Monthly Archives: September 2020


Black Birch and Butterflies –

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement

Art From Found Objects 3




Arlene Schulman



Beans & Seeds Art

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Gorgeous Fall Day!


I’m still smiling from finding this!  I LOVE this cat!

It’s gorgeous, sunny, and 64 degrees F. here in Arkansas today.

I’m still patting myself on the head because I was able to figure out why our yard irrigation system was failing to come on. I don’t know what got it ‘wonky,’ but I was giving it a last-ditch-effort, having tried everything I could figure out to do on reprogramming the thing, and it FINALLY came on as it was supposed to. My husband was impressed. I just smiled – as if it were no big thing – but INSIDE I was jumping up and down. :0)

I will try to spend some time working on my garden boxes today.

Enjoy your day.




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Filed under .gifs I Love, Seasons, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Honor Harrington Series


My husband introduced me to the Honor Harrington series by David Weber.  I’m reading this book, which is the 8th in the series. I think there are 6 more.

I love series involving strong women as the central character. Though David Weber is very thorough about describing military details and physics (things I can appreciate only in a vague way and can’t really follow) there is a strong story line and characters you won’t forget. He describes a world and situations that will envelop you and keep you mentally jumping to keep up.

“Harrington, the heroine of the eponymous “Honorverse”, is an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy (RMN), the space navy of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. She has a genius for tactical command, often overcoming significant odds (and sometimes significant loss of life), which results in her receiving numerous awards and promotions. She is also a martial artist of note.” ~ Good Reads.

Strong women characters make me proud to even imagine sharing the same world. They act as I wish I were able.

This is a good series that you might like.

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More Great Acrylic Paintings

Nongkran_ch – iStock – Getty Images








The Virtual Instructor

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Progress Report 9-30-2020

“Caught Red-Pawed” – Audrius P. – Bored Panda

I have been trying to get as healthy as I can so that I can continue to do what I love for as long as possible. This means losing as much of my lard as I can and trying to move more.

Since my lardiest, I have lost 40 pounds and there is 34.7 inches less of me than there was at one time. My goal is to lose another 30 lbs. and to continue exercising. As we age, we tend to move more hesitantly. That might not be the best descriptive word, but it’s the one that comes to mind. The feet start to shuffle, the movements become more tentative, as if we’re testing the waters before diving in. I am hoping that my efforts on the elliptical trainer and my yoga stretches will delay that for several more years.

My husband and I are very happy with our new eating plan.  We ate “Pork, Black Beans, Brown Rice, and BBQ Sauce” from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ last night and it was YUMMY! Otherwise, I ate tuna fish salad and  green olives for lunch and some cottage cheese as a snack.  I’m drinking enough water to float a boat. (or at least it SEEMS that much…)

This seems to be working for us. My husband looks forward to his meals again (we were cringing for awhile with the prepared plans we were on). He is basically at his goal weight and is mainly trying to hold the line on sugar and hold the new weight. I can’t get him to exercise, but I will continue to ‘try to set a good example’ and hope he’ll want to do it, too. I can’t really talk very loudly since he was never as overweight as I and can still outlast me on stamina when we’re working on a project together.

I have set my goals for the next month, hoping to be able to report more progress to you at the end of October. In the meantime, I have finished a cup of coffee, so it’s time to replace my cup with a bottle of water…


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Filed under aging, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off

Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-29-2020

dogspotting-Bored Panda

Today is cool, sunny, and beautiful.

Today is a two-outing day for us.

We’re leaving in a couple of minutes to take out our trash in the truck, get our mail, then run errands. Later today I’ll go out again for a hair cut. Exciting life we lead!

Actually, I can use a BUNCH of ‘ordinary,’ ‘quiet,’ ‘normal,’ and ‘peaceful.’ All really beautiful words and much appreciated. I plan to do a bunch of relaxing between outings.


Last night we tried our first frozen dinner from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ in Greenwood. 1435 West Center St., Greenwood, AR 72936.  479.597.3242. the meal was “Chicken, Brown Rice, and BBQ Sauce.” The chicken was excellent. The rice, not so much for me. I got one mouthful of really HOT (to me – a real wuss) BBQ sauce. My husband loved the dinner and said it was one of his favorites since we’ve been eaten food from the two new places in Greenwood. He didn’t have anything hot. He said he could have easily eaten twice as much of the chicken – but that has been our problem – reasonable portions for a human. We were both satisfied, so that was good. I’ll make sure we order this again for my husband next time. Tonight we will try “Pork, Black Beans, Brown Rice and BBQ Sauce.” Their store was clean. There were two really friendly guys who greeted us, had our order ready, and we were out the door in under 3 minutes flat. Impressive. I also like the fact that they print the nutrition information on their website, on the packages, etc. so you know what you’re ordering and eating. I am feeling SUPER lucky that we have TWO new places that BOTH offer good, convenient frozen foods for us to plan our dieting around. :0)

I seem to be in an ‘advertising-frame-of-mind’ today.  I have awful hair – thin, fine, yucky. I’m lucky to have a wonderful hair stylist, Michael Remillard in Greenwood at Tangles, 40 Town Square, Greenwood AR 72936. 479-996-6636 who understands this. I’m going for a haircut today. He knows that my hair doesn’t do anything good on its own. The best thing I can do for it is keep it clean and go to Michael for good hair cuts. I wash it every morning and blow it dry. He cuts it so that it looks like there is a PLAN. Mine is very short now, kind of like a pixie cut. It’s easy to take care of.

I have found a shampoo that I REALLY like. It’s called “Herbal Essences Bio:renew, Blue Ginger & Micellar Water Refresh.” Quite a mouthful, isn’t it!  I like it because

  • it smells good
  • it makes a truly wonderful amount of lather
  • it rinses out really well, without my feeling I have any kind of residue

I looked for it at Walgreens today. They had Herbal Essences, but not this flavor. I just ordered it online. It comes in a nice twin-pack. :0)

I harvested these sweet little bitty tomatoes yesterday. This may be the last of the year. I’m continuing to work in my raised bed, square foot garden. I’ll show you pics when things get a bit farther along. The tomatoes come from two brick planters on the opposite side of our house from the garden. We converted them from regular planters, filling them up with Mel’s Mix. Even with the weird growing season we have had this year, we had a nice crop.

While we were out doing errands, we saw our plumber, Travis Hawkins. 479-461-8347. He helped us recently with a water pressure problem, and then with a follow-up problem with our master bedroom shower. He told us that when we called about the shower, he tried to get to us himself, but got covered up in work, so sent his co-worker, Josh. He said he MEANT to just stop by and not charge us. Since Josh DID, he said he ‘owed us a service call and won’t charge us for the call the next time he comes.’ To say we feel lucky to have found him is a HUGE understatement. He is a really first-class person.

I hope that your Tuesday is a fun one.









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Acrylic Paintings




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Good Thought


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Sing It!

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True Excellence

Jim – portrait by Niki Firmin

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Filed under drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits

Beautiful COOL Fall Day


A cold front came through overnight. Our temperature right now (9:45 a.m.) is 53!  The sun is shining and it’s beautiful outside. This is the first morning in a LONG time we haven’t opened our doors first thing when we come downstairs. It was actually TOO COOL to do that!  We’ll probably do it later as the day warms up, but it looks like summer is finally waving goodbye.

I got my six 4 foot x 4 foot raised bed, square foot planters weeded yesterday. I managed to harvest the remainder of the onions and finish the weeding without getting stung or bitten by the fire ants that had taken up residence in a couple of the planters. We live on about 8 acres. I have no clue why they would climb up the legs of the planters and live in my veggies, but it really has been a problem for me.

Today I’ll remove the broken wooden strips that support the irrigation hoses and sprinkler heads for the garden, plus I’ll string wire on the one box we forgot to prep this season. I’m not sure if I’ll start the process of mixing Mel’s mix for the boxes today or not.

Mel’s Mix is the wonderful soil alternative that allows me to have a garden at about my chest height so I don’t have to worry about the quality (or lack of) of my soil, and can have a garden where I can plant, weed, and harvest without having to bend over double or get up and down on my knees. Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening is the man who came up with the process. Mel’s Mix is a combination of vermiculite, peat moss, and as many different kinds of compost as you can find. It makes a really rich medium in which to grow plants.

I keep the ingredients in big trash cans along the back of our shop, just next to the garden. We got a used cement mixer that I use in preparation. I put the components in the proper ratio into the mixer, mix it for awhile, then dump it into a big plastic container and dump it into one of my planters over and over until the planters are all filled up.  Though a bit laborious, it works very well.

When this is all done, I have a tarp to put on each planter that I’ll secure with bungie cords. This should keep the growth of weeds down until I’m ready to plant in the spring.

I’m doing a bit on this each day Mother Nature is feeling cooperative. I’ll take pics of the garden prep soon.

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Filed under Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Diet Day 1:

My husband is basically at his goal weight now. He is very happy about that, and is determined to keep the weight off. We have been really trying to avoid sugar, and his blood sugar numbers are stellar.  :0)  He really likes the Real Food frozen dinners we have been getting. (We pick up our newest order this afternoon.) He has not been throwing much extra bad stuff into our grocery cart, and is encouraging about MY efforts to lose the lard. He told me this morning he was very happy with our eating plan. :0)  Our main source for food is Real Food in Greenwood. We did get some food from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ this past week and put it in the freezer. Since the weather is cooling off, we try to stock up. Living on the top of a ridge line has taught us that having extra supplies in the winter is a very good thing… We will try some of the newest offerings soon.

I have to admit that I’m a bit teed off that my husband has a so much easier time losing weight than I do. He comes in and nukes our dinner, but I’m the one who keeps up with all of the details, makes lunches and snacks, figures out and cooks a keto meal when indicated, cleans up, etc. He does not exercise and has no inclination to. He eats things he shouldn’t, and yet – he has met his goal!

“I” am eating right and exercising (in one form or another) on a daily basis and still have about 30 pounds of lard to lose. I am drinking so much water my eyeballs float. I am making progress, but V E R R R Y slowly.  Since I am definitely not getting any taller, I will just have to continue my efforts and celebrate each pound that finally leaves.

I feel very lucky that we FINALLY found food that tastes good and have figured out a way to plan our eating for the day around the frozen meal we get from the newest good places in Greenwood.

One of these days I’ll be able to tell you I have finally met my goal!




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Wonderfully Creative Ideas

In a library – Licija Admoaite and Justinas Keturka – Bored Panda



Licija Admoaite and Justinas Keturka – Bored Panda   – I WANT ONE OF THESE! 



Licija Admoaite and Justinas Keturka – Bored Panda  – I LOVE THIS IDEA! 




Licija Admoaite and Justinas Keturka – Bored Panda – This is in Vietnam



Licija Admoaite and Justinas Keturka – Bored Panda – Safety glass in an optometrist’s office

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Fall is a Wonderful Season

Scott Webb – Unsplash

My energy level increases when the summer finally breathes its last and the cooler temperatures begin. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ‘mature,’ or because I am carrying more weight than I would like, but the hot temperature and humidity of summer do me in sometimes before I’ve done much more than begun. I really don’t like being forced to hurry from one source of air conditioning to the next in order to feel halfway comfortable.

We are feeling definite relief here in Arkansas now. In fact, we have a cold front due overnight which is to bring significantly lower temperatures! :0)

I have always liked cool weather clothes. I love layering, including vests, hoodies, scarves, hats, sweaters, jackets, coats, boots and more. It doesn’t matter that when I pull on a cute hat with a pom pom on the top, I look like I’ve been swallowed. I love it anyway! I am forcing myself to go through my collection, though, because I have WAAAY more than any one person can really use. I will share my wealth of silly hats and great scarves with the people who shop at the Disabled Vets Thrift Town in Ft. Smith. I’m trying to arrange a donation once every other month this year, and my winter stuff is a good place to start.

I love things like hot chocolate, main meal soups, stews, chili. Big hunks of bread (though I will put even the IDEA of this one off until maybe NEXT year – when MAYBE I will have reached my goal weight); walking outside, enjoying the changing colors of the leaves, a fire in the fireplace, sitting under a throw in my recliner with a good book and a cup of coffee…

What is YOUR favorite season?



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Filed under memories, Seasons

More Stunning Oil Paintings

“Swallow Song” –



“Waterfall” – Leonid Afremov

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Weight Loss Tip 2

Born to Workout

I am feeling more in control of what my husband and I are eating now. We are both happy with the food we are getting from REAL FOOD in Greenwood. It’s delicious. We are basing our eating for the day around the meal we eat from there, having a really light lunch and very careful snacks, if any.

We are lucky to have ANOTHER good frozen food place that just opened recently in Greenwood.  It’s called, STU’S CLEAN COOKIN’.  We looked at their menu online yesterday morning, ordered, and were able to pick up our order after 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning! We had paid online and they had our order ready for us. You can’t ask for faster service than that!  We put that in the freezer to stock up. I like the fact that they list the nutrition of each meal on their website. I look forward to seeing if we like their “cookin.”

We get enough to eat 5 dinners per week and then I cook on the weekend, making one of the keto recipes we like. So far, we are losing weight and really enjoying LIKING our food!

My husband is only a couple of pounds away from his goal weight, but he likes the food so much, he is being VERY cooperative about doing this for the foreseeable future while I continue my efforts to get the lard off. (I have around 30 lbs to my goal, I think.)

With good food for the big meal of the day SO easy, I can concentrate on doing the other things I would like to do, rather than being tempted to feed my face in the kitchen.

Right now, the big project is trying to get my onions harvested without being stung/bitten by more fire ants who have taken up residence in my raised bed, square foot planters, and getting the planters cleaned out, things repaired, the boxes filled with Mel’s Mix, and then covered with tarps for the winter.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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Filed under DIET!, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Healthy Eating


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September 26, 2020 · 3:38 pm

Messy House

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

Stunning Oil Paintings

“Emotions” – Leonid Afremov




“Seashore at Sunset” – Anna Sergeeva – Saatchi Art




“Sunset in the Fog” –


Filed under Oil Paintings I Love

Today’s Weight Loss Tip!

Funny Pictures –

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Filed under DIET!, Joke of the Day

I Love Fall!


I love this. If “I” tried to do it, though, there would probably be a huge rock at the bottom of the pile waiting for me to bash my brains out jumping in like this. I’m mentally enjoying pretending I am this man, though.  It is 60 degrees right now and very cloudy. It’s supposed to clear up and be in the low 80’s with sunshine this afternoon. Mother Nature is really smiling on us right now.  LOVELY fall day.

Today we meet our friends for Lunch Bunch and then do a few errands.

Yahoo! Sports

Yesterday I won an award for laziness and procrastination. I had a whole list of things to do, but didn’t do much of anything. I ended up taking a nap in my chair, instead.  SURELY I can do better today!

Top 100 Funny Quotes via

The project for the day is cleaning out the shelves in our master bathroom. There are two floor-to-ceiling sets of shelves, plus a big medicine cabinet – all full of ‘stuff.’ I’m going to see if I can get those cleaned out today. I started to do this recently, but got snafued.

I hope that you have a nice Friday and an even nicer weekend.



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Filed under .gifs I Love, Seasons, Thoughts on a ________

The Art of Clay 2

Jennifer McCurdy – “Butterfly Tsunami” Vessel-Photo-by-Gary-Mirando









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The Art of Clay

Ceramic Arts Network-“Immortal Hare”




Creating Modern Art from the Earth

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Amber is Mourning

Amber is mourning the loss of all the ‘goodies’ she received while we were eating on the South Beach and BistroMD diet plans.

I think that, left to her own devices, she would eat until she blew up. She happily devoured the meals we tried, but didn’t care for, plus licked the containers clean, gaining some weight in the process. Now that we are enjoying the frozen meals from REAL FOOD, she isn’t getting anything extra – well, maybe a chance to lick a container…

She doesn’t seem to understand why she isn’t getting all the extra food,  following me around, hoping for a treat. (I carry little bitty dog biscuit treats in my pocket so that I reward her for good behavior.)

She will have to be a really good girl while she is in mourning from her lost ‘wealth’ of extra food…

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Jim Rohn –

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

I Love Fall

PicMix – Tenor

Such a glorious morning!

We have both doors open, encouraging an airing out of the house. My husband is taking a nap, covered with a blanket in his recliner. I had the happy thing of getting a bit TOO chilly while working at my computer, and so got up and turned the ceiling fan OFF!  It’s still too wet to work outside, so I’m still concentrating on INSIDE stuff today.

I’m having an easier time of my exercise time on my elliptical trainer. It’s in the garage, so the outside temperatures are a big factor for me. I don’t have to use the fan on the wall in front of the machine now. The little built-in one on the machine is enough. :0)  Coupled with my old lady yoga stretches, I feel I am getting a reasonable amount of exercise each day.

“Caught Red-Pawed” – Audrius P. – Bored Panda

I can’t express how excited (and relieved) I am to have found the frozen meals at REAL FOOD in Greenwood. (We put our pre-order in on Wednesday afternoons and then pick the order up the following Monday.) We are building our eating day around the frozen meal as the main meal of the day, eating very lightly the rest of the day. Both of us are continuing to lose weight. I’m am still cooking keto on the weekends. We won’t break any records on fast weight loss, but the scales have quit cringing so much when we get on. I’m also encouraged to have finally re-lost most of the weight I gained during the pandemic, now ready to break new ground in my losing-the-lard efforts. 40 pounds off is a nice, round number. My next goal is 45.  I am hopeful that when I measure at the end of the month, my tape measure will be happier, too.

I was dreaming last night of a new group of products to make in my art room. I love quotes, and am really inspired by some, laugh at others – so I’m going to do some paintings on small hard canvas boards, using Unicorn Spit paint, watercolors, acrylics, melted crayons, etc. and then letter good quotes that people might like on them. The ideas are rattling around, so it’ll be fun to get to my art room and see what happens.

I’m still working on cleaning out and getting rid of things – donating the things that others can use, pitching other things, cleaning and reorganizing the rest. I haven’t decided on my project for the day, but I’m leaning toward our master bedroom bath.

Our son lives in Thailand. He said he had been getting some rain lately. Then he sent us a video that he took outside his yard –

The URL is if the video above doesn’t play for you.

I hope that you are safe and well wherever you are today.


Filed under .gifs I Love, Mother Nature, Seasons, Thoughts on a ________


August Grove via Wayfair

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

Playing in My Art Room – Bookmarks Finished

I just had a good time finishing up the last 8 bookmarks. I enjoy painting them, gluing them, sealing them, etc., but it’s a whole other joy to choose special do-dads to be attached to them. :0)

I will get them ready to take to the booth Carla and I rent at Rags & Roses Collective in Greenwood. 

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Filed under Lewis Art


forwarded email

Right now I am feeling like the sweet little dog on the left.

I realize I am in good company, with people trying to deal with challenges much greater than mine – whether it’s fear of COVID-19, economic results of the pandemic and shut-downs, fear for the future, dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, unrest in the country, politics, family issues, and more. It’s ALL challenging and sometimes we wonder if we are strong enough to deal with it.  I found the following helpful.


Lori Deschene via

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