Monday, July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!
It was a quick week, it seems.  
Tuesday Keanna came to clean.  She has a client nearby and wanted to know if she could come a bit earlier.  Sure.  I'm here...not going anywhere--lol!  So she'll be here about 45 minutes earlier than usual from now on.
Wednesday I watched the boys while Dagan ran errands over lunch.  
Saturday Trump got shot in the ear at a rally.
Sunday Leah and her brother, Aaron, dropped off groceries for me.  She couldn't go earlier in the week last week and this next week they are out of town.  
Today Dagan, Leah, and the boys are leaving for the annual McGregor family vacation at a lake cabin.  Dagan's dad and stepmom, his half brother & his family, and his stepbrother & his family do this every year.  Ian and Liam love getting the chance to spend time with their cousins.  It will be hot, so playing in the lake will be a big hit!
All week I was in quite the busy, putter-y mood.  Catching up on letters, watering the petunias, bringing out stuff to the garage (like an oven out there!), laundry, cooking...couldn't find Allie one day.  

This was the second time I have found her snoozing in the laundry basket I am storing all the shower curtains in--lol!  (Yes, I am still switching them out every couple of weeks.)
She is one of the rare cats who will not set foot inside of any box...but she likes the cool slippery shower curtains, I guess--lol!
We've had rain off and on--usually in the evenings or during the night.  Been really hot...for us.  Upper 80s to low 90s...and pretty humid.  Grateful for this AC unit that is still working well after over nine years.
When I say you know how dusty drawing pens, calligraphy pens & highlighters can get when they've been sitting for well over a year?  I literally dusted each and every pen and pen cup on my studio rollie cart.  Now, believe it or not, that's a truly enjoyable time for me--lol!  That's the kind of thing I 've been doing lately. :)
I colored in the ICADs I had drawn.  Just numbering and labeling them now.  I don't care if I keep up or not.  Never figured it was very likely in the first place--lol!  Used four different brush pens to label them.  Man!  Am I out of practice with my calligraphy, too.  Just feels sooo good to be doing these things again, though. :)
Since my back is always an issue (spinal degeneration), I remembered my table easel and wondered if drawing and painting more upright might help me last for longer periods of time?  Found it!  Not packed away...too big--lol!
But the cutting boards I have been using to tape down the ICADs hang over that edge.  They'd never work.
I have a large thinner panel board I have used for taping down larger paintings or drawings.  But I need something thin and flat like that but smaller because I really like to be able to rotate it easily when I need to.
I ordered some really cheap watercolor panel boards on Amazon that are 8" X 10".  They are primed but they should work okay to just tape paper down on, I hope.  If not, I can always paint on them--lol!

Allie is all comfy in her chair and I think I am going to head on over to mine.
There is lots more puttering to do this week...more pens to dust...more letters I owe...more ICADs to play with...and an easel to get used to again. :)  I am trying to keep focused on all the little things I am so very grateful for.  (The world seems to be going crazy.)  Till next week, my friends...

Monday, July 08, 2024

July 8, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!
The good news.  I did find all the picture downloads and even sat and relabeled each one of them so I can find them easily again.  Ordered the last of the paints and palettes.  I guess I actually started in May--so three months of gathering up the goodies.
The bad news.  SCOTUS ruling on immunity. 

I went over to watch the boys for a couple of hours again.  Always good. :)  

Upsetting week, shall we say. (See Monday bad news.)  So I totally immersed myself in laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, and watching shows and documentaries.

We've had rain off and on still. Love the clouds!

I felt sorry for Allie when I moved her water back in the pantry.  She'd sit where it had been and cry sometimes.  So, I gave it back to her.  Allie had a great week!
She slept in a new spot.
Played with her water every day.
Slept in her little lounger chair.
Water dish--several times a day.  
One happy girl!
Highlight of my week was the entire final order came on Friday.
Friday and Saturday.
Put all the new palettes together!
I have packed away all my larger stickers, so I used post-it notes to write down the colors in each palette for now.  Labeled each of the pans, though, too.  They are drying in the studio!
And the palettes are even pretty ones!
Funny, I actually paid more over 20 years ago to fill all these tiny homemade palettes than I did for all of these I just made up--lol!  
Well, that's because only one of the brands was a more expensive brand.  One was so-so and the rest were crazy cheap--lol!  Not artist quality, shall we say.  But perfect for art journaling on buckly paper, ICADs, and painting with the boys.  If they enjoy watercolors they could each have a palette of their own.  Not that I am expecting them to love paint-play like Gramma does.  And they might prefer acrylics.  One never knows.  BUT--Gramma is going to have fun!  Gramma loves variety, as you know.  Like with my fountain pens, gel pens...even my coffee beans, for that matter.  And I use them all.  I am the great rotater--lol!  Even if I do have favorites. ;)  

