Monday, April 30, 2007


A bit of drizzle this morning. I am expecting Lin about 1pm and thought I'd do a quick hello. Dagan is coming over after work. We're going over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to look at what they have for patio furniture for this year. I want to see if there's something I like and figure out if I can afford a chair in May. The nicer weather is here! Want to get the patio cleaned up and arranged for the summer.

Dagan, Leah, and I might all go wandering and snooping at the Parade of Homes tonight, too. They are open from 6:30-8:30pm during the week and thru next weekend. We're going to decide later.

I took the garbage out with my green cart this morning. The garbage truck had just been there. People don't put their garbage in sealed up bags and stuff fell all over the ground this time. I saw the garbage man out throwing stuff back in the dumpster and doing a second emptying. What a mess!

Anyways, I am going to go make some coffee....later....

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Dagan and Leah looked at a few houses yesterday--none of which was "the one". They ended up going through a Parade of Homes exhibit and found out about a smaller contractor who builds homes for a little less than average. They plan to go and look at some of his work next weekend. If he does good work--they could have the floorplan like they want it and make many other decisions--could be the answer for them, who knows?

I forgot to mention that a lady who was in our writers group back when I was in college at MSUM, Lin, called me last Thursday, I believe. Professor Vinz is retiring this year and they were having a goodbye event for him--she wanted to know if I wanted to go later that night. I wasn't having a good week last week and go couldn't that day, but I asked her over to visit tomorrow afternoon. Haven't seen her for years! She's somewhere around my age--can't recall exactly--energetic and funny and bold! Be nice to catch up and find out what she has been up to since she graduated.

I have been watching some Netflix movies the past few days---The Queen:

After Princess Diana's shocking death, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren, in an Oscar-winning role) and Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) engage in intimate talks as Britain demands the princess be memorialized in a manner beyond standard protocol. This Oscar-nominated drama for Best Picture goes behind the scenes as the queen and prime minister try to manage Diana's death on a personal level while also dealing with a public calling for royal treatment for their beloved princess.

I thought it was very interesting and everybody did a great job--not trying to do obvious imitations of all these living people. It gave the royal family's position so that you understood more where they were coming from when they didn't officially respond right away to Diana's death--with protocol and so on. I could probably make some enemies here, but I wasn't a big Diana fan. I was in the beginning, I suppose--not that I paid a lot of attention, but you couldn't miss the fairy tale coverage of their life. And at first I felt sorry for her--being betrayed and all--but she married into royalty and it really shouldn't have been such a surprise. She hardly knew him--it was more or less an "arranged" marriage--she knew she was there to breed and provide heirs and play her role--come on! She wasn't that stupid--she knew what was expected of her. She loved having the position and she always played carefully into the press--like she should have--until the divorce.

Honestly, what altered my personal opinion of her was that long interview she gave when she was getting divorced--one on one interview--there was something in her face and her eyes. She was not the innocnent that she liked to portray to the public. I thought she was totally manipulating the press and saw this gleam in her eye and tiny smirk escape every now and then--and I felt she was lying and exaggerating specifically for public sympathy. That was my gut level response to her. I had never seen her close up for any length of time, so I had not had an opportunity to really watch her before. I know that is an unpopular belief--but after seeing her up close and personal--I wasn't effected much by her death and all the hoopla. I am glad she did some good in her life--charity work, etc. But I think she may have done it more out of boredom, a need to have something of her own, and to look good to the press--to keep up her own innocent princess identity. She fell in love with her own image and her own press, I think. I think she was a very troubled girl who was a sucker for men of power and position. She figured she had it made when she produced two male heirs, I think. Figured she had worked at maintaining being popular enough with the public that she figured she could go off and do her own thing and divorce (with the public's blessing and sympathy) and be the (future) King and a spare's beloved and revered mother--forever. And she was probably a good mother. She made her bed, but didn't want to lie in it. She knew she was popluar with the press, and she used the divorce as a public battle that she planned to win. Anyways---don't bother to write and defend her to me--I already know it is an unpopular viewpoint--hehe! I can understand her, but I just don't feel as much pity for her as the rest of the world seems to. (Same with Anna Nicole, for that matter. Although Anna did not have quite the global support as Diana did. What has happened to being responsible for your own actions and decisions?)

Anyways, I also watched The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn:

Small-town farmer Noah Dearborn (Sidney Poitier) lives an uncomplicated existence till shady developer Christian Nelson (George Newbern) tries to usurp his family's land. Nelson will do anything to take Noah's property, including hiring a shrink (Mary-Louise Parker) to have him declared insane. What Nelson doesn't anticipate is Noah forming an unbreakable bond with the doctor that proves stronger than anything the land baron can dish out.

This was such a good little feel-good movie--like a Hallmark movie--maybe it was? Sidney Poitier was excellent, as usual.

Marie Antoinette:

Sofia Coppola directs this stylized portrait of Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), the naive Austrian princess who married Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman) to become queen of France at age 19. The film explores the young queen's luxurious yet terribly confining lifestyle and illustrates how Marie Antoinette's youthful indiscretion and frivolity were not only her release, but ultimately, her very undoing. A Golden Palm nominee at Cannes, the film also took Oscar honors for costume design.

