Category Archives: learning new things

Lesson Learned

Jaykay-depositphotos

I’ve told you I haven’t been feeling sassy lately. I had routine blood work done and was surprised to see that one of my thyroid tests was really high – and that’s bad because I don’t HAVE a thyroid anymore.

I talked to our doctor yesterday. One of the routine things we do every six months is review what meds we’re taking. I take a list, and had added the two meds I’ve added lately to try to get my digestion back under control.

It turned out that the two over-the-counter meds I’ve added may have been helping my digestion problems, but the fact that I take my pills together in the morning was sabotaging my thyroid hormone medication, making it so my system didn’t absorb it. So it was like I haven’t been taking ANY thyroid medicine for about 3 weeks. GREAT.

It never occurred to me. Once I saw that my test was high, it clicked that some other symptoms I’ve been having were associated with my thyroid dosage being off.

I have now learned –

  • Next time I’m having a problem for which I’m considering taking new meds, I should check with my good doctor through the portal they provide.
  • I should be taking my thyroid med first thing, then giving it an hour or so before I eat or take anything else
  • that OTC meds are more serious than I have thought and may interact with other meds to my detriment. DUH.

I’m lucky to have a good, patient primary doctor who takes the time to listen and has the smarts to figure out what I’ve done to myself and how to fix it.

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Filed under learning new things, life lessons, taking care of yourself

Life Force

I’m reading “Life Force” by Tony Robbins. It’s a compilation of information by 100+ physicians speaking about ‘precision medicine that can transform your life.’

It’s interesting. I’m not sure that I particularly want to live that much LONGER, but I AM interested in improving the quality of my life as much as possible.

You might be interested in checking it out, as well.

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Filed under learning new things, Reading is FUNdamental, taking care of yourself

Luxury

HuffPostUK

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by books I want to read. I will never have enough time to spend with them. I’ve been bouncing back and forth from my computer to my recliner/book/throw/coffee lately, feeling very spoiled, indeed. I DO manage to get a few things checked off my to-do list each day, but a bit grudgingly. :0)

boredart.com

I found this recently and I WANT ONE! Such a clever idea. I’m trying to convince my husband to make us one. It makes me smile every time I see it. I’ll print the pic and keep moving it around under my husband’s nose. We might give him a hat to shield his eyes (and ours).

My husband and I both are voracious readers. He prefers his tablet, and I prefer real books. I really prefer hardback books, but have switched to paperbacks because of cost and storage space. There is something really satisfying to hold a book in your hands, turning pages, rather than swiping a screen. I do have a tablet, and take it when we go to sit in waiting rooms, but that’s the only time I use mine.

My favorite books are my art books. I have some that are how-to’s, trying to teach me watercolor techniques, for example, or how to draw feathers. (I haven’t mastered either of those things, but I LOVE to see what others have done and dream of one day getting closer to doing a bit of it myself.

I have a few books that are illustrated books – I guess for children – but they called to me. I love the creativity and the skill employed in these. They make the stories and characters come alive for children and adults, like me, alike.

My idea of a perfect ‘old-folks home’ is beds with large pillows in a library. Everyone would have headphones attached to their playlist of favorite music. Sweet animals of all kinds would visit the residents freely. Food and drink would be available, plus a playroom with art supplies. Residents who wanted to could help children find books that would delight them, or read to groups. Nice fantasy.

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Filed under Hobbies, learning new things, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Wonderful Teacher

A student was bullied for so long that his teacher finally decided to do something completely crazy.

By Dreamer  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

There was recently a news story about an 8-year-old boy who was horribly harassed for wearing a red backpack with a pony on it. Stories of children getting bullied or harassed are pretty common and it seems like a lot of schools either ignore it or just don’t really know how to handle it. But there are some positive cases out there. A really nice story about a teacher who found a way to teach his students a little something about interpersonal relations has been circulating around the internet recently:

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“I decided to stop by the store this morning and buy a couple apples. During our morning meeting (where we sit in a circle and do spiral lessons), I told my class we were going to try something different and I showed them my two apples and asked them to list the differences and similarities between the two apples. They were both exactly the same color and shape… one was a little brighter and bigger, but that was literally the only difference.

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Then I held up the other apple that was only slightly discolored and smaller and I said, “Gross. This apple looks disgusting!” and dropped it on the ground. My kids all looked at me like I was INSANE! A couple laughed uncomfortably, but for the most part they thought I had lost my mind.

I then picked it up and passed it to the student sitting beside me and said, “Isn’t this apple just stupid?! You should say something mean to it and do this!” Again I modeled dropping it in front of me. “Now pass it to the person next to you so they can say something mean to the apple, too!”

Long story short, my kids got very into saying mean and hurtful things to this apple and dropping it in front of them. “I hate your skin.” “You’re an ugly color red.” ”Your stem isn’t very long.” ”You’re probably full of worms.” and on and on and on…

So, by the time this little apple made it back to me everyone had had a chance to really rip this little guy apart. I seriously started feeling sympathetic towards an inanimate object… but moving on… I held both of the apples up for my kids to look at and asked them to now list the similarities and differences between the apples again… It came back the same… There really was no difference. Even after they had repeatedly dropped this apple you couldn’t really tell that it had any damage.

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I took out a cutting board and knife and proceeded to cut the shiny apple open. It was perfect. And all my kids ooooh’d and ahhhh’d…

Then I cut open the second one and when I opened it, it was covered in mushy brown spots and completely bruised inside from where we dropped it. When I held it up my kids were like, “EWWWWW. I don’t want to eat THAT apple! Yuck! That looks disgusting…”

That’s when I just looked at them and said, “But didn’t we all contribute to the apple looking this way?! We did this… why shouldn’t we eat it?” They all just kind of stopped and got really quiet and I continued, “See guys… this is what we do to other people when we say mean and hurtful things. When we gossip or call someone ugly or fat or tell them they aren’t good enough or that they can’t be friends with us… we are just dropping them and causing ONE MORE bruise… a bruise that may not appear on the outside is VERY REAL and can be very destructive inside of them! It doesn’t just go away, the bruises just keep getting worse and deeper… THIS!” I said as I held up the bruised apple, “is what we do to each other. We have to stop dropping each other.”

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I’ve never seen my kids ”get” something so fast before. It was so real to them… people cried and laughed and it was very emotional but absolutely amazing and they got to journal about everything and some of the responses I got… well, I sobbed all the way through lunch. I had so many kids come up and hug me later and tell me that they were so happy that a teacher “got it.””

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Bullying is a ubiquitous and timeless phenomenon. It is a problem that is often over parents and teachers’ heads. Maybe this teacher’s lesson will start some meaningful conversations in schools. In any case, it is an important message to share.

Love ThisPic.com

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Filed under Blog Repost - Wonderful Posts, learning new things, life lessons

Honesty

funnel technique

All one has to do is look at these to understand I have my work cut out for me in learning the acrylic pour techniques. So far, I’ve tried 3. The one above is called the funnel technique.

Double floating cup technique

larger single floating cup technique

As I am typing this, my sweet husband came in and asked what these ‘represented.’ When I told him, ‘failures,’ he said, “Oh, That’s what I would have said.” So now I’m honest AND a bit hostile.

Needless to say, acrylic pour may LOOK easy when you watch a demonstration on YouTube, as with anything else, it takes lots of practice before I may see some progress.

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Filed under Innovation - Great Tools, learning new things, playing in my art room

A LOT of Fun

Exploring Your Mind

My drafting table is covered with paint. I”M covered with paint. One wrap-around canvas is covered with paint. I splooped some dots of paint on my shirt, even though I wore my denim apron.

I’m letting my mess dry now, waiting to see if I got any “cells” in my paint. Even though I basically made a mess of the “Acrylic Pour” technique, I had a lot of fun trying.

Next time I try, I’m going to try a different technique that I also saw on YouTube. As usual, the result was not at ALL what I pictured and I’m at the “learning-what-NOT-to-do-NEXT time” part of the learning process. That doesn’t keep me from having a blast playing. :0)

On a more successful note, I finished painting our yard art “peacock” yesterday and glued on lots of beads today, around his neck and on his ‘feathers.’ If the glue does well, I’ll bring him back out in the yard tomorrow and take some pics.

I hope YOU are doing something fun and/or challenging, too!

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Filed under learning new things, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, playing in my art room

Beginning of a New Week 8-2-2021

Dolceluna

I’ve been using a new face cream. What do you think?

We just got back from doing errands and I’ll fix our lunch in a minute.

The scales are finally beginning to notice my efforts to lose the lard more. I’ve lost 2 pounds in the past 2 days. Re-losing – so no confetti thrown until I’m in new territory.

The new addition to my exercise regimen starts this week, too.

  • Monday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Tuesday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer.
  • Wednesday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Thursday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer
  • Friday – yoga stretching plus exercises with weights
  • Saturday – yoga stretching plus 15-30 minutes on the elliptical trainer
  • Sunday – yoga stretching

Yesterday I cleaned and started re-painting the “peacock” yard art critter in our shop. The biggest part of the refurb project on this one is gluing new beads on the ‘feathers’ and around his neck. I’ll show you when he goes back outside.

