Pepe le Pew Mailbox Decoration


I have loved Pepe le Pew for years. I finally convinced my husband that we should make this mailbox decoration, plus we have another design we’ll make later than includes Penelope, the cat that Pepe pursues relentlessly.




Our foreign exchange student daughter, Viv, helped me paint this one! We spent part of a couple of days painting the back that you can see in the first picture. Then we got busy with school, so I went ahead and finished painting the piece.

Happy September!


Filed under Being a Host Family, Favorite Things, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Memories, Quality of Life

September 2014 Contest on Creative Artworks!

"Autumn Calling" by Jane Loedding

“Autumn Calling” by Jane Loedding

Isn’t this amazing? Some lucky person will win this 6″ x 12″ “Autumn Calling” original acrylic painting by Jane Loedding!

It’s varnished for protection and ready to hang.

To enter the contest, please email with

  • your full name,
  • full shipping address, and
  • home phone. (Phone is optional, and will be used only if you’re the winner of the contest and I am unable to reach you via email.) Your information is NEVER shared with anyone for any reason.

Best of luck to you in the contest!

Winner will be chosen September 30th.

While you’re drooling over this painting, you’ll give yourself a treat if you take a few minutes to look at Jane Loedding’s work on Creative Artworks.

She makes custom name signs for babies, children, teenagers, pets, businesses, and more. They’re very creative, and Jane will work with you to make them perfect. You can select colors, themes, and more. These would be great as gifts for family and friends, too!

See all of Jane’s work on Creative Artworks HERE


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Filed under Creative Artworks Contests, Creativity, Don't Miss These Products!, Gift Ideas

August Contest Winner on Creative Artworks!


GIFT BOX – “Shasta Daisies with Turquoise Butterfly” – ID # 16124 by Charlene Bodero

This sweet gift box by Charlene Bodero will soon be on its way to the August winner of the Creative Artworks contest – Edna from Atascadero, California. Congratulations, Edna!!

If you would like to order this gift box or another equally luscious one, you can go to this LINK

Charlene also makes greeting cards for all occasions, one at a time as you order. (She has great ones for Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas you’ll want to check out right away!)

Don’t miss her “DREAMS” Journal!

Handmade bottle cap and felt pin jewelry!

Charlene makes unique holiday ornaments and stocking stuffers you’ll want to get for your own celebration plus give as gifts to others. Each is handmade when you order, so please plan ahead and get your orders in soon.

And finally, if you’re planning a girl-type party of any kind, check out her DRESS TUBE place holders.

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Filed under Creative Artworks Contests, Creativity, Don't Miss These Products!

Today we’ll be victorious!

Picture this tree about twice as large in diameter and you’ll have an idea of the tree we’ve been attacking this weekend. We also have a firewood holder right in front of the tree, and the tree fell on it, of course. The big tree also damaged at least three other trees crashing down.

We spent almost all afternoon and evening Saturday working on it in the heat. Even though we took breaks and drank a ton of water, it was really too much.

Yesterday we waited until the day cooled off some before starting. We worked from about 6:00 to 8pm. Viv helped us, so the work went much faster and easier. (Great way to entertain a foreign exchange student, eh?)

We now have the dangerous part finished. We have a LOT of clean-up to do, branches to move, raking to do, and may taking down another small tree or so, but the major work is finished.

We had other plans for Labor Day – but mainly resting, relaxing, cooking out, and visiting – but sometimes other things get in the way.

I’m grateful that we worked carefully and no one got hurt. This was really a project that we should have hired someone to do, but I’m afraid it would have cost entirely too much. At some point, we will no longer have a choice, but I’m glad we could handle it this time.

I hope your Labor Day weekend has been full of family, friends, food, and fun!

Once we can declare victory over the tree tonight, we’ll cook out – kielbasa and veggies, with watermelon, followed by strawberries and ice cream!

Happy Labor Day!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Being a Host Family, Challenges, Exercise, Mother Nature

Lost day

credit -

credit -

Yesterday one of my good friends came over. When she got out of her car, she said, “Wow! You have a tree down.”

And those words marked the beginning of a super-long, super-hard-work day for us.

The tree was much like the one shown here, but larger around. It is the biggest tree on our 8+ acres. We have a large firewood holder right next to it, and the tree had fallen across it, almost bringing it down. The split tree had also irreparably damaged at least 3 other smaller trees.

We worked all afternoon and into the evening until ‘I’ couldn’t work anymore and declared victory for the day. We had stopped several times for water and a bit of rest, and we think we have the total job of getting the tree down and off of things half-finished now.

We decided we’re definitely too old and fat to do this, but hiring the job done would be super-expensive, so we’ll just continue to slog through the rest of the project the best way we can today.

Hope you had a good day yesterday, and have another today.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Arkansas, Challenges, Exercise, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Alexandre Ehrhard Photography – “Loneliness”

Alexandre Ehrhard Photography - "Loneliness"

Alexandre Ehrhard Photography – “Loneliness”

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Creativity, Favorite Photographs

The magic of owls

source unknown

source unknown

I am fascinated by owls. I’m not sure what draws me to them so much, but they lift my spirits. We hear them in the trees around our house from time to time, but I’ve never actually seen one here. I cannot seem to get enough of them. I gather owl pieces to display around my home. I save pictures. I have an owl necklace. I’ve drawn owls. I guess it’s their eyes I find so mesmerizing.

credit - beautifulnamazingphotocollection

credit -

“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”

credit - imlovinanimals

credit -

“He respects Owl, because you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if  he doesn’t spell it right.” A.A. Milne

source unknown

source unknown

Wiser than can be
Seeing great at night
Flying quieter over the sea
Making hope shine bright

credit - Ural Owl 336

credit -
Ural Owl 336

“Alone and warming his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson

credit - naturephotobook

credit -

“The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of  the world is missing?”  ― M.J. Rose

source unknown

source unknown

“Owls seem to have always been a bird that sparks the creative imagination. They have been seen as symbols of victory, wisdom, or solitude. In more recent decades, owls have also been associated with Halloween.” – Rebecca Ludens

credit - kudos

credit -

“I rejoice that there are owls…. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all  have.” – Henry David Thoreau


source unknown


Filed under Amazing Animals, Favorite Photographs, Favorite Quotes, Favorite Things

I love long weekends!

This morning my husband and I replaced nylon ties that had deteriorated due to UV and water and heat on the fabric covering over the garden. Remaining to be done are

  • weed whacking around the outside of the garden
  • sprinkling Sevin around the outside to ward off grasshoppers and other bugs trying to eat our veggies.
  • weeding the garden
  • prepping for the fall garden
  • planting seeds for the fall garden
  • making new ‘dividers’ for the two planters on the east side of the house

Thankfully, we should be able to get this accomplished due to the long weekend and no particular demands on our time!

Vivian asked what Labor Day was.

I stuttered a bit, basically saying that it was a day to honor workers, but was a bit embarrassed that I couldn’t definitively answer her, other than the fact she didn’t have school and most people got the day off from work.

Wikipedia says,  “Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.”

We’ll celebrate it by sleeping in and cooking out.

Happy Labor Day!


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Filed under Gardening, Special Holidays

Get down?

credit - Bill Lites

credit -
Bill Lites

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Filed under Funny Signs, Grin for the Day, Humor

What are you reading?

credit - thereadingroom

credit -

I love this picture! It represents to me how rich I feel when I’m surrounded by wonderful things to read. Time flies past as I dive into a good book. Tensions ease. Worries fade. I’m swallowed up in the world of my choosing, only to return when I’m ready. AHHHHHH!

As usual, I’m reading several things at once:

  • a re-read of #19 in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
  • a re-read of the first book in the Inns Boonsboro trilogy by Nora Roberts
  • finishing reading “Things that Matter” by Charles Krauthammer
  • continuing to read “One Nation” by Ben Carson
  • enjoying an English translation of a German cookbook Vivian brought me
  • a bulletin by our stock adviser
  • the local weekly newspaper
  • my gardening books
  • several magazines

I really have no idea what I would do if I weren’t surrounded by books, magazines, and the Internet. It’s become second nature to Google something that I hear on TV on my Nexus 7 in the living room, my computer in the office, or my phone in the car (while I’m a passenger, of course. :0) )

How lucky we are to be able to buy new or used books, check out books from the local library, exchange books with friends, or download more books on our Kindle or equivalent.

One of my good friends just recommended an author who is new to me. She’s written four books in a series and I just downloaded the first onto my Kindle. Can’t wait!

What are YOU reading today?

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Encouragement, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Things, Quality of Life

Can you get a ticket

credit - Bill Lites

credit -
Bill Lites

if the order is misspelled?


Filed under Grin for the Day, Humor

Just do it

credit -

credit -


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, Philosophy, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day

Pretty morning!


I wish you could see how glorious the sun was this morning. The silk sunflowers on the table seemed to be glowing, and the light on the hanging plant was almost palpable. The breeze was cool at 6 am and the morning was a really pretty one.  We ate breakfast out here, and had about an hour more where we could have doors and windows open before the heat started in earnest and we had to go to air conditioning.












Our deck flowers are still alive, though they’re really stressed by the heat we’ve been having. We have enjoyed a cooler than normal summer with a lot more rainfall this year, but the past couple of weeks have reminded us that this is all Mother Nature’s whim and can turn on a dime. We increased the time on our irrigation system, but I don’t know if that will be enough to keep the flowers going.




I love the view from our back yard any time of the year, but sometimes it becomes new when the sun is at the perfect angle. I think we can see about two miles, though I may be wrong. It’s a beautiful sight, though, and we can pretend it’s all ours.  I figure that if we can see it, it DOES belong to us…

Happy day everyone. I’m headed out to the shop to keep my husband company and to continue painting our newest mailbox decoration, Pepe le Pew!

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Filed under It's a Wonderful World!, Mother Nature, Quality of Life, Seasons, The Joys of Geezerhood

Too many raccoons!!!!!

AWWWWWW! So cute, right?

WRONG!  If you have raccoons in your vicinity you feel a bit hostile about this SWEET-LOOKING creature. We caught Raccoon #7  (but it may be more) of the season yesterday in our humane trap. He was the sweetest raccoon we’ve seen so far, so my husband ‘relocated’ him last night – read as – releasing him about 5 miles away from us, letting him out near a stream – dumping him on our neighbors further out in the sticks.

Although this one didn’t hiss or spit, we had the trap too close to the grill cover again and a raccoon similar to the one pictured ravaged the edges. We’re not going to buy another cover this season, so we’ll just have to pretend we like it this way.

I’ve almost decided that we should start spraying a Dayglo orange spot on each racoon we relocate so that we can tell if they make their way back here or if we’re dealing with all different raccoons.  It’s too late in the season to start now, but maybe we’ll start this in the spring.

Usually we have 2 or 3 raccoons in a season. 7 is entirely too many! They have ruined 1-1/2 grill covers, four feeding cups inside the humane traps, at least two bird feeders, and both squirrel feeders we have attached to trees in the front yard.  When they’re around they eat their share, and then everybody else’s share of the sunflower seeds we put out. We go through bags of sunflower seeds at an astonishing rate – one huge bag every other week.

If they would simply eat their share of seeds and not trash anything, we would be happy to accommodate them…

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Changes, Seasons, The Joys of Geezerhood


credit - themindunleashed via vickie eisenlohr

credit -
themindunleashed via vickie eisenlohr

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Quality of Life

Elliptical Trainer – Day 8

source unknown

source unknown

I already admitted to you that I took a ‘nap’ soon after getting up this morning to see Viv off to school. It seems to be taking ME longer to adjust to the new schedule than it has taken for Viv, and SHE had to change time zones, shedding 7 hours!

She IS taking a nap after school – sometimes lasting until a late dinner time, so I don’t feel totally bad about having to nap to keep up. I have a lot of YEARS on her…

I am keeping my promise to Viv so far, though I have to say I have to push myself to do the 15 minutes a day. (I know – but I’m trying to be honest with you.)  Since I took a nap this morning, I had to do the 15 minutes at a heat index of 98 degrees – no small thing for this old broad. But – I DID IT!

I’m also at a new ‘average’ on my pedometer – my promise to my son. My original average was about 1500 steps per day – I think that’s the level of a slug. Now my average is about 5,000 steps per day. I’m often hitting up to 9000+, but the average will take a bit longer to reach that.

Viv and my son, Brian, are happy with my efforts. I’m not patting myself on the head yet, though. When I can do the 15 minutes without really having to push to finish, I’m going to add some time gradually. When I’m up to half an hour, I’m adding the insulting Wii Fit to the mix, plus stretching exercises.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that my goal is to look like Julia Roberts. To this end, my massage therapist pulls on my arms and legs at my monthly massage, and I’m thinking really positive thoughts…. I only need to increase my height by about 5 inches or so and lose a dramatic amount of weight, have a face transplant…

Hey – we all have to have goals! Might as well aim high!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, Exercise, Healthy Eating, The Joys of Geezerhood

Voice Controlled Elevator

Voice Controlled Elevator - Nova 100 via Mary Frey

Voice Controlled Elevator – Nova 100 via Mary Frey

Mary Frey shared this video on Facebook. I honestly laughed until I was almost sick! What a wonderful, wacky, creative idea. I’m amazed at the creativity of the two young men who were ‘running’ the elevator. 

Voice Controlled Elevator

If the above link doesn’t work, here is the URL -



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Filed under Childlike Fun, Creativity, Favorite Things, Favorite Videos, Grin for the Day, Humor, I'm Glad I Found....

Creative Things from Metal – Take 2

This month I introduced you to Jeff from Tossed and Found Art, who makes amazing things from metal.


Jeff - Tossed and Found Art

Jeff – Tossed and Found Art

I have more wonderful things he has created to show you!


Unless you’ve looked at a pile of scrap metal and then tried to create something out of the pile, you really can’t appreciate how MUCH work something like this is.



And even if you can FIND a wonderful pile of scrap metal, or – in this case – lots of spoons, forks, and knives, I think that you and I would have a really hard time seeing this in our minds and actually coming up with something like this.




It’s one thing to ‘see’ a critter in your mind, and quite another to weld all the pieces together to come up with something that people recognize and to which they can relate.



Jeff can obviously do both. He’s creative, has a great sense of humor, and the expertise to make his ideas happen.




Our hats are off to Jeff. Long may he create!!!!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Creativity, Dreams, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Ideas, I'm Glad I Found...., It's a Wonderful World!, Quality Television Series

Good morning?

source unknown

source unknown

We got up at 6 a.m. this morning as usual to have breakfast, make lunch for Viv, and hug her before she went down the driveway to meet the bus. 

Then we went to the office and each of us got on our computer. Within a very few minutes, I was so sleepy I was in danger of bashing my brains out on the screen or the keyboard! 

I went into the living room, stretched out in my recliner and suddenly it was 9:10!

So, “Good morning” for the 2nd time to my husband and pets, and for the 1st time to you!

THIS time I might make it, with a large mug of coffee.

Hope YOU’RE feeling sassy….

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Being a Host Family, Challenges, Changes

Wonderful Watercolors – Take 4

credit - www.redbubble.com_neon rain_ paul jackson

credit -
http://www.redbubble.com_neon rain_ paul jackson

If you’ve tried watercolors, you know how wonderful and unforgiving they are. I’m in awe of this painting for many reasons, but mostly for the FEEL of it. You can almost feel the rain and the wet streets. I love the colors!


Don’t you want to be right beside this girl, touching a toe to the water, dancing as the waves go in and out? Just beautiful!


credit - webneel.com_Marion Bolognesi

credit -
webneel.com_Marion Bolognesi


Fall is my favorite season with the rich colors, crispness of the air, sweaters, fireplaces…. This makes me want to walk right into this painting, breathing deeply.


I was lucky enough to ‘meet’ Katja Turnsek via email several years ago, and she is a lovely lady as well as a most talented artist. I can’t believe her animal portraits. They are exquisite in their detail, bringing her subjects to glorious life. I want to reach out and pet this wonderful dog. I expect him to turn and look at me!

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Filed under Creativity, Favorite Pictures, I'm Glad I Found...., Quality of Life, Wonderful World of Watercolors

Have you ever noticed

credit - George Carlin via 92.9thewave via cindy bassnett thurman

credit – George Carlin via 92.9thewave via cindy bassnett thurman

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Filed under Attitude, Favorite People, Favorite Quotes, Grin for the Day, Humor

Do you think schools will act on this?

credit - Scientific American

credit -
Scientific American

Basically, this article says that junior highs and high schools should start later to help students do better in school, taking advantage of their natural change in sleeping patterns.

It would be really good if schools would change, but I’m afraid this information will get lost in the shuffle. Kids SHOULD come first!


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Filed under General Information, I'm Glad I Found...., Interesting Articles

Ham Radio Antenna


For several weeks now we’ve been trying to get a 20 meter antennae high in the trees across the yard at our house. My husband was used arrows to which he had added weights and a long string. We encountered an arrow-eating tree that STILL hasn’t given our arrows back.

Finally, we got the arrow over the tree and retrieved it on the other side. Then we had a wind and rain event and the string we had gotten over the first tree came down.

After another several days (plus the rest of the weighted arrows) my husband tied the string to a large piece of scrap iron and did a David-and-Goliath style toss. He did it!

He then tied the string ends securely to either end of the 20 meter antennae and we pulled it up high over both trees and secured the ends.



This may not look like much to YOU, but it’s beautiful to us. The line comes down from the horizontal string and antenna, attached to a coax cable that comes into the house.




We draped the cable over an outdoor flood light at the corner of the house to keep it up off the ground and out of the way, but the project is essentially completed now.

After checking with the head of the Amateur Radio Club, we’ve ordered 3/16″ diameter Dacron rope to replace the cord we’re using now. It will last much longer in the sun and rain, hopefully lasting for years before we’ll need to replace it.

Now my husband can concentrate on the fun business of contacting other people on his ham radio!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Dreams, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Birthday/Wedding/New Baby Gift by Charlene Bodero

Birthday/Wedding/New Baby Gift by Charlene Bodero

Felt Bear – Birthday/Wedding/New Baby Gift – ID # 16131 by Charlene Bodero


“Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.

Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy,

Was he?”

(Children’s song, limerick, source unknown)



“Breast Cancer Bear” Handmade Felt Pin – ID # 15561 by Charlene Bodero

Vivian (our wonderful daughter from Germany for whom we are a host family until June 2015) and I are having fun with limericks.

When she was learning English, she practiced pronunciation through limericks and tongue twisters, among other things, and we had a great time the other day playing with them.

She brought up “Peter Piper” – but neither of us could get past the first line. (When we visited with our good friends later in the week, Dave said it with no hesitation or stuttering or difficulty at all!) I returned with “Fuzzy Wuzzy,” plus my personal favorite limerick -

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. 

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. 

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers 

How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?”



“Tropical Bear” Handmade Felt Pin – ID # 15562 by Charlene Bodero

I returned with “Fuzzy Wuzzy,” plus my personal favorite limerick -

“And here’s the happy, bounding flea.

You cannot tell the ‘he’ from ‘she.’

The sexes are alike, you see.

But HE can tell, and so can SHE.”


“Bridal-Shower-Centerpiece” – ID # 9935 by Debbie Garrett 

I’m going to see if Viv knows this one when she comes home from school today -

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood.”


“Cancer Color Bear Angel” – ID # 15573 by Debbie Garrett

Come see the teddy bears – ornaments, pins, gifts – at Creative Artworks.


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Filed under Amazing Animals, Don't Miss These Products!, Gift Ideas

Another awe-inspiring photograph

credit - national geographic award winning photo

credit -
national geographic award winning photo

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Favorite Photographs, I'm Glad I Found...., It's a Wonderful World!

Some photos need no captions – Take 6

credit - Carolyn Cochran

credit -
Carolyn Cochran


credit - Carolyn Cochran

credit -
Carolyn Cochran


credit - Carolyn Cochran

credit -
Carolyn Cochran


credit - Bill Lites

credit -
Bill Lites

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Filed under Grin for the Day, Humor, Some Photos Need No Captions

Would you agree?

credit - jokesandquotes

credit -

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Opinion, Philosophy

French Toast!

Viv offered to make French toast for us this morning!

I’ve eaten it, but never made it, so I acted as an assistant, finding stuff, handing her tools, watching her cook. We had fun, laughing and talking while she made us a breakfast. My husband sat on a stool, scarfing his toast up at the divider between the kitchen and the dining area. I ended up doing the same when Viv sat down beside me.

It was delicious. We decided we would add a bit more sugar to make it perfect.  Viv cooked, and my husband cleaned up. I could get used to being spoiled like this…

Next Sunday, we’re going to make waffles!

Happy Sunday!

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Filed under Being a Host Family, Family, Favorite Things, Lifting Your Spirits, Making Your Life Easier, Quality of Life

Hanging in there

credit -

credit -

We have now finished the first week at school. We all made it fine, even though getting up at 6 am is NOT our favorite thing. The really good thing is that Viv is meeting people who may become friends. Nice girls from the basketball team are bringing her home after practice. We may have some adjustments to her classes, since being a foreign exchange student is basically a “lost year” as far as her serious studies in Germany are concerned. We want her to be interested, but not in a panic in her classes. We should make final decisions in the next day or two.

School itself is a wonderful way for teens to meet each other. There is little awkwardness, and the classes or after school activities are a fun way to get to know others.

Last week there was a volleyball game, and another night we all went to the Sebastian County Fair. Viv met another foreign exchange student, Mimmi, from Sweden, and they went off happily while we geezers enjoyed our version of the fair. (One of the big attractions was wrist bands that you could buy for $20 that allowed you unlimited rides until 9:00 or so.)


My husband and I love to see the animals that have been submitted to judges. My husband loves to see the pigs, for some reason unappreciated by me. The larger and more stinky, the better, according to him. He was a bit disappointed this year. There were no pigs who filled up their stalls, though the stink was plenty for me.

My favorite is the rabbits. I love them all, small or large, no matter what color. My favorite this year was a small one. He was a rich, brown color with darker ears, feet, and big, brown, sparkling eyes. He was just beautiful. I really wanted him, but saw no way to spirit him away without someone noticing… :0)

We had looked forward to feeding some exotic animals this year, but there were none. Last year we fed outrageously expensive food sold in a small cup to llamas, a camel, some kind of elk, we think an ostrich, Asian Musk Ox, small goats – we can’t remember them all, but it was fun. I guess not enough people paid to feed them last year, so they didn’t return.

I really enjoy the lights! I love to walk around the fair, watching the people, appreciating the bright lights on the rides. There were plenty this year. It all looked so pretty! They had turned the music up to ‘kill,’ and it was ‘school night’ so there were a gazillion people all enjoying themselves.

We enjoyed going through the exhibit buildings, with handmade quilts, artwork, photographs, flower arrangements, pies, jellies and jams, and lots of other things. We found a quilt that was really special. It was a ‘picture’ rather than a more classic quilt, and was machine-outlined. In the commercial building, we found the business of one of the girls on the basketball team. She and her family make wooden accents, such as light switch plates and take custom orders. I was impressed.

It was super hot and muggy, so it wasn’t long before the geezers chose to leave, get some food at the Sonic after traveling there in our air-conditioned truck, and then going home to wait for a text that the girls were ready to leave. That came about 10:30. We took Mimmi home and exchanged fair experiences on the ride home.

For a first week at school, it went really well. Riding the bus in the morning is now routine, except when we’ll drive her down to the bottom of the driveway and wait with her if the weather is rainy or cold. Friends are bringing her home. Homework is scant so far. Getting to classes has become easy. She is unable to get into her locker, but it’s in a bad place, far away from classes anyway, so probably won’t be used. Thank goodness the backpack she chose is working well.

On to the start of another school week tomorrow. I’m keeping my ‘back to school promises.’ I’m walking far more than I usually do (promise to my son); and I’m on the elliptical every morning (promise to Viv). I’ve lost 5 lbs. so far. I’ll be happier when many more pounds are on the ‘gone’ list, but I have a good start….

We LOVE being a host family!  It’s good to have a completely new focus, participate in new things, change plans to accommodate a good opportunity at the drop of a hat, and more. Wonderful challenge and FUN life!!

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Filed under Being a Host Family, Quality of Life, Special Occasions, The Joys of Geezerhood

Communication Problem

credit - onefitwindow

credit -

If words could smack you in the face, these would do it for me.

I recognized years ago that my mom did this, and, as a teen-ager, I was very critical. I was more forgiving as I grew older, and I realized that my mom really didn’t realize what she was doing. She was just having a good time talking.

I then realized several years ago that “I” did it, as well. I was mortified!  I actually had to mentally sit on my tongue not to blurt out thoughts as they raced through my brain as I supposedly listened to my friends, relatives and co-workers. I forced myself not to interrupt them, but my focus was on what I wanted to share.

It’s very difficult to change. But even though I still have to sit on my tongue sometimes, I’ve found I learn so much more about the people I care about when I really focus on really listening to them. I already KNOW my own experiences. If after I’ve really heard what other people have said, my experience still seems relevant, I share. Many times the conversation goes off in another direction. I learn more and enjoy the conversation more when I focus on THEM.

An ongoing challenge, but one well worth working on.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

A man and his girl


no captions needed - carolyn cochran

no captions needed – carolyn cochran


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Filed under Favorite Photographs, Some Photos Need No Captions