Monthly Archives: March 2019

Back in the Garden

I’m finally recovered from my 2nd Shingles vaccination (except for a sore arm) so I headed out to the greenhouse, armed with wasp/hornet spray.

I shot down 12 wasps (I LOVE being able to do that before they sting ME) and then got down to the business of starting over trying to get some spinach plants going.

When I finished that, I went out to our garden to plant radishes. (They go directly into the ground, rather than having to be started in the greenhouse and then moved.) I ran out of markers for the squares, so put some clothes pins on some of the Popsicle sticks and named them “radish” markers until I can make some.

I just came in from watering and cleaning up out there. There isn’t anything that would make good pictures, other than the broccoli, lettuce, and red onions I’ve already shown you, but hopefully there will be some sprouts soon. I really hope I can get some spinach out there.

Today was a stellar day. It’s sunshine-y and 56 degrees F., though with only a slight breeze feels much warmer. It was perfect.  I’m hoping to get tomato plants in the ground by the end of next week.

I hope the weather is treating you well, too.


Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

More Wonderful Paintings!

Docheva via Ana Loreta Baicu – LinkedIn

Branka Onofri – LinkedIn

Dasheva via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

Debbie Clark – LinkedIn

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Filed under Acrylic Paintings I Love, Watercolors I Love

Our Son is ‘Home’

Our son has been in Nepal for the past two months at a meditation center. We had a good video chat with his this morning, actually getting to see his FACE, talking as if we were in the same room. (I placed quotes around ‘home’ in the title above because he is at ‘home’ and works in Thailand.)


This is the entrance to the center he attended in Nepal. He said he had chosen well. It is very well run. He felt very safe there. They were served breakfast and lunch daily, meditating for some 14 hours per day.

It would drive me up the wall, but our son found it a great learning experience, with a totally different emphasis than his meditation at home. He says he would like to practice now, internalizing as much of what he learned as possible, and might go back for another session sometime in the future.

His meditation practice was a character-building exercise for his PARENTS, as well. He has us thoroughly spoiled, having set up a secure chat program, where we send pictures and messages whenever we want, sometimes chatting several times a day. He also set up a conference call program, also very secure, called where we can see each other and talk as long as we would like. Since Feb. 1st, we hadn’t heard from him at all, in deference to what he was trying to accomplish. We weren’t worried, as such, but it’s a great comfort to again be able to communicate.

Meditation is helping calm his mind, which used to race, he said. He is feeling much more able to deal with whatever is happening around him. He is learning to be much better at ‘living in the moment,’ rather than thinking about things in the past or getting anxious about what might happen in the future. He is more confident and content.

I’m so happy he is able to do things like this. He really has control over his life, his needs, his emotions, his priorities.

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Filed under Dreams, Family

Hurry – Niki Firmin Pet Portraits

Niki Firmin does truly breathtaking pet portraits, as you see here. She stays busy, word-of-mouth having made her one of the premier pet portrait people in the world now.

She just posted on LinkedIn that she only has 10 spots left for portraits this year!

If you’ve been sitting on the fence, drooling over these as I have, you can contact Niki at to grab one of the last spots left.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits

Calvin & Hobbes

On the way to the grocery store this morning, we changed our mailbox decoration. This one is about 1-1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. We loved the comic strip by Bill Watterson, his wonderful sense of humor and surprising touches of warmth, like this design of his.

We captured the design from the Internet. My husband then converted the design to G-code (a language computers can understand.) We took the thumb drive out to the shop and put it into the computer than guides the torch on our CNC set up. This allows the torch to follow the directions in the G-code, cutting out the design for us. My husband then makes and welds on the attachment piece that we can mount on the mailbox.

I then use the overhead projector to mark the salient lines on the metal on both sides and then paint both sides with exterior paint. We then spray the piece with polyurethane to protect the paint from the sun and weather as much as possible.

This decoration will stay up until we replace it later this month with an Easter decoration.



Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art

Thirsty Veggies are Satisfied for Now

The Living Farm

Can you see the teeny, tiny broccoli spear in the center?   Woo HOOO!

Head lettuce looking happy.

Sweet Red Onions

Due to my bad reaction to the 2nd dose of Shingles vaccine, I haven’t done anything this week in the garden. I’m still looking for spinach plants locally, plan to start spinach seeds (AGAIN) in case none show up, and plan to start several squares of radishes.

In another week or so, we’ll start tomato plants on the other side of the house!



Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Getting the Lard Off Results – as of March 2019

I have a whole list of excuses, but – bottom line – I didn’t make much progress this month – except on finding some good, healthy recipes that we can eat on a regular basis.

To date – since my lardiest – I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. 

My goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so to get to the place where I can quit trying to get taller and my BMI chart is singing ‘hallelujah,’ – or at least, ‘you’ve come a long way, baby.’ Whatever inches that go with that will be much appreciated. I would love to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about ‘getting into’ clothes. I don’t really care what size it is. I would just like to be able to walk into a regular department or other clothes store and be confident that I can find my size and that the garment has a reasonable chance of fitting.

The biggest goal, though, is health. I’m newly determined – since the death of my brother this month – to do everything I can to improve my health as much as possible. That means a healthy weight and lots and lots of moving.

I’ve used lots of excuses re getting off my duff, too. I’m TRYING to do something different each day to keep getting my body’s attention. I’m already more active than usual, getting my veggie garden started and general working in the yard stuff.  But I use THAT as an excuse to forego my scheduled exercise. (I know, it’s pathetic, but there it is.)

I’m going to try to get started with getting on the elliptical trainer in the garage today. I’ll just worry about today for now.

Hopefully, when I report to you again at the end of April, I can say I’ve made some real progress.

All appendages crossed!


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

A Rainy Day

Elena-(Livia) D-LinkedIn


Today is a glorious rainy day here in Greenwood, Arkansas. I say “glorious” because the rain was timed perfectly.

Yesterday we had to buy a new tire for our little riding lawn mower. My husband got it onto the mower and did the first mowing of the season. The grass was a bit high, but he managed. Now it looks like someone actually lives here. :0)

Our garden also appreciated a nice drink without a lot of blowing or hail, too! (I’ll post pics in a bit)

So we’re spending the day being thankful we don’t have to be outside working in the rain and chill, happy to have a warm, dry house.


Anthony J. D’Angelo

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Filed under Attitude, Mother Nature, Seasons

“Tea with the Dames”

I have always admired Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench. I didn’t know the work of Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Eileen Atkins, I’m sorry to say.

I didn’t realize that Dame Joan Plowright was also the wife of Sir Lawrence Olivier.

I was enchanted by the wonderful conversation over tea, and later, some champagne – of these wonderful ladies. They obviously admire each other and enjoy each others’ company. The fact that the cameras were rolling and they were sometimes asked questions by the director were lost in the joy of watching their expressions, listening to them laugh with each other, and getting misty over some reminiscing.

There were wonderful pictures and glimpses into their lives outside of the movies, as well as footage of when they became dames.

I could honestly forget this was a ‘movie’ much of the time, feeling as if I were a fly on the wall.

(My husband left the room at the beginning. He likes movies where feelings are glossed over, there is lots of action and things blow up.  His loss.)

I can’t say enough about “Tea with the Dames”. It was a lovely experience.


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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews

Another Idyllic Spot

Lacuna Capri – Patagonia -South America – Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Idyllic Places, Jeff Jett Photography, Waterfall gifs


Health Central

My husband had Shingles in about 2004. He was in intense pain for about 8 weeks, with it still hurting to cough, sneeze, or laughs for weeks after that. Here is information about Shingles –

When the first vaccine came out, we jumped at the chance to protect ourselves. I don’t ever want my husband to suffer like that again, and I sure didn’t want to get it. We were vaccinated – being told that would protect us for life.

Then – they amended that to say you were lucky if you were protected for 5 years. This meant our protection was gone in 2009! We jumped on the information when a new 2-dose vaccine was announced. The problem is that there is quite a shortage of the vaccines. You have to call around and list your name several places to get the first vaccination, and then HOPE you can get the second within the six month time period for it to be effective.

We lucked out, getting out first vaccination in January. We were due for our second one mid March, but had to wait a week or two (which was still amazing) to get the second one.

The first one the whole back of my arm swelled up, nice and pink and sore and hot, with a hard knot in the middle, if I were brave enough to touch it. I felt as if I had been run over by a bus for three days afterwards.

We both got the second dose yesterday morning. This time The spot on my arm is much smaller, about the size of a 50 cent piece, with the hard knot in the center. It isn’t hot this time, only pink and sore. I feel again like I’ve been run over by a bus. I slept Wednesday afternoon and then all night Wednesday night. We got up today and I was feeling faint. I had quite a bout of feeling nauseous and sick, faint, etc. and then managed to get that under control and went to sleep in my chair again.

I got up long enough to make us a sandwich for lunch and held that down fine. We did the few errands that were have-to’s and then I felt well enough to watch a movie I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

We’re going out to pick up Chinese for dinner. I’ll hit the hay early again and hope I’m feeling more like myself tomorrow. At least this time I know about how long I’ll feel terrible.

I really think it’s worth it for the protection it gives – hopefully another five years without worry we’ll get Shingles.  It is truly an awful disease where caregivers are helpless to do any good and it seems to last forever. A few days of feeling yucky is a small price to pay.


Filed under taking care of yourself

Idyllic Place

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia via Elena (Livia) D. – Linkedin

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Idyllic Places

Exquisite Painting

Podgorny Victor Fedorovich via Elena (livia) D. – LinkedIn

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Filed under Watercolors I Love

The Photography of Paul Militaru

“Purity and Intense Brilliance of White – 1” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Purity and Intense Brilliance of White – 2” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Purity and Intense Brilliance of White – 3” – Paul Militaru Photography


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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography

Moms and Babes

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Saedgraficss via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography

Square Foot Garden Progress – 3-26-2019

Gardening Lovers

I found some broccoli plants yesterday and got them into the square foot garden. (Still no spinach, but I’ll check with the co-op tomorrow.) Meanwhile, today I’m planning to start new spinach seeds (ever hopeful) in the greenhouse and plant some radishes in the garden.

Here are the current pictures of the raised bed garden –


Sweet Red Onions


More broccoli

Head Lettuce

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Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Talent and Creativity of Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr

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Filed under Bethany Kerr, Creativity, drawings

String Art – Take 17

American Flag w Soldier Silhouettes – BlossomsNKnots – Etsy


Four Seasons Tree String Art -String Kits – Etsy


String of the Art – Etsy

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Filed under Creativity, String Art

Bringing You a Bit of Spring

“Face to Face” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography, Seasons

Spectacular Drawings

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn


Gary Wing – LinkedIn


Kedzie – Gary Wing – LinkedIn


Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn


Filed under Creativity, drawings, Gary Wing, Saverio Scoleri Art

A Good Life via Cathy Ruggiero

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

More Paintings I Love

Wilfred Lang via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Gavin Glakas via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Keathley via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Stanislav Sidorov via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


“The Last Rays of the Day” – Graham Colthorpe – LinkedIn

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Filed under Acrylic Paintings I Love, Watercolors I Love

Spring is Finally Springing

Ar Ali – Linkedin

FINALLY, signs of spring are popping up around here!  I’m delighted, though I feel bad for the people still getting more snow, and the awful flooding in the midsection of the country. I just know my spirits are rising with each passing day.

I still haven’t been able to find spinach plants locally (they said call again Wednesday), so I’m going to see if I can get another batch of seeds started, using another technique and keeping all appendages crossed for success. I would really love to shed my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” some day soon.

That said, the red onions and head lettuce plants in the garden are doing really well. I’ll see what other wonderful things I can find to plant when we go out for errands today.

I finally reached the bricklayer today, who said he was personally covered up with work, but would ask another good person to give us a call for an estimate on rebuilding the two brick planters that failed recently.

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring, too!

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Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Tossed and Found Art


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn




Our cat, Abby 


Sehnaz Bac with Rodica Racu via Art Fans via Sherry Dellaria McGrath


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Filed under Uncategorized

For the Love of Sloths

Particularly for Mary Lou – :0)

Suzi Eszterhas via RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


Suzi Eszterhas via RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

These photos are taken by Suzi Eszterhas and other fine photographers and presented by RJ Bennett on LinkedIn in an effort to preserve sloths and their habitat.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, R.J. Bennett


Lost again.

The $1 million-winning tickets were sold in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York (2) and South Carolina, but the main prize is still up.

The odds of winning the POWERBALL jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.

Next drawing is Wednesday – $750 million …


Filed under anticipation, Childlike Fun

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

“Life Stories” – AlinaCiuciu – LinkedIn

I’m re-reading another of my all-time favorite books – The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The novel is by Brian Selznick. The story is wonderful, about an orphan boy who is the unofficial clock keeper in a train station in Paris and his wonderful secret. The thing that brings this book into the magical and keep-forever range for me is all the magnificent drawings that Brian Selznick drew to include in it. There must be hundreds of pencil drawings that are absolutely fantastic.  I would love the book alone for its story, or just for the awe-inspiring-ly talented drawings, but together the book is a treasure.

It won the Caldecott medal for 2007, and many others.

I’ve enjoyed the book at least twice, if not more, over the years. Each time I touch the book (the hardback is quite heavy and is some 540 pages of prose and drawings) I wash my hands so I won’t get it any dirtier than I have to.

This is a sample of the drawings by Brian Selznick.

I’m delighted to share this wonderful book written for children, but appreciated by all.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews

Happy Fish


Today I finally got off my duff and cleaned the aquarium. All told it takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, so it isn’t that much to ask. The only thing my fish actually get excited about, though, is eating time, twice a day, when they bunch up in the right front corner of the aquarium and wriggle their little bodies, opening and closing their mouths rapidly. So it’s easy to walk by and ignore the fact that I should be cleaning out their digs and providing some different decorations to stimulate their imaginations.

Things look much better now. They’re exploring a bit, but no wriggles, gaping mouths, or other signs of real interest yet.

This doesn’t happen at our house, although we have two cats who would probably eat our fish given the chance. They seem to prefer birds.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

World of Water

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


“Turcia” – Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


The Wave – Arizona – Iahsen Haddou – LinkedIn

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Filed under Uncategorized

Stumbling Block

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

For the last several weeks I’ve been fighting to lose more weight. I’ve hit a definite stumbling block, playing yo-yo and saying harsh words to my scales.

Since I started seriously trying to lose the lard, I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. I know that everyone hits bumps that cause consternation, but this seemed to be something more.

A blood test recently showed different results than I was expecting – borderline diabetes (!) and my thyroid hormone levels were askew. I also showed higher blood pressure at my appointment, even though I’ve taken medicine that controlled this for years. Surprises, to be sure!

(My thyroid was radiated years ago due to Grave’s Disease, so my thyroid hormone level medicine and dosage is serious business. Once I was diagnosed, it took a full year to find the correct dosage.) My doctor lowered the level on my thyroid medicine and told me to watch what I was eating, monitor blood pressure and blood sugar a couple of times a week for six weeks and get another blood test.

I did this, having the blood test last week. My blood sugar was again normal (whew!) so I don’t have to worry about that, other than watching what I eat (which I’m already doing.) My blood pressure was better without changing meds. My thyroid hormone level was STILL too high, so my doctor has lowered it again and wants me to have another blood test in 6 weeks.

I did a bit of research and found out that weight is the largest determining factor on finding the correct dosage of Levothyroxine – the thyroid hormone. Since I’ve lost some weight, apparently it took my brain awhile longer to figure out it wasn’t happy with my dosage. The article also said that some results of incorrect dosage were weight gain and fatigue, among other things.

SO – not only am I fighting too-much-food-in-mouth disease, but also incorrect dosage of thyroid hormone due to my weight loss. HUH!  I’ve decided to keep on keepin’ on – hoping that my brain decides it is happy with the new dosage while I continue to try to eat right and exercise, and I’ll try to be patient until I start losing again.




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Filed under DIET!




I felt I was ‘alone,’ – the last of my original family when my brother died this week. I have since learned that I am NOT alone due to wonderful friends who have reached out to me in various ways. “Thank you” is simply not enough, and I’m grateful to each of you.

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Filed under Family, Friendship