Monthly Archives: December 2019

Trials and Tribulations of Keto Bread Making

Keto Bread Trial # 1

I have been trying to find a keto bread recipe I can use as a go-to, always-on-hand bread that I can use as a substitute for sandwich bread, toast, or in place of a roll. I’ve really been missing bread, so I have baked 4 recipes in 3 days, to varying degrees of success.

I used to use my bread machine a lot. I got great, reliable results, but bread flour is a no-no on my keto lifestyle. I had put it away, on a top shelf in our pantry. I got two books on keto bread making, one that was for bread machine recipes and the other for keto bread and pasta.

The loaf above was my first try. This was a recipe for the oven. I sliced two thin slices for my husband and I to try. My husband was not impressed. I thought it was okay. I went into the kitchen to wrap up the rest of the loaf, only to find it GONE. Amber, our 94-pound 2-1/2 year old yellow lab, had eaten the entire thing! (She gave it 2 thumbs up.)

Since my husband wasn’t delighted, I decided to try another recipe.

Keto Bread Trial # 2

This was Trial # 2 yesterday using the bread machine. The loaf was only about 3 inches high, when usually the bread machine’s top is held open by the loaf of bread. I was disappointed, to say the least, but I’m not sure that my bread machine and the recipe from the book were on the same page. This was so dense I could have used it as a murder weapon. I threw it out.


Keto Bread Trial # 3

Today I decided that I would use a recipe from my bread machine book, substituting the good keto ingredients for the ones in the bread machine recipe; for example, almond flour for bread flour. I didn’t even take a picture of this dismal failure. I simply threw it out.


Keto Bread – Trial #4

This was was trial # 4 – a recipe I found on the net using the oven again. We again tried a slice. My husband’s reaction was that it was okay, but he didn’t finish the slice. I thought it was the best yet. I MIGHT be able to use it for sandwiches or toast. The flavor isn’t anything to write home about, so I wrapped this one up (before the dog could sample it) and will continue to eat it.I’ll continue looking for a recipe that really tastes good, as well as meeting my needs, if such a thing exists.

In reading on the net, I think the reason for some of the complexity here is that almond bread has no gluten. Xanthan gum is apparently a thickener. Some of the recipes use yeast and some don’t. I don’t know enough about the science of bread making to decipher which ingredients do what in the recipes.

If persistence will turn the tide, I will find a recipe for a bread that TASTES good, slices well, and will hold together for toasting or to make sandwiches.

Fingers crossed!


Filed under DIET!, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like

Dropping Things

email from Marsha Koenig

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Thoughts on a Monday 12-30-2019

Neal Cooper – via R J Bennett – LinkedIn

It’s hard to believe 2019 is almost behind us. For our family, it was a mixed year of good and bad. My husband had a stroke, our son spent 3 months here with us helping us get to the new normal, and my husband is almost completely recovered now. We lost old friends and gained some new ones. But most of all, I’m grateful for what we have now. I’m intent on wringing every drop of joy I can out of each day.


I don’t know if you read my post on baking some keto bread yesterday. I added an addendum later, describing our 94 lb yellow lab, Amber, helping herself to the entire remaining loaf when we were lax about shutting the baby gate between the living room and the kitchen/dining area. She greeted me with a smile and a burp. I am planning to try another keto bread recipe today…

I’m delighted to report that SOME nice someone visited my newest Etsy shop, EyecatchingEarrings yesterday and favorited my shop. The same or a different visitor is now an ‘admirer.’ :0)

We are having a quiet day today – other than a guy who came up in a truck to tell us he and some other people would be wandering around working on electrical poles today. No appointments. No errands. Ahhhhhh!



I’m looking forward to playing in my art room today.

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful day, too.


Filed under Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________

Dazzling Beauty

Ar Ali Ibrahim – LinkedIn


Ar Ali Ibrahim – LinkedIn


Joanne Vischio Pasquale – LinkedIn


Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature

Saga of the Quest for Keto Bread – 1

Today I actively started my quest for Keto Bread. Specifically, I’m looking for something I can enjoy when my husband is eating freshly baked rolls from the local bakery/deli, and also a bread I can slice and use for sandwiches. I can do without sandwich bread mostly, but every once in a while, I want a turkey sandwich, or a grilled cheese and ham, or some toast.

I tried a recipe called, “Basic Keto Loaf” from Zara Elby, Keto Bread & Pasta.

My initial reaction is that this can be my go-to when my husband is eating rolls. It slices nicely when cooled. The flavor and texture are nice. This will not work as my sandwich bread because the consistency is more like cake. It might be okay as toast. I’ll try it for that soon, when I fix bacon and eggs for dinner.

This book is interesting. There are LOTS of nice recipes for bread, crackers and breadsticks, and pasta dough. It will keep me busy for a long time trying various things. The recipes are well written. It’s pretty easy to judge servings. For example, this loaf serves 8. I ignored that for this test and just sliced two slices out of the middle, rather than dividing it up into 8 sections. She gives clear nutritional information for the servings.

So far, I’m encouraged and will try another recipe soon.

*ADDENDUM – I just went in to wrap up the bread for storage and it was GONE!  I asked my husband if HE wrapped it up, and he said, ‘no.’ THEN, our dog, Amber (2-1/2 year old 94 pound yellow lab) came up to me and burped, smiling at me. I guess there are TWO members of this household who thought the bread was pretty good, but I won’t be able to see if it’s good for toast until I bake some more…



Filed under Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like

New Year’s Resolutions – NOT

Peace Love and Smiles

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More of Niki Firmin’s Pet Portraits from 2019

Niki Firmin


Niki Firmin


Niki Firmin – Jake and Meg

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One Last Christmas Time Image

My Enchanted Forest via Yolanda Vanveen

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Gorgeous Photograph

Ar Ali Ibrahim – LinkedIn

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Bethany Kerr Art

Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr

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Time Is Flying…

Email from Marsha Koenig

“The most beautiful moments always seemed to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly


“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
― Michael Altshuler


“It is impossible for me to remember how many days or weeks went by in this way. Time is round, and it rolls quickly.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis


“The minutes rushed past, without compassion for my enthusiasm.”
― Nicola Lecca, Ritratto notturno


“I blinked my eyes
and in an instant,
decades had passed.”
― John Mark Green, Taste the Wild Wonder: Poems


“There is never enough time to enjoy what you love.”
― Joyce Rachelle


“Time limits, make each moment count.”
― Martin Uzochukwu Ugwu


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We are having quiet rain off and on today. I have to admit it’s making me sleepy. Maybe I’ll take a nap….

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Hillbilly Hijinx

I have been craving BREAD over the holidays. My husband gets freshly made rolls from the deli when we go grocery shopping. I can avoid the strawberry-dessert-cakes-and-ice-cream nightly, and I can avoid the bagels, but I’m REALLY missing rolls and sandwiches lately due to my keto diet. Because of this, I succumbed and ate turkey sandwiches at Thanksgiving and have been eating rolls. The result is I have gained 5 lbs from my lowest. UGH.

Alex Howitt

This isn’t EXACTLY what I saw this morning, but close. I’m disgusted with myself, but am now doing two things –

THING ONE – I ordered – and just received two KETO bread cookbooks!  One is Keto Bread and Pasta by Zara Elby, and the other is Keto Bread Machine Cookbook by Katie Simmons.  I will get busy trying recipes for rolls and sandwich type bread in both of these, hoping I can come up with something that solves my bread-craving problem.  I’ll share recipes with you if I find good ones.

Alex Howitt

THING TWO – I am back in the saddle again as far as doing 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer each day. I did my yoga stretches one day, but not yesterday, so I’m kind of HALF-WAY in the saddle again on the yoga.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I AM promising myself to get fully with the program again so I can re-lose the 5 and then lose about another 30. I would really like to get to my goal weight in 2020 and then STAY there.




Filed under Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like

Thoughts on a Saturday 12-28-2019

We just changed the decoration on our mailbox from Santa to Happy New Year.

We love Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson, so we have made two mailbox decorations to honor his great work and sense of humor.  This one appeals to us because we have never been the nostalgic “Auld Lang Syne’ types at New Years.  At our age, we just got used to writing ‘2019’ on our checks and now we have to think again before writing… :0)

I just finished adding my hand painted wooden earrings to my new Etsy shop – EyecatchingEarrings. I can’t decide if I need to work on a banner to go across the top of the page or not. If you have the time to take a look, I would appreciate your opinion.

As we came in from getting the mail and putting up the new mailbox decoration, I was appalled to see dog hair balls on the floor that were blowing in the breeze we made as we walked by. This tells me two things:

THING ONE – I need to get up off my duff and VACUUM, and

THING TWO – I need to defurminate Molly again.

I absolutely will do thing one and will TRY to do thing two.

I hope that your Saturday is a good one!



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Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Friday 12-27-2019

Photographer Unknown via Penny Yaffe Krakow

I’m especially happy today.

I’m excited about sharing a booth in a local shop with one of my best friends. It’s fun to see what sells, to plan what I want to add to the shop, to make new things for it. The owner of the shop is Joanna Brandt, and the shop’s name is Rags & Roses Collective. She has divided the shop into booths so that lots of people in the area have a chance to show and sell their wares. Our booth is called, “Blasing Bright.”  I have a group of new things to put in our booth today. The shop will be open today until 5:00, I think. Then Joanna will take a well-deserved vacation and will reopen Jan. 6th.

My family is doing well.

We will go to Lunch Bunch soon, joining our good friends for conversation and laughs.  It’s good to be able to share the good times (and help each other with the bad) as we watch one year turn into another.

My new shop – EyecatchingEarrings on Etsy – is coming together. I’m hoping to have it fully up and running by the end of the weekend, though the shop is open for business now. :0)

I hope you had a happy Christmas and that 2020 will be a wonderful year for you.



Filed under Family, Friendship, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Thursday 12-26-2019

Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

Hi, everyone.

I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.

My husband was very complimentary about my kitchen efforts. In fact, he’s mentioned last night’s dinner twice today! We had a nice quiet evening. After we ate dinner, my husband showed me that he rented the movie “Downton Abbey” for me. He knows I loved the TV series and knew I wanted to see the movie, but this was a very nice surprise – particularly since he had no interest in it and escaped to the office with his Kindle. :0)

I LOVED the movie and highly recommend it. It seemed to me to be a stand-alone movie, not requiring that you had watched the series to enjoy it. For those who DID watch the series, it tied up loose ends and gave you a sense of what the future would hold for all the characters. I will purchase it for our personal collection when it is more affordable.

Today I have been gathering and marking things to take to the local shop. I have just finished that, so all I have to do is put the containers in the truck tomorrow after Lunch Bunch and go change things out.

I created a new shop on Etsy yesterday to display my painted wooden earrings. It’s called, “EyecatchingEarrings”  I am listing both pierced and clip-on earrings. They are hand-painted, light-weight, wooden one-of-a-kind designs in several different sizes and shapes that I’m hoping people will like. It’ll probably take me a day or two to finish getting all the earrings on the site, but it’s open now.

Have a wonderful evening!


Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, holidays

Playing in My Art Room

The Artful Parent

I told you that I have given myself the Christmas present of time to play in my art room. I had a blast yesterday – cleaning a bit, but mostly playing.


I had to paint this tee TWICE because I forgot to spray it with the fabric sealer. DUH.  I wore it, put it in the washer and dryer, and it came out ALMOST completely plain green again. Thankfully, since the paint is water soluble, the paint didn’t get on anything else.  Here it is for the SECOND time – sprayed so the paint will last.

I also painted a group of note cards using a different technique than I have in the past –






If you’re interested. they will be listed on ArtworthyNoteCards on Etsy.  On about the 27th of December, they will be available at our booth (“Blasing Bright” in our local shop in Greenwood, Arkansas – Rags & Roses Collective, 100 N. Main Street. Hours: 11-6 Tuesday through Friday, 10-4 Saturdays.  The cost at the shop in Greenwood is $9.99 for the package of 5 cards.


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BrainPower Neurodevelopmental Center via Bethany Kerr

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Merry Christmas 2019

Amazing Things

This cutie and I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I hope that 2020 is a great year for you.


Suzanne Starr-“May Peace Find Us In The New Year”


I will start preparations for our dinner soon, but I wanted to thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments more than I can tell you. I love the feedback, telling me what you enjoy – and what you wish I would QUIT doing. :0)  I feel rich in the people I have ‘met’ here, and I love sharing with you.

Merry Christmas!


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Christmas 2019

Alex Howitt

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I Smirk for Puns – 30

bored panda

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Thoughts on a Tuesday – 12-24-2019

RJ Bennett-LinkedIn

We did errands first thing this morning and are now in for the rest of the day.

We are having a good, quiet Christmas this year. For the past few days, we’ve been delivering presents and visiting with good, long-time friends. It has been really good to catch up, hug a few necks, talk and laugh together. We’re really rich in friends.

Though our son won’t be home from Thailand, we had a super conference call day before yesterday. We chatted about this and that, and most of all, I got to see his FACE. I truly love his face, and trying to make him smile or laugh. When he was home helping us with my husband’s stroke, he took particular care in filling up my hugs bucket to the brim and over-flowing.

Besides going up to continue cleaning my art room – and then, possibly starting some new projects I have rattling around in my head, I gave myself ANOTHER Christmas present. Recently at the exclusive emporium of WalMart, I found a light pink pullover hooded sweatshirt. It was SUPER soft and a really nice weight, so I bought it. One of the wonderful things was that – for the first time in a LOOOOOONG time – I bought it out of the regular women’s clothing department, rather than in my usual special department for ‘ladies-of-more-generous-size.’  I wore it, loved it, and decided I wanted a couple more.

You guessed it – there WEREN’T any more when I went back. I tried to order more online. I thought I had found them, but when they arrived, they were fleece. Heavier than I want for in the house wear. Today, when we stopped there, I FOUND them again!  I bought two more. Merry Christmas to me!

Even though our house is nice and warm, I get psychologically chilled sometimes while watching TV. I get a throw to burrow under in my chair. With the sweatshirts, though, I’m much less apt to feel chilled. :0)

I am ready to cook our small Christmas dinner tomorrow. We’ll have enough turkey breast for the celebratory meal, plus – our favorite – sliced turkey for turkey sandwiches for a couple of days.

Today has been quite enjoyable for another reason – I’ve been on Facebook and LinkedIn, two of my favorite websites, and have connected with a lot of folks. Today has been filled with good wishes, nice posts, and good conversations.

Happy Christmas Eve –  and Merry Christmas tomorrow. Happy 2nd day (I think) of Hanukkah to more of my good friends. I hope that you are surrounded with love. If not, I’ll be thinking of you and trying to send hugs your way.


Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays, Thoughts on a ________

Fun Afternoon!

Constant Contact

I am giving myself an early Christmas present this afternoon – giving myself permission to go up and play in my art room.

I have been making a lot of things lately, and so my art room looks like there was an explosion. I’m going to take my time, putting things away, clearing a lot of space to start another group of things very soon. I have ideas rattling around in my head that are eager to come out.

I hope that you have a fun afternoon planned, too.  Enjoy your day!

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Nice Christmas

We are enjoying a quiet Christmas this year. We have spent the last few days taking presents to good friends and visiting and that has been wonderful.  We only have one remaining, but our friend is out of town now, so we’ll catch up with her when she returns.


I have a teeny tiny CUTE turkey breast I’ll cook for us on Christmas Day.  We’ll also have deviled eggs, dressing, and cranberry sauce.

I’m grateful that we are both healthy enough to enjoy this holiday together.

Merry Christmas!



Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays

When Wood Comes Alive – 32


My Modern Met


Savini Art Gallery


Rick Cain – “The Elder”

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I Smirk for Puns – 29

bored panda

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Lovin’ Niki Firmin’s Pet Portraits

Niki Firmin – Jersey


Niki Firmin – Alice and Jasmine


Niki Firmin – Bonnie and Clyde


Niki Firmin – Charlie

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Filed under drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits

I Smirk for Puns – 28

Bored Panda

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Thoughts on a Sunday 12-22-2019


And we have water pressure!

After two days of non-stop work, we enjoyed nice hot showers with reasonable pressure last night! We had two big blowouts twice when we were doing a last ‘tightening up’ to stop a couple of drips, so we declared victory the third time and left the drips going. We would like to increase the pressure a bit more, but will wait to do it until we have the leaks stopped. I have called our plumber, who has agreed to come out after Christmas ( We told him this was not an emergency.)  We are hoping it will be a quick job for him and a final fix for us. Meanwhile, we’ll monitor things in the well house for any big problems.  Ahhhhhh!

Today will be a happy day for us. We’ll go grocery shopping and stop off at a friend’s house to check on them and take a present or two. Later this afternoon, I’ll do it again with another friend. :0)

Otherwise, we will do a lot of resting.

I hope your day is great, too.


Filed under Friendship, holidays, Thoughts on a ________

Water Pressure

We suddenly had very low water pressure several weeks ago. We discovered that the booster pump and motor in the well house (that control the added pressure we need on top of our hill) weren’t working. We spent quite awhile getting the booster pump and motor unattached and off the wall and called about trying to get it fixed. (We still had water, but just about 1/3 of the usual pressure).

As usual with our projects, the place we took it for repair LAST time had changed hands. Happily, the new owner agreed to see if he could fix our stuff. We left them with him in Fort Smith.

We waited and then finally the man called, saying the pump and motor were toast. They don’t make what we have any more, and no parts are available to replace. We gave him the go-ahead to order a new pump and motor – as close to what we had as possible. We picked them up in Fort Smith yesterday.

We spent from about 12:30 until 6:30 or so working in the well house and the shop on the installation. Of course, the new stuff couldn’t sit on the old mounts, so we spent a long time making a thick metal ‘shelf’ on which the assembly could sit.  When we got it made, we painted it so it wouldn’t rust. We took all the old attachment stuff to Yeager’s, trying to get new parts. We brought it all home and worked on it while we continued to wait for the paint to dry. (Even in the shop with the heat on, it takes a lot longer for paint to dry.)

We got the shelf mounted and attached the new pump and motor to it. We finished about 2/3 of the attachment yesterday, but discovered we didn’t have enough parts to finish.

Today – armed with gel with Arnica on my back and Tylenol – we’ll go to Yeager’s again for the parts we need to finish. I’m hoping that by the end of the day we’ll have our usual water pressure in the house again – a true luxury.

If we are successful, I’ll celebrate with a nice, hot shower!



Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Yulia Derevschikova’s Felted Animals – 4

Yulia Derevschikova – Russia – via Bored Panda


Yulia Derevschikova – Russia – via Bored Panda


Yulia Derevschikova – Russia – via Bored Panda


Yulia Derevschikova – Russia – via Bored Panda

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