Category Archives: Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business

Something Went Right!


Several years ago we had a geothermal heat and air system installed. We save money now, because the ‘system’ only has to either heat or cool the DIFFERENCE between an underground temperature of 58 degrees F. and whatever the air temperature is. This makes the system not have to work nearly as hard, resulting in less work, less money to pay for it (ignoring the cost of the system or its installation) :0)

Last spring our local caretakers of the system, Air Pro Heat & Air out of Ft. Smith, moved its offices. In the move, our spring check up got lost in the shuffle. They are SO good about calling and arranging times for the checkups that I don’t keep track. I did notice, though, in August that we hadn’t had a check. Our guy came out, made sure we were okay, and we agreed that that would be our ‘winter’ checkup. Since I pay ahead of time for the year, we were one checkup short last year.

I called the office. The nice lady made a note of it.

She called this morning, telling us our guy was in Greenwood, asking if it were okay if he did our spring service check this morning. He is here now.

I reminded him of the payment issue. He remembered, called the office, and confirmed that today’s check is no additional charge, and that we would now receive our yearly bill in the winter.

If you are in the Ft. Smith area, this company is a great one. The guy who does the check greets our dog as if she’s a member of the family. He is easy to get along with, answers and questions we have, fixes any problems. He is very good at working with the system, knows exactly what to look for and make sure all is good.

So – out of the myriad of issues we’ve been dealing with lately, this is ONE THING THAT WENT RIGHT!!!!

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And the Crowd Goes Wild!

Can you hear the cheering?

The old, unreliable dishwasher-with-attitude is GONE and the new Bosch dishwasher is HERE and installed. HOORAY!

Andrew, a really NICE man from River Valley Plumbing & Professional Drain Cleaning in Greenwood, contracted by Lowes in Ft. Smith, came at about 11:00 this morning to do our installation. The installation was technically scheduled for 10:00, but he called to tell us his time frame on packing his van and picking up our dishwasher at Lowes. He called again, telling us they had FINALLY found our dishwasher and as soon as it was loaded and he stopped for gasoline, he would be here.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer man to do the installation. He thanked my husband for doing some of the unhooking needed, and thanked me for cleaning out the cabinet and making a nice path for him. He got things installed and ran a test. I thought it wasn’t working it was SO QUIET! He pointed to a red light that shined on the floor, showing the power was on. He made sure there weren’t any leaks and all was working well before he cleaned up and took the old one away.

We had researched dishwashers and decided to get a Bosch that scored well on the ratings chart in Consumer Reports. They didn’t have the number 1 rated, which was also a Bosch. We looked at the number 2 rated (also a Bosch – are you seeing a pattern here?), but had no interest in that one because it had a third shelf we would never use. We got the number 3 rated dishwasher in the list, a Bosch 300. It has everything we need and more. It will probably last longer than we do.

I’m reading the booklet to what I need to know. I’m dancing around the house smiling because when we run the dishwasher next time, I won’t need to keep checking to see if it has quit or not!

I have a call into the company that Andrew works for. I want to praise him to the skies. I’ll also call Lowe’s to tell them what a good job both the company and Andrew did on our installation. I love dealing with people who know what they are doing and are nice, as well.

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Cold, Wet, and Blustery


One of the first things my husband and I did on waking this morning was to congratulate each other on doing our grocery shopping yesterday while the weather was nice. This morning we have 45 degrees F., rain, gloom, and blustery winds.

We will meet our friends for Lunch Bunch, but we won’t do anything else outside.

Cliff Harden, of Safe Elite Transformations 479-849-0520 called and then came to look at my porch yesterday afternoon. He made us a new ceiling, repaired damage, and then repainted our porch last year. One trim board had fallen down and needs to be reinstalled.

After I got a wonderful hug and he looked at the porch, he said he would be here sometime next week to fix it. When we met, I was his first customer after he used the pandemic lock-down to get his builder’s license and start his company after working for others for several years. Now he has three full crews working for him and is scrambling to keep up with the business. When you’re good, you stay busy. :0)

We got our Covid booster shots Wednesday. My husband and I are in the high-risk group. Even though my husband tends to think everything is a conspiracy, he agreed to the shots, and finally to the booster. Thankfully, neither of us had a bad reaction to the booster. Our son, who lives in Thailand, is in the group that has had bad reactions with heart problems. He is healthy, so has decided not to get the shots or be tested. Since our government has now decided that you MUST have been vaccinated or present a negative test in order to fly, he won’t be able to come home for any reason until the order is changed. We will be on our own until the world rights itself again.

I finished the re-painting of the back of Wonder Wart-Hog. We will hang up the mailbox decoration with the others in the shop now. Monday, weather permitting, we are planning to put up Sylvester and Tweetie Pie.

I have the paint, tape, and stepping stool ready to start the refurbishment of the greeter robot at the bottom of the driveway when the weather permits.

Since our weather is so unfriendly today, after Lunch Bunch I will clean a few things and then do a combination of playing in my art room, reading, and listening to YouTube compilations of “The Voice” auditions. All that talent just fills my heart and makes me feel good about the world!

Happy Friday!

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Filed under Friendship, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Thoughts on a ________



I’m leaving in about 45 minutes for my once-a-month massage. Ahhhhhhhh! My body is already saying, “THANK YOU!”

I used to think fondly of getting one, but couldn’t really justify spending the money.

Then, after working 12 hour days, 5 days a week, doing medical transcription and bookkeeping for a busy general surgeons’ office for years, I was in the position of not being able to pull a tee shirt off over my head and needed help. Massage, whirlpools, my bosses hiring additional part-time help and changing my chair and my keyboard at work all combined to heal me.

I then went a long time without massage. My body wasn’t happy. My neck and back hurt. It was like I was trying to pull everything ‘in,’ and I started searching for a massage therapist here in Greenwood. I won the lottery when I found

Lynn Moody 479-638-8788.

Now my monthly massage is part of my ‘take care of me’ regimen. I go in, just looking forward to Lynn’s competent hands. She finds all the tight, knotted places I didn’t know I had and kneads them away. I come away, limp as a noodle, relaxed, and smiling, my next appointment date in hand.

Today’s world is a stressful one for many, many reasons. If you don’t get massages, I can’t recommend them highly enough for the peace of your mind and body. Letting go with a person you trust is a gift you should definitely give yourself.


Filed under Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, taking care of yourself


I’m resting a bit this morning from trying to clean up my square foot garden. I finished the weeding yesterday, but I haven’t done the final spraying (one for bugs and another for any weed roots I missed) or covered the boxes with tarps yet. ONE ant found me yesterday and bit/stung me on my left forearm, making it swell up like a toad. I treated it with Benadryl Ointment, one of my miracle drugs, so I just have one small white ‘bubble’ on my mildly swollen, slightly itchy, tender arm this morning. I have about an hour of work left to secure the garden. I will try to take some pics for to share with you later today.

We will pick up our order of some frozen meals from Real Food in Greenwood today. We are really lucky to have Real Food and Stu’s Clean Cookin’ both of which opened in Greenwood in the past year. The cooking styles are quite different, which gives us nice variety. Both provide good meals with reasonable portions, no preservatives, frozen into individual meals perfect for us. Interspersed are some splurges with Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice, plus my own cooking separated and frozen into individual meals after our initial meal.

It is on my list to clean up my drafting table in my art room before I try any more experiments. The last acrylic pour I did spilled over onto the glass I use to protect the table. I’m HOPING I have enough ‘spills’ to try a 4th technique I saw on YouTube. :0)

I hope this Monday finds you healthy and happy.


Filed under DIET!, exercise, Family, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Petr Vaclavek -



I will leave soon to enjoy one of my favorite once-a-month activities – a massage. Ahhhh!

If you live in the area of Ft. Smith, call Lynn Moody 479-629-7601.

I used to consider a massage a luxury. Now I look at it as an essential part of my well-being. If the end of the world happened, I would still reluctantly give it up. I take my poor, battered, tense body, with knots and soreness to Lynn, and she returns me a very relaxed lady smiling from ear to ear.

If you have regular massages, you know what I mean. If you don’t, I am encouraging you to give yourself one of the best gifts there is.

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And the Answer Is –

Buzzfeed on Twitter

What’s better than a wheelbarrow full of monkeys?

Little, but TODAY the answer is a massage! Ahhhhhhhh!

I leave in about 20 minutes and my poor body is really ready for my massage therapist, Lynn Moody, 479-629-7601, to do her magic.

With all the rain we had lately, I’ve been pulling, hauling, cleaning out and putting things back together. My body is yelling weakly, “No more!” Even the yoga I’ve been trying to do in the afternoons hasn’t been enough.

So I’m the luckiest person in the world this morning, looking forward to feeling really relaxed soon. :0)

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Yet Another Rainy Day


Yet another rainy day.

I just got back from my massage. I really didn’t care that today is rainy because I always feel SO much better after my wonderful massage therapist, Lynn Moody, 479-629-7601, finishes with me. Ahhhhhhh!

My main exercise since the 17th has been a series of squeegeeing, mopping, then toweling the porch floor each time the rain stops. The wind makes the rain come in and then the water sits there. I’m trying to lessen the damage as much as I can by taking care of the water as soon as possible between deluges and storms. We’re supposed to have two more days of this, and then MAYBE a 3-day-respite before the rains come back. I don’t remember our having quite this much rain before.

I will also try to harvest some lettuce if the rain will allow. We’ve been enjoying a combination of head lettuce, spinach, and buttercrunch lettuce from our garden with our dinners. :0)

I have on my to-do list today a return to my afternoon yoga practice. I’ve been so busy the last few weeks it got lost in the shuffle and my body is noticing. Hopefully, I can get in a nice session of stretching to finish off the good Lynn did with my massage this morning.

Also on the list is playing in my art room. I’ve been watching some demonstrations of acrylic pour art, plus another technique you can do with pieces of the pours that are left over. I’m a bit intimidated, to be honest, but my mouth waters as I watch what the artists are doing.

I’m trying SOME of the techniques, easing into this slowly. I’ve started a piece with my Unicorn Spit paint. I just put a coat of varnish on what I did yesterday. When that dries, I plan to paint some flowers, and then use the crackle paint on the background. Finally, I will use some metallic paint to highlight the cracks. Fingers crossed that it turns out SOMETHING like what my brain is picturing. :0) It’s such FUN to play with the colors!

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Filed under Gardening, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature, playing in my art room, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Almost Healed!

After we moved things off the floors and emptied all of the furniture in our foyer, home office, living room, and porch so it could be moved, the wonderful installers of Carpet Cabin in Fort Smith, Doug and Terry, arrived to install new carpeting and porch flooring.

You will never meet two nicer, hard-working, caring men. They were really great to work with. They did a beautiful job for us. They were here for one and a half days.

Now we are putting all the ‘stuff’ back where it belongs. It’s EVERYWHERE – my art room and the guest room upstairs, the shelves in the living room, the floor in the dining area. I’m hoping to have most of the stuff back in place by the end of the weekend.

