Monday, January 29, 2024

January 29, 2024 Monday--5am

 Good morning!

This will be one of the shortest blogs for me--lol!  I realized I didn't even get a picture of the partridges this past week.  Only a flock of sparrows.  I shouldn't say "only" because I thoroughly enjoy seeing them, too.

We had some more freezing rain and drizzle.  I have never seen this before, though!

I got a really good picture just because he stopped, parked, and left for a while.  Must be a way to hard-brush off ice?  Have any of you seen this attachment before?
I spent the entire week catching up on my letter writing--whoohoo!!  Which is why I don't even have many pictures.  I was immersed in my paper chats with many of you!  A pleasant way to spend my time, for sure.

Dagan dropped off some farm fresh eggs on Friday!  Leah gets them regularly from her chiropractor's farm.  (You may remember when McFamily went to visit there and the boys got to hold chicks.)
I am excited to be getting fresh eggs now, too.  They are straight from the hens so you can keep them out on the counter if you don't wash them.  

I didn't even have a picture of Miss Allie, either.  So I knew right where she would be--lol! 
Napping in her bed on the table in the bedroom under the window.  She closed those eyes again before I even left the room--lol!
This does not look like winter to me. 
 Brown grass in January?!  Nope.  Some people love it.  I do not.  Am glad to have the endless ice melted, though (which I do not like).  But I would prefer the beauty of snow drifts and winter white.  *sigh*

Anyways, I am down to six letters left to write!  
Hope to finish those this week and be all caught up...and then not be as slow to respond next time. ;)

McFamily is getting over the lingering cold, cough, sore throat thing but all doing much better.  I haven't gotten it so far.  Fingers crossed.  

I've actually made it up to the table every single day this last week.  Sometimes not till afternoon, but I gave myself a rule that I have to do my daily journaling at the table.  Some days I have been up there longer than just doing my journaling (letters!) and others my back was ready to quit before I got there--lol!  But I still journaled at the table.  Doesn't sound like much but it's an accomplishment for me.  Being at the table again...pulling up that rollie cart...was like greeting an old friend after a long absence.  So nice!  Hard to explain.  Makes me feel like I really am going to get back to normal, you know.  Makes me smile...even if it was a pain sometimes.

Another thing that makes me smile...the electricians are supposed to be over at the house today!  They said the end of the month and they are showing up when they said they would!  Whoohoo!  Can hardly wait to get pictures--even if it will be hard to tell much and it will look pretty much the same--lol!  I haven't seen it for a long time.

Told you.  Short and sweet this week.  Was busy and got over 20 cards and letters in the mail!  We made it a smidgen above freezing Wednesday and Thursday.  Then by Friday you could feel it was warmer and the meager amount of snow we had melted into the yard.  Supposed to be in the 30s and occasionally in the low 40s for the next couple weeks maybe.  No snow expected for a week or more.  Brown lawn time into February.  Oh well.  There's some crazy weather all over and we're okay here.  So I shouldn't complain about brown grass.  At least the critters won't be freezing.  Till next week, my friends.  
*love and hugs*   

Monday, January 22, 2024

January 22, 2023 Monday--5am

 Good morning!

Been another week below freezing.  The past couple of days the wind has been pounding even louder against the building.  I am glad the partridges feel comfortable enough to settle in to stay once in a while.  They sit up on the planters or sometimes hide in the bushes next to my patio.  Not so far to go for their next meal.  ;)

Not enough snow to burrow down into to protect themselves against the wind, so they do look fluffed up twice their size to keep warm.  Really do enjoy seeing them every day.

Just in case you're interested, I still am changing my shower curtains about every two weeks.  Still is such fun for me.
Miss Allie still sleeps away the afternoons on her favorite cat bed up on the table in the bedroom.  Been good cuddle up and snooze weather, that's for sure.
This past week I have slowly gotten all the cards and letters owed all set up...
...with all sorts of clips to hold each one together.
They are finally ready to go.  
Yes, I know how slow I have been.  After pushing myself for the past year to do all that P&P...well, since I finally basically finished...been in collapse mode.  And it is marvelous!  Has hindered my card and letter writing, though.  Sorry.  Plus it is freezing out and that the cold air runs along the that you want to just hibernate under a blanket with your feet up and get lost in a good story on the screen--lol! 

Despite that, I have given myself an arbitrary rule that I have to do my journaling up at the table.  Unless I am sick-sick or having such a horrible day I can't manage it at all, of course.  So, I have actually been up at the table every day since Tuesday, I think.  Progress in those small baby steps.  :)  

I've been randomly doing pages in the 365 Days of Art book, too.  I knew I'd never do a page a day and that I planned to just have fun with it whenever I could it is nice to be playing in there, too.

There is big news on the apartment build.  Was dangerously cold to get together for a confab at Dagan and Leah's so we had a video call with the three of us and discussed the new issues.  Long story short--it was decided that we would have the rest of the apartment finished by contractors.  The electric people are probably going to be here the end of the month, they said.  We'll need to hire a HVAC/Plumber company to finish those.  Leah had already talked to someone about doing the sheetrock/drywall.  The cabinet company will be ready to go when the walls are done and they will also put in the carpeting down the stairs to the basement after they are finished installing the cabinets.  Oh, and the drywall people will paint everything with the light tan/cream color.  Dagan and Leah will paint the accent walls. 

So--it may still take a long time--as it can with contractors--but it will be done by licensed professionals, so we don't have to worry about getting in trouble with the City or County and (since they both work with him) Trent won't be in any trouble, either.  (Not that he seemed bothered by it all, Leah said.)  Anyways, that is the new plan.

My plan to not give my two month notice until it is finished remains the same.  There's a ton of IKEA furniture to put together and I still have a lift chair to buy and we have things to sell...things like that.  So, I'll let you know what is happening as I find out.  Meanwhile--I am worn out and happy to be done with the P&P on my end (except for little things that don't even need to be done before I move).  

This past week all of McFamily was sick with a sore throat-runny nose thing.  This time Dagan had it first.  But they were all doing fine by the weekend.  

Myself--besides setting up the 29 cards & letters--laundry, dishes, crock pot stew, baking...general puttering...watching videos, good shows and some movies.  A quiet, wonderful week...  
...with all the visitors to the frozen Critter Cafe.
You know I will miss them when I am gone.  The limper is still with the group but the hopper...haven't seen it.  :(
This weekend McFamily went to Sky Zone in Fargo.  They brought with the next-door neighbor boy, Nash (who spends a lot of time at their house--he's the one with the trampoline in his back yard).  Leah said there were a lot of other kids there, too, from the neighborhood.
There are four really short videos to show you (and Gramma) what there is to do at a trampoline place--lol!  

This does not look easy!  Trying to jump up from the trampoline onto a ledge--no thanks.  Not too many kids could do it.  Here's Ian taking his turn to try.
This is Liam jumping from trampoline to trampoline across this whole room.
Liam was pretty nervous about jumping from the platform on to that squishy mess below.  It took him a long time but this is the video where he finally took the leap.
Ian doing a twirl jump off the platform.  
Goodness!  It's no wonder they need employee spotters all over the place there--lol!  What a fun place, though.  The boys enjoy going there--like they do the rock-climbing-wall place.

Oh, and this was something called the hurricane.  A few of the boys stood inside and I guess they get swirled or blown with air.
Nash, Ian, and Liam--all were thirsty boys when they got back to the house--lol!

My "Rita" snowflake arrived for next year!  So, I will have a tree ornament and Allie and I will have stockings next year.  
We are supposed to finally get above freezing by Wednesday.  It will feel like spring--lol!

To all of you waiting to get snailmail--may take longer than usual (already has) but I like to take my time with each paper chat, as you know, and I am just not moving fast.  Moving again, but not fast--lol!  For once I am not slow because I am feeling totally miserable (well, I was sick-sick for over a week there), but because I mostly feel like a hibernating bear who just wants to curl up and stay put where it is warm and safe--lol!  The cold may be making me more achy, not sure, but I am pretty much back to my usual 3-4 on the pain scale most of the time so I can handle that.  Thankful for furnaces, cats, the internet, coffee, snailmail, and all you wonderful people!!  Life is good!  See you next week!!  :)

Monday, January 15, 2024

January 15, 2024 Monday--5am

 Good Morning!

This picture I just took shows you how many spoons I had this past week--lol!  Exactly as it was a week ago--lol!

I guess I don't bounce back very quickly.  But never fear...I haven't been sick-sick.  Just draggy and tired.  I'm back on night hours for sleeping and awake days though's progress.  I managed to keep up with laundry and dishes and meals and such...just no extra spoons.  I apologize to those I owe Thank Yous from Christmas.  They will be coming first.  Cards and letters will be coming, too.

My other two small knives arrived--with their red handles!  (Already nicked myself--not used to sharp knives--lol!)    
I don't think I ever showed you my new GOOD humidifier.  Not spraying white stuff all over the apartment!  Hurray!  Easier to breathe, too. :)  
I never did show you my new coasters I bought myself for Christmas, either.  Always have two of them nearby for my coffee and water Yetis.
Here's the other two ceramic coasters on the far end table by the patio door where the boys sit when they come over.  Did you guess when you saw all the colors?  I've had these in my Amazon "save for later" cart for over a year--lol!  I do love her crazy cats.
It's been one cold week.  
We had a blizzard Friday night.  More wind than snow...but it plastered splatters of snow all over the patio door from top to bottom.  
Allie loved it!  Perfect for a bird spy.

A couple of hours later some of the snow was disappearing.  Not from warmth of any kind (it was -14F with -32F wind chill)...from the force of the wind gusts.
Allie spent most of her afternoon naptime watching the freezing, hungry birds at close range.  
When it is awful weather like this I am putting out some seed 3 or 4 times a day.  I don't put out too much at a time because it gets buried quickly by the wind blowing the snow around.  They can dig for it--and they do--but I like to make it as easy on them as I can since they look so cold and hungry.

Sunday the morning sun made the last of the snow fall from the patio door, the wind had died down enough, and the critters had packed down the snow enough that I could put a good amount of seed out for them.
You can see that rabbits come during the night if you enlarge and look at the footprints.  There's nothing left come morning.
We've had wind chill warnings for a couple of days.  Not going to let up any time soon, I guess.  They're not predicting double digits above zero all week long.  Saturday our high was -6F.  Today our high is supposed to be -3F.  Windchills are terrible....could be as low as -55F.  Supposed to be colder in most of the US.  Wherever you are...whether you are dealing with cold or heat...may you be comfortable and safe.  Till next week, my friends.  :)

Monday, January 08, 2024

January 8, 2024 Monday--5am

 2024 Greetings!

Last we chatted it was New Year's Eve.  Feeling motivated, I finally got all the letters and cards sorted for setting up to answer.  Picked out some store bought cards and was ready for the next step--addressing envelopes.  More than usual this many, in fact...

...I decided I had to gather clips to hold them together...
...since I don't even have enough notepads to set them all up--lol!  (29 of them.)
I got that far and figured I had best stop and think about making my list of goals for 2024.  One of my goals is to read four paperback books I have had around for some time.  I had loved Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth series (not so much the series they made for TV--even though I loved some of the actors)...years ago I bought the three books of his Century Trilogy but have never read them.
Plus I have a book written by a lady who lives on the canals in England on a narrowboat...
...that is almost as fat as the other three--lol!  (I follow some narrowboaters on YouTube and one of them recommended her book.)   While I have been sorting and downsizing I rediscovered a large magnifying glass I have used to read since my eyes have gotten so wonky with the macular puckers.
I also found another magnifier that magnifies one line at a time, I guess--that I haven't actually used before.
So, that is my challenge. Attempt to read these paperback books this year.  If it is too hard on my eyes and gives me the bad headaches--then I should donate them.

My second goal is to get back to being up at the kitchen table every day like I used to.  Well, almost every day.  I have always had some quite bad days, but that's beside the point--lol!  Before this cancer ordeal I used to be up every morning to do my journaling at the table and I would spend most of the day working on things there.  Wrote most of my letters there, too.  So...step one is to get back in the habit of doing my journaling every day at the table again.  I was so miserable for so long I couldn't have done that if I wanted to, but now I am having better days more often and want to gradually get back into that habit.

Every day I am in my bullet journal first.
That is mostly check lists, to-do lists, appointments...that type of thing.  Learned to use a FriXion erasable pen in there--LOL!
Then I get out the fountain pen tray I am currently using...
...and work in the five year journal.
I keep track of the weather and when I have slept and the basics of the day.  (Those are rub-ons on that front cover page.)
Finally my writing journal.
I write about what is going on or whatever I am feeling.  Could be a couple paragraphs or a few pages.
I have a few stickers on the inside cover's a couple of them.
There have been times over these past couple years where I was so out of it I didn't remember to journal (or have a spoon of energy) for days at a time.  Thankfully that has passed.  But now my goal is to get back to writing in my journals at the table again...a habit I have gotten out of these past two years.  Been writing everything in my chair.

Then--since I didn't sign up for Wanderlust this year--I decided to try out this workbook called 365 Days of Art. 
I had started on the first, of course.  Use color to make a pattern, it said.  Then there were blobs of color on the next page and the first sample on making them into critters.  I didn't get to that second one for a few days...but I had a good reason.
What I like about the book (more than I ever expected) is that there are just all these prompts that are usually easy and even silly by the looks of them.  Things you can usually do quickly.
What's cool is, there a page spread in the front of the book where you can cross off which prompt you have done!
So you don't have to do them in order and can do whatever you feel up to that day.  (Because some do take a little more effort than others.)  You don't have to feel bad if you skip on a bad day.  Or you could do more on a good day.  

I needed something super simple, no pressure, and adaptable.  My goal for 2024 is to get in the habit of spending time at the art table almost every day, too!  

So, spending time at the kitchen and art table almost every day (realistically, I will always have bad days) and to try to read the only TBR books I have left...or donate them.  Not big goals.  Well, big to me--lol!

Why didn't much of anything happen this week with those goals?  I got sick Monday night.  Luckily, I had already done banking and gotten my rent check down to the office, so I was okay to get sick--lol!  This was painful stomach cramping and vomiting bouts for going on for three days...and then just exhaustion, nausea, and feeling cruddy after that for a couple days.  But for the first few days I was definitely keeping this ice cream pail close by!
Allie kept a close eye on me.
So, I kind of lost the week.  Just been watching a lot more shows and YT videos--lol!  Was feeling too cruddy to even work on letters much at all.  Had previously started a letter and managed to finish that--but setting up all those letters I owe?  Well, they are still sitting right there on the table where they were last Monday--lol!  Just getting laundry done and some baking was plenty enough for me.  

I'll catch up now this week.  Gradually feeling better and getting my hours back to being on days.  (I was sleeping at all hours and a whole lot for a while and it has thrown me off kilter, of course.)  It wasn't really bad--although the stomach cramps were pretty bad while they lasted--just tolerably sick and exhausted.  On the mend the past couple days.

On to something fun this week.  This month my exciting purchases were knives--lol!  No lie!  Some of the knives I had were from when I was first married to Dagan's dad--so they were like 50 years old!  Wooden handles that would almost give you splinters.  And I had some hand-me-downs and odds and ends I have picked up over the years.  A mismatched conglomeration of knives...that Dagan and Leah have even sharpened for me a couple of times.  (They didn't like trying to cut with them, either--lol!)  They'd just get dull again in short order.  My set of steak knives had been used for things they shouldn't have and some had the tips broken off. 

Better knives--another thing I had been researching and planning a set of steak knives (note the rounded tips--lol!)...
...a really nice chef's knife...
...and I still have a set of a paring knife and a small utility knife coming.  They're all by Victorinox.  And that is all I am going to have, I think.  Three knives and a set of steak knives.  Downsizing my knives, too.  :)  You can see by my bent plastic utensil holder that I want to buy a new one of some kind after I move and know the exact dimensions.  ;)  

I didn't think I could get this excited about knives.  But when the new chef's knife came I had to try it cutting up some baked chicken breasts--and OMGoodness!  A world of difference!  I didn't have to saw away at it--LOL!  Sooo nice!

Anyways, I am grateful that I am feeling on the mend.  Hope to get more done this coming week.  

The boys made it to Home Depot this Saturday.  So funny!  They made Home Depot semi-trucks!
Daddy was helping Ian with something on his. 
I asked Leah why Ian's truck was white and he didn't paint it the bright Home Depot colors?

She said Ian told her that the "real" semis he sees on the road are usually white and he wanted his to be more realistic.  He's obviously not seen a Home Depot semi--lol!  I like that he wanted his to look realistic, though.  :)

Sadly, Leah told me that Liam got sick and threw up in bed Saturday night and that Ian had a sore throat.  I was worried I had given this to Liam, but she doesn't think I gave it to him because it sounds so different.  My cramping went on and on and on till I finally threw up and felt better in a little while...for a while...but then it started again in a few hours...over and over again for 2 1/2 to 3 days.  Liam's was sudden, but he did feel better after he threw up.  Ian has a sore throat--none of us has a sore throat.  Both the boys have been fine ever since then.  

I think I might have gotten mine when I visited the clinic for so long, but who knows?  Just so much stuff going around everywhere.  That time of year.  And now with the boys in school and Leah working her new job at the office...just going to be more sickness getting picked up.  We figured that.  I'm just glad the boys are doing fine.  I think maybe I should still wear a mask when I go to the clinic.  ;)

Anyways, that was my week.  Feeling from briefly-randomly-terrible to just cruddy-yet-tolerable to finally just sleepy-drained but recovering.  Now, a new week...a new year (feels like 2024 is just starting for me--lol!)...and I will work on incorporating my soon as I have more spoons--ROFL!  Till next week, my friends!!