Monthly Archives: July 2020

Happier Fish?

The cleaning out of the aquarium today resulted in its designation as ‘project of the day.’ We changed from a more regular filter system, like you can buy at Walmart, to a more expensive, fancier type filtration system. It came in a lot of parts with three different things acting together as the filter. I got a bit intimidated while reading the directions, so I asked for my husband’s help.

At least half an hour later, we finally had the filter ready to go into the tank. We put it aside while we did the regular clean out. I like the fact that the majority of this filter system is on the outside of the tank, giving the sweet fish more room to swim around. If you look carefully at the top of the picture above, you can see (above the blue) the outside of the filter.


This picture gives another view from the other end of the tank. You can also see the filtered water going back into the tank. When we got it back together, the top didn’t fit anymore, so my husband took it out to the shop and cut off part of it to make it fit.  There are three filters in this one: a foam piece on the bottom, then activated charcoal, and then a bio filter of a bunch of pellet like things you put into the provided mesh bag. You have to work to get these rinsed and into the filter. This filter is made to handle tanks from 5 to 20 gallons. Since ours is a 5, this should be MORE than adequate to do the task.

You change out each part of the filter at a different time. We’re supposed to replace the foam filter every two months, the charcoal every month, and the bio filter every three months. (I have the directions on the table beside me so that I can mark my calendar with when each thing is supposed to be changed.)

So far, I haven’t seen any reaction from the fish – yea or nay. I really hope that this new style of filter keeps the water cleaner for longer.


So the aquarium clean out and filter installation turned out to be the project of the day today.



Leave a comment

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


David Whyte via Lisa Bearnes Richey

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Delicious Embroidery




Bernita Broderie-AwesomeInventions




Colossal- Embroidery incorporating Clay Shapes to create 3D.




Country Living Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under Embroidery/Sewing Art

Thoughts on a Friday, July 31, 2020

Today we meet our friends for Lunch Bunch. Our ‘core group’ (Linda, Kay and I) have been meeting every Friday possible for over 17 years now. “Priceless”  just isn’t a strong enough word to describe how special this is.  Others come and go. Our husbands were made honorary members of the group years ago. Linda’s husband is gone, now, but we share memories of funny or touching things from the times he was able to join us. Kay’s husband has joined us recently. He isn’t working now, laid off because of the virus. He is at the age where he should have retired long ago, but loves the work. He is working now to define himself as much more than his work, and I’m delighted. He has a wonderful sense of humor and it’s fun to hear what he has to say. My husband has been a member for several years now. He presides over his ‘harem,’ ( :0) )  though now graciously sharing that fantasy with Bud now. We enjoy catching up with what the others have been doing, or hearing about plans for the future. We have borne the sad news together over the years, and have helped each other deal with whatever has happened. We had to miss a few Fridays due to the virus. Then the restaurant owner was allowed to serve us outside at picnic tables. Now we’re back in the restaurant, wearing masks in and out. It’s good to be back.

We will have to set our humane trap again tonight because it looks like we have ANOTHER raccoon. This has been a record-braking year. We have relocated 8 raccoons so far, and it LOOKS as if we will do it again..

We had quite a storm yesterday evening. LOTS of lightning, loud thunder, wind, and heavy rain for about half an hour that I was aware of. No damage, though. We are due for more today. Our grass and plants will be happy. My husband is frowning as he imagines the grass spurting up again.


This is yesterday’s tomato harvest. We are enjoying fresh sliced tomatoes for part of our lunches and dinners every day. It has been glorious. Even if the harvest stopped suddenly – as it sometimes does – we have been very lucky this year.

Not sure what today’s project will be. I’m trying to choose one area to ‘heal’ every day. Yesterday it was my kitchen desk and the shelves above it. I also spent a lot of time scrubbing one of the downstairs bathrooms. I have LOTS of good choices, as I am a slob. I’ll report later on what the choice is.

I’m doing really well on my exercising. Being able to add a gold star to my desk calendar is motivating for me – a person who hasn’t fully grown up. They motivated me as a child in school and I will still get off my duff and go earn one now. I’m giving myself one for each session on my elliptical trainer in the garage and each session of yoga stretches and abdominal exercises. So far, this is an 8-star week. I’ll go for 9 and 10 today.

I hope you have a wonderful day today, productive and enjoyable.



Leave a comment

Filed under Friendship, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Today’s Project – Thursday, July 30th

I have this nice little desk in our kitchen. The shelves above are a combination medicine and first aid supplies area. All too often it becomes a catch-all area, piled up with various things.  Today’s project was to clear off the desk, go through the things on the shelves, look for expired meds, and reorganize.


Things are more organized now and much cleaner. :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

More Glorious Water Paintings

Mary Beck




Moksha-Chris Armstrong-1stDibs




Vanessa Mae-MyModernMet

Leave a comment

Filed under water paintings

Be Honest

Email from a friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Funny Signs - Humor

The Miracle of Music

Music is a quality of life thing. I have seen the faces of people I love when one of their favorite songs plays. They are transported back to a time of wonderful memories. They smile. Their eyes get dreamy. And the feelings simply spill out. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve seen people in nursing homes ‘come alive’ when their favorite music is played. The years fall off. Their eyes are animated. Some will actually get up and dance. Those who cannot still ‘bop’ in their chairs.

Music is a miracle.

I create ‘mini-concerts’ via YouTube when I have the time, giving myself a needed rest and relaxation. I choose one musician I love and play a medley of greatest hits, or combine several. By the time I am finished, I feel renewed, ready to tackle whatever awaits.

We are rich when we can ‘teleport’ to when we were teenagers. or escape via the lyrics of a beautiful song, or bop along with favorite tunes that DEMAND you get up and shake whatever you have. (I’m glad no one can see me do this, too!)

How lucky we are to have so many talented people who give us joy!



Leave a comment

Filed under music, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Rich in Books

Jane Austen via

I received paperback book #50 in the “In Death Series” by J.D. Robb (pen name of Nora Roberts) yesterday. I am re-reading book #48 right now.  I love it when I can dive into a book and leave my concerns behind for awhile.  I won the lottery when I found Nora Roberts. She has given me hours of pleasure and escape over the years. I hope she has made a gazillion dollars and lives to be at least 200, writing steadily to feed my hunger for more great characters and stories.


Leave a comment

Filed under Favorite Authors & Books, Hobbies, Reading is FUNdamental

Raccoon # 8

Live Science

We caught raccoon #8 of the season last night. We have just come back from relocating him where he will hopefully find the rest of the “gaze” of raccoons we have driven to their new home out farther in the country. Even though Amber barked at him obnoxiously, he didn’t lose his cool.  It looked like rain was coming soon, so we relocated the raccoon before having breakfast or doing anything other than feed animals.

Now we’ve had breakfast and I’m enjoying a cup of coffee as I type this.

We have doors open so far this morning, enjoying a nice breeze through the house. We are due for storms today, with a bigger chance this evening. I will get out, check the garden, and see if we have more ripe tomatoes to bring in soon.  Of course, now that we are home for the rest of the day, the sun has come out. :0)

I am doing well on my efforts to exercise this week so far. I have done my elliptical trainer in the garage, plus my half hour or so of yoga stretches and abdominal exercises every day. This is a 6-gold-star week so far! I will try to earn 2 more today.

The wonderful person from Tri-Hill Pest Control in Fort Smith is due here at 12:30 today. 1308 Zero St, Fort Smith, AR 72901. (479) 782-2847. He is a super nice man – PLUS since he has come and treated the house quarterly, we haven’t had a bug or pest problem. (Other than my husband.) This is a wonderful company.

Today’s project will be my kitchen desk. We use this, and the shelves above it, to have medicines and first aid stuff on hand, too, so it’s a busy area. I will try to get this area cleaned out and reorganized today.

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, exercise, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

Water Paintings

Antoine Renault-Abduzeedo



Gazebo by the Water-Leonid Afremov




Gina De Luca-YouTube

Leave a comment

Filed under water paintings

A Coffee Wish

Nanea Hoffman-Sweatpants & Coffee-Varietats

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Working on This

Positive Energy via Michael Remillard


This is a wonderful quality to have. I have never had it, but I’m striving to practice it. If you remain calm, it saves time, keeps everyone else calm, and helps you do what is needed at any given time.

Our son has gained a lot of this through meditation. When he comes to visit us, it flows through the house and lasts until he leaves again. It has allowed him to control much of the frustration and anger that challenges him from time to time. I have tried to meditate – not nearly as hard as I should – but I just can’t shut my mind down.

What is helping me is my yoga stretches. It takes me a long time to relax into each position. (I have to fight the ‘the body is old and creaky with discomfort’ aspect of each position before I can relax, but I CAN relax finally. When I finish my stretches of about half an hour each afternoon, my mind is clear and my body feels good.

It is important for each of us to find that thing that works for us – listening to music, getting outside, talking to a friend, etc. – so that we can find the calm that is healing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Happy Start to the Day

There is little that makes me as happy as someone buying some of my work. It’s the highest compliment there is when a person wants it for his/her own. Last night I received an order for this hand-painted “Daisy” cruet. I just got back from mailing it at the post office. I’m still grinning, hoping the customer loves it, and happy that my work has a new home.

We’re supposed to have off and on ‘heavy downpours’ today, so I’m happy we have a nice, dry house. My husband is frowning because the rain will bring an end to his favorite ‘brown, crunchy’ grass.

I’m not sure what my project for the day will be. I will do my session on the elliptical trainer in the garage and also my half an hour or so of yoga stretches and abdominal exercises, but I’m open to what the rest of the day holds.  I will hope for a quiet day.

I hope you are somewhere safe and comfortable today, and that at least one thing makes you smile.




Leave a comment

Filed under exercise, Mother Nature, Thoughts on a ________

Too True

Robert Kaplan

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude

More Wonderful Pencil Drawings

Doreen Cross – Art is Fun




Remrov’s Artwork








Leave a comment

Filed under drawings


Mark Twain –

Leave a comment

Filed under kindness



In a few minutes I will drive down to get our mail and put out our trash. When I get back, I’ll spend some time on the elliptical trainer in the garage. I’m HOPING to do 20 minutes today, but I’ll do what I can and call it a win for the day. My motivation is high today. I was planning to do the elliptical MWF this week, but I’ll see what happens. :0)

My husband wanted to eat some of the South Beach pancakes this morning. The last time was a disaster, so we decided that the NEXT time we tried them, “I” would be the one who caused it. I mixed up the two packages (one for him and one for me) according to the directions. The batter was too thick. I added 2 more tablespoons. The end result was good. We used a little butter and some sugar-free syrup. It was a nice way to start the day.

I will check the garden and also see if we have ripe tomatoes to gather. It has been so hot that I have spent the minimum amount of time outside as possible. We have a 50% chance of rain today – particularly this afternoon – so I’m hopeful for a bit of a reprieve.

I am trying to choose something in the house that needs ‘healing’ (cleaning out, reorganizing, cleaning) each day. I’m not sure what today’s project will be yet. So MUCH to choose from! I’m working on large leaf bag #3 of things to donate to the Disabled Vets.

I’m re-reading book # 47 (out of 49) of the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) “In Death” series. #50 in the series has been ordered and will arrive soon!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!



Leave a comment

Filed under DIET!, exercise, Gardening, giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________


Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Funny Signs - Humor, sass

Today’s Project 7-27-2020

I love my recliner in the living room. Beside it, I have a wealth of things I’m either using all the time – or PLAN to use –  as I sit. And that’s the problem – WAAAY too much stuff on the table. It gets to the point where the piles start falling. This is yet another example of why I have to admit I’m a slob.

Trying to clear this off, clean the table, and make sense of what was left was today’s project.

It took awhile, and many trips to either relocate or throw away a lot of things, but here is the result. My husband exclaimed, “What is that? Is that a table?”  And yet he lives.



It is not perfect, but it’s MUCH better than it was! :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Fun with Statues 5


Leave a comment

Filed under fun with statues

Memories via Peace Love and Smiles

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, opportunities, quality of life

Wonderful Pencil Drawings

Alpo-Arts-Fine Art Blogger




Kohei Ohmori-Interesting Engineering




rose-Fine Art Blogger

Leave a comment

Filed under drawings


Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude

Muggy Monday

Attack of the Cute

My husband and I did a few errands this morning and then I got on my elliptical trainer for the first time in umpteen months. My trainer lives in the garage and it’s really hot out there. I managed 15 minutes this morning – better than nothing. I’ll try it again on Wednesday and see if I can do 20. I will, of course, do my 35+ minutes of yoga stretching and abdominal exercises this afternoon. (I gave myself a star for the elliptical and will earn another with the yoga this afternoon.) :0)

One of our errands this morning was refilling our sweet Molly’s prescriptions for antibiotics and pain/inflammation relief medicines. I’ve told you she has malignant cancer. It’s in one side of her jaw. She has quite a sizable, firm lump there that is growing. The vet and I talked frankly. Molly was 15 in February. We decided to try to keep her as comfortable as possible, giving her as many happy dog days as we can in the time she has left. She is still able to eat and drink, and enjoys demanding to go out, and then come in again – for a treat. I’m making sure we have PLENTY of the two treats she loves, and am VERY freely dispensing them. She has been with us since she was a small puppy. We are cherishing each day.

My husband is grinning because our grass is at the PERFECT stage, according to him – brown and crunchy! He wishes it would stay that way the rest of the summer. We are due for some rain this week, though, so he’ll have to enjoy it while he can. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday forecasts show a good chance of rain, plus a little bit of relief from the humidity.

I made Suzanne Ryan’s (Simply Keto) recipe for keto chili yesterday, and we ate a bowl last night. My husband sighed with pleasure. We will enjoy a bowl for the second DIY dinner, plus one of the DIY lunches this week.

I haven’t decided what my next clean up project will be. I’ll look around and decide priorities, planning on taking a donation to the Disabled Vets in Fort Smith by the end of NEXT week.

I hope that YOU are having a good day today.


Leave a comment

Filed under Amazing Animals, DIET!, exercise, Family, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, Thoughts on a ________

Office Project 7-26-2020

I’ve been tackling my part of our home office a bit at a time.

I FINALLY got our important records and monthly bookkeeping caught up yesterday. Today I tackled the rest of the filing, my desk, and my shelves.


A nice thing happened as a result of this, I started feeling the wish to get rid of some stuff!

I’m going to declare victory on projects for the day, since I FINALLY have my work area reasonably organized and clean, and I will go do my yoga session for the day.

But, I’m pleased that the urge to purge is beginning to sprout. I’ll ‘water’ it and see if I can get it to sprout, starting tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Fun with Statues 4








Leave a comment

Filed under fun with statues

Joke of the Day 5

Northwoods Casket Company

“A man and woman were married for many years.  Whenever there was a confrontation, yelling could be heard deep into the night.  The old man would shout, “When I die, I will dig my way up and out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!”  Neighbors feared him.  The old man liked the fact that he was feared.  Then one evening he died when he was 98. After the burial, her neighbors, concerned for her, asked, “Aren’t you afraid that he may indeed be able to dig his way out of the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life?”   The wife said,  “Let him dig.  I had him buried upside down and I know he won’t ask for directions.”
*Thanks to a forward from a friend.

Leave a comment

Filed under Joke of the Day



Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, kindness

Diet Progress

You Tube

Weight comes off MUCH more slowly than it goes on. The older you get, the harder it is to get the lard off. via Pinterest


In our current quest to get ‘back in the saddle” of the keto eating plan, my husband and I have signed up for two months of the South Beach Diet. That is the closest plan of prepared meals to how we are trying to eat. We are about 2/3 of the way through the first month.

So far, we have each lost 5 lbs. We are not very pleased with the number of choices on the food plan, or the taste of many of the entrees. We DO really like anything they offer that comes in a small cup and the shakes. My husband really likes the candy bars ( both snack and entree) and I love the small bags of nuts. Otherwise, it’s a very good thing we have fresh, ripe tomatoes to eat alongside the entrees for lunch and dinner.

That said, the first month is helping me re-realize what a “portion” is. We were eating many of the right things, but we glossed over – or ignored – the portion amounts. When we are doing the DIY dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and snacks each week, I am trying to pay particular attention to how much I am serving.  Also, my husband is saying he will cooperate with not throwing things we shouldn’t be eating into the grocery cart. If they aren’t around, they can’t call to you from the pantry…. “Linnnnnnnn dahhhhhh!”

By the end of the second month (approximately mid-September) my husband may REACH is weight loss goal. We have talked about the fact that his ‘cooperation’ will need to continue so that he can KEEP the weight off. I have consoled him by pointing out that he can increase enjoy some fruit then, and that we may buy the candy bars he likes A LA CARTE from South Beach to tide him over, or to simply keep a supply for him. He also readily admits that he really likes many of the recipes we have found by Suzanne Ryan in Simply Keto.

For example, I have Suzanne’s recipe for Keto Chili in the slow cooker right now for one of our DIY dinners tonight.

I will earn Gold Star # 7 this afternoon with my yoga practice.

Next week, I will TRY to add a few minutes of my elliptical trainer to each day. It’s very hot here, and my trainer lives in our garage, so I’ll have to get out there early and limit the minutes I spend – Maybe I’ll try Mon, Wed, and Fri to start. I figure that even though I won’t be doing 35 minutes out there, anything I’m doing is better than none.  AND, if I do the time out there, I’ll give myself another Gold Star!

My weight loss journey will be much longer than my husband’s. That’s okay. If I am seeing a reasonable amount of progress – either from the scales, the measuring tape, or my flexibility – I will try to “keep on keepin’ on. “

Wish me luck?

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, DIET!, exercise, motivators, taking care of yourself


If I can get right to sleep, I’m fine.

If not, it’s a loop of recurring thoughts –

  • the wording on composing a difficult letter
  • ideas about things I want to try to do in my art room
  • things to remember to put on the grocery list
  • trying to remember if I ______?
  • worrying about various things

Once the loop starts, I have learned to go downstairs, get some water, and sit down in my chair and read until I’m sleepy again. The second time I try to go to sleep, I have no trouble.

I keep a pad of paper and pen on my bedside table to make notes on trying to get things on lists, or make notes of what I need to do the next morning. The other things REQUIRE I get up and check to reassure myself, or read to stop my poor brain’s cycling.

I have asked Santa for a “brain reboot” button, but so far no dice.

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, Challenges, Changes