Category Archives: Changes



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

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

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

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

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 You also learn the files you should shred that are outdated, and we’re forced to reorganize what’s left.

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

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

The Best Laid Plans…

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

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

Wish me luck?


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

Hello, Spring!

source unknown

I just LOVE this! Along with the sentiment, the whole idea of spelling it out with things from nature – with the delicate colors – is  perfect.

I’m not sure what today will bring, but we certainly have the weather for it here in Greenwood, Arkansas. In fact, today’s high will be a huge change, at 88 degrees F.  We might even have to turn on the air conditioner for a bit this afternoon!

My husband and I enjoyed the first cookout of the season last night, grilling steaks. It’s been a long time since we enjoyed one, so it’s hard to describe how DELICIOUS it was. AND, since we don’t eat potatoes as a rule anymore, the baked potatoes tasted especially good, as well.

There was a wonderful breeze as we cooked on the deck. The sun was going down. We had both doggies out with us, having one on the long deck leash and the other running free, then changing them. Both cats visited from time to time, then found something to pounce on in the taller grass along the edge of the ‘civilized’ part of our back yard.  My husband enjoyed some iced tea. I had a cup of coffee.

We were tired, but nicely so. We had changed our truck tires from the snow tires to the regular ones. This is getting to be a harder and harder job for us, but we’re still managing. My husband has decided that this is a matter of pride now, so we’ll probably be trying to do this ourselves for several years from now.

We discussed how wonderful it was that we discovered that Chuck Berry, 90, one of our teenage favorites, was married to the same woman for 68 years. We can hope for some time together yet. :0)

I hope your 1st day of spring is a happy one!

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Favorite Things, Greenwood

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!




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 –

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

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…


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


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.





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…



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!


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

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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Yet Another New Regimen…

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.

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!!!!!



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


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….




Filed under Challenges, Changes, exercise

A Beautiful Sunday




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

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

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

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

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



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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Childlike Fun

“If Wishes were Fishes…”

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

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

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

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

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

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




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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes


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

"Monkey Trouble" - Hollis J. Works

“Monkey Trouble” – Hollis J. Works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 2/1/2017

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Amazing Creatures

Amazing Creatures

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

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

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


Funny Image Collection

Funny Image Collection

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

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

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

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


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

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Rainy Days

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Poor Disenfranchised Fish!


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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Family

Recipe Riot


Remarkably Domestic

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

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

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

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

I got an index box, much like this one.



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

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

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

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

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

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 11

Since I’m being honest with you, I’ll admit that I’ve been intimidated ever since I received my new yoga DVD in the mail.  That’s dumb, but there it is. No one is telling me that I can’t just simply use the “Gentle Yoga” DVD set for the rest of my life. The same people who created it, though, are offering a follow-up, taking the practices to a new level.

I guess that’s what intimidated me – the idea of ‘taking it to a new level.’ The DVD has been sitting in the pile on the table by my chair in the living room since it arrived, 3 or 4 days ago. Not only have I not tried it, I hadn’t done the other practices that I knew I could do!

I was frozen in limbo.

Today I decided I would play it and just LOOK at it – kind of like steeling yourself to watch a snake wriggle across the room. Then – talking to myself – I decided I would get my stuff set up, just in CASE it wasn’t too hard for me to try.

I’ve just finished “Practice 1” (of the four on the DVD). It was wonderful.

I should have known that the instructor, Cat Kabira,  would guide me carefully through the poses, giving clear directions and reassuring me that if I tried to do the poses, I would get the same benefits as if I could actually fold myself into a paper airplane. This first practice was a series of wonderful stretches that hit the high spots, head to toe, along with the relaxation time at the end. I now am looking forward to doing Practice 2 tomorrow.

With the 2 DVD set of “Gentle Yoga” and the new DVD containing 4 practice flows, I have a total of 5 ‘flow’ practices and then 7 practices designed to target different parts of the body.

I’m gradually loosening up. I realize that I’ve spent many years getting stiffer and less flexible, and that I won’t correct the problem overnight. This wonderful instructor makes sure to remind you that as long as you’re trying to do each pose, you’ll get the same benefit as if you could actually touch your toes, or bend yourself into a pretzel shape. :0)

I’m learning to listen to my body, breathe into any tight, sore, or stiff areas, and I’m learning to relax. I’m FEELING much more. I realize what areas need work. I’m recognizing that I’m improving gradually!

I now heartily recommend the “Gentle Yoga Flows” DVD by Sixty & Me as a great follow-up to the “Gentle Yoga” DVD.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement, exercise

Hysterical Perspective

Save on Phone

Save on Phone

We still have a ‘land line’ at home, although technically it’s a cell phone with a fixed base. We have this because a lot of our long time financial stuff likes this information, plus really long time friends and relatives are familiar with this number.

We get a LOT of phone calls we don’t want on it – several per day – always in the middle of something we’re trying to do. We stop what we’re doing, answer it, to find no one else on the line, or an obvious robocall, or an obvious ‘wait-until-someone-answers-says-hello-twice-and-then-a-pickup-and-sales-pitch.” The disruption of whatever we’re trying to do is more than annoying, causing frayed nerves, bad moods, intemperate words, as well as a lot of time for us to regain composure and figure out what it was we were trying to do when the call came in and get back to the place we stopped.

After several months of beating his head against the wall, my smart husband bent a new computer language (Asterisk) to his will and created a phone answering system that we’re hopeful will stop most of the crank calls while allowing the people we want to hear from to call without noticing anything different.

We created a list of people and numbers from whom we would like to hear, (using three address books, our Christmas card list, and both contacts lists from our computers) and then a shorter list of people from whom we NEVER want to hear. The new system will check its lists and decide whether to let it ring through as usual, give a message, “If you’re human and you’re not selling something, press 1”, at which point it will ring through (assuming the person pressed 1), or will give you a message, “Don’t call us anymore!” and then hangs up the phone without our hearing anything.  We’ll add to our good and  bad lists as calls come in.

We have it on line now. I was talking about how it might be difficult to know if the phone system is actually working or not, since it’s been quiet all morning! My husband answered that we could look at it ‘from a hysterical perspective’ and see if anyone is on the call log. I fell apart laughing. When I told my husband that he’d said, “hysterical” rather than “historical,” he had a good laugh, as well. :0)

I’ve decided that this is too good to just forget, so the next time I ask him to check the log, I’ll ask for the HYSTERICAL perspective…


Filed under Attitude, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes

Sunday Evening

Best Wallpapers on Paper4pc

Best Wallpapers on Paper4pc

It’s almost 7pm and I just quit working for the day.

My husband and I are working on a program that will block crank calls and will let people we know through with no problem. This is very complicated, but we’re in the home stretch (we think and hope.)  We have the basic program, as well as a list of people we want to talk to, and a way to create another (automated calls, crank calls, people wanting donations, etc.)  Each time we get a call we don’t want, we’ll add the number to our unwanted list.

If you’re a real person and we have you on our list, the call comes right through. If you’re somebody we don’t know, it will ask you to press ‘1’ if you’re human and not selling anything, at which point we’ll hear it ring. If you’re on the bad list, you’ll get a message saying we don’t wish to talk to you. (It doesn’t ring in the house unless you’re somebody we know or someone calling for the first time since we implemented the new system.) It’ll be fun to see if it actually works. (Of course, if it does, we might have difficulty figuring it out because we won’t get the crank calls after awhile. :0)

A second project took up much of the rest of the day. We had four different address books, most of which were outdated, had wrong information, people we didn’t contact anymore, people who aren’t with us anymore, etc.

My husband found an online address book that you can input information, save all your input, print it in any fashion you would like, easily change, add, or delete information, print only the pages changed, print labels from the information, etc.

I worked from one address book at a time. When I finished the first one, I used the second to add more people, change information I had typed in, etc. I did this until we had worked our way through all the address books, plus our Christmas card list (newly updated.)

We’ve ordered some address book paper that will fit one of the books we have that is still good. The labels are on their way, too, along with new dividers. We input names, contact type, addresses, email addresses, home phone and cell phone numbers, and any notes we wanted to keep.

Soon we’ll have ONE place with all our business contacts, friends, and family!


Since I feel as if a truck ran over me, I’ll go fix dinner now and settle into my comfortable chair and enjoy a rented movie or taped TV shows, or both – assuming I can stay awake… :0)

I hope YOU had a good day, too!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Feeling Empowered


I know absolutely nothing about programming or how computers work. A couple of weeks ago, the program I use to be able to make changes on my website, Creative Artworks, wouldn’t come up. Trying not to panic, I tried everything I knew how to do, including rebooting the computer, and nothing worked.

