Teaching the love of reading

credit - booksrockmyworld via cathy ruggiero

credit -
booksrockmyworld via cathy ruggiero

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Family, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Quotes, Quality of Life

Unexpected Visitors

Racoons

 

Yesterday my husband said there were indications that something other than birds were getting into the feeders. We decided to mount our outdoor motion detector camera on the window to the deck. Can you see the two raccoons?

We like raccoons in the abstract. But in reality, they’re pretty unfriendly. They hiss and spit at you if they see you. They not only eat ALL the birdseed in the feeders, they destroy the feeders, too!

We’re putting a humane trap on the deck tonight with peanuts and other stuff as bait to see if we can catch one. If he or she isn’t too fierce, we’ll drive about 5 miles or so farther out in the sticks and ‘relocate’ him or her.

Hopefully, we can catch all the offenders and give them another chance at life elsewhere!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Mother Nature, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

Wooden Wonders – Take 12

wood_kevin_mccardell,_plus.google.com

credit – kevin_mccardell,_plus.google.com

At first glance, I thought this was an old, soft, yummy leather jacket. Then I discovered it was a wood carving!  I’m beyond awestruck.

 

wood_jeff_koons_commons.wikimedia.org

credit – jeff_koons_commons.wikimedia.org

I love this dog – not only because the work is amazing, but because I want to reach out and PET him! How in the world could someone make wood look so soft?

 

wood_heathernlynn.wordpress.com

credit – heathernlynn.wordpress.com

Beautiful, isn’t it? It looks so NATURAL, like reeds in a pond… Somehow, there is a calming influence, as well.

 

wood_gehard_demetz_www.dengedenge.com

credit – gehard_demetz_www.dengedenge.com

“Running with scissors” – I hope this child is just THINKING about it, rather than doing it. I’m amazed at all the different textures – the smooth face and hands, the metallic look of the scissors, the hair, and the material of the shirt. Simply stunning.

 

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Filed under Creativity, Favorite Things, I'm Glad I Found...., It's a Wonderful World!, Our Unique Culture, Quality of Life, Wooden Wonders

I’m rich in flowers!

We just got home with a car full of riches – beautiful flowers to spread around in the yard!

 

These are vinca or periwinkles. We plant them all over the place, wherever we need some nice color.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

credit – www-parkswholesaleplants-com

These are impatiens. They seem to love the front porch, where they’re in the shade.

 

This is a wave petunia. We’re going to plant this in pots on either side of our driveway at the top.

 

This is yubi or purslane, which we use in concrete planters around the yard that we have to water by hand. It’s very drought tolerant and blooms profusely during the day when the sun is at its hottest. :0) We got several different colors!

As soon as I catch my breath, I’ll go outside and do some serious planting!

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Something to look forward to

weather1

It seems it’s always something, doesn’t it? We had rain all day yesterday. Today and tomorrow we’re having some wonderful sunshine, but we can’t relax and enjoy very long! (Limited risk of severe thunderstorms Thursday, then again Saturday and Sunday…

 

weather2

We are in Arkansas, in the third circle from the center.  I would much rather be somewhere in the western U.S. for a few days!

 

weather3

 

We’re in the green blob here – I’d rather note be in ANY blob…

Hope you’re not any severe weather color!

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Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons

Metal Sculpture – Take 5

Such a wonderful tribute to nature! I almost expect these to move in the next breeze. I would love to have this one!

 

 

I have no idea how this was made. I’m in awe of the mind and talent that could create this.

 

metal_newd7000user.wordpress.com

credit – newd7000user.wordpress.com

This piece makes me smile.  His ferocity is lost in the cuteness factor, I’m afraid. I love it!

 

metal_edouard-martinets

credit – edouard-martinets

I love this piece because of the wonderful sense of movement. I have no idea how this balances. Isn’t it amazing?

 

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Thanks?

credit - images.lipy.com

credit -
images.lipy.com

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My part of the garage… It DOES have a counter top!

garage

 

 

My cleaning efforts may have ended where YOURS begin, but this is a nice, big change from what was there before.

When I began a couple of days ago, you couldn’t tell that there was counter top there. It was piled to ‘there’ with all sorts of things and to say finding things was a challenge would be an understatement.

Guiding you through this photograph, The blue and silver cover is on my newly swept-off and wiped-down Elliptical Trainer. If I’m not doing something pretty strenuous during the day, I’m trying to put in 15 minutes or so on this.

I now have my seed starting stuff organized on the left end of the counter. The other stuff is organized so I can FIND things! I threw away a ton of stuff – more or less, and even my husband was amazed.

Later, he put stuff that didn’t belong on my counter. I found it piled up and brought him out to show him that he was very helpful in making my counter ‘disappear.’ He looked a bit sheepish and moved the stuff. :0)

This probably won’t last, but I feel in better control of my gardening stuff now. I have another group of supplies out by the square foot garden that lives in trash cans by the shop. That makes them close and easy to find and use out there.

Hooray!

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The Chair Mat Challenge

chairmat2

I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but putting in this chair mat this afternoon was a real challenge!

It was delivered by UPS in a 6 foot long by about 1 foot deep box. Since the chair mat is 6 feet by 6 feet, one can only imagine the means and machinery needed to roll this heavy mat into such a TIGHT roll. I think they must STEAM it in the shop and then a machine wraps it up tightly and wraps it in several layers of heavy-duty transparent wrap to hold it.

There are stiff ‘prongs’ on the side that goes down on the carpet, and when we were pulling and hauling to get the roll from the garage to the office, they hurt my hands! I ended up wrapping my arms around my end and walking sideways to get it to its destination.

Once we got things out of the office and I quickly vacuumed, the next problem was to get the roll UN-rolled – no simple thing!

We finally got one end loose enough that I could stand on the edge while my husband fought to cut the Saran type wrapping foot by foot and then push with all his might to unroll the thing a bit more.

We finally rested for awhile, since it was MUCH stronger than we are.

chairmat1

When we got it mostly unrolled about 20 minutes later, we then had to turn it over so that the prongs were on the carpet side. That was a LOT of fun.

We got one edge moved to where I could shove one corner under the file cabinet as my husband lifted up the front edge.  The mat make take several days to actually lie flat, so in the meantime, we used the chairs that were in here, and several other heavy things to hold it down.

We also got one roll-around chair from the shop for me to use. I can’t roll around yet until the mat is flat and all the ‘weights’ are removed, but I think I’m going to like it a lot. I can work at my computer, roll over to my desk, and back again, if the phone rings!

We need to figure out how to lower the roll-around chair a bit more, but otherwise, this should be a very good improvement.

We ordered a custom 32″ x 12 foot chair mat for my husband. Hopefully, we’ll get that one soon. My husband thinks it won’t be as much of a fight as a 6 foot x 6 foot piece to unroll.

We already like the way we moved things around to make better work areas for each of us. Maybe we’ll have a roll-around race when both mats are truly flat…

face_www.vector-eps.com

 

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Paper Dreams – Take 1

paper_jeremy_kool_weandthecolor.com

credit – jeremy_kool_weandthecolor.com

I’ve decided that for any material you can name, some talented soul will have made something extraordinary with it. Take paper. We draw or paint on it. We use it to wrap things in. We might even do a paper mache’. But look what these people have done!

 

paper_Jeff_Nishinaka_ideasgn.com

credit – Jeff_Nishinaka_ideasgn.com

I guess this started with a blank hughe sheet of paper and then the greenery and man, etc., were made and added on, layer by layer…

 

paper_artclub.blogs.brynmawr.edu

credit – artclub.blogs.brynmawr.edu

This piece takes my breath away! I have no idea how they got the detail of the skin, fingernails, hair coming out below the edge of the cap, and the lace!

 

paper_Anna-Wili-Highfield-yatzer_www.yatzer.com

credit – Anna-Wili-Highfield-yatzer_www.yatzer.com

Truly a beautiful sculpture. And the techniques of each artist are so different! Amazing.

 

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The perfect rain

credit - cutearoo.com

credit -
cutearoo.com

I FEEL like this sweet, wet doggie right now. We just got home from running errands. We tried to wait for it to stop, but this is the perfect rain, calm, steady, soaking – and it will probably go all day and all night.

We decided that we would set up rain barrels and some other stuff, so we made several stops trying to gather barrels, spigots, barrel pumps, etc. We only got about half of what we needed, so it’s good we can search the net to come up with things we can’t find locally.

We changed our mailbox decoration this morning, swapping the Easter Bunny

 

Easter Bunny Decoration

Easter Bunny Decoration

For Wyle E. Coyote.

 

wylecoyotemailboxdec2

Wyle E Coyote Mailbox Decoration

Now we’re beginning to dry off a bit. We’ll make some lunch and enjoy listening to the rain, rather than being out in it… :0)

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Mother Nature

Sharing a bit of my world

deck_view1

 

Living on top of a ridge line in Arkansas this time of year is a wonderful thing to be doing. For the few days between the harsh winter with ice storms we had this year and the brutally hot weather we’ll have soon, if we’re lucky, we have several days of PERFECT weather to really enjoy life.

I wanted to share with you our view to the south. We own about 8 acres of woods, but we can SEE a lot more. There is a ridge line between ours and the horizon you can see. It looks different each season of the year. We feel if we can SEE it, it’s OURS. :0)

 

deck_view3

 

We have lots of trees on our property. We cleared a bunch of them all the way across the back a couple of years ago so we could improve our view, plus lessen the wildfire danger. Soon the trees grow back.

 

deck_view2

 

This is a view from our deck across the valley.  We’ve already cooked out twice this spring, and we eat on our screened porch most every morning, enjoying each one, knowing the days like this will be numbered.

I hope that you’re enjoying the spring wherever you are tonight.

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Easter Dress

credit - sixgirlsmom.blogspot.com

credit -
sixgirlsmom.blogspot.com

What a beautiful bunch of girls all dressed up for Easter. Can you imagine keeping them all clean long enough to get to church services and back? And the white shoes would be a full-time job!

I loved getting ready for Easter every year when I was a child. I always got a new outfit for Easter. At church the children would carry flowers up to the altar at one point in the service, singing as we walked. I loved it.

One year when I was a young teenager, my mother got me a truly glorious outfit. My first (and only, I think) Angora sweater and a tweedy skirt. The sweater had 3/4 sleeves and was the shyest shade of pink. The sweater was truly fuzzy and I loved the pink cloud that surrounded me when I wore it. I felt like a princess!

An all-time favorite thing was black patent leather shoes. I LOVED the way they shined. They made me feel very dressed up and special.

Do you remember any special outfits you wore for Easter?

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Filed under Family, Memories, Quality of Life, Special Holidays

Dying & Hunting for Easter Eggs

 

easter_intelmixx.com

credit – intelmixx.com

I love dying Easter eggs! I still consider it a bit of magic that you can do so many wonderful, creative things to get unique, brightly colored Easter eggs ready for hiding!

My mom helped my brother and me dye eggs for Easter. We also did it as a group in Blue Birds and even when we were Camp Fire Girls. (At that age, we dyed eggs that we could hide for neighborhood kids on the Saturday before Easter. )

I dyed eggs with my son when he was little. He came up with all sorts of ideas I’d never thought of for decorating the eggs!

I’m not lucky enough to have grandchildren of my own yet, but I look forward to dying eggs with them one day.

 

Participating in Easter egg hunts is one of my best memories of childhood. It was such a magical time. Our good parents made sure that we all had a good chance to find eggs. Having an Easter basket was one of the best things EVER! Filling it with brightly colored eggs, the cheesy fake “grass,” and MAYBE being lucky enough to get a chocolate Easter bunny,  made the holiday perfect for me.

I carefully put my Easter eggs in the fridge when we got home and chose my favorite to peel and eat each day. I never could decide how it was proper to eat a chocolate Easter bunny – feet first or ears first – but that’s still one of my favorite things!

I love it that one of the local law businesses in Greenwood has an open Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

I hope you enjoyed one this year.

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Baby Chicks for Easter?

credit - dreamstime.com

credit -
dreamstime.com

When I was a Blue Bird (baby Campfire Girl) our mothers got together one year and got a baby chick for each of us for Easter. We were THRILLED to say the least. They were so CUTE! They were so little and brightly colored with dye from the chick sellers. I honestly can’t remember what color mine was, but I loved it. I named it “Clara.”

I made the best home I could for Clara, and religiously fed and watered her, cleaning out her shoe box house regularly.

But then a sad thing happened. She started GROWING. Her dyed feathers started coming out, being replaced by much stiffer chicken colored ones. She pecked me – hard! – when I would try to bring her food or change her water or clean the shoe box. She didn’t like me at all no matter what I did. She grew too large for the shoe box. I didn’t want her anymore.

Thankfully enough, one of the mothers decided she would raise any unwanted chickens and get a rooster. We all gave our chickens to her. We visited at first, but the chickens seemed much more interested in each other than us, so the visits dwindled off to nothing. When the chickens got large enough, they started laying eggs, and finally some became dinner.

I was horrified, even though Clara never liked me. I couldn’t get the picture of the cute little dyed chick out of my head. I was a city kid and never really thought about where the eggs or chicken I ate came from!

Though I was thrilled with the gift, I really think it would have been better if the moms hadn’t done it. Looking back on it now, it would have been a better learning experience if we had raised undyed chicks as a group, learning to take good care of them in good weather and bad, with the idea of raising them to be egg-layers- rather than pets; with the future of growing to the age to become dinner one day as the natural order of things, replaced on a regular basis with more chicks. With that perspective, maybe I wouldn’t have been so horrified at the outcome.

Please reconsider the idea of giving these as pets. I think the really pretty miniature painted turtles aren’t sold anymore. Unless you’re ready to console the small child whose pet dies (as most of these do) or are set up to actually raise full-sized chickens and rabbits, please get your children and grandchildren other gifts instead.

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Easter Bunnies!

credit - girlfromthehills.wordpress.com

credit -
girlfromthehills.wordpress.com

Happy Easter!

I love Easter Bunnies!

We lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was a child, and we had two rabbits as pets. I don’t remember whether we got them as babies, but they were cherished pets for many years. We named one “Peter,” of course. The other my parents named the other “Welsh.” I didn’t get the joke until I was almost an adult – Welsh Rarebit? It was probably a good thing, since my sense of humor as a young child didn’t include jokes about cooking rabbits…

We had practically indestructible cork tile floors. I remember the rabbits running down the long hall that connected the three bedrooms in our home.  They were so sweet and playful.

Nothing made me happier than a lap full of rabbits!

I would love to have rabbits as pets again, except that our two dogs and cat would probably not be welcoming…

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Favorite Photographs, Favorite Things, Memories, Special Holidays

New Creative Artworks Blog Header – 4/19/2014

header1

Easter-Spring -”New-Beginnings”-Box-of-8-Cards by Christy & Cindy

Christy Aguirre and Cindy Smith collaborate to create truly beautiful cards, both in the artwork and the perfect messages. You’ll be proud to send these to friends and family. Don’t be surprised if they remark on them, or frame them.  These are provided in boxes of 8. You can also build your own box, choosing any combination of 8 cards. Be proactive. When you have some time, browse through their beautiful designs, pencil and paper in hand, writing down the names of those you like. Then you can decide if you’d like to order one or several boxes, or custom boxes. This way you’ll have a heartwarming card right at your fingertips, ready for a personal note from you addressing and a stamp!

See all of Christy’s and Cindy’s designs here 

 

header2

“Bling-Blot- Over-the-River” by DiVoranLites

DiVoran Lites makes watercolor painting look easy. As I well know, it ISN’T! She calls the paintings, like the one above, “Bling Blots,” reminiscent of ink blots with a little bit of bling. She offers original paintings at affordable prices, plus packages of 20, 50, and 100 signature note cards you’ll love.

Enjoy browsing through DiVoran’s beautiful work here

 

header3

“Hanging-Aviary”-Hand-Painted Martha Dollar Efurd

I love this aviary! It’s a one-of-a-kind piece that you’ll love putting plants in for years and years! Martha Dollar Efurd is wonderfully creative, creating everything from cards and mini-paintings, to framed and unframed original paintings, to murals in restaurants and on buildings!

See all of Martha Efurd’s work on Creative Artworks 

I love being able to show you work of the Creative Artworks artists.

Come see us and find something wonderful!

 

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Filed under Creative Artworks Headers, Decorating Ideas, Don't Miss These Products!, Gardening

Deck Planting

deck_lavenderveinedwavepet

Lizelle asked me to post a few pictures of the planting we’ve been doing. We did a lot of the deck, where we spend a lot of time in the spring and summer, until it becomes too hot for us.

The top picture is one of our favorite ‘new’ innovations at the local nursery – wave petunias. I’ve always loved petunias, but it gets tiresome to pinch off all the old blooms to keep things going, and whatever you do, the plant gets too leggy mid way through the season. The wave petunia does away with much of that. It’s easy to maintain and we think they’re lovely. These above are lavender with darker purple ‘veins.’

 

deck_pinkgeranium

Hot pink geraniums!

 

deck_pinkpurslane

Pink ‘yubi’ or ‘purslane.’ These plants do really well in the hot dry summers in Arkansas. We have an irrigation system, but we got them originally because all our stuff had croaked with the hot weather and these were blooming profusely in front of a bank when we made a trip to Springdale. We were so impressed we’ve been seeking them out ever since.

 

deck_purplewavepetunia

Deep, dark purple wave petunias. I’m hoping these will go over the side of the deck and hang down all around the tall pot.

 

deck_redmandevilla

These are red mandevilla. We discovered these several years ago and just love them. This year we got two deep reds and two bright yellows for four terra-cotta planters attached to the deck. I plan to put some bright white periwinkles around the base of each of these.

 

deck_whitepurslane

These are bright white purselane. Purslane is wonderful because it covers the planter, then spills over in a lush bloom. They only show the flowers during the day, though, and close up at night.

 

deck_yellowmandevilla

This is the bright yellow mandevilla. We have ‘ladders’ behind each of these so my husband can train them to go up the ladder and then across the top edge of the deck on both sides.

 

deck_yellowpurslane

 

Bright yellow purslane.

We walked around the yard today, making a list of other plants we would like to get. Since I’m old and can’t plant everything at once, we’ll probably make two more trips to the nursery – one for more purslane, wave petunias, and impatiens, and then the last trip for two flats of periwinkles – one white and one bright pink.

I hope you’re having fun planting in your yard!  When we started this almost 28 years ago, my husband was ‘going along’ to be nice. Now he’s the one who decides it’s time to start getting flowers and watching with delight as our perennial plants emerge!

 

 

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Another path

credit - primroseblog.co.uk

credit -
primroseblog.co.uk

I was preparing to vacuum and mop the tile on our first floor today when my husband came in and suggested we go buy flowers for the deck.

We came home with -

  • 4 mandevilla plants – 2 deep red and 2 yellow,
  • 2 wave petunia plants – 1 deep purple and 1 lavender with darker purple ‘veins’,
  • 1 hot pink geranium plant,
  • and 8 purslane plants – 2 orange, 2 yellow, and 2 pink, and 2 white

We still would like more plants, but this got the deck almost completely planted. We got the programmed watering system going, too, before we stopped.

Since I came in and promptly fell asleep in my chair while we were supposedly watching the news, my husband suggested when I woke up that we make a KFC run.

Now he’s watching a really violent movie while I do ‘other things.’

Today was a wonderful distraction from the path I thought I would take today. The floor will still be there waiting for my attention tomorrow. :0)

 

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Nightmare material!

credit - cjmanowski

credit -
cjmanowski

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Filed under Funny Signs, Grin for the Day, Humor

A Surprise at Lunch Bunch

credit - cindy basnett thurman

credit -
cindy basnett thurman

I had a delightful surprise today at Lunch Bunch – a very merry un-birthday party!

My birthday was March 9th, but my friends forgot in the heat of lots of stuff going on. Today they had a belated party for me! I received two pairs of wonderful earrings – a beautiful gold dangle-y pair with lots of intertwined rings, and a pair of “Ginger Snaps” earrings, a type I had never heard of before.

I may be the last person in the world to hear about these, but it’s a wonderful idea. The earrings have magnets in them, or are magnetized. Colorful ‘fronts’ snap into the back to make the earrings. Then, whenever you’d like, you can change the fronts with other designs!  My friend Kay told me where I could get more fronts.

I got a set of three votive candles in little glass holders that sat in a tray. When the candles were in place, there were pretty rocks to go around them, kind of like a Zen garden. I also got another jar candle that smells just like a bouquet of flowers. Two beautiful birthday cards – one made us laugh out loud, and pretty gift bags – one a bright spring yellow and the other a beautiful large bag with balloons, 3-D cutouts and glitter!

We had a nice lunch, catching up on the week’s events. As we left, my husband immediately drove to the place Kay told us about, insisting I find a second pair of ‘fronts’ for the new Ginger Snaps earrings. At the shop I saw my good friend Martha, who showed me a bracelet and necklace she was wearing in the same Ginger Snap idea. There is also jewelry to shoes and other things, too. I hope whoever came up with this idea makes a fortune. A truly fun, innovative idea!

A very merry un-birthday to me!

(They assured me I don’t have to be ANOTHER year older because of two separate celebrations…

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Happy Spring!

Spring has FINALLY sprung in my yard. I THINK we’re over the freezes now. I’m delighted that my square foot garden plants made it through what I hope was the last one covered by sheets. As I walk around my yard, my spirits get higher and higher. If spring has come to you, send me some pictures. If it hasn’t, and you’re one of the ones who just got more snow, I’m trying to send hope your way.

garden_azalea

I have two azalea plants in planters in the front of our house. I love this color!

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”  - Susan J. Bissonette

 

garden_cameliabuds

 

This is a camellia plant. It’s in a planter on the east side of the house. Every year it blooms, is gorgeous for one day, and then we have severe weather that beats the poor plant to a pulp. Maybe this year…

garden_cameliabuds2

 

Here’s a close-up of the big, fat buds.

“It’s spring fever…. You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain

 

garden_irisdowndriveway

For a short time each spring the display of deep purple iris going down one side of our driveway lifts our spirits. My husband remarks on it every day as we leave or come back up from errands. I’m not sure if these are the twice-blooming variety that we have elsewhere or not. I hope so! (There are also yellow iris that bloom at a different time.)

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself”  Zen Proverb

 

garden_wisteria

We love wisteria, and have been trying to get some to grow happily on one side of our yard. My husband is trying to get it to grow up into a nearby tree. Each year we seem to have more blooms, but they don’t last long.

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

garden_mysteryflowers

These are mystery flowers. I have no idea what they are! I’ll try to get more pics as they open up. :0)

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”  Nadine Stair 

HAPPY SPRING!

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Talk about entrapment!

credit - funnyordie

credit -
funnyordie

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Garden as though

credit - sandiegoisawwesome.com

credit -
sandiegoisawwesome.com

“Garden as though you will live forever.” – William Kent

I love the idea of gardening as if I’m  immortal, plus building something that will live long after I’m  gone, plus the watercolor is purple. :0)

After reading endless articles on the net about asparagus, I’ve decided that no one really covers what you’re supposed to do in the second year, when you’re not harvesting the spears for eating yet. Since the spears I have were all hugely tall (one was close to 4 FEET tall!) I went out to the garden with my clippers and cut the spears today, with my heart in my throat, leaving the fern-y stuff until it gets brown in the late fall or early winter.

garden_asparagus

Now I can walk around without stepping on asparagus spears that are lying all over the place. I have no idea whether that was really a good thing to do or not, but…

The rest of the garden is looking pretty good, although I lost some of the lettuce plants. I’m not sure why they were unhappy, but with the harsh winter we had and the weird spring we’re having, I’ve just decided to be delighted that SOME lived and seem to be thriving.

garden_lettuce

I have at least two kinds of lettuce. The Romaine seems to have been the most challenged this season.

 

garden_lettuce2

Next year, I’ll try to plant a BUNCH of lettuce from seed indoors, hopefully not having to depend so much on the locals for plants.

garden_broccoli

Here’s a sample of the broccoli.

garden_saranotherspinach

SARA (middle) got so large her leaves were covering all the squares around her! I trimmed her up so she didn’t kill all the rest of the plants. She’s still covering her name label.

 

garden_tomatoesnbellpeppers

I’ve planted two groups of tomatoes and some green bell pepper plants.

 

garden_row1

 

Here is “Row 1″ with the tomatoes and bell peppers that are next to the fencing so we can secure them as they grow.

 

garden_row2

 

Here’s “row 2″ with the asparagus in the foreground.

I showed you pictures of the two planters with the onions, potatoes, and carrots recently.

So far, things look pretty good. I’m still learning a ton of what NOT to do, but I’m like a little kid about watching things grow. I’ll probably start harvesting some lettuce and spinach in the coming week or two!

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Filed under Challenges, Childlike Fun, DIET!, Exercise, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

Still alive after day 2!

elliptical trainer

A couple of days ago I told you I was adding “Get moving” to my ‘living with intention’ list.

Yesterday I built a spreadsheet to chart my progress – or lack of it – as a motivator to actually try to DO this every day.

Also, yesterday, I swept off, and then wiped down, the elliptical trainer in our garage (which has been sitting idle for about a year, due to a multitude of lame excuses.)

I just hit ‘manual’ on the screen, and pushed ‘incline’ up until it was at the highest level, and did the same for ‘level,’ knowing that, since I would be exercising a short time, I wanted it to count. I decided I would try for 5 minutes. I made that, and then saw that I didn’t lack TOO much in making a distance of 1 lap around the virtual track, so I kept at it until I did that, 8 minutes total.

My husband came through the garage when I was wiping down the machine and asked if I were cleaning it up to sell it. I emphatically answered, “No! I’m going to start exercising again.” He said, “Good for you” as he went inside.

On Day 1, I logged 2137 steps on my pedometer. That’s really awful, I know. I’m supposed to be aiming for 10,000 or more steps a day – more if I’m trying to lose weight. I’m going to just concentrate on trying to move more, keep a log, and keep on keepin’ on, okay?

______________

This morning – Day 2 – I have lots of sore muscles, being an old and sedentary broad.

I’ve just finished doing 15 minutes set at the highest levels, a little more than a lap and a half. So, slower than yesterday, but almost twice as long.  I came in breathing a little bit hard, but not as bad as yesterday. My husband asked how I did. I told him, and he said, “Good for you.” :0)

_______________

I’m hoping that by the end of the month, I’ll start to see SOME kind of difference. I don’t want to run a marathon, although I admire people who do. I would LIKE to feel an easing in the pain in my joints, a little bit easier time doing whatever time I put in on the elliptical trainer, and maybe a leaning toward moving more all day long, logging an increase in steps.

I’m going to consciously take breaks when I’ve been sitting too long, go do my exercising, or walk out to the garden, etc. to intentionally get this body moving as much as possible during the day.

I’m happy that I’m ABLE to try to move more. I’d like to stay that way.

Wish me luck?

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Exercise, Quality of Life

Our tax dollars at work?

credit - barbara_martin 925 kissfm.com

credit -
barbara_martin 925 kissfm.com

Are they trying to rent it out?

 

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Filed under Funny Signs, Humor

A Really NICE sendoff!

I’ve told you I’m hopelessly spoiled. Here is another example -

I was just getting off the elliptical trainer (after ignoring it in the garage for a year) and came inside to ask my husband if he would like a salad, or would prefer a sandwich for lunch.

My husband was standing at the stove, cooking bacon! He had eggs out, and English muffins, as well. He refused to let me help, even with the clean-up!

We ate a truly beautiful brunch together. I told him how wonderful everything was. He replied that he wished I hadn’t come in before it was ready because he wanted to surprise me. I told him he DID surprise me, and that he was definitely a keeper (even after he scared me by becoming quite ill after we finally got the ham radio antenna up together yesterday).  He replied that cooking a meal for me at least once a year was hardly payback for my cooking for him every day.

I’ve had a beautiful surprise brunch. I’m getting ready to go for a haircut now, and we’ll spend the evening with long time good friends.

How spoiled can one woman get!

 

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Filed under Family, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

“Overs!”

I don’t remember what childhood game it was where you could shout “Overs!” and have a fresh start, but I’ve loved the idea ever since.

I’ve made a lot of changes over the years, and my life is getting better and better. I’m encouraged by the fact that as long as I’m alive, I can keep shouting, “Overs!”

The latest change I’ve made is ‘living with intention.’

  • I do ONE thing every day from my ‘have-to’ list. (Usually this one is time-sensitive and results in bad things if it isn’t done on time.)
  • I do ONE thing every day that gives me a sense of accomplishment. (Lately this is choosing one thing in my house that would benefit from my new “Every-28-year-clean-out” project. Every day I can look at these and feel I’m making progress in what is essentially a never-ending project.)
  • And I do ONE thing completely for FUN – for the joy of it. I consciously take time to do something that makes me smile. (like an art project, reading a book, planting flowers, – something I formerly postponed because of my previous long-as-my-arm ‘to-do’ list)

I’ve decided to add one more thing to my “living with intention list” – EXERCISE.

I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I’ve felt guilty because I haven’t. I’ve made endless excuses because I don’t really enjoy it, yata, yata, yata.

Why have I decided to do it NOW?

I want to do it for ME. I want to feel good more of the time. I’m already trying to eat healthier, with more fruits and more veggies, and less of everything else. The exercise will hopefully be another piece in my desire to do everything I can to get my body in better condition so I can do my ‘living with intention’ as long as I’m breathing.

I have an elliptical machine in the garage gathering dust. I’m going to clean that up today, find my MP3 player, program the machine and get started again. I won’t promise to do any particular number of minutes every day. I’ll only promise myself that I’ll get on it every day, particularly if I’m not out in the garden, taking a walk, or doing other exercise that day. When I used it before, the pain I have in my joints lessened over time.  I’m hopeful I can achieve the same, or even better results again.

elliptical trainer

I’ll also make a promise to myself to consciously move more each day than I have been. It might be the Wii Fit, it might be an exercise video, it might be the ‘yoga for geezers’ video I have in the living room bookshelf. It might be walking around the house or I might get to the point where I can walk down our steep driveway to get our mail and actually make it back up to the house without wheezing for half an hour!

“As long as you are breathing, you can start over.”

“OVERS!” :0)

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

Happiness Virus

I double-dog-dare-you not to at least smirk when you see the joyously happy face of this child.

Yesterday I had fun at Wal-Mart with my husband.

We were about 2/3 finished with our shopping when he turned to me and asked, “Do you know that man?” I said, “No, I don’t.” A little bit later my husband asked, “Do you KNOW these people?” I answered, “No.” He finally stopped the cart and said, “Then why are all these people smiling at you?” I smiled, kissed his nose and answered, “Because I smiled first.”

Happiness IS contagious. If you carry it with you and show it to others, they respond – if only for the few seconds it takes for their faces to light up.

We’ve all seen a happy baby delight everyone around. The sourest, curmudgeon-y  faces will practically crack open as they respond to a sweet baby’s smile or laugh. They try to talk to the baby and get him or her to smile or laugh again. It’s beautiful to watch, isn’t it?

With all the awful stuff going on around us, it’s good to know that we can each do our part in making the world a happier place. And the more happiness we spread to others, the more there is.

Let’s get the happiness virus moving today!

 

 

Good morning!

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Encouragement, Favorite Things, Grin for the Day, Lifting Your Spirits, Making Your Life Easier, Opportunities!, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood, Thought for the Day

Scare

What is it about guys that they think they’re still able to do all the things they could do at 18?

Case in point -

antenna

We have an antenna in the side yard that is supposed to pick up ham radio frequencies from far away. My husband recently got some expert help on what tweaks to make to make the antenna perform at its best.

I went out there to find he had almost completely taken the whole thing down. He had made the tweaks while the antenna was on some saw horses (great idea!) but then had to get the antenna back up again. (Problem)

He stood on a ladder which I held steady, trying to get the antenna up high enough to mount on the rigid square tubing we had installed.  The wind was blowing, of course, and the antenna heavy and unwieldy.

Together, with my husband bearing most of the load, we finally got the thing back up. He stood, still grabbing the ladder, while I tightened the u-bolts.

As he got down, I realized he was in trouble. To make a longer story shorter, he turned white as a sheet, and scared us both. We made it to the front porch, spent awhile there, then made it into the house, then into his chair for a good rest.

He’s fine now, and insisted he was going back to finish putting the #%^&*#%^$ antenna together. I stayed right with him and he was fine this time.

We have since ‘discussed’ the experience, and he has apologized for scaring me. (As if he needed to) – but I HATE it when we get into situations where I can’t be of much help and he’s in over his head. He refuses to ask friends for help or to hire people to help.

I DID make him promise that when I’m gone and he remarries, he’ll marry a cross between a football player and a basketball player, so he’ll have someone who can keep up with him!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Family, The Joys of Geezerhood

Friendship

credit - aribadler.wordpress.com

credit -
aribadler.wordpress.com

My good friend came over, since she was out taking resume’s around. She has to work, although she’s about 5 years older than I. I hate that. She should be able to enjoy a retirement.

We’re going to spiff up her resume’ together, using suggestions from the net, to concentrate on the many skills and strengths she has to offer an employer, rather than essentially listing all her jobs, as she’s doing now.

There isn’t supposed to be age discrimination, but we all see it every day in some way. I just hope she can secure a job she likes soon, so she doesn’t have to worry so much about finances. My husband and I have offered to help, but she won’t accept it unless there is no other choice.

Although our government keeps telling us that our economic situation is getting better, it sure doesn’t show from where I sit.

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Friendship