Category Archives: Changes

Lesson Learned (Well, Almost)

Zen to Zany

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

The Surgery is WHEN?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Memories of the Dump

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

Pixabay

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

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

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

BNews.kz

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

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

Thank you, City of Greenwood!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Growing a BIT Bolder…

GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

The past two weeks have been full of challenge:

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

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

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

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

taolife.com

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Feeling Grateful

Ned Hardy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cures

Life Lessons by AwePost

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Favorite Quotes

Gathering Patience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes

You Can Cut My Hair….

BlissPlan.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Hurting

Grand Parkway Smiles

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

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

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

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

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

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Gremlins at the Lewises

Gremlin Pictures

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

This week they attacked our phones and our Internet.

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a spray that controls gremlins?

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Getting the Lard Off Report 3/31/2017

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

YourEllipticals.com

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

Later today I’ll do one session of yoga.

World of Female

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

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

taolife.com

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

Coming Clean

Jacqueline A. Lyons

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

SO –

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

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

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

___________________

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

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

taolife.com

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Fresh Look

Macy’s is having a sale, since they’re closing a lot of stores. My husband saw this on the net, and we ordered it.

It arrived yesterday, two days after we ordered. We got the 12 pc set for under $60, including taxes and shipping.  We tried the set last night and were both pleased how cozy – yet LIGHT – the comforter is!

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Fun with my Fish

When I change the water in my fish, Sally’s, bowl, I like to change the decoration. I was tired of the ones I’ve been using, and so was looking around to see if I had anything else that would brighten Sally’s life.

 

I have two soap dishes that I love. One is a man in a tub and the other, a woman. I have the man beside the kitchen sink. I had the woman upstairs beside my sink in the master bath. I brought it down, cleaned it up and put it into the fish bowl.

 

 

 

Sally has been swimming around, sniffing at her new digs. I think she likes having a mermaid in her bowl.

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Ugh

ProtocolOnline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Best Laid Plans…

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

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

Wish me luck?

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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!

YourEllipticals.com

 

BoredPanda

 

I was happily doing my elliptical trainer and yoga until my back started acting up, to the point I’ve been on a heating pad in my chair and in bed, plus taking Ibuprofen and wearing a pain patch. I am almost back to normal now, so I’m promising myself I’ll get back on track with my exercising, too.

Promises, Promises…  Though THIS I will definitely try to do –

taolife.com

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

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

Peace

John Lennon via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Our Garden is Officially Started!

This is the first time we’ve had all six raised bed square foot garden boxes in our garden! We have SIX 4′ x 4′ x 8″ boxes on legs connected by an irrigation system so that we can water everything on a timer. Each box has a sprinkler in the center. The timer is between the house and the garden, and we can either just turn it on to water manually, or use the timer so that all gets watered for a specific amount of time daily.

 

We have fencing plus chicken wire around the garden to keep critters out. The pink tape is to keep deer from running into the fencing at night. We can put bird netting and shade fabric over the top of the garden, if needed.

 

I found SPINACH plants!  Hooray!!!!!!!

 

 

These are romaine lettuce plants.

 

This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Georgia sweet onions.

 

Cauliflower.

 

Broccoli.

I have moved some of my window sill plants to the back porch in preparation for moving them out to the garden. I have some celery plants and some spaghetti squash plants. My spinach seeds have tiny sprouts on the window sill now. I may have some more spaghetti squash plants.

I’ll probably get more plants tomorrow. I want the local co-op guy to REALLY know how much I appreciate his getting spinach plants this year.

We have some issues with water pressure right now on the irrigation system. After messing with things for quite awhile this afternoon, we think we must have a hose blowout somewhere between the well house and the garden, but we were too tired to tackle the problem today. Tomorrow is another day…

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Recharge Your Mind

Recharge your Mind via Cathy Ruggiero

I love this – both the picture and the suggestion.

I have found lately that learning new things makes me feel empowered. And I LOVE that feeling! :0)

Sticking your neck out, trying something outside your usual bailiwick, widens your world, including new possibilities.  And when you’ve added a new skill to your toolbox, you’re also adding confidence. And THAT makes you want to reach out more…

Start the cycle. TODAY.  You’ll find yourself smiling, brimming over with happiness!

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

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…

Yourellipticals.com

Yourellipticals.com

I’m STILL  trying to come up with an exercise regimen with which I can stick. Yesterday and today I started out with a session on the elliptical trainer. Yesterday I pooped out at 16 minutes. Today I did better, doing 30 minutes.

I was doing yoga 3 days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and one day each of upper and lower body strength exercises.  I discovered I was blowing it off mid week for some reason, and didn’t feel as well as I did when I did a session of yoga each day.

boredboard.com

boredboard.com

So I’m going to try doing a session of the elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga in the afternoon. I’ll also try to work in the strength exercises if I’m feeling sassy.

My weight and inches loss remains a challenge. My husband and I are using lots of excuses to eat things we shouldn’t. (Last night it was fried rice from Lin’s House. )  I told him that I was really having trouble staying on my diet and that we can’t celebrate “National Pickle Week” every night.

I had stopped using MyFitnessPal for some reason, and I started it up again yesterday. I left my motivation in one of the piles around the house, but I AM finding it, bit by bit. Once I get my act together – firmly shutting my mouth after I enjoy my orange dream bar after dinner –  I hope to again enjoy weight and inches loss. Fingers crossed!!!!!

taolife.com

taolife.com

 

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

Steps

Hugo - the Sneakerhead - Pinterest

Hugo – the Sneakerhead – Pinterest

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, and I are trying to take care of ourselves. While I’m doing yoga, the elliptical trainer, and 5 lb. weight strength exercises; Mary Lou is walking at the “J”, walking her dogs, doing aerobic exercises in the pool at the “J”, and other things. She recently got a new FitBit type wristband that does everything but cook, giving her the number of steps she’s walked, her heart rate, blood pressure, calories, and probably where she left her keys. I’m very envious, both about her new fancy goodie – bringing lots of motivation, plus her efforts on walking. Her highest reading lately was 13,500!

I’ve done a lot (for me) today, working in the garden, then spreading Weed & Feed on the lawn, then fertilizer in the flower beds, then cooking and laundry, and my simplistic pedometer says, 2922 at the moment. UGH.  I still have puddings to make and dinner to figure out, plus laundry to put away, so I probably won’t get to my elliptical today.

Maybe tomorrow….

 

 

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A Beautiful Sunday

Pinterest

Pinterest

doggieinswing

AbsolutelyMadness.net

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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“If Wishes were Fishes…”

artandcreativity.blogspot.com

artandcreativity.blogspot.com

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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Lesson

“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.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 2/1/2017

funnypicture.org

funnypicture.org

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.

 

taolife.com

taolife.com

 

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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 –

 

taolife.com

taolife.com

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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.

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