Category Archives: character-building exercises

Amber is a Wonderful Challenge

This is Amber, our 16-month-old, 92 pound (the last time we took her to the vet to weigh her on his scales) yellow Labrador Retriever ‘puppy.’ So far, all we’ve heard about labs being very puppy-ish through two years is true.  Amber likes to try to scrunch herself up so that she can sleep in Molly’s bed here in the office. (There is a larger bed just on the other side of my desk – complete with chew toys – but she and Molly like this one best.)


For comparison, here is Molly (our elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross) sleeping in the same bed as I type. (Amber went out to play in the rain.)  As you can see, this bed gives Molly a good bit of spread-out-room.

Our latest battle of wills involves Amber going in and out. When the door opens in either direction, Amber is like a bull charging at a red target. She runs right over Molly or the cats, plus us, if we’re not careful. We’re trying to get Amber to sit and wait until we say, “OKAY” before she goes in or out. This is a real test of wills. We have to start getting her to sit before we even touch the door, then keep watching and making her sit until the door is open. If we’re successful, she sits until we say ‘okay’ and everyone lives through the action. Otherwise, not so much.

We WILL prevail, but it may take awhile…

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Filed under Amazing Animals, character-building exercises, Family


Rosie Made a Thing – via The Hippies were Right via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, character-building exercises, Favorite Quotes

I’m Getting My Exercise Today – Cleaning Out My Garden

I’m inside, trying to catch my breath, drink a bottle of water, and relax a bit before going outside again for another session on my weekend project – cleaning out my raised bed square foot garden boxes.

The heat index is now 97 degrees (90 degrees with 55% humidity). Our forecast temperature is 98 today. Unless the humidity drops drastically, that will be a heat index of 117 this afternoon. UGH.

Mother Nature has pretty well killed off my spring garden. The plants are no match for her, even with daily irrigation, so I’m throwing in the towel and cleaning things up for next time.

I’m going to do this in SEVERAL sessions during the weekend, trying to stay hydrated and not get heat or sun stroke.

(My husband is smarter – tackling a project where he can work inside our shop. He turned on the A/C this morning and has just gone out there soon to start work, refurbishing a roll-around chair for our wonderful hair stylist and friend, Michael.)

Since the outside work needs to be done, the garden and flower planters are my domain around here, and it’s not getting any cooler for the foreseeable future, I’m just going to be careful and get it done.

  • I’m half way through the first part – spraying the garden, tomato planters, and flower planters with bug spray so I hopefully don’t get stung/bitten/ or otherwise assaulted by our hostile insect population. (My ankle is still puffy from the last fire ant attack.)  I’m using EIGHT, a spray that isn’t supposed to affect the plants at all, won’t hurt our pets, and will JUST give me some relief.
  • The second part of the project will be pulling out the dying plants in the garden and harvesting the onions, spreading them on a screen we have on a trailer out by the shop to dry in the sun.
  • The third part of the project will be mixing some weed killer and spraying the ground under the raised bed planter boxes in the garden, around the perimeter of the garden, and around the trash cans of the components of Mel’s Mix along the back of the shop.

If I can finish this by the end of the weekend, anything ELSE I do will be gravy.

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, exercise, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Another of Life’s Character-Building Exercises

My husband is the technical person, handling computers, all things electrical, a LOT of things online, fixing things, etc. He was the one who figured out how we could cancel our satellite TV and save a lot of money. But, as he ages, his temper gets shorter and shorter – and – I admit I’m describing myself, as well.

Yesterday we had a power blip. Though the electricity was off for such a short time a lot of our things didn’t notice, it took us the rest of the day to deal with things that WERE affected.

We like DirecTVNow. All of a sudden, it wanted us to sign in with our user name and password. This is a really aggravating, laborious process of searching for one letter at a time, making our user name seem endless, and our password almost impossible due to the fact ours is quite complicated for safety concerns. I told my husband I would do the input if he would get me the password.

To make a long story shorter, we couldn’t get DirecTVNow to accept our password. My husband went into the office, then came back saying, “I deleted our Roku account because it wouldn’t take our password.” It turned out that he had confused the Roku and DirecTVNow accounts and had been giving me the Roku password. Now the account was deleted, so that meant ALL of our TV related accounts were toast.  His reaction to the problem and his temper in deleting the CORE of our TV watching ability was done in a fit of pique. He then decided to divorce himself from the problem – saying, “I don’t know,” to all my questions and not showing any interest in helping –  which had me tearing my hair out, and – at one point – going out in the back yard to yell a bit. (I wonder what the neighbors down in the valley think of the crazy woman who shrieks once or twice each year.)

I finally created a Roku account in MY name, and then got on my husband’s computer and added each of the programs and channels we had before, laboriously going from the living room to the office and back again, jumping through the various hoops each required.

We are both still alive and the TV stuff has been restored.

If you heard my head exploding or my shrieking last night, don’t be alarmed. Things are back to what passes as ‘normal’ around here.

It truly amazes me that the person I love most in the world is also the one who drives me completely nuts!


Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Trying to Learn Patience

Our son kindly arranged for a box of mangosteens to be sent to us from a company in Florida. We ate one small one the other day. My husband said, “Good, but I wouldn’t travel far for one,” with his usual exuberant attitude toward most things. I found it really interesting to peel (our son sent a video he made of peeling and eating the fruit), and was delighted to find out SWEET the sections were – kind of like eating a super-sweet orange. I wish I could describe the taste better, but it’s really nice. Our son says he “eats them like candy.”

We’ve been waiting for more to ripen. All of them were like billiard balls when they arrived. That’s good, because you don’t want all of them to ripen right away and waste much of the fruit. We’ve had some on the island in the kitchen, but they weren’t ripening. A good friend suggested that we put them in a paper bag. I did that and I’ve been checking them each morning. So far, still billiard balls.

I think this is yet another character-building exercise – waiting for the mangosteen to ripen. It’s a good thing we weren’t depending on these for sustenance….

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, character-building exercises, Healthy Eating