Monthly Archives: August 2020

Thoughts on a Monday – 8-31-2020

Good Housekeeping

After I cleaned up the kitchen last night, my husband came in, wanting to talk about our continuing efforts to lose weight. He had noticed that I was in the kitchen a long time yesterday and strongly urged me to consider signing up with another prepared meals plan. We got online and found BistroMD. Their food looked good, and the website was well-designed, so we signed up.

I thought we could use my email address on both accounts, with different passwords, since my husband is terrible about telling me about emails he receives. That assumption was not the case, and the customer service portion of the site wasn’t available late last night. We got confirmation of our orders, showing they had seen my efforts to sign up for another account and included that with the order for my husband.

I called them this morning. Customer Service there is wonderful. The agent is changing the email address associated with the order for my husband, and then is creating an account using my email address for me. She will send me an email as soon as it is done so that I can sign in and change some of the choices for our first week. I’m VERY impressed with the food choices, the website, and customer service so far. This is a week-to-week thing. We can cancel at any time. I’m hopeful that this will be a great help to us in our efforts to get the lard off.  :0)

I started harvesting onions late yesterday afternoon. As I pulled up an onion, ants spewed up out of the hole left by the onion, charging mainly up my left arm. I brushed as many of them off as I could, but some of them bit/stung me. I have now taken my Benedryl allergy pills 3 times and spread ointment all over the welts, particularly on my left arm. I am puffed up in several areas and my skin is warm, but no exciting reactions. Just really annoying. :0(

We got a lot of lightning, thunder, and rain overnight. No damage, though, thank goodness. We need to go to Fort Smith this afternoon, so I’m hoping we don’t run into street flooding.

Have a happy day everyone.



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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, getting the lard off, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Poohism – Forest

A.A. Milne – illustration by E.H. Shepard


“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

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So How Was YOUR Day? – 15

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Stress  (forwarded by my sister-in-law)

Management for Women!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’  She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.  Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

16 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

17 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

18 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.


19 * Save the earth.  It’s the only planet with chocolate!

Today someone asked me if I liked you.  I laughed and said, “Ha! That’s funny!  I absolutely LOVE that woman!  She’s funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she’s reading this e-mail right now and I love her!”

Send this to ladies you love!  Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says “Oh crap, she’s up!”

Eleanor T. Cicerchi

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Wonderful Wood – 2




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I’ve spent a couple of weeks now cleaning up storm damage, so it’s REALLY nice to find something that is thriving in our yard – my elephant ear plants that my friend, Laufrain gave me last fall!  I wintered them over in our dining area, then put them in pots on the front porch. They weren’t happy there and almost croaked. I transplanted them into this rebuilt brick planter in front of the house and they seem to like it here just fine!!!

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So How Was YOUR Day? – 14

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“Empty Box Syndrome” / On My Own Again…

Spoon University

We are now down to the dregs in our South Beach boxes.

We ordered pancake mixes a la carte to tide my husband over, but those are super-expensive. I fixed two packages for our breakfast this morning, realizing we are on a count-down until my husband starts to balk. Happily, I researched low carb pancake mix on the net and found CarbQuik, a low carb baking mix! It’s inexpensive, and can be used for things other than pancakes sometime in the future. I have it on our grocery list now.

I Can Has Cheezeburger? –

This morning I made the SB pancakes, I made tunafish salad for lunch, and I have the makings for keto chili in the slow cooker for dinner. I feel like ‘Food Central’ right now, so I will get serious about making plans for the next week so I don’t face the serious culture shock of feeling I’m in the kitchen all day prepping, cooking, or cleaning up. I have my Simply Keto recipe book by Suzanne Ryan, and I will make my calendar and figure out a game plan so I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible in the coming week, yet try new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I am grateful that the possibly severe weather from last night’s forecast once again bypassed us. We had a lot of lightning, but no damage that we have seen so far. Whew!


My next big project will be shutting down our raised bed square foot garden for the season. I turned off the automatic water system yesterday. I will harvest the onions, spreading them out on a trailer bed thingie so they can dry out, hopefully being good for storing in my net bags in the pantry. I will take pics to share. Part of the shutting down will be clearing the remains of the plants, intense weeding, then making Mel’s Mix and filling up each of the six 4′ x 4′ wooden boxes that are my planters. When that is done, I’ll cover each of the planters with a tarp to hold down weed production until I’m ready to start planting again.  All this will take several days. Once this is done, I’ll continue my efforts to arrange things for seed sprouting on my garage counter.

I hope you’re having a happy Sunday.




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Wooden Wonders



metal on wood-Plow and Hearth



Nancy Tuttle

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Last Picture from our Vicarious Vacation


Thanks, ML, for allowing us to share your vacation.  I especially loved the sandpipers.

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Thoughts on a Saturday 8-29-2020

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My heart goes out to the people suffering from Mother Nature’s fury. So many good people are hurting, with physical and emotional damage on top of the pandemic concerns.  We just need to concentrate on helping each other the best way we can.

We are getting to the bottom of our South Beach diet boxes. I am DIYing more and more as we run out of things, gradually making my way to the point where we will be on our own once again. The two month reboot for our keto efforts has been good in many ways

  • a blunt reminder of what a ‘serving’ is – and is not
  • a more subtle reminder that we don’t need to walk around hungry. There are good choices for snacks mid morning, mid afternoon, and before bed that remind us that each meal is NOT our last. I’m stocking cut up fresh veggies, cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, etc.
  • a reminder that eating right is only part of the equation to being healthy. I’m am still trying to do a 35 minute session of my elliptical trainer in the mornings (though I just do it until my body complains too much and then I stop, regardless of the time – at LEAST doing 15 minutes. Lately, I have been substituting heavy yard work (cleaning up after the storm) and cleaning out our ruined greenhouse (hauling things out and taking them to the garage and/or the shop). I am then doing a good session (35 minutes +) of yoga daily. These stretches are gauged for Seniors, so are NOT trying to get you to fold yourself into a paper airplane. They are designed to help you gain flexibility, core strength, and relaxation.


(I have ALWAYS been somewhat stiff and inflexible. I was in an exercise class in college. We did an exercise where we were lying on our stomachs. We were then told to lift our arms and legs simultaneously up as far as we could get them, and then move them down again, over and over. I did the ‘up’ just fine. The ‘down,’ not so much. I went up, something ‘caught’ in my back, not allowing me to bring my parts down again. I was yelling in pain. They finally got two big guys to lift me up over their heads, like the prow on a ship, and carry me to the infirmary. When they finally got me fixed, I had a waiver for that exercise. Being long-in-the-tooth only exacerbates my normal stiffness, so it’s more important than ever)

  • I am gearing up to cook all the time again. I will miss the stuff the South Beach Diet people sell in tiny bowls – ‘cheeseburger soup,’ and ‘a white beans something-or-other.’ Both were delicious. We ordered a few more packages of pancake mix, because my husband really likes those, to let us down gradually. In the meantime, I will look for ingredients so I can make low carb pancakes from time to time from scratch. We also like the shakes, but won’t order more.
  • At this point, I have lost 40 pounds and 43+ inches. I will do everything I can NOT to regain any of this back, and will keep trying to lose more. I would like to lose another 30 lbs to get into a good, solid, healthy BMI range for my height. (I’ve tried getting taller, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.)

Otherwise, the ruined greenhouse is now empty.  My husband and I have agreed that we will let the shell sit until things get cooler. (Today’s forecast is 98 degrees F. with a heat index of 112) Today I will concentrate on getting my seed-starting area in the garage workable, with things either stored out of the way or taken out to the shop, and things I need easily accessible.  My husband fixed one of my lights over the counter. I found, and hooked up, my grow light, so I have a start.

I hope that you have a happy Saturday.




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Bored Panda


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Happiness is a Hot Shower

Tonight we took advantage of one of life’s greatest luxuries – a hot shower.

We have been having water pressure problems for some time now. Our wonderful plumber has been trying to get to us, but COVID-19 concerns required the schools in Greenwood to adapt the water fountains in the school for maximum safety. In addition. lots of people have had NO water, or bad water leaks.

Travis Hawkins 479-461-8347 came over and installed a new water pressure tank the other day, which we hoped would solve the problem. We then had nice water pressure and hot water everywhere EXCEPT our shower.  We discovered this when I was thoroughly soaped and then had to rinse off in COLD water.

We ordered and installed a new shower head. My husband didn’t like the ‘rain’ shower head I had chosen and this was obviously the time to try something different. When it was installed, we tested it, only to find the water was still cold. I checked the guest room shower, and there were no problems at all there, so that narrowed it down to only our shower again.

Our plumber’s partner, Josh, came this afternoon to strip down the shower fixture and see if he could figure out what was wrong. Very soon after he and my husband went upstairs, they came down. It turned out that the part that holds the rain shower head away from the wall was completely clogged with hard water deposits, hardly allowing any water to go through it. Once that was removed, we had good pressure and gloriously hot water!

We celebrated by taking a shower right away, grinning from ear to ear.

I KNOW that I’m hopelessly spoiled. I didn’t realize, though, that much of my happiness depends on the ability to go up and stand under a glorious hot shower…


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So How Was YOUR Day? – 13

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Project for the Day

Integrated Children’s Therapy

I noticed the sound of the TV come on in the living room while I was in our office at the computer. Our TV is possessed, and turns the sound on by itself from time to time, so I went in to see if my husband was actually watching it or if he was sleeping.

He wasn’t there. I found him trudging across the yard, a long 2 x 4 in one arm and a half sheet of plywood in the other, making way from the greenhouse to the shop. He has been having strokes, losing the ability to speak intermittently, so he has promised me he will tell me when he decides to do something like this. He didn’t. Imagine my surprise. :0(

Anyhow, I rushed outside and took the 2 x 4 and we walked out to the shop. We put the wood away and he was super hot and tired. Imagine my surprise.

We walked back to the house. I got him in his recliner and got him a big glass of iced tea.

He is sleeping now.

While I have the chance, I am moving the rest of the wood from the greenhouse out to the shop. I’m using the wheelbarrow, which is slow, but not as bad as actually trying to carry the sheets of plywood. I’ve moved the two sheets halfway across the yard now. I’m drinking some water and resting. I’ll finish this trip, and then I only have a half sheet of plywood and three 2 x 4’s left – one more trip.

Since our ‘agreements’ lately seem to be so much hot air, I’ll need to get more proactive about things to keep him from hurting himself.

I’m counting all this wood moving as my elliptical trainer exercise for the day. I’ll do some yoga later to try to stretch myself out.


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Raccoon # 13 !

The City

We just got back from relocating raccoon # 13 of the spring/summer season this year. This one was so large, he almost completely filled the humane cage!  We are getting tired of having to deal with this. I think our highest count in all the years we have lived here (over 30) is about 4. We are ready to be finished with this for the year.

We will leave for Lunch Bunch soon. We lucked out so far on Tropical Storm Laura. It went to the east of us. We got some rain, but nothing severe. We are still due for more rain, but we feel very, very lucky.  The sun is shining and we will turn on the a/c when we return.

We are narrowing down our trouble with low water pressure – which then causes trouble with our hot-water-on-demand system – which means not enough water pressure or hot water for our shower.  We now have a new water pressure tank in the well house.  We now have a new shower head. My husband thinks the problem is the valve in the shower. Our plumber, Travis Hawkins, will be here later today to see if he can fix things for us. HOORAY!

I’m not sure what my project for the day will be yet.

My heart goes out to the people still in jeopardy from the wildfires in California and the people who sustained damage, or will sustain damage, from Laura.

Try to be strong and stay safe.

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So How Was YOUR Day? – 12

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Kissing a Sandpiper!

The vacation is almost over. I can almost smell the water!

And, best of all, I asked my sister-in-law to kiss a sandpiper for me.  She found TWO!!!!!

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Today’s Harvest

Since Tropical Storm Laura may be the last of our tomato vines, I harvested what was there a few minutes ago.


The larger tomatoes are no longer ‘pretty,’ but they taste really good. The cherry-tomato-sized ones taste good, too, though my husband turns up his nose at them and won’t eat them. That’s okay with ME. More for ME!  :0)

We have had a really nice crop this year despite our weird weather. I am trying to be okay if Laura tears up what remains of the plants. One cannot be TOO greedy…


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Poohism – How Do You Spell Love?

Piglet: “How do you spell love?” Pooh: “You don’t spell it. You feel it.”  A.A. Milne (Illustrator – E. H. Shepard) 

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The Greenhouse is Almost Empty

I’ve been cleaning out our ruined greenhouse for over a week now, gathering a wheel barrow full of salvageable stuff, plus a leaf bag full of ruined things each day.


On our way to town today, we noticed we have several broken or downed trees to the left of the driveway as we drive down. Thankfully, they are off to the side, and we THINK (hope) we can simply ignore them.


Today I gathered the last of the ruined stuff (6 leaf bags of ‘stuff,’) and they are safely in the garage now, awaiting trash day next week. I brought two more wheel barrows full of salvageable stuff, and that is in the garage, too, awaiting more energy from me to figure out where it needs to go.


We are left with a light that needs to be taken down and thrown away, plus the tables and saw horses. We need to take the tables apart for transport. We hope we can salvage the wood. It will take both of us to move the wood, but I can put the saw horses in the wheel barrow, I think.



It’s impressive what wind and rain can do. The ‘floor’ was was covered with really think black plastic weed barrier. Then I had put down used welcome mats in high traffic areas. When I was trying to pick up pails filled with supplies, they simply shattered into a gazillion pieces in my hands. I ended up scooping them up – kind of like they were pizzas in a professional oven with a wooden spatula – then either dumping them directly into a trash bag or trying to salvage the contents first.


It will probably take us a couple of days to get all the screws out of the front pieces of the wooden tables and transport them to the shop. We will let Tropical storm Laura barrel through here this afternoon, evening, and tomorrow, and then reassess.

If you are in her path, or you’re in California, worrying about the wildfires, I wish you the best.

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Creative Metal Sculpture

Srdan Metal Art-Facebook




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So How Was YOUR Day? – 11

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Great Animal Pictures

Inga Korolkovaite and Rokas Laurinavicius – Bored Panda




Inga Korolkovaite and Rokas Laurinavicius – Bored Panda




Inga Korolkovaite and Rokas Laurinavicius – Bored Panda

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Tricolor Heron_Green Cay Wetlands_Scott Helfrich_The Natl Wildlife Federation Blog

I’m not sure if we’re JUST getting rain today, or this is the first of Laura’s impact on Arkansas, but it looks like night outside right now. Rain is imminent, so I’ve scrapped my plans – at least for the moment – on doing another session of clean out in the greenhouse.  The forecast is for HEAVY rain, gusty winds from today through Friday. UGH.

My husband got our yard mowed again, for the first time since the last storm made it look like a sudden, violent fall, with branches and leaves all over the yard. It took me three days to get that cleaned up enough so that there was a chance he could mow once it dried out some. I hope that Mother Nature is not looking at this as a great chance to do it to us again –

Happily, my sister-in-law is enjoying her time at Topsail Beach this week! She shared two beautiful photos she took of the sunrise this morning –


I’m hoping she’ll kiss a sandpiper for me.


I’m not sure what I’ll do today, since it looks like my plans will be rained out.

Our wonderful plumber installed a new water pressure tank in the well house for us yesterday. There is a clear difference in our water pressure, plus lots of hot water on demand EXCEPT in our shower upstairs. My husband suspects we have a bad valve. I have no head for things like this, so that doesn’t mean much to me. I got all soaped up last night and then had to rinse off in COLD water. We had good pressure and hot water in the lavatories up there, but NOT in our shower. I’ll check the guest room shower today to see if there is hot water there. We have a new shower head on the way. One way or another, we will be able to take wonderful hot showers for granted SOME day…

I may scoot outside and see if I can get my greenhouse session in before the rain starts…

I hope that you are staying safe from wildfires and storms where you are today.



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Metal Art





Mari9art Metal Art – Artmajeur




Olsen Metal Art- Facebook

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All I Ask

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Vicarious Vacation at TopSail




Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law/friend, we have another day of vicarious vacation at Topsail Beach!


Thanks, ML

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