Category Archives: Challenges

Ugh

ProtocolOnline

I’ve been working for two days, updating our important records list. Since our son lives across the world from us now, he will need to work with people here to settle our affairs when we croak. We have legally done everything we can to make this as easy for him as possible.

Now I’m trying to make a list of financial stuff, people he should contact, all those details he will need as to contact information, what he will need to do, where things are, etc. It’s a headache.

I take a break and walk around every hour or so, but I was still really bushed at the end of the day yesterday. My husband had a really busy day, as well, so we celebrated living through it by going to get a pizza for dinner. :0)

This is going to be one of many breaks for the day. Hopefully, at the end of this one, we’ll have our act updated. Then I’ll make hard copies for files, safe deposit box, etc. and we’ll make thumb drives of all the documents. We’ll send a zip file to our son, and then we’ll put it on the calendar to update things again in six months.

One good thing about this is that you learn what changes you’ve made in the past six months. You also learn the files you should shred that are outdated, and we’re forced to reorganize what’s left.

Good things – but I’ll go visit my husband out in the shop, stretch my legs, get some water, and relax for a few before starting in again…

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

The Best Laid Plans…

I told you a couple of weeks or so ago that I’ve been working upstairs on some Christmas presents I want to give friends and relatives. As some things do, I didn’t like the result. I tried to get the paint off, but it’s going to be quite a job. I’ll do it a bit at a time.

Meanwhile, I ordered more of the main part of the presents, and I’ll start again, using a totally different technique this time.

Wish me luck?

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Challenges, Changes, Dreams

Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report 3/15/2017

Funnyblogs – Funnywebsite – Funnypictures

Awhile back I fell off the wagon. Even though I’m eating good, low-carb food most of the day, ‘something happens’ once dinner is over. I feel I’m starving (you can see from the pic above how I’m wasting away) and I keep eating. I’ve been talking to myself, trying to change my ways, but it’s not working yet.

So – I’m at a weight loss of 35 lbs and 20 inches and I can’t seem to get on a downward path.

I have all kinds of excuses, but none that holds any water. I’m giving in to my weakness and stuffing my face. I AM trying to reread the books that got me motivated in the first place, and I’m hoping I’ll find the way to NOT get up and get something to eat after dinner!

YourEllipticals.com

 

BoredPanda

 

I was happily doing my elliptical trainer and yoga until my back started acting up, to the point I’ve been on a heating pad in my chair and in bed, plus taking Ibuprofen and wearing a pain patch. I am almost back to normal now, so I’m promising myself I’ll get back on track with my exercising, too.

Promises, Promises…  Though THIS I will definitely try to do –

taolife.com

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Filed under DIET!, Changes, Challenges, Attitude, exercise

Fun Projects

123RF

Yesterday I finished the Christmas presents for my friends and relatives. I’ve been working on them a little bit at a time most days. There was a lot of waiting for paint to dry before I could go any farther. I wish I could show them to you. Some of them read my blog and they’re supposed to be a surprise. I’ll take pics of them and then store them away until it’s time for Christmas giving. Once I’ve given them, I’ll post the pics here. I’ve had a wonderful time working on them. :0)

I’m making good progress on my mosaic bowl in the shop, too. That has had to go slowly because, with the sloping sides of the bowl, the tiles slide down the sides of the bowl unless I confine each work day to the very top edge of the bowl, rolling it each day after the tiles dry in place. I think I’ll be able to finish gluing the tiles today. Then I’ll try to find a good morning or afternoon when I have a least a couple of hours, because once the grouting starts, you need to finish getting it on, and then wiping off all the excess in one sitting. I’ll post pics of that when the tiles are all on, and then again when the grouting is finished.

Lastly, I have a table set up in my art room upstairs to start going through the “Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain” book that may help me do a better job of drawing what I see. My husband bought me a WONDERFUL set of pencils of all kinds, all in a medium-sized suitcase. The problem is, it’s such a pretty set of supplies, I hate to USE it. I’m intimidated by the idea of wasting such a beautiful set.

I’ll need to give myself a good talking to – as I always have to do when I try something new that is outside my comfort zone – and then simply dive in and give it the best I have. I’m excited about the possibility of learning to draw better. I have always admired people who can draw what they see. I’m in awe of several artists on my website who can draw people, animals, buildings, and landscapes using different media from pencils to pastel, to oil, to watercolors, etc. SO I’ll start talking to myself soon – trying to get to the point where I give myself full permission to fail. THEN I’ll be able to start. What a lucky woman I am!

I hope that you have something you enjoy doing that makes you feel creative. I don’t think it really matters if you EVER get any good or not. The trying to create something fills you with joy – once you can make the little negative voices in your head shut up… :0)

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Attitude, Challenges, Childlike Fun

Garden Update 3/10/2017

It’s 6pm., andI just finished covering up all my new planted veggies in preparation for a possible freeze tonight. This is the first of three or four nights our weatherman suddenly decided (after I checked the next 10 days to be sure a freeze wasn’t predicted) that we’re supposed to have in the coming week.

I took some pictures of the almost finished spring garden I wanted to share with you –

 

I have no clue whether these plants will actually make or not, but it’s a fun experiment. I have the celery plants, plus the spaghetti squash plants that I started inside on the window sill.

 

 

This box has romaine lettuce and spinach.

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the north side of the garden. I have broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and spinach.

 

I also have red leaf lettuce. I finally got most of my labels made yesterday.

 

This shows a view of the whole garden looking to the west. There are six table-like raised bed planters, 3 in each row here.

Right now the garden looks like mis-matched wash fell of a laundry line. I spread five king-sized sheets of various colors over the  plants and secured them with clothespins. I hope that this will be enough so help the little plants get through the freezes.

The forecast also is for rain all day tomorrow and tomorrow evening with a freeze again. My plan is to get the sheets off the plants in the morning and dry them in the dryer in preparation for securing them over the plants again tomorrow…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Peace

John Lennon via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

Our Garden is Officially Started!

This is the first time we’ve had all six raised bed square foot garden boxes in our garden! We have SIX 4′ x 4′ x 8″ boxes on legs connected by an irrigation system so that we can water everything on a timer. Each box has a sprinkler in the center. The timer is between the house and the garden, and we can either just turn it on to water manually, or use the timer so that all gets watered for a specific amount of time daily.

 

We have fencing plus chicken wire around the garden to keep critters out. The pink tape is to keep deer from running into the fencing at night. We can put bird netting and shade fabric over the top of the garden, if needed.

 

I found SPINACH plants!  Hooray!!!!!!!

 

 

These are romaine lettuce plants.

 

This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Georgia sweet onions.

 

Cauliflower.

 

Broccoli.

I have moved some of my window sill plants to the back porch in preparation for moving them out to the garden. I have some celery plants and some spaghetti squash plants. My spinach seeds have tiny sprouts on the window sill now. I may have some more spaghetti squash plants.

I’ll probably get more plants tomorrow. I want the local co-op guy to REALLY know how much I appreciate his getting spinach plants this year.

We have some issues with water pressure right now on the irrigation system. After messing with things for quite awhile this afternoon, we think we must have a hose blowout somewhere between the well house and the garden, but we were too tired to tackle the problem today. Tomorrow is another day…

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Recharge Your Mind

Recharge your Mind via Cathy Ruggiero

I love this – both the picture and the suggestion.

I have found lately that learning new things makes me feel empowered. And I LOVE that feeling! :0)

Sticking your neck out, trying something outside your usual bailiwick, widens your world, including new possibilities.  And when you’ve added a new skill to your toolbox, you’re also adding confidence. And THAT makes you want to reach out more…

Start the cycle. TODAY.  You’ll find yourself smiling, brimming over with happiness!

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

Severe Weather – Take 2

Right now there is a pretty stiff wind, dark clouds, etc., but nothing severe. Forecast for this afternoon and tonight, though, is severe weather – again – with damaging winds, rain, possible tornadoes, and flying hair balls. This is our usual weather for April, and then through the hot, hot summer – NOT March.

  **MONDAY IS A WEATHER ALERT DAY**

 

Pet Pals Dog Training

We called our friends, cancelling the usual Monday bowling. We don’t need to be 45 minutes away from home in a large, warehouse-type building with the truck out in the weather, hoping nothing bad happens. I would be much happier in our home, with our animals around us, hoping nothing bad happens. :0)

Our dogs and cats are pretty oblivious to the weather, thankfully. Our sweet pit bull, Bambi, is old and deaf. He doesn’t even hear LOUD thunder. Our schnauzer/cocker spaniel cross, Molly, is her usual happy self, even if we have loud cracks. The cats sleep through everything. I’M the one whose nerves are on end with lots of wind noises, loud cracks and big booms of thunder. I tie up our wind chimes because they drive me nuts in weather like this.

We still have a shutter that blew down during the last severe thunderstorm. We’ve fixed the rest of the minor things that happened, but it has been too windy for my husband to be up on a two-story ladder, trying to keep balanced while trying to put the shutter up again. We think we’ll have to use liquid nails this time because there isn’t much in the brick to “screw-into” anymore. I tried to get my husband to agree that we would hire someone to do this, to no avail. We may have more than the one shutter after tonight…

It’s another good day to stay home and be thankful for our warm, dry house.

If you’re having iffy weather where you are, stay warm and safe.

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Mother Nature

Quick Updates

This is the first time I’ve been at the computer all day and it’s almost dinner time!

We enjoyed our good friends at Lunch Bunch this morning, then went to a friend’s house, taking her a spare computer on which my husband had loaded Windows 10 and all the updates. (Her computer was acting wonky and she doesn’t know if she wants to buy a new one outright or have my husband tell her what to buy so he can build her a custom computer. ) We spent much of the day there, trying to get her computer to stay up long enough for my husband to transfer her personal things to the computer we brought. After fighting with it for several hours, my husband had tried all he could do. We left the spare computer set up and ready for her to use while she takes hers to Best Buy to see if they can get it running again. We’ll try the transfer again if the Best Buy people are able to resurrect her computer.

Yesterday I told you that we had our fingers crossed that we could get a riding mower for less than half price through Craig’s List. We did it! We met in the parking lot of one of the Fort Smith WalMarts and transferred the mower from the man’s trailer to the back of our truck with the use of metal loading ramps we had, plus a good tie-down strap to hold the mower in the truck bed.

mowerWe now have a used version of this one. Thanks to my husband’s smarts, we got the mower out of the truck without injuring it or us in the process. It needs a little care, but my husband doesn’t think it needs anything major. He found the model number and found a nice manual he downloaded from the net. This gives him good wiring diagrams, all the parts and ordering numbers, etc. He’s very happy with that. I’M happy that with some guidance, I should be able to mow the yard by myself, if needed, with a riding mower that’s easy to start. I’m delighted with our quality of life change for the better, even if our ‘new’ mower isn’t new or shiny. :0)

Our animals all greeted us happily when we got home. We rescued one cat (Smoke) who went into the shop last night. The animals who were out are now in and vice versa, and all are happy. Even my fish smiled at me. :0)

We’re going to have a very quiet, lazy evening in front of the TV.

I hope YOU had a happy day, too.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Yet Another New Regimen…

Yourellipticals.com

Yourellipticals.com

I’m STILL  trying to come up with an exercise regimen with which I can stick. Yesterday and today I started out with a session on the elliptical trainer. Yesterday I pooped out at 16 minutes. Today I did better, doing 30 minutes.

I was doing yoga 3 days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and one day each of upper and lower body strength exercises.  I discovered I was blowing it off mid week for some reason, and didn’t feel as well as I did when I did a session of yoga each day.

boredboard.com

boredboard.com

So I’m going to try doing a session of the elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga in the afternoon. I’ll also try to work in the strength exercises if I’m feeling sassy.

My weight and inches loss remains a challenge. My husband and I are using lots of excuses to eat things we shouldn’t. (Last night it was fried rice from Lin’s House. )  I told him that I was really having trouble staying on my diet and that we can’t celebrate “National Pickle Week” every night.

I had stopped using MyFitnessPal for some reason, and I started it up again yesterday. I left my motivation in one of the piles around the house, but I AM finding it, bit by bit. Once I get my act together – firmly shutting my mouth after I enjoy my orange dream bar after dinner –  I hope to again enjoy weight and inches loss. Fingers crossed!!!!!

taolife.com

taolife.com

 

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

I Shot the Plates

shootingpractice2

My husband built a set of targets called, “Falling Plates” beside the shop, in front of a big pile of slag and our raised bed garden.

 

shootingpractice

Here’s a close-up of the targets. They’re metal ‘plates’ with counterweights on a long bar. When you hit a plate, it falls over. When you’ve shot them all, you stop and go set them up again.

 

shootingpractice3

He’s been bugging me to go shoot for several weeks now. Today I said, “Okay,” mainly to shut him up. I KNOW it’s important that, if I need to shoot somebody, I can actually hit him – significantly – not just teeing him off.

I started out pretty badly. I managed to load half the magazine before somehow pinching a part of the palm of my hand. The first time I shot, I was high. I again learned that with this gun, I should aim low. I then shot about half the plates with the magazine of bullets.

The second time I hit three of the four plates. I managed to fill half of each of the two magazines. My husband took pity on me and finished filling them up.

The last time I shot, I killed all four plates with two bullets left in the first magazine. My husband pronounced me ‘healed.’ He shot the rest of the first magazine and all of the second. He aimed high at first, too, but quickly corrected.

I should practice more, but I really don’t enjoy shooting. I anticipate the loudness of the shot and feel that it takes forever for me to finally shoot once I start squeezing the trigger.

I do feel better that I was hitting the plates regularly when we stopped for the day.

If you’re a bad guy trying to get me, watch out!!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges

Speeding through the Day

"Gone with the wind fabulous" - Johnathan Cruz

“Gone with the wind fabulous” – Johnathan Cruz

This is the way my day has felt.

On the good side, I’ve gotten a lot of little fiddly things off my to-do-list, like giving our dog, Molly, a session with the defurminator so she will leave fewer big tufts of hair all over the place. (Abby, the cat, is next.)

I’ve cut up veggies to munch and to cook for next week. I’m cleaning out the fridges in preparation for making a grocery list for tomorrow. I’ve made puddings and other stuff, running the dishwasher twice so far today.

And so it goes, the little things that we need to do to make our lives go more smoothly.

It was a good day to do this stuff. It wasn’t supposed to rain but it did, giving me a good chance to do inside stuff. We opted not to go to town, freeing up more time. The only sad thing is that my energy has never been a good match for my to-do list.

My husband is out working busily in the shop while my energy reaches its ebb. I think I’ll have a cup of coffee and put my feet up to see if I get another surge of energy.

I hope you’re having a really nice day.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Challenges, Favorite Things

Steps

Hugo - the Sneakerhead - Pinterest

Hugo – the Sneakerhead – Pinterest

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, and I are trying to take care of ourselves. While I’m doing yoga, the elliptical trainer, and 5 lb. weight strength exercises; Mary Lou is walking at the “J”, walking her dogs, doing aerobic exercises in the pool at the “J”, and other things. She recently got a new FitBit type wristband that does everything but cook, giving her the number of steps she’s walked, her heart rate, blood pressure, calories, and probably where she left her keys. I’m very envious, both about her new fancy goodie – bringing lots of motivation, plus her efforts on walking. Her highest reading lately was 13,500!

I’ve done a lot (for me) today, working in the garden, then spreading Weed & Feed on the lawn, then fertilizer in the flower beds, then cooking and laundry, and my simplistic pedometer says, 2922 at the moment. UGH.  I still have puddings to make and dinner to figure out, plus laundry to put away, so I probably won’t get to my elliptical today.

Maybe tomorrow….

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, exercise

Practice Happy

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Happiness comes from deep inside you.  It’s a feeling that is almost a “skill” in that the more you practice making yourself happy, the easier it gets.

In the beginning you might have to work at looking around and seeing all the good that surrounds you, recognizing how very lucky you are to be enjoying another day, how wonderful it is to be surrounded by interesting people, how terrific it is to have more exciting things you want to do than you have the time or energy to do them, how special it is to have someone you love.

As with anything else, no practice is ever perfect.  If you work at it every day, you’ll get better and better.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement

Look Quickly While My Floor is Clean!

HomesFeed

HomesFeed

I’ve told you that I’m a slob and that housekeeping rates priority only above bookkeeping and tax prep.

Yesterday I finally vacuumed my first floor tiles. This is a big thing for me, because doing this involves

  • walk-in pantry
  • kitchen
  • dining area
  • utility room
  • a hallway
  • two half baths

Then I mopped with a nice solution of white vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing liquid and lots of warm water. Today I’ve just finished applying Rejuvenate, a new-t0-me floor cleaner that is supposed to do a really good job on tile.  When that dries, I’ll put on a super thin layer of shine. Then I can ignore the floor again for a time before I have to move everything out again and start over.  (Two days if I’m lucky)

With two messy people, two slobbering dogs, and two cats who shed as they walk across the floor, trying to keep things reasonably clean around here is a definite challenge – particularly for a slob like me.

My husband insists that I am able to shoot an intruder, change a tire, clean outside lint traps, mow the lawn, etc., but insists he is unable to tell one end of the vacuum from the other. He ‘cannot see’  a giant hairball as it slides across the room when the door is opened. He doesn’t realize we have a mop. He’s wonderful in LOTS and LOTS of ways, but he considers cleaning and cooking to be MY things.

As soon as the floor dries, I’ll hit it with a bit of shine and then insist my husband ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ several times during the day and evening ( assuming we haven’t already spilled stuff and the dogs and cats stayed outside…)

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Spring Chicken and Georgia Sweet Onions

Crafthubs

Crafthubs

I’m not feeling like a spring chicken today, but I’m MUCH, MUCH better. This is the first day since Sunday I haven’t headed for the Ibuprofen upon awakening, followed by a direct route to my recliner and heat pad, plus the use of a pain patch yesterday.

I’m still old, but I’m definitely kickin’. I’m planning to do some careful, slow yoga stretches on my own this afternoon to see if I can loosen myself up and take the last of the back pain away. (Thinking that the firmness of my mattress may be a factor (and being grateful we have a Sleep Number Bed competitor) I made the mattress more firm this morning and will try that for the next few nights.

I studied my All New Square Foot Gardening, 2nd Edition book, by Mel Bartholomew, for what I can plant when in my totally raised bed garden this year!

We live in Zone 7 and the average last frost date is April 10th. My books say I can plant onions, broccoli and spinach four weeks from the average frost date, or March 10th.  My husband (who thinks the average frost date data is nuts) says HE thinks I should plant next week. (My husband and I don’t even use the same SALT, so we have some lively discussions around here.:0) )

We’ve decided to go ahead and plant the one bunch of Sweet Georgia Onion sets we got NEXT week and see what happens. If we get a killing frost, we’re out $2.00 plus my time in planting. If things continue to go well, I’ll get some broccoli plants and see what else I can find…

Meanwhile, I can’t find anything at all in the book about celery, so I’ll look for information elsewhere.

 

celery1

These photos were taken this morning. The above are on the divider between our kitchen and dining area. I’m changing the water daily and delighting in each vestige of green that emerges.

 

celery3

These two plants were moved from glasses to tsoil on the window sill about a week ago.

 

celery2

These two plants are the oldest. If they survive, I’ll plant them in the garden about mid-March, I think. (I may change that when I find information on the net.)

 

celery-spinach

Nothing at all is happening with the spinach seeds yet. Not one teeny sprout yet. They’re on the dining table where they get sun most of the day. I’ll just wait and hope.

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Ouchie

Blue Skies Chiropractic Health Center

Blue Skies Chiropractic Health Center

For the past two days my back has been giving me fits.

I have no clue what happened. I’m pampering myself with Ibuprofen and time in my recliner with a pillow and a heat pad. It’s better, but I’m still walking funny.

When you have a part that hurts, you get a real appreciation for the muscles you use in everyday life. For example, I never realized how many BACK muscles you use when you sneeze…

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Filed under Challenges

A Beautiful Sunday

Pinterest

Pinterest

doggieinswing

AbsolutelyMadness.net

We’re having a really pretty day here today – sunny and 60s – a great day for anything one would care to do.

We just got back from grocery shopping. I plan to cook several things this afternoon in preparation for our week of low carb, no sugar eating, plus prep for our absolute SuperBowl splurge tonight of real spaghetti and Texas toast. :0)

I’m still feeling jubilant I finished our tax prep yesterday. It’s like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. I plan to spend part of the afternoon working on my website, Creative Artworks. (I’m changing some categories, updating some descriptions, adding and deleting products, and doing some rearranging so that visitors can find things more easily. I would love to have a search feature, but my son is in charge of major changes like that, and he’s across the world from us right now.

We’re hoping the SuperBowl game tonight is really close. I love nail-biting games, where you don’t know who will be the winner until the last play. I also tend to root for the underdog, so I’m going in rooting for the Falcons. That will change if the Patriots get behind. The best thing, in my mind, is when two closely matched, really good teams, have to really work. Fingers crossed!

I hope that you’re able to spend today doing something enjoyable.

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Childlike Fun

“If Wishes were Fishes…”

artandcreativity.blogspot.com

artandcreativity.blogspot.com

The nice picture above is what I would LOVE to be doing today. I’ve only been able to make time ONCE to work on my Gingerbread Cookie themed wooden Christmas ornaments lately. Hopefully, that will change soon.

No rest for the wicked, though, so I’m stuck trying to get tax stuff together. I’m hoping to make really good progress on it today so that we can bag it up and dump it on our CPA soon.

