Roadrunner on Mailbox

Wyle E. Coyote and the Roadrunner cartoons are some of our all-time favorites. The Roadrunner never runs out of energy, can run really fast and stop on a dime, and never lets poor Wyle win.


This is the back of the piece. Beep! Beep!

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

The Beauty of Nature

“Hole in the Mountain” – Paul Militaru Photography




“Sea and Rocks” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Stones on the Beach” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Grin for the Day, Funny Signs - Humor

Adaptation is a Beautiful Thing

I’ve told you that, even though we’re stubborn and slow, Amber is teaching us lots of new behaviors, such as

  • providing a new plastic bottle to chew on, free of bottle cap, cap ring, and label;
  • coming to entertain her or take her out every hour and a half or so,
  • changing her kiddie pool water,
  • giving her a treat every time she takes care of business or happens to do what her people say.

I’m happy to report that Amber is beginning to see the pattern of our lives after living with us a little over a month now.  We’re able to let her into the house to hang out with us for a longer and longer time. We’re trying to do this at least a couple of times a day, and NOT entertain her so that she finally lies down and is calm and companionable – at least for awhile.

This morning I wanted to get out and fight with the weed trees that are growing just off the civilized part of our back yard, cutting off our view of the valley below. I put her on the dog run after filling a bowl of water for her, figuring that if she could see me working, she wouldn’t get upset. That seemed to work pretty well. She is catching on to the fact that whining and barking don’t bring people.

My husband was looking for me because he wanted me to help him move a REALLY heavy 1/2 inch thick piece of metal up onto the CNC table so that he could cut it to make a base for his new-to-him ham radio antenna. He saw I was deep in the weed trees, hacking away. He got us a cold drink and moved Amber from the dog run to the long leash on the deck. We all sat out there together – (even Molly! – sitting by my husband where she knew the leash didn’t reach) – and cooled off and talked. We put Amber on the porch when I went out to help my husband.

I cut some more weed trees, and quit when it started to rain. It’s still storming now, with some pretty gusty winds, so I brought Amber into the office. I’ll need to mop up the back porch before she can go back out there. (Fingers are crossed that my new greenhouse makes it through this storm.)

She is lying down behind my chair, having played with all the toys in here, chewed on my basket, the leg of my chair, and the trash can. She is learning “no!” and we played with the rope, the ball, the plastic bottle, and the bone.

We’re adapting to each other a bit more each day. Things are getting more calm – at least sometimes.


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Too Darned Hot!

Dumb Photos

It’s supposed to get to 95 degrees today and the humidity is 64%. According to my heat index calculator, that’s 117 degrees F. Too darned hot!

I want to work in my new greenhouse, trying to get it organized reasonably, and I also need to cut down what we call, “Weed Trees” that line up across the back of our yard and cut off our view.  We’re going to Lunch Bunch very soon, but after that I’ll work in short spurts, coming in to enjoy the air conditioning, drink lots of water, etc.

This will be at least a 2-shampoo and shower day…

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood

Beautiful Birds

“After Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Gather at the River” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Playing Hard to Get” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Thinking Minds” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Some People Never Get Old – Take 5

Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.







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Filed under Attitude, Childlike Fun, Grin for the Day

Lifelike Bird Pins – Take 2

Lifelike Bird Pins Embroidered by Paulina Bartnikby

by Christopher Jobson on June 6, 2017 – Colossal



“Warsaw-based embroidery artist Paulina Bartnik stitches colorfully lifelike brooches of birds and other tiny creatures in a dense style called needle painting. Each object begins as a piece of wool which she prods with a special needle in a process called dry felting which results in a surface ideal for embroidery. She then paints with a needle directly on the felt and embroiders the finer details.”



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Filed under Amazing Animals, Creativity, Embroidery/Sewing Art

My New Life

I now walk around with a small pocket knife and my pedometer in one pocket and as many dog treats as I can stuff into my other pocket.  (Replenished at least once again each day).