Yesterday I also cleaned off my drafting table in my art room. I gathered my supplies for my “acrylic pour” experimentation. I also watched several YouTube videos on various techniques several really talented people are using. Today I bought some Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to add to my supplies. I will find a heat gun or grab my hair dryer. Later this afternoon I hope to gather my intimidation and throw it in the trash.

I hope that you’re having a great day, too.

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, learning new things, Lewis Art, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art, Thoughts on a ________

Learning

Amazon Handmade

I am learning a LOT trying to list my stuff on Amazon Handmade. I am finally able to jump through most of the hoops.

I have finally learned that when a picture doesn’t show up with my product, I check to make sure it meets their parameters, and then let it go. That drives me absolutely nuts, but I’ve learned that is the best thing to do. It happened again yesterday, when I was adding some painted journals. I listed 5. 4 of them went well. The 5th picture didn’t show up for some reason. I checked it, and it should have gone like the others. It didn’t, so the product was listed on the site, but the picture area was blank. That’s embarrassing and I hate it, but – again – I left it. It still wasn’t up when I went to bed, but I checked again this morning and it was showing. Go figure.

I am not a patient person. I HATE errors or omissions to be ‘public,’ but there is no control over this one.

So, I will try to get the rest of the things I want to list online and hope for the best.

Today, some tote bags and painted canvas mini ‘essential’ purses.

Fingers crossed, teeth gritted, and determination strong.

Linda Lewis Artworks on Amazon Handmade

 

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, character-building exercises, learning new things

Prevailing Against Intimidation

Bored Panda

I am feeling really good right now.

I almost gave up on the idea of getting some of my art work on Amazon Handmade.

The people who write software and instructions for things should HAVE to try to follow those of others in order to get a feel for how intuitive their work is. The people who are writing the directions think their site is easy to navigate, easy to understand. This is certainly not the case with Amazon Handmade. There is also no easy way to actually get to people who can answer questions or help you.

You call and you get people who are nice, but they just send you to Seller Central, where you couldn’t get help before. If you tell them that on another phone call, they tell you that you really need to talk to someone who specializes in the handmade section. (They can’t figure out the solutions, either, so they point fingers in all directions – very politely – and send you on your way.)

What it boils down to is determination. You put the fears that you’re too stupid to do this aside. You decide you WILL figure out how to get around the problem that you have upgraded everything you have and Amazon still doesn’t recognize it. You WILL figure out how to get registered no matter what you have to do. You WILL figure out why they won’t accept the fourth image you’ve sent, even though they accepted the other three with no problem.

Right now I’m concentrating on listing things I can offer without a separate charge for shipping. You guessed it – I can’t find ANYPLACE that allows you to do anything about charging for shipping – only if you want to click a box that says YOU will ship as opposed to having AMAZON ship it. I will list hand-painted glassware if and when I can figure out where and how to list a shipping charge….

Determination – stubbornness – perseverance!

I am figuring this out – one small step at a time.

Linda Lewis Artworks on Amazon Handmade

 

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, learning new things

Thoughts on a Sunday

Marabou Stork-photo credit unknown- via Penny Yaffe Krakow

If you have  a candidate for the “ugliest/most beautiful bird in the world,” please let me know. So far, I love the Shoebill Stork, the Tawny Frogmouth, and the Marabou Stork. I love them because they are unusual, and they have character.

We are at the end of our gorgeous weather streak and are back to normal August weather for Arkansas today. We will keep the doors open for a bit longer, and then close up and turn on the air conditioning.

Yesterday I started what will be a long project – dismantling the greenhouse that was killed by the storm.

I gathered a wheelbarrow load of things I can salvage. It is in the garage now. I will reorganize my counter area in there and store what makes sense there. The rest will go out to the shop. I also gathered a leaf bag full of trash. I will do this steadily, a bit at a time, until it is empty and then we can dismantle the shell.  I was amazed that the plastic tubs I was discarding wouldn’t hold together long enough for me to pick them up by the edges without shattering. I then used things that acted like a spatula to scoop them up and put them into the leaf bag.

The thermometer I keep out there showed 120 degrees yesterday – and this is on a COOL day here for August, showing one of the reasons the greenhouse didn’t work well for us. We couldn’t afford to add heating and cooling, and the cost to run it would have been astronomical. I will try to set up a seed-starting area in the future with a grow light in the garage, along with starting things on the window sill in the dining area, plus pots on the deck.

This shows you one of the many reasons I have hope for the future. The pandemic kept us from planting our usual flowers all around the house.  I thought we would be completely bare on the deck. Instead, seeds from the wave petunias we planted last year sprouted and have given us a lovely display. (If you look carefully, you can see our yellow lab, Amber, keeping me company while I took this picture. :0)

I am continuing my efforts to become a seller via Amazon Handmade, though I’m not making much progress yet. I’m trying to find out if I can simply put things up for sale via my regular Amazon account where I sell used books, or if I need to apply for separate accounts for each of the categories my products fit in. So far, everyone I manage to finally connect with gives me links back to Seller Central. Seller Central sends me to Handmade, and so the cycle from Hell continues…

All the good people in the path of storms Marco and Laura are in my thoughts and prayers.

Have a good day today and stay safe.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under hope, Housekeeping - Maintenance, learning new things, Lewis projects, Thoughts on a ________

New Horizons?

2STARart

 

 

Amazon Handmade

Today I applied to Amazon Handmade to see if they will accept me to list my stuff there. I still have a lot of questions, but I’ve made the first step. They said it will take up to 15 business days for me to hear from them on acceptance or rejection. So that means it could be the first week in September before I know.

I applied in the Jewelry category. They asked for my ‘process,’ plus 3 representative pics of my stuff.

Right now I have no clue on whether I can have one store and sell one type of thing on it, or have a store for each type of products I make. Either way, I’m excited to be trying something different.

If you would like to check them out, here is their website – Amazon Handmade

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, Challenges, Changes, learning new things

Pulled String Art 2

NextShark

 

 

Jennifer Rizzo

 

 

 

Raising Kinley

Raising Kinley

I dreamed about the techniques I saw demonstrated on YouTube yesterday. This can be done with string or chain and can be as simple or complex and you would like. I’m really looking forward to making the time to play!

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Learning Lessons

Leading Learning

I am learning the hard way that I need to pay attention to the ORDER of my activities to get some control of the civilized part of our yard.  As I type, I’m TRYING not to scratch all the chigger bites I gathered yesterday while trying to clear a path on the north side of our shop. It was totally overgrown, so I had sprayed it pretty heavily a couple of times with weed killer previously. It hadn’t done the job, so I got serious yesterday.

I got a path cleared, but learned-

  1. to spritz on Ben’s Tick and Insect Repellent before heading outside. We just got this. It got really high ratings from Consumer’s Reports.  It says it is the “wilderness formula” 30% Deet, and repels mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus. At any given time we are outside, my husband is unaware of bugs. I come back in with bites all over. I will TRY to get in the habit of spritzing this on before I even think of going outside.

 

2) I will then mix up bug spray (We use Eight – great on killing bugs, but doesn’t harm plants or our animals) in our 2-gallon container and spray it over the areas I will try to weed whack in.

 

123RF

3) After I have sprayed the bug killer thoroughly, I will weed whack, getting everything cleared out.

 

4) Then I will spray the weed killer (we use KillzAll) again, hosing down the area.

5) Then I will spray again with bug killer.

 

I’m HOPING that if I build this habit, I won’t end up looking like someone chewed on by zombies with my usually sunny disposition marred by trying really hard not to scratch….

 

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Filed under building good habits, Challenges, Changes, Gardening, learning new things, taking care of yourself

Acceptance

SayingImages.com

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Filed under Attitude, character-building exercises, learning new things, taking care of yourself

Escape – Plus

Elisabet Scott via NUSTBookClub.wordpress.com

I have always been a voracious reader. I am ALWAYS reading at least one book at any given time.  I cannot imagine a life without being surrounded by lots and lots of books.

Lately, I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite Nora Roberts books. I work hard all day, doing chores and working in the yard more and more as the weather permits, and then spend some glorious time escaping into a well-loved book – like a pair of comfortable shoes – knowing it will turn out right in the end, loving the wonderful characters and their the conversations that touch my heart or make me laugh.

I’m also enjoying some of my art books. The talent of people will never cease to amaze me. I love to try to emulate the techniques they are trying to teach me.  They put wonderful ideas in my head that I can try out in my art room – if I can make the time and still have energy. I so much enjoy pouring over the possibilities in these books!

I’m also trying out new recipes. I’m not imaginative on my own, so I’m delighted when I can find recipes that my husband says are, “YUMMY!” or requests that we have again. Today I will bake another loaf of keto bread for myself. My husband enjoys all kinds of regular bread, but I’m trying to get the lard off, so keto bread means a lot to me.

I am lucky to have more books than I can enjoy. They make me feel rich!

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Filed under learning new things, Reading is FUNdamental

Fish Poop

I have had to change the water in my aquarium more often lately. I was casting about for a reason why and decided to actually see if I could find information on the net that might help.

I found a nice article which mentions that goldfish poop in the water. Now THERE’S a news bulletin!  It would seem to me that ALL fish poop in their aquariums…. But, it did go on to say that goldfish poop a LOT in comparison to other fish.

The article suggested that one should start with a 75 to 100 gallon tank. When I finished laughing, I read on.  Apparently, the rule of thumb is 20 gallons for each goldfish.  (I have three goldfish. Even if I “offed” two of them, my tank would STILL not be considered adequate. I was really trying to get some information that I could USE so I continued.

The article said, “Goldfish can generate copious amounts of waste.” (An understatement.) What I finally got is that I should change the filter cartridge OFTEN, like at least once a week). The cartridges say they should be changed once a month.)  So this is one thing I can do differently.

They also suggested that I use Pea Gravel, rather than sand or finer gravels, as the fish can more easily avoid ingesting it when slurping bits of food from the tank floor. (This means my change to the glass beads was a good thought!)

Finally, there was a nugget of a thing I had no idea about – they said if you are feeding goldfish flaky food, you should pre-soak the food! I’ve never heard of this. It says when the food flakes sit on top of the water, it causes the fish to gulp. This can upset their swim bladder and equilibrium, causing them to float upside down.

They said to fill a cup with some water from the tank and swirl the fakes around. Then dump the whole cup into the tank.

This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about goldfish. I have some good suggestions to make mine happier.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Family, learning new things

Thoughts on a Tuesday 11-5-2019

Cheap Trip via Martha Kirkendall-Ghearing

Things sometimes happen fast.

Yesterday we stopped at the post office before going to my husband’s dental appointment. As we started to leave, my husband backed the Corvette into the back of a parked truck. After surveying the two vehicles, the nice man in the truck couldn’t find any damage and waved us off. Our Vette, however, was a different story. The right rear is smashed – and it’s fiberglass. After the dental appointment (which went well, even with the blood thinners, thank goodness) we drove back, stopping at our insurance agent’s office. We agreed to take the ‘Vette to a local repair shop for an estimate. We did that today – $3400+ damage. :0(  Thankfully, our deductible is $500, which we can scrounge up. We will take it in again when the repair shop gets the backlog of  “deer hits” cleared out. They’ll call us.

On further research, I have learned that depth perception can be affected by a stroke. My husband and I have talked about it and he has agreed to take things a bit more slowly, particularly when backing up, and give his senses more time to react. He really doesn’t like it when “I” drive, so maybe he’ll take this seriously.

Yesterday the only exercise I got was bowling last night with our good friends. We really enjoy catching up with them, getting some good exercise (whether or not we bowl well) and having ice cream – a real treat – afterwards.  I was creaky this morning, so I am doubly serious about getting my exercises in. I have finished my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer and will soon go and do my equal session of yoga stretches.

Today is a truly gorgeous day – sunny and 70 degrees F. It just doesn’t get better than this. I’m hoping we get just a FEW more days like this…

I’m having fun in my art room. I have almost finished the 2nd group of 8 flat wooden Christmas ornaments painted with Unicorn Spit. I have the first 8 listed on ArtFire, offering to add a name and the year at no extra charge, and free shipping. As soon as I finish getting the rest listed, I’ll give you the URL of the page in case you’re interested.

A good friend of mine told me about a new app that offers reward points for your shopping. It’s called FETCH REWARDS. You shop, scan your receipts using the app and your phone, and then you can get gift cards and other stuff when you accumulate enough points. I think it’s a fun idea. If you’re interested, please Google it and see if it appeals to you.

Have a great rest of the day!

 

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Filed under exercise, learning new things, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________

Unicorn Spit

 

I told you that my sister-in-law saw this kit, thought I might have fun with it, and sent it to me!  ( it’s okay to be envious of me… :0) )

Last night, while my husband was watching yet another ‘no-plot-everyone-shoots-each-other’ movie in the living room, I escaped to our office and started watching YouTube Demonstrations. I LOVE YouTube. You can find all kinds of information there, and SEE people showing you how to do things, such as ways to use Unicorn Spit!

So far, I’ve found out that you can use this on fabric, wood, metal, glass – you name it.  You can mix the colors before you use it, or just squeeze some on whatever you’re staining/painting and go for a tie-dyed effect. You can use it wet or dry. One lady was doing streaks of color, then spritzing the piece with water, covering it with saran wrap, spritzing the plastic, and then using her fingers to blend the colors. The final step on whatever you paint is SEALING. You can do this with polyurethane in any form, and I’ll look for a water-proofing stuff for fabrics.  The dried unicorn spit looks ‘chalky.’ Then you seal it, with the sealer bringing the colors to gorgeous life.

I’m going to continue watching demonstration videos today, but I am already getting over my  intimidation about trying something new, and ideas of what I could do are starting to rattle around in my head. I’m hoping to make time to play in my art room this afternoon, probably making a glorious mess, but enjoying myself tremendously!

I hope that YOUR Sunday is a happy one.

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Filed under Childlike Fun, learning new things, playing in my art room

Overwhelmed

Psychologies

My poor brain is overflowing with good suggestions for how to make my new Etsy shop better.  I’m feeling totally overwhelmed right now, not knowing which way to jump.

I’m going to go do something else from my ever-growing to-do list and then come back and choose ONE thing to do in my shop.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Dreams, empowerment, learning new things

Gearing Up

Love To Be Busy

These aren’t MY shelves, but I’m spending time in my art room inventorying my paper supplies, calligraphy pens, wrapping supplies, paints, boxes, ribbons, envelopes, and more to be sure I can fill orders without delay.

I’m making lists of what I DO need to order, and then reorganizing my shelves so that things I need are super easy to find.

I’m excited that I have found Renae Christine, a lady who has been super successful in online shops of her own, who makes videos for others like me, helping them to correct mistakes they might be making, helping them rethink what they are trying to do, and helping them get set up. I signed up for one of her webinars today at 2pm, and have an alarm set and note-taking supplies at the ready!

She is very smart. I’ve watched each of the three videos I have twice, trying to absorb everything and use her suggestions in my new Etsy store, ArtworthyNoteCards.

P.S. Our Internet only functioned in spotty fashion the whole day, so I missed the webinar. I THINK I can save it and watch it tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

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Filed under learning new things, opportunities, Organizing/DeCluttering

My New Etsy Store!

For about a week and a half I’ve been viewing some videos by Renae Christine regarding selling handmade items online. She really got my attention when saying the several things you SHOULDN’T do – because I was doing ALL of them…. :0(

I have JUST finished creating a new store on Etsy called, ArtworthyNoteCards concentrating ONLY on selling my hand-painted cards, note card packages, and stationery packages.  I am trying to look at what I’m doing in a new way, incorporating her ideas, and will see if anything happens.

Changing the way you look at things is really difficult. Maybe this difficulty is another thing that increases with age. Her videos challenged me, though, getting me get excited about trying her suggestions.

I would very much appreciate it if you would visit my new store and give me feedback on what you think when you have the time and inclination.

If the link above doesn’t work for some reason, here is the URL to my Etsy store –

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtworthyNoteCards

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement, learning new things, opportunities

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

LessonPix

I’ve been a good girl today, doing some of the things I hate most – balancing checkbooks, filing, and tax prep for 2019.

I have the equivalent of a doctorate – plus in the fine art of procrastination. For years I have paid for it and the end of the year/beginning of the next year – being buried in receipts. I HATE tax prep and my husband calmly washed his hands of it years ago. He does bring me cups of coffee every once in a while, as encouragement, but that’s as involved as he gets.

When I finally could dump all of the organized receipts for 2018 on our wonderful CPA, I promised myself I would do things differently from now on. (Truth be told, I promise myself a LOT of things, only to procrastinate until the promises become meaningless.)

This year, though, I’m happy to tell you I have just finished

  • balancing our checkbooks
  • filing (I can see my desk!) – AND
  • converting receipts of all types for the month of March into the spreadsheets for taxes for 2019 I started at the beginning of the year.

Instead of cramming all the monthly receipts into monthly folders and then trying to make sense of things at the end of the year, I am going through the monthly receipts, listing things on the proper spreadsheet, then putting the receipts into a folder labeled for that deduction. No monthly folder anymore once the month is over. This way, at the end of the year I can simply total each category on the various spreadsheets, print them, list the information on the tax form booklet our CPA provides, already having the receipts ready to take!

I have officially finished 1/4 of 2019 now – can you see my grin?

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Bright Ideas, building good habits, Cause for Celebration, Changes, character-building exercises, learning new things, Organizing/DeCluttering, THINGS I HATE!

Chomping at the Bit!

It’s too cold outside yet, and I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse, so I can’t start any seeds yet, but NEXT month I’m hoping I can get a head start on the spring planting season.

I’m going through my seeds, thinking I’ll start with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower this time.

 

I would really love to have some healthy plants grown in my own greenhouse to transplant into our raised bed, square foot garden this spring, instead of having to buy plants locally. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about greenhouses. The problem is that most of the information is written by people who live in pretty cold parts of the U.S.

My experience so far is that unless I have a heater (and we would have to keep it running 24/7 with a 350 foot extension cord running from the house out to the greenhouse) it’s too cold to start anything there yet. We tend to go from winter to way too hot in rapid succession, and then I have trouble – even with the extension cord, an exhaust fan, and the opposite people door open, to keep it COOL enough! So I’m scouring the net trying to find information that will help me deal with the extremes we have in Arkansas.

 

I’m hoping to start some plants the 1st of March. I’ll post pics of my efforts.

 

This is a picture of my spring garden last year in the raised bed planters my husband and I made. There are SIX 4’x4′ planters held up by angle iron ‘tables’ about my chest height. They allow me to weed, plant, and harvest without having to get up and down a million times or get down on hands and knees.

 

This picture gives you another view of the planters. We also used some netting at the end of July and through August when the sun tries to boil plants right in the ground. You can see the hoses and the sprinklers we use to water the plants automatically. They are attached to an outdoor faucet on a timer.

The planters are filled with Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite and as many different composts as you can find.) We mix the ingredients together in a portable cement mixer and then bring the mix into the planters to top off. Then we stretch string across in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting.

I’m starting to plan where the plants will go.  It’s best if you rotate crops in this set up, just as you would if you were planting in the ground. We follow the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, where he suggests how many plants to plant in each square. He suggests one plant per square for things like broccoli, 4 per square for lettuce, 9 for other plants, and 16 for radishes.  We space them wider than he suggests, having healthier plants that way. (He tends his garden every day, sometimes even more. Since we’re not that conscientious, wider works better for us.)  He also suggests that you place like plants away from each other – such as one broccoli, then lettuce, then radishes, then cauliflower in a row to avoid transmission of bugs or any other problems from one plant to another.

I made a grid and I fill them in with what I’m planting where. I use the old one to figure out a new plan for the next ‘crop,’ trying not to plant the broccoli in the same squares as I did the last time.

We have converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to be tomato planters.

I’m at the stage of being excited and doing lots of research and planning.

If you have a greenhouse or do square foot gardening and have tips or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!

Can you tell I’m ready for spring? :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, doing what you love, Dreams, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, learning new things, opportunities, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse, taking care of yourself

Learning New Things

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I started a new book, The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, M.D. because my husband read it and was really affected by the information and suggestions he found. He posted some changes in eating he wants to make and we got – or ordered – several supplements we aren’t taking.

I wanted to learn more about this, since my husband usually reacts that the information is ‘hype’ or ‘hooey,’ so I got the Kindle version of the book and am reading it now.

I don’t particularly want to live forever, although I would love to know what happens in the future. I mainly want my remaining time to be spent as healthy as possible. We’re trying to get the lard off, and use no more added salt or sugar anymore. We try to avoid foods that are high in either of those, and I’m exercising 5 or 6 days a week now.

I haven’t gotten far enough to share anything with you yet, but I wanted you to know about the book, if you’re interested to read what Dr. Verburgh has to say.

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Filed under Hobbies, learning new things, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Our Son’s Adventure Has Begun

 

Monastery and Meditation Center, Siddharthanagar, Nepal

I got to chat with our son for a couple of minutes last night while he was waiting for a car and driver to take him the final leg of his trip, 45 minutes to the monastery and meditation center. He left a message this morning that he got there safely with no BIG problems, posting this picture.

He has been accepted for a 3-week stay, but hopes his teacher will give him permission to stay two months. It will all depend on how the teacher feels about his dedication and progress to learning to get to the next level of meditation.

This will be the last we will hear from him until the end of March.

We wish him much success.

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, learning new things, quality of life

Fun in the Greenhouse

I had a lot of fun working in the greenhouse this morning. I’m reading a book, Greenhouse Gardening – A Beginner’s Guide by Jason Johns to try to figure out what I’m doing. :0)

It FINALLY quit raining today, so I’ve been out there and back again several times. It was 90 degrees in there this morning, so I’ve propped open the door, hooked up the electricity so the exhaust fan turns on automatically, and turned on the 2nd fan.

On the left side of this picture, are new tomato suckers I planted today. A couple of them were large, so they’re in the larger pots. To the right you can see the two smaller lettuce plants I planted a couple of weeks ago. They’re not thriving, but they are still alive. In front of them are more tomato suckers I started today.

I moved the six leggy lettuce plants into much larger pots to give them room to spread out. They’re looking really healthy. I’ll start cutting outer leaves from each of the plants for dinner salads soon. In front of the two big pots on the left, You can see the celery plants I started in the house from cuttings from celery I bought at the store.  In front of the pot on the right are more tomato sucker plants.

I just read about tomato plants in my greenhouse book. He suggests they need a LOT of air circulation around each plant, so I think I’ll go back out and move them from the 4 and six-pack planters to each in a 3-4″ pot to give them the best chance possible.

 

I’m like a kid at Christmas with the lettuce plants. I can’t wait to be able to bring leaves in and bite them!

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, learning new things, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Balloon Pricker

Science ABC

A good friend of mine, Carla, and I went for a free dinner and spiel by Healthy Home 365 yesterday afternoon. We’ve been to other spiel/dinners, but this one was at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Fort Smith, a restaurant we both like, and we wanted the time together to catch up, so off we went.

This company has lots of good ideas for energy savings in your home. The spiel was well done and the food was good. I’m glad that technology is now providing good ways to minimize the affects of attics on homes. They have a solar-powered attic fan, a stuff called MLI, a multi-layered 99.9% aluminum ‘sandwich’ that comes in rolls to go over your existing attic insulation, an additive to put in your air conditioner to get rid of fouled oil that is supposed to prolong the life of your a/c, an EcoProbiotic System you attach to your air ducts to remove bacteria, etc., etc., etc.

My main reaction is that my husband and I have done what we’re able to afford already with a geothermal air conditioning and heat system, a tankless water heater, new windows, a check by our electric company for places we were losing heat, etc. These companies know what demographic they’re targeting, but it seems to ME that they should be targeting affluent middle or upper class families, rather than ‘mature’ people like us. The technology was impressive, and of COURSE I’d like to do ALL of it, but the cost was astronomical, even with a 30% price savings due to a Federal credit on your taxes. My friend signed up for an estimate, and I’m interested to hear what they told her. The estimates are supposed to be good for one year.

Big selling points were the tax credit, discount for quick sign-up, a higher selling price on your home, a payment plan, amortizing the cost over your lifetime, etc., etc. We have a reverse mortgage, so we aren’t concerned with selling our home. We are still trying to amortize the cost of the geothermal system, even though we received tax savings on that, ‘lifetime’ warranties mean a bit less now.

If this were about 15 years ago, we might have jumped at this. Their really good products and we would love to have them, but priorities are different now.  Sorry. I had to prick their balloon.

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Important Ideas to Consider, learning new things, opportunities, quality of life

Lettuce Plants!

Crestock.com

I told you I planted 5 iceberg head lettuce plants recently. Three of them are still alive. They’re really small, but they’re better than NO lettuce plants. Today I found a six-pack of some really leggy iceberg lettuce plants and snapped them up. I just came in from planting them in the greenhouse.

I still have everything open out there, with the exhaust fan coming on when it gets too hot and a 2nd fan on all the time. The door on the opposite end of the greenhouse is propped open with a metal chair. The thermometer said between 95 and 100 degrees when I planted the lettuce. I’m not sure if the sweet plants will live with it that hot out there, but the evenings are cool and some cooler weather is on the way.

Tomorrow, if it isn’t raining, I’ll try to find suckers on my tomato plants and get them started in the greenhouse too.

This is a grand ‘fall’ experiment. I would really love to have lettuce and tomatoes until it freezes really hard here. That MIGHT be as late as February, if we’re lucky. Then around the first of March, I’ll start some plants for the spring garden!

I’m reading everything I can find on how to start and grow plants in my greenhouse. Frustratingly, most are written for people who are trying to keep their plants WARM, rather than having them boil to death, as mine have. I’ll keep reading, because I would really like to extend our growing seasons as long as possible.

When I get the tomato sucker plants going, I’ll try to get some pics for you.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, learning new things, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

New Greenhouse Experiment

This is the greenhouse my husband and I built last year. I haven’t done anything with it during the summer because no matter what I did, as far as leaving the door open, running the exhaust fan on the other end, running a second fan on the table, it was over 120 degrees F. in there.

 

Now that it’s finally much cooler, I’m going to see if I can get some plants going and see if I can grow them through the winter!

I got a six-pack of Iceberg head lettuce today. I have some tomato plants still in various stages. I’m going to see if I can get some good suckers from them, and get both things started in the greenhouse.

I need to clean things out in there first. The rain comes in underneath, so the floor is pretty awful right now. I want to extend the heavy extension cord from the house to the greenhouse and get the exhaust and extra fan going, and get some pots set up with Mel’s Mix. I need to find my rooting medium and make sure I have plenty of water out there.

THEN I’ll plant the lettuce, and THEN I’ll see if I can find good suckers on the tomato plants. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but if reading and enthusiasm will do it, I’m in.

I’ll post progress (?) reports to let you know how things are going. Fingers, and all other appendages crossed!

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Filed under Challenges, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, learning new things, Lewis projects, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Once You Learn to Read

Frederick-Douglas-EbookFriendly

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Hobbies, learning new things, Reading is FUNdamental

Smoke

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August 31, 2018 · 12:43 pm