Inna Kashkovar Art

Inna Kashkovar

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And the Rains Continue

Depositphotos

We had strong storms last night with lots of lightning and thunder. Quite impressive. I was relieved to see that we had no discernible damage this morning. It’s raining now, but a quiet, soaky rain that will benefit everything – though my husband is grumbling because he can see the grass growing and he JUST mowed…

I’ve switched to INSIDE stuff today – regular household chores, but I’m going to make some breakfast and then do a session of yoga this morning so I can add another gold star to my calendar. :0)

I hope that the weather is nice where you are and that you’re enjoying your day, too.

 

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Paintings I Love

Daniel Wall via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Alina Ciuciu -“He Reminds Me Blue Eyes” – LinkedIn

 

Andrey Shishkin via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Anna Sokolova via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

“Autumn Morning” – Grigoriy Myasoyedov via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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First Harvest of Spring 2019

My broccoli is a bit scraggly-looking, but it should be tender and flavorful. I’m going to use it to make soup.

 

Unless something bad happens, it looks like we’ll have the best lettuce ever. This was harvested today – the outer leaves from just three of our plants. This filled two gallon fridge bags. We’ll sure enjoy some of this for our main meal salad dinner tonight!

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Filed under DIET!, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

At Least Partial ‘Outside Day’

Southland SOD Farms

We been outside a couple of times so far today, with more to come. We’re kind of under the gun today, since strong, possibly severe storms are forecast for late tonight and into tomorrow morning.

I showed my husband my cleaner-and-better-organized greenhouse, and he showed me his cleaner-and-better-organized shop, and we each oohed and ahhhed appropriately. :0)

We just came in from a first session on getting our irrigation system for the flowers going. We have a couple of blowouts we’ll need to fix before it’ll be working correctly, but we got a start on it today.  I have a timer on our outside faucet that goes to my veggie garden set up already.

As soon as I catch my breath, I’m going to go out and gather the first lettuce harvest of the spring! We’ll enjoy some of it for our dinner tonight.

I will also do at least one session of weed-whacking. I’ll probably need to do some every day until it looks like someone cares in our yard.

We’re still hoping to find a bricklayer who will rebuild our two collapsed planters in the front yard. Fingers crossed.

I’ll take pics of the harvest and post them later.

Have a great day!

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Trying to Get Back Up on the Horse

Kveller.com

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m up 5 pounds lately, so have lost 38 pounds and 43 inches  from my lardiest.  I want to lose 32 pounds more and whatever inches go with that. I’ll try for 2 lbs. per week.

My husband and I have made several decisions as to how we want to eat now. We are STILL trying to eat all the remaining Nutrisystem food we have on hand, even though we stopped deliveries a couple of months or so ago.  We were thinking of changing to A La Carte and then decided we have learned all we’re going to from the program and it’s time we did our own thing.

We’ve learned a lot about portion sizes (we were each eating for about 6). We are eating a lot more veggies, mainly poultry or fish as entrees, lots of salad, fruit and nuts. We are eating as little sugar as possible and have also mostly given up salt, except for a little bit in recipes. I’m drinking a lot more water and my husband likes Arizona Zero Peach Iced Tea for cold drinks. I still have my coffee (black) and my husband enjoys Sugar Free Alpine Spiced Apple Cider mix for a hot drink. (He is a Type II diabetic, but is doing super-well with his blood sugar now.) We have mostly given up rice, pasta, and potatoes. My husband is gravitating toward eating lunch and dinner with some snacks in-between. He is almost to his weight goal.

I’m continuing to TRY to exercise daily, but I am the best excuse-maker who ever lived.  Today, though, I finally got back on my elliptical trainer in our garage and did 35 minutes. I had to go more slowly, since my right hip was ‘catching’ a bit until I finally loosened up, but I feel fine now, and I put a gold star on my calendar for the day. :0)

My goal is to exercise daily, but I tend to beg off if I’m working in the yard much of the day. I’m going to TRY to do the exercise in the morning, rather than waiting until the day is in full swing.

Wish me luck?

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Wonderful Day

Ecuen Images

We’ve had a good day.

The temperature is 79 and the sun is shining. There is a nice breeze.

My husband mowed the lawn while I cleaned out the greenhouse and started more spinach seed. (Always optimistic!)

Then we changed the tires on the truck from the snow tires to our regular tires. We’re glad we don’t have to do this more than twice each year, but we save money doing it ourselves. When we bought the Honda Ridgeline, we bought 4 extra wheels and snow tires and had them mounted. We keep them in the shop. In late November or early December, depending on the weather, we change from our regular tires to our snow tires. In April, we change them back.

We’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this, but my husband says each time we do it, my help is better and better. :0)

Today we celebrated all the good things we accomplished by splitting a seafood platter at The Deli for lunch!

A truly wonderful day.

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Cleaning Up the Greenhouse

This is the greenhouse we built a couple of years ago. It has withstood all kinds of storms and gusty winds and I’m very grateful.

Lately I’ve tried several times to get spinach seeds to sprout so that I could transplant them into our square foot garden on the opposite side of our property. So far, my moniker, “Serial Seed Killer” remains applicable. All I’ve created in here is a mess.

Today, while my husband mows the lawn using our lovingly refurbished, very old riding mower (WEARING A HAT, I hope!) I’m going to be cleaning things up in the greenhouse, armed with a fly swatter and wasp spray.

 

When he finishes mowing, I’ll string the extension cord across the yard and plug it in at the outdoor receptacle at the house so I can run the exhaust fan. It’s hooked up to a thermostat that turns it off and on depending on the temperature set, to try to cool things off. This works pretty well in the spring, but we give it up in the summer. Even with the exhaust fan and the one on the table going, plus have the door at the opposite end propped open, it gets too hot in here.

I’m basically trying to extend our growing season as much as possible, growing new plants to put in the garden at the proper time.

I have lots of good supplies. I’ll try to get things better organized and ready to plant more seeds.

I try to plant things on this side of the greenhouse, and I keep the water here.

I’ll feel happier when it looks more like someone has a plan in here, rather than everything just being ‘dumped.’ :0)

 

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Poor Amber

Poor Amber was bitten/stung by ‘something’ yesterday. The whole side of her mouth was swollen, but she didn’t seem to be in any pain. I have no clue what we’re dealing with.

She is better this morning, with much less swelling. She had a good appetite this morning and drank some water. I’m monitoring her. She’s in Molly’s small bed, seemingly comfortable, sleeping off and on.

Since she’s somber (but still wagging her tail) I’m hoping she learned to stay away from whatever it was in the future that stung or bit her.

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After the Storms – New Annuals

Impatiens in two saucer planters and in the side brick planter in the shade of the front porch.

Purslane – Yubi – Portulaca in concrete planters at the end of the garage, by the driveway, and beside the shop door.

Periwinkles all over the place – here on the other side of the driveway –

And four of the “Emu” planters beside the driveway –

And on the back deck

Wave Petunias on the deck

More periwinkles on the deck

Wave petunias.

Impatiens

And more impatiens.

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Veggies After the Storms

We had some really hard rain off and on yesterday, with more this morning, so I was a bit worried about what I might find in our raised bed square foot garden.

We built 6 ‘boxes’ that are each 4 feet by 4 feet, installing them on metal supports about my chest high. This enables me to enjoy adding soil, planting, weeding, and harvesting without having to get down on my hands and knees, or bend over double.  You can see 5 of the 6 boxes in the photo above.

 

I planted one whole box with sweet red onion sets. I’ll leave these alone until harvest, other than weeding and maybe thinning out as the bulbs grow.

 

This is a combination of broccoli plants and radishes that have just sprouted. No sprouts from the spinach yet. :0(

 

Here is some of the lettuce plants and more radishes. I’ll start harvesting some lettuce leaves tomorrow.

This is what I call the NOOK planter, since it is cradled by the back of the house and the end of the back porch. The tomato plants are quite sheltered from the wind here, plus get more shade.

And this is the second tomato planter. It is more exposed than the other. It seems to depend on the year whether the tomatoes produce better in the sun and wind or relative protection and shade.

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Your Purple for the Day

“Simply Purple” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Another Point of View” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Purple Petals” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Purple -The Color of King’s Passion, Romance, and Emotion” – Paul Militaru Photography

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More Rain

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

It’s still rainy here this morning, but it’s supposed to clear this afternoon. Isn’t the .gif above amazing?  Inna Kashkovar does beautiful work.

My newly planted annuals, as well as my garden veggies, got a hefty drink yesterday. I’ll try to get out later and take some pictures of things – hoping they all enjoyed the water, rather than getting washed out.

After planting 5 flats (180 flowers) Friday afternoon and evening, and then helping my husband mount a humongous nut and bolt bin on the horizontal support beams on one wall of the shop yesterday, my husband and I are enjoying a much quieter day today.

He’s going to go out to the shop and enjoy organizing and labeling the slots of his new bin today. I’m not sure what’s on tap for me, but I’m thinking about playing in my art room. BOTH of us are looking forward to seeing Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 1 tonight.

I hope your Sunday is wonderful.

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Art From Found Things – Take 37

rivamonterobots.com

 

robindavisstudio.blogspot.com

 

Vintage Pencil

 

WalYou.com

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For Game of Thrones Addicts –

shutterstock.com

When we passed Greenwood Veterinary Clinic, our wonderful vet’s office, today we laughed aloud at the sign –

“A Lannister always spays his pets.”

 

 

Greenwood Veterinary Clinic – 806 W Center St, Greenwood, AR 72936 – (479) 996-4046 – Dr. Matthew Singer and caring staff.

 

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It’s UP!

Walmart

My husband found a nuts and bolts bin like this at an auction Thursday. It’s big and heavy and GREAT for organizing the gazillion sizes of nuts, bolts, and other thingies needed to make things in the shop. The picture above looks like what he got, but add several years, dings, and a lot of dirt and labels that need to be taken off as my husband arranges things the way he would like. He got it for a good price, though he had to wait a LONG time for it to come up for bid.

I thought he might add heavy-duty casters on the bottom so he could roll it around. OR, that he would make a base that it could sit on against a wall. He decided that he wanted to mount it to support beams on one wall of the shop. Since we had some trouble getting it out of the back of the truck and onto a dolly to move it into the shop, I knew that this would be quite a job.

He spent much of yesterday making a heavy metal mounting ‘shelf’ for the bin to sit on and welded it onto one of the horizontal support beams on the wall. He also made some metal straps for securing the top of the bin to another horizontal beam up higher.

Soon after we returned from getting rid of our metal scraps this morning, he headed for the shop. I didn’t want him to try to do this project by himself, so I went out to the shop soon after. An hour and a half later, we finally have it up on the shelf with a strap securing the top. He has more securing to do, but the big, difficult part is done. In my next life, I’m determined to come back as a man with lots of strength and a lot of know-how on project stuff, with the vocabulary that goes with it. I really wish I were a better helper in projects like this. I do the best I can and am very thankful, though frazzled, when the job gets done and no one is hurt.

We’re about out of wall space in the shop now. We are both very pleased to have a good, dry place to work with good lighting, heat or air conditioning if needed, the tools we need and enough space to do our projects without having to move a lot of stuff. I’M glad he has the smarts to decide to do something and then figure out a way to get it done!

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100 Percent Chance of Rain

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Usually, when the forecast says, “100% chance of rain,” they’re pretty sure. And they were right.

The twice-a-year opportunity to take hard-to-get-rid-of ‘stuff’ to either the city recycling center or the rural folks is today until 2 pm. We watch for this in the paper because we ALWAYS have metal scraps or other things the regular trash people refuse to deal with.  I think the city is wonderful to offer this. I think, otherwise, we might see unsightly stuff dropped off beside the roads. I particularly appreciate it this time, when the men are having to work in the rain.

On cue, the minute we started backing up to the shop door, the rain started. It wasn’t a downpour, so we continued. The rain got harder as we went toward town. The city center had a BIG line of trucks with their beds all full, so we decided to drive farther to the rural center. Happily, there wasn’t a line there and we left our stuff quickly. We got our mail on the way home and are now happily in our dry house.

KFSM TV

Greenwood is just southeast of Fort Smith. As you can see, we have lots of green, yellow, orange, and red blobs in our future today and tomorrow – about 2 inches total.  I’m hoping that the rain will be steady and reasonably gentle, giving our new flowers and veggies a great drink, but not washing them out of the ground.

I hope the people south and east of us stay safe today. It looks as if they might get more serious weather than we.

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Stellar Vicarious Vacation

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

 

One last look at the glorious beach from my sister-in-law, Mary Lou, before she heads home.

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

It’s been a wonderful feast for the eyes. Thanks to her, we’ve enjoyed a couple of stunning sunrises, lots of waves, one small glimpse of a sandpiper (they weren’t feeling cooperative this trip), a treasure trove of ‘goodies,’ and lots of relaxation.

Thank you, Mary Lou. Safe trip home.

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Whew!

LifeBuzz

I am really bushed.

After Lunch Bunch today, my husband and I went to a local nursery and bought 1 flat of impatiens, 1 flat of portulaca, 2 flats of periwinkles, and 1 flat of wave petunias.

When I checked the weather website, it said 100% chance of heavy rain all day Saturday, so I got busy, doing three sessions of planting. I just came in a minute ago and I can happily report I’m finished – both planting all the flowers and depleting my energy. :0)

 

Impatiens – Burpee.com

I planted impatiens on our front porch, and to the side of the porch, since this area is on the north side of the house and receives little sunshine.

 

Periwinkles – commons.wikimedia.org

These went in several places – on the back deck, in the ’emu’ planters to the side of the driveway, and dotted around for color otherwise.

portulaca – purslane – yubi

We have four concrete planters that live in places hard to include in our irrigation system, so these flowers will handle getting dry much better than others. We take a sprinkling can around to these. We have two outside our garage, one beside the driveway, and one beside the door to the shop.

 

Wave Petunias – Burpee.com

I planted these in four large matching planters on the deck, hoping they’ll spill over the edges and grow down the sides of the planters.

When the plants have hopefully survived the ‘heavy rain’ tomorrow and possibly Sunday, I’ll try to get around and take some pictures.

I hope you had a great day, too.

 

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Sharing Spring – Wisteria

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Last Day of our Vicarious Beach Trip

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

 

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

 

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

 

Treasures – Mary Lou Lewis

She – and thus, WE – will leave the beach tomorrow morning. I hope you’ve enjoyed our vicarious beach vacation.

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Garden Progress-4-11-2019

Planet Natural

The past couple of days I’ve spent a lot of time outside.

 

The radishes are finally sprouting. I have several squares of them, in this and other planter boxes.

The broccoli seems to be doing well so far.

I’ll probably start harvesting (and EATING!) some lettuce leaves next week.

The sweet red onions are looking good.

No spinach sprouts yet, but I’m still hopeful…

Today I’m trying to get some flower planters ready to plant. It used to be that I was the one who loved the flowers, but now we both enjoy them.  We’re going to start with wave petunias, periwinkles, purslane, and impatiens. If we can get them planted, we’ll see if we need more.

My husband says that deep purple iris have become his favorite flower. They’re blooming in several places in the yard right now.

I really love this time of year!

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

Karns Tree Service

My husband was getting a maniacal look in his eyes when we were looking at the large tree whose branches were encroaching on the house and our well house recently. As we talked about what needed to be done we agreed that it was too large a job for us.

I contacted HomeAdvisor.com and found Karns Tree Service. Randy called this morning and asked if he would be okay if he came by first thing to give me an estimate. He came with a partner, a big truck, a big mulcher, and tools, ready to work. He gave me an estimate, then lowered it a bit if I would let him go ahead and do our small job while he was here, rather than asking him to come back later.

He and his partner worked for an hour or so. He worked carefully with me on which branches needed to be cut. I saw he really knew what he was doing, and so told him to use his expertise on other branches he thought needed to go. The main thing was avoiding any damage to our house or our well house, which has an a ham radio antenna on the top.

Not only did they remove the branches, they put all the debris through the mulcher so my husband and I wouldn’t have to kill ourselves dragging the branches elsewhere, plus raked to get the smaller stuff.

As we talked afterwards, Randy told me he was also set up to smooth our driveway when needed (ours is 650 feet and steep, and so is another job that needs someone who knows what they’re doing.) He also said he could trim the branches that are sticking out in our driveway if we wanted, and gave me prices for both jobs.

We also agreed that it would be fine if we could agree on projects and then he could do them when he was already in the area or could work them in, rather than having to come from his home.

I’m very pleased with the professionalism, great customer service, and attitude of Randy and his partner and look forward to hiring them again soon.

Click on the link above to see his Facebook page. His phone number is 479-965-6148. He is fully insured and gives free estimates. He has a 65 foot bucket truck, and does fence-row clearing, Stump removal, and brush removal, and will response 24/7 for any tree or storm emergency.

Randy Karns.  Karns Tree Service.

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Incredible Sculpture

Krzysztof Siiwka via Zeljko Divac – LinkedIn

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The Art of Graham Gercken

Graham Gercken via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Graham Gercken via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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Enjoying Our Vicarious Beach Vacation

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

 

Topsail Beach, North Carolina – Mary Lou Lewis

Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, Mary Lou, we’re enjoying another day on our vicarious vacation at the beach!

Not only gorgeous, she says the weather may be such that she will sit out with her umbrellas this afternoon!  She has promised to kiss a sandpiper for me. :0)

I remember a trip to California one year with my husband. We traveled down Highway 101 beside the ocean all the way down to San Diego. He was nice enough to stop several times so that I could walk along the water. I laughed when I saw the sandpipers!  Their legs are so long in relation to their bodies. I LOVE the way they skitter across the sand!

alamy.com

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Just Don’t Quit

“Just don’t quit all the way. You might have to quit a little bit. Just until you can breathe and find some space to move. This is not giving up. This is strategic self-care. Realizing you can stop when you want and start when you want builds trust with yourself. Also, try long walks, good books, and maybe chocolate. Or punching pillows. Whatever you need.” ~ Nanea Hoffman – Sweatpants & Coffee

 

Magdalena Korzeniewska – via Kathleen McGreal – LinkedIn

*Thanks to Kathleen McGreal who posted this on LinkedIn

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Filed under Attitude, Blog Repost - Wonderful Posts, Encouragement

Beautiful Horses

Signed by the artist, but I can’t read the signature. Sorry. Posted by Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Ada Dalilah via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Robert Hagan via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

*The horse photos are taken by various talented photographers and posted by Jeff Jett on LinkedIn.

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Drawings You Won’t Want to Miss

Bethany Kerr

 

“Jersey” – Niki Firmin Pet Portraits

 

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

 

Se’bastien David – LinkedIn

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Filed under Bethany Kerr, drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits, Saverio Scoleri Art, Se'bastien David

Your Dose of Purple for the Day – You’re Welcome :0)

“Purple” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Favorite Things, Paul Militaru Photography

Happy Fish?

We used to have a 40-gallon aquarium. It, and the metal support table on which it sat, covered one whole side of our dining area. I loved it, but we decided it was ‘too much work’ at some point and sold it.

Now I laugh, because gold fish bowls or tanks take a LOT more work than our aquarium ever did, and we had lots of fish then in comparison. Now we have only  4 gold fish in a 5-gallon aquarium. They seem to delight in making their water cloudy, doing it with alarming rapidity.

If they weren’t so SWEET I wouldn’t put up with it. They don’t do tricks, smile, be affectionate, or anything else you hope pets will do, but they DO pile up in the corner at feeding time – mornings and evenings – wriggling their little bodies and opening and closing their mouths with excitement when they see I’m there. That’s enough to make all this worth it.

I don’t know if they care about their surroundings, but each time I clean the aquarium, completely changing the water, vacuuming the gravel, etc., I also change the decorations.

Although they don’t SAY anything, they are at least 3 times the size they were when I first bought them and brought them home…

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