Amber is now 30 lbs (we think). We’ll weigh her officially next Tuesday, when we take her for her last puppy shots and her rabies vaccine, but we went ahead and increased her puppy food to approximately two cups of food morning and evening, and she’s still clamoring for more.

She has NOT eaten the rubber from around her new water dish because she hasn’t figured out a way to upend it – yet. She ‘plays’ in it, trying to scoop the water out with her paws, rather than simply drinking it. (I guess that would be boring).

Last night she last almost half an hour in the living room with us. She played with her tennis ball and her squeaky ball, her rope, and ran back and forth between my husband and me. We put a gate between our chairs so she couldn’t get out, but she managed to find an opening to the left of my chair, under the table once. :0)

My new life is dominated by

  • when she is fed
  • how long has it been since she went out
  • it’s time to go play with/cuddle her for a bit
  • it’s time to get Molly and Amber together again to see if things have improved any
  • it’s time to bring her inside for a bit since she’s just been out

Anything else that gets done is gravy. I knew that having a new puppy would be time-consuming. I knew that we would have to really work to give her enough exercise. I have to admit I underestimated how much having a sweet, wriggly, BIG puppy would completely dominate our lives.

We’re making good progress on

  • “Amber”
  • “Sit!”
  • “Good Girl!”
  • “Hurry Up!”
  • “No!!!”
  • “Crate”

No so much on

  • “No Bite!” or “No Teeth!”
  • “Come”

We HAVE gotten to the point where Amber expects to entertain herself after breakfast and inside time are over for the early morning, and again in the afternoon. We ALL take a break, breathe a huge sigh of relief and REST for a bit…



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Amber’s Rug

Amber is a very oral, chewy puppy, not knowing how to handle things unless she’s tasted them first. It’s how my arms and the back of my hands got punctures, scrapes, and mysterious lumps and bruises on them when we first got her. She didn’t ‘bite,’ as such. She turns her head quickly from side to side with her mouth open, particularly when she’s excited, and her puppy teeth are very sharp!


We put a multicolored woven rug – the kind that many people use as an exercise mat, or a naptime rug for kindergardeners – in Amber’s crate when we brought it home. We also put a towel in there for extra padding and comfort, plus a soft chew toy.

This is what remains of the rug. It will no longer even THINK about lying flat. It was to the point that little bits of a plastic-like ‘stuff’ were on the floor on the porch. Since we didn’t want her actually EATING the rug, we went looking for a bed that we could put inside the crate. I threw this poor thing away.

You can see the new ‘bed’ that now lines Amber’s crate. It probably won’t look like this for long, so I snapped a couple of pics of it in its pristine state.

We have always used a spray bottle filled with water to deter our dogs and cats from doing things we don’t like. This has – and continues to – work with the two cats and Molly, our 12-year-old cocker spaniel/schnauzer fuzzy white dog. Not so with Amber! She LOVES to be sprayed with water. She wants to BITE the stream of water.

My husband played ‘bite-the-water-stream’ with Amber with the hose while I swept and then mopped the back porch, and then emptied the kiddie pool. She was totally wet and laughing with her tongue hanging out when they finished. She then proceeded to jump into the fresh kiddie pool and splash around even more.

We are definitely in an era now where nothing stays clean, dry, or in one piece around here for very long. My broom and mop are getting a workout. We again thank Cathy for telling us about a pet gate with a people door. I think she may have saved us from breaking bones. Amber can now jump over the gate we had across the doorway. She can no longer go UNDER it, but when we raised it to where she couldn’t jump over it – yet – I was no longer able to scramble over it to get to the porch! THANK YOU again, Cathy.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, recommended another good thing in our efforts to stop Amber from chewing on things that are not chew toys. It’s called “Bitter Apple” Spray. I just ordered some, though – at this point – I’d have to spray the whole HOUSE. I’ll have it ready when she zeros in on a few things, continuing to go back to them, like the basket I have in the office, and spray THAT.

One day at a time.

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you


Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Some People Never Get Old – Take 4


Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.



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Filed under Attitude, Grin for the Day


“Light Purple” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Lilac 1” – Paul Militaru Photography



“Purple Passion Petunias” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Most Beautiful

Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Amber is Training Us Again


Amber goes right to a basket I have in the office to chew on the edge, so we got her this new rope. She LIKES it, but still goes back to try to chew on the basket after playing with the rope awhile – with or without a person on the other end.

Amber was regularly spilling the ‘no-spill’ water bowl we got her, so we bought a small metal one with a rubber edge. She immediately chewed off the rubber edge, and then dumps the dish before we even leave the porch! I don’t want her to be without water, so we found another one at the co-op today. It’s the same design – metal with sloping sides and a rubber edge – but it’s LARGE. My husband took it out to the porch and filled it up. He said she hadn’t dumped it by the time he came in again….

Amber is pretty good on the retractable leash, walking pretty well with us now. She is no longer afraid going up and down steps. The problem comes when she sees something she really wants, like one of the cats, our dog, Molly, a dragonfly, a clump of dirt she found yesterday…..  and pulls so hard I’m afraid she’ll pull me off the steps or make one of us fall. We ordered a new retractable ‘no-pull’ leash from and it was delivered today. It attaches to her harness, then has a strap that goes around her tummy. When she pulls, it tightens up and squeezes her belly. We tried it today, and it SEEMS to work. She pulled, it squeezed, and she stopped and sat down. We’ll keep working with this and see how it goes.

We’ve been trying to encourage her to take care of business when we walk her. We’ve gotten it across because she LOVES treats. We say, “Hurry Up!” and she pees. She gets a “Good Girl!” and a treat. This works like a charm, with the complication that she’s a smart dog. She now thinks she should get a treat for each pee, and so pees about 4 times while we’re out. We only give her a treat for the first one, so she’s a bit frustrated, looking at us and our pockets, not believing she shouldn’t get another treat. She finally takes care of the rest of her business and gets another treat – but we have to watch her because she cheats! She ACTS like she’s taking care of business, but doesn’t….

She thinks we’re ‘pretty nice,’  but VERY slow to catch on.


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Lifelike Bird Pins – Take 1

Lifelike Bird Pins Embroidered by Paulina Bartnikby

by Christopher Jobson on June 6, 2017 – Colossal



“Warsaw-based embroidery artist Paulina Bartnik stitches colorfully lifelike brooches of birds and other tiny creatures in a dense style called needle painting. Each object begins as a piece of wool which she prods with a special needle in a process called dry felting which results in a surface ideal for embroidery. She then paints with a needle directly on the felt and embroiders the finer details.”







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Filed under Creativity, Embroidery/Sewing Art

Options Renewed!

Chrissie Anderson Peters


Today is our 48th wedding anniversary. We dated for 8 years before we married, so in many ways we think of this as our 56th year together. We hope that – since we have a good start now – we can enjoy MANY more happy years together.

Each year we ask each other if our ‘option’ to share another year is to be renewed. (We don’t take anything for granted.) This morning we agreed that, indeed, we want to spend at LEAST another year together. :0)

I think that many people marry for the wrong reasons. When I married my husband, it was because I wanted to share my LIFE with him, whatever happened, forever.  That’s a huge commitment and it should not be entered into lightly. Sometimes we feel very, very close. Other times I want to wring his neck. We’re two very different people. We don’t agree on many things. We don’t even use the same salt. But love overrides all.

We’ve shared everything for 48 years. We built a family together. We have a son who is smarter, braver, and kinder than both of us put together. We wish we could take credit for the man he is, but the truth is we lucked out.  We created a daughter who was beautiful, but she died of SIDS at two months of age. The hurt and loss never leave, and changed our lives forever. We’ve shared wonderful things, and intense sorrow. We have celebrated the good things together, and have helped each other deal with many tough things. It’s ‘the two of us against the world.’

I have seen many people treat their spouse terribly. Then, when out in public – after fighting with their spouse – they turn on the smiles to everyone else.  I truly believe it should be the opposite. You should treat your spouse with the best you have in you. Concentrate on treating him better than you would treat anyone else. (This doesn’t mean you don’t have disagreements, hurt feelings, anger, etc. After all, you two know each other better than anyone else in the world. You know what buttons to push. Sometimes there are hurt feelings because of the TONE.  Sometimes it’s just a look. When you’re this close to someone, great care should be taken.)

I’ve been trying to ‘train’ my husband for years, to no avail. He quotes somebody as saying, “When a woman marries, she thinks she can change him, and he doesn’t. When a man marries, he hopes she’ll never change, and she does.”

Sharing your life with someone is a priceless gift.  You should give it at least the same care as you would any priceless gift – care, attention, nurturing, patience…..

So, when he jumped over the back fence with a rose in his teeth, he took my breath away. He still does.


Werner Bollmann

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Filed under Attitude, Family, Favorite People, life lessons

Opened Book

Title Wave via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m on book # 16 in the “In Death” series by Nora Roberts. I have to ration myself to only so much diving into her books each day, or else I don’t get anything else accomplished.

I think I told you I love her romance novels – particularly her trilogies and quartets – and had avoided the “In Death” series because I just didn’t want a serious series from her. Was I wrong! I’m even more impressed with her writing ability now – if that’s even possible.  In the “In Death” series, she has created a super strong, gritty, believable character in homicide detective Eve Dallas. The characters surrounding her become more and more fleshed out, making you care about the whole group as they deal with grisly murders. I’ve never been able to figure out who the bad guys are, or how she’ll get them, in the 15 books I’ve read thus far. I just want more.

If you haven’t tried one, I warn you that you may become addicted.

I’m starting “Portrait in Death” today.

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Some People Never Get Old – Take 3

Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.




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This is a lesson I finally learned, though it took about half of my life.

I met my husband-to-be when I was 14, in ninth grade. He had just signed up for the Marine Corps and he would leave at the end of the summer. My parents allowed me to invite him to go with us to our swimming club. And that was the beginning.

I lived – from then on – for when he got leave from the Marines. Almost everything else in my life was ignored, endured, put on hold. Then I was waiting for him to get out of the Marines. When he did, we waited again until he enrolled at the same college I attended. We did that for one semester and then he dropped out. So I was restlessly awaiting graduation from college so we could be together all the time. My parents said we couldn’t marry until I got my teaching degree, but they relented when I got into this special program that allowed me to finish my degree, doing my practice teaching in Tulsa.

From 14 ’til 22 years of age I basically WAITED, letting many good things pass me by.

The advice above is priceless.  We only have one life. Live every day. Stop waiting.

Just STOP.

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“Beauty” – Paul Militaru Photography

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I Think…

Zen to Zany

I laughed aloud when I saw this picture.

My husband and I got used to sleeping when we could, wandering around when we couldn’t, reading for another hour, then sleeping in, or taking a nap.

Then came Amber.


Amber at 3 months

Amber is a 3 month old yellow Labrador retriever. We adopted her at 10 weeks old, a month ago tomorrow.  And what a whirlwind of a month we’ve had!

Now our lives revolve on when Amber was last out. We take her out for at least a short walk every two hours from 7:30 in the morning until about 11:00 at night. If we’re not walking her, we make a point of going out to the porch to cuddle, play, talk, as well as check her water dish. (She’s definitely a water dog. We fill the bowl half full, and then she cannot seem to stand it until she gets at least one paw in it. She drinks it, plays in it, splashes it all over the floor. We’re hoping that she’ll learn that when she does this, she might have to go for a bit where the bowl is empty. (Not long, but we’re hoping long enough to get her attention and maybe get her to change her ways.)

