I Love Dogs

Laurels Pet Grooming

“You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” ~ Dave Barry



“A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.” ~ O.A. Battista



Sunny Skyz

“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” ~ Samuel Butler


Filed under Amazing Animals, Favorite Quotes

You Can’t Cure ‘Stupid’ – Take 3




via Doug Powell via Marsha Koenig


14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew this, and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat, and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”


Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Can't Cure "Stupid"

“After Food”

“After Food” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Special Occasion

GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

That Awkward Stage…


I have several shelves inside the art room, inside the adjoining closet, and outside the art room in the hallway completely cleared now. The result, after 8 leaf bags of donations and two of trash, is that the art room – right now – looks worse than when I started  ( if that’s possible.)  It certainly looks as if a bomb hand landed when you open the door…

I’m telling myself firmly that I AM making progress.

Today I’m going to start putting some things away in the place they’re going to live. That should clear the decks – if only a bit – to make it so I can find a chair to sit and rest on from time to time.

One weird problem I didn’t foresee – I have a cedar chest that has a cushion top that I got from my mom. It weighs a TON, more or less. I don’t want to get rid of it, so I put it under one of the tables in the art room. It eventually was buried beneath lots of wonderful sheets of posterboard, large frame mats, and other stuff over the years. I uncovered it yesterday. I then proceeded to pull it out from the wall a bit and open it. I couldn’t! It’s locked. I have no clue where a key is. I’ll look around today, but I’ve already talked to my husband, asking him to use his nefarious lock-picking skills, to open it for me. It may be completely empty OR stuffed. I don’t have any idea which. Today the mystery will hopefully be solved.

You won’t see pics until I can at least get around in there without falling on my rear. I’m still hopeful that the project will be substantially, if not completely, finished by the end of the weekend.

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

I Think I’ll Stop the Rain Dance…

“**FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9:30AM**  (more warnings possible later Saturday)

Another round of heavy rain mixed with storms will move in during the late morning hours and last until 3-5 PM. Some storms may potentially be severe with hail being our main threat.”

I told you about our drought. In the past 6 days we’ve had rain every day or every night. As of Thursday we had already received about 4 inches of rain. The forecast was then 3 to 5 MORE inches before this ends tonight…

I wanted the rain. I’ve danced in the rain. I’ve stood in the yard, looking up at the sky and enjoyed the rain on my face while our 91 pound yellow labrador retriever ‘puppy’ , Amber, cavorted around, running like a thing possessed, back and forth across the yard and off the edge of the civilized part of the yard, down into the woodsy area and back again.

Enough is enough, though. Many parts of Arkansas are flooding now.

Durango, AR (just north and west of Little Rock)

We live in Greenwood, just southeast of Fort Smith, in west central Arkansas. We’ve been lucky. Although things are saturated now, we haven’t seen much flooding, other than the usual low-lying places that always flood in heavy rain.

I have no idea where we stand as far as the severe drought. I would THINK that this has replenished the local reservoirs so that our drinking water can get back to normal.  This is supposed to end tonight, after the worst rain and storming we’ve had in the past 6 days (including possible severe weather today) is finally past.  Right now it looks like it does right before nightfall.

I just took Amber out, and even SHE just took care of things quickly and was ready to come right back in – at least for awhile.  Molly, our white fuzzy schnauzer/cocker spaniel cross, looks like an old, dirty mop. She loves it outside, coming in drenched and dirtier each time. I’m wearing out the washing machine and dryer trying to have clean, dry towels ready to dry her as well as possible. As soon as things dry out a bit (maybe Tuesday) she’s going into the kitchen sink with lots of no tears puppy shampoo and a large brush!

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Filed under Mother Nature


Homemaking.com via Michael Remillard

“Tomorrow is another day,” ~ Gone With The Wind: Scarlett O’Hara


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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Healthy Eating

“Girl with Friends”

This photo was sent to me by Bill Lites

It makes me hopeful about our world.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Encouragement

And the Clean-out of the Art Room Continues

Mairtown Kindergarten-Ephemeral Art

I love this photo.

Yesterday I told you that I thought I had maybe two more leaf bags of things to donate to the Veterans Thrift Store and then I could begin cleaning and organizing. I filled both bags and am still going – if not STRONG – still going.

Something nice is happening, though, as I go through things.

For awhile I was sad because I seemed to be shedding ‘who I was,’ as well as ‘stuff.’  It was hard for me to give anything away. I might need it for something….

Now I’m actually making some good decisions on what I really enjoy doing, and would like to continue doing. An example of this is painting glassware. I’m thinking of new things to do, new designs to try. We have a sand blaster in the shop and I’m looking forward to ‘frosting’ some designs I cut out, plus I find I really enjoy trying to etch the glass with my little dremel tool.  I would like to watch some YouTube videos of someone who knows what they’re doing and then see what I can do.

Once I decide that I no longer really need to do an art form, I find lots of supplies and tools to give away. I’m actually feeling freer – eager to get things organized so I can play again.  I’m hoping to gather the last of the donations from the art room finished by the end of the week, if not before, so I can then figure out where I want to put things. Meanwhile, I have several fun ideas rattling around in my head – giving me motivation to keep on keepin’ on!

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

Sun and Leaves

“Leaves in the Sun” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Sun on Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography

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You Can’t Cure ‘Stupid’ – Take 2




via Doug Powell via Marsha Koenig


7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom, and ours was significantly smaller.”


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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Can't Cure "Stupid"

A Very Special Group


I’m lucky enough to be a part of what I call, “Lunch Bunch.”  These are friends who meet every Friday for what they call, “lunch” and I call, “brunch.” We meet at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood to catch up with each other. Life happens quickly, and it’s amazing what can happen between one Friday and the next. We’ve done this for years.  “Lunch Bunch is mainly three – Linda, Kay and me. My husband has been inducted in the group as long as his behavior warrants. :0)

We’ve shared it all on these Fridays over a period of years. The main group remains the same, although we have others who join us from time to time. I look forward to finding out what the others are doing, celebrating the good, supporting and weathering through the bad.

I hope that you have people in your life who make you feel rich in friends.

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You Can’t Cure ‘Stupid’ – Take 1



via Doug Powell via Marsha Koenig


1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband, who just wanted to relax.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park, but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Can't Cure "Stupid"

We May Need a Boat!

Sign Up Genius

We’ve all been doing rain dances here in Arkansas, trying to bring an end to the drought we’ve been in. The main source of water in the area was down over 16 inches, causing problems when the lake turned over, bringing odor and off taste to the local water supply.  Our supply of water is different from that of the city of Greenwood, and our problem hasn’t been as great, but we’ve been dancing our hearts out.

Now I’m about ready to ask that the remaining dancers give it a break. I couldn’t find rainfall totals we’ve had so far, but on our ridge line, our yard is saturated and has standing puddles. I can’t imagine what people who don’t live on a ridge are dealing with, and we have 3 to 5 MORE inches forecast by the end of the day Saturday!

If what we’ve received had been in the form of ice or snow, it would have truly been a disaster. We’re really lucky that our temperatures have stayed above freezing, allowing the precipitation to remain LIQUID. I never thought what a beautiful word that is before…



Filed under Mother Nature

On Ice and On Water

“On Ice” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Joy on the Lake” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Paul Militaru Photography

Short, Powerful Stories



Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating.

The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”

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Great Squirrel Photos – Take 2

Birds n Blooms – Pamela Meoli



Birds n Blooms – Lynne Berghoff

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography

Seeing the Light at the End?


I’m going back upstairs to do another session in my art room clean up project. We took 6 large leaf bags of donations to the Veterans Thrift Store this week and I have 4 more filled. I think maybe one or two more bags of donations and then I’ll concentrate on continuing to throw away while I clean and reorganize.

The shelve in the hall are emptying of the supplies I’m donating, so I’m going to include those shelves in the reorganization project – using them for longer term storage for linen closet type stuff. This will centralize things from our master bedroom and the guest room. I have some large bags to put quilts and blankets in. I’ll cover up comforters we’re not using now, too.  I really hadn’t thought about the new use for the shelves, but things evolved as I began to get rid of things.

I’m hoping to finish the art room decluttering/purge/reorganization project by the end of this week. I’ll take pics to show you. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to starting to create some ideas that have popped up while trying to go through piles and piles of ‘stuff.’ :0)


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

Glass Art – Take 8

Marta Klonowska-Canvas Factory

This is unbelievable and completely stunning. You can see another of her pieces in red on the left. I’m in awe of this lady’s artistry and talent.

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Filed under Creativity, Gorgeous Glass

The Welding Lathe Project is Finished!

My husband finished his project of building a ‘welding lathe” this morning! He used plans he bought on the net. Of course, he made changes to the plans to make this more workable for him. He’s sending pics to the man who made the plans, showing him what he did differently.

The purpose of this tool is to make many welding projects easier. Usually, you spent half the time or more moving the pieces you’re trying to weld around, making sure they’re touching in the right spots, and that you can reach the spots you’re trying to weld together. You do a bit and then you have to take it all apart, move the pieces to weld another area, turn it over, and so on, until the two pieces are welded. With this tool, you put the pieces in, latching them together the way you want the two pieces to be welded. There is a motor in this tool that moves the piece at the speed you set, so that you can continue to weld the whole piece without having to change anything. There are vertical and upright settings, so you can easily flip the piece over and then start the motor and continue to weld.

My husband likes things to be moveable, so he added the extra angle iron at the bottom, attached casters with breaks and a plywood ‘shelf’ to hold things. He also added the coiled up tubing so that he can be grounded while he works. A handle he added will allow him to steer the tool, moving it anywhere he likes. He added an ‘arm rest’ so that he can prop up his welding arm while he works, adding accuracy for a smoother weld and keeps his arm from tiring.

This is the nice face plate he ordered for installation of the control buttons and display .

He attaches the pieces to be welded to the top of the chuck.

The red handle connects to a rod that determines the attitude of the tool. You can weld the pieces in the upright position, and then pull out the red handled rod in order to move the whole top into a horizontal position to continue welding.

The blue handle with the black gripper is the handle for moving the whole tool to a different spot. The unpainted rod that comes up vertically and then has square tubing welded to it is his arm rest.

He thinks he’ll use the new tool for about half of the welding he does. This tool usually costs about $1,000. He built it for around $400.



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Filed under Lewis projects

Frightening Statistics

Vintage Books and Anchor Books via Ann Gilstrap

After I got my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist back in 1492, I didn’t want to read anything for awhile. I had been under so much pressure to read things I didn’t want to read and be ready to spit out the information in whatever form required for a LONG time. I found that, even when I tried to read something for pleasure, I read it as if I would be tested on it.

As I taught school at the elementary level on the north side in Tulsa for 8 years, my students have a need to learn to read at first. Their lives were such that books and reading just didn’t make the cut on what was important. I finally learned to break through that, using my guitar to teach phonics, and tossing all the rules I had just learned out the window, opting for common sense approaches. My own love of reading again broke through as I began convincing my students that they could develop a life-long love of reading.

I cannot go a day without reading. I LOVE the Internet. It’s such a good source of information, and you can learn most anything you want to if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to judge your sources. I could spend hours on YouTube. After reading and getting some background, actually watching demonstrations or explanations help make the new skills your own.

I read and follow recipes – trying to fill our lives with good-for-us low-carb food. I’m a lousy cook and have no talent for coming up with things on my own, but using the creativity of others, I can find a good recipe to try (low-carb peanut butter cookies will be tried soon), get whatever ingredients I need, and make the recipe that day (often to the delight of my husband).

I read to try to find out what’s going on in the world. I’ve learned that there is a lot of mis-information out there provided by really biased folks with axes to grind, but if I keep looking, I can find more reliable sources and then can judge for myself what is important for me to know and what the facts are.

Mostly, though, I read for FUN. I am the happy owner of a lot of books that I enjoyed reading, and now enjoy re-reading. I also love ordering new books for my Kindle. I can dive into a world that allows me to leave whatever might be bothering me behind, immersing myself in a world of interesting people doing things I’d never dream of doing personally. I emerge, feeling rested and happy.

I don’t want to believe the statistics above. I feel sad that so many people are missing such a rich source of learning and happiness.  This would be something I would want to try to change – if I had the chance.


Filed under Hobbies, Reading is FUNdamental

Paper Art – Take 18

Yulia Brodskaya

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Filed under Creativity, paper art

Little by Little…


I’m feeling somewhat like “The Little Engine That Could” today. I keep saying the equivalent of, “I think I can. I think I can” while trying to clean out my art room.


The art room is an accumulation of about 20 years, rather than 30, as some of the rest of my clean-out projects have been, but it’s harder for me because of the emotional attachment and illusions of ‘some day.’  I have a good start now. I feel even better because after filling 6 large leaf bags full of things I think others might enjoy playing with, we took the donation yesterday. (These were all lined up in the foyer downstairs). Now the decks have been cleared and I’m ready to start another session. :0)

As I’m cleaning, I’m making decisions about what I want to continue to do after the clean-out is finished. I’m starting to feel less sad that I’m not going to do some things anymore because I can concentrate on what I still love to do. I’ll have more room to organize the things I need for each type of art or craft.

(My husband, who sometimes wears the hat of “Balloon Pricker in Chief,” continues to ask if I’ve started cleaning things out yet. He finally quit doing that – at least for the moment – when he helped load the truck and then UNload it at the Veterans Thrift Store yesterday…)

As I also clean out supply shelves my husband put up for me in the hallway upstairs outside the actual art room, I’m seeing them as being more useful as added linen closet type space – an option I didn’t have before!

I AM feeling better as I do this. I’ve given away a LOT of things. I’ve thrown away a LOT of things. I’ve reorganized what’s left in each area so that I know what we have and where it is (mostly).  When my art room is cleaned and better organized, I look forward to starting actually USING it to start trying to create the ideas that have been rattling around in my head.  :0)


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


Anthony D’Angelo via Krafty Max

Yesterday we got soaked so many times I lost count! I’m happy about it because we need the rain so badly. We’re forecast to have 4 inches of rain or more by the end of this on Saturday.

We had a productive day, smiling as we were soaked over and over in the course of it.

The brick place called and said a guy would deliver our bricks by lunchtime. That was pretty close to correct, as our driveway detector went off about 1:00 or so. A wonderful man with a long, flowing, snow-white beard came up our driveway on a fork lift with our big package of 400+ bricks and gently set them down exactly where my husband wanted them.  The wind was gusting so hard that our ‘Santa’s’ beard kept blowing up over his face! My husband told the man, “I want to look like you when I grow up.” His eyes twinkled as he waved to us, laughing, and neatly turned the fork lift around and headed back down the driveway.  Since it’s supposed to rain through Saturday, we probably won’t even get started on the brick planter project until next week. Meanwhile, we’ll stop at the hardware store one of these days to see if we can find a brick layer to redo the planters once we get them emptied and taken down.

My husband’s ‘building-a-new-computer-for-me’ project continues to hit snags. He started out trying to replicate what is in HIS computer. We finally figured out that the new motherboard is different (even though it carries the same model number, and wouldn’t accept the memory he had purchased. He added the memory to his computer and ordered different memory for my computer from the book that came with the motherboard. We did this TWICE, having to return the memory TWICE  (the second set will be picked up today by UPS). We finally discovered through the Crucial website an application where we could see if the memory for which we had been searching (also found in the motherboard book) was compatible with our motherboard. It wasn’t! They had a button for finding memory that WAS compatible with the motherboard.  We found one and it’s on its way now.

Since we didn’t have to stay home the rest of the day, we decided to pack up the truck with the bags I had filled with donations from the art room for the Veterans Thrift Store. About half way to Fort Smith the heavens opened and, even with the windshield wipers on high and the defroster on, it was hard to see where we were going. We were playing “motorboat” driving through the water in the streets. It was still raining by the time we got to the Thrift Store, but my husband and I got out the bags plus other stuff, for the nice lady who gave us a receipt. We were soaked by the time we got back into the truck.

On the way home, we stopped at the bank. Interestingly, the rain really started up the minute I got out of the car.

We stopped for gas. My husband got soaked because the wind was blowing the rain sideways.

We stopped at the deli for fish. We both got soaked again on the way back to the car.

When we got home, we took the doggies out. This time we had umbrellas to use that weren’t more trouble to deal with than getting soaked. The wind was still buffeting the ran around, so our clothes got soaked once again.

We spent the rest of the day inside, except for taking doggies out from time to time, happy to get warm and dry. It rained overnight and is still raining now, but a steady, soaking rain that might really do us some good.

The Fedex delivery person came while I was on the front porch watching Amber taking care of business, so I put her in quickly and ran around to the garage to receive the package – getting wet yet again. It’s beginning to feel weird when I’m dry…..

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Water Wonders

“On Lake” – Paul Militaru Photography




“Turtle Swimming” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Paul Militaru Photography

Short, Powerful Stories – Take 7

Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said,

“I hope you feel better soon.”

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Great Squirrel Photos – Take 2

Birds n Blooms – Deanne Tomkins



Birds n Blooms – Kathleen Ottos



Birds n Blooms – Mary Lou Rosemont

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography

You’re Not Only One Thing – Take 1

Public Domain Pictures

“Who anyone is” is a complex issue.  I keep bumping into this question lately, and it’s started me thinking – a LOT.

I’ve told you I’m trying to go through my art room, decluttering, reorganizing, gathering things others might be able to use, throwing away a bunch of stuff. I’ve discovered – to my surprise – that getting rid of things in my art room is an emotional thing for me. As I make decisions about what to give away or throw away, I’m shedding things that used to say who I am.

I used to be

  • a teacher
  • a reading clinic owner
  • an administrative assistant
  • a medical transcriptionist/bookkeeper

I still am

  • a wife
  • a mother
  • an animal lover
  • a friend
  • a crafter, stained glass artist, a yard critter creator, and  a metal artist with my husband. I etch and paint glass. I paint stationery and note cards. I create greeting cards. I crochet. I paint fabric for tees, aprons, placemats, tote bags. I’m sometimes a bit of an artist.
  • an appreciator of creativity of all kinds
  • a blogger
  • a gardener
  • a reader

People are never only one thing.  People change labels as they grow, their circumstances change, their thinking changes. People are complex and wonderful – amazing in their ability to wear many hats, fill many different roles depending on what is needed by those around them. We are only seeing the surface.



Filed under Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Arkansas Sunset

Christopher Moore-AR Sunrises and Sunsets via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Arkansas

And the Rains Came….

We are FINALLY getting some nice rain. It rained a bit during the day yesterday, and again last night. We have a 90% chance of more rain today, and really good chances through Saturday! In fact, some are estimating we may get 3 to 4 inches by the end of the week. Woo HOOOO! Hopefully, this will go a long way to solving our drought problems.

Meanwhile, I told you that we have two 8 foot brick planters along the front of our house that are falling apart as we watch. With all the rain, we will have to wait to empty the planters, pile up the soil somewhere and knock down the bricks of each planter – down to the concrete pad under it. The nice lady at the brick place just called, though, and said the truck with the bricks should be here before lunch time. We figured out the best place for the guy to put the groups of bricks with a fork lift. Our next step – other than breaking down the planters, is finding a good, affordable brick layer. We’ll ask at our local hardware store to see if they know someone.



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Filed under Lewis projects, Mother Nature

Great Sign Ideas – Take 3


In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”


At a Propane Filling Station:

“Thank Heaven for little grills.”


In a Chicago Radiator Shop:

“Best place in town to take a leak.”


Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:

“Caution – This Truck is full of Political Promises”


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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor