Monthly Archives: August 2018

Art from Found Things – Take 22

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August 31, 2018 · 12:43 pm


“Echinacea” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Good Things


We had a challenging, but good day yesterday.

Our driveway detector was our alarm clock yesterday morning, telling us we were not alone. We had signed up for a CenturyLink/DirecTV bundle the day before, and it was the DirecTV installation guy. Soon after he left, the CenturyLink guy came and installed a new router/modem. We spent the rest of the day hooking up our stuff to the router/modem and then trying to figure out how to get the DirecTV system going and customized to us.

Just after we finished the preliminary basics for DirecTV we had a brief, but pretty fierce storm. The sky had gone night black and the winds picked up really suddenly, making our tree tops dance energetically. We had a heavy rain, and then the sky lightened and we saw a really beautiful rainbow! I didn’t get a picture of it, but I called my husband to come see so he wouldn’t miss it. It was one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

Today we’ll spend doing two things primarily:  Brunch Bunch and then calling or getting online to cancel all the stuff we don’t need anymore because of the new bundle. We’ll be getting faster Internet at half the price we’ve been paying, and the price will stay the same until we cancel. I was really missing not being able to record TV that was not on our over-the-air channels, so I’m happy that we can now record anything on the channels we get, and several at once.  The price for the TV package we’re getting is half as much as we paid DirecTV when we had them before. Hooray!

Life is filled with good things – being able to take advantage of good deals, and being treated to a gorgeous sight by Mother Nature!

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Filed under Changes, Good Thoughts, Mother Nature

Drawing of Amber


August 30, 2018 · 6:19 pm

The Big Picture

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my husband and I have been trying to lose weight and get healthier.

We were on a low-carb diet for quite awhile. We both lost weight, but we decided we needed more structure to attain our goals. We were on Nutrisystem years ago, and decided – due to the changes in their program since then – that we would try them again.

My husband is a Type II diabetic. Through our weight loss efforts (and cutting out as much sugar as possible) his A1C has gone from above 16 to 6.2. He is almost to his goal weight, unless he changes his mind for some reason.

I look at my progress 2 ways: The loss from my highest/largest on the low-carb diet and the loss from Nutrisystem so far.

Nutrisystem loss:

  • 22 pounds and 17-1/2 inches so far. (my triglcerides, etc. are significantly better, as well)
  • From my highest/largest:  37 inches and 35 pounds

I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that there is a positive improvement.  The fact that Nutrisystem teaches you to make healthy meals on your own while you’re on the plan with access to counselors, recipes, etc., make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet that we will go ‘off’ at some point.

I’m also doing a bunch of exercise for an old, sedentary broad, trying to build my strength, stamina, muscles, and flexibility.

  • I’m doing a session of stretching via yoga daily.
  • I’m either walking a mile (or maybe 2) with Annoying Leslie Sansone. (Even though I find her perkiness and laugh quite annoying, I have to admit this is really good for me.
  • I am also taking advantage of some toning and firming exercises she offers on the video, so I’m walking one day and doing the exercises the next.
  • When it’s not over 100 degrees in our garage, I’m walking on the elliptical trainer
  • I’m also doing over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, plus a weight exercise that is supposed to ease the pain in my neck and shoulders.

I figure if I just keep on keepin’ on, and hold my mouth right, I may meet my goals before I croak from old age. I would like to be in good enough shape that I can do whatever I want and not have to limit activities unnecessarily.

I’ve also told you several times in my blogs that I’m trying to continue learning new things in order to keep my poor brain going as well as possible. The trying to keep going on the laptop computer while my regular computer is waiting for a motherboard necessitates so much concentration and learning how to get around problems that my brain is getting a fine workout. We also changed Internet companies and went back to DirecTV this morning, so my husband and I are trying to leap through hoops together to make everything work and cancel all the services we don’t need anymore.

I hope you’re not having quite as much drama in your life as we have, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your goals.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself

Artistic Pots – Take 9

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Well Played

Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Reading is FUNdamental

“Flowers of Wild Chestnut” – Paul Militaru Photography

“Flowers of Wild Chestnut” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Artistic Pots – Take 8


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A Bit of Progress

I’ve been reading, studying, and trying some new techniques for trying to add better fur and feathers to my drawings. I’m using the book, “Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers” edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf.

I’ve been having lots of fun using a mixed media approach of micro pens, colored pencils, and pastels.

I have a long way to go before my work looks good, but it’s fun to spend time playing.


Filed under learning new things, Lewis Art


everyday feminism

Things are very awkward – using laptop, external drive saved from my regular computer, and all the patience I can muster – but I seem to be functional on posting on the blog again. :0)

We shipped my defective motherboard to the manufacturer this morning. It’s still under warranty, so they’ll either repair mine or send us a new one. Help is on the way!

I figured out this morning how to transfer my camera pictures to the laptop, edit them, and get them into my blog picture folder, so I’ll post a couple later today.

Since everything is different on the laptop, the mouse is built in and has an idiot trying to use it :0), things are a bit challenging, but doable, with a lot of concentration.

I’m glad to be back, however hobbled my gait. I hope you’re doing well, too.

More later.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

More Challenges :0(

The good news is that my motherboard is under warranty and the manufacturer has agreed to either fix this one or send another one. The bad news is that I’m back on my laptop.

I do have an external drive, so tomorrow I’ll see if I can actually get to anything on it.

Fingers crossed.

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I’m BACK! – (Sort of)

We got a call from the Geek Squad at Best Buy this afternoon, dropped everything and drove to Fort Smith to pick it up. They said the motherboard had two bad ram slots, meaning I now have half the memory I used to until we can replace the Motherboard. They did save my data to DVDs, which I’ll deal with later. For now, I’m jumping up and down that I can finally write again!

Things will be limited until we can figure things out – like I don’t know how to restore things when I can’t SEE the D drive where things are supposed to be. No access to saved pics, bookmarks, etc. Again, this is a small problem compared to being totally without. Our son helped us so I could finally access my email – and finally get my answers to go to the recipient, instead of to La La Land.

I love computers when they’re working. There is little more frustrating to me when they’re not.

I’m going to try to get my act together, putting things back on the computer and trying to get more functional, but I hope to start writing tomorrow. I hope you’ve been well. I missed you!

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I am Frustration Personified

It will probably be next week before I post anything much. My computer suddenly crashed yesterday. My husband – computer guru that he is – did everything he knew how to do – which is considerable – but we ended up taking it to Best Buy to see if they can resurrect it.

He doesn’t think they will be able to, so in the meantime, he’s ordered a motherboard for a spare computer we might be able to get going.

Meanwhile, we got the laptop we had in the shop for our metal critters and have set it up. We attached my good keyboard to it, so I’m not going nuts trying to type on the laptop’s keyboard. It took us all the rest of the day yesterday and evening to get the Windows updates on the laptop, and email going. This morning my husband got our password safe to work so I could get on HERE.

I don’t have access to much, and I had to change screens over and over to enter my username and password here, so I’ll reach out when I can.

Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

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String Art – Take 13

“Elephant” –

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“Seagulls” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Amy Monson Art

“Golf Birdie” – Amy Monson –

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Jeff Jett – New Mom

JeffJett – LinkedIn

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I’m feeling good that I got my exercise for the day accomplished. I received the gold stars (really!) that I ordered in the mail today and caught my calendar up with my activity, adding another one for today.

I feel a bit silly for “working for the gold star” each day – rather than working just for the loftier and more mature goals of better health, less pain, easier movement, better balance, and more – but there it is. I feel GOOD when I add another star to the calendar, and get up off my duff and exercise if I haven’t, so I don’t ruin my new record, now 5 days and 5-1/2 stars…

I’m still having to push myself to get to the 1 mile marker on the Annoying Leslie walking video, but I’m hoping by the end of next week I can at least START Mile 2. I’m doing half an hour of gentle yoga, stretching, twisting, and breathing. My husband even noticed I was touching my toes with my fingers after less stretching time today, plus ALMOST being able to bend forward in a sitting position, soles of my feet together and touching my head to my feet. (I hope this description makes sense. I don’t know any name for it. If it’s just a bunch of words, just picture me tying myself into a pretzel shape.) :0)

My ‘extra’ for the day today was an hour this morning weed whacking and leaf blowing to finish trimming the grass my husband mowed yesterday. I’ll try to do a bunch of bug spraying and weed spraying tomorrow.

Now I’m looking forward to taking my cup of coffee into the living room, stretching out in my recliner with my “Creation in Death” Eve Dallas book. I’m having such a good time re-reading the 45 books in the series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts before I read # 46 “Dark in Death” that came out recently in paperback. (Number 47 “Leverage in Death” will be out in paperback in December of this year. I’ve pre-ordered it. )


Filed under Challenges, Changes, exercise

Jeff Nishinaka Art

“Imperial Dragon” -Jeff Nishinaka –


Jeff Nishinaka-“Design Swan” –

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Getting Older is SO Much FUN!

A little sarcasm – maybe a LOT. :0)


My husband wanted to go to an auction this morning. He said he wanted to leave at 9:00. Knowing him, I set the alarm in the office where we were working and having a first cup of coffee (me) and sugar-free hot apple cider (him.) When the alarm went off, I said, “It’s time for you to go.” He said, “Where?”

He searched until he found his phone. He only takes it when we aren’t BOTH going somewhere. Then he came back in because he didn’t have the address. Then he came back because he didn’t have money. I programmed the GPS in the truck and he was off.

The above is told with a smirk at one of his foibles. He’s the smartest person I know. If he can’t figure something out or fix it, we ask our son. If neither can fix it, it can’t be. He’s really good with electronics, bending things to do his bidding. Sometimes the fight is long, but he gets it done. I look at it and figure it’s ‘magic.’

While he was gone and it was cooler and not raining outside, I swept out the garage where the truck had been. Then I weed whacked beside the sidewalks and around the flower beds. I was finishing up, coming around to switch the weed whacker for the leaf blower and he was back!  He said one of the things he was interested in sold, but for much more than he was willing to pay. The other thing he thought might be interesting was junk, so he came home. I got the leaf blowing done and put things away.

It’s amazing to me how quickly I tire these days. I’m very lucky that I can work until some part of me is yelling, stop and rest and drink some water, and then do another session until the job is done. It also takes me a LONG time to cool down and for my breathing to be normal again. One of the joys of becoming ‘mature,’ I guess.

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” — Criss Jami

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Filed under Are YOU also older than Dirt?, quality of life, The Fun of Getting Old


Rachealgrace Adams

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Flowers Lift Your Spirits

“Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


“In Bloom” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Purple” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Brian Mock Art





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String Art – Take 12

Nine Red –

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“Rebellious Seagulls Choir”

“Rebellious Seagulls Choir” – Paul Militaru Photography

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As You Grow Older…

Yvonne Dowlen via GrowingBolder


Today is Day 4 of trying to make SURE I make it to the 1 mile marker on the Annoying Leslie walking video each day and also do a half hour session of yoga, trying to really stretch every part of me and relax.

As I told you last week, I’m also trying to add at least one OTHER activity to this, starting today.

Today’s added activities:

  • I’m going to work in the yard, cutting back and/or pulling out tomato plants, composting what I can and pitching the rest, plus
  • we’ll hopefully go bowling with our good friends tonight.

Being a child at heart, I’ve ordered gold star stickers to add a really surface – but tangible – motivation to do this every day. I haven’t received the ones I ordered yet, so I’m using a highlighter to make the star and adding a bold black line around it each day on my desk calendar. So far I have 3-1/2 stars. (I got an extra half star on the day I did the Annoying Leslie video twice.) :0)

I’m feeling a difference since I’ve been doing the walking video. Even though I wish Leslie Sansone would just look good, lead us, and not talk my arm off,  I AM feeling a bit looser in my hips – a big area of concern for me. When I walk in real life, instead of in my living room, my hips start yelling way before I’m tired otherwise. It’s aggravating. I stop, maybe sit for 20 seconds or so, and then am happy to continue. I’m not sure why my hips yell so much, but I would like to get this to stop.

To this end, I’m listening to my hips, but not trying to coddle them. I’m making the 1 mile marker in the video, but stop there. If I can do it again later in the day, I do. If not, that’s okay. I figure my body will gradually get used to this.

On my way outside to attack dying tomato plants!

I hope you have a fun day.


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Filed under exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

“Fun Sunday” with Pets

I’ve been having a wonderful time with our pets today.  Above is Amber, a playful, ready-for-anything, 17-month-old, 92 pound yellow lab ‘puppy.’ Whoever told us that labs were puppies until they were at least two years old couldn’t have hit the nail on the head better. She has gone through a period where we were lulled into thinking she was leaving puppy-hood behind.

We’re supposed to be getting a lot of rain this afternoon with possibly severe stuff this afternoon and evening, so I’ve been trying to get the dogs in and out several times today before it will be unpleasant for them to go outside.

I went to let Molly, our elderly fuzzy white cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross in and saw a blue and white ‘something’ on the stops leading down from the porch. When I went to investigate, I found it was the label of a water bottle. Looking further, I found FOUR bottles of water in various states of demolition in pieces all over the front yard.

Grumbling, I gathered it all up while Amber danced a jig around me, obviously saying, “Look what I did! I had SO much fun!!!!”


I took the bottle pieces around to the garage to dispose of them. I started to put Amber inside and found Smoke, our cat, demolishing a bird on the mat in front of the steps, looking incredibly proud of herself. I got a paper towel, took the bird away from the now-frustrated feline, saying, “YUCK!”

I got the remaining case of water off the floor under my counter and put it on top of the counter, along with the gallon jugs of Arizona Zero Peach Tea we keep for my husband – thinking they might be next in line as ‘new toys’ for Amber.

It took me about 15 minutes to sweep up all the feathers. Smoke left in a huff after staring at me awhile.

I can’t wait to find out what Molly and Abby have in mind to entertain me today – not to mention the fish!


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Simply Gorgeous

Elena – Lliva- D -LinkedIn

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My husband has, once again, made something immortal, fixing the light by my chair that had gone wonky. I would turn it on and then it would go off by itself. Sometimes it would come ON again, making us feel as if the gremlins were in charge. We decided it had to be the lamp part that the light bulb goes in, and so went to Yeager’s this morning and bought a replacement part. After my husband did his thing, it’s working fine.

We built these two lamps in 1969 when we married. We couldn’t afford ones we liked, so we went to an aircraft junk yard and bought two parts of a helicopter. (Yeah, we were weird back then, too. )


We sandblasted each of these and wired them, installed lamp parts, and then a holder for the shade. They weigh about 50 lbs each, so I get a bit of exercise moving them back and forth on the tables to dust them – and under them.

We’ve loved them because they are unique. No one else in the world would probably HAVE them if they were offered, but WE like them and they aren’t like everybody else’s. We put a spark plug in each of them, just as an accent. :0)

We’ve laboriously moved them with us to each new place. So far, they’ve been with us for 49 years. With the fix my husband did on the one by my chair today, they’ll outlive us!

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, memories