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      Tuesday, November 01, 2016

08:35 AM - 11/01/2016

The topic: I did a load of jeans this weekend

And after they'd been out an hour or so, I noticed they were almost dragging on the ground. I knew the "wire" (just some cheap vinyl cording that came with the line) sucked, it really stretched out. We kept tightening it, but it kept stretching.

But this was beyond the line stretch. I checked out the metal and it had come loose at one corner. Which shouldn't have happened because none of the top parts should have been at a corner.  The other three are a foot or so from the end, this was AT the end. I looked at it, showed it to Brian, he agreed and said he'd take care of it.

Since it needed work, Brian said to order new (real) line and he'd restring it.  Meanwhile, I took all of the old cording out and resituated the top limb that wasn't where it was supposed to be and fastened it in place. So, it's ready for the new line, which should be here tomorrow. One thing we're not going to do is string it through every set of holes. They aren't even two inches apart and hanging from all of them doesn't allow for airflow. And airflow is important for the clothes to dry.

Brian said he's also going to put some foam on the ends of the posts. I guess he has a problem with their height being close to his. He doesn't like the possiblity of hitting his head. That could hurt.

09:22 AM - 11/01/2016

The topic: What have I done!

Or, to be more specific, look at all the things I want to do! 

Shopping list:

I got some Brusho dry watercolors earlier this year and haven't used them yet. They come in little white plastic bottles with writing on them, the color is named. But there is no idication of the actual color. So, I found the video above on how to label the bottles. Yay!

Shopping list:

I also ordered some cheap packs of watercolor cardstock, just in case I get really good at this. *lol*  

Here's video of the making of a card from start to finish in less than fifteen minutes from The Frugal Crafter. I am suitably impressed.

I'm gonna be so busy! But first I need to finish this book I got for my birthday. The Fireman by Joe Hill. Stephen King's kid.  Thanks, Jolene!


      Saturday, November 05, 2016

01:49 PM - 11/05/2016

The topic: Well, it’s sure been an interesting week.

Not really.

Since we're both scheduled for our yearly physicals this coming week, we stepped up our walking. All the way up the hill formerly known as "Icky". And back down. Long walk, steep hill, but a healthy walk. This will help our blood pressure and our blood sugar.

I did a little crafting and then I read a book I got for my birthday. The Fireman by Joe Hill. I finished it on Thursday. A really good read, hard to put down. It felt great to have a book in my hands again. The Kindle is okay, but nothing beats the feel and heft of a book.

The clothesline that broke last week was fixed on Wednesday afternoon. So, Thursday was a day of laundry. Mostly stuff that covered the sofas. Mystie likes to poop on the long sofa and the cover really needed to be washed. With the weather we've been having, it dried in no time at all.

So, Thursday night I couldn't find Bernie. I opened the door to out back (she still doesn't do the cat doors) and went in search of her. I didn't find her outside, but she went outside. I watched her go from spot to spot, doing the I gotta pee squat. That squat that means she's having discomfort. I finally was able to bring her back inside and watched her in here. She went from litter box to litter box, peeing a little bloody in front of them, if at all. I have some clindamycin and I got some down her throat. That was the last time. I tried again on Friday morning and she became all claws and legs and NO. So, I gave her some mooshy food, watered down to make sure she was getting plenty of fluids to help flush her out. If this happened to one of the boys, we'd have been at the vet's office, but a lot of times these things get better on their own.

But I was so anxious about her, I ended up taking a quarter of a Xanax. When she finally calmed down and was resting, I went to bed, but I couldn't sleep, I tossed and turned. So, I got up and took one of those sleep aid pills.

We got up bright and early Friday morning, went for our walk, I made breakfast, did the dishes, then laid down on the sofa for the cats to climb all over me. Then I fell asleep for about an hour, woke up, was cold, grabbed a blanket and went back to sleep. It was the strangest thing. I didn't think I was tired. I finally got up and started doing a little of the crafty stuff I'd wanted to do, we had Jack in the Box tacos for dinner and I fell asleep on the sofa. Woke up long enough to feed the cats, then back to sleep.

Went to bed, then slept through the night and I'm fine today. I must have been really tired. Or it was the combination of Xanax and sleeping pill. That's where I'd place my bet.

Better living through chemistry.


02:19 PM - 11/05/2016

The topic: So, crafty!

It was so long ago that I spoke of this, but here's the outcome.

I made my labels.

Not just for the Brusho watercolors, but for my homemade alcohol inks.

Here are the alcohol inks, in steeping mode. You can see the marker innards in the bottle.

I spritzed a little of each color on a sheet of cardstock.

I numbered each section and numbered the tops of each bottle cap.

Then I cut out rectangles of the color, places a piece of Scor tape on the bank and used the inch circle cutter for each one and placed them on the bottles. I used a tweezers to get the marker pieces out of the bottles.

And then there are the Brusho bottles. They're not very big, but the top doesn't come off, there's a little hole in the top that you sprinkle the powder through. So, I did the circle cutouts with the Scor tape on them, put a very small amount of powder in a little paint thing, put a couple of drops of water with it, mixed it up and then painted a circle. I did this for each container, then attached each circle to the top of the bottle and used push pins to poke holes through the paper and seal the bottle. The hole made by the push pin is plenty big enough for a fair amount of powder to shake out of the bottle.

This is my paint container. With my little set of water colors (Amazon add on), acrylics (Walmart) and the Brusho powder. I also have a set of brushes (Walmart) and a couple of sets of water brushes (Amazon). The water brushes open up and you put water in them. The little white things a the bottom right are the color trays. Amazon.

I have amassed a plethora of rubber stamps, acrylic stamps and wooden stamps. I've been thinking of a practical way of storing them and have decided to use the Sterlite drawers I have in the garage, where I store all of my crafts (beads as well as the paper crafts). I had vinyl covers custom made for these little chests of drawers and don't want to have to bother with those (the cats really put a damper on what normal crafters can do). So, what I'm going to do is just cut out the part of the vinyl that's in front of the first four or five drawers of each chest. These will be high enough to not get marked by any of the cats and will be readily accessible to me. 

I'll do that tomorrow.


      Saturday, November 12, 2016

07:12 AM - 11/12/2016

The topic: About the Silhouette Mint. Silhouette’s own stamp maker.

You can only use their ink. You make the stamp, ink the stamp with their ink, that will last for about fifty uses of the stamp, then you re-ink the stamp.

Other inks do not work. You cannot use the same stamp with different colored inks. You cannot use embossing ink with the stamp (although the ink they use is pigment, which you can use with embossing powder, but what if you just want a clear stamp and colored embossing powder?) I hate products that have proprietary consumables

I've still not made a stamp with it. I'll do that today. I need to make more than I'd planned on, little holly branches with berries, for left and right corners. My own personal sentiment since space is tight in the cards I'm going to be making and a stamp will have even spacing, not scrawling chicken scratching that scrunches together at the end.

I got the Mint at a really good price. And I have a lot of their ink, I bought a bunch at another website when I got the Mint.

But I think, even though it's more work and probably takes more time, my go to stamp maker will be the Imagepac Stampmaker.  Those stamps are much more versatile.

      Sunday, November 13, 2016

01:12 PM - 11/13/2016

The topic: Brian asked Alexa about movie times

For Jack Reacher or The Accountant. The first show for both was around 10:30 this morning.

When we got up this morning, he asked me if I'd like to go to Denny's for breakfast. Sure! He took his shower, I took mine and we hit the $4 menu.

Came home, piddled around a little, then took off for the mall. Got inside, while we were waiting in line (I checked the marquee for kids' movies, lots of younguns there....Trolls....yeah, okay).  We decided on The Accountant since it was R rated. Jack Reacher was PG-13.

We both really liked this movie. Really liked it, we're looking forward to seeing it again. I like movies with twists. At one point, I whispered to Brian "wouldn't it be something if..." and shared an idea with him. And it turned out I was right. I refrained from shouting out "I WAS RIGHT!!!"

If you don't mind a little (cough) graphic violence, try to see this one. It's worth the price of admission.

      Sunday, November 20, 2016

11:59 AM - 11/20/2016
I'm watching CSI Miami (which I hardly ever watched first run)
The current weather is starting to rain

The topic: I finished the cards

I started last year. And now, I just want to take a nap.

I have twenty-five more cards to go. The ones from last year were already cut out, I just had to assemble.

What's making it difficult is Skippy, who did his usual summer thing of losing half of his weight, keeps bugging me for food. I feed him, he eats a little, then walks off. Then comes back. I feed him on my work table to keep the vultures from pushing him away from the food. And I get nothing done because cats.

I have the paper picked out for one set of cards. This year, I'm going to go set by set, not cut all of them out to start with.

I do have all of the sentiments done. That's a huge help.

I'd really like to take a nap.


      Monday, November 21, 2016

10:31 AM - 11/21/2016

The topic: You know how sometimes everything is great

Until it's not?

Yeah, had one of those weekends.

With the cards I make, they come with their own envelopes. Obviously, I make those, too. I like to print out my own paper for these, patterned on the inside and white on the outside.

I use my Epson R1900. The problem is that I'm not good about running it at least once a week. I usually come into the office in the morning, check stuff out, then shut down for the day, unless Brian needs me to do shipping labels. And I use the laser printer for those, unless it's USPS. Which it usually isn't.

So, when I do use the Epson, I find that I usually need to to a cleaning cycle.

Now, if you recall, I have a continuous ink system. Which has the ink tanks outside of the machine and a ribbon with tubes that go from the tanks to the special cartridges. When we set this up, Brian cut my printer so that the lid would close without intefering with the tubes.

Well, guess what happened? The ribbon wasn't in place, so the ribbon got pinched on the side. So pinched that there was air in the tube and no yellow ink was flowing. I figured out how to fix that (I needed to prime the cartridge, which sucked the air out of the ribbon and the ink started flowing again). And there had been some sort of incident with the black ink so that the air filter was blocked. I changed that out and it started working as it should. Free flowing ink.

So, I get started printing out my paper. I figure thirty 12 x 12 sheets should be plenty, I have three patterns I want to use. And after the fifth paper, I was reminded of the frustration at this point.

The printer starts to go really, really slow. I looked up online and all signs pointed to the print spooler, but nothing I did fixed the problem. I'd have to stop the printer, cancel the jobs, restart the printer and the next four or five pages would print quickly, then start.  To. Slow. Down.

I even deleted all signs of the printer from my computer, removing drivers and software. Rebooting. Reinstalling. And it's still slow.

I don't think it used to be like that, it seems that it worked fine before I set up the printer as a network printer (and then undid it) a few years ago. Maybe I'll try redoing that since I have the new router, but I'm not doing it today. I have cards to make!

Which brings me to another big sigh episode.

I had all but one of the patterns cut for the first set of brand new cards. All but one. And the paper mat started sliding around in the Cameo 3. It wouldn't stop working so I turned the off button. After that, it wouldn't work. What I ended up having to do was shut down the software, unplug the Cameo, then restart the software and restart the Cameo. I did find out that pushing the "cancel" job button takes a few minutes to work. The machine stops, but the job doesn't cancel immediately.

That last pattern was the most frustrating. I worked longer getting that one done than the previous three or four. The paper kept sticking the mat and no matter how careful I was pulling them off, some of them would rip.

And another thing. The Cameo mats. On the new ones, the sticky is way too sticky. If you want to spend more money, you can buy Cameo mats that aren't so sticky. Why don't they just make them not so sticky to start with?

Well, back to work! All of these ideas running rampant through my head. I have to go act on them right now!



      Saturday, November 26, 2016

08:43 AM - 11/26/2016

The topic: Thanksgiving was a good day

We went for our long walk, Brian made breakfast (and did the dishes!).

Last week we ordered some replacement speakers for my car and they arrived ahead of schedule, on Wednesday. So, Thursday morning Brian watched the installment video and I printed out the how to manual from Crutchfield and it took him less than an hour to get them in. Yay! No more borked passenger speaker! I'll be less reluctant to drive now!

I put a turkey breast in the crockpot and worked on holiday cards.

And then we watched some stuff on Netflix.

A quiet day. A good day.

08:52 AM - 11/26/2016

The topic: We get our health insurance through the Covered California marketplace

We have since it's inception. The first year, it was really cheap.

The next year, the health group for our doctor only accepted insurance from one company, Blue Shield. And each year, the cost has gone up a hundred bucks a month. This coming year, the cost would be over $300.00 (which is cheap for health insurance, for sure). But sales are way off right now. I don't know why, maybe it's because people are afraid to spend money in the current political climate. Whatever it is, we would be hard pressed to come up with that money at this point. Especially since we only go once a year (for me), twice a year (for Brian).  We get our annual physicals for no charge, but we're getting bills in the mail for part of the labwork. It was my understanding that routine labwork is covered, but I guess it's not. I could research it, but I'm weary of this shit. I'm just tired.

So, I check the exchange for a different provider and both Sharp and Kaiser Permanente have the same options for a lot less money. I did the comparison thing, where I had the three insurers options listed side by side and Blue Shield was well over $300 more a month. We talked about it and $3600 a year is a lot of money to stay with our doctor.

We're going with Kaiser; the place I said I'd never go to. Comparing ratings between Sharp and Kaiser, Kaiser has much better care and services. So, I cancel the Blue Shield plan, set up Kaiser.

Get my welcome email this morning. I'm told where to send the first month's payment. Of $1180.47.


Yeah, no subsidy was applied. So, I'm on the phone to Kaiser at 6:30 this morning (cool! someone answered and explained it to me). I was given a phone number for Covered Cal, which I called about a half hour ago. Got right through after I listed to all of the freaking options (a lot of options, I started over more than once).  "There's a glitch in the system right now, some of the notifications of subsidies aren't getting through to the insurers, call back around December 15 to recheck and if it hasn't gone through, we'll take care of it then" and I was given a reference number.

Sometimes, I really hate adulting.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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