Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Well, good Tuesday morning to you!
You may have noticed from my last post that I have been loving the clouds rolling past for the last week or so. 
White clouds or dirty clouds... 
...the scenery changes by the minute!  :) 
Miss Karma's peaceful life was rattled to the core on my birthday.  She discovered that the noisy new creature that Dagan and Leah bring over can look her right in the eye and, quite fearlessly, touch her bed.  She hissed with great enthusiasm...but it didn't listen.  Just as Karma was about to smack it in the head to make her point (she has no claws) I rescued Miss Crabbypants...and her precious bed...and shut her in the bedroom...to her great relief.   
Several hours later, after they left, a nervous Karma combed every inch of the apartment (and the porch half a dozen times, too)...hissing to herself...jumping from imaginary attacks...searching for the creature she would have been terrified to actually find.
And who was the stranger danger?
Little Ian, of course--LOL!
They brought his activity table with because he LOVES to just stand and move parts and make music and listen to the words it says.  Well, not sure he's really listening to the words yet, but the table says colors, numbers, and the alphabet song.
As I took these pictures one right after the other you can see that he kind of walks himself back and forth.
He can slowly make it all around the table if he wants to. 
Ian prefers to stand and stand and stand rather than crawl about.  Crawling seems to only be good for getting to the next place to pull himself up to stand.  Which is a good thing at Gramma's not-kid-friendly-house because they could bring with his favorite place to stand and play and Ian was one happy boy...for hours!  He would have liked to touch Karma, too, but that was not in the cards.  Never will be, I'm afraid--LOL!
The amazing news....drum roll, please!!
Between Leah and Dagan they got Miss Brother working again!!
Our tool girl went to work examining The Diva almost as soon as they got here.  Turned out that when I bumped that lever while the machine was running there was an attached piece right behind the needle that got caught up on the needle.
But then, once she freed the needle, it would only sew 1-3 stitches and the thread would jam up...over and over.  It was Dagan who suggested that we try a new needle.  Apparently Dagan really had been listening to us when we were discussing how Miss Brother IS so very fussy about everything--fabrics, threads, needles, touching anything but appropriate buttons.  So, even though the needle looked perfectly straight, Leah changed needles and...voila!!...The Diva was working again!  (As well as she chooses to work, of course.)
Leah even stuck a post-it note on the lever to remind me not to bump it--ROFL!           
 It didn't stay on very long once I was sewing, but it made me smile while it stuck there.
And...they got the new spacesaver together for my bathroom!!  TaDa!!   
 And...they ordered Chinese (my choice--love friend rice) and even brought a birthday cake!!  Ariel (Leah's youngest sister, moved to Minneapolis) got into town before they finished the spacesaver so she stopped by, too.  Ahhh!  What a nice birthday it was. :):)
So, since then...I've been sewing...and sewing.  (Miss Brother is still being a pain, but she is still functioning so we won't get into that.) 
This morning...everything is pinned and ready for the final top stitching--tada!! 
Leah does the final step of attaching the snaps, so I plan to bring these over tonight after they get home from visiting Leah's other sister, Michal--who lives in town here with her hubby, Chuck, and Ian's cousin, Julian, who's going on two years old.  Tonight I can get instructions on everything I need to do for the cats and the house before they leave on Friday for Japan to visit Leah's brother, Aaron, who's stationed there (Navy).  I need to know important things--like how to work their remotes so I can watch Netflix on their giant TV--since I am going to be spending quite a bit of time over there visiting with Sammy and Annie.  
Sammy (the gray cat) gets lonesome.  He's more the friendly people-cat, but even shy Annie (the black cat) will come around for a bit of attention, too, when I visit.  I will be bringing my laptop, books, letters...and watching Netflix--LOL!  I like to pop in and out different times of the day.  Chuck and Michal will probably be checking here and there, too.  They're also my back up in case I get sick or can't make it over for some reason.  
I am really going to miss McFamily!  Three weeks is a long time in baby time.  How much you want to bet Ian will learn to walk in Japan.  :)  Thank goodness for Google video chats.  I wonder how fast texts will travel from that far away?  And emails?  Anyways, it is so exciting!  Leah's even found a powdered healthy baby food she is bringing with.  I hope they have a wonderful time.  This is a trip of a lifetime!
Anyways, I'll be sewing this afternoon, so not sure if I'll get around to the T-Stands For Tuesday group today or not.  Oh, goodness!  I forgot to take a picture of what I am drinking.  I actually had some Pepsi on my birthday!  I so seldom drink pop anymore, but I was always a Pepsi gal...and Dagan loved his Coke.  We never could agree on pop--but he suffered (how kind) and got a liter of Pepsi because it was my birthday--LOL!  Oh, the sacrifices your kids make for you, right?  ;)
Oh, and no--I haven't dealt with the other two annoying issues I mentioned last time.  Once I get done with the sewing project...they will still be waiting for me.  ;)  Have a great day!  Hug a loved one today!  Literally or virtually, doesn't matter.  :):)
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” 
Mark Twain

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Been a lot of clouds roaming the plains since last we spoke.
We've had drizzly rain off and on. 
I love me some clouds against a blue sky, though. 

Been on the nippy side... 
...but it's supposed to warm back up to the 40s and 50s this coming week. 
For me... 
...today is my birthday.     
I'm 64...but for some reason I thought I was already 64 this past winter--LOL!  I never was very good at math. 
Last night I heard Miss Karma crying loudly.  She had gone headfirst up into that little space in the TV cabinet...and couldn't figure out how to back out...and couldn't quite turn around. 
Just as I was going to go over and pull her out, she managed to contort herself enough to turn herself about, quit crying, and settled right down for a rest. 
I picked out the next writing journal.  This very old blue suede one, that I seem to recall I picked up for cheap at an Office Depot when I lived in Moorhead maybe 14 years ago, turned out to be the best one with fountain pens so it won--LOL! 
I do have to whine a little.  Been very annoying things happening one right after the other.  First, I can't get on to the Cashwise website again to make up my grocery list for Caroline.  For the third month my password (now passwords) doesn't work.  I even give up and ask for a new one and then the new one doesn't work.  Over the past three months I have accumulated 5 or 6 new passwords.  None of them, or my old ones, work.  But finally one of the times I went out of the site and came back in I was suddenly logged in (how safe is that!)...at least for the past two months.  Not this month...so far.  So I will probably have to call them.
Then I got an email from my bank telling me that someone had tried three times to log into my account so they cancelled my password--and if it wasn't me (wasn't) they recommended that I change not only my password but also my user name.  I went in to my bank my usual way (not from the email to be safe in case it was a scam) and my password does not indeed work.  But neither does my pin number from over a decade ago...so I can't prove it is me.  So I will have to call the bank and have them mail me a new pin number.
Annoying stuff, right?
Meanwhile, I am sewing away...and do you see that plastic pedal hanging down from the machine to the left of the needle?  I was turning the fabric and I bumped it somehow.  Don't ask me how.  I talk with my hands flying about and I guess maybe I sew that way, too.
Anyways, I bumped that lever and The Diva went wild!  Did her jiggling, screeching error routine.  The trouble is--her little pea brain thinks there is a thread jam.  There. never. was.  She does not believe me and will not change her mind come hell or high water.  I have turned her off and on many times, unplugged and plugged, and re-threaded her three times.  I have tried cajoling, sweet talking, and patience...that disintegrated over two days into yelling at her and trying to physically move the needle (you know how she doesn't like manual adjustments).  
She will not move.
She will not sew.
Just angrily tells me the thread is jammed.
Miss Brother is useless.
I bought her through Amazon.
In October.
She's been nothing but a pain in the a$$ since she arrived.
I will have to contact Amazon.
And probably Brother.
I was still too aggravated to deal with all those things yesterday...and today is my birthday...so forget it.  Nothing is going to change in a couple days.  Tomorrow is another day (said Scarlett).
Meanwhile...people have been so wonderful for my birthday!  I have gotten cards in the mail, ecards, Amazon gift cards, and even had sweets delivered in these cute little boxes!  
Thanks, Janie!  
Karma loves cookies, too.  We haven't had any sweets around here for so long that she was really pushy and demanding about getting her little pieces of sugar cookie--LOL!
And McFamily is coming over this afternoon...and bringing lunch!  I haven't seen Ian (in the flesh and not a video chat) for a long time.  Got some pics from Leah, though.
When we had our faux-summer weekend a couple weeks ago Ian was sitting out on some brown grass in the 70 degree weather! 
He's getting so big!  Here he is helping Mama with laundry. 
He loves feeding himself finger foods now. 
Crackers and Cheerios and veggies.
He loves standing next to his cool musical table or any furniture he can pull himself up next to.   
He can even bend and pick up a toy while holding onto something with one hand...and very slowly "walk" his way along furniture or around his cool activity table.  I think this little guy just might be walking early.  He's nine months old already.  Where did the time go?!
Well, I had best get some clothes on before they arrive...and pick up Karma's toys so they don't end up in Ian's mouth--LOL!  What a wonderful birthday!  I am so glad to be alive to see all this and to know all of you!!  
Have a great day!!  :):)
"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"
Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Good Morning!
It's 32F (says it feels like 19), dark, damp, very windy, and looks like it rained during the night a little. 
The wind has been pounding against the building and rattling the windows all night.  But I finally slept long and better (10 hours!).  Been sick since last Thursday.  Of course, I wasn't sure I was sick-sick until Saturday--LOL!  I finally realized I seem to have caught some kind of stomach flu bug (possibly combined with spring allergies) because it got so much worse than my normal bad days stuff.  ;)  Started feeling quite a bit better yesterday--for part of the day--and am hopeful for today.  Was bound to pick up something, I suppose.  I have been lucky all winter with all the crud being passed around.
   Meanwhile...I had a big flat box arrive last week (maybe with stomach bug germs on it--LOL!--you never think of packages and mail). 
Here's the new large red cutting mat on the table.  It's orange on the other side, too.  Quite flashy...and good for sewing and bookbinding projects.  
Dagan dropped off that additional red flannel Leah picked up because Leah and Ian had caught colds...and later Dagan caught it.  But I think mine was different, either that or combined with something else, as they were only running from one end--ROFL! 
I also got a large acrylic block so I can stick the smallest gelli plate (3" X 5") on it--like you see here--and use it like a stamp. 
Before I got too sick, I was cutting and cutting fabric.  This is the stack of the backside of the pad flannels paired off with the waterproof (PUL) fabrics. 
This is the stack of tops with the core (zorb) fabrics pinned on and ready to sew.
That's as far as I got before I had to take a sick break.
I did putter for a couple days on this project, though.  Something I could do while blowing my nose or drop easily to run to the commode.  ;)  I wondered if I even had a shot of a cup of coffee for T Stands For Tuesday...well, there it is.  :):)  
Anyways, I am down to the last page in my daily journal today--the turquoise QuoVadis has been my current one.  I have part of a drawer filled with journals that have remained untouched for years and years.  I'd already tested a few of them (and they weren't good for fountain pens) and decided to test the rest of them.  
I gathered up all my currently inked fountain pens plus a few gel pens, too.  I cut out the back page that is usually glued funny anyways and used that as the test page.  Out of that whole stack you saw on the table there were only two of them that did okay (not good) with FP ink.  Most of them failed partially or totally...as you can see here where the ink would bleed right through the page. 
These two were the best of the lot... 
...and that is why all these have been sitting in a drawer for years.  Some of these have been waiting to be used for over 20 years!  Why?  Because I love using my fountain pens for journaling in the mornings and for writing most of my letters...and you don't know until you try to write in them if they are going to be horrible or not. 
Luckily we have the internet now.  I have a really decent shot at finding FPfriendly paper...like QuoVadis, Rhodia, Clairfontaine...ahhh!  But I really, really do need to use up all these rejects.  *sigh*
Anyways, I fold the page and tuck it inside the cover...adding a post-it note reminder in case the sheet falls out or gets misplaced.  They've all been tested now. 
I told myself that I HAD to use these journals up.  That I couldn't buy another quality FPfriendly journal until I had used at least one reject.  I foresee being much chummier with my gel pens in the very near future--LOL!  But I can still use my fountain pens to write letters.  :)
BTW--I am still not getting some of my blog comment email alerts so I cannot respond to some of you.  Beginning to wonder if they are ever going to fix that issue.  If a few of you don't hear back from me, that's why.  :(
 I did watch The Theory of Everything and Birdman while I was sick.  I was fascinated by The Theory of Everything because I didn't know much of anything about Stephen Hawking's personal life and Eddie Redmayne's oscar-winning performance really was amazing.  Excellent movie.
Birdman, on the other hand, I didn't care for at all.  Comedy?  Won best picture?  Well, that only makes sense because it appeared to be a picture made for all the people in the industry...and they were the voters.  Watching it felt kind of like going to a class reunion with a spouse who went to a different school...one long evening of private jokes, everyone else having a good time, and you sitting on the outside, politely smiling, but not really getting any of it, you know?  
Was anything but funny to me.  Depressing, disjointed, and one big, long downer...with a crazy, ambiguous, unsatisfying ending.  I really enjoy dark humor...but this one totally missed the mark for me altogether.  I still can't believe it got best picture.
Sorry.  I usually figure if I don't have anything good to say...well, you know.  But best picture?!  I am still totally baffled by that.  Did anyone else see it and love it?  I am mystified.  Except for knowing who the voters were. 
I did love The Theory of Everything and am looking forward to seeing The Imitation Game which is coming out the end of the month on Netflix.  I haven't even watched the latest season of House of Cards yet and the newest season of Mad Men just showed up on Netflix, too.  Always plenty to watch.  :)
I hope this is a better day and I can get back to the sewing machine.  That's the plan.  (But that was the plan yesterday--LOL!)  I am on the mend now, though.  Today is bound to be better than yesterday.
  Have a great week!!
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Good Morning!  It's Tuesday already.  We've had such beautiful spring-like days...and this weekend they were summer-like (65 and 74!!).  We're back to the spring-like 40s and 50s this week.  The sun has been out a lot...windows and porch door cracked to wide open...
...Karma's been spending a lot of time on the porch... 
...watching the chatty geese flapping by in those first small groups. 
I say "spring-like" and "summer-like" because this is really too early for this weather.  It's kind of hard to believe we won't have more ice and snow before May. 
Time will tell.
Looks like they are putting up another apartment building over by the last one.  Yesterday it drizzled for a good chunk of the day.  Our one dark day.  
But this was the pastel sunset last night, though. 
Right now it's 32, but is supposed to get up near 50 later.  Will this last?  Will we still have snow or an ice storm?  Or will spring really arrive a good month early? 
Well, as you know from my last post (I missed T-Day by a day), I am happy to be back online!  I lost all my pictures taken since some time in December.  I didn't think I had posted her, so I re-took the door angel so you could see how pretty she is in my bathroom.  
Thanks again, Jeannie!
I actually bought some art stuff this month.  Not that I'll have time to use them any time soon, but it is my birthday month so I just bought them for myself.  ;)  Got the Pebeo paints--three fluorescent and the rest have this cool shimmer to them.  You saw me playing very briefly with the fluorescent ones.  
I've seen people use these on gelli plates quite often.  From Dick Blick I also ordered the other small gelli plate so now I have them both (5 X 7 and 3 X 5).  I have a large acrylic block coming from Amazon that will fit the smallest one to really be able to use it as a stamp!  Cool! 
Basically been sewing since we last spoke.  Finished another trial set of pads (Leah adds the snaps).
We both decided that the wider wings were not going to cut it because they didn't fold as well as we would like...or folded too much fabric, I should say.  So we tweaked the patterns one last time and are just going for it.  Need to get the sewing projects done before April as McFamily is leaving on the 3rd!  Whoohoo!  They were thinking of doing two weeks in Japan and one week in Australia, but it would cost way too much for them to add Australia.  So--it will be three weeks in Japan!  I can hardly wait for video chats!  
Leah came over for most of Saturday by herself so we could work on the stroller cubby project.  We figured out a pattern and then Leah did all the cutting and sewing.  TaDa!  It turned out absolutely perfectly!!  It slides over the handles snuggly and can just stay there when the stroller is folded up.
It's made out of neoprene which is strong but very pliable.  Has two big hanging pouches.  Each of those is divided in half and holds a lot!  
Here we put in both our water bottles and my coffee mug with room to spare.  [That's my what-I-am-drinking contribution for T-Day over at Elizabeth's this week--LOL!  Hi, girls!]   
 There's room for sippy cups, toys, cell phones or even a small tablet...whatever.  Not that they'd use it for electronics on vacation, but they go walking around the neighborhood pretty often in nice weather months.
It's always such a thrill when you invent your own pattern and it turns out so well, you know?  We weren't sure how to connect the straps and had discussed velcro, elastic, bungee chords...but when it came to actually putting it together...we didn't need any of those things at all!  Made longer straps and just sewed them together so the whole thing slips over the handles when the stroller is not clicked open.  Click it open and the cubby fits snug as a bug in a rug!  Awesome!
  Oh, and BTW--Miss Brother did not like the neoprene, either.  *sigh*  She'd miss stitches unless you sewed at a snail's pace, but the Diva did cooperate fairly well when Leah did that.  I had learned how to work around her ornery temperament while making the toy tote so I had a few tricks up my sleeve.  LOL!  Anyways, the stroller cubby fit and worked out perfectly.  Still just makes me smile thinking about it.  :)
Meanwhile...I have been getting ready for some assembly-line sewing. 
I'm still using my Baby Steps List (the checking you see was for that last set of three pads) as a guide for this big batch. 
Just multiplying each step by 16 this time.  (Leah didn't ask for that many, but I thought I might as well use up the rest of the PUL-waterproof fabric--as long as I was cutting.)
We decided to make them all with flannel because that is lighter weight for summer and easier to sew on for the mass producing, too.  We need a lot more flannel.  Leah is dropping off some more today, I believe.  I hope so because I am as far as I can go on the assembly line until I have the flannel to cut and I'm hoping to get them all done before next Monday.  Little doubt as to what I'll be doing all week, eh?  LOL!  ;)
 Miss Karma has no idea how much I am going to be gone in April visiting Sammy and Annie (McFamily's cats)--LOL!  I think she mostly sleeps while I am gone, anyways.  Just like she mostly sleeps while I am home--LOL!
And last, but certainly not least, I had two pictures of Ian on a blog post before McLap's brain went blank.  They were saved in cyberspace in a draft!!

I've never used drafts.  Happened to see it said I had a "draft" post...huh?  And look what I found!  :):) 

I sit down to write and you get what you get.  I don't know how to edit pictures or videos so you get what you get with those, too.  I'm an immediate kind of girl, I guess--LOL!  I have had pictures that were a couple weeks old before, but rarely.  These are great ones from mom!  Ian is now a crawler.  Soon he'll be a genuine toddler at this rate!  I'm glad I found these!!
Oh, and one last thing--beware of the phone scammers!  I got an automated call telling me that the IRS was going to file a lawsuit against me and to call this particular number.  I laughed because the government certainly knows everything about my finances for over a decade.  They own me--LOL!  So I'd have to go to prison...and hope they take cats.  Can't get blood from a stone, as they say. 
Seriously, though.  Imagine how many people believe that computer-voice and call the number!  I googled it and these scammers get people to give them financial access because they convince them that they owe the government in back taxes.  And they can go so far as to send fake government letters and make (human) harassment calls, etc.  But you would have gotten a certified letter from the government if there were any issues at all.  You'd be audited.  They would never use an automated electronic call in the first place.  Beware!  These scammers really start hitting the public hard from now till tax time, I guess.
Well, that's it from Fargo for today.  I may not have any time to post until next Tuesday with all this sewing, but we'll see.  I never know how I'll be feeling.  This bit of spring fever and sunshine has helped with motivation--LOL!  ;)  
Have a wonderful week.   
"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass where ever you may be."
Robert Fulghum