Christmas cactus

Posted by inklings on Nov 23, 2012 in Musings

Just a test to see if I can post from my phone. I hope to return to blogging now that I have a new computer and a bit more energy. Hoping that 2013 will be as beautiful and fruitful as this cactus.



Doorways and Nature

Posted by admin on Aug 22, 2011 in Musings

A tick bite led to Lymes disease two years ago and I’ve had to pare down my activities bit by bit. Now I’m getting some energy back and hope to return to blogging, though it’s likely to be slow going.

I had a couple of unusual encounters with wildlife and think perhaps it’s time to heed spider medicine (creativity) and transform my life (snake). Friday I got to work and a 5 foot long black snake was stretched across the bottom of the door. Then Saturday a huge spider wove a web overnight across my front door at home. Hmm, they got my attention. So I’ll do my best to open the door to blogging again. Meanwhile, here’s Fred, the snake.


Giveaway alert

Posted by admin on Dec 10, 2010 in Musings

Check out the great blog Notebook Stories, heaven for paper addicts:
They have a great review of the Zequenz notebooks and a giveaway. Now if I can figure how to add their link to my blogroll.

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Winter Blows in to Floyd

Posted by admin on Dec 7, 2010 in Musings

After a deceptive fall – short bursts of cold followed by nice warm-ups – we have been blasted by Old Man Winter. We got 4″ on the 4th, plus another half inch or so the next night. But it’s the wind and the below freezing wind chill that is the killer. Here’s some pics of the beginning of the storm.

Walking back through the snow, the house seems alive … and waiting

Here’s the spooky house shot up close – does look rather menacing, eh?

I was snowed in and no one to plow due to broken tractor and flu, so I dug out the driveway by hand. The worst was the wall of ice and dirt clods at the top of the drive left by VDOT’s plow. That was almost as bad as the rest of the drive. But I managed to get out just in time to get to the dentist appointment.

My New Year’s Resolution is to post more often. I have lots of pens, art supplies, and inks that I want to review. I’ve learned so much from other reviews and hope to add some items I haven’t seen reviewed.

Happy Winter and Warm Wishes!

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Monday musings and link to giveaway

Posted by admin on Jul 26, 2010 in Musings

Well, I guess I didn’t make my goal of posting over the weekend. It is unbearably hot here and so humid that you can almost drink the air. It does a number on me and I just couldn’t bear sitting in front of the computer to post. However, the very rare and endangered Turk’s Cap Lily bloomed on Sunday and I did get a pic with my phone. This bloomed the year I bought my house and possibly one other year, but since then the deer have eaten it despite sprays and weird protective housing. So this year I got three tomato cages clustered around it and then put long sticks through at all angles to provide a barrier. If the deer should knock into it, sticks would start falling this way and that and hopefully scare off the deer. I have been watching it closely and so far, no deer munching.  And then it bloomed! My photos won’t do it justice, but it’s a rare sighting so at least I captured it. I’ll see if I can get a photo with my camera soon.

And if you like paper and mail art, check out Maria’s great paper giveaway at her blog. That site has some great photos of her lovely postal goodies and she also has another blog here.

Now I must go sit under a fan and dream of getting AC.


Long Time, No Post

Posted by admin on Jul 18, 2010 in Musings

I don’t know if anyone is still following this after such a long absence, but I am going to do my best to get back into this. I was hit by hundreds of spammers and too overwhelmed to sort through them all. My wonderful son has put in a spam filter that seems to be working. Or else it’s blocking everyone.

I have been busy with a traveling mail art journal and have finished it finally! It was hosted by Bianca through 1001 Journals and has been the best fun. If I’m lucky, here are the pictures:



Click on an image to see the full page. Why it put the first two vertically and the next two horizontally, I have no clue.  But that’s what I’ve been up to. I hope to post at least once a week now that I’ve jumped back in the saddle. Have some new pens and inks to review … coming soon.


Snow Again

Posted by admin on Feb 6, 2010 in Musings

Once again I’m snowed in and sore from shoveling so much snow. You’d think that would leave lots of time for posting, but not so much. I did remove some spam from the comments, but unfortunately it also removed the real comments and I don’t know how to get them back. I’ve changed settings so that comments have to be approved before posting. Sorry for the hassle, but seems a necessary evil.

 Despite being snowed in and rather housebound, I have been out to take photos of the white stuff. This snow was very wet and mixed with sleet and freezing rain part of the time. It made it stick to leaves and tree trunks quite well, but a bear to shovel. Shadow is not happy with all this white, cold stuff. He goes out and frequently turns around to come back in. He did try to help dig out … for about 4 seconds. The probability of precipitation is rising daily for Tuesday, but this should just be a small one. Here are a few photos from around the house.

The “blue” photos are from a different camera and evidently I need to figure out the settings on that one. In the first picture, there is a dark spot on the tree in the foreground. That’s a pileated woodpecker that flew in as I was taking pictures out back. What I would have given for a zoom lens. They are hard to photograph, as they rarely come close to the house. What a gift to have one fly in just as I was outside with camera.



First Homemade Postcards

Posted by admin on Jan 11, 2010 in Musings

The weekend just flew by and I didn’t get to all the house chores I’d put on my To Do list. It was much more fun to try to make postcards. I’d had these Avery postcard blanks for some time and finally got a new color cart for the printer, so I figured I’d do a quick trial. No such thing. I finally found a download template that worked with the paper, but they didn’t print to all the edges. The paper is really flimsy too, much thinner than cardstock. So I glued the “postcard” to a larger size of cardstock (scraps that were nearby) and played around with brush pens, glitter glue, and fountain pen to frame the photo. Although the printer left streaks and it came out kind of hazy, I like the look. My model is my cat, Shadow – a handsome guy. He works for food. I have much to learn about making postcards, but this was a fun unplanned start.

a first try at making postcards



Planning the New Year

Posted by inklings on Dec 27, 2009 in Reviews

2009 has been a trying year and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized in 2010. I usually use a calendar at home in addition to a work scheduler, but this doesn’t always help with planning. Karen of Exaclair recently offered planners on the Quo Vadis blog and kindly sent me a copy of Journal21 to try out. See it here.
The Clairefontaine paper is incredible … smooth as silk and wonderful to caress. It is IMHO the best paper for fountain pen ink – no bleed through or feathering. I write with an XF nib so there is almost no show through onto the back of a page. Even with a very wet Lamy nib or a M nib, there is only minor show through.
Although I haven’t had much of a test drive for daily pages, I have been using the monthly planning pages to schedule leave time and group meetings. These pages will also be good for planning vacations.

The monthly view pages are great for planning events.

The monthly view pages are great for planning events.

 Each day of the year has its own page with half hour lines from 8am to 9pm. I’ve always wanted to track the dates when wildflowers first bloom and times when the sun hits different areas of the yard and this format will be perfect for this use. I also will use it as a daily check in, a brief musing that will supplement my regular journal, which is rarely brief. I’ve filled out the yearly planner in the back with birthdays to help me keep track of when to send cards. I’ve been terribly bad about being late this year for some cards and resolve to be on time next year. An address book caps off the planner. Yes, I have all that in my PDA, but the battery is dying and I just prefer paper. The size of the planner is perfect for tucking in a card or two to write when there’s a moment while out and about. I almost forgot to mention that there’s a list of time zones in the front – something I’m terribly dyslexic about. I can never remember if Hawaii is 3 hours behing or ahead of us … I need to see the picture of the map and clocks. Also in the front is a semi-annual planner that runs from the fiscal year starting in July, which happens to be the agency’s planning year and the range for getting in CEU’s for licensure. This will be so much easier for tracking CEU’s than setting up a spread sheet or list. The planner stated that it is the Ultimate Tool and I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks, Karen, for giving me a chance to try out a new planning tool that is much more useful than my work scheduler!



Snowed in!

Posted by admin on Dec 19, 2009 in Musings

The big news around here is the Big Snow! The governor declared a state of emergency for VA and all the local municipalities did the same. There were 1,000 people stranded on I-81. Glad I made it home Friday with only half an inch on the ground. We ended up with around 14″ in my holler, but Indian Valley got 26″ I’m told. I’m snowed in but still have power. Here are some photos.


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