Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ping Ping Ping

I have managed my life, thus far, without a cell phone. I really don't miss it, though how can you miss something you've never had?

There were times I wished I had one. Like when I'm out and want to check in with friends or family, to see if they're home and up for a visit.

I suppose it would be handy to have a cell phone in case of car trouble or some other kind of emergency. You know, be a Boy Scout and Be Prepared.

For the most part I would want a cell phone for the camera. It's awkward to carry a real camera around with you, and a phone is so much smaller.

But now I have an i pad, and I can text, face time and take pictures. Okay, it's not small like a camera but it still fits my purse.

What I can't get used to is the frequent and repeated "pings" calling for my attention.

I was snuggled into bed the other night, the i pad over by the sofa, recharging, when I heard it ping. Got up and went to answer the text from my daughter. I waited a few minutes and when it seemed she wasn't going to send any further communications, I went back to bed.

Nice and comfy, and it went again. "Ping". Back up and texting back. Now we're having general conversation, and I finally called it quits, said I was going back to bed and staying there.

It works both ways. I did a little project for my daughter, and wanted her input so took a few pictures and forwarded them to her. She'd been asleep, woke long enough to give me her opinion in a couple of words (a first for her LOL) and said she was going back to sleep. Oops. Sorry.

Even as I write this I've been pinged twice. Make that three times.

I like the quick text conversations with the kids and grandkids, the face time at Christmas, but sometimes I miss being the great unreachable. Still am when out as I need WIFI for the i pad, so it's not quite the same as a cell phone.

Still, it's fun and I'm learning many new tasks. And I love that I can use it in bed, for Facebook, Pinterest or games. My usage has gone way up which was never an issue before, so I may have to switch my plan to unlimited.

"Ping". Gotta go, someone's pinging for my attention.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Good Intentions...Waylaid

I can't say that I've been that busy over the last few weeks, but I've been home, trying to get some things sorted out. Spring cleaning in the deep freeze of winter, to be exact.

The funny thing is that I'm doing all this sorting and cleaning before my new housekeeper starts. Crazy, I know.

I had a week when Velma was visiting some family, Velma being my van of course. So I was without wheels, and decided to dive in with some long needed projects. Well, that was the plan at least.

I sorted through clothes, and finally threw out the old black T-shirt covered in paint. Which led me to pulling out a canvas and beginning a new painting. It's still sitting on the table, as I make changes, then leave it so I can think about where I want to go with it.

This planning is why the mess of paints, brushes, mediums and papers cover the table and some of the kitchen counter.

I've been sorting through my file bin of papers, initially looking for photos of angel statues, thinking I might use them in my current art piece. But I got waylaid. This file contained all the patterns, notes and samples of previous projects.

Like the kids' calendar I was going to do with a story related through the twelve months. I completed some of the pen and ink artwork, some pencil sketches. The idea was to have it all in black and white to make it a coloring book calendar.

I found stencils made for a series of toddler T-shirts, ages 1 through 4. I have the stencils and patterns for murals painted on the grandchildren's bedroom walls.

I must have been into calendars because I once did twelve pen and ink wreaths, with calligraphy quotes.

I found the book I started in 1986, after my divorce. A book of poetry and prose about learning to be alone, a single Mom, beginning again.

Also found the book I started about the years before that divorce, when this city girl learned, often the hard way, how to live on the farm.

And I found two short stories I must have written long ago, printed copies with my friend Connie's edits. I don't think these stories exist anywhere but in these paper copies, so this was a good thing.

Found the angel photos, rejected that idea and moved on to plan B. I hope I can get it finished before my girl comes to clean, if not she'll have to work around it. The creative process can not be hurried.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Good Start to the New Year

My new year has gotten off to a good start. First, I'm very pleased and proud to have this blog hit 30,000 views. Readers are from around the world, the top five countries being the United States, Canada, Russia, France and Germany.

I get as excited with this as I did when I received a letter from a pen pal when I was a young girl.

Today, being garbage day, is the day I try to pretend I'm Suzy Homemaker and am going to spend the day cleaning. I usually get a few chores done but I definitely won't win any awards, or pass the white glove test.

Today I began with the bathroom. I emptied out the vanity, the medicine cabinet and the cupboard over the toilet. I found a shoehorn, which I need to get my new boots/shoes on. They are basically 'croc' in style, but solid with a covered heel. Waterproof even if they are not very warm. I hope they stretch a little bit with wear, making the shoehorn unnecessary. The biggest plus...they are skid proof.

I found I have bandaids galore. Loose, all over the drawer of the three drawer storage under the sink. Those I put in an old plastic container, and will add the little first aid kit I discovered to the glove compartment of my car.

I have plenty of toothpaste and soap, and lotion. Found a single use face mask that I'll try later, as you are supposed to lie down and relax for fifteen minutes with it on. After that my face will be soft and glowing. There was no promise I would also be wrinkleless.

I finally got my laundry done last night and got it all put away this morning, so the cupboard with all my sweaters, T's and jeans is neat...for the moment.

I hope to vacuum later, the entry if nothing else. Everyone who goes in and out of the door carries in the gravel off the walkway. I need to clean that up before it's carried everywhere.

That's a good start for the day. The garbage is out at the curb for pick up, so whatever else I clean and sort through for discard will have to be stored for the week...designated for the dump or recycling. When I'm in this kind of a mood I keep a box handy and keep adding stuff to donate until the box is full.

I never hit the pantry yesterday as I planned, so I guess that's next. Monday cleaning, only it's Tuesday. At least I'm getting some housework done. Still, that painting I have in my mind is pushing at me, wanting to become a reality. Housework, housework, housework. Today is housework, I keep reminding myself, tomorrow we paint.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year

January 1st, the start of a new year. I know people like to make resolutions, but I find it an exercise in futility. Why make resolutions, which for me are the same ones every year, when the odds are I won't keep them.

So I started the day with a different kind of 'In with the New, Out with the Old'. I went through my refrigerator and cleaned out all those outdated jars and bottles. Like the mayonaise that was 6 months out of date, the old and opened salad dressings (and who needs 6 salad dressings anyway) and the salsa that had black lumps that I doubt are part of the original recipe.

Now my fridge is looking clearer, and with a few wipes with a damp cloth, cleaner.

I then organized the cupboard, checking dates on canned goods and jars. Nothing to be tossed here because that job was done a few months ago when I bought a shelf rack in my continual plan to reorganize.

Taking a break to have my morning oatmeal and my pile of pills. And the lemon in hot water. Ugh. This is a resolution I'm trying, experimenting with.

Next in my cleaning/organizing will be the top of the pantry. I have it designated as a sort of desk and craft cupboard. In reality it's the place I hide stuff when I need to do a quick clean up. I see there are a number of items for craft projects never started. Maybe I'll get to that as there are many winter months ahead where I'll be house bound and looking for something to do.

Some of my gang are coming into town, and we're doing lunch. After that it will be back to...not cleaning, not organizing...but creating. I have this idea for a painting and want to work on it.

The other stuff can wait. I like to think that because my style of art is mixed media collage, every art project is sort of organizing and cleaning out. I use scraps of paper, paint etc and that reduces the "junk" in my stash.

See, it all works. You just have to have the right attitude.

Happy New Year to everyone. Hope it brings you health, wealth and happiness.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Caught in the Act

And they say cheaters never prosper, well, I managed to score, but was caught in the act.

It's all about cookies.

Last summer I bought a package of cookies from Walmart. They were pricier than most, but were baked fresh in the store and looked tasty. Of the many flavors offered I chose the salted caramel chocolate chip, which became a family favorite, a treat I often picked up for my son.

Occasionally, I bought a package for myself,  with the intention of sharing.

My brother likes sweets as do I, a trait we inherited from our father. Because his wife, (and we love her despite this strange quirk), doesn't like sweet treats, I often baked for him before we met for lunch. I figured, since he drove across the city to meet me at a half way point between our homes, he deserved having something to nibble on for the drive home. You know, in case he got stuck in rush hour traffic.

Back to cookies. I don't bake as often anymore, so when I purchased these very delicious cookies, I filled a container and gave them to him.

I got an e-mail that night, asking where I bought the cookies, did I bake them? The cookies were as big a hit with him as they were with my family. But the big surprise was when he went to have another, he found crumbs. Lo and behold, we had finally discovered a sweet that his wife couldn't resist. Which only proves that she is human after all. Just joking.

Oh yeah, cookies and cheating.

As a last minute Christmas gift, before we were meeting for lunch, I purchased a container of these cookies, for my sister-in-law, and some prize winning butter tarts from a local bakery for my brother.
But the night before we were to meet I had a sugar craving, and the cookies were sitting there on the counter, begging me to do a taste test.

So, thinking of others, I unselfishly decided I had better check out the quality of these cookies before gifting them. Selecting a couple at random, I conducted a taste test and found this batch to be worthy of my sister-in-law and wrapped the remainder in a clear bag.

We did our gift exchange and imagine my embarrassment when I opened a gift to find a package of our now favorite cookies. Obviously I got the whole container and had to confess I'd opened theirs and sampled.

Caught, with crumbs on my face. I did the right thing and tried to trade the full container for the bag of cookies, but she would have no part of it.

How was I to know that they had become regulars of the salted caramel?

It was a lesson learned. If you're going to share such a find as this, be prepared that others will adopt it as their own. And thereby know how it comes, the package and the number.

They understood, as these cookies are simply too good to resist.