Monthly Archives: December 2016

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

These are my ACTUAL resolutions –

  1. Be grateful as I age –
Southern and Blessed via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

Southern and Blessed via Cindy Bassnett Thurman


2.  Fold Myself into a Paper Airplane Daily



Damn Cool Pictures

Damn Cool Pictures


3.   Continue Getting the Lard Off –


4.  Show My Friends How Much They Mean to Me –


5.  Take Time for Art –



6. Take Time to Play –


Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero


7.  Quit Being So Hard on Myself –


Nino Chakvetzdze via Zen to Zany

Nino Chakvetzdze via Zen to Zany


8.  Read and Dance –


Anita Opper via Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Anita Opper via Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero


9.   Be Better Than I Was Yesterday –


10.  Show my husband I love him every day, in every way I can –




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New Year’s Resolutions?

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.” ~ Anonymous



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What Do I Want?

Raising kids is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Sometimes your kids become really good people in spite of you. Whatever happened in our case, I’m really proud of our son.  He’s across the world from us, living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He spends part of each day learning Thai.  His kindness and generosity make me humble.

He wrote us last night, saying he was going out today with New Year’s cards – with money in them – giving them to people he didn’t know who ‘had crappy jobs.’

My eyes are filled with tears of pride that he would think to do this, and actually do it. He makes ‘loans’ he won’t allow people to repay, he gives away stuff he has to people who don’t have it, he gives hugs to me without my having to ask. These are only a few examples of the way our son lives his life. How lucky I am to know such a person!

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My Wish for You in 2017


My Wish for You in 2017

“May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires
may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
May the problems you had  forget your home address!
In simple words ………… May 2017 be the best year of your life!!!”
Author Unknown

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December 2016 Creative Artworks Contest Winner


The December 2016 contest on Creative Artworks was for one of my hand-crocheted fun scarves. This one is called, “Wheat”.  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. This is fun to wind around and around your neck or your waist.

The Winner is Rachel from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Congratulations, Rachel!

See other fun scarves by Linda Lewis

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Happy New Year – Take 1

Sanbornton Public Library

Sanbornton Public Library



“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” ~ Bill Vaughan

“My wishes for you, Great start for Jan, Love for Feb, Peace for March, No worries for April, Fun for May, Joy for June to Nov, Happiness for Dec, Have a lucky and wonderful 2017.” ~ Unknown

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Growing Up

Zen to Zany

Zen to Zany

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Lamb Shoppe

Lamb Shoppe

Since I look much like a sheep right now, the picture above shows pretty much what getting my hair cut this afternoon will entail.

I don’t know why my hair had a growth spurt this time. I get my hair cut every 5 weeks. I have short hair expertly cut by my wonderful stylist, Michael Remillard at Tangles in Greenwood, so that it practically falls into place. I wash it every morning, put a bit of mousse on it, blow it dry. Many of my friends have remarked that I look ‘sassy,’ my goal in getting a new look when I started to lose weight.

This time I’ve gone from ‘sassy’ to ‘shaggy.’ and no amount of work makes it look the way it is supposed to. I hope that Michael can work his miracle on me and then help me figure out if I need to move my hair cuts to every 4 weeks or not.

Let the sheep shearing begin!


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Gorgeous Gourd Art – Take 5




Marilyn Sunderland




Matt Barna

I love gourd art!  It seems that the sky is the limit on what one can do with them. I can’t decide if I like the brightly colored and highly varnished ones best, or the ones that combine carving and painting – giving the gourd wonderful texture – or ones that have been completely cut out and then painted. I simply drool when I see the creativity and talent that goes into these!


Filed under Creativity, Gorgeous Gourds

A Little Harsh…

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

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String Art – Take 9


Sole Stitches




String Simply



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“The Speed at Night”

"The Speed at Night" - Paul Militaru Photography

“The Speed at Night” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Nice Thought

Books Rock My World via Cathy Ruggiero

Books Rock My World via Cathy Ruggiero

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Filed under opportunities, Reading is FUNdamental

Wonderful Birds


“Seagull” – Paul Militaru Photography




“Two Souls – A Destiny” – Paul Militaru Photography




“White Lady and Little Stars” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Mother Nature, Paul Militaru Photography

Shoed -In

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

We used the comparably good weather today – plus a required trip to Fedex in Fort Smith – as a great opportunity to get some winter boots for each of us. We both have real “combat boot” type boots that are good for really cold weather, but are uncomfortable. We decided to look for some more flexible boots with reasonable insulation that we could wear in the in-between cold-but-not-blizzard weather.

We went to our favorite Shoe Depot/Encore store in Central Mall. We each found some pretty good boots! I also got some gel insoles to put in mine. I also found two other pairs of winter shoes on sale :0)  – ankle high pull-on reddish-tan leather boots and some more regular flats for fall and winter.

When we got home, my husband looked online for the high top, moccasin-type shoes we both like. We were in luck, and he ordered a pair for each of us.

We are more than shoed-up, or shoed-in, now, fully ready – laced and tripping – for whatever weather comes our way.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup

Concentrating on Shutting My Mouth…

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

There are lots of good reasons for trying to keep my mouth shut.

Most of the time it’s a good idea to keep me out of trouble for saying the wrong thing in the wrong company. This time – keeping the other in mind – my efforts are focused on not eating after dinner time. I made it last night for the first time in a LONG time.

I followed that with an hour long session of yoga this afternoon emphasizing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”  I had a talk with my husband about helping me carve out an hour either in the morning or in the afternoon for my yoga practice. He is seeing how much better it makes me feel, and was encouraging about my efforts today.


Michelle Cazares

Michelle Cazares


I’m re-reading The Shift by Tory Johnson


the book that initially got me excited about trying to get the lard off and get in better shape. I’m happy to say that it’s beginning to do its magic on me again, motivating me to stick to my guns and start impressing the scales and my tape measure again. I’m about half way to where I think I would like to be weight-wise. If I’m successful enough to get there, I’ll decide if more is needed or if that’s enough. (I’m trying for the middle of a healthy BMI weight range for my height.)

Our low carb lifestyle and our new low or no sugar emphasis should help both my husband and me feel better.

*2 new finds! –

  • Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Light Hot Cocoa Mix. (It’s 25 calories, 4 grams carbs and 2 grams of sugar per serving.)  My husband really loves hot chocolate and he says he cannot tell the difference between the awful mixes he WAS using and this. Hooray!”
  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea – My husband used to drink already sweetened iced tea mix, drinking several LARGE glasses per day. This is 0 calories, < 1 gram sugar, <  1 gram carbs. It’s delicious and we both drink it.

In a little over a year I have lost 40 lbs. and 23+ inches. Albeit slowly, I AM making progress on being as healthy as I can be. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, exercise

String Art – Take 8










Filed under Creativity, String Art

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates


Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

Recently I recommended George Washington and the Secret Six by these same authors. I am again in awe of their ability to make the book hard to put down, even when you know the ending before you start!

These two men make history, and the men who made it, REAL.

My husband is a former Marine, so I’ve hummed along with the Marine Corp Hymn for much of my life –

“From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.”

I’m proud of my husband’s service, but never really thought about what the hymn meant. I didn’t realize that our confrontations regarding freedom to sail in International waters with 4 Muslim worlds began so early, actually starting in Washington’s term as president, but not actually solved until Madison’s.

I have a better understanding of what happened at that time, the reason for the Marine Corp Hymn, and the reason that the dress uniform of the Marine Corp includes a Mameluke sword. I also have a better appreciation for how hard it was to coordinate military efforts at that time.

Again, I highly recommend anything written by these collaborating authors. I’ll watch for their next book.

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Calvin and Hobbes – Happy New Year!


We hung up our new Calvin & Hobbes Happy New Year mailbox decoration!  This is the front of the piece. It doesn’t show here, but when the sun is shining on the piece, the “Happy New Year” glitters. :0)



This is the back of the piece. We had more problems than usual with this one, in that we put the overhead projector in one spot to do Hobbes’ face, had to move it to do Calvin’s, then flip the transparency over and reposition again to do the “Happy New Year.”

We’re hoping that folks passing our driveway will get a laugh from this one.



Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations



My goals to eat right, lose weight, gain flexibility and strength have a beginning date – August 22, 2015 – but they will have no end.  I’ve made some progress, losing 40 lbs and 23+ inches thus far, eating low carb and trying to move more. I’m about half way to where I would like to be.

Right now I’m concentrating on jump-starting my motivation, which left about the time my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I dove in, once HE was convinced that he was showing symptoms that were quite bothersome, and could be controlled by cutting out sugar. The symptoms were feet, especially toes, hurting badly; double vision; lots of indigestion, dizzy spells, etc.

He’s done a wonderful job of trying to cut out his sugar. Our doctor is really pleased with his efforts, and we’re hoping that the A1C blood test he gets in February will reflect the same results as we’re showing at home.

In the quest for sugar-free and other things that would take the place of what he was missing most, I lost my motivation to

I used our more complicated eating situation to slide on my own discipline. I’ve discovered that my low carb diet is really good for my husband, too. Watching our sugar is good for both of us, and should be no problem.

I’ve also discovered that folding myself into a paper airplane doing yoga stretches is very helpful. I found a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” which is geared to old women like me who have never done yoga before and are a bit intimidated. I have discovered for myself that doing the stretches when I’m sore HELPS. Amazing!

So, if I KNOW what I’m supposed to eat, and I’m DOING yoga most days, what is my problem?

I do fine on my eating until after dinner. We’re eating at about 7pm, but don’t go to bed until about midnight. And then, sometimes, we end up downstairs in the middle of the night, not able to sleep, again providing an opportunity to stuff my face.

I’ve tried moving my ‘dessert’ (sugar-free chocolate pudding) later, to bridge the 5 hours before we go to sleep. That has helped a bit, but even with low carb snacks, I’m craving salty stuff. It calls to me from the kitchen. Incessantly.

I really that I’m engaging in a ‘whine and cheese’ party here, and that I have no REAL reason for stuffing my face after dinner. I realize I’m not really hungry. I have no good excuses. BAH. HUMBUG.

I’ll make a point of

  • re-reading the parts of low carb books that helped me lose the 40 lbs.
  • I’ll be religious about doing my two sections of the yoga DVDs daily,
  • I’ll start drinking more water, as I should have been doing
  • I’ll start trying to have projects to do after dinner that will keep me busy.

Hopefully, by the middle of NEXT week, I can report to you that I’m back on track…

Please cross your fingers for me!



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, DIET!, exercise

We Wish You a Merry Christmas…

(I’m on the left. My husband is on the right.)

We’re having a wonderful, quiet Christmas Day. We’re hoping that our son will call from Thailand some time today. That will make it perfect.

I cooked our big dinner last night – turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, deviled eggs, and jellied cranberry sauce. It scared me when I started to cook the turkey breast, though, because it was labeled, “Cajun Style.” I thought, “Uh – Oh!” We can’t handle ‘hot,’ or really spicy. Happily enough, it was delicious!

We’ll have turkey sandwiches today, and some more cranberry sauce, since it’ll be a year before we’ll enjoy that much sugar again.

As always, I put up the Christmas cards we received, hanging them up on our stair uprights, interspersed with some wooden snowflakes I painted. It makes me feel surrounded by good friends and family for the holidays. Soon I’ll take them down, reread the notes, and write again to those who sent us news to which I want to respond. A happy time of the year!

I hope you’re having a wonderful celebration, surrounded by family and friends, eating good food, laughing and catching up.

May 2017 be a wonderful year for you!

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Sweet Snowman at Christmas


Waving Snowman by StarbrightAngels via Ann Gilstrap

Hopefully, if you click on the link you’ll see the cute snowman waving. If not, here’s the URL to try –

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Since we recently put “Inferno” in our Netflix queue, I bought the book to read. I always enjoy reading the book first and then watching the movie. I like it so much, I’ve now given it to my husband to read.

I’m probably the last person on the planet to read the book, but if you haven’t read it, you’re in for a real treat. Warning, though – if you have other things you really need to do, don’t start it until you’ve cleared a bit of your schedule.

The blurb on the Amazon website says,

“In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.”

To add my personal note, I found the characters well-drawn and real. I cared about all of them. I even felt a bit sorry for the ‘villain,’ in that his strong beliefs – built throughout his life – were ignored.  The story was a strong one, really keeping my interest. I also loved the virtual guide through many wonderful places all over the world. The descriptions were wonderful, obviously from someone who knew and appreciated antiquity, history, art, and other cultures. I now have a whole list of places I’ll Google, hoping for good pictures. :0)

If you’ve already read it, I would love to hear what you thought. If you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll treat yourself to a real experience.

Since I love Tom Hanks, I’m now looking forward to seeing the movie.

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Baby’s 1st Christmas – Take 9





Thanks to The Riflebird via The Kakapo via Ann Gilstrap

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, holidays

Merry Christmas!


Blingee via pinterest

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  ~Norman Vincent Peale


“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

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Baby’s 1st Christmas – Take 8





Thanks to The Riflebird via The Kakapo via Ann Gilstrap

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A Wonderful Christmas Gift


This is an old picture of our son Brian and me, but it’s one of my all-time favorites. He gives absolutely the best hugs I’ve ever had, bringing tears to my eyes.

He’s living and working in Thailand. He loves it there. He can live alongside good friends, also from the States, do computer work for clients in the United States, and live the life he wants, cooking for himself, working out every day, meditating, and learning Thai.

We’re very lucky, in that we’ve always been close, and he’s a wonderful communicator. We have a chat program he set up that is super reliable and private. We can ‘talk’, sometimes in real time when we’re all up at the same time (he’s 12 hours ahead of us at any given time), or we can leave messages for each other. We can send music clips, photos, etc. We talk almost daily.  We tried Skype, but since we live in the sticks. we lose the connection and the images are fuzzy.

Today I checked the chat program to see if he’d left anything.

I read the second-best thing possible – (the first would be that he’s coming home for a visit) –

He’ll try to call us tomorrow for Christmas, when we’re all up at the same time!

Merry Christmas to us!!!!

And to YOU!


Filed under Family, holidays

George Washington’s Secret Six

When I was in the 2nd grade, I wanted to learn about our presidents. I went to the school library and was delighted to find a whole series of blue books that covered ALL of our presidents! I avidly read them. It was a lot of work for a second-grader, but I really wanted to LEARN. Later I discovered that I had worked really hard to read what was essentially drivel. “Washington cut down the cherry tree” type of dis-information, rather than facts.

I STILL get angry when I think of the time I wasted. I really find it hard to believe that the library gave the series shelf space. I’m disgusted with myself for not realizing until much later that I had been fooled.

I was a ‘good student.’ I followed the rules, didn’t get into trouble, made really good grades, but essentially learned very little in the public schools. I then went to college, earning a degree in elementary education, and following that with a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist. I still feel the same way about my education.

Now that I’m older than dirt, the only one I can really blame is myself. I COULD have made the time to get books that would have told me what I wanted to know, that would have excited me to learn more, to really know about the history of the United States, and facts about our presidents, our wars, our successes and our failures.

Recently I read George Washington’s Secret Six – The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution. The authors are Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

I’m STILL excited.

I learned so many things I didn’t know! I had never heard of the Secret Six. I had no appreciation for the fact that after the Declaration of Independence was signed, it was 7 long years of fighting before our actual independence was won by brave men and women in all walks of life, doing what they could for their country. As in anything, there was a lot of controversy. People felt it was prudent, in many cases, to keep a low profile about their politics and loyalties.

I was amazed at the code they devised to be able to communicate without being caught. I never realized how close we came to LOSING the Revolutionary War. I have a new appreciation for ‘regular’ people risking their lives, and that of their families and future, to do what they could to help.

I went to Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, and I can recite his famous quote – but I had no real appreciation for how young he was – how he gave up his whole future to try to help.  I didn’t realize he was one of MANY young, idealistic people who lived in the midst of British loyalists, trying to get information that would help the rebels win, or how quickly the loyalists would turn over someone to the British trying to get that information, because they were “ruining” the loyalists’ way of life.


I feel awful that I didn’t know this before, but I’m very glad I found this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to learn more about George Washington, Benedict Arnold, The Revolutionary War, our push to win freedom from the British.  I’ve ordered, and just received, the next book in the series, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates – The Forgotten War that Changed American History.

Maybe there’s hope for me yet! :0)

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Please and Thank You

Offbeat via Susan Bello

Offbeat via Susan Bello

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor



“Contrasts in Nature” – Paul Militaru Photography





“Cotton” – Paul Militaru Photography





“Fluff” – Paul Militaru Photography

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Paul!

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography

I Love Giving at Christmas


I love making things for friends for Christmas.

This year I did personalized note cards for 8 people: the three ladies who work at the post office; my Lunch Bunch friends, Linda and Kay, and my good friends Carla and Nora. I’ll do two other sets over the next few days for the two wonderful waitresses at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood, where we have Lunch Bunch. They gave each of us a Christmas mug! I also enjoyed giving some of my mosaic Christmas ornaments, plus jewelry, etc.

There is almost nothing that gives me the pleasure of watching people I care about open gifts from me at birthdays and Christmas. Next year I’m seriously thinking of giving some “Just Because” gifts, purely for the joy it gives ME. I know – I’m thinking of myself again, but at least I’m honest about it….

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Filed under Encouragement, Family, Favorite People, Friendship