Monthly Archives: September 2018

3rd (and Last) Session in the Yard Today

For my third session in the yard today, I pruned our rose bushes. I weeded around them, too, and GUESS WHAT! – encountered more swarming ants! I went and got the sprayer and hosed them down well. I only got bitten in one session today, on my left calf, and that’s GREAT with all the hostiles I encountered.


I then got the leaf blower and cleaned off the front porch, pad, sidewalk, and then the back sidewalk, and finally the garage pad before declaring and end to the outside work today.

I rested a bit, drank more water, then we had lunch – on the nice, clean porch! :0)

Finally, I just did a session of yoga.

Arlindo Martins

I have a back ache after all the work in the yard. I was able to lessen it a lot with all the stretching. I’ll take some Advil to finish things off and then rest again before dinner.

I got a good amount of exercise done today (for me) and the yard and greenhouse are under better control now.

I’m looking forward to relaxing a bunch and enjoying taped TV or a movie tonight – and definitely a good night’s sleep.

I hope you had a good Sunday, too.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

2nd Session in the Yard

I started out to the deck, going out the back door. I noticed that there was Amber hair and dirt all over the floor on the porch, so I swept that out. I still need to clean the table so that we can eat out there, now that things are cooling off some.  The plywood across the back is to keep Amber from getting too enthusiastic in wanting to chase something in the yard. She stands up and props her front feet up on the upper edge of the plywood and barks.


There is a very short period of time when it’s glorious on our porch to sit and share a meal. Right now is one of them, so I’m planning to serve our lunch out there today. :0)


We’re enjoying the last flowers of the year. These are on the deck, and they just fill you up as you walk out there!


Amber and Abby supervised my sweeping off of the deck and spraying the planters for ants again. We cooked out last night, enjoying a super delicious “flex” meal of grilled steak and baked potatoes.



Then I did another session in the greenhouse. I swept the floor as well as I could. The top level of weed barrier is decaying and breaking up in the sun, so it’s kind of a mess out there right now. I’m going to do this in stages, since I’m still having to stop and spray for ants over and over.


I sprayed for ants again inside the greenhouse, cleaned up a few areas, and will do another session later.


This is the other side of the greenhouse.


And these are the head iceberg lettuce plants I planted today. It would be truly wonderful if these are happy and we can harvest fresh lettuce during the fall and early winter.  The exhaust fan is coming on and going off as it is happy with the temperature in there. I left the door opposite propped open and left the second fan on.


Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

“American Wrestler: The Wizard”

We watched “American Wrestler: The Wizard” last night and it’s still reverberating in my head. I started watching it, trying to be supportive of a movie “I” would have never chosen to rent. We both had the same reaction – it was a movie well worth recommending.

George Kosturos played the wrestler. William Fichtner was the coach. Jon Voight was the high school principal. Ali Afshar was the wrestler’s uncle.

“In 1980, a teenage boy escapes the unrest in Iran only to face more hostility in America, due to the hostage crisis. Determined to fit in, he joins the school’s floundering wrestling team.”

If you haven’t seen this film, it’s well worth your time.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews

First Session in the Yard

First thing this morning I was thankful the greenhouse was still up and functional. We’ve had a LOT of wind and rain the past few weeks, so the whole thing could have simple blown over the barbed wire fence and into the next acreage. The top could have torn or blown off, etc. I walked around the outside checking for needed repair and found, to my delight, none was needed!

I cleaned off the tables a bit, throwing out curled and brittle six-pack planters I tried to save, buckled and discolored plastic sheet lids designed to go over young plants, and more.

I hooked up the at least 200 foot extension cord so that the exhaust and second fans would run and propped the door on the opposite side open with a metal chair. The thermostat was down to 90 before I started this. I’m hoping the air circulation will bring that down more.


I planted five head iceberg lettuce plants and watered them thoroughly. They’re in a good spot of sun on the table. I wanted to make sure I got those planted, so essentially did that first.

I found a weed growing up through the black weed barrier on the floor, so I pulled it out. When I did, a gazillion little black ants swarmed out. I hurried out of the greenhouse and got the EIGHT spray and 2 gallon sprayer and mixed up a batch. I thoroughly hosed down that spot where the weed was and another spot I found.

I was starting to get hot and tired, so I sprayed my way across the back yard, treating various ant hills with a thorough hosing down with the EIGHT making my way back to the deck. I hosed down all the plants, including the one holding the one weed my husband pulled out. They swarmed out pretty ferociously,  but I kept the spray coming.

The next step on the greenhouse is finding a small broom that can live out there and trying to clean things up as much as possible. Eventually, I want to try to re-purpose bricks from the planters in the front yard that we are going to tear down as soon as the weather gets cooler. I would like to try to make some paths inside the greenhouse – one in front of each line of tables and one going down the middle.  Fingers crossed I can do this.

In the meantime, I’m going to sweep the floor as well as I can, and then prune the rose bushes (an important thing my husband thought had priority.)

I’m glad I can come inside, drink a bottle of water, cool down and relax in-between sessions easily.

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse


I am devoting the day to working in the yard. Since I’ve been home from seeing Murray, I’ve been getting laundry and the house cleaning under better control. Today it’s time to shift my focus to the yard. My husband mowed recently, so I can concentrate on the smaller things that need doing.

I’ll be out there in several shifts today, resting and hydrating in-between –

  • pruning rose bushes
  • spraying EIGHT bug spray on the ant piles and hostile ants my husband found while mowing, and then while pulling a weed out of a planter on the deck while we were grilling steaks last night
  • planting the head iceberg lettuce six-pack I bought in town yesterday in the greenhouse
  • weeding flower planters
  • finding, cutting and planting tomato suckers in the greenhouse from the plants still alive
  • cleaning up the greenhouse
  • spraying and weeding the planters on the deck
  • using the leaf blower to clean up porch, sidewalks, and garage pad from the grass cutting my husband did
  • weeding and preparing the raised bed planters in the garden for the winter

The list is never-ending, but our weather is cooler, so it’s nicer to tackle some of the issues.

If I actually accomplish something significant, I’ll share some pics later.

One wonderful thing happened in the front yard this morning! I went out to call Amber after Molly had barked to come in. She and Smoke (the gray cat) were together messing with ‘something’ in the yard. I went out to find they had unearthed a mole! I stomped on it a couple of times, but that didn’t kill it. I called to Amber to follow me inside, which she did, reluctantly. She really wanted to continue picking the mole up, biting it, and spitting it out again. I got Amber inside, grabbed the hemostat clamp we have hanging up for when we need to grab bad things securely, and picked up the mole and threw him as far as I could into the woods in front of the civilized part of our yard. I’m hoping that he will either die (yeah, I’m cruel) or if not, satisfy himself tunneling through the 7 acres we’re NOT trying to fashion into some form of a lawn around the house.

Have a great Sunday!

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Dolan Geiman Art from Found Things


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Mentors Channel


I look at this quote as encouragement to move outside your comfort zone. If you hope for something, you then try to do what you can to make it happen. Any time you reach out, you learn, gathering more experiences, becoming a richer person. Being rich in experiences with a lust for learning something new keeps your brain agile, looking at things in a different way. Being more and more active in mind and body  allows you to appreciate all you have, the people you’re lucky enough to know, and the satisfaction in the DOING.

And it all starts with hope…

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

New Greenhouse Experiment

This is the greenhouse my husband and I built last year. I haven’t done anything with it during the summer because no matter what I did, as far as leaving the door open, running the exhaust fan on the other end, running a second fan on the table, it was over 120 degrees F. in there.


Now that it’s finally much cooler, I’m going to see if I can get some plants going and see if I can grow them through the winter!

I got a six-pack of Iceberg head lettuce today. I have some tomato plants still in various stages. I’m going to see if I can get some good suckers from them, and get both things started in the greenhouse.

I need to clean things out in there first. The rain comes in underneath, so the floor is pretty awful right now. I want to extend the heavy extension cord from the house to the greenhouse and get the exhaust and extra fan going, and get some pots set up with Mel’s Mix. I need to find my rooting medium and make sure I have plenty of water out there.

THEN I’ll plant the lettuce, and THEN I’ll see if I can find good suckers on the tomato plants. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but if reading and enthusiasm will do it, I’m in.

I’ll post progress (?) reports to let you know how things are going. Fingers, and all other appendages crossed!

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, learning new things, Lewis projects, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse


“Indiscretion” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Niki Firmin Art – Drawings That Come Alive

Niki Firmin

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Creativity, drawings

Mondongo String Art

mondongo-dripped and molded plasticine-Insteading

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Filed under Creativity, String Art


Ogden Nash – Grammarly

When I was visiting my husband’s cousin’s wife, Murray, in Thibodaux, LA this week, she gave me three pelicans to adopt and bring home. She looked up this wonderful limerick by Ogden Nash and read it to me. Ogden Nash was one of my favorites.  Happily, I was able to find it just now so I can share it with YOU!

This is a tile mounted on a wooden background with a pull-out part that allows the pelican to stand. It has “Gerri” at the bottom – the artist who created it.

This is a second tile mounted in the same fashion. It doesn’t have Gerri’s name on it, so I don’t know if she created this one or not.


The final piece in my new collection is a painting by Delores Legendre of Lockport, Louisiana.  It’s called, “Brown Pelican near Beach.” It’s an oil painting done in February of 1996.

I’m looking around my home to find a suitable place for these wonderful treasures! Thank you, again, Murray!

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Amber has been right with me since I came home.

I let her out for the second time this morning, along with our sweet, elderly Molly.


Molly barked at the door a short time after, wanting to come in. No Amber, but that isn’t unusual.

Half an hour later, I went to each door to call for her. Usually she comes in just a second. No Amber.

Some time later, I went out, calling. I walked out to the garden, then across the yard and over to the greenhouse, calling in all directions. No Amber.

I finally told my husband I was worried and was going to take the truck and look for her. He came with me and we drove all around, calling. No Amber.

We needed to leave for Lunch Bunch, so we left. We talked about the fact that Amber was probably stolen. She is very friendly and LOVES to ride in a car. She regularly tries to get in the UPS guy’s truck. My heart was in my throat. She has a collar with her name on it and our phone number. She also has a tag with the same information. She has a chip imbedded.  I planned to call the vet when we got home to ask them to be on the lookout.

We had a good Lunch Bunch. One of the waitresses was having a birthday. I took her an “I Need a Vacation!” frame with glass on both sides, forming a bank for donations. She got a kick out of that – particularly when I took a dollar and left the first donation. :0) I encouraged her to put it on the counter at the restaurant…

We drove up the driveway when we got home and THERE WAS AMBER!

Neither Molly nor Amber can tell us where she was, but that doesn’t matter now. I checked her over and she seems to be fine.

I’M fine now, too. Whew!


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Cuddle Sanctuary

My biggest ‘take home’ from my trip was love demonstrated in so many forms it was overwhelming.

My SIL and I are married to guys who are brothers. We went to see Murray, the wife of our husbands’ cousin. We lost our cousin recently, and we had planned to get together for a ‘girls vacation’ – just the three of us. Happily, Murray came home from the hospital with good news. We made sure she rested with her feet up while we were there. We had told her before we came that we didn’t need to be ‘entertained.’ We just wanted to be with her.

Murray is a big part of her community, doing countless volunteer things, being on boards doing good things for the community, such as the Thibodaux Children’s Museum, and more. She is active in her church and has given so much to her town of Thibodaux. She recently was in the paper, with an article naming some of the things she has done!

What happened from the time we arrived to the time we left was the absolute definition of love and giving back. Murray’s group of close friends is larger than the number of people my husband and I have ever known in our entire lives. There were phone calls constantly, with people checking in to see that she was doing all right or just to touch base. She always made sure that each caller knew how much they meant to her.

There was a steady stream of friends, her priest, her housekeeper when it wasn’t her day to be there, her massage therapist and good friend, who also massaged the neck and back of a second visitor while she was there – after giving Murray a food massage. There were friends who had been with her in the hospital and were checking in again. There were people Murray invited because she wanted them to meet Mary Lou and me. There were neighbors. There was the ‘Queen of Pralines,’ Murray’s long-time friend who not only visited one day, but had her son, Chad, deliver a big box of pralines the next day. ( learned that you don’t say “Pray-leens.” They are pronounced, “Praw-leens.”  I took two for my husband – since he LOVES anything sugary. He gobbled them up, smiled and nodded, saying, “These are truly heavenly. Don’t get me any more.”  :0)

(Chad was the one who got our cousin John to the hospital recently and then picked him up there and brought him home recently, before he passed.) Each visitor brought love with him. The whole house was enveloped with it. There is no way to remember them all. There was a steady stream of caring, interesting, wonderful people, all loving Murray.

She has a wonderful way of introducing people. I’m socially challenged, in that after saying something like, “I’m happy to meet you,” I have trouble coming up with something to say next. Murray makes that go away with a story about who that person is, or asks them to tell a story, which then makes you want more information, so conversation is easy. She also tells them something about US, so the other people have something easy to say, too. What a gift Murray has!

The priest was young and wore bright blue long socks with cartoon characters on them! He was great, totally down to earth, not preachy, and showed he was a truly great addition to Thibodaux.

We went to a restaurant called, “Bubba’s II” one night. We all ordered, and then the waitress brought a soft-shelled crab to Murray, wanting her to enjoy it free of charge – just because she is Murray. That’s the kind of thing that makes me tear up. Jean (pronounced, “Zhaw” – that’s as close as I can get to it) went with us. Not only that, he secretly went up and paid for all of us. See what I mean?

We managed to do some significant stuff to help Murray go through things and clean out while we were there, but it’s great to know that Murray is so surrounded by people who truly care and want to give back the love she has given for so many years.

Now that she received great news from her doctors, she can concentrate on getting her strength back and spreading even more around!


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Filed under Attitude, giving

Character-Building Exercise

I haven’t flown since 9/11 and the advent of TSA. I haven’t flown ALONE since I was a teenager flying nonstop to Mexico City.

This past week I flew from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Dallas and then to New Orleans before we rented a car to drive the rest of the way to Thibodaux, Louisiana, and then returned.

I’m such a wuss. It’s pathetic really, but I must own it. I didn’t sleep the night before and was a bundle of nerves at the airport in Fort Smith. It’s a cute, ‘baby airport’ with only 3 gates. I was there early enough that I had to wait to check in. I had already printed my boarding passes. I then went through the TSA checkpoint for the first time ever.  I put my hoodie and purse in one bin with my cell phone on top. I didn’t have to remove my shoes. I just walked through a metal detector and that was that.

I waited at the gate, and then they announced a delay of 25 minutes. I checked to make sure that wouldn’t mess me up for my connection to the DFW to New Orleans (pronounced ‘Naw-lens’) and then texted my sister-in-law, Mary Lou, that I might be late.) She knew I was a wuss and would be nervous, so she arranged to fly to Dallas to meet me, rather than taking a much nicer non-stop flight from Charlotte to New Orleans, so that we could fly together from DFW to NO and then rent the car for the rest of the trip. I knew that once we met at DFW, I would quit worrying so much. If we were lost, we were lost together and would figure something out.

She was waiting at the gate when I got off the plane in Dallas. I had built up so much adrenaline by that point, it took me a minute to recognize her! We took the SkyLink (first time for that, too. It wasn’t there the last time I was at DFW.) We figured out what gate we needed for the flight to NO, rode the SkyLink to that region, found the gate, confirmed that we had the right place, and then went to eat a very nice lunch of soup and salad. All the places are set up to serve you quickly, thank goodness, so another of my worries was unfounded.

Mary Lou had been through the New Orleans airport before, so we got our bags without incident and proceeded across the airport to the car rental area. Happily, since it was a LONG way to the car rental place, we were able to snag a shuttle with a wonderfully friendly guy who helped us with our bags and dropped us off.  We rented the car, and drove out of the airport into an on and off driving rain. Since Mary Lou was able to plug her phone into the car, we had a talking GPS lady helping us, so the big thing was to try to SEE THE ROAD for the hour and a half drive to Thibodaux.


On the way back, our plane left a little after 9 in the morning. We got up and left the house by a little after 5am. Of COURSE, the sky opened up again, making it REALLY hard to see the road – a very tense time for sure. We lucked out toward the end of the driving, following a big truck the rest of the way. We thanked him – though he never knew it – when we got to the airport.

We had to check our own bags there, but a nice lady helped with attaching the long sticky strips to our bags, and then showing us where to take them to another lady who put them on the conveyor belt. TSA screening was more serious this time. Mary Lou, who flies a lot, had done pre-screening stuff, including providing fingerprints and information, paying for not having to go through this, but was rejected! We found out from a man behind us that TSA randomly picks people who have been pre-screened to have to go through it again. “I” was TSA precheck approved! Go figure. Anyway, I put my purse and hoodie in one bin and my shoes and cell phone in another. I went through the x-ray machine, and they wanted to check my right shoulder, which had lit up the screen. They checked me, found nothing, and so I was through.

