Category Archives: Dreams
I was delighted to see I hit another ’round number’ of blog subscribers yesterday. I danced around the room a bit, then went and told my husband, did some other stuff and then returned to find I had LOST one. A bit later, another was ADDED. :0)
I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
I truly love finding things that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Thanks to the wonderful people who give me feedback. I love getting to know you and the special friendships we’re building.
My poor brain is overflowing with good suggestions for how to make my new Etsy shop better. I’m feeling totally overwhelmed right now, not knowing which way to jump.
I’m going to go do something else from my ever-growing to-do list and then come back and choose ONE thing to do in my shop.
Our son has been in Nepal for the past two months at a meditation center. We had a good video chat with his this morning, actually getting to see his FACE, talking as if we were in the same room. (I placed quotes around ‘home’ in the title above because he is at ‘home’ and works in Thailand.)
This is the entrance to the center he attended in Nepal. He said he had chosen well. It is very well run. He felt very safe there. They were served breakfast and lunch daily, meditating for some 14 hours per day.
It would drive me up the wall, but our son found it a great learning experience, with a totally different emphasis than his meditation at home. He says he would like to practice now, internalizing as much of what he learned as possible, and might go back for another session sometime in the future.
His meditation practice was a character-building exercise for his PARENTS, as well. He has us thoroughly spoiled, having set up a secure chat program, where we send pictures and messages whenever we want, sometimes chatting several times a day. He also set up a conference call program, also very secure, called appear.in where we can see each other and talk as long as we would like. Since Feb. 1st, we hadn’t heard from him at all, in deference to what he was trying to accomplish. We weren’t worried, as such, but it’s a great comfort to again be able to communicate.
Meditation is helping calm his mind, which used to race, he said. He is feeling much more able to deal with whatever is happening around him. He is learning to be much better at ‘living in the moment,’ rather than thinking about things in the past or getting anxious about what might happen in the future. He is more confident and content.
I’m so happy he is able to do things like this. He really has control over his life, his needs, his emotions, his priorities.
It’s too cold outside yet, and I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse, so I can’t start any seeds yet, but NEXT month I’m hoping I can get a head start on the spring planting season.
I’m going through my seeds, thinking I’ll start with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower this time.
I would really love to have some healthy plants grown in my own greenhouse to transplant into our raised bed, square foot garden this spring, instead of having to buy plants locally. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about greenhouses. The problem is that most of the information is written by people who live in pretty cold parts of the U.S.
My experience so far is that unless I have a heater (and we would have to keep it running 24/7 with a 350 foot extension cord running from the house out to the greenhouse) it’s too cold to start anything there yet. We tend to go from winter to way too hot in rapid succession, and then I have trouble – even with the extension cord, an exhaust fan, and the opposite people door open, to keep it COOL enough! So I’m scouring the net trying to find information that will help me deal with the extremes we have in Arkansas.
I’m hoping to start some plants the 1st of March. I’ll post pics of my efforts.
This is a picture of my spring garden last year in the raised bed planters my husband and I made. There are SIX 4’x4′ planters held up by angle iron ‘tables’ about my chest height. They allow me to weed, plant, and harvest without having to get up and down a million times or get down on hands and knees.
This picture gives you another view of the planters. We also used some netting at the end of July and through August when the sun tries to boil plants right in the ground. You can see the hoses and the sprinklers we use to water the plants automatically. They are attached to an outdoor faucet on a timer.
The planters are filled with Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite and as many different composts as you can find.) We mix the ingredients together in a portable cement mixer and then bring the mix into the planters to top off. Then we stretch string across in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting.
I’m starting to plan where the plants will go. It’s best if you rotate crops in this set up, just as you would if you were planting in the ground. We follow the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, where he suggests how many plants to plant in each square. He suggests one plant per square for things like broccoli, 4 per square for lettuce, 9 for other plants, and 16 for radishes. We space them wider than he suggests, having healthier plants that way. (He tends his garden every day, sometimes even more. Since we’re not that conscientious, wider works better for us.) He also suggests that you place like plants away from each other – such as one broccoli, then lettuce, then radishes, then cauliflower in a row to avoid transmission of bugs or any other problems from one plant to another.
I made a grid and I fill them in with what I’m planting where. I use the old one to figure out a new plan for the next ‘crop,’ trying not to plant the broccoli in the same squares as I did the last time.
We have converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to be tomato planters.
I’m at the stage of being excited and doing lots of research and planning.
If you have a greenhouse or do square foot gardening and have tips or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!
Can you tell I’m ready for spring? :0)
WISH 1 –
“My Wish for you in 2019:
May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words …….