It’s cold (37 degrees F.) gray and windy today, so I got a beef stew going in the slow cooker this morning. I’m also trying to get some spinach seeds going in an indoor planting system today. (I can’t easily find spinach plants in Greenwood or Fort Smith, so I’m again trying to get some started for the spring.) My sister-in-law correctly dubbed me the “Serial Seed Killer” several years ago, since I’ve tried and failed so many, many times. Hope springs eternal (to coin a phrase), though, so I’m trying again. Maybe I’ll be successful THIS time.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday we got a new Internet service. The company is called, WOW.  Since we live on top of a ridge line on 8+ acres in the sticks outside Greenwood city limits, we feel lucky if we can get ANY Internet service. Things have improved over the years, though. We were on a satellite Internet system, which includes a latency factor. That means that you click on something, and there’s a discernible wait time. We also were using the best service possible in terms of how much data we could use per month. Most of the time, we had enough, but when we were trying to download a bunch of stuff (sometimes over and over to get something to work) or our son was visiting, we would run over out limit fast. Then we would have to send another $10, over and over again, until we got to the reset time of the month.

The WOW service includes NO contract and has NO cap on the amount of data. Hooray!  It’s a radio frequency based system. We have good line-of-sight to the cell tower on one of the ridge lines behind the house, across the valley. So far, the only difference I’ve noticed is that it’s FASTER when I’m changing from one website to another (no latency!). I’m a happy camper today.  We MIGHT even be able to watch a short video without the constant whirring symbol in the middle of the picture!

Must get back to tax prep now, but I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

 

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Lesson

“Old age is not for sissies.” ~ Bette Davis

"Monkey Trouble" - Hollis J. Works

“Monkey Trouble” – Hollis J. Works

We set the alarm this morning so we could go to the bank and the court house before meeting our friends for Lunch Bunch.

We received a letter from our reverse mortgage people several weeks ago saying we were in arrears on our taxes for the year 2015, threatening us with all kinds of dire actions if we didn’t pay up.  I dashed around looking for my receipt, but was unable to find anything. I called the assessors office and they confirmed they hadn’t received any payment from us. We leaped into the car, went to their office and paid our taxes – plus interest  – plus penalty. :0(  We copied everything and sent it certified mail to the reverse mortgage people. I apologized to my husband, saying I must be older and more doofus than I even knew, having forgotten to pay the taxes! My confidence was really shaken.

Yesterday I was doing more on our prep for taxes and FOUND the receipt for the tax payment from February, with a confirmation number from my online payment.

We went to the bank with the receipt and the other paperwork. The lady called somewhere, finally finding out that the electronic payment had been returned, due to a bad address on BillPay. She said they had sent me an email about it, and that it also should have shown online the next time I signed into BillPay.

The end result was that I had entered the address wrong into BillPay, picking up the physical address of the assessor’s office, rather than their post office box. DUH.  I also didn’t see their email or notice anything on BillPay. I had found where the payment was listed on my bank statement, but hadn’t picked up that they had returned the money to my account when the check was returned on that same statement.

So – I feel better than I HAD paid the taxes when I was supposed to, but hadn’t been careful enough about the address I put in BillPay, missed the email, and hadn’t seen the detail on the bank statement. I haven’t completely lost it yet, but I’m playing with a less than full deck….

Bette Davis hit the nail on the head with her quote.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 2/1/2017

funnypicture.org

funnypicture.org

I told you last week that for some unknown reason, I can eat a week’s worth of carbs and calories after dinner.  Part of the reason is that we’re staying up late. My husband has trouble sleeping. We used to go to bed and read until we were sleepy. He read that he would sleep better if we quit doing that, so we’re downstairs until we’re sleepy now – leaving about 5 hours or so after dinner when we’re close to the kitchen.

Yesterday I put my foot down hard – telling myself I was finished gorging myself and would look forward to my orange dream bar after dinner and THAT WAS IT! Last night was the first night in ages I’ve actually done it. My scale even noticed the difference. So – I’m starting day TWO of acting like an adult on my eating.

Since I’ve been shoving everything in the house into my mouth, my weight and measurements have fluctuated. I’m determined to get back on track, eating low carb and as little sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 40 carbs of carbohydrates per day and under 1200 calories. AND I’m trying to exercise regularly. To date I’ve lost 34 lbs and 19″.

I’m doing better on my exercising than my eating. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing yoga three days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and upper and lower body strength exercises. My poor old body has had sore muscles to show for my efforts, but I’m feeling better overall, and I feel that I’m working my body from head to toe, in different ways so my body doesn’t get used to anything.

Now that I’m finally on track on my after dinner eating, I’m hopeful I can continue to report actual progress to you.

 

taolife.com

taolife.com

 

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

Haircut

KIND Snacks

KIND Snacks

I’ve got to leave to get my haircut. My timer says I have 5 minutes.

I don’t know what has been happening lately. I get my hair cut every 5 weeks or so. Lately, my hair seems to be growing faster. Even my hairdresser has noticed.

So, just in time before I can’t see out anymore, Michael will perform miracles and make me look as if I had a plan for my hair again.  I say Michael is a miracle worker because my hair is thin, fine, and doesn’t do ANYTHING good on its own. The way he cuts my hair makes me look civilized, so I can simply wash it and blow it dry daily and be ready to go.

May he work another miracle today!

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Full, Happy Day

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

I’m about to go do upper body strength exercises, but the day is almost gone and I haven’t taken the time to write anything!

I finished the gingerbread Christmas card samples this afternoon. They’re drying. As soon as they’re flattened, I’ll take some pics. I also painted the base brown of the wooden Christmas ornaments this morning. I turned them over and painted the base coat on the back just now. I’m having a really good time with this project. I get in my art room, dancing to my MP3 player and painting my heart out and the time flies. :0)

I also spent a couple of hours on bookkeeping. I can’t TELL you how much I love doing bookkeeping and tax prep.  It’s right up there with scrubbing toilets and washing doggies who have been skunked….

I feel lucky, though, that I can do a ‘have-to,’ and then spend time doing something fun. That’s a real luxury.

I hope you’ve had a good day, too.

Think of me doing the heave-ho on my 5 lb weights – 3 groups of 8 repetitions of six different exercises. Gooooooo – ME! If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to move my arms tomorrow.

clipartkid

clipartkid

 

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Some Days

Lisa Bearnes Richey

Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Getting the Lard Off Progress (?) Report – 1/18/2017

Amazing Creatures

Amazing Creatures

I’m trying to remain positive, but I’m still having trouble not eating after dinner.

My newest track on this is going back to the orange dream bar I ate each night as my dessert – something I can look forward to every day. THEN, if I’m up in the middle of the night (as I was last night for an hour or so)  I’m TRYING to content myself with a sugar-free chocolate pudding or veggies and dip. Last night my husband came downstairs, too, and we both felt potato chips calling to us…. :0(

To date I’m down 35 pounds and 20 inches.

 

Funny Image Collection

Funny Image Collection

On my efforts to move more, I’m doing much better, having found yoga for old broads.  Sometimes I run out of time and energy and don’t practice my yoga every day, but most days I’m on the mat.

I’m using 2 programs: “Gentle Yoga” and “Gentle Yoga Flows,” both by Sixty & Me, with the same wonderful instructor. I’m concentrating now on the Flows, planning to do Practice 3 today. My goal is to do one session on a particular part of the body, such as “Hips,” and then one of the ‘flows’ each day, making an hour.

If I continue to do well, I’ll add strength training and my elliptical a couple of days a week.

I am the poster child for couch potatoes, doing lots of work on my computer or trying to create something in my art room, so this is a HUGE change for me. My problems haven’t gone completely away, but I’m feeling more in control of what’s happening in my body now.

________________

I’m hoping that the continued exercising and trying not to chow down after dinner or in the middle of the night will finally get me off my plateau-from-Hell on my weight. My main goal remains –

 

taolife.com

taolife.com

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Still Buried, but Peeking Out…

James McInvale Illustration

James McInvale Illustration

This isn’t my art room, but it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to organize in preparation for actually working in there to give voice to some ideas banging around in my brain lately.

  • I’ve cleaned and organized a space where I can try to create jewelry.
  • I’ve cleaned and organized a table where I can work through the lessons from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, working up to enjoying all the glorious pencils my husband got me for Christmas.
  • I’ve cleaned off the counter top that runs from one side of the room almost to the other side under my shelves on the opposite side of the room from the jewelry area.

What remains is the mess in, around, and on top of my drafting table – the place I need clean in order to work on my latest ideas.

I DID manage to gather the wooden ornaments I want to paint as samples for some custom, personalized ornaments for the website. I also have the card stock and envelopes, plus paint ready for the cards, plus the letter stamps for the back of the cards.

I’m hoping that I can finish getting things either put away and organized or thrown away today so that I can start playing.

Wish me luck, please!

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

Rainy Days

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

We’re really dry here in Arkansas, so I’m delighted that we’re having several days in a row of nice rain.

I also freely admit I’m grateful we didn’t have ice this time and we’ve only had one snow so far this winter (knock on wood).

I’m using the time when it’s nicer to be inside to TRY to get better organized. (I know – you’ve heard this before….)

For example, I spent some time upstairs in my art room yesterday afternoon. I was planning to get started on some ideas I have for some new Christmas cards and some painted wooden ornaments.  The room is in SUCH a mess that I spent much of the time trying to get things put away, find the things I was looking for, etc.

I DID clear off a work table. I set it up as a ‘learn to draw better’ station, with the new, gorgeous suitcase of all kinds of pencils my husband gave me for Christmas. (It has drawing pencils of lots of gradations, colored pencils, prisma color pencils, pastel pencils, charcoal and more.) I found my Drawing on the Right Side of the  Brain book I’ve had for years which has lessons that will help me see things with the more creative side of my brain, helping me reproduce what I’m seeing in a more satisfying fashion. (At least I HOPE so anything is up from here. :0) )  The last time I tackled the book I made several templates suggested in the book to help me focus on a particular thing. I found those, as well. All is set up for when I can make the time. I hope to get through all the lessons this year.

Most of the rest of the room is awful. I’ll spend some time today setting things to rights – at least so my drafting table is clean and I finish finding what I was looking for yesterday. The biggest problem is that I have a lot of fun stuff up there. As I try to put things away, I get distracted by what I find, making me want to stop cleaning and play…

I’ll try to do Practice 3 this afternoon of my new “Gentle Yoga Flows” DVD by Sixty & Me, and tonight we’re going bowling with three good friends.

Beautiful morning, afternoon in my art room and stretching to yoga, bowling and ice cream with friends this evening. It doesn’t get much better than this!

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful day, too.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Poor Disenfranchised Fish!

fish3

As I do twice weekly, I was washing out Sweet Sally’s fish bowl today when all of a sudden I heard a small, “crack!”

The goblet I had been using as her fish bowl for more than a year suddenly gave up the ghost and died. I didn’t hit it on anything, bump it, or do anything differently than I’ve done countless times before. My poor fish was in a small bowl with a towel over it, waiting for her home to be cleaned and her to be able to enjoy fresh, clean water and scrubbed decorations and aerator – but her home was gone.

I had to look for quite a while to find her old home. I got it cleaned up and Sally back in as soon as I could.

I got her wonderful, big goblet from the exclusive emporium of Wal-Mart. I’ve found that a lot of the time, when I really like something, they have quit carrying it the next time I go. We’re going tomorrow, so I’m keeping all appendages crossed that I can replace her home so she is no longer disenfranchised, but time will tell.

I feel as if I’m in the Peter Pan movie – the part where they say, “Clap if you believe in Tinkerbell….” I’m clapping as hard and fast as I can that Sweet Sally gets her home back.

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Remember Her?

Love Your Life via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

Love Your Life via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Filed under Attitude, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Encouragement

Recipe Riot

recipes-remarkably-domestic

Remarkably Domestic

I’ve gotten recipes from EVERYWHERE since I started my low carb lifestyle a little over a year ago, and then even more when I added low sugar or no sugar or diabetic recipes to our staples list. I’m now buried alive in recipes in cookbooks, on my Kindle, printed from the net, etc.

I’m trying LOTS of new recipes. Some are keepers, some are not. The ones that are good are now all over the place. I spend more time now trying to FIND a recipe than cooking it. :0(

I have a three ring notebook where I’m trying to organize the printed recipes from the net, but I still can’t remember if I got a recipe from that notebook, from a book… ARRRGH!

I finally decided to organize differently so I have ONE PLACE to check on a regular basis in order to make menus for the next week, grocery lists from the menus, and then to know where to go for directions on how to make the food.

I got an index box, much like this one.

 

recipebox

I just got divider recipe cards so I have a way to organize stuff in the box.  I have 3×5 index cards.

Now I’m going through things, using a card to list some of our favorite recipes, listing it by category, such as snacks, appetizers, etc., and then writing the name on the card and the source (cookbook and page number, or printed out notebook and where it is).

This will definitely be a work in progress, but I should be able to get most of what we’re enjoying lately in the box relatively quickly, and then add to it as we find another recipe we like.

I’m trying to work through stuff in our freezers, too. I can find something, such as a pork loin, and should be able to quickly find the recipes we like the best using that cut.

At least, that’s the plan. Wish me luck!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!