Was like a personal glimpse into the lifestyle and home life--done very well. The only thing that really bothered me was the occasional modern music. Young director. Definitely eye candy--the costumes and decor are amazing! You felt like you understood Marie more and that maybe she got a bad rap because her lifestyle was all she knew and she was cut off from the normal society. Maybe the first person to be the victim of a huge publicity smear campaign??

And then I watched Grey Gardens:

Documentary pioneers the Maysles brothers (Gimme Shelter) capture poignant moments in the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her middle-aged daughter, Little Edie -- relatives of Jackie O -- at their decaying estate, Grey Gardens. The ladies shut out their bleak present by recalling richer times and lost loves, and while Little Edie confides that she'd like to leave, the camera captures a co-dependency destined to continue.

This was a fascinating documentary! I had no idea that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had these realtives living in squalor in an old house that was literally falling apart out in the Hamptons. Jackie actually had to go out there and help clean it up once and legally make enough repairs to let them remain living there. But I had the impression that this documentary took place after that--and the house and grounds were in terrible shape. Cats pooping anywhere and racoons destroying the walls and attic--the daughter was feeding them!! The relationship between this mother and daughter was the focus of the film. They had this love-hate bond that had been established over the years. The mother (Jackie's aunt, I think she was) wanted the daughter to be dependent on her and help her--and yet she managed to insult her frequently. The daughter (who was in her 50s) felt she had wasted her life (her mother kind of pushed her into remaining single) but loved her mother and couldn't leave her--and hated her for it sometimes--and used her as an excuse for not having a life, too. There was a constant conversation, comfortable bickering, and occasional outbursts. Was hypnotic in a strange way--mesmerizing--but sad.

As long as I am probably irritating people today---something in the news lately--Richard Gere mauling Shilpa Shetty in India. I wish he'd get the 30 days in prison! I have always been confused by this man--he is so hypocritical. He claims to be a follower of the Dali Lama and the Bhuddist prinicples--yet he consistently picks movies where he plays horrible human beings and/or are very violent in nature. He insulted Cindy Crawford's intelligence, vocabulary, and claimed to be bored with her after they were married. Well, that says more about him than her! Gere has made many, many trips to India--and yet he has no respect for or understanding of their culture. This was made blatantly obvious by his pawing and smooching all over Shilpa. If this is something that isn't done there--if anybody should know this it would be a man who supposedly has such love and respect for the culture and for other people's religions and for other people's dignity! ??? I saw a snippet of him on some talk show afterwards--totally unapologetic, laughing about it, and poo-pooing it as insignificant to him. He didn't even understand the backlash or make any attempt to. Typical ugly American--no remorse whatsoever. No comprehension or empathy in the real world for where other people are coming from--just a lot of concepts and ideals in their heads. No wonder a lot of people don't like us in other countries....

I don't usually "rant" on my blog. But I will on occasion. If you don't like it--skim.....ROFL!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Giving up Cable TV has now provided me with being able to afford apartment insurance and a cell phone on Dagan and Leah's family plan!

The cell phone came with an adapter so that I can use my headphones I already had for the land line phone. Now I have to get used to this new contraption. One nice thing is that it will hang up automatically when you close it and picks up automatically when you open it. Easier for me to figure out--hehe! Now I have to learn how to program in telephone numbers and all the rest. I have finally entered into the mysterious world of cell phones. Didn't think I ever would. But now I can call friends and family long distance after seven pm and on the weekends! (You are all forewarned--chuckle!)
The best laid body didn't want to cooperate all that much the rest of the week (taking more detox supplements). I didn't go with Dagan and Leah looking at houses this afternoon. Yesterday Dagan and I had to wait to leave until later in the afternoon. I never made it back to the mall this week, but I did get quite a bit of walking in, anyways--so that was good. Got my new hippie earth shoes! I did make it to the mall once, anyways--and managed to finally get to the insurance office and to Sprint this week--so it was a good week on the whole, I guess.
The weather has been beautiful the past few days--in the 70s and reaching for 80! Dagan and I brought in my two tall fans from the garage yesterday, too. Going to need them pretty soon. Have to try to make it over to Bed, Bath and Beyond soon to see what they have for outdoor chairs for the summer. I am going to have to decide if I can afford it soon! (Either that or we'll have to haul the uncomfortable gold lounger back in again from the garage.) It is time to be sitting out on the porch again! In fact, I am going to go sit out there and read for a while. Have a good one! :)

Friday, April 27, 2007


They finally arrived! In the right size! And they were worth waiting for! My new "hippie" earth shoes--and they are vegan, too.

As you can see, they are lower in the heel than they are in the toes.

They tell you on the tag: "We recommend moderate wear at first to allow your body to adjust to this more natural walking experience." I wore them around the house yesterday until my calves hurt. Felt a little strange at first--like you are tipping or something--but the shoes are so comfortable for me! I have wide feet and they seem to fit right into the shoe without being cramped at all. There's a real strong arch inside of the shoes--but I think it helps to stretch out those muscles on the bottom of my foot that help with the plantar fasciitis pain? We'll see, eh? Anyways, I am in love! If these work out as well as I think they will, I will probably have to get some tennis shoes next!
I am going to wear them bopping around with Dagan this afternoon. So, got to finish getting ready....

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Dagan and Leah came by after work and we had Subways. We watched the Oprah show on going green. (I got excited for the earth and for us all over again--hehe!) Leah finished embossing all the business cards that she had.

