Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Another dark, chilly morning (39F/4C) where I'll need the lights on all day.
It's Tuesday already.  For all the ladies over at T-Stands For Tuesday...look who's back!  I brought my old, silver thermos mug back home from McFamily's.  Leah has a few Thermos products that she wants to send to the company (supposed to have a lifetime guarantee?) and I decided that if she was mailing to Thermos that I should ask for a non-wobbly red cup.  It really is terribly unsteady. 
Well...Miss Karma.  
She's been licking, scratching, pulling at her fur (but not pulling it out so far) for months and months.  She's always had dry skin problems and has had cat dandruff since she was a kitten. 
I have tried buying all kinds of oils to add to her food (made for cats)...which she then refuses to eat.  I got some anti-itching spray this summer because she scratches her ears till they're raw.  Good thing she doesn't have claws!
Can you see the redness over and around her eyes? 

Just from scratching herself. 
The anti-itch spray works, but for only a couple of hours.  She doesn't have fleas or anything.  She just has dry itchy skin all over...and particularly beats up her face and ears.  Been worse as she gets older.  (I can relate--my skin is drying out, too.)
Anyways, Leah discovered online about using amber beads around Ian's ankles (under socks) to help him with teething pain...and saw how somebody used hazelwood beads to stop a dog from itching himself raw.  (The amber is supposed to help with pain and the hazelwood is supposed to remove toxins.)  So I had Leah order Karma a collar of hazelwood.  I put it on her when I got back from their place last Thursday night.  She seems to be scratching less than she was?  Just like Ian seems to be less cranky?  Time will tell, eh?  I sure hope these work...for Ian and Karma.  I might have to get an amber one for pain, eh?  
Well...I have a confession to make.  When I went to leave for Dagan and Leah's last Thursday night...I came out of the elevator to the usual stripped lobby... 
...but saw these stuffed chairs over by the window! 
I hadn't heard the bad news from the lady about the waiting lists (not till Friday)...but I froze right there outside the elevator.  I knew I was being told by the Universe that I wasn't leaving..."see, we'll try to make it better--it won't be so bad"...and I did not want to hear it.  I never said one word to anybody about the chairs.  We have not had furniture down there for must be 5-6 years now.  Because residents broke, smashed, destroyed it little by little...until the owners gave up and striped it bare.  You can see these two chairs are not new and were salvaged from the destruction.  They're original chairs from when I first moved here and the lobby was inviting with wooden coffee table with a glass top, tables, artificial plants & trees, pictures on the walls...
I know that might not make logical sense to anyone else...but I came out of the elevator and it was definitely a sign to me...loud and clear.  You are not leaving for a long time.  I didn't want to hear it...refused to look at them as I left the building (these pictures were taken a couple days later).  But...I wasn't as shocked by the bad news the following day.  I had been prepared...forewarned. 
I wonder how long the chairs will last?  The only thing we have had in the lobby for years is the wire rack for the free paper--and they mangle that regularly so that it is removed and then put back--over and over and over.  Maybe people will leave these poor old chairs alone.  Please!  Please!  Leave them be!  
One of the issues for me is that I cannot stand for very long without additional pain--especially since adding sciatica to the mix--and there's been no place to sit downstairs to wait for a ride.  The senior bus wants you to be waiting ten minutes ahead of time and do not like to have to wait for you to come down from third floor and can leave if you aren't there within a couple minutes.  
[Note: The Paseo is so light that it slips and slides on the ice in the winter.  Even Dagan and Leah don't want me to drive it very far--probably only the 2 miles to McFamily's if the roads are pretty clear--and Dagan said he'd let me know.  I still plan to take the senior bus to appointments this winter.]
Anyways, one can hope the chairs will not be smashed, poured on, ripped, peed on, sliced up, or set on fire.  Maybe none of the current residents are chair haters--LOL!  ;)  
One can hope.
I will leave you on a much happier note--with a video Leah took of our boy, Ian.  (Gramma can never get enough!)  
Oh, and Ian is ready for Halloween, too!
Have a great week!
Happy Tuesday!  :):)
"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm" 
Winston Churchill

Friday, October 24, 2014


Quick post today as I am adjusting my heart and soul a little bit at the moment.  Glad I have Miss Karma here to keep me company.
She absolutely did not want to move in the first place. 
 The lady in charge of the waiting lists called me back today.
  I will not be moving for many years.  
I already know the waiting lists are very long at the other two established places and was told the odds were better getting into North Sky.  Well, let's put it this way...North Sky has a projected three buildings being built.  The first one (now supposed to open January 1, 2015) will have 24 apartments and the next two will have 30 apartments.  (They don't have funding for the third building yet, so it's not an absolute that a third one will even be built.)  Out of those apartments I can only afford first or second floor, so a third of them are out of my price range right off the bat.  There are very few one-bedroom apartments with dens.  Most are one and two bedrooms.  I cannot afford a two bedroom on first or second floor, either--so we can eliminate all of those, too.  Oh, and she told me that they are not even sure whether there will even be one-bedroom apartments with dens in the next two buildings.
Out of the potential grand total of 84 apartments (over the next three-plus years, mind you), whereby I only qualify for a one-bedroom or one-bedroom with den on the first two floors...drum roll, please...I am number 98 for a one-bedroom and number 55 for a one-bedroom with den.  :(
So, to be blunt--unless a LOT of people find other housing in the meantime...or end up in a nursing home, cemetery, or urn (horrible thing to hope for)...I will probably not get into North Sky as the three buildings go up over the next 3+ years.  The lists are very long for the other two places, too...so I am looking at not being able to move for many years.
Many years.
So, I am doing an internal shift.  
Shall we say...am a bit sad.
But I am so glad that I have been working on my "now" because I am going to be here for a good long time yet.  Two of the packages came yesterday via UPS.  :)  The other small one is supposed to arrive today at Dagan and Leah's.  (She forgot to write in my address for delivery on that order--LOL!)
And what is inside of these mystery boxes??
A red TV stand...(much lower so I won't have to tip my bi-focaled head back so far to see the TV)...
...and a little red end table. 
The other end table is what will be delivered over at McFamily's today.  :)  Now--doesn't that bring a smile to your face?  Red furniture!  LOL!
It was another mind-boggling, totally-awesome deal!  This time at Target.  They had a 25% off of furniture sale going (these are not expensive to begin with, of course).  Plus they had this spend $75 and get $15 off thing going on (which is why each piece was ordered separately, so I saved another $45!!).  Plus Leah used her Target card and automatically saved another 5% off the total price!  OMG!!  I had been looking at these for a couple of months and never thought I could ever buy them all at the same time--whoohoo!!  Thanks to Dagan and Leah letting me pay them back I could get another super-duper deal.  :):)
They won't be able to actually put them together until some time after Halloween, but it will be worth the wait.  And I can finally un-box my new sewing machine when we get my table strapped and put back together, too.  Things are looking up around here.  ;)
I was over visiting McFamily last night.  Plan to go back over tomorrow so I can watch Mr. Ian while Mama and Daddy clean house.  [Doesn't that sound like a wonderful thing for a little bit sad Gramma to be doing?  Babies are soul-lifting, drooling little wonders!]  They have a pumpkin carving party planned for Wednesday night and Gramma can help them clean uninterrupted for a while.
Anyways, just wanted to let you know the latest.  My focus is to continue revamping things right here and now, as planned.  Purging, reorganizing, cleaning...and adding some red!!  :):)  
Have a good weekend!  
"It may be that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings."
Wendell Berry

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Even though it's been another week again since I posted, should be a shorter post today.  
After many dark days... 
...the last few mornings have been sun-filled and Miss Karma has been soaking up the rays.
She also likes to use the satchels in my bookcase for a headrest... 

...and a bit of head scratching. 
When Caroline was here last week we went out to the garage to find the free promotional coffeepot I got from Gevalia must be 11-12 years ago.  Despite that pot being stored in garages all these years it worked perfectly.  Yes, I did get rid of the old crusty coffee pot.  Cleaned it, put it in the box, and wrote "still works" on top and left it by the dumpster.  Don't know if anyone took it but it is now gone and I am enjoying wonderful fresh coffee again from the pot, too. 
The other project I've started has been purging books.  Started going through my "writing" bookcase.  You can see how dusty is was in there--good grief! 
This bookcase basically held all my books from my college writing classes, writing books I had purchased on my own, things I had written, literary journals I was published in, reference books, and research for a fiction work-in-progress that I will never finish because I discovered I really dislike writing fiction (ends up being 90% true, anyways, and I feel like a liar).
 I got as far as filling up three bags of books to donate and needed to take a break.
Pam from the library is coming over her lunch break today to pick up the two library books (on the right) that I never read...again.  No lie!  I have just not been reading at all lately.  So I am going on a library hiatus until probably after the holidays.  I told Pam about the bags of books and we'll see if she will take them.  I can wheel them to her car on my little green cart.  :)  Otherwise they'll either go on freecycle or I'll give them to a used book store or something.  (Can't throw away books!!)  I have other bookcases to go through, too.
The only other extra thing I've been up to lately is slowly working on that stack of used paper towels I ran across a while back.  Been gluing them together...doing a couple at a time while I watch TV and leave them to dry overnight.
Decided not to add more color to them ahead of time and have just been gluing them together as is.  As you can see most of them were used for drying painted round coffee filters.  ;)   
I figure I can add more color to these "papers" later...or tear them up for collage papers...whatever.  They just fascinate me for some reason.  Plus it is nice to recycle, of course.  I can see using them for more bookcard covers, for sure.
It feels sooooo good to be purging.  I used to move so often people wrote me in their address books in pencil.  From the time I left home after high school when I was 17 until I moved up here to the Fargo-Moorhead area when I was 48...well, I lost track after around 30 moves...never lived anywhere over three years (twice).  I'm thinking it was 32 or 33 moves?  I was used to purging every time I moved, too.  But when I moved up here in 1999 I had mono (bad, I guess, because they wanted to put me in the hospital but I had no insurance) so no move-purging was done at that time.  Then I was in college, my health continued to fail, and by the time I had to quit school and move across the river over here to Fargo I was in absolutely dreadful shape...therefore no move-purging was done at that time either.  So, I haven't done a good purging of everything I own since 1997!!
I've done little semi-purges of smaller areas over the years here in Fargo, but never tackled it all.  Might take me a good year...or more...you know how slow I am these days--LOL!  My body may be the boss of me, but I can do a lot a little at a time and I certainly have more time than money.  ;)  Talk about being overdue for a total purge and reorganization and cleaning.  I have discovered that a person can accumulate a lot over the years when they don't move--ROFL!
I know I will eventually be moving into senior housing because I'm on the lists.  But all we have is right now.  When I realized how much living here in this (destructive) complex has worn on me over the years...well, I had to start changing my now.  And the shifts and downsizing...well, it has lifted my spirits so much!  There's more to come, too.  I'll talk about that next time I post, but there's some new furniture coming in boxes shortly!  (Thanks to Dagan and Leah helping me catch an unbelievable sale again!!)  Whoohoo!! 
Anyways, been so busy I even forgot to take a pic of my new wobbly red thermos...but at least I did show my new coffeepot for T Stands For Tuesday.  Hi, ladies!!
Have a wonderful, wonderful week!!   :) :)
"Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be"
Sonia Ricotti

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Good Morning!  Grab a cuppa.  I have a week's worth of pictures to show you...and a video!  ;)
I happened to be awake for a couple of hours at dawn one of the days I was so sick last week...
...and caught this gorgeous sunrise.
You only have a few minutes...
...and the wild display is gone.
Karma's been thrilled to have her own spot on her own chair again.  [She even stayed put in her bed (pretending to be invisible) the entire time McFamily was here on Sunday.]
My FriXion pen and highlighter sets actually came last Monday but I never even made it down to the mail until Wednesday, so you know how sick I was.
They have a new home (along with my Sharpie Pens that don't bleed through) in one of the cool pots Leah made for me in her pottery class.
I was just starting to feel more human so I had to experiment with them, of course.  I grabbed some scratch paper (will try better paper later) and used the blue FriXion pen and all the highlighters.
They really do erase well.  I could have even done a more thorough job.
Then I took the hair dryer I use for drying art pages...and they basically did kind of disappear.  The darker highlighters showed more.  I was still sick so I didn't have the patience to do this for very long, either--LOL!
Then I stuck the paper into the freezer for just a few minutes and they were already coming back!  Pretty cool!!
But the purple highlighter is worthless as a highlighter because it is so dark I can't even read through it.  The blue one is almost too dark, too.  The other four lighter ones work great though.
On Friday...a most amazing thing!  All four big packages from Amazon this month actually arrived on the same day.  Two from FedEx and two that UPS dumped off at the post office.
My new sewing machine arrived and the carrying case!
 Haven't even taken it out of the box yet, though.  Leah told me to wait until they tried to stabilize my poor table.
Ian's toys came!  This is a musical soft toy that can be hung above him or it can sit on the ground.  It can either play single notes or songs.  The flowers light up when you touch them and they play!  Really cool!  Ian loved it!  Doesn't know how to hit/poke the flowers yet to get it to play but Dagan and I entertained him for some time with it.
And a teething toy.
Okay--I ordered a "pour over" cup because I could have fresh coffee over at Dagan and Leah's any time I wanted instead of hauling a big thermos back and forth.  I only heard about this technique online a few weeks ago.
This one is a Melitta cup and came with a few sample filters.
I bought a new red thermos cup, too, to keep over at their place, right?
Well, the cup is slightly malformed on the bottom.  Not enough to send it back but enough to make it slightly tippy.  Fine for me here, but I wouldn't be comfortable using it around a toddler.  So the new red cup stays here with me--TaDa!!  
And I am so totally won over by "pour over" coffee...well, it surprised me how much better it tastes.  Of course, when you have a very old, crusty coffee pot that doesn't even want to clean well anymore (but it still works so how can a person get rid of it, you know?) it probably tastes especially fresh and clean and delightful.  I am totally won over!!  I haven't brewed a pot of coffee since my first pour over cup.  No lie!
 McFamily was here on Sunday and did so much for me!  But first, I have to show you!!  Gramma got to give Ian a bottle!!  They finally sent Leah the right breast pump.  Ian isn't sure about this bottle business.  It took a little convincing, but he finally went along with the craziness.  (This was only his third time taking a bottle.)
"This makes no sense at all.  Mom is standing right over there.  This is just wrong.  How can this be?"
After he finally settled into it, he was fascinated by the fact that he could look all around while he was eating.  New experiences, eh?  LOL!
Leah's idea for stabilizing the table will work!!  When they left...here's the dismantled table upended...
...chairs everywhere...and a Karma realizing she didn't have to be invisible anymore.  [She was super stiff from hiding in the exact same position for like four hours--LOL!  She could hardly get out of her bed.  I could totally relate.]
They got the keyboard drawer on the desk.  I am so glad I changed my mind.  This works perfectly as tuck-away storage for my planner!!  
The floor is slanted on that side of the room and the two shims they had didn't get the desk high enough to keep the file drawer from sliding open.  They have some more shims someplace, they said.  After they locate them, they will come back and tilt it back some more.  Meanwhile I still have to keep something in front of the file drawer to keep it shut.
I had mostly emptied the hutch so they could move the desk about.
So, Monday/yesterday...I could get better pics of the table base.
We discovered that both the base legs are cracked in multiple places.  See the three smaller cracks on this base leg?
Well, the other one with the huge crack also had two or three other smaller cracks.  This is the metal strapping thing that Leah is using to tighten around the base once they got the brace legs off.  This was a two-man job, for sure.
I didn't get a before on this bad one with the big crack, but it is obviously better already...and it can still be tightened up a little more, too.
The plan is to put one strap above and one below those holes where the brace legs will bolt back on.
It will be so nice to have my craft table back!  Well, it will mostly be a sewing table for a while, eh?  ;)  We're hoping this will keep her held together for years to come.  And I am banned from moving her by myself.  She will always have to be lifted up and set down to be moved...never hip pushed about ever again.  I promised.
I got everything back in the hutch.  
 I do so love my new desk!  Like I have said, it has more storage than my bigger one did.  More cubby holes and shelves and...I just love it.  Moreso than I ever expected I would.  Oh, and I love my old desk chair with the arms removed.  (Karma doesn't--at all--because you know how she likes to sit sideways in chairs with her front feet over the chair arms.)
I'm also crazy about my new, slightly unstable, red thermal mug!  All you ladies over at T-Stands For Tuesday will now be seeing a lot of this new beauty.  ;) ;)

I know...with the colored thermos cups that the red color can wear, chip, or peel...but I just love it!  I'll have to be extra kind to her.
Dagan's out of town for work this week, so the table won't be put together before he's back.  I plan a visit with Leah and Ian tonight after Caroline leaves.  Two weeks was just so long!
I shall leave you with the video Leah took of Ian at 3 months (a couple weeks ago).  She helped me figure out how to get a video from her drop box to my youtube when she was here, too--so we're all set from now on.  I LOVE this video.  This is the happy little guy sitting in his bumbo seat who has stolen our hearts.  

Happy Tuesday!!
"If it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts"  
Leo Tolstoy