Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Good Morning!  
Can't believe it is Tuesday already.
Miss Karma waits at the patio door...
...for her morning sniff...  
...of fresh air... 
...laced with a hint of rabbit poop. 
It was warm for three days last week--30s and even got up to 47 one day.  Lots of melting going on and it felt like spring.  And now it has been above freezing again for a couple of days--whoohoo!  :)  It's nice when the February thaw comes around to give us a short break.
I ordered a clear cover for my big cast iron skillet and a couple more utensils to match the new ones I got from McFamily for Christmas (because I love them and everybody needs more than one big spoon or turner--and I need more soup ladles, for sure).  Luckily for Karma, Amazon sent them in ridiculously large boxes so she's claimed them.
We have seen the sun a couple of times--honest.  LOL!  Sometimes only for a peek in the morning.
Yesterday morning Karma wondered why I was acting all frustrated and was getting up and down messing with the modem and McLap instead of allowing her her precious snoozy morning next to me at the table. 
I had no internet.  
Even when I restarted the modem and McLap. 
So I got a hold of Leah to see if they had internet (now that we have the same company) but hers was fine.  She wondered if it might have something to do with the big funeral at Scheel's Arena which is less than two blocks from me.  We had a policeman killed on duty up here--first one in 130 years.  Even some Canadian mounties were coming down for the funeral yesterday and they expected around 6,000 people to attend.  (Remember I don't have TV anymore.)  It's been all over TV up here since it happened and they were going to televise the funeral and stream it online yesterday, too, Leah thought.
 Yup, she was right.  The internet came and went during the day several times--overloaded by the influx of thousands of people along the procession route--and probably more people watching online at one time than ever--but service was all back to normal after the funeral.  You can't be annoyed when it was because of something of such import.  I kind of felt badly that I didn't know and had been annoyed, you know?  
It was a dark day but above freezing, at least--so no ice.  There was a 21 mile procession through town.  You can read about him here and see the funeral here.  (I haven't had the time to watch the whole two hours yet, but I will finish the last half today.)  I do admire those brave human beings who put their lives on the line for others.  
Rest in peace.
  On a lighter note, Leah changed Craft Night from Sunday to Monday so she was over last night--earlier.  (Dagan put Ian to bed so that she wasn't here till all hours--LOL!)  We had a long list of things to do--from fixing the hinge on Karma's cat box to watching some card videos to filling a box of goodies to send off to Donn in Florida.  She brought me over some cupcakes, too!  We always have a great time.  :)  And we never even got around to working on cards and tags last night--LOL!  Next week.
Karma is snoring next to me in her chair.  All is right with her world today.  It's another dark, cloudy day--about the same as yesterday--35 degrees right now.  Just above freezing.  But we had some rain or something during the night and the sidewalks and parking lot looked coated with ice when I first got up.  Melting slowly now that it's above freezing.  The grouse are around actually grazing once in a while instead of constantly racing past.  Maybe it's been this false sense of early spring that has them all riled up?  Who knows?  
I've still been spending most of my time writing/answering letters.  Sent off number 48 today!!  Whoohoo!!  I've almost completed my master list that I wrote up the beginning of the month.  Now am just continuing to respond to letters I am getting in the mail, so the letter writing has slowed way down.
My knee is better.  Still blowing my nose, but feeling pretty decent again.  And I can have a cupcake for dessert at lunch!  Life is good.  :) :)
Oh no!  I totally forgot the drink pic for T-Stands For Tuesday!  Well, you know my red thermal mug is right next to McLap here.  ;)  Happy Tuesday!!  Have a really good week.  :) :)
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” 
Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Late start today.
Hope you'll join me with a cuppa.  :)
(How did I have this many pictures when I was sick?!)
My view from my chair all week.  
No better place to be sick than our new home.  :)
 Until Saturday evening I was just in my big brown chair hanging out with Karma, cold medicine, a box of Puffs, and my lap desk.  Karma was glad when I felt decent enough to be back at the kitchen table.  Here she is using the wooden arm of "her" chair as a pillow.  
We had dark days and blindingly bright days.  Freezing cold winds...but Karma and I were inside nice and warm. 
Amazon delivered five new little board books for Ian when he comes over.  (Ignore the mess on the table.)  Ian loves books!  (And Gramma loves to read them to him.)   
I did get card fronts cut for stamping with the MISTI on Craft Night with Leah on Sunday.  I had almost cancelled, but so glad I didn't because I finally did start to sound human by Saturday--knee is better, too.  (And we had a fun night--till 2:30am!) 
The Zig Clean Color brush marker set came, too.  I stuck them in one of the pretty pots Leah made me in pottery class. 
The red thermal mug is always by my side with hot coffee (especially in the winter--LOL!) so I have a few shots for the T-Stands For Tuesday group.  I am so boring with always drinking the same thing.  Well, that's not true.  I drink many different kinds of black coffees, but in the same favorite red mug.  
I worked and worked on letters all week.  Sent out 33 so far and have a dozen more lined up--plus I might get some more in the mail to answer before the end of February--whoohoo!  So I already finished the challenge of a letter a day in February for Month of Letters.  Felt good to send out several letters to people I haven't written to for some time.  Oh--and--if it weren't for the people who sent me books of stamps inside their Christmas cards (you know who you are) I wouldn't have been able to do this.  Thank you so much!!!  Really kept my mind off the snot brain and kept me very, very busy.  :)
 This was taken on Sunday but is exactly where Karma is again right this moment--in her chair by my side.  She thinks all is right with the world again.  (Even if she preferred all the extra comfy chair time, she does like our new routine here--LOL!) 
Where I usually spend my mornings (and most of the afternoons) next to Karma--LOL! 
We did get a little snow. 
Naturally, the wind rearranged it... 
...across the sidewalks. 
 I do find the snowbanks almost sculptural. 
They look quite ice-packed, don't they? 
One day while the wind howled and I was up stretching...I looked out the window and saw what looked like three boulders in the snow.  Was three jackrabbits hunkered down, ears flattened, faces into the wind, just waiting out the bad weather like statues, I guess.  I have never seen that before. 
Ever since that last big windstorm there have been panicky, restless, running, flying, chasing grouse.  I tried to snap a picture of this big one as he was chasing one my usual group of medium-sized grouse. 
I've seen two of these bigger grouse that look almost twice the size of "my" little family members and they chase them everywhere.  Meanwhile, there are also some new younger, smaller grouse that were trying to follow my usual group around--but then they were chasing those smaller ones away!  Haven't seen the smallest ones since.  It's been very stressful in the grouse world.
It says online that they are territorial--so maybe the high winds blew in bigger birds who want to take over here?  They aren't supposed to have their breeding season until spring--but I wondered about that being the cause, too?
My cell phone doesn't zoom well.  (Neither does my camera.)  After the big guy went chasing after one of my lone grouse...noticed a few of the family kind of hiding over by the garages across the way.  That was as close as I could get a shot.
There has been no calm grazing going on since the big bullies arrived like a week and a half ago.  I don't see the grouse every day like I used to.  And when I do they are racing or flying past.  Poor things.  Not a good time to be under high stress when there is so little to eat, you know?  But that's the latest from North Sky's Wild Kingdom.  ;)
Leah came over Sunday night for Craft night after Ian went to bed.  First we played a little with trying to cut out some snowflake dies we bought ages ago and hadn't tried.  The intricate dies would not cut paper no matter what "sandwich" of plates, shims, and even the metal plate that we tried.  Only one set of snowflake dies worked (white paper ones on the right).  We even tried foam.  The plain cheap foam worked (pink snowflakes at the bottom) but are such a pain to try to glue on to paper.
So we tried some sticky back foam (above-left) but it would only cut the foam and not much or any of the sticky back paper.  We picked out the waste materials--but wouldn't be able to use these for making 80-100 Christmas cards that's for sure.  :(  Not with the Cuttlebug, anyways.
We've been having troubles all along with the intricate dies using the Cuttlebug.  Even buying the metal plate hasn't helped.  We are going to have to investigate online to find out which die cut machine is the best for all these new skinny, skinny intricate dies.  Maybe down the line we will have to buy a new machine.  We may just have used the heck out of this one--LOL!  It seemed to cut better when it was new a decade or so ago.  ;)
It still cuts our old Spellbinder dies okay.  Leah was cutting circles for hours for her recyclable Christmas present tags.  She finished (and that is why we just kept going so late)--tada!  She's making them in red, green, and deep blue.  Next she will punch the snowflakes for the front circles.    
She did punch a couple to test the new snowflake punch.  They will be layered like this. 
I think they are so pretty!  And there's a white circle on the back so she can write the "to and froms".  
  I was working on stamping fronts for birthday cards--and I finished these 70 card fronts, too.  (LOVE the new MISTI!!)
You can see why I will need a good long time to color all of these--LOL!  I already have the 2016 birthday cards made up, so I have lots of time.  ;)  Feels good to be ahead of the game, though.  And I have a couple more to stamp up and color, too!  
I got this mandala coloring book from AliceKay for Christmas.  The page on the left was pre-colored to show you how it can be done.  That wasn't me!
But I did color the blank smaller one on the right hand side. 
Perfect for me to experiment on how to use these new Zig Clean Color brush markers. 
I have never had brush markers...  
...and they do take some getting used to. 
These have real bristles and not just harder foam.  
Whole new experience.  I need to practice--and the mandala coloring book is absolutely perfect for that.  (Thanks, AliceKay!)  I am slowly getting used to having a much lighter touch to get into the teeny tiny spaces.  :)
Let's see.  What else?
Oh, I didn't make it to the potluck meeting last Tuesday, of course, being croupy-sounding sick.  But I did call the lady whose number was on the flyer and suggest we get set up here with the library outreach program and gave her Pam's number.  And I did say she could put me down for the possible craft group that was mentioned if we are bringing our supplies down to the community room to chat together while we work on our various projects.  She said there is going to eventually be a calendar flyer put out every month to let us know what is when.  :)
I am having issues again with my email notifications for blog posts.  I think I am missing some altogether and some are being stacked up and sent all together later.  Sometimes MUCH later!  For example, I got 25 at once in one email from Fishducky!  So, if you haven't heard from me for a while, that could be the problem.  This has happened before.  Nothing I can do about it.  :(  Just wanted to let you know.  And--no--nobody is being sent to Spam this time--LOL!  That has happened, too, out of the blue.  Don't you love technology?  Then Google is also behaving like boys with secret clubhouse passwords.  Well, we just have to keep plugging along with what we have to work with, right?  I'd feel lost without it.  ;)
That's the last week from my little corner of the world.  :)  I hope to be writing letters, learning how to use my brush markers, working on cards...and staying well!!!!  :):)
"To us, our house was not unsentient matter -- it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction."
Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


The morning before the blizzard was supposed to arrive.
 Saturday morning.  I woke up early--coughing--so I was up before dawn.
I have been coughing here and there for a week, actually.  But since it was only 2-3 times a day I thought maybe it was dry air (even though my electric hair has calmed down now that Dagan closed the air-exchange vents for me).  
Anyways, the wind sure came roaring in by Saturday afternoon.  We did get the tremendous winds that's for sure... 
...but we got very little snow here in Fargo.  So only half the blizzard conditions--but that's a very good thing.
  Karma was watching tiny twigs caught in the vortex on the patio. At first she was trying to catch them through the glass and was running back and forth. 
As you can see, I cracked the patio door a tiny bit so we could really listen to the howling of the wind.  Karma seemed amazed. 
Three jackrabbits came bounding past...and the poor grouse!  It was so windy they couldn't fly--no control--they'd almost flip upside-down!  So they were running across the sidewalks and slipping all over on the ice.  The animals seemed to be panicking out there...trying to find a place to hunker down.  I thought they were supposed to sense bad weather coming?  Maybe city grouse aren't as smart that way--LOL!  
The wind was fierce all night and was still gusting (they had predicted 50-60mph) with great force on Sunday.  
But, as you can see, we didn't get much snow at all.  Of course, with that wind whatever we did get could have been blown right on into Minnesota--LOL!  
You may notice that my metal glider chair... 
...was picked up and moved several feet! 
It was still being whipped back and forth on Sunday and the back feet were being lifted right off the ground.  I was afraid of it being actually blown over and dented or damaging something so I wanted to lay it down on its side. 
My patio screen door was frozen shut (eg: it's 10 degrees right now), so I decided to go around outside since my patio is the closest one next to the sidewalk out there it would be easy.  I bundled up...thought I was being really careful...but fell down hard on my right knee on the icy sidewalk.  Managed to get up, go over to lay the chair down, and limp ever so carefully home.   
So, I spent the last couple days with my feet up babying this lovely, swollen knot on my knee.  I can move it and bend it so it's fine--don't worry.  Jolted my hip bones a bit, too--LOL!  It's already better than it was by today...but...now I woke up this morning unable to breathe because my entire head is both stuffed and leaking--and I'm occasionally coughing, too, for good measure.  I guess I have been fighting a cold after all, ya think?  Come on, immune system!  Let's get back in the game here!  (Don't let that remark fool you into thinking I may have watched football this weekend--don't even know who played--LOL!)
Tonight there is a pot luck here in the community room.  Our first official meeting.  (I knew I would be in no shape to cook or bake so I had bought some bakery cookies when I was shopping with Leah.)  But now--I am in no shape to go at all.  The limping wouldn't have stopped me, but I don't want to go coughing and snotty and spreading germs around.  So I will call the lady in charge today and let her know that my suggestion would be to set up the library outreach program here.  They wanted people to come and share ideas as to what kind of things we want to do/have here.
So that is what has been happening since Friday--LOL!  Embarrassing to admit.  First the ice fall.  And then to be sick AGAIN!  Dang it, anyways.  Well, at least I have been writing letters every day.  That and Netflix I can manage.  Karma loves all the extra comfy chair time...so somebody's really happy over my misfortune--ROFL!  It's a good thing you can't spread germs through a keyboard, though.  
Oh, I forgot to take a picture of what I am drinking for T-Stands For Tuesday!  I've got my cell right next to me...just a minute.
There's my trusty red mug filled with Starbuck's french roast coffee.  :)
I'm not at the kitchen table where I normally am all morning.  I'm using my laptop table at my chair so I can keep my knee up... 
...which Miss Karma is quite happy about.
(But she wasn't happy about me waking her up for pictures--LOL!) 
Oh no!  I just realized that I never got Elizabeth's Tuesday T-Day post...so I will have to go search for it.  
Yes, she had one and I linked it.  This means that either my "follow by email" is acting up--once again--or it's google messing with my emails--once again.  I need to go check my spam folder.  *sigh*
Good thing I am able to laugh at all of this nonsense--LOL!
It is still going to be a good day.
Just ask Karma.  ;)
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich

Friday, February 05, 2016


Good afternoon!
We had a dusting of snow.
It's sunny and 26 degrees (feels like 16, it says-but I am not venturing forth today). 
I didn't make the grocery trip on Wednesday.  Was hobbly stiff and too sore to do all the walking.  But I woke up feeling better yesterday and off we went to Cashwise after Ian had his nap.  I only remembered to take a couple pictures because of this shocking and puzzling sight!  Those are library books in that vending machine!  I never knew there was such a thing!  Blew my mind! 
I assume you must have to use your library card somehow.  We didn't look closely enough to figure it out--but has anyone else seen library book vending machines?
Then off we went into the new Cashwise store that is really close to me and where Caroline shops for me, too. 
 It was an adventure--for me, anyways--lol!  This new store has so much in bulk items that it boggled my mind!  Everything from flour and spices to beans and nuts.  Awesome!!  And they had a sale on boxes of pasta--10 for $10--so I stocked up. 
My leg didn't go numb (sciatica) until the last ten minutes, so that was really good.  Ian is such a character.  A wonderful afternoon.  Such good company--and I learned a lot about what is available at the store for future ordering.  Whoohoo!
When we were checking out I was surprised by an older lady who lived down the hall from me at West Winds!  She asked how Karma was and if I liked the new place.  I must have told her half a dozen times how much I absolutely love it here.  Felt kind of guilty as she told me about the annual lakes of water in the yard and all the soggy dog poop, etc.  I wish I could rescue the few older people that are still in the building.  I am so very blessed and grateful for Dagan and Leah helping me to move away from there!  
 Anyways, was such a nice trip out and about.  When we got to my apartments we stopped off at the garage.  I have my big white cart in the garage I use (well, Caroline uses) to haul groceries.  We picked that up and Leah held it out the window as we drove to the parking spot.  We did this last time, too.  I don't know why that cracks me up so much, but it does.  I could walk it over there, but I am quite limpy by the time we are done so ever-thoughtful Leah comes up with practical solutions--LOL!  
Then the cart gets loaded up, I say goodbye to Ian (who has been not wanting me to leave lately because he thinks he's coming to visit at Gramma's house), give his concerned little protesting face a kiss, and wave as I pull the cart into the apartment.  (I'm so glad Ian likes to come over to Gramma's new place...well, so do Dagan and Leah.) 
I put away everything (afraid to stop moving) before I collapsed for the evening.  Ate bananas and roasted almonds for dinner--ROFL!  Hobbling but happy today.  (And I will be so glad when Caroline will be back to doing this for me in March--LOL!)
Let's see...
I also signed up for A Month Of Letters--as you can see on the side of my blog.  Same basic idea as InCoWriMo but they actually have a badge and a sign-up spot (so I might even get letters from strangers--who knows?)  But since I have still been pretty useless for much else and hand writing is something I can usually manage to some degree even when I feel pretty awful because I have a comfy chair and a pillow/lap-desk setup...I figured I'd give it a go.  So far have sent seven letters or cards so I am doing okay.
This is the usual morning routine.  I check emails, read blog posts, and watch a few videos (mostly crafts, art, and planner videos)...
...while Karma settles in after her special canned treat to snooze in the chair next to me. 
And--I have to tell you that I am both annoyed and delighted that all Karma's refusing to eat and worrying me so much may have been, as a couple of you said, just Karma being Karma.  She has apparently changed her mysterious mind once again.  Several years ago she refused to eat anything but pate canned food.  If it had any lumps whatsoever in it she wouldn't touch it or only lick off a little bit of the gravy.  Apparently she has now decided she is bored with pate.  In fact, with this new chunky Fancy Feast with gravy, she has been asking for an extra helping of the canned food!  Instead of in the morning and around dinnertime she is also begging for a late night snack!  Good Lord!  Do you ever want to wring someone's neck and hug them at the same time?!  
(The vets wanted her to eat more canned food after she had that awful UTI--so that's when we went to twice a day instead of just mornings.)
Am going to hobble over to my chair now and work on letters...probably all weekend!  I have my faithful communicators, some people I haven't written to for quite a long time, and recently some brand new ones, too.  Nice!  :)  I'm so glad there are people who still enjoy some vintage social media!!
Am feeling so contented to be right where I am right this very moment.
Have a great weekend!
Love and hugs!!  :)
"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet." 
James Oppenheim