Wednesday, October 04, 2017


I won the drawing for this book--The Shadow Boxers--from Wendy's blog Picnic With Ants!
It's all about fighting fibromyalgia... 
...and has places to journal... 
..throughout the book. 
Thanks Wendy and author, Kim Johnson! 
I am gradually getting Annie used to my using the lapdesk in my chair for letter writing.  I have to make sure the pillow and lapdesk are balanced over to one side on my one leg so that it doesn't touch her or she leaves.  Poor Annie always doubts she is wanted.  Street life took its toll on her self-worth big time. 
So hard to decide to grab the lapdesk when she's so content. 
It still takes very little for Annie to go from sleeping on the chair like this to bolting down the hallway.  Well, now she only bolts to near the hallway, so that's progress.
It's taken--how long has it been?--three months?--for her to trust me enough to actually follow me (not closely) into the pantry when she gets her canned food treat dish every day.  A couple times recently she has beat me to the mat!  She used to wait in the hallway--several feet down in case she had to dart for under my bed--and I had to leave the pantry, go sit down, not move for a couple minutes before she figured it was safe to slither into the pantry.  She had this fear of being trapped in there and caught, I imagine.  If I stood up--she darted out so fast--like a shadow.  Now she has beat me to the food mat...twice!  I can walk within maybe three feet away from her once in a while without her running away.  Life is good.  :)
Well, that free calligraphy  class...not continuing on.  Her free class had three versions of worksheets you could download: large, small, and iPad.  But when you went to continue on with the next five months of classes...each version had to be bought separately each month.  I was doing (and absolutely want to learn) both large and (two) small versions.  No way!  Sorry, but that seemed like kind of bait and switch.  
I have been following Lindsey at The Postman's Knock (TPK) for a long time.  She's the one who got me interested in doing pointed dip pen work and why I purchased the oblique pen holder and new nibs in the first place this year.  She does beautiful envelope artwork along with her calligraphy, has freebies to print off, give-aways, and does physical workshops (far away--can't remember where). 
[Note: The good thing about taking that free class was it pushed me to get the oblique pen holder out again for a more serious attempt to figure out how to use it--and forced me to work with my brush pens.  The large tombow brush pens are so intimidating and more difficult for me--but what I want to learn for writing in/on cards.  I have seen a little progress.  So when I would have to pay $24 a month (sale price for one day only each month--otherwise $48) for those other classes (that didn't touch on anything but the very basics) for five months, I decided to check out Lindsey's classes and search youtube videos and books on Amazon.]
I did find a couple people to follow on youtube so I can watch it being done.  I ordered a book from Amazon plus I ordered two classes from Lindsey and a couple font samplers.  They arrive as downloads.  I went to print the first booklet...the printer was doing fine...then stopped after ten pages and announced it was out of paper.  *sigh*  It was not.  Here we go again.  (Where's my hammer?!)
Now some of you may remember that this printer has done this several times since I got it and it's not that old.  (HP Envy)  Leah couldn't get it to work, either, but the other times Dagan managed to mess with it long enough for it to suddenly recognize paper again.  He was never sure what he did to get it to start printing again.  Well, last night even Dagan's magic-techie-touch didn't work.  So, he packed up "the piece of junk" and hauled it back to Costco.  (I figured it was worth a try, right?)
No box, no receipt, had it for quite a while, and they haven't carried that model since February...but they gave Dagan store credit and he came back with a new printer!  (HP Office Jet)  Kudos to Costco!!!
So, I was printing and printing last night!!  Both classes (which also have videos) and both exemplars.
I got both the George style lettering... 
...and the Stitches style lettering.  Plan to use on headers in my bullet journal, for sure. 
Kaitlin style calligraphy--can use to learn both the dip pen and small brush pens. 
Lastly, Lindsey has only one brush pen class--also Kaitlin style.  
Yes, all three of these booklets are for that one class!  
Lindsey has a few more classes I'd like to buy, too, with different styles of writing.  And now I have a new printer to print them on, too--LOL!  Whoohoo!  I think I might be needing to buy more ink cartridges pretty soon.  ;)
These two books I ordered from Amazon came this morning.  Brush Pen Lettering by Grace Song and--well, you know how I already love my Botanical Line Drawing: 200 step-by-step flowers, leaves, cacti, succulents, and other items found in nature by Peggy Dean and have been using it on writing tablets--well, she came out with a new book!  Botanical Line Drawing: cactus & succulent edition (200 step-by-step illustrations in this one, too!). 
You can't really tell what you are getting with just the peek you get online, but here's the table of contents for the Brush Pen Lettering book. 
(Serena, I know you might want a peek since we plan to do this together half a world apart--LOL!) 
Has all kinds of basics from what you need to how to hold the pens...

...and some of the very same drills.

Blank worksheets--can print off as many as you want.
So, I think this book will be good for learning the basics of brush pen lettering.  The one from Lindsey is a specific style or font, but will also be fun.  Kaitlin is like the wonky style everyone is using these days.
While I was in the bedroom taking a picture of the new printer... 
...thought I'd show you how Bubbles has matured. 
He's handsome and spunky!
Last Thursday Leah picked me up after her chiropractor appointment and I spent the day over at McFamily's.  Got to feed Liam a bottle (breast milk) whlie Ian was napping.  He took it so enthusiastically that I think I gave him a little too much at a time--LOL!  Got a gusher of milk all over my chest as I took him up for a burp!  Yup--now I remember why I used to bring an extra top when I went to visit when Ian was a baby--ROFL!!  Gramma is washable, I always say.  Was a great visit and Ian "read" me his other bedtime book from memory before he went to sleep.
So sore couldn't sleep that night.  But, in general, the pain level has gone up a notch or two the last couple months, so I fully expected that.  It did get me searching online for herbal supplements, though.  And those came yesterday, too.  I'm trying White Willow Bark for pain and Turmeric for inflammation.  There are other ones to try, but it makes more sense to only try one or two at a time to see if they work or not.  This month--those are what I am trying.  If anyone else has tried either of these, let me know what you thought.  Or if you know of some other natural supplement that worked for you--love to hear.
There is so much horror and tragedy and appalling behavior in the news that I have nothing to add.  Focusing on sending out loving energy has really been put to the test this past year.  A goal that, personally, keeps me challenged full time these days.  The term "shining example" doesn't seem to fully express the hearts and souls of those people who have risked their lives for others and those who have reached out to help their fellow man and creatures in disasters.  And the people who have taken a stand against injustice and the appalling. 
Pray for the victims.  
Pray for us all.
Do what you can.
Even a hug or a kind word helps lift the energy of the world.  
We are all connected.
 I'll end on a love note.  
Annie's timid, gentle soul opening up to mine has filled me with hope and joy.  Touched my heart.
Here she is--finally deciding it is safe enough to get comfortable in the morning sun on the old, small, tan recliner closest to the patio door.  Why she'd jump up there every few weeks--stand there for a moment--catch my eye--and race away...well, only Annie knows her terrors.  That cat bed has been waiting for her on that chair ever since she arrived, but Annie has just now decided it is a safe place to sit...if I am not in the living room-- LOL!
Seeing Annie's body relax, watching her sleep...and hearing her snore--LOL!...knowing she feels safe enough to close her eyes in my presence...makes me smile every time.  We'll probably both get used to it over time.  ;)
Holding a warm, observant baby in your arms.  Reading to a towheaded little boy who smiles when he sees me.  Having a son come to your rescue when you are overwhelmed by technological glitches...and a daughter-in-law who is happy to help you through the maze of banking red tape and sends you card-making videos to compare ideas for future projects.  Friends and family who greet you in emails--blog and facebook comments--or even mailbox paper-chats.  It all makes me smile.  
May I never get used to any of it.
Till we chat again...
Virtual Hugs!!!
:) :) :)
"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our minds to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others."
Barbara Bush


  1. I'm so glad Annie is warming up to you Rita! Makes my heart glad to see that. Hugs! deb

  2. Hi Rita, I take turmeric everyday and have noticed a difference. It may take a few weeks for it to build up but keep with it.
    Hugs to you and Annie

  3. Congratulations on winning the book. It sounds like something that would be very helpful to you. I hope it helps, anyway.

    Sounds like you're having a great time with your grandsons. :) Can't wait to see more pics of them.

    It's good to see Annie is finally settling in with you. I'm sure she knows you're doing your best for her, and she'll warm up to you more and more every day.

    The world today is a very scary place. You never know where or when insanity will strike.

  4. OK, just to make sure, but you said Dagan got you a new computer. You meant new printer, right? I'm sure it is a great one, too. I have an old HP I bought in 2000 and it has never given me any trouble. Of course, it's just a computer, not a 4 in 1 like yours. I wish you as good luck with yours as I've had with mine.

    Annie looks so relaxed. There is NO way either of my boys would lie still for me to take their photos. I've tried before. You can be quite happy that she is a blessing and a gem.

    Congrats on the new book you won. Sounds like something you really needed.

    I hate bait and switch, too. They lull you in, then charge you for everything. At least you aren't on any monthly payment plan.

    Hope your week goes well.

  5. Congrats on the win!
    Annie looks like you are a cat whisperer for her - great to see that she feels so good and is warming up with you so well! ♥♥♥
    And you are happy to have such a wonderful family! ♥♥♥

  6. I'm so happy that Annie is getting more comfortable with you and trusting you as the days pass. She looks like she would be a great lap cat...and keep you toasty warm.

    Have you seen Spencerian Handwriting? It was the way people used to write back in the 1800s and early 1900s. Beautiful script. There are some instruction booklets that can be purchased - similar to ones that were used by children and teens as they learned penmanship in school.

  7. Congratulations on winning the book, which seems tailor made for you. And I do take turmeric every day for inflammation, along with lots of other vitamins and herbs. Who knows what works and what doesn't, and it's different for everybody anyway. Yes, I know the world is in terrible shape, but we have each other. Thanks for a great post, Rita. Made me happy. :-)

  8. I'm with you about the class. That is not a good way to win people over. Either charge them from the start or don't charge. Its always a gimmick, isn't it? Poor Annie. It must so hard not to be a cat or dog and not be able to understand the words that all is going to fine. They must wait to actually see that it will be. I think she's doing well for 3 months with you. Before you know it she will be the queen! (And you may wish she was a little more shy) :) And congrats on the win. Hugs-Erika

  9. Aren't loving & helpful families wonderful?

  10. Hey, this is the first time I've seen a photo of Bubbles. He (she?) is indeed a handsome fish!

    I'm so glad that Annie is more relaxed and trusting. The pics of her sleeping are adorable. My cat Bosco is OBSESSED with my laptop. He loves to mess around with the keyboard (which unnerves me) and he sits very close to me and stares (with fascination) while I'm working at the computer.

    And when I'm finished working and finally close the top down on the laptop, Bosco leaps on it and sits.
    Cats are really weird at times - but immensely entertaining.

  11. I have the worst luck with printers, always...we will leave it there. Look forward to seeing more of the calligraphy work, I have been eyeing that brush letter book, so look forward to seeing you use that one.

  12. Congrats on the book! It's a shame the "free" class turned out not so free after all :( I love your betta! Spectacular!

  13. What a sweet conclusion to your post. We have a lot of good in our lives, don't we?


  14. Looks like those books will keep you busy for a little while! Annie is doing so good at your house!! Yes we all have much to be thankful for!
    I am much better today and upright! :)

  15. Awww - Annie is a sweetheart.

  16. Annie sounds a lot like our Gracie Girl (dog) when we first got her. My husband wooed her for 6 months. He got her! And ah, technology - my desktop won't let me on hotmail - says it's dangerous (you'd think it would try to keep me off Pinterest - but no). And calligraphy! About 3 years ago I taught classes for a local (Falls Church) gov craft offering. But you can get such pretty ones on line I never kept up with it.

  17. A lovely uplifting post, Rita! Yes, it's bad for us to be angry all the time, even though the political situation is enough to try the patience of a saint. I too am spending time with family. It is wonderful to see how Annie is gradually learning to trust you. I predict that within a few months she will be inseparable from you, as loyal as a cat could ever be. Well done on the book - it sounds as if it is just perfect for you.

  18. Congratulations on winning the book, Rita...I'm sure you will find it an interesting read.

    I adore the photos of Annie snuggled up fast asleep between your legs...that is massive progress. I'm so happy to see she is finally enjoying the comforts of the old recliner!

    As you know, I feel the same way about her charging for the separate formats...the costs would definitely mount up that way. I will check out The Postman's Knock again.

    YAY on the new printer! I hope this one knows how to recognise paper. I've always had Canon printers and love them...however, they do seem to like drinking up the ink cartridges faster than I would like. The worksheets you printed out are lovely styles.

    I'm still waiting on my Brush Pen Lettering book...hopefully this week. I need to practise some drills.

    Aaron has a Siamese Fighter that could be Bubbles' twin. nice that you were able to feed Liam. Aaron gushed a lot of milk as a baby. haha

    I had another bad day of pain yesterday myself so I can sorry you are dealing with all that pain. I make a Turmeric Chai latte with soy it to see a lot of recipe options. I use the Turmeric spice powder. I plan to have one every day to try and deal with the inflammation, particularly in my hip. Do you get both of those supplements in capsule form?

    The world does seem to be in quite a sorry state at the heart goes out to all the victims — human and non-human.

    A lovely ending to your post, Rita.
    Virtual hugs to you too. xo

  19. You are a beacon of hope in this sad old world. And your family takes after you. :)


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