Maybe show you what I am talking about next time.  This thick and thin process or pressing down and letting up--whew!  I have never learned this!  Made some pathetic attempts a few times--awk!!!  I find it really difficult.  But these drills are really helping me get the hang of it.  S-l-o-w-l-y.  So I am going to continue on.  I think in October we will start learning letters of the alphabet.  :)  Now I just have to remember to sign up on the 30th to get it for half price--LOL!  Bullet don't fail me now!  ;)
Since it's been chilly again I am back to making veggie soups.  I need to make the 13-bean soup again here pretty soon, too.  Soup weather!!  Humm...fresh bread sounds pretty good, too.  I've just been busy using up my "spoons" on other things. 
The sparrow flock enjoyed some food on a rainy day.  The balcony above my patio gives them protection on a calmer rainy day. 
Everyone is so hungry lately that I have been putting out food in the afternoons, too, most days.  After all, the girls (seven grouse) come toward dusk each day and I can't have a bare patio for my girls.  :)   
Then the rabbits come at night, so there's nothing left by morning, regardless.
I spent most of one whole day filling up another tablet with flower drawings.

A little cactus, too. 

I showed you some of the better ones, but there are some bleh ones, too, that even coloring doesn't help much--LOL!  But it's fun.  My speed--look at the pictures and copy.   
I spent two days setting up the skeletal framework for the next four months in my bullet.  I know--I don't use my bullet the way most people do.  That's exactly what I love about bullet journaling.  You can do it any way that works for change it up if you want to or need to.  Can you tell I love my bullet??  (Even though I still haven't done any of the drawing/decorating in there yet--LOL!--it will wait patiently for me and doesn't care if I never do any at all.)
Let's see...what else?  McFamily has been pretty busy.  Leah sounded beyond tired on the phone Monday.  Last I heard Liam has been up a lot at night and doing more of his sleeping during the you know how tired Mama is.  We were talking about my coming over tomorrow night for a visit--one of their free evenings--but maybe it would be better to wait till next week.  They have had appointments and company and babysitting her sister's problem for me to wait.  Plus, I've been extra sore for a couple of months now, anyways.  (Going to try some herbal supplements come October for pain and inflammation.)  I'm more concerned with how Leah's doing than my Gramma-time, you know?  So, we'll see.  Got to get in touch with her.
Meanwhile...I've been renting the first season of This Is Us from Netflix.  Just finished and I LOVE IT!!  Current favorite series, I think.  Can hardly wait till season two is available on Netflix.  Then--I had been renting the DVDs from Netflix of Battlestar Galactica off and on for years and I decided to finally finish it and then rent Caprica (prequel).  I'll get a few other movies scattered in-between, of course.  Like I just watched Guardians of The Galaxy 2 last night and enjoyed it just as much as the first one.  It's nice to see one of these action superhero-type movies that has more character development and character driven humor along with the special effects quest.  Maybe it's the humor that I enjoy the most?  ;)
Other than that it's been a lot of BBC historical documentaries, Father Brown episodes, and Call The Midwife.  There's always something good to watch when you're hobbly-hurtin' a bit too much to do much else.  I've had quite a few of those days the last couple months.  Up and down.  I think it might be my new normal.  Such is life.
Well, the girls (grouse) were here early chowing down, Annie is walking past my chair here in the kitchen crying (wants me to go sit down in the big comfy chair and settle in for the evening), and my body says I have gone over my time limit--LOL!  It's now 5:30pm.  This beautiful fall day is heading into evening.  More traffic on the road.  People going home from work.  I picked chatting with you this afternoon instead of balancing two checkbooks--ROFL!  ;) ;)
Keep smiling!!
:) :)
"The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased."
Mark Nepo


  1. Great quote! I need to live that more. I'm so ready for cooler weather. It was such a disappointment coming home after our trip to a still hot and humid Missouri. But I think the weather might be turning this week. Fingers crossed! I also need to do some soup making. It's been way too long for me. I barely made any soup last year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Beautiful sunset pics, Rita! I can imagine the more rich and vibrant colours even if your cell phone can't capture them.

    It's always a delight to see the critters who come to visit for their daily feed. I love that Annie watches them. Great to see you and Annie bonding even more. The letters can wait, for sure.

    I hope the bank change over is a smooth transition without any issues. The new bank staff seem very nice...a handwritten note is a lovely gesture.

    My Tombow small brush Japanese pens arrived yesterday so I'm all set to start practising my drills. YAY!

    We are having temps around 38°C/100.4°F today and we've not long started spring. :( You know how I feel about the hot weather.

    Nice work on the floral art...I'm a sucker for cacti so that's my fave.

    I have to set up for October in my Bullet but I've been inspired by a few artsy ones I've seen so maybe I will play a bit more with it.

    I hope Leah manages to get some rest. Those first months can be very tiring especially if baby wakes up a lot during the night.

    I started watching This Is Us on TV but missed some episodes so stopped. I did love it though. I don't think it's available on our Netflix. :(

    Love and hugs xo

  3. Those clouds are really spectacular. What a glorious autumn sunset!!! And there's nothing better than homemade soup when the weather is chilly.
    September started out chilly here in TN, but lately it has warmed up to the low 80's. Summer has left reluctantly.

    Well, it looks like Annie is feeling much more at home. I'm so glad that she's adjusting to her new environment.

    I love colored lights - they are so soothing. Every time I put them up for Christmas I'm very reluctant to take them down. I should put them up more often....perhaps permanently?

  4. Beautiful sunset pics and those critters are alwas so fun to see. Annie is such a lovely cat! Wonderful art with florals and you inspire me to cook veggie soup today!Looks yummie!

    oxo Susi

  5. What a glorious sunset. It was stunning with the glow of/from the clouds.

    Annie is really enjoying her time with you. It looks like you picked the right bank. My bank never sent me a nice card, even at Christmas. How fortunate for you.

    Love your drawings. What fun to see. So glad you showed them.

    My friend Scott told me about Father Brown. I had never heard of the show, but he raved about it, and he doesn't even LIKE mysteries!! As a rule, that is.

    Have a super day and I hope Leah gets some rest soon.

  6. That soup looks so good. We have been so hot and it's finally cooling off so maybe I'll make some this weekend. I am grateful it is cooling off. I am also going to switch my bank. It just means so many things to change as you know. Sometimes it doesn't seem worth the work BUT it needs to be done. :) Pretty clouds too. Fall is coming, isn't it? Happy day. Hugs-Erika

  7. The camera might not show the great colors, but I can get a good idea of your fabulous weather right now. And I love the Annie pictures, Rita. She's certainly getting more comfortable with you. Now she wants to tell you what to do! I do hope Leah manages to get some sleep. This is a very hard time with babies. But they're worth it. :-)

  8. Wow - that sunset is amazing!

  9. That's a gorgeous sunset! Here in Memphis we're still getting highs in the upper 80s, but it's expected to cool off a bit later in the week. I am a kindred spirit in enjoying the patio life :) I'm glad Annie has some fun entertainment ;) Your calligraphy looks interesting. Italic is all I ever learned, and it looks fun to learn all the varieties of it. Bean soup is a favorite of mine! Yummmmm

  10. Busy Busy! I love all the flowers! I am so glad out weather is finally cooling off down here!

  11. Great sunset shots! The camera never picks up the colors we actually see most of the time (unless you have a really great camera) but they're still beautiful shots. The clouds are bursting with color.

    Looks like Annie is settling in with you. Nice to see you have her for company.

    Sounds like Leah is a great mom, but I know it's a big adjustment with two little ones in the house. I hope she rests when she needs to. I'm behind in reading your blog so might have to jump back a few to see more pics of Liam since the ones you posted after his birth. How is Ian adjusting to his new little brother?

    It's been in the 90s here in northeastern PA the past four days, but we're finally getting a break and back to more fall-like weather today. This weekend will be cooler, but they say we'll be back in the 80s by the middle of next week. This is crazy weather.

    That's all I have time for at the moment. I don't spend much time online anymore, but I will try to catch up on your blog posts soon. *hugs*

  12. Sounds like you are keeping busy. Glad Annie has accepted her new home and seems to be enjoying attention. Like the designs you have done on the tablet, especially the cactus one. Hope Leah gets some cat naps during the day!

  13. How wonderful that Annie wants your attention. She's a good little roommate for you. I'm months behind on letter writing--as you know--and everything else. The hurricane slowed me down even more, and I can't seem to catch up. I would love to have a day of chilly weather. It doesn't happen often, even during the winter, but that's the price I pay for not dealing with ice and snow. This must be a rough time for Leah with a baby and Ian. You are an understanding and undemanding gramma. My mother-in-law once insisted on visiting us when Favorite Young Man turned a certain number of months (I can't remember how many months it was) because she said that babies changed a lot at that point. She didn't care that we were both sick and exhausted.


  14. Annie is sitting in the chair with you!! She is making progress! Switching banks is such a pain.
    Hope you get a baby fix soon! :)

  15. Having all the little creatures to watch outside is a real bonus of this apartment, it seems. You seem to be slowly acquiring a little menagerie :) Switching banks is so tedious but it sounds as if your new bank is making things as nice and easy as possible for you. Poor Leah. I never envy parents of very new babies, but hopefully he'll start to figure out the difference between night and day before too long!

  16. It is always good to get an update from you - even if I've been busy with overtime and being sick. :) Sounds like you and Annie are slowly bonding - excellent news!

    What kind of cellphone do you have? A lot of them have "picture enhancing" software on them.


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Have a really great day! :) :)