Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well, it looks pretty dreadful out there.
Pretty much white-out conditions.
And we're not even getting the worst of it or as bad as they expected, but it is still coming down. Or should I say across.
Interstate 29 is closed from Fargo to Watertown, SD. I heard down by Minneapolis there were areas that had a bad ice storm first! Nasty! Around the area there are places that have been dumped on pretty heavily, but Fargo-Moorhead itself hasn't gotten the 5-6 inches they thought we'd have by the crack of grey sky. We only had 2 inches (3 by now). We are a bit farther to the edge of the storm front than they expected.
Look at the snow hanging out and over the garage roof this morning! Wow! The wind wasn't aimed in our direction, so we didn't get much snow into the porch for Karma. She went out to look this morning and wasn't too interested in trying it again. Not enough new snow to be worth her trouble, I guess.
I had to crank up the heat yesterday when the cold wind kicked in. Karma disappeared. Found her next to the heat vent snoozing in her cat stroller--LOL!
Pretty warm place to sleep all afternoon.
Right now up here on third floor I can look across the room and all I can see out my window is white. Looks like we should get a couple more inches at least...depending on when this storm lets up. There are school closings and travel warnings. I wonder if Dagan and Leah will go to work today? I am so glad I cancelled the dentist appointment!! Rescheduled everything for Wednesday, March 14th. Good day to be inside with a fat, sleepy cat. ;)
I spent yesterday catching up online (almost 20 of the blogs I follow still have WV--bummer), working on letters owed, and washing clothes. Today I'd best start on budget, bills, groceries, and the fun orders I want to make for March. ;)
There have been tornadoes down south, too! Prayers and hugs for whoever needs them. May you all be safe this Leap Day. :)
I'd say those winds of grace have been really blasting us lately!
"The winds of grace blow all the time.
All we need to do is set our sails."
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Monday, February 27, 2012


Thought I'd give you a touch of green first--LOL!
Karma peeking from behind her grass jungle. :)
We had a blizzard hit this weekend.
Hard wind and snow.
The wind was coming our direction so that the porch got some actual snow accumulation for the first time this winter.
Karma was delighted! Begged to go out, of course. Here she is doing her foot shaking walk across the snow to get under the chair where it was dry...
...and she could sit in comfort and lick snow for a few minutes...
...until the below zero windchill forced her back inside.
It was good "footprint" snow this time. That other "dusting" we got this winter barely stuck to her feet. This time she drug in some good sized footprints to quickly turn around and gobble up.
I took these pictures in the afternoon when the snow was letting up. I love when the snow drifts and hangs out over the rooftops.
The wind was blowing like crazy so the drifting is mostly up against my building underneath me. Actually cleaned off parts of the parking lot and the vehicles--but you can see the snow hiding...
...from the wind behind the cars--LOL!
I guess the driving has been horrible. Even the Interstates were slick with ice and drifting snow and visibility is always terrible in a blizzard, of course.
I actually put on the news this morning and there's another blizzard expected to come through Tuesday and Wednesday. I guess I'm glad that I'm not going to be the one driving on Wednesday morning to the dentist. Depending on the blizzard, I may or may not be even able to make it there at all. They're slow to plow us out here and I wouldn't want the Senior Ride van to get stuck out there. If it looks bad and hasn't been plowed yet I'd call and tell them not to try our parking lot. (We often get people stuck out there.)
Time will tell.
Karma has been thrilled with the snow. (Me, too!!) She'd been out five times before I went to bed yesterday afternoon as you can see by all the cat tracks on the porch--LOL! She'd make a trip out under one of the chairs, come in all cold, eat her footprints, and then snuggle up in her cat bed for a brief nap...wake...repeat. Silly, but happy, cat!
Me--I finally just collapsed. Went to sleep at 3:30pm and was up at 4am this morning! Only up five times, too! Hurray! I really, really needed sleep soooo badly! :)
Okay, after I last talked to you, the saga of the malware warnings continued. :( Even though the warning was gone if you used Internet Explorer or Safari--I found out it was still showing up on Chrome or Firefox. So, I was still afraid to do much of anything on my computer.
Even though there was no more warning on the major servers, I just didn't want to push it and take the chance of causing anybody else any computer troubles, ya know. I removed the current blog post roll on the side of my blog. Then I emailed Dagan for help--wanted to make sure I hadn't gotten something on my laptop, ya know?
Dagan and Leah stopped by briefly on Saturday night and Dagan started up a scan of my laptop for me. That takes a long time, but it was clean and bug free!! I also got an email from Cindy saying her blog was cleared up. Wasn't just her blog, either! Her server was attacked! And then my BFF Ruby said she wasn't getting the warning anymore (Firefox). Finally--free and clear on all fronts--TaDa!
But I was going on 3 hours of interrupted sleep again yesterday and was waaay too tired to even think about beginning to catch up in blogland or with my emails. I'm still tired, to be perfectly honest--LOL! But I hope to at least begin today now.
I have missed you all!
I hope this sleep-a-thon has gotten me around to days. It's a quieter morning up here--for today anyways. Until tomorrow afternoon they're saying. Be just enough time to clean off the roads from this blizzard before the next one arrives. It's cold--7 degrees and -17 wind chill. Roads are dangerously slick. So, anyone from up around here, drive very carefully this morning. Have a really good Monday, everybody!! :):)
"Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu."
(A person is a person because of other people.)
African Proverb

Friday, February 24, 2012


Hard to capture a sunrise lately on these dark days.
There has to be a break in the cloud cover right along the horizon.
There are only a precious few minutes before the sun, in all its orange and gold glory, inches up over the horizon...
...into the cloud blanket...and the dark, slate grey day begins.
Well, I had quite the day today. Three people let me know that I had a huge warning on my blog as of some time Thursday night telling people to enter my blog at their own risk because they might get malware because of an Australian website connected to my blog--something to that effect.
Now, I have to say that I know this lady would never knowingly spread malware. It's a personal website of a lovely woman named Cindy who's an artist and teacher. It took about four hours with a Blogger help tech guy--waiting for responses and then trying to figure out what he was telling me (not much detail for the computer semi-literate, I tell you), but we finally cleared my blog of the huge warning sign. Sadly, the only way I could do that was to delete Cindy as a follower--which I didn't want to do. I believe the malware was on a her old website (where the last message was the address of her new site) but Blogger would not free me of the warning sign until I had deleted them both. :(
I'm sorry, Cindy! I didn't realize I was still even following your old website and apparently Blogger thinks your new website isn't safe, either. ?? I hope you can get the problem fixed and we can hook up again later. I tried to email you, but haven't heard back yet. I'm not even sure if you can or should email or not until the problem is fixed because I don't know how these things work. I would miss you and seeing what your talented students produce, too. I don't mean to be rude, but please don't comment yet on my blog until you're in the clear because I might get the warning again. Email me if you can, okay?
Karma snoozed through my long dilemma--LOL!
The only extra thing I did since I last wrote was play around in the pantry. I say "play" because this is probably not what will actually be in those many baskets (except for the cat food cans. I know I want those in there). I just started testing to see what would fit and what wouldn't (they are not very deep) and the next thing I knew I had filled them up. Decided to leave them like this for a while to see if they will sag at all with the heavier goods and because I have to feel up to completely emptying the pantry. I want a total cleaning and reorganizing...been years since I've done a complete overhaul...and I'm not up to that right now.
Anyways, yes! Caroline did a double take and scooted over to look. She thought the basket shelves were pretty cool. And, yes--I was in my robe with slitted eyes. Caroline even went down and collected my mail for me. I've still been sleeping evenings and not usually sleeping very long. I had one night I slept eight hours since this started. Usually 4-5 hours, which is nowhere near enough since I got fibro and can't just push through like I used to do all the time. So, playing in the pantry is about it. The only thing I have accomplished beyond the daily normal have-to-do stuff. ;)
Let's see...oh, the sewing machine! The guy called and told me it was a bad needle. Huh? Say what? He told me the needle was bent and I could pick up the machine any time and it was only $1.07 for the new needle. I was speechless...and suspicious...but, being the typical Midwesterner, just said in a halting voice..."Okay, I'll let my DIL know". But geez!??
You may remember I told you how the stitch sample was in cream colored thread and there was black thread on the machine when I got it back. So. Does this mean that after he was done testing my machine he switched from cream thread to the black thread and actually bent the needle in the process? None of this makes logical sense. Why wouldn't you just have used the black thread that was on the machine in the first place? And how rough could this guy be to, while re-threading with the black, bend a needle that had seconds ago performed just fine according to the cream stitching sample? The needle could not have bent itself while sitting inside of the case after it left his shop. I didn't bend it. Hummm...I am skeptical. I don't mean to cast aspersions, but it appears to me the man might well have been covering his behind.
And then--to charge me for the needle! After paying him, what was it...45 or 47 dollars to have it tuned up, cleaned, oiled, and ready to go? Nothing needed fixing, he made no repairs, and it had worked perfectly last time I used it. Well, if I ever do need repairs on my old faithful...I think I might bring it someplace else. Sad because being associated with a quilting store--they're normally the best. And he is a busy man. Hey--shudder--does that mean that maybe there's nobody else in town as good as he is? Who knows? Hopefully I won't have to worry about it and my machine will run another 37 years without a check up. (I can't believe the original belt was still good!?)
Okay--enough sewing machine talk. I'll find out when it gets back here again--but it had better work like a charm, right?! ;)
I'm going to try and remember to use this largest font so that, hopefully, on her good eye days Melynda can read my blog again. Hi, Melynda! :):)
I guess that's enough for today. I didn't go near blogland when all the malware stuff was going on. And then I spent way too much time at the computer so that, by the time that was all fixed, I was too sore to be on it any longer. Slept 5 hours and up the same day. No wonder I'm feeling off kilter--LOL!
I'll gradually catch up with you all! The very thought that I could have lost my blog...well, it shook me. Startled me as to how bereft I felt at the thought of losing all of you!! I was confident that this would be fixed somehow, but in that moment...
I want to thank each and every one of you...the ones who comment faithfully...and the ones who are occasional commenters...and the ones who read and never comment. You all brighten my days. Your kindness and generosity and empathy...that you share some of your time with me...I am honored. You make me smile just to think of you. I hope we stay connected. I know I would have been okay, of course, after I got over the shock...but I would have missed you...a lot!!
I thank the terse Blogger tech, too. ;)
Talk again soon!! :):):)
"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world."
Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The last two days (or evenings, I should say) I have only gotten a restless 6 and 4 hours of sleep. I already emailed Dagan ad Leah to tell them that, unless they hear otherwise, I have to cancel Wednesday night. I am not sure how I'm going to stay awake while Caroline is here. Probably be one of the rare days I'll be greeting her tonight (...tomorrow?...what day is it?) at the door in my robe. ;) Such is life. My life, anyways--LOL!
Karma takes it all with a grain of salt. As long as I am functional enough to feed her, talk to her, and give her some lovin'...all's right with her world. ;)
A couple days ago I tried filling a converter with some of this Parker turquoise ink that was Leah's mother's. It's the very bottom dredges, as you can see. I discovered it has become so thick and grainy that it doesn't even flow well in a fountain pen anymore at all--keeps plugging and skipping--so I decided to drip some on a damp page spread in my little art journal.
I also dripped some of the silver ink I got from Tori, too. As you can see, that didn't spread much at all. I had to tip the journal around to move the silver, but it is shimmery. Reminds me of pictures taken from high above the earth for some reason. Anyways, felt good to play with another background spread. :)
We did finally get a little snow!
Here's a before picture where it was almost melted away...
...before I went to bed in the afternoon while it was snowing...
...and after it was done. Doesn't look like too much. The mail lady told me she heard 3.5 inches but we both agreed it didn't look like that much at all. Probably because it is still bouncing in and out of melting weather out there.
Why did I see the mail lady? :) My Amazon order arrived this afternoon. I'd been trying to sleep for half an hour--to no avail--so I didn't mind getting up and getting dressed to go down and get the package. Especially because I knew the melatonin was in that little box...
...and the set of pretty (non white, sport-type) socks. ;)
Well, I took one of the triple strength melatonin capsules. And slept four hours. Woke up with the same headache I've had for two days. :( Better luck next time, eh? I'll keep trying it when I am not sleeping well, like now. Can't hurt...I don't think.
The cat grass planter is jungle length now. Karma is so happy. I am happy that she can't pull out as much of the grass, too. Normally it lasts for a few weeks and then gradually dies off. Not sure if it is supposed to or I just give it too much water or not enough. I've tried trimming it and leaving it be. I suppose since it is actually barley & oat seeds and the like that it just isn't meant to flourish in a little pot?
It's worth the trouble to watch Karma contentedly graze--LOL! I've had cats who weren't interested at all in the cat grass. I suppose it's kind of like catnip where some cats love it and some could care less. Karma is so-so with the catnip...but the cat grass...she loves it and keeps going back off and and night. Of course that could be because she knows it only lasts for just so long. That makes it a really special treat. ;)
Well, I am still having strange things happen with google & blogger. I didn't change any settings at all and yet suddenly several days ago I started getting double emails for every comment. One is the black and white normal font and the duplicate is in a purple font. ??? I don't think it is doing anything else strange, but who knows? Has anyone else had this happen?
I had a Russian (?) man sign up as a follower at the same time this started happening. He had no blog of his own and there was nothing written in English about him and he has never commented, so I found it suspicious. Also, at that same time, I started getting emails about anonymous blog comments (obvious spam) which never went through my approval first in blogger. They just slipped directly into my emails...and are in Russian (or whatever language it is) and are selling something. I have been catching them. Yesterday I blocked that follower and we'll see if that stops the spam attempts. I have never blocked a follower.
I felt guilty.
Something else I feel bad about...the new double word verification. I absolutely hate it! I have been struggling to deal with it on so many blogs I follow. I really do hate to quit commenting ...but...this new word verification is driving me crazy! With my nearsightedness and the pain I get in my back and shoulders in the first place and then having to lean way forward to try to decipher the secret code to prove I'm not a robot...and getting it wrong most of the time...and often more than once...well, I have decided to skip commenting on those blogs. And even that decision is so annoying because I don't know (or can't remember) who has it until I have already taken the time to make a comment and clicked to post it. Argg!
So, I feel very badly about it but I am going to make a list of who has the crazy word verification and keep it right next to my laptop. That way I can still remain a follower and read the posts...but I will know which blogs not to comment on anymore. I have never understood why some people have word verification AND comment approval in the first place, but people can do whatever they want to. I am just saying that the old word verification was annoying but it was rare for me to get it wrong so it didn't take all that much extra effort. This new anti-robot version is just too difficult for me to deal with. To the point that if blogger ever forces us all to go with the new blogger version and we can't remove the word verification I will either quit blogging altogether or have to move to someplace else like WordPress.
With my limited productive hours each day...knowing I already spend too much time online...after the fifth time of being rejected after having written a long comment yesterday...I actually cried. Please...please...think about removing word verification. And, if I don't comment on your blog any more because of this...don't take it personally. Please come and visit me, anyways, okay? My blog family has always been such a scattering of light throughout my are all so special to me...if we are ever forced to use this ridiculous version...I would be heartsick to leave you all.
Okay. Enough said.
There are many, many bloggers very upset over this.
Let's hope google/blogger hears us and listens to us.
Think positive, right? :)
Meanwhile...4 hours of sleep...zombie-ish...obviously not up to dealing with word verification at all tonight--LOL! I think I'll watch a movie or catch up on some recorded TV shows. Karma is out like a light next to me snuggled in her cat bed. The building has gone into nighttime quiet after midnight here. I feel badly that I was washing clothes till 3am last night. I really hope I didn't interrupt anybody's sleep. I'll be extra quiet tonight. ;)
Have a great Wednesday!
I was just thinking how I'm so grateful to have Caroline. Can you imagine how thick the dust would be and how bad my bathroom and my floors would look? She's a blessing. And she won't even care if I greet her yawning in my robe with slitted eyes.
Life is good! :):)
"Hold a true friend with both hands."
Nigerian Proverb

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Good Morning!
Yah...just got up a 9:30pm. I'm not positive which day I took these morning pictures, but I think this was Friday.
You could see the crescent moon so plainly as the sky was lighting up.
I finally started feeling more back to "my" normal yesterday. Ahhh! :)
What do Karma and I do during those long quiet nights watching movies and TV shows?
Most of the time Karma sleeps in her cat bed next to me...
...or lets me know she wants some lovin' up.
But then...
I noticed Karma had been gone from her cat bed for a long time. Discovered her sitting on the box "steps" in the dark. I used the flash but, I assure you, if I hadn't you could barely have seen her in the dark over there spying on me. As soon as I "spied" her she indicated that she was thinking break the rules thoughts...
...climbed up to the top "step" and started smelling the bowl with the peppermint lifesavers, knowing full well that I am watching her every move and that I know how she loves mint.
"What are you up to?" My voice came slow and deep, with a hint of a growl.
Now Karma knows the difference between the "What are you up to?" with the I am watching you so don't push your luck threat voice (because she knows she's not allowed on the kitchen counters even though I know she does so on occasion while I am asleep--just for the thrill--and even though she tries to be extra careful not to touch anything she sometimes catches the scotch brite pad on her fur as she goes up and over the "window" ledge there into the kitchen and I pretend to miss the evidence lying in the sink) and the "GitDown!" angry you'd better move you butt right this second voice.
She couldn't resist the double check to see if I was rising off the couch--LOL!
I hadn't moved yet, so she turned her back to me--to demonstrate her defiant confidence--smelling the land line phone--but kept her ears on alert for any sound of movement on my part.
"Don't you even think about it", I warned her with the one more move and your a$$ is mine voice--knowing that when Karma is thwarted she sometimes swipes things down off offending surfaces with a darting paw.
So, Karma casually turned around and took her time surveying the ceiling and absorbing the high vista before she casually climbed down off the boxes in her own good time...saving face, as cats are want to do.
The evil Queen decided to place the table easel on the top box knowing that the Princess doesn't like to step up on anything unstable because of the high value she places on her well-being. Too many breakables on that end of the shelf up there...and mints. ;)
The following picture was Saturday, I believe. Hard to keep your days straight on these hours. What little ice crusted snow we had left has been melting away with the 30-40 degree days--that are supposed to linger for another few days. Could have snow, too, I guess.
Miss Karma's new batch of grass was finally long enough--and nice and thick this time thanks to AliceKay! She's been grazing happily since Saturday morning.
Caught the sun coming up this morning... it came over the horizon on a cloudy morning.
Karma basked on the carpet in the warm sun--near her grass, of course. Never know what the unreasonable Queen might take away.
Hope you have a wonderful week!!
"The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unpredictable miracle."
Margaret Storm Jameson