Wanna Play?

We look out at our deck as we eat breakfast. One of the intense pleasures is watching the menagerie (our son has named it our “zoo,”) of birds, squirrels, frogs, lizards, and hummingbirds, each with its own goal, sometimes reacting to others and other times seemingly oblivious to the world around them.

We’ve enjoyed playing a new game the last couple of weeks. We call it, “Count the Hummingbirds,” and we couldn’t be having more fun, or feeling more rich, at our bounty.

We try to hold our heads still and mentally try to count how many hummingbirds we can definitely see at one time. All summer we’ve been lucky to see one or two at a time, but LATELY, it’s as if a memo has gone out, telling others about our feeders! I find I can’t count them without smiling and laughing. The way they flit around, sometimes dive-bombing each other, sometimes flying in concert, moving so fast just delights me. The game stands as follows:

2nd runner-up – my husband – counting 5 hummingbirds at one time.

1st runner-up – me – with 6!

Winner and champion – our son – with 10!

We sit in awe, enjoying every minute of the glorious gift of being allowed to watch so much beautiful activity.

Wanna play?

 

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Low Carb Crock Pot Recipe We Really Like

SERIOUSLY SIMPLE CHICKEN CHILI

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds (1 kilogram) boneless, skinless chicken breast*
  • 16 ounce jar prepared salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder**
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon concentrate
  • 3 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 6 tablespoons light sour cream

*I cut up the chicken breasts into small bite size pieces before putting it in the crock pot, rather than shredding the chicken later.

** I use a little over 1/2 teaspoon chili power because we’re wusses and don’t like “hot”

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the chicken in your slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the salsa, chili powder, and bouillon, making sure the bouillon’s dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker, set it to low, and let it cook for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. When the time’s up, shred the chicken with a fork.
  4. Serve sprinkled with the cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

SOURCE:

Page 43 – 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes – Healthy Dinners that are Ready When You Are! by Dana Carpender

YIELD:

6 servings, each with

  • 263 calories
  • 9 grams fat
  • 39 grams protein
  • 6 grams carbohydrate
  • 2 grams dietary fiber
  • 4 grams usable carbs

I made this the first time a couple of weeks ago.  My husband and our son each requested I cook this again SOON, and were delighted when I cooked it again this week. This will be one of our staples on our new low carb lifestyle.

 

 

 

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Dazzling Sculpture – Take 4

Jim Juris responded to one of my posts, saying he had some nice sculptures in his area of the world. I asked him if it would be too much trouble for him to send pictures. He referred me to his Flickr page which shows some of his photographs. I have to tell you it’s well worth your time to go for yourself and look. Just beautiful!

He gave me permission to share some of his photography of sculptures in Colorado with you.

statue_coupledancing

“Couple Dancing” – Colorado – photograph by Jim Juris

 

statue_cowwithcalfmetal

“Cow and Calf” Metal Sculpture – Colorado – Photograph by Jim Juris

 

statue_lifelikepioneerwoman

“Pioneer Woman” – Colorado – Photograph by Jim Juris

Thank you, Jim, for sharing your photographs with us!

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Featured Piece by Evelyn Morris Hecht 2015-09-03

"Golden Retriever" by Evelyn Morris Hecht

“Golden Retriever” by Evelyn Morris Hecht

“Golden-Retriever-Pup”-Fine-Art-Print – ID # 13772 by Evelyn Morris Hecht [$25.00 + free shipping]
Sweet Golden Retriever Pups – snoozing and relaxing.
This high quality Golden Retriever art print is a reproduction of an original graphite drawing. The heavyweight matte paper and backing board are acid-free and suitable for framing as is, in a standard 8 1/2 x 11″ frame. Comes in a protective clear presentation envelope. Each print is individually titled and signed by the artist. Print Size: 8 1/2 x 11″ Image Size: 6 x 6″ Please allow 10 to 14 days for delivery.

See all of Evelyn Morris Hecht’s incredible dog prints

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Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report – Diet and Exercise – End of Week 2

credit - community.myfitnesspal.com

credit – community.myfitnesspal.com

I’ve been eating low carb since August 19th, and this is officially the end of Week 2. I’m trying to keep my carbs below 40 grams per day and my calories below 1200. The website MyFitnessPal.com is crucial to this effort. I log everything I eat or drink into the daily food diary. I plan the day out in the morning. If my plans make me go over my goal in either carbs or calories, I can play around, substituting other things until I have something that WILL meet my goals. I love this!

I’m trying to drink more water, and the food diary has a place you log in the water you drink so you can see how you’re doing.

They also have an exercise diary.

I started with 1 session of 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer.

credit - warosu.org

credit – warosu.org

After about 3 days I was dreading having to go out to the garage for this, so I divided my time into 2 sessions of 10 minutes each. That helped a lot. The next thing I did was add 2 minutes to each session, so now I’m up to 24 minutes a day. My goal is to do 30 minutes a day at some point.

Today I started strength exercises. (Well, I figured that if I lived through ANY of them, it was more than I have been doing).

I concentrated on upper body exercises using two 3-pound barbells. I did ONE set of each of the following:

  • Biceps Curl
  • Triceps Kickback
  • Triceps Extension
  • Side Raise
  • Chest Fly

I could barely do one set of eight repetitions of each of the exercises. I’m waiting to see how sore I am tomorrow. :0)

On Friday, I’ll try to do the lower body exercises. To be frank, these sound much harder than the upper body exercises, but I feel if I give it a try, that’s the first step.

Total Progress at the end of Week 2 :

Weight – Lost 12 lbs

Inches – Lost 4.75″

Pretty good start for an old broad!

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Featured Piece by Stephanie Wilson 2015-09-02

"Cobalt Blue Bracelet" by Stephanie Wilson

“Cobalt Blue Bracelet” by Stephanie Wilson

Bracelet – “Cobalt Blue” – ID # 16400 by Stephanie Wison [$31.00 + free shipping]
Beautiful cobalt blue glass beads, combined with clear glass beads and antique brass findings and charms make this a unique, beautiful, one-of-a-kind bracelet. Some of the 34 charms are beads combined with metal findings to make a charm and some charms are beads with spacers or charms added under them. It has nice weight and movement that makes it fun to wear! 8-1/2″.

See all jewelry AND wine glass charm sets by Stephanie Wilson

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Lewis Mailbox Decoration – Wyle E. Coyote

wylecoyotemailboxdec2

We just put up Wyle E. Coyote for the first half of September.

 

 

wyleecoyote2

Here’s a close up.

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Fun with Statues – Take 12

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Dancin’ – YEAH!

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Catching a Ride – Take 4

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Wow! I’m surprised the raccoon managed to get on the crock’s back before becoming dinner.

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Books – A Work of Art – Take 3

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I love the 3D of this, plus the light they’ve added. Really special, isn’t it?

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Animals behind the Camera – Take 5

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Awwww. What do you suppose he likes to take pictures of?

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3D Art – Take 3

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I keep expecting the cat to jump up to get the thing the boy is holding.

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I’ll Take the Stairs – Take 22

Auckland, New Zealand_email from Marsha Koenig

Auckland, New Zealand_email from Marsha Koenig

I would hate to step on this!

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Featured Piece by Vivian Dee – 2015-09-01

"Bath Confetti" by Vivian Dee

“Bath Confetti” by Vivian Dee

Heart-Shaped-Bath-Confetti-3-Tubes – ID # 8413 by Vivian Dee [$13.98 + free shipping]
Vivian Dee’s heart-shaped bath confetti soap introduces you to an extraordinary experience of unique luxury! Great for the guest bath, a thoughtful gift, or a wonderful way to treat yourself! The confetti comes a tube that weighs approximately 10 grams and is 5.5″ long x 1″ in diameter. 3 tubes are included in the order! Please indicate your choice of: “Pink confetti with Rose scent,” “Green with Crisp Apple scent,” “Red with Strawberry scent,” “Blue with Powder scent,” or “Yellow with Magnolia scent” in the special comments section of the order form. Treat yourself today! Ships in 2 to 3 business days.

See all of Vivian Dee’s luxurious and beautiful soaps

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Kitchen Smiles – Take 3

Dino Pasta Server - trendingly.com

Dino Pasta Server – trendingly.com

CUTE!

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Dazzling Sculpture – Take 3

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I love it.

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Catching a Ride – Take 3

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Wow. I can’t imagine getting these two to stand still until the picture was taken. Maybe the dog really loves riding on the horse’s back…

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Books – A Work of Art – Tale 2

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I have no clue how this was done. I’m in awe.

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September 2015 Contest on Creative Artworks!

"Oak Leaves" Hand Painted pair of wine glasses by Rebecca Kelman

“Oak Leaves” Hand Painted pair of wine glasses by Rebecca Kelman

This beautiful pair of “Oak Leaves” hand painted wine glasses is the prize for some lucky person in the month of September.

To enter the contest, email linda@creativeartworks.cc with –

  • Your full name
  • Your full shipping address
  • Your home phone (optional) and will only be used if you’re the winner and I have been unable to reach you via email. Your personal information is NEVER shared with anyone.

Good luck to each of you.

Winner will be chosen September 30th.

See all of Rebecca Kelman’s beautiful hand painted glassware designs

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Winner of the August 2015 Creative Artworks Contest

The August prize on Creative Artworks was this

"Autumn Elegance" Heritage Lace Placemat donated by Sandi Myers

“Autumn Elegance” Heritage Lace Placemat donated by Sandi Myers

The lucky winner was STEPHAN  from DALLAS, TEXAS!  Congratulations, Stephan!

Sandi Myers offers ACEO’s on Creative Artworks.  An ACEO is 2.5″ x 3.5″ photo was created on an HP Photosmart C4599 printer, using high quality photo paper glued permanently to card stock. Limited edition, 100 in all. It is signed, numbered and titled on the back.

You can collect ACEO’s of favorite artists, enabling you to enjoy artwork at an extremely affordable price. You can also trade ACEO’s with others, like people used to do with baseball trading cards.

A fun way to enjoy and collect artwork!

See Sandi Myers’ ACEOs here

 

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Animals behind the Camera – Take 4

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Isn’t this wonderful?

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3D Art – Take 2

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Beautiful!

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Featured Piece by Robyn Soules 2015-08-31

"Autumn Flowers Garden Bracelet" by Robyn Soules

“Autumn Flowers Garden Bracelet” by Robyn Soules

Bracelet-“Autumn-Flowers” – ID # 8291 by Robyn Soules [$45.00 + free shipping]
A delicious combination of gold glass flowers, brown bicones, beige bone complete this flower and leaf garden. These special bracelets are woven on a triangular base of Miyuki seed beads then decorated with a selection of Czech glass, sterling silver, stones, crystals, silver-plated or metalized beads and shells. They stand away from the wrist about ½ inch depending on the size and shape of the decorations. These bracelets are truly originals with each one slightly original in content and arrangement of beads. The colors will stay within the displayed range. Please allow approximately one week for delivery.

See all of Robyn’s jewelry, plus beaded ornament wraps for Christmas ornaments

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A Good Start

10_1

A hundred years or so ago I lost weight with Nutri-System. They sent me bears for every 10 pounds I lost. I kept them, but gained the weight back as soon as I tried to eat regular food again.

This time I’m doing low carb, where I eat real food, counting carbs and trying to stay under 1200 calories a day. This is something I can do for the rest of my life, if my will is strong enough.

Today I lost pound #10, so I got out the appropriate bear and am celebrating a good start.

I’ve increased my time on the elliptical trainer to TWO 12 minute sessions per day, and plan to start some strength training next Wednesday, when I officially weigh in and measure.

I’m already feeling better!

Here’s to getting the lard off and being healthier!!!!

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Painting with Paper

My friend Cathy Ruggiero posted this video showing “Painting with Paper” by Barb Zimmerman of North Carolina. She creates an entire landscape with paper on canvas. I’m completely blown away by her talent.

"Joyful Spring" by Barb Zimmerman

“Joyful Spring” by Barb Zimmerman

This is done completely by covering a canvas with different papers!

 

"Serenity" by Barb Zimmerman

“Serenity” by Barb Zimmerman

There is a fabulous video called “Painting with Paper,” which shows Barb creating these works of art. I tried to bring it to you here, but WordPress isn’t set up to show it to you.

Please go to http://www.BarbZimmermanArt.com and the video is right at the top of the website. The ‘vimeo’ is by Misha.

 

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3D Art of Nikolaj Arndt – Take 1

Nikolaj Arndt is a Russian artist and professor at a private art school in Germany. He has been creating these incredible 3D sidewalk  paintings since 2009. His paintings are done in such a way that the 3D effect becomes apparent when walking towards them, probably terrifying quite a few people in the process!

3d art by Nikolaj Arndt - trendingly.com

3d art by Nikolaj Arndt – trendingly.com

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Catching a Ride – Take 1

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I can’t imagine how this came about, but isn’t this an unusual picture! Both animals seem very happy.

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Books – A Work of Art – Take 1

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I’m split down the middle on this art form. I love books and hate to see one ruined as a book for reading; but these ARE works of art, lovingly created from the actual books to create something truly unusual. Let’s agree that if the book is already unusable, this is a wonderful thing to do with it.

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Kitchen Smiles – Take 2

chicken bottle stopper - trendingly.com

chicken bottle stopper – trendingly.com

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Dazzling Sculpture – Take 2

Belgium- trendingly.com

Belgium- trendingly.com

This was a lot of work to create, and what a wonderful sense of humor!

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Fun with Statues – Take 11

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Wow! A pretty enthusiastic game of “Crack the Whip!”

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