Thursday, December 15, 2016


Good Afternoon!
We've had cold and snow and wind up here.  More cold and wind than snow, but I'll take it.  (I do love the white stuff.)  The snow plows are beginning to pile up the parking lot snow banks.  The snow is dry so the wind keeps drifting it about and they have to keep shoveling parking lots and sidewalks.
Many of you have asked how Miss Karma is doing.  Here she is taking a normal cat bath... 
...and , as you can see, her belly is all healed up. 
But don't tell her I posted such an unflattering bath shot--LOL! 
Her ears are looking good, too.  I am almost out of the Feliway spray and didn't realize when I ordered it from Amazon that it would be coming from Taiwan--LOL!  I think I have enough to last till it gets here...or there will be a test time to see if that is really helping or not, eh?  LOL!
Since it has been so awfully cold I have seen a lot more of the sparrows and The Girls.   
They have even decided to just settle in nearby some days. 
Karma likes to see them visiting, too. 
They look huge because they keep their feathers fluffed out as far as possible against the cold. 
When they get scared they stand tall, their feathers smooth down, and they are half the size--LOL!
You can see how much traffic I am getting here... all the footprints.  Some looked like possible jackrabbit...but I haven't seen those again.
I called Medicaid in North Dakota to find out what was covered for eye exams and glasses.  (They are my supplemental insurance.)  What a joke.  All she could tell me was "usually" they will cover extensive exams for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts (all of which run in my family) but it all depended on which procedures they did and what codes they used to submit--AND some procedures need prior authorization.  But she couldn't tell me the codes or what procedures need prior authorization.  They have no list of places that take Medicaid for eye care like they do for dentists...oh, and plus she warned me that before I go to the dentist next time to double check because they lost a lot of dentists this summer.
So, I worked at compiling a list of eye doctors.  We have four phone books up here, believe it or not.  Then just called around.  
Found a couple of them.  Decided on the nicest phone person and the closest place.  I go this coming Monday.  Leah offered to give me a ride.  I plan on getting to the dentist in January.  About time.  I am overdue to all appointments and hope to get to them before spring.
We've had several thinner layers of snow.  Been too cold to melt.  Can you see some of The Girls under and in the tree across the way?
I've been giving them extra ground food since it's been in the teens and below zero.  They seem to really appreciate it. 
Miss Karma, waiting for her morning treat, is less impressed with my bird seed generosity because it comes before she gets her canned treat--LOL!  She's patient, though annoyed. 
But her latest favorite place to sit and snooze has become the chair by the window where she can watch the birds all day.  So she is appreciating all the interesting Cat TV even though she pretends she's not interested--LOL!   
After the last snowstorm we got a nice drift out there to block the wind a little... 
...and The Girls dig with their feet and make a snow nest to hunker down into against the wind.  So cute! 
When we had the wind chill warnings yesterday (-25 to -37 below wind chills)... 
...The Girls huddled together in a clump.  I couldn't get a better picture without scaring them away. 
They're more used to Karma moving about by the window and much less used to me. 
Leah's brother, Aaron, was discharged from the Navy a week ago Wednesday and he's living with McFamily for a while.  Last Saturday they all came over for a visit.  (And I forgot to get any pictures--duh!)  We made dinner here.  Ian did some paint with water and coloring.  Dagan, Aaron, and Leah tried to get my printer to work.  (Yes, now old Mr. Rusty and the new printer are having communication issues.)  Could be the intermittent internet problems I've been having forever adding to it because the printer uses wifi, too, I guess--to print wirelessly.  I think they plan to bring over one of their routers to hook up and see if that fixes the problem or not.  (All Greek to me, of course.)  Was a really nice visit and they stayed way past Ian's bedtime...but I still got big hugs and "I love you, Gramma"s down the hallway.  :)
Leah came for crafts on Monday night and messed with the printer some more.  Finally just unplugged it again and said to try it the next day.  We do that sometimes and say up a quick prayer to the techno-angels to come and fix it (or techno-fairies--ask both--don't know which--don't want to offend.) 
Leah had bought these plain white ceramic ornaments last year she had planned to do something with.  On Monday she painted them with this shimmery acrylic paint.  They look even better in person.
The paints are the Pebeo Dyna Studio acrylics.  
I absolutely love our Craft Night/Girl's Night.  
I plugged the printer back in and tried it on Tuesday.   Was able to print something!!  The mechanically inclined angels or fairies did their work...for now, anyways.  ;)
 Yesterday a maintenance man (not our usual one--the fed housing guy) knocked on the door to check my washer hoses.  He didn't realize that I was one of the flooded.  I was so tickled that they were going around door to door and checking ALL of the gaskets!!  Made my day and I told him so with much enthusiasm!  I had been wondering about the apartments above me and if I might get leaking from the ceiling.  What a relief!!  :) :)
Today...instead of the usual half dozen there were eight Grouse Girls who came earlier!  I couldn't get a picture...well, I didn't try...because they were quite jumpy due to the two new members of the flock.  The new girls are low in the pecking order and got chased a little bit from this one and that one.  But they all left together.  I'll be curious as to whether they stay a group of eight now.  Cool!  
Oh!!!  Oh!!!  Leah and Ian went to the Natural Grocery Store and picked me up a bunch of non-dairy items to try AND a whole bunch of Gardein products a couple of days ago!!  OMG!  I had fake breaded fish fillets with fake mayonnaise...and then the next day had fake slices of meatloaf!!  Delicious!!  Been years!  I haven't been this excited since I discovered the Quorn brand of meat substitutes!  I have all kinds of fun things to try the rest of the month.  Seventh heaven, Baby!!!    
Right now it has warmed up to 4 degrees and the wind has died down quite a bit.  Nice!  The sun is out.  The ground is white.  Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is playing on Pandora.  The colored twinkling "fairy" lights are blinking and warming the atmosphere.  Karma is over on her chair sound asleep.  (I think she likes it when I play music.)  A huge flock of sparrows are gobbling up seed on the patio.  I am just so friggin' happy.  Content.  I just love-love-love this time of year.  :) :)
Peace and good will.
Spread love wherever you go.
"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present."
Jim Rohn


  1. "Warmed up to 4 degrees" is a phrase that refuses to register in my mind!!

  2. It's cold here, too, but we aren't supposed to reach zero (actual, not feels like) until Saturday. I keep thinking if I can get past this weekend, I should be ok. I've run a heater all day and it's still 58F in my office. Even colder on the main floor, and the craft room is downright frigid.

    Looks like you had a great girl's night and my friend Sally says her printer sometimes takes a nap and refuses to work, too. Glad yours is now working again.

    I was watching that storm on the internet. It's a genuine problem if you have to be out and about. So glad you are safe and warm, and have food to eat. I will have to go out to restock both my fridge and pantry before it gets so cold I can't move. Have a super week, dear.

  3. Cold here too, you stay warm! Looks like a great bunch of Grouse that visit you! You sound so cheerful!! Makes me smile:)

  4. So glad to hear that Karma - and you - are doing well! Love those snowy shots.

  5. Oh Rita it's wonderful to hear that you are so happy in your nest. There seems to be quite a lot going on to occupy you lately. Karma looks so contented too.
    I love all the visitors tracks in the snow. You are one popular person for sure. I hope your snowy scene stays white and you have a beautiful time over the holidays xxx

  6. I am also very pleased to hear how well things are going up there in Fargo, where it's so cold that just thinking about your temperatures makes me feel cold. Well, it's cold here too, but with our wind chill it's still only 8°F out there. Love your grouse pictures, and so glad to hear Karma's all healed up. :-)

  7. Well, it has been a long while since I dropped by, my apologies. I miss your Tuesday T-day posts, and that seems to be the day I'm on the PC the most.
    I'm glad to hear you and Karma are doing well, and settled in for a nice ND winter....I remember them well. I would say we have been getting rain the past two days, but it has been so light it just gets things wet and moves on. We have some wind this morning so it will be moving on a little faster today.
    If I don't get back by sooner I do hope you and Karma have a wonderful Christmas.

  8. I'm like you in enjoying watching the birds, and it makes a soothing activity for cats as well :) I love your picture of "The Girls under and in the tree across the way" and think it'd make a good greeting card or even Christmas card. Beautiful!

    Doctor arrangements shouldn't be so difficult!

    We're expecting a high here today of 50F and a high tomorrow of 76F!!! Then our low Sunday is expected to be 16F lol. The saying here is, "Don't like the weather? Wait a minute" ;)

  9. We went from stinking bloody hot to cool and wet then sticky and warm to cool and wet and tomorrow we will be back to stinking bloody hot again.

    So happy to see Karma has healed up nicely, she is so adorable, I do like the photos of the birds.

  10. I love this time of year too, but we haven't had snow here for the last two years so don't expect any this year either. We always had snow every year you could depend on it.
    Strange happenings!
    I like Quorn products too, next to try are the frankfurter sausages for hot dogs.
    Enjoy your snow; long may it last.
    Have a great weekend.
    Sue x

  11. Your apartment is a popular party destination for people and birds. It's sixty-seven degrees here at 6:10 p.m. We're a bit chilly.


  12. I'm a tad bit jealous of the snow. Although I live in Nashville--when it falls here, it immediately melts just enough to turn into a sheet of ice on our roads (because they're not cold enough) and the snow covers it. So our roads are undriveable until they salt them--and they only salt the main roads, really. But it's going to be in the 60s this afternoon here. Crazy, huh?! I couldn't believe how warm it was when I stepped outside this morning. I'm sure this won't last long...

  13. All that snow looks heavenly considering the hot and humid temps we are having here.

    It's so good to hear that Karma is healing up well.

    The visiting critter pics are adorable. Goodness, just look at all their footprints. The little trenches they dig to protect them from the wind is so sweet. I look forward to the daily visits from a pair of crows. I put out oats for them which they seem to love. They spook easily and not as trusting of humans. Magpies are more trusting around humans and they can be quite demanding too. hehe

    I am long overdue eye and dental checks too. Good luck with your appointment on Monday.

    I often switch off at the wall when I'm having tech issues with computers, printers, etc. It usually does the trick.

    Ian is so sweet! It sounds like you had a lovely visit from McFamily. :)

    I love Gardein Fishless Fillets (batter-coated here) and also, their crabless crab cakes, and their meatballs (I use them in bolognaise sauces). I did read recently that Gardein have been bought out by a non-vegan food company and that they will be discontinuing 17 food options from their range — so buy up while you can. I'm pretty sure the fishless fillets are staying, not sure what else. That said, it could just be effecting Australia and Canada and it's something to do with food regulations. I did a bit more checking and, from what I have read, it will not effect the US. There seems to be lots of rumours as to the why's of it all so I don't know what to believe but they are definitely cutting back on their food range.

    Have you tried Veganaise by Follow Your Heart? That's yummy!

    I'm still trying to get into the Christmas spirit but I'm sure it will come once I've done all the Christmas food shopping this week. hehe

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    Love and hugs xo

  14. The cold has arrived in Missouri too and the snow and ice. Ice has been the problem the past two days and now there is snow on top of it. I"m all hunkered in with the heat on and soon getting the fireplace going :)

  15. Oh my... Karma is in some PlayCat magazine photos!!

    :) I love seeing the "girls" outside your door!

  16. Dentists take Medicaid!? They sure don't take Medicare, and optometrists don't either. I can’t imagine your winters. I lived in Minneapolis for two years and heard it referred to as the Banana Belt of Minnesota, so I should think you would it way worse than the minus-28, which was the coldest I ever saw. Here in Western Oregon, we’re recovering from a fairly bad ice storm, but ice storms and snow are both unusual here in the Willamette Valley.

  17. Burr Rita...stay warm. What a flock of birds you have collected! Karma is looking good. I must say I am glad for our health care here in Canada. What a hassle for you. That paint is gorgeous and Leah did an amazing job on them!! Merry Christmas my friend!

  18. Anonymous12:59 PM

    You are so lucky to have a regular craft/girls night with someone. It sounds like so much fun. And to have a grandson during the holidays, how much fun is that? How lucky you are.
    I love your girls. I just love birdies. Karma looks so much better!! I'm so thrilled. Stuart will be so happy, he was worried about her. We send our love this holiday and always. xo

  19. Hi Rita - I am so late in reading blogs, but am trying to do a bit of catching up tonight. Got your lovely Christmas card. I love your cards!They are so original and creative! Thanks for sending it! Stay warm in all that snow. Hope you come out OK with your eye exam. Have a good week and as always, regards to Karma and McFamily!

  20. Oh all that wonderful snow! Can you send some over here, please? It's been cold but dry as a bone here, not even the smallest hint of a snowflake so far.
    What lovely visitors you have! They get quite used to getting treats, don't they. My bf has been feeding some ducks on the green out side his home occasionally, and by now, they come straight to his window and make a noise demanding food.
    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, Rita!

  21. Had to smile when I read that "it warmed up to 4 degrees." After that deep-freeze of sub-zero temperatures, anything about zero feels so warm, doesn't it? What a treat to see the grouse like you do! You certainly do have a lot of traffic at your feeder!

  22. Have a wonderful 2017 Rita. Hope its a very good year for you and Karma too.


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