Category Archives: Challenges

We Will Never Forget

Patch

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Yoging

Amazon

On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”

Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it.  As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….

SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK!  :0)

 

DoYouYoga

“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown

I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but

g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat.  It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….

 

India TV

“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown

The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!

 

YouTube

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown

I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)

 

Pinterest

“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown

As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.

 

Facebook

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown

I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.

 

Pinterest

“Just breathe.” ~ unknown

NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!

 

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Filed under aging, Attitude, Challenges, exercise, taking care of yourself

Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

I Love Raccoons – Elsewhere

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I love raccoons. They are so CUTE!  Our personal experience, though, living on top of a ridge line outside of town in Greenwood, Arkansas, is that they don’t share. They want ALL of the birdseed in ALL of the feeders, PLUS they trash the feeders!

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

We have a humane trap we use from time to time, when they have trashed yet another feeder, to catch them and then relocate them way to our south, further out in the country beside a stream.

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Once our problem starts, it continues until we catch each one of the family separately. We put them in the same stream, hoping they’ll find their family again, but NOT come back to us!

 

* Jeff Jett posts wonderful pictures in an effort to preserve wildlife and their habitats. When we know who the photographer is, we give credit.

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What If

e.h. – 2 STAR art

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Happy Reunion

We have a driveway that is 650+ feet down to the road. It is graveled and STEEP. Happily, we don’t have any trouble getting down our driveway and up again, but some people do. It’s particularly bad when we have had the combination of lots and lots of rain and delivery trucks trying to get up and down.

We’ve been in bad shape now for several months now.

We used to have a wonderful man, Tommy Sandifer,  who came and used his tractor to smooth things out for us. He became very ill and was unable to help us anymore, but his son, Eric, took over for him and helps us from time to time. Eric is extremely busy though, and bringing a tractor out to help us is time-consuming and costly for him.

We called several weeks ago, asking Eric for help again. A combination of his being too busy and our rain storms have caused lots of delays.

We were delighted to hear our driveway alarm going nuts, showing a guy on a tractor there to heal our driveway – but the BEST part was that it was our original man, Tommy, the father! It’s been over 2 years since he felt well enough to help us. My husband and I both shook his hand and told him how happy we were to see him. He said he doesn’t get out much now, but he felt well enough to come and help us this morning.  He proudly showed us the new blade he got to go on the back of the tractor.

My husband and I just went down the driveway to get our mail and test the driveway fix. It is beautiful!

I’m happy our driveway is much easier to negotiate now, but I’m happier that Tommy seems to be doing well. :0)

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Perilous Adventure

We got our blood pumping on the way to Lunch Bunch this morning. We wanted to change out the decoration on our mailbox. Usually, this is a very quick thing. We take off the old one, put it in the truck and replace it with the new one.

Today we started to take off the old one and wasps came flying out of the holes in the post that holds up the mailbox and acts as the attachment bar for the decorations. We had this happen once before, but we hosed it with wasp spray and hadn’t seen any wasps since. My husband got ‘grazed’ (but not actually stung badly) before we could get back into the truck. We took the can of wasp spray we now keep in the truck and hosed down the post again before heading for Lunch Bunch and errands.

We checked things out carefully when we returned before getting out and putting up the caterpillar with the Hookah pipe from Alice in Wonderland.  This time, no problem, but we’ll remain wary for awhile.

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Filed under Challenges, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art

When

Brian Tracy – MadeWithLovebyRecycleThis.com – pinterest.com

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A Nice Wednesday

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Jeff Jett posts these wonderful photos on LinkedIn. He is an avid supporter of wildlife and wants to do what he can to help preserve wild animals and their habitats. I don’t know who took this fabulous photo, but it’s one of the nicest I’ve ever seen.  Great way to start the day, isn’t it?

The high temperature for the day here in Greenwood, Arkansas is forecast to be only 88 and no rain. (Fort Smith, about 9 miles from us, just had the most rain EVER for August, and the month isn’t over! The usual rainfall for the month is 2.59 inches. This month we’ve already had 11.13 inches. Needless to say, this much rain has caused many problems, and is one of the times where it is GOOD to live on top of a ridge line. (We won’t dwell on our getting our electronics fried in June due to being on top of this same ridge line.) We are hoping that the temperatures will continue to ease and that we can again enjoy being outside.

Our son is still with us, after my husband’s health scare. Thank goodness he can work from anywhere, so he is able to keep up with things he needs to do while helping us create the ‘new normal’ around here. One of the things we’re trying to do is walk around our yard after we feed our animals in the evenings. So far, our results are a bit iffy (The first night my husband opted to mow the lawn with the riding mower while our son and I walked. Last night we made it around the yard once, with my husband stopping to pull weeds or fix things every few steps.) We will continue our efforts – the goal being to get him moving, doing at least a bit of exercise each day, and hopefully enjoying the weather while we’re doing it.

While creating a ‘new normal,’ I’m redoubling my efforts to get myself as healthy as I can – and staying that way – so that I can handle whatever challenges the future brings.  I’ve become lax on my exercising (this time using the excuse of my husband’s health challenge), so I’m going to start with a session of yoga today. I will try to do SOMETHING exercise-wise daily, plus try to get my husband to walk in the evenings.  I’ll also try to do something for myself each day – whether it’s playing in my art room, like I did yesterday, painting a tee –

 

 

working outside in my flowers or veggies, enjoying a good book, or – like tomorrow – having my once per month massage.  I’ll continue my efforts to lose the lard.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Wednesday.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

In Life

Lisa Bearnes Richey

 

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Filed under aging, Challenges, Changes, Family

Relief

Credit – Gardiner Family Chiropractic

We had two more doctor appointments today and finally have answers.

Last month my husband had a stroke. His speech and mobility were affected. He is stronger every day, getting better and better. Our son came back from Thailand to help us deal with this. Getting answers as to what my husband needed to prevent another have been quite an ordeal.

The short answer is that what we have been doing for the last two weeks – baby aspirin and Plavix – should be all that is needed. Neurocranial surgery is not needed. No invasive procedures are needed. We have some issues remaining that require referrals to other specialists, but the big worry is now fading away. We can concentrate on the day to day and get to our new normal now.

Lessons learned:

  • Stay at the ER until you have talked to the ER doctor – no matter what. The fast referrals will come from the ER doc. If you leave, you are at the back of any line for any appointment, procedure, test, etc.
  • Be the squeaky wheel. You can be polite, but keep the procedure going. Call or write the people who can make things happen. If they say someone will call, don’t depend on that. You are in charge of your healthcare. You are the one who can keep the focus on the problem, actually GET seen, GET answers, GET help.
  • Don’t try to deal with life-changing things alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, neighbors, relatives.
  • Be ready when someone else needs YOUR help – help in whatever way you can. It is ALL good.
  • Try your best to stay calm and do the best you can where you are, with the tools you have. It’s all you can do.
  • BREATHE

We are lucky. We can do this.  Such relief!

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Truth

Doug Powell via Marsha Koenig

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Prepare

About Signs

Having a health scare is just that -scary.  Trying to get help for it is a character-building exercise at a time you’re under great stress. Once the initial hurdles have been jumped over, another of life’s realities rears its ugly head – you have to take charge, doing whatever is necessary to get the help needed.

Yesterday was a case in point. I have almost no tongue left because of biting it so many times while I was on the phone making my way through the bureaucratic maze, trying to get tests scheduled and appointments made.

I had been told we would receive calls regarding where and when we should show up for tests and referrals to various specialists. I was given a card with a phone number to call in case that didn’t happen. I was to use it if I didn’t hear anything in a week.

When I called the number on the card, I found that the ‘referral department’ doesn’t actually handle referrals – they give you phone numbers to call – one of which was the ‘scheduling department.’ It turned out that the scheduling department didn’t actually schedule the tests, they ‘authorized’ them. I received another number to call to actually schedule the tests.  The finally scheduled group of added tests will help the specialists figure out what is needed and who should do it.

You get the picture.

It’s bad enough to go through the health scare. The problem is compounded when you finally realize that even though you HAVE TO go through the maze – endure the system – in order to get help, you are your own best advocate. You have to steadily, persistently, keep pushing until you actually get the needed tests scheduled, the actual appointments scheduled to see the specialists, get the results of those, the plan of attack to fix the original problem, the guidance on how to best care for the person who is sick and isn’t in a position to deal with this.

We are thankful. Our son – who lives and works in Thailand – wanted to come to help. He did and is here. He is keeping us calmer, more able to slog through the mazes, phone trees, delays, frustration, attitudes, and emotions, actually injecting some much-needed humor, as well as calm strength.

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Delightful Experience

Poets & Quants

My husband and I signed up to be a host family for a 16-year-old young man from Italy this school year. We have been planning for this for some time now and August 6th the students were to arrive.

Due to a health problem in the family, we were forced to contact the coordinator and opt out. We were really disappointed, but really didn’t want our problem to ruin the year for our young man. Happily, the lady was able to find another family.  We had been texting for some time. When I got the go-ahead, I contacted him and explained our situation, being able to assure him that his plans wouldn’t be changed, other than the host family. He told me he would let me know when he got here.

I figured that when he arrived, he would be swept up into lots of activity and that we would probably not hear from him. I then received a text from him, saying he would like to meet us! We arranged that he and his family would meet my husband and me at a local restaurant yesterday.

The meeting could not have been better. It was was wonderful to be able to hug him and enjoy talking with him and seeing him smile.  I felt like I fell into a hole because I had to look up at him. :0)  He is a really nice looking, friendly young man.

His host family is a delight. Young, energetic, already into school activities because they have two boys, 17 and 13, on football teams at the school, plus a lovely 4 or 5-year-old daughter. Our young man met another boy on the plane who lives in a different part of Italy. He is with another family here, close by!  The three boys will have a blast this year. They are traveling to St. Louis today – after football pics at the school – to catch a Cardinals game.  As you can tell, this is a WONDERFUL situation.

They will let us know the soccer schedule so that we can watch him play. We are making plans for a cookout at our place, and dinner at their place – with our young man cooking! – in the future.

What could have been a sad situation is now a joyful one.

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Delightful Surprises, Family

Ant Assassin!

I’ve just spent half an hour or so assassinating fire ants after donning my cape, goggles, gloves, and mixing 2 gallons of EIGHT bug killer in my sprayer.

These are the odious fire ants that are the bane of my existence for the past couple of years. I never really thought about them before until I happened upon them in one of my garden boxes (about 3 feet up in the air) and they swarmed all over me. biting/stinging me and causing my poor body to turn bright pink, swell up, ache, and itch all at the same time for about three days before starting to subside.

I have since looked up information, thinking that, before I set out to murder something, I should at least know if they do anything good for the environment.

According to extension.org, “Beneficial Effects of Fire Ants. Collectively, ants are beneficial insects in our environment. Their nest-building activities reduce soil compaction and help aerate the soil. Many ant species, such as imported fire ants, are omnivorous (they eat just about anything).”

I’m sorry, but the fact that also eat ME make aerating the soil a very low priority for me, particularly since we don’t need that around here.

 

I read a nice article by a lady who suggests that you pour a teakettle of boiling water down the hole of the mound and that will take care of the problem. That may very well be true, but I don’t think she is trying to treat a garden of veggie plants who would be upset at having boiling water poured on them or almost 8 acres of ridge line rocky soil. The EIGHT spray works well. The fact that the co-op guy in town recommended it highly, after me telling him I was planning to spray it on things I hoped to later feed to myself and my family, and that I didn’t want our pets hurt, went a long way to convince me.

There is Ant-Man from Marvel Comics and the super hero movie genre, but I don’t think he is murdering ants. I’ll just have to fill that gap.

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

Monday Morning

“Innocent Sounds” – Alina Ciuciu

I love Alina’s painting for several reasons –

The subject, colors, and texture speak to me.

My reaction to the painting was to melt into a puddle. It is so SWEET.

It also speaks of the many sides of friendship.  On any given subject, in any given situation, some will share a similar thing that happened to them; some feel the need to give advice; some will comfort; some will listen; some will simply be there with you for support. I value each and every one.

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Be

The Age of Enlightenment via Janet Melendez – LinkedIn

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Goal

Shlreline Primitives via Carol Auclair Daly

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Humor as a Stress Reliever

Sometimes we aren’t sure which way to jump, which path to take, what is in our future.

One of the many things my dad taught me was to stand back and try to see the humor in any situation. He had a bad accident, falling off a horse when he was three, leaving him with a shortened left arm with an almost useless hand. He learned to use humor to keep kids from bullying him. He would make them laugh so hard they forgot his ‘disability’ and took him into their group. He used jokes and sarcasm to make his views known. An example of this was he would say, “Nice skirt” to me – when he actually thought it was too short and I needed to change my clothes. Whenever he was in a group, you would soon hear laughing. He passed his ability to see humor in most situations on to me. Just before he died, he scrawled on a napkin, “Remember me laughing.” Though it took me awhile, I do. What a strong, smart man he was!

I have used his lessons many times over the years. I can never win an argument, for example, because I can either easily see the other person’s point of view, or I ‘see’ us having a ‘discussion,’ see the humor in the situation – or the fact that what we are ‘discussing’ has little priority in what is important in life, and the tension dissolves.

Many times life throws us curves that challenge us on seeing the humor.

We’re in the middle of one right now, and things have been difficult. Our son is now home with us, helping with the situation. He brings CALM, caring, good sense, a healthy sense of the ridiculous, love, and lots of hugs. He has had us laughing several times already and he’s only been home a day.

I found this on the net this morning, and it made me smirk. A good reminder to keep my head on straight and be extremely glad my two guys are together. Together we will figure out in which direction we should go.

 

I Need Real Help

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Resilience

Wall Street Journal – Illustration – Brian Stauffer

 

“I think that life is difficult.

People have challenges.

Family members get sick, people get older, you don’t always get the job or the promotion that you want.

You have conflicts in your life.

And really, life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude.”

Jennifer Hyman

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New Game

 

Getting older is sometimes the pits. Lately, our dog, Amber, my husband and I are playing a new game called, “Who is Worse Today?”  The game consists of comparing insults and injuries to our bodies and then declaring a winner for the day. There are no prizes – just care and commiseration.

Several weeks ago, Amber got hurt mysteriously on her morning outing. She had a badly skinned place on her head, skinned places on her legs, and she was limping badly. We still don’t know if she was clipped by a vehicle in the road at the bottom of our driveway, a cow kicked her, or what. She obviously was the winner for several days. She is fine, now, by the way, is happily jumping into the back seat of the truck again, running around barking at ghost gophers, and happily taunting us with her ball.

I was the winner for a couple of days, getting bitten/stung by fire ants on my arm. Apparently I am mildly allergic, swelling up fairly dramatically, hurting and itching at the same time, etc.

Today it is my husband’s turn to be declared the winner –

 

 

He made a new pvc pipe thingie to attach the newly rebuilt planter to the irrigation system.  He found that one of the hoses needed to be replaced. In that process,  we boil water to get the hoses  onto hose barbs, etc. Anyway, somehow, he lost his balance and fell down into the planter. We had trouble getting him up, but finally managed it. He scraped one leg and knee, and will probably have bruises, scabs, etc. for some time to come.  He acted as though he were more insulted and embarrassed than hurt.

We got his wounds cleaned, put antibiotic ointment on, got him into clean clothes and into his recliner with a glass of cold tea. He is relaxing and reading there now.

I really wish we could forget this new GAME of ours. It really isn’t fun. I AM really, really thankful that so far, no one has broken bones or had injuries that were life-threatening or life altering.

We keep talking about trying to be more careful, paying better attention, etc., but things happen too fast sometimes.

I’m glad that we have good air conditioning, a nice comfortable chair, food, tea, and hopefully a nap to offer the winner for today.

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Good News!!!!!

I told you that two of the 14 brick planters we have built up on top of our ridge line collapsed suddenly. We knocked the rest of the bricks down and tried to prepare ourselves to rebuild them.

We found that 25 years or so makes a huge difference in our stamina and ability to work in the heat. We ended up mixing one bag of mortar each day, laying one layer of bricks with it, then cleaning up for the day. We did this for five days, finally completely the first of the two planters. We put the potting soil we had saved back into the planter. My husband recently redid the plastic PVC pipe irrigation piece for the first planter, so technically it’s ready to plant. With a heat index of 105-110+ degrees, we have ignored the problem.

I’ve been trying to find a real brick layer to rebuild the planters. We had the bricks and the mortar, so it was their time, labor, and expertise we were paying for. The only man who came to give us an estimate knocked our socks off with how much he would charge for the two planters. We told him, ‘no thank you,’ and built the first one ourselves.

 

As you can see, it looks pretty awful.  It DOES hold the potting soil. The picture doesn’t show the new irrigation piece, but it’s ready for planting now.

 

This is the second planter. We have been mowing and weed whacking around this the whole spring and summer, hoping to find a brick layer.

FINALLY, yesterday a wonderful man named Jose Aguirre came up and looked at things. He rejected the mortar we had bought, both the sand version and the one with small pebbles, and gave us an estimate. I was overjoyed that it was reasonable, AND we can do it!!!!

He will come out tomorrow at 8 in the morning to do the job!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that my husband and I don’t have to do it. I was trying to gear up for it mentally, thinking that when we start getting up at 6am each morning  (trying to adapt for the school year with Alessandro, our 16-year-old soccer playing student from Italy comes to live with us and go to school this year, starting August 6th) – that we could get right out and lay one row of bricks each day while the temperature was still in the 80’s.

If our wonderful luck holds, tomorrow we will have a newly rebuilt, good-looking planter to enjoy!

I’ll take pics. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Solution?

I told you a couple of days ago I was bitten/stung – yet again – by fire ants while I was out working in the yard. Apparently, I’m at least mildly allergic, since my forearm swelled up, had welts on it, and itched and hurt for two days before finally subsiding. I’m ready for war.

I talked to my good friend, Nora, who sent me a solution that has worked for her. I’m going to try it and wanted to share it with you.

RECIPE:

1/4 cup Borax

3/4 cup sugar

Enough water to make a thicky syrup

 

USING:

Soak cotton ball in mixture, and put near ant nest. (Apparently, the ants are drawn to the sugar and are killed by the borax in a couple of days.)

 

I will definitely try this.  I’ll let you know if it works for me.

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Filed under Challenges, Mother Nature, Seasons

Good Goal and Reminder

Lettie De Winnaar – LinkedIn

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement, Favorite Quotes

YAHOOOOO!

 

Am I excited about my new clothes washer? You’d better believe I am!!!!

Since Mother Nature fried a LOT of our stuff about 3 weeks ago, including our clothes washer,  I’ve been washing clothes in our kitchen sink. I almost looked online to see if I could find the old washing boards people used to use. Needless to say, we have a LOT of laundry that is waiting for attention.

The washer was delivered this morning by two really nice men. They had a big truck (but not a semi). They BACKED it up the driveway! Our driveway is steep. It is 650+ feet from the road to our house. And they managed to BACK the truck up to the top. The first thing I said was that I was so impressed with their driving.

They took the old washer and pedestal out. Then they told us that they couldn’t install the washer because we wanted to use the old pedestal.

SO – They brought the pedestal back inside, then brought the new washer in, and went over with my husband what we would need to do to install it.

We had to lay the new washer down on its side. (The big dog bed was right there, so that made a good cushion.) We then screwed the old pedestal onto the new washer with much gnashing of teeth and a few bad words. We then managed to stand up the washer on the old pedestal, then move it carefully toward the place it would live. My husband took the ‘moving bolt thingies” out of the back of the washer, attached the power cord and the water hoses. We jockeyed it back and forth a little at a time, until it was in the right place.

We threw in all the towels that were used in the getting-rid-of-the-old and installing-the-new, threw in some soap and turned it on. It actually has a special cycle for towels! It hummed a bit. We re-read the manual. We were supposed to HOLD the start button down longer. It hummed again. Then my husband said more bad words because he figured out he forgot to turn on the water.

We turned the machine off, jockeyed it out far enough so he could turn on the water, then jockeyed it back into place.

Finally we had to put the drawer back in the pedestal. (That screws into place on runners.) The inside of the drawer was disgraceful. (did I mention that I’m an awful housekeeper?) so I got a wet cloth, mopped it out, dried it and then put stuff back in. (I actually like the pedestals because of the height they add to the front loading washer and dryer, rather than because of any storage, so the drawer probably hadn’t been opened since we got the set in 2005….)

The washer is now running happily, about half way finished with the towels. I have about a hundred (more or less) loads left to do – gathered over the past three weeks – so guess what I’ll be doing over the next few days!

I am truly delighted to have a washer going again. I’ve become spoiled and I really missed it.

It will be GREAT when all is clean again!

 

YAHOO!

 

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

I Ain’t Dead Yet

via Jackie Lyons

I have to tell you I’m patting myself on the head right now. Why?

Usually technology does a great job of kicking me in the rear – to the point it’s difficult to sit at times. Today I received an email from the 16-year-old boy for whom we will serve as host parents for the next school year starting in August. He’s from Italy and he plays soccer. :0)

The email said he wanted to chat via Whatsapp and gave his number.

After panicking, I managed to find Whatsapp in the Apps Store on my phone and installed it. Then I tried to add Alessandro to my contacts there. No way, Jose’ over and over again. Finally, I emailed him asking if he could send me an invitation, since I wasn’t having any luck on this end. We juggled quite awhile and finally connected! We chatted awhile for the very first time. He sounds like a really nice guy and I’m looking forward to meeting him in person.

Meanwhile, I was able to assure him that Greenwood High School does, in fact, have a soccer team and that they would be happy to give him a chance to be on it. I think that was his most important concern.

I finally managed, after messing around with my regular contacts list on my computer, to edit his information correctly, so now we are truly connected. I made sure he knows that he can contact us any time with questions or concerns – and so – our adventure begins!

It’s good to know that I met the challenge and prevailed. I ain’t dead yet!

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Filed under adventures, Challenges, Family

On the Way to Relocate Another Raccoon…

Wikipedia

Last night we set the humane trap again, having been cleaned completely out of sunflower seeds for several days in a row that are SUPPOSED to be shared by birds, squirrels, AND an occasional raccoon. This morning a BIG one, maybe the daddy of the pack, was in the trap, calmly waiting for us.

As we always try to do – unless the raccoon is hissing and spitting and trying to bite us – we fed our animals and then put the trap in the back of the truck. We travel about 5 miles away from the house and let them go in a small creek that runs under the road.  I like to think they all meet again to enjoy the rest of their lives together.

This morning the trip to relocate the raccoon was a bit more eventful than usual.

On the way out to the little creek we saw three deer beside the road. They were on my husband’s side of the car, but I think they were close enough he could have reached out and touched one of them as we slowly went by.

Alice McDowell

Further down the twisty, turn-y road there was a bull in the middle of it!

Pixabay

We slowed and watched him as he gradually moved a bit to one side. We went VERY slowly around him. He didn’t move a muscle. I don’t know about my husband, but “I” was holding my breath.

Further down was one cow, munching grass right beside the road.

Motion Array

Finally, another raccoon raced across the road in front of our truck.

Shutterstock

We let our raccoon out. He went right out of the trap and down into the creek. (It MAY be that he’s been through this before?)

We came home, hosed off the porch, and will re-bait the trap tonight to see if there are more.

 

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Filed under adventures, Arkansas, Challenges

In My NEXT Life…

I have promised my husband that in my next life, I will do everything I can to be –

AN ELECTRONICS EXPERT – defencecareers.mil,nz

 

STRONG AND MUSCULAR – so I can help haul things more easily.

 

A PHYSICS EXPERT – so I can grasp what we’re trying to do more easily – forensisgroup.com

AND –

TALLER – so I don’t have to stand on a ladder to reach everything!

He kindly says he loves me just the way I am – but tell that to me when I’m red-faced, sweating, plus huffing and puffing after helping him bring the new TV out of the truck,

  • through the garage,
  • up the steps,
  • through the gate into the dining area,
  • through the gate into the living room,
  • and across the floor to where we could set it down.
  • THEN we had to fight it out of the boxes,
  • stand it up after attaching the legs,
  • lift it up to put on the new support in front of the entertainment center,
  • and attach all the cords and wires and nylon ropes to keep it from falling….

We did it, and he’s working with adding updates and programming so we might be able to watch TV for the first time in three weeks or so since we were hit by lightning!

If we can get it working properly, it’ll be a really nice gift for the 4th of July.

THEN we can worry about whether the DVR,  DVD player, and movie storage system are still working….

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Filed under Challenges, Mother Nature

Can You Say, “YO-YO?”

Depositphotos

Our Internet is driving me nuts!

I can be typing along, concentrating on what I’m writing and then WHAM – no Internet!  Then we play unplug the modem, plug it in again, reboot my computer – over and over again until – HOORAY! – It’s up again!

This morning it’s been down more than it’s been up. I finally gave up and vacuumed the 1st floor tiled areas – pantry, kitchen, dining area, two half baths, utility room and foyer area. THAT’S how frustrated I was. UGH.

I have become so spoiled. I WANT to be able to rely on having access, like running water. Of course, from time to time we don’t have THAT, either, when the gremlins are active around here….

So, I’m trying to type as fast as I can, getting my thoughts out as best I can, before the Internet silences me once again.

Do you think it’s trying to send me a message?

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To Do or Not To Do…

Spreadshirt

I have a to-do list as long – or longer – than my arm today. I know I can handle the one above. :0)  The jury is still out on my own….

Have a wonderful day!

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Adjusting our Body Clocks

pngkey.com

I told you recently that my husband and I signed up to be host parents for a 16-year-old boy from Italy this school year.

Alessandro will arrive August 6th. School starts August 13th.

We have been setting our alarm clock for 8am – feeling virtuous that we then get up to let our doggies out for their morning run. If we didn’t do this, we tend to stay up ’til all hours, sleep fitfully many nights, would sleep in to try to catch up, making our poor doggies wait.

Since our day will start at 6am for the school year, we are proactively trying to reset our body clocks so we won’t be complete zombies, unable to function.

Today we started getting up at 7am. The sun was up, so it was easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t say anything to my husband about what I was doing last night – resetting the alarm – and he either didn’t notice, or didn’t say anything. It’ll be interesting to see when he realizes. :0)

Starting the last day of July, I’ll set the alarm for 6am. I don’t even know if the sun will be up then. That will be harder if it is also still asleep. Hopefully, by the 6th, we’ll be more used to getting up. By the 13th, the first day of school, I hope the 3 of us will be handling it well.

So far, we got up and got the grocery shopping out of the way early. I have an hour more to try to get my to-do list done – unless I end up asleep in my chair…

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