Category Archives: Encouragement

How Deep is the Mud?

Breathing for Peace via Carol Auclair Daly

I love this for several reasons –

  • It made me laugh.
  • We have this situation at our home. We have a pit bull (Bambi) and a cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly. We try very hard to let only one of them outside at a time. We have no fences. If one of them is out, he or she doesn’t go far from the house. If they are out together, they are a pack and head for the greater reaches. They usually come home filthy – bringing this picture to mind – needing immediately baths.  We use the hose first, to get off the worst. Then my husband continues with Bambi – with Bambi chained to the edge of the deck. I carry Molly inside to the kitchen sink where I can soap her thoroughly a couple of times. See how happy the doggies in the picture look? So do ours…
  • I also love this for the message at the bottom. Some of us can shrug off the bad things. Others of us are hit right between the eyes, where it truly gets us where we live. There are as many reactions to ‘stuff’ as there are people. Since we never know what others are going through at any time, we might consider giving them a bit of extra consideration…

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Sharing Spring – Take 2

I feel sorry that so many people I know – and even more I don’t know – are having snow and even blizzards this week. My heart goes out to them, even though they might be more used to what I call ‘bad weather,’ and not consider the current weather a huge deal, as I would.  I hope that the blizzard doesn’t cause too much havoc.

Here in Greenwood, Arkansas, I’m like a kid at Christmas, anticipating real spring. We’re having a good taste of it, and for that I’m truly grateful.  I just checked on the garden and it’s still doing well, thank goodness. With these overnight freezes, it’s one day at a time around here.

On the inside, I can’t lay down my well-earned moniker, “Serial Seed Killer,” yet, though here is the latest batch of spinach sprouted from seed. These are in pots made of peat, filled with Mel’s Mix, so if they live, I’ll plant them, pots and all, intact, in the garden. Maybe I can add, “Persistent Planter” to my moniker? My husband describes my efforts as, “Even a dead hog finds an acorn now and then.” :0/


Also on my window sill is the orchid my good friend, Nora, gave me a couple or three years ago now. I’ve thought it was dead a couple of times, but kept watering it and keeping it in the sun. Lately it bloomed!



Meanwhile, things are beginning to green up around here.




Everywhere I look, I see something sprouting. I LOVE this time of year!

Hopefully, once this ‘last gasp’ of winter is over, we can ALL think happy thoughts of renewal.

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Filed under Arkansas, Encouragement, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature


John Lennon via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Recharge Your Mind

Recharge your Mind via Cathy Ruggiero

I love this – both the picture and the suggestion.

I have found lately that learning new things makes me feel empowered. And I LOVE that feeling! :0)

Sticking your neck out, trying something outside your usual bailiwick, widens your world, including new possibilities.  And when you’ve added a new skill to your toolbox, you’re also adding confidence. And THAT makes you want to reach out more…

Start the cycle. TODAY.  You’ll find yourself smiling, brimming over with happiness!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

The Beautiful Thing…

Recharge Your Mind Via Cathy Ruggiero

Recharge Your Mind Via Cathy Ruggiero

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Last of the Personalized Christmas Ornaments








“Rocking Horse”

I finished the last of the 20 different hand-painted wooden personalized “Gingerbread Cookies” themed Christmas ornaments today.  I’ve had a lot of fun making them, along with the personalized Christmas Cards on the same theme.

If you’d like to see the whole collection, click HERE

I’m also working on a special group of ornaments as Christmas presents for good friends, so I’m having a blast in my art room lately. :0)

In the shop, I’ve started a new mosaic bowl. The design is free-form, meaning I’m just doing what I like. The sides of the bowl really slope, so I can only do a ‘ridge line’ each day, covering the glass only on the very top of the bowl, then turning it and adding more. Otherwise, the tiles slide down the bowl and dry wherever they end up. (Lesson on a previous sloping piece.)

I love days when I can do errands with my husband, get outside and enjoy the weather, spend time in my art room or the shop (or both), do a couple of “things-I-really-need-to-do-today” and THEN have time to start or continue a book….

I hope that YOU’RE having a fun day, too.


Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Encouragement, Family

Riches and Roadrunners

Friends at Lunch - Pinterest

Friends at Lunch – Pinterest

I’m feeling rich today. It started with Lunch Bunch – a group of friends that my husband and I enjoy every Friday at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood, Arkansas. I don’t know how many years we’ve been doing this. The group started with just three of us – three ladies having lunch. The group has gotten larger, and then smaller over the years, but my husband became an official “Lunch Bunch Member “several years ago. It’s a great time to catch up on what has been going on. We give comfort when needed, and share laughs a lot.

We did our errands and came home. I noticed this as we drove into the garage –


Purple Iris

Purple Iris

We have beautiful iris, some of which bloom twice each year, but I don’t remember any blooming in February before….




This bunch of daffodils was blooming in the back yard, close to the place where our land stops being a yard and begins being woods.



While I was taking pictures, a roadrunner came into sight. (I couldn’t act fast enough to capture a picture, but the one above gives you an idea.)  He would run a few steps, then stop, His tail would come up and his head would come up. He would hold the pose a few seconds and then put his head and tail down and run a few more steps. He did this wonderful dance all the way across my line of vision as I held my breath.



The spinach seeds are sprouting! These are the seeds that I soaked in water for 30 minutes before planting. I don’t know if the sprouts will continue to grow, or if I’ll have something to plant, but I’m excited that I finally got some sprouts!

And finally – I’m feeling rich because I’m going for a massage today.


My wonderful massage therapist fell and broke her arm badly last year. She has had to have three surgeries since then. She faces a fourth surgery in the near future to hopefully get things finally back to normal with no pain. She is now giving one massage a day and I lucked into an appointment for this afternoon.  My body is already sighing in anticipation!!!

What a rich lady I am!

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Can You See Me?

Kajomyot Krunkitsatien

Kajomyot Krunkitsatien

There Was An Owl

“There was an owl
who lived in an oak.
The more he heard,
the less he spoke;
the less he spoke,
the more he heard-
We all should be
like that wise old bird.” ~ Unknown

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February 16, 2017 · 11:14 am

Just Listen

Rachel Naomi Remen via Lisa Bearnes Richey

Rachel Naomi Remen via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany

Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany

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Practice Happy

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Happiness comes from deep inside you.  It’s a feeling that is almost a “skill” in that the more you practice making yourself happy, the easier it gets.

In the beginning you might have to work at looking around and seeing all the good that surrounds you, recognizing how very lucky you are to be enjoying another day, how wonderful it is to be surrounded by interesting people, how terrific it is to have more exciting things you want to do than you have the time or energy to do them, how special it is to have someone you love.

As with anything else, no practice is ever perfect.  If you work at it every day, you’ll get better and better.


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement

Roller Coaster

Today the high in Greenwood, Arkansas is forecast to be 83. (It’s already 78.)  Every day or so we’re having a lovely, spring-like day followed by a couple of days with highs in the 50s. It’s no wonder that so many people are having allergy problems and getting sick. It’s glorious right now, though, and we have our front and back doors open to air out the house. Even though both dogs have just been out, they ran out onto the back porch to find spots in the sun to enjoy.

I’m itchy to start planting veggies in our raised bed square foot garden, but it’s definitely premature. I’m going to hold myself to planting Georgia Sweet Onion sets next week and we’ll see what happens with the weather. My birthday is in March and it has snowed here on my birthday. I think we probably have some real winter left.

Yesterday after I did some more cleaning, I gave myself the gift of some time in my art room. I’ve told you that got the idea for “Gingerbread Cookies” Christmas cards and wooden ornaments a long time ago, but have been having trouble making time to actually get upstairs and work on this. The custom Christmas cards are finished and are on Creative Artworks.  I’m having a lot of fun “decorating” the painted wooden ornaments now. It’s just like baking sugar cookies, except on wood. I’ll show pics when I have a reasonable number of samples finished.

When I finish these, I have a really nicely shaped glass bowl in the shop that I’m planning to do a mosaic design on. There are only a couple of stages where mosaic work is work-intensive (meaning you can’t stop until that stage is completely finished) so it’s a nice project for this time of the year before I get busy in the garden and the flower beds.

I ‘yoged’ yesterday, stretching the last of the soreness out of my back, so I’m feeling sassy now. It’s such a pleasure not having to ‘worry’ about having to cough or sneeze; plus being able to get up or down, or into and out of the car without pain!

We have nothing we HAVE to do today, so I’m enjoying a leisurely pace, doing what occurs to me, enjoying the day. I hope that YOU are enjoying YOUR day, as well.


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Breathe It In!

Whispers of the Soul via Carol Auclair Daly

Sark via Whispers of the Soul via Carol Auclair Daly

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Life is Short

Getaways Travel - Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

Getaways Travel – Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Small Steps

Desiree Angelique Hackett

Katie Kacvinsky via hangoutwithoutfreakingout via Desiree Angelique Hackett

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Playing in My Art Room

Yesterday I started painting my newest order for stationery and note cards in my newly cleaned and organized art room. What a pleasure! I finished the package of deckled edge floral stationery last night and I’ll start the package of note cards today. I’ll share some photos when I’m finished.

I have to tell you I love my life. I don’t know how I ever found the time to work full-time, as I did for some 45 years. Then I changed to working from home, continuing to do medical transcription I used to do at an office in Fort Smith. I also started my website, Creative Artworks, in 2000.

I still run my website, which has about 25 other artists right now. I love writing this blog, trying not to bury you alive in pictures I’ve found, thoughts I’ve had, and more each day. I love working in my art room on orders or ideas for new things, plus working in our shop with my husband, creating metal yard critters out of scrap metal, cutting new mailbox decorations out on our CNC setup with computer-guided torch, creating stained glass pieces and mosaics. I’m brimming with ideas for a new mosaic project, a new technique for working with gourds, a glass etching, and ideas for a new theme for Christmas cards and wooden ornaments.

My raised bed square foot garden is always in my thoughts. As soon as I finish a few more things, I’ll get out my master ‘map’ of my six 4’x4′ raised beds and figure out what I’d like to try to grow for our veggie garden in the spring, as well as where to put them in the garden. I’ll start some spinach seeds inside, since I have real trouble finding spinach plants.

A gift that keeps on giving is our brick planter beds all around the house, brimming with flowers. We’re trying to add more perennials each year, since we ARE getting older, as well as planting our favorite annuals each year.

I started practicing yoga – the old ladies’ version called “Gentle Yoga” by Sixty & Me. I’m still surprised that it is so helpful in controlling pain and promoting flexibility and better balance. I’ve bought a 2nd DVD from them, called, “Gentle Yoga Flows” which combines what is taught in the first DVD set and guides you through four different practices that leave me feeling looser and much more relaxed.

I have more books than I can read and feel rich for it. I love learning new skills. Between the Internet, YouTube demonstrations, and books (either physical or on my Kindle) I can learn things as fast as this old brain can absorb them. What a luxury!

My husband’s and my health are improving, thanks to our low carb lifestyle and a newer emphasize on avoiding as much sugar as we can. We’re both feeling better for it. (The latest new thing is Cashew Milk, thanks to my sister-in-law, Mary Lou’s, recommendation.) It has 25 calories and 0 grams of sugar per serving. He says it doesn’t taste watery and likes the more creamy taste. My husband is wonderful about encouraging my efforts to cook new recipes, not griping if the recipe is just not for us, and very complimentary if I find one he likes. This makes it ALMOST fun to cook!

The days, weeks, months, and years whiz past our heads. We truly enjoy getting in as much fun as possible each day.

So – today picture me up in my art room, dancing to favorite CDs while painting note cards…

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Remember Her?

Love Your Life via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

Love Your Life via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Filed under Attitude, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Encouragement


Anita Opper, Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Anita Opper, Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 11

Since I’m being honest with you, I’ll admit that I’ve been intimidated ever since I received my new yoga DVD in the mail.  That’s dumb, but there it is. No one is telling me that I can’t just simply use the “Gentle Yoga” DVD set for the rest of my life. The same people who created it, though, are offering a follow-up, taking the practices to a new level.

I guess that’s what intimidated me – the idea of ‘taking it to a new level.’ The DVD has been sitting in the pile on the table by my chair in the living room since it arrived, 3 or 4 days ago. Not only have I not tried it, I hadn’t done the other practices that I knew I could do!

I was frozen in limbo.

Today I decided I would play it and just LOOK at it – kind of like steeling yourself to watch a snake wriggle across the room. Then – talking to myself – I decided I would get my stuff set up, just in CASE it wasn’t too hard for me to try.

I’ve just finished “Practice 1” (of the four on the DVD). It was wonderful.

I should have known that the instructor, Cat Kabira,  would guide me carefully through the poses, giving clear directions and reassuring me that if I tried to do the poses, I would get the same benefits as if I could actually fold myself into a paper airplane. This first practice was a series of wonderful stretches that hit the high spots, head to toe, along with the relaxation time at the end. I now am looking forward to doing Practice 2 tomorrow.

With the 2 DVD set of “Gentle Yoga” and the new DVD containing 4 practice flows, I have a total of 5 ‘flow’ practices and then 7 practices designed to target different parts of the body.

I’m gradually loosening up. I realize that I’ve spent many years getting stiffer and less flexible, and that I won’t correct the problem overnight. This wonderful instructor makes sure to remind you that as long as you’re trying to do each pose, you’ll get the same benefit as if you could actually touch your toes, or bend yourself into a pretzel shape. :0)

I’m learning to listen to my body, breathe into any tight, sore, or stiff areas, and I’m learning to relax. I’m FEELING much more. I realize what areas need work. I’m recognizing that I’m improving gradually!

I now heartily recommend the “Gentle Yoga Flows” DVD by Sixty & Me as a great follow-up to the “Gentle Yoga” DVD.

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It’s Playtime!

Reddit via

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Promise to Myself

stop domestic abuse via desiree angelique hackett

stop domestic abuse via desiree angelique hackett

Lately, I’ve been ‘good,’ doing my exercises every day. I do well on my eating until after dinner – then spiral out of control. I’m thinking about wiring my jaw shut.

I’ve asked my husband, who keeps us well supplied with cashews, to hide them from me. I’m TRYING to only eat a sugar-free chocolate pudding after dinner and before bed.

The problem is that we eat about 7pm and don’t go to bed until about midnight. In that 5 hour expanse the kitchen calls to me.

This is ridiculous and I know it. I’m NOT starving to death. I could live off my fat for months. I’m trying to drink water after dinner and wait until about 9:30 for my pudding. So far, it’s a downhill spiral, making my poundage removed smaller.

I’m going to print this and hang it up somewhere in the kitchen to remind me, when I’ve answered the call, that I’m heading in the right direction….


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise

Tibetan Proverb


I’m unable to give credit for this, but I think these are words by which you and I should live.

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Feeling Empowered


I know absolutely nothing about programming or how computers work. A couple of weeks ago, the program I use to be able to make changes on my website, Creative Artworks, wouldn’t come up. Trying not to panic, I tried everything I knew how to do, including rebooting the computer, and nothing worked.

My son is in Thailand, but we can chat through a program. I told him what my problem was. He led me through getting a terminal session on my computer, then finding the program he needed, then running a program, then checking to see if my program came up. It did!  He told me to keep the terminal session open. I did, but one night, when I couldn’t sleep, I came into the office and decided that I would copy the whole terminal session into a Mac program called NOTES. I copied and pasted it, and then went through to get the commands he had me type into the session and I put those at the top of the notes. I did this because sometimes my Mac reboots after adding updates. If it did, or I had to reboot because the computer went wonky, I would lose the terminal session.

Today my computer simply froze. I had to reboot. As I thought, I lost the terminal session. :0(  I checked, and my program wouldn’t come up – the same as last time. :0(

Instead of panicking, I went to the NOTES program. I brought up a terminal session, and carefully typed in the commands at the top. Then I went back to my access program and hit, “retry.” IT CAME UP AND IS WORKING!!!!


I’m so grateful that I have a smart son who came help me, using a chat program, patiently walking me through the problem. I’m thankful that my sleeplessness resulted in my copying what we did to fix the situation into my NOTES program. I’m thankful that it worked!

I don’t have to bother my busy son, who is across the world (12 hour time difference.).

I LOVE it when I can FIX the problem myself!!!!!!






Filed under Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Knowledge and Wisdom

Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Marilyn Vos Savant and Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

The opportunity to learn something new is a quality of life thing.  Being open to new information keeps your brain active. Being aware of what’s happening around you allows you to appreciate being in the moment. Pushing yourself to try something outside your comfort zone is a challenge that keeps you more vital.  Trying new things opens up whole new worlds!

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What are YOU Watering? via Evie Zimmerman,

Neil Barringham via via Evie Zimmerman,

Every year time goes by more quickly. When you get to be as old as ‘I’ am, it is really WHIZZING past your head and blowing your hair!

I’m continuing to try to get my to-do list under better control. At the end of each day, I want to be able to say that I did something of value.  “Value” is a relative term, I realize, but I mean something that has value to ME. It might be

  • something that will have bad results if I DON’T do it – such as paying bills on time, or mailing a book I sold.
  • something that will help me while also helping others, such as donations to the Veterans Thrift Store or the local library.
  • something that will make my husband smile, such as making a huge load of sausage balls for our lunches or snacks, or finding a sugar-free apple cider and ordering it for us.
  • something that makes ME smile, like planting things in our raised-bed square foot garden (or planning for it, or working in it, or harvesting from it….)
  • cleaning out, throwing or giving away, and re-organizing what’s left (something I’m doing a little bit at a time.
  • creating another decoration for our mailbox or metal yard critter with my husband
  • spending good time with family or friends
  • spending time in my art room, playing with some of my terrific supplies
  • relaxing and reading with my coffee beside me
  • doing a couple of sections of my yoga DVD

I ALWAYS have too many things and not enough time or energy to accomplish the list. That’s a given. What I’m trying to do is to make sure that I include FUN in each day possible. I’ll MAKE time to do things I can’t really justify, but love to do.  And I’ll consider it a day well spent if I don’t end up in the slammer for ignoring a ‘have-to,’ plus did something that gave me pleasure…

I’m watering my FUN grass this year. What are YOU watering?


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Starting a New Year

Yesterday I wrote down a goal weight for the end of this month. This morning I had actually gained half a pound. I immediately started feeling like a failure – a long-held attitude from my past.

When I did it, the feelings overwhelmed me for a moment or two, and then I got disgusted with myself – not for the weight gain, but for the ATTITUDE. This year I’m going to concentrate on NOT putting down my efforts to improve.

I’m going to look positively at the differences between the ‘old me,’ and the ‘newer me’ and concentrate on trying to continue my efforts one meal at a time (in my efforts to lose the lard) and one day at a time (in my efforts to move more). I’m NOT going to set myself up for failure. If I’m better than I was, that’s a WIN.

I’m going to try to mentally picture my past failures going through the shredder above, lightening my load, lessening any guilt, raising my consciousness that I’m focusing on being a better me


Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

I Love Giving at Christmas


I love making things for friends for Christmas.

This year I did personalized note cards for 8 people: the three ladies who work at the post office; my Lunch Bunch friends, Linda and Kay, and my good friends Carla and Nora. I’ll do two other sets over the next few days for the two wonderful waitresses at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood, where we have Lunch Bunch. They gave each of us a Christmas mug! I also enjoyed giving some of my mosaic Christmas ornaments, plus jewelry, etc.

There is almost nothing that gives me the pleasure of watching people I care about open gifts from me at birthdays and Christmas. Next year I’m seriously thinking of giving some “Just Because” gifts, purely for the joy it gives ME. I know – I’m thinking of myself again, but at least I’m honest about it….

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Filed under Encouragement, Family, Favorite People, Friendship

Best Advice


AuntyAcid via Ged Backland 2016 via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

AuntyAcid via Ged Backland 2016 via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Great Idea

Josh Mortensen via Laufrain Taylor via Josh Mortensen via Laufrain Taylor

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Good New Year’s Resolution Suggestion

Anita Opper - Zen to Zany

Anita Opper – Zen to Zany

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