Monday, July 06, 2020

7-6-2020 Monday--3:30pm

Good afternoon!
Late start today.  Been sorting through pictures for you.  Was a busy week half the time and recovering from the busy half the time--LOL!  Before I forget--last Tuesday it was three years since Annie came over from McFamily's.  Wow!  Sure glad she's happy here with me.  :)
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After my Sunday visit to McFamily's it took me till Wednesday to be functioning again--LOL!  (So worth it!)  I got out to take pictures of the patio flowers.  I have my first marigolds!
 They finally took off outside in the heat...
...as did the red geraniums.
 The coleus on the one side have grown into bushes!
 No marigolds yet on that side in the round pot.
 The coleus on the other side haven't fared quite as well, but they're doing okay.
You may remember I had a hole in the bottom tray.  Well, I didn't think it would matter and only fixed the huge crack.  Well, it did matter as all the water drained out much faster.  So I got out the terra cotta duct tape again.
 But it is still leaking quite a bit at the bottom of the duct tape.  So I need to try to lift up the planter and tape around underneath...maybe today.  They should be fairly dry and I am going out to water this afternoon when they are all in shade...well, they are already.  Okay--after I finish blogging--LOL!
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The little teeny tiny coleus--I thought I had killed them because I forgot to water them!  So I doused them and added some more seed.  A few have survived! 
Well, so far.  
I stuck them outside to see if that would help and apparently it is.
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Before I went back to McFamily's on Friday I worked my way through a long to-do list.  One of the things was to make Ian his very own little book so he can do whatever he wants inside of this one.
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Metallic gold cardstock cover... 
...white cardstock pages (so they should stand up better to markers or watercolors, etc)...  
...and sparkly gold thread. 
I also sent over a set of his markers, a gold brush pen and a gold sparkly gel pen.  He really liked the surprise.
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Leah popped over to pick me up before Blaine and Kathy arrived. 
We did social distancing in the backyard...in the sun...over 90 degrees...for two hours.  It flew by and we had such a nice visit...but I discovered later that I was bright red with sunburn--LOL!  (Still am.)
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We had a wonderful day.  I was there from 11:30am till 9:30pm.  Yup, another ten hours--LOL!  Since Liam didn't get to watch Wall-E last time we made sure we had it on this time for afternoon quiet time.   
Liam fell asleep on the couch again halfway through, but he woke up for about the last 10 minutes or so. 
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We had dinner out on the deck (in the shade) and I read the boys a chapter of Ian's new Star Wars book before bed.  Liam is warming up to me and even sat cuddled up on my lap with Ian for the storytime.
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Leah had some pictures this week, too.
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Ian has gotten really good at riding his bike and loves to zoom around in circles in the church parking lot behind their house.
 Liam is working at the balance bike and getting a little better with his bike, too.
 They do love their bikes.
 They also used sidewalk chalk and made this big thank you to Karen, Leah's friend, who picks up odds and ends at the grocery store for them once in a while in-between our big 2 month grocery trips.
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On Friday the old, well-loved golf clubs were dropped off in the McFamily garage...
 ...when Blaine and Kathy arrived.
 Ian came to sit with Gramma a couple times.  Leah lent me a sun hat (so glad she did or I would have a red nose as well right now--LOL!)
 I didn't realize that Leah caught a picture of Liam's first time of coming up to me out of the blue to talk to Gramma and show me something!  
I think being Video Gramma for months has helped make Liam able to trust me more.  Gramma was delighted!  :)
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Oh, and Leah cut my hair for me, too!  :)
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Big event for Ian--4th of July he was allowed to stay up late to watch the fireworks with Mama and Daddy for the first time!  They have a display really close by so that they can sit in front of the garage to watch them.
 They brought chairs from the back yard and even the little fire pit thingie.
 Fireworks exploding--looking right down their driveway!  I bet Ian loved it!  I'm sure I'll hear about it.
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Oh--weird thing...I have been getting a lot of spam comments on the blog lately.  I moderate them before they are posted so I mark them as spam and delete them, right?  Well, I noticed that I wasn't getting as many blog posts in my inbox this last week.  I checked my spam folder and I had hundreds of those actual spam comments that I had never seen because I had marked the sender as spam.  But somehow blogger thought a lot of you were spam, too!?  So I went through and marked which ones were "Not Spam".  This may have been going on for more than a week, for all I know.  But during the shutdown I have noticed a whole lot more spam of all kinds, have you?  I didn't have too much trouble with it before the pandemic.  I have seen some get through in the comments on other people's blogs, so I know there is more of it out there.  Not much we can do about it, I suppose,  but just wanted to say...it's annoying--LOL!  I don't want Blogger to think my friends are also spammers!
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I watched a couple of Netflix DVD rentals this week--Jojo Rabbit and Rocketman.  I enjoyed them both.  Jojo Rabbit is such a unique concept.  Has anyone seen it?
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Well, that's it for this week.  Got to go out and water the plants...and the dryer is buzzing, too.  Have a comforting, enriching week.  :)
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"I've found that there is always some beauty left--in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you."
Anne Frank

Monday, June 29, 2020

6-29-2020 Monday-2:15pm

Good afternoon!
I hadn't seen the mourning doves much this summer, but they are here once in a while.  Sometimes you can just hear them.  Lovely sound.
I forgot to say that my mom went back to her apartment the Friday before.  Or "back to prison" as she lamented to me on the phone.  She really hates being isolated, as we all know.  They may allow so visits through glass in July?  We'll hear more about it when my brother and SIL pass through Fargo this coming Friday.  They're dropping off my folks' old golf clubs for Dagan (family golf history, Dagabn said) on their way to a 90th birthday party for Kathy's uncle.  We will (yes, I am hoping to make it over) be outside and social distancing--in the backyard or the garage depending on the weather.  :)
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 I had my video call with Leah on Tuesday night and a birthday video call with McFamily for Ian's actual birthday on Wednesday...complete with singing and blowing out candles.
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I decided to get out ink and dip pens to write a letter...just for a change. 
Ended up mostly using my old favorite feather pen. 
Filled my tiny vials in the wooden holder (bought so long ago I don't remember what it was called) with shimmer inks (that tend to clog up my fountain pens). 
I love this brass holder on the feather.  I use a brause 05 calligraphy nib with a reservoir on the top of it so that I can write for quite a while before I need to re-dip. 
I scribbled the names of the inks on a post-it note so I'd remember which inks were which. 
I also worked on Ian's book.  You may remember me filling the handmade paper cover with new paper...
...well, I wrote in the story: Magic Wings and Super Powers. 
I had taken notes from the dream Ian told me about in great detail when we were on a video call a while back. 







I am not good at drawing people, earthquakes, etc...so I made up for it with using metallic markers here and there...mostly in his current favorite color--gold!  I told him it was an imagination book without pictures.  I think he liked it.
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I remembered to take pictures of the patio this weekend.
The baby marigolds in the round pots are starting to take off finally.  I lost a few of them, but there are plenty that survived. 
All the plants seem to be doing well. 
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The big excitement for my week was yesterday!!  On Sunday I got to become a member of a bubble or covid pod with McFamily.  Never know for how long--so I was there for like 10 hours!  :)
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I had sent Ian's presents in the mail to their house so Leah had wrapped them for me.
Liam was watching the proceedings. 
Leah took pictures and a video. 
So you can see he got an "I Love You, Grandma" book (we read later) and some grownup art supplies. 

And afterwards he painted in his new watercolor journal art book.
Was an absolutely wonderful day!!  At Leah's suggestion, I even brought with some ingredients and Leah made me some foods to take home, too!  Dagan, Leah, and I sat around and discussed the state of the country into the night.  I think I got home about 11:30pm?  Anyways, I am really sore and exhausted today--but feeling thoroughly contented.
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Dagan had to go into the clinic today for his blood thinner testing AND they called him in to work to fix something--during the day--that needed fixing now.  So, exposure.  Have to see about deciding whether to go over this week or not.  The clinics are really picky here and careful, but not sure how the few people who are at the office are, you know?  He'll let me know later tonight how much he felt exposed.  He'll get his clothes washed and take a shower as soon as he gets home.  Yup--we are still that cautious.
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Regardless--it was fantastic yesterday.  Was a fabulous day.  It will take me a couple days to recover, I think--LOL!  But one happy lady here in Fargo.  Till next time...too shot to look up a quote...bye bye for now.  :)


Monday, June 22, 2020

6-22-2020 Monday- 1:30pm

Good afternoon!
Feeling better than last week.  Just dealing with the residual lack of spoons I have after being sick, but I have things to do this week so no more procrastinating--LOL!
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Tuesday I had my video call with Leah.  (We are switching to Tuesday nights now instead of Thursdays.)  There's an exciting new plan afoot!  If everyone stays well...I should be making my first trip over to McFamily's this coming Sunday!  Whoohoo!
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You know Leah had a double bubble or covid pod with her sister's family...well, their oldest, Julian, is going to be going to a summer school program for the month of July.  Therefore they won't be getting together.  So.....I have put Caroline's cleaning on hold for now...will have been quarantined for over two weeks since Caroline's visit...Michal's family is still in isolation and are coming over on Saturday for Ian's birthday party (6 years old!)...and I plan to go over on Sunday for his birthday.  Michal didn't want me to be part of their pod even if I wasn't actually there when they were there.  (I wanted to go over on his actual birthday this Wednesday on the 24th--but then they wouldn't have come over on Saturday.)  
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I know--confusing.  But I will take the chance and go over the day after her sister's family is there as they are all still home and being careful.  And this means that I will then be in a double bubble with McFamily for a while!  At least until mid July when Dagan's work wants him to be back all day on the 15th for reopening.  He can work from home after that and still come in after hours for computer repairs like he has been, but they want him there that day to make sure all is well for reopening the business location.  So, I'm not sure if I will want to go over after he has been more exposed or not?  Maybe wait a week instead of two?
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The thing is--there's also another issue coming up.  Fall will be coming and decisions will be made about school for the boys.  Once they go back to school--well, Ian--then the exposure will go way up.  If they even reopen.  Could be they will continue online classes.  With Ian, he's only starting kindergarten this fall so it's not even grade school yet.  Decisions.  Decisions.
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So, I realize that July might be my only chance to be able to see the grandsons...and Dagan and Leah...until who knows when.  Possibly even only half of July...and if we all stay well.  LOL!  So, fingers crossed!
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Oh--and Caroline was thrilled for me and totally understood.  Said to get ahold of her whenever I want her back.  :)
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Well, I went to water the flowers this week and discovered they had removed the handle from the outside faucet!
 So--can't use my hose and had to haul out water in buckets.  Makes having planters a much bigger project for the first time.  Leah says I should call the office and ask them to put it back on.  Working up to it.
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Meanwhile--on Friday afternoon I got my little chest freezer delivered to my garage!  
Since we only shop every 2-3 months this will make life so much easier!  Really nice local company--Karl's.  They unboxed it for me and put it where Leah had cleared a spot.  Even took the tape and some cardboard out of the inside and hauled all the trash away with him.  Such a nice man.  No mask, though.  But we were far apart, I had mine on, we were outside and it was windy.
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Had a video Gramma Day on Saturday.  Chatted over lunch with the boys and then later we synched up to watch Stinky and Dirty Show for a while and then watched the short little movie Burn-E.  We were going to watch Wall-E afterwards (Liam's favorite movie) but Liam fell asleep on the couch so Ian and I picked Frozen because Gramma had never seen it before (not a favorite of Ian's really).  Liam woke up to NOT Wall-E and was very upset.  He finally went upstairs to watch Wall-E with Daddy while Ian and I finished the second half of Frozen.  Was a nice laid back Gramma Day, regardless.  Can hardly wait to, hopefully, see them all in person! 
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Meanwhile back at the ranch...
Every day it's not raining I see these two smokers who are from my building... 
...out by the nearby apartment garages. 
Even if it is sprinkling I usually see at least these two. 
They sent around notices a few weeks ago about smokers needing to be 20 feet from the building and that they they aren't allowed to smoke on their balconies or patios.  So now the smoking buddies gather back here in the grass or they walk back and forth on the sidewalk.  There's another lady who joins them in the grass sometimes and another one in a wheelchair.  I know I have seen a couple more at the front door before but they haven't shown up back here with this group.  Maybe have their own smoking buddy group.
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I never used to see them except when I went to get the mail or bring my trash out because they hung out in the front of the building.  Now they are out back.  Depending on which way the wind is blowing I sometimes smell the smoke--especially if they are pacing the sidewalk.  I used to smoke (until 1989) so I can't imagine where they will go when the weather turns in the fall.  I wouldn't want to be standing outside when it's 20 below!  I'd park my car by the front door to sit in or go out to my garage.  They mostly stood right outside the front door in the cold.  Brrr!  The entryway often smelled like smoke.  Bothered Leah's asthma.  (So does the heavy perfumes some of the ladies wear.)  I was a smoker so it doesn't bother me much.  But, as a former smoker, I would never want to rent in a no smoking building.  Maybe all apartment buildings are non-smoking now, though?  Not sure.  I know I'd be sneaking cigarettes on my patio or inside my apartment--especially in the wintertime!  How could you not?!  You're addicted.  And we have blizzards, wind advisories, thunderstorms, hail, etc.  I'm glad I don't smoke anymore.  Smokers have been demonized.  Plus--the expense--OMG!
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Rambling.
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Anyways, was a very quiet recovery week.  I haven't worked on letters for two weeks, but hopefully will get back on track now this week...in many areas--LOL!  I rented the first two seasons of Yellowstone with Kevin Costner and saw It's a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood with Tom Hanks last night (Netflix DVDs), am revisiting Monk on Prime, enjoying the cozy mystery series Father Brown (season 7) on BritBox, consumed mini-series Deadwater Fell & Alibi on Acorn, and my daily smattering of YouTube videos are always there, of course.  Been very pleasant recovery down time.  
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For half the week I was entertained by a teenage grackle who refused to leave Mama alone.  Everywhere she went the baby flew after her squawking to be fed!  Was so funny.  She was trying to ditch this fully capable "child" who would not leave home.  She'd speed away to this spot and that one--and her "baby" would adeptly speed after her no matter how far she went or how fast.  She was refusing to feed it anymore, but it trailed her wherever she went begging and pestering her.  Even though when she ignored the full-grown youngster it would eventually give up and start gathering its own food right next to her.  Reminded me of Mama cats I've seen giving a clawed whack upside the head to their way too old kittens who were trying to nurse.  Time to leave the nest, as they say--ROFL!
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Anyways, need to push myself this week and get some things done.  Been gorgeous cooler weather.  Rain off and on.  Till next week--take care!  :) :)
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"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can."
Arthur Ashe