Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Good Morning!
As you can see Miss Karma is still quite relaxed.
Ears and tummy still looking good...thank goodness!
The big event Friday (right after we chatted last) was waking up to a soaked carpet in my bedroom!  Wet inside the closet all the way over to my bed!  What a shock!! 
I had to quickly pull out the awkward, huge paper boxes from under my bed...and almost cried with relief that the water had not gotten to them.  Pulled out everything from my closet floor...which had gotten wet.  Kept calling every 15-20 minutes trying to catch Nazar in his office.  (Yes, the maintenance man called him Nazar--so I have learned the wrong name and so, apparently, have others here.)  No answer--didn't leave a message.  I had to jump in the shower because Caroline was doing my monthly grocery shopping for me that day.  And she calls several times while she's there with questions for me...which she did.  (I told her wait till she saw what was going on in my apartment and asked her if she could help move some things.) 
As soon as she was heading for the checkout I called AGAIN and left a message that time about the water--and that I was worried about the lady next door to me, too.
  Caroline arrived and I showed her the little lake in my bedroom.  She felt under the dresser (dry--so not from next door?) but said the closet floor was soaked in the back but not the front.  There was obviously a dip in the cement floor where it was pooling.  But where was it coming from?!
Why didn't I walk over to the next building to find Nazar, The Lazy?  Truth.  Stress and IBS become instant friends.  I didn't feel safe to walk that far.  Caroline knows my issues.  I told her about calling and said I could just picture him in my mind sitting right there at his desk and not answering the phone or picking up when someone is leaving a message.  For some reason I thought he was right there in his office.
Caroline went down there...and, yes, he was just sitting there.  Caroline told him of her client's mystery water and he said that he'd put in a call to maintenance and they wouldn't be here till the afternoon.  She said--"well, a call back would have been nice"--and walked out.  She came back and told me--yes, he had gotten the message and was just calm and uninterested in the whole thing.  Typical of him.  
Note: Nazar could have been sitting there at his desk next to the phone...not picking up...never returning calls.  When I was finally able to walk down late that afternoon to pay my rent he was sitting calmly at his desk writing and there were two lights blinking on his phone.  While I was there the phone started to ring--he pressed a button and ignored it.  
 Anyways...the maintenance man knew right away what it was.  The beginning of the week the same thing happened to a lady on second floor in my building.  It was the person who lived below her that called about a leaking ceiling!  When they installed the washer somebody hand-tightened the gasket/bolt or whatever it is on the hose that goes to the washing machine instead of using a wrench.  Over time it had loosened up...and started to drip.  Rapidly.
It was one of the hoses on the left hand side. 
 This one on the right was dripping like crazy.  He tightened it up and later cut part of the sheetrock away to get some air in there to dry the walls out.
The wall next to the washer there on the left is the back wall of my bedroom closet.
So it went down the wall in the bathroom and seeped into my closet and across the carpeting.  But there was no water on the floor of the bathroom.  Weird.
Anyways, the maintenance guy brought in this huge wet vac and vacuumed up water for a long time.  Did his thing to the wall behind the washer and then went back and vacuumed for a long time again.
I have been running a floor fan in the bedroom ever since.  Plan to leave things alone for a good month.  
I don't want mold!
 Caroline stacked the heavy paper boxes on top of my tall dresser for me. 
They are filled with all my large paper.  The good stuff!  Watercolor, mixed media, drawing, calligrpahy, and large printed paper that I use for wall art, bookbinding, and journal making.  I can't tell you how relieved I was that my floor is uneven in the bedroom--LOL!  I had been up at 4am and it was dry there.  By 9 am it splashed when I stepped on the carpet. 
My table leaves lie flat on the bedroom closet floor and were wet.  I just stuck them in the hallway temporarily...laid them flat after the maintenance man left...and then smashed into the metal sticking out of the side with a toe.  Of course.  It's all black and blue.  Limping a bit.
So I moved them to behind the chairs in the living room.
When Leah came for crafts last night she moved them under the bed for me since that had been dry.
Whew!  It was exhausting and my back has been loudly complaining ever since.  Quieter each day, but has never shut up about lifting all the heavy stuff--LOL!
Meanwhile, the snow had pretty much melted again--but it has been really cold out.  I told you the sparrows have flocked together.
They come in bigger groups than I have seen all summer.
Don't tell!!
This month I ordered toys for Ian for Christmas!  
Leah buys Ian Green Toys (recycled).  
Ian has always loved vehicles of all kinds--but especially trucks, of course.  Now he will have some new ones...and even one for the bathtub!
 Last night Leah brought the remote thingies for the lights.  These aren't actually extension cords so we still need one for the living room--LOL!  But then they will be done and installed.  With this little remote I can turn up to three things on and off (I have an extra one--got the set of three).  And with the bottom buttons I can do all at once! 
This is like The Jetsons!  
I can sit at the kitchen table and turn both the lights on or off at once!  The patio door lights... 
...and the new lights around the studio window--tada! 
I absolutely love my remote!!!  :) :)
I did finish McFamily's tree skirt.  Didn't get done until 6:30pm last night...but Leah got to take it home with her.  :)
I forgot to get a picture.  Leah sent me a picture on the cell phone and I listened to all her instructions on how to get it to OneDrive.  Sure, I apparently got them there..but I can't open them.  I just spent half an hour trying to figure this out--no picture for you--but many blank, unopenable ones are now in my computer.  Sorry.  Technology makes me feel SO stupid sometimes.  I refilled paper in the new printer today and can't get it back together.  Spent a good 20 minutes on that, too...it sits in pieces...can't use it.  Not my day, I guess.
We're having a bit of snow today.
The sparrows are grateful for the feeder whenever the wind dies down a little (which hasn't been often) they come to grab something to eat.  The wind is gradually blowing seed down into the snow and they come poking about in the snow for morsels.  The grouse know how to dig with their feet, so I know they will get some.  Makes me happy to be helping.
At least I can do something right--LOL!
Anyways, that's the latest from a frozen, white, windy Fargo today.  
:) :)
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well...for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go."
Julian of Norwich

Thursday, December 01, 2016


Good Morning!  
Long time no see.
Yes, you may not have noticed but I've been away for over three weeks.  Let's just say I've been adjusting to the election results and leave it at that.  But just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean I haven't been taking pictures.  This will be a photo-laden post, so clean your glasses, grab a cuppa, and off we go.  :)
Ever since it came to me to turn the bird feeder it has made a world of difference in our own little wind tunnel.  Nothing else had to be done.  It took the birds a while to figure out how to use it, but all is well.  
Oh, and this is the best shot I could get of a passing tumbleweed.  Can you see it next to the garages?  Can click on any of my photos to enbiggen them.  ;)
  This was a pretty good sized one.  We saw them as kids growing up near prairie grass and sand dunes.  I was surprised at how delightful it was to see one of those bumbling visitors after all these years.
Okay--Miss Karma and the cone...
Well, she was just fine for a week (although not eating as much).  Calm.  Letting me help her up onto chairs.  Wearing the collar with amazing acceptance.  I took the collar off when she got her canned treats and she didn't complain when I put it back on afterwards.  Her ears and tummy completely cleared up.
Then she suddenly decided she wanted to scratch and lick...after a full week.  So we know it's not an allergy or she would have been going crazy the whole time.  It is obviously exactly what I had thought...a terrible habit that she can't stop once she starts.  Sadly, it is all in Karma's head.  She got herself so stressed out I heard her throwing up at 5am one morning...and, yes...she threw up in the cone.  I cleaned her up and the cone...put it back on her and went back to bed for a couple more hours.  But when I got up I took a good look...and the following pictures.
She had beaten her ears with the cone...
 ...and used the edge of the cone to scrape across her belly. 
She did all that damage to her newly healed skin in a day and a half.  With the cone on!!  
She won.  
I took off the cone.
But amazingly she has pretty much left herself alone and her ears and tummy look pretty darn good right now.  But she might get on another self-mutilation kick at any time.  She generally refuses to eat the calming treats I bought her, although I keep trying and she will occasionally eat one.  What has worked the best, I think, is the calming spray.  I've been spraying her cloth collar every morning.  She accepts that and she does seem less scratchy and more mellow all morning.  But if I try to spray her cat bed like they suggest...she will avoid it like the plague--LOL!  
So that's the latest update on Miss Karma.  She's coneless and doing just fine right now.  She was thrilled to be able to crawl under the covers/throw on my bed for naps again. 
She's generally been back to her old sleepy self. 
Even dozing sometimes when The Girls come to nibble just like she used to. 
Now that it's cold out the birds are here to eat more often.  I've started to put seed out in the afternoon on the ground for the grouse because they come at dusk to eat almost every single day.  :)
Dusk here is can be 3:00pm on a dark day.
(I'm sure they come at dawn, too, but I'm rarely up that early--LOL!)
Did you notice the new shovel?  Can't remember if I had it last time we chatted or not...
...but the rubber-backed shovel rug is new.  Leah found it at Costco, I believe.   
Funny aside--Karma avoids stepping on the light tan nubby rug (and the fluffy bathroom rugs, for that matter) but the new shovel rug doesn't bother her delicate feet at all--ROFL!

So what have I been doing since we last caught up?  I colored a whole bunch of Avery stickers I will be using in my new bullet journal for 2017.  I used various paints and sprays to color shorter and longer label stickers.
Drying them criss-crossed on the new red trays worked perfectly!  (In fact, I could even use some more trays!)
I also played around with inks on a couple of old watercolor blocks I had. 
Used up some of the ink samples I didn't care for in my fountain pens and added some lovely gold ink on top. 
Had no idea what I was going to do with them.  Figured I could cut the up into bookmarks or card fronts.  Decided to use one of them to cut down and insert in the clear cover sleeve for the new 2017 writing journal! 
Wild, eh?! 
Made a bookmark from a leftover trimming.  Coated it with wax so it won't get color on the journal pages.
Here's the back side. 
We were on the edge of a blizzard... 
...but only got 1 1/2 inches here in Fargo. 
Great weather for working on puttering projects I had been putting off.  I bought new hanging files and file folders for my desk files back in July.   
The old ones I've been using and relabeling since 1997.
I worked for a couple days on redoing all of them--organizing, purging what I could, color-coding properly, relabeling everything... 
 ...and got my file drawer done!  :) 
Karma sleeps through whatever I am working on in the afternoons.  Good!  I'd rather see her crashed out than mangling herself. 
 Let's see.  What else?
The state auditor came for that inspection.  I showed her the buckled linoleum, the crumbling plastic base on one side of my crookedly installed shower curtain rod, and told them about the garage door stopping a few feet off the ground and having to run it up and down till it goes up.  
They told the auditor (Navare and some other man were with her) that they had been looking for three weeks to find a matching piece of linoleum so that they can patch my flooring.  (Haven't seen them since and it has now finally torn.)  The guy that was with Navare broke the shower curtain rod altogether examining it.  (They did send our regular maintenance man out to get a new rod and he came and levelly installed it that afternoon.)  I have been to the garage twice so far and the door opened!  So--just the flooring left.  (Leah and I have talked about a cheap desk floor mat from IKEA to cover it...because who knows if they will ever fix it, right?)  
So, that's that with the inspection.  I was glad nobody said anything about the things we've installed on the walls or the bird feeder.  :):)
We've had three craft nights.  
One: Leah cut my hair for me and she finished punching holes in her Christmas gift tags so that they were done to take home (she just had to add the ribbons).  
Two: We located the fabric for the tree skirt Leah bought last year and planned how to make it.  Discovered that the buttons Leah had picked up were too big to fit in the buttonholer attachment for this new sewing machine. 
I got the tree skirt all cut out...but I've been using the table in the studio as a catch-all spot.  Can you even see my sewing machine?  LOL! 
Meanwhile...I don't do things one project at a time always.  I do them in a what-can-my-body-handle-today order..LOL!  I redid the files on the wooden desk top file holder.  So ALL the desk files are finished--tada!   
And most of these are plastic now so they will hold up better, too.  :)
My back was horrible for a few days.  The library lady came and I got the last three Cat Who books in the series and another bonus book that cracked me up!  The main character, Qwill, is a journalist and in several of the last books has talked about if he collected enough local tales he could write a book--well, that's the bonus book--by Qwill.  So funny!  I've only read about 1 1/2 of the 4 so far.
 There were daily dusk visits from The Girls. 
I finally got the table cleared off and sewed the tree skirt (except for the buttons and buttonholes). 
Karma kept me company in the studio. 
There's been a LOT of activity from our feathered friends since it's been in the 20s and low 30s. 
The Girls have often been here more than once a day.  
The sparrows decided it was time to learn how to sit on the feeder.  Below, the others wait to take turns up above and pounce on anything that hits the ground--LOL!  
I did not know that sparrows can fly straight up in the air from the ground.   
Karma and I were fascinated by our popcorn sparrows!   
Lots of wings flapping as they popped straight up and down...trying to beat the rest to a spot at the feeder...often hovering for a moment in the air like a hummingbird--when no one would give up their spot down they'd go again.  Up and down--up and down--LOL!  I am easily entertained.
When it went below zero the sparrows flocked together.  Sometimes they come with as many as 40 or more of them at once!  Really cool! 
Three: (Last craft night, if you've forgotten by now)  Leah brought the new buttons.  I will have them sewn on and buttonholes made by this next Monday craft night.
Leah helped me with Christmas decorations.  We got the tiny tree up on top of my desk.
Baby Phil is looking pretty good, isn't he?  I think he likes his new home.
I have so much stuff about that one can hardly notice the tree--LOL!
Leah put up the new lights around the patio door.  I LOVE THEM!  They are twinkling, multi-colored, LED lights.  I plan to keep them up all year round.   
We were going to put lights up around the window in the studio but had trouble with a different set of 3M clips breaking and falling off the wall (old?).  3M stuff is usually awesome?
  Anyways, there will be lights in the studio, too...all year round.  :)  I also need a couple of extension cords.  (We used a spare power strip for now in the living room.)  Leah said they have extension cords now with remote controls!!  Have you heard of them?  Leah knows about all these amazing new products!  Won't that be awesome!!
Oh, and also for the journaling folks...
I worked on setting up my new (square grid) Leuchttrum 1917 bullet journal for 2017.  No decoration or washi tape yet, but have the skeletal work done through April!!  I was listening to an audio book (Broken-13 1/2 hours) and just kept going for two days--or was it three?  LOL!
I've never used a Future Log before but I expect it could be handy.  I'm using different colored stickers for each month.  January is silver metallic acrylic paint so it's hard to see well. 
After the Future Log I have pages of the various project Goal Lists for 2017.
Most of these have been on here for at least a couple of years. 
Is that indicative of how slowly I get things done and how physically limiting my life is (especially this past year and a half with the move)...or symbolic of undying optimism and lots of things to look forward to?  I prefer the latter, of course.  ;)
I love the calendar spreads Leah made up for me... 
...and the monthly tracker grid. 
Definitely  am enjoying the expanded weeks where I have a lot more room to write. 
Life is good!
I'm ready for 2017--already!  Bullet and writing journal are prepped. I just finished addressing 58 Christmas card envelopes yesterday.  I can't remember when I have been this far ahead of the card game!  
 I have some days where...well, you know you are bone tired when you wake up in the morning from a dream about being so tired you can't keep you eyes open--LOL!
Also woke up to a smattering of snow yesterday.
Now that the birds have decided to use the feeder it won't be long and I will have to refill it for the first time.  The sparrows prefer to eat off the ground like The Girls do.  Hasn't been enough snow to use my new shovel yet, but that will come.  I have been playing classical Christmas music on Pandora while I have been writing to you.  And--yes--I have had the colored lights twinkling...sparrows are nibbling...Karma is sleeping peacefully in her chair next to me with her head against my leg...life is good!
Until next time...
:) :)
"The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Howard Zinn