Monthly Archives: January 2023

Pencil Portraits by Alena

Alena aka _litvianalena_ – article by Hidreley on

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The Sculpture of Christine Kosiba

Attic Treasures

Delicate Balance

Fox Pair

Hares on Ring

Christine Kosiba

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Making a Difference

Every time I get down about the state of the world and the direction in which it seems to be going, I see something that brings me up. I get that feeling when I find a new artist whose work makes my heart sing, or hear someone perform, leaving me in awe. My friend Marsha sent me an email this morning showing pictures with captions of people making a difference in the world, people doing good for someone else. I’ll share these with you, hoping it gives YOU hope, as well.

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Everything is Winter Wonderland white this morning – covered by ICE this time, rather than snow. Happily, we have public power and so have our regular heat. It’s 21 right now with a wind chill of 13. The high will be 28. 113 closures listed today.

Oddly, the driveway pad is just wet, but I can’t see if there are more limbs and trees down in the driveway yet. I’ll just wait to find that out. Forecast for the day is ‘snow’ from about noon through 6:00. We are well supplied for being stuck up here again. We have a fire ready to light in the fireplace if needed.

Amber is energized in this weather. She runs around like a maniac outside, dancing and smiling as she cavorts. When she comes back inside, she heads for the water dish and then her bed and sleeps until food or outside are offered again.

Abby thinks the dog is a moron. She is sleeping either on the rug beside the fireplace, in the exact middle of the dog bed so Amber gives it a wide berth, or on one of us. She has no interest in the ‘inclement’ weather in the great outdoors.

I hope you are somewhere warm and dry.

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Fleezing Dizzle


It’s not this bad yet, but we have teeny, tiny sleet pellets falling now. The temperature is 22 degrees F., and the “feels like” temperature is 12. Mostly, it LOOKS like just a really cold rain right now, but the pest control guy just called me to ask how it was here. I suggested he go home and be safe, rather than try to come to us until all this is past and we thaw out again.

We still have public power, but looking at the weather website, we really won’t get above freezing until Wednesday afternoon, and the STUFF doesn’t quit coming, really until Thursday morning. Should be interesting.

The “fleezing dizzle” title comes from a party my parents were having a hundred years or so ago. My dad had his own one-man advertising agency, and a lot of the people at the party were in the media. A topic of conversation came up where someone started to laugh helplessly as he tried to talk about a weatherman who got his tongue tied, saying “Fleezing Dizzle,” rather than freezing drizzle. Everyone started to laugh, with the exception of one man, who said, “Oh, God. That was ME!”

Meanwhile, we’re warm and cozy inside. I’m making spaghetti for dinner, and my husband wanted some hot chocolate earlier. Full comfort mode.

I’m enjoy book #30 of 55 of the In Death series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, fully into her world of amazing characters in a future world. I love being rich in paperback books – able to snuggle down under my throw, coffee cup beside me on the warmer, escaping to another world, engaged in other concerns. A nice relief.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. On the way back up the driveway this morning, we stopped and I hoisted our ‘flying pig’ into the back of the truck. One of the huge limbs that came down with the last snow storm was the limb from which the sweet pig was flying and he had crashed head first into the driveway. I had forgotten how heavy he is. We took him out to the shop. I plan to refurbish him, since he’s been flying for several years now, and then I’m HOPING to convince my husband that securing him to a boulder at the top of the driveway, wings flying, would look just as good as him flying from a line in a tree….

I hope you are enjoying your day.

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Sculpture by Celia Allen

Celia Allen Sculpture

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Adventurous Trip

We got the trash set up for pickup tomorrow. I really had trouble dragging the can down to where we leave it for emptying, due to the really skid-y gravel. I would do better, I think, if I had CLEATS on my shoes. Anyway, I got it down there and we filled it up. We also got the mailbox Snow-Goon decoration up. It was interesting, in that in the time it took to put the Happy New Year decoration in the truck and put the Snow-Goon on the bolts that attach it to the mailbox, the nuts we put on top of the mailbox FROZE to the top of the mailbox! That’s the first time we’ve had THAT happen. We drove carefully down the road where we could turn the truck around to drive back up the driveway. We didn’t have any trouble with that, happily. There is a thin glaze of ice on everything. The schools are closed today. There were 91 ‘closings’ on the weather website today – I don’t ever remember seeing that many before. We may be in for it.

