Thursday, May 02, 2013


Well, Saturday it got up to 71 degrees!  We had a few days in a row of gorgeous spring weather with sunny skies and 60s.  People were running around in shorts...but then they did that when we hit the 40s--LOL!
But then Wednesday morning it was in the 30s, stayed chilly all day, and right now it is 26 degrees.  Springtime in the Upper Midwest--LOL!
The Fargo Flood Watch--well, flooding is when the Red River gets over 18 feet, major flooding is over 30 feet, and we're at 33 feet right now.  Apparently this is around the cresting point--maybe 34 feet.  So it isn't as bad as they first predicted (which was closer to 40 feet) so that's something to be thankful for!
It hasn't been the most productive week for me with the leg holding me back, but I did get the little end tables wiped down on the porch and brought the chair back out there.  (Karma's now using one of the rolly chairs from the craft table instead to hold her blue bed.)
I think she was wondering if I was going to boot her out of her spot, but I was sore and restless so I let her have the chair all day. 
She kept thinking she saw bugs because I had killed a couple flies out there, but I didn't see any more.  Wishful, spring-fever thinking on her part.  She loves to watch bugs. 
This was the snirt pile on Monday.  It was down to less than a foot yesterday, I think. 
Karma was thrilled that the porch doors were propped open for several days. 
I even switched her over to her "summer" wild, colorful, lightweight collar. 
Those darn stencils were bugging me, though.  The paint was hard as a rock on there.  I was tempted to try 409 and emailed Leah about picking some up.  I was desperate.  Well, Leah--obviously better friend of the environment than myself--googled how to remove acrylic paint in a less toxic manner and one of the suggestions was rubbing alcohol.  I had some of that, so... 
...I tried it on a corner and it worked like a charm! 
But I was going to need some more bottles and the cotton balls were catching on everything...and the foam brush started falling apart...and I hurt too much to stand there more than a couple minutes at a time so was getting nowhere fast.  (This clean corner was two very swift sessions--LOL!)  Leah and I were emailing back and forth--and came up with a possible solution (to follow).
In the meantime, I did at least get the holes punched in the signatures for the giant journal. 
You can use a phone book as a cradle.  I clipped the template on, tipped it into the groove and punched...a couple at a time.  (Remember that movie What About Bob? and the "Baby Steps"--ROFL!) 
I still have to sew it together, but this gives you an idea of what it will look like. 
I picked out some waxed thread and am probably going to try using two needles--thread for each end's four holes at the same time.
We'll see.  I have to watch videos just to try to remember how to do the coptic stitch binding in the first place and then see if I can figure out from there how to do both of the ends separately and at the same time.  Probably sounds like that makes no sense, but it does--LOL!
With this leg, I've basically been limited to doing only what I have to do--the usual things like laundry, cooking, being Karma's bug toy slave, etc.  The sciatica was improving--but then I did laundry Monday and that did set me back a bit.  So I have been going through the 21 Secrets workshops--watching the videos and taking notes.  I think I have nine left.  And I did get the signatures punched, so I am still accomplishing a little something, I guess.  ;) 
Last night Dagan and Leah were here.  Leah brought her drill, screws & anchors, some more rubbing alcohol, and some cotton rounds.  (We were right--the rounds worked way better than cotton balls!)  Leah installed the two additional racks from Ikea for our punches (top and bottom ones are the new ones). 
Then Dagan and Leah cleaned the stencils for me!!  TaDa!!!
Leah remembered I had these two plastic trays and so they poured enough rubbing alcohol in one to cover a stencil, let it sit just briefly, and then with a toothbrush just swished most of the paint away!!  Was truly magical! 
Then they picked that stencil out, rinsed it under water to get the loose paint bits off, and used the cotton rounds & rubbing alcohol to do the final cleaning up on the second empty tray. 
Dagan was doing the toothbrush and Leah was doing the cotton rounds and they were done in a matter of minutes!  This is absolutely fantastic!!  We have a system now for cleaning stencils.  They look practically brand new again.  Ahhh!  Thrilled...I am positively thrilled!!  :):)
And what was I doing up at 4:30 in the morning, you may ask?  Well, it's not only the sciatica.  It's true that my sleeping has been all off when the leg is more painful--and that comes and goes, it seems--but it's not all that bad tonight.  I just have things on my mind so that the burning leg annoyance was just enough so that I couldn't get comfortable and haven't slept at all tonight.  I don't like to say negative things about people, but one of those things is I'm just really bothered by somebody's words and actions concerning someone I loved dearly.  Enough said.  I was tossing and turning for a couple of hours--and telling myself that none of it really matters.   I know it is all moot in the larger scheme of things...but it still kept me awake...with some leg pain for good measure, of course--LOL!
Funny how we do that sometimes in the dead of night.  Waste our time obsessing over things we have absolutely zero control over...and that really, when you think about the source, are not the least unexpected or surprising.  But it's like we have to mill it out of our system or something.    
I shall work on releasing this.
I hate the negative weight.
 I do not want to carry it with me.  
It only hurts me.  
Makes not one whit of difference to the person I wasted this time over--LOL!
How silly. 
You cannot change other people.
But you do not have to like them.  ;)
We all have those vulnerable heart spots.
I need to be stronger.
"The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
Mahatma Gandhi


DJan said...

I know exactly what you mean about waking up and obsessing over something I can't control. I do it too, and when I get up in the morning it's usually gone and I wonder why it mattered so much at midnight! Good for Leah and Dagan for getting those stencils so clean. And I hope that leg gets better soon.

Shelly said...

True- we can't change other people and what they do, only in how we react to them. I hope it doesn't rob you of more sleep or continue to trouble your heart.

I LOVE that Karma has a stylish collar for the summer. She is one hip girl!

Anonymous said...

My sis-in-law is "Leah" and she is also a very cool person. She pronounces it LEE-AH, not LEE.

Intense Guy said...

Wow. I bet Dagan and Leah have really white teeth with those awesome brushing skills!


I hope spring comes back for you! It wasn't there for very long!

Deanna said...

I like your stamp storage solution. Alcohol and vinegar are my two best friends. Glad your stencils came so clean. Hubby had the sciatica problem and the exercises really did make a world of difference. Hope yours feels better soon!

Anonymous said...

Hurray for warmth and fluffy clouds!

Janie Junebug said...

Your leg holding you back made me picture you with one leg weighted down, maybe with an anvil, while the rest of you struggles to accomplish what must be done.

TexWisGirl said...

i hate those middle-of-the-night worries and frets.

SandeeNC said...

I always tell my negative thoughts to "shut up and sit down!" LOVED the picture of Karma laying in the sunshine with her summer collar on! Great idea for cleaning the stencils, will have remember that one day if I ever use paint with mine! Thanks for visiting my blog, waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

Hilary said...

I think we all do the middle of the night worry sessions and yes, they're almost always much less important by morning. You sure accomplished a lot. That's surely a good method for cleaning your stencils.

Dee said...

Dear Rita, I so hope your leg gets better, it's just been one thing after another for you during the last few months. You've lived with so much pain.

I, too, obsess at night and that keeps me from getting to sleep. I try saying a mantra--the one that helped me through the acute rotational vertigo episodes of Meniere's and that usually calms me and lets me drift into sleep.

This one line you wrote so speaks to me: "You cannot change other people. But you do not have to like them." I've tried all my life to like everyone and finally I'm admitting that I just don't like this one person. And that's so freeing. Peace.

Zue said...

Glad you got your stencils clean. I use sprayed watercolour paint with mine and it just washes off. I also find Coptic stitching incredibly difficult to follow. I wish you have more patience than I do , so you will be just fine.

Sherry Ellis said...

Your cat looks pretty comfortable in that chair!

Paper rainbow said...

That Giant journal looks amazing! Karma is so sweet, she looks such a character :) Thanks for your lovely comments btw

Tracey FK said...

It took me a whole big cup of tea to catch up on everything, and so it felt like I was sitting and having a chat with you and Karma, which was lovely ... hope the sciatica is disappearing more quickly than the snow, and glad you are getting a bit of work done, but more than anything I am in awe of at gorgeous journal... just stunning...
T xx
Ps I love the folder for 21 secrets... you are soooo organised..... love it

Patrycja (photoopassion) said...

Great blog, nice atmosphere, interesting here with you. :) Regards! In my note of
extraordinary event involving historic steam locomotives. You are cordially invited! :)
I hope you enjoy it. Kisses.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Well I am doing a happy dance for clean stencils..I knew you would figure something out! Enjoying the cold weather as much as me? Will it ever warm up? I am losing hope everyday.
Sometimes it is hard to let go of some feelings..I hope you got them all worked out in your is too short to be a fussbudget ( said by one big fussbudget):) :)

Carol said...

I think we all do that and probably those of us with chronic pain a bit more than others. The negatives feed on each other and we must be careful not to let them overwhelm us. Now I need to get out my dirty stencils and see if I can get mine as clean as yours :0)

AliceKay said...

Loved the pics of Karma, especially the one where she's looking for bugs. lol

Great job with the stencils. Dagan and Leah are very handy to have around. You are blessed.

I hope your leg gets back to feeling better soon. Late night worries when you have chronic pain just makes things worse. I hope you can resolve the negative feelings and turn things around. I let too many things bother me most of the time. I've been trying to change, but change is difficult when situations around you never change. *hugs*

Serena Lewis said...

Rita, you are not alone, as I have spent many restless nights obsessing over negative situations/people I have no control over. I hope you manage to catch some sleep to make up for it.

WTG Dagan and Leah! The stencils look great again!

I enjoy seeing the journal making process. What type of waxed thread do you use and where do you buy it? I have no clue where to get it here. Can another type of thread be used? The thread in your picture looks almost like a fine twine.