Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

It’s “Later”

Yahoo News Singapore

Things are finally to a stopping point so I can write again. I told you I would write “later,” and the working day is almost over!

I got a haircut and I now look as if ‘someone-had-a-plan,’ rather than my hair flying in all directions. Michael, my stylist, is truly a miracle worker, I’m so lucky to have found him. His birthday is Friday, so I took him a birthday card that was made by an artist who was on my Creative Artworks website years ago. I also included a bookmark made by another artist. He seemed to really like both.

I was delighted to find that the UPS package I wanted to send FIT into the receptacle on the square, saving me a trip to Ft. Smith with my husband in his Vette. HOORAY! He has NOT mellowed with age, and in fact has lost the small residual calm he had with others’ driving, so it’s hair-raising, to say the least. I’m really glad we don’t have to do it.

When I got home, my husband was trying to find some paperwork in order to fill out a form online. I found one of these, but not the other. I ended up pulling everything out of the shelves beside my computer chair and searching until I found what my husband had asked for. When I handed him the two pieces of paper, he said, “Oh, the website was screwed up and I blew them off.” (URGE TO KILL….)

I ended up cleaning up the shelves and reorganizing. I went ahead and did the December bookkeeping for my spreadsheets online and then filing everything. So now I have a clean desk top, a couple of clean table tops beside my chair, and am feeling much more organized. I even called the court house before they closed to assess for the coming tax year.

Things are good here. I hope you’ve had a good day, too, and will have a pleasant and relaxing evening.

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Today’s Cleaning Project 1-1-2023

This vent is on the wall in the kitchen. It’s about 18″ square and is between the kitchen wall and a central ‘shaft’ that goes down to the basement and is between the kitchen and a wall in the living room. A complicating factor is that it’s almost at ceiling level, so I have do to the cleaning up on a ladder.

It’s like there was a steady gale or breeze that goes through the house. I don’t know why this vent is a magnet for every bit of dirt and fuzz on the planet, but it is what it is. The fact that it’s in the kitchen makes the dirt and fuzz also be permeated with cooking oil residue, or other sticky stuff, and of course, our dog Amber’s hair is everywhere in our house, no matter what I do.

I started with the portable vacuum with the brush attachment. Then I soaked a micro cloth with bleachy cleaner. A scrub brush, more cleaner, over and over, and then rinse after rinse after rinse with clean micro cloths. Then dry.

It looks better now, which makes me feel like less of a slob, but won’t ‘stay’ done. I’m trying to designate one spot like this each day, figuring I’ll get to everything in time…

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You OK Today?



My altered exercise plan is doing well so far. One day I’m doing a warm-up video and another with weights in the morning and then yoga in the afternoon. The following day I’m doing minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage and then yoga. I did the elliptical for the first time in a LONG time yesterday. I can’t find my MP3 player yet, so I had to do the minutes in silence, making it seem like a really long time. :0( I’ll scour the house for it today so that hopefully, I’ll have it for tomorrow.) My arms and legs are slightly sore, meaning that my sweet old body is noticing that I’m doing something different – a really good thing.

With the weather finally warming up to ‘regular winter’ in Arkansas, I MAY be able to lop or saw more weed trees across our back yard soon.

VectorKIF-Getty Images-iStockphoto

Since we don’t have any plans today, I’ll see what I can get accomplished on running the bulldozer through the house. So far, I’ve changed our sheets and started the laundry. Amber has shed at least a dog’s worth of hair in the past couple of days, so I’ll vacuum the tiled areas and see what I can do about scrubbing the kitchen some.

I hope you’re doing okay, too, and that you have a really nice Wednesday.

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Sunny, Cold Wednesday 11-30-2022

We’re back on the roller coaster Mother Nature has set up. Yesterday it was windy and 75. Today is 36 with a high expected of 49, and sunny. No wind. I’m hoping to get outside this afternoon. We’ll see. I’m very thankful the wild weather last night bypassed us. I hope the front goes on past the east coast and dies without causing further havoc.

Yesterday during my yoga practice (DAY 137) I could only hold the plank pose for 20 seconds without a lot of discomfort. I decided that I would do the pose multiple times, so repeated it 3 more times for a total count of 80. (I have no real idea of how long I’m holding the pose, other than counting while I hold it, so I would imagine that I’m being generous with myself, counting pretty fast.)

I wondered if holding the plank for multiple short amounts of time would be the equivalent of one longer hold. I researched the question, finding opinions vary all over the place. Some people say your goal should be to hold the pose 5 MINUTES. Since this is an impossible goal for me, I continued to research. I found –


“Search for: Are planks good for 70 year olds?

How long should a senior hold a plank?

Most experts suggest anywhere from 10 up to 30 seconds is plenty. “Focus on doing multiple sets of smaller amounts of time,” says L’Italien.Nov 13, 2019″


Since I am 75, and there is no way in the world I’ll ever get to 5 MINUTES, I’ll go for this advice. If I do MULTIPLE repetitions of however long I can hold before I get really uncomfortable, I ought to be able to attain my goal of strengthening my core.

