Category Archives: Friendship

Good Friends

A Wondering Spirit via Marianna Bellantoni

We just came through a health scare.  Relatives and friends  embraced us, offering care, help, love, and support. How priceless that is!  At times like this, you realize just how very lucky you are, and that you are not alone. Wonderful people helped us through this, and out to the other side. How on earth do you ‘thank’ them?  Other than the obvious, I will try to show each of them how important they are to us and concentrate on being there for THEM whenever they need us.


Filed under Attitude, Family, Friendship


Inna Kashkovar

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship

Monday Morning

“Innocent Sounds” – Alina Ciuciu

I love Alina’s painting for several reasons –

The subject, colors, and texture speak to me.

My reaction to the painting was to melt into a puddle. It is so SWEET.

It also speaks of the many sides of friendship.  On any given subject, in any given situation, some will share a similar thing that happened to them; some feel the need to give advice; some will comfort; some will listen; some will simply be there with you for support. I value each and every one.

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Filed under Challenges, Friendship, paintings I love

Happy Fish?

Because of life getting in the way lately, I’ve gotten behind on my responsibilities around the house.   Yesterday I finally vacuumed our first floor – first the tiled areas and then the carpeted ones. I have a very nice vacuum. The only thing it could do better would be for it to run itself. (We actually HAD one of the round turn-it-on-and-it-runs-around type thingies at one time. It would regularly get stuck under something or wedge itself into a corner, or choke itself to death on the dog and cat hair, so we gave it up.)

Another thing I had neglected was the aquarium. I finally cleaned that out yesterday, putting in different decorations, clean water, new filters, etc. The fish didn’t say anything, but breathed sighs of relief when I put them back in their now clean home.


Here you can see all four of the fish. We have one that has gotten huge – they were all about the same size when I bought them – about an inch long. The largest one is now at least three inches long in the body, and then has a long tail. All seem to be doing fine.


Somehow, the girl-in-the-bathtub’s feet broke off quite a while back. I glued them back on and the fish don’t seem to mind it that she isn’t perfect.

I’m not sure if the weather will cooperate and I can finish getting the garden back in control or if I’ll have to tackle more projects in the house today.

The best thing is that we have Lunch Bunch – our every Friday meal with long time good friends in about an hour. Our son will go with us today, and it’s been years since our friends have seen him. I look forward to the reunion.

Have a happy day!


Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance


Terrance E Stock – LinkedIn


Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship

“It’s Really All About the Ice Cream, Anyway”


We go bowling every Monday (mostly) with long-time good friends.

I’ve heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Whoever said that has not seen us bowl. We can’t even say we have ‘averages.’ Each Monday is an entirely new “bowl game” ( :0) ) with each of us being ‘on,’ ‘off,’ or somewhere in the middle. I’ve missed getting 100. I’ve bowled a 211. Sometimes I look like I know what I’m doing, picking up spares. Sometimes I would do better standing in the lane on either side of ours and throwing the ball like a baseball. (Assuming I COULD…)  There is no rhyme, reason, or consistency in this pretty nice group of people.

We always go to Braum’s Ice Cream after we bowl. The ice cream may be for celebration of a good job that night, or commiseration that we embarrassed ourselves once again. We are all trying to lose the lard, so the ice cream is a really special treat. I look forward to my ‘one-scoop-of-chocolate-in-a-cup’ all day Mondays and plan the rest of my eating around that, since that one scoop is 16 carbs and I try to stay at 20 or under daily.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, got to the crux of it in an email Tuesday.  “It’s really all about the ice cream, anyway.” 

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Doug Powell via eamil from Marsha Koenig

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Lunch Bunch


It would be NICE if the Lunch Bunch gruesome threesome actually were this young and were actually at the beach, but we’re grateful for what we can get. :0)

This is closer to what we ACTUALLY look like, but it’s what’s in your heart that counts. :0)

Today will be a special Lunch Bunch because, besides the three of us and my husband – who pretends to preside over his ‘harem,’ sitting at one end of the table, Kay’s daughter, LaDonna, is visiting from Albuquerque, and Kay’s husband is taking the week off from work – a VERY unusual thing – so it will be even more fun that usual!

We’ve had severe weather this week, with our friend Linda the closest to the actual tornado that touched down. I don’t think any of us had any damage, although another friend of mine lost a maple tree in her back yard.

So we’ll celebrate being together, being alive, and feeling feisty today!

I hope that YOU are weathering the storms, tornados, wind damage, flooding, and flying hairballs well, too. My heart goes out to all the people who are having to pick up the pieces, trying to put things back together.

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Terrance E Stock – LinkedIn

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship, quality of life




I felt I was ‘alone,’ – the last of my original family when my brother died this week. I have since learned that I am NOT alone due to wonderful friends who have reached out to me in various ways. “Thank you” is simply not enough, and I’m grateful to each of you.

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John Hodgins via Bethany Kerr

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Filed under empowerment, Encouragement, Friendship

Glorious Day!


The sun is shining brightly today after several days of rain, chances of severe weather – (sleet, hail, flying hairballs) – and gloom. It’s cold today, but the sunshine is bringing up my spirits.

My husband and I are getting ready to go to Lunch Bunch, our weekly meal with long-time good friends, Kay and Linda. Sometimes others join us, but this is the core group. We catch up on what has happened the past week, what is going on in town (Kay and Linda usually are in the know), and what is coming up for each of us.

My husband describes Kay and Linda as ‘good ole hides,’ his highest compliment about women. This description includes women who are interesting, gutsy, down to earth people you can rely on, real friends. He was allowed into this formerly all women gathering as an honored member several years ago – as long as he behaves.  :0)

We share news, good and bad; try to support and help each other through the bad stuff. We celebrate the good things, laugh a lot, and have grown to love each other almost as sisters over the years.

Lunch Bunch is one of the high points of our week – a core of caring.

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Filed under Family, Friendship, Mother Nature


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, CUTE!, Friendship, Jeff Jett Photography


My friends made me feel special today.

I’ve told you about the Lunch Bunch, and how two good friends (and sometimes others) meet me for Lunch every Friday. My husband has been made an honorary member of the group. We share what is happening with each other as we eat.

Recently we exchanged Christmas presents. My friend Kay gave me this gorgeous scarf. It’s a southwest design with lots and lots of metallic copper shimmering all through it.

When I told my friend Marsha about the pretty scarf, she had me choose from some copper earrings she made to wear with it! I received them this week and wore the scarf and earrings to Lunch Bunch.


I loved wearing the combination of the scarf, my furry brown vest, and my hammered copper earrings!

My friends made me feel special – another gift.



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Christmas Eve Evening

We’ve had a wonderful afternoon. A good friend came over, bearing gifts, good conversation, and lots of hugs.  The turkey is in the oven, the beef stew is in the crock pot. All the side dishes are ready to be finished later.

I’ve been enjoying some coffee and a good book while my husband is watching yet another guy-fix-up-and-sell car show marathon.

Our son has been working on his computer, doing something for a client.

The Christmas lights are lit, the house is warm and cozy. The cooking smells are starting to make me hungry. :0)

Merry Christmas Eve!


Filed under Family, Friendship, Good Thoughts, holidays

Santa is Coming!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Eve.

We’re going to have our special dinner this evening – very quiet – just the three of us.

I put another beef stew in the crock pot this morning, since our son likes to grab a bowl here and there during the days and evenings. I’ll put the turkey in soon and do some deviled eggs- a favorite of all of us. I’ll do the rest of the fixings later.

We did errands and went to the post office to mail books we sold.  Now we can enjoy being in a warm, dry house, good food cooking, and a good friend coming over this afternoon to spend some time with us. :0)

I’m soaking up every minute with our son. When he goes, we have no clue when he’ll be coming back, though we can talk to him via our chat program and a conference call app. We are so happy that he is living his dream – living where he wants to, as he wants to. You can’t ask for more as parents. But until he goes, I’m collecting every hug I can get, spending lots of time talking and laughing with him, building up beautiful memories of the very best Christmas we’ve had in a long, long time.  At some point, I’ll have to insist we get some pics…

Merry Christmas!

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Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays

Progress Report – Trying to Get the Lard Off

I’m still at 31 pounds off and 31 inches off.

Really slow progress, but during the holidays, I think holding our own is pretty good, considering all the social eating we’re doing.

The thing that is different is my exercising.

I’m trying to change my activity each day, hoping to get my body’s attention. I’m doing –

  • Yoga and abdominal exercises one day
  • 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer another
  • Wii Fit Plus exercises one day each week
  • My walking video one day
  • then start again from the top

I’ve said some disparaging things about my walking video, but I have to tell you that, though I find her annoying, I DO feel I’ve had a workout at the end of the 2-mile marker. My goal is to do that, plus the exercises she has AFTER the two miles one day soon.

We’ve been having a lot of friends over lately, for the holidays – but also the fact our son is home from Thailand for the first time in 3 years and we want them to reconnect. We’re having a blast doing that, but it all involves eating something. At this time of the year, serving Nutrisystem diet food or even snacks is definitely a no-no, so we’ve been eating outside our normal parameters many days during the week and will continue this until after our son leaves. If we can just MAINTAIN, rather than GAIN during this time, I’ll be really happy.

I hope that you are having great times with friends and family, too. This is usually a bittersweet time of the year for us, having very few family members left and the ones we have far away. Our son has brought us joy this year and we’re enjoying every minute.

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, Family, Friendship, getting the lard off



We’ve been having a truly wonderful time lately, entertaining friends who we either haven’t seen in a long time or friends who want to come and say, “Hi” to our son while he’s home from Thailand.

Our home is so full of love its bursting at the seams and I couldn’t love it more.

We’re exchanging Christmas presents, in some cases – in others, just enjoying some coffee or a bit of food. In all cases, we’re enjoying hugs, laughs, and good conversation.

SUCH a special time for us. Can you see me grinning?

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Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays

More Like Christmas…

I’m waiting until our son is home on MONDAY (whoopeeeee!) to get the big Tupperware tub of Christmas decorations out –  plus our tree – but I’m starting to do a bit here and there.

This is the dining area. I have a Christmas wreath with lights, lights wrapped around the rail across the top of the window to the right of this picture,  and a few decorations on the divider that goes between the dining area and the kitchen.


This is a present from a dear friend. It’s a combination light that looks mosaic and changes colors as you watch and a diffuser with a nice scent.


This is ceramic. The couple who made it personalized the heart for me. I’ve had this for years and I love it.


This one is made of wood and was also personalized for me by its creators.


Every year I like to showcase the Christmas cards we receive from friends and family. I hang each one on the vertical uprights on our stair railing with yarn. I also add ornaments or other decoration. This year I’m using wooden ‘gingerbread’ ornaments. I bought these from a company last year, stained and then painted them to make them look like gingerbread cookies.






The Christmas cards will make the decoration fuller and fuller as the season progresses. I’ll also add garlands of sparkly stuff!


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Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays

Thing One and Thing Two


Gym Junkies


When I came downstairs this morning, I found my husband cooking us breakfast! We are on NutriSystem, trying to get a bunch of our lard off, so we’re usually eating one of the NS breakfasts, so this was a really nice surprise. AND he didn’t go nuts, trying to cook what we USED to eat for a typical Saturday morning splurge breakfast. He cooked three pieces of bacon for us to share and two fried eggs. (No toast and jelly, no hash browns, no third egg, no three-pieces-each on bacon, or orange juice.) It was a wonderful surprise, and we didn’t even have to feel guilty, since it was in the proper range of calories for breakfast and we hadn’t had a flex meal breakfast this week. :0)


I told you recently that my friend, Marsha, and I are having trouble communicating lately. We aren’t sure what the problem is, but we’ve now confirmed email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, have talked on the phone, and are continuing to search for the reason for our problem.

This is Marsha (on the right) with a friend of hers.

This morning I received an email from Marsha, suggesting that we try to connect on the chat program via gmail. I searched all over the place and finally found an icon I could hit that showed she had sent me a connection request. We connected and then proceeded to type madly at each other! It was great, and I’m glad we have another way to communicate, particularly when all else fails. I’ll keep the chat program on all the time so that I can check it each time I come back to the computer during the day and evening to see if she’s left a message, or – better – if she’s available to type at me real time. Hooraaaaay!

What a GREAT start to my morning!!

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Family, Friendship

My Friend, Marsha

This is my good friend, Marsha.

Marsha used to be a potter, displaying some of her fine work on my website, Creative Artworks, for several years. On a trip to Florida, we finally met face to face. Marsha met me at the hotel and spent much of an entire day taking me to wonderful places, sharing lunch, and then finally sitting with me in the lobby of the hotel where we could have easily talked all night.

Marsha has now turned to making beautiful silver jewelry, rather than potting, and her creative juices continue to flow. We email each other several times a day, just chatting about what’s happening – or not happening – in our lives. We’re good friends.

All of a sudden several days ago, Marsha wrote with an apology for whatever she had done – or hadn’t done – to tee me off. I wrote back immediately, telling her that everything was fine, she didn’t owe me any apologies, asking the reason for the email. It turns out that something is wonky on either her end or my end, because we can’t communicate via email.

I’m getting emails from lots of people, but not Marsha. I’ve written to her several times, but haven’t received an answer. I wrote to my husband and asked him to send me an email to test my email. It worked fine. I don’t know what’s wrong and have no clue about how to fix it. I’ve rebooted my computer, doing everything I can do, to no avail.

I called her on her phone. I get a canned message, asking me to leave a message, which I do. I’ve left texts on her phone. No answer.

I finally wrote her a note on a card and mailed it snail mail. She should receive it by the end of the week.

She left a message on the blog this morning, obviously thinking I’ve dropped her as a friend without saying a word. I’m really frustrated. The lack of communication is telling her we’re no longer friends, and it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I’m hoping she reads this post, picks up her phone, sees all the texts and messages I’ve left, and calls me.

I’m down to carrier pigeons and smoke signals if this doesn’t work.

Here is the latest picture she sent me – showing her at a recent show.

Lovely lady, lovely friend.

UPDATE:  I finally found what I thought was an old phone number for Marsha. I called, expecting to be told the number was no longer in service. She answered!!!!!! We talked, exchanged all kinds of contact information and are updating our records. We’ll talk again later today. Friends are too important to lose!

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Delightful Surprise

We enjoyed going to Brunch Bunch today, catching up with our good friends, talking, and laughing a lot.

A delightful surprise was that Kay baked a SUGAR-FREE (mostly) Mt. Dew cake for my husband, who has Type II diabetes. He LOVED her regular cake, but couldn’t eat it anymore, so this was a doubly nice surprise. The only sugar is from the actual Mt. Dew in the cake, so he can eat it at any of our snack times on our Nutrisystem plan without guilt, as long as he doesn’t eat TOOOOO much in one day …

I loved watching his eyes light up when he saw the cake sitting at his place in the restaurant. He sat down, grinned at Kay and dove right in, eating a piece before he even ordered his lunch. He even said that if I were good, he would allow ME to have a piece…

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, DIET!, Friendship

Celebrating Ann Burke

I was lucky to meet Ann in 1969. I started teaching a first grade class in the middle of the year at an all Black elementary school on the north side of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had just received my degree and was in the right place at the right time to get a teaching job right away.

I was scared spitless. It was a ‘self-contained’ 1st grade class, which meant that I was responsible for teaching those sweet kids EVERYTHING during the day – reading, math, writing, spelling, gym, art, music, current events, holiday stuff, etc. I met Ann the first day and we bonded instantly. She took me under her wing, listening to my fears, funny stories, questions and gave me her best advice. She taught 4th grade. I’m not sure how long she had been teaching at that point, but I was delighted I had someone to go to for help and guidance.

We learned new things about each other as our friendship grew. I learned that she had a daughter and a son. She thought the world of both of them and would do anything for them. She was divorced and raising the kids alone, working full time, taking care of the house and yard and pets.  I kiddingly asked if she could JUGGLE, as well!

As the years passed, things happened and we went our separate ways. My husband and I moved to Arkansas because of a job offer for him. Ann and I had one of those RARE friendships that didn’t fade away. It didn’t matter how long it was between letters, cards, or visits, we took up where we left off, happily chatting and continuing to share our lives.

Over this time, I also was lucky enough to get to know her daughter. We are friends, now, too. She’s a lovely, strong lady I’m proud to know.

Over the years Ann’s health became more and more of a challenge. Lately, things went downhill quite rapidly. Her daughter kindly kept me in the loop on how she and Ann were doing and what was happening. Ann went to hospice and died yesterday. Her daughter, who has done everything possible to make her deteriorating condition bearable, was at her side.

Ann’s and my friendship almost made it to 50 years. I’ve been richer for knowing her and sharing her love for her children. I hope that she is now “Dancing with the Stars” (one of her favorite programs), looking down and smiling at us, having found peace and the welcome absence of pain.

Thank you, Ann, for being my friend. Dance your heart out!

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Filed under Friendship, Tribute

Defining Yourself

This week my husband and I went to Brunch Bunch to celebrate the birthday of our good friend, Kay. She LIVES the quote above.

Example: Friday we were celebrating her birthday. I brought her a present and a birthday card and we shared a nice lunch with good conversation and lots of laughs.

Kay brought US presents on HER birthday. She is trying to alter her recipe for her wonderful Mountain Dew Cake so that my diabetic husband can enjoy stuffing his face without guilt. The experiment this week didn’t work, so she baked ANOTHER, regular Mt. Dew cake and called me before we left to join her for lunch. We agreed that she would surprise him with one small piece of the cake. He was surprised and delighted – because the way to his heart is through sweet desserts – and he joyfully gobbled up the cake even before his lunch arrived. :0)  Kay told him about her experiment, and that she would try to figure out how to make him a sugar-free Mt. Dew cake and would bring the whole cake to him when she was successful.

She brought ME three really pretty bowl candles by the Habersham Candle Company – their “Wax Pottery Collection.”  You put them on a plate when you light them, but they smell terrific even without being lit. My husband particularly liked one of the scents – “Sweet Tea & Lemon” – so I put that one in our office, where we spend a lot of time.

It’s just like Kay to bring you things on no occasion, just because she thought of you, bake and bring cakes to people all over our town of Greenwood, Arkansas, help friends and family in need – I could go on and on.

When I grow up, I want to be like Kay.

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Friendship

The Best Things in Life

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August 1, 2018 · 11:45 am

The Truth Will Out

My husband and I go bowling once a week with our good friends. I love getting together, catching up on what has been happening the past week (or weeks if one of us has had to call bowling off for some reason). I enjoy the extra FUN exercise, too. It doesn’t really matter how well or poorly we bowl, we ALL look forward to going to Braumn’s afterwards and getting a scoop of our favorite ice cream. Sometimes the ice cream is to celebrate, but more often it’s helping us deal with another two games where we struggled to get over 100…

Last night was a special evening. Our friend, Laufrain, won the first game handily, bowling a 158! I love watching her bowl because she’s very dramatic. She is so delighted when she bowls a strike or gets a spare. Sometimes she’s really ‘on,’ as she was last night, and it’s a joy to celebrate each good throw with her.

A very rare occurrence happened in our second game: I won – and with a 174! I got several really SOLID strikes – something that never happens. My strikes are like trees falling in a forest – reluctantly. I even picked up a spare or two! I have to admit that I like to bowl whether I do well or not, but the truth is that doing well is SO much MORE fun! :0)

My husband, being the ‘balloon pricker’ he is – pointed out that I COULD have gotten into the “175 Club” if I’d gotten one more point, but I’m still smiling. It probably won’t happen again any time soon, so I’ll savor my victory – quietly…

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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….

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Dreams, Encouragement, Friendship

Brunch Bunch

Eleanor Roosevelt –

Every Friday my husband and I meet our good friends to share a meal and catch up. I used to call it “Lunch Bunch,” but I’ve dubbed it “Brunch Bunch” now because we meet at about 10:45 a.m. – lunch to them and breakfast or brunch to us and it’s easier to stay good with our Nutrisystem plan by calling it a FLEX BREAKFAST.

We have met most every Friday for years. We share what’s happening to us, good and bad. At some point we’ll probably have to change the same of our meeting to “Geezers’ Group because we’re all getting long in the tooth. There’s a lot of fight in us yet, though, and I’ve come to treasure our special time on Fridays.

My husband and I feel so complete up on the top of our ridge line, with our lifestyle of projects – separate and together – it would be easy for the days to pass without our seeing many people. I’m especially glad to have met these two wonderful ladies and shared so much of our lives. Our group is sometimes larger, with other friends and family joining us when they can. Sometimes we meet with just one other, and it’s a special time then, too.

“Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.” – Unknown

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Filed under Friendship, quality of life

I Missed the Whole Thing!

I waited, hoping for a chance to go out and celebrate some much-needed rain. I finally gave up, read awhile, got sleepy and took a nap in my chair. When I joined my husband in our office later, the window was wet! My husband said, “You missed a nice rain.” :0(

In the evening, when we went bowling with friends, they were envious because they didn’t get any rain at all, and live only on the other side of town from us. It was so humid last night it was like wading in pea soup. The bowling alley was nice and cool with a/c and fans. We walked outside to be enveloped by a blanket of suffocating air again. We were wet by the time we arrived at our truck. Thankfully, we either celebrate or console our bowling efforts with a scoop of Braum’s ice cream afterwards. I got the best flavor: chocolate, of course – (my Nutrisystem FLEX snack for the week!)

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Filed under DIET!, Friendship, Mother Nature, quality of life