Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 Monday--10:15am

Good morning!

I have pics from Leah this week, too.  

They finished the coats of stain on the deck.

Next they are going to seal the patio below and then they can put their back yard together agan--LOL!

When it's been so hot the boys are loving playing with water, of course.

You may remember me mentioning those funny videos of the Marble Races on You Tube...well, Liam made up his own version.  Mama and Daddy are gamers with lots of dice so he raced dice down a ramp--LOL!
Leah took pictures after the planting was done on that hot sticky day a Sunday ago.
She caught Ian and I talking and laughing.
This is what the planters looked like freshly planted.
And this was this morning--same planter.  
They are filling out already!
I'm out watering them every day.  Need to!  The drought is bad.  You can see exactly how far the sprinkler system reached in the yard.  There's a strip of dead grass all the way down the walking path on our side.  :(
The little ground squirrel is in view for me almost every day.  Has pushed Annie right off into hunter mode with quite violent aspirational dreams.  She hasn't seen a ground squirrel for a couple years...and she thought her chipmunks were exciting on CatTV--LOL!
We did have a thunderstorm Monday night last I wrote.  It was marvelous!  Cracking so loud and shaking the building.  Wished it would have lasted longer.  Need much more rain than that, but it was wonderful.  Annie hid in the bathroom behind the toilet the whole time.  She's terrified of thunder.

Needless to say, it has taken her a while to get used to my sound machine again.  This insensitive human loves going to sleep to a thunderstorm.  Annie has gotten used to it now...but I'm sure she wishes that dreadful thing hadn't made it into the living room--ROFL!

Leah did grocery runs this week.  Cahwise on Tuesday and Costco on Friday.  I did laundry a couple different days.  Leah came on Thursday night for Craft Nite.  My big news on Thursday was that I had just won a one year membership ($290.00) to Let's Get Messy Art!?  I ran across the contest somewhere online because I have been watching so many art videos and crafters and thought being looser is something I've always wished I could be with my art, right?  So what the heck--I never win things.  Wrong!  Now I just have to remember to cancel before the year is up because I cannot afford to be automatically renewed--LOL! 

It's one of those sprawling websites with around 100 teachers, thousands of members, chat groups, and you fill out a profile...all the stuff.  One giant rabbit hole!!  Funny I had never heard of it before--probably because it was too expensive so if I did I promptly forgot.  I'm not on Instagram or Facebook where a lot of the social activity takes place but they do have places to chat within the site.  I spent some time cruising about but haven't even made a profile yet.  I guess the universe is telling me I need to feel better and get back to doing more creative stuff, eh?  ;)  LOL! 

I had already found a couple short lessons for free--on painting a dog's eye and some watercoloring.  And when I made my Etsy order (will show my latest treasure below) I found a class I could afford ($23) so I ordered that with my long desired treasure.

You may recall the mandala I did for the bonus classes before Wanderlust started.
I loved the fact she did loose colorful mandalas and was easy to follow as a teacher.  Her name is Kate Crane and the Etsy class is called For The Love Of Circles.

Anyways, this past week I had gotten out my dedicated (since her bonus class) mandala sketchbook and tools after I watched the six videos.
I had started over watching again yesterday before Ian got here for GRAMMA DAY!!  First Gramma Day in about a year and a half!  Ian said he didn't want to do mark-making.  He wanted to watch his new(est) favorite show he can only watch after Liam goes to bed--Transformers In Disguise.  I think that was the name of it.  He'd brought three Transformer figurines with him and since Gramma hasn't been in top form for months not bending over a table painting all afternoon wasn't such a bad idea. So I told him that it was his choice this week but next time we'd do art...IF he would let Gramma finish watching the For The Love Of Circles episode one.  Ian didn't seem too interested--waiting to be able to watch his show--LOL!  I showed him the supplies I had and my new mandala journal.  He'd never seen a mechanical pencil, he said.

So, while he watched Transformers...Gramma started a mandala.  Sat in my chair, Ian in the little tan recliner, and I worked away.  So we both had fun.  

Ian knew I had an alarm set for watering the plants in the afternoon so when that went off the TV went off.  Ian saw what I had done and he was suddenly more interested in looking at it closely.
We went out to water and we set up the bird water dish in the corner on one of the little endtables. (Blogger will not let me center this photo.)
Since it has been so dry I wanted to put water out for them.  The birds are still afriad to come past the planters, but they might get brave enough to come in for some water or a bath from there.  The robins, especially, love bathing every day.  Being as the dish is up higher they can fly off easily they shouldn't feel as trapped behind the planters.  We'll see how it goes, but I expect they will adapt.

Ian and I had some munchies...and since he was now interested in how to make mandalas...

...that reminded me of the years I had worked on zentangle templates, as some of you may recall.  So I showed him how you pick some design element and go around in a circle with these just like with a mandala.  Can leave just black and white or color them afterwards.  They are much more precise than this lady's looser mandalas.
Have a lot of the templates still to do...and a stack of duplicates that I gave to Ian.  (Used to give the duplicates away to anyone who wanted in the coloring group that used to meet in the community room here in the before covid days.)
Then I showed him my special tangle binder...collected over a few years from the internet.
All sorts of examples...
...I printed off and glued down.
Many had insrtructions/steps on how to make them.
I wonder if there is an active community anymore?  Probably is.  My one penpal, Annemarie, in the Netherlands still does beautiful tangling.  In fact--she just sent me a bookmark!
Did tangling on both sides!
Thanks again, Annemarie!

Anyways, then Ian took off and was searching his bookcase.  I asked him what he was looking for.  Plain paper.  I got him some computer paper.  He wanted to use my circle helix like she had shown in the video.  Aha!  Changed his mind on mandalas once he had a good dose of Transformers--LOL!

So he used every hole in the helix to make the circles--LOL!  Hey, it's fun to put the pencil in and spin around to make circles.  She had a print off sheet of examples to choose from.
Ian wanted to start with one of the circle templates on the helix...and it went from there.  He got this far before it was time to go home.  
During the course of his madala adventure he decided Mama and Daddy would never believe he had made this all himself...and then I realized it is almost Father's Day and asked him if we should make a card front out of it and he could write inside to Daddy.  Yes!  It has to be colored first, Ian said.

All the pencil lines will be erased.  Ian was using a micron pen for the first time and did everything himself.  I'll have to make sure he uses a transparent color medium so it doesn't cover up all his hard work.  That's the plan for next Sunday--which is Father's Day.  And Leah said he could come over--sure.  So, will be a busy art day next week.  

Lastly--my new, long-awaited treasure from Etsy!

I have been making journals since a had a mini course in college (2002) and bookcards (pamphlet stitch letters with a cover) since somewhere around 2010, I think...maybe earlier?  I stated out using a telephone book as a punch cradle and then bought one made of chipboard (on the left).  Now (on the right) I finally have one made of wood!!  Whoohoo!
My old chipboard one has been taped and re-taped together because it didn't take long for it to bow out while you were punching and the whole signature of paper pushed down right through the slit.  Other issue--the tape that was necessary to hold the cradle together left gummy residue on the awls and was a royal pain in the patout.
Wood!  This shoudn't ever have that problem.  Been a dream of mine since the first time I had to tape up the chipboard one--LOL!
It's beautifully finished and came in a cloth pouch with a ribbon drawstring.
Instructions on how to slide it together.
These are my two awls and the whole series of templates I have used for various sizes and styles of journals and bookcards.
They all fit right in the cloth bag with the cradle!  
I am just thrilled with it!  

Time to make some more bookcards, I guess.  I have been procrastinating because it was such a pain to pull a sticky awl in and out of the pages and have to scrub it clean over and over again.  And I usually make my bookcards assembly-line fashion and construct 15 to 30 at a time.  Be much easier punching signatures this time.  Nice!!

Let's see--what else?

Oh, I forgot to tell you that--just like so many items these days--the saunas won't be here till July.  Hopefully.  Trouble getting parts in Canada, too, of course.  (And, yes--good guess a couple of you...I say it sow-na.)

I've been increasing the doses for the calcium citrate and the tincture this past week.  Have gone from about 1/8th of the total daily doses to 3/4th!  So far so good.  Plan to raise it to full doses this week.  

Oddly possibly related...I woke up having the weirdest dream on Saturday.  I didn't have any pain--like in my "before times".  That may not seem like anything remarkable...but I realized that I have always had pain and been exhausted even in my dreams for the past 20 years.  Not one to escape the truth and facts even in my sleep, I guess--LOL!  But that isn't the weirdest part.  When I got up--my back wasn't as painful as it has been.  ??  And has felt pretty decent since then.  ??  Not like I am pain free, but there's a noticeable difference.  A fluke?  The tincture?  Been sleeping just right?  Kind of scary even saying it out loud.  Could really jinx myself.

If nothing else, it's a positive subconscious sign, eh?  

Hasn't improved my right thumb much, but the left one is quite a bit better.  Still more tired than usual, but been sleeping well at night.  Who knows?  Fingers crossed.  Thinking positive...but I'm still a realist.  ;)

Anyways, that's the week that was here in Fargo.  Till next week...positive thoughts!  :) :)
"All that you touch you change.  All that you change changes you.  The only lasting truth is change."
Octavia Butler


  1. I still don't have spell check anymore...but I have faith that you can figure out whatever I have meant to say--ROFL! ;)

    Blogger was also messing with my photo placement. I think I have all but one centered. Font size...I never know. Even if I do a preview--LOL!

