Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

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


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Fabulous Friday

Envato – Pinterest

I feel as if I’ve finally won the lottery this morning.

After two-plus-days of being shuffled from one ‘service agent’ to the next, repeating my problem from the beginning, having to provide all my personal information, account numbers, etc. over and over, being cut off, etc., I FINALLY found from about the 20th person at AT&T that our phone lines were actually put in by CenturyLink. I contacted them via chat, talked to Sara in customer service, who transferred me to Dana, in repair scheduling, who actually scheduled a repair technician to come out to our house next Thursday. She gave me a ticket number. I offered to pay for the service call, since we’re not a current customer, but she said there would be NO CHARGE. I took care to fill out their rating thingie after the chat ended, praising both of the ladies involved by name, and the company in general.

(My husband got so angry over the past two days just listening to MY end of the previous conversations that he was determined to go out and fix the lines himself – JUST the thing I was trying to avoid! Only the fact that the two-story ladder wasn’t tall enough to get to where one of the lines needed to be attached stopped him from trying on one line. I came in to try again on connecting with someone who could help and found neither our home phone or my cell were working! I panicked because I knew my husband might get into a dangerous situation on the 2nd downed phone line, but I managed to find the emergency button pendant thingie I got when we had ADT put in our security system. I hung that around my neck and went out to see if I could help. He was cutting down branches from a tree where the 2nd line was tangled, so I came back in to find the phones working again, and so got back on to fight with our problem. He got the tree branches down with loppers and a chain saw, managing to scratch up his arm pretty badly. He said he got the 2nd line back up. I did what I could to clean his wounds, and told him about the tech coming Thursday. He was pleased because he conceded it was beyond him to fix the 1st line.)

We solved a couple of other things yesterday, too, so we’re feeling exhausted, but still standing. We have Lunch Bunch in about an hour, plus a couple of errands after, but otherwise are hoping for a very quiet, calm day – at least until the storms are supposed to start, sometime after sunset.

Happy Friday.

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Win a Little, Lose a Little

WIN: Today we WON a little because my husband was able to fix the window that is part of a 3-window set in our dining area. Yesterday, after the storm, we noticed that there was a GAP between the central window, and the window on the left. It was actually blowing the cafe curtains above the trio! We were too tired to deal with it yesterday, but we tackled it today. I took down the cafe curtains and rod because you can’t open the windows, otherwise. My husband saw that it was in the track on the bottom, but not on the top. He opened the window on the left, then used his hand to slap the top of the window back into the track on the top. Problem solved. It’s still a mystery why the window got OUT of the track, but we’re declaring victory and moving on.


LOSE: (so far): Yesterday we found two lines down in the side and back yard. We weren’t sure whether they were power lines of some kind or phone lines. We had power and we had phone service, so this was an aggravation, rather than a huge problem. I called our electric company, Arkansas Valley Electric Co-Operative, described the problem. They sent a man right out. The problem was, the lines were phone lines, so he wouldn’t touch them.

Yesterday afternoon I chatted with a lady from AT&T online. She said a person would call within 15 to 30 minutes to set up an appt for a technician to come out and fix the problem. No one called. I got on chat again this morning. She said a supervisor would call me. He did, but after having to explain my problem for a third time and giving them information, including my first grade report card and thumbprint, he kept trying to reach the people who could help me, a 2-minute-hold each time for 6 times. He then tried to get me to get another cell phone to add to my account “while we were waiting for him to get through to the people.” THEN we got cut off.

I dropped it and my husband and I fixed the window. The phone rang and it was the guy from AT&T again, saying he was unable to get to the people and that he had left an URGENT message and that they would call me back. I’m still waiting.

MEANWHILE, my 79-year-old husband is fighting me, saying HE can get out our two-story ladder, prop it against the telephone poles, and re-hang the lines. So far, I’m threatening him with death….

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The Good News Is

I found the counter in my part of the garage, putting as many soft drinks and bottles of water into the fridge as possible, throwing stuff away, and consolidating. You can actually see there is a counter there now. I will do more at a later date, but the main focus today was finding the garden irrigation system timer.

The good news is that my area is much cleaner now.

The bad news is that the timer is still missing. I have no clue what I did with it. It isn’t in any reasonable place. I’ve even looked in some UNreasonable places…

So – we’ll have some lunch, I’ll rest a bit from all the pulling, hauling, and cleaning, and then we’ll go to Yeager’s and see if we can buy another timer.

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Thoughts on a Saturday 3-19-2022


I’m reading Life Force by Tony Robbins. One of the suggestions is that you drink half your weight (in ounces) of water daily. My eyeballs are already swimming, but I’ll work on it. (He says that coffee actually dehydrates you. Since I’m a coffee-a-holic, this is a sad thing to hear.) So I’ll try to cut back on my coffee and TRY to drink even more water.

Another is to eat a more plant-based diet. My husband tends to dig in his heels, so I just talked to him, telling him I will include more veggies in our meals. Since he told me last night he LIKED the way I cooked the broccoli, I’m encouraged that I can do more of this type thing without riots. Small, gradual changes in a good direction.

I’ll go out later to visit our new early spring garden to see how our new plants made it through the latest rain. I’m hoping that the rain was greedily slurped up and that all are feeling happy. I’m reading about growing cauliflower better, since I’ve only been minimally successful, growing very small heads before having to harvest. Fingers crossed. I’ll take some pics.


I’ve been neglectful regarding saving stuff on my computer lately. SO neglectful that I actually had to refer to my NOTES on how to make a new system disk and save my data to another. I’m embarrassed, but I got it done. I’ll put it on my calendar now so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Norman Machine Tool

I told you that our air compressor suddenly quit working. My husband took apart the top of it, finding the part that he thought was causing the problem. He ordered what he HOPED was a replacement part, and it arrived yesterday. So when we got back from Lunch Bunch, he took it out to the shop. He spent a couple of hours, and he FIXED it! He replaced the part, put everything back together and tested it. It worked perfectly. So now we’ll be able to change our snow tires on the truck for the regular tires once we really believe we are finished with snow and ice for awhile. :0) Another wonderful thing was that he fixed the compressor for around $80. If we had had to buy a new one, a much smaller one would have cost around $450 plus tax, plus shipping. He’s a miracle worker.


I’m starting to feel a difference in my efforts to move more. I’m feeling less creaky in my afternoon old lady yoga practices, and the working in the garden is definitely getting me moving more. I’m going to see if I can increase this as the weather improves.

Wishing you a happy Saturday.

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 1-4-2022

Saporta Report

This photo above is very similar to what we saw going to town and then returning from errands this morning. It felt almost as if they were running along side us, like a dog tries to chase cars. Happily, they didn’t try to cross the road or crash into our truck. Beautiful animals.

Postal Store – USPS

Did I tell you that I hate to do anything involved with the IRS? Our son lives in Thailand, but still has to file income tax stuff for the states. I try to handle the stuff for him. I mailed a self-employment deferred Social Security ‘whateverwhois’ certified with return receipt for him this morning. I’m hoping this is the end of things for him for awhile. My eyes glaze over whenever I try to read letters from the IRS. I send images of whatever it is to our CPA, who ‘translates’ it for me and tells me what I need to do. I do it, send him copies, and breathe a sigh of relief until next time. You would think I was an embezzler or something with the huge negative gut reaction I have to things like this. :0)

The NY Times

We have a cell phone with base that acts like our house phone. We have extensions all over the house. I thought about changing carriers recently, thinking maybe we could save some money. Though I could get less expensive coverage for my personal cell phone, I gave up because we would have to buy another cell phone system and couldn’t get the extensions we have. The system also has an answering program that we love that requires callers to push # or something to indicate they are a real person and aren’t selling anything before we hear a ringing phone. It really cuts down on calls we don’t want. I’ve actually had people laughing when I answer, then wanting to know where we got the answering thingie.

Recently we got a letter from AT&T saying they wouldn’t cover our house phone cell system anymore because it was only a 3G. They said they would send us a replacement phone that they WOULD cover. We have no idea whether the new phone is anything like our present one, our answering program, if it will have extensions, or we can use the ones we have, etc. The only thing that MAY stay the same is our phone number. UGH. We really don’t like change.

Cards Recycling Service

Under that same heading of not liking change is that we got a letter saying our trash contract was bought up by another company. The new service started 1-3-2022, according to the letter. We have no other details as yet. We put out our trash as usual this morning, hoping for the best….

While trying to put in new fluorescent tubes in a fixture in the kitchen recently, we dropped the cover, breaking it. We tried to find a replacement cover for it, but couldn’t find one wide enough, either locally or online. Yesterday we decided to buy a 2-tube fixture, using it to replace a 4-tube fixture in our office, and using the cover for the kitchen fixture.

Hours later, we finally had the new fixture installed and working and the cover transferred to the fixture in the kitchen. No lives were lost. If we need to consider this again, I’ll opt for candle light.

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Happy Thoughts on a Tuesday 12-7-2021


We honor the good people who died at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago today. My father-in-law served in WWII, but didn’t have to fight, as such. He worked on keeping ships working, and so was safe from harm. My father couldn’t serve, although he told me he would have liked to help in some way. They wouldn’t allow him to sign up because one of his arms and hand were deformed from an accident when he was three years old.

I just started my new dishwasher for the first time! I read the little booklet that came with it, warning me not to stick my wet finger in a light socket and then turn on the power, but very little real information. They basically said, ‘choose your settings and run.’ Gee, thanks.

I pushed ‘on’, then ‘normal’, then ‘start.’ Then closed the door. The magic red light from the test yesterday shone on the floor, showing the power was on. Then I put my hear really close to the door and heard the water start. Woo HOO!

I have no idea how long the cycle takes. I’ll probably have to check it later, just to be sure it’s on, (this is now a habit) but it will probably work as it is supposed to without my encouragement or cheers. I’ll be happy when I can see that the load is actually clean later.

We went to Yeager’s and got three sizes of compression fittings to replace the one my husband removed from the second hose under the sink that turned out to be for the ice maker. He had to fight with it, but thinks it is good now. So we have a second thing to hope for – that we get new ice! My husband was adamant that he didn’t want an ice maker when we bought our fridge several years ago. He finally yielded when we couldn’t find any without them. :0) Now he is frantic to get the ice maker working again. He uses it every day, several times a day.

I am being a good girl and drinking my daily glass of green tea as I type this. I would never choose this as a drink, but it isn’t bad. I found one that is made by the Arizona people people who make the peach iced tea my husband likes. Both are ‘0 Sugar.’ I don’t know if it will actually help me dissolve the plaque in my carotid arteries and help prevent more, but I’m game.

I’m having a quiet, relaxing day today. I hope you are well, too.

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Cold, Wet, and Blustery


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday!

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It’s TOO cool and rainy here this morning! It’s 41 degrees F., gray, breezy, and rainy.

Cliff and his guys from Safe Elite Transformations 479-849-0520 are due here at 10:00 to re-install a board that trims the ceiling on the porch for us. When they made a new ceiling for us and painted the porch not too long ago, Cliff told me that there wasn’t much to attach the trim to. He’ll try to figure out a way to remedy that today. I can’t say enough about him and his group. If you need work, remodeling, building, or repair done in our area, you won’t find a better, more honest or hardworking company.

I will continue my repainting of the back of Wonder Wart-Hog, the mailbox decoration that was damaged when it was up on the mailbox for the first time. Someone really did a number on the back of it. It has been sprayed with ‘something’ that wouldn’t come off. I put a first coat on the green and white parts of the painting yesterday. When Cliff and his guys finish, if it’s not pouring, I’ll go out to the shop and see if I can get the second coat on. I’m hoping I can repair the damage. I’m disappointed that someone would do this. We have been putting the decorations up on the mailbox for years and years now without a problem. I hope we don’t have to stop.

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Bill Watterson-Calvin and

It’s drizzle-y, windy, and too cool this morning. The high today is supposed to be 57. Right now it’s overcast and 47 degrees F. I was ready for cooler weather, but this is ‘too much of a good thing.’

We will join our friends for Lunch Bunch in about half an hour. It’ll be good to catch up with what has been going on for each of them. We have been having lunch together every Friday for about 20 years now. How many changes! We have shared good and bad things, laughter, hugs, and tears. Some of the faces have changed. We’re never sure how many will be there, but the core group is three of us: Linda, Kay and myself. My husband was accepted as an honorary member of the group several years ago. He sits at one end of the table looking at his “harem” he says. We have told him that he is welcome as long as he behaves…

Unless it’s pouring after Lunch Bunch, we will scoot to Walmart afterwards to replenish some supplies. We plan to stay in the rest of the day, warm and dry. I’m putting the electric blanket on our bed today when I put fresh sheets on.

I’ve been adding new products to my Etsy site – Handmade Haven by Linda. Please take a look if you have the time. :0)

To those of you who have been following the blog, I FOUND the gallon container of mold/mildew/algae/elephant remover! As soon as the weather is dry and sunny, I’ll put some in a spray container and hose down the greeter robot yard art at the bottom of the driveway that I’m trying to refurbish. When I get the green and other dirt off of him, I can prepare to freshen his paint.

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My Fix-it Man

My husband is quite handy, saving us lots of money. I’m very grateful that he can look at something, figure out how it works, then figure out how to fix it. If he can’t, I’m confident we really do need to hire a real expert to repair it or buy a new one.

Recently I griped because it was getting almost impossible for me to reach up and turn on the reading light by my chair in the living room. He looked through several drawers, finding new innards for the lamp. He installed the new one for me that afternoon. We bought more spares the next day. You can’t ask for better help than that. Every time I now just reach up and turn on the light, I smile. He’s getting a bit tired of me saying, “Hey, look! I just turned on my light!” :0)

Yesterday we drove down the driveway to get our mail and found the front to our mailbox not only open, but hanging askew. We discovered that the rivet that held one side had either failed or had been damaged by something. When I saw it was a rivet, I figured we would have to replace the mailbox.

When we got home we had lunch and then my husband announced he was going to try to fix the mailbox. He and Amber, our dog, went out to the shop, got parts, and drove down the hill.

When they came back after half an hour or so, he said he thought it was fixed. He drilled out the failed rivet and replaced it with a fancy nut and bolt. I’ll look at it today when we leave for Lunch Bunch.

He’s a handy man, isn’t he!

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