30 November 2017

a new wee toy

Because much of our family scatters at Christmas time, visiting in-laws still back in Kansas, we usually have an early get-together with gift exchange. With 4 grown children, 3 in-laws, and 5 grandchildren, that's a lot of gift buying for limited incomes! So we draw names each year.

This year, our daughter-in-law Misty drew my name. She gave me this new fountain pen, a Kaweco Liliput with an extra fine tip. Being German made (like my much loved Lamy Safari), the nib sizes run a bit larger than Japanese pens, so the finer the better!

For now, I'm using the ink cartridge that came with the pen, which is a water-soluble blue. When empty, I can refill it with my favorite De Atramentis Document inks that are waterproof.

The tiny Liliput writes extremely smoothly, starting up right away with no skipping or ink-blobbing. It is actually quite comfortable to hold, with the cap posting securely to add length (it screws on to prevent being knocked off). And it's small enough to fit inside a standard metal travel palette, right next to a travel brush!

Meanwhile, I am done with Hughes internet. We don't have many options, living in the country with all these trees around us. Even with an upgrade, we still could not stream programs and the least bit of wind caused us to lose connection. Not worth the high cost!

So our oldest son, Jason, set us up with a booster for our cell phones, mounted on the old pole next to the cabin that previous owners used for a TV antenna. With a signal boost, I can now use my phone or my new iPad Mini for internet, using a "hotspot" mode as needed for my computer. Hughes was metered; our family plan with my phone and iPad is unlimited.

My next problem was posting to this blog. Apple no longer supports the Blogger app and I couldn't seem to post things through their Safari browser. So I tried downloading the Google Chrome browser to my iPad, then selecting "request desktop site" from the drop-down menu. And so far, it works!

27 November 2017

a new journal . . . goin' small

This time, I'm going small for my journal -- a 3.5 x 5.5" Delta soft bound sketchbook from Stillman & Birn. And an early Christmas gift to go with it, from DIL Misty Williamson, a Kaweco Liliput fountain pen. I'm loving how smoothly it writes!

And as usual, the first page has my current favorite colors and a quote. After taking this photo, I wrote personal contact info on the other side in case it ever gets lost.

As usual, I managed to smear the ink a bit . . .

22 November 2017

no more paper for Bardie!

Bardie loves paper. 

Playing soccer with wadded-up balls of paper, burrowing into packing paper in boxes. Even patting my sketchbook paper as I draw. 

But then he stopped eating. Even his favorite, a canned seafood blend from Earthborn. Apparently, he had eaten strips he had torn from the brown packing paper in the latest order from Chewy.com that is now messing with his intestines. 

Now under a vet's care, he'll be fine --- I'm replacing his paper toys with ping pong balls!

This is also the final page of my beloved sketchbook handbound by Cathy 'Kate' Johnson. Below are the miscellaneous scribblings from the inside covers. Verses, quotes, playing with palette choices . . . even deciding on Bardie's name.

20 November 2017

mushrooms edging a tree stump

On the oak tree side of our yard, there are several tree stumps cut at ground level. These original trees were cut to make room for building the cabin and thinned a bit to make it more "yard-like". Around the edge of this particular stump some beautiful, luminous mushrooms have popped up this past week.

18 November 2017

a really big leaf

Three of our grandkids came to spend a couple of days with us. Needville High School was sending their volleyball team to the state competition up north of Dallas; so many teachers planned on going (including our son, Jason) that they just closed all the town's schools Friday rather than trying to find all those substitutes.

Today the kids and I took a walk . . . and found this Really Big oak leaf, a full 11" long! Rather bug-chewed and crumbly, but fun to sketch anyway.

And we just heard: the Needville team are the new state champions!

13 November 2017

saying goodbye . . .

Since moving here nearly 4 years ago, Bill has formed a close friendship with our elderly neighbor, John. He lost his beloved wife, Bobbie, just a couple of months after we had settled here. His own elderly aunt and uncle once owned the cabin that is now our home.

John is now dying. His son and daughter-in-law have been very thankful for Bill's help as they go through the process of saying goodbye. I sketched this card to give them from us; Bill and John have spent many hours visiting on this side patio of John's.

11 November 2017

a braiding team

Yesterday afternoon, we drove to Troy, TX to watch our young friend Macy play basketball. Before her team played, I saw these team members "tag team" a hair-braiding session. Macy didn't get much play time, having recently recovered from a concussion she received at a volleyball practice, but her team won!

09 November 2017

results . . . or not

Yesterday, I sketched this while waiting in the neurosurgeon's office at Scott & White in Temple, Texas. After extensive new tests, this second neurosurgeon found no indication for further surgery to correct Bill's damaged nerve. Pain management was suggested; we already went that route and it did not help at all. The nerve may possibly heal over time, it may not. Bill's feeling pretty down at the moment.

We are trusting the Lord to have better answers.

06 November 2017

a few leaves and Internet woes

A young girl at church, Kathleen, heard that I miss colorful autumn leaves so she brought me a few leaves from her yard. Not as brilliant as our Autumn Joy maple tree produced but fun to sketch.

Having internet problems . . . Currently, I can only post entries at church with their free wifi. Not a lot of selection around here but I'm asking around in hopes of finding a new service. I can't really think of opening an Etsy shop to sell prints or notecards online until this is resolved. Also looking into buying a signal booster for my phone to solve my not having a signal on a regular basis.
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