Friday, August 19, 2016


Good Afternoon!
I hope I can get this posted before dinnertime--LOL!  My laptop is so terribly, terribly slow the last two days that is has taken me 45 minutes already just to load the pictures for today.  I did do the online speed test and it was great--so it is just the old McLap who now runs at 90% of her battery, plugged in and dies as soon as you unplug her.  Well, she lasts maybe 30-60 seconds.  One of these days I may disappear for a longer period of time, but I will try to let you know I'll be gone by posting on some other contraption around here--LOL!  But if my Mac dies, it is going to greatly effect my blogging abilities.  Even email frequency, for that matter.  MS is a whole other world, you know, and I am extremely unfamiliar with it anymore--LOL!
Anyways, do you think going on Amazon Prime got my bird feeder here about a month ahead of time?  :) :)
I am just tickled with it.  The one side of the roof flips up for filling... 
...and it is supposed to hold about 5 pounds of seed. 
Can you see the plastic mesh on the bottom that is supposed to help when it comes to wind and rain?  And the triangular piece of wood in the center of the seed hopper?  That's supposed to help keep it from turning into a big old clump in the center of the hopper. 
Bit of an overhang against the weather.  Can feed from both sides. 
I am so new to this.  I hope this one will work well for my wild pets.  ;)
Karma is not fond of the new rug by the door.  Here's she's watching birds come down for a landing...
...but they went over for a drink and splash first. 
Karma stays back behind the rug--LOL!   
Don't worry.  She can force herself to tolerate lying on the nubby rug when the door is open.
Leah got sick with a terrible cold while on her girl's weekend, poor thing.  So I haven't seen her--but I have been working on cards.  We found out that we are disappointed with the Archival dye ink pads.  The color faded already.  (Sorry these are sideways, but I couldn't get back in to flip them because the thumbnails wouldn't open--or I didn't have the patience to wait five minutes for it to do so--lol!).
And look!  The ink bled through the card stock! 
 Oh well.  If you get one of these one of these years--maybe you'll remember our new ink disappointment.  ;)
Loving the new carts!  Using them all the time.
Every afternoon the kitchen table has looked like this till evening...for many days.
Oh, you'll laugh!  See this stamp?   
Well, I can't see so well and need new glasses.  I stamped this and thought it hadn't stamped right.  With the MISTI you can re-stamp in the same exact position--so I stamped and stamped--ROFL!  It is supposed to look all blotchy like that!  Duh!!  Cracked me up!
Anyways, I would stamp and watch youtube videos or movies or TV series on McLap...    
...and pile parts in the carts.  :) 
Was hot and sticky.  
Some days more sticky than hot. 
Yesterday I got a huge surprise!!  And I mean huge!  Iggy/IntenseGuy sent us (definitely also for Miss Karma's entertainment) two 40 lb bags of bird seed!!  OMG!  The top one is regular mixed seed and the bottom bag is all black oil sunflower seeds!
This just blew me away.  Iggy just lost his dad recently and here he is sending bird seed to Fargo?!  He has such a kind and generous soul.  Glad to be counted as a friend.  Just saying thank you doesn't seem enough.  :)
I thank you.  Karma thanks you.  All the birds and little buddies thank you, too.  :):)
I finally finished all six sets of cards yesterday!!! 
There are three sets of Christmas cards and three sets of birthday cards.  Over 500 cards!
Here's the two sets of Christmas scenery cards...
...and the hanging ornaments Christmas card. 
Two sets of birthday cards--cupcakes and birthday cake... 
...and the crazy cat ones. 
For now I laid them all flat in the four turquoise Ikea boxes.  And I tried to clean up the table messes a bit in the studio because I have family coming tomorrow for a visit! 
My mom (Jane), my brother (Blaine) and his wife (Kathy) will be here for the day.  At least I'll be in much better shape both physically and brain-wise than I was last year--LOL!  More with it this year. 
Thought I'd take a shot of the other side of the studio as long as I was in there.  
Kind of half-organized chaos in that room.
Anyways, I'll cross my fingers that this will post.  It's already dinner time in Florida-time, but I have another hour--LOL!  (That was for my mom.)
I still can't believe we are finally finished with all those cards!!  I was pretty useless for months and sweet Leah did most everything.  We kept plugging away at it, even if it was at a snail's pace.  Patience, right?  Then I was finally feeling more human and able to hold up my end better.  If I wasn't so sore I'd do the happy dance--ROFL!  Going to take it easy the rest of the day...and remember to take pictures of everybody tomorrow, I hope.  ;)  
Have a rewarding weekend.  :) :) 
“From adversity we can learn the value of patience.”
Dalai Lama

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Good Morning!
When Leah was here on Tuesday night she attached the quick release on the faucet on the side of the building and on my new expanding hose!  TaDa!
As long as I had the camera outside I thought I would show you the view to the left...
...and to the right.  Pretty boring, actually--LOL!
They picked me up a rug for inside the patio door so we have a place to take off shoes when we come in.  Don't want to track in bird poop--LOL!
That's actually a really pliable bath rug from Ikea.  So it is absorbent for wet shoes and quite washable.  Perfect!
Got the second rusty cart put together, too.  :) 
One shelf for my morning writing supplies, the bottom shelf for Ian's art and craft supplies, and three shelves got filled up with the current card project.  Only one left open, so we did need two carts, I guess, eh?  LOL!
I'm always making soup but I haven't shown you any for a long time.
This one has potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, Napa cabbage, and crushed tomatoes in vegetable broth.  Yummy!
I ordered some very cheap fountain pens on Amazon that are coming slowly from China.  Two of them have arrived so far (said could take 4-8 weeks).  
  These two are really heavy!  I find I don't like to use them capped because of the weight, but they both work.  They're actually the same size but the picture angle makes them look different.  The bottom one has rosewood ($4.65) and the top one has painted cherry blossoms ($4.68).  None of the pens were over $5--with shipping!  But most of the Chinese pens only come with a medium nib.  The rosewood one is the only one I ordered that had a fine nib.  I couldn't resist checking them out at those prices.  I haven't written with them a lot, but they seem okay so far.  What a hoot!
My big project this last week was pulling the litter tub out of Karma's big wooden cat box and scrubbing it down.
Her temporary set up is just the old inner she is totally confused.
That tub was inside of here.  Karma had to climb in the entrance hole...
...and then up and over the inside tub.
  Was getting harder for her.  She's getting old and stiff, too.  So I had Leah cut the hole down a bit on the plastic tub a while back...but that just made for a lot more mess because Karma could really kick out litter--and I think she may have backed up to pee with her butt beyond the door a few times.  I had a piece of carpeting on top of a plastic placemat under and between the two doors inside there--so it never got to the wood.  But it was time to retire the big box to the garage.
Leah is picking up a new big plastic tub for Karma tomorrow and we'll cut a new higher hole so she can't kick out any litter.  (Karma's always been an excessively enthusiastic digger and burier--lol!)  I even bought her a step--which I'll show you after we get this all set up.  
Karma was quite upset with her box being in the living room.  I had to find a spot where I could block the hole against a wall so she wouldn't, perchance, try to use the empty box during the night.  She stayed near her box and during the night she howled.  She did use the plastic tub--but threw up twice on my bedroom carpet.
Karma does not take change well.  LOL!
Leah went away for a girl's weekend.  First time she's been away from Ian for any length of time.  Dagan and Ian came over for a visit and to help Gramma yesterday.
The first thing we did was make a trip to the garage to get the big cart so we could haul out the wooden cat box.  I decided to treat Ian to rides in Gramma's folding cart and crate.  He got to ride out and back twice!  We'd stop so he could stand up to push the big buttons to open the doors, too.  He loved it!
We moved out the cat box and the new seed bin I got for the birdseed this winter...watched some more nature shows for a bit...and then Ian discovered his shelf in the rusty cart--LOL!  I don't think he was much in the mood to actually use them...just thrilled he found them in this new spot.
Ian got distracted when he remembered Daddy had shown him Gramma's fish last time he was here.
Then we went on the walking path down to visit the cottonwood tree.  This video just quit, but it was ten minutes long, anyways.
BUT--I finally remembered to take videos!!
Here's Daddy and Ian on the way home to Gramma's.  Blue sky this direction and very dark sky behind us.
Ian remembered the exact apartment where he'd seen a cat in the patio door the last time we walked down to the tree!  And how would Ian find Gramma's patio?  The one with the bird poop--LOL!  "Bird poop...bird poop...bird poop", Ian said.  Yup!  That's the one.  ROFL!
Today I'm washing clothes and waiting for the bird house to arrive.  Could be out there by the time I post this.  Yes--it's supposed to arrive today!  Way earlier than expected--said it could have even been beginning of October--whoohoo!  Leah will be able to check out the birdhouse tomorrow as far as how she wants to hang it with the chains.  But I don't expect it to be hung until maybe October, depending on the weather.  
Ooops!  The dryer buzzed.  
Got to get moving.  
Have a memorable week!!  :) :)
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
Adrienne Gusoff

Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Good Morning!
I've been able to have the patio door open for a part of the day on occasion...
...but it's still in the 80s so it gets hot in here by late afternoon.  Still remain mostly closed up. 
I know that is really wimpy to those of you who have it in the 100s.  Well, I am a self-proclaimed, heat-wimp.  At least now with a good AC I am not praying for fall--LOL!  ;)
Remember the big feed bin I bought?  Can you see where Karma spent a couple days before Caroline came to pick up the box?
Caroline's workplace is moving so she'll take any boxes she can get from me.  So, before Caroline got here I emptied out the parts for the second Ikea rolling cart, too. 
Yes, Leah picked me up another one when they were in Minneapolis last week--in the rust color!!  Leah will be here tonight to work on cards and will put it together for me, too.  She's such a sweetheart!
Normally she comes on Monday nights but Dagan's work had a golf tournament yesterday that was running quite late so we switched to tonight.  (Dagan loves golf!)
Oh, and I think Leah picked up a quick release thingie for my hose.  I don't have good grip with the bum arm and all, so it sprayed all over the place at the wall.  I was afraid to try to get it on tighter because then I might not be able to get it back off again.  (Hey, I can have trouble getting the tops of my thermal mugs--LOL!)  So, that's why I haven't been able to use the hose yet.  Still using buckets of water.  They work.  But the hose works so much better.  ;)
I carry out some fresh cold water for the saucer every morning.  Do you think someone is maybe a little jealous?  Tipping over the bucket and licking water droplets when I bring it back inside--good grief.
We've seen more ground squirrels.  Today I finally saw one that looked larger, too!  And that's a mourning dove on the edge of the patio.  The doves have come a lot more often now that there's delicious small seed. 
In an hour or two at the most...all gone.  And usually wet around the saucer where they drink and bathe. 
Just lots of tiny poops left--LOL! 
I couldn't catch a picture of it, but one afternoon Karma was watching a plastic bag twirling about out there in our whirlwind area.  Stray pieces of trash are really mesmerizing on a windy day.  They skitter across the sidewalk and fly up into the sky...only to return in giant loops of air.  They do look alive!  
 Later that afternoon Karma went nuts crying over something.  A leaf.  
Must have skittered across the patio and got caught there behind the metal table.  She wanted it badly.  Karma does believe in wind magic.  ;)
I got a beautiful handmade card from Jeannie!
So sweet!  Thanks so much!
I've been getting letters and long emails from several of you lately--whoohoo!  You know how I love snail mail, but a nice long personal email is wonderful, too.  I know not everybody loves to take pen in hand.  ;)  They are all appreciated.
 Okay--new stuff and repurposing old stuff! 
Leah and I often need lots of surface area for cards to dry.  Obviously there's only so much surface area in my place--LOL!  Well, I came up with an idea.  I bought a set of a dozen small plastic food trays!  We can fill them and stack them criss-crossed to dry.  
There's about 3/4 of an inch leeway in the gap so plenty of room for cards or any artwork papers we want to dry.  Only takes up a small amount of surface space.  I hope this will work really well.  :)
Confession (of a fountain pen nut)...I ordered several really cheap fountain pens (under $5) from China/Japan (through Amazon) that can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to arrive, it says.  (One has already shown up, though, and seems okay.)  Anyways, I had been using an old box cover in my wire shelves on my desk, but now there would be too many pens to fit in there.  (Purpose--have so many ink samples to use up.)  So, I needed to come up with some other way to store all those filled pens.
I wandered about my place looking for some kind of container that was large enough for pens to lie flat but not too big so that it wouldn't fit in my wire shelf unit (which I love)...when I came across these storage bins.  They are InterDesign Linus drawer organizers and come in all different sizes and shapes.
  I bought them on Amazon and use the 12 X 4 bins in my wall unit in the studio.  
I was so impressed with how sturdy they are!  Even with my bum arm I can get down the bins filled with big bottles of paint with no problem!  They weren't cheap, so I bought them a few at a time over several months. 
Which reminds me!!!  I never did make a new apartment tour video, did I?  I need to do that, too.  LOL!
Anyways, back to the pen storage.  
These bins stack so they don't take up much room. 
I cut squares of felt to lay in the bottoms to keep the pens from rolling about as readily.  Oh, and the highlighters are just place holders for pens I am using at the time.
I've kept my currently filled fountain pens in the bottom drawer of the wire shelf unit on the right there on my desk for years.  I really didn't want to move them elsewhere if I didn't have to, creature of habit that I am.
I had four of these 6 X 6 inch bins--which is absolutely perfect because they fit stacked two high in the wire shelf and there's room for two stacks.  PLUS--I also already had a 12 X 3 inch bin that I am now using for all the ink sample vials that fits right alongside the stacked 6 X 6s!!  Yes--absolute perfection!  Couldn't have planned it any better.  :)  
And--speaking of small joyous moments...
I saw this idea on Gina Ahrens YouTube channel HERE.  Brilliant!!  I had gotten the package of 24 Brusho Crystal Watercolors quite a while back.
They come like this and from what we saw online you had to poke your own hole or holes in the tops of each of these plastic containers if you wanted to shake out the crystals (which we do!). 
Leah and I are waiting until we get done with all the six sets of cards before we start anything new, though.  (I have been remiss the past two weeks and not worked on them at all for various reasons.)  But--anyways--I found the shakers Gina was using on Amazon!!
A set of 24 miniature salt and pepper shakers in a metal holder rack!  I am so excited!  Now we can transfer the crystals and make labels for each of them--preferably with color samples on them, too, of course.  Now that's a project, eh?  But they'll be so pretty we'll hate to use them--LOL!
Well, I guess I had best get moving.  Karma's been crying for a big tablespoon of canned food.  She's upset with being ignored and has her back to me and is flicking her tail with her ears back--pouting--till I am done staring at the silver machine and hitting it with my fingers.  Humans!  Who can figure them?
I have created a monster. 
When she had the UTI the vets wanted me to get her to eat more canned food.  She was used to her little bit, mornings only (speaking of creatures of habit--LOL!).  It took me months to get her to eat a little bit of canned food in the evenings.  That finally became a pattern, but she won't eat more than a heaping tablespoon, if that.  The vets were talking canned food being her main diet.  So I thought I'd try during the day...hence, the birth of the treat monster.
Now she wants a little bit of canned food off and on all day long--whenever she decides she is in the mood--LOL!  As often as every two hours some days!!  But she never will eat more than a tablespoon!  Awk!  
Well, she hasn't been sick again, so that's a good thing.  And she IS eating more canned food than she used to, so that's a good thing.  But having a demanding feline...well, I was already her personal servant.  Geez!  As you can see by the above picture, she doesn't think I'm an efficient enough servant, either.  Right now, she'd fire my butt.  So--got to go.  Later....  ;)
 I would say to Miss Karma...
“From adversity we can learn the value of patience.”
Dalai Lama