Category Archives: Challenges

Lesson Learned (Well, Almost)

Zen to Zany

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The Surgery is WHEN?

I had cataracts removed in September or so of 2012.  I really lucked out on the timing. By the time I had it, the procedure is so routine it isn’t a big deal anymore, either with the surgery or the recovery. When I had mine done, I hadn’t realized that I was blind in my left eye from a completely opaque cataract! I thought I just needed new glasses. The eye exam was a real eye opener (if you’ll pardon the expression.) I couldn’t see ANYTHING when my right eye was covered. I’m still amazed that my brain adapted to that so well. I had no problems with the surgery or the recovery, and my husband took great care of me.

Now it’s my husband’s turn. His first surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd, at 6:45 a.m.  I start putting drops in his right eye four times a day tomorrow.

One of the many perks of retirement is not having to get up at a particular time. It’s a life saver that we can get sleep when we can get it, since we both seem to end up downstairs reading at all hours, rather than getting the sleep we would like.

In order to be in Fort Smith at the hospital at 6:45, we’ll need to leave the house at 6 a.m. at the LATEST. That means we’ll have to get up at 5 a.m. to get showered and dressed and the animals taken care of before we leave.

I kidded the nice lady who called with our time of surgery, asking if they provided cots so we could go on Monday night and sleep there – but it really sounds like a good thing to me. Alas, my hopes were dashed.

Hopefully my husband will do very well with the first surgery. We go back Wednesday morning to see the surgeon so he can see how my husband’s eye is doing and (we hope) schedule the second eye to be done in two weeks.

My husband has always had super good vision, so the blurriness and fogginess he’s experiencing now is really exasperating for him. I’m SO happy that hopefully soon he’ll be seeing well again.

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Hope for the Future

Hope via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

I, aka “The Serial Seed Killer”, have had some successes with seeds lately!

  • I started some spaghetti squash seeds I scooped out of one I bought at the store, dried, and then planted. I have several plants that got large enough to be transferred to the garden and are still alive. I’m not sure if I’ll actually get a spaghetti squash – or just a plant with leaves – but I’m having lots of fun hoping.
  • I also planted several celery plants in the garden. I cut off the ends of celery bought from the store and put them in small glasses of water. When they had a nice looking – though tiny – little green plant, I transferred them to the garden. At this point, some of them have lived and some have died. Again, I have no clue whether I’ll actually get celery stalks or not, but they make me smile each time I check on them. (Too cool and rainy today to check)
  • The latest hope for the future is that I planted what are advertised as “Hummingbird Flower Seeds” in small pots and put them in frisbees (to catch the water) on the end of our dining table closest to the window. I’m hoping they’ll live to be transplanted into larger pots on the deck for the entertainment of the hoped-for hummers.

Here you can see the little fragile seedlings of the hummingbird flowers, plus two more celery ends I just put in water yesterday.

It’s a good thing we didn’t have to depend on my luck in getting spinach seeds to grow. The ‘serial seed killer’ still is alive and well in that area…

 

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Childlike Fun, Gardening

Memories of the Dump

This morning was the semi-annual free dumping day in Greenwood. I know it’s weird, but it’s a highlight of our lives. It also brings back fond memories…

Pixabay

Now that you’re ready to consign me to the funny farm, the ‘memories’ come from dating my husband. We used any excuse to get away together a hundred years or so ago. We spent many days and evenings at the local dump, scrap yards, auto salvage places, etc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sometimes we were looking for a needed car part. Sometimes we were taking things to get rid of for one or both of our families. I never knew anyone else who fell in love at a dump, but then, we’ve never been the typical couple.

NOW we would LOVE to be able to wander through these places, looking for wonderful scrap for our metal critters. Alas, the world is now so litigious, all are closed to the public due to liability issues. We’re really up the creek now for scrap.

One of the many things I love about Arkansas and Greenwood is that they have arranged to make your life easier. One example is early voting. Another is online renewal of your car license tag. A third is the semi-annual free chance to get rid of things that are bulky, heavy, or a pain to get rid of otherwise. There are men who empty whatever you bring (within limits) from your vehicle. So all you do is drive over there, wait for a bit until it’s your turn, drive in farther, and then leave trash-free. How wonderful is that!

BNews.kz

We always write the day on the calendar so we’re sure we don’t miss it. We have a large trash can in the shop devoted to metal we can’t use for anything. We’ve made a bunch of stuff in the past six months, so today the can was overflowing. We now feel we have a new lease on life with an EMPTY trash can for metal!

We have to go back on Monday to finally get rid of a dishwasher we bought that was a huge mistake. We didn’t like it from the first. It really got on my husband’s nerves. Finally, he got so aggravated that he was able to make our old dishwasher we loved work again. He took the new one out, put the old one back in, and moved the new one into the yard to go to the dump. The City of Greenwood is taking appliances Monday, so we’ll finally get rid of it then.  (True to form, he was SO aggravated that he only wanted to throw it away, rather than taking it back to the store or trying to sell it. He said it was so bad he would be embarrassed to try to palm it off on anyone.)

Thank you, City of Greenwood!

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Growing a BIT Bolder…

GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

The past two weeks have been full of challenge:

  1. It was the first time I’ve EVER had to have something done in the dental office, other than exams and cleaning. I had to have a painful wisdom tooth extracted. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I was lying back in the chair, I was shaking so badly the assistant kept a hand on me, to be replaced by the hand of the dentist, trying to calm me. That is over now. I still have some twinges and a tightness in my gums, but mostly I’m back to being my normal mouthy self. :0)
  2. I had encouraged my husband to look for a used riding lawn mower since he gets really tired now, plus over-heated, plus dehydrated unless I take him a bottle of water while he’s working. He won’t do the lawn in parts. He starts and he finishes, or will collapse in the attempt. Since I have trouble with our self-propelled mower, feeling a bit like I’m playing “Crack the Whip” from my childhood days, I thought this was a good suggestion.

We actually found one a few weeks ago. We had to replace some parts (still ordering a new muffler and a new starter solenoid), but it worked! When it was ‘my turn,’ it scared my hair off. At the slowest speed, I feel the most comfortable, but I’ll die of old age before the lawn is finished. I forced myself to stay on after my husband thought I had done enough, finishing the yard. I DID pull the edge of a tarp into the blades at the end, but we got it out and there was no damage to the mower – only to my ego. :0/

I find that pushing myself – either because of necessity or just a good opportunity – is good for me. I can see it from the outside when my friends do less and less, their worlds becoming smaller and smaller. I am determined to keep my world wide open – open to new experiences, learning new skills, testing my courage, moving around outside my comfort zone a bit. The more I push myself, particularly doing things for the first time, I find a new enthusiasm for life and a bit more confidence in myself.

I’m probably not going to do something like bungee jumping or sky diving at this point, but I don’t think you have to risk your life to keep your mind and body active. Just nudge yourself a bit…

taolife.com

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Feeling Grateful

Ned Hardy

I’m grateful that my wisdom tooth chose this late in my life to act up so my dentist could do what was necessary to get it out without scarring my psyche for life.

I’ve been lucky several times, when I had a problem, that the medical community had learned how to deal with it, lessening my suffering. For example, RH factor used to cause death for the mother and/or the baby. I inherited this from my maternal grandmother, who quietly took care of 5 small graves. By the time I had a baby, shots had been developed to help both my son and me.

When I had Graves Disease (a thyroid problem where your body gushes hormone, affecting every part of your body) they irradiated my thyroid and I take very inexpensive pills now that regulate things.

When my gallbladder went on strike, the removal of it had evolved from a really awful surgery with long recovery time to a laparoscopic procedure from which the recovery time for me was about a week. Amazing!

By the time I needed to have cataracts removed, the procedure was a 15-minute one, with my eyes fixed two weeks apart, with very little problem. (My husband has a picture of me with a patch on one eye. He paired that with a picture of Mad Eye McGurk  from Harry Potter. We looked remarkably alike…)

Over and over, I have found that I have been so lucky that by the time I have a problem, knowledge and techniques have improved so my suffering is so much less than it was in the past.

So, even though my jaw is still sore from my wisdom tooth extraction last Monday, I thank my lucky stars…

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Cures

Life Lessons by AwePost

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Gathering Patience

(1) Our hummingbird bird bath is proving to be quite a challenge. We’ve tried several different approaches to getting the water to circulate, but not leak. Today we installed a regular toilet float valve in the trashcan under the bird bath. we hooked everything up, smiled, and then frowned again because it was leaking from the flapper valve in the tub. We have again drained it, leaving all the rest of the system intact. We’re going to spray all around the flapper valve with FlexSeal – the stuff on TV that’s supposed to repair holes in boats, etc., to see if that will solve our problem. We’re also going to shorten the flexible hose we have that goes from the bottom of the tub  to the trash can. We’ll let the FlexSeal dry, and then we’ll test the system again. We’re SO close to having something that we can set and forget – except for extreme enjoyment. Fingers crossed!

(2) I’m trying to dye some pillowcases. I found a gloriously deep purple fabric dye. Instead of being able to do the whole process in the washer, as I did once before, we had to boil water, pour it into a large bucket, add salt and dissolve, then add the dye and dissolve. We then put in the pillowcases one at a time, submerging each. The directions say to keep stirring constantly for 15 minutes, then stir every 10 minutes for another 45 minutes. I feel as if we’re making witches brew! They said to use eye protection and wear gloves. When the 45 minutes is over, I’ll put the bucket in the sink, squeeze each pillow case out into the bucket, and then rinse in cold water while my husband dumps the rest of the dye and water. Then they go into the washer and dryer.

And why am I doing this? We have little bitty foam contoured travel pillows we use on our bed. My husband won’t use anything else. The pillow cases for them are EXPENSIVE. When they got stained, I dyed them, but the only color I could find was pink. Needless to say, we’ve been putting up with them, rather than enjoying them, for longer than we would like. I decided to give them new life by dying them a color that would go with our bedding and preferences better. If this works, we’ll be in good shape for our extra little pillows for quite awhile. (Meanwhile, I’m setting the timer for 10 minutes and stirring the cases around with a large stick of PVC pipe.) I’ve done three of the four times now. Fingers crossed on this project, too!

(3) The other project we hope to tackle today is getting our new-to-us riding lawn mower working. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, so it would be really good if we could get the civilized part of our yard looking like someone cares.  I’ll be a go-fer while my husband uses his smarts to get it going, figure out how it works, and then teaches me, too.

I’m still healing from having a wisdom tooth pulled Monday, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be functional. The horrendous pain is gone, but I still have aching jaws and a headache. Other than that, I feel as if I were run over by a truck. Since I was ready for the dentist to shoot me to put me out of my misery Monday morning, I’m very grateful to ONLY have aching and a headache. Small price to pay for the wonderful work of our dentist.

By the way, if you’re in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, you couldn’t find a better dental service. His name is Wesley Moore, DDS. Moore Dental Care, 2913 S. 74th St. Fort Smith, AR72903. (479) 484-5050.

The timer went off for me to stir my witches brew for the last time.

Hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

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You Can Cut My Hair….

BlissPlan.com

When I was 5, my mom took me to the beauty shop for a hair cut. I looked at the hair stylist and told her, in my most serious voice, “You can cut my hair, but DON’T GET IT ANY SHORTER!”

Pain makes us feel helpless, like little children. We hurt, we’re scared. We want it to stop.

Our dentist worked me in at 10:00 yesterday morning. We had been monitoring my wisdom tooth for quite awhile, since it was eroding. He told me that if it started bothering me, he would refer me to an oral surgeon because there wasn’t enough tooth showing above the gum line for him to grab.

I had been hurting since Thursday. I found out yesterday that – had I called him on Thursday (the last day of their work week) – I still would have had to wait until yesterday because he left early to go to Tulsa for a meeting. I have a gift for having a problem on holidays, spring break, etc.

His assistant got an x-ray of that side of my mouth. It hurt so badly I cried. She felt awful, and I felt bad because she felt bad. I asked the dentist to either make it stop hurting, to amputate the whole left side of my head, or to shoot me. He has the kindest eyes I think I’ve ever seen. He said, “Let’s take it out now.”

He had me bite down on a Que tip soaked in some kind of numbing agent. I was shaking all over and couldn’t stop. When he gave me a shot of Novocaine, all I felt was a tugging sensation. Then he asked if I wanted to be awake for the procedure. At this point, I had used every bit of stoicism and bravery I had to GET to Monday, so I asked what my options were. He said he had a ‘conscious sedative’ that wouldn’t knock me out, but would make it so I didn’t care, and wouldn’t remember. That sounded like Heaven, so I opted for that.

I woke up later at home in my own recliner under my favorite throw.  I ended up sleeping until about 6:00 yesterday evening, when my husband made us some soup.  We stayed up pretty late and slept late this morning.

I’m a bit sore, but SO much better today. I’m just taking Advil, rather than the pain pills we got from the pharmacy. We’re going to run some errands, but I’m going to take it easy today – maybe taking a nap this afternoon.

I’m so lucky to have a kind, caring dentist, who was able to stop my suffering so compassionately, plus a husband who takes care of me when I’m feeling like a little kid.

 

 

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Hurting

Grand Parkway Smiles

My normally ‘bubbly’ personality is seriously strained. A wisdom tooth in the very back on the left bottom of my mouth has been eroding for some time. When I have my teeth cleaned, the hygienist and the dentist both look at it, agreeing that we don’t need to do anything unless it bothers me. He told me, though, that when I DID have to have something done, he couldn’t do it because there wasn’t enough left of the tooth above my gums to grab. :0(

Well, until Thursday, it hadn’t. Since then, I’ve been kind of a mess. My dentist and his staff work Monday through Thursday – so, of course, my problem started when he was not available until tomorrow.

This has been a very long 4 days. I’m taking lots of whatever I can find around here. Ibuprofen seems to be the most effective – plus I started using the heating pad when the pain got me up in the middle of the night. I held it to the left side of my face while I read for an hour or so this morning, and then used one on my pillow for the rest of the night.

I woke up this morning with no pain! That didn’t last long, but, OHHHHH! It was wonderful while it lasted.

I’m about to go and medicate and heat pad again. I’m hoping that we can be started on a fix – with an appointment with the oral surgeon and hopefully some more serious medicine for the pain. Right now having the left side of my head amputated sounds good….

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My Plants are Insulted

No Time for Flash Cards

My poor garden veggies have been/are under triple assault: hail, bugs, and weeds. I just came in from a session of weeding, cutting off broken limbs, harvesting some of the broken/hole-y stuff, pitching the rest. It looks like it will take several sessions to get my plants happy again.

We’ve had a lot of rain (with hail and other severe stuff), then good sun, resulting in all of the problems. I do pretty well for an hour out there, particularly with our new raised beds,  but I think it will take three or four more sessions to catch up. And THEN, guess what! We have more rain forecast for four days next week…

 

 

When you first glance at things, it doesn’t look very  bad.

 

 

The closer you get, though, the more you see.

Here you see a BUNCH of broken tops on the onions. This doesn’t matter as much on onions as it does on other plants.

The spinach has broken leaves, and someone is trying to eat the spinach before we do. I harvested a BUNCH of  broken leaves that will still make good eating, but not ‘pretty.’

This is one of the spaghetti squash plants. You can see the holes in the leaves. I don’t know if that will kill the actual squash trying to grow or not.

The romaine lettuce is basically really healthy, but you can see  broken and/or eaten leaves, plus little bitty weeds that have sprung up in the last couple of days.

Red lettuce leaf isn’t really a ‘pretty’ plant to my eye, but it tastes good IF it doesn’t get beaten down by hail and eaten by bugs…

The celery plants are still alive and kicking! You can again see the teeny tiny weeds, though.

I’ll try to get back out several times today and again tomorrow. The rains aren’t supposed to start until late tomorrow night – and hopefully, we won’t have hail this time…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Gremlins at the Lewises

Gremlin Pictures

These critters get the best of us from time to time around here. They’ll lull us into a sense of confidence and taking things for granted and then attack with a vengeance, knocking the wind out of us.

This week they attacked our phones and our Internet.

PHONES – Suddenly, we couldn’t call out. We had a flashing light on our home cell phone base, but couldn’t get the messages. We tried everything we knew how to do to no avail. I called AT&T today and a wonderful lady named Bernetta helped me. After I unplugged our cell phone base and took out the batteries, she did something on her end that caused the thing to reset. She called our home line while I was still on my cell to test it. She got our “Press 1 if you’re human and not selling anything,” message and we got the call. She was laughing her head off at the message and wanted to know where we got it. When I told her my husband used a program he wrote to generate the message, she said she could sell a million of them, still laughing. She said, “You’ve made my day with that.” She made OUR day by being so nice and helping us make our phones work again. When we got off the phone, we retrieved our messages and then turned OFF that message source, since we have another one attached to our system that helps us block unwanted calls. HOORAY! One gremlin down!

INTERNET – We have a gremlin in our Internet service, too.

I can’t get to my website host panel. This is a problem because (1) I send out newsletters via the panel and can’t get to it. I also can report problems, etc. I can’t sign in. Their main website comes up, but I can’t do anything with it. They’ve been working we me, getting me to run terminal sessions and do strange stuff and send them the results. When I did, they said,”Unfortunately, you will need to contact your Internet services provider,as your traffic does not appear to leave their network.” This is all Greek to me, so I wrote our son, the computer guru my HUSBAND goes to when HE (the computer analyst) needs help. Our son said from what he saw in the dats, it looked like my webhost people were right and the problem was with the Internet provider. My husband wrote a careful email to the tech person we’ve been working with. We’re awaiting his reply, and the gremlin laughs at us.

ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS – We have learned over the years that mice consider wiring delicious. We had never heard of this, but we’re gradually learning to do as much wirelessly as possible. It’s too hard to get into the walls, get under the house, etc., to try to repair the wires they’ve eaten or run new wires. Our new project is to try to starve them out eventually – if we live long enough.

SO – right now we’re running down one thing after another which aren’t working suddenly, and the causes are mysterious. I don’t speak “electricity,” “phones,” or ‘Internet,” so all things are controlled by magic – with the approval of the gremlins. My husband, however, speaks all these languages and doesn’t enjoy the mystery.

Is there a spray that controls gremlins?

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Be the Reason

Life Lessons by AwePost

We are all busy, caught up in what we need or want to accomplish today. It’s easy to move around in your own little bubble, concentrating on getting to the next thing. Every time I see someone take just a moment out of their day to open the door for someone, lift a package, let someone ahead of them in line – do some little thing they didn’t have to do to lighten someone else’s load – I feel three things:

  1. I feel guilty that “I” wasn’t aware enough to do it,
  2. Very glad that there ARE people who DO see the need and do it in such a natural fashion you know they do things like this all the time, and
  3. Determined to pay more attention to what’s going on around me so that “I” can contribute.

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I’m Dumb

flickr

 

While I was fixing our lunch today, I sliced my finger, instead of the roast beef. DUMB.  I was pretty dramatic for a few minutes while my husband tried to get a band-aid on it, and then another, and then another, until we got the bleeding under control. Now I’m just embarrassed. I waited a few hours, then cut the three band-aids off carefully, replacing them with one large band-aid I could wrap around the area better. I covered it with some vet wrap so that I now don’t have to worry about hitting it and causing a problem again. I’m even typing now, albeit clumsily. We’re bowling with friends tonight. It’s a good thing I’m right-handed…

 

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Getting the Lard Off Report 3/31/2017

Today is DAY 5 our renewed efforts on eating healthier and moving more.

YourEllipticals.com

I want to get started gathering ‘goodies’ for the new hummingbird bird bath, but I acted like an adult (at least more than usual :0) ) and did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I’m listing all my food, plus my exercise, on MyFitnessPal.com, getting a more realistic idea of the amount I’m eating and making sure it’s 1200 calories or less, and 40 grams of carbohydrates or less, each day.

Later today I’ll do one session of yoga.

World of Female

I’ll report to you on Wednesday of next week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you that we’re definitely making progress again.

If nothing else, I’m feeling better than I’m TRYING.

taolife.com

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Coming Clean

Jacqueline A. Lyons

Okay. My husband and I have been doing a TERRIBLE job lately on following our low carb diet, exercising, and getting healthier. We have lots and lots of excuses, none of which actually hold water when held up to the light – (to mix a bunch of metaphors and clichés’.)

SO –

Last night we agreed that Monday morning we’re going to start being adults again. To this end, we enjoyed KFC last night, and we’re going to Subway tonight for the condemned  “last meal.”

This morning I started getting ready to be seriously good. I made a careful list of menus for the coming week and a grocery list to go with it. When we returned from shopping, I started cooking.

  • I have a rump roast in the crock pot which is starting to smell really good.
  • I hard-boiled a dozen eggs
  • I cut up a huge bowl of celery to go with the baby carrots and cherry tomatoes we eat with a low carb dip.
  • I made sugar-free banana puddings for my husband
  • And sugar-free chocolate puddings for me.
  • I made low carb sausage balls.

___________________

  1. I’m going back to listing everything I eat on MyFitnessPal.com, trying to stay under 40 carbs and 1200 calories per day. I’m building in a reward of an orange dream bar each evening into the count, as I did before.
  2. I’m going to start drinking a lot more water, trying for at least 48 oz daily.
  3. I’m going back to doing whatever amount of time I can on the elliptical every day.
  4. I’m going to do at least one lesson in yoga daily.

I KNOW I can do this. NO MORE EXCUSES! NO MORE WEAKNESS!  Wish me luck?

taolife.com

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The Garden Survived!

Pixir Tutorial

We had several HARD storms yesterday afternoon, evening, and into early this morning. There was a lot of wind and DRIVING rain. I was afraid of what I might find in the garden with my tender, new plants.

 

 

 

The part of the garden that had the hardest time was my labels! They’re all dirty – I guess from blowing rain and Mel’s mix. I’ll have to clean them up at some point, but today was too busy. Here you can see the three raised bed boxes on the north side of the garden. The plant that had the hardest time was the red leaf lettuce. Some of it looks pretty beaten down, but I’m hoping they’ll perk up.

 

The Georgia Sweet Onions are doing well. The empty square will hold more spaghetti squash plants soon, I hope.  I planted three tomato plants today, plus one celery plant and three spaghetti squash plants today.

 

My spinach plants and Romaine lettuce plants are doing fine, so far. I’ll be able to start harvesting the outer leaves soon. On the right is a new spaghetti squash plant I transplanted today from the window sill.

 

I started two squares of radishes.

 

I have broccoli and cauliflower plants. You can see some of the celery plants on the upper left of this photo.

We have more forecast severe storms coming Sunday night into Monday morning, so fingers will be crossed again.

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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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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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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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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