Ham Radio Picnic!

If the rain holds off, we’re going to attend the Amateur Ham Radio Club of Fort Smith’s annual picnic this afternoon.

The weather forecast is saying it’s supposed to start raining this afternoon and won’t stop, essentially, until sometime Monday or so, so this is a big “IF.”

This is a group of people who love ham radio. My husband joined a few years ago, but is mainly listening, rather than talking at this point, wanting to be sure he knows how to do it correctly. He has passed all three tests for ham operators, and as soon as we can get him a decent antenna, he might really get into this new hobby for him.

We mainly got it so that we could find out what was going on in the event of an emergency of some kind. Others get into it because they want to talk to people in as many different countries as possible. It’s an interesting group of people from all walks of life.

I’m particularly impressed by the leader of the group. He went blind several years ago, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a very social, dynamic leader who remembers everyone’s names, everyone’s wife’s or husband’s name, plus their kids names, and keeps up with all the latest on everyone. I wish I could do this HALF as well as he does. He recognizes my husband and me quickly when either of us says, “Hi, Mike.” Needless to say, he’s a great leader, very welcoming to all comers.

We’ll bring something to drink for ourselves,  a container of baked beans for the group, and go – prepared to have a good time visiting with people and having a fun picnic.

 

 

 

 

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Kid Wisdom – Take 3

“Don’t give that to me.  I’m full-handed.” –  Andrew (5)

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Great Advice

credit - patricia_polacco_via_cathy_ruggiero

credit –
patricia_polacco_via_cathy_ruggiero

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Dreams, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, I'm Glad I Found...., Philosophy, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day

Parasol

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If I had a dollar

credit - forreadingaddicts via cathy ruggiero

credit –
forreadingaddicts via cathy ruggiero

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Last beach sunrise 2015

credit - Mary Lou Lewis

credit –
Mary Lou Lewis

Today is “enjoy-one-last-sunrise-at-the-beach,” pack up, and travel back to reality day for my sister-in-law and her buddies. Since she kindly shared her trip with us, we can also share the relaxation, beauty, fresh air, sand, waves, sandpipers, balloons, good food, good companionship, new friends, and good alone time, too.

AHHHH!

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Filed under Day Trips - Come See This!, Favorite Photographs, It's a Wonderful World!, Mother Nature, Vacation!

Garden weeding rained out

I had to admit that when the rain started, I was relieved to be able to come back inside. My garden needs a ton of work after more than 3 weeks of neglect due to rain and laziness.

blog_gardenrow1

I’m embarrassed to show these to you because things have gotten so out of hand.

blog_gardenrow2

I’ll concentrate on sharing the good things I found before the rain – and spent energy – forced me in.

blog_lettuce

My lettuce has done spectacularly well this year. It’s very happy with all the rain and the insects haven’t bothered it. It tastes wonderful, too!

blog_yubi

This planter is right beside the shop door. If you’re not familiar with this, this has become one of our staples. It’s called “Yubi,” “Purslane,” or a related form, “Portulaca.” It thrives in hot, dry climates, so it loves Arkansas. It’s an annual, so we plant it every year. My husband keeps a gallon jug of water in the shop so that he can give it a drink regularly.

blog_snapdragons

I’m trying to plant more and more snapdragons each year. They’re perennial, come in nice colors, and last from spring until frost. What more could a person ask?

blog_prettywhiteblossoms

This is a mystery perennial I planted last year. I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s blooming nicely right now. I couldn’t detect any smell.

blog_perennials

This is a planter that has done well this year. It has a bit of everything in it, it’s full of perennial blooms, and I love the variation.

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Almost pooped out

We had a surprise gift of a dry, cloudy, cooler day so far today, so I’ve been outside weeding the square foot garden. It’s been about three weeks or more since I could get out there and it shows. :0(

My asparagus spears were over 3 FEET tall, so I’ve just cut them off for the compose barrel. SOMETHING attacked the poor broccoli plants just as they were trying to grow new leaves. I’ve had to pull up about half of what I planted. If the rain will just give me a break, I’ll try to spray on something to keep the insects away.

I’m harvesting what I can of broccoli florets and trying to trim the plants that still have reasonable looking leaves. I don’t know if they’ll produce at all.

The thing that is going really nicely is my lettuce! I’m going to harvest a bunch today – if my energy holds out – and we’ll be enjoying lots of good salads fresh from the garden.

My tomato plants are still ‘iffy’ after the hailstorm. I have two other tomato plants on the east side of the house that are HUGE compared to those in the main part of the garden. I’m still at a loss to explain that – just enjoying the fact that MAYBE we’ll have some good tomatoes in awhile.

I have blossoms on my cucumber plants and my bell pepper plants, so I’m hopeful that they’ll do all right.

I’ve been glugging water since I’ve been writing this post, trying to get up enough energy to get back out there. There is SO much to do. I want to take advantage of today, where I thought we would be rained out, but my energy is a big factor.

I’ll don my sweatband and carry my bottle of water back out there and see if I can do some good.

I hope the weather is cooperating with you in your activities today.

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A Creative Point of View – Take 28

credit - pink radio (VIP) via vickie eisenlohr

credit –
pink radio (VIP) via vickie eisenlohr

I love this idea! I would adapt it to a series of planters on our deck railing, though, since my husband hates to move around things.

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Filed under Creativity, Gardening, Ingenuity - repurposing

Another day in paradise

Credit -  Mary Lou Lewis

Credit –
Mary Lou Lewis

A wonderful treasure trove from the beach! My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, has been kindly sharing her vacation with me. Her photographs are so good I almost feel I’m there. Very relaxing, isn’t it?

She’s particularly pleased that her beach buddies taught her to hunt for shark’s teeth!

blog_beachoncloudyday

Credit – Mary Lou Lewis

Sunrise on the beach. They think this will burn away by midday. What a glorious place. Can you hear the waves lapping at the shore? Watch for a sandpiper!

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Kid Wisdom – Take 2

“If my room was clean, I’d be somebody else.” – Jeff, age 8

I hear you, Jeff….

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just breathe

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Another virtual day on the beach

friendonthebeach

credit – Mary Lou Lewis

 

 

Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, Mary Lou, we get to enjoy another virtual day at the beach!  Of the top photograph, she says, “A little ghost crab who showed no fear as I was taking a walk yesterday.”

 

sunsandandbeach

credit – Mary Lou Lewis

“The sun is breaking free of this morning’s cloud cover.”

I wish I could be there with her, walking and discovering while enjoying the intense beauty, but this virtual vacation is almost as good.

 

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Illustrations from a new book!

My good friend, DiVoran Lites, is writing a book. Since she’s also an artist, she is illustrating it! She is providing the illustrations from her “Go West” Series in the form of 8-1/2 x 11 posters. plus note card packages of 20, 50, and 100 – the cost of the note cards is discounted more deeply the more you purchase. You can use these note cards as your ‘signature’ note cards, with DiVoran offering free personalization on each card!

Go West Series – “Touring Car”

 

Go West Church

Go West Series – “The Church”

kate and Seraphina

Go West Series – “Kate and Seraphina”

Aldon in Loft

Go West Series – “Aldon in Loft”

Tea Pot Series 1

Go West Series – “Charlotte’s Blue Tea Pot”

book_13cowandcalf

Go West Series – “Cow and Calf”

book_14cattleatrest

Go West Series – “Cattle at Rest”

book_cliftonmap

Go West Series – “Clifton Map”

book_coloradosprings

Go West Series – “Colorado Spring”

book_laundry

Go West Series – “Laundry”

book_mountains

Go West Series – “Mountains”

book_ranch-ch3

Go West Series – “The Ranch”

book_rockymountainhotspring

Go West Series – “Rocky Mountain Hot Spring”

book_therailroadstation

Go West Series – “The Railroad Station”

To purchase these as POSTERS –

To purchase these as packages of NOTECARDS –

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How wet is it?

Isn’t this a GREAT photo by Nicole Katano? I love it!

I decided to actually look up how much rain we’ve had this month to see if I’m exaggerating, or if we really HAVE had a LOT of rain.

Joe Pennington, one of the weather guys on KFSM TV 5 in Fort Smith/Fayetteville said, “May 2015 is now the wettest May on record for Fort Smith pushing 14″. If we get 3.80″ more, it will be the wettest spring ever recorded since record keeping began back in 1883.”

 

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Nuts

Nuts! Last evening my husband and I mowed the lawn. Today I was planning to edge, trim, and do some weed whacking, start new compost in my barrel composter, harvest some veggies, etc – enjoying spending the day outside. Guess what! We woke up to a really hard rain and thunderstorm this morning. I think the weather people said that we got between 2.0 and 2.5 inches of rain overnight!

Our yard is beyond saturated. Some places around us are having flooding, retaining wall collapses, etc., so I’m not griping TOO loudly, but it’s annoying that my plans have been ‘washed away.’

To add insult to injury, here’s our forecast –

credit - KFSM 5 News

credit –
KFSM 5 News

Great, huh? It looks like tomorrow, and then maybe Tuesday of next week I can work outside…

AND we’re planning to attend a ham radio group picnic Saturday….

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today

credit - gainingagebutlosingmind via cindy bassnett thurman

credit –
gainingagebutlosingmind via cindy bassnett thurman

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Taking time for myself

credit - hooplaha_cindy bassnett thurman

credit –
hooplaha_cindy bassnett thurman

I love my friends and family, but I also enjoy time to myself, where I do whatever I’d like to do, not having to adjust for others.

Today I’ve been at the computer. I probably should have been doing other things, but I’ve enjoyed myself thoroughly.

The rest of the day I’ll spend doing my ‘shoulds’ – at least ONE – but I had good fun!

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Why we need best friends

credit - alice105.9 via charlene bodero

credit –
alice105.9 via charlene bodero

 

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Kid Wisdom – Take 1

I love reading what children say. They’re so honest. So fresh. Uncensored. From the heart.

“If you’re feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color.” – Hannah, age 8

Credit - 1stch.org

Credit –
1stch.org

When life comes down hard on us, it’s hard to remember that – most of the time – WE are in charge of how we feel.  I’m not saying that we can – or should – ignore or not react to what’s happening around us. When sad things happen, we need to take time to grieve.  We are not in complete control of what happens, but we ARE in control of how we react.

Hannah’s advice, above, is so wise. When we realize we’re down, we should try to take control of our feelings by looking at things a new way, getting busy with something that will give us pleasure, changing whatever it is that is making us blue the best way we’re able.

Acknowledge your feelings, and then “try painting yourself a different color.”

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, Kid's Sayings, Kids Quotes, Making Your Life Easier, Opportunities!, Philosophy, Quality of Life, Thought for the Day

2nd Virtual Day of Vacation at the Beach!

I love the ocean. I remember trying to make sand castles when I was a young child, though I don’t remember which ocean my parents took us to. Most of my life has been in the center of the country, in Oklahoma and Arkansas – a little far from beaches.

My sister-in-law is enjoying a vacation on the beach with friends this week and I couldn’t be happier for her. She sent me a picture of a sandpiper yesterday. Today I can enjoy her view of the beach from her room at the rented house!

credit - Mary Lou Lewis

credit –
Mary Lou Lewis

Isn’t this nice?  I would love to walk right out on that walkway and go down the steps to the beach.

I got so caught up in reading about shark teeth hunts I almost missed the face that she sent TWO pictures today!

 

Credit - Mary Lou Lewis

Credit –
Mary Lou Lewis

Simply glorious! I hope YOU’RE enjoying our virtual vacation, too!

Thank you, Mary Lou!

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

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Filed under Day Trips - Come See This!, Favorite Photographs, Mother Nature, Vacation!

It’s always SOMETHING…

Yesterday our garage door was possessed, not wanting to stay shut. Thanks to my husband getting up on a ladder and twiddling some controls, we seem to have the problem solved. (We hope!)

Today it was the air conditioning in the shop. We got back from a trip to Fort Smith to buy sheet metal, tubing, etc. for our projects. We really huffed and puffed moving all of it from the back of the truck to where it belongs in the shop.

It’s really humid here, with all the rain we’ve been getting on almost a daily basis, so when the thermometer hits 87 degrees, you melt into a puddle without a/c.

My husband hit the button to cool things off before we were going to go out there and work and nothing happened. He looked at things and couldn’t figure out why the a/c wasn’t coming on. Our good friend said he would come over and look at it with us. My husband continued working on it, thought he had it fixed, and so called our friend, telling him not to bother coming. He spoke too soon.

He brought in a couple of parts to check them with the meter. He thought one big motor-start capacitor was bad, but went out in the shop and cleaned it up. It worked – and turned on the a/c, but it wasn’t getting cool. We now have our shop a/c guy coming tomorrow, armed with coolant…

We have two more mailbox designs ready to cut out on the CNC machine, but we’ll have to wait until we can control the temperature in there better.

credit - fineartamerica.com

credit –
fineartamerica.com

We’ve decided to call it a day and relax for a bit before picking up good friends and going bowling, with ice cream after!

Hope your day was good!

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A Creative Point of View – Take 27

credit - email from Marsha Koenig

credit –
email from Marsha Koenig

With the crazy weather we’ve been having this spring, this almost looks like a regular photograph!

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Filed under Creativity, Grin for the Day, Humor, Ingenuity - repurposing

My Virtual Vacation!

credit - Mary Lou Lewis

credit –
Mary Lou Lewis

My virtual vacation officially began this morning with the arrival of this photograph taken by my sister-in-law, where she’s relaxing and enjoying some well-deserved time off with good friends.

I asked her to ‘kiss a sandpiper for me,” and SHE DID!

This photo transported me so that I could ALMOST hear the ocean and watch the sweet sandpiper skitter across the sand.

AHHHHH!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Day Trips - Come See This!, Favorite Photographs, It's a Wonderful World!, Lifting Your Spirits, Mother Nature

Our garage door is possessed!

This is similar to our garage door. We’ve had it for years and it has worked flawlessly – until it became possessed.

Now we hit the button to close the door when we’re leaving. The garage door goes down to the bottom of the travel. But, instead of staying closed, it starts back up again. We’re having to wait – watch it start back up – then hit the button twice more to send it down again – over and over until it goes down and stays down.

My husband is a very impatient man. Several times we’ve gone, only to come back and find the garage door completely open. :0(

We had the problem this morning – again – when we went grocery shopping. I DID get my husband to finally stop and wait until we could get the door to stay shut.

After a cup of coffee and the paper, we’ll get out there and see if we can drive the demons away…

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Paying attention

credit - buzzfeed.com via peggy crowe - pinterest

credit –
buzzfeed.com via peggy crowe – pinterest

Sometimes I ‘wander’ through life, assuming that I know what will happen in a given situation. This picture was a wake-up call for me and any other people who do this. Just because you’ve been on an escalator before….

I’m having to remind myself to pay attention as I walk – this time of year brings scary things, such as snakes, centipedes, etc., plus our land is full of rocks over which I can stumble. Inside, even though we spray several times a year and also have professionals spray for everything, including elephants, we DO see scorpions and spiders…

I tend to think, as I walk, of things I need to do, what I need to do next, or what I want to tell my husband.

I’m glad I found this photo – just a SMALL reminder…

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This is so true for me!

credit - laughitsfree

credit –
laughitsfree

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“So, what if…”

credit - Lisa Bearnes Richey

credit –
Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Happy Beach Trip, ML & Friends!

credit - livelifeincolor

credit –
livelifeincolor

My sister-in-law and some of her good friends are on their way today for a beach trip.

Lots of sun, sand, ocean, friends, laughs, and relaxation. AHHHHHH!

I envy you – for the friendship – for the good times – and am happy for you getting to play on the beach!

Have a blast, and kiss a sandpiper for me!

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”  Wyland

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Encouragement, Exercise, Favorite Things, Friendship, Quality of Life, Vacation!

A Creative Point of View – Take 26

quirky32

This reminds me of a Chia pet.

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Spreading Joy

credit - Oh-Say-Can-You-Seed_www.the-best-childrens-books.org

credit –
Oh-Say-Can-You-Seed_www.the-best-childrens-books.org

I’m combining two favorite things today – children’s books and working in my flower beds.

I worked for an hour, came in and rested a bit, went out and spent another hour, started to rest and then discovered a stash of zinnia and other flower seeds in a cabinet. I don’t know how long they’ve been there, but I decided “today is the day” and ripped the tops off the packages and threw the seeds in a plastic bucket. I then spent the next 20 minutes or so distributing them around in the flower planters. I have no idea if anything will come up, but some of my best results have been when I quit worrying and just had fun.

I also dumped  my first composting experiment into the wheelbarrow, with my husband’s good help. It’s way too wet – with all the driving rain we’ve had in the past 3 weeks, I’m not surprised it got into the air holes we drilled in the barrel.

For those of you thinking or saying, “What in the world is she talking about” here’s a picture of the composting barrel my husband made for me from an article in Handyman.

 

Composter front

This is a plastic barrel with the lid still attached. As you can see, the barrel is on its side on a treated wood base. There is a door in the side, and there are handles at three places around the center of the barrel so that I can pull those and cause the barrel to turn on the casters mounted to the base. This allows you to add air to the mix and keep the compost materials moving each day.

We put this between the house and the garden so that I can turn the barrel each day easily, stopping on the way to the shop or the garden.

I put compost starter in it, lots of yard waste, and then started adding kitchen compost. I never had any problems with an odor, so I guess our mix was in the right proportions. We simply turned the barrel so that the door was pointing down and let the compost fall into the wheelbarrow we had rolled between the legs of the base. My husband also made us a tool whose end is barrel-shaped, that allows us to scrape the compost from each end of the barrel to the door.

Here’s a picture of our very first load of compost!

1stloadofhomemadecompost

It just now started to rain, so I wheeled this into our garage, along with my bench, clippers, big bucket for weeds and pruned stuff, and my gardening gloves.  The rain held off just as long as I had energy, so life is good.

I’m about 3 weeks behind in my maintenance, so I’ll try to get out each day the weather is cooperative and do more.

I hope you’re having a good Friday, too.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Exercise, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Things, Gardening, Hobbies, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood