Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

Flourishing Fish

My husband and I cleaned out the aquarium this morning, putting in a new decoration after taking everything out, cleaning, replacing the filter, putting in freshly treated water, etc. I didn’t actually scrub the fish, themselves, but I have a feeling they would not look kindly on that.

I got the new decoration at the exclusive emporium of Walmart. The fish seem to like it. They immediately checked it out, swimming around and around it, hoping it was edible.

I don’t really know much about fish, but I have never had any fish grow like these two have. Each was about an inch-and-a-half at most when I bought them. The whiter looking gold fish is about 3 inches long now, or twice as large as it was. The gold fish is at least 4 inches long now, maybe more. I had to get a larger mesh fish scooper because the gold fish would no longer fit in the smaller one.

I have talked to them about the possibility of them learning a trick or two, but so far, all they express interest in is feeding time…

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Thoughts on a Wednesday 5-20-2020

source unknown

I have found this to be good advice – smiles are contagious, and they make you AND the recipient feel better.

That said, I just had words with my husband. He was in our home office, working at the computer, so I decided I would use the opportunity to vacuum the 1st floor carpeting. Suddenly, he and Amber, our 95-pound yellow lab,

were in the living room with me. They decided to go out on the back porch, but we had the door open, creating a nice breeze. I was vacuuming and suddenly was hit with 95 pounds of dog flying into me, trying to go after the ball my husband threw for her. I scowled at him, and he grinned sheepishly at me, after helping me up. The SECOND time the dog came flying past me, getting tangled in the cord, I put her out on the porch and shut the door. I finished vacuuming and put the dog bed back down in the living room. I opened the back door to allow husband and dog back into the house. The next thing I knew, the dog was flying for the ball into the front of the living room into her bed, sliding about three feet with the slobbery ball and bed. I then told my husband in no uncertain terms that I had vacuumed in the living room in order not to bother him in the office, and that consideration seemed to be only going one way this morning.  He agreed, grinned again, hugged me, and sat down to read in his chair. (It is now time to look at the picture and suggestion above again.) 

National Geographic

We trapped Raccoon # 3 of the season overnight and so took a trip to relocate him first thing this morning. I have a nice mental picture of him finding the two others we have relocated so far this season and having a happy reunion far enough away that they won’t return to our home. My husband cleaned out the humane trap, had to replace the plastic bowl we use to hold the bait because the raccoon trashed it, and refilled our bird feeders. We have no idea how large the current raccoon family is. We’ll see if we get all the bird seed cleaned out tonight.

We have had two absolutely perfect weather days,

Clipart Library

and I can’t sing high enough praises. I like rain, but it starts to be depressing when you get day after day of cool, gray, rainy weather. I am smiling at the sunshine, trying to encourage Mother Nature to provide more of this.  Since it’s supposed to be nice today, I’m planning to do some weed whacking in the area behind the shop and beside the veggie garden, where my husband can’t use the riding mower. When I get that all cut down, I’ll also spray some weed killer right around the big trash barrels that hold the ingredients of Mel’s Mix for the garden, plus around the propane tank that serves the shop. I’ll take some pics when things are presentable.

I hope that you are safe and well, having a happy day.

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Thoughts on a Monday 5-18-2020

Marabou Stork-photographer unknown via Penny Yaffe Krakow


If I come back to the world as something else one day, I either want to be this Marabou stork (above) or a shoebill stork (below.)

San Diego Zoo Animals and Plants

I love both of these birds. They are ugly – and they look like they have a sense of humor – like they’ll say something to make you laugh any minute. A great combination!

The sun is finally shining here!!!!  We have had an entire week of rain, storms, gusty winds, gray days.  It was SO nice to have to put on my sunglasses when we ran a couple of errands earlier today!

I fixed a big salad this morning. I will offer to share it with my husband, but he has some things he really likes, instead. I will eat part for lunch and the rest as part of my dinner. It’s wonderful to be able to use spinach and lettuce from our own garden in it! :0)

My husband is going to try to mow the yard later today, if it will dry up more. We are actually watching the grass grow now that the sun has come out.

I’m going to play in my art room this afternoon, trying to finish up a new idea I had.

Have a fun day!



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Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Feisty Fish

My two feisty gold fish have a new lease on life since my husband pitched in and helped me clean the aquarium out today. I usually do this alone, but my husband is feeling sorry for me since I caught my toe on the corner of our bed and am limping around.

Together we can do the whole job from start to finish in half an hour.

The fish don’t complain when the water needs to be changed, and they don’t praise us when the water is squeaky clean, but I KNOW they appreciate having new decorations, as they check everything out thoroughly each time we change the water.

They both got in the corner of the tank, wriggled their bodies and blew bubbles at me until I fed them again – even though I fed them as usual this morning.

Happy, feisty fish are a lot of fun to have in a family.


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Fresh Fish

I love watching my fish check out the different decorations I put in their home each time I clean the aquarium.  They don’t say much about the changes, but they wriggle harder and blow lots of bubbles, so I know they are interested.  You can only see the white gold fish in this pic, unless you know that the orange curved ‘stripe’ on the right side of the tank is the orange one. He is about 4 inches long now.  I like seeing the brightly lit tank, the sparkling clean water, the bubbles of the aerator, and the fish chasing each other. I talk to them – making bright conversation – but they don’t engage in spritely repartee.  It’s a nice, quiet, appreciative relationship.

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Pooping Contest

Even though the fish grumbled, my husband helped me clean the aquarium today. I asked for help because I have now changed to a filter for a 10-gallon tank even though ours is a 5-gallon.  The part that hangs the filter system on the tank didn’t want to go on, so I enlisted his expertise.

I only have the two fish you see here. The whiter one has grown to be about two times as large as he was when I bought him about a year or so ago now. The gold one has increased in size at least three, and maybe four times. He’s a monster now.

I didn’t realize when I bought them that gold fish have a well-earned reputation for pooping. I realize that fish need to, but these two wrote the book on it! I guess it’s like being on lockdown. They have nowhere to GO. Not much to DO. No HOBBIES to get involved in. Still, one would think they could devise games to play in there, rather than having pooping contests.

I am cleaning their tank once a week in order to keep the water sparkling clean most of the time. It gets a bit cloudy, and then, suddenly, the water is GREEN and desperately needs to be changed. I have read lots of articles on the subject. I’m following all the suggestions. It’s a good thing that I find these two fish NICE. I enjoy having the aquarium and love the look of it when it’s nice and squeaky clean.

Maybe one day they will listen to my not-so-subtle suggestions and get with the program…



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Funny Fish

I’m beginning to suspect a conspiracy.

Usually, my fish look a bit ‘put out’ (miffed?)  when I carefully put them back in the aquarium once I’ve cleaned it out, changing everything.  They don’t say anything, just swim around checking everything out.

Yesterday when I put them back in, they went back and forth blowing bubbles and looking at me. I’m beginning to suspect that they are pooping even MORE prolifically than usual because they actually LIKE have new decorations to look at.  I tapped on the glass as they swam back and forth. They stopped, came up to my finger, blew bubbles and then went on their way.

A challenging way to communicate, in my opinion. Maybe I can encourage them to make signs –

  • LIKE this bathtub!
  • More beads, please
  • FEED US!
  • You’re funny looking!

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Thoughts on a Thursday 4-9-2020

David Zinn Art via Penny Yaffe Krakow

Even though I want to bite him in the leg at times, I’m thankful this morning that my husband and I are riding the pandemic out together. Even though I am trying to reach out to the others who mean a lot to me via text, email and phone, REAL HUGS are hugely important to me. So I hug my husband; hug my dogs, Amber and Molly; hug my cats, Smoke and Abby, every day. I don’t hug my 2 gold fish, but we smile at each other.  :0)

I’m even grateful that I work my head off each day, trying to tackle a different part of my house to heal. I’m a slob, and I hate housekeeping, but there is a sense of accomplishment when an area that was a mess gradually becomes an area we can enjoy spending time again.  (We’re looking forward to having our lunch on the screened in back porch today!)

Today’s project is two-fold: 1) weed whacking the areas my husband can’t reach with the mower. We have gone from looking like no one had lived here for several months – with 8-inch-or-so high weeds, to an area that is starting to look not only like someone lives here now, but also like someone cares. My husband was really steamed that he had to mow in March – an affront to fairness in his mind – but he has now mowed twice since then, wanting to feel happy about the yard again.   So I will use the hand-held weed whacker to clean up the edges, the area under the deck, etc. where he can’t reach, and then clean everything up with the leaf blower. 2) The other part of today’s project will be buying and planting tomato plants! (Yeagers Hardware is open and they have plants today.) I will visit my veggie garden and see how things are going.  (Pics later.)

I am hopeful we will get past this awful time and once again we will feel free to HUG our friends without putting them in jeopardy.

I hope you have someone to hug, physically or virtually, today.

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Filed under Family, Gardening, Health Alert, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Today’s Project

In November or so, we kind of ‘packed up’ the screened in back porch for the winter. Over time, the detritus piled up, covering all. Lately a thick layer of pollen was added. I decided that, since the sun was shining and it was almost summer-like today (even though a cold front is coming through tonight) it was the right day to unearth the porch.

It’s great to eat out there, free from bugs and enjoying our view. I love to pretend that all that we can see is ours,  enjoying watching the seasons change.

Unearthing the porch was quite a job. My husband had swept at it, calling it done. Hahahahaahaha. He means well, but there is no way in the world I would even THINK about trying to eat out there with all that dirt!

I spent much of the day on the various steps – getting everything off the porch, sweeping twice, mopping twice, cleaning everything and bringing it back, setting up the table and chairs. Now it is habitable.


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Slug Fest?

Bright Side


  • Vacuumed the first floor – office, living room, hallway, dining area, kitchen, pantry, utility room and two half-baths
  • went grocery shopping and put stuff away
  • fixed lunch
  • did 3 loads of laundry
  • changed the sheets on our bed
  • changed the tires on the truck with my husband – from the snow tires to its regular tires. It took us two hours, but we got it done
  • fixed dinner
  • cleaned up the kitchen


am being a SLUG. I have done very little. I did almost nothing in comparison. I got a keto chili in the crock pot this morning and fixed lunch. I fell asleep in my chair. (I had the heat pad under my back in the recliner and the throw over me the perfect ‘sandwich’ of comfort.)

I am just now writing some blog posts. I feel like a slug, but I guess I needed a day of rest. It’s funny. I feel just fine while I’m working. Then it all catches up to me and I’m reminded that I’m no spring chicken anymore.

So – slug fest for me today. Maybe I’ll have more energy tomorrow….


Filed under aging, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Dancing Fish?


My fish don’t say much. They don’t do tricks, or make people say, “Awwww!” They are pretty, though, and they are very appreciative when I feed them twice a day. They get in the corner together, blowing bubbles at me and wiggling their sweet little bodies in anticipation.

I wish that gold fish weren’t quite so industrious about making it necessary for me to clean the aquarium. I have now added an ammonia filter to each of the filters in the tank, hoping that that will add to the time between cleanings.

I have to do it – changing out everything in the tank, rinsing the stones, changing the greenery and the decorations, filters, etc. before putting the fish back in – once  week, but it was almost a day later this time. Maybe I can stretch it to 9 days… I do like the water clean and sparkling, though, and though nothing is said, I think the fish enjoy it, too.


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Sparkling Fish

Yesterday my husband and I cleaned out the aquarium. My husband actually worked with me, rather than getting impatient and DUMPING stuff, with me struggling to catch it. We ended up with a sparkling aquarium with fish who may be smiling at the nice clean water or may be griping to each other that they were rousted, once again, while the humans made them swim in a small bowl of water with a towel over it – AGAIN.


I have ordered a thing that is supposed to help with ammonia now, since the other additions I’ve tried are helping, but no making it so I don’t have to clean the whole aquarium once a week. I’m hoping I end up with a combination that results in definitely smiling fish.

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Veggie Garden


This gives you a big picture of our garden. There are two rows of three 4’x4′ wooden boxes on legs filled with Mel’s Mix, a soil substitute.  They are tied together on an irrigation system.


Here’s another view.

Here you see mainly head lettuce plants plus a couple of spinach plants.


Here you see head lettuce and red onions.


Spinach plants


So far, things are going really well. As I said in my last post, I harvested the first batch today. I just finished using the push-around weed whacker to cut things down around the outside of the garden and behind the barrels of the Mel’s Mix Components behind the shop. (You can see the barrels in the upper portion of this photo.)  I also did a couple of areas beside the garden and between the garden and the house.

My husband is mowing again now, trying to distribute all the huge rows of tall weeds he mowed down a few days ago. It’s ALMOST looking as if someone cares about this place now…


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I MAY Be Too Old for This…

Letters From the Loft

The sun came out today to brightly shine on my while I’m trying to rid the rocks in the bed around the house of weeds. I lasted about 40 minutes, then came in and drank a really large glass of ice water, and then a lot of rest. I’m making progress, but this spring has been the best encouragement for champion weeds we’ve had in my memory of living here for almost 33 years now.  So far today, I’ve cleared an area from the garage door out to where the bed turns and goes around the back of the house.

I’m going to give it one more session today. Then I’ll drink water until my eyeballs float and then do a LOOOOONNNNNG session of yoga stretches before dinner this evening.

I have some nice pads to put under my knees, and a roll-around seat, so I’m about as well set up as one could be for the task, but it is still a LOT of work.

Guess who will NOT forget to hose down the WHOLE rock area thoroughly with weed killer once the weeds are out!

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Happy Goldfish?

“Here’s lookin’ at YOU, kid.”

My fish don’t say much. They don’t do tricks. I need to clean their aquarium out once a week, even with the two filters I’m running now.  But they DO gather in the corner when they see me coming, wriggling their little bodies and blowing bubbles at me, hoping I’ll drop flakes in their tank.

I lost one recently. :O(   He had the balance problem I read about. I was sad to lose him, but I’ve learned a lesson that will help the other two – not to sprinkle the flakes on the surface of the water. An article I read said to put the flakes in some water from the tank and saturate them completely before adding the water and food to the tank. This is supposed to avoid the development of the balance problem due to gulping in air along with the flakes.


I’ve cleaned out the tank so much now that it is almost down to a science. I can empty it, change out or clean everything, and have the fish back swimming in about half an hour.


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Enough for Today

Joanna Brandt

We got our Internet upgrade via CenturyLink – speed up from 6 bps to 41 – a significant difference. My husband worked with the tech to get the new double lines run outside and then the new modem installed and tested while I made sure that our dogs stayed out of the way – and away from each other. I’ll let you know what I think after I get a chance to test it some.

The other big thing for the day was scrubbing our master bathroom. This consists of a double lavatory with counter top, a whirlpool tub, a walk-in shower, toilet, floors and rugs. It took me a couple of hours, but things are significantly better in there now. My husband will see it when we go up to bed tonight…

He took Amber to Yeagers and got some weed killer for the lawn. Right now it looks like we need to mow, but all is weeds that have spurted up. We’re hoping that the weed killer he just spread will do the same good it did last year. We’ll both sleep well tonight after our various forms of exercise today.

Even though it’s too early to say this, as far as I’m concerned my work is done today.

Cindy Basnett Thurman


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Thoughts on a Monday 3-2-2020

Via J. Robert Bennett – LinkedIn

So far, today is a waiting day.

We are supposed to receive a call from the techs at CenturyLink today (between 9 and 5) before they come to the house to install equipment that will give us faster Internet. Since we live in the sticks and have to be grateful for whatever we can get, we are hopeful that this might be a good bridge between what we have now and the fiber optic service that is supposed to be offered sometime at the end of this year or the beginning of next.  I don’t know anything about technology, but my husband will ask several pertinent questions before we allow them to begin. Our son has described our Internet as ‘swimming through peanut butter,’ so fingers are crossed that we are actually able to get better service.

Our weather is fabulous today – sunshine-y and a high of 64 this afternoon!  I’m going to go out and visit my veggie plants and encourage them to do well. We have a lot of weeds in our yard now, making it look like we ought to be mowing. We tried a bag of weed killer granules last year that seemed to make a big difference, so we’ll get more this year as soon as we can leave the house and spread it as soon as possible.


I’m sad to tell you that I lost my smallest goldfish a couple of days ago. He had an equilibrium problem, and would often float, looking like he was gone, then ‘come back to life’ when I tapped on the glass and start swimming again. This time he didn’t. So now there are two – one goldfish that has increased in size from about one inch long when I bought him to about 4 inches long now, and the other is a white goldfish with a spot on his ‘head.’ I cleaned out their tank again a couple of days ago, when the smaller goldfish died. So far, they seem happy with the clean tank with different decorations. Fingers crossed all is good for them.

My big ‘plan’ for the day is to clean our master bath today. It was on my list for yesterday, but my time and energy were snafued. I’m going to see what I can do on it as soon as I finish writing to you.

Such an exciting day – MAYBE faster Internet – MAYBE a clean bathroom upstairs – and MAYBE bowling with friends tonight.

I hope that YOUR Monday is a fun one.



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Happy Fish?

Since I added a second filter and changed to glass beads instead of gravel, the aquarium has stayed cleaner longer. I read an article, though, on why the water would turn yellow.  There were things listed, such as decaying plants or fish, the use of driftwood, and other things like that, which don’t pertain to me. They did say I might be feeding the fish too much and suggested I scale back for several days and see if that had any effect.


There is a big range of how much food a PINCH is. Since the fish were all the same size when I got them, and you can see one of the goldfish is a lot larger than the other two, you can tell who is getting the majority of the food. I’m watching, trying for a much smaller pinch of fish flakes than I have been giving them. I wonder how one can tell how much is too little, good, or too much, though. The fish don’t say much…

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Daffodils, Veggies and Fish – Oh, My!


Yesterday was a productive day for us.

Greenwood Collision called us in the morning, saying that the part we needed for the Vette had FINALLY arrived (it was ordered in November) – so we took both vehicles there to leave the Vette to be fixed (after my husband insisted we stop at the car wash to give it a bath before we left it with them.)

We then drove to Fort Smith to leave our tax stuff with our CPA, Mike Schluterman, at Lawrence, Schluterman & Schwartz LTD. They will call us when the returns are ready to sign and send. I LOVE it when we can dump the stuff on Mike and we can be sure all will be handled competently.

On the way back we stopped for groceries, gas, and a couple of other things. I fixed lunch when we got home. We got a text from our friends, saying they wouldn’t be able to bowl last night, so I decided that, since it was a GORGEOUS day, I wanted to go back to town and buy spinach and head lettuce plants.

I spent a happy couple of hours getting the weeds out and then planting the spinach and head lettuce. I spread things out more this time (though my hat stays off to Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening.  In MY garden, things tend to grow too closely together, cutting off oxygen and resulting in spoilage. So this year, I’m planting one plant in each square and will see what happens.  (I went out this morning to take pictures. When I was out walking Molly earlier, there was just a very quiet sprinkle from the sky. When I went out to take the pictures, it was a steady rain, so I was glad I took my umbrella.)

To the early spring garden, I will add sweet onion sets. Then I’ll watch those until it’s time to plant tomatoes and yellow squash, and whatever my husband would like me to try.

On the way back from taking pics of the garden, I got a couple of pictures of my daffodils, stubbornly blooming even though it will probably freeze twice this week. I can and will cover the plants in the garden, but I can’t cover the yard, so I hope they can ‘weather-the-weather.’



The last thing I did yesterday was clean the aquarium.  The fish seem happy and healthy, although they don’t say much.

Running the TWO filters has lengthened the amount of time before I need to change the water again. The new, stick-shaped aerator we’re using now makes ME happier, and the change to the glass beads instead of gravel is much nicer.

So there you have my yesterday. Today is an inside day. All will depend on when the rain stops, or if this is an all day thing.

I hope that YOU are staying warm and dry and happy.



Filed under Family, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Seasons, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Saturday 2-15-2020

The sun is ALMOST shining today and it’s warmer, so I’m a happy camper.

We just got back from running errands. We have two main things on our list today –

THING ONE – getting a replacement collar for the shock collar we use rarely with our 94+ pound yellow lab, Amber. The shock part is still working, but the collar is too short now. Once we get one we can use, we’ll start working with her again in the yard. We need to be able to take her to the vet, for example, without worrying about her pulling my husband or me down and making us face surf on the ground. Our biggest problem is that she minds well when we are by ourselves. She looks at us as if she has never seen us before and is totally deaf when we are out in public.

THING TWO – adjusting a door knob assembly so that the door to the guest room closes and stays closed, rather than opening with the nose of a dog or cat.

I told you that we don’t really celebrate any holidays like birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc. My husband was raised without big celebrations and I don’t want him to feel obligated to get me something just because of the calendar.  When we find something we think the other will like, we get it and give it, regardless of the day.

I have also told you that I’m a very happy, spoiled lady who is treated better than I deserve 99% of the time. Two examples –

He bought me these earrings a couple of weeks ago. I just love them. They gave me some trouble trying to actually get them into my ears, though. The post is curved and didn’t want to go through the hole in my ear. I kept trying. I finally decided to wait until my earlobes were completely happy and THEN try them. I wore them yesterday!!!! My husband was a bit disappointed, saying they were ‘small,’ but they looked pretty. I tried to get a pic of them with me wearing them, but I wasn’t able to.

TODAY I opened a package in the mail to find these –

The picture doesn’t show how sparkly they are. They are called, “sidewinders” or something similar because you see the whole circle while they are in your ear, not just an outside edge. I will put them on and try to get a picture. Fingers crossed!

See what I mean about being happy and spoiled?

After several days of running like a nut, I’m fairly caught up today.

I am planning to –

  • Bake a loaf of keto bread
  • Get back into exercising – with my elliptical trainer in the garage plus a session of yoga later today.

I hope that YOUR Saturday is a fun one!


Filed under DIET!, exercise, Family, giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, love, Thoughts on a ________

I Found My Desk!

I told you that I FINALLY made myself quit procrastinating and got the tax prep for 2019 mostly done. I then went through the file cabinet drawers for our stock records and found something ELSE that should have been a long time ago – updating our stuff and making sure that our records agreed with our broker’s. As I was working on those things, plus getting things ready to put in the local shop for St. Patrick’s Day, I ended up ‘losing’ my desk.

I love this desk. It’s impractical, but I love it. It has a top that rolls down so you can’t see the top at all. (I had so much STUFF on it – that was impossible) :0)

It also has a bunch of little drawers, nooks & crannies, slide-out trays, etc. It even has a KEY to lock it, though I never use it.

Today was the day I was going to do two things:

THING ONE:  Go onto our broker’s website and see if I could download and print what we needed to finish our taxes.

THING TWO:  FIND my desk again.


My desk is FOUND again!  As usual, I threw away a bunch of stuff, put things back where they belonged, found new places for some of the stuff…

I was able to download and print our tax stuff, so I’m in the process of going through the packet one more time, making sure I have everything included – with the backup receipts needed, and then we will drive to Fort Smith Monday and leave it with our wonderful CPA who makes sense of all of it and hopefully tells us we don’t owe anything.

As soon as I finish going through the tax stuff, I’m planning to dive into the book I’ve been reading and enjoy!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

A Challenging Day

Jeff Jett via LinkedIn

When we got up this morning, I thought it would be a quiet day.

It’s cold, gray, and rainy today, so I have to fight wanting to curl up under my throw in my recliner and nap the day away.

We had our quarterly bug spray at noon. If you’re looking for a dependable, wonderful group of people to handle all your bug spraying needs, try Tri-Hill Pest Control in Fort Smith, AR.  Their phone number is (479) 782-2847. They come treat our home quarterly. At one point, we had lots of scorpions. YES! It was really awful. They got them under control for us. Now supposedly spiders are overrunning everyone, but we haven’t seen even one – and NO scorpions. Since it’s rainy. our wonderful sprayer said he would schedule a return visit in a day or two to treat the outside.

Before he arrived, I got a call from our water department. We had gotten several bills lately that were higher than usual. We thought it was probably leftover charges from when our son was home (our bill usually doubles) – and then we had a leak in our well house that our plumber came and fixed, so we thought it might be leftover from that. I just paid the last bill, so I was surprised when the lady at the water department called me, saying from our usage, we must have a leak somewhere. She said the company had been trying to find the source and that something ‘pinged’ when they passed our house. She suggested that we contact a plumber.

I called Travis Hawkins, our long-time wonderful plumber. (479) 461-8347.  I actually got to speak with him directly, rather than having to leave a message. He is so good that he stays quite busy. He told me that as soon as the rain stopped, he would be over and try to find the source of the leak. I just noticed the rain had stopped – at least for awhile – and Travis was driving up the driveway. Have I told you that I think he is worth his weight in gold?

My husband showed him a place in the front yard where we had standing water. The whole yard is wet, but this was almost like a shallow lake in comparison. We now have a big hole in our front yard. Travis actually found the source of the leak – a big PVC pipe that runs across our front yard. There was a humongous rock or boulder between the soil and the pipe. He has gone to the hardware store to get the supplies he needs to fix where we can SEE the pipe just caved in on itself. (Apparently, this is another perk from living in one place for over 30 years. – they use different, stronger stuff now.)

The lady at the water department said that when the leak is fixed. we should bring the repair receipt in to her office and she will adjust our bill. I’m not sure what that actually MEANS, but we will be grateful for whatever help she can give us.

Otherwise, I hard-boiled some eggs and made a keto sausage/eggs/cheese back for our dinner tonight. I also did a Windows 10 update on my computer, then FINALLY figured out how to do a backup of the operating system with the recent changes, then backed up my data.

It’s not even mid-afternoon yet and I’m exhausted.

I’m glad we don’t usually have days like this.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, character-building exercises, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Feisty Fish

If you’ve been following my adventures with trying to keep my aquarium clean, you know that I officially discovered that goldfish are known to be ‘prolific poopers.’ I only have three goldfish. They are in a 5-gallon tank. I don’t want to get a larger tank. I don’t want to ‘off’ any of the three fish, so I’m experimenting with things that might make it so I don’t have to completely clean out the tank every week.

I got a new filter, and that has helped. I got 2 or 3 more days out of that. Today I put the new one back in, but also put the OLD one in, too. I am hoping that the TWO filters, plus changing the filter inserts often, will do the trick.

When I put the fish in after everything was clean, they bunched up in the corner, wriggling their bodies and opening and closing their mouths, hoping I would feed them again.  I caved and gave them a couple of soaked flakes. They had no comment about having a clean tank…


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Thoughts on a Friday 2-7-2020

Timeline Photos via Cindy Pasqualini

There is a bright, round shape in the sky lighting up everything around here today!  It’s 34 right now and is supposed to get to 50. You can’t ask for much more for a day in February!

We are about to leave for Lunch Bunch, our every Friday celebration of friendship. Usually there is Linda, Kay, Kay’s husband, my husband, and me. Sometimes relatives of ours join us. Sometimes other friends. It’s good food and good conversation with hugs and laughs with caring friends.

After Lunch Bunch, my husband and I will go to Ft. Smith to leave another donation with the Veterans Thrift store. This time it’s a lot of clothes, shoes, and purses.

Today’s Project – scrubbing bathrooms. We have two full baths upstairs and two half baths downstairs. Since I’m a lousy housekeeper, they all need work.

I’ve been trying to get up to my art room, but time and energy run out before I can get there. When I get things a bit more caught up, my priorities will change.

I hope you have a glorious day today, too.






Filed under Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Thoughts on a ________

Kitchen Scrub Project Finished

I had a big project of cleaning out and reorganizing our cooking and storage areas now that we are eating keto. The project started with cleaning out our walk-in pantry. We still had a lot of stuff we weren’t eating anymore. I was using different tools and appliances to cook, and was having to wade through things a lot. I finally got the pantry cleaned out and we donated a lot of food and other things.


The second part of the project was going through my kitchen desk area and the shelves above it (a combination medicine cabinet and first aid area.)


Then I went through the cabinets and shelves in the kitchen, cleaning out, gathering a donation, and reorganizing things so I can find them easily.


Then I got distracted because my aquarium with three goldfish kept have really cloudy, yucky water, requiring me to clean out the whole tank every week. I now have a new filter and that seems to be doing a LOT better. I may end up running TWO Filters and TWO aerators,  but so far, things are looking a lot better.

Today I was finally to the point that I could concentrate on cleaning the counter surfaces, stoves, sinks, etc. I won’t show you how yucky the top of the stove was. First thing this morning, though, I put the gas jet covers and the stove grills into the dishwasher.


So, right at the moment, this whole area looks as if a miracle occurred.  Things are clean and organized!


I have a nice kitchen. I feel embarrassed that I’m such a slob, having to devote almost two weeks to getting things cleaned out, re-organized and clean all at once.

I will make my husband look at everything today – and do the appropriate ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ before it starts getting messed up again.

The end of a project feels good.


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Thoughts on a Tuesday 2-4-2020


We’re having a cold, rainy day today, to be followed by a wintry mix tomorrow. We were spoiled by two days of absolutely gorgeous, sunny weather lately, so I guess this evens things out.



Yesterday I finished taking my warm weather stuff out of my closet and putting it into our guest room closet. I had my cold weather stuff in a big tub that I stashed in my art room because we were trying to have a clear closet for the foreign student we hoped to host. My husband’s stroke changed our plans, the foreign student won the lottery on host families elsewhere – finding a perfect one for him. Yesterday I pulled the tub into our master bath where my closet is.

I was determined not to just pull things out and be done with it. I tried each thing on and then decided whether –

  • It was good and could be hung up
  • It was good, but needed to go into the dryer for a few minutes to get wrinkles out
  • It was now too large and should be donated (HOORAY!)
  • I really didn’t like the way it looked on me and should be donated
  • It was still too small and should be donated

I finally got to the bottom of the tub. I took the clothes that needed the dryer, along with hangers, downstairs and began running loads with a few things at a time. I took a pad of paper, pen, and large leaf bag back upstairs, listing what I was donating and filling the bag. I brought both downstairs. Then I brought the stuff that was now wrinkle-free and on hangers back upstairs and hung them in my closet. Today I will document the donation and the next time the weather is cooperative, we’ll drive to Ft. Smith to the Veterans Thrift Store.

Today’s project, thanks to Mother Nature giving us a cold, rainy day, is scrubbing my kitchen. Things have been cleaned out in both our walk-in pantry and the kitchen, and today I’ll do the deep cleaning it has been needing. So far, I have the top-of-the-stove parts in the dishwasher.

We went bowling with our good friends last night. We got to catch up on what each of us had been doing – with good conversation and laughs. My husband beat me the first game, but I beat HIM the second. We ALL enjoyed going to Braum’s after for ice cream. My husband wore the new tee he bought – giving both of our friends a good laugh.

I hope that you are having a good Tuesday. ENJOY!


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Filed under Friendship, giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

“Prolific Poopers”



I cleaned out the aquarium again this morning. I think it’s averaging once a week for three fish. That seems excessive to me. I got a new filter yesterday and have installed that today. I’m hoping that this will do the trick. I kept the old one, though, because I’m thinking I may use BOTH of them. I may also get a second aerator…

Anyway, my fish seem happy and healthy. The smallest one is having some equilibrium problems, but seems to be doing well, otherwise. I read that this might be due to the fact that I was sprinkling their fish food onto the surface of the water. I have now started putting the food into a cup of their tank water, then pouring the water into the tank.

I have spoken to them about the article I read that said that goldfish were ‘particularly prolific poopers.’ They didn’t say much about my observations, though.

So I’ve decided to quit griping (are you smiling in relief now?) and just clean the tank,  trying to find ways to keep my ‘prolific poopers’ as happy and healthy as possible.


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Thoughts on a Wednesday 1-29-2020

Animals Collection

Even though it’s gray, 44 degrees, raw and rainy here today in Arkansas, I’m having a nice day, and have many things for which to be thankful.

Yesterday I opened our mail to find a pair of earrings my husband had found and ordered for me!

I just love them. It doesn’t show here, but the stones are kind of sparkly!  The design of them is giving me a bit of  a problem, though. They have a curved piece on the front that goes through the hole in your ear, and then you close the back onto the end to hold it in place. I’m having trouble getting the curved part through my ear. I’m continuing to try different techniques, but so far, no luck. :0(  I’ll keep working at it because I really want to wear them!

I’m working on a new wooden plaque in my art room. I think it’s going to turn out well, and I’m having fun working on it.

Since it’s still raining, we’re having to delay our trip to Ft. Smith to take our donation to the Veterans Thrift Store. Hopefully, we can do that tomorrow. I’m already finding more things I would like to donate, but the back of our truck will be full with what we have already.

Early this morning I put ingredients for Keto Chili into the crock pot, so we’ll have a nice comfort food type dinner this evening.

Today I’ve decided that my next clean out project will be my clothes closet. I need to move warm weather stuff out and move cold weather stuff in. I want to take my time, though, and get rid of a bunch of for each ‘season.’ Happily, some of my clothes are simply too large now, thanks to my efforts on eating Keto and exercising.

So it’s back to work now, after taking a short break. I hope that YOUR Wednesday is treating you right.




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Filed under Delightful Surprises, DIET!, exercise, Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

Declutter Project Progress

I’ve been working on the first area of my great ‘Decluttering Project 2020’ for about a week and a half now. Today I finally finished. :0)

I went completely through our walk-in pantry, deciding what I was using and what I wasn’t, putting some utensils and supplies in the donation pile by the front door, throwing out other things, and cleaning and reorganizing the rest.


I next tackled the shelves above my desk in the kitchen (a combination medicines and first aid supply area), plus the desk itself, which had disappeared under a pile of STUFF.

Then I spent a couple of days going through my cabinets in the kitchen. This is the part I finished today.



I have two nice pull-out drawers in each cabinet, but this gives you an idea.



I am lucky to have a wonderful kitchen. I feel happy that I have it better under control now and am taking better care of it.

I processed our donation to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store today, so we’ll take it to Ft. Smith tomorrow.


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering

Thoughts on a Sunday 1-26-2020

Caracal Cat – Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I just love this photo. I don’t know who the photographer is, but it was posted by Jeff Jett on LinkedIn.

Our weather is more spring-like today, and I’m really grateful. I’m a wuss about ice and snow. I love to LOOK at snow, PLAY in it, and maybe even build snowmen, but I don’t like having to worry about whether I can safely get to an appointment or not.


I’ve finished reorganizing the walk-in pantry


Finished cleaning out and reorganizing the shelves over my desk – actually FINDING my buried desk again


Cleaned out the aquarium again

My goldfish make their water cloudy really fast, no matter what I do. I don’t know if goldfish are just dirtier than other fish or what. I’m thinking about scrubbing each of them with a toothbrush the next time I clean the aquarium….

I vacuumed the first floor tiled areas this morning (pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half baths), so today’s project is finishing the clean up of the kitchen.

I have to tell you that the past few days have been good exercise,  with all the pulling, hauling, relocating, going up and down the ladder, etc.  It feels good to see things finally looking better organized for what we need now. It’s amazing to me how much what you are eating changes the tools and appliances you need, the ingredients to cook with, and storage needs.

I hope that you are having a satisfying Sunday, too.



Filed under Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

Today’s Project is Completed!






Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering