Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I am almost fully recovered from the cold I had (this morning was the first morning the coughing didn't wake me up instead of my alarm clock!) - hooray!

I am feeling energetic, too!

Yesterday I got most of lesson #31 written, and today I'm editing the illustrations and getting it all printed up for delivery on Friday.  I LOVE getting a new lesson finished - it reminds me of how good the lessons are.  And they look very nice all bound up in their glossy binders!  Each lesson is getting more exciting now because there are only 35 lessons in total, and I am finishing the 31st today, meaning that there are only FOUR more lessons to go until the whole sequence is FINISHED!  After almost three years, the Chirp Special Needs Curriculum will be complete!  There will be some editing left to do after that and I have lots of additional ideas to update lessons and make them even more user-friendly, but the main lessons will be done.  I am planning to celebrate!

My digestive system is still doing fairly well . . . though I did take a risk and have some raspberry jam a few days ago.  Raspberries are not good for me because of their itty bitty seeds (and so MANY itty bitty seeds!)  Also, we had tuna cheese melts for dinner a couple days ago, and they're made with mayonnaise . . . and for some reason that doesn't sit well with me anymore.  So those are off the dinner schedule.  Anyway, I'm having a little discomfort the last few days, but nothing like before.  And I'm learning what is okay and what isn't.

The cats have been wonderful and extra snugly (especially Stephen).

Maybe one of the reasons for this is the new tool against cat fights we purchased:

It supposedly puts out pheromones that mimic a mother cat's calming scent so that cats are less afraid and nervous.  Reputedly they will not fight as much, pee where they shouldn't, or be as scaredy.  The reason for this purchase was that Stephen has ALWAYS been a fraidy cat.  (If you haven't been reading long, click here to see a post about Stephen and Allistair as kittens and you'll understand why!)  They couldn't see for the first few weeks of their lives because they had terrible eye infections (and they had fleas!) and Stephen just has a nervous disposition on top of that inauspicious beginning.  And every once in a while, he would get "switched to evil" and just start attacking and attacking Allistair until poor little Allistair would say "Eep!"  We would chase him around and yell and squirt him with water and he just couldn't seem to turn his aggression off.  We thought maybe this might help.  So far (it's been a week), we haven't had any more fights, and Stephen is much more lovey.  He has been crawling up into my lap and playing fetch (more on that later!) a LOT and being more sociable and friendly and sweet and calm.  We'll see if that continues!  Each container lasts about a month.  So far, I highly recommend it!

Allistair tried to sit on a very small box and it couldn't support him:

Allistair cuddling up to Daddy:

Allistair enjoying fuzzy blankies:

Baltazar, blurry, but happy:

And here are some funny videos of Stephen playing with hair bandies.  
He likes to play fetch.  In these videos, he was choosing which hair bandie he wanted based on the color (he likes the dark-colored ones best!)

Fetch, Part 1:

Fetch, Part 2:
YouTube link

Fetch, Part 3:

And Allistair, pretending I'm his cat mama:
(p.s. the long scratch on my hand in this video is from me getting in the middle of a cat fight . . . good thing we got that pheromone diffuser!)

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Whirlwind of Happiness

In spite of Bjarne looking so sleepy in the above photo, this week has been sort of a whirlwind!

My parents arrived last week (to spend the winter here in Arizona!), and I have been spending lots of time with them.

Yesterday, happily, my Mom and I shopped all day (with a stop at In-N-Out Burger in the middle!) and had a wonderful time.  Before we went, we analyzed our current wardrobe situations and decided on purchases we need to fill in holes and make what we already own more serviceable.  
(Click here if you want to know the questions we went though!)

I found this fantastic tote bag (it's quite roomy) at TJ Maxx (my favorite store!)
It started out at $230 and I got it for $54.99 
(actually, I got it for Christmas from my parents and Greg's Dad & Step-Mom, 
since their gift cards paid for it! THANK YOU!)

And a Quicksilver polka-dot denim shirt.
Today I put together this outfit with the shirt + a teal skirt + some cute blue shoes and a ladylike blue bag 
I found at DSW.
Skirt from Target
Shoes from Splendid

Sometimes it's really fun to be matchy!  Especially with BLUE, my favorite color!
(By the way, as much as I remember loving pink as a little girlie girl, my Mom told me recently that my favorite color was blue even then!)

I also bought these delicious sparkly shoes (by Sperry)!

My Mom added some very helpful things to her wardrobe (a maxi skirt, some animal prints, a cheetah-print bag - like mine above, only smaller and cross-body style! - and some palazzo pants).  Wonderful!

Then we went back to my parents' condo and my Dad grilled deee-licious steaks and my Mom made sweet potatoes with brown sugar, and we had dinner together!  Sadly, Greg was busy last night, so he couldn't join us, which would have made it even more fun.  But we had fun anyway!  

Today I got to go to the eye doctor - one of my favorite things is choosing glasses!
I LOVE being bespectacled!  It suits my style, my personality, and my love of books (and love of cats!)
The doctor added a bit more prism to my prescription and I ordered new frames with the lovely new crisp prescription put in.  Here's what I ordered!
by Kate Spade
style: Twyla
LOVE the snappy stripes on the inside!
And the color of the frame is almost the same color as my hair -
they look pretty together!

This last week I have expanded my eating a bit . . . I ate a "protein style" burger at In-N-Out (wrapped in lettuce)!  And while I pretty much only consumed the two leaves that actually held the burger, still: I ate lettuce!

And this last week, I made three dinners with a spicy kick.

Here's the great news:  I haven't had any major digestive distress because of any of this!

Also, I got a cold last night.  Now, I realize that doesn't sound like a great thing, but I haven't had a regular old cold with a sore throat and stuffy nose in about five years.  I actually was sort of concerned about my lack of colds, because it seemed to indicate that my immune system was indeed in overdrive (in auto-immune disorders, the person's own immune system attacks other parts of the body that it shouldn't attack).  So the fact that I have a cold makes me wonder if perhaps the LDN is calming my immune system down so it's responding more normally.  I hope that's the case!

There's the update for now.  
Now on to CATS!

Allistair loves to snuggle

Bjarne has been whining alllllllll the time lately,
but he looks calm and cutsey in this photo!

Claude hid under some packing paper

... and just sat there, looking pretty!

My generous parents brought a gift for us:
seven glasses they found at an antique store in
Alexandria, Minnesota, near their lake cabin.
They are bumpy with branches and twigs shaped into the glass.
I love them!

From the side, you can see Juvy's cute little snub nose!

I love to look at her from the front, too!

Allistair got really crazy on catnip and rolled around in this box like a cuckoo.

And here is some video of our GORGEOUS new quilt, made especially for us by Greg's Mom (THANKS, Linda!)  The cats love it, and so do we!!!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Desert Walk In Winter

I hope that 2014 is joyful and peaceful for you, and that your relationships to God and people get deeper.

On my way to church on Sunday, I saw this hot air balloon drifting along.
They are very peaceful.

I went for a long walk yesterday and, happily, took my camera!

Beautiful trees against the gorgeous blue sky

Ripening grapefruits: 

Some hair and a denim moto jacket with earbuds!

A bunch of palm tress looking stately

And the happiest news of all today, my LOVEBIRDS are back and living in the same palm tree!
Look how adorable they are!

These two Lovebirds were friendly with this other bird:

For a while, it looked like they were even sharing little kisses!

Here is some video of the Lovebirds making cute little whistles and peeps!
(Excuse the shakiness of the video - I was pretty zoomed in and trying to hold my arm steady!)

Also, Allistiar got chilly yesterday and burrowed under the quilt in my office/the guest bedroom.
Look how cute he is!!!
Stephen was interested in what that lump in the bed could be . . . 

Happy January 1st!