Hope Blooms

Lady Bird Johnson – QuoteMaster.com – YourEasyGarden.com

I’ve done two sessions on trying to prune my tomato plants and anchoring them to the supports. I’ll do a third, and hopefully, last session in a few minutes. I’ll also sprinkle them with tomato food and they’ll get watered automatically by our repaired yard irrigation system tonight.

I was really intimidated by the idea of pruning my tomatoes. Sliced ripe tomatoes are one of our very favorite things in the world. We look forward to planting and harvesting tomatoes every year. I have always just staked them, fed them, and then let the plants do what they want. We end up with a ‘mess,’ each year, with the vines climbing all over everything, making it impossible for my husband to mow near them and almost impossible for me to reach in and grab ripe tomatoes by the end of the season.

This year I was determined to try to learn to prune the tomatoes. I found a video on pruning tomatoes to increase yields that sounded good. The guy on the video seems understanding, patient, and knew what he was doing.

The first thing he talked about was ‘determinate’ vs ‘indeterminate’ tomato plants. I didn’t realize there were two types of plants, so I was already intimidated. I finally decided that I was dealing with ‘IN-determinate plants, since mine just kept growing, spilling all over the place until they froze at the end of the season.

I’ve watched the video over and over, because it scared me to death to even THINK about cutting off parts of the plants (other than dead stuff or broken branches.) I was (and still AM, to be honest) worried that something I do will cause the plants NOT to produce, but I’m determined to do it this year.

Lee County Center-NC State University

The first time I looked at the plants, before I was sick for about a week, I chickened out. Yesterday, I did two short sessions. Amazingly, I SAW the suckers! I carefully pruned those, plus cleaned up the remaining plants a bit in the smaller, square ‘niche’ planter beside the house. I got the plants tied up, anchored to the supports nicely.

I pruned one plant in the other planter before the wind started to threaten to pull me off my stool. I’ll go out to finish up, but – IF this works, I’ll be the happiest lady on the planet! There won’t be anything in particular to show you at this point, but I’m feeling really hopeful that I can encourage more TOMATOES rather than so many rope-y, messy vines this season.

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Short Rant


Okay. I’m feeling MUCH, much better.

I’m eating more veggies and fruits. I’m eating healthy. I’ve even splurged a couple of times, but not badly. My ‘rant’ is the frustrated question – why does feeling better have to mean I’ve gained 3 pounds? I’ve been trying really hard to lose the lard. I haven’t been doing anything ‘weird,’ in my efforts. I have now learned that the high fat on the keto plan is not the best one for ME, with my lack of gallbladder, after trying all the suggestions for compensating for that.

I’m trying to eat more whole, fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, meats as a flavoring. I’m still trying to move more, including more exercises as I am able. I’m drinking water. Increasing fiber. Watching my portions.

I’ll keep on keepin’ on, but it’s aggravating that what is supposed to be GOOD for me results in MORE of me so far…

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Earl Martz Wood Carving Artist

Earl Martz – The Wildlife Gallery

Earl Martz

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Filed under Earl Martz, When Wood Comes Alive

Textile Picture

Dragonfly – folksy.com

When I firs glanced at this, I thought “Textile Picture” was just a different way of saying ‘needlepoint,’ but it’s MUCH more complicated than that. The 3-dimensional-nesss of this with the different layers is reminiscent of some of the fancier quilts, but it’s more than that, too. The plants are almost woven thread, with a gauze-y quality, as are the wings of the dragonfly. The cat tail tops looked to be stuffed. Some of the reeds are sewn. Some seem to be braided.

A beautiful example of a really creative person making magic on a what may be a painted fabric background, then framing it. I LOVE it.

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Monday Morning at ‘Our’ Beach

ML Lewis

Ahhhhhh! I can almost HEAR the waves!

It looked like we were going to be blown away several times yesterday afternoon and evening, but we’re not really sure we had rain at all during the ‘storm watch.’ We heard rumbling and bumbling after we went to bed, but the windows were dry this morning. We have lots of leaves and small branches over the yard, but nothing else.

I’m late getting here this morning. We had blood work in preparation for a routine doc appt later this week and then treated ourselves to our semi-annual breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants after. We just got home a bit ago.

The weather is nice today, so I’m planning to get out soon and see if I can finish pruning and anchoring my tomato plants. There is always something to do in the garden, but I’m taking things slowly.

I hope that your Monday is a nice one.

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Actually, I’m going out to see what I can do on pruning tomato plants while the sky is a bit overcast. Wish me luck?

tom-Lee County Center-N C State University

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Karin Hoijting Art

Karin Hoijting

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Luscious Gourds

gourdartbyhelene.blogspot.com-Helene D’de Baca
Hellen Martin-paintingsbyhellen.com
Kristen Kenton

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Delicious Driftwood

Cris Figueiredo-weheartit.com
Oh My Lovely – artist unknown

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I’ll Get By with a Little Salad for My Friends…

This is the first lettuce harvest of the day. I just washed it and put it into gallon bags to give to our friends, Kay, Linda, Patty, and Michael this week.

There is a LOT more to harvest, but it’s not actually trying to bolt YET, so I’m thinking about spreading out the harvests as much as I can, watching the progress of the plants carefully.

It’s almost time for lunch, so I’m thinking about switching to pruning tomatoes after lunch, rather than doing a second harvest of lettuce today.

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I was actually in the mood to cook yesterday afternoon. It doesn’t happen often. Usually, I just do it because I’m the only one around here who WILL. It’s just a chore on my list, so it was FUN yesterday to experiment with a more Mediterranean type meal.

It was very simple, but I started with some ground hamburger that needed to be cooked. With that drained, I added a couple of cloves of garlic and some chopped onion. Then some sliced mushrooms. Then some bite-sized fresh asparagus and broccoli. Some cherry tomatoes and some diced carrots for color, a small amount of cooked macaroni, and then played with a sauce, herbs and spices to bring it all together.

It isn’t going to be included in anyone’s cookbook, but my husband went back for a second helping. We had enough for some added meals, as well. :0)

With the added veggies and fruit I’m eating, plus a couple of over-the-counter meds I found, my system is getting back to normal and I’m feeling more like myself. I’m not a font of energy, but I am able to get a few things done each day.

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Our Virtual Vacation!

ML Lewis

Thanks to my generous sister-in-law, we can all join her on a virtual vacation to the beach this week!

Each year she and some friends meet and share a rented place for a week. They do some things together, plus give each other lots of space to do whatever each of them wants and needs to do. A GREAT get-away for all of them. Fortunately for us, she doesn’t mind if we also enjoy some of the views with her.

David Kirschke-TN.gov

The weather is perfect for our first day at the beach. I have asked her to be on the lookout for sandpipers while she’s there. They are the only bird that makes me laugh aloud when I see them skittering across the sand on their long, long legs. I could watch them for hours.


Back to reality here in Arkansas, I’ll be trying to get a lot of lettuce harvested today, since the wonky heat wave this past week or so has my garden acting like it’s mid summer, with the early spring, cool weather veggies all trying to bolt. I’ve harvested broccoli and spinach so far, leaving what I can, in case the weather cools enough for further growth. I’m trying to do several sessions in the veggie garden this weekend and then tackle the job of pruning and anchoring my tomato plants.

Schwer Fittings

Yesterday we got the majority of the irrigation system for the yard working. This is particularly good because the flowers I planted on the deck, plus the two brick tomato planters are on this system. My husband found a metal “Y” hookup on the system that had a HOLE in it, spewing water everywhere. It’s hard to believe that could happen, but he replaced it.

Mother Nature – The Actuary Magazine

Of COURSE, since we got the irrigation system repaired, we’re due for some storms this afternoon and evening. Mother Nature has a snide sense of humor.

I hope that you have a nice Sunday. Come back and look at the gorgeous photo of the beach if you need your spirits lifted. :0)

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Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, vicarious enjoyment

2nd Harvest of the Day 5-14-2022

I just finished washing and processing the spinach I gathered this afternoon.

I took a picture of each of the teeny, tiny (about 2 inches in diameter) cauliflower heads in the garden. This is the best I’ve done on this veggie. Usually ‘something’ happens and I fail to even start a head. I’m hopeful that these will get a bit larger before I have to harvest them. Fingers crossed.

To show how deceptive photography can be, this head is only about 2 inches across. But it’s PRETTY, isn’t it? There are 3 others almost identical to it in my garden right now.

If it’ll cool off a bit (or I can cool down enough) I’ll go back out and start harvesting lettuce.

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Forced Broccoli Harvest 5-14-2022

I just finished cutting up the broccoli and putting it into freezer bags. I’m not sure what to expect on the remaining plants. Sometimes they will sprout ‘side shoots’ with a bit more broccoli, so I’m leaving them in for now.

Later I’ll go harvest as much spinach as I can. I’ll keep going out, harvesting, and processing the early spring plants until the job is finished, hopefully, by the end of the weekend.

One nice surprise – I have several little bitty heads of cauliflower that are still looking good at the moment! When I told my husband, he looked at me with a bland look on his face, saying, “Oh, GOOD.” (He doesn’t like cauliflower. :0) )

We’ll have lunch and I’ll rest a bit before going to get the spinach.


Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Garden – Initial Assessment

After a week or so of not being able to work in the garden, things are pretty out of hand. My tomato plants are looking healthy, but I’ll need to get serious about pruning this week. I’ll concentrate on trying to be outside early in the morning, or before dark in the evening, or both, until I get things under control. I’ll try to carefully prune, then anchor the plants to the supports.

The veggie garden has exploded. The onion stalks are now over a foot tall. The zucchini plants are huge and blossoming. The record heat has almost done-in the broccoli before it really had a chance to get started. It’s starting to bolt, so I’ll harvest what I can today. Weeds are rampant. The lettuce leaves are huge.

Here’s a close up of a broccoli plant. You can see that the broccoli isn’t nice and compact. It’s growing tall. I need to harvest today to have anything from these at all. :0(

Aside from the gazillion tiny weeds, you can see how TALL this lettuce plant is. That’s not a good sign. Lettuce, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower are early spring plants, needing the cooler weather. I hope that the lettuce leaves are not already bitter. I’ll bite one and see.

I’ll be doing a lot of careful harvesting this weekend, one thing at a time, between rain storms. You would THINK with all this rain the temperature would be cooler, rather than like a sauna…

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Saturday Morning 5-14-2022

Eve Rigas

I’m about to walk out to our garden, and then to the other end of our yard where I planted our tomato plants. I may just LOOK this morning, rather than DOING much. I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, so I’ve been trying to concentrate on recovering, resting, and getting my strength back. I’m feeling ornery so far this morning – :0) – so that’s a very good sign. We’ve been having record-breaking heat here, so I’ll pay close attention to the time outside.

I’m even feeling like cooking! I KNOW!!! I’m going to experiment with a stir-fry type of dish with hamburger plus lots of good veggies. My friend Susy also sent me a group of Mediterranean recipes this morning, so I’ll take a look at those, as well. It feels GOOD to be feeling better!

Heading outside now. Talk with you again soon.

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Vibrant Vessels

Edric Florence-healing-arts.org
Judy Richie-redcloudoriginals.com


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Thoughts on a Friday 5-13-2022

Anne Jaravan Panhuis

Isn’t this photo wonderful? I love the look on the giraffe’s face as he (or she) stands with the bird (kingfisher?) sitting on his/her head. And the catching of the water (and the frog) are priceless.

We’ll leave in about 45 minutes to join our friends for Lunch Bunch. My friend Kay’s daughter from Albuquerque has been visiting, but she left yesterday. Kay is always a bit sad after her daughter leaves. I haven’t felt well enough to gather veggies from the garden, so won’t be taking anything to share today. Hopefully I can get out this weekend and make up for lost time.

My pantry project is about half done at this point. I’ll start the ‘food’ side of the pantry today and see what I can accomplish.

We’ve had record breaking heat this week. On the heels of this are thunderstorms with possibly severe weather this afternoon-into-this-evening. I hope we just get some good rain. I haven’t been able to set up our yard irrigation system yet this season, so things can really use a drink.

I’m feeling better and better. Soon I’ll be my regular, ornery self and can look for some mischief to dive into.

Enjoy a nice Friday.

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Filed under Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Sweet Paper Mache’

Joy Williams-flickr.com
The Monarch-thedecoratedtree.blogspot.com
Carolina Sabbatini


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Pantry Progress

BEFORE– To say the pantry ‘needed work’ is a vast understatement. After the third day of working on it, light is beginning to show on the ‘supplies’ side of the pantry.

BEFORE-I’ve thrown away a bunch, relocated several things, then cleaned and re-arranged the rest. I’ve tried to get things we don’t need often up (or down), using the most accessible shelves for things we use all the time.

BEFORE-One thing about having a nice, walk-in ‘room’ for a pantry is that there is lots of room. The downside of that, though, is that we tend to ‘stash’, getting lazy and finally ending up with a mess.

Below I’ve got a couple of pics of improvements I’ve made so far. There are more things on the ‘food’ side of the pantry that need to be moved over here, but the big part of the reorganization is finished.

AFTER-My husband even said, “Wow.” I spread our meds out into categories, with clear labels and the current stuff we use all the time the most accessible.

AFTER– There will be tweaks needed, but I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I actually ‘found’ several things I didn’t know we had. :0)

I’ll try to start the ‘food’ side of the pantry tomorrow.

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Terrific Totes 4

Marta Viviane Luengo Arriagada


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Statues I Love

George Lundeen -“Departure” – tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com
Marianne Caroselli-mcarosell.com.

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Men and Dogs


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Thursday’s Love Dose


Ahhhhhhh. I hope you feel better now, too. :0)

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Tenor-GIF-Keyboard – The Pet Collective

Because I’m older-than-dirt and have no gallbladder, I’m having to adapt my eating program to lose the lard. Even with taking all the suggestions I could find on making it work and trying several meds, it’s with regret I’m changing my eating regimen once again. I had done a good, conscientious job, turning the keto stick dark purple. I was losing weight gradually, but my digestion wasn’t being cooperative.

I’m still avoiding any added sugar, trying to keep it as low as possible. I’m still trying to keep starches to a minimum. I’m concentrating on veggies and fruit, with meat as a flavoring, rather than the focus. I’m adding fiber, trying to get my system working the way it should again.

I’m not worried about the scales or the measuring tape until my system is under good control again and my normal energy is back.

I AM continuing my exercise program as much as possible, though my cleaning-and-re-organizing-the-pantry-program has been a substitute the past three days. I’m getting all the exercise I can handle pulling and hauling things around, scrambling up and down the ladder for at least an hour each day.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

One Reason I Have Hope

Rio Samba Rose Bush

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A Dog’s Advice


Don’t be afraid to try something different.


Take time to indulge yourself every once in awhile. You deserve it!

Be a megafan.

Maria Z-dailypaintworks.com

Make sure the people you care about know it.

Slideshow Bruce-Two Dogs in a Fence-flickr.com.

Get into mischief.


Give hugs.


Protect what’s yours.

Take naps whenever you can.

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“Pretty-as-a-Picture” Baskets

felted wool-Micaela Losada Fieltro-instagram.com

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It’s Wednesday


L. Roche Art-via Karen Miller -Pinterest- The Rose Gallery-“Happy Hoglet”

I hope that Wednesday is being good to you.

Ours is starting off quietly – a thing for which I am very grateful. My husband is still having technical issues with his Kindle going wonky. He is trying to find someone in support he can understand and who might be able to help him get it back on track. Otherwise, we’re waiting for a deposit to show up on a thing we sold so that we can box it up and get it shipped.

Yesterday I finally felt well enough to actually get started re-organizing the meds in our pantry – a project I told you about several days ago, but never actually did. I made a first pass and improved things a lot. We can now easily see what we have, things being divided into labeled trays and open boxes, such as, “cold and flu,” “digestion,” “current meds backup,” “pain,” “supplements”, etc.

Today I’ll continue making my way around the “supplies” half of the pantry, trying to figure out the best place for things, continuing to throw out and re-organize.

We went from “winter”-to-“wild-thunderstorms-spring”- to “full summer” in the space of several days. We’re still kind of in shock, amazed that we need to turn on our a/c. This is the quickest change I can remember. We just got our snow tires off and the regular tires on in the shop the other day! I’ll need to switch to being out either in the morning or late in the afternoon on working outside now. I would like to check on our veggie garden and our tomato plants very soon.


Today I’ll plan to do the 3 short exercise videos: ‘warm-up,’ ‘stretches,’ and one of two ‘weights’ videos from Mike at MoreLifeHealth.com plus my yoga stretches this afternoon. I’m happy that I’m feeling well enough to PLAN for that today!

Make this a wonderful Wednesday.

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Jennifer Priest-thechive.com

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