Monthly Archives: April 2019

Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches. 

Longer answer –

We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.

I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.

One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.

My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.

So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )

I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!

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

Possible Plans


Several years ago we participated in this program, agreeing to house a foreign student. We met a delightful girl from Germany and welcomed her into our home. It didn’t turn out as well as it might have because she was a very social girl and felt isolated here, since we live out in the sticks, and her new friends lived close around the high school. She also spent a lot of time on the Internet. Again, since we live out in the sticks, our Internet connection is slow by most standards. It doesn’t bother us, but she was using all of our allowance and more, causing our bill to skyrocket. To make a long story shorter, she moved out of our home and into the home of one of her friends for the remainder of the school term.

The move was hurtful. Instead of letting us know what was going on, the main host for the local high school showed up unexpectedly one weekend morning. The girl who was staying with us had apparently packed during the night and was ready to move. The fact that it was done this way, rather than being open with us, really hurt. We would have helped her move. We understood the limitations of our situation and wanted her to be happy. The experience left a really bad taste in my mouth. My husband said I was over-reacting, and he’s probably correct, but I still tear up talking or typing about it.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that my husband really wants to participate in the program again. We had a serious discussion about it today. I think – if we get a boy this time – and we’re really up front about what our situation is – that we live in the sticks, are in the stone age as far as Internet speed and monthly data allowance, and will be like living with his grandparents, who are healthy, but are not likely to take him white water rafting on the weekends – that maybe we can do this. There is a school bus for the regular to and from, plus we’re available to take and pick him up from any school activities with friends he makes, games, shopping, sight-seeing, etc.

The STS lady and my husband have been emailing each other, and she included a letter from a 16-year-old boy from Italy. He’s a soccer player, loves sports, loves animals, and describes himself as a bit shy when first meeting people. This sounds very appealing, so we’ve answered the email, making sure that he would understand our situation and be prepared for it.

SO – time will tell. If we are accepted and this young man wants to live with us, it will start in August and will end in June when the school year ends.

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, opportunities


“Explosion in White” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Intense White” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Spring Sonnet” – Paul Militaru Photography


“White Daffodil” – Paul Militaru Photography


“White Magnolia” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Ornamental White Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


“White Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Bow for Eternal Love” – Paul Militaru Photography


Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Favorite Things, Paul Militaru Photography

Joe Bailey Sculpture

Joe Bailey, LinkedIn

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Filed under Joe Bailey Art, sculpture


Max Rive Photography via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn


Melanie Moses – poet – LinkedIn

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature


Desmond Tutu via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Encouragement, kindness

Just a Little ‘Somebody’ To Start Your Day Off Right

Balu _ Marni Via Mara Spirig – Linkedin

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography

Good Morning!

Ece Caglayan – LinkedIn


We had a full day yesterday, so today we’ll spend quietly – resting.  We did well, so we can rest easy. We may even spread out and fall asleep in our chairs….

Hope YOUR day is good, too!

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Filed under quality of life

Perfect Day for the Annual Greenwood Classic Car Show

It’s 73 degrees F., a bit overcast, a hint of raindrops – the perfect day for a car show. In the past we’ve gotten sunburned, even though we wore hats. We’ve had downpours that basically rained out the show. We’ve had bad winds that caused havoc with the tents. Today was perfect.

The Greenwood Car Show is an annual event. I believe this is year 30, but don’t hold me to it. We love attending this. The main thoroughfare is kept open, but the rest of the square is roped off, filled with incredible cars of all makes, sizes, shapes, years – all ones you almost never see. People come to show their cars from the surrounding states. Prizes are given. Proceeds are given to various charities. Food, fun, music, and wonderful cars! The music was from “our era” which means the songs were older than dirt. Several of the people showing cars were Marines, so my husband had several nice chats with guys.

My favorite car – a 1932 Deuce Coupe –

wasn’t there this year, but we had plenty of wonderful cars and motorcycles to drool over.

Isn’t this amazing?







This was my personal favorite this year.



This is a Maserati. It had a 200 mph sticker in the window.

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Filed under Arkansas, Favorite Things, Greenwood

Your Sweet for the Day

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family, your 'awwww' for the day

It Finally Stopped Raining!


With all the wonderful rain we’ve had lately, our lawn is growing while we watch! After we came home from Lunch Bunch, my husband and I got out to work on the lawn.

A couple of years ago we bought an extremely used riding lawn mower that has made mowing a much more pleasant experience. My husband, the master fixer, got it working well, replacing belts and other parts, wheels, etc. All of a sudden the last time he mowed, it refused to shift into reverse. Since he likes to do a lot of reversing, this is a problem. He looked at things and decided that it would need a new transmission, something that is way too expensive given the value of the mower at this point.

Today is the first day he’s mowing NOT using reverse. It’s possible, and the only downside is that we can’t do as much with the riding mower as we used to. I’m doing a lot more weed whacking now.



Since I’ve been doing some of this on a daily basis – barring rain – this is no big deal. I’m timing my sessions out there with the battery on the weed whacker. It lasts a little over half an hour – and I’m ready to rest my arms by then. I’m resting a bit now and will go out again in a few minutes, change batteries, and do another session.

We’ll enjoy opening our front and back doors this afternoon to enjoy the breeze.

I hope it’s nice where you are today.

Addendum: the lawn is mowed and my husband is now working with our 94-pound lab puppy, Amber, trying to get her to balance a dog biscuit on her nose until he says, “Okay.” Lot of luck to him…..

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Filed under exercise, Gardening

Bird Family

Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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Glorious Day

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature

Question: Will the Spreader and Weed Killer Work?

We bought a Scott’s Turf Spreader and it was delivered today.

Scott’s Turf Builder

We had already bought Scott’s Weed Killer granules locally. It rained this morning, and then the sun came out strongly. When it went down a bit, my husband and I headed for the yard armed with our new spreader and two bags of weed killer. It took both bags to do our front, side and back yard, but it was easy to use. It seems sturdy, which is important as wheels fall into holes, we hit rocks, etc. We think we got reasonable coverage.

We’re going to give this a week or so to work and then we’ll decide if we want to do more, move on to the flea and tick granules, or just ignore the weeds and mow…

Fingers crossed!

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Filed under anticipation, Gardening


Country Corner via Carla Morton

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Twilight, et al

Books Rock My World via Cathy Ruggiero

I have just started re-reading the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer again after several years. The 4-book series includes “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn.”

I can’t say my usual reading preference is for Vampires and Werewolves, but I find this series – and the movies that were made of them – fascinating, truly transporting. I can dive in and live in a completely different world, leaving little problems and worries behind.

If you haven’t read the series, you’re missing a wonderful experience, engaging characters, and plot.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, Reading is FUNdamental

Gary Wing Art

Gary Wing –


“Tiger” – Gary Wing –

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Filed under drawings, Gary Wing


Mini Moons Ago Miniature Donkeys via Cathy Ruggiero

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement


There is no way to tell you how much I look forward to my monthly massage. Lynn Moody is my massage therapist. She is SO good. She listens. She can feel with her magic hands where you have knots, sore spots, stiffness and take them away. I can trust her to FEEL when what she is doing is too much. She knows what to do to ease whatever you walked in with.

I’m not sure if I particularly needed her today or if she just was able to reach me particularly well, but I feel really great right now.

I used to feel that massage was a total luxury. Now I consider it a taking-care-of-myself thing.

If you haven’t tried masage therapy and live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett area, call Lynn Moody and make an appointment. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Her number is 479-629-7601.

If you live outside this area, FIND someone and start feeling better soon.

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Filed under quality of life, taking care of yourself

Rainy Wednesday

 Scary Mommy

“I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face.” – Katherine Mansfield

No work in the garden or weed whacking today. The bug spraying man came this morning, spread granules outside, treated the inside of the house and then left just before a gentle rain started.

Because of unforeseen circumstances, we had to make two trips into town to get our errands done this morning, but the rain mostly stopped when we had to get out of the car.

Now we are in full of a good lunch, enjoying some quiet time. We have front and back doors open so we can enjoy the nice breeze and the soothing sound of the rain…

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes

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Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons

Gorgeous Horse Sculpture

J K Brown via Zeljko Divac – LinkedIn

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Filed under metal art, sculpture

Working on Our Irrigation System


Each year my husband does his magic, making our irrigation system work again. This year we’ve had more of a challenge.

It’s been a LOOOOOONG time since we put things together in the well house. We had a really bad leak last night after testing things. My husband changed a hose connection, making the leak much better, but it didn’t solve the problem completely. This morning we found a replacement valve thingie on the net and ordered it.

Our timer for the systems, front and back, was acting wonky, even after we unplugged, rebooted, and changed the backup battery. We bought a new one today that we’ll install this afternoon or evening – weather cooperating. The face of it is backlit, making it much easier to see. Hopefully, we can get it programmed correctly.

We had the inevitable blow-outs that happen because of the system being exposed to our weather. We can’t completely drain everything, though we drain what we can. Most of the front is working, but we have to figure out where the breakdown is and try to fix it so that everything is getting water again.

A couple of places aren’t working the way they should, not allowing us to control the amount of water flowing into a pot. We bought replacement parts for that, plus some end caps for lines we’re not needing this year. We’ll keep testing and reworking things until all is happy.

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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

I Love These Paintings!

Adrina Meiss via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Alina Ciuciu – “The Sun Goes Down” – LinkedIn


Anwar Haq – “Nature Whisper” – LinkedIn

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Filed under Acrylic Paintings I Love, Oil Paintings I Love

Bean and Seed Art – Take 15

Fledderfly Designs – Etsy


Yarnuh –

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Filed under Beans & Seeds Art

Today’s Planting

Michigan State University

We looked for spinach plants at four different places while we were out, ASKING at each place. The consensus seemed to be, “We have seed, but no plants this year.”  I have officially thrown in the towel on getting spinach plants, just hoping that the little sprouts in the middle of several squares in my garden are, indeed, sprouting spinach seeds.

We got zucchini and cantaloupe plants today and I’ll plant them in just a few minutes. I’m not sure how I’ll do this because both of these would rather be on the ground in a place where they can spread their runners wherever they want, but I’ll give it a try. If I’m successful at all, I’ll use my spiralizer gadget to make zucchini noodles for myself.

My husband looks appalled when I mention zucchini or yellow squash ‘noodles,’ cauli ‘rice’ or ‘mashed potatoes,’ or spaghetti squash ‘spaghetti,’ so I’ll make these for myself and make him regular pasta, potatoes, or rice rarely. He does love cantaloupe, though, so I’m especially hopeful I can get some of these to grow well. Fingers crossed.

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

“Two Crowns”

“Two Crowns” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography

Great Low-Carb Recipe

Karly Campbell – That Low Carb Life


If you are trying to eat low carb, check out Karly Campbell’s website – That Low Carb Life  

Last night I tried her “Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan.” 

It has 6 grams of carbs, lots of protein, and only 2 grams of sugar (important to us because my husband is a Type II diabetic.)  It was 4 servings.

My husband’s comment – “This is YUMMY!” (And THEN he went back for another serving!) We had this with a side salad and will definitely put this in our ‘make again’ recipe book.

Next time I’ll probably make a double recipe. A serving would be really nice for lunch, or we can have more than one meal with only one cooking session – always a plus for me. :0)

THANK YOU, Karly! I’m eyeing your “Keto Chicken Salad” next.

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Filed under DIET!

Garden Progress 4-21-2019

I now have enough of OUR fresh grown broccoli to make some soup!


And this is the lettuce I harvested. I could have brought in lots more. We eat salad each night, but I’m not sure we can keep up with all we’re growing this time.


This photo shows many of our lettuce plants, plus you can see the onions in the rear of the picture.


This is the second row of planters. You can see the broccoli plants and some of the radish sprouts.


I planted several squares of radishes. I eat some raw every day at lunch, along with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery.

I have all appendages crossed that this is one of several sprouts of ‘something’ I HOPE is SPINACH!  Time will tell.


Close up of one of the lettuce plants. This is ONE plant taking up a whole square. It’s HUGE.


This isn’t a garden plant, but I’m so pleased with it this year. It’s a perennial ‘something, and it has had only weak blooms each spring until now. I just love it!

More work tomorrow, but it’s that time of year! :0)


Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

Beans and Seeds Art – Take 14


Cathy Colbert


Great Stems


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Filed under Beans & Seeds Art

Reclaiming Our Screened Porch

Amber helped us reclaim our porch yesterday. It started with my husband removing three 4 x 8 foot sheets of plywood we had laid end to end across the bottom of the screened part of the porch and screwed into the uprights to try to keep Amber from destroying it. We decided that even though she is still definitely a puppy, we could now risk reclaiming part of our view.

We had an enormous amount of dirt, dog and cat hair, and a super-thick layer of pollen all over everything. I moved everything around, wiping the table and sweeping twice before ever trying to do more. Finally I got to the place where I could actually start CLEANING things, rather than simply uncovering them.

Our porch isn’t fancy, but we love the few weeks each year that we can eat out there, free from bugs and enjoying some glorious weather. Right now it’s too chilly for breakfast, perfect for lunch, and too chilly for dinner. We’re hoping to enjoy several meals before Mother Nature turns up the heat too much.

The porch is connected to our covered deck – again not fancy – but definitely a quality of life thing for us. I just planted a bunch of flowers in the deck planters, and we’re working on making sure the irrigation system is working properly to keep all happy out there.

I hope that you have a place that you can “bring the outside in” a bit, too.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, quality of life, Seasons


Slice of Life via Marianna Bellantoni


Esma CETIN – LinkedIn


“Petunias and Dahlia” – Paul Militaru Photography


Lin Ching Che via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Lin Fengmian-via Elena-via Rachel Perman – LinkedIn


Lovka Mechkarova Via Tetiana Shevchuk – Linkedin


“Magnolia 1” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Why Not Always Pink?” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Seasons