Monday, June 13, 2016

Let's Try Peace, Not Killing

Rest in Peace to all victims of the tragedies in Florida. First there was the savage shooting of a young singer named Christina Grimm was killed by some crazed fan, and now, people in a nightclub. Senselessly gunned down by a terrorist. Young people with their whole lives in front of them, gone in the blink of an eye.
There's too much anger and hate in this world! And, there are too many guns, especially automatic assault weapons.

As I sit here watching CNN, as they talk about Orlando's tragedy, I think of the families of all the dead. They all have a long road of healing ahead, but no one can bring back their loved ones.

Life is fragile, and with crazed freaks out in the world, we all need to be vigilant of people around us when  in crowds. It's not the world I remember as a kid. Back then there were no fears of being hurt while in public. The government needs to do something and get this insanity to stop. Let's try peace and tolerance of people different from us to start.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Getting Ready to Garden

It feels SO good to be gardening again!  It's almost safe enough to plant tender flowers (annuals), but not quite. But I am into perennials mostly, like my mom. Last weekend we all went to our favorite greenhouse, Lowe's in Bainbridge. We were like kids in a candy store!

There was a decent plant sale going on, "Buy two, get one free". So, I got purple primroses  that look like roses,  alpine poppies and some cornflower blue and white columbine. Mom and dad got a bunch of gorgeous perennials, from a variegated euphoria to a large pink penstemon, and topsoil. We walked around, just enjoying the colors and textures of the leaves and flowers. Greenhouses are so relaxing to me. I'm glad dad went with us, he loves it, too, even if he doesn't garden anymore.

So now, mom is busy in her gardens, which are already colorful. I have been weeding and planting, along with some spring cleaning in the house. It feels good to see the yard alive with birds returning from warmer climates, an occasional butterfly or bees, and other signs of life. Well, except the rat who I found digging in one of my gardens. A few sprinkles of cayenne pepper powder around the plants he was digging up, and he hasn't been back since. Hehe. I'm sure he's long gone elsewhere by now.

The cats are plastered to the windows, excitedly watching all birds. Sometimes I hear a "hiss" or two, and I know they are getting annoyed with whoever got the best birdwatching spot. Beau loves the rainbows cast off by a faceted crystal sphere I have hanging in a window. I touch it, making the little rainbows dance all over,  and he dances, hops and pounces on them Not bad for a fourteen year old cat :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Has Sprung Again

Spring is here, and my daffodils are blooming! This is my favorite time of year.


Life is wonderful, despite being bedridden due to sciatica pain and the medications I've had to take for it that made me dizzy. I'm healing up and though not 100% yet, I'm getting out and even did a little gardening (weeding).

My stores are busy and I'm adding new products on a near daily basis. I work from my laptop from bed, cats piled around me, TV on in the background (oddly, it helps me work to have noise on in the background).  I've got new products galore so stop by my main store, Two Purring Cats Clothing & Gifts at:  http://www.zazzle.com/twopurringcats


The cats have been enjoying themselves, watching birds and TV (yes, they really watch it). I work so that they can live royal lives! :)


Pretty soon I'm going back to the drawing board, literally, to do more artwork in my office. Over the early winter I made my office more efficient, with shelves and other items to make working in there easier. It looks good, but there's always work to be done in there (more shelves and places to put stuff!!)
It, like me, is a work in progress. Anyways, life is peaceful, mom and dad are doing fine, and everyone is happy that the weather is warming up.
That's all for now, later!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's December but Feels Like April

The holiday season is here and my garden flowers are blooming. The weather is unseasonably warm and my irises sent up buds, one rose bush has a bud on it, and the perennial bachelor's buttons are flowering! This weather is great.

Yesterday I got a call from a producer for America's Funniest Videos. They liked the video I sent them, of Farrah messing with the mini Christmas tree, and it will air on their show this Sunday evening! And, they're sending me a tshirt. So, I told friends and family, and will record it on my phone this weekend. Pretty cool.

As for me, I've been self studying skills for growing my business. It's complicated but I get it, and feel pretty confident as I go along. And my office is becoming more efficient, as I move furniture and make the space more comfortable. I practically live in it so it needs to be relaxing and easy to find things (more storage is the answer to most of its issues).

Mom and dad are enjoying their holidays, between shopping, making sure dad's health is on track (it is) and caring for their cats. They love their house and property, it is gorgeous and big! We see turkeys in the big meadow from time to time. Their friends call their property "The McFann Metroparks"..perfect for this nature loving family!

<a href="http://www.zazzle.com/christmas+gifts?rf=238441954547012598&CMPN=ban_holiday_gifts_2015" rel="nofollow"><img src="//asset.zcache.com/assets/graphics/z4/uniquePages/banners/Christmas_Plus_Gifts/Z_Christmas_Gifts_300x250.jpg" alt="Holiday Gifts" /></a>

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Late Summer

It's late Summer and I'm busy doing artwork for my stores, working in  gardens and trying to keep my lawn watered since it gets crispy without much rain!

Mom and dad have settled into their new house, and mom is busy with her gardens. With all its acres of land, she - and I - can garden as much as we want. I spread my gardening between my home and theirs. My garden at their house is huge, in the middle of a giant meadow, and is covered from four years' worth of rampant weed growth. It reminds me of the book, "The Secret Garden". Once the tall weeds are out, it will will be necessary to hire someone to rototill it. I plan to grow many kinds of perennials, and bring it back to the grand Victorian garden it once was.

There are fruit tree groves and big raspberry and black raspberry patches on the property. How wonderful that is for us! Raspberry season was amazing. Endless berries, free of pesticides, better than any that can be bought. And good for us, too! Mom made her berry recipes, I made mine, until we were too tired to do any more. Apple season is here now, so we'll be using every apple recipe imaginable for that. We love this wholesome, country life, surrounded by this private park or arboretum that they have.

My parents' cats love their barn, where they can freely come and go as they please. I got them a large cat tree, dad and I put it together and they use it.

The cats love to follow us around or snooze under bushes or hidden in the gardens. They pop out quickly when dad comes to feed them, so cute!

Mom, dad and I are getting along much better now, which is a relief to me. Mom has an Amish cleaning lady now, so she isn't focused on controlling me now. Thank God. I am so glad. All I've ever wanted was a harmonious family. So far, so good.

My business is doing just fine. I draw some but spend more and more time learning to grow it..and it is growing. The bigger it gets, the more there is to do. It's a passion so that doesn't bother me at all. Christmas season is approaching, so I'm getting myself ready for it.






Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

It's Spring! I am getting over the flu and learning how to use this smartphone. My old flip phone died on me so I got this phone for myself, and I'm so glad that I did. It amazes me how much can be done with such a small phone. Gone are the days of those old, black rotary dial phones! Those of us old enough to remember them find modern technology just amazing. I keep this phone, in it's own pretty case, by my side all the time nowadays. Addictive.

The daffodils I planted in the Fall are poking out of the ground, and I see iris leaves looking green, too. It will be so great to be able to garden again, in a couple more weeks. There are still mountains of snow here, but the temperatures are above freezing, so they'll be gone soon.

This morning I went to breakfast with a friend at Bob Evans, and they have WiFi! Both of us were comparing apps we have, as we drank our cappuccinos. Both of us are never far from our Internet-enabled devices. Ashley helps me learn this phone, since she's got the same kind as mine and is really good at it. Such a big help! My confidence grows the more I work with it. Just learned how to buy songs at the app store. Fun.

Now I'm back home, doing some artwork here in bed. The flu makes me tire easily, so I work/rest/work/rest. Ashley and her child are battling the flu, too. We are all healing, it just takes a long time to get rid of it.

All in all, things are OK. I am living a drama-free, peaceful life now. My parents and I are estranged, due to my not tolerating anymore tantrums, being ordered around, and endlessly criticized. I put up boundaries, they refused to respect them, so I will only talk to them in public here and there. Life is too short to deal with endless drama and toxicity. Peace feels good. They are healthy and have what they need. They can take care of themselves, since anything I did to help was never enough. Life goes on, my business takes precedence in my life, with the cats and friends.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Enjoying Cold Wintery Days at Home

Without the internet at home, I'm enjoying some much needed time off for awhile. It's cold and wintery here in the Snow Belt of Ohio, with a thick blanket of snow outdoors. I just keep the house nice and warm, and settle in to work on artwork, making jewelry and wreaths, with the cats piled around me and a fresh pot of coffee always within reach. The solitude helps me to concentrate and de-stress, and I like it. When I get eager to talk to others, I go to the library or the coffeehouses nearby and use the internet there. Works fine for me for the time being.

It's been a busy November, between organizing things in my house, making my office more efficient and making a multitude of crafts. My online stores are doing ok, it's just not as good as last year due to my having to cut my commissions way down to stay competitive. Ugh. Still, customers come, from every corner of the world. It feels good knowing that my work is appreciated by people. Thank you to my customers, wherever you are. I am very grateful to all of you.

My parents are happy and doing fine. They have a new kitten who is just precious, only a few weeks old, found outside all alone. They feed it kitten formula and he sleeps and likes to stay in his basket (a giant Easter basket with a handle, lined with fleece and kitten toys). His own little playland. And he's with mom all of the time. The cuteness is so overwhelming, love it.

This is German Stollen season, the time of year when German bakeries make this incredible bread filled with raisins, nuts and ground up fruit. Heaven. In the past I used to order a case of it from the German Deli (online), but a few years ago I discovered that it is sold here locally at Aldi's and even Big Lots has them at this time of year. My favorite kinds are the marzipan and/or rum. I bought a couple loaves of marzipan Stollen this time and have been having a slice every morning with coffee. Very satisfying. My favorite brands are Kuchenmeister and Deutche Kuche. They don't have chunks of citron in them like some other brands do (citron, yuck!). If they use it, it's ground up and added to the dough. Dad too has the same aversion to citron. Anyways, Stollen is wonderful. Sometime I will try to make my own. I like to make bread when the weather gets cold.

So, I'm sticking around home, enjoying this time of year. My feeders are loaded with goldfinches, woodpeckers (downy, hairy, red-bellied). My cats spend their time (especially little Farrah!)glued to the bird action outdoors. Farrah presses her nose up to the glass when any bird comes by. The feeders are very close to the windows and in her mind, she's a fierce hunter stalking her prey. It's cute watching her. The other two get bored with it faster then go watch tv. I have a house full of couch potatoes, lol.

Well, time to go home and get back to my offline work. Later! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Concentrating on Drawing Now..Less Internet, More (Shudder) Work Away From the Computer

My internet is out right now, and it will be for awhile, so my office is temporarily the library right now, using the computer, and will be every day until I get the net back again. Right now, it's pretty tight money-wise (nearly all my money goes to the mechanic for awhile), so I'm staying in, working on drawings as my business runs itself, without a problem, online. I'm ok, just going through a bit of internet withdrawal at home. It's like going back to the pre-computer days, shudder, when you actually do things around the house other than spend all day online. Wow. For a person totally dictated by technology, this is tough. But I need to find a better internet, that isn't too expensive, and there aren't many options out here in the boonies, where I live. I may even have to get with the 21st Century and actually get a smart phone! Nothing too fancy, just something to get emails from. I have avoided it for a long time but feel the need to access the net from anywhere at this point in life. And home internet has been unreliable and very slow. Lucky for me that I can do my drawings at home, still. It'll be ok, it's just inconvenient to be net-less at the moment.

It's really Fall outside, with brilliant orange leaves on the trees, lots of rain and temperatures are beginning to go downwards. It's nice to sit in front of the fireplace with the cats, doing art and drinking my coffee. No internet means more time to concentrate on artwork I've been wanting to do for a long time, but was too distracted by online matters to do it. So, the time is now, drawing more, computing less (but stressing more, relaxing less, at times, without Facebook and my friends there to talk to 24/7). I'm independent and money-making mode. Due to the plummeting economy, financially it's been tough and I'm making the most of it, now that I have to give a chunk of money for car repairs that weren't even finished! The whole mechanic thing is not being forgotten or swept under a rug, it's being worked on.

Without the internet, it's given me time to also do a few hobbies I'd put off for awhile. I'm now baking more homemade bread (made a loaf of raisin bread last night) and also, finally got around to refinishing a Duncan Phyfe drum table and a lovely oak end table that really needed a change of color. They look good, like new. Yay, me. Just in time for the cold weather to come in, too. The other day I had them outside, refinishing them in the sunshine, letting them stay outside all day and night to dry, and a day after they were brought inside, it got rainy and cold enough for me to turn on the heat in the house. I love Ohio, the weather fluxuates. Living in the Snow Belt, it REALLY fluxuates, and the winters here are tough. Will have to get the car fixed by a family friend before it's too cold, since the coolant leaks like a sieve. It wasn't fixed. This injustice will be fixed, in time. Until then, I found a trusted, competent and HONEST mechanic to take the car to, just need to make more money since all of mine is already spoken for. Seriously. Until late Spring of next year. Ugh. Yep, the car repair thing has made my finances beyond tight.

Another thing I haven't done in awhile but am now doing is watch tv. I only listen to it normally, as it is on in the background, unless it's some show that I just can't pry myself away from (anything news and some reality type shows). I watched hardly no tv before but now I'm getting caught up on shows, but working on projects at the same time. I have a hard time sitting still and just doing nothing while the tv is on, most of the time. It isn't easy being Type A, lol.

So, until next time..when I'm at the library in a few days, it's time to go home, fix dinner and feed the cats. I am on a mission to keep the economy and car repairs mess with my financial stability. So far, so good. Life goes on, and with friends and support, I'm holding steady. Hope we all get through the economy/government circus soon. Positivity and faith get me through it, and despite some bumps in the road, things will be ok.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Relaxing Here in the Office

It's a peaceful night, time to relax and get more work done. Dealing with car mechanic issues has really stressed me out for the last month, so it's time to relax and not let it consume me. Outside it's cold, so all the windows in the house are now closed and the heat is turned on. Earlier, I got rid of side door drafts by putting weatherproofing foam "tape" inside the door frame, and it has helped a lot. The kitchen usually gets cold in the winter, and it was cold until I did this. Good, maybe I'll save a little money on heat this year. Anyways, another chore crossed off my "to do" list.

I've made my office extra comfortable for the upcoming holiday season, my busiest time of year, especially now that we don't have our bonuses anymore and need to sell more than ever. Sales are coming in, but due to the economy, it's slower than last year. So, I work to market products, and others are also helping me market, via online newspapers, articles, etc. My products are spread all over the internet and they have a life of their own, as they have for years now. If I can just calm myself down from distressing car issues, I'll be more efficient. Right now, I still get heart palpitations from stress so I get up and walk around, go outside and distract myself. It's annoying, this is not normal for me. Just want the car nightmare over with. It's overwhelming. The answer to everything is to keep working. Working on my art or websites is all therapeutic to me.

Tonight I made a bunch of popcorn, a good snack on a cold night. I do it the old fashioned way, on the stovetop, and use butter flavored salt to save on calories. I don't do microwave popcorn anymore after reading about how bad it is, so many chemicals in it. Back to the basics is fine with me. As a kid, I used to make Jiffy Pop popcorn on the stovetop, don't know if it's even for sale anymore. Just give me Orville Reddenbacher's in a jar, a little canola oil and I'm good to go.

Talked to a reporter from Channel 5 TV today, who will hopefully help me with the car travesty. It was so reassuring to talk to him, and he assured me he'd do everything he can to help. He's one of a few strong avenues I've taken to deal with this. Hoping it gets resolved, I'm not some dumb idiot just going to sit back and let people take advantage. Nope, this car will be fixed..but by another place who will do it right this time. Someone I can trust and who won't blow me off, who will listen to me. The mechanic called today, but I'm not talking to someone who hasn't listened to me or treated me right. Any correspodence from now on will be in writing.

It's so nice to know I'm not alone. I have my parents, friends and others looking out for me. In a world where I spend so much time alone, working here at my house out here in the country (which I love), it's easy to feel lonely at down times. I want the months ahead to be good, financially and emotionally. The economy is a mess, people are suffering around the country. I'm so far holding my own but extra tight now that the mechanic's bill is stuffed with pricey add-ons. $40 for anti-freeze, when the container in the car is bone dry, for example. Sickening. I hope our economy improves, customers will then hopefully be less afraid to buy. I checked my products on the marketplace at Zazzle and they're up front, for the most part, being seen. Buyers are just being tight with money until this crisis passes. The best thing to do is to just keep calm and carry on. We all will get through this. Hard work and persistence is the key, I think.

Time to get back to work. I feel ok, listening to music, my pets with me here, asleep, the picture of calm. Life is still good.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

I Do NOT Recommend Cooke's Auto Repair in Chardon

The car saga continues. Went to look under the hood of my car, which I just got back from the mechanics last night. The "Check Engine" light is STILL on. The coolant container was BONE DRY. Called up Cooke's, only to be told, "Bring it in, you'll need to leave it". No apologies, no sympathy, and didn't listen when I told him that I want to wait for them to repair it, not leave it there. He wouldn't budge. I will NEVER darken the door of that place again. Not after two very large repairs (one is questionable if I even needed it in the first place), altogether came to a grand total of $1850, which I will be paying on for months. And the coolant container is empty? I wanted them to fix the coolant leak in the first place, not the manifold (pricey repair). And I don't appreciate being put off whenever I call, with a very hurried, "Call you back" for the answer to my questions 99% of the time (with a call back days later, maybe), then at the last day (when I demanded to get the car back) they told me to call first because they were working on it. Were they? Who knows. I'm tired of this and will take my car elsewhere, where mechanics straightforwardly will get things done in a couple days (instead of weeks) and not blow me off when I want a written estimate or explanation on what needs to be worked on. And not make me wait weeks when I need something done, when it could've been done MUCH sooner, then no apology afterwards. No manners, just evasiveness. Goodbye, Cooke's, you'll get your money ($1850 in monthly installments), and then I'm done with you. I've heard many complaints about them from other people since I brought my car there. Live and learn. A woman alone is an easy target, and I feel violated. Not listened to, put off, left hanging for a long time, wondering what is wrong with the car. Ladies, in my opinion, it would be a good idea to take a man who knows about cars with you when dealing with evasive, disrespectful mechanics. This could happen to anyone..especially female.

What I believe is the philosophy of some car mechanics.



Here is the bill in question. The second one, the first bill..additional charges..came to 962.33 Didn't pay to go back there. Each time over 900 dollars.Check out the $40 coolant, when in fact my coolant chamber is empty.


Life goes on. Needing to de-stress after having heart palpitations and hyperventilating over the stress of the car problems for the last few weeks, it feels good to mellow out and work in the garden. Put mulch around my plants in preparation for the upcoming cold weather. My flowers are still blooming, as the leaves start to fall. Colors are showing in the trees now. The countryside is full of blooming purple aster flowers and goldenrods, along with all the turning trees. It's so relaxing. I took my camera and took a bunch of pictures, then will do it again later when the colors get even brighter. Farrah, Matisse and Beau watch the leaves fall from the windows, and Farrah wants to jump for them! It's so cute seeing her eyes widen with each falling leaf.

So, I'm busy working on my business, designing high-end lunchboxes. I like them and they should be a hit with customers, I'm sure, as they're well-crafted and come in very pretty colors. I'm also doing some drawing, and switch back and forth to keep energized, while Matisse here sleeps at my feet. The little goldfinches are outside, chirping in the tree next to my windows. They are moulting into their winter colors now (shades of olive green). Their little whistles are so cute, they are always nearby. Money's so tight at the moment, I can't even get their nyger seed right now, but there's enough to sustain them until next payday.

All is calm and peaceful. Feels so good. It's raining now, a quiet, easy rain, good for the plants. And it's so warm, I have my windows open! In October! This is great, global warming makes our climate here in Ohio slightly more mild than it used to be. That's not all bad. Made a pot of coffee just now, using Morning Blend from Aldi's, along with my fav Melitta from Heinen's. I never tried Aldi's coffee before but it's good, and so cheap! A bag of it was only $3.99! I won't be such a coffee snob anymore, only getting the more expensive kinds..from now on, I will use Aldi's in my own personal blend of brands. Other brands I normally get are Starbuck's Morning Blend, any kind of coffee from Peet's, and Folger's Gourmet Caramel. Emeril LaGasse has good caramel flavored coffee, too. My family has carried on an age-old tradition of blending coffees, and I'm no exception. Mom and dad like to blend Peet's and other types. Coffee, one of the simplest pleasures in life.