My son is in Thailand, but we can chat through a program. I told him what my problem was. He led me through getting a terminal session on my computer, then finding the program he needed, then running a program, then checking to see if my program came up. It did!  He told me to keep the terminal session open. I did, but one night, when I couldn’t sleep, I came into the office and decided that I would copy the whole terminal session into a Mac program called NOTES. I copied and pasted it, and then went through to get the commands he had me type into the session and I put those at the top of the notes. I did this because sometimes my Mac reboots after adding updates. If it did, or I had to reboot because the computer went wonky, I would lose the terminal session.

Today my computer simply froze. I had to reboot. As I thought, I lost the terminal session. :0(  I checked, and my program wouldn’t come up – the same as last time. :0(

Instead of panicking, I went to the NOTES program. I brought up a terminal session, and carefully typed in the commands at the top. Then I went back to my access program and hit, “retry.” IT CAME UP AND IS WORKING!!!!


I’m so grateful that I have a smart son who came help me, using a chat program, patiently walking me through the problem. I’m thankful that my sleeplessness resulted in my copying what we did to fix the situation into my NOTES program. I’m thankful that it worked!

I don’t have to bother my busy son, who is across the world (12 hour time difference.).

I LOVE it when I can FIX the problem myself!!!!!!






Filed under Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

What are YOU Watering? via Evie Zimmerman,

Neil Barringham via via Evie Zimmerman,

Every year time goes by more quickly. When you get to be as old as ‘I’ am, it is really WHIZZING past your head and blowing your hair!

I’m continuing to try to get my to-do list under better control. At the end of each day, I want to be able to say that I did something of value.  “Value” is a relative term, I realize, but I mean something that has value to ME. It might be

  • something that will have bad results if I DON’T do it – such as paying bills on time, or mailing a book I sold.
  • something that will help me while also helping others, such as donations to the Veterans Thrift Store or the local library.
  • something that will make my husband smile, such as making a huge load of sausage balls for our lunches or snacks, or finding a sugar-free apple cider and ordering it for us.
  • something that makes ME smile, like planting things in our raised-bed square foot garden (or planning for it, or working in it, or harvesting from it….)
  • cleaning out, throwing or giving away, and re-organizing what’s left (something I’m doing a little bit at a time.
  • creating another decoration for our mailbox or metal yard critter with my husband
  • spending good time with family or friends
  • spending time in my art room, playing with some of my terrific supplies
  • relaxing and reading with my coffee beside me
  • doing a couple of sections of my yoga DVD

I ALWAYS have too many things and not enough time or energy to accomplish the list. That’s a given. What I’m trying to do is to make sure that I include FUN in each day possible. I’ll MAKE time to do things I can’t really justify, but love to do.  And I’ll consider it a day well spent if I don’t end up in the slammer for ignoring a ‘have-to,’ plus did something that gave me pleasure…

I’m watering my FUN grass this year. What are YOU watering?


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Starting a New Year

Yesterday I wrote down a goal weight for the end of this month. This morning I had actually gained half a pound. I immediately started feeling like a failure – a long-held attitude from my past.

When I did it, the feelings overwhelmed me for a moment or two, and then I got disgusted with myself – not for the weight gain, but for the ATTITUDE. This year I’m going to concentrate on NOT putting down my efforts to improve.

I’m going to look positively at the differences between the ‘old me,’ and the ‘newer me’ and concentrate on trying to continue my efforts one meal at a time (in my efforts to lose the lard) and one day at a time (in my efforts to move more). I’m NOT going to set myself up for failure. If I’m better than I was, that’s a WIN.

I’m going to try to mentally picture my past failures going through the shredder above, lightening my load, lessening any guilt, raising my consciousness that I’m focusing on being a better me


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

The Egg

Ron Leishman - via Mothering Multiples

Ron Leishman – via Mothering Multiples

Every morning I have a hard-boiled egg, meat, cheese and butter – microwaved –  for breakfast. Lately, my husband has decided that HE should peel the egg for me.

We’ve had trouble peeling eggs. I found a suggestion that if you put a teaspoon of baking soda into the water in which you boil the eggs, the shells will come off more easily.  We now do that and it HAS helped, but not always. We also put the eggs into ice-cold water directly after boiling them. That helps, as well – but not always.

My husband watched a few YouTube videos on the subject a couple of days ago.

He came into the office with a hard-boiled egg. He got my attention, then peeled off a bit of each end of the egg-shell. He BLEW into each end and then looked at me like, “VOILA!” He proceeded to try to take the eggshell off, and had as much trouble as we sometimes do. I told him that even if it worked, I didn’t want him doing that to MY egg. If he wanted to blow into HIS egg, that was fine, but NOT MINE!  I then pointed to the desk top and the floor. Both were littered with tiny bits of egg-shell. He called the dogs over, but they weren’t interested. He finally got a dust pan and cleaned things up.

I had just gotten my concentration back at the computer when he came in again. This time, he wanted me to go to the kitchen with him. He put a second hard-boiled egg into a glass, filling the glass about half full of water. He then started shaking the glass violently. The result was water all over the cabinets, counter tops, and floor.  I just looked at him. He looked like a little kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He tried removing the egg-shell. It worked, but I was still looking at the mess all over my kitchen. He then took a towel and wiped up most of the mess.

Today, when I was fixing my breakfast, he was already working on my egg. He came over in just a second with the egg nicely shelled and ready for our egg slicer. I said, “That was fast.” He smiled, saying he’s perfected the egg in the water-glass technique.

THIS time it worked, my kitchen wasn’t awash in water, and my egg was shelled in a sanitary fashion – quickly and easily!

AND, my husband is still alive to tell the tale…


Filed under Challenges, Changes, Childlike Fun, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, Innovation - Great Tools

Concentrating on Shutting My Mouth…

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

There are lots of good reasons for trying to keep my mouth shut.

Most of the time it’s a good idea to keep me out of trouble for saying the wrong thing in the wrong company. This time – keeping the other in mind – my efforts are focused on not eating after dinner time. I made it last night for the first time in a LONG time.

I followed that with an hour long session of yoga this afternoon emphasizing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”  I had a talk with my husband about helping me carve out an hour either in the morning or in the afternoon for my yoga practice. He is seeing how much better it makes me feel, and was encouraging about my efforts today.


Michelle Cazares

Michelle Cazares


I’m re-reading The Shift by Tory Johnson


the book that initially got me excited about trying to get the lard off and get in better shape. I’m happy to say that it’s beginning to do its magic on me again, motivating me to stick to my guns and start impressing the scales and my tape measure again. I’m about half way to where I think I would like to be weight-wise. If I’m successful enough to get there, I’ll decide if more is needed or if that’s enough. (I’m trying for the middle of a healthy BMI weight range for my height.)

Our low carb lifestyle and our new low or no sugar emphasis should help both my husband and me feel better.

*2 new finds! –

  • Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Light Hot Cocoa Mix. (It’s 25 calories, 4 grams carbs and 2 grams of sugar per serving.)  My husband really loves hot chocolate and he says he cannot tell the difference between the awful mixes he WAS using and this. Hooray!”
  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea – My husband used to drink already sweetened iced tea mix, drinking several LARGE glasses per day. This is 0 calories, < 1 gram sugar, <  1 gram carbs. It’s delicious and we both drink it.

In a little over a year I have lost 40 lbs. and 23+ inches. Albeit slowly, I AM making progress on being as healthy as I can be. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, exercise

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/15/2016

AnimalWallpapers - DesktopNexus

AnimalWallpapers – DesktopNexus

I’m finally getting my eating after dinner until better control, though I have to admit it’s a fight, one night after the next.

I’m doing a combination of

  • re-reading the books that got me motivated in the first place
  • finding better low carb snacks to eat
  • finding more active things to do to distract me before bed
  • drinking more water after dinner

My scale is beginning to show a downward movement again, although I’m still re-losing the weight I thought was gone.

I’m feeling good about my yoga practice.

Most every day I’m doing two 1/2 hour sections of the DVD set “Gentle Yoga.” Today I just finished “Legs,” and “Overall Flow.” I’m beginning to feel looser. I’m beginning to be able to sit with my knees bent, feet under me, without my feet cramping so much, and without the tops of my thighs screaming. I may never be able to bend over and touch my fingers to the floor, but I’m stretching the right muscles to do so. When my back is hurting, I now know that doing yoga will make it feel better. I’m also learning to relax at the end of the sections for 5 minutes, something I feel REALLY hard to do at the beginning. AND, I can now lie on my back on the floor and put my hands over my head and touch the floor behind me – something that was impossible in the beginning.

