Category Archives: character-building exercises

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…

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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.

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

“Music” of the Chain-Saw

Kooy Brothers

My husband went outside around 3pm yesterday, immediately went to get the chainsaw and 100 foot cord. I talked to him about calling tree people to clear the driveway, but he wasn’t having any. I told him I thought this might be too much for us. He said, “Go on inside. I can handle this.” Yeah. Right.

We ended up doing three sessions – a total of 2 hours – stopping when it started to get dark. He chainsawed and I tugged, hauled, rolled, or picked up and tossed what he cut. We cleared about 1/4 of the driveway, more or less. We’ll do more today – and tomorrow – and – until we finally make it to the bottom of the driveway. It’s still pretty snow-packed, being long, steep, and on the north side of our property. It will be the last snow to melt.

Amber, our 95-pound yellow lab, had a GREAT time while we were outside. She thought it was the BEST game. She ran around, leaping and laughing, cavorting around like a crazed thing, making circles around the whole area. When we came in, she hit her bed, only rousing when it was time for dinner.

Thankfully, the most important reason to get to the bottom of the driveway – other than the fact that if we had an emergency, we couldn’t get OUT and no one else could get UP the driveway – is that we have 4 days of mail in the mailbox. We also have some good chances for ice and snow again in the coming week, so it would be NICE if we could get out and get some supplies before Mother Nature socks us in again.

Here’s hoping we can get some good sessions today.

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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!

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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

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It’s easy these days to be down. Things become more and more challenging, frustrating and downright scary in our world. It’s hard to listen to or read the news because of all the bad stuff.

It’s important to stay informed, but I’m determined to focus on the beauty around me – not to be a Pollyanna or put my head in the sand like an ostrich, but not to let it all stomp me into the dirt psychologically.

Every day I look at what talented people have created. I search for it because I find people creating music, books, paintings, photographs and sculpture so beautiful it makes me forget for a bit what a mess we are making of things. It doesn’t matter what the medium is. Someone can look at it and see it in a different way, seeing its potential and bringing forth beauty that makes you cry. What a gift!

People focus on making plants grow or practicing a skill until it’s an art form. Teachers light a spark that causes a fire in a child’s heart that cannot be extinguished. Someone’s speech makes you want to help or turn your life in a different direction.

The fact that we live on the same planet as these talented people is almost unbelievable, and yet it’s true if we only look for it.

We can realize that not everyone is rushing headlong into the scary. We can keep our eyes open, protect ourselves and our loved ones as much as possible, try to help in any way we can, and keep the faith.

As Anthony J. Dangelo said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, character-building exercises, Encouragement



Pollster: a person who conducts or analyzes opinion polls.

Talking heads: people who appear in television discussion programs and interviews to give their opinions about a topic.

I’m feeling quite hostile toward pollsters and talking heads right now. The polls I heard about, and the ‘experts’ to whom I listened, led me to believe/hope/expect what DIDN’T come to be. Not only were they wrong. They were dead wrong. They should be hanging their heads in shame.

I don’t know what their methods are, but they definitely need to go back to the drawing board and remain silent until further notice.

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Filed under character-building exercises, Pet Peeves

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.

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Moral Paradigm

Okay. We came home from Lunch Bunch and, instead of messing around, I went upstairs and FINISHED going through the books on my shelves in our bedroom, cleaned the shelves and reorganized the books. So that mini-project is finished.

I also, while I was up there, put away the laundry I did yesterday.

I came down with a load of books from the project above, listed them on my donation sheet and put them in one of the bags going to the library soon.

SO –

my dilemma is –

do I dive into another project, since I’m finished with the other stuff early, or

do I reward myself and read my book for awhile, and maybe even take a short nap?

Ponder. Ponder.

Right. I’m going to go read now. :0)

Hope you’re enjoying your day.

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, character-building exercises, Cherishing the Quiet Day

Character-Building Exercise

I pre-ordered this paperback in February, (#54 of the J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts In Death series) knowing I would have to wait until the end of July before it was delivered. Since I wanted it for my permanent collection, it would be worth the wait.

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon – “We’re encountering a delay in shipping your order. We’ll send a confirmation as soon as it ships and communicate the expected delivery date. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Bah. Humbug.

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Good Morning!

Brenda Metheny

Happy Wednesday!

We started our day off at around 1:30 a.m. this morning when Amber started barking. She did this two or three times before she finally settled down for the rest of the night. The next thing we knew, our driveway pad alarm went off several times in succession early this morning, usually indicating a vehicle. We got up and dressed, but when we checked outside on the garage pad and then at the front door, there was nothing.


We tried, but failed, to catch raccoon #8 overnight. That was probably what had Amber barking. The trap had been triggered. The seed was all gone, but no one was inside the humane trap. So we’ll set it again tonight and hope for the best.

There was a wildfire between Fort Chaffee and one of Greenwood’s neighborhoods north of us yesterday. Fire departments from several surrounding towns helped to try to contain the blaze. About 35 homes were evacuated. The fire is about 80%+ contained this morning. No damage to houses. No people hurt that we know about. Scary.

The Christian Index

I’ve had TWO character-building exercises over which I have been victorious so far this morning –

  • I was trying to call in a refill for one of my husband’s medicines, but the pharmacy was having some kind of a phone problem, then I got a recording, and FINALLY reached a real person and was able to request our refill. Only took about 5 calls over 90 minutes, but I prevailed. :0)
  • I was attempting to pay some bills online yesterday. When I tried to log in, I was told my username or password was “incorrect.” I fought with it several times, finally deciding to give it up until today. Sometimes these things heal miraculously, and so I had hope. No such luck. They still didn’t like me this morning. I finally went through the process of saying I ‘forgot’ my password, jumped through several hoops on proving I was who I was, including a text sent to my phone, and was finally put onto a page where I could change my password. THEN I fought with all the requirements they had on a new password. I finally passed muster, was let into my account, and was able to pay the bills. WHEW!

We’ll do errands in awhile, but nothing exciting going on today – I HOPE. I’ll be very happy if I can do what I’d like to do with no drama. I would LIKE to continue painting my Christmas presents for friends, do some vacuuming, and read my current book….

Happy Wednesday!

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FB/MyDayMyWay – via Penny Yaffe Krakow

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Finagle’s Law

Finagle’s law of dynamic negatives (also known as Melody’s law, Sod’s Law or Finagle’s corollary to Murphy’s law) is usually rendered as “Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment.”

Since I’m finally losing some weight – and losing inches in conjunction with that, I hope – I put in an order for a size smaller jeans.

I ordered one pair. (They are too long and I’m having to roll them up, but they are a much better fit otherwise.) I put in a follow-up order for the same size, but in ‘petite’ (a tactful word for SHORT.) I received one pair (I’m wearing them now) , but the other pair is on back-order.

My husband suggested I order a couple more pairs in the same size, so I would be in good shape once they arrive. I did that, and also ordered a size smaller, since I’m hoping I’ll be ready for that in the future. I also ordered some shorts, since our weather changes from spring to summer temperatures sometimes in the space of a couple of days.

Yesterday I had a delivery! The package was on our front porch waiting, since we had gone to look for my husband’s sugar-free drinks.

Finagle’s Law of Dynamic Negatives definitely applies –

  • Did I receive the back-ordered pair of jeans from the original order? NO.
  • Was it the additional order of the current sized jeans? NO.
  • The shorts? NO.

The delivery was the two pairs of SMALLER jeans I’m hoping to be able to wear in the future, once I shed more of my lard. :0)

Hahahahahahaahahahah. I guess they will be further motivation on my efforts…

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The Saga of the Phone Line Continues


We are cornering the market on character-building lately. This time it’s trying to get a phone line rehung that fell down into the yard during the last storm.

After the storm we initially called our electric company, Arkansas Valley Electric Co-Operative, because we weren’t absolutely sure whether we needed help with electrical lines or phone lines. The company sent a service man right over. We couldn’t have asked for better response time. He confirmed that the lines were phone lines, and told us the phone company would need to come out and fix them.

It took us forever (3 or 4 days) of talking to person after person at our current phone company, AT&T, before someone mentioned that the two phone lines we have now were actually installed years ago by CenturyLink.

My husband got mad at this point and was up on a two-story ladder propped up against a telephone pole, trying to rehang the line. He finally gave up on one of the lines because even with that ladder, he couldn’t get up high enough. That didn’t stop him from trying to rehang the 2ND phone line. He had to cut down the branches of a tree in order to get access to the line and managed, after getting bitten by the tree several times, scratching up his arm badly, to get the line hung.

I spent another day trying to contact CenturyLink. This was iffy, since we are no longer their customer. They finally gave me a repair ticket number. Nothing happened, so I contacted them again and they said they had no record of the ticket number. They finally found it, and told us the technician would be out to the house yesterday between 8 and 5. We had to stay home to be sure we were here to receive him.

A little before 5, I contacted them again. The lady said to give the tech until 7pm. We did, but no action.

My husband stayed home from Lunch Bunch and errands this morning so he would be here if the tech showed up. He didn’t.

I contacted CenturyLink again. She told me the ticket was marked, “completed.” My husband went outside to double check, and the line was still down. I told the lady that and she has now generated ANOTHER repair ticket with a “commitment date of 4/23.”

And so we wait again…. I wonder if ‘character’ SHOWS, like building muscles….

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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!

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

Not Just “No,” – HELL NO!

PC Magazine

My husband decided he HAD to have a new computer – to upgrade a bit, to switch to Windows 11. I told him to go ahead, as long as he opted for the offer to pay a bit more and have nerds put the computer together for him with Windows 11 already installed, compatible parts already installed so that he would just have to change out the hard drives, etc.

Since then we’ve been in ‘computer Hell.’ There is no nicer way to say it.

It started with UPS ‘delivering’ the humongous, HEAVY (75 pounds +) box by simply leaving it at the bottom of our STEEP, graveled, 650+ foot driveway. We practically killed ourselves getting the box INTO the back of the truck, THEN unpacking as much as possible, having to remove two dog gates in order to get it into the house and into the office. (We asked for, and received a refund for the extra we paid for expedited delivery.)

The computer was as my husband ordered, so mostly he has been fighting with software. Right now, the fight is to get an email program that will work the way he wants it to.

Since my husband and I are both older-than-dirt, changes and technical stuff are becoming much more difficult. An added problem is that my husband had a couple of strokes in the past two years, and he has more trouble, though he has mostly bounced back. He has been reduced to asking ME – the woefully incompetent tech person of our duo – for help. This is a lose/lose situation for me. If I can’t help, he gets more frustrated and angry – a really uncomfortable situation. If I CAN help, then he’s upset because I could do it, and he couldn’t, making him depressed.

A real character-building exercise for both of us.

So, the NEXT time he wants to get a new computer, I’ve told you my answer at the top.


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Happy Wednesday

Our wisteria is starting to bloom!

We have vines stretching all the way to the driveway to the left of this picture. My husband has been trying for years to have BLOOMS all the way across. We’re making progress on it each year.

Yesterday I ate right, stayed under my calorie total for the day, stayed under my carb total for the day, exercised with weights, did my yoga, cooked for an hour, cleaned, etc., and guess what – I GAINED .2 lbs. Bummer. This is a character-building exercise for sure. I’ll simply keep on keepin’ on and hope for the best.

I’ve been making phone calls most of the morning, following up on things, confirming others, asking questions, etc. The thing I’m coming away with is that you MUST be your own advocate. Everyone is in their own personal world, worried about their own problems, understandably. These DON’T include whatever they told you would happen, wouldn’t happen, shouldn’t happen, etc. Unless you make notes and follow up, it simply DOESN’T happen/or DOES – whichever is worse. You can’t depend on other people. You MUST do it yourself, and KEEP after it until whatever it is is done. Sometimes I would definitely trade my ‘adult’ hat for a happy, carefree ‘child’ hat from my past.

I’ll make sure to get outside for part of the afternoon. It’s going to be in the 60s and there is lots of sunshine to play in. Will you get outside, too?

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, DIET!, exercise, Thoughts on a ________

Confusion –

It seems to me that our world is a mass of mixed signals and confusion. It’s hard to know what to think, what to feel, which way to jump.

I’m kind of like a deer frozen in the headlights, concentrating on one day at a time, trying to do what I can, when I can, one careful step at a time, with a lot of trying to escape thrown in, too, since there is so much happening that I can’t do anything about.

The only thing I can come up with is to try to personally stay as strong as I can, continuing to look for any ways to try to make things better wherever I can find.

I wish I were a fairy godmother, able to wave my wand, think good thoughts, and save the world.

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, coping mechanisms

It’s Monday

Under ‘character-building exercises,’ I have been dealing with our main credit card being frauded, then cancelled by the credit card company, then receiving the new card (my husband slogged CAREFULLY down our steep driveway Saturday to retrieve them from the mailbox, since the UPS guy couldn’t get up our icy driveway, and we then began notifying the people and places who need to know the new information. My husband quickly got frustrated and angry, so I told him I would do it. UGH. I’m finally down to 2 places and hopefully I can get through to them today.

We are getting a lot of melting where the sun can reach the ground easily now. Our driveway will, as usual, be the last thing to thaw, being long, steep, bordered by trees, and on the north side of our property. I heard our driveway alarm and found our truck gone from the garage. I swept out that side of the garage and my husband came back up with the mail, plus Amber happily riding in the bed of the truck. We’ll be able to take our trash down tomorrow morning, retrieve our mail, and run some errands!

I’m more than happy to start a new month tomorrow, particularly one that includes the beginning of SPRING! :0)

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.


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

“Because I’m Happy…” via Rebecca Kanner Kelman

“Here come bad news talking this and that (Yeah)
Well give me all you got, don’t hold back (Yeah)
Well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine (Yeah)
No offence to you don’t waste your time” ~ “Happy” ~ Pharrell Williams

I received some scary news through the medical portal on a test I took recently. I’m a wimp, so I essentially decided my life was over, started worrying about my husband (he doesn’t know what day it is half the time, what our schedule is, etc. – he has a wife to worry about the details.) I cried, couldn’t sleep, stayed up half the night…

I finally decided to tell my two best friends via email. I’m very lucky to have two such great people who care about me. Both got back to me right away with care and support, plus some much-needed guidance.

My doctor’s office will probably contact me this coming week with what the next step is. I’m much calmer than I was. Although I’m a wimp and would rather just stick my head in the sand and go on in ignorance, acting as if I were immortal, I need to be an adult. I want to be here to help my husband – even wanting to be here to fuss at him when it’s needed.


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

The Hunt is On


The hunt is on for two things:

THING ONE – The spray container of the stuff I bought awhile back to kill mold/algae/fungus/elephants.

THING TWO – the actual gallon container for the rest of the magic stuff.

I bought this ‘stuff’ particularly to treat some of our yard art – and in particular, the “Greeter Robot” at the bottom of the driveway. He is much too big and heavy to bring in for any type of refurbishment, so cleaning and repainting will have to be done down there.

It would SEEM that a gallon container of something – anything – would be easy to find. ALSO easy would be the finding of a large spray container. And yet the ‘elves/gnomes/and other mysterious critters have made finding whatever you’re looking for a character-building exercise around here.

We came through our severe storm last night well. It’s truly gorgeous outside and I haven’t found any damage yet. It’s a PERFECT day to drive down to the bottom of our hill and hose down the robot -IF I could FIND the magic stuff….


Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, Lewis Art, Lewis yard art


I am continuing to tweak my eating habits in my determination to lose the lard. This has become a “character-building exercise” and SHOULD be listed on the list of exercises you can log each day on

I had already switched my mid afternoon snack to raw veggies and a bit of dip. Now I’ll try cutting back the AMOUNT of that. I’ve been eating some no-added-sugar ice cream (a small amount while my husband has more with strawberries.) I’ll try to not have that.

Now that the weather is cooler, I’ll try to get started again on my elliptical trainer in the garage, doing a session before lunch.

Hopefully, the tweaking and moving more will get my body’s attention…

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Filed under character-building exercises, DIET!, exercise

Good Girl!

Getty Images

I’m a good girl.

Yesterday I saw that the weather people were forecasting a cold front and rain overnight. My husband had mowed the lawn recently, but I had been putting off my part of it, weed whacking, for several days. I finally got out there, even though it was really hot and humid, taking two sessions to make my way around the house, cleaning up the areas that he can’t reach with the mower – along the sidewalks, around the edge of the front porch pad, the garage pad, under the deck, the steps on both sides of the deck, around the planters, etc.

It took me about an hour to finally cool down after I came in. I drank lots of water, rested, and finally jumped into the shower before fixing dinner. I really don’t handle hot weather as well as I used to. The cold front and rain did, indeed, come overnight. It makes me happy today to see that it looks like someone really does live here and care about things. :0)

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Filed under character-building exercises, Gardening

Character-Building “Exercising”

I’ve done two sessions so far today in my veggie garden – about an hour and a half. It’s really sunny, in the 90s and HOT out there. I’m trying to get the last of the garden boxes weeded and cleaned out. This is NOT my favorite part of gardening.

I got 4 of the boxes done yesterday. Unfortunately, of the six boxes, these last two are the worst. They were both filled not only with dead veggie plants and weeds, but also Bermuda grass. It amazes me that Bermuda can plant itself and thrive about 4 feet up from the ground, and fire ants choose to make their homes there, too.

I will try to get the last box weeded today. We’ll have lunch in about half an hour and then I’ll go back out. I don’t know if I’ll get the tarps on today or not.

My husband – (the wonderful man who (1) figured out how to make a garden where I didn’t have to get down on my hands and knees or bend over double, (2) MADE the wooden boxes and the structures to hold them up, (3) designed a system for automatic watering of the plants, AND got me a used cement mixer so I could make the Mel’s Mix more easily) – made the mistake of just now (having just gotten up from a nap) telling me how I should be doing the project and “suggesting” I cover the boxes with tarps when I finish weeding. I just looked at him, glugging water. After being married to me for over 52 years now, he realized that maybe his suggestions about how I could do the garden might be mistimed. He is now in the living room watching TV.

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

New Descriptive Noun

Reader’s Digest

I am thinking we should have a word that describes my husband and me trying to deal with new technology “DOOFAD.” (A person who is the personification of being DOOFUS.)

Yesterday we were lucky enough to finally get fiber optic Internet and TV service installed. The Internet is great – much faster with nothing new for Doofads to learn. The TV service is a ‘whole nother ball of wax.’

We listened carefully to the tech explaining the new system. He was bored because he has to say the same stuff over and over, so he went fast. My husband asked how we could get a 2nd remote, and we lucked out that he just went to the truck, got a 2nd remote, brought it back and programed it for us. He left and the fun began.

Long story much shorter, we managed to choose a group of favorite channels and set some programs up on the DVR. We figured out how to get back and forth between the regular TV and Hulu. Somehow my husband got closed captions turned on and gave up on getting it off again. I fumbled around and finally found the place and turned it off.

We THINK we’re reasonably set up at this point, but still have a lot to go over in the book and learning to use the remotes better.

After another hour or so, We have our old services cancelled and we will send their equipment back today.

Today a tech from ADT Security Systems came because our system was chirping, was signaling low batteries, etc. I got online and discovered that ours was a model that required a tech to change the batteries. He came first thing this morning. I had to admit to him that when I couldn’t get the chirping to stop, I unplugged the system for awhile. He figured out that the ‘low battery’ was on the emergency pendant I can wear to get help that comes with the system. I had forgotten about the pendant, plus the fact that it was connected to the security system. DUH. He changed the batteries in the pendant, then in the main system for good measure. He checked everything out, went over security codes with me, etc. I feel stupid, but I’m glad I got the refresher course.

*A good idea for patient teenagers – be entrepreneurs in offering to help DOOFADS deal with new equipment, trouble shoot problems, and explain over and over again how to set things up and use them. :0)

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

Thoughts on a Tuesday 5-25-2021


WEATHER – It’s a good thing I’m not water-soluble, or I would have sogged down into a puddle by now with all the rain we have had. We just returned from putting our trash out for pickup and running errands. I wore a hoodie, since my husband has no patience for me trying to use an umbrella. I just throw my hood up to stay as dry as possible.

YARD WORK – I pruned our rose bushes and weeded a bit yesterday. Some unfriendly bug bit me on the back of my hand. It swelled up and itched like crazy. I finally got the itching to stop and the swelling should be down by tomorrow.

I was watching for ants, since I react badly to their stings/bites, but whatever bit me snuck up and did it before I was aware. I am going to try to harvest more lettuce, since my plants are starting to bolt, but it will have to wait until the rain stops.

EMAIL HACK – I seem to be over the worst of the repercussions from my email being hacked. I spent the entire day yesterday, except for the time pruning the roses, contacting as many friends and family as possible, giving them my new address, plus getting on our important websites and changing email, user name and password. What a hassle! I did get to talk to people I would LIKE to talk to more often, so that was a really good thing. If I finally reach a real person at Google, I will try to enlist their help in finding out who is responsible for the hack.

GENERATOR – Just as your car will never act up or make the noise you’ve been hearing when you take it to the shop, our generator came on just fine when the tech came out to help us figure out why it didn’t do its weekly test and or continue to run when we started it manually. He looked it over carefully. It started right up and continued until he turned it off. We told him the ‘overcrank’ light was on when we went out to look. My husband suspected the carburetor, but the tech was looking more at the fuel regulator, whatever that is. He said he would check his manual for ‘old’ generators to see if he could be of more help if we need to call him again. Meanwhile, $131.50 later, the generator IS working…

WEIGHT LOSS – My newest motivation to lose the lard seems to be working – at least, so far. Last Monday we had our routine doctor appointment with blood tests. We were doing fine (for old people) and the doc said we didn’t have to come back for 6 months, rather than the 3 months we have been doing. I decided that I wanted to try to finally lose a significant amount of my poundage by the time we go back in November. Since Monday I have lost 4.6 pounds. I’m trying to keep my focus on trying to really watch my portions, try not to eat in-between meals, or if I do, eat a really careful snack. I’m trying to move more, and pick up my afternoon yoga stretches again.

So far, my yoga efforts have been a dismal failure. Usually, I’m out in the yard when I WAS doing yoga. I’m telling myself that if I’m up and moving, that’s good, but I know it’s not a substitute for the good stretching I do with my practice. I’m going to rethink WHEN I’m trying to do my practice so that I can work in the yard AND do my yoga stretches on a daily basis.

ART ROOM – I’m still trying to overcome my stupid fear of failure regarding trying a new art technique. I’m really fascinated watching people demonstrate ‘acrylic pours’ and then ‘pours with crackle gel.’ They are getting wonderful abstract colorful work with gorgeous texture and cracks highlighted with gold. I’m going to keep making careful notes as I watch (and drool) and see if I can get started on it in my art room this week.

I hope that you are having a fabulous day, enjoying the weather where you are, if possible, or if cooped up inside like me, changing over to something fun INSIDE.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, DIET!, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature, playing in my art room, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Bogging Down…

I’ve been working steadily all day trying to reach my friends to give them the new email address. Then I started on all the websites that have the old address. What a headache!

One good thing – I’ve talked to people who mean a lot to me today – via the new email and my phone. That’s a good thing despite the frustrating reason for it.

I’m going to take a break, get outside and prune my rose bushes. Then I’ll do another session.

I just LOVE the painting by Victoria Coleman above. It really captures exhaustion well, doesn’t it.

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Filed under building good habits, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Character-Building Exercise


I wrote a quick note to you yesterday telling you my email was hacked. THEN I found out, from phone calls from loved ones, that emails were being sent out saying I needed help and to send $500 asap. (As if I would DO that…)

So, with hostility and frustration, with visions of boiling whoever is behind this in oil, I have closed my email account, opened a new one, and am writing or calling everyone I can think of to let them know my new address.

Truly a character-building exercise, and NOT how I wanted to spend the day. Sigh.

End of Rant. :0/

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Best Laid Plans…

I was going to get a big list done today, but my plans went awry.

I was getting ready to go out to the garage to put in my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer. My husband wanted us to go to Walmart and get some glue, so I switched gears, grabbed our Walmart list and we headed for town. We DID manage to leave our trash at the bottom of the driveway and get our mail on the way. We got what we needed at Walmart, even though my husband was in the mood to wander around. Since we get very little entertainment these days, I tried to be patient.

By the time we got home, it was time to fix lunch, so I did that. Then I started getting ready to go to Rags & Roses to change out my products and rearrange the booth. My husband got a reminder on his computer that he was supposed to check the oil in the generator, so he went out to do that. Just as I was getting ready to go out the door, he came in, saying that we needed to get another battery for the generator. He insisted we go back to Walmart.

We took the old battery in and left it in a receptacle at the customer service desk where indicated, found a replacement battery and brought it home. We had a bit of trouble getting the new one in, but finally managed to get it hooked up and tested. Then we ran a quick test on the generator and it was good.

My husband went to put a tool back in the well house and decided he wanted to start the propane-powered gas heater in the well house to keep our pipes from freezing. (We have a small electric heater that turns itself on when it gets too cold in there, and it was on. ) He had a bit of trouble getting the pilot light lit and the heater on, but we finally prevailed.

On the way back to the house, we saw that the new pvc pipe we use on our irrigation system on one of the planters was broken in two. We thought about tackling replacing that, but we were just too tired at that point to care much.

Both of us fell asleep in our chairs.

Now it’s too late to go to the booth in town, too late to do my elliptical trainer in the garage, and too late to do my yoga practice.

SO –

I will write this day off as far as trying to get my list done and hope for more success tomorrow.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Finally an Answer!

Eric Geiger – Effex

Ever since WordPress (my blog host) ‘improved’ their website, I have not been able to see or choose categories for my posts. They have all been ‘uncategorized,’ lumped into the great mishmash in the sky, never to be found again.

I had looked and looked, not even able to figure out how to talk to a real person, much less find where my categories were listed, or if they even HAD category options anymore. Yesterday I finally found a CHAT and talked to a nice man who gave me URLs to the information I needed. They didn’t work, though, and he showed me screen shots of what HE was seeing.

Google Chrome – Wikimedia Commons

It finally dawned on me that some other websites I use, such as my bank website and Amazon Handmade, among others, weren’t happy with my Chrome browser. I have the latest version of it, but I had to use Firefox to get to the sites that wouldn’t accept Chrome anymore.

Firefox – Wikipedia

When I was able to move my blog website to Firefox, I was suddenly able to SEE and ACCESS my categories again. I am in the process of editing each of the posts I’ve written since the WordPress upgrade – a laborious process, but it will give my posts a home.

WordPress – Wikimedia Commons

Along with this, I decided I would finally move ALL my stuff from Chrome to Firefox. I now have Firefox as my main browser, moving each thing from one to the other, making sure my usernames and passwords work. This is a huge, scary project for an UN-TECHNICAL, almost Luddite, like me. I am looking at this as another of life’s character-building exercises.

I DO feel good that I figured out what was happening and am on the road to getting my act together again. HOORAY!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises


Amazon Handmade

I am learning a LOT trying to list my stuff on Amazon Handmade. I am finally able to jump through most of the hoops.

I have finally learned that when a picture doesn’t show up with my product, I check to make sure it meets their parameters, and then let it go. That drives me absolutely nuts, but I’ve learned that is the best thing to do. It happened again yesterday, when I was adding some painted journals. I listed 5. 4 of them went well. The 5th picture didn’t show up for some reason. I checked it, and it should have gone like the others. It didn’t, so the product was listed on the site, but the picture area was blank. That’s embarrassing and I hate it, but – again – I left it. It still wasn’t up when I went to bed, but I checked again this morning and it was showing. Go figure.

I am not a patient person. I HATE errors or omissions to be ‘public,’ but there is no control over this one.

So, I will try to get the rest of the things I want to list online and hope for the best.

Today, some tote bags and painted canvas mini ‘essential’ purses.

Fingers crossed, teeth gritted, and determination strong.

Linda Lewis Artworks on Amazon Handmade



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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, character-building exercises, learning new things