Monthly Archives: November 2016


Ramblings from a Desert Garden

Ramblings from a Desert Garden

This gives you some idea what I’ve been doing for the last 30 minutes or so.

I’ve been watching my local news website for the weather forecast, particularly seeing if we’re forecasted to have a freeze or not. Earlier today, the website said, “No.” I was clear until next week.

Then I checked the 10 day forecast from the weather channel, plus a 10 day forecast from Google. They said, “Yes.”

I then listened to the local newscast. They had changed from “no” to “yes.”

Of course, by this time, it was pitch black outside. If I had known it was supposed to freeze tonight, I would have gone out and covered everything up about 4:30 this afternoon. :0(

My husband reminded me we have flood lights that we can shine on the garden. I couldn’t remember for sure where the switch was, so he came out with me, carrying the teeny tiny flashlight he has on his key chain.

We turned the switch on inside the shop, but nothing happened. We then spent the next half hour trying to figure out what was wrong. We weren’t getting electricity from the switch to the lights for some unknown reason. After messing with it for awhile and not being able to figure out what the deal was, my husband went out to the garden with me and held the flashlight while I spread huge sheets over the three raised bed garden planters and secured the sheets with clothes pins.

I was freezing by that time and wanted to come in. My husband decided he would fight with the problem a bit longer, so he’s still out there now. I tried to get him to come in, saying we could look at the problem tomorrow when we had light and hopefully a bit more warmth, but when something fails to work as it should, he feels he has ‘let me down.’ He’ll work on it for awhile longer tonight, hoping to figure it out pretty rapidly. If that doesn’t work, he’ll come in and quietly stew about it until he figures out something else to try…

Luckily, we still have some homemade chicken soup/stew I made the other day that will warm us up tonight.

I guess I’ll start covering up the plants each night while it’s still light so I don’t have to worry about the weather forecasters changing their mind.


P.S.  It’s about an hour later.  I fed animals and went back outside, just to keep my husband company, if nothing else. He figured out the switch had failed – the first time we’ve ever had that happen.  He replaced the switch and the two floodlights came on outside as they should.



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

December 2016 Prize on Creative Artworks!

"Wheat" Hand-Crocheted Fun Scarf by Linda Lewis

“Wheat” Hand-Crocheted Fun Scarf by Linda Lewis

One-of-a-kind hand-crocheted scarf by Linda Lewis. Made from Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends yarn, 70% Acrylic and 30% Alpaca. The crocheted part of the scarf is approximately 50″ long. The fringe measures approximately 10″. Total length of the scarf including fringe is 70″ long and approximately 3-1/2″ wide. It is recommended that the scarf be hand washed and dried flat.

To Enter the contest, email with

  • your full name,
  • full shipping address, and
  • home phone number. (optional) This will not be shared with anyone. It will be used only if you’re the winner of the contest and I cannot reach you via email.

Winner will be chosen December 31st. Good luck to each of you!

If you’d like to see other scarves

(you’ll need to scroll down to find the other scarves in my  “Christmas – Winter ” section.)


Filed under Uncategorized

November 2016 Creative Artworks Contest Winner!

4-Card "Civil War Fort Smith, AR" note card set by Linda Faber

4-Card “Civil War Fort Smith, AR” note card set by Linda Faber


The lucky winner of the 4-card Civil War, Fort Smith AR note card set by Linda Faber is Sylvianne from O’Fallon, Illinois. Congratulations, Sylvianne!

This set of note cards makes a great gift for people interested in the Civil War, people who live in Arkansas, horse lovers, history buffs.  It is available on Creative Artworks HERE

Linda has a fabulous array of historical prints on canvas or paper in different sizes, plus gourd art (including a stunning gourd Nativity Scene) and more displayed on Creative Artworks.

See all of Linda Faber’s work!

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Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 8


My yoga practice today finally gave me relief from some sore muscles I had in my lower back and right hip from my last leaf mulching marathon! My body tells me to just sit quietly, maybe take a nap, when I hurt. My head is learning new ways to cope with pain, stretching and breathing into the stretches via yoga positions. I’m making progress!

I just finished the session on “Legs” and then the “Overall Flow” session and I feel relaxed and free of pain. Part of me worries that this will only last for a short while, but that’s the old me. The new me knows that the stronger and more flexible I become, the less I’ll have problems with sore muscles. I just need to do some yoga EVERY DAY, even if it’s only for one lesson.

Now – if I can just keep from eating after I treat myself to my orange dream bar, I’ll have it made. All appendages are crossed – including my eyes – that I’ll manage to keep my mouth shut, except for drinking more water, tonight!

One day at a time.

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Filed under Attitude, exercise

Think Life Differently – Take 5


Higher Perspective via Bill Lites



Higher Perspective via Bill Lites

Thanks to Bill Lites for his email.

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Think Life Differently

Watercolors I Love – Take 6


Frits Ahlefeldt – The Hiking Artist Project




Jovan Lillic – You Tube

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“Art – ‘She Stars and Quiet Water'”

"Art - 'She Stars and Quiet Water'" - Paul Militaru Photography

“Art – ‘She Stars and Quiet Water'” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Tree Sisters - Women Seeding Change via Cathy Ruggiero

Tree Sisters – Women Seeding Change via Cathy Ruggiero

My friend Cathy posted this, and then recently posted a pic of a crayon box with 64 crayons and a sharpener, bringing back lots of memories. I always wanted to have that box of crayons.  My parents had two children to provide for, and they said, “No.” I never asked again, but I never gave up WANTING that glorious box of crayons!

Crayola Crayons

Crayola Crayons

Isn’t this wonderful? Look at all the glorious colors – all nice and sharp. The sharpener is built into the side of the box, as I remember.

I’m having a birthday in March (I’ll be 70!)  I stopped typing this and ordered a box of 64 crayons with a sharpener as a present to myself…

Clipart Kid

Clipart Kid

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Mother Nature

Making a Difference – Take 4


Giving Winnings Away




Helping Injured Rival Team Member Score

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Filed under kindness, making a difference

Jaw Wired Shut?

My ‘progress report’ for the week is I gained some lard back and didn’t lose any inches.  ARRRGH!!

I could use the excuse of Thanksgiving, but it would be a lie. I do fine until after dinner, and then I seem to be unable to stop stuffing my face. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’m going to have a serious talk with myself and see if I can stop.  Otherwise, I’m considering having my jaw wired shut until further notice….

I’m about half way to my goal. I’m exercising every day, either with projects that require a lot of movement, my new yoga practice, or both. I still WANT to lose another 40 lbs, but my motivation seems to have gotten buried.  I floundered a bit – not knowing what to cook for sure in the wake of our discovery that my husband has diabetes. We’re doing well on that now, learning that my low carb lifestyle is really good for his diabetes, as well. We’ve been searching all over the place for sugar-free alternatives for the sweet drinks, candy, and desserts he loves. Mostly, we’ve been successful, although we’re now searching for a low sugar hot chocolate mix. (The latest one we tried was a failure for him.)

I don’t really know why this caused my efforts to derail, but I’m going to concentrate on finding my motivation again.  If you’ve fallen off your good habits and then found a way to get back up and going again, I would appreciate your sharing your experiences and what worked for you.



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Filed under Attitude, DIET!, exercise

Garden Wrapped Up for the Night


I just spent an hour in our raised bed, square foot garden,  weeding, pruning, and harvesting lettuce and some small bits of broccoli.



These pics were taken before I started pruning. You can see some of the leaves that needed to be cut.



This is mainly broccoli and cauliflower.



This is a good pic to show the whole fall garden. I can’t tell you how much I love being able to take care of things without having to bend over double or get up and down on my hands and knees over and over.  I got the three planters covered with sheets before I left because it’s supposed to freeze tonight.


I never thought I would describe cauliflower as “cute,” but I have the sweetest, teeny, tiny heads of cauliflower I’m trying to protect. The largest one is about 2-1/2 inches across.



The lettuce is still producing, though I’m having to prune more and more leaves off, due to the incredible changes in temperature. (Example – 70 degrees this afternoon, and 32 degrees tomorrow morning…) If you look carefully, you can see a salad blend plant in this pic – toward the upper left hand corner – it’s burgundy.



Here’s a difference kind of lettuce. It’s still looking pretty good.



This is the ‘celery that could’ (like the little engine that could in the children’s story.) I planted it weeks ago. It’s still little bitty, but – as you can see – very healthy and green. I’m cheering it on, trying to protect it as much as possible. SWEET little celery plant…


Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Getting More than You Give


A month or so ago, the wonderful man who cuts our hair asked us if we could create a Christmas tree out of horseshoes for him. He showed us a picture and bought the horseshoes. We started making the tree, but were running short of horseshoes. It turned out that we made one more row than the picture he referred us to. DUH. When we explained the problem, he laughed and got another package of horseshoes. We took the tree to him and he was happy with our efforts.

I got my hair cut last week. He ushered me into the shop, then said he needed to get something from his truck. In he came with the horseshoe Christmas tree, all decked out with ornaments he has received from clients over the years!



There is a place for something on the top. Since he hasn’t put anything there yet, I’m thinking maybe we can find something for OUR addition to the tree.

I suggested that he might consider using the tree year round, changing the ornaments to match each holiday. He loved the idea. This is truly a case of getting much more than we gave to a wonderful, treasured friend.


Filed under Delightful Surprises, Friendship

Making a Difference – Take 3





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Gorgeous Photo

7 wonders

7 wonders

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature

A Really Nice Thing Happened…

Herring Gas Co., Inc. - Meadville MS

Herring Gas Co., Inc. – Meadville MS

“Matt” emailed me a week or so ago, asking if I would allow him to post a picture on his blog of the turkey on my website.



Like all of our critters, we use ‘found’ objects cobbled together. For the turkey, we used a 20 lb propane tank for the body, sheet metal for the tail, wings, and wattle, rod for the legs, scrap for the cockscomb, some kind of agricultural ‘tooth’ for the head and beak, and google eyes. He stands beside our driveway.

I said, “Sure,” to Matt, asking that he give credit to both my husband and me for the creation, feeling happy he liked the turkey and wanted to use the pic on his website. A couple of days later, he sent me a thank you and the URL to the website.

Today I received a package. Neither my husband nor I could remember ordering anything from a gas company, so we opened the package with interest.

Inside was Matt’s business card, and goodies of all kinds, including 2017 calendars, quilted hot pads, quilted eyeglass cases, and a nice spatula for the grill, as a thank you. Isn’t that amazing?

I’m really impressed with Matt. He could have just used the picture, not asking for permission. I do this many times, giving as much credit as I can find for each picture I post; but getting permission takes a lot more time and effort, and is just plain NICE. We’ve never been thanked in this way for something that was so personally satisfying as having something we made appreciated and posted to others.

Matt Holt is Director of Information Technology for Herring Gas Company. It serves Mississippi and Louisiana. Here is more information if you would like to use their services, or tell others about them –

Herring Gas Company, Inc. 33 Main Street, Meadville MS 39653 601-384-5833

Thank you, Matt, for making our day – twice!


Filed under Encouragement, kindness

All Seasons Day in Arkansas


Today we enjoyed almost all 4 seasons here in Arkansas. It was so cold and rainy this morning that I made a chicken stew in the crock pot as comfort food for this evening. It stopped raining, but still was cold until fairly late in the afternoon.  One of the things on my list was to clean the dining area windows. All of a sudden it was sunny and almost 70 degrees outside!



About five years ago we had all our windows replaced, except for the garage. We bought nice ones, double-paned with gas between the panes for good insulation. We had no idea that the good windows would also cut down on so much sound from outside that many times we have storms and are unaware of them!



My favorite thing about these windows is that you can open them up, cleaning both sides from the inside. I’ve never had these before, so this is a real treat. It also makes it so I can get the windows clean on the 2nd floor – something I just ignored before, due to my inability to perform heroic acts (like washing windows) on a two-story ladder while fighting wasps.

Now I can open these up, in the dining area, opening them up almost like cabinet doors, and clean them. Since it got so warm today, I took advantage of the hour or so I had to open these up and get the windows really clean again!

I’m still a slob, not washing them as much as I should, because I have to move a LOT of things in order to be able to open the windows, but I sure enjoy it when I DO get them squeaky clean.

We’re do for another freeze tomorrow night, so the ‘window of opportunity’ was only available for a short time…


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Getting on in Age – Take 1

Email from Marsha Koenig via Email from Marsha Koenig

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Making a Difference – Take 2


Compassion after Euthanasia

I know first hand what a difference this makes. Greenwood Veterinary Clinic sent us a card where everyone had signed it. I still have it.



Crowd Helping Fan Watch Show

I love this one.

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Filed under Attitude, kindness, making a difference

Beautiful Fall Rain – Ahhhhh! via Cathy Ruggiero via Cathy Ruggiero

We had a nice rain last night and into this morning. We saw lightning and heard thunder, and it was great sleeping weather. The rain has stopped for now, but I’m hoping for a bit more, if Mother Nature is in the mood.

It’s a bit too chilly for dancing in the rain today, but I’m celebrating, nonetheless.

Hope your weather is nice, too.


Filed under Arkansas, Mother Nature

Some Christmas Ideas from Creative Artworks!


















Happy Shopping!


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Filed under holidays

Storybook Places – Take 19

Shengsli Island, China via Weibo

Shengsi Island, China via Weibo

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Seemingly Storybook Places


David Wolfe via Cathy Ruggiero

David Wolfe via Cathy Ruggiero


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Plans vs Reality



I just came in from my third mulching leaves session of the day. I’m exhausted. I stopped while I was still able to clean up after myself and put everything away, but just barely.

The PLAN was to top off the flower planters, then mulch three large leaf bags to store in the garage for the spring.

The REALITY was I mulched three large leaf bags, but TWO of them were needed to top off the planters! I only made ONE bag to put in the garage.

We have a good chance of rain (fingers crossed) for tomorrow afternoon through Monday morning. If that happens, it’ll take a few days for the leaves to dry out enough to gather them to mulch again. I THINK the flower planters are taken care of now for the winter. Hopefully, while we still have leaves enough for EVERYONE on the planet to come mulch, I can make what I would like to have for the spring.

I’ll plan to harvest whatever is ready in the garden tomorrow, planning to cover the plants for more freezes Tuesday and Wednesday…

I hope the weather where you are allows you to be outside enjoying it. If not, I hope you’re warm and dry.

Since I’m exhausted, stiff and sore right now – feeling as if I’m 105 years old, I’m going to go do my yoga for the day and see if that helps.

Happy day, everyone!


Filed under exercise, Gardening

Leaf Mulching Day!




Recently I made enough leaf mulch to fill all the flower planters around the house. Now I’ve noticed that the mulch is packing down – as it should – so I need to make more. Happily, we’re awash in leaves everywhere!



I plan to make enough mulch today to top off all the planters in the yard and then fill three more large leaf bags to store in the garage over the winter to be used in the spring.




I’ll work awhile, then come in to drink lots of water and rest a bit before doing another session.




I really have a nice system now for mulching – my WORX mulcher, a nice canvas collapsible barrel, big yellow ‘hands’ to scoop up the leaves, and a huge rake!

Lots of good exercise today in a sunny, crisp fall day!



Filed under Arkansas, Gardening

Making a Difference – Take 1


This barber gives haircuts and shaves to the homeless – price? A single hug.



Thanks to Bill Lites for his email.

People going out of their way to do something for others brings tears to my eyes. Each kindness is different. Sometimes it’s giving of your talents at no charge. Sometimes it’s spending your time and money to say ‘thank you’ to others. These people are making a difference – making their part of the world better. This kind of generosity should motivate US to think about what WE can do in OUR part of the world.

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Things, Good Thoughts, kindness, making a difference, opportunities, Think Life Differently

Watercolors I Love – Take 5


Joe Cartwright – Lake Bonney, South Australia

I love the color in this and the starkness of the trees versus the lush sunset and water.



This little guy just melted my heart. Great choice of subject, plus real talent in making him come to life.

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Filed under Creativity, Watercolors I Love

Hard Head

I have a hard head – I’m really slow to learn a lesson at times.

About 3 weeks ago I started doing yoga. I chose a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” because it was geared toward women 60 years and older who had never done yoga, might have health issues, and who might be intimidated by the whole idea – a perfect description of me.

I was surprised that after doing the “Head, Shoulders, and Neck” section, I not only was able to do everything the good teacher asked, but I felt encouraged. She is very accepting. She stresses that there is no perfect yoga pose. Even if you’re only able to START to stretch in the direction she’s showing you, it does your body good. With time and practice, your body will learn to ‘give,’ and you’ll be able to stretch into the poses more and more, your body becoming stronger and more flexible. She asks that you do SOMETHING from the videos every day, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.

I THOUGHT I had listened and absorbed everything, and yet I found myself thinking I would ‘take a day off’ yesterday, since it was Thanksgiving. When mid-afternoon came, I then decided to go ahead and do my yoga. I did the “Lower Back” and “Overall” sections.

By the time I was finished, my back didn’t hurt. I’m working on being able to ‘sit’ on my feet with my knees bent. Each day I can do it for a couple of seconds longer. (My feet tend to cramp and my thighs really don’t like this). I’m determined that one day, if I keep practicing, I’ll be able to do this comfortably.

I even told my sister-in-law that I had learned that I really felt better when I did my yoga and that I was surprised by this. Yesterday I had to prove it to myself again. I’m trying to get to the point that I do two sections every day routinely, rather than making the conscious decision to do it.


Jen’s Creative Media Blog

I have NEVER found an exercise where I felt better and more relaxed when I finished before. Even hard heads like me should be able to learn this lesson!  Today I’ll do “Spinal Health” and “Overall.”


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, exercise

Think Life Differently – Take 4


Jane Austen via Higher Perspective via Bill Lites




Jimi Hendrix via Higher Perspective via Bill Lites

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Good Thoughts, Think Life Differently

Watercolors I Love – Take 4


Bored Panda

I love the softness of this one, and the contrast between the detailed painting and the merely suggestive.





I had a visceral reaction to this painting. I simply melted and said, “Awwwww!” inside.

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Filed under animal paintings, Creativity, Watercolors I Love

“Snail’s Pace”

"Snail's Pace" - Paul Militaru Photography

“Snail’s Pace” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Mother Nature, Paul Militaru Photography

Beautiful Arkansas

Scott Cordell - AR Sunrises and Sunsets via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

Scott Cordell – AR Sunrises and Sunsets via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

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Filed under Arkansas, Awe-Inspiring Photography