One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

ONE STEP FORWARD – I’m happy to report that I FINALLY got the counter top under and behind where the printer WAS and the computer screen IS – dusted and wiped down. Until you’ve tried to clean a gazillion wires with velcro ties of dust, dog and cat hair, and other “ickies,” you have NO idea what my morning has been like.  After several steps with dustpan and brush, then heavy-duty cleaner and wiping down wires, and finally Pledge, my area is now cleaner than it’s been in at least a couple of years and smells nicely of lemons. :0)

As I told you before, we moved the printer over after my husband extended the counter top with plywood and supports, opening up my work area and in preparation for the new computer my husband is building for me. My son convinced me, after talking about it a LONG time, to change from my PC and Microsoft to a MAC. In some ways it has been good. I had to learn to do EVERYTHING all over again. Anything I did by habit or with any confidence was wrong with the MAC. My son set up the computer and tested it, then helped me learn (with me taking extensive notes) how to do things. I’ve used it for at least a couple of years now.

Whenever it acts up, though, my husband is really frustrated that he can’t help me solve the problem. He knows nothing about MACs and is at the point where he doesn’t want to. Our son lives and works in Thailand, so when something goes wrong, I have to wait until we’re both awake (there is a 12 hour time difference) and then depend on him to walk me through telling him exactly what’s wrong, and working to fix it. Stressful, at best. Add to that my husband haranguing me about having the MAC and his wanting me to change back, and you can picture me tearing out what little hair I have left….

TWO STEPS BACK – (ONE) SO – we’re starting to receive parts for the new PC each day. My husband will put it together on the counter to my right, installing everything, testing everything, then moving things from the MAC to the new computer, testing again to make SURE all is there and reachable, before switching over, selling the MAC, and I learn again how to do things under Microsoft Windows 10…

(TWO) – I crowed and patted myself on the head recently because I had done my Creative Artworks bookkeeping for the LAST time (:0)  and was totaling up the various tax deduction categories in preparation for our CPA to send the tax booklet that organizes our stuff the way he likes it. That came to a screeching halt a few days ago when our scanner suddenly wouldn’t work. I HAVE to have copies of some stuff and couldn’t make them. The scanner would scan something halfway and then quit. Over and over. It wouldn’t simply make a copy when I pushed the button on the front, either. We worked and worked with it, but couldn’t get it to work the way it should. AND it was a fairly new scanner!  My husband contacted Amazon and they said they would send us a new one with instructions on sending the current one back to them.

We received the new scanner this morning.  My husband got rid of the old software, installed the new and we were again ready to scan. It did the same thing the old one did! After much frustration, my husband figured out that it was a communications problem, and instead of plugging it into our hub, plugged it directly into the back of the computer. It worked!

TODAY’S 2ND PROJECT – figure out where I was in the plugging-the-receipts-and-totals-into-the-CPA-book-project and see if I can get it wrapped up. THEN it will be a matter of waiting for some paperwork from Schwab and dumping it all on our wonderful CPA.

I hope that you’re making more steps forward than back today.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

“Winter Solstice”


This is late, but I think it’s lovely – as long as I don’t have to drive in it…

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Promise Me

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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“Sunrise – Lake Waccamaw NC”

“Sunrise-Lake Waccamaw NC “- Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Snow People – Take 21


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“Doves” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Lesson on Being Polite

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“Beautiful Lady”

“Beautiful Lady” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Reluctant Writer?

Do you have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew that drags his or her feet when asked to write a thank you note for a gift received?

I just added these to my Etsy and ArtFire shops –

A good friend of mine suggested that I offer the option of themes, such as cat lovers, to my thank you note cards in order to encourage kids to write thank yous for the gifts received. I think this would be a FUN way to encourage kids to write a personal note when they can choose from 5 designs with their name on them. Bright, colorful, cartoony – many of them with a 3-dimensional touch, like glitter glue collars, string whiskers, etc. Tell me what theme you would like, plus a name, and I’ll do my best to make both your relative AND the gift giver smile!  $14.99 for the set of 5 with free shipping in the contiguous United States. 


For flower lovers, I offer this group of 5 hand-painted, personalized thank you note cards. These are mostly ‘flowers-that-exist-only-in-my-own-mind,’ and I have great fun painting different styles and colors. These are watercolor or acrylic with pastel backgrounds. Personalization at no extra charge. It’s FUN for children or adults to send a special thank you with their name on it – even if they have to write a short note to go with it. The child smiles, choosing which floral design to use. The recipient smiles, feeling special and appreciated. Win/win!  $14.99 for the set of 5 cards and envelopes and FREE SHIPPING to the contiguous United States.

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Filed under CreativeArtwks on Etsy, Don't Miss These Products!

Good News!

Sassy Senior Lady

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Snow People – Take 20




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Fingerpainting – Take 8



Isn’t this a cute idea? This would be fun as baby announcements….

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Your Home is…

Francine Jay via Lisa Bearnes Richey

I think these nice folks were looking at ME when they wrote this reminder….

I AM making progress in my efforts to tackle one area at a time, take everything out, look through it, decide what to keep, what to donate, what to throw away, and THEN how to reorganize what is left after a thorough cleaning. I figure I should go through things this way at least once each 30 years or so – just to keep up to date…

My husband is getting me a computer. He HATES my MAC. He’s a retired computer analyst, used to knowing everything about computers. Lately he is realizing that the field is growing faster than he can keep up. He hasn’t given up, and he wants to be able to fix any problems I have when my computer is getting wonky. It really makes him angry – feeling inadequate – when he can’t begin to solve any problems on the MAC, so he finally convinced me to let him build a new computer for me – a PC with Windows 10.

He has promised me that he’ll build it on the counter beside me, taking all the time he wants to bend Windows 10 to his will, making sure all is good before we CAREFULLY move my stuff from the MAC to the PC. When we’ve tested everything and we’re sure we have everything we need from the computer I’m using now, we’ll make the switch. We’ll wipe the MAC and sell it, since it’s a good computer and fairly up to date on what is being sold now.

To this end, we decided to move the printer over beside one of our file cabinets. The printer is wider than the file cabinet, so he built an extender for the counter top and we put the printer on it. Now I have a lot more usable space for working.

I also discovered, to my horror, a truly contest-winning amount of dust and grime that was living under and behind the printer and my MAC screen, among the rivers of wiring that string along the counter. This will be my project of the day – to move stuff from one side to the other, thoroughly clean the counter top, and then figure out the best way to arrange things so I can reach them easily and the area can be cleaned again in another 30 years or so…

In the past we’ve always moved often enough that we were forced to go through things, being ruthless about what we would pay to move and what needed to be purged. We’ve lived in our home on the top of the ridge line for over 30 years.  Internalizing the quote above, that ‘Your Home in LIVING SPACE, not Storage Space” hits me right between the eyes. The two nice ladies took one look at me and said, “Linda Lewis, this means YOU!”

At least I can look to various places in our home and see that progress has been made. I’ll just keep tackling one area at a time, healing things as I go. :0)



Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

The Joy of Raising a Lab

Amber at 10 months

Today has been a challenging day for the parents of a 10 month old lab ‘puppy.’

She LOVES the cold weather we’re having.  She comes to sit beside me as I’m working on the computer. Then she starts ‘talking’ to me, saying something like, “Hmmmm!” If I look at her and say, “What do you want, Amber?” she says, “WOOOF!!!” – making me jump straight up in my chair. She actually hurts my ears! We wanted her to bark when she wanted to go out and when she wants to come back in again, but I think we’ve created a monster. How to you ‘explain’ to a 10-month-old-lab-with-small-brain that barking ONCE to go out is good. When you’ve gone out, and come back in again, you need to wait at least awhile before repeating the process?

It’s noon and so far, she’s been out 5 times!  The first time I let her in, I saw she had been busy collecting sticks again. I put on my coat, hat, gloves, and muffler (I feel like a kindergartner getting ready to go out and play in the snow), and cleaned up the yard.

The second time, I saw ‘something’ I couldn’t identify in the yard. I donned all my gear again and went out to discover that Amber had brought the cats’ water bowl and bottle out into the front yard and had been chewing on them. :0(   I picked them up, brought them into the house, washed the bowl and water bottle and refilled them. I took them back out into the garage to find that, before taking them out into the yard, she had played, “Let’s splash all the water out onto the floor!” Since it’s 15 degrees outside right now, I took the broom and swept the water out as best I could, warning my husband to be careful if he went out into the garage, watching for thin patches of ice on the floor.

The next times were more ordinary, without much destruction, but she would stay in 30 seconds, come over to me and say, “WOOOOF!!!” – piercing my eardrums – to go right back out again.

My husband just finished playing “fetch the frog” with her. That lasted for a good 5 minutes or so before she came over and said, “WOOOOOF!!!” again.

By the way, this cute rubber frog is a “Thumbs UP” list frog, as far as we’re concerned.



When we first got it, It’s made of soft rubber and squeaks. I thought it was really cute, but wouldn’t last long. I was wrong! It has lasted for about 3 months so far. She just loves it. She finally ate off one of the eyeballs, so it’s a one-eyed frog now, but seems to have many hours left in it.  (sorry. I just tried to find the toy on the net so I could give you a URL for it, but I guess it’s been discontinued.)

Footnote – It may be that I’m paying for past sins or something, but one of our CATS just pulled over the laundry basket that was sitting on the stairs, scattering the clean, folded clothes and throwing some socks over the side…..



Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Dog Products - Thumbs Up List, Family

Cats and Flowers

One of my dear friends ordered two sets of hand-painted, personalized thank you notes recently – one with a cat theme and the other floral. I’ve had more fun doing this!


My friend knows my work. The cats will be silhouettes and cartoony and the flowers I paint are mostly ones that never were – except in my own mind. I’m spending a bit of time each day playing in my art room, trying to create thank you notes that will bring a smile or two.

Spending time there working on a project, trying to bring order out of chaos, or just experimenting, is just about the best time there is for me. The years fall away. Aches and pains fade. I’m totally absorbed, bopping to my music, surrounded by fun materials, with the only limitations my own imagination and ability. HEAVEN!


Filed under Childlike Fun,, Favorite Things, Hobbies

Cheshire Cat

We put this up this morning.  I forgot to take my camera (surprise!) and so I’m posting pics from the last time we put it up, when things were green and the weather was deliciously warm. Today it’s 30, but sunny. Tonight we’re supposed to get a wintry mix and tomorrow the low will be 14 and the high 21….


We needed something happy to take our minds off another possibility of ice. The Cheshire Cat is just the ticket. :0)

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Fingerpainting Art – Take 7

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Growing Bolder via Cathy Ruggiero

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“Mona in her Basket”

“Mona in her Basket” – Paul Militaru Photography

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I love this sign.  We have something similar that lives on the divider between the kitchen and our dining area –



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Snow People – Take 19

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Snow People – Take 18

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Productive Day

I worked hard today, getting many things on my list accomplished.

I finally got my tax prep done to the point I can just plug in numbers and put receipts in the booklet our CPA sends us each year. Then I wait for one more thing to come in the mail and we can take it all and dump it on our wonderful tax man. This is the earliest I’ve ever done this, so I’m feeling particularly good – and a giant weight has been removed from my shoulders.

I shopped for groceries this morning, did two loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, and cleaned up the kitchen.

I listed the stuff we’re donating to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. I’ll call them tomorrow before we put the bags in the car because tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day and they might be closed.

I received an order for two sets of thank you notes from a good friend. I made good progress on them this afternoon.

I did the leash training walk with Amber without having the no-pull collar on. She did PERFECTLY. She stayed right by my side on the short leash. We walked out to the shop, then farther out to the garden, then all the way back, behind the house, out to the greenhouse, and then all the way across the front yard, into the garage and into the house. Amber got lots of love, hugs, praise, and a big dog biscuit.

I’m about to go start fixing our dinner, but I wanted to share my small victory lap with you. :0)

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“Seagulls” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Wicked Humor

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Baby, It’s COLD Outside!

I have a shop on ArtFire where I sell most of my work. I’ve just finished lowering prices and would like to invite you to take a look. :0)

Example of what you’ll find –

Hand-crocheted scarves with long fringe will help you keep out the cold right now. Stylish and FUN to wear!


Hand-Crocheted Scarf – Sassy

Each scarf is one-of-a-kind. I’ve slashed the prices to $12.99 + $3.50 shipping. If you purchase more than one at the same time sent to the same address, additional shipping is just $1.00 per additional scarf.  There are 6 different scarves available in my ArtFire shop HERE

Make bundling up to go outside more fun. Shop today!!


Filed under Don't Miss These Products!, LindaLewis on ArtFire

Sow What?


I’m gathering suggestions as to what to start when – and a bit on how – in my new greenhouse!  My goal is to be ready to start some plants the middle of March. I’ll have to see what the temperature is in the greenhouse, since I don’t have heat out there, but if it’s too cold, I can start the seeds in the house and move them out there later.


Our greenhouse is 10×14. It is not heated or cooled with electricity because it would cost us a fortune. We do have the ability to have lights, and we do have an automatic venting system tied to the thermostat, so we can get reasonable ventilation in there, particularly when I leave the door open at the opposite end of the greenhouse.

So far I just moved things out there and stashed them somewhere. I’m giving some thought now to storage and work areas.


I would like to keep as much table area as possible for either planting seeds or staging the plants I’ve started. If we have some warmer days (like in the 40s or so) I’ll try to start moving things around, trying to get organized for the initial planting. I’ll take pics as I make some progress and share them with you. I’m hoping that I can stretch my growing season, growing my own plants to transplant out to the square foot garden when they’re ready and the danger of frost is past.


Our square foot garden used to look like this, with two rows of boxes on the ground.


Now we have six 4’x4′ boxes at chest level so I can replenish the Mel’s Mix in the boxes, mark the squares with string, plant, weed, and harvest without having to bend over or kneel down on the ground.  The boxes have a fence all the way around them, reinforced with chicken wire to keep critters out. We have an automatic irrigation system set up.

I’m dreaming about plants, greenhouses, and glorious harvests this spring!

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Filed under Arkansas, Dreams, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

One Word Essays – Companionship

Thanks to email from Bill Lites

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Be Careful

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“Bridge Between Trees”

“Bridge Between Trees” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Oil Paintings I Love – Take 14

E.W. Cook



Leonid Afremov –

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