Sunday, August 31, 2008


Okay--confession! I got so wrapped up in watching Mad Men that I didn't do much of anything else all day-hehe! When I really love a movie or a series I watch the Bonus Materials and even listen to some of the commentaries. I had a Mad Men day yesterday! I can hardly wait until season two comes out on DVD.

I had begun to wonder if Peggy was pregnant after all, or just getting fat. Instead of hiding, she was getting more aggressive and confident? Turned out that she was one of those women in denial--big time. Didn't know or couldn't face the fact she was having a baby. We've all read about women who go into the hospital for stomach pains and are actually in labor. I suppose there was a lot more reason for being in total denial back then, too. Looked like she wasn't going to keep it. Wouldn't even hold it. Seemed in total shock. And she had just been promoted--a women--to junior copywriter!! Wow! Some of the storylines are sooo good!

The other storyline, that was so interesting to me, was the perfect wife, Betty. She wants more from life. Had been going to this psychiatrist (one of the ones who never talk) because she had been having episodes where her hands would shake terribly--had crashed the car into a bird bath in somebody's front yard. Found out her husband was secretly calling the shrink to find out what she was saying in her sessions!!! She and her husband Don never confront each other. So what does she do? She goes to her usual psychiatrist appointment and talks about how she knows her husband cheats on her! Knowing full well the psychiatrist will tell hubby, Don. Sneaky! But very smart! Hubby can't bring it up without revealing what he's been up to--and she is stirring the pot to see what he will do.

I suppose I find the show so fascinating because I was growing up during this time period. They said they will get more into the 60s in future shows, of course. I was just a kid in 1960 (born in 1951) but I remember those cheerful Kennedy Ads--was the first election I actually remember. Most everybody who lived back then remembers where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was shot a few years later. I'd love to see this show on for many years! I want to see Women's Liberation hit that office and a few of those marriages--hehe!

Well, that's it for Mad Men for me for a while. Those of you who have cable can watch it on AMC. They must be showing season two? Or they already showed half of it before the writer's strike or something. I googled it and it looked like they have showed six episodes of season two?

It was supposed to get up to 90 yesterday. I'm not sure if it did. Never checked the weather report. Supposed to be the same today. Just been closed up with the AC on all night and day over here. Summer is back for a bit.

I went back and looked on the AMC sight online--curiosity. It looks like they are running a marathon of six episodes tonight! Must have gotten half a season done before the writer's strike and this might be a catch-up before they show more new ones in September? As long as they are still on, I'm happy.

Cable channels have really been doing the best work lately. Almost makes me want to get cable again....but I'd have way less money to buy my art & craft supplies again. :( It's about $50-60 a month up here in Fargo. That's why I have Netflix, I guess--hehe!

Well, today? I am back to the old X-Files shows. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008


These are especially for you, Mary Lou!
Relaxed Karma!
I woke her up...big yawn!
And here's the ultimate lazy face and ear cleaning!

She didn't even sit up! hehehe!
Yes! Karma sleeps like a rock and is so totally relaxed these days. I sleep better, too, now that screechy, unhappy Gracie is gone. She has a boyfriend bird. We are all happier!

Well, I finished painting the first tracing yesterday.

I messed up the two orange flowers on the right. Overworked them and had a hard time getting the right color--mixing colors is new for me. Turned out okay, I guess. I should improve, right? :)
This is going to be the next one I work on.
Here's the traced ink drawing.
I even cleaned my palette off this time.
I know a lot of artist's leave the palette alone, but I found it distracting. Maybe now that I am painting similar paintings and using similar colors...???
In the evenings Karma loves to watch her KidTV.

If she could talk....hehehe!
Well, she does talk--a lot. I just don't understand her half the time--which I am sure she considers a monumental failing on my part. She, herself, is quite fluent in human English, after all.
Well, supposed to go from mid-50s to 90 degrees today! I've been watching Mad Men, of course. I love the attention to detail on this show! On one of the bonus featurettes they talked about how they actually borrow artifacts from relatives for props--and they are treated like the Hope diamond--hehe! How they were going to have a spring scene where the kids were playing with an Etch-A-Sketch in the back seat of the car, but they weren't on the market until the summer so they didn't include the Etch-A-Sketch. The women wear the girdles and garters and the pointy bras--hehe!
The new girl in the Mad Men office has gotten herself pregnant. (Apparently the doctor didn't tell her that birth control pills don't work instantly--or maybe they were so new that they didn't know how they worked?) She is having to hide her pregnancy and I am wondering what will happen to her and this baby. She is clever--the men actually deliberately stole an idea of hers--and she would love to have one of their jobs, I think. Would be a shame to see what she wanted for her life probably ruined over this mistake--but that happened all the time.
When I graduated in 1968--we actually had a junior who was obviously pregnant and not expelled. That was a first, as far as I know, at Fridley High. The girls had to hide their pregnancies--if you showed, you were expelled. Those were the rules that I grew up with. So, as I watch this poor girl/young woman, it brings me back to those times. Women used to have very little control over their bodies. No wonder Women's Lib followed quickly on the heels of birth control! :) Talk about independence and freedom! It scared a lot of the men, that's for sure. I wonder if they will have that reaction in the show? Most likely--these guys are basically quite chauvinistic. It was the times--accepted as fact.
Oh--I am seeing french rolls and curls on the sides of the face. Not the plastered down spit curls, but close. And not the damaged, ratted hair--yet. But they have that beehive shaped hair occasionally--hehe! :)
Well, back to painting and Mad Men...

Friday, August 29, 2008


Got out the big plastic palette (Holbein paints) and set up to work on the Flower & Bird Paintings I had traced and inked. Not mine--found them online someplace several years ago.

I have ten of them to color.

This is good practice for learning how to mix colors and layer. The first two I had done just with a watercolor brush and Lyra watercolor crayons. No blending--just used the colors I had.

I haven't had brush in hand for quite a while--it felt good to be challenging myself again. I do not feel comfortable holding a brush like I do a pen, that's for sure. Feels awkward--but a little less alien every time.
I'm still having troubles occasionally with the color on this digital camera. I get pink or brown--this time almost a golden color--over all or part of the picture. But I did get this shot of Miss Karma sleeping in another strange position--hehe!

She left shortly after I bothered her--chuckle!

I finished Psyche season one yesterday. I have the rest of Mad Men season one here now to watch from Netflix, so I just have to watch that next, of course--hehe! After that, I'll start the Gilmore Girls. :)

I plan to keep puttering away on the flower & bird paintings. I paint a little, let it dry, go back, and paint a little more. It is SO wonderful to sit at the table with the windows open and feel the crisp breeze and the warm sun. I just love fall!! I find myself singing to Karma and humming to myself--ahhh!

I hope you have a singing, humming day, too!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


We had a lazy fall day yesterday! I finished watching The Princess Diaries and started watching season one of Psyche...

...wrote a couple of letters... a little...
...and Miss Karma slept 80% of her day. Oh, the life of a contented cat--hehe! :)
The man with the stilty things on--I think he was painting the ceiling downstairs in the entry lounge area. Aha! Saw painting supplies and a drop cloth set up yesterday. It was over lunchtime, so nobody was there at the time. But--mystery solved--hehe!
Cloudy morning--but it is supposed to clear up. May be another quiet day watching DVDs mostly? I think I am just revelling in all that I have actually finished the past couple of months--ahhh!--before I start the next big project. :):)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Caroline forgot The Princess Diaries DVD when she came to clean and said she might stop back before class with it. Well, shock! Look what a stack she brought me to watch and a book to read! What a surprise!! She is so sweet!
First season of Psych (I had started to watch that when I still had cable), Burn Notice (had never heard of it until Caroline mentioned the show), House (I never saw the beginning of the show, just a few here and there), and Gilmore Girls (I remember Denise loved that show, so I'm glad to be able to finally see it). I am sure the sebsequent seasons of any of these I want to follow up on will be on Netflix. And Caroline said she has all the seasons of the Gilmore Girls! I think this will keep me really busy, don't you? I doubt I will be able to get thru all of them before Caroline comes back in two weeks--hehe! Between these and Mad Men, X-Files, and movies on Netflix...I won't have time to blog--hehe! :)

Karma has always curled her feet and tail like this quite often while she sleeps since she was a kitten. I don't know why I find it so amusing, but I do. She just plain looks silly to me--hehe!

Okay--here she is more serious. Watching a very strange sight...

...a workman walking across the parking lot and into the building...

...up on those stilt-like lifts! (You can click on the pictures to see him better.)

Definitely not something you see every day. They must have been fixing something in the garages? That is where they came from. ??

Another plant (besides the cat grass) I am going to continue to dry for making handmade paper...

...the aquarium plant that will not stop growing. It covers the top of the tank and blocks the light for the rest of the plants. The cool thing is that it stays green, like the grass does, when it is dry. Very tough, tho. I'll have to cut it into little pieces to add it to the pulp.

I have to lay it on the counter on the side of the kitchen where Karma is too fat to jump all the way up on the counter--hehe! She eats this stuff right up, I discovered, if I leave it anywhere where she can reach it. I forgot and left some (more than this time!) lying on some newspaper on the floor by the aquarium one time. Next morning--all gone. Every last little speck of it! And yet she won't eat cat food with slices or big chunks in it--just licks the gravy off of it. Silly cat! :)

We had rain last night, but it is a beautiful green morning. And the wind has died down!! Hurray! It was so windy yesterday that the cement building shook with the gusts (40mph). Ah--life in North Dakota--hehe!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I did read quite a bit yesterday--and washed clothes. Beautiful day! If I got up for a short break, Karma waited on the ottoman for me to come back. She sits between my feet. (And doesn't leave me a lot of room--hehe!) I caught her here, just about to scratch her neck.
But if it was going to be a longer break and I took my coffee, book, and prop-pillow with me...

...she immediately took the chair.

Donn, from the Chinese Brush Painting online group, had asked me how I made the bookcards and if he could buy one. I just sent him one. One of the bookcards that happened to have the green paper inside with the faint stripes on it. Donn used it for painting!

I never would have thought to use a bookcard to draw or paint in--hehe! He loved the green paper and said it didn't bleed through using the brush pen--wanted to know where to get it. Was just colored business paper I got at Office Max. So, I decided to send him a little surprise! This bookcard has a handmade paper cover--made from a green flier from the office here and some of Karma's cat grass--hehe!

I crammed in as many sheets as I could, used the cradle and awl to poke the holes--but there were so many sheets some of them slipped a bit, so they are not all lined up perfectly. Sorry, Donn.

There were 26 little pages, one side. He already got it in the mail, so I can post pictures. Says he might paint on the cover, too. :)

Anyways, today is VERY windy and coming my direction. I thought it was going to knock the lamps over on the table, so I had to close the living room windows--just those. I will probably crack them open later. It is still pretty chilly at the moment. The wind is pounding against the building. Even too windy for the swallows to play this morning.

Caroline comes today around noon! I already have the trash gathered up into one big bag. Just have to pick up the cat toys and anything else I want off the floor for vacuuming. :) It is great to be on days!

It's a nice day, too, so Caroline should be able to vacuum out on the porch today. We've been waiting for a nice day when the apartment was already open, you know? Not raining or 90 degrees out--hehe!

Not sure what I will do today...? :)

Monday, August 25, 2008


While I watched TV yesterday I sewed the other 23 bookcards together. Just used the white embroidery thread for all of them. Takes less time--no thinking involved--hehe!

I can't get over the beautiful fall weather! Warm enough during the day, but not hot--and chilly at night so you have to snuggle under the covers to keep warm---ahhhh! Perfect weather for me! There's been no rain so I have been able to keep all the windows open, day and night, for several days. Love reading on the porch in nice weather, so I finished off a book I had been working on for weeks. Been sleeping so well, too. Nice! Nice!
My next book is Cry, The Beloved Country. Who knows, I may spend the day washing clothes and reading? I haven't been reading much for quite some time--and the weather is absolutely perfect! :)
At this rate, I'll have to switch and get my winter clothes out pretty soon. Good thing I always keep a sweatshirt handy year round--hehe! I am a Minnesotan born and raised, after all. And now I live in Fargo, of all places--hehe! Sweatshirts can be needed any time of year. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Been gorgeous fall weather the last couple of days!!

