Monthly Archives: April 2022

Feeling Empowered

Michelle Gibbings

It may seem a small thing, but I’m feeling empowered.

The timer to the irrigation system for our veggie garden ‘went wonky’ the other day, probably after a storm. At any rate, it wasn’t working. My husband, who has, for years and years, been the technical expert and fix-it person around here, said, “Maybe we can find the old one.”

I stopped at the timer several times over the last week or so, trying to reprogram it on the fly. To say I was unsuccessful is an understatement.

I finally made it a priority to find the paperwork and see if I had directions on how to program the thing. A backup would be writing down the NAME of the timer and looking it up on the net to see if there was an online set of directions.

Luckily, I found the paperwork and it did include directions!

I read over them carefully, took them with me out to the outside standing faucet. I followed the directions as carefully as I could and it seemed to show I had done it.

I set the timer in the house for the time it was supposed to start watering, then went out to see if it did, in fact, start. It DID! It watered for 10 minutes as I had programmed and then shut off. HOORAAAAAY!!!!!

I – almost the least technical person I know – or have ever met – programmed the irrigation system.

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, CUTE!, Funny Signs - Humor

Finagle’s Law

Finagle’s law of dynamic negatives (also known as Melody’s law, Sod’s Law or Finagle’s corollary to Murphy’s law) is usually rendered as “Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment.”

Since I’m finally losing some weight – and losing inches in conjunction with that, I hope – I put in an order for a size smaller jeans.

I ordered one pair. (They are too long and I’m having to roll them up, but they are a much better fit otherwise.) I put in a follow-up order for the same size, but in ‘petite’ (a tactful word for SHORT.) I received one pair (I’m wearing them now) , but the other pair is on back-order.

My husband suggested I order a couple more pairs in the same size, so I would be in good shape once they arrive. I did that, and also ordered a size smaller, since I’m hoping I’ll be ready for that in the future. I also ordered some shorts, since our weather changes from spring to summer temperatures sometimes in the space of a couple of days.

Yesterday I had a delivery! The package was on our front porch waiting, since we had gone to look for my husband’s sugar-free drinks.

Finagle’s Law of Dynamic Negatives definitely applies –

  • Did I receive the back-ordered pair of jeans from the original order? NO.
  • Was it the additional order of the current sized jeans? NO.
  • The shorts? NO.

The delivery was the two pairs of SMALLER jeans I’m hoping to be able to wear in the future, once I shed more of my lard. :0)

Hahahahahahaahahahah. I guess they will be further motivation on my efforts…

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises


I’m finally learning (I know – It’s about time…) that I shouldn’t let things overwhelm me. As I age, feeling overwhelmed is my first gut reaction. Thankfully, nowadays it’s not my ONLY reaction. Fast on the heels of my more immature feeling, I’m learning to break things down into doable chunks – or ‘what do I need to do first’ questions. Even, walk away for a couple of minutes, calm down, and THEN do the above.

This gut reaction has been with me all my life. I’m NOT the person who calmly deals with things in a crisis. My eyes glaze over and I’m engulfed by panic. A small example: Years ago, when my husband and I lived in our first home in Tulsa, OK, the garage apartment caught fire. I called my MOTHER first – before I called the fire department! (Yeah, I’m still embarrassed.)

So, when I’m feeling very small, overwhelmed, like the small child above looking up, I am consciously trying to keep my head and put one foot in front of the other, starting to deal with whatever happens as well as I can.

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are” – attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, but HE attributes it to Squire Bill Widener of Widener’s Valley, Virginia.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges

Wondrous Watercolor
Yesim Meltem-Bolu-Gozurkara


Filed under Watercolors I Love

“Owl Be Seeing You….”

“I’ll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through”
~ I’ll Be Seeing You – Eddie Heywood

Pinterest – (sorry I don’t have further source for this stunning image.) Sleeper

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, sculpture, Tree Carving Art, When Wood Comes Alive


As I type this, we’re about to get a downpour. Our skies are very dark – like night – but it’s just supposed to be heavy rain, nothing severe. For that I am grateful.

I’m also thankful that, after MUCH searching lately, we finally found the zero sugar Mtn Dew Spark raspberry-lemonade drink my husband wanted. We couldn’t find it locally. Our local grocery was the place my husband found it, but the grocery changed hands and the new owner doesn’t stock it, at least not ‘yet.’ We lucked out at Target in Ft. Smith yesterday afternoon. We stocked up, and he should be in good shape for a good while now. He is Type II diabetic and it’s really important he stick with zero sugar things as much as humanly possible.

I’m grateful I don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking today. (I replenished our supply of hard-boiled eggs a couple of days ago. I made a double batch of low carb biscuits. Two days ago I made a pot roast.) My husband was really happy with it and asked if we could have more tonight. I ‘graciously’ said, “Sure!” So all I need to do is heat things up, cook a veggie, toss a salad, and dinner is ready. :0)

I’m grateful for what should be a quiet day. Since it’s about to rain, work outside isn’t possible. The first thing I’ll do today (after writing some blog posts) is package the meat and chicken we bought recently for the freezer. Then I’ll start the project I was planning to start yesterday – reorganizing our pantry. I’m starting with our medicines.

PopSugar Fitness

I’m grateful that I can do the exercise I want to do in the comfort of my own home, regardless of the weather, without having to plan it around a lot of other people’s schedules. I do my exercise videos right here at my computer. I just put on my headphones, grab my weights, and start. My elliptical trainer is in our garage. Unless the temperature is really high or really low, I’m good to go there. I now have my new MP3 player so I can listen to some tunes while I use it. Then, I unroll my yoga mat in the living room, take off my shoes, put the two pillows on the floor, and I can stretch myself in all directions – sometimes with the help of our cat, Abby, and our dog, Amber.

MUCH gratitude on this last day of April.

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Hostility vs Maturity – No Contest

This is a fight between my head and my gut feelings and my gut feelings are winning right now. It doesn’t matter that I KNOW I’m being childish/immature/unrealistic/whatever-other-adjective-you-choose. It’s how I FEEL, and that is overriding any chance of my acting like an adult.

And, why am I feeling/acting this way, you ask? (Assuming you’re still reading :0) )

I’m being really, really good on my low-carb diet and exercise program. In fact, I’m finishing a month of low-carb eating and tracking, and am on Week 3 of a really good exercise program created by Mike Kutcher, a Seniors’ Specialist Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist on the website MoreLifeHealth/

SOMETHING seems to be happening, because my Keto Stix are turning deep purple now. My scales are yo-yo-ing in results. I don’t care if I don’t LOSE weight every day. I realize there is a lot that goes into what shows on the scales any given day. But I resent GAINING weight. Yesterday, for example, the scales showed I had GAINED 2 lbs. Today I’m down half a pound from that, but I’m varying too much for me to handle like an adult. I’ve been told not to weigh every day, and I see the sense in that. The trouble is, I’ve learned the hard way that if I DON’T check it every day, my mind seems to go into relaxation mode, figuring ‘a little bit of this or a little bite of that shouldn’t matter.’ The scales represent my personal accountability.

SOMETHING ELSE seems to be happening, too, in that my jeans got loose. I ordered the next size down. My husband told me to go ahead and order more in that size. I did, but my NEW jeans are loose again. The MEASURING TAPE isn’t showing ANY progress, though. I’ve also read that measurements can be off from one time to the next and that you need to be really careful with it, but I AM.

So. I’m feeling hostile. I would LIKE to have results on the scales and with the measuring tape that I can point to – at least in the comfort of my own home – giving me positive feedback.

I’m SUPPOSED to be reporting to you today the end of WEEK 4 on my low-carb and the end of WEEK 3 of my much more active exercise program. I have lost the pandemic weight gain of 6.6 pounds and am back to my 30-pounds-off-from-my-heaviest point. I have lost about 28 inches from my heaviest, but no difference except the jeans thing to this point in my new push to get and stay healthier.

Canton Box Company –

I will ‘keep on keepin’ on.” Fingers crossed that my results by the end of May will be more encouraging.


Filed under DIET!, exercise, taking care of yourself

Friday Love

email from a friend

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Metal Art from Found Objects

bison-Frank Cole
The Fabricator

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Hot Dog!

52 Weeks of Marley by Shelley W C on Castle Photography
Brody and the Big

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Filed under Amazing Animals, animal paintings, Awe-Inspiring Photography

New Project

We had this house built 35 years ago, in 1987. One of the prime things we wanted was lots of space for storage because we had never had even close to enough. We modified the house plans so we could include a ROOM for our pantry right off the kitchen.

Since our home is on top of a ridge line, with a long, steep driveway on the north side of the property outside of the city limits, we wanted to keep stocked up so we wouldn’t be in too much of a mess if we got stuck up here due to bad weather.

One year we had a particularly bad ice storm followed by a lot of snow. We were stuck up here for some 12 days or so, with no public power and no public water. We switched to well water and used a China Diesel generator for a small amount of power. We have a wood-burning fireplace for back up heat. We have a propane-powered stove so we can cook even without power.

Over the years we have refined this, but still don’t like being stuck up here, not able to get down our driveway, having to use a chainsaw to ‘cut our way’ down to the street.

My new project is to try to reorganize the ‘stuff’ in the pantry so things are more easily accessible. I’m going to do this a bit at a time, because looking at the whole is intimidating. I’m going to start with our medicine/supplements area first and see what sense I can make of that. This will be a multi-part reorganization/cleaning/de-cluttering project.

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Thoughts on a Friday 4-2022

Schulz – Peanuts

We have been very happy this month that we live on top of a ridge line in Arkansas. Being up a bit has its own dangers – lightning and gusty winds and tornadoes being some – but we DON’T have to worry personally about flooding, though we HAVE discussed tying a rowboat at the bottom of our driveway in case we need to get to town at times. We’ve had a LOT of rain this month. May might bring dryer weather, but it won’t bring calmer weather. We’re under a tornado ‘watch’ much of the summer. We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t really pay attention unless the weather alert says, “A tornado is on the ground in Greenwood, headed for the Lewis’ house.” I’ll be happy to wave goodbye to April tomorrow.

Good/Bad – GOOD: We saw our second hummingbird of the season this morning! We’re not sure if it’s the same hummingbird we saw yesterday or a different one, but he/she took a good, long drink before flitting away. BAD: It looks like we might have another raccoon. The feeders were all absolutely empty this morning after my husband filled them up yesterday. The suet holder on one end of one of the feeders was pulled out on one side. We have yet to see a bird who pulls out the side of the suet holder to get at the suet. We had a suet holder down on the ground below the deck… We’ll have to set the humane trap and see if we can catch the critter for relocation.

CLEANING: I was planning to tackle cleaning up our porch as my next project, but I think I’ll postpone that, since the weather forecast for the next few days is really gusty winds and chances of rain and severe storms.

Instead, I think I’ll work on our pantry. It’s gotten out of hand over the past couple of months, since there wasn’t a good place to put extra supplies and things tended to get ‘stuffed’ wherever it was out of the way a bit. This will be a several day project, but it’s overdue and I don’t have to get the cooperation of Mother Nature to do it.

FRIENDS: Today is Lunch Bunch. In fact, we leave in about 45 minutes to meet our friends. I think that Kay’s daughter will be here, visiting from Albuquerque. She’s a wonderful person and I really enjoy it when she comes home to her parents. :0) Catching up on Fridays rounds the week off nicely.

Have a fabulous Friday.

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Filed under Friendship, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering, Seasons, Thoughts on a ________

Amazing Chainsaw Art

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Filed under Chainsaw Art, When Wood Comes Alive

The Deck Planting is Finished

I was rained out twice, but just finished getting the deck planted and cleaned off. We got a flat each of periwinkles and petunias, and I had already planted the birthday geranium in the tall, rounded cylindrical planter.

birthday geranium

This picture reminds me – we put our hummingbird feeder up yesterday, and saw our first hummingbird of the season drink from it this morning!

Our cat, Abby, helped me clean up the deck after the planting.

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Trip Around the Yard

These are the birthday geraniums that I just replanted. This planter is really tall, right at the corner of the deck. I’m hoping the geraniums will be happy here. I’ve spent about an hour on the deck so far today, trying to get the flowers in. It started to rain, so I took the opportunity to come in a rest, plus drink some waters. I figured out there are actually 10 planters out there. I have three left to finish, then clean up. I’ll get some pics when I can to share with you.

Earlier this morning, I walked around the yard getting some pics.

The tomato plants seem to be doing fine so far. Tomorrow, or the next day our weather is cooperative, I’m planning to look at the pruning video again and then see what I need to do with the plants.

Another iris planter that I’ll thin down after they finish blooming.

Just a clump of regular yellow iris in the yard.
One of the Rio Samba rose bushes. We’ll get a lot of blooms opening soon.
A patch of gardenias getting ready to bloom. These are lovely, but they usually get beaten down almost as they bloom by wind, rain, and hail each year. I’ll try to catch them in bloom for you.

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Vintage Soft Sculpture

Whendi’s Bears – Wendy Meagher –

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Filed under Embroidery/Sewing Art, Soft Sculpture

Husband Choice Night

Christine Marie –

My husband asked if we could have pot roast on the low-carb eating plan. I told him, “yes!” and we bought one yesterday. We haven’t bought one since inflation hit, so my eyeballs popped when I saw the price, but I should be able to stretch things out, getting several meals from it.

I’ll get it in the crock pot later this morning. We’ll have green beans and a low-carb biscuit with it for dinner tonight.

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Filed under DIET!, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like

Wool-Felted Animals
Yana Stasyuk

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Filed under Embroidery/Sewing Art, Felted Wool Art

Rich in Birds

Bird Lady of Central Park Man Who Talks to Pigeons
Hands that Help-Sandro

I think these three photos are priceless. I would love to be one of these people. How rich they are!

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography

Thursday Thoughts 4-28-2022

I just went out and took a walk around the yard, taking pics to share with you. Alas, my battery died on my camera, so I need to let it charge before I can get the pics off the camera. Later.

Madison Gardens Nursery

I’m hoping the weather will be cooperative on our going out today to buy flats of flowers to plant. The deck planters are now ready. My husband is interested in finding some ‘hardy’ for the three concrete planters we have that are not on the irrigation system, too. I would love to get some pretty flowers in the pots today. Fingers crossed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

I must have eaten ROCKS yesterday. I gained two pounds and I was good! UGH. I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on, but picture my grim, determined, disgusted face as I say it. I KNOW all the reasons it can happen – water retention, too much salt, changing fat to muscle, that I shouldn’t weigh every day, ya, ya, ya. These are the days it is the hardest, since it is SO hard to get the weight off and so very EASY for it to come back on. I’ll have my whine with cheese, please. :0(

Have a fun Thursday.

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Mother Nature, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Acorn Fun

Petr Vaclavek –

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Filed under acorn art, Petr Vaclavek -

Decking Out the Deck

I just spent two hours trying to resurrect our deck planters. I didn’t get pics of all of them. There are 8.


Some of the planters just needed a little bit of care. My husband hauled three 40-pound bags of potting soil to the deck for me, or I wouldn’t have finished this part of the project today.

I got everything weeded, then filled up the planters with the potting soil. They are now ready for us to choose some flowers to plant. I’m hoping we can go tomorrow, because we’re due for more rain Friday, I think.

I did get the geranium planted. :0) When the flowers are planted and I’ve cleaned things up a bit, I’ll take more pics to share.

I hope you had a fabulous Wednesday.

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Growing Love

When we get home, I plan to clean up our deck, including cleaning out the planters and planting the nice pink geranium my friend Kay got me for my birthday this year.

I’ll take before and after pics, plus more when we buy and plant flowers to make spending time on the deck a joy.

My spirits rise as we are finally past the freezing season and can concentrate on playing in the dirt and planting love.

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Keto Biscuits

Christmas Memes –

I found a recipe lately for “Tender and Fluffy Keto Almond Flour Biscuits” by The author is Vered DeLeeuw.

I just made it for the second time yesterday. It doesn’t use a lot of ingredients, is easy to make, and it’s easy to double the recipe.

I have ‘bread’ once a day with dinner. It’s a comfort thing, so I was so happy to find a recipe I like that allows me to NOT feel deprived. I even used one when I was feeling under the weather lately, making a tiny ‘sandwich’ with one, filled with ham and cheese.

If you’re looking for a nice keto biscuit, I recommend this one highly.

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Filed under DIET!, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like

Thoughts on a Wednesday 4-27-2022

We’re having another beautiful day in Arkansas.

Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday evening we took the opportunity of a perfect time to burn a big pile of branches we had collected. (We had a big pile, and then my husband doubled it, cutting down the branches that were tangling up the phone wire that fell down in the storm.) We brought some chairs and sat and talked, enjoying the evening, watching the fire while our dog, Amber, raced back and forth at top speed, like a thing possessed, laughing. We left it to eat dinner, came back and consolidated the pile, left again, and came back twice before leaving it for the night. The absolutely perfect night to do this. No worries, and good clean up.

Today we’ll do errands and shop for supplies. I’m hoping to spend a good amount of time outside when we return. I want to clean out the planters on our deck, getting them ready to plant flowers, and I want to plant the pink geraniums that my friend Kay got me for my birthday.

By the time we finish errands, I work in the yard and then do my exercises, the day will be pretty much gone. A wonderful day in Spring. :0)

Enjoy your day.

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Nice Surprise

When I got home from doing our errands and getting my hair cut, I found that my husband had added to the single iris. :0)

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Beautiful Sculpture

Cathy Prungnaud

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Stained Glass Cats

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A Bit of Spring

My husband brought in one of our fancier yellow iris yesterday. We’ll have several days to enjoy it, while the various buds open up and smile at us.

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Seasons

Thoughts on a Tuesday 4-26-2022

Good morning! I just have time to say a quick, “Hi” before I leave. I’m doing exciting stuff, like take the trash down to the bottom of the driveway, get the mail, and go get a haircut. Wow. I hope my heart can take it. :0)

Actually, I’m very grateful for quiet, calm days without a big schedule these days. Since my husband had a couple of strokes last year, I don’t make many plans. I take things one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, and – on rare occasions – one MOMENT at a time, dealing with the changes and some new challenges. He is still ‘in there,’ but sometimes he’s hard to find.

So, quiet, calm, low-pressure days are more than welcome.

Each of us deals with poor health, challenges, fears differently. Respecting our differences, and taking as much time as possible to meet our own needs is key. Love is at the base of it all, and will ever be.

Today is bright and sunny. Our weather will be stellar. I’ll take our wonderful hair stylist a big bag of home grown lettuce as an extra thank you for being there for us.

I’m hoping I can spend some time outside this afternoon, working on the planter I started cleaning out a couple of days ago, checking on the tomatoes.

I hope that YOUR Tuesday is a happy one.

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________