Friday, December 14, 2012


I was never so glad to see a pooper scooper!  Isn't this a beauty?!  All metal with a plastic sleeve handle.  This should last forever!  Happy me!  (And happy Karma, I haven't exactly been wanting to clean the cat box as often since the plastic handle snapped off--lol!)
Been like Christmas this week for Miss Karma, too.  Well, that's just her new brown bed to the right, but the dirty old cream colored crate bed or bumper bed went off in the trash and she has a new smaller brown one for her "treat" (diet food) tin.  She loved it right away.  The blue mat to the left is supposed to be self-warming--as she lies there it is supposed to warm up from her body heat, I guess.  But she has to lie on it in order to find this out--and, of course, when you want her to lie on something then Miss I-claim-this-with-my-body won't have anything to do with it.  Yet.  ;)  Maybe I can think of some way to entice her.  
Karma walks quite stiff-legged for a while after she gets up this past year--especially now that it is cold again.  I thought this might work for a fraction of the cost of those heated ones you have to plug in...which I never, ever thought I'd even consider buying for a cat.  But then I've never purchased a cat stroller before, either.  ;)
Karma dove right in to her tin and was comfy as all get out with the cushy brown crate bed, though, so that was a definite and immediate winner. 
I know these items might not be that exciting to somebody else, but I was rapturous!  I got a letter sorter to match the new letter tray I bought previously.  I always have letters going and I use this to hold the envelopes and the bookcards that are in progress and my writing guide stash...priceless!!  I was using an old napkin holder with one slot.  Now I have three and can organize--LOL!  ;) 
I discovered they make really wide masking tape!  I was using three or four strips to cover the spiral binding in my Visual Journals when I paint and spray.  Now maybe I can use one wide strip.  Less leakage!  (Can you hear the joy!)  I also ordered the one StazOn refill that they were out of when I found all those discontinued refills a few months back.  (Never going to buy a new ink pad without the refill again!)
Two more of those perfect containers to hold my laundry soap.  They come with an unmarked plastic handled scoop that holds just a little over a cup--now in my rice and flour containers. 
My ice cube trays are so old they have cracks and have been leaking water all over my freezer so I thought I would try these new silicone trays.  I ordered the smaller one-inch-square red ones to try them out (cheaper than the bigger blue ones).  
I ordered this fun set of Tulip fabric paints because they were on the list of optional supplies for the Silks class.  They weren't expensive and I would never think to buy fabric paint so I was really curious as to what we will do with these. 
Got a set of regular colored Gel Sticks and metallic Gel Sticks.  I've seen mixed-media artists smearing these around to make background colors on youtube videos.  Now that the Christmas cards were all in the mail by Wednesday, I can start thinking about art and playing again!!  
But OCD organizer self was thrilled to pieces and couldn't wait to get my little mitts on my yearly calendar "stuff"!!  This past year I started using an inexpensive Peter Pauper Press journal (on the left) for a weekly "To Do" list. 
Turned out I really liked and have actually been using it for the past ten months.  Maybe because it's small and I can keep it handy right near the craft table.  Anyways, I went through and dated the new one (on the right above) for the whole coming year.   
Then I got a brand new type of desk calendar after using the same bound type since about 1997--so you can see why this is a big deal for me.  ;)  Levenger discontinued their refill calendar a couple of years ago and I had been trying to smash a different brand into the leather holder since then.  This year I went crazy and said--no more!  The old battered red leather holder that I used in my office and then up here when I went to college, dragging it around with me in my backpack, and ever since...will finally be retired.  
I got this spiral one with the same general layout.  Transferred all the birthdays, anniversaries, and information to the appropriate days...filled out the monthly bills section I made in the back for my budgeting...and transferred all the addresses and numbers for all the county, state, and federal folks I deal with endlessly and doctors, etc.   
Then I worked on my new goal list for 2013 (only had 14 left out of 42 from 2012--not bad!) and decided to do something else different that might work better for me.  I cut up the 2013 goal list and taped it into the front pages of my new weekly "To Do" journal.  Now maybe it won't get buried under paperwork on my desk and be forgotten for months at a time--LOL!
But then I tried the new silicone ice cube trays--LOLOL!  Does anybody have the secret as to how to actually fill these and get them into the freezer?!  And I thought I had water problems on the bottom of the freezer because of the old cracked trays!  It is like trying to carry jello!!!  I was dribbling water everywhere!!
So--I pondered--what could I use to brace these little things without taking up a lot of room in the freezer?  I came up with this.
I took pieces of chipboard (from the backs of small legal pads) and covered them completely with clear packing tape to make them as waterproof as possible and they worked quite trays for the trays--LOL!  Sad!  
The idea of the silicone ice cube trays sounded really good, but--and that's a big BUT--in practice they were actually a pain in the butt.  Does anyone have a secret I don't know about as to how to use these?  They were also hard to pop out (of course I have one very weak arm, though) and to fill.  You know how regular ice cube trays kind of have connecting dips so they can overflow into each other and it helps them to level out?  Well these are individual squares.  You have to fill each one separately, it's hard to see if they are each filled, and they are too floppy to tip around to level them out.  I was flummoxed, to be honest.  Maybe it's kind of like the better mouse trap thing?  Switching from the old lever type was good, but maybe there's nothing better than the plastic twisty ones.  *sigh*  Any advice would be appreciated.  Does anyone have favorite ice cube trays that work really well?
Meanwhile--Karma obviously loves her new "food tray".
The very last item to arrive was the big green scoop for the kitty litter.  Yesterday, of course--AFTER Caroline was here on Wednesday and she completely emptied out and I scrubbed Karma's litter tub...and Caroline wiped down the wooden box and then had to lift the whole white plastic tub with 40 pounds of kitty litter in it.  Murphy's Law that it would arrive a day late.  (No the stickers, which bug me, don't come off easily at all--bummer--deal with them later with some goo-gone.)  Karma is finally using some of the new brand I got through Amazon--tada!  We were still very impressed with the lack of dust.  So far, so good! 
Anyways, the scoop was supposed to arrive on Monday, but it somehow ended up in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  Then Tuesday they posted that it would be delivered on Wednesday, but it finally arrived (without change to the Weds. delivery date) on Thursday.  I have noticed a lot of orders that say they are UPS are arriving via USPS in the regular mail.  It actually says "UPS Mail Innovations".  According to my mail lady the "innovation" is that UPS backs a truck up to the post office every morning and unloads a ton of packages for USPS to deliver. ???  What is the deal with that?  I see the big brown UPS truck delivering packages here still?  So it's not that they have quit having UPS carriers up here?  Anybody else know anything about this new "UPS Mail Innovations" that's been going on?  The tracking information is delayed and sometimes non-existent.  The deliveries take longer.  Why is UPS using the regular post office to finish their deliveries?  Even the mail lady didn't know.
Yesterday I caught up with the More Love Letters and will get just one more email now today to finish the 12 day special event.  It got me to thinking about how I used to keep letters...for years and years.  And then my aunt was telling me a few years back about how after clearing out her mother-in-laws house how weird it was going through other people's personal stuff and how we have too much of it...and she was going to clean her basement--LOL!
  Myself, it got me to thinking about stuff I have around my place.  And I thought of the letters people had written to me.  I truly, honestly don't care if people read anything that I wrote, but it got me to thinking about how several of the people I write to aren't necessarily open book types, you know?  They are able to tell me things that they might not tell other people and I am honored that they feel free to tell me absolutely anything--but they certainly wouldn't ever want anyone else but me to read what they wrote, you know?  I wanted them to feel perfectly safe in that they could tell me anything whatsoever and it will never go any further.  Their total privacy and safety is more important to me than whether I can go back and read it years later.  So I started shredding.
 I have one special small drawer where I save my letters.  Every couple of months I go through them one last time and then shred them.  Dagan and Leah know where the drawer is and I made them promise me that if anything ever happened to me that they would shred whatever letters are still in that drawer. 
So anyone who writes to me--past, present, or future--your secrets are safe with me and your privacy is paramount.  :) :)  Just an FYI--because we do talk about everything--LOL!  But I am perfectly fine with you keeping my letters.  Doesn't bother open-book me in the least bit, okay? Just wanted to put that out there.  :)
Then--I have one final bit of amazing news!  (Can this Christmas get any better!?)  Jeannie emailed me and asked me if I wanted her old Kindle!!!  Yes!  Yes!  Thank you so much, Jeannie!!!
Since I hurt my arm in 1995 and have the permanent muscle damage--well, it is harder to hold a book for very long or even to press down the pages to keep it open when it's propped up or on a table.  I've tried book weights and book holders...and just ended up falling out of the habit of reading as much as I used to.  That's the biggest reason I wanted to save up my Christmas money toward buying a Kindle--because I think it could be easier to read again.  :)
You know how old-fashioned I am with pens and papers and inks, so it is no surprise that I love a real book that I can hold and smell and feel the pages as I turn them.  I have an entire personal collection of bookmarks, for goodness sake!!  But I have finally come round to thinking that an electronic book just might actually work for me...and maybe even work well.  And I just might read more again.  ??  That was my plan for 2013.
And then Jeannie offers me her Kindle reader!!
Gosh!  Sometimes lately I feel like my heart is going to explode in my chest or I am going to float right up and away into the sky!!  :):)
  On that note...
...if I could hug you all I would!  I wish you all happiness and joy and peace!!  Have a stunning weekend.  :):)
"One of life's most fulfilling moments occurs in the split-second when the familiar is suddenly transformed into the dazzling aura of the profoundly new."
Edward B. Lindaman


Furry Bottoms said...

A year ago, I would NEVER have considered an e-reader of any kind. I thought I was firmly a paper book kind of gal. However, the last few months... with my attention diverted to doing cross stitching I've found that I've been reading more on the computer or my iphone. This way I can read at work and then continue the story when I get home that day.

Our pets can bring a lot of joy and "mesmerizing" moments to us that other people don't understand. It is nothing short of miraculous.

Have fun with that pooper scooper! :)

Anonymous said...

Was it Billy Dewolfe who used to say, "Busy, busy, busy"? It looks like Santa has already been to your house--even if YOU have to pay the bills!

TexWisGirl said...

karma is too cute. no idea on good ice cube trays.

Queenie Jeannie said...

I'm so happy to hear about all the things that are going RIGHT for you now!!! Can't think of many more humble or deserving!! Big hugs!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I saw that pooper scooper in my sidebar this morning and knew you were going to love it. I was given one for Christmas by my friend Sally one year. I had another friend who had a plastic one, and I would never get one of those. I love my metal one, and you will too!

I never order anything through the mail, so am no help with the USPS thing.

OH wow. I want a set of those fabric paints. They sound awesome. Fabric painting is one of the things on my to-do list for 2013.

I have a couple of art friends who bought those little ice cube trays. BUT, they use them for ICE RESIN. They say they are the perfect size for it and once you mix the resin and pour it into the trays, you can't move the tray. So, I'm not much help there, either, other than to tell you the tool should fit the project (grin).

Have a super week, dear.

Rebag said...

Good Morning Rita...I had to laugh when I peeked in at my blogging list and what did I first see was a pooper scooper pic...Thought to myself Oh this is gonna be good HAHAHAHAHA!

You asked about the silicone trays...I place mine of flat cookie sheets...Was not smart enough to use wood or any thing like that.But works well for me...

Wishing you all the best...stay in and warm..sounds like tonight another Winter storm advisor

Beth said...

I got a pkg that I expected to come delivered by the mail carrier. I asked how come and she said that UPS is dumping all of the smaller pkgs off at the post office.

You and Karma got quite a bunch of Christmas gifts this week.

Dana said...

Love the journal (and anything paper)! I would love to be as organized as you. :)

Happy weekend!

Felicia said...

WOO HOO for early Christmas!! lol I love the litter too! Only thing I started doing is putting a cup of fresh step in it after several weeks if I need it "freshened" up. Only because I had left overs from buying it first. A cup per pan does the trick and no dust is added. LOVE IT! So happy with the litter.

That is some scoop ya got there! Will last and last for sure!!

Calendars. My Favorite Thing In The Whole World! Ok anything office really. Just a junkie for it! Every year I ask for Post It Notes for Christmas I love that stuff so much! Its really an illness! LOL

I bought all the gelato's Joann's had. Why? I Have NO CLUE as I don't paint! But everyone was buying them so duh apparently I needed them too. I have only used the red one so far but I have to say it did work pretty slick. So vibrant. I want to get a set of Inktense pencils to no thanks to youtube who told me at 1am this morning I just had to have them to color my stamps with ( that I dont use either! UGG! ).

Anywhoo love all the goodies. Love the photos of Karma. She just kills me.

You have a SUPER weekend! *hugs* =0)

Janie Junebug said...

You know what I love about you? In addition to everything else about you, it's that you can find delight in small things. It's kinda like the way I feel about my spice drawer being all organized. It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but my spice drawer brings me complete joy. And I'm happy that you're happy with the new scoop. As for the ice cube trays, I've been blessed with a freezer that spits out ice whenever I ask for it. I wonder if you could put those new ice cube trays in the freezer and fill them there, using a cup with water in it. Then you wouldn't have to move them when they're filled with water. I don't have a solution, though, for getting the ice out more easily.


TammyV said...

If you're getting a Kindle reader you must subscribe to A Pixel of Ink newsletter. the reply email is:, but I think you can google the Pixel of Ink name and get the info - tons of really good free books listed daily (good for one day as a rule) along with some "bargains". I have hundres of free books that I have totally enjoyed on my Kindle.

Interesting about the ice trays - mine are old but we don't use them enough for me to worry about them yet. I'll keep your experience in mind, even though I LOVE the color. I could have the color all over my kitchen and be a happy camper!

Great post as always! Thanks for sharing your life!

Serena Lewis said...

I love reading your posts, Rita...always so down to earth and you talk like I'm sitting in the room with you. Love that!

OH joy on all those goodies!!! I think Michelle and Alex use the silicone ice cube trays...will ask them about it for you.

All things Karma are going well, I see...well, hopefully, she'll get used to the warming mat. All in good time for Miss Karma. lol How cute that she loves her new feed bed.

HIP HIP HOORAY on the new pooper-scooper!

I hadn't thought of the letter thing before. I trust that Michelle would know me and what I would expect. I'd say she'd shred too if anything were to happen to me but maybe I will talk to her about itm, just in case. It's probably wise to get Leah or Dagan to shred them. I tend to be a bit of an open book too. Some things I share in letters are probably more of a private nature but I guess I'm not overly worried about it.

Fantastic news on the Kindle! Very giving and thoughtful of Jeannie too...a lovely thing to do. That said, you may want to read the following link - Not to stop you owning one but just so you know that this sort of thing can, and does, happen. Being a book-lover from way back when, I can certainly see a great use for Kindles. I also suffer with carpal tunnel syndrome and find holding books in one position for too long causes my arm to go all pins and needles, and then numb. :( Apparently, you can buy Kindle pillows to rest them on while you read too.

I wish I could hug YOU!!!

Have a blessed and peaceful weekend, my dear friend.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Now that is a deluxe pooper scooper!! You had a blast shopping I can tell! Way to go on the Kindle..there is a facebook site when you can get free books almost every day..I have 50 or 60 of them waiting to be read..I can hoard books on Kindle too:)

SandeeNC said...

Now that's a heck of a pooper scooper, never seen an industralized version! lol I did buy my cat an electric pad, he loved it, I just layed it in his could try that with Karma's. Looks like you've already had Christmas! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

betty said...

Love all your goodies you shared here Rita; especially the pooper scooper! I think it is a wonderful system you have about your letters to shred them and then have your "kids" shed them after you pass. We've shed a lot of hubby's parents' letters; I read some of them but you are right, it is like invading someone's privacy. I keep prayer journals; I need to tell hubby/son to shed them or burn them when I am no longer here.

So glad you got a Kindle too! Those are neat to have!


Shelly said...

Now that is some cool stuff. I hope Miss Karma likes her new pooper sccooper, as well~

DJan said...

I'll be interested to hear how you like the Kindle. My sister loves hers. I use my iPad to read books on and it's a bit on the large side, but it works just fine. I too prefer a real book if I have a choice.

You reminded me of the days when I kept a journal with addresses and phone numbers in it that would be transferred from one year to the next. Now my Contacts list automatically is updated on all my gadgets, with no need to re-do them every year. :-)

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

i never heard of that kind of ice cube seems pretty weird for them to be so flexible!! haha what a comedy it sounded like...your trying to get them into the freezer. i8've just always used the cheapy dollar store ones...a pack of 2 or 3 for a buck! so, if they only last a year or two! that's fine with me.

wow, rita...sure seems like christmas there! ALL the new stuff!!

as for the ereader. i never thought i'd get one...i LOVE the real thing, i have TOO many books. well, CAN u have too many?
anyway, i got a NOOK when they were on sale. just the first one, no fancy backlight or web surfing...just a plain old reader...and i LOVE it!!!! i read a lot more lately! i think you'll love it too! and you can change the font, the type size, etc!!!

so...happy reading! and enjoy ALL your new stuff!! =)

Catharina Engberg said...

Karma looks so sweet while she´s sleeping I would like to hug her! I understand about here stif legs now when it´s cold. The horse I´m renting also got problems with her legs especially in the mornings. They are thicker and they have to put big bandages every night to keep them warmer. So it´s good for her to get some exercise in the weekends too, to make her body warm and less stif. Poor oldies!

Dave said...

Hi Rita. That ice tray is sure a trick. I know what you mean. Have a good Christmas - Dave

Karen Smithey said...

Rita, you always have so many interesting things to share! Our cats are all outside--only inside while they're kittens and I'm not allergic to them! But--they do get fed individually, each in His or her own special spot, and the oldest is almost 17, so I guess they're pretty happy cats! If we ever have kitties again, the metal pooper scooper definitely looks like the way to go--

As far as the letters go, I have kept most of my letters over the years--mostly from my dad and my aunts. I did burn my letters from my college boyfriend, before Joel was born--it didn't feel right to keep them--

As for the letters, I have kept most of mine over the years, mostly from my dad and my aunts. I

AliceKay said...

Wow, Jeannie is sending you her old Kindle? Very nice gift indeed.

Intense Guy said...

Goodness! Look at all that loot! And that has to be the absolute ultimate pooper scooper! :)

I hope Karma finds a way to warm her old bones!