Monday, February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 Monday--3:30pm

Good afternoon!
Not really much for pictures this week.
Dagan and Leah went down to his cardiologists in Minneapolis and back on Wednesday for Dagan's pacemaker adjustment and checkup.  All was good.  :)  A lot of driving--at least 4 hours each way.  The boys stayed at home for the day with Uncle Aaron.  Glad that is over with.  Thumbs up!
I was told to try going through ND Public Health for the vaccine to get it earlier.  So I filled out the form online and was okayed the next day to pick an appointment time.  Leah gave me a ride over to the now defunct Gordman's Department store on Friday afternoon, dropped me off and waited in the parking lot. 
It was not too busy...but steady.  They had a place to stand in line with Xs on the floor to stand apart but I got to zig zag through to the front because no one was in line at the time.  They had a person near the door to check you off the list before you got in line and a person to direct you to which spot was open for a shot when you got to the end of the line.  My lady was number 5.
After she checked you were on her list, the shot was quick and easy.  Barely felt it.  Just relaxed my arm.
Then you had to go find a chair to wait for fifteen minutes to make sure you didn't have an allergic reaction.  The chairs were spread out over the now empty Gordman's...that still had old signs up high on the walls--LOL!
I felt absolutely fine until around 11pm-12am when the hard lump appeared (or I finally noticed it--lol!) in my shoulder that hurt if you touched it, but not much otherwise.  Some redness appeared where I got the shot by Saturday morning and I've had a headache ever since...but it's not quite as bad today.  My sinuses ran like a water faucet all weekend, but that seems to be leaving me, too.  I ran a very low temp off and on all weekend (99 to 99.4) and was noticeably achier than usual...but that may leaving now, too.  More tired than usual.  Been sleeping and napping all weekend.
I have a compromised immune system so I was expecting my body might have to work extra hard to make antibodies, so I figure this really hasn't been that bad at all.  I'd hate to think of what it would be like to get covid.  I've basically been in my pajamas for three days--LOL!  But I guess I am working hard on making those all is well.  I go back in a month for the second Moderna shot.  I feel very lucky to have gotten my first one and look forward to going back.  These shots will help us all to eventually get back to normal...or our new normal, anyways.  ;)
That's it from here.  I'm about due for a little nap again.  Actually happy to have this sore arm--LOL!  Till next week...
"Hope is praying for rain, but faith is bringing an umbrella."

Monday, February 15, 2021

February 15, 2021 Monday--12:30pm

Well, well--it is already Monday again.  The week flew by.  I was admittedly watching pieces of the trial this past week (troubling and sad) so I never got into the studio except to make Valentine's cards for the boys (forgot to take pictures).

The Critter Cafe has been very busy with it being below zero all week.

The partridges and sparrows don't seem to mind finding seed around all the rabbit poop--LOL!
Here's one of the beautiful, large culprits leaving poop pellets all over the place.
I still seldom see them before it is dark, but there's a brave one or two who will show up because they are hungry and cold enough to come early.
When Leah came over Tuesday night after dark there were jackrabbits all over out there--LOL!  She even saw the smaller cottontail!  Nice!  We didn't do much in the way of cards because we had so much to discuss.  But we tested out this big happy birthday die.
Which just barely fits on the front of a regular size card.
Will have to be cut and glued so carefully, but this is the plan for using up a bunch of odd colored papers on a set of birthday cards.  Will be very putsy but it is a pretty cool die, I think.

I don't know what I would do without my trusty folding cart and bin.  There was added yet another trash bag and a bag of frozen cat foods with this haul to the dumpster and garage.  (Yes, I made cat food again for Annie last week.)  I think it was only about -10F at the time I made this trip but that was plenty cold enough.  
I try to make as few trips as possible because of the cold and covid in the building.  In the bin were books for donations--packed to the brim.  I have been busy downsizing at least.
I was debating and debating about whether to go to my next osteopath appointment since it's a follow-up and not essential, you know?  Then her nurse called and said we had to move the appointment.  So instead of going this coming Friday I have till March 26th to decide--LOL!  Awesome!
While our bubble is okay I went over for a visit on Valentine's Day.  Got to hang out and see everybody.  The boys have a new show they were enthralled with...

...called NumberBlocks, I think.
There's also an AlphaBlocks, too.  Nice to have them learning while they watch something they enjoy.  

I was terrible this week at remembering to take pictures...obviously.  But we had a great time.  After the boys went to bed (and they both stayed up later because Ian doesn't have school today plus it being a fairly rare Gramma visit) Dagan, Leah, and I were talking till like 12:30am!  

Dagan and Leah want to pay for me to have an online consultation with Elliot Overton.  He specializes in helping people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia with their health and diet.  He knows all about oxalates, supplements, keto, etc.   Leah and I have been following him on YouTube for quite a while.  I honestly get lost sometimes with the specifics of the scientific studies and the chemistry of it all--but he seems to know what he's talking about.

Anyways, it could take months to get an appointment for all we know, but I agreed.  Leah is going to set it up.  Leah thinks she can be on the video call, too.  I really would prefer that because when you suffer from fibro fog or brain fog I just don't think I would remember everything to tell him or everything he tells me--LOL!  I guess there are a couple of follow-up video calls included, too, and I will likely have to have bloodwork done.  There's a place in town you can get any tests done you want--in and out, I guess. 

Well, it can't hurt.  I am seeing gradual progress but it has been really slow--year and a half now.  I have been very happy to see any improvements...but Elliot may have suggestions for me to find a way to improve faster...never know?  I really don't have anything to lose.  I'll let you know when I know what's going on.  ;)  Wish me luck!  Might help.  I hadn't seen any improvements in my health for 20 long years--in fact, there'd been a constant gradual and definite decline until I changed my diet and started on some who knows, right?  Think positive!

Oh, and--never fear--I will let my new osteopath, Dr. Kessler, know all about what I am doing when I do see her.

So that's what's going on my way.  Still freezing here...but the sun shines almost every day so that the patio lights seem to be working again--LOL!  I go out every few days and try to sweep the rabbit poop off my patio--whatever isn't frozen to the cement--LOL!  That's what makes the snowbank look extra poopy.  

I hope to get to the Wanderlust classes or cardmaking this week--take a break from hauling books around.  ;)  

Dagan and Leah go down to Minneapolis on Wednesday for his pacemaker adjustment.  Long trip--a good 8 hours in the car probably.  Predicted to be above zero (6F) finally, though.  Two week quarantine from our bubble after that exposure, of course.  But then at the end of the month Leah picks up Ian's homework and does the Costco inside trip--so we won't have an operable bubble again till mid-March.  I'll have lots of time to purge and play.  :)

Best to you and yours.  Stay safe and well...warm or cool, depending on where you live.  Life is a precious matter what is going on or how you feel or what hurdles you have to leap...a precious gift.  I shall forever cling to joy and hope.  How can I not?  ;)


"There will be something, anguish or elation, that is peculiar to the day alone.  I rise from sleep and say: Hail to the morning!  Come down to me, my beautiful unknown."

Jessica Powers

Monday, February 08, 2021

February 8, 2021 Monday--noon

Good afternoon!
Was another busy week.  Spent Tuesday doing paperwork, bills, and the rest of the laundry.  Wednesday Leah was bringing over her and Dagan's key fobs because the office needed to reprogram everybody's fobs "for security reasons".  I needed to make a trip to the dumpster and garage so I met her out there.  Surprise!  She had the boys with her!  So I got a quick (cold) chat with them in their car seats with their masks on.  Leah also brought me some homemade beef broth for my soups.  It was only about 20 degrees--cold enough to make the visit pretty short.  Knew it was supposed to get colder so I brought in some bird seed while I was out there, too.  Got to keep the Critter Cafe going.  ;)
The arctic cold front came in by Thursday.  We won't be above zero day or night till maybe Sunday.  Was a good day to start stamping card fronts.
We do LOVE our Misti!  Can mass produce so much easier.

Stamped all the crazy cat birthday cards.
Then I started on the balloon ones.
Finished 50 of each of those this week.
Both will also need some coloring.  Definitely keep me out of trouble, eh?  LOL!
I worked off and on most of the week on the Wanderlust #2 class.  My Blick craft paints were pretty thick after all these years... I spent one afternoon adding distilled water and shaking the heck out of them.
They are all set to go now.
One of the class steps was using high flow acrylics.
The page spread went from light (white gesso coating)... dark, bright colors (high flows).
Then--too many dots of color for the bushes.
I do tend to get carried away--LOL!  
Meanwhile...the domino effect has begun!  Started going through bookcases in the living room...
...and the hallway bookcases.
Have quite a lot of books to donate so far.
These stacks I drug out, though, are all literary journals from back when I was an English Writing major in college 1999-2004.
I had subscriptions to several literary magazines as a couple of my English writing professors suggested...but never had time to read them--LOL!  Haven't read any of them since...just carried them from apartment to apartment.  And now these days I am not reading so much anymore with my wonky eye.  Okay--it is easier to read an actual book than the computer screen...unless I can enlarge the print.  But will I actually ever read these?  
Well, I am going to thumb through them...maybe keep some to read...I don't know.  Any creative nonfiction I will probably hang on to till I read those because that's my genre.  Regardless, I got a good start on the purging this week, anyways.
Scrappy tape was on sale! 
 We use it for taping cards together so now we have enough for many sets of Christmas and birthday cards--whoohoo!
I struggled with the WL#2 for days.  Finally just said that's enough--done.  Looks like it's made of chalk...or inside a cloud--LOL! 
Not a fan of the abstract round flowers. 
Putting white acrylic paint all over the sky and scraping some of it off...well, this watercolor paper I used to make these journals is so warpy and bumpy that I couldn't scrap decently with all the hills and valleys.  Don't care for this spread at all.  BUT I did get to use some new supplies and try some new techniques so that was fun.  Process not results...I keep telling myself--LOL!
I had to chuckle when I got comments on how organized I am--when it had worried me that I had forgotten to apologize with how messy my studio was/is.  It's messy to me, anyways.  But then I know that things are just shoved willy-nilly into the bookcases...and things are not labeled...well, you get the picture.  Is it any wonder I need these mixed media classes to help me loosen up?!  ROFL!
Oh, and when I asked Leah about my patio lights...they're solar!  They had all "burned out" because that is how little sun we had for so many days.  Still makes me chuckle.
Today they will get some light.  We've had some sun now that we're in the deep freeze.  When it warms up I am going to wash off the tops of the patio lights to see if that helps, too.  They were still pretty dim last I looked at night.
Okay...I haven't wanted to say...don't want to jinx myself (knock on wood!)...but I seem to have more spoons quite often lately.  The last few comes and goes.  Been a long gradual shift.  It hit me one day that I never ever would have signed up for weekly art classes before this past fall because the very thought would have been totally exhausting and overwhelming to me.  I had a hard enough time just doing laundry and cooking for myself.  Sometimes took days to work up to those tasks I HAD to do, you know...for survival.  
I believe it is the low carb diet.  Keto but also avoiding foods with oxalates.  All the oxalate dumping I have been and will be dealing with for some time...might have finally and gradually reached the positive turn around?  I think of what I was dealing with and how I felt a year and a half ago--swollen leg, painful swollen joint in toe made me limp, barely able to stand or walk, zero energy, falling asleep all the time...could barely even nuke food to feed myself...or work up to a shower.  What would I have done without Dagan and Leah?!   
For years--before the leg swelling up--I had 1-3 days a week where I had the energy to do laundry or making soup.  It took me days to recover from visiting or visits...even Leah coming for Craft Nites when she did most of the actual work.  Lately it is more like 1-3 days a week that I can't do anything...and more like a day or two to recover from visits.  Makes (formerly?) mostly-zombie-woman-me nervous to even say that out loud here.  I've just been starting to talk about it this past week...and nothing bad has happened so far--LOL!  I don't want my energy sky to fall.  It's not very high in the first place--LOL!
Anyways, that's why I am so delighted that I am able to work on cards and art every week.  I could care less if I am behind in Wanderlust.  I am not on social media with the rest of the people in the group, anyways.  Besides, you know how I love variety!  Obviously, I have card making to do...and I want to do another of my calligraphy classes...and will likely throw in other creative projects when the mood hits me.  I have missed being able to play so much!
Having an extra daily spoon or two for even half the such a blessing.  Hard to describe after all these years...almost like going back in time.  With fibro you do have ups and downs--sometimes for longer stretches of time--that's true.  Which is why I didn't want to jump to any conclusions...and I still could be knocked back at any time.  But for is a joy to be popping in and out of the studio.  (Even if I don't like what I end up making--who cares!)  To be able to go through the bookcases little by work at purging and reorganizing...a joy!  (Can stand a little longer at a time--knock on wood!)  Okay--don't want to jinx myself.  I am exceedingly grateful for these past months--no matter what the future holds.  
Until next week...may you have a week scattered with gratitude and joy!
"I dwell in possibility."
Emily Dickinson

Monday, February 01, 2021

February 1, 2021 Monday--1:45pm

Good afternoon!

I guess I was so busy this week I hardly had time to take pictures--LOL!  Only have a few...but it was a good week and I got a lot done.  :)  

Tuesday I made soup and did laundry.

Wednesday night Leah came over to work on cards.  Have four trays in progress.  Got all the bases cut and any front and/or inside pieces we needed for each set.  Then we stamped and embossed two sets.  An exhausted Leah left about midnight.  

50 embossed birthday cards ready for coloring.

100 Christmas cards embossed and ready for coloring.
Then I have 50 birthday cards ready to stamp the fronts...
...and another 50 ready to stamp.
The last two sets of birthday cards will involve coloring, too.  I'll be stamping the other two sets this week and then I'll be all lined up for hours and hours and hours of coloring while I watch TV or listen to audio books.  :)
Leah dropped off Costco groceries on now we're on another two-week quarantine.
I worked on the bullet...and I mean worked and worked on it.  I got it all dated and even birthdays in for the entire year!!  Then I went back and got February totally filled in for the month.    
I started to draw across light blue wide marks for quarantine times.  You can see we will only have a few days near the middle of the month where we can have bubble time.  Dagan has to go down to Minneapolis to get his pacemaker tweaked on the 17th.  And I have my appointment with Dr. Kessler on the 19th.  
Then end of the month Leah has to go to the school to pick up Ian's homework so she does the Costco trip then, too...and then that's another two weeks quarantine.  So might be able to see them middle of March, too, if all goes well.
I can't even remember if I told you that I ended up using Amazon Chat to report my missing packages?  Was very fast once I got past my couple questions from the bot and got to a live typing person--LOL!  Got my packages sent again right away and have everything already--whoohoo!  I think it was just online.  They told me to try that for faster service when I called the customer service number a couple of you gave me.  (That was one of those endless non-human press numbers for this and that lost pressing numbers (can't press and hear at the same time with cell phones) so I thought I'd give the chat line a try because I had my order numbers right in front of me--awesome!)
One of the missing items was my mini-tabs.  I actually made monthly tabs for the year.  I can't believe I can fit a whole year in this small binder!
Also worked on the second Wanderlust class a bit.  You make a garden scene so first I slapped on some background color--green, blue, and yellow (that seemed to turn more beige--LOL!)
The I wrote vertically in black pen--gratitudes and wishes for 2021.  Forgot to take a picture.  (No excuse with how slow I am to do these step-by-step--LOL!)
Next was adding collage paper.
Now this playing with glue medium is new for me...but I found myself getting lost in it and probably put way too much paper on there--ROFL!  Oh well.  Most of that will get covered up, too.  That's the nice thing I am discovering about mixed media--things can disappear almost.  Don't like it--cover it up in the next layer--ha!
And I am more and more delighted with the doing a little at a time and needing to let things dry.  Works perfect for someone with chronic pain and health issues, I tell you.  "Let dry"...well, that can be an hour or a couple days--LOL!  Since I own the classes I knew I could take my time and not push myself.  I figured it would take me way longer than anyone else to finish all these weekly classes.  I figured two years or more.  Leah is guessing four--ROFL!  Leah's probably closer to being correct since they are on lesson five and I am just starting lesson two.  ;)  I will certainly get my money's worth out of it, though.
It will take forever because I am mixing the Wanderlust classes with other projects--like the card making.  Still have the calligraphy classes--only finished one.  Been itching to find some kind of watercolor projects to do, too.  Going to be a creative year.  Snail's pace...but a creativity umbrella over 2021.  :)
Kathy (SIL) sent me a photo of Mom's needlework pieces she had on the living room wall.
I told her I thought Renee (little sister) should have the one with the heart and Blaine (little brother) should have the one with the home.  I'd take the plainer on on the far end.
Kathy sent me a picture of it.
Not as plain as I first thought!  I think this is lacemaking or tatting from classes she took in Florida after they retired.
She asked me if there was anything else I wanted.  I said--well, I always wanted Grandpa's desk but I think we all did.  A while later she said both Blaine and Renee said I could have it!  It's the little fold down desk you see in the photo above.
I was always fascinated by Grandpa's desk.  We were not allowed to touch it so I used to ask Grandpa if he would open it so I could see inside the top part.  But right now I can't remember what it looks like inside...cubby holes?  He had fountain pens like my dad did.  I used to love to watch my dad fill his pen from a bottle of ink...a bladder pen.  Dad also had things like that you weren't allowed to touch.  Sacred treasure spots and items.  Probably where my love of desks, paper, ink, and pens originated, eh?
Anyways, Blaine and Kathy will probably drive up the desk and needlework piece in the spring or summer.  Gives me time to think and plan and change things around in here.  My place is so small and packed--this precious addition creates a domino effect.  To move one piece of furniture means you have to move another, etc.  I have put off reorganizing since I moved in here over five years ago!  So, it's a good domino effect...but a massive one, for me.
Funny, I had been thinking about how I do have things I could get rid of in bookcases and drawers and my desk the past couple months.  When you've been in a place for five years...and haven't touched something for even longer than that...well, it's time to purge again.  I did some purging before I moved, but I could do more now.
The studio has always been so crowded--such a small room for all I have packed in there.  Needs rearranging--and Leah wondered if I couldn't empty a bookcase and move it out?  Goodness!  Not sure if I can get rid of that much or shift that much around?  Make for so much more room, though.  I can't reach anything in the one corner because of the two tables so close together and me being so short on one end.  Maybe I'll take some pictures right now...
Well, this is what you see standing in the doorway.
This is the other side of the room.
I can stretch-reach most of the bottom two black shelves on this corner wall and not much above that.  I can't reach to open the window or lift the blinds.  Can just reach on tippy toes to twist the hanging stick for the blinds to at least flip them to let light in.
On the bottom of this bookcase it's a task to lift out these heavy boxes filled with jars and bottles and drag them between the legs of the table to get them out.  Getting them back in is even more of a chore.
There's not much room between the small table and these bookcases on this side, either.
But it is easier to get to supplies here than in those corners (smaller boxes--lol!).
I do agree that if I could remove a bookcase or two this room would be a lot more navigable and easier to actually use.  But can it be done?  Can I part with or find new homes for enough stuff?  Quite a challenge for 2021!  Watch this space, as they say--ROFL!
Annie wondered what I was doing wandering about in the studio when she thought I was settled in at the table for a good while so she could have a nice long snooze.  
They think they have such a rough life.
Speaking of Annie...
she has noticed the jackrabbits are here after dark.  I no sooner shut off the lights and settle in to sleep and she is playing with the rabbits!  She darts behind the blinds and rattles up a storm then races around the apartment and back to the patio glass behind the blinds...over and over again.  So funny!  She sits still between the glass and the blinds until they come back, I think--and then she leaps up and races through the blinds and down the hallway into the bedroom and back to the window.  You can tell she is delighted with herself.  Silly girl!
Oh, and by the way--Leah told me that Liam is now excited about Gramma coming--all on his own.  Not just because Ian gets excited, you know?  That's why when I visit now the both of them are vying for my attention.  I figured things would change with Liam once he wanted me to watch him go to the bathroom and wipe his butt for him--ROFL!  Toddler acceptance out of the blue.  Liam gets more comfortable every time I can make a bubble visit.  It is so nice to really get to know him better.  (I wish I understood him better when he talks, though--lol!)  Communication will improve, too.  
Well, I did have a few more pictures after all--LOL!  Only because I just took some more for you.  Oh Good Grief!!  I just realized I didn't show you WHY there will be a domino effect--duh!
Now it will all make sense to you...
because this is the perfect spot for Grandpa's little desk.  
Which I plan to fill with letter writing supplies, of course.  It will fit right under the light switches and thermostat--it's not very big.  Got measurements from Kathy.  So excited!
Now the gatefold table is really needed in the studio for the added surface space...
...but where to put it in there?  How to arrange the tables?  Which table to remove? Probably the little glass one with the red legs which fit perfectly in my last apartment and I love it but...  
This is what started the domino effect.  The very practical (for an art & crafter's place with very little surface area) gatefold table must stay.  The tall table with the die cutting machine so we can stand and use it--must stay.  I need a table that I can leave a mess with ongoing projects.  So how do I fit all that in that little room?  AND be able to put up the gatefold table when we need it!?  And maybe be able to reach everything that I can't or can barely reach now?  A challenge that will be hopefully met.  Will take me a while, but I will figure something out.  :)
Anyhow--that's what's been happening here in my little corner of the world.  I'm looking forward to having organizing and purging projects to & craft projects to that this will be a busy, creative year.  I am determined not to let everything outside my door weigh me down like it did this past fall.  I'm grateful for the bubble time I do have with McFamily.  I find I do have days with an extra spoon or two now and then...(may gradually be improving a bit healthwise?) I plan to take advantage of it.  But not overdo.  Self-care is my word for the year.  I won't forget.
Till next week, my friends!
Stay safe and well.
Seek your joy!!
"Self-care is how you take your power back."
Lalah Delia