To say we’re happy is a vast understatement. I was going for a BLEND between what we have. We still have old carpeting on our stairway, but the two carpets look fine together. The new one is different enough that we have a beautiful contrast to our eyes. We chose a really thick carpet, so it feels good under our feet.

I love the flooring on the porch. The vinyl looks like wood and it nice, clean, and FLAT – where the old vinyl had been eroded by the sun and rain. It had ripples and was almost without pattern any more. I’m delighted with the new look.

I will be trying to keep moving things, slowly and steadily, back to where they belong. Yesterday I moved all 15 drawers from upstairs in the guest room back to the office.

I feel very lucky that we were able to have this work done. It almost feels as if we have a new home. :0)

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Eating with Winnie the Pooh

A. A. Milne – E.H. Shepard – Winnie the Pooh – DreamsQuote

Last night I gave into our desire for comfort food, since our weather has been gray, cool, and rainy lately and made hamburger patties and macaroni and cheese. It hit just the right note with my husband, and he declared the meal ‘delicious’ several times.

Mostly we are trying to watch what we eat in an effort to lose our lard, get as healthy as we can, and be able to continue doing most of what we would like to do. We have found two places locally who are offering REAL FOOD and STU’S CLEAN COOKIN’ – individual frozen dinners with few ingredients – all of which you can pronounce and understand – with measured portions that are GOOD for us. We feel as it we have found a treasure trove.

Particularly when the weather is good, I like to spend a lot of time outside – working in our veggie garden, gathering harvests of lettuce, spinach, radishes, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, onions, and tomatoes each time I can for us to enjoy right from the garden. Much of the time I am helping with the lawn or weeding my flower beds, so it’s nice to have veggies from the garden and a good-for-us delicious dinner that only has to be nuked to be ready to eat.

As soon as I finish here, I’m planning to go out and take pics to share with you, hopefully harvest my first gathering of veggies, plus get things ready to cover the plants for some possible freezes this week.

I hope that you are well and happy this morning, and that your Sunday is a nice one.

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, Funny Signs - Humor, Gardening, getting the lard off, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Healthy Eating, Poohisms, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

I Feel GOOD!

Linda Ellerbee – Living Life –

I feel GOOD this morning.

Yesterday I had a glorious massage after SEVERAL days of mixing and spraying 2-gallon containers of weed killer, and then switching to 6 hours of using the power washer a couple of days ago, cleaning outdoor furniture, our deck, and the back sidewalk. My body was really anticipating the miracle that is Lynn Moody, my massage therapist. 479-629-7601. I spent the rest of the day reading, resting, and sleeping. AHHHHHH! I capped it off by getting a good night’s sleep last night.

Not even the fact that today is supposed to be very rainy can dampen my spirits.

We’ll go to Lunch Bunch in about an hour, catch up with our friends while enjoying chicken fingers, and then hit the local grocery store for supplies before coming back home.

Weather permitting, I’m hoping to gather the first harvest of the season from my veggie garden! My mouth is watering for a salad made with lettuce and spinach from our own garden.

I hope that you are safe and well. Enjoy your Friday.

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The Porch Repair is Finished!

Safe Elite Transformations 479-849-0520 started work for us on the Friday before Easter. I found them through Home Advisor. Cliff called right away, made an appointment to come look at what we needed, gave me a price for replacing the porch ceiling, repairing the roof soffit where squirrels had gotten in and were wreaking havoc – chewing wires, chewing a hole through the ceiling, etc., plus hanging a new shutter we had bought and needed installed on the 2nd floor of the outside of our brick home. He told me when he would call with a price, and he didn’t keep me waiting. I accepted and the work began without delay.

They quickly tore out the old sheet rock. They were careful removing our fluorescent light fixtures and ceiling fan. Cliff told me he appreciated the good job I had done getting everything on the porch out onto the deck. They got the new sheet rock up in a day, I think. They were very careful on the mudding and taping – even tearing one part off and redoing it because it didn’t meet their standards for excellence. Their ‘texture guy’ came and did a beautiful job of adding texture to the ceiling before painting. It really is an art.

Here is a picture of the finished ceiling with the fluorescent fixtures and ceiling fan back up.

We expanded the contract – at my instigation – to include painting the rest of the woodwork on the porch. I knew – having painted it before – that you have to use roller AND brush and it takes forever.

So now I feel we have a new porch. The only exception to that is the floor, which will address at a later time. The guys spent a long time on cleanup, cleaning our brick as well as possible, our painted door, and especially the floor, which two of them mopped at least a couple of times. They were careful to take all the trash away. There is no sign of anything in our yard or on the deck that a work crew was here.

My husband and I moved the table back onto the porch after they finished last night, and hauled 4 long pieces of painted wood from the previous ‘fix’ that we might use for another project to our shop.

This afternoon we will get our power washer out and I will try to get chairs clean. We have 4 that go back on the porch and another 5 that live on our deck.

I will go through the rest of the stuff on the deck, cleaning the things that hang up, creating a pile to go in the donation pile, and throwing away some things.

I feel I have a new porch. The Safe Elite Transformations guys are good people and hard workers. I can’t say enough about how nice it was to work with them, their competence, their passion for excellence. No ‘ranking’ is high enough. You will be lucky if you get them to do work for you.

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A Good Day


I love this painting. Sorry, but I am unable to read the signature to give credit.

I have told you that we are having to have our ceiling replaced on the porch due to an invasion of squirrels who ate wiring and chewed a hole through the ceiling. The painter is out on the porch today, finishing up the project! Their company name is Safe Elite Transformations 479-849-0520, but I secretly call them the “Band of Brothers”. Cliff Harden is the owner, and his brothers, Jared and Cameron (among others) work with him. They are honest, hard-working guys. I trust them. They do what they say they will do. They will work with you. I am waiting to give feedback on Home Advisor until the job is completely finished, but I will give them the highest possible rating.

Yesterday I stared mixing up KillzAll Weed Killer. My container with a sprayer holds two gallons. I filled it up and sprayed things 6 times yesterday. At that point I was pooped and stopped for the day. I hope to finish the job today.

Our weather is beautiful. I hope that you are having a great day, too.

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Thoughts on a Friday 4-9-2021

Harvey – Alina Verbitskoya

I’m in love with this guy’s face.

Today is starting off very well. The man who specializes in ceiling texture is here to work on the new porch ceiling. I talked with him when he arrived, and he said he should be gone by the time we may have some bad storms this afternoon.

I’m not sure what the plans of the rest of the crew are. The ceiling needs to be finished and needs time to dry. There are two fluorescent fixtures and a ceiling fan that need to be rehung. The rest of the woodwork needs to be painted, and then clean up before we can start to move things we have stashed on the deck during this project.

The whole project included attaching of a new shutter to the 2nd story of the front of the house to replace the one that fell off after a winter storm and shattered. Two of the guys ended up removing the window and screen on the 2nd floor and both of them hanging out the window to get this accomplished. I’m still SO grateful that my husband didn’t have to tackle this project. He was telling me it was no big deal to go up on an extension ladder carrying the screws, anchors, and shutter up to the 2nd story, then balancing trying to attach the shutter. Yeah. Right.

A second part of the project was to seal off the place on the roof soffit where squirrel had gotten in and wreaked havoc on wiring in the attic and the porch ceiling.

And then we needed a whole new ceiling to replace the one that was threatening to fall on us – probably while we were trying to enjoy a meal out on the screened porch.

I went to Home Advisor to find a multi-talented group who could handle all three and hoped for a price we could afford. Luckily I found Safe Elite Transformations. The main company is Cliff Harden and his two brothers, Jared and Cameron. You can hire them through Home Advisors, or can call Cliff direct at 479-849-0520.

I honestly can’t say enough about this company. Cliff respects his clients. He listens. He does what he says he will do. If he won’t be there at the time he told you, he calls and tells you a new time. He explains what he’s doing so you’re not in the dark. There is a passion for excellence. He is not satisfied with “good enough.” He strives for perfect. I highly recommend him.

Soon I will leave for Lunch Bunch. My husband will stay home in case there are problems or questions. I’ll bring him some chicken when I come home.

Hoping the forecast-ed severe weather bypasses us this afternoon and evening. I wish YOU a wonderful Friday as well.

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Hello, April! (A Couple of Days Late)

Australian Firefighters Fundraising Calendar

I have always enjoyed the month of April. “Ray and Sarah” make it an even better month. :0)

It is only the third of April and already it’s shaping up to be a much better month for us.

  • My husband and I both received our second COVID vaccinations last Monday.
  • My spring veggie garden is in and seems to be doing well so far. I have planted Butter Crunch Leaf Lettuce, head lettuce, spinach, crookneck yellow squash, zucchini, cabbage, and broccoli. I will be adding radishes and celery starts to the main garden in the next day or two. We also have two planters with tomato plants.
  • We have a nice group of contractors replacing the back porch ceiling, installing some new shutters to replace some that fell off the front of the house two stories up, and sealing the place in the roof soffit squirrels had gotten inside and raised havoc. The combined project should be finished Monday by the end of the day. They are on Home Advisor and the name of the company is Safe Elite Transformations.
  • Continuing our fight with the gremlins that have been plaguing us – my husband was able to fix the riding mower – twice, due to two different problems – and got the lawn mowed. He also was able to get the push around weed whacker running and did some of the heavier weed whacking.
  • I weed whacked in the front and then used the leaf blower to clean things up. I’ll do the back today.
  • I will use the opportunity of the fluorescent light fixtures and ceiling fan being down from the back porch ceiling and see if I can clean them up a bunch before it’s time to put them back up.
  • Either the guys will paint the rest of the wood on the back porch or I will do it myself once this project is finished.
  • Today would have been my parents’ 79th wedding anniversary. (My dad would have been 103 this year and my mom 100). I think of them often. I was very lucky in my choice of parents. I have so many wonderful memories. :0)

So things are definitely improving around here since April started. I hope that a new leaf has been turned over and that we can continue making progress on what seemed like an endless list of things that HAVE to be done ASAP.

Happy April!


Filed under Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, Lewis projects, quality of life, Seasons, Thoughts on a ________

Big Check Mark!


Yesterday afternoon – after a year of trying to get it done – the wonderful guys at Window World of Fort Smith called, came, and installed replacement windows in two places for us.

We got the windows originally in 2005, I think, and we have been delighted. About a year ago, though, an upstairs window and the center one in our dining area got liquid between the layers during a storm.

Due to my stupidity, we had trouble proving to the company that they had, in fact, installed the windows originally. Finally, I was able to produce a small piece of paper that had a number on it. That turned out to be the serial number on one of our windows and they were able to locate our account and the information they needed through that to help us. Hooray!

Then the pandemic came and the world as we know it fell apart. Like everyone else, they had trouble staying safe, as people, and afloat, as a company. They were trying to create replacement windows for us.

I kept checking back with the nice office lady from time to time to no avail.

When I called last week, though, she told me she would check in the back to see if our windows were there and call me back. They were there!

We set up installation tentatively for late Tuesday afternoon.

Now we have brand new windows replacing the ones that lost their seal. I called the office this morning to thank them again for standing behind their warranty, getting the new windows made, and getting them installed for us.

This is a BIG CHECK MARK finally off the list – and – unlike all the rest – this one didn’t cost us anything. :0)

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I have just cleaned out or dining area so that the Window World man can come this afternoon to replace two of our windows. We had all new windows installed at the end of 2004 and have been really happy with the results. Our energy bills decreased and it was so much QUIETER – something we didn’t expect.

Earlier this year we noticed condensation between the panes in the window in our guest room and in the middle window of the set of three above. I had been lax about keeping the paperwork we needed, but finally we were able to find our information and schedule replacement of these two windows.

The pandemic has played havoc, of course, and I had down on my calendar to call next week and check on things, but the nice lady called me yesterday to see if it were all right for the guy to come and install the replacements today!

If you’ve been thinking of window replacement, I highly recommend Window World. Even though the world has placed great stresses on everything, this is a company that deserves your business.

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Fiber Optics are Coming!

PPC Broadband

If we live long enough, we are getting fiber optic services here! Work has been done in fits and starts over the past year. My husband and I have followed the progress with great interest because – though our service now is the best we have had – it’s pretty laughable.

A young man came a few days ago and wanted to look at what had been done lately. He looked at our telephone pole, and one down the hill from us, planning to add some hardware. Our stuff had apparently been done differently, so he was a bit worried and said he would be back with his boss at a later time.

The man came back this morning. The ‘boss’ was his dad. We all took a look together and decided there was no problem. The younger man is supposed to be back this afternoon to do the work.

These men were super nice. The boss/father was very complimentary about the view in our back yard, saying he wanted to have something similar when he retired. We laughed together when I told him we pretended we owned all of it – saying it we could SEE and ENJOY it, it was OURS…. :0)

He actually took a couple of photos of the view on his tablet.

It was a pleasure to meet such nice people. It lifted my spirits today.

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Welcome, December!

Nathan and George – Firefighters of Australia calendar

I bought this calendar to contribute to the fundraising efforts of the firefighters of Australia. Getting to enjoy handsome men with bulging muscles and cute animals is a great way to welcome each month with a smile on your face, as well. :0)

If you would like to get one for 2021, you can order one here.

Yesterday I cut off the leaves of my two wonderful elephant ear plants, and then dug up the bulbs to store them in peat moss and potting soil in our garage for the winter. I’m HOPING they will do well, being ready for me to replant them next spring, when all chance of frost has passed.

Today I plan to pull out my tomato plants.

Judging from my sore muscles from all the digging, shoveling and hauling I did yesterday, I will try to do a LOT more yoga today than the 30 minutes or so I did yesterday

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Good ‘Eats’ Result in Less Lardage

“Caught Red-Pawed” – Audrius P. – Bored Panda

My husband and I really tried with the prepared meals weight loss folks – Nutrisystem, South Beach, and BistroMD – and we lost some weight, but it was grim. They either discontinued the food we really liked, we weren’t happy with the meals, or the food tasted so bad we just couldn’t hack it.

My husband was almost to his goal weight, so I was trying hard to make the keto diet work for us. We really like the recipes by Suzanne Ryan in her cookbook Simply Keto. The biggest problem with that was that we tended to eat more of whatever it was than a ‘portion.’ It was totally a self-discipline problem.

We lucked out when two new companies came to Greenwood AR recently – The Real Food Company, and Stu’s Clean Cookin’ – both offering frozen meals that are individual portions, heat up in the microwave, are good for you and TASTE GOOD!

We are happy as clams now, continuing to lose weight by declaring the frozen meals, individual portions, our main meal of the day, having tuna salad or the equivalent for lunch, and no breakfast. We are trying to limit our snacks, as well, eating healthy things – though my husband uses it as an excuse to splurge. Since HE is at his goal weight and his blood sugar numbers are now better than mine, I should look to HIM for advice…

I am continuing to drink as much water as I can without my eyeballs floating too badly, and I am trying to get in both my elliptical trainer and yoga stretches daily. My weight loss is slow and steady.

We are looking forward to our meals now, instead of gritting our teeth and making do while resenting the fact the food costs so much. Tonight, for example we are looking forward to trying “Teriyaki Chicken Lo Mein” from The Real Food Company.

Bon Appetit!

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Working in the Garden

Animal Wallpapers-Desktop Nexus

Earlier today my husband came out to help in the garden. I turned off the water to the irrigation system. We removed the hoses and sprinkler heads from the narrow wooden strips that went down the middle of each group of three planter boxes. We then removed the broken wooden strips. We stretched wire in two directions on the last planter, making the planting ‘squares’ we inadvertently forgot to do this year.

(This is a pic from the beginning of the season.)


I went back out about an hour ago to start the process of mixing Mel’s Mix and filling up the planters.

Mel’s Mix is a soil alternative made from

  • 2 parts peat moss
  • 2 parts vermiculite
  • 1 part of as many different types of compost as you can buy or make. (I use cotton burr, mushroom, and barnyard, plus I add the one I try to make from yard and kitchen waste.

I keep the ingredients in large lidded trash cans we keep along the back of our shop. We also have a used cement mixer. I measure out the ingredients into the cement mixer. I usually mix a double load each time. I mix the ingredients for about 3 minutes, and then empty the mixer into a big plastic yard bucket with handles. I then carry the bucket to one of the garden planter boxes and dump it.

This is kind of a laborious process, but I only have to do this once every few years. Usually, when you pull out a plant and plant something else during the seasons, you add a bit of mix. (I usually keep a small trash can of pre-mixed Mel’s Mix so this is quick and easy.)

Today was hard because the trash cans are getting empty, so I was kind of having to stand on my head to reach in and fill up the measuring bucket in each trash can. I also found a humongous ant hill that was in my way as I was going back and forth. I had to go back to the garage to get the EIGHT bug killer spray so I could hose them down before I got bitten or stung.  I decided after mixing and distributing the one double load, that was it for the day. I think I can do one more double load tomorrow, but then I’ll have to replenish supplies.

I just finished calling the Greenwood Co-Op, the wonderful outfit that provides my ingredients. Sometimes they have everything I need. This time they had to order some of it, so it should be ready for us to pick up Monday or Tuesday of next week. (After mixing up another double load tomorrow, it’ll probably take this old lady that long to rest up… :0)  )

When the planter boxes are all full of Mel’s Mix, my husband and I will replace the wooden strips, tying the hoses and sprinkler heads onto them. Then I’ll take some pics before we cover the planter boxes with tarps for the winter.

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-29-2020

dogspotting-Bored Panda

Today is cool, sunny, and beautiful.

Today is a two-outing day for us.

We’re leaving in a couple of minutes to take out our trash in the truck, get our mail, then run errands. Later today I’ll go out again for a hair cut. Exciting life we lead!

Actually, I can use a BUNCH of ‘ordinary,’ ‘quiet,’ ‘normal,’ and ‘peaceful.’ All really beautiful words and much appreciated. I plan to do a bunch of relaxing between outings.


Last night we tried our first frozen dinner from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ in Greenwood. 1435 West Center St., Greenwood, AR 72936.  479.597.3242. the meal was “Chicken, Brown Rice, and BBQ Sauce.” The chicken was excellent. The rice, not so much for me. I got one mouthful of really HOT (to me – a real wuss) BBQ sauce. My husband loved the dinner and said it was one of his favorites since we’ve been eaten food from the two new places in Greenwood. He didn’t have anything hot. He said he could have easily eaten twice as much of the chicken – but that has been our problem – reasonable portions for a human. We were both satisfied, so that was good. I’ll make sure we order this again for my husband next time. Tonight we will try “Pork, Black Beans, Brown Rice and BBQ Sauce.” Their store was clean. There were two really friendly guys who greeted us, had our order ready, and we were out the door in under 3 minutes flat. Impressive. I also like the fact that they print the nutrition information on their website, on the packages, etc. so you know what you’re ordering and eating. I am feeling SUPER lucky that we have TWO new places that BOTH offer good, convenient frozen foods for us to plan our dieting around. :0)

I seem to be in an ‘advertising-frame-of-mind’ today.  I have awful hair – thin, fine, yucky. I’m lucky to have a wonderful hair stylist, Michael Remillard in Greenwood at Tangles, 40 Town Square, Greenwood AR 72936. 479-996-6636 who understands this. I’m going for a haircut today. He knows that my hair doesn’t do anything good on its own. The best thing I can do for it is keep it clean and go to Michael for good hair cuts. I wash it every morning and blow it dry. He cuts it so that it looks like there is a PLAN. Mine is very short now, kind of like a pixie cut. It’s easy to take care of.

I have found a shampoo that I REALLY like. It’s called “Herbal Essences Bio:renew, Blue Ginger & Micellar Water Refresh.” Quite a mouthful, isn’t it!  I like it because

  • it smells good
  • it makes a truly wonderful amount of lather
  • it rinses out really well, without my feeling I have any kind of residue

I looked for it at Walgreens today. They had Herbal Essences, but not this flavor. I just ordered it online. It comes in a nice twin-pack. :0)

I harvested these sweet little bitty tomatoes yesterday. This may be the last of the year. I’m continuing to work in my raised bed, square foot garden. I’ll show you pics when things get a bit farther along. The tomatoes come from two brick planters on the opposite side of our house from the garden. We converted them from regular planters, filling them up with Mel’s Mix. Even with the weird growing season we have had this year, we had a nice crop.

While we were out doing errands, we saw our plumber, Travis Hawkins. 479-461-8347. He helped us recently with a water pressure problem, and then with a follow-up problem with our master bedroom shower. He told us that when we called about the shower, he tried to get to us himself, but got covered up in work, so sent his co-worker, Josh. He said he MEANT to just stop by and not charge us. Since Josh DID, he said he ‘owed us a service call and won’t charge us for the call the next time he comes.’ To say we feel lucky to have found him is a HUGE understatement. He is a really first-class person.

I hope that your Tuesday is a fun one.









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Weight Loss Tip 2

Born to Workout

I am feeling more in control of what my husband and I are eating now. We are both happy with the food we are getting from REAL FOOD in Greenwood. It’s delicious. We are basing our eating for the day around the meal we eat from there, having a really light lunch and very careful snacks, if any.

We are lucky to have ANOTHER good frozen food place that just opened recently in Greenwood.  It’s called, STU’S CLEAN COOKIN’.  We looked at their menu online yesterday morning, ordered, and were able to pick up our order after 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning! We had paid online and they had our order ready for us. You can’t ask for faster service than that!  We put that in the freezer to stock up. I like the fact that they list the nutrition of each meal on their website. I look forward to seeing if we like their “cookin.”

