Friday, February 29, 2008


First I have to show you what Leah was up to on Wednesday. :) The mould on the top right hand side is the original paper mould from Arnold Grummer. Leah covered it in polymer clay to make an inverted mould and baked that (the brownish square-bowl looking thing beneath). Then she made up plaster of Paris and poured it into the brownish mould she made and let it set--four times. Doesn't have the detail that the original does, but they're pretty good.

These moulds are used to make the embossed handmade paper that we glue to the front of the handmade paper cards sometimes. Now we can make up several at a time and let them dry right in the moulds. We had the plaster of Paris that we bought last summer (didn't work for what we had planned) and now found a use for it. We always do--hehe!

Anyways, on Tuesday Caroline came in the morning to clean. Leah and Ariel came over in the afternoon. Leah worked on sealing the set of boxes. Ariel played a game on her laptop. I made fresh bread and the Flemish carrot soup for dinner. (Again--can't tell I love soup and bread, eh?) They left about 1:00 am. We had a nice time and I invited Ariel back again.

OH--and Leah spent hours working on getting this desk computer working right again. Had to call Dagan Tuesday night in Nashville--but it is working again. Different cord for the mouse and camera. :) I guess I need a new splitter or something? It is working right now in the meantime--jerryrigged--hehe!

Wednesday Leah came over on our regular craft day. She first worked on cutting paper for her friend, Amber's, wedding invitations. I worked on my stamping and embossing. Leah got the idea for the plaster of Paris when I was showing her another idea I had for Christmas cards using a snowflake paper mould. So she started working on the moulds.

We tried watching two different movies I had that came from Netflix (my 5-at-a-time had bunched up on me) and actually turned both of them off within 15 minutes! That bad. To us anyways. The whole time I have been getting movies from Netflix I think I've only not finished a movie about 4-5 times--then 2 in one night! Beowolf and Slipstream. So much for trying something different--hehe!

So, I asked Leah if she'd mind if I started watching The Wire. At first Leah just listened. Then she wanted to peek here and there. Next thing she was watching the episodes with me. I had the last three DVDs from season four (the last available right now) and we ended up watching them all!! A Wire Marathon!! We watched until 9am!! Leah went home to bed--slept between phone calls from work--and then she had to work for the second job last night, too. (I called her last night and she said she was doing okay and had gotten enough sleep. The roads were slick--snowing.) I took a nap for a few hours after she left--then slept 12 hours last night--so tired! Was such fun, tho! Girl's night, eh? Hehe!

Dagan should be home this afternoon from Nashville--might be home already. He and Leah talked on the phone every night when he was gone--sometimes more than once. ;) Cell phones are great!

I am washing clothes this afternoon. That's about it for me today. Was a fun, busy couple of days! Today--I recover--hehe!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Mostly pictures today. Too tired to talk. Will fill you in on the last two busy days later. :) But--have another set of before and after pictures!! Leah's set of wooden boxes--before...

...and after!! I think they turned out really nice!

I got a beautiful, delicate painting in the mail from Ann (CBP group)! Isn't this just gorgeous!!?? Thank you so very much, Ann. I am inspired by your orchid and in awe of your talent. And it is so nice to be able to see the work close-up and "in hand" thanks to you--(and to Barbara and Haiying, too.) What a personal and special gift to give artwork like this, eh?

Here are some more examples of the bookcards I have gradually been putting together as I use them. I keep forgetting to snap a picture once in a while.

Leah and I might go shopping next Wednesday. I want to go to our favorite store with the most to choose from--K&Krafts in Moorhead--and buy some more pretty paper I can use for covers. Such fun!!
While Leah worked on her projects yesterday (more later on that), I worked on the stamping and embossing of my first set of Christmas cards. And I finished--tada!!!

Now I will be sitting and coloring them in one by one with my waterbrush and Lyra watercolor crayons. I think these are going to be cute. Simple, but colorful! :)
Will fill you in on my two days with Leah later--after I get some more sleep--hehe! She and I stayed up all night long last night! Had such a good time. Watched season four of The Wire. Now I am finished with what was available on DVD. I can almost hear the theme music in my head right now......hehe! Later-- :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


New pictures of the house...

They have cut a hole for the front door now--so I guess I was wrong about that.

This is the front room to the left of the front door when you first come in.

When you go up the stairs, this is where the livingroom will be.

This is where the kitchen will be.

I believe this is just to the right of the kitchen, but not sure--and is where the dining room will be. Going to be french doors out to the patio (which Dagan and Leah will be building later on). On the right hand side is the door to the master bath.

This area is going to be the master bath, water closet, master walk-in closet, and laundry room. They don't have all those rooms divided yet.

And this is going to be the master bedroom.

I'm not exactly sure of the floor plan and what goes where--but I do know that, except for the first picture, the rest are all pictures of the top floor. The basement is all roughed in for the plumbing, but they haven't poured the concrete floor yet. There will be a family room, bathroom, and two bedrooms downstairs. Plus a low storage area under the front room.
I see they don't have the roof completed yet. Soon, I would think? It has been beautiful out for days--in the 20s! They should be able to zip along, eh?
Well, I have Caroline coming this morning to clean--and then Leah and her sister, Ariel, are coming to craft this afternoon. Dagan flew to Nashville yesterday. I hope he is having a nice time. I am using the laptop and hope Leah can fix the desk computer this afternoon.
And I plan to have bread put together and rising before Caroline gets here.
I got sidetracked yesterday cleaning and sorting my Netflix stuff. I have had a spiral notebook that I write down movie titles in--when I see them on previews or on commercials on TV. Been using it for at least two years--what a scribbly mess. Since I had the laptop out--I sat and looked up every movie on my list. Some I had listed twice. Some I could order now and some were still not available yet and a made a new list. I removed all the "instant watch" movies from my online list and made a list of those, too. Looked up how many DVDs there were for the various series I want to see and wrote those down--so I can check them off as I see each DVD and remember where I was. Ended up puttering with that all morning and afternoon.
I know--I know--very, very OCD of me, isn't it?
And by the time I got done with that--too late to make bread and was too sore to do anything else anyways. So--bread this morning. And then I can work on the stamping while Leah and Ariel work on sealing Leah's set of boxes. :) Later...

Monday, February 25, 2008


Got about halfway done with part one (stamping and embossing) of the Christmas card project yesterday.

I snapped this picture, went to put it in the computer--and, when I plugged in the camera, both the camera and the mouse went dead last night. ?? I called Dagan and Leah--Leah will see if she can fix it when she comes over on Tuesday. So, for now, I am back on the laptop. The camera and the cord work--so it is probably the remote thingie, as they suspected.
Leah and Ariel are going to come over in the afternoon on Tuesday after Caroline is here to clean. Then on Wednesday Leah will be coming alone for crafts. They will both be starting on the sealer on Leah's boxes tomorrow, I assume.
Today I am going to bake some bread and continue working on the Christmas cards. :) Once I get them all stamped and embossed, next step is to sit and color them all in--tree by tree. Keeps me out of trouble, eh?

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The only bigger project I got involved with the past few days was to clean under my kitchen sink yesterday.

We used to use these cheap plastic placemats for doing crafts--but now we have the teflon sheets, so we never use them anymore. It came to me--as yet another bottle tipped over as I slid the basket out--that maybe the plastic placemats might fit pretty nicely on the bottom of the baskets. And they did! So the orange and green one are now under the sink. :) Everything is cleaned and organized once again--and won't tip over as easily. TaDa!!

Nothing big and exciting going on in my world--chuckle! Got caught up on all the shows I had taped during the week. (Lost is getting more and more mysterious and confusing! Aaron is with Kate in the future?) Been puttering about and playing chase games with Miss Karma--wearing us both out--hehe!

Today I have some more of The Wire to watch--end of season three and beginning of season four! I would hate to see anything happen to Omar. (The cold, strange, little killer for hire with the bow tie is after Omar.) Yes, I know Omar is a killer and a thief--but he steals from drug dealers--a kind of warped Robin Hood who keeps the money. Sadly, Omar is one of the few people on the show with a code of ethics--personal as they may be--hehe! They've already killed off several people I had grown attached to. Never know who will die on The Wire. And the layers of corruption are revealed higher and higher--into the union at the docks, the building red tape, and the political arena. Such an interesting and well-written program! Gritty, tho--not really your escape television--ha!

Was 24 degrees yesterday! Heat wave!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I move the cat grass into the sun when I remember. I have to keep it on the floor as Miss Karma makes such a mess with it.

I poured a little pile of catnip on the floor nearby (on the right) and she has completely ignored it in favor of the grass. Hasn't touched it. She usually gobbles up the catnip and acts crazy and races around the apartment. The cat grass has a similar effect on her. Also makes her cry to go out on the porch--all that smell of soil and spring--hehe! Quite a disappointment to her when it is below zero outside--ROFL!!

She carefully pulls the grass up and out of the planter by the roots and then knaws off the grass--which leaves a dirty mess. It is much easier to vacuum off the carpet where it is now than when the planter was on the window ledge and dirt was falling all over the chair and the heat register--hehe!

She does love her cat grass!
Yesterday I called ASW and retold the story to another lady. This one told me she'd take care of it and that it would take about two weeks for me to get my money back--and that may actually be true, eh?
I washed clothes, sheets, and towels. Watched the second half of Lonesome Dove. Had a quiet day. Just so glad to still be on the day shift--tada!

Friday, February 22, 2008


I spent my time yesterday doing sides of the wooden box--one by one. Found out the hard way that you have to let each side dry flat (or at least so tacky it can't move anymore) before you shift the box to work on another side--otherwise the lacquer pools and drips. Did two layers and it is done!

Here's the before shot...

...and here's the after shot. :)

I really like it. I didn't paint the inside or the bottom.

And here's Leah's boxes so far. She wanted them redder than they were. I like them!
She hasn't started on the lacquer yet.

Meanwhile, the ASW saga continues! The UPS man showed up yesterday with a second art table. The box was in much worse shape than the first one had been. Didn't even need to "open" it to observe the damage because it was broken open on the one end and we could both just flip the end open and look in. This table was in even worse shape than the first table. The damage to the only corner we could see was twice as bad as the last one. So, it never made it past the threshhold. I refused it right off the bat.

I spent 18 minutes on hold for ASW. Reported my refusal of the art table and said I do not want a third table shipped here. I just want my money back and to cancel the order altogether. This girl told me there was nothing she find as far as the picking up the first table, so she put in for a pick up on that one. I hope they don't think I have two tables sitting around here now because of a duplication?

After the girl had finished getting all the information, she told me to call ASW today during the day--just to make sure. I asked her why? She said, "if it was me, I'd call to make sure about your refund...I'm just saying...." She didn't mean IF I'd get one--more to make sure they start the process. What an outfit, eh?

Today I am just washing clothes and puttering about. And I will call ASW--again--pretty soon here. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The cold weather didn't stop them! Leah came over and we worked away.
She painted on the three boxes all day. Wanted more red on them. She never got to the sealer.

I did work with the sealer on mine. Trouble is--takes a long time for it to dry before you can do other sides. So, I didn't get finished, either. I will work on it some more today.

Dagan came over after work, we ate, and then we did a short Sacred Circle. Did the angel cards. I found out Dagan is going to be gone for a week to Nashville! A conference for work and he gets to help with people's computers, of course. :)

I have been on days still. Up at 6am! Been watching more of The Wire this morning. Then I am going to start glazing the box again. It's a sunny, crisp day. Beautiful to behold! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Called ASW yesterday and the girl told me that the refund was being processed, the new table should arrive any time, and the old table would be picked up by the end of the week--probably.

And the refund finally came through!! I got an email this morning, so it must have gone through last night. The original promise of 3-4 days stretched out to just under two weeks. Now we'll wait and see about the art tables--damaged pick up and new delivery.

It is 30 below right now and "feels like 44 below" it says. So cold that the building is cracking every once in a while in loud snaps that almost sound like doors slamming! Leah was supposed to come over for crafts today. Dagan was going to come over after work and we were going to have a Sacred Circle tonight. I wonder if they will want to venture out in this cold??!!

