Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup

Follow-Up from Visit to the Dentist Today 12-8-2022

Little Rock Family


We had quite a trip to the dentist this morning. Since it was raining, my husband surprisingly took my suggestion of the night before and we took the truck. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it was a bit too soon. We left in time to make a stop at the UPS Store before we went to the dentist.

Twice I held my breath as my husband, who is ALWAYS in a hurry, seemed to be on his way to hitting the back of a vehicle ahead of us who was putting on his brake to stop at the light that had changed. I braced for impact, keeping my mouth firmly shut, and he finally got the truck stopped an inch or so from the vehicle in front. A second time he got mad that the car in front of us was ‘dragging his feet’ and actually started to drive into the median to get around him. THAT time I yelped. He looked pained at me, but decided not to go through with it. If he had been by himself, there is a good possibility that he might have actually done it, which is one of the many reasons we now go everywhere together.

We almost didn’t make our appointment in time because we then got stuck behind the remnants of a wreck. There were flashing lights all over the place, stalled and smashed cars, an ambulance, a tow truck, a police car, and more. We finally got past that and pulled into the dentist’s office parking lot with one minute to spare.

My cleaning was first. Soon after we got started, EMS personnel were heading to the next cubicle beyond where I was. There was a lot of activity, but the lady seemed to be all right. My cleaning and exam went well. No oral cancer. No cavities. Next appointment in six months.

The dentist came out to the lobby to visit with me while my husband was in with the hygenist. I asked if the lady was all right. He said yes. Just another example of how wonderful Dr. Wes Moore is – this lady is 96. She fell this morning. She called Dr. Moore because she says he is the only one she trusts. She was scared and wanted him to check her over. He told her to come on in. While she was there, she started complaining that she was having pain in her chest. He called the ambulance. They made sure she was stable and will take her to the hospital where she’ll be checked over thoroughly and they will see that she gets home. She has done this one other time.

One other example – I told him that I so enjoyed living under the illusion that Shannon, our lovely former hygienist, was there at the office all year long. It hit me in the face each time we came for cleanings that we had lost her – almost like the original pain we felt at the time. He said he felt the same, and that it would hit him all of a sudden from time to time. He remembered the letter I had written to his office when I learned the news. He said the people in the office cried and then he passed the letter on to Shannon’s parents to show him how much of a difference she had made in the world. A patient of his died recently in an ATV accident. He came to the funeral in Greenwood. As he wondered what he could say to his widow, she immediately said, “Frank is in heaven with Shannon, and he is flossing.”

My husband got a good report, as well. We made it home without incident.

How lucky we are that we have such stellar people taking care of us. I still am ridiculously scared to go to the dentist – not getting to sleep until after 4am this morning dreading it – but I’m grateful they are there.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges

I Voted!

We had a nice outing this morning, running a few errands, voting early, and then hitting the grocery store.

Arkansas is not the most forward-thinking state, but I have to say that it has the best voting setup I personally have ever seen. Voting is always in a central location with easy access. They publicize it, so it never catches you by surprise.

We were expecting it to be at City Hall, but there was a sign there pointing us to the fairgrounds. We spent less than 5 minutes there, I think. Lots of parking. There were others voting and signing in, but they had lots of volunteers at several sign in stations. I presented my drivers license as a photo ID, answered questions the answers to which were on record, and I signed a screen for signature comparison and was handed a ballot.

The screens were easy to read and mark. There was a chance to review what I had marked, then I hit “print” and my ballot was created. I took the printed ballot to the counting machine at the front and put it in personally. I feel confident in the system here.

You don’t have to jump through hoops, but the sign-in process makes it clear that you are who you say you are, that you’ve registered to vote, that signatures can be compared (though that’s lenient because they ask you to sign a screen with a crayon type electronic marker, not touching the screen with your fingers or hands, at a weird slant). I don’t think someone could fraud the system, though I guess if you REALLY worked at it, it can always be done.

The only thing I wish were different is that, since we live outside the city limits, we don’t get to vote for local officials, such as the mayor, city council people, etc. We pay taxes, though, and live with the rules made by these officials. It won’t change, so I live with that. I can still stick a sign in my yard, donate to campaigns, and talk to my friends about people I hope will win, though, attend City Council meetings, etc. That’ll have to be enough.

Early voting started here last Monday and continues almost right up until voting day. Makes it really civilized and a pleasure to vote. :0)

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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

The Saga of the Phone Line Continues


We are cornering the market on character-building lately. This time it’s trying to get a phone line rehung that fell down into the yard during the last storm.

After the storm we initially called our electric company, Arkansas Valley Electric Co-Operative, because we weren’t absolutely sure whether we needed help with electrical lines or phone lines. The company sent a service man right over. We couldn’t have asked for better response time. He confirmed that the lines were phone lines, and told us the phone company would need to come out and fix them.

It took us forever (3 or 4 days) of talking to person after person at our current phone company, AT&T, before someone mentioned that the two phone lines we have now were actually installed years ago by CenturyLink.

My husband got mad at this point and was up on a two-story ladder propped up against a telephone pole, trying to rehang the line. He finally gave up on one of the lines because even with that ladder, he couldn’t get up high enough. That didn’t stop him from trying to rehang the 2ND phone line. He had to cut down the branches of a tree in order to get access to the line and managed, after getting bitten by the tree several times, scratching up his arm badly, to get the line hung.

I spent another day trying to contact CenturyLink. This was iffy, since we are no longer their customer. They finally gave me a repair ticket number. Nothing happened, so I contacted them again and they said they had no record of the ticket number. They finally found it, and told us the technician would be out to the house yesterday between 8 and 5. We had to stay home to be sure we were here to receive him.

A little before 5, I contacted them again. The lady said to give the tech until 7pm. We did, but no action.

My husband stayed home from Lunch Bunch and errands this morning so he would be here if the tech showed up. He didn’t.

I contacted CenturyLink again. She told me the ticket was marked, “completed.” My husband went outside to double check, and the line was still down. I told the lady that and she has now generated ANOTHER repair ticket with a “commitment date of 4/23.”

And so we wait again…. I wonder if ‘character’ SHOWS, like building muscles….

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Letting Go

Hermann Hesse – PositivelyPresent – Louise Myers – Visual Social Media

I have learned lately that facing your weaknesses is important. I also dealt with a deep fear and made it through. I had the help of wonderful, caring friends, but you are essentially alone when actually dealing with things.

I had a month of trying to face that my husband might have to live alone. I am now taking some positive steps to make things easier for him in case we face this again for whatever reason. The fact that I am making a list of steps I want to take, setting things up differently that I handle routinely, listing reminders for him, has largely calmed me down.

I have let a lot of the fear go.

I don’t think – if I have to face a similar situation again – it will be as bad.

Taking care of what I CAN will help both of us going forward.

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


MISTAKE ONE: waiting, rather than living in the moment.

I spent much of my life waiting. I met my husband-to-be when I was 14 and he was 17. When he joined the Marines soon after, he took my heart with him. I waited for him to come home on leave. I waited for letters, checked days off the calendar, dated little because my heart was waiting for him to come home. Then we were in different colleges and I waited for breaks from school so we could be together. Then I waited to finish school so we could marry. I cried when we finished the ceremony and my life could finally begin.

Telling myself that I was missing out on a lot of life didn’t make it past the thought running through my head. My heart was set. I avoided complications, getting close to many people, always choosing the path that would get me where I wanted to go the quickest way possible. I wonder how things might have been different if I had made different choices.

Now I live in the moment, wringing every drop of joy I can out of seeing people I love, talking to those I can’t see as much as I would like, taking the time to soak up beautiful things, celebrating the talent surrounding me – LIVING – rather than waiting.

MISTAKE 2: worrying about things over which I have no control.

This is a gut level reaction. I TRY not to do this, realizing how stupid it is. I do pretty well during the day when I can choose my activities, stay busy, etc., but if I wake in the middle of the night, I get swamped pretty easily. I worry about worst case scenarios, causing myself a lot of pain for no good reason. My head tells me to prepare for things the best way I can, see what actually happens, and then deal with it. My inner child wants to live in ignorant bliss, avoiding the bad situations, seeking hugs and someone to solve the problem about which I’m worrying.

I’m doing pretty well on rectifying my first mistake. The 2nd remains a challenge. 99% of the time my “adult” handles things reasonably well, I think. Now I concentrate on the 1% of the time my inner child comes out.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, building good habits

Celebrating Owls
Varia Strix

“Owl hasn’t exactly got Brain, but he Knows Things.” —A. A. Milne


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Amazing Animals

Lard Accountability

Pin auf Watch-GIFs

I gained 1.5 lbs after eating the delicious Hashbrown Bowl with Sausage, Egg, and Cheese at the new Waffle House in Greenwood. Lesson: NEXT time order ONE bowl and TWO plates, and give most of the hashbrowns to my husband.

That said, it’s the first of July (basically) so I decided to measure and see where I am on my efforts to lose the lard.

From my heaviest, I am down a bit over 27 pounds and 26.2 inches. I am on DAY 7 of my new regimen of doing a session of yoga daily, drinking a bottle of water, and eating a snack (if I need one) of raw veggies and a bit of dip.


  • Keep on keepin’ on
  • Add some work with weights starting next week, MW&F
  • NOT beat myself up for having one splurge meal, even though it will take time to get that added weight off.
  • Try to fine tune my eating so I’m not unconsciously adding calories I don’t need.
  • Measure again August 2nd and record
  • Take one day at a time, making goals for the week to give myself direction

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

Good Suggestion

A. A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh –

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Encouragement, Poohisms

Wonderful Marathon Birthday Celebration

Cartoons by Ron Leishman

When you are my age, the more celebration the better.  (I will be 73 on Monday, March 9th.)

My friends at Lunch Bunch made me feel really special yesterday and I’m still grinning.

When we walked into the Pizza Barn, this was one of the things on the table –

I put them in the center of our dining table so that my husband and I can enjoy them together. The first thing he said at breakfast this morning was, “These are lovely.”

Spring-Scented candle and holder.  I wish you could smell this!

Ceramic OWL candle or tealight holder. This has a peach and mango candle. Delicious!

Kitchen towels with attitude!

And beautiful birthday cards.

TWO pieces of chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting.

My lunch was free.

Conversation, laughter, and hugs from long-time friends. (we have been meeting every Friday for Lunch Bunch for almost 19 years now – a true gift.)

My husband and I indulged in hot dogs with BUNS and Fritos last night for dinner – I haven’t had those – or the cake – in over a year now.

And Monday my husband is taking me for a lobster tail lunch at Red Lobster – a celebration of another year of life, PLUS having over 1400 subscribers to my blog now.

“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” — Pat Benatar



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Cause for Celebration, Delightful Surprises, Family, Friendship, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, kindness, quality of life

I Found My Desk!

I told you that I FINALLY made myself quit procrastinating and got the tax prep for 2019 mostly done. I then went through the file cabinet drawers for our stock records and found something ELSE that should have been a long time ago – updating our stuff and making sure that our records agreed with our broker’s. As I was working on those things, plus getting things ready to put in the local shop for St. Patrick’s Day, I ended up ‘losing’ my desk.

I love this desk. It’s impractical, but I love it. It has a top that rolls down so you can’t see the top at all. (I had so much STUFF on it – that was impossible) :0)

It also has a bunch of little drawers, nooks & crannies, slide-out trays, etc. It even has a KEY to lock it, though I never use it.

Today was the day I was going to do two things:

THING ONE:  Go onto our broker’s website and see if I could download and print what we needed to finish our taxes.

THING TWO:  FIND my desk again.


My desk is FOUND again!  As usual, I threw away a bunch of stuff, put things back where they belonged, found new places for some of the stuff…

I was able to download and print our tax stuff, so I’m in the process of going through the packet one more time, making sure I have everything included – with the backup receipts needed, and then we will drive to Fort Smith Monday and leave it with our wonderful CPA who makes sense of all of it and hopefully tells us we don’t owe anything.

As soon as I finish going through the tax stuff, I’m planning to dive into the book I’ve been reading and enjoy!


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

A Challenging Day

Jeff Jett via LinkedIn

When we got up this morning, I thought it would be a quiet day.

It’s cold, gray, and rainy today, so I have to fight wanting to curl up under my throw in my recliner and nap the day away.

We had our quarterly bug spray at noon. If you’re looking for a dependable, wonderful group of people to handle all your bug spraying needs, try Tri-Hill Pest Control in Fort Smith, AR.  Their phone number is (479) 782-2847. They come treat our home quarterly. At one point, we had lots of scorpions. YES! It was really awful. They got them under control for us. Now supposedly spiders are overrunning everyone, but we haven’t seen even one – and NO scorpions. Since it’s rainy. our wonderful sprayer said he would schedule a return visit in a day or two to treat the outside.

Before he arrived, I got a call from our water department. We had gotten several bills lately that were higher than usual. We thought it was probably leftover charges from when our son was home (our bill usually doubles) – and then we had a leak in our well house that our plumber came and fixed, so we thought it might be leftover from that. I just paid the last bill, so I was surprised when the lady at the water department called me, saying from our usage, we must have a leak somewhere. She said the company had been trying to find the source and that something ‘pinged’ when they passed our house. She suggested that we contact a plumber.

I called Travis Hawkins, our long-time wonderful plumber. (479) 461-8347.  I actually got to speak with him directly, rather than having to leave a message. He is so good that he stays quite busy. He told me that as soon as the rain stopped, he would be over and try to find the source of the leak. I just noticed the rain had stopped – at least for awhile – and Travis was driving up the driveway. Have I told you that I think he is worth his weight in gold?

My husband showed him a place in the front yard where we had standing water. The whole yard is wet, but this was almost like a shallow lake in comparison. We now have a big hole in our front yard. Travis actually found the source of the leak – a big PVC pipe that runs across our front yard. There was a humongous rock or boulder between the soil and the pipe. He has gone to the hardware store to get the supplies he needs to fix where we can SEE the pipe just caved in on itself. (Apparently, this is another perk from living in one place for over 30 years. – they use different, stronger stuff now.)

The lady at the water department said that when the leak is fixed. we should bring the repair receipt in to her office and she will adjust our bill. I’m not sure what that actually MEANS, but we will be grateful for whatever help she can give us.

Otherwise, I hard-boiled some eggs and made a keto sausage/eggs/cheese back for our dinner tonight. I also did a Windows 10 update on my computer, then FINALLY figured out how to do a backup of the operating system with the recent changes, then backed up my data.

It’s not even mid-afternoon yet and I’m exhausted.

I’m glad we don’t usually have days like this.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, character-building exercises, Housekeeping - Maintenance


Fifth Estate

I have worked all day, but I have finally done the majority of the work needed on our tax prep. The spreadsheets I made helped a LOT. They are all totaled and printed now, and I have the supporting documents in ordered piles now. I just finished saving the spreadsheets for 2020.

I’m doing a small victory dance now – since all is ready – as soon as we get a few more documents – to bag it up and take it to our CPA. HOOOORAAAAAY!

Soon I will start entering the data for January 2020 on the new spreadsheets. I’ve also figured out some time-saving things I can do to make getting the supporting documents in order more quickly next time.

I figure I’ll have this down to a science by the time I’m about 106….

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Happy Sunday!

I am trying to find my way out of a huge pile of STUFF regarding trying to get our records ready so that we can dump them on our wonderful CPA. If you are in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, I highly recommend Lawrence, Schluterman, & Schwartz, LTD, CPAs in Fort Smith. We have used them for years and trust them completely. Their address is 2411 S. Waldron Road, Fort Smith AR 72903. Their phone number is 479-484-7211.

That said, I truly hate tax prep. Today I will total the spreadsheets I’ve been keeping for each deduction category and see how it goes. I’ve really been trying to act like an adult this year, entering the data for the month soon after it is over. Hopefully, I can finish prepping in record time.

IF THAT IS THE CASE – I will make myself start new spreadsheets for 2020 – yes, I am aware that I’m already behind – and I will make every effort to be a good girl and get caught up.

Have a wonderful day!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business

A Beautiful Day, Except…

We are having a truly gorgeous day today – particularly for February. The sun is shining brightly and it’s 59 degrees outside!

Yesterday we not only saw the small herd of 6 deer beside the road on the way to town, but also saw a roadrunner when we got home.

Getty Images

This one above is not the one we saw, but the picture gives you an idea. He was up on our deck railing, eating the handful of seed we try to leave in the “bird” feeder we made from a shovel.

Shovel Bird Feeder

Shovel BirdFeeder and Friends on the Deck Railing

He seemed quite comfortable eating brunch as we watched. Two squirrels and a rabbit rounded out the wonderful display of nature.

Our doggies have LOVED the day, wearing us out with letting them out and back in again over and over. (They have to go out separately, since our lab, Amber, is jealous of our elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, and tries to hurt her.)  We are getting our exercise today playing “doggy doorman.”




I got the ingredients for keto chili in the crock pot early this morning – at my husband’s request – so we’ll enjoy having that ready to eat for dinner tonight. I also cut up a HUGE container of strawberries because my husband lives for his ‘cakes, ice cream, and strawberries’ each night.

This would be a perfect day except that it’s February, meaning I need to get our paperwork organized for our CPA to do our taxes. I have kept spreadsheets on the various deduction categories this year, and I have made myself enter the data each month, so I think it will be mostly a matter of checking things over, totaling everything, and printing the spreadsheets, then adding the appropriate backup for each thing.

Stock records to confirm as we wait for the company to send us the official records, filing, updating, and THEN opening the spreadsheets for the records for 2020 are also on the list.

If all this paperwork were done with a swish of my magic wand, I would be the happiest of women….


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Family, Lewis Art, Lewis yard art, Mother Nature, Thoughts on a ________

Cautionary Tale

I am in the middle of yet another of life’s character-building exercises.

I told you about the money order a customer was going to send for a huge (for me) order of plaques.

The order was supposed to be for all five of the plaques I painted using Unicorn Spit.  He said his administrative assistant messed up and sent the wrong amount in the money orders. I told him I would refuse delivery of the package and that he should send another for the correct amount. He then said he wanted to increase the order, wanting 40 (FORTY!) plaques in all, 8 of each of the five designs. We went back and forth, but I asked him to stick to the original order, and then, if he was happy, he could order more.

The money orders for too much money were delivered by FEDEX while my husband and I were out doing errands. :0(     My husband was angry. I ended up taking them to the bank in order to ask them how long I would need to wait to be SURE they were good before I filled the order. She said 14 business days, and then noticed a number you could call to verify the money orders. She called, putting it on speaker phone. It was an automated system, asking for the number on the money order and then the number of the post office issuing it. She keyed them in and we were told the numbers didn’t match anything in their system – and so were fraudulent.

SO – I am pinning them up on the pegboard on the wall in front of my computer to remind myself that I do NOT need yet another character-building exercise. At least I wasn’t dumb enough to ship the plaques I had ready, or buy wood for the 35 more plaques my husband and I would have been cutting out, finishing, and putting hangers on as quickly as we could to fill the order within the time frame.

I did NOT deposit them. I am out only –

  • the delight of the biggest order in my life
  • the time I spent with the customer who turned out to be a rat
  • the anguish of my husband getting angry over the whole thing

I am considering myself lucky that I had a big sense of ‘too good to be true’ and did what I could to make SURE it was legitimate before getting my family in financial jeopardy.

A cautionary tale…



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, character-building exercises


Nanea Hoffman -Sweatpants & Coffee – via Hippie Peace Freaks

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So Do It

Kurt Vonnegut via Cathy Ruggiero

In the last post I was telling you about a change in perspective about how we feel about Mondays.  I have also changed my perspective on day-to-day priorities.

I always have a to-do list that is frequently longer than my arm. There are lots of things I feel that I should do in any given day. Some are ‘have-to’s,’ but most of them are just ‘should’s.’

For years I have tried to get as many of the things on the list done as I could and THEN given myself permission to go up and play in my art room, or do exercise. Most of the time, the art room, exercise, and/or playing in my garden or flowers got lost in the shuffle.

Since my husband had a stoke in July (he’s better and better every day), things got to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t rush in the bathroom. Yes, it was that bad. Our son came home, gave us perspective, space, compassion, understanding, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of hugs. This has been priceless.

Since he isn’t in a hurry to go back home, I have had a chance to rethink what I need to do now that the initial scare is over so that I can handle whatever comes next. My big change in priorities is to get REAL about what really needs to be done from the list. I ask myself, what is the worst that will happen if I don’t do this today? If I can handle the answer, it’s priority number is lessened. I have decided that I need to do everything in my power to be strong enough for both of us – particularly when our son needs to leave. So now time in my art room, time for a session of yoga, time to play in my garden or my flowers are things near the top of the list.

This morning I went up to my art room and finished painting my latest tee shirt. (I’ll post a pic when it’s dry.)  I have just finished my first yoga session of the week, giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar. :0)

I still have plenty of time to tackle the ‘have-to’s’ for the day, but I’m feeling more at peace because of the time in the art room, and healthier and looser because of the yoga session. If I’m as strong as I can be, I can handle whatever else comes our way better.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself


Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.


Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Unattended Children

Captain Safety – Yard Bird


Design You Trust


Sad and Useless


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Family, Funny Signs - Humor

Adjusting our Body Clocks

I told you recently that my husband and I signed up to be host parents for a 16-year-old boy from Italy this school year.

Alessandro will arrive August 6th. School starts August 13th.

We have been setting our alarm clock for 8am – feeling virtuous that we then get up to let our doggies out for their morning run. If we didn’t do this, we tend to stay up ’til all hours, sleep fitfully many nights, would sleep in to try to catch up, making our poor doggies wait.

Since our day will start at 6am for the school year, we are proactively trying to reset our body clocks so we won’t be complete zombies, unable to function.

Today we started getting up at 7am. The sun was up, so it was easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t say anything to my husband about what I was doing last night – resetting the alarm – and he either didn’t notice, or didn’t say anything. It’ll be interesting to see when he realizes. :0)

Starting the last day of July, I’ll set the alarm for 6am. I don’t even know if the sun will be up then. That will be harder if it is also still asleep. Hopefully, by the 6th, we’ll be more used to getting up. By the 13th, the first day of school, I hope the 3 of us will be handling it well.

So far, we got up and got the grocery shopping out of the way early. I have an hour more to try to get my to-do list done – unless I end up asleep in my chair…


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

A Good Day

We had a productive day today –

  • we shoveled the potting soil back into the finished planter before the rains started
  • we hauled the bricks that were holding down the tarps over the potting soil and cleaned up work area
  • we got our errands done, with the rain starting on our way home
  • I scrubbed part of master bathroom upstairs (need to finish tomorrow) – got distracted by –
  • I tried on multiple pairs of jeans and finding SEVERAL pairs that were too large – :0)
  • I added the too-large jeans to the Veterans Thrift store bag donation
  • my husband loaded ammunition for our good friend down the road from us

The predicted severe thunderstorms came and went without causing damage. At one point the sky was so dark I couldn’t see that it was raining when I looked out the window, but I could HEAR the thunder and could see the lightning, and could see the rain streaming down the windows. The wind was really whipping things around, but things have cleared up now and the sun is shining! (I just checked to see if our greenhouse was still standing and it IS. :0)

My husband is asleep in his chair in the living room. That sounds really good, so I’m thinking of doing that, too.

I hope YOU’VE had a good day, too.

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Day Four of Being Back on the Horse!

The Funny Beaver

I’m working on Day Four of doing what I’m supposed to do on my eating and exercise plan. I just put the fourth gold star on my calendar for the week, starting with Wednesday.

I’ve lost 3 pounds this week and have exercised every day since the magical Wednesday.

  • Wednesday I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage, albeit slowly. (I had a hitch in my get-a-long with my right hip protesting until I had done about 10 minutes. Then it eased up.)
  • Thursday I did yoga stretches for the first time in too long, and again moved very slowly and carefully. (I got an indication of how messed up I was when I laid down on my back and it took a good minute or so of trying to relax before it didn’t hurt.)
  • Friday I did my “Walking with Annoying Leslie”  video. I was only able to do one mile, rather than two.
  • Today – Saturday – I did the Wii Fit Plus Balance ‘games.’ (I think I’m making progress in my attitude, though, because I actually LAUGHED when they insulted me.) It started with when they weigh you, then announce, “OH! You’ve gained weight since last time! (Imagine what they would have said if I had tried it BEFORE I lost 3 lbs. this week.) Balance is one of my biggest challenges which is why I put up with the insults. I DO get better with practice, and I don’t want to fall on my head or break my bones.
  • Tomorrow – Sunday – I’ll do my dance video.

One thing I did that is helping me stay on track is re-sign-up with There are fancier food and exercise tracking sites, but these people have the easiest food tracking system I’ve found. I don’t have to put in EACH ingredient in a recipe, for example. I can check-mark a repeated food each day without having to enter it again. I’m trying to stay under 1200 calories per day, but I’m combining that with recipes from my Keto book and other low-carb books, so I’m not as worried about it – just trying to keep myself honest about what I’m stuffing into my face.

I’m also trying to do

  • something outside each day that the weather is cooperative – such as weed-whacking or gardening.
  • also something cleaning related in the house. Today it was cleaning the screened back porch of a super-thick layer of yellow pollen, dog and cat hair, dirt, and other yuck, so that we can enjoy some meals out there before it gets too hot.

Both of these things make me feel I’m accomplishing something, plus keep me moving.

So far, it’s working.

I’ve lost 40.6 pounds and 43 inches so far. My goal, at this point, is to lose another 30 lbs. I want to be in the average range for my height (and I’m getting SHORTER, rather than taller) on BMI charts, and fit into some reasonable size at a regular department store for clothes, rather than having to hit the fat section of Walmart forever. I want to be as healthy as I can for my age (72) and not be restricted so much on what I can do without my body complaining.

One day at a time – today I’ve done my exercising, cleaned the back porch, and now I’ll head out to do some weed whacking.

I hope you’re having a happy day.

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

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit


I’ve been a good girl today, doing some of the things I hate most – balancing checkbooks, filing, and tax prep for 2019.

I have the equivalent of a doctorate – plus in the fine art of procrastination. For years I have paid for it and the end of the year/beginning of the next year – being buried in receipts. I HATE tax prep and my husband calmly washed his hands of it years ago. He does bring me cups of coffee every once in a while, as encouragement, but that’s as involved as he gets.

When I finally could dump all of the organized receipts for 2018 on our wonderful CPA, I promised myself I would do things differently from now on. (Truth be told, I promise myself a LOT of things, only to procrastinate until the promises become meaningless.)

This year, though, I’m happy to tell you I have just finished

  • balancing our checkbooks
  • filing (I can see my desk!) – AND
  • converting receipts of all types for the month of March into the spreadsheets for taxes for 2019 I started at the beginning of the year.

Instead of cramming all the monthly receipts into monthly folders and then trying to make sense of things at the end of the year, I am going through the monthly receipts, listing things on the proper spreadsheet, then putting the receipts into a folder labeled for that deduction. No monthly folder anymore once the month is over. This way, at the end of the year I can simply total each category on the various spreadsheets, print them, list the information on the tax form booklet our CPA provides, already having the receipts ready to take!

I have officially finished 1/4 of 2019 now – can you see my grin?


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Bright Ideas, building good habits, Cause for Celebration, Changes, character-building exercises, learning new things, Organizing/DeCluttering, THINGS I HATE!

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

“Cardinal Taking a Bow” – by Norma Wilson

I’ve told you I absolutely HATE tax time – the whole trying to make sense of my records, feeling overwhelmed, etc.

When I finished these and dumped them on our wonderful CPA around the 15th of January, I promised myself I would start a different way of keeping records so that I didn’t hate this time of year so much.

When I created spreadsheets to summarize our receipts in each category, I copied each of them, labeling them “Whatever Category – 2019”. I promised myself that I would take time at the end of each month, enter the relevant numbers into the spreadsheets, and then file the receipts under the appropriate tax category, rather than the month as I have always done.

I just finished entering the information for February – hence the pat on the head and bowing cardinal! :0)

If I can keep this up, at the end of the year I SHOULD be able to just total the categories on the spreadsheets, print them, and bag them up for the CPA.

I’m a bit embarrassed that I have moaned/griped/whined for years about this – never coming up with a better way to attack it until this year.

Someone should say something memorable, such as, “Better late than never….” don’t you think?

clipart library

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes

The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The short answer is 43 pounds lost and 44.2 inches lost to date, since my ‘heaviest and lardiest.’

The longer answer is we’re trying to take care of ourselves, now that my husband and I are getting ‘long-in-the-tooth’ and would like to maintain or increase our quality of life for as long as we can, enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Since we both have health issues, my husband gave up added sugar and I gave up added salt. We are limiting our red beef, concentrating more on chicken and fish, veggies, fruit, and nuts. We’re both trying to drink more water. I’m trying to exercise. My husband said, “Now that I turned 75, I don’t HAVE to worry about exercising.” – as if he ever has. I am exercising more than I ever have, with the exception of when I was teaching swimming every summer and working in a restaurant part-time to help pay my way through college.  I continue to encourage him to exercise.

I’m concentrating on stretching, balance, core strength, and reaction time. Basically just trying to consciously move more. I’m doing a combination of yoga, abdominal exercises, walking, elliptical trainer, dance, and Wii Fit Plus each week. Sometimes I’m successful and get it all in, sometimes not. I’m trying to pat myself on the head (and give myself a gold star on my desk calendar) when I do well and not beat myself up when I don’t.

The same on eating. My husband is almost where he needs to be on weight. I still have a lot to lose to get to my goal of being in the healthy range on BMI and insurance charts. We’ve been on Nutrisystem, but are on hiatus now, trying to eat our way through the remaining food while not having more sent. In May we’ll probably change to A LA CARTE. We are doing our own thing a lot of the day and are needing the packaged stuff less and less. I’m substituting healthy recipes we really like for the entrees.

We’re giving ourselves permission to eat out when the mood strikes – a quality of life issue for us. Last night we ate dinner at The Dari, one of the new restaurants in Greenwood, Arkansas. Last night we got a seafood platter and two plates. This gave each of us plenty of food without overeating. We enjoyed our splurge/treat without breaking our diet. I made it a point to ask at the front counter who was responsible for the seafood. Several of the cooks raised their hands. I gave them a two-thumbs up, a big grin, and told them they were WONDERFUL.

I have to get a blood test on the 18th of March to see if I’ve improved in a couple of areas. Fingers crossed.



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Sunday Afternoon Project


I’ve told you that we’re becoming more independent on our cooking and eating now that we’ve been on Nutrisystem for about 8 months. We’re going to switch to their A LA CARTE plan, only ordering what we truly want each month.

This means I’m cooking more for dinner mainly. We’re eating whatever I cook plus a large side salad most evenings to try to watch our portions on the cooked part of the meal.

We also read The Longevity Code and are trying to eat more poultry and fish, rather than red meat, lots of veggies (raw and cooked) and avoid things like white flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. We’ve already cut out as much sugar as we can, and I’m not using any added salt these days.

Today’s project is condensing my recipes into hopefully one notebook. I’ve been gathering them from various sources, and I had piles of them in the kitchen, office, and in three different notebooks. I’m trying to discard recipes that have a bunch of stuff we’re now trying to avoid. Some can be altered into more healthy recipes with some substitution.

I’m about 2/3 finished with the project now. I’m going to feel better when the recipe I’m looking for is easy to find and I’m not distracted by my old style of cooking or my taste buds teased with things that are now definitely off the list!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, Healthy Eating

Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

My husband and I have been on Nutrisystem since April of 2018. We have each lost about 30 pounds.

My husband would like to lose another 10 pounds, but basically he is already at a healthy weight. He is a Type II diabetic, so we’ve been trying to really watch the sugar. He has brought his A1C down from a high of over 16 to 5.4 in January. We monitor his blood sugar twice a week.

I have another 30 pounds to lose. I’m doing this very slowly. Apparently being old, short, and female is a triple whammy as far as speed in losing weight. I’m not in this, though, to lose a certain amount of weight in as short a time as possible. I’m trying to get to a healthy weight for my height (though I’ve tried to GROW TALLER so I don’t need to lose as much weight). I want to keep the weight off.

We are narrowing the foods we enjoy via Nutrisystem (NS). I think this is healthy, because part of the program is learning to cook in a healthy fashion for yourself. We are doing this more and more, learning things to avoid, good things we can ‘throw into the pot’ to increase nutrition, and most of all, portion control. Apparently each of us was ‘eating-for-6-or-8’ so it was quite a shock to learn what is considered a ‘serving.’

To this end, we’re on hiatus from the monthly deliveries of NS food. We’re eating our way through the remaining food. We’ll probably switch to the A LA CARTE membership in May, so we can order the few things we really like and be on our own for the rest. We’re eating a lot of raw veggies and salads, cooked veggies, fruit, nuts, poultry and fish.

We are also following advice from the doctor who wrote “The Longevity Code.” Eating little or no red meat, switching to chicken and fish, eating more veggies, no white stuff (rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat flour.) We’re taking some supplements we didn’t know about, as well.

I’m finding more and more healthy recipes we like on the net. The newest thing I’m trying today is “Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili” from

We’re combining the best advice from many sources to come up with something we can stick with – and enjoy – for the rest of our lives.

Other than trying to eat in a reasonable, adult fashion, I’m trying to exercise.

Bored Panda

The big thing I’m trying to do is get my poor, old body to NOTICE that I’m doing a good variety of things:

  • elliptical trainer
  • yoga and abdominal exercises
  • walking video
  • Wii Fit Plus (for balance and reaction time)
  • dance video

I’m also carrying an ‘el cheapo’ pedometer in my pocket as a reminder to get up and move more.  I do something here at the computer, then get up and handle another part of the laundry, then something else, and then come back later to a sitting thing, either here or in my art room. Then I get up again and do the same cycle over again all through the day. The result is a much better number of steps than I used to get, though I haven’t even begun to THINK about getting to 10,000 steps and over, as my SIL does…. :0)  (yeah. I’m bragging about YOU, ML.)

Good results so far are a loss of 30 pounds and a bit more than 30 inches. I feel more energetic and my body FEELS looser, more able to get up and down. (it used to be that the biggest part of the exercise was trying to get myself up off the floor before having to call for a crane to come help.) I am more flexible with less pain in my joints. I’m more optimistic about trying new exercises. I’ll never be what I call an exercising NUT – in that I have to use all kinds of incentives to actually DO it, such as a gold star for the day on my desk calendar, but I AM happy about the improvements I’m feeling.

The biggest remaining factor – other than the 30 more pounds I would like to lose, is that for some unknown reason, my last blood test showed higher blood sugar and a too-high dosage on my thyroid med. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was killed by radiation several years ago.) I have no idea why the blood test showed these new results, but I’m trying a new dosage of meds and I’m monitoring MY blood sugar twice a week when I check my husband’s for six weeks.

I have another appt with another blood test in 6 weeks. Hopefully, that test will show a lot of improvement in my blood sugar and a brain happy with my dosage of thyroid hormone. Wish me luck!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, The Longevity Code - Dr. Kris Verburgh

Patting Myself on the Back a Bit

I promised myself that when I finally finished getting our tax stuff together for our CPA, I would then keep up with things on a monthly basis, and reorganizing our files according to deductions, etc.

I’ve just spent much of the afternoon doing just that for January, 2019!  I had made spreadsheets of deductions, and copied them for 2019. I used the stuff I had accumulated for January, plugged in the numbers on the proper spreadsheet, then made new files. I then balanced our checkbooks, finishing things up for the month.

I may break my arm trying to keep patting myself on the back, but I’m really happy that this afternoon resulted in such a good start to the new year.

Ironically, by the time I have this down to a science, I’ll probably have croaked!  :0)

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Encouragement, Organizing/DeCluttering


Can Stock Photo

Can you see me dancing around the room?

I FINISHED my part of the tax prep! Now the envelopes of organized information wait for us to add our stuff from Schwab to it and then we can dump it onto our wonderful CPA. YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I just finished renaming the spreadsheet I created to open them for 2019 records. My GOAL is to update things once a month, adding the needed information, then filing the paper records according to deduction categories, rather than months. I think – if I can keep it up – this will save me a lot of time, effort, and tension next year.

Now I’m going to celebrate with a cup of coffee, at least one animals in my lap, and a good conversation with my husband.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Cause for Celebration, Challenges

Massage, Fish, and Tax Prep, Oh My!


My day started super-nicely with a massage by my massage therapist, Lynn Moody. She’s absolutely the best. She tackles an old lady with lots of aches and creaky bones and I emerge smiling and relaxed. I just wish I could afford to have massages more often!

My Aquarium Club

My poor fish are swimming around in cloudy water, so on my list, as soon as I finish this post, is to go vacuum out their tank, change the decor, and get them back into a clean, fresh tank.

Get It Back Campaign

Most of the rest of the day will be spent continuing our tax preparation. I’m making good progress. Today is medical stuff and extraneous things, and then I’ll be on the finish line, adding my information to the booklet our CPA provides. I’m hoping I’ll be finished with everything, waiting on our info from Schwab, by the end of the week.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family, taking care of yourself