Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday-12:15pm

Remember the cute baby cottontail bunny?
Now it is all grown up.  Well, at least a gangly teenager--LOL! 
I forgot to take pictures when I was over at McFamily's.  Dagan and Leah are helping me to switch banks, so I guess I was thinking about all those details...and just plain enjoying the company too much to remember.  :)  
****
Dagan brought me over to Gate City Bank (local bank that McFamily uses) on Thursday to open a checking account.  I'm finally switching from Wells Fargo which I've had since I moved here in 1999 (and been unhappy with since before I moved--long story).  The lady at Gate City even called and switched over my social security check deposit for me while I was there!  I just needed to talk with them to verify who I was.  How nice of them to do that!
****
Anyways, I am borrowing enough from Dagan and Leah to cover a month so that I have time to switch everything over and make sure all is coming out of the new account...then I can close out at Wells Fargo and pay back the loan.  Their generous idea.  Plus Leah said she'd help me go through and switch bank accounts on the automatic withdrawal payments...and set it up so the bank can mail checks for me to the companies that don't have automatic withdrawal.  I'd be almost paperless with my bills!  Feels weird.  Half of mine I write checks for and mail...or did.  
****
I went back over to their place Friday night--with paperwork and my laptop--and Leah worked on the switching over.  I still have a few to go.  I'm waiting for call back from Federal Housing (correct address for bank to mail rent check), apartment insurance has to be done over the phone (some companies won't allow it done online), and two more I need to double check on whether they have auto pay or get a correct address to mail a check to.  Goodness.  Honestly--I would never have done this on my own.  Leah's been encouraging me to switch banks since I moved and I never would have done it without her help.  Just soooo many details to change.
****
It's not like the old days when you physically deposited your check from work and you wrote out and mailed all your checks for bills.  You just switched.  Nobody you paid cared which bank was on the check, you know?  And there was no such thing as automatic withdrawals or automatic deposits...or online shopping, for that matter.  So, I'll be finishing up this coming week.  Whew!  We were working till 11:30pm when Liam was loudly sick and tired of waiting for Mama to feed him (Daddy couldn't distract any longer) and Gramma was too tired to continue--LOL!  I'll be so glad when everything is switched over, I'm basically paperless, and can close my Wells Fargo account!  :)
****
Oh, and I sent an email to Petco that included the picture.  They offered to replace or refund the kitty litter, but said if I wanted a replacement that it would be shipped in the same manner.  I opted for a refund.  They were quick to respond, but I still am leery about ordering from them again.  Nice they gave me a refund, though.  And they even included tax!
****
I got the pre-ordered drawing book yesterday (Amazon-from last month).  It is a beautiful book.  Can you see the gold embossing on the cover? 
Pretty. 
But there is not as much detail in the step-by-step instructions, as you can see. 
Some of them do have a couple more steps... 
...but she still jumps quickly from no detail to a LOT of detail, as you can see.
There are blank pages for practicing and the paper is thick-- almost glossy.
There aren't as many examples in this book, but they are much more intricate and realistic.  I will certainly be trying these.
****
Sorry about the shadows on these pictures.  Has been dark and damp here lately and my camera always makes a shadow.  BUT--I almost forgot to show you what I had done with those last two drawing books. 
 I took a Clairfontaine Triomphe writing tablet and copied a flower or leaf from the books down on the bottom of each page and colored it. 
I only have three sheets left to show you. 
I forgot to take pictures and all the rest of the pages have been written on and mailed away.  Now it's time to get out the drawing books, a new tablet, and do it again.  :)  And, no--I haven't done any decorating in my bullet yet.  Talk about moving slowly lately, eh? 
****
I do have to do some Gramma bragging, though.  When I was there on Friday late I got to go up and help Daddy put Ian to bed.  Ian showed me how he brushes his teeth and gets his own pajamas on...and then it was time for a bedtime story.  Well, Dagan had told me how Ian has a book memorized--but I was thinking it was like Red Fish, Blue Fish--something simple like that, right?  
****
Ian "read" to me--told me the story--clearly--word for word--Night-Night, Forest Friends!!  Which has pages like:  
"Papa Rabbit whispers, 'Hush,' and tucks his babies into beds of brush."
(Which Gramma had to look up on Amazon because she can't remember, of course--see link above.)
**** 
Leah told me Ian has another longer book memorized, too, but so many of the pages begin similarly (good morning, good afternoon, etc) that he forgets which one starts which page sometimes but he knows the rest by heart.  Can we say Gramma was very, very impressed!!  I believe Gramma's mouth was hanging open for most of the story--ROFL!  ;)
****
Anyways, was so stiff and sore yesterday from being out and about two days in a row that I had a total R&R day--caught up on Shameless on Netflix but that was about it.  Today--better.  Am doing laundry.  It's a chilly day, sun is shining, washer is churning, Annie is hiding behind the end table waiting for the birds to come back so she can jump out at them again, feels like fall, and I am off to do some calligraphy drills.  Have a great week.  :)
****
"Help me to be less fearful of the measure of time, and more fully alive in the time that simply is.  Help me to live time, not just to simply use it: to breathe it in, and return it in acts of love and presence."
Avis Crowe

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday-noon

Thought I should do a quick post since I forgot to let you know that my mom did stay in Minnesota.  They now have tickets to go down on the 22nd.  Mom talked to a neighbor in Florida and was told her trailer looked okay.  Whew!  It's in Polk County in Winter Haven and they had possibly 100 mph winds from what I saw on TV that night.
****
Also, Janie Junebug is fine down in Jacksonville but wants people to know she has no internet connection even though their electricity is back on.  Backyard lake isn't even as bad as it has been other times--whoohoo!  
****
So grateful that Irma wasn't as strong as they thought.  She did so much damage as it was.  Texas and Florida will have a long haul ahead of them getting back to normal.  The islands might never be the same.  I hope this was the worst of it...since Jose is apparently weakening.  Never know what the future holds. 
****
Happy, ordinary news up here.  Annie has started to come up for some closer-contact time! 
She either jumps up on the arm of the chair or comes up from the footrest so that I will give her a quick cuddle and then she's been settling in on the chair arm for a while.  I think she's stayed as long as ten minutes! 
****
Petco was a fail.  Like I said, I have never ordered from them online before.  Took ten days to get here and this is how it arrived. 
Took me 40 minutes just to dig out all the toys and get them out of their packaging.  Even the ones that were inside of a bag--the bags were opened and full of kitty litter.  It looked like UPS had sealed the entire box with clear packing tape because it was leaking all over the place.  I don't know how much kitty litter is missing.  I'll have to wait for Dagan to come over to help me to actually get the bag out of the box and into my litter container.  
****
Yup--Petco was a total fail for me.  Not ordering from them again.  At least not kitty litter--LOL!  I've been ordering the same kitty litter through Amazon for years and have never had a broken bag, so I guess I'll stick with them.
****
Leah sent me some pics of Liam.
I will probably be over there for another visit this week. 
Big babies have such fat cheeks...just want to kiss them.  Well, grandmas do--LOL! 
****
Been hot up here.  AC days.  Supposed to hit 90 today.  Won't last long, of course.  Fall will be back.  Me?  I'm one of those people who can hardly wait for the cooler weather and turning leaves.  :)
****
Hope to blog again pretty soon.  Trying to post more frequently so I don't have those super long posts--LOL!  :)
****
My thoughts and prayers are with all the people dealing with the violent events occurring all over our world.  So much of it lately.
****
"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.  In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things.  The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome."
Isabel Allende

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Thursday-10:30am

Back again, do you believe it?!
Fall weather--my favorite time of year.  The grouse are here every day again.  Here they are digging in the grass for who knows what.  I guess nobody really likes the cracked corn in the wild bird seed.
The sparrows are flocking up.  Usually 20-30 of them together now. 
You can tell Annie has street cred and used to have to kill her own food.  For days she's been hiding behind the end table, waits until the flock of sparrows is nibbling away, then she dive bombs the screen and they all fly away in a panic.  Annie slinks quickly back behind the end table (because she knows I don't really like her doing that--LOL!)  She and the sparrows do this all day long.  Annie wants to sink her teeth into one so badly.
****
Annie must be a little intimidated by the bigger grouse, though, because she has never tried to lunge at the screen to scare them when they come to eat.  On the other hand, the ground squirrel will fill its pouches inches from Annie's face and look right at her--LOL!  Obviously smarter and has apparently figured out that the cat can't reach her so she seldom will be fooled into running away.       
****
Been putting out food at least twice a day now that everybody is trying to fatten up or build up hibernation supplies.  I've seen ground squirrels gathering grass after they have mowed here.  So cute!!  They grab as much of the clippings as they can into their mouth and then race, head held high, off to line their dens.  Clipped grass is perfect!  I never thought of that.
****
Been in the 50s at night!  Love it!  Snuggling up under the covers when it is nippy--ahhh!  I sleep a lot better than when it is hot.  Wonder how long the flowers will last as it gets colder at night?
****
On Tuesday I got an invite to McFamily's for a visit.  Dagan had an eye doctor appointment and could come by and pick me up--well, you betcha!  This time I got to hold little Liam--who was awake the whole time this first time when Leah took some pictures.  Ian wanted to climb up and sit with us, of course.  :)
Ian had just gotten up from a nap and had wild curls on the back of his head. 
We chatted and I tickled Ian's neck and rubbed his shoulder.  Liam was quietly watching all he could take in. 
I stayed most of the day until after Ian went to bed.  Read to Ian for a long time, ate dinner there (Gramma being there at mealtime is very distracting for Ian--LOL!--not used to it), got to hold Liam again for a while, and give Ian a hug and kiss goodnight...was a wonderful visit.
****
Ian will get more used to me being over there because I'll be going over to their place for visits for a while.  Dagan and Ian will come over here for visits, too, though.
****
Oh, since Annie loves to scare the birds and spends her days stalking the patio, I thought I'd try buying a feathery toy for her.  
These came in a set of two.  I thought they were mice with feather tails, but I think they are supposed to be fish--LOL!  She plays with them!  I was so delighted to have an 8 year old cat leaping about the living room that I ordered a bunch of cat toys with feathers on (she had no interest in balls even though she loves her spinner ball thingie).  Petco had a Labor Day sale and since I needed kitty litter anyways...I ordered a whole bunch of feather toys for Annie.  
****
Why so many?  
Well, there's a method to my madness, as they say.  It's because in no time they disappear under the furniture and I have a heck of a time getting them back out.  With the bad left hip and knees that are swollen all the time (arthritis)--getting down on the floor is quite a painful task.  Now I can put down a toy or two until I run out and they are all under the furniture--LOL!  When Dagan, Ian, or Caroline come over they will need to be Annie's toy hunters.  Then we'll start all over again.  ;)
****
Dagan took two weeks off to be able to help Leah out for a while, like he did when Ian was born.  He and Ian are planning on coming over for some Gramma time soon.  We are going to start watching Sesame Street (Ian seemed to love that the time we watched an old one I found on youtube), and then after he can try to draw the numbers and letters or play with his toys or color or who knows what.  :)  We're playing it by ear.  
****
We would like to try to get in some art & craft time...but if he's bursting with energy and wants to play with his cars and trucks, that's fine.  Kind of hoping to keep it up at least once a month and eventually it be a special Sesame Street and/or art & craft time at Gramma's.  I'll have to dig out my old notes for stuff to make and do when I was a day care teacher.  :)  We already know he loves play-dough--LOL!
****
 Me--been having quiet days with Annie.  Only doing what I have to for a while--except for practicing my calligraphy drills.  Discovered I was two years behind on watching Shameless, so have slowly been catching up...interspersed with some BBC historical documentaries, PBS Endeavor, and youtube videos.  
****
I wonder if my mom and Blaine will be able to fly Mom home to Florida as scheduled tomorrow?  I hope they can switch tickets and wait a week or so.  May be that the flights are all cancelled anyways.  Blaine is checking into it.  This hurricane sounds just deadly!  Mom lives in central Florida, Eileen (our old neighbor across the street when we were kids) lives on the east coast, and Mom's cousin, Carol, lives on the west coast--so Mom is watching the weather closely.  Prayers for everyone.  I don't have regular TV so I need to find a good weather source online, I guess, to keep track.  This sure looks to be a terrible hurricane season.  
****
I feel guilty having these wonderful, fall days of peace and tranquility.  But I am extremely grateful for them.  :):)
****
I hope everyone is well, safe, and happy.
****
"It is a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen.  But you need enough hope to keep going.  I am trying to make hope.  Flowers grow out of darkness."
Corita Kent

Monday, September 04, 2017

Monday-12:45pm

Leah and Liam!  :)
 He was about 4 1/2 hours old.
Lots of dark hair. 
Meeting Grandma with phone in front of her face--LOL! 
Dagan had picked up Ian first and left him with Mama and Liam while he dropped off Aaron (Leah's brother) at home and cam to pick me up.  Ian greeted me with the exciting fact of the day--"Gramma!  He just came out! He just came out!"  (He and daddy had been telling Mama's overdue baby belly--"Come out--we want to meet you!")
****
I'm not sure he quite knows what to think of this new sibling yet, but they will all be going home this afternoon so things will settle into the new routine.   
McFamily photos! 

Liam (9 lb 8 oz) was smaller than Ian (10 lb 9 oz) even though he was about a week overdue.  A good thing.  And Liam took a massively shorter time getting here (a little over 6 hours vs. Ian's 69 hours).  An excellent thing.  So very, very happy for them all.  :)
**** 
Other than a crazy day in the 90s yesterday, it has been feeling like fall already.  The grackles must have gone south a couple weeks ago...along with the geese.  The sparrows are flocking up.  My flowers are still looking pretty good. 
These were shot through the screen, as you can tell. 
I have absolutely loved having them this year and will have flower boxes again next year for sure! 
I made up a what's-left-in-the-pantry-and-freezer soup...well more of a stew, as it turned out.  Some frozen veggies, canned beans, brown rice, soy hamburger, crushed tomatoes, and spices.  Tastes a whole lot better than it looks--LOL!
Today I'm doing laundry and plan to start an online calligraphy class--first month is free.  If I like it I can keep going through February for $12 a month. (Well, you have one day each month to sign up for the $12 and then it's back up to regular price of $24).  I've wanted to learn how to do the brush calligraphy they do these days plus how to use my oblique pen holder.  This course starts with the very basic strokes and she has worksheets for both smaller strokes and larger so I can use it for small brush pens, large brush pens, or a dip pen.  Cool!  I'll see how I like it and if I can keep up doing my 15-20 minutes a day on my worksheets.  ;)
****
Annie has been coming up to sit with me in my chair every single day since she first surprised me.  She's still quite skittish otherwise, but isn't darting away quite as far and I can walk by closer than previously before she scoots away. 
She's even taken to jumping up on the arm of the chair the past two days so I will give her an actual cuddle before she kind of slithers down onto the footrest.  Very quick cuddle.  Maybe 30-60 seconds.  But she's asking for that tiny bit of closer contact.  Whatever Shy Annie can handle is okay with me.  :)
****
Annie spends most of her day watching the birds and the ground squirrels. 
Does my heart good to see her looking so relaxed.  As long as I don't step foot in the living room--hehe!
****
Well, buzzer went off.  Got to go deal with clothes.  Have a nice Labor Day those in the US.  We're having a nice Post-Labor Day here--LOL!
****
"How many times have you noticed that it's the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?"
Fred Rogers

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sunday-8am: It's a boy!

This fine young man...seen here on Friday afternoon building a car wash on the coffee table...
...(and who proudly announced first thing he saw me last time...
"Gramma!  I'm wearing underpants!")...
...is now a big brother!! 
****
Ian's baby sibling arrived this morning!
Liam Samuel McGregor
7:13am
9 lb 8 oz
22 inches
****
So exciting!!!
****
Mama and baby are doing fine.  :) :)
Gramma will get over to meet Liam some time today.
****
"Do not say, 'it is morning', and dismiss it with a name of yesterday.  See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name."
Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday-1pm

No.  McBaby has not picked out a birthday yet.  ;)  Soon, though.  I'll let you know.
****
I was sick again.  Felt like a relapse?  Almost the same as last time but milder.  So--haven't gotten much done.  But I did color up two of the five covers that came with the dot grid paper PDF I ordered from Boho Berry. 
I didn't even sew these together.  Just slid them under the elastic like I have seen other people do...
 ...and it worked like a charm.  
I may stitch them together later and maybe not.  
Depends on whether what ends up inside is worth keeping or not.  
****
The biggest news over here was on Sunday night...Annie suddenly jumped up on the arm of my chair!  I put my arms around her, sweet talked, petted and scratched.  Let her move down on to the footrest...AND SHE STAYED!!!
****
Here she was rubbing her face on the corner of the laptop table. 
I kept a hand on her for some time and talked to her so she'd know I wanted her there. 
SHE ACTUALLY FELL ASLEEP!! 
This was so shocking that I had to text a picture to Dagan and Leah...and they were as shocked as I was.  So NOT Annie.  How unexpectedly delightful!!
****
I knew Annie was slowly trusting me more.  First she would go into the pantry to eat when I was still standing in the kitchen.  Then when I give her her canned food treat in the evening she would wait outside the pantry and be within a couple feet of me as I walked out before she scooted in to gobble down that yummy treat.  
****
But something must have changed for her on Sunday because that was the first day she followed me INTO the pantry while I set down her plate--albeit against the wall as far away from me as she could get--LOL!
****
You may remember I had picked her up that time and she wouldn't come near me even for drive-by pets while I sat in the kitchen chair (which was the only thing she ever had done voluntarily for contact) for weeks.  So I just gave her her space.  She finally came for drive-by pets again--if I didn't stand up or make any sudden moves.  I have invited her almost every night to come and sit with me...but she's never looked the least bit interested.  Suddenly on Sunday night she jumped up on the arm of the chair!!  
****
ANNIE STAYED FOR OVER THREE HOURS!!!
****
From some time before 7pm till 10pm I was afraid to get up to close the blinds, or get something to drink, or go to the bathroom...but finally I thought I was going to pee my pants and had to get out of the chair.  Annie jumped down and hid on a chair in the studio.  I wondered if that would be that?  Would she do it again?
****
Monday night she showed no interest in visiting.  But after I had gotten up around 9pm...when I came back she laid herself down on the floor right in front of the chair.  I wondered if she wanted me to pick her up?  Yup--shock!  She didn't run away when I leaned over, let me pick her up, buried her head in the crook of my arm, and didn't run away as I settled into the chair.  Then she wanted to go lay on the footrest--OMGosh!  She stayed about an hour and then just suddenly left.
****
Last night...Annie jumped right up on the footrest and settled right down.  She'd been there about an hour or more when I really had to go to the bathroom.  I went to put the footrest down and she tried to stay in the chair--LOL!  Backed up into my lap--ROFL!  I lifted her down and told her I'd be right back...figuring I had ruined the evening snuggle time.  But I came back, got settled in, and here she came back again!!  Stayed for quite a while and then took off.
****
So--Annie McGregor must have decided I am a fairly safe human to live with--LOL!  I am over the moon!  I never honestly ever, ever expected her to sit with me.  She's around eight years old and has never been one to voluntarily do anything but her drive-by pets.  This is like a new Annie!  And I liked her fine before.  :)  Always said she was a gentle soul.  
****
Annie and I are bonding.
****
But something that didn't work out for me--LOL!  I was curious about these activity/sleep tracking bracelets and had been talking to Leah about buying a cheap one.  She had one that she hasn't worn for months and said I could borrow it to see if I liked them.  Hers is a Jawbone UP--and she set it up for me in my phone.
****
But three out of seven days it didn't work or only recorded part of the day or night.  No clue why because I had it smashed down tight on my arm so it had contact all the time.  (In fact, I was getting a rash.)  It was fun when it was working, but tiresome when it wasn't.  
I decided to send it back to Leah before I ruined it.  I remembered that I used to kill watches when I was young.  They would just stop working--no clue why.  To the point where for years I had to wear a pendant watch around my neck at jobs where I needed to keep track of time.  That seemed to get better years later--or my body energy approved of my cheap Mickey Mouse watch??  Just in case...since I seemed to be stopping the bracelet randomly...I have it ready to send back.
****
Does anyone know if watches or these kind of devices can have magnets in them?  My body doesn't appreciate magnets, either...or copper.
****
Anyways, just waiting to hear when Leah goes into labor.  Getting excited to hear that everyone is okay and if it is a boy or girl.  :) :)
****
 Oh, and I was delighted to see a new flock of grouse show up a couple days ago!
Seven of them!   
I've missed them.  Haven't seen them all summer...or the jackrabbits...and the baby bunny hasn't been around for a couple weeks.  
****
Ground squirrel is here every day.  I know there are two of them because one is quite a bit bigger.  Yesterday a different very skinny young thing tried to come and nibble there on the patio and--OMG!  There was a wild chase scene!!  Ground squirrels are territorial and obviously the big one that is here every day is the boss.  They raced with bouncing leaps across the grass--back and forth.  I know who won...even if they raced out of view--LOL!  My well-fed little pal is here every day.  Wonder why she let's the one smaller one eat here?  Mate?  I assume the bigger one is the female if they are a pair.  She looked pregnant in the spring...and possibly again now.  ;)
****
So that's it from Fargo for now.  I'm on the upswing again.  Just taking it easy and waiting for McFamily news.  And hoping everyone will be okay down south with the hurricane flooding that is increasing now.  Be safe and well!  :)
****
"Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday-12:30pm

Over two weeks again--good grief!  Let's just say I was very busy (sewing mostly), was stressed over the dentist appointment, had a family visit from Minneapolis, and more or less collapsed for a few days--LOL!  But here I am.  Sadly, was so shot that I forgot to take pictures of the family visit...but you know I have a few pics to share after two weeks.  ;)
****
I have not made it down for the CCCgroup on Thursdays for three weeks (sewing and then dentist) but I did make it down for library day a couple weeks ago.  (Rented an audio book I could listen to while I sewed.)  Back then the goose with the bad foot was still here and being fed and given water down at the other building.  She had been almost healed the week before but then she was limping badly again.  I haven't seen her for almost two weeks OR found evidence left behind from visits for water.  When family was here we drove past the culverts a couple blocks away and the hundreds of geese were down to maybe 20-25--so maybe she took off with the rest of them?  I will probably find out more when I can finally make it down to library and possibly CCC this week (if it is still going).
****
All the birds and critters were thrilled that the goose wasn't spending all that time down here anymore.
Don't they look happy?
I even caught a picture of Annie watching a ground squirrel, the baby bunny, and a sparrow all there at the same time.
Way back--three Saturdays ago--right after I posted last time--Annie jumped up and laid on the footrest of the big comfy chair right between my legs!  Shock!  She didn't stay but a few minutes and was quite ill at ease--but she did it once, so who knows?!!  I was shocked and delighted.  And I am patient.  ;)
****
I've been away so long--these are the dangle doodling books I ordered the beginning of the month.  Haven't had a chance to try them yet, but hopefully pretty soon.  :)
I was mostly sewing...
...and sewing.  
Was determined to get all of Leah's pads and pantyliners finished before my dentist appointment on the 17th.  And I did--whoohoo!!  :) :)
Leah got all the snaps on them and took them home.  All 36 of them!!  
****
I think I'll wait a while before I work on mine.  In the meantime, I have a few to try to see what size and fabrics I like the best.  Have one more to put together, actually, before I can put the sewing machine away for a while.  
****
We've had some beautiful days...many cloudy, rainless days...some dribble days...a couple of steady rain days...days needing the AC on because it was so hot...days I relented and put the AC on when it wasn't that hot but the 90% humidity got to me...and gorgeously perfect days.  Can't complain.  
The big exciting thing I ordered this month--thanks to Dagan and Leah letting me skip a monthly payment (I'm always paying them back for things they pick up for me)--that really took my mind off the dentist stress...an A5 cover from ChicSparrow.com!!
Even engraved with "soulcomfort" on the front down in the bottom right hand corner.
My bullet fits inside...
...and there's room for three inserts, too.
I didn't like white elastic (gets dirty so fast) so I ordered some black from them.  Had to string the elastic through the back of the bullet (Leuchtturm1917) anyways.  I am loving the new weekly spread...
...and I LOVE the new cover!!!
It's a Mr. Darcy classic (no pockets) in Titanic color (turquoise).
****
I was surprised that she sent along some little goodies, too.  This sticker with the flowers and bird (stuck in the front of the bullet--will probably write name and number inside).
Not a surprise--sticker with company name on, but also one with a beautifully drawn feather.  Stuck these on the back side of the bullet and dated so I'll remember when the cover came.
And she even sent a leather coaster!
This was a big purchase for me, but I figured that I have been using the bullet system for over 2 1/2 years now and love it more all the time so I will get years and years of use out of this.  And I wanted one because I can make inserts I can keep inside with my bullet (there are four elastic strands inside and I'm only using one for the bullet)...to keep more permanent lists, more transient lists, scribble notes, brain dumping, or even put in a drawing or watercolor insert if I wanted.  I can make inserts that have pockets, too, if I want to.
****
It would be nice to have my list of baby steps for making pads permanently in an insert, for example.  I have had to re-write it already from bullet to bullet.  So for anything like that...now I will have inserts!  I know--love to be organized--LOL!  ;)
****
Saturday the 12th my mom, brother Blaine and his wife Kathy drove up for their annual visit.  We had such a nice time.  Mom wanted to see my flowers--and approved.  (She's a flower lover from way back.) We drove over to McFamily's, had pizza, looked at pictures of Blaine and Kathy's travels, and old photos from the 1930s Mom brought with she borrowed from her cousin Carol.  Ian wanted Gramma to read him books and somehow an hour flew by before his bedtime.  Ian even wanted me to come up while he got ready for bed and to say goodnight, which he's never asked before.  We hadn't seen each other for quite a while.  So, got to see all kinds of family that day.  Sweet! 
****
But did I remember to take any pictures?  Nope.  Darn it!
****  
Back to sewing...
I got all the red ones finished...       
...and really pushed it to get all the brown and red ones done, too, to surprise Leah when she came over for a craft night last Tuesday.
Three different sizes. 
 Leah got all the snaps on that night so she could take them home.
Leah, Ian and I went to PetSmart late on that same Tuesday afternoon--after Caroline was here to clean and Ian got up from his nap.  Ian was enthralled by all the fish, rodents, and birds.  We picked out a betta (mostly Gramma did because Ian was glued to the long row of fish tanks bubbling away).

By the time we got done it was time for Dagan to get off work so he met us at my place and we picked up Hardee's for dinner.  We ate while the betta floated for 15 minutes.  Ian was happy he got to help dump "Bubbles the 18th" into the bowl.  (I believe that is what number we are up to--LOL!)
****
Then Dagan took Ian home and Leah stayed for craft night.  I wanted to know if it was possible to print vertical lines--you know, the long way on a piece of paper?  (Leah is familiar with the alien world of Excel.)  Yes!!!!
****
So we printed off sheets of paper printed on both sides...
...that I can fold to use to make lined inserts!!! 
I was thrilled!!  We even made them with colored lines!  Blue, turquoise, brown, gray...so cool!!
****
The next day--this was this last Wednesday--I totally collapsed.  Hadn't been sleeping very well...thinking about the dentist pulling the make-shift tooth out.  But the new bullet cover and all the sewing kept me very busy, thank goodness.
****
Thursday.
****
Dentist day.
****
So many years ago that I can't remember (in the 80s I think) the tooth next to my front tooth had root canal work done and was capped.  Let's just say that I have had quite a few horrible experiences with dentists.  I do like the dentist I have had these past years--Dr. Coffey.  He's very nice, knows what he's doing, has a beautifully furnished waiting room, knows how to administer Novocaine properly and isn't reluctant to use it.  ;)
****
But when I first moved up here from Minneapolis in 1999 to Moorhead, Minnesota across the river there was only one older dentist listed in the area who would take Medicaid...and he was HORRIBLE!!  He was the roughest, rudest, meanest dentist--well, person, for that matter--I have ever dealt with.  His wife was the only other person in the office.  She was the receptionist, dental assistant, and his all-around additional whipping boy.  (I would say scapegoat, but that's way to mild a description.)  I say "additional" because he treated all humans with equal disdain.  He appeared to treat no one but people on Medicaid (no surprise) and likely the only person who would work for him was his silent, defeated, hangdog wife.
****
His tiny waiting room was dirty with worn plastic chairs, a dusty half destroyed plastic plant in the corner, and three bent wire hangers on a dented pole.  No one hung up anything.  People clung to their coats and purses.  I have never been in a waiting room where people scooted out in a panic before their names were called just listening to the dentist shout and berate...and people whose names were called volunteered to let anyone else go first.  I am not joking.  It freaked me out before I even met him.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Like a bad movie!
****
The dentist complained the entire time you were in his chair...about the fact he was required by law to wear gloves now, the gloves made it hard for him to work properly, which was the fault of those people with aides and diseases...no one else will even work on you people, you should be glad you are even here, I'm not wasting any more Novocaine on you, they don't pay me enough to work on you people, open wider, I said open wider, I swear you people are so stupid you can't follow simple instructions, be glad I will deal with you at all, don't move, stop shaking, you people moving cause mistakes to happen, it's your own fault, quit drooling (he hated saliva but he hated his wife sucking it out of your mouth more and getting in his way so he stuck those cotton rolls up under your lips--thinking it absorbed saliva and--added bonus--made it harder for us to talk...not that anyone wanted to).  I don't know why I do this at all, you people don't appreciate anything...all the while barking orders and complaints at his wife.  He was rough--really rough.  Physically and verbally.
**** 
After one time in his chair I understood why people chickened out before they were called.  I felt it down to my bones why people tried to trade away their time slot because they needed more time to get up their nerve to walk back there...and why this wasn't an unusual occurrence for his wife-receptionist who didn't bat an eye at the sudden appointment trades.  
****
I had a couple of cavities and he made it very clear that he would only spend 15 minutes on each client (victim)--so I had to come back to get the second one filled.  (I'm sure he could collect more money that way.)  
****
Second visit--he was filling that other cavity, pushing, bumping, banging against my teeth, as he had the time before...when he suddenly stopped talking.  (Let's be honest--it wasn't talking, it was bitching and verbal degradation.)  Anyways, the sudden silence made his wife lift her head...and that was also unusual.  He muttered something to her instead of barking it at full volume.  He drilled and messed with the cavity--grunting and sighing, but he was too quiet.  Next thing he was pushing up against my front teeth?  Complaining I had taken too long, I was rushed out of the room (nothing unusual there).  I'm thinking--with great relief--that I am done for now.  Cavities filled and had no intentions of going back for...years!
****
I get home and notice this thin gray line kind of oozing out from the gum on that next to the front capped tooth.  What the heck?!
****
In a matter of hours the tooth fell out!!  You could tell it had broken off at the gum line and he'd tried to cement it back on.  I knew he had been rough and it hurt, but it had the time before, too.  This tooth had no nerve, so it hurt when he broke it off, but not like a good tooth would, you know?  
****
I had to call his office back...he made me wait a week without a front tooth.  (I bought Polygrip and was very quiet that week at college--LOL!).  He tried to blame it on me for jerking my head around!  I calmly informed him that I had not moved...at all.  Asked him why he didn't tell me he'd broken the tooth off and had tried to hide it?  He grumbled and muttered, but never answered me.  (Might be the only reason he tried to do anything with it at all?)
****
He took the capped tooth, drilled out the center of it as best he could (complaining the whole time how hard it was to do with gloves on), put cement inside the tooth, cut a post (didn't want to waste much wire on me because other dentists told me it was too short of a post), stuck the post inside the broken off tooth, impatiently waited for it to set (hated to wait for Novocaine to work, either, and started too soon), and then pushed the tooth up in there...and rushed me out.  All the while telling me how grateful I should be that he was even doing this at all because the state wouldn't pay for a tooth to be replaced and he could have left me toothless.
****
It fell out--can't remember how long it took--a couple weeks?
****
He was really angry that I was back.  Kind of pounded it back in, reminded me how grateful I should be that he bothered with me at all, told me not to use that tooth, and not to come back if it did fall out because he wasn't going to deal with it again.  
****
I thought I had been babying it, but now I did even more so.  By the time it fell out again they had opened a new family clinic that took Medicaid in Fargo that had rotating dentists.  Hallelujah!!  I got a nice young dentist who did a much better job of pounding it back in (probably because he gave me Novocaine).  He seemed worried it would just fall right out again and said I probably couldn't get a tooth if it wouldn't stay in.  Let's just say he didn't seem confident I would have the tooth for long.  I think this was somewhere around 2001-2002? 
****
I have obviously been babying it for many years.  Dr. Coffey thought I must have hit it or done something to cause it to come loose after all this time when I haven't done anything different, you know?  Truth is, Ian bonked me right in the teeth when I was picking him up one day sitting in the kitchen chair here and I think that might have been what knocked it loose.  I couldn't think of anything at the time, but later I remembered the hard tooth bang from Ian a couple weeks before I felt it was really loose.  Not his fault, regardless.  It was amazing that tooth has stayed in all these years.
****
So, Thursday was T-Day.  
****
It didn't take much to pull it right out.  He couldn't drill the tooth/cap out to replace the short peg wire.  Not sure if the root has a fracture or not--couldn't tell by the x-ray.  So what he did was drill around the peg to make the surface rough, cleaned up around the gum line, roughed up the root around the gum , and used a tooth bonding material to attach the make-shift tooth back up on to the root and cleaned it all up afterwards.  Dr. Coffey didn't seem any more confident afterwards than the other nice rotating dentist did.  Told me--"Remember, this is for show not go...baby it...baby it".  I told him I have been babying it for about fifteen years, so I am used to doing that.  Hopefully it will last a long, long time.   
****
So, I have my make-shift tooth back.      

After the dentist Leah treated us to Dairy Queen ice cream (me and Ian).  I  was on soft food, no chewing, and warm salt water rinses for a few days.  We went out in the garage to re-pot Baby Phil and Ivy.
 Ivy is temporarily over on Ian's toy shelves.
Baby Phil had lost so many leaves he was 3/4 just stems and he needed some fertilizer, too.  Normally I would have chopped him up but Leah said we could wrap all the stems around and around and bury them under the dirt. 
I'd never done that before, so she helped me with that.  He's looking pretty good! 
****
So, that's the last couple weeks.
****
I have a tooth--for however long.  Done with Leah's sewing and got the plants re-potted.  All the "time sensitive" projects are done!!  Was super sore--therefore not sleeping well and super tired--but some R&R days are beginning to work their magic.  It feels so good that I don't have anything that has to be done--tada!  Not that I don't have a ton of plans, of course, for when I am feeling my oats again...but it is just the usual daily stuff and R&R for now.  I'm glad I have finally blogged!!  I've had to take breaks and it is now almost 5pm--but I am done and you are all caught up.
****
Leah is due one week from today!!!!
The new baby sibling has dropped.  Locked and loaded.  Any time now.  I will let you know when the baby decides it is time to join McFamily.  Oh, and this time Leah is going to the hospital right off because she has a midwife who also delivers--best of both worlds.  :)
****
And Miss Annie...I think she likes it here.  She doesn't run as far away when I stand up.  She seems to miss me when I am gone (although that could be wishful thinking--LOL!).  One day I had to laugh...Annie will sit right by the open patio screen door and isn't bothered at all by a big goose, the riding lawn mower, people walking dogs--big or small...but one day she heard little kids laughing and squealing...and she was under the bed in a flash--ROFL!!  So I know she'll be happier here with me.  ;)
****
I hope none of you have horrible dentist stories (that was only one of mine).  I wouldn't wish them on anyone.  And I am sooooo grateful that Dr. Coffey still takes Medicaid because since Trump got into office I was told by my worker that "North Dakota lost a whole bunch of dentists who decided not to take Medicaid anymore".  Thank you, Dr. Coffey!!  
****
Have a wonderful week!
Count your blessings!!
Big smile!!!!
Much love from Fargo.  :) :)
****
"When you do things from your soul, the river itself moves through you.  Freshness and a deep joy are signs of the current."
Rumi