I wish

credit - samuel_greenberg_via_cathy_ruggiero

credit -

Miracles are always welcome. If we’re open to possibilities and not rushing TOO fast, we have them every day- like seeing the doe and her two fawns we saw on the way to town yesterday, or the squirrels fighting over sunflower seeds in the feeder, or the unexpected cooler spell we’re starting to enjoy in the middle of July!

For example – it’s a continuing miracle that I’m alive. I don’t say this to be dramatic, but my timing on events and ailments has been pretty wonderful. When I was pregnant for the first time, I discovered I was RH Negative. This RH Factor caused 3 miscarriages before we were lucky enough to have our son, and two more after my son. I later discovered that this went back to my great-great-grandmother on my mother’s side of the family. There were five small graves of stillborn babies and then the grave of my great-great-grandmother, who later died due to complications of another pregnancy.

I had Graves Disease (hyper-thyroidism) several years ago. My mother had a thyroid problem and almost died of it. By the time I had a problem, there were several avenues to combat it, and the medication I need is cheap!

Gallbladder problems and stones used to be a really big problem, with really big surgery and long recovery times. By the time I had it, they had mastered the laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The surgery and recovery time were amazing.

I consider the really close relationship we have with our son to be a continuing miracle. We lost his sister to SIDS when she was two months old and our son was two years old. Marriages fall apart over things like this and parents tend to overprotect and smother the remaining children, if they’re lucky enough to have them. Our marriage and our family became stronger. It is truly a miracle.

Our latest miracle is the opportunity to be the host family for a foreign exchange student, Vivian, from Velbert, Germany for the next 10 months, beginning August 7th. This will be such a wonderful experience for all of us! We can’t wait to meet her. She travels from her home to New York City this coming Thursday. She’ll spend a week there sight-seeing, and then travel from there to Greenwood, Arkansas. Talk about culture shock! :0)

We’re scurrying around, trying to get information from the high school, learning about bus schedules, learning how to get her registered at school, creating a comfortable place for her in our home, and preparing to have our life of retirement thrown up in the air for the exciting change to be the ‘parents’ of a 15-year-old, helping her celebrate her 16th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. in a whole new environment. What a miracle THIS is!

I’ll write about our experiences as we go through the year. We’ll pick up Vivian at the airport August 7th, and our latest miracle will bloom into reality!

Meanwhile, “I wish for YOU a day filled with unexpected miracles!”


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Filed under Arkansas, Attitude, Being a Host Family, Challenges, Changes, Family, Favorite Quotes, Favorite Things, Genealogy, Greenwood, It's a Wonderful World!, Quality of Life

Nature’s Gift on the way to town

credit -  uncategorizedrantings.blogspot.com

credit -

We were treated to a very similar sight as the picture above on the way to town yesterday!

A doe went leaping across the road in front of us. Close behind her was a sweet little fawn. The second fawn wasn’t sure what to do. We stopped the truck and just waited. Soon the fawn decided to follow the doe and went dancing across the road. The fawn continued its celebration of life, leaping, kicking its back legs, and trying to get the other fawn and the doe to play.

What a glorious gift!


Filed under Amazing Animals, Favorite Things, I'm Glad I Found...., Lifting Your Spirits, Mother Nature, Quality of Life

Fighting in a bottle!


credit – spirit-animals.com

We love squirrels and chipmunks. My husband has made several toys for them in the front yard in our trees so that we can enjoy watching them try to get suspended corn cobs.

We have tw0 squirrel feeders that have a wooden box with two holes and then a tray that holds a gallon-sized glass bottle. We fill this with sunflower seeds and throw in half a corn cob. The feeders fit right on the windows in our office and our dining area so that we – and our doggies – can enjoy the show.


spectacular pictures

credit – spectacular pictures

Today I heard loud chattering. I looked to my side to see THREE squirrels on the feeder! One was inside the bottle. A second was inside the wooden box, and the third was on top of the wooden box. Two of the squirrels were fighting! The one inside the wooden box either wanted to get into the bottle or wouldn’t let the one who was IN the bottle OUT!



credit – aceimgs.com

The fight went on long enough for my husband to come in and enjoy the show. Also, both dogs were chittering and whining INSIDE the house while the show went on OUTSIDE!

Life is good when you can enjoy things like this. :0)

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Favorite Pictures, Favorite Things, Greenwood, It's a Wonderful World!, Mother Nature, Quality of Life

You can’t get good help nowadays – Take 2

credit - Bill Lites

credit -
Bill Lites

What were these workers thinking? First, the phone is OUTSIDE the phone booth, and secondly, it’s at a height for young kids or really height-challenged folks…


Filed under Grin for the Day, Humor

Dollar Art – Take 4


Last year, Smithsonian Magazine had a major article about origami and the incredible number of folds that can be made on a single small piece of paper like a dollar bill.  Computer programs are also used to identify the number and location of folds for “Olympic”-level folders…  Here are 4 more entries!










I haven’t found out whether this was a contest or not, or who the winner was. I think they’re all wonderful, and I’m proud to live on the same planet as the people who are this creative!

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Filed under Creativity, Origami, Our Unique Culture

Death of the driveway detector – Take 3

Sweatbands – white, rather than yellow-green neon – have become our most important article of clothing this past three days.  We each wear one all morning and then a 2nd one from about 4 pm until dark, working on trying to resurrect our driveway detector. The washer and dryer have been working overtime to try to keep us in clean clothes.

We have sensors that tell us when someone is coming up our 650 foot driveway. At least they DID, until the wonderful man who repairs our gravel driveway with his tractor and box blade suddenly went off the edge of the driveway, down into the woods, and out to the road, tearing up our detector, all the wiring, and part of the barbed wire fence that goes along the front edge of the property.

He was aware he took out the fence. He wasn’t aware he killed the detector. We were just relieved he didn’t hurt himself.

This is day three of our efforts to repair the detector. We’re still working on the wiring, but we’re hopeful we can get things going today. And, since we’re having to redo everything, we also want to add an outdoor electrical outlet halfway down the driveway.

My husband has been down the driveway, working on the wiring while I

  • was out there with him, handing him tools,
  • was fetching things from the truck,
  • sat in the garage and connected wires up here, or
  • went down to the basement to see if the sensors were working and giving us the proper signals.

Our walkie talkies, and our washer and dryer have been worth their weight in gold this past three days. We have REALLY gotten our exercise, collected scrapes and scratches, bites and stings. We THINK we might be over the hump now.

Our weather man told us last night that it wasn’t as hot yesterday and the humidity was less. Not so that WE could notice!

Sweat bands are definitely NOT a fashion statement….



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Seasons

Death of our Driveway Detector – Take 2

I told you yesterday that our good driveway repairman got too close to the edge of our gravel driveway with his tractor and box blade and went over the side, down across part of our woods, and through the barbed wire fence into the street that runs in front of our house. He wasn’t hurt, thank goodness, but he left us several big repair jobs of our own now.

Yesterday we spent two shifts working on our driveway detector. We had to use a hoe and a pick axe to dig down where the wires come up from way below ground in two pvc pipes. They then connected to a metal box. The box was ripped out of the ground, and all the wires were severed.

Today we have spliced most of the wires. We have a couple more lines to run and then we’ll put them through new pvc pipe over to a tree, then put in elbows to run more pvc up the tree into the box which we’ll secure to the tree. This way the detector and wiring will be much harder to mess up. We’ll also add an outdoor electrical outlet so that we have more flexibility while working in the driveway.

We lost our shade and ran out of wire at about the same time this morning, so we got more supplies at Yeager’s, had lunch, and are relaxing and doing other things while we wait for the sun to give us a bit of a break. We’re hoping to be able to finish the repair of the driveway detector tonight, if possible.

We really didn’t plan to be working outside the past few days. Sometimes life gets in the way of more fun stuff to do.

We hope the weather is treating you well.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges

You can’t get good help nowadays – Take 1

Sent to me by Bill Lites

Sent to me by Bill Lites

Maybe the painter of the arrow has a wrecker service on the side?


Filed under Grin for the Day, Humor

Death of the Driveway Detector

We have a driveway detector that makes noise when someone is coming up our driveway. Or, we DID, until it was killed yesterday.

A wonderful man comes with his tractor and box blade whenever we call him. He performs miracles with these, changing our driveway – made bumpy from washing rains and heavy delivery trucks spinning their tires trying to come up – into an almost completely smooth driveway again. He’s truly an artist.

He was here yesterday, starting to do his magic, when he got too close to the edge of the driveway and went off, not turning over and over, but managing to drive into the woods beside the driveway, through the trees, through the barbed wire fence across our property, and into the road in front of our house. He wasn’t hurt, but it understandably shook him up.

He called his wife, who took him home for a cool-down and rest. He came back a couple of hours later and finished the driveway without problem.

The only casualties in this whole thing were our driveway detector and part of our fence.

We spliced the cut wire on the detector and then tested it. Nothing. Not a sound.

We looked up the driveway farther to where the control box was. It had been completely ripped out of the ground, all the wires ripped apart, and even the pole box that was way down in the ground was lying there.

We’re now in the process of trying to completely rebuild everything. In actual heat of 100 degrees with 48% humidity, it’s no fun.

We came in after splicing the wire and assessing the damage, dripping. We decided to wait until late afternoon or evening  (soon now) to put in another hitch on the new project.

This time we’ll attach the control box to a tree off the side of the driveway and use PVC pipe to go to the stuff that goes down into the ground alongside the driveway. Hopefully, this will keep it out of harm’s way next time.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to finish rebuilding the detector by tonight or tomorrow, and then we can tackle the barbed wire issue. Another of life’s character-building exercises…

Hope YOU are managing to stay cool and enjoy your Sunday.


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Seasons

Catching Up

Yesterday we played ‘catch-up’ from being away on a short vacation. We came home to find that we had had a pretty bad storm Wednesday afternoon, with 65-70 mph winds and rain. There were branches and leaves all over the yard and two shutters were down from our bedroom window on the 2nd floor.

Thursday we got out our two-story ladder and my husband climbed out to find out what was needed to get the shutters back up. He found a wasps’ nest in the corner of the window, plus several dirt dobber nests that had been under the shutters. Some of the wall anchors had come out of the brick – meaning the wind was pretty impressive – and we still had SOME of the screws, but not ALL we needed.

We gathered tools and got everything set up to work on the shutters.

Since our lawn had grown like Miracle-Gro had been put on it in the 3 days we were gone, we decided to mow and weedwhack right before dark. Our temperature was in the high 90’s and the humidity made it FEEL like over 100 degrees, so we waited as long as possible.

We got the yard mostly under control and then my husband climbed up the ladder and was able to reinstall one of the shutters before it got too dark to work.

This morning we finished reinstalling the 2nd shutter. (My function was to try to hand tools to my husband. Otherwise, I gritted my teeth and tried to remember to breathe while he fought with a wasp at the top of the ladder while trying to get the screws into the shutter and tight to the brick.)

When he was safely down, we came in and cooled off for a bit, and then I went out to weed whack some more with our battery-powered hand-held weed whacker. I finished the small stuff while my husband continued working with the push-around weed whacker. Our lawn now looks as if ‘someone-lives-here,’ which is about as good as it ever gets. :0)

We came in to cool off again and the guy who helps us maintain our 650 foot gravel driveway came.  The several storms we’ve had recently has made a bumpy mess of our driveway. He’s working on it now, and hopefully he can work another miracle with his tractor-with-a-box-blade expertise.

Other than the usual laundry, we’re almost totally back. We’re looking forward to dinner at a new restaurant somewhere in southeast Oklahoma this evening with friends.

I think a nap is in order – after a good, long shower – to get ready to enjoy the evening.



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Filed under Challenges, Mother Nature, Vacation!

Dollar Art – Take 3



Last year, Smithsonian Magazine had a major article about origami and the incredible number of folds that can be made on a single small piece of paper like a dollar bill.  Computer programs are also used to identify the number and location of folds for “Olympic”-level folders…  Here are 4 more entries!















I’m just fascinated that people can be given a request to ‘make something out of a dollar by folding it,’ and they come up with an endless variety of wonderful things!

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Yesterday vs today

credit - beginwithyes

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It was a big lesson for me to learn that I cannot change most things I think are wrong about the way the world is and how things work. Things seemed so SIMPLE yesterday. I didn’t realize how integrated things are, and how many people don’t really want the same changes I do, and will actively work against what I think is right. What a HARD lesson!

The world is a wonderful place, however, and nothing will EVER be perfect. There are some ways I can make a small difference, and I try to do as many of them as possible.

Things are so complicated that I will never understand all the sides and ramifications of an issue. You start to pull on the thread, thinking that you can unravel it and make the whole better. What actually happens is that there are unintended consequences that result. You might be aware of them, or completely oblivious to them.

A very small example: No one likes to see children working long hours in the sweat shops in many countries around the world. People actively work to stop this, boycotting the companies who use sweat shops, trying to shut down the bad working conditions.  We’re happy if the uproar we’ve created forces the companies to shut down the sweat shops, thinking we’ve made the sweet children’s lives better.

The unintended consequences are that the child was working to help feed the family. Without the work in the sweat shop, they are forced out into a harsher world of being sex slaves, or having to steal to get food. The whole family may starve. When we don’t think a thing through, the end results we create may be ugly. When you only solve part of a problem, not understanding or providing alternatives, you may be making things worse. Unless you’re ready to help through the WHOLE problem, it’s better to leave things alone.

I am concentrating on the little that I can do locally, as well as making monthly donations to things I think are important beyond my ability to actually effect change, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Humane Society. I look for things my husband and I can do to help our community, to help the people we can.

I’m changing MYSELF. I’m trying to become better than I was yesterday, even if it’s something teeny tiny that only I recognize. I’m trying to fully appreciate all I have, cherishing the people who make my life so enjoyable. I’m trying to reach out, try new things, expand my mind, stay as active as possible.

In concentrating on myself, and striving to be a better person, in a very small way I AM changing the world. The more I change, the more I learn about ways to show my friends and relatives how very much they mean to me. If I can continue to change myself while reaching out to help others when I can, the world IS a better place.

It’s easy to see what’s wrong in the world. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by all the things we wish we could change. We’re frustrated by all the people who seem to be working at cross purposes with us. When we change ourselves, we learn to see the big picture more clearly. We learn that if we each do something to make our small world a bit better, many people benefit.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Favorite Quotes, Opinion, Opportunities!, Philosophy, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day


credit - funnyanimalplanet.blogspot.com

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We just got back last night from a short, but wonderful trip to see our cousins in Thibodaux, Louisiana. I wish we lived closer so that we could see each other more often, but it’s at least 10 hours driving each way, which is pretty tiring for these old folks.

We came home to find that our house sitter had done a great job for us, as usual. What she couldn’t control was the fact that we had a pretty impressive rain and wind event on Wednesday afternoon. We have one window shutter completely blown off the house and a second hanging from one screw.  We have branches and leaves all over the yard. I’m not sure what else we’ll find. My square foot garden is intact, though. I was honestly scared to look. My husband did it for me and reported we were okay. WHEW!

We just got home from grocery shopping, replenishing the larder for the upcoming week. It’s impressively hot, at 95 degrees with 50% humidity right now, at 7:30 pm.

If we don’t mow and weedwhack tonight, we’re afraid the grass will be too long and thick to mow. So we’re waiting until almost dark, and then we’ll rush around with mower and weedwhacker, to see if we can finish things before it’s too dark to see. We’ll tackle putting up the shutters tomorrow morning, probably, if it isn’t too hot before we get started. (We have a two story house, and the shutters with the problem are on the 2nd floor, of course.)

We’ve stripped sheets from beds and done several loads of wash – not folded yet. We’ve tried to catch up on email, mailed packages, and gone through three days of snail mail.  We took a good friend out to lunch and caught up on what’s going on with her.

I have pictures and stories to share about our trip, but I’m honestly too pooped right now to even start. AND I need to gather whatever energy I can muster to run the weedwhacker in about half an hour or so…

Had fun while we were gone, and it’s good to be back!

I hope you’re doing well, too!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, The Joys of Geezerhood, Vacation!

We’re back!!!!

credit - plus.google.com

credit -

We’re back from vacation, feeling torn down the middle between hating to leave our WONDERFUL cousins and happy to be home. It’s a wonderful emotion to have, I think.

We had a truly wonderful time, though the 20 hours of driving in three days was a little much. It was a vacation full of love, laughter, wonderful stories, really wonderful conversation, great food, meeting new people and more. I’ll be writing several blogs telling you about highlights of our trip.

Playing catch-up now, trying to get our act together.

Will write more later.


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Filed under It's a Wonderful World!, Vacation!

Square Foot Garden Progress Report 2014-7-21

credit - youreasygarden.com

credit -


The heat and humidity are returning to Arkansas. I will never forget the wonderful gift of really deliciously cool, rainy weather we had for much of July this year. What an unexpected treat! Now it seems that our usual summer is returning. I’ll try not to gripe TOO much…

I spent about an hour in my square foot garden. I haven’t reported to you in awhile, so I thought I would catch up.

First, the lettuce, spinach, cabbage and broccoli are through for the spring. I’ll start seeds soon for the fall garden.

My asparagus did really well this year, particularly since the plants were only two years old. We enjoyed some really good, tender asparagus. The ferny growth is way up now. I’m having to move strands out of the way as I move around in the garden. I’m supposed to wait until the strands turn yellow, and then cut them off for next year.

My tomatoes are still doing well. I had a bunch of vines to tie up to the fence. I gathered some ripe tomatoes, and I see we have a lot of green tomatoes that are still looking good.

My cucumber and green bell pepper plants are looking good, but not producing.

My watermelon vines are looking like something is eating them. We have several really small watermelons hanging from the vines at this point.

In the planters on the other side of the yard, I have onions and potatoes. Soon I’ll start digging these up.

The tomato vines are looking good now. I spent quite awhile weeding, since it had been several days since I had worked in the garden. I weed whacked around the perimeter of the garden, then I sprinkled fertilizer on the plants. Finally, I sprinkled Sevin around the garden, since I was seeing some signs that plants were being eaten.

This got the garden looking as if someone cared again. I’ll try to check things every day or so to hopefully gather some good tomatoes, if not more.

I’ll read up on planting the fall garden, and see if I can set up a seed growing station on the back porch soon.

I hope that you’re making it a point to visit the Farmer’s Markets in your area. We have one in Downtown Fort Smith on Saturday mornings. We’ll visit them soon and see what wonderful produce we can find!

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, It's a Wonderful World!, Mother Nature, Quality of Life

May i begin this day

credit -  Lisa Bearnes Richey on Facebook

credit -
Lisa Bearnes Richey on Facebook

I love this quote. I’m really working on trying to do this – to slow down enough to truly appreciate where I am, all I have, who is with me, and all that I have for which to be thankful.  Thanks for reminding us, Lisa.


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Favorite Quotes, Philosophy, Quality of Life

Who could resist this?

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Filed under Funny Signs, Grin for the Day, Humor

Great Attitude!

credit - ano-nymous.tumblr.com

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, I'm Glad I Found...., Lifting Your Spirits, Philosophy, Quality of Life

Dollar Art – Take 2



Last year, Smithsonian Magazine had a major article about origami and the incredible number of folds that can be made on a single small piece of paper like a dollar bill.  Computer programs are also used to identify the number and location of folds for “Olympic”-level folders…  Here are 4 more entries!










I love the fact that so many different things can be made by simply folding a piece of paper. The creativity and expertise that emerge from an exercise like this make me proud to be on the same planet as these talented people!


Filed under Challenges, Creativity, Favorite Things, I'm Glad I Found...., Origami, Our Unique Culture

Wonderful Watercolors – Take 2

french bridge2_thomaswschaller_via_jelena_hodzic

credit – french bridge2_thomas wschaller_via_jelena_hodzic

Thomas Wschaller is obviously a master watercolor artist. He knows all the technical stuff – lighting, hard and soft edges, perspective, color mixing, and he’s created a world you want to lose yourself in. I want to walk over the bridge and into the town. I wonder who lives in the houses. I wonder how anyone can drive up the steep, curvy road. I want to stand on the bridge, gazing into the water below…



credit – drawasamaniac.com

Another painting that grabs me. I want to be one of the people walking in the rain, protected by an umbrella, sharing a good friendship on a beautiful night.



credit – studiotuesday.blogspot.com

I want to adopt this little guy. I love his bright, playful eyes. He’s ready for whatever joy comes, isn’t he? Amazing painting.

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Filed under Creativity, I'm Glad I Found...., Wonderful World of Watercolors

Calvin & Hobbes Finished!

Calvin & Hobbes Mailbox Decoration

Calvin & Hobbes Mailbox Decoration

After several weeks of work, our Calvin & Hobbes mailbox decoration is finished!

We loved the work of Bill Watterson, and we hope that he’s looking down, pleased that people love his work enough to try to share it with others.

We’ll take more pictures when this one is up on the mailbox.

“Yosemite Sam” is up there now.





August 1st we’ll change to the exploding thermometer -



And then we’ll put up Calvin & Hobbes. :0)

We would love to hear what you think of these.


Filed under Challenges, Favorite Things, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Quality of Life

Aging with Sass

My good friend Jane Daniell sent me a poem in answer to my blog this morning, “What Color are You?” about letting your true colors shine. (I mentioned that deep, rich purple is my favorite color.)


“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”

Jenny Joseph

I LOVE THIS! (Especially the part about learning to spit. :0) )

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Encouragement, Favorite Poetry, Grin for the Day, I'm Glad I Found...., Lifting Your Spirits, Opportunities!, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day

Dollar Art – Take 1


My friend Marsha sent this to me, and I think it’s fascinating!

Last year, Smithsonian Magazine had a major article about origami and the incredible number of folds that can be made on a single small piece of paper like a dollar bill.  Computer programs are also used to identify the number and location of folds for “Olympic”-level folders… 












Aren’t these great? With the way the value of the dollar is decreasing, at least we can have some fun creating with one…

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Creativity, Favorite Things, I'm Glad I Found...., Origami

Art by a Friend

credit - Photoarticulations by Diana Ralph

credit -
Photoarticulations by Diana Ralph

Diana Ralph posted this on her Facebook page not long ago, just before she was going to have a show. I was completely blown away by the glorious COLORS and TEXTURE!  Of course, it sold almost immediately. I’m happy for her, and the person who bought it, and sad for me.

At least I can save this picture, share it with you, and look at it again from time to time.

If you want to see more, go to Photoarticulations by Diana Ralph.


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Filed under Quality of Life, I'm Glad I Found...., Favorite Pictures, Lifting Your Spirits, Creativity, Gift Ideas

What color are you?

credit - creaturesofdelight via rebecca kelman

credit -
creaturesofdelight via rebecca kelman

I spent my whole life trying to fit in, to blend in, to not stand out. I wanted to please everyone, be accepted. I wanted to wear the ‘right’ clothes, have the ‘right’ things.

It really embarrasses me that I wasted so much time and energy to NOT be different.

When we had my son, it was immediately obvious to me that he was different. When he went to school, he insisted on wearing a flat hat when everyone around him wore baseball caps on backwards. The ridicule didn’t bother him. He knew what he liked.

I learned from my son to celebrate our differences, no matter what the consequences. I’m not as brave as he is, but I’m still learning.

Our school system celebrates those who learn to play the game well. I learned it, playing it well all the way through a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist with a 4 point.

My son proved to me that learning isn’t grades. It isn’t pleasing the teachers. It’s making sense of a new thing and making it fit with what you know already. If it doesn’t make sense, beat your head against it until it does. Make it your own. Learn for your own reasons. He still does this, working for a start-up company that is designing a cutting edge new product to the market.

I still don’t enjoy being criticized, but I don’t avoid it anymore. I spend my days “living with intention,” accomplishing

  • one ‘have-to’ on my list
  • one thing that I can point to that makes me feel I’ve accomplished something
  • and one FUN thing every day, like painting, working on a metal critter with my husband, reading, gardening…

I wear what I like. Since deep, rich purple is my favorite color, I make sure I have as much of that as I can find. :0)

It doesn’t worry me to stand out from the crowd. I let my true colors shine. If people like my colors, I”m delighted. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.

What color are you?


Filed under Opinion, Philosophy, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day


credit - onesparkfoundation via cathy ruggiero

credit -
onesparkfoundation via cathy ruggiero


Filed under Attitude, Grin for the Day, Humor, Thought for the Day

“Nowhere to run to…”


Filed under Funny Signs, Grin for the Day, Humor, Music

Addendum to the saga of the receiver

source unknown

source unknown

Yesterday I ended a post saying that music was coming out of the receiver we had bought so that we could Skype with Vivian, our foreign exchange student. She is in Germany now, and will soon be flying to New York City for a week before coming here.

After I finished the post, my husband was angrily spewing bad words because the music was only coming from ONE of the speakers. He tested and tested, and finally said we had to take it back to the hock shop. SIGH….

We did. They gave us our money back and we started looking in the shop for another one. They set up the one we had returned to see what the problem was. They couldn’t find anything wrong! They showed us clearly that it was playing from both of the speakers they had set up.

We gave them the money again and packed up the receiver to bring it home.

When we hooked it up at home, we had the same problem. ARRRRRRRGH!  But THIS time, we KNEW it wasn’t the receiver that was at fault, and so looked harder at everything else. The end result was we found a staple going THROUGH the wire along the baseboard. This was effectively shorting out the wire intermittently. It was amazing it had worked at all. We removed the staple, tested the wire, which was now fine. Then we concentrated on the speaker. The speaker is old, but good quality. It’s a tad recalcitrant unless it receives what it thinks is its share of attention. We finally made it happy and actually heard both speakers and the receiver working together as they should. AHHHH!

In the process of trouble-shooting, though, we had moved stuff out of the way in the office. The result was complete chaos in my part of the office. (SIGHING AGAIN…..)

I have the mess almost cleaned up now. I’ve emailed Vivian that we THINK we’re all set up to have another Skype session, if she would like, tomorrow!

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

Wading through the animals…

I was trying to carry a large pile of ‘stuff’ from my office to the kitchen. I got out into the foyer and found this -




Abby refused to move as I approached. She was, of course, right in the middle of the foyer.   I had to carefully step over her, balancing my pile of ‘stuff,’ at which point – of course – she decided to stretch, flip over, and I almost stepped on her. I managed to NOT fall down, though I have to admit some pretty colorful language erupted from me.

I made my way a little bit further and found this -



Bambi is so large he takes up most of the foyer, so there isn’t a way to walk around him. I politely told him, “Place,” and he ignored me, pretending to be deaf. I say ‘pretending’ because he can hear me slicing meat in the kitchen from all the way across the house. I finally yelled, “PLACE!!!!” and he slooooooooowly got up while I waited for him to go to his bed.


I was losing my patience, moving with my pile into the living room, where I found this -



She WAS in her place, so I was happy. I said, “Good dog, Molly!” which she interpreted to mean, “Get up and run under Mama’s feet!”  She decided to be CUTE, running round and round my feet, snapping her teeth and me, trying to get me to play.

The end of the story is that I did, indeed, make it to the kitchen with my pile of stuff, all parts intact, though emotional stability slightly askew. It’s amazing how many animals we have sometimes…


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

3rd time the charm?

We’re beyond frustrated.

We were trying to Skype with our foreign exchange student ‘daughter,’ Vivian, awhile back and the receiver attached to my husband’s computer kept cutting off.  Her end, with her laptop, worked fine.

We told her we would order another receiver and then we could Skype again.

We received one via Fedex. The corner of the box was really smashed. When we got it out of the box, the corner of the receiver was equally smashed. We got our money back and ordered a second one. We waited for what seemed like forever and it finally came today.

The box looked okay, but the receiver didn’t work. Only half of the lights worked, and it only hissed. We’re now shipping it back at OUR expense to the shipper to try to get our money back.

Since it was obvious that shippers, receivers, and Fedex weren’t on our side this time, my husband went to Ft. Smith and cruised hock shops. A NEW receiver is about $400, so that just wasn’t in the cards.

He now has the hock shop receiver on the table next to me and is trying to hook it up to see if it works. All appendages are crossed – including my eyes – that THIS one works. (We can take it back if it doesn’t, but surely we can catch a break THIS time.

If it works, we can email Vivian and try to Skype again. If not – we’re getting hostile…


P.S. Suddenly, the office was filled with glorious MUSIC from the ‘new’ receiver!       HOOORAAAAAYYYY!!!!!

credit - -www-dreamstime-com

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Filed under Attitude, Pet Peeves, Quality of Life


credit - cathy-thomas

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Filed under Funny Signs, Grin for the Day, Humor