Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The continuing saga...

You all are probably getting tired of hearing about my plans and such for the future. Well, sorry, but here's some more of the same, lol! :)

I'm writing this stuff down partly as a family history type of thing, and so my step-dad and brother can read it if they wander through blog land. It's sort of like blogging and letter writing in one!

It seems like the Lord is dropping some opportunities in my lap. I ran into an old friend at the little store here in Nevis. Bob and I used to spend a lot of time at their house visiting. It's so strange how I haven't seen many of our old acquaintances in years. We did change churches and lost touch with a lot of people. Anyway, this friend invited me to a Bible study held at their house every week. She fixes dinner for everyone and afterwards there is prayer and sharing. I had been thinking of finding a small group Bible study to join, and here's one right in my town. I plan to keep going to my present church in Park Rapids (12 miles away), but I'd love to have a group to fellowship with who live closer. Answer to prayer!

Another opportunity came up when a gal who lives in my building mentioned going to the fitness center. The fitness center is located at the school half a block from my apartment. I've been thinking about going there now that I'm not working as much, but wasn't sure how to get started. She offered to take me over and show me the ropes. Another need met!

I have plans to attend the Widow's Christmas Luncheon at my church in Park Rapids on Saturday. I like that church a lot and I want to get involved with the AWANA program and lots of other things. I guess I'll just be all trans-denominational and get involved in activities from more than one church!

I'm excited to be finding ways to get involved in things in my little town, and at church. I look forward to being less of a hermit.

Friday morning before work I'll be heading over to the school at 7:45 for a little celebration. Audrey has been chosen as kindergarten student of the month! Proud Grandma moment! (But I'm not the least bit surprised!) She takes after her mom who constantly had her picture in the paper for something or other. A new cycle begins. Should be fun!

My social security meeting ended up taking place over the phone. A man called me at 9 in the morning and asked if we could do it by phone because he had an unexpected cancellation. I explained that I hadn't mailed in my documents (marriage license and birth certificate) but he said we could still do the interview and I could bring the documents in later. It turned out that they already had the info from the documents, so I didn't even have to do that! It was nice not to drive 40 miles for that appointment. Looking at my budgeted expenses, it looks like my social security check will cover all my basic expenses. I just need to work to cover extras and keep building up my savings. Thank you, Lord!

Well, now that I've bared all of my personal business to the world (who cares, right?). Oh, and I've kind of decided to just stick with working at Hugo's for now. Beginning in January I can probably just work my two weekends a month and one day during the week. Anywhere else I'd probably be getting a much lower wage and have to work more. If something wonderful comes up, of course I'm open to making a change. We'll take it one day at a time and see how it goes. :)

AND NOW for my latest inchies swap-The Snowman swap! Can anyone tell what the guy on the left is doing?

I'm working on 12 more, so I'll probably post those next time.

Wow. Feels like evening already and it's only 4:30! I think I'll do some reading. I have a short day tomorrow (10-2) so there's no need to go to bed early.

Got your tree up yet? My building manager has all her stacks of totes lined up in the  hallways in preparation for Christmas decorating. She's like the holiday fairy. The decorations just appear suddenly. :) I'm blessed to live in such a homey little apartment building.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings!
Shalom, friends and family!




Sunday, November 27, 2016

Howdy!

I seem to pop up every nine days or so, eh?

I must say I'm enjoying having more days off from work. I'll have to find some good volunteer opportunities to fill some of my  time. I still feel like I'm waiting for some particular thing to take place before I actually begin doing more of that sort of thing. I think in January I'll be able to cut back a little more and then I'll feel the freedom to begin adding some extra activities in my "spare time".

I heard from the school about my application. They don't have anything available right now except being a substitute kitchen worker. I'm going to call her back tomorrow and ask her to keep me on file in case something more regular opens up. Substituting isn't going to work since I need to know I will have a reliable income.

On the other hand, I do have another idea for employment. There is a place called May Creek Senior Living Campus which is about 15 miles away. They advertise a lot for "resident assistants" and part-time housekeepers. I think the housekeeper position sounds interesting. They suggest just dropping in to visit about it, which I may do on Tuesday. I like the idea of applying for something where they already expect me to be part-time instead of trying to talk someone into hiring me part-time when they really want a full-time person. Also, I like the idea of working by myself, at least under my own direction. I'm thinking this is more of an assisted living arrangement than a regular nursing home. But I'll find out when I visit.

I'd better get to bed. I have my social security meeting tomorrow afternoon. But first, I'll rummage among my photos and see if I've missed some artwork.

Oh, yes. These were for the "Turkeys in Disguise" swap...




 One gal asked for a card with a camel on it.
 And these are for a Colorful Snails swap. They're inchies. (1"x1") I forgot to take the picture until I had already packed them up.
That's all for now. I shouldn't wait so late to post!
Blessings on all who pass this way. Thanks for stopping by!
Shalom!

Friday, November 18, 2016

SNOW DAY!!!

Would you believe I'm skipping out on work today? I really felt it wasn't safe to drive in. We're in the middle of a Winter Storm Warning with blizzard warnings. You can't really tell from these pictures because my camera can't pick up snow blowing sideways!


 This is where I'll be today...
 I've eaten most of this already, and my paints are close at hand.
 I checked with Micah and feel better knowing that school has been cancelled. They will be taking it easy at home. Little Della has been feverish for a couple of days. Bless her sweet little heart. I think she'll be fine, but you hate to see them not feeling well. Prayers for her.
 Catching up on art topics. These five ATC's were made for my friend's ministry to nursing homes and other folks in need of cheer. We call it Faith Art. I include a scripture on the back.
 This is my latest 5"x7" acrylic on canvas for the canvas swap.
 Sorry, this is just a closer view of one of the cards I showed above. I really liked this one. I'm a sucker for an Irish cottage!
 These are inchies! They're drawn on a piece of watercolor paper that's one inch square. They're on their way to England for the Little Tiny Mushroom swap.

 I made this card for a gal who requested a card with a bird. I love drawing my state bird.
 Did I already show these? I drew some guys with weird hairdos for my Sketchbook Skool class.
 I also drew this guy who is the star of one of the YouTube channels I watch. He lives on a narrowboat in England and vlogs about his little canal journeys. One of my many mini-vacations via YouTube.
 And here's Mr. Sully sporting a cute t-shirt. Mama Micah said she wished she had such a To Do List. She might just get a few things checked off!




I couldn't believe it had been so long since my last blog! The bedbugs seem to have been eradicated. I did have some bothersome itching as recently as a few days ago. After doing some Googling I found that old bedbug bites can flare up again for several weeks or even months. This is usually caused by stress. I'm feeling quite itch free today. Hallelujah!

I mailed my job application into the school day-before-yesterday. Now we wait. They didn't have a job advertised, but they take apps for kitchen help on a continuous basis. If something opens up between now and January at least my application is on file.

I just read Granny Marigold's post and remembered that I'd found some good thrift store items just a couple of days ago! Tons of puzzles for the littles and a couple of beautiful children's books! I may need to assemble these puzzles. You know...just to be sure all the pieces are there. ;)
 The African American Poetry one is more for me. The illustrations are gorgeous and I'd like to study them for painting inspiration.


Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement. I'm never sure if you get a note in your email if I reply to your comments. Anyone know? I really love reading your comments. It means a lot hearing from all of you! If I don't reply it's just that I'm not sure if you'll see the reply. But thank you! :)

Enjoy your day and your weekend, everyone! Much shalom to all!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thankful for a three day weekend!

Yup, it works out just right. I'm spending the day today heat treating all my clothing, bedding and anything else that seems "cloth-y". I spent 2 hours after work yesterday doing the really big stuff at the laundromat down the street. Now it's 2:40 and I'm almost finished doing the rest. I think I'll be donating some things when all is finished. I have way too many blankets/comforters/etc!

I got bedbug proof mattress protectors, as per the exterminator's orders. I'm wondering what they will say about the couch and recliner. Both cloth, so I'm not sure if they might be bedbug magnets. Anyway, I'll vacate the premises by 9 a.m. tomorrow and gypsy about all day. I'll take my laptop and some art supplies, plus a good book I'm reading.

The cheapest copy on Amazon is $8. I got it for 10 cents at the library book sale!! It's a fairly short book, full of illustrations and written in a very readable way. I'm loving it!
I can hang out at the library or at Micah's place. She and the kids may be gone, and Adam will be hunting, but it's a port in a storm! Maybe I'll go to a movie matinee. Wow. Haven't done that in a million bazillion years! (I can't believe spell check didn't underline "bazillion"!) Hopefully, I can be back home Saturday evening and spend Sunday moving all my stuff back in. Most of it is stashed in either my car or the basement laundry room. Whew!

Just to break up all of this text, this is a cute little shot of Audrey (on the right) and cousin Cali walking into school. All grown up!



I called my closest social security office in Bemidji, about 35 miles away, and set up an appointment to apply for widow's benefits. She said I could do a phone interview instead of driving all the way to Bemidji, so I said okay and set one up. Then she said I would have to mail in my birth certificate and marriage certificate ahead of time. The originals! Does that make anyone else nervous? If they should get lost in the mail that would be one fine mess. SO, I'll probably drive up anyway to hand-deliver them, or see if she can just change my phone interview into a person-to-person. I really don't trust the mail with something that irreplaceable.

Two more months left at the deli! I'm thinking about putting in an application at the school (see photo above, lol) to work in the kitchen. I think I might be able to get a part-time position, and once I'm in I can see what else might be available. A gal who lives downstairs in my apartment has as much as hired me to clean at a resort in the summer when I may need other options while school is out. I might also be able to get some part-time work at the local grocery store during their busy summer time. Anyway, it's a plan to try. :)

Micah said she may not see much of Adam this week while rifle hunting is going on. For the last three years he's been hired by the local grocer (same one mentioned above) to skin deer for them. I didn't even realize he did this! They process deer in their tiny meat department and he gets good pay to do the skinning for a few days. That young man has so many side jobs going on, in addition to his regular job as a stone mason. I'm really proud of his good work ethic. His hard work makes it possible for Micah to stay home with all those kids! :)

Well, enough of my jibber-jabbering! I've got one load of laundry to do and then I'll be done. I hope to do a little sitting and relaxing for the remainder of the evening!

You all have a great weekend! Shalom to everyone!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bug update...

Really?!? Yeah, I figure everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat wondering about my bug situation. After all, it's what I mostly think about, lol.

Well, anyway, I actually found a genuine bedbug crawling on my shirt at 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning. Now we know it's not just my imagination! I talked to my building manager and gave her a little piece of paper with the bug taped to it. Evidence. She's taking swift action and sometime in the next few days the exterminator will arrive on the scene. Unfortunately, a few of my neighbors will have to endure the same treatment just in case this thing has spread.

I know I'll have to give all of my clothing a heat treatment in the dryer, but I'm not sure what else I'll need to do. It will be some work, but worth it if it does the trick. I'm concerned about things like grandchildren's toys and books. Will they have bad stuff on them after the fumigation? Hopefully, I'll find out soon.

I haven't been up to a lot art-wise. All of those itchy spots and my apparent allergy to bedbug bites have zapped my creative energy. One article I read online said that bedbug bites can cause some people to have symptoms similar to PTSD. I really did have a few days that I felt that bad. I'm glad to report that that part is behind me. I am feeling a little better and did some painting yesterday. It also makes me feel better just knowing someone is doing something about it!

Other than my drama, Audrey has been having some excitement in her little life! My daughter, Micah, has been homeschooling Audrey for the last couple of months, but last week Audrey declared that she didn't want to be home schooled. She wanted to go to REAL SCHOOL. Mother and child have been butting heads about this for quite some time, so Mom and Dad decided to let her try it. I'm so glad she got a teacher who believes in keeping things relaxed and fun. (Mr. Durham is a fishing guide during the summer!) She's having a blast and it takes a lot of pressure off of Micah, who is the first to admit that she isn't a natural as a teacher, lol. This is a small school and Micah and hubby Adam know all the teachers and lots of the parents. Audrey's cousin, Cali, is in the same class and there's also a little boy she knows from AWANA. I'm sure she has tons of friends by now. Audrey is so outgoing and curious. It would be hard to meet all her needs in home school, especially when Micah has three other little ones to wrangle. You really have to be called to home schooling for it to work. It's an extreme sport!

Audrey on the left and Cali on the right in both pics...

 Della enjoying a breakfast smoothie...
 Sully, just home from trick-or-treating...
 And Hazel, who misses her sister when she's at school. Awww... But I think she'll like school, too. Next year!
Just checking in. Hope you're all well! God bless and shalom, troops! :)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bug bites and essential oils...

Apparently, the colder weather is driving little critters indoors. I've had itchy bites and welts for about a week now. When I complained to the gals at work my manager said, "Just spray RAID everywhere!" Aw, man, sorry, but I'm just not comfortable with having all my household surfaces covered with RAID...

Some of the other gals suggested peppermint oil diluted in witch hazel. That's the route I took. It can be sprayed right on the bedding (I think I got bitten while sleeping because it was mostly on my neck and arms) and all around the house without being poisonous. It doesn't kill the insects. It just makes them move away from the area.

For the itches themselves I'm using tea tree oil mixed into coconut oil. It's working well today. Yesterday I think I made it too weak and didn't get the best results. Anyway, that's what I've been dealing with for a few days. It's hard to think about much else when you itch all over!

The only insects I'm seeing are the tiny flies that hover around fruit. I've tried to look them up on the internet, but I'm not finding anything conclusive. Anyway, things are better now.

Otherwise, I'm working and doing Sketchbook Skool and some ATC's. I'm also currently reading Sunlight on the Lawn by Beverley Nichols. This is my sixth book by him! He has such a cheerful outlook on life. I just enjoy his books so much for light reading. I'll have to start searching for another one soon!
As for artwork...I'll go scrounge around in my pictures and see what I have...hmmm...

Ah, yes. This is a 5x7 canvas board painting. I watched a video by Bob Burridge where he shows how to paint an impressionistic vase of flowers in two steps. First step...lots of colorful blobs of paint all over the canvas.
 Second step...paint over some of it to make a background, vase and table. It turned out okay, but I notice my highlight on the vase is on the same side as my shadow on the table...duh. But, it was fun to splatter acrylics around. I sent this to a gal in Alaska and she sent me a vase of flowers in return.


 My friend who gives ATC art to people in nursing homes is also sending art to kids in Haiti. These next two photos show some cards I made for them.

 These next four were made for the October Pick-a-Theme swap.



 And some faces I made for Sketchbook Skool...

I picked up this adult coloring book at Walmart the other day. I don't really intend to color in it. I bought it so I could get some ideas for more whimsical designs for my cards. It's full of really cute designs.


I'm taking it easy on my three day vacation, though there is a possibility of some babysitting. (I volunteered.)
You all have a great weekend! I hope to visit you all soon.

Shalom!

Friday, October 14, 2016

My daughter the super mom!

Ha ha! I just had to post this photo that my daughter, Micah, just posted on Facebook. She entitled it "Target Freak Show". She said she could hear people's conversations as they walked by. "Look! There's another one on the back!" "Look, there's another one on the front!" She prefers to shop alone, or at least with only the youngest along, when possible. It can get pretty stressful, as you can imagine. She said she's come home in tears a couple of times until husband Adam told her to stop going shopping without him! :) Today she didn't have a choice, but she said they survived!  Proud of my girl!

She said she seriously needs to start doing some squats...

That's the breaking news for now. God bless and shalom to all!