This was just the shot in the arm I needed.  Was a rough week...well, couple weeks.  Rougher than my usual worrying about the country again lately, shall we say.  I plan to use my extra spoons this week for studio play and more catching up with letters.  That's the plan.

Anyways, I am trying to watch minimal news.  Signed up for MagellanTV--all documentaries--and have been lost in nature, murders, and history--lol!  Been interesting escape fare. :)  Thinking positive.  Keeping as busy as I can.  Doing okay.  Allie is one contented water-loving cat again.  She may as well be before we move, eh?  LOL!  And I haven't had any more ants...knock on wood.  Best to you all!!!  Till next week, my friends...  

Monday, July 01, 2024

July 1, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!

Monday I went over to watch the boys.  I was really sore for some reason so I only stayed a couple of hours.  Ian had made the first recipe from the Sugar Free Kids recipe book I gave Ian for his birthday (also got walkie talkies).  Leah had put that on his Amazon list because Ian has been interested in cooking and baking lately.  He made Monkey Bread--and it was delicious!!  We played this board game called Castle Panic.  Had a good time.

Tuesday Keanna came to clean.  I cancelled my poke 'n peek appointment with Dr. Noah on Friday.  Talked it over with Leah.  I don't think it is really all that necessary.  I already had the urine test to look for cancer cells and that was clear.  I decided that I will talk to my oncologist, Dr. Failing, about it end of the year when I go for my six-month checkup.  If he can convince me it is imperative, I definitely want to go less often (maybe every two years) and I think I want to see if I can get a different urologist.  (Don't shoot me, but I also refuse mammograms.)

Wednesday.  Doing my own version of the ICADs...well, I wanted to use my time to improve my drawing skills.  I really do enjoy having pictures or photos to go by so I can try to copy them...especially when I am SO out of practice.  Trying to get the perspective right is difficult for me.  And I wanted to attempt to learn how to draw animals.  I've rarely tried to and never try humans--lol!  I wanted a big stack of color pictures to go by so I can spend time in the studio listening to audio books all summer.

Anyways, I spent the entire day searching online for photos and drawings of various items that interested me off of the prompt lists I had printed off the week before.  Double checked the first couple I printed...had lots of ink in the printer...and spent the day having fun and getting excited just thinking about the next few months before I move.

BUT...when I was done and went to take the huge stack out of the printer tray...what?  That bumble bee is supposed to be black and yellow!

I check the printer ink.

Supposedly plenty of inks!  BUT only the first four I printed had color!  All the rest are blue!!!

AND...even though they all looked perfect in the previews before I printed them...a random 1/4 to 1/3 of them where gigantic and cut off at the sides of the page!  AWK!
I can't even describe how totally deflating that was for me.  

I had to just walk away for a while. 

I can bring in my laptop and try to relocate the pictures when it comes to coloring them...and in many cases just for help drawing the missing parts...but that makes it all more of a chore.  Oh well.  It is what I am stuck with.  I am not going to start over.  I was so upset I haven't even done anything but run the cycle to clean the printer heads...which didn't appear to do anything. *sigh*  I'll have to deal with the printer later.  I can print in black and white, anyways.

We had a thunderstorm during the night that ripped my petunias apart.  (They have recovered and are perky again now.)

Thursday.  I was already down in the dumps over the blue cut-off pictures.  Shouldn't have watched the debate--lol!

Friday.  Shall we say boob-tube escapism.  Watching more Star Trek Discovery--all day.  I've never seen all the various spin-off shows.  At least it was a day cool enough to open the patio door.

Saturday.  Another open-door day.
I decided to at least attempt some of the simpler drawings.  Taped down the cards onto both sides of two of my art cutting boards.  Tried to draw them.  Perspectives are off, but I made my attempt at...a fork...
kids' safety scissors...
and a set of paint brushes.
I haven't tried to color them yet.  Searching for them online again sounded exhausting.  But...oh! oh!  I just now remembered that I think I downloaded most of them in order to make a they went somewhere into my computer.  I just need to find them--lol!  (Told you I am not computer savvy--lol!)

I know--these ICADs are not actually done.  But I figured I could show you whatever I did manage to do.  Posting on my blog keeps me somewhat accountable, anyways.  Finished or in-progress or never to be returned to...I will show you what I have been up to.  I have to keep reminding myself that it is all just play and practice.  And it did get to be fun as I worked away on these. :)

Saturday night.  Was chewing dinner when I felt something shift on the left side of my jaw.  PAIN!!  Awful sharp shooting pain!  I couldn't chew.  It hurt to even swallow.  I think I dislocated my jawbone!  Couldn't really close my mouth all the way.

So I spent the night massaging it and moving it slowly around and up and down over several hours.  It was gradually improving so that by the middle of the night I could move it more without jolting pain.  

Sunday.  Managed to sleep three hours.  (So glad I have neck pillows!)  Kept working my sore jaw again after I got up.  It was less painful than it had been and by late morning it was pretty much back to normal.  I could even gingerly chew again.  Whoohoo!  

Man!  That was something else!  I know I was told like 20 years ago that I had arthritis all over and even my jaw was bone on bone...but I never had it go crazy on me before just chewing.  Whew!  But I'm okay again.  It's still a bit raw feeling, but the shooting pains are gone.

So, what a week.  Started out quite nicely, but kind of took a turn on Wednesday--lol!  Well, I am on the end of season four (out of five) of Discovery because I had a lot of escape time last week--lol!  There's that, anyways. 

Sunday was a door open day again.  The pansies survived the wild windy thunderstorm. 

Allie kept me company all week. ;)

I can chew again...and try to find the downloads of the colored and complete pictures inside my laptop.  Wouldn't that be nice?!  I bet I can find them.  That would be awesome!

I got some paints and palettes in June and will be getting a few more in July.  When I get them all put together and set up I will show them to you.  A couple of them are kind of the medium-priced paints and the rest are really inexpensive.  This reminds me so much of the early 2000s when I made all of my tiny palettes!  But this time I can get real empty metal palettes on Amazon...and even some pretty ones--whoohoo!  Can hardly wait to show you. :)

Did I tell you that I am getting things now because I plan to do a kind of self-imposed no-buy after I move?  A no-buy for art, craft, card, and writing materials...all of them.  Only replacing things I use up that are needed...not wanted.   You know...the more boring stuff--or less exciting, I should say.  I can get excited over tape and glue and envelopes--lol!  ;)  

Anyways, that is why I have been getting paints I have been looking at for a few years.  Ever since I was in Wanderlust when I couldn't actually DO anything--lol!  Did not join WL this year, BTW.  Wanderlust kept that part of me alive these past few years--in a good way.  But now I've gotten to the point where I want to be doing and not just watching, you know?  Plus, I'll have some student grade watercolors I can readily share with the boys!  If they show any real interest and are careful with the supplies, they could use any of my paints.  I'd love to have us playing with watercolors in my studio one day.

I'm rambling.  But I usually am, aren't I?  LOL!  Well, I shall see you next week, my friends.  Stay well and cool or warm, as the case may be.  Follow your heart.  Things always work out in the long run.  Thinking positive! *hugs*

Blogger was in a real mood today.  Did allow me to use a colored font but not decide on font size or spacing of paragraphs.  Noticed I suddenly had centered photos again and I am not sure how long it has been doing that.  It did not want to go back to the left border and kept popping them in centered--every time.  Even automatically centered some of my writing and not just the photos.  So I have no idea what this will actually look like when I post it--LOL!
You get what you pay for, eh? LOL! ;) 

Monday, June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!

I'm starting the weekend before last.  Got some pics from Leah to scatter in here chronologically.  So much going on!

Saturday the boys were at the Home Depot kids crafting session.  Looks like they made little outdoor barbeques--lol!

Sunday was Ian's early birthday party.  (His actual birthday is today.)  Ian about to blow out the ten candles on his birthday cake.  Dagan's stepmother--Grandma Barb.
Brother Liam, Leah's brother Uncle Aaron, Daddy Dagan, and Dagan's dad--Grandpa Jerry.
Not sure which day, but they went bowling with Uncle Aaron.
Liam won!  (He uses a ramp to bowl so he does have an advantage--LOL!)
At a very pretty miniature golf course.

And even over his birthday party they were working on the other colorful puzzle for my studio wall.
Sunday evening--a quick visit where Leah clipped up a sheet over the broken shade on my studio window.
Monday Dagan and Leah painted the accent wall in my bathroom.  Since the room is so narrow they figured it would be easier to paint that before the cabinets were installed.  Love it!  It's a golden mustard yellow.
Tuesday they started installing the cabinets!  My kitchenette!
The bathroom cabinets.
Hard to get them all in--narrow room--and it's dark in there, but I have a cabinet in the corner above the sink cabinet and a cabinet above where the toilet will go.
While they were doing that on Tuesday Leah brought me to the new dentist.  I had dreaded going and absolutely, positively expected really bad news.  My entire mouth has hurt all over ever since I got chemo.  I still have mucositis issues and some bleeding.   I even had to confess to her I was in such terrible shape for at least six months that I couldn't stand at the sink or even have the energy to sit on the toilet to brush my teeth more than maybe once or twice a week.  Hadn't been to the dentist for going on four years!  (They told me not to come until I was done with cancer treatments--and I hadn't felt well enough to even make the trip until recently.)  Going to the dentist is an emotional drain for me in the first place.  (Several bad experiences.)  Talk about high stress.  Worse than seeing the poke n' peek guy, for sure (but he's right up there).  I'll take bloodwork or scans or infusions any day.

Anyways, I got the usual x-rays and then the every-five-year-one where you stand and it goes around your head.  I was bracing myself for the bad news...and for the pain of the cleaning (my whole mouth is sensitive and painful to begin with).  Well, to say I was shocked is an understatement.  I didn't have one cavity or any abscessed teeth...none!  My gums have receded a lot (too much), but the dentist thinks it is due to the fact that they are totally inflamed.  Not a surprise at all.  I already had inflammation for a couple of decades due to fibro and the cancer treatment set that off so very badly for me from head to toe...well, I am still not back to my old level.  At all.  Dr. Baker thought if I keep doing what I have been doing that it should gradually improve and be better when I see her in six months.  As the inflammation subsides all over my gums should also not be so inflamed and swollen and painful.  They already aren't as sharply painful as they were even 6-8 months ago.  Whoohoo!  I was so happy!!

Then the girl cleaned my teeth--and was so sweet.  She was gentle and it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.  I was thrilled to just be able to come home and keep doing the saltwater rinses and different mouthwashes and brushing a couple times a day.  And go back in six months!  I am so lucky!  I feel blessed-blessed-blessed! :)

Wednesday McFamily and Uncle Aaron went to see "Inside Out 2" at the plush movie theater with the lounger chairs.
I can't get over these fancy chairs being at a movie theater!  Times have really changed, eh?
I can't remember the exact day a guy finally showed up to mow the lawn.  They never did do the trimming with the weed whacker, though.
Thursday Dagan and the boys picked me up so I could watch them while he went to that luncheon. 
I got to see the cabinets for myself!  In the rooms with a window there is quite a bit of light.  I was excited to see they had cut the holes for the sinks and just set them in.  I am sooo happy with my black sinks!  Or gunmetal or whatever they call them--lol!
You can see how dark it is in the bathroom.  I was complaining to myself I couldn't even get a picture of the sink in there.  Ian asked me if I had it on the night vision setting.  Huh?  Gramma knows very little about technology and doesn't use most of the "smart" stuff on her smart phone or smart TV--ROFL!
Look what it did to turn it to Night Sight!  Goodness!  I need a ten-year-old to teach me about my cell phone--ROFL!
Ian was "in my refrigerator"--lol!
Ian discovered a nest of baby birds in one of the bushes in the front yard because they were cheeping to be fed.  They look like baby robins to me.  Got a little video.
The boys finished the other colorful puzzle and it had all the pieces!  These bright puzzles will jazz up the studio for sure. :)  I do love color!
Leah took better pictures than I did after they were done...well, basically done.  There's always something, right?  Anyways, kitchen sink...
...bathroom sink...
...bathroom cabinets lower view...
...bathroom cabinets upper view.
Then--the problem.  The crown molding (is that what it is called?) on the cabinet over the refrigerator.
You can see the line drawn right across the middle of the hole for a ceiling light.  That's where the molding needs to go.
So they couldn't finish the molding up there.  Need to talk to the electrician to see if they need to do anything special to the wiring before we have the drywall people close off that light hole.  I think that would be the easiest rather than to try to move the light fixture.  I think I'll have plenty of light.
If you're interested...Leah made a video tour of the cabinets for me.  The neighbor boy was over so it got really noisy for a short while.  
How fancy, eh!  Soft close drawers and cabinets.  All except for the slanted cubbies under the sinks, that is.  The dishwasher will go in at the left.  Refrigerator to the right.  Microwave up over the sink.  It is all becoming more and more real!  :)

Well, being out and about twice last week I didn't have as much "extra" to put into ICADs.  And I was getting quite frustrated with the prompts.  I found the color prompts especially frustrating, but the other list of prompts was sometimes awful, too.  Like terrazzo?  Potpourri?  Crystal?  Awk!  I was struggling this past week.  

For example--terrazzo tile?  I had no clue what to do with that prompt.  I finally printed off a close up of some colorful version and glued it down as a background.  But then what?  I couldn't think of anything to actually do with it and with the color guacamole!  Set it aside and went to the next one.
I decided to ignore the color prompt and just do the ivy prompt.  Used the Maimeri Blue paint palette for this one and the next one.  (I really AM enjoying playing with these old tiny handmade palettes, though.)
Next day--navy dress was the color?  Ignored that one.  Ranunculus was the other prompt.  Never heard of it.
Looked it up.  Turns out it's this thickly layered (and beautiful) flower...but really difficult for me to draw...could tell that right away.  I was several days behind by this I found a drawing online, printed it off, drew the rest...but fussy cut out the actual flowers and glued them on--lol!  Just too tired and sore to deal with anything more than that.

By the end of the week...feeling overwhelmed by the vagueness of many of the prompts and the crazy color suggestions...I tossed out the color prompts and the other weekly list of prompts and decided to go rogue. ;)
But I knew I did like something to go by, so I searched online Sunday and found several prompt lists for drawing and painting and mixed media.  I printed those off.  Now I will randomly pick whatever strikes my fancy...and try to catch up.  Give it a good shot anyways.  Do not plan to go back to terrazzo, though--ROFL!

This week is going to be a tough one for me, too...just health-wise.  I am doing much better, obviously, but when I am out and about it still knocks me back, you know?  I never did expect to keep up with the ICADs.  I expected to do more on good days and catch up some then...and I still will.  Just had less good days for extra stuff.  Used up my spoons being gone, cooking, baking, and doing laundry...the usual stuff.  The only thing I am behind on are the ICADs.  So that is really saying something. Whoohoo!

Today I am going over to watch the boys again so Dagan can go get blood drawn.  Tuesday Keanna comes to clean.  Friday is the poke n' peek doctor I hate going to.  Hoping this time I don't end up with a bladder infection or bleeding.  About time I just can make one of his visits without aftereffects, right?  Maybe I'll be surprised and it will go as smoothly as the dentist did.  One can hope.

I need some more studio time.  I can't even express how wonderful it is to be able to finally have some days with an extra spoon or two where I can just play with paint, stencils, pens, scissors, glue, pencils, markers...all of the studio goodies!!  Ahhh!  I am delighted to have a day or two a week.  As I slowly improve I may get even more play time.  

Knock on wood.  I shouldn't push my luck.  Nope.  I am really happy with how things are right now...this day...this minute.  Six months ago I often couldn't even sit up at my kitchen table for 10 minutes.  I am so grateful...brings tears to my eyes.  Life is good, my friends.  Life is good.  I shall see you next week.  Hopefully maybe even have some rogue ICADs to share--LOL!  Blessings to you all. :)