While we were waiting for the flight to DFW, they came and asked for anyone with our flight number. For some unknown reason, they led us all to another gate with a flight leaving earlier than the one scheduled for us. We got new boarding passes, and the nice lady was able to find two seats together! for us.  My flight from DFW to FS was delayed (imagine that!) but got back 25 minutes late.

My husband was waiting for me, showered, shaved (around his beard) with a dress shirt, clean jeans and suspenders, as if we were going on a date night. Was THAT a sight for sore eyes! I fell for him all over again. We picked up my very wet suitcase and he took me to Denny’s for a nice meal before we went home.

I was greeted profusely at the door by both doggies, and both cats. The doggies both came to make sure I was still home several times that evening. The fish didn’t seem to care one way or the other. My husband fed them while I was gone, so they were happy. I felt welcomed home in grand fashion.

So – even though it was really nerve-wracking, with the help of my kind SIL making the arrangements so we met in Dallas and flew together to New Orleans together, guiding me through airports, bag claims, car rentals and returns, including helping me find my gate from DFW to FS and then going back on the SkyLink to go back to HER gate to Charlotte for the way home, I made it through my first flight since TSA.

I’m not sure I’ll become a frequent flyer now, since my husband refuses to fly now, but I’ll have a much better idea of what to expect, what to look out for, and more the NEXT time I fly.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, character-building exercises


Silver Unpolished

When you’re away for a few days, crazy things tend to happen. One is laundry. Like rabbits left unattended, dirty laundry multiplies.  Our trip home from Thibodaux, Louisiana (pronounced ‘Tib-o-dough, Luz-iana’) was an interesting one with changes in flights, gates, delays, and dodging lots and lots of rain storms. I’m amazed that I was only 25 minutes later landing than expected, and I’m impressed with the way American Airlines and the pilots handled everything.

My luggage was apparently out in the rain long enough when switching from plane to plane that it was soaked. Everything inside was pretty wet, too, though nothing ruined. It took three loads of laundry yesterday to get it all clean and dry again.

I’m still doing laundry today – bed stripped and sheets now in the dryer, and the covers of the first of two very large dog beds in the washer now.

I walked across the living room carpet in my socks last night and they were covered with dog hair, so vacuuming the first floor will happen today.

It’s a good thing that I had a GREAT time in Thibodaux – ’cause it may take me as long as I was gone to get things in reasonable shape around here today!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges

Fly, Fly Away…

Guilford Education Alliance

I am flying to Thibodaux, LA to spend time with two of my favorite people. I’ll be back Wednesday. Hold the fort and have a great week!

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, Family

Rabbits from Found Objects




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“A Book”

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Stacia Tauscher via

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“Red and Pink”

“Red and Pink” – Paul Militaru Photography


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Tilen Ti Watercolor

Tilen Ti-Bored Panda


Filed under Creativity, Watercolors I Love

Devoting the Day to Dental Care


It takes us almost an hour to get to our dentist’s office in Fort Smith. My husband and I have back-to-back teeth cleaning appointments, and then we drive back, doing the rest of our errands on the way home. That almost kills the whole day. Such is the exciting life of the Arkansas Lewises.

I no longer have trouble sleeping the night before I go to the dentist. Since I’m older than dirt, this means a LOT of lost hours in the past! I’ve never had a cavity and had never had anything done to my teeth, other than braces, until last year, so I didn’t have a good reason to be afraid. Telling myself I’m being silly, childish, a wuss, etc. has never been very effective against gut feelings.

My husband’s teeth are not strong. He’s had a LOT of work done over the years – some of it in the Marine Corps – so he always finds the very best dentist he can, trying to be very proactive. We lucked into Dr. Chancey in Ft. Smith when we moved here over 30 years ago. He retired, and my husband was  very upset. He asked Dr. Chancey who HE would go to for the very best care of HIS teeth. Without hesitation, he said, Dr. Wes Moore. We were accepted as patients and have gone there ever since.

My husband and my son had regular checkups and work done, when needed. I tried to avoid the issue. Finally, my husband said he would make a deal with me. He would wear a motorcycle helmet if I would start going to the dentist. Since we had been having frank ‘discussions’ about the fact that I really didn’t like the idea of his riding without a helmet, I reluctantly agreed.

My mom died of oral cancer, having smoked for some 50+ years, so this is a constant fear that it’s genetic, rather than smoking-related. Shannon, our good dental hygienist remembered what I told her the first time I met her, and did my oral cancer exam first, so that I could then relax as much as possible for the rest of the appointment. She was competent, gentle, and got me over my fear. She and her husband died in a plane crash and my husband and I were devastated. Dr. Moore is really good about finding the nicest, most qualified people to work in his office, so he found another good hygienist to take care of us and Shannon’s other patients.

We had been watching one of my wisdom teeth for quite a while. Dr. Moore had told me that, because it was only peeking out of the gum, I would have to go to an oral surgeon if I ever needed it removed. I thought, “when pigs fly….” Well, it not only started hurting, it hurt with a vengeance! He was out of town, but we waited until he was back. My husband called and told the ladies we would be there in an hour and that Dr. Moore had to see me. (Yes, he really did!) Dr. Moore saw me, saw how much pain I was in, and looked at the area again. He agreed to take it out. He used a magic stuff where I knew what was going on so I could cooperate, but it didn’t hurt and I didn’t remember afterward. I asked him if I could take some of that wonderful stuff with me when I left. :0)

We’ve been extremely lucky in dentists twice, and are extremely grateful. Shannon got me over being petrified at the dentist’s office, and we’re newly sad each time we go. Dr. Moore showed me that extraction can be done compassionately, without pain. We don’t EVER take good care like this for granted.

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Quote Ambition

Since we currently have two dogs, two cats, and four fish, I guess it’s fair to describe us as animal people. We have a hard time picturing ourselves without our furry or wet friends. They make our lives so full and are a constant source of amazement, consternation, and laughter.

Amber is our 92 pound, 17-month old yellow lab ‘lap dog.’ She crawls right up into my husband’s lap while he sits in his recliner, making him laugh out loud. The look on her face when she gets settled is priceless.

Her newest thing is that when you rub her tummy, she puts her head down, going down farther and farther until she does a forward roll right in front of you, ending up upside-down, her feet waving in the air, chewing on one of her front paws. She loves for us to rub her stomach at that point, and would do it all again, over and over as long as we could stand it.

I’m almost afraid to type this, as it may cause the trend to stop, but she has stopped being quite so destructive. Shhhhhh!

She wants to go with us in the car – careful! that’s one of her words!  – wanting to go anywhere, any time.

She wants to be with her people, except when she’s greeted the UPS guy, wanting to get up into his truck……

We are truly rich in animals.

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Once You Learn to Read


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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Hobbies, learning new things, Reading is FUNdamental

“Reed in the Wind”

“Reed in the Wind” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Icing on the Cake

Life Love and Sugar

I’ve told you that my husband and I decided that we needed to do everything we could to get and stay healthier. We know we can’t control everything – by far – but there are things that we can do that will improve our quality of life and hopefully allow us to spend many more years together.

My husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. We adopted a low carb diet and each of us lost some weight, but we needed more help. We decided to try Nutrisystem in April, since they had a program that was geared for diabetics (although my husband denies he has diabetes. He calls it a ‘sugar problem.’) Whatever you CALL it, it had already resulted in pain in his legs and feet and double vision, among other symptoms.  He was turned down for term life insurance. We had to go for the no exam type for low coverage and high premiums.

We had our quarterly doctor’s appointment in August. My husband’s A1C was almost NORMAL. (Isn’t that a lovely word?)  The doctor says if he keeps improving the way he’s been going, he might be able to stop taking the blood sugar medicine altogether in the future! Besides losing weight – since he has tried to cut out as much sugar as possible – the double vision is gone. The pain in his feet and legs is gone.

My blood test numbers were up to 65 points improved in all areas. I had been high in everything, even on the low carb diet, so this was a huge improvement. The doctor was really pleased and said I didn’t need to come back for 6 MONTHS!  My husband has one more 3 month appt in November, and if he has continued to do well, he’ll move to 6 MONTH appts, too!

The icing on the cake – and peace of mind – is that yesterday we found out he had been ACCEPTED by the insurance company for a 10-year level term life insurance policy!!! WOO HOO!  The policy we had was due to skyrocket in premiums in November on his birthday….

So losing weight, watching what we’re eating, and trying to get used to what a normal portion is, plus trying to move more (and in MY case, do some real exercise) is improving our quality of life and our chances for living to enjoy it for several years to come.

My husband is almost to his weight goal. He’ll decide what he wants to do when he gets there, but I’m hoping he’ll stick to the Nutrisystem while I’m on it, at least. I still have a long way to go on weight loss – between the low carb and now Nutrisystem programs, I’ve now lost a total of 35 lbs or so and 24 inches – I have a good start.

Lifestyle changing is no picnic. You have to fight the fight in your head and really want to get healthier. We think it’s worth it.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Gremlins are Rampant!

I told you recently that we’ve been plaqued with stuff suddenly not working, busting, etc. And it continues, with the gremlins who hide here running rampant!

Yesterday it was two things:



I went to rinse a dish from dinner to find NO WATER!  We went out to the well house to find a pipe had burst, spewing water everywhere, 4 inches on the floor, more on walls, ceiling, and shelves. My husband found the busted pipe that had a gauge for reading the pressure on the end. We were able to remove the pipe and took it out to the shop.  We were able to find a pipe nipple the right size and a plug, in case we couldn’t replace the pipe and the gauge. We swept out as much water as we could with a broom, and then replaced the pipe with the gauge on the end. VOILA!  We brought out a box fan and ran it with the well house door open all night, to try to dry things out. It was better out there this morning. We’ll give it a while longer, and then move the fan up higher to work on the walls, shelves, and ceiling. It’s SO good to have a husband who can figure out what in the world happened, had the parts we needed to fix it, and was able to get our access to water back.




I have a cute little Sandisk MP3 player my husband and son got me for a birthday a million years ago. They loaded on some of my favorite music from over the years. It has a clip on the back so I can clip it to my shirt and listen to my songs via earphones. I love it, and I wear it whenever I’m on the elliptical trainer so that I can forget I’m exercising. :0)

It suddenly was dead. I put in on the charger, but that didn’t do any good. My husband looked at it last night and decided I ‘probably hadn’t charged it right.’ We charged it overnight, but got nothing more than stuff like the ‘play all’ thing you can see lit up in the pic. It showed ‘no song’ when I tried to play it. We’ll go to Walgreen’s today to see if we can find a new 4G SD card and see if that restores its memory and ability to play.

Fingers crossed!  And hopefully, the gremlins are satisfied they’ve caused enough havoc around here for a while. We still have my husband’s computer to rebuild, assuming we ever get his motherboard back…


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Checked Off!

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It seems as if we’ve been working on a bunch of things FOREVER with endless details and lots of frustration, but things are finally coming together and we’re able to get things checked off.

  • The biggest frustrating thing was that both of our computers died at once. This has never happened before, and we’ll be making some changes so that if it happens again we’ll be better able to handle it. My husband finally got my computer up and running and most everything back on it and accessible. I’ve been working on my laptop and we didn’t have access to any of our regular places because we lost access to our passwords. We’ve now made a CD we can slip into a computer and access everything. We’re now sharing this computer, with a keyboard that toggles back and forth between QWERTY (regular keyboard) and DVORAK (my husband’s special keyboard.) He is able to access his email now, plus play on the computer, so we’re workable until he gets his motherboard returned – either the one we sent back fixed, or a new one. Hopefully, the put back together on his will go smoothly. It will be a LONG time before I take any of this for granted again.
  • Since our son lives and works across the globe from us, we’re trying to do everything humanly possible to make things easier for him when the time comes he has to handle our remaining affairs when the second one dies. Some people really don’t want to think about this, but we want to have the decisions made and the arrangements handled, then put them away and not think of them again for hopefully many years from now. We had this all done – or most of it – and then a law in Arkansas changed and messed our plans up. We had to start again. After a huge amount of work, details, legal documents, payments and cards to carry in our wallets, all arrangements are done and paid for.
  • I’ve told you before that my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. The result was a very expensive life insurance policy that requires no medical exam. This policy premium was due to skyrocket as a ‘Happy Birthday’ present in November. Today we were notified that he has been accepted for a 10 year level term life insurance policy that DID require a medical exam. Since he’s done so well changing his diet, losing weight, etc., he qualified for the policy this time! We handled the remaining details this morning and were able to call and cancel the policy that was due to balloon later this year. Now THAT’S a much better birthday present!

There are other things we’ve been doing, but these are the biggest and most important right now. Now we can relax and feel much less stressed!  Sometimes being stubborn, tenacious and persistent pays off!!!!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, quality of life