Last week, before the awful storms hit and we lost so much stuff, I was telling you that I was worried about the tomato plants in our long brick planter at the side of the house. They were really sad-looking, with yellow leaves and dead branches. I put bone meal into the soil around each plant and then gave the whole planter tomato food and crossed my fingers.

With all that has been going on, today was the first time I went to look at the plants. This is the first of what I HOPE will be a really good harvest. The tomato cages were bent over, so I went back and got some rods and anchored them, hopefully making it so the plants will stay upright. I cut off more dead stuff, but the plants were looking much healthier. There are lots of green tomatoes on those plants, plus the two really lush looking plants in what I call the nook planter between the porch and the back of the house. I guess the difference in the amount of sun the two planters get is the difference on what the plants look like. It’ll be funny if the puny looking ones produce more tomatoes than the lush looking ones…

Guess what will be part of OUR dinner tonight!


Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Awe-Inspiring Trees


Moreton Bay Fig Tree – TripAdvisor


Ficus Macrophylia – Garden of Trials – Algiers-Iahsen Haddou – LinkedIn


Tree of Tule -Oaxaca -Mexico.- Linked In




Filed under Mother Nature, trees


Kids Best Interest via Desiree Angelique Hackett


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Paintings I Love

Bruno Augusto Gavino via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Alina Ciuciu – LinkedIn


Antonietta Varallo via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


“Best Book” – Monika Luniak via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn



Filed under paintings I love

My Husband is a Keeper

Life Buzz

I started to go into the kitchen a few minutes ago. I was kind of wandering around, trying to get my bearings on fixing dinner. My husband took one look at me, came over and hugged me, and said, “You’re on strike. This was a super stressful day and we’ll call in and go get fried rice.”



Filed under Family

One Can NEVER Have Too Many Baskets

Ethan Allen


“Carry a big basket. In other words, be open to new ideas, different partners, and new practices, and have a willingness to dump out the old and irrelevant to make room for new approaches.” ~ Frances Hesselbein


Etsy – Lari Murik

“The quality of a man’s mind can generally be judged by the size of his wastepaper basket.” ~ Jose Bergamin


Home Depot

“Ideas come from life: what happens in mine, what I see happening in others’, mixed with a great deal of imagination. I might see a person in a grocery store and build a whole character and life out of what’s in her basket.” ~ Elizabeth Berg


Filed under Beautiful Baskets

Adaptation Run Amok

Sony Pictures Entertainment

“Adaptation” – a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

I told you that we had a bad storm and lightning or the power going on and off repeatedly combined with a circuit breaker tripping resulted in LOTS of electronics being hurt or killed. Suddenly, we had no computers, no Internet, no TV, no way to play movies….. a real culture shock and character-building exercise.

When I finally realized there was nothing more to be done about the problem, I decided to go out and work in my garden. (My stupidity on setting up the irrigation system for it resulted in NO water being sent out there, other than Mother Nature’s largesse and the plants were suddenly suffering.) There was lots of dead stuff that needed to be pruned, weeds to be removed, etc. I took my gardening stuff out there and got started, pleased that I was adapting to our new situation.

Suddenly the wind came up and the skies turned dark. The tree branches were becoming more and more active. My hat blew off and I had to chase it. The rain came down in a WHOOSH! – Mother Nature laughed at me – soaking me before I could gather my stuff and head for the house.

By the time I got to the house, I was dripping. My husband took one look at me and laughed. I was really steamed. I had TRIED to adapt to our situation, opting to be productive in the  garden since we couldn’t get onto computers, watch TV, etc., and I was standing in the utility room, dripping for my efforts. :0(   (I have since cleaned up the garden. I’ll try to post pictures tomorrow.)

I have read four books in the past two days – one by Renae Christine listing 150 suppliers of stuff for handmade products; a book by an author new to me who writes kind of like JK Rowling in the Harry Potter series, the last book in the Traveling Pants series, and a much-loved re-read of a Nora Roberts book.

I have a new Keto recipe to try tonight from the Simply Keto book – actually TWO recipes – one for Keto Honey Mustard and the other for Keto breaded chicken tenders. We’ll try these tonight and I’ll report on this and one other recipe I tried recently that’s a winner.

Latest update on our really annoying electronics problems is that the new TV should be ready for pick up Friday or Saturday.  When we get it hooked up, we should be able to tell if any other things in the entertainment center were affected. Fingers crossed that all else is okay.

My husband has continued to work with his computer after getting the new network card in mine and getting the new modem and 24-port switch installed. He has decided that we do NOT have to drive to Tulsa tomorrow for an appointment with the Microsoft people. He’ll work with it some more, test it when we have the new TV up and running, and then decide if we need to do something further.

THAT leaves our clothes washer, which decided to throw a fit today at the end of the first load. It sounded like a jet was trying to land in our living room. I ran in and shut things down. My husband will download the PDF of the manual that goes with our washer and dryer and see if he can figure out why the spin cycle has lost its mind, whether we need parts, or WHAT.

All of this from ONE storm…..

We are doubly thankful that more wasn’t affected. We are also grateful that we can sit in a dry home reading good books while we repair or replace the things we lost.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Mother Nature

We’re Back!


We had a bad storm a few days ago. The power was going off – our generator came on – the regular power came on — over and over and over again in quick succession. After we went to bed this continued. I had to reset our alarm clock and restart the fan at least 6 or 7 times.

We got up to find no power in our office. All the on and off again had finally caused a circuit breaker to trip, so when we moved that back into position, we thought we were okay. NOT SO!

The short version of the story is that the network card in my computer gave up the ghost. Our modem was dead. Our 24-port switch that controls everything was gone. Our TV was gone.  I finally got a few things added to my phone – something I basically use for emergencies, so that I could communicate at least a little. No computers, no TV, no movies. I was able to order replacement stuff mostly.  We got a new modem on the way via our regular phone.

We kept finding ourselves trying to go look something up in the office and were reminded that we couldn’t do that anymore.  It’s a good thing we love to read.

This morning we received the new network card and the 24-port switch. We ran errands quickly because we wanted to be home to receive the modem. We got that before noon. My husband worked and worked, and then I worked and worked and we are finally back up on our computers have have Internet again!

Our TV should be ready for pick up Friday or Saturday.

We’re still not sure whether we were hit by lightning or the rapid on and off of the power did us in.

It’s a real culture shock to find out how dependent we are on computers and Internet. And devices. And how spoiled we are.

I couldn’t write on my blog, and that’s the thing I missed the most. I also couldn’t continue work on my new Etsy store. I was pleased that I could add email and Hangouts to my phone so I could let people know what happened.

I’m more than delighted to be able to write to you again!  Forgive my delayed replies to your comments, please.

This has been one of life’s character-building exercises, for sure.

NOW we concentrate on why the spin cycle is causing problems on the clothes washer, and find out if anything else related to the TV is gone, too….



Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

A Storm is Coming

It’s as black as night outside right now, ready to storm. Before it got dark, I got out and took some pictures in the yard I wanted to share with you.  This is one of our Rio Samba rose bushes with Impatiens around the base.  We have two other Rio Sambas, but for some reason, their leaves are turning yellow. I’ve sprayed them with fungicide plus all purpose rose bug killer, hoping that will help them.


I love the red roses on this bush. It seems quite happy at the moment.


This is one group of phlox. I love these. They come in a lot of colors. We have  a lighter pink shade and this one. I’m afraid if it rains hard, these will be beaten down.

I have to tell you about my stupidity of the day

I checked my veggie garden and noticed the plants weren’t getting enough water. My husband came out to help me trace the water from the outside rural faucet we have out to the garden. It turned out that I had forgotten about a “Y” connection of hoses we have and it was turned the wrong way. The water wasn’t going anywhere, much less to the garden! We fixed it and tested it. On the way back to the house, Mother Nature rained on us….



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

I Love Bethany Kerr’s Watercolors!

BethanyKerrFineArt on Etsy


BethanyKerrFineArt on Etsy


BethanyKerrFineArt on Etsy


BethanyKerrFineArt on Etsy


Filed under Bethany Kerr, Watercolors I Love

“Pigeon in the Nest”

“Pigeon in the Nest” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography

Confessions of a Basket Addict

I confess that I’m a basket addict. I don’t feel any remorse, though – I just try to stay out of places that I will run across them. :0)


“Even the simplest wicker basket can become priceless when it is loved and cared for through the generations of a family.” ~  Sister Parish


My mom used to keep all her Christmas cards in a basket bedecked with red ribbon, and I loved to look at them all and read all the letters.” ~ Elizabeth Berg


Ali Express

“Carry a big basket. In other words, be open to new ideas, different partners, and new practices, and have a willingness to dump out the old and irrelevant to make room for new approaches.” ~ Frances Hesselbein


Driven by Decor

“At restaurants, I try to tell them not to bring the bread basket, but what’s the point of going out to eat if I can’t enjoy it?” ~  Natalie Morales


Filed under Beautiful Baskets

Garage Project is Finished!

Just to officially document that on OCCASION my area in the garage looks pretty reasonable, here are pics of the finished project for the day –


I hate to admit it, but usually I have trouble walking around in this area.



See – there IS a counter under all the ‘stuff.’  It’s a NICE counter, too – when you can SEE it….

Enough for today. It’s really too hot outside. I hope that you are indoors and comfortable.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – Cleaning Out My Area in the Garage


I just came in from Session # 1 out in the garage. I look a lot like the poor kitty above. Picture an old lady with paper towels, a red face, and a BIG glass of ice water….

The weather folks say the heat index today is between 103 and 106, and I believe them!  I’m going to rest and drink a LOT of water before doing another session.

My area in the garage is the catch-all for everything that doesn’t have a permanent home. This includes cases of bottled water, cases of sugar-free pop, gallons of Zero Peach Iced Tea, and then the tools we have ready when we finally run out of excuses not to start the rebuild on the second brick planter that collapsed, plus bird feeders, plant food, bug killers, weed killers, planting tools, stools, roll-around stools, plastic buckets, bags of quik-crete, a new seed and ‘stuff’ spreader, my elliptical trainer, etc. etc., etc. (Aside – are you old enough that what I just said reminds you of Yul Brynner from “The King and I?”)

The other day I moved a bunch of stuff out to the greenhouse, but if you didn’t watch me do it, you wouldn’t know by the amount of stuff still stashed here. It’ll probably take two or three more sessions to make some sense of the area.  If I don’t die off of heat stroke before finishing, I’ll take some pics of the ‘healed’ area so you’ll know it’s clean and organized SOMETIMES. :0)

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

Flourishing Fish

I don’t know when I bought these four gold fish. I had a large bowl I was using as a tank. It quickly became apparent that these fish were actually doing well and that they needed more room. We bought a 5 gallon aquarium, with filter, oxygenator, etc.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say they are now at least 3 times the size they were when I bought them.  I usually end up cleaning out the aquarium once a month, depending on how their water is looking. I scrub everything, vacuum the stones, put in new, treated water, change the decorations, hook everything back up and then carefully add the fish again.

The only ‘trick’ they do is that when they see me coming and hope I’m going to feed them, they all bunch into the same corner and wiggle their little bodies, looking right at me. For some unknown reason, this melts my heart.

They never say anything about the change in decor. I do see them checking things out each time I change things, so I hope this keeps them from getting bored.

Since I talk to my plants, I also talk to the fish. We don’t have any deep discussions about the state of the world or anything. I basically make noises, sounding like an idiot, while they wriggle and blow bubbles at me.

Works for us!


Filed under Family

Sweet Way to Start the Day

email from Bill Lites

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Filed under CUTE!

Dogs are the Best


“Never judge a dog’s pedigree by the kind of books he does not chew.” ~ Unknown



“Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.” ~ Unknown



“There is only one smartest dog in the world, and every boy has it.” ~ Unknown


email from Bill Lites

“It is not an easy thing to inflate a dog.” ~  Edward Abbey


email from Bill Lites

“Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.” ~ Unknown


email from Bill Lites

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”  – Will Rogers


Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family

Stone Family

Stone Family – Erzsebet Szilajka Via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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Filed under Stone Art

Stunning Photo

Ar Ali Ibrahim – L:inkedIn

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography

In Memory of Sweet Mona

A good online friend of mine, very talented Paul Miitaru of Romania, lost his sweet pet, Mona. I wanted to share a couple of his photographs of her to pay tribute to her memory.

“My Mona” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Mona” – Paul Militaru Photography

SO sorry for your loss, Paul. Mona definitely won the lottery when it came to finding you.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family, Paul Militaru Photography

Feast or Famine

All spring it has either been heavily raining or SUPER hot with strong sun. Nothing in-between. Today I was only out for about half an hour, and came in huffing and puffing, wiping my head and face, and wanting to glug water.

I found these yellow leaves on my tomato plants yesterday. My friend, Laufrain, and I looked up the problem last night. It suggested bone meal and fertilizer. I just added both of those to the planter and watered. Fingers crossed they like it. I have nice green tomatoes and am hoping for a good crop.


This is our other tomato planter. As you can see, the plants are good and healthy. I have no clue what’s going on with the longer planter.


This is my first trial at growing zucchini. I have several that SEEM to be doing well.


Sweet red onions.


Radishes I just started a few days ago.


And THIS  is the excitement for the day! It is a cantaloupe!  Ta DA!   If it doesn’t croak and continues to grow, I have a plastic bowl thingie with lots of holes for drainage and legs to keep the cantaloupe up off the ground. I’ve never grown one of these before. This was my husband’s choice of what to grow (other than head lettuce), so I’m really hoping we grow at least one and that it’s good.

On my way back in, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the flowers on the deck. They make my heart soar every time I see them.

Now I’m very thankful that we have air-conditioning!


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

Ah, The Amazing Drawings

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn


Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn


Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn


Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

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Filed under drawings, Saverio Scoleri Art

I LOVE Water!

Angel Falls – Venezuela-George Steinmetz via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn


Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn


Mehmet Tayfun Dur – LinkedIn


Michelle Jung – LinkedIn



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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Oil Paintings I Love, Waterfall gifs

Beautiful Animal Portraits

Eddie and Ginger – Niki Firmin Pet Portraits


Gary Wing Commissioned Portrait


Cilke and Geena – Niki Firmin

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Filed under Amazing Animals, drawings, Gary Wing, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits

A Delightful Way to Remind Your Kids


Filed under Bethany Kerr, Family, Watercolors I Love

The Art of Leonid Afremov

Leonid Afremov


Leonid Afremov

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Filed under Acrylic Paintings I Love

For the Love of Cats

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


email from Bill Lites


email from Bill Lites


Mithunh Photography via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn


Lettie De Winnaar – LinkedIn.jpg


Jeff Jett – Linkedin


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


*The photos supplied by Jeff Jett and RJ Bennett have been carefully gathered and posted on LinkedIn in an effort to preserve the animals and their habitats. Photographers are credited when possible.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography, R.J. Bennett

Great Tool for Trying to Lose the Lard


I’m trying to count carbs, staying at 20 grams or under daily, on the Keto eating plan.  It’s easy to fool yourself on how many carbs you’re eating, what kind of portions, etc. I have used before to track my calories. Now I find I can change the parameters so I can concentrate on my carb count, with an eye to fat and protein in the right proportions.

I just now filled in what I ate for lunch, and then added what I planned to eat for dinner and a snack before bed. It totaled too many carbs for the day, so I played with my plans until I came out fine. This is wonderful. You can TRY different things before making the mistake, rather than feeling bad after you’ve messed up.


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Filed under DIET!

Fathers Day 2019



This is a picture of my dad, Jim Wheaton. He’s been gone a long time now  and I miss him.  As a child, he was just “Jim” to me  (He didn’t want my brother and me to call him, ‘Dad.”)  Every year I appreciate more how unique he was and how much he taught me.

When he was 3 years old, he fell off a horse and broke his left arm in several places. Back then, doctors didn’t know how to set bones nearly as well as they do now. He ended up with a left arm much shorter than his right, and a hand that was basically useless. He endured bullying at school, but he overcame it using his wonderful sense of humor. He found that if he could make someone laugh, they looked at him differently.  From the time I was old enough to understand, my dad was the role model for standing back and seeing the humor in things. This is one of my most important coping mechanisms. I used it only this morning, making my husband laugh TWICE while he was ranting about computers, cell phones, and other technical stuff not working the way they should. It dissolved his frustration enough we THINK we have the issue solved.

Instead of thinking of the things he couldn’t do because of his arm, my dad made sure that he did everything he could one-handed. In fact, he was SO good at it that many times I simply ‘forgot’ that he might have trouble with something. HE made us forget it, not using it as an excuse for not producing. I remember a family trip when we were walking along the sidewalk. There was a man sitting on the sidewalk. As we passed, he held up one arm – remarkably like my dad’s – and asked him for money. My dad stopped, showed him HIS arm, and said, “Get a job!”

Below is an example of two wooden dogs he carved – one-handed!


I also have three of his small oil paintings.

My dad used his talent and humor to provide for us as a family with his own advertising agency, doing radio commercials for clients. His style was so distinctive that his commercials are still played today – as kind of a tribute to his creativity and ingenuity.  This URL still talks about my dad and some of his commercials (scroll down to Jim Wheaton box). He won a Silver Lifetime Addy Award for his unique contribution to advertising in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He taught me that sometimes you need to read between the lines if someone feels embarrassed to say personal things. For the same reason my dad felt uncomfortable being called, “Dad,” he felt embarrassed to show his emotions. When I was earning a Master’s Degree at the University of Tulsa, I had to make a presentation on advertising and how I would teach it to my students. I asked my dad to be a guest speaker. I finished my presentation, then amazed and delighted the class members by introducing my dad – who was well known enough to be a bit of a personality. When he finished a truly delightful talk, punctuated by a lot of laughing, he ended by saying something like, “I love it when I can talk to people about what I do. I particularly love it when I can tell you how proud I am of my daughter. She is Linda Wheaton Lewis.” surprising the whole class AND me.

I STILL tear up when I remember. When the class left, I finally allowed myself to break down. After I cried for a bit, I told my dad he had given me the very best moment of my life. He told me that he was sorry he hadn’t told me – and others – how he felt earlier. As I say – I STILL tear up.

My dad was a wonderful role model in so many ways. His example made me appreciate uniqueness, tenacity, a healthy sense of humor, and telling people how I feel. He is gone, but he lives in my heart.  I love you, Jim.



Filed under Family, holidays

It’s Going to WHAT?

Our weather forecast is the pits. The ‘weather weenies” as my husband calls them are saying that Greenwood, Arkansas (where we are) could get 6 to 8 inches of rain in the next 7 days, starting today. When you look at the map above, we’re in the bright red blob that says, “6” – 8″.  Even if we ONLY get 4″ – 6″, it’ll be a big problem for a lot of good people.

It’s times like this when I’m really glad we live on top of a ridge line, but many places in Arkansas and Oklahoma have already flooded, are trying to pick up the pieces, and really don’t need any more rain.

I hope the weather guys aren’t upset with me, but I REALLY HOPE THEY ARE WRONG THIS TIME.

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Filed under Mother Nature

Freezer Diving

Webstaurant Store

This freezer is very similar to ours. Ours has three heavy plastic bins that hang across the top.

Since things tend to go INTO this freezer and never be seen again, today’s project is to clean it out and reorganize it for actual cooking again.

For those of you who don’t know – and can’t imagine anyone having a problem like this – my husband and I have been trying to lose the lard for a bit over a year, starting mid April of 2018. We signed up for Nutrisystem. Except for planned cooking or go-out meals (one each for breakfast, lunch and dinner each week)  I haven’t been cooking. We stopped the Nutrisystem program and  have recently started the Keto eating plan. I like the idea of eating real world meals again, with leftovers, etc., but have to gear up for it.

I’ve finished PHASE I of the project this morning. Can you believe I had stuff in there from 2013? I KNOW!  :0/  I filled TWO doubled leaf bags!

I’m resting now, gearing up for PHASE II, which is trying to make sense of what is in there and reorganizing it so I can find things quickly and stuff hopefully won’t be ‘lost in the ozone’ again.  I’m hoping that I can actually move some stuff that is in our fridge freezer out there, making space for more frozen veggies and fruit INSIDE.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.


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