Thursday, October 06, 2016


Being away for two weeks...well, this is going to be like one huge long letter...but with pictures--LOL!  Grab a cuppa...maybe a whole meal...and here we go.  :)
Oh!  First of all, why have I been gone so long when I normally don't go longer than about a week inbetween posts?  Well, when I go out and about I am always borrowing spoons against the next day (or 2 or 3 days, depending on what I am doing while I am out).  Even when it is something fun--makes no difference--I am borrowing against the future.  So, I just needed time to recover and build up some spoons after visiting Miss Annie for a week.  For those of you who were concerned and emailed me...that's all it was.  Nothing wrong.  Not sick or anything.  Just normal stuff.  :)
But I do have lots to share from the last couple weeks!
I got roses from McFamily as a thank you for taking care of Annie before they even left for Hilton Head Island in South Carolina!  The box was pretty mangled this time so there were a few stray petals as I was trimming and putting them in, naturally, Miss Karma had to rush over to claim the packaging and petals.
I didn't think Leah was going to send cut flowers anymore... 
...but they prettied up the place for over a week. 
I forgot to put them up one night and woke up to green puke from a certain leaf-stealing cat I know.
Before they left Dagan came and borrowed my 6-inch cast iron skillet so they could use it for professional photos to show how strong their magnetic strip is that McFamily is selling on Amazon.  You know--one of those strips you can hang knives on in the kitchen or spices in metal cans or anything else you can think of to use them for.  Theirs is really strong--goodness! 
Dagan surprised me--showed me a second item they are selling...wooden utensils and a holder.  I forgot to get pictures of it out of the box but got some at their place when I was over with Annie.  This one is silver and black. 
I'll post links when everything is up.  :)
Anyways, McFamily left on Saturday and I went to see Annie Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday...and brought the car back on Sunday so I could see my little buddy, Ian.  I spent extra time with Annie because she was lonesome and missing Sammy, so I was usually there 2-4 hours.
They're working away on that new bigger church in the field behind their house.  
The field of wild grasses is going to seed.  Weather has turned cold.  We might have frost/freezing the next two nights. 
Anyways, here is a white and green version of the utensils and holder.  The handles are built right in so that you can set them on the counter and they are automatically propped up off the countertop. 
They can be hung either direction on the holder.  
I didn't even know Dagan and Leah were doing more kitchen items.  Cool!
Anyways, when I was over there I also saw this card the Vet Clinic sent when Sammy died.  Very nice of them. 
While I was visiting Miss Annie (and no I didn't manage to get a picture of her--not for lack of trying--because she is so skittish)...
 ...McFamily was busy on the beach with their feet in the sand.  :)
Ian looks so small in all that vastness! 
He and Daddy having a great time in the pool. 
Looks like a beautiful island! 
They had a good time... you can see.  :) 
I love these pictures of Ian walking with Mama and Daddy at the ocean's edge... 
...Ian watching the waves come and go... 
...and playing in the sand with Mama. 
What a great trip! 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...LOL!
The grouse come by now and again.  Sometimes just a couple of them and sometimes this group of six. 
That Tuesday McFamily was gone Kirsten came from the library.  She brought me the next Cat Who book and we had quite a while to chat alone in the community room after everybody left.  Kirsten also has fibro and was forced (by her body) to quit college, too, last spring!  So we had a lot to chat about.  (And I have to finish my book before this coming Tuesday--LOL!)
Navarre wandered in at one point and I remarked that he hadn't been down yet to take pictures of my buckling floor.  He said he asked someone else to come down (maintenance man?), but I told him no one has come down yet.  I told him that if I am not the only one and this is an issue of improper installation that the owners would need to deal with the construction company.  Well, that made Navarre very uncomfortable and he was gone in no time--ROFL!
Oh, and BTW--the trying to cover the buckling area with the piece of plastic didn't work because it just moved around all the time.  :(  Oh well.  I tried.  But I'd need to get a big mat like for a desk chair or something and I am not going to invest money into this.
LOL!  When I was sticking a netflix DVD into the player... 
...Karma scooted in the cabinet and made herself to home. 
She could still watch the birds from there.  :)
These are my new cookbooks from over the last few months--both vegan and wholefood plant based. 
The worst one is Superfood Soups.  I thought--I love could that not be a good cookbook, right?  Well, the ingredients are just crazy!!  I don't know how I'd ever find a lot of these.  Like--(I am randomly flipping through)--maca powder, crodyceps powder, sea buckthorn juice, camu berry powder, dried goldenberries, yacon syrup, dried goji berries, green harissa, chaga powder, reishi powder, ground sumac, edible flowers, hachiya persimmons, dried pasilla, black forbidden rice...endless ingredients I've never heard of!  And there are tons of asian ingredients I do recognize, but don't normally have sitting around in my pantry.  Not practical for me, at all.  I am going to donate that one, but the rest of the cookbooks have promise.
As you know, I had such culinary disasters that I stuck with some tried and true cooking last week.  I made a lentil-veggie soup...well, more like a stew really.  That was vegan...with some almond milk on the side.  
I am almost finished with the big pot I made.  Perfect weather for some hot soup...
...and fresh bread.
Now this was not vegan or WFPB.  Just regular oatmeal bread with butter and dry milk in the bread machine recipe.
That last sagging loaf...well, I thought the birds were eating it.  Turns out the wind had blown the little cubes away because the next time I put some out it wasn't windy and the only thing left the next morning was a patio scattered with bread cubes.  Not even the birds would eat it--ROFL!!
There are not many recipes for bread--even vegan bread.  I am still searching around and will keep trying new recipes.  :)
I have been all psyched up about starting a new bullet journal in 2017.  I've been using the same one for two years I have been feeling more myself and able to get more done.  Time for a change.
I bought a squared or graph Leuchtturm1917 journal to start in January 2017.  They have perforated pages at the back (which do not tear out easily) so I took out a bunch and did a lot of testing on them.
Even used paint pens, markers, leafing pens...
...all my fountain pens, drawing pens, gel pens... I could see what bleeds through and what doesn't.
Copic markers, sharpies, and eraser board pens are terrible.  No surprise there.  But otherwise, the paper did really well.  Ghosting but little bleed-through.
I started experimenting on these last three months of this year as to how to change up the format before I start a new bullet.  One of the annoying things is that instead of plain all the way to the top of the page like they have in their dot-gridded journals:
...the squared version (and the lined version) has these most annoying dates...
...on every corner of both sides of the page!  Why?! 
So that was the other thing I was trying out on the above pages--how to cover up the "Datum/Date" on every page.  I tried sharpie and paint markers...but the easiest solution was using a narrower washi tape across the top to cover them up.  When you bullet you want to be using the top for writing headers and such.  So I will be using a lot more washi tape--LOL!
Okay--I just took the pictures of the journal corners and there was a man waiting for his dog to poop by my patio--ROFL!! 
Anyways, this is taking all day to write--LOL!  It is now 5:15pm.  Leah contacted me via Google Hangouts.  When she was here for crafts Monday night I was showing her all this really exciting (only to me) bullet journal stuff and she said she could make up on Excel some of the graphs and things I was planning to make by hand and copy for my bullet journal.  So I just spent a big chunk of the afternoon with Leah and Ian via Mr. Rusty while Leah asked me lots of questions, we both took lots of measurements, and she made up a monthly calendar spread similar to this one below (now I won't buy them for my Franklin Covey anymore--tada!)...
...a monthly tracker similar to this one on the left side below...
...some writing guide sheets, and a monthly tracker for birthday cards, too!!!  OMG!!!  I'll show them to you after she brings them on Monday night.  I am absolutely thrilled!
I am trying out a weekly page spread for October.  Actually writing down weekly goals, too.  (Grabbed the label stickers Leah and I had played around coloring with watercolors a while back to use for the days of the week stickers, too, and liked that idea.)
I used to do the whole week on one page.  This is was the way I did two weeks.
I'm already finding myself possibly running out of room...and am considering going to a four page spread for a week. 
Using the weekly goal list is new, so it might be fine after I adjust to the new set up...but, if not, I will just give myself more room.  Do you know how wonderful it is to need more room for daily tasks?!  Proof that I am finally feeling better.  Even though my "better" is still pretty pathetic--ROFL!!  Happy me!!
Okay, back to this last week.  Leah came over after their vacation this past Monday night and we worked on cutting and folding card bases (on the left hand side) because we weren't feeling up to much else.

Tuesday Caroline brought groceries.

But I have mostly been watching TV series, to be honest.  Had been pretty much exhausted and I spent three days watching The Walking Dead's new season on netflix streaming...then Orphan Black (3) on Amazon Prime streaming (renting season 4 on netflix now)...and just started season 5 of Longmire on netflix streaming.  Whew!  
Been very chilly, like I said.  But we had one 80 degree day on Monday.  I guess that may have been our Indian Summer--LOL!
Too cold now to have the patio door open, but...
...Miss Karma was in heaven watching the sparrow channel on Cat TV.
There.  You are basically all caught up with life in Fargo.  More bullet journal information than you ever wanted...and some wonderful McFamily vacation photos.  Time for dinner.  Have a superb weekend and I hope to be back a lot quicker next time--LOL!  :) :) 
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Thich Nhat Hanh


My name is Erika. said...

Karma in the cabinet cracked me up. :) And Ian is so cute-that is one beautiful beach they vacationed at. I like that new journal too. I've thought about keeping one rather than a drawing journal. I wonder if I would really fill it up though.Sounds like there's been a lot going on in your world. :) Hugs-Erika

Anonymous said...

Soup & fresh bread; both homemade--yummy!!

DJan said...

That was a long one, all right. I'm all caught up now. You are definitely getting better when you need more room in your journal! Love those Ian pictures on the beach. :-)

Lady Fi said...

McFamily is amazing at inventing things! And such lovely shots of Karma and the family on the beach.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Glad you are okay, you posted comments to me so I figured you were just busy! I am glad MCFamily is home from their trip they wouldn't want to be there this week with the big storm. Ian is looking so grown up!
Your journal ideas look great! You are so organized!!
Brrr it is really chilly today...and I heard the S word...I hope they are wrong:(

TexWisGirl said...

tv is good for cold days. birds and grouse are nice to watch. karma's adorable as ever. ian is so cute in his beach outfit! glad they had a good time and you could tend to annie.

Zue said...

There is nothing quite like the taste of homemade bread.
I used to love making wholemeal bread, but don't seem to have the time any more.
Maybe you have inspired me to become a baker again.

Krisha said...

Delightful post Rita, loved all the family photos.

Janie Junebug said...

Your soup and bread make me hungry. It's 2:30 p.m. and I realized I haven't eaten yet today. Karma in the cabinet is great. I love the way cats will find funny spots to settle into. If you feel up to it, may I have your oatmeal bread recipe? I haven't used my bread machine in a long time. I bet Favorite Young Man and Willy Dunne Wooters would love some fresh bread. I make the blueberry crumble recipe regularly. FYM and I are crazy about it. Strangely, WDW tried it once and said nicely, I'll leave the rest for you, instead of saying he didn't like it. That caught me by surprise because he's such a blueberry lover. I need something to hang up my pots and pans. The drawer under the stove is always a mess and it's difficult to get what I want. I'm not good at bending over, and God help me if I have to kneel down. So nice that the young people had a good trip. I love all the photos.


Jon said...

Glad to know that you're okay and enjoying yourself. I liked all of the photos. The roses are so lovely - and I could almost smell them. The beach pictures are great, and they reminded me that we should enjoy the warm weather now while it lasts. We didn't get any frost here in TN yet - - but chilly nights are right around the corner....

I love homemade soup and bread!

Divers and Sundry said...

I look forward to a link for that magnetic strip. That's just what I need!

GrandmaG said...

Sounds like McFamily got in and out of Hilton Head just in time. Have to say Matthew has stopped me from ever wanting to own a beach house! Glad you're doing well and were able to cat sit. I'm looking forward to consistently cooler weather. So far, we get teased for a few days, but then it jumps back into humid 80s! Oh well, guess I should just be grateful we don't have a heating bill yet!

Jenny Woolf said...

It is great that they are having such a lovely holiday. I wonder what little Ian thinks of all that sand! Must seem like a whole world to him :). The cut flowers are wonderful. I am glad they were good ones this time. What a beautiful colour, too.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Wow, this was a real catch-up. I loved the photos of Ian and the one of Karma in the hutch.

I'd love to see Longmire, but I've missed Seasons 4 and 5 because it's no longer on TV.

Glad you had a good chat with the library lady, and the talk with the guy who runs the apartment complex. Do you think it did any good? I hope so. Have a wonderful Sunday and new week.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Long yes but also a bloody good read, the photos as always are great we all love Ian and Karma

Serena Lewis said...

The cut flowers look lovely!

Great to see McFamily had a lovely time away. Love the pics! They certainly did plan their vacation at the right time...apparently, residents of Hilton Head are still not allowed to return to their homes since the hurricane caused quite a lot of damage.

OH dear, Karma and her green puke...I hate when I see Cody eat grass for the same reason. If I stop him, no puke. Karma looks adorable inside the cabinet. hehe

WOW! That's one powerful magnetic strip! I like that the utensils prop up on the bench.

A very thoughtful gesture from their vet. Our vet clinics do the same here for deceased pets. Mum received a lovely card after Honey passed away.

Nice photo of the sweet!

Hopefully, Navarre has followed up on the flooring issue by now?

I don't have any of those cookbooks but I do have lots of vegan cookbooks. OH yes, where are you supposed to get those ingredients and I'm sure they would be speciality and therefore expensive. :( How are you going to stick to a healthy diet if they make it so hard???

I buy commercial breads that contain soy, not dairy.

Those dates would annoy me too...I wonder why they put a date on the grid version only? I would probably just use correction that stuff for covering writing errors. So easy to apply. How clever of Leah to make up a monthly calendar and tracker for you! I'm loving my B5 Leuchtturm 1917 journal.

I hope the man did the responsible thing and picked up his doggy's poop?

I can't wait to see Season 4 of Orphan Black! Still not available here on Netflix. However, I am now doing a recap of Superanatural as I bought Season 11 last week...saw it in-store and just had to have it. Call me crazy but I like to run through a whole series as a refresher when a new season comes out. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Love and hugs xo

Intense Guy said...

I'm glad they got to the beach before Hurricane Matthew did!

andi filante said... much going on! Phil and I love Orphan Black. I think we're only through Season 2 though. I'm watching Luke Cage right now, but the newest season of the Walking Dead will probably be next. I love those pictures of Karma in your red cabinet and on the shopping bags! Cats are so funny!! We've only had a few cool days here so far. Mostly the weather has been very pleasant, but I know that's going to change very quickly!!


Sherry Ellis said...

You certainly did have a lot going on! Love the roses and the beach pictures!

krishna said...

Long story... love to see the pictures.. Little Ian is so adorable...

Please visit:

Deb said...

Your grandson is sure a cutie. Sounds like things are basically going pretty well with you and Karma. Fun pictures. Enjoy what's left of the week!