Category Archives: Challenges



I have had a scary couple of hours.

I tried to find out how Benjamin Hall, the Fox News reporter who was so badly injured about six months ago, was. I clicked on an article that said he had come to a Fox News meeting recently. There was a box that said, click “continue” if you wanted to see the video. I clicked on it, and then another and suddenly there was a huge box on my computer screen saying I didn’t have access to my computer and needed to call Microsoft Support with their phone number for a tech to help me. The screen said not to turn off my computer or try to reboot.

I’ve never had this happen before and it really scared me. I didn’t see anything else to do, so I called the number. I started talking to a tech and noticed it was time for lunch. I took the phone into the kitchen and told my husband what had happened and who I was talking to. He followed me back into the office and told me he wanted me to hang up. I did. He wanted me to call a support group for which he had paid to help us with problems.

We decided to eat lunch, ME try to calm down, and then I would call the other group back.

When I returned to the office, the Microsoft screens were gone from my computer screens and all looked normal. I rebooted, and then talked to my husband again. He still wanted me to talk to the support group he trusts. I did.

The tech cleared all of the background advertising off, and the notifications and looked around at things. He thinks everything is clear now.

I had to reboot again to make some enable some of the changes to finish from our session, but all seems to be working as usual now. I’m still not sure what happened, but my husband admitted that he has had the same type of problems before because he went to an article thinking he knew the source, but it turned out the place he clicked on had changed the spelling of the website and were malicious. I will try to be more aware in the future.

Our son has been upset with my husband for years because he insists on having a video of singing and dancing Corona Beer bottles dancing on his computer. My husband and I agree that if you can’t have ‘dancing beer bottles’ (or the equivalent) life isn’t worth living.

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Getting It Together?

House Beautiful

I just read an article saying that we had better get our act together on shipping Christmas presents this year if we want to be sure they get there on time, and the deadlines are earlier than usual. The list of deadlines and kinds of shipping is long, but suffice to say I’ll be trying to have my stuff in the mail before mid-December.

I know that ‘time passing more quickly than it used to’ is one sign of aging, but this is INSULTING!

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It’s easy these days to be down. Things become more and more challenging, frustrating and downright scary in our world. It’s hard to listen to or read the news because of all the bad stuff.

It’s important to stay informed, but I’m determined to focus on the beauty around me – not to be a Pollyanna or put my head in the sand like an ostrich, but not to let it all stomp me into the dirt psychologically.

Every day I look at what talented people have created. I search for it because I find people creating music, books, paintings, photographs and sculpture so beautiful it makes me forget for a bit what a mess we are making of things. It doesn’t matter what the medium is. Someone can look at it and see it in a different way, seeing its potential and bringing forth beauty that makes you cry. What a gift!

People focus on making plants grow or practicing a skill until it’s an art form. Teachers light a spark that causes a fire in a child’s heart that cannot be extinguished. Someone’s speech makes you want to help or turn your life in a different direction.

The fact that we live on the same planet as these talented people is almost unbelievable, and yet it’s true if we only look for it.

We can realize that not everyone is rushing headlong into the scary. We can keep our eyes open, protect ourselves and our loved ones as much as possible, try to help in any way we can, and keep the faith.

As Anthony J. Dangelo said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, character-building exercises, Encouragement

Potting Soil Done

One Green Planet

I finished emptying and distributing the six remaining bags of potting soil this afternoon, so that part of the yard work is finished. My husband started rounding up leaves with the leaf blower, which is another big project. I did manage to get him to come in, rest a bit, and drink a cold drink. I’m not sure if he’ll do another session in the yard or not, but it’s time for me to do my yoga practice.

I was already pooped physically. Now I’m pooped mentally, too. He has always been the technical guy, having worked as a computer analyst for much of his life. Since he has had a couple of strokes, though, “I” am now the go-to on technical things. BOY! Are WE in trouble!

Today’s problem was that he wants Google Authenticator on his phone. The first thing he does when he gets a new gadget is to delete anything that he thinks he doesn’t need. This time it was ‘apps’ on his phone. I finally got to Google Authenticator on his phone, but it wanted him to verify with a finger or thumbprint. He insisted he had done it, but when I looked, he hadn’t set that up on his phone. We got out of Safari and into settings and fought about what he had to do to get it to take his thumbprint. When he finally tried something I asked him to that he insisted wouldn’t work, it did. Then we got back into the place where we could install authenticator. They wanted his apple ID. He didn’t know it. I fumbled around and it said we could use the passcode we use to get into his phone in order to reset his apple ID. I tried to put that in, but it wouldn’t take it. We’ll go to the AT&T store tomorrow and see if they can help us…

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Hooray – TWICE!

HOORAY ONCE – My husband “came up with the idea yesterday” (idea suggested/rejected by this same man several times) that we might drive the trash can down to the bottom of the driveway and leave it overnight for the trash people to pick up today. We did that.

I had all appendages crossed as we drove down the driveway this morning. I wasn’t sure if we would find the trash can on its side with garbage strewn all over the place for us to regather before the trash people came, or the trash can as we left it, still full, proving my husband’s previous point that we could simply leave the can when we left to do our errands this morning.

HOORAY TWICE! – the trash can was upright and EMPTY when we got down there! This reinforced the idea that we SHOULD, in fact, leave the trash can for pick up the night before and that it wouldn’t necessarily be dumped by critters or stolen by weird-minded thieves.


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Trashed Tuesday

India Today

MOST people fight over money, kids – important things. My husband and I have discussions over ‘trash’ and when to put it out – laughable to most sane folks, but an ongoing issue for us.

I” want to put it out either the night before or first thing in the morning of trash day. My husband says, “They won’t pick it up until mid afternoon or later, so we can wait until we’re leaving to run errands.”

Last week he was right. We left it when we went for errands about 9:30 or so, and the can was still there, full, when we came back after 2pm. THIS week when we had left it and started to town, I noticed that the other trashcans on the way were empty, with the lids open. We missed them.

When we finished our errands, we stopped at the bottom of the driveway and put the full can back into the bed of the truck to put back in the garage until NEXT week.

The reason that this is a larger deal now than it used to be is that the trash company gave us a can they want us to use. Their truck guy can pick it up and empty it into his truck without leaving the truck. This saves the company having to pay two men to ride on the back of a trash truck, picking up bags of trash or emptying non-regulation cans by hand while a third man drives the truck.

I would just handle this myself, but I cannot get the empty, much less full, trash can into or out of the truck alone without hurting myself. I found that out the hard way the first time we tried to use the can, two weeks ago. We got it into the truck together, but my husband waited while I got it out at the bottom of the drive. I strained my back somehow and am still working on getting it straightened out. We agreed that this will be a two-person job from now on, and he actually got out and put the can in place this morning.

NOW, since we’re living with our trash another week, he has agreed that we’ll put it out when we first wake up next week. HOPEFULLY that will be early enough.

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Happy Day!!!!

We just got home from Lunch Bunch and errands.

Kay, Linda, and Patty were all there!!!!!!! That’s the first time in WEEKS!

I hugged Linda’s neck when I saw her, and then again, when we left. I told her how much I’ve missed her and encouraged her to come back. I hope it got through how important she is to the group and how much she is loved.

We saw that the local library was having a fund-raising sale next door, so we headed there, getting several books, as well as information about the new library to be built in the future. I asked a lady about the location of it, since we were all gritching about it at lunch. It’s going to be at the intersection of the main street in Greenwood and the larger highway that goes to Ft. Smith. I had forgotten that the library is a REGIONAL one, not just for Greenwood, but also for the whole South Sebastian County, plus Scott County, and the new location will be better access for the others. She also told me that the ideas for expanding the current library just weren’t workable, since the building was built in 1965, I think, and is considered ‘unworkable’ at this point. (I have to admit that I got a bit ‘huffy’ internally at that point, since MY date of origin is even older…. ) I got several biographies of people I admire, and I’m looking forward to reading them. I also found a couple of books about quilts that I’ll make sure get to Kay.

Strawberries will be served with no-sugar-added ice cream for tonight, plus fresh salad ingredients to go with our dinner rounded out our errands.

A happy morning to be sure. I hope that YOUR day is a happy one, too. :0)

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Hermann Hesse-Reader’s Digest

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Yesterday my husband came in and told me he wanted me to see what he found at the bottom of our driveway. I assumed we needed to go pick up trash strewn by some critter or other who got to our bags before the trash people got here. I went out to the garage to find

a trash receptacle left by our trash service! I’ve seen the cans before, but I figured that we didn’t get one because we aren’t in the city limits and that rural people would just go on as usual. You can see that the new receptacle makes our ‘heavy-duty, extra-large’ ACE trash can on wheels look like a small waste paper can. I think this should easily hold the two leaf bags of trash we usually gather in a week.

There are a couple of concerns at this point –

CONCERN ONE – The thing is heavy. It’s meant to be kept in a garage, or close to the house, filled up and then rolled out to the end of the driveway to be picked up. We have a 650+ foot long, STEEP, gravel-covered, bumpy driveway. There is no ‘rolling it’ down to the bottom of the driveway. It will take both of us to lift it into the back of our truck, then out again at the bottom of the driveway, muscling it over to the place we leave our trash. It will be easier to get it back into the truck when it’s empty, but I’m not at all sure I can do it by myself.

A friend wrote recently, suggesting my husband make an enclosure for our trash bags at the bottom of the driveway – keeping the bags safer from critters. My husband wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea, but I’m NOW thinking of re-introducing that idea, so we could leave the container at the bottom of the driveway, driving our trash down as usual and putting it in the container. He probably won’t like that idea, either, but I’ll mention it.

CONCERN TWO – The paper that came with the container says our trash is supposed to be left for pickup by 5am the day of pickup. That would mean we would have to leave the trash down there overnight. I’m not at all sure this container is heavy enough to withstand critters trying to pull it over in order to get at the ‘goodies’ inside. (THIS refers to the DISCUSSIONS we’ve had that are ongoing about when to leave our trash….. )

With all the problems in the world, you would think that TRASH wouldn’t even be CONSIDERED, and yet, some marriages have dissolved because one person stubbornly leaves the cap off the toothpaste tube…

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Stupid Argument


My heart goes out to all the people in Hurricane Ian’s Path. May you come through the storm safely.


If you rated married couple’s arguments on the basis of how important they are, ours wouldn’t even get on the rating chart. We almost never argue about anything important. This morning’s argument, before I even had my eyes fully open – trying to get a cup of coffee – was about trash. Yeah.

My husband was ADAMANT that I NOT put out the trash first thing. His argument is that they never pick it up before 2:30 in the afternoon and that putting it out before then invites the neighborhood critters to strew our trash all over the place before the trash people pick it up.

We tested this theory once before, when my husband insisted that we keep the trash in the back of the truck when we went to town and put it out when we came back. We quickly figured out, as we drove home, that the trash at the houses we passed had already been picked up. We ended up having to keep our bags of trash in the garage for another week.

This is a running argument. We are stupid because we KEEP arguing about it every week. Each of us has a point and neither will back down. This morning I told my husband that I would wait until we could get our mail (9:30). We did that, and we’ll see if the trash gets picked up as scheduled or if the critters strew it all over the place.

Earth-shaking reason to argue, isn’t it.

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It’s Thursday 9-15-2022

“crashing into the picture”- Brigitte Alcalay Marcon –

Good morning!

I got a new used phone yesterday. We were able to install the updates plus transfer my information from the old to the new. This morning we’ll go to our phone place for a SIM card, whatever records they need, and I’ll get a new phone protector.

Not sure what the rest of the day will hold. My to-do list is running off the bottom of the page. Some will depend on the temperature today. Other things I just need to plow through. I’m hopeful I can get some things checked off.

I hope you have a happy day.


Filed under Challenges, Thoughts on a ________

“Playing Possum”

Isn’t this CUTE? He almost looks real.

This morning is nice and cool. In fact, my husband dressed in jeans, instead of shorts, for the first time all summer. We have to enjoy it while we can, though, because the forecasters said ‘summer is returning.’


We caught an opossum in our humane trap overnight. Not only had he eaten all the seed on the deck, he had gotten through our dog door in the garage and broken into the bag of trash we had gathered to go out today. We re-bagged the trash and put it at the bottom of the driveway and cleaned up the garage. My husband will dispose of the hostile possum later today.

Fantastic Pest Control

My bites/stings are larger than these, but you can get an idea of how ‘pretty’ my arms look today. The swelling in both arms is WAY down from my ant bites/stings and I’m just trying to keep anti-itch ointment slathered on myself today.

My friend Linda is in the hospital for tests. They did some yesterday, but didn’t find anything, and so will do more today to try to figure out why she is feeling so weak and dizzy. I hope they find something that is easily fixed so she can feel like herself again.

Make this a great Tuesday.

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Digging a Hole…


My husband thinks we have another raccoon eating all the seeds on the deck, so he’s been setting our humane trap nightly.

The only thing we’ve been catching is squirrels. Our dog, Amber, goes absolutely nuts when we catch one. My husband thinks it’s funny. Amber barking REALLY gets on my nerves – not only for me – but also because her ‘voice’ carries and I don’t want her really annoying bark to bother our neighbors.

We trapped a squirrel recently. Amber went nuts. I ended up yelling (as I do when my husband does the opposite of what I need him to do). I can’t figure out how to open the trap, or I would do it myself. I have asked my husband to show me how to do it – when things are calm around here – but he knows me and doesn’t WANT me to know how to do it. He finally let the squirrel go before I made myself completely bald pulling my hair out. Amber slept all afternoon afterwards.

Yesterday we trapped ANOTHER one. Amber predictably went nuts. I went out and demanded Amber come into the house. (All this was happening while we were trying to bring in our purchases from the truck in the garage, so we were going in and out.) I got Amber in and started to unpack groceries again and heard Amber barking again! I went out and she was back out on the deck, barking at the poor squirrel. I demanded again that she come in. She did – and then ran RIGHT OUT the garage door past my husband, who had let her out the second time, grinning. I yelled at him NOT to let her out, but he did it anyway, laughing. He has a perverse sense of humor and thinks making me go ballistic is funny.

I finally got the dog in AGAIN and threatened my husband about calling our tractor guy to start the hole in the backyard into which I will throw my husband – probably still laughing.

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We just returned from running errands. When we got down to the bottom of the driveway on leaving, there was no mess and no bags of trash. HOOOORAAAAAAAY!

We’ve just finished putting everything away and will eat lunch soon.

Do to mysterious problems on one end or the other – or to the vagaries of the universe – my SIL and I have been worried because we haven’t heard from each other. Usually we touch base briefly daily. I figured she was busy, had an early appointment, etc., but she texted me on her phone yesterday asking if I was all right. I’ve been writing, but she wasn’t getting anything. I texted back to tell her we were fine, and then wrote more, finding out that she hasn’t been getting anything from ME, either. She tested our email after we texted and it came through fine. She’s going to catch me up when she has time. It’s good we have more than one way to communicate.

I hope you find something to grin about today.

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It’s Sunday 9-4-2022

Reader’s Digest-Getty Images

Our Sunday started off with a bang with Amber barking early this morning, waking us up. When I got downstairs, my husband was making coffee (thank goodness) and announced that ‘something’ had gotten into our garage overnight and gotten into the trash bag of stuff I had gathered Saturday.


I got that gathered again and am considering whether we should close off the dog door we have in our garage door. Amber doesn’t use the door. When we’re awake and it’s not actively storming, our garage door is up. Amber sleeps on her bed in our utility room at night. I’m not exactly sure what we would need to do to close it off, but it looks like something we should at least consider. I really don’t want to regather trash in the GARAGE daily and THEN have to re-gather it AGAIN at the bottom of the driveway if the trash people don’t pick it up…

On a nicer note, I got the makings of beef stew into our crock pot first thing this morning. I put extra veggies in it and I’ll fix some garlic toast to go with it tonight. We’ll have enough for a meal or two after tonight. :0)

InstaShot –

Today is DAY 51 of my daily yoga practice. Yesterday I added “The Boat” Pose. Today I’ll add “The Cobra” pose and “Supine Leg Switching”

The Boat
Cobra Pose
Supine Leg Switches

My basic practice is about 30 minutes. I think I’ll be fine with eventually spending 45 minutes to an hour.

I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday and that you have Labor Day off.

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Filed under .gifs I Love, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes


This may not seem like ‘happy dance’ territory for YOU, but for me, it’s HUGE.

I FINALLY found a holiday schedule for our trash service online. I’ve been looking for weeks and weeks without any luck. The powers-that-be were looking happily down on my head today, though.

I have bookmarked and saved the schedule now. I learned that our trash service for Tuesday will actually happen on Wednesday next week, due to Labor Day. THAT I can handle.

Now – if I can just get to the point where I’m not ‘jubilant’ each UN-holiday week that our trash has been picked up and we don’t have to re-gather our trash strewn all over the place…..

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Pet Peeve – Call Centers


Last week I called to get our propane tanks filled up. (We have the main tank which is large and then a small one to bring heat to our shop.) It took me a full 20 minutes to get through the phone tree and then answer all the questions of the person in the call center.

I know that these are hard-working people, but I don’t understand why the people who TRAIN them can’t emphasize speaking in a straight-forward, simple manner as clearly as possible. (My husband hangs up immediately when he figures out he’s talking with someone in another country. He cannot understand them and quickly loses his temper.) I’m better, but I still get very frustrated at the canned speeches the workers must follow. The accent is heavy – with the em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LAB-ble and they ‘shotgun’ the canned stuff, understandably saying it as quickly as possible to get it over with. By the time I realize they have finished the canned stuff and finally asked a question, it’s hard to tune back in. Anyhow, by the time I finished ordering a fill-up for both tanks, I was exhausted.

The guy with the propane came yesterday. My husband went out to monitor the fill up. When he came back in, he was frowning. The guy only filled up the small tank for the shop. He said he hadn’t been authorized to fill up our main tank, so he couldn’t. We would have to call in again.

I gritted my teeth and called back yesterday. I have now ordered a fill up on the main tank (I THINK) and we have to wait another week.

Something that used to be so simple – a 5 minute call once a year – is now quite a challenge with the ‘improvements’ the company has made.

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Interesting Tuesday 8-30-2022

I LOVE this! Every time I see his face I want to hug him.

Getty Images

We are just back from taking our trash for the week down to the bottom of the driveway, getting our mail, and relocating Raccoon # 8 this morning. My husband said he’s the biggest one we’ve ever caught. It was almost more than he could do to get the humane trap with the raccoon into the back of the truck. He said he thought the raccoon weighed 20 to 25 pounds. He was very quiet, almost resigned – so we don’t know if he’s one we’ve caught before, who was basically saying, “Oh, S _ _ t” rather than freaking out that he’d been caught. My husband has now sprayed off the deck and refilled bird feeders.

For Christmas my Lunch Bunch friend Linda got me some foaming hand soap. I put it in the kitchen by the sink, absolutely loving the way it feels and smells. It’s very gentle on hands that are washed much more frequently and thoroughly than ever before. My husband thought the bottle was empty and started to throw it away. I said, “Nooooo! I can still get a few more washes from it.”

When we got the mail this morning, there was a package. My husband had quietly ordered another bottle of foaming soap for me. The timing was perfect because I used the very last of the bottle Linda gave me this morning and was wondering if I would be able to find more. What a wonderful surprise! :0)

My next challenge of the morning was using my phone. I punched in my password, but the phone wouldn’t take it for some reason. I tried several times, but no go. I finally got on my computer, trying to find some help. I decided to try ONE MORE TIME before starting to fill out the forms online for help. It worked. Did I tell you I hate technology?

The day has barely started and I feel as if I’ve put in an entire day!

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Older and Wiser

Let’s Lasso the Moon

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Lazy Monday

Barbara Trauch

This shows you how I feel today. I’m not aware of any sleeping problems last night – I just feel incredibly lazy today.

I made two phone calls this morning first thing –

  1. to our local library to see if they were now taking book donations. We’ve always made a point of taking our books to donate for their book sale/fund raisers, but during the pandemic they stopped taking donations or having the sales. The librarian sounded pleased I called, so I’ll turn my sights toward gathering a good donation.
  2. to our local propane supplier for fill-ups on our two propane tanks. We got one tank for the house when we built it in 1987. We got just another small tank years afterward to power the heater in our shop. We top both off once a year. In the last year they have gone to a phone tree system that is apparently service-area wide. Between bad choices and then too-loud music on hold, it’s quite annoying to get to a real person. THEN – that person is apparently in a call center, judging from the background noise, and English is a second language. It took me 20 minutes of giving information and answering questions to schedule the fill-ups for some time in the coming week or next. Nothing is easy anymore.
A Celebration of Reading

I’m pretty much deciding that my next big project will be getting my books under control – going through what I have, deciding what can be donated, and reorganizing the rest. I’ll continue what I have started upstairs and work my way down. We have books in almost every room, so this will take awhile.

fb/barefootfive – brooke hampton

I wish you a good Monday.

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Tuesday Thoughts 8-16-2022

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 Geert Weggen Bispg̴rden Sweden Phone: 0768492056 Email: Title: squirrel wishes Description: Red squirrel with dandelion seeds Animal: red squirrel Location of shot: Sverige РFilm Daily

He’s making a wish as the dandelion blows apart! I love it.

We have a squirrel who would like to compete on the cuteness scale. His specialty lately is hanging by his feet from the top of the bird feeder to where he can get the seed. It’s quite impressive. So far, he won’t allow me to get a photo of him. I think he deserves every seed he can eat. I would encourage him to enter the Squirrel Olympics if there were such.

Gail Perry

I had a nice chat online with our son this morning. Newsy, NICE exchange, and it started my morning off super well! :0)


I will probably finish the Christmas cards I’m painting for my dear friend today and will start flattening them. This has been a really fun project. She suggested that I put her design, plus the one I did for my local friends, on Etsy as custom card packages. I’ll do that, as soon as I can get some pics.

Today is DAY 32 of my daily yoga practice. My husband is getting into the habit of grabbing his throw when I come into the living room to do my session, flipping on the ceiling fan – so the habit/routine/regimen part of my exercise is building – at least in my husband’s reaction to it.

Home Depot

Hope springs eternal that the leaf bag of trash I drove down to the bottom of the driveway this morning will actually be picked up today. Fingers – and all other appendages – are crossed for success.

Happy Tuesday!

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Challenges, exercise, fun in my art room, Thoughts on a ________

“Good” and “Frustrating”


GOOD – I finished the weed whacking and have just finished putting things away. Now, though we really SHOULD use the leaf blower, things look good (for us.) I’ll drink a bunch of water, then take a shower.

Redbook Magazine

FRUSTRATING – I’ve been concentrating on eating healthy, with lots of fruits and veggies and cutting WAAY back on most meat. I’ve been exercising, trying to make my daily yoga practice a real HABIT.

The results so far?

  • My digestion is GOOD now. No more problems.
  • BUT – the scales are laughing and smirking at me again. :0(


I’ll try to cut back on lunch and dinner portions, eat more salad, drink even MORE water, watch my snacks and see if that gets the scales to quit making fun of me.

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Sunday Thoughts 8-14-2022


Good morning! I wish I were with this seal, enjoying the ocean. Did you wave back?

YARD – I’m about to go outside and finish the weed whacking I started yesterday. My husband mowed yesterday, so when I finish, it will look like someone cares around here again. It’s actually cool right now, at 76 degrees F., so it shouldn’t be bad to work.

Blue Bird Corporation

SCHOOL – School starts here in Greenwood tomorrow morning. There is one main road between our home and the larger road that goes to town, and having two schools on this road has been a real problem. It’s not so much the school buses, but what my husband calls, “the mommy traffic.” The moms come to pick up their kids from school and they quickly clog up the school driveway in front of the schools. Then they think nothing of spilling out onto the road and blocking through traffic.

The biggest problem, other than being really annoying, is that emergency vehicles are unable to get through, so if you have a fire, need the police, an ambulance, etc. you’re out of luck. I wrote a very careful email to the administration last year, pointing this out, and asking if more parking could be set up for the moms off the road so that the stalled cars didn’t put the community at risk.

A kind lady wrote me, saying they were discussing staggering the start and stop times at the schools, hopefully improving the problem. We still avoid leaving the house either before school starts or when it is due to let out, but we haven’t been caught in the traffic since.

Robert Henri-art by Dori Patrick

ART ROOM – Once or twice a day I go up to my art room to add another layer to the Christmas cards I’m painting for my friend to send out this year. They’re starting to come together, and I do a lot of grinning because each part is so much FUN. For awhile I can put everything that is bothering me aside, concentrating on colors, design, sparkles, and more. Such a beautiful break from ‘the world that is too much with us.’ (I guess my middle name should be ‘Ostrich,’ I spend so much time escaping.)

DAY 30 – Today is day 30 of my daily yoga practice – an effort to make my yoga sessions ‘habit.’ Lately I’ve had to make choices as to whether to do my practice or not because inadvertently, I run out of afternoon time. I’ve made the choice to ‘YOG’ as my husband calls it, so I’m keeping my priorities straight.

Weed Whacking Awaits….

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

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