Thursday, February 20, 2014


Good Morning!
I'm back!  
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and I'll fill you in on this past week.  :)
This was the pre-dawn full moon on Valentine's Day--there on the horizon under the street lamp looking a little orangish.  
We had a dusting of snow... 
...and it was still cold. 
The past couple days we made it above freezing and it smelled and sounded like spring out there--parking lot melting and birds rejoicing--was wonderful!  Today is supposed to be in the mid-20s, but then we will be back to the single digits.  Karma has been out on the porch keeping a hopeful eye out for swallows--LOL!
Speaking of Miss Karma...for those of you who remarked that Karma maybe needed cat grass (which I do grow for her several times a year)...
...I did plant some (thanks AliceKay--still using the seed you sent!) shortly after I discovered she was eating Phil and Fern... 
...and she is enjoying it, as usual, but didn't seem overly excited by its appearance, either?  Who knows why she suddenly went after Phil and Fern when they hadn't interested her in all these years?  The mystery of the Karma mind. 
Murphy's Law, right?  I finally bought the extra charger cord for the McLap so I can keep it at the table when I want to (getting older and the battery only lasts under two hours now instead of 7 or 8)--no sooner got it set up than I had no internet--LOL! 
Set up the removable clip to keep the cord from falling on the floor.  (Leah comes up with these brilliant solutions and I have these around the apartment for various cords.)  It will be easy now to grab this cord if I will be spending more time over at Dagan and Leah's this year, too.  ;)  
My original charger cord is wrapped and clipped intricately around my laptop table in such a way as to make the table easy to swing back and forth by my recliner--a real pain to disconnect and unwind.
Oh, and before I forget, when Dagan and Leah were here a week ago Weds--they drilled the hole in the paper drying rack...up a bit to where it should have been to hit the bottom bar so that it could hang at at least near a 90 degree angle. 
It didn't sag down loosely anymore (like at about 160 degrees), but it still was off about 10-15 degrees so Leah folded up some paper, sealed it up with masking tape, and attached it with poster tack for a kind of shim.  Tada!  Finally hangs at 90 degrees like it should have been constructed to do in the first place.  
I am going to do a review on Amazon with pictures because this was made so poorly in China that it's ridiculous.  Not everyone is blessed enough to have a tool girl with a drill, for goodness sakes!    
I tried to take these pictures to be able to also show how those long side hooks... 
...cannot reach that base piece... 
...without twisting it a bit to catch only one one side. 
Here's the other side.  Pathetic, right?  I hope the pictures show it.  What's the point in holding up the 20 wire shelves if you have the base still sticking out to bump into?  We have it taped up right now with the masking tape, as you can see, but Leah is going to pick up a couple of S-hooks. 
And we used some poster tack to attach the bottom of the rack to the window so it doesn't scratch the glass or move around.  Once we have the S-hooks it will be useable for regular, stiffer paper (like I will be using with my gelli plate!).
  We plan to try to find something smooth to cut up that we can lay over the wire racks so that the rack can eventually be used to hold wet handmade paper, too.  Going to be a challenge to find something fairly cheap for 20 shelves.  The only thing I can think of right off the bat is some kind of a stiffer removable plastic shelf liner--if there is such a thing?  If anyone has any ideas let me know.  :) 
Okay--Century Link.
The internet saga.
Such a long story...but, suffice it to say, they had told me it was fixed, right?  Wasn't.  After that long (and disappointing) phone call Thursday morning I was all prepared again to wait till the 19th when I got a phone call that afternoon from a lady named Bernice who said she could come out right then and she knew I didn't want anything done where I would be charged.  Great!
Bernice checked everything in the apartment, even traded boxes...but where I was supposed to be getting 7.168 it showed I was getting 4.128 (speed? bandwidth?) plus it was unstable and bouncing around from 11 to zero--(which was when it would freeze and crash)--and it was crashing every few minutes.  She went out to a huge box about a block or so away to check the port.  Had to shovel her way to even get to the box in the first place (we had wind chill warnings out that morning, too--poor thing!), replaced a "card", things were looking good, she came back, stood here watching the Century Link info page...was still bouncing about but staying up higher and not crashing.  We got all hopeful.  But then--crashed to zero.  Had taken less than half an hour.
Well, Bernice didn't have another card and it was getting late in the day.  She said somebody would be out to replace the bad new card (she confessed that Century Link gives them refurbished cards) either later that day or in the morning.
 They must really meet some eccentric people going into homes the way they do...and maybe I appeared quite eccentric to her never leaving my apartment which looks like an arts and craft book store...
She was standing by my laptop as we were discussing the plan, right?...and Karma flicked an ear.  Bernice almost jumped!  She thought Karma was stuffed!  ROFL!!!  Startled the hell out of Bernice--LOL!!  I'm still giggling just remembering this.  OMG!! 
You know how Miss Karma basically doesn't like anyone but me (and I am sometimes on her last nerve)--well, she froze into her "I am invisible" thing...the whole time Bernice was here.  She freezes with her eyes slitted slightly so that she looks asleep, but she can see anyone who comes near her.  (One must be prepared to hiss at any given moment, of course.)  She didn't move from this very exact position for at least half an hour--not even when we were laughing and talking about her being "invisible".  (In her defense--it was also her naptime--LOL!)  Not even when I snapped this picture.   
 I suppose that does look like a good dead cat pose for the taxidermist, eh?
Now I know for an actual fact that I could be mistaken for a person who would stuff their beloved dead cat and set it in a chair next to her for company while she watches TV,reads blogs, and chats on email.  ROFLMAO!!
Don't worry.  
I am not that kind of girl.  ;)
The next day (Friday) Bernice called at 8:15am...put in a new card out there down the lasted over half an hour...still fluctuated, but not by much at all...appeared to be fixed once again, cancelled the appointment on the 19th, off she went...and it crashed 5 times in the next two hours.  *sigh*  
So, I was back on the phone Friday and they couldn't get anyone out until Monday, of course.  So, still no internet.  It was crashing regularly--sometimes I couldn't get on at all for hours.  I didn't dare try to write anything because it inevitably crashed and I would have to reboot and lose everything I wrote anyways.  I could read blogs and comments and delete.  When it would crash I would just shut it and come back later.  Basically that's all I could do--when I could get on--read and delete.  So I did do a bit of blog reading.  ;)
Bernice was back Monday in the late morning.  And for some unknown reason it was not crashing Monday--at all--after being horrible all weekend?  Murphy's Law.  But she could see it was still unstable and bouncing about--and I was still only getting 4.128.  Puzzled and trying to think of what else to do...she finally decided to go downstairs and double check in the phone/cable room for the building.  She decided to replace the wire/cord to my apartment down there--and poof! 7.128!!  Whoohoo!!
Bernice hung around watching the connection for another ten minutes or so--no fluctuation!  So, off she went.  We both had our fingers crossed.
Now, I have to say that Bernice was absolutely wonderful!!  I wasn't that thrilled with the phone people I had, but Bernice even gave me her card so I could call her if the McLap started crashing again.  It's because of her that I am planning to stay with Century Link.  She even called me yesterday to see if it was still working like it was supposed to.  Very nice lady who cares.  She was my internet angel!!
But after thinking it was fixed three times...I didn't trust to blog or write anything until it had been working for over 48 hours.  And it has!!!!  I've been catching up on youtube videos and watching Netflix streaming for two days--no crashing--ahhhh!!!  Am over halfway through the new season of House of Cards!  And now today--I am finally back in blogland with some actual confidence.  (Knock on wood!)
And what did I do in the meantime--besides repeatedly dealing with Century Link?  I read and read.  Finished the three library books and all the rest of Caroline's books.  Wrote letters.  Caught up on a lot of PBS shows I had recorded.  And I got out this binder clip from a worn out old binder I took apart years ago...
...that I figured maybe I could make into a new cloth covered binder one day... 
...since I still have these parts for it and a stack of note paper, too. 
Well, I save the cardboard that they use to mail stamp sheets to you from USPS.  So I cut down two sets of pieces to size and glued them together so I have two thicknesses for each piece so that it will be sturdier. 
Looks like this might work.  I have seen people do bookbinding like this on youtube, but have never tried it myself. 
 I picked out the floral ultrasuede and some tan for the inside cover.  I am not sure how to attach cloth--at all.  I hope I don't chicken out and use paper--LOL!  Wish me luck!
I also decided to play a bit at the art table in my junk journal. 
I am weeks behind on the Journal52--but week three was "You make me smile" and color makes me smile.  I had gessoed the left side but not the right--just left them--and slopped on some warm color and some cool color... 
...from my palette with Daniel Smith watercolors.  (Yes, I cleaned it as soon as I was done using it--you know how I am.)
I used some giant bubble wrap first with yellow and then green craft paint.
You can see the giant bubble wrap and the smaller bubble wrap above the journal...and off to the left is a prescription bottle, toilet paper roll cut in half, rubber insert to hold a glass votive securely (I used to have a few of those on my walls many years ago), and a piece of plastic that covered the prongs of a new plug.  Lots of trash tools!   
I used the blue and red craft paints with the smaller bubble wrap.  
Waited for that to dry... 
...and then used all the trash goodies to make circles and marks all over the place!  Can just throw them away afterwards!  Recycling trash is so cool!
I do love this page spread.  It really does make me smile.  Was having so much fun and I am so very happy with my various white platters from IKEA that I use for palettes for these mixed media techniques.  They are just perfect and clean up is a breeze.  :)
You knew I would be busy doing something or other while I was away.  I didn't comment, but I think I am caught up reading all your blog posts.  You knew this would be a long, chatty post when I could finally get back online.  It is amazing to me what a huge piece of my life this laptop has become.  Even Bernice knew that my social life in mostly here in cyberspace--so she tried very hard to fix that for me.  (Maybe she was trying extra hard for the poor, housebound woman with her stuffed cat--LOL!)  But I think it is finally fixed.  (Made me nervous to say that, but I am glad I have Bernice's number.)  
And this post is definitely long enough.  I am now feeling confident that I will actually be I am off to watch the rest of House Of Cards!!  ;)  
"Ironically, gratitude's most powerful mysteries are often revealed when we are struggling in the midst of personal turmoil."
Sarah Ban Breathnach


  1. Oh I love the trash stuff used to make designs on the paper...way cool idea! So glad you have an Angel named Bernice to help you out...and you have her card!! Good deal..well not so good it is too bad you had to have a problem in the first place. I was out a bit ago some birds were singing..what a lovely sound...not sure what they were singing..but I will take it! :)

  2. God bless Bernice. What a nice lady. Yeah, I can totally picture you as someone who would have her favorite cat stuffed.


  3. Whew! What a mess you have had with your internet service. There is Century Link here too but several other cable companies to choose from. I had Comcast for a couple of years but they suck big time. I am glad you are back in business and hooray for such a nice daughter in law.

  4. I can only imagin how good that cord thing is. I could really use it, i think we all encounter this problem :)

  5. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Your description of the stuffed/frozen karma was hilarious.
    Umm, you've been busy!

  6. I am SO GLAD you've got a Bernice in your life. She has made it possible for you to write this, making me laugh and sigh and bust a gut at the stuffed cat reference. And I finished the second season of House of Cards and am STILL REELING. Fantastic, isn't it? :-)

  7. Laughed about "stuffed Karma"!

    Glad the Internet is up and working again. Whatever did we do without it?

    Enjoyed seeing your art work. You come up with great ideas.

  8. Oh, sweet Miss Karma and her cloak of invisibility! She's such a cutie pie, though. I do hope they get your internet fixed, and Bernice sounds like a keeper!

  9. My idea for covering the shelves is to use inexpensive plastic place mats. Could probably get them cheap at a dollar store.

    Hubby and I are working our way through both seasons of House of Cards. Just got hooked. We just watched the third episode of season two. So good!

    Glad you're back! This is GrandmaG writing from my iPad again ;)

  10. Bernice sounds like she was a wonderful and dedicated employee. That's always a great feeling to have things working well again.

    Sounds like you were very busy and got accomplished while the internet was giving you trouble.

    Love the beautiful, bright colors on the painting. Such a great idea to use trash to create the prints on the page.

    Laughed when I read that Bernice thought that Karma was stuffed; and was startled when she moved. :)

  11. So glad that you have your internet back!!!! I know how frustrating it is when you have lousy connection. Century Link and I have had several go a-rounds in the past but they are our only choice here and they know it. We are watching House of Cards too. So much intrigue and deceit!
    Your art looks great!!! I'm behind with my challenge too so I have to get busy... I think I took on too much for the month of Feb. ♥
    Give Karma a hug for me!

  12. Anonymous12:30 AM

    Bernice sounds like an angel!

  13. Welcome back to the world of the interwebs!! Seriously, that Netflix thing would have done me in. And I love that she thought Karma was stuffed! So funny!!


  14. Yep, I agree it's a long post, but I like how you flit from one subject to the next. Never a dull moment, when I'm reading your blog, Rita.

    I didn't understand the whole paper holder thingy, but I'm sure someone who buys one will. And you definitely found an angle in Bernice. She went above and beyond, even if she did think Karma was stuffed (grin).

    Glad to read you are back online and stable again.

  15. Yay for Bernice. Sounds like you have a good tech gal there. Hope the internet doesn't give you anymore fits.

    I had to laugh at the stuffed cat thing. Poor Bernice. Funny Karma. :) You're welcome on the seed. I have a little more here for you I've been meaning to send to you, but I haven't sent it yet. I will one of these days. I saved a little when Terri was cleaning oats during oats harvest last fall.

    I loved your photo of the moon. Pretty cool how it lined up with the light and the light pole.

    I hope you're having a good weekend. *hugs*

  16. All those problems and you still created some art? Good for you! Glad you are back up and running.


  17. Dear Rita, "all's well that ends well" really applies to your last two weeks. Thanks for sharing with us the wonders of Bernice. All companies need to have one of her around if they want to keep their customers.

    And that two-page spread is so eye-grabbing! Peace.

  18. Good old Bernice!

    That paper drying rack is a horror. I hope you did get around to warning others not to buy it on Amazon. You are right, they are not all as lucky as you and would probably just give up and throw it away and waste their money.

  19. Goodness... the very idea... living with a stuffed cat on the chair next to you???

    I know YOU aren't that crazy.. but I DO know others that would do something like that!!!

    So glad Bernice got ya fixed up! Nice to see a person that cares (for a change!)


I appreciate your visits and comments.
Have a really great day! :) :)