Bright Horizons

Our yard is finally starting to look as if someone cares. There is ALWAYS something more than we should or could do, but if I get the yard looking pretty civilized and the plants as protected as possible, I feel good.

Two days ago I finally got the planters on the deck cleaned out. There is still some stuff to do to prepare the deck for the winter, but the project is started.

I’m trying to tackle things of higher priority first. I’m going to put a set of loppers in the truck so that each time we come back from errands, we can stop on the way up the driveway and cut off some evergreen branches that are hanging out into the driveway. We don’t want these to be stretched across the driveway, blocking our way up and down after ice or snow storms.

I want to prune our rose bushes WAAAAAY down for the winter. I have two bushes left. Then there is one more planter that is totally overgrown, leaves to be blown from the front yard, weed trees to be cut down to open up our view in the back again …

My goals always exceed my time and energy….

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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“Well, Blow Me Down!”

When we went for errands this morning, the wind was blowing strongly and pretty steadily. (We could even hear the wind blowing last night after we went up to bed and usually we don’t even hear STORMS.) It has continued to be gusty,winds blowing so strongly I felt I might blow away – and THAT’S a strong wind! – so I haven’t tried to work outside.

It looks like it MAY have calmed down, so I may get out there to cut our remaining rose bushes way down for the winter..

By the way, here’s OUR mailbox decoration of Popeye, one of our favorite cartoon characters. :0)

I hope you’re having a fun day.

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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Mother Nature

Before and After


The bricks have been moved from in the middle of everything, between the top of the driveway to the far side, between one place we store firewood and the end of the trio planters. (You can see the bare dirt rectangle on the ground where the stack of bricks was.) I used a leaf blower to clear the area as much as possible and then weed whacked along the edge of the planters on this side and the other side that faces the yard.

Looks a bit more like someone cares now. The rain spit on us a bit on our way home from getting some groceries, but let up when we got home, giving me the chance to finish this project. The rain is supposed to start again in about and hour, then continue throughout the night and into tomorrow. I’m doubly glad I got to a stopping point here.

I’m resting now and enjoying a cup of coffee and then will do my yoga practice for the day. (DAY 131 of yoga practice and I held the plank pose for a quick count of 45 yesterday.)

Stay warm and dry!

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One of Today’s Projects 11-22-2022

This pile of bricks is part of a big group that we bought when we needed to replace two brick planters that were failing. These are the leftovers from that project and have been sitting here for several years now. We weed whack around them. We mow around them. They are an eyesore – one of the first things you see when you get to the top of our driveway.

True to form what bothers one person doesn’t bother another. While this pile of bricks has been grating on my nerves for quite some time now, my husband doesn’t even see it anymore. When I talked to him about our relocating the bricks, he was totally uninterested. Since I’M the one this bothers, I’ll do something about it – TODAY.

There is a spot between the far end of this trio of brick planters and one of our firewood holders. This would be out of the way and mostly out of sight. I’ll use the wheelbarrow and see if I can get these moved this morning.

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Garden Clean Up Continues

Nancy J. Ondra –

Yesterday afternoon I got the area “beside our shop/in front of the garden” and “garden perimeter” weed whacked.

Today I’m planning to weed whack “behind the shop/beside the garden” where I keep my trash cans of Mel’s Mix ingredients, garden tools, cement (soil) mixer, etc. The weeds are over my knees out there. I would like to get that all weed whacked, and then spray the whole area with KILLZALL, since it would be MUCH easier upkeep that way. Wish me luck?

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Sunny Saturday 9-10-2022

Awwwwww. I want to hug this dog.

All About Gardening

This morning I’m planning to get SOMETHING reasonable done outside. I worked outside Wednesday, making some good progress, but then life and other commitments got in the way while it was cooler on Thursday and Friday. I’m hoping to get my sweet red onions harvested from the garden and spread on the trailer bed in the sun to dry today. My garden is awful now, but I’m going to ignore that, doing what is pressing on me the most outside each day possible until things are under better control. Our weather is supposed to be cooler for a couple of day starting tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to that and hope to spend a lot of time outside.

Bookshelves – Guest Room

I cleaned out the books in the guest room and on my side of the bedroom about a week or so ago. My husband just noticed last night when we were getting ready for bed.

Bookshelves – My side of bedroom

Things got busy and I pooped out last night, so we just had soup and crackers for dinner. I’ll cook the chicken and rice dish my husband likes tonight.

And that’s our quiet, happy day. I hope YOU have one, too.

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One Fridge Clean


I’m feeling pretty good right now. I just finished cleaning my kitchen fridge.

LG Fridge

This one looks a lot like ours, except the outside of ours is black.

