Yesterday I looked for puzzles for my friend, Linda, who is moving to a retirement place any time now. I wanted to find a ‘retirement-place-apartment-warming-gift’ for when she calls me and tells me she is settled.
She really likes to work jigsaw puzzles, but during the past year has become overwhelmed by the huge ones she used to do. I decided to see if I could find one that had fewer pieces.
She loves dogs, and actually HAS her dog who will make the move to the retirement place with her, so the picture on this puzzle should be a happy one for her. It has 300 pieces, and they are 33% larger than the standard jigsaw piece size. This should be much easier for her to work with.
We had already talked about her taking a card table to her new place, so this should work. I’m hoping she still has the roll-up puzzle-in-progress holder I got for her in the past. She could put that down on the card table, work as she wants to on the puzzle, and then roll it up to get it out of the way easily if she wants to.
I’m hoping this will hit the right note with her. She is such a dear lady and I love her to pieces. (pun?)
My sister-in-law and I have decided to form a scale-stompers group. The whole purpose is to demonstrate solidarity to our friends and other loved ones, and let them know that they are not alone. There is no fee to join. Scale-stomping parties to follow. Are you in?
I get a lot of my news online from various sources. I get into ‘overload’ mode more quickly these days because of people whose mouths are much louder than their minds. They think nothing of expressing an opinion one day, then reversing it the next, as if no one is paying attention and each day is a new day with no consequences.
I believe strongly in freedom of expression. The overabundance of stupidity saddens me and many times makes me frustrated and angry, but everyone is free to say what he or she thinks – and take the consequences. Nothing is free.
Each person should BE who they are and THINK whatever they think, being TRUE to that. Ideally, one would ALSO be willing to rethink one’s opinion if further research proves you wrong, or if someone ELSE’S opinion makes you reconsider. Respectful debate is a really healthy thing.
If you choose to give your opinion, be ready to take whatever consequences come from expressing it. Pay no attention to people who say something, then walk it back over and over. They are simply taking up valuable space.
FIRST – My husband said I should write this blog post!
SECOND – I was right TWICE yesterday and he acknowledged it!
We took one of our vehicles for diagnosis and service first thing yesterday morning. I told my husband I would follow him, since when senses of direction were passed out, I was AWOL. I can get lost in a paper bag. He said I KNEW where the place was – at the curve of two streets in Ft. Smith. I told him that the company had been sold and they had relocated to the autopark, wherever that was. He got angry, so I let it go and told him I would follow him.
We got to the place he said. There was a big sign that has been there at least a year that says, “We moved!” and gave the address at the autopark. We wound around and around, finally making it to the autopark. We made it in time for our appointment, and he said. “You were right.” as we drove home together.
We changed our TV provider recently. That meant a lot of changes, and as we age, we seem to learn the new procedures with less and less grace. The biggest remaining problem for us with the new system was that our whole DVD collection, taped on a system called, “Synology” was gone. Since my husband got rid of the DVDs as we taped them on this, it was really upsetting.
My husband has been working with Microsoft – who did an update recently that disappeared our access to the program, and the tech support from Synology, trying to solve the problem.
Since I am amazed that my computer works at ALL, my function at these times is to keep my mouth firmly shut rather than voice what are probably inane suggestions.
This once, though, I told him that I THOUGHT I remembered that we accessed the movies through our Playstation. He blew this suggestion off right away, irritated that I interrupted his train of thought. This was two or three weeks ago.
Finally, we were able to access the collection through the Media Player on Roku. This was a really good thing, but he is still not satisfied, since it’s not coming through our main system, but an add-on. I finally suggested that we get on the Playstation and see what it showed. My husband did that, a pained expression on his face. There – right in front of us – was “DS218” – our movie collection! We immediately accessed a move and watched it.
When the movie was over, my husband looked at me and said, “You were right.”
Last night, he said, “You need to write a blog post about this.” I told him I was marking my calendar – that first – he said I was right twice, and second, that he wanted me to tell others about it. We agreed that since we are now considered, “Elderly” by many (though not close enough that we can punch them in the face for saying that) that we need to work together when we have problems – listen to each other more and consider that the other might have a point.
Words to live by. MAYBE I’ll be right again sometime… :0)
I have a happy feeling this morning of my parents reaching down and encouraging me in my efforts to join Amazon Handmade in selling the products I make. They seem to like it when I leave my comfort zone, trying something new, learning a ton in the process, adrenaline flowing. They are doing a combination of enveloping me in a huge hug and shooing me out to get with it.
I submitted an application yesterday to be able to list my earrings in the jewelry section. They sent an email saying they had received my application, and that I would hear something within 15 working days.
I have decided to call and see if I can reach a human who can answer questions about
whether I need to submit a separate application for each category I would like to be able to list products in, or if the one I have sent is an ‘umbrella’ application.
whether the Handmade group is handled the way their used book section works,
how I submit products, etc.
I’m nervous and excited. I dreamed about it last night, showing my subconscious KNOWS I’m trying to enter uncharted territory.
I hope to be able to tell you I have been accepted…
I’m opening up a second shop on Etsy. This one will be called, “Totably Yours” and will feature large and small hand-painted, one-of-a-kind tote bags in canvas or denim. This one is called, “Flower Basket.”
This one is “Happy Penguins” and is one of my Christmas totes.
“Embrace Your Life” either reminds you or someone you care about to enjoy every moment.
And this one is a Spring bag called, “New Digs.”
I uploaded the images and descriptions yesterday. Today I’m going to try to design a banner to go across the top of the page. Then some details remain before I can open the shop.
A new venture is an exciting thing – sticking my neck out, challenging myself to overcome doubt, technical obstacles, etc. Character-building exercise with fingers crossed.
I’m feeling extremely lazy today. Excuses – but the fact remains I’m not impressing anyone with my list of accomplishments for the day.
We just got back from doing errands, but that – and yoga – may be it for the day.
My good friend Marsha suggested that I sell the Christmas cards I’ve made with the addition of a flat wooden Christmas ornament – either painted or ‘un.’ I’m also thinking of opening another shop on Etsy devoted to one-of-a-kind painted tote bags. I would appreciate it if you would let me know what you think of these ideas.
If I can get rid of the lazies, I’ll spend some time in my art room this afternoon.
TOMORROW is supposed to usher in fall here. I am SO ready.
Meanwhile, I wish YOU a happy day – whether you’re feeling ‘productive’ or not!
It’s really overcast today with heavy rain and flash flooding predicted.
When my husband and I went to take our trash bags down to the bottom of the driveway, there was lots of heavy equipment there – big trucks, backhoes, etc. We asked them what was happened and were delighted to hear they are running fiber optic lines! That means that the news we heard awhile back that we might be getting an offer for a bundle of phone and much faster Internet services within a year and a half might be coming true!!! I was so happy to hear it, I was clapping my hands and grinning like a loon. The man who told me flashed a big grin at me. :0)
I decided to add my elliptical trainer to my exercise ‘regimen’ since our weather is finally cooling off some. My elliptical is in the garage, and with heat indices in the 100’s, I just let it gather dust out there. I did 35 minutes on it this morning – old lady speed, but worked off 260 calories and worked the muscles in a way that won’t hurt my joints. I’m planning to do this 3 times a week – Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. So this is Day 1 on the elliptical.
Penn Fitness Warehouse
Day 22 on yoga and Day 7 on Keto. I MAY be getting into Ketosis. From what I’m reading it can take up to 10 days. I also learned from reading that I may be eating too much protein, and that might be delaying things. I’ll read more today and try to adjust my food. Meanwhile, I’m eating a piece of cheese. :0)
The Animal Zone
I’m still working on the long-sleeved tee I’m painting in my art room. I’m really having fun experimenting. (There is a freedom in painting a tee you would have had to throw away or use as a rag due to stains that won’t come out!) :0) I’m trying to paint a snow scene. Yesterday I used SnowTex – a product that adds a bunch of texture and a 3-D look. I have no clue whether it will work or not, but I’m having a blast trying this.
Oakridge Elem Sch – Arlington Publ Schools
I hope that YOUR day has good news, hope for the future, a nice rain if you need it, and FUN.
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?
If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that I have devoted myself to going through our over 30-year-old home the past year with determination to go through everything, give stuff away, throw other things away, clean and reorganize what’s left. I’ve made it through the house once and am now on Phase II, of going through it all again. I’m making lots of progress, but the job is far from done yet. Realizing that the job will never be ‘finished,’ I’m ready to change my priorities a bit for the new year.
I’ve found it almost impossible to give myself permission to play in my art room. In fact, it’s still clean and organized from Phase I of what I now call, “The Great Purge.” Before, I had to clean off a spot in order to try out a new idea I had or to paint something to fulfill an order I received. Each time I have thought of going up there, I saw something in the house that desperately needed my attention first. With the “New-to-Me” determination to move more, consciously trying to exercise each day, the day was shot. Added to that was working in the greenhouse or in the yard. The days, weeks, and months have flown past my head, blowing my hair.
I’ve decided that I will try to add another priority in the coming year – MAKING time to play in my art room! I miss being able to close the door up there, start playing some of my favorite tunes, and immersing myself in the joy of experimenting with my ‘stuff.’ I want to try some new watercolor techniques. I discovered a new style of painting note cards and stationery where I mix watercolor or acrylic floral paintings with backgrounds of accent colors with pastels that I found satisfying. I want to expand on that. I have tote bags I’d like to paint. I want to etch some goblets I received as a gift from a friend… And the list goes on.
I closed my shop on Etsy, but I still have one on ArtFire.
I haven’t added anything in a long time, so I’m thinking of some new things with which I can experiment. I keep seeing the work of wonderfully talent people on LinkedIn, a website primarily designed for folks trying to network. I’m not interested in getting a job at this point, but I love living on the same planet as these talented folks and enjoy interacting with them and showing you their work.
When things calm down after the holidays, our son will leave to visit some more folks before going back home to Thailand.
I look forward to getting involved in trying new things for the new year.
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.
KVC West VA – KVC Health Systems
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.
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.
My husband has, once again, made something immortal, fixing the light by my chair that had gone wonky. I would turn it on and then it would go off by itself. Sometimes it would come ON again, making us feel as if the gremlins were in charge. We decided it had to be the lamp part that the light bulb goes in, and so went to Yeager’s this morning and bought a replacement part. After my husband did his thing, it’s working fine.
We built these two lamps in 1969 when we married. We couldn’t afford ones we liked, so we went to an aircraft junk yard and bought two parts of a helicopter. (Yeah, we were weird back then, too. )
We sandblasted each of these and wired them, installed lamp parts, and then a holder for the shade. They weigh about 50 lbs each, so I get a bit of exercise moving them back and forth on the tables to dust them – and under them.
We’ve loved them because they are unique. No one else in the world would probably HAVE them if they were offered, but WE like them and they aren’t like everybody else’s. We put a spark plug in each of them, just as an accent. :0)
We’ve laboriously moved them with us to each new place. So far, they’ve been with us for 49 years. With the fix my husband did on the one by my chair today, they’ll outlive us!
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!
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.
Since working outside today wouldn’t be pleasant, I’m switching to indoor things, happy to have a warm, dry home.
I’m going to make a beef stew in the crock pot for tonight, serving it with low-carb garlic bread. THEN I’m looking forward to playing in my art room this afternoon. I’m still working on Christmas presents for friends, plus I have a couple of ideas rattling around in my head I’d like to try.