Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

Declutter Project Progress

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

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


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

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



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



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

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


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Thoughts on a Sunday 1-26-2020

Caracal Cat – Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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

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


I’ve finished reorganizing the walk-in pantry


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


Cleaned out the aquarium again

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

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

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

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



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Today’s Project is Completed!






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Today’s Project 1-25-2020

So far today I cut up raw veggies and put them in containers in the fridge for lunches and snacks and cleaned out the aquarium.  (I’ll show you pics in a few minutes.) THIS is today’s main project.

We use the shelves above my kitchen desk as a combination medicine cabinet for downstairs and a first aid station. We would like to be able to find meds quickly, since patience is not our long suit if we’re in pain, for example, or having something else for which we would like quick relief.

It has gotten to the point that if we try to take something off the shelf, something ELSE might come with it!

You can also see in the picture below that my desk has ‘disappeared.’

I will try to fix this today.


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Pantry Is Essentially Done!





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Pantry Project

This obviously isn’t my pantry, but it shows my feelings right now. I’m a bit overwhelmed, even though I AM making some progress (I think.)

Two years ago, more or less, I cleaned out our walk-in pantry and felt very virtuous. I’m both a bit of a hoarder and a slob, so getting the whole area cleaned out felt great. Then two years of essentially stuffing things wherever I could find a spot ensued. ( Did I mention I’m a slob?)

SO – We have been eating keto for awhile now. Both of us are very happy with the food we can eat, and I’m adding to our ‘go-to’ GOOD recipes all the time. That said, I’ve been noticing that I’m having to dig deeply to get to the things or appliances I want, and this is dumb. What I use all the time should be easily accessible.

So today I’ve started cleaning out the pantry, either giving away or storing what we aren’t using, throwing away what we’re not eating, and re-organizing the rest.  So far, I’ve spent an hour and a half, basically making a mess in there. This will improve the more time I spend in there, so I’m concentrating on not feeling overwhelmed and running away.

I am officially taking a break now and we’ll have lunch, and then I’ll do another hitch. This will probably take a couple of days. I’ll take pics when the job is finally done.

I hope I’m not the ONLY person who needs to clean stuff out….




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Feisty Fish

The one thing I’ve done in the past two days was this morning, when I got the fish tank cleaned out.  The last glass beads I got worked better, but the color was too dark, so I got an assortment of blue, green, clear, and used some of the red.


The fish didn’t say anything, but they’ve been exploring the tank. One interesting difference is when they’re looking for any missed food on the bottom, the beads they’re disturbing TAP on the bottom of the tank, making an interesting clicking sound.


So, no one said anything except my husband, who pronounced the change ‘good.’ I feel better because I hate it when the water gets cloudy.

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My Fish are Beaded

I cleaned out our aquarium a few days ago, only to have the water cloud up and turn yucky almost immediately. :0(

I decided that when I cleaned it out again yesterday, I would make a big change.  I took all the new white gravel out and replaced it with the glass ‘beads’ I had in the pantry for silk flower arrangements. I figured that they would have almost no residue to cloud up the water and the fish might like them!


I put black beads along the bottom and some red beads on top. The fish didn’t say anything when I put them in their newly decorated aquarium. They just gathered in the corner, wiggling and opening and closing their mouths. I went ahead and gave them some food, even though it wasn’t their usual time, to make up for any discomfort they experienced while waiting for me to fix their home.  The water seems to be staying nice and clear so far. My husband came in and REALLY liked the new look, so at least he and I are happy… :0)



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Thoughts on a Saturday 12-28-2019

We just changed the decoration on our mailbox from Santa to Happy New Year.

We love Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson, so we have made two mailbox decorations to honor his great work and sense of humor.  This one appeals to us because we have never been the nostalgic “Auld Lang Syne’ types at New Years.  At our age, we just got used to writing ‘2019’ on our checks and now we have to think again before writing… :0)

I just finished adding my hand painted wooden earrings to my new Etsy shop – EyecatchingEarrings. I can’t decide if I need to work on a banner to go across the top of the page or not. If you have the time to take a look, I would appreciate your opinion.

As we came in from getting the mail and putting up the new mailbox decoration, I was appalled to see dog hair balls on the floor that were blowing in the breeze we made as we walked by. This tells me two things:

THING ONE – I need to get up off my duff and VACUUM, and

THING TWO – I need to defurminate Molly again.

I absolutely will do thing one and will TRY to do thing two.

I hope that your Saturday is a good one!



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Water Pressure

We suddenly had very low water pressure several weeks ago. We discovered that the booster pump and motor in the well house (that control the added pressure we need on top of our hill) weren’t working. We spent quite awhile getting the booster pump and motor unattached and off the wall and called about trying to get it fixed. (We still had water, but just about 1/3 of the usual pressure).

As usual with our projects, the place we took it for repair LAST time had changed hands. Happily, the new owner agreed to see if he could fix our stuff. We left them with him in Fort Smith.

We waited and then finally the man called, saying the pump and motor were toast. They don’t make what we have any more, and no parts are available to replace. We gave him the go-ahead to order a new pump and motor – as close to what we had as possible. We picked them up in Fort Smith yesterday.

We spent from about 12:30 until 6:30 or so working in the well house and the shop on the installation. Of course, the new stuff couldn’t sit on the old mounts, so we spent a long time making a thick metal ‘shelf’ on which the assembly could sit.  When we got it made, we painted it so it wouldn’t rust. We took all the old attachment stuff to Yeager’s, trying to get new parts. We brought it all home and worked on it while we continued to wait for the paint to dry. (Even in the shop with the heat on, it takes a lot longer for paint to dry.)

We got the shelf mounted and attached the new pump and motor to it. We finished about 2/3 of the attachment yesterday, but discovered we didn’t have enough parts to finish.

Today – armed with gel with Arnica on my back and Tylenol – we’ll go to Yeager’s again for the parts we need to finish. I’m hoping that by the end of the day we’ll have our usual water pressure in the house again – a true luxury.

If we are successful, I’ll celebrate with a nice, hot shower!



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I told you earlier this week that my husband and I cleaned out our aquarium, actually taking the gravel out and rinsing it thoroughly before returning it to the tank, putting in fresh water, clean decorations, new filters, etc. The aquarium looked a LOT better, though the fish didn’t rave about it.

Imagine my outrage when we got up this morning to find a tank with water SO cloudy you could hardly see the occupants!


I had ordered new gravel, thinking that the next time I cleaned out the tank I would change it. I didn’t realize it would have to be almost immediately.

So –

I cleaned out the tank again today, removing the old gravel. I rinsed the new gravel, added the treated water, put in fresh clean decorations, another new filter, etc. And now the tank is again clean, though the fish just looked teed off to be forced to wait in a small bowl of water while I toiled.

I have heard that gold fish aren’t very clean fish. I’m beginning to really believe it now. The largest gold fish is now about 4 inches long. He’s too large to be caught easily – or fit into – the net I use.

I have now spoken to the fish, telling them that I don’t want to be in the position of a full tank clean out every week – or – in this case – TWICE in one week. I have told them that they need to clean up their act or be labeled ‘BAD TENANTS.’ (Assuming they care…)

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My husband has been after me for a long time, probably several months, to ‘dump’ the gravel in the bottom of the aquarium when I clean the tank. I have a nice aquarium vacuum that works really nicely, so I’ve been putting him off. I didn’t want any problems with a leaking tank. I also had visions of his dropping the tank mid procedure, and our having to rush out and buy another while the fish waited impatiently in the small bowl of water.  I admit I’m really stubborn about accepting his suggestions many times.

Dumped the gravel into the largest colander I have. My husband rinsed it in the sink, using our spray attachment, while I cleaned the glass inside and out. We carefully put the gravel back, then added the treated water, then the decorations, lights, filters, oxygen thingie, and finally, the fish.

For awhile, the water didn’t look any better than it does when I clean it the regular way. But then things settled down.

And though I cleaned up water everywhere and keep finding small pieces of gravel, I have to admit my husband was right. It DOES look better, and DID make a difference, and the tank and water ARE cleaner than they were.


As usual, the fish aren’t saying anything much. They are happily swimming around, bunching up in the corner every time I pass the tank, dreaming about feeding time.

My husband DID admit it was a lot of work – even though the only part he participated in was the gravel cleaning. He said I should order more gravel so that we can ‘start with a clean batch’ next time.


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Thoughts on a Monday – Dec. 2, 2019

We woke up to super low water pressure this morning.  Since we live up on top of a ridge line (the water meter is 650+ feet down the hill to the north of the house) we have a booster pump and motor in the well house. This also controls the flow to the irrigation system.  My husband finally decided that the pump and/or the motor had failed. It took us a long time to get it unhooked and off the wall (getting soaked in the process.) I found the name of a guy in Fort Smith and called him, confirming that he would look at what we have and see if he can fix it.  My husband fixed things so we have water in the house, even though the pressure is down. We drove to Fort Smith, left the stuff with the man, and now we wait. Hopefully, he will be able to fix it. If not, he will call with prices for replacement pump and/or motor.

We ate at our favorite restaurant on the way home, The Dari in Greenwood. We had a hamburger steak and veggies. YUM! It made up for not eating anything until about 2 pm today, plus having to deal with difficult things first thing in the morning.

I am now trying to decide the way forward on listing my artwork for sale. Right now I have things listed on ArtFire and two shops on Etsy.  Every time I mention ArtFire, no one has heard of it. I’m wondering about opening more shops on Etsy and dropping ArtFire.  I’ll consider pros and cons and then make a decision after the holidays.

It’s mid afternoon and I have done anything yet – with the exception of helping with the water pump and motor.

I’m going to have a cup of coffee and see if I can regroup.

Hope YOUR day is going better than ours!





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Getting Ready for Thanksgiving


In about 20 minutes, we are going to Lunch Bunch!  This week we’re doing it today, rather than Friday. The Pizza Barn will be open Friday, but not until 3pm, and no salad/pizza/banana pudding bar. 3:00 p.m. is almost dinner time for one of my friends, so we’ll enjoy seeing everyone today.

When we get home, the push will start to get ready for Thanksgiving. It all starts with running the bulldozer…

I’ve told you before that housekeeping is really low on my list of priority activities. When we’re having people over for dinner, I try to get serious about making this place clean enough for others to be comfortable. Dog hair is rampant right now, so I’ve been vacuuming every other day. This is NOT enough for when others come to visit. I’ll scrub bathrooms, vacuum, and do general cleanup of the first floor so that I can concentrate on last minute cleaning and cooking tomorrow.

I hope that you are not having to start with a bulldozer at your home today, and that you have a happy celebration tomorrow.


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

Thoughts on a Sunday 11-17-2019

Cindy Basnett Thurman

I finished raking and making mulch for 7 brick planters yesterday. My body is saying, “You thought you were 20, didn’t you. Haahahahaahahah.”  I’m hoping that we won’t get the predicted rain and that the temperature gets close to the 58 predicted so that – armed with my leaf blower, leaf mulcher, yellow plastic leaf-scooping ‘hands’, and a trash bag –  I can finish the other 5 planters this afternoon.



Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I want to do something special for him, but he ‘doesn’t want to talk about it.’ He says he is ‘too old to celebrate birthdays.’ I think I’ll surprise him with a pineapple upside down cake (one of his favorites) and see if I can make him grin…

I hope that YOUR Sunday is a nice one, too!



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A Lot of Worx


This is my wonderful Worx Leaf Mulcher. (This one is MUCH cleaner than mine. Picture this with a leaf bag between the orange part and the top ring of the legs, and a cord attached to it and you have a great picture of what I’m doing in the yard this afternoon. I also have two plastic yellow leaf-gathering ‘hands’ that allow me to pick up a bunch of leaves at once to put in the top of the mulcher. Once the leaves are pushed down into the top, I pull the power button out and the mulcher grinds up the leaves. When the bag is full, I pick it up and distribute the mulch in my flower planters.

I told you recently, when I was trying to prune and weed after the freezing temperatures essentially killed all of my blooms, that I have 12 brick planters in the front yard, plus two concrete pots. Ao far, I have finished an hour out there, first using our leaf blower to amass a large pile, then processing the pile and distributing the mulch. I have filled two-and-two-thirds planters. At this rate, I’ll probably croak before I finish, but I’m giving it my best shot today. It’s a bit after 3pm now, so I have a good two hours of light left. I’ll see how much more I can accomplish, and then take it up tomorrow, hoping I don’t get rained out.

I’m certainly not a stickler for a perfect looking yard. That was one of the reasons we built our home in the sticks in Arkansas over 30 years ago. Neighborhoods are nice, but we really don’t want to have to go around with the manicure scissors making sure that no blades of grass are any taller than the others or that we don’t have any weeds or yellow spots in the yard. We have moles, voles, and other oles here, plus fire ants, plus grubs, plus all kinds of other stuff. Our ridge line is woodsy. If we weren’t pretty good about hacking things down around here, I think the woods would simple cover the house and it would look like it did before we came in a short amount of time.

I DO like the idea of ‘free mulch,’ and I DO want to protect my flowers and the good potting soil in our planters, so I’m going to mulch as many leaves as it takes to fill up my planters and then leave whatever remains.

I’ll tell you – even with my leaf blower, my Worx leaf mulcher, my plastic ‘hands,’ etc., this is a really good amount of exercise today for this old broad…


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Thoughts on a Thursday 11-14-2019

We are having a balmy day today – bright sunshine at 56 degrees F. – can’t ask for more.

A happy thing happened yesterday. I received an email from ArtFire that I had an order!  A nice lady ordered one of my mosaic Christmas Bell ornaments. After I received an answer on which one she preferred, I packed it carefully and mailed it today.

I always go around with a silly grin on my face after I receive a sale. It’s the highest compliment there is. :0)

My big push for the day is to clean up our office. It exploded recently when I was doing a lot of new projects in my art room, then trying to get the new stuff on my websites, and then was trying to get my products together to put in my new “Blasing Bright” booth locally in the Rags & Roses shop in Greenwood.  Every flat surface is piled high with ‘stuff’ now. ANYTHING more added would result in instant avalanche.

SO – I have promised myself that I won’t do another thing – other than write a few blog posts – until I transform the area from a hard hat area to what could pass for a regular office….

Wish me luck?




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Thoughts on a Tuesday 11-12-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

This morning was an adventure.

I had trouble sleeping last night, and so was up until about 2 a.m. or so. At around 5 a.m. our power started going off and coming back on again right away, over and over. We would just drop off to sleep again with a sigh and off again, on again. We finally gave up trying to sleep and got up for the day at 6. One of the reasons we were more awake that usual at that hour is that our generator is supposed to come on automatically when our power fails, and it didn’t.

I fed animals while my husband went out to look at the generator. By the time he came back in, I had lit a fire in the fireplace, because it was quite cool in the house by then (less than 20 degrees F. outside) and the generator does not run our heat or air conditioning, managing to serve hot drinks and a bagel with cream cheese. My husband had tried to jump start the battery on the generator with our truck and the jumper cables, but that didn’t work, either.

We had to wait another hour or so for O’Reilly’s, the car place, to open. I went around finding battery-powered lanterns while my husband went to buy a new battery for the generator. We installed it and got the generator going. HOORAAAAY!  We went into the house to find the public power had finally come back on.

We let the generator run a bit, and then did the test it is supposed to be doing on a weekly basis before turning it off. We have NOW put it on our calendars the day and time the generator is supposed to test itself, so that we don’t miss it. Our insulation is so good now that we can’t hear it come on unless we have the doors open. We also put it on our ‘winter prep’ list to check when we bought the battery for the generator so that we can replace it, if needed, BEFORE something like this happens again.

Since this morning, I have been going around turning lights off. We turned many on while we didn’t have power – as a habit – and forgot to turn them off when nothing happened. We also had to go to ‘manual’ on getting our garage door up without power, and then had to figure out how to hook it up again so that we can push the button on our remote again.  We reset all the clocks, turning off the alarm that was still beeping upstairs, etc.

This goes to show how spoiled we are – how dependent on electricity we are – and how very LUCKY we are that this morning served as a wake up call to be SURE we are prepared before we get snowed in!


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Flying Hair Balls?


Rain, fog, wintry mix, flying hairballs, and MUCH colder temperatures are forecast for my area today. We are just southeast of Fort Smith, in Greenwood. With as warm as it has been, we don’t have to worry about any accumulation, but bridges and overpasses will get slick and it’s just a great day to stay inside.

Happily, I managed to finish cleaning out the flower planters in the front yard – 11 brick planters and two pots.  When we have good weather again, I’ll tackle the remaining brick planters and pots in the back yard.

This is Memorial Park in the center of our small ‘square’ in Greenwood. People can have memorial stones made for their Veterans and have them added to the moving display. On Veterans Day you can see the flags placed at each of the stones remembering our veterans. More stones are added from time to time. I wanted to get one made for my husband, who served for 4 years in the Marine Corps during Vietnam, but he is adamantly opposed, since he wasn’t in combat, ‘only’ on a ship offshore all the hot spots during his time. I think he deserves to be there, but that’s a fight for another day. This remembrance makes me proud.


Memorial Park, City of Greenwood AR

I’m going to TRY to clean up my art room today. With the combination of having a blast experimenting with the new kit of Unicorn Spit Stain/Glaze my sister-in-law sent me and then taking a set of shelves out to put in the new booth at the shop in Greenwood, it looks as if a bomb exploded. I’m going to concentrate on getting things so you can walk through the room without injury and MOST of the ‘stuff’ is put where it won’t fall down. :0)  THEN, I’m hoping to PLAY some more up there!


Also on the ‘should’ list for the day is a clean up of our office – but I’m studiously ignoring that for now – celebrating the fact I worked hard yesterday and that it’s definitely an inside day today!

I hope that the weather is nice where you are – OR that you have a nice warm, dry place to spend the day.


Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering, playing in my art room

Booth Aftermath


I have spent the whole time since I came home from putting up the rest of the items in our booth on two things:


I made huge messes everywhere trying to gather, describe, tag, and put the items in bags to take to the booth. I also took a plastic set of shelves I had in my art room to the booth, so everything ON those shelves was scattered in the art room. I hadn’t cleaned up since playing with the Unicorn Spit, so suffice to say everything I looked at was shrieking at me. I’ve now cleaned the dining area table so that even my husband noticed the difference. I then tackled the big table beside my recliner in the living room that is a catch-all for everything I am doing, or want to do – such as books, magazines, things torn out of magazines… Finally, I made a serious pass in the art room. My drafting table is now clean and ready for work. I’ve grouped what I need to paint and personalize Christmas ornaments, organized wooden plaques, started grouping things to take to the booth at the proper time, etc.


I spent the rest of the time making notes on the shop, plus an inventory of what I have in there, when it went in, price, etc., how many I have of each ornament to paint, when I want to change things out, and more.

I still have a lot more to do, but I’m going to relax a bit and join my husband, who is watching another football game…



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Thoughts on a Tuesday 10-29-2019

День Вдохновения- LinkedIn

It’s 47 degrees F. here today and rainy.

We’re supposed to have freezing temperatures tomorrow morning, so my husband and I have been dashing around trying to get house and vehicle prepared for this super-early phenomenon.

We –

  • shut down our irrigation system that waters all the flowers in planters around the house. We had to pull hoses from the well house wall and plug the holes, light the pilot light in the well house, and plug in the thermostatically-controlled electric heater there, too.
  • we unhooked hoses around the house and put styrofoam faucet covers on.
  • we closed outside vents
  • We lit the pilot light for the heating system in our shop.
  • We changed the truck tires from the regular ones to snow tires
  • We ran one of the riding mowers out of gas
  • We turned on the humidifier systems in the basement and the attic for the house

We are mostly prepared now for the freeze. The silly thing is that, after all this rushing around, we’ll probably have a week of freezing temperatures and then it will warm back up again… I’ll wait to do the rest of the list until later.

I’m looking forward to playing in my art room this afternoon. I’m going to try the Unicorn Spit Stain/Glaze on some glass Christmas ornaments I have and some flat wooden ornaments.

Because of the all-day rush to get ready for the freezes, I haven’t done my exercises in TWO DAYS. I’ll start today getting back into the groove with my elliptical trainer and then my yoga stretches.

I tried a new recipe for ‘Keto Fried Chicken’ by Makinze Gore of last night. My husband pronounced it “Yummy!” so well enjoy eating this again.

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, too!



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Happy Fish!


It’s been awhile since I showed you my fish.

The largest one is about 3-1/2 + inches long, though he won’t cooperate much in my efforts to measure him. The others have almost tripled in size since I got them a couple of years ago, but the largest has outdone them all.

I’ve had cleaning out the aquarium on my list of things to for several days now, but finally got it done this morning. When I used the vacuum on the gravel, the other end, which was hanging in the sink, suddenly flipped up and gushed water everywhere. I ended up having to move everything off the L-shape of the counter, sop up fish water, then clean and wipe down.

The fish didn’t say  much about the accommodations when I put them back in the aquarium, but I’M happy enough for all of us that there digs are now clean.


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Thoughts on a Wednesday 9-25-2019

We Love Earth – Blue Footed Boobies Bird



We are trying to change out two ballast transformers on fluorescent light fixtures in the garage. We had quite a fight with the first one, but FINALLY got it finished. We decided to ‘declare victory’ and rest for a bit before tackling the other. These have last 31 years, so you could say we have gotten our money’s worth. Still, it’s really stressful with my husband on the ladder, hands above his head, trying to get the job done with his inept go-fer trying to help as best she can…

I am on DAY 8 on getting-serious-about-keto. I lost 2 pounds yesterday!  Last night my son and I talked about how I could add more fat into my diet, since my macro showed I should be eating 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 75% fat. I had been eating way too much protein and not enough fat. I can add whipping cream to a cup of coffee. I can eat some macadamia nuts. I can – and did – add a tablespoon of olive oil to my salad last night.  I’m already eating eggs and cheese, but will try to find a ripe avocado. The last time I tried one, I didn’t care for it, but now is now and I’ll try again.  I will ‘test’ each addition on my tracker, so I can be confident all is good on the macro and the total number of calories. I’m encouraged that the weight scale is finally starting to smirk at me, rather than showing a sad face.

DAY 23 on daily yoga today.  I’m happy that I can FEEL a difference in my body giving into the stretches as I breathe. The biggest problem is real stiffness when I’m in a sitting position and trying to stretch in any direction, but I’m making gradual progress. I’m also happy that I didn’t have any muscles yelling this morning about yesterday’s combo of the elliptical trainer and my yoga. I do that again tomorrow.

I finished painting the last stained tee in my art room yesterday.


Here’s hoping we can get the second ballast transformer installed and still be in one piece and speaking to each other.

I wish YOU a calm, satisfying day.



Filed under DIET!, exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________


One Green Planet – Paulina Lam

My husband mowed our lawn yesterday, so I am weed whacking (edging plus doing areas he can’t get with the riding mower) today. I’ve made some progress, but mainly am feeling inept. One of the orange ‘thingies’ that holds the spool of weed whacking line onto the whacker shattered. It is not fixable, so we’ll have to try and find a replacement for it on the net. I switched to another weed whacker that I don’t like as well. It needed line, but I can’t get this orange thingie (different style) off! Now I have had to come in and ask my husband to come out and see if he can get the whacker ready to go so I can finish that part of the job, and then I’ll use the leaf blower to clean off the concrete areas.

It’s really humid, cloudy, and trying to rain, so I don’t know if I can get my breath back, after glugging a bottle of water, in time to get back out there.

Fingers are crossed that it all comes together and I can finish the job.

If not, I’ll use this excuse to go play in my art room! :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Thoughts on a Thursday 9-12-2019

I’ve had a productive morning.

RK Preserve Carpet Cleaning

I vacuumed the carpeted parts of the first floor this morning, vacuuming up at LEAST one dog’s worth of hair, and maybe a cat, too. It amazes (and disgusts) me how MUCH hair I vacuum up each time, even though I’m vacuuming more these days than I ever have before. It’s a miracle that we actually have two dogs and two cats left AND that none of them is bald! I’m liking our 4 goldfish more and more – THEY don’t shed!


Jolly Gardener

I’ve told you that we had 2 of the 14 planters we built around the yard 30 years ago collapse. We rebuilt one of them, and had the second one rebuilt by someone who knows what he’s doing. (It’s beautiful.)  My husband worked to make and attach the PVC irrigation system stuff we needed in order to hook the two planters up to our system in the front yard. (It was when he was attaching the PVC pipe to the newest planter that he fell and skinned his leg badly. I put it on my list to use bags of potting soil to fill up the newest planter.

It was the morning after he fell on July 22nd that we discovered he had suffered a stroke. Obviously, we have had other priorities since then, and I’m happy to report that my husband is essentially back to being his normal ornery self now. This morning I decided I would fill up the planter. I filled the wheelbarrow with four 40-pound bags of potting soil and trucked them over to the planter. Our driveway detector went off, and my husband came out to see who was here. He slit the bags and we dumped them into the planter, then got four MORE 40-pound bags in order to finish the job. Now both rebuilt planters are ready to receive new plants, probably in the spring.


We drove down to get the mail (we have a STEEP 650+ foot driveway down to the road where our mailbox is.)


After we got the mail, there was a truck coming down the road the other way. He stopped, obviously wanting to say something to us. When we pulled up next to him, he said, “I’m happy to see you two. I just wanted to tell you I LOVE yawl’s mailbox signs. I come by here every day looking to see what you have up there next. Yawl are really creative.” I thanked him, telling him that he had made our day – week – month – year – and maybe life – with his kind words.

This was about an hour ago. Can you see me STILL grinning? We never pictured ourselves creating things together. We have had a blast fighting over what to create, how to make it, how to paint it, etc. We have SUCH fun with this. We change the decoration twice a month, so are getting ready to put the next one up on the 15th, weather permitting. Now, each time we change the decoration, I’ll picture this NICE, NICE man who took the time to tell us we give him a smile when he passes our driveway. :0)

What a WONDERFUL morning!


Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Thoughts on a ________

Thoughts on a Sunday

Jayanand Govindaraj via Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn



I’m getting a late start on blog posts today because our Internet keeps going on the fritz.

My main thoughts today were to play ‘fruit-basket-upset’ with my priorities for the day.

We got groceries this morning, and I put a roast in the crock pot for tonight.

THEN, when the Internet wasn’t cooperating, I went up to my art room – a thing that got lost in the shuffle yesterday – and started painting another tee!

NEXT, I’ll get my yoga practice in for the day, and

THEN I’ll tackle the weed whacking and clean up after my husband mows later.

Anything ELSE that gets accomplished will be gravy.


I hope that YOU are having a great Sunday, too.


Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

The Heat Index Died

Iowa Environmental Mesonet-Iowa State Univ

Our actual temperature right now is 91 degrees F. The humidity is 63%.  That means we’re between the “Extreme Caution” and “Danger” areas of the chart. Oh, JOY.


Dump a Day

I am drinking a glass of ice water after Session 2 outside. I cut down a BUNCH of weed trees across the front yard, but I kept the session short due to the heat vs my ‘age seniority.’ :0)


Dump a Day

We don’t actually have window units in our house, but I couldn’t resist the picture of this kitty trying to cool off.

I have one more session in me today, and I’ll cut down as many more weed trees I can.

Otherwise, I’ll save more exercise for my yoga session this afternoon.

Did I tell you I’ll be one of the loudest voices cheering when fall finally arrives?


Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature

Fighting with a Tree

Home Guides-SFGate

I just came in from half an hour fighting with a tree.

We have a used (new-to-us) riding lawn mower. My husband does the mowing and I do the other associated stuff, like weed whacking, edging, leaf blowing. We have been TRYING to get outside and walk in the evenings (though it’s only about 50% successful thus far). We were on one of our walks and my husband griped about a tree that is off the edge of the part of our land we mow, but whose branches encroach into the area, making my husband have to duck each time he goes under it to mow that part of the yard.

Today I grabbed some really big loppers (longer and larger than those shown in this picture) and attacked the lower branches of the tree. Some of the branches came down easily (usually on my head!) Others – even with the wonderful loppers – it was all I could do to bring the branches down.

I lopped off everything I could reach, tossing the branches down the slope into the uncivilized part of the ridgeline.

We’ll see how successful I was. If I need to do more, I’ll take a high stepping stool we have next time.

I’m wondering if he’ll even notice, since he won’t have to duck. :0)

NEXT up (after I rest a bit more) are the weed trees that have sprung up along the civilized part of the FRONT yard!



Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Happy Reunion

We have a driveway that is 650+ feet down to the road. It is graveled and STEEP. Happily, we don’t have any trouble getting down our driveway and up again, but some people do. It’s particularly bad when we have had the combination of lots and lots of rain and delivery trucks trying to get up and down.

We’ve been in bad shape now for several months now.

We used to have a wonderful man, Tommy Sandifer,  who came and used his tractor to smooth things out for us. He became very ill and was unable to help us anymore, but his son, Eric, took over for him and helps us from time to time. Eric is extremely busy though, and bringing a tractor out to help us is time-consuming and costly for him.

We called several weeks ago, asking Eric for help again. A combination of his being too busy and our rain storms have caused lots of delays.

We were delighted to hear our driveway alarm going nuts, showing a guy on a tractor there to heal our driveway – but the BEST part was that it was our original man, Tommy, the father! It’s been over 2 years since he felt well enough to help us. My husband and I both shook his hand and told him how happy we were to see him. He said he doesn’t get out much now, but he felt well enough to come and help us this morning.  He proudly showed us the new blade he got to go on the back of the tractor.

My husband and I just went down the driveway to get our mail and test the driveway fix. It is beautiful!

I’m happy our driveway is much easier to negotiate now, but I’m happier that Tommy seems to be doing well. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Friendship, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Pet Peeve

Madeleine Jacobs

One of my pet peeves is products that don’t work the way they promise. I know, I am old enough to KNOW better – I just can’t quit HOPING that one day, one of the products will actually work.

I just used Clean Shower. It says you spray everything down, then walk away. I did that. Twice. The dirt and soap scum was still there. Today I will take good old Comet, scrub the shower down, and do the same for our tub, toilet, basins, countertop, etc.

I’m the ultimate lazy person. I LOVE the idea of some way to get out of scrubbing.  To this end – the ‘Eternal Optimist’ searched the net for shower cleaners today and ordered the top two products on the ‘BEST list – supposedly from customer reviews.

The top was “Rain-X Shower Door Cleaner.” Since we have used Rain-X on our car windshield, I am hopeful that it MIGHT perform as described –

  • Provides an extreme, dH22:L23deep clean on shower doors leaving behind a sparkling shine
  • Specially formulated to clean soap scum and hard water stains on shower glass
  • An ideal cleaning prep for Rain-X Shower Door Water Repellent
  • For glass surfaces only

The other product I ordered was “Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner, Eucalyptus Mint”

  • Contains (1) 28 ounce bottle of shower cleaning spray
  • Naturally derived daily shower cleaner
  • Use daily. No scrubbing required
  • Non toxic, plant based powergreen technology dissolves and prevents soap scum
  • Cleaning spray works on showers, tile, fixtures, glass tubs
Since it’s rainy today, I have switched to my inside to-do list – including laundry, stripping beds and changing sheets, scrubbing our master bathroom, dusting and vacuuming up there.
I am HOPING that once I have things clean, I can use the two new products arriving soon to KEEP them that way – without all the scrubbing!


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Pet Peeves

Happy Fish?

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

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


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


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

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

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

Have a happy day!


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