Truegrid Pavers

This gives you an IDEA of what our driveway is like. We don’t have NEAR as much pretty gravel as this picture. We have LOTS more trees. And you have to add at LEAST the length you see here, if not MORE, to get as long as our driveway is, but the steepness here is comparable. We also have branches down all over, particularly on the left side of the driveway. The other side has woods, but it also has a ditch where water goes down to the street. We don’t want that to get clogged, so I drag whatever we cut down to the other side.

Even if the only rain we get is LIGHT, it doesn’t take much accumulation on the power lines to cause an outage. Again, we think our generator, which runs all except for heat and air conditioning, is worth its weight in gold. The extra money we spent on the electrical stuff for it to come on and go off by itself is worth everything not to have to go outside over and over to fight to get it to come on, or to turn it off.

Our cat, Abby, likes to sleep in the garage most nights. We have a big pile of firewood in there and put her sleeping ‘cube’ on a rectangle of wood on a holder that my husband made years ago attached to the wall . She really likes it, and the fact that she has a cat door so she can come and go as she pleases. (She also lets us know if she wants to stay inside, instead. We cater to her wishes.) She jumps up from the garage steps to the firewood holder pile in order to get up to her food, which we put on top of the firewood pile to keep our dog and other critters from getting it, and her bed. This is the only dry wood we have, though, and we used a bunch of it from the far side of the holder with the snow storm we just finished. If we have to make many fires during this ice storm, we’ll have to try to keep her end of the holder intact as much as possible. She’s getting old and can’t jump the way she used to. I can relate.

As I’m typing this, an icon popped up, saying, “Snow coming.” It says the “temp is 31 (feels like 21 – I can confirm THAT). “Scattered rain and snow showers expected. High will be 34”. The graphic of what to expect when shows rain/sleet/snow from 3pm until 9pm. :0(

I love to look at snow. I love snow globes. I even love to build a snowman or make snow angels. But then it’s supposed to go AWAY. NOT cause trees to break or hang down in the driveway, blocking our path. NOT cause power outages. I’m ready for spring and winter has hardly begun. Whine – gripe – moan – and generally be annoying. Sorry.

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Winter Redux

Bored Panda

Last Tuesday the snow started here. We had no public power for two and a half days, VERY grateful for our generator and our wood-burning fireplace. We chain-sawed our driveway clear starting on Friday. It took us 6 hours over 2 days, but the driveway is mostly clear now. We replenished supplies yesterday and got 5 days worth of mail from our mailbox at the bottom of the driveway.

Today we’ll try to get our robot (200+ pounds) standing straight again, instead of leaning. (We now have a chain around his neck that is tethered to a tree in front of him and a pole behind him, so he only LEANS instead of plunging head first down the slope to the side of the driveway.) Retrieving him ONCE from the slope was enough for us. :0)

We’re also planning to replace our mailbox decoration this morning. This is one of the Snow-Goons from Calvin & Hobbes.

The winter redux is a forecast of rain/sleet/snow, but mainly ICE this time, starting this afternoon and going through Thursday. The ice accumulations they said would likely cause power outages, etc.

It’s hard to believe that we might be out chain-sawing AGAIN after this, but we have an endless supply of trees on both sides of our driveway – a 650+ foot STEEP driveway from the house down to the road.

We resupplied yesterday, cheering as we went down our driveway and then again when we were able to simply drive up again like real people. :0)

In a minute we’ll gather our trash, drive it down, and drag the big tethered trashcan down to the bottom of the driveway for pickup tomorrow, We’ll get our mail and hopefully get the mailbox decoration changed.

Then we’ll hole in up here and see what Mother Nature brings us next.

Stay warm and safe.

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Sutton Taylor Ceramics

Sutton Taylor Ceramics

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January 29, 2023 · 8:48 am

Stephane Alsac

Stephane Alsac

Stephane Alsac

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Yahoo Movies UK

We are done, in more ways than one. I’m doing puns and poems this morning because I don’t have any energy to do much else after our work yesterday.

We spent an hour in the driveway, chainsawing and hauling, before lunch, rested a bit, and then did another three hours after lunch before finally clearing enough that we could drive up and down the driveway again. It looks a bit like a war zone, but it’s workable. We’ll try to neaten things up some other time, but today we’re resting. We left one larger branch simply moving the end of it to the side of the driveway. The break is up too high for us to get to it, and the blade in the chainsaw desperately needs replacing now.

We’ll do that, buy more night lights, and replenish groceries later today.

The ‘Determined-Man/Energizer-Bunny’ syndrome enveloped my husband yesterday afternoon, and he was determined to finish. We did, but he was almost unable to get into the truck to ride back up. I went up and down the driveway four times yesterday afternoon (650+ feet up the STEEP driveway) until I had to sit on a boulder beside the driveway and gasp for breath awhile before continuing. The power cords wouldn’t reach, so I had to make the last trip up and down again. Even with FOUR 100-foot cords strung together, it was barely enough. (We used an outdoor plug at the top to do all we could from the top down, then switched to an outdoor plug at the bottom to work our way up.)

We did a quick and dirty job of it, since the chainsaw blade was trying to give up, but we did it. I talked to my husband again about the fact that we are getting older and need to modify our activities more to deal with that. He agreed, but I don’t trust the agreement to last the next time…

He is taking a much-needed nap now, and we are determinedly putting nothing on the agenda today.

The really encouraging news is that we’re due for possible ice storms next week….

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Words to Live By

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January 28, 2023 · 9:58 am

A Few More Snow Critters

The Guardian


Just Fun Facts – Photo by

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Louise H. Art 2

Louise H. Art

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“Music” of the Chain-Saw

Kooy Brothers

My husband went outside around 3pm yesterday, immediately went to get the chainsaw and 100 foot cord. I talked to him about calling tree people to clear the driveway, but he wasn’t having any. I told him I thought this might be too much for us. He said, “Go on inside. I can handle this.” Yeah. Right.

We ended up doing three sessions – a total of 2 hours – stopping when it started to get dark. He chainsawed and I tugged, hauled, rolled, or picked up and tossed what he cut. We cleared about 1/4 of the driveway, more or less. We’ll do more today – and tomorrow – and – until we finally make it to the bottom of the driveway. It’s still pretty snow-packed, being long, steep, and on the north side of our property. It will be the last snow to melt.

Amber, our 95-pound yellow lab, had a GREAT time while we were outside. She thought it was the BEST game. She ran around, leaping and laughing, cavorting around like a crazed thing, making circles around the whole area. When we came in, she hit her bed, only rousing when it was time for dinner.

Thankfully, the most important reason to get to the bottom of the driveway – other than the fact that if we had an emergency, we couldn’t get OUT and no one else could get UP the driveway – is that we have 4 days of mail in the mailbox. We also have some good chances for ice and snow again in the coming week, so it would be NICE if we could get out and get some supplies before Mother Nature socks us in again.

Here’s hoping we can get some good sessions today.

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises

Bethany Fine Art

I love Bethany’s work. Her talent simply oozes out wherever her focus lands. She’s a lovely person, as well. Here is her latest –

Bethany Fine Art

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Snow Critters

eBaum’s World

Fox Weather – Getty Images

Russia Beyond


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It’s Friday 1-27-2023

The Random Vibes


There is a lot of melting going on, but our driveway will be the last. It still looks like a ski slope. My husband hasn’t seen it yet, and I have to admit I’m dreading it when he does. The branches hanging down are HUGE and definitely too much for the two of us. If I were by myself, I would be calling tree people to come and give me estimates when the driveway is clear, and just wait it out as to getting to town again. I just looked at the forecast and that looks pretty grim – rain this weekend following by ‘wintry mix’ next week. Right now, though, it’s sunny and 33 degrees, with a high of 58 expected. One day at a time.

DIY Value Picture

I’ve told you that the core group of Lunch Bunch is Kay, Linda, Linda’s daughter, Patty, and me. Honorary members are Kay’s husband and mine. Others are also happily welcomed whenever they can come. I had to contact everyone yesterday that we wouldn’t be there today due to being snowed in. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to go NEXT week, either, due to coming weather and/or JUST the driveway blockage. The good news is that Patty has become a grandmother again this past week, making Linda a great-grandmother again! Both Linda and Kay are quite rich in family. It’s wonderful to be able to help them celebrate each new addition.

I hope Friday is a nice one for you, followed by a fabulous weekend.

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Louise H. Art

Barn Owl



Into the Light

Louise H. Art


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Szilajka Erzebet – The Pebble Master

Szilajka Erzebet Pebble Art


Filed under Erzsebet Szilajka, Stone Art


I wish our place looked as pretty as this, but we ARE as snow-covered.

We will be this way until further notice, although the melting has started just a bit. There is a good 8 inches on the deck cover, for example.

The public power was restored overnight. We were on the generator all of yesterday, with only a couple of short periods of public power before it would go off again. The poor power guys have been at work steadily now for three days trying to get power back to everyone. We went to bed around 1:30 this morning and still had no power. It was really nice to see we have some this morning.

Our generator has done a fantastic job during the past three days, but it deserves a good long rest now. It is propane powered and it’s really a luxury not to have to worry that we’ll run out of fuel for it right in the middle of a rough patch of weather. We’ve gone through a LOT of firewood, our only source of heat the past three days. When we built the house about 36 years ago, we insisted that we get a real wood-burning fireplace that was efficient, with doors on the front and a blower built in, so that we could use it as a source of heat when needed. It’s gotten a workout, too. It’s really nice to be able to start the day without having to build a fire, though.

Soon my husband will decide to walk around outside, and then he’ll see that we’ll have to chain-saw our way to the bottom of the driveway and the street before we can go anywhere, even after all the snow is gone. We are both to the point where we’re a bit long in the tooth for heavy work, particularly when the weather is really cold or hot. My husband uses the chain saw and I’m the ‘tugger/hauler’ of the stuff he cuts, moving the pieces off to the side of the driveway. A little bit of work like this goes a LONG way.

The problem is that no one can get UP the driveway, either, so we can’t really hire anyone to come help us. I’m hoping that we can do it a little at a time. We have supplies enough to last quite awhile and that if it takes us a week to get it done, it won’t make a bit of difference. My husband is like the Energizer Bunny, though, not wanting to stop until he almost collapses. We may have to have a ‘discussion’ about how much we do at each session….

It would be nice if the power stays on today, and we can simply enjoy it for awhile.

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More Stone Art by Szilajka Erzebet

The Pebble Art of Szilajka Erzebet


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The Art of Connie Hargitt Nobbe

Big Red

Dog Torture



Little Joe


Connie Hargitt Nobbe

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The snow has stopped. We have 6-8 inches on the ground, the most I’ve seen in the 36 years we’ve lived here. It’s 36 degrees F. now. We had no public power from 4pm until midnight yesterday. I was downstairs reading when it went out again around 2am. We are still without public power. Thank goodness we have a generator and a wood-burning fireplace.

We tried to plan ahead when we built, having some backups for cases like these. We have a gas stove rather than an all-electric home. We have a well. We have a propane-powered generator wired so it turns on automatically when it senses there is no public power. Because of this, we have power and a fire in the fireplace because the generator does not cover heat and air conditioning. So we are good, even though we’re snowed in until further notice.

I just went outside to take a couple of pics. We have BIG branches lying across the driveway. I HOPE we don’t have any TREES there, but I couldn’t see well. So even when the snow melts, we’ll have to chain-saw a bunch of stuff before we can drive down our driveway. In this pic, you can see snow-covered power lines across the pic.

The snow almost covers the brick planters.

If you look carefully, this is the top of the driveway. You can see some BIG branches that have broken off and are hanging down across the driveway. I got depressed looking at it, so just came back in without investigating further. I’m purposely not mentioning it to my husband. He FELL bringing the firewood in last night, landing on his back. He’s okay, but I want him to rest, instead of trying to tackle this problem.

The snow is pretty, but now that we’ve had a chance to look at it and say that, hopefully we can get power and heat back with safety for the good men working right now to make that happen, and that the snow will melt away, becoming only a fond memory.

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Snow Globe


I went out again to see if I could capture the feeling of being inside a snow globe this afternoon. I have to admit it’s a really PRETTY snow. It didn’t surprise me that soon after I wrote the last post, the pest spray guy’s company called to tell me they would need to reschedule. :0)

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Big, sloppy, wet snowflakes are raining down on us now.

It just changed to snow about half an hour ago. Since it’s supposed to snow until 6am or so tomorrow, we may get an impressive amount for Arkansas.

I’m always frustrated trying to get pics of the snow. I can never catch the ‘feeling’ of the big sloppy flakes.

Our driveway should still be fine right now, but probably won’t be as evening approaches. The pest control spray man is due any minute now, but I would be super surprised if he comes. I’m expecting a call from his office asking to reschedule.

The local schools are closing early – right about now – and the buses should be able to get everyone home safely, and then home themselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if school is remote tomorrow.

I’m going to see if I can find some creative snow creatures on the net. I love seeing what people come up with. I hope you’re enjoying your day!

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The Dream

Josephine Neuse – University of Illinois Extension

I have a wonderful square foot garden that my husband and I created several years ago to enable me to enjoy gardening even as I get “more mature” and less able to get down and up again from my hands and knees and do heavy lifting.

We built SIX 4′ x4′ wooden ‘tables’ up on top of iron supports. We surrounded the six tables with fencing, then added chicken wire around the bottom to keep small critters out. We threaded neon tape through the fencing to make it VISABLE to the deer who come through from time to time. We added a screen door so there is a definite ‘inside-the-garden’ and ‘outside.

The tables are about my chest height and filled with “Mel’s Mix,” a soil substitute mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, and at least three different kinds of compost. We filled the boxes with the mix, after making the mixture in a used cement mixer. That’s the heaviest part of the gardening I do now. :0)

We marked the ‘squares’ of the square foot garden using wire criss-crossed over the tops of the boxes. We mounted a sprinkler head in the center of each box, tied together with hose, for daily irrigation.

We used to have a greenhouse that we built from a kit on the other side of our property, but since we couldn’t afford air conditioning and heating for it, it was truly a dream and wasn’t really useful to our efforts. We finally took it down when it was heavily damaged by a storm a few years ago. Now I buy plants from town.

I can just walk into my garden area, taking my spreadsheet diagram of where I want to plant things, move a bit of soft Mel’s Mix, and plant. My plan enables me to rotate my plants, avoiding disease and increasing yield. I also have not followed what I COULD do with my square foot garden, and spread my plants out a bunch for easier care.

Right now I have the boxes weeded and covered with weed cloth held in place by bricks. We’ve had several big storms and so far, the cloths are staying in place. That will hopefully enable me to plant without a lot of weeding first in the spring. :0)

I’m going to concentrate on lettuces, since I plan for us to eat a lot of salad, growing several kinds. My husband likes me to plant head lettuce, so I do, if we can find the plants. Otherwise, I try to plant three or four different kinds. I also want to plant a lot of spinach so I can use it in our salads, plus freeze some. I’ll grown radishes, sweet onions, and of course, I’ll use the two brick planters on the other side of the house for tomatoes. I’m at the dreaming stage now, so I’ll peruse lots of veggie magazines to see what else I might plant.

I WISH I were a good cook. I love the idea of growing herbs and spices, but I don’t tend to USE the fresh stuff much. I buy a bunch or two at the store, use a bit and end up tossing the rest when I haven’t used it fast enough. Maybe I’ll try a couple of the ones I use most often, trying to grow them in the kitchen, rather than in the garden….

It’s FUN to dream – especially while we’re expecting snow any minute here.

The Indian Express

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Filed under Dreams, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Re-Visiting Szilajka Erzebet Pebble Art

I’m totally in awe of this woman’s talent. She arranges PEBBLES on a flat space and makes you FEEL. And, not only does she do that, bringing it to an art form, but mixes media, painting details and backgrounds to make each one a true work of art. Mind-boggling.

Szilajka Erzebet Pebble Art

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Jennifer Gennari Art 4






Jennifer Gennari Art

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Snowy Tuesday 1-24-2023

Depending on which weather source I look at, a ‘wintry mix’ will start here in half an hour or so, changing to heavy snow at about sunset and then continuing through tomorrow morning. Have I told you that I much prefer LOOKING at other people’s snow, rather than being in it myself?

We will go drive down in about half an hour to hopefully retrieve mail and re-tether our then-empty trash can to the pole beside the driveway. I had traction problems yesterday trying to roll the can down the 25 feet to where we leave the can to be emptied, skidding on the gravel. My husband said he would do this next time. I don’t think I’ll have near as much trouble pulling it back UP the driveway and tethering it. I also bought some waterproof boots with thick tread on the bottom at Walmart yesterday. I’m wearing them now and will try them out on the driveway gravel in a few minutes.

Amazingly, our pest control company called yesterday wanting to come out and spray this afternoon. We agreed that they would call and reschedule if the weather does what is forecast. The schools are letting out early this afternoon, so we’re all pretty sure we’re going to get snowed in.

We are safe and warm, have plenty of food and water, prepared to stay up on top of our ridge line until further notice. Our generator is supposed to do its weekly test run later today. Hopefully, we won’t actually need it for power.

I hope that you are happy, safe, and warm where you are today, and that you do something fun.

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