I took everything out, took out and scrubbed all the drawers, wiped everything down with a bleach-based cleaner, then went through everything, throwing away outdated stuff, ‘old’ stuff, and – I have to admit – stinky or gooey stuff.

I’m now using the pull-out drawer that runs all the way across the bottom for the few meats and more cheeses that we have. I’m using the two drawers above for fresh produce – one for salad and cooking veggies and the other for fresh fruit.

It’s easy to see where things are without having to dig down, and – nicely – it’s easy to reach things and get them out without any difficulty.

My husband came in to get a drink while I was working and said, “Wow.”

So – YEAH. Wow. (It’s about time. )

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Quiet Tuesday 8-2-2022

I’ve been busy this morning, just now taking the time to write. My font got smaller, and I’m working on how to fix it.

In my next life, I’m going to be very tall, so I can reach things instead of having to get up on a box, ladder, etc. I’m going to be VERY strong so I can do my share on lifting and moving things. I’m going to be tech savvy, so I can understand and use all technology without snatching my hair out. I’m going to be able to look at something, figure out how it should work, and fix it. Of course, I’ll also be slim and beautiful, be and exercise fanatic, and will have to REMIND myself to eat… :0)

I just looked at ‘preview’ on this post and see that YOU will see the normal size font, so that’s good. I’m still working on how ‘I’ can also see it, rather than having to strain to read the small type…

I just came back in from taking our trash down for pick up at the bottom of our driveway. I also got our mail, and actually LOOKED at the arm of the robot to see if there were any UPS packages there. There WAS, so I got that, too. I guess I’ll have to train myself to check that daily.

Our wonderful driveway guy came back from vacation and came to the house yesterday afternoon. He has an idea of a better crusher stuff to put on the driveway and recommends three truckloads to be spread by his partner, whom we met yesterday. He also thinks we should have kind of a ‘ridge’ down the middle of the driveway that will encourage the water to run to both sides, plus channels for the water every so often, getting any water off the driveway as soon as possible, delaying erosion and damage. We have agreed to the upgrade and they will do it when they can get everything together. Mark, the man who has the tractor who will spread the material, will arrange to be here before the first truck arrives, ready to spread the stuff while the truck goes back for more, so we don’t get stuck in our driveway this time. Hopefully, this upgrade will last for quite awhile. Help is on the way!

We got sprayed for everything including elephants recently. We received an invoice and I paid it electronically. Yesterday we received another invoice with the same charge plus another charge added from last year! The company has changed ownership, so I called this morning to see if we could make sense of things. The lady was very nice and agreed to take off the extra charge.

I did July bookkeeping on my computer this morning and got things filed! I patted myself on the head because I’m keeping up with things rather than putting the bookkeeping off over and over and getting buried.

I hope your Tuesday is calm, safe, and productive.

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Fun Afternoon

Bruderhof Communities

I’ve been having a fun afternoon.

Once I finished vacuuming the first floor tiles and carpet, I made our lunch and then did the first of the month stuff. Then I headed up to my art room to see what I thought of my efforts yesterday on making Christmas cards for my friends to go with their presents.

So far, it looks like I have an interesting start to the cards that might work. (I used bleeding tissue paper on card stock yesterday and left them overnight to dry.) I took off the tissue paper this afternoon and am now trying to get the card stock to lie flat. (I put a gazillion sketch pads on top of the pile of them and will leave them until tomorrow, when I do the next step.)

I also took the tote bags I finished painting to spray the first side with some protective spray that will help avoid stains and increase the lasting power of the paint. I’ll spray the other side tomorrow.

I spent some time clearing off my drafting table so I have a good space to work tomorrow.

Now I’m going to do yoga practice # 17 and then dive back into my book.

Lovely afternoon!

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Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room


We’re having a sudden siege of things needing our attention.

Yesterday my husband had to repair the humane trap we use for catching and relocating raccoons who are decimating our birdseed supply. The raccoon not only managed to get out of the trap, but tore out a huge part of the side of the trap in the process. My husband was able to repair it, but it may or may not actually be workable now, due to the extent of the repairs needed.

While the raccoon was ‘visiting’ (and NOT being caught) he trashed our bird feeder, as well. It’s a wooden feeder with plexiglass sides and then some metal on each end to hold suet. The only part still hanging was the ‘roof’. The rest was lying in pieces on the ground. I went to check on my husband in the shop and found him trying to hold several pieces together while getting new screws in through the bottom. I helped him with that and the feeder is now hanging again (minus one of the suet holders that was demolished beyond repair), but empty, until we catch raccoon #8. I suggested to my husband that we might fill the feeder, let the birds enjoy it during the day, and then bring it in nightly onto the porch. He sneered at me, so that’s a discussion we’ll maybe repeat another day…

When we finished morning chores, my husband went to turn on the TV. For some reason, it didn’t want to cooperate, so he spent 20 minutes “messing-with-it,” unplugging and plugging it in again (I WISH I could do that with my BRAIN), changing his remote control batteries, etc. I was in the office, having finally learned to leave him alone while he’s trying to figure out what is wrong. I heard the TV sound, so went in to check. He was calmly watching TV as if there had been no problem. I got only vague answers, so I left him to it, but it looks like ‘messing with it’ worked.

Hopefully, we won’t run into anything else that needs help today.

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Thoughts on Saturday, July 9, 2022

Free Spirited-Kathy Richard

I’m feeling more hopeful this morning.

The Monticello News

Yesterday our plumber came and put in the 2nd line for irrigation in the well house. My husband helped him figure out the ‘plan’ on all the pvc pipe in the well house, and they finished the job in just under the hour we had before we needed to leave for Lunch Bunch. We thanked him profusely for working us into his over-busy schedule.

When we got home, my husband got the timer programmed and ran the system manually. The poor plants in the front yard have only had the rain, and not any of THAT lately, for far too long. I’ve been dumping water into the elephant ear planter, but that’s all. Today I got out and cut the dead stuff out of that planter. I’m hoping we can save the plants we have in the front yard. I’ll try to work on things early in the morning or just before dark, trying to get things taken care of again.

I also harvested 2 more ripe tomatoes today – with 4 more probably ready tomorrow! My husband said he noticed some ripening when he was outside yesterday. I’m back inside now. It’s too hot to stay outside very long, but I can get what I need to accomplished if I just get off my duff and get out there at a reasonable time.

I finished listing some new products on my Etsy website late yesterday afternoon. Things are in good shape there now, I think, and I’m hoping to get some sales.

Today I’m planning to play in my art room. The website took all my time yesterday, and I didn’t go up to my art room at all. I look forward to making some progress today. (I was painting in my dreams last night. :0) )

Chef Dennis

Yesterday I made the tuna casserole we’ve loved for years, but haven’t eaten, due to the carbs. Now that we’re on the Mediterranean eating plan, I updated it to include a BUNCH of veggies. The casserole included tuna, macaroni, cream of chicken-mushroom soup, onions, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, broccoli, some fresh Parmesan cheese and some Mozzarella cheese. My husband said, “This is GOOD!” He didn’t mention the veggies, so neither did I. :0)

We got a big boom of thunder right before we went to bed, but I didn’t see any rain when I looked. Later, when my husband took Amber out for the last time of the night, he said he could see it rained, but it wasn’t when they were out. We must have gotten 3 drops of rain. I’m reminding myself it’s better than none.

I hope your Saturday is a fun one.


Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, Thoughts on a ________

Hot Friday

The Sun

A heat index today of around 115 is TOO hot for this old lady. I just took some water out to pour into the elephant ear planter. Our plumber hasn’t been able to make time to put in our 2nd watering line for the planters in the front yard, so things are just drying up. The thing I care about the most in the front is the elephant ears, so I’ll concentrate on those. – UPDATE – Our plumber just drove up, ready to work on the 2nd line we need! HOORAY!!!!

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Final Fantasy XIV Promotional Site

We will go to Lunch Bunch soon to catch up with our friends. I don’t know if one of them will be back from her visit in Tennessee, but I’ll be happy to see whoever is there.

Caters News Agency – Cristina is Painting

I’m making steady progress on the Christmas gifts. I’m spending some wonderful time up in my art room each day, taking my time, listening to music while I’m painting, enjoying time to myself and the joy of trying to make something my friends will like. :0)

I got some new things added to my Etsy shop yesterday. I’ll add some more today. It’s fun to give my shop a bit of a new look.

Yesterday I wrote to Dr. Singer at our veterinarian’s office via email to tell him how impressed I was with Emma and the rest of his staff on handling the possibility of a fire and handling customers in the middle of it. I’m hoping they will get something special, including raises. :0)

Have a wonderful Friday!

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Filed under Friendship, HandmadeHavenByLinda on Etsy, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, Seasons, Thoughts on a ________


NY Times

I’m resting from my first session of weed whacking. By noon today, until 8pm tonight, our heat index is going to be 106, so I’m out NOW, trying to get the weed whacking done while it’s ONLY 85.

There’s about half an hour towards the end of the day, when the sun is starting to go down when it’s fabulous outside here. I try to arrange things so I can walk around then, soaking up the glory of it. I take pictures, make mental notes of the next thing I need to tackle, wish I had more flowers (there are never enough), play with Amber and Abby, who follow me around, and maybe sit for a bit on the front porch steps or on the back deck before going in. The world is perfect then, ‘free’ from problems, strife, and stupidity, when I feel filled with the joy of being alive.

If our weather here were like that for more of the day, I might spend all day outside. Since I’m older than dirt, it’s probably a good thing that our Arkansas weather in the summer is totally UN-civilized, hitting you in the face with the heat the minute you step outside, moving from one place of a/c to the next as fast as you can.

I have one more weed whacking session in me before I will have to stop for the day, clean up outside, then come in and shower, getting ready for the rest of my day.

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Outlander Katon Twitter

You’re as old/young as you feel – well, I’m about 110 this morning.

I really pushed hard to finish deep cleaning the master and guest bathrooms upstairs yesterday. I rested in-between sessions, but over half the day was spent up there. I washed the whirlpool tub, then really scrubbed the redwood surrounding it, something that hadn’t been done in a long time. I then pulled up the rugs and the sticky things keeping them from sliding and hauled them into the bedroom. I washed the baseboards, then vacuumed the floors. I washed the floors, then put the sticky things and rugs back down. Finally, I vacuumed the rugs and put things back where they belonged. Things look and smell good now.

I started stiffening up right before bedtime last night, didn’t sleep well – unable to get into a comfortable position – and ended up reading downstairs for an hour or so early this morning. I’m still stiff and sore this morning. My poor old body seems to have really noticed all the bending over double, getting down on hands and knees, hauling of heavy rugs, etc.

Today I’m going to take it easier, only planning to gather trash and vacuum the tiled areas on the first floor today. I’ll also plan to do a long, slow yoga session this afternoon to see if I can get some of the kinks out. :0) –

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Lee County Center-NC State University

My pruning tomato plants experiment continues. The tomatoes in the 8 foot brick planter to the side of the house look pretty good. The ones in the ‘niche’ planter nestled in beside the house looked way too bushy, so I’ve just come in from giving them some attention. I got the obvious suckers and any branches with leaves touching the soil and then got more aggressive. The video said the plants did best when they can get lots of oxygen, and that means cutting off some of the extra branches that aren’t serving a particular purpose. I did some of that – although I admit that still kind of gives me pause – and got some taller, stronger supports for a couple of the plants. I think things are happy out there now.

“I” am way too hot to be a happy camper right now. I’m trying to rest and cool down a bit before I tackle the whirlpool tub and surround upstairs. I have read how to best deep clean the redwood that surrounds the tub. I’ve only been wiping it down for a long time and it really needs some deep cleaning. Happily, I have what I need for that.

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Sunday Thoughts

A couple of days ago I began a deep cleaning of our master bathroom. This includes a room with countertop and double lavatories, a whirlpool tub, my walk-in closet, two open closets for supplies, and then another room with a toilet and shower. I found myself also cleaning the guest room bathroom at the same time, thinking that, as I concentrated on one part or another, I could use the same cleaners and get both rooms at the same time. Today I’ll tackle our tub and then the baseboards and floors of both. Wish me luck!

My other project for today is another pruning of my tomato plants.

The long planter seems to be doing well, although there are a few branches that need to be pruned. The ‘niche’ planter beside the house is looking ‘bushy,’ so I’ll need to give it a bit more attention. The idea of the careful pruning is that you get more yield when you get rid of the extra leaves and branches that are taking energy from the main stems that produce the tomatoes. I’ll try to do that today, too.

I also wanted to share the elephant ear planter.

So far, it’s doing well, even though we haven’t gotten the 2nd line for our irrigation system yet. I’ll check it today to see if I need to water by hand.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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Verywell Family

Our driveway is healed! We just paid Jeremy for his good work. He knocked down the huge pile of crusher dust and managed to spread it all the way down to the bottom of the driveway. We’re going to relax, have some lunch, then get our act together on errands –

  • Relocate raccoon # 6
  • fill gas cans for mower
  • get our mail
  • check for strewn trash at the bottom of the driveway
  • replenish groceries and other supplies
  • stop for hubby’s ‘goodies’ he gets from Harps grocery
  • grin from ear to ear as we drive down our driveway – and then UP again!

If you are in our area at all (west central Arkansas Fort Smith/Greenwood/Hackett, Poteau,OK, etc.) and you need work that requires construction equipment, call Jeremy Young 479-629-3797. I can’t say enough about him. He comes when he says he’ll come, he listens to your concerns, he does the work when he says he’ll do it, he doesn’t try to stiff you on the price, he is honest, he is NICE. We will definitely call him again.

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Jubilant Wednesday!

The cavalry is coming sometime today! I talked to my Lunch Bunch friend, Kay, yesterday. (Actually, she called to check on US after we had to miss Lunch Bunch last week due to the pile of crusher dust in the driveway.) She talked to her husband, then they talked to their pastor, and she called to give me the name and phone numbers of two people who might be able to help us.

I talked to Jeremy, who actually CAME yesterday, driving his truck up to the pile in the driveway and walking the rest of the way up. He says he can help us!!!!!!

He will come today, he says, rain or shine, and flatten out the pile of crusher dust. It’s a good thing he said rain or shine because –

this is the forecast for us today. (We’re just southeast of Fort Smith in the middle of this image). I think that he has informally adopted us because he spoke several times of our being stranded up here. He is truly a NICE guy who has already gone the extra mile for us.

The plan at this point is that he will fix things enough so that we can drive up and down the driveway at will. Then he will bring an estimate of fixing the driveway in a more permanent fashion that will last a little while.

I thanked him profusely for coming out yesterday. I slept better last night, knowing that help is on the way. It was really starting to bother me that no one could get UP the driveway, either, like fire trucks, ambulances, police…

When Jeremy is able to free us, we will make a celebratory trip to town (weather permitting) and try to catch up on some of the errands we’ve stacked up in a week’s time.

Let’s hear it for Jeremy!!!!

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Our Plight Continues

I’m feeling like “Ms. Grumpy” this morning, in that our plight of being stuck on top of our ridge line continues. We are still unable to find anyone to spread the big truckload of crusher dust. I’ve left our name and phone number with, plus HomeAdvisor, two of the online home worker finder places, hoping that 1) someone calls me back, 2) we can afford the services, and 3) the person can come soon. Fingers and all other appendages are still crossed. Of COURSE it’s rainy today.

Yesterday I finally finished going through the pantry shelves, throwing things away, cleaning and reorganizing what is left. (I won’t go into detail about a can that ‘exploded’ in the back, leaving a mess that had congealed, or the little bitty bugs I vacuumed up and then sprayed for. All is clean now.


We just finished gathering our trash, both for the week plus what I’m throwing out from the pantry. We’re acting as though we’ll be able to get it down to the bottom of the driveway tomorrow. Hope springs eternal.


I’m trying to choose something in the house to tackle each day, particularly because 1) the rain seems to be with us forever, 2) we are stuck up here, and 3) I want to feel as if I’m accomplishing SOMETHING each day. There are MANY things needing attention from which to choose…

I wish you a nice Monday.

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

Sweet Saturday 6-4-2022

It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday today! I hope she has a wonderful celebration.

Saad Engineering

This is the type of tractor (with operator) we’re trying to get to come to the house and spread the crusher dust pile that has us trapped in our house. The pattern over the years has been – I call and nothing happens. Then my husband calls and the guy (or his dad) come and do their magic on the driveway, pulling up gravel from the edges and then smoothing it all down. Both of the men are really artists. The problem is that our job is very small and probably a headache for them.

Update – My husband called this morning and left a message. Within 5 minutes, the driveway guy called him back, but said he’s covered up with work and can’t come. We’re trying someone else, and the driveway guy said to call him back if we can’t find anyone else who can help us.

Our weather is supposed to be nice today, with a 70% chance of rain tomorrow the last I checked – so it will probably be an outside day for me again today.

Lee County Center-NC State University

I plan to check my tomato plants carefully to see what I need to do. The plants are getting as tall as the supports now, so I’ll watch the video again to see what I’m supposed to do at the top. I’m also planning to use my new pressure attachment for the hose to clean our deck chairs and maybe the deck. I’ll see how the day goes.


Some actual progress on my diet! I’m finally beginning to see some progress on the switch to the Mediterranean eating plan. I’ve lost a couple of pounds this week and my system is calming down gradually. I’m feeling a bit more energetic, too, and so I’m able to get some things done around the house. All good signs!


I found some new yoga poses I’ll add to my routine that are all for strengthening my ‘core.’ I’m doing about half an hour now, so the new ones will make my yoga session around 45 minutes.

Happy Saturday!

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Thoughts on a ________

Making Our Time Count

This is similar to the system we use to water our plants on the deck. We put it in YEARS ago. We plugged old holes and made new ones as we changed plants and containers, etc. over the years. It has gotten to the point where the main tube that ran around the inside top of the deck was stiff and brittle. The whole thing needed to be replaced.

I told you earlier that we’re stuck up here on top of our ridge line until the guy who has helped us with our driveway before (or someone else) comes to spread out the crusher dust/chat the guy with the dump truck brought yesterday and was unable to tailgate due to the wetness of the driveway.

Happily, we had everything we needed to completely redo the irrigation system out there. We tore everything down first, saved the parts we could and threw the rest away. We ran a new large line around the top of the deck and new irrigation lines down to each container from it. We just finished by lunchtime, so we came in and ate and then took naps.

We just tested the system and tweaked all the controls for the lines running to each container. It looks like we’re fixed now. It’ll run this evening on the timer and we can see how it goes. I moved all the chairs and tables back where they are supposed to be.

The next thing will be to pressure wash the deck chairs and see what the deck itself needs, but that’ll wait until at least tomorrow.

My husband will call our driveway guy later today to see if he can get him out to help us.

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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Good News – Bad News

Yesterday my husband called again about the chat/crusher dust for our driveway. Amazingly, they didn’t have any record of our call/order. Later yesterday the truck came and left a big truckload, ‘tail-gating’ the material from a point where my husband marked our driveway and then down to the road that runs in front of the house.

The good news is we finally got the material delivered. The bad news is that the early rain we had caused the truck not to be really able to tail-gate it properly, so it dumped, rather than spread. The end result is that we had to call our friends and tell them we wouldn’t be at Lunch Bunch today because we can’t get out.

I called the man who has helped us with our driveway in the past, but had to leave a message on his phone. I don’t know whether he’s gotten the request for help or not.

We will figure something out, but it may not be today…

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Filed under Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Session 1

I’ve done one session with the loppers so far today.

I cut down the weed trees that have suddenly grown up around our burn barrel between the house and our shop. They grow fast, so most of them were taller than I am. I also tackled the low hanging branches from a tree that cause my husband grief when he tries to mow. I have another tree right in the same area to do next, but that’s for session 2.

I told you that I was going to cut down a bunch of branches in the trio of planters that run between our front yard and the top of our driveway. I didn’t lie to you, but I haven’t done them. :0( My excuse is the daily rain we had last week, but it may have been BEFORE that that I said I was going to cut them back… Those are on the list, as well.

I just finished getting the beef stew ingredients in the slow cooker for our dinner tonight. I cleaned up the kitchen and it will be time to get our lunch in another 20 minutes. I’m resting in serious fashion until then, enjoying a cup of coffee and writing this post to you. I just closed up the house and turned our a/c on, too, since it’s 80 in here now and the temperature is due to be in the 90s this afternoon. Whew!

The past couple of days I have been in the yard most of the day, so I’m calling that my exercise for each day. I know that I don’t use the same muscles for yard work that I do with the more formal exercises, but I’m just too pooped to do both, so it’ll have to do. When I get things a bit more caught up outside, I’ll switch back. ( I really do plan to. :0) )

Weed spraying is on my list once the lopper work is mostly done right around the house. And THEN you can see my new toy above – a much simpler power washer than we have, which I HOPE will do a good job without me having to fight with our old one so much. If I can just put it on the end of the hose and get started, I don’t have to spend the whole day doing it to justify all the hassle. I can do a good chunk, put it away, and do more later, or the next day. :0) I’ll try it soon and let you know.


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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

The Nose Knows


The pantry is coming together finally. I’ve spent several days in there, trying to make sense of things that we’ve been stashing wherever there was room. Since it’s a walk-in pantry (one of our priorities when we built our home about 35 years ago), there is a lot of room to stash before attention is seriously needed.

This is the ‘supplies’ side of the pantry. It holds kitchen and bathroom supplies, cooking supplies and appliances, cleaning supplies, medicine, etc.

I tackled this yesterday. I hate to admit that I found some cans that had failed on the bottoms, making a mess, expired foods, boxes of food that were old or failing, etc. I cleaned it all out, threw out a bunch, cleaned the shelves and reorganized things so they’re easy to see and access. This was the part my husband noticed yesterday. :0)

This is the area I’m planning to attack today. I have boxes and a loose organization, but again, things have been stashed. Some things need to be tossed, due to age or non-use. I want to organize better, so I can find the things I’ve purchased for particular recipes, as well as figure out things that I need for the new Mediterranean form of cooking I’m starting. I’m hoping that this project will wrap up today. I’m loving the clean smell as I enter the pantry now.

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

Getting a Handle on It


Yesterday I finally made some progress in ‘getting a handle on’ how I can make the Mediterranean eating plan work for us. (This is complicated because my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes or will even consider eating.)

Yesterday we had a huge fight-with-technology trying to get a Mediterranean cookbook downloaded onto my Kindle. I hardly ever use it, preferring to hold real, treasured books in my hands, but cookbooks are a different ilk, as far as I’m concerned. There are usually only a few recipes I’ll actually cook in each, so I can download a cook book, use what I like, then decide if I actually want to add it to my collection or delete the book from my Kindle and try another.

Making a long story much shorter, we had to DE-register my Kindle because it was listed under my old email address, then RE-register it under my current email address. THEN call for technical help on getting ads off, THEN fight to get rid of ‘freebies’ I didn’t want. I was able to finally get the cookbook and read it last night. As usual, it focused on eggplant, kale, couscous, tofu, Brussells sprouts, cauliflower, chickpeas, etc. Even after more than 50 years of marriage, I know my husband would leave if I tried to cook these things for dinner.

I thought about it a lot, and finally came up with ‘doing my own thing,’ incorporating as many veggies as possible, concentrating on those to which my husband doesn’t object, and flavoring with meats he likes. That means veggie casseroles with chicken or beef or pork ‘flavoring.’ It also can mean stews of various kinds. And fruit as part of our meals and as snacks.

If I cook these, making enough for more than one meal and freezing the leftovers into individual servings for the freezer, I can have lots of meals both of us like, increasing the veggies and fruit I want in my diet and not causing a revolt-among-the-masses. I can also try the recipes that sound reasonable. If my husband doesn’t care for them, I can freeze any leftovers for ME to eat later when my husband is having a Lean Cuisine, Real Food, or Stu’s frozen meal on busy days. Not a complete plan, by any means, but a workable start.

I’m feeling better every day now, with my digestion getting back to normal. I’m now taking my thyroid medicine first thing, eating a small breakfast an hour or so later, then taking the rest of my meds with lunch. This is workable for me. :0)

It’s still rainy here, so the guy bringing us a truckload of chat for the driveway hasn’t called or come. Neither has the plumber, whose work will be outside in the well house. If we can go to town between showers, we’ll get another timer to join the one we just installed in the well house, to be ready when the plumber does his thing.

Meanwhile, my husband actually NOTICED that I had been working in the pantry yesterday! I’m making my way through the food side of the pantry, getting rid of a lot of stuff, cleaning, and then re-organizing. I may finish the main part by the end of the day today. It feels good to be getting things easily accessible, plus smelling the ‘clean.’

If it ever stops raining, I’ll need to get out to my tomato plants and my garden to catch up there…

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday.

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Raccoon-y, Rainy Tuesday

Natural Resources Council of Maine – Photo by Jayne Winters

A critter like this was caught in our humane trap overnight. My husband just returned from taking our trash down to the bottom of the driveway and ‘relocating’ the raccoon about 5 miles away from us, hoping he won’t return. I stayed here to get chili started in the slow cooker for tonight and to answer a call or meet the driveway guy coming to our house.

Yesterday we decided that we really need to do what we can to improve our driveway.

I’ve told you it’s long (650+feet), quite steep, and graveled (or ‘chat-ed.’) Having a concrete or asphalt drive would take our winning the lottery. The last time we priced it (about 15 years ago) it would have cost $15,000+ at the bare minimum. Actually, the gravel gives us more traction when it’s icy or snowy, so it’s fine with us.

When we get the washing, heavy rains we’ve gotten lately, though, the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the driveway stays fine. It’s the rest of it – steeper as it goes down to the road that runs in front of the house – that gets ‘washed’ badly, causing ruts, bumps, etc. making it harder to negotiate.

We arranged for a guy to come with a big truckload of chat. He can leave the top alone, and then ‘tail-gate’ the chat, letting some out slowly and gradually as he drives down our driveway. We’re hoping that ONE truckload will be enough because chat, like everything else, has gone way up in price.

A complicating factor is that you get chat when they will deliver. You can’t say, ‘Oh, it’s due to rain today. Can you deliver it tomorrow instead?” It’s totally up to the guy. He hasn’t called, but he may just be getting the load of chat and coming. He just told us it would be today. Also, he MAY call and want to reschedule due to the coming rain. My second hope is that, if we DO get it delivered and ‘tail-gated’ this morning, the rains don’t immediately wash big ruts into it….

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature

Thoughts on a Friday 5-13-2022

Anne Jaravan Panhuis

Isn’t this photo wonderful? I love the look on the giraffe’s face as he (or she) stands with the bird (kingfisher?) sitting on his/her head. And the catching of the water (and the frog) are priceless.

We’ll leave in about 45 minutes to join our friends for Lunch Bunch. My friend Kay’s daughter from Albuquerque has been visiting, but she left yesterday. Kay is always a bit sad after her daughter leaves. I haven’t felt well enough to gather veggies from the garden, so won’t be taking anything to share today. Hopefully I can get out this weekend and make up for lost time.

My pantry project is about half done at this point. I’ll start the ‘food’ side of the pantry today and see what I can accomplish.

We’ve had record breaking heat this week. On the heels of this are thunderstorms with possibly severe weather this afternoon-into-this-evening. I hope we just get some good rain. I haven’t been able to set up our yard irrigation system yet this season, so things can really use a drink.

I’m feeling better and better. Soon I’ll be my regular, ornery self and can look for some mischief to dive into.

Enjoy a nice Friday.

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Filed under Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Organizing/DeCluttering, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Hellooooo, Rainy Thursday

“Scattered to isolated downpours will continue through our Thursday.” – our weather website says. It’s quite dark and rainy outside right now. A GREAT day to stay inside, warm and dry. :0)

Today I’ll concentrate on more ‘recognized’ forms of exercise, since yesterday morning was spent helping my husband change from snow to regular tires on the truck and the only other exercise was yoga. I’ll try to do better today, getting in all my online exercises, plus elliptical and yoga during the day.

I’ll also catch up on cleaning a bit, since the hairballs from Amber are starting to reach out and grab our ankles as we walk by. Hopefully, I can do all the 1st floor tiled areas, and then get the carpeted stuff, too.

No cooking tonight – main meal salad.

I did watch the tomato pruning video again yesterday and went out to see what was what on my plants. I was very conservative, mainly cleaning up the branches that were touching the dirt. I’ll tie the plants to their supports probably this weekend. So far, so good. I didn’t see any clear suckers yet, so I left things alone for now.

I hope you can stay safe, warm, dry, and happy.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________