Thursday, June 30, 2016


Good Afternoon!
We've had some days where the patio door could be open...
...and some days it was too hot and sticky...
...but even on the hot days Miss Karma wants at least a little whiffing time.
I've had worse IBS issues ever since I got that horrendous flu, so I wasn't able to make it to Ian's birthday party on Saturday...but Dagan sent me some pictures!
Ian with his aunt, Michal, and cousins, Julian and Elliott (in the high chair).
Eating birthday cake in his booster chair. 
Opening presents! 


  More treats?
Looks like he even got a little something extra at bedtime, too.  :) 

 I wasn't able to make it over there on Sunday, either...or have Leah over for crafts on Monday.  But Leah did stop over briefly on Monday night with some probiotics and critter stuff.  I am hoping taking probiotics might help.  :)
Other than that, I have been doing well and keeping busy.  Been slowly working on Christmas cards and birthday cards...
...watched the new season of Orange Is The New Black...made soup & bread...cleaned out the humidifiers for the summer...balanced the checkbook & wrote out bills...stuff like that.  :)  Oh! oh!  Leah found out why the printer wouldn't work!!  The new modem--duh!  It needed to be connected to the new modem.  Whew!  Although the color is still all off, it is printing again.
Last night rain clouds rolled in.
Cooled off, too, so that we have it open again today--hurray!
One of the things Leah picked up for me was a big saucer for water for the critters--the kind you put under a plant pot.  Karma was fascinated by the big raindrops plopping on the surface.
And--yes--as you can see, I "borrowed" a big rock from the landscaping around the building...
...but the birds haven't used it yet to splash in that I've seen.  They're getting used to it being out there, though.  The first day the blackbirds wouldn't even come on the patio to eat--LOL!  They are really chickens disguised as blackbirds.  Only braver in a group/gang.  
I took a couple videos of the critters feasting away on the patio one morning.  Mostly for Ian...our very own Fargo nature show.  But I had trouble uploading them.  I'll try again today.  Google bought YouTube, too, right?  It didn't like me having my old youtube account as soulcomfort1 and made me a new one as Rita McGregor--and keeps popping back over to that account.  I've tried to delete that one but have not been successful.  Sometimes I accidentally spend forever uploading videos and they are on the wrong account--*sigh*  Apparently, that's what happened--or tried to?  I don't think they actually published over there, either?  Not exactly sure what went wrong, to be honest.  I shall try again today to upload the Fargo nature videos--LOL!  When I get them published then I can put them on the blog for you.  :)
 Oh, and something else Leah found at Lowe's for me was a 5 lb bag of sunflower seed chips!  Awesome!  I was so hoping I could get sunflower seeds cheaper for the birds and our Little Buddies.  They aren't whole, but the birds and ground squirrels won't care.  :)
It's a gorgeous cooler day today--65 degrees right now.  In fact, let's see if my drop box is working better than it was...
Well, it isn't working automatically again for some reason, but I could send the picture manually.  Anyways, beautiful day!!  Hope you're having a beautiful day, too.  :) :)
"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 wherever you may be."
Robert Fulghum

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Today is International Typewriter Day!
Never knew there was a day for typewriters, did you?
I bought this old Underwood manual typewriter several years ago because it was very similar to the typewriter I learned to type on in the basement when I was a teenager.
Why did I buy it when it is so difficult to type on?  
(Especially with a bum arm-LOL!)  
Just nostalgia. 
Even though we were only allowed three errors (corrected with white out) on assignments before it would effect our grade so I was, therefore, often up late smacking away at those keys retyping almost complete pages because I didn't want my typing to be the cause for a lower grade and took my writing assignments very seriously--I still love an old Underwood.  
There's a clacking-dinging-sliding rhythm to the old typewriters.  I still love that sound.  I am glad I have my Underwood now so that Ian will know it one day, too.  So--Happy Typewriter Day!!
I made it out to the garage--LOL!
You can see all the furniture they use for ValleyCon--a bar, tables, benches... 
...and on top of my car is a StarGate that goes around the doorway to their suite entrance (really cool). 
The Paseo isn't gong anywhere at the moment, let alone traveling through a StarGate to another world...since it can't even be charged with a charger--ROFL!
I had this idea to try to put some water out for the birds and Little Buddy.  I took the old green kitty litter tray and filled it with an ice cream pail of water...but it scared them all to death, I guess. 
So, the next day I brought the tray back in and rinsed it out.  Karma jumped inside, of course. 
Don't worry.  It was only actually used for kitty litter briefly once when Karma was a kitten.  She was much too violent a digger for such a small litter pan.  But I kept it and have used it for various craft projects ever since.  Sadly, it did not work out for critter water, though.  Maybe it was the dark color or the size?
Anyways, Leah came over for crafts Monday night and we got a lot done!  We filled both the black table... 
...and the art table by the window... 
...with the Christmas ornament stamped fronts.   
See them shine like they are actual glass?  We put some old 3D Lacquer (used it up finally!) and some Glossy Accents on each of the ornament balls.  They take a long time to dry so they sat overnight...with the door shut to keep cat and cat hair away--LOL!
We also experimented and decided on how to embellish the other card fronts.  They were difficult to get in a photo--but the bigger birthday cake one will have some shimmer... 
...and the crazy cat one will have some puffy frosting on the top of the cake. 
These Japanese pens are fun to play with.  You draw on the color... 
...and then use a heat gun to puff it up. 
A bit tricky.  A lot depends on how much "ink" you put on the paper and then how long you heat it.  No two will look alike, that's for sure--LOL!  But it will be fun when we get to that part.
Was hot and sticky.
Karma remained at her critter post. 
[When I took the picture and talked nice to her she started "petting herself" on the rug.  She's a sucker for my sweet talk.] 
Finally yesterday it was only warm and I opened the place up. 
Karma was extra happy. 
She likes to be able to hear her CatTV full blast with smell-o-vision!
I did take a picture of another happy mail surprise gift and took videos of the critters on the patio this morning--but they haven't yet arrived into DropBox.  Could be my sketchy internet since that was hours ago.  If I ever can get a hold of them, you'll see them.
Oh, and I had hoped to catch both Little Buddies--yes, I saw one chase another one away this morning.  No such luck.  Only one at a time.  But now I might have to call our little ground squirrel friends something else, eh?
The Internet is better and worse and then better.  Frankly, I haven't felt up to dealing with it yet.  I'm far too cranky when it comes to techie stuff right now and I don't want to be an unnecessarily cranky customer.  It's not that bad...yet.  I have just had my fill of technical issues.
Because I've also been dealing with my touchy, lazy HP printer.  Just trying to print off my bank statement so I can balance my checkbook has become a complete ordeal--for months.  Both Dagan and Leah have tried to help me with it.  *sigh*  
I spent an hour yesterday struggling with McLap (who has to be plugged in directly or the HP printer will not acknowledge her existence).  Also trying with the HP laptop--which will occasionally work with the printer wirelessly like it is supposed to...but not yesterday.  The printer did tell me once that my yellow ink cartridge was past the expiration date.  But that's the new one I just put in a while ago that Leah got for me at Costco.  I got all the colors and two big blacks--and now they might all be out of date and my printer won't let me use them?!  AWK!!  I am not sure if that is the real issue or not because my printer has never, shall we say, liked working.  It is quite the slacker.
Oh, and to get a statement sent to you in the mail from my bank these days--they charge a fee!  *sigh*
Meanwhile, I am still trying to get used to this new system on McLap, the HP microsoft laptop, and now a new cell phone.  My foggy brain is on overload--ROFL! 
So, if they are all irritating me too much...I shall read and write letters and put some sparkle on card parts...and wait until my tech support arrives.  Leah might be here Monday for crafts again.  ;) ;)
I just make a copy of anything I dare try to post or send (like this blog post), click, and pray.  Have a super weekend, everybody!!  :) :)
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 

