Monday, January 14, 2019

1-14-2019 Monday-noon

Good afternoon!
Was not a productive week, shall we say.  I'm not that sick anymore, but being sick wears the spoons right out of me--LOL!  I got all the usual stuff done but nothing on the Never Too Late To Begin Again book.  Ironic, don't you think?  LOL!  Anyways, fresh start this week.  Wish me luck.  :)
There's been grouse upheaval.  Another covey of grouse arrived beginning of the week and massive chasing ensued.  [Note: I may have been feeding two coveys all along but they avoided each other successfully before it got so cold that they were more desperate, you never know.]  Anyways, I rarely see the eight together since then.  Three.  Six.
 I am visited more frequently, so I figure they are all hanging about nearby and have learned to time share.  One often keeps watch while they eat, though.
Apparently some have made new friends and relationships have shifted.  But they are all looking good...and I put out extra seed.  
I told you I did order a few more frivolous items this month.  Not that they won't be used and treasured, mind you.  :)  From JetPens I got this roll of washi tape that is actually layered individual cacti.  So cute!  
I often use washi tape on my writing tablets to pretty them up.
I've been into multi-pens recently.  Never thought I would like them, honestly.  I started with Frixion because I use those all the time in my bullet (erasable).  Actually, now that I think about it, I have been using these for several years.  Funny how when you get old enough only a few years feels like recently--LOL! 
 The only thing I don''t like about them is the buttons are pre-colored so if you like to color-code and love variety you need a scratch paper nearby to check which color is which.  
But I liked using those so much...well, I do love the needle point nibs on the Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens and discovered they had multi-pens.  Their buttons are built right into the refills in the appropriate color!! 
I've been using these for over a year now.
I also have always loved the Uni-ball Signo UM-151 Gel Pens and have been buying those for many years.  Well, they have a Uni Style Fit Multi Pen.  Okay--I went wild!  There's a rainbow pack of 16 refills you can buy...and I got the three dotted holders that hold five refills each!
So the one refill I left out was the yellow one.  But when one of these refills is empty I'll pop in the yellow one.  You can see that these holders have a clear end where you can see the refills.  That is how you know what color you are using.
I know.  I am a pen nut and am like a little kid when it comes to new pens, but...what fun!  :)
The last item I got was from Amazon.  They do sell these at Office Max in town so I figured if I liked it I could get refills from there, too.  Anyways, many years ago when I first saw disc notebooks I tried to flip the pages and they were just terrible!  Stuck and were so difficult to use.  That was so long ago I don't even remember where I was...a little shop in Minneapolis, I believe.  But I thought who would like these disc notebooks?
But they've been around now for decades.  I finally took a chance and ordered this TUL Office Max one.  Nice cover.
Decent pages--narrow enough lines for me (hate wide lined paper). 
I ordered a couple of pocket folders, too, because they were inexpensive and popped one in the front and one in the back.  It has flat pockets built into the cover in the front.
The back of the cover has a pen holder. 
I was shocked at how smoothly the pages turn!   
Some of you may have been using disc notebooks for years, but these are brand new to me.  I hope the pages can be taken in and out a few times without them getting too bent up.  Time will tell, eh?  Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised.  Now I see why people like them.
Was a very quiet week.  Had some winter weather--wind advisories (30-50 mph gusts), wind chill advisories (not even sure--maybe 30 below or more), frost, fog, freezing drizzle/mist.  Did see the sun a couple of times.  The patio door was frozen shut on Wednesday.  The girls had to scrounge for one day, but I had put out extra the day before so there was still a little out there.    
