Category Archives: Family

Scrubbing the Fish

Yesterday I scrubbed the aquarium, taking everything out, washing it, changing the filters, decorations, etc. and then filling it back up with treated water. I did everything EXCEPT scrub the fish, though I thought about it.

Due to the things I’ve learned and the changes I’ve made, I have to clean the aquarium every 1-1/2 to 2 weeks now, rather than absolutely every week. I have talked to the fish about the alleged pooping contests that I have read that goldfish have, but they don’t seem impressed with my arguments. Apparently, that is just too much fun…


Both fish seem healthy, and they continue to welcome me at feeding time by getting into one corner, wiggling their bodies and blowing bubbles at me until the flakes start raining down. I like it. :0)

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Good Morning!

via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

It is really pretty outside right now.  We will have to close our doors and turn on the a/c soon, but right now we have a nice breeze with ceiling fans.

We will meet our friends for Lunch Bunch in about an hour.  We wear face masks, and there is a limit on capacity inside the restaurant. It’s wonderful to be able to see our friends, catch up on what’s been happening, and laugh together.

I’m hoping for a quiet day today. I will clean out the aquarium and hopefully work on some new earrings upstairs in my art room.

I hope that YOU have a good day, too.

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, Friendship, Mother Nature, playing in my art room

Brain Dead

Getty Images – CBS News

My husband and I have been reworking our genealogy records. We have found some areas that we either left out, or messed up, so we are going through things very carefully again, trying to verify things, match up images, etc.

After you work on it awhile, using different kinds of records, your brain turns to mush and your eyes glaze. That’s the state we’re in now.

I just went out and gathered some tomatoes – taking our dog Molly for a walk – before it starts to storm again. We will soon have a snack from our South Beach Diet box and then do some relaxing before the afternoon is gone.

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Nice Morning

Can Stock Photo

I had a lovely massage this morning. I asked her to just leave me there and let me drift off to sleep, but she made me get up, pay her, and leave. Imagine that! She is truly a miracle worker. I feel a lot better.

It was getting dark as I left – at 11:00 in the morning!  I got home just before storming started. I shut the garage door, and closed up the house. It has rained, but it doesn’t seem to be severe at this point. We have more waves of storms coming this afternoon and tonight.

I chatted with our son in Thailand this morning briefly. There is 12 hours difference in our times, so we have to chat quickly sometimes. He sounded really happy. He said, “last night when i was falling asleep i was listening to the rain, and i think i heard some kind of religious singing from somewhere, maybe the nearby wat, and i was feeling the breeze from my fan, and i thought to myself how fortunate i am.”

We are on our official whole first day of the South Beach Diet today. (We started after lunch yesterday.)  So far, we’re doing fine, although we’re fumbling around some. We like the shakes, and the ‘ice crushes.”  Mine are chocolate, of course. :0)  I got home from my massage late for our morning ‘snack.’ We went ahead and did that, deciding we would delay lunch for an hour or so. I have keto chili in the crock pot for one of our DIY dinners for the week. I’m interested to see what we think of our lunch options.  I have found that their ‘peanut butter bites” (a package of small cookies) is delicious. I am trying to record what I eat and drink on the tracker on their website. It’s different that the other I have been using, but I’m determined to make it work.

I received one of the new wooden earring shapes I ordered yesterday, and am eager to get up to the art room to see what I can do with it. :0)

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.


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Filed under DIET!, Family, Favorite Things, Mother Nature, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________


Rodney Dangerfield via

My husband is a genealogy buff. He worked for a long time researching and gathering information and then put everything on Family Treemaker. The company changed hands or something, causing us a large period of time with no support, but they came out with a new version not long ago.

My husband decided that he needed to organize things better, standardizing how names were listed in pictures, for example. He’s been working on that all last week and is still working on it now.

A disappointment is that I don’t know much of anything about my mother’s family. I asked her to sit down with me and tell me about her family. I told her I would make notes. She was always ‘too busy,’ and I wasn’t insistent enough. When she died, I found a whole cedar chest full of albums of pictures, NONE of which was labeled. I had NO idea who anyone was.

When the software has been updated (thanks to my husband’s good work) , I will be able to start with someone in our history and see all the pics and documents we have associated with them!

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Thoughts on a Sunday 7-5-2020

My husband and I had a wonderful celebration for Independence Day.

Chicago Steak Company

It rained off and on all day, but then cleared up. We started the grill on the deck and sat outside, waiting for the coals to be ready. (The potatoes were in the oven).  It started to rain. It was a quiet rain, though, so we held our breaths, crossed our fingers and hoped we could get the steaks cooked. (I was ready if we had to use the broiler inside, but they taste better with the charcoal flavor.)

The rain stopped, and then –



It didn’t last long, but the rainbow was absolutely beautiful.

About the same time –

Video Hive

I didn’t get pics of our own, but this gives you an idea. He – or they – (we’re not sure if we had one or two) kept coming back over and over until he/they were tanked up. :0)

We enjoyed a bird singing, and MANY birds coming and going from our feeders.  A road runner ran across the yard, and a white-tailed bunny showed up briefly.

We had two squirrels – one on the hanging feeder and the other at the feeder that has a gallon bottle in the window – scurrying around.

Amber, our 95-pound yellow lab, was happily checking out everything in the yard, playing in the rain, coming back up on the deck to be with us, and then doing it all over again.

We went in and ate our dinner, hoping our neighbors would shoot off fireworks later.

The rains came again – really HEAVILY this time – about 8:45. I thought that was the end of any chance of fireworks. But, as we were watching a movie (we are enjoying a marathon of our Jason Bourne movies), we heard the distinctive sound. We went out to the deck. The moon was coming out of the clouds – gleaming brightly. And the fireworks began!

We watched them for several minutes before going inside to continue with our movie.

What a wonderful celebration we had!

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, holidays

Clean for the Holiday

My fish aren’t particularly patriotic, but I thought they would appreciate having a clean tank for the Independence Day celebrations today.

JD Houston via YouTube

We have had a quiet day, other than someone in the valley below us practicing with his gun this afternoon. I was settling down for a cat nap, but decided it wasn’t in the cards when the shooting started.  I may get another chance before the evening begins.

The rain has stopped for now, and I’m hopeful we can have our cookout on the deck tonight and enjoy the neighbor’s fireworks.

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Thoughts on a Saturday 7-4-2020


We are having a quite dark, rainy Independence Day so far. I don’t know how long it has been raining, but the ground was really saturated when I took Molly out for her morning walk. I sank down into some mud at one point walking around the back of the well house. We live on top of a ridge line, so it takes quite a bit of rain to make our ground soggy. It’s a quiet rain,  rather than a severe storm, so we have the doors open, enjoying a nice breeze, as well as the lovely sound of the rain.

I do hope that it stops by evening, though. We have become quite spoiled here because a couple of neighbors down in the valley behind our home put on quite a fireworks show most years. One of my favorite things in the world is fireworks. I especially love the big orange streaky ones that seem to cover the whole sky. I love ALL of them that sparkle!




I love snakes and sparklers, too.



A memory that will always fill my heart and make me tear up is a year before my husband and I were married. We were celebrating at my parents’ house. Their house sat on an acre and a quarter of land in a neighborhood of two mile-long streets, 24th Street and 25th Place, that each had the same amount of land between Sheridan Avenue and Memorial Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  My dad had bad cataracts and the medical community was JUST to the point where removal of them wasn’t such a huge issue. My dad was living with his, even though he had had to give up a lot of things, not being able to see well enough to enjoy them. The 4th of July was his favorite holiday. He LOVED fireworks. My husband-to-be bought a bunch and brought them with him when he came to share dinner. When night fell, we were all sitting on the patio. My husband brought out the bag of fireworks, a complete surprise for my dad, and proceeded to give my dad the best of all Independence Day celebrations. HE COULD SEE THE FIREWORKS and was like a little kid, joy on his face at each one. It was a hot night and my husband practically worked himself to death to give my dad his personal fireworks display. (I am teared up remembering this. I just went across the room to give my husband a big hug, kiss the top of his head, and tell him again how MUCH that gift meant to my whole family.)

I am hoping that we can cook out tonight. We bought some steak and baking potatoes – a total splurge for us.  If not tonight, my fingers will be crossed we can do it tomorrow night.

I hope you are having a happy day, too.


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Good Housekeeping

We have two cats who own us.

Yesterday Abby –


sat in the exact middle of our dog Amber’s –


bed. Not only would she NOT allow Amber to share the bed, she rubbed it in, stretching and flaunting her position while Amber looked unhappily on.

