Category Archives: Challenges

Dealing – Not Dealing


DEALING – Sometimes I want to get involved, doing what I can to change the world for the better. I want to engage, to discuss things that are happening, trying to figure out compromises and solutions. I want to find areas in which we agree, or at least “civil-ly” agree to disagree, and that we can still value one another whether we agree or not.

Alamy_BBC Science Forcus Magazine

NOT DEALING – More often these days, I put my head in the sand, trying to escape from all the hurt and ugliness – what appears to be HATE at any differences in beliefs or goals.

I escape to my art room. I listen to music – wrapping it around me like a blanket. I dive into another world with a book. I immerse myself in my garden. I do yoga- trying to fold myself into a paper airplane, or at least try to stretch myself from one side of the room to the other. I laugh with our pets. I talk to my friends. I hug my husband. I sleep. None of these SOLVES anything, but at least they keep me reasonably sane. (I think. I HOPE.)

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes

M-M-M-Monday 8-8-2022

I’m having trouble talking clearly because my mouth is full of basketball…. :0) (I laughed out loud when I found this photo.)

Cleveland Clinic

Things are good here today, except that I developed a sore throat last evening. It hurts to swallow and ‘someone’ has been busy with sandpaper inside my throat. I have some Chloraseptic Spray and should be fine very soon.

Times of India

Meanwhile, we gathered trash this morning to add to the GROUP of bags the trash people STILL haven’t picked up. I’m pretty disgusted with our ‘service,’ having had to regather the trash down at the bottom of the driveway TWICE since the pickup was supposed to happen LAST Tuesday. Three phone calls to Customer Service and one to-the-point email have resulted in two work orders, but no action. They won’t be able to say we didn’t have the trash down in time THIS week…. 8 days and counting. HOPING the work order will result in them picking up the trash today, rather than having to have to leave it out there overnight again until ‘regular’ pickup tomorrow.


On my Christmas project, the 8 tote bags are finished and stored until gift-giving time. I finished the Christmas cards to go with them yesterday and I’m now trying to flatten them. When I feel energetic, I’ll put things away in the art room and think about a next project.


I’m going to take it easy today, spraying my throat, sucking on Sucrets, and being lazy. I’ll do what I can on my yoga practice this afternoon – DAY 24.

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Filed under Challenges, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Thursday Thoughts 8-4-2022

Heartfelt – Artwork by Catherine Zarip

It’s quite overcast right now and we might get some rain. I couldn’t be happier about it.

The UCSB Current-UC Santa Barbara

In about an hour I’ll go down to get our mail (if it’s not raining), checking to see if the trash has been picked up. It’s supposed to be picked up on Tuesday. When I left yesterday to get my hair cut, I had to stop and use the trash bag I carry in the truck to pick up the strewn garbage. When I got to town, I called the trash people. The lady said she would create a work order so the trash would be picked up yesterday. I HOPE it was actually picked up. If not, I will call them again with some choice words.


I’m on DAY 20 of my daily yoga practice. My husband told me I was “doing a good job” yesterday. I tried to get him to practice with me, but he scoffed at me, eating some Fritos…


I still don’t know if the Christmas cards I’m trying to paint will turn out reasonably or not, but I look forward to working on them each day.

I’ve been finding a lot of talented people’s work lately. It’s such a joy to discover someone creating breathtaking art in all its forms and be able to share it with you.

Have a great Thursday!

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Filed under Challenges, Mother Nature, exercise, kindness, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________, Habits

Update on UPS

Last week I griped that our UPS driver left two packages on our robot at the bottom of the driveway instead of delivering them to us. He then reported that he left the packages “at the front door.” Since we didn’t know they were there, they stayed on the robot overnight. I finally went to check, since I was expecting the deliveries and there wasn’t anything at the door or the end of the garage, and found them.

I finally found an address I could use to email them. I provided the tracking numbers for both packages. I had done this before, but hadn’t received a reply, but I thought I would try again.

We got an email reply (!) that they had received our email and that someone would be getting with us. I thought, “yeah, right” Later on that day, I got a phone call from UPS!

The lady was nice. She commiserated with my problem. She said the drivers were personally responsible for their trucks, any maintenance, damage, etc., came out of their pockets. We agreed that since our driveway is long and steep, he probably decided it was too risky to try to drive up, though we’ve lived her for over 30 years and they have always delivered in the past. Fedex still does.

I did ask if there was anything else that could be done. If he would let us know we had a package, we could come down and get it. She suggested a lock box with a code might help. She said that usually an email is sent that a package has been delivered.

Though our problem remains, the fact that UPS emailed and then called is wonderful. Kind of restores my faith.

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Frustrated with UPS

Integrated Children’s Therapy

I finally found a place to email UPS yesterday, after getting totally frustrated trying to call and actually talk to a real person. Their phone ‘trees’ only allow you to say certain things and the default is to frustrate you to the point you give up.

UPS used to deliver things to us all the time. Yes, our driveway is steep and sometimes bumpy, but they delivered and we were appreciative.

Fedex delivers to us all the time, smiling and really nice on this same driveway.

I checked on a couple of deliveries online yesterday and found that UPS said they had been delivered – “left at the front door on WEDNESDAY.” I checked again, just to make sure, and also checked on both side of the garage. Nothing.

I told my husband that I was going to check around the bottom of the driveway, though I hadn’t noticed anything when I went to get my massage. We drove down, and sure enough, there were TWO packages sitting on the back of the robot we built at the bottom of the driveway right off the street.

The packages had been there all night where anyone could have taken them. Since we were forecast to get rain, it was particularly frustrating.

I guess the driver who serves us has decided that he is not going to drive up our driveway anymore. If this is the case, it would be NICE if he would call us and tell us he has left a package, emailed us, sent us a text, left a flag on the robot, a note in the mailbox, a carrier pigeon – SOMETHING.

I wrote to UPS, just as a formality, really. The last time I wrote was when they left a humongous box (70+ pounds) containing my husband’s new over $2000 heavy computer. My husband and I practically killed ourselves trying to get the box into the back of the truck and then out again at the house, in the house, and into place in our office. UPS didn’t even bother to answer my email, so I’m not expecting much this time, over two ‘inexpensive’ items. I just refuse not to say ANYTHING when people don’t do what they say they will do.

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Character-Building Exercise

I pre-ordered this paperback in February, (#54 of the J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts In Death series) knowing I would have to wait until the end of July before it was delivered. Since I wanted it for my permanent collection, it would be worth the wait.

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon – “We’re encountering a delay in shipping your order. We’ll send a confirmation as soon as it ships and communicate the expected delivery date. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Bah. Humbug.

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises


We just got back from errands.

I had to re-gather the trash that ‘somebody’ had strewn from our leaving our trash bags to be picked up yesterday. I guess the trash people are a day behind due to the 4th of July holiday. We carry an extra trash bag in the truck, and I used it to walk all up and down the ditch that runs in front of our property, picking up OUR trash, plus beer cans and other stuff some nice somebody threw out of their vehicle as they passed our place. Anyhow, we noticed that other people’s trash was still waiting, so I guess it will be picked up today. (Fingers crossed.)

On the way to the veterinarian’s office, a fire truck and an ambulance passed us going out east of town. When we got to the vet’s, I jumped out, thinking to make sure there were no animals in the waiting area before we tried to bring Amber in. The fire marshall drove up BESIDE us, lights flashing. He asked us to wait outside while he went in. The side door opened and the receptionist and another lady came out, with Amber’s shot in hand. She said she smelled smoke, and so had called the fire department. She apologized for us not being able to get Amber’s weight, gave her the shot, and told me she would email me the invoice. I wished her luck, and we got back in the truck and out of their way. I’ll call later to check that all is okay, but three fire trucks passed us with lights and sirens going toward the vet’s office as we went home. :0(

How the receptionist handled things this morning is only one of the reasons we will always go to Greenwood Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Singer is one of the kindest human beings on the planet. He has helped us with all of our dogs and cats, from first checkup to final goodbyes when needed. He actually cried with us once, telling us that our Molly was one of his favorites. We are so lucky to have people like this who are obviously following a calling, rather than merely doing a job.

So. After an unusual morning, we will soon fix lunch and get on with our day. Please keep the vet clinic in your thoughts – hoping the smelling of smoke was all there was and that they had no further problems.

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The Eating-NOT Eating Problem

Denise Hazime

I downloaded this to my new Kindle this morning and have been pouring over it while I made a new system disc and new data backup disc for my computer.

This appeals to me because of the limit on ingredients and inferred simplicity of the recipes, particularly since I’m just trying to get started.

So far, I’ve started a notebook of generalities about the Mediterranean eating plan. It may very well be that I just collect recipes here and there and end up with a new lifestyle using their suggestions for healthy eating, but not-so-much their actual recipes.

My main concentrations are on

  • including LOTS more veggies,
  • some fruit – but mainly as a ‘dessert’ or substitute for sweet things,
  • a LOT less meat, (little red meat. Chicken and turkey are okay)
  • more fish, (twice a week)
  • more whole grains,
  • more nuts and seeds.
  • beans
  • less dairy (twice a week, rather than every day)

I’m a bit worried about the fruit. I love it, but it contains a lot of sugar – something we’re trying to avoid. We’ll see how our numbers do.

Of COURSE they want us to drink more water and exercise.

Squirrel Cam –

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes

Water Sample


Our water department brought the bottle in a gallon bag with instructions yesterday afternoon. I read the instructions, filled out the form, except for the time the sample was collected, and put everything upstairs by my sink for collection last night.

The biggest problem is that water is not supposed to be used for a period of 6 to 8 hours before the sample is taken. Since my husband and I are like ships passing in the night to pee over and over during the night, we reminded each other that we needed to remember NOT TO FLUSH until AFTER the sample was collected.

I didn’t sleep well. I couldn’t get comfortable, kept waking up and checking the clock, or getting up to pee and remembering NOT TO FLUSH, etc.

The sample has been taken and is on the front porch ready to be picked up whenever the water department people get here. What should be a simple thing is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be.

UPDATE: Just as I was finishing this, our driveway alarm started going off. It was the water department guys coming to pick up the sample. Mission accomplished.

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Love-Hate Relationship

Shutterstock – The Players’ Aid

My Love/Hate relationship is with my computer. Yesterday afternoon was one of the times I hate it.

My Password Safe program is crucial to my work on the computer. Yesterday I couldn’t get it to open. My husband, of course, immediately asked ‘what I had done to it.’ This set us up for an interesting afternoon. To make a long afternoon shorter, we deleted the program and all associated stuff from my computer, re-installed the program, made a new data disc, made a new shortcut for the main computer screen, etc.

This morning I needed to pay bills. Our bank website said my password was wrong. I tried to change it, but the password safe program wouldn’t allow that. I finally got around that problem, got on the website, paid our bills, and then asked my husband for help once again.

He determined that I was designated an ‘administrator’ on my computer, but that password safe was set up for ‘read-only.’ I finally got THAT changed and was able then to update the new password and go on my way.

This type of problem always comes when I least expect it, gets me totally rattled, shatters my confidence, needing time to absorb (and make notes on) what we’ve changed and how it works now.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Death of a Kindle

My husband and I bought Kindles very soon after we realized they existed. He is on his third one, using it daily for most everything he reads, downloading scores of books. I have used mine sporadically, much preferring real books for my reading.

I have downloaded trial books, though, when the price is right, just to see if I like the authors. Then, if I want to read more, I order real books. Another reason I like my Kindle is for cookbooks. I’ve FINALLY learned that the majority of cookbooks I buy are a waste of money for me. I like a couple of recipes in the book, but that’s all, so it just takes up space. I finally give them to the library to sell at their fundraisers. I get most of my recipes from friends, now, or on the net.

I downloaded one recently that looked like a really good introduction to easy beginning Mediterranean recipes. I wanted to wait until I found one I really liked to actually buy another cookbook.

I tried to look at it today at lunch time. I couldn’t get anything to happen when I tried to open the Kindle. I finally asked the ‘guru,’ my husband, if he could get it to work. He first assumed I had forgotten to charge it. I gritted my teeth and showed him calmly (without biting him in the leg) that it showed a 99% charge at the top of the Kindle screen. He then played with it, finally pronouncing it ‘dead as a doornail.’ I guess I can’t complain, since it has lasted SEVERAL years, but I really didn’t want to spend the money right now.

I have now ordered another one and will have to ask someone on Amazon if I can transfer the couple of downloads I have remaining from the old, dead Kindle to the new one when it arrives.

I will intensify my search for a good, basic Mediterranean cookbook that I actually want to HAVE so I can get it and not have to depend on the vagaries of electronic devices…

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Outlander Katon Twitter

You’re as old/young as you feel – well, I’m about 110 this morning.

I really pushed hard to finish deep cleaning the master and guest bathrooms upstairs yesterday. I rested in-between sessions, but over half the day was spent up there. I washed the whirlpool tub, then really scrubbed the redwood surrounding it, something that hadn’t been done in a long time. I then pulled up the rugs and the sticky things keeping them from sliding and hauled them into the bedroom. I washed the baseboards, then vacuumed the floors. I washed the floors, then put the sticky things and rugs back down. Finally, I vacuumed the rugs and put things back where they belonged. Things look and smell good now.

I started stiffening up right before bedtime last night, didn’t sleep well – unable to get into a comfortable position – and ended up reading downstairs for an hour or so early this morning. I’m still stiff and sore this morning. My poor old body seems to have really noticed all the bending over double, getting down on hands and knees, hauling of heavy rugs, etc.

Today I’m going to take it easier, only planning to gather trash and vacuum the tiled areas on the first floor today. I’ll also plan to do a long, slow yoga session this afternoon to see if I can get some of the kinks out. :0) –

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Filed under Challenges, exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Life is a Work in Progress

Dodinsky – Dima Dmitriev

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement

Achieving Balance

I am finding some good answers on what will work best for me as far as eating and exercising, getting healthier, more flexible, and feeling good.

Last night we were simply heating up individual portions of things I had cooked before and frozen. Cooking another veggie seemed too much, so I just got out some of the raw veggies I cut up recently and have been eating with dip for snacks to put to the side of the plate. I asked my husband if he wanted some, and he said, “Sure.” Later, when we were eating, he said they tasted ‘good.’ :0)

So, I’m consciously eating more veggies every day, less meat (used mainly as a flavoring now, some fruit, nuts, avoiding added sugar, salt, most white things, except for one dinner roll – a thing to which I look forward. I’m trying not to eat snacks, or anything after dinner. Many times I’m successful.

I’m consciously more active. Right now I’m in a cleaning mode. My house keeps asking, “Who IS this?” I’m working on really deep cleaning our master bathroom. It’s large – with a room that has a double lavatory and countertop, a whirlpool tub, and my walk-in closet. Another room has the toilet and a shower. I’ve been doing the minimum for a while, so I’m trying to DEEP clean it this time.

I’m adding some new poses to my yoga routine in the afternoons, though late afternoon is the best time to be outside working in the garden or my tomatoes or my yard, so I’m having an internal fight over this one. So far I’m doing one or the other, but I would LIKE to do both. I’m working on it.

The result of all this is I feel better. I’m sleeping better. I’m starting to lose some of my lard. Win/Win/Win.

Balance is all.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Too Much To-Do List

Task & Time

“When you feel overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time, remind yourself that all you can do is all you can do.” ~ Brian Tracy

I have been a list-maker all my life. Most of the time the lists keep me on track, keeping me from forgetting things – something I do more as I become ‘more wise’ each year. :0)

From time to time, my lists swamp me. I try to do the most important things first, and that helps. It makes me more productive, but doesn’t do much for the ‘feeling’ of inadequacy running underneath.

And things that come up in the natural course of life sometimes keep me from being able to check ANYTHING off my list. An example is yesterday, when my husband brought me an incredibly dirty pair of jeans that had yet more rips in the legs. He wanted me to fix them. I’ve been trying to get him to buy several pairs of jeans to replace ones that are very worn, but these are his ‘favorites.’ I ended up using iron-on patches, then washing the jeans, then having to sew the patches on where the patches were trying to curl up. My husband pronounced them, “healed,” smiling, but one day there won’t be any denim left to put the patches on…

Today my priorities will be to get more errands done, do stuff OUTSIDE this afternoon since it’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, and see how it goes. Loss and Fitness Hacks

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Happy Camper

Baby Center-iStock

I’m a happy camper today. Things are really looking up around here. :0)

I’ve told you that we were FINALLY able to arrange our freedom yesterday since Jeremy Young came with his equipment and smoothed out the crusher dust pile that made us captives up here for a week. Even with the really heavy rain most of the afternoon, the driveway stayed beautiful with very little damage. We’ll see how long this lasts and then get back with him on what he thinks we should do more long term.

We replenished some supplies after relocating raccoon # 6, getting home around 5:30 or so. I slept much better last night, knowing we could get out if we needed to, or someone could come up, again, if needed. Peace of mind is priceless.

Today we’ll get our mower gas cans filled, plus the truck. The only downside of all this freedom is that it is expensive! Grocery prices were up, of course, and gas prices will make us gasp today. At least we can GET most of what we would like to. We’ll also replace a flashlight that died suddenly. Not only did it need new batteries – the batteries had ‘frozen’ inside. Oops! That one lasted over 30 years, so I guess needing to get a replacement now is understandable…

Changing from the Keto eating plan to the Mediterranean one is helping me gradually. And I’m starting to see a difference on the scales, too, finally. My focus has been on getting my system working right again, pushing lots of veggies, cutting way back on meat and fat, eating fruit, etc. Now I’ll start paying attention to calories as well, comparing that to what I’m burning with my yard work and exercise. I’m hoping I can manage a good balance where I’ll feel good, sleep well, and have more energy as I get stronger.

We’ll set the humane trap on the deck again this evening. “Something” triggered it to shut overnight, but we didn’t catch anything. We’re having a record year, having trapped and relocated six raccoons so far in the past month or so.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to get more heavy rain. But TODAY the sun is shining brightly after being fogged in this morning. I’m looking forward to spending time in the garden and checking on my tomato plants.

Have a glorious Thursday!

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________


Verywell Family

Our driveway is healed! We just paid Jeremy for his good work. He knocked down the huge pile of crusher dust and managed to spread it all the way down to the bottom of the driveway. We’re going to relax, have some lunch, then get our act together on errands –

  • Relocate raccoon # 6
  • fill gas cans for mower
  • get our mail
  • check for strewn trash at the bottom of the driveway
  • replenish groceries and other supplies
  • stop for hubby’s ‘goodies’ he gets from Harps grocery
  • grin from ear to ear as we drive down our driveway – and then UP again!

If you are in our area at all (west central Arkansas Fort Smith/Greenwood/Hackett, Poteau,OK, etc.) and you need work that requires construction equipment, call Jeremy Young 479-629-3797. I can’t say enough about him. He comes when he says he’ll come, he listens to your concerns, he does the work when he says he’ll do it, he doesn’t try to stiff you on the price, he is honest, he is NICE. We will definitely call him again.

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Jubilant Wednesday!

The cavalry is coming sometime today! I talked to my Lunch Bunch friend, Kay, yesterday. (Actually, she called to check on US after we had to miss Lunch Bunch last week due to the pile of crusher dust in the driveway.) She talked to her husband, then they talked to their pastor, and she called to give me the name and phone numbers of two people who might be able to help us.

I talked to Jeremy, who actually CAME yesterday, driving his truck up to the pile in the driveway and walking the rest of the way up. He says he can help us!!!!!!

He will come today, he says, rain or shine, and flatten out the pile of crusher dust. It’s a good thing he said rain or shine because –

this is the forecast for us today. (We’re just southeast of Fort Smith in the middle of this image). I think that he has informally adopted us because he spoke several times of our being stranded up here. He is truly a NICE guy who has already gone the extra mile for us.

The plan at this point is that he will fix things enough so that we can drive up and down the driveway at will. Then he will bring an estimate of fixing the driveway in a more permanent fashion that will last a little while.

I thanked him profusely for coming out yesterday. I slept better last night, knowing that help is on the way. It was really starting to bother me that no one could get UP the driveway, either, like fire trucks, ambulances, police…

When Jeremy is able to free us, we will make a celebratory trip to town (weather permitting) and try to catch up on some of the errands we’ve stacked up in a week’s time.

Let’s hear it for Jeremy!!!!

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Filed under Challenges, Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance

This Morning’s Exercise

We wanted to get our trash down to the bottom of the driveway this morning for pickup, but as I told you, we’re trapped up here, with a humongous pile of crusher dust in the driveway at the point we wanted the guy to spread it on down the driveway. It is impassable.

SO – my husband backed the truck down about 1/4 of the 650 foot+ steep driveway. We each took a trash bag and started walking down to the bottom. I have seriously thought about buying some football cleats to wear when trying to walk up and down our driveway. The gravel rolls, making it really hard to walk without falling on my head. I walk down on the edge on one side where there is a bit of grass for more traction.

Anyway, I got down to the bottom with my bag, then took the smaller bag I had brought in order to gather several days worth of mail from our box. I started up and saw my husband trying to gather stuff. His bag had ripped, spilling stuff all over. I went up and we gathered it up, and each took part back down the driveway. We got things bagged up for the trash men and started up again. It’s MUCH harder to walk UP the steep driveway than come down!

I had to stop three times on the way back to the truck to catch my breath. Since thunderstorms are imminent, the humidity is fierce today, too. I guess this is showing me I need to do this much more often in my efforts to get healthier – if it doesn’t kill me first… :0)

The truck is back in the garage now, safe and sound from the coming storms, which are forecast to last until about 2pm today and then start up again this evening. Oh, GOOD!

We caught raccoon #6 overnight, OF COURSE, when we are unable to get out to relocate him. We’re trying to decide if we should simply let him out of the cage or what.

Another piece of news is that our dog, Amber, was barking like a nut at our trailer we have by the shop. GUESS WHAT! We have a mama SKUNK and her babies under there. My husband managed to get Amber back in the house without her getting ‘skunked,’ thank goodness. We’re not sure what to do about the skunk family, either. This may have happened before, but we’re not aware of it.

The rain has started. It’s quite dark and ominous-looking now. I’ll close the garage door soon, but we’ll leave our front and back doors open as long as we can so we can enjoy a possible cool-down as the storms move through. It would be good if we don’t get any damage from the storm. We have enough on our plate already, thank you very much.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, exercise

Stranded Since Thursday


Ever since we had crusher dust delivered last Thursday, we’ve been stranded on top of our ridge line. Because the driveway was wet, the guy with the truckload of material was unable to really ‘tail-gate’ the stuff as he drove down. It just basically came out of the truck and onto the driveway in ‘piles.’ Until we can find someone with a tractor, front blade, and time to help us, we’re stuck up here.

I talked on our chat program with our son this morning. I was able to tell him that other than being a bit aggravated, we were fine. We have food, water, a comfortable house, power, and even a dog and cat for company. We can do all our usual things EXCEPT get down – and back up – our driveway. It we have to have a problem, this is about the best kind of problem we could have.

One of the men I contacted yesterday called me back today to say he was unable to come up with anyone who could help us. I thanked him profusely for taking the time to contact the people he knew and then call me back. People are really nice and go the extra mile sometimes.

We still have a CHANCE that one of the people I contacted will be able to help. He said he would try to arrange something after church.

We might have an interesting time if we CAN’T get someone to help us today. All next week is supposed to be rainy, starting as early as late this afternoon. Fingers crossed the stars come together to get someone out here. So we wait. Fingers crossed.

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Good News – Bad News

Yesterday my husband called again about the chat/crusher dust for our driveway. Amazingly, they didn’t have any record of our call/order. Later yesterday the truck came and left a big truckload, ‘tail-gating’ the material from a point where my husband marked our driveway and then down to the road that runs in front of the house.

The good news is we finally got the material delivered. The bad news is that the early rain we had caused the truck not to be really able to tail-gate it properly, so it dumped, rather than spread. The end result is that we had to call our friends and tell them we wouldn’t be at Lunch Bunch today because we can’t get out.

I called the man who has helped us with our driveway in the past, but had to leave a message on his phone. I don’t know whether he’s gotten the request for help or not.

We will figure something out, but it may not be today…

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Oh, Good! More Rain…


It’s rainy this morning and very dark outside. It looks like the perfect day to spend with the covers pulled up over my head, probably snoring.

We caught raccoon # 5 overnight, so we’ll need to relocate him later today. I really hope we get to the end of this ‘family’ of raccoons who have found our deck and sunflower seeds. So far, though, they have all been relatively quiet, so no worries about rabies or danger to our dog, Amber, or our cat, Abby. Another good thing – the raccoons always make a mess inside and outside the cage on the deck when we catch them. My husband used the new pressure water sprayer thingie I got recently, and he said it did a good job! If it ever quits raining, I’ll look forward to using it to clean some things up.

Since we’ve started a new month, it means that I need to do bank statements, May bookkeeping, filing, etc. I’ll need to intersperse a bunch of online exercising, getting up to do stuff, and more to keep myself from nodding off…

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I made the experimental kielbasa casserole for dinner last night. My husband said it wasn’t his favorite, but encouraged me to keep up the efforts to get us both to eat more veggies. Next time I’ll try a more usual tuna casserole and see if he likes it better.



I hope you have a happy day.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, Thoughts on a ________


Life is hard these days. Harder, I think, in many ways, than it’s ever been. Not only are there differing opinions on almost everything, but the opinions quickly escalate into divisiveness, factions, name calling, and hate. There seems little we can DO about any of it.

I find my own personal reactions vacillate from being appalled at the actions of sick, hate-filled people, grieving about the innocent lives lost or forever changed, and frustrated that the problems are caused by problems so complex that they are almost impossible to solve. I’m numbed by the mindless spouting of rhetoric on all sides that hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. The actual problems are so much deeper that people are scared to really examine the causes or possible solutions.

I alternately listen to and read everything I can, then get depressed and avoid exposure to any more news than I HAVE to. I escape with reading, music, time outside in my yard and garden, time in my art room, time on the computer, etc. I get “huggy,” – worried that things will get much worse. I clean things. I re-organize things. I chop things down. Anything I CAN control.

What it boils down to, I guess, is each of us caring, doing something if we can, and coping with whatever is happening. The picture at the top says it better than I – “Life would be better if we wore more tutus…”

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes


Pemoht Abtomo 6nnenBA3 on Twitter

We are going to the local hardware store today, having to admit defeat on several issues. None of the issues is dramatic, but cumulatively, they make us feel we are not in control as we would like to be.

  1. We are buying a new floor fan for our bedroom. We have made the one we have work for years. Now it acts like it isn’t getting enough oil for lubrication. We have put oil in everywhere there is a place to put it, but it hasn’t helped. So we will get a new one, if we can, today.
  2. I’ve reprogrammed our yard irrigation system three times in the past three days. My husband tried it the previous several days before that. We will see if we can buy a simpler, more straightforward system that will allow us to water two stations for 10 minutes each every day. Sounds like a simple thing, doesn’t it?
  3. We are treating my chair in the living room for fleas. I’m washing my throw and the jeans I was wearing yesterday as I type this. We will get a new flea and tick collar for our wonderful cat, who seems to be bringing fleas to bite me. My husband isn’t having any problem at all. (Apparently, he doesn’t taste good to fleas.) Both of my legs have bites from yesterday, when the cat sat on my lap while I was reading. The fleas apparently bit through the throw AND my jeans. UGH. We had a flea collar on her, but apparently it has lost its effectiveness.
  4. UPDATE – My husband stopped me, wanting to go right to Yeager’s, so we did. We just got back. We have a new fan to assemble, cat flea collar ON the cat (much to her dismay), a new irrigation system timer (we’re not sure that this will integrate with our system), iced tea, cash, gas, and mail. My throw is folded on the couch. We gave Amber, our dog, a combination treatment that is supposed to be one of the best for fleas and ticks. My husband is trying to program the water timer and then we’ll see if it will work with our system. The fan will go upstairs soon for assembly.

SO – we are trying to meet our challenges for the day head-on and prevail. Time will tell.

It’s supposed to be a rainy Saturday here. The sky is very cloudy now. Rain is forecast for this morning, this afternoon, and this evening – which pretty well covers the day…

Have a good one!


Filed under Challenges

Cloudy Beach Thursday

ML Lewis

I’m getting spoiled enjoying a gorgeous photo of the beach every morning. My SIL hasn’t kissed a sandpiper for me yet, but I’m still hoping. She says it’s cloudy there this morning and they may get some rain. What a lovely thought – walking on the beach in the rain…..

Back in the ‘real world’ in Arkansas, we’re having “spotty showers” this morning and 90’s this afternoon. I’m hoping that I can get out to my garden this morning in a bit and see if I can figure out how to prop up my zucchini plants and prune them.

Irrigation System Controller

My husband got frustrated with the yard irrigation system controller yesterday. I told him I would tackle it this morning and just came in from trying to do just that. I reset the whole system, which thought it was January of 2007… Hopefully, I have it reset now, but we won’t really know until this evening, when Station 1 should start watering at 7pm and Station 2 at 7:10. Fingers crossed.

healthy_thyroid-Endocrine Web

We go to the doc’s office this afternoon. I had Graves Disease years ago and had my thyroid radiated. I’ve taken a medication since then that simulates thyroid hormone. When my levels go wonky, I’m in pretty bad trouble. The thyroid controls a LOT of what goes on in your body. Usually, I go along on the same dosage for years, sometimes, with no problems. My test results showed my thyroid levels are, indeed, wonky now. What I thought was diet-related is probably due to this. I have other symptoms, too, that I haven’t had in a long time. I’ll find out today what my doc thinks is best. Help is on the way. :0)

I hope that you’re having a pleasant Thursday. If not, keep gazing at the gorgeous photo of the beach above, That’ll make it better.


Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________, vicarious enjoyment


Tenor-GIF-Keyboard – The Pet Collective

Because I’m older-than-dirt and have no gallbladder, I’m having to adapt my eating program to lose the lard. Even with taking all the suggestions I could find on making it work and trying several meds, it’s with regret I’m changing my eating regimen once again. I had done a good, conscientious job, turning the keto stick dark purple. I was losing weight gradually, but my digestion wasn’t being cooperative.

I’m still avoiding any added sugar, trying to keep it as low as possible. I’m still trying to keep starches to a minimum. I’m concentrating on veggies and fruit, with meat as a flavoring, rather than the focus. I’m adding fiber, trying to get my system working the way it should again.

I’m not worried about the scales or the measuring tape until my system is under good control again and my normal energy is back.

I AM continuing my exercise program as much as possible, though my cleaning-and-re-organizing-the-pantry-program has been a substitute the past three days. I’m getting all the exercise I can handle pulling and hauling things around, scrambling up and down the ladder for at least an hour each day.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

It’s Wednesday


L. Roche Art-via Karen Miller -Pinterest- The Rose Gallery-“Happy Hoglet”

I hope that Wednesday is being good to you.

Ours is starting off quietly – a thing for which I am very grateful. My husband is still having technical issues with his Kindle going wonky. He is trying to find someone in support he can understand and who might be able to help him get it back on track. Otherwise, we’re waiting for a deposit to show up on a thing we sold so that we can box it up and get it shipped.

Yesterday I finally felt well enough to actually get started re-organizing the meds in our pantry – a project I told you about several days ago, but never actually did. I made a first pass and improved things a lot. We can now easily see what we have, things being divided into labeled trays and open boxes, such as, “cold and flu,” “digestion,” “current meds backup,” “pain,” “supplements”, etc.

Today I’ll continue making my way around the “supplies” half of the pantry, trying to figure out the best place for things, continuing to throw out and re-organize.

We went from “winter”-to-“wild-thunderstorms-spring”- to “full summer” in the space of several days. We’re still kind of in shock, amazed that we need to turn on our a/c. This is the quickest change I can remember. We just got our snow tires off and the regular tires on in the shop the other day! I’ll need to switch to being out either in the morning or late in the afternoon on working outside now. I would like to check on our veggie garden and our tomato plants very soon.

Today I’ll plan to do the 3 short exercise videos: ‘warm-up,’ ‘stretches,’ and one of two ‘weights’ videos from Mike at plus my yoga stretches this afternoon. I’m happy that I’m feeling well enough to PLAN for that today!

Make this a wonderful Wednesday.

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Filed under Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

Beware the Blobs

Today is just supposed to be isolated rain, but tonight the forecast is for red, yellow, and pink blobs to come over us and try to blow and rain us away. (We are just southeast of Fort Smith.) This is supposed to start late-tonight-into-tomorrow. Something to look forward to. :0)

I’m trying to gear up for my husband and I to change our truck tires this morning – taking off the snow tires and putting on the regular tires. All the tires are already on wheels, but it’s still a big job. My husband promises we’ll rest after we get two tires on. This job will be my exercise for the day, although if I’m not TOO pooped, I’ll try to do my yoga this afternoon to stretch things out. Between the weather and my husband – the forces of sloth have conspired to clobber my new regimen. I haven’t been keeping to my exercise goals this week, except for Monday.

I hope that the blobs aren’t after you, too.

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Filed under Challenges, exercise, Mother Nature

Butting Heads

My ‘sweet’ husband and I are at loggerheads once again over a topic we have ‘discussed’ several times before – changing the tires on the truck from regular tires – to snow tires – and back again.

It’s time to take the snow tires off and put the regular tires on again. My husband always wants to do this ourselves in the shop. This saves us money. We can schedule it when it is most convenient for us. We know how to do it and have done it countless times.

It is my opinion that it’s a good idea, with our advancing ages and decreasing strength and other health problems, for us to put the tires and the lug nuts into the back of the truck. I would drive the truck to the tire place. Settle in the waiting room with a book, and read while THEY change the tires, air them up, put the snow tires in the back of the truck. Then we can put the snow tires and their lug nuts back in the shop for the next time.

I’m the gofer on this project. I guide him and the truck into the shop. I then go to the back of the shop and roll the tires out, one at a time, grab the bag of lug nuts, find the tools necessary to take the tires off and put the other ones on. My husband does the heavy lifting, using the jack, then sitting on a stool, loosening the lug nuts and handing them to me, then pulling the tire and wheel off, passing it on to me. I roll that one out of the way and roll the replacement to him. He really struggles, but boosts the tire up and gets it on the “spokes’ (for lack of the correct term). I hand him the correct lug nuts for the replacement tire. He puts them on and tightens them. We do the same on the other side.

He then backs the truck out, turns around, and we get the other end in the shop and repeat the process, replacing the four tires. He drives the truck outside the shop, pulls the air compressor tire inflater thingie out there, airs up the tires while I roll the tires we took off back to the back of the shop and store them, then store the special lug nuts that go with them, put the tools away, and start moving things back in place that we had to move in order to get the truck in. When this project is finished, even with yoga, online stretches, Tylenol and the heat pad, my back hurts for a couple of days.

So, we’ve had the discussion. It seems to be a matter of pride for him. So guess what we’ll be doing tomorrow? Wish me luck.

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Filed under Challenges, love, marriage

Help –

This rainy, gray weather is bringing out my sloth. I would really like to go back to bed, snuggling into the covers. It’s almost time for us to go and relocate the raccoon. Hopefully that, and another cup of coffee when we get back, will get my motor started…

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Another Rainy Monday


This is an excellent day to stay in. According to Finagle’s Law of Dynamic Negatives, though, we will head out in about half an hour to ‘relocate’ a raccoon we caught in our humane trap overnight. He/she had not only been eating each and every seed we left for the birds in the feeders, but trashed one feeder and dumped the suet blocks onto the ground below the deck. We had the trap set for the past two nights and were successful last night. This is the 2nd raccoon we’ve caught and relocated this season.

We will put the trap and raccoon in the back of the truck, get our mail as we go, then drive out behind our home about 5 miles or so to the creek that runs under the road and let him/her out, giving him/her a second chance to play and frolic and eat ELSEWHERE

THEN we’ll fill up the bird feeders once again and hope that he/she is not part of a huge raccoon family…

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Filed under .gifs I Love, Challenges