Welcome to Simply Stated!

Thank you so much for stopping by. This blog is something I've set up just for fun -- yours and mine! There are any number of things that may be discussed here from everyday living in the California desert to digital scrapbooking to my favorite books to cardmaking to the art of letter writing to caring for feral cats to movies I like. After you read my bio, you should have a good sense of other topics you may find here. I welcome your comments and hope you return again and again!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Floyd & Jeanie's 2009 Update

Hello Family & Friends!

What a Year! We've had some trials, but mostly we've been blessed! First, the downside...
As a result of the current economy, construction projects are way down, so Floyd's been working more for us than anyone except for a couple of outside projects. Like so many others, we've tightened our belts and become quite resourceful using what we already have. I was hospitalized a couple of times this year (but even so, my health is almost perfect). And now, to share our blessings!

Floyd is finishing a storage building for me ... a place to house my myriad books and other good stuff in my craft room that I want to keep but don't need daily. In 2010, I will reestablish a workspace in my craft room rather than using the guest bed as my “work table.”

Apparently, Floyd & I have become unofficial Feral Kitten Rescuers. During the year, we've taken in 11 kittens from three separate litters. All three mama cats disappeared without any traces, no doubt, victims of roving coyotes. We bottle-fed the first two litters, but because the third litter was approximately four weeks old when we got them, they didn't need the Kitten Replacement Milk.

Jewely (9 yrs), who’s been with us a year, wishes in vain that she was still an Only-Cat.
All the other Kittles are the bane of her existence which is sad because the remaining 11 get along wonderfully; it’s as if they were all a part of one gigantic litter.

We have Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine at nine-months old; Bodie, Coso, and Opal, at just over seven-months; and Dusty, Jasper, SnowQueen, Taboose who are about 2-1/2-months. The first seven have all been spayed or neutered, and in about 2-1/2 months, the youngest litter will have their turn. Each kitty has unique likes and dislikes, plus a cute personality. Although I adore each of them, I'm partial to Fireball and Coso. When Fireball wants me to pet him, he gently places his paw on my forearm or leg and looks me in the eye. I call Coso "My Cat with the French Manicured Paws" because her solid black front paws are white at the very tips. Then Blaze captures my heart with her big, golden eyes gazing at me. And I could go on and on about each one of them! Floyd is partial to Opal especially since we almost lost her when she was teeny-tiny. He also favors Jasper who is a sweet, little fluff-ball. In the midst of all this Kitten-Chaos, we have good, old Mollie, our Blue-tick Hound (14 yrs). Overall, Mollie loves the cats except when they get a bit too playful, and then they just plain annoy her.

This and the following three pictures were taken when our youngest litter
was about two or three weeks old and still lived outdoors with their MamaCat.
Meet Dusty!

Here, we have Jasper.

This is SnowQueen.

And here is Taboose (rhymes with "caboose")

Other fun stuff: meeting my brother, Steve, & his wife, Kyoko, in Carmel for a fantastic weekend in April; a spring visit from my Mom & Wayne; a short visit from my nieces Elii & Sienna; watching the Space Shuttle landing; a quick visit from my Dad & Reen; going on our area's Artist Studio Tour with my long-time friend, Denise, in October, while her hubby, Steve, and Floyd went on a mountain fishing trip; a fascinating day-long, hiking tour of Little Petroglyph Canyon to see ancient Indian rock art; and now we're rounding out the year with a nice, long visit from Floyd's mom, Julia! Throughout the year, I also love spending time with Pine, lunches with friends, scrapbooking, cardmaking and card clubs, writing, reading, occasional interpreting assignments, mentoring other interpreters, and volunteering for LLL.

We're looking forward to more blessings in the New Year and praying you will have the same!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This is an experiment.
This in only an experiment.
If this was a Real Blog Entry, it would say something of interest (well, we can always hope) and probably have pictures.

What, pray tell, is the experiment? I'm posting this from my cellphone, a simple Samsung Propel with a slide-out qwerty keyboard but no nifty apps. Will it work?

We shall see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Card Published in _Just Cards! Holidays!_

Woo Hoo! Another card I submitted has been published in Just Cards! Holidays! which is on newstands now or available from Scott Publications. If you see a copy, check out pages 100-101 for a photo of the card and complete instructions for making it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh Goody, More Kitten Pix!

Not only can one not have too many kittens, but one cannot have too many kitten pictures!

First, an update: We have stopped all efforts of finding other homes for any of the kittens because we adore each one and are keeping them all!

THE BIGZ: Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine are five months old tomorrow. They are at the vet's as I write having their spay or neuter operations.

THE LITTLEZ: Bodie, Coso, and Opal are almost four months old. They love to play, eat, snuggle, play, eat, and snuggle, plus they think the four larger kittens are the cat's meow. (The feeling is mutual.)

Now, for the pix:
I thought it was time to show off the babies' mamas. Above is Little Grey, the Littlez' Mom. I got this picture as she looked through the dining room window from the Feral Family's Feeding Station.

Here is Golden Girl (previously known as BusterToo) who was the Bigz' mother. Golden Girl was under the deck when I shot this, so there was enough distance between us to suit her, and I didn't have to take the photo through glass.

A Kitty Ball featuring (l-r) Blaze, Coso, Opal, and Sunshine.

Blaze at 3-1/2 months. She is a wonderfully sweet kitten. When she wants me to pick her up, she rests her front paws on my knee and looks up at me with her big golden eyes.

Sunshine in his curious mode. (As if there's any other?)

The Twins: Rainbow & Blaze. Not quite identical: besides their obviously different faces, Rainbow's eyes are green while Blaze's eyes are gold colored.

This is Coso who in earlier pictures sported a silver gray body with her black face. Even though she appears solid black (except for her obvious white parts), in certain light we can see that like her litter mates, Bodie and Opal, she has tabby stripes in shades of dark charcoal gray and black.

Opal in a position she apparently believes is comfortable enough for sleep.

Opal in a more sensible sleeping position. We almost lost Opal when she was only a few weeks old. She became dehydrated, weak, and lethargic. We gave her IV fluid and she pulled through. Floyd held her in his arms for hours while she was ill, and Opal seems to sense this. When he walks in the room, she runs to him, flips herself on her back, and waits for him to rub her little, white tummy. If Floyd's walking through a room, Opal watches his feet till they stop, they throws herself at his feet with her belly up.

Coso loves to stretch just about more than any other cat I've known. Notice her French Manicured front paws!

(L-R) Coso, Bodie, and Rainbow: The Three Great Hunters...tracking bugs flying around the light on the living room ceiling.

Here's a shot of Fireball sacked out in my arms. Ever since he was just a five-inch kitten, whenever I pick him up, he relaxes so completely, his entire body goes limp and he immediately falls asleep as I hold him. A wonderful characteristic!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

This morning, I made two cards like this for a card swap. One was sent to Michigan, the other to Virginia. I just picked up the stamp of the girl with her kitten yesterday. It's from Stampin' Up! I used watercolor paper, Stampin' Up markers, and a water pen to color the image. You'll note the girl has light brown hair with auburn highlights (much like me) and the kitty is an orange tabby, just like my sweet Fireball!

Happy Birthday, America!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

See That Little White Dot?

As soon as we heard on the news yesterday morning that the space shuttle Atlantis would be landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Floyd & I jumped in the car and drove about 60 miles to an area where we could witness the landing. This is the first shuttle landing I've ever seen, and it was exciting especially for a Memorial Day Weekend activity.

Floyd is an old hand at witnessing shuttle landings dating as far back as the early 1980s when the shuttle program was still new. He worked at NASA in the early 70s at what is now Dryden Flight Research Facility, so he asked a former co-worker for pit passes to the second ever shuttle landing. He shot some great photos of the returning astronauts that day because he was so close to the center of activity.
The first shot I took with my camera (at maximum zoom) when we first spotted the shuttle following it's explosive sonic boom after shattering the sound barrier.

Below is the picture above and some others I took then cropped and optimized for web viewing.

Now, it looks like the shuttle!

Gliding past us toward the runway.

Angling down for the landing.

Traveling at more than 200 miles per hour, it's almost down.

Just me with the shuttle landing site in the distant background.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We Call Him Fireball

Here he is. The runt of the litter. But not short on making his way in this big old world. He is the most vocal of his litter. Always the first to wake and summon us with a penetrating, screeching yowl indicating that it is TIME to eat.

Yesterday afternoon he raced to his little dish, buried his face in his food, and wrapped his arms and paws along the rim of the bowl to block access from possible interlopers, growling if they dared come near. Fireball's Feeding Frenzy.

I burst out laughing after one look at him when he was done eating. Primo Photo Op! This has been PhotoShopped with an effect called Spatter--very apropos, I'd say. Look below to see the original photo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mother's Day Should Be Every Day...

if I don't say so myself.

Earlier this month, on Mother's Day proper, Pine spoiled me as she always does. I figure Blogging is a license to brag, so check out the goodies I got from my sweet daughter!

L-R: Handcrafted earrings, Miniature Rose, Love picture holder, recipe cards (for Baked Artichokes, Potato-Cheese Soup, and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake) and Mother's Day Card

The three recipes are ones she prepared for me and that we munched on throughout our day together. She also took me to see the new "Star Trek" movie which I absolutely LOVED!!

Can One Have Too Many Kittens?

It's springtime in the desert which means greening trees, blooming flowers, garden planting, birds singing, and lots~n~lots of KITTENS!

Even though we'd already taken in BusterToo's (aka GoldenGirl) litter, when we discovered another abandoned litter of three tiny kittens three days ago, we brought them inside to care for, too.

In the lower left corner is Rainbow overseeing the new babies (top to bottom):
Bodie, Opal, and Coso

Yes, that's right: We have SEVEN kittens under the age of eight weeks living under foot and in our special kitten nursery (our front shower).

We are in touch with a woman in our area who runs the Tulgey Wood Critter Refuge to see if we can match the young litter with a lactating mama cat. In the meantime, it's kind of a circus around here at feeding time, but earlier today, I did the whole thing by myself while Floyd was in town on business.

I mixed four dishes of soft, canned cat food with kitten kibbles for Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine. I brought them out of the nursery and put them in front of their respective dishes. While they ate, I heated the KMR Kitten Replacement Milk for the three little guys. When Blaze & Co. had finished eating, back to the nursery they went. I grabbed one new kitten, Opal, and fed her by bottle. I put her back in the nursery and grabbed her brother, Bodie. When Bodie was done eating, I popped him in the shower, and brought the last kitten, Coso, to the living room to drink her milk.

When they'd all finished eating and were back in the nursery, all seven kittens curled up together in a big, multi-colored Kitty Ball. Happy, content, purring, and ready to nap.

As I write, I hear stirrings from the nursery, so it must be time for Round Three.

Monday, May 11, 2009

500 Miles and Still Counting

Last Wednesday, Floyd and I walked Mile No. 500 during our two-mile-a-day walk. We've been tracking our progress since 16 June 2008. While our goal is to walk every day, if you do the math, you can figure out that there are some days we've missed. I guess the really important thing we've learned is even if there's a reason we can't or don't walk a given day, we just get back out there the next day rather than throwing in the towel because we missed a walk.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Introducing Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine

If you've been following this blog, you know we have a number of feral cats on our property. These cats come and go. Some stay and set up housekeeping while others pass across our land to other haunts.

Last August, I wrote about a teen-aged cat we called "Mini-Buster" (and eventually BusterToo) because he reminded us of our cat Buster. As it happens, other than the orange tabby coat, they weren't much alike and BusterToo was female. I figured this out when I noticed in mid-March she was quite pregnant. On March 29th, I saw BusterToo and she'd had her litter. They were well hidden and we had no idea where.

On April 21st, BusterToo didn't show up for breakfast which concerned us greatly because she was a regular and made sure never to miss a meal especially after her kittens were born. She hadn't shown up by mid-day, so Floyd went in search of her litter. He found four three-week old kittens safely tucked away in an old bus. There are two tortie females and two orange tabby males.

Toward box front: Blaze
Toward box back: Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine
Photo taken 21 Apr 2009


BLAZE: Tortie female with large "blaze" in the middle of her face
FIREBALL: Extremely energetic orange tabby male
RAINBOW: Tortie female with every color of the rainbow on her coat
SUNSHINE: Orange tabby male with white face, white tummy, and white tip on tail

Their mama had taken excellent care of them during the three weeks she had with them. Each was strong and healthy. Their coats were in beautiful condition. Thankfully, they had all the advantanges of their mama's milk for their first three weeks.

For the fourth time in the 18 years we've been here, we're sharing our front shower with kittens. We confine them in the glassed in full-size shower when it's their kitty-nap time and overnight. We bring them out several times each day to bottle feed them using KMR Milk Replacer for Kittens. Now five-and-a-half-weeks old, they are also feasting on canned cat food from time to time.

In the past week, they've begun washing and grooming themselves, plus started play-fighting with each other, as well as playing with strings, empty paper towel rolls, and pieces of cellophane. Their playfulness and antics are adorable.

Sunshine & Blaze tussling on the bed, 25 April 2009

Thank You Card for My Long Time Friend!

At the end of April, a box arrived with my name on the label. After opening the flaps of the box, I could see that it held a coffee mug that I knew I hadn't ordered. Then I thought, oops, maybe Floyd had gotten me a surprise and quickly closed up the box.

I asked Floyd about it and found out he hadn't ordered it either, so I completely opened the package and was thrilled when I realized a good friend since the 9th grade, Carol, had had a special coffee mug personalized just for me!

On the mug's outside are three brightly colored owls along with the inscription, "Jeanie's Mug...That's Hooo!" Tooo cute! I love that the inside is burgundy colored and will never show any coffee stains! It's also the perfect size for me delivering 8 ounces of liquid. PLUS...about three days before it arrived, the coffee cup I'd been using for years had broken. Now, that's perfect timing!

First thing in the morning out on the deck, me in my jammies, hot mocha in my mug, with sun in my eyes!

Pictured below is the thank you card I made Carol.

I used a white base card, scored, and folded to make a 5.5" x 4.25 card. I added a burgundy colored card stock by Bazzill. The printed floral by Close to My Heart (CTMH) was die-cut using Spellbinders' Nestabilities Scalloped Oval and Paper Shapers' Photo Corner punch. The white oval on which I stamped the owl using Ancient Page Bordeaux ink was die-cut and embossed using Nestabilities and popped with foam tape. The owl is from Prickly Pear Rubber Stamps and was colored with Prismacolor markers. The owl is from Prickly Pear Rubber Stamps and was colored with Prismacolor markers.

Inside the card, I repeated the burgundy Bazzill card stock, CTMH floral, and added a computer printed sentiment.

Carol called the other day to say thanks for the card and that she loved it. Woo Hoo! That's why I love cardmaking!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chasing Windmills

Happy Spring!

Following are photos I took at the Kiewit Family Day this past January. While on tour of the work site (before the yummy BBQ and winning our new TV), we were able to witness the rotors added to a windmill tower. A truly amazing sight considering the towers stand approximately 340 feet, and the diameter of the rotors is 253 feet. Most interesting to me in these shots is the comparison to the size of the men in the photos. Talk about ants.

For more info about and to view more photos of Kiewit Pacific's Pine Tree Wind Project (Farm), click on the title of this blog entry.