Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Thought it was time for an update.  :)
First, though, I rarely have cool sunset clouds to show you.  So despite my camera being unable to capture the depth of color here is a span from left to right last night.
My cell phone can't capture the flaming colors...
...or zoom in very closely... 
...but, believe me, it was spectacular! 
I have only seen the ground squirrel a couple of different days in the last few weeks.  It has been colder and I think they are spending more den-time.
Annie spends most of her days right next to the patio door--tucked behind the end table and under Ian's chair--waiting for critters (so she can leap out and scare the crap out of them). 
Yes, I have colored twinkling lights up around the patio door (and the studio window) all year round. 

Not sure why the camera made my ivory colored walls look orange in the picture, though--LOL!
Soon Annie's favorite visitor won't be coming for drinks...
...and to fill those pouches anymore.  Won't see them till spring.  But does my heart good to know I have helped fill their winter larder. 
The days have been cool enough once in a while that I can't even leave the door open all the way and we've had rain off and on, too. 
But I love the chilly weather!
In the evening I leave the sliding door cracked open so Annie can watch for the rabbits. 
They come to eat whatever hasn't been gobbled up during the day.  
Well, I am in the process of changing banks.  Dumping Wells Fargo and will now be at the local bank that Dagan and Leah have used for years.  Dagan brought me over one afternoon while he was still off work those two weeks after Liam was born.  The girl--excuse me, lady (I really am getting old when anybody under 40 look so young to me)--even asked if I would like to switch my Social Security check payment right there that day in her office?!  You betcha!!  Or did I tell you that already?  (Senior/fibro moment)
Of course, the SS guy even told me not to close my account at the old bank until I get the check in the new account because it can take the government a month or two--so I am waiting to see now in October.  So strange to have two accounts.
Leah helped me get bills switched over and to set up the bank to pay the places that don't have auto pay where I used to write a check--so I am waiting to see how all that goes, too.  The only place I have left is my rent check.  I have called federal housing twice to find out where the exact address is for the bank to mail the rent check...never get a person, but have left voice messages.  Too late now for October, anyways.  I'll have to keep bugging them till somebody calls me back so I can get it set up for November.  After that I will be more-or-less paperless with my bills--whoohoo!
I immediately got a welcome letter from Gate City bank--and then I also got this card from the lady who waited on me... 
...with a hand written note! 
Sure looks like things will be different with this local bank, eh?  In another month or two I can close out my Wells Fargo account--tada!!
To those of you I write letters to...this is the reason I am so far behind with my letter writing. 
I get out the pillow and lap desk in my chair (my favorite place to sit and write)--next thing Annie has either left the footrest of the chair and gone to sulk under the bed (which makes me feel especially bad because she just has learned to trust me enough to sit with me in the first place and then she thinks I am driving her away) or she climbs up on the arm of the chair demanding some attention. 
Karma never liked me to write, either, but she got used to it and she had plenty of attention otherwise.  Maybe Annie will, too, but right now I am such a sucker for shy Annie wanting some lovin'...what can  say?  It is the only time Annie let's me really close to her.  She still scoots away any time I am standing up or anywhere else in the apartment.  So, I am very behind on letters, sorry.  I know you will forgive me.    
A couple people have asked about the calligraphy drills.  I am doing three sets of them.  Printed off a large set and two small sets on laser paper.  Next time, though, I am going to print off the drills on regular paper and use tracing paper and parchment paper to practice on top of them to I can reuse them over and over.  Yup--I now have dug up from the craft supply depths both--tracing and parchment tablets.  Can't remember which is for which pen, but I wrote it on the tablets--LOL!
These are the large pen drills.   
I am using a black Tombow marker.
Definitely a big brush marker pen...and difficult to learn to control. 
The small brush drills.
I am using a Tombow small brush Japanese pen--the hard one.  Black ink but the pen has a blue body--got from JetPens. 
This one is the easiest to control for me.  Not tremendous line variation but I really like it the best. 
My other small drill set.  
I am (finally) using my oblique dip pen I bought earlier this year and India ink.  (Very old ink--from my calligraphy class I took back in the early 90s--LOL!) 
We did not use pointed dip pens for that class.  We used a dip pen with a flat edge on the nib and I only learned an italic font.  Maybe show you what I am talking about next time.  This thick and thin process or pressing down and letting up--whew!  I have never learned this!  Made some pathetic attempts a few times--awk!!!  I find it really difficult.  But these drills are really helping me get the hang of it.  S-l-o-w-l-y.  So I am going to continue on.  I think in October we will start learning letters of the alphabet.  :)  Now I just have to remember to sign up on the 30th to get it for half price--LOL!  Bullet don't fail me now!  ;)
Since it's been chilly again I am back to making veggie soups.  I need to make the 13-bean soup again here pretty soon, too.  Soup weather!!  Humm...fresh bread sounds pretty good, too.  I've just been busy using up my "spoons" on other things. 
The sparrow flock enjoyed some food on a rainy day.  The balcony above my patio gives them protection on a calmer rainy day. 
Everyone is so hungry lately that I have been putting out food in the afternoons, too, most days.  After all, the girls (seven grouse) come toward dusk each day and I can't have a bare patio for my girls.  :)   
Then the rabbits come at night, so there's nothing left by morning, regardless.
I spent most of one whole day filling up another tablet with flower drawings.

A little cactus, too. 

I showed you some of the better ones, but there are some bleh ones, too, that even coloring doesn't help much--LOL!  But it's fun.  My speed--look at the pictures and copy.   
I spent two days setting up the skeletal framework for the next four months in my bullet.  I know--I don't use my bullet the way most people do.  That's exactly what I love about bullet journaling.  You can do it any way that works for change it up if you want to or need to.  Can you tell I love my bullet??  (Even though I still haven't done any of the drawing/decorating in there yet--LOL!--it will wait patiently for me and doesn't care if I never do any at all.)
Let's see...what else?  McFamily has been pretty busy.  Leah sounded beyond tired on the phone Monday.  Last I heard Liam has been up a lot at night and doing more of his sleeping during the you know how tired Mama is.  We were talking about my coming over tomorrow night for a visit--one of their free evenings--but maybe it would be better to wait till next week.  They have had appointments and company and babysitting her sister's problem for me to wait.  Plus, I've been extra sore for a couple of months now, anyways.  (Going to try some herbal supplements come October for pain and inflammation.)  I'm more concerned with how Leah's doing than my Gramma-time, you know?  So, we'll see.  Got to get in touch with her.
Meanwhile...I've been renting the first season of This Is Us from Netflix.  Just finished and I LOVE IT!!  Current favorite series, I think.  Can hardly wait till season two is available on Netflix.  Then--I had been renting the DVDs from Netflix of Battlestar Galactica off and on for years and I decided to finally finish it and then rent Caprica (prequel).  I'll get a few other movies scattered in-between, of course.  Like I just watched Guardians of The Galaxy 2 last night and enjoyed it just as much as the first one.  It's nice to see one of these action superhero-type movies that has more character development and character driven humor along with the special effects quest.  Maybe it's the humor that I enjoy the most?  ;)
Other than that it's been a lot of BBC historical documentaries, Father Brown episodes, and Call The Midwife.  There's always something good to watch when you're hobbly-hurtin' a bit too much to do much else.  I've had quite a few of those days the last couple months.  Up and down.  I think it might be my new normal.  Such is life.
Well, the girls (grouse) were here early chowing down, Annie is walking past my chair here in the kitchen crying (wants me to go sit down in the big comfy chair and settle in for the evening), and my body says I have gone over my time limit--LOL!  It's now 5:30pm.  This beautiful fall day is heading into evening.  More traffic on the road.  People going home from work.  I picked chatting with you this afternoon instead of balancing two checkbooks--ROFL!  ;) ;)
Keep smiling!!
:) :)
"The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased."
Mark Nepo

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Remember the cute baby cottontail bunny?
Now it is all grown up.  Well, at least a gangly teenager--LOL! 
I forgot to take pictures when I was over at McFamily's.  Dagan and Leah are helping me to switch banks, so I guess I was thinking about all those details...and just plain enjoying the company too much to remember.  :)  
Dagan brought me over to Gate City Bank (local bank that McFamily uses) on Thursday to open a checking account.  I'm finally switching from Wells Fargo which I've had since I moved here in 1999 (and been unhappy with since before I moved--long story).  The lady at Gate City even called and switched over my social security check deposit for me while I was there!  I just needed to talk with them to verify who I was.  How nice of them to do that!
Anyways, I am borrowing enough from Dagan and Leah to cover a month so that I have time to switch everything over and make sure all is coming out of the new account...then I can close out at Wells Fargo and pay back the loan.  Their generous idea.  Plus Leah said she'd help me go through and switch bank accounts on the automatic withdrawal payments...and set it up so the bank can mail checks for me to the companies that don't have automatic withdrawal.  I'd be almost paperless with my bills!  Feels weird.  Half of mine I write checks for and mail...or did.  
I went back over to their place Friday night--with paperwork and my laptop--and Leah worked on the switching over.  I still have a few to go.  I'm waiting for call back from Federal Housing (correct address for bank to mail rent check), apartment insurance has to be done over the phone (some companies won't allow it done online), and two more I need to double check on whether they have auto pay or get a correct address to mail a check to.  Goodness.  Honestly--I would never have done this on my own.  Leah's been encouraging me to switch banks since I moved and I never would have done it without her help.  Just soooo many details to change.
It's not like the old days when you physically deposited your check from work and you wrote out and mailed all your checks for bills.  You just switched.  Nobody you paid cared which bank was on the check, you know?  And there was no such thing as automatic withdrawals or automatic deposits...or online shopping, for that matter.  So, I'll be finishing up this coming week.  Whew!  We were working till 11:30pm when Liam was loudly sick and tired of waiting for Mama to feed him (Daddy couldn't distract any longer) and Gramma was too tired to continue--LOL!  I'll be so glad when everything is switched over, I'm basically paperless, and can close my Wells Fargo account!  :)
Oh, and I sent an email to Petco that included the picture.  They offered to replace or refund the kitty litter, but said if I wanted a replacement that it would be shipped in the same manner.  I opted for a refund.  They were quick to respond, but I still am leery about ordering from them again.  Nice they gave me a refund, though.  And they even included tax!
I got the pre-ordered drawing book yesterday (Amazon-from last month).  It is a beautiful book.  Can you see the gold embossing on the cover? 
But there is not as much detail in the step-by-step instructions, as you can see. 
Some of them do have a couple more steps... 
...but she still jumps quickly from no detail to a LOT of detail, as you can see.
There are blank pages for practicing and the paper is thick-- almost glossy.
There aren't as many examples in this book, but they are much more intricate and realistic.  I will certainly be trying these.
Sorry about the shadows on these pictures.  Has been dark and damp here lately and my camera always makes a shadow.  BUT--I almost forgot to show you what I had done with those last two drawing books. 
 I took a Clairfontaine Triomphe writing tablet and copied a flower or leaf from the books down on the bottom of each page and colored it. 
I only have three sheets left to show you. 
I forgot to take pictures and all the rest of the pages have been written on and mailed away.  Now it's time to get out the drawing books, a new tablet, and do it again.  :)  And, no--I haven't done any decorating in my bullet yet.  Talk about moving slowly lately, eh? 
I do have to do some Gramma bragging, though.  When I was there on Friday late I got to go up and help Daddy put Ian to bed.  Ian showed me how he brushes his teeth and gets his own pajamas on...and then it was time for a bedtime story.  Well, Dagan had told me how Ian has a book memorized--but I was thinking it was like Red Fish, Blue Fish--something simple like that, right?  
Ian "read" to me--told me the story--clearly--word for word--Night-Night, Forest Friends!!  Which has pages like:  
"Papa Rabbit whispers, 'Hush,' and tucks his babies into beds of brush."
(Which Gramma had to look up on Amazon because she can't remember, of course--see link above.)
Leah told me Ian has another longer book memorized, too, but so many of the pages begin similarly (good morning, good afternoon, etc) that he forgets which one starts which page sometimes but he knows the rest by heart.  Can we say Gramma was very, very impressed!!  I believe Gramma's mouth was hanging open for most of the story--ROFL!  ;)
Anyways, was so stiff and sore yesterday from being out and about two days in a row that I had a total R&R day--caught up on Shameless on Netflix but that was about it.  Today--better.  Am doing laundry.  It's a chilly day, sun is shining, washer is churning, Annie is hiding behind the end table waiting for the birds to come back so she can jump out at them again, feels like fall, and I am off to do some calligraphy drills.  Have a great week.  :)
"Help me to be less fearful of the measure of time, and more fully alive in the time that simply is.  Help me to live time, not just to simply use it: to breathe it in, and return it in acts of love and presence."
Avis Crowe

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Thought I should do a quick post since I forgot to let you know that my mom did stay in Minnesota.  They now have tickets to go down on the 22nd.  Mom talked to a neighbor in Florida and was told her trailer looked okay.  Whew!  It's in Polk County in Winter Haven and they had possibly 100 mph winds from what I saw on TV that night.
Also, Janie Junebug is fine down in Jacksonville but wants people to know she has no internet connection even though their electricity is back on.  Backyard lake isn't even as bad as it has been other times--whoohoo!  
So grateful that Irma wasn't as strong as they thought.  She did so much damage as it was.  Texas and Florida will have a long haul ahead of them getting back to normal.  The islands might never be the same.  I hope this was the worst of it...since Jose is apparently weakening.  Never know what the future holds. 
Happy, ordinary news up here.  Annie has started to come up for some closer-contact time! 
She either jumps up on the arm of the chair or comes up from the footrest so that I will give her a quick cuddle and then she's been settling in on the chair arm for a while.  I think she's stayed as long as ten minutes! 
Petco was a fail.  Like I said, I have never ordered from them online before.  Took ten days to get here and this is how it arrived. 
Took me 40 minutes just to dig out all the toys and get them out of their packaging.  Even the ones that were inside of a bag--the bags were opened and full of kitty litter.  It looked like UPS had sealed the entire box with clear packing tape because it was leaking all over the place.  I don't know how much kitty litter is missing.  I'll have to wait for Dagan to come over to help me to actually get the bag out of the box and into my litter container.  
Yup--Petco was a total fail for me.  Not ordering from them again.  At least not kitty litter--LOL!  I've been ordering the same kitty litter through Amazon for years and have never had a broken bag, so I guess I'll stick with them.
Leah sent me some pics of Liam.
I will probably be over there for another visit this week. 
Big babies have such fat cheeks...just want to kiss them.  Well, grandmas do--LOL! 
Been hot up here.  AC days.  Supposed to hit 90 today.  Won't last long, of course.  Fall will be back.  Me?  I'm one of those people who can hardly wait for the cooler weather and turning leaves.  :)
Hope to blog again pretty soon.  Trying to post more frequently so I don't have those super long posts--LOL!  :)
My thoughts and prayers are with all the people dealing with the violent events occurring all over our world.  So much of it lately.
"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.  In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things.  The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome."
Isabel Allende