Category Archives: Delightful Surprises

Hey, Big Spender!

We love it when we see a “Garage Sale” sign when we’re on the way home from errands. It’s so easy to detour, spend a few minutes looking at things, grabbing things we like, and then going on home. Today we stopped at a house where two nice ladies were sitting in the shade of their garage. I say they were nice because the first thing one of the lady’s said was, “Oh, look at the pretty dog!” as Amber complained from the back seat of the truck that we were getting out and leaving her once again. It turned out the lady has a German Shepard who is about the same size as our Amber, so she knows and appreciates big ‘puppies.’ :0)

We made a quick tour of the things for sale. I just couldn’t leave this sweet Santa basket behind. His hat, plus the basket has bells that make beautiful music when you move him. His sign says, “Santa Stop.” You can put Christmas goodies, Christmas stockings, Christmas presents or Christmas cards in the basket. He had a green $1.00 sticker on his nose and I just HAD to adopt him, didn’t I?

 

 

 

 

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Two Happy Ways to Start a Day

tau0.wordpress.com

We woke up with the red light flashing on our weather alert, telling us we were under a thunderstorm warning. Instead of having anything scary, we just had a nice, but short, soaky rain.  Our doggies cavorted around, clearly enjoying the rain. The rain stopped fairly quickly, and we are able to enjoy windows and doors open to a nice, cool breeze!

 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) females feeding on Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans), Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado http://www.hummingbirds.org

AND, while we were eating breakfast, a hummingbird came to drink from one of our feeders. Just as we were enjoying watching, ANOTHER hummingbird came swooping by! This has been a slow hummingbird season for us so far, so we were really delighted to see TWO at once. It also gives me the motivation to thoroughly clean out the hummingbird birdbath my husband and I built.

Pics later….

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, quality of life

“Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign…”

We stopped at a garage sale several days ago. I found some signs I loved at a great price, so I bought three of them.  This is the “Believe” sign we hung up over the door on the back porch.

 

 

We hung up this “Laugh” sign on the other end of the back porch.

 

This is a wall of our garage, where we added the “Cherish” sign to complement the “This is Our Happily Ever After” sign already there.

 

I wanted to make this sign in our shop, but my husband was feeling lazy and bought this one.  I love it.

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

FIVE MAN ELECTRICAL BAND
“Signs”

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A Delightful Way to Start the Morning!

I woke up this morning to a sale on Etsy!

I sold this one-of-a-kind hand-painted basket. I was especially pleased because the person who bought it was giving it to a lady who just passed the bar. From the gift message to be enclosed, I learned that purchaser is her boss at the law firm. Isn’t that she a wonderful boss? I’m happy to have a small part in wishing the ‘official’ lawyer well.  I smiled the whole time I was packing it for shipment. :0)

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Filed under CreativeArtwks on Etsy, Delightful Surprises, LindaLewis on ArtFire

Proud

I had a nice chat with our son this morning. He said he had spent most of the day today (It’s 1:00 in the morning tomorrow now) at a cafe he likes, doing computer work for a client.

All of a sudden a Chinese girl came into the cafe, distraught because she had left her purse in a red truck (taxi). Our son was able to talk to her in Mandarin, called the police and talked to them in Thai. They were able to find the particular red truck, the driver, and the purse. Our son said that would have never happened in China. I think it wouldn’t have happened in the United States, either. He said the Thai people are very nice.

I’m so pleased that he wanted to – and was able to – help, speaking in two languages. He has always thought it was important to try to learn the language wherever you are, showing respect for the country and its people. I’m happy that all his work on language classes actually helped someone in distress today.

(The picture above shows the Chinese people on the left, including the girl with her Cat’s Eye bag. The Thai red truck driver in the middle, and the Thai police on the right.)  It makes me feel good that the driver was honest, the police were helpful, and the girl was helped. There is still good in the world!

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, Family, giving, opportunities, Short Powerful Stories

A Beautiful Birthday Present

My friend Kay brought me this beautiful black elephant ear plant as one of my birthday presents. (She also brought me a Joseph’s Coat climbing rose bush plant)  I finally got this planted yesterday, in one of the tall brick planters beside our front porch. It will be as protected as possible from the gusty winds we have at times. It’ll get sun in the afternoons. I hope it will be happy here.