I've been on days again for a few days--tada! Guess I'll jump in the shower and then call Leah later and find out if we are on or not for today? Sure glad I am inside and warm. Seems to be a blessing to be housebound this winter! hehe!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I realized that yesterday was President's Day and the banks weren't open. So, I decided to put ASW out of my mind and paint on my wooden box.
First I got the burnt umber layers on. Using thin layers of acrylic paint--kind of like a stain. Probably have about three layers of that first color.

Then did another couple layers of the burnt sienna which has that reddish brown color.

I think I might be done with the painting. I like it.

Next we will put on the sealing glaze.

Still no refund so far today. I am working up to calling ASW once again.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Well--it's Monday. I just checked my bank account online and ASW has not given me my refund yet--as they promised. UPS hasn't come to pick up the art table yet, either.
I have to call ASW again.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I've been taking pictures of foods I have made, so--here's a strange fact about me--hehe! I had plain white dishes for many, many years and wanted to buy something with a color and print again. I couldn't make up my mind--and I do love having variety--so I started buying different place settings from Pfaltzgraff. I have four so far. Am hoping to have at least six eventually.
And I like the fact you can buy single replacement pieces--(I broke the bowl below and need to buy another one)--and additional dinnerware pieces (platters, bakeware, etc). I buy them as I can afford them, here and there. I've been getting place settings as below: dinner plate, luncheon plate, cereal bowl, and cup or mug. I also have purchased the dessert bowls. They are quite small and you can only fit so much ice cream in them so it keeps me in line--hehe!

I have the red dishes in this set below.

So, depending on what mood I am in at the moment (and what isn't in the dishwasher), I can choose a different pattern!
I know--I am weird. But I don't care. Works for me. I love it! Look forward to buying additional pieces. :) What a hoot!
The bread turned out really well this last time--TaDa! Was lighter with a better texture. It is difficult to get used to judging by guess and sight vs. by actual touch and feel. Like learning a new way to bake all over again. Well--almost. I'll get better at it. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


The bread looks like it turned out really well. I haven't cut into it yet. Will be as soon as I am done blogging--hehe! Getting hungry for soup and bread...
Was a busy day yesterday. Quiet day today. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008


What have I been up to since yesterday? Snooping through the old Cuisinart cookbooks. (Mom and Renee, you might recognize these!) The picture on the front (right) is of my old machine--still running, too! Now--it has been officially handed down to Leah--hehe!

I was up all night again. So tired yesterday I was asleep by 5:30pm!
Early this morning I baked chocolate chip cookies. :)

And then I made bread. Just punched it down and formed the loaves actually.

And right now I am having some Flemish Carrot Soup for lunch. (Mom's recipe.) May not look like much, but it is a yummy cream soup--made with carrots, onions, celery, rice, and cream.

I watched the first half of Lonesome Dove again. Was a good mini-series. Hard to believe that was on 19 years ago now! I guess that shows my age, eh?

Caroline came and cleaned yesterday. Poor girl! Somebody broadsided her and totalled her car about a week and a half ago. She's okay, but she has to find a decent car (they didn't give her much for her old one) because she uses it a lot for her job and even to drive clients around, too.

Well, I am going to finish my soup. :) Have a good day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Leah came over yesterday--bearing a gift of cat grass for Miss Karma!!!
The ungrateful Karma spent the day under the bed avoiding Leah, of course.
Karma did find the cat grass during the night and nibbled away at it a little. I had just turned the planter before I took the picture, so you can't really see where she was munching.
I am sure Karma thinks she is getting away with something! hehe!
While Leah was here the repairman for HOM Furniture cam. (I guess I was spelling it wrong all this time.)
Okay--the chair is only attached at the center top of the round base, as you can see...
...and he showed up with an entire new base. Back story: all we needed were the odd shaped washers that fit inside of the base at the contact point. One of the washers had broken and that made the chair list to one side--so we just wanted to buy up some washers (so we'd have spares).
Leah had removed the washers (and ball bearings, too)--and that is why we have not been sitting in the chair--so we wouldn't damage it any further while we were waiting for the washers.
So, the repairman shows up with an entire base for the chair--and it isn't even the same base and doesn't fit. Then we find out that they had charged $70.00 to Dagan and Leah's charge card for that base without informing them! Since it didn't fit--they are reimbursing Dagan and Leah for the chair base.
The repairman said they don't carry this chair anymore because of the breakage problems. The company even told them that if the chairs broke to throw them away because they can't be fixed outside of the factory! They are pressured together somehow? (No wonder Leah had such a hard time getting the base off--hehe!) And yet they sold this one in clearance--already listing to one side--broken--knowing it couldn't be repaired? And why would the chair company even have sent a base if they knew that--even if it had been the correct base and had fit--it cannot be attached by normal means?
So--another strange "retail" story.
We are now going to just sit in the chair. You can sit in it--it just doesn't float or rock like it should--has a lurch in it because it is metal on metal. Leah is going to search for some regular shaped washers that might fit inside there--(she took measurements)--and we might be able to fix it ourselves with some ball bearings and grease--hehe! Whatever. We will just use it. No fear or worry about ruining it now. I can't get store credit or anything because it was on sale.
For now, I covered it with an old blanket so that when people come over I can take the blanket off and the chair will be clean--and not coated with cat hair--hehe! Karma does believe this is her chair, after all. :)
Okay--the art table. There is no listed email adress on their website, so I couldn't send them pictures. They only had fill-in-the-blank ways to email them. No address visible. So, I called. Got a third lady and she immediately said she'd call UPS and have them come and pick up the table. Said that they'd send me out another one AND that they'd open it up first to examine the table before they sent it.
Leah confirmed that this first box that I had recieved had already been opened and taped up on one end. ?? Had it been inspected? Or had it been returned? Who knows? Anyways, UPS is supposed to come and pick up the damaged table within 3-4 days.
And--have I seen any refund from ASW pending on my bank account--it IS Thursday already? No.
I finally made the Flemish Carrot soup while Leah was here! Yummy! Was puttering with that off and on all afternoon. We were painting our wooden boxes. Thank goodness Leah finally had a more normal day on the phone/computer and was actually able to paint this time! :)
I don't know if you can see it well, but she likes the shade of reddish black that she got on the little box and is probably going to put another coat of paint on the other two.
I didn't get very far. Top and two ends painted with the first coat of brown.

I can work on it little by little though--whenever I want to. Leah was here painting until 10pm. So nice for her to actually be able to get something done! She has come over how many times and never been able to do anything at all because she got so busy with work calls. Things must finally be getting down to a normal again.

Leah works for a prescription drug insurance company for seniors. She helps the call center--in India. People can only switch companies from mid-November until end of December, so that's her busiest time. (She was on call seven days a week during that time period and only had Christmas Day off!) But she has still been crazy busy since New Year's!? She's the answer lady for all their questions, can do all the regular answering of calls (what she used to do over here in Fargo before they sold the call company), does answer all the calls when the Internet goes down in India (which it seems to do regularly), and trains the new empoyees in India over the phone. Now she's back to M-F 7am-10pm.

Plus the girl works a second job! Amazing! Oh--to have all that energy again!

Well, Caroline will be here pretty soon. Later....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Last night I decided to at least open the box and take the parts out if I could manage it by myself. I opened one end of the box...

...and these corner protectors fell out--one in pieces!

As I slid the table top out--my heart sank! :(

There's also a chip out of the corner beneath this one--but this corner is definitely the worst. Not a minor scratch. Nothing that can be ignored. :(
I took pictures and slid it back in the box. Never took it out any further. No point.
This morning I am sending ASW pictures and then I am going to call them. There was no invoice on the outside of the box or anywhere else I could determine with as little as I opened it--hence, no return address label or instructions for returning damaged merchandise.
I find this whole ordeal exhausting.
Anyways, the good and most coincidental news! I got a call from Home Furniture yesterday! They are sending out someone today between 2:30-3:30pm with the parts and will install them for me! Eight months--about time! So strange that I was just making plans to move it to the garage--hehe!
Caroline also called and asked if she could switch to another day. One of the other girls was on her way to work and got into a car accident--her car was in the ditch. She had been on her way to feed a gentleman lunch--so they needed somebody to take her place. The poor man cannot feed himself--so I readily agreed to Thursday.
Leah is coming over today. We are planning on painting the wooden boxes. Snow is supposed to arrive this afternoon or early evening, but not be too bad until late this evening and through tomorrow. We only made it up to 12 degrees yesterday--but it still felt like a heat wave and Miss Karma was out on the porch three times--hehe!
Well, I am going to go find the email address of ASW's customer service. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Okay! Okay! I am going to have to pick one recipe and stick with it until I know what I'm doing--hehe! This time I used an old Cuisinart bread recipe from back when my Mom, sister, and I went to see the free demonstration of the "new" Cuisinart food processor at Dayton's over 30 years ago. Again--I wasn't paying close enough attention. It was for one loaf and not two loaves. No wonder the loaves turned out so small--ROFL!! They crack me up every time I look at them! Turned out good, tho! Tasty! Just had to have some while it was still warm out of the oven--and the apartment smelled so good! I am really liking baking my own bread again. :)

Meanwhile--I called ASW (Art Supply Warehouse) Monday morning since there was no activity on my account. They said the refund had been approved and should be done "within a week from today". Didn't sound like they had a done anything whatsoever about the refund since I talked to them last Thursday. This lady assured me (second promise of action) that I could accept the table and the refund would be put through right away. The table arrived yesterday afternoon.

I can just cover the difference--only because I hadn't paid Leah back yet this month. So, as soon as they finally reimburse me, I can transfer Leah her money. I guess this is the last I want to see of ASW. I will not buy anything from them again--even if it is a really good deal. If they had done a rush on the refund as I was promised the first time, I might have considered it. Right now--I am not quite sure I'll ever see the money. And they have proved that their word is not to be trusted. I seriously pray that there are no problems with the table--parts are all there and such. Can you imagine dealing with them on replacing parts?
Home Furniture is quite enough to deal with!! We are still waiting for the replacement parts for the red chair from last June!! In fact, I want to move it to the garage. I am really tired of having a chair in here that nobody but Karma can sit on. Karma is the only one who will miss it. Maybe Leah and I can bring it down on Wednesday? If we can fit it on my little green cart--then we could do it without too much trouble.
Well, let's see--today Caroline comes to clean about 11:30am. I have been collecting all the trash together (I have wastebaskets everyplace--ask Dagan and Leah!) and picking up cat toys--the usual. Have also been experimenting this morning with different colors of acrylic paints to see what color I'd like to paint my wooden box from Hobby Lobby. Some shade of brown...still not sure. Might have to layer colors like Leah is doing?
Heat wave expected today! They're predicting a high of 18 degrees!! Tomorrow there is a winter storm watch (4-6 inches of snow) and then back to -23 degrees below by Wednesday. Crazy weather up here. Crazy weather all over!
I am off to paint more wood chips.... :)

Monday, February 11, 2008


I've been up since 11pm last night. Crazy hours--even for me! Been busy, tho. Washed three loads of clothes and have a couple loaves of bread rising. :)

I called ASW (Art Supply Warehouse) earlier to ask them if they had already sent in the refunded amount. They assured me that my refund has been approved and should be in my bank "within a week from today". Hummm??? Made me feel that they had done absolutely nothing until I called them this morning.

I decided to go ahead and accept the table when it comes, but I don't want to ever buy anything from ASW again. Even if it was cheaper--not worth all the stress and the deception, etc. I have never had these kind of problems with any other company I have shopped with online. Makes you wonder how they stay in business?

I am winding down. Glad I got a few things done, anyways. :) I might be snoozing in my chair by the time the delivery person gets here--hehe!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I can be pretty slow, I guess. I just figured out that the reason they have all the openings for the doors and windows boarded up is so that they can heat the inside once they get it all enclosed. Duh!

These were taken before our white-out blizzard conditions yesterday. Interstate 94 was closed for four hours yesterday between Fargo and Fergus Falls. Wind chill warnings of -45 degrees the past couple days. - 24 degrees predicted for last night. A tad nippy in the North Country--hehe!
No deposit yet from ASW for the table still waiting on that situation. Days and nights still flipped. Grateful I don't have a bird anymore. The erratic hours are confusing enough for the fish some days--hehe! Cats are quite accepting of human eccentricities and are used to sleeping around the clock in the first place--chuckle! Karma probably just thinks I am becoming more feline in nature due to her positive influences. :)