Category Archives: Encouragement

I’m Spoiled and I Love it :0)

We’ve had a really nice day today.

The weather is a bit warm, but I really can’t complain. We used our attic fan last night. I woke up at 5 freezing to death, reached up and turned on my electric blanket and was immediately flooded with warmth. Just before I fell asleep again, I turned it off. Perfect.

We enjoyed our good friends Kay, Linda, and Dee at Lunch Bunch. All of us were well and happy – a really good thing.

When we came home I started some eggs to hard boiling on the stove since we were almost out. When I had them going, I started some low-carb bread in my bread machine. I then cut up stuff for a beef stew and put that in the crock pot. I have many devices to make my life easier, and I love it when I can do a lot in a short period of time.

Since our bellies were full from Lunch Bunch, my husband and I surrendered to the sleepies and each took a nap. When I awoke, Amber and Molly were on the carpet, taking naps with us. Smoke, one of our cats, was sleeping beside my husband in his chair. I sat comfortably, glad we were able to catch up a bit of some missed sleep, thinking how very lucky we are.

We’re all up now. I’m about to take Amber out and figure out where I want to plant some hyacinth and snapdragon bulbs we got recently. In another few days, we’ll finally be finished with summer and I can look forward to getting my greenhouse set up for the first time. I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m having such a wonderful time dreaming!

I have some ideas about gifts for friends for Christmas, and soon it will be cool enough to work in our shop without the air conditioning.

We’re almost to the point where we think we can mow the lawn for the last time of the season. I particularly enjoy the last time, taking more care with the edging and weed whacking so it’ll look like someone cares about our yard over the winter months. I’m getting ready to do another round of weed killing with the new spray I got. (Thanks, Cathy). It works quietly and well. You THINK it’s not doing anything, and then the weeds turn brown. :0)

This is rambling, I know, but I wanted to share how how happy I feel today, full of gratitude for being spoiled, enjoying all that we have, being thankful I have someone to share my life with, looking forward to a possible visit from our son in February or March.

Could life be better?

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Do Not Stop

Confucius via

I tend to do all or nothing. I get psyched up and then go for it. Something bars my progress, and I stop. Then I beat myself up over ‘failing,’ and then try to get motivated again.

  • My house is either so clean and organized that I’m ready for “House Beautiful” to come and photograph or it looks like a bomb hit it and we call for the bulldozers.
  • I either follow my low carb diet – or – if I eat one thing wrong I blow the rest of the day.
  • I either exercise my head off or sit in my chair.

I don’t like this about myself, but I find it hard to break a habit built over a lifetime. I tell myself just to do the best I can, but my gut reacts differently than my head or heart.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius

I need to realize deep down inside that I perfection is not the goal. That no one is going to give me ‘points’ and there is no end to trying to improve. That it’s what I do day after day that’s important. And that any progress I’ve made should be celebrated and used as motivation to continue.



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Embracing the Day

I’m learning to embrace imperfection, aware that although things aren’t perfect, I have a lot for which I am thankful.

  • The weather is really nice today – a bit warm to be working outside, but I’ll take it and do what I can. The sun is shining. We had a cool breeze this morning, and we have doors and windows open, bringing the outside in.
  • I can see the humor in the fact that Amber tried to eat the catfish I had thawing in a bowl on the kitchen counter. I caught her in the act. I went in to see her standing on her back legs, front feet on the counter, trying to pull the bowl toward her with her teeth. I managed to save the filets, discipline the dog, and laugh about the situation. I do keep wondering who is training whom…
  • My back is pain free. This means a LOT – because I lost almost a month trying to break the pain cycle. The fact that I can plan my day around what I’d like to do, rather than gingerly moving to and from my chair so as to avoid a spasm, is truly wonderful.  I’m looking forward to doing some work in the yard this afternoon. I’ll also get on my elliptical trainer and do some careful stretching.
  • Our son MAY be coming home from Thailand for a visit in mid February or March! Since my hug bucket is absolutely empty (he’s been gone over two years) I’ll be waiting with open arms whenever he wants to come.
  • I’m working on some Christmas presents for my good friends. I love spending time thinking of them as I try to make something they’ll enjoy.



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Your Daily Encouragement via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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With Enough Caffeine…

Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Anger Management

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Good People in the World

Dr. Singer and Ella

This is our vet, Dr. Singer, helping his labradoodle, Ella, celebrate her 12th birthday this week.

The following is one example of what Dr. Singer and the Greenwood Veterinary Clinic in Greenwood do for the community –


Posted on Facebook by the people at the clinic –

“On Wednesday night, this sweet little boy was brought in after hours by animal control. He had been hit by a car and has a serious break to his hind right leg. He is in need of surgery. We do believe we can save the leg from amputation and use pins to help heal it. He has a long journey ahead. One gentlemen who watched him get hit by the car, saw him running after a car and believes he possibly could have been dumped and was following that car trying to get back to his owners. He is about a year old and does seem to be potty trained as he has not had a single accident in his kennel. Our staff is so taken by him, we couldn’t let him not have a name so we had been calling him Copper.

Our groomer Matt breeds beautiful, sweet labradoodles and has donated one of his puppies for auction. The proceeds in full will go to Copper’s surgery and recovery costs.

This is a black multigenerational male labradoodle. He is 10 weeks old, born 7-12-17. He is available to go to his new home anytime. He has had his first two distemper/parvo vaccines and has been wormed.”  (See  The Greenwood Vet for auction details.)

Update –

“A HUGE thank you to Keith Glass Motors in Greenwood for donating $50 towards Copper’s surgery. Another thank you to Keith and Dori Glass for personally donating an additional $50 AND Duke Roberds, the sales manager at Keith Glass for ANOTHER $50 donation. We are so grateful!!!!”

Update –

“Copper did amazing overnight. He didn’t have any accidents in his kennel. He is walking and getting around well this morning, non-weight bearing on his leg which is to be expected after surgery. He is as happy and sweet as can be. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures as he recovers. We are still accepting donations and will continue the auction in the doodle puppy until Friday, September 29th.”


The Greenwood Veterinary Clinic works with the community and animal control to give animals a chance to be adopted. We personally adopted our sweet Smoke, who was in a cat play cage in the lobby when we went in to buy dog food. I saw her, talked to her, and couldn’t get her out of my mind. We really didn’t ‘need’ another cat, but we’re so glad the clinic gave us a chance to find her.

All of the people in the clinic truly love animals. Matt, the kind man who is donating one of his labradoodles for the auction, is a very good groomer. His close attention to detail for our Molly allows her to run free on top of our ridge line without coming back covered in little bitty burrs.

It renews my faith that there are good people in the world when I read about yet another animal helped by people who took the time to respond when they saw an animal in need and get him to people who could help. The donations will pay for the surgery and care Copper is receiving. The generosity of Matt will give someone a beautiful member of the family at much less than the dogs usually cost. And hopefully Copper will find a forever home. Kind people all around.

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Do You Ever…

Zen to Zany

I told you recently that my husband and I ‘cut the cord’ and cancelled our association with Dish TV. (We had previously cut our Internet service with Dish because we discovered that WOW (World of Wireless in Fort Smith) could give us better service via a tower on the ridge line behind us.)

With this newest change, many of our TV viewing habits had to change. We used to keep the TV on Fox News most of the day. We also recorded a bunch of TV shows we liked via our DVR and would watch in the evenings. We didn’t even know what night or network provided the shows we watched. They were just there when we wanted.

Although these two things were nice, we were paying almost $100/month for mostly channels we never watched. We even researched a new ‘skinny bundle,’ but by the time we got HD, DVR, Fox News, and HBO (Game of Thrones), we were back up where we started. Our bill now for everything is $36.00.  We can get many networks over the air with an antenna. We also have Roku, Hulu, and some others. We have to strain our brains a bit to figure out how to get what we would like, but it’s good for us.

One thing I really didn’t expect was a lifting of a weight from my shoulders. I really hadn’t realized how listening to the same news stories over and over all day, with a bit of a different spin depending on who the talking heads were, was wearing me down, making me depressed. I want to know what’s going on; but, since I can’t DO anything about most of it – other than send donations right now – I just want to be told what is happening without any obvious spin, left or right.

Now we watch Reuters each evening. They ask you how much time you have. You select up to 30 minutes, and then they show you however much they can get into the time frame you’ve chosen. No commercials. No bias that we can detect yet. The news still isn’t ‘happy,’ but I don’t feel weighted down, wanting to crawl into a hole and escape.

We’re making a list of the TV shows we used to DVR and trying to make sure we can get that network. We’ve discovered networks and programs we didn’t know about before and are loving it. It’s a work in progress, and a wonderfully fresh outlook on things. :0)


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I Like This Tattoo

let things go

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“Let the Music Play”

zen to zany via cathy ruggiero

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Do More

Anita Opper – Zen to Zany

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911 Memorial Plaza –


Bad things – devastating things – can happen. We can help each other rise above them, together.

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Trying to Send Strength

DiVoran Lites

The double whammy of Mother Nature with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – with even more following on their heels – is devastating. It seems more than anyone should have to bear.  There is little we can do for our friends and relatives suffering from these awful storms. They make us feel totally helpless.

We CAN show each of our loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers. We CAN communicate and try to send strength their way. We CAN help them with whatever the aftermath is. We can try to help those we know personally, and also carefully research and donate to all those in need that we don’t know. Coming together when bad things happen is something our country does well. Our differences seem to fade, at least for a little while, and we reach out.

So many people are already devastated. We can hope that Irma will change her course, but we have no control over that. We can just reach out and do what we can.  Trying to send strength to all who need it right now.


“When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.”

Author Unknown

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Three C’s

source unknown

Change is difficult. It’s SO much easier to simply ‘keep on keepin’ on.’

Change means leaving your comfort zone, getting up off your duff, doing things might be scary, challenging, even unpleasant sometimes. But if you stop making the choice to take the chance to make a change, you stop living. You gradually quietly implode, your world becoming smaller and smaller until it’s gone.

Sometimes I think my husband is on a mission to make us UNcomfortable – with WAAAAY too many changes at one time.

One example of this is our CHOICE to cancel our subscription to DISH TV. Living in the sticks outside a small town in Arkansas, we’re very lucky to have two satellite TV choices: Dish and DirecTV. Now we’ve tried both. Both offered a lot of stations in the package we chose, but we couldn’t JUST get the channels we wanted, and we had to pay extra for the channels that weren’t included, plus the rental of the DVR, plus a charge for HD, plus……over $98/month.

So now we’re free of that, and that’s a good thing. BUT now we have to learn how to use Roku, Hulu, AmazonPrimeTV, and about 4 other choices right off the bat that all sound the same to me. Nothing is relaxing, mindless anymore. That’s a good thing for us, too, but it isn’t enjoyable at the moment. We had to order another Roku remote, because I can’t take the idea of my husband being in charge of what we’re watching, how loud the sound is, etc.  Now, instead of leaving a news channel on, buffering it for about an hour so we can skip through commercials, plus being able to hit “DVR” and see a list of stuff taped, ready to be watched, we have to figure out how to get the Roku service on (particularly if we watched a DVD the night before), then go to the service that provides the channel or program we want to see, then figure out (again) how to get the sound on.

We’re having to adjust to the fact that you can’t pause a show. You can mute the sound, but you can’t pause. So, if you get a phone call, need to get up to do something, get a call of nature, etc., you either miss whatever happened while you were gone or watch it again.  We have to mute for commercials, although we’re paying a bit extra for services that offer no commercials.

Instead of $98/month, we’re paying $36. We have almost all of the channels and programs we wanted. I’m finding that watching 24 hour news programs was stressful. Since they all hashed the same news with their unique spin or opinions, we aren’t missing much. Between my online news and the ones we watch now, we know pretty much what’s going on.

We’re still researching to find out what’s being offered or updated. We’re still working together to figure out how to make things work. We’re having to strain our brains, rather than mindlessly staring at the tube.

We’re reading and talking and playing with our animals more.

So we made the CHOICE to take a CHANCE so our lives have CHANGED –  for the better.

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Zen to Zany

“We have SUCH a good life.”

My husband and I say this to each other several times a week. Things will never be perfect, and we irritate each other greatly from time to time, but mostly, things are GOOD.


I spent a wonderful time typing to our son via a chat program. He’s across the world from us, doing his own thing, with a good friend and his wife, living and working in a way I really have difficulty getting my head around.

He used to be like me, nervous about traveling and all the details associated with it. Now he travels at the drop of a hat, arranges for Uber to take him where he needs to go otherwise, staying in AirBnB’s for one night, two weeks, a month, then picking up and moving elsewhere. He has computer clients in the U.S. and he and his partners work freelance.

He takes both Mandarin and Thai lessons, wanting to be able to speak to people where he is. He’s making good progress, though he always feels he still speaks ‘baby language,’  he can understand and many times respond now in their language. He can also write in the languages. He doesn’t do this for job opportunities. He does this out of respect for the country and its people.

I talked with him this morning about dreaming of winning the lottery. He said, “It would be great to win the lottery. but we’d have to figure out how to help a lot of people with the money so the money didn’t make us sick. Winning the lottery doesn’t tend to make people happy.  ‘Cuz that’s not where happiness comes from.”

 He also said, “I want to make you guys proud helping good people, and live up to my own standards.”
I told him I was starting a list of charities who actually used most of the money collected to help the people. He immediately came up with two – “Watsi” and “Givewell,” – saying he gives $1000/month to Watsi, “a good group.”
I have to tell you I already feel we have won the lottery – OUR SON.  I feel lucky to know him.


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Sheryl Crow via Lisa Bearnes Richey


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Journey to Happiness via Cathy Ruggiero

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Zen to Zany

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Back into Yoga – Day 6


Last Saturday I started doing yoga again after a several month hiatus due mainly to laziness and stupidity. (We had a lot of things going on and I had lots of excuses at the ready.)

I’m using a DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” via  The teacher is Cat Kabira and I can’t say enough about her.

The practice is geared toward women

  • who have never done yoga;
  • may have had surgeries on knees, hips;
  • may not have exercised in the past umpteen years;
  • are 60 or over; etc.

There are 8 practices on the two DVD set, each one geared toward a different part of the body. I’m doing one session each day, lasting 30 to 45 minutes. Today was “legs.”

I’m having to start over in my practice because during my hiatus, my poor old body stiffened up quite a bit. I’m taking my time, stretching and performing each pose the best I can, knowing that in time I’ll loosen up again. Right now it’s quite a challenge for this old lady, but I trust the teacher and the poses to make me more limber, strengthen my core muscles, get me to stretch out, help me relax, help me sleep better.

I’m on DAY 6 today of being back in the saddle, eating low carb, recording what I’m eating and drinking, planning ahead so I don’t mess up, and doing one session of yoga each day, plus whatever else I have time for.



I have some soreness and stiffness, but that reminds me of what I lost by not doing the yoga and not taking care of myself. I also know that this will be short-lived, now that I’m treating myself better. I have one more session devoted to “balance” (something I really need) and then there is an “overall flow” on Saturday that pulls out some of the best moves from each of the sessions.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a change in my attitude. I feel GOOD that I’m trying to take care of myself again (even when my husband is eating an ice cream sandwich (or TWO!) in front of me while we watch TV.) I’m feeling GOOD that I’m moving a bit more easily.

It’ll be good when my scales and my measuring tape are confirming some good changes, but in the meantime, I’m giving myself the gift of better health!


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

Good Rule to Live By

Kacey Musgraves Shirts

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A Perfect Marriage?

Crafty Morning

My husband and I have been married 48 years. We agree we have a good start now and hope to celebrate many more anniversaries.

We are DEFINITELY two imperfect people. After sharing life for this many years, we know each other well. We know each of our strengths and weaknesses and have long agreed that the two of us are much stronger together than either of us is by ourself. We compliment each other amazingly.

  • My husband is as tactful as Attila the Hun.  We agree that he should never apply as a greeter at WalMart, should not be a party planner, guidance counselor, or U.N. representative.
  • I consider much of the world magic. I have no clue how to fix most things. I’m a reasonable go-fer, but I’m amazed that my husband can look at something, figure out how it works, and many times buy or make a part that gives whatever it is new life.
  • Since we’re retired, my husband has decided that he no longer needs to worry about what day it is, what time it is, or have any responsibility for what we need to do at any given time. Since one of my strong suits is organization, I am in charge of the communal to-do list, calendar, reminder-in-chief, and the person who sets an alarm so we leave at the proper time to make appointments, etc.

When we married, both sets of parents were against it. Each of them felt my husband-to-be was too much of a bad boy with a bad attitude and were afraid I was making a big mistake. That helped us, I think, make it work. My husband is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He also works tirelessly to provide for his family, tries to foresee possible problems and be proactive in doing what we can to address them. He has been an almost perfect father for our son, who also lives ‘outside the box,’ doing his own thing. We ended up, somehow, with a son who is smarter than both of us together, kind and compassionate to those around him to the point he brings tears to ours eyes, who loves his parents very much.

We annoy each other at times to the point I chase him around with a flyswatter, raising my voice. We know each other’s ‘buttons’ and have no problem pushing them once in a while. There is no one who can make me angrier, more hurt, or melt into a puddle – often in one day’s time!

It’s the two of us against the world. We decided years ago we wanted to share our lives. It has been really challenging, rewarding, and never boring. I recommend marriage highly to those really ready to make the commitment and make it work.


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Great Idea :0)


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Dele Olanubi via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Be Helpful

Begin with Yes


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Linda Meyers – Begin with Yes


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Be the Reason

Begin with Yes

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Dancing in the Rain!

Free Spirited via Cathy Ruggiero

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Learning Something New

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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Anita – Zen to Zany – via Cathy Ruggiero

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Life is Like That

Zen to Zany via Carol Auclair Daly-Art by Anita Opper

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