Monday, June 20, 2016


Been over a week!  
Well, this time--gratefully--it was because I was busy!  I've given up expected to stay well so I just decided to start getting as much done as possible as soon as I begin to feel halfways decent again.  But before I show you what I've been doing I want to show you the art surprises I got in the mail!
The one with the cats on the left is a beautiful handmade multi-media postcard from Deb Terry (jinxxxygirl) over at Learning To Just Breathe.  Came through the mail without being damaged at all!  On the right...well, believe it or not, that was an envelope made out of watercolor paper that came from Desi over at Pieceful Art...which also made it through the perils of the post office in perfect condition.  I carefully trimmed the rest of the square envelope away and have a stunning watercolor painting to keep.   
Such artistic blogger friends I have, eh?  
Thanks so very much, ladies!
Snail mail rules!!
Since I started feeling well enough to get something done Karma has had to struggle to sleep through my activities.  I have been encroaching on her 16 hours of beauty sleep--LOL!
Okay, last Monday night Leah made it over for crafts and we decided to just play with paints!  Such a fun relaxing night. 
We were just slapping paint on stickers.  I had more writing prompt stickers to color and also took some regular avery stickers of different sizes to paint that I can then use in my journals to write or draw on.
We also experimented with embellishments on the Christmas ornaments stamps.  
We have decided which way to go with them and will be working on those now tonight.  Sweet!
An old sheet works great on the floor to lay out all the sticker sheets to dry.  Of course as soon as Leah left you-know-who had to go lay on them.  
Who me?
Luckily they were dry enough by that time that she didn't end up being Rainbow Karma--LOL! 
The Midco Tech guy never did give me a call-back.  The internet has been okay and then not okay...but over the weekend was just fine.  I have hesitated to call back...kind of like when your car makes strange noises for you but not when you decide to bring it in.  Since it has been better lately I'm waiting to see how it goes.
Frankly, I've just been busy all week trying to get things done while I felt better.  Make hay while the sun shines, eh?  :) 
Karma has been busy keeping an eye on Little Buddy.
We've been closed up with the AC on--80s and 90s and even the couple of days it was a little cooler the humidity was like 80-90%--awk!  Until today!!  
Oh--and for the very first time since we moved here in August Miss Karma finally decided to use the other recliner.  Not sure why she wouldn't before.  Karma logic, as you know, is a complete mystery. 
But--she's still usually in her favorite spot in the chair next to me at the kitchen table... 
...where she is right this moment as I am typing away.
Well, since I felt halfways decent this past week I FINALLY attacked some projects that have been on my list since I moved!  (So you know that when I AM well I am feeling better and have more energy!) 
I didn't get a before picture, but you see that EMPTY letter tray on top of the wire drawers...well, paperwork was smashed in so tight between that and the shelf that I could barely get one more sheet in there.  I had not filed any paperwork whatsoever since I moved!!
[An aside for those pen folks:  In the bottom wire drawer you can see an old padded box cover that I lined with felt.  That is where I keep all my currently filled fountain pens.  Four more of them were out on the table when I took this picture.] 
Anyways, not that you can actually see much of anything after my two days of work--but the desk files are all done--sorted, organized, old files out, new files made...ahhhh!   
Then on Wednesday Leah and Ian came to spend the whole afternoon!  Ian has a hard time concentrating to eat lunch over here because Gramma's place is just too exciting.  (Or Gramma is maybe too animated--LOL!)  We watched more episodes of Africa with David Attenborough on Netflix.  Ian showed me how he has learned to jump with both feet now.  And the afternoon was also too exciting for Gramma to remember to take pictures--LOL!!
I then worked on another project I had been waiting to feel well enough to accomplish...moving around and reorganizing some things in the kitchen.  Got that done, too!!  TaDa! 
On Saturday McFamily was finally able to borrow a friend and his truck to help move the ValleyCon furniture over here to store in my garage.  I haven't been out there yet but I do have a big project waiting for me in the garage, too.  
I have been putting things out there for Freecycle all winter and have things I don't need here at the new place, too, that never came inside in the first place.  Sorting through it all and writing down all of it to put in a whole series of ads in Freecycle has felt totally overwhelming.  
But I just realized yesterday that it would be soooooo much easier to just donate it all at once to New Life.  Duh!!  I really have been foggy brained--good grief!  I've donated to New Life several times over the years.  They help homeless people get back on their feet and also have a little thrift store.  Good people.  So, that's what I am going to do.  I'll need Dagan or Leah to come help me move things all in a bunch up by the door, but that's a LOT easier than putting up a dozen ads on Freecycle.  TaDa!!
Anyways, Dagan and Ian came to the door after they had unloaded the ValleyCon furniture while Leah went with their friend to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up a couple patio chairs for me.  (Mesh--no cushions to get soaked so you can't sit in them for a week like my old padded chair.)  And Leah already picked up the matching kids chair--it's in their garage.  Cool!  (And they were pretty cheap, too!)
I could hear Ian as Dagan was opening the door saying "Africa!  Africa!"  So we watched a little more about the Sahara Desert while we waited for Leah to arrive with the chairs.  Ian and I do love our nature shows!!  ;)  
Oh, and I forgot to show you the goodies I bought this month for working on our sets of cards.  I got some big Liquitex acrylic paint markers, a set of Wink of Stella markers, a few Wink of Stella brush pens... 
...Souffle pens, and Japanese puffy pens. 
Remember when I had the studio tables all cleared off and pretty empty just a little while ago? 
I am not quite as compulsively neat in the studio, I guess.  LOL! 
Since I had completely spaced and not gotten pictures of Ian when he was here I asked Leah to send me some.  When they were working on the deck the weekend before last goggles were necessary to keep the wood dust out of your eyes.  Ian loved the goggles! 

And yesterday Mr. Ian was over at the Red River Zoo!   
That's actually a buffalo statue painted like a tiger--LOL! 
[They had buffalos all over town several years ago all painted by different artists in all kinds of crazy ways.  Was a hoot!] 
Here's Ian in front of a rabbit cave--LOL! 
He looks pretty sharp in those shades. 
While they were (melting) at the zoo I was working on laundry and re-organizing my closet and dresser.  Another project I finally checked off my list!!  Also sent off half a dozen letters I owed this week, too.  (So nice to have been busy since we last spoke and not sick--ROFL!)  Needless to say I have been waiting to start watching Orange Is The New Black because I didn't want to get stopped in my tracks when I was on a roll! 
Right now, I am off to clear the tables in the studio again.  We will need surfaces to let things dry as we are playing with 3D Crystal Lacquer and Glossy accents tonight.  They take way too long to dry to leave about on the floor.  Karma would be sticky and shiny--probably with cardstock stuck to her fur.  So we need surface areas I can keep out of reach from the feline roommate.  Gosh!  I love having a door to the studio!! 
Oh, and it's 72 degrees and only 28% humidity today!!  Open patio door!  Sun is shining!  Little Buddy and the birds have been here munching on sunflower seeds and oat nut bread.  What a sweet break from the heat!!
Have a really great week!!  :) :)
"To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle."
Walt Whitman