Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Two celebrations!

Happy New Year, anybody wandering by this evening!

Not only do we have a new year to usher in, but a new young couple has announced their engagement! My son Jordan popped the question to his girlfriend, Brooke tonight! I believe I got the first phone call, and they were on their way to spread the news at a new year gathering with their friends. (I'm sure her folks got a simultaneous phone call from her, lol.) I believe they're planning the wedding for the summer. Her family is in Oregon, so we'll all be traveling down south to be there. (It will be in Texas.) Just wanted to share! Prayers and blessings on the new couple would be appreciated!

Shalom and Happy New Year, everyone! :)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Paleo and exercise

Here I go with my all-or-nothing ways! I purged my pantry of non-paleo foods and began a new way of eating day before yesterday. Eek! If any of you know of any terrible drawbacks to this eating lifestyle, speak now. I've read a couple of short books with recipes, so I'm not an expert.

I wasn't crazy about this first book. The recipes were very complicated and required so many things I don't have around the house. I know I will have to acquire more herbs and spices and "unusual" ingredients as I go along, but I need a plan that doesn't depend on me buying them all at once!
 This book was much more user friendly. She actually gives you lists of foods that are okay to eat, and you can make copies and take them along to the store. Her recipes are also simpler, though still challenging for someone like me who really doesn't enjoy cooking. But, I may learn to! To start out I'm just eating the "plain" foods on her lists; not worrying about recipes. I did try her Egg Cup recipe this morning and it was good. The main emphasis is on leafy green vegetables, moderate amounts of meat, smaller amounts of fruit and some nuts and seeds. No calorie counting. I LOVE that you can have BACON!
 I've used this book many times over the years. I actually only use a few pages in the back which show the "maintenance" exercises. These are to counteract the aches and pains of muscles and joints from aging. It's really just a few yoga moves. I may move on to a yoga workout as I get more fit.
 My step-daughter gave me a bunch of videos by this lady MANY years ago. This is the only one I kept. It's 30 minutes long and is equivalent to a brisk 2-mile walk. You also use hand weights, so your upper body gets a workout as well. I think I'll alternate between the exercises in the book above and the cardio workout in the video for now. This 30 minute workout was challenging for me! Today was the first day I've exercised in ages, and I'm really out of shape!
And THAT is why I'm doing this. I'm getting tired of looking in the mirror and seeing myself getting flabbier and more tired. Now that I'm working only a few days a month I REALLY need to get out of my chair and move, and I need to eat better.

My dad and his brothers all had diabetes as they got older, so cutting out sugar seems like a no-brainer. The paleo diet also cuts out grains and dairy. I know I've always had a low-grade allergy to dairy, with the phlegm that produces. And with all the gluten intolerance we hear about, I suppose cutting out grain might not be so bad, though this is the one area I'm not so convinced about. The diet proponents talk about it being the "caveman diet". So, we're going back to the hunter-gatherer way of eating. Hmmm... Seems like we've been growing grains since the time of Cain and Abel, so why is it so bad? Anyway, this way of eating is far superior to my usual diet of coffee, cookies, chocolate and comfort foods. I had a headache for the first two days of the diet, but woke up headache free this morning. That's caused by withdrawal from sugar and carbs. I hope I can stick with this or at least some version of healthy eating. I want to be as strong and healthy as I can in my "golden years"! Wish me luck!!

And now for some Bible time! God bless you all and much shalom!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas in Europe

As an ice storm pelts our town this Christmas, I sit in my snug apartment watching "Rick Steve's European Christmas". This video is almost an hour long, but well worth watching. I found it fascinating to see how folks all across Europe celebrate the season. I hope some of you will enjoy this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

That's my Audrey!

I don't know how many of you will remember this picture from about 3 years ago. My granddaughter, Audrey, had decided to climb out of her crib and had fallen. She broke both bones right above the wrist.
Well, this is Audrey today! She fell off the monkey bars at school. This time the fracture was right above her elbow.
I don't know about you folks, but I've made it through 60 years without breaking anything! I guess some just have a different skill set, lol. I was visiting with Micah at home when the school called, so I watched the two middle girls while Micah took baby Sullivan and Audrey to the clinic. Christmas break starts tomorrow, so she won't get to show off her new sparkly blue cast (which she'll get on Friday) until after the break. No more excitement, please, Audrey!

Micah and I spent the earlier part of the day doing errands together in town. I'm looking forward to just staying put at home tomorrow. ;)

Shalom and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bean soup simmering on the stove...

It's a good day for homemade bean soup! Tonight it's supposed to get down to -23 or so. I'm so glad this is a glorious weekend off! Actually, most of my days are off these days. Yaaaay!
I borrowed this photo from the internet because my soup isn't nearly this photogenic, lol.
I've had a relaxing day of computing, reading and organizing. The organizing has been mostly my bookshelves. The ones on my desk were getting cluttered with sketchbooks and art materials. I relocated those materials and now have room to spread out my family photos so I can enjoy them more. It's amazing what you come across when you organize shelves! I also filled a couple of bags with books to donate. Other things on my organizational to-do list will be my files and photos. All in due time. I'm not going to try to do it all today!

I really haven't decorated much inside my apartment. My little tree is out in the hall and I've decorated my door. I like the nativity part of Christmas most of all. :)
 This is a reindeer post card I made for a friend at my artist trading card site.
 I filled some little goody bags to hang on my neighbors' doors. They appreciated them, and I've gotten goodies in return. It's a tradition in our little building among the friendlier tenants.
 This is a 5"x7" acrylic painting on canvas board I did for a swap. I tried to do it in the style of an artist I like.
 I know many of you have been holding your breath, waiting for the next installment of "Pages from Lisa's Journal"! Woo hoo! I don't write in my journal very often, but here are a couple of pages. I think you can read them if you click on the image to make it bigger.

 I forgot to post this picture of my little granddaughter, Audrey, receiving her Student of the Month certificate! She's the short one in the front row, lol. The boy next to her and the girl behind her are second cousins, I think. She has so many cousins in school, but doesn't know all of them. It's a small town, folks!
Don't forget to pray for angelic protection to surround your family members every day! Micah's  had a couple of close calls this week on the slippery roads. I never give those angels any rest! :)

Well, back to my soup tending and loafing. Maybe I'll find a Hallmark Christmas movie to watch. You all have a cozy week leading up to Christmas!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Life goes marching on...

I need to go help Micah with picking up kids in a moment, but I thought I'd squeeze in a little blogging!

Got my first SS check on Dec. 1st! I wasn't expecting it until the end of the month. Excellent-o!

I'm contemplating going into the school and signing on as a kitchen substitute. I wouldn't start until January, and I can be making arrangements to cut back to every other weekend at the deli. I may get adventurous and do some hopping around on jobs. The weekends at the deli will give me something steady while I see just how often the school will call for help. I know that's going to vary a lot, so I'm looking for a good balance of "steady" and "not so steady" employment. I also want to be sure I can still help Micah with the after school pick up. Anyway, enough of that!

The Widow's Luncheon at church was really great. I got to visit with a friend I hadn't seen in years. She lost her husband in the last couple of years. Lots of nice ladies. Two men from the church put on a skit that was purely for laughs, which is a good thing at a widow's luncheon! A couple of ladies talked and shared. We had some good food and they showered us with gifts!
Two books and a handmade ornament...

...and a poinsettia!
 These are for yet another inchie swap. My themes were...
faces and birds

tiny houses and mushrooms
 And here are a few of the many decorations that have sprung up in our aparment building thanks to my awesome building manager, Rosie!

Uh-oh! Time to go! You guys have a Merry Christmas and lots of fun preparing! I'll talk at you later!

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


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!

Friday, November 18, 2016


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!