Art from Found Things – Take 8




Leo Sewell via Art Propelled

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Rope Art – Take 28

25+ rope art ideas on Pinterest – artist unknown



“Amigo Room” by jdalla via Flickr.

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“Spying a Seagull in Flight”

“Spying a Seagull in Flight” – Paul Militaru Photography

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I’m Clever

Oscar Wilde-BrainyQuote

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Watercolors I Love – Take 31



“Golden-Retriever” – – David Scheirer Watercolors

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Delighted and Appalled

Dyson Animal Ball Series

This is the later version of the Dyson vacuum I have. I’ve had it for several years now. Each time I use it, I’m delighted – and appalled – at all that I empty out of the cannister.

I KNOW I should probably vacuum every day, particularly since we have two shedding dogs and two shedding cats (the fish don’t shed, thank goodness). The truth is that almost everything takes precedence over house cleaning.

I’ve been noticing that our carpeted stairs were needing attention. Today was the day. I used the battery-powered portable Dyson that hangs in its charging center in the pantry. I can use the top, along with a couple of attachments, to clean the stairway. There was a bunch of matted hair in the stair creases (is there a name for this, other than crease?).

I first used the whisk broom, vigorously attacking the creases. It worked well. Dog and cat hair was flying off the stairs onto the foyer carpet.

Amber was in the office, but noticed me when she heard the sound of the whisk broom. She came running and saw furballs flying in the air. She snapped one out of the air and ate it. She thought it was a FINE game and smiled at me, wagging her tail. I kept her amused the whole time I did the first part of the stair cleaning. I have no clue how many furballs she ate…

I’ve now finished vacuuming with the hand-held Dyson and the crevice tool, plus the stairs tool, and then the foyer and living room with the Animal Dyson. It looks much better now.

I’m still delighted at the way the vacuums work. Dyson makes really good products. But, I have to tell you, when I empty the cannisters, I’m also appalled at all the dust, dirt, furballs, etc. that were on our carpet before I started. I know I’m a lousy housekeeper. I’ve told you I’m a slob. But this is powerful evidence that I speak the truth. Thank goodness I have good equipment when I finally bestir myself to use it!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

1st Day of Spring 2018

source unknown

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” – Doug Larson


“Spring Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography

“Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.” — Kahlil Gibran


“Redbud” – Stephanie Youmans Wilson

“In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” – Mark Twain


The Farmer’s Daughter – Opening Day

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” – Margaret Atwood


“Wisteria” – Stephanie Youmans Wilson

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” – E.E. Cummings


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The Literacy Site via Cathy Ruggiero

Recently I told you that I had started re-reading the “Jack Reacher” books by Lee Child.  I’ve read the first three and am ready to start, “Running Blind.” I haven’t read them for several years, so it feels as if I’ve found a treasure trove.

In the middle of this, though, my husband just finished reading “Camino Island,” by John Grisham, and said I would like it, so I’m reading that one first, and then will get back to the Lee Child books.

I feel so rich, having so many good books to read around me. I’m trying not to get TOOOOOO caught up, though, because we have so many other things around here that need my attention. The time seems to slip away when I dive into a wonderful read….

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Gorgeous Gourd Art – Take 25




Susan Fuller More

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Art from Found Things – Take 7

Found Objects Sculpture Workshop for Children and Adults



Ginger – Assemblage Sculpture-robot dog

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“My Love, Mona”

“My Love, Mona” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Latest Mailbox Decoration Progress

In December last year, we discovered that my husband and I shared a ‘senior moment,’ with both of us thinking we had created a new mailbox decoration for the Christmas season. We looked in the hanging bar where we keep all of our mailbox decorations, but it wasn’t there. We looked laboriously all over the shop, thinking maybe we had started it, but hadn’t finished it. Nope. Nada.

After finally admitting we were definitely losing it, we started over. My husband used the reference picture we got from the net and generated the computer code that tells the torch what to cut.

Yesterday afternoon he made the piece we use to attach the piece to the mailbox and got it welded to this. We attached the piece to our stand with a huge clamp, then used the overhead projector to mark the piece on both sides. It is now ready for me to paint.

I always start with the back, making decisions and working out any problems there before I turn it over and paint the front. I’ll post progress pics as the piece is painted.

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Spring Has Sprung!

I love this time of year when I can walk around our yard and find beautiful flowers or buds everywhere. They renew my faith in the world and make my spirits soar. Right now there are daffodils blooming all over the place.  This is a sample of what’s in our planters.


This bunch is off the edge of the civilized part of our land in back.


And this is off the edge in the front.


The blooms on the tulip tree are quite fragile, but they’re putting on a nice display right now.


The beginning of the blooming of our wisteria that starts at the end of one of our brick planters and now grows all the way across our outside firewood rack and up into the tree on the other side of it. I hope we have a good, healthy display this year. It creates a small canopy of sorts across the corner of the driveway now. When it’s in full bloom, I love to stand under it, look up and breathe its glorious fragrance in.


And this is the purple hyacinth that Amber HASN’T found and eaten yet….

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How Does One Teach A Puppy NOT to Eat the Flowers?

I took this picture of one of two purple hyacinths I planted last year that bloomed for the first time in the past two days. I’m just thrilled with it.


I told you, though, that my husband and I were working on the irrigation system most of the day yesterday. We had the two doggies out with us.  All was going well. Amber was being particularly good, not dive-bombing sweet Molly,



when I noticed that at SOME time while we were out Amber had decided to ‘taste’ the hyacinth. Now we have one good-looking one and the one in the picture above is about half gone… At least she didn’t pull it out by the roots!

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A wonderful combination of too much pulling, hauling and digging on the irrigation system with my husband yesterday and a night where I seemed to be looking at the clock each hour until right before the alarm went off are making me pretty worthless today.  I tried to curl up under my throw in my recliner after breakfast and initial chores were done, but aches and pains made me get up and take some Ibuprofen. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” as Bette Davis wisely said.

Since I was up, I again noticed that the aquarium was still looking pretty sad. The too-large filter pump was in and working, but the top wouldn’t fit on the aquarium with that pump and the water looked cloudy. I decided that it was past time to do something about that.


An hour or so later, the aquarium is back together again . I took everything out, including the fish, siphoned all but an inch of the water out, scrubbed everything, put in the new, smaller filter pump with a new filter in it, put all the ‘stuff’ back in and then filled it up with specially treated water. Finally the fish were carefully scooped up, one by one, and put carefully back into the aquarium. The new filter is working nicely, the top now fits on the aquarium again, and the water is nice and clear Happy fish!



I stored the too-large pump and the filters that go with it, in case of another disaster. Keeping the sweet fish alive is the first priority.



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Gorgeous Gourd Art – Take 24

Pinterest – Unknown Artist



Robert Rivera-Torres Gallery-Santa Fe, New Mexico

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“Various Shades of Green”

“Various Shades of Green” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Irrigation System Makes Us Thirsty

article from Buzz Feed Partner

We just came in from two sessions of repairing our irrigation system in the front yard. My husband created a system from PVC pipes, elbows, and knees :0)  and hoses with clamps. When we turn the system on – on a timer once we start watering every day – the water comes through drilled holes in the PVC pipe. We used to spend almost an hour with hand-held hoses, trying to give our poor, thirsty plants enough water to keep them alive. We lost a lot of plants before we came up with the system we use now.

As with anything out in the sun, the hoses become brittle or break from a kink, develop leaks, etc. Today we fixed the two worst parts of our system. We’ll probably find places where hoses have burst, connections come loose, etc., when we turn it on, but we KNEW these two areas needed basically to be redone.

I was going to work out in my greenhouse, but when I saw what my husband had started, I dropped my plans and played ‘helper’ and ‘go-fer’ instead. I was also planning to change the filter pump in the aquarium and clean the whole thing out – since we got the new pump and filter inserts today at Wal-Mart, but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

While we were out getting parts and running other errands, we got some lunch to bring home. We also brought home a rotisserie chicken, so all I’ll have to do tonight is reheat that and make a salad. Wonderful!

I’m going to go drink a bottle of water and rest a bit now, since we worked for about three hours outside today, not counting the errands. A good day for old folks. :0)


Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Greenhouse Organization Progress

I made some progress on moving things around in the greenhouse yesterday.

The FIRST thing I learned, after plugging in the extension cord inside the greenhouse, standing on my head pushing the extension cord out of the hole in the back, stretching it out across the yard, attaching the 2nd extension cord (being careful to install the big plastic green protector that goes over where the two connect), then stretching the 2nd cord out to get to the receptacle on the back of the house, was that I didn’t remember that there was a male connector hanging down from the power strip inside the greenhouse, and that I should have used THAT instead of plugging in the extension cord the way I did, so it was all backwards. I had a female end where I needed a male at the house. Good start, huh?

I pulled the cords up, back to the greenhouse and reversed everything. This time I could plug it in. The automatic vent/fan combination was on when I walked back to the greenhouse! The thermometer said it was above 80 inside, and the fan is set to come on when it hits 80 in there, then go off whenever the temperature is below that. I turned on the ‘people fan’ as well and checked that the light we installed was working. I propped the door open on the opposite end of the greenhouse to increase the venting.

It would be nice if we had run electricity to the greenhouse, rather than using 200 feet of extension cords, but that costs a fortune. Since I’m an amateur (although a fairly NICE one), I don’t need ‘fancy.’ I’m just trying to be able to start seed earlier and get a jump on the season. I’d also like to be able to grow things not offered in our area and hopefully be able to start a fall crop when NO plants are being offered.

I’ve set up this table on the left side of the greenhouse as a seed starting area. I’ll show you a new method for starting seeds that I read about when I start my first batch.  You can see that the weed barrier we put down on the floor is no longer clean and pristine. Each time it rains, the water comes in under the greenhouse. It goes across the floor and pools under tables on either side of the greenhouse. I’m being careful not to put anything in these areas that will get upset being wet.

I brought out the roll of carpeting you can see in the top picture, but I’m thinking that’s a bad idea. Now I’m going to try to make a pathway in front of each table out of the brick  I hope to salvage from the break-down of the two brick planters that are failing that we’ll empty/knock down/rebuild – hopefully hiring a brick layer who knows what he’s doing to redo them. If we can’t find anyone willing to do this for us at a reasonable price in a good time frame, we’ll do it ourselves. (The ones that have failed are over 30 years old. New ones – even built by US – will last longer than we will.)


Here you can see the automatic fan/vent in the ‘doorway’ shape on the end of the greenhouse opposite the door. Yesterday it came on as it was supposed to, because the temperature was above 80 in there. When I went out this morning to take pictures, it was off.  You can see the one six-pack of tomato plants on the table. I have to consolidate more to get the table as clear as possible.


This is the table on the right side of the greenhouse. I still have the jumble of supplies here to go through, but I’m trying to set this table up to hold the plants I need to dig out of the failing planters, hoping they’ll survive the demolishing and rebuilding process. I brought some big pots out that I hope will be large enough for the plants.

It may get too hot in here, even with the vent/fan going, but we’ll just have to wait – with fingers crossed – ‘holding our mouths right.’


Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering

Art From Found Things – Take 6

“AOL Search” – artist unknown





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Life Happens

25 best coffee quotes

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Gorgeous Gourd Art – Take 23

Kelsey Nelson



Phyllis Sickles


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“Red Bouquet of Roses”

“Red Bouquet of Roses” – Paul Militaru Photography

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St. Patrick’s Day 2018


Some Irish thoughts –

“I can resist everything except temptation.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“As you slide down the banister of life, May the splinters never point the wrong way.”

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going, and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.”

“Everyone is wise until he speaks.”


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May we all have the luck of the Irish today!



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St. Pat’s Mailbox Decoration Up This Morning

When we first started making metal decorations to attach to our mailbox, we used to have to manually cut the designs out using a welding torch and then spend a LOT of time smoothing all the edges, front and back, before even thinking of painting it. It was the best we could do at the time and some decoration is certainly more fun than none.

When we got the CNC set up, where my husband could convert a drawing we found on the net to a code the computer could understand and replicate, cutting it out of sheet metal, we upped our game and a wonderful new adventure began! We have so much fun making these. We now have too many to display each year! We change our decoration twice a month, and then we try to display as many of the other designs we’ve made that are unrelated to a certain holiday as possible.

Now my husband looks for designs that allow us to display something 3-dimensional to take it out of the more ordinary designs. Such a fun way to spend time together – scheming on what to make, how we’re going to make it, cutting it out, marking it, and painting it – and then, finally putting it up on the mailbox, hoping that others will smile as they pass. :0)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art

Gorgeous Gourd Art – Take 22

620 Best Decorative Gourds Images – Artist Unknown



Essential Glass Works-Etsy

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Poor Little Fishes!

Our aquarium filter pump suddenly died. I’m not really sure how long it had been on the fritz, but suddenly I noticed that the little fish weren’t happy and that their water looked cloudy. I had just changed the filter cartridge on the first, but I changed it again. I couldn’t get any movement of the water when I plugged it in!

This kind of situation is when I usually ask my husband for help. I couldn’t this time because he was helping a ham guy take down his ham radio towers and wouldn’t be home until it was too late for the poor little fishes.  I looked in my supplies and found I did have another pump, but it was a different size and style from the one we were using. I sat down and read the instructions and put the pump together, put the cartridge that came with it in the pump, installed it in the aquarium and plugged it in. It worked!

The pump is actually the wrong size and the top of the aquarium won’t go on the way it should. I’ve ordered a replacement pump like the one we had before, plus more filter cartridges, and I’ll change things out when the new stuff arrives, putting the too-large pump back in storage in case of another failure. I feel good, though, that I was able to do an interim fix so the poor fishes wouldn’t be too uncomfortable.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Encouragement

Working on the Greenhouse

When we return from Lunch Bunch, my plan is to start actually getting my greenhouse more organized. These pictures are from when we just finished it, when all was clean, pristine, and the weed barrier on the floor was in one piece.

Over the months since we finished building it, I’ve transferred lots of things into it, just  moving things from our garage, the garden area, etc., so that it was at least in the greenhouse. I’ve been in and out on almost a daily basis, putting plants in there that I bought from one place or another and holding them until I could get them into the garden. A six-pack of tomatoes is in there now, but everything else has been planted in the raised bed square foot garden. I’m getting some good exercise because the only place we had to build the greenhouse is on the opposite side of our property from the shop and the garden.

Now is the time to at least start getting organized. I want to create an area for starting seeds. I want to consolidate a bunch of supplies, taking up as little table space as possible because I’ll need to bring more plants in when we demolish the two brick planters that have cracked, and in the future will want space for growing seeds, and staged growing plants as I try to get them ready to plant outside. I’ll have to be careful what I store on the floor under the tables on each side because water collects there when it rains. It’s exciting to finally start scheming and planning how I want things to work!

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds


“Purple Hyacinth” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Purple Iris” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Purple Pansy” – Paul Militaru Photography


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