We get enough to eat 5 dinners per week and then I cook on the weekend, making one of the keto recipes we like. So far, we are losing weight and really enjoying LIKING our food!

My husband is only a couple of pounds away from his goal weight, but he likes the food so much, he is being VERY cooperative about doing this for the foreseeable future while I continue my efforts to get the lard off. (I have around 30 lbs to my goal, I think.)

With good food for the big meal of the day SO easy, I can concentrate on doing the other things I would like to do, rather than being tempted to feed my face in the kitchen.

Right now, the big project is trying to get my onions harvested without being stung/bitten by more fire ants who have taken up residence in my raised bed, square foot planters, and getting the planters cleaned out, things repaired, the boxes filled with Mel’s Mix, and then covered with tarps for the winter.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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A Reason to Love Mondays

“Caught Red-Pawed” – Audrius P. – Bored Panda


Real Food Co.


Last week we had a glorious week of EATING. We discovered REAL FOOD in Greenwood and pre-ordered things for the week. We enjoyed ALL of it, AND both of us managed to lose a bit over a pound!

They post choices for the coming week on Wednesday afternoons. You can pre-order from the website, as we do, or you can simply go into the store and choose from all the goodies in the freezer.  If you pre-order, you can pick up your food the following Monday.

They are open Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  479-414-6337.  964 East Center Street, Greenwood, AR 72936.

Now you see the reason that Monday has become a happy day for us. It’s pick up day for the Lewises!  (We also hope to get a loaf of bread…)


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Thoughts on a Thursday 9-17-2020

Thankful Thirteen via


I am having a wonderful Thursday, and I hope that you are, too.

Getty Images

My day started off with a wonderful massage from Lynn Moody.  If you are in the Greenwood area, give her a call at 479-629-7601 and see if you can book one. You’ll be SO glad you did! Besides my NORMAL miracle massage, I mentioned that my neck was stiff and sore. She did some magic with a towel and expert lifting and twisting and made it stop hurting!  :0)

Yesterday our new food group, REAL FOOD – also in Greenwood – (479) 414-6337 – posted the choices for the week coming up. My husband and I ordered with enthusiasm, and will pick up our goodies next Monday.  Since we don’t have any nutrition information, my husband and I are watching the scales and building our eating day around the Real Food meal as our main meal, with a snacky-type lunch. We are fasting from dinner until lunch the following day, except for drinking water and coffee the next morning, with very careful – if any – snacking. Fingers are crossed that things works well for us. Their food is delicious!


Amazon Handmade

I have added some hand-painted totes to Amazon Handmade today.  For some unknown reason, one of the images is not showing. I’m still fighting with that, but hopefully will solve the problem soon. It’s SO exciting to be adding my stuff to their website!


Rags n’ Roses Collective

I am going to go up and play in my art room some this afternoon. I’m still working on the bunch of bookmarks I started about a week ago. I’m adding some ribbons, strings, and/or doo-dads to each of them. I will post some pics when I have several finished, but I’m having a lot of fun. I am planning to take them to the booth I share with my friend, Carla, at Rags & Roses Collective479-597-3107 – in Greenwood.


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The Verdict So Far is “Delicious!”

“Caught Red-Pawed” – Audrius P. – Bored Panda

We have now eaten two frozen meals from REAL FOOD in Greenwood. 964 East Center Street, Greenwood, AR 72936.  (479) 414-6337.

We liked last night’s meal – “Home Fries, Roasted Chicken, Bacon and Cheese” even better than the first night’s, and that’s saying a lot. :0)

I have asked the owner if she would consider posting at least ball park estimates of nutritional information on the website so that we can try to plan around the one GLORIOUS meal we’re eating each day. (We are doing a combination of intermittent fasting and very light lunches.  If we have a snack, it’s a keto-type one.)  This afternoon the choices for the coming week should be posted.

I’m also going to concentrate on my exercising more, now that our weather is cooling off a bit. I’m aiming for elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga stretches in the afternoon, with as much walking in-between as I can get in.


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Happiness is a Hot Shower

Tonight we took advantage of one of life’s greatest luxuries – a hot shower.

We have been having water pressure problems for some time now. Our wonderful plumber has been trying to get to us, but COVID-19 concerns required the schools in Greenwood to adapt the water fountains in the school for maximum safety. In addition. lots of people have had NO water, or bad water leaks.

Travis Hawkins 479-461-8347 came over and installed a new water pressure tank the other day, which we hoped would solve the problem. We then had nice water pressure and hot water everywhere EXCEPT our shower.  We discovered this when I was thoroughly soaped and then had to rinse off in COLD water.

We ordered and installed a new shower head. My husband didn’t like the ‘rain’ shower head I had chosen and this was obviously the time to try something different. When it was installed, we tested it, only to find the water was still cold. I checked the guest room shower, and there were no problems at all there, so that narrowed it down to only our shower again.

Our plumber’s partner, Josh, came this afternoon to strip down the shower fixture and see if he could figure out what was wrong. Very soon after he and my husband went upstairs, they came down. It turned out that the part that holds the rain shower head away from the wall was completely clogged with hard water deposits, hardly allowing any water to go through it. Once that was removed, we had good pressure and gloriously hot water!

We celebrated by taking a shower right away, grinning from ear to ear.

I KNOW that I’m hopelessly spoiled. I didn’t realize, though, that much of my happiness depends on the ability to go up and stand under a glorious hot shower…


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Raccoon # 8

Live Science

We caught raccoon #8 of the season last night. We have just come back from relocating him where he will hopefully find the rest of the “gaze” of raccoons we have driven to their new home out farther in the country. Even though Amber barked at him obnoxiously, he didn’t lose his cool.  It looked like rain was coming soon, so we relocated the raccoon before having breakfast or doing anything other than feed animals.

Now we’ve had breakfast and I’m enjoying a cup of coffee as I type this.

We have doors open so far this morning, enjoying a nice breeze through the house. We are due for storms today, with a bigger chance this evening. I will get out, check the garden, and see if we have more ripe tomatoes to bring in soon.  Of course, now that we are home for the rest of the day, the sun has come out. :0)

I am doing well on my efforts to exercise this week so far. I have done my elliptical trainer in the garage, plus my half hour or so of yoga stretches and abdominal exercises every day. This is a 6-gold-star week so far! I will try to earn 2 more today.

The wonderful person from Tri-Hill Pest Control in Fort Smith is due here at 12:30 today. 1308 Zero St, Fort Smith, AR 72901. (479) 782-2847. He is a super nice man – PLUS since he has come and treated the house quarterly, we haven’t had a bug or pest problem. (Other than my husband.) This is a wonderful company.

Today’s project will be my kitchen desk. We use this, and the shelves above it, to have medicines and first aid stuff on hand, too, so it’s a busy area. I will try to get this area cleaned out and reorganized today.

Have a wonderful Thursday!


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Tail and Fur

We are one step closer to having our ability to take as long a hot shower as we would like.

Our wonderful plumber –  Travis Hawkins, 479-461-8347 – came and looked at things. He is looking for a replacement for our water pressure tank in the well house. (It has lasted for over 30 years, so I guess we got our money’s worth.) He will get back to us when he is ready to install it for us.

Meanwhile, he suggested that we try CLR on our shower head, just in case it was clogged, slowing the water flow. (Good pressure is essential for the tankless water heater to function and continue to function.)


The directions said to dilute it by 50%, immerse the head in the liquid for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. I did this three times, then put it back up. We have a rain water shower head, that is large and has a lot of holes. The treatment helped, but we still had a lot of clogged holes.

I took the head down again and this time immersed the head all morning. This seems to have helped significantly. I had hot water for my WHOLE shower this time!  The water pressure is still low, though, so we will replace the tank when Travis can find one and install it for us, so that we won’t be on the borderline of functionality.

But  CLR is a good product!


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Happy July 2020 !

Australia Firefighters Calendar 2020

Brendan and Hatch of the Australian Firefighters Calendar help us welcome the month of July.

I have really enjoyed welcoming each month this year. This is such a great idea for a fundraiser and a win/win for everyone. I hope they have sold out and have all the money needed to protect their beautiful country.

I want you to know that I – in a character-building exercise – have NOT looked ahead in any month so far. :0)

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Thoughts on a Wednesday 4-29-2020

in an email from my friend Marsha

We have had a busy couple of days.

Yesterday severe weather was forecast, including rain, high winds, large hail, and flying hairballs to start around dark. I took old sheets out and covered up the veggie plants in my garden, plus my tomato plants, protecting them as much as possible. The bad weather came, with lots of lightning, wind, rain, etc. I didn’t know if we got the hail. This morning I uncovered everything, and we seem to have come through with no damage to my sweet veggies!

I’m doing several loads of laundry to change the dirty, dripping sheets into clean, dry sheets ready for the next time.


I am really relieved. If we have a quiet, nice day tomorrow, I’ll work on cutting down the weeds and then spraying weed killer UNDER my raised bed boxes, as well as around the perimeter. I’m not sure if we need more mulch to spread under the boxes. I’ll know more when I have the weeds under control.

I’ll also use the push-around weed whacker to clean up the area beside the garden. We have the lawn mowed after finally getting the new belt installed, but my husband didn’t have the time to mow around or beside the garden.

I took pics of our rose bushes before the storm. It’s a good thing, because ALL of them are bent clear over after all the wind and rain.  I am going to try to find some things to prop them up while they try to recover.




A small sign of things starting to get back toward normal was that the company that sprays for bugs for us called and sent out Adolpho to spray the inside, plus around the outside of the house for everything – including elephants. When you live outside of town in a wooded area on top of a ridge line, one of the things you take seriously is the creepy, crawly things that will suddenly erupt without constant heavy duty spraying by professionals. We have Tri-Hill Pest Control, 1308 Zero St, Fort Smith, AR 72901, (479) 782-2847.  Adolpho is the man who comes to help us. We can’t say enough about him. 

Besides uncovering plants, washing sheets, and meeting the bug man, I have made us lunch and baked another loaf of keto bread. I can’t say enough about this recipe from

I’ve tried a lot of recipes for bread, since that was the thing I had been missing the most. I wanted one loaf of bread that I could slice and eat instead of eyeing my husband’s roll with dinner. I wanted one that I could slice and put in the toaster while my husband had regular bread – and one that I might even be able to use for a sandwich, if I felt the urge, such as when we want a comfort dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner.  I wanted the yeasty smell and taste of regular bread, as much as possible.

This one does all this. One loaf lasts me approximately a week. It doesn’t rise as much as regular bread, but it tastes good to me. I don’t feel deprived watching my husband eat regular breads – rolls, bagels, toast, sandwich bread, hot dog buns, etc. I will eventually branch out, trying other keto recipes for all of these various things, but this has really helped me in my efforts to stay on keto and lose the lard.

I hope that your day is full of hopeful things, too.



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