Another example of our cats owning us –

I sit at my computer answering email, researching things, writing blog posts, etc.  Smoke –

Plops herself down in the middle of my area, keyboard, or work, the fact that she is interrupting meaning nothing to her.


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Louis Sabin via PuppyLeaks

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Today there are two people I know having birthdays –

Linda is one of my Lunch Bunch buddies. We celebrated her birthday last Friday, but her actual birthday is today. Happy Birthday, Linda!!!!!!!!

Meade Dennis Adams is the daughter of my beautiful friend/cousin-by-marriage, Murray in Thibodaux, LA.  Happy Birthday, Meade!!!!!!!



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Paw Prints

Find Cat Names

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Molly’s Food


I have told you that the vet told us that our sweet Molly has cancer. He helped us clear up the immediate problem she was having with her jaw, got her through a bad period with pain and inflammation pills and antibiotics. This has given her some really happy dog days and we are treasuring each one. Right now she is sleeping, but many times during the day she is barking to go outside, prancing around the yard, barking to come in again, and demanding a treat for doing that. (She’s getting one, too. :0) )

We have always fed her twice a day. She is not hungry first thing in the morning now, ignoring her dish.  She eventually eats what is in the dish, plus is hungry for dinner in the evenings.

We keep her in the office behind a gate to protect her from Amber, our 3-year-old, 95-pound yellow lab, who is jealous of her. We are very careful to make sure that we know where both dogs are before we let anyone outside, or let them in again. Molly’s food and water dishes are in the office, safe from others, until she wants them. At least, that is the PLAN.

Lately our animals are getting sneakier.

My husband got distracted yesterday morning and left the gate to the office open after letting Molly outside. By the time he came in with his cup of coffee, Amber


had come in and cleaned the dish. I insisted that my husband make her another bowl.

Another time I found one of our cats, Abby, polishing off the food in Molly’s bowl.


The only one who HASN’T tried to eat Molly’s food (at least that we have SEEN) is Smoke


We are redoubling our efforts to protect Molly’s food so that when SHE is ready to eat, it’s there. Constant vigilance is required….

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I Love Cats

Leonardo Da Vinci – Jess Peterson Photos – via Etsy

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Thoughts on a Friday 6-26-2020

Thrive Global

I’m feeling GOOD this morning. I’ve been eating very carefully since my illness and I think I’m at 100% this morning – no upset – no pain – AHHHHHH!

We have the front and back doors open this morning, bringing in a nice breeze. There is a good chance of rain today, but I’m hoping it will hold off until AFTER we get home from Lunch Bunch with our good friends. This week is the last week we have to eat at a picnic bench in the parking lot. July 1st the restaurant will open in some capacity, so next week we are back to our normal table. (We go early enough that there are usually only the two waitresses there with us, or someone coming in to grab a take-out, so I’m not worried.)  One of our friends is celebrating a birthday today, so it will be extra nice.

I finished weeding my raised bed square foot garden before I got sick, and that is still looking good. The squash plants are looking healthy, though they haven’t shot vines out yet. The little bitty celery plants are still alive. I’m going to check our tomato planters on the other side of the house this afternoon.

I’ve decided that one of the next projects will be pressure washing.

Getty Images

We have two sets of outdoor chairs that are in serious need of a good cleaning. I will also do the deck, back sidewalk, driveway pad, front sidewalk, and front porch. This will probably take several days of work, but it has been a couple or three years since I did it last time, and so is needed.

I’m working on my Important Spreadsheet, getting through the first pass on it yesterday. I need to find answers to questions, and then I’ll finish that up, print copies for several places, send the URL to our son, etc. I will put it on my calendar to check for needed updates in three months, instead of six, next time.

My husband and I decided that we needed more help and motivation on our keto eating plan. Neither of us has built up good willpower and so we have gotten lax lately, gaining several pounds. We decided to do two months of the South Beach Diet

to give us a good push toward getting back on track and losing some lard. We have signed up and are awaiting our first month’s delivery. I’m HOPING that we will be well on the way at the end of the two months. Built into the program is DIY meals, so I will still be using the good keto recipes we like – just reminded of portion size and encouraged to NOT add things we shouldn’t. Fingers crossed this will stop our bad habits and make the scales stop frowning at us.

I am awaiting an order of wooden shapes for earrings. I am in communication with a nice lady who likes these –


but would like them 2″ in diameter, instead of 1″, as they are on the website. She also wants them in hot pink and white. I can’t wait to get started! :0)  I also ordered some other shapes, so will dive in and see what other fun I can have.

Feeling better is making me think of spending time in my art room. Hopefully, I can get upstairs today…

Have a wonderful Friday!



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Filed under DIET!, Family, Friendship, getting the lard off, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________


Shrinking Bunny’s Buns –

I am in the middle of doing a process I suggest everyone do – making a list for your family of important data they would need if you get ill or die. I know, it’s not an upbeat subject, but it’s an important one.

I started this several years ago, when my husband asked, “Where is the _____?”  I now have a spreadsheet that lists all of our information for whoever is left between me and my husband, and for our son, who will be dealing with all the details when the second one is gone.

I have a list of what is in our safe deposit box. I have another for what is in our safe. I have a spreadsheet that lists all our financial information, important people to contact, suggestions on how to get rid of our stuff, death arrangements, account information for utilities, etc.

I have on my calendar to update this every six months. I’m having to make a lot of changes this time, and have a list of questions for which I need to get answers, so I’m changing my updates to quarterly for next time. I was really amazed at how much as changed in the past six months!

One of the things on my to-do list from this time is to see what I need to do to be sure that ALL of our accounts are in BOTH our names. I tried to change some information the other day and they wouldn’t talk to ME. (I was not the account holder – I’m just the one who pays the bills.)

If you are already doing all of this, I applaud your efforts. If you’re not doing ANY of this, you might consider getting started. If you’re like ME – you need to get off your duff and update the information and be sure it goes to the places you need it to be.





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kid quotes – anonymous

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Cynthia E Varnado-The Honest Kitchen

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Who, Not What via Play Bark Run

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, quality of life

I Love Cats

“As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.” ~ Ellen Perry Berkeley


Live Science

“I got rid of my husband. The cat was allergic.” ~ Anonymous



“As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.” ~ Cleveland Amory



“You cannot look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.” – Jane Pauley



“Love me, feed me, never leave me.”- Garfield, Garfield –The Movie (2004)


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Many times – particularly lately – I’ve been frustrated, angry, and afraid that I cannot control much of what is going on in my life. I have wasted time fussing at people, railing at the world in general, and doing a bit of escaping.  I want to be able to control things. I want to be able to wave my magic wand and FIX the people and animals I love. I want to wave it again to solve the awful problems in the world today.  Despite my fussing, railing, escaping – despite my wants, desires, and wand-waving, things are the same as they were.

I am now trying

  • to get calm and try to remain that way
  • to do all I am able to do to make things better
  • to live one day at a time – trying to make each one count.
  • to accept what I cannot change and deal with each thing the best I can
  • to stay as healthy as I can by staying serious about my keto eating plan and exercise
  • to keep finding healthy ways to give myself a break, whether it’s playing in my art room, working in my flowers or veggie garden, reading, listening to music, etc.

“Sometimes you need to look at life from a different perspective.” ~ Inas Chahboun

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I Love Dogs

Cane Cucciolo Wallpaper by Djlcio

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” ~ Ben Williams

“Properly trained, a Man can be Dog’s best friend.” ~ Corey Ford


The Happy Puppy Site

“You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” Dave Barry


Wallpaper Access

“My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.” ~ Unknown



“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” Samuel Butler


National Geographic

“One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.” – unknown


Live Science

“The average dog is a nicer person that the average person.” Andy Rooney


Humane Society

“When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.” ~ Dog Wisdom


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One Smile

Maya Angelou

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Filed under Attitude, Family, Favorite Quotes, Friendship

Happy Fish

I just finished cleaning out the aquarium, scrubbing the fish, and putting it all back together again. (Okay – I don’t scrub the fish, but I THINK about it each time.)


You can see the large gold fish well, but you can’t see the WHITE gold fish.  He IS in there, just crowded out of the picture.

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June 14, 1969 – 51 years ago today  – my husband and I made the promise to share the rest of our lives.  Both sets of parents thought we were making a mistake. We happily made the promises anyway, ‘riding off into the sunset’ together, our whole lives ahead of us.


51 years later, we are still going strong.

Marriage is one of the most important promises you will ever make. It’s the hardest job you will ever have. It’s an evolving work-in-progress that will sometimes require more than you think you have to give. Merging two lives is difficult, to say the least. You will grow and change, and hopefully continue to build a stronger and stronger bond as the years pass. It’s a union that will bring some of the very best moments you will have in your life.  Bad things will happen, but you are stronger together than either of you is alone.  Sometimes you will feel so close your heart spills over. Other times you want to bite each other in the leg. If you each feel that you are giving 150%, it is probably coming out pretty even. In some ways, I can’t believe it has been 51 years (‘officially’, my husband says, since we dated for 8 years before marrying.) In other ways, it seems we have ALWAYS been halves of a stronger whole.


Last year, on our 50th anniversary, my husband said we had a good start, but that he wanted another 50 years. I have told him that I will do everything in my power to give that to him. We don’t know what is in store in the future, but we will face whatever comes together.


Filed under Cause for Celebration, Family, love, marriage

Dogs Have a Way

Thom Jones –


We found and adopted Molly in 2005.  She was 15 in February. She brought a light-hearted goofiness to our home, even making our pit bull, Bambi, smile.

Bambi is gone now. We have Amber, a 95-pound 3-year-old yellow lab now. Sadly, Amber is jealous of Molly – after initially getting along fine – and so we are very careful to keep them separated.

I told you recently that we discovered that Molly has cancer.  The vet examined her, cleaned out a really ugly place that had sprung up on one side of her mouth, and sent her home with antibiotics and pain/inflammation medicine for 14 days.  We had agreed that if she had some quality time left, we wanted her to have it.

You see her sleeping at my feet as I type. She now rests well. When she awakes, she is full of energy and barks sharply for us to let her out. Many times she barks again within a very short period of time, knowing that she gets a treat when she comes back inside. She is taking great joy now – gaming the system – going in and out countless times each day. Her bright black eyes sparkle and she grins each time she gets another treat.

She is prancing around the yard, hopping around, playful as she hasn’t been in years. I’m playing with her, then spending as much time as I can each day, giving her as much love as possible. She is getting a lot of happy dog days now, and we are treasuring each one.

One happy day at a time.




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Cats – Connoisseurs

James Herriot – Country Living Magazine

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Love Is

LoveQuotesPics – Tumblr

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Kinky Friedman via

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Thoughts on a Sunday 6-7-2020

Our Sweet dog Molly is better with the antibiotics and pain/inflammation medicine we got from our vet. She is sleeping now, but actually barks to be let outside and then barks again to come back in – playing the ‘system’ of getting a treat for doing that – over and over. I’m playing right along. The swelling on her mouth has gone down a lot and she actually smiles at me when I hug and pet her. Each day is a gift now.

Molly Resting


I worked out in the yard early this morning, since the heat index for the afternoon is forecast to be 105 degrees F. My husband had asked me to spray weed killer on the north side of our shop. I mixed up a 2-gallon container and hosed everything down there, plus around my garden and under my planter boxes. I have just put Benadryl Ointment on the tops of my feet and my ankles because they are acting like I must have walked through poison-something-or-other. :0(

I also used our heavy duty tomato cages to prop up our now really bushy tomato plants in both brick planters on the far side of the yard from the main garden. We now have little bitty green tomatoes!  I hooked up the hose and gave both planters a good drink. We haven’t hooked up our irrigation system for the yard because we have been getting a good amount of rain until the past few days. We are due to get the remnants of Cristobal tomorrow evening, so all should get a good drink.

These are the yellow crookneck squash and zucchini plants I put in the garden recently. They are looking happy, but haven’t started sending out vines everywhere yet.

My husband had a second stroke recently. We went to our primary doctor, who wanted him to have tests, but he refused. He said to me, “Last time we did it YOUR way (meaning testsa and doctor appointments), so this time we will do it MINE.” Needless to say, I’m not happy about this, but he is adamant. (If you look up the word “stubborn” in the dictionary, you will find my husband’s picture.) So we will HOPE that he doesn’t have another stroke for a long time (the time between the first one and this one was almost one year.) I will continue to try to keep him as healthy and happy as possible.

Rick James-Quotefancy

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. Take care and stay safe.


Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Cat Quotes – Pose

Lillian Jackson Braun –

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