Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


So, I'm wonderin'. When I leave a reply to your comments do you see that somewhere? I suppose not if you're a "no reply commenter" or whatever that's called. SO, I'll probably answer some of your comments in my posts just to be sure you see my answers.

Granny, you're first! :) You mentioned that you would be terrified to go to a large group thing like the Women's Retreat at my church. I know exactly what you mean! I took an online test some years ago that said I'm 100% introverted. Didn't surprise me a bit. I realize that introversion and shyness are not the same thing, but I had allowed my shyness to take over down through the years. So, I've decided to do battle with that tendency and FORCE myself to do social things. Actually, I find that once I bite the bullet and commit I do enjoy this sort of thing. I really do LIKE people. My favorite reading genre is the autobiography because I'm fascinated with other people's lives. My main fear seems to be not being able to come up with something to talk about. However, I find that once I get in a group there is usually at least one avid talker who will keep things rolling. I need to think less about what others think of me and more about them and their needs. Anyway, this is part of my training to get out of my shell so God can use me in the church. And if I get to shoot a gun or paint a canvas in the process, so much the better, lol.

I hope I didn't impress you all too much with my early rising post, ha ha! I think yesterday I woke up at 4, but probably didn't actually get up until 5:30 or so. But I was awake in the interim, so maybe that counts? Anyway, in reply to Elizabeth, I did have to take a nap about 9 a.m.! And I felt like taking another one in the afternoon, but I didn't. I've really been tired lately, and I think the culprit is a new wave of pollen producers. At least there's a reason for my feeling tired. That in itself makes me feel better!

I hit the trail by 7:45 this morning and took a 2 mile walk. I'm feeling sleepy rather than all bouncy and energetic, but I'm going to try to push myself to walk more regularly. The muscles and joints need the movement!

Otherwise, I've been working on some art cards. Are you guys familiar with Loteria cards? I had made one for a swap a while back and I love the bright colors on them. Here are the two I have finished so far. I have three more to make. There are over 50 cards in a loteria deck and the gal who's hosting this swap is going to have a series of swaps so each player ends up with a full deck. I'll let you Google Loteria if you're curious about the game, rather than go on and on here.
And then I made this card for a Make Me Happy Forest Animals trade.
You guys have a great day! I appreciate everyone who stops by so I'm not totally talking to myself!
XXOO and shalom!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

An early start on the day!

Is anyone else in the habit of waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning and then just laying there thinking for a couple of hours? I do that a lot, and I started down that road again this morning. If I'm not careful my thinking turns into worrying, so it's best to just get up!

I arose and decided to do some flexibility exercises right away since I tend to neglect them if I get busy doing other things. After that I put away the laundry I did yesterday. Then I organized and rearranged a little in my bedroom, vacuumed, mopped my little kitchen floor, cleaned the bathroom sink, hand washed a dress, and took a shower. Then I carried a couple of things out to my car (a box of photos for my sister-in-law and some clothes for the thrift store) and took out the garbage. All before I made my morning smoothie, which I drank while sitting in my deck chair enjoying the mild morning breeze. Lovely!

Audrey and Hazel have swimming lessons every day for the next two weeks, so I'll be riding along to watch the others while the lessons are going on. Maybe I'll walk some laps on the high school track afterwards? Or maybe the trail.

Before I forget, my Lyme's Disease test came back negative! Woo  hoo! I think it's quite a miracle that anyone living here in our woodsy, tick-infested area could make it for 28 years without picking up Lyme's. But I'm glad for the good report!

MK, you asked how the fermented veggies taste. Do they all taste like sauerkraut? Well, I'm still in suspense myself. I'll sure let you know as soon as I have a batch to try. This lady ferments fruits and berries, too, and I can't imagine wanting them to taste sour like that. She mainly likes to do hard root veggies. She says some softer veggies get mushy. I got a few pint jars for my experiments. Supposedly fermented veggies keep for about 6 months in the fridge, so I'm thinking I'll make a few small batches of different things. She said you only need to eat a little bit to promote gut health, but I'm also wondering if it's possible to eat too much fermented stuff. It will be a fun learning process!

I'm signing up for the Fall Women's Retreat with my church, Sept. 21-24. Should be fun! Our church uses a place called Camp Lebanon which is like a little resort on a nice lake. I think it's co-owned by several churches, but we're the host church this year. My daughter went to camp there when she was a teen. They have rustic little cabins with bunks or a few more civilized lodge/chalet type places. I think I'll go with the rustic little cabins and save the civilized accommodations for the "older" ladies, lol. I plan to go a day early (Thurs.) for the early bird extras. Since our church is the host, we get this extra half day for free. Here are some shots of the brochure:

I made some ATCs for a swap called Paper Painting. We could have any theme, but the picture had to be made of pieces of paper.

Well, I'm yawning now. I may have to take a nap to make up for getting up so early, ha ha!
You all have a blessed day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Excitement, right here in River City!

Are you ready for an update on my tick bite medical journey? Yay!

Well, last evening about 6 p.m., I developed an excruciating headache. I had, at this point, taken 3 doses of Doxycycline. Two of them on Monday, and one Tuesday morning. It had been about 9 hours since my last dose. Anyway, this headache came on, and it was unlike most of my headaches (and I don't have many). It felt like my brain was going to explode. I felt worse and worse. Since headaches are listed as one of the side effects of this drug, and since it was worse than I ever get a headache I decided to call my doctor for advice. By this time it was about 7 p.m. I called my doctor's office number, fully expecting to get a recording with an emergency number to call. Imagine my surprise when good old Dr. Vern answered in person, and I believe he was eating his supper, bless his heart. Now this is a good old country doctor! That's why I stay with him (since 1989) even though there is a more modern hospital across the street from his little 1960's ranch house turned doctor's office. :)

The good doctor listened to my symptoms and very sensibly told me not to take any more antibiotics until the headache was gone. He said I could try them again and see if the same thing happened again. So, I woke up about 1 a.m. this morning and the headache was gone...thank you, Jesus! BUT, I'm no dummy. I didn't take another dose. Uh-uh!
Wonderful! You might want to click on the photo to make it bigger.

This morning I went to the clinic early and asked if I could talk to the doctor about the medicine. I wasn't in any hurry and I was feeling fine after that not-so-fun evening. As I waited for the doctor in my little examining room I heard a crash down the hall. Remember, this is a little 1960's ranch house. You can hear everything. A nurse comes running down the hall, "Doctor Erickson, we need you now!" Apparently, a poor young man named Mike had suffered some type of heart anomaly. He had come in with chest pains and was waiting to see the doctor. (Dr. Erickson is the only doctor in this little clinic.) I could hear Dr. Vern (Erickson) talking to Mike, "Mike, are you still with us?" and asking someone to call an ambulance. I sat there listening as the ambulance arrived and the technicians got Mike ready for the hospital across the street. Why didn't Mike go to the emergency room there? Probably trying not to get a big ER bill. Sad but true. I think Mike was okay when he left. Then Dr. Vern walked into my room with his little reassuring smile and said, "Excitement! Right here in River City!" (I'm assuming that most of my readers will get that Music Man reference?) You have to understand that he's a musical guy. He sings in a gospel quartet with his brother and some friends. He's probably somewhere in his late '70's and he has a lot more pep than I do! It might be his vegan diet. He's a Seventh Day Adventist.

So, we had a little discussion about the meds. I told him I wasn't going to take anymore because that headache episode had been really scary. I also said I didn't really want to take anything with a lot of risks when I don't even know if I have Lyme's Disease. He looked at me and said, "You know what? I think we're just going to stop." He meant stop meds and do the blood test to be sure what we're dealing with. I was on board with that suggestion. So, I now have a hole in my elbow pit, and we await results. He told me to watch out for symptoms, but I told him I've had most of the Lymes's Disease symptoms for many years, so it would be hard to pin down. Well, we'll just do the best we can. But I'm not going to take any meds that have side effects that are worse than the disease itself. Sorry, folks!

So, there ya go...

Hey! I just ordered a fermentation kit! It contains a few items you need to ferment veggies, fruits, dairy products and such along with informational books on how to do it. Just something that sounded interesting. A way to preserve foods without having a lot of equipment. I can do just a few jars at a time in my limited space. Anyone else doing this? I heard about it from one of my YouTube folks. I'll link that video below.

 My daughter just took some photos of my granddaughter, Audrey. She turned 6 yesterday! I'll refrain from posting all 22 of them! :)

Well, that's what I'm up to today. Think I'll make a cuppa joe and enjoy my evening. Beautiful day!
Love you all!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer knitting...

I had a sudden hankering to do some knitting yesterday. As someone who seems destined to remain a beginner I looked for something very simple. A dishcloth! It's coming along nicely. I really love this color of yarn. I won't make any big plans about making a stack of these to give away at Christmas. Right now I'll just plan on finishing this one! I really like the plastic needles I'm using. I picked them up at a thrift store for $1, I think. They're very quiet.
Here's the video I used in case there are any other beginners out there. She made me a little impatient with the fiddly beginning of this video, but she eventually got going and it was easy to follow.

My new neighbor. He's very quiet.
 These cards were for a Pick-a-Theme swap. The main theme was the UK, but each participant asked for something specific. This gal wanted an Irish cottage with a rainbow...
 This one wanted The Lady of the Lake.
 This player just wanted something to do with Irish mythology, so I made a pixie. The only protection from her magic is a four-leaf clover or an image of St. Patrick.
 This lady wanted something historical. She mentioned illuminated letters as an option, so I did this one. I had a hard time finding an example that was "simple" enough!
 This one of St. George and the Dragon I made for the host as a gift.
 I went to the doctor yesterday about the tick bite between my toes. He recommended that we go straight to antibiotics since my foot had been swollen for about 11 days already. He said if we sent in a blood test it would take so long to come back that I'd be that much further behind on treatment. So I'm taking doxycycline with its long list of possible side effects. Please pray that this will work safely. I've been on way too many antibiotics this year!

I LOVED The Scent of Water. I finished it in just a couple of days and I've ordered another Elizabeth Goudge book and a movie.

Everyone have a blessed week!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book sale haul!

But before I get into the book sale booty, I also got this book through inter-library loan. I've seen several people recommend this lately, so I thought I'd give it a perusal...
I hit the "more expensive" book table first and found three large paperback books called "place". They were printed in the early '70's and contain a hodge-podge of articles on wildly differing subjects. I found them intriguing, and at 50 cents apiece I grabbed all three!
Here are some pages to give you some idea what they are like... (You'll have to click on the photos and get the larger version to actually read them, I think.)

How to build a log cabin.

Just your typical '70's, hippy-ish type of "magazine". 
 Sort of in the same vein, I just had to grab this. If nothing else I can cut these up for collage materials! But there should be some interesting stuff in here. 10 cents.
I found some good little devotional books. Imitation of Christ I've begun before and didn't finish, but this cute, little, old copy made me buy it. Ten cents each.
These just looked like all-around good reading. When I feel like reading about nature. These were $1-$2.
 I no longer have an excuse NOT to read Kristin Lavransdatter! These were always too spendy on Amazon, but I got them for 25 cents apiece! I also got a little J. Austen and C. Bronte. I have these in my Kindle, but I really get tired of reading on that gadget.
Unrelated to each other, but interesting none the less...
The photography book is for my daughter, and the knitting book is wishful thinking, lol!
Some children's books I had to rescue! Some for me, some for the grands. ;)
A few miscellaneous odds and ends.
Now...where will I put them all?
This little bookcase looks kind of forlorn. I think it could use some cheering up!
That will have to do...for now... (You know, I think my camera is getting near-sighted. Or are my hands just shaky?)
And now my winter reading is all set to go. How about you? (And I spent less than $10!) When I moved to my new place after the bedbug fiasco, I stored a lot of my books in my daughter's barn. I also threw a lot away because I didn't want to risk spreading bedbugs to anyone by donating them. So, it's nice to have more books around again!

I've been slowing down in the art department, but I have completed my 5x7 canvas for July. I decoupaged some mulberry paper on my canvas first, covered it with a glossy coat and then painted the pterodactyl. The guy I painted this for made some really cute cards of dinosaurs with big eyes, so I thought he might like this one. :)
Update: My RV neighbors packed up and left yesterday!!! It feels so spacious around here!! After my fairly positive comments on Monday they decided to throw a big party with about 20 people who sounded like they had consumed too much alcohol. Lots of yelling, laughing, occasional swearing, and some guy gunning his motorcycle engine. Yeah. I wasn't happy. And it lasted until probably 11 p.m. Then a big lightning storm came through which caused some of them to leave, but some were still sitting outside under just the awning on the trailer, playing on their a lightning storm! I am SO THANKFUL for my peace and solitude at the moment. I know someone else may rent that spot, but I doubt I'll have that sort of thing to contend with again. For the most part it is very peaceful around here. Thank You, Lord!

Thanks for sticking it out and looking at my books! I hope you all have a good book sale near you soon!
Stay cool (It's only about 60 here today. I'm wearing a flannel shirt!) and SHALOM to you and yours!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Butterfly farming!

Daughter, Micah, and her three little girls have been raising Monarchs in their kitchen. So far they've released one butterfly to the wild and another is ready today! She took this photo of one ready to "hatch"... (see the vacant chrysalis in the background?)
 and a few seconds later it was out!
 Here's another chrysalis that Micah said has been up for a couple of days, and next to it this caterpillar just assumed the "J" position, ready to don his/her chrysalis. Micah said the green material comes out of the caterpillar's head and it wiggles into it like someone trying to get into a tight pair of jeans, lol.
They're finding lots of these caterpillars in their yard. They just put them into plastic food storage containers with snap on lids and throw in some milkweed leaves and the caterpillars do the rest. It's been an exciting experience and they are looking forward to releasing each one. My comment on Facebook where she posted these photos...

"Animals must have more faith than people. I mean, I think it would sort of mess with my mind if I woke up one morning and I could suddenly fly..."   Oh yeah. It's gonna happen, folks. 

Just wanted to share these little miracles.

Monday, July 10, 2017

They're still here...

Ha ha!! Granny Marigold suggested that I play bagpipe music to drive my "near" neighbors away, and Gretchen seconded the suggestion. Then we all realized that we actually LIKE bagpipe music, so maybe that wouldn't work. These folks love to laugh and talk loudly and I don't think music would be much of a deterrent to them. I do have to say they seem to be nice folks. I came home from church yesterday with several bags of groceries and when they saw me going back for a second load they asked if they could help. They also asked if they were in my way. I'm not sure how long they're staying, but I think I'll survive quite nicely. Thanks for all of your commiseration! It does make me feel better! ;)

I went to church yesterday for the first time in quite a while. I've always felt awkward going by myself. I think Micah and her family may switch to the local Vineyard church, so I thought I'd be a grown up and go by myself. I got an invitation after church to join some ladies at a little cafe where they get together and visit every Sunday after church. God is so good to drop this opportunity in my lap. And while we were visiting I mentioned that I had a desire to volunteer to help with the AWANA program in the fall. The lady sitting next to me "just happened" to be in charge of AWANA! God is good yet again! So, now I'm signed up as a "listener". I'll listen to the 3rd-6th graders recite their memorized scripture passages. She said she also needed "leaders", but I thought I should get a year of experience under my belt before trying that. :) I'm also excited to go to the Women's Retreat in September. Kind of a whirlwind initiation into church life, but just what I needed!

My son-in-law, Adam, has begun clearing a spot to build a new house. It's right next door to the trailer where they live now. I plan to buy the trailer from them when their house is completed and be neighbors. Kind of a backwoods granny pod. I'm posting pics mainly for my step-dad who is interested in watching the progress. You can all look forward to lots of constructions photos in the future, ha ha! :)

Just showing the woods around the edge of the cleared area.

I love these woods and I think they'll be less allergenic for me. Very few pines!

This is looking south. That field belongs to a local farmer and is always full of deer, turkeys or sandhill cranes.

Looking west, there's where I'll be living. Don't worry. It will all be green again...eventually!

Here I backed into the woods on the east end of the cleared area. This will be their backyard.

Taken from the south edge of the clearing, pointing sort of northwest.

Looking at the clearing while standing south of the trailer house.

 Next stage will be to have sand hauled in to be leveled before framing and pouring a cement slab. The slab will be heated by hot water, which will be supplied by the wood stove. They should be able to use the present well and septic for both houses. Prayers for smooth sailing are appreciated!

Well, I stocked up on movies at the library, so I think I will partake of one tonight. I found Lady in the Van! I've been wanting to watch that for a long time! Also the first season of Elementary. Do any of you watch it? A modern day Sherlocke Holmes. I've watched some of it at the kids' house. I don't have Netflix.

My step-dad, Glenn, just sent me two more packages. When we were in Texas for Jordan's wedding we stayed with Glenn for two nights and talked a lot about Mom. Glenn said he would mail me some of Mom's mementos, and the packages arrived this weekend. Contained in them was a doll Mom made some years back. She and my Aunt Dixie enjoyed doll making for a season. The hair color is a lot like mine...hmmm. I'm glad to have the honor of taking care of her.

He also sent some stories that Mom wrote when she was taking a course through The Institute of Children's Literature. She loved to write and used her gift to glorify God in so many ways.

 This copy of her 1951 high school yearbook is a real treasure! (Angleton High School)

Mom and  Wendell Fleshman were Most Popular!

Mom drew lots of cute illustrations to decorate the yearbook.

Glenn also included Mom's huge collection of colorful bead necklaces. She and her sisters liked to dress up for tea parties and have lots of fun laughing and visiting. These will remind me of that and will be enjoyed by me, Micah and my granddaughters (when they're a little older). I chose three and gave the rest to Micah. She was so excited to get them!
Along with these treasures was a 3-ring binder of emails sent between my oldest brother, Bobby, (aka Will) and my mom over the years. Bobby kind of disappeared from society about five years ago. We've no idea if he's still among us or has passed on to glory. So, I'll gladly keep the emails to revisit from time to time. He was a philosopher, poet, writer, humorist, musician and all-around character who lived a voluntarily homeless life. He lived out of a backpack and slept in the woods for most of his life. He was also, by confession, a born-again Christian. So, I'm not worried about him. I pray for him and trust God to keep track of his spirit.
With his free-spirited character, he didn't last long in the Navy, but he did see a bit of the world. Here he's in the Philippines, and I know he also went to Greece.

Ah, the '70's. These are my brothers James (left) and Bobby/Will on the right enjoying a chat.
Well, now I think it's time for that movie! I pray that God's peace (shalom!) surrounds all of you, dear friends and family members. Until next time!