May 2019 be the best year of your life!!!” ~ Unknown
WISH 2 –
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” ~ Neil Gaiman, British author
WISH 3 –
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Salvation Army has a program called the Angel Tree program at Christmas time each year. The trees go up in your local town and people who qualify come and asked for their child to be added to the tickets on the tree. People choose a ticket and go and try to buy as many things on the list as possible for that child. The gifts are returned unwrapped by Dec. 7th to the people handling the Angel Tree and they and the Salvation Army handle the rest.
The child’s name, age, and gender are listed at the top of each ticket. Practical gifts, such as clothes (with sizes) are listed, plus a few ‘fun’ gifts on the wish list.
Each year we peruse the tickets and decide which one fits well with our ability to buy the things on the list. We have visions of an ‘idyllic’ beautiful boy or girl happily opening all the gifts, ecstatically happy with the choices with a wide open grin and whoops of joy. Reality is far different, probably, but we LOVE the idea of brightening a local child’s Christmas each year.
Last year we didn’t know where the tree was in time to participate. We were both really disappointed, so I wrote on my calendar this year to call City Hall in Greenwood to see if they were sponsoring the tree this year and when the tree would be up.
This year our choice was “Braden,” a 10-year-old boy. We got clothes – pants (jeans) , a shirt (Flash), a puffy blue coat, boots, and then a remote control car and batteries. He’s into “paleontology stuff,” so we got him a big fierce-looking dinosaur. The “pokemon” cards he listed featured dinosaurs. We also got “Jurassic” hat, scarf and gloves set.
We took all the bags and the ticket, plus the receipt so that the mother would be able to exchange anything that wasn’t right back to City Hall and left them with the nice lady from the water department who is handling things.
It seems weird that we’re doing the Angel Tree before Thanksgiving. I guess that’s why we missed out last year. I guess they need the time to post all the tickets, gather the gifts, deliver them wherever they go, etc.
I love that the Salvation Army thought of this program and runs it, making it easy for local banks or government offices to administer it. I love that families can provide for their kids at Christmas will a bit of a boost from folks in the community. I love our ‘visions of sugarplums’ and the chance to give.
“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.- Ashley Smith
My friend Marsha and I email several times a day. We are very close, even though we’ve only actually met face-to-face once. We’re good buddies, helping each other see things in different ways, helping each other over rough spots in the road, making each other laugh, and cheering each other on.
Yesterday I was telling her I felt overwhelmed. Everywhere I looked there was something that needed my attention. It doesn’t matter what I do, I feel guilty that I’m not doing something else also needing my attention. I don’t have the time – much less the energy – I need to get everything done. This is a recurring theme in my life. Sometimes I handle things better than others. Lately I either work myself into the ground or ignore the whole thing and dive back into my current Eve Dallas “In Death” series book.
Marsha said, “My suggestion: a priority list INCL TIME FOR THE ART ROOM. Doesn’t have to be every day, tho that would be nice.. maybe once or twice a week? I truly believe you owe yourself the “battery recharging” time in the Art Room. That your mind and body will both feel better, more energized for the time spent creating & also doing yoga. Today is BE KIND TO LINDA DAY!! :o) Observe it with reverence! :O), Marsh.”
Is it any wonder I treasure her?
I’m going to try to take her suggestion today. I do have things on my list that I really NEED to do today, but I don’t HAVE to more than 4 things that are priority. (I already did the grocery shopping.) I’m going to make it a point to get up to my art room. It’s still clean from the last purge I did, so I’ll actually be able to sit on my chair at my drafting table without moving several things first. I may just turn on my music and sit there and soak up the joy of being there. I may get an idea for something to try. It’s a wonderful place I can shed concerns and dream….
Our son lives and works in Thailand. The touristy part of Thailand is in the southern part of the country, from Bangkok south. Northern Thailand is beautiful and much quieter, and he really likes it.
He thinks that it is only courteous to try to speak the language in the country you’re in. When he was in China, he took Mandarin lessons. Now he’s still taking Mandarin and is also taking Thai lessons. In fact, he recently told us he doubled his lessons in both and now feels he’s making good progress.
He has lived in Airbnbs and apartments. One of his big loves, though, is making music. He plays the guitar, drums, a little piano, and loves to create tracks of music for a song, making a track of each instrument and then merging them with his electronic gadgets. He can really lose himself in his music, but hasn’t been able to play the way he would like because it would bother his neighbors. He’s been on the lookout for a house to rent that is by itself a little, yet close enough to his work and his classes. He finally found a really gorgeous place and just moved in today. (He’s sleeping now after a really long day of moving in. There is 12 hours difference between us.)
