Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup

Greenhouse Repair

This picture shows you the break in the pvc pipe rib for the greenhouse.


My husband drilled into the wood uprights on either side of the louvered fan and attached guy wires to the wood.


He used a cement drill to drill a hole in the ground at the proper angle for the guy wires, ran the wire around the stake (held in place by a hose clamp.

This picture shows you the completed guy wire fix for the end of the greenhouse.  It’s nice and sturdy now, thank goodness.


Here’s the fix from the side.

So, thanks to my wonderful husband, things are once again in good shape. He’s definitely a keeper.

When he came in, and could man the phone, I went out and got an 8 foot brick planter cleaned out where we have two really large hydrangea plants. I cut off all the branches and disposed of them. I have 4 more planters to clean out and then I’ll put mulch in them. :0)



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Nothing is EVER Simple…

I told you earlier that I was prescribed 4 prescriptions.  For the rest of the afternoon I’ve been trying to actually GET them.

First, the doctor called the prescriptions to the wrong pharmacy. I finally figured that out and called the doctor’s office again.

THEN, I got two emails from my pharmacy saying they didn’t have ANY of the medicines I need, but would order them and let me know when they were ready to pick up.

One of the emails listed ONE of the medication’s cost as 60 pills for $706.99. Once I could breathe again, I came into our office,  went to the website of my healthcare provider and messed around for about 45 minutes trying to find out if that medicine was covered and what the cost would be if it was.  I was delighted to find that I could get 90 pills for $73.99!

I called my doctor’s office back and explained the problem. The wonderful nurse offered to send the prescription to my provider electronically. I haven’t heard anything more, so I’m HOPING that means that all has gone through okay and that my pills will be on the way soon.

I don’t really like to wait, particularly when one of the meds is an anti-inflammatory for my eye, but I don’t need to send us to the poorhouse, either.  Hopefully, in another week or so, I’ll have the new meds and refills for the ones I’m using now, and can concentrate on healing, rather than fighting my way through the system.

Tonight, as part of a victory lap, my husband and I are taking three good friends for bowling and ice cream !!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Health Alert

Good Workout

If anyone asks you, blowing leaves into piles, then picking them up and putting them in the mulcher is a really good workout. I’ve only been working an hour and I’m pooped.

I have to say that this is a perfect day for leaf gathering and mulching. The temperature is 62 degrees F. with a slight breeze, and mostly overcast. If you’re just sitting out there, it’s chilly. If you’re working like a stevedore, like I am, you’re still sweating, but the breeze cools you off when you stop.

I have half a 39 gallon bag of usable mulch so far. This has been through the mulcher twice and is ready to put into the flower planters. I’ve used the leaf blower to make another humongous pile of leaves, but I’m resting and drinking lots of water before going out again. The task is endless, but I’m going to TRY to clean up the civilized part of the front yard today.  Since it’s supposed to be rainy Tuesday through Friday, that’ll probably be it for the week.

I can’t begin to tell you how filthy I am. I sat down in my computer chair and there was a ‘huff’ with fine leaf powder that poofed out. I’m like that all over. Needless to say, I’ll hit the shower when my energy is sapped and work outside for the day is finished.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise, Gardening


A A Milne via Lisa Bearnes Richey


I LOVE jewelry. My husband spoils me, so I have a lot of it. I’ve convinced him that I don’t want expensive pieces – I see something that delights me and I get it. Usually, I have him help me pick out earrings, because I want him to be pleased to see them when I wear them. I also find necklaces, bracelets, and pins other places.  I don’t want to agonize if a piece gets hurt or lost. I don’t like to lose something or have it ruined, but I don’t have to slit my throat because it’s so valuable. I do have a few pieces that were my mother’s, plus a few pieces that friends have made for me that are ‘good’ jewelry, but I keep these things separate. The more valuable it is, the less I wear it.  Since I’m spoiled,  I have a LOT of jewelry I love.

Right now I’ve stopped wearing much because our sweet Labrador Retriever puppy, Amber, who now probably weighs around 70 pounds, notices anything dangling. If it catches her eye, she wants to eat it – or at least, TASTE it. I don’t even want to THINK about her biting one of my earrings, so I’ll just wait a bit more before I indulge myself.

In the meantime, I have more jewelry than I have places to store it; so, I’m making ‘discoveries’ from time to time, finding things I didn’t remember that I had.

I have some wooden jewelry holders I have hanging on our master bathroom walls. These are full, so we decided that one of my Christmas presents this year would be ordering two more jewelry holders.  I ordered from a couple on Etsy who let me choose from several styles and varnishes for the wood. I chose cherry. They arrived today and I’m thrilled.

They are much better quality than my others, but are of similar style so they fit right in and will be easy to use. Not only is the workmanship great, they included the hardware needed to hang them, a paper template to use on the wall to mark where the holes need to be (including a push pin to hold the paper on the wall while you mark the holes). The only thing we needed was a hammer and a level, both of which we keep in the kitchen tool drawer.

Both of them are up now, and ready for me to go through everything on the other holders, plus the group of things I put in my art room for safe keeping until I had a place to put them. I’ll take my time hanging things up, trying to come up with a ‘plan’ so that I can find things quickly and easily. In this process, I’m excited so see all the pieces I’ll discover! :0)


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Organizing/DeCluttering

A Rare Treat

Can you hear me smacking my lips from where you are?

My husband and I love waffles and/or pancakes. Since we went low carb several years ago, we haven’t even entertained the notion of actually ever eating one again.

Bob’s Red Mill makes low carb bread mix that I’m loving and also makes a low carb baking mix.  I just got some of the baking mix. We looked really hard and finally found a sugar free maple syrup. My husband tried a bit of it – because there wasn’t any point to making waffles or pancakes if the syrup wasn’t good. He pronounced it good!

Tonight, if I haven’t killed myself digging out the iris, I’m going to fix us a batch of waffles. I had to look in the pantry for half an hour to find the waffle iron. :0)

We are really looking forward to biting these.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle

Dreaming of Working in My Greenhouse

As our temperatures here in Greenwood, Arkansas start to decrease as we move toward Fall, I’m starting to dream about working in my new greenhouse.

Since we built it this past spring, it’s been WAAAAAAAY too hot in there to even think about spending more than a minute or two inside.


We put a regular thermometer in there (the kind with the red mercury in a line up the center) and it got so hot inside the greenhouse that not only did the thermometer not read correctly, the top blew out of it! We literally had to clean up the table and the floor around it and throw the poor thing out. We replaced it with the kind of thermometer that only shows a number, and it went right to 120 degrees F. and stayed there, giving us at least a minimum temperature in there.

I had a folding chair out there that burned my generous nether end through my jeans in the time it took for me to sit on it and then leap back up! Needless to say, I have not spent a lot of time out there, waiting to organize it and start planting seeds until at least mid fall.


You’re looking through the open doorway to the greenhouse here. You can see the exhaust fan we mounted in the end. With the door open, the exhaust fan on, and the people fan on, soon I should be able to work in there.  This picture doesn’t show all the ‘stuff’ I’ve moved into the greenhouse – starter trays, a trashcan full of Mel’s Mix, water sprayers, planting tools, etc.

This morning I harvested a bunch of seeds from tomatoes we grew. They are drying on a paper towel on top of the microwave. When they’re completely dry, I’ll put them in a  baggie in preparation for planting them in the greenhouse. I’m hoping to plant lots of things in the hope that the plants will be ready to transfer to my square foot planters outside in the spring.

I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, standing on one foot and the other waiting for the cold front tonight, and hoping that we are, finally, on the way to cooler temperatures and I can start to play. I’ll do a lot of reading and planning, plus get the greenhouse organized and set up for lots of seed starters. I have two tomato plants I plan to dig up, put in pots, and put in the greenhouse at the first threat of frost. I also plan to winter-over a couple of non-hardy plants, – an  elephant ear and a pretty purple plant my friend Laufrain gave me. I already have all the seeds I need, so I just need to exercise a whole lot of PATIENCE now…

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Arkansas, Childlike Fun, Dreams, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

New Recipes

I have found that trying to combine eating low-carb and feeding my diabetic husband to be a bit of a challenge. I fell into a trap of my own making several months ago, opting to eat what HE ate. NOT GOOD! Mostly now, I can fix low carb meals and then add extra things he can also eat into the mix.

I have found that getting a husband to try new foods, substitutions, and new recipes is a character-building exercise. For example, the substitutions of spaghetti squash for pasta and riced cauliflower for rice just won’t work for him. He’s like a little kid, making faces and being quite dramatic.  Happily, though, he is very supportive of my trying new recipes.

I tried one for chicken thighs in the crock pot last night. You’re supposed to thicken the juices with xanthan for use as a gravy. I made rice for him and I ate spaghetti squash. I like anything with a gravy-like sauce, so I thought it was pretty good. He praised the tenderness of the chicken, and he liked the rice, but the sauce, not so much.

I’ll cut up the leftover chicken tonight, combining it with cream of chicken/mushroom soup that he particularly likes, and serve it over rice for him and cauli-rice for me. It’s not quite as low-carb with the soup, but I can work around it to make my day come out under my limits.

Meanwhile, I’m glad we’ve found some substitutes for things he loves so he doesn’t feel deprived and walk around looking hangdog:

  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea
  • Alpine Sugar-Free Apple Cider Mix
  • A&W Sugar-Free Soda
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cones
  • Jello Sugar-Free Cups

Now I just have to practice NOT feeling deprived MYSELF when he eats without having to worry about carbs…. (I’ll try to make a list of good things I have found that make eating low-carb much easier and post them for those who might be interested.)


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, Healthy Eating

Good Halloween Pumpkin Information

I subscribe to Plant Care Today.  I find lots of really good information and recommend the newsletter and website highly.

Today they published ways to keep your carved or uncarved pumpkins from rotting. I wish I had this information years ago when I was trying to be proactive and find a pleasing shape with a good piece of stem remaining on the top – AND keep it in good shape for Halloween – AND remember safety tips once you use the ideas. I’m reposting their good information here. –


Below you’ll find a number of solutions and techniques you can use to preserve your pumpkin, keep it from drying out, extend its shelf life (don’t expect long-term storage life) and slow down developing mold.

Apply A Bleach Solution

Perhaps, the best method to prevent your carved or uncarved pumpkins from rotting is allying a bleach solution to and on it.

Spraying your pumpkins, including the inside, the edges and all cut openings with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water can get rid of all the mold, mildew and other unwanted stuff.

Another way is to put the pumpkins in a bucket and soak them in the same bleach solution with water for about 20 minutes. Giving your decorated pumpkins a solid misting with a bleach-based spray, such as Clorox Cleanup with Bleach can also come to the rescue.

Borax Rich Pumpkin Preservation Sprays

Specially formulated to prevent pumpkins from decaying, several commercial pumpkin preservative sprays such as Pumpkin Fresh and Pumpkin Dunk’N extend the storage life of your carved pumpkin and keep it from rotting.

Containing water, borax and sodium benzoate, they work as a fungicidal solution that kills bacteria and mold. All you need to do is dry the surface and spray the pumpkins with any of these marvelous sprays to make them last until your Happy Halloween.

Rubbing Alcohol or Floor Cleaner

Spraying some rubbing alcohol can work wonders when it comes to keeping pumpkins from rotting and avoiding mold build up.

Floor cleaners can also work as excellent preservatives for uncarved pumpkins, keeping them shiny and fresh for up to four weeks. All you need to do is apply an acrylic liquid floor cleaner to a wet towel and wipe the pumpkins with the same.

Acrylic Finish Spray or Hair Spray

Hair spray and acrylic finish spray are another great sealants that prevent pumpkins from getting dehydrated and work as a barrier to mold growth, at the same time preventing rodents from eating your jack-o-lanterns away.


Exhibiting anti-freezing and water-repelling properties, WD-40 is amazing when it comes to keeping uncarved pumpkins fresh for longer. WD-40 also prevents insects and other creepy crawlers from swarming around the inside of your decorated buddies.

Carved pumpkins can reap the benefits too! Simply spray WD-40 over the surface of the pumpkin and wipe off the excess, followed by waiting a day to allow the spray to dry completely before you place a candle inside.

Petroleum Jelly Sealant/ Tabasco with Vaseline

You can make sure that pranksters think twice about touching your pumpkin art by applying petroleum jelly to your sterilized carved pumpkin.

Smearing just a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the interior, the edges, and the cut-out sections of your jack-o-lanterns to create a barrier to combat bacteria from reaching the flesh and keep moisture trapped inside, at the same time adding some shine to them.

If you are going to paint your pumpkin, you can use Vaseline as a sealant to protect your work and help them last an extra week. Tabasco sauce plus petroleum jelly together help to repel pesky pumpkin-eating critters.

Vegetable Oils

Most of the vegetable oils available out there can be quite helpful in preventing a pumpkin from getting rotten. Dry the pumpkins completely and rub a small amount of vegetable oil taken on a paper or cloth towel over the surface, in a way that it looks shiny but isn’t greasy.


Avoid Exposure To Sunlight

Pumpkins rot quicker when exposed to direct sunlight. Put them in a place that’s away from the sun and try to keep them as cool as possible to make them last for about a week. In warm weather, you can also put your pumpkin in the refrigerator, but make sure you don’t freeze it.

Hydrate The Pumpkins

Over time, pumpkins tend to start getting drying out or shriveled as they lose water content. In order to revive a dried out pumpkin, submerge it in a bath tub or a bucket of water overnight or at least, for a few hours. Make sure you wipe off excess water after taking the pumpkin out to prevent molding.

*Remember, chemicals and oils are usually flammable and can prove to be dangerous if you choose to keep your pumpkins from rotting with these solutions and place candles insides.

*Instead, you can put glow sticks or battery-operated tea lights inside your Halloween jack-o-lanterns.


Thanks, again, to Plant Care Today. Click on the link to check them out and see if you’d like to sign up. I’m glad I did.


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Halloween - How Do You Carve YOUR Pumpkin?

The Go-Out Table is Healed!



The table in the foreground is our dining area table. The table by the wall is the “go-out table.


As you can see, there is barely room for the stuff we need to take with us on our next errands.


The mess has spilled over onto one end of the dining area table…. :0(



NOW  I have space to put my purse, the mail we’re taking, other paperwork, and the list of errands all on one end of the table.  I got all the ‘stuff’ off the dining area table, too. The danger of avalanche is past, PLUS I found several things I didn’t know we had! :0)



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Slow, Steady Progress

I’m trying to use each day to dig out from my almost-a-month of being essentially useless because of really bad back spasms and pain. Thankfully, I’m back to being ‘mean as a snake’ as my husband describes me, so progress is being made, albeit slowly – kind of like a government project…

Today I’m trying to accomplish two things:

THING ONE:  finish the clean up of our master bedroom and bath. I need to finish scrubbing our shower stall and our whirlpool tub and then I’ll declare that area ‘healed’ for now. (subprojects: cleaning out my bookshelf, going through my jewelry)

THING TWO:  We have what we call ‘the go-out table’ in the dining area that adjoins the utility room and garage. We put things we need to take with us on errands, (purse, errand list, associated paperwork) etc.  Since I haven’t been monitoring it, the ‘etc’ has exploded to the point we’re fearing avalanche.

I started by taking everything off the table and out of the associated cabinet. I actually DID have some avalanches as our dining table didn’t want to hold it all.

I’m resting for a bit because I found myself starting to ‘stash’ things, rather than either purging/putting away/donating/reorganizing. Time for Phase Two…


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

“Want To” vs “Doing”

Translating intention to action to results is difficult. If I could bottle it, I would be a gazillionaire and could stop entering PCH and MegaMillions.

Trying to get myself to actually DO the things day after day that will get the results I want seems like a pipe dream at times. When I’m eating right, doing yoga and my elliptical trainer, and concentrating on moving more, I feel better – physically, mentally, and emotionally. So why am I still having to MAKE myself do these things, lapsing for a day or two, losing my motivation, failing to take each day at a time?

I am again talking to myself – pretty harshly – since I think I may be like our lab puppy, Amber, and need a shock collar to take things seriously, rather than blowing things off.

THIS TIME – I have my ducks more in a row (if you’ll pardon the pun on the pic above.)

  • I’ve been missing bread a LOT. I’ve now found Bob’s Red Mill Low Carb Bread Mix that is a net 5 carbs per slice. I wrapped it around a hot dog yesterday and bit in with gusto. (I’m still going to try my new weird screaming green silicone bread maker thingie, but I’m finding other priorities at the moment.)
  • Thanks to my son, I found a new nutrition counter and log called “Cronometer” to replace MyFitnessPal, which is good, but the people don’t maintain the website well. The front page hasn’t come up for months. I haven’t tried to add a recipe new to the website yet, but, so far, entering what I eat and logging in my exercise daily is quick and easy.
  • Since my back finally quit hurting (still no clue what I did to cause the situation) – I am able to do careful stretching in prep for getting back to my “Gentle Yoga” DVDs with Cat Kabira.
  • Also, since my back quit hurting, I am able to start catching up with all the house cleaning that was ignored while I vegged out in my recliner on my heat pad on muscle relaxers, ointments, pain patches, etc. Feeling that I’m doing something significant each day to purge/clean/reorganize is making me feel more together and in control of things. (Today’s project is finishing up scrubbing the master bathroom)
  • We’re supposed to get rain today/tonight and a very welcome cool front, lowering the temperatures and humidity that have it feeling like over 100 degrees F. for the past month. We are more than ready, and I’m itching to get back out to my square foot garden and see what’s what. :0)

Tonight we’re having spaghetti and salad, with a bit of bread. (Newman’s Own Marina sauce is low-carb. My husband prefers small elbow macaroni to spaghetti, so I’ll fix that for him. I’ll have spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti, and a piece of my low-carb bread I made.)

SO – desire to be healthier, get the lard off, increase my flexibility and overall health merge with good intention, motivation, means, and attitude to give me a good start. One day at a time.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off


As you get older, it doesn’t take much to make you feel disenfranchised, lost, with the emotional rug pulled out from under you. We’ve had two such occurrences lately, so I’m trying to be proactive so we can feel support under us again as soon as possible.

I’ve already told you in other posts that our dear dental hygienist and her husband died in a plane crash in August. The hole in our hearts will remain a long time, freshly opened every six months when we go for exams and cleaning. We went for our regularly scheduled appointment this month. As I expected, Dr. Moore found a winner for the position. She had worked there part-time and everyone there liked her, including Shannon. I had my exam and cleaning first. When my husband went in for his, Dr. Moore came out to visit with me, ask me what I thought of Alisha, and hug my neck for the card and letter I sent. Thanks to Dr. Moore for choosing someone who would fit in well with the rest of the kind, caring folks in his office.  We remain in good hands.

The next blow came when my friend Kay asked us at Lunch Bunch a couple of weeks ago, “What do you think of Dr. Jackson leaving?” She knew, by the way our mouths hung open like gutted fish, that we didn’t know. After checking with the clinic and doing some research, we have found that our wonderful Dr. Jackson has relocated to Russellville, about an hour and a half away from us. His new situation is definitely good for him and his future. We’re happy for him and sad for us. We wrote a letter thanking him for his good care of us.

We researched the physician who will take Dr. Jackson’s place. She seems very qualified. When I read the part that listed her hobbies – one of them being ‘hunting,’ my husband was sold. He immediately said, “We’ll go to her.”

My husband is running out of samples of a drug that is really working for him. We didn’t get a prescription yet, so this is a bit of a problem. I kept calling to try to get an appointment with the new doc, but was told to try back in a week or so – they weren’t okayed to make appointments with her yet. Finally, last Friday I called and got both of us an appointment with her on her first day at the clinic, October 2nd.

To this end, I thought it would help her if we could give a short description of who we are and what we need. That’s more difficult than it sounds. I’m making a list for each of us of our prescriptions, dosages, times we take them per day, and what for, and then the supplements we take. I’m also going to scan our quarterly blood tests from last month. This way, in two pages, she can see each of us in a nutshell without our taking an undue amount of her time.

Maybe we’ll feel the ground settle a bit after we’ve seen her, get the prescriptions we need, and set up for our first quarterly appointment. Changes aren’t fun. They’re disconcerting. But, happily, in our case so far, the changes are doable.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Day Off


Since my back has been in protest mode lately, I’ve leaned toward comfort food, rather than eating my low carb food. The low carb foods can be really good, and I don’t feel deprived, but they aren’t comfort food.

Today I’m taking my last day off. To that end, I asked my husband what he has been missing most. He immediately said, “chicken chunks and soup over rice.” And so it shall be. I also got some double stuff oreo cookies as my official send off back to being a grown up.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter anymore whether my back hurts. I’m going to get back to doing what I know I should – gentle stretching and eating right.

If someone could come up with low carb, low sugar comfort food, he or she would be a gazillionaire.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Changes are DIFFICULT!

It seems that life is providing several character-building changes to us lately.

  • I’ve already told you that our much-loved dental hygienist and her husband were killed in a plane crash last month. We lucked out that our dentist, Dr. Wes Moore, was able to find another very competent, physically and emotionally gentle hygienist to take care of us.
  • Today we learned that our wonderful family practice doctor has left the Greenwood practice and has relocated to Russellville AR., an hour and a half each way from us. :0(   We are just devastated. We’ve looked up information on the new doctor coming in October, and have decided that we would like to try her. I called the clinic and they said someone would call us about it. Our doctor was compassionate, and provided samples of the blood sugar medicine my husband needs. Since this very likely will stop, I’ll need to research possible sources of this very expensive medicine. Humana doesn’t cover it, and it’s $550.00/month. To say I’m freaked out right now is an understatement. My husband glibly says, “I’ll just take it until the samples run out and then stop.” (I’m trying not to deck him.) He understands, but doesn’t really absorb, the fact that his body will do really bad things if he doesn’t take the medicine that helps control his blood sugar. So the search starts now…

I feel that the rug has been pulled out from under us several times lately. We’re trying to deal with things the best way we can, but one of the things about getting older is that you stiffen up and don’t bounce quite as well as you did when you were much younger.

I’ll try to focus on all the positive things in our lives – and we have a BUNCH of them.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Three C’s

source unknown

Change is difficult. It’s SO much easier to simply ‘keep on keepin’ on.’

Change means leaving your comfort zone, getting up off your duff, doing things might be scary, challenging, even unpleasant sometimes. But if you stop making the choice to take the chance to make a change, you stop living. You gradually quietly implode, your world becoming smaller and smaller until it’s gone.

Sometimes I think my husband is on a mission to make us UNcomfortable – with WAAAAY too many changes at one time.

One example of this is our CHOICE to cancel our subscription to DISH TV. Living in the sticks outside a small town in Arkansas, we’re very lucky to have two satellite TV choices: Dish and DirecTV. Now we’ve tried both. Both offered a lot of stations in the package we chose, but we couldn’t JUST get the channels we wanted, and we had to pay extra for the channels that weren’t included, plus the rental of the DVR, plus a charge for HD, plus……over $98/month.

So now we’re free of that, and that’s a good thing. BUT now we have to learn how to use Roku, Hulu, AmazonPrimeTV, and about 4 other choices right off the bat that all sound the same to me. Nothing is relaxing, mindless anymore. That’s a good thing for us, too, but it isn’t enjoyable at the moment. We had to order another Roku remote, because I can’t take the idea of my husband being in charge of what we’re watching, how loud the sound is, etc.  Now, instead of leaving a news channel on, buffering it for about an hour so we can skip through commercials, plus being able to hit “DVR” and see a list of stuff taped, ready to be watched, we have to figure out how to get the Roku service on (particularly if we watched a DVD the night before), then go to the service that provides the channel or program we want to see, then figure out (again) how to get the sound on.

We’re having to adjust to the fact that you can’t pause a show. You can mute the sound, but you can’t pause. So, if you get a phone call, need to get up to do something, get a call of nature, etc., you either miss whatever happened while you were gone or watch it again.  We have to mute for commercials, although we’re paying a bit extra for services that offer no commercials.

Instead of $98/month, we’re paying $36. We have almost all of the channels and programs we wanted. I’m finding that watching 24 hour news programs was stressful. Since they all hashed the same news with their unique spin or opinions, we aren’t missing much. Between my online news and the ones we watch now, we know pretty much what’s going on.

We’re still researching to find out what’s being offered or updated. We’re still working together to figure out how to make things work. We’re having to strain our brains, rather than mindlessly staring at the tube.

We’re reading and talking and playing with our animals more.

So we made the CHOICE to take a CHANCE so our lives have CHANGED –  for the better.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Too Bad, So Sad…


The Powerball drawing came and went last night at one minute before midnight for a prize of over $748 million. Surprisingly, I didn’t buy the winning ticket. There was one grand prize winner – in Massachusetts. Darn.

Now I eagerly await the PCH (Publisher’s Clearing House) drawing August 31st…..

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Dreams

Bouncing Back – Getting the Lard Off

Since I got back on the horse with and my goal of under 40 carbs and under 1200 calories per day last Saturday, I’ve lost 3 lbs. Total lost is now 23 lbs.  Since MyFitnessPal allows you to ‘play’ with various scenarios of what you’ll eat on a given day, you can work in things that are technically on the ‘not-to-eat’ list. An example:  we found some really nice-looking bicolored corn on the cob. By trying different ideas out, I was able to incorporate an ear of corn into my low carb day! Happily, it was some of the best corn on the cob we’ve ever eaten. Hooray!!!


I’m consciously moving more, having physical stuff outside or inside each day to add to my daily steps. I’m now averaging 5,000 steps per day, AND getting outside goals accomplished. On measurements, I’ve lost a total of 15 inches.



I’ve done yoga sessions on “Joints,” “Neck and Shoulders,” “Lower Back,” “Spinal Health,” “Hips,” “Legs,” and “Balance.” Today I’ll do the last session on the DVD set, “Overall Flow.” I FEEL better. Though I’m a bit sore from stretching in ways I haven’t for too long, I’m feeling looser and a bit more energetic. If I’m tired and sleepy during the afternoon, I take a nap, but I didn’t feel the need for the first time in a long time yesterday.

I’ve had a good starting-over week. I’ve made some progress and feel a difference. I feel more in control of myself.

On with Week 2!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off

Day Three of Being Back in the Saddle

The Cincinnati Zoo

This is DAY THREE of making SURE I’m eating under 40 grams of carbs per day and under 1200 calories, plus doing at least a session of yoga.

I’m using to list everything I’m eating and drinking to plan things out after breakfast. I’m gritting my teeth as my husband eats chips, sugar-free candy, sugar-free pop or tea, no sugar added ice cream sandwiches, but he’s eating the way he should for his diabetes. I’ve quit kidding myself that I can indulge, as well, but I AM building in my orange ice cream bar at night into my totals, relishing every bite.

I’ve been doing my one session per day of “Gentle Yoga” and am feeling better for it. I did “Head and Shoulders” Saturday, “Joints” yesterday, and “Lower Back” today.  It feels good to be treating myself better this way.

I feel as if I have a good start on getting back in the saddle of taking better care of myself again.

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Day One – Dose of Reality!

Cool Animal World

So – This is Day One of Finding-my-Act-and-Getting-it-Together-Again.

I finally did my first yoga session since we adopted our new puppy May 13th. I may have even stopped before that, but it shows how far my intentions have gotten off the track. I did “Neck and Shoulders” today of what I call the “Old Ladies Yoga” DVD. It’s actually called, “Gentle Yoga” put out by The teacher is Cat Kabira, and she’s a wonderful, accepting, caring person. She encourages you to be the best you can be, accepting where you are and what you are able to do at the given time, and encourages you to KEEP DOING IT.  I had never done yoga, and was intimidated at first, but I started really feeling a difference after several lessons.  There are 7 lessons devoted to particular parts of the body and then an ‘overall flow’ session which takes the ‘best’ moves from each of the other sections. Then there is a 2nd DVD called, “Gentle Yoga Flows.” I’ll work my way up to that one again.

I went back to the website and signed in for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. I had deluded myself that, since I was cooking low carb and we were trying to find substitutes for the things my husband, a Type II diabetic, missed the most, that sugar-free somehow meant not many calories or carbs.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked when I started to list what I had already eaten, plus planned to eat the rest of the day. I had to really work to juggle things to get back into my under 1200 calories per day and under 40 carbs a day I was doing previously. LOTS of changes and a BIG dose of reality. My husband can continue to eat as he has been, but “I” cannot!

I also had to acknowledge the ground I’ve lost on weight loss and measurements loss. :0(

OKAY. Today is DAY ONE. I’m already doing better than I was yesterday. I’ve acknowledged the error of my ways and I’m stopping the delusions under which I’ve been living for the past few months. I’m listing everything I eat or drink and have gotten back into my yoga practice. I’m moving more otherwise, doing lots of work outside and projects with my husband, plus walking the new puppy several times each day. I started with an average of under 2,000 steps per day. Now my average is 4 or 5,000 per day. I’ll see how much I can add to that.

I’ll try to report back to you each Saturday. I may not give you numbers for awhile, at least until I’m back where I was before my act was ‘lost,’ but I’ll do my best to be better than I was yesterday EVERY day.

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This is a lesson I finally learned, though it took about half of my life.

I met my husband-to-be when I was 14, in ninth grade. He had just signed up for the Marine Corps and he would leave at the end of the summer. My parents allowed me to invite him to go with us to our swimming club. And that was the beginning.

I lived – from then on – for when he got leave from the Marines. Almost everything else in my life was ignored, endured, put on hold. Then I was waiting for him to get out of the Marines. When he did, we waited again until he enrolled at the same college I attended. We did that for one semester and then he dropped out. So I was restlessly awaiting graduation from college so we could be together all the time. My parents said we couldn’t marry until I got my teaching degree, but they relented when I got into this special program that allowed me to finish my degree, doing my practice teaching in Tulsa.

From 14 ’til 22 years of age I basically WAITED, letting many good things pass me by.

The advice above is priceless.  We only have one life. Live every day. Stop waiting.

Just STOP.

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Rushing Around

Cartoon Characters

The forecast is for rain today, so, of course we have a gazillion errands to run, plus an appointment with the eye doc. Not only is rain predicted, but possible flooding.  It’s a very good thing that neither of us is water-soluble, because we may drown.

I hope that you have a good day. We’ll compare notes when we get back. :0)

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Did IT!


This is our new-to-us riding mower. My husband put a different, more serious muffler on it, but it’s still really loud.

Since he is recovering from 1st-eye cataract surgery, we decided that “I” should handle the mowing and the weed whacking until further notice. (Or about the middle of June, I think).

We keep the mower in the shop. I asked my husband to show me again how to check that there is enough gas, the oil level,  plus which levers did what again, since this is not my strong suit. I was then able to put it into reverse, get it out of the shop, turn it around and start riding toward the yard. I got the blades going after determining grass cut height.

It took me a good hour, since I put the speed on the lowest available for quite awhile until I felt more comfortable. I also told my husband I would weed whack the outer edges of the ‘civilized’ area along our back yard because the mower really leaned and I wasn’t comfortable with that at all.

I got the front, side, and back area mowed, plus the area between the driveway and our trio of brick planters, plus the area between the driveway pad and the shop, drove it back into the shop and turned it of.. HOORAY!

I didn’t run into anything. I didn’t dump myself off with the mower on top of me. I started to feel more comfortable this time.

I’m drinking water and taking a break, but feeling empowered. After I cool down, I’ll get out the leaf blower and clean things up.



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement

Looking for an Adult via Lisa Bearnes Richey

Or – maybe I should be looking for a zoo keeper to help corral my husband…

Does anyone else have a husband who knows more than everyone else about everything?


Meme Super

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Adrenaline is Gone


We’re both pretty sapped. We were up at 5:00 a.m. (the middle of the night for us) in order to get to the hospital by the time we were supposed to check in. We weren’t exactly sure which part of the hospital we were supposed to go to – other than “OutPatient Services” – or where we were supposed to check in, once we found that – other than ‘3rd floor.’

We got through the surgery very well. My husband wanted to stop at Denny’s for breakfast on the way home. The adrenaline I had been building up for several days only allowed me three hours of sleep last night. My husband basically shows up – THEN asks if we have the paperwork we need, where are we supposed to go, etc. It’s a good thing I’m good at handling details….

The adrenaline left soon after we got home. We both took naps this morning.

My husband is doing really well, but it’s amazing that he’s alive at all. He came in while I was folding the laundry, asking if I were planning to ‘beat him up today.” I told him that it wasn’t in my plans. Then he showed me that he had taken off the eye protection the surgeon put on him, that he is supposed to keep on all day today, tonight while he’s sleeping, to be removed by the surgeon tomorrow.

He said he didn’t need it and it was hampering his efforts to read, work on the computer, etc. I’m afraid I yelled at him a bit. I got him to agree to put the protector back on at bedtime – but he isn’t great at following rules he thinks are ‘stupid’ or ‘unwarranted.’

He may not have to worry about whether the eye surgery worked or not…

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When I had my first cataract removed in 2012, my husband kindly took a picture of me while I slept, then put it in juxtaposition with a picture of MadEye McGurk from Harry Potter.


This morning my husband had his first cataract removed this morning. When we got home, I took HIS picture, because it’s only fair.


He came through the surgery just fine. We go back to the surgeon’s office early tomorrow morning to see if he can get the other cataract removed in two weeks.

It’s up to you – Which of us  looks more like MadEye McGurk?

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Sigh. It’s happened again. We DIDN’T win the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes that ended April 28th….

(My husband had added a $63,000-$67,000 Camaro to the list of things he wanted when we won. )

I was a wonderful contestant, going through all the STUFF PCH sent me daily. I practically got carpal tunnel scrolling through all the STUFF I didn’t order – all to no avail. Oh,well.

For a couple of months I had big, quiet dreams of the people I wanted to give a boost to. Wonderful family and friends who would be delighted to enjoy a little extra. I dreamed of changing some lives for the better. Having a financial cushion frees people to think about creating, starting a new business, traveling, reaching out to others. I would love give this to people – to make a difference.

The dreams are beginning again. The current chance will be decided June 30th….


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Some Days

Krafty Max

Like the forecasters said, it’s raining, and raining hard now. If they’re also correct re the AMOUNT of rain, it’s impressive – forecasting 5 to 8 inches of rain by the end of the day tomorrow.

I’m busy being thankful that we’re not getting hail, high winds, or tornadoes today – the threat last night. We lucked out, but it really gets my attention when the weather monitor says, “Take Cover! Tornado Warning! In the path, Greenwood!”

We timed our errands today just right, getting home just as the rain started to get more serious. Right now it looks like night as I glance out the window. I had to close the door to the porch because the rain was blowing into the living room. We feel lucky to have a nice, dry house. Our animals are thankful, too, though they’re not very vocal about it. As you look around the house, though, one cat is sleeping in the bed at my feet as I type. Two dogs are on the bed in the living room. The other cat is in my husband’s lap as he reads. And Sally, the fish, blows bubbles at me, begging for more food every time I pass the bowl.

We’ll curl up with books today and beef stew.

I hope you’re warm and dry today.

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Sunday Project

Once the rain stopped today, I started on today’s project – cleaning the porch and the deck. In order to get ready for winter, I had moved most of the planters onto the porch. I also moved the chairs, tables, etc. onto the porch.  We could come out onto the deck from the back of the house, through the porch, but we needed to move carefully, it was so full.

I started by moving everything that was on the porch – that was supposed to be on the deck – out. I still need to fill the pots with soil in preparation for planting flowers, but at least they are where they are supposed to be now.

I also hosed off the upper part of the deck over which the gallon bottle bird feeder is. Both little birds and squirrels love this feeder. We love it too, because while we’re eating breakfast, we can watch the critters go through the wooden house into the bottle to get a seed and come back out again. The result on the deck, though, is quite a mess. I cleaned off a winter’s worth this afternoon.


Then I tackled the porch. There was a thick layer of dirt and yellow pollen on everything. I moved everything to one end of the porch and swept, and then swept again. The third time was the charm on making a dent in the mess. Then I moved everything to the other end and did the same. I then brought in the garden hose and sprayed the floor, moving the dirt and pollen that was left out the door. I then used the squeegee on a long handle to get the excess water out and left it to dry.


Finally, I moved everything to where it is supposed to be on the porch and wiped it all down.

We can now enjoy eating meals out on the porch until it’s too hot. I’m hoping for a good, long spring…

I made my husband come look at the day’s project. He ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ suitably, meaning he’ll get a good dinner tonight.:0)

I hope your Easter was wonderful.

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Feeling Grateful

Ned Hardy

I’m grateful that my wisdom tooth chose this late in my life to act up so my dentist could do what was necessary to get it out without scarring my psyche for life.

I’ve been lucky several times, when I had a problem, that the medical community had learned how to deal with it, lessening my suffering. For example, RH factor used to cause death for the mother and/or the baby. I inherited this from my maternal grandmother, who quietly took care of 5 small graves. By the time I had a baby, shots had been developed to help both my son and me.

When I had Graves Disease (a thyroid problem where your body gushes hormone, affecting every part of your body) they irradiated my thyroid and I take very inexpensive pills now that regulate things.

When my gallbladder went on strike, the removal of it had evolved from a really awful surgery with long recovery time to a laparoscopic procedure from which the recovery time for me was about a week. Amazing!

By the time I needed to have cataracts removed, the procedure was a 15-minute one, with my eyes fixed two weeks apart, with very little problem. (My husband has a picture of me with a patch on one eye. He paired that with a picture of Mad Eye McGurk  from Harry Potter. We looked remarkably alike…)

Over and over, I have found that I have been so lucky that by the time I have a problem, knowledge and techniques have improved so my suffering is so much less than it was in the past.

So, even though my jaw is still sore from my wisdom tooth extraction last Monday, I thank my lucky stars…


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes

Gathering Patience

(1) Our hummingbird bird bath is proving to be quite a challenge. We’ve tried several different approaches to getting the water to circulate, but not leak. Today we installed a regular toilet float valve in the trashcan under the bird bath. we hooked everything up, smiled, and then frowned again because it was leaking from the flapper valve in the tub. We have again drained it, leaving all the rest of the system intact. We’re going to spray all around the flapper valve with FlexSeal – the stuff on TV that’s supposed to repair holes in boats, etc., to see if that will solve our problem. We’re also going to shorten the flexible hose we have that goes from the bottom of the tub  to the trash can. We’ll let the FlexSeal dry, and then we’ll test the system again. We’re SO close to having something that we can set and forget – except for extreme enjoyment. Fingers crossed!

(2) I’m trying to dye some pillowcases. I found a gloriously deep purple fabric dye. Instead of being able to do the whole process in the washer, as I did once before, we had to boil water, pour it into a large bucket, add salt and dissolve, then add the dye and dissolve. We then put in the pillowcases one at a time, submerging each. The directions say to keep stirring constantly for 15 minutes, then stir every 10 minutes for another 45 minutes. I feel as if we’re making witches brew! They said to use eye protection and wear gloves. When the 45 minutes is over, I’ll put the bucket in the sink, squeeze each pillow case out into the bucket, and then rinse in cold water while my husband dumps the rest of the dye and water. Then they go into the washer and dryer.

And why am I doing this? We have little bitty foam contoured travel pillows we use on our bed. My husband won’t use anything else. The pillow cases for them are EXPENSIVE. When they got stained, I dyed them, but the only color I could find was pink. Needless to say, we’ve been putting up with them, rather than enjoying them, for longer than we would like. I decided to give them new life by dying them a color that would go with our bedding and preferences better. If this works, we’ll be in good shape for our extra little pillows for quite awhile. (Meanwhile, I’m setting the timer for 10 minutes and stirring the cases around with a large stick of PVC pipe.) I’ve done three of the four times now. Fingers crossed on this project, too!

(3) The other project we hope to tackle today is getting our new-to-us riding lawn mower working. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, so it would be really good if we could get the civilized part of our yard looking like someone cares.  I’ll be a go-fer while my husband uses his smarts to get it going, figure out how it works, and then teaches me, too.

I’m still healing from having a wisdom tooth pulled Monday, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be functional. The horrendous pain is gone, but I still have aching jaws and a headache. Other than that, I feel as if I were run over by a truck. Since I was ready for the dentist to shoot me to put me out of my misery Monday morning, I’m very grateful to ONLY have aching and a headache. Small price to pay for the wonderful work of our dentist.

By the way, if you’re in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, you couldn’t find a better dental service. His name is Wesley Moore, DDS. Moore Dental Care, 2913 S. 74th St. Fort Smith, AR72903. (479) 484-5050.

The timer went off for me to stir my witches brew for the last time.

Hope you’re having a good day, too.



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Purple Clover via Cathy Ruggiero

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