Monthly Archives: January 2021


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Paul Sweeney –

I am in the middle of a re-read of book # 47 (of 51) of the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) In Death series before diving into the newest one to come out in paperback.

I’m lucky because reading is such a large part of my life.

My parents started teaching me to read when I was very young, exasperated that my mom, dad, and brother were all engrossed in a book, a crossword puzzle, and a comic book while I sat in the middle of the living room bored out of my mind. I looked from one to the other and finally said, in a loud voice, “I wish to HELL I could read!” Instead of beating my rear for the language, my mom got one of my books, sat on the floor with me, and began to change my life.

I became a teacher, earning my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist, using my guitar to help my sweet students learn phonics so that they had the tools to sound out unfamiliar words on their own. (That, and other things the public school frowned on, led me to start my own reading clinic, teaching students from kindergarten to adults who needed missing parts filled in so they understood what they needed to do to make sense of things.) We never actually made a profit, so I had to move on after 3-1/2 years to make money to help support our family.

After going through the school system myself, and then, particularly while earning my Masters while working full time, I lost my love for reading. I would find myself reading the newspaper, a magazine, or a paperback book as if I would be tested on it when I finished, the tension gathering in my neck and shoulders. It took me awhile, but finally I was able to relax again and simply dive in to learn something new, share someone else’s experience, or just dream.

Now I can’t imagine trying to live without reading. I find it difficult to name something else that changed my life for the better as much. It has saved my sanity – I THINK :0).

I am lucky to have several authors that I consider so wonderful I want to enter the worlds they have created over and over. Each time I do that, I find something I missed or have forgotten that enriches me, deepens my appreciation or understanding, fills my heart again.

I hope that you, too, are surrounded by people who share their expertise and creativity with you through their writing.


Filed under Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

More Awe-Inspiring Photography

Becky Lundgren – Ray K. Alan – Pinterest

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Art from Found Things

liddlenomnom – Demilked
Mixed Media Max –
The Metropolitan Field Guide


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Just Don’t

Yesterday I cooked a beef roast in the slow cooker. I fixed some rice, made some gravy with a keto type thickener, rather than flour, and we splurged with some corn – something we love but hadn’t enjoyed for a long time. The dinner was good and my husband was quite complimentary.

The NEXT thing was the important NEW thing.

I put the leftover rice into individual meal containers. I put in some of the beef roast, corn, and a spoonful or two of the gravy. I then sealed the containers and put them into the freezer.

I know. It doesn’t sound like anything to write about. The thing is, we USED to just put the leftovers in the fridge and finish them off the next night. NOW we EACH have two more meals to eat when the time is right – meals that are a ‘portion’ that regular humans eat, rather than just grabbing large bowls and dividing the leftovers up.

This is a huge difference for us and I feel happy. We had plenty for 4 more meals. We RECOGNIZED that, and divided things up so that eating the way normal people do will be EASY for us.


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Declaring Victory –

We took the bed apart, down to the air mattresses and pumps. We used soapy water all around the pumps hoses, and then around the edges of the mattress on my husband’s side. Everything was nice and firm and we found absolutely no sign of a leak. He said the firmness was still up from last night.

We’re not sure if the jostling around that we did got something back in place, more settled, or more secure, but we are declaring victory. We have the main part of the bed put back together now and are waiting for the mattress cover to get finished in the dryer. Then we’ll put it on and add the fresh sheets.

A lot of activity this morning, but it’s good to know that even if we continue to have a slow leak, it isn’t because of something serious.

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Photos I Love
Getty Images

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Love Affair

forwarded by a friend

The next thing on my diet list is to keep trying recipes for low carb bread. I’ve found one that is workable, but not great.

I’ve always had a love affair with bread. I love the creative things people do when baking bread so that it looks beautiful while tasting wonderful. I enjoy the idea of breaking off a hunk of bread and enjoying it with soups or stews. I really like a roll with dinner or a sandwich for lunch.


That said, bread is part of the reason I am trying to lose my lard. I am looking for ONE low carb bread recipe that I can make where I can slice it for sandwiches or use it as a replacement for a roll.

If you have one that you think is good, I would really appreciate it if you would let me know.

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We Have a Leak


In 2005 we bought a competitor to the Sleep Number Bed, called Celenia, by Comfortaire. It has been a wonderful bed. We particularly like the fact that each of us can independently adjust the firmness of our side of the bed. It has worked flawlessly until lately, when my husband keeps having to hit the control to pump up his side.

We stripped the bed all the way down to the fancy, super-sturdy air mattresses this morning. We will tackle finding and repairing the leak, if possible today. This is much like finding a leak in a tire. We will make up a solution of soap and water and see if any area of the bed bubbles up. If that doesn’t find it, the problem may be where the hose goes into the mattress – a more complicated problem.

I’m a good go-fer and will endeavor to keep my mouth firmly closed – with any suggestions or questions squelched before they are allowed to see the light of day. Hopefully, we will find and fix the leak while I’m washing everything that goes ON the bed. I really would rather not have to call and try to find someone who can come and fix it for us…

Fingers crossed for our success.

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Great Pet Portraits

Waggy Dogz – Christine Varley
Warwick Hall Burford

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forward from a friend

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‘Enthusiastic’ Eating

My husband has requested that I cook a roast in the crock pot, so I’ll do that tomorrow. I’m am learning to put any leftovers into individual meal containers for us and put them into the freezer, to be put into the regular rotation.

Mostly, though, we center our eating around two new places in Greenwood that offer healthy frozen individual meals. REAL FOOD and STU’S CLEAN COOKIN’ both offer really delicious meals, and we are thoroughly enjoying them.

We center our eating for the day around our dinner frozen meal. We are usually sharing a homemade tuna fish salad and sugar free jello for lunch. My husband has some sweet pickles and I have green or black olives. I usually add another portion of veggies to our evening meal.

Our biggest problems center around snacking. I am trying to decide what my snack for the day will be and stick to it. I am also trying to drink lots of water. Sometimes I think that all the water-drinking advice is a ploy to get even the most sluggish among us to get some exercise – running to the bathroom! We both really want ‘something’ as we move toward bedtime. I’m trying to work on things for that, too.

We fell off the wagon during the pandemic and should be up for an award or two for creating new excuses for not eating the way we should and exercises. We are back in the saddle now and are seeing some steady progress.

Even though the winter and the pandemic encourage our desire for comfort food, I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity to have MORE control over what we are putting into our mouths and how we are spending our time.

I will try to be a good little girl and get my gold stars for my exercises today. :0)

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Filed under DIET!, exercise

Hope is Where You Find It

There is SO much hate and hostility now sometimes coming at us in waves. To combat this, I am looking for hope where I can find it.

This morning when I let our yellow lab, Amber, out, I noticed that our silly daffodils have shot up greenery in preparation for blooming in the spring. We have a good 6 weeks or more of really bad weather for daffodils, maybe even resulting in their deaths. Yet here they are, giving life their all, full of hope that things will get better.

I dug up our daffodils several years ago, transplanting them around the yard. I dug deep and thought I had gotten all the bulbs out, since it’s kind of a pain to deal with them around the well house. Some came up anyway, despite my efforts, determined to put on a show.

Each year they are thicker and stronger, and I look at them as determined, hopeful, heroic, happy plants, believing they should come up wherever they want and be treasured wherever they are found.

May we all look at the ‘silly daffodils,’ full of hope in the middle of a hostile environment, determined to add their beauty and optimism wherever they are – and emulate them.

Where will you bloom?

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Filed under Favorite Things, hope, Mother Nature

Old Age

Bernard Baruch –

Some days I feel older than dirt. The articles that come out occasionally that point out what people in their 20s or 30s never heard of hit me right between the eyes. When someone on TV talks about the ‘elderly,’ and then make it clear that “I” am included in that group, it’s a gut punch. When I harbor fantasies about some wonderful hunk and then am forced to realize he’s young enough to be my SON, it hurts. If I fold myself into a paper airplane doing my yoga stretches and then have trouble getting OUT of the pose, I get a bit cranky.

But most of the time age is not an issue with me. I really think that if I could just ‘be’ the age I felt, I would probably be somewhere in my early 40s. No spring chicken, but…

The key to aging – I think – is just ignoring the whole thing for as long as you can. That doesn’t mean being stupid about it. You should try to get – and stay – as healthy as you can. THAT means that I am continuing to try to shed my extra lard and exercise, using whatever means it takes to keep moving. One of the things I’m doing that brings up my spirits as well as is good for my muscles and bones is wearing my MP3 player and dancing in a room all by myself so I don’t have to worry about my husband’s, dog’s, or cat’s reactions to it. The years fall away and I’m the age I was the first time I heard or danced to the music. Since my music list is old, it makes me feel young and full of life. I can close my eyes, surrounded by the music, and dance my heart out. :0)

Staying interested in things, plus learning new ones, is another thing that allows you to ignore the fact that you’re getting older. I personally find discovering a new art technique or medium and watching the YouTube demonstrations gets my juices flowing, eager to try it. It doesn’t matter if I am successful or not. It’s FUN to spend some time making a mess with childlike joy and no pressure to ‘perform.’


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Filed under aging, Attitude

More Fabulous Pet Portraits

Janet Zeh – Zeh Original
Moonlake Designs Ltd.
Wetnose Watercolours

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Alliance of Therapy Dogs

I just came in from doing 35 minutes of my elliptical trainer in our garage and I’m FROZEN. The garage is the only place we have a hard floor that isn’t in the way, so the trainer lives there. In summer, I have a fan on the wall right in front of the trainer so I don’t melt. In the winter, I’m on my own.

Today the computer says it’s 33 outside. It MAY be 40 up here on our ridge line, but it’s COLD in the garage. I had on a long-sleeved shirt and my puffy vest, but it wasn’t enough. Tomorrow I’ll wear a sweatshirt, THEN my puffy vest, and some gloves….

I did give myself a gold star on my desk calendar, so I feel good about my efforts right now.

This afternoon, I’ll do my yoga stretches.

I hope that YOU are feeling good, too.

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Beautiful Pet Portraits – Pinterest
Rosie Coyne – Pet Portraiture UK

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Veterinarian Bend Oregon

I’ve been doing my stretching yoga poses for several days in a row now and I’m definitely feeling looser. The thing I’m NOT is smarter.

I have proven to myself several times now that I hurt less, feel looser, AND feel better about myself when I do 30 minutes or so of yoga stretches (old lady version) every day. I even give myself a gold star on my desk calendar when I do my practice. And, yet, STILL it does not become a habit, where I notice and miss it when I don’t do it. I would really LIKE for that to happen.

Soon I will be another year older – (unless I get hit by a bus or something before then.) I would LIKE to be able to report that I am taking better care of myself – eating healthy food, eating reasonable portions, losing some of my lard, and moving easier with less pain, building a stronger core.

This is not merely a New Year’s Resolution. I am trying for a true lifestyle change. I am trying to take one day at a time, rather than being overwhelmed by the hugeness of the challenge. I have plans for what I’ll eat today. I will go do my 35 minutes on my elliptical as soon as I finish my blog posts here (and my coffee). We have errands to run and then I will do my 30 minutes of yoga this afternoon.

I will try to be better than I was yesterday.

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Filed under Attitude, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

Do It.

Sanjay Daya

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Food for Thought, kindness

Funky Fish

I cleaned out my aquarium yesterday. We have a new issue, and I’m not sure why – that of ‘green water algae.’ I researched it, but didn’t find a whole lot of information about the ‘why’ of it. Since we have it and I don’t want it, I found and ordered some stuff that is supposed to be safe for fish but gets rid of – and then helps prevent more – algae. It’s called, “No More Algae.”

Right now the water is sparkling clean. I really am beginning to think that cleaning the aquarium spurs the fish on to poop more – if possible. Maybe it’s boredom. Maybe I can find some kind of decoration that sings, dances, or talks to the fish to give them more to do than eat, swim, and poop.

I love my fish. I like going past the aquarium umpteen times each day, talking to them, seeing the clean tank and water, feeding them, and occasionally finding another decoration I hope they’ll enjoy. The smaller, almost white gold fish is about 3 times as large as it was when I bought them. The gold fish is a good 4 or 5 times as large as it was. They seem healthy and happy. Hopefully the new algae killer/fighter will help me keep the aquarium nicer.

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Wonderful Pet Portraits
Deidre Wicks

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Stone Art 12 – Stefano Furlani

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Weight Loss Tips

  • When eating donuts – only eat the center part.
  • Weigh yourself with only one foot on the scale.
  • Eat your food with one chopstick.
  • Don’t eat your evening meal before breakfast.
  • Only eat food that you can catch & kill with a toothpick.
  • Even when dieting, laughter should be on everyone’s menu…. it tastes delicious!

NB. Thanks to Larry Wentz. Owner of Weight Loss MatchettGroup

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Filed under DIET!, Funny Signs - Humor


I saw this Everblade Knife on TV around the beginning of November and ordered it online. I waited and waited, but didn’t receive it. Finally, a week or so ago, I wrote, telling them to either send the knife I ordered or give me a refund. It was just delivered about 30 minutes ago, January 25th.

Though the shipping was lousy, the knife seems to be first class. It comes with a self-sharpener for the blade built into the holder, which sticks to whatever surface you would like. Every time you take the knife out or put it back in, the blade is sharpened.

I have high hopes, since it was advertised that it makes cutting squash and/or bread easy, and that really appealed to me. You have to hand wash and dry it, but that’s a very small price to pay if it’s as good as I hope it is.

I’ll make a note to let you know.


The other thing I ordered about the same time was a purse. It looked like a good size, had a strap so you can wear it cross-body, is large enough to easily carry my big wallet/checkbook combination, and looked like leather, even though it cost almost nothing.

Again I just received it in the mail this past week. I transferred all my STUFF to it yesterday and carried it for the first time today. I love it. It’s probably not leather, but it FEELS good. Nice and soft and yummy.

This is the back.

This is the front.

I love it. So the lesson for the day is that determination and patience pays off. :0)

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges

Take the Next Fork…

Diet Humor – Jypseegirl – Pinterest

I lost a pound yesterday – Whoo HOOOO!


Only 800 to go!

We are thankful that we have TWO frozen individual healthy meal places that have opened in the past year in Greenwood. We plan our eating for the day around these, trying to keep our calories down and portions good in our efforts to NOT each sugar and lose the lard. I will go pick up our order for the week from one of them today.

Yesterday I really worked to finish the tax prep and the reorganization of my booth basket, so I didn’t exercise. :0( I will get back on the exercise horse today, with the elliptical trainer as soon as I return from errands and then yoga this afternoon. If it will stop the spring-rains-in-the-middle-of-winter weather, I’ll also try to get outside and at least walk around the yard.

I hope that you are managing to stay safe from the Covid virus, eat right, and exercise your way to better health, too.

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Stone Art 11 – Stefano Furlani

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Pat, Pat, Pat

Clipart Library

Yesterday I truly earned a pat on the head.

THING ONE: I FINISHED my part of our 2020 tax prep. It is in an envelope waiting for some investment statements to be available online and printed, then it will be taken and dumped, with relief, on our CPA for processing.

As a part of this, I started spreadsheets for 2021, made some improvements to my filing system, and threw some stuff away. I also discovered that there was, indeed, a DESK in my office, under the huge pile of STUFF.

Note: The big white envelope on the right side of the desk is the tax stuff that is almost ready to go!

THING TWO: I finally went through the big laundry basket I use to haul things back and forth to the booth my friend Carla and I share at Rags & Roses Collective in Greenwood. It was an absolute mess, full of packing materials, display supplies I can never quite put my hands on when I’m trying to put new things in the booth, products I had brought home, products that needed to be put in the booth when there is room, etc.

The thing remaining is the counter area where my computer is. I’ll clean that up today and then celebrate by giving myself some time to play in my art room this afternoon.

Every once in a while, I do something GOOD! :0)

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering


I just finished my part of the tax prep for the year. I feel SMUG, TRIUMPHANT, and RELIEVED.

I feel SMUG because I jumped right in on it this year, rather than doing my normal procrastinating until it was a really stressful, have-to thing. I have been inputting monthly information on the spreadsheets I created for each tax category so that when all the information is there, I just total it and print it. This has been the best year ever for staying on top of things. I have opened the spreadsheets now for 2021.


I feel TRIUMPHANT because I figured out some things on my filing system for receipts that will save me a LOT of time and effort next year.

I feel RELIEVED because it is done ahead of time – for once. I will print investment statements when they are available and then we can take it all to our wonderful CPA to perform his magic and make sure all is good.


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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges

Spare Cats

Liucija Adomaite and Mindaugas Balciauskas,

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Filed under Family, Favorite Pictures