I had really overdone it on Tuesday with the sketching (sore), so I was being pretty good yesterday until I did play a little pyramid solitare very late last night. Karma kept me company.

Quiet, warmer day in Fargo. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I got totally lost playing last night--with the Triplus colored pens and the Micron pens! Forgot to set my timer. Am paying for it today, but not as badly as could have been, I guess. :) Will take it easy today. Dagan and Leah are coming after work. Leah is bringing Subway! I will have to pass on crafts tonight. My body is forcing me to take it easy--hehe! I promise I will be good....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Yesterday was my bus trip to the West Acres Mall. I want to keep making the short trip to the mall and walking for exercise. That is the plan! Trying not to be housebound! :)

To show you that there is just nothing to walk to around where I live--this is the view from the bus bench looking south.

And this is looking north. Used to be just all flat fields. Now it is all new apartment buildings and residential.

When I got to the mall I went on a walk up and down the hallways. This is my favorite sitting area that I found and it is close to the bus stop waiting area--right down the hallway. I sat facing the very overcrowded, very large fish tank.

I was in the light brown chair to the left of the couch--sitting and writing to my aunt, Mary Lou. :)

Then I went out for another swing around the mall before I caught the bus home. In one hallway they have the Roger Maris Museum.

Here's a close up of the plaque for you baseball fans--not that you can read it--hehe! Maybe you can if you click on it and enlarge it, I didn't try.

They have this tiny room where you can sit and watch a video about Mr. Maris. I must confess that I have never watched it. Maybe some other time. But that is the "museum"--some windows in the hall and this little room.

At the other end of the mall by the food court is Creative Kitchen. They are having their Food Expo this weekend and I am planning on making another bus trip to go to it and watch the demos. I wanted to take a shot of it as it is normally and then I'll get a shot at the Expo--if I remember.

This is the view looking out from Creative Kitchen of the Food Court. It is quite huge! Lots of places to sit and sketch in the future, I guess?

I turned to my left and shot the eating tables they have on either side of the big doors at the Food Court end of the mall. Was pretty quiet on a Monday afternoon, I must say.

On my way back to the bus stop area I snapped a wider view of where I had been sitting by the fish tank. They have some kind of TV on the other side. I didn't check that out this time, so I don't know if it is advertisements or what is on it? Couldn't really hear it very well from where I was sitting--but then I already have hearing loss in my left ear.
Then I turned around to snap a picture of the directory--and some man who works for the mall came up with a scowl and demanded to know why I was taking pictures!? No lie! I explained it was for my blog and he laughed and walked away. Strange. Is there some kind of mall espionage going on? Are there mall spies!? Do I look like a mall spy? And if I really was a mall spy, wouldn't I lie and say I was taking pictures for my blog?

This is the wonderful place they have built for people to wait for the bus. Very nice in the wintertime!

And here are shots of where you can wait outside, right in front of the inside waiting area. This is the right side as you look out--for non smokers. I went and waited out there after I took pictures--such a gorgeous day!!!

And this is the left side for the smokers. Employees come out there to smoke, too. In fact, I think these were all emplyees.

I was so exhausted--just from the trip to the mall when I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, either--that I was in bed by 7:30pm and woke up at 9:30am! Times like that remind me I have chronic fatigue syndrome, too. But it was such a good day and I am determined to ride up to the mall more often--gain confidence--and eventually start taking additional buses elsewhere.
Yesterday Dagan found out he had free pizza day at work--so he came over today instead. Showed me how to transfer my favorites to Google--to update them, I mean. I have already started to save them in cyberspace now! Love it! And we laughed at this cartoon on PBS that has a pig, cow, and a duck with Irish accents! Just cracked us up!
Caroline came to clean this afternoon. I just ate a sandwich. It is another absolutely beautiful sunny day like yesterday. The grass is mostly green now! Spring has finally arrived, I guess.
Tomorrow Dagan and Leah are coming over after work. Leah is going to do some more embossing on her business cards. We are going to watch Oprah that I taped--about going green!! Just in such a great mood! Happy, happy hobbling about today. Sure hope those earth shoes fit when they come and help me with the walking about. Have a great day, everybody!!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Got caught up reading Dagan's book--the first book in the Dark Tower series I borrowed from him. I am re-reading the first three or so that I had read a few years back so I will remember what the heck was going on. Things can be so strange in Stephen King books. This is a very odd series, even for Stephen. Kind of a combination western, days of knights & quests, sci-fi, time travel, and mystical as far as I recall.

Watched a movie I really enjoyed yesterday, too--Hollywoodland:

When George Reeves (Ben Affleck), the actor who famously played the Man of Steel in TV's "Adventures of Superman," turns up dead, a dogged private eye (Adrien Brody) investigates and unearths a string of strange secrets. Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins also star in this gritty noir-style drama based on the true story of one of Hollywood's most infamous mysteries, a film that marks television director Allen Coulter's feature film debut.

I liked the fact that they didn't tell you what they thought actually happened, but just put out the possibilities and left you to ponder on your own--because they never did find out if it was murder or suicide. The thing I loved about the film was the time period, the atmosphere, and the interesting details of George Reeves personal life that I didn't know about. It didn't dwell on the Superman series and the movie was basically through the eyes of this detective. I loved how the detective's life was changed by his investigation of Reeves' life. There was a lot more to the movie than I had expected.

Dagan is coming over for lunch. I have some computer questions for him. He'll be here any minute----gotta go! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day!!! Sunday-4:45pm

I wanted to post a picture today, so I had to draw "Cookie" for a while first. I have to do a sketch with pencil first and then use the pen. In the EDM Yahoo group they encourage you to sketch in pen--but I have a ways to go before I am up to that--hehe! That's okay. I am doing what I feel comfortable with--and even that is really pushing me! :)

Happy Earth Day!!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I finally got back to sketching last night and got another EDM done. Glued my former cup picture into this new book--hehe! Waste not--want not, right? It was the very first sketch I had done, after all. :)
I haven't gotten a lot done since I came home Monday night--just wrote a few letters and managed to wash clothes. Watched some Netflix movies. Feeling better and more back to normal now. :)

Last night we had a thunderstorm move in. I quick grabbed Karma's porch perch and brought it inside before it got soaked--not thinking that, of course, she was going to want to sit on it inside. Anything new intrigues her.

Looked like it was going to be a really bad spot at first.

But she settled in, relaxed, and left the fish alone. It was funny to see her paw the front and sides of the tank trying to catch them, tho. She has no claws, so she can't hurt the acrylic tank. It kept me entertained for a long time watching her, tho--cat entertainment--the best! Like I say--she makes me laugh every day!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Had a wonderful time! And the trip went much, much better than it did last time. Must be a combination of the Shaklee and The Secret, eh? Those are the only changes since last July...??

Here we are at Mary Lou's kitchen table on Sunday afternoon after we ate. Standing is my son, Dagan. Right in front of him is his wife, Leah. Clockwise--Mary Lou, my aunt, is sitting with her back to the camera. Renee, my younger sister. Denise--Mary Lou and Irving's niece (his brother's daughter) who I call my "kinda cousin"-- :) And Joel, Renee's son.

It was so wonderful to be sitting around the kitchen table again! Many fond memories--and I miss this so much since I moved away to Fargo/Moorhead.

Leah got a really funny shot of Joel!!

And a candid shot of me.
Dagan and Leah went to the Shaklee Excite Seminar on Friday night and Saturday during the day. They met the Fargo group of distributors--who meet twice a week!! Wow!
Great to have a support system. They won't be able to connect up with them for a while because they have things going on and will be gone next weekend to Saint Cloud--but they will go to the meetings as soon as they can.
Mary Lou had a funeral come up that she had to attend on Saturday afternoon. I read a few of my emails that afternoon--was told that the Rapidograph ink is bad for other pens and can ruin them--so I emptied the pen out at Mary Lou's to be safe. I am sure glad that I found this EDM Yahoo Group! They know so much (learned a lot of things since I joined) and it is a good place to ask questions. They don't make you feel stupid for asking beginner questions, either. Such a supportive group!
Dagan let me borrow his new memory foam pillow while we were there. I LOVED IT!!! I slept so well every night, too--just cradles your head so perfectly--soft, yet supports. So, he let me keep it when we got home. I can pay him back and he'll get a new one. I want another one to use as a body pillow, too, since the cheap foam body pillows I have purchased go flat so fast. These memory foam pillows never lose their shape--and this one comes in this longer queen size. (Having the body pillow helps with my hips and knees--arthritis--when the pillow is not flattened out--hehe!)
The trip home was longer. I had to get out often--was very sore by that time. But last summer--I was in that shape on the way down! :) I was worried about how Karma and Miss Gracie had fared alone for three nights. I had been sending peaceful thoughts all the time I was gone and for about a week ahead of time before we left. They were just fine!! Karma didn't even get into anything??!! The scotch brite pad was in the living room on the floor and she had been playing in the bathtub and the shower curtain was partway out of the tub--but that was it!!! What a relief! They didn't even carry on that much when we came in the door. :):) Good! This means I can do this again sometime and not worry as much.
They are a bit insecure--especially Miss Gracie. She eeps away if I leave the room. I have had to stop and talk with her several times a day more than normal. But, she is settling down now. Karma spent a lot of time laying all over me off and on the last couple days--but she seems to have settled down a bit now, too. She was just showing me that she missed me, of course--needed a lot of snuggling. She needed a lot of play time with her string toys, of course, also.
I mostly caught up on just reading emails yesterday here and there--hobbling about. Today is better. But I didn't feel up to going and looking at houses with Dagan and Leah after work today. Just on R&R for now. My big project for the day--washing clothes. Was such a wonderful, wonderful visit, but it is always good to be home. :)
Thank you, Mary Lou, for everything! So good to see you, Renee, Joel, and Denise! Oh--and Dagan checked out fine with the cardiologist and the pacemaker check. Life is good!!

Friday, April 13, 2007


Here I thought I was going to get extra sleep before the trip to Minneapolis--hehe! Check here to see what I was up to in the middle of the night:

I know, silly, eh? Obviously the art/sketching/drawing does effect me on a core level, like I said. I even wake up dreaming and thinking about drawing! My subconscious is preoccupied with it, too--ROFL!!

I decided that I had best bring some art materials with--just in case--even if I will probably never touch them while I am there. They are packed. :)

We are leaving about 11am. I am hoping to catch a few more winks before then. Talk to you next week....have a good weekend!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


One of the watercolor sketchbooks I bought was sure a bad purchase. Talk about buckling!!

Went to look it up on Dick Blick--and come to find out that this one is made by the same company as the Nepal travel sketchbook I just dismantled because I couldn't deal with the paper. I had to laugh!! Both were made by Lama Li (and that company name wasn't on the new journal--only said Savoir Faire). So, I will never buy anything again from that company--hehe!

Couldn't blend--just weird, porous paper. Have to use a quite dry brush on it--just doesn't act like regular watercolor paper at all, in my opinion. (I know I am a novice, but it sucked!)
Anyways, we had Sacred Circle last night. Leah made fried egg and ham sandwiches before we started--very good. (I think I misunderstood her). Dagan and Leah have had the feeling that they should look for a house in town--an older house. Something with a bit of land, nice yard with trees, and an outbuilding or room enough to put up a building later.
They are focusing on the Shaklee business right now (and they both got angel cards that obviously supported them in this new venture!!). Then, if they have a smaller mortgage, Leah can gradually buy herself some of the equipment she needs for the crafts she wants to learn and eventually sell--like the pottery. She loves to work with clay, wood, glass, metal, etc. Eventually she'd like to be at home all the time--and just selling Shaklee and the things that she makes. Dagan will be learning more about building a website and the computer ends of things--and whatever else he wants to do to work out of the home, too. Then--when they are both working from home--they want to look for a place with land, etc--but probably not around this area here in Fargo-Moorhead. They'd be free to look wherever they wanted to if they worked from home--true! So that is the plan for now. :)
While we were occupied in the living room, Karma chewed apart one of Dagan's shoelaces! She has been just nutty about string lately!! What a stinker! So now any shoes with ties or shoelaces we'll have to put on the top of the shoe rack there by the door.
Yesterday when Jennifer was here she laid her purse on the floor--I was showing her some stuff on the computer--we turn around and Miss Karma was parked right by Jennifer's purse and was scooping things out with her paw. She had already removed her checkbook and some pens, etc. Jennifer gathered up the stolen items and zippered it away from Karma's snoopy paws and teeth!
I wonder how much damage Karma will manage to do while I am gone to Minneapolis? Silly girl! Speaking of--I may or may not post while I am gone. We are leaving tomorrow morning (Friday) and won't be back until Monday night. So, I might not be posting again until next Tuesday. I hope I remember to take some pictures!! My camera doesn't hold many, but Dagan and Leah's does--if they remember it--chuckle! Anyways, I am off to the garage to get my overnight bag....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I finished the first couple pages!! Ta Da!! I love my new Moleskine Sketchbook! You can click on the picture to see it better.

I was so tired I was in bed by 9:30 last night--but woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Was actually laying there thinking about drawing! Decided to draw the lamp on my headboard with the cool shade. Was harder than I thought--hehe!

I have an easier time drawing from a photo than from real life. So I was up snapping pictures of the different items for the EDM challenges this morning. Then sat down and drew for a while. Nice way to start the day.

Tonight is Sacred Circle. (I may need a nap!) Leah wants to make Eggs Benedict and said she is bringing all the supplies. So, I don't have to worry about making dinner for them, I guess. :) Then on Thursday I have to pack for the trip to Minneapolis!!

Right now--I am off to see if I can throw a little watercolor on the ink sketch I did yesterday...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday - 7:45pm

Yesterday my earth shoes came, but were a size 6 instead of a size 8--so had to return them. I got a return lable for UPS online from the company--but found out that it would cost me $10 for UPS to come back and pick up the package. So, Dagan came by over for lunch today and took the package to his UPS drop-off at work for me.

Caroline came and cleaned this afternoon. And Jennifer came by later on after work. I had a whole stack of books for her and she had a few for me. We caught up a little, she showed me her new Ipod, and we watched a movie from Netflix based on the longest running British comedy Last of The Summer Wine. Kind of odd. Three old codgers and a dead body of a friend--strange little movie. Okay, I guess. Not the best of the British--hehe! It was really nice to see Jennifer--been a while!

Yesterday I washed clothes and played around with the new Moleskine sketchbook. I am not going to take photos until I have both pages filled when the book lies open. I also started an ink sketch of a vase and flowers in the rough WC book with the deckled edges. After I get it painted, then I'll take a picture of that one, too. I just think I am too tired to do any artwork tonight. Plan to get to bed early.... :)

Monday, April 09, 2007


Decision number one. I dismantled the Nepal sketchbook. It came to me that I could use the sheets for cardmaking and other crafts--and could recylce them when I make handmade paper for cardstock! I was so relieved. I love paper. But this particular paper (for me, anyways) needed some other outlet--hehe! We just did not connect.

Decision number two still plagued me: draw in pencil or pen? I played around on scratch paper with pencil this weekend--which was fun. With pencil I can adjust my shape and perspective errors a bit, but there's something bolder about drawing with pen that pushes my limits, too. My perspective is not perfect, of course, no matter which I use. I couldn't decide. Something wasn't right.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and took notes on what came to me:

I shouldn't be thinking of this as strictly a sketchbook--it is my illustrated journal. I should go back to how I felt when I was very young and first writing and drawing. There wasn't a defined difference to me between the drawing and the talking on paper back then. When I first started expressing myself on paper, I was about nine or ten years old. I went off alone with paper and pencil when I was upset, confused, joyous, pondering, frustrated, bored--didn't really have anybody I could talk to. I always felt that my guardian angel was kind of over my right shoulder--watching over me and helping me to see less selfishly and with a more spiritual perspective (whether I liked it or not--hehe!). It was just me and God and paper. Well, and God's representative, I should say--hehe! I thought of it as going to my safe place.

I remember writing around and around something until my perspective changed and it became clearer to me and I could find some answers, some peace. Or I just plain wanted to share my joy and excitement over something. And while I sat thinking (inbetween talking on paper)--I drew and doodled and sketched.

I woke up chuckling--thinking that paper is like a creativity "bib" for me. It catches everything that falls out of my mouth--my head--my eyes--my ears.....and it covers my heart. :)

Anyways, I am not afraid of the pristine journal anymore. It doesn't matter what I use to draw with--pencil, pens, colored pencils--whatever strikes my fancy. I could use something different every time--every page. There are no rules! No lines! It is my own space--my safe place. I can choose to share or not share. Freedom!!

Have a wonderful day!!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


My Dick Blick order came yesterday! Happy (Belated) Birthday To Me!! Hehehehe!!! So exciting!! I handled them like ancient artifacts!!

The green square one to the left and the black one with the blue band are sketch journals with drawing paper. The other three are watercolor journals--the light green one, lower center, has rough, deckled edge paper. I am all set now!

Above is the EDM Challenge #2--draw a desk lamp or other lamp. I worked on that last night--in the same Nepal journal. Perspective was okay on the first one, but not so good on the second one. Drawing in pen is difficult for me. Especially since I haven't been sketching for many years and have always had perspective problems. The Nepal handmade paper is scratchy and bumpy--don't know how it would take pencil but I think I might have to try. Either that or switch over to a nice, smooth, new drawing book. ???
All this drawing has really taken me back in time. I never used anything but a No. 2 pencil back then--even the few times I have been drawing since I was a kid. Never ever sketched in pen--only used it occasionally afterwards when the drawing was completed--like when I illustrated a poster for the pet shop I worked at in Maple Grove about fifteen years ago. Maybe I need to go back to my own personal roots and use a pencil?
I really don't like this rough paper in this notebook (one reason why I hadn't used it but for that one color experiment--and it worked so terribly I never touched it again). And I didn't even want to use it for a writing journal--inclusions and scratchy. Not sure a pencil would work well on it, either, tho?
But I would feel too guilty just tossing this journal out (but which is honestly what I'd like to do with it). That is just too wasteful!!
It was a such a delight to have nice smooth paper delivered to me yesterday....??
I have to make a decision---today. If I decide to go back to pencil, I would start a new journal--and I would want to have another go at the shoe and my rose lamp--just to see what I can end up with pencil and eraser? I could keep a drawing journal just for the EDM Challenges....
But then I actually have to draw in one of the new sketchbooks!! That terrifies me! chuckle!
Having a pristine sketchbook--it's like worrying about scratching a brand new car. You know it is not going to remain perfect and without flaws--just have to jump in and drive!

Friday, April 06, 2007


When my sketchbooks arrive--I will be all set to wander about this summer to draw and paint. I already have a wonderful shoulder bag, portable paints, pens, brushes, and the rest of the things I'd need, I think. I've been using the bag for a purse since I got it--but I could easily switch it over. I actually bought it from Dick Blick--they sold it as an artist's bag. It is made by Overland--nylon backpack material, room for two water bottles (awesome for painting!) on either side in the outside pouches, and...

...lots of room inside the front flap for all sorts of small things--and pen slots. There's even a key clip on the end of the small black strap tucked into the top pocket.

There's a full pocket on the back, too.

Not huge inside. But the black folder you see holds a small 5 X 7 inch legal pad and it fits with room to spare. :)

Leah loved the bag so much when she saw mine that she ordered one, too, while they were still on sale. She and Dagan were going to New York for his stepbrother's wedding last summer and she got it because it held two water bottles for them and it was a sturdy, zippered place for their camera, her inhaler, etc--and she could put the strap over her head for security reasons as they wandered about New York. She has never carried a purse, but she still is using this bag. So--we actually have matching red bags! I am not sure if Dick Blick carries them anymore. They were on sale at the time we got them and I have never looked again to see if they still have them or if Overland still makes them?
Anyways--I have been visualizing myself healthier and, therefore, being able to get around on the buses this summer with my trusty "art" bag and my "earth" shoes. May seem like a little dream to most people, but it is a big dream for me. Dagan, Leah, and I still stop whatever we are doing at 5:30pm every day and visualize our dreams for a few minutes. This is one of mine! *big grin*
I finally feel more like myself today. Didn't get much done yesterday still. Not that I ever get lots done anymore--hehe! But--for me--I am feeling back to normal today. :)
I am going to go sip on some of my coffee and see if I can warm up my hands so they'll work for sketching today. :)
PS Here's a picture for those of you who have asked what I am talking about when I mention "my coffee"--hehe! Ahhhhh!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I did it! Made a separate art blog yesterday so I can participate in the EDM Yahoo group. :) If you click on "View My Complete Profile" up by my picture and then scroll down to the bottom of my profile page--tada! Two blogs listed! Took me a while to figure it out, but a few years back I wouldn't have been able to accomplish any of this--chuckle!

Don't worry (not that you would--ha!), I will always post my art pictures in here, too--never fear. :) So, if you don't want to hear more about art and mediums and paper and pens and art supplies--don't bother to check the other one--ha!

I went shopping with Leah at about 4:15 and she left here close to 7pm. I stocked up at Target on things that aren't that exciting to buy, but you need, like toilet paper and kleenex. Got Miss Gracie some seed and millet sprays--Karma got some kitty litter--but I even had enough left over to get a few cans of my favorite french vanilla coffee!! Thanks Blaine and Kathy for my birthday trip to Target! Gracie and Karma thank you, too. :)

My head was so stuffed up and my ears were plugged. I realized that I must have been shouting when I talked to Leah all night. I felt like I was hollering down a long tunnel--sad! Still have plugged ears today, too.

Leah went to her first pottery class Tuesday night. Here it had been cancelled due to the snow storm--(radio and TV announcements which she'd never be aware of)--but Leah and two others showed up. The teacher happened to be there, anyways--so they had like an extra little private class!! Cool! She said she made a couple of things already--they will still have the full eight more classes, too. And she found out that she can go there any night and play on her own for the whole eight weeks!! Awesome!

Anyways, she was wondering what she should make. Well, I had a ton of easy ideas for her! We could use little pots to hold brushes and small and large ones to hold water for painting. And I have all those coffee cups around the house filled with pens that I would gladly trade for something from my wonderful daughter-in-law. Good grief! Just those items could keep her busy for some time! And she can play with the shapes and the glazes--and each one can be different. Now she is all excited!! Me, too!!! Here's a shot of most of the brushes at my place--watercolor, miniatures, and junk brushes. All the acrylic and oil brushes are over at Dagan and Leah's place. I have been collecting brushes for years--for crafts and then because I always knew I wanted to learn to paint. The blue and brown pot in the front with the finger dents I bought from a local potter, actually. Love it. Imagine how I'll love the pots from Leah!! :)
The snow was blowing so hard that it covered the entire porch--right thru the screen--all the way to covering the little metal table and the covered metal chair. Karma kept begging to go out yesterday to eat snow. I think she enjoys getting cold for some reason?

I ran into the cleaning lady for our apartments yesterday when I went to check my mail. She was scrubbing off the smeared mess that looked like ice cream that was all over the front side of the elevator--had been there for a couple of days. I just don't understand how people can be so filthy and destructive? We have had trouble since last fall with the torn paper, wrappers, pieces of food ground into the carpet, spills, drawing on the wall outside the elevator, scratching on the inside of the elevator door like with a key or something? They have posted notices asking this to please stop. Over time it has come to threats--saying that they'll have to raise the rent if this doesn't stop--that they will prosecute for vandalism. Nothing has stopped whoever is doing this. Not in our building anyways.
The cleaning lady said it was worse in our other building. Somebody was spitting on the walls!! Big dripping luggies! But she said when they sent out a notice to each apartment over there threatening prosecution--it stopped. Didn't stop them in this building, but I am glad we don't have the spitting!
The thing is--you think it is children--you want to believe it is children. But the spitting was high up on the walls. And the ice cream was smeared way up above the elevator floor numbers--near the top of the elevator. So--can no longer believe it is just children. I find it even more disgusting to know it is adults that are doing this--or at least part of it. And these buildings do not really have teenagers. There are very few one-bedrooms like mine. It is mostly 2 and 3 bedrooms for families--and they mostly have young children. That is all I ever see--younger kids and toddlers and babies. I don't think I've seen any kids over about ten years old, actually. It is a sad commentary.
I don't know what it is about human beings being ungrateful for the help given them? When Dagan was little and sick all the time so I couldn't work and ended up on welfare for years, I was soooo grateful to have been able to get into low income housing two different times back then. It is a gift when you are so poor--a blessing! It was the same thing back then, tho. I never understood it then, either. Dagan and I got into new buildings both times and I was appalled at how the tennants were defacing and destroying the apartments, the buildings, the grounds, and even the playground. Why??? It was poor, white, angry-about-something tennants. Sadness and anger go hand in hand--and it was a sad place, I guess--for them. I was happy and grateful to be there--just as I am to be in this apartment now. I love it here! Obviously others aren't so happy to be here, eh?
I wonder about things like that all the time. What it must feel like to be somebody who would smear food on the elevator walls to feel better? To be somebody who tosses trash and garbage in their wake everywhere they go? How sad for them to be so miserable and small of spirit. What a small world they must live in. Just hurts to think about it.
On a lighter note--hehe! I am feeling better every day--just need the new head cold to leave soon. Never did feel up to sketching yesterday--did write letters, tho. My Office Max order came this afternoon--so I have printer ink and card envelopes and my small canary yellow legal pads! TaDa! The free 12 pack of batteries was backordered and won't come for 4-6 weeks--hehe! I found that amusing for some reason. Karma takes periodic excursions into the world of snow. Gracie is eeping contentedly to herself. My computer is working. I am sipping on my french vanilla coffee. Life is good and I am grateful as hell--ha!! :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Good Morning! I am feeling better day by day. Finally kept food down yesterday afternoon--hehe! I think I will be able to go shopping with Leah tonight. I'll know for sure by this afternoon.

I want to go for another reason--to hear about Leah's first pottery class last night!! Exciting! She will be going for eight weeks on Tuesday nights. (Vicarious joy for me--something I would love to have been able to do, too.)

Yesterday, since I have been feeling so punkish, it came to me that I could order the Office Max stuff online and get free delivery because it would be over $50.00. So, I went ahead and ordered--it was meant to be--got a free 12-pack of AA batteries for ordering the HP ink cartridges online. :) They have a confusing tracking system, tho--and I have no clue when it will be arriving and whether it is all coming at once? Some items say 1-3 days and some say 7-14 days? Oh well, I am not in any immediate hurry for the items, actually. Still have a little of everything--a little printer ink left (black at least), a couple legal pads left...

Since I had birthday money in March, I also ordered a pair of earth shoes. I have been thinking about them for a long time. Since the heel is lower than the toes, it just might be good for my plantar fasciitis and help with walking longer at a time? I was confused by the European sizing and hope I got the right size? I wrote them a note to that effect, in case I got it wrong. We'll see. Couldn't resist--got some clunky tie on shoes called "Hippies" in denium--chuckle! So "me"! I have visions of walking about this summer in my hippie shoes with my sketchbooks and journals and pens....ahh! (Please Lord! Such small things give me such great joy!)

Well, we had snow--blowing, drifting snow. It had been like spring, but winter returned for a while. Won't last long, tho, this late in the season. It is blowing so much this morning I can't tell if it is actually still snowing or the wind is just battering the snow around out there? I suppose I could turn on the TV and watch the weather, but you can tell it is cold and yucky out by looking out the window--ha!

I am hoping to get another EDM drawing challenge done today. And I want to start a new art blog just for pictures and art related stuff. I will still post all my pictures on my personal blog, too--never fear. But if I have a specific art blog, then I can contribute to the conversations and the mega blog link with the EDM website! My goodness! How my life has changed since Dagan and Leah gave me their old digital camera, eh? hehehehe! Have a good one!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


This is my first EDM (Everyday Matters) challenge. #1 - Draw a shoe. I had trouble with perspective and the shoe is too short (my feet aren't that little-hehe!), but it went okay, I guess. Practice - practice - practice, right? Only 103 challenges left to go--ha! The next one is to draw a lamp.

This paper -- (it is from Nepal--ran across the description as I made an order for sketchbooks this morning) -- is terrible for watercolors. It just sucks up the water and gets all soggy. This morning I ordered some watercolor sketchbooks and some sketchbooks with regular paper from Dick Blick. This book will have to be strictly for dry medium.

During the night Sunday night Miss Karma, my string loving cat, destroyed the elastic band that holds the Nepal sketchbook together. I hope it snapped her good!

And Sunday morning I woke up to the touch lamp being on and the small jar of water for my watercoloring was tipped onto the table (good thing I just got the plastic to cover the table!). Karma either tipped over the water and jumped away and hit the lamp--or she stepped on or bumped the lamp and the light came on and scared her and she tipped over the water. She played with the water for some time after that, tho--there were little footprints all over the plastic from one end of the table to the next. Luckily it did not spread over to where I had a stack of magazines. Nothing was ruined. I guess I should draw that lamp for my EDM challenge--haha!

These are the Thank You cards I made for my wonderful birthday gifts! I used the new flower half punch--put sticky paper behind the flowers and covered that half with microbeads. Used the ribbons I found at JoAnn's and the new pretty paper pad we got at K&Krafts. I did these a while ago.

Here's the green version.

I felt drained on Saturday and fell asleep in my chair for three hours. Slept so-so on Saturday night--up and down a lot. We passed on doing Sacred Circle on Sunday. I was still pretty noodly and not feeling the best and Dagan had some other things he could do. We decided that maybe we should do Sacred Circle on Wednesdays because that is a good night for them. Just skip doing crafts or painting that week. Sounds like a good idea.
This Wednesday--tomorrow--I am supposed to go shopping with Leah. We'll see how I feel--if I am better. I was miserable all Sunday night--felt like I was going to throw up and even had an ice cream pail by the bed. When I finally got up--took my vitamins--and they came right back up. That is how the day went yesterday. Couldn't even keep water down. Dry heaves. Miserable. Pounding headache. Dagan stopped by with milk and he went down and got my mail for me. What a sweetheart! Was only awake 8 hours and went back to bed. Have been up since 3am. Still really queasy--but have kept down some water and a glass of milk (knock on wood!). The headache isn't as bad so far today--more tolerable.
Anyways, it's the 3rd and I have CashWise coming between noon-2pm today. That will about do me in for the day--just putting groceries away. I can always just put away the stuff for the frig and freezer and leave the rest. I called yesterday and cancelled Caroline for this afternoon. Switched her to next week.
Well, if I was going to be sick, good thing it is now. We are going down to Minneapolis--on Friday the 13th--I just realized that it is a Friday the 13th that we are driving down. Good thing I am not superstitious--ha! Dagan and Leah are getting excited about the Shaklee seminar they will be going to. They have signed up for a 7 month program (Roger Barrett is involved sometimes too, I guess) where they have telephone conference calls every Saturday and I don't know what else. I haven't had a chance to see them--so I haven't heard all about what they are doing/learning. Anyways, I will have to be really good to myself and get well and feeling good for the trip. :) Right now--time to go sit in my chair with my ice cream bucket...maybe catch a few more winks before CashWise comes later....