 This fitness tracker Leah had gotten as a present (she already had one) that she set up for me...well, three strikes and you're out.  I don't know what it is with me and fitness trackers but I did have trouble with stopping watches even with new batteries, so maybe it's my electric personality--ROFL!  Anyways, this one also never knew when I was awake or asleep.  I am up and down--say I was up three times during the night it would only report that I slept one of those sessions out of four.  And I would wake up with 700-900 steps already!?  Sorry.  I have never been known to sleepwalk and I don't think I was marching around my apartment during the night.  Straight trip to the bathroom and back--LOL!  Yes, I'm stiff and do take smaller, hobbly steps, but I am not Tim Conway!  Give me a break--ROFL!  So, I have given up completely on fitness trackers.  Unless they come out with some kind of geriatric version--LOL!  So funny!
 I had to get a picture of this.  I have only seen Annie in the little recliner maybe 3 or 4 times since she's lived with me.  I was surprised she had given up her memory foam spot that day (but where she is right now--out like a light).
Leah dropped off this holder thingie that goes over the back of my pantry door to hold... 
...the set of attachments she got me for my Dyson!!!   
And she brought me my new (red of course) instant filter water pitcher!
Easier for me to lift than the huge one I had--that was starting to leak.  It had been Dagan and Leah's before they gave it to me, so it was well used.  
 The wheel on the cart is doing fine so far, too.  :)
Well, I may have been tuckered but I wasn't going to miss Gramma Day on Saturday.  :)  Leah brought with Subway for Ian and I for lunch!  Ian was tired from swimming lessons that morning.  Since we were both tired we curled up in the chair after lunch and watched three episodes of Mighty Machines!  Then we had our Subway cookies for a snack and I got out something fun I have had tucked away for months.
It's a set of blank puzzles for you to color or draw on.  They came with envelopes, too.  We got out his minion markers and I told him he could go wild and scribble to his heart's content.  Gramma joined in, too! 
Ian didn't notice I was taking pictures.  Asked him to look up--got his "huh?  what?  I was concentrating" face--LOL! 
He made a puzzle for Mama, Daddy, Aaron, Gramma, and himself.  Blue is his favorite color he told me, so you can guess which one was his.  Then we had to take them apart and put them in the envelopes.
I got a really big envelope to put all the little labelled envelopes in so they would have no idea what the surprise was.  We sealed them all with washi tape to they can be resealed.  
Ian was so excited!  He loves puzzles. 
Daddy came to pick him up.  
Gramma morphed back into zombie-woman--LOL!
This past week I finished watching DCI Banks on Prime.  Watched the new season of Murdoch Mysteries and started on the new season of Brokenwood Mysteries both on Acorn TV.  Watched season three of Frontier on Netflix streaming (dark show) and rented Book Club and Masterpiece Theater's The Miniaturist.  A lot of down time this past week.  I am so grateful I have so many pain/cruddy day escape options!!  :)  
Four of The Girls are here to peck away.  One is the window peeper!  :)  Have loads going in the washer and more to go.  I just asked Alexa and it's 22 degrees right now.  My colored lights are twinkling on this dark, grey day.  I am hopeful that I will be able to actually start on the book now this week.  I knew I would have some bad days/weeks during the 12 week course but I hadn't expected the whole first week to go by the wayside--so funny!  Such is my life.  I will get through it--even if it takes me till this summer--ROFL!!  It was a really good week, regardless.  A really good week. 
OMGosh!  Grouse wars!  There were at least a dozen grouse racing, screeching, and chasing back and forth out there--LOL!  It was all over in a few minutes and right now there are eight...yes, eight--just counted them...eating on my patio!  Maybe the original eight?  They are so funny!
 See you next Monday.  :) :)
Oh, and I saw this quote and thought and knew I had to post it today.  This has been my goal my entire life.  Not easy, but worth every effort and every moment's focus one can muster.  Maybe one day I will get there.  Never give up, right?
"I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace."
Diane Ackerman

Monday, January 07, 2019

January 7, 2019--Monday noon

Good afternoon!
Annie is sleeping deeply beside me in her chair.
She loves the extra memory foam so much that she was taken unawares once again when Leah and Ian showed up yesterday--LOL!  I'm glad she loves it so.
This past week, besides a lot of nose blowing, sniffling, and occasionally coughing--I worked on the bullet.  I wanted to get it totally set up for Jan-Mar.  I already showed you I got set up for January.
Now I am all set up for February... 

...and March. 

I wanted them all ready to go because I'm starting today (first Monday of the new year) on my 12-weeks of It's Never Too Late To Begin Again.
I also got the skeletal work done on April...
...and May. 
And half the skeletal work is already done for the rest of the year.  Whoohoo!
That kept me busy this week.  Nice to know I don't have to work on it any more till April if I am too busy.  :)
I was very practical with Christmas money, as I told you.  But after Caroline got my groceries for me this month I was able to get a few goodies in January.  I knew I wanted to finally order the MISTI Corners set.  Plus I got a new set of cutting mats for the Vagabond.
After cutting a couple hundred pieces for cards... 
...both sides get basically destroyed. 
So now we can start wrecking a new one--LOL!
I still have a few more smaller items coming I'll be able to show you as they arrive.  :)
 Gramma Day was yesterday.  This one was a Mama and Gramma Day.  Leah brought with the two IKEA chairs Ariel (her sister) picked up for me in Minneapolis!!  
Ian and I warmed up the big screws for Mama--blowing into our hands. 
Ian collected the cardboard and plastic.  He's such a good helper.  Leah said they went together really easily. 
Here's Ian testing out the first chair.
As you can see, I had told Ian he could bring with his Lightning McQueen slippers.  
He decided he wanted pictures of them to show all of you.  From the tops... 
...the bottoms... 
...and the sides. 
He does love his car slippers.  ;)
Leah also fixed the wheel on the IKEA cart.  (You can see my cart in the pantry filled with cardboard pieces Ian collected that I will haul out to the dumpster.)   
After examining closely the broken wheel spot it looked like it was the same wheel that fell off that she had repaired last time.  So she really globbed on more this time.  I can't touch it until 4pm today...but I might leave it a little longer to make sure it is totally cured.  Should be good to go now.  :)
Leah set up the fitness tracker watch for me and even put up the new colored twinkling lights for me!  Hard to get a good picture in the daytime, but it is so nice to have them all working!  The other strands were both half dead.  Using them all year round they wear out faster.
Leah also helped me with a couple of computer things and she set the sounds on my new cell phone, too.  I need the alerts to be louder and got to pick the sounds for the phone and texts, etc.  Nice!  
Ian did some tracing in his new books and we did sit in my chair together to watch a few Maru the Cat videos.  Next thing it was time to go home for dinner.  He seemed disappointed that we didn't have our alone time, but had to explain that I needed Mama to help me with a bunch of things this time so it was a Gramma Day with Mama, too.  
Leah put a sign on the old lights--free partially working lights.  People set things by the door to give away and most things are gone shortly.  I haven't checked to see if they are gone yet today, though.  Haven't been down to get mail.
Anyways, Ian was carrying the lights down and totally went right around the corner without our usual goodbyes because he was so intent on putting the lights on the cart in the entryway.  I shut the door...but a couple minutes later I heard a mitten padded knock at the door.  Mom was waiting for him down at the end of the hallway.  Ian was almost in tears telling me "I forgot I love you buh-byes".  I told him I had waited, but that was okay--he remembered and we could do it now.  So he went down the hall by Mama and we did our waves and goodbyes down the hallway--and off he went.    
Times like that leave Gramma a bit misty-eyed.  :)
I am sitting on a brand new rolly chair.  Laundry is going.  The colored lights are all twinkling.  Annie is snoring softly.  I'm almost done with the blog for this week.  I think it's time to check the mail and have some lunch.  
Let the people you love and care about have no doubts.
  Thanks to each and every one of you for commenting or just lurking.  ;) 
Do something fun for no good reason. 
Have a great week!
Till next time...
"Your success and happiness lie in you...Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."
Helen Keller

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve Monday-noon

Okay--I just now got all the pictures and videos in here and am only beginning to write and it is 9:45pm.  It has taken me all day to sort through all of mine from this last week and then to download and go through all of Leah's she got to me last night.  After that to upload the videos to youtube, which seemed to have been very busy and sluggish today.  Then move them all over here.  Plus I need breaks and did laundry and ate lunch and dinner.  Not exactly in exact chronological order but I don't think that matters all that much.  ;)
Why have I plugged away at this all the livelong day?  Well, you know I do have my OCD tendencies and I really, really wanted to get all the last pics and videos from 2018 included today.  Start the new year out fresh!  So, that is why this will be a very late Monday post and I will have to wait until tomorrow to do my New Year's Eve ceremony and draw my card for 2019.  :)  But the post is mostly for your eyes.  I won't chat too much--promise.  But you are forewarned--this is one long happy post! 
Wednesday night we had a regular old snowstorm, which was the first wave.  
I took these photos at 11pm.
All that white snow made it almost bright outside!  Love it!
Thursday morning the snowstorm subsided and we had a break for a little while before the second wave moved in.  The blizzard.
I took this video in the morning.  Wanted to be able to show all of you who don't get to see snow!
In the few minutes I had the patio door open to take that video you can see how much snow came in over my stocking feet--LOL!
I was thrilled to see it so white out there!
Yes, I am a snow lover.
I could see where the birds had tried to dig down for seed on my patio.
During the lull the little snow plow came through to clear the sidewalks.
Funny that doesn't scare Annie.
A few hours later the wind was picking up again.  I took this video around 4pm--from inside--LOL!  Was afraid I might not get the patio door closed again.  Gets dark early so I couldn't really wait until it was going full strength with the 40-50mph winds because it was going to be hard to see soon.
Anyways, you get the idea.  I blizzard is determined by wind speed and not snow, really.
Annie slept peacefully through it all in her new favorite spot in the apartment.
The next morning... can see the winds lifted the snow away to make a grass patch about three times the size as normal.  

