Purple Clover via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Yesterday’s Harvest

I’m grateful for the harvest yesterday. In the picture above you can see that my spinach plants are not enjoying the heat. Lettuce and spinach are cool weather plants and I usually enjoy quite a harvest before the too-hot begins. I’ll harvest as much spinach as possible because I can freeze it.


The head lettuce leaves are still okay, but looking a bit stressed. These plants are happier than anything else, with the exception of the radishes, in the square foot garden right now.


I’m sad because the really hot-too-soon in the season weather we’ve been having is causing the romaine lettuce to bolt. I’m not sure how much more I can harvest before the leaves taste bitter and I have to compost the plants.


We’ll enjoy the fresh lettuce and spinach for salad each day for as long as possible. I’m not sure whether I’ll get more broccoli, but the hope is that I’ll get more from the shoots from the main plant after the center has been harvested. The radishes and onions are doing fine, although some of the green tops of the onions are shooting up and trying to make seeds. The tomato plants on the other side of the house are growing rapidly. They like the heat. I have a few blossoms, so I’m hopeful we’ll enjoy a nice crop this year.


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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, Favorite Things, getting the lard off, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

“Between the Branches”

“Between the Branches” – Paul Militaru Photography

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A Delightful Way to Start the Morning!

I woke up this morning to a sale on Etsy!

I sold this one-of-a-kind hand-painted basket. I was especially pleased because the person who bought it was giving it to a lady who just passed the bar. From the gift message to be enclosed, I learned that purchaser is her boss at the law firm. Isn’t that she a wonderful boss? I’m happy to have a small part in wishing the ‘official’ lawyer well.  I smiled the whole time I was packing it for shipment. :0)

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Filed under CreativeArtwks on Etsy, Delightful Surprises, LindaLewis on ArtFire

I Just Want You



Today is a challenging day for us. My husband’s computer isn’t working. Since he’s a computer analyst by trade, this is not only aggravation for him – it’s an ego thing. He got some ‘help’ from Microsoft yesterday, the result of which was that he is not able to boot his computer now. He put in a call to them early this morning and he got the message they would call within 27 minutes. He got set up in his chair with my phone, because he finds it easier than using his new one, his sugar-free hot apple cider, and his e-reader. They should have called about an hour and a half ago. To say he’s ‘upset’ is a vast understatement.

Because he can’t boot his computer, some stuff on MY computer isn’t working. Also, because of that, some things on our TV aren’t working. Because he’s using my phone, I can’t check to see if we sold any books I need to package and mail today…. So I’M not a happy camper, either.

He pressed me to change from the iMac my son set up for me back to a Microsoft Windows PC so that he would be able to fix things for me. He would set up the two computers the same, we would be able to share files, etc. This hasn’t worked out as planned at all. I am functional on my new computer, but we still are unable to share files. His computer keeps pitching hissy-fits, draining our finances and our calm demeanors simultaneously.

This definitely falls under the ‘flaws’ part of the wonderful quote above.



I DO want him, and have since I was 14 and he was 17. Now we’re older than dirt and STILL enjoy being together more than anything – EXCEPT when computers don’t work….

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Wonderful Stained Glass Artist

I just discovered Sue, a stained glass artist who has a shop called WylloWytch on Etsy.

I just love her work and wanted to share it with you.

Stained Glass Feather Suncatcher by WylloWytch on Etsy


“Badger” by WylloWytch on Etsy


“Golden Labrador” by WylloWytch on Etsy


“Hedgehog” by WylloWytch on Etsy


“Swan” by WylloWytch on Etsy

My husband and I have made some stained glass pieces, so I love finding people who really know what they’re doing and do it well. These pieces by Sue made me smile. Go to to WylloWytch on Etsy and snap up these fun pieces!


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Pencil Sketches – Take 17


sketch of Shahrukh

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Playing in the Dirt

I’m trying to spend a bit of time each day in either my veggie garden or my flower planters. Yesterday I didn’t do anything heavy, recuperating from earlier endeavors, so today I’m redoubling my efforts to get outside.

We’re having way-too-soon hot weather here, so my romaine lettuce plants are bolting. :0(    We’ve been able to harvest a couple of times, and I’ll try to save as much as I can in the few days we have left before the plants soar to the sky, getting several feet high – I guess in their efforts to live a bit longer and make seed.

My husband wanted to go today to get flowers for the deck, but I’m so behind in my garden and my flower planters I asked him to wait until tomorrow or Thursday. I usually jump at the chance to get more flowers, but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, particularly since I can’t work very long in this heat and don’t get as much accomplished as I would like.

I love spending time playing in the dirt. I’m concentrating my efforts in the morning and then in the evening, when the sun isn’t as strong. I work a bit, come in and rest and gulp water, then go out again, over and over. I love watching my plants thrive!

I’ll try to get some pictures to share with you later.

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Marriage Box

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, giving, kindness, life lessons, opportunities, quality of life

Animals, Birds and Water

“Cooling in a Pond” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Flight Over the Stars” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Gulls on the Lake” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Good Question

Satchel Paige via YourDictionary


Complicated answer, depending on which part of you is answering –

Sometimes I feel like an old soul, my HEART feeling as if I’ve always been here soaking up emotions and feelings, personal memories and those of others I’ve known.

My MIND feels about 30 – young enough to want to experience new things, acquire new skills, read all I can, play in my art room, work in my garden or flower planters, play with our dogs, hug my husband fiercely – while having had enough experience to consider more wisely (I hope!)

At times my EMOTIONS feel as if I’m a young child – scared when I’m not sure I can handle something or I’m dealing with a worrisome thing totally out of my depth. Other times I feel very young when I’m captivated by a new thing that brings me joy, or I feel newly empowered by something I was unable to do yesterday.  I get so excited it’s hard to ‘tame down’ my enthusiasm. I find it hard to sit still and have to contain my actions to grinning from ear to ear – and maybe cheering a bit. :0)

My BODY brings me back to the reality of how old I actually am. It feels pretty good right now, after a day of rest from what we consider ‘heavy labor’ around here. Other days it tells me I’m old and creaky, stiff and sore, telling me I need stretching, exercise, ice/heat, and a nap.

Any day you think about it, your answer is different, depending on which part of you is feeling the most dominant at that moment.

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? – Satchel Paige


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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Favorite Quotes, Important Ideas to Consider

First Hummingbird of the Season!

Levi-Jones/Unsplash – photo credit in Birds and Blooms Magazine

Isn’t this a great photo?

We saw our first hummingbird of the season yesterday morning when we were eating breakfast. We have two feeders out, and he checked out both of them, sitting down at one and drinking his fill. He also checked out our hummingbird bird bath, but didn’t stop for it. Maybe tomorrow.

My sister-in-lay, Mary Lou, sent me a subscription for Birds and Blooms Magazine, and I’m enjoying it very much. Today I saw an article titled, “Beyond Feeders: 5 More Ways to Attract Hummingbirds”

The article suggested that you provide a place for them to take a bath, leave the bugs they like to eat alone, let spiderwebs remain, plant sap-rich trees, and provide places for them to sit and rest.

This is the hummingbird bird bath we made.

And one of the feeders we have is this kind.

I hope the one we saw yesterday comes back with all his friends and relatives!

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Flex Meals on NutriSystem



Learning to actually LIVE with a new way of eating is very different than simply grabbing a package and nuking it. My husband and I will finish Month # 1 on Nutrisystem on Thursday.  Part of the program I like is the “Flex Meal” idea, where you learn to eat out plus learn to cook meals incorporating the new things you’re learning so that you can function in the real world.  You have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week, preferably on different days.

“Flex breakfast” –

  • My husband eats his regular cereal with some blackberries and milk.
  • I eat my old low-carb breakfast of 2 thin slices packaged turkey, a hard boiled egg, some shredded cheese, and a bit of butter, nuked.

“Flex lunch” – 

  • This was easy. We use our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays. My husband has chicken fingers and I have a nice salad built from the salad bar, including hard boiled egg, ham chunks, cucumbers, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheese shreds, plus one spoon of dressing.

“Flex dinner” –

  • You can see from the chart above we’re supposed to have 1 smartcarb and 2 powerfuels.
  • What we are doing is cook something we’re really missing – but a lot less of it than we used to eat. Last week we got two thin steaks. (This was a big change because we usually get thick ones to grill.) We love baked potatoes with steak. Instead of the two ‘boat-sized’ white baking potatoes we usually get, we got two little-bitty potatoes. My husband was upset, but I asked him to just try it. He asked in a deprived voice, “Can we eat corn?” while gazing longingly at a nice group of ears. I said, “yes,” not really knowing for sure, but knowing that if he feels TOO deprived, he won’t stay on the new eating plan. I convinced him that we would share one ear.
  • I froze one of the steaks and cut the one I was cooking into two pieces. Lean beef is the ‘powerfuel.” I husked the ear of corn (smartcarb) and broke it into two pieces. We each had a little, bitty potato. (a starchy carb). After we ate last night, my husband came over and said, “You always do such a perfect job that I don’t think about saying anything, but the meal tonight was delicious.”  :0)

“Flex Snack” –

  • This is easy. We go bowling with good friends most Monday evenings. Afterwards, we either celebrate our good bowling or commiserate over lousy games by going to Braums in Fort Smith. We each have one scoop of ice cream and savor every bite. (Mine is chocolate.)

The Flex idea allows us to not feel deprived, keep fun social stuff with our friends even though we’re trying to get the lard off, and put the lessons we’re learning to the test while we’re dieting, so it isn’t just a mindless process, learning to eat this way the rest of our lives.  My husband is trying to keep his sugar under control – a HUGE change for him. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’) When we started Nutrisystem almost a month ago now, I gave up all added salt. (I used it on everything – even things that were known to be salty.) I’m hoping this will help my blood pressure numbers.

My husband’s weight loss is 5 or 6 pounds, but the biggest thing to me is that his blood sugar numbers are the best they’ve been since we started monitoring them in 2016. I keep a record, and we started with numbers like 353 (which is future amputate your parts territory). Today it was 122. The goal is under 100, but for the first time since we discovered he has Type 2 Diabetes, we feel we might actually get to the goal.

Official end of week 4 report Thursday. Next quarterly monitoring at our primary doc’s – August 6th. (After about 3 months on the program)

Fingers crossed.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, empowerment, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

Pencil Sketches – Take 16


portrait of actress Aishwarya

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Sweet Animals

“Well, Green Eyes.. ” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Profile in Black and White – Mona, My Love” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Plumber of the Year Award – Finalists – Take 3

“This would be the “half bath” noted in the real estate listing?”


“Very Classy!  And, only three steps to the throne when you’re in a hurry!”



“How does this even get past the planning phase?”


“And now drum roll please…
Absolutely brilliant…
Thanks to my good friend, Marsha Koenig, for sending these to me.

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Only Had ONE Job To Do

Joke on Us

I started mowing the lawn yesterday, in a rush because we were going to have thunderstorms in the afternoon. My husband came out and took over when I had finished about half of the yard. I drank some water and then went out to run the leaf blower to clean up the front porch, sidewalks front and back and the garage pad of all the grass and dirt.

We both came in breathing pretty heavily and drank water again and rested.

Can you hear Mother Nature giggling? She has a cruel sense of humor sometimes. I think she loves seeing us rush around and then NOT send the rain…

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A Reminder

C.S. Lewis via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Plumber of the Year Awards – Finalists – Take 2

“Apparently, you don’t want anyone seeing your face, but everything else is okay?”


“And the purpose for the door is?”



“This stall is for people that have arms like an orangutan.”

“The oak seat is a nice touch, though.”

Sent to me by my good friend, Marsha Koenig.

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Only Had ONE Job To Do

Our Son’s Music Room

Our son’s music room in Thailand is coming together nicely. He says he’ll probably get a keyboard and guitar next. He has to keep buying, selling and changing his stuff because he needs to travel light in his lifestyle. I’m glad that he can play with his goodies now.


I have no idea what the stuff is in the ‘magic box,’ but he sent us a short video of him playing with things, learning some of the wonderful sounds, rhythms, and tunes he can create (if not distracted by all the blinking lights!) I loved watching his head bob in time with his music. :0)

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, music

Millennial Protest

email from Marsha Koenig

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My friend Marsha Koenig sent me this piece about Daisy.

I hope this plays for you.

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Plumber of the Year Awards – Finalists – Take 1





“Should have measured twice!”

These were sent to me by my good friend, Marsha Koenig. I’m still cringing and laughing.

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, You Only Had ONE Job To Do

Pencil Sketches – Take 15



mother and

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Sometimes via Desiree Angelique Hackett

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Wonderful Wild Flowers

“Flowers of Wild Chesnut” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Wild Blue Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Wild Purple” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Wild Purple Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Wild Roses” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Is This Sign for Mother Nature?

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Pencil Sketches – Take 14




Filed under Creativity, drawings

Wonderful Water!

“Algae, Stones, and Sea” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Happy Water Dance” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Lake in Spring” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Sea and Sand” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Water Music” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Unattended Kids…

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My husband and I have sold used books and DVDs on Amazon for several years now. We make enough sometimes to make us feel we’re recouping some of what we’ve spent on books, allowing us to feel less guilty for buying more.

My husband opened the seller account, but I handle the packaging of the books sold, record keeping, confirming shipments online, etc.  If we only sell one book, the process is very easy. Selling 7 books in less than a day’s time makes it difficult to keep orders straight.

I told you yesterday that I went through the books in the entertainment center in our living room, listing some for sale on Amazon and donating the others to our local library. I listed several, and bagged up 7 Walmart bags of donated books that we’ll take to the library today.

Last night we sold 3 books. I packaged them for mailing and put them on our go-out table. By this morning, we had sold 4 more! I went through things carefully, printing out the shipping labels and info and packaging one book at a time so I didn’t get confused.

I made a list of what had sold and where the books were being shipped so that I could get online later today and confirm each shipment with a USPS number. (The only ones not on the list yet were the ones ready for shipping on the go-out table.)

I ran into one sale for which I didn’t have the book! I looked through the ones for sale very carefully several times. I couldn’t find it. I finally admitted defeat, wrote to the buyer, apologized profusely, telling her I didn’t know how this happened since I list books by their ISBN number. I cancelled the order and issued a refund for her money. I was embarrassed, telling my husband I was old and doofus, but was being as careful as possible.

I took the newly packaged books in to the go-out table and added the ones already packaged to my list for confirmation. THERE WAS THE BOOK I COULDN’T FIND.  You can’t UN-cancel an order. You can’t put spilt milk back into the bottle.

SO – I’m embarrassed TWICE now. I’ll wait a week and then list the ‘sold-and-order-canceled’ book again next week….

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Filed under Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges