Sunday, April 15, 2018


Hello!  Hello!
Finally able to pop in for a catch-up.
I started at 7:30am and it is already 10am now before I am even starting any actual writing.  Took that long to sort through photos and post some short videos.  I am slow to begin with and YouTube was even slower than I am this morning--LOL!
The jackrabbits say hi.
Been a cold snowy attempt at spring so far.
April has looked like this off and on.
I thought I'd show you what the other side of the building looks like.  This is the side door I go out to bring trash to the dumpster (that is right behind that big snowbank there in the yard and across the parking lot).
I've basically been pretty much the same, but have a little more energy than I did a couple weeks ago.  Annie likes our chair time, though.  
She's so funny.  She started leaning into the pillow and lapdesk when I was writing and really liked that I could put my hand on her chest.  She can't tolerate too much petting, our prickly Annie.  If a cat can be autistic--Annie is autistic.  She can only take so much stimulation--touching, sound, sight.  I watch her personal signals and have always tried not to overdo and freak her out.
  Now when I'm not writing and yet she wants to be closer...well, she kind of pretends the pillow is there between us.  She comes up on the arm of the chair, turns around, and leans practically into my arm pit and then gradually wiggles down until she is laying on my left leg.  Annie doesn't want to believe she is actually on my lap because that would stress her out.
Annie definitely has issues--ROFL!  But I am learning how to adapt to them and she is learning to trust me more and more.  Prickly Annie is quite happy, I think.
Decided to take a picture of the last batch of soup before it was all gone.
Now you know you're getting old when your hand hurts, you look down and can't even remember how you did this to your finger.  I had a bad sprain.  
Twisted it somehow.  It was red and swollen and hurt like heck for a couple days.  Mystery injury.
We had a really beautiful snowstorm.  It's so seldom with the wind we have up here that I get to see snow coming almost straight down instead of at some severe angle.  
Was gorgeous!
I had to chuckle at the lone grouse and jackrabbit out digging for food while the storm was in full swing.  (I've been putting seed on the grass for a while--tired of the poopy patio--LOL!)
They got a thick layer of snow on their backs.  The grouse shook and ruffled it off and the jackrabbit rolled about in the snow before it took off.  
Oh, I can't remember if I mentioned the grouse BFFs--two girls who travel about by themselves--and that one of them had an injured leg over a month ago?  Well, her BFF has never abandoned her and stayed by her side and she is still hopping about last I saw her.  I'm glad, but I was hoping the leg would heal.  Well, she's made it this long.  I keep an eye out for her to see if she is still around.
When Leah was here for a Craft Night back in March I forgot to take pictures of what we were doing.  You may remember I bought up a set of Distress Oxide ink pads...well, we played and played.  
Dabbed the ink on to non-stick mats, spritzed with water, and kind of dunked and swiped the paper into the colorful mess.  Lots of fun!  We tried out different kinds of paper.  These are Tim Holtz alcohol ink papers and the larger couple on the left are watercolor paper.  
These are Leah's.  She rubbed most of hers down with the Distress Glaze--which makes the color pop and gives them a shiny surface.
Here's mine.  I ran out of steam and didn't do the glaze so you can see how the distress oxides alone have this chalky, matte look.  
I will go back and play some more with them later.  I never even played much with the spritzing them with water yet.  They will make nice background for card fronts, I think.
Oh--we did find out--do not try them on yupo paper because they never seem to dry.  No lie!  A month later and they will still smear with a fingertip. We don't know what to do with them.  Trying to use the distress glaze just smears them.  May try a fixative spray when it gets warm enough to do that outside.
The still damp yupo sheets...these are Leah's.  Yupo will buckle when you use a heat gun on it (top right) so don't try that, either--LOL!
Mine.  My third sheet was so pale that since I heard you could wash yupo off sometimes--I tried it.  Worked!  It is like I never used it.  Forgot to put it on the tray to show you, but it's just plain again, anyways. 
I have been having Friday Gramma Days alone with Ian now since March 23rd!  We would have worked into it the beginning of the year but we all got sick--LOL!  Then I have been pretty poorly since--but I am using up my spoons and borrowing against spoons so that I can have Craft Nights, Gramma Days, and McFamily visits.  Priorities, right?  :)
I made it over to their place to visit twice in March and once, so far, in April for a family visit.  Have to get over there so I can see Liam and Dagan!  :)  Leah and I had one more Craft Night this last Tuesday.  And I have had Gramma Days every Friday!!
Ian is finally old enough for me to be able to physically handle spending time alone with him.  He's 3 1/2 now so less carrying, he can wash his hands and go to the bathroom without much or any assistance--more independent.  Will be a couple more years before Liam can come spend Gramma Days, too.  It always broke my heart that I couldn't babysit him all these years--so I am just thrilled to have some Gramma and Ian time.  I'm still pretty much in extra low gear so we've been watching Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, his movies, nature shows, and reading.  Hope to be doing some artsy stuff pretty soon.
Absoposiloutely worth waiting for.  :) 
Woke up this last Tuesday to no hot water--and since they had to unhook the water altogether we were running out of cold water, too, from the top floor down.  (Lucky to be on the ground floor that day.)  The mechanical room is kitty corner across the hall from me.  Behind that big water heater in the back there's a guy hooking it up.  I didn't know if he wanted to be on some crazy old lady's blog so I grabbed a shot while he was safely hidden.    
We got water back late in the afternoon.  Leah came over that night for Crafts and we worked out a new set of Christmas cards.  We use the three-trees die to cut the green plaid paper and the white paper.  Then swap and inlay them.  Attach them to the card bases and add a die-cut frame to the one with the white front.
So--that will be our next big project--mass producing about 100 cards--50 of each.
I love when I see all the critters getting along out there.

Just a couple days ago I saw my first robin--caught this pic--and my first grackle.
This is what it looked like on this very gray morning.  
Snowbanks and brown grass...
...and rabbit poop dotted all over my grass--LOL!
Okay, folks--I will end with Gramma time!
I promised the short videos from Leah last time and I have a few more pictures, too.
Liam--laughing smiley baby.
None of us can believe how totally mellow Blink is!!  This proves it.  She was purring the whole time Liam was "petting" her.  (Watch to the surprise ending.)

Liam scoot-crawling at 5 months. 

That's Ian (on the right) enthralled at a real hockey game!!  
Liam sitting up on his own.

If you remember, Liam has wanted to stand for a long time.  He's been pulling himself up to stand against the furniture for quite a while already.
Ian likes banging whatever he can find together to make music and sometimes sings songs in his own made up language, I guess.  Here he has some plastic pieces to rub together that make a washboard effect.

Liam got his first solid food at 6 months.  He wasn't sure what to think of it, but he's gotten the hang of it quickly, of course.
Liam was only 7 months on April 3rd and yet he pulls himself up to stand against almost anything.  Here it's the frig.
Oh, and here was Ian at Gramma's birthday party eating the blue frosted chocolate cake.
Ian at home with his rabbit ears and basket for the Easter egg hunt.
We'll end with the family picture--Easter 2018.  Blink included.

They're all in the car right now--driving down to Minneapolis--and will be back Thursday.  Dagan is having two surgeries at once on Tuesday 11am.  He's getting his pacemaker battery replaced and having a heart cath at the same time.  (He wanted to get them both over with.)  Mom will be waiting for a text or call on Tuesday, of course, to hear all went well.  
Later today they are going to the big aquarium at the MegaMall.  Ian told me sharks swim over his head there. :)  They'll be going to Ikea tomorrow and swimming in the pool at the hotel.  (Leah's brother Aaron is here taking care of Blink, BTW--would have been no room for him in the car--LOL!)  And Leah's youngest sister, Ariel, who lives in Mpls will be coming to wait with Leah and help her with the boys at the hospital.  All the bases are covered...but it's at times like this I feel especially useless, you know?  Sending good energy and prayers has to be enough.  
I miss weddings and new babies and funerals...and surgeries.  But--face facts--I am not of much use even if these things were right here in town.  I don't even make the boys' birthday parties--LOL!  It's just times like this make you remember when you could, I guess.  No need to dwell on the past.
I am just tickled to have my Gramma Days now.  Means the world to me.  You have to appreciate and be grateful for what you have in life.  :)
So, you can join me in long distance positive energy and prayers for my boy on Tuesday if you'd like.  I do absolutely believe in that power.  And Ian will tell me all about sharks and swimming and being at the hospital on Friday.  ;)
Have a fantastic week!!  :) :)
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."
Native American proverb


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I was so glad to see this post. I know you have been visiting me, but I was still worried about you. Such a lovely and positive post. I really enjoyed seeing Annie. She seems to be used to you and obviously feels safer than she had in times past. She even lets you photograph her.

I really enjoyed the videos. They were fun to see and to see the two boys. Both have grown, too. That last photo from Easter was AWESOME. A great family photo.

I will be thinking of Dagan on Tuesday, and know he will get through this with flying colors.

SO glad you posted. Now I feel better that you are OK!

TammyV said...

First I have to say that Blink must be the most patient cat in the universe. What a sweetie kittie! Then say that the pictures and videos are grand. So glad you have Gramma time - my oldest is turning 16. Our time together is totally all about the latest adventure movie. I figure I'll talk to him about anything. He likes hanging out with me - at least doesn't run screaming in the other direction - and I'll take that! Sending prayers for Dagan's quick healing. Glad you are feeling better and hope that you keep heading towards the "mend" too. Nice to see how Annie is settling in. And glad to see you are keeping the snow up that way. Finally - that soup looks amazing! Made me hungry and I've just had lunch! Thank you for such an enjoyable post and for sharing your life!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I liked the videos of Liam so adorable and so is Annie adorable as well all in all this was a bloody great post

Far Side of Fifty said...

I shall be sending some prayers Dagans way, I know that must be stressful for you. Your Grands are so cute!!
We can only do what we can do with the spoons we are alloted. I understand. I hope you are feeling better soon!!! :)

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Lovely to read your post today Rita and catch up on your sweet grands and their wonderful parents. Prayers for Dagan on Tuesday. Annie has come a long way in feeling safe. Hope you finger is less sore every day, it certainly looks painful. Gramma Time is so precious. Hugs.

My name is Erika. said...

That snow at the beginning of your post was a nasty flashback to winter. The weather this year has been crazy, hasn't it? It's April and should be nice by now. But the picture of your soup and those little guys really made up for all the snow. :) Hope your hand feels better soon and your green grass is back ASAP. happy new week Rita. Hugs-Erika

DJan said...

Such a wonderful post, filled with love and light at every turn. I love that family portrait and I will echo the others with a comment that Blink is definitely mellow! :-)

Lady Fi said...

So lovely to catch up with you and your world. But ouch to that finger! My - those grandkids are adorable.

Carol said...

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit more energetic! I can totally relate to the mystery injury. I get them all of the time too. I think it goes with Fibro. Love seeing all of the animal photos and the photos and videos of the kids. They are growing so fast.
Hang in there now and don't worry about what you can't do and enjoy the things that you can ♥

Divers and Sundry said...

"Prickly Annie" :) I love that, and you know how to give her that balance. That kind of soup warms me just looking at it. I eat soup all year :) Your hand! Ouch! I hope it's better by now. I think your art is lovely, the colors and designs are beautiful as is and will make wonderful backgrounds.

Gramma Days every Friday! Now that's a joy, and it sounds like y'all are making the best of it. They grow so _fast_! I'm sorry Dagan is having to go through all this, but I trust all will go well.

I love your positivity in not dwelling on the past and what's gone but focusing on the joys of the day. As I sit here looking at birds on my patio (no jackrabbits here), I'm taking your words to heart :)

GrandmaG said...

Of course good thoughts are being sent! Always scary just being in a hospital, I think. But it's amazing what can be done these days. As you know, I was lucky enough to watch both grandsons while mom and dad worked. But I have to admit, I enjoyed them more when they became more independent. Watching babies is a lot of hard work with snippets of great joy. But watching preschoolers and older is much more fun in my opinion. Now we can truly enjoy things together. . .crafts, movies, outings, etc. That is until they become a tween - LOL! Spending time with my 12-year-old grandson takes a lot of effort as I work to find things we can do together and enjoy. So soak up those easier years, when it seems anything you do is a wonder to a young child.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. Prayers for Dagan. Happy Gramma's Day!!

Jon said...

I hope you're feeling better. That hand strain looks awful. If it still bothers you perhaps you could soak it in warm water and Epsom salts. That is usually soothing. The cold weather always makes my hands and feet hurt for some weird reason.

Cats are so amazing. Each one has their own special personality and it takes time to understand them and get used to their idiosyncrasies. My three kitties often drive me crazy (in a nice way, of course).

That first photo of the three bunnies is so cute - - and I really love the three tree Christmas cards.

Serena Lewis said...

Great to hear you are slowly improving, my friend.

Annie is so sweet! She is a changed cat from when she first arrived, bless her heart.

OH, that soup looks yummy! Might make up a pot of soup myself today.

OUCH! Your finger looks so sore, you poor thing. I've had big and tender dark bruises come out on my body and sometimes, for the life of me, I haven't got a clue how I got them.

So nice to see the critters still visiting and that some don't even let a snow storm stop them. I sure hope the injured grouse stays safe...makes you wonder how she sustained her injury in the first place.

The Distress Oxide paper play turned out great! The Glaze sure does make the colours pop but the muted tones are nice too. Thanks for the info re. Yupo paper. I've never used it but some artists I follow have talked about working on Yupo paper.

How nice that you are able to have Gramma Days with Ian now. Things definitely get a lot easier when they are old enough to do a lot on their own and you mainly just guide them. I remember feeling elated when the kids were of an age to do up their own seat belts in the car. Bear in mind, I had four close together in age so it meant a lot of seat belt buckling. haha My kids always loved nature shows too.

Sorry you had to manage without water for hours. It's something we take for granted until we have to do without it. We depend on it so much especially when it comes to flushing toilets, washing hands, and making hot drinks (I can't get by without my hot drinks). Usually when a storm is on the horizon, the first thing I do is boil a jug of water for hot drinks just in case we lose power.

Both Christmas tree cards look great! Cool that you can get two different looks.

Liam sounds like a little go-getter....pulling himself up to standing, scoot-crawling at only 5 months of age. He will be racing around with Ian before too long. I remember watching a video of Ian getting his first taste of food too. Liam did quite well.

The family picture is lovely! Wishing them safe travels and will be sending lots of prayers for Dagan's surgery. I hope all goes well. It sounds like they have a busy schedule. Please keep us updated.

Love and hugs xo

Victoria said...

oh wowness..I LOVE those magical and beautiful.what a treat! such gorgeous creatures!
aw, your cat is so sweet! Lovely colorful and lovely. Thanks for sharing your world, hope you feel better.

Intense Guy said...

Those boys are so gosh darn cute!!


I hope all is going well with Dagan.

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Oh my...I hope your finger is feeling better now. That looks so painful.

Enjoy seeing all the animals getting along so well together. There's a food shortage here for the wildlife - especially the migrating birds - and they need people to put out birdseed for them so they don't die. They rely on people like you to help sustain them until the ground thaws and the earthworms are accessible and insects start flying again.

Can't believe how quickly both of your grandsons are growing up! That Gramma time must be wonderful now that Ian can do more things on his own.

Glad to hear your hot water is back on again. That's a pain not to have it.

Hope Dagan's surgery went well. I'm sure it's like waiting on pins and needles for the text to let you know he's out of surgery.