I am having such a hoot watching Mad Men!! 1960. Men wearing hats, opening cans on both sides with that triangular opener, plaid wallpaper, the first Volkswagons with their funny ads (I remember"think small"), tie clips, cuff links, button down shirts, the banned book Lady Chatterly's Lover (I read it in high school), elevator attendants, horn-rimmed glasses, ladies wearing gloves, those hard purses with the metal clasps on top, peter pan collars, plastic radios, those huge consoles that opened from the top with a turntable and radio inside, kitchen gloves to wash dishes, pop in glass bottles, and electric percolating coffeepots (no more boiling on the stove in the glass pot or a metal pot).
They were obviously well-to-do. They had a motion picture camera without the big bright lights on it!
Polio and the new vaccine. Women could drink while they were pregnant. The second older frig in the garage or basement. (I think my folks still have a second frig in their shed.) Walking just for the sake of walking was weird. Women who wore slacks out in pubic were modern--and a little suspect. Divorced women were feared by the married women and hit on by the men. Getting married, for a man, meant he'd have dinner waiting for him when he got home from work.
I wonder when they started ratting their hair? And wearing those french rolls, that bouffant bubble hair, and the flips? I had a babysitter who wore spit-curls on her forehead and cheeks in the late fifties. She wet them with Dippity Do and taped them down flat with this pink hair tape. Marcella was so stylish! I tried to sneak and use her eyelash curler--pulled half my eyelashes out and my eyelid swelled up! hehe!
As you can tell--I am having a fun time watching Mad Men. I am sure glad women aren't trapped in those girdles, nylons, and heels anymore! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday-8:45am-Cogitation on being born mid-century

Was a nice quiet day yesterday. So cool last night (50s) I slept with the windows open and the fan on in the bedroom window. Too chilly for Karma. She didn't come in to sleep with me on the bed--hehe! I never could do this with a bird in the house. :)

I did get the first DVD of Mad Man and found it really interesting! It's at that time before Women's Lib, but slowly leaving the 50's. I can remember in Home Economics in Junior High being taught about dating and married life. We were told that when we were on a date not to talk about ourselves and to find out what he was interested in. Let him talk about himself and his interests--even if they didn't interest you at all, act interested in everything he says. Flatter him--make him feel important--and he may notice you and pay you a compliment one day. We were trained to be "helpmates" in our husband's careers.

I can remember we had this big assignment about family budgeting. We planned out a monthly budget--with his bigger salary and your smaller one, if you so chose to work until you had children to help out with the furnishing of the house, etc. It was reccomended. To ease your husband's burden. You could even put away clothing and neccessities for the baby in your hope chest.

Yes--we were encouraged to buy a hope chest. They even took our home ec class on a field trip to United Furniture Showrooms and we were each given a sample chest from Lane. I still have mine. Lost the key years ago.

Aha! thanks to Jennifer letting me know I can ad pictures after the fact in's my Lane chest!

Anyways, then after that we had to readjust the monthly budget for after we got pregnant. Now the one larger income had to take care of you and the baby. We were taught how to cut corners so that your husband wouldn't notice and feel the difference in income much. (Heaven forbid he feel tied down by a family!) And he wouldn't if you had originally kept your small income aside for furnishings, small appliances, and baby things in the first place and not spent it on nicer clothes for yourself, steaks, and dining out, etc.

We were modern women who could handle a household budget and not need an allowance. Funny--in class--we never got beyond the one baby budget--hehe!

I didn't realize there were contraceptives readily available in 1960? But I was young, naive, and nobody would have talked about them until they came of age to need them--hehe! I graduated in 1968, after all, and back then we still had mostly senior pregnancies--very few--and they were hidden because you could be expelled. Mad Men is set in 1960 and showed that this office girl went to a doctor to get pills to prevent pregnancy--already? Wow! But it seemed like you had to know somebody to tell you which doctor to go to--almost as if they were illegal or not talked about in 1960. Interesting. I was nine--what would I know? I do know they had a place called The Red Door in Minneapolis where girls could go down and get free contraceptives when I was in senior high.

It is funny to see all the women dressed in heels and dresses or skirts with their hair done. That is what it was like, tho. Even when I graduated in 1968 we still had to wear skirts or dresses to school. We had a few designated "slack days"--on days we had home football games--and we had to wear actual slacks and no jeans were allowed. During lunch they had teachers patrol with rulers--the boys for hair over 2 inches on the top of their head--the girls for skirts more than 2 inches off the ground if we got on our knees. I was shy that way anyways, believe it or not, but some of the girls folded up their skirts at their waists an inch or two--they could easily and quickly be let back down--hehe!

Woman working in offices would have had skirts and dresses and high heels. There was a lot of ironing involved! Synthetic materials and pant suits weren't around yet. Women didn't start wearng suit jackets really until Women's Lib came along. I can remember thinking at the time that they looked like men. It was shocking!

And everybody smoked--yes! People smoked in the movie theater, the grocery store, on the bus, in the movies and on TV, at the pool, in the hospitals, in all the restaurants, the doctor's office waiting room, in any of the stores--anywhere and everywhere. Those round metal ashtrays with sand in them stood everyplace, tables everywhere had an ashtray on them, and you saw those heavy portable standing ashtrays in every waiting area. I remember all the ads with the cool people on the beaches and in boats--and the Marlboro Man. I got coupons in my Old Golds--saved up and bought my first coffee pot with them.

As I watch all the people puffing away on the show, I can almost smell it on my clothes and in my hair--and the odor of the butts in an ashtray. Not a nice smell--hehe! But I did love smoking. I am so glad I quit, though. December 6, 1989. My day of freedom from the nicotine god--ha!

Anyways, yes--I am enjoying Mad Men. Makes you soooo glad that things have changed. I remember in jobs how men could make any off color remarks they wanted--being pinched, rubbed, grabbed, and leered at. There was really no recourse back then. Women's Lib allowed us to make smart remarks back or get angry with them--but the men ran the show and were your bosses. It was going to effect your job. All you could do was leave--go find another job. And most of them were pretty much the same. At first I didn't even get the jokes or remarks in the first place. (I still don't always get them right away--hehe!) After while--well, innocent, dumb blonde combined with humor served me well back then--as a way to diffuse men and keep them at a distance. I wasn't ever mean to them. Just wanted to redirect them. They were obviously misguided--hehe!

Yes--it has been interesting watching Mad Men. Seeing the old furnishing, office equipment, clothing, hairstyles, cars, dial phones, the old TVs, etc. Fun! I am glad things have changed. Or I wouldn't be telling you about all this on a computer keyboard--hehe! Have a good one!

Friday, August 22, 2008


While I watched TV yesterday, I sewed together the eighteen bookcards that I had punched holes in Wednesday with Mom. And little by little I punched the rest of the stack (the ones that are laid open). I might do some more sewing today.

Here's the stack with the holes punched and ready to be sewn.

Here's the stack I sewed together. I'm already writing in one--I was out, remember--hehe!

Was a strange day with the workmen...

...but I certainly hope my bedroom window won't leak anymore? They seemed to be replacing siding. Talk about some loud pounding! Karma was fascinated, but scared of them. Watched them from way back close to the hallway all day--so she could make a quick run for under the bed if the need arose.

Today is dark and looks like rain. Says "widely scattered showers or thunderstorms this morning"--well, looks like we might be one of the widely scattered--hehe!

I finished the last season of The Wire. Excellent, as usual. Was sad that it had to end. Not many shows like that around. Hated to see Omar die, but I suppose it was inevitable--live by the sword... Loved to see a clean Bubbles upstairs eating dinner with his sister and her child--and Lester at home with his wife making his miniatures. I doubt McNulty would continue to stay out of trouble, but one can hope! Wonderful show.

I watched a movie called The Life Before Her Eyes:

As the 15th anniversary of a tragic high school shooting approaches, Diana (Uma Thurman) flashes back to a time when her teenage self (Evan Rachel Wood) and best friend, Maureen (Eva Amurri), dreamed of leaving their small town. As she relives the events surrounding the tragedy, drifting between past and present, Diana wonders if she can live with the choice she made that changed their lives forever.

I didn't like it. Not that the acting wasn't really good--it was the storyline, editing, music, etc--missed the boat, as far as I'm concerned. When you read the above synopsis and watch the movie played out as a flashback until the last few minutes--well, maybe I am dumb, but I totally missed the "twist" that it was actually a flash forward and nothing that you had thought was in the present had actually ever even happened at all?? I peeked at one of the specials and that is how I found out the movie was supposed to have a twist like The Sixth Sense.

Sorry--not for me. I loved The Sixth Sense and "got" the twist. In this movie I just thought the grown woman was losing her mind because of the past and that everything was left hanging at the end of the movie--unresolved. I did not think the concept was interesting enough to go back and watch it again after I discovered there had been a twist. If a person was dreaming a "perfect life" right before they died, why would you envision your child being unhappy and then lost (especially if you had just had an abortion) and your future husband cheating on you? Duh! Other people loved it--it's rated as a five star movie on Netflix--I didn't. And I don't feel too badly letting anyone know there is a twist, because you might actually like it better if you already know.

Meanwhile, I am watching The X Files, season two. Some episodes are better than others--kind of like when we used to watch the Twilight Zone or even Star Trek. :) I have enjoyed them all so far.

I'm supposed to get the first DVD of Mad Men today.

It's 1960, and ad executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) rules the roost at New York's Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency in this Emmy-nominated drama. Living a glamorous existence of never-ending cocktail hours, worry-free smoking and ego-stroking power, ladies' man Draper makes numerous conquests both at work and in his personal life. But the world is beginning to change, and Draper will have to use all his smarts to stay one step ahead of the game.

Mad Men is shown on some cable channel, but I can't remember which one--doesn't say. Since I was a nine years old in 1960, I thought it would be interesting to see a show set back then. The show has gotten such good reviews, too.

Well, I feel like a balloon with no air today. Probably will be a quiet day. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The workmen arrive at 7:30-8am and start pounding. Good thing I have been on days--hehe! No problem.

They are even replacing siding on the building--have two of these contraptions going now.

Mom and Dad arrived and we hung out all afternoon. Mom helped me with bookcards--folded paper for me. Dad played solitaire on the computer--one of his favorite pastimes.

Leah came over about 4pm. They followed her to the motel--dropped off Dad's car--and then went over to give them the tour of their new townhouse. When Dagan got home from work they all came back here. We ordered from Pita Pit for dinner. Was really good! (I had never had a pita before.) Here's Mom finishing hers--(she'll be 80 next February).

My dad--(he'll be 88 this November).


Leah. (Watching Dagan be silly--hehe!)

Leah snapped a picture of all of us.

Dagan and Leah dropped Grandma and Grandpa off at the motel and went to help Chuck and Michal unload furniture, etc, into a storage area. The day went fast and I was in bed early. Very sore today--took a pain pill yesterday and was at the table too long--but was worth it. Had a very nice day! :) Won't be long and my folks will be heading back down to Florida for the winter. Was nice to see them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Good Morning!
We have a mom in the building who always wears the long skirts to her ankles--usually denim like this one. She is such a good mom. She is one of the only moms who is actually out with her child at the playground. (It says in the rules for the complex that the children are supposed to be supervised.) She was out playing soccer/kickball with her son at 7am.

Another bright day. Supposed to be close to 90 degrees and very windy.
The workmen are moving their beeping machinery over so they can climb around and pound on the roof again today. They must have done an awfully poor job of putting this complex together if they have had to do all these repairs on buildings that are only about five years old now. They've had repairs off and on since I moved in back in 2005. Likely cut corners--and it is costing the construction company more in the long run--duh!
Have the windows open briefly--it's 67 degrees. Been so much cooler at night that I open the windows in the morning for a couple of hours.
My folks are coming this to get moving, I guess. :)
Have a great day!