    Have a great week! :)

  2. The deck looks beautiful. I wish mine looked that good. I hope to get it replaced in the fall. Love your planters and flowers. Ian's work is impressive. Funny that you enjoy thunderstorms. We have so many of them that I despise them. They frighten the dogs and make such a mess of the yard. We had a huge one yesterday. Franklin and Penelope usually eat at 5 p.m., but last night it was almost 8 before they were willing to leave my closet.


  3. Hi Rita - Wow, Dagan and Leah and have nice large deck, and it looks great! I cannot get over how nice your planter boxes look out there on your patio. What a nice addition to your home. They are perfect! Looks like you have had a good week. Congrats on winning a one year subscription to the art website. I know you will enjoy that. So glad you are feeling a little better - in your dreams and in person! I hope it continues. Have a great week, my friend. See you again soon.

  4. What a beautiful deck Leah and Dagan have. The boys look happy in their back yard, too. And your flower boxes are incredible. The plants are growing so quickly.

    I love Kate Crane. She used to host our monthly calendar pages. Her art is beautiful and the mandala is beautiful.

    Nice to get a punch thingy to use for making signatures. It will come in handy, I'm sure. It's hot here, too, and dry. I laughed at the strip of brown grass. Hope you have a great week. I understand your concern with Blogger. I couldn't get the quote tool to work for me yesterday.

  5. Nice deck! I just knew Ian would love Mandelas once he saw them:) I have a book too of was a fun hobby...maybe someday I can do it again! Yeah for winning an art class!! You can share what you learn! Your planters are looking good:)

  6. The planter flowers are growing quickly, and as usual your crafting is remarkable.

    We finally had rain today and thunder. It has been very dry for very long. The noise doesn't seem to bother Lacey, though.

  7. What a busy and fun week you've had! Your planters look so good. The flowers have grown and filled out very well. It sounds like Ian may get hooked on making Mandelas too! That is a fun activity you two can do together. Congratulations on winning the art class! I'm glad to hear you are seeing some positive improvements in your health too, one day at a time!

  8. Your planters look terrific and I am sure make gardening quite a bit simpler. Enjoy! And your health seems to be on the upswing too. Great news!

  9. Your planters looks wonderful! And I too love big thunderstorms, although we don't get them around these parts very often. What a positive and uplifting post, Rita. I do hope you are getting better and that it will stay. :-)

  10. The deck looks great!

    The planters look great...will look even better when they grow a bit. Nice pics of you and Ian. Hopefully, the birds will get used to the planters.

    WOW...that is quite a difference with the grasses. It should come back if watered or it rains for a few days.

    Adorable ground squirrel...I hope he/she stays safe.

    Poor Annie. Kya hates thunderstorms too. She usually goes under the recliner, via the back, in the lounge-room and will stay there until the storm has well and truly gone. Aaron's dogs had to get used to the thunderstorm sounds too as he also goes to sleep the the storm sounds.

    Congratulations on your big win! Love your Mandala! I remember your Tangle binder! Ian did really well with his Mandala. Dagan will be in for a treat come Father's Day. Our Father's Day is in September here.

    The punch cradle will be much better for you to work with. Cool that it comes with a draw-string bag too. I remember a time when you sent out book-cards all the time.

    Hope your back pain continues to ease.

    Enjoy the rest of your week,
    Serena x

  11. I like the look of your deck and nice planters as well.
    I found the photos uplifting

  12. Wow very nice post and the garden is excellent. Have a nice day.

  13. I still love to tangle Rita... just don't find the time for it often.. tangle and draw... love , love, love...I need a wooden punch cradle too... may ask hubby to make me one... So glad you are positively thinking you feel better!! hugs! deb

  14. They have a great back yard... deck, patio, plenty of room for fun times :) Your planters are thriving! I'm always surprised folks plant grass if they're going to have to water it lol

    The mandalas and tangles are designs I've always liked. I find them meditative. Ian's design is so good, and it'll make a wonderful gift for his dad.

    I'm looking forward to sauna photos and to hearing how you like it. It does like like an in-home spa, and I'd love that :)

    Congratulations on winning that prize! You'll be following all the rabbit holes now, I know. What fun! The Gramma Day sounds exciting, especially as I know how much y'all have missed them.

    I believe our dreams have a lot to reveal to us about our own internal workings. I trust yours was a sign of less pain in waking life :)

  15. Lots of good things going on in this post, Rita, to the flowers on the patio, Gramma Day, the art win, and mandalas. I think you may have convinced Ian that mandalas can be fun and challenging.

  16. That is quite a week. I wish my weeks had more art in them. I may need to work on that. :)

  17. Dear Rita, your enthusiasm for life--for your grandchildren, for your art work, for new ideas welded to old, for planters, for birds, for squirrels, for Annie, for all that happens as you journey, with or without pain or dreams--inspires me. As one of my young friends would say, "It's awesomely cool!" Peace.


I appreciate your visits and comments.
Have a really great day! :) :)