 

If it isn’t happy here, I’ll transplant it to one of the brick planters along the front of the house that we’re having to take down and rebuild. That may be awhile, though.

 

I think this is a beautiful plant and I hope it does well. I thanked her, and then Kay told me not to – that to thank someone for a plant was bad luck for the plant – or the person – I forget which. I held my mouth shut the rest of the time and will have to HOPE that I didn’t jinx one or both of us with my thank you…

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Gardening

One Reason

I got up to refresh my coffee a minute ago. My husband was asleep in his chair, probably not remembering we need to leave for the dentist in about 10 minutes. This is what I found on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen. He had taken the doggies out and cut these to bring in while they were out.  He’s definitely a keeper, and this is only one of the many reasons why.

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Treasure is in the Eye of the Beholder

National Treasure Film Set-Wikipedia

Somehow the ancient, old, chaotic feel of this photo reminds me of my art room right now. I’ve pretty much finished gathering things for donation, though I’ve started another bag. I’m down to the nitty-gritty of going through things carefully, getting ruthless about whether I actually plan to USE whatever it is, and then deciding its fate.

This is harder because I’m finding lots of things, like pictures torn from magazines, that get my juices flowing. I’ve decided to pare these down to about 1/4 or less of what I currently have. I’ll make files of what I keep so that I might actually be able to find them later.

I’m finding ‘treasures’ though – things I’ve had for years that have been buried. I’m loving this – but the finding of wonderful things makes it harder to make significant progress on my efforts to purge/give away/throw away/clean and reorganize.

I did finally uncover a chair, so I can sit in the middle of the chaos and go through things. I put in two sessions yesterday and will do at least that much today. I’m hoping to be able to share pics with you soon.

In the meantime, who knows what treasures I’ll find today!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Delightful Surprises, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

A Really NICE Surprise!

My husband and I were working in the office when our driveway detector went off. My husband said, “Could you get that?” I went out to see the UPS delivery person, something that happens often around here. I brought the box into the office and opened it. It was a vase with a dozen red roses!

My husband doesn’t like to celebrate ‘holidays,’ saying he thinks he should be good to me ALL the time, rather than just a few days each year where it’s EXPECTED that the guy get a present for his love. In fact, we’ve talked about the fact that the ads must make men like my husband  – or someone who might be strapped for extra cash – feel awful for NOT spending lots of money to ‘show his love.’  We think love shouldn’t be a ‘have-to’ thing.

My husband was really good about sending me flowers for NO occasion when I was at work. It was his hope that I would feel special, and that the other women in my workplace would feel jealous that I got flowers and it wasn’t my birthday, or Valentine’s Day, or anything.

In June we’ll celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. Since we have loved each other since I was 14 and he was 17, you can add another 9 years to the official married years. I guess I’m confessing to a kind of addiction…

I really wasn’t expecting this. The card says, “I never get enough of you!” (For two people who don’t even use the same SALT, you KNOW that isn’t true, but what a NICE thing for him to say! He’s definitely a keeper.  :0)

 

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, holidays

Wonderful Surprise

Mary Lou, my sister-in-law, sent me a surprise package. We received it yesterday.

A “Labrador” pillow cover to honor our sweet ‘puppy,’ Amber!  We bought a pillow insert today after Lunch Bunch and I couldn’t wait to see how it looked on the couch.

 

Great present!  Thanks so much, Mary Lou!!

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Wonderful Surprise!

thereforenow.com

There is little that gives me so much pleasure as writing my blog. I LOVE sharing things with you that I think you might like. The WordPress people keep track of how many people sign up with their email address, as opposed to people who read the blog through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

My husband told me that, if/when I reached 1,000 subscribers via email, he would take me for a lobster tail dinner (my favorite food in all the world). I laughed, knowing that I would NEVER have that many followers.

For the past two weeks, for some unknown reason, I’ve had a lot of new subscribers. Last night I had reached 998. I refreshed the page this morning to find 999. Just before I was going to go into the kitchen and make us a salad for lunch, the number changed and said, “1,000!” I whooped with joy and ran to get my husband to come look.

I figured that soon we would go get my lobster tail, but my husband said, “Get your coat. We’re going to get your lobster tail!” We just got back about 10 minutes ago. I am now stuffed to the gills with a truly wonderful, bit lobster tail, bites of which I dipped into a little bowl of melted butter. We got the Red Lobster biscuits that are to die for, and have a gazillion calories and even more carbs, but simply melt in your mouth. I had wild rice and broccoli, plus a small salad to round out my victory meal. I savored every bite.

My husband hat a grilled chicken salad, a couple of the biscuits, and a Corona, but his favorite part of the meal was apple croissants with ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert.

My husband says I need to ‘get to work’ now. I won’t get another lobster tail dinner until my subscriber list hits 2,000….

Seriously, I am very complimented that so many people enjoyed what I was posting enough to sign up. I’ve lost subscribers over the course of the past two years – probably because I tend to post a lot. I hope that people aren’t aggravated by that, because I just have a  lot to share.  I picture people just ignoring my posts until they have the time to look at them, or – if they’re not in the mood – just deleting them.

THANK YOU for reading my posts. Thank you, also, for taking time to write from time to time. I appreciate the feedback very much.

Have a wonderful day.

 

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When ‘Favorite Thing’ Meets ‘Pet Peeve’

Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

I LOVE to watch figure skating. It’s one of my favorite things in life. My husband found that the contest for who would go to the Winter Olympics in figure skating was on television Friday and Saturday nights. I was in Heaven. The ladies skated on Friday and the men on Saturday. Seeing so much dedication and talent in one place is awe-inspiring.

 

Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

The women were all very talented, but it seemed to me that the contest wasn’t as close as the men’s.  I have to say I’m really pleased to live on the same planet as these talented people.

The reason I titled this post “When ‘Favorite Thing’ Meets ‘Pet Peeve'” is the people who ‘help’ me watch the performance. Yes, they’re professionals. Yes, they know better than anyone how well the people skate. They’ve watched these folks in practice. They have been where these young people are and know what they’re feeling and how nervous they are.

My pet peeve is that I don’t want to listen to them! I want to watch the ice skating. I want to listen to the music they’ve chosen. Even “I” who can’t tell the difference between a ‘quad,’ and a ‘triple lutz’ (spelling?) can SEE when someone does a brilliant job of skating. I can tell if they almost fell or actually fell on their butts. I don’t care what the name is of the thing they’re about to do. I don’t want to know how nervous they are or that they had trouble in practice. I JUST WANT TO WATCH THEM SKATE AND LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. The commentators can talk in-between performances, even showing ‘where-little-Johnny-fell-on-his-butt’ over and over again, if they would like.

The result of this pet peeve is that once the skater begins, it’s about 4 seconds before one of the commentators HAS to tell me what is coming up and how important it is that little Johnny doesn’t fall on his butt this time. I mute the sound and watch, then unmute to see if I can hear at least a few seconds of the music before another commentator HAS to break in to tell me that little Johnny said that this performance was really important to him tonight. Well, DUH!

So, the performances are largely done in silence in the Lewis household. Amazingly, even without listening to the commentators, we can tell who did a good job and who didn’t. We realize all the years each of these talented people have practiced. We have an idea of what they’ve given up to get to this place. We want them to do well.

I just WISH we didn’t have to appreciate them in silence…

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, Favorite Things, Pet Peeves

Mr. Bountiful

behappynowbook.blogspot.com

My husband and I work in harmony each morning to get all the animals fed, breakfast fixed and eaten, dishwasher unloaded, and our basic chores done.

He usually takes the animals out first thing, stopping at our big bucket of sunflower seeds in the garage to take out to the deck for the birds. We put out both sunflower seeds and the small seeds you see in the picture above.

After he comes in and we are sitting at the dining area table for breakfast, it’s like the memo went out – “Mr. Bountiful has come!”

All of a sudden we’re awash in lots and lots of birds of all stripes bouncing from feeder to feeder, plus a squirrel or two, entertaining us as we eat.

We put a special squirrel feeder up, right on the other side of the window. It has a gallon glass bottle held up by a wooden closure. The squirrel has to come into the wooden enclosure and then stretch out to get the seed in the bottle. We get a really great look at him. There are little pointy-headed birds that also use this feeder, popping in and out with regularity.

With the birds and squirrels outside the window, our two dogs and two cats sitting on the floor around the table, and the fish happily eating in their aquarium, we feel happy and rich.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband’s birthday. We’re not doing anything special because he would definitely like to forget he’s getting older. I kissed him and wished him a Happy Birthday this morning, and he said, “Hummmmph”

He got the best present this morning, though, and I got to share in it.

