Thursday, July 28, 2016


Good Morning!
Sometimes when it wasn't as hot and sticky in the mornings I been able to have the patio door open for a while.  This was a few days ago...the grouse were here!  But before I could figure out how to switch the cell phone over to video... 
...they had taken off.  (I know--I can forget from use to use--really sad.)  See where Karma likes to lounge sometimes?  They don't notice her as much when she's tucked around by the glass doors.  
Not that they pay Karma too much mind any longer--LOL!
Yesterday was a really decent day!  No 100 degree heat index--whew!  I had just put out water and food for the critters when, to my surprise, the grouse showed up before anyone else.  This time I knew how to switch to video...not that this is a good one, by any means, because it's brief and they left so quickly but...I got the cluckers for ya!  hehe!  ;)
A while later... 
...(when I'm back at the kitchen table they don't notice me if I am quiet)... 
...there was a bird feast going on. 
At one point I thought I counted 17 or 18 birds on the patio and the grass nearby... 
...but then a noisy plane fly by overheard.  Poof!  LOL! 
Well, Leah was over last night and I wanted to share all the goodies she brought over!  These are some turquoise cardboard boxes with tan metal accents.
We needed someplace to store all these hundreds of finished cards when we get done, right?  These are perfect! 
Then I already had four each of the large and small white plates and those big bowls.  I believe they are the IKEA 365 series.  I now have a set of eight and Leah found smaller matching bowls, too, and got eight of those.  TaDa!  
Oh and the colorful plastic stack of plates and bowls in the center are Ian's and they're from IKEA also.  He has matching colorful plastic glasses and silverware over here, too.  The big yellow metal colander on the shelf above--I bought when I was a teenager--16, I think.  Planning ahead for when I left home and the only thing I knew how to cook was goulash at that point.  I didn't even like yellow (but they didn't have a red one) but it was so striking to see anything colorful for the kitchen back then...and I really wanted to buy something at the brand new Pier One Import store.  If that colander could talk...but I digress--LOL!
Leah noticed there is a faucet on the side of the building right near my patio...and since I am out there every other afternoon with a bucket of water and my new deck scrub broom (birds do poop continuously)...
 ...she brought me an expanding hose with a sprayer!
It is so cool!  I can jet spray off a lot of the poop--even on the chairs and tables--scrub a bit on the stubborn bits and hose them right off.  NICE!  It even cleaned off the dirty spattered windows from all the rain and I can clean the water saucer easy as pie.  I guess I need some other attachment in order to get the hose on and off the faucet easier (my grip is quite poor), but Leah said she'd find what she needs to fix that so I don't have water spraying all over the building--LOL!
And lastly...and most exciting...drumroll please!
This is a small metal rolling cart in a rusty red for $29.99! 
I've seen these in turquoise on many crafter's videos for some time but had totally forgotten they were from IKEA.  The also have them in black and cream. 
 Leah ran across them and texted me a picture.  (There are things I love about technology even if technology doesn't always love me!)
We had talked about having some kind of rolling cart in that spot for quite a few months now so that we'd have a quick place to store the current projects.  Because I use the big table every morning for catching up online, journaling, letters, or blogging (*she winks*) I have to clear all the craft projects off and carry them into the studio every night (which you can see above that small table is full again with the new turquoise boxes) to get the table set up for my morning/daytime routine.  If I want to work on cards that day then I have to clear off all the morning stuff and pile that over on my desk (which covers up my Franklin Covey monthly planner).  Not a huge issue, obviously...poor me, eh?  Can you hear the whiney violins?  But how convenient it would be to have a rolling cart to just quickly set things on instead, right?
Well, now we have the new rusty red cart!  More rust than red actually, but Leah and I both really like the color.  AND--she accidentally ran across the carts when she was on her way to buy a stool for Ian--and then forgot to buy the stool.  So...they are off visiting this weekend and then heading back to Minneapolis to go see Louis C.K. perform next week...and will be stopping off again at IKEA before they come home.  Leah will pick up Ian's forgotten step stool, she will look to see if they have another rolling cart (as you can see there is room for two), and she's picking me up a rug to put by the patio door for taking off wet shoes.  Whoohoo!
One of the reasons Gramma wants two of these little carts is because there are only three shelves, they're not huge, and she'd like to dedicate one shelf (or maybe two) strictly to Mr. Ian's art supplies.  ;) ;)  These are really sturdy and roll so smoothly in all directions.  Yes, I just love my new rolly cart!!
So now, after I get done with the rest of this morning's McLap and writing stuff, I can put the journals and letter supplies inside that top shelf for the first time.  (I have dibs on the top shelf--LOL!)  They are nice deep shelves with solid sides so you don't have to worry about small items not being contained safely.  
McFamily will be dropping off a car for me on their way out of town so that I can go take care of Sammy and Annie.  I will finally get to see Leah's garden boxes.  Lucky that the probiotics seem to be doing their thing so I should have no trouble driving the mile to their house at some point during the course of a day.  Life is good!  
Miss Karma is snoozing in front of the patio screen.  It's supposed to get up close to 80 degrees and is already--but the 67% humidity may wear on me by evening.  I'd rather leave the place open whenever I can.  Between rain and melty weather, it's not been too often the past month or so.  Grab the gusto.  Love to listen to the grouse and the squabbling blackbirds and the chittery sparrows.  
BUT--I don't know what has happened to the ground squirrels, though?!  I haven't seen any for a few days??  Been wet off and on, but that usually never stopped them for long.  I'll feel better when I see them and know they are okay.  Have really missed them.  Karma, too.  They're our favorites.  ??  Just thought--some guy came to spray for weeds a couple days ago--maybe the ground squirrels are smart and stay home for a while to avoid the chemicals?  Time will tell.
Anyways, the weekend is nigh.  The sky has been darkening, yet again, as I have been chatting away with you.  Leah and I picked out all the stamps we want to use on the various card bases, so I can get started on those with the MISTI (love that little contraption!) while they are gone.  Take care!  Be safe.  Be happy!  Life is good.  :) :)
"Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way." 
Dr. Seuss      

Monday, July 25, 2016


Been over a week already since we last spoke.
In that week we had several days with an excessive heat warning.  The temperature has dropped a bit, but it is still sticky and uncomfortable for people like me who prefer the cooler 70s weather.
Karma has always liked the heat, as you know.  So she makes up for being stuck inside with me and the AC by lying in the sun all morning--LOL!  
When Ian was here to open presents, the way Dagan held the camera so still on his elbows at the table both Leah and I had thought he was making a video.
Wrong.  :(
Just a ton of pictures... here are just a few of them. 
Ian recognized the reusable paint with water books... 
...because he already has one here at Gramma's. 
Now he has triangular crayons that won't roll off the table here at Gramma's, too. 
He knows all about these because he has a set and a drawing pad at home.   
He got a couple colorbooks... keep here. 
I'm so glad he likes colorbooks...well, books in general.   
He got his own really big sketchbook... keep at Gramma's house. 
Then he got a colorbook to bring home with him... 
...along with a paint with water book. 
Every new thing he opened he wanted to dive into right away but then there was more to open. 
Finally the big present... 
...and all else was forgotten. 
A lawnmower!  Ian studying--not sure what it was.
Leah is probably not going to put the bubbles in it because it makes a really cool sound as it is and when I read the reviews people complained about the mess of the bubbles and them not working right sometimes...and several people suggested not to even use the bubbles but they really liked the mower--so maybe not?  Ian was delighted with his new lawnmower...couldn't take his eyes off Mom while she put it together...expertly mowed my floors...and then he mowed the grass and sidewalk outside.  :)  Was a fun day--tree hugging included.  ;)
This past week I've been cooking, letter writing, reading, cleaning, trying to keep up online, and working on the sets of cards.  Been putting the two-sided tape on the backs of the card fronts now.  
One down, three to go.  Then it's back & inside card base stamping and, lastly, taping on the fronts.  Hundreds of cards do take a while, but not usually this long--LOL!  ;)
McFamily went down to Minneapolis this past weekend and stopped at IKEA before they came home yesterday.  They picked me up a couple things (no IKEA up here).  I'll be sure to take pictures when they get here!  (I am so excited!)  Leah won't be over for crafts tonight, though, because her youngest sister is visiting for a couple days from Minneapolis.  Leah will probably try to be over later in the week.
  Meanwhile, I keep taping card fronts, have food to last me for over a week, am washing sheets & towels today, have two letters going, and am deep into the chase of a serial killer in Rules of Prey by John Sandford (set in Minneapolis!).  Karma is dozing in the sun by the patio door.  I just watched the young ground squirrel fill his pouches and race off.  Karma does lift her head for the ground squirrels--LOL!
Stay warm or cool as the season warrants where you live.  Hope it is dry or wet as needed, too.  May this be a happy, enlightening week filled with surprises.  
Hugs from Fargo!!  :)
"Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy."
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Good Morning!
I can't believe it's already been over a week since I posted anything.  The time has flown.  Been too hot and/or too damp to have the patio door open very often.  I change the water and put food out for the critters on non-rainy mornings. 
Our new grouse regulars never stay very long... 
...but they are always a delight to see. 
 A few days ago I saw this little fellow!
A young ground squirrel!  He's quite feisty and likes to chase the birds away.  Ground squirrels do not like to share, apparently.  Once in a while you will hear a skirmish as a new one wants to take over eating and will drive off the former muncher.  As you can see this little fellow isn't much larger than a sparrow! 
I tried to get a video of the grouse, but by the time I figured out how to switch from photos to video on this new cell phone they were gone.  I will try to catch them one nice day when the door can be open because they sound so much like chickens when they eat!!  They cluck away!   
I have been putting down a line of food rather than one big pile so there would maybe be no squabbling.  Well, there's still squabbling, but less of it--LOL! 
Karma hadn't seen this new smaller ground squirrel... 
...and she obviously noticed the difference.  She wanted to just jump right through the screen at this little guy! 
But of course, she can't.  Good thing because the tiny guy certainly didn't pay any heed to the feline licking her chops behind him--LOL! 
I have been busy with cards.  Trimming down the card fronts. 
Here I had three sets trimmed down. 
Just kept plugging away at the table while I watched shows on McLap and Karma lazily watched her CatTV Nature Shows. 
Finished up the last set that needed trimming early last evening. 
Then McFamily came over and Ian finally got to open his presents from me.  Ian pushed his new lawnmower around in the apartment and outside on the grass.  Then we all went for a walk down the walking path as far as a couple of cottonwood trees that are right past the third building (will be the last one) that is under construction.  It was so windy that the cottonwoods made such a racket that they kind of scared Ian...well, along with the ragged, poky trunk--LOL!  (He was going to hug the tree like Gramma did and I think he thought it might have bit him--definitely dangerous in his mind.)   I am so glad they didn't cut these two cottonwoods down for the construction of buildings.  I wish they were closer so I could hear them singing and chatting in the wind.  :)
Dagan took a video of Ian opening his presents but I haven't gotten it from him yet.  If I can figure out how to get it on to the blog, I will.  :)
      Oh, and I have been in seventh heaven watching AcornTV thanks to Dianne!  (Who just met a brand new granddaughter, BTW.)  I am surprised I never heard of AcornTV since I love my PBS, British detective shows, and any British period pieces.  So, I signed up and now have a bunch of British shows for $4.99 a month (first month free).  Not that I don't love American TV (especially cable shows), but sometimes I am just in the mood for a bit less sex & gore and want things slowed down a tad with more focus on plot and character.  ;) 
Anyways, that's what's been happening up here in Karmaland.  Today I am doing laundry and making some meals to last me all week.  Of course, bean soup is on the menu.  I'm sure I'll get tired of it one day, but it's been a favorite for a while.  I think I make it every month!  Plan to make some pesto veggies and pasta, too.  Taking a break from cards for the day, but will get back on the next step in the assembly-line tomorrow.  Dagan and Leah have out-of-town company so Leah might not make it for Monday night crafts this week.  I'm still hoping to get these hundreds of cards done in the next few weeks so that we can get going on some other projects.  At least I am able to consistently accomplish more as I am feeling more myself--ahhh!  Nice!
   Have a fulfilling week!  Hope it's not too hot or too cold, as the case may be.  If you are able, hug a tree!  Been a long time since I have hugged a tree and it was soul lifting.  :) :)
"Be content to progress in slow steps until you have legs to run and wings with which to fly."
Padre Pio