Monday, April 01, 2024

April 1, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!

Well, we did have some snow and wind, but not as badly as they had predicted.  No 6-12 inches of snow.  Schools were not closed or anything.  The wind wasn't gusting like they had predicted.  (At least not the first day--lol!)  You can see the yard was pretty evenly covered.  

I started on another project...downsizing my currently-inked binder for my fountain pens.
I bought the small binder many months ago, but then thought it was probably not thick enough to hold all the pages I would need.  Decided to finally find out.  Just fit!!  Whoohoo!
The wind did arrive eventually with enough force that it blew the snow off some areas in the lawn.
Thought I'd show you.
Wasn't the usual more circular bare grass out there, but the 45 mph winds did move the snow around quite a bit.
The birds were appreciative of the easy meals in that cold wind.  
Anyways, while the snowstorm was doing its thing...I was working on switching over to the new smaller binder for my currently inked fountain pen records.  Took me two days.  I have 8 trays.  
Which meant I had to check every pen to make sure it was writing.  Check to see if they need refilling from an ink sample vial or a bottle...or if they need to be cleaned and, if so, pick out a new ink for that pen.  If some don't want to start up at all but they still have ink--then I have to run the nib under the faucet to get it going again.
Tedious, but so satisfying.
The kitchen table and sink looked like this for a couple of days.
I only had four pens that needed to be cleaned and left to dry overnight and filled with new inks.  Not too bad for 63 pens.  Yup--that's more than even I thought were inked up--lol!  So nice to know I am keeping on top of them in their rotation now again, though.  With all the letter writing and daily journaling I rotate through the eight trays maybe every three weeks or less.  

Another day of harsh winds and the grass was pretty much cleared off.
Allie loves it when the sun is shining in the morning so she can park herself on my chair with me in the sunlight.  She lifted her head because I removed my hand.
She prefers me to keep a hand on her.  Then she can relax.
Okay--hold on to your hat!  I FINALLY spent some time in the studio this past week!  I didn't think to take a picture until I was done with my watercolors.  I do tend to clean as I go...when I cook, too--lol!
I used my big porcelain palette that stays tucked away here under the die cutting table.
I am so very out of practice doing any kind of art.  Decided to make an attempt to paint some blob flowers.  I've been watching some artists on YouTube that make blobs in flowery shapes (much better than mine--lol!) and then add outlines and/or doodles in black pen.  
I loved having my favorite water bowls out again!  Leah made these for me many years ago in a pottery class.
So clever--that one on the left can hold paint brushes across the top and she added the random chunks to the bottom of the bowl so you could rub the brush across it to help remove acrylic paint.  
After the blobs dried, I tried doing some outlining.  Improved it some, I guess.  I think I could use a thicker pen. 
Actually that was the first page in a new art journal.  New meaning unused--but it is already quite old in years--lol!
Some of you may have been around long enough to remember when I taught myself from YouTube videos how to do coptic stitch binding and made myself some art journals.  
I've only used up one of them so far.  Bought cheap student grade watercolor paper from Dick Blick back before I knew better.  So, I really don't care what I do to these, to be honest.  (Don't like the paper at all.)  In the long run it is probably a good thing I really dislike the paper in them because it helps me to be looser and braver.  Definitely helps me to focus more on the process and the experimentation with techniques and/or supplies when I don't care as much about the outcome or quality--lol! ;)

"Now what were you doing in that other room?" 
 Allie wonders what I am doing moving about almost every day...staying out of my chair for way too long in her opinion.  Her world has been changing too much, I think--lol!  Every time she gets used to something...something else starts happening--lol!  Furniture disappeared right and left for the longest time.  She found that highly stressful.  I used to get up for only 10-15 minutes 1-3 times a day to work on P&P.  Now I am up at the kitchen table sometimes for hours--and I am just plain up and down more.  She's finally gotten used to that.  But as soon as that strange behavior became I'm off doing strange things at another table in that other room--LOL!  At least she isn't pacing and crying as much over my sitting at the studio art table.  If she only knew how strange things are going to get, eh?  But she does love people and attention.  She will adapt.

It was thanks to Allie's intense focus of attention on the bathroom floor that I found our next adventure.  Teeny tiny black ants!  First in the bathroom--coming out from under the baseboards.  Then in the pantry--baseboards again.  Those walls are back-to-back--the bathroom and pantry.  I doubt the ants went all the way down the hallway and around the corner and into the pantry.  I think they are in the walls.

At first I just had a scout ant or two--days apart.  Then a few more and a few more, but never a distinct trail or a lot of them.  I went online to search for natural ant killers.  I didn't want to report it to the office and have some pest control person spraying toxic stuff all around in here, to be honest.  And with Allie...well, I didn't want to buy regular ant poison either--just in case.

The recommendation most popular online was honey or sugar mixed with borax.  They take it home and it will kill the whole nest.  Leah had honey and little bit of borax.  I took some old pill bottle covers...and put some of it in the bathroom...
(Again, Allie wondering what I was up to--lol!)
...and some in the pantry.
I never got a ton of ants but there were definitely a few...for a while.
Oddly, where I see the most of them still is in Allie's dry food dish!??  The first batch of honey-borax that Leah dropped off was pretty watery.  Today Dagan dropped off a thicker batch of honey borax.  (Leah picked up some more borax.)  We'll see if that attracts more of them.  I haven't seen an ant in either dish for two days?  Just wandering the floor or in Allie's food dish.  They are quite focused on Allie's dry food!  I'm hoping it was because the first batch was pretty watery and we'll attract them over to the thicker stuff.  We've been Keto for so long neither of us have any sugar--lol!  Time will tell.  Maybe have to get ahold of some sugar if the honey doesn't work.

I haven't had to deal with ants in maybe 30 years!  But these are the tiniest ants I have ever seen!  Like maybe 1/16th of an inch.  Itty bitty ants.  They are quite magnified in the picture I took.

I was back in the studio yesterday making more flower blobs.  Haven't been back in to draw and doodle on them yet but will be soon.  I plan to keep playing with blobs until I am a bit more familiar with holding a paint brush again.  Been years!  So I just want to play around and enjoy myself for now.  No plan.  No rules.  Just play.  
Did I even show you that I put that throw--(THE only throw that Allie likes)--on top of her bed on "her" chair?  She loves it.  Has even spent whole afternoons there instead of the bedroom on a few different days.  She just makes me laugh--often.  
I had a very quiet day with said cat who makes no sense on my birthday.  Leah dropped off the more watery honey borax mixture that night.  I had to chuckle.  Told Leah, if someone asks..."and what did you get for your birthday?"  I can say with a smile--"homemade ant poison!"  ROFL!!  It was just what I needed--lol!  

Thanks so much to all of you who sent me birthday (and Easter) cards...and letters, too.  
Snail Mail Forever!!!  :) :) :)

On Easter afternoon Dagan dropped off some thicker honey-borax mixture and later in the evening Leah dropped off some Easter dinner.  I could have gone over for Easter but I had a couple of bad days in a row.  Yup--still happens, of course.  But I am obviously so much better than I was even a few months ago.  

This week McFamily is heading out to observe the eclipse!  I believe they leave on Thursday and plan to make a cross-country trip to Ohio.  A mini-vacation for the whole family.  I think they will be home the following Wednesday the 10th.  Ian is probably old enough to remember this at nine.  I wonder if Liam will remember it at 6 years old?  Maybe more likely to remember because of the trip and it being more special than if they just stepped out into their own backyard, you know?  Fun and exciting, anyways!

I have Keanna coming to clean on Tuesday.  I believe some people are also coming on Tuesday to take measurements for finishing of the baseboards and installing & trimming the doors in the apartment.  Leah is trying to get it set up for work to resume after they are back from Ohio. 

Dagan's pacemaker test up here--they said it was still running higher voltage but had gone down a little.  Dagan was still waiting to hear from his team of doctors in Minneapolis last I heard.  But he's feeling well and none of them are sick-sick anymore.  Was a long winter for them!

What else?  That's all I can think of right now.  I guess I'll wrap this up.  Was a good week.  White--brown--white--brown.  Now we're supposed to be in the 50s and 60s for the next couple of weeks, it says.  Spring?  Green poking up?  Who knows?  That's it from me and Miss Allie till next time.  Be well.  Be safe.  Be happy.  :) 


Jim and Barb's Adventures said...

We have the same pattern here; white, brown, white, brown. We are currently white. Happy Birthday, glad to hear you got exactly what you needed for your birthday and I hope it kills those nasty ants!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am trying to get my head around why anyone would need 63 fountain pens! If I think of something I’ll let you know!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I like the photos of the birds and the snow, damn you have a lot of pens.
Allie is so adorable
Cleaning as one goes is the way, it is how I roll
Oh how I hate those tiny black ants, we get them here as well and they are so annoying.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Nice job on those fountain pens. I am impressed.

Nice that Allie wants to be close to you all the time. Same with Squiggles, but Bleubeard is much more independent and far less clingy.

If I get an ant problem, I use Terro. My vet introduced me to it. It is definitely safe for animals. Be aware there are SUGAR ants and GREASE ants. Those drawn to sugar will accept and welcome your borax/honey solution (and Terro). Those attracted to grease will be unaffected by it. I wish you luck with the ant problem, dear!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Forgot to wish you a belated, but joy filled birthday and Easter.

DJan said...

You are so much better these days, and your post makes me very happy to hear all you are accomplishing. Allie will adapt, as you say, and she has no idea what the future holds. But then again, we don't either, do we? :-)

Jon said...

A white Easter?? Well, I'll have to admit that the snow looks pretty. It's not fierce like the winter snows. I like the soft spring colors in your flower painting.
I hope you can get rid of the ants. When I lived in TX there were loads of ants everywhere. They would invade the kitchen and get into everything.
Right now I'm plagued with mice. They are extremely destructive and aggressive. I don't like to kill anything - - but I'm so disgusted that I bought rat pellets and scattered them everywhere. So far it seems to be working.
I'm glad that I presently don't have any pets. I'd never use the pellets if I did.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good to hear that you are doing some crafty things again! I saw that the eclipse is going through part of the midsection of the USA one lady said that it will shut the internet down:)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Rita, we are getting snow here today, a spring nor'easter on April 4, my brother's birthday. Glad you had a nice birthday at home with a quite unusual "gift" of ant poison. Hope that it helps as I can recall how annoying those teeny critters can be. We had them at the Va house years ago and used Terro and also believe it or not, window spray as someone told us it worked. I can't really confirm that it did.

You do have a lot of pens to maintain, but I know how much joy using them brings you. So nice to see your artwork as well.

Janie Junebug said...

Hi! I haven't been feeling well but I wanted to at least drop in. I hope the ants are gone. Love, Janie

Jeanie said...

We're going to Ohio forthe eclipse, too. I had to laugh at your sink and table! Yes, projects like that take time and are tedious but so important. And I'm delighted you are painting again and loving your blob flowers. Poor, sweet Allie. She just needs reassurance!