Category Archives: Changes

New Phones, New Challenges

iPhone 13 SE

We’ve been out since all afternoon running errands. The biggest thing we did was to iPhone 13 SEs. My husband wanted to go in and check it out because of an ad he saw on his computer. Usually we don’t qualify for one reason or another, and it was the same this time. The offer was for people on cell phone plans who basically had iphone 8’s or newer. We didn’t qualify because we’re on a cell phone plan as the basic house phone which has several stations all over the house.

We priced just getting new phones rather since we didn’t qualify for the trade-in’s or special deals and it was only a dollar or two more per month than the ‘deal.’ The biggest cost was the sales tax today plus the ‘upgrade fee’ for any changes on your plan. We decided to bite the bullet and get the new phones.

The lady who helped us was really nice and very patient with us. She got us the best deal she could, upgraded the new phone that needed it, transferred our data, etc.

My husband has been fuming for half an hour or so that ‘someone’ was talking to him through the phone and wouldn’t stop. It was some kind of verification message. Instead of listening to it, he just wanted it to stop. We played with all the settings having to do with sounds, notifications, etc., thought we had it turned off and then she would start talking again. He finally listened and found out the lady wanted him to verify that he wanted a Google for business or not. He couldn’t find the keypad, so I helped him with that. He hit “one” for “NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!” and she miraculously stopped. HOORAY!!!!!

We didn’t get any paperwork with the phone, so will go online and see what general things we can find. The one thing I tried to look up talked about a button on the left side of the phone that you moved the switch so the orange showed. I couldn’t find any button like that, so gave up. I’ll study my phone more later.

My technical ineptness is rearing its ugly head again. If all else fails this evening, we’ll go back to the nice lady and see if she can get our phones to be on vibration and silent mode.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes

Nice Thursday

My husband is working on all of our computers, trying to get them to “see” each other, share files, etc. This is causing daily changes to my computer and is quite a challenge for me, since I’m am almost a technophobe.

Today the type on this page is humongous, rather than the almost-too-small-to-work-with type I’ve been working with. I have no clue how to change it. Also, the way I find and save and use images here is completely different. When I ask my husband about it, he says he hasn’t done anything to change those.

So the sweet gif I found of a cat massaging a dog’s head that I wanted to use for this post to talk about the massage I’m getting this morning is saved somewhere not to be found. I thought maybe it was because it was a gif rather than a jpg extension, so tried to save a jpg. That didn’t work, either. My images aren’t all showing in the list and aren’t in alphabetical order, so trying to use anything is a real challenge.

He will be working on my computer again today, so I’m hoping things will eventually straighten out. I may also end up bald from tearing my hair out…

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Thoughts on a ________

Frustration on a Rainy Wednesday

Rice on Your Head

My husband is still in a death struggle with the shop computer. I thought there was a TV problem, and then an Internet problem, yesterday. I finally found out after dinner that it was a HUSBAND problem. HE had made it so the TV didn’t work and my computer didn’t work so that he could hopefully increase the download speed for stuff he was trying to get on the shop computer. Communication is one of the things that has suffered since his strokes.

ANYWAY, we talked about it and agreed that I would have at least a short time at the computer today before he turned everything else off again for the day. Hopefully he will get all the stuff he needs on the shop computer today and he can continue to tweak it however he wants and I can get back to normal.

It’s rainy again today, so I won’t be spending much time outside. Amber came up to greet me this morning while I was making the bed. I pet her and she was SOAKED. I got a towel and dried her off the best I could before coming downstairs. She really doesn’t seem to mind. Her hair is thick enough she might not even realize how wet she is! She greeted me with a huge smile, so I guess HER morning is off to a fun start.

I hope that your day is a good one. Once I do a couple more posts, I’ll watch for you again tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Sad Anniversary Today 2-5-2023

Jade Wheaton Lewis

A SHORT HISTORY: We married in 1969. Between then and 1977, we lost three babies to miscarriages. (Rh Factor) In 1978 we had our son. In ’79, we lost another baby to miscarriage. In ’80 we had our daughter and our family was complete. Two months later, on February 5,1981, we lost our daughter, Jade, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

“Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.” The peak incidence of SIDS occurs between 1 – 4 months of age; 90% of cases occur before 6 months of age. Babies continue to be at risk for SIDS up to 12 months.”

She was “perfect,” and she was gone. Our minister said, “Jade was born, lived a little while, and then died.” I couldn’t listen to more.

The pain was so intense that we both seriously considered suicide, then decided we had to live for each other and for our son. I read everything I could find on SIDS, and discovered the experts knew very little about it – why it happens or what can be done to prevent it. The experts also told us we were lucky that our son was only 2 – that he wouldn’t understand or remember it. Soon after we lost her, he took Jade’s blanket across the room to the trash can, threw it in and said, “Broken.” So much for the experts.

Lasting effects –

  1. I still can’t hold a baby in my arms without crying, even after all this time.
  2. I worry for pregnant women or women with babies under 1 year
  3. I can’t go to a funeral without falling apart and bringing all the attention to me, so I try to show I care in different ways.

There ARE some positive effects, though –

  1. I have learned that there is a core way down deep inside that enabled me to not only survive but to enjoy life again.
  2. I have looked at life differently since then, cherishing the people in my life, and all the things that are beautiful and bring me pleasure.
  3. I am much more forgiving, even though I threaten my husband from time to time of having the backhoe guy on speed dial to dig a hole for him in the back yard.
  4. Our family grew closer and stronger.

A really frustrating thing is that the experts know little more now than they did 42 years ago about SIDS. There are now baby monitors that are very helpful to parents. The experts now suggest that babies sleep on their backs. I haven’t found anything more about the shots that babies get at two months. I will never forget, though, that our pediatrician came out to the house when he heard we had lost her, and cried with us.

I hope that one day I will see Jade again, finding that her spirit is healthy and happy; and that one day the mystery of SIDS is solved.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, Family, love



I actually have to check my watch to see what day it is. THEN I check a calendar to see if anything is written there. THEN I see what the weather is doing and the forecast. THEN I check my ‘to do’ list. THEN I check with my husband. This last is the deciding factor.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, Cherishing the Quiet Day, Funny Signs - Humor

Making a Bit of Headway

  1. My husband suggested that we might leave our 96-gallon trash can toward the bottom of the driveway, putting our bags of trash in the back of the truck as we have always done and putting them into the can and wheeling the can down to the street before pickup each week. Right before lunch we drove down to get the can. We wheeled it up to ‘behind the robot’ and I used a LONG bungie cord to secure it to the welded edge of a pole so it shouldn’t blow away in the gusty winds we sometimes have.
  2. Since we’ve had some washing rains lately, my husband put a flat-bottomed shovel in the back of the truck so we could move some of the gravel ‘chat’ off the street and back onto the driveway. We discovered that a little of THAT activity goes a long, long way. We took turns, and it was really hard going, using the shovel to break up the chat and then move it onto the driveway. We lasted about half an hour before pooping out. This will take SEVERAL sessions when the weather is cooperative to complete.
  3. We inadvertently paid Hot Rod Magazine twice answering renewal notices. Last month we got TWO copies of the same magazine. I asked my husband to see what he could do. I discovered today, when we got yet another notice that our subscription was about to end, that he had done nothing. Thankfully, he still had the two magazines. I got online and contacted their customer service people via the ‘leave a message’ thingie on their website. I gave all the info on the two subscriptions, as them to merge the two into one so he got only one copy each month, email him with a new subscription expiration date, and STOP sending us more notices to pay our bill. I thought it might be like throwing a bottle in the ocean, but he just told me he got an email from them saying they are ‘looking into it!’ Hooray!

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises


Practical Psychology

I think I’ve finally done it. Oddly enough, I’m convinced I’ve done it because I HAVEN’T been able to exercise lately and I am thinking about it and MISSING it. YES! You read that right. I AM!

In my former life, The fact that I’ve not been able to continue my ‘however-many-days-in-a-row’ streak and continue putting starts on my calendar would have caused me to give it up. My current feelings are more mature (yeah, I know – hard to believe), but I’m simply looking forward to feeling good enough to be able to do a session of yoga. Each day I’ve been closer, and this afternoon might be the time I can do it again. And also, hopefully, when I’m able to do that, I’d like to start with my alternating warm-up and weights videos one day and elliptical trainer the next again.

I’m writing this day down on my calendar because it’s hard to believe that I’m not having an out-of-body experience or something. It doesn’t MATTER that I haven’t been able to keep up my ‘streak.’ I won’t even keep track of it anymore. The IMPORTANT thing is that I’m doing ONE DAY AT A TIME.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE – I just received a text from Patty, Linda’s daughter. She said that Kay had called her and said she was sick and wouldn’t be at Lunch Bunch today. Patty is out of town and said that Linda wouldn’t be there, either. I told my husband that Lunch Bunch was called off for the week. He said, “We could still go to the Waffle House.” I thanked him for the offer, but told him (again) that I was really trying to eat right and that when we had a chance to do that, we should, and that I would rather just stay home today and eat our normal lunch. I managed to NOT eat anything in-between meals yesterday, had bought some dried fruit to eat if I DID eat between meals, and that I was trying to take one day at a time, eating right and doing my exercises.

It’s funny. I’m older than dirt, but am just NOW starting to act a bit more like an adult. :0) The question of how long does it take to build a habit varies a lot from person to person. The answer for ME is around 172 days – at least on exercising. The ‘habit’ of eating right is just in its infancy for me, but I won’t count.

Kris Carr On Twitter

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

A Bit of Progress This Morning

Clipart Library

My husband has been having a computer problem. As I understand it (only a relative term), he wants to delete a program on his computer and replace it with another one. The computer won’t allow him to do this. It says my husband doesn’t have ‘permission.’

He finally got on chat with Microsoft support and wanted me to type for him. (Since his strokes, he really has trouble, so this is an easy thing for me to do. The guy on chat asks a question – my husband dictates an answer – I type it. It becomes more troublesome as we go, though. My husband gets frustrated when the guy asks for something that doesn’t make sense to him. I type whatever my husband answers, and then the guy on chat gets confused. Things escalate. To say this becomes ‘stressful’ is an understatement. My contribution is to keep my mouth firmly shut and do or type what my husband says, trying to remain calm.

We got to the point where the Microsoft guy was saying the problem was beyond his scope, then my husband asked if he could help us add another user. He did that, and we thanked him.

So now my husband is wrestling with another part of the problem intensely, so I’m keeping a low profile at my computer while he mutters at his.

Now I’ll drive down to get the mail and fix us some lunch.

One step at a time…

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes

Is Anything Ever Simple?

Health Shots


I received a call from our local clinic awhile ago. The receptionist said they were having trouble verifying my new Humana card. She said there was a problem about my birthdate and my coverage. I called Humana to find there was an estimated 20 minute hold time. I then went on the website and found a chat option. After verifying that the information was correct, and also finding that proof of my coverage was a 20 page pdf, (arrrgh) I called the clinic back. I couldn’t get through, so left my number. (arrrgh)

They called back and I was passed from one person to another, but the lady who had called me still wasn’t available. (arrrrgh) The lady I was talking to went ahead and tried to help me. I told her what Humana had said. I told her that my birthdate hadn’t changed in almost 76 years now, and that my information on the card was correct, according to Humana. There was a number on the back of the card for any questions from the provider. The lady told me that my ID number was different. I read her what was on my card and she verified that was the number she was seeing. I told her that was the same number that was on the last statement I had received from Humana. She said they would call the number and see if they could resolve the problem.

I’ve had the same insurance for almost 11 years now. This is definitely under the categories: “nothing is ever simple” and “it’s always SOMETHING.”

End of rant.


Filed under Challenges, Changes


Vector Stock


I’ve been alternating between a warm-up video and weights exercise video one morning and a session on my elliptical trainer on the next. The sessions on the elliptical have been a character-building exercise, to say the least, because they’ve been done in silence.

My MP 3 player was ‘lost,’ then found – only to discover it was ’empty,’ having dumped all the music recorded on it into the ozone. My husband tried to fix it, but finally pronounced it ‘toast.’ I was going to try to find another one on the net.

We went to Lunch Bunch yesterday, and Patty told me about Pandora – that it was free to use on my phone. I downloaded that when we got home, but the only earbuds I have are too large and hurt my ears. I ordered a cheap, but compatible pair that I should receive soon.

Meanwhile, my husband found another MP3 player on one of the high shelves in the office! Apparently, years ago when we ordered the one I’ve been using, we ordered TWO. It was still sitting there, ready to be used, except the black fabric-like covering on the earbuds was crumbling off. I cleaned up the earbuds while he figured out how to load music onto the player. He actually found a list of some of the songs I like on HIS computer and downloaded them for me!

SO –

  • I switched the earphones I had been using on the old MP3 player to my computer, so now I won’t have to wear the huge, clunky ones that fall off my head when I’m trying to do the online exercise videos.
  • I put the new MP3 player on the charger so it will be ready for me to use later this morning.
  • I will receive the new earbuds I ordered for my phone, on which I now have a Pandora account and access to lots of music when I’m out



Filed under Challenges, Changes

Do That

I’m finally doing this more. I try to make sure that I have a bit of time for myself each day, where I ignore all the ‘shoulds’ and just do something that makes me smile – or at least, calm down – in that life is sometimes a challenge, isn’t it.

I have a mental list of what makes me smile – (in random order, as I think of them) –

  • Playing in my art room – trying a new technique – playing with color and texture
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Being outside, working in the yard
  • Watching a favorite movie
  • Spending time with a good friend
  • Shutting my eyes and dreaming
  • Talking with our son
  • Spending quality time with my husband
  • Finding creative people on the Internet
  • Writing my blog

My goal is to spend more and more time smiling. What makes YOUR soul happy?


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cherishing the Quiet Day

Wonderful Afternoon

I’ve had a good afternoon. I –

  • Went to the post office to mail our Christmas cards, Christmas packages, etc.
  • Stopped at the UPS box on the square to return a package for my husband
  • Then went to my friend, Linda’s, new place at the retirement center

I was pleasantly surprised at the retirement place. It was nicely decorated and had a huge, welcoming foyer. Two ladies met me, along with two dogs. One was named Lucy and had lived at the place all her life. She was kind of the ‘communal dog, greeter, and all around friendly, SWEET doggie.’ The second dog was some kind of ‘doodle’ and was the dog of the owner. The dog’s name was Jacob and he was friendly, too. I remembered the owner, I had met her years before. She’s a good friend of Linda’s, and owns both the place where Linda now has an apartment, plus the local nursing home. The other lady was her daughter, who is the active manager of the place.

There is a kitchen, dining area, and living room type place plus the manager’s office as you walk in. Linda’s apartment was straight down to the end of the main center hall. I passed a pool table, a kind of game room, and a nice sitting area with doors on both sides where one could visit and see outside.

Linda’s dog, Bentley, met me at her door. We all had a good visit. Bentley likes the other dogs and so has made friends for the first time in his life. I found out that she does not have her car there, so I’ve now offered to take her where she would like to go. We’ll just have to plan carefully, so I don’t have to leave my husband alone for a long time. We just need to adapt a bit. Linda knows several people there already and is meeting others. One of the ladies goes to her church and took her with her to church yesterday, the first time in a LONG time that Linda has gone. She was greeted like a much-missed celebrity by the Sunday school group and then by people after the church service – a wonderful reunion.

Even though it will take her awhile to adapt, I think she’s in a good place now. Her world can open up again, rather than continuing to implode. She was really isolated in her former place although her daughter did her very best to see she had everything she needed and was taken where she needed to go. She can now be social if she wants or be private when she needs to.

She seemed to be delighted with the jigsaw puzzle I brought as a housewarming gift. She can either do it by herself in her place or take it to one of the tables in one of the common areas and invite others to help. She might even learn to be a pool shark! :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Changes, Friendship



I have had a scary couple of hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes


“KF5UTC” is my husband’s ham radio ID. He was really excited about getting the best set-up he could when he started this hobby several years ago. He joined the Ft. Smith Ham Radio Club, studied and took the tests, got his license, etc.

We’ve had a series of antennas, each able to access a different band. We laboriously put them up and he played with them, trying to contact people. He was thrilled when he was able to talk to others, find out where they were (sometimes in other countries!)

We got all kinds of equipment – ham radio, headphones, an antenna switch, antenna controller, signal analyzer, and numerous other things he has enjoyed over the years.

Suddenly, one day last week, he decided to give away the 40 foot ham radio tower. Yesterday, George and a friend came, laid the tower down, dismantled it, and took it, the controller, a signal analyzer and various paperwork away.

The photo ABOVE shows the tower as it was yesterday.

This is what it looks like today. All you can see is the slab we poured as a base for the tower.

As you can see, we poured it in July of 2017.

“KF5UTC” still has an antenna on the well house roof, and another on the roof of our house, plus the ham radio and the antenna switch. If he decides to use it, he can still contact more local operators.

Leave a comment

Filed under Changes

“The Times They are a-Changin'”

This is a 40 foot ham radio antenna tower we’ve had for several years now. It used to be right next to my greenhouse.

Since the times ARE, indeed, changin’, when a storm really battered my greenhouse a couple of years ago, we dismantled it, saved what we could, and hauled off the rest.

Yesterday my husband decided to contact the head of the local ham radio group, telling him that if someone wanted the tower, and was willing to bring people and trucks, dismantle it and haul it off, they could have it.

A man triggered our driveway detector this morning. He said he tried to email, but his equipment wasn’t working right, so he just drove out to see the tower. He was really nice. His name was Rusty and he was just starting out in ham radio. It turned out that the tower was too much for him at this point, but it pointed out to me that we probably should prepare for several people looking and for the tower to be gone pretty soon.

My husband has had a good time with ham radio. We have another antenna on our well house roof that he can use if he wants to, but he hasn’t shown interest in the subject at all for a year or two now.

Times and needs change. I hope we can find someone who is thrilled to get it – just for the price of dismantling it and taking it away.

Leave a comment

Filed under Changes

Trashed Tuesday

India Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Happy Day!!!!

We just got home from Lunch Bunch and errands.

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, Friendship


Our son took this photo and posted this on our chat page yesterday morning. This was the view out his home office/music room. There are maintenance people working on the top of the building, taking advantage of every clear day they can to make repairs during the rainy season, but this would sure get your attention, wouldn’t it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Changes

New Dishes

We bought two sets of new dishes while we were out. I’ve just finished washing them and putting them in the cabinet. They are Corelle, (you have to really work at it to chip or break them) so I will no longer have to bite my tongue when another piece bites the dust. We’ll pack up the old set of stoneware. I’ll call to see if our Veterans’ Thrift Store in Fort Smith is taking donations again now or not.

Leave a comment

Filed under Changes

“Good” and “Frustrating”


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

Redbook Magazine

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

The results so far?

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


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

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Dealing – Not Dealing


DEALING – Sometimes I want to get involved, doing what I can to change the world for the better. I want to engage, to discuss things that are happening, trying to figure out compromises and solutions. I want to find areas in which we agree, or at least “civil-ly” agree to disagree, and that we can still value one another whether we agree or not.

Alamy_BBC Science Forcus Magazine

NOT DEALING – More often these days, I put my head in the sand, trying to escape from all the hurt and ugliness – what appears to be HATE at any differences in beliefs or goals.

I escape to my art room. I listen to music – wrapping it around me like a blanket. I dive into another world with a book. I immerse myself in my garden. I do yoga- trying to fold myself into a paper airplane, or at least try to stretch myself from one side of the room to the other. I laugh with our pets. I talk to my friends. I hug my husband. I sleep. None of these SOLVES anything, but at least they keep me reasonably sane. (I think. I HOPE.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes


Randy Pausch –

I’ve been having a wonderful time for several weeks now, making Christmas presents for my friends. I got the idea for the theme of the presents several months ago, and ideas have been rattling around in my brain ever since.

I finally ordered the materials I needed and began to play as soon as they arrived. I looked on the net for some reference pictures for some of my ideas, and then began drawing my ideas with pencil. There are two sides to each present and 8 friends, so there was a lot of drawing.

I’ve been painting for about three weeks now, having a truly wonderful time in my art room. I’m not in any hurry. My goal is to make some progress on the project each day, but enjoying every minute of the process. I’m about to finish ‘Side 1″ of the 8 presents.

Making time to have FUN each day is important to your soul, your sense of worth, your outlook. It’s a buffer against whatever challenges with which you are dealing, replenishing strength and resilience you’ll need. A time for JOY gives you peace of mind, if only for a little while each day – a coping mechanism that is priceless.

I used to put time in my art room, time for reading, listening to music, playing in my garden or yard, writing this blog on my to-do list WHEN I COULD MAKE THE TIME – if possible when my work and other obligations are under control. Now I consciously make time to at least ONE of the things I love on a daily basis. I feel stronger, happier, and more alive since I switched my priorities.

NOTE: I have to admit (shhhhh!) I felt guilty when my husband came in for batteries for his remote for the TV this morning and had Amber hair all over the front of his shirt from getting down on the carpet to work in the area under the TV in the entertainment center. Looks like I should make time to vacuum the first floor carpet today…. :0)

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, building good habits, Changes, Childlike Fun, Encouragement, fun, fun in my art room, playing in my art room

The Eating-NOT Eating Problem

Denise Hazime

I downloaded this to my new Kindle this morning and have been pouring over it while I made a new system disc and new data backup disc for my computer.

This appeals to me because of the limit on ingredients and inferred simplicity of the recipes, particularly since I’m just trying to get started.

So far, I’ve started a notebook of generalities about the Mediterranean eating plan. It may very well be that I just collect recipes here and there and end up with a new lifestyle using their suggestions for healthy eating, but not-so-much their actual recipes.

My main concentrations are on

  • including LOTS more veggies,
  • some fruit – but mainly as a ‘dessert’ or substitute for sweet things,
  • a LOT less meat, (little red meat. Chicken and turkey are okay)
  • more fish, (twice a week)
  • more whole grains,
  • more nuts and seeds.
  • beans
  • less dairy (twice a week, rather than every day)

I’m a bit worried about the fruit. I love it, but it contains a lot of sugar – something we’re trying to avoid. We’ll see how our numbers do.

Of COURSE they want us to drink more water and exercise.

Squirrel Cam –

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes

Love-Hate Relationship

Shutterstock – The Players’ Aid

My Love/Hate relationship is with my computer. Yesterday afternoon was one of the times I hate it.

My Password Safe program is crucial to my work on the computer. Yesterday I couldn’t get it to open. My husband, of course, immediately asked ‘what I had done to it.’ This set us up for an interesting afternoon. To make a long afternoon shorter, we deleted the program and all associated stuff from my computer, re-installed the program, made a new data disc, made a new shortcut for the main computer screen, etc.

This morning I needed to pay bills. Our bank website said my password was wrong. I tried to change it, but the password safe program wouldn’t allow that. I finally got around that problem, got on the website, paid our bills, and then asked my husband for help once again.

He determined that I was designated an ‘administrator’ on my computer, but that password safe was set up for ‘read-only.’ I finally got THAT changed and was able then to update the new password and go on my way.

This type of problem always comes when I least expect it, gets me totally rattled, shatters my confidence, needing time to absorb (and make notes on) what we’ve changed and how it works now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes

Death of a Kindle

My husband and I bought Kindles very soon after we realized they existed. He is on his third one, using it daily for most everything he reads, downloading scores of books. I have used mine sporadically, much preferring real books for my reading.

I have downloaded trial books, though, when the price is right, just to see if I like the authors. Then, if I want to read more, I order real books. Another reason I like my Kindle is for cookbooks. I’ve FINALLY learned that the majority of cookbooks I buy are a waste of money for me. I like a couple of recipes in the book, but that’s all, so it just takes up space. I finally give them to the library to sell at their fundraisers. I get most of my recipes from friends, now, or on the net.

I downloaded one recently that looked like a really good introduction to easy beginning Mediterranean recipes. I wanted to wait until I found one I really liked to actually buy another cookbook.

I tried to look at it today at lunch time. I couldn’t get anything to happen when I tried to open the Kindle. I finally asked the ‘guru,’ my husband, if he could get it to work. He first assumed I had forgotten to charge it. I gritted my teeth and showed him calmly (without biting him in the leg) that it showed a 99% charge at the top of the Kindle screen. He then played with it, finally pronouncing it ‘dead as a doornail.’ I guess I can’t complain, since it has lasted SEVERAL years, but I really didn’t want to spend the money right now.

I have now ordered another one and will have to ask someone on Amazon if I can transfer the couple of downloads I have remaining from the old, dead Kindle to the new one when it arrives.

I will intensify my search for a good, basic Mediterranean cookbook that I actually want to HAVE so I can get it and not have to depend on the vagaries of electronic devices…

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges, Changes, Uncategorized

Achieving Balance

I am finding some good answers on what will work best for me as far as eating and exercising, getting healthier, more flexible, and feeling good.

Last night we were simply heating up individual portions of things I had cooked before and frozen. Cooking another veggie seemed too much, so I just got out some of the raw veggies I cut up recently and have been eating with dip for snacks to put to the side of the plate. I asked my husband if he wanted some, and he said, “Sure.” Later, when we were eating, he said they tasted ‘good.’ :0)

So, I’m consciously eating more veggies every day, less meat (used mainly as a flavoring now, some fruit, nuts, avoiding added sugar, salt, most white things, except for one dinner roll – a thing to which I look forward. I’m trying not to eat snacks, or anything after dinner. Many times I’m successful.

I’m consciously more active. Right now I’m in a cleaning mode. My house keeps asking, “Who IS this?” I’m working on really deep cleaning our master bathroom. It’s large – with a room that has a double lavatory and countertop, a whirlpool tub, and my walk-in closet. Another room has the toilet and a shower. I’ve been doing the minimum for a while, so I’m trying to DEEP clean it this time.

I’m adding some new poses to my yoga routine in the afternoons, though late afternoon is the best time to be outside working in the garden or my tomatoes or my yard, so I’m having an internal fight over this one. So far I’m doing one or the other, but I would LIKE to do both. I’m working on it.

The result of all this is I feel better. I’m sleeping better. I’m starting to lose some of my lard. Win/Win/Win.

Balance is all.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise


Life is hard these days. Harder, I think, in many ways, than it’s ever been. Not only are there differing opinions on almost everything, but the opinions quickly escalate into divisiveness, factions, name calling, and hate. There seems little we can DO about any of it.

I find my own personal reactions vacillate from being appalled at the actions of sick, hate-filled people, grieving about the innocent lives lost or forever changed, and frustrated that the problems are caused by problems so complex that they are almost impossible to solve. I’m numbed by the mindless spouting of rhetoric on all sides that hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. The actual problems are so much deeper that people are scared to really examine the causes or possible solutions.

I alternately listen to and read everything I can, then get depressed and avoid exposure to any more news than I HAVE to. I escape with reading, music, time outside in my yard and garden, time in my art room, time on the computer, etc. I get “huggy,” – worried that things will get much worse. I clean things. I re-organize things. I chop things down. Anything I CAN control.

What it boils down to, I guess, is each of us caring, doing something if we can, and coping with whatever is happening. The picture at the top says it better than I – “Life would be better if we wore more tutus…”

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes

Veggies and Fruit


I’m trying to adopt new eating patterns now. My doc told me to take my thyroid med by itself in the morning, then wait at least an hour to eat or take my other meds. I have an alarm set for that now as I type this. Today that means I won’t eat breakfast, since we would leave in another our for Lunch Bunch. Most days, though, I’ll plan to eat a bit of breakfast when I take my other meds.

I’m concentrating on adding as many good veggies and fruit as I can to our diet in this first push toward a Mediterranean plan. When we’re busy, I’m eating a Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer Bowl while my husband eats something else, and making us another veggie to go with our meal. I’m eating a piece of fruit as a snack each day. We’re cutting back on meats, using them as flavoring, instead of the main focus. I’m making a beef stew in the crock pot tomorrow, with lots and lots of veggies.

So far, I think this will be the thrust in the change in diet, since my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes. I downloaded another Mediterranean cookbook onto my Kindle last night. It got lots of good reviews on Amazon, but so far, the recipes I’ve seen in other cookbooks or recipes online center on chick peas, couscous, eggplant, kale, tofu, etc. and this would cause not only derision, but revolt from my other half. I’m hoping I can find a few good things in the new book. It may be that I just collect one or two from several sources, add them to the recipes I already have that my husband likes, and start a rotation. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that eating lots of fruits and veggies coupled with my moving more regimen will result in a happy result on the scales and from my measuring tape.

Her World Singapore


Filed under Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, taking care of yourself


Tenor-GIF-Keyboard – The Pet Collective

Because I’m older-than-dirt and have no gallbladder, I’m having to adapt my eating program to lose the lard. Even with taking all the suggestions I could find on making it work and trying several meds, it’s with regret I’m changing my eating regimen once again. I had done a good, conscientious job, turning the keto stick dark purple. I was losing weight gradually, but my digestion wasn’t being cooperative.

I’m still avoiding any added sugar, trying to keep it as low as possible. I’m still trying to keep starches to a minimum. I’m concentrating on veggies and fruit, with meat as a flavoring, rather than the focus. I’m adding fiber, trying to get my system working the way it should again.

I’m not worried about the scales or the measuring tape until my system is under good control again and my normal energy is back.

I AM continuing my exercise program as much as possible, though my cleaning-and-re-organizing-the-pantry-program has been a substitute the past three days. I’m getting all the exercise I can handle pulling and hauling things around, scrambling up and down the ladder for at least an hour each day.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Celebration Mode!


I’m in celebration mode this morning. I would love it if you would celebrate with me.

I have finally reached my first goal of losing the pandemic lard I gained. I’m back to my long-time basis of 30-pounds-down from my heaviest, plus an 28.7 inch decrease from my most voluminous. HOOORAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!

30 pounds down

This is a huge motivational boost. I was beginning to think that no matter what I did, I would never get control and would continue to yo-yo.

Now I’m breaking into ‘NEW TERRITORY!’

I now know that if I record everything I’m planning to eat for the day on (and then stick to it) I will stay within my eating parameters. (Tonight we’re having “bacon-wrapped cheesy chicken” – Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto, plus salad and I will eat a low-carb biscuit and my husband will have a deli dinner roll.)

Though my measuring tape isn’t showing anything yet, I’m hoping it will soon. I’ve mapped out my exercise regimen for the week and am giving myself gold stars on my desk calendar as I do things each day. I am starting to FEEL a difference. My exercise for the day is a part of my ‘to-do’ list now, given 2nd highest priority, right under the ‘have-to’s.’ :0)

Today is –

  • Warm-up video (10 minutes)
  • Stretching Video (10 minutes)
  • Weights video (10 minutes)
  • Workout 2a (30 minutes)
  • Yoga Stretches (30 minutes)
  • Gardening (30 minutes)


Leave a comment

Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Week 3 Report

Hannah More Primary School

Today is the end of Week 3 of my new push to get the lard off and exercise more to get and stay healthier, whatever my age.

  • I lost 1.6 pounds this week.
  • I’ve lost 6 pounds since I started the new push 3 weeks ago.
  • I’m 29.4 pounds down since my heaviest.



I will measure at the end of April, but to date there is 28.7 inches less of me than at my heaviest.


Clipart Library


  • I’m pleased that I am taking control of myself. I consciously think and plan what I’ll eat for the day BEFORE I eat or drink something that will sabotage my efforts. A HUGE HELP in this is MyFitness Yesterday I made some low-carb biscuits that had nice texture and tasted good. Today I’ll make bacon-wrapped cheesy chicken from Simply Keto and we’ll have a side salad and biscuit. I’m able to smell the popcorn my husband makes and watch him eat it without kicking the wall. :0)
  • I’m consciously planning what my exercise for the day will be. I’m using a monthly exercise planner by Mike, an Australian who has created – a whole series of videos to help seniors get and stay in better health. In addition to his programs, I’m doing yoga stretches daily and my elliptical trainer 3 times a week. Yard work and house work count, too, on moving more on a daily basis.
  • I’m happy to see the scales acknowledging my efforts. The weight is coming off slowly, but steadily. As long as I’m showing some progress each week, it keeps me motivated. I’m researching how to break through any plateaus that will inevitably occur.
  • I’m FEELING a bit more energetic. Even though I still have aches and pains, I now have more arrows in my quiver on how to deal with them. I’m doing the warm-up and stretching videos by Mike daily, plus my yoga helps. A heat pad usually takes care of any residual. If not, some Tylenol.
  • I’m feeling happier. The world is too much with us these days, and I find myself feeling pretty down unless I consciously look for the good things – and there are a lot of them – in the world around us. I’m finding more and more coping mechanisms, and getting healthier, stronger, and more flexible is one of those things. My mantra remains –

Onward to WEEK 4!

Leave a comment

Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, DIET!, exercise