Category Archives: Mother Nature

Thoughts on a Sunday 11-10-2019

Beautiful World via George Dumaine

We just got home from grocery shopping and putting everything away. I’m now relaxing at my computer with a cup of coffee. Ahhhh!

First, I wanted to thank those of you who wrote encouraging messages about the way “Blasing Bright” looks, the booth that my friend Carla and I are sharing now at Rags & Roses in Greenwood, Arkansas. I think we managed to put things where they show up well, people can get to them to look more closely, and you’ve told me that it looks inviting. So THANK YOU. The shop is closed now until Tuesday, but I feel GOOD that I have some of my stuff ‘out there’ for people to see and possibly buy. If you’re in the area, the address is 100 North Main St.  The hours Tuesday through Friday, are 11:00 – 6:00. Hours Saturday are 10:00 to 4:00. This is the first time I’ve enjoyed a local venue, and I’m hopeful that Carla and I can share this booth for a long time.

I am planning to spend much of the day out in the yard – or at least as long as my back holds out – cleaning out flower planters. We’ve had several freezes and things are looking pretty sad now. Today has been named, “The last good fall day” for awhile by the weather people, with a cold front coming tomorrow, along with rain, possible wintry mix, and MUCH colder temperatures, so today is the day to do all I can to have our yard look like someone cares.

On cleanup after the ‘gathering-and-processing-for-the-booth’ I need to work in our office and my art room. These are on the back burner, though, as far as priorities, due to the coming weather. I can work on both of THEM when the weather deteriorates.

With all the activity around here, I have ignored my exercising and my poor old body is complaining LOUDLY. I’m going to see how the yard work goes, and then at LEAST get in my yoga practice this afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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Thoughts on a Friday 10-25-2019

Animal’s Look

It’s cool (54 degrees F.) and raining today. I’m happy for the rain, but it’s a bit cool to dance in it.

We just got back from Lunch Bunch. Today we had almost more people than chairs for the group. It was wonderful. I’ve told you that the main group is Linda, Kay and me. We’ve met for Lunch Bunch every Friday for over 17 years now. Others have come and go. Some show up at various times, and the core remains the same. My husband was accepted as an honorary member several years ago. Now Kay’s husband is coming! Today our good friend Alice came, with one of her clients/friends. (Alice does professional machine quilting for scads of people). Conversation was lively and the service and food were good, as always, at the Pizza Barn, Greenwood AR.

Yesterday I finished the fourth plaque painted with Unicorn Spit Stain/Glaze.

Today I’ll start the last in the series.

I found a nice keto chili recipe (Suzanne Ryan – Simply Keto) that I’ll try tomorrow.  :0)

I hope you’re staying warm, dry, and cozy today.

 

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Thoughts on a Saturday – 10-19-2019

Marcie Patterson – LinkedIn

We have a good chance of rain today and tomorrow, plus deliciously cool weather and sunshine now. I have absolutely no complaints!

We took our son to the airport this morning for his trip back home to Thailand. We are SO lucky to have a caring, compassionate son who loves my husband and I to pieces. We’ll miss him terribly, but he has set up good communications so we can talk daily, plus a conference call program where we can see each other and talk, when we’re all up at the same time. (There is 12 hours difference between us.)

 

I am finally into new territory on my efforts to lose the lard!  Lately I have been re-losing poundage, so imagine my JOY this morning when the scales smirked at me, showing me new, lower numbers!  I am finally getting the hang of the keto eating plan. To me, the key is the macros (5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fat.) You can cut way back on carbs, but if you eat too much protein, it throws you off and prevents weight loss. If you concentrate on eating so that your percentages stay close to right, you get results, even if you’re old, like me. :0)

Pinterest

I am on DAY 47 of doing 35 or so minutes of daily yoga stretches, and DAY 32 on getting-serious-about-the-keto-macros. I’m also doing 35 minutes daily on my elliptical trainer. I’m hoping that the combination of all this will result in my measuring tape smirking at me by the end of this month.  Since I’m immature, even at my advanced age, I give myself a gold star on my desk calendar each time I do my yoga, elliptical, or work hard outside in the yard.  This is shaping up to be a 16-gold-star week!  To date, weight loss is 44 pounds and I’ve lost 45 inches. 

I am having a blast playing with the Unicorn Spit stain/glaze kit my sister-in-law sent me. I am trying to finish a second plaque today. I’ll take pics of it and post them when it’s finished.

I hope you are having a nice Saturday, too.

 

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Thoughts on A Thursday 10-10-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Right now it’s pretty pleasant outside. This evening we’re due for possible severe storms (wind, rain, hail, lightning, and flying hairballs) so I’m enjoying the weather while I can. Last week was summer, with the a/c on. Tomorrow, the lows are supposed to be in the 30’s!!

We just got back from Lunch Bunch – usually this is on Fridays, but one of our group is having a yard sale starting tomorrow, so went went today, instead. Everyone was good and all appendages are crossed (including my eyes) for ONLY cold and not rain, for her yard sale tomorrow and Saturday.

I’m going to go out as soon as I finish this – and my cup of coffee – to take down our tomato plants, clean up the planters, weed whack around them, etc. There are no green tomatoes, so it’s time. We’ve had a good season this year in spite of the weirdness of the weather. For the first time ever, I was able to only to eat all the head lettuce we personally wanted, but could share with our friends. We also shared tomatoes, radishes, and leaf lettuce. It was too hot to start seeds for a fall garden in my greenhouse and I didn’t find any fall veggie plants for sale, so I’m not plotting and planning what I want to do for the spring.

We may have the cold snap tomorrow, but we usually have it warm up again to fall-like weather, so we won’t stop the irrigation system. My husband is hoping he’ll only have to mow once or twice more….

So – this afternoon the plan is to get rid of the tomato plants, do my elliptical trainer, and do a session of yoga. I would also like to get up to my art room. The big dilemma is whether to play with my new crayon melter tools or my new Unicorn Spit Stain/Glass first. :0)

 

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My Own Personal Rain Dance

Weekend Gardener

Just another proof that Mother Nature is watching me – I went outside, armed with my wonderful long suede rose pruning gloves, a basket, and a sharp pair of clippers, intending to prune the roses.

As I was walking out, thunder sounded in the distance. I thought I had better hurry, but thought I could finish before any rain fell.

WRONG!

I got two of our bushes pruned, but then the sky opened up.

I’m really happy that we’re having a COOL day today so far, and I like cloudy days, but it WOULD have been nice to get that chore checked off my list….

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Thoughts on a Thursday – 10-3-2019

Jeff Jett

Seeing this cute photo of a raccoon reminds me how HAPPY I am that we finally seem to have encouraged all the raccoons to go elsewhere. At least for a while.

We love seeing animals around our place. We see deer, possums, racoons, squirrels, road runners, birds of all kinds….   We have lots of feeders on our deck because we love watching all kinds of birds flit around while we sit at our dining area table. This comes to a halt suddenly, several times in the spring, summer, and fall, when we find ALL the feeders empty, hanging at half mast, or down on the deck, ruined. Our raccoons seem to arrive in families. We use a humane trap to catch them, one at a time, and then drive them out further into the country about 5 miles or so, and let them out at a creek to hopefully catch up to the ones we’ve relocated before and go on to live a happy life – away from us.

If they would SHARE or wouldn’t trash our feeders and make a mess, we could live in harmony. SADLY, they want it ALL.

Right now we still have hummingbird feeders up and filled since we are still seeing up to 4 at a time, darting between the two feeders and our wave petunias. We’ll keep them up to feed late stragglers who haven’t gotten the memo yet that it’s probably time to head south. (Mother Nature is still giving us summer here, so it’s no wonder the sweet hummers are confused.)

We also have black oil sunflower seeds and small seeds so everyone can find something to their liking. We had kept the feeders empty, trying to discourage the raccoons, for a LONG time, so it’s good to be back to normal now.

I just finished the first of 2 sessions on my elliptical trainer in the garage. I overdid a couple of days ago, and ended up like a slug in my chair most of the day yesterday. Dividing up my time into two sessions will hopefully allow me to keep moving without my body going on strike. I do another session later today plus a session of yoga.

My creative juices are starting to rummage around in my brain, so I’m hoping to get up to my art room this afternoon and start plotting, planning, and playing. (I hope you get a kick out of alliteration :0) )

*Today is Day 31 of daily yoga. Day 16 of getting-serious-about-keto-macros, and Day 5 of three-times-a-week elliptical trainer time. I’m going to give myself a gold star EACH time I do an elliptical session, hopefully making it so I don’t slough off the second session of the day, so I can earn THREE today. I cooked “Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken” by Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto last night. Both my husband and son said, “YUMMY!”

The weather people are saying a cold front is coming through over night. I’m holding them to their word that this will happen, and will finally break the back of the too-hot temps with too-high humidity that have become the norm here. Fall – here we come!

I hope YOU have a star-filled and raccoon-less day, too!

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Thoughts on a Monday – 9-30-2019

Wild About Nature

September came and went so fast my hair is blowing!

I’m excited about Thursday of this week, when fall is finally coming to Greenwood, Arkansas. We’ll have some rain and the highs for the rest of the week as far as I can see will be in the 70’s. AHHHHH! I’m more than ready.

Our son, who came home to help us through the aftermath of my husband’s stroke, will be leaving Oct. 19th. We are SO lucky to have such a generous, caring son. It’s time for him to get back to his life in Thailand now.

We will do errands, change the decoration on the mailbox, and then settle in to enjoy the day. Yoga and art room are planned. And that’s it from the exciting life of the Lewises! It’s so wonderful NOT to have drama. :0)

Enjoy the last day of September.

 

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Thoughts on a Saturday 9-28-2019

Amazing Things – Linda Orrell

Progress Report – Lardage

  • Weight Loss – 43 pounds to date. 
  • Measurement Reduction – 45 inches to date.

I lost a pound yesterday, but it was a RE-loss of a pound that was gone and regained. I’m working with my MACRO daily to try to get the right percentages of carbs, protein, and fat. This morning I ate an avocado and put heavy whipping cream in my coffee, resulting in over 1/3 of the fat I should have for the day. I don’t really like avocados, but I’m impressed with how good they are for you. They are high fat, which kept me away from them before. Now I’m looking at them as a relatively painless way to get a lot of the fat I need (other than my own, homegrown). I like the fact that on CarbManager.com I can ‘test’ what I plan to eat for each meal and see what happens to my numbers BEFORE I make a mistake. I can then modify my plans. Wonderful!  Ultimate goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so.

Flipkart

I have a good start on my efforts to move more. I have been doing yoga stretches daily now for 26 days, and I just started my elliptical trainer 3 times a week. Since Gold stars on my desk calendar are a really good motivator for me (one for each yoga practice and one for the elliptical) I’ll be adding stars # 8 and 9 for the week today. I’m doing 35 minutes on the elliptical at a regular pace, listening to my MP3 player, basically just trying to zone out and do the time right now. Later I’ll think about doing a couple of intensive (for me) times in there. I try to make changes slowly – trying not to make this body rebel and go on strike for a couple of days in protest – hopefully culminating in more and more of my week spent in moving myself around in ways that will help my strength, balance, and flexibility.

The Guardian

It looks like fall will officially begin here in Arkansas on Thursday of next week, with highs in the 70’s, according to the weather people here. I HOPE they are right, because my energy levels rise when the temperature and humidity decrease.  I’m more than ready for fall.

Daily Dose of Flowers

Today is a quiet one for us. I’ll do my elliptical, my yoga, and plan to spend time in my art room again. Yesterday I tried my new crayon melting tool. I had fun, but am only making glorious messes at this point. I’ll enjoy playing with it again today.

Fill your day with things that bring you joy.

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Thoughts on a Friday 9-27-2019

Alma Maghakyan – Imgend.com – LinkedIn

We are enjoying a beautiful day.  The sun is shining and the temperature is in the low 80’s. How CIVILIZED after Mother Nature’s snit where she was routinely boiling us in oil!

We just returned from enjoying our long-time good friends for Lunch Bunch – a thing we’ve done every Friday for over 17 years now. We as a group have had more of our share of challenges lately. We’re helping each other get through them. A happy thing – Kay’s daughter from Albuquerque is here and we always enjoy her wit and humor. Another happy thing – Linda’s daughter dropped by with Linda’s great-granddaughters! They were sweet and shy. My husband’s reaction when we got in the car was, “How come come I can’t have some of those?” He would be a WONDERFUL grandfather.

We’ve grocery shopped and just finished putting everything away, so we’re well stocked for the moment. Our son is trying to get into the habit of rising really early, fixing breakfast, then going to meditate, so he didn’t go to Lunch Bunch with us today. He asked me NOT to get the things we’ve been routinely adding to the grocery list since he’s been here. He’s trying to ‘wean himself off of’ some things he considers bad habits… He came home to help us when my husband had his stroke. I’m trying to prepare myself that he will need to go home soon. I wish he would stay with us forever. He’s such a fine man.

I’m happy to tell you that one of the two crayon melting tools came in the mail today!  I’m going to try to get up to my art room this afternoon and start playing! :0)

I’m on DAY 25 on my effort to do a session of yoga daily, and DAY 10 of getting-serious-about-Keto eating. I have six gold stars on my desk calendar so far this week (4 for yoga and 2 for the elliptical trainer.) I’m hoping to have 10 stars by the end of the day Sunday.

I hope your weather is beautiful and your outlook hopeful.

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-24-2019

Awesome Earth via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn

It’s really overcast today with heavy rain and flash flooding predicted.

When my husband and I went to take our trash bags down to the bottom of the driveway, there was lots of heavy equipment there – big trucks, backhoes, etc. We asked them what was happened and were delighted to hear they are running fiber optic lines!  That means that the news we heard awhile back that we might be getting an offer for a bundle of phone and much faster Internet services within a year and a half might be coming true!!!  I was so happy to hear it, I was clapping my hands and grinning like a loon. The man who told me flashed a big grin at me. :0)

Amazon.com

I decided to add my elliptical trainer to my exercise ‘regimen’ since our weather is finally cooling off some. My elliptical is in the garage, and with heat indices in the 100’s, I just let it gather dust out there. I did 35 minutes on it this morning – old lady speed, but worked off 260 calories and worked the muscles in a way that won’t hurt my joints. I’m planning to do this 3 times a week – Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. So this is Day 1 on the elliptical.

Penn Fitness Warehouse

Day 22 on yoga and Day 7 on Keto.  I MAY be getting into Ketosis. From what I’m reading it can take up to 10 days. I also learned from reading that I may be eating too much protein, and that might be delaying things. I’ll read more today and try to adjust my food. Meanwhile, I’m eating a piece of cheese. :0)

 

The Animal Zone

I’m still working on the long-sleeved tee I’m painting in my art room. I’m really having fun experimenting. (There is a freedom in painting a tee you would have had to throw away or use as a rag due to stains that won’t come out!) :0)  I’m trying to paint a snow scene. Yesterday I used SnowTex – a product that adds a bunch of texture and a 3-D look. I have no clue whether it will work or not, but I’m having a blast trying this.

Oakridge Elem Sch – Arlington Publ Schools

 

I hope that YOUR day has good news, hope for the future, a nice rain if you need it, and FUN.

 

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Thoughts on a Monday 9-23-2019

cheezeburger.com

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF FALL!!!!! It’s raining here today (Ahhhh!) and cooler – at least for now, and I am one happy camper. :0)

Shop NZ

We had 5 hummingbirds at the feeders while we at the dining table this morning. A truly beautiful sight to start our day.

 

Laughtard

It’s DAY 21 for my daily yoga practice. Yesterday, after I had spent time weed whacking and then blowing the debris off the concrete areas, I was really tired and sore. As soon as I had finished a bottle of water and cooled off a bit, I did my yoga session, and it HELPED! Since I’m old and out of shape, my back stiffened up before bed, but I’m encouraged that I could FEEL it helping yesterday.

It’s DAY 6 on my getting-serious-about-keto efforts. To be honest, I’m not really sure where I am. The scales aren’t showing anything. I’ve been staying way under the 20 grams of carbs I’m allowed daily, figuring that even if I screw up on portion size or forget to add something, I should be coming out well. I’m really happy with the CarbManager.com carb tracking website.  It’s easy to use and I can quickly add food, water, or exercise from my computer or my phone.

123RF.com

Fingers crossed I will see some tangible results on either my scale, with my measuring tape, or both in the near future.

 

Our doggies seem calm after their fight yesterday morning. I will never know what started the fight. I’m just grateful that both doggies are doing fine today.

I didn’t make it up to my art room yesterday. I will try to get up there and play today.

Sleeping Should Be Easy

 

Our son, who lives and works in Thailand, came home after my husband’s stroke to help us through all the testing and the aftermath of the stroke. He will probably go back to his life soon. I’m am SO grateful that he wanted to be with us during this time. He has been a rock. SUCH a generous, caring man!

I hope you enjoy the first day of fall today – doing good things for yourself, feeling good, and finding great reasons to smile.

 

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Thoughts on a Saturday 9-21-2019

 

The rain has stopped and we have a sunshiny day today – but the HIGH will only be 83!!!! Woooo HOOOO! We have front and back doors open and ceiling fans on to enjoy the glorious breeze….

If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know that I’m a bit weird and maybe even a little nuts. If you didn’t, here’s an example – I’m on DAY 4 of getting serious about keto. Last night I woke up with a cramp in the back of my left leg. I’m HAPPY about this – although I admit I wasn’t at the time – because it’s a sign I may be getting into ketosis!  I’ve been very careful about what I’m eating and I’m tracking it all on my new CarbManager.com website which lets me know how many carbs I have left for the day and the percentages of carbs, fat, and protein I’m eating. I’m mostly concerned about staying under 20 carbs a day right now. I’ll pay more attention to the other things later. I really want to lose this last 30 lbs of lard. Truly tired of the plateau and ready to break new ground on the scales, rather than re-losing some pounds for a second time…

I tried ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles) with the chicken chunks and soup topping my family loves. I made rice, too, giving my husband and son the choice. No surprise that both of them had rice while I had the zoodles. Our son DID come back for a second helping, trying the zoodles that time. I’ll check with him today on what he thought. We have leftovers, so we’ll have it again this evening. This time I’ll try cauli-rice under mine.

Downshiftology

 

Pamela Salzman

 

I’m on Day 19 on my daily yoga practice.

Women’s Health

Some positions remain really challenging. I’ve spent a long time getting old and stiff, so I’m not surprised that it will take some time for me to loosen up. I AM feeling a difference, though, in several of the positions. I feel better after my practice, so it isn’t as hard to make myself get into the living room and grab my mat. My husband and son are being very supportive of my efforts on eating (my husband is amazed that I gave up my nightly sugar free ice cream, and says it’s good I’m going to ‘yoge’ each day.) Our son is always very supportive. He wants us to do what we can to get and stay as healthy as possible. He is getting back into meditation now after a time away, and is making good progress, so we compare notes daily and hug each other. :0)

My husband is having fewer anger spurts – a side effect of the stroke he had in July. I’m learning to adapt MY behavior so I don’t trigger events, and I’m learning not to react when one happens, unless there are other issues, too. I’m just keeping my mouth shut and walking away. I’m hoping this is gradually fading. This is not like my husband and he has a full plate working on  day by day improvement on the speech and balance issues.

Our son came in, after we listened to a session of the day’s news, and started talking, seemingly earnestly, about the priorities of the coverage. Since we agree that much of what is covered is of little importance in the grand scheme of things, I listened, smiling, as his sarcasm began to sprout. Toward the end of his ‘discussion’ I was begging him to stop, being totally exhausted from laughing. He is a treasure.

I’m going to try to finish painting the tee shirt in my art room upstairs, practice my yoga, eat right, and enjoy my family on a beautiful day.

I wish YOU a quiet, satisfying day.

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The Heat Index Died

Iowa Environmental Mesonet-Iowa State Univ

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

 

Dump a Day

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

 

Dump a Day

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

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

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

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

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Friday Thoughts

Ana Loreta Baicu – LinkedIn

My to-do list is longer than my arm today, but I’m enjoying a nice morning first.

We have the front and back doors open, creating a nice breeze through the house. We’ll have to turn on the a/c soon, since the high is supposed to be over 100 today, but I’m soaking up every minute of this. :0)

Feel the quiet. Ahhhh.

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Thoughts on a Thursday 9-5-2019

 

  • Try as you might, the cat jumps out of the planter just before you take the picture.

THIS is that cat – Smoke.

 

  • I’m watching the agonizing ‘progress” of Hurricane Dorian as it makes it way up the East coast wreaking havoc. I’m hoping it will continue moving to the east, causing as little damage as possible.
  • I did DAY 2 of renewed yoga practice yesterday, and will do Day 3 today.
  • I played in my art room yesterday, continuing the painting of yet another stained tee of mine. It seems to be coming back to life slowly. :0)
  • I am learning more about the after effects of my husband’s stroke. (“As with anxiety, anger is both a physical and psychological response. … After a stroke you might find you experience anger much more frequently, have less control over your outbursts and/or get angry over things that would not normally cause you to feel that way.” – the things I’ve read say that this may be a temporary change in personality.  Our son and I are dealing with this. It doesn’t happen often, and fingers are crossed this will pass.)
  • I am thankful that I get to spend time with my two favorite men on the planet, and that we are sharing good conversations, laughs, and hugs.

May your Thursday be full of things that fill your heart and make you smile.

 

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Thoughts on a Sunday

Wildlife Lovers via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

Good morning!

First, I feel guilty that our weather is pretty nice today. My thoughts are full of the people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. I am hoping that the hurricane will take a sharp turn and just give  people a lot of rain and maybe some wind and THAT’S ALL. Fingers crossed.

Second, I’m reading as much as I can find about strokes. We were extremely lucky with my husband’s. It affected his speech and his walking, but both are improving by leaps and bounds. I learned that changes in personality and behavior are common. He is experiencing hair-trigger anger, lashing out suddenly. Most of the things I’m reading say that these changes are usually temporary and fade with time. Our son is home, helping us all keep much calmer in dealing with this.

Third, I’m happy to be finished with August and beginning a brand new, hopefully cooler month. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love being able to throw on MORE clothes, rather than being too hot. I love fireplaces, hot cocoa, the rich colors all around.  I love cleaning up the yard because things STAY done a lot longer. :0)  I love sitting outside in the evening with a hot cup of coffee, enjoying the weather, watching birds, and more. Ahhh!

Fourth, our son had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He decided that our goldfish are playing basketball in their aquarium.

He described in elaborate detail how the fish were sucking up one of the pieces of gravel, then swimming over to the bathtub with the piece of gravel and then spitting it into the bathtub. When I laughed at the idea, he puffed up, trying to imitate the goldfish – but actually looking a bit like a chicken – acting out the playing of the basketball game. I laughed and laughed.  This is one of the MANY reasons I am thankful he came home to help us through the health challenge. He brings compassion, love, calmness, strength, and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor.

So happy Sunday, happy September!

I wish you a day filled with good things.

 

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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring….

Tail and Fur

“It’s raining, it’s pouring;
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and he
Bumped his head
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.”    ~ Nursery Rhyme

We’ve already reached and broken the record here in Arkansas for rain in August, and it’s raining again. We may get another 2 inches today to add to the over 11 for the month.

My husband has been gritching all summer because USUALLY we get to a point where it’s so hot with no rain that our lawn becomes ‘brown and crunchy’ (his favorite) and doesn’t need mowing. No luck for him this year. Happily, we have a nice used riding mower to make the job as easy as it gets.

I did a good job on weed whacking yesterday, going all the way around our garden, the propane tank for our shop, and behind the shop, plus the front yard, plus the area between the front yard and the driveway pad. I was planning to work on the back – and around the greenhouse today – but it looks like an inside day for us.

We’re getting ready to enjoy eating with our long-time Lunch Bunch friends. I think we decided recently we had been meeting every Friday for at least 17 years. I’m thankful to have such good, long-time friends. We’ve shared laughter and tears through the years, celebrating, or helping each other through hard times. Today our son plans to come with us!

After errands, we’ll settle in, enjoying a dry home, family, and pets.

I hope that you are enjoying your Friday.

 

 

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Toward the End of Garden Harvests

I just came in from taking a quick look at the garden, and then to the other end of our house to the tomato planters. This is today’s harvest, but it’s obvious that the super-hot weather lately has brought a halt to most of the harvests now.

We have had a wonderful time this year. We had a LOT of lettuce, radishes, and tomatoes, and were able to share some of each of these with our friends. The zucchini made big plants, and we harvested several zucchini, but I’ll read about how we can do better on these next year. I also want to plant yellow crookneck squash next time.

The cantaloupe was fun, but all we have are either green or yellowish small ones, all hard as a rock with vines spreading everywhere. I have no clue if they’ll actually continue to grow and ripen or not. Another subject for a lot of reading.  The red onions are still looking good. As soon as the weather gets a bit cooler, I’ll start looking to see if any are ready to come out of the ground.

 

Beautiful World

Of course when I was the farthest away from the house, the rain started. I toweled off when I came in, but it’s a very good thing I’m not water-soluble. :0)

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Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Glorious Rain

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The sky is darkening, the storm is coming.  We – 3 people, 2 dogs, and 2 cats – are dry and happy, looking outside.  (Our goldfish are inside, but not dry. They don’t care about the weather

much.)  Happy Saturday to you!

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Crabbing About the Heat

Brightside

I just spent half an hour or so trying to prune roses and weed flower planters. I’m embarrassed that some of the weeds are taller than the flowers!  Of COURSE it’s hot outside – it IS August and this IS Arkansas, but the humidity makes the heat index 103 and it is still morning!  So, I’m TRYING to spend a bit of time outside each morning to try to get things under control. So far, the weeds are winning….

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Rain!

 

Alma Maghakyan-imgend.com-LinkedIn

It was really muggy and hot when we went grocery shopping this morning. I had pretty much decided to stay inside today when all of a sudden the sky got dark, the wind was whipping the trees’ branches around and it started to rain!

AHHHHHHHH! This is refreshing for the mind and spirit, if not actually resulting in lower temperature and humidity.

I LOVE IT!

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So Cute – But Not Here

Via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I’m definitely of two minds about raccoons. On the one hand, I melt into a puddle when I see pictures like this. Awwww.

The other half of me has to deal with the problems they cause us when a whole family decides that our deck is a wonderful place to eat us out of house and home. Not only do they eat every single seed of any type in our feeders, they trash the feeders!  If we had raccoons who understood the concept of sharing, or eating without leaving the feeders needing to be replaced, we would welcome them.

We saw one of our long time friends at the store recently. He had a possum on his shoulder! It was really cute, and super affectionate. He had had the possum since he/she was a baby. He also told us he had a raccoon and a squirrel who both traveled with him and his wife, and were trained to walk on leashes! He also mentioned he had 7 deer…. Such a rich, full life!

We have a humane trap that we use on a regular basis after we have clear evidence of more raccoons. We bait it with apples or crackers and peanut butter. We have to be careful where we put the trap because they do everything they can to get out of the trap – of course – and have trashed our barbecue grill cover, plants in pots, etc.

When we catch one, we put the cage into the back of our truck and drive about 5 miles away, relocating the raccoon into a nice creek that flows under the road. Hopefully, this gives him/her another chance at a happy life, reunion with other relocated raccoons – far enough away that they don’t find their way back to us….

 

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How Hot Can it Get?

This was posted by one of our local weather people on Facebook yesterday. He said today would be much the same. We are in Greenwood (left column).

On that happy note – we plan to do a lot of staying inside!

I hope YOUR weather is much more sensible.  Enjoy your Monday.

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Our Beautiful World

T.L. – LinkedIn

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Tuesday Beauty

Adam Baker – Tuolumne Meadows, California.-via Daniela Capdepoj MD-PhD-LinkedIn

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Our Beautiful World

Thomas Moran via Elena (Livia) D – LinkedIn

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Nice and Toasty

We made this mailbox decoration years ago. We haven’t put it up this year and have others scheduled, but this is the way I’ve been feeling lately. The heat indices are between 105 and 110+ degrees each afternoon. You walk outside and it feels as though Mother Nature is slapping you in the face and sucking the breath from your body.

Needless to say, we are thankful for good air conditioning in our house and vehicles, and thankful that we can choose when we go out to do the yard work, working in short sessions, with lots of resting and water in-between.

My husband and I are reasonably active – for folks our age – but this weather really shows up how different things were for us 50 years ago…  We happily go about our days, feeling pretty good and doing a good amount of work, blissfully ignoring the passage of the years. THEN – we try to do something outside, coming in wringing wet and panting after only a short time, taking longer and longer to recover with each session, reality rearing its ugly head.

I plan to tackle my to-do list today with ONE thing from the INSIDE list – vacuuming the first floor – and ONE thing from my OUTSIDE list – weed whacking. Anything more will be gravy.

I hope that the weather where YOU are is pleasant.

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Reprieve from the Heat?

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Jeff Jett just posted this beautiful photo on LinkedIn. Since we’re under heat advisories here in Arkansas, it was so REFRESHING to see this! I hope it gives you some relief, as well as an ‘awwwww’, too.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family, Jeff Jett Photography, Mother Nature

Solution?

I told you a couple of days ago I was bitten/stung – yet again – by fire ants while I was out working in the yard. Apparently, I’m at least mildly allergic, since my forearm swelled up, had welts on it, and itched and hurt for two days before finally subsiding. I’m ready for war.

I talked to my good friend, Nora, who sent me a solution that has worked for her. I’m going to try it and wanted to share it with you.

RECIPE:

1/4 cup Borax

3/4 cup sugar

Enough water to make a thicky syrup

 

USING:

Soak cotton ball in mixture, and put near ant nest. (Apparently, the ants are drawn to the sugar and are killed by the borax in a couple of days.)

 

I will definitely try this.  I’ll let you know if it works for me.

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Filed under Challenges, Mother Nature, Seasons

Magical Moment

 

I was on my way from the living room into the dining area this morning when the view out the back door made me stop and go get my camera.  I love the way the clouds form a loose ‘rope’ between the ridge lines sometimes. Almost immediately after I took this picture, the ‘rope’ started to spread out, making a generalized fog that later burned off. But for a short moment, it was magical.

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In My NEXT Life…

I have promised my husband that in my next life, I will do everything I can to be –

AN ELECTRONICS EXPERT – defencecareers.mil,nz

 

STRONG AND MUSCULAR – so I can help haul things more easily.

 

A PHYSICS EXPERT – so I can grasp what we’re trying to do more easily – forensisgroup.com

AND –

TALLER – so I don’t have to stand on a ladder to reach everything!

He kindly says he loves me just the way I am – but tell that to me when I’m red-faced, sweating, plus huffing and puffing after helping him bring the new TV out of the truck,

  • through the garage,
  • up the steps,
  • through the gate into the dining area,
  • through the gate into the living room,
  • and across the floor to where we could set it down.
  • THEN we had to fight it out of the boxes,
  • stand it up after attaching the legs,
  • lift it up to put on the new support in front of the entertainment center,
  • and attach all the cords and wires and nylon ropes to keep it from falling….

We did it, and he’s working with adding updates and programming so we might be able to watch TV for the first time in three weeks or so since we were hit by lightning!

If we can get it working properly, it’ll be a really nice gift for the 4th of July.

THEN we can worry about whether the DVR,  DVD player, and movie storage system are still working….

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