Category Archives: Bright Ideas
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?
The Salvation Army has a program called the Angel Tree program at Christmas time each year. The trees go up in your local town and people who qualify come and asked for their child to be added to the tickets on the tree. People choose a ticket and go and try to buy as many things on the list as possible for that child. The gifts are returned unwrapped by Dec. 7th to the people handling the Angel Tree and they and the Salvation Army handle the rest.
The child’s name, age, and gender are listed at the top of each ticket. Practical gifts, such as clothes (with sizes) are listed, plus a few ‘fun’ gifts on the wish list.
Each year we peruse the tickets and decide which one fits well with our ability to buy the things on the list. We have visions of an ‘idyllic’ beautiful boy or girl happily opening all the gifts, ecstatically happy with the choices with a wide open grin and whoops of joy. Reality is far different, probably, but we LOVE the idea of brightening a local child’s Christmas each year.
Last year we didn’t know where the tree was in time to participate. We were both really disappointed, so I wrote on my calendar this year to call City Hall in Greenwood to see if they were sponsoring the tree this year and when the tree would be up.
This year our choice was “Braden,” a 10-year-old boy. We got clothes – pants (jeans) , a shirt (Flash), a puffy blue coat, boots, and then a remote control car and batteries. He’s into “paleontology stuff,” so we got him a big fierce-looking dinosaur. The “pokemon” cards he listed featured dinosaurs. We also got “Jurassic” hat, scarf and gloves set.
We took all the bags and the ticket, plus the receipt so that the mother would be able to exchange anything that wasn’t right back to City Hall and left them with the nice lady from the water department who is handling things.
It seems weird that we’re doing the Angel Tree before Thanksgiving. I guess that’s why we missed out last year. I guess they need the time to post all the tickets, gather the gifts, deliver them wherever they go, etc.
I love that the Salvation Army thought of this program and runs it, making it easy for local banks or government offices to administer it. I love that families can provide for their kids at Christmas will a bit of a boost from folks in the community. I love our ‘visions of sugarplums’ and the chance to give.
I just bought tickets for Power Ball, Mega Millions, and I’ve been entering the PCH Sweepstakes daily for the prize coming up soon.
My husband and I have all sorts of great ideas for what we would do with the money. We haven’t actually made a LIST yet, but we’ll have plenty of time for that after we win.
We already won the lottery on family – even with our doggies providing me with such a day of ‘fun’ yesterday. Since we have everything else with each other, our improving health, our son, our pets, our lifestyle – we figure winning these three things would definitely be icing on an already-delicious cake.
BRING IT ON!!!!!!
A good friend of mine, Carla, and I went for a free dinner and spiel by Healthy Home 365 yesterday afternoon. We’ve been to other spiel/dinners, but this one was at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Fort Smith, a restaurant we both like, and we wanted the time together to catch up, so off we went.
This company has lots of good ideas for energy savings in your home. The spiel was well done and the food was good. I’m glad that technology is now providing good ways to minimize the affects of attics on homes. They have a solar-powered attic fan, a stuff called MLI, a multi-layered 99.9% aluminum ‘sandwich’ that comes in rolls to go over your existing attic insulation, an additive to put in your air conditioner to get rid of fouled oil that is supposed to prolong the life of your a/c, an EcoProbiotic System you attach to your air ducts to remove bacteria, etc., etc., etc.
My main reaction is that my husband and I have done what we’re able to afford already with a geothermal air conditioning and heat system, a tankless water heater, new windows, a check by our electric company for places we were losing heat, etc. These companies know what demographic they’re targeting, but it seems to ME that they should be targeting affluent middle or upper class families, rather than ‘mature’ people like us. The technology was impressive, and of COURSE I’d like to do ALL of it, but the cost was astronomical, even with a 30% price savings due to a Federal credit on your taxes. My friend signed up for an estimate, and I’m interested to hear what they told her. The estimates are supposed to be good for one year.
Big selling points were the tax credit, discount for quick sign-up, a higher selling price on your home, a payment plan, amortizing the cost over your lifetime, etc., etc. We have a reverse mortgage, so we aren’t concerned with selling our home. We are still trying to amortize the cost of the geothermal system, even though we received tax savings on that, ‘lifetime’ warranties mean a bit less now.
If this were about 15 years ago, we might have jumped at this. Their really good products and we would love to have them, but priorities are different now. Sorry. I had to prick their balloon.
I found what I think is a really good store. It’s called TheVeteransSite.com and I found them through an ad on Facebook. I ordered a couple of pairs of sandals I liked and received them this afternoon.
The deal is that part of your purchase goes to feed Veterans. You get neat shoes. Veterans who need them get some good meals. Win/win.
They’re having a sale right now where you buy one pair and the second pair is free. I’ve had on the shoes below all afternoon. Usually, I kick off my shoes first thing when I’m in my chair in the living room. I kick them off and put them back on several times a day. I don’t have the need to kick these off. They’re really comfortable. And I think they’re HAPPY looking shoes! They do have adjustments so you can tighten them a bit or adjust the strap that goes across the back, but I didn’t need to. My big thing is needing plenty of room for my toes, and these are wonderful. It may be that I’ll be happy to take them off by the end of the day, but signs are good so far.
My husband even noticed that I didn’t kick them off, and said he thought they were ‘good-looking shoes.’ We talked about the cost and the fact that part of the purchase goes to meals for Veterans (3 meals for this purchase) and he said, “Why don’t you get back on the site and order a couple more pairs?” Not being a stupid lady, I dived in and have two MORE pairs on order!
Check out this website when you have the time.
My friend Marsha and I email several times a day. We are very close, even though we’ve only actually met face-to-face once. We’re good buddies, helping each other see things in different ways, helping each other over rough spots in the road, making each other laugh, and cheering each other on.
Yesterday I was telling her I felt overwhelmed. Everywhere I looked there was something that needed my attention. It doesn’t matter what I do, I feel guilty that I’m not doing something else also needing my attention. I don’t have the time – much less the energy – I need to get everything done. This is a recurring theme in my life. Sometimes I handle things better than others. Lately I either work myself into the ground or ignore the whole thing and dive back into my current Eve Dallas “In Death” series book.
Marsha said, “My suggestion: a priority list INCL TIME FOR THE ART ROOM. Doesn’t have to be every day, tho that would be nice.. maybe once or twice a week? I truly believe you owe yourself the “battery recharging” time in the Art Room. That your mind and body will both feel better, more energized for the time spent creating & also doing yoga. Today is BE KIND TO LINDA DAY!! :o) Observe it with reverence! :O), Marsh.”
Is it any wonder I treasure her?
I’m going to try to take her suggestion today. I do have things on my list that I really NEED to do today, but I don’t HAVE to more than 4 things that are priority. (I already did the grocery shopping.) I’m going to make it a point to get up to my art room. It’s still clean from the last purge I did, so I’ll actually be able to sit on my chair at my drafting table without moving several things first. I may just turn on my music and sit there and soak up the joy of being there. I may get an idea for something to try. It’s a wonderful place I can shed concerns and dream….
We have a subscription to The Family Handyman magazine. To be honest, we considering dropping our subscription each year, not because it isn’t a good magazine, but because very few of the projects pertain to us. About once a year, though, we find a really great project or article that reminds us why we renew. This year it’s an article called, “Avoid Insurance Surprises” by Lucie Amundsen, June 2018.
This was a wake-up call for us. We have house insurance, of course, but the article suggested that we make an appointment to have our insurance agent explain our policy in plain English, layman’s terms, so we really understood what we had. Were we SURE we had replacement insurance, rather than a lump sum that wouldn’t cover everything? How do they determine replacement cost? What do they think our house is worth? Is the well house covered? What about the shop? The greenhouse? Are we covered if our basement floods due to septic tank backup? Are all our contents covered? What restrictions do we have? What ISN’T covered? What has limits? Are there any discounts for the security stuff we installed? What would we do if we had a claim? What information would they need? Are there any endorsements or coverages we SHOULD have, but didn’t think of?
After spending 45 minutes with our agent this morning, we feel MUCH more secure. We did increase the coverage on our basement because that was limited and the limit was iffy, in our case. We DO have some homework to do. We make a DVD which has a picture of each thing we have that cost over $100. We take a pic of the receipt, too. We update it every 6 months, burning a DVD for our safe deposit box at the bank and another for our insurance agent. That’s good, but we could do better.
The first thing you’ll have to do in case of fire loss, or being blown to smithereens by a tornado, is to fill out endless forms listing each thing you lost, where you bought it and when, what you paid, etc. I’m going to do a spreadsheet using a copy of a claim form our agent gave me, so that I can go through our DVD and have a typed list I’ll put in the safe deposit box at the bank. I’ll also take more pics (like 4 views of each room) because I want to be sure that all we’ve lost can be identified.
We hope we’ll never need to file a claim, but losses happen in a matter of seconds sometimes, and it would sure be harder to list things when we’re wearing the only clothes we have on our backs and have a pen and a claim form in hand……
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….
I just finished spreading two of the four large leaf bags of mulch I made recently. I wore Targa 2 “Racing” Goggles we had on hand while I did it, not wanting a repeat of the eye scratches I got when I made the mulch a little over a week ago.
The next step is cleaning out more brick flower planters. THEN I can probably distribute the rest of the mulch.
Actually, I DO find it exciting that I can make my own mulch, cleaning up many of the leaves in the yard as I do, and not have to pay for bag after small bag of mulch I used to buy at the local hardware store each fall. As I remember, it was about $3.00 or so per bag, and I used about 20 of them one year. So I’m saving money, cleaning up, recycling, and mulching my plants for the winter!
And, between the weeding and cleaning out of my square foot garden, plus distributing the two 39 gallon trash bags of mulch, I’ve gotten a good amount of exercise and fresh air today.
If the weather is cooperative tomorrow, I’ll try to get more planters cleaned out, working my way around the yard.
Medellin, Colombia – art, craft, and architecture – via Jane Daniells
My friend Jane posted this on Facebook, tagging me because she knew I would absolutely LOVE it. I went nuts over it immediately, and then my mind boggled when I realized how LARGE it is. Those are PEOPLE around the edges, and STORES. Where most malls would use the space for a food court or something, these people created real beauty for all to enjoy. What a lot of talent went into this! If you look carefully, you can see 5 men laying in more glorious purple flowers on the right of the picture. Just beautiful.
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.
This cute thing arrived in a big box a few days ago. My husband put it together for me, finishing it yesterday. I’m not sure what it’s really called, but I’m calling it my garden scooter. There is a string with a handle on the front to pull it out where you like it (such as working in the trio of brick planters between our front yard and the driveway I was working on the other day). As you’re sitting on it, you can raise up just a bit and scoot it easily in whatever direction you would like. The seat turns sideways. There is a basket on the back for tools, plus the black think under the seat will hold gloves, tools, etc.
Now I can garden in much more comfort as I work my way around the yard!
We used to have a ‘bundle’ of TV and Internet from Dish.
About 6 months or so ago we changed our Internet to WOW (World of Wireless) which gives us our service from a radio tower on the ridge line across the valley from us. We are VERY happy with the change, realizing we’ll probably never live to see the really high speed, high capacity service out in the sticks.
Lately we’ve been researching cutting the cord to their TV service. For a long time it was the best we could get. There was basically Dish and DirecTV, and we’ve been on both over the years. Our present service costs over $98.00/month. We think this is outrageous, but it was the best we could do, until now.
We started reading articles that encouraged us to look around. We got a TiVo to get OTA (over-the-air) channels with an antenna. THEN we found that we could use all kinds of services that gave us almost everything we have now at a MUCH lower price. I had never heard of most of these things: Roku, Hulu, AmazonPrimeTV, and another one I can’t remember the name of. It looks like our total cost per month will eventually be around $36.00.
We just sold the TiVo today on Ebay, getting enough money back to be reasonable. We will soon stop the subscription to Dish. We will either change our NetFlix subscription to stream only or stop it altogether.
We’ll have to change some habits, but that’s good. We’re in the process now of building a spreadsheet that tells us which service to access to be able to watch the shows we like.
This is a fun, MUCH less expensive, new way (for us) to get entertainment that doesn’t make us cringe every month!
I found this a long time ago and neglected to get the source. There is a signature across the the image between the leaf and the butterfly on the right, but I can’t make it out. Sorry. I think this is really, really nice.
I hope you’re having a good morning, too.
The ham radio operators are having the 2nd day of their annual field day today in Bell Park, Greenwood, Arkansas. Sometime yesterday a 24-hour contest began to see who could get the most contacts in a 24 hour period at a certain bandwidth. Last year there were about six different bandwidths represented. This contest is across the WORLD. Each operator uses his ham radio call sign, making contact with someone. They exchange call signs, recording them to be verified later. There is no ‘prize’ as such, but the winners are announced and bragging rights will never end. :0) When we were watching and listening a couple of years ago, one man was talking to someone in Uruguay!
The work on my husband’s new-to-him antenna. He’s having a good friend come over and help him make the rotor work as it should this coming week. Meanwhile, he’s built the base it will sit on and is working on the complex 4-plex antenna that will sit on the top. When we were talking about it yesterday, I suggested we assemble the whole thing on the ground and then hire probably the smallest crane there is to come help the two guys pull the whole thing up and hold it while things are tightened, guy wires are hooked up, wiring is finished, etc. My husband thought about it for a bit and then said, “You know, that’s actually a good idea!” (I ignored the fact that he sounded surprised :0/)
I’m going to put my different style thermometer up in the greenhouse today, and plan to start some spaghetti squash seeds to see if they’ll make. I’m also planning to attack weed trees with a vengence – if the temperatures will stay at some reasonable level. If not, I’ll see what I can do this evening.
I hope you have a wonderful day, too.
Just after we finished the main building of my greenhouse, my husband said that the former president of the Fort Smith Amateur Ham Radio Club had emailed him, saying that one of the members was selling a Rohn antenna. My husband said that if we tried to buy a used control box alone for one, we would pay what the man was asking for the control box, the “scaffolding” the rotor, and the stuff at the top.
I could see his mouth was watering, and he’s worked hard on his ham stuff – passing all three tests available and getting the main radio, and several different, much smaller antennas, none of which he could make work they way they should. People he had talked to in the club said, “It should be working,” but it wasn’t, in each case. He can reach the people for the weekly meeting, but he wants to really be able to USE it.
My husband had much the same look in his eyes that our new puppy, Amber, has when she wants a cookie really badly. So I caved, we called the man, got his address, programmed the GPS and drove to Alma, AR, about an hour or so away.
The 10 foot section parts (5 of them) had been on the ground in the back yard for quite awhile. The control box was in the man’s garage, and that was the main thing that needed protection. We bought the whole group of things, which my husband says is a Rohn antenna, put all the pieces in the back of the truck, tied them down securely and brought them home.
We spent awhile getting all the sections out near the place where the antenna will go. They’re heavy! We’ll need to measure to be sure the antenna is 45 feet away from the commercial power pole to the east of the house. It will be out somewhere around my greenhouse.
The first big thing – before I caved to the purchase – was that he would get REAL help – not just me – to get this thing up securely. We’ll need to hire the man who dug our water well 30 years ago – or whoever is handling that business now – to come drill a hole at least 6 feet deep. My husband says he’ll put a big, heavy pipe in the hole as the base for the antenna. We’ll mix Sac-Crete to put in the hole and around it for a pad on which the antenna will sit.
I insisted my husband call the head of the club back and ask if he knew people we could hire to put the antenna up. (This means someone skinny, strong, and agile enough to climb the antenna with another section in hand, hoist it up and add it to the one he’s standing on, and then do the same until the whole thing, including the rotor and the cable, plus the thingie that turns at the top, are together.) Then we need to install guy wires all around to be sure it’s secure. Happily, Mike knew two guys he called “The Johnson Twins,” who can do just that for us once we have the pad done.
My husband is like a kid at Christmas. There are a couple of places in the metal scaffolding that seem to have burst when water froze inside them. He’ll need to repair those, get enough of the proper 8-wire cable to go from the rotor on the antenna across the field to the house and into the house, attached to his radio and control hub. He’s happy. When we went for groceries this morning, the first thing he said was, “I’m happy we got the antenna.” :0)
It might not look like much to you, but this is beautiful, as far as we’re concerned.
Our good dirt and driveway guy, Eric, came over with his tractor today and smoothed our really bumpy driveway and then proceeded to clear land for the greenhouse my husband and I are going to build. It’s to the east of our house, on the extra 2 acre strip we bought to add to our land several years ago. It’s the only halfway level spot we have on our almost 8 acres of land…
The cleared space we need is supposed to be 15 feet x 15 feet in order for us to build a 12 foot x 14 foot greenhouse. The first step is to drill and then pound in the corner spikes. My husband cut 2 foot pieces of pipe, then we got big, heavy angle iron to weld onto the spikes, making corner posts to which we’ll attach the treated wood to make the perimeter of the greenhouse.
This is no small step. We had to use explosives in order to be able to dig our basement, put in our septic system, and prepare for the swimming pool we never built 30 years ago. We have a cement drill that we’ll use to drill holes down as far as possible. Then we’ll use a sledge-hammer to pound the spikes with angle iron into the ground.
I’ll take pics as we do this.
I’m really excited to have the plot ready to attack!
My good friend Cathy wrote, telling me that she was worried about my trying to climb over the gate between the living room and the porch where our new puppy Amber is. She told me about a new style of gate that has a ‘people door!’ I had never heard of that, and after she helped me appreciate what I was seeing, I showed it to my husband, the installer of all things.
He was a bit worried because our door frames are steel, but he said we should go ahead and order it. It arrived today and we installed it within 10 minutes or less. My husband said, “You should tell this company they’re making a well thought out, well designed product.”
The product is from Chewy.com, a wonderful place that ships the product almost immediately. It’s astonishing how quickly things arrive. This is our third order from them, and I couldn’t recommend them more highly.
We didn’t need to use the two extensions that come with this gate. It installed quickly and easily with no tools required. It’s very sturdy. There is no place for Amber to hook her feet to climb over it. She can’t get under it. If she gets so she can climb over this 30″ tall gate, we can relocate it up a bit higher.
The very best part is the people door. We’ve fixed it so it opens OUT into the porch, so that Amber can’t open it by accident. When we go out there, she has to back up, and she isn’t quick enough to go between us and the door closing again. I’m really delighted. I don’t have to concentrate on standing on one foot, lifting the other foot over the gate (which Amber immediately latches onto), trying not to step on her as I put my foot down, then grabbing the door with one hand and bracing my other hand on the brick to the side of the door as I bring the 2nd leg up and over. It’s REALLY been fun when I had something in my hand…
THANK YOU, Cathy, for
- worrying about me and figuring out a good solution
- letting me know about it
- writing back to point out the people door I didn’t see and appreciate the first time
- your patience and caring
I can’t tell you how happy we are with you and the new gate. NOW – if we could get Amber to quit barking and whining….
We moved to Greenwood, Arkansas about 30 years ago. We wanted to build an earth-sheltered, bermed home with a Southern exposure, built right into the hillside, open to the south to take advantage of passive solar heat. My husband traveled around most every day after work, trying to find our land. He finally found this land, a parcel of about 8 acres on top of a ridge line.
When he first showed it to me, it was about 104 degrees F. There was no way up to the top of the ridge line, except for walking, which we did, through fairly dense, very rocky land. When we got to the top, I was gasping for air. Of course, we didn’t think of bringing water with us. I thought my husband had lost his mind. I could see very little difference between what we had seen at the road in front of the place and the top of the hill, where he proposed we build our home. I would eat my words when the bulldozers cleared the land for our home. My husband had much more vision than I.
We had FHA approved plans for a two-story dome into the hill-side, with a tunnel that led to a one-story dome completely underground. The top of the dome would be above ground, covered almost completely with grass, which we would mow. The south exposure would be open, looking out into the valley. It would be super efficient, cost little to cool or heat. We were really excited. After talking to everyone who built homes anywhere around here, we finally had to give up our idea. No one would seriously talk to us, and they all priced the home so high we couldn’t afford it, and THEN added a rock clause to the top of that – basically saying the estimate on the house didn’t mean anything. We started over, looking at the insides of houses, looking for the features we wanted, and built the house that fit our needs the best.
We had to BLAST for our basement, our septic system, and the pool we wanted, but never actually built. The rock clause was necessary.
I don’t really know how far we can see from our deck. I know we can watch the seasons change in the valley, watch the storms roll in, enjoy all the different colors, and even firework displays of our neighbors in the valley, pretending we own all we can see.
We’ve built our own little world here, and have already enjoyed it for 30 years. We feel we’re just getting started.
When I change the water in my fish, Sally’s, bowl, I like to change the decoration. I was tired of the ones I’ve been using, and so was looking around to see if I had anything else that would brighten Sally’s life.
I have two soap dishes that I love. One is a man in a tub and the other, a woman. I have the man beside the kitchen sink. I had the woman upstairs beside my sink in the master bath. I brought it down, cleaned it up and put it into the fish bowl.
Sally has been swimming around, sniffing at her new digs. I think she likes having a mermaid in her bowl.
I only had one birthday recently, but the celebrating continues! Each year I give myself a birthday present – something I love that I don’t need. This year I found a new website called, VIPME.COM. I splurged and ordered FOUR necklaces!
I love statement necklaces. I particularly love costume jewelry because I don’t have to worry about someone mugging me to get my ‘jewels,’ or agonizing if the jewelry doesn’t last forever. I would rather have a lot of different pieces to wear than one more expensive piece. I love all four of these.
The very best part was that I paid $20 for ALL of these together! Happy Birthday to me….. :0)
I think my husband’s MIND is magical. Here’s an example –
I told you we bought a used riding mower this week. The seller helped us get it into the back of the truck. My husband said, “Here, hold this,” while he got the strap with a built-in ratchet to work to tie the mower to the truck securely. (The back of the truck was open since the mower more than filled the truck bed.)
We got it home and then tried to figure out how to get the mower OUT of the truck without hurting it, or causing one or both of us grievous harm. I was really anxious about the situation. My husband should have married a combination weight lifter/football player/basketball player to be of adequate help to him on things like this. I’m simply not tall enough or burly enough to be of much help.
I had been up the night before, having bad dreams about getting the mower out of the truck. I dreamed that it was MY job to place the metal tracks so that my husband could back the mower down to the ground from the back of the truck. In my dream, I suddenly realized the tracks were misplaced. My husband tried to back the mower onto the tracks, ending up on the ground UNDER the mower, bleeding profusely, with me trying to figure out how to get the mower OFF of him and him to an emergency room. (I may be admitting to you that I’m mental, since I find myself in this type of situation often and my imagination goes wild each time.)
In actuality, we placed the tracks in the proper place. My husband got chocks (the plastic things that you put against your tires to keep them from rolling when you’re jacking up your vehicle.) We then put the mower in neutral and ‘walked’ it down out of the truck, 6 inches at a time on one wheel at a time to be held securely by the chocks, until the mower was down far enough we could let it roll the rest of the way.
The best ideas I could come up with on my own were –
- leave it in the truck until we could get two burly guys over here to help us, or
- put the truck in the middle of the yard. Place the tracks. Put the mower in neutral and start it down the tracks. Get out-of-the-way and let it go, hoping for the best.
My husband always has to – in effect – do all things like this by himself. I’m a willing helper, but you can see we’re not exactly on the same wave length on if things are possible at all, and how we should do them. I also am a regular old lady who doesn’t have a lot of strength. Each time he thinks things out, coming up with several ways we can do whatever it is we need to do. He says we also could have rigged a rope to let the mower down slowly.
Thank goodness I’m affiliated with a person who has such clear thinking and general smarts! It’s ‘magical’ to me.