She desperately wants to jump on, and play with, our 12-year-old cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly,




and our cats, Abby



and Smoke.


The problem is, NO ONE, except her people, wants to play with HER!

The one who handles our new family member best is Smoke. She routinely gets nose to nose with Amber, and then whacks her with a paw. Abby disappears until ‘the baby’ has gone back out on the porch  Molly tries to disappear, and then growls and snaps a bit when Amber relentlessly continues to try to jump on her face. Of course, even when Amber was being good, standing in front of Molly with her head down, front paws straight out in front of her, bottom high in the air, and tail wagging furiously, Molly still growled and snapped.

The only one NOT giving us a hassle right now is Boo, my new black fish. It’s really hard to get a picture of her because of the reflection of the light on the bowl.

This picture is a professional one I found on the net, but it gives you a good idea of Boo’s face. She swims right over to me when I feed her, wiggling her body and lots of fins while goggling at me. She doesn’t say much and doesn’t give us any problems – a real relief right now.

To say logistics of where animals are at any given time is a full time job around here is a vast understatement. Also, in our efforts to get Amber acclimated to the house more, we try to invite her in several times a day. This is complicated because she loves to jump into the kiddie pool just before coming in from a walk, so we have to check to see how wet she is before she is allowed inside…

Suffice to say we fall into bed at night and are probably asleep within 30 seconds or less. We wake up still tired from the day before, but are determined to adapt to our new lifestyle, feeling lucky to have a houseful of wonderful animals.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Favorite Pictures, Favorite Quotes, Grin for the Day

Some People Never Grow Old – Take 2

Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.




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Gorgeous Carving

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Creativity, When Wood Comes Alive

“The Quiet Sea”

“The Quiet Sea” – Paul Militaru Photography


Irene, her dog, Odin, and two cats live just off the beach in Spain. She makes jewelry so pretty it makes my mouth water. I’ve bought several pairs of earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet from her, and I cherish each piece. Over the year or so we’ve been corresponding, we’ve become friends, even though we’ve never met face-to-face.

A few weeks ago, Odin got sick with something mysterious. Of course, Irene was beside herself with worry. She’s been getting tests done and following all the vet’s instructions, taking the best care of Odin possible.

With all the stress and worry, Irene got sick with a virus. She posts almost every day, showing yet another piece of jewelry she’s created. Many times she writes of walking on the beach with Odin, a really beautiful, sweet dog.  Her last email said she and Odin were doing better, feeling a bit stronger.

I wrote to check in with her yesterday, since she hasn’t blogged in several days.

Her daughter answered me today. Irene is in the hospital, very ill. I was amazed that she took the time to write to me to tell me what was going on.

Irene and Odin need us to send strength and energy in their direction, hoping they both recover soon.  I hope you’ll think good thoughts for them in the coming days.

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“Love is the Flower…”

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon


This nice bunch of lilies is almost finished for the year. It looks like a lily bouquet to me, and I love the rich color.


Last year, once the summer was in full swing, I sprinkled a bunch of zinnia seeds in the planters. Not many of them came up, so I was really surprised to see volunteers all around the planters and across the front yard!


I don’t know what this plant is, but it’s perennial and it seems to really like it in this planter.


Phlox and periwinkles.


Two colors of impatiens, plus phlox about to bloom and iris.

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe



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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

“Song Of Yesterday”

My husband asked me to listen to his ‘new favorite song’ last night.

It’s called, “Song of Yesterday”

The band’s name is Black Country Communion.

I love it, too, and wanted to share it with you.

If the link above doesn’t work for you, here is the URL –



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Almost Ready to Bite!

This tomato is in the 8 foot brick planter to the east of the house.


And these are in the “Nook” planter between the house and the porch.

They’re still too firm to pick, but in another day or two, we BITE!

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Filed under Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds


This is one of our newest phlox plants. I just love the color!

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Filed under Gardening

Some People Never Get Old – Take 1

Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.








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Apt Description

Rebel Circus via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob