Category Archives: Attitude

On This Valentine’s Day 2018…

If you don’t already do this, don’t just concentrate on celebrating the special holidays of the year with the one you love. Don’t worry about whether he gets you something for Valentine’s Day, your birthday, your anniversary. Wouldn’t you be happier if he thinks about you and tries to make you happy MOST days of the year?

This doesn’t happen accidentally. It starts with YOU. When YOU show HIM that he’s special, thank him when he does something he doesn’t have to do that saves you time, effort, worry, he might return the way you make him feel in kind.

Yes, there are days you chase him around the house with a fly swatter when he’s being obnoxious. Yes, there are days you think about how satisfying it would be to bash him – just a bit – with a frying pan. Yes, there are days your feelings are hurt. Yes, there are days you want to yell until you’re hoarse. Yes, you might enjoy some time to yourself.  That’s called living with someone who ALSO has wants/needs/ideas/hopes/dreams.  Those feelings go both ways.

It’s up to YOU to see that the GOOD feelings/warm thoughts/melts-you-into-a-puddle acts go both ways.

And YOU go first.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy tomorrow, and happy the-day-after-that….


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sun gazing via diana roggen bucke brown on

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Planting Peace via Cathy Ruggiero

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Hanging In

You KNOW I’m weird – who else do you know who made ‘throwing-out-an-extra-bag-of-trash-each-week’ a New Year’s Resolution? I also made resolutions to make donations each month to our local library in Greenwood for their fundraising sales and to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith because we have too much ‘stuff’ around here and the people running the store are good people who take pride in a job well done.

Under the category

I’m trying to go through our 30+-year-old home room by room, closet by closet, shelf by shelf – as my word for this year is ‘LESS.’ As I purge (either donating things that are still good or throwing away things that should have been discarded long ago, and then cleaning and reorganizing what is left, I feel better.  Somehow I feel I’m taking control of my life. I’m keeping everything we really use or need, plus everything that gives me pleasure, but the rest is going. I’m beginning to see a difference! :0)  (There will always be the funny thing where I can see all the things we could get rid of that are my husband’s – and vice versa – but that’s the subject for another day.)

I also want for there to be less of ME. To this end I’ve redoubled my efforts to find really good low carb recipes so that both my husband and I will lose much of the lard and feel as good as possible.  So far I’ve lost 20 lbs and 15 inches. We have our next quarterly appointment with our primary doctor May 2nd. I would like for both of us to have lost more poundage and for our blood tests at that time to show good improvement.

So far, I’m hanging in….

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Nino Chaketadze-Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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Good Morning!

“Catching Bubbles” – Jabbok Dawn


We missed the Blood Moon and the eclipse this morning. Abby, one of our cats who is supposed to go out at night, jumped up on our bed this morning (at 0-dark-thirty – but AFTER the eclipse) meowing to go out. I’ve hugged both Molly and Amber first thing this morning, so my clean tee is now covered in dog hair, and I feel good – that this day is ripe with possibilities.

Our son is in Thailand, living and working with some good friends also from the states. He is in the process of applying for a ‘wider’ passport which has more pages and more space for stamps. He is moving into a new rental HOUSE in Chiang Mai tomorrow, where he is far enough away from his neighbors that he can play his electric guitar, drums, and other music makers without bothering anyone. The longer walk to meet with his friends is a small price to pay to be able to fully enjoy creating. (I’ll post some pics of the house when he moves in.) He is taking classes in both Mandarin and Thai. He is living life in a beautiful place where he can work hard for clients they choose, play hard, meditate, and enjoy life.  We couldn’t be happier for him.  We communicate with him on an almost daily basis via a chat program, and sometimes on a program called which, like Skype, allows us to see each other as we visit.

We have an absolutely free schedule today. The day is wide open, waiting for us to decide how we will spend it. I love days where we don’t have a bunch of ‘have-to’s, appointments, pressing things that MUST be done today. My spirits soar on a day like this. :0)

I think I’ll fill this day with things I’ve been putting off with my emphasis lately on cleaning out and purging around here. Today I’ll –

  • change out the water in the aquarium, scrubbing it and its contents (except the fish) before filling it again and changing the filter.
  • I’ll do routine stuff, such as changing sheets, doing laundry, and vacuuming the unending supply of dog and cat hair
  • We’ll change the mailbox decoration today from the Cheshire Cat to a Cherub Holding a Valentine Heart for Valentine’s Day
  • I’ll work on repainting the jack-o-lantern mailbox decoration in the shop
  • I’ll choose my next clean out project from the wide array of possibilities around here
  • I’ll transfer my new celery plants to soil-filled pots and put them on the window sill
  • I’ll start a roast in the crock pot

Such is “Life-in-the-Fast-Lane” at the Lewises in Arkansas. Can you see us grinning?

Enjoy your day!



Filed under Arkansas, Attitude, Cherishing the Quiet Day, Dreams, Family

A Good Life via Cathy Ruggiero

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Leo Tolstoy via


“Happiness is not in our circumstance but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are.”  John B. Sheerin


“Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress.” Epictetus


“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Marcel Proust




“Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.” ~Gretta Brooker Palmer

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In This Year to Come…

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” ~ Neil Gaiman, British author

It’s late to post this – on the 20th of January – but I think it’s important. Expanding your horizons, moving out of your comfort zone, is a way to keep your juices flowing.  I hate it when people I care about start ‘closing down.’  I want them to be overflowing with enthusiasm about SOMETHING, whether it’s a new author they’ve found, a new idea for their home, a new exercise they’re trying, a new picture puzzle they’ve started, a new hobby….

My husband and I are so busy all the time we don’t know how we EVER found time to work full time – as we did for most of our lives. The day begins and it’s over. We cram as much as we can into each one, but always make time to relax and take a nap to replenish energy, if needed. The days go so fast our hair blows! We have too many good things to do for each day.

Right now we have two main things we’re focusing on: I’m trying to clean/declutter/reorganize our ‘stuff’ one area at a time and my husband is building a new computer for me.

Yesterday I

  • finished getting things together for taxes for our CPA. We’re waiting for one more thing and then we can go dump it all on him. :0)
  • I also cleaned out the fridges in the kitchen and the pantry.
  • We received a BUNCH of boxes via UPS yesterday afternoon. We unpacked several computer components, plus the case they’ll all go in. We spent the rest of the afternoon and much of the evening putting the components we received into the new case. Now we’re waiting for a CPU and the main memory, and then I think my husband will start installing the operating system.

Meanwhile, my husband found a DVD via YouTube on TIG welding. He has done this for years, but really would like to do better. The DVD is wonderful, with an expert who makes it look easy. My husband is happy-as-a-pig-in-s_ _ t” watching the videos, ordering things he didn’t know existed to make his welding go more easily, plus downloaded a project to make a part for his metal lathe.

Also, meanwhile, I’m trying to get my greenhouse organized and functional, hoping to get a jump on the upcoming spring planting season. I’m researching, making notes, starting to spend a bit of time in my greenhouse as our weather is warming up a bit, listing plants I want to start, and figuring out how to get set up, at least initially, to start seeds.

Not to mention the newest member of our family, a yellow lab ‘puppy’ who is now 10 months old and 91 pounds, who is definitely giving us a run for our money.

The point is that we’re trying to branch out, do things that are a bit intimidating, trying to get healthier. Our interests are broadening and we’re loving our lives. We’re ‘Doing Something”

I hope you’re pushing yourself to ‘do something,” too.

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Good News!

Sassy Senior Lady

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Growing Bolder via Cathy Ruggiero

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I love this sign.  We have something similar that lives on the divider between the kitchen and our dining area –



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Productive Day

I worked hard today, getting many things on my list accomplished.

I finally got my tax prep done to the point I can just plug in numbers and put receipts in the booklet our CPA sends us each year. Then I wait for one more thing to come in the mail and we can take it all and dump it on our wonderful tax man. This is the earliest I’ve ever done this, so I’m feeling particularly good – and a giant weight has been removed from my shoulders.

I shopped for groceries this morning, did two loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, and cleaned up the kitchen.

I listed the stuff we’re donating to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. I’ll call them tomorrow before we put the bags in the car because tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day and they might be closed.

I received an order for two sets of thank you notes from a good friend. I made good progress on them this afternoon.

I did the leash training walk with Amber without having the no-pull collar on. She did PERFECTLY. She stayed right by my side on the short leash. We walked out to the shop, then farther out to the garden, then all the way back, behind the house, out to the greenhouse, and then all the way across the front yard, into the garage and into the house. Amber got lots of love, hugs, praise, and a big dog biscuit.

I’m about to go start fixing our dinner, but I wanted to share my small victory lap with you. :0)

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One Word Essays – Companionship

Thanks to email from Bill Lites

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Mary Oliver – artwork by Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Take a Moment

Peaceful Moments for Women via Carol Auclair Daly

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Out With the Old….

I’ve been working in my dining area and kitchen for parts of 3 days now, trying to purge/reorganize/clean. I have now done

  • the window sill
  • the top of the buffet
  • the dining table
  • the divider top between the kitchen and the dining area
  • the kitchen counter tops

It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ accumulates around here. I swear to you that there is some hanky-panky and things are reproducing when we’re not watching. What is helping me on the counter tops is picturing my husband with too many plastic bags in each hands fighting with the dog when he’s trying to bring in a load from the car and plopping the whole bunch down on a part of the counter top. I’m trying to make sure that there is nothing breakable, “spillable,” or “dumpable” on a good part of each area, having learned the hard way that no thought will be given as the bags come plopping down. In this effort I’ve relocated a lot of things and gotten rid of the rest.

I’m enjoying a rest now and then I’ll tackle what we call the ‘go-out’ table (holding things we want to take with us the next time we go to town) which unfortunately also acts as a dumping table.

The remaining project for today will be trying to make sense of my hats and scarves in the utility room. This is more complicated than it sounds because nothing can be down low, due to the cats. Nothing can be high, because then I can’t reach them, and hard decisions will have to be made on which things should be given away…

As I move through the house, though, I’m feeling better about being in better control of my space. I’m getting rid of a BUNCH of ‘stuff,’ relocating some things that should live elsewhere, gathering things that I’ll donate to the library or the Veterans Thrift Store, and things being easier to clean when there are fewer THINGS.

I’m hoping that this urge to get my things in better order will continue. It’s quite unusual for this old broad, so I’m doing a bunch of it as quickly as I can…




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Jack Kerouac via Lisa Bearnes Richey

So MANY controversies – so little time.

On 60 Minutes last night, Lesley Stahl spoke with Margarita Simonyan — the head of Russia’s state-owned news network.  At one point, Margarita Simonyan said (paraphrased) “The U.S. prides itself on allowing freedom of speech. What happened to it? What has happened to the United States?”

She raises a very good point. I never remember such discord before in our country.  I don’t remember many instances of not allowing someone to speak, although I do remember instances where the Ku Klux Klan announced they would be in a location and protesters coming. A good yell was had by all. No one listened to anyone who disagreed with them, but I don’t remember property damage or bloodshed. My memory may be faulty.

My point is that it seems that –

  1. We are gradually losing the right to freedom of speech in our country, and
  2. Somehow, when we DO speak, we have forgotten that, along with freedom of speech, there may be consequences to our speech or actions, and we should be ready to pay the price.

One example – Women – particularly in Hollywood – are speaking up about sexual abuse they have suffered in the past, insisting that things change and that the men responsible be punished. I think this has been a long time coming and that powerful men should be learning that, along with increased power comes greater responsibility to be respectful of those around them or be ready to lose it all.

Some women, though, have accused men of abuse and rape, only to be proven liars – sometimes years later. They have ruined men’s reputation and lives. If/when it is known that they accused falsely, though, nothing seems to happen to them! I can’t believe that a woman merely has to accuse someone in order to ruin them. Now THAT is power! People who falsely accuse should be sent to prison with THEIR reputation in ruins, or something equivalent – maybe some way of trying to make it up to the person they wronged.

People who are abused should feel free to speak up about the wrong and get help with making the abusers pay for their crime. Falsely accusing someone should come with STIFF penalties. Otherwise, it will get to the point where no smart man will EVER consent to being alone with a female for any reason, fearing their lives could be ruined.

Our country is divided on too many issues to count. The people holding different views are really hostile, some threatening to end the lives of people who oppose their views. This is NUTS!

May 2018 bring awareness, of what we’re losing,  bigger brains and ears, and more tolerance.

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Will I Be Hit by a Meteor?

I’m already a lucky woman – but I would LOVE to be a gazillionaire who could change lives. To that end, I bought –

  • 1o MegaMillions tickets, and
  • 10 PowerBall tickets today.

I’m also entering the PCH Sweepstakes regularly….

If I could win one, two, or all three of them I would smile my face right off the front of my head. :0)

These things are so large now that I HAD to participate. They say the odds of getting hit by a meteorite are much better than winning either of these games, and are probably the same for the PCH sweepstakes. But I know my chances of winning are “0” if I don’t enter.

The drawing for the MegaMillions is tonight.

The drawing for the PowerBall is tomorrow night.

The PCH contest winner will be announced Feb. 23rd.

And – while the winners have not been chosen or announced, I have a little bitty pinpoint of hope that “I” might be the one!!!!!!!


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Stupidity, Doofosity, and Obtusity

“Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backward.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Warning: These three conditions – stupidity, doofosity, and obtusity – are contagious. Read on at your own peril.

I know this personally, as I committed an act of doofosity just the other day. Instead of making SURE I knew to which account a money transfer site was linked, I ASSUMED I knew and transferred money. The Vice President of our local bank was kind enough to call me, letting me know that the account that the money was supposed to come out of didn’t have the required funds. When I figured out what I had done, I was really embarrassed. Rozanne was very tactful about my doofosity, saying she would transfer the money from where it was to where it should be so that the transaction could occur…

I don’t think I’m alone in committing acts like this. I do know that I commit more of them as I ‘mature.’  But, as George Carlin said, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”  I, at least, have the excuse of diminishing brain cells, but I wonder about all the other people who can’t use that excuse?

I read or listen to the news and am amazed (and depressed) by so many things I’m overwhelmed. My age might also be causing me to have less patience, and I know for a fact that there is no lower limit on ‘dumb,’ but so many people are WORKING at it!  Every once in awhile I hear someone discuss a topic using a well-reasoned argument citing facts to support it. That’s becoming rarer than hen’s teeth (to coin a phrase.)

I’ll stop my rant (my mom always told me – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,”  but I’ll leave you with this thought –

“Beauty fades, dumb is forever.”
― Judy Sheindlin, Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever


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“Bit by a Dead Bee”

I know that this title was one of the episodes of Breaking Bad on TV, but my parents were using the term when I was growing up in the dark ages, so I think the TV folks borrowed it. My parents used it to describe frenzied behavior of any type, and I use it here in the same way.

I have definitely been ‘bit by a dead bee,” in that I’ve done more cleaning out and re-organizing around my house than I’ve done in years. I don’t know WHICH dead bee bit me, but I’m thinking of marking this period of behavior totally unlike me on my calendar. it’s so rare.

It started before Thanksgiving, when I was running the bulldozer trying to get the house at least marginally presentable for our friend Nora to come share Thanksgiving dinner with us. I cleaned off the usual really piled up areas, and then I was ‘bit.’ I have been feeling the need to get rid of ‘stuff,’ either by donating it, throwing it away, or deciding where it should live. In each step MORE things that have been sorely neglected pop up to say, “And what have you done for ME lately?”

For the past day or two, the focus has been on my desk. I have a roll top wooden desk that we bought 35 years or so ago. Since having this house built in 1987,  I have put things INTO the drawers, but then they get lost in the shuffle, never to be seen again – until now.

I love my desk. It has a nice flat space for working with a tray type center drawer underneath and then three drawers on either side. Two of the drawers on the sides are small and two are file cabinet type drawers. At the top of each side, right under the flat part of the desk, are two pull-out pieces for extra writing space. Above the flat part of the desk there are two reasonable-sizes drawers, one on each side. Above each of these are three small drawers then between them, going across the desk are slots. Above that, is the roll top which I can pull down, if I’d like. (Usually, there is so much ‘stuff’, it isn’t possible to close it. I just love the roll top for its looks.)

So – 7 drawers under the flat part of the desk, 8 above the flat part, 2 shelves, and 7 slots. That’s a LOT of space for someone like me to squirrel away goodies and stuff for a long time, ignoring the buildup.

I have finished cleaning out the drawers now and am concentrating on the flat part of the desk which has received stuff I’d like to keep, but either put away in the now clean drawers, move somewhere else, or give away. I’ve filled a big trash can, too.

I think it was definitely due some attention. I’ll take pics when it’s finished.


Filed under Attitude, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering


Doreen Virtue via Cathy Ruggiero

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Pat on the Head

Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but I’m patting myself on the head today because I’ve done one of the things I hate most in life – done my bookkeeping book and office deductions for taxes.

I always put it off until I’m really under the gun, and then I’m doing it in a panic. Since I closed my website, Creative Artworks, in July, I decided that I would try to get a jump on everything and get that out of the way. It is now done, for the last time ever. :0)

I’m now going through receipts, trying to at least get the stacks organized, for our regular taxes. I’m also using this opportunity to clean out my desk. so far I’ve done the filing cabinet type drawers on each side of my desk, cleaning out, throwing a BUNCH of stuff away, getting everything out of the drawers so I could clean out the hair balls at the bottom of each one and start fresh.

I guess I’m about half finished with going through the drawers. I haven’t done this for years – content to stash things wherever I could put them. I’m determined to get better in my pack-rat-itis habit, trying to get together a donation to the Veterans Thrift Store and the local library once a month, and fill an extra 39 gallon trash bag each week with ‘stuff’ that has been gathering dust. I just finished doing the extra bag, and it’s in the back of the truck, ready to go down to the bottom of the driveway tonight for pickup tomorrow.

NOW I’m going to go put my feet up for a few minutes and finish drinking a cup of coffee before fixing our lunch.

I hope this first day of 2018 is being good to you.


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Happy New Year – 2018

Diane Dobson Barton via Cathy Ruggiero

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Brad Paisley via Sun Gazing

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In This Year to Come – 2018



“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” ~ Neil Gaiman, British author

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Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Love and Need

American Hippie via Kitchen Crafty Fun via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Christmas Wish

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Are You Listening?

Love Style Video via Garry Campbell


This is very, very important, and yet difficult to do – at least for me.  When someone talks to me, I relate to what they’re saying because of something that has happened to me. I feel the need to share it with them.  In face, I’m SO eager to share it with them, I have sometimes interrupted them!

When I realized what I was doing, I was mortified. I was giving my friends and family the idea that I felt what “I” was saying was more important. The fact that I don’t feel this way at ALL, really makes no difference. It’s not your INTENT – it’s what you DO that counts.

I first realized this tendency when I listened to my mom visiting with friends, or when she would come home from visiting. She would tell me about her visit, but all she talked about was what SHE said – how SHE felt. I would ask her questions about what the person was doing and she glossed over it. She didn’t know. It’s EASY to see this in others. I was really upset when I saw it in MYSELF.

In an effort to be a better listener, I now go with the idea that I want to be able to tell myself or someone else what the person I’m visiting with has been doing. I concentrate on asking questions about what they are telling me, rather than telling them something about myself. I want to know how they’re feeling. If they’re not feeling well, I want to know why. I want to know what they’re doing about it, and if there is any way I can help them. It’s what I’ve always wanted to know, but I was so busy blabbing that it got glossed over.  :0(

I want to SHOW my family and friends that I’m interested in THEM. I want to know much more about how and what they’re doing than I did before I visited with them. I already know what “I’M” doing. If they would like to know what’s happening with me, they’ll ASK. :0)

Family and friends are the richness of  life. Make it a point to listen to UNDERSTAND.

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