Here are some pics he sent of his new rental house – (I am DROOLING!)
He’s going to use one room as a music room. He plans to start a YouTube channel and list some of his music there. I’m so happy for him and I can’t wait to hear what he creates!
We missed the Blood Moon and the eclipse this morning. Abby, one of our cats who is supposed to go out at night, jumped up on our bed this morning (at 0-dark-thirty – but AFTER the eclipse) meowing to go out. I’ve hugged both Molly and Amber first thing this morning, so my clean tee is now covered in dog hair, and I feel good – that this day is ripe with possibilities.
Our son is in Thailand, living and working with some good friends also from the states. He is in the process of applying for a ‘wider’ passport which has more pages and more space for stamps. He is moving into a new rental HOUSE in Chiang Mai tomorrow, where he is far enough away from his neighbors that he can play his electric guitar, drums, and other music makers without bothering anyone. The longer walk to meet with his friends is a small price to pay to be able to fully enjoy creating. (I’ll post some pics of the house when he moves in.) He is taking classes in both Mandarin and Thai. He is living life in a beautiful place where he can work hard for clients they choose, play hard, meditate, and enjoy life. We couldn’t be happier for him. We communicate with him on an almost daily basis via a chat program, and sometimes on a program called appear.in which, like Skype, allows us to see each other as we visit.
We have an absolutely free schedule today. The day is wide open, waiting for us to decide how we will spend it. I love days where we don’t have a bunch of ‘have-to’s, appointments, pressing things that MUST be done today. My spirits soar on a day like this. :0)
I think I’ll fill this day with things I’ve been putting off with my emphasis lately on cleaning out and purging around here. Today I’ll –
- change out the water in the aquarium, scrubbing it and its contents (except the fish) before filling it again and changing the filter.
- I’ll do routine stuff, such as changing sheets, doing laundry, and vacuuming the unending supply of dog and cat hair
- We’ll change the mailbox decoration today from the Cheshire Cat to a Cherub Holding a Valentine Heart for Valentine’s Day
- I’ll work on repainting the jack-o-lantern mailbox decoration in the shop
- I’ll choose my next clean out project from the wide array of possibilities around here
- I’ll transfer my new celery plants to soil-filled pots and put them on the window sill
- I’ll start a roast in the crock pot
Such is “Life-in-the-Fast-Lane” at the Lewises in Arkansas. Can you see us grinning?
Enjoy your day!
I’m gathering suggestions as to what to start when – and a bit on how – in my new greenhouse! My goal is to be ready to start some plants the middle of March. I’ll have to see what the temperature is in the greenhouse, since I don’t have heat out there, but if it’s too cold, I can start the seeds in the house and move them out there later.
Our greenhouse is 10×14. It is not heated or cooled with electricity because it would cost us a fortune. We do have the ability to have lights, and we do have an automatic venting system tied to the thermostat, so we can get reasonable ventilation in there, particularly when I leave the door open at the opposite end of the greenhouse.
So far I just moved things out there and stashed them somewhere. I’m giving some thought now to storage and work areas.
I would like to keep as much table area as possible for either planting seeds or staging the plants I’ve started. If we have some warmer days (like in the 40s or so) I’ll try to start moving things around, trying to get organized for the initial planting. I’ll take pics as I make some progress and share them with you. I’m hoping that I can stretch my growing season, growing my own plants to transplant out to the square foot garden when they’re ready and the danger of frost is past.
Our square foot garden used to look like this, with two rows of boxes on the ground.
Now we have six 4’x4′ boxes at chest level so I can replenish the Mel’s Mix in the boxes, mark the squares with string, plant, weed, and harvest without having to bend over or kneel down on the ground. The boxes have a fence all the way around them, reinforced with chicken wire to keep critters out. We have an automatic irrigation system set up.
I’m dreaming about plants, greenhouses, and glorious harvests this spring!
As our temperatures here in Greenwood, Arkansas start to decrease as we move toward Fall, I’m starting to dream about working in my new greenhouse.
Since we built it this past spring, it’s been WAAAAAAAY too hot in there to even think about spending more than a minute or two inside.
We put a regular thermometer in there (the kind with the red mercury in a line up the center) and it got so hot inside the greenhouse that not only did the thermometer not read correctly, the top blew out of it! We literally had to clean up the table and the floor around it and throw the poor thing out. We replaced it with the kind of thermometer that only shows a number, and it went right to 120 degrees F. and stayed there, giving us at least a minimum temperature in there.
I had a folding chair out there that burned my generous nether end through my jeans in the time it took for me to sit on it and then leap back up! Needless to say, I have not spent a lot of time out there, waiting to organize it and start planting seeds until at least mid fall.
You’re looking through the open doorway to the greenhouse here. You can see the exhaust fan we mounted in the end. With the door open, the exhaust fan on, and the people fan on, soon I should be able to work in there. This picture doesn’t show all the ‘stuff’ I’ve moved into the greenhouse – starter trays, a trashcan full of Mel’s Mix, water sprayers, planting tools, etc.
This morning I harvested a bunch of seeds from tomatoes we grew. They are drying on a paper towel on top of the microwave. When they’re completely dry, I’ll put them in a baggie in preparation for planting them in the greenhouse. I’m hoping to plant lots of things in the hope that the plants will be ready to transfer to my square foot planters outside in the spring.
I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, standing on one foot and the other waiting for the cold front tonight, and hoping that we are, finally, on the way to cooler temperatures and I can start to play. I’ll do a lot of reading and planning, plus get the greenhouse organized and set up for lots of seed starters. I have two tomato plants I plan to dig up, put in pots, and put in the greenhouse at the first threat of frost. I also plan to winter-over a couple of non-hardy plants, – an elephant ear and a pretty purple plant my friend Laufrain gave me. I already have all the seeds I need, so I just need to exercise a whole lot of PATIENCE now…
The Powerball drawing came and went last night at one minute before midnight for a prize of over $748 million. Surprisingly, I didn’t buy the winning ticket. There was one grand prize winner – in Massachusetts. Darn.
Now I eagerly await the PCH (Publisher’s Clearing House) drawing August 31st…..
The Bad News is that we didn’t win the Powerball Lottery last night. It’s the first one we’ve both tickets for in a long time. It was up to $437 million, so we bought 5 tickets.
The Good News is that no one ELSE won the lottery last night, either. It’s gone up to $650 million now, and the drawing will be Wednesday night. Guess who will buy 5 more tickets!
- I have a whole list of people I would like to give a boost.
- I’m making a list of charities who actually help people, with most of the money they collect going to the people, not admin and heads of the groups.
- I would like to give a boost to hard-working people who can’t seem to catch a break.
The odds of me winning are something like 1 in 292 million, but one can hope…
Well, shoot! I bought 5 tickets for the PowerBall Lottery Friday after Lunch Bunch. The estimated grand prize was $447,800,000, or ($279,175,254.46 cash). Even after taxes are taken out, that would be a handy sum.
There was one grand prize-winning ticket from the lottery of California…
I don’t know if there has EVER been a PowerBall or MegaMillions winner from Arkansas, but I’m sure ready to be the first. My husband’s list of goodies keeps growing, and my list of people I’d like to give a boost is growing, as well.
I won’t buy another group of tickets until the prize goes over $400,000,000 again.
But the Publisher’s Clearing House winner will be chosen June 30th….
Just after we finished the main building of my greenhouse, my husband said that the former president of the Fort Smith Amateur Ham Radio Club had emailed him, saying that one of the members was selling a Rohn antenna. My husband said that if we tried to buy a used control box alone for one, we would pay what the man was asking for the control box, the “scaffolding” the rotor, and the stuff at the top.
I could see his mouth was watering, and he’s worked hard on his ham stuff – passing all three tests available and getting the main radio, and several different, much smaller antennas, none of which he could make work they way they should. People he had talked to in the club said, “It should be working,” but it wasn’t, in each case. He can reach the people for the weekly meeting, but he wants to really be able to USE it.
My husband had much the same look in his eyes that our new puppy, Amber, has when she wants a cookie really badly. So I caved, we called the man, got his address, programmed the GPS and drove to Alma, AR, about an hour or so away.
The 10 foot section parts (5 of them) had been on the ground in the back yard for quite awhile. The control box was in the man’s garage, and that was the main thing that needed protection. We bought the whole group of things, which my husband says is a Rohn antenna, put all the pieces in the back of the truck, tied them down securely and brought them home.
We spent awhile getting all the sections out near the place where the antenna will go. They’re heavy! We’ll need to measure to be sure the antenna is 45 feet away from the commercial power pole to the east of the house. It will be out somewhere around my greenhouse.
The first big thing – before I caved to the purchase – was that he would get REAL help – not just me – to get this thing up securely. We’ll need to hire the man who dug our water well 30 years ago – or whoever is handling that business now – to come drill a hole at least 6 feet deep. My husband says he’ll put a big, heavy pipe in the hole as the base for the antenna. We’ll mix Sac-Crete to put in the hole and around it for a pad on which the antenna will sit.
I insisted my husband call the head of the club back and ask if he knew people we could hire to put the antenna up. (This means someone skinny, strong, and agile enough to climb the antenna with another section in hand, hoist it up and add it to the one he’s standing on, and then do the same until the whole thing, including the rotor and the cable, plus the thingie that turns at the top, are together.) Then we need to install guy wires all around to be sure it’s secure. Happily, Mike knew two guys he called “The Johnson Twins,” who can do just that for us once we have the pad done.
My husband is like a kid at Christmas. There are a couple of places in the metal scaffolding that seem to have burst when water froze inside them. He’ll need to repair those, get enough of the proper 8-wire cable to go from the rotor on the antenna across the field to the house and into the house, attached to his radio and control hub. He’s happy. When we went for groceries this morning, the first thing he said was, “I’m happy we got the antenna.” :0)
It’s a happy day at the Lewises in Greenwood, Arkansas. The sun is shining brightly and the day is full of possibilities.
We’re going to check into the cost of materials for building a 12′ x 14′ greenhouse on the east side of our property. Our friends, the Taylors, are building the Taj Mahal of greenhouses. It’s 2 stories and build onto the back of their house.
Ours is a DIY plan with wood, pvc pipe and sheets of plastic. I would love an area that is protected from our cats and the weather to start seeds, nurturing seedlings until they’re ready to transfer to the garden, etc.
My husband found some plans, loaded them onto his Kindle, and then was able to print the pages so we could put them into a binder.
How to Build a Backyard Greenhouse – A DIY Practical Guide by Tristan Trubble.
This picture isn’t our plan, but the picture gives you an idea of what we’re thinking about doing. We’re buying all the materials, rather than a kit that is MUCH more expensive. Ours will be made of wood, PVC pipe and plastic sheeting. We’ll have 9 ‘ribs’ of pvc pipe, rather than the 7 you see here. We ordered an exhaust fan on the net this morning, whose vents open when the temperature is 74 degrees F., and open FULLY at 104 degrees. There are a lot of details not really covered in the plans, but we’ll work them out as we go.
We wandered around our land, rejecting spot after spot due to the fact it wasn’t flat enough, or caused problems for one reason or another. We settled on an area to the east of our tomato planter and the clematis plants on the east side of our property. We can run water and electricity to it without much hassle.
My husband, as usual, wanted to go ahead this morning and start buying parts at our local Yeagers Hardware store. Since he’s going to have a 2nd cataract surgery hopefully May 16th, I pointed out that it would be at least June before we would be in a position to start this.
So far, we bought the fan and also called the wonderful guy who helps us with our 650 foot driveway when it needs to be bladed. We left a message on his answering machine that we want him to clear a 15 x 15 plot of land to the east of our house for the greenhouse, plus blade our driveway when he can arrange to do it.
I’m going to type a list to give to the guy at Yeagers, and then another list for all the other stuff we need to get for the project. I’ll also read the manual that goes with the plans, ask my husband to read it, and then hopefully we can iron out any problems before we actually do much more on the actual construction.
I would love to be able to give serious effort to growing seeds well before the next season starts, having plants ready for transfer for the fall garden, for example.
Wish us luck!
Sigh. It’s happened again. We DIDN’T win the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes that ended April 28th….
(My husband had added a $63,000-$67,000 Camaro to the list of things he wanted when we won. )
I was a wonderful contestant, going through all the STUFF PCH sent me daily. I practically got carpal tunnel scrolling through all the STUFF I didn’t order – all to no avail. Oh,well.
For a couple of months I had big, quiet dreams of the people I wanted to give a boost to. Wonderful family and friends who would be delighted to enjoy a little extra. I dreamed of changing some lives for the better. Having a financial cushion frees people to think about creating, starting a new business, traveling, reaching out to others. I would love give this to people – to make a difference.
The dreams are beginning again. The current chance will be decided June 30th….
I’ve always wanted to make a gingerbread house. I tried to get my mom to make one with me when I was a child. She had no interest in it.
When I got married, I thought I would make one just for myself and our visitors at Christmas, but somehow, it never happened.
When I was a teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I thought about making a gingerbread house with my 1st grade students. It never happened because (1) it was logistically difficult since essentially everything had to be baked my me at my home and then the gingerbread and all the supplies for making the house would have had to be transported to the school. I was already getting in trouble for playing my guitar at school to teach my kids phonics (I was told, “Ms. Lewis, this is NOT a music class!) plus other reasons…
When our son was old enough to be counting the days ’til Christmas, I thought he and I might make one together. I discovered that HE had no interest in the project…
THIS YEAR –