I LOVE snow drifts!!  
Went out in the hallway to take some pictures.  
Can click on them to enlarge.
I love the way there will be bare spots and yet drifts four feet high!
The snow is sculpted.
I love the high crisp edges.
The wind is as much the artist with snow... the painter with his palette. 
The Girls and the sparrow flocks were here eagerly grabbing meals off and on all day.
In fact, there was evidence later that The Girls had settled in for the night on my patio!  They like to dig down into the snow and snuggle together for warmth.
They dig for seed in the center of the patio where they know it gets tossed.  Sure looks like these could be sleeping spots.   ;) 
The snow banks are on the rise...
...from the plowing of the parking lots across the way.
It hasn't been snowing but the wind keeps moving things about so we've seen snow plows a few days.
I actually got some pictures fairly close of The Girls.  I think this new phone takes better pictures of them.  
You can see how pretty they are with their stripey sides and rust colored cheeks.
Okay--those were my pictures.  Now Leah's.  :):)
Remember they went down to Minneapolis for Dagan's new pacemaker post-surgical tweaking?  (We're about 250 miles or more north of the Twin Cities.)  They made a visit to Ian's favorite place to go at the Mega Mall (Mall of America)--the aquarium!  I finally got to see how that big bubble works in this video.  Liam likely didn't remember being there before, but he was.
Ian loves the bubble with all the Nemos and Doris!
They visited my mom at her new place, too!  She's u on fifth floor.  You can see my brother, Blaine, on his cell talking to them.
Dagan, Mom, and Blaine ready to go out to eat at Baker's Square.
Really looks like this will be gorgeous in the summer with a pond and gazebo.
After eating dinner they went back to Mom's apartment.  It's still a bit on the empty side.  She wanted to go couch shopping after the holidays.
Her dining set is from Florida.  The little desk you see here under the TV on the wall was my Grandpa Johnson's.
Mom's chair and end tables are new.  You can see she loves her music and has quite a CD  collection.
Her bedroom set is new.  So pretty, I think.  Leah made a tour video.
When they left Leah took a couple more videos for me.
I love how cozy and inviting the whole building is!

They went to Lego land.  (Probably when they went to the Mega Mall?)
Ian LOVES legos!
Meanwhile back to regular life.  ;)
Ian's preschool had a party when they went on winter break over at a roller rink.  I had never seen these "walker-like" things they can use to help them learn to keep their balance!  The short video is a little grainy, but I thought those were really cool!  I wish they had them when I was a kid.  I never could stay upright on either roller or ice skates--LOL!
They discovered that just pushing the chairs in can't stop Liam from getting things off the table any more.  He's gotten taller--LOL!  
Here's Liam pushing Ian on the train...
...and the whole family on cookie making day.
I remember when Dagan used to help me roll butterballs in the sugar.
We had our early Christmas on the 22nd.
Liam got a red push car from me.
Ian got Lightning McQueen slippers.  They were a big hit!
In this one Liam is opening a boring present (diaper liners), but he cracked me up when he took off to go put this little scrap of paper in the recycling bin.  And Ian was still thrilled with his slippers.
I got a board book called Mog And Me about a boy and his cat.  Liam actually let me read the book to him!  He's been in that not liking anyone but his "home-family" thing for quite a while.  Over the course of the day I got eye contact and had some interaction and even got a few smiles.  So--at least for that one day--I wasn't so scary.  ;)
Was just a wonderful Christmas!
And here's a picture of Ian with his slippers on AND his Lightning McQueen t-shirt I got him, too.  
McFamily was snowed in for a while.  Tried to hire a company to do the driveway but they were so swamped they finally said they couldn't get to it till maybe Monday!  So Dagan and Aaron shoveled it out yesterday.
And here it is 11:15pm.  Almost the new year!!!  I am going to make my Monday post by the skin of my teeth.  Goodbye to 2018.  Hello to the brand spanking new year!!!
We have all been sick up here.  All on the mend now.  What a fabulous holiday season it was.  Alexa played Christmas music for me.  I have lots of snow!!  It's -13 F right now (-25 C), but I'm inside safe and warm with Annie (who has not been happy I haven't been in my chair all day long--LOL!).  
Wind chill warnings, though.  This afternoon when it was -8 and said it "felt like -32" I brought out trash and went to the garage for bird seed...and my glasses frosted over completely so I couldn't see where I was going--LOL!  So funny!  Don't worry, I was bundled up well so only my nose got really cold and I had a scarf to hold over it off and on.  But next time Dagan gets bird seed from Fleet Farm I am taking him up on his offer to bring the bin inside to the pantry.  ;)  How can that not make you smile--and wonder why we didn't think of it before--ROFL!  
Anyways, happy happy new year!!!
I need to proofread this quickly and post it before midnight!  Oh heck--forget it--going up as is.  Whoohoo!!
Welcome 2019!!  :) :)
"And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings."
Meister Eckhart