Our son lives and works in Thailand. It’s been over two years since we’ve seen him, though we use a chat program he set up, talking to him most days about this and that. We’re able to send him pics, type in real time at each other if we’re up and available at the same time, so it’s as good as it can be, EXCEPT when we can use a program called appear.in which is like Skype, but infinitely better. The picture is really good, the sound is good. There is almost no lag time, no echoes. It’s almost as if we were in the same room.

He arranged for us to use this this morning! He wished my husband a Happy Birthday. He said, Dad, will you do something fun? I love you.” My husband answered, “Every day is Christmas for me. You were the best present of all.”  I have to tell you I melted into a puddle and couldn’t speak for a while. Then we chatted about everything under the sun. I drank in his face the whole time, delighting when we could make him smile or laugh. I had everything I needed in the world while we were talking.

A wonderful birthday celebration to be sure.

 

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Heavy Mist/Light Sprinkle

When Amber and I were walking this morning, I saw a beautiful sight – everything in the yard was covered in stunning drops of water. It was completely still, so the water beaded up as if all had been waxed. I tried to get a couple of pics to give you an idea of what my world looks like right now.

 

Even the GRASS had droplets of water sitting on the blades!

 

Like a fairyland, except a bit too cool – at 42.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Garage Sale Goodies

My husband likes to go to auctions. I hate those because you stand around at least half the day, waiting for the items you want to come up, and then are outbid many times by others, coming home empty-handed. I just don’t have the patience.

I love garage or yard sales. Everything is out where you can see it. You can quickly see the prices, decide if you want it, and buy it or not and leave quickly. What could be better?

We went to a yard sale yesterday and I found several goodies!

The lady having the sale told me that another lady had gathered these handkerchiefs with the idea of making a quilt from them, but then changed her mind. I got them for 50 cents a piece!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the salad spoon and fork, and the others are ice cream scoops. You can NEVER have too many of those…

 

This is heavy glass, with a light ‘frosted’ look on the outside. I just love it. ($5.00)

 

And this is heavy cut crystal! ($5.00)

I’m very happy with my new treasures!

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Favorite Things

The Best Compliment Ever

Awhile back I posted that I had closed down my website, Creative Artworks, after about 17 years. I had the work of several artists besides myself displayed, and I had the best time promoting our work, plus made some good friends. Then it got to the point where a small group of artists were actually working with me, helping me keep our standards high, helping me with contests, keeping their part of the website up to date. There was a larger and larger group of people who were just there. I actually had some who embarrassed me. We would get an order. I would email them, and they would respond, “Oh, I haven’t made those in a year.” I would have to refund money, disappoint a customer, and creat something for them to try to show them how sorry I was for their inconvenience. When this happened more and more, I decided to shut down Creative Artworks. I keep my own work on ArtFire.com and Etsy.com.

I received a phone call at about 6:30 yesterday evening. It took me two tries of the man saying his name before I recognized who he was. This was a customer of mine for whom I had painted and personalized wooden ornaments. He tried to go to Creative Artworks, finding the link no longer took him to the site. He tried emailing me at the email address I used for business, and the email bounced. So he called me, still having my phone number from the last custom order!

He wants me to paint and personalize more ornaments for him! I was astounded that he went to so much trouble to contact me. I had tears in my eyes while I was trying to talk to him. He now has my regular email address and we’ll work out the details of which ornaments he wants, how many, and possibly for multiple years, but I’m still tearing up.  Of COURSE, he’ll get a nice discount on whatever he decides to order. :0)

What a beautiful compliment! To say this warm feeling has started off my Friday well is a vast understatement.

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Lewis Art

“The House Under the Rainbow”

Two days ago in the afternoon, my husband said, “You’ve got to go outside. Walk halfway out to the shop and then turn around and look.”

The temperature had suddenly dropped by about 20 degrees. There was a fabulous breeze and this gorgeous rainbow over the house, though no rain.  I just stood, drinking in the breeze and the beautiful rainbow for several minutes before coming back in. My husband caught this pic while he was out. Neither the rainbow nor the rainbow lasted more than a few minutes, but what glorious minutes they were!

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Mother Nature

Creating Beauty

Medellin, Colombia – art, craft, and architecture – via Jane Daniells

 

My friend Jane posted this on Facebook, tagging me because she knew I would absolutely LOVE it. I went nuts over it immediately, and then my mind boggled when I realized how LARGE it is. Those are PEOPLE around the edges, and STORES. Where most malls would use the space for a food court or something, these people created real beauty for all to enjoy. What a lot of talent went into this! If you look carefully, you can see 5 men laying in more glorious purple flowers on the right of the picture. Just beautiful.

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Delightful Surprises

Community Yard Sale Goodies

Yesterday and today were the annual Greenwood Community Yard Sale. There are products outside the stores marked way down, there are fund-raising sales by non-profits for various causes, and garage sales all over the city and county.

We went to one sale yesterday put on by a storage facility where someone apparently went too many months without paying their bill. I got the wicker and macrame (?) thing in the pic above. The duck is large enough to serve rolls or biscuits in, or to put a stack of napkins, or in the bathroom to hold washcloths, etc. You could put a votive candle in the ‘bottle’ with the handles, or aroma sticks with nice-smelling liquid, or…. The macrame basket with the rope handle just spoke to me. I have no clue yet what I’ll do with it. :0) ALL for $4.00.

 

I found this wonderful guy today. He’s BIG – some two feet tall, but he squashes down quite a bit for storage. I simple love snowmen, though I’m not fond of driving in the snow. He’ll have a prominent place on the buffet from Christmas through the 1st of March. He was just $5.00.

We also got a nice water hose, a roll-around chair for the office, and a square for the shop – all three for $23.00.

My husband likes auctions. I would rather be shot in the foot than go to an auction. I don’t have the patience needed for the item I’m interested in to come up for auction, only to be outbid, after spending half of the day there waiting. I love yard sales where you can breeze in, walk around, seeing what the price is for each thing, either grab it or pass it up and then get out of there quickly.

I told you my husband and I are opposites, not even using the same salt. This is one of the many examples of why it’s amazing we haven’t killed each other in the 48 years we’ve been married. We’re certainly never bored, though.:0)

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Greenwood

Emotional Day

blog.mamamshealth.com

The picture above could be Amber, but it isn’t. Isn’t it great?

 

We went to have our teeth cleaned yesterday, the first time since our wonderful dental hygienist and her husband were killed in a crash of their private plane.

Our receptionist called the day before to remind us of our appointment. (I hope this is routine, and that she calls everyone – not just us because we’re getting a bit doofus in our sunset years.) She told us that our hygienist’s name was Alisha. She also carefully tiptoed into making sure I knew that our Shannon was gone.

When we got there, we were greeted with smiles, as usual. I went first, and discovered to my delight, that Alisha was competent, gentle, and caring. She had worked for the dental office part time, and so knew everyone there. She really liked Shannon, too, and was grieving with us all. She’ll be very good in that spot.

My husband went in when I came out. When he left, there was a steady stream of people coming to me one at a time, asking for a hug, and thanking me for the card and letter I sent them when I heard the news. Lots of people sent cards, flowers, plants, and called, but I was told I was the only one who wrote a personal letter. The receptionist came over, hugged me, and told me she was so touched by what I had said that she had copied my letter and sent it to Shannon’s parents. I teared up over that.

Even Dr. Moore took time to come out and thank me. I again thanked HIM for taking such kind care of me when I was in terrible pain from a wisdom tooth. I remarked that he has the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen. When my husband came out, Dr. Moore told him that I was “hitting on him,” allowing us to share a good laugh.

No one can or will replace Shannon. I still dread going to the dentist, even for a teeth cleaning, but we’re extremely lucky that Dr. Moore really has a talent for gathering good people, then treating them so well they stay. I’m happy he found another kind lady to take care of us.  I told her that Shannon’s patients remained in good hands, and that once she had seen and taken care of each of us, the next time we would definitely be HER patients. She does a great job.

 

 

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Mother Nature’s Gift

We were out walking Amber last night just before dark and saw this sky. I went in to get my camera because this is really unusual. These pics are taken pointing EAST. The last I heard, the sun RISES in the EAST and SETS in the WEST.

Anyhow, the sky was spectacular and I wanted to record it and share it with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Christmas in July

Yesterday morning my husband walked in while I was laboriously cleaning our 2-gallon wheel-shaped fish bowl.  I was on one side of the bowl trying to capture the fish with my one cup metal measuring cup. I caught each one, put my hand over the top of the cup, walked around to the other side of the divider, poured the fish and water into a larger bowl and then covered the top of that bowl.

My husband said, “You need a fish net.”  He asked why I didn’t move the fish bowl into the kitchen sink. I told him that with the water in it, it was too heavy for me to do that. I needed to get the fish out, use a tall plastic glass to remove about half of the water, then move the bowl into the sink to clean.

He said, that’s a lot of work when you have to do it every few days to keep the water clear. I simply said, “I love fish.” He said, we haven’t had an aquarium in a long time. Why don’t we go get a small one and that’ll save you a lot of work.” Not a stupid lady, I said, “Hooray! I’d love it!”

My husband said later, “I’m antsy. Why don’t we go to town and get the aquarium.” And so I enjoyed Christmas in July. :0)

We got a 5 gallon aquarium, air pump, air filter, gravel, some decorations and greenery, and extra filter pads. By the time we got home, it was 8:00 in the evening and we just piled the boxes in the dining area, fed animals, fed ourselves, and watched a movie.

We just finished putting the aquarium together. It took us awhile to arrange an electrical strip for all the plug-ins and then to clean things up, but the fish are swimming all around exploring their new home. We got a siphon type cleaner to clean debris from the gravel, and I’ll read up on when to change the filter pad, etc., but now that it’s altogether, it looks like it’ll be a lot less work for me and a nicer home for the fish.

They’re already swimming through the holes in the decorations. It has LED lights and a quieter air pump than we had in the bowl. We corralled all the wiring as much as possible.

I keep finding another reason to go back to the kitchen/dining area so I can look at the aquarium again. I love Christmas in July!

 

 

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Filed under Changes, Delightful Surprises, Family

Garage Sale Treasures

My husband went to get the mail this afternoon, then came back with a huge roll of about 1,000 feet of Cat5 cable and some vice grips. He said, “There’s a garage sale down the road. Maybe you can find a vase.”

We jumped into the truck and went to the same house that hosted a garage sale some months back. They greeted my husband, and he said “He had gone back for higher authority.” :0)

 

This looks like painted wicker, but it’s metal. I’m going to use it in my art room. It reminds me of a secretary desk with all the small drawers, slots, and even hidden places….

 

I HAD to have this wonderful basket! I put it in our guest room – at least for the moment, while Amber chews everything.

 

A Willow resin piece – this one is “Healing.”

 

This cute thing is several resin snow people hinged together. This is the ‘front.’

 

This is the ‘back.’

 

This is it spread out. I love snow people. I can’t wait to display this in winter!

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Delightful Surprises

Tomato Plants From Suckers – Take 1

These two tomatoes were ready to be harvested this morning. We have one harvested a couple of days ago, so we’ll feast on sliced tomatoes tonight!

Yesterday I tried to plant suckers in order to grow new tomato plants.

“Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above.) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.”

I carefully gathered several suckers, went to my greenhouse where I had pots of Mel’s Mix ready, moistened the bottom of each sucker in water and then stuck it in rooting hormone  (shaking off the excess) and put the suckers in the pots. I then watered the pots. It was really hot in the greenhouse so I left the thermostat-controlled exhaust fan on.

 

This is what the thermometer in the greenhouse showed this morning, although it didn’t feel that bad. The exhaust fan is set to start and run when the temperature inside the greenhouse is 90 degrees F. or higher. It was off. The outside temperature is 77 right now.

 

As you can see, Trial 1 was a failure.  I chose and cut the suckers carefully. The fact that I planted in the heat of the day, rather than in the morning or right before dark may have been a factor. I read the directions on the rooting hormone and followed them carefully, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The fact that the thermometer is reading so high vs the exhaust fan being off may be a factor. I may bring the thermometer in and see if it’s working correctly. *

*It’s now about 45 minutes later. I brought the thermometer inside and my husband shook it. It has red dye now in the bottom of the package. Apparently, the temperature in the greenhouse blew its top off. We’ll hunt for a different style today while we’re out.

On a happier note – I harvested the first of the experiment to try to grow celery from the bottoms cut off stalks bought at the store.

 

 

I cut off the bottom of the stalks of celery I bought at the store and put each in a glass of water. These need to grow a bit more before they’re ready to be taken out to the garden and planted. (If you look carefully, you can see that in the glass that’s second from the left, I’ve put the end of a head of lettuce in a glass, just for giggles.)

 

The celery plants are bushy, rather than looking like what you get at the store. I cut the largest stalks, leaving the smaller ones to hopefully grow.

 

There is a LOT of greenery on each stalk. I washed everything, then cut off the stalks into usable pieces, washed them again, and then took the bowl of cut celery to my husband in the living room where we each tried one. Oddly enough, they taste like celery! :0)

I’m like a kid at Christmas. After several tries and several failures, I’m actually growing edible celery! Woo HOOOO!

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, DIET!, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Volunteers

Second only to perennials, which come up year after year with no effort from you, I love ‘volunteer’ flowers. These are annuals which come from seeds planted elsewhere, planted last year, or just replant themselves in the yard somewhere. This year I have some wave petunias in a clump just off our deck, some impatiens along the edge of the house behind a brick planter, and zinnias in spots along the front yard and beside some planters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hummingbird Lady

I’ve had these pictures for quite awhile, and I neglected to get the name of the person who took them, so I cannot give credit as I would like to. I was fascinated by this lady and the hummingbirds’ attraction to her. I could sit with a little feeder in my hand until I melted into a puddle and hummingbirds wouldn’t flock around me like this. What a special lady she must be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Favorite Pictures, Favorite Things, vicarious enjoyment

Top Notch Care

“Happy Heart” – Pinterest

My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.

If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network.  We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.

When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR.  He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.

My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.

Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”

We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.

We are very grateful, indeed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, kindness, opportunities, taking care of yourself

Wonderful Gift

Animal Jam Wiki Wikia

I had a surprise gift this morning and I’m still feeling WONDERFUL.

Our son lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He arranged for a chat program that is very secure before he left, so we type messages to each other regularly. Skype doesn’t work well at all for us. We’re not sure if it’s our Internet connection, or what, but we gave that up a long time ago, when he was in China for the first time.

Today, he asked me if I had earbuds and a microphone. I was scurrying around, trying to find a microphone, since we packed that up when Skype didn’t work.

When I got back to the screen with one, he had found a program (appear.in – join the room) that allowed me to “join” him in a video chat. I clicked “join”, and then it asked me if I wanted to use the available video and audio. I said “yes,” and there was our son!

I’ve been grateful that – if we’re both up at the same time (there is 12 hours difference) – we can type back and forth to each other, but to actually be able to see his face gave me such joy. I love his face!  We had a chance to really catch up on what’s happening with each other, to laugh together.

At Christmas it was a year since we’ve seen him. We’ve offered to pay for tickets for him to come visit, but pride rears its ugly head, so we don’t know when we’ll see him. Now that we have this wonderful video chat program, we’ll be able to talk and actually SEE him more often. I haven’t been this happy in a long time. :0)

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Family

Birthday Celebration Redux

Happy Birthday – Pinterest

 

LAST Friday my husband took me to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. We had a glorious NON-low-carb, decadent dinner PLUS I had a big delicious piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I received birthday cards and lots of well wishes from my friends. I even bought several necklaces to enjoy. It was a very happy celebration.

TODAY my good, long-time friends, Kay and Linda of Lunch Bunch, celebrated my birthday. I received some really pretty birthday cards, nice presents, and they bought lunch for my husband and me!

This afternoon I get a massage. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

After I made sure I didn’t have to add ANOTHER year to my already-impressive age, I totally relaxed and enjoyed feeling special.

I’ve had quite a bit of love, attention, and nice gifts in the past several days. I could get USED to a celebration every Friday….

ClipArtKid

 

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Delightful Surprises, Friendship

Birthday Festival Continues

I only had one birthday recently, but the celebrating continues!  Each year I give myself a birthday present – something I love that I don’t need.  This year I found a new website called, VIPME.COM. I splurged and ordered FOUR necklaces!

 

I love statement necklaces. I particularly love costume jewelry because I don’t have to worry about someone mugging me to get my ‘jewels,’ or agonizing if the jewelry doesn’t last forever. I would rather have a lot of different pieces to wear than one more expensive piece. I love all four of these.

 

 

 

 

 

The very best part was that I paid $20 for ALL of these together!  Happy Birthday to me….. :0)

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Delightful Surprises