Monthly Archives: February 2020

Thoughts on a Saturday 2-29-2020

alamy

Happy Leap Year – February 29th, 2020!

We have had a busy day so far.

We figured out a way to move the big rock that we dug up when the water pipe in our front yard sprung a leak.

It doesn’t look very impressive here, but the rock is about 18 inches long and HEAVY. We managed to turn it sideways, working with a shovel and moving it about an inch at a time. Then we worked together to heave it over, and over, and over until we finally got to the edge of the yard. It went down the slope into the trees. We then got a bag of potting soil to work on filling the hole. We’ll see where we are after the next rain.

I went through my jewelry today. I LOVE jewelry, particularly earrings, but followed closely by necklaces. I have WAY too much for any one woman, so I decided to get fairly ruthless, putting anything I hadn’t worn in the past year into baggies for each jewelry type to donate to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store. I STILL have too much jewelry for any one woman, but I made significant progress. I went through my closet quickly, too, finding some purses, scarves and belts to add to the donation. I have just finished listing everything and getting the bags ready to take for donation next Tuesday.

We’re going Tuesday because on Monday (between 9 and 5) we are supposed to be getting significantly faster Internet service provided by CenturyLink. We have them now, but the service they were advertising on a flyer recently really got our attention. We live in the sticks and have to be content with the best of whatever is available. Our son – who has one of the greatest senses of humor on the planet – goes into a whole ‘schtick’ mocking our service each time he comes home. I laugh until my stomach hurts. Fingers – and all other appendages – are crossed that the new service actually IS significantly faster than what we have now.

Also on Tuesday, thanks to YOU – I am getting a lobster tail lunch at Red Lobster after we make the donation – because my subscriber list hit 1400 officially today. I’m thrilled and I thank those of you who signed up. :0)

My to-do list is long today, but I am making progress. I hope that your day is happy and productive, too.

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Daunting To-Do List

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

My to-do list is longer than usual today, partly because after we did errands yesterday, I curled up under my throw in my recliner and took a nap. It was glorious, and I loved it, but I need to get my tail busy today. Luckily, my crew (see the sweet pic of meercats above) is standing ready to help me out.

It’s a beautiful day today – sun-shiny and about 55 degrees F. here. I wish I could play outside, but we’ll see how the list goes first.

I hope you can get out and embrace the day – wringing out every bit of joy that you can.

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Filed under Attitude, character-building exercises

Stop

2 STAR art

This really resonates with me. I am my own worst enemy.

Even though I KNOW, it, it’s hard to change. I’m full of reasons why I cannot do something. They bubble up like a geyser. That is my ‘natural’ reaction – but I’m working to change that.

I’m trying to “START FROM TODAY” now, rather than letting my past experience dominate my attitude.

If TODAY is the start, I have a clean slate on which to write.  My list of things I would like to accomplish is long, and TODAY I will get started…

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Debbye

This is just one of the groups of happy daffodils in our yard right now. They have exploded in bloom over the last couple of weeks – freezes or not. This is my favorite group, though. It looks kind of like a ‘daffodil bouquet’ on the edge of our yard before a group of rocks marks the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our front yard.

 

This is “Debbye” – my good friend who got me into trying to paint, to create things as I have always wanted to do.

She died of breast cancer many years ago. She was sitting on her bed painting a watercolor of a hummingbird (now on the wall of our stairway) when I went to visit one day. I hugged her, then silently watched her paint for a few minutes. Finally, I said, “I WISH I could do that!”

She got angry with me – for the first and the last time in our friendship. She said, “What the Hell are you waiting for? YOU have the time. What do you care if your work never makes it off your own refrigerator door? JUST DO IT!!!!!”  She changed my life that day.

At her funeral there were two large barrels on either side of the entry to the church. We were asked to grab a double handful of daffodil bulbs as we left and plant them as a reminder of Debbye. I planted mine in a clump by the rocks where they would be at least a little bit protected. Before each spring starts, the greenery shoots up, full of life and energy, and then Debbye blooms once again.

We would all have our memories of Debbye and her indomitable spirit without the bulbs, but I loved the idea at her funeral and have never heard of it being done before or since.  A lovely way to remember a smart, creative, and lovely lady.

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The Talent of Niki Firmin

Belle

 

 

Coco

 

 

 

Katie

 

 

 

Rusty

 

 

 

Niki Firmin Pet Portraits – Snickers and Bernie

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Thoughts on A Friday 2-28-2020

Tasmanian Devil, commonly referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Wikipedia CreatorRobert McKimson

We just put Taz up on our mailbox this morning on the way to Lunch Bunch. The Tazmanian Devil is one of our favorites.  It’s funny the way our designs have differed over the years. This one seems small and light, particularly compared to the Snow-Goon we just took down and stored in the shop. This one is only about 2 feet tall, where the Snow-Goon is almost 4.

Jerri St. John of Jewels from Jerri’s VIPS  (https://www.facebook.com/groups/jewelsfromjerriVIPs/?fref=nf )

bought a couple of pairs of earrings I was listing on my Etsy site. They were delivered yesterday. I was so happy she liked them. Then she did THIS –

on Facebook. I’m STILL grinning and dancing. What a NICE, generous thing for her to do!  She is a representative of Paparazzi Jewelry – FUN pieces that I can’t resist. I buy things from her all the time. She couldn’t do a better job of responding, filling your order, shipping, etc.

We had our normal wonderful time at Lunch Bunch. We look forward to catching up, good food, good conversation, laughs, and good hugs.

One of our errands was at Walmart. On the way out to our truck, there was a crowd. A person was down in the parking lot. We stopped, asking if there were anything we could do, but they told us an ambulance was on its way. My heart goes out to the person in distress, but I was happy that so many people stopped what they were doing to try to help.

It is a bit after 2 pm here. The sun is shining and it’s 55 degrees F. here!  What a lovely day – and it’s still February!! I’m going to go out and visit my veggie plants and walk around the yard. What a treat!

Have a happy day!

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Filed under Don't Miss These Products!, Friendship, Gardening, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, kindness, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Early Spring Garden Progress 2-27-2020

This is the main part of my raised bed square foot garden. There are six wooden 4’x4′ boxes filled with Mel’s Mix on metal ‘tables’ chest high so that I can simply open the door, walk up, and either plant, weed, or harvest without having to bend over double or get up and down off my knees. The fence around the boxes keeps deer and other critters away, and the chicken wire around the bottom takes care of smaller critters, such as rabbits. We built in an irrigation system that is hooked up to an outside agricultural type faucet with a timer control on it so that I can set it to water for a certain amount every day, or whatever is needed.  I haven’t set that up yet because we’re still having freezes.

I tried to get some close-up pics so you can see what’s going on so far. The pic above is spinach. Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening, says you can plant 4 plants in each square. I’ve decided to spread things way out this year and see what happens. I have one plant in the middle of each square, giving them lots of room. I’m hoping I have plenty for salads, plus I’ll freeze what we can’t eat fast enough.

This is head lettuce.  Last year, we had a great harvest. We had plenty for us, and I was able to give heads of lettuce to lots of friends.

 

Head lettuce and sweet red onion sets.

It LOOKS like I may be able to skip covering things up at night for a couple of nights!  I’m SO ready for spring!

And then I can plant tomatoes and summer squash!

 

 

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Bethany Kerr Art

Bethany Kerr Fine Art

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Sassy?

Slightly sassy, much shorter, more comfortable haircut thanks to Michael Remillard. The earrings are some I painted for myself.

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I Love the LOOK of Winter 7

Alex Howitt

 

Kanno Hisao

 

Kanno Hisao

 

Kanno Hisao

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Filed under Alex Howitt, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Kanno Hisao, Seasons

Thoughts on a Wednesday 2-26-2020

Nihal Buyukeroglu-Love Classical Music

It’s not actually snowing here, but I loved this snowman musician and wanted to share him with you. It is still at freezing here, so I’m waiting a bit to uncover my veggie plants in the garden. The weather has been such I’ll bring the sheets in to dry them before putting them back on the plants before dark tonight.

We got to talk with our son in Thailand this morning via a conference call program where we can actually see his face. I made him smile when I told him what a GOOD man he is. :0)

I’m getting a haircut today.  If you’re in the area and are looking for a kind, competent miracle-worker, call Michael Remillard at Tangles. 479-357-9305. 40 Town Square, Greenwood AR 72936. He has taken care of both my husband and me for several years and we truly love him. Today I’m asking him to try to do a ‘shaggy pixie’ or ‘waif’ cut with all different lengths around my face and ears. I’m taking two pics of haircuts I call SASSY….. :0)

UPDATE – Just uncovered the plants – all is fine. Although it is technically above freezing now, it’s C_O_L_D out there! I about froze my parts off. I’m putting the sheets through the dryer so they’ll be ready to spread over the plants again tonight…

I hope you stay warm and dry today.

 

 

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Filed under Seasons, snow people, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Tuesday 2-25-2020

Winston Churchill – Carl Mydans-The LIFE Picture Collection-Getty Images

 

“Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut.”

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My Wish for Us

sayingimages.com

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I Love the LOOK of Winter 6

Life with Dogs and Cats

 

pelfind.net via Justsomething

 

Pinterest

 

Snoopy

 

Snow Addiction

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Filed under Seasons, snow people

Earrings Finally Finished

I painted some earrings for myself awhile back. They’ve been sitting on a plate, looking at me, without the hardware on them, for several weeks now. Yesterday I finally took the time to put the hooks on. I’m wearing the orange and white ‘leaf’ earrings now.

 

There are two pairs of earrings remaining to finish. These need holes drilled in them, so they will take awhile longer. I’m pleased that they are so light weight. I almost forget I’m wearing earrings!

If you would like to see more, please click on the link to Eyecatching Earrings on Etsy.

 

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Personalities

pinterest

My husband has lived with me for over 50 years now.  He describes me as, “Mean as a snake.”

 

Grunge

As he has lived with me so long, he probably has a point. I hope, though, that if I AM as mean as a snake, I’m pretty like this one. :0)

AND on our last anniversary in June, he DID ask me to spend ANOTHER 50 years with him. I guess he really LIKES snakes….

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Make the Days Count

lessonslearnedinlife.com via Peace Love and Smiles

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More Pet Portraits by Niki Firmin

Teddy and Charlie

 

 

Argyle

 

 

Jack

 

 

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Filed under drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits

Happy Fish?

Since I added a second filter and changed to glass beads instead of gravel, the aquarium has stayed cleaner longer. I read an article, though, on why the water would turn yellow.  There were things listed, such as decaying plants or fish, the use of driftwood, and other things like that, which don’t pertain to me. They did say I might be feeding the fish too much and suggested I scale back for several days and see if that had any effect.

 

There is a big range of how much food a PINCH is. Since the fish were all the same size when I got them, and you can see one of the goldfish is a lot larger than the other two, you can tell who is getting the majority of the food. I’m watching, trying for a much smaller pinch of fish flakes than I have been giving them. I wonder how one can tell how much is too little, good, or too much, though. The fish don’t say much…

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Filed under Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance

I Love the LOOK of Winter 5

Blaze Press

 

imgur.com via Justsomething

 

imgur.com via Justsomething

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Filed under Seasons, snow people

I Love the LOOK of Winter 4

Z-Man via Yolanda Vanveen

 

Karen Anne McGlinchey

 

You Need More Art in Your Life

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A Spoiled Lady’s Garden

This is the veggie garden of an extremely happy, spoiled woman.

We live on top of a ridge line and had to have some soil trucked up here in order to have grass around the house. You cannot dig a hole anywhere without immediately hitting rock. We made 14 brick planters around the house in order to be able to plant flowers and bushes. Several years ago, I found the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Batholomew.  We cleared a spot, used some lumber to make two rectangles on the ground which was covered by black weed resisting plastic and filled the plot with Mel’s Mix. (peat moss, vermiculite, and 3 kinds of compost). This got around the fact that we had no soil, but it was still hard on me because, other than being older than dirt, I don’t enjoy bending over double for long periods of time or getting up and down from the ground.

Then we read about RAISED BED square foot gardens.  My husband can figure out how to do most anything, so we decided we would build some for ourselves. We ended up welding 6 ‘table-like’ structures where the wooden boxes could ‘sit.’  The boxes are 4 feet square and 8 inches high with bottoms that have plastic on them. We included drain holes so that excess water can get out. We made it so they aren’t just ‘raised,’ they are my chest height so I can just walk up to a box and weed, plant, harvest, add more soil, whatever.

 

You can see the wire we strung to demarcate the ‘squares.’ I am spreading things WAY out this year because the plants seem to grow together too closely if I don’t.

We built an irrigation system that is on a timer so I don’t have to remember to water or get out there with a hose.

 

We put a fence around the garden to keep critters out, such as deer. I will add some glow in the dark tape around so that the deer don’t run into the fence. We also put chicken wire around the bottom for smaller critters.

 

I have a wonderful set-up on trying to grow veggies. I am truly spoiled. I hope I can keep the sweet plants alive during the nights where we get down to freezing!

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Filed under Gardening, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Uncategorized

Our Baby is Back!

GTCarLot.com

In November of last year, my husband inadvertently backed our 2003 ‘Vette into a truck in the post office parking lot. The truck didn’t have a scratch and the owner looked it over carefully and told us to go on. Our Vette, however, was a different story. There was a huge squashed place on the right rear to the right of the tail light, and part of the adjoining part was dented.

We took it to our wonderful insurance man, Phil Hicks of Shelter, Insurance, and he told us to take the Vette to Greenwood Collision for an estimate. They sent us (and Phil) an estimate. Vettes are not cheap to fix and the back end of the car, plus the adjoining piece, would have to be replaced. The estimate was $3374.65. Thank GOODNESS we were only responsible for the $500 deductible. The insurance company sent us a check for the balance after the deductible was taken out and we were good to go.

The problem was, no one had the body parts we needed. One of them came in a reasonable amount of time, but the other was on backorder. We waited and waited, with Patty, the kind lady who handles the office, calling us with updates, or lack of them. She called us last Monday, telling us the final part had arrived and that we could bring the Vette in for repair.

Today she called, telling us the Vette was ready!  My husband was very happy with the job they did. Patty had our bill ready, made us a copy of the check I wrote, and we were on our way.

I told her that I wrote a daily blog, that I had written about Greenwood Collision before, and would do so again. They couldn’t have done a better job for us. No one can help parts not being available. On everything they had control over – the estimate, the ordering parts, the communication, the repair of the vehicle, and handling the payment and paperwork, they could not have done a better job.

I highly recommend both of these companies –

Phil Hicks, Shelter Insurance Company, 1740 W Center St, Greenwood, AR 72936, (479) 996-2171 

Greenwood Collision, 2615 W Center St, Greenwood, AR 72936, (479) 996-9922

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Imperfect

Marc Jacobs via 2 STAR art

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I Love the LOOK of Winter 3

Nikita Veprikov via Maria D’Angelo

 

Newsner.com

 

Sand-Re-Scape.com via Yolanda Vanveen

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Forever Free

Frederick-Douglass-EbookFriendly

I truly can’t imagine my life without reading.

I feel very lucky because once I finally got my Master’s Degree, I lost my enjoyment of reading. I had to read so many things that I found dry, useless, and a total waste of time that I would do almost anything before I sat down to read something. And when I did – even if it was the newspaper or the crossword puzzle, I tensed up, reading as if I would have to spit it back out, word for word, for a test. It was actually about a year before I finally read for the simple pleasure it should be.

Right now I am re-reading several Nora Roberts books. I’m fascinated by her creativity and ability to write in different styles. There are the romances, which I love, where I can dive in and get lost, enjoying the wonderful characters, situation, and dialogue, knowing that somehow things will work out.  There are the series, where there are 3 or 4 books that together tell a larger story. She has unique stand-alone books. I’m reading one called Shelter In Place, which is the story of a mass shooting and the lives affected by it. Her In Death series, writing under the pen name of J.D. Robb, is a stunning series of 50 books now in which Eve Dallas is a police detective, dealing with the horror and grittiness of New York in the future, yet providing a cast of characters I would truly love to actually know.  All of these are simply reading for pleasure.

I have a nice collection now of keto recipe books, allowing me to cook some delicious meals while I try to lose my lard. In combination with these, Suzanne Ryan’s keto website, and the Cronometer website where I list what I’ve eaten and my exercise, I have access to motivation, recipes, and record-keeping which – unless I eat stuff I shouldn’t, will help me be as healthy as possible.

Art books are a constant delight. I love to grab one, being awestruck by the talent shown, along with details of how I might improve my skills. I combine this with wonderful videos on YouTube and find my spirits soaring.

When I finish re-reading my collection of Nora Roberts books, I’ll change and start re-reading my collection of Robert B. Parker books….

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Filed under quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Not Alone

allgreatquotes.com

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Filed under Family, Friendship, kindness

I Love the LOOK of Winter 2

Heavenly Recipes

I don’t really like cold weather, but I do love making snowmen and playing in the snow. I remember one year when my husband-to-be and I were dating (a hundred years or so ago) we built snow people in my parent’s front yard. A man and a woman. Quite traditional. THEN he really wanted to add anatomically correct – even exaggerated – parts to each one. He was very disappointed when I told him we would NOT do that!

 

Alex Howitt

One of my favorite things is to look on the net to find snow people I haven’t seen before and share them. I’m so happy to live on the same planet as people who not only think outside the box, but burn the box!  There is so much humor and creativity out there.

 

Alex Howitt

 

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Filed under Seasons, snow people

Wonderful Wednesday

sayingimages.com

My early spring garden seems to be doing well so far. I got out my trash can full of old sheets, plus clothespins, putting it under one of the tables, so I can cover the plants tonight. I’ll be doing that a lot until the threat of freezes is over. I will try to get onion sets when we do errands today. I would love to finish weeding the other boxes in the garden and get the onions in as soon as possible.

I’m trying to ignore the fact that – wherever I look – things are calling out to me to be SEEN and FIXED. I have made a priority list for the day. If THAT gets done, I’ll move on to the lesser list. (Who would have thought I would now have TWO lists….

The roast I cooked in the crock pot yesterday turned out really well. My husband asked if we could have the rest cut up with onions, mushrooms, and cream of chicken/mushroom soup tonight over rice (for him.) I’ll do that with cauli-rice for me. :0)

The sun is shining brightly today, so my spirits are lifted each time I look out the window.

Hopefully, I’ll be playing in the dirt this afternoon!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

One of the Many Reasons I Love Arkansas

This is a beautiful state. We live in Greenwood, about 9 miles southwest of Fort Smith – right on the line between Arkansas and Oklahoma. We live about 3-1/2 miles outside Greenwood, on top of a ridge line where we can look at the view from our back yard and pretend we own all we can see.

One of the wonderful things about Arkansas, aside from the beauty, is that the state government has made some great decisions. One of them is early voting.

My husband and I weren’t even aware when we went to town this morning that early voting for Super Tuesday had started. We saw the signs posted at City Hall as we drove in.

We changed out my products at Rags & Roses, mailed a book we sold, and then circled back around to City Hall. We walked right in, right up to the wonderful volunteers who do the work allowing people to vote early, voted and went on our way. We thanked the ladies profusely for putting in the time that allows such an easy, CIVILIZED way to vote!

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Filed under Cause for Celebration

I Love the LOOK of Winter

Aurelia Pinzari

I love the look of winter. The cold, the snow, the gorgeous scenery covered in white. The reality of it, trying to get down my 650+ foot driveway and NOT end up in the field across the road from the bottom of the driveway, and making my way in hilly, curvy roads into town and back again, forces me to enjoy winter vicariously.

 

“First Snow” – Nino Chakvetadze via Penny Yaffe Krakow

I haved loved Nino Chakvetadze’s paintings for years. She puts so much heart into her work.

 

Javad Soleimanpour via Ferit Temur via Penny Yaffe Krakow

simply stunning.

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Filed under paintings I love, Seasons