Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The moon...

I'm on my way next door to watch Sully in a few minutes, but I wanted to post these not so great pictures of the moon last night. My little camera didn't quite capture it.

It's another wintry, though clear, day. You guys have a good one, and I'll try to write more next time! :)

Friday, February 15, 2019

A sad and scary evening...

Last night about 9 p.m. I heard sirens going down our little county road. I peeked out the window and saw a string of emergency vehicles. I counted seven in all. Some police, a couple looked like firetrucks. It was dark. They seemed to slow down about 1/2 a mile down the road and I couldn't see where they went from there. I decided to post a prayer request on Facebook. It looked like something really bad must have happened.

This morning my daughter called to fill me in. One of our local boys who is about 35 had gone on a shooting spree. Apparently, it was widely known that he's had emotional problems for some time. I stood across the hall from him yesterday as we both waited to pick up children after school. You never know, do you?

I previously described what I thought had happened here in my blog, but later saw that I had a lot wrong as news reports came out. Here's a link to the news story:

Report from the Star Tribune

They have three children, one of whom is in Audrey's class. This is a tiny town with a small school, so everyone knows this young man and his family.Very sad. And another reminder that mental/emotional problems need to be taken seriously. I'm not sure if someone tried to help this man over the years, but we do need to try.

Even when our lives seem comfortable and peaceful, we never know what those around us are going through, do we? Continued prayers for this family.

In happier happenings yesterday, I went to the library book sale. I've already incorporated the new books into my library, but I tried to find all of them and take photos.

The Microshelters book was already in my collection, but the others I got yesterday. The slim, magazine-like books on the bottom were mostly written in Swedish, but had so many pretty pictures, I just had to get them. They were only a dime each.

This is one of the Swedish magazines.

Two vintage storybooks. They're really for me rather than grandkids. I think Andersen's fairy tales were really written for adults. The Hans Brinker book is thick and full of pretty illustrations.

I've got at least three bird guides now. One belongs to Audrey. I get them in case I want to paint a bird picture, or I may even identify one! Novel idea! :)

A little batch of children's books.

I like to pick up little books that Audrey might like to read. And they're kind of into paper airplanes.

I'll mainly "look at" this one. I'm not aiming for this type of intense watercolor painting. Too much work!

Dictionary text, maps and foreign language text for collages.

I also love vintage puzzles! I wonder if all of the pieces are there. Only one way to find out!
So, I think I'll get off of this computer and do some "real" stuff! It's so hard to get unhooked once you start surfing the net. But once I turn this thing off I feel like doing other things. We have a four day weekend and I had planned to have some grands come over, but Micah says everyone is sick, so I should probably stay away for now. Good advice, but I let her know she should call if she needs help.

Love you guys! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

More of the white stuff...

The snow is beautiful, but sometimes a little unwelcome when you have places to go. We have a four day weekend coming up and I hope to enjoy it more then! I got the kiddos to school alright this morning, thanks to the plows doing their thing. Micah has a chiropractor appointment for little Thatcher in Bemidji at 1:40 today. I'll sit with Adele and Sully. I hope it stops snowing before she goes. I think it's supposed to. I'll be praying for safe travel and she will pick up Audrey and Hazel on her way home.

We had more -25 weather the other morning (again!). I'm losing track of which days things happen, lol. I think it was a couple of days ago. I was trying to capture some of the sun dogs which appeared thanks to the cold air.

I hope you all don't mind me showing you the same views out of my windows, but I'm enjoying them! :) Here is what it looks like currently. The UFO at the right of the photo is just a reflection of a light from inside, ha ha.

I'm currently reading The Bride of Ivy Green, which is the third book of a trilogy by Julie Klassen. I'm enjoying it a lot. I think I may have read all of her books now! She keeps putting them out, but I may have a long wait for the next one.
I've actually contemplated getting a pair of snowshoes (a la Jody) so I can get some exercise outside during the winter. Very unlike me, but it might be an adventure. During our upcoming four day school break I may take the kids outside to play in the snow. They're starting to feel cooped up. The temps should be fairly mild.

I don't often post literary quotes here, but this one popped up in my email this morning and I thought it was very insightful. I get a daily C.S. Lewis excerpt in my email and some (most)of them are really good. Sometimes I post them on Facebook.

"Where we have traditional poetry there will be epithets and metrical devices which are the offspring of no single human temperament; wherever we have ancient poetry at all, there will be language which was commonplace to the writers but which time has turned into beauty; wherever we get misunderstanding – as in the common, beautiful, mistranslation of Virgil’s lacrimae rerum – there will be poetry that no poet wrote. Every work of art that lasts long in the world is continually taking on these new colours which the artist neither foresaw nor intended. We may, as scholars, detect and endeavor to exclude, them. We may, as critics, decide that such adventitious beauties are in a given case meretricious and trivial compared with those which the artist deliberately wrought. But all that is beside the purpose. Great or small, fortunate or unfortunate, they have been poetically enjoyed. And that is enough for my purpose. There can be poetry without a poet."
From The Personal Heresy by C.S. Lewis
God bless us every one, and everyone enjoy your particular weather wherever you may be! :)
Shalom for now!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Winter storm...

We got socked with over 12 inches of snow today! Of course, our school district didn't even bat an eye. I wasn't about to try to drive the girls to school in it. I didn't even think I could get out of our unplowed driveway. But Adam somehow managed to do the impossible and got the girls to school. Their van had a dead battery, which they are getting replaced tonight, so my car was the only option.
After getting the girls to school he was able to take the time to plow the driveway, but the snow continued and we're still getting some snow. School has been postponed two hours in the morning.

This picture was taken out my window after I had cleared about 6 inches of snow off of my car and Adam had returned from taking the girls to school.
Yay, Bobcat!

Slogging out to the birdfeeders was an experience, but worth it to attract a few birdies. Can you see the nuthatch on the upper left feeder?

 And there's a little woodpecker below the square suet feeder. There were a couple of small woodpeckers. (Downy?) No pileateds yet.
Here are a few photos of my house "in progress".  Every room needs repainting, walls and trim, but I'm going to postpone that until warmer weather when I can open all the windows. I tried painting the smaller bedroom and got almost finished, but I began to have what I believe was a reaction to the paint fumes. The paint is supposed to have no VOC's. (Am I saying that correctly? I should go check instead of guessing.) Anyway, I thought that meant no harmful fumes, but maybe it just means less? It seemed to effect my brain, causing me to be very forgetful and just out of it. The next day I felt "normal" again. (Whatever THAT is!) But I don't want to take any chances, so I'll gladly wait on the painting for now.

This is a big desk that takes up a corner of the living room. I plan to have it hauled away, but for the time being (since the kids have enough on their plates right now)  I'm going to use it for artwork. I hope I don't get too attached to it. I really need that wall for a couch!

Across the room from the desk is my cozy couch and computing spot.
 The big old recliner is going, too. I'll be getting a new one. See all the spackling on the walls and the large square where I tried out my new paint color? I'll just have to live with those until spring. I also have curtains to put up.
There's the desk on the left. The big TV on the wall belongs to the kids. They'll be taking that out and hopefully will be able to get my TV up and running at the same time. I'm not very tech savvy or very willing to learn! I also want to replace the carpet eventually. The living room is the only room that's carpeted.

Turning around, we find ourselves in the dining room/kitchen. I've been doing Micah's laundry because their washer/dryer isn't hooked up yet. That will happen soon, and they just got some of their electrical outlets fixed today, so their kitchen is fully functional. Baby steps! Everything will get done eventually.

To give you a reference, you can see one of the dining room chairs in the lower left. Some of the kitchen cabinets are still empty. I don't have enough stuff to fill them! Not a problem. I'm trying to declutter so they'll just have to stay empty! In addition to the cabinets you see here, there  are upper and lower cabinets at the end of the dining table, and more that wrap around from the stove into the living room. Lots of cabinets! I'm storing games and art supplies in some of them.
Kind of across from the refrigerator is the laundry room. The kids left me their older washer and dryer.
Then down the hallway to the first bedroom.
This is the bedroom I got mostly painted. I'm in the process of putting up some pictures. It's cozy, and I like it a lot, but the water softener is located in the closet and makes a lot of noise at night. I believe I'll end up doing my sleeping in the larger bedroom unless I have guests, in which case I'll put up with the water softener! :)
 A closeup of my little kantha quilt. Isn't it cheerful? This particular quilt is basically two pieces of fabric quilted together (solid red on the opposite side) without batting in between. It's more of a decorative coverlet. I've seen them made with some layers of cloth in between. I think it would be fun to make one of these. The simple stitching would be meditative.
My untidy bathroom... (circa 1995)
And then the larger bedroom. Right now it's just a storage place for stuff I haven't found a place for yet. But I'll be adding a bed soon for guests. As I said, painting and curtains will happen.
That's the grand tour. I'll try to remember to update you as I get things done.

Audrey and Hazel came over for a visit after school today. The electricians were working at their house, so I thought a couple of less kids at home would make things simpler. They saw that I was working on some ATCs, so I gave them a bunch of stickers that I've collected over the years and they went wild "creating" pictures with them.

 Some of the bits and pieces I was working with.
Resulting in these 8 APC's. (Artist Playing Cards)
I had intended to do drawings for the bird cards, but with the girls here it was easier to just do some collage. 
School's two hours late tomorrow. I'm only responsible for picking them up after school, so I shouldn't have to get up particularly early. Poor Adam and Micah keep having to put house finishing on the back burner just to keep cars running and snow plowed. This weather will pass, and little by little, I trust, things will be completed. Tomorrow they have to run to Fargo because Adam has purchased a truck. He's been borrowing an old, tired pickup from his dad, but really needs something dependable because he does a lot of heavy work. The one he's buying is used, but I pray it's in much better shape and will give him some good service for some time to come.

Life seems to be a series of happenings intended to test our faith and perseverance. Not a novel idea, I know. God is able to meet all of our needs. Every day we get more practice trusting Him.

You all stay warm and keep your eyes on Him.

Thursday, January 31, 2019


Well, we have another very cold morning, but it promises to get "up" to -8 or so later today. That sounds pretty tropical at the moment. Maybe I can even start my car and drive into Nevis for some coffee creamer!
Micah sounds like she's growing weary of rambunctious children on this third day of no school. Maybe when it gets warmer I'll bring Audrey and Hazel over here to play. We'll have to see how things pan out.

My washer doesn't seem to want to work. I'm hoping it's just something Adam can figure out later. Micah's washer and dryer aren't operational yet. They need to have the electricians come back and check out some wiring and they haven't come yet because of the extreme temps. We'll survive!

That's all for now. Just hibernating and enjoying the view!
Shalom, all!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A frosty morning.

We awoke to a frosty world for the second day in a row. Tomorrow should be "warmer". Only -4 or so. By the weekend it will be up in the 20's and 30's, so we can finish up our moving!

Here's how the world  looked this morning. We're nice and warm indoors, and nobody ventured out other than Adam to cut up some wood and stoke up the wood stove.

 I put up these feeders a few days before the extreme cold hit, but I haven't seen any birds. Are they all hiding from the cold? I'm not much of an expert on bird feeding, but we do have some birds that winter over here. Recently all I've seen are crows.

 This is where I'm hanging out! I still have the kids old leather furniture (and some toys) in my living room, so I threw a quilt over the couch to make it cozier. I found this quilt at the thrift store. The batting has separated and it's thin in places, but it makes a great couch throw. It's sort of a homely quilt, but some of the squares are pretty, and I like the overall effect. The colors don't look very vibrant in this picture, but it really is a cheerful quilt. I'll get my furniture moved in over the weekend when it warms up.
 This square is one of my favorites. It's like a denim material. I'd love a whole quilt made of this!

Jordan and Josh both texted this morning to check up on us. They live in warmer climes these days. Good to hear from them!

Got my taxes finished this morning. I was kind of dreading it. Don't know why. Mine are pretty simple. I just like to worry, I guess. DUMB!

Day before yesterday I painted my small bedroom. It was Pepto Bismol pink because it started out as a girls' room. I painted it a pale green. So pale it's almost white. I'll show pics when I get it more finished. It needs another coat and then I'll paint the trim. I was so sore and tired yesterday! It was more work than I realized!

Well, it's 2 p.m. and my stomach is telling me I haven't had lunch yet. Better go rustle up some grub!

God bless you all! Thanks for visiting!