I’m pairing the yoga practice with some exercises for my abdomen. I’m hoping all this will come together gradually to impress my tape measure, too.

Today I made a new recipe for dinner – Low Carb Minestrone.  My husband came in while I was avidly chopping up veggies and said he thought it was good I was making Beef Stew. I told him it was Minestrone. He said, “But it has beef in it, doesn’t it?” I told him it didn’t have ANY meat in it. He looked disappointed, and asked, “But COULD it have some beef in it?” At that point I relented and added some leftover roast beef to the mix. I’ll let you know what we think tomorrow.

I hope your day has been fun.

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

Dog Bed

Orthopedic Bed - - 3 Shades of Dog

Orthopedic Bed – – 3 Shades of Dog

One of the three dog beds we have looks much like this one. At least it DID, before the dogs made holes in the cover on both sides and began pulling the foam out and spreading the fuzzy side of the cover all over the house…

Today we found some denim in the basement. We had to go back to town to get lots of large diaper pins – a hard thing to find in this day and age. We just finished safety pinning the denim to the top of the bed. It doesn’t look pretty, but Bambi, our pit bull, immediately got on it  and settled down for a nap.

Dog-approved, maybe the bed will last for awhile longer.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Battle of the Books

Libraries & YA -

Libraries & YA –

I spent the whole day moving stuff.

My husband was suggesting that we should have a clear demarcation between office supplies and supplies to USE in our office shelves. I had just moved a bunch of cookbooks INTO those shelves in order to make space in the living room…

I went upstairs and looked at the built-in shelving in the guest room. I decided that these could be used to hold a lot of books. First, I had to clean THEM out, moving my out of season shoes and purses. When those were empty, I started the big reorganization.

Since we’re eating low carb and low or no sugar now, I have a lot of cookbooks we don’t use all the time.

I looked up each one on Amazon and found several I could put up for resale there. The ones I couldn’t went into two places: the place in the foyer where we gather books we take as a fund-raiser to our local library. The ones I wanted to keep I put on the stairs.

When I finished with Amazon and the give-away groups, I lugged all the keepers upstairs and put them in the guest room bookshelves.

Then I started on all the books I’ve gathered for running a small business, plus some art and craft books. I did the same series with all of these, listing some for resale, put others in the give away pile, and the rest on the stairs to go up.

I now have all the  books out of the office! Tomorrow I’ll start reorganizing the office shelves so that we can both easily find whatever we need…

I can tell you first-hand that lugging books around and up and down the stairs is great exercise!


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

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/7/2016

Funny Animals Pictures Images

Funny Animals Pictures Images

I’m actually moving backwards lately on trying to get the lard off.  :0(   I’m having problems not eating after dinner. It used to be that I would eat my orange dream bar and that was it. Lately, it’s like I have a tapeworm or something. I’m hungry.

My weight loss right now is 35 lbs.

I’m now doing better on adapting to trying to cook for my low carbs and my husband’s diabetes. I’ve decided to basically serve low carb meals and then make sugar free puddings for dessert. I’m trying lots of different recipes. We’re experimenting with a lot of low carb, low or no sugar foods. Some of them are good, and we’ll incorporate them into our eating plan. Others we try and try to forget. We’re working our way through, resulting in many mistakes and resulting hunger.

Sometimes my husband is being strong and eating only what he should. That helps ME do better, as well. Sometimes we both fall off and indulge.

We’re concentrating on figuring out what we’re doing wrong and making changes that will work for the long run. If we figure we can NEVER eat bread again, we tend to obsess about it, feeling sorry for ourselves. We found a wonderful low carb, sugar free plain bread recently. It’s expensive, but we found it great for turkey sandwiches – one of our favorite parts of Thanksgiving, and then enjoyed it with sugar free jams and jellies as toast with bacon and eggs. We won’t eat our weight in it, but it’s terrific for the morale to be able to eat bread occasionally again.

So, with all the above excuses, I gained 5 lbs of the weight I lost. :0(

The good side is that with the exercise I’m doing, there are 26 inches less of me!

The new concentration is continuing the exercise and controlled snacking after dinner. Hopefully, next week I can report another weight loss!

I realize that each day is a new chance to do well. Each meal is a new chance to make better choices. I’ll concentrate on my mantra –


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise