Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

Project of the Day Update




Ahhh. There was actually a place for most everything that was on the desk. I did bring a pile of recipes that need to have holes punched so that they can go into the recipe book, but everything else found a home.

Caution:  Look quickly – I’ve had a LOT of practice in piling things up….

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects

Project for the Day

Sassy Senior Lady via Doreen Adamson-Liber

If I haven’t admitted it before, now you know what a slob I am.

Despite my efforts here and there – I’ve never been a great housekeeper – things ‘accumulate’ and, then, I think, reproduce like rabbits, causing the jumble you see before you. My husband and i both contribute to it.  On any given day there are other priorities, so it gets lost in transit.

Well, today is the day THIS will be the focus.

I’ll take everything off and TRY to organize this so that it’s not a catchall. I’m planning to move some of my cookbooks here to get them off the other counter space in the kitchen.

I’ll report back to you later on my efforts.


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects

Greenhouse Repair

This picture shows you the break in the pvc pipe rib for the greenhouse.


My husband drilled into the wood uprights on either side of the louvered fan and attached guy wires to the wood.


He used a cement drill to drill a hole in the ground at the proper angle for the guy wires, ran the wire around the stake (held in place by a hose clamp.

This picture shows you the completed guy wire fix for the end of the greenhouse.  It’s nice and sturdy now, thank goodness.


Here’s the fix from the side.

So, thanks to my wonderful husband, things are once again in good shape. He’s definitely a keeper.

When he came in, and could man the phone, I went out and got an 8 foot brick planter cleaned out where we have two really large hydrangea plants. I cut off all the branches and disposed of them. I have 4 more planters to clean out and then I’ll put mulch in them. :0)



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Best Laid Plans

I was PLANNING to clean out another flower planter yesterday. My husband came in and told me we had a problem with the greenhouse. The end ‘wall’ you’re looking at in this photo had broken loose because the last pvc pipe ‘rib’ closest to the lumber had broken. The rib isn’t repairable. We would have to take the whole end of the greenhouse apart and replace the whole rib,  probably resulting in more damage.

My husband, who is really good at figuring out how to fix things, figured out that we could attach heavy wire (like that used in the guy wires for the ham radio tower) to the upright pieces of wood on either side of the louvered exhaust fan. He is outside as I type (waiting for an important phone call we’re expecting) drilling a hole some distance away from the end of the greenhouse. He’ll then pound in a metal stake with the sledge hammer. Then we’ll attach the wires with what I think are called turnbolts – metal things with rings on each end and a threaded length in between that you can turn to tighten the wire until it’s taught.


The stake and ‘guy wire’ type attachment should keep the end of the greenhouse secure. I’m not sure what he’s planning about the broken pvc pipe. Maybe we can just ignore it and rewrap the transparent liner stuff on the end carefully.

Anyhow, my best laid plans had to be set aside, once again, in order to try to fix the greenhouse – again before it is forecast to rain today…  I’m lucky to have a guy who can look at something and figure out how it works and what needs to be done to fix it. I don’t have a clue – although I’m a pretty good helper and ‘gofer.’

If I can get the yard under control for the winter, I’m planning to start moving things around in the greenhouse, getting ready for planting seeds later. I’ll post pics as I get things organized in there.

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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Before the Rains Come…

I just realized how MANY times we’re rushing around here, trying to get things done ‘before the rains come.’


Today I was planning to get out and work in my flower planters, trying to get them pruned and cleared out so that I can add mulch. Today is much too windy to actually put mulch in there, but there is a lot of work to do before the planters are ready.

Of course, my husband said, in a pained voice, “Do you have time for me?” Since I spoil him unmercifully, I stopped what I was doing and was sucked into a “paint the outside trim on the house” project. We each had a some paint in a throw-away bucket. While my husband was getting the paint and the buckets, I used a scraper to get the loose, peeling paint off the wood around the garage door. He painted one side while I painted the other. He finished before I did and went around to the back. When I asked him if I should tackle the inside wall of the back porch, he agreed that I should. So he was painting on the outside of the porch while I was working inside. I painted over all the places where our dear puppy. Amber, had chewed the wood, regardless of Bitter Apple spray or Louisiana Hot Sauce. The wall was originally painted white, but there were SEVERAL places where it was down to the bare whatever-it-was that was supposed to be solid wood. Is anything actually made of real wood anymore? Anyhow, when I used the paint on these places, the rest of the wall looked yellow. So I ended up painting the whole wall.

My husband announced that it looked like his patience and his paint would run out at the same time. We agreed that since we couldn’t get everything done today, particularly since part of what we need to do requires a ladder, we would stop when our paint ran out. Mine lasted JUST long enough to finish painting the porch wall.

We got our paint brushes cleaned up, threw away the old plastic buckets and closed up the paint. We’re using a new stuff you spray into the bucket of paint to keep it from drying up. It would be great if it works, because the gallon of paint we got is really good and EXPENSIVE.

So, now my husband is cleaning up the shop, and I am going to finish my coffee and then take the dog out to help me clean up a flower planter or two ‘before it rains.’


Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature

Feeling Creaky

For the past two days I have been mixing and spraying weed killer. We’ve had really perfect weather for it, except for a bit too much wind, but I was able to work around that. It needed to be sunny and in the 70s or 80s, and we had both of those.

On Saturday I mixed and sprayed 6 gallons.  Yesterday I did the same. There is always more than could be done, but I got a pretty good job done. If we get another good day, my husband says that if I’ll mix it, he’ll spray the weed killer up and down our 650 foot driveway – if I’ll drive down to the bottom and pick him up. :0)

Meanwhile, our work outside is done until the rains are finished for the week and it’s a bit warmer in the afternoons. I have to admit I feel pretty creaky today, so it’s a nice thing to be forced to work inside. :0)  I tried to get down the awful, rocky slope past the civilized part of the back yard yesterday to spray the weed trees remaining, slipped and fell down, injuring my dignity, but nothing else. It took me several minutes to get up, since the bare rocks and dirt don’t provide good hand or foot holds, but I managed, inelegantly, to haul my rear end up and get back to the civilized part of the yard.  Fortunately, one of my survival skills is the ability to stand back and “see” myself from a distance at times like these. I was laughing and saying bad words simultaneously.

I told my husband that we’ll have to burn the trees down or hire someone more agile than I to cut them down.



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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Good Idea for Aquarium Cleaning

This is the dining area side of our 5 gallon aquarium where our four goldfish live, swim, and laugh. You can see them in a huddle on the right of the aquarium.

The past week the water has been looking a bit cloudy. Usually, I change the filter, but I had done this recently and the water wasn’t clear. I was siphoning out some of the water to replace it when my husband made a good suggestion – he suggested that I siphon out half of the water, fill it up with the aged replacement water I have, and then do it again – resulting in a change of approximately three-quarters of the water in the tank without having to disturb the fish.

I did that this morning. It was easy. The fish didn’t even realize what was going on, and the water now looks nice and clear!


This is the kitchen side of the aquarium.


Filed under Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Garden Progress

We have a LOT to do outside.

We have a lot of HAVE-TO’S – where we’re acting like grownups, making sure we’re ready for the coming cold weather. In this group, my husband is turning off the irrigation system that automatically waters everything in all the planters around the house, plus the deck planters.  In doing this, he found that two of the three outside faucets leak. This isn’t surprising after 30 years, I guess, so we went to Yeagers and got some replacement washers and he’s trying to get them installed in all three faucets. He finished the one for the well house, and is now working on the two on the back of the house. To do THAT, he has to shut off the water to the house.  Always happy to do my part, I immediately wanted to get a glass of water from the tap and go to the bathroom…

We also have the group of things that SHOULD be done to show that someone cares what things look like up here. In this group is weed whacking, weed and bug killing, cleaning up the beds around the house that are now full of leaves, pruning, etc. I did some of the pressure washing this morning. This afternoon I’m doing some of the weed whacking. I’ve been at it for a couple of hours now, so I’m taking a break and drinking some water. I’ll heck on my husband’s progress, armed with more kleenex and band-aids, and then I’ll do another hitch. None of the ‘should’s’ will be finished quickly. I figure if we try to do a bit each day, eventually we’ll get things under control or run out of good weather.

Finally, we have my real LOVE, working in my raised bed square foot garden. The fall garden is small, but is coming along fine. I’m still waiting for my book on the basics of getting my greenhouse organized well and running right. I’m supposed to get the book by Halloween or before. I’m watching the weather forecast for when we’re due for frosts or freezes, and I MAY have to go ahead and dig up a few things before I have a clue what I’m doing. I have some sheets ready to put over the garden plants at night, so hopefully I can keep that going until we have a deep freeze.

I love this time of year, thought I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my to-do list. I keep reminding myself – one day at a time…


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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Plan B



My husband helped me hook up the pressure washer this morning.



PLAN A: I was planning to use it on our brick planters which have hard water stains on them. I worked and worked and then finally conceded that the pressure washing wasn’t doing anything. I guess the next step is to get some muriatic acid or other hard water stain remover, gloves, old clothes and shoes, and goggles and see what I can do.

PLAN B: Since we had the pressure washer hooked up, I went ahead and cleaned the front porch, porch pad, and the sidewalk that runs from the front porch to the garage/driveway pad.

I’m not finished with the pressure washer for the year, but I feel that I made significant progress with it today. I could become addicted to this thing. If other tools made SUCH a difference  and lasted for a reasonable period of time, I would be a MUCH better housekeeper…

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More Than Enough

I FINALLY got a picture of Amber with one of her squeaky toys in her mouth.

This is quite a feat, I have to say, because her standard reaction when she hears the camera turn on and the flash flip, is to drop the toy. I’ve also tried to turn the camera on in another room and then try to sneak up on her, but she sees/hears/smells me before I even enter the room and comes up to greet me – AFTER dropping the toy…

While you’re looking at the photo, look behind her back at the bottom drawer on the set of drawers beside my computer cut out. This is thanks to Amber – not meaning to hurt the drawer or chewing on it – but the fact that she isn’t careful where her claws are on any of her feet while she chews on a toy. I’ll tackle the drawer with one of the stain crayon thingies one day.

I’ve been vacuuming today, as I have every day over the past few weeks, trying to keep up with the MORE THAN ENOUGH dog and cat hair. I’m a failure. :0(

I’ve tried using the Furminator on Amber –

because she’s shedding so much – even with colder weather coming on. Besides having MORE THAN ENOUGH hair, she has MORE THAN ENOUGH teeth, which she readily uses on us. She’s no longer using us as chew toys so much (plus we’re learning techniques to avoid triggering her toothy response), but the Furminator definitely brings out the teeth.

Today I vacuumed the first floor tiles (pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, hallway, and two half baths) and then moved to the foyer between the stairs and our office. Then I got about half of the living room done before the battery on my easy-to-use portable Dyson gave out. That was really kind of good, actually, because MY personal energy battery was giving out by then, too.


I completely filled up the canister on the vacuum TWICE today. UGH

I’ll give the vacuum an hour or so to charge back up – getting a cold drink and putting my feet up to recharge MY battery, as well, and then continue on. It would be good if my efforts lasted more than a day. I’m really grossed out by all the hair and ‘stuff’ I vacuum up each time.

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance

A Nice Thursday

Today has been a really nice day.

The weather is a bit warm, but not enough that we’ve had to close up and turn on the a/c. Doors and windows open are a wonderful change, and the ceiling fans make it very comfortable.

I told you about the deer I saw on the way to my massage. My massage was particularly luxurious today because my back stopped hurting. I didn’t have to consciously try to relax into the massage. I could just ENJOY. AHHHHHH! Thank you, Lynn.

I have a list as long as my arm of things that need my attention. I let a lot of them slide while I was hurting, and so I’m trying to take a few each day until I’m reasonably caught up again.


The aquarium water looked  a bit murky, so I siphoned out 3/4 of the water, wiped the inside of the tank, then replaced the water with treated water that has been breathing and aging for several weeks. I changed the filter and turned everything back on. The fish seemed happy with my attention.


Since our temperatures are supposed to get more fall like early next week, I finally took the time to scrub out Amber’s kiddie pool. I had emptied it and left it upside down, but then hurt my back, so it was not only yucky, it had been rained on so there was a small lake weighing down the BACK of the pool. I scrubbed it with a broom and Simple Green, then hosed it out, turned it over, and scrubbed the back. I carried it around to the garage and put it between my counter and my elliptical trainer until I bring it out again next Spring.

I harvested two tomatoes from the planter on the east end of the house. I still have no idea if the two new tomato plants will do well or not. I’ll need to remove the old plants soon.

I still have two things on my list for today –

  • I learned that taking the planter tray of seedlings out onto the deck to get more sun and maybe some rain was a disaster, so I’ll clean up the planter and put it away.
  • Amber has developed a fun new hobby – digging! We dug out our two Rio Samba bushes recently in preparation for planting new ones early next spring. We’re also using some of the soil in the brick planters to fill mole, Molly, and Amber holes in the yard before replenishing the planters with fresh potting mix. Amber found them and has had a GREAT time digging in the planters. She comes to the door, looking innocent and sweet, with a black nose, mouth, and front feet. I’ve had to get a washcloth and towels to clean her up before I can let her back into the house with us. I haven’t been able to catch her doing it yet; but when I do, I’ll have to warn her, and then zap her if the warning isn’t enough.

I hope you’ve been having a fun day, too. I can’t wait for the nice, cool, fall weather!!





Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

A Step Too Far

We got the competitor of the Sleep Number Mattress (Comfortaire) in January of 2006. At that time we would have had to buy a bed frame, headboard, etc. in order to put in the new mattress because it’s basically two fancy air mattresses each with its own control. We looked all around, but were out of style yet again in that people didn’t want bookcase headboards. We decided to build our own.

This is what we built. Not as elegant as what you see in the stores, but the headboard has storage, controls for various things in the middle, lights, etc. The bed frame is solid wood and weighs a ton (more or less :0) ) It’s strong enough to house all the stuff you need to control the air in the mattress, the pump, hoses, etc., and the mattresses themselves, kind of like building a frame for a swimming pool.

We made frames on the headboard so we could decorate it with river rock.


We love this bed because we’re never in agreement on how firm the mattress should be. I also tend to change my firmness from time to time to accommodate my back, while my husband sets it and forgets it, other than hitting the button to replace any air that has been lost.

We also like an electric blanket for the same reason. With dual controls, we can both be comfortable. In January of 2006 my husband decided to ‘be neat’ with the electronics for the blanket. The wires ran all over the place, so he put the wires that ran from the headboard to the end of the blanket in the space under the plywood that was the mattress support of the frame of the bed. He also wired the controls into the headboard nicely, and THEN finished putting the headboard together.

This has worked beautifully for 11 years. I realized that when we put the electric blanket on the bed this time (because we LOVE to have the attic fan on at night when the weather allows it), I had it set on HIGH, but it was only warm. I froze to death several nights in a row, even with adding an afghan on my side of the bed,  before telling my husband we needed to get a new electric blanket.

We got busy during the day yesterday, but we decided to plug in the new blanket when we went up to bed last night. Easy, peezy, right?

When it became clear that we would have to take the whole bed apart in order to get the wiring for the non-functioning blanket out, I told my husband I refused. We ended up cutting the wires, cutting off the controls, and cutting off the plug in at the end of the bed. (Needless to say, our former plans of saving the blanket in case of emergency went out the window. It doesn’t make a good blanket by itself, so we can’t even donate it now. :0(  )  I did mention that we might have gone a step too far in trying to be neat 11 years ago…

At a little after 1 a.m. this morning, we finally got the bed together again with clean sheets, the new electric blanket with modernized controls,  a comforter, etc.

We both slept blissfully well last night. Ahhhhh.



Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

The Go-Out Table is Healed!



The table in the foreground is our dining area table. The table by the wall is the “go-out table.


As you can see, there is barely room for the stuff we need to take with us on our next errands.


The mess has spilled over onto one end of the dining area table…. :0(



NOW  I have space to put my purse, the mail we’re taking, other paperwork, and the list of errands all on one end of the table.  I got all the ‘stuff’ off the dining area table, too. The danger of avalanche is past, PLUS I found several things I didn’t know we had! :0)



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

Slow, Steady Progress

I’m trying to use each day to dig out from my almost-a-month of being essentially useless because of really bad back spasms and pain. Thankfully, I’m back to being ‘mean as a snake’ as my husband describes me, so progress is being made, albeit slowly – kind of like a government project…

Today I’m trying to accomplish two things:

THING ONE:  finish the clean up of our master bedroom and bath. I need to finish scrubbing our shower stall and our whirlpool tub and then I’ll declare that area ‘healed’ for now. (subprojects: cleaning out my bookshelf, going through my jewelry)

THING TWO:  We have what we call ‘the go-out table’ in the dining area that adjoins the utility room and garage. We put things we need to take with us on errands, (purse, errand list, associated paperwork) etc.  Since I haven’t been monitoring it, the ‘etc’ has exploded to the point we’re fearing avalanche.

I started by taking everything off the table and out of the associated cabinet. I actually DID have some avalanches as our dining table didn’t want to hold it all.

I’m resting for a bit because I found myself starting to ‘stash’ things, rather than either purging/putting away/donating/reorganizing. Time for Phase Two…


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

Project of the Day

Since it’s still too hot for me to do much outside, I’m trying to do one significant thing inside each day.

Today’s project is the master bedroom and master bathroom.

I’ve just spent an hour upstairs and haven’t really made a dent in the project. I DID move a bunch more books out of my bookshelf in the master bedroom into the guest room and gathered up a bunch of jewelry I want to go through and put it in the art room where I have a big drafting table on which I can spread things out.

My husband has three floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and I have one. All of these are crying for some really serious dusting. The amoire, dresser and bookcase headboard we built are sobbing, too. If I can do those this afternoon, I might have time for the scrubbing of the bathroom and then the vacuuming. Otherwise I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

From time to time I think about having a housekeeper. Then I laugh. I can just see someone coming and trying to decide how much to charge me – starting with a bulldozer and several of those humongous construction bags they advertise on TV that the big truck with an overhead crane lift up and haul away.

I’ll just continue to peck away at it….  

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Slob Cycles

This is ‘my’ corner of the garage. As you can see, we put up some good, sturdy, shelves, a peg board on the wall, and some really nice counter top. There is a good amount of storage space under the counter top.


The problem is that this space is used for a LOT of different things –

  • a holding area for no sugar drinks, no sugar tea, beer, wine, water bottles
  • my elliptical trainer
  • my new roll-around scooter for gardening
  • all of my gardening supplies
  • gourds ready to be prepped and painted
  • wreaths
  • cat carriers
  • sprayers
  • a ladder
  • etc., etc., etc. – (I always think fondly of Yul Brenner and “The King and I” when I say or type this. :0) )


The other problem is general laziness. I come in from working in the yard, too spent to put things away properly. My husband sees the empty counter and uses it as a staging area for a project, place for things that don’t have a home yet, etc. All too soon it’s completely covered. From the amount of junk, it’s obvious that ‘something’ is holding it all up, but you can’t walk without real care, you can’t find anything without moving a bunch of ‘stuff,’ etc. The price we pay for being slobs.

We had let a bunch take over the area. Then I did whatever mysterious thing I did to my back and a month was lost. Yesterday I decided that it was the day to clean it off again. I told my husband I had a big laundry basket of stuff that needed to go out to the greenhouse. My husband, who doesn’t notice much, came in telling me how WONDERFUL my area looked.

And the cycle begins again…

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Stretching C A R E F U L L Y…

Bored Panda

I’m doing some really C A R E F U L  stretching today, in addition to just the bending over and letting my arms hang down. This is Day Four of my back not hurting! I’m also being careful to ‘hold my mouth right’ and doing whatever else I can think of to not jinx myself, ending up back at square one.

I really wish I knew what I did to get myself into such a pickle. I can promise I wouldn’t do whatever it was again – EVER.  Since I don’t know, I’m treating myself as if I’m a time bomb, easing into each thing and seeing how it goes. This tees me off. I’m used to being able to do almost whatever I wanted to do without giving it a thought, unless I thought it was dangerous. The only limits have been my imagination. I’m ready to throw this caution to the winds as soon as possible.

I’ve decided to let the weed whacking go until we get over this last impressive heat spell.( That would be the middle of next week they say.)  If the present humidity of 67% holds until this afternoon, it will FEEL LIKE 114 degrees F. here. This is unacceptable, particularly if you’re entertaining the idea of yard work. So that kind of thing will be put on hold until the actual weather starts paying attention to the calendar and we get a break for the start of fall.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing my efforts INSIDE to throw away/give away/put away things that need help all over the house.

My latest project is reorganizing my books upstairs. Yesterday I moved the 44 Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb “In Death” series books to the guest room shelves. I’ll continue moving and reorganizing until I no longer have books falling on my head when I try to pull one out…

Wish me luck?



Filed under Attitude, exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance


I enjoyed three full days with no pain, and then I got up to get some coffee last night and it felt as if a mule had kicked me in the right side of my ‘nether end.’ I used the heat pad, then slapped on a pain patch, and took a muscle relaxer before bed. I’m better today, but it still hurts pretty badly when I stand or sit. Once I’m in either position, it’s better. Arrrrrrrrgh!

I’ve been TRYING to get out and scrub out Amber’s kiddie pool. My husband turned it over to get the yucky water out and prevent any further place for mosquitoes to breed, but it remains upended in the side yard. Amber goes over to it every time we go out. I would like to get it scrubbed out and refilled, since the temps are supposed to be in the low 90s for the rest of this week and much of next.

I also planned to use the weed whacker around my greenhouse, now that the ham radio tower is up and out of the way.

Each day comes and goes and the two things stare me in the face. Maybe I can get them done by the end of the weekend….

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Fire Break and Leftover Weeds to Kill

I’m feeling much safer from the threat of wild-fire now. Not that we can actually control when one breaks out, how bad it will be, how the wind will factor in, etc., but I’m feeling more proactive – we’ve acknowledged the threat, and have done what is possible to do to not lose everything if we have one.

Foy Brown did a wonderful job for us. I feel good that he’s willing to come back and redo this area twice a year now. As well as making us safer, he opened up our view of the valley below for us. We love watching the seasons change.

Things are about 98% +  better than they were. Molly and I surveyed the areas that need the weed killer when the time is right.  You can see more weed trees to the left of the picture behind the bird bath. I’ll spray those, and some other weedy type greenery.


As you can see, Foy got rid of a bunch. I’ll spray behind the telephone pole and to the other side of this picture, where the brush was in the rocks.



The weeds were above my head all around the metal flower when we started. Now there are just a few areas needing to be sprayed.  Rain is forecast for tonight-into-tomorrow, with temperatures still high (it IS summer) but humidity a lot lower this weekend and into next week. Maybe I’ll get a good day to finish this project!



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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Brush Hogging is Done

We look almost civilized since Foy did his hard work with his brush hog. He’s done all he can do now, since there is no way he and the tractor can get up on the pile of rocks in the back, but he’s performed a miracle.  You can now see my greenhouse from the house!


Isn’t this amazing? The weeds between us and the greenhouse were higher than my head.


This is behind the greenhouse, looking to the north.


And this is looking south.


This is the area across the back where I’ve been trying to hack down weed trees.




The weeds around this metal flower we made were so high and thick you could no longer see the flower.


The only weed trees left I’ll spray with the weed killer.

We have penciled in for Foy to come back in the fall, and then in the spring, when the weather is much more cooperative and comfortable and he can work us in between jobs.

I feel a lot safer now that we have a clean break between years of greenery and our house, should a wild fire threaten.




Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Fridge Cleaning Day

The News International


I told my husband this morning that we were NOT going grocery shopping until I got the fridges cleaned out. (We have one in the kitchen, one in the pantry, and one in the garage, primarily for drinks.) It has gotten to the point where I’ve bought something, only to find out we already had one or more in the fridge already.  I know this kind of thing doesn’t happen to YOU, but around here, it happens more often than I’d like.

Then there are the ‘mystery packages’ that have been in the fridge so long I don’t remember what they are…. We won’t talk about the things that are LONG past their sell by or eat by dates…And the unmentionable items with FUR….

One example –

My husband had the grocery list out this morning, writing furiously. I asked him if we needed whatever it was today. He said, “Yes.” I discovered he was talking about ‘tub butter.’ I asked, “Did you check the pantry fridge?” He said, “yeah.” I walked back, looked into the fridge, and pulled out THREE tubs of butter. He said, “Well, I guess we don’t need it TODAY…”

Part of the problem is that I’ve started stashing things, rather than putting them carefully away, after grocery shopping. Part of the problem is that, when I make a careful list of things to fix for dinner for the coming week (okayed by my husband) we get excited about eating something else. When this happens too many times, we end up with things going bad. My husband took pride years ago in the many lessons he gave our son had on ‘looking.’ ‘seeing,’ and ‘finding things.’ It seems he’s forgotten what he taught.

I now have just finished the front fridge (the one in the kitchen.) I’m taking a break before diving into the back fridge.  When I finish, our dinners will be a combination of fresh from the garden and things already in the fridge, followed by things in the freezers until further notice!



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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Nothing via Cathy Ruggiero

I used to want to have ‘something to do’ each day – somewhere to go, people to see, activities. I realize that wanting the opposite is definitely a sign of old age, but I’m embracing it.

Today there are no scheduled appointments, no ‘have-to’ errands, no commitments. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Yesterday my husband and I both worked most of the day in the hot sun.

My husband was trying to relocate a microlink to our computers in the shop. This is not a thing we HAVE to have, but it used to work and yesterday it wasn’t. In order to get it to work again, my husband had to move the equipment on the house end from the front of the house to the back and mount it on the window bars. This involved a lot of cable making, stapling inside the wall of the garage, welding and painting for the piece that mounted to the window, testing of cables, switches, and links, etc. It took my husband all day, but he got it working. Now he just has to put his tools away and cut down several branches on a tree between the house and the shop for a clearer line of sight.

In the garden, I planted two celery plants, pulled out the last of the spinach and lettuce plants, pruned the plants that were left, and weeded the raised bed planters. The only thing remaining in the garden to spray the weeds on the ground with weed killer.

I took some stuff out to the greenhouse in preparation for starting some tomato suckers, but the thermometer showed red all the way to the top – over 120 degrees – so I just put the stuff inside and came out again.

I dumped the water from the kiddie pool, washed it out, and refilled it.

I cleaned Amber’s porch up, hosed it out, then squeegeed and mopped.

I mowed the yard on the riding mower after helping my husband with the microlink several times.

By the time we finally stopped for dinner, it was almost 9:00. I cooked, we ate and watched a movie.



There are things I’ll do today, but I’m concentrating on doing things INSIDE while the sun is at its hottest – as we SHOULD have done yesterday – and OUTSIDE when the sun is going down, with only the finishing touches on dinner to do.

I’m going to also take time to read more of my latest “In Death” series book by Nora Roberts while I’m relaxing.

Because my back is letting me know I overdid yesterday, I’ll try to work in a session of yoga.



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Filed under Attitude, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Apt Description

Rebel Circus via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob



I’ve already told you I’m a slob. I’m on a mission – albeit off and on, depending on my energy – to get rid of a bunch of STUFF in our house.

I’m tired of “piles” of things, and we have them everywhere. Now that we have a new puppy whom we are trying to get used to our home more and more, it’s really important that she not run into PILES of things that will get HER in trouble and make ME crazy.

We also have a good friend coming over this evening for a cookout. I’ll at LEAST need to get rid of the piles of stuff around my chair. It would be NICE of me to arrange that she can put a glass down beside her on the couch, plus HAVE a clear place to sit down, as well, wouldn’t it!

We have the food prep done for our evening. I’ve taken Amber out twice this morning, so I’ll use the lull in needing to meet her needs and clean up the living room, bathrooms, kitchen and dining area.

I can see that my home would be in much better shape if we had more new puppies and more guests! The good thing about going through the piles is discovering things I had misplaced or thought lost. It’s like a treasure hunt! The bad thing is that I tend to get distracted by the things I find, wanting to do something with them…

We dodged the severe weather from yesterday, and the cloudy skies seem to be clearing up for a nice evening. I really enjoyed sitting on the deck this morning after Amber and I had a long walk, enjoying the cool morning.

I hope that you are enjoying the nice long Memorial Day weekend with friends, good food, and fun.  If you get bored, you can think about me uncovering something wonderful in my living room!

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Filed under Family, Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Vacuuming Olympics?

If there were a vacuuming Olympics, I should win at least a bronze medal yesterday and today for stamina.  Yesterday I tackled the tile on the first floor: utility room, dining area, kitchen, pantry, and two half-baths.  I filled up the cannister on my Dyson battery-powered vacuum and had to recharge before I could finish.

Today I vacuumed the carpet in the living room, foyer, and office, moving everything in the areas at least once and going beside the baseboards with a whisk broom to loosen all the pet hair that has accumulated since we got our new puppy. With two cats and two dogs (the fish doesn’t shed, thank goodness) they bring it in and leave it everywhere faster than I can vacuum it up.

Since I’m a slob, I let things go while I tended my husband after his surgeries and tended the animals, leaving everything else to fend for itself.

I feel a little bit better about the first floor, at least. The energy drink I tried yesterday tasted okay. It was sugar-free and only 5 calories. I couldn’t feel any difference in my energy level. Maybe I need to drink a gallon of it…


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Memories of the Dump

This morning was the semi-annual free dumping day in Greenwood. I know it’s weird, but it’s a highlight of our lives. It also brings back fond memories…


Now that you’re ready to consign me to the funny farm, the ‘memories’ come from dating my husband. We used any excuse to get away together a hundred years or so ago. We spent many days and evenings at the local dump, scrap yards, auto salvage places, etc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sometimes we were looking for a needed car part. Sometimes we were taking things to get rid of for one or both of our families. I never knew anyone else who fell in love at a dump, but then, we’ve never been the typical couple.

NOW we would LOVE to be able to wander through these places, looking for wonderful scrap for our metal critters. Alas, the world is now so litigious, all are closed to the public due to liability issues. We’re really up the creek now for scrap.

One of the many things I love about Arkansas and Greenwood is that they have arranged to make your life easier. One example is early voting. Another is online renewal of your car license tag. A third is the semi-annual free chance to get rid of things that are bulky, heavy, or a pain to get rid of otherwise. There are men who empty whatever you bring (within limits) from your vehicle. So all you do is drive over there, wait for a bit until it’s your turn, drive in farther, and then leave trash-free. How wonderful is that!

We always write the day on the calendar so we’re sure we don’t miss it. We have a large trash can in the shop devoted to metal we can’t use for anything. We’ve made a bunch of stuff in the past six months, so today the can was overflowing. We now feel we have a new lease on life with an EMPTY trash can for metal!

We have to go back on Monday to finally get rid of a dishwasher we bought that was a huge mistake. We didn’t like it from the first. It really got on my husband’s nerves. Finally, he got so aggravated that he was able to make our old dishwasher we loved work again. He took the new one out, put the old one back in, and moved the new one into the yard to go to the dump. The City of Greenwood is taking appliances Monday, so we’ll finally get rid of it then.  (True to form, he was SO aggravated that he only wanted to throw it away, rather than taking it back to the store or trying to sell it. He said it was so bad he would be embarrassed to try to palm it off on anyone.)

Thank you, City of Greenwood!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Cleaning Out the Closet

Bandit Tape Gun

Last year I did a major cleaning out of my clothes closet. Happily, we have a guest room now that has a walk-in closet, so I moved my spring and summer stuff in there. Today, I’m moving the winter things out and the spring things in.

If I get that accomplished, I’ll start going through to see what I’ll get rid of. I figure that if I do a major purge twice a year, that’s really good for me. Plus, I’ve decided that if I can really get serious about getting rid of things I know longer like, things that don’t fit, and things I never wear, I can then treat myself to some new things!

It’s raining in waves here, with no chance of even thinking of doing anything outside. I have a beef stew in the crock pot, so it’s the perfect time for this.

I’ll talk to you later!

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Lipstick, Margaritas and Hairspray via Cathy Ruggiero

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Monday’s Project

“Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Bake on Wednesday,
Brew on Thursday,
Churn on Friday,
Mend on Saturday,
Go to meeting on Sunday.” ~ Nursery Rhyme

If I would actually try to adhere to the nursery rhyme above, maybe I would have to devote a whole day to each cleaning project – except that you notice there is no day for working in the yard, working in the garden, playing in the art room……

Today’s project wasn’t an all day project because we’re going bowling with good friends this evening.

My husband fixed me a nice counter top with shelves above as a planting station. What actually happens, though, is that it becomes a landing station for all manner of things, such as extra sugar free iced tea, beer, Pepsi Zero, A&W, wine, plus cat carriers, buckets….

We both contribute to the disaster here. My husband walks past it, saying, “It would be good if you’d clean up your area….” This suggestion generates a whole bunch of creative come-backs, usually thought, but rarely spoken, plus my choosing another area that needs my attention rather than this one.

This morning I decided ‘today is the day” to clean up my garage counter, if just a little bit.

True to form, my husband came into the garage just as I was beginning, suggesting I go help him with the mower. I smiled sweetly, telling him that I was cleaning up my garage counter, as he recently suggested. :0)

As you can see in the picture above, it was WAAAAAY past time to have cleaned this up. You can hardly tell there is a counter there.

This is after a bit of reorganizing, moving a few things out to the shop and cleaning. See – there IS a nice looking counter top there! My husband was pleased with my efforts, particularly since I made sure he could easily get to his drinks without moving a bunch of stuff.

I then went out to help him with the mower a bit.

So, big projects are done for the day. We can clean up and look  forward to friends and bowling this evening!


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Sunday Project

Once the rain stopped today, I started on today’s project – cleaning the porch and the deck. In order to get ready for winter, I had moved most of the planters onto the porch. I also moved the chairs, tables, etc. onto the porch.  We could come out onto the deck from the back of the house, through the porch, but we needed to move carefully, it was so full.

I started by moving everything that was on the porch – that was supposed to be on the deck – out. I still need to fill the pots with soil in preparation for planting flowers, but at least they are where they are supposed to be now.

I also hosed off the upper part of the deck over which the gallon bottle bird feeder is. Both little birds and squirrels love this feeder. We love it too, because while we’re eating breakfast, we can watch the critters go through the wooden house into the bottle to get a seed and come back out again. The result on the deck, though, is quite a mess. I cleaned off a winter’s worth this afternoon.


Then I tackled the porch. There was a thick layer of dirt and yellow pollen on everything. I moved everything to one end of the porch and swept, and then swept again. The third time was the charm on making a dent in the mess. Then I moved everything to the other end and did the same. I then brought in the garden hose and sprayed the floor, moving the dirt and pollen that was left out the door. I then used the squeegee on a long handle to get the excess water out and left it to dry.


Finally, I moved everything to where it is supposed to be on the porch and wiped it all down.

We can now enjoy eating meals out on the porch until it’s too hot. I’m hoping for a good, long spring…

I made my husband come look at the day’s project. He ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ suitably, meaning he’ll get a good dinner tonight.:0)

I hope your Easter was wonderful.

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

Busy Saturday!

I didn’t even get time to write anything on the blog yesterday we were so busy!

The first thing we did was put the shutter back up that blew down during the storm before last. Yesterday was the first day we’ve had where it wasn’t too windy to be up balancing a 2 foot long shutter on a 2-story ladder. I HATE it when my husband has to do this. I am height challenged in two ways: personally in being too short for a lot of things I want to do; and secondly, I’m afraid to go up a ladder, be on the roof, etc.  I CAN get up there, but I freeze after I do, making me useless.

The holes for the shutters in the brick are wallowed out. I suggested we put the screws in the shutter, hold them on with mollies, then use liquid nails in the holes. We could then screw the screws in as far as they would go and hopefully the liquid nails will harden and hold them in. Amazingly, my husband thought my idea was a good one! We got it finished. No one broke any appendages. We didn’t yell at each other. All is good.

The next big thing we tackled was getting the irrigation system going. We THOUGHT the one to the garden was working, but discovered that the timer for the system died suddenly, and our veggies were being watered continuously. ARRRRRRGH! We got the water shut off, went to Yeager’s and got another time. We programmed it, installed it, and tested it. All is good there, too.

Then we started with the irrigation system that handles watering all the flowers in the planters around the house. We spent at least a couple of hours finding and repairing breaks in the front yard. We had trouble reprogramming the brains of it, which live in the well house, but we THINK we finally got it right. We tested the system in the front, found and fixed more problems, and called it a day.

Another good thing about working in the yard yesterday was that I logged over 7400 steps! That’s amazing for me!!! WOO HOOOO!

We will probably tackle the irrigation system for the back yard today. We’re thinking about changing the tires on the truck this afternoon, from the snow tires to our regular ones. We’ll see how we fare after other have-to’s have been accomplished….

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance