Thursday, December 01, 2016


Good Morning!  
Long time no see.
Yes, you may not have noticed but I've been away for over three weeks.  Let's just say I've been adjusting to the election results and leave it at that.  But just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean I haven't been taking pictures.  This will be a photo-laden post, so clean your glasses, grab a cuppa, and off we go.  :)
Ever since it came to me to turn the bird feeder it has made a world of difference in our own little wind tunnel.  Nothing else had to be done.  It took the birds a while to figure out how to use it, but all is well.  
Oh, and this is the best shot I could get of a passing tumbleweed.  Can you see it next to the garages?  Can click on any of my photos to enbiggen them.  ;)
  This was a pretty good sized one.  We saw them as kids growing up near prairie grass and sand dunes.  I was surprised at how delightful it was to see one of those bumbling visitors after all these years.
Okay--Miss Karma and the cone...
Well, she was just fine for a week (although not eating as much).  Calm.  Letting me help her up onto chairs.  Wearing the collar with amazing acceptance.  I took the collar off when she got her canned treats and she didn't complain when I put it back on afterwards.  Her ears and tummy completely cleared up.
Then she suddenly decided she wanted to scratch and lick...after a full week.  So we know it's not an allergy or she would have been going crazy the whole time.  It is obviously exactly what I had thought...a terrible habit that she can't stop once she starts.  Sadly, it is all in Karma's head.  She got herself so stressed out I heard her throwing up at 5am one morning...and, yes...she threw up in the cone.  I cleaned her up and the cone...put it back on her and went back to bed for a couple more hours.  But when I got up I took a good look...and the following pictures.
She had beaten her ears with the cone...
 ...and used the edge of the cone to scrape across her belly. 
She did all that damage to her newly healed skin in a day and a half.  With the cone on!!  
She won.  
I took off the cone.
But amazingly she has pretty much left herself alone and her ears and tummy look pretty darn good right now.  But she might get on another self-mutilation kick at any time.  She generally refuses to eat the calming treats I bought her, although I keep trying and she will occasionally eat one.  What has worked the best, I think, is the calming spray.  I've been spraying her cloth collar every morning.  She accepts that and she does seem less scratchy and more mellow all morning.  But if I try to spray her cat bed like they suggest...she will avoid it like the plague--LOL!  
So that's the latest update on Miss Karma.  She's coneless and doing just fine right now.  She was thrilled to be able to crawl under the covers/throw on my bed for naps again. 
She's generally been back to her old sleepy self. 
Even dozing sometimes when The Girls come to nibble just like she used to. 
Now that it's cold out the birds are here to eat more often.  I've started to put seed out in the afternoon on the ground for the grouse because they come at dusk to eat almost every single day.  :)
Dusk here is can be 3:00pm on a dark day.
(I'm sure they come at dawn, too, but I'm rarely up that early--LOL!)
Did you notice the new shovel?  Can't remember if I had it last time we chatted or not...
...but the rubber-backed shovel rug is new.  Leah found it at Costco, I believe.   
Funny aside--Karma avoids stepping on the light tan nubby rug (and the fluffy bathroom rugs, for that matter) but the new shovel rug doesn't bother her delicate feet at all--ROFL!

So what have I been doing since we last caught up?  I colored a whole bunch of Avery stickers I will be using in my new bullet journal for 2017.  I used various paints and sprays to color shorter and longer label stickers.
Drying them criss-crossed on the new red trays worked perfectly!  (In fact, I could even use some more trays!)
I also played around with inks on a couple of old watercolor blocks I had. 
Used up some of the ink samples I didn't care for in my fountain pens and added some lovely gold ink on top. 
Had no idea what I was going to do with them.  Figured I could cut the up into bookmarks or card fronts.  Decided to use one of them to cut down and insert in the clear cover sleeve for the new 2017 writing journal! 
Wild, eh?! 
Made a bookmark from a leftover trimming.  Coated it with wax so it won't get color on the journal pages.
Here's the back side. 
We were on the edge of a blizzard... 
...but only got 1 1/2 inches here in Fargo. 
Great weather for working on puttering projects I had been putting off.  I bought new hanging files and file folders for my desk files back in July.   
The old ones I've been using and relabeling since 1997.
I worked for a couple days on redoing all of them--organizing, purging what I could, color-coding properly, relabeling everything... 
 ...and got my file drawer done!  :) 
Karma sleeps through whatever I am working on in the afternoons.  Good!  I'd rather see her crashed out than mangling herself. 
 Let's see.  What else?
The state auditor came for that inspection.  I showed her the buckled linoleum, the crumbling plastic base on one side of my crookedly installed shower curtain rod, and told them about the garage door stopping a few feet off the ground and having to run it up and down till it goes up.  
They told the auditor (Navare and some other man were with her) that they had been looking for three weeks to find a matching piece of linoleum so that they can patch my flooring.  (Haven't seen them since and it has now finally torn.)  The guy that was with Navare broke the shower curtain rod altogether examining it.  (They did send our regular maintenance man out to get a new rod and he came and levelly installed it that afternoon.)  I have been to the garage twice so far and the door opened!  So--just the flooring left.  (Leah and I have talked about a cheap desk floor mat from IKEA to cover it...because who knows if they will ever fix it, right?)  
So, that's that with the inspection.  I was glad nobody said anything about the things we've installed on the walls or the bird feeder.  :):)
We've had three craft nights.  
One: Leah cut my hair for me and she finished punching holes in her Christmas gift tags so that they were done to take home (she just had to add the ribbons).  
Two: We located the fabric for the tree skirt Leah bought last year and planned how to make it.  Discovered that the buttons Leah had picked up were too big to fit in the buttonholer attachment for this new sewing machine. 
I got the tree skirt all cut out...but I've been using the table in the studio as a catch-all spot.  Can you even see my sewing machine?  LOL! 
Meanwhile...I don't do things one project at a time always.  I do them in a what-can-my-body-handle-today order..LOL!  I redid the files on the wooden desk top file holder.  So ALL the desk files are finished--tada!   
And most of these are plastic now so they will hold up better, too.  :)
My back was horrible for a few days.  The library lady came and I got the last three Cat Who books in the series and another bonus book that cracked me up!  The main character, Qwill, is a journalist and in several of the last books has talked about if he collected enough local tales he could write a book--well, that's the bonus book--by Qwill.  So funny!  I've only read about 1 1/2 of the 4 so far.
 There were daily dusk visits from The Girls. 
I finally got the table cleared off and sewed the tree skirt (except for the buttons and buttonholes). 
Karma kept me company in the studio. 
There's been a LOT of activity from our feathered friends since it's been in the 20s and low 30s. 
The Girls have often been here more than once a day.  
The sparrows decided it was time to learn how to sit on the feeder.  Below, the others wait to take turns up above and pounce on anything that hits the ground--LOL!  
I did not know that sparrows can fly straight up in the air from the ground.   
Karma and I were fascinated by our popcorn sparrows!   
Lots of wings flapping as they popped straight up and down...trying to beat the rest to a spot at the feeder...often hovering for a moment in the air like a hummingbird--when no one would give up their spot down they'd go again.  Up and down--up and down--LOL!  I am easily entertained.
When it went below zero the sparrows flocked together.  Sometimes they come with as many as 40 or more of them at once!  Really cool! 
Three: (Last craft night, if you've forgotten by now)  Leah brought the new buttons.  I will have them sewn on and buttonholes made by this next Monday craft night.
Leah helped me with Christmas decorations.  We got the tiny tree up on top of my desk.
Baby Phil is looking pretty good, isn't he?  I think he likes his new home.
I have so much stuff about that one can hardly notice the tree--LOL!
Leah put up the new lights around the patio door.  I LOVE THEM!  They are twinkling, multi-colored, LED lights.  I plan to keep them up all year round.   
We were going to put lights up around the window in the studio but had trouble with a different set of 3M clips breaking and falling off the wall (old?).  3M stuff is usually awesome?
  Anyways, there will be lights in the studio, too...all year round.  :)  I also need a couple of extension cords.  (We used a spare power strip for now in the living room.)  Leah said they have extension cords now with remote controls!!  Have you heard of them?  Leah knows about all these amazing new products!  Won't that be awesome!!
Oh, and also for the journaling folks...
I worked on setting up my new (square grid) Leuchttrum 1917 bullet journal for 2017.  No decoration or washi tape yet, but have the skeletal work done through April!!  I was listening to an audio book (Broken-13 1/2 hours) and just kept going for two days--or was it three?  LOL!
I've never used a Future Log before but I expect it could be handy.  I'm using different colored stickers for each month.  January is silver metallic acrylic paint so it's hard to see well. 
After the Future Log I have pages of the various project Goal Lists for 2017.
Most of these have been on here for at least a couple of years. 
Is that indicative of how slowly I get things done and how physically limiting my life is (especially this past year and a half with the move)...or symbolic of undying optimism and lots of things to look forward to?  I prefer the latter, of course.  ;)
I love the calendar spreads Leah made up for me... 
...and the monthly tracker grid. 
Definitely  am enjoying the expanded weeks where I have a lot more room to write. 
Life is good!
I'm ready for 2017--already!  Bullet and writing journal are prepped. I just finished addressing 58 Christmas card envelopes yesterday.  I can't remember when I have been this far ahead of the card game!  
 I have some days where...well, you know you are bone tired when you wake up in the morning from a dream about being so tired you can't keep you eyes open--LOL!
Also woke up to a smattering of snow yesterday.
Now that the birds have decided to use the feeder it won't be long and I will have to refill it for the first time.  The sparrows prefer to eat off the ground like The Girls do.  Hasn't been enough snow to use my new shovel yet, but that will come.  I have been playing classical Christmas music on Pandora while I have been writing to you.  And--yes--I have had the colored lights twinkling...sparrows are nibbling...Karma is sleeping peacefully in her chair next to me with her head against my is good!
Until next time...
:) :)
"The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Howard Zinn


Anonymous said...

The #1 item on my Goal List for 2017 is to live through it!!

Stephanie Faris said...

SNOW. Yay! We won't get that here for a while, if at all. I tried the Passion Planner last year and it just felt like too much work. I'm sure it's an awesome choice for people who are a little better at drawing than I am!

DJan said...

I'm glad that whatever was bothering Karma has calmed down for awhile at least. Her ears and belly! And that was from the cone! Oh my, our sweet Karma is definitely a challenge. And you have been busy, it seems to me. I really enjoy seeing what an organized person's day looks like. :-)

Serena Lewis said...

It's great to see you posting again, Rita!

I'm glad the bird-feeder is working out much better now.

Poor Karma...I do hope it was only a temporary phase. Cody has puked with his cone on before so I know the clean-up you would have had. Cody loves lying up on my bed too. He likes to burrow under the blankets in winter. Like Karma, Cody can be picky with the types of floor mats he walks on. We have rubber outdoor mats, with a cut-out design, at our sliding doors and, when he is coming back inside, he will navigate around them rather than step on them. haha

Nice ink and watercolour play...the sleeve insert looks cool! How did you coat the book mark with wax?

Love the pics of your bird visitors. SO sweet!

I hope they do something about the linoleum flooring sooner than later. Terrible that it's taking so long.

I worked on clearing out a large, office-sized, metal four drawer filing cabinet just over a week ago. All part of my new minimalist approach and decluttering. It was a huge job and each drawer packed with paperwork, some of which was dating back to 1999! Crazy, I know, but I'm so relieved it's finally done...I'd been putting it off for years. Your new files look great and colourful. It feels good to have it all fresh and organised, doesn't it? :)

Your little tree looks lovely and you did a great job on the skirt! The patio lights look so pretty and Little Phil looks happy and healthy! We donated our huge fibre-optic tree last month and, this Christmas season, I will just pop our tiny tree on a shelf somewhere. I'm just not in a Christmas mood this year.

I have never heard of remote-control extension cords...must check it out. They will probably cost a fair bit.

Your bullet journal is looking good and well organised. Mine is so very basic by comparison but I love it.

Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend,
Love and hugs xo

Jon said...

I love the journal cover and the bookmark - the gold color really makes them look great.
And I'm so glad that Karma is doing better - - she's undoubtedly delighted to be cone-free.

I always have a small Christmas tree, much like yours. I have to keep it up high - out of the reach of the cats!

GrandmaG said...

I, for one, have noticed your absence. Glad you're back and to hear you haven't been physically sick. I have projects, too, that follow me from year to year. Really need to get several done in 2017, especially organizing financial documents to make things easier should, God forbid, something happen to me. Right now the location of important documents would be a bit of a hunt for anyone else but me. So sad since I'm known as the most organized in the family. My dirty secret, I guess. Take care, friend.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I was getting worried, but you were leaving comments for me so I stopped worrying! I hope Karma stays all healed up. She really does a job on herself. Must be stress, what in the world are you stressing about now Karma? LOL She isn't talking.
You have been busy! I need to purge some files too...after Christmas. Oh boy do I have a list.
I am glad you have Grouse...they are few and far between out here, we saw one this fall.
Did you sing that song Tumbling Tumbleweed? :)

Mersad said...

Your artwork is very nice. But I also like your Christmas decorations. It's really nice to see you back, have a nice weekend ahead!

Mersad Donko Photography

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

So glad to see you posted yesterday. Sorry I was late getting here, but your were right. It took forever to read this.

Poor Karma. Talk about kids. She's a big baby, but maybe she will self correct her problem now.

Love the little tree, and the tree skirt looks good. Those lights are awesome. I need a big door/window like that and I'd string lights, too.

I can see that calendar is far better than mine, but I don't write much in mine. What can I say. 1" is plenty for my boring life!

Have a good week, and glad to read you missed that HUGE blizzard.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am glad that Karma is settling a bit, perhaps she is relieved to have the cone off now. It is painful to see the way she gets the fur off herself. Your LED lights are beautiful. In the past we have had lights all year, and they can give a lovely atmosphere.
Nice to have another post from you! I was getting just a little concerned except you left a message on my blog and I knew you were still around and watching ! :)
I love the quote at the end of your post, by the appropriate.

IntenseGuy said...

I had noticed your absence. It's a busy time of year.

Bird watching is so much fun! And watching them with the soft glow of Christmas lights is all the more fun!

Poor Karma. There has to be a way to settle her down!! Those self inflicted wounds make me wince!

Divers and Sundry said...

Baby Phil!!! Looks like Baby Phil is all grown up now ;) and you could have several more plants with a judicious pinch or too. But she looks wonderful just as she is. :)

"adjusting to the election results" indeed. I'm still in a bit of shock over it, and it's not getting better :(

I've never seen a tumbleweed and didn't realize they roamed free through residential areas ;)

I'm glad Karma is doing better and wish for her that she could stay in calm mode. Poor baby.

My bird feeders are getting more attention from the birds as the weather cools, too. I'm always glad to see them :)

I'm quite taken with the design of your bookmark. We'll not be getting snow anytime soon with a high today predicted of 60F lol. I'm glad they didn't have objections to your bird feeder. It's such a joy to have, especially in the winter.

I love your Christmas decorations -that sweet tree and those lights around the door. Cheerful :) Christmas music is always a joy, and I've made a playlist on Spotify that I listen to a lot. It does add to the season for me.

"Life is good!" I agree! :) It's great to see a post from you.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Oh Karma what a thing to do, hurting your ears and belly, the cone is suppose to protect you and you turned it into a weapon.

What a cute Christmas tree

Janie Junebug said...

Your lights look so pretty. If Karma attacks herself again, can she have some Benadryl? It might soothe what's bothering her or make her sleepy. I've never given Benadryl to a cat, but the dogs can have it when their allergies act up.


Anonymous said...

Love the quote. I missed you. I hope Karma leaved her ears alone. I don't know what calming treats and spray you have, I use Back Flower Remedy for my dog, and I have drops to put on her treats, wet food, or just in her water. She doesn't mind them, but dogs don't taste the same way as cats. I was thinking Karma wouldn't mind it in her wet food treats. (Kiki gets car sick, and very nervous when we have guests). Love the birdies. Don't stay away so long. I've been a little dumbfounded myself.

Hilary said...

Oh Karma! I'm so sorry she's being so self-destructive. It's so hard to figure out and resolve cat psychology. And tumbleweed! How fun. ;)

Lady Fi said...

Oh no - poor sweet Karma! I love your tiny Christmas tree - so cute.