Monthly Archives: October 2018

Standing Out

Lisa Hurwitz at Expanets via zen to zany via cathy ruggiero

I may be more ‘mature’ now, but I vividly remember how STRONGLY I wanted to be like everybody else when I was a young teenager.

One super-vivid memory is that my mom made me an outfit from corduroy – a skirt and top that went over a blouse. The skirt was some kind of pattern with yellows and green and there were four large black buttons on the front, forming the corners of a square. The top was green. My mom bought me a pale yellow blouse to go under the top.  She was an amazing seamstress and the outfit was beautifully made.

The problem? Back in 1492 when I was a teenager, the saying was, “Yellow and green on Thursdays means you’re queer.” (or something similar.) This shows you that – as messed up as our country is NOW as far as being inclusive and embracing our differences, 60+ years ago, it was worse!

Of COURSE my mom wanted me to wear the outfit on Thursdays and told me how ridiculous it was that I would care what other people thought. This caused really bad scenes in my household, as my mom was strong-willed and I was stupid and wanted to fit in so badly I would have almost rather died than cross the ‘group.’

Another thing was tennis shoes. New ones, clean and white, meant you were a nerd. NOW I would be proud to be called a nerd – maybe I could have become a gazillionaire and had enough money I could make a difference – but THEN I would go out and purposely get grass stains and dirt on them the minute they came home from the store.

AND – for some unknown reason – I felt that I HAD to be good at things IMMEDIATELY or I wouldn’t be ‘accepted.’ I think ‘what CRAP!’ NOW, but I sure didn’t THEN. I remember a pool party where everyone was doing some kind of dive off the diving board. My mind has blurred the details of what dive it was, or even who I was with. My turn came. I gave it my best, but ended up with a huge, painful SPLAT on the water. I remember swimming under water to the shallow end of the pool (I was a good swimmer, but couldn’t dive). Someone was along side, yelling at me to find out if I was all right. I lied and said I did that for comic relief.

I substituted at the local schools for about two years, trying to get a job in the Greenwood School System, substituting for kindergarten through high school boy’s P.E. and was saddened to see that everyone is trying NOT to stand out. If you’re a good student, you try to be quiet about it. Everyone dresses alike, talks alike, give the same blank look when you ask them questions about the subject they’re studying, the book they’re supposed to be reading, etc.

It would be wonderful if children were encouraged by adults – and especially their peers – to be DIFFERENT – SPECIAL – UNIQUE.  To CELEBRATE the things that make them stand out. To be CONFIDENT – CURIOUS – with PASSION to seek a unique place in the world.


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Jeff Jett Photography

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


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Annoying, then Good Morning

Everyday Health

We got up this morning and drove straight to our doctor’s office to get the blood test my husband needs for his appointment next week. We usually don’t have to wait long, but we did today. Finally, I got up and checked with the front desk again. They said the orders for the blood test weren’t in the chart, so they were waiting for the doctor to come out of a room. We waited again. When we had been waiting an HOUR, I went to the front desk again, asking them if they could get the orders into my husband’s chart by TOMORROW morning, when we would come again. They said they could, so we left. I will call this afternoon to be SURE the orders are in the chart so we can be more successful tomorrow.  (At our next appointment, I’ll ask the doctor to put the orders for the labs into the computer while we’re there.)

Added insult was Mother Nature choosing to pour on us each time we stepped out of the car. It would stop while we were inside, of course.

Our morning improved quite a bit after we left the doc’s office. We had decided that we would try out the new restaurant in town, The Dari, for breakfast. We had been there for lunch and had been quite pleased.

I’m happy to report that our FLEX breakfast was delicious!  The people there are friendly. The group of women at the counter where we ordered went nuts over my ceramic ‘ghost’ earrings, even calling people from the back to come see. When we were at the table, another women came. That was really fun for all of us.  The service is fast and the food couldn’t have been better.

It’s more food than we should eat for breakfast on our diet, but we’ll modify our eating for the rest of the day to make up for it. It’s wonderful to have a nice place to have breakfast in Greenwood!

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Ebenezer Prabha Art

Ebenezer Prabha – LinkedIn

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When Wood Comes Alive – Take 23

Andrey Sagalov –

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Rachealgrace Adams Photography – Halloween

Rachealgrace Adams

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Happy Halloween 2018!

Style Motivation

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown

Hobgoblins know the proper way to dance:
Arms akimbo, loopy legs askew,
Leaping into darkness with delight,
Lusting for the ecstasy of fright,
Open to the charm of horrors new….
~Nicholas Gordon

Toronto Sun

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
~Scottish Saying


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“Romantic Willow”

“Romantic Willow” – Paul Militaru Photography

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When Wood Comes Alive – Take 22

401 Best Wood Carving and Sculpture-pinterest

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How Do You Carve YOUR Pumpkin? – 2018-15

Karyn Poplin – My Modern Met


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Beatriz Encinas

Beatriz Encinas – LinkedIn

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Lewis Greenhouse

Today when I went out to the greenhouse, I got everything watered and then concentrated on cleaning things up a bit. One thing led to another and the time flew. I spent over an hour puttering around.

It’s amazing how much there is to do out there! The 6mm black stuff we spread on the floor is deteriorating quickly because of sun and water. I’ve been moving old welcome mats out there to cover up the tears as much as possible to prevent me inadvertently catching a toe and tearing it more. There was a bunch of SAND in there, though. How does that happen? Anyway I swept up a BUNCH of ‘stuff’ from the floor and spread out the mats again. I neatened up the supplies and then brought a large trash can full of trash to the garage. I took the 2-gallon spray container of EIGHT out to spray ants INSIDE my greenhouse. I hosed them down well, and then hit other areas between the greenhouse and the house on the way back.

I’ve had to get rid of tomato suckers that didn’t make it, but a surprising number are still alive! I have four celery plants that seem to be doing well, and the iceberg head lettuce is looking good. I haven’t started harvesting yet, but will soon.

We supposed to get rain tonight and all day tomorrow with cooler temperatures, so I wanted to get the greenhouse in reasonable shape before we get it. The way the wind is blowing, with dark clouds above, we may get it before this evening.

I hope you’re getting to enjoy the weather, too.


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“Water Drops”

“Water Drops” – Paul Militaru Photography

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How Do You Carve YOUR Pumpkin? 2018-14





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Well, Hello!

Rachealgrace Adams Photography – LinkedIn

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Amber is at it Again

No one would believe, looking into Amber’s SWEET face and beautiful eyes that she can be so destructive. She won’t be two years old until March, but I’m beginning to think this is her natural personality, rather than merely ‘puppy-hood.’

We played a combination of ‘fetch,’ ‘tease-mom-with-the-ball-over-and-over,’ and ‘tug-of-war-with-a-spitty-ball’ yesterday in the front yard.  She weighs about 95 lbs now, so playing with her, throwing the ball the few times she actually lets me have it, and then bracing for impact in case she actually runs into me on the return is quite tiring. After we finished the pretense of ‘fetch’ we went out to the greenhouse. I prop the door open and she runs inside and out checking on everything while I water plants.

And what is my ‘reward’ for being buddies with Amber? I got up from the computer to find shredded silk flowers all over the foyer carpet. For some reason she attacked a bottle of flowers that have been on the floor in the foyer the whole time she’s been a part of our family. She has never shown any interest in the flowers before, so I found it particularly annoying.

I refuse to move everything we own up high enough she MIGHT not be able to reach and destroy it. There is no way I can control her movements every waking minute. We have doggy toys that we rotate, so she has something ‘new’ to play with. We make a point of either letting her out or taking her out so many times a day I’m not sure what we did with ourselves before Amber.

I’m HOPING that she will grow out of this.  It occurs to me that she has been companionable with a lot of my decluttering efforts. Maybe she is deciding what needs to go and making it so there can be no second thoughts….

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Graham Colthorpe Art

“Swans” – Graham Colthorpe – oil on canvas – LinkedIn

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How Do You Carve YOUR Pumpkin? – 2018-13


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“Swimming in Quiet Waters” – Paul Militaru Photography


“The Paradise of Ducks” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Today in the Park” – Paul Militaru Photography

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A Beautiful Day

I was out working in the yard and took some pics of our remaining flowers.  This is the black elephant ear my friend, Kay, gave me.


The Rio Samba rose only has one bloom on it now, but the impatiens around the bottom is still happy.


And these are on the left side of the front door.


And the right side. (You can tell that we have mainly shade around the front door on the north side of the house.)



A sweet hydrangea bloom.

Otherwise, I lopped off a BUNCH of branches between the house and the shop. We had to add air to a tire in the Vette this morning before going grocery shopping, and some branches were reaching out, trying to scratch the car. They’re gone now. :0)

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Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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“A Beauty for a Beauty” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Pink Bud” – Paul Militaru Photography


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Fun in the Greenhouse – October 27, 2018

This is my greenhouse. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that I haven’t done much with it until recently. We run electricity out there with two super-long extension cords so that we can run the exhaust fan and a secondary fan, plus a light, if needed, but we don’t have cooling or heat, due to the expense.

I’ve been trying to get it set up all summer long, but we actually lost a regular, bulb-type thermometer out there due to excess heat, even with both fans on and the door open. The thing simply blew its top – spewing the red stuff all over the place, as if someone with super colorful blood had died out there. The thermometer stopped at 120 degrees F., so I assume it was hotter than that. Needless to say, the heat in there was not conducive to me spending time out there, or even thinking about trying to grow anything.

Now that our temperatures have cooled off, I’m having so much fun trying to see what I can do!  I have iceberg head lettuce growing (one set of plants bought when they were very small, and the other set bought when they were really leggy – almost too much to get planted.) I was very lucky to get those, so I’m doing what I can with them.

The three large pots hold the leggy lettuce plants. The 4 smaller pots have celery I started indoors.


The two pots on the right at the top of the picture are what remains of the small lettuce plants. The rest are tomato suckers I gathered and planted.

These are also tomato sucker plants. I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m having a blast.

I could go ahead and start cutting the outer lettuce leaves for our dinner salads, but the plants are looking so pretty I want to give them more time before I start harvesting. I’m thinking about starting some radish seeds, too.

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“Glencar” by Stephen McGinness

“Glencar” -Stephen McGinness – oil on canvas – LinkedIn

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“Bella” by Niki Firmin

“Bella” – Niki Firmin – LinkedIn

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Role Model

Gilda Radner –

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Thing One and Thing Two


Gym Junkies


When I came downstairs this morning, I found my husband cooking us breakfast! We are on NutriSystem, trying to get a bunch of our lard off, so we’re usually eating one of the NS breakfasts, so this was a really nice surprise. AND he didn’t go nuts, trying to cook what we USED to eat for a typical Saturday morning splurge breakfast. He cooked three pieces of bacon for us to share and two fried eggs. (No toast and jelly, no hash browns, no third egg, no three-pieces-each on bacon, or orange juice.) It was a wonderful surprise, and we didn’t even have to feel guilty, since it was in the proper range of calories for breakfast and we hadn’t had a flex meal breakfast this week. :0)


I told you recently that my friend, Marsha, and I are having trouble communicating lately. We aren’t sure what the problem is, but we’ve now confirmed email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, have talked on the phone, and are continuing to search for the reason for our problem.

This is Marsha (on the right) with a friend of hers.

This morning I received an email from Marsha, suggesting that we try to connect on the chat program via gmail. I searched all over the place and finally found an icon I could hit that showed she had sent me a connection request. We connected and then proceeded to type madly at each other! It was great, and I’m glad we have another way to communicate, particularly when all else fails. I’ll keep the chat program on all the time so that I can check it each time I come back to the computer during the day and evening to see if she’s left a message, or – better – if she’s available to type at me real time. Hooraaaaay!

What a GREAT start to my morning!!

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88 is a Beautiful Number

When my husband had double vision, plus shooting pain in his feet, plus other symptoms, he FINALLY took his ‘sugar problem’ seriously. (He still says he doesn’t have ‘diabetes’ because he doesn’t have to inject himself with insulin daily – silly man.)  The problems were painful enough and scary enough that he FINALLY agreed to essentially give up sugar.


This was a really serious thing. Sugar is his favorite thing. He even calls ME “Sugar.”

I decided that, since I really wanted to encourage him to give up the sugar, it was only reasonable that I give up something I really loved – Salt. I even salted already salty things, sprinkling it heavily on everything I ate. I kept a salt shaker by my chair in the living room so I didn’t have to get up when I wanted more…

Food Navigator

We did low-carb dieting, and that helped, but it was dependent on my finding recipes he really liked and that I had the energy to cook after doing ‘whatever’ all day. Plus, we found ourselves celebrating ‘national pickle week’ because we missed so many of our junk foods. It wasn’t a good way to tackle the problem in a serious. steady way. We started Nutrisystem in April. This program is good because it’s low ‘everything’ (sugar, salt, fat, etc.) plus there is portion control – a foreign concept to us since we routinely were apparently eating for 6…

We researched and tested several drinks, in that my husband won’t drink water. We found a great hot drink to replace the ‘coffee-with-2-heaping- sugars’ he routinely drank. (He refuses to use sugar alternatives because they have a bad aftertaste for him.) It’s Alpine Spiced Apple Cider  – Sugar-Free Instant Drink Mix. He mixes in some Potassium Citrate, which is good for alleviating Restless Leg problems at night. His cold drink is Arizona Zero Peach Iced Tea. With these two, he is happy.

We’ve each lost about 30 pounds now and several inches. The very best thing is that my husband’s double vision is gone. The shooting pain in his feet is gone. All other more minor systems are gone.  Within Nutrisystem guidelines, he is able to eat fruit again, and he really looks forward to his mid morning or mid afternoon snack of fruit and nuts.

When we started trying to do without sugar, his A1C was above 16 – an astronomical number. His blood sugar count blew off the top of the monitor! He routinely had numbers in the 300+s.  Now his A1C is below 7. Best of all, his blood sugar number yesterday was 88 !!!!!! (Normal is 100 and below.)

To say that 88 is a beautiful number is the understatement of all time. We have learned that ‘Less is More,’ and are enjoying improved health that encourages us to continue our efforts.

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2 Gold Stars for the Day

Yesterday the day got away from me and I didn’t do the elliptical trainer. :0(
Today I made up for it, doing both the elliptical and my yoga stretches and exercises.  :0)  I was HOPING seeing me do the yoga just now would encourage my husband to do his sit ups for the day. As I was finishing, he put the kitchen towel he keeps by his chair over his eyes and stretched out in the recliner for a nap….

I know the elliptical trainer is good for me, and is low impact, but I refreshed myself on all the benefits of doing this – other than a character-building exercise….

Image result for benefits of elliptical trainer
Elliptical Machine Benefits
  • Increase Aerobic Capacity. Elliptical machines help increase your aerobic capacity. …
  • Non-Impact Exercise. Elliptical training doesn’t put a lot of impact on joints. …
  • Total Body Workout. The elliptical can work your upper and lower body at the same time. …
  • Lower-Body Exercise. …
  • Calories Burned.
PLUS, I get to zone out, listening to my favorite tunes on my MP3 player while I exercise!
My husband and I have discussed that as we age we feel weaker, that we can’t do many of the things now that we used to take for granted, and that we tire much more quickly. I really hope that if I keep alternating the elliptical trainer with my yoga stretches and exercises, my body will gradually rebuild muscles, strength, balance, and stamina. If I get to the point where I’m doing this alternation easily, I’ll add weight exercises, using my 3 pound weights, particularly for my arms.
Right now I still need the visual of a gold